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If you are looking for a place to stay in Makati that’s priced reasonably, one of the options you might consider is staying at the BSA Towers along Legaspi St. right across Greenbelt 5. We’ve had the opportunity to stay there a couple of times and so far our experiences have been pleasant. I’ve read mixed reviews about the place so I’d like to add my 2 cents worth to help you decide whether you want to stay there or not.

CONVENIENT LOCATION

One of the major factors we took into consideration was convenience – mainly for my in-laws’ sake. They are senior citizens and not quite as mobile as before so having Greenbelt 5 directly across the condotel is a big plus. No need to get caught in traffic and wait for hours just to get to a mall.

This is the view from the balcony of Room 1208.

we can see Greenbelt 5 and beyond…

the entrance to Greenbelt 5…

PARKING

This factor might not be important if you are a business traveler flying in from a province or another country. However, if you live in and around NCR (National Capital Region) and you have your own vehicle, having your own parking slot is a big plus. Some condotels do not provide secure parking spaces, unlike BSA Towers, where we were alloted a parking slot within the building. If you are not ready to risk your car being “chop-chopped” or if you haven’t said yes to that auto insurance quote you’ve been offered, then you might want to consider staying at BSA.

STAFF PERFORMANCE

We had a problem with one of the bathroom faucets in Rm. 1208. There was just hot water coming out of the faucet and no cold water to mix it with. Having two kids with us, this was not safe at all. I called the front desk to have the Maintenance check it and shortly after, they sent someone to fix it. It turned out that the cleaning guys forgot to turn on the cold water valve under the sink. Problem fixed. I also called in a couple other requests which I’ve forgotten already but overall, the staff were courteous and polite.

Here’s how the bathroom looks like in the Master’s bedroom:

HOTEL CONDITION/CLEANLINESS

Generally, the building is old. The lobby is small and looks more like the hallway of an office building rather than the lobby of a hotel, so don’t expect something grand. The room we stayed in was decent. No broken furnitures etc.  I’m not quite sure about the other rooms, though. All I can say is, if you stay in Room 1208, then you’re good.  Housekeeping is daily and the sheets are changed everyday. Our room package did not include breakfast but I wouldn’t miss it anyway. Last time we stayed at BSA, they served breakfast in bento boxes. It was probably good while hot but mine was already cold when I woke up so I didn’t really enjoy it.

ROOMS/ACCOMODATIONS

There was nothing glaringly wrong with the room we stayed in. The living area was spacious. The kitchen was small but adequate. I did have to switch a few appliances around to make the work area more efficient but overall, it was ok. The dining table was a bit small for us because it could only accommodate 4 people. We ended up taking turns during our meals. The balcony doors were locked, for safety reasons probably. The beds were comfortable. Our room was a bit small and they had to configure the beds in such a way as to fit 2 twin beds, a cabinet and a mirror as well. The bottomline: the room met our needs and so we were quite satisfied with it. Again, I can only speak for us and our experiences in the room we stayed in.

Here’s the kitchen…

… the kitchen, one of the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms…

… our bedroom

VALUE FOR MONEY

I think if you’re not looking for a resort hotel, but something more practical, affordable, and accessible then, BSA Towers is worth the stay. It may not have the other amenities of the larger hotels like a pool, a gym etc. etc., but  it makes up for all that in many other ways.

***BSA TOWERS is managed by Quantum Hotels and Resorts

One little note, I just want to commend the security guards of Greenbelt 5 for helping out with the wheelchair. When my in-laws go to a mall, I usually get a wheelchair for my father-in-law to use around the mall. Some malls allow you to use and keep the wheelchair while you are there. Greenbelt 5 has a different procedure. They don’t allow you to keep the wheelchair with you. Instead, they bring you to your destination and you can just inform the guards to let them know you need to go somewhere else. What was really nice about them is that when we were done malling and called security for the wheelchair, they even brought my father-in-law right up to the doorstep of the BSA Towers. Kudos, to you!!!!

I survived! I took another trip to Divisoria a few days ago and I can now say to myself I won’t get lost anymore in this jungle of a marketplace. This time I even have pictures to boot! I planned to get to Divisoria early but unfortunately, I got too excited planning my trip the night before and ended up leaving late the next day. I left the house around 9am and expected to arrive at around 10:30am but I got caught in a monstrous traffic jam. I ended up in Divi past 12 noon. Tsk tsk! BUT all things work together for good so I guess it was all for a reason.

My entry route to Divisoria was through Binondo where the you see the famous Chinatown arch landmark after passing the Jones Bridge and the original Savory restaurant. The next landmark you will find is the rotonda where you will see the Binondo Church. Traffic was so bad, I got off at Starbucks and began my hunt in Juan Luna St. Take a look at where I got off.

This is where Juan Luna St. starts coming from Binondo.

**JUAN LUNA STREET

WHAT YOU WILL FIND: t-shirts (wholesale), t-shirt printing, commercial paper, printing and binding supplies, office equipment and supplies and a lot of banks in

Juan Luna Bridge – On the left side of the bridge, you will find  Ilaya and Tabora, New Divisoria Mall, M. de Santos etc.. On the right, you will find Juan Luna Plaza, Meisic Mall and 168 Mall. If you go straight up, you’ll end up on C.M. Recto Ave. where you will find Tutuban Mall.

** I turned left 2 streets after the bridge and bought 2 packs of jewelry foam from this lady who didn’t mind my taking a picture of her.

**COMMONER’S COMMERCIAL

This is how Commoner’s Commercial looks like. These guys were sport enough to “candidly” pose for me. Ü

WHAT YOU WILL FIND: acrylic boxes (be sure to bring a sample of the item you want to box so you can choose your size), plastic bags, sando bags, plastic bags with adhesive, kraft paper bags, round magnets, french fries boxes, plastic containers, cups and boxes for food or baked stuff, acrylic sheets, bubble wrap, cling wrap, colored wire, jewelry tags, paper and other packaging stuff.

** MORNING GLORY

Not quite sure if this is Morning Glory or Good Morning but nevertheless they’re both on the same street and both of these store sell sewing stuff.

WHAT YOU WILL FIND: all kinds of beads, thread, glitter, ric rac, lace, fabric flowers, sequins, buttons, ribbons and all kinds of jewelry and sewing stuff that you can imagine.

**WELLMANSON SEWING NOTIONS

I don’t have a picture of the store, but yes, there is a Wellmanson store in Divisoria.

WHAT YOU WILL FIND: jewelry making materials, findings, beads, jewelry tools, glitter, feathers, ric rac, lace, swarovski crystals, little wire tie twisties,

**TUTUBAN MALL COMPLEX

I just discovered that Tutuban Mall was divided into three buildings – am not quite sure if this is how they’re called : 1) Prime (where National bookstore is)  2) Block (the building with the escalator 3) and Cluster (the one parallel to Recto)

99 Slice and Dice Steak resto – So far this is where we always eat when we are in Divisoria.  We usually have the beef salpicao and kangkong. Affordable and tasty.

I discovered that there were other interesting places to eat just outside Tutuban Prime, near the parking lot. Maybe we’ll try them next time:

This is where we parked. This is directly behind Tutuban Prime.

I asked the security guard to pose for me (feeling John L. hahaha) Ü

Finally, this is what happens when the malls close. NIGHT MARKET!!!!!!! Pardon the blur. I was trying to shoot while in a moving car. Ü I just wanted to show how the shopping is still relentless even at night.

If you’ll notice, my pictures start out bright under the heat of the summer sun and end with  street lights and headlights galore. That’s how long it took us in Divisoria. I think I’ve walked my feet to death. It felt like walking on a treadmill that you can’t get off from. aaaaack.

Overall, despite all the hassles and difficulties of shopping here, Divisoria is still the mother of all markets hands down.

Check out the first post I did on Divisoria here—> http://teystirol.com/2009/11/17/decoding-divisoria/

Hope this post helps someone. HAPPY SHOPPING EVERYONE!!!!!

During the recent visit of my in-laws, we brought them to nearby Solenad at Nuvali to have lunch. We wanted them to see the place as there were new restaurants added since the last time they came for a visit. The kids also wanted them to see the hundreds of koi fish in the man-made lake at Nuvali. My in-laws are not as mobile as they used to be. I probably need to read more information on rheumatoid arthritis to find out what could help them as it has become increasingly difficult for them to walk far.

Crisostomo is one of the latest additions to Solenad, the commercial area of Nuvali along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road. We weren’t quite sure about it because I haven’t seen or heard of it before but since that was the nearest we could find and that was all that two hungry and grumpy old folks could bear, we went in to have lunch. Entering the restaurant reminded me of Maria Clara and old Manila. It dawned on me that the name Crisostomo was probably taken from Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere of which Crisostomo Ibarra was one of the lead characters. I looked around and surveyed the interiors. It was nicely furnished and I particularly loved the old electric fan that you only see in your great great grandparents’ house. Their menu offered Filipino-Spanish cuisine with a twist. I glanced at the station where they had a computer and I saw the name Florabel. I had seen the chef/owner of Florabel being interviewed once on TV so I assumed it was part of a chain of restaurants. A little while later, I think I actually saw the chef/owner of Florabel gesturing to her staff to make sure our orders were taken care of. THAT is a good sign.

We ordered the monggo soup and a salad with green mangoes in it. Then we ordered the mixed platter that had everything on it – barbeque, pork chop, vegetables, oysters, fish etc. It was quite nice and just the right portion for a party of 7. I don’t remember any particular dish that stood out but for me it was enough to satisfy the old folks so it was fine. The service was good and the staff was attentive to our needs. It was a nice little discovery borne out of necessity. There are more new restaurants popping up here in Nuvali. So for all you foodies out there, I’ll try to post our food escapades as they happen.

Ciao or better yet, Chow!

We arrived a few days ago from our unexpected extended Christmas holiday in Davao. Our little girl was confined for 6 days due to a severe asthma attack and bronchopneumonia. That’s a whole other story that I might post later on when I’ve gathered my thoughts on it but for now, I’d like to share some of our pig-out adventures in the ultimate adventurer’s eco-tourist mecca down south – Davao. Some might like to talk about online life insurance, but we love to travel and dine. Ü

I am not an expert food critic so these are just my opinions about the places we’ve eaten at this year.

The Food Scene:

  1. Tsuru’s – One of the favorite Japanese Restaurants my in-laws frequent in Davao. You can find it right in front of People’s Park. We had a little incident where the waitress (she was new) didn’t write down a couple of our orders and thus didn’t inform the kitchen. I had asked the husband if she repeated the orders and he said she did only to find out later that she really didn’t write it down. So we ended up waiting for something that wasn’t really going to come. Unfortunately, it was the order of our Australian guest. How embarrassing! Muy disgusto! The maitre ‘d however saved the day. She was quick to soothe our ruffled hungry tummies. She told the kitchen to serve the forgotten orders and told us that it was complements of the house.  Whew! For that quick response, I’d still recommend this place. Tsuru’s is located right in front of the People’s Park in Davao. It also has a sister restaurant serving Vietnamese cuisine called Hanoi.
  2. Bistro Rosario – This is an all-time favorite. Owned by Lola Charito, Bistro Rosario is part of a chain of restaurants in Davao which include Harana, Sarungbanggi and Peter Pan Bakeshop.  We were in search of the famous Wagyu beef so we dropped by Harana to sample it out. Wagyu beef is Japanese beef well-known for its juiciness and tenderness due to the intense marbling of unsaturated fat throughout the meat. Unfortunately, we arrived too late for the lunch hour so we transferred to Bistro Rosario since they serve Wagyu as well. While there, we sampled the clam chowder soup, the fresh lumpia, the sinfully delicious buko pandan dessert and of course the surprisingly, affordable Wagyu beef! Everything was delicious and the beef was worth the wait.  We also had a chance to chat with owner, Lola Charito. She told us the story behind her restaurants. She has been operating her business for more than 40 years and it was really inspiring to listen to her. If you want to try affordable Wagyu beef you can order them at Harana, Sarungbanggi or Bistro Rosario along Torres Street in Davao.
  3. Chippens Garden – Owned and managed by the Chippens restaurant, this one is located just outside the gate of my in-laws house. It’s usually booked for special functions and occasions and is neatly tucked away right in front of the house in Davao.
  4. Piccobello a Ristorante Italiano found in the old Gaisano mall. I am a pasta girl and so when we eat out I prefer to have my pesto pasta fix and this is one place I’d like to come back to. They have an authentic wood burning oven where they cook their pizza (which is also good, btw). The pesto was great and so was the carbonara. yum!
  5. Bigby’s – was a pleasant surprise. I liked the interiors because there were old world maps on the walls and we had fun guessing the names of the countries while waiting for the food. I also noticed the ceiling lamps were done using old magazine clippings and newspaper articles-really creative way to recycle stuff. The husband and I ordered steak and the portion was just right. My in-laws split a baby-back ribs rack and the kids had chicken in a basket while our Australian friends had pasta. It was definitely a nice meal altogether plus the service was definitely good. They have a unique little buzzer that you press if you need anything else. I’ve seen other restaurants have their own little signals to call the waiters, this was my first time to see something like this. Check them out.

After all that eating, I think I’m going to look for the best fat burner out there. LOL  We’ve eaten at many other places before that are not in this list but I will update this one as soon as I have time. Meanwhile, if you are in Davao check out these places to dine and discover for yourself the many flavors of Durian country.

My sleeping habits have gone from bad to worse. My working hours start from 11 pm and end at conservatively 3 am… I might as well be living in a different time zone. Thus, the sad reality of my raccoon eyes. But did you know that even if you do get plenty of sleep, you still can get dark circles under your eyes?

Here are some of the most common causes of under-eye circles: (according to Mayo Clinic)

  1. Allergies
  2. Atopic dermatitis (more commonly known as eczema)
  3. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol AND caffeinated sodas (oh no! does that mean COKE??????!!!!)
  4. Nasal Congestion (which dilates and darkens the veins that drain from your eyes to your nose) – hmmm now I know…
  5. Pigmentation irregularites
  6. Sun exposure, which prompts your body to produce MELANIN, the pigment that gives skin its color
  7. Thinning skin and loss of fat and collagen – common as you age (whaaaaat?) which makes the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes more obvious

What to do???

Who wants to have “twilight” eyes? Well, if you’re into New Moon and True Blood (is that correct?) then you wouldn’t probably mind. For those who do, here are a few things to remember to take care of those peepers and eventually avoid those dark circles:

  • Keep it cool. Try placing a cold compress, a bag of frozen peas or two cucumber slices on your eyes to reduce dilated and discolored under-eye blood vessels.
  • Keep it high. Elevate your head with two or more pillows to prevent puffiness that develops when fluid accumulates in your lower eyelids.
  • More is more. Short nights don’t usually cause under-eye circles but a lack of sleep makes you paler and more hollow-eyed, so shadows and circles are more obvious. OUCH! I need to get more sleep Ü
  • I wear my sunglasses at night. Although a tan might hide dark circles in the short term, in the long run, the extra pigment it produces can make circles worse. Use sunscreen!!!
  • Keep it clear. Rinsing your sinuses with a saltwater solution (mix 1/4 teaspoon sea salt with 2 cups warm water) or over the counter saline spray can help relieve and clear nasal congestion. I’ve seen this done, but I don’t think I’m brave enough to shoot water up my nostrils. ewww!
  • Keep it hydrated. Hundreds of cosmetics and skin creams are out there waiting for you. Look for one that has vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E and retinol in its formulation.
  • Keep it hidden. If worse comes to worse and you need a quick solution pronto, then the right concealer can do the trick for you. If the circles under your eyes are bluish, use a peach-colored concealer, not one that’s white or gray.
  • Handle with care. Don’t forget, the skin around our eyes is delicate, that’s why we need to be gentle whenever we apply anything to it. Use your ring finger to dab eye make up or apply night creams.

So I must do as I preach because it’s way past my bedtime. I’m off to bed!!!!

Later, folks!

It’s been two weeks or so since I posted because I got sick after our trip to Divisoria. It became a family field trip of sorts because it was the first time for the husband and the kids to experience the magic that is Divisoria. I discovered that bringing a car was not that hard if you go early and you know where to park. We found parking behind the Tutuban Mall. Of course, it was a bit of a risk with the kids but I think we managed quite well with lots of prep work and instruction. It was the husband’s first salvo into this urban retail jungle and he is definitely hooked! From wedding gowns to kitchen sinks, it’s a shopper’s paradise. It can get pretty confusing if it’s your first time so it helps to do your research before you go. Knowing what you want to buy and where to go will save you a lot of time. But if you are going purely to bargain hunt then the search becomes part of the pleasure.

Here’s a list of of Divisoria /Binondo Suppliers that might help you out. I still have a lot to learn but you might find this useful just in case:

A. Food Containers and Gift Boxes – along Ilaya St.

  1. Commoner’s Commercial – 725 Ilaya St. near Juan Luna across fire station. ( I got lost looking for this store because I asked somebody who gave me the wrong direction instead of following my instinct) Like most stores that I was looking for, this one was hard to find if you are not familiar with Divi because it’s behind a slew of sidewalk vendors occupying the front of the store. You will find resealable plastic bags, acetate boxes, paper bags, gift boxes, rolls of cling wrap etc. etc.
  2. Ilaya Plastic and Packaging – 763 Ilaya St. I didn’t find this one but it’s probably close to Commoner’s

B. Sewing Notions, Beads, Ribbons – along Tabora St.

  1. House of Decor – hidden behind the sidewalk vendors
  2. Morning Glory hidden behind the sidewalk vendors
  3. Remy Filipinas

C. Office/Paper products

  1. Golden Era Paper Products – 623 M. de Santos St. Binondo; Tel nos. 2411394/244395
  2. Times Trading – 525 Quintin Paredes St. Manila; Tel nos. 2425741 to 24257418

D. Malls

  1. 168 Mall – near Juan Luna and Sta. Elena
  2. Juan Luna Mall – along Juan Luna
  3. Tutuban Mall – along C.M. Recto
  4. New Divisoria Mall – along Sto. Cristo and De Santos

I think one more trip to Divi will help me memorize the ins and outs there. I just have to make sure I’m well rested and my resistance is up so I don’t get sick again.

Later, folks!

Have you seen GMA 7’s latest videoke singing game show? If you haven’t then you should! Of course, I am biased because one of the band members is Michael Gemina! I’ve seen him when he was still a little boy and now he’s all grown up (nope, I don’t recall him having any acne treatment) and making a name for himself and doing what he loves to do most. Play music!

It was just a few months ago when we were believing God to send Michael to Berklee. Now, God has opened up doors for him in the music industry. I know that God will do wonderful things for him in the coming days and his future is definitely bright. Not only is he an excellent musician, he also has a good head on his shoulders and more importantly, a heart that wants to honor God. Bravo, Michael! More! More!

Here’s how the show went :

watch?v=uYm8yQaOhU4

It’s true. I have found the one night cream that works for me. Yes, it is Olay – Olay Regenerist and NO, I am not a paid endorser. I wish I was. LOL I’m not into make up that much but I do want to have clear, clean skin.  I have tried a lot of night creams out there and it does get tiring to be using so many products to address different needs. Right now, I’m a happy camper with this one. My sister gave this as a present when she came home last year and I was just happy to receive something from her. I didn’t use the product immediately because I don’t religiously put night creams on plus I didn’t want to use it all up because the next supply would come the next time she comes home again. I finally found out how good it was when I finally found a good enough reason to use it.  I was supposed to attend an event and I had to, at least,  not look like a raccoon because of the dark circles around my eyes that comes from sleeping late. I had to do something fast.  And so I used it and I was actually quite surprised and happy with it.  The cream didn’t feel heavy on my skin, it didn’t feel like it was clogging my pores, it was easily absorbed and wasn’t like grease sitting there. I had only like a few hours of sleep and yet it didn’t show. I was hooked! So now, I obligated my sister to be my lifetime supplier of Olay.  Forever! hahaha

I am not a movie fanatic but once in a while, an interesting story can catch my attention and make me stay on a channel longer than usual. I chanced upon the movie “Awake” starring Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) and Jessica Alba one time and I was intrigued. It tells the story of a man who remains awake during his own heart surgery and how he discovers that it was all along a plot by Jessica Alba and the doctors to kill him to get his money. There was a time when I avoided shows or movies that had hospital scenes in them especially when there were cardiac arrest scenes and they had to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) to revive the person…painful memories associated with those kinds of scenes.

Going back to the movie, I started it midway so I didn’t know that there would be a scene like that. I just kept on watching because I was curious to see how the story would go. In the movie, Hayden was under sedation because he was about to have a heart transplant. While he was in that state, he had something like an out-of-body experience and it was during this time that he found out everything that was being done to him and how his girlfriend and the doctors were going to kill him. For those who haven’t seen the movie or if I’ve piqued your curiosity, I won’t tell you how it ends. You can probably grab a copy at your neighborhood movie rental shop and watch it over the weekend.

I missed watching UZ last night. Tsk, tsk… I completely forgot. I like watching that show because I learn a lot about home designing and I get to see a lot of very talented Pinoy architects and designers. One particular episode that I’d like to see again was the one featuring an eco-friendly house somewhere in Antipolo. I’m not quite sure about the details of the show and I even forgot who the lady architect was but of course I remembered the house. It was a modern house, clean, minimalist, maximum use of natural light (although I think there was a lighting fixture there that was interesting…), well placed ventilation systems…very well thought of. Pinag-isipan, in short. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Even the back of the refrigerator was put to good use by placing a closet behind it to dry umbrellas etc. – captured energy indeed. I’m still a long way from my ideal home but it’s nice to see that it already exists here in the Philippines.

I was watching the Oprah show earlier today. She had as guests, Dr. Oz and David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine and author of  “Eat This, Not That!” series. Their topic was about obesity in kids and the discussion revolved around the how’s and why’s kids end being so overweight. David shared a lot of information about the food choices that are out there in the supermarkets and how to choose wisely.

As parents, we all want to raise normal, healthy kids and sometimes our food decisions aren’t always the best ones simply because we lack information. We have evolved into a “fast-food” generation where everything is quick and easy but not necessarily healthy. Hence, the rise of liposuction, diet pills and all sorts of weight-loss products. Although, these books are geared more towards the American consumer, still, there is much to be gleaned from them because a lot of these products are now available locally in major supermarkets. If you want to know if ‘regular bacon’ is healthier than ‘turkey bacon’, you gotta read the book. You’ll be surprised. So before you reach out for that bag of chips and that box of “multi-grain’ something, read the back label or better yet get yourself a copy of these books.

Check out these books. They are available at Amazon.com and you can read more reviews by those who have bought them. You might even qualify for their Free Super Saver Shipping. (Click on the links to get there)

Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds–or More!

Eat This Not That! for Kids!: Be the Leanest, Fittest Family on the Block!

I was just browsing around for Vaganova Ballet Schools in California specifically in the SFO Bay area or Los Angeles and I found one this one in L.A.  – > Masterpiece Dance Theatre. Check out their ballet mistress!

Nadezhda (Nadya) Koscuik has been teaching the “Vaganova”  syllabus for over 30 years and she is the only recipient from  both the Russian Ministry of Culture and the Vaganova Ballet  School, St Petersburg, Russia to be officially endorsed to not  only teach the authentic and complete Vaganova curriculum  but also to teach all nine levels. Her extensive international  training, performance experience, and professional contacts  and relationships make her an authority in the world of  Classical Ballet.

Nadya received official permission from the Russian Ministry  of Culture to write her book titled “The Vaganova Legacy”. In  addition to her extensive training, receipt of the entire and  complete Vaganova Curriculum from her friend and mentor  Ninel Kurgapkina (former pupil of Vaganova) further  establishes Nadya as an international authority on the  Vaganova system of teaching. Nadya is now in the process of  editing the first complete draft of the textbook named “The  Vaganova Legacy” which will also serve as a reference manual  on the subject.

Isn’t that impressive! Of course, if ever the kids decide to pursue ballet professionally I wonder what it would cost to uproot ourselves from here and get the service of moving companies Los Angeles Hollywood style? hmmm… that’s still a half a decade away so for now, I’ll settle for Vaganova on youtube. LOL

We always hear fashion gurus telling us that the “little black dress” is one of those fashion essentials you must have in your closet. But what about jewelry? What should you invest in when it comes to jewelry? I grew up in a town famous for it’s jewelry making industry and seeing jewelry catalogs around our house was nothing extraordinary. Although I am not the “chunky, clunky” type, I do appreciate good jewelry when I see one. Below are what I think every one should have at least one of in their stash. My jewelry of choice would be earrings and here are some samples of what I would wear (if I could LOL).

Diamonds are classic, timeless and always in style no matter what the occasion.

Pearls are elegant, sophisticated and can take you from drab to fab in an instant.

Real gems and birthstones add that personal touch to your overall look.

What about costume jewelry then? Where does that fit in? With all the high quality hip and trendy fashion jewelry coming out, there will always be room for that in your wardrobe especially if they are as cute as this:

… yeah, yeah it’s ballet of course I’ll wear it hahaha (I found this in etsy – image is linked… I think 🙂 )

So that’s my fashion roundup for this time.

…. while sitting down. Impossible? No. Doable? YES! I used to have firm, well-defined arms until about a few years ago.  Then, I started noticing that they were becoming big and eventually flabby, giving in to the force of gravity.  Whenever I raised them, they looked like oversized turkey necks flapping in the air. Ugh! Not too flattering if you wear a sleeveless top, right? Honestly, it’s depressing. I am not one of the courageous ones who can wear a tank top and just let it all hang.

So I scoured around the net for free tips on how to solve my problem. Some of them were just trying to sell me a video after a free trial while others were the tried and tested personal trainor stuff. I couldn’t do both. Between homeschooling, household chores, digiscrapping commitments, and my part-time graphic layout stuff, I just don’t have the time to squeeze it between all that. I needed something that I could do while I was doing all the stuff I needed to do.

Then, I read an article online (I’m sorry I forgot where… out of the many I have read in my desperate pursuit of flab-free happiness) that listed a few exercises that seemed doable to me. I tried it and tweaked it a bit to fit my daily routine like washing the dishes, sitting down in front of the computer, watching the news, daydreaming about a Las Vegas hotels getaway (cough cough), and guess what, I’m starting to see results!

Here’s what I’ve been doing so far:

  1. Raise your hands to chin level and make a fist.
  2. Punch 20 times in front of you with your right.
  3. Punch 20 times in front of you with your left.
  4. Punch 20 times diagonal across to the left with your right.
  5. Punch 20 times diagonal across to the right with your left
  6. Raise your elbows to chin level, bring them to the front and squeeze them together for twenty counts.
  7. Repeat these steps wherever you are, whatever you’re doing as long as people don’t look weirdly at you.

Of course, it does help a lot if you eat healthy and choose what you stuff yourself with. I’ve been on a one-meal-a-day fast so I think that made it a bit faster. Who knows I might dare to go sleeveless in the next few weeks. LOL

As with all exercises, consult with your physician before you do the above. Here’s to flab-free arms for all of us!

I don’t know if I’m alone in this thing but reminding my eldest son to brush his teeth is a daily tug-of-war. Although he does do it when I remind him to, he doesn’t do it well and now his teeth have a yellowish tint to it already. I inspect his teeth all the time to see if there are any food particles left near the gum and in his molars. His baby teeth have fallen out already more than a few months ago and he is sporting his “hammy look” with his two front teeth sticking out like Bugs Bunny. A regular checkup at the dentist’s office is certainly a must and I’m glad we don’t have to go all the way to a Plano Dentist in Texas just to do that. We found one in our church and the kids really like her and are not scared of her and that definitely is a good thing.