David and Goliath...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Love on the Weekend.

A new favorite - Love on the Weekend by John Mayer.

That's right, let's spread the love on this weekend. (*wink*)

REPOSTING: What to Do with Your Kids this Summer?

Don't know what to do this weekend? Check out these tips I found at MomCentre.com.ph...

What to Do with Your Kids this Summer? Here are Some Tips on How to Put Structure into Their Schedules.
By Nina Malanay

Summer is the time when kids take a break from a busy school year of waking up early, doing homework and studying for tests. It is the time when kids (and moms!) get to sleep in a little longer, for playing all day and laid-back days doing “nothing”.

But while the downtime and carefree vibe that summer brings seem enticing, it may not be the best idea for kids.

Summer Learning Loss

In a study conducted by Dr. Harris Cooper, he established that children experience a loss of academic skills and knowledge during summer. Without the constant practice of the skills and the deliberate effort to keep the kids engaged in learning, children may lose or forget up to three months’ worth of learning over the summer. In the study, Dr. Cooper found that summer programs and activities that integrate literacy skills into the enriching activities can prevent summer learning loss and even improve academic performance among children. By encouraging and providing opportunities for mental stimulation throughout the summer, parents can help children preserve their math, reading and spelling skills. Thus, it is important to have some form of routine and structure during the summer days to accommodate the children’s need for such enrichment activities and stimulation.

Other benefits of structures and routines

The idea of having a set schedule during the summer may seem boring and maybe even downright oppressive to some. But structure is critical to a child’s growth and development and has so many benefits for children of any age.

1. Structures and routines create a sense of security and stability among children. When routines are in place, children feel emotionally secure and are better able to navigate through life without the need for constant parental hovering and redirection.

2. Having a set routine minimizes power struggles because the children know what to expect. Children are more cooperative because they are aware of what will happen, and what is expected of them.

3. Routines help teach independence and responsibility. Knowing the schedule for the day will give opportunities for the child to take the initiative and perform the tasks expected of him.

4. Schedules and routines help children understand that conditions have to be met first before they can do what they want. When children know that something is expected of them before they get to do what they want, they become motivated to do their part. They also learn the value of fairness and accountability.

5. Having a schedule gives parents purposeful opportunities to connect with their child. Parents can set definite chunks of time for meaningful bonding activities with their child.

Fun and Laid-back Summer Schedule

Summer routines need not be rigid and overwhelming. After all, part of the allure of summer is the unhurried pace and the fun atmosphere. Simple things such as having regular wake-up times can help provide some structure during the carefree summer days. Here are some ideas for keeping to a summer routine that allows for plenty of fun.

1. Regular daily routine

Have a set daily routine with regular wake-up, eating, self-care and bed times. Set a regular wake-up time that is one or two hours later than your child’s regular wake-up time during the

2. Learning time

Set a time for learning. Workbooks or worksheets can help students practice the academic skills they learned during the school year and help prepare them for the next grade level. Summer enrichment activities, whether academic or interest-based, help regulate the child’s summer schedule while providing mental stimulation.

3. Reading Time

Aside from the regular bedtime story, have a separate time for reading each day. Expose your child to new books. Visit the local library or have a book swap with friends to keep reading selections interesting to your child. Encourage older children to read to their younger siblings and model the importance of reading by picking a book to read yourself.

4. Chores

Identify age-appropriate chores that your child can do each day during the summer. Combine daily chores such as making beds and doing the dishes with larger projects such as cleaning out their toy cabinet. Doing chores not only develops large motor skills, it also teaches a sense of responsibility and the value of helping and contributing to a group.

5. Limit screen time

It is ideal to limit gadget use and TV time to less than two hours a day. Set realistic boundaries and specific guidelines and make sure to communicate this to your child. Provide alternative activities to using gadgets and watching TV. Avoid using screen time as a reward or incentive.

6. Outdoor fun

Summer is the best time to laugh, play and enjoy the outdoors. Allot time for physical activity and messy play in your summer routine for outdoor play. Whether it’s a quick trip to the nearby playground or just riding the bike in your yard, outdoor activities provide an outlet for their boundless energy. Participating in outdoor activities is a good way to help keep the kids healthy and fit, and contributes to their overall well-being.

7. Summer Bucket List

Enjoy the summer and spend time as a family. Family time can do wonderful things to a child’s development, both physically and mentally, not to mention the beautiful memories you get to create together. Sit down as a family and make a list of all the places you would like to visit and things you would like to do together. From going to the beach, to stargazing in your own backyard, or visiting the zoo or water park, the list of fun things to do together is endless.

Having some form of structure and routine during the summer days will not only help kids transition smoothly into the new school year, but also make the long summer days more manageable and less stressful for both kids and parents. The key is in finding the balance between having fun and maintaining a routine.

So go ahead. Bask in the sun. Laugh. Play. And make beautiful summer memories to treasure.


2016 Bonding in Beijing: It's All about Different Kinds of Tea in our Tea Tasting Ceremony

Our second to the last stop during our city tour in Beijing was the Tea Tasting Ceremony. We wanted to skip this though but since I started becoming a tea drinker a couple of months ago, I wanted to know what kinds of tea Beijing has to offer.

Here is the whole group waiting for our "teacher"...

During the tea ceremony - more like a performance - a girl will show you how to properly prepare the different types of teas. For example, you will learn to use hotter water (90 degrees C) to prepare black teas, and only 70-80 degrees for green and flower teas – in so doing, it is believed to best bring out the bitterness of the different type of teas. In the tea ceremony, you will also learn to use two tiny cups, one for smelling and the other for tasting. For those tea lovers the tea ceremony is akin to a fancy wine tasting. There are a wide variety of Chinese teas to taste over there, such as Oolong with ginseng, a Beiing local jasmine tea, Puer tea from the south of China, a black tea with lychee juice and date juice mixed with rose tea, and a fruit tea made with flowers and fruit. SOURCE.

It was a very interesting ceremony, I tell you. Don't skip it! I'm glad we didn't. At least we get to bond with our tour group as well...

Our next stop: Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium!

2016 Bonding in Beijing: The Great Wall of China Part 2

I posted about the history of Great wall the other day, and this time, I will be posting our exciting climb and what we felt.

It was a long climb I tell you! But at least we made it!

The feeling after a long climb and seeing the view was UNFORGETTABLE.

But of course I had to stop and rest before moving on...

And then finally I reached something here.

But nope, NOT YET the top most. I'm still a loooong way to go!

But we were so happy that we made it this far. There is still a very long way to go but we were able to reach our goal.

And we were so proud of it!

It was one of the best experience we ever had in Beijing - climbing The Great Wall of China (yes, literally!)

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. God's unending blessings ♥ He provides! All the time! ♥
2. Mother's Day Weekend
3. Kids' Surprise Gifts
4. Hubby's Mother's Day Lunch Treat
5. Impromptu Lunch Date
6. Plans, plans, plans for Travel
7. Life
8. Good Health
9. Family
10. Gift of Time

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

2016 Bonding in Beijing: The Great Wall of China Part 1

Our next stop during our trip in Beijing (with my Mom and brother) was of course, the highlight - The Great Wall of China. This is the most special so I'm going to divide my post into two parts.

The Great Wall of China was mainly the reason why we went to Beijing. We wanted to see it by ourselves. And we were so glad we did. It was amazing!

Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of China and its long and vivid history, the Great Wall of China actually consists of numerous walls and fortifications, many running parallel to each other. Originally conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (c. 259-210 B.C.) in the third century B.C. as a means of preventing incursions from barbarian nomads into the Chinese Empire, the wall is one of the most extensive construction projects ever completed. The best-known and best-preserved section of the Great Wall was built in the 14th through 17th centuries A.D., during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Though the Great Wall never effectively prevented invaders from entering China, it came to function more as a psychological barrier between Chinese civilization and the world, and remains a powerful symbol of the country’s enduring strength. SOURCE.

Despite its long history, the Great Wall of China as it is exists today was constructed mainly during the mighty Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Like the Mongols, the early Ming rulers had little interest in building border fortifications, and wall building was limited before the late 15th century. In 1421, the Ming emperor Yongle proclaimed China’s new capital, Beijing, on the site of the former Mongol city of Dadu. Under the strong hand of the Ming rulers, Chinese culture flourished, and the period saw an immense amount of construction in addition to the Great Wall, including bridges, temples and pagodas. The construction of the Great Wall as it is known today began around 1474. After an initial phase of territorial expansion, Ming rulers took a largely defensive stance, and their reformation and extension of the Great Wall was key to this strategy. SOURCE.

Just look at the amazing view...

Today, the Great Wall is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history. In 1987, UNESCO designated the Great Wall a World Heritage site, and a popular claim that emerged in the 20th century holds that it is the only manmade structure that is visible from space. Over the years, roadways have been cut through the wall in various points, and many sections have deteriorated after centuries of neglect. The best-known section of the Great Wall of China–Badaling, located 43 miles (70 km) northwest of Beijing–was rebuilt in the late 1950s, and attracts thousands of national and foreign tourists every day.

What do you think?

Will post more of our experience at The Great Wall, soon! (*wink*)


Here's something I grabbed from Break The Twitch...

Focus on finding not just happiness, but fulfillment in the everyday aspects of life. It is not a place we arrive to, but a lens with which we view the world.

Happy Monday!

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: How Far I'll Go

2016 Bonding in Beijing: Ming Tombs

Beijing Ming Tombs or the Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty is our next stop in my Beijing tour with Mom and brother.

50 kilometers (31 miles) northwest from Beijing City, at the foot of Tianshou Mountain, is the Ming Tombs Scenic Area, where lie the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Since 1409 when Zhu Di, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, built his Changling Tomb here, the succeeding twelve emperors had their resting places built around Changling during the next 230 years, covering a total area of over 120 square kilometers (46.3 square miles). This is the best preserved mausoleum area with the most emperors buried. Every year millions of tourists come to the site to appreciate its long history and palatial architecture. SOURCE.

In the scenic area, each mausoleum has its own independent unit. The layout and arrangement of all the thirteen mausoleums are very similar, but they vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures. Each was built in an area at the foot of the mountain, with distances ranging from half a kilometer (547 yards) to eight kilometer (8,749 yards) between them. The tombs stretch out on the two sides of Changling Tomb in a fan shape, except for the Siling Tomb, which sits separately in the southwest corner. From site selection to design, great attention was paid to the harmony and unity with nature, pursuing a perfect situation of ‘made by God’ and reflecting the philosophy ‘the unity of heaven and humanity’. As outstanding representatives of the ancient Chinese mausoleum, the Ming Tombs demonstrate the richness of traditional Chinese culture.SOURCE.

Interesting, isn't it? And, here's my favorite ceiling there...

And my favorite designs...

I'm not into designing and architecture but I assure you that I appreciated these so much...

Quite a site to behold, isn't it?

To go there, follow these directions:

How to visit Ming Tombs From Badaling Great Wall?
A popular itinerary for touring the Ming Tombs and the nearby attractions is recommended: Badaling Great Wall → Ming Emperors Wax Museum → Sacred Way → Dingling → Changling → Zhaoling
If you have only one day, you can omit some sites and go like this: Badaling Great Wall → Sacred Way → Changling

Bus 877 can take you from Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall. After touring the wall, you can take bus 879 to the Sacred Way (Nanxin Village Station), Dingling and Changling. Zhaoling is within walking distance

Will post more on our next stop! (*wink*)

2016 Bonding in Beijing: Our First Stop is the Sanlitun Village ♥

Our first stop during our 2016 trip in Beijing: Sanlitun Village!

To be honest, my goal is to look for Uniqlo for my kids' orders. So my Mom and I decided to check this place out.

And I'm so glad I did! Look!

Sanlitun Village is divided into two parts, Sanlitun North and Sanlitun South. In between the two is the uber-cool Opposite House hotel and the 3.3 mall. Sanlitun North is much quieter and has a good variety of cafes (it also has boutique stores with expensive handbags, but that's not really my thing) - worth exploring to find a quiet café...

Guess what I checked out first? UNIQLO! I bought a couple of stuff and it looks like this is going to be a tradition - buying souvenirs in every Uniqlo store I would encounter in every country I'm in.

Good idea!? What do you think? (*wink*)

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Relaxing weekend, now I'm feeling better! Thank you Lord!
2. Was able to catch up on my reading ♥
3. Kindle
4. Bonding with Family
5. Never Ending Blessings ♥
6. Future Online Tasks
7. New Projects soon!
8. Household
9. Friends
10. Community

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

Touch Down, Beijing!

Last year (2016), before the busy season started and right after my birthday, I met up with my Mom and brother in, guess where?

BEIJING! And look how cool their train station looks like...

But before heading out to the city, we had snacks first,

This coffee shop looks good so we had coffee and toast.

My next drink here was milk tea!

And, surprisingly, it was goooood! ♥♥♥

Watch out for more stories and photos about my Beijing trip soon!

When is God more Glorified in Us?

Have a great day, peeps!

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Hair Up from the Trolls' Movie

Have a Great Weekend peeps!

I'm taking it easy this weekend after all the trips that we had last few weeks. Thus, this succulent. (*grin*)

This is going to be a weekend with family as always. Making the most out of summer, the heat and all. The kids not having school on Monday. I love summer! I love family bondings! I love taking it easy and just staying at home.

Uh-oh, I must be getting old!? Whoops!

Have a Great Weekend peeps! (*wink*)

2016 Birthday Lunch with Highschool Friends

After celebrating my birthday with College Friends, this time, we had joined birthday celebration for 2016, with Highschool friends!

Of course we brought our kids with us. They are already friends since they were babies so they had a grand time playing and bonding too!

I'm so happy I was able to celebrate my birthday with these girls.

Thanks so much for the time, my friends! ♥♥♥

Dinner Get Together and Dessert with College Friends

Every once a year I would meet up with my good old College friends. Last year, we met up to celebrate our 2016 birthdays!

We had dinner at Abe first, good food and great conversations!

We had my favorites in Abe - sinigang, pinaputok na Pla Pla, and more! It was a very, very good dinner! ♥♥♥

And then off we transferred to have coffee and desserts.

I love meeting up with friends. It makes me feel really blessed. Thanks guys! ♥♥♥

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Looong Weekend! ♥♥♥
2. Milk Tea during a Hot Day!
3. Great Songs
4. Bonding with Family
5. Movie and Wine Night
6. Get Together with Old Household
7. More Online Tasks
8. Siblings Bonding for 2 Weeks
9. Blogging
10. Project Life

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

Quick Dinner and Drinks Date with the Hubby

Well, after my one week trip with my Mom and brother (will post about this soon!), I missed the Hubby so much so we decided to go out for drinks.

It was a fun night after not going out for a while. Fun night of reminiscing and bonding. ♥

But since it was a school day, we opted not to stay up too late. Back to Mommy and Daddy duties for now! (*wink*)

What if the Grass looks Greener on the Other Side?

This is so, so, so true!