Sunday, October 30, 2011

Picture Perfect

It's the Little One's Day Out today and while waiting for lunch to be served, we took some pictures which we can send to Daddy (Zola's Dad).  You just don't know how many shots  my sister took so she can get a decent picture of both of us (meaning both of us wearing our beautiful smile) but well. . . we really tried our best! Haha!

Okay, we're both NOT ready! Haha!
(I can't believe I'm posting this picture of mine! Teehee)

I think the Little One might be ready . . . but I'm not

Okay, she is READY for the camera and I'm still NOT!

NOW I'm ready and she's NOT!

I'm still READY and she's umm. .. well . . . .tired and sleepy


They may not seem to be picture perfect. . . but they definitely are to me =)

My "Sort-of Homemade Cooking" Series: Lettuce Chicken Wrap

I was 5 months pregnant and was craving for Peking Duck . . .not really for the skin but for the sauteed duck meat served with fresh lettuce leaves.  I was in LA during that time and wouldn't know where to get good Peking Duck *sigh*

But in one of our trips to the supermarket, I got so giddy and excited when I saw this!

Thank you Lee Kum Kee for my craving's quick fix!

Cooking it is easy as 1-2-3, just saute the ground chicken, put some chopped carrots, water chestnut, spring onion, roasted peanuts and turnips and the sauce mix and tadahhhh . . . .

I should have gotten more before I went back to Philippines! (I couldn't find this good stuff in our local supermarkets).

Hmmmm . . . . maybe it's time to get some real Peking Duck todayyyy!!!

Have a nice Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heath and Christopher

I was reading the local  YES Magazine this afternoon and saw some old pictures (which were taken during the 70's) of Christopher De Leon, one of  Philippines' premier actors.

And for some reason, I thought he looked like Heath Ledger, one of my favorite actors.  

I guess I just miss Heath Ledger. . . .I liked him the first time I saw him in "10 Things I Hate About You", loved him in "A Knight's Tale" (I don't know how many times I've watched this film!) and thought he was brilliant in "Brokeback Mountain".  It is indeed a shame that he left us too soon . . . 

Googled for some more pictures of these two amazing actors and there seems to be some resemblance. (well, just my opinion, teehee)

What do you think? =)

Photo credit for Christopher de Leon ( and Heath Ledger (, and

Ready for Christmas Shopping?

It's 60 days until Christmas . . . and I haven't even done any gift shopping yet! Aaarrrghhh!  I got to start working on that list!  I do take my gift giving seriously, haha!  I know some people don't like shopping for gifts but I find joy in finding that perfect gift and knowing that the person absolutely loved it!  

Do you know how I choose which gift to give?  Here are some of the things which help me:

1. I keep in mind their interests, hobbies, their lifestyle - For example, for somebody who loves to cook, a good cookbook, a cool or unique kitchen gadget would be nice gifts.   A health buff would appreciate a gift which he/she can use at the gym or when exercising or if the person is a music or book lover and you're not sure of the person's faves, you may just get a gift certificate so they can make their own choice. 

2. Do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts - I would love to do this!  If only I'm creative and crafty enough, I really would! haha!  Or if I only know how to bake . . .a box of homemade brownies or a jar of delicious cookies in a nice Christmas packaging would be a lovely gift.

3. Personalized Gifts - I like giving and receiving personalized items because when you see your name on it, it makes you feel special.  Some of the personalized items I have received in the past are towels, notepads, gift tags and stuff for travelling.

4. Buy something that person won't buy for himself/herself -  I wanted to buy a really nice bag but decided not to since I'm saving for something else.  So my sweet sister thought of buying it for me as her Christmas gift. (Thanks sis, love you much!)

5. Or sometimes, all I got to do is ask this question if I have to decide over a gift. . . would I like to receive this gift as well?  Haha!  Try this. . . it really helps =)

Happy Shopping! =)

P.S.  Don't shop 'til you drop, just take it easy. .. teehee

Image Credit:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Zola's Dad

Janina turned 4 months today so I told hubby that the next blog post will be our letter to the Little One.  I told him that he can just give me random thoughts, ideas, things he want to say (you see, he is a man of few words) and I will then come up with the letter from both of our inputs.

But after reading what he sent me for this post, I just know that his letter (unedited) deserves an entire post in itself. 

Hello my Janina. My baby Zola. You are now four months old and you are growing up fast. By the time I get back, I might be able to see your neck better.  How I wish to be by your side right now together with your mommy.  It's hard for me to be away and it makes it even tougher when you are sick; so I pray that you grow as a healthy little girl.  I miss making beso-beso to you and I miss carrying my little darling, tiyan-to-tiyan style.  I miss you and your mommy very much.  We love you. Smile always.
I've mentioned in an earlier post that my hubby makes me laugh without even trying and this is what I'm talking about. . . . "I might be able to see your neck better?". . . "making beso-beso?". . . "carrying my little darling, tiyan-to-tiyan style?" . . .you may not find that funny but I DO (and probably my good friends M and M who are his biggest fans)! LOL . . .

And I'm sure he wrote this without the intention of being funny . . . and that to me is what makes him funny!

Just reading this letter makes me miss him more . . . (for you single ladies out there, just a friendly advice, for me, it is important that you have a partner who makes you laugh because laughter creates a bond and brings happiness in a relationship . . . and besides, you need a good sense of humor in dealing with life)

Btw, you might still be curious about the " see your neck better" part . . . . after looking at the Little One's photo below. . . I guess it's self-explanatory then  (LOL)

Happy 4th month Birthday Little One!

You have brought so much love and joy to us,
you are a blessing in our lives.
We love you very much sweetheart. . .

Hugs and kisses,
Daddy and Mommy

Polka Dot Love

My sister is going to Cebu for some R & R.  Since she is travelling light, she wanted to get a trolley type of luggage.  She wants something that is easy-recognizable so it's easier for her to claim her luggage.  When you're standing in a sea of the usual black and blue luggage, this is surely a standout!  And a cutie as well, if I may say so =)

Voyager Trolley
We got this cutie at SM Department Store.  The brand is Voyager (though I think it is not the Voyager brand from New Zealand)  It has spinner wheels which turn 360 degrees for easier mobility, a scratch-proof surface, and is reasonably-priced (Php 2,799.75).  My dear sister, you are a winner. . .a stylish luggage at an affordable price!  Please save some space for the pasalubong okay? Heehee

After a few days, I saw another polka dot cutie online from Bench (funny that it is also in red and white polka dots) 

Bench Patent Polka Dot Bag - Php 459.75
Photo credit:

This would definitely go well with a polka dot top!

Photo credit:

Ofcourse I'm just kidding (with matching a polka dot blouse with a polka dot bag)!  LOL

But I think this top is also a cutie =)

Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OMG moment!

Image from:

I saw this in one of my friend's Mobile Uploads in FB (Thank you L!).  I wanted to see if this would ring true, haha!  So I did look for words and OMG. . . . the first word I saw was  . . . . FAT! Yup, it had to be this word!  LOL  (If you read some of my earlier posts, I have mentioned that I am a plus-size)  

Well okay, I'm FAT. . . . LOVELY AND BEAUTIFUL! Teehee

What words did you find? =)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Highly Recommended: 3M's Filtrete Aircon Filter

When we were preparing the Little One's nursery (well, it's just really my room, with a crib in it! haha!), my brother suggested that I use 3M's Filtrete aircon filter for the room.  I have always been a fan of 3M products so anything made by 3M is a great product in my book.  

To give you an idea about this Filtrete, here is the product info found at the back of the box: 
Most built-in aircon filters can trap large particles.  But microparticles pass through easily, so they are re-circulated right back into your room.
FILTRETE is made of electrostatically-charged fibers that work like magnets to attract and trap microparticles. (Yup, this line did it for me!  Well, besides being a 3M fan, teeheee) 
 So you breathe fresher, cleaner air.  With FILTRETE, your air conditioner works like an air purifier too:

  • Reduces the number of dust, mold, pollen and smoke particles 
  • Electrostatically-charged fibers allow air to flow freely 
  •  Allergolist recommended  

A filter lasts 1-2 months depending on the condition of your home.  I change filter every month (I guess you'll know why after seeing the pictures below)

I'll let the pictures do the talking  . . . (I hope the photos are clear enough for you to see the difference between the before and after picture)  

Filtrete filter (Before) - white fiber
and after one month . . . (nope, this is not a gray carpet, haha!)

Can you imagine all these microparticles like dust, bacteria or allergens (that can't be trapped by the aircon's regular filter) going inside the room and being inhaled by the Little One?!! Yaikkks!

Some more photos for you . . .

Used filter on the left, the aircon filter on the right 

If you have allergy, asthma or if you just want cleaner air at home, I highly recommend this 3M aircon filter.  

I am not connected with 3M . . .I'm just a mom who just wants a healthy environment for her Little One. =)

You can buy 3M Filtrete at ACE Hardware of SM.  They are available in 3 different packs.  I got the value pack which is good for 6-7 aircons and only costs Php 729.75.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm in "Cars"?!

I caught "Cars" in Star Movies this morning and the scene where Mack (Lightining McQueen's trailer truck) was starting to get sleepy (he is dead tired from driving interstate non-stop) but was trying so hard to stay awake cracked me up . . . because this scene looks really familiar .

Yes, that's definitely me . . . at 2:30 a.m. . . .with the Little One =)  Haha!

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank You Steve . . .

steve jobs apple home page
Photo credit:

I was out of the house most of the day yesterday so I was shocked (pretty much as the rest of the world I guess) when I read about the death of Apple Co-founder, Steve Jobs, in Facebook.

As a tribute to this remarkable man, the so-called Albert Einstein of our generation, I am posting the transcript of the Commencement address he delivered for Stanford University in 2005.  (I got the transcript from Stanford University's News website.

Thank you Steve for sharing with us your vision.  You have truly touched and changed our lives.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dreaming of Boracay

Hi Hun,

I was sorting the pictures in the digicam and saw our Boracay pictures!  *sigh* . . . so many fond memories from that trip. . . I miss Boracay dear!

I miss having this view while eating breakfast . . .

We have to go back to the Talipapa for the good (and fresh!) seafood lunch.  

I miss our nightcaps and our chitchats about anything under the sun (but looking at this picture, it might as well be anything under the stars, haha!  corny ba?)

You always make me laugh . . .without even trying hard.

Oh and we have to go to the Basketball Showdown place in D'Mall. . . . for a rematch!

And remember that good inihaw na liempo we had in Discovery Shores?!  You can have that everyday . . . if we stay there perhaps?  Teehee =)

And I can't wait to watch the Bora sunset with you again. . . and this time, with our Little One.

When you come home next year, let's plan something okay. . . I miss travelling with you.

We can't wait to see you again!

Big Hug and Kisses to you . . .

Love always,
Me and the Little One

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bookmarked: Quick Symptom Guide from Babycenter

My sincere apologies for the screen shot image which is off the mark. . .this is the best image I can come up with (I'm not really tech-savvy) =)   

Just want to share with you something I saw from Babycenter.  It's a helpful guide as it gives you an idea on what makes your child sick.  How does it work?  You just choose the age of your child, tick on the symptoms which the child shows and then it would show you the list of ailments associated with the symptoms you marked.

This is just a reference guide, so it is still best to see your pediatrician.

You may click on this link if you want to try it - Symptom Guide from Babycenter

Pretty cool huh?

Definitely goes in my Bookmark list! =)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One Sunday Morning

Everyone in the house went to Church this morning (I attend mass on Saturdays).  So it's just the Little One and me at home.

No TV, no music, there were birds are chirping outside our room and the Little One. . . .

is sleeping soundly . . . (thanks to her Boppy pillow) 

I love these rare quiet mornings . . . I felt relaxed, peaceful . . . and thankful for all the blessings that have come my way.

And just when i'm about to publish this post, The Little One was starting to stir up . . . I'll let you guess what happened next.

Oh well . . . I enjoyed my peaceful morning while it lasted (teehee)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Baby Products I'm Loving

When you're a first time mom, you can be overwhelmed with shopping for baby products that are available out there. . .you buy the essentials and may go shop-crazy with the nice-to-haves.  Some products I've seen which fall in the second category are a wipe warmer and a diaper pail (a product for diaper disposal that also conceals the diaper's odor).

I just want to share with you some baby products I love, some are essentials and some are nice-to-haves (well okay, I guess this is just a matter of perspective then, heehee) 

1) BRAUN Thermoscan ear thermometer
I prefer ear thermometers over oral ones.  They may be a bit more expensive but if you want to get a temperature reading for an antsy baby, I highly recommend an ear thermometer because it gives a reading considerably quick.  Thank you to my sister-in-law, M,  who gave us one like this.  

ThermoScan® IRT4520
Braun Thermoscan 4520 ear thermometer
Photo credit: 

2) MUNCHKIN Shampoo Rinser (aka "tabo" to Pinoys)
Okay, I googled what the English term is for tabo and it's "dipper" or "water dipper". .. but I'm not used to using that term so I'll still use "tabo" in this post.  Haha!

This is actually hubby's find (he actually has a gift of finding good and interesting stuff).  I am set on using the usual tabo we use at home but he surprised me with this cute find.  It isn't made of hard plastic.  At least I don't get worried of accidentally hitting the Little One's head during bath time because this is made of plastic that is soft and flexible.
Munchkin Shampoo rinser
Photo credit:

3) Tommee Tippee Baby Monitor
I am a stay-at-home mom so I didn't get a yaya (nanny) anymore.  Having this baby monitor enables me to do other stuff while the Little One is sleeping.  The monitor covers a range of 300 meters, gives you the temperature of the room, has a talk-back feature and comes with a sensor pad which alerts you when there's no movement detected from the baby after 20 seconds ( though I haven't used the pad yet)

Thank you hun for getting me this =)

Product image.
Photo credit:

4) The First Years Secure Sleeper
The sleeper is like the Little One's own bed when she is in our bed.  Thank you Ninang M for this gift =)
The First Years - Close and Secure Baby Sleeper
The First Years Secure Sleeper
Photo Credit:

5) BOPPY Pillow
When I saw this picture of the pillow, I knew I have to get one!  And it has to be pink! Haha!  I like it because it just looks soooo comfy =)

Boppy Newborn Lounger
Photo credit:

6) CHICCO Playpen
I needed a new crib because I have to return my brother's since he and my SIL (sis-in-law) are expecting their baby (their 3rd!) next month.  My brother saw this playpen in Rustan's and it's on SALE!  The original retail price was Php 6,000 and we got it for Php 3,000!  Yayyy! =)  Don't you just love it when you find a good shopping steal?!

Chicco Spring Travel Cot
Photo credit:

By the way, the Little One has this playpen in . . . PINK too!  We converted this Playpen into a "crib" (for now) by putting 2 mattresses in the playpen.    

As parents, we all want the BEST for our children, the best toys, the best gear, the best stroller, etc. . . . but most importantly, we have to give the BEST of ourselves.  There can never be anything fancier or more important than our unconditional love and care for our Little Ones.

Have a nice and restful weekend everyone! =)

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