Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saving Money

As I was doing my weekly grocery list this week and cringing on our current electric bill, I found myself looking for ideas to save money and I saw this very helpful list.

Check out this page.


Mall Sale this Weekend

Yesterday, on my way to work, I saw this big sign about SM Megamall’s 4-day sale this coming Labor Day weekend. I grasped for a minute upon seeing the sign. I thought to myself that it’s definitely getting bigger and bigger (or it better to say worse and worse?). Just a few years back, the mall sale lasted for only for a day. Then it became a three-day sale, often coinciding with a payday weekend. As a variety, the 3-day sale also sometimes adds a midnight madness feature which means that the store hours for a day (usually on the first day that is Friday) will be up to 12 midnight. Then now, I see this sign and it clearly states that the mall sale will be a 4-day sale with three days of that with store hours up to 12 midnight. Back then, I was a mall sale fanatic. I would brave the traffic just to be able to check out what the best buys are in the sale. When I was still single, I actually never missed out on the major mall sales. But it’s all different now. I’ve learned much about the beauty of the virtue of temperance. I’ve learned to stop buying out of want. I’ve learned to stop myself from going to the sales. So, if you ask me now if I want to go that 4-day sale, my answer is yes but no thanks.

On the side, I am thinking why all these stores are giving so much so that consumers will buy their products. This may be the effect of the worldwide economic recession. This global threat is making people want to keep their money in their wallets as long as they can. Maybe there is also a problem in retail management. Some retail companies may not be in touch with what their customers want or are not implementing good inventory management for their stocks. For this type of problem, I suggest that these companies avail of good consultants such as Hurlbut & Associates who will advise them on how to manage their inventory well and target the needs of their current and future customers.

Tip from Messies

I think I can do this ~~~~


Based on the TV Ten Second Tidy. Include your family or work alone. Set a timer and all rush
around tidying for ten minutes. This will work miracles.


I just need to be convinced more and more that I should give myself the gift of ORDER.

Damages and Repairs

I just read in the news that a tornado struck near Jonah in Williamson County that is north of Austin, Texas today. The news reported that there were about 15 homes which were damaged by the twister. It also added that the roof of a school in that area also fell off. Good thing that no one was reported to be hurt.

It's a sad bit of news but it's really reality which no one can avoid. All we can do is that when these kinds of weather disasters come, we have to be prepared to move on and start rehabilitating the damages done to our homes. We need to have money allotted for the repairing of the roof, windows and the walls of our homes. We also need to check if the HVAC equipment, among the many other appliances inside, is still in good condition. We don't want to be feeling too hot or too cold don't we?

Anyway, speaking of HVAC, I highly recommend getting a reliable Austin HVAC Air Conditioner contractor to do job of repairing and maintaining the HVAC air conditioners of those in the Austin area. They offer the most reliable service in this area. Check out their website and find out!

I Heart Mother Earth

Thanks to Jona for passing on this tag to me.

Here's the rule:
~Click the badge and get the code then put the logo on your blog sidebar and post.
~Tell us what is your contribution to our planet? You live here for sure you've got something to share!! Post any pictures or share some of your ideas on how to help and save out planet Earth.
~Post these rules.
~Share this meme-tag to as many bloggers as you can think.

Here are some of the little ways that my family does to protect Mother Earth:

1. We segregate our waste. Our trash are classified to non-biodegradable, biodegrable and other recylable materials. And ever since I was a kid, we always had a compost pit in our backyard. It's great for making compost that can serve as a wonderful fertilizer for our plants.

2. We have a schedule for doing the laundry. Having one limits the use of water, thus, avoiding wasting it.

3. To save on electricity, it has been good habit for all family members to unplug all appliances when not it use. It really works!

4. We also plant trees in our surroundings! Yes, some of the big old trees in our village were planted by our very own parents.

5. We always have a car checked to avoid smoke pollution. Seeing a smoke-emitting vehicle on the road really irritates my dear husband and so we don't try to commit the same mistake.

Dear Readers - do you have more ideas to share?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Heard from the Grapevine

I heard that one of our old classmates from way back is dating a millionaire. It sounds both exciting and intriguing! I heard that they met through this great online dating site for millionaires and they hit it off quite almost immediately. Well, good for her! I think I'll recommend this site to this other friend of mine. Maybe she'll find love in this site too.

Anyway, I just realized now that I have so many friends whom I need to bond with again sometime. I have been pretty out of touch lately given my mommy duties and my demanding work. I really hope to find time to rekindle old friendships soon. As I read in one book - "Even busy moms need girlfriends too", that's why I think I'll call up this friend of mine right now and schedule a lunch date with her. Then I can also mention to her this online dating site that I'm talking about.

New Shoes for Zoe

My aunt and cousin arrived from the States last week bringing with them goodies!

Here is one of the things which I love, love, love!

It's a pair of lavender Crocs scutes for Zoe which we found online. We don't have these type of Crocs in the regular local stores anymore. And the great thing about is that, Zoe loves it as much as I do!

Find Out Who and Where

Sometimes, I find it really beneficial to have access to the computer and the internet. I find so many good things and tools to help me. For example, in my daily internet surfing, I again came across a good web site that had National Phone Listings. The service that this site offers is all about helping you find out who those unknown callers who have been trying to call you are and where those calls are actually coming from. With that helpful information, one is able to determine if these are just prank callers or not and be able to avoid any possible bad encounters.

With the countless cases of identity theft and other modus operandi going on in the country, every telephone owner should be extra wary in entertaining phone calls from unknown numbers. It just might be another criminal trying to find a prey to victimize. Of course, we don't want to be one of them. Besides, we love our family too much that we will do everything to protect them from people who will try to invade our privacy or steal our identity and properties.
Thus, I highly recommend that fathers and mothers who love their kids and family make use of all helpful information that can be gathered through the web to shield their family from any harm.

Nice Email Message

I received the email from my Tatay over the weekend and thought of posting it here.

Without GOD, our week would be:


I agree.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Las Vegas

As I had talked about last time, my family with my older sister, who came from Iloilo, went to my Dad's place in the province last week for a visit. My Dad and Ninang, who had just been to the United States, particularly in Las Vegas, Detroit and Chicago, the month before, showed us the pictures of their US trip via their digital photo frame. From the sight of their countless pictures, I think that they enjoyed their month-long vacation very much.

Speaking of Las Vegas, they recounted to us how their stay there was. They said that they stayed in this wonderful hotel which is also had a venue for several fantastic shows. They were even being offered Blue Man Group Tickets, which is kind of irresistible, don't you think? Anyway, on their first day there, they immediately took advantage of getting a tour package to get to the super exciting Grand Canyon and it was one of the highlights of their trip. They actually got us several souvenir items from that trip and I'm mighty happy about all those loots.

I'm just wishing now that my husband and I (with the kids, of course) can experience that same kind of vacation and bonding time real soon.

Weekly Menu

For lack of ideas on what to prepare in the kitchen and because I promised my husband that I shall resume creating our weekly menu (for health and budget purposes), I enamored myself with great ideas by visiting several menu websites.

One of the interesting sites I got to hop on is Menu4moms.com. It has refreshing ideas on what to serve the family weekly. It also offers tips on how to stock your pantry and how to save on time and energy while preparing meals. I also love that they have a menu planner form with space to write your grocery list on. With these tools, there will be no more random grocery shopping for us plus, we get to save some money. For that alone, I think it's really worth the effort. :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Annoying Callers

Don't you just hate waking up in the middle of the night to the ring of the telephone, getting up from bed just to answer it, only to find out that it's from a prank caller? Well, I've experienced this so many times before and it's really irritating! In fact, many times, we don't anymore answer the phone because there's always the cellular phone for those emergency calls.

Thinking about it, I can't imagine why there are so many people out there who have nothing else better to do than to bother other people. Don't these people have anything going on in their lives? Don't they want to sleep? Don't they have friends or family to talk to or are they just simply bored with their lives and the only 'fun' thing for them to do is make fun of other people?

Anyway, in view of this, I was really glad to know about Callerwiki.net. It's a website which can help relieve you of those annoying callers. If you register with them, you will have the ability to Report Callers who have been bothering your home. You can also check for any information that their site has on those numbers that will help you a lot.

Recipe for Garlic Mushrooms

Whenever he get the chance, my hubby always goes back to this recipe. It's our favorite regardless if it's bad for my uric acid level or not. Hehehe.

Wash and dry the mushrooms. Melt butter in a small pan then add mushrooms and cook at a medium heat for a couple of minutes stirring constantly. Add the garlic, continue cooking & stirring for another minute or so. Stir in oyster sauce and season with just a touch of salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to absolute minimum then cover with a tight fitting lid. Leave the garlic mushrooms to sweat for at least ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve the garlic mushrooms with some of the gloriously wicked garlicky butter.


They're Back

My aunt and cousin are finally back to Manila from Chicago today after being away for several years. I missed them while they were away. And I'm really glad that they are both here now for a short vacation with us. They decided to leave their home momentarily to attend to some family concerns and at the same time, have a break from the busy life in Chicago. I actually can't wait to share stories with them. Maybe I can tell them too of my latest finds through the net, that is, about some new home solutions and also about Chicago Flooring, a service which can provide them with great solutions for the installation and remodeling of the floors in their apartment.

Anyway, I really wish my boss will allow me to go on leave so that I can bring them around even if for just one whole day. You see, my cousin hasn't been home for the past seven years. There are so many places to explore and shops to go to! Plus, she definitely needs to try out those nice but accessible out-of-town places near Manila too. I'm thinking of going to either Tagaytay or Subic for some fun, fun, fun! OMG! If only, I'm not 5 months pregnant, I'll be driving them around to wherever they would want to go. At any rate, I hope to see them tonight so we can plan out their vacation plans.

Honest Scrap Award

Dear friend Tet sent me this award. Super thanks Tet! :-)

Honest Scrap Award Rules:

In sum, choose a minimum of Seven (7) Blogs that you find Brilliant in Content or Design to pass on this Award. Then list at least 10 honest things about yourself.

1. I'm so in love with my husband.
2. I'm a doting mom.
3. I'm a self-confessed workaholic.
4. I'm a messy roommate.
5. I love going to the mall for sale finds.
6. I love ukay-ukay shopping.
7. I'm an emotional eater.
8. I hate waking up in the middle of the night.
9. I don't like dogs.
10. I'm a loyal friend.

Can you share honest things about yourself too?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Bright and Cheerful Home

As a home manager, I am always on the lookout for home ideas that will make our abode a bright and cheerful home. I think part of that objective is to always be able to achieve the following:

1. Happiness and peace within family members and household personnel
2. The family tries to be God-centered and not self-centered
3. Family traditions as passed on to us by our parents
4. Ability to maintain physical cleanliness and order in the material things
5. Making sure that everything at home is working in properly
6. There is security within the home
7. The house provides a good place to sleep and to rest
8. Only good healthy food is served at the table
9. Attention is put into the small things at home, whether it is a functional piece of furniture or a decorative ornament
10. The house embodies some class and style (of course, hoping not to break the bank!)

While trying to look for more ideas, I chanced upon this Home Improvement Blog. I was so happy to discover it because it gives me so many ideas on new products and styles which I could definitely use or copy for my own home improvement needs.

Blogger Friendship Award

The rules are so easy:
1. Place the logo / banner on your blog.
2. Add a link to the blog who gave the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to the blogs that you have nominated.
5. Let them know by leaving a message (shout) on their blogs.

I received this blogger friendship award from online friend Chris and was happy about it! It's really great to find people whom you can share your experiences and talk to, even if it's just online. Thanks a lot Chris!

Now I'm passing this award to Vannie, Nol, Jannesse, Mich, Tet, Alpha, Jean and Jona! :-)

Real Estate Advice

My friend in the US is planning to buy a property of her own and was asking me for a guide on how to find a good real estate investment. She thinks that real estate investing is such a complex issue. There are a lot of information circulating in the news, on TV, in the internet about real estate and some people do not know where to start looking. Given that there is a huge amount of wealth and investment involved in real estate, one simply cannot go wrong. Thus, my first advice to my friend is to find a good real estate broker who can guide you to find the best properties at a fair price. I told her that in order to be successful in real estate investing, you need to proper guidance and expert advice from an experienced real estate agent.

For example, in North Carolina, there is a Wilmington NC Real Estate broker/agent who can help you in all your real estate needs. Then you will know the story behind capitalizing on opportunities such as foreclosures, secure financing and good mortgage agreements, handle contracts, inspections, and other real estate issues. You may even be linked along the way with an organization that helps homeless animals find shelter and find yourself helping a good cause.

Penmanship Tag

Here are the instructions:
1. Write down who tagged you.

2. Answer these:
- your name / username / pseudo
- right-handed or left-handed?
- your favorite letters to write?
- your least favorite letters to write?
Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

3. Tag five persons.

Here's my handwriting:

Thanks Kelly and Jona! Better late than never!

Grab this! :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

No Discrimination

In the 21st century, we can say that racial discrimination has been slowly eliminated in most civil societies. Although discrimination is still not yet completely a thing of the past, people have significantly shared in promoting tolerance, understanding and inclusive of other races in their community. Many have been trying to live together in harmony with a lot of acceptance for each other's cultures. In fact, almost all modern countries are multi-cultural now. Even in our very own homes, nobody can deny that multiculturalism subsists and exists.

Several years ago, this would not have been possible. History shows that many people have fought against it or have overcome it in their own lives. Thus, in appreciation of this, we need to be more aware of racism and discrimination, being sensitive to its various forms. I think that education has played a major part in diminishing racism. Schools have taught many to see other persons as their equal, regardless of race, color or ethnicity. The advent of the internet also has brought more people closer and more open. Now, there are several venues to meet people of different races where black men white women chat. The internet has really made a positive effect in informing, engaging and challenging people from across the globe to fight discrimination.

Happinesss is...

...finding a $50 bill in the secret pocket of your wallet.
...eating milky mais con hielo on a hot summer day.
...your headache disappearing after a long morning bath.
...making it on time for work at 10 seconds before the clock struck LATE.
...giving happiness to someone even if it's just buying someone a new bag.
...discovering the you still have a pint of ice cream that's stored in the neighbor's freezer (yes, because our ref bogged down).
...having someone say 'I love you' to you everyday.

And who thought that happiness is elusive?

White, Cream and Black

White, cream and black. That's how I am imagining how our house will be after having a repainting job done. I saw a celebrity house in the internet the today and fell in love with the colors of her house which was in white, cream and black. So if budget permits and if my Dad will allow it, I hope to set that as my inspiration for the new colors of the house. The house is currently colored in mocha and white, both inside and outside. Although I think this combination is good (I actually like it very much), maybe it would be more refreshing to see the house in a lighter color next time. Besides, the current paint of the house is beginning to peel off already. So maybe it's really high time to start on a repainting project. I have tried to canvass through Des Moines Painting about painting possibilities. They do a very good job from what I've seen and read. I believe that getting a professional to do the job is very important especially when it comes to painting the house. For a homeowner like me, I know that even if I have to shell out some money, the results are going to be worth it.

Hopefully we can start that project as soon as possible and before I give birth this September. In that way, it would be like we are having a new baby and a new house!

To Do's:

Just want to make a reminder to myself about the things that I need to do for the house:

1. Go to Mr. Quickie to duplicate some house keys for Hunny and have a bag repaired.
2. Bring out more old preggy clothes from my old room, have them washed and ironed.
3. Do a quick grocery trip for extra foodies for our house guests.
4. Buy bread for tomorrow's breakfast.
5. Pass by the drugstore for Zoe's vitamins.

Don't you agree that the more lists you make, the less complicated your life seems to be no matter how busy you are? Making lists for me is also such a stress-reliever. :-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hot, Hot, Hot

After my fainting spell last Friday, I had to be extra careful in keeping myself cool all the time. I think the main culprit for my fainting incident was the hot weather outside matched with lack of proper air-conditioning in the building where I went to attend mass. To make matters worse, when I went back to my work station, I found out that our office had to be on temporarily fan mode because we were on just being powered by a generator due to a power interruption in the area. Oh no!

Anyway, because of this, last Saturday, I had the excuse of keeping our room air-conditioner on for most of the day. I was still feeling bouts of headaches too so my husband allowed me to indulge myself a bit. I stayed in the room during the whole afternoon because I don't want to go around fainting again. Incidentally, as I was surfing, I also 'saw' my friend online so we talked a little bit. She is now in Cleveland and our conversation went as far as talking about the best HVAC contractors in the area. I mentioned to her what I know about Cleveland hvac, one of the best contractors in HVAC which you can find in the area. You see, her office has been looking for a HVAC contractor which can give the best level of service for their building heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. I told her to give them a call at the number found in their website. Anyway, I was glad to be of help to someone even if I'm confined to the four corners of our bedroom on a hot Saturday afternoon.

This Week's Craving

Being pregnant and all, I have been having the craziest food cravings now. And at this very minute, I am longing and wanting for a tall Starbucks caffe mocha. The brewed coffee that I smelled during the ManCom meeting today simply enticed me. Whaaa! I miss Starbucks! I can't wait to drink brewed coffee again from Starbucks after I give birth.

It Makes Sense

My husband and I were on a short 'shopping' date last weekend. We decided to go to the nearest mall, however small it is, to look for some shoes for myself and summer outfit for him for his company summer outing next week.

Anyway, as we were parking, we noticed this big sign which says 'Parking for PWD'. Honestly ignorant, I immediately asked him what PWD stands for. He said that it means 'persons with disability'. He said that he learned that term from his relative who had to be in a wheelchair for a long time. He also mentioned that this relative of his found support and friends from the web, particularly in the disabled chat where she found friends with the same kind of condition. Anyway, thinking about it, it really makes sense that there is parking that is specially designated for people with disabilities. Oftentimes, people in wheelchairs, for example, need that extra space to enter and exit a van or car. They really should be given consideration for this because many times, people tend to park too close to each other that they leave no space for people to go out and enter their vehicles. I think considerations like these should be more natural for people, establishments and for government. Don't you think so too?

Shrimp Linguine in Pesto Sauce

We have some relatives from abroad coming over this week so I thought I'll cook up something different and special for them. I'm thinking of trying out this recipe I snatched from the net and see how it turns out. And I think it's relatively easy to cook. Hmmm...


• 8 ounces Linguine or other thin pasta
• 2 tablespoon Butter
• 1 pound Shrimp - 26 to 30 count pealed and devained

-- Sauce --
• 3/4 ounce Basil - fresh (about a loose cup)
• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese - grated
• 1 each Garlic - clove
• 1/3 cup Pine nuts
• 2 tablespoon Olive oil
• 1/2 cup Half-and-half cream
• Salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and place in serving bowl. Cover and keep warm.

While pasta is cooking place basil, cheese, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add olive oil and process for an additional 10 - 15 seconds. Transfer contents to a small sauce pan, stir in half and half or cream. Warm over medium heat until it has thickened. Combine with and pasta and keep warm.

Meanwhile melt butter in frying pan. Add shrimp and saute turning until shrimp is pink in color. Combine shrimp with or serve over pasta.

Good News

I heard some wonderful news from a friend today. My friend finally found her true love through single mother dating (a place to meet and chat with other local single mothers or fathers) and is going to be married soon. Well, I think that it pays to wait. Her past relationship didn't quite exactly work out as she expected so she decided to wait even if she had a baby on the way. Not getting married at that time was a wise decision, I think. At least now, she has matured a lot and I'm happy that she has finally found her match.


Don't you just love the weekends?

I do.

...even if we had the craziest kind of weather this weekend (hot and then cold and then hot again).
...even if there is still so much traffic around the Metro.
...even if the price of getting a decent meal in a mid-class resto seems to cost like first-class.
...even if the weekend is still somewhat so short for finding enough rest.
...even if we still need to wake up early.

Well, at least, I am with my family AND I don't have to go to work on weekends which I think are awesome blessings already. :-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Burglar in the House

I almost forgot to blog about what happened in our house last Good Friday.

We had a tiring Good Friday because we went to the church services which lasted for almost 3 hours. So we got home, my family just had dinner (it was a day of fast) and then we all headed to sleep at around 9:00 p.m. I didn't have the strength anymore to open my computer and surf a little bit more about free tattoo chat or email with my friend abroad. I just had to sleep.

Anyway, a little before 12 midnight, I was awoken by the loud barks of our dog in the backyard. The barking wouldn't stop so I tried waking up my husband to ask him to check what the matter was. My husband was too tired to get up, I guess, so I tried going back to sleep. After a few minutes, I heard a knock at our door. It was my brother Francis. He looked very distressed. He was holding his jaw with his t-shirt and we noticed that it was bloodied. He immediately told us he saw a man who tried to open the door of our car in the garage. He said that the man had a piece of cloth covering his face. He was trying to open the door to steal our car stereo and the other things inside the car. Anyway, Francis shouted at the man, got close to him and even tried to hit the man. His punch missed, so it was even the man who was able to hit Francis in the face (which explains why Francis' t-shirt had blood in it). When Francis run back to the house to get something to scare him away, the man climbed our gate and ran away. Good thing that the burglar was not able to open our car nor get anything. After that, we reported the incident to the village guard who did confirm seeing someone who was running away toward the nearby creek. We also reported the matters to the homeowner's association president the next day so that these kinds of crimes can be avoided somehow before it gets any worse.

Because of this scary incident, to protect ourselves, we put more locks in our doors and also plan install grills around our main door like this one in the picture below:

And of course, it also helps to pray at night to the angels for protection.


Just a short anecdote.

I bought this pair of white preggy pants from the Gingersnaps sale last Christmas. And since my tummy is growing fast, I asked my husband to go to the tailor one Sunday to have my new pants altered to fit the length of the legs (it was too long for me). Anyway, I handed him a pair of white pants from the closet and then gave him the instruction to have about an inch and a half cut from the bottom. So as a good husband that he is, he immediately went to the tailor, got back after a few minutes, only for us to find out that I handed him an old pair of white pants which was already altered to fit way before. Ends up that that pair of new pants that I was supposed to give to him is still hanging in the closet. Thus, pair of white pants (it was a Benetton) that he took to the tailor had been altered twice, albeit shorter than how I need it to be.

What a bummer! :-P What is happening to me?!!

Plumbing Needs

Some people can be considered as a jack of all trades. They can fix and repair almost anything in the house: the car, the appliances, the garden, the swimming pool, windows, shelves, and many others. I consider my Dad to be one. He can repair many things around the house too. However, when it comes to fixing the kitchen and bathroom sink, we make sure that we get professional help from a good San Jose Plumber. As my Dad always says, when it comes to plumbing matters, he cannot afford to gamble and just rely on his DIY skills. To be really sure, we should not hesitate to pay for a professional to repair the thing for us. I definitely agree with him.

For example, months back, we used to have a problem with our bathroom shower. It was constantly dripping and because of this, our water bill became higher than usual. Even if we tried, we just could not fix it the way a professional should. Thus, we had to call a reliable plumbing service. In a matter of minutes, the shower was in good working condition again. The good part thing about this is that our monthly water bill lowered considerably during the following cycle. From then on, we never thought twice of getting the service of professional plumbers. So if I were you, I'll check out the website of Mike Counsil Plumbing Inc. for more information about professional plumbing service.

Another Book Find

Every week when we do the grocery I make it a point to drop by the Booksale Store for some great book finds. The last time I went there, I found another book by Sandra Felton entitled "Organizing Your Home and Family". At the back it says that it's a "survival guide for neat (and not so neat) moms." Fantastic! It's what I really need right now: an organized home for my growing family.

Sometimes, I think that it's so hard to maintain order around the house. I always kind of envy those homes which are always spic and span. Our house isn't always like that. I think it's partly because of these things:

1. I tend to collect too much clutter in our rooms: paper bags, receipts, books, etc.

2. I admittedly am not a very DIY person. I always tend to ask for professional help in maintain the things at home.

3. Since I have a full-time job, I often get home late at night and very tired already. This cannot be remedied just yet since the traffic that I go through from the home to the workplace is almost hopeless to correct. What can I do?

Anyway, enough excuses for me! I'll try to go through the book this weekend and hope that I can be enlightened and driven again to start over.

Almost Fainted

I just came back from noontime mass in the building next to my office. Towards the end of the mass, I felt so hot. I tried fanning myself using my hand for I didn't bring anything with me. After a few minutes, I felt my vision getting blurry and I felt a spinning sensation while standing up. I knew that I was going to faint sooner or later. As the priest raised the Body and Blood of Christ (through the bread and wine) for the second time around and all kneel, I couldn't anymore control my knees. I immediately sat down and closed my eyes. I didn't want to cause a commotion among the people attending the mass. I prayed to God to help me. After a few minutes of sitting down and having my eyes closed, I saw everybody lining up for Communion. I took the courage to stand up again and receive Our Lord. When I got back to my seat, I felt so much better. I had cold sweat all around my face but I felt better. After the mass, I saw my friends who were the dentist and nurse of that building. They were my Good Samaritans. They led me to the clinic, took my BP and gave me water to drink. I felt so glad to have them around. They are indeed heaven-sent. Now, I'm okay.

Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Nice Photo Meme

I snagged this nice photo tag while I was surfing through some sites, including an LDS Chat Room which I wanted to tell my friend about.

Here are the rules:

1. Choose the 4th folder where you store pictures on your computer.
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder, and post it on your blog.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag four people to do the same.
5. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.)

This is a picture of Zoe (at just five months old) in the arms of her grandfather, with her fingers touching the picture of her late grandmother. I think it's a lovely photograph. My dad never had a penchant for exuberant expression but this one picture showed his emotions quite well. I think he looked so proud to hold his very first grandchild here. At the same time, I think that there is a bittersweet expression in his face too, maybe thinking about the somewhat sad fact that my mother never lived to see and hold her own grandchildren. When she was still alive and healthy, I remember her urging me to get married so that she can just retire from teaching to take care of her grandchildren. But God had other plans for her. She went ahead of us because He thought she was ripe for heaven. Anyway, I know and believe that my mother, from heaven, always looks below us with pride and looks after us like an angel would. She is now our guardian angel.

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag Papst Benedikt XVI!

In English, those German words in the title mean - Happy Birthday Pope Benedict XVI! (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

The Pope (born Joseph Ratzinger) is celebrating his 82nd birthday tomorrow (April 16). So today, I came 'googling' for some things about him and chanced upon this site that features some of the things you need to know about the current pope.

Of course, what's really more important to know (and to live) are the teachings of Pope Benedict (as the Vicar of Christ). However, it's also good to know some trivial facts about him. Here are some of it:

1. His parents are Joseph and Maria Ratzinger (a great combination, I think).

2. His father was a policeman and his older brother is also a priest (Msgr. Georg Ratzinger).

3. He is a great piano player. Of Mozart, Pope Benedict XVI said, “His music is by no means just entertainment. It contains the whole tragedy of human existence.” Pope Benedict XVI said that Mozart “thoroughly penetrated” his soul in his growing-up years in the 1920s and 1930s in rural Bavaria, near Salzburg, Austria, Mozart’s birthplace.

4. The Pope is a cat lover.

5. He loves mozzarella cheese made from buffalo milk.

6. Pope Benedict XVI's favorite meal is Bavarian potato ravioli with pancake strips.

7. The Pope doesn't have a driver's license because he never learned to drive but he has a pilot's license for the papal helicopter and likes to fly from the Vatican to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo.

8. He said that organ donation is an 'act of love' and carries his donor card with him all the time.

9. You can reach Pope Benedict in the following email addresses:
English: benedictxvi@vatican.va
Italian: mailto:benedettoxvi@atican.va
Spanish: benedictoxvi@vatican.va
French: benoitxvi@vatican.va
German: benediktxvi@vatican.va
Portuguese: bentoxvi@vatican.va

10. On his 81st birthday, the White House prepared this cake for him:

Happy Birthday Pope Benedict XVI! :-) We love you!

I Remember

I remember that when I was pregnant the first time, I had the worse kind of skin rash that my OB said was due to an allergic reaction to something.

The culprit? We concluded that the cause was the dust from our floor renovation. You see, at that time, we had the wooden flooring in our bedroom re-done because the contractor who did it the first time did it wrongly. Unlike good contractors like the Seattle flooring company, they laid out the wood without drying it properly first. Thus, when it was done, the wood ended up shrinking, leaving bits of space in-between the wood. Anyway, that being a given, we made a decision of having the floor renovation right before I give birth. We thought it would be better to do the renovation then, before the baby arrived. However, the construction left a huge pile of dust in the room that left me so itchy.

Truly, my arms and legs were black and blue from rashes. I had red spots all over which later on turned into dark ugly spots. That condition lasted for about two weeks and it was really a bad time for me. I sometimes end up crying at night because I was bothered by the itch and by the bad feeling that it may hurt the baby inside me. Anyway, I'm so glad that it didn't have any adverse effect on the baby. Now this time I know that I should be more careful and try to avoid anything that can cause any allergic reaction, especially dust and dirt.

Eat Me...

...this is what this picture is telling me! Suddenly, I'm craving for Caesar Salad. But not just any Caesar Salad. I want the Caesar Salad from Mandarin Hotel's Paseo Uno!!! Yikes!!!

Anyway, let me just share to you a Caesar Salad recipe (and it's history) which I got from the net.

This recipe is very close to the original version created in 1924 by Caesar Cardini, an Italian restaurateur in Tijuana, Mexico. That's right, the salad is named after its creator, a Chef, not Julius Caesar of the famed Roman empire.

Serving Size: 4
Preparation Time: 0:20

1 large head romaine lettuce
1 cup olive oil
3 cups French bread
2 large cloves garlic
8 anchovy filets
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse ground salt
2 egg yolks for large eggs -- at room temperature*
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese -- shredded or shaved


Trim the romaine lettuce of bruised or browned leaves, then cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Wash and drain the lettuce, pat it dry and refrigerate for 30 minutes to crisp the leaves.

To make the croutons, cut the bread into cubes, heat the 1/2 cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Fry the bread cubes in the oil, tossing frequently, until they're crisp and golden. Drain the croutons on a paper towel until ready to use.

Peel the garlic cloves then put in a large wooden salad bowl. Mash the cloves against the sides of the bowl with the back of a wooden spoon. Rub the pieces against the bowl until they begin to disintegrate. Remove most of the mashed garlic from the bowl and discard (oil from the garlic will remain in the bowl and flavor the salad). Add the anchovies and repeat the procedure you used with the garlic, but leave the anchovy pieces in the bowl. Now add the dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, and egg yolks and blend well. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil mixing with a wire whisk until a creamy mayonnaise type dressing forms. Add the lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese and salt. Toss everything together and serve directly from the salad bowl!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Going Green

I was browsing through some pictures of celebrity homes in the internet during my lunch break and I find myself in awe on how beautiful their gardens are! I am just turning green in envy! Maybe they asked the help of a great San Diego landscaper to do the job for them. Their lawns are so neatly manicured and regularly maintained. Flowers of every kind and other nice plants also abound in their gardens. How I wish that we have that extra space at home to grow some more pretty plants and flowers like that!

What we currently have right now is just a small piece of land in front of the house. This one features our St. Francis of Assissi bird bath. The contractor we got is the actually a good one. They were able to execute the plan as designed by my Dad. Actually, the output even exceeded our expectations. My parents love this fountain cum bird bath to bits!

We actually have several gold fish in the pond at the bottom of the bird bath. I love sitting there in the mornings just waiting for some birds to go near and drink from the bird bath. Zoe also loves to feed the fish everyday that it has been customary for us to assign this chore to her. But of course, at her age, feeding the fish is far from being a chore! For her, it's something that's so much fun to do!

Anyway, when we get the chance, I am definitely putting up another garden in our backyard and I'm going to get a good landscape contractor to do the job for me.

A Refreshing Break

It's so hot these days that a preggy mommy like me wants to take a cool break every now and then. I finally got tired of buying fruit shakes from The Big Chill (it's just so hot to go across the street just to buy their drinks!). So as for now, my current addiction is this:

It's simply delightful!

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter everyone! How did you celebrate your Easter this year? I had just finished visiting some local chat rooms when I remembered to do a post about how we spent our Easter Sunday. This year, we all went to the traditional Easter morning mass in our village and then participated in the Egg Hunting activity for kids.

As a child, I grew up always looking forward to the Easter mass, village breakfast get-together and Easter egg hunting. I still remember going home with 'lots' of money to spend and decorated eggs to eat. This tradition somehow stopped in the past years. Maybe it was because the people got busier and the kids (us) got older. It was good that the chapel council thought of reviving this tradition. Actually, as part of the second generation of homeowners and as the assistant treasurer of the chapel council, I was member of the committee who prepared for the activity.

So after the Easter Sunday mass, the kids gathered around the basketball and playground area for the egg hunt. The adults, meanwhile, feasted on pancit, soup, hot pandesal, bibingka, and many other delicious treats. It was great seeing Zoe dancing along with the loud music and looking so delighted to see so many kids around. I was also so glad to see some of my long-time childhood friends there. Too bad, I didn't bring my camera during the hunt. But here are some pics taken when we got home. Zoe was able to 'produce' one Easter egg (worth 20 pesos), a bag of goodies and a bowl of pancit (for her snack).

Happy Easter again everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Messies Anonymous

I recently joined the mailing list of Messies Anonymous founded by The-Organizer-Lady Sandra Felton.

In line with this, I would just like to share their slogan:

The secret to success is making very small, yet very consistent, changes.
Or to make it short; Baby steps, baby steps in the right direction.
Never underestimate the inevitability of gradualness.

Sandra Felton is the author of several books on organizing. I admit that she has helped me a lot to start picking up the mess at home and become the home manager that I want to be.

Repairs, Repairs

Yes, during the last weekend was specially devoted to repairs. With the home supply shops back in their regular business hours, my husband and I went looking for things we needed from the mall for our repair projects.

Going around the house, we found many things that needed repair. Some of the faucets were leaking. There were some light bulbs to be replaced. The front gate also needed to be re-oiled and its locks changed. Then we also found that some knobs from our kitchen and wardrobe cabinets are already loose. Actually, some are even detached and missing already. Apparently, the home contractor that we got used low-quality knobs for our cabinets. Thus, only less than 4 years after the house has been built, many of the cabinets are already broken. It's frustrating to see this since we were charged a very high price for those cabinets.

Anyway, this led me to start looking for a new contractor who can redo and re-varnish our cabinets. I'm thinking of contacting Virginia Beach remodeling contractors to do the job for me. For starters, I really want to replace the old wooden look of our kitchen cabinets into something that's pearly white, just like the kitchen cabinet of Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa. I really love her kitchen cabinets! It makes me feel so inspired to cook! Have you seen it? Don't you think it's so nice?

Booksale Find

I chanced upon this book yesterday on a quick peep at the Booksale store at Robinson's.

It's a fantastic book for mothers - from pregnant mothers to mothers of adults.

With all the nice prayers inside this book, I think this will be something I'll be carrying in my bag all the time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where to Find Bedroom Furniture?

My friend just moved in into her new apartment in the States and she's asking me to help her look for some nice wood furniture for her bedroom. So since she wants her place to have a country feel, I suggested to her to take a look at Scenic Furniture's collection of wooden bedroom sets. I definitely think a queen-sized bed will be perfect for her bedroom. I think something with a huge sturdy bed frame with a lady-like design will really suit her personality. I also told her to match it with a couple of bed-side tables to complete the look.

Check it out too and I'm sure you'll have great finds there!

Craving for...

I'm craving for Bennigan's Monte Cristo sandwich right now...

And it's so hard for me because first, Bennigan's has already closed down in the Philippines years back. Two, I can't eat anything with meat today because it's Good Friday. And last, I'm pregnant and can't seem to stop thinking of the taste and the smell of crisp warm bread with ham, turkey and lotsa cheese in it coupled with raspberry dip and some hot french fries.

Oh dear...

This definitely looks so yummy!

Away from the Office

Today is the second day of our relatively long vacation from work and I'm so glad to be able to have time to meditate more these days and also be able to spend more quality time with my family.

Being away from the office just feels so relaxing to me. Although at the back of my head I know that I still have a ton of work to accomplish, at least we have this time now to just stay at home. I think my officemates are gonna be doing the same thing. Most of them will also just stay at home, no swimming parties or elaborate vacation plans. Maybe some of them will be online too from time to time. I think one of them is currently into Anime Chat City for she loves anything anime. She might even try to construct some of those anime characters while she's at home. Apart from her, I think most of us we will just be at home or in church.

Being at home also means from me being able to work around the kitchen. Since it's time to fast and abstain from meat today, I made a bowl of Caesar salad for lunch. I think my husband liked it. You see, on ordinary days, I really don't get to cook or prepare something in the kitchen. I'm often tired or lazy from work. Hmmm. I think I need to work on that area more in order for me to really create an atmosphere of a bright and cheerful home. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Confession Schedule

Since it's Holy Week, some of you may be interested to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation which I think is the best preparation you can have for the coming of Easter.

Anyway, here's a little guide in case you want to a catch a priest this week:

1. Sta. Rita Parish Church (QC area)
>Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday (all 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon)

2. UA&P Stella Orientis Oratory (Pasig area)
>Holy Thursday - 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon, 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. to 12 mn
>Good Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
>Black Saturday - 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Advance Happy Easter to all!

Insurance Needs

Apart from shelter, food and clothing, health care is one of the more important things that any responsible parent should always give to his family. It is essential that you can provide medical coverage any time, any day because you will never know when sickness will strike. Thus, it's always good to spend your time surveying for the best health insurance providers around. You can try visiting the site of Kaiser Permanente. With Kaiser Permanente California, you will be given the coverage you need for your family. Kaiser Health Insurance is there to let go of your health expense worries.

In our case, my husband and I are making sure that all of our family members, especially our children, will be covered by health insurance. Thanks be to God, our jobs are providing health cards for ourselves and for our daughter. It really helps that, especially in my condition now, I need not shell out money every time I go to the OB for my regular monthly visit. I also need not pay for any of my regular laboratory works and ultrasounds. And by the time I give birth, my health insurance will cover at least half (if not all) of my delivery and hospitalization expenses. On top of that, my husband and I enjoy free annual check-ups without having to spend a single cent. Thus, I can say that having health insurance is one of the things that is really worth your hard-earned money.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby Update - April 2009

My husband and I flocked to Cardinal Santos last Friday afternoon to catch my OB who had to move her MTech clinic to her Cardinal Santos clinic since MTech has been temporarily closed since April 01, 2009.

Anyway, I took the MRT from the Buendia station up to EDSA-Shangri-La Mall (Shaw Blvd. station) and met with my husband there so we can get to the clinic on time. Despite the crowded MRT train, it was okay with me since my mind was on the appointment plus the fact that I was just so very excited to hear the baby's heartbeat again.

When we got to Cardinal Santos (this is also where we're planning to give birth by the way), the OB was already there waiting for us. Upon weighing, I think I gained 2 pounds since my last check-up. During the previous month, I even lost 2 pounds so I'm quite happy that I'm now progressing. My OB checked my BP and it was normal at 120/80. Because of my consistently high BP in the past, she made us record my BP daily. Now it's pretty much back to normal (thank God!). After a little bit of chit-chat, she made me lie down while she looked at the baby through her portable ultrasound machine. It seems that the length of the baby is okay and the heartbeat okay too. She said that the baby is 'malikot' (for which I was surprised since I still do not feel the baby moving that much). She tried to find out too if we will get to know the gender already as early as now. My husband was watching the monitor all the time....A little slide here and another there and then the OB said "Wait!!! I think there's something." I got a little nervous for a second (because of the tone of her voice) but it turned out that that 'something' that she was referring to was baby's you-know-what. When it was my turn to look, in between the baby's legs was a 'ball' as some would say (as opposed to a 'hamburger' for girls). Whoopppee! Of course, the doctor said that it may just be the umbilical cord posing as the baby's organ so just to be sure, maybe we should wait a little bit more till we can see the 'thing' more clearly.

Anyway, that's how our appointment ended. It was a fantastic feeling to see the baby through the help of technology. Whether it's a boy or girl, we're just so happy to see that everything is fine. :-) Our next OB appointment - May 02, 2009 (Saturday). :-) Great!

Paintball, Anyone?

One of the hobbies gaining popularity now in the local scene is the game of paintball. Paintball is a game in which the participants get to eliminate their opponents by hitting them with pellets containing paint or what you call paintball. This shot usually makes use of a paintball pistol which contains carbon dioxide or compressed-gas.

These games can be played both indoors or outdoors and can come in various forms. It typically mimics the usual military tactics in fighting and playing this sport usually makes use of various equipment which are relatively available in the market. One of the examples of equipment that is great to use is the Tippmann Paintball Gun. This brand is of best quality and can be bought online (with free shipping even) or by phone. Just check out their website to know more.

Special Day

mommy moments

Special Day

This is our family picture during Zoe's baptism last Oct. 07, 2006 at Sta. Maria della Strada, the same church where Teng and I got married.

This second picture is my layout about Zoe's 1st birthday party. We had a Hello Kitty-themed party and we all had a blast!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lap band

Lap band is a fast and simple medical procedure that is helping numerous people with excess weight problems. According to some lap band testimonials, this surgical technique enabled them to feel full after eating only a minimal amount of food every meal, thus, causing them to eat less without the struggle to want to diet. What's more, when you check out the lap band before and after pictures of people who have undergone this procedure, you will obviously envy the great improvement that they have obtained in reaching their ideal weight. They are no longer slaves to their appetite and burdened by the negative effects of obesity.

If you are interested to know more about this medical technique, you may call their toll number 1-800-GET-SLIM. You will get medical advice that may start you towards a life of energy and good health.

Holy Monday

The Christian community will be celebrating the Holy Week this week. Good thing for Filipinos, Monday on Holy Week was declared a holiday as well as Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This means that will have more time to pray, reflect and talk to God. I hope I can do it and I hope you will too.

Advance Happy Easter to all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How to Keep Your Married Life Alive

Like any other vocation, the marriage path requires constant commitment. After a few years of marriage, when the honeymoon is over, people tend to slack and lose interest in each other's partner. Many other things come around: kids, work, friends, individual interests, etc., etc. At any rate, each person's commitment to each other should still be the priority for any married person, regardless of the other factors that are involved. It is a vow, after all.

Being married for some years now, I could say that it really takes a lot of grace to be married and stay married. Daily prayer is very important. Open communication and a physical connection are also needed to keep the marriage alive. One also needs to know how to forget one self, put that pride on the side and really learn how to accept the person as he or she is and be forgiving for any faults that may be commitment. You have to remember that you married that person because you love him or her and are willing to spend the rest of your life with him or her.

Only this week, I was able to discover this site offering Married Chat. This is a website where married people such as my husband and myself can talk and chat with other married people like us. I think this is a great way of getting fresh ideas from other people in a similar state. You can probably try joining this chatroom and learn from other people who has had the same concerns as you are having.

Long Weekend Ahead

We woke up kinda late than usual today. Maybe it was because we were so tired last night coming from our regular weekly dinner date. We went to Conti's in Serendra for a sumptuous meal. Sorry, got no photos this time coz I left the camera in the bag. For a Thursday night, Serendra (and the parking!) as surprisingly packed! We had to wait for a about 30 minutes just to find a slot in the parking area. Anyway, we both thought it was worth the wait since the meal that we had and the time spent together were very well worth it.

By the way, I think my hubby and I could try doing some rounds of walking around Boni High Street. Apparently, jogging and walking in this area has been the current trend. I think it's a great idea! Doing some exercise in Serendra instead just doing mere shopping or dining, how cool is that? Great idea guys!

Anyway, it's a long weekend ahead! I'm thinking of bringing Zoe to the pedia on Saturday and then also go back to Serendra and let her round around there and have some great outdoor fun. :-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pregnant at 17 weeks

I woke up this morning rekindling a dream of my newborn baby and myself. I was nursing the baby in my dream. "She" latched on with ease and I was just so glad that I had abundant (even overflowing) milk, something that I didn't get to experience with my first-born. Oh how I wished that dream is a reality already! I really can't wait to hold the new baby in my arms. I'm so excited just imagining how pretty "she" will be and how "she" will make our lives doubly happy.

From babycenter, here is how the baby is growing inside at 17 weeks:

Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

We will be having another OB appointment this Friday evening and I'm so excited to know how we're both doing. :-)

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