Love for Vintage

I used to believe that I was an old soul because of my fondness for everything old, classical or vintage. As a teenager, I don’t mind listening to the tunes of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and other Motown Artists. Somehow I was drawn to this soothing and nostalgic genre.

In the recent years, my love for the old intensified with the advent of vintage photography. I particularly like themes that include nature, women, dresses, writing and food. Staring at these photos literally take me back in time, the simplicity of life then. The faint colors really appeal to my eyes as dainty and delicate.

I’d like to share some of my favorite vintage photos to include typewriters which I found on the net.









But one of my favorite vintage things are typewriters. We had an old typewriter when I was in high school and that was my favorite “gadget” back in the 80’s.  I love hearing the sound of the keys being tapped and that familiar *ting* when you’ve reached the end of the page.  If I could only see, touch and use one now, that would totally take me back to when I first began writing 🙂

Are there any obsolete tool or old gadget you would like to use again today?



Mom, My Tooth is Loose!

This is my first post where I would talk about what I have studied long and hard in college… TEETH! Yes, I am dentist by “profession” and have not been very active in the past years because I was busy raising a family.  I have put my private practice on the sidelines and kept it on appointment basis only.

Most of the patients I see are kids, majority are kids’ friends and they often go to me to have their kids’ “baby tooth” pulled. The reason for taking out the tooth is because it has a cavity, infected or loose.  But taking out the tooth would not always be the best option.

As a mom, we get excited when we see a glimpse of our babies’ first tooth which is about at 6 months of age.  Our toddler’s teeth would have completed eruption at age 2 to 3.

Some parents neglect the importance of these first set of teeth or “milk teeth”, “baby teeth”, “temporary teeth” or in dental terms, primary or deciduous teeth.  One of the most common notion they have is that these teeth are temporary, will shed off and it’s okay to pull it out. This is partly true. Yes, these milk teeth will shed and the permanent teeth would erupt soon. But we don’t just take them out at will.

The primary teeth are there for a very important reason and that is to serve as guide for the erupting permanent tooth. Since the permanent tooth  will be taking the space occupied by the temporary teeth, the new tooth coming needs to be guided by the temporary tooth. For example, when the primary incisor starts to wiggle, it means that the permanent tooth, which is hidden under the gums and bones are already forming. As soon as they are ready to come out, they (permanent tooth) will push the primary tooth out of its place and would occupy the same space. If we pull out the primary teeth carelessly without considering the time the age of eruption,, the new tooth coming out will have no guide at all. That tooth would be lost, it doesn’t know where to go which could lead to crowding of permanent teeth.

Another importance of the preserving the milk teeth and keeping it healthy is because the succeeding permanent may have discolorations or dark spots on it when it erupts because it’s predecessor was unhealthy or decayed.

Even though these primary teeth will not last long, it’s still necessary to practice good oral hygiene at an early age to prevent cavities or tooth infection and this practice would be carried on by the child hopefully when he or she grows up.

I have included charts of age of tooth eruption to serve as guide for you and your kids. Don’t worry if your child is already 7 years old and there are no permanent molars yet. Again, this varies from child to child. When Coby was born, he had his first tooth at 4/12 months and his permanent tooth at 5 1/2. While Jianne, had her first molars much later.


primary tooth eruption, photos from


Homemade and Selling

I don’t think there is no one in the world who doesn’t love food. In fact, food has been given so much attention with the advent of social media and phone apps. One can simply capture a photo of a delectable pasta, a sweet dessert or a refreshing drink and post it for the world to see. Now, your friends know what you had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I do share a few photos of food myself but I limit them to stuff I make from scratch or what my husband prepares.  And posting homemade stuff is good advertising don’t you think. I mean, who doesn’t need a LITTLE extra cash?

Last year, I started recreating the homemade spreads or dips I did two years before. I shared some samples to my friends and they enjoyed it. Not only that, I also received orders especially around the holidays. I started with a Roasted Bell Pepper Spread and Garlic Cheese Spread. I wanted to add one more flavor so I tried using a local food item in our country called “Tinapa” or Smoked Milkfish. The product testing done at home was good and the Tinapa Spread was born. I received more orders for this spread than the two but and it became the bestseller spread.


Christmas packaging for the three in one. I also have bigger sizes and in jars.

Christmas packaging for the three in one. I also have bigger sizes and in jars.

My family loves bread. When he was still single, my husband took a bread-making course and learned how to make simple breads at home. He is such a bread lover that he decided to make his own “Pandesal” a Spanish name for salt bread. Pandesal is a staple food item in the Filipino diet. We have it for breakfast or snack and it goes well with our favorite butter and sugar and hot coffee, yummy! Armed with his ingredients of flour, eggs, yeast, sugar and salt, he mixed, kneaded and baked his own bread. He asked the kids to join him and they enjoyed the whole process.

kneading the dough

kneading the dough

proofing time

proofing time

hot pandesal with roasted bell pepper spread yum!

hot pandesal with roasted bell pepper spread yum!

So what goes well with bread but with a good spread. Aside from the homemade spreads I make for the home and for friends, I thought of doing something else. How about making my own fruit jams? I was inspired when I saw a show on TV that featured a woman who makes jams at home. She sells them too for a profit and has been doing quite well.

Green mangoes are well-grown in our country and is available year round. So looking for green mangoes was not a problem at all. I took some green mangoes I bought from the market and created my own version of a green mango jam. The sourness of the green mango worked well with the sweetness of sugar. Of course, my kids loved it (love your own)!

I also shared some to my father who enjoys jams and preserves as well, and he gave me a positive feedback. He said I need to reduce some of the sugar but overall it’s good. He said to make him more and he will pay me, hooray!

oozing with mango syrup

oozing with mango syrup

one jar almost consumed by the bread monsters :-)

one jar almost consumed by the bread monsters 🙂

I’m still on the lookout of other local fruits to make as jams. Here is a list of fruits I could source locally: guava, melon, pineapple, santol (This fruit is grown in Southeast Asia. In French, it’s what they call faux mangoustainer and in English is known as Sandor or wild mangosteen. -source

Have you tried making your own jam or preserves? Let’s have a “jamming” session by sharing your experiences 🙂

Leftover Makeover

Spaghetti is one of our family’s staple meals. I prepare this pasta dish not only for birthdays or any other celebration but for our everyday”lutong bahay” meals. When the kids have licked the bottom of the sauce pan, they would ask me,” No more sauce?”  We will be left with pasta noodles good enough for one more meal. This weekend, spaghetti was on our menu.

It was a very lazy Monday for me. We were still tired from a birthday party yesterday and hubby and I slept late.  Not to mention I had to wake up my usual waking time at 4:30 AM to prepare for hubby. By mid-day, after doing arts and crafts with Jianne, I was sooo sleepy. I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore plus the weather was so conducive for sleeping. I told Coby to continue his Language lessons while I take a nap upstairs.

We still had leftover spaghetti from the weekend, so I was confident we would have enough for lunch. No need to cook.    I woke up a few minutes before 12 noon and took out the food for reheating. Lo and behold, the spaghetti sauce was just enough for two kids. It’s too late to take out the fish from the freezer. What will I eat? Hmmm I could do an aglio oglio which is just noodles with lots of garlic, olive oil and basil. But I was not in the mood for aglio oglio.

Then I remembered I still had left over San Marino Tuna Fillet Spanish Sardines.  Yes! Still Aglio oglio but with a twist, instead of anchovies, I would do a Pinoy version using spanish sardines.

I crushed as many garlic as I want. Garlic and olive oil, oh so yummy! So, I flaked the tuna first. Then I sautéed my garlic and put in the flaked tuna. I added the oil in the can to add flavor to the pasta. Then I tossed in the leftover spaghetti noodles. Seasoned it with salt and pepper and topped with dried parsley. The spiciness of the sardines added flavor to my 5-minute meal!

Voila! Lunch is served!

Pinoy Aglio Oglio

I really need to be educated in the art of food photography 🙂

Move the Body, Awaken the Mind

To say that our third year of homeschooling is challenging, is surely an understatement. Coby, who is now 8 years old, is still excited but not about school anymore. He is excited to use the computer and play his heart out doing construction games. He is so eager to watch his favorite cartoon shows on T.V.  Sadly, for this third year, I have to compete with these insidious modes of technology.

I find it difficult to “talk about” the lessons with him now because he seems distracted most of the time. Although, these distractions can be good sometimes when he recalls movies or events that is related to the topic. Like when we were talking about MOTION in Science, he would interrupt me and get his matchbox cars to show me that the cars’s position changed because they were in motion. But most of the time, these interruptions are not helpful at all, quite annoying in fact, for the teacher-mom.

His heart has been in the wrong place too, lately. He just seems disinterested and his eagerness to learn is dwindling resulting in the increase of  my emotional outbursts. Because of this, we find each other crying and asking for forgiveness again and again.

Imagine my frustration every time we do school. My student is disinterested, distracted and just have no energy to work at all. Quitting, again, is the quickest solution for me.  I just can’t take it anymore. I have asked other homeschooling moms for tips on how to handle my predicament, which they say is common to all homeschoolers, but the advice just didn’t work with him.

I read from one homeschooling blog that we cannot confine our boys to textbooks and sitting for a long time. They need to move around. They need to burn those tons of energy stored inside their small bodies. The writer suggests allowing these active kids to run around the house and do jumping jacks. One time, I asked Coby to do jumping jacks, he said he cannot do it and reminded me that he does not exercise.

Coby is not a sports person. He does not enjoy any sports activity at all. We tried soccer, swimming and even jogging but he is just not that into sports. Although, he loves to ride his bike and scooter.

But this morning, I secretly tried something new with him. He woke up early and had his breakfast. Since it was still early to start school and I have not yet completed my morning chores, I asked him to do some physical activity. Since he was riding his scooter inside the house, I asked him to take it outside and just ride it, without him knowing that he was already exercising. He did about 15 to 20 minutes of “scootering” and was huffing and puffing when done.

He said he was tired and wanted to rest first before school. I agreed with him and allowed him relax for a while. He took his bath and was ready for school. We completed all that we needed to for the day and an added bonus was Mama did not get angry! Yahoo! Coby was “pumped up” to work. He completed his work with minimal complaints. I would like to attribute that to the scooter ride. When his body moved, his brain was awakened so to speak. His sleepy mind came to work and it worked well, alright.

A new ritual is now part of our homeschooling day. I am praying that this would really work. I am hoping the effect would not be temporary as he surely enjoys riding his scooter or his bike. Next time, I will let him ride the bike, which would give him more energy, I hope.

Goodbye Chips

Our weekly trips to the supermarket would not be complete without passing the chips aisle.  Each family member will pick one to take home for the week.  After watching Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution and how he advocates for healthier snacks for kids, I felt ashamed as a parent.  I mean why would I feed my kids and my husband these oh-so-crunchy-and-oh-so-salty snacks?  Although, we do not eat chips everyday, probably once or twice a week, I still feel the need to really take it off our grocery list.  

One of the things I am thankful for is that my kids love fruits.  I failed to mention that aside from chips and other snacks, our grocery cart would also include apples, oranges, pears or bananas.  Coby, our eldest, loves munching on these healthy snacks when he runs out of chips.  Somehow this habit has rubbed off to his Jianne who would fight over the last piece of banana with his kuya.  
For moms and dads who find it hard to deprive the kids of the chips, I suggest doing it first and be a model to your children.  My husband is a certified chips junkie.  As my sister-in-law says, they were deprived of chips and processed foods like hotdogs when they were young, so it is only now that they are enjoying these “sinful” food.  When I talked to my husband about letting go of his chips, he was hesitant at first because he says he needs the “crunch”.  But he told me he would just get the nacho chips without salt, the one you use for making mexican nachos.  I on the other hand is not really fond of chips.  In fact, I cannot consume a bag of chips on my own.  But I must admit that I have a sweet tooth and I would die for chocolates! Letting go of my dark brown buddies is not easy but I have to for my sake and also for the kids sake. 
So here are my healthier snack alternatives that you might want to try with your own kids.  
Fruits, fruits, fruits.  I do not need to emphasize the importance of fruits in our diet.  Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants that our family needs every single day.  If your kids, don’t like fruits, let them see that you are not only eating them but enjoying them yourself.  Kids model their parents right? So whatever we parents do, our kids will follow.  For smaller kids, parents can cajole them into eating by making up stories about fruits or reading them books about fruits and vegetables.  Fruits are very colorful so let them see those bright red apples, sunny bananas, juicy watermelons, yummy mangoes and delectable grapes arranged in nice bowls sitting on the kitchen counter or on the dining table.  We have to patient in cutting up the fruits into smaller portions for our younger kids.
You go, Yogurt.  Ice cream is good but yogurt is better and a healthier choice.  There is huge range of flavored yogurts to choose from in the supermarkets and pick ones your kids will like.   One trick I got from the net is to insert a Popsicle stick in the middle of the container and let it freeze, ergo, yogurt Popsicle!  By the way, you can also add fruits to the yogurt to counter the sourness.  

Pop-corn my heart.  Yes, popcorn is a healthier choice than chips.  But you need to get the ones with plain, low salt or natural flavor.  We usually buy the natural ones and we don’t add salt anymore.  They smell and taste like the good ‘ol popcorn from the movie house and it gives you the crunchiness regular chips give.  

Extra Cheese please.  Slice up some cheddar cheese and arrange them alternately with plain crackers on a brightly colored plate. Again, plain crackers with no salt or low salt plus creamy cheese is a great combination for a light snack.   


Bottomless Fruit Drinks.  Freshly squeezed fruit juice is best.  If you have the electronic juicer at home or just the plain handheld juicer, use this to prepare fresh fruit juices to the kids.  If squeezing is too tedious for you, try to get the canned fruit juice in the supermarkets.  They are a little more expensive that the powdered juice drink but remember healthier is always better.  Dads can also make fruit shakes or smoothies at home.  Get any fruit in season and shake, shake, shake!  

Please Pass the Veggies.  Carrots and celery cut into strips matched with dips like pesto dip, cheese dip other homemade dips will get your kids to eat those dreaded vegetables.  Steamed corn is also one of my daughter’s favorite.  If I can’t get the cobs packed ones in the supermarket, I get her the canned whole kernels and she enjoys them just the same.  Instead of frying french fries, try baking  them which eliminates the use of too much oil.  Try to find baked potato wedges recipes on the net.  
These are just some snacks our family has tried and has been enjoying up to this time.  Remember we need to be intentional parents.  We must be involved in every thing our kids are doing especially what they eat.  It would take much of our time but it’s all worth it.  Let’s not take our health or our kids’s health for that matter, for granted.  Happy munching!!! Don’t forget to brush your teeth too 🙂

Mom’s Milk

Created June 24, 2011

Breastfeeding is still best for babies…

I was a young girl when I first a mother breastfeed her child.  I was shocked to see our helper exposing her breast while her little baby boy tried to latch on. I tried to figure out what she was doing then I realized she was feeding her baby boy. I did not know that those two frontal bumps had milk in them.  After suckling on her mother’s breast, the baby boy fell asleep and our helper put him down and went back to work. 

When I became a senior in high school, we were required to submit a term paper.  As I browsed through magazines at our school library for interesting topics, an article in bold letters struck me, it said, “BREASTFEEDING: BEST FOR BABIES”.  I forgot what magazine that was but I knew this topic would be great for my first term paper.  I researched on the topic and finally got to finish my paper in time. After submitting the said project, our English teacher, Mrs. Lee then asked us to defend our project.  When it was time for me to do the defense, she asked me about the benefits of breastfeeding which I quickly answered.  Then her final question was, ” If you have a baby of your own in the future, would you breastfeed then?”  Without batting an eyelash I answered, “Of course!”.  Then she followed it up with, “What if you have to work, how will be able to feed your baby?”.  “I would stop working in order to breastfeed my baby,” was my reply.  She gave me a smile and gracious grade after that.

In 2002, I became pregnant with my baby boy.  My husband and I attended a breastfeeding seminar at the Asian Hospital.  There we learned how breastfeeding really works.  We were coached and taught by the wonderful breastfeeding advocates who later became very good friends.  It was my goal then to really breastfeed my baby.

I gave birth a few months after and tried to breastfeed him.  I would go down every 2 or 4 hours to the nursery and try to feed him.  But I found out later that the nurses gave the babies formula in the nursery that is why whenever I try to nurse him, he does not seem interested.  But still I tried as per the nurses’s instruction.  We went home that afternoon and the baby was crying relentessly, I gave him my breast but he was pushing it away.  I tried for a few minutes still the same response.  I felt frustrated and cried because I felt he was rejecting me.  I asked the helper to buy formula because he would not stop crying.  I was so disappointed with myself and could not stop crying.  I tried to breastfeed him for 2 to 3 months only combined with formula feeding.  Until I finally gave up and let the formula do the feeding.

After a while, I became so envious of mothers who breastfed their babies for a long time. My sister in law breastfed all her babies until they were a year old, a friend who breastfed until 3 years old (gosh) and my best friend who did it for 2 years i think. I secretly wished I did the same.  Though I knew it was the best food for babies, I failed to give my son the best. 

Three and a half years later, I became pregnant again.  This time I vowed to give it my best in feeding my baby.  I had to undergo a C-section this time because of fetal distress.  I remember asking for my baby girl to be roomed-in just after a day.  I wanted to do things right this time.  The pediatrician asked me if I really wanted her to be roomed in despite my stitches and I said yes.  So there she was, my baby girl,so tiny.  I tried to latch her on and feed her.  And that continued until she was 2 years and 8 months old. 

Those three years (almost) were filled with joy and frustration.  When she was teething, oh boy, one cannot imagine the pain and I would not share how I felt that time.  Every bite would bring tears to my eyes and vow not to feed her anymore.  Babies grow 20 teeth for the first two years of life, now how many bites would that be? Not to mention the accidental-bite-the-nip-because-the-baby-is-sleepy thing…. But you know what? It’s all worth it.  If I could have one more child, which my husband and I planned not to anymore, thank you very much, I would still breastfeed.  I see it as God’s wonderful design for mothers and children too.  

Now that she is almost five years old, she would sneak her hand in my shirt once in a while.  Of course, I would stop her especially when she does it in public.  She would also put her head close to my breast when she sleeps.  Lately, I asked her why she keeps putting her hand on my breast.  She tells me, “because your dede (breast) has a magnet!”