Shop Online & Save More This Christmas at Frugaa

02 December 2013

Are you going crazy deciding gifts for all your family and friends for this Christmas? Then you must sit down and relax a bit. There are many online gift stores that will help you buy the best of the gift items keeping the person's taste, passion and interest in mind.
One such store is Taylor Gifts. Since 1952 they are helping people find the best gift for their kin and kith. The website has unique gift ideas which are neatly categorized to make easy navigation. There are popular categories like gifts and novelties, housewares, home d├ęcor, home organizers, patio, pets, persona care, kitchen and lighting. This is not all, the website 'Gift Finder' feature is a great tool that let you pick gifts on the basis of gender, age, relationship and interest. 

For my grandparents I ordered for Crosley Candlestick phone. I'm sure they will love it as it will bring some really nice memories back to them. For my dearest friend I chose 36 inch filigree necklace with Purple stone. For my husband I ordered a personalized message in a bottle print with the wooden frame. When I checked for the coupons at Frugaa.com I jumped with joy on finding $25 off on $40 or more order. 

Then I thought of checking other gift store called The New York Times Store. Their collectibles collection is mind blowing and I picked few fine silverware, antique books, vintage pins and signed rock and roll. These items will surely be loved by my cousins. One of my cousins loves to read and thus I ordered for Christmas Books by Charles Dickens. For this store too, I checked at Frugaa.com and found 20% off on all the orders. 

For all the kids in the family I ordered for chocolates from Fannie May Chocolate. I picked up Dark chocolate covered cherries, vanilla butter cream chocolates, solid chocolate Santa, fall pixies, fruit and nut and caramel chocolate assortment an Artisan holiday bark. I'm sure all the kids will be excited. With the coupon I managed to save 20% off any order.

With the help of Frugaa.com my online shopping for Christmas gifts became pretty easy. Not only I could buy things right from the comfort of my home, I also saved huge bucks.

Bangon Pilipinas!

28 November 2013

 Maybe some of you noticed the image at the right sidebar of this blog. Photo taken by my husband as his team was preparing to leave Mactan, Cebu for a relief and medical mission in Leyte. Among the pictures taken from his trip, this is one of the most moving and symbolic. In line with the C-130 Cargo Planes from the Philippines and other countries, the Philippine flag stood highly. There is hope, a new Philippines will rise and the world is going to witness it.
After the typhoon, a lot of rainbows from different parts of the Visayas region were seen. I had my fair share of this grace that came from Above... This rainbow and sunshine I saw from my window gave me assurance that my husband was safe helping those in need...
We Filipinos are high-spirited. We may encounter calamities of sorts, but after the great battle, we look up and still smile for the second chance, the life we celebrate as we move forward to brighter days.

Opening Our Doors To The Spirit of Christmas

Even if the country's under a tremendous trial, opening ourselves to the spirit of Christmas will help ease out the pain and sadness. Christmas is also time to give and to share. Not necessarily material, but to contribute by showing support, uplifting the spirits, moral and sharing words of encouragement to those who are deeply scarred.

The Holiday Season is the most celebrated every year simply because everyone is happy. Even if one did not receive any gift, you'll still find that person smiling...

I look forward to Christmas decorating because it gives our home a jolly feeling. Same feeling my family wants to share with everybody.
This year, I helped my mom decorate our house in my hometown, particularly the main door. My mom started by surrounding the main entrance of the house with some Christmas garlands. Then I took over. I want it simple and well- lighted. I used some old decorations from last year which is a combination of  dove birds, silver and gold Christmas balls and ribbons. It may look that parts of the garlands don't have light, it's because I used blinkers/ animated Christmas lights. A wreath made of Lavander added color and a homey effect.
After decorating the front door, my sister took- in the Douglas Fir Tree from last year. The fresh pine scent from the tree is still there. We haven't really thought of anything for the old tree. We only have lights but it  gave us a Xmassy effect. For the moment, we used it to make room for the next Douglas Fir tree that will arrive mid- December... can't wait.

Why You Need Vitamin C in Your Skin Care

16 November 2013

Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant for many purposes. It has been used by families for decades to improve immune function. What people might not realize is a vitamin C serum can be an essential part of natural skin care, eliminating skin damage over time. Wrinkles in the skin are caused by damage compounding over time. If you are not properly exfoliating and giving your skin the kind of help it needs there could be trouble. This natural remedy can be part of an overhaul of habit from synthetic products into a more organic lifestyle.

Vitamin C works similarly inside the body as it does outside. Vitamin C is full of antioxidants which destroy free radicals in the body. Destroying these free radicals allows the body to repair and in effect fight off infection and viruses. It works the same way when used on the skin. When you go out in the sun for too long, or are subjected to too many pollutants in the environment, vitamin C breaks up the pollutants. The pollutants take up position as free radicals in the integumentary system (of which the skin is the largest organ). These free radicals can become at least permanent damage of the skin. If the damage is not repaired, over time it can compound and become skin cancer.

It is certainly more fun to drink orange juice or eat citrus fruit than it is to take pills, but unfortunately oranges might not have as concentrated of doses of vitamin C. There are some fruits that give higher amounts of vitamin C to the skin, it takes only a little research to discover these other fruits. The fruits can be worked into skin care products which are then rubbed over the body. These products can exfoliate the skin (meaning gently taking off the top layer of skin). They will also help the body maintain moisture. Moisture is essential in skin care. Without natural liquids, the skin can not receive the necessary nutrients the body tries to deliver to them.

Wrinkles can arise when there is a build up of skin damage over time. They typically start with fine lines which are not properly treated. The use of vitamin C can also stimulate the body to naturally produce collagen and elastin. Collagen fills in the fine lines subtly over time. Elastin makes the skin more viable, flexible and more resilient to movement and initial damage from natural pollutants. In this way, products using vitamin C can reduce the effects of aging and bring to the skin a more youthful complexion. It might not happen overnight, but the effects that arise will last longer.

Synthetically manufactured products tend to appear more effective in the process of skin care. However, over time, these products are likely to produce skin damage. This is especially true with overuse. The filler chemicals might be doing more harm than good over time. They might not be causing cancer, but they may be drying out the skin or making the body dependent upon the chemicals in the serum. If the person stops using the popular synthetic products, the body might have a hard time catching back up to producing its own chemicals to naturally care for the skin.

Natural skin care on the other hand is derived from cultures where the only products people used were organic, made from the plants and other materials around them. A vitamin C serum such as the product made by Mad Hippie , for example, would be created from an orange (or another fruit) tree. The people would rub the juice on the skin (or drink it) and the effects would be felt over time. Often these effects would compound in regular usage and keep the skin healthy. Organic materials are more biologically viable than synthetic. They are naturally easier to break down and they leave less of an imprint upon the chemical make up of the person ingesting or using it on their skin.
Vitamin C can reduce the skin damage from multiple sources. It can even reverse the damage done by the synthetic products over time. The removal of free radicals from the system is paramount since it is the free radicals which cause the most problems. When damage is done to the skin, the free radicals accumulate. Free radicals do not just come from the sun. They also come from things we eat every day. Consider fast food. This is highly processed with chemicals added, many of which are not really fit for consumption on a regular basis.

Vitamin C can help improve health, but without a change in habits, there may still be problems with free radicals collecting in the body. Vitamin C can become part of a healthy skin regimen and reduce cancer causing agents as well as perpetuating the appearance of younger looking skin.

We Share Because We Care

13 November 2013

There were lists of the "dos and don'ts" when it comes to donating that's been circulating. It's unbelievable how some people who are accepting donations will suddenly put a limit on the amount and type of donations that should come in. And these are announced via social media and sadly, on television as well. I am pertaining to "some" public figures, organizations and institutions only.

Clothes: may it be second hand or brand new. If you think your warehouse of relief items is overflowing with clothes, keep sorting and pack those for future use. It will still come in handy. The Visayas Region is big. We still have the survivors from the recent earthquake and families who don't have homes who can surely make use of those "excess clothing".

The "below 100 not advisable" no. of canned goods or other items: We understand the importance of providing in quantity. However, the message that has been cascaded can be misconstrued and demotivate people who just want to help and may not have the quantity that is being requested for.

That YOU Prefer Monetary Donation:  We understand the practicality this option can give in terms of rebuilding efforts and transportation/ travel expenses. However, it begs me to question the motives when at this point in time, our primary goal is to make sure that goods will reach the people in need. With so much monetary donations, it is sad to see that there are several towns in Leyte that have not received any relief goods day 5 after the storm.

If you volunteer or do work for charity, just do it, give all you can, don't complain and never underestimate the capability of those who want to share.

There should be no limitations to the act of selflessness. 

There's a reason why you're blessed to be instruments to help those in need. Whatever is handed thru you for additional help, please... accept it. 



We Share Because We Care

Box of Hope is now in progress
The rescue, relief, retrieval & medical team my husband's going to be joining will leave for Tacloban soon.

Ways To Help Typhoon Haiyan Victims

12 November 2013

Like everyone else, my husband and I are doing our best on finding ways to help our brothers and sisters at the Visayas Region. One important opportunity that knocked at our door was the relief efforts my husband's company will make as they will send employees with relief goods at the most devastated areas. When I heard about it, I cried because now I have a way to directly send help for our fellow Filipinos in need. If it's going to be allowed, I will encourage my other half to join the group as representative for our whole family and friends here in the Philippines, from America and the rest of the world.

The aftermath Typhoon Yolanda/ Haiyan has left in our country was heartbreaking. It broke my heart in an instant and I can't get over it. Spreading information on how to help and donate is one way to ease those troubled hearts. If you can, please continue to send these important and reliable information within your network as we go through this deep adversity.

In sending out donations please be advised to entrust your goods, cash or in kind to reliable groups and organizations. People whom you feel will bring your donations safely and directly to the people in the Visayas Region.

To the rest of the world... Thank you... We are truly grateful and appreciative of the continuous support and united relief efforts you've been showering our beloved country.

Please check the links below for the list of trusted international and local assistance.




Alagang Kapatid 

0o0o
 It will take time to rebuild, but hope and with continuous prayers, the Filipino spirit will never fail the nation to keep moving foward.
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

Power of A Prayer

For my fellow Filipinos...
We will get through this...
Bayanihan Spirit will prevail....
We will never leave any of our fellowmen who are in great need...
With a prayer, miracles will come and we will make it happen.

Family Bowling

Here's the new addition to our list of family activities on weekends. We've always paid Paeng's Eastwood Bowl a visit almost every year because this is where my husband's company would hold their bowling events. At some point, my husband and I were encouraged to come up with bowling as a fun family bonding activity.

It's been years or even decades since I held a bowling ball. I never really played, as a matter of fact, I wasn't that interested when I was still young and single. I watch my friends play but often times, I prefer watching while munching on some Magoo's pizza. Okay, as far as I can remember, my last visit in a bowling alley before I got married was way back in 1995.

With the recent events we attended at Paeng's Eastwood Bowl, aside that it's brightly lit, I thought that the bowling alley itself didn't change much, the good 'ol vibes was still there.
Paeng's Eastwood Bowl
City Walk II Bldg., Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City
2 Saturdays back, my husband took the family for some bowling time. It was our eldest son's first time to play bowling. Fast learner I must say and I'm very proud of him. As for me, I wasn't expecting too much from myself since it's been years last time I played bowling. To my surprise, my first shot was an amazing strike lol! With that, it kinda boosted my confidence. While playing, we munch on some hot pizza from Magoo's.

Believe me, it's a fun way to spend time with your family. Not to forget, it's pocket-friendly and it can be one of the most memorable events in your life.

Tenant 304

30 October 2013

The past weeks has been filled with so much blessings. But early today, the happiness those blessings showered upon me vanished. I had an accidental encounter with our neighbor this morning. Accidental, because there was no bad intention at all. Come to think of it, the situation got out of hand when our neighbor confronted me when we all thought that everything was already fine. 

The issue: parking spot.

For the past months, we've been waiting in line for a parking spot in this condo we're renting. Last week, the manager told me that Tenant 304 is moving out and assured me that we can already park in the spot that used to be the space for tenant 304 starting October 30, 2013. We even talked about the terms of payment. With that, my husband and I thought that it was all clear.

When my husband got home from work, he informed the guard on duty of the parking changes and yes, he was able to park properly. Around 7am today, the guard asked us if we can move our car because Tenant 304 is coming. I didn't argue because the management apologized for the wrong info they gave us. We didn't have problems on moving our car either. I took out the car, waited a bit. Apparently, there was no parking available outside the building as well. So I placed the car on hazard and went to the condo's office to ask for assistance. It just so happen that Tenant 304 was there. When I came in, the manager approached me and apologized for the mix up. I was also told that Tenant 304 was the one near the front desk. So I apologized we parked in his spot for a couple of hours and even thanked Tenant 304.

Aside from me and Tenant 304, the people present that time was the condo manager, the janitor and the guard. With all those people present, I asked the manager again if they can assist me on finding a parking spot. But Tenant 304 "barged in" and said " Actually, you can use na my parking spot because I am not coming back anymore". I gave my thanks but it didn't end there. Then tenant 304 blurted: "But my contract will end last day of October, but sige, the parking spot is all yours."  He said it nicely. Now, with confirmation coming from Tenant 304 and the condo manager, I moved the car back to the parking spot at the basement.

After parking, I didn't go down of the car immediately because I was fixing some coins. Then Tenant 304 who was in the other spot approached my car and said (sarcastically): "You know, what I meant was, you can park there the day after tomorrow". Then he tapped the hood of the car and said: "just joking, it's all yours!".

It's just parking. It's such a cowardly thing to confront a person (a girl) at the back of everyone else. Tenant 304 is a guy by the way. He waited for me to be by myself just to sight his point. Is that a man or a dad or maybe just a mean boy who wants to "bully" a lady. I remember talking to him with the condo manager and everything went smoothly. As a matter of fact, with what he told me in front of the manager, it may be considered that Tenant 304 formally turned over the parking spot to the next user.  I wasn't even eying for Tenant 304's parking, I was originally asking for a spot outside the building. But since there was no parking available else where and Tenant 304 said yes in a proper manner and the manager also confirmed, I moved the car back. 

When I was confronted with no one else there at least to witness, it felt I was being harassed.  He was already a threat to me the moment he approached the car with just the 2 of us at the basement parking.

Obviously, Tenant 304 was sour graping because someone else's car was parked in his spot. That's his parking spot until October 31, 2013 "now we know". There was a communication gap between us, the condo management and Tenant 304. We moved our car, we apologized for the mix up and even thanked Tenant 304. It should have ended there and on with our own businesses.

If I'm to play Tenant 304, I will voluntarily give up my parking spot to anybody who needs it, I'm leaving anyway. According to the condo management, Tenant 304 doesn't even sleep in his condo anymore.

Anyway, my husband didn't know that something was already happening. Well, I froze with the encounter myself. My husband got very disappointed with what happened but it's already too late to confront Tenant 304.  He thinks I handled the situation well by not reacting to Tenant 304's idiocy. I know I didn't do anything wrong. I did not step on anybody. It's just sad that a simple dilemma that can be handled properly went haywire because Tenant 304 chose to be a total jerk more than a considerate "human" being.

What happened to me is another realization. I'm enclosed within the 4 walls of my home, surrounded by nice people and when reality sets in, if it bites, it can be shocking and very painful.

Tenant 304 will meet his match someday. God's watching.
-source-

The Big Outlet Sale Great Find: Tretorn Skymra Canvas

29 October 2013

Here's one of my great finds during the recent Big Outlet Sale held at Metrowalk Ortigas over the weekend and it's also my first time to attend the event. I have been hearing a lot about this Big Outlet Sale for the past 3 years. I thought it's for BPI credit card holders only. A friend shed light to this confusion and finally, we were able to pay the sale a visit.

Tretorn. A Swedish brand known for its classic design and lightweight footwear the Nylite. Tretorn found it's third home here in the Philippines. Its flagship store now stands at the 3rd floor of the Robinsons Galleria mall in Quezon City. Part of the new Tretorn selection is the Tretorn Skymra Canvas. I've always wanted to have a pair. It's made for both men and women. It's lightweight and the laceless design made it more casual and smart- looking at the same time.
Its regular price is at Php3000+, I think around Php3,800. I'm a frequent visitor in their store, but I always end looking around and leaving empty- handed. Now I have my dream pair from Tretorn. At the Big Outlet Sale, I was able to get it for Php1,200 only. Of course, the colors and sizes available were limited. I must say, it was my lucky day because almost everything being sold were in my size, left the place with 2 pairs. The following day, I immediately put my new sneakers to the test. A whole day of running errands, groceries and strolling carrying an adorable baby, my feet felt as if they're being hugged by a cushion.
Other than the shoes from Tretorn, my husband got a good deal on Sanuk Sandals (from P3,000+ down to Php1200). I was able to buy a nice pair of Hot Wheels shoes (Php250 only) for my son and base shapers for my Longchamp bags.

The next Big Outlet Sale is going to be on December 2013 and I'm eyeing for a big raid on our next Big Outlet Sale visit.

Xtraordinarymom Celebrates Her 5th

24 October 2013

-source-
Blogging came into my life thru an old friend... I saw the value of sharing one's story online, the impact of being able to inspire other people and how it can be a form of motivation too.  It was early in 2007 when I started to open myself to this extraordinary experience. But it was from 2008 up to the present when I was able to fully explore what an online journal is about.

There were challenges in terms of flexing time, handling more responsibilities as a mother and wife... But I  believe, that if one is passionate about the things around him or her, not a force should stop that person from doing the things he/she love the most. Each post I make is also a realization. With that being said, I learn more and I also grow from within to become a better person everyday.

For the 5 years of being open on some parts of my life, all I wanted was to inspire women, young girls, moms, aspiring moms and even the men.

I don't know how wide this 5 year old blog has touched, but no matter what...

I will continue to share my one of a kind experiences that makes my life colorful and meaningful.
The ups and downs that pulls out a stronger being in me. 
Events that offer unforgettable memories. 
Music that keeps my daily routine in tune.
My inspirations and love for simplicity. 
The interesting gadgets that makes me go crazy.
A little of the things I love as a woman.
Over- all, my never ending excitement to be able to share the beauty of life.

Thank you very much for the continuous visits... Stay happy!

Archie Comics Through The Years

23 October 2013

Here it is my friends, the Archie Comic collection I have. Well, actually this is already a combination with some of my sister's. We thought that it's a good idea to put everything together and place it in our parents' library.

 Reading Archie Comics is one of the things that I still do even up to now. I can go through every old comic book over and over again. I have 2 reasons why I have all these. 
1. My mom told me one of the things that she did with my dad as bonding time was reading Archie Comics. But unfortunately, they didn't think of preserving those comic books. Now, with that, it motivated me to keep my collection and preserve it. 
2. As a kid, my family didn't have enough to buy other things and everyone that time was into Archie Comics. I ended up borrowing from friends. But not all were very open to share. So I told myself, when the right time comes and when I get to have extra money, I'll get myself some Archie Comics. Eventually, my family was able to get up from those hard days and yes, almost every week or at least once a month, I made it a point to buy new Archie Comics. 

Often times, when one is deprived of something, that person has the tendency to fire back. I didn't think of doing such thing even if I was denied several times just to be able to read an Archie Comic book. As a matter of fact, I gladly lent mine to people who didn't even return some of my Archies. But what the heck, I'll just buy more.

Now, my collection is open to my own kids, my niece and my nephew who loves to read. I share with them that Archie Comics is filled with nice, colorful stories with values to learn. Everytime we have visitors, the amount of "WOWs!" and "COOLs!" we get seeing my collection is unbelievable. This collection is something to be proud of. Some of these are really old. As you can see, others have torn pages. My sister was nice to wrap each with plastic and create covers for those without the front part. 

In the recent Toy Con, I was able to find a seller of old Archie Comics at Php50 ea. Then I discovered a toy shop in Greenhills that sell Archie Comics too. Slowly, I plan to expand the collection with the classic Archie Comics and the special hard bound collection I saw in Fully Booked.

iPad Air: Me Want You

Among the gadgets that Apple has released, my eyes has always been fixed on the iPad. It works like a mobile personal computer for me. I can work and play at the same time using the iPad. Game- wise, I am greatly satisfied with its graphics display, and I'm just talking about the iPad 2. I can live without an iPhone or an iPod Touch or a laptop, but never without an iPad at hand.

-source-
The iPad has become an essential for me as a stay at home mom. I use it to update my blogs, find great ways and home ideas using various apps and the Safari. While in the kitchen, I use my iPad to go back to my food blog and other reliable websites in search of recipes. I keep in touch with my husband, family and friends thru Facetime, iMessage with instant photo- sharing and email once connected. I use interactive apps for kids to teach my children. While traveling, especially on road trips, with a pocket- WiFi, we rely so much on Google. It's an all-in-one gadget! The size is just right, not too big, not too small. It's sleek and smart- looking as well.

It's been a long time since I got my iPad 2 and I've been itching to have an upgrade. It seems like for the past years, all I saw was the same tablet with selective enhancements only.  Until finally, Apple released the much-awaited iPad, the iPad Air. Thought it's "the" worthy replacement for my iPad2. In choosing an upgrade for my gadgets, I look at the over-all package. The processor, the advance features, the size and weight are important for me too.

With the new A7 chip, the system is going to be more powerful, faster and lighter. The following apps: iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote were made available for an extraordinary experience. 

Last year, my husband wanted to get me the iPad 4 for Christmas, but I declined because I thought  it's not worth it. I said: "I'll wait for the new iPad next year." so we got an iPod Touch 5th Generation instead. Which is also very useful because it's like a pocket-size iPad that I can toy around every time we go out.

 I thought that the next release is going to be the iPad5, but Apple gave us something better. I've been waiting for this uniquely designed gadget.  I gotta say, one of the best Apple has released. I can't wait to get my hands on an iPad Air. I just hope we get it here in Manila soon. The Holidays is just around the corner, it's the perfect gift for a love one and for oneself haha!

Live Now

04 October 2013

It's one of those conversations I shared with my husband one fine Thursday morning while having breakfast...

Yesterday, he said: "how time flies so fast and so is life". 
So I jokingly replied: "Yeah, better not keep up with it or it's going to eat you alive". 
Then there was a pause. So I thought he was serious about it. 
Then I said, "You know what, don't get bothered by it. Live at the moment, do whatever is needed to be done, just go on with your daily life or routine." 
Then I got a smile and a nod which is a sign that I was able to ease out his thoughts.

You see, life itself is already complicated, we do all sorts in order to survive. The last thing I want for my family to do is to "keep up" with those complications. Like, technology, lifestyle, food and may it be just the over-all status of society. But if one can learn to dance around it, sway with it and make the most out of it, everything is going to be fine. It only becomes hopeless or dull or a nuisance if one will ask for more than what he or she can chew.

It's one of the things I hold onto everyday not only as a mother to 2 kids but also as a person, just plain me who stays at home 24/7. If you're going to look at it, I have nothing, but I don't find my status boring as if it ends there for me.

I push for whatever I can pull out with my fixed routine and I do get something positive in return. Simple things that makes me happy and where I can spread that same positive vibe to the people around me. Part of that was to be able to give my thoughts and share a new meaning when one notices that life just drives by so fast.

Essential Finds From The Manila International Bookfair

24 September 2013

2 weeks ago, we attended the Manila International Bookfair. Aside from the reason that my dad is part of the affair, my husband and I went to check on some music books on sale. Personally, I was just there to see my dad and to accompany my husband. But it turned the other way, I was the one who took home some readings and my husband ended up ordering his music books and went home empty handed.

Last time we attended this book fair was 3 years ago. It was different back then with less to think about. I'm busier now with 2 kids and more tasks needed to be accomplished.

I have been very busy for the past months. The reason... I have been occupied studying. I have been busy spending "me time" acquiring knowledge on basic cooking, baking and all the facts needed for a functional restaurant. It feels like I'm back in school again, refreshing my mind of what I learned 10 years ago in college. The readings I "accidentally" came across with are considered as essential finds.

1. Larousse Gastronomique- "The World's Greatest Cookery Encyclopedia"
I've studied and read several books on food and cooking, but this has got to be one of the most informative, precise and well- balanced. Not only it's an encyclopedia, but it also contains recipes based on international standards. More on my food blog soon...

2. The Best of Archie Comics Book 1&3
I stopped purchasing regular Archie Comics since it's pages turned modern. I lost touch of the classic Archie Comic I grew up with that's why instead of buying the new prints, I thought it's best to invest on the classics. As of the moment, our purchase of the first and 3rd book completed our set. There's more to collect. My Archie Comics are now part of parents' library in my hometown. That reminds me to fix them again and post about it on this blog.

3. Food & Society
One of the readings I found within the pile of books from my dad's booth. An interesting book fit for the modern take of society on food and restaurants. It's benefits and not so pleasant outcome. If you're into food adventures, this book will come in as a good guide when it comes to food and the pressure coming from society.

Taking some time to visit the recent book fair was relieving. I was able to take a break and the books were... I must say, "meant for me". I'm not a bookworm, but if I find something of my interest, I will surely spend and find time for it and receive it's purpose of making me knowledgeable.

Thank God For A Blessed Week

06 September 2013

Not only for the tasks I have accomplished for the past days, but also for the life that I enjoy with my family and for the days, weeks, months and years to come. I am thankful for those who love to share such inspiring words like this sweet prayer, it boosts us in becoming better Beings.
Make each day count, make your dreams happen, push forward, live at the moment and learn to take risks.

Happy weekend everyone!

Mirror Maze

05 September 2013

Seri Fantasy World was developed out of curiosity on the science of 3D technology and the ambition to bring to the Philippines the attractions of SEOGWIPO SERI WORLD theme park in Jeju Island, South Korea. -source-
  
Entrance: Php100
Location: Seri Fantasy World (Seriland), 2F Manila Ocean Park

Mirror Maze is just one of the artistic attractions at Seriland's Trick Art Museum. It was a last minute decision to check the museum. For our first visit, we only tried the Mirror Maze.
The challenge at Mirror Maze is to be able to find your way to the exit passing through multiple glass panes. Upon checking-in, the guide on duty will hand out white gloves so that no finger prints will be left on the mirrors. 
Once inside, you should put both arms forward as a precautionary measure, to prevent guests from hitting/ bumping the mirrors. There are people inside who will serve as guides through the maze of mirrors if you get lost and (I hope not), in case of emergency.
For first timers like us, yes, we were amazed and amused by the mirror tricks. My son was really into it. Too bad that we didn't have a regular camera with us. We could have taken clearer images. Picture taking is allowed by the way.
Definitely, we will return to Seriland to experience the whole Trick Art Museum. It's a place for learning. Perfect for the children to have an extraordinary experience, wander, explore the other side of artistry and wonder with their imaginations.
For more information, visit: www.serifantasyworld.com

Revisiting Manila Ocean Park

04 September 2013

Our first visit at the Manila Ocean Park was way back in 2009. That time, there wasn't much to see except for the Oceanarium. It was still a memorable visit because for me and my son, it was our first time to be in an oceanarium. 4 years later, we're back and with a new addition in the family. For my son's 9th birthday, instead of having a celebration in school with his classmates, my husband and I with our son's approval plan to take Frankie with his cousins to Manila Ocean Park for his birthday celebration. It just so happen that my husband took some visitors at the Manila Ocean Park last month. It was then when he found out that this tourist spot has improved and has added sights to see.
Our visit over the weekend was perfect. I was able to see the packages, the facilities and prices in preparation of my son's birthday. From our recent trip, we took the Deep Sea Rush Package at Php550 each, children 2 ft. below are free of charge and is inclusive with the ff:

Oceanarium
Birds of Prey Kingdom
Sea Lion Show/ Marine Life Habitat or Boat Ride (inside the Oceanarium) 
Jellies Exhibit

Please take note that the Deep Sea Rush set originally includes the Sea Lion Show and Marine Life Habitat not the Boat Ride. Since we came in after lunch, we missed the Sea Lion Show that's why the management replaced it with the Boat Ride. I suggest a visit first thing in the morning so you can avail the original Deep Sea Rush package with the Sea Lion Show.
The Birds of Prey Kingdom was our first stop. It is located near the Oceanarium entrance, right side.
It's an opportunity to see upclose one of the most stunning coastal raptors in the country, the  Lawin or Banog in the Visayas region. Have a close encounter with these winged wonders within a unique bird sanctuary as they perched in a hanging bridge along the coast of Manila Bay. -source-
After our Lawin experience, we proceeded at the Oceanarium. I must say, there were less fishes on display compared to our first visit in 2009. Anyway, it was still worth it. My kids enjoyed it so much. My eldest son is more attentive and observant now. My youngest, was in awe of the fishes in big "containers". And yes, he blurted another word... Phish... well that's FISH coming from a 1 year and 8 month old baby. 

At the Oceanarium you will also find the Boat Ride. It's basically a boat with a glass bottom so you can see the fishes below. The only comment I have is-- I didn't enjoy it. They filled our boat with so much people, exactly the opposite of what I saw on their website. We weren't able to take pictures, because the boat was too crowded. They fitted 3 families and a couple in a small boat. It would be nicer if they do it 1 boat per family or  at least 2 families per boat.
After our boat ride, we had some snacks. At the Manila Ocean Park, you will find a lot of food stalls and restaurants. In case you get tired in the middle of your tour or you get hungry, it is not going to be a problem. 
To end our tour, we visited the Jellies Exhibit. It was our first time see the jelly fishes. We missed this part in our 2009 visit. It's my favorite. Watching the jelly fishes relaxes me. It would have been better if there's a relaxing music playing at this particular area of Ocean Park. It's clear that these colorful creatures can gracefully move and be considered as "dancing sea fairies".
Aside from the main attractions, Manila Ocean Park being an "ocean park" offers places within the park itself where one can have a cool view of the Manila Bay.
Along the way, you will find nice backgrounds for picture taking. This recent visit of ours is more fun than our trip in 2009. Even if we're already familiar with some attractions, Manila Ocean Park built as a nature friendly environment gave us the feel of the natural habitats of the species on display.

We Love FAMILY Selfies

02 September 2013

Selfie: Is a net lingo pertaining to an image of yourself taken by you and often meant to be shared online.

A selfie is often found on Instagram, Facebook... actually, as long as there's room for sharing, anybody can post and find self portraits anywhere online.  It's nothing new, the only thing that made each photo experience different is the camera/ gadget being used.

Before, we take chances fitting our faces using a digital camera. Now it's easier. With the use of cellphones/ smartphones, mostly iPhones, the 4th to the 5th gen in particular, and for sure, the next iPhone will produce picture- perfect materials. The new iPod Touch has developed and can be used as a good photo instrument too and of course, tablets for some. Using any of these, you can see yourself and have time to adjust accordingly for a nice- looking self portrait.
There's still room for our digital cameras by the way, but most of the time, it's being used to capture moments from special occasions. And even with a DSLR around, I still make backups using a smartphone or any from our other gadgets.

There were times when I would take a picture of myself and share them on my IG account, especially when it was new. I think I came to a point when I've outgrown it. Now, I prefer posting pictures of my family instead of myself.

Compiling "Family Selfies" is on a different level. It is as fun as taking the usual selfie, but it's more carefree compared to a self portrait when one becomes too conscious and serious trying to nail a good angle.

Also, with less load, when traveling within the city, more pictures are taken anytime we want to. We make it a point to take a lot of family selfies, it's an easy way to document our memories as a family. With the release of smaller gadgets producing clear pictures, I have to say,  it's heaven sent.

LEGOing

28 August 2013

LEGO now has become a collectible. For some, mostly within my age bracket, prefers collecting LEGO bag tags, key chains, stationery sets and other LEGO merchandise. For me and my husband, we want to relive our childhood with our own kids that's why we are more into spending for a box of LEGO bricks and pieces as it also caters to the imagination. But don't get me wrong, we also like to get those nice collectibles, it's just that when you put the prices of those small things together, it's worth buying a LEGO Creator set.
Other than cars, my eldest son likes to build houses and cities. I on the other hand, have my own. With random LEGO pieces, I enjoy creating farm houses. I even thought of building a mini version of Smallville. Buy a Superman LEGO set as an additional display to my small town.
I so love the apple tree I created and the flowers made up of single, small LEGO bricks. The cow and the dog in my small LEGO farm was fun to make.  With more bricks, a horse would come in handy. The tractor is part of the booklet that came in with the Build and Rebuild set.

At the moment, my husband has his own project mixing LEGO sets in order to build his own LEGO model. Almost every weekend he goes mall hopping searching every toy store for LEGO sets that will aid with his creation. He plans to join a LEGO contest online where one should create a character using LEGO bricks and if the creation gets a certain no. of likes on Facebook, (not really sure of the details) LEGO will turn it into a real set. How cool is that?! There are hundreds of participants, but the whole process and the challenge of assembling "your own" toy is already fun and unforgettable.

Playing with LEGO has been a form of therapy for me and my husband. When the kids are already sleeping, my husband will pop a relaxing music, then on with our own worlds with LEGO.

and just a follow up... My younger brother Nino, to my surprise, knows the story and the history of LEGO. Apparently, it's one important part of his childhood that he kept because when he was a kid, he loved and enjoyed playing LEGO.

Playing Dress Up

So I stay at home almost 24/7 right? Well, it doesn't mean that I can't play dress up and plan an outfit for future use. One of the things that I'm very fond of is browsing online for nice dresses and shoes. I look into several websites, then I put up whatever I can find appealing together and eventually create a wardrobe.

Last year, I enjoyed shopping online with my sister-in-law who lives in America. She'll give a list of websites to go through, find a dress, shoes and a bag I like that will go well as a whole ensemble. It was fun. It's exciting browsing and planning an attire for future use. Sometimes, it doesn't require an occasion to buy nice dresses and besides, it's best to be up to date with the latest trends. With a quick look online, you'll find adorable dresses fit for all occasions.

An event took place also last year, I was a Sponsor to a wedding representing my mother-in-law. It was my moment to look glamorous after the longest time. I dressed up with a one shoulder, flowy gown. My in- laws bought my gown online. I really like it because it reminded me of my wedding gown too. From the length of the garment, the color and the lightness of the gown itself. Same as this mini chiffon dress I found at dressfirst.

My wedding gown is a long version of this short dress. This is a perfect choice for homecoming events.  It's included in the list of homecoming dresses 2013. This kind of dress can also be a closet staple for both formal and semi- formal events. It's easy to wear, accessorizing won't be a challenge as well just by looking at the model above. Chiffon is a garment that I like because it's soft, beautiful and it elegantly flows.

Inspirations: Guide To A Loving Life

For Carperts or Not?

I have been busy for the past weeks, pardon my absence from posting on this blog. My husband and I were on the look for new furniture, home decor including carpets and rugs. In our previous homes, we had carpets for the living room and the master bedroom. Though it made the rooms look cozy, maintenance has always been a challenge. Then, when we moved to a new place, we finally decided to get rid of it. In a few months or within a year, we will be moving to a new place again, this time, it's permanent. The condo is new, we thought that everything that has got to be brought in must also be new.

So one of the things that we're thinking about are carpets. It's going to be easy if we have something like ABC Rug and Carpet Care here in our country, which offers a state of the art rug cleaning Manhattan factory to ensure that your rug is cleaned free of dust, stains and odors and will be handled by rug cleaning experts who know the best way to clean your valuable area rug.
source

On my last phone conversation with my aunt who lives and works in New York, I asked for some details on how she handle such carpet and rug dilemma. My aunt has her practical ways, but since she's working full time, she greatly recommends not to get a carpet at all if maintenance is going to be a burden or easy,  ask for assistance from rug and carpet care experts .

Public Issues

14 August 2013

First off, let me share how proud and happy I am every time I hear news about our fellow Filipinos making noise with their achievements in various fields both here and abroad.

The public issues that's going to be tackled in this post are the recent changes the government has made. It's good news for me, it may be bad for some, especially those directly affected. Topics that's been circulating not only in social networking sites but in local newspapers and television as well. I thought it would be proper to post my opinion on this blog more than make a random shout out on Facebook like everyone else, which clearly and most of the time, people find it in general, offensive.

On Public Transportation:

We all know that the City of Manila with Joseph Estrada as Mayor has regulated the entry of buses coming from neighboring cities without terminals in Manila. Personally, and I honestly think that it was a good move on easing out traffic flow within Metro Manila. I understand that at this point, it has become a nuisance in way, for commuters. If we're to talk about progress, we can't always be comfortable without a little sacrifice in return. Not only the people of Manila will benefit from it, but other cities who'll look up to this stand the government of Manila has implemented. We can walk in malls and parks for hours, why can't we do it on an ordinary street. Or for a change, like what the Vice Mayor of Manila said: " Make walking a habit". Same goes with the bus terminal system that MMDA just recently opened. It's acceptable that there will always be a certain period for adjustments. Sometimes, it will take a month or more for us to smoothly abide, see the result and to finally appreciate the outcome.

On Flaunting Unnecessary Riches:

Let me share an article that triggered me to post about this issue.

Sometimes boasting is blinding.  A person has the tendency to lose wisdom that helps each one of us in making decisions even with the tiny reason why we post pictures online. Eventually, that gets most into trouble. It's such a shame because one doesn't have to go all out.  But since that person wanted to show- off so much and flaunt everything, that person has got to pay the price, suffer the consequences.

On Informal Settlers:

I never thought that the relocation of informal settlers is going to be this huge and for the very first time, functioning. My heart goes to those who will lose their homes and jobs "temporarily". In moving from place to another, I greatly understand the feeling because my family has been into it for the past 4-5 years and I say it's not fun and it's tiring. But with some adjustments and sacrifices, my husband and I worked hard for the #1 goal we've been praying for, and yes, we're moving forward to achieving that dream soon. Thinking of the whole family's future, that's enough motivation to keep moving forward for a better living. The relocation sites the government has allotted is far from the city, but it doesn't mean that the area is not family friendly. Meaning, the essential resources such as education, food and work is also available within the vicinity if one will work hard. I am happy that those who embraced this blessing are also sharing the good experiences they had and still having to those who are having second thoughts.

Change is good, it aims for growth and development more than imbalance. New beginnings are opportunities given to start all over, clean our mess, grab the chances we didn't take before and be at our best with whatever life's going to throw at us.


A Mother's Prayer

08 August 2013

The past weeks' been pretty hectic for me. Most of the time, it involves activities for my 2 little boys. As I was going through some inspiring work on Pinterest this afternoon, I came across a prayer for us moms. 

The prayer describes the work we do on a daily basis and with our trust and gift of patience from The One above, it shows how amazing it is to see that we get through all the fumbles and jumbles multitasking brings us everyday.

It's heartwarming, it's moving, it's relieving, it's rejuvenating, inspiring, motivational, an eye- opener and realistic.
Everyday starting tonight, I will recite this prayer in thanksgiving for the life I have as a stay at home mom. Motherhood has shown me the colorful side of life. Motherhood showed me how to make it extraordinarily beautiful and meaningful.

Life In 2 Weeks

23 July 2013

This entry will sum up my activities for the past 2 weeks. I have been terribly sick that's why I wasn't able to post anything. The past weeks were filled with both good and bad, but mostly good news. But hey, life's what you make it right? The #1 reason why I got sick was because of the change of weather. There were times when the sun was up, when it's just plain cloudy and humid, plus the sudden rain fall mostly late in the afternoon. One day, I had to give the umbrella to my son while I secure the car's locks. In other words, I got drenched. 3 days after, I was sneezing and coughing.

In my week of being sick...

My husband took over on bringing and fetching our son to and from school even with his tight schedule at work.

Thank God, none of my kids got sick.
I was still able to cook something delightful on a rainy day, BULALO.
Had our clothes washed at a nearby laundry shop.
It wasn't that bad at first, until I lost my voice for 3 days.

I rested for 4 days. Come weekend, when I was a bit well, my husband took me on a movie date. Remember in my last entry, I was suppose to go on a date with my husband. We were set to watch in Resorts World. But due to my sickly condition, I requested if we could see the movie in a nearby  mall instead.
Movie treat: World War Z!!! For some reason, our quick movie date helped. After the movie, I was already feeling better. In our list, World War Z is one of the much awaited movies for 2013. I like how they summed up the whole book in this movie. Even if they missed on some parts, I still like it!

So after watching a nice movie, the following week, I was able to catch on some episodes of  Modern Family. This series is love for me. It makes a gloomy day bright.  So love it, and I missed so much  since our transfer to our new location last year.

School, work, school, work in between.

When weekend of the following week came and I've fully recovered, our family was out again for another spectacular film, Pacific Rim. My boys went ahead to watch Pacific Rim on IMAX, Sm Aura. I was with my mom and sister then, we were in Sm Megamall.

The following day, my husband took the whole family out for a movie and watched Pacific Rim (his second time).

Shocked and saddened by Cory Monteith's passing.

Aside from our movie trip, we also went around the newly opened Sm Aura. We waited for the rush of people to ease out a bit since it's grand opening.  

Amazing find: Palladium shop.
 
Then, we ate at YABU's newly opened branch in Sm Aura.
 The kids and the young at heart had a good time in Timezone some Sunday.
Made discoveries and thru those findings, I was able to put up some goals like visiting Aura again when all shops are open, I'd get myself a new pair of Palladium shoes, my last one was still in highschool. Over-all, even if I got sick, I'm always blessed with so much fun activities with my family.

Awesomized With Pacific Rim

18 July 2013

I don't even know how to start this entry. I'm still overwhelmed with what Pacific Rim served us, it's viewers. It went way beyond our expectations. Great work from Guillermo del Toro & Travis Beacham. My husband watched it like, twice already. Our weekend was spent only on Pacific Rim. First was on IMAX SM Aura. Second, was with me and the kids in Greenhills. Two days in a row. If I'll be going for a second, that's going to be his third.
That's how good this movie is. 

Well, I read some reviews from unsatisfied movie goers. But heck with those guys, what's their problem? Do you go see a movie to stress your mind figuring things out your way? No. You sit back, relax and enjoy.

"This movie was made by people who loves monsters and giant robots for people who loves monsters and giant robots."- Guillermo del Toro

Pacific Rim is "the movie" if you want to watch something fun, adventurous, exciting, action-packed. A flick with a touch of reality and with a bit of humor on the side, that involves a "sort of" love development between characters and of course,  robots fighting "monstrous" sea monsters, the Kaiju.

It's an "all-in" movie.
The storyline was straight forward, which I really dig. The relationship of Mako and Raleigh was more of a partnership. They were inspired by each other's thoughts and uniqueness that it brought balance not only to the drift they're both in, but also as individuals. Mako Mori has a distinct representation. I thought that the Japanese actress was a great form of tribute to the Japanese community. I've heard a lot and I read some articles that Pacific Rim was also inspired by Japan's Kaiju movies.  Well, from the robots alone, in a way, you can already connect Voltes- V, Voltron and Gundam. Not that they can transform, but because these are manned robots.

My favorite part of the movie was when the Jaegers were battling multiple Kaijus. Especially the double attack in HongKong with the Gipsy Danger scenes. When Mako took out the sword, thought that was another excellent tribute made.

I also like the fact that the artists, especially the director and writers were able to tap into the human side of creating gigantic robots. Did it ever occur to you the what ifs... in making real robots to fight monsters? How's it going to be?  Pacific Rim, I gotta say, holds the closest answer, The Jaeger Program.
I thought the ending was good enough. I wasn't left hanging. Feels like every question in my mind got a corresponding answer. The soundtrack rocks! with geniuses Ramin Djawadi & Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) I went home satisfied and awesomized!

Throwback Thursday: With My Lolo

My tbt entry for this week is in memory of my late grandfather, Lolo Abdon. Lolo Abdon, is the dad of my mom. Half of my childhood was spent under the roof of my grandparents (mother's side) in Manila. I was the second among the grandchildren. My lolo would always take me out together with my Ate Che and my younger brother.

When my mom is doing something, she would ask my lolo to look after me and my brother. Then, my lolo would walk us to a nearby church, and there, he'd buy us some sweet nuts and candies. After, he'll buy bread and hand it to the person sleeping near the church entrance.
I was very close to my Lolo Abdon. Most of the time, he'd drive me and my brother to school. He makes funny sounds to make us laugh. Sometimes, he'll just carry us place me or my brother on his lap and tell us stories. By the way, my parents met thru my Lolo Abdon.  My dad was my lolo's salesman. One day, my lolo decided to have lunch at home, so he invited my dad to join him, that's when my dad first saw my mom and the rest is history.

He is one of the kindest people I've ever known. I remember my Lolo as a very giving person. Not only to us his grandchildren but also to the people around him. Everybody loves him. That made him  my favorite Lolo. He is an inspiration to me. As a patient person, being compassionate, flexible in situations and his love for family. I had so much happy memories with him that I hold onto and will still do throughout my lifetime.

Grew Up With It, Now I'm Still Playing It... LEGO!

17 July 2013

LEGO is one of the toys I grew up playing with. I shared it with my brothers when we were kids. During our younger days, we only have the basic LEGO blocks/ bricks where we can create and build anything we want. Being a little girl, I would always make a house/  home with small cars. 

Over the weekend, my husband and I took our kids to the newly opened Sm Aura in Taguig City. One of our stops was Toy Kingdom. There weren't much people in SM Aura when we visited, so we basically have the whole toy store to ourselves. My eldest son Frankie, likes to build things. He can make his own buildings/ city which he calls "metro city".
LEGO enhances ones imagination, especially for a child. It's a material that can be used to build the child's path to better learning and bringing their thoughts into life.
During our LEGO experience at Toy Kingdom, we shared the work area with other kids. Each has his/her own set to play with. LEGO bricks were placed in the middle to be shared. At first, I was just watching my son do his thing. Then when my little boy started to grab some pieces, I played along and started putting colors together until I finally came up with a castle- like wall.
Maybe my husband noticed how concentrated I was building. He took our baby from me so I won't have a hard time "daw". Anyway, it was fun. Our boys have LEGO toys but mostly are for creating cars and Duplo for the little one. On our next visit we will get Frankie a set that he can use to build his city. He's going to love it!
 
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