Oct 30, 2013

Getting Ready For Christmas

Christmas lantern/parol for sale at SM 
I was glad to see giant lanterns/parol for sale at the mall this early. They suddenly reminded me that Christmas is so near. They suddenly reminded me to make that list of gifts for godchildren, family and friends, and things to do before Christmas. 

Most of all, those "parol" for sale reminded me of food, though food is the least of my worries come Christmas time. After two birthdays the past week, and seeing the reaction of family members to the food that were prepared in these two birthdays, I already have an idea of what to prepare for Christmas. It's nothing complicated though, just the usual food, but this time the ideal combination is what will set the food apart from previous feasts. What's complicated is setting the table for visiting family and friends. This year, I want a festive table. I am thinking buying new table covers that has a Christmasy feel and new place mats and table runners to make the table appealing to the eyes of guests. I've seen a burlap table runner and I wonder how much that costs. I hope I will have the budget that I need for this setup. 

We'll start decorating after the first week of November. I am lucky to have a husband who's keen in this kind of thing. I'm sure he'll be suggesting some more DIY projects for Christmas decorations. I hope I can find the time and energy to follow through. Last year, he had so many ideas but none of them was done, because I can't seem to find the time. But this year, I promise to put a little more extra effort into it. 

Oct 28, 2013

The Kids' Halloween Costumes This Year: Recycled

I find it impractical for me to buy new Halloween costumes with the so many things on our budget list right now and with the thought that kids would only be wearing these costumes anyway not more than two times this Halloween season, so we decided to look for alternatives. 

Thankfully, with the help of our Tatay Poly who's a tailor during his younger years, we were able to recycle an old The Reaper costume to a Black Cat costume for Simon. The old one was much too long for him and Sam would not wear it because he already wore it last year. Tatay Poly added a tail on the Black Cat costume. Simon wanted something else because the contest is for the scariest costume and a cat is not scary. I said, my dear, if there's a cutest contest, you'd surely win in that outfit. (What can I say, I'm a mom, hehe.) 

For Sam, we bought an old Skeleton costume that one of his classmates had last year. Sam loved it so much. His classmate has grown so big and would not fit in the costume anymore and he needed extra funds to buy the new one that he wants. And so, we bought it for more than half the price of course, and not only did we save on Sam's costume but also helped his classmates get that additional fund. 

I'm thankful also that my husband did not go to work the day of the party. He bought some face paint and was able to paint the kids' faces for more dramatic effect. We did not have to buy masks or headgear anymore. 

What's your kids' Halloween costume this year? Or better yet, what's your Halloween costume? 

Oct 27, 2013

A Wish List For Hubby

 If I have wish list for Christmas, I also have a wish list for hubby. This is a list of things I know my hardworking hubby would love to get for Christmas.

1. High Quality Charcoal Pencils 
As some of you already know, my hubby loves to paint. His medium is charcoal. He goes online to look for new approach in charcoal painting and browse through galleries of famous charcoal painters. He often wonders what kind of pencil these artists are using as their painting appears more vivid and more alive than his sometimes. It could be that it has something to do with the technique, or the skill, but it could also be with the type of materials use. I hope he'll get high quality charcoal pencils this Christmas. 

2. A Watch 
My husband is not into jewelry that much but he's really into accessories like bracelets and watches. I'm sure he would love to have a new watch to replace the one he has for years. Right now, he's wearing a watch that a friend gave him as pasalubong in one of his trips to Singapore. Hubby likes expensive watches. Who doesn't? They look good on him. I found a watch much like the one on the photo below, that he would surely love. It looks so much like the Titanium watch he lost a decade ago. 

3. Remote Control for the Wii
He could buy this on his own but somehow it was never a priority. He always forget to replace that old one that mysteriously got wet and was never fixed. He and the kids love to play Wii games and they haven't played for months. It would surely brighten his Christmas day when he opens the box and find this. 

4. Drawing Table Or Easel 
He does not have a drawing table nor an easel. He uses whatever table he can find at home. He wants something that is positioned a little bit upright, so his arms wouldn't tire after a few hours. 

Image courtesy of smokedsalmon/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
5. A Gym Membership
I'm sure he'd love a gym membership. He loves to stay in shape. He just exercises at home and runs sometimes. He is health conscious and I love that about him. He knows he's family has a history of high blood and he's really taking pains to minimize the chances of him being at risk. I better check a gym near our place and see about membership. 

So that is my wish list for hubby. All attainable except for the watch. I would have to save for a long time for that one. If you check out the website, you'll see the price, and if you convert that to peso, you'll know what I mean. Good luck to me. :D

Oct 26, 2013

The Wounded Child and The Witch

I call this little boy The Wounded Child. He's not really wounded. That was his make-up/prosthetics last year during Sam's school Halloween event. Yikes, right?

And this is Sam with The Witch at the SM store. This is in 2011, I guess.

These two are examples of a Halloween look where don't have to spend a lot. Just a little bit of make-up, a messy hair and black shirt and you're good to go. The first photo is a little bit complicated but everything can be learned with the all the self-help tools and resources we see on the Internet.

I thought of posting these photos now, since it's Halloween and I have brand new Halloween photos again. Today is Simon and Sam's 2013 Halloween party at school.  I'll post photos of that soon and some other trick or treat activities.

Oct 21, 2013

Cleaning Rusty Coins

Most of these five-peso coins were rusty.  I got them inside our big lotion bottle recycled into a piggy bank. Hubby has this habit of turning empty containers into instant piggy banks, where all his loose change go at the end of the day. When they're all filled, we empty all the coins out and spend them or save them for future use. Sometimes he forgets about them but I don't, haha. He thought the bottle was all empty but the lotion residue made the coins look rusty. I had to research on how to clean them. I cannot take them to the stores (whether to exchange for bills or buy something) looking like that because the stores might not accept them anymore. How do I take the rust out of those coins? Most of the suggestions online were to let the coins rest in a container full of vinegar and then scrub. And that is what I did. Not all of the rust were scrubbed off but at least the details became sharper and the rusty color faded a bit.

But for valuable coins, like collectible coins, the military coins and those coins that are really old or what they say has valuable dates, coin collectors would say that the best way to clean them is NOT to clean them at all. Cleaning them improperly would decrease their monetary value. So the best thing to do is to determine if the coin has value (collector value) before you clean them. What NOT to use in cleaning valuable coins are: metal polish, sand paper, steel wool, vinegar, muriatic acid, silver dip type cleaner, silver polish, et cetera. If you have to clean coins for hygienic purpose, some coin collectors suggest to wash them with mild detergent and warm water, but do not soak.

There are many other suggestions on how to clean the coins that I have (i.e. not collector item coins). Some sites suggest Coca Cola, baking soda, soap and water, lime and water or lemon juice. Anyway, I didn't really put much effort into it anymore. The stores accepted my five-peso coins, anyway. End of the story. :)

Oct 18, 2013

Fall Clothing Trends for Girls

Most girls are very clothing conscious once they reach a certain age. They want to wear the trendy clothes that their friends and classmates are wearing. Girls clothes, and specifically, girls dresses are always changing when it comes to what is in style. Here are some of the popular fall clothing trends for girls.

Knitted Clothes
Knitted clothes, such as sweaters and dresses, are popular for the fall season. Jumpers are also coming back into style if they are knit jumpers. What is known as free knit is the popular trend for the fall. Within knitted clothing stripes are becoming very popular as little girls flock to striped knitted dresses and cardigans.

In girl’s dresses, jumpsuits and pants, denim is a classic that will always be in trend for girls and women of any age. Many young girls are turning to skinny jeans to help them feel fashionable. These jeans are adorned with studs, lace, fringe and crystals this fall. Plain jeans are out and enhanced jeans are becoming the trend to watch for.

Natural Hues
Fall clothing trends for girls are not just about different styles and materials, but about different colors too. For the fall season the trend in girl’s clothes is colors such as grey, brown, steel and the classic black and white look. Though these darker colors are popular among girls this fall so are bright colors such as fuchsia, corral, purple, pink and orange.

No longer content to wear plain clothes, girls are wearing prints more this fall than they have before. Embroidery and appliques are found on the hottest girls clothes for the fall season. Polka dots and stripes are currently trendy in girl’s clothes also. Even young girls want their outfit to make a statement to the world.

Combining Contrasting Colors
As girls become bolder they are more into wearing colors. A hot trend for girls this fall is to wear contrasting colors together. While in past seasons it was better to pick one color palette and stick with it, this is not the trend for the fall. Girls are now wearing colors such as pink, purple and blue together to create dazzling outfits.

Girls are wearing hats more than they did in the past. Any type of hat goes as long as it fits a girl’s head properly. Fur and knitted hats will be popular when the weather starts to turn cooler.

Though most people don’t associate fur coats with young girls, those girls are starting to realize that they can wear fur too. Fake fur is acceptable for those who are opposed to real fur or just can’t afford it. Fur hats and collars are in style this fall as are fur lined pocketbooks and shoes.

These are the top trends in girl’s clothes for the fall. Girls are maturing and looking for a more grown up look, which does explain some of these trends. Clothing trends for young girls frequently change.  

What the Technician Did

According to Simon, this is what the technician did when they went to our house to fix/find out  whatever is causing the slow connection.
simon's drawing on what the technician did (images by simon, words mine)
Simon watched the whole time while the techinician was on the roof doing what his buddies were instructing him to do. There were three technicians, one is on the computer and another acted as a messenger between the computer guy and the technician on the roof.

(images by simon, words mine)
In the end, the technicians left without any resolution to our problem. They did their best they said. They tried to find a nearer base station but couldn't find a signal. They put the connection back to the same base station and said there's just too much traffic. We were told to replace the canopy with Wi-Max instead with the ability to be on Wi-Fi. My sister is hesitant and hasn't gone to the sales center yet because she doesn't want to be possibly tied down to another two-year contract. 

The only consolation to the wasted time and the disappointment were these drawings that Simon drew. 

Oct 17, 2013

Cute Outfit Ideas for Little Girls

Every mom of a little girl knows how fun it is to create cute outfits. Doing this only takes a little bit of creativity and a willingness to dress your little girl in an outfit you wouldn’t necessarily picture her in. Here are some girls clothing ideas that make cute outfits.

Bonnie Jean Purple Black Zebra Outfit Legging
Sophia’s Style, an online girls’ clothing store, sells a cute outfit by kid’s designer Bonnie Jean called Purple Black Zebra. This adorable outfit consists of a purple long sleeved leotard with a ruffled bottom, paired with zebra print leggings. The zebra print trim completes the outfit that would look cute on any little girl.

Bonnie Jean Black Stripe Scotty Tutu Dress Leggings
This outfit, also found for sale at Sophia’s Style, is made up of a short sleeved black and white striped top with a scotty on the front. It includes a pink polka dot tutu and black leggings. This adorable outfit is perfect for any little girl who likes dogs, especially if she calls a scotty her pet.

Gigi Turquoise Butterfly Shirt Ruffle Skirt Outfit
The Gigi Turquois Butterfly Shirt Ruffle Skirt outfit features a plain blue top with a butterfly on it, as well as a pink, blue and green ruffled skirt with matching trim. This outfit can serve to make any little girl feel like a princess. Parents love it because it has so many beautiful pastel colors in the outfit.

Sophia’s Style Pink Brown Animal Print Pant Outfit
The Pink Brown Animal Print Pant outfit consists of a long pink short sleeved shirt and animal print flare leg pants. The bottom of the shirt and the arm holes are outlined in animal print as well. This is a unique outfit any little girl would be proud to wear.

Bonnie Jean White Navy Dot Tier Dress Leggings
The Bonnie Jean White Navy Dot Tier Dress Leggings outfit consists of a sleeveless white dress with big blue polka dots. There are three layers at the bottom of the dress. The top layer is the same as the dress, the second layer is blue with small white polka dots and the bottom layer is pure red. The outfit comes with blue and white striped leggings giving the outfit a sailor like look.

Holiday Outfits For Little Girls
Sophia’s Style carries many adorable Christmas outfits for little girls. Some of these outfits are dresses and some of them come with really cute leggings. The Bonnie Jean Green Reindeer Tulle Christmas outfit consists of a green long sleeved top with a reindeer on the front and a red and green tutu. The outfit also includes red and green striped leggings. These adorable Christmas outfits could melt even the heart of Ebeneezer Scrooge.

These are just some of the many cute ideas out there for little girls outfit. Many of them even come with girls jackets that complement the outfit and let little girls stay warm in style. 

Oct 16, 2013

Kitchen Repairs

Image courtesy of nuttakit/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Our landlord and landlady have both agreed to have the kitchen fixed at their expense. The kitchen roof would need to be fixed as they are leaking already whenever it rains. And I had asked to have the top kitchen cabinets taken out because we've not used them at all in the seven years that we've been living in this house. I would have to have them recycled, maybe put them instead below the kitchen counter top (like the ones you see at the photo above) and maybe add in drawers with undermount slides. There's a lot of repairs that we need to do on this house, with the help of our landlords for now and later on, on our own. With so much rain the last few months, the house seems to be suddenly deteriorating on its own. 

At The Library

Join as at Kids In Doodles!

It was a Friday two weeks ago when I took the kids to a public library near our place. The kids were excited as it was their first time to go inside a library. The library is very small, but for them, it was the biggest they have seen, of course. :) Their eyes grew wide as they looked at all the books on the shelves. The librarian at the desk asked them to sign the guestbook/logbook. It was their first time to fill up a form, with their name, school and the time they went in. Even Simon wrote his name, but just his first name because the librarian said I could do it for him. It would really take a long time and a lot of space if he did it himself. 

I took the kids to the library so I could show them some fairy tales books, as we had been reading lots of Tagalog books  lately written in the Filipino setting. I would like them to see other kind of books, fairy tales and fables and such. We were ushered by another librarian to the children's section. I showed them all the fairy tales books but they were not interested. They went for the science books instead. They read about dinosaurs, astronauts, animal and plants. Although I managed to read to them a short story books titled "Making Paper Boats With Papa". 

After our trip to the library, we went to the newly-opened Mini Stop outlet nearby and they got sundae cone treats for being such good kids at the library. I think we're going to make it a Friday habit. Going to the library on a regular basis is a good habit as it promotes the love for books and reading.

I was happy to see some students inside the library researching and reading books. In this day and age, you'll usually see them in Internet cafes Googling their research projects. :) 

Oct 6, 2013

The Arrow On the Ground

The all-around-guy at our subdivision cleaned out the sewer in the neighborhood a few months ago. Getting rid of the accumulated dirt and garbage in the sewers is something he does every year. This year, though, he left marks on the manholes so he'll know which way everything flows to. It seems that it goes from left to right or vice-versa. I don't know which anymore.

The kids had taken interest in them and traced the arrow marks until they reached the last manhole. Last week, the kids told me that the arrow mark in front of our house is gone. I checked it out and saw that the arrow mark indeed is not visible anymore. It's obvious that our all-around-guy did not use a good marking paint for the arrow marks. He may have used just ordinary paint for it. 

I would suggest to him to use a marking paint next time. Marking paints last a long time than ordinary paint. In a place where it floods easily, it is important to have the sewers cleaned and cleaned correctly. The marking paint and arrow markers will make his work easier.

A Card for Tatay

Simon spent a few hours on Friday afternoon making paper art and making a birthday card for his Tatay Poly. Tatay Poly is my husband's uncle who has been sort of my kids' lolo (grandfather). Since my hubby's father had passed away even before my eldest was born, he is the lolo they know on my hubby's side. And since my father lives in the province and only get to see my kids when he stays with us during vacation, my kids spend more time with Tatay Poly than with my father. 

 So, it goes without saying that for my kids, Tatay Poly's 60th birthday is a big event. Simon prepared this birthday card for him.

We are thankful for his presence in our lives. He is generous with the kids, not only with toys, gifts or candies and food, but with his time. He attends most of Simon and Sam's school events. Sometimes, he just visits in the afternoon after school and buy the kids some treats at the sari-sari store. My kids love him to pieces.