Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Casino Royale

At first I had some reservations about seeing Casino Royale. I wasn't too keen on the new Bond guy (Daniel Craig) because I've grown fond of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Daniel Craig doesn't appear handsome and charming as the past James Bond guys. Instead he has a rugged, tough and somewhat fierce look. I've always thought of James Bond as a cool, handsome dark haired man. Aside from his stern looks, Craig happens to be blond so he doesn't quite fit the part of the typical James Bond.

My husband insisted we watch Casino Royale at the cinema. I'm glad he asked me to because surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie. I learned that the movie explores the early career of 007.

Setting aside my bias for Pierce Brosnan, I think that Daniel Craig has successfully reinvented the James Bond character. Craig has a distinct atmosphere of danger and unpredictability compared to the other men who portrayed the role of Bond.

To date, six actors have portrayed James Bond in the official series. They are:

Sean Connery (1962 to 67; 1971)
George Lazenby (1969),
Roger Moore (1973 to 85),
Timothy Dalton (1987 to 89),
Pierce Brosnan (1995 to 2002),
Daniel Craig (2006 present).

Casino Royale didn't focus much on the hi-tech gadgets but the stunt scenes were spectacular. I heard that Craig has done most of the stunts on his own which scores him several points on my personal score board.

I'll miss seeing Pierce Brosnan's handsome face as James Bond but I'm willing to give Daniel Craig a chance considering the success of his first 007 portrayal.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cute Critters

I bought these cute animal cellphone accessories in a small shop. When you press each animal, it says I Love You. There are pink and blue hippos, cute dogs, pink elephants and adorable ducks. I bought a couple of them to give to my friends and former colleagues this coming Friday. We're having an early Christmas get-together this Friday at my friend's house. I haven't seen some of them for quite a while so I'm very excited about the whole thing.

Christmas Parol

Filipinos refer to a Christmas lantern as Parol. The traditional parol is a 5-pointed star lantern that is made with bamboo sticks and colored rice paper (Japanese paper). Today, the modern parol comes in various shapes, sizes and designs. I love the Pampanga parols and Capiz parols because of their elaborate designs and spectacular light displays.

Jules bought several small parols and he placed mini light bulbs inside each one. He placed the parols as ornaments on the palm tree outside our house and put several more at the lanai. I love looking at those lighted Christmas parols. It makes me appreciate the coming Christmas holiday more. I love the festive mood created by the lanterns. Christmas is coming very soon and we're all very excited about it.

A-Z Meme

Here's a nice alphabet meme. Thanks Gabrielle for the tag.

A - Available/single? Happily attached.
B - Best Friend? Chary and Lyonnel
C- Cake or pie? Blueberry Cheesecake and Carrot Cake
D - Drink of choice? Frozen Margarita and Coke Light
E - Essential item you use everyday? Cellphone
F - Favorite color? Lavender
G - Gummy Bears or worms? Gummy Bears - preferably the red ones :)
H - Hometown? Manila
I - Indulgence? Bags
J - January or February? January - I love celebrating New Year.
K - Kids & their names? Yohan
L - Life is incomplete without? My family.
M - Marriage date? July 7
N- Number of siblings? 1
O - Oranges or apples? Oranges
P - Phobias/fears? Heights
Q - Favorite quote? Happiness is a matter of attitude.
R - Reason to smile? Being around people I love.
S - Season? Summer
T - Tag 3 people? Nancy, San, and Jo.
U - Unknown fact about me? I'm a stay-at-home wife who doesn't know how to cook and iron clothes. :)
V - Vegetable you don’t like? Labanos. I don't know what you call it in english.
W - Worst habit? Being paranoid. Worrying about small matters.
X - X-rays you’ve had? Legs. I was hit by a jeep when I was younger.
Y - Your Favorite Food? Kare-Kare (a Filipino specialty)
Z - Zodiac sign? Aries

Monday, November 27, 2006

Another Craft Day

Today, Yohan and I made another project. We had fun making a board game. We cut the board game pieces from a Paper Models book and had a great time putting them together. Here are some pictures of Yohan enjoying the Board Game project.

Next year, I will enroll Yohan in the art class at The Little Gym. I noticed that he loves the art segment during Camps at The Little Gym so instead of the usual gym time, I will enroll him in the art class for a change.

Here's a recent photo of Yohan, Teacher Meanne and Teacher Michael at the show day at The Little Gym a few weeks ago. Yohan has been going there since he was a year old. He has grown fond of his teachers and classmates. It's his Christmas break. I'm sure he will miss his friends. Yohan will be back early next year when classes resume.

Monday Madness

This week's Monday Madness is about holidays. It's a great way of learning how others celebrate holidays in other countries.

1. Which of the holidays that you celebrate, do you feel is the most important? I believe Christmas season is very important because it's a time of sharing and rejoicing among family and friends.

2. Which holiday do you most enjoy? I enjoy Christmas the most because everyone seems to be in a festive mood. I love this time of year, because of the colorful lights and beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere I look. I love the spirit of giving and how it touches the lives of many people.

3. Is there one holiday that your family tries to get together every year? If so, which one? Our family tries to be together in most holidays namely: Holy Week, All Soul's Day, Christmas and New Year .

4. Share one special memory from a past holiday. Last Christmas, Yohan was old enough to really enjoy opening his presents by himself (see photo). I loved seeing his expression of happiness as he opened every gift under the Christmas tree. It was a memorable time that I will always cherish.

5. Name one holiday coming up, that you're really looking forward to, and why. I'm looking forward to this year's Christmas and New Year. I'm excited to see my son eagerly unwrap his presents. I'd like to see his face lit up with joy when he sees the great fireworks display this year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Grotto of Healing and Purification

This is the Via Dolorosa Grotto of Healing and Purification found in Barangay Tinamnan, Lucban Quezon. I took this photo when we went there last September 2006.

Grotto of Healing and Purification

The beautiful Via Dolorosa Grotto of Healing and Purification has life-size statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross. It has 292 steps, leading to a 50-foot statue of Christ. It is said to be the third biggest in the world which can be seen miles away.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to climb the top because it started to rain and we got worried that Yohan might get drenched in the rain. We hope we can go there again and have another chance to reach the top of the magnificent grotto.

At the foot of the grotto is the famous Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church. It has become the country's famous center for the sick (physically, spiritually, mentally). I was amazed when I found out that everyday, this church is visited by thousands of people searching for miracles.

Chili Peppers

These siling haba (chili peppers) were recently harvested from our farm. Jules brought some home and made Bicol Express (pork strips and chili peppers cooked in coconut milk). It is best served with rice.

I love spicy food although in reality I have low tolerance for anything spicy. My taste buds can only tolerate mild spicy food. But when I smelled the Bicol Express that Jules made, I just had to taste it. It was bursting in flavor and aroma. It was really good. I just had to drink 1/4 glass of water for every mouthful. :)

Overcoming Fear

Yohan had persistent fever accompanied by cough for several days. We brought him to the doctor for a check-up on the 3rd day. Dr. Silva gave me a prescription of medicines for Yohan. He also advised us to nebulize Yohan to ease his breathing. Good thing we were able to borrow the nebulizer from Jules' cousin. I realized that a nebulizer is an important must-have for the house because we can all benefit from it when we have stuffy nose or congested lungs.

I was a bit apprehensive about nebulizing Yohan at first because I remember when he was younger, he was totally scared of it because of the sound. He cried so much the last time we used it on him.

Jules decided to let Yohan get comfortable with the nebulizer by letting him inspect it while it was turned off. We let him play with the nebulizer mask and told him that it will make him feel better. He was in a listening mood so we took advantage. We practiced putting the mask on Yohan's nose and mouth while the machine was turned off. Giving him time to get used to the machine was a great help. It somehow prepared him for the actual thing.

He was still a little scared at first but this time he didn't cry. When he showed fear, I demonstrated that it was harmless and there was nothing to be scared of by putting the mask on myself. When he saw that it was not going to hurt him, he gave it a try. He quickly realized that it felt good. He wanted to hold the mask by himself. Yohan was even smiling. It was a good sign that he lost all his fear about nebulizing.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Friendship Virtual Pinboard

Hi friends. I'm inviting you to add pictures to my virtual pinboard. You may add your own photo or a picture of something that holds a significant meaning to you. You can tell me the meaning of the photo by adding it as a comment on the pinboard. This is a nice way to get to know you better. It would be nice if you pin a small picture because some pictures may be covered by others if it's too big (a slight limitation of the site). Thanks!

Looking forward to seeing your pictures soon.

Thanks to Gabrielle for sharing this cool site.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dad's Pasalubong

Jules went to the 40th International Bazaar 2006 at PICC last Sunday with his mom and sister. I was supposed to go with them but Yohan had fever so I decided to stay home with him. Besides, I couldn't enjoy shopping knowing that my son was not feeling well.

Jules thoughtfully brought home pasalubong (presents or treats given on the return home). Jules gave me Theobroma Belgian chocolates, a box of sinfully delicious cupcakes (Two Cups and a Pinch Bakeshop) and Pili sweets.

My little boy also received his own pasalubong. His Dad bought him a set of musical instruments. It has a drum, maracas, cymbals and a tamborine. Yohan loves to pretend that he is a member of a band so the gift is perfect. He knows that he cannot play a one-man band so he appointed me as the drummer and Jules as the maracas player while he played the cymbals. Yohan insisted we sing Santa Claus is Coming to Town while playing our instruments. We made quite a noise. ha! ha! But it was time well spent.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Madness

It's fill in the blanks for this week. Pls. feel free to play along by visiting Monday Madness.

1. In order to protect my computer from viruses, I use Norton Anti Virus.
2. I also use Norton Spyware Scan for protection from spyware.
3. I don't spend nearly enough time exercising.
4. The first person I usually talk to in the morning is my husband.
5. It takes me about 1 hour to get ready in the morning.
6. I keep all my appointments in/on my cellphone calendar.
7. It takes me about a few hours (on the internet) to fall asleep at night.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Holiday Meme

I saw this meme at Stacy's blog. I told her that I might do it too and she said she'll be glad if I played along.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I haven't tasted egg nog yet so that leaves me with hot cholocolate.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wraps every present that he leaves under the tree or inside the Christmas stockings.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? When I was younger, we had blinking colored lights. There was even a time when we had those Christmas lights with changing Christmas music. Now that I have my own family, our tree has white, non-blinking lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? My Dad used to hang them in our house before. We don't have one in our house now.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually, first week of December but we put up our tree and decors early this year because my son received several early Christmas gifts. We put up the tree so he could put his presents under it. :)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Every Christmas we always make sure we have ham and queso de bola (special kind of cheese). Every year, we have a different menu but ham and queso de bola are holiday staples.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: My dad, mom, brother, yaya and I would put up the tree together. It was a collaborative effort. It was always a great way to start the Christmas festivities.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My brother and I always wrote to Santa and he would often reply to our letters. We would get his letter together with his gifts on Christmas eve. One Christmas, I noticed that Santa wrote to us using my stationary. When I asked my mom, she told me that perhaps Santa wrote me a letter on the spot and used my stationary. My doubts started and I kept asking my mom about the truth. I guess she realized it was time to tell me the truth. I took it very well. My parents requested that I keep it a secret for my younger brother's sake so I kept playing along. It was fine because 'Santa' still kept giving me presents after that. :)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, we wait until Christmas Eve to open all the presents.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? My husband sets up the tree and puts the Christmas lights. My son and I help him put up the Christmas ornaments. My son puts the last crowning ornament - the angel on top.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I haven't experienced it yet but I would love to someday.

12. Can you ice skate? No, not at all. Even though there are ice rinks here for ice skating purposes, I've never tried it.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I can never forget the night I received my very first barbie doll. It was a present from Santa.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Spending time with family and close friends. Feeling the spirit of sharing all around me.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? My mom's Crema de Fruta.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? We have many holiday traditions that we practice but when I was younger, I particularly enjoyed going to Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo with my parents. Simbang Gabi lasts for nine consecutive days beginning December 16. Traditionally, it is held at dawn, but some parishes offer anticipated masses one night in advance. I remembering going to dawn mass with my parents and brother. We make a wish on the start of the Simbang Gabi because we believe that if we complete all nine masses our wishes will come true (and so far I always get my wish). After the mass, my dad would buy bibingka and puto bung bong (Filipino delicacies famous during Christmas season). Now that I'm married, I still carry on that tradition with my husband.

17. What tops your tree? An angel in white.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I feel more blessed when I give.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Pasko na Sinta Ko
It's a sad song but I like hearing it.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?? I like them because they are so colorful and pretty but I don't particularly enjoy eating them.

*** Anyone is welcome to play along. I'm sure Stacy would be glad if more people joined in the fun.

Hint of Pink in the Garden

My orchids are in bloom again. It's always refreshing to see the beautiful flowers when I go to the garden. It's nice to see shades of pink in the midst of all those green plants and trees. I hope many more flowers will come to bloom. A mass of pretty orchids will liven up the garden.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Craft Day

I bought a simple craft book for Yohan. Together, we enjoyed making two projects: a crocodile and a lion. It was fairly easy because we just cut the body parts along the dotted line. Yohan glued the parts together to complete each animal.

After a few minutes of cutting, assembling and gluing, we were able to make a cute crocodile and a lion.

I love doing different kinds of art projects with Yohan because it gives us time to bond with one another. It also helps enhance Yohan's creative side.

Kamiseta Sale

I love shopping especially when there is a good sale. I'm happy 'coz I was able to buy three blouses at Kamiseta yesterday. I was able to buy a pink, yellow and white blouse. Everything in the shop was 50% off, so as expected, dozens of girls flocked to the boutique. I didn't mind if the store was a bit cramped. The 50% off was motivation enough to search through the racks for something nice.

Shopping is a great stress reliever. Sometimes, I wish I could go shopping everyday and not worry about keeping a budget and ballooning credit card bills.

Choo Choo

Jules, Yohan and I had a splendid time at Time Zone. Yohan and I rode the train and carousel. He and his dad played some arcade games. They enjoyed shooting carnivorous cyber dinosaurs. I like the UFO catcher. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch any stuffed toy that day. Maybe next time. Jules did a solo on the 3D rotating arcade game (I forgot what it's called). He said it got tougher as the levels progressed so he wasn't able to finish the mission of the game. He didn't mind when he saw the Game Over sign. He was getting a little dizzy from all that swirling anyway.

Yohan enjoyed playing techno drums. We just let him beat the drums as he pleased since he didn't understand the screen prompts yet. The important thing was he had a wonderful time pretending to be a drummer.

When I was a child, I remember going to the amusement center with my parents and brother. We would go to Fiesta Carnival at Quezon City. I remember enjoying the airplane ride, carousel and mini ferris wheel. I had a wonderful childhood, thanks to my parents.

I also want my son to enjoy his childhood as much as he can. Jules and I will do everything we can to make Yohan a happy child.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tidbits About the Philippines

Hi Breann. Glad you enjoyed looking at the zoo pics. Thank you for your nice note. It's good that you're learning about other countries in school. It is my pleasure to tell you more about my country. I think it would be an interesting topic since I haven't had the chance to write about my country. Here are some random things about the Philippines which I hope you will find interesting. I also made a short slideshow about it for you. Hope my other blog friends will also learn a few things about my country.

Cool Slideshows

  • The Philippine flag is symbolized by an eight rayed sun, three golden stars, a red stripe, a blue stripe and a white triangle. The sun represents the beginning of a new era of self determination. The 8 rays on the sun stand for the 8 provinces that rose in revolt against Spanish rule in the late 19th century. The 3 stars stands for the 3 principal geographic areas of the country; Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
  • The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands. Main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Capital is Manila where I was born. If you look closely, you'll see that the map of the Philippines is shaped like a person.

  • Two official languages --- Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education.

  • We have eight (8) major dialects. I speak two of them: Tagalog and Ilonggo.

  • We only have two seasons: wet and dry. The rainy season is from May to November, which is the summer monsoon, while the dry season occurs during the winter monsoon from December to April. Typically, the weather is cool from November to February, while it's very hot and dry from March to May.

  • We have a unique public mode of transportation called the jeepney.

  • Our national costumes are the barong tagalog (men) and baro't saya (women).

  • Throughout the islands, there are fiestas (festivals) celebrated everyday. The fiesta is part and bundle of Filipino culture. Each city and barrio (town) has at least one local festival of its own, usually on the feast of its patron saint, so that there is always a fiesta going on somewhere in the country. You can check this site for a detailed listing of Philippine fiestas.

  • The Philippines have many rich and luscious beaches. We have spectacular sunsets.

  • Filipinos are best known for their "bayanihan" or spirit of kinship and camaraderie. We also take pride in our close family relations.

  • Filipinos are generally fun-loving people. Hospitality is a common denominator in the Filipino character and this is what distinguishes the Filipino.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Remembering Yohan's Trip to the Zoo

Yohan was only one year old when he had his first visit to the zoo. I have fond memories of Yohan's first trip to Manila Zoo. Here are some pictures taken that day. (That was me 50 pounds overweight ago. I'm so grateful to shed all those excess baggage. he! he!)

Yohan was very excited to see all the different animals in the zoo. He loved seeing the elephant, zebra, deer, orangutan, monkeys, crocodiles, tigers, turtles, birds and many more animals. Yohan had a terrific time at the petting zoo section. He was amazed to see so many butterflies in the butterfly garden. He saw beautiful birds up close as they perched on my shoulders. He touched an enormous turtle. The highlight was standing beside an ostrich and having the privilege to sit down on its back. Jules and I had some photo opportunity with a snake. That snake was very heavy when the zoo keeper put it on my shoulders. It was a fun experience.

This is dedicated to a sweet, young girl named Breann. She is the lovely daughter of Jessica. She has inspired me to post pictures of Yohan's first trip to the zoo when I saw her beautiful animal drawing. I showed the drawing to Yohan and it reminded him of the zoo. Yohan is fond of elephants and giraffes. Breann did a great drawing of a giraffe. Sadly, Yohan didn't see a giraffe when we went to the Manila Zoo. They don't have a giraffe there. When I was younger, my parents took me and my brother to Manila Zoo and I remember seeing a giraffe. I guess I'll just have to look elsewhere. There are several nice zoos in the country and hope we could bring Yohan there. Zoobic is a nice idea considering that Yohan loves tigers. Zoobic offers close tiger encounters.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Lola Loling

I visited my Lola Loling yesterday. It was an overdue visit. She has been in Manila at my aunt's place for several months now. I feel guilty for not being able to visit her sooner.

She is my only living grandparent today. Both my maternal grandparents and my paternal grandfather have passed away already. Lola Loling is 88 years old. She is relatively healthy for her age. She is still strong in body but she she seemed to have a short term memory. She easily forgets things which as a result makes her prone to repeating herself most of the time. But I didn't mind if she asked me the same questions all over again. I patiently answered her again and again, hoping my answers would stick to her mind. Sometimes, she remembered a few minutes longer than the previous one then she would forget again and the cycle went on.

My Lola told me that my Uncle Bebot is sick and that my Tita Ruth and my Dad visited him in London. It's true that my Aunt and Dad went to London but they went there to have my Uncle Bebot cremated. It breaks my heart that my Lola doesn't know that Uncle Bebot has passed away but I guess it's for the best. I don't think my Lola will find it easy to accept the sad news so I didn't tell her about the real events. I just listened to the version she knows and kept quiet.

My Lola gave me a tight, warm embrace before I left. I almost cried because she kept repeating how much she loves me and glad that I never forgot about her. I assured her that I will never forget about her because I love her very much. I promised to visit her again before Christmas and to bring Yohan next time.

My Babushka Dolls

I've always wanted to have my own Babushka Dolls or more commonly known as Nesting Dolls. Another Russian term for it is "matryoshka". I personally prefer to call them Babushka Dolls.

They say Babushka Dolls are considered to be a symbol of motherhood and fertility. A mother doll with numerous dolls-children perfectly expresses the oldest symbol of human culture.

Authentic Babushka Dolls from Russia are quite expensive. Jules saw a nice version of it in a tiangge (thrift store) and bought it for me. I love it. He said he will buy me another one with a different design next time.

Thank you very much Jules. I appreciate it.

Monday Madness

Hi! I'm a little late posting my Monday Madness today. Better late than never. Here are my answers to this week's fun questions.

1. From ch'i:
If you could only read one blog every day- which one blog would be on your daily list?

This is a difficult question. I don't think it's possible for me to choose only one.

2. From kat:
What do you do to de-stress from a hectic day?

Going to the salon relieves my stress. Sometimes, a little shopping can also do the trick. :)

3. From paxil princess:
What is your favorite piece of clothing to wear in the winter?

We don't have winter over here. But it would be nice if I could experience winter when I visit another country.

4. From sherle:
Do you prefer discussing problems with a sibling, a parent, a significant other, a psychologist, or a total stranger?

When I was younger, I used to tell my mom everything. She helps me with my problems, big and small. When I got married, my husband became the first one I turn to when I have a problem that I want to talk about. I still tell my mom about my problems but sometimes, I try not to because I don't want to give her any cause to worry.

5. From trista:
How long have you been blogging?

I started this blog on Sept. 2004 but I became a regular blogger around February 2006.

6. From lisa e:
Which side of the bed?

I stay on the left side of the bed. My husband on the right side and my son in the middle. We're planning to buy our son his own bed soon because we're getting too crowded for a queen sized bed. :D

7. From elton:
How often do you pig out when you eat?

A few times a year esp. during the Christmas season.

8. From karen:
Do you watch the space shuttle launches?

Yes, I do. I enjoy watching captivating moments on TV.

9. From dawn:
What's your favorite leisure-time activity?

Going to the salon for a hair cut, eyebrow threading and pedicure.

10. From sherle:
When is the last time you said, 'I love you' and to whom?
What about hugs? Who is the last person you hugged?

I told my son I love you and we were in a tight embrace before he went to sleep.

Want to play along every Monday? Click here and join the fun.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday Spent with Friends

Enjoyed a nice Sunday lunch at Califonia Pizza Kitchen (CPK) with my college friends, Chinie, Shawee, Chary and our respective families. Sadly, Jane couldn't make it because she's still in Hong Kong.

We all enjoyed a variety of pasta, pizzas and salads. I ordered grilled chicken from the kid's menu for Yohan but he didn't like it so I asked Jules to buy Chickenjoy at Jollibee instead. He ate it at CPK. Kids can sometimes be picky eaters and prefer to eat the food that they are familiar with. Yohan is at that stage.

It was our group's pre-Christmas get together. We anticipated that it might be harder to set a common schedule for next month because of the Christmas season so we decided to have an early one this year. We exchanged gifts for the kids.

Chinie shared a good news with us today. She's 14 weeks pregnant with her second child. How wonderful!

I was surprised to see how Raeka has grown. She's a very cute and charming little girl.

Chary was very late 'coz she had an emergency duty at the hospital. She had to assist in a delivery of a baby. Good thing, she still made it to our lunch date.
It's always wonderful to see old friends. Even though we don't see each other as often as we could, our friendship doesn't change. Whenever we find time to see one another, we spend it catching up with each other's lives.

Our next get together will probably be some time next year in line with Chinie's baby shower.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

2 Words Meme

Saw this 2 Words Meme at Christine's blog and decided to try it too.

1. Explain what ended your last relationship.
I initiated. Law School. Busy Him. Lonely Me.

2. When was the last time you shaved?
This morning.

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Still sleeping. In dreamland.

4. Were you any good at math?
Just Algebra. Hate Accounting.

5. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Reading blogs. Answering comments.

6. Your prom night?
Didn't go. No regrets.

7. Do you have any famous ancestors?
President Roxas. Great Grandfather. Not close. Distant kin.

8. Have you had to take a loan out for school?
No, never.

9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile?
No account.

10. Last thing received in the mail?
Post card. From Sheila. Co blogger.

11. How many different beverages have you had today?
Diet Coke.

12. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machine?
Yes, sometimes.

13. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
First concert. Not sure. Martin Nievera. High School.

14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
Yes, sometimes. Fun thing.

15. What's the most painful dental procedure you've had?
A filling. Dentist instrument. Poke cavity. Terrible experience. Changed dentist. Better one.

16. What is out your back door?
A lanai. Many orchids. Palm trees. A swing. Basketball hoop. Several balls. Yohan's car.

17. Any plans for Friday night?
Maybe movie. Then dinner.

18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
I don't. Very dry. Also tangled.

19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns? Not yet. Love to.

20. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Yes, before. Grade School. Wonderful place. Amazing universe.

21. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
I do.

22. Some things you are excited about?
Seeing friends. Coming Christmas. Christmas presents.

23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
Red one.

24. Describe your keychain(s)?
Yohan's name. Personalized keychain. Cute keepsake.

25. Where do you keep your change?
Coin Purse. In bag.

Genina Bianca

Meet Genina Bianca. She is my beautiful Precious Moments Doll.

I met her when I was in 3rd year college. We've been close friends ever since.
I bought her for myself when I was out shopping with a few friends. I just passed by the store and saw her beautiful eyes staring at me. I love her huge blue eyes. I adore her curls. When you look into her eyes, you'll know that she has a kind heart and friendly nature.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Our Tree is Up

Jules put up the Christmas tree this afternoon. Yohan was sleeping when Jules was putting it up. As if on cue, Yohan woke up from his nap when it was time to decorate the tree. He helped give the Christmas ornaments to his Dad while I handed out the Christmas lights. I noticed that Yohan couldn't sit still because he seemed very excited to see the Christmas tree. Yohan was given the honor to put the angel on top of the tree. It was amuzing how Yohan neatly put his Christmas presents under the tree. I really hope he can wait until Christmas before he opens them.

I almost fell for Yohan's ploy when he asked me to play make believe with him. He assigned me as Yohan while he took on the role of Santa Claus. He got one present under the tree and gave it to me. "Present for you from Santa Claus," said Yohan. "It's Christmas time, open your present now." ha! ha! It seemed that Yohan tried to trick me into opening one his presents. :D

Richard and Susay

Jules'good friend, Susay is in town. We had a nice get together on Richard's birthday last Nov. 7, 2006.

It's refreshing to talk to Richard and Susay because of their infectious sense of humor.

We had a follow-up get together the following day at Susay's place. Jules baked fresh apple pie and made Carbonarra. We also brought bread and drinks for the occasion. Susay prepared delicious barbecue and fruit salad. Richard came in very late because of an extended job interview. We had a lovely evening. We shared good food, a nice bottle of champagne and great laughs.

Susay loves collecting shot glasses from every country she has visited. She recently went to New York and Florida. It was very thoughtful of her to give us gifts from her recent trip. Susay gave me a Victoria Secret cologne spray and a NY t-shirt for Jules.

We plan to watch a movie and perhaps go to one of those comedy stand up bars some time this month. It's good to know that Susay will be spending the holiday season in the country.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Christmas is Already Knocking on the Door

Yohan went shopping with his Lola Dol today for his Christmas presents. It seems Christmas is knocking early this year. Lucky Yohan! He already has five Christmas presents he can put under the tree. Jules and I decided that it's time to put up the Christmas tree. We're putting it up tomorrow. Yohan is very excited about it. We just reminded him that he can't open the gifts yet. He'll have to wait until Christmas. We're so glad he agreed without so much as a whimper. :D

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Pretty Lil' House in Gerbera Street

Toni of Wifely Steps came up with a wonderful post featuring a Draw-a-House site. It's really a cool site where you can play architect and design your own home. I had a great time creating mine. The drawing above was the house I built in Toni's street called Gerbera Street. There
are several nice houses in this beautiful and peaceful neighborhood.

Another cool feature of the site, is getting a short pesonality analysis based on the drawing and answers to the questions provided. I got these results:

Your house tells the world that you ought to be a leader. You are a freedom lover and a strong person. You are shy and reserved. If you've drawn a cross on each of windows, you always want to live alone. You are very tidy person. There's nothing wrong with that because you're pretty popular among friends. Your life is always full of changes.

You will avoid being alone and seek the company of others whenever possible. You love excitement and create it wherever you go. You see the world as it is, not as you believe it should be.

You added a flower into your drawing. The flower signifies that you long for love. It also safe to say that others don't see you as a flirt. You don't think much about yourself.
It's a little contradictory since it says that based on my drawing and answers, I probably have always wanted to live alone and yet it also says that I will avoid being along and seek the company of others. The latter is a more accurate description of myself since I'm more happy being around people I love. I don't like being alone at all.

You can start your own community here. When you're in the neighborhood, please drop by my house. See you soon. Take care!

My Christmas Wish Tree

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought it would be fun to make a Christmas Tree for my own purpose. Instead of the usual Christmas trimmings, I placed my Christmas wishes.

So what are the wishes hanging on my tree? I'd like cakes and pastries from Bizu, Touch of Pink perfume by Lacoste, a leather strap for my Technomarine Cruise, a more powerful digital camera preferably a NIKKON, a Return to Tiffany Lock charm necklace and matching bracelet, a Louis Vuitton pink papillion and matching wallet, a DVD videocam and the latest HP laptop.

There's nothing wrong with a little wishful thinking, right?

I will probably not be able to get everything on my list but one or two would already make me happy. I'm sure my husband won't find it hard to at least buy me cakes and pastries from Bizu.

I also wish for more important things like good health for my family and friends, more love between me and my husband and more blessings. But those wishes I have reserved for a more special Christmas tree. :)

Perhaps you can tell me the wishes that you would like to hang on your own Christmas Wish Tree.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Christmas Donuts

Christmas is in the air. Christmas decors and lights are being sold everywhere. Christmas lanterns fill the streets. Bibingka and Puto BungBong stands are rapidly turning up like mushrooms. Christmas songs are being played on air. Even the food these days have Christmas themes.

Just look at this package of Go Nuts Donuts, the box alone is already very festive. When you open the box, you'll be smitten by the lovely design and colorful donuts. Yohan was very excited when he saw what's inside the box. He liked the Christmas tree and Christmas stocking donuts best.

Thank you Mark and Joan for the box of Go Nuts Donuts.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Angel in Pink

Welcome to the world baby Sofia Angela

Jules' cousin, Darlene gave birth to a healthy baby girl on the evening of Nov. 6, 2006. Just a day after Jules' birthday. :)

I'm sure Tisha is delighted to have a new baby sister she could play dolls and tea parties with someday.

May God bless lil' baby Sofia Angela.

Name Decoder

I finished my Monday Madness post earlier and came across this fun name decoder. Want to decode your own name? Give it a try here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Madness

Using the letters in your name (first, last, both, whatever), describe your life.

I'm not really sure if I understood the question correctly but I decided to use all the letters in my name and to give you a glimpse of my life.

R - My life is like a rainbow because I've been blessed with a wonderful family, great husband and magnificent son. They make each day meaningful, colorful and exciting. I admit I've been through my share of tough times but after every storm, I feel a sense of comfort knowing that a rainbow will appear to cast off all my worries and pain. Having the people I love beside me, makes everything worthwhile and possible.

A - I live my life in anticipation of great things to come. Although I admit I worry all the time, I still try to keep a positive outlook on things. I pray everyday for good things to happen to my family and hope that everyday will be filled with laughter and sheer happiness.

C - My life is filled with celebration. I love celebrating happy and memorable moments like birthdays, anniversaries, valentine's day, christmas, new year and lots more. It's fun to celebrate about love, friendship, and success.

H - I take pride in living an honest life. Although the world is full of temptations, I try my best to be honest to myself and others. I always try to be honest with my feelings and my actions.

E - I find it easy to empathize with other people's feelings. I'm often sensitive to how other people feel. The last thing I want to do is offend or hurt anyone so I try to be understanding as long as it's possible.

L - I live for love. I don't think I can ever survive without my family and friend's love and affection. I am what I am because of them.
Want to play along? Visit Monday Madness and join in the fun.

Gratitude Note to My Friends

"A friend is never a coincidence in your life. They are once a stranger, meant to come in your life to bring you priceless lessons and wonderful memories."
I came along this nice quote but I don't know who it orginally came from. I agree that friends come into your life for a purpose. Friends offer comfort, kindness, understanding, guidance, care and love.

I'm thankful for all my friends. They have kept me hopeful during tough times and helped me stand up back on my feet whenever I fall.

It's always fun to be with friends. Enjoying common things together is a wonderful way of spending time.

I have friends that I haven't seen or talked to for a long time. The nice thing is, I realized that dormant friendship can easily be reawakened by a letter or a phone call. Sometimes a chance meeting can bring back old memories and rekindle the almost forgotten friendship.

I believe that the only way to be a good friend is to be one yourself. Friendship is a give and take relationship. A constant exchange of thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and ideas will help friendship grow stronger. As long as you remain true to one another, friendship will continue to flourish.

Diappointments are not uncommon. I met a few who I thought initially were friends but somewhere along the way, we realized we're not compatible or we really have nothing in common. That's part of life. People may come and go, but true friends always find a way of holding on to the friendship and staying.

Thank you to all my friends who have been with me all these years. Thank you also to all my new found friends. I hope we can continue to enjoy each other's company and have more quality time in the years to come.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Full Moon Celebration

The persistent ringing of a cellphone woke me up. It was Jules' badminton partner, confirming their morning game schedule. Jules went off to his badminton tournament early in the morning. When Yohan woke up, his Dad already left so he wasn't able to greet him Happy Birthday. I was feeling sad because this was the first time Jules won't be celebrating his birthday with us.

Today is also the birthday of my sister-in-law Ves. She has invited the whole family to lunch over at Banai Banai in Lipa. Jules was the only one absent in the family get together.

We didn't prepare anything for Jules' bday because he'll be out most of the day. But somehow, something felt awfully wrong. I just couldn't let this pass like an ordinary day. Feeling inspired, I thought of setting a small surprise for Jules. Mark and Joan were nice enough to drive me to Red Ribbon. I bought Jules chocolate mouse with a short birthday message and KFC chicken bucket meal.

While waiting for Jules to arrive, I noticed the big, bright moon. It's beautiful. It's a full moon tonight. It's a nostalgic sight seeing moonbeams illuminate the surroundings.

Jules arrived a little before 10:30 P.M. Good thing, Yohan was still wide awake because he was able to take a nap late in the afternoon. Before Jules arrived, I already briefed Yohan about our plan. We agreed to hide in the kitchen and wait for Daddy to enter the house. I lighted the birthday candle and waited for Jules to come near. Yohan and I sang Happy Birthday to Jules. He looked very surprised and touched about the turn of events.

Yohan helped his Dad blow the candle. He was also very eager to help his Dad open the birthday presents.

The surprise was well appreciated by Jules. I'm happy that we were able to celebrate Jules' bday together after all.

Small Treats

Tiny squares of carrot cake and oatmeal raisin bars make a yummy treat. How I wish I could eat a dozen of these delicious mini bars but I would probably end up regretting every high calorie bite. I try to be a good girl by eating only one of each. I convinced myself that two small servings won't do me any harm. Tell that to the weighing scale. Lucky are those who eat as their heart desires and never gain a pound. I have several friends like that. They enjoy eating without thinking of the consequences. I, on the other hand, is always in constant monitoring of my food. After losing 50 pounds, I don't want to gain a single pound back. But alas, I seemed to have gained a few pounds. I admit I've been eating a lot lately. Funny how I blame Jules for my weight gain because he always cooks my favorite food and bakes sweet desserts. I should practice more self discipline when it comes to food. Or else all the new clothes I bought might not fit anymore :D

Happy Birthday Jules!

Happy Birthday Jules! Life has always been more meaningful because you're around. Thanks for being my partner, best friend, mentor, guidance counsellor, handyman, cook and constant ally. I'm so happy that our paths crossed just at the right time. Being with you has made me a better person. Thanks for bringing color to my life. I'm very lucky to have a husband as loving as you. I love you very much. Wishing you happiness, good health, thriving business and more wonderful years ahead of you. God bless.

Happy Birthday also to my sister-in-law Ves. Thanks for being so thoughtful and generous to Yohan. Wishing you happy and inspiring thoughts. Take care!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Display of Emotions

It's amazing how the sky can transform from harsh and unforgiving to calm and peaceful. One moment the sky is enveloped in darkness and in minutes, the grey clouds slowly fade until they vanish completely.

The sky is just like the display of emotions. Sometimes I burst into anger when something significant upsets me. My husband says I have a short temper. I'm trying my best to work on that. Jules helps me prevent emotional outbursts by telling me to count from one to ten. It might seem a little silly and childish but it works for me. When I feel pent-up emotions ready to explode, I count from one to ten and somehow, it helps calm me down and gives me time to think before making a move. Although, I'm naturally impulsive, I try not to act on anger or frustration. I realized that whenever I do, I just end up regretting it at the end of the day. I don't like the feeling of having a heavy heart, so I try to remain in control of my emotions as much as possible.

When my emotions get the better of me, it just takes a few minutes for me to calm down. Sometimes, talking it over helps relieve the tension inside of me. Talking to a good friend or family can really work wonders.

Roast Beef Sandwich

Jules made some Roast Beef Sandwich for breakfast. One sandwich was equivalent to a heavy breakfast. In fact, I skipped lunch because I was still full by lunchtime.

Simple Roast Beef Sandwich Recipe

Slices of Roast Beef
Bread (Jules used Whole Wheat Ciabatta)
Tomato (if desired)
Onion (if desired)

Slightly toast the bread. Spread mayonnaise liberally on the bread. Put a layer of lettuce then slices of roast beef. Add tomato and onion if desired.
Roast Beef Sandwiches usually have horseradish. But since I don't like it, Jules didn't put any.

Enjoy your sandwich!

Dance in the Rain

I received this beautiful text from my friend Natalie:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's learning to dance in the rain. It's singing in the car when you don't even know all the words. It's giving your whole heart to someone even if you're a little scared. It's about taking risks and making life worth living because every minute you waste is a minute you'll never get back."
I agree, we should learn how to make the most of every situation. I believe that there's always a silverlining behind every cloud. If we find ways to look at the bright side of life, we will surely end up triumphant in the obstacles we encounter in our daily lives.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Big Crab Just For Me

I love eating crabs but I haven't mastered the skill of eating it yet. I'm a bit clumsy when it comes to opening the hard shell and prying into the crab flesh. Probably because I grew up being dependent on someone else to remove the crab meat for me. When I was younger, my parents or my yaya (nanny) would help me eat my crab by getting the meat from the shell and putting it on my plate. They did the same for my brother. I have gotten used to it that even as I grew old, my yaya would continue to help me eat my crab.

As you may well know, my yaya (nanny) is still with me until now. She took care of me when I was a baby and she hasn't left me after since. She's very loyal and devoted to my family. When I got married, my yaya decided to come live with me.

During the early months in our relationship, Jules found out that my yaya still helps me eat my crabs. He was very surprised. ha! ha! I guess he thought it was weird and quite funny. Anyway, he made it his goal to teach me the proper way of eating crabs ... ON MY OWN. i admit it wasn't that hard after all but I sometimes end up with a little cut on my finger.

Now I manage to eat crabs by myself. But I confess, I'm still a little clumsy with it. I realized it's more fun when you eat it solely on your own effort. Well, I won't be entirely honest if I say I don't get any help because my husband sometimes helps me crack the crab claws.

I ate this yummy big crab (on the photo) without any help. :D

Aries the Ram

ARIES March 21 to April 20

Positive Traits: pioneering, adventurous, energetic, courageous, enterprising, confident, dynamic, quick-witted and freedom-loving

Negative Traits: selfish, quick-tempered, impulsive, impatient, foolhardy and undiplomatic

Likes: action, challenge, spontaneity, championing causes and coming in first

Dislikes: waiting, tyranny, failure, lack of opposition and the advice of others

Hmm ... I think most of it are true. But I don't think I'm undiplomatic. In fact, I try my best to be tactful all the time. I also lack confidence and I'm not always courageous, enterprising and pioneering. But the rest of the traits I could somehow relate to.

Find out what your traits are based on your sign.

For pet lovers, you can also check your compatibility with your pets ... just try it for fun.

Mine says:

ARIES OWNER: It will be important to establish from the very beginning that it is the human who will be the governing authority in this relationship...otherwise, there is sure to be a "locking of horns" from time to time. Since all Aries natives (regardless of species) are used to being "number one," it will be necessary for the human to "run the show." If not, the Aries pet may well run amuck and refuse to obey, believing that he or she is truly the boss. Otherwise, the energies of both human and pet should blend well here and much enjoyment will be had by traipsing through the wilderness together, throwing the Frisbee or going for long runs on the beach (assuming, of course, the pet in question is equipped for such activities). In short, this will be a healthy relationship.