Archive for  December 2008

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Yup, in a few hours! I can’t believe I’m done packing. Usually it’s always a no-sleep night for me whenever we have to go somewhere because I do ALL the packing for my brady bunch but this time it’s a wee bit more relaxed. My skin usually breaks out when I’m stressed with so much stuff to do.  Even the best acne treatments can’t compare to what a little R&R can do to your skin.  We are on the evening flight so I had the whole day yesterday to do all the prep work for the house and I got to pack for the kids as well. Today will just double check around to see any thing I might have overlooked. The kids are excited and can’t wait to leave. Davao here we come!

Just a few more days till Christmas and a few more days after Christmas will be the New Year. What do you do to prepare for the New Year? Are you one of those who make lists of things that need to be done before the year ends. I’m sorta like that. As much as I can help it, I want everything in place, finished and done before I start something new. Of course, there are factors that somehow do not allow me to  do it my OC way. If I had my OC way, the credit card bills, the auto insurance, the utilities and rental would all be paid one year in advance. hahaha There would be no backlog on my kids’ homeschool work and when the clock strikes midnight of December 31, not a single object would be out of place.

Well of course, this is my ideal utopian world but IRL, the toys and books would be somehow, somewhere hidden between the sheets or inside the pillowcases. The chores and the to-do lists are always a day away. The action items inert. LOL But at the end of the day, even if my year end wrap ups always end up undone, I think that the little arms that wrap around me consoling me and telling me that they’ll do better next time is enough reason to just go with the flow and live life one day at a time. How about you? How do you end your year?

I got the chance to watch another ballet show at the CCP last weekend. A friend of mine invited me to accompany her right after a mall show she did and boy, the traffic on the way there was awful. Everyone seems to be out Christmas shopping and what would normally take an hour to CCP took 30 minutes or so longer. It was still horrible on the way home even though it was already almost 11:00 pm. Too many people were out shooooooopping. Aren’t you glad there is online shopping? No traffic and no long checkout lines.

If you haven’t finished your Christmas list yet then why not check out some Holiday Glass Frames from Zenni Optical, The popular online eyeglasses shop.  They have a wide array of holiday frames available. I kinda like this one – of course it’s pink. What’s not to like? LOL

And yup, they still have those $ 8 Complete Rx Eyeglasses you can give as gifts to as many  friends and loved ones you want because they are so affordable. They make great stocking stuffers, don’t you think? What’s more, you don’t have to brave the traffic and the long lines anymore. You can do it right in your own home, even in your jammies. Just make sure you get each of their prescriptions right  and don’t mix them up or else they might end up seeing double. Happy shopping everyone!

Every year, well almost every year really, we try to go home and spend Christmas with the grandparents. My kids look forward to this annual trip because it’s a time to take a break from the school and work related things we do and replace it with the parties, get-togethers and reunions and all the jam-packed activities already scheduled in advance. Not much difference huh except that doing the latter “expands your horizon” or better yet “expands you horizontally” in so many ways. LOL  It’s a break from washing dishes, doing the laundry, clearing up the dining table and all the mundane household chores that we do as a family because we don’t have househelp. Don’t we all need that? I do – BIGTIME!

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few pics from our trip last year. The kids love that the whole place is decorated. I don’t do any decorations in our house anymore because we’re away for the most part of the holidays. It makes for fun pics as well without the cleanup. hahaha These are SOOC so no post processing – (had no time to open up the editing software – tamad!) Here they are:

the foyer: Welcome, come on in!

Welcome! (this is the foyer)

in my MIL’s garden there are pointsettias year round

and here’s a glimpse of the hallway where the Christmas tree was last year

So that’s it for now – will be back in a bit to finish up my bloggie duties and then maybe I can start packing.

I used to wear glasses before until I had laser surgery almost 10 years ago. Glasses back then weren’t as fashionable or well-designed as those that are being sold today. That’s why I really wanted to have my eyes corrected thru laser surgery. Because the glasses back then especially prescription glasses were, in my opinion, ugly. You would never find a pair like Gov. Sarah Palin’s glasses, those high-tech coated NASA tested lenses or even the  progressive prescription glasses years ago.  Added to that, is the ease of getting one online was unheard of.

I found this online site – Optical4less.com that even allows you to “virtually try on” your eyeglasses in the comfort of your own home. You can even adjust the shading or tint of your lenses. How convenient is that! And they even offer free shipping anywhere in the world if you order more than one pair. Now, that’s a steal because shipping and handling can be quite expensive depending on where you live. I don’t need a pair right now, maybe in a few more years or so but I really like the rimless frame they have. So if you are in the hunt for a pair of new glasses, check out Optical4less.com. Whether for prescription or for trendy fashion purposes check them out. You might just find what you need.

In the middle of all the celebrations that went on because of Pacquio’s victory, I was quite surprised to read in a tabloid newspaper while waiting for my kids at Kumon – the death of young actor Marky Cielo. It always comes as a shock when someone so young and so promising with a successful future to look forward to could be gone in an instant. I’m not really  a ‘fan’ kind of a person, but I feel the sense of loss and to a certain degree the pain of losing a loved one in this case.  As a mom, it is unimaginable to think that the son you have so many dreams and hopes for would not live to fulfill them anymore. The pain is universal. My sympathies go to Marky’s family. May the peace of God be with them during this time of grief.

INSPIRA’TION, n. [L. inspiro.]

1. The act of drawing air into the lungs; the inhaling of air; a branch of respiration, and opposed to expiration.
2. The act of breathing into any thing.
3. The infusion of ideas into the mind by the Holy Spirit; the conveying into the minds of men, ideas, notices or monitions by extraordinary or supernatural influence; or the communication of the divine will to the understanding by suggestions or impressions on the mind, which leave no room to doubt the reality of their supernatural origin.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. 2 Tim.3.
4. The infusion of ideas or directions by the supposed deities of pagans.
5. The infusion or communication of ideas or poetic spirit, by a superior being or supposed presiding power; as the inspiration of Homer or other poet.

We can find inspiration anywhere. Just take a look around and absolutely anything can be a source of inspiration. Let’s look at definition number 2 for example – the act of breathing into anything. Isn’t that mind blowing? Pause for a minute and let that thought just dwell there – something as ordinary as kitchen sinks or tree barks or even a soda pop  can be fodder for one’s creative juices to flow. To bring heaven on earth or reach out and touch the stars with a spark of inspiration – an idea, an invention – innovation. Calling forth that which is not yet into being and making it tangible and alive in the now. With just a breath, a lump of clay turned into a man; a crooked smile captured turned into the most recognized artwork in the world, a thunderstorm, a piece of string and a kite lit up the whole planet – we will never be in want for inspiration – all that is required is that we breathe.

It’s a special day to be proud thanks to Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, woohoo! The dream match is over and we have overcome (well, it’s a vicarious feeling on my part). I started watching boxing matches thanks to my dad’s impartation.  Every Sunday he would turn his rocking chair towards the TV armed with his can of Pale Pilsen, an adobo pandesal sandwich or two and watch boxing reruns on TV. Those were some of our unique bonding times (I’m sure he has a good seat right now where he is and he is enjoying every bit of it — (sigh) I miss him so.) I once caught a glimpse of him watching Manny Pacquiao’s earlier fighting days when he was still young and skinny. It’s amazing what he has accomplished since then.

Today, I join the rest of the country as we rejoice in the knowledge that he has made boxing history. We got to watch the fight after we had just finished our Sunday Service and I think I was the noisiest ‘female’ cheering every punch he landed – I thought for a minute if I was embarrassing myself but after a while I couldn’t care less (dyahe? hindeh!)  It is indeed a proud day to be Pinoy! Nanalo tayo daddy! Mabuhay ang pambansang kamao!

 

Last time we were in the US, I found a really cool pair of cargo pants in one of the racks of a discount store. Little did I know that they were really designed for those in uniform until I checked out the label when I got home. I had once watched a show, I don’t remember the exact details but it talked about the technology that went into manufacturing clothes especially for those in uniform like military personnel or law enforcement officers. One of the guys featured there said that he never needed to change his socks no matter how many times he wore them. The technoIogy behind it was the use of copper as part of the material. Copper has this antibacterial properties that fights odor causing bacteria. No more smelly feet, hun! And it’s not just on socks the whole uniform! Imagine that, no more smelly sweaty clothes no matter how long you are out on duty.

Of course these clothes have to be practical and they have to be designed for specific purposes. I found this really cool site that sells these pants that are not only durable and built to last, they are quite stylish as well and can be given as gifts for the man of the house especially this holiday season. I’m not quite sure if they use this kind of technology but if you are in a stump and don’t know what to give the hubby check out Tacticalpantsusa.com for some unique one of a kind gifts to give this Christmas. I’m sure he will not send it back for a refund. LOL

Nope, not by me. I found this out from a PickleberryPop forum threads. I’ve always wanted to turn my handwriting into a font to make my scrapbook pages look more personal and now here’s my chance to do it. You might want to check out  www.yourfonts.com and create your own personal handwriting font.

It’s meeh! I get to post again today because the hubby’s computer crashed again on him – well, it’s a 2nd hand recycled laptop that we bought at HMR and of course it’s life span is not something you expect to be beyond forever.  So it’s my turn to blog.

The hubby and I with kids in tow were invited today to a product launch in Makati and it was not something we were unfamiliar with. One of the products that was introduced aside from all the food supplements was a health card with a validity of one year that costs roughly around P499 pesos only. One of the benefits of the cardholder is that he can avail of an annual executive check-up at the various accredited clinics/hospitals listed. I’m not so sure about the whole set up but then if all you can afford is P500 and you can already get an executive check up at that amount who needs smoker life insurance.  I was also surprised to find that one of those medical institutions listed was owned by my brother’s friend. Small world!

Anyway, that was just one of those products presented. There was a whole other set of food supplements and other health related products that quite frankly were really interesting. Not only that, you get to earn from all of that too. So health is indeed wealth, literally speaking. So the hubby and I will discuss it further to see if that falls into our present setup. It sounds promising.

With 19 days to go  before Christmas, Teys and I talk about our gifts.  This year we’ll be going for something that we had custom made.  Its actually a surprise so I would not say much of it now.  If you really don’t know what to give, a gift check or card would do.  That way, you give the recipient the freedom to choose his or her gift.  In the US, I remember major retailers having this.  Target, Borders, etc.

An easy way to get gift cards would be to go to the gift card mall. Here you can get cards for sellers like Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond and iTunes.  You can also select the design you want. They have 18 holiday themed cards out this season. Customizable cards are also available.  Values are typically $25 -$100 but you can put in some other amount as you order.The cards can be shipped to your intended recipient.

Gift cards are a convenient way of giving gifts.  Until we have them in the Philippines, we’ll just have to make do with gift certificates.  Happy shopping!

Notice my “Christmas” header? That’s how long I’ve been gone I think. I miss ‘da blog’ and I’m starting to feel like a guest around here … IN MY OWN BLOG (LOL) but the hubby has been so nice enough to pitch in for me while I finished all the deadlines that were swamping me. I just finished two projects last night, one of them I’m so excited about. Actually, both and more. Woohoo! (Warning: long post -> because I missed blogging so much 😛 )

First off, The TDS 2008 Catalog!!! The Daily Scrapper is the brainchild of designer Alice Koh and it’s the first online scrapbooking newspaper ever. I love working with this publication because I’ve always wanted to be a journalist/writer at heart so this satisfies that inner ‘artsy craving’ in me. So one of the TDS projects this year is the first year-end ‘The Daily Scrapper (TDS) 2008 Catalog Ezine’ to be released anytime now depending on which time zone you are in. I’m so happy to be part of the making of this catalog. It’s really a unique way to showcase some of the wonderful talent of digiscrappers out there. AS IN! Special mention goes to all those wonderful ladies who worked hard behind the scenes on this project like Karen Maggie (our project coordinator), Joanne Hubbard (awesome layout artist!), Amysout, Melrio & Ruth Melody (all template geniuses), JJstar (one Hybrid Hot Mama) and of course awesome editor-in-chief Alice Koh (who works 25 hours and more each day). I hope I didn’t miss out on anyone.

And guess what? there are two ‘bebots’ featured there! (Of course, I’m so proud of them and because all these bebots have some really serious talent. Go bebots!)  I think I have to keep track of how many exclamation points I have in this post hahaha.  Congrats to Buge and Len Escobar for being featured in it. You girls rock!  Here’s a teaser of the catalog and what’s in store for you.

If you enjoy reading the TDS newspaper, you’ll love going through this one of a kind E-zine. And there’s more -> lots of freebies are included in it like kits contributed by designers Amy Sumrall, Irene Alexeeva, and Jenn Balding and templates by the TDS Layout Artist Team.

Soon to hit the stands! Check it out at the TDS Store.

So what else have I been doing? Well, I just completed a four-week basic photography course sponsored by Isuzu Philippines at the Alabang branch taught by photojournalist Antonni Cuesta. I am so happy with what I’ve learned through this course because now I have a little technique to back up the artsy side of my “shots”. Thanks, teacher Toni! I learned a lot. Maybe I’ll have time to be active in Litratong Pinoy again and use all this technical know how. Although the classes have ended, they have a contest ongoing for those who attended the course. All our entries will be on display bet Dec. 8 onwards in the following Isuzu showrooms – Alabang, Pasig and Cavite and will be subject to voting by the public. So in case you drop by one of these showrooms or you are window shopping for a new car this holiday season – Check out my entries and vote for me (pretty please? -> betty boop eyes)

What else did I do? I attended my first local make and take ‘paper’ scrapping event. Yes, Virginia … this girl still plays with paper, glue and scissors. I got to go to Merry Jane Lim’s store – Rekindled Moments near PCU Taft and went ‘paper scrapping’ shopping. I got to pick up a few inking techniques too from a demo done by Cookie Aguilar. Thanks Jane and Cookie! Now to find the time to do all that as well.

In the middle of all that, the hubby and I attended the Kumon Parent Conference held at the Intercontinental Hotel a few Saturdays ago. I was quite pleasantly surprised that the guys at the registration table were smiling not at me or the hubby but at our son. Guess what? It turns out that my son was their featured poster boy so he was kinda like a celebrity on his own with all these Kumon teachers so happy to see him in person. Even Kumon Philippines President Nakamura was quite amused.

Here are some pics:

Guest Speaker Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan

The Intercon Ballroom

Up close and personal

Really up close and personal 🙂 ( FYI, he’s homeschooled)

Of course, not to mention, the annual Kumon National Advanced Students Honor Roll (ASHR) where for the first time in his whole Kumon awards life I didn’t get to attend because dd was sick and we both had to stay home, plus the ASHR Christmas Party at our Kumon Center in LBA where both my kids brought home their medals.

(shaking hands with Kumon Phils. President Nakamura at the SMX Convention Center)

with Teacher JB G. and Laurence L. at the LBA ASHR Christmas Party

this time dd got to attend and with medals to boot, yipee!

Is there more you say?  That’s what happens when you don’t get to blog hahaha. Well, the hubby and I have a couple of projects up our sleeves but they are still incubating so when it’s ready to hatch, you’ll find out about it right here.

Okay, that’s quite an update. I’ve said a whole mouthful. Check back once in a while, I think I have a freebie up in the air as a Christmas present for y’all. Now back to you, ‘ga!

Ciao for now!