May 31, 2013

Supporting Your Child's Passion

I grabbed the photo above from my nephew's Facebook page. He's the one standing at the left with a guitar. I am so proud of my nephew. I can remember when he was just a baby, and now he's already a teenager who knows what he wants in life. I'm glad that he's able to discover early in life what his passion is. My brother, his father, discovered photography when he's already working. I am happy that my brother and my sister-in-law are supporting my nephew's passion. And I am inspired by them to support whatever it is that my children would like to take on in the future as well.

As you can see, this was taken in Padi's Point in Cavite. This was a big event for these boys. I don't know if the drums and the other instruments are theirs but I know that my nephew's guitar is his. I remember hanging out at Padi's Point when I was in my early 20's (I can't remember anymore if they have DJs using sound mixer from musicians friend or not; maybe it's the Arts Venue in Taft that's on my mind) and I think the place is a good venue for them who are just starting out and need exposure. I hope his young band will get more gigs, but I hope he'll be able to balance his studies and the band. If not, it'll be bye-bye for the band because focusing on his education will always come first.

My nephew is an inspiration to my son, Basti, who had just gotten his first guitar and who's just learning how to play it. I hope one day, they'll be able to get together and play.  See, when you support your child in any way you can (just like my brother did), you get to inspire other parents as well.

May 30, 2013

Collecting Coins

Collecting coins is one of the hobbies I had always wanted to pursue, but didn't have the time for and did not have the resources to. My mother and father used to have this coin collection in their drawer that I'd sneaked a peek when I was a child. I wonder if that collection is still with them. In the past, it's kind of hard to collect coins, especially when you don't travel a lot. I think my father just asks for coins from friends and relatives who were working abroad. Now, with the Internet, it's easier to collect coins with websites like which houses a large collection of coins and notes from all over the world. If you would like to actively pursue coin collecting I would suggest to visit this website to know more. They even have a section on ancient coins and notes which I find really interesting.

The Thanksgiving Tree

 Credit for the T Monogram: Crazy-4-Monograms. See their link at the footer.

I cannot count the times anymore when we had stood under this tree, individually and as a family. For the five years that we've been living in this place, this tree has been a witness to all special events and celebrations and just about any daily afternoon walks in this part of town. This tree has quite a history.It's more than a 100 years old. And if it could speak, I'm sure it has so many stories to tell.
Thanksgiving Tree
(Acacia) Samanea Saman

"This tree is one of the several acacia Daniel Fajardo planted around this church in May 1909. He was a soloist professor of the famous Philippine Constabulary Band sent by the Philippine Government to Washington DC to play at the inauguration of the US President William H. Taft.

An ocean voyage then was not as commonplace and easy as it is now and the planting of the trees was Fajardo's act of thanksgiving to patron, Saint Joseph for his safe return. When he retired in 1937, he was assistant conductor of the band. "

How about you? What are you thankful for?

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May 28, 2013

Yet Another Baclaran Post: School Supplies Prices

Hubby and I went to Baclaran last Saturday to shop for school supplies for the kids. I am happy to say that all the money I spent were from my online endeavors, so hubby let me decide on everything. He's just there to support me and to carry the bags of school supplies, lolz. 

Just to give you an idea of how cheap is cheap, here are some of  the prices of school supplies in the store where we bought the items: 

The saleslady asked me if I have a store. I said no, I just got tired of going to the store almost everyday for the kids' school supplies last year. It's not gonna happen this year, I swear.

My youngest is so excited to see all the school supplies. He knows some of those are his, especially the pens. He draws using pens only and hates to use pencils.

Have a great day, everyone! Hope this helps a little bit. :D

May 27, 2013

Guitar Lessons On Hold As Summer Ends


Now that summer vacation is about to end in just a few weeks (or in just a few days for some), Basti's guitar lessons have been put on hold. He had already been told that there will be no guitar lessons for next Saturday, because the school where he's having his lessons is opening its doors to preschoolers come Monday. Hence, the school will be a busy place and also the guitar teacher will be going back to college as a Music major. Basti and I are sad that there won't be any lessons next week. His teacher is just a young guy who had taught him many things already and is really into music. Basti had been checking links in YouTube about some music videos and Googling things like Distortion Pedals which I don't even have any clue about. I take it as a good sign, that he's really interested in music. I think it helps that his teacher is young and Basti looks up to him as a "Kuya".  I hope we can find someone who can teach him at school after classes because he still has so much to learn and he's enjoying his guitar lessons tremendously.

Yellow Flowers Make My Day

Happy Monday, everyone!
 Just a short and simple post today.
These are the flowers and plants that make my day as I go around the neighborhood running errands everyday.

I love the yellow leaves of what we call as San Francisco plant.

Such lovely yellows, don't you think? See more yellows at Monday Mellow Yellows by clicking on the badge above. 

May 24, 2013

Baclaran Bulk Buying Tips

While other people (whether they be on a budget or just love looking for a good find at a lower price) troop to Divisoria the last few weeks before school starts, hubby and I opt go to Baclaran instead to shop for school uniforms and supplies. While Divisoria undeniably offers the best price, it is too far our place so we thought it would not be practical for us to go there. Baclaran is just a ride away from us. 

Baclaran could also be heaven for budget-conscious shoppers as much as Divisoria is, if you only know where to look. Having been there a lot of times, getting the best deal and where to get them is easy for me as one, two, three. Here are some quick tips:
  •  Common sense dictates to leave your valuables at home.  I don't think I need to elaborate on this. It's self-explanatory. Leave your gadgets at home, for safety reasons and for worry-free shopping. 
  • Common sense also dictates to leave the children at home, (especially on Wednesday when devotees flock to the Baclaran Church, or the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help). It's hot, it's crowded and children can easily get lost in the crowd. Not taking the children will allow you to concentrate on the shopping task at hand. 
  • To get the products at the lowest price possible, go to the wholesalers. The wholesalers are usually in the malls around the LRT station. Some of the wholesalers will sell their products for retail, others will not. But there's no harm in asking. Wholesale usually means buying 3 pieces of the same item, with some you have to buy 6 pieces of the same item. 
Take a look at some of the items we bought wholesale last year. Although, prices would of course vary today from last year, but not much. The fact remains that most of these items were sold almost 50% (or even more) less than what they're sold in regular stores.

last year's goods .prices may have changed since then
Except for the shoes, we bought everything in set of 3 or 6. The Angry Bird bag was initially offered to us at P380 but was able to get it at P300. Buying the sandos wholesale works for us because our two younger boys will get 3 pieces each. 
  •  Prices offered by the street vendors are usually 20% to 30% higher (and even more) than the wholesale price. If you're just going to buy a piece, or just dropped by Baclaran on the way to somewhere, and doesn't want to look for the wholesale stores, that's fine, you can still haggle a little bit. But not too much, remember, they also want to earn. (Hubby and I were shocked to be offered P75 on an undershirt when we could buy them at P45 if we buy three pieces in a wholesale store. Same goes with a good quality, heavy duty school bag that was priced at P1000 and which I got at P600.)
  • Don't give in to temptation so easily. You always get a giddy feeling when you see all kinds of things at low price. Consider many things first. Check for quality. Check with yourself if you really need them. Would the kids really love those toys? Sometimes, when you give in too easily, you don't actually get the best things at the best price.  (I bought a bowling set just because we thought our youngest would be thrilled to have it. Turn out, my youngest was not impressed at all, hu-hu! And we thought afterwards that we could have bought three or more toys that the kids would surely love at that price}.
  •  The Baclaran area is divided into sections. So to conserve time in shopping and especially if you're just looking for a specific item, it is important to know where these sections are. Here's a simple map. It goes without saying that retailers are usually at the side of the road.

Where to find things in Baclaran. Please enlarge for better view
UPDATE: 02/18/2014
Looking for electronics, iPad cases, mouse, keyboards, speakers, headsets, cellphone accessories, school supplies, bags, jewelries.  - found at the mall that's linked right at the entrance/exit of LRT. There are two exits if you're coming from North and coming to Baclaran. Both exits have Jollibee on them. Try the exit that's nearest the church, the last exit.

Leotards and tights: 200 to 350 depending on size. Try haggling for less.  Back of the church.
  • There are so many items for sale at the airconditioned malls. You will find most of the school supplies, bags, watches, etcetera in the airconditioned  malls.
  • When you think of Baclaran, you think cheap cost. Of course, the sellers know that you think this way. So when some enterprising salesperson sell you something, try canvassing first at other stalls. Your idea of cheap may not be their idea of cheap.  Does that make sense? 
  • For uniforms, shoes, curtains, gowns, RTW, Baclaran is the place to be. For all others, try Divisoria. 
UPDATE: 10-12-2013: 
  • Are you looking for Boy Scout uniforms? You can find them at the alley beside the Baclaran Super Mall and at the alley beside Cabrera Shopping Center. (Please refer to the map above)  I went there last Tuesday to source out scout uniforms. Between the two, I prefer the alley beside the Baclaran Super Mall. However, I got my whole set (for only P550 with my son's 30-inch waistline and small men's shirt) at the 2nd floor of newly-built mall right beside the South Terminal Commercial Center. This was the area that was burnt before and a new mall was built in the same area. I love the quality of the pants that I got in there. But they have very few stalls that sell scouting uniforms. You'll have more options at the alleys beside the Baclaran Super Mall and the alley back of the church, the alley beside the Cabrera Shopping Center.
  • Are you looking for United Nations' costume? I found some really cute ones at the alley back of the church, beside Cabrera Shopping Center. 

  • Halloween costumes? Didn't see much but I've noticed some. I wasn't particularly looking for them, so maybe I unconsciously blocked them out of my sight. But if you're going to look for one, the best place to look for is at the same place back of the church where gowns, uniforms and costumes are sold. Same place, back of the church, alley beside Cabrera Shopping Center.
FB Harrison Street, Baclaran

Some scenes from Baclaran, morning before noon, end of April 2013.
And of course,don't forget to drop by the church to say a little prayer of thanks for all your blessings. 

And with that, Happy Weekend everyone!

May 22, 2013

It's This House...

Last Saturday, our landlord visited and had our kitchen tiles fixed.The tiles cracked and the tiles at the side of the sink caved out. It's a good thing that no member of the family was hurt because of the tile debris. We're thankful that we're all in the living room when that happened. 

Can you imagine all these slabs of tiles hitting our feet? Uggghh.

Anyway, the good thing is that the owners of the house we're renting are beautiful people inside and out. Our landlord brought a handy man to fix the tiles last Saturday. We are so blessed to have them in our lives. They have been so kind to us and we never had any problems with them in the five years that we've been renting. 

The house though is old and it needs a lot of renovation. If this house is located in Canada, the landlord and his family  would always be calling renovations ottawa for repairs. Good thing is, the handy man seems to be my landlord's friend so it's easy to discuss with him the other repairs needed for the house.

And the good news is, our landlord has already expressed to us that his family is willing to sell the house to us. We were so happy about that. We love this house because of the good memories that we have in here and I can't imagine living anywhere else. But as I said, we need to overhaul  the place. For one, we need to do some foundation repair like what waterproofing ottawa companies do. We need to completely demolish the second floor so that the floors would be made of hard cement and not just wood. We also need to adjust the foundation and make it a little bit higher, just a measure against flood. 

We're 90% sure about the house. What's holding us back is the cost of the renovation. It's like building a brand new house! But I guess it would be worth it. The house is near our son's schools, near the market, church and is in a relatively peaceful community. I hope our landlord will give us a little bit more of a discount. Wish us luck!

May 21, 2013

The $500 Visa or Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Welcome to $500 Visa or Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!


With summer just around the corner, we gathered some treats for our beloved fans and avid readers!

Duration: May 21, 2013 to June 11, 2013 at 11:59 PM EST.
Please feel free to complete the entries at your own pace. Remember, you can always come back to enter daily entries. The more entries you submit, the better chances of winning!

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One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries via Rafflecopter within 14 days of giveaway end date. Winner will be contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Once the winner has been confirmed, they will be announced on this page. No purchase necessary. 

To join please use the Rafflecopter form below! Have fun!

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May 20, 2013

Low on Disk Space

My C: drive is already full. I opened my My Memories Suite software and it won't load because there's not enough space. I had to move all the photos to another drive. The funny thing is even with all the photos moved, there is still not much space. I had deleted all of the apps that I'm not using that much. I hope it wouldn't have to come to the point where I have to reformat the hard disk. I remember when I still don't know how to reformat hard drive, I was so stressed and it was such a long process for me. Was not able to work for so a couple of days because I had to reinstall all the softwares. I did not have a good plan back then. Now, I know better. Formatting the hard drive should be my last recourse this time. Wish me luck!

Simon's First Sagala

Yesterday was Simon's first Sagala or Santacruzan. He was an escort to our neighbor's cute and witty daughter. The president of the homeowner's assocation invited all kids for this year's Sagala. In our 'lane', most of the neighbors' kids joined in including Simon.

Sagala or Santacruzan or Flores De Mayo is an annual parade held in the month of May in honor of the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. The procession starts with the small angels or young girls bearing the letters of the words "Ave Maria" and ends with the town's Reyna Elena, usually the prettiest of all the participants. Almost every community and town hold this every year so getting caught up in traffic because of the parade is already normal.

I'm proud of my little boy who had shown enthusiasm for this event. Being it a parade, I was concerned that he might want to go home after walking a few blocks. I said that I would not force him to finish the parade at all if his feet were aching or if he did not want to walk anymore. But he was cheery all the way through and seemed to have enjoyed the attention. 

Meanwhile, I got busy taking pictures of the beautiful girls in their gowns. Below are some of my favorites. I just took a shot of the gowns instead of the girls. Please click on the collage for a more detailed view.

Aren't these gowns the cutest?

May 19, 2013

Finally, A Guitar for Basti

Finally, after a few months of waiting, Basti got his guitar. Hubby bought it and brought it home last month. The two younger kids were as excited as he is to play the guitar, but Simon said he wanted drums instead. :) That is so not possible in this quiet neighborhood.

Anyway, Basti's guitar comes with a tuner and I think a connector for an amplifier. In the future, we might consider buying him an amplifier, perhaps in particular an aguilar amp at Guitar Center. But that is of course, if he's really into guitar playing like his cousin who has formed a band with his friends. Right now, all he needs is to learn how to play the guitar. My oldest niece came over for a week and taught strumming techniques and how to tune the guitar. We also enrolled him for formal guitar lessons at a newly-formed school in the neighborhood, for two hours every Saturday. I'm glad Basti has his guitar now. It keeps him off from the computer sometimes and made his summer days less boring. Once ge got together with his cousins, it would also be a great bonding activity for them to play the guitar together.

May 18, 2013

Cars Themed Party

A few months back, hubby attended a Cars themed party with my youngest, Simon. I wasn't able to post about it because I can't find where hubby uploaded the photos from his cellphone. While I was deleting photos and files that had been backed up already  (memory running low), I found it on the other drives. So timely. :)

We've watched the movie Cars but we're not a big fan of it. There were movies we've watched so many times that the kids have already memorized the lines. But not Cars, we watched each installment of the movie series only once or twice but that's it. We can't say we don't like it, we do. It's just not our favorite. Maybe it's because we are not really that into cars, automobiles and the likes. We have motion sickness, (lol). And we can't tell a brand or type of automobile from the other. We wouldn't even know what a 2 post lift is. My brothers and my nephew would know though, because that's what brings them closer together, the love of cars. They even taught each other how to drive.

Having said that, I still think that a Cars themed party is great. Though we're not a fan of the movie, the Cars themed party are colorful and fun. And toy cars bring joy to kids of all ages. The color red is full of life and that's the main color in Cars themed party.

Simon had so much fun during this birthday party of hubby's officemate's son. :D He had a tattoo on his face when he came home and brought lots of goodies from the party. They also had fun posing at the photo booth with his papa.

Me, I can't take my eyes off these cake-shaped towels. Exquisitely packaged, don't you think? These are beautiful and unique take-home thank you gifts for the guests. 

This post is linked to Orange You Glad It's Friday.
Hope you all are having a great weekend!

May 17, 2013

Fly Fishing

I've recently come across the term 'fly fishing' in one of the blogs that I visited. I looked for more information on fly fishing here in the Philippines but I did not find anything much. I thought being in a country blessed with so much bodies of water, we would have a lot of fly fishers here. I found some articles and forum threads  on sport fishing and a couple or two blog posts on lake water fishing for bass mouth. It is a not as big as a sport here as it is in the United States, where as soon as you Google "Fly Fishing 101", it will come up with websites of organizations of fly fishers in almost every town, every county and every state. I guess it has something to do with the fact that we have so many fishermen here and that fishing is regarded as a means of livelihood, rather than a recreation or a sport. There are some, though, that are into this hobby, but I bet they don't fish for a living. Sports fishing are offered as one of the activities in some beach resorts in the country.

Things I'll Never Do in This Lifetime: Go Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is something that I'll never do in this lifetime -- among other things. Sad? I'd say yes in a heartbeat. When I was younger (like two and a half decades younger, lol), I read pocketbooks upon pocketbooks of romance novels where the heroine is a fragile lady who got stranded somewhere, saved and fell in love with a man, who naturally, can ride a horse. He is either a cowboy, a lord/baron/etc, or a ranch owner. You may have read one of these romance novels, if you were my age. I don't see much of these novels anymore in the bookstores. 

For a time when I was a teenager, I daydreamt of riding a horse and getting to look like Mikee Cojuangco at least once in this lifetime. I dreamt of  sitting proud at the back of  a horse or galloping away in my equestrian clothes, english tall boots, helmet and all.  Ah, those beautiful equestrians, how can they make horse riding look so easy? And how can they still look beautiful with all that sweat and heat? 

When I finally got a chance to ride a horse, I could not muster the courage to do so,  I'm too scared. And when told myself that I WILL ride a horse in this lifetime, even without the beautiful equestrian clothing, I can't anymore. Because I have slipped disc, which is not life threatening right now, but could be, if I fall. I can't afford to fall or even risk falling. 

Oh, well, maybe in the next lifetime. But still, every now and then, I still look at some equestrians and equestrian clothes online. A few decades ago we only see photos of them on magazines. I still dream sometimes of  riding a horse, but  you know, the spirit is willing but the body is not. :D

May 16, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: The $500 Visa or Amazon GC Giveaway Sign-Up

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Finally Enrolled

Today, I went to my son's school and paid for his tuition. He's finally enrolled as a Grade 6 student at the same school he's been attending for seven years now. I heaved a sigh of relief as soon as I'm done paying my son's tuition and the money was out of my hands. The other mommy beside me laughed, and we looked at each other in the eye and ended up laughing hysterically. We had the same thoughts. Lots of money, gone, just like that. Don't get me wrong, it's not lots of money for some, but for us, poor people, it's a lot. :) We were both relieved that we didn't have to worry anymore this coming June and all we have to do is wait for the class to start. I got his books and school supplies that you can see above. I can't believe that books can cost so much. 

 I also talked with his future classroom adviser. Though, it's still early, I may not have the chance again to talk to her privately about my son's health condition without having to go through an appointment. His soon-to-be homeroom teacher/adviser is also a mom and so I feel so much at ease with her. She assured me that everything will be all right and that she'll watch over my son while he's at school. I went home having a positive feeling about this school year. 

I made a mental note of  remembering to give her a personalized teacher gifts on Teachers' Day, which is still in October. I guess I wouldn't have a hard time remembering that because she seems to be a very nice person. It's too early, I know, but I like giving out small gifts and services as token of appreciation to people I like and who did  a lot for me; and I make a list of those people so that when I have something to spare I won't forget to buy them something. I like buying gifts wholesale also so I can save, because I'm not rich anyway. 

I also like buying school items wholesale. I will have a separate post about that next week. I will tell you where I shop. Until then, have a great day, everyone!  

May 15, 2013

Banzai Plummet Falls Adventure Slide Water Park Giveaway!

Welcome to the Summer Adventure Event featuring Banzai Plummet Falls Adventure Slide Water Park Giveaway!

organized by: Mom to Bed by 8

I wish we have one of this  Plummet Falls water slide/pool! I'm sure my kids will love it. It allows kids to plummet down the Banzai waterslide, refresh in the splash pool and get drenched in the falls, all without leaving the backyard! This water slide park comes with everything you need for hours of summertime fun.


One lucky winner will receive a Banzai Plummet Falls Adventure Slide Water Park!

Giveaway ends June 5th at 11:59pm, open US, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.  MaiThankfulHeart is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Receiving and Giving

credit: Crazy-4-Monograms

The letter R is a significant letter for me. All my kids' names start with R -- Rex, Rafael and Ricardo. Rex means king, Rafael means "God has healed", and Ricardo means "Powerful Leader". And Rex does act like he's the king of the house, LOL. 

Three of my siblings' names also start with R: Reina, Rodel and Ramil. My beloved father's name starts with R. And even two of my nephews' names start with R: Russel and Renz. 

R is also for receiving, which I'm doing a lot of lately -- receiving postcards, letters and packages through the mail, receiving opportunities online, and receiving lots of sound file to transcribe, which means work. And work means money. So, I'm thankful and not complaining, though I'm missing out on two R's -- rest and relaxation. :)

Below is one of the favorite things I received through a courier a month or so ago. A gift from one of the respected mommy bloggers in our circle here in this part of the world, Mommy Chris of The Mommy Journey. I received this as part of her personal Pay-It-Forward campaign on Facebook. You know the other side of receiving, right? Yes? It is Giving. Giving and receiving are two beautiful words, both bringing joy to the receiver and the giver. Thanks, mommy Chris, you are beautiful inside out.

personalized notepad from Nikki Prints
Isn't this personalized notepad the cutest? At the back of the notepad are Bible verses, which is one of the things I love about it. I also love that cute drawing of the girl at the front. I was thinking when I received it that, "Well, that would make a good blog header and blog name." :D I wonder if they also have plans of using famous quotes from famous people for their personalized collections of notes, calendars, shirts and mugs, aside from the Bible verses. That would be awesome.

How about you? Do you love to receive or do you love to give?  What are some of the things that you received? Put in the link and I'll take a look. Thanks for your time!

This post is linked to ABC Wednesday. 

May 13, 2013

Persons With Disabilities and Today's Election

 Today is election day in the Philippines. COMELEC or the Commission of Election has promised a smoother and faster  election due to the use of PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines. Not only that,  they also vowed that the election process would be easy for persons with disabilities and the precincts would be PWD-friendly. Special voter's registration had been set up for persons of disability prior to election. Precinct rooms will be more accessible to PWD voters and would ideally be situated in ground floors. I find this good news. Most of the time, disabled people don't vote anymore due to the hassle and the difficulty of getting to the precincts to register and vote. With this initiative by the government, PWDs can now exercise their right to vote easily and their vote will be counted. 

I am glad that persons with disabilities are having more and more access to many establishments and better access to education, information and the likes. I see many ramps and railings built in many buildings, sidewalks and overpasses in Metro Manila for PWDs' mobility. In the US, there is the Americans with Disabilities Act which ensures persons with disabilities will have fair and equal access to opportunities and benefits. Detailed guidelines are set up for PWD when it comes to employment, public services, and transportation, et cetera. There's even ada pool lift requirements for swimming pools in hotels and other public accommodations. 

In the Philippines, we have the National Council and Disability Affairs looking after the welfare of disabled persons. If you go to their websites, you will see links on disability laws such as administrative orders,  ordinances,  memorandums and executive orders.

I hope that today would be a peaceful day. I'm praying for guidance and enlightenment for my fellow Filipinos and hoping for leaders with integrity and vision.

Giant Cupcake on Mother's Day.

Yesterday, hubby and the kids urge me to get out off my seat in front of the computer to go to the mall with my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law. Being it Mother's Day, hubby treated us to lunch with the kids. After lunch, we just went  our separate ways, me and the kids bought a set of speakers, ate some donuts and whatnots, had a short check-up for the little one's 'pimple' on the forehead, and bought some meds. 

We saw this really big cupcake in the center of the mall. Simon, my youngest, was so fascinated by it and wanted to take off those plastic sprinkles. They were thrilled to see such a big cupcake, although it's not the real thing. 

 My news feed had been inundated with greetings for moms and I am so happy that most of my friends have their moms on their minds first and foremost yesteday. I purposely kept my thoughts for my mom to myself, because I really don't know what to say anymore that will show her how much I appreciate her and all her sacrifices for us even now that we're all grown-up. She's not on Facebook, too, so we texted and greeted her instead when she called the day before. How can I tell her that as I grow older, I grow more and more afraid of  losing her and my dad? That I wish I'm a better daughter who can give her all her wants and needs in her old age? That I wished I've listened and finished my studies so that I can provide for her and my dad?Whoa, so much drama today so I better stop before you click away. :)

Thank you so much to those who had tagged me on Facebook and Twitter and had greeted me on Mother's Day. And to those who are still celebrating,  I wish you all the best of today. Happy Mother's Day!

May 12, 2013

My Kind Of Tea

Lately, I have been drinking a lot of tea. I used to drink a lot of soft drinks and concentrated juice, but now I'm sticking to coffee and hot tea in the morning and evening, and iced tea during the day.  I find tea refreshing and new to my taste. New, because I used to hate drinking hot tea but since hubby loves to drink tea and he always has a box or two always available at home, I've learned to love the taste and different flavors of tea.

For my kidney, I drink sambong tea. My doctor told me to drink sambong tea together with my Rowatinex and Acalka for I am stone former. Sambong tea helps eliminate kidney and gallbladder stones, helps ease dysmenorrhea, and cleanses the body.

My favorite tea bags, though, were the ones given to us by my brother-in-law, who is a seaman. He must have bought these in one of the ports overseas. The package is that of Twinings. There is this particular tea bag that I like not only because of the flavor but also because of the packaging. It's the Queens Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Blend.

If you would like to shop for tea bags online, I have found a website that holds different kinds, brands, blends,  flavors of tea including Twinings. My hubby would surely love that site. I may just have to ask him to click on the link and visit that website.

May 10, 2013

Best Baby Clothes Buys

When people hear you are expecting a baby, they will be keen to buy you clothes in preparation for the baby’s arrival. Though kind in thought, more often than not people choose small sizes which may not be the right fit for long. It therefore makes sense to not worry too much about buying newborn clothes but to instead plan ahead for baby wear which will fit your baby as he or she gets a little bigger.

It can be tricky to know what you need to buy when you are a first time Mum-to-be. To help you to know what you will need when your baby arrives, we have compiled a list of a few handy hints.

1. Plan ahead by purchasing clothes which are one size bigger than required. Babies will grow very fast and clothes tend to be on the smaller side. So, a 6 month old can usually wear clothes sized 9-12 months. Remember that you need to take into account the season the clothes will be worn in – heavy, wintry clothes will be of no use in July!

2. Look in the sales for clothes for the coming months. So, in the January sales when your child is 9 months old, choose clothes for children aged 18-24 months for the coming winter. In the more up-market baby clothes stores, watch out for when the sales are on, then snap up some bargains!

3. Make your ‘posh’ baby clothes choices wisely. Everyday staples such as socks, tights, vests or simple tops do not need to be expensive. Think instead about purchasing key items to add that little extra something, and mix in with less pricey garments from elsewhere.

4. When you do decide to splash out, resist the urge to impulse buy. Look carefully at the item and attempt to judge it by quality, comfort and durability. There is no point in purchasing an expensive item, only for it to be ruined within a couple of wears. If there is an occasion coming up for which you would like your baby to have something special to wear, consider asking for it as a Christmas or a birthday present.

5. For super bargains, check out secondhand baby wear clothes shops. Favourite clothes that may have only been worn a few times make a timely and fashionable purchase. It may even have been the case that the clothes are brand new, as they were too small to start with – making your purchase even better value for money!

6. For newborns, there are a few essentials you must make sure you have. Nappies, cardigans, mittens, nightgowns, hats, vests, stretch suits, a shawl and a coat for cold weather. Don’t forget to buy a car seat if you drive, as it is illegal for a child under 12 to travel in a car without one.

7. As well as clothes, ensure you either buy or borrow a crib and baby bath. Bedclothes are another essential. Choose blankets or sheets which can be removed or added to in order to suit the baby’s needs. Do bear in mind that fleeces, quilts, duvets and pillows are not recommended for babies aged 0-11 months.

Hopefully, these handy hints will help you in your quest to find the best baby buys out there. You don’t need to spend a lot of money in order to be fully prepared for when your baby arrives. Just plan ahead and carefully think through what purchases you will need to make in order to ensure you have everything you need. Don’t forget to ask friends and family to help – that’s what they are there for!

A natural born writer, Stacey Barton writes professionally and for fun across a wide range of niches with particular attention to how classic brands can continue to offer the same product for decades and somehow survive the turbulent and ever changing consumer market.

Quack, Quack, Quack

 This is a 

I love hubby's place of work. This technohub is home to call centers, BPOs and IT companies.  There's a good number of restaurants and shops all around. It is a little bit far from home and away from Metro Manila's concrete jungle. There are walkways that joggers can use after work or before work. There are trees and lots of greens and grass. 

Best of all, there's a manmade lake, or stream (whatever you want to call it) and a great view of the sunset (or sunrise for the call center employees). The are a number of kois swimming freely around in the manmade lake.

Hubby loves the fishes, but he loves looking at the ducks the most. He took the picture of the ducks below in January.

And just this May, he took these photos. Look, the ducks are now parents. :) He's happy to see the ducklings following their moms and dads around the lake, quacking around. .

 And the ducks go quack, quack, quack! I am reminded of the nursery rhymes that we've singing at bedtime lately "I Saw A Ship A Sailing". 

I saw a ship a-sailing,
A-sailing on the sea;
And, oh! it was all laden
With pretty things for thee!

There were comfits in the cabin,
And apples in the hold;
The sails were made of silk,
And the masts were made of gold.

The four-and-twenty sailors
That stood between the decks,
Were four-and-twenty white mice
With chains about their necks.

The captain was a duck,
With a packet on his back;
And when the ship began to move,
The captain said, "Quack! Quack!"

Happy weekend! And to all mommies out there, happy Mother's Day to you all!
Enjoy your day!

Credits: Monograms and Background - Cray 4 Monograms

May 8, 2013

How to Survive a Children’s Party

Children’s parties. If you are like me you will probably be used to shuddering at the word. How can something so innocent be so evil? Cake, junk food, screaming children, loud music and, worst of all, village halls with cheesy discotheques who look like maybe, just maybe, they were best friends with jimmy Saville at some point in time. It might just seem like the perfect combination for a mid-afternoon headache. I am a children’s entertainer, and even I feel this way. And yet, I love my job more than anything in the world. This is because children’s parties don’t have to be something straight out of a Horrible Henrys or Just William book. They can be a genuine sharing of laughter and joy, a time for family, fun, friends, laughter and magic.

My name is Master Oh-No and I am a clown. I would love to be considered for your children’s parties. If, however, you want to go it alone, perhaps becoming a clown for the day yourself, or even hiring a different clown (cue big clown tears!) then here’s a check list for you to follow, to help make your life a little easier and put the joy back into children’s parties!

Remember it’s not about you

You might be the best parent in the world, but this is about your little one and their birthday!  No matter how much you want to stop them jumping around on the bouncy castle after having eaten three bowls of jelly and ice cream, you should probably just let them do it.  They’ll learn once they start to feel a bit sick!  Remember how much fun you had when you were little, and just go with it – get on the bouncy castle yourself if it helps you to chill out!

Be organised

Organisation is key when hosting a birthday party – particularly if you’re inviting lots of guests.  Plan entertainment, plan when food will be served, organise games to play and basically treat the afternoon like a (slightly crazy) military operation.  Nothing is worse than a group of bored five year olds, so make sure there’s plenty going on to entertain even the most demanding children at the party!

Buy more than you need

No matter how much food you have, chances are there will always be extra children at the party – people will turn up with friends, food will be spilt or spoiled, and there’s nothing worse than running out of jelly and ice cream. Cover yourself for all eventualities and buy more than you think you’ll need, this way if a whole jelly ends up on the floor there won’t be tears before bedtime!

Invite your friends

If it helps to have other mums (or dads) on hand to help you out, then by all means invite your friends!  Two sets of hands are better than one, and if it all gets a bit much you can commiserate once the last guests have left over a bottle of wine and the last couple of slices of birthday cake.

The most important aspect to remember for surviving a children’s party is to relax!  Smile, have fun, enjoy the opportunity to act silly for a while and remember, whilst it might be incredibly messy and loud it will all be over in a few hours – but it’s a memory your child will probably have forever. 

May 6, 2013

Send Letters To Your Kids Through Stories In The Mail LLC

Have you ever tried sending your child a letter through the post office? In this age of technology, does anyone even bother? Do you remember when you received your first letter delivered by the postman (and not through emai)l? I do, I remember and it was such a thrilling experience. I remember thinking, "Wow, someone sent me a letter. This letter is for me." I've received a few letters before, of course, but not from the postman. My first personal letter through the post was from a friend working in Dubai. There were already computers back then but emails are not so prevalent yet (Now, I'm dating myself, haha).

And I don't know if kids nowadays will have the same thrill upon receiving letters through the mail. But when I went to the post office a month or so ago, I sent my son his very own postcard. I wrote in a message, addressed it to him under our residential address and two days later, our reliable postman was knocking on our door. My two younger ones were excited to receive their Kuya's postcard and Kuya smiled that sweet smile of his when he got it that afternoon.

I think sending letters to our loved ones, especially the kids would be a good thing. And why not send  a letter with a twist? There's a new website called Stories In The Mail LLC  which parents with kids will surely like. Stories In The Mail LLC sends personalized letters to your child, whether they be toddlers or teens, from heroes, heroines or villains that you've chosen for them. These are not ordinary letters as they will chronicle the adventure of the chosen mythical character, like in the special called The Wanderer.

If you're thinking of sending a letter to your child, something that you can also read to him at bedtime, check out site and take a look at their Sample Letters. Letter for toddlers by the way comes mostly with illustrations. Good thing. :)

May 5, 2013

St. Joseph Parish Church, Home of the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ

The Las Pinas Bamboo Organ is a 19th century church organ housed at the St. Joseph Parish Church in the city of Las Pinas, Philippines. It is composed 902 bamboo pipes and 129 metal pipes. Considered to be a Philippine National Treasure due to its uniqueness, it was built under the initiative if by Father Diego Cera and completed in 1824.  Father Diego Cera de la Virgen del Carmen is also the church's first parish priest.  

Having been devastated by an earthquake and a storm in the late 1880s, the Bamboo Organ was finally brought to Bonn, Germany for restoration by Johannes Klais Orgelbau and was brought back home in 1975, at about the same time the church is being restored National Artists Francisco Manosa and architect, Ludwig Alvarez. 
 The International Bamboo Organ Festival is held every February.  It is attended by organists, choirs and chorales, and musicians, composers and music lovers all over the world. 
Today, (1st Sunday of May) we are celebrating the Feast of Saint Joseph here in our parish. In short, it's Fiesta (Piyesta or Pista in Tagalog)! The church is adorned wit beautiful ornaments and in the grounds you'll see beautiful banners. Everyday since Monday, the church and the community had been buzzing with fun activities almost everyday.
 I ventured out last week and took these photos of the St. Joseph Parish Church and its grounds. No photos of today yet, I don't know if I'll be able to go out in this hot weather and with this migraine. We did prepare a little bit of special food like salad, biko and fried chicken just in case guests come over today.

The Saint Joseph Parish Church

This is the Atillan House which houses the Bamboo Organ Museum. It used to be a convent. There is also an adoration chapel inside.

Wonderful plant hangers and ornaments

Beautiful against the sky

Chimes made of capiz shells adorns the church entrance

Inside the church

All of the decorations are made of native and indigenous materials

Buri hats as decorations

Buri fans turned decors

A view from the inside

Paper cutouts as decors

One thing I noticed is that all the decorations and ornaments are made of native, indigenous and recycled materials. Kudos to the church decorators for sticking to the theme.

I hope I'd be able to take photos of the fiesta activities for today. If not, I might ask hubby to drop by the patio today where most of the activities are happening.

Until next time, have a great week everyone.

All the colors are for Color Connection, all the Oranges for Orange You Glad It's Friday,  and all the O's and the P's for ABC Wednesday.