My Little Shutterbug

28 February 2010

It's time that he learns about momma and poppa's hobbies and interests. He started with his poppa's music. Franky's interest on musical instruments came out naturally. My work around the kitchen made him curious and now, he is loving helping prepare and cook. our food. He sets the table for us, he also knows how to put away the dishes.At 5 years and 5 months Franky has become more and more of a hands-on person. Once you teach him about something, make sure that there's a follow up hands-on experience. I guess, it will really help the child that way. It's not always about story telling (kuwento) on our part as parents.
On his "tabingi" shot, he was taking a picture of me.
It was wonderful seeing Franky hold the camera without any help from us.
Finally, his first picture of his parents...

It's all about trust and boosting his confidence. Of course, at the back of my mind, it's reflex, reflex, reflex just in case he drops or bump the DSLR somewhere hehehe!. I actually requested my husband to buy him a digital camera nothing expensive. I just saw a Canon digital camera less than Php10,000 it's perfect for my little shutterbug...

Driving Tips

26 February 2010

I have been driving for almost 15 years now. I'm proud to share that within those years I have never encountered a situation or anything that might have hurt me, my passengers and the car itself. And not a record that I got caught for not following traffic rules.

Driving is a skill, basing it on my experience. It's easy to learn how to drive. But the principles behind the wheel and the techniques to become a good driver are sometimes hard to understand for some. It took me 2 years of practice driving around our village before my Dad permitted me to get a License and drive in the open. Within those 2 years of practice, I was also taught on how to handle certain situations. The right attitude once you get on the road and the safety measures to take. From the right way of seating down the driver's seat, the proper footwear to be used, the do's and don'ts while in traffic, road signs, road rules and how to beat tardiness. If you think it will take you a little longer to learn all these principles, I suggest you still go for it just be patient. The road is like a game board. You'll never know what will happen next, it is very unpredictable. You don't just go out and drive your favorite car "your way". Most of all, lives are at stake. Once you lack knowledge on at least one of the basic rules, you lose.

Why am I making this blog? Our new place is not accessible to public transport. I have been driving by myself all the time or with my little boy since we moved. Running errands, bringing my son to and from school. Nothing really against it. As long as you have a car of your own, it's a-okay. But I saw the risks of driving alone. Thank God, for all the days and nights I come home safely.

Here are some of my personal ways on how to drive safely as possible.

Safety--- includes prevention from getting robbed, car-napped or hold-upped.
  • I make sure that the night before, I'm able to sleep well and my things are all fixed for the following day. That includes Emergency Nos. City Map, Driver's License and Car Registration.
  • Once inside the car, make sure all systems are working. Tires, clutch, breaks, accelerator, car horn, headlights, wiper and be aware of unusual sounds.
  • Wear your seat belt and make sure you're comfortable with the shoes you're wearing and how you're seated.
  • Don't text or use your cellphone while driving. Pull over to a safe place if it is really important.
  • I leave for my appointment 1hour and 30 mins before the given time. Prevents you from rushing.
  • I leave 30 minutes earlier if my destination is just near.
  • Being ahead of time gives you a relaxing drive
  • When you're relaxed, coolness sets in, you give way for other vehicles
  • When you give others a chance you set their mood in that same manner. So it is going to be like a chain reaction. Hopefully.
  • If a vehicle or a driver speeds it's way pass you or cutting you from a very dangerous point, take time, breath, and think that the driver is just in a hurry because he needs to use the toilet :D
  • Change your route every 2 days or everyday if possible. Bad elements may study your everyday activities. Maybe subject for robbery and car-napping.
  • Look at your side mirrors and rear view mirror
  • Listen to a soothing music
  • Never place your bag or any valuable in front or any place where people can view it from the outside
  • Never open your door or window for anybody. Even if they say your car is busted, you have a flat tire. That's why you double check before leaving.
  • When caught in a risky situation, stay alert, honk the horn and go to the nearest Police Station or to the nearest place full of people

The Land Transportation Office of the Philippines have more tips to share:

Defensive driving is often defined as preventing crashes before they occur, it is the demonstration of an attitude, awareness and driving skills such as:

· Stay alert and keep eyes moving so that you can keep track of what is happening at all times;

· Look for trouble spots developing around you;

· Have a plan of action if the other driver does the wrong thing; and

· Know that the law requires drivers to protect each other from their own mistakes.

A Defensive Driver must:

· Be able to keep a safe driving record.

· Have a positive attitude on road safety.

· Be physically and mentally fit to drive.

· Have received proper training before driving.

Factors that affect Driving:

*Attitude *Behavior *Right Mental Attitude

A ♥-ty Family Talk

25 February 2010

Today, we were honored by another presence of a relative from America. Tita Lilay. She's my husband's Aunt from the Cruz's side. It's been years since her last visit. It was also my first time to meet her. Last December 2009, her daughter Grace came home, we had lunch together.

But before telling my story, let me share a wonderful blessing that has been gracing us since 2009. That would be our relatives, families and friends that's been visiting us from other countries. People we haven't seen for the longest time, people I personally haven't met yet but close to my heart and people whose been showing support and love even online just to make us feel that they care about us and they will always be there for us.

with Tita Lilay from the lovely State of California:
It will really be nice to visit San Fran once we get to travel America. Definitely we will do that. San Francisco has always been part of my husband's itinerary every time he'd go to the US. Aside from Georgia, the other half of the Cruz's resides in San Francisco. When others think that we're far apart from our loved ones... it's never really like that. Still, time grants everyone to come back home not just for us, but also to see what the Philippines has become.
Over breakfast at Café Adriatico, we were able to catch with some stories with Tita Lilay both old and new, good and bad. The highlight of our conversation was all about family. The last time she was with Dolf was when he was still single and mingling. A lot has changed. She was very happy and excited that Dolf and I met. It was truly an honor for me to be part of the family of course. On the serious side of our small talk, we all agreed that being able to have a family requires extreme sacrifice. For richer and for poorer. My husband shared that the moment he found out I was pregnant with Franky, he knew that he must work harder and he took pride of being "the dad" he has always been wanting to be and it was the time to aim higher. Right there and then, when Dolf was sharing that experience with Tita Lilay, I got teary-eyed (again).

Had to thank "The One" above again for giving Dolf to me. And sharing our story with another happy person like Tita Lilay was just amazing.

Life, it is a path full of adventures. It's up to us to find ways and alternatives to make the most out of it. For Dolf and me, we went through the normal process of having a family. My husband climb his way up. As for me, blooming from being a pregnant wife to becoming a mother was the loveliest thing life has given me.

Good Morning Neighbor!

21 February 2010

Today is officially our second week in our new home. Of course, it took time to blend in the community. We were a bit shy, but everybody (our neighbors) were very helpful and hospitable. Back in our old condo, I think we were the only ones who never failed to greet everybody everyday. The rest, they were just too busy and too occupied. It's different this time around. Our new neighbors were very happy to help us go about some rules around the subdivision. They showed concern asking how are we doing. Most of all, it was very polite of them to greet us every morning, lunch and even at night.

Good Morning! Good Afternoon and Good Evening!

I never thought that "such wonderful neighbors" still exist. What an inspiring booster to start the day right and happy.

It's just great to be part of a good environment. A good environment for me is a place where people don't mind you but you know anytime you can approach them. A good environment is a place where intrigue (intriga, chismis) does not exist and are not even welcome. A good environment is a place where people respect privacy. A good environment is a place filled with simple people with simple minds. A good environment is a place where our children can play and just do their adventures.
-photo source-
A good environment is a state that makes a person happy, inspired and complete.

Mom's Fun Day!

19 February 2010

I thought that it was just an ordinary school activity for Franky. I over slept, woke up late and I forgot to bring my camera. But lucky enough to find a perfect parking spot! :D

Mom's Fun Day is the school's way of paying tribute to all moms who poured so much time in support for their children in school.
The endless home notes, creative projects and joining other fun activities that binds the family at home and in school.The activity was exclusive for moms and the kids. Not a sight of a single dad around. And would you believe, none carried a camera too. We were all just having fun playing games, popping balloons, ate our snacks together. Franky and me enjoyed watching some intermission numbers from fellow moms and their kids. They danced and sang a song together.
We ended the activity as our children sang a song for us while they also handed out the Paper Roses they made. I was really touched. Again for a first time school mom, it made me teary-eyed. Maybe, crying will always be part of it. For every sweet gesture and for every achievement made by my little boy. Tears of Joy that is...

Sweetest 16th

18 February 2010

My sister celebrated her Sweet 16 birthday yesterday. She personally asked me to buy her a Red Ribbon cake. This was the moment I have been waiting for. For days, after The Chocolate Heaven launching and the announcement of the Chocolate Heaven contest, I have been thinking of ways to create a one of a kind entry.
Sweet @ 16, surrounded with friends and having a fun time with the Chocolatiest cake that made them feel like they're in Heaven... The new Red Ribbon Chocolate Heaven cake.
It made them treasure the bond that unites them. It made them happier in each other's company and it developed the person in them by projecting positivity, joy, fun and excitement. It made me miss my high school days. Watching them made me treasure the moment itself and the moment that was during my time. It made me miss my own friends and our activities together. I was just literally holding the camera looking at them in awe and wonder.
For me, to be able to nail a good photo, everything must come out naturally. Candid. I can go' til forever waiting for the perfect time just to capture that certain image on my mind.
sweet nothings
Regardless of what camera I have, regardless of the picture quality as long as the moment is captured, I'm happy.

Tuesday STING

16 February 2010

For one whole day or 2 I can listen to one song over and over again. May it be old or new, as long as it's part of my favorites list. Today (Tuesday) Sting kept me company.

Seven Days lyrics

"Seven Days" was all she wrote
A kind of ultimatum note
She gave to me, she gave to me
When I thought the field had cleared
It seems another suit appeared
To challenge me, woe is me
Though I hate to make a choice
My options are decreasing mostly rapidly
Well we'll see
I don't think she'd bluff this time
I really have to make her mine
It's plain to see
It's him or me

Monday, I could wait till Tuesday
If I make up my mind
Wednesday would be fine, Thursday's on my mind
Friday'd give me time, Saturday could wait
But Sunday'd be too late

The fact that he's six feet ten
Might instill fear in other men
But not in me, The Mighty Flea
Ask if I am mouse or man
The mirror squeaked, away I ran
He'll murder me in time for his tea
Does it bother me at all
My rival is Neanderthal, it makes me think
Perhaps I need a drink
IQ is no problem here
We won't be playing Scrabble for her hand I fear
I need that beer

Monday, I could wait till Tuesday
If I make up my mind
Wednesday would be fine, Thursday's on my mind
Friday'd give me time, Saturday could wait
But Sunday'd be too late

Seven days will quickly go
The fact remains, I love her so
Seven days, so many ways
But I can't run away

Monday, I could wait till Tuesday
If I make up my mind
Wednesday would be fine, Thursday's on my mind
Friday'd give me time, Saturday could wait
But Sunday'd be too late

Do I have to tell a story
Of a thousand rainy days since we first met
It's a big enough umbrella
But it's always me that ends up getting wet

Thank You Lappy...

When all else fails, I turned to the one I have been ignoring for a very long time. This laptop has been with us for 2 years now. Not that I really ignored it. I was taking care of it by not exposing it using the internet. It has been properly stored for months.
It served it's purpose--- for backup!
sweet nothings

Now, even if my main computer got completely paralyzed, I am still enjoying my regular surfing ang updating over the net.

Thank you Lappy! You're truly making me Glappy!

PC Update: Early today, as my husband went through our infected computer. A box came out stating the type of virus that got our computer and possibilities how it was acquired. Accordingly, the virus may have entered either thru email or an open window with an ActiveX download. I remember opening a site from Entrecard yesterday that exactly had this Active X pop-up box. I personally confirm that I did open an infected website as I was doing my EC drops. This is the worse virus we have ever encountered. I immediately gave my husband my go signal to reformat and install Kaspersky 2010. Many have told us to switch to Kaspersky (malupit daw kasi). We had to buy a new anti-virus for this case, oh well, it's already Feb that's minus 2 months. As of the moment my computer is already free from any viruses, but I still don't wanna touch it until everything is back to the way it was with my games and essential programs.
I would like to give my hugs and kisses to my other half for pouring time fixing the computer all day and night.
To Zoan of Luckyzoan thank you for this Sunshine Award.

Life Then and Now

14 February 2010

Just a little scoop of what I discovered for the past 3 days. I am happy to share that now, "we are indeed living a normal life".
Then--- it has been very stressful moving out.
But knowing that we are transferring to a place that is healthier for the family, Now--- I think it's all worth it.

Then--- we always miss the sound of the rain falling, the regular sunshine in the morning.
Now--- We enjoy the sound of the birds tweeting in the morning, the cool breeze from our bedroom window and we haven't even installed our AC yet.

Then-- I bring my son to school riding a tricycle.
Now--- I drive him to school and I pick him up after 3 hours.

Then--- pets are not allowed.
Now--- we can have all the pets we want. Took Boo for a walk around the neighborhood.
Our new house isn't as big and it's really nothing fancy. It's a 2 bedroom place with enough space for our kitchen appliances, storage, 2 small living room area to choose from, and of course space for our computers and laptops.Windows, windows, windows! Finally real windows for some sunshine to grace us in the morning, where fresh air can just breeze through anytime.We had a small house blessing yesterday, together in celebration of Valentines Day and the Chinese New Year.
Kung Hei Fat Choi!
My family were our first visitors.
Please excuse the clutter, we still have some repainting to do and more furniture shopping to replace the old ones.The love birds celebrating Valentines Day together
Dolf and Me with our Mom and Dad (sorry for the banana behind us lol!)Looking weird, tired, stressed... but HAPPY!
Thank You Lord for blessing us with a new home...

Celebrate The Love Month With Délifrance

08 February 2010

I love Délifrance! When this opportunity came knocking at my door, I immediately accepted so I can share what this chain of restaurant can offer. Délifrance is known to be a French Cafe . They serve products like croissants, brioches, crispy praline, and baguettes. Délifrance also serves beverages, coffee and pasta and more gourmet dishes.

Celebration of Valentines Day is more than just giving flowers. As we move towards "The Love Day", Délifrance's fresh line of delights awaits you.

Indulge your loved one with Frosted Cinnamon Rolls that are so temptingly good, beautifully topped with vanilla custard swirl. The Frosted Strawberry Muffin is also a very delectable treat, bursting with strawberry and walnuts and topped with strawberry swirl. For those who want bite-sized goodness, the Strawberry Walnut Cookies and the Mocha Walnut Cookies are the gifts to give. Finally, as the pièce de résistance, Délifrance’s Chocolate Wanut Croissant is a luscious crescent shaped, golden layered pastry, oozing with chocolate and walnuts.
Find the nearest Délifrance here! and experience a luxurious treat that will definitely touch the heart of your loved one.

Will Hibernate Soon

Good Day my dear friends and visitors!
sweet nothings from my kitchen and beyond

Both Sweet Nothings and From My Kitchen and Beyond will temporarily be inactive for a few days. Will be moving to our new place tomorrow. And will officially be applying for a different broadbrand that will cater to more than 1 mbps and with 4G technology. It's nice to have a hassle-free connection.

Smiley Face

Hopeful before the week ends, I will be back on track blog hopping, dropping ECs, preparing for another Red Ribbon contest, sharing life's wonderful blessings from our new home and plans for the next coming months.

I am very happy to where we (my family) are right now. Friends and family has been very supportive with this move we are making. They say, you get to learn more once you get out of your comfort zone. We needed this transfer because we are aiming to get a permanent home in 2 or 3 years. It's a process that will require so much time and money. But definitely, it is something my husband and I discussed thoroughly and something we thought about very carefully. With God's Grace and with hard work and patience we will be to hit this mark sooner than later.
Have a wonderful week everyone!

Chocolate Heaven From Red Ribbon

05 February 2010

Red Ribbon is asking, is your chocolate cake this chocolate- full? Well, I think this is the mother of all Chocolate Cakes, the #1 in the heart of every chocolate lover.
Red Ribbon's Chocolate Heaven
Red Ribbon's Chocolate Heaven
Layered with the most chocolatey brownie I have ever tasted, and the finest chocolate mousse, covered with luscious, rich chocolate, then topped with chocolate curls that made it more inviting. Being a chocolate lover, the Chocolate Heaven I took home last night didn't even make it for another day. Not too sweet, very light but very rich.
Best taken with any of Red Ribbon's Hot Brews.
Chocolate Heaven comes in 2 sizes. Junior at Php 335 and Regular at Php 560. It is going to be available in your favorite Red Ribbon store shelf by February 9, 2010.

Of Roses and Kisses by Red Ribbon

Red Ribbon's Valentines Treat to all the love birds out there... The best Valentine idea I have ever known. Bringing Roses and Chocolate Kisses in one whole yummy package.

enchie’s kitchen

Beautiful sugar roses and creamy Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses top this pound cake with chocolate chip filling.

I remember my dad giving something similar to my mom last year, but it's just a cake in a heart shape. No Kisses or other designs. This Valentine Treat from Red Ribbon tops every Valentine gift idea. I can't wait for Feb. 14... I intend to have our own as my husband and I celebrate our 6th Valentines Day being married.

To personalize your cake, order should be made before February 9. Comes in one size only. 6" dia Junior for Php330. It will be made available in every Red Ribbon store shelf by February 12, 2010.

Total Stress Relief---Go Have Time For Yourself

04 February 2010

I started my day early by preparing pancakes for breakfast. But I can't say it's all well, because I'm very stressed and tired from sorting and packing our stuff. Not to mention that I also take my son to and from school everyday. Plus, my husband has his own batch of tasks to finish too.

My mom visited us this afternoon, that made things lighter. It's something to break the ice. And good thing, I have a Red Ribbon event that helped end my day differently.

Total stress relief--- with Peachy, Iris and Mommy Vivian
A little treat from the Red Ribbon Management (something yummy will soon be unveiled).

When I got home, my dad helped me load some things in the car, which lessened our baggage and clutter a bit. Slowly, everything is falling into place. I think now is the perfect time to take a break. I think I've done enough not only for today, but for the past 2 weeks.

My son is sleeping, it's just me, my cold bottle of beer, my home- cooked tuna pasta and my blogs to think about.
On Saturday, life moving out continues and it will go on until we completely transfer to our new place early next week. I will be offline for quite sometime, starting next week because I will be switching to a new broadband company. By the way, we were able to find a house in one of the most exclusive subdivisions here in Quezon City, so yehey! God is great!

Green & Go!

02 February 2010

Maybe some of you are familiar with Araneta Center's e- shuttle service. Well, I was in Alimall yesterday and I was able to take a glimpse of this environment- friendly vehicle up close. It is a 14 -seater transportation that caters to Araneta Center's avid customers and visitors. It goes around the whole Cubao area. From Alimall to The Gateway Mall, and it is for free!
The e-shuttle is open for everybody, but it is more beneficial to the senior citizens and disabled. This way, they will enjoy the tour of Cubao from one mall to another. E-Shuttle is battery powered.
* The Green and Go Shuttle and Oplan Araneta Center are some of Araneta Center's Green efforts in collaboration with ABS-CBN's Bantay Kalikasan, endorsed by The Quezon City Government and the Philippine Basketball Association. It complements the Quezon City government's eco-awareness campaign involving a green building ordinance and green fuel provision.

photos: Alimall Cubao Sony Ericsson P990i

10 Things Behind My Happy Life

01 February 2010

Link the blogger who shared this Sweet Tag with you, then share the top 10 things that makes you happy. Thank you Chris of The Mommy Journey and Kikamz of Just About Anything for tagging me and to Willa of Smart Mommy who opened this tag for everyone.

Let me share the top 10 things that's currently making me happy:

1. I'm happy because we are planning and shopping--- redecorating the moment we transfer to our new home. We plan to make our room cozier by playing with the colors of black, off-white and red.
2. I'm happy because we get to spend more time with our Friends. 2010 is going to be different.
3. I'm happy that we're nearing summer (vacation time!)
4. I'm happy because our year started well. We welcomed 2010 by fulfilling a goal. It may be stressful moving out, but it's ok.
5. I'm happy because I was able to eat Green Mango with Shrimp Paste, finally!
6. I'm happy because I will be seeing some bloggers again on Thursday. Thanks Red Ribbon!
7. I'm happy because my life is so simple yet very meaningful.
8. I'm happy because I'm married to a sweet, thoughtful and loving man
9. I'm happy because I don't have to try so hard just to be happy
10. I'm very happy because I know that I will always have my family with me no matter what Life has in store for me.

A Blessing In Disguise

Today, God showed some light on us once again. Early this morning I called the building owner of our chosen new place. I'm suppose to make an appointment in order to finalize the deal, fix the terms and contract. To my surprise, the wife who is a doctor was the one who talked to me. I started with a nice greeting and followed by some refreshing thoughts of our last visit 2 weeks ago. As I was asking for the availability of the unit we liked, she started ranting about some issues with regards to the division, the first come first serve agreement, and the price increase she had to make. Why is she ranting? I only asked if the unit was still available.

I became very irritated that I had to raise my voice a bit to remind her that "hey you're talking with a client". Raising my voice didn't really stop her, she went on and even asked questions to who I will be sharing the unit with, questioning if were capable of paying on time and she was even pushing for some unit changes that will eventually lead to another price increase.

First of all, we will not get into a deal or anything we cannot afford. Second, it doesn't go that if I'm a housewife, our income is not going to be enough. Third, the mere fact that I have the luxury to stay at home, the ability to always pay on cash and live without relying so much on some credit card. I think I don't even have to explain, and for me, "that's how life should be".

The most irritating part was when she told me that she doesn't prefer having kids around, especially the small ones because they have the tendency to color the walls and stuff. That really turned me off. In an instant, I turned down our every intention of going for that place.

Yes, the place was perfect for us. That condo was brand new, it is right beside a church, a SM Save More supermarket, still near Cubao, accessible for all types of transportation and most of all, it is near my son's school and it doesn't flood. But if the owner is going to be so selfish and cold-hearted, I would probably prefer an old apartment with a very, very nice landlord.

With what happened early this morning, we're back to square 1 and we only have 1 week to go. It was very disappointing, but we handled it very well, we didn't feel bad because we know something better will come up.

Here's the catch of the day. After lunch, we went to Meralco, from there, I asked my husband to drive me to the bank, then we took a shortcut at some back street near Cubao. On our way, I saw a sign 'condo units available'. So we stopped and checked, and to our surprise, the unit was very big, exactly what we wanted and for a very reasonable price. Security is guaranteed, it doesn't flood, it is owned by a company so it is well managed, still near Cubao and my son's school.

I guess our first option was not really meant for us. Mabait talaga si Lord. Nakailang lipat na kami pero He never fails to make it a point to answer my family's every need. And we are very thankful for this wonderful blessing.