The Little Things: Post #2

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As you may have noticed, I have been out of touch with the blogging world for a few weeks.  For those who follow my blog (I am imagining that I do have “hundreds” of followers, lol), well, our country was pretty much devastated by storms and have been experiencing rains, floods and intermittent internet connection for weeks.  So I have been out of sorts (and quite frankly, gloomy) that I had no energy or motivation to blog.  The dark, dreary and wet days just got to me and I honestly didn’t want to leave my bed for a whole week because everything around was just to depressing 😦

Anyway, I was reminded that I promised to do a “The Little Things” post on a regular basis to be reminded of what made me happy in the past and to look out for moments that brightened my day.  It was quite difficult to think of anything “bright” and the world around was literally so dark and gloomy. Which is why the extra effort to come up with this list was important, because it taught me to keep my eyes open enough to see beyond the darkness around me and pick up the big and small things that I might have missed!

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1.  Praying mantis inside my house.  For some reason, pollution, overly-developed subdivisions and global warming seem to have caused a lot of common insects to disappear through the years.  I haven’t seen a firefly in more than 10 years already! Isn’t that just sad?  I hardly see any beautifully-colored butterflies or those giant patterned moths flying around anymore, along with a host of other creatures. All I see are spiders (UGH) and cockroaches (ACK)!  So to find a bright green praying mantis stuck to our home’s foyer door was a pleasant surprise!  My hubby quickly called our two kids to check it out because our fully-urbanized kids have never one before.  Even I was amazed at the sight of it.  We kept it in a bottle for a few hours just so my kids could get a closer look at this unique insect without freaking out.  By evening I set the mantis free, just filled with the joy of knowing that there are still beautiful creatures that may come out and visit us every now and then.

The mantis was praying for the rain to stop too!

2.  Play-Doh Time.  Being stuck indoors for 9 days straight was no fun at all, especially for a hyperactive 5-year old!  Cabin fever was creeping in and nothing else (at that time) spelled fun than making a delicious spread of make-believe desserts out of Play-Doh!  It gave my daughter and I a fun bonding moment and it definitely lifted up our already damp (pun unintended) spirits.

Girl time!

3.  Baking.  I never claimed to be a kitchen goddess. I love cooking because I love to make dishes that I know my family don’t usually eat except in fancy restaurants.  In short, I pretend to be a chef in the hopes that I can bring home a delectable meal without paying a waiter to bring it to the table, haha. But baking is another story.  Baking is something that my dad is extremely good at and I have watched him whip up amazing cakes and pastries in their kitchen all my life enough to know the basics.  I usually “bake” stuff I buy that are in boxes already where all I have to do is add an egg and some milk into a pre-made batter then bake straight away.  I was recently challenged by my daughter to make cookies that were not available in pre-made packs at the grocery.  Long story short, I did.  I made White Chocolate Cookies and I must say for a first-try-from-scratch attempt, they tasted really good! You can find the recipe I used here.

Chunky and sinful!

4.  New shoes.  If you are a girl, and you are reading this, then no more words are needed 😀

Tory Burch is ♥!

5.  Dreams coming true.  Two years ago my hubby missed out on watching Tears For Fears when they came over for a World Tour concert.  He is one true blue fan, and I mean a real FAN!  He knows all the lyrics of their songs, knows what albums they are from, knows the band’s “state of minds” when they wrote their albums, and actively communicates with Curt Smith on Facebook! Yes THAT kind of fan.  So can you imagine what it felt like for him to not watch their concert and see them live?  But God heard his prayer and felt his disappointment. I told him that God loved him soooooo much, that he made sure that hubby had that chance again.  Fast forward to last Saturday, we found ourselves at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, screaming and dancing to TFF’s music!  It was truly my hubby’s night, and I could feel the joy and excitement burning through him.  I was so happy to see him happy!  Can you see how happy he was in our pic? 😀

Smiling ear to ear 🙂

All Access Pass autographed by Curt and Roland themselves

Note: All photos taken by me and downloaded from Instagram.

How about you? What were the little things recently that made you happy? Share them with me!

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Illuminated and Thinking Randomly

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I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I have been nominated for a blog award!  I have only been blogging for a few months now in my new residence here in WordPress, and I am so happy that somebody enjoyed my posts enough to nominate me! Thank you so much to Food Stories for nominating me! Guys, check this blog out for yourself as it is filled with great food stories and tons of amazing recipe recommendations that are always useful to mommy bloggers like me 🙂

Now on to something a little more random to say about myself… I am a BEATLES fanatic! I have been one all my life, but more than just being a fan of the fab four (isn’t Paul McCartney just beautiful???), I am an absolute fan of their music.  I will never get tired of listening to their albums!  My influence has rubbed off greatly onto my son, which is why you would always here Beatles music blasting away in his room.  I am also a collector of Beatles memorabilia, though not at all a hard core kind of collector, I have a few amazing pieces that I can proudly display in my living room.  Here are just a few of the pieces I have collected through gifts from friends and purchases I’ve made:

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I actually had another post planned today, but due to this nomination, I will save that post till next 😛  Again, thanks to FoodStories! 😀

Here are a few of the blogs I follow and I would like to nominate as well (a mix of food, lifestyle and spiritual musings).

•  I HEART ORGANIZING

•  THE BAGHAG DIARIES

•  BOBBY QUITAIN SETTING HEARTS ON FIRE

•  A LOT ON YOUR PLATE

•  MY CHIC AND CHARMED LIFE

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If you are nominated then you have been awarded the Illuminating Blogger Award. Just follow the steps below:
1.     The nominee should visit the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom.(This step is so important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners).
2.     The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.
3.     The Nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) in their blog post.
4.     Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
5.     Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award. Many people indicate that they wish they could nominate more so please feel free to nominate all your favorites.

6.     Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/).

The Little Things: Post #1

Life can get really crazy for a WAHM / SAHM, what with kids to look after, a hubby to please, a household to run, two online businesses to manage, design deadlines to beat and finding time to take care of myself even if it means just an hour of “me time”.  We all need to step back, take a good look at our life, and try to zero-in on “The Little Things” that make our day lighter, put a smile on our faces and bring warm feelings to our hearts.  I plan to do a regular “The Little Things” posting for me to be reminded of what made me happy in the past (just in case life gets so overwhelming that I forget) and to constantly look out for moments that brightened my day — even in the smallest, most unexpected way.

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1.  Clothes Folding Board.  I saw this being sold in another group buy deal, and at only P299 it was so worth it! My husband can attest to the fact that I absolutely abhor folding clothes simply because I suck at it.  But with this new “toy” of mine, clothes-keeping is a breeze, even my 5 year old can do it! *Bliss*

Even my baby girl thinks it’s fun!

2.  Fashion Spice.  I like to spice up my clothes once in awhile, especially if my mood needs a picker-upper.  On few occasions, I would wear something totally out of character such as animal prints.  In moderation of course.  And pair these up with bright colors as opposed to my usual safe palettes which are the black and browns. The look brings back the fun in my mood and a wink from the hubby, hehe.

Rawrrr!

3.  Orange Panna Cotta – My bible study bud served us this super refreshing dessert at our last class and I must say it was a perfect ending to a sumptuous lunch!  I am looking for a similar recipe that I can follow, and I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com.  It was one of the most refreshing desserts I have tasted recently, and I am hoping I can somehow replicate it with this recipe. Mmmmmmmm….

Yummy orange panna cotta prepared by my friend Maite.

4.  Unicorn Notebook – I am a collector of all things unicorn.  This just made my day. 🙂

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My unicorn notebook which I now use in my Bible study classes 🙂

5.  Snoopy Fair iPhone App –  After a long and stressful day, this is the only game in my iPhone which I feel the need to play on a daily basis.  First of all, I love the Peanuts gang.  Secondly, it is the only game I don’t get bored playing. Seeing the Peanuts gang in action again just brings back fond memories of my childhood when I would read their comic strips with my grandpa Charlie.

Snoopy Fair

A snapshot of my Snoopy Fair (all images owned by United Feature Syndicate)

What were the little things today that made you happy? Share them with me!

Decluttering: Day 1

Jellybean

Bubblewrap’s Jellybean Bag Organizer (Orange Tiger Print)

My bag can be as cluttered as the many thoughts flying around my head.  I tend to carry a lot of stuff like my cellphone, wallet, checkbook, hand sanitizer, wipes, 3 kinds of keys, and tons of useless stuff such as receipts, cards, notes, and candy wrappers from the kids (which I totally forget to dispose off when there’s a nearby trash can). What happens is I end up stuffing them in every available pocket the bag has. And whatever is too big is what settles in the main part of the bag, just tumbling around while I carry it around doing my thing.  And so when time comes that I need to fish out my car keys, I end up standing in front of my car and emptying out the contents on my hood to try to find it in the sea of confusion (this is VERY unsafe and I do not recommend you ever do this even with a companion!).  To add to this nightmare, can you imagine needing to transfer all of these into a different bag? It would be like dumping trash from one bin to another!

Thank goodness I have my BUBBLEWRAP JELLYBEAN BAG ORGANIZER to solve this perennial bag disaster!

Jellybean bag

The Jellybean Bag Organizer’s handles are sturdy and easy to use to pull out off my bag!

This super cute and functional bag organizer has pockets of all sizes both inside and out, so it fits all my pens, receipts and small pieces of paper in the inside pockets alone.  The open space in the middle is big enough to fit my toiletries and my phone charger.  I carry a humongous wallet so I don’t intend to put it inside but for those who carry a purse or a small-sized wallet, it would fit perfectly inside that space as well.  The outside pockets carry my cellphone and my calling cards so that they’re readily accessible and easy to find.  Oh and did I tell you about my 3 kinds of keys? I don’t need to turn my bag inside out anymore because the bag organizer comes with a keyholder which you can hang outside of the bag organizer for easy access or tuck into the bag organizer as well.  What makes all this a breeze? The sturdy metal handles attached makes it easy to pull the bag organizer out of my bag and transfer into another bag, junk and all!  Now I don’t need to worry about leaving stuff behind in my previous bag because everything’s in my JELLYBEAN!

Check out the variety of designs to choose from!

The BUBBLEWRAP JELLYBEAN BAG ORGANIZER comes in a variety of prints and color combination that best suit your bag personality.  Like what you see? Check out the JELLYBEAN BAG ORGANIZER at BUBBLEWRAP ONLINE STORE!

Now if I can only find an organizer for my thoughts…

Want to order one?

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Big Deal!

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I am not a fan of group buying deals (though I subscribe to at least 6 of their sites, haha!), but I love discount promos and I want to know what companies are offering to advertise their products. I have purchased quite a few in the past years — gadgets, fine-dining GCs, overnight out-of-town trips and other novelty products I just found too cute to pass up. So far the best deal I have ever purchased was the one offered by Ensogo for a 40-page photobook valued at P6000 which I got for only P1299!

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Photo courtesy of Photobook Philippines

The voucher was for a 40-page, 15″ x 11″ Large Landscape Imagewrap Photobook. I grabbed it immediately because I was excited to publish the family portrait photos that our good friend Arlene Briones took of us last March (visit her site to see samples of our photoshoot at ARLENE BRIONES). Seeing the quality of printed pictures showcased in Photobook Philippines’ gallery, I was confident that our photos would look gorgeous.

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Using the dowloadable Photobook software to layout the images was a breeze! I managed to finish the design for all 40 pages in half a night and sent the file online through their website in just a matter of minutes. All I needed to do was to wait for the finished product. And when it did, I was beyond impressed with both the finished product and the service that Photobook offered!

Here are a few reasons why I believe this was one of the best deals I’ve ever purchased:

• The voucher promised a delivery timetable of 7-11 days after receipt of payment, and I got mine after only 5 days!

• The bookwas well protected as it was covered in shrink wrap and was placed in a thick box with foam padding on all sides to ensure that the book was safe and damage-free.

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It’s here!

• The photo printing was amazing! The materials used were indeed of very high-quality, the paper used was acid-free and really thick and sturdy (I upgraded the paper from 170gsm to 216gsm and I chose Premium Silk so that the photos would really pop!), and the assembly and binding was neatly done.

• I thought that with the promo price I’d only be getting a softcover, so seeing that the finished product had a hardcover was like a bonus for me!

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The finished product!

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Hardbound cover

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Over-all we were happy to have our very own M Book. I wouldn’t mind purchasing a few more vouchers if another deal comes up from the same company (Photobook Philippines was awarded best photobook of the year) as I have a few more photo albums that I believe are “book-worthy”. If you wish to look at other photobooks that they’ve created, visit their website at PHOTOBOOK PHILIPPINES.

Mark of the M

I am sure there are other HOT DEALS out there that are as good or maybe even better than this. If you’ve recently purchased a voucher from any of the group buying sites that are out there that you believe was a really great deal, share it with me! I’d love to hear from you 🙂