September first was truly a triple celebration as I formally shared MummyBites to a handful of close friends and family; as we kicked off the Christmas season and enjoyed our very first Christmas party for 2016; as well as my very very advanced birthday party! Because my birthday is also on Christmas day and so it is always a double celebration in our family. But last Thursday was much more special and it was a TRIPLE CELEBRATION! More so because I had THREE things I shared for the first time to everyone. Truly good things come in threes!
August was an extraordinarily blessed month. I received great news which I chose to publicly announce to my favorite people at my favorite breakfast place over my favorite kind of food – breakfast! The launch was held at the Early Bird Breakfast Club at Eastwood Mall.
Upon arrival my guests had welcome smoothies from Jamba Juice. They had a choice between Mango and their newest mix, Pomegranate, as well as canapé for appetizer – crostini with breakfast pate and Early Bird Breakfast Club’s unique-tasting, best-selling bacon jam to enjoy while the place filled up. What I love about Jamba Juice smoothies is that they are completely natural and definitely has no sugar or preservatives added. Not to mention teeming with anti-oxidants. Very refreshing to have early in the morning! (Hello smoother fairer healthier more supple skin!!!)
I had a short 20-minute program sharing with them the reason for the occasion. I discussed the THREE GOOD THINGS – no, GREAT things that came in all at the same time last month.
The inspiration to put up a “serious” blog (by serious I only mean its “.com” and no longer just “.wordpress” or “.blogspot” as were my 2 previous casual blogs. OC-ness kicked in!) or my passion page – which I prefer to call it rather than a blog, MummyBites, was decided upon just last month as a greater avenue and bigger space to share my passions lengthily, more extensively and in a more organized manner. I have 5 different sections or categories such as DAILY BITES for spiritual content, GUMMY BITES for anything Gummy and parenting, CHEF BITES for my kitchadventures and kitchperiments, ENERGY BITES for sweat stuff and WHEREABITES & WHATABITES for sharing new fun discoveries. You can read more about the categories here.
I would like to give special thanks to my Tita Bing who is based in Dubai for helping me out with the technical side of putting up a website of your own. Thank you Ate Beng for your patience despite the time difference and my “slowness” getting it! My gratitude as well to Ate Charisse Tinio of Nice Print Photography for gifting Gummy and I with a free session so we will have new beautiful photos to file and share. Thank you Nice Print for your support through the years! Here are other jolly photos during our sesh!
The blog was just one reason to celebrate, but the 2 other great news I shared were my collaboration with The Early Bird Breakfast Club and my writing career comeback via a parenting column for The Manila Times Lifestyle section.
It is such a privilege to be invited by my favorite breakfast place to collaborate with them on a menu for their Christmas season! We went through brainstorming and two food tastings and finalized on 4 items! A refreshing drink that appeals to both kids and kids at heart; an appetizer that is after a prized, personal recipe, a main course that is inspired by my healthy lifestyle (think low carb, high protein) and a KILIG dessert! I am over the moon with this project since every dish, dessert and drink was carefully thought of, lovingly concocted and has stories behind them. Watch out for our holiday offerings come December!
And finally and most recently, I received a letter from The Manila Times’s Lifestyle Editor Ms. Tessa Mauricio-Arriola officially welcoming me to the country’s oldest newspaper. This one is both an answered prayer and a second chance. Most of you may not know that I wrote for a tabloid before, for Diyaryong Pang-Masa or PM under the STAR Publications. I was a columnist there for 8 years until in 2014 I decided to file for resignation as I was experiencing chronic writer’s drought at that time – I was running out of things to talk about and I was very preoccupied with my baking business because of the launching of my direct delivery service. Perhaps at that time my passions were also not very defined yet. Fast forward to August 2016, one Sunday afternoon my Dad asked me if I have plans of writing again. I said, of course but maybe just about Parenting because that is one topic I think I will never run out of things to talk about. In my heart that really is my desire, to share my parenting journey as a solo Christian mother. And guess what. And guess how amazing God is and how quickly He sometimes answers prayers! Two days later, Tuesday, Ms. Angel Javier Cruz – the Vice President for Corporate Communications of GMA called up to ask if I would be willing to have a Parenting column because her friend and lifestyle editor of The Manila Times, Ms. Tessa was inquiring about my interest. I was tearing up and yelled a YES! in response. I was in complete awe.
Yes, yes everyday we receive little blessings. But those 3 above were just too great to arrive all at the same month and I just really had to gather my loved ones and share the news with them. The celebration was very intimate and yet extremely fun for everybody. I will admit that I have always had this fear of not being able to entertain people thats why I never attempted to throw a birthday party for myself but last Thursday I did not feel stressed to entertain, not for a minute. Not at all. I guess when you gather the closest to you, whom you know only have love and excitement and support for you, you need not worry about having to single out any and please them. No going out of my way to make an effort to entertain or make asikaso because they know what they came there for.
Definitely the food is one of the most important in any celebration. Everyone enjoyed their fill of breakfast food for lunch! Guests got to choose from the following: Adobo Sunrise, Lemon Butter Bangus, Sweet Glazed Katcino or Fried Chicken & Breakfast Waffles. For dessert they had French Toast Fondue or Yin Yang Champorado.
Fog City Creamery also sent over ice-cream cups for everyone to try. So basically we had sugar overload as everyone has dessert TWICE! Fantastic flavours to choose from: Ghirardelli Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher with Nutella, Salted Caramel and get this, ENSAYMADA with real Ensaymada bits! My favorite? ALL! Hahaha! They sent so much I had all 4 to myself! Other interesting newly launched Pinoy flavors are Piaya and Salted Egg. Unique best sellers include Cabernet soaked strawberries with dark chocolate and Blue Cheese and Honey Walnut Praline. The best part about this artisan ice cream brand? They care to make for those with special needs. They have SUGAR-FREE and PALEO-FRIENDLY. Follow @fogcitycreamery on Instagram and Facebook to know where they distribute so you can start running now!
The celebration would not have been a Christmas party without games and raffle. And it was only a fun one because it was abundant! I received so much support from my brand partners that there was so much to give away! The games I had were actually very easy, sort of just an excuse to make my guests work a bit for their prizes. But generally all who participated got something despite losing!
I gave away gift certificates from SM Sugar Kids & Tough Kids via a Q&A game. Basically the questions came from the blog itself and some really general knowledge about myself and my life. P10,000.00 worth of GCs from SM Kids were also raffled off. Everyone was ecstatic. Thank you SM for the generosity!
Please do visit the nearest SM Super Malls as they have an existing collaboration with Photobook Philippines! I’m sure you’d love to organize all your prized-photos in book form. Promo is for the month of September and includes a free 6×6 mini photobook for every single receipt purchase of P3,000 at SM Kids and SM Babies.
Kids Furniture Hub – my go to for anything wood and furniture (They made my personalised cubby and book shelf and our study tables) gave away personalised sandwich serving boards to 5 guests who won in the “NAME THE MOST NUMBER OF_______” game. I clearly saw which of my friends worked well under pressure! Hahaha! Should you be interested to have personalized wooden bed frames or mini solo sofa made for your kids, do follow @kidsfurniturehub on Instagram. They also make acrylic toppers and signages!
A must for every party – be it a birthday or a Christmas party is… BRING ME! The things I asked them to bring me were: a grocery receipt, a strand of white hair (which by the way nobody wanted to pick out from their heads so our dear Yaya Maps won!), a 5-centavo coin, an SM Advantage or Robinsons Reward card, a Bible verse in their phones, a family picture print out, a cellphone with no camera and a dollar bill. Oh they were so happy for they got to choose their prize: either a P1,000.00 worth of gift certificates from Jollibee or toys from Richwell – Fisher Price, Barbie, Hot wheels or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My Mummy friends and colleagues were like kids running and rushing to the front with Jollibee Chicken Joy in mind! Richwell is also the distributor of Shopkins, who also gave out blind bags to everyone! Their most recent brand to arrive in the country that is selling like hotcakes is Betty Spaghetti.
I also had a game for the cooks at heart. Beyond Stitched (@beyondstitched) was so generous to sponsor 5 matching Mom and Kid aprons. So I called out 5 Moms whom I know love to prepare meals for their families. I named a dish for each person and all they had to do to get the terno apron was to explain how they make it. Highlight of that game? When my friend Angela Kim, whose husband is Korean and was formerly a chef to the Koran military service, taught us how easy it actually is to make Korean Beef Bulgogi; and MamaKat (@mamakatfitness) revealed to us how she makes her 4-ingredient healthy Adobo using apple cider vinegar. By the way, everyone who attended also got to bring home a bottle each of Dynamic Health Apple Cider Vinegar so I’m sure their homes would definitely have that healthy Adobo this week! Thank you Beyond Stitched for consistently supporting me in my endeavors! They also gave away matching aprons to my students when I conducted my baking classes early this year! Grateful for your generosity!
The most fun (and tiring) game was actually the Sexy Squat Challenge. The prize at stake? A one-day Sexy Detox Package – a thermal bag with 5 cold-pressed detox juices. Basically I hand-picked 5 friends whom I think can hold the squat position long enough and some whom I just basically want to physically challenge! I actually felt guilty seeing them suffer so I gave them all a detox kit each. Hehehe! Just so that they wont have a grudge against me for making them squat and do jumping jacks in casual clothing! Thank you Sexy Detox for being so game to give away the gift of better health to my guests. My favorite flavor is definitely the Fast Red made of beet root and apples, and the high protein Almond Banana, and the Strawberry Chill and the Very Berry. Ay I love all of them! Hahaha! To avail of packages or to just try their juices a flavor at a time you may visit them at SM Mega Mall Bldg B or at the 3rd level of SM The Block. Or well its easier to just give them a call at 09052057399. Trust me, detoxing has NEVER been this great-tasting!
The final giveaway was actually two premium Bibles from OMF Lit, my go-to Christian bookstore for all my faith and parenting-related reading materials. I simply invited guests to share their life verse and how it resonates with them. One Bible was The Wayfinding Bible – an interesting NLT version that contextualizes the Bible so the reader can picture and understand the events better. It is basically for those who find it difficult to comprehend traditional bibles. The other one, is a copy of the little girl’s Bible that Gummy has had for a year now. I love love LOVE that Bible for it teaches practical application of values and concepts in very specific situations.
The winners were my good friend and mentor, Garlic Garcia who apparently had the same life verse as me – Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me;” and my older sister, Ite Caress whose life verse was Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” It was a very short but meaningful sharing of God’s Word to end our lunch.
BUT WAIT! THERE WAS MORE! I just really had to award the early birds for being so prompt and excited! Some arrived before 10am! 5 of them had a dozen each of Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. And also of course those who were very very late but still made an effort to go despite the traffic and weather! To recognize their efforts to really show up I gave them donuts as well. Oh how happy (and a bit embarrassed cos they were late) they were walking back to their seats with a dozen box of donuts all to themselves! Them gone nuts with them donuts!
There aint no party without a loot bag! Everyone went home with a personalised canvas duffle bag (by Mirrage Enterprise my trusted company to customize anything for me) each of overflowing gifts from Nido, Coco Natura, Dynamic Health Apple Cider Vinegar, Asian Home Gourmet, Robinsons Supermarket, SM Kids, Chicco, Shopkins and OMF Literature. They had a lunch box, a box of coco sugar sachets to smartly and safely sweeten their coffee and tea, a bottle of apple cider vinegar to drink in the morning or to use in their healthy adobo, a sachet of spice paste to make authentic Singaporean Laksa at the very confines of their home kitchen, rolled oats to for healthier breakfasts – be it sweet or in the form of oatzcaldo, a pack of trail mix for healthy snacking, Shopkins blind bag to excite their little girls, a bottle of baby body wash and shampoo and of course a taglish, very easy to read book, a Hiyas values-based children’s book to read to their kids and a devotional to start they day with. Again, please spell ABUNDANCE.
I would also want to give special thanks to my brother Clinton of All Bout Cakes for making me a Naked Bare Butter Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Fresh Strawberries. A candle would have truly made it like my 29th Birthday cake! Hahaha!
I AM GRATEFUL BEYOND MEASURE. To the sponsors who generously sent items over. I only asked once and need not follow up. I did not ask for anything specific but they exceeded any expectation I may have had. To my best friend, Nanay Jo, for being always beside me and behind me, always supporting and praying for me. To my family and friends for showing up to show love. Above all I am most grateful to the Lord for really making this launch, not just possible, but so overflowing with life, love and laughters. Truly truly You say to me. Ask and I shall receive. Thank you LORD! Thank you to everyone who came! Thank you to everyone who made me feel LOVED! Hope you all had a Merry Merry First Christmas (Party)!