Monday, September 26, 2011

On My First Online Contest Win

Last week, I was doing my blogwalking and I stumbled on Edelweiza's early Christmas Nivea Giveaway. I'm not really into joining online giveaways and contests but I simply cannot resist the idea of receiving free skin care goodies, especially that these are Nivea products. I have come across a lot of contests in the blogosphere but sometimes I'm discouraged from actually taking part mostly because the instructions are just too complicated for Ina-Tay. I read the rest of her post for the mechanics and to my relief were fairly easy to follow and submitted my entry. I was not really expecting to be among the three winners since she had a total of 491 entries. I reckon there was just a slim chance for me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Better OA Than Sorry

I came home to Davao last Friday from my out-of-town work looking forward to a relaxing weekend with the heir to my stilettos Leia.

When I got home nobody was there to welcome me. I immediately sent a text to Mum to ask about their whereabouts and she replied that they were in a lab to have my daughter tested for dengue fever. My Ina-Tay heart went tachycardic so I decided to call her. According to Mum, rashes started to appear on Leia's face after she woke up from her afternoon nap. I was relieved when she told me that her platelet count was normal.

Photo from the web

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's Talk Breast, Shall We?

Hi everyone! Ina-Tay is so back! I apologize for the silence as my new work took me to Gen. Santos City for five days. I am home for the weekend and after putting my little one to sleep, I immediately grabbed my laptop and wore my blogger hat.

Image from Touch, Look, Check UK
As I have mentioned in my previous post, Mum and I attended the 3rd Silver Linings event here in Davao City last weekend. Among the activities for the day was a free breast clinic. I never passed on the chance to have my "lemons" (apparently I was under a beach umbrella when God gave the gift of "melons" to human female species thus I only got the lemons) checked. ICanServe Foundation, aside from providing hope to women with breast cancer and their families, also puts on top of their list the promotion of early detection by providing women across all demographics information and guidelines on Breast Self Exam (BSE). More than a hundred women signed up for the breast clinic who were checked by resident doctors from Davao Doctors Hospital. If my memory serves me right, it was a Dr. Lu who did my exam after a short interview. I was asked to remove my top and my bra then I had to lie down before she proceeded. By the way, these were all done behind curtains! I was so nervous while she was feeling my breasts. I silently prayed that my exam would give a negative result. I was also embarrased because milk started to flow from my right breast while she was checking my nipple. :) After what felt like eternity, I finally heard the best words that day "You're okay." I gave a sigh of relief but she told me to have an ultrasound just to double check given my family history of breast cancer.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beyond Breast Cancer - A Silver Lining

"Every person is a cancer survivor from day one!"

Yesterday, September 17, 2011, Mum and Ina-Tay attended the 3rd Silver Linings at Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City. Silver Linings is the educational forum slash homecoming for breast cancer survivors and the people who care about them. It is held every three years and organized by the ICanServe Foundation, an organization that "provides hope and help to women with breast cancer. It promotes early breast cancer detection through high impact information campaigns and community based screening programs. Its network of cancer survivors light the path for women with cancer towards total healing."

WeCanServe: Mother and daughter "banding."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Feeding my Inner Geek

I'm a closet geek. I'm a geek in stilettos. People more often than not associate the term "geek" to a person who wears dark-rimmed glasses, considers his/her laptop as bestfriend and associates him/herself with a character from Star Wars, Star Trek or other outerspace-themed shows. However, geeks nowadays have evolved and definitely improved their social skills. Gone are the days when they are made fun of or riduculed for being different. Who would dare make a joke out of movie genius Steven Spielberg, Microsoft's Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Facebook god Mark Zuckerberg, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin? All these people have one thing in common -they were all considered geeks by their peers before hitting it bigtime! Geeks really do deliver!

I'm not as brilliant as these guys but I would like to think that my affinity for what's dubbed as geeky shows bring me a tad closer to what they have achieved (fingers crossed, knock on wood). In a heartbeat, I would choose to watch the following shows over the orange-y cast of Jersey Shore.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Educating the Head, Heart and Hands

Image courtesy of Gamot Cogon Inst. (Ilo-Ilo's Steiner school)
The renowned Waldorf Steiner education approach will soon be available in Davao City by June 2012 through the Tuburan Institute. Steiner education was founded in 1919 by Austrian Rudolf Steiner in Stuttgart, Germany. Currently, there are more than 900 Steiner-inspired schools in 60 countries.Once opened, Tuburan Institute will be fifth of its kind in the Philippines. Last Saturday, I was invited by a friend to attend Tuburan Institute's parents' orientation on Steiner education. I was hesitant at first but my curiosity got the better of me. And I'm glad I went. It was an intimate gathering of like-minded parents curious like me to understand Steiner education. Most if not all were friends of Maya and Kate or friend of friends of friends.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Please spread the word - Silver Linings on September 17th!

By now you must have become acquainted with my Mum and her battle with Breast Cancer. I've made it a point to talk about it here in my blog since it has been one of my advocacies (breastfeeding is the other) and I'm hoping to help raise awareness among women out there. After Mum completed her chemo cycle of six sessions, she is back to her old self - almost sans her right breast which was removed through mastectomy. I even envy her Halle Berry do and wished I can cut my tresses that short.

Image from ICanServe Foundation website

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thank you for the music

Whenever something "major major" happens in my life, I would immediately think of an applicable song to go with it. I've always believed that from all the millions of songs out there, one song is the right fit for a given situation. A guy I once dated who was in a band  (yes, you who introduced me to Red Hot Chilli Peppers; not my daughter's father) told me I could consider being an artist and repertoire (A&R) manager as an alternative career. Just a bit of info, an A&R manager  is the one who usually matches up the recording artist with songwriters or gives an artist a list of songs that could score them a hit or something like that. Music has been a big part of my Ina-Tay journey, from the time I found out I was pregnant until very recently when my heart's desires are coming true one prayer at a time. I was organizing my Ipod the other night and listened to my default playlist of songs that I have played over and over the past three years and in some ways have helped me live through the highs and lows of my life's new chapter as a single mom.

Last Song Syndrome

Reminiscing mode - and this song has nothing to do with the "ex"!

Want you, need you
Chris Christian

Face care 101 (when you're 30 and up)

The famous designer Coco Chanel once said "Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50." It means how you would look now totally depends on you. As we age, our skin specifically on the face loses it's ability to retain moisture. This results to a dry, lifeless, wrinkled and older-looking face. Who wants to be told "you look young for a 40 year old" when your real age is just 35!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bread pudding Ina-Tay style

Two of my favorite TV chefs are Ina Garten and Giada de Laurentiis. I like their relaxed approach to cooking even if you are preparing a full course meal for guests. For those who are scared of the kitchen, their recipes are fairly easy to follow. Nothing fancy, just good homestyle cooking.

I noticed the other day that we had a lot of bread from the previous weekend. When you're eating the same old fare every morning you tend to tire of it after say two days. So I decided to turn the dry ensaymada (brioche if you want to be fancy about it) to bread pudding using Giada's recipe for Panettone Bread Pudding. No worries if you don't have Panettone (a type of Italian bread). I just tweaked it a little bit and it turned out yummmmmyyyy!!! It was not too "egg-y" since I used only six eggs so there was still some texture to it. Meaning, you can still chew on the pudding. This will now be my official "gift" to friends for Christmas! I'm sharing the recipe with all of you before your stale bread becomes moldy. I promise this is very easy and you don't have to slave for like a whole day in the kitchen. You can use any bread you have as long as it doesn't have a filling. From experience, I noticed that the drier or staler the bread, the better the result. Please take note, I said stale, not moldy. If you see dark green or black spots in your bread throw it away!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Motherhood and apple pie

Photo from the web.
One of the joys of being a hands-on mother is witnessing firsthand the many milestones of my daughter. Being a single mom was the primary reason why I decided to set aside my career and devote one year to raising Leia. I worked from home since I gave birth until very recently. Mum was also diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer so my "vacation" was extended because I had to be with her especially that she has undergone chemotherapy.

Anyways, back to the topic... So the stiletto-wearing office girl had to keep her shoes in their boxes for a while and settled for slippers and house clothes. I breastfed Leia exclusively for six months then had to mix feed by the seventh because my "lemons" could not keep up with the demands of my voracious feeder. I bathed her, fed her, put her to sleep and everything in between. Honestly I did miss my old life as a Communications Manager for an NGO and the challenges that went with it. But as they say, there is a mother in every woman. I never thought I would be capable of devoting all my energy and attention to one individual for two years straight. I often asked Mum when would the Lord give me a job. She told me to just wait and enjoy every minute spent with Leia because the moment I go back to work, I would yearn for those times. Mum really knows best!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Of Christmas in September

I de-mystified Christmas at a very early age - six years old. Unlike my playmates who marvelled at Santa Claus, I ceased to believe he exists after I caught my dad redhandedly filling our hanged socks with local chocolates Christmas Eve 1986. He could no longer talk me out of it so he stopped convincing me Santa asked him to do it for him because there were still a lot of socks he had to fill. Nice try Dad! :)

Steiner/Waldorf comes to Davao

A former schoolmate/batchmate turned fellow development worker Maya Vandenbroek sent me an invitation for a parents' orientation on Steiner/Waldorf education. By June 2012, a Steiner/Waldorf-inspired school will open in Davao City through the Tuburan Institute. Mr. Nicanor Perlas, founder of Manila Waldorf and Gamot Cogon Institute (GCI) in Ilo-ilo City will speak on how schools by Waldorf/Steiner are producing "individuals who are able, in and of themselves, to impart meaning to their lives." The parents' orientation will be on September 10, 2011, 7-9 in the evening at Secuya Garden, Trinidad Greenhills Subdivision, Ma-a Davao City (the map is located at the bottom of this post). Guests are requested to contribute Php 50.00 for dinner which will be served before the orientation.