Welcome, 2012!

2011 is ending in a few hours.

This year has been very good to us. Health-wise, no hospitalizations and sickness aside from the usual colds. We were also able to start saving again after some financially-draining years. Our son is healthy and thriving in an environment of love. And we just celebrated our 5th year of marriage.
2011 is also a landmark year for my career.

I pray 2012 will be as nice or nicer to us.

From Team Ladan (minus me in the picture), have a truly happy new year!!!


Gift Wrapping Style 2011

I like receiving nicely-wrapped packages. I like the care and attention to detail. The colorful ribbons, the note tag, the paper. It adds more "value" to the gift.

Last year, I warpped my presents in polka dot wrappers in red and green. Too bad I don't have any pictures, but they look festive alright.

This year, I went on the personalized gift track. More tedious, but I'm happier.

Stampers and a box of chalk for Jared's teacher in a clear plstic box. I included a big plastic letter of the recipient's initial inside

Love, love, love kraft paper. They look organic and different. Best part is, I can use them for all occassions, just change that belt to what is appropriate for the season.

Now, for the stamp part. I searched high and low, for weeks. Good thing I found a set in the size I was looking for. Buy 1 set, take 3 sets free. Whatta deal. Used rubber paint for this foam stamp. Easy to clean and stamping was therapeutic for me.

Yummy cookies in canisters, with the Merry Christmas greeting inside in acetate. Nice, yes?

To those I will be giving gifts to, please take a moment to appreciate the wrap before you tear it open, please? =)


Christmas Kiss

I should put a mistletoe above them. My godchild and Jared saying thank you to each other after giving each other gifts last Saturday. 


Too Close for Comfort

At this stage, I love it that my son isn't shy. He's the first to greet the elderly neighbors out for their morning walk (Good morning po neighbors), his mommy and dady's friends (Heyow!) or just about anybody.

But sometimes, he'll get too close such as...

The boy on the left is my godchild but the one on the right we don't even know. This was taken at a christening we attended recently. Talagang he squeezed his head in between theirs with matching hug.

At our group's Christmas party last Saurday. They were asked to just sit together to sing Christmas carols. He interpreted that as this picture below. The boy in red shirt is also my godchild.


Christmas is (almost) Here

I started my Christmas shopping in early September. I was intent on beating the holiday rush this year. As a matter of fact, I have 2 shelves in our linen cabinet that was alloted for stuff I will buy year-round, those meant as gifts for Christmas.
As usual, I procrastinated until the last few days when traffic is so horrible it took us almost 2 hours to get home from what is normally a 15-minute drive.
Truth is, I have been to 4 of the biggest bazaars and while I did not leave empty-handed, it left me tired and restless. I think shopping like this isn't my cup of tea anymore. I rememeber I used to shop with my sister from mall opening til closing. Hay, those were the days. Aside from being more money-wise, I'd rather just spend the time with my son.

So, last weekend, we brought some of the packaging stuff I'd need. Wrappers, stickers, alphabet chip board.

And tried to put order on the gift list and the mound of stuff to wrap

Came up with "care"packages. This one I will call "Relax, and take a break pack". It has a packet of swiss miss hot chocolate with mallows, 2 instant coffee mix, ding dong, oreo, ovaltinies, nips and kit kat.

Okay, I'm still not satisfied with how these packs turned out. I hope I have time ti redo them this weekend.

More Christmas stories and packing ideas in the next few days.


My Little Sister is Getting Married

Five years ago, I was like a headless chicken around this time, checking stuff at the last minute to make sure our wedding would be just like what I imagined.

It was my sister's turn to be busy, with her own wedding preps, for that January date down the aisle. Before people get too busy with all the holiday parties and with all the stress of the wedding, we (her friends and I) feted her with a bridal shower.

Pink and green banderitas (It's a fiesta, per my son) adorned our messy house. Please excuse that messy countertop. I prepped and cooked single-handedly. It was good mama helped in cleaning the house that morning.

Pink and pearls and an empty jar=instant centerpiece!

The super kwela "basagang itlog" (break the egg)! One of the games that night.

Time to open the gifts!

We love you tati!!!


My Yellow Submarine Ride

It was my first time to experience thanksgiving but didn't have anything planned aside from dinner with old friends. Had a breakfast meeting, a lunch appearance at a company beach barbeque, and a walk through at our project.

I've been on Saipan a lot of times before but this is my first time to ever really do anything tourist-y.

The view inside. It can comfortably fit around 20. I am claustrophobic so there was hesitation when this ride was offered to me. Verdict: it ain't bad.

 The submarine sprays bread on its side so the fish swims close to the porthole (not sure of the term)

The guy beside me was mistaken for my husband. haha. He is actually a colleague. I was the only Filipino on this trip.

The yellow submarine is behind this young, Japanese family. The little boy was ecstatic inside seeing all the fish.

The crew is mostly Pinoy so I got the sole priviledge of sitting on the captain's seat and putting my hand on the steering lever before we alighted. I'll update this with photos as soon as my Chinese friend emails it to me.


The View in the Morning

I've recently been on a 4-day business trip and missed my son's first declamation contest. I'm sad of course, but there are some things you got to do. The view in the morning from where I stayed sure made mornings nicer and more welcoming. I'll post more pictures of this island destination in the Western Pacific in my upcoming posts.

My blogging mojo is back!


Baby Showers

Channelling my inner Martha Stewart for these...because every mom, especially the new ones, deserve a baby shower!

Theme: Baby animals baby shower
Color: Aqua blue
Aqua is a refreshing color for a baby shower!

We did away with the usual tarp and made cute circle cut outs

Our makeshift buffet table
Advice for the new mom and well wishes for the baby

A cute welcome to guests
These are really french fries holder but they can hold anything that fits. We put in chocolate crispies. 

Theme: Quen bee double baby shower
Color: Yellow and Black
The mom is really the queen bee at home, but the queen bee needs extra pampering, love and attention when the hormones threathen to rage every now and then during this 9 month period

All the yellow food we can think of

Isn't this the most striking? Note to self: I want a black and yellow DIY soon for the house

I was too busy with the program I didn't take too many pics. I did yellow paper flowers and placed them in a bayong box and voila, instant centerpieces.

The yellow cut out circles hanging from the ceiling was a nice touch, too.

Momma and Baby Bird Shower
Colors: Pink, pale yellow and brown

I Hope cards for the baby

Iced tea in jars. Cute stickers. You can't see from this angle but the bottles are arranged in a heart shape. Sweet! One pink drink for the momma and the rest are iced tea.

Pink biscuits in plastic canisters as giveaways to the ladies, a baby girl standee and more candies. I want a baby girl of my own.

The complete set up. Paper flowers turned out nice (only I didn't do them--have to learn how to make one as nicely)


What I Learned at the Memorial Park

This is obviously too late to be of any use to anyone braving the November 1 crowd at memorial parks. But maybe, it's going to come in handy for me for our visit next year.

We usually do the rounds of visiting dearly departed relatives on November 1, but this year's 4 day weekend made it possible for us to actually enjoy our day at the (memorial) park earlier. Less crowd, less traffic= a happier clan.

Here are my learnings that day:

1. For a park deprived Metro Manilan, memorial parks are nice, well kept areas with the needed patches of green!
It's a good place for reunions. Admit it, a lot of people (us included) hold mini reunions during this time. Our big family converges at the tomb of our mamang, each ladden with food more than enough for his or her own family.

2. Almost anything can be made into a tent! We have no manpower (being female dominated)and no patience and thus, we were sheltered from the heat with just blankets thrown into wires and strings fastened to nearby trees. Just be sure to bring the nice ones.
You can even play lovey-dovey under one

3. For families with lots of kids, bring entertainment. I forgot to bring enough toys for my son.
Sharing a blackberry with his cousin Johan
Serious truck play (not his)

4. Ask what food will be brought by who--we had 2 versions of pansit!

5. Make everyday and every place you visit an opportunity and venue for learning.
How to blow candles the right way
How to walk (my cousin and her son Johan)
How to climb trees
How to pick up things w/o toppling over

6. We remember our grandparents all the more when we reminisce about our happy childhood--they were a big part of it. Now that we have kids of our own, and our parents are now grandparents, we hope to make our kids' childhood as memorable and happy as ours.

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