Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There'll Be Better Days

I have been following the news about the devastating typhoon Ondoy that struck Metro Manila a few days ago over CNN, the Internet and Facebook. The events were horrifying as they unfold. Blog posts of my blogger friends who were affected by Ondoy were heartbreaking. It made me sad to hear that so many lives were lost. Many families were left homeless and broken. Many dreams were destroyed.

It will take some time to rebuild. And I know it will be difficult. But I am amazed at how everyone has joined hand-in-hand to help. Even at these trying times, the Filipino's spirit is unbroken. I pray for honest governance, that all donations will REALLY reach the REAL victims. I hope that no more rain will come, that there will be no spread of typhoon-related diseases. And may we and the rest of the world continue to help.

If you want to help, you may send your donations to the following organizations:
Philippine National Red Cross via Paypal: give@redcross.org.ph
Ateneo Alumni Northeast, Inc. for those living in the USA: Typhoon Ondoy Relief Fund

Monday, September 28, 2009


Welcome to the September 29th edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes, where we post about a movie each week. This week's theme is For the Entire Family. If you know of a movie that is fit for the entire family, one that is heartwarming, fun, suitable for the children (rated GP) and teaches a lesson or two, then come and share it with us today.

I would like to feature the movie "UP", Disney Pixar's newest animation. I've been dying to watch this film and it came here late because I guess they still had to dub it in German. I am just glad that a friend told me that they watched it in English at a cinema that plays English language films. I was ecstatic to hear it from her. I took note of the address and the name of the cinema, which is Corso Kino, so that we can watch "UP" in the weekend. Hopefully, by weekend, the weather will be fine and Samantha and me are feeling fit to go out for a movie. My friend was all praises for this movie. She was surprised to find herself moved by the story. All the reviews are positive too so that I too am hyped to watch this with the family.

Anyway, here's the story that I got from one of the reviews:
"Carl Fredericksen married his childhood sweetheart Ellie, bought a house, and promised her a life of adventure. But things don't go quite as planned, and as the years go by, Carl sequesters himself in the couple's house until one day he decides to literally pack up the house and take flight. What he doesn't expect? Russell, a doughy 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer who's as optimistic and sunny as Carl is grumpy, and who stows away on Carl's front porch. Aloft in the house, the two head for South America and the adventure that Carl always dreamed of. But like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Carl finds that over the rainbow isn't all it's cracked up to be, and some of the best adventures are right in your own backyard."
You may view the Official Trailer in HD here.

Want more Family Movies? Then check out the other entries in the MckLinky below. If you are joining us this week, be sure to enter your link in the MckLinky too. I will check all the links so if you are not participating and you placed your link there, I am sorry but I will have to delete you.

That's it for this week's Tuesday Couch Potatoes. Next week, we will feature Fantasy Adventure movies. Thanks for joining us this week and until then!

Yellow Monday: World Motor Sport 2009

Hubby went to the World Motor Sport 2009 Exhibition in Frankfurt last Friday along with his colleagues. It was one of those annual events and the place was packed with cars and spectators. Exhibitors included all the big names like Maserati, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Toyota, Renault.

Different car models were on exhibit, of course, from hybrid cars, hydrogen-fueled cars, futuristic cars, electric cars, race cars, even some the old models. It was indeed a feast for the eyes especially if you are a car fanatic. Below are the yellow that I got from his photos.

If you've got a YELLOW to blog about or if you want to see more YELLOW entries, click on the badge below.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mommy Moments: That's My Favorite!

Hello everyone! It is a Friday once again and time for Mommy Moments! I wouldn't want to miss this week's theme, "That's My Favorite".

When Samantha was younger, her white polar bear named Phoebe is her favorite. It still is her favorite now and Phoebe has become grayish white because she likes to take and drag it anywhere she goes: in the kitchen, in the balcony, in the bathroom, in the toilet, in the hallway, all over the house. Poor thing!

She also loves to watch her Barney videos over and over again, every single day. Hubby and I have even memorized some of the songs and Hubby sometimes finds himself singing Barney songs while he is working at his desk in the office. Just imagine if a colleague would hear him! LOL!

She likes to imitate BJ, Babybop, Barney and the kids when they dance and sing. And she remembers which steps to use when she hears a particular song. Isn't she a darling?

She has some traits and mannerisms that I find cute and amusing too. Like she loves to take my wallet out, remove each item and hand them to me one by one. When she is done taking them all out, I will have to hand them back to her so that she will insert them back into the pockets one by one. Oh no, I have an OC daughter! LOL! She also loves to hold on to my ears each time she drinks her milk and would reach out her hands, a signal for me to sit or lie down beside her, with my ears exposed so that she can easily hold, pinch and massage them. I get sleepy in the process and end up napping with her!

She has also discovered her two new loves: scribbling and singing. I learned that she is right-handed when I first gave her a pen and paper. She uses her right hand most of the time! Unfortunately, I haven't saved the photos from the camera yet and Hubby brought it with him today. Too bad! Perhaps I will just blog about it in a separate post.

What's your child's favorite? Share it with us here at Mommy Moments!
mommy moments

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are Hemorrhoids Bothering You?

Have you ever had to deal with itching, discomfort and bleeding on your behind? Chances are you might have Hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids or piles is one of the most common ailments and sometimes an embarrassing topic of discussion among adults. These are swollen and inflamed veins, similar to varicose veins, in the rectum or anus, and is caused by a number of factors. Hemorrhoids may result from straining during a difficult bowel movement, constipation, sitting for long periods of time in the toilet, or increased pressure on the blood vessels during pregnancy when pushing the baby out.

One can prevent hemorrhoids by keeping the stool soft as much as possible so that it will pass easily. Eating a high fiber diet or taking fiber supplements and drinking lots of fluids will do the trick. It will also do good to not strain when trying to pass a stool so as not to create greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum. It is also advisable to "go as soon as you have the urge" because delaying a bowel movement will dry it up and thus, make it harder to pass.

If you are suffering from this ailment, there is not much cause to worry as it can be readily treated with the many effective options available today, be it home treatment and/or surgical method for severe cases. There are many FDA-approved Hemorrhoid cream and hemorrhoid products available if you want to do a home treatment. Before deciding which one to use, do your research first. There are lots of Venapro reviews available on the Internet today that will help you to make an educated decision. And it would be wise to make lifestyle changes too!

You may also want to check this video too! Click here.

An Outpouring of Support

Last Monday evening, I was worried sick about Samantha. She had a temperature then and so I took time off blogging. After all, a mom's duty is to her family first, the others are secondary. She is getting better each day and is now becoming her usual bubbly self. She has cough attacks every now and then though, and I frown at the possibility of asthma because Hubby had in when he was a kid, his cousins have it, his aunts have it, his nephews have it. In short, it runs in the family. But I sure hope and pray that Samantha won't acquire it because it could be very difficult for a small child. But nah, worrying won't do any good. I know that God won't allow Samantha to suffer any further.

I am just amazed at how supportive all my blogging friends are. My previous post received lots of well wishes, understanding, advice, and prayers for Samantha and I AM GRATEFUL! I am touched by your lovely messages and I count myself lucky to have found good friends in all of you. God does work in mysterious ways. We may have never met yet but the warmth of your friendship and the concern of a friend surely came knocking on my door!

Thanks everyone! Will be back to blogging soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Quick Update

Hello to all my loyal visitors and to my wonderful TCP participants! This will just be a quick post.

I would like to apologize in advance if I won't be able to visit and comment on your TCP entries today. Samantha is ill (cough, fever and a runny nose) and she had a temperature last night. It's probably because of the weather changes as it is already fall here. It could get really cold especially in the evenings and the heating system isn't working yet. Whaaa!!!

I really feel bad for Sam, if only I could carry what she is feeling right now. All I can promise her is that I will never leave her side... you all know how it is when a little child is sick. They want your 100% attention. Her temperature has dropped this morning though and she is her usual bubbly self, playing around the house, watching barney and dancing. She is taking her nap right now so that I am able to sit in front of the PC and type away. But there is not much time. She could wake up anytime soon due to a stuffy nose.

So please bear with me. I will be back to my usual routine when she is all well. Please pray that she will get well soon!

Thanks y'all!

Monday, September 21, 2009

TCP#7: RoboCop

Welcome to the September 22nd edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. Today's theme is Robot/Cyborg movie. If you love human beings turned robots or love the idea of a future with robot or robots in the law enforcement or just plain science fiction, then come join us this week.

"Dead or alive, you're coming with me."

That sounds quite violent but if you live in a dystopian future, where there is unchecked crime and financial ruin (the latter is a VERY familiar scenario in the present day), you may find it common and even necessary. I guess if you are a law enforcement officer in the midst of gangsters and criminals, you wouldn't have the courage to say so. But if you are a cyborg and bullets have no effect on you, just like RoboCop, then you have all the right to say so.

I was only a kid when this movie came out in the year 1987 and I loved RoboCop since then. I even followed the series that came 7 years after the movie. I like the character of Robocop, who used to be Officer Alex Murphy. Murphy was killed in the line of duty and his body was used by OCP to create the first Robocop. His memory was retained however and remembers glimpses of wife and son, and of spinning his gun before holstering it (one of my favorite Robocop mannerisms). He is guided by 4 prime directives with the fourth being his weakness because opposing an OCP Officer leads to his shutdown.
  1. "Serve the public trust"
  2. "Protect the innocent"
  3. "Uphold the law"
  4. "Never oppose an OCP Officer"
RoboCop was not only a science fiction film. Various social themes were also incorporated into the movie such as, to quote Wikipedia,
"the decay of American industry from the 1970s through the early 1980s. The abandoned "Rust Belt-style" factories that RoboCop and Clarence Boddicker's gang use as hideouts demonstrate this theme. Massive unemployment is prevalent, being reported frequently on the news, as is poverty and the crime that results from economic hardship. Director Paul Verhoeven, known for his heavy use of Christian symbolism, states in the documentary "Flesh and Steel: The Making of RoboCop" (featured on the RoboCop DVD) that his intention was to portray RoboCop as a Christ figure. This is represented in Murphy's horrific death, his return as RoboCop, and a scene near the end of the film where RoboCop is seen walking over water."
Hmm... I didn't know that one!

Anyway, if you want to refresh your memories, then have a look at the 1987 trailer:

And if you are joining us this week, be sure to enter your link to this week's TCP at the MckLinky below:

Hope you enjoyed this week's theme. Next Tuesday, September 29th, we will feature a movie fit for The Entire Family! Till then!

Yellow Monday: Europa Park

This is Europa Park in Rust, Germany. If you want to experience Europe in one day, this is the place for you. It features the different European countries and highlights its distinct architecture and food, and of course, the great rides which are based on that country's culture or legends.

It is a fun place to be and of course, has lots of yellows in it, especially in SPAIN and in the Kiddie Wonderland.

The festive and yellow Spanish arcade.

The yellow Panorama bahn that takes you to different countries and affords a view of the entire park.

You can't miss this giant mushroom at the kiddie land.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Venice By Night

This post is long overdue! I know I should have shared this with you guys when the memory was still fresh and there was still excitement brewing inside me. Unfortunately, time and my pc were not on my side. So here I am posting this anyway. Hope you enjoy the photos!

I have posted snippets of our vacation in Italy last July here and here but these were all meme entries. I haven't gone into the details yet of how our vacation went and I am sure it is going to be a series of blog entries. So please bear with me. :D

Our first stop was Venice, Italy. It was almost dark when we arrived there and looking for a parking space delayed us even more. We had to leave our car for a few days at a parking building in Piazalle Roma, which serves as the main entrance to the City of Venice. Parking Fees came for a hefty price of €24 - €40 per day. It was that expensive! A TIP: If I were you, I would look for a cheaper parking in the outskirts of the city. You can just then take the train and get off at Sta. Lucia Railway Station where you will again board a Vaporetto (water bus) to your hotel.

The Venetian sunset as seen from the top floor of the parking building.

Smelling the salty breeze, seeing all those beautiful old buildings standing gloriously and proudly, and watching the water canals teeming with activity as if it were the most normal thing in the world awed and amazed me. Well, if you are in Venice, that would indeed be normal! :D Who would have thought that I would be able to set foot in my dream destination at this age? Well, I never would!

The Grand Canal as seen from Piazalle Roma. Notice the smaller canal farther?

And it was just beautiful! Despite the exhaustion of the long road trip, seeing Venice for the first time with the sun just about to set and night life slowly creeping in was all worth it! The warm air was beginning to cool down, and everybody seemed to have awakened because the restaurants, bars, cafes and shops were teeming with people! But alas, we were all too tired to join in the fun! Setting foot in Venice safely was enough for us. It had been a long day and we retreated in the cool sanctuary of our hotel room for a much needed rest.

A Photobook... I Wish!

Since the day I had Samantha, I have always wanted and meant to document all her milestones. I succeeded in taking photographs, taking note of the important dates and milestones, and recording videos. But I still haven't got around to making her a scrapbook or a photobook. She is now 18 months and I know that the more I delay making one, the more difficult it will be for me.

Here are a few of the layouts that I have come up with:

I just hope I will be able to start making layouts soon to add up to the collection! I will be using Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0 because it is very versatile and I am already used to the commands and keys. However, I know I still have a lot to learn so that tutorials are always welcome. And I will need all the digiscrapping freebies that I can get my hands on, too! Anybody know of a website or a blog dedicated to digiscrapping? I welcome all your suggestions, recommendations and comments!

Thank you and please wish me luck!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mommy Moments: Captured Treasured Moments

I have countless photos in my possession which I treasure. In fact, there are thousands of them, making this week's theme for Mommy Moments a difficult task. Each photo is a treasure, and speaks a thousand words...

Sam was such a tiny baby when she came out. She was so delicate, with her dainty feet and fingers. But she proved to be a fighter and as she grows bigger each day, and is able to do lots of things, you will not believe that she was so fragile when she came out.

Of course, she will always be Daddy's Little Girl. I just love watching them together... playing, praying, goofing around, and I smile because I am amazed to see that they have a bonding that is only theirs. And I love capturing those moments.

And of course, she will always be my little girl too. And as she grows bigger each day, she looks more like me. And seeing her grow and witnessing her milestones are like pats on the back for me.

Indeed these photos speak a thousand words and is worth more than a bucket of gold!

There are more treasures to see at Mommy Moments so be sure to drop by The Mommy Journey! God bless everyone!
mommy moments

Food Trip Friday: Spaghetti Al Ragu

This is Spaghetti al Ragu. We had this a few weeks back when we went for a drive to Freudenstadt, a town in the Northern part of the BLACK FOREST and famous for its town square, ski resorts, and baths. I just love the Bolognese meat sauce in it and the pasta, al dente! It came with a cheese salad that was just as heavenly! Though it was not the real thing from Bologna, which is popular for its fine cuisine, it's better than none!

More yum food can be found on FOOD FRIDAY and FOOD TRIP FRIDAY!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Love ME!

There's a new meme born today called Girls Talk! and it's all about being a girl! Kudos to my dear Aniknik for thinking this. Today, we will post about "Why I Love Being A Girl."

Why do I love ME? Hmmm... Let me count the whys...
  1. I love being ME because foremost, God me this way.
  2. I love being ME because I can grow my hair long without someone scolding me that I badly need a haircut! And I can have my ears pierced without someone raising an eyebrow.
  3. I love being ME because I can have the excuse of not doing too much during my period. That means more time for me to just laze about. Hihihi!
  4. I love being ME for all the nice and cute stuff that I can have in my possession without someone raising an eyebrow.
  5. I love being ME because when I am moody, I am moody. And that's just it!
  6. I love being ME because I can be very patient and understanding at the most unexpected circumstance.
  7. I love being ME because I can cry over sappy old movies and I love the teasing that comes with the crying.
  8. I love being ME because I can do things even if I have NO previous experience of how it is done. Think Motherhood and all the tasks that go with it. Agree with me?
  9. I love being ME because I can go shopping till I drop!
  10. I love being ME because I love weddings and all the preparations that go with it
How about you? Why do you love being a Girl? Share it with us on Girls Talk!

Thank You Paulo

I know I missed last Thursday's Letters... I would have loved to write to my favorite author, Paulo Coelho but then today's theme still looks appropriate so here it goes:

Dear Paulo (FC ako sa kanya),

Allow me to thank you for all the good books that you wrote. They have never ceased to inspire me.

Foremost, I thank you for
The Alchemist, which taught me that I can find my God in my quest to find my mission/purpose here on Earth. Thank you for teaching me the importance of following my dreams and for teaching me that to find my mission here on Earth is my way to finding God, happiness, and fulfillment in life.

I thank you for
Veronica Decides to Die, which taught me the importance of living and life and how it can be too short. Thank you for teaching me that decisions such as ending a life are not always the means to escape all of life's sad realities.

I thank you for By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, which taught me that love indeed is not an obstacle to materializing one's dreams but rather a force that urges lovers to conquer their dreams and thus find God.

I thank you for
Brida, which gave me an insight about the traditions of the sun and the moon and of Witches. Thank you for it taught me too about soulmates and gave me a little bit more of understanding about them albeit mystical.

I thank you for
The Zahir and all of life's obsessions.

I thank you for all the other books that you wrote.

Thank you Paulo. For the enlightenment. For the inspiration. For the lessons. For the reflections. And for the deep thinking that I go into after reading your wonderful work!


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