January Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follet
- Five Love Languages of Love

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- The Proposal
- Angels & Demons
- Startrek
- Avatar
(All in DVD)

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Eric, my brother and Yang, my sister's birthdays
- We will celebrate our 5th Anniversay tomorrow in Hongkong Disneyland. Of course, I wanted to spend our second honeymoon without the kids, probably spend a week in gulf shores hotels or spend a week in Las Vegas but, what the kids just wanted to see Mickey Mouse in person :)

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
- We gave my sister a perfume for her birthday

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- Colds, colds, colds! Gosh, I hate it!!!

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Hubby's College and Highschool Reunion
- Videoke Night with SFC friends
- Lunch out with Kathleen
- Dinner with Amber my friend from grade school
- A few drinks with my College friend, Cathy

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Green Tomato in Shang. Didn't like their pasta that much.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- I got my black Coach bag from Faye. Finally!

What were this month's disappointments?
- Been bored at home but God has been keeping me busy and He has been faithful to His promises :)

What were my accomplishments this month?
- Seeing my Hubby and kids happy is an accomplishment these days.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Dinner with Hubby
2. Red Mango Dessert
3. Our upcoming trip!
4. Andie walking on her own now
5. Internet that keeps me sane
6. Highschool friends
7. Bringing the little girl to school
8. A new book
9. The movie, The Proposal
10. A loving Hubby

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

My Take on the Movie Avatar

After the holidays, Hubby and I were finally able to watch the movie Avatar. A lot of friends recommended that we watch it in 3D but we were too lazy to call the movie house and have our tickets reserved. We even had a hard time scheduling this movie date, let alone buy movie tickets in advance.

The movie was long. But I had fun watching it. I didn't get bored and I was looking forward to every scene. It was way different from Titanic which was also directed by James Cameron but I wasn't surprised when I heard that it would surpass the number of ticket sales as against the movie Titanic. Even if I haven't seen the movie in 3D, I still liked it and would want to watch it again.

The storyline if I think about it now is very simple. There are even parts of the story that I didn't like much. But the effects were fantastic and the cinematography was amazing. This deserves a "Best Picture" award, I must say.


Neytiri - A Young Na’vi woman. Jake Sully's love interest.


Neytiri, whose beauty is matched by her ferocity in battle.


Neytiri trains Jake's avatar body so he could join the clan and be one of them.


I realized after watching it that the casts of the movie weren't even that popular. Except for Sigourney Weaver who starred Alien and other movies. But the movie was a success! If you haven't seen it, do watch it, it's definitely worth the time!

The Cast:
* Sam Worthington
* Zoe Saldana
* Sigourney Weaver
* Wes Studi
* C.C.H. Pounder

Photos grabbed from HERE.

My Girls.

Hubby and I were talking about our girls the other day. We were so happy and proud how much the girls have grown after all those years (well, almost 4 years). We realized that time is really flying by so fast.

We remember the days when we used to date. Go out even on weekdays. Attempted drink a lot of alcohol while watching acoustic shows. Tried to smoke cigar. Drank coffee after wards and then went home at 2 in the morning. Those were the days that life was so simple and easy. No responsibilities and kids to think of.

But now, look at our two girls...

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Watching Tinkerbell in my Computer


Alex will be 4 years old in two months. Andie is 1 year and 2 months. Who would have thought that they will grow up really FAST?

We have moments now that we will dance a song from the movie Tinkerbell. Alex and Andie would then ask me to carry them so they can pretend that they are flying. I just love how they look and laugh when I'm already carrying them.

These are moments that I'm really thankful because I was able to experience it with them.

I know in a few years they will be in grade school. There will be times that they won't want to play with us anymore. So I'm making the most of these moments and enjoy our time together.

Andie's 1st Birthday Party Supplier Ratings

As promised, Andie's first birthday party supplier ratings.

Theme: Ladybug and Sunflowers

Venue: Valle Verde 6 Clubhouse
(Highly Recommended)
What I love about VV6 is that the ceiling is high. Although it looks really bare when you don’t put balloons on the ceiling, but for me, it looks spacious and refreshing. Read More...

Venue Setup/Table Centerpieces: Yan-Ple’s Balloon and Party Shop (Highly Recommended)
For the first time, I got Apple to do the stage backdrop and table centerpieces. Apple (of Yan-ple’s Balloon and Party Shop) is an online (and now offline) friend. She has been doing this for a couple of years now and she’s really good at it. Read More...

Photographer: Guj of Redsheep Photography (Highly Recommended)
after I saw Redsheep’s website I was immediately impressed by their photos. I inquired immediately and Guj himself replied. He was at his honeymoon then but kind enough to check his schedule if he is still available. Read More...

Food/Kids' Buffet (Caterer): Princess Dellan’s Catering Services (Recommended)
I called up Medy Santos to inquire and promised to send the sample menu and price list. She sent the email right after we talked. I decided to get her since she has a lot of options from their menu and they have what I’ve been looking for – a merienda package. Read More...

Cake/Cupcakes: A Piece of Cake
When I saw her cupcakes through her Flickr account, I fell in love with the designs immediately. Good thing she was still available for Andie’s birthday. Read More...

Birthday Invites: Picture Me Portrait Studio
When I saw their sunflower/garden setup, I fell in love with it immediately so I decided to get them for Andie’s invite. You see, I planned to have Andie’s photo taken in a studio and then just add the party details in the photo. Read More...

Host/Magician: Alex Lagula (Highly Recommended)
He made the party fun and was able to handle a whole lot of kids! He was funny and spoke very well. The guests loved him. Read More...

Inflatable: Jared Inflatables and Party Shoppe
I had a couple of options but Jared Inflatables was the cheapest. I texted the owner right away. She said that I can give her my downpayment a week before the party. Read More...

Food Carts and Mini Carousel: Jelly Bellies (Recommended)
We got two food carts for Andie's party - Potato Corner and FIC. Both from Jelly Bellies. They also provided the mini carousel for the party. Read More...

Lootbags/Prizes: 168 Shopping Mall in Divisoria. (Highly Recommended)
We went there thrice just for our baby girl’s party needs. My tip is that you should go there early to be able to find a good parking spot. Read More...

Party Clothes (Andie and Alex): Prim of BabyFashionistas (Highly Recommended)
The clothes of both Alex and Andie were all worth it! Even if these were a bit expensive I loved how they looked during the party. Read More...

It was a fun and unforgettable party! We were very tired after wards but definitely worth it!

Preparing for our Next Trip

I booked our tickets for our next family vacation last September, 2009 and guess what? A few more weeks to go and we will finally be in Hongkong! It is our 5th Anniversary celebration. At first, I wanted it to be a trip for me and Hubby only in one of the nice resorts in Riviera Maya. But we realized that we wanted to bring the kids with us. We also noticed that Alex now loves Mickey Mouse so we decided to go to Hongkong, Disneyland.

I had to admit, I was sad because I really wanted to experience Riviera Maya. The nice beaches, the massage, the pool, the food and the shopping. I'm sure it would be a blast. But well, there are still a lot of years to prepare for this and maybe someday, we will be there probably when the kids are already grownup.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Dinner with my good friend Amber
2. Bonding with Cathy at Gerry's Grill
3. DVD marathon with Hubby
4. Good coffee
5. Online tasks that are keeping me busy (and sane)
6. Facebook - because of that I get to keep in touch with old and new friends
7. A very supportive Hubby
8. Two wonderful little girls who laugh so hard everyday
9. Online friends
10. The God who is always providing for all our needs :)

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

Another Videoke Night with SFC Friends

I hope you are not getting tired of all the get together we had last month. I tell you, December and even January were definitely busy months.

Since Ercs and Cesar are leaving and going back to Bahrain, we had a night out and went to World Music in Promenade for our first videoke with the group.

SFC Videoke


I was surprised that the boys had fun singing. I didn't realize that Cesar and Erik were singers. Of course I had a share of singing The Carpenters but I tell you, if I had a choice, I wouldn't sing at all! LOL! We had so much fun that I think this would be the start of our videoke night outs. Right, Ercs and Fars? (*grin*)

Hope to see you soon Ercs. Hope you had a safe trip.

Fars, will see you soon, I'm sure. :)

Now, back to reality. Back to work. But I got to share this first. I wasn't feeling well the last few weeks so I checked out this together rx access that I came across a few weeks ago. I was looking for some answers to some queries that I had in mind. This website has helped me a lot.

First Night Out of the Year: Hubby's College Reunion

We arrived from our Tagaytay vacation on the 2nd of January. After taking a nap for a short while we prepared for our first night out of the year which is Hubby's College reunion. I know, we could have rested more. We even planned on getting some pond supplies for my in laws' pond but we decided to just do this errand the next weekend to be able to make it for this night out.

We first met at Gerry's Grill, Jupiter in Makati and then transferred to Top Grill also in Makati. It was fun considering that these guys haven't seen each other since graduation! Check us out.

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Some of Hubby's College friends are already my close friends too so I didn't feel awkward that night. I even had a great time too! They said that they are going to meet every month from now on but we'll see if this would push through.

Christmas Party with CFC Household

After checking out some cable ties which were not working for the past few days now and a couple of errands, we went to our friends' house in Pasig to celebrate Christmas.

It was the second weekend of December and we brought the kids with us. It was also the day of Alex's Christmas play but even if we were tired, we were still excited and we knew that it would be fun, fun, fun!

Everybody from CFC household was there plus the kids. Before the party started, each family a few photos taken by the Christmas tree.

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We loved the food so much - spaghetti, chicken, hotdog, cheesesticks, and dessert! Both adults and kids had fun eating. While the parents were talking, the kids were playing...

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After they were playing, the kids had their exchange gifts.

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And guess who arrived after that!?

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YES! Santa arrived with a bag of goodies for the nice girls and boys. :D Now, I can't forget how they looked when they saw Santa. At first they were shocked and tongue-tied and then they were ecstatic!

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It was definitely a FUN Christmas party that I'm sure the kids won't forget. (*grin*)

Get Together with Highschool Friends

I realized that this is our only third get together with my high school friends for this year. Yes, ONLY! If not for our other friend Terry (who came home from the States), we would only be seeing each other ONCE a year.

Are we that busy girls? LOL!

We drove all the way to Binangonan to visit our highschool friend Joy and her husband Louie. It was Sunday and the traffic was not too bad. The weather was cool and in Joy's place, it was perfect! Not too cold that you would need an electric blanket and not too hot that you would need an air conditioner.

PERFECT.

We did our traditional exchange gifts and ate pansit, lumpiang ubod, Louie's specialty - Menudo, and Norin and Gian's specialty - pasta.

It was just a simple Christmas celebration but we all had fun in spite of the long drive. We even want to visit the Marcelinos again this year and who knows it will be a yearly tradition from now on! Right, girls?

Check us out!

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Alex Dancing Nobody with Ate Jally

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Joy, myself, Janice and Norin

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With the Hubbies and kids!


Thank you Titas and Titos for the nice gifts! Alex and Andie loooove your gifts.

Our Videoke Night with Hubby's College Friends

Hubby's College friends are actually my friends now too. Since Hubby and I meet them every month or two, I became friends with them after all those years. Hubby loves to sing and so are his friends so they decided to meet for a videoke night in Makati. Good thing they are my friends now because if not, I wouldn't dare sing in front of them. If you hear my voice, you would understand. (*grin*)

It was a fun night! But I tell you, after drinking two bottles of San Mig light, I blacked out. Ha! I know, I was surprised either, and suddenly realized that I was currently drinking an antibiotic during that time. I don't know if that medicine has something to do with my dizziness. But one thing I'm sure of -

BEER + ANTIBIOTIC = NOT A GREAT COMBINATION.

Check us out.

Videoke with Mon Junes Joyce 2



Videoke with Mon Junes Joyce



This was taken before I got dizzy. LOL! We finished a bit late that night so I decided to put some acne solutions to cure my acnes. It was quite effective.

It was definitely a fun night and I hope we could do this again sometime.

Dinner with SFC Friends

I have over-due posts about our Christmas get together so in my next few posts I will be sharing our fun Christmas get together with friends!

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My friend Ercs and her husband Cesar came home from Bahrain so we immediately grabbed the opportunity to see each other. Since Ercs just gave birth, we decided to have our get together in my place to make Baby Sofia comfortable. I just cooked a couple of dishes well, to be honest, it was only one chicken dish and buttered vegetables! LOL! It was a simple dinner but a fun night of chismax and reminiscing about the good old days. Ercs and I had mommy talks of course. I can't believe that our last conversation was about prenatal vitamins when she was still pregnant with Sofia. And now, we are into breastfeeding and babies!

It was good to see you Ercs, Cesar, Farrah, and Erik!

It's me, Andie!

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Andie lost 1 kilo last month so she is a bit thin now. Can you still recognize her? She has grown though and walks very fast now. Yes, she walks on her own now. I can't believe that she will be 1 year and 2 months in 6 days. She says "Mama" and "Baba" all the time and calls everybody "Mama". Unfortunately she still doesn't have hair that I feel like giving her a hair loss treatment already. LOL!

She eats in small amounts but good thing she still drinks a lot of milk especially when asleep. She still doesn't sleep through the night though and cries when she wakes up. It happens EVERY night. Bad dreams perhaps? I have no idea.

She loves her Ate so much that when her Ate tries to make her laugh, she laughs as if Ate is her idol. (*grin*)

Ate Alex and Andie are now fighting over toys. Is this the start of an unending headaches of quarrels?

Ugh!!

Health is Wealth.

That would be my motto for this year. After the whole family got sick last Christmas, Hubby and I vowed to take care of ourselves more and be healthy this 2010.

Just this morning, I started exercising. I'm eating right by having oatmeal and fruits for breakfast. I checked on some supplements from quick trim reviews and see which one can improve my health.

There are so many things that I can do to be healthy. Eat vegetables and avoid meat are one of the things that I make sure we will do for the rest of the year. And also, I will schedule a few visits to my Doctors too! I vow to be healthy this year because I know that Health is definitely Wealth.

Acne Treatment

That's what I'm looking for now - the best acne medication for my cousin. You see she had gone to a lot of dermatologists already but she hasn't really found the medication that she needs. I suggested that she tries the natural medications. Who knows it might work. Nowadays, things are just more effective if you do the basic things. But, if this won't work, any suggestions which one to get for acnes?

Dinner at Spiral by Sofitel

When my SIL texted me last week that they were inviting us for a dinner at Spirals (to celebrate my BIL's birthday), I felt excited since I know it would mean eating a whole bunch of food from the buffet. I would always look forward to special events such as this because obviously, I love to eat! And what's more fun is that it's FREE! (*grin*)

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Alex was VERY, VERY excited because we told her that there will be a chocolate fountain at the restaurant.


We decided to leave Andie at my sister's so we could concentrate on the food. After all, she won't appreciate it yet.

We arrived at Spirals around 645PM and when we were seated with the whole family, we immediately started doing what we love doing - EAT!

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Can't contain her excitement when she saw the choco fountain!


Unfortunately, Hubby is not a great company when it comes to eating at Buffets because he gets really overwhelmed just by looking at the food, that he ends up eating only 2 to 3 dishes. Me, on the other hand will make sure that I try all the food that I like even in small amounts.

We finished around 930PM feeling spent, full and very much happy with what we ate.

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Look at our satisfied faces!


How I wish I could eat more but my head is spinning and my tummy is not allowing me anymore. LOL!

Again, thanks to SIL and BIL for the wonderful dinner!

Happy Birthday, Kuya Randy! (*wink*)

I'm Giving Up Shopping

Well at least for the mean time. (*grin*)

You see, I'm not proud of this, but I wasn't able to save last year because I shopped a lot online and offline. So now, I promised myself that I would be good this year, save as much as I can and focus on my goals. Yes I have goals and I want to reach it before the year ends. That would be a family trip by December and (hopefully) I get to purchase another gift for myself. (*big grin*)

I realized that by having goals, I would not be tempted to look and buy without thinking. Just this morning, I came across those gorgeous Stuart Weitzman shoes online but I was able to contained myself since I do have goals for this year.

So I hope I get to stay that way in the months to come. Because I don't only plan on materializing those goals this year but I also make sure that I save, save and save this 2010!

25 Ways to Save Money

Recently, an unexpected (and also expected) happened in my job so I'm looking for ways to earn and at the same time save money.

Honestly, I can say that 2009 was the best year so far because I splurged a lot by shopping online here and there. No savings last year but I was definitely happy with my purchases. (*grin*) But aside from splurging and shopping, I was able to start a small business too which I hope will pick up this 2010.

Yesterday, I was browsing some topics about frugality and saving money when I came across these 25 ways to save money and I thought of sharing it here because I found pretty useful.

Here are 25 ways to save money:

1. Make it automatic. Before I see my paycheck, a good portion of it is diverted to my 401(k) and savings.

2. Keep minimum funds in checking account. We make our money work for us by funneling extra funds into our savings account where it will earn more interest than in our checking account.

3. Don’t pay banking fees!

4. Use rewards credit cards.

5. Actively search out deals. It never hurts to try and find a better deal, or request a better deal from your service providers.

6. Use a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats save you an estimated 10-20% on your heating and cooling bills.

7. Use ceiling fans, floor fans, and space heaters.

8. Install CFLs to save energy. Compact fluorescent lights use about a quarter of the electricity of normal incandescent bulbs.

9. Drive smoothly.

10. Plan and research major purchases.

11. Buy quality products. Quality items may cost more up front, but they last longer and generally provide better results than cheaper, inferior products.

12. Buy generic where applicable. Yes, I just wrote “buy quality,” but you can save a lot of money on generic items for which the brand name product is essentially the same as the store brand. Food and medicines come to mind as items where generic products are good deals.

13. Use coupons and rebates.

14. Use store rewards cards.

15. Cook at home.

16. Eat leftovers. I grew up eating leftovers, and I still love them (as long as they are not leftover from when I was a kid! yuck!). I estimate I save a minimum of $20 a week by bringing my lunch to work. It is also healthier, and on the rare occasion I go out to lunch with coworkers, I enjoy it more.

17. Use the library.

18. Use parks. My wife and I love to go hiking. We have 2 great parks nearby that we visit often. We get great exercise and the only costs to us is the gas to drive there.

19. Take care of things. I treat things I own with respect and take good care of them. This includes doing things such as cleaning our house, washing our cars, and polishing shoes. Things last much longer when you take good care of them.

20. Buy insurance. Health insurance, home owner’s insurance, auto insurance, and other types of insurance are designed to save you money! Sure, you may end up paying premiums for years and never file a claim, but in the event you need to file a claim, your premium will likely be small compared to what you would have had to pay. You’ll be very happy if you ever need it!

21. Bundle cable and internet. You can save a lot of money by bundling these together rather than purchasing the separately. You can save more if you bundle your phone as well, but my wife and I actually save money by not paying for a landline.

22. Use cell phones – skip the landline.

23. Cancel subscriptions. We don’t get the newspaper or magazines. Almost everything we want can be found on-line for free.

24. Home improvement. Once upon a time I was an aircraft mechanic in the USAF, so I am fairly handy with tools. I am comfortable repairing most items around the house, and I always attempt to repair problems before calling a professional. However, I am not afraid to hire out anything dangerous or that I don’t have the tools to do. (usually electrical or plumbing).

25. Avoid debt.

Saving money would definitely be a great way to start the year right. (*wink*)

SOURCE.

Spending the First Day of the Year in Tagaytay!

After being sick for days and on Christmas day, we decided to go to Tagaytay earlier as planned to be able to relax and have a little bit of fresh air. So by 29th off we went to Tagaytay. We had lunch at home first then started our trip by 3PM. We arrived Tagaytay an hour and a half and immediately felt the cold.

The next day I treated Hubby to lunch at Sonya's Garden and then a massage afterwards. More of our massage in my travel blog.



The in-laws followed on the 30th along with Alex and Andie's cousins! So it was a fun short vacation especially for the kids!

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Sad to say though while we were in Tagaytay, Andie was having diarrhea. So we were worried the whole time! She slept while Alex was enjoying the fireworks. Well, at least she got better already when we got back to Manila.

December Monthly Roundup

I know this is 4 days late because the whole family was out of town to celebrate the New Year! Will post more of that later...

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
- Vampire Diairies (didn't like it, I had to stop reading. LOL!)
- The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Wolverine on DVD

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Christmas and New Year with family and friends

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
- Loots from Christmas :)

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- Hubby and I and the kids got flu, cough, and colds. We were sick during the Holidays :( but we are all better now

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Alex's field trip at Avilon Zoo in Montalban
- Christmas Party with Highschool friends
- Christmas Party with Ercs, Cesar, Sofia, Farrah, and Erik
- Went to videoke with Hubby's college friends (Junis, Joyce, and Mon)
- Lunch/Snacks with MM
- Went to Tagaytay to spend the New Year's
- Hubby and I had lunch and a massage at Sonya's Garden
- We watched Alex's first Christmas play!

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- We bought a lot of take out food this month

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- A Coach wallet and bag :)
- Planning to purchase some textbooks for Alex in the next few months

What were this month's disappointments?
- Aside from all of us getting sick, this month was fun because of the holidays!

What were my accomplishments this month?
- I survived one whole month without a job :D