Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our House Cats

I caught a chance to photograph our house cats the other day using my cellphone camera.

This was taken at the back door leading to the smaller house and dirty kitchen.

Looks like our cats truly know how to pose for the camera.


Let's count - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5....

Well, we actually have more than 5 cats in the house. We have like 10!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Need to Have my Eyes Checked

I was telling my husband the other day that I seem to have enough reason to have my eyes checked and my eyeglasses replaced. I told him that first, ever since I gave birth to Luigi, even with my glasses on, my sight still seems blurred. Second, I told him that even if I have to replace my frames, I know that I can get the lowest price progressive glasses at Zenni Optical, the #1 online Rx glasses store.

He was sceptical at first, but of course, after reading Eric's Review of Zenni Optical, he's definitely willing to make me buy a new pair that looks like this:

I WANT this book!

It's a cute little book for kids on the based on simple life of St. Josemaria. The "speaker is a guardian angel, just like the one you have."

I think it's a great book on how to introduce the reality of guardian angels to your kids. Yes, guardian angels, or angels per se, are realities, not just a product of our imagination.

Writer and Illustrator: Paulina Mönckeberg
Palabra Publishers, “Libros Ilustrados” series
Vida de San Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer

Miss Thrifty

Ms. Thrifty, well, that is me.

Even with the recent bonus that I got, I still have to live that virtue of being thrifty in order to make ends meet in the family. My motto is: Money doesn't grow on trees. Thus, as the mother in the family, I have to make sure that all the money that comes in is monitored and used firstly on our basic needs and then, on a limited basis, for some extras.

One of those things that I am thinking about is that if would be needing a garage door remote for our house. Well all know that the safety of our family and our property is a main concern of any parent. And oh what a joy it will be if we can afford to upgrade our garage so that it will have a garage keypad and a garage door receiver. Then we will be sleeping soundly every night without any worries that someone will try to break in into our garage and home.

Anyway, going back to being thrifty. I recently have tried to be extra particular in the use of electricity at home. I received our monthly bill last month and I almost fainted. Our bill almost takes all of my take-home pay! It's crazy. And so I needed to make some radical changes so can save a little bit and be able to pay our electric bill monthly. Argh! It's really so hard to budget.

Remember when we went to Tanay with friends to have our summer outing? I totally scrimped on Zoe's bathing outfit and decided to make her use her very old (but only used once) swimsuit which I got ages ago from the Chicco store in the old Glorietta.

Here are the pictures.

First, here's Zoe wearing the suit at around 8 months old:

And now, here she is at 3.5 years!

My golly gee!

Some of you may be interested...

SM City Taytay is having a 3-day sale starting March 26. Great discounts and free parking await those who are SM Advantage, SM Prestige and BDO Rewards members.

Plus, the mall hours are extended! Hoot, hoot!

Personally, I like going to SM Taytay because it's close to our house (meaning it's a doable distance for our Ondoy car) and there's less traffic going there compared to going to the other malls. Besides, Zoe likes to shop at their department store coz there's less people, less competition. :-)


Lately, I’ve been very lucky to be able to hitch a ride with a neighbor going to the office. We used to belong to the same company but now she works in another office. The good thing is, her new office is still located at the central business district of Makati. Anyway, I’m just so glad that she offers me a ride to work whenever she can. Now, many of my mornings are now relaxing compared to when I still have to fall in the line to get a service going to work. Plus, I am always never late anymore.

On the way to the office, we just talk about anything: our cell phone plans, her recently acquired IPhone, our individual office rants and so on and so forth. Thus, we barely even notice the traffic on the road. And since we both work in a bank, we also tend to compare notes on our bank services, i.e. how we ask clients to apply for credit card and how we keep our interest rates competitive since that is what our customers want.

I really learn a lot from her. She is truly heaven-sent.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Me Yesterday - In Statistics

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Organic Onesies by Natsumi

We recently bought an Osh Kosh bodysuit for our little boy. I thought it was already cute...

...but this one is definitely cuter plus it's organic!

From the website:

Teach them early the benefits of growing strong and appreciate the beauty of being ‘green’! This organic cotton onesie is super soft and very gentle on your baby’s skin. It’s made in the USA and the cotton is grown without any pesticides or chemicals, making it the perfect onesie for your little sprout!

Natsumi grew up in the rural countryside on the Southern coast of Japan surrounded by beaches and mountains, which became her playground. It was there she became deeply inspired by nature. Now living in New York City, she mixes the elements of the natural world with ideas from contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture. Natsumi’s work consists of simple line illustrations and watercolors.

About Narcissism and the Small Pleasures in Life

There are just some things that money can’t buy, as the saying goes. Our happiness is not dependent on the things we have and own but in our disposition in life. As such, it does not matter if we can’t afford to buy most expensive things around. What’s important that we live in unity with our beliefs and are one with God. It does not necessitate that we be rich to be happy. If God makes us rich, then well and good, but if not, let us not feel sad.

Sometimes, or rather, many times, with the strong influence of media and the world, we forget this and fall into this narcissism, a failure that, sadly, we also bring upon our own children. My vision is to lead by example in our family so that my kids would not grow up to be materialistic, concerned only about themselves and have that me, my, mine attitude. I don’t think this is the way to bring up good and responsible kids.

In line with this, I read this wonderful article yesterday about the 101 small pleasures you can enjoy everyday. And since small pleasures are my thing, I was inspired to come up with my own random, albeit shorter, list that is based on my personal experience.

1. Discovering your vocation
2. Finding your soul mate
3. Getting the best teachers
4. Having a good cup of coffee made by hubby
5. Creating an original poem
6. Hugs and kisses
7. A clean house
8. Finishing my prayers before I’m too tired to do so
9. Pasta
10. Garden flowers
11. Free access to the playground
12. Aerobics with neighbors
13. Breast milk
14. A pat in the back
15. My kid learning to spell
16. Love letters
17. Good friends
18. Comfy robes to make you look decent enough to go down for breakfast at home. (I also love those soft bathrobes available in hotels, not that we always get bath robes in hotels since we seldom make trips now).
19. Three-day weekends
20. Pregnancy

Monday, March 22, 2010

Our Tanay Getaway

We flocked to Tanay last Saturday for a short summer getaway with some college buddies. It's a great trip that leaves you rejuvenated and not-so-tired compared to going to other vacation destinations.

The trip going was short and relaxing. It only took us an hour and a half to get there (although we did extend a bit because we got a little lost, hehe).

When we arrived there, the place gave us a burst of sunny feeling. It's a great place to unwind from the bustle and hustle of city life. There are several pools, sizeable cabanas and a coffee shop where you can just chill.

Of course, the kids get the best advantage (here's Zoe having fun in the water and our Luigi with Momarco hosts G and E).

We capped the trip with a heathy competition of Wii Tennis.

Ah...that was a relaxing day. I want to go back there again and again and again.

Planning a Home Office

I am currently on the lookout for nice computer desks for the home office that I want to put up at our house’s attic area. You see, I’ve been forever prodding my husband to give me a nook where I can do my home management tasks and a place where I can do my on-the-side writing jobs. And knowing how passionate I am in my doing my daily work as a home manager (making menu and grocery lists, filing different house bills and insurance papers, doing my family’s financial accounting, etc.) and also in my work as a blogger, he agreed to buy me some home office furniture to be put at our attic. I actually already have a design in mind. I’m planning on painting the walls first into a dark red color and then going for a desk style that is sleek, minimalist and in the color white. I also have to measure the correct dimensions of the desk and cabinets so that it will fit perfectly in our attic space.

Speaking of building things, as a result, I think we also need to find a new place for the kids to play because in order to give way to my new office furniture, the kids’ stuff would have to be moved and placed elsewhere. Besides, it’s inevitable to transfer the kids’ toys and books to a different place since these are just too many! Plus, the kids often find it hard to play in the attic during the afternoons since the afternoon sunlight causes the room to be extra hot and it’s not comfortable to be playing there at all. At least, if that will be my future office, I wouldn’t normal work in the afternoons since I have a full-time job. Most likely, I would be using that work space on weekend mornings or in the evenings when I come home from work.

C is for...

...Carrot Cupcake!

These were lovingly prepared by my friend C.

I swear, these are the most delicious carrot cupcakes I've ever tasted and I'm not even a carrot fan for that matter. (The picture doesn't do justice, actually.) And with the huge serving of cream cheese icing that she tops it with, you will literally forget your name. So yummy!


And what's better - you can order them thru me. :-D Just throw in a message at the shoutbox for more info.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

On the Side...

I had been fairly interested on commercial and personal insurance lately. It's because I recently really met some nice people who are in the home insurance business. Actually, their company is an offshore IT unit of a big company involved in home insurance in New York, among other things.

Anyway, my interest led me to do some background check. So I looked at the site of the Insurance Information Institute to do some research and be able to learn more about their status of their company. In fairness, I think they are stable enough as an organization since their are currently in expansion mode and off-hand, I think that's a pretty good sign.

Now, that leaves me to wait if my plans will push through. :-)

Dinner at Claw Daddy's Serendra

My friend C treated us out a few weeks ago to dinner at Claw Daddy's in Serendra to celebrate her birthday.

Of course, we had a super fun time eating and chatting.

Here's us...girls first and then the boys (parang gustong sumama nung waiter sa pic, hehe).

Foodies galore!

Before we said good-bye, hunny took a picture of C, B and E chillin' outside the resto.

Back... and then... front.

Thanks C for the lovely treat! Belated Happy Birthday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're Ready for Summer!

We're gearing up for the summer! This Saturday, my college friends and our families are going up to Tanay in our friend's newly-renovated resort to have a super fun time under the sun.

We're bringing the two kids with us, of course. If you know me well, you would know that I'm not exactly a beach (err..water) person. Thus, we really seldom go to swimming outings. Given that, please be don't be so surprised to know that this would actually be just the second time for Zoe to be on an out-of-town swimming trip and then the very first time for baby Luigi. Personally, I really prefer making use of above ground pool pumps at home for some fun time with the water. I like the idea of mimicking a swimming party by just inviting friends and their kids over to our house, let them play on an inflatable pool and have some good food like barbeque and other snacks. I have surveyed some quick set pools in the market and find it safer and not to mention cheaper than bringing the whole family to far-flung beach places for a swimming adventure. With the cost of gas these days, I'd very much stay at home, thank you. Besides, I also don't like to me and my kids to get too sunburnt from staying too long under the sun. With an inflatable pool, which sometimes comes with a above ground pool cover, you can swim outdoors and indoors too! And when you're at home, you can distract them from swimming with other things like tv, fun games and yummy food. Hehehe.

Anyway, I'm giving in on this weekend's outing since it will be courtesy of my friend and we are only hitching a ride with another friend. :-) We already got Zoe a new inflatable Dora The Explorer life vest and she's excited to use it already. :-)

Craving Carbonara

We ate this wonderful comfort food last Saturday at Claw Daddy's Serendra (treat c/o good friend Cherry - a post to follow) and now I'm craving for it again!

My friends may have been too busy chit-chatting to notice that I ate most of this dish all by myself (though I did share it a bit with Gracia). Hahaha. Wish I could make a quick trip to Serendra again this lunch...wishing, wishing...

Happy Bonus

I just finished a major project at work which concerns our annual variable bonus. We released the letters today and all the people concerned are ecstatic on how much their bonus will be.

While many are just itching to use their money for shopping for new stuff, like an cellphones or luxury bags, I’m keeping the air of temperance this time and opting to use the money for paying off some debts and hopefully closing some accounts. I also allotted part of it for the enrollment of our daughter for this next school year (and this doesn’t come cheap these days). And of course, another percent of the total will go to some house renovation and house stuff. I am looking at some address plaques because I want to replace our old one with a new address sign. You see the two wall address plaques (one with the number and the other with a religious image) that we currently have both got rusty when it was submerged in flood water last September.

Anyway, I am realizing now that it was much different then when I was single and didn’t have a family yet. Now the mother and home manager in me just wants to look after my family’s welfare ALL THE TIME.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ariel, Snow White and Zoe

Lately, Zoe has become a fan of Ariel and Snow White. She plays with her dolls all day long and makes it a point that they sleep beside her at night.

We watched Snow White on cable last Sunday and to my surprise, she stuck to the TV for the whole extent of the movie. :-) Wow!

For Wine Lovers

I came across a blog a few months ago wherein the person finds the thrill in trying out with a certain group of friends the different wines served mostly in known restaurants across town. Well, I learned from that that it takes experience and quite an expertise to develop the skill of pairing wine with the correct type of food.

At any rate, as much as I want to experience that same level, because of economy, I would rather keep a just a small personal collection of good vintage wine in the house. Not that I’m an alcoholic or something (far from it). But we do appreciate a good glass of wine on special occasions. Anyway, one of the must-haves that I would want buy soon is a beautiful rogar estate wine opener. I saw in the internet several designs of rogar wine openers that would sure lure you into wines. The designs of the rogar for sale are so lovely that it’s almost good as a display in the dining room.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Still in the office...


It's the peak of my office project and I'm already super duper tired after working for the nth hour today.

I really wish I go home now but I know I can't.

Anyway, I'm just thinking of the "reward" I'll get after all this hard work.

*wink wink*

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reunion Coming Up

I love hosting parties and reunions. As much as possible, I try to invite my relatives to dine with us on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. On moments like this, I bring out the nicest tableware in the house and recently, also lay them all out with our new set of silver flatware which was a gift from my relatives from Germany.

And of course, just like in any party, I also try my best to serve good food and drinks. We try to serve different kinds of festive meals each time. Sometimes, I try to do my research about cooking and try to learn something new and enticing for the guests to chew on.

Actually, my mother’s death anniversary is coming up at the end of this month. Although it may be viewed as a sad occasion, I always look forward to it because apart from offering mass and visiting my mom in the cemetery, we also make it a point to invite my relatives for lunch or dinner because I know my mom would appreciate it.

Now I wonder what kind of cuisine will be the theme for this year...

Picture Wall Project

I saw (and am borrowing) this wonderful picture from a blog called "Enjoying the Little Things". Do you notice her "be-pictured" wall? I must say that I was inspired by it and want to do it too!

You see, I have several bare walls in our house and my plan is to do something like this to at least one of the walls in the attic. But first I have to choose the nicest pictures to post and buy the frames that would match the color of the picture and of course, the wall.

I will try to show an update once I get this project going.

Until then.

For the Seniors.

Do you remember the movie “The Notebook”, taken from the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks? Except for some “adult parts” (which I always skip and move to fast-forward), I love the way the movie was told. The lines in the movie and the actions of the characters kind of draw the fire in your heart and bring out the tears in your eyes. Anyway, it’s one of my favorite movies because it talks about the conditional love between husband and wife. And regardless on how many times I’ve watched the movie, I also end up sobbing like crazy. Maybe partly it’s because I see how my parents loved each other and how their marriage was a great one until the end just like that in the movie.

It was told in the story that the main woman character in the movie had a medical problem which consists of forgetting the things that had happened to her. But in spite of that, her husband never left her side. They lived in their old house which was converted into a nursing home and the people there help them live a normal life even in their old age.

Anyway, speaking of nursing homes, in America, I think more and more siblings and their families are searching for nursing homes where they can put their elderly parents. This often happens when siblings live in different parts of the country and they cannot contribute much in giving care and emotional support to their aged parents. And in order to help these kinds of families, there are now assisted living communities which are there to provide facilities to elderly people. This kind of senior independent living promotes the welfare of the old and gives them the attention and support they need in this time in their lives. Assisted living facilities are available in many different states and are quite easy to look for.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Yes, we're feeling sick: Zoe, Luigi, and myself. Tummy aches, head aches, body aches.

The weather hasn't been very cooperative too. The sun's scorching heat adds to the already bad condition that we are in.

Please, Lord! We're praying for good health in our family.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Praying for Rain

With the event of the El Niño phenomenon that is adversely affecting our country, the local archbishop has asked us to implore the help of our Creator to send us ample rain and ease the drought that we are facing.

Rain is a very important occurrence in the cycle of life. It restores our land and provides the resources needed in giving enough water and power supply to our country. Rain water is also very beneficial to aid of domestic needs for water. A basin of fresh rain water is helpful enough to use for gardening, washing, and for other cleaning activities.

Speaking of rain, rain chains often present a decorative as well as functional piece in collecting rain runoff. Having chains rain adds a bit of beauty versus the usual downspout. A rain chain exhibits a fountain-like motion to the dropping water which when looked at gives a feeling of relaxation and peace.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Photographing Children: Basic Digital Photography Workshop

HOME MATTERS invites you to join us in the BASIC DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP on March 13, 2010 (Saturday), 3:00 - 6:00 pm, in 26D Amorsolo East, Rockwell. We'll charge a small amount of P150 for the expense and token to the speaker.

A guest speaker from ADPHOTO will give a lecture on using the digital camera on the first part of the workshop. We'll then have an actual shooting activity to apply what we learn. DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR CAMERA.

Please register with Lingling (0917-898-6169) or email (

Owning a Home

Owning a residential property is every family's dream. It is my dream and maybe your dream too. And we all know that achieving this dream, unless you were born with a silver spoon, is harder than you think. It takes a lot of work, sacrifice and effort in order for a family to afford owning their very own home. Lucky for those who are just rich or who are born with an inheritance of land and home, they do not need to pay all those long-term loans and amortizations with the bank in order for them to buy and live in a house and lot of their own.

I know of folks who lived all their lives in an apartment which they rent until forever. And you all know how inconvenient living in an apartment could be. The space is cramped and you sometimes have to deal pesky neighbors, you know. Anyway, they never really had gotten the chance to buy a single, detached house even if they wanted to because of the cost of purchasing a house. And if some did get to buy a house, the design and structure of the house may not be in tip-top condition as they had dreamed about.

The good news is that, nowadays, those who want to buy a house can choose from manufactured homes which are now available in the market. There is less the hassle of hiring an architect, setting up of floor plans or buying construction materials and all that. All you need is give the supplier of manufactured homes for sale a call, visit their model units and then they will deliver the house in no time. New manufactured homes for sale are quite economical too. They are sturdy and easy to install and in just a short period, your new house could be up and running.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Zoe's Train Map

For Zoe's train map, we managed to create a colorful combination of art materials to show where our journey will be. All these were done in a photofinish fashion. LOL.

As you may see, the map says that Zoe's going to pass by the school, the forest, the river and then to Grandma's house for some ice cream. I thought that only a 3-year old can appreciate something like that...

At school, each student had a chance to talk about their homework. I think some kids (or maybe parents) showed off a little bit by putting in there pictures/drawings of their trips to HK, Australia, famous out-of-town places, etc., etc. Zoe had none of those but, nevertheless, the job is still done. :-)

Anyway, this is a picture showing Zoe's turn to show and tell.

After show and tell, Teacher Jeannie posted all the kids' work on the wall.

My happy student!

But who's happier? >>>Mommy! Because next week -- NO assignment! Yay!

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