Blogapalooza 2014 rescheduled to October 11

Due to Tropical Storm Mario’s devastation last September 19, the Blogapalooza 2014 event was cancelled and moved to a later date. So fellow bloggers who thought that they’d be missing out on this grand event need not worry because Blogapalooza has been rescheduled!

Blogapalooza 2014

Blogapalooza 2014 is happening on October 11, 2014

Mark your calendars: October 11, 2014 is the big day. And it’s still happening at SM Aura in Taguig City.

Hope to see you there!

Disciplining the child via “Time-In”

While browsing through the Internet, I stumbled upon a post about time-outs not being an effective way to discipline a child when he or she does something that’s not good. Some parents use time-outs when disciplining/punishing their kids by putting them in a corner where they can “think about what they did.” In the article, it says that instead of the child pondering about the wrong thing he or she committed, time-outs make him or her feel more isolated. The message that comes across is “I’m only interested in being with you and being there for you when you’ve got it all together.”

Reading that surprised me, because I thought of implementing time-outs at home whenever my daughter would do something wrong. I felt it was better than spanking her (it always hurts me when I spank my little one). Little did I know that time-outs can make kids believe that they are less loved by their parents when they commit mistakes.

To tell you the truth, I did try giving Zee a time-out recently. We ended up with a lot of struggle and frustration. And a lot of crying on her part, too. Now I know why she felt that way — she probably thought that punishing her with a time-out made her feel less loved (probably even unloved) by me.

I don’t want my daughter to feel that way. But I want to discipline her so that she’d behave better in and outside the house. How do I do that?

Interestingly, I discovered another disciplining style while reading about the effects of time-outs. It’s what’s called time-ins. It’s somewhat the opposite of a time-out: instead of putting your child in a corner when he or she does something bad, you connect with him or her with compassion.

This post from Aha Parenting further notes that when your child is acting up, there is a reason behind his or her cranky mood and behavior. It’s just that the child has difficulty in verbally expressing what he or she is currently feeling and thus resort to throwing tantrums.

When that happens, the first instinct of a parent is to be immediately on the defensive, but the article says you must realize that his or her action is actually a cry for help. So instead of getting angry or upset about him or her throwing things or throwing a fit, you can choose to approach the child with compassion and connect with him or her physically — probably a snuggle or a hug. Stay calm throughout the time-in and let the child sort out his or her feelings during that time.

Time-in is not a punishment. It’s a way of meeting your child’s needs so he doesn’t have to act out. Specifically, you’re giving him the connection that’s essential so he can regulate himself. And you’re helping him process his big emotions, so he’s ready to problem-solve and repair.

Actually, while reading the article, I thought of the times my daughter was in a foul mood and my mom (her lola) would be able to calm her down without spanking her. Somehow, it made me think and realize: maybe a gentler, calmer approach or discipline style is what Zee needs.

Hmm, I’m thinking about doing time-ins instead of time-outs or corporal punishment whenever my daughter would do something bad. Of course, I’ll have to try to control my temper and emotions, too, so that I would be able to reach out to her more whenever she’ll have tantrums. Maybe, just maybe, she will respond to this approach better.

Starbucks Reserve holds its Grand Launch at Signa Designer Residences Makati

Yesterday was a pretty hectic day for me, but I made it a point to drop by the newest Starbucks Reserve Store in Signa Designer Residences Makati to witness the Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

It was quite a well-attended event. Media persons, bloggers, select Starbucks Card holders, and Robinsons Luxuria executives were there.

Can I just say, the interior of this Starbucks Reserve branch is so pretty: high ceiling, wooden walls and accents, a small yet cozy space. If you want to enjoy the special, exotic, and rare brews of Starbucks while in Makati, you should definitely check this out.

The program started with the introduction of the store by Kareena and Noey from Starbucks Philippines.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

Kareena of Starbucks Philippines hosting the event.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

Noey of Starbucks Philippines welcoming the attendees.

During the event, 2 of Starbucks’ new Reserve coffee beans were introduced: the Peru Chonti and Malawi Peaberry Sable Farms.

The Starbucks Reserve Peru Chonti is an exquisitely layered coffee produced through the collaboration of the farms of Aladino Delgado, a past supplier of Starbucks Reserve, and Wilder Garcia from northern Peru. It has a herbaceous aroma with subtle lemony acidity and hazelnut and chocolate notes. The Peru Chonti is best paired with citrus, cocoa, toffee, and nuts.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

A sample of the Peru Chonti (pictured here) and Malawi Peaberry Sable Farms were given to guests.

The Starbucks Reserve Malawi Peaberry Sable Farms, on the other hand, is the Starbucks’ 3rd single-origin coffee from Malawi in East Africa. It is made from hand-selected peaberries from the land cultivated by Sable Farms. The Malawi Peaberry Sable Farms has deep, concentrated flavors, with crisp acidity, a splash of lemon zest, and a spicy-citrus complexity. Citrusy and spicy flavors complement this coffee best.

These 2 coffee beans are available exclusively at a Starbucks Reserve branch near you. You can choose to enjoy them in 3 ways: by coffee press, the pour-over brewing system, or the Clover Brewing System.

And speaking of the Clover Brewing System, this was introduced as well during yesterday’s grand launch.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

One of Starbucks’ Coffee Masters prepping the coffee using the Clover Brewing System.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

It works like an inverted coffee press: once the coffee brews, the grounds are pushed out of the top of the machine and the coffee flows into the cup.

The Clover Brewing System uses the innovative Vacuum-Press technology to create the perfect cup in front of you. It controls brew time and temperature digitally, as even small changes can dramatically affect the taste of the coffee. The process itself is something enjoyable to watch; from making the coffee up to the time you drink — it gives you a unique experience.

To further enjoy your cup of rare, exquisite coffee, Starbucks is also offering food items that are exclusively available at Starbucks Reserve branches:

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

Malawi Peaberry Sable Farms and Peru Chonti surrounded by (clockwise, from top left): Black Pepper and Cheese Scone, Blueberry Scone, Cinnamon Cream Cheese on Raisin Walnut Bagel, White Chocolate Vanilla Eclair, Double Chocolate Muffin, Carrot Muffin.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

Here’s my sample of another of the bagels, the Italian Cream Cheese on Multigrain Bread. It’s a “mini” version, though.

Starbucks Reserve Grand Launch

My mini-eclairs: Hazelnut Praline Eclair and Salted Caramel Eclair. Yeah, took a bite of it before taking a pic. Hehe!

TDF: Chocolate Caramel Tart.

TDF: Chocolate Caramel Tart.

Not in photo (but I’m sure they’re awesomely delicious) are the Granola Cheese Muffin and Apple Cinnamon Scone.

I had such a great time that day (well, I’d have a greater time if I had more time to spend at Signa Residences and if I were able to drink even just a cup of coffee). Thanks for this opportunity and congratulations, Starbucks Philippines! :D

The Mario “adventure”

No, not with this Mario. But it would have been fun.

No, not with this Mario. But it would have been fun.

Four days after Tropical Storm Mario hit the country, I’m back online. It would have been sooner if it did not bring the rains of Habagat to Metro Manila. And since we live in a low-lying area and PAGASA declared a Red Rainfall Warning over the metro starting Friday morning… well, you can easily add that up.

My family has survived countless storms, including Ondoy last 2009, and this was nothing new. We prepared for the worst: stocked up on supplies, brought things to a higher area in the house, and made sure that everyone will stay safe. But Mother Nature had her way and brought murky, muddy floodwaters from the Rizal area down to our side of Pasig. The main house — a 35-year-old bungalow — was flooded, about 3 feet deep. The back area, our old sari-sari store that had a second floor that we use for situations like this, was saved.

Thing is, my parents worried about my condition, being 6 months pregnant and all. The second floor was pretty small to fit 7 adults and 1 child comfortably, so they had me, my hubby, my daughter, and one of my younger siblings stay somewhere else. They suggested a nearby hotel. Just in case there was an emergency (pre-labor pains or whatevs), I can be shuttled off to the hospital easily.

We left the house at 6, leaving my parents and my 2 other siblings behind. Hubby decided to drive to Ortigas where there was a GoHotels branch. Unfortunately, it was fully booked for the night (I think a lot of other families thought of doing the same thing that day), so we had to find an alternative. I texted my sister (who was at home giving updates on what’s happening in the neighborhood) and she suggested going to the motel area of Pasig.

Well, why didn’t I think of that? Some motels are now transforming their brand into something more “wholesome” and family- or business-oriented, so why not stay there for the meantime? Choosy pa ba kami?

I told hubby we can book at one of the Flower Group motels there, but he insisted on checking in at Victoria Court Hillcrest. “Mas may tiwala ako dun,” he told me. Whatever that meant. We checked in at 8 PM and were given a deluxe room with a garage.

Didn’t get to take pictures of the room, but it was quite comfortable: air-conditioned, with a queen bed, cable TV, dining table, seating area, and a bath with toilet and shower. They offered free Wi-Fi access. We were also entitled to free breakfast for 2 persons.

I don’t think the room they gave us was a “family room” though (hubby learned that a lot of those checked in at Victoria Court were families as well), since it had what’s called a Tantra Chair. It looked like a small curved couch used for, you know, those kinds of “rated-SPG adventures”. My daughter thought it resembled a slide. Oh the joys of innocence!

Anyways, all in all it was pretty much a comfortable stay. (And can I just say that their food is awesome!) Worth its price: we paid less that PHP 3,000 for a full 24-hour booking (we checked out before 8 PM the following day).

Back at home, we started with the clean-up drive. Some stuff needed cleaning, of course. The most taxing of all was cleaning the china and glassware in the china cabinet. Good thing we have a couple of persons to help us, so probably before the week ends, the house would look back to normal. Except for the warped plywood walls, though.

Geez, this flooding thing is becoming a regular thing for us that I hate it. But I’m still glad that we’re all safe. After all, the things that have been damaged can be replaced. But people’s lives are of paramount importance.

I just hope this kind of flooding won’t happen again so soon.

Welcome my blog’s new header!

Something new to start the week… I got a new blog header!

I asked my hubby, who’s a graphic artist, to make me and my daughter a sort-of logo, similar to his. He made his logo, the one on the rightmost of the header, years ago (even before we got married). He never got to making me one. Until last week. After some prodding, haha! :)

Though I would have preferred my logo to have a pink background and my daughter’s in purple, I think these logos are pretty. Kinda captured our features (especially his: long hair and earring to boot).

Although I’d be changing this header in the coming months — instead of 3, there’d be 4 circles then. :)

Hope you like my new blog header as much as I do. :D