What’s ShopBack, you ask? Think of it this way – you know how when you’re ordering diapers for bub on Lazada you immediately Google “Lazada coupons” to get more discounts on your purchase? ShopBack makes that easier for you by giving you cashback of up to 30% on top of coupons and promo codes when you shop online.
ShopBack also works with 500+ retailers so yes, I’m pretty sure you can get a discount on both bub’s diapers and mum’s extra shopping on the side. 😉
I often buy the heavy groceries and bub’s milk online through shops like honestbee to get discounts – ShopBack gives me extra savings when I shop through their site. (I must confess though – I reviewed ShopBack by buying a dress from Zalora. Hah.) There’s bound to be something for you from the extensive list of stores that they work with.
How does ShopBack work? It’s pretty simple – just click on any store through the ShopBack website and shop! Say, you’re looking fro some health or beauty products from Guardian. Click on Guardian through the ShopBack website and get redirected to the store’s website. Shop as usual on Guardian. Ta-daa! Within 48 hours, you get cashback in your ShopBack account.
Whenever we visit the Philippines I try and drop by National Bookstore. I love bringing back Tagalog kids’ books for Squishy.
One of our favorite finds this year is Mmmmm…Sarap! (Mmmmm…Delicious!) from Anvil Publishing.
I was drawn to the titular character, a round, hungry bangaw (blowfly) who encounters yummy Filipino dishes. Is he (or she) brave enough to try new tastes?
The bangaw is eager to try classics such as tinola (chicken soup in ginger broth) and ginataan (the illustration shows the sweet dessert with glutinous rice balls, pearls, and sago — though ginataan can refer to a lot of dishes cooked in coconut milk).
However he balks at sinigang (a sour, tamarind soup usually cooked with pork or shrimp) and dinuguan (a savory stew made from pork offal, pork blood, and vinegar — trust me, it tastes better than it sounds!).
Sinigang? Ang asim yata niyan?” (Sinigang? Isn’t that sour?”) he wonders.
The narrator encourages him to overcome his fears and questions: “Huwag matakot tikman!” (Don’t be afraid to taste it!)
It’s a gentle, consistent message throughout the book — give it a try, don’t be afraid.
In the end, the bangaw succeeds in overcoming his fears and ends up full, healthy — and sleepy (of course!).
Mmmmm…Sarap! is a light book to enjoy with your kids. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s fun for the parents who read along too.
The authors, Ana de Borja Araneta and Krie Reyes Lopez, intend it to be:
…Ibig namin sanang gumawa ng mga aklat na nakatutuwa. Kumuha rin kami sa mga karanasan sa tunay na buhay.
Mula sa lambingan ng magulang at anak, ito ang mga paksa sa aming mga aklat:
Ang pagtuklas sa sariling katawan sa kiliti, pagtikim at pang-amoy. (Mas madali kasi isulong ang kalusugan kapag komportable sa katawan ang bata.)
Ang kalikasan, sa pagtanghal ng mga kulisap at hayop mula sa ating pang-araw-araw na buhay.
Ang ating kultura, sa paggamit ng mga katutubong disenyo mula sa mga tela at habi ng katutubong kababayan.
Maybe that’s why Squishy loves the pair’s other works, books with “distinguished” titles like Kokak! Kokak! (the Filipino version of the sound a frog makes, a.k.a. Ribbit! Ribbit!) and Prrrrrt…Utot! (the Filipino word for fart — haha). 😀
Mmmmm…Sarap! (Anvil Publishing)
By Ana de Borja Araneta & Krie Reyes Lopez
Php 175 at National Bookstore
We’re back from a marathon trip to the Philippines where we celebrated not one, but two first birthday parties for Squishy! *whew*
We had a lot of help from family and friends for both events. One was a Jollibee kiddie party (of course!) complete with a dance number from Jollibee and the crew and a lot of fun and noisy games for kids and grown-ups (a.k.a. not-so-small kids).
We discovered that Squishy wasn’t a fan of loud noises — he literally started bawling every time people clapped or shouted or laughed heartily all of a sudden — you know, like what usually happens in birthday parties. Ha! It didn’t help that the Jollibee function room was in an enclosed space, where the loud music was extra fun and extra loud. 🙂
We enjoyed the festivities at a safe distance — that is, we spent most of the party outside, looking in through the glass door. Oh, kids.
One of Squishy’s first and favorite words is “car” — his favorite pastimes include hanging out in front of one of the big windows in our condo, facing the street, watching the cars and buses pass by. His other favorite word is “dada” / “daddy”. (He calls Mama different names but trust me, I get most of the hugs! 🙂 )
Cars bunting, “Happy Birthday” posters (in addition to the huge tarp from Chili’s), loot bags and toy giveaway bargains (mostly) from Divisoria.
Catchy names for the desserts and food served to match the theme. These include “Flat Top Gear” (a popular Philippine milk chocolate), “Chewy Brownie Stoplights” (Becky’s Kitchen brownies topped with Nips/M&Ms… Nips seem to have a lot of dull colors), “Stick Shift Stikkos” (yes, the wafer sticks), “Chocolatey Spare Tires” (Dunkin’ Donuts choco donuts), “Corny Cones” (Cornets chips), “Nuts and Bolts” (mixed nuts), etc.
For Chili’s dishes I thought of: Classic Calamari, Turbo-Charged Tostada Chips and Salsa, Speedy Buffalo Wings, and Power-Steering Pork Belly. You get the picture. Be as corny as you want. A thesaurus / Google search for an alphabetized list of all words related to “car” will help.
All editing for the food labels done by me in Paint, with the help of Google stock image searches and free font downloads.
I know most food labels in parties are held in place by alligator clip holders that look something like this:
These are usually quite pricey.
My hack for this is to get your normal binder clips and decorate them as you wish. (If you scroll up to the food photos you’ll see this is what I used.) I just wrapped a black-and-white patterned paper around the clips using Elmer’s Glue and double-sided tape. Voilà! Instant (cheaper) sign holder.
A car-themed cake that didn’t go overboard with the theme. I didn’t want to push the Cars theme too hard so I did a quick Google search and chanced upon a nice cake design. By happy coincidence the cake colors of red/black matched Chili’s balloon decor so the cake looked right at home! The cake was made by a family friend and the fondant is pastillas (soft milk candy) flavored. If you want her details, send me a message.
Making use of free printables. There are a lot of resources out there. Here are the links to the ones I used.