Jul 22, 2013

A Beautiful and Bright Sunday Afternoon

This post is for 

Sunday afternoon, we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood and ended up as usual at the church. It was not too hot, so the kids have a great time running and playing with each other at the open ground after praying inside.

Kids at play. Don't know what they're playing and why their hands had to be on their waists, lol. 
They went inside the Bamboo Organ Museum to look at some of the art works, too.


I think these are contest pieces.


This is my favorite.

They've seen this bell before. But it never fails to amaze them.

the original church bell of St. Joseph Church, which house the Las Pinas Bamboo Organ
It was a beautiful, bright and sunny day. Perfect for a short family bonding out with the kids.

If you enlarge this photo and look at the clouds, you'll see the face. It's weird.

To know more about the Bamboo Organ Museum, please visit their homepage and take a peek at a blogger's tour inside the museum here.

Hope you had a great weekend, everyone! And have a great week ahead!

Jul 17, 2013

Kids Name Labels

One of the things that I really spend time and energy on every time school opens is the labeling of my kids' things. All of their books, notebooks, art supplies, even pens and boxes of crayons have to be labeled. For me, and I think for most parents, something seems to be lacking when you look at your children's things and they're not labeled. Something's not right. :D

Why do I label my kids' things? Why do I spend time printing my kids name labels for school? For one, I am paranoid that if any of my kids' things get lost, they won't come back to us because there's no identification. If there's identification, people who find them can easily trace those things back to us. Also, my kids love to see their names on print. It gives them a sense pride that "this beautiful notebook is mine and it has my name on it to prove it." It gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. I usually tell them, showing the label to them, like "This is my notebook and it has my name on it. I don't want it lying around for everyone to see and know that I'm the owner who's not taking care of it well." 

And lastly, aren't those kids name labels the cutest? I'm sure every kid would want something cute and beautiful to display, especially if it has their favorite cartoon characters on them. And my kids are no exception.

This year, I just made the labels very simple for my kids' school belongings. I found some free labels online, cute ones, but since we don't have a printer, having them printed out at a local print shop will really cost a lot. So I just made my own. The kids are okay with whatever I came up with, but I can see they were not as happy like last year. Next year, I promised them, (OK, yeah, I promised myself) I would order them some really good name labels at a website I saw that offers high-quality name labels months in advance.  Sometimes, ordering in bulk online is cheaper than having them printed out. 

I'm sure parents in the US are already preparing back-to-school items for their kids. We're done with that here in this part of the world, and we can just now sit and relax. So, to all my mommy friends in the US, as they say, Aja!

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A is for Artscow

Welcome all ABC Wednesday Participants!!!

 

I love scrapbooking, digitally or old-school cut-and-paste. I love preserving memories. And, I have recently discovered that aside from sharing my digiscraps with families and friends online, I can also print them and turn them into photo books! Oh, what joy to finally see those digiscraps in print. 

Digikit elements used: armina_memory keeper by arminadesigns.com
That is why A is for Artscow. I have already three photo books printed out by them. For all of these three, I only paid shipping. Every new member gets credits and I used my photobook credits to print out these photo books. They are unbelievably generous with credits. I have so many credits for other items that had expired because I was not able to use them. They are generous with discounts and special occassions pomotions, too.

When it comes to quality, as long as your uploaded photos are in high resolution and good quality, you can expect a rich, high-quality photo. I noticed that there's a warning every time I choose a photo that is not of good quality. I ignored those warnings on my first order and so I was a little bit disappointed with my Summer 2012 photo book. It was first time and I was just trying things out. Anyway, on my second and third photo books, the colors were amazing.

If you're looking for a personalized gift item, why not try Artscow. They have personalized key chains, umbrellas, watches, photo books, mouse pads, shirts, mugs, and of course, photo printing.

You can sign up here in this link and for every sign-up, I get extra photo credits for my digiscrapping happy self. :)


Happy Wednesday everyone! 
Keep making good memories! And be safe wherever you are in the world!

Jul 16, 2013

My Kind of House

I was browsing through an old copy of an entertainment magazine (Yes Magazine) that I  got when I bought my May issue of my favorite parenting magazine. I can't help but admire the house of the couple, Regine and  Ogie Alcasid. They have a very spacious and luxurious hilltop home, one that's centered around their child and their passion which is music. They have their own recording studio inside their house. Who knows, they may have used Presonus products at one point in this music studio. I can see many   kinds of musical instruments and recording devices and many plaques of recognition for Ogie's albums. Their house is the kind of house I want -- spacious, with sun lighting up the whole area through open space and high glass windows, and greenery everywhere you look. And they have an infinity pool. But, I'm just gonna dream on for now, because this house I'm sure costs millions, which I don't have. :)

Ruby TuesdayToo #1: Pork Luncheon Meat


 My kids sure did get a good laugh over these pieces of pork luncheon meat.   Before they were eaten, of course.     
           
Guess which one got eaten first?

Jul 15, 2013

Not A Music Person

My nose bleeds whenever hubby talks about music, songs and dance. I'm not a music person, I can't even carry a tune. I can't dance either, I was born with two left feet. So all the talk about music at home is giving me a headache.When they were talking about Cakewalk, I thought they were talking about food, haha. That is such an advance topic for a non-music lover like me. I'm sure my photographer brother who's in the technical department of CCP would understand that, but not me. He might even have that at his place of work. Me, I cannot even grasp the concept of  it being a  MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) sequencer.

I love listening to music and all but I don't want to discuss music, which people at my house seem to be doing lately. But I don't want my kids to be like me, so when hubby bought my eldest a guitar I was happy. I'm just so glad my kids did not take after me. All of them loves to and can sing and dance. I'm the book, arts and craft, pen and paper person in the house.

Yellow Odd Looking Plant


I first saw this plant during my son's field trip at Paradizoo Farm. The guide said the plant is tagged as Mickey Mouse plant, because its fruits are shaped like that of Mickey Mouse's head, with the ears and all.
 
Solanum Mammosum at Paradizoo Farm
 I tried researching on Mickey Mouse plant because that's what the guide said its name was. But there are images of another Mickey Mouse plant on the net and that other one was red and looks more like Mickey Mouse than this one. I later found out that the scientific name of this plant is Solanum mammosum. (Thanks Wikipedia and Google Images!) It is also known as Nipplefruit or Cow's Udder. The plant is a relative of eggplant and potato. See the leaves? It originated from South America and is poisonous.

Solanun Mammosum at the Manila Seedling Bank
I found the same plant at the Manila Seedling Bank last December. I find this plant really interesting and intriguing. According to good old Wikipedia, it is known as "five fingered eggplant" in Chinese culture and  "Fox Face" in Japan. .

There's a great post about this plant as a favorite decorative plant to use during the Chinese New Year at My Nice Garden. The plant has wonderful purple and yellow blooms and has thorns. I didn't notice the thorns at all but you can see them clearly at  Andrea at this Lifetime's post. 

Have a great week ahead, everyone! May you be blessed with so much love and good health this week.

Jul 14, 2013

Screw For The Wall Mount

Hubby's been trying to get our TV on the wall for some time now. He bought a wall mount for it some months ago. After he bought it, I told him we could not use the wall mount because our rent contract states we cannot drill holes on the wall. He was so disappointed and thought that since we've been living in this house for six years now and they practically are open to us buying it eventually, maybe they wouldn't mind anyway.  

Two weeks ago, I finally got the courage to ask our landlord about drilling holes in the house, just for flat panel and he agreed. We were so happy and we took out the wall mount that hubby had stored in the closet so we could finally mount the TV on the wall. Well, we got so frustrated because it seems we can't get it right, until we realized we're missing some screws!

We can't  return the item anymore because it's been with us for months.We had to ask my big brother who sells items online if he could find us some screw that would fit what we bought, or find us a new wall mount. The TV is fine where it is right now, but we would have more open space once the TV's mounted on the wall.  So this wall mount thing is another one of our mini house projects, haha.

Kids R Kool Giveaway

kidsrkool

Welcome to the Kids R Kool Giveaway Event!

Hosted by: Tyrneathem and Java John Z's
Sponsored By: Real Kids Shades, FunBites, KidKnows Thermometers, YumEarth, and Lionsgate Entertainment
Time to spoil the kids and let them know we think they're pretty cool. Five fun little prize packages await the lucky little kid in your life! Learn more about each item by clicking on the links to read Tyrneathem's reviews. 
~
kidskool1

Package One (ARV up to $50)

Real Kids Shades ~ Winner's Choice of 1 Pair Kidknows Thermometer
 

kidskool2

Package Two (ARV $40)

  ~

kidskool3

Package Three (ARV $36)

 ~

kidskool4

Package Four (ARV $31)

   ~
kidskool5

Package Five (ARV $24) 

Angelina Ballerina : Mousical Musicals DVD Kidknows Thermometer

Five lucky winners will each receive one of the five fun prize packages above!
Giveaway runs from July 15 to July 31. All entries are optional, but more entries means greater odds. All entries will be verified. Please read terms on entry form before entering.

Good Luck!


Disclosure: I have not received any compensation for the post above. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services mentioned. The host may have received compensation or applied affiliate links. Participating bloggers are not responsible for the awarding of the prize. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, or any other social media network.

My Mother's Photo Book


 Mother arrived from the province last week. I was so excited to show her the photobook I made and ordered for her last Mother's Day. I'm glad she like the photobook. I compiled photos of all her grandkids as babies and at their current ages now. I can see that she really like the photobook because she was smiling while she browsing through the photo book, and even chuckled over the baby pics. 

I really love the company where I order my photobooks. I wonder if they are using eoncode.com for print management software. Customizing the photobooks with them is very easy, quality of paper and print is really good and shipping is fast. I will make a separate post about that company in the coming weeks. 

Sometimes, you don't have spend a lot for gifts. I got my mothers photobook for free but the smile on her face and the joy in her heart is priceless.

Jul 13, 2013

The Best Baby Clothes for Your Little Angel

With more and more malls and shopping centers emerging, parents are also getting immensely brand conscious. Designer clothes are available not only for elders but for babies too. Everything ranging from baby clothes, to cribs and accessories are branded. There in fact are designers who specialize in kids' clothes, and the beautiful patterns, colors and designs they offer can easily sweep anyone off their feet. Below are discussed some amazing clothes that you can get for your baby to make her/him look like a star.

First and most important baby clothes needs to be comfortable and soft. You might come across clothes that have nice bright colors, look attractive, and can be worn on almost any occasion, but are not comfortable and can also be suffocating for your child. You obviously need to stay away from these. You can dress up your kid in designer denim pants and team it with a nice sleeveless T-shirt and your kid is ready to rock the show. Some brands offer the complete set and also provide a cap to complete the look.

You may also get a baby jacket that goes with your kid's dress. For your baby boy you can get a racing jacket, and your little kid will look like a small racer. If you have been blessed with a baby girl dress her up in a strappy top, a nice frilly skirt and to complete the look get a jacket in pastel pink shades. It will be great if the jacket has a glittery star or a Barbie image in the front.

If you are a sports lover, you can get a pit crew overall for your kid or a basketball T-shirt and a nice designer short, and this will make her/him look like a cute star player. Be sure your baby will attract all attention. Babies also look great in island shorts, and moreover it keeps them comfortable, so they will have a nice time playing around. You too will not have to worry since these clothes can be easily worn and at the same time it is not difficult to maintain them.

Baby girls look beautiful in gowns and frill dresses. They look best in lighter pastel shades. Dress your child in one and your kid will look like an angel. You can use some accessories like a hair band or hair clips, and your baby will look even cuter. Dungarees are also a great choice when it comes to kids' clothes. You can buy a dungaree and mix-match it with a fashionable T-shirt. This will not make your kid look overtly dress, but nonetheless cute and attractive.

While buying a dress for your baby, comfort is the first thing you need to consider. It will be best if the clothes can be put on and taken off fast since babies dirty their clothes quite frequently. You can also design your kids' clothes by mixing and matching the various available options. After all it is you who know best what your baby will be most comfortable and happy in. 

***Sasithon Bella is the cool in The Kewl Shop, a place to find things you really want. She knows a good thing when she sees it and is proud to let you know too!

Jul 12, 2013

Macapuno Sweets

Orange You Glad It's Friday

My kids love these special macapuno rolled in milk. My father arrived at our house today from the province and brought us these sweets.


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Body Aches, Sleep and Pillows

Image courtesy of franky242/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It seems like the only thing I do nowadays is sleep. For some reason, I have been feeling very sluggish and sleepy. Last Saturday, I have moved my workstation from downstairs where I keep an eye on the kids to upstairs where I could work uninterrupted during the day and be able to work at night while the kids are sleeping in the same room. The thing is, the new workstation is so closed to the bed and it's hotter during the day that I feel so sleepy most of the time.

Today, I woke up with a migraine and an aching body. My slippped disk is setting in again. What a combination! The migraine I could understand, it might be because of the heat or might be because of something I have eaten. The body aches is something new. Usually, it's just the lower spine that's aching. But today, it's the whole body, including my arms and neck. I'm sure it's because I've been sleeping so much. Or I have not positioned myself correctly during my hours of sleep. Maybe it's time to find neck pillow specials and other body pillows. The mattress is almost brand new so it could not be that.

Today, while searching online, I found out that there different types of pillows for different sleepers. Interesting.  There are side sleepers, stomach sleepers and there are back sleepers.  Determining your sleeping positions is important in choosing the right kind of pillows you need for that restful sleep. Side sleepers like me need a firm pillow, back sleepers need a medium density pillow and stomach sleepers need a soft pillow.

I have two conditions that I really hate, one is migraine and the other one is the slipped disk. And when pain sets in, in both cases, after taking pain relievers, my only escape is sleep.

Jul 10, 2013

Z is for Zinnias


I missed the Y's last week. But I sure won't miss the last letter for this edition of ABC Wednesday. It has been fun reading blogs who participated in this edition. Thanks to all the participants and to the team members of ABC Wednesday for always dropping by.

I was supposed to write about Yoga and Zumba, because hubby tried both of them in the past few months. I tried joining him during zumba time but after a few minutes, I felt my my back aching a bit. So, no, that is not for someone like me who have a slipped disk. Since I don't have any photos of him exercising, I'll just leave you with this photo of beautiful, sturdy flowers -- the zinnias. 

photo edited at picmonkey :)

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

16GB WiFi iPad Mini Giveaway!

 

Welcome to Bay Area Mommy‘s 2nd anniversary iPad Mini Giveaway! 

One lucky reader will win an iPad Mini (winner’s choice of color)! 
Giveaway runs from July 10, 2013 at 12:01am EST through August 4, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. 
Open worldwide!
Void where prohibited. Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible. No purchase necessary. Please see full terms in the widget below. To enter, use the GiveawayTools widget below. Good luck!

Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. For questions regarding this giveaway or if you notice errors in the links, please contact Bay Area Mommy at isis@bayareamommy.net.

Biometric Time Clocks

More than ten years ago, I worked for a very small company as a document coder. Information Technology is not yet at its peak. And yet, this very small company was able to come up with their very first  biometric time clocks. This fingerprint technology was I think the first here in our country and I'm proud to say I was one of the first people who experienced timing in with that technology. Later on, after I moved out of that company, the company continued to grow and I heard they become a contractor for the NBI's to process the NBI clearances for some time. Biometric time clocks are easy to use and great for companies, because it lessens the possibility of employees punching in and out for their co-employees.

Fun With Clay



Last week, the kids were so into dough or clay. The fascination for anything clay was rekindled when one of Simon's classmate in prep class brought a set of play dough during art class. Simon asked me to buy a set for him and I did. I bought one set for him and one for Sam. 


It's amazing what the sets of clay can do. Making things out of clay kept them occupied and quiet for very long periods of time. Each child is busy with his own set of clay. I can sense their minds thinking, thinking, thinking and see their hands working, working, working.  The only time I was interrupted at work was when they had to show me their new creations. And I laugh with glee and praise them most of the time. The fascination with the clay wore off after a week and they're now back to their usual rowdy, wrestling selves. LOL.

Jul 7, 2013

Bloggers Wanted: Kids R Kool Mini Giveaway Event

kidsrkool

Blogger Sign-Ups Now Open! Event begins July 15th!

Organized by: Tyrneathem
Prizes: Real Kids Shades, FunBites, Angelina Ballerina: Mousical Medleys DVD, Barney: Imagine With Barney DVD, and KidKnows Thermometers
(Small prize packages ranging in value from $9 to $25.)
Event Dates: 7/15 – 7/31
Sign-ups Close: 7/12
Free Facebook and Twitter link for participating bloggers!

If you have an appropriate sponsor (kid-themed items) and would like to be a part of this event, please contact me at tyrneathem at gmail dot com. Contributors will get a co-host link in the giveaway post and may add an additional link of their choice to the Rafflecopter.

Posting an announcement post is not necessary, but greatly appreciated. Grab the html here.

Jul 6, 2013

Avoid the mistakes when shopping for baby clothes

Before the internet burst onto the scene and gave everyone equal buying power, finding the best baby clothes was a task that even the most resourceful mum and dad found troubling.

Now, with a wealth of information only seconds away, one of the biggest problems is filtering out all the unnecessary stuff and getting to the information that can really help you out.

Here's an insightful guide for all new parents, which should help any new shopper avoid the mistakes when shopping for baby clothes.

Making a list is a very wise idea
Not sure how many baby grows you ordered? Maybe you're struggling to remember if those nice new booties are on order or won't be back in stock for another few weeks? All these memory woes can easily be avoided by making a simple list.

For one it means you won't have to spend ages checking through your emails for order confirmation, and for two it'll enable you to keep tabs on exactly what you have to order, precisely when you need it.

If it looks broke, don't use it
Baby clothes are like anything: they're made by machines, packaged and thought-up by people, and designed with meticulous care. But that doesn't mean to say that mistakes can't happen, so if you find yourself holding a garment, staring at the seam and thinking it doesn't look right, there's never any harm in sending an email or making a quick phone-call.

For the most part, baby clothes are some of the safest items out there, but every so often a manufacturing error might leave clothing damaged or less than satisfactory. There is another very practical reason for contacting the maker of the product, of course, and that's to bring it to their attention so that, if need be, they can initiate a re-call on any other faulty products.

Keeping receipts is very important
With your groceries or household products, you can afford to throw away receipts. Baby clothes receipts, on the other hand, are a very different matter. Some warranties won't be valid unless proof-of-purchase is kept intact.

The same thing goes for instructions and information regarding your baby clothes. The information will probably be online somewhere, but by storing it all safely in one place, you're making life an awful lot easier should you ever need to take action or find something out.

Cleaning matters
When you buy some baby clothes, it's easy to think that the same washing instructions as all your other clothes will apply to them. The problem is, in some cases this couldn't be further from the truth.
Along with hygiene and keeping those nice new items fresh for the course of their short life, it's also a fact that badly washed baby clothes can mean less fun for the baby who wears them. By washing the garments properly as instructed, you're ensuring that they don't give your little one a nasty case of nappy rash.

Customer reviews are a great indication of quality
Finding yourself blown away by what a certain manufacturer is saying about their baby clothes? Or perhaps you've been reading about how a certain celebrity adores a particular brand and wouldn't use anything else on their little one? Either way, it's always better to do some research to back these claims up, and customer reviews are probably one of the most reliable ways of doing this. While reviews can't always be trusted, it's fair to say that they hold a certain prestige in the world of baby clothes.

One last thing. Not all reviews will be good, so approach with caution. The fact of the matter is that it's hard to make the perfect product for every person out there. The main thing is that you don't go buying baby clothes which you're unsure about. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

*David writes about the changing world of how classic brands continue to offer the same range of successful products decade after decade and survive the ever changing storm in one of the world's most competitive and fad-focused consumer markets.

Jul 3, 2013

Theatre Acting In the Summer

Yesterday, Basti expressed his anxiety over their coming classroom play.  Basti used to have stage fright. When he was in preschool, his knees literally shake whenever he went onstage to receive his awards. Thankfully, his stage fright had lessen because of numerous mini-plays and activities they've done at school.  Last year, I watched one of their mini-plays and I was really so proud of my son acting out his part really well on stage and not seeming to be lost even a little bit. Although, he said that his heart was racing and his hands were sweating all throughout the play. He has overcome that fear and is more confident now onstage. Still, there are times that he would decline invitations to play a certain part. I told him that everything will be all right, as long as he prepares for the part, memorize his lines and do as instructed.

I wish I could enroll him in a workshop for acting and building more confidence onstage, but that is out the budget right now and our schedule would not permit it. Doing it in the summer would be much better but then I have been an epic failure when it comes to summer activities for my kids, haha. Still it would be good for someone to mentor him on this kind of activity.

In California, there are  Walnut Creek children's theatre acting camps specializing in this musical theatre acting. Children are taught and mentored on acting and are guaranteed a speaking role in the musical productions. These summer activities are fun and really beneficial to children who have found a passion for acting early on in life or who would like to explore this field of music and arts.

Finding a great teacher, mentors and directors for stage performances is difficult. It is not like playing guitars where even your neighbors would do as long as they know how to play and are willing to teach you. It would be great to find a theatre school where a renowned director, actor and composer likeBarrett Lindsay-Steiner teach. Those schools are hard to find and so one must take advantage of the expertise that such director-actor offers.

I hope that my Basti would be okay in his next play. I would definitely go out of my way to prepare him for his part. After all, that's what we parents do, support our child in any way we can, right?

Tim Giggle Grabber and Stuart Light Up Grabber


These are my two younger kids' new toys. These are Tim Giggle Grabber and Stuart Light Up Grabber of the movie Despicable Me and are part of the collection of McDonald's Happy Meal toys. 


I've been watching Despicable Me 1 in DVD for a week now, I can almost memorize the lines. The minions are really adorable and I can understand why the kids love the movie. We haven't watched Despicable Me 2 yet but I'm hoping we can watch in the theater, if it's still showing. That would be a real treat to the kids. If not, we just have to wait for the DVD version, then or download online. :)

Jul 1, 2013

Finding A Good Day Care

It's such a joy to see my youngest go to school everyday. He's obviously enjoying the things that they are doing at school like drawing, singing, reading and doing the math. He skips as he walks to school and comes home proudly smiling showing off the stars in his hands. He likes his teacher and the people at his school.


When considering a daycare or preschool, instead of doing a little research about the place, why not do a LOT of research? This is for you own child's good. For example, if you're trying to look for a good Thornton CO day care, make sure to visit the place, look to other parents' testimonials, make sure that the school is following state laws and regulations, observe how the teachers and children are interacting with each other, or how children themselves are interacting with each other, and look at their curriculum. Check the teacher-student ratio. More importantly, ask lots of questions, never assume, know the details and don't leave anything to chance. Try checking with other schools and compare. These steps are very important especially if you're living in the US where kids go to daycare as early as a few months, with the parents working outside of the house.

Here in this part of the world, I don't know of any daycare service that offer the same services or have the same set-up that they have in the US. We have extended families, lol, that help us in taking care of our kids.  And if we don't have that, we have babysitters and yayas instead to accompany our kids at home and bring them to their respective schools. Although, I've heard some moms in my WAHM community wanting to have that kind of service where we can drop off the kids to be taken care of with other kids during the hours that we're away. 

I am lucky that I did not have difficulty finding a good daycare for Simon. He's going to the same elementary school his brother Sam is going to. They offer preschool classes as well. Sam is in Grade 2 and Simon is in Prep.When I first enrolled Sam in this school, I researched about it first. I listened to other parents' testimonials and ask questions from other people who know about the school. Testimonials are very important to know the experiences of parents and students in a school.

What I like about my two kids' school is that there a small number of students, so teachers are more focused on each student and students' weaknesses and strengths are addressed. There's a good teacher-student ratio. I can talk with the teachers about the progress of my two kids and all concerns are attended to almost immediately. With this kind of set-up, I'm able to concentrate on my work and not worry too much about my two younger kids at school.