Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Papier Macheniacs: The Plateau Project

Has your kid ever gone to you with a homework paper that tells you he needs to submit a diorama of a land formation? Maybe. We did a week before the last day of school and we were ecstatic! Yeah, dioramas rock our boat. Uh-huh.

And just like that, it's Family Project Weekend in this household.
Land Formation: Plateau.

You might think it's easy making a diorama of a plateau --and believe me, we thought so, too. I mean, it's just a bunch of boxes, right? Yes and No. Because we Papier Macheniacs don't do anything the easy way. Wahahaha!

So after getting some old boxes together, we rolled sheet music to to create a semblance of rocks and cliffs along the side of the mountain.

Then, we paper mache'd. That's when the magic starts to happen. The moment you start slathering your rough sculpture with that glue and tissue combo, the surface you want takes shape. Now it almost looks like a plateau! Okay... maybe an ice berg at this point. :P

But we don't stop at 'surface'. We wanted 'texture'! And that's how stealing sand from the neighbor's front yard rock garden got us to this part of the project. Hehe. Pepper your wet and sticky sculpture with sand and let it sit for about half the day. As soon as the whole sculpture is dry, you can shake off the excess sand.

Now... paint!
Let me tell you now that painting on sand is tricky as heck. You should use a dabbing kind of painting style so you hit all those tiny nooks and crannies.


And there you have it --PAPER MACHE'S PLATEAU!

The kid scored the highest and now has his project on display at the school library's Geography Department. BIG JOY! I call this another win for Team Papier Macheniacs. :)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Make Brushing More Fun With The Minions

The most challenging part of parenting --other than making your kid eat vegetables-- is making him brush his teeth. Brushing is such a chore and a bore! Boo! No fun! Despicable!

Well, moms, you came to the right place. You have reached the fun time mecca for cleaning those cute little pearly whites --and your kids will love it! Count 'em. Three Fun Brushing Tips:

1. GET THEM INTO THE GAME.


Nothing thrills kids quite like getting their hands on things parents won't usually allow them to. So let him brush his teeth all by himself! Let him SQUEEZE the toothpaste, let him BRUSH like a boss, and let him RINSE like a hyper-pumped geyser. The more you make it a game, the less it becomes less a chore. Take it from my yellow friend here. He's got pearly whites to die for.

2. GET HIM HIS OWN FUN GEAR.


Since we're on the topic of giving your kid free reins of his brushing activity, heck, give him his personal tools to get the job done. No, not job. The FUN done!
Check out Colgate's Minions Toothbrush and Minions Toothpaste! Now we're talking. I mean, seriously, what kid does not ROFL on the Minions? This is the perfect pack to make him look forward to brushing all the time. And since it's from Colgate, you know you're getting a healthy quality toothpaste and a state-of-the-art, feast-for-the-eyes kiddie toothbrush. It's a win-win!
This special comes in a Colgate Minions Kids 2-5 Years Old (Junior) Oral Care Pack and a Colgate Minions Kids 5-9 Years Old (Youth) Oral Care Pack.

3. GET HIM ALL PACKED FOR FUN!


Well, don't stop there! Get him this fantabulous toohushing cabinet which he can call his own. It's a special number from Colgate featuring the Minions. It looks exactly like that adult medicine cabinet you have on top of your sink --except 500 times more fun!


It comes complete with Minion-decked swinging doors for privacy and joy.

Sliding see-through panels for your kid's toothbrush shelf and toothbrush shelf.

And those fun brushing instructions to boot!

It's kinda like a board game with all the pieces that will guarantee a bubbly kid from after dinner to bedtime.

If you're ready to put the fun into brushing, Colgate and the Minions got your back --aaand your kid's teeth, laughs, and giggles. Check out this Colgate special in your favorite supermarkets now!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Papier Macheniacs: The Grim Reaper

Whoa! I've been gone for 4 months?! That is so unlike me! I bet some of you thought I'd died or something!

And THAT, folks, is my train wreck of a segue to our latest Papier Macheniacs project: THE GRIM REAPER!

Handsome devil, ain't he? Who would've thought that this vile face was once a pretty little China doll mask?
We just love disfiguring the pretty little China doll mask. It's like a sport to us.

So we hacked away at the doll face's perfectly flawless chin without an ounce of remorse. Then, we proceeded to add abomination-like details. Rope for eyes, thick board for craggy teeth, and --oooh!-- more cardboard for that disturbingly skewed, hanging jaw.

Then, of course, we even things out by slathering the monstrosity with paper mache. For those who have just tuned in, that's a tissue-glue-water combo AND the very foundation of Papier Macheniacs' existence. Oh, look-- you can hardly see perfect little China doll mask in there now. Hello? Where are yooouuu?

Aaand,,, BOO!
Nothing like a spot of paint to bring out the color of its eyes, huh?
Okay, one tiny bit. If you're painting with your kid (provided creepy skull masks don't creep the heck out of him) and he accidentally spills over the lines, or if his strokes are a little too scraggly for Van Gogh --calm down. This is the Grim Reaper we're making! Believe me, this guy isn't the kind who'd drop by a salon before having a good time.

Now grab a black cloak and you or your kid is ready to go!
Oh, wait --Did you see the tiny add-ons we threw in there, too? THE SCYTHE Never leave home without it. This weapon of destruction we paper mache'd used to be a roll of cartolina. The blade is plain box carton.
Another add-on: SKELETON HANDS! These we made with surgical gloves. Surgical gloves have that bony color to it that makes it perfect for this project. For authenticity, we lined joints with a thick, black marker.

There you go! Now go ahead and scare people! When you own a Grim Reaper mask... everyday is Halloween!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Assassin's Creed: The Non-Gamer Review

Now, before you raise a condescending brow, let me put it out there --without the slightest qualm-- that I am no gamer. Until last weekend, I wouldn't have known the difference between Aguilar de Nehra and Gordan Freeman. But I do have 2 teenagers who who have done the popular Leap of Faith, so I consider myself schooled. Crash coursed, more like it.
I am also a nerd. So before our weekend Assassin's Creed movie date, I did research. I went through the Assassin's Creed storyline, watched every game trailer, and felt my brain implode. I also found myself going through movie reviews. It was a pretty daunting experience because most of them were on the negative end of the spectrum. Something about how weak the movie plot was, about how the story should've delved more into the Spanish Inquisition past rather than the Animus Experiment present. Picking up the pieces of my brain, I went and told my boys about this. They were unfazed. We were going to watch Assassin's Creed no matter wahat. And I'm like, "Oh, heck, Michael Fassbender's in it --sure, let's go!"
And, boy, was I glad I got so easily swayed!


To the true blue gamer, Assassin's Creed may not have met their standards like most movie translations flop to every video game imaginable. I remember how Doom was criticized. Wait, that was too kind. Doom was adequately bashed.
But from my perspective, Assassin's Creed was amazing!

1. The story line of good versus evil, past versus present may not be the most original, but the storytelling was on point. While some people complained about the unbalanced editing, I found it crisp and clear. Keep in mind that jumping from past to present and back again can be quite confusing. But Assassin's Creed delivered through its simplicity.While I do agree that the Spanish Inquisition past served as better eye candy, for an intro phase in this Assassin's Creed series, the present needed to be played up more. It made the entire plot more believable. I even believed that there could be a cure to the disease called violence.

2. The action was insane! The parkour-heavy fight scene that ran almost 10 minutes had me riveted! The horse-drawn carriage chase scene was incredible. And every one-on-one mano-y-mano was brilliantly choreographed. Case in point, Aguilar's ghost versus Callum Lynch. And don't get me started on Maria's 2-against-1 number. That one almost had me screaming 'Girl Power!' in the theater.


3. Cinematography. Damn, those wide angles! Thanks to the iconic CGI eagle, we were pitched into the landscape of a cruel past. I dig that. From the GoPro shot of a mountainous terrain, to the dramatic caress of a stage of burning bodies, to the rustic dusty skyscrapers and towers specifically built for Aguilar to jump off from.


4. Are you seeing this, cosplayers? The costumers were on point --from the ominous garb to the tattooed skin. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing an imaginary character come to life in its most faithful detail. Heck, I squealed the first time I saw a Morrigan cosplay, thinking, "So that's how you keep that impossinle bustier up..."
Anyway, you should've seen my boys geek out to high heavens every time a hidden blade was unleashed. Kudos to the movie's production designer, seriously.


5. The cliffhanger was done clean. I know that some movies or TV shows have cliffhangers that give too much (I'm looking at you, Marvel) or too little (I'm looking at you The Walking Dead), and that kills the magic all together. Whereas, Assassin's Creed held its breath just enough to make you want a sequel.

Bottomline, even if you're not a gamer, you can enjoy this movie. You can keep up without feeling left out. It also helps that assassins, in all their mysterious glory, can be fascinating and crush-worthy. Oh! Michael Fassbender helped, too. :)


Assassin's Creed. It's still showing. Catch it.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Delicious DIY: The Chef's InstaMug Cakes

What if I told you that you can make a cake whenever you want?
And what if I told you that you can make said cake in under 5 minutes?
Would you call the authorities on me and have me strapped in a straightjacket?
Oh, wait 'til I tell you that you can do all this in a mug! YES, A MUG! I must sound painfully crazy to you right no.


But with the innovative genius going on at Rebisco, this kind of astronaut treats technology IS possible. In fact, it exists and it has an awesome name: THE CHEF'S INSTAMUG!
You can make the cake in your own mug. But if you don't have one on hand, the Chef's InstaMug has you covered. The package comes with its own cup and tiny packets of delightful cake-making ingredients.


We chose the Creamy Chunky Mocha Cake to work on. Work --what am I talking about? It was practically play time. The kids had a blast in 6 easy steps.

1. We pulled out the microwavable cup from the box.

2. Then, using the tiny spoon that comes with the pack, we scooped 9 spoonfuls of water into the cup.

3. We added the cake mix and the cake flavor and stirred until the mixture was nice and smooth.

4. As soon as that's done, we microwaved our cake batter at medium-high for one minute.

5. DING! We carefully pulled the cup out and --lo and behold!-- we have a nice fluffy cake in a cup! Like magic!

6. We poured and spread the cake fudge on top of our freshly-baked cake. And, as a finishing touch, topped the delectable masterpiece with cookie bits and choco chunks.

After that, nothing left to do but smack our lips and gobble down our home-made treat. And it tasted fantastic! Fluffy, sweet, and Martha Stewart perfection have never been this effortless.
I guess a demonstration is in order, hmm?

video

Best DIY ever, right?!
If you're like me and you struggle with baking, The Chef's InstaMug is the cake for you --and your kids. Believe me, they'll love you a thousand fold for this incredible baking breakthrough. Try The Chef's InstaMug today!


Oh! And did I mention that it also comes in a Gooey Chocolate Fudge Cake flavor? YUM!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Canvas Cake Studio: From Conceptualization to Cake Perfection!

I don't know how many times I've blogged about Canvas Cake Studio (formerly Midnight Snacks), but I'm letting loose another one!

Except this time, I'm doing a step-by-step --from Conceptualization to Cake Perfection. Wouldn't that be neat! This way, you can take a complete walkthrough on how you can order your personal, ultra-creative cakes from Canvas. It's really super easy.

STEP 1: Squeeze out those creative juices.

Think of what the celebrant wants. Make your cake idea as personal as possible --from the design to the flavor. Taking my boy Kenji's birthday cake as an example, Miro and I went for a Mr.Bean/Peanuts Crossover design inspired by Kenji's very own Go Animate channel, Can of Beans Productions. He does Mr.Bean and Peanuts funny video edits. How personal can you go, right?
For the flavor, we went with Kenji's all-time love, Oreos and Cream.

STEP 2: Send visual pegs.

This can just be the OC in me, but I'd like to scour the internet for visual pegs that would bring out my idea all the more. It helps the chef, too --especially when I have a tendency to be all over the place when I'm explaining in an excited fashion. You don't have to lay it out, but I do so when my design idea tends to be a little complex. That's mostly my fault. Haha!

STEP 3: Incoming... Canvas Cake Studio brainstorming session.

Canvas Cake Studio will email you back with a price list and a flavor chart. That's the challenging part. All of Canvas' flavors are to-die-for! That's the part where I usually take forever to decide. Canvas chief baker, Larisse, will also send you inputs that can make you cake design even better. That's the amazing part! That level of teamwork hits me all the time. :)

STEP 4: Wait with bated breath until the magic is ready.

Depending on the gravity of difficulty your cake design has, Canvas can finish their masterpiece for a minimum of two weeks. Sometimes even less. They can deliver your cake at your doorstep or you can arrange a pick-up point. See how flexible that is? All for your convenience. Let me warn you now that the first time you see your cake idea as a full-on reality, the emotional impact can be quite severe. get tissues ready for uncontrollable tears of joy. Hehe...

STEP 5: Serve the awesomeness!

What's absolutely cool about Canvas' cakes is that they are centerpieces on their own. Even when you have a too-plain set-up, the whole room just lights up with excitement with the cake sitting there. For example, Kenji had his birthday at his school canteen --his special day falling right smack into a school day. Even with very minimal decor, his cake (and HIM!) became stars of that mini-party.

STEP 6: Save (and Savor) the moment.

I'm big on surprises. So Kenji had no idea what his cake would look like. I'm also big on catching that expression my kids make when they first see their cake. And here is that perfect moment. Look at that smirk! You can tell he's all giddy inside but hiding it in a fluffy blanket of smugness. Haha! He's my boy alright!
I would've taken a picture of the kids eating the cake, too, but that never really happens when I'm serving Canvas cakes. They're so delicious, they disappear waaaay too fast!

There you go! Was this post helpful? I bet it was. Reading through it and it makes me want to order another cake for no apparent reason. :D

If you want it personal, if you want it special, get in touch with Canvas Cake Studio!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Ten Telltale Signs That You're Flunking Parenting


Just a few off the top of my head.

1. When people ask you 'How old are your kids?', you provide figures from 5 years ago --and believe them to be true.

2. When, on the rare occasion you buy a present for your children, you buy them something they've outgrown ages ago.

3. When you try and strike a conversation with your kids, there's this air of unnecessary stranger-to-stranger cocktail dinner awkwardness hanging above you all.

4. When you're not around, your children don't look for you. When you're around, they'd feel better if you weren't.

5. When major school events and extra curricular milestones come around, your kids don't even ask if you're attending. They immediately assume you won't.

6. When you break a promise, your kids are fine with that. It's not like it's the first time.

7. When you engage in some physical interaction with your children, your kids give you that look that screams 'Child abuse!'

8. When you FINALLY try to parent them, your kids give you that look that screams 'Who are you to parent us?!'

9. When you look for yourself in your children, you don't find even the slightest smidgen. It's as if they were never your children at all.

10. When the Developmental Psychologist asks your kids to draw a family picture. your image doesn't even make it on the paper. And yet to your kids, the picture is complete.

It's a given that parenting is one tough business. But the simple act of BEING THERE --being a familiar, warm presence in your children's lives --means you've already succeeded most of the way.