Monday, October 31, 2011

Super Mario and Luigi Costumes How-Tos

This, save for the uber complicated hats, would be our easiest homemade costumes to date!  I thank the stars for that.  Originally, Miro wanted to be Ganondorf and Kenji wanted to be Thomas the Tank Engine.  And you know us... we don't buy costumes.  We have a rather masochistic streak.  :P

To get the look of these super gaming icons, most items you can score just about anywhere.

1.  If you can find a worker's jeans jumper, that's half the problem solved.  But my husband loves challenging himself so the jumpers had to be made from scratch.  The big yellow buttons added the cartoonish feel to the pieces.

2.  Red and green long-sleeved shirts.  You can get this from any clothing store.  Ours, we got from the boys' stash of old Filipiniana costumes. :)

3.  Gloves, of course.  These, we had to buy.

4.  Mario and Luigi wore thick worker boots in the game.  Those would be hell painful when the kids do their rounds at Trick or Treat.  So we ditched going by the book here and opted for comfy shoes.  Rule of costuming kids --ok, it's nice to look at, but can your child move in it?

5.  Mustaches --the handiwork of my eyeliner set and crafty hand.

6.  Ah, the hats.  These came in 2 versions.  Yesterday's hats' letter details came out wrong because we were rushing for a Halloween event.  But I did book us for 2 parties this year, and the real big one was the Nickelodeon Planet Scream party.  So we had time to revise when we got home.  Because these hats HAD to look like the REAL thing --Miro demands it!

The challenging part about the hats was the shape.  It was difficult to get the cartoonish bumps that they had on the video game.  Finally, we settled for a page boy hat shape and just added some folds to create bumps on the sides.  Miro gave the finished products a once-over.  Then after a few beats, "Ok, ok... not bad." --Really!

7.  Bring a lot of attitude!  The secret to making a costume work for you is to work with the costume.  My boys were in character the whole time.  In fact, a couple at the Nickelodeon Planet Scream event actually asked Mario and Luigi to pose with their kids for a posterity shot.  Oooh!  Just like celebritiiiiees...  Haha!

Miro and Kenji felt super cool about that.  Authenticity achieved!  Whew!
Have fun making yours!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's us... Mario and Luigi!

Boy, am I glad I planned 2 Halloween events for the family this year.  Because the first one we went to didn't do it that much for us.  It may have been fabulous for others, but yeah --we weren't huge fans of tedious promo mechanics and dragging activities.  But like I said, that's just us. :)

One cool thing that came out of yesterday though was the massive attention the boys got for coming as Mario and Luigi from the Super Mario legendary video game fame.  Random comments like "Hey, it's Mario!", "Mario!  Luigi!  Here we gooo!", "Mommy, look, it's Mario and Luigi!" really got Miro and Kenji pumped.  Professional photographers took shots of them, too.  Yep, there was my boys' 15 minutes of fame.  Haha!
It was totally worth the sleepless night and panic time my husband and I devoted in crafting the costumes.  Well, my husband worked.  I panicked.  Lol!  Our boys' smiles beaming like beacons while kids all over greeted them excitedly totally washed all that away.

Plus, yesterday gave us one of the coolest family pictures we ever had!  Complete with Alpha in a navy seal harness and little shy Ziva in an army ranger harness.  And me and Jing in dark, huge eyebags.  Happy, Happy Halloween indeed!

Up next... Nickelodeon's Planet Scream!  Wooooooo!

Friday, October 28, 2011


YAY!  We finally have a winner for JOHNSON'S My Kid's Growing Up So Fast Caption Contest on this blog!

Easily topping the criteria of...

Creativity of Caption:   50%
  -  Cuteness of title
  -  Unique play of words
Relevance to article:   50%

... let's all give a maddeningly loud round of applause to COI CASTILLO!  You have given my son's photo the 'winning-est' witty words!

And for that, Coi will be receiving a Johnson's Milk Bath gift pack from moi.  Because even as her baby, niece or nephew is changing before her very eyes, his or her skin is still like a baby's.  This child will still need the gentle care of JOHNSON'S Baby Milk Bath, with Vitamins A & E, and 100% more milk to nourish developing skin.
Or, Coi can use these Johnson's goodies herself.  Hey, Johnson's Milk Bath is an all powerful good on adult skin, too.

Thanks to those who joined my Caption Contest.  And, on behalf of Johnson's Milk Bath, a healthy, smooth cheer to the winner!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween for Free

The boys joined an online contest for the first time.  And... THEY WON!  WOOHOO!!!

It was for the Nickelodeon Planet Scream Halloween Event at the Mall of Asia.  The contest was pretty simple.  Simply email Nickster what makes you scream and why.  My boys were pretty candid with their answers.  Smart, too.

Miro:  "Homework makes me scream.  Because I have to work fast and well or I'll miss my favorite Nickelodeon TV shows."

Kenji:  "Halloween parties make me scream.  They're all scary.  But if Spongebob is there, I'll have fun and won't be scared at all."

What did I tell you --smart, eh?  :P

They won 4 tickets each, baby!  That's 8 tickets!  I can't wait to sell extras at the gate.  Haha!
We picked up the tickets at the Nickelodeon office today.  So our Halloween is pretty much planned for us now.  In a good, fun, free way.

Yay for online contests!  My kids so take after me, I swear.  Lol!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ziva Stays

My husband is full of surprises!  Take for example this surprising unauthorized purchase that greeted me when I came home a few days back!

It's a new puppy --a thing we usually discuss before getting, which obviously, we didn't.  Jing explained that the puppy was a Rottweiler and he got it cheap.  Not the point.  We already have a dog (Alpha), a duck, and a freaking snake.  Will I come home to a lovely, towering giraffe next???

So my responsible mother's instinct quickly decided that the new puppy will have to be returned.  This, even after learning that Jing has already named her (yep, she's a girl and christened Ziva) and that Kenji, our resident pet lover, has already fallen in love with the fluffy, little beast.
I was unmoved though.  Adamant.  Immediately branded the bad guy in the family.  So what else is new?  The mom is always the bad guy. *sigh*   To my boys, their father is now the hero who must convince the evil witch mom that the dog must stay. *pshaw!*

Well, he didn't convince me, ok!
The reason why Ziva is staying is because of those cute, puppy-dog eyes!  I am such a sucker for those big browns and blues.  And she IS a sweet, adorable thing. 
Aaargggh... another thing about being a mom is that we're so cute-swayable!

So welcome home, Ziva!  And thanks, honey, for bringing her home. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pats for P.A.W. 2011

Rule of the Dog Universe:  When you already got the Hobbes and Landes' Fashion Show and the Good Dog Magazine feature, you're not getting the PAWtogenic 2012 Calendar.  LOL!
It seems only fair.  Alpha's had a big year so far.  And not making it into the illustrious 12 of the Hobbes and Landes' PAWtogenic Winners wasn't going to stop us from joining the Hobbes and Landes' P.A.W. (Pet Appreciation Weekend).  By any measure, you can tell we appreciate this dog more than anything.

The event was set on a warm, sunny Sunday in an opening dotted with fabulous pet booths with freebies.  Miro quickly collected a dog balloon, pet vitamins, dog food, more pet stuff, and a fan.  In the blistering heat, we were most thankful for the fan.

There were games, but the best part for us would be the pet parade where Alpha worked her fairy wings like she owned the walkway.

Lots of lovely dogs marched proudly.  Some came au naturelle.

And some dressed like Vegas belles.

The highlight, of course, was the announcement of winning dogs to grace the Hobbes and Landes 2012 calendar.  And Alpha's friend, Noodles --the uber friendly rottie-- was one of them!  Good on 'ya, biggie boy!!!

You can tell Alpha was just so proud of her bud.  There she is doing her signature dance of freaky joy for Noodles!

In the end, it was another successful event for Hobbes and Landes.  And, another fine way of showing our pets that they're more than just pets.  They're perfect companions, good listeners, ready-hug givers, best friends to cry on.
And for that, we deeply, deeply appreciate them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Family TracFone

This post is brought to you by TracFone. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a mother, I feel I have a good grasp on the family situation.  It’s not about being a control freak.  But being assured of each family member’s safety.  I’m good at that.  In fact, it’s only once I year when I feel kinda helpless:  SUMMER.
Summer is when my boys go on summer camps, when they go off to visit friends and far away relatives.  It’s when my husband gets photography job offers outside of the city.  It’s when I usually come home to an empty house and go slightly insane.

Thank goodness there’s such a thing as TracFone.
In America, TracFone is the least expensive way to get everyone a phone so the whole family can stay in touch, specially during the summer.  Imagine, no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancellation fees. No surprises!

That’s because TracFone’s monthly plans are pretty clear-cut.  You pay only as you go online or with cards available at thousands of retail stores across the country.  You can get 1-year service cards that give you so much more. You can receive double minutes for the life of your TracFone, and 800 minutes, for only $119.00.  Another option is “Double minutes for the life of your phone”.  It’s a feature that can be purchased separately for only $19.99.  Some TracFone phones even have this feature built in.  You can also choose monthly plans with 200 minutes for under $30.00, and as low as $9.99 for 50 minutes.  All these while enjoying nationwide coverage!
Now that’s having complete control of your phone bill and everyone’s safety anywhere, everywhere.

Tracfone makes it easy... by LittleBard95

Oh and did I mention this works perfectly well even for International Long Distance calls?  TracFone is the only wireless service where you can call internationally for the same price as any other call.  You can call over 60 international destinations directly from your TracFone at no extra cost!

Whats more, with the International Neighbors program, you can provide family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number to reach your TracFone in the U.S. with exceptional reception.

Now if all THAT got you excited, THIS is what will turn your family giddy –TracFone’s impressive phone choices!  Expect only big-named phones like Motorola, Kyocera, LG, Nokia and Samsung.  Your kids can choose from simple "Candy Bar" phones for simple calling and texting capabilities for under $10.00.  Your husband can go for the Bluetooth®-enabled "Smart" phones.packed with features like camera/video recorder, web access, apps, mp3 player, and full QWERTY keyboard, for $29.99.  And grandma and grandpa will definitely swoon for TracFone’s SVC (Senior Value Cellphones).

As a mother, I think this will make me feel more at ease, even when my whole brood is all over the place.  All I have to do is Get into Everywhereness.

Hear that, summer?  Bring it on.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Real Steel: Robotics' Real Deal

Miro liked it for the science.  Kenji liked it for the carnage.  Jing liked it for the testosterone bonding.  I liked it for Hugh Jackman. <3

Real Steel.  It surely made this family real happy.  Although the slogan did nothing to help and can easily make an acceptable appearance on a soda commercial, the film absolutely packed a fistful of goodness.

The happiest camper of the bunch is Miro who just realized the incredible future his Robotics Summer Camps hold.  Ok, the very far future but it did inspire the hell out of him.

"When I grow up, I will make bigger, stronger, killer Battlebots!  Mwahahaha!!!!", he says maniacally.  Thanks a lot, Hollywood.

Back to the movie... all the destruction comes from the concept of Robot Boxing.  The premise of which is that in the shiny and deadly tomorrow, mankind will eventually tire of human boxing and will thirst for more butchery and annihilation in the ring.  This is man going back to his barbaric roots using technological means.  I love the irony!

With all the metal massacre going about per frame, the movie still gave out warmth with the bond shared between the father and son characters.  A bond borne out of violence (the duo worked as robot boxing promoters/trainers --how cool is that!).  My husband thinks this is just awesome.  With Miro's robotics intel and his street fighting prowess, they can easily be the 'real' 'Max and Charlie'!  I'm not putting a cork on that dream sequence.  The idea had the boys giddified and, heck, anything is possible, right?

Real Steel.  It's that perfect testosterone boost a father and son bonding time needs.  But moms will love it, too.  I mean... HUGH JACKMAN... Come on!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Do you LIKE Alpha?

If you've been reading this blog for a longish time, you've seen our family dog (and my son, Kenji's, best friend), Alpha, grace some of my posts. 

Well, for some reason, October's shaping up to be my Alpha Crazy Month.  I just did the unthinkable and put her up for a photo contest --which I don't usually do.  Fashion shows, magazine spreads, those are more my speed.  But beauty pageants, not much.

But... it happened.
Soooo... I'm appealing to all of you to please support a rabid pet mom in her quest to put her son's beloved mini pinscher, Alpha, on one of the glorious pages of the Hobbes and Landes 2012 Calendar!  Yeah!

If you've got a Facebook account, then this should be relatively quick and painless.

1.  Simply LIKE the Hobbes and Landes Facebook page.

2.  The link will take you to a page full of adorable dog pics.  Avert your eyes from the onslaught of cuteness and LIKE only Alpha's photos.  Haha!

3.  You can choose from...
Alpha the Lifeguard.  
Alpha the Sphinx.
Or, Alpha the Surfer Girl.

But if you're feeling uber generous, you're free to LIKE all three.   Hee... there I go pushing it.

Friends, readers, just-passing-throughers, do me this once in a lifetime favor and please LIKE Alpha.

After all... what's not to like?  Lol!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hill's Pet Nutrition In Action!

This post is brought to you by Hills Pet Nutrition. All opinions are 100% mine.

Zipping here, jumping there, whipping past, bounding fast!
Alpha –our 2-year old sprightly, springy mini pinscher—is a mobile force to reckon with.  She’s the Tasmanian Devil doggified!
But, while she brings a whole lot of life to the household, we do worry about her legs.  They do take a pounding with every fast action adventure she gets her tiny body into.  What if she hurts her joints?  What if she suddenly lags?  Or worse, loses flexibility and mobility altogether?  I don’t think my poor little heart can take it!

To this worry wart pet parent’s rescue, heeere’s Hill’s Pet Nutrition!
HIll's is revolutionary health food specifically formulated to bring back the spring in your pet’s step.  It has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids for enhanced active mobility and improved joint flexibility.  EPA, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for essential bone and joint cartilage support.  High-quality lean proteins for lean muscle and ideal body weight.  And it’s a clinically proven antioxidant blend for healthy immune function.

The moment Alpha starts showing early signs of joint health problems and flexibility issues, I’m definitely going for that life-changing experience only the precise balanced nutrition of Hill’s Science Diet can offer.  Super diet for future super dogs, you think?  That's Hill's Pet Nutrition.

But what’s got me more excited is the fact that this amazing product also comes with an amazing deal.
Register now at Hill's Healthy Mobility Coupon Challenge and improve your dog’s mobility health in 30 days.   Plus, get $30 in coupon offers, and automatically bag a chance to be one of 30 Sweepstakes prize winners to receive FREE PET FOOD for a year!
For our furry baby ball of energy, nothing gets better than that!

Oh –what do you know—it just got better.  There's Hill's Pet Nutrition on Facebook where I can upload Alpha’s high-octane, action-packed photos to.

Woot!   Or should I say, Woof?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Huggable Hunky Entry to the JOHNSON’s My Kid’s Growing Up so Fast Contest

My kid is growing up so fast... he's got abs!

And biceps, triceps, quads, the works! --or so he claims.  That's why he's more than proud to show off his complete 'buffness' when he's out surfing.  Yup, he believes he's a professional surfer, too.

Well, at least until he realized that surfing is a lot better with the help of a driver.  Lol!

Now that he's 7, bigger, and more confident, he's totally shed his need for a security blanket.  He's a daredevil.  Untouchable.  You'd think he won't need his old baby staples, right?
Au Contraire.
He is changing before my eyes but his skin is still like a baby's.  We still need the gentle care of JOHNSON'S Baby Milk Bath, with Vitamins A & E, and 100% more milk to nourish developing skin.

More active and more exposed to the elements now, we'll need that wonderful creamy, healthy bath time goodness more than ever.

Oh, and by WE, I mean US BOTH.  JOHNSON'S Baby Milk Bath does wonders for my skin as it does for his.  I love it!  It gives us that combined lovingly soft, smooth feeling every time he runs to me for a hug.
Yeah.  No matter how grown up, 'surfer dude', and 'buffed' he becomes, he will always find time to come back to Mimi.  And, JOHNSON'S Baby Milk Bath.

You want to share the same lovingly soft and smooth bond with your growing child?
Let's play a little game then.  All you have to do is...

  • Write your very own caption to my son's 'hunky pic' (his words, not mine) in the comment box below.  Simple enough.
  • If I like your caption, I'll give you a JOHNSON'S Baby Milk Bath Gift Pack --FREE!  Really!
  • I'll be waiting for your caption entries from October 8 to October 21, 2011.
  • And then, I'll announce the winner right here on this blogsite on October 31, 2011.
  • But, before you write your brilliant caption, you have to LIKE the Johnson's Baby World of Firsts Facebook page.  That's the all-important rule, ok?  That's how your entry gets validated.
After that, it will be smooth sailing to an equally buffed JOHNSON'S freebie pack and lots of hugs.  :)

Are you ready?  My boy flexes his arms and says Good Luck to you all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello, Good Dog!

You know what my first job was?  A contributing writer for Cosmo.  While I didn't earn that much and didn't get paid regularly, it's the kind of writing I enjoyed.  It's like shortened book writing, or extended blogging.  :)

As much fun as I was having fun though, a job at an advertising agency eventually called and a serious, full time career came into the picture.  That was when writing for magazines stopped.  When you're in advertising, there just isn't that much time for extra curricular writing anymore.

Many, many years passed and soon enough, freelancing happened.  Suddenly, there was time in my hands.  Suddenly, writing for a magazine had an opportunity to make a comeback.  I know I'm a little rusty --but I live by one motto:  'If you don't bite the bullet, it'll hit you in the head'.
I made that up. :P

One try was all it took, and I was back in the game.  Good Dog Magazine featured my full page article in their Sweet Tails section this October!  Yeah!

Here's the gist.  You've heard about Man's Best Friend, right?  Well, this is about a Boy's Best Friend.  It's the heart-wrenching story about the unbreakable bond between a pup and a little boy.  Perseverance and loyalty can start young... as long as there is love extraordinary.  It's the true story of Kenji and Alpha.  So you can understand this is written --wait for it-- from the heart.

The publication outfit liked it and asked Kenji and Alpha to be the stars of the page.
After what felt like a gazillion decades of absence, I get a mag material out and a photoshoot for my boy and his dog to boot!  Two for two!

Months of production followed and, as they say, the rest is history.
Welcome me back, why don't you?  Go grab your copy of Good Dog Magazine --bundled with your favorite home and living magazine, GoodHousekeeping-- today. :)