28 December 2015

The Xtraordinarymom is going to be back January 2016.

Hope everyone is having an amazing time this Holiday Season.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & Have a Blessed New Year!!!

Color Child

29 October 2015

Aside from cooking and baking, one of my past times is some fun time with coloring books. Coloring has always been there since I was a kid. My mom loves to color and it's one of the things I shared with her and inspired me to join Art Club in school. Through the years, both me and my mom has been buying coloring books even if its more for kids.

So when the adult coloring books came out, we got really excited. I mean, this time, the drawings are more for our age. I like floral patterns more than anything else, but I still opted to get the coloring book which has all the patterns. I saw several themed adult coloring books, but the drawings didn't really catch my attention. If not too small, there was just too much going on.
There are several adult coloring books being sold in almost every bookstore and gift shop. Most of them costs from 350- 500php. But when I went to the SM Store, I found a bunch for just 150php each. Let's see... same patterns, the size is just right, not too big, not too small. A book contains several drawings from florals, mandalas, animals and random patterns... why not, feels like I hit the jackpot!
Whatever coloring book you're using, the important thing in this whole experience is to meet the purpose. Coloring has become a therapeutic thing for me. It relaxes and gives me a chance to become a kid again even by heart. I found a coloring material fit for my age, but it doesn't mean I'll let go of the old- fashioned kid's coloring book.
This is my 5th floral pattern: I call it the "flower child with a rock n' roll soul"--- I got the caption online, which also inspired the title for this post. My husband told me that it reminds him of a Jimi Hendrix concert.

24 Maped Color'Peps 185php

It's A Shorts Thing

28 October 2015

I'm a woman of shorts. I wear shorts almost everyday and anywhere I go. In some countries, we see jackets, sweaters and jeans as staple items. Here in the Philippines we have shorts. It's a tropical country, so we wear light clothing most of the time and with style.

When it comes to choices, I always go for the basic. Black, white, beige and denim. It's a must to have at least 1 pair for each, but I want to add navy in my line for a change. Just yesterday, I was browsing online for designs and styles. Zalora has a wide selection of casual wear that's also super stylish. A good pair can make the simplest design and style the most fashionable. I can mix and match shorts with almost anything.

On a personal note, I always wear shorts because I can move around with my kids in tow. I mean, having 2 boys around requires so much running, walking and jumping. I really feel easy and relaxed when wearing shorts more than anything else especially when traveling. My family loves going on road trips and quick getaways. Not only that a good pair of shorts is the most comfortable to wear, but it's also one of the lightest things to pack. I often pair it with flats, sandals, sneakers and even a Brogue inspired leather shoes.
My birth month is near, it's that time when I go shopping for new clothes, shoes and accessories. One of the things I look forward to is a new batch of shorts that I can use for the next summer and for the rest of the year.

This Blog Is Active

05 October 2015

I just remembered, a few months ago, I received an email from an old blogger pal. We were both part of the original line up of mom bloggers years ago. 

Years ago was when Entrecard still exist, you make drops and visits, when bloggers give each other awards, when Memes were super in and when PR ranking matters big time. This mommy blogger who emailed me was surprised that I'm still "blogging" and haven't lost touch. 

The only change I've made on this site is the title, the look and the amount of posts I make. But overall, everything else is the same. My side bar is still there with the disclosure and pr ranking. I have my archives and search engine ready. Since I'm already on this topic, may I also share that a few readers emailed me and asked why I don't have a Facebook page for my bogs. Actually they were also encouraging me to put up one (a Facebook page). Having 2 blogs is enough for me. I'm happy and there's this sense of contentment with what I already have. It's serving its main purpose that's why.

This weekend, I was able to find time to check on some things for both my personal and food blog.  I went through my blog list or links of my fellow bloggers and websites that I like. Apparently, a lot has changed this past years. Out of 120 (just an estimate) links, only 15 remained active.

Most sites doesn't exist anymore and some are inactive (last post was dated 3-4 years ago) something like that. Part of the 15 active links survived because of advertisements, sponsors and promos, the rest are still running through real posts.

Whatever the reasons are why blogging per se is slowly fading away, I have full respect to those who got into it and shared their stories with us, same to those who are still posting about their ongoing journey and articles that really make sense.

Blogging is already part of my life so it would be difficult to just let it go especially when I look at it as a form of outlet for my thoughts and feelings. You'll definitely see more from me. The only thing that's in- between me and posting are my added responsibilities as a parent. But that can be taken cared of, just like now, I'm able to blog. Through the years I've grown in this system, when a blog has a personal touch to it, one can make posts freely but comes with great responsibility.

7 Years Ago, 7 Years After

7 years ago, I was placed in a position when and where I needed to do change for some reason that I felt I was underestimated. I thought that I must get out of my old self and start a new life as the very same person but much firmer. Firm. Why firm? I was known in my previous life as a happy- go- lucky or more of a carefree person. I used to be somebody whom you can throw stuff at and go head to head with and become the winner. With that, I chose to become firmer because being vulnerable is a weakness of mine. I don't fight back, I remain quiet at all times.

Like I said, I needed to make that change, and that change inspired me to let myself out of the box and share with everyone how I've become stronger, wiser and how parenthood played a big part in this new journey.

This month, Xtraordinarymom will turn 7 years old. The account was officially created in 2007 but the blog itself started running in 2008. Everything went so fast, so much stories was shared and so much memories were treasured.

The "true meaning" of blogging was a great factor to who I am now. I look at blogging as a form of self- expression "with or without readers". I make posts because this serves as my journal, an online journal more than a monetary resource or a  strategic way of getting a name out there. 

I stay at home 6 days in a week and maybe 18 hours a day. I am a full- time mother. I do everything myself, and my social life goes around some close friends but most of the time, my family. So imagine if I didn't have a close relationship with my siblings and my parents, plus the no. of hours and days I stay at home... that's nerve wracking! But thank God,  I'm still able to balance things out, that's when blogging will come in and also because I have a supportive family and a bunch of friends.

Blogging became the bridge on showing my true self and the changes I've made. I like it because I feel that I'm respected even more. Whatever is my approach here, that's exactly the very same individual you'll meet in person by the way.

As the years passed, I've made fewer articles. Life has become busier.

My children are growing and both me and my husband wanted to spend more time with our kids. In 2 years, I'll have a teenager and I am very excited to witness and experience that milestone with my son.

The next thing for me and my husband is to run a business of our own. We just thought that while we're young we should come up with something that will last beyond the corporate world. I've been quiet about it. We're aiming for 2 businesses. I've already started a pastry business some 3 months ago and I now have a bestseller. 3 months is a short period and it's still a small thing, but being able to come up with a food business on my own is something special I can grow it even more. The next is on its way.

6 months ago, my family have officially moved to our new home. 3 months ago, I started a business and still expanding. And in 2 years, I'll be entering a new phase in parenthood. My life has gone from- seriously? to- wow that's something! to- that's amazing!

What's Your Rockstud?

28 August 2015

First of all and in all honesty, I seldom look into designer brands simply because I feel it's too much for me as a stay at home mom. But for some reason, I got attracted with Valentino Garavani's Rockstud collection. I see a lot of these from our local entertainers and boy they really look good and classy. So if I were to choose my Rockstud pair, I will go for a strappy flat sandals.

Okay, let me dream even just for awhile...

image (Instagram)
I came across this image on Instagram. I fell in love with these sandals in an instant. I prefer the red one, but any shade will do as long as it's a flat sandal. I like sandals and flats because it's the most comfortable especially if you have kids and it can go with any outfit. This is perfect if you want to be stylish and functional at the same time.
Rockstud Rouge flat sandal
This particular design fits my over- all personality.  "Simple lang, pero Rock!" (giggle!)

It's worth almost $1000, so now back to dreaming...

Transforming our Balcony

Personally, I want our balcony to look and feel cozy. This is a slow transformation, because the things that I want to put are very expensive considering that it's made for any type of weather condition. It's meant to last in short. As always, I got ideas from Pinterest. I found a couple of pictures and I kinda combined everything. The original plan was to come up with something inspired by the image below.
Since our country gets more rain than sun, we opted to get a rainproof patio set. I got our patio set from S&R, it's a Keter 3-piece Bistro Set for 6,000php. Keter has a nice selection of  outdoor furniture. 

The next on my list are wooden planks as flooring. This is the expensive part. A 4-piece set of wooden square flooring is 1,700php. I need 6 sets to cover "at least" half of the balcony. The wooden flooring is also made for outdoor purposes so no fading and rotting will happen. We're hoping to get the flooring done before the year ends or just in time for Christmas. Anyway, there's no need to rush, we have all the time, this balcony is ours!

This is what we have accomplished so far. I just want to have an accent corner where I can put my herbs and plants. Imagine it with the wooden flooring more on the side where the 2 plants are. But friends who already visited us are happy and satisfied with the present set up of our balcony. 
The plants came from my parents. They were really small when I got them, and its all grown now. I used to have a potted Basil but unfortunately, with the recent storm, the strong wind bent the whole stem, it didn't recover so I returned it to my mom for some care.

I water my plants twice a day (early in the morning and late in the afternoon). It actually depends. Lately, I let the rain do the job on watering my plants.
The door to the balcony is see- through. Most residents prefer to cover this door with blinds or curtain. As for me, I want it to be open, I just have a roll- up blind ready if the sun is really out. The purpose why I want things to be visible is to get a glimpse of the life outside our home. It's a condo, but I still want it to function like a house. I just feel that we need to let some light in once in a while. I mean, from our dining area, it's so relaxing just staring at my plants, it is very refreshing. True enough, when we were visited by the management, they instantly loved our set up. It's different and something new to their eyes.

 If you plan to buy a condo, I suggest that you invest on a unit that has a balcony. The balcony will serve as your front or backyard where you can still garden and do some sky watching. It can also be a breakfast nook, or just a place where one can spend some quiet time.

The Value of a Balikbayan Box...

24 August 2015

I don't want to post about this but I think I need to voice out my thoughts on the issue since my family is a recipient of Balikbayan boxes. We don't get Balikbayan boxes as often like most families, but a box is surely important to us. Our relatives abroad would send a box just so they can give us gifts in time for the Holiday Season. Whatever is sent to us, everything is for family use and mostly for the kids.

My concern with this issue is all about respect, privacy and security. 

1. There's a reason why our items are boxed and tightly sealed. I'll assume that anybody in this world will never allow any person to go through their things ( big or small) without permission. We're just looking at things at a wider scale in this issue.

2. Anything that's inside the box is owned by a private individual.

3. Once you open a box, you've already stepped on our rights, our privacy and our individuality as receivers and most of all, you've disregarded & degraded the hard work and sentimental reasons of our loved ones who worked hard for those goods.

4. Contraband? what are the probability that somebody will put drugs or even firearms in a carton box which will also be processed within the United States or country of origin.  Okay, let's be realistic, it's a possibility. But I'm sorry, I just don't see it to be the main cause/ reason of this sudden fiasco. There are bigger fishes out there! Well, not unless those sharks are your comrades.

Even if the BOC says that our items are going to be safe, I mean come on Mr. Lina, are you going to be there during the process and inspection of each box? (wish ko lang!) Kaya nga ayaw pabuksan kasi ang dami ng nawawalan. And don't say that BOC is not going to be responsible for any loses. Why can't you be responsible?  You guys wanted this in the first place. A box is a treasure chest to those longing to taste what "they think" is good, new and simply anything imported. Clearly, you'll be answerable once a box is opened.

The box that was sent to us in 2013 was delayed by a month from the time it was expected to arrive at our doorsteps because we were told that BOC was holding it. Our box was just there and BOC wasn't releasing it. (Ano hinihintay ninyo, lagay from the forwarding company?) We trust our forwarding company it's BOC we don't trust.

5. During former President Ferdinand Marcos' time, and I learned about this just now, those Balikbayan boxes were "tariff- free" for OFWs and the next Presidents respected that in honor of our Heroes abroad.

There are more serious problems that needs attention. There are mouths to feed, victims of disasters that needs help, traffic is terrible and getting worse, crime rate has gone up, employment rate has gone down and so on... Fix these problems first.

This government made things from bad to worse. A lot was lost, including lives because of your ignorance and stupidity. Now you want to concentrate on how to earn money from Balikbayan boxes? Why? is it because the "Ber" months are coming? and more people will send boxes? or is it because 2016 is just a few winks away?

The problem with the administration is they like to change things. Things that's already been functioning well, processes that has already made our lives easier. They like "change" to make a name for themselves regardless on who are they going to step on and what they're going to disrupt. This government is very one- sided. Can't we be functional by doing something smart and will benefit the Filipino people?

You want reality? my basis here is my everyday function as a homemaker. I go out everyday to bring my son to school, run errands, buy food, commute and all that. With what I've experienced for the past 5 years:  I feel so unsafe, there's no sense of security, I felt betrayed with what was going on around me.
I rode the MRT just recently with my 2 kids... "Diyos ko po!" 
I renewed my Driver's License: I got my card after 4 months. 
We renewed our car's registration: "sorry no plate available". 
Gas prices will go down by 1php but will increase by 5.
Even garlic and sugar are being hoarded.
We're basically a big landfill for some country and we're letting them get away with it. 
More street kids begging for "money".
Loads of families who doesn't have homes.

People are more desperate, furious and impatient. "The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer".
It wasn't like this 11 years ago when I ventured on having a family of my own. Yes, the previous Presidents stole money, they're as evil as the devil, but hell they  made sure that the people were "at least" given what they needed and what they deserved. And they weren't pointing fingers by the way. Sending those 3 Senators to jail is useless if the remaining 80 million are still hungry, sick and lost. 
In the end, no matter how dirty the system is, it's what you have given/ contributed to improve the lives and well- being of  the Filipino people that will always matter.

Just in: The President stops inspection of Balikbayan boxes

Change A Little Of What We Do

16 July 2015

Note to self:

Yeah, I've been very busy since school began last June. Well, even if we've kinda "officially moved- in", we are still adjusting. I gotta be honest, once I step outside, it's chaos. Traffic is worse, dirt is everywhere, I don't feel secure at all. You see, our country has gotten worse for the past 5 years.

Anyway, I didn't make this post to rant about that, but put everything on top of each other including my daily routine, errands, adjustments and a whirlwind of nonsense going on in the streets, all you get in return is stress.

I am very much into multitasking. For some it's bad, but for me, it's good especially as a stay at home mom. It depends on the outlook of a person. But for some reason, just recently, first time it happened to me, I just gave up.  Well, I got sick.

So again...
It's good to change a little of what we do everyday. It's healthy and makes life less boring. Our new home kinda gave me that vibe. I am thankful to do some changes. At the same time, I am also free to go back to what I'm used to. That's one blessing right over there, I can be anywhere I want to be, I can do anything in my own perfect timing. Life's good.

The Blessing of Our Home

The home blessing added light and positivity to our new home. Our parents were very happy with what we have achieved. Of course, they're so proud of the hard work my husband has poured. It was a dream come true for us as a couple and as  parents. It was a goal we were so focused on. Even if life's a bit hard for most in this country, we are blessed that God graced us with the resources in order to attain this goal--- being able to provide a permanent shelter was one of our dream for our children. 

We had a solemn celebration with our close family. Our good friend Ricky graced us with his presence too. As always, my husband and I are known for small but intimate gatherings. We saw the value in celebrating with just the special people in our lives. Even our officiating priest felt that he was home... He stayed longer than expected and shared a meaningful conversation with us. Through that, we were able to build a certain bond with him. The Parish Church isn't too far, that alone is a gift.

Our home will always be Christ- centered. Our faith binds the relationship between family members. It serves as the light to whatever we take inside from the world outside the walls of our home. 

Now I can say that...
We've now officially moved- in!

Breathing A New Life

Heather Von St. James, a Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor is breathing a new life. Mesothelioma Cancer is an asbestos-related disease. A few months after giving birth to her baby girl, Heather was diagnosed with Mesothelioma Cancer. She didn't give up. Heather and her family sought for medication and made herself aware of the disease. Her attitude towards her medical condition was incredible.

"Don't give up, don't take death sentence as a diagnosis."

Watch and share her story: Heather Von St. James Story

She fought with hope and a positive outlook both in her hands with her PURPOSE deep in her heart and soul. Family in her story, was a factor to her healing. Her family supported her all the way. Adjustments were made but it didn't serve as barrier. Heather won this fight, and her journey as mother, wife, a motivational example and as an inspiration continues.

"We operate from a place of hope and a place of living in the moment" - Heather

Heather's story inspired me to reach out to those undergoing not only challenges on their health and wellness but over-all, life's adversities. After learning about Heather's battle, it taught me to fear nothing and it even pushed me to hang on so tight to my sole purpose in life. Heather's story is proof that there's hope. That we should make ourselves aware. That fear will bring you nowhere. That we shouldn't stop doing what makes us complete. That we should take it one moment at a time and cherish each memory we make every day.

One of my fears as a mother is to pass at an early age. I don't fear death itself, it's really about the "what ifs". What if God suddenly decides to cut my life short. I want to be present and watch my children grow and mature. I want to grow old with the love of my life and both of us will be there for our children, for every milestone they'll make until they're ready to face the world on their own. Even if they're married, I want them to realize that I will always be there for them no matter what... and that's how I see my purpose in life.

Our "purpose in life" is being able to meet the reason what to live for., why we are here. For each day, I always see myself with my family. I look forward to this every single day of my life. It makes me happy, it makes me feel secure and loved.  They're my motivation to open myself and face reality as it is, they're my medicine to fight off negativity and they will always be my inspiration in everything I do.

Our PURPOSE is an instrument that brings out the greatness in each of us. It washes all the negativity away so we can clearly see the path to hope and better living. 

Choosing Who To Hire

04 June 2015

There are a few things to consider when you begin to look for a contractor. Make a list of questions to ask and exactly what you want in the remodeling project. When you know what you're looking for, it will be easier to choose someone from a potential long list of home renovation contractors.

Know exactly what you are looking for in the project. You don't want someone coming in the home who will do random work just to get more money out of you. Think about the way you want the area to look after the work is completed and if there are any special amenities that you want included. One option is to hire a design consultant to give you ideas about how the renovation can look once it's completed.

Don't settle for the first contractor that you speak with. Interview several contractors before choosing the one who will give you the best price and who will provide the best work. Check references in order to see how previous work has been completed. Some companies will lower their price if they find out you are talking to another company, so be up front about meeting with potential contractors.

It's alright to do a background check. Find out if the contractor is licensed and how long the contractor has been in business. One thing you should check on is if the contractor has insurance. This will help if there are any repairs that need to be made due to any damages that the contractor may have made. Look at the contract, and know what you will be paying for so that there aren't any surprises when the job is done. There should be dates on the contract of when the job will start and when it is expected to be completed. After you examine the details of the company and what is offered, it will make it easier to make a final decision on who to hire.

A Beachless Summer

18 May 2015

This is one extraordinary summer for me and my family. Often times, as early as October, we already have plans for summer. This has got to be an experience to remember with summer being beachless.

It all started when we received a call late last year that we're already approved to move- in our new place. We got all excited and executed every plan for our home. Planning was easy, but the roll out got a little delayed because of the requirements we needed to submit in order to do the finishing touches. Having a friend who is a contractor is a blessing because he made things fast, sure and easy for us. With all these, it looked like our summer will go around with the adjustment and fixins of our new condo. But all is good for the whole family because we have a large pool to enjoy as part of the amenities of the community we chose to live in.
Every week, we go swimming. To a point that it feels like we're in a resort, only we don't pack our things to go home, we're here permanently and that's awesome! It's summer but the pool is often empty. We were told that most residents are balikbayans or prefers to hangout somewhere else or even go to the beach at this time of the year.

Not only that, we didn't have to enroll  our son for swimming lessons, because with a pool around, my husband personally instructs our son. And still to our surprise, a famous swim school  offers swimming courses here in our place. Perfect! we'll never run out of choices.

Summer 2015 may be beachless, but we sure do love the fact that anytime we want to freshen up from the tropical heat, we'll just take an elevator down and yeah, SWIMMING!

Mother's Day 2015

Hi guys! Let me begin with this month's first post with the Mother's Day celebration I shared with my mom. This year's gathering for the moms in our family was the simplest in all our years that we've celebrated. Well, to share some good news, both me and my brother just bought our new homes, so we're kinda in the process of fixing, managing and adjusting to the new life we have now. 

My brother and I with our families went to our hometown to honor our Mom.

With my sisters and our mom
My dad prepared turbo- broiled liempo, shrimps, grilled tuna with pako salad, and then we ordered our favorite pancit from Isaw Haus. The evening went on with talks on our new homes, future plans and of  course the grandchildren, who are growing so fast.

As always, events such as this, is a moment when we can bond together so we try to come up with something where we can all see each other even with our busy schedules.

As for my own mother's day celebration, my husband got an advance gift.

The 2 Turntables

28 April 2015

As promised from my post turntable is love, here is an image of our 2 turntables together. The following day, after posting the article to this blog, my husband surprised me with a Satchmi Motorino Mk. II and a vinyl of Taylor Swift's 1989 album. Love!love!love!

I thought that it will take weeks or even months to get a Satchmi Motorino, I mean, we still do need to save up for it. But here it is...
I won't go into details for now. I'll make a separate post about this product, it's specifications and include a video as well. I'm still trying to get a hang of it because even if it's new, just the idea that turntables and vinyls are sensitive or  fragile, extra care is a must. Once I'm fully comfortable handling it, I guess that's the only time that I'll be able to discover more of this music player.
My very first vinyl is Taylor Swift's 1989, I just love it! Now saving for the next worthy one.

Box Of Happy: Origami Owl

16 April 2015

This is one of the most treasured gifts I received during the Holiday Season last year. A set of Origami Owl Custom Jewelry. 

Rose Gold Twist Linking Locket with Crystals
Rose Gold Twist Living Locket with a Rose Gold 24" Mini Curb Chain 
Charms that represent my 3 boys and of course myself. Crystals are by Swarovski by the way.

My mother-in-law never fails to let me know how special I am to her. That's exactly how I feel with every gift she would send, with every prayer and kind words she would utter. We're oceans apart and yet with a simple remembrance it brings us closer to each other.

Bella the founder of Origami Owl achieved her goal and the purpose of this jewelry line--- to fulfill dreams and be an inspiration to others. Personally, I've strengthened my connection, my relationship with the mother of who I'm married and whom I will love forever. 
To choose the Charms that represents the initials of the important people in my life is something meaningful. Because Mama truly knows that my world goes around my family, my 3 boys. I've met my purpose of becoming a mother and a wife.
Through this gift, my love for Rose Gold has blossomed. Such elegant pieces yet simple enough to be paired with anything and be worn at any event.

The Rose Gold Twist Linking Locket with Crystals didn't come with any chain or strap. It's common that we get a chain to match, but when I followed Origami Owl on Instagram I saw that the linking locket is often paired with a Genuine Leather Wrap Bracelet, which is pretty cool and I'm talking about those lockets with crystals. So I went to The Bead Shop, a store here in the Philippines that's famous for custom made accessories. I had a braided strap made for the linking locket. I can have it changed anytime by the way. With just a strap, it won't be too catchy but still irresistible to look at.
My Charms play around the 2 lockets. But recently, I chose to wear Mama Mary close to my heart.  The pendant of Mama Mary came from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Lipa City. It is a very small pendant, it's blessed and it's very special to me for all the miracles and good times that's being poured over my family. 

You see, with these lockets, I get to share my faith as well...

Having A Turntable Is Love

15 April 2015

I grew up listening to vinyls because my parents had a 1980s VTG SONY TURNTABLE CASSETTE PLAYER RECORDER COMBO EX-2K (photo to follow). It's still with them but it's not working anymore because it was mistakenly plugged in the wrong outlet.

Here's what I get for having a husband who's a musician. Early last year we purchased a second hand turntable. As planned, we've been itching to buy one for our new condo. Anyway, having a turntable brings music to our home on a different level.

The vintage sound makes everything peaceful and calm.

We got our turntable from a collector who just happen to be my husband's office mate. He chose to sell his turntable to my husband because he knows that he is a musician. Well, somebody who's expected to appreciate these things and will really spend time on anything related to music. This office mate of his is a collector of turntables and vinyls. Aside from entrusting one of his priced possessions, he also shared some thoughts on how turntables and vinyls work. 

Turntables are back. Vinyl shops, thrift stores are making some noise for old and new record albums. We buy our vinyls from The Grey Market Records. From Jaco Pastorious, Pat Metheny, Nat King Cole, Stan Getz. They have a wide selection for a very reasonable price. We still go to some shops that sell second hand vinyl records, but one should be patient while going through piles and piles of vinyls.

Well, the old ones are considered vintage and should be handled with great care.

Moving forward, having an 1980s Sony turntable is a great start in knowing what this machine can artistically do. When I was a kid, all I hear was plain sound. It comes in one ear and comes out to the other. Now, I can really appreciate the music that vinyl records can produce. It is indeed a timeless materpiece.

We plan on expanding so that we can preserve the 1980s turntable we have and that's when Satchmi Motorino will come in. It's sleeker, stylish, it's modern but once it starts playing, it will automatically take you back in time whether you're listening to new music or not. My husband took me to Satchmi, 4F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall so that I can choose the Motorino I like. It's perfect, because I intend to buy a much newer set of vinyls like Taylor Swift's 1989 album and Adele's.

I'll post a photo of the 2 turntables together once we have the Motorino.

Quality Time with Family and Friends

02 April 2015

Just a few days back we were able to find some extra time to unwind and relax. Moving from one home to another is also stressful. Once we got settled, we received an invitation from one of our close friends. It was their daughter's 1st birthday and it was held in a private location in Tagaytay, City. Perfect timing right? considering the weather was still cool, we just have to go.

The hosts chose the perfect venue. They rented the whole place and they also treated us for an overnight stay. Well, it was also a get together for us. We arrived early to help prepare for the birthday party. I piped the icing on the cupcakes and frosted the birthday cake.
Like us and everyone else in the group, the whole theme of the party had a personal touch to it. It was quite a big event but they didn't hire a caterer, the hosts prepared and cooked the food themselves. Shopped for materials, made the giveaways and games personally. I just love it!

It was a wonderful gathering. After the party, when the other guests had left, we stayed in a small patio. It was nice to be surrounded by friends, in a private place with mother nature watching over us.
The following day was a cool morning, so after we ate, we went for stroll to discover more of the enchanting place.

It was truly an experience for the whole family especially that we haven't been anywhere since the last quarter of 2014. Then with the build- out of our home, with school and work and transferring on the side, quite an adjustment I must say. But we went through it, a new life is about to begin.

We Now Have A Sunset

Hello there! It took some time to be able to post something again. Well, we have officially moved- in our new home that's why. Here's one of the blessings I would like to share with you... We all love to capture and watch the sun as it sets. Personally, it is one of the things I look forward to every time I go the beach or just plainly when I get a chance to see one at any location. We see it everyday, the sun doesn't go anywhere, but it continues to amaze me.

When we were in the process of choosing a condo unit,  the first thing I told my husband was to have our balcony facing where the sun sets. Our location is deep in the city, so it's expected to have buildings and roofs in the background. But once the sun shines with all its glory before it sets, the hue , the tint, the shade, name it! is incredible... playing with the shadows of the buildings.

I gotta say, when the sun goes down, it is also the only time we can really see the beauty of it. But of course it's not advisable to really stare at it. But you see, during sunset, we can see the different side of this fiery ball. It's much cooler, the shape is more distinct and the color is more enhanced, true reasons why it's often captured on photographs. It brings a certain calmness which keeps a person in awe of this gift forever.

A Personal Touch To It

03 March 2015

How does it feel to have your own home? It is the most rewarding I have ever experienced. I mean, my husband's the only one working... and yet we're able to purchase of great value and something important for the whole family. Among anything else, to provide proper shelter has always been our main goal from the beginning of this journey. Speaking of beginnings, like our wedding, any event that come into our lives, we always put a personal touch to it. 

With our condo, we didn't hire a painter. We just went with the idea that we had to do it ourselves. We're not experts, but we're blessed with friends who knows these things and they helped us. They taught us how to paint like we're good at it. I gotta say, it will take a lot of skill to paint. It may look simple and easy, but doesn't run that way.
In the end, all the hard work paid off just looking at our walls and knowing that we did all the painting. (please excuse our photo we decided for an impromptu  photo op hehehe!)
It's been a month since the plan for the home improvement of our new condo was rolled out. We started as we worked with our contractor for the design we want, particularly for my kitchen. Then, we had to accomplish proper permits for the build out and security requirements for our workers. The purchase of construction materials followed. In- between the process, we go on location to personally inspect the furniture we had custom made. On top of everything, life continues. 

Please bear for my absence. We're at the last leg of the build out and we will be moving- in soon. I really can't wait to share this new chapter in our lives... Until then...

Home Project on Its 1st Phase

27 January 2015

It's been a month since I announced the turn over of our new home. As of the moment, we've already accomplished the requirements needed to be submitted to the building manager for home improvement. Materials are ready, we have people working on our cabinets and even our dining table is custom- made. 

But at some point there had been a turn of events. My husband asked for my consent if he can be the one to take care of the design, color and fixtures. In other words, I'll have to trust him on everything. Also, I will not be able to see our unit until the whole build out is done. It's a surprise. I think he's making up for the spoiled surprise from last month's plans. I gave our engineer (who's also our friend) my word that I'm okay with whatever my husband wants. Knowing him, he is more particular with these kinds of things. We both have the same taste that's why I'm not bothered with the whole idea.

I did gave my concerns though, like an alarm system and that he needs to look for a trusted alarm Monitoring company. For our first home after we got married, we installed an alarm in the house we rented. Not that we we're waiting for somebody to trespass, it's to double security. My next concern is my kitchen. Any neutral background will do, as long as I get proper storage for my kitchenware and then I can play with the shades I want to use to highlight my favorite spot in our home. 

The room for our little boys is going to be Lego inspired. Since they have tons of Lego toys,  we plan to keep the present color of the walls and then accentuate thru color blocking from the bedding, the study table and other things to be brought in. As a matter of fact, they already have a 2015 Lego calendar for starters.

We basically got stuck with our old things for the past 10 years. We have been renting for the past 10 years as well.  Preparing for a new home can be pretty stressful but it's all worth it especially, because it's ours now. We can put anything we want. As the queen of our castle, the thing I love about this whole event is to shop for new furniture and appliances. Now, I can surely put every detail I have in plan to use.

Summer Getaway List

26 January 2015

I know, I know, the new year just started, but you see, here in the Philippines, the beach is considered as an all year round destination. As early as now, my husband and I are already planning for our summer outings. That includes the beach and schedules when we will invite guests for a pool party in our new place. But I'll let my husband handle the bookings/ reservations and I'll do the checklist of the essentials we need.

This year, I've added a few things in our Summer Getaway list. It's like re-filling our usual beach bag with the old and some new items.

A new pair of Havaianas Slims and Sanuks. They're the most comfortable ever especially for outdoor fun. Nothing major, but these footwears are just perfect for almost every summer activity.

New swimsuits for everybody!!! We're kinda stuck to our old swimwears for the past 2 years. It gets tighter or it loosens. Any of the 2 means that we need to buy something more comfortable to wear. It's a different story for me. Even for a stay at home mom, I still want to look good, beach ready.

We all have our own style and preferences. For me, I still plan to wear a tankini or a one piece swimsuit to hide my "mommy bulges". I'm just taking advantage of the fact that I'm still fit to wear at least a one piece swimsuit. Remember my shopping experience from Zalora? Since then, Zalora has been my go- to guide when it comes to the latest trends.

There are so many stylish swimsuits at ZALORA that I was completely spoiled for choice. I think I might get one from here.

I fell in love with this Cheska Corset Maillot. I'm so into anything nautical. This will fit my body well, it's not too eye- catching, looks comfortable and it's stylish, perfect for my personality.

Last on our list is a Go Pro which I think is a good choice than buying a waterproof digital camera. I mean, we already have an SLR. Plus, we have kids, we love going on family adventures, sudden outings and road trips,  and we're into taking pictures everywhere we go, so yeah, a Go Pro definitely. I will post about it later on, once we've used it and watch out for my chosen Partner for Summer 2015 (wink!).

How about you, have you planned anything for this coming summer? it's 2 months away... can't wait!

3's A Celebration 2014

22 January 2015

My Birthday Celebration
Like the past years I've celebrated, I planned my birthday for 2014 to be simple. I'm happy to be able to spend my special day with the people I love. My supposedly "special day" turned into almost a week of fun. From a weekend lunch at YABU and dinner treat from my mom. My birthday lunch at Tender Bobs with my boys, birthday dinner with our good friend Ricky at City Buffet and my birthday celebration at Yakimix, all my favorite places to eat.

Prior to all of these, I gifted myself with a brand new induction cooker and range hood. A coffee machine to add will make everything fantastic. As you noticed, whatever I got as gifts are all going to our brand new condo.

I wait each year for my birthday because I truly feel that it's the best time to get anything or at least treat myself to whatever will make me and my family happy. Well, the "waiting part" has always been the most rewarding. I thank the Lord for such wonderful blessings.

 Christmas 2014
 As we all know, my family is set to move - in our new home. In between celebrations, from my birthday, my youngest son's 3rd birthday and the Holidays, we have been poured with so much new things to cherish. Like spending Christmas in our new condo. Even without furniture, we chose to spend both Christmas and New Years at our humble abode.

In 2013, after typhoon Yolanda, we felt like there's not much reason to celebrate. It was a bit depressing, the whole vibe, the feel of the season at that time was very sad. But the Holidays for 2014 turned amazing. In a way, we made up for what was lost during our 2013 celebration. We were also graced with the presence of some relatives from America. It was our first time to spend the Holiday Season with some loved ones from GA. It feels good, it feels extraordinary and exciting to be able to celebrate Christmas with people we don't often see.

Welcoming 2015!
2014 was a wonderful year. There were more easy times than tough ones. The year just started and blessings are already pouring in. I can't wait for what's in store in the next coming months. Here's to another great year, let's make more miracles happen 2015!

Starting The Year with A Prayer

21 January 2015

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.