Saturday, October 26

Snippet: Two-Sentence (or less) Horror Stories

We were listening to the radio this evening, and they were talking about the best horror stories you can come up with in two sentences. I read about this a while back from Reddit, and dang, the stories were pretty eerie.

So in time for Halloween, I want to share with you my top choices uhmm, those that almost made me pee my pants.

As read on Reddit

Sorry fellow scaredycats (in advance).

[5] I just saw my reflection blink.

[4] The last thing I saw was my alarm clock flashing 12:07 before she pushed her long rotting nails through my chest, her other hand muffling my screams. I sat bolt upright, relieved it was only a dream, but as I saw my alarm clock read 12:06, I heard my closet door creak open.

[3] I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again.

[2] Don't be scared of the monsters, just look for them. Look to your left, to your right, under your bed, behind your dresser, in your closet but never look up, she hates being seen.

[1] I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.”

Happy Halloween!
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Friday, October 25

Gifting: Rubber Stamps

Rubber stamps are so in right now, no? Here are a few of my favorites. All images from Project Happy.
If you're itching to get these cuties, Project Happy will be at Cuenca Community Center, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, MM tomorrow and Sunday. See you there!

Doily stamp (with ink pad) P100 ($2.50)

Graphic Alphabet Set P350 ($8.50)

Pattern Stamp Set P250 ($6.00)

Nature Stamp Set P250 ($6.00)

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Monday, October 21

Food: Borough at The Podium

I've been hearing good things about Borough, so when we had to pick up some croissant doughnuts down at the Podium one time, we just had to head on to Borough. Luckily, we arrived there a bit after 1pm, so the lunch crowd has already thinned out.

The place was very industrial looking. Think wood pallet walls, stainless steel tables and lots of concrete. They tried to offset it with vintage floral prints for the cushions, which is a bit outlandish for my taste. But hey, whatever rocks their boat.

Well, what did we order? I love Arnold Palmer, so I just had to have it. Arnold Palmer is basically half iced tea and half lemonade. It was okay... nothing special. The hubby got some NY Philly Cheesesteak and I grabbed a portion of Chicken and Waffles -- a bit of the Northeast and a bit of the South. Well, both were a bit disappointing -- maybe we had had such high expectations from Borough because people who had dined there told us their food was very good. Still, we've had better.

But... and it's a BIG but... I will definitely go back. Why, you ask? Well, Borough just have some A-MAH-ZING sandwich called "The Elvis". It is the star of our dining show. We ordered it without the bacon because we were thinking we wanted it for dessert. "The Elvis" is fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, with sides of coconut dulce de leche (glorified coco jam -- hehe) and sour cream. Homaygad, it is delicious. Simot to the last drop.

Well, Borough, you were saved. I shall be back and get "The Elvis". This time, with bacon. :)

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Wednesday, October 16

I'm Going to Bid at Unicef's Auction for Action

This was an event that I really wanted to go but missed going to because of a bug I had. I didn't want anyone getting it from me. Anyway, I loved last year's sneak peek and I am sure that this year, UNICEF has more beautiful things to auction off, and they will get to raise more money. The auction pieces are going to be on display at the Yuchengco Museum down in RCBC Plaza until October 26, or if you dread going through traffic in Makati, you can go visit to take a look at the curated items on your screens.

The auction starts on October 21, so if you have your eye on something you like, go on and open a free ebay account now if you don't have one yet.

Here are my favorites. (All images are from

If you want to know more, read on below.


UNICEF Auction for Action to fund Play-based Learning
In celebration of National Children’s Month, UNICEF Philippines’ Auction for Action 2013 brings together over 90 artists in art, design, furniture and jewelry to benefit a unique education program to provide children access to early learning: Supervised Neighborhood Play Program (SNP).
Curated and presented by UNICEF Special Advocate for Children Daphne Oseña Paez, the online auction is a product of UNICEF and Daphne’s collaboration to bring the world of art, furniture and design together with her advocacy on children.
This year’s auction has more artists and designers contributing for a specific program on education: Supervised Neighborhood Play. It is a simple, low-cost and easy to organize home-based early learning program where trained day care workers or parent volunteers gather young children in a house, a shaded play area or under a tree for two to three hours, every day for at least ten months to help children learn through organized play. UNICEF supports the SNP program in remote, conflict or disaster-affected communities and in informal settlements located in urban and rural areas.
Parents are generally unaware that various forms of play actually keep children healthy and sharpen a child’s skills in listening, self-expression, observation and other skills for beginning literacy. Playing, both structured and unstructured, lays the foundation for a child’s development of future learning and life skills.  It helps children develop their knowledge, experience, curiosity and confidence; develop language skills, thinking, planning, organizing and decision-making. Children learn language quickly and easily through hearing and singing songs, having stories told or read to them, repeating rhymes and playing games.
Studies in the Philippines show that only three out of ten children under six years of age have access to day care or any form of early learning. The situation is more challenging in remote and conflict–affected areas where access to early learning are much lower due to inadequate resources, difficult terrain and low awareness on the importance of early childhood education.
“I have personally seen how play makes learning more fun and engaging through my own children and the children I’ve met during my trips with UNICEF. Play makes children happy and children who feel secure and loved usually do better in school, are more self-confident, have good self-esteem and are able to cope more easily with life’s challenges,” said Daphne Oseña Paez.
"Children learn best through play so making learning fun encourages a child’s eagerness to learn. Children who have access to early learning are more prepared for regular school and are less likely to drop out,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Country Representative.
He adds “All our funds for children’s programs come from voluntary contributions and this auction provides a venue for people to acquire works from leading Filipino artists and designers and help disadvantaged children at the same time.”
Bid for one-of-a-kind pieces from notable Filipino artists and designers and help make a difference for children. The auction goes live on October 21-27, 2013 at
For a preview, visit or go to the Yuchengco Museum from October 3 to 26 at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City.
This year’s auction is made possible through the generous participation of the Philippine Star, Yuchengco Museum, Summit Media, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, EBay Philippines, Citem and Manila Fame. 
Participating artists:
Nemo Aguila • Amina Aranáz
Arnold Austria & Sonny Sunga of Jagnus Design Studio
Philip Badon • Manuel Baldemor • Jovan Benito
Betis Crafts • Remy Boquiren • Elmer 'Emong' Borlongan
Jinggoy Buensuceso • Michael Cacnio • Ed Calma for Lor Calma & Partners
Juan Carlo Calma • Norberto 'Lito' Carating • Seb Chua
Kenneth Cobonpue • CSM Philippines • JP Cuison
Olivia D'Aboville • Olivia D'Aboville for HIVE • Antonio Daleon
Kristine Dee • Janina Dizon • Domicillo
Iñigo Elizalde for Catalina Embroideries • Dex 'Garapata Man' Fernandez
Sandra Fabie Gfeller • Gregory Raymond Halili • Mia Herbosa
Jeannie Javelosa • Jaypee Wrought Iron Manufacturing
Jewelmer Joaillerie • Pete Jimenez • Niccolo Jose • KawayanTech
Ito Kish • Kohler • Raymond Legaspi
Lightworks Resources, Inc. • Adler Llagas • Locsin International
Joyce Makitalo • Hamzah Marbella • Jun Martinez
National Bookstore • Milo Naval • Leeroy New
Ann Ong • Ramon Orlina • Daphne Oseña-Paez
Epjay Pacheco • Debbie Palao • Ann Pamintuan
Tess Pasola • Celso Pepito • Vernon 'Spoonman' Perez
Impy Pilapil • Danny Rayos del Sol • Luisa Robinson for Luisa Home
Ana Rocha • Vikki Rodriguez for Accessoria • Dominic Rubio
Stanley Ruiz • Wataru Sakuma for MASA Ecological Development Inc.
Popo San Pascual • Juvenal Sanso • SC Vizcarra, Inc.
Vito Selma/Stonesets Int’l • Mitch Shivers • Paul Syjuco
Christian Tamondong • Ricky Toledo & Chito Vijandre for FIRMA
Triboa Bay Living by Vivere Lifestyles Co., Inc. • Roceli Valencia
Nicole Whisenhunt • William Yu • Reg Yuson • Willibald Zeck
UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, abuse, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:
For more information, contact:
UNICEF hotline, 758-1000
Jingjing Romero, Stratos PR, Inc.,, Tel: 02-4332626, Mobile: 0917-853-2415
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Friday, October 11

Love: Drop Caps from Jessica Hische

I just died and went to heaven. These are drop cap designs by Jessica Hische commissioned by Penguin books. The series is called Penguin Drop Caps and each book features a drop cap letter corresponding to the classic literary author's last name. Like for example, 'A' is for the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and 'D' is for Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

It makes me want to collect them because they look so pretty together, just like the Penguin Classics hardbound that I am collecting.

If you love these drop caps, go on to Jessica Hische's Daily Drop Cap project here. You can use the drop caps for personal use on your blogs too, like the "I" in the beginning of this paragraph. Isn't it so pretty? Well, good news to all you graphic design lovers. Jessica Hische is doing an online course this coming November on Skillshare. Check it out. I'm going. Are you?

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Crafts/DIY: Rubber Stamp Carving 101

Stamp carving is <3
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Monday, October 7

Crafts/DIY: Chalkboard Party Decor

This is another party craft that you can do on your own. These awesome chalkboards were made by my sister for the birthday of her friend's son. Read on how she did it and be inspired with the photos.


My officemate was on a budget for her son's chef-themed first birthday party and she asked me to help her create centerpieces similar to those menu chalkboards we see in restaurants. Instead of writing the party menu, we leaned towards writing quotes. I looked up quotes on Pinterest about food, baking and cooking.

For the design, I restrained myself from my usual girly lettering. I had a hard time staying away from pinks and curls. I first tried it with ordinary chalk but it was a craft fail. The result was too dull.

Luckily,  I have crafty siblings and it just so happened that I came across these perfect chalk in pens. I used them for the chalkboards and the effect was solid and less messy. My favorite part was mixing the colors together while the ink was still wet to get a watercolor effect.


Our chalk ink pens were from Amazon, and these chalkboards were supplied by her officemate. But you can DIY your own by using some chalkboard spray paint from Rust-Oleum on cheap frames.


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Saturday, October 5

Food: Top Torikatsu

Katsu restaurants have been popping all over the place in Metro Manila. Personally, I love all kinds of katsus as I am in love with all Japanese food. I've had my hand on making tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and torikatsu (chicken) from scratch. I found it easy naman, but of course sometimes you can't afford to spend time preparing it.

Then, I found out about Bounty Fresh's Top Torikatsu. It's the first and latest heat-and-eat offering of Bounty Fresh, which, in my opinion, is the best brand for quality chicken products in the country. So I had no doubt that this new product will be good. But hey, I still have to try it and see.

They come in two flavors -- Classic and Cheese & Chives. The Classic flavor is "100% chicken breast meat topped with tasty mayonnaise, coated in golden crispy crumbs," while the Chees & Chives naman, is well, topped with creamy cheese and chives sauce.

Okay, so here's the thing. I asked our helper to fry it because I rarely cook na when we moved back. I know I should. I always hear from my husband that he misses my cooking. Ano ka, I cook the most awesome Arroz ala Cubana noh!

So sorry to digress --- anyway, our helper Ate Jane fried the Classic version one day, then the Cheese & Chives the next. She cooked it just the way I wanted it, golden brown and crispy. I like the Classic version better. Don't get me wrong though, both flavors are delicious.  I swear. My mother-in-law thought so too. She was impressed because it was very simply made but very good. That's saying something because she cooks awesome food, and when I say awesome, I mean awesome.

Here are my thoughts about Top Torikatsu. The meat itself is very tender and juicy. The topping, be it the mayo or the cheese and chives, gives it flavor so you can eat it without any more dipping sauce. I also love the breading is not too thick. It's just right. Of course, having it is so much better with perfectly steamed rice.

Top Torikatsu is rated yummy by Forty Weeks.

One pack of Top Torikatsu has 6 pieces (450 grams) in it, and it is only P179 at your leading supermarkets. Can you say super affordable? Now you can have yummy torikatsu in your own home without breaking a sweat or breaking your wallet.

For more information about the product, visit  
Facebook: /toptorikatsu 
Instagram: /toptorikatsu 
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Thursday, October 3

Crafts/DIY: Paper Flowers Workshop Details

Crafted will be hosting a Paper Flowers workshop this coming November. At the end of the workshop, you will be able to learn how to create beautiful paper flowers on your own just like those above.

It's only P1,200 inclusive of all the materials and yummy snacks. Plus, if you register and pay on or before October 25 (just in time before the very long weekend), you get the early bird discount.

If you would like to join us, sign up here.

Follow crafted on facebook: /craftedforyou

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Food: What's New from P.F. Chang's

I was so excited to hear about P.F. Chang's latest creations, most of which you can only find in the Philippines. These new additions to the menu were developed by their own commissary team for about a year and went through a series of approvals.

I went ahead to try them out the other day, and they are yummy. Oh my goodness. My favorite of the bunch? The steak for the main course and chocolate buchi for dessert.

Here are the photos for your enjoyment.

Ahi Cucumber Salad
This Ahi Cucumber salad is a refreshing treat of smoky Seared Ahi Tuna, cool cucumber slivers, roasted tomatoes, blanched asparagus, juicy peaches and dill herbs tossed in our sweet, creamy and tangy dressing. Intriguing but true, no pasta in this dish! At first I thought they added fetuccine but I couldn't place my finger on it until they said those were cucumbers. Pure genius.

Dim Sum variety and their Tuna Tataki
Tuna Tataki is probably one of my all-time favorites. I think the fried wonton disks made the difference. It's a perfect pica-pica dish for parties.

P.F. Chang's also launched a variety of new dim sum flavors as well. I must try them again. Hmm, maybe they should offer unlimited dim sum promotions eh?

Xiao Long Bao
Although this was only my second time having Xiao Long Bao, I thought it was yummier than the one I had before. I like P.F. Chang's version because the dough they used really held the soup inside before I ate it. Xiao Long Bao is meant to be eaten whole, so that when you bite onto it, the broth will burst into your mouth.

Flaming Red Wontons

This is my favorite dim sum among the bunch. The Flaming Red Wontons are pork dumplings covered with P.F. Chang's signature chili sauce with scallions and sesame seeds. You'll love this is you like your food spicy.

Grilled Angus Flank Steak
Another new addition to their menu is this Grilled Angus Flank Steak. It is a hefty plate of marinated sliced US Angus flank steak, grilled to perfection, and served with a sweet and savory side of grilled hoisin glazed peaches and Chinese eggplant. It is perfect for any carnivore.

Chocolate Buchi
My husband and I love buchi. Buchis are traditional sesame rice balls with red bean filling. But P.F. Chang's take on it? They filled it with chocolate. The chocolate tasted like Flat Tops, and I happen to love Flat Tops, so yeah, you guessed it. I think I ate most of the buchi in our table. Haha.

Make sure to visit P.F. Chang's and get to taste their new stuff. Maybe we'll see each other there because I'm planning to go back very soon!

P.F. Changs's Alabang Town Center
The Street, Corte de las Palmas
Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
Phone: 869-7837

P.F. Changs's Bonifacio Global City
W Global Center, 9th Avenue corner 30th Street
Bonifacio Global City, City of Taguig
Phone: 808-7389; 664-5956
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Wednesday, October 2

Crafts/DIY: Container Box

My daughter loves Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese (Easy Mac) so much we always get boxes and boxes from S&R (our Costco here in Manila). I thought its size was perfect for putting some of my craft tools in. So I made it more presentable.

I had a cool patterned kraft gift wrapper on hand, some Mod Podge, scissors and a cosmetic sponge I have in my dresser.

I cut the paper into size so there is a bit going over the top for a smoother finish. I applied Mod Podge on the box using the sponge, and stuck the paper onto the box.

Not too bad. :)

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Crafts/DIY: Paper Flowers Workshop

I will be holding a paper flowers workshop this coming November 9, 2013. Save the date folks. Details to follow.

Like us on facebook:

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Tuesday, October 1

October is SIDS Awareness Month

Safe sleep habits are just as important as healthy sleep habits. In most first-world countries, safe sleep education is being pushed by the government. In fact, there are even laws that mandate US hospitals to educate new parents about safe sleep prior to discharge. Sadly, there is still no government support and a huge lack of public education about safe sleep in the Philippines.

This October is SIDS Awareness Month. Halo Philippines (, the local distributor of the Halo SleepSack wearable blanket, amplifies its campaign to spread the word about safe sleep. Along with fellow safe sleep advocates, Forty Weeks and Then Some hopes to start a yearly tradition of promoting safe sleep for the continuous education of parents.

What is SIDS? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines the dangers that may steal the lives of our precious little ones.

Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID): The death of an infant that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. After a case investigation, these deaths may be diagnosed as suffocation, asphyxia, entrapment, infection, ingestions, metabolic diseases, cardiac arrhythmias, trauma (accidental or non-accidental), or SIDS.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): The sudden death of an infant that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history. SIDS is a type of SUID.

Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB) also is a type of sleep-related SUID. This includes infant deaths related to airway obstruction (asphyxia) in a sleeping environment caused by—

1. Suffocation by soft bedding—such as a pillow or waterbed mattress.
2. Overlay—another person overlaying or rolling on top of or against the infant.
3. Wedging or entrapment—wedging between two objects such as a mattress and wall, bed frame, or furniture.
4. Strangulation—such as when an infant’s head and neck become caught between crib railings.

How to Reduce the Risk 

In support of SIDS Awareness Month, Halo Philippines has put together this public service reminder on safe sleep.

Created by a parent who lost a child to SIDS, the award-winning Halo SleepSack is a wearable blanket that eliminates the risk of a baby getting entangled with clothing and loose bedding during sleep. It is worn over pajamas or a t-shirt in place of loose blankets that can easily be kicked off, thus ensuring a better night’s sleep. It is the safer way to sleep.TM

Halo is the No. 1 wearable blanket in the market today. Its name has become synonymous to quality and safety that translates to value for money. In fact, Halo is the only brand trusted and used by over 1,200 US hospitals and NICUs, and is consistently voted by parenting authorities as the No.1 baby must-have.

With sizes for newborns up to 5 years old, babies can grow with Halo and experience safer, healthier sleep, which in turn promotes physical and mental development.

As a special treat for my blog readers, Halo Philippines is giving 15% discount on all Halo SleepSacks for the entire month of October! Just key in my blog name, Forty Weeks, under “customer instructions” when you check out your order at

How You Can Help 

Together with Halo Philippines, we ask our readers and community to help us raise awareness for SIDS and safe sleep. We ask that you share this post with your family, friends and your community.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Click the “Facebook” Share button at the bottom of this post. 
  • Share this post on Twitter and tag with #safesleepph 
  • Like Halo Philippines’ facebook page (
Together, we can do our part to help promote safe sleep for all babies!

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Toddler: Cough, Colds and Fever -- Could It Be Pneumonia?

A simple answer to this is yes.

I am not a doctor and I am only speaking through my own experience with my baby. This is the season of pneumonia in children.

My daughter had a fever accompanied with cough and colds that started two Sundays ago. We were just trying to control her fever, colds and cough by giving her medicine prescribed by her pediatrician. We have a nebulizer at home, and it was helpful to give fast relief for her respiratory symptoms. Her fever went up and down throughout the week. She lost her appetite for solid foods. She just drank formula. It was good timing that we were scheduled to go to her pediatrician Friday morning. So we went.

It turned out that my daughter had pneumonia. Some symptoms to watch out for aside from cough, colds and fever are phlegm sounds from cough, rapid breathing and dryness of lips. Her lungs had fluid also, which was another sign of pneumonia, the doctor said. Right then and there, our pediatrician recommended to have Allie admitted at the hospital so she can get started with the medicine. The doctor's clinic was already at the hospital so it was convenient. We went down to the ER first to get her started with the IV (fluids and antibiotic) because there was no room ready yet.

I tell you mommies, it was one of the most painful things to watch -- getting the IV in your child's veins. The nurses had to wrap her with the blanket so she will not move. Sigh. If I could trade places with her I would. I only had an IV once, when I gave birth to Allie, and it was more painful than giving birth. Well, at least for me.

But Allie's a trooper. She cried not because of the IV, but there were just so many nurses trying to hold her still to get the IV in. She was cool with the IV. I'm so proud of her.

We stayed at the hospital overnight. Allie was given non-stop paracetamol (until her fever was way down), salbutamol (nebulizer), and antibiotic. She was discharged when her fever didn't come back. Her nurses were all awesome. I felt Allie became more at ease with them during our hospital stay. She didn't shy away when they checked her. She was just chill. She slept a lot too. She looks kawawa here but during our hospital stay, she was playing, riding her IV cart (haha) or watching Phineas and Ferb/ Hi-5. She was bummed when the room TV didn't have Disney Jr. on cable. Good thing Daddy E brought her tablet.

What can you do to prevent your child from having pneumonia? BabyCenter has these three in mind.

Number 1. Keep you child updated on her vaccines. Allie was supposed to have her pneumonia vaccine that Friday we went to the doctor. A little too late. Pneumonia got to her a week early. Boo.
Number 2. Practice good hygiene. Start with always wash your child's hands. Kids play a lot. On the bed, on the floor, everywhere. So wash their hands as often as possible to prevent germs from getting to them.
Number 3. Keep your house a smoke-free home. Very obvious.

I have another to add.

Number 4. Do not let your child play with other kids who are coughing or have colds (and this goes the other way around too). Your kid (or other kids) might catch it from them.

We're home now. But we still need to use the nebulizer about 3-4 times a day until her cough's gone. She's taking antibiotics for a week too. Her pediatrician says it will take weeks until her cough is totally gone. I just hope she recovers quickly.

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