Category Archives: Basti Loves

Basti Loves: Look It’s About Me Personalized Books

Basti was obsessed with birthday parties a while back, after seeing himself on TV for Disney Junior’s Birthday Book last April. When that happened, we sang Happy Birthday to him practically everyday. It was good timing that Tatiana of Look It’s About Me sent an offer for Basti to have his own personalized book. And, they had a birthday themed book!

It is such a cute book. The illustrations are wonderful and very appealing to children. The text is simple, easy to understand, but not so simplistic that it has no room to grow. This book has lots of animals in it, so I found it to be great for Basti’s language development too.

As with any personalized book, it incorporates Basti’s name in the storyline, but I like that his name is incorporated into the illustrations as well. How fun was it for Basti to recognize his name on the birthday banner?

Not only that, but you get to put in his friend’s names in the invitation and guest list as well. The story becomes even more relatable and enjoyable.

I cannot tell you how many times we’ve read this book together. The story is written by Natalie Diaz, someone I know from a long time ago and I was so glad to see her name on the credits. This is an all-Filipino venture, from conception to production!

Ordering the book itself is painless and easy. The website is very well laid-out and very easy to navigate. There are four other designs you can choose from. I especially like the Underwater Adventure book. It’s so cute!

You can also preview the books to take a peek at what’s inside. Check out this Magical Christmas Adventure. Great Christmas gift idea, don’t you think?

Aside from the personalized story book, they also offer other products. All the books come in a coloring book version, where your child can have fun coloring the pages while looking for his or her name in the book. They also have personalized wrapping paper (shala!), wall art and placemats.

Thank you Look It’s About Me, for our book! Big hug from Basti to you.


Look It’s About Me

Twitter: @LookItsAboutMe
Instagram: @LookItsAboutMe
Pinterest: LookItsAboutMe


Basti Loves: Funky Feiyue Shoes!

When I was living in China, I would see Feiyue shoes in the malls, but wasn’t really able to check them out. At that time, my awareness of sneaker brands was very limited, and I only knew of the few brands I came to know while growing up. A while back, I saw Feiyue pop-up store in Rockwell, and my interest in it started to grow. As kismet would have it, the SoMoms were invited by Feiyue to try out a pair from their collection. Basti was so excited when I told him we were going to get him some new kicks. He loves shoes!

Feiyue’s roots are in Shanghai, China. It was established as a brand in the 1920s and was well-known for its style and comfort. It was in 2006, when a group of sneaker freaks from France took over the brand, that Feiyue experienced a total style rebirth. Feiyue has got some awesome collaborations with other brands and artists. Celine, Shin Tanaka, LCP, Stereo Panda and Agnes B are some of the names that collaborated with Feiyue.

So off we went to their flagship store in San Juan to pick out a pair for Basti, and for me! Thanks to my size 9 feet, I was able to choose from a special box they had at the back. These were my top seven picks. Believe me, it was not easy! They’re all so cute.

Even Basti had a hard time choosing between these two super cute pairs.

In the end, I couldn’t resist being matchy-matchy with Basti. How often do I get to match with my little boy? Almost never!

He loves his Feiyue shoes so much, they made him smile. Those who know Basti know this is a rare occasion.

Sometimes he’ll even wear them around the house. He’s so proud of his shoes. These Feiyue sneakers are now Basti’s official pair for school. They are so comfy, I kid you not. He will have an awesome time playing in them.

The Feiyue concept store is at Sekai Center, Ortigas Ave., San Juan. It’s right by the gate of Northeast Greenhills, if you’re coming from Greenhills Shopping Center. It’s the building with BnT Mexican Kitchen. Which was yum, by the way. We had a snack there because picking the right pair made us hungry. #excuses

Thank you Feiyue! I guarantee we’ll be back for another pair!

Follow Feiyue on:

Facebook: Feiyue Philippines
Twitter: @FeiyuePhil
Instagram: @FeiyuePhilippines


Basti Loves: Made In Candy

In the middle of all the holiday rush last December, we were able to sneak in a visit to Made In Candy at the Powerplant Mall. (Thanks Jackie Go for the introduction!) It was super super interesting that I found myself buying candy for Basti and my nephews, met the owners and scheduled another visit to see how the candy was made.

It was so much fun to watch! We arrived to catch the tail end of a batch of smiley candies. It was so cool to see a huge block of candy being stretched into the thinner strips and cut to size.

I stayed around to watch the process for the monkey candy. We saw how the candy was placed on the preparation block, colored, stretched and kneaded by the candy chefs and pieced together like a puzzle to form the design. You can see it somewhat on the side over there in one picture.

My nephews really enjoyed our little “field trip”.

As for the candy, the kids love it! I was concerned that they loved it too much and were eating it like popcorn. But then Arthur of Made In Candy assured me that the ingredients are all natural – fruit extracts and whatnot – and I could be a little more assured that they’re not eating all junk. I myself liked it a lot, and I’m not a big fan of hard candy. It’s fun to get a bottle of assorted designs and try to guess the flavor from the color. It’s even more fun checking if you’re right, over and over again.

You can buy the candy in small and big bottles, and packs of assorted candy or just one kind.

They make fun-shaped candy and lollies too!

(PR photo)

Made In Candy also takes orders for customized candy – what a fun idea for wedding favors, your birthday, or even a company campaign!

(PR photos)

They have a promo for a batch of customized candy going on at the Made In Candy / Philippines Facebook page! The contest is only till February 7, so go and like their FB page. Perfect for V-day!

Visit Made In Candy at the Powerplant Mall.

What’s On Your Wonderworld Wishlist? A Wonderworld Toys Giveaway by Caleb’s Closet!

In my 10 years as a Gymboree teacher, I’ve seen the value of learning through play for children. Play is the language our children know best, and age-appropriate activities do so much to improve a child’s motor, emotional, social and cognitive skills. I’m particularly enjoying Basti in my favorite level to teach – Level 5 – where it’s all about pretend play and extending their imagination.

Basti pretends to wash the “bus” in a Gymboree Level 5 class.

I think it’s important that children have toys that will support their development, too. I first saw Wonderworld Toys at Expo Mom when I had just given birth. I remember thinking then that when Basti is old enough I would buy a few of their wooden toys for him. I don’t know why I waited because they have toys from birth onwards!

The first Wonderworld toy I bought for Basti is this transport sorting game. I really had no choice because he wouldn’t put it down!

photo courtesy of

Now that Basti loves pretend play, I’ve been looking at the Wonderworld toys available at Caleb’s Closet Eco Store for our playtime. Doc Lei sent over the Little Tool Box for him:

photo courtesy of Caleb’s Closet

And he absolutely loves it! He started with the hammer and nails, and now he’s learning how to use the screwdriver and the wrench.

On my Wonderworld Wishlist are these two cooking toys. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and dining area, and Basti likes to copy me when I’m cooking.

I’d love to hear what’s on your Wonderworld Wishlist. Share it with me and Caleb’s Closet for a chance to win this awesome Wonderworld Toy!

Entries will be through Rafflecopter down below. Here are ways you can gain entries:

  1. Like Caleb’s Closet on Facebook.
  2. Share a pic from Caleb’s Closet’s Wonderworld Toy albums on your timeline. Tag Caleb’s Closet and The Painter’s Wife so we can track your entries. Include the permalink of your post so we can verify it. Here are the albums with the Wonderworld Toys: Pretend Play Toys; Push and Pull Series; Blocks and Basic Learning; Games and Ride-Ons; Wooden Furniture; Baby Beads and Pushwalkers. You can do this once a day! Include the permalink of your status update on the Rafflecopter entry for validation. Click on the timestamp of your status update and copy the URL when it comes up.
  3. Tweet about the giveaway. Include the link of your tweet on the Rafflecopter entry. You can do this once a day.

The giveaway will run from August 22 to September 4, 2012. The winner will be announced once I validate the entries and do the draw.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone! Thank you Caleb’s Closet for sponsoring this awesome giveaway!

Basti Loves: Fruit and Veggie Juices from Tipco!

Actually, it really should be, “The Painter and Basti Loves” Tipco! My two boys are absolutely obsessed with this juice brand.

I first heard about Tipco from one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world, Carina. She served me a glass of Tipco broccoli juice when we were hanging out one time and I was so surprised that it was so yummy and refreshing! I never forgot it.








Fast forward to my married life, and me trying to insert some healthy goodness into our everyday menus. The Painter loves juice. We actually want to buy a juicer, but the thought of cleaning it everyday scares the beeswax out of me. I bought him a carton of Tipco broccoli juice and the rest, as they say, is history. Our absolute favorite is the broccoli juice, and I like to add variety by buying a couple of other flavors each week.

When Michelle of My Mom Friday asked me if I could come to a luncheon hosted by Tipco, I was saying yes before she stopped talking.

The lunch was at Alex III on Wilson, a great familiar setting for a really comfortable gathering. It was nice to see familiar faces, and meet new ones.

photo courtesy of My Mom Friday

We met and got to know the people behind Tipco Philippines. They’re really nice and funny. It was very easy to get comfortable and have a great afternoon.

photo courtesy of My Mom Friday

From the presentation, I learned more about Tipco that affirmed our obsession with this particular juice brand.

  • It’s the number one juice brand in Thailand. It has no preservatives, no added sugar, no coloring and no flavoring.
  • I love the fact that there’s no added sugar. All the sweetness comes naturally from the fruit in the juice!
  • They have 22 flavors. TWENTY-TWO. When I told Orley this, he said he wanted to try all of them.

Drinking veggie and fruit juice is a great way to pack in important vitamins and nutrients in your diet. And because it’s in liquid form, it’s more easily absorbed. Well for me, it’s just over-all easier because I can get Basti to drink his daily requirement of fruits and vegetables without too much drama. He LOVES Tipco. My issue before was because it’s natural and preservative-free, we could never finish a whole carton between the two of us before it went bad. (The Painter not included – he can finish a carton a day, and that’s controlling himself already) So I’m so happy that they’re coming out with small sizes for toddlers. Basti can finish this size so easily. No waste!

photo courtesy of My Mom Friday

They have a great promo ongoing. If you buy three 1 liter packs of Tipco juice on a single receipt, you get to join their raffle for trips to Boracay, Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro (white-water rafting!!!) and the Grand Prize – Bangkok! The geek that I am, the coolest thing I thought about the raffle is you don’t have to fill in any raffle stubs and drop them off in tambiolos. All you have to do is visit the Tipco Juice Philippines Facebook page, click on the Tripaway 2 Promo box on their profile page and find the mechanics and raffle entry online! How convenient! I’m going to start saving my receipts because this promo runs all the way to September 30, 2012. You guys can still make the first draw on August 10 for the Cagayan de Oro trip! Stock up on Tipco now!!

Thank you to the local distributors of Tipco, Transaxion Unlimited, for inviting us to the lunch and for all this Tipco goodness! The Painter and The Painter’s Son are particularly grateful!


Basti Loves: Kidzville

We first discovered Kidzville last year when we attended Cecile‘s son’s birthday party. I didn’t even know there was a play area at The Podium. Basti was so small then, and we were very late for the party so we didn’t really have time to explore.

Three months later, we were invited by the owners of Kidzville through Michelle of My Mom Friday. This time we were given an unlimited pass and Basti, plus his cousin Caille, were able to play until they themselves gave up.

We’ve been back a couple of times more since then, and Basti and his cousins always look forward to the “big playground” as they like to call it.

Kidzville has an active play area that can also be found in similar play areas found around the city.


Basti’s favorites in Kidzville are the airball machine and the giant slides. They’re a lot of fun. I swear if I let him be, Basti can stay at the air machine for hours and not get tired of it. As for the slides, I’m the one who gets tired because I have to accompany him on it. He’s too small to slide down on his own. Going down is easy enough. If you look at the height of the slides though, getting up there is no easy task for me and my old age.


Every corner of the area is filled with surfaces and textures your kids can explore till they pass out from exhaustion.


When it’s me who’s in danger of passing out from exhaustion, I coax Basti into the other side of Kidzville, The Village. I love this area. I think it’s what sets Kidzville apart from other play centers.

There’s a doctor’s office with an “x-ray”, a fire station, a cafe, a car repair shop, a farm and a grocery. Each area even has costumes your kids can wear so they are “feel na feel.”


There are plenty of things to move around. You can pretend to drive a bus, there’s a grocery cart you can fill with goodies at the supermarket, lots of cars and trucks to ride, and an actual Volkswagen Beetle you can pretend to repair with tools and everything! Warning: the Beetle has a working horn. If it gets too annoying, you can ask the attendant to turn it off.

There’s an earthling in the buggy!

But everyone’s favorite is the cafe.


It’s so much fun, but it can get tiring. If you have someone else to watch your child while they play or if they’re big enough to be inside on their own, you can hang at the lobby like these ladies.

Kris and Rone having their nails done while I watch all their kids in the play area. Hmph.

Foot spa while you wait! Awesome!

They also have a girly parlor for the little ladies who like being primped and glittered.


What I like about Kidzville is that they obviously do not scrimp when it comes to toys, cleanliness and staff. All the Village props were great quality, the staff were courteous, attentive and helpful, and the play areas were always clean on every single time we went there. Kris noticed that the Kidzville jingle they would place periodically was an original, and a well-produced one at that! (Only events people would notice these things, I swear)


  • Eat before you go and bring a bottle of water.
  • Bring extra clothes for the kids. They will get really sweaty from playing.
  • Bring socks for yourself and for your child. If you forget, you can buy socks from the reception.
  • Weekdays are best. We went on a weekday evening and practically had the whole place to ourselves!
  • Eat at Shi Lin after for some yummy xiao long bao. #walalang

With Kidzville at The Podium, it gives me a good reason to visit that mall. Aside from The Echo Store and Shi Lin, there really wasn’t much reason for me to visit there, even if I find it to be one of the most child-friendly malls in the area.

Thanks Kidzville! I’m sure Basti and his cousins will ask to come back to the “big playground” very soon!


4F, The Podium
Ortigas Center

Basti’s Birthday Getaway: Boracay!

Instead of spendings several thousands on a birthday party that will last 4 hours, we decided to spend it on something that will last 4 days. We celebrated Basti’s upcoming birthday in Boracay!

E. Coli, commercialization, crowds, I-used-to-go-to-Bora-when-there-was-no-electricity… WHATEVER. I love Boracay. While it was my 5th time to go, it was everyone else’s first. I’m always excited to go to the beach anyway.

We stayed at the Boracay Regency Hotel, chosen because of its location which was right smack in the middle of all the Station 2 action. There were so many events going on the weekend we were there, with so many celebrities supposedly also on the island but I didn’t see a single one. We also chose Boracay Regency because it had several pools. I love staying by the pool when it’s way too hot to be at the beach.


But never fear, Tine of The Yellow Mustard Seed sent Basti his swimming set of shorts and a rashguard from LuvGear. It has this special feature that lets you know if the UV rays are way too strong to be swimming outside. Once it glows red, get in the shade! They come in really cute designs too. It came in really handy, since Basti spent the better part of the first day just staring at the water, figuring out why he suddenly had such a big bathtub and why the floor was all sand.

We spent our days lazing out by the pool, playing by the beach, pigging out at D’Mall and D’Talipapa. The Painter spent most of the time walking up and down the beach taking reference pictures for paintings. As I mentioned before, there can be no play without work for my husband.


Like a lot of moms, I had body issues after giving birth, and I was lamenting how I wouldn’t be able to wear a bikini till I got in shape. The day before our trip, I said, to hell with that and bought a bikini that was more suited for my, um, state. As Martine said, it’s so liberating to wear a bikini in my mommy body, caesarian scar, stretch marks, little pooch and all.

I love my headbands from The Headware. They sent me three styles before the trip.

I made good use of them on the island. They’re so useful to keep your hair in place and look awesome at the same time. Hassle-free, and works for when your hair is dry, wet, or any stage in between. Hugely popular with travelers and outdoor sports enthusiasts, Headware is great headgear for moms like me. I’m sure any mom can relate when I say that when the whole family travels, it’s mom who’s in charge of EVERYTHING. With Headware, I was able to cross off “do not look like a hag” off my Boracay reminders list. You can even use it as a beanie, a face mask, a scarf and so many other ways!

Sadly, I lost the blue-striped one. It flew from my head when I took my hat off for our island hopping boat ride. I want to get another one in the exact same pattern.

Babywearing is always a fixture when we travel. My Next9 sling was, again, a lifesaver. Strollers are close to impossible, even on the densely-packed sand pathway of the Boracay beachwalk, and carrying a toddler on uneven ground is no easy task.

Spotted at Boracay Regency Lagoon Hotel: The Korean podaegi in action.


I took a moment to #LiveMore by my blog sponsor’s booth.

With my blog sponsor

Here are the Boracay “must-do”s that we did not do:

  1. Get henna tattoos. It seems everyone and their grandmother got one. We were also conscious of the very big sign in the hotel that said they were going to charge us for any henna stains on towels and linens. I did want one done on Basti but I was afraid he would mess around with the henna and stain everything.
  2. Get a massage on the beach. They have “massage areas” now and having a Boracay massage is not the same anymore. I miss the manangs who walk up to me to offer a massage. That was the point of it all, in my opinion.
  3. Take jump shots. No. N-O, NO.
  4. Get braids. I used to get my braided every single time. Back then I would have to find a girl who someone said could do it for me and look for her in some bar somewhere. Now, it seems everyone has trained their children to do cornrows.
Inspite of the commercialization, the presence of fast food joints, Starbucks on the beach, the ferris wheel and the algae, we absolutely loved it. Two days later, The Painter’s brain is still in Boracay. We both love people-watching and the whole island is perfect for it. He was brimming with ideas. He spent most of the day walking back and forth from Station 1 to 3 and back again, and we took home thousands of shots. He loved it so much we actually spent the morning of our second day scouting for possible long-term lodging arrangements. At this point, they’re all just plans, but if everything works out, Basti might spend a good part of his 3rd year of life on the island. I’ll believe it when I sign the lease. Living on the island would be quite an adventure for all of us.

For now, I will hug the memories of Basti playing on the beach, The Painter looking more relaxed than he ever has in months, bonding times with my mom, sister and nephew and keep it close for a few weeks. I haven’t let go of my flipflops and Jelly Nellys, and I’m still walking around in cutoffs.

Happy birthday Basti! You are such a gift to us.


LuvGear swimsuits and rashguard/shorts sets are available at:

  • The Yellow Mustard Seed Facebook page:
  • The Yellow Mustard Seed Multiply site:
  • All Babyland outlets – Glorietta, Eastwood, Shaw & Festival Mall
  • Kuku Duckbill – Market!Market!
  • Rustan’s Department Stores
  • More than Gifts Gift Shop – The Gardens, Loyola Grand Villas, Quezon City
  • Expo Mom 2012 on May 5 at Manila Baby Shop’s booth. (Post on Expo Mom coming soon!)

Check here for the nearest Headware distributor in your area. Chances are, your favorite sports shop, yoga studio or bike shop has them!