December 25, 2009

The Saenz Family Exchange Gift

Today was a blast. I woke up early to do some last minute baking before Christmas lunch then the family got together for our usual feast and gift giving. It was funny how a lot of us ended up giving each other  almost the exact same thing: pillows. There were microbead-filled pillows, foam ones, and those feather-filled ones as well. If we were to put all our beds next to each other, we would end up covered in an avalanche of new pillows and comforters almost all of which had similar designs! What I liked best, however, were the wedge memory foam pillows. It would be perfect both in in bed or in a computer chair. I, unfortunately, was not on the receiving end of one of these memory foam pillows. If I had one, I'd use it to elevate my legs at night when I go to bed. I've noticed lately that my varicose veins have gotten so bad, probably more due to the fact that I'm carrying around so much extra weight rather than due to the shoes I wear. In any case, I think the family had a similar thought for the year: we all need some rest. It has indeed been a very trying year for all of us and a good nights sleep will definitely do us all a world of good. to continue reading...

December 24, 2009

Ang Aming Perstaym (Our First Time)

Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan ang aming perstaym. O....baka kung ano naman naiisip niyo ha! Ang ibig ko sabihin ay hindi ko makakalimutan ang perstaym namin ng minamahal kong Bubba mag road trip papuntang Laiya, Batangas. Pumunta kami sa Balai sa Laiya, isa sa pinakatahimik at magandang lugar na napuntahan ko na malapit lapit dito sa Maynila. Mga dalawang oras lang mula sa siyudad, makikita mo na ang malinaw na tubig at puting buhangin.

Unang beses namin ni Bubba magbakasyon magkasama. Madalas kasi ang mga resort at lugar dito sa Pilipinas ay hindi pumapayag na magdala ng alagang hayop. Laking tuwa ko nung nalaman ko na sa Balai, buong puso silang pumayag na magsama ako ng alaga. Naging masayang masaya ang aming bakasyon ni Bubba, subalit paguwi namin, nalaman ko na nagkasugat-sugat pala ang paa niya dahil sa pag lakad sa buhangin at pag akyat sa mga bato doon sa Laiya. Tinakbo ko tuloy siya sa doktor paguwi namin dahil ang taas taas ng lagnat niya dahil nagkaimpeksyon yung mga sugat niya. Naging learning experience  naman para sa amin yun dahil sa sunod naming punta doon, naging handa kami at pinasoot ko na siya ng sapatos na pang aso.

Natuwa ako sa perstaym na pa-kontest ng kaibigan kong si Ohmski at ito ang aking lahok sa sinabing kontest. Dahil sa kaniya, nasariwa ko tuloy ang alaala ng isa sa pinakamasayang bakasyon ko. Perstaym ko din magsulat ng akda dito sa blog na ito na Tagalog. Sana pagsapit ng hatinggabi mamaya, ako rin ang perstaym na mananalo sa pakontest ni Ohms!

I will never forget our first time....whooops...stop for a minute: it's not what you think. What I mean here is that I will never forget the first time my beloved Bubba and I took a road trip to Laiya, Batangas. We went to Balai sa Laiya, one of the quietest and most beautiful places I have been to so close to Manila. In only two hours away from the city, you will be greeted with crystal clear water and white sands. 

It was our first vacation together, Bubba and I. More often than not, resorts in the Philippines do not allow guests to bring their pets so when I found out Balai welcomed animals to their sanctuary, I was overjoyed. We had a blast on our vacation. However, I did not know that Bubba had cut up his feet walking down the beach and climbing the rocks so when we got home, I had to rush him to the vet because he was sporting a high fever due to his infected wounds. To be fair, it became a good learning experience for us because the next time we went back to Laiya, I made him wear some dog shoes so he no longer got hurt. 

I was glad to hear about my friend Ohmski's first ever contest. This is my entry to said contest. Because of him, I was able to relive one of my fondest vacations ever. to continue reading...

The Gift of Discipline

My mom was not a very strict towards me and my sister when we were groing up. She was not lax either. For me, she had a good balance between disciplining me and allowing me to explore life and make my own mistakes. Along the way, she made mistakes herself, but I think because she dared to discipline us the way she knew best, my sister and I grew up to be good people.

Nowadays parents have so new concerns to deal with, such as parenting in a technological world. To help the many parents and teachers of todays generation, one of my good friends, Jenny of Marriage and Beyond is hosting a contest and up for grabs is the The New Dare to Discipline Book by James Dobson. I hope I win this book. Even though I am not a parent yet, teaching both preschool and college kids have increasingly become a challenge in the last few years. Hopefully this can help me. Oh, plus the fact that the prize comes with Php 500 worth of Starbucks GC's makes it extra desirable for the Starbucks collector in me! to continue reading...

December 22, 2009

Dreaming of My Beach Vacation

9 days to go and I'll finally be off to the beach!!! I can barely wait. It's been a long and tiring three weeks of working overtime so this break is definitely going to do me a lot of good. In anticipation, I've been searching for different beaches and ocean front vacation spots. One that caught my eye is the Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Hotel and Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Resort. What a beautiful sight! I have always dreamed of going to see the south and this would be a perfect spot for me!

I am more of a beach person rather than a mountain girl so going to a place like the Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Resorts would definitely be a dream vacation for me. I love lounging under the sun and feeling the sand between my toes. The gentle sounds of the waves crashing into shore is by far the sweetest and most relaxing sound for me.

Although I may only be going to Boracay, a local beach in the Philippines in the next few weeks, I sure will be dreaming about the Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Hotels tonight. to continue reading...

When In Manila

As the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Change that to Manila: When in Manila, do as the Manila folk do! I first met Vince Golangco when I attended a surfing event organized by one of my favorite blogger friends, Jonel of He shared his idea for a new blog/vlog site where he would feature what to do when in Manila.

It was nice to see the idea he discussed come into fruition. His site is filled with hilarious sketches and videos about current events in the city. He also features a lot of places to eat and things to see in the country. If you're looking for a fun read, or should I say view, go check out . If there was something that could make the site better, however, I would say it would be adding a mobile plug-in so the site loads quickly and with less hassle via mobile, especially since I more often than not browse via my Nokia E63. to continue reading...

December 17, 2009

Remembering What Christmas Is All About.

I just returned home from one of the most enjoyable Christmas parties I have attended in a long time. It was a lot of fun bonding with friends and colleagues from the online community! On the way home, however, I was reminded of how much I have taken for granted what Christmas really is. During the party I sat with very dear friends Jennie and her hubby, Jeff, who is a pastor and we talked a bit about what church I go to and all that. It got me to thinking more about the true meaning of one of the most special  Christian holidays and how the season really is about the Jesus birth.

Behind the revelry, I started to feel a little guilty because I have been neglecting going to church and reading my Bible regularly. I never was also one to attend Bible Studies or Cell Groups much because I have always been quite a shy person. However, one day I came across a site that talked about online Bible study and I got to thinking, maybe this is something I can do. This can be a way for me to hear more about the word of God and continue to grow spiritually, especially since I tend to just am reminded to go to church on Christmas and Easter to commemorate the birth of Christ and Jesus resurrection

This Christmas I will take pause and remind myself of the spirit of Christmas. Not the gift-giving kind, but what it really is. Hopefully in 2010, I will find myself going back to church more regularly. to continue reading...

December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays!

With less than 10 days to go before Christmas, we finally figured out how to make a good buttercream frosting that doesn't melt!!! I love my cute little cupcakes!!!

Read more about our yummy goodies in my food blog, to continue reading...

I Gloo, Do You?

When I fist heard of Gloo, I thought to myself: oh no, not another social network. However, as I watched the video explaining what it was all about, I saw it's unique potential. Unlike social networking sites, it's not simply your personal space where you can update your status or inform people what you are doing, Gloo is a collaborative workspace where you and your friends can interact in real-time. It's kind of like an online desk that allows you and people who have access to that space to meet and discuss ideas. The closest thing I can compare it to would be a conference chat, but more fun since you can draw, embed videos and photos, and create lists and posties to remind you of what is going on.

I tried it out for a few days and I enjoyed leaving little messages in my friends spaces and doodling on their sites as well...but I accidentally removed a picture that was in someone else's space!!! Sorry hehehehe! I have also been able to keep myself abreast with plans about parties and events that I will be attending.

My cousin and I even tried it out for our pastry business. We used the Gloo board as a venue for coordinating our plans and things to do for the business, Baby Cakes. We posted our goals for the year and two stickies where we can leave reminders for each other.

As a teacher, I see this as a tool that I can use to make discussions take on a new perspective. I can forsee myself using it as a group message board in my classes in the future. Too bad classes are done for the term because I tried it out and this is what I came up with! This is something I will definitely try out in January when classes start up again. Perhaps I can even add other posties for questions and games that I can engage my students in.

Teacher Ria's Gloo Space!
 I can just imagine the potential of this space for collaboration! For example, this would be a good option for brainstorming because everyone can put in ideas at the same time then we can identify threads right away. Also, as the teacher, I can monitor who is participating and who is not. I think this would be a good way for me to see also who in the group ends up being a freeloader by observing what is going on in these spaces. Interesting!

In trying it out in the beginning, I had some problems with the slow loading of widgets and erasing of doodles I made on my workspace. At first I thought it had something to do with my provider, because I assumed since Gloo is powered by Globe it would be better if I subscribed to Globe Broadband however after updating my browser, it worked just fine. An added bonus, however, for Globe subscribers is that you can even send an SMS or MMS to your Gloo spaces. I have yet to try that though. Right now I am still exploring the space but if you're curious about it, you can inquire about Gloo and read their FAQ page.

A limitation of my Gloo space right now, however, is that I only have a few friends to Gloo with. So...I you? Gloo with me :-) to continue reading...

December 13, 2009

Lost in Translation

I have always wanted to learn how to speak a foreign language. At home, my mom and her siblings speak fluent Spanish while most of my cousins and I get lost in translation once they start babbling away in Spanish. I have tried learning the language with books and audio tapes but so far, I can only pick up a few phrases and words.

I think being able to speak another language is such a big advantage, especially in today's world. People who are fluent in French, Mandarin, Spanish, Japanese and other widely spoken languages are in high demand. Jobs can range from call center agents to being a translator for big companies.My friend who speaks fluent French got a great online job tutoring French students, simply because he could speak the language!

As for me, I would love to enrol in a course to learn another language, if only I can fit in the time. I particularly would like to learn French, even though my family is Spanish. Even though they say the latter is more practical, I have always loved the melodic sound of the French language. I can imagine myself strolling down the Champs Élysées with my best friend just chatting away in the native tongue. However, for the meantime, I have settle for those  free translation services or dictionaries online to learn it but one day, I will write a blog post in French for you to read!!! to continue reading...

December 6, 2009

Baby Bedtime Discoveries

When I think of babies, images of happy, smiling, toothless little chubby faces dance in my head. I imagine the cooing bundles of joy seen in pictures and tv commercials for baby products. However, like what most parents can attest to, that is not always a baby's demeanor, especially when they are fussy because they need rest or did not have a good nights sleep.

Poor sleep leads not only to cranky babies, but to stressed out mommies as well. I remember when I was handling the infants class in UP CDC back in the day, I'd have parents come in and say "Teacher, pasensya ka na may sumpong si baby e" and then upon inquiry I find out that the baby was not able to sleep well the night before. I think poor sleep at any age would result in the same problem. I know I am exceptionally cranky when I don't get to sleep!

For many first time parents (even veteran ones!), dealing with a sleep deprived  infant is a nightmare. Sleep problems can not only be detrimental to a child's mood, but it can also affect their development as a whole. Being single and childless, I have never really had to deal with problems in putting kids to sleep and I will admit that I have been guilty of being too quick to judge or criticize parents who can't put their kids to sleep. However, after attending the Baby Bedtime Discoveries with Johnson's Baby last November 21, I became more aware of the plight of parents with babies with sleep problems.

The event was hosted by Tintin Bersola-Babao.  The Conservatory at the Manila Peninsula was converted into a very pretty nursery and we bloggers learned from sleep expert Dr. Luis Rivera and the Johnson's Baby Team about the importance of sleep and how to help your baby sleep better. A good nights sleep is just three steps away: a warm bath or punas, a soothing massage, and quiet time with baby. This was proven by a clinical study that showed improved sleep when following the Baby Bedtime Protocol.

 For more information, check out the Johnson's Baby Bedtime website at where you can learn more about the sleep protocol, results of the clinical trials, as well as tips, suggestions and stories of moms and their experiences with Johnson's Baby. You can even create a sleep journal for your little one there! to continue reading...

Dog Hair Everywhere!!!


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dirt Devil. All opinions are 100% mine.

The only downside to having an indoor dog is so much dog hair everywhere! Much as I love my Bubba, his constant shedding is wreaking havoc on my allergies. And yes, I'm asthmatic too. My doctor keeps telling me to get rid of the dog, but I said no. Instead, I got one of those small hand-held vaccuum cleaners. I figured it was enough to clean up the shed hair, especially on the couch and on the bed. However, I did not know that certain attachments or types of brushes would be better if my goal was to scoop up all that hair. For example, after our last car trip, I gave up on using my handheld car vaccuum cleaner to get the hair off the seat cover. I was using the typical car attachment and was getting frustrated that the hair was still there. Apparently, rolling brushes work better for that purpose. I always thought all vaccuum cleaners were created equal. Now I know better!

For more information on picking the right vaccuum for a particular purpose (i.e. for cars, pets, carpets, etc.) check out Dirt Devil's Holiday Buying Guide. The guide will also help you select the best deal for your money, especially if you plan to shop online this holiday season.

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