Cheese Bakes and Latte at Figaro

Whenever I am given the chance to spend a few hours away from home to de-stress and recharge, one of the places I often go to is Figaro. Aside from it being less crowded than other coffee shops, I love its homey atmosphere and rustic surroundings. It is also the nearest coffee shop from our house which makes it a very convenient getaway for this stressed out mom.

After pampering myself with a facial at Flawless Face and Body Center, I gave in to the cravings of my tummy and had a quick snack at Figaro. Instead of ordering my usual White Choco Mocha, I opted to try their Butterscotch Vanilla Latte (P 115). As my tummy was nearly growling at that time, I also ordered a plate of Cheese Pimiento Bakes (P 129). I do love their cheese bakes and would, more often than not, order a plate of these rich and filling delights when I’m there for coffee.

As you all know, I am a huge fan of a hot cup of coffee in the morning. Freshly made on a professional espresso machine, such as the Lelit Bianca the cafe has been eyeing for some time, it is an absolute treat. However, recently I have been thinking about treating myself to a new coffee machine. It is no secret that using the highest quality equipment and coffee beans can have an impact on the taste of your coffee so I am currently on the lookout for the best grind and brew coffee maker I can get my hands on. Are you a big coffee fan? Let me know how you like to start your day in the comments below.

Figaro: You Know Coffee

my soothing cup of latte

a plateful of Cheese Pimiento Cheese Bakes

rich, filling, and delightfully yummy cheese bake

The branch at SM Marikina was also strategically located on the second floor and had a great view of the Atrium that I was able to watch a performance of Philippine folk dances while sipping my coffee and enjoying my bakes.

A Family Car to Care For

Our little boy has had very high fever since last night and also had a fit of vomiting. A visit to our pediatrician was in order so my husband had to get off work to drive us to and from the hospital this afternoon. As this is not the first time my husband had to take a leave from work to drive us somewhere, we are now seriously considering buying a car for the family’s use. One that I could drive with ease, would comfortably and safely seat the entire family, and of course, one that would fit our budget.

On top of our list is the Toyota Corolla, which is my husband’s most loved car. His 1992 Toyota Corolla has withstood the test of time. It has been through miles of road trips, careening through expressways and maneuvering rough roads. It has even survived being submerged in flood during one of the worst typhoons of 2009. It has gone through many repairs already and some parts have been changed but still my husband holds on to his car dearly. He maintains the car by ensuring that the oil is changed every six months and the car is tuned-up after every oil change. It is no wonder that he is considering getting another Toyota Corolla for the family. Other cars on our list are the Toyota Avanza, Chevrolet Cruze and Mitsubishi Lancer.

My husband is quick to remind me though of the responsibilities of being a car owner and a driver. He is particularly insistent on making sure that his insurance is up to date. I know many of my friends are like this, which is why they would use someone like Money Expert to help them get the right type of insurance for their car. It’s not jut the insurance either, many of his pointers are knowing the traffic rules, being a responsible driver, thinking of the toddlers’ safety foremost, and knowing the car intimately. By intimately, he means being in sync with the car’s movement and being sensitive to whatever nuisances there might be. He also emphasized the need for me to be aware of car repair technicalities. He stressed that if he gets us a new car, its care and maintenance would be part of my responsibility as well. He explained to me how to check the tires, the brake fluid, clutch fluid, and engine oil before using the car. This would ensure that our drive would be problem-free. I think I just might take up the challenge and search online about ‘where can i buy car parts online‘ and maybe start acquiring the basic skill of at least knowing how to change a flat tire!

Having a new car would certainly be a great. But the responsibility of keeping it well maintained is quite daunting for a mom like me. It’s a great thing that my husband is here to remind me of what should be done. It’s also great that there are now car repair providers that can easily be accessed online and that provide helpful information.

One thing that we did consider was buying an electric car but I wasn’t keen on spending all that money on an electric car when I hadn’t driven one before, we then looked at leasing an electric car with a leasing company like Intelligent Car Leasing, it was definitely something to consider but it just wasn’t the right move for now but that’s not to say that I wouldn’t mind leasing an electric car the next time we need a new one. I’ve also seen that honda have zero deposit car finance which is certainly an option for me!

Beautrition through Athena Milk

Yesterday, I received a package containing two 180-gram boxes of Athena.  I was actually expecting to receive mere samples in sachets when I submitted the form in the Athena Milk facebook page so I was quite surprised to receive two full boxes. Oh, and they came in a lovely paper bag too, not the usual plain plastic most samples are sent in.

 photo athenamilk.jpg

It’s CHOCOLATE!!! Yum!

I’m a milk lover and I’d gladly guzzle any milk up whether it be plain milk, chocolate milk, or whatever variant.  The samples that I got were both chocolate flavored which is great as chocolate and milk always go well together.  I prepared myself a hot cup of Athena chocolate milk for breakfast this morning to start my Beautrition.

Athena claims that the milk is formulated specifically to meet the nutritional needs of women.  It is high in calcium, low in fat, and a good source of anti-oxidants such as vitamins A & E and zinc.  I haven’t had time to verify these claims but the milk tastes good that I’m willing to try it out and experience first-hand the results of what they call Beautrition.

Strong bones, slim figure, and beautiful skin are supposedly the results of good Beautrition.  Let’s see if there’s any improvement in mine after I consume the samples.

A Busy Mom’s Online Marketplace

Laptop computers are not part of our family essentials so getting a new one was out of the question when my current one started breaking down. My laptop’s space bar has been covered with scotch tape to keep it in its place for as long as I can remember. Then one of my toddlers accidentally yanked off the space bar while she was “helping” Mama with her work. A tiny part of the space bar key broke off and couldn’t be repaired. In that same week, my other toddler intentionally pounded on the keyboard causing the spacebar to completely break off from the keyboard. This all happened barely a month after my husband bought the laptop and since then, my laptop has been adorned with scotch tape.

I don’t really mind buying a secondhand laptop but as I was my toddlers’ 24/7-momslave-yaya-cook-nurse-teacher-playmate-etcetera, trips to the mall to canvass for one were out of the question. I considered buying from an online marketplace, especially since you can use something like eBay coupons to get second-hand or refurbished laptops at a further discount. But I didn’t have much luck finding a functional yet affordable pre-loved laptop that caught my eye. So months passed and the keyboard remained as it was – scotch-tape decorated and hanging by a thread.

This morning though, while searching for a learning toy for my toddlers, I chanced upon a buy & sell online site that had the perfect laptop for me. I checked the site to search for educational toys for my little ones but found a lot more than that. It tends to offer everything and anything you might ever need such as books, TV, κινητά τηλέφωνα, Samsung ηλεκτρικές σ&upsi… For that and for saving me through all the trouble of having to endure traffic and big crowds, websites like AyosDito and could soon become my new favorite marketplace. Plus, if the kids don’t like what I get them, I can just send them straight back to the shop for a refund, without ever having to leave my house since there are so many courier options available on sites like Fast Courier Australia!

After going over the many laptops that were for sale, I finally found one that was to my liking and that fit our budget. This Dell Inspiron Dual Core seems fine with me and the price is well within our range. There were other options on there – a friend got shown a link to a Macbook that, other than a broken screen, was working fine. Thankfully they live near a place that can fix up a Cracked Macbook Screen with no problems, so they snapped it up. Me, I’m sticking to the Dell. Considering the specifications and the price, I really wouldn’t mind buying this even if it has been previously owned, as it will more than do what I need it to do. Although my husband gave me tips to buy cheap laptops, I shall still leave the final decision to him. He is, after all, the techie guy in the family and would know best if it is truly a good buy. For now, I shall continue to shop for my toddlers’ toys, clothes and other stuff in my new online shopping haven. This is, after all, my forte.

All About Scrapbooking: Scrap ‘n Tell

When my son was born, I bought two scrapbooks and scrapbooking accessories and had pictures of him and my older daughter printed. I had in my mind this vision of pages oozing with creativity, teeming with memories, chronicling my toddlers’ first years of life. If you are interested in starting a scrapbook, then one thing that you might want to consider is getting something like these svg cut files to really help improve the way your scrapbook looks.

Now my daughter is turning 3 and my son is turning 2, yet the scrapbooks I bought are still in the storage box – unopened, unused, virtually brand new. The vision remains as it is. Well, all that is about to change! Inspired by the Scrap n’ Tell: Bloggers’ Scrapbooking Event, this Mom has resolved to turn that vision into reality.

I was fortunate enough to have scored an invite for this event through Jennifer Aspacio of Pinay Mommies Community. The event held at the Filstar Distributors Corp Office at Kapitolyo, Pasig was truly a delightful afternoon. The organizers prepared well for it as everything was oozing with their creative juices, from the invitations, to the name tags, and the demonstrations and the hands-on activites. Here are my fun memories of this awesome scrapbooking event:

I never got to actually starting my scrapbooks for my toddlers mainly because I knew how time-consuming it would be. Let alone, the mess I would have to clean up after I’m done. But after experiencing scrapbooking, I found it to be a very relaxing activity, somewhat therapeutic. I didn’t mind cleaning up the mess at all when I was done. I still have much to learn as my creative juices are equivalent to that of a five-year-old. But I do know one thing, Scrapbooking is an art and to be good at it, you must have the passion for it.

(*pictures courtesy of All About Scrapbooking Facebook Page)