Mar 31, 2014

Finding the Right Preschool for Your Child

Yes, it's summer vacation for the kids! My younger kids, Simon and Sam, had their graduation ceremony last Saturday.

Need I say that I am one proud mom. :)
When the owner of the school gave her speech, she was very emotional and couldn't help but burst into tears. That was the final graduation ceremony for the school. It would be closed and it would not open again in June. We were all sad about this unfortunate situation but there's nothing we can do. The school has not been doing well as it could not compete with all the other bigger schools in our area for a couple of years now. It's good though that they waited for the Grade VI students to graduate before they finally closed shop. 

I'm glad that I was able to find this school for Sam and Simon. It was really hard to find a good preschool. I've debated so many things in my mind before I decided on this one two years ago. If you're looking for a preschool for your child, it is every important to do a thorough research of the preschools in your area.  If you're in Colorado, for example, you get a lists of all the preschool in Thornton CO area. After you have determined a favorable location to you and your budget, you can then check out the location by visiting these preschools. I would recommend visiting first the ones that are highly recommended by friends and family. Once at the location, you can then check and ask questions regarding safety guidelines, staffing ratios, school policies, legalities and accreditation. It is very important also to observe staff/teacher and children interaction. If you feel that's something out of sorts, then it's best to forgo that certain preschool. As I've read in one the parenting website, it's good to trust your instinct and intuition in matters relating to the good of your child.  On this matter, I trusted my instinct that the best school for my kids is one that is small and only has a few students with them, and it worked out well in the end. 

Mar 22, 2014

Infrared Cameras

The news about the fire at Mount Banahaw got me worried. My brother called me and told me to watch the news about it. My aunt, my mother's sister, lives at Mount Banahaw, in the Sariaya, Quezon side. It was a relief to know that the fire was at the top of Mount Banahaw, but still, a forest fire is something that's unpredictable and can go any which way. My brother called my aunt and was told that they are far from fire and safe. It such a waste that though that so much of nature had been destroyed in that fire, burning 50 hectares of the forest. A number of people are believed to have been trapped in the mountain still. 

This news about the the fire leads me thinking about Infrared system or IR system which is "heat detection system for fire detection, mapping, and hotspot identification" (thanks, wiki!). Infrared cameras are also very handy during fires as it shows out hospots to the firefighters. Hunters, firefighters, and authorities are always on the lookout for the best website for an infrared camera . IR cameras shows firemen the hottest area and the least hottest areas. The fire at Mount Banahaw burned out by itself, according to news. I wonder how  infrared cameras can help in finding the trapped people in a situation like this. 

Mar 21, 2014

OYGIF: The Marching Band

This post is linked to Orange You Glad It's Friday.

photo credit: www.theweddingprojects.com
 The band during a parade at the Pasinaya 2014 of the Cultural Center of the Philippines looks really awesome in their red and black attire. Pasinaya 2014 is a one-day open house of the CCP where it showcased dance, music, films, visual arts and theaters from thousands of artists and hundreds of artists groups all over the country.

photo credit: www.theweddingprojects.com

Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

JS Prom

As a photographer, my brother always covers weddings and other special events. His business' Facebook page has been filled lately with photos of  teenagers in their Junior and Senior Prom attires. It's always refreshing to see happy young faces posing for camera in their formal dresses and suits. Girls look so radiant in their gowns and boys look so handsome in their tuxedos or suit. I remember when I was younger, during my own JS, I was so nervous because I don't know how to dance, even if they taught me. I swear I must have stepped  over on my partner's toes many times that night. I can't remember most of what happened that night, it was all a blur to me now. I do remember that I danced with my crush. That's something you don't forget at all, haha. Someone was actually dancing with a cigarette and accidentally burned a hole in his Barong Tagalog. Poor him. Unlike today, where you can find a lot of tuxedos and other kinds of suits in a site like this here, suits and Barong Tagalog in those days are expensive and hard to find especially if you live in the province. Anyway, I guess everything went okay for him when he came home because it's not his fault anyway. Reminiscing my JS Prom, huh? JS Prom really is a big day for teenagers and it's something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. 



Thankful Thursday: Work

For this week's Thankful Thursday, I am focusing on the online job that sustained me over the years since I started being a work-at-home mom. Being a transcriber is not an easy job at first. I really got frustrated the first few times I worked on some files and really doubted that it was really worth the time or the effort or if the pay was worth it. But as the months go on and I got used to the nature of the work, I became much faster in it and began to enjoy transcribing and learned so many things.   

If looking for transcription companies, you can check out 199 Jobs (offers also other services), ScribieQuicktate and Transcribe Me among others. Understand that being a transcriber is hard work, but if you put a good amount of time and effort into it, it will pay off. In some sites, not necessarily in any of the above, I started out with a low pay, but I worked my way to have a higher one or to be in a position where there's less work for the same amount of pay. Understand that you cannot actually catch a big project or pitch to your own client or command a higher price later on if you don't have experience and don't have good performance to back you up. Other people I know started out small also but now have their own transcription or VA companies and can command a higher price, thus they can sub-contract.

I  am thankful that I have work, that I don't have to endure the traffic, that I don't have to get out of the house when it's raining, and that I am right here besides my kids 24 hours a day. Thanks to God for this gift called the Internet. 

Mar 20, 2014

Packaging for Art Pieces

The first time we tried to send my husband's charcoal drawing to a client in the province, we had no idea how to put it in a packaging that would not destroy it in any way. We put in between two styro boards so the surface would not be scratched. Apparently, according the delivery company, it should be in bubble wrap. I don't know, but for our kind of item, a styro board I think is better. The item itself is not breakable.  This made me think on being really serious on researching ways on how to ship his works long distance without getting scratched. This is because he has a prospective client in the UK who is asking about his charcoal drawings. I recently came upon a website, www.foambymail.com, which is offering foam packaging. I am particularly interested in the charcoal egg crate sets which are like egg crates but are very soft, I think even softer than bubble wraps since it's made of foam. This is one alternative that I want to look at. I hope my hubby would get more and more clients this year, because he enjoys drawing very much and being paid to do what he loves doing is  a plus. 

Simon the Cat

Kids have a way of changing their minds about things instantly and without any warning . Last Halloween, he wouldn't even look at this face mask that I bought for him. He's supposed to use this as part of his cat costume, but he didn't want to put it on. 


He found it again last February and was really delighted by it. He always puts it on since then and pretends he's a cat, jumping and climbing from one furniture to another while making those meow sounds. While I'm glad for the pretend play, I had to hide it again for next Halloween because he wouldn't take it off. I'm afraid if there might be toxins, because this is supposed to be worn for only an hour or so last Halloween. Kids are really so unpredictable. 

Mar 19, 2014

My 2013 Photo Boook

Right before Christmas, I went to the the post office to get my photo book which I ordered from ArtsCow. It was a photo book filled with highlights of our lives in each month of 2013.


When I got to the post office, I have to line up with the rest of the people claiming their packages. It was Christmas time and the line was long. I had to have the invoice printed out in a nearby Internet cafe because they would not give me me my photo books without it. They never asked for this before with the other photo books that I ordered. After I gave them the invoice, I was asked to go inside the customs office to log in to my account for them to make sure that I did not pay anything more than what was declared on my invoice.  They seem to have gotten so strict right before Christmas! Going to the post office has suddenly become something of a hassle for me. I was trying to check for online local printing available here in Manila,  who could deliver door to door, but can't find any that I like. The deals I get from ArtsCow are unbeatable with their coupon codes, freebies and other promotions. 

Simon Draws: The Bees


This is my oldest son's prep notebook. Here, in this notebook, I drew a bee for him years ago and he labeled its parts for his assignment. I remember thinking back then that wow, this is what they study nowadays? At prep? When I was in Grade 1, I was drawing an apple beside a big letter A, a ball beside a big letter B and so on. Now, seven years after, I'm sure that prep pupils have even more advanced lessons than this. 


Simon found this notebook and he said can draw that, too. So he did. Below is his drawing. I must say he draws better than me. :) He even added a honeybee comb in there and a few other bees. Perfect touch.


As a proud mom, I can't  help but give this drawing a big star when he asked for it. 

ABC Wednesday: Colorful Jeepneys

Found this colorful jeepneys at my brother's Facebook page. 
Sharing these with permission. 

photo credit: theweddingprojects.com

These shots were taken during the Pasinaya 2014 of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. It is a multi-arts festival showcasing hundred of artists and artists group in music, dance, film, literature, visual arts and theater. 

photo credit: theweddingprojects.com

These jeepneys are provided by the Jeepney Company. The passengers of these jeepneys, I read online , were being serenaded while en route to CCP. 

photo credit: theweddingprojects.com
This jeepney looks like it has the 'Kapre' on top of it. The kapre is a huge mythical creature that resides on trees and are always depicted smoking a tobacco. The jeepneys, the Philippines most popular mode of transportation, have always been heavily decorated, in and out, with religious trinkets, vehicle magnetic signs, and personal effects of the owners or drivers.  Though this one above is a special jeepney meant to showcase Philippine culture and society with its imaginative and creative decorations. 

I'm sharing this with my ABC Wednesday friends because J is for Jeepney. Enjoy the rest of the week!

Mar 17, 2014

Where to Buy Wigs Online

My brother, being a photographer, has a photo booth service he offers to his clients. I love looking at the photo booth shots at his The Wedding Projects Facebook page. Most of the shots are wacky and shows the attendees in their relaxed and playful moments. I also love the accessories like the pirates hat, the stuffed hats, and of course the wigs. You can from different kind of wigs in my brother's selection of wigs. The wigs are always a big hit. The wigs never fails to bring out laughter among the party people. Have you ever had your photo taken in a photo booth. It was fun, wasn't it? 

Speaking of wigs, you can  visit this website for a wig that are natural looking and stylish. Whether you need a hair wig because of a hair wig or you just want to look different without drastically changing your hairstyle, this is the site to go. These are not the kind of wigs that my brother has in his photo booth collection,of course, but if you want that, hey just PM me, okay? :) 

Monday Mellow Yellows: Delicious Corn



Delicious and mouthwatering boiled corn. Thanks to a very thoughtful relative who dropped by and left these with us. 

See more yellows at Monday Mellow Yellows.
Happy Monday!!!

Mar 14, 2014

Hear The Music Kit

I found this really beautiful music digital scrapbook kit at My Memories Suite. It's called Hear The Music kit by Snackpackgu's Designs. Here's a collage  that I made of some of the embellishments that's included in the kit. The kit has 21 digital papers and 162 page elements. The collage below really does not do justice to the beauty and richness of this kit.


I think this perfect for music lovers out there. If you have a friend or a loved one who is always looking into willis music from musicians friend, you can try making a scrapbook, digital or otherwise, of that person's musical performances. I'm he or she would be thrilled. I am planning to use this kit for my kids' scrapbook. 

Stained Glass Windows


Beautiful stained glass windows at the St.Andrew Church in Paranaque



Have a great weekend, everyone!

Mar 13, 2014

Simon Draws: Everyday Happenings

Simon loves to draw everyday happenings. I can't remember what happened the day he drew this band. Maybe he watched some band on TV or in the mall or saw his cousin's pic who is a band member. Whatever the inspiration for this drawing is, it doesn't matter. What's important is the effort and the details he put into it. 


Can you see the drums, the cymbals, the guitar player and his guitar? And how about the singer with his microphone? Looks like Mackie PA Speakers are the only ones missing from this drawing. :)

I'm not sure if I've shared this already here but let me share again just in case. The day our blender from Lazada came in and we spent a few hours making our own smoothies, he drew this. 


And the day the rain almost never stopped and the clothes almost didn't get dry, he drew this: 


See the spaceship? There's also a rocket up there with the sun. I just don't know why the clothes are under the umbrella. Wait, because it's raining, it might get wet. Love the details of those clothes.

Hope you enjoyed his drawings. Will post more of  my "Simon Draws" images once I scanned all of them. We also have a lot of "Sam Draws" images, hehe. :)


My Constant Companions

These are my constant companions every day, my trusted friends that allow and help me to fulfill my online obligations and regain my sanity thereafter. :)


My headset for my transcription works (not as good as an exciting ath m50 but still reliable enough headphone), my pen and to-do list for all my online tasks, the mouse and the keyboard who are now my best friends; and the greatest gift of all, my Literati reader from my brother in which I reward myself a few hours of reading each day after work. In case you need to ask, of course, I have human friends, too, lol  :)  

Thankful Thursday:New Shoes!

The delivery man dropped this off yesterday afternoon. I ordered this from Zalora the day before yesterday. It took them less than 48 hours to deliver it. Now, that's super fast delivery!

H2OCEAN Boone Dress Shoes and Scarlet Line Glitter Ballet Flats
The first pair of shoes was for Basti. I decided on formal shoes that he can use on his graduation day. The shoes are of very high quality and even hubby is impressed with the quality and the design. It's an H2OCEAN Boone Dress Shoes. It is made of synthetic leather, has chunked 1/2 inch heel and elasticized sides for optimum comfort. . 

The other pair is mine and I love it! It a Scarlet Line Glitter ballet flats. According to the Zalora website, it is made of "synthetic glitter upper, rounded cap toe and synthethic inner lining, midsole and outsole". It fits perfectly and is very comfortable. 

I was given a Zalora voucher and it's such an unexpected blessing. These unexpected blessings are what I'm thankful for today. God never fails to continue to shower me and my family with blessings. Even at the lowest moment, He is there, never failing to surprise me with His gifts, be it be gifts of love, gifts of material things, gifts of health, or gifts of opportunities. He is there. 

How about you? What are you thankful for today? Care to share?  

My Son's Prep Grad Pic

Guess what, it's Throwback Thursday! 
Posted this in my Facebook wall and posting this here as well.

digikit credits: Boys In Charge Pack

It seems like only yesterday when he graduated from preschool. Now, he's a almost a teenager and graduating from elementary school. He doesn't want to be hugged anymore and doesn't want me taking photos of him, but doesn't mind having his photos taken with friends. I have to remember to get him those cool music gifts that he wanted, specifically the guitar strings. He will be happy to be back strumming his guitar again this summer. Maybe jamming and relaxing with his cousins before he ventures to the unknown and exciting territory called high school. 

Mar 12, 2014

ABC Wednesday: Ice Cream, Ice Skating Rink and Iron Man

Happy ABC WEDNESDAY !!!

I remember when we went to the Manila International Book Fair in 2012. It's a day full of incidents (kids throwing up, me and one of the kids almost getting hit by a passing car, almost getting caught in the rain and waiting for an hour for a taxi and finally giving in and taking the long way home via three jeepney rides). And yet it was a day of inspiration too (as the kids saw so many books and other things) and solid good family bonding to be remembered for years to come.

It was the day when the kids couldn't get enough of the mini ice cream sold at one of the stalls at the Mall of Asia.


It was the day Sam had his picture taken with the Mall of Asia ice skating rink in the background. My second child is shy but managed a smile. The skating rink has become very popular lately among Filipino kids because of the inclusion of figure skater Michael Martinez in the Sochi Winter Olympics. He placed 19th overall and coming from a country with no winter or presence of natural snow at all, that is an outstanding feat. He won't be joining the World Junior Figure Skating Championships though to recuperate from some injury


Iron Man was so popular back then and still is, yes. The kids were ecstatic this life size figure of Iron Man. They wished they could take it home, haha. 


Me? I couldn't resist taking a snap of the bay. We didn't get to see the famous Manila sunset because of the clouds and the rain. This picture actually is scary to me. I feel like the ocean was closing up on me. I wouldn't want to be by the bay in a weather like this. It's gloomy. I'm thankful I had my kids with me to brighten up  and  bring warmth to this dreary scene. 


It was a great day, despite the minor irritations. This feels like Throwback Thursday, doesn't it. But it's not, it's absolutely a happy ABC Wednesday! :) 


Where does you child's interests lie?

Where does you child's  interests lie? Is it in the arts? Is it in music? Is it in sports? Is he someone you would likely have to buy a randall amp at Guitar Center someday? Or would he be someone you would send to art school, like that high school for the arts in Laguna? 

In this day and age, kids' interests and talents should be developed early on in childhood. And in order to do this, you need to know where their interests lies, what their passion, their skills and talents. What does your child do in their spare time? My kids love to draw. They make sure they get at least an hour a day of drawing. I make sure I have papers and pen available whenever they ask for it, or they wouldn't stop whining until they find some. I show them their father's drawings and introduce them to my way of drawing. We go online and check drawings of other kids and other artists. One of my kids loves to build, and he loves to create his own mini-games, so I send him to child-friendly websites where he can build his own games. I think he is the kind of kid that will grow up to be a coder or a software developer someday.

Wherever your child's interests lie, you need to support him as a parent, fully, so that he will be ready when time comes. Exposing our kids to things related to their interest and providing them the resources and education they will need will help them hone their skills. Exposing them also to things NOT related to their interests are also very important. Ultimately, all these will help them decide someday what they want to do with their  life. They will know what it is they would want to specialized in and will have a clearer direction in life. Gone are the days when parents decide what course their kids should take up in college. Do you agree?

Mar 8, 2014

Art Friday: Gift Bag

Yesterday, Friday, Simon and Sam brought home paper gift bags they made at school. The teachers taught them how to make a paper bag and turn it into a gift bag by putting decorations in the front of the bag. Simon used Popsicle sticks (leftovers from last December's project), yarn (red and green) and some glitter glue. He created trees, as you can see above. Sam painted trees on his paper bag using water color but it didn't go too well because the paper that was used was glossy. We're going to do a makeover on that one, maybe in the summer when all the exams are over and are not so busy anymore. 
Again, my thanks to the teachers for this wonderful project. 

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

The Church On the Night of the Concert

This is how the Saint Joseph Church, home of Las Pinas Bamboo Organ, looked like on the night of the Concert Under The Trees, which featured Jed Madel last February.


Hubby took these photos. Hubby and my eldest son were supposed to watch the concert but when they arrived there, there was no one there at the church grounds where the concert is supposed to be. It was only later that they learned that the concert was held instead inside the grounds of St. Joseph Academy, at the gym where the Sunday afternoon mass are always held. Too bad they didn't see if the musicians used cool boss bass or not. Too bad for me, I was not able to watch either. I'm happy to hear though that one of Basti's classmates watched and was so happy with the concert, basing on his FB post. Well, for me, there's still next year. 


Mar 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday: New Shoes for The Kiddos

My sister-in-law gifted my kids two new sets of shoes, which is really sweet of her because it's not the kids' birthday and there's no special occasion. She just remembered my two younger kids when she was out shopping at the mall and came upon a very good deal that she could not resist. She probably  knows that I don't go out to the mall to buy shoes, but most of the time only order through my other sister-in-law who is into direct selling or order online, which are both so convenient.


Now, my eldest, who is graduating this April is also asking for shoes. He mentioned that he would like Nike Shoes as a graduation gift (I do hope I get the budget for his shoes before graduation day comes). He definitely deserves a special gift for this momentous event in his life. Just to be sure on how much I'd be needing to spend for his gift, I went online to check on Nike shoes and discovered that Zalora PH has a good collection of Nike Shoes. I think I'll just order through here since it's more convenient for me. For those of you who are looking for the perfect graduation present, I highly recommend you to check out this site! They have thousands of products to fit every budget and always have great deals and discounts on their site.

I'm so thankful to God that He has blessed me with family and friends who are caring and thoughtful and most of all, generous, lol. :) I am not wealthy person but I'm so wealthy with friends and family who are always willing to extend a helping hand and who loves my kids like their own. 

Well, what do you know, it is Thankful Thursday after all.