October 2014 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
- The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
- Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
- Erasing Time by C.J. Hill
- When it Happens by Susan Colasanti
- The Fox Inheritance  by Mary E. Pearson
- Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- The Adventures of Tintin
- Letters to Juliet
- Eat, Pray, Love
- The Duchess
- Begin Again
- Paranoia
- Flipped

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Moyra's Confirmation
- Tisha & Nathiel's birthdays
- Halloween
- The kids' good grades for the first trimester. YEY!!!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- I got flu and a bad cough. Ugh!
- The kids had viral rashes for days. Thank God we are all better now.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Meetup with my highschool friends ♥
- Moyra's Confirmation
- Kid #2's field trip (Manila Ocean Park and Pinocchio)
- Me time at CBTL while waiting for my friends

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- CBTL's capuccino
- Friday's Asian salad, Grilled pork chops and seafood pasta
- Japanese food in Takashi, Pioneer Center
- Melona
- Sumo Sam lunch after Moyra's Confirmation rites
- Army Navy's burger, quesadilla, freedom fries and libertea iced tea

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- This month I was good. Really really good because I was able to control myself to SHOP. Woot, woot!

What have you learned this month?
- Deut 26:16. This is now my own favorite verse. While my friends and I were talking about some verses in the Bible, the focus was suddenly (and mysteriously) shifted to this verse.

The Lord talked to us through this verse. And I'm very much thankful.

- Lately I've been feeling down (especially when I got sick) and for lack of achievements lately and lack of funds to shop (teehee!) and probably the thought of not being able to go out of town just like before because we are committed to the kids' school and activities that we have to prioritize it. I came across this video and I captured the lesson implied:

Please God, not men. I got the message eventually (and towards the end of the month). That GOD has greater plans for us. We may not be doing something today (except for errands, cleaning the house, taking good care of the kids, etc), it may not seem important now but in the long run, God will show us that it is part of the bigger picture, the grand plan for our lives.

- Walk by faith, not by sight. This is related to the above lesson. We may not know the reasons why we are having challenges and trials now, but eventually God will use to for HIS glory.

- God has better plans in store for us, let us CLAIM it and BE HAPPY!

Goodbye, October!

God's Time is the BEST Time.

This is so nice. Perfect to think about now that weekend is about to start...

"Happy is the one who learns to wait as he prays and never loses his patience, for God's time is the BEST time."

Europe 2014: Piazza della Signoria

From all the "squares" or plazas that we've been in Italy, I think the Piazza della Signoria in Florence is by far my favorite.

The Piazza della Signoria has been the center of political life in Florence since the 14th century with the prominent Palazzo Vecchio overlooking the square. It was the scene of great triumphs, such as the return of the Medici in 1530 as well as the Bonfire of the Vanities instigated by Savonarola, who was then himself burned at the stake here in 1498 after he was denounced by the Inquisition as a heretic. A marble circle inscription on the piazza shows the location where he was burned. SOURCE.

The sculptures in Piazza della Signoria bristle with political connotations, many of which are fiercely contradictory. The David (the original is in the Galleria dell'Accademia) by Michelangelo was placed outside the Palazzo Vecchio as a symbol of the Republic's defiance of the tyrannical Medici. Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus (1534) to the right of the David was appropriated by the Medici to show their physical power after their return from exile. The Nettuno (1575) by Ammannati celebrates the Medici's maritime ambitions and Giambologna's equestrian statue of Duke Cosimo I (1595) is an elegant portrait of the man who brought all of Tuscany under Medici military rule. SOURCE.

What I like about this piazza is that the shops were all ligned up and I can see all my favorite shops while I walk down the alley.

And you would notice that the alley was not too narrow either.

I would say, Florence was a surprise. Simply because it became one of our favorite cities in Italy. ♥

A Get Well Soon Note from my Kiddo

I was so touched by this little note I got while I was down with flu last week...

A note from kid #1. Very thoughtful, isn't she? Thank you, Love! ♥

Europe 2014: What's Inside the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral?

After checking out the entire Duomo outside, we braced the long line and went inside.

We just have to check what's inside! So here we go...

And, surprisingly, the design of the Church was very simple. The Churches here in the Philippines were even more intricate.

This is one thing that is worth looking though - the beautiful ceiling.

By being inside the cathedral made me feel right at home. It was so similar to the ones we have in Manila.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: If I Lose Myself

Another dance song for today...

♪♪ If I lose myself tonight, it would be by your side. I lose myself tonight...♪♪

Learn From Your Tears by BO Sanchez

I know I've been posting a lot of articles by BO Sanchez. He's so far my favorite author. Here's another nice article from him... Happy Friday, everyone!

Learn From Your Tears by BO Sanchez

I was in Grade Five.

One of my teachers was young and pretty, and I thought she liked me too. Why did she look at me every time I looked at her?

After extensive research in the faculty room, I found out that she was only twenty-four. Aha! Can she wait for me until I grew older? I was only eleven, but what was thirteen years if our fierce love would conquer all that stood between us?

She still had problems remembering my name, but I figured this tiny problem would be solved once my name was inscribed on her wedding ring.

But later on, I realized it was rather silly for me to fall in love with a teacher.

Especially if she kept giving me low grades.

That was when I met Cedz and Dina…

Cedz was nice. She was the brightest in our class, and she had the cutest dimples.

And Dina giggled a lot, and had the longest eyelashes in the world.

Now the big question: Whom should I marry? Dimples or lashes?

Well, my problem was finally solved when I met Tintin.

Oh yes, I was wrong the last time. I was young then. Those were childish crushes. But now, this was true love. I was fifteen now. Tintin and I were totally meant for each other. How did I know? I loved the way she covered her mouth when she laughed…

Europe 2014: The Biggest Duomo in Florence - Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral

Yes, this is definitely the highlight of Florence, Italy. The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. Florence's cathedral is the 4th largest in the world, after St. Peter's in Rome, St. Paul's in London and the Duomo in Milan. And it is simply breathtaking!

Florence's cathedral stands tall over the city with its magnificent Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The cathedral named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore is a vast Gothic structure built on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata, the remains of which can be seen in the crypt. SOURCE.

The cathedral was begun at the end of the 13th century by Arnolfo di Cambio, and the dome, which dominates the exterior, was added in the 15th century on a design of Filippo Brunelleschi. A statue to each of these important architects can be found outside to the right of the cathedral, both admiring their work for the rest of eternity. SOURCE.

The church was consecrated as soon as the dome was in place although the fa├žade (front of the church) was only half finished by then. It was just decoration, and thus remained unfinished up until the 19th century. At that point, it was actually redone by the likes of the time and finally finished!

The exterior is covered in a decorative mix of pink, white and green marble. The interior, by contrast, is pretty stark and plain but quite enjoyable on warm summer days since the temperature inside tends to be cooler. The mosaic pavements are certainly its main attraction within. SOURCE.

Entrance into Florence's cathedral remains free and for this reason you'll at times find a long line to get in. Don't worry, the line moves pretty quickly! But in an effort to reduce the line, the cathedral administration is trying to increase the number of visitors allowed at any one time into the church as long as noise level remains low. The solution has been to require any group of over 4 visitors to rent either the radio or audio guides (cost is 2-2,50 euro per person) so that the level of noise inside the church remains low and larger amounts of people can be allowed inside at any one time. Large groups of students will receive 50% discount on the cost of the audio guide. If you're with a tour group, you'll likely already have the earphones and don't have to worry about this recent change. SOURCE.

Tourists swarm to this Cathedral everyday. Good thing we had our photo taken in front.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Relaxing Weekend
2. I'm better now after a few days of FLU
3. The kid's field trip. It was FUN!
4. Pinocchio
5. Chocolates
6. Hello Kitty Loots from a party
7. The other kid is better now
8. Talks/Good speaker in YouTube
9. Pictures/Memories
10. McDonald's

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Europe 2014: Hello Florence (Italy)!

After our trip to The Mall (outlet), we went straight to Florence. I didn't what to expect of this city, but I was surprised that it was a beautiful one.

And very clean too. It was an unforgettable city with history and past that was etched in every building that we saw.

And here's a sneak peek of the Duomo, probably the highlight of Florence.

I promise, I will post more photos about it. And I mean, MOOOORE photos, soon! (*wink*)