ShopBack: Earn cashback while online shopping!

Hi drama mamas! Black Friday sales are on and Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re looking to do some holiday shopping worry no more – I bringeth good news! *cue angelic music*

The Mama Drama SG was invited to try out and review ShopBack.

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. 😉

So those diapers I mentioned earlier? You can save even more with a Lazada promo code when you buy online through ShopBack!

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.

If you’re keen to know the details on how to use ShopBack check out their YouTube channelit has the low-down on how to use the site.

You’re welcome! 🙂

Shop smart, drama mama!
Shop smart, drama mama!

Kids Read #3: Mmmmm…Sarap! by Ana de Borja Araneta & Krie Reyes Lopez


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?

mmm sarap 1

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.

mmm sarap 2

In the end, the bangaw succeeds in overcoming his fears and ends up full, healthy — and sleepy (of course!).

The illustrations throughout the book are unique in that these are fabric pictures. The blowfly’s wings, the palayok (clay pot), all use fabric from ANTHILL, which stands for Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indigenous/Ingenious Little Livelihood Seekers. ANTHILL showcases Filipino hand-loomed fabrics and uses them to make stylish, contemporary stuff.

mmm sarap 3

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.

mmm sarap 5

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:

  1. Ang pagtuklas sa sariling katawan sa kiliti, pagtikim at pang-amoy. (Mas madali kasi isulong ang kalusugan kapag komportable sa katawan ang bata.)
  2. Ang kalikasan, sa pagtanghal ng mga kulisap at hayop mula sa ating pang-araw-araw na buhay.
  3. 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

A Cars-Themed First Birthday Party (with links to free printables!)

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.

Squishy on one of his outside-the-party walkabouts. He had on a "cape" in the spirit of the superhero theme.
Squishy on one of his outside-the-party walkabouts. He had on a “cape” in the spirit of the superhero theme.
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! 🙂 )

Inspired by his favorite word we chose a Disney Cars theme for his other birthday party. The good thing about choosing a Disney theme is there is sooo  much material already out there if you want to go DIY for the decorations. Maybe it was the lacklustre “I-can-totally-do-this-myself-if-I-had-the-time” thoughts I had from Squishy’s baptism “event styling”, but I decided to go DIY this time around. I have my family to thank for the “styling” for Squishy’s birthday, especially my Mama’s crafting and Divisoria shopping skillz (Hi, Ma!).

Our Cars-themed decor:

  • Giveaways wrapped to look like stoplights and traffic cones. Decor na, giveaways pa! The cones are stacking blocks. Multi-tasking. 😉 We asked the guests to take them home after the party.



  • DIY invitations printed on board paper with the Cars Jr. theme (links to free printables below).
The flags are made out of drinking straws, black crepe paper, and patterned paper (see HWTM link below!)
  • Playful “Pit Pass” name tags distributed to the kids (Squishy and our family wore pit passes too). All editing done by me in Paint.


  • Celebrant photo gallery, bunting-style (a.k.a. sampayan, haha).



  • 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.

Disney Baby Cars Junior 1st Birthday Party free printables – Cars-theme, but baby-fied. 🙂 Good for first birthdays! They have a free birthday banner, birthday invitations, thank you cards, and thank you notes.

Hostess With The Mostess Disney Cars free printables – This blog has the complete set! Food labels, party flags, bottle wraps, centrepieces — you name it.

All Things G&D – I customized her VIP Pit Passes, and they turned out really cute!

Here’s one of the “House of Body Art” printables from HWTM in action at the face painting area (face paint was such a huge hit at the party!).



Before Squishy got all tired and cranky towards the end, he enjoyed his Cars party to the hilt. 🙂 Good luck with yours!