Friday, January 29, 2016

Noob-Style Shirt-Painting


Ok, ok… superpower is too much of an overpromise. Let's just go with new 'possibility'. There. Safer. :P

It all started with the boys whining about how not every T-shirt idea they have is available in our local department stores. They somehow have this notion that department stores should be able to read their minds. lol! But really -- something as basic as a Charlie Brown zig-zag shirt isn't available at our Snoopy Store. No gaming outfitter sells Half Life 2 shirts either.
So, Best Mom Ever to the rescue! :)

I've never tried hand-painting on fabric before so this was a huge challenge. The odds were against me, too. I had the right paint, but the wrong brush. I had 100% confidence, but zero patience. So you can imagine me throwing measurement duty out the window and jumping into the painting job without as much as a Plan B.

For the Charlie Brown shirt, I cut out a cardboard template which my hubby had to help with. Measurements. Pfft.

The Halflife 2 Combine logo though, I did freehand. My boy liked it a lot, but I know it could be better.

Bottomline: I may not have done the best kind of work for a first timer, but this opens up a new door for me. Shirt-painting is fun! And it's nice coming up with something when it's something money can't buy. My kids were thrilled their imagined shirts now exist.

Next step: Buy the right tools for serious shirt-painting! And --damn it, woman!-- learn to measure!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Paper Macheniacs: Fallout 4 Pip Boy


If you're a certified gamer, you'd know that this fully-loaded little mechanism is awesome stuff for post-apocalyptic Boston. If you're a certified Papier Macheniac, you'd know that this little mechanism is a heck-load of hard work to make! The amount of details on this thing is insane!
But then… so are we.

I'd have to admit, our favourite part in the paper macheing process is hunting for the random parts that would make up the pieces of the prop. For Fallout 4's Pip boy, it was a mad hunt. We decided to use a T-shirt's plastic tube container, a photo frame box, and yep --my own mobile phone. The things I do for love.
Oh, a tip when hunting --make sure to choose items that are light and easy to get tissue paper and glue on. Everything has to be paper mache'd for consistency and a smoother finish.

YAY! PAPER MACHE'D! Sculpted details --not too shabby. If you're wondering about the bottle caps, they're there to keep my phone in place. Safety first. Teehee...

The attachments we had to sculpt and paper mache piece by piece. because we're OC like that.

Then came the assembly part which was loads of fun!

Now, like we always do, we went to town with the painting part. Our Pip boy came with the distress, the wear-and-tear, and just about everything you can throw at a nuclear war aftermath.

Glue stick bits for buttons and an old charger cable for the Pip boy's cable were pretty nifty touches, too.

And don't get me started on the Doop Doop Theme cassette tape!

So there you have it --us overdoing it with Fallout 4's Pip boy. And it fits like a glove!

Hey, why not make your own paper mache Pip boy and customise it to a fun prop like we did? Great weekend warrior project. Especially if you're into this futuristic wasteland scenario kind of thing.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Smart Shopper's Choice for 2016? Shopback!

I know, I know… after all that Christmas shopping of 2015, the last thing you want to read about is another shopping post. Well, not if it’s all about smart shopping. And let me assure you that Shopback is all about that!

Shopback is pretty much the most mind-blowing concept that ever hit your cyber shopping experience. It's an online portal for big brass brands… AND, it gives you cashbacks per purchase you make through the site. Yep, you read that right. Shopback literally gives you money when you shop. 
*Ding-ding-ding-ding!* I can almost see the flashing lights of awe right above your head right now.
I know it sounds fantastic, but it's true. Shopback understands that shopping smart is what you aim for when you click on an online site. You hunt for Great Brands and Great Deals. So, Shopback gives you exactly those… and more!

With hundreds of your favourite online stores under its belt, how can this site possibly go wrong? Shopback aims for your ultimate convenience as it gives you access to anything and everything under the shopping sun. If I wanted to beef up the family closet, Zalora is here with discounts. If I wanted to hitch said family for a relaxing weekend getaway, is right here with cashback, too.
Here are just some of the fabulous names that have joined Shopback's bid to make your 2016 shopping bar none.

Now, here's where the magic happens. Each of these online stores is tagged with a rebate percentage. How so? You see, every time you shop, the brand you buy rewards Shopback with a commission. Which, in turn, Shopback generously shares a portion of with you. 
Yep, you read that right again! Shopback lets you earn while you shop. If you keep shopping with Shopback, this can easily translate to making thousands of bucks by the end of the year. How beautiful is that!
*Ding-ding-ding-ding!* I just heard the bells of complete and utter interest ringing through your head. Which is my cue to tell you how easy it is to enjoy this Shopback awesomeness.

ONE, Go to Shopback's site and click on the store of your choice.
TWO,  When redirected to your store's site, shop like you normally would and make a purchase.
THREE, Lo and behold --the cashback is reflected on your Shopback account in a matter of 48 hours.
FOUR, Keep shopping and then redeem your cashback at the end of each month.
You can cash out via Paypal or through the following banks.

That simple. That smart. And isn't that exactly how you want to start the New Year?
I bet you're itching to get started and I can't really blame you. So, Happy New Shopping and Happy New Earning, Smart Shopper!

Now, let me just park this video right here to get you in the mood even more.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Noche Buena by Mameng's Kitchen

A great chunk of this year's Noche Buena was lovingly sponsored by Mameng's Kitchen!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! --says our collective happy tummies.

Mameng's Kitchen is the brainchild of a good friend of mine who has dropped his corporate mitts to dive into his life-long dream of cooking. The rest is history, as they say, especially when you feast on glorious special deliveries like these…

Chorizo Pasta
Beef in Mushroom
No fast food slap-dash here. Each dish is painstakingly made from scratch. Slow-cooked, so that each bite you take is filled with the kind of love and affection worthy of your taste buds' ultimate joy.

You can find more of Mameng's delectable wonders here.

Call for bulk orders for the tastiest get-togethers. I mean, why wait for next Christmas when Mameng's Kitchen's door-to-door goodness happens all year-round.

Kain na!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sleep, Geek, Sleep this Christmas!


Believe me, this fever-pitch degree of excitement is a valid reaction. Getting to publish a children's book in this part of the world is hard as heck. I had to go through an insane number of print publications that come with strict rules like, 'We only accept stories written in the native tongue.', 'We only run stories with a local flavour.', 'We only go with stories that carry a culture-specific moral lesson.' Blech.

Well, technology finally caught up with that nonsense and my son's book is now out for everyone to enjoy! All thanks to an open-minded e-book publishing company called Flipside.

Aaand, I'm sharing this gift with you all, too!
The book is called SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP. A compilation of out-of-this-world sci-fi stories borne out of the mad, unstoppable imaginings of my boy, Miro.

There are three short stories in this book. Heart-warming, knee-slapping tales that all end with lovely lessons learned.

It gets even better with the illustration prowess of three of the best artists I know: Annie Llanes, Bleps Dapo, and Klaro de Asis. Kudos, beautiful people!

Oh, but it doesn't end there. SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP comes to you in two e-book format choices. One, a flip book version. Two, an interactive version which allows the reader to click on images to make them move and make sounds. HOW DELICIOUSLY INSANE IS THAT?! If you have a kid, or if you're simply a kid-at-heart, wouldn't you want to get your hands on something as nifty as this?

Of course, you would! And here's how.
SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP is now available at Kobo Books and Indigo. For that fantabulous interactive version I was telling you about, you can score that magic from iTunes.
In the spirit of the season, we've also donated SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP to the Global Filipino Library --a Flipside PEER program that aims to forward 21st century digital learning to pubic schools in the Philippines. Absolute coolness!


Miro and I would love it if you could read these stories to your kids come Christmas night. :) Thanks and enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Feels of Phillypinas

The best discoveries are those you never really planned on discovering. Hubby and I were on a quest for a simple lunch at RCBC. A little walking and a lot of stomach growling finally brought us to a resto we never expected to find.

Yes, yes… it's a clever name, but we were hit with nostalgia mostly. Back in the day, we used to go to this Philadelphia Cheesesteak place right after recording sessions. And now, more than 10 years later, we were right smack in the middle of another very rare cheesesteak place!
Needless to say, we scampered right into the little joint and immediately found metal grilled chairs with matching metal framed wooden tables to catch us. This was the exact ambience that old cheesesteak place we used to go to! Suh-weet!

Of course, we had to order the Original Philly Cheesesteak. AAGHH! EXTREME FLASHBAAACK!!! It was the same super tender strips of steak on a bed of crispy veggies, smothered in the creamiest of cheese, and hugged in the loving embrace of soft, crunchy baguette. This thing of beauty is a monstrosity at 9 inches. With a lovely helping of fries on the side. All for P230.

We had to get the Poutine as well. Because cheese. And because it was generous nom at P100.

Since we've gone ultra cheesy with our lunch, we decided to cap everything off with a little sweetness. I mean, why not? Presenting… Watermelon Fruit Freeze. IN A JAR! Love, love, love!

It was a good lunch peppered with good times.

But let's go back to the name. The cheesesteak resto is called Phillypinas as an ode to one unique item in their menu. The Phillipinoy! The Filipino version of the popular cheesesteak --with chorizo and eggs! Oooh, that's something interesting to order when we come back. And we definitely will.

But for now, let me munch on this Philly baby and dream.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Papier Macheniacs: Bad Piggy Minions!

Remember that time we made Bad Piggies' King Pig? Well, it was getting lonely at the top. So we decided to make the old, snorty royalty some faithful minions. And here they are.

You can make your band of mini piggies, too --as long as you have the balls for 'em.
No, seriously. You'll literally need balls.

In our case --and because the season kinda called for it-- we used these big Christmas balls.

Then, we sliced a long, empty tissue roll to make these cute snouts.

And glued on these cola caps for eyes. With some extra cardboard, we also added in some details. Like,  little ears and adorable headgear.

Regular Piggy Minion
Soldier Piggy Minion
Mechanic Piggy Minion
Papier mache time! You have no idea how relaxing it is to brush glue over tissue paper squares over a smooth orb. That sounds weird, but believe me, this exercise can be quite therapeutic. And cheaper than shopping. :)

Oh! We penned on features, too. Like that classic, toothy grin every Bad Piggy is known for. Well, when the Angry Birds aren't giving them a bad day, that is.

Before you know it, you got a litter of Bad Piggy minions at hand! Our King Pig has never felt more empowered! Neat, huh?

There are many different designs from the Bad Piggies game you can copy or draw inspiration from. Try making a couple. Heck, try making a bunch! It's pretty easy once you have the balls for it. :P