Friday, March 30, 2012

Cold Again and I've Got Some Things To Do

The weather is kind of chilly today. The sun seems to be resting behind the clouds. We have been enjoying sunny days until today... I guess it means I have an excuse to just stay home, relax and just while away my time looking for cool stuff on the net. Not a bad idea since I need to find some leather wallets. I just realized that my hubby's is too worn already when he asked me to take out some money for grocery. He needs a new one. Soon... First, I need to find him a good one.

On a different note, a friend of ours will be celebrating her 60th birthday. Her actual birthday was a few weeks ago but she wanted to celebrate, along with the March celebrants from our religious group here. I haven't thought of a gift yet. I was thinking of giving her a photo album. Again, since it is cold, I can also take this time to search some nice photos that I can print out later on. After I am done window shopping on the net, I will work on that.

But first, a dose of caffein. I need it to ward off the cold and also to keep me from dozing off, which is also a very good thing to do when it is cold! :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Model For A Day

So the photos are out, on Facebook I mean! And I want to share them with you guys too! Thilo Bruehl (our kind and very accomodating photographer) gave us a CD of all the raw photos in JPEG format plus an edited 40cm x60cm fine print that is yet to be collected at the studio.

These photos are fresh from the studio. And when I say fresh, it meant unedited. Well, except for the part just below the right corner of my daughter's lower lip, which I had to Photoshop to remove a small patch. She unfortunately had cold sore and was still under medication on her appointment date. We couldn't cancel because Thilo is a busy man...

So here are some shots that I love:

My little girl is wearing dresses which we bought using the money she received on her birthday. In the first two photos, she is wearing United Colors of Benetton. In the third, she is wearing Staccato and in the fourth, she is wearing S. Oliver Kids. Thanks to her generous sponsors!

These photos will also go in my next Photobook project. Which photo is your favorite?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hello Spring! Cash Giveaway

Who wouldn't want to win $800 in cold cash right? Especially if you have a very good reason for it...

I have been in the "dormant" when it comes to blogging so I haven't been blogging much in the past few months. But this giveaway, well, I just can't resist... It is indeed a good way to start the year and the spring season right!

So come and join the Hello Spring! $850 Cash Giveaway for your chance to win $800 for the first prize and $50 for the second prize. Why did I decide to join this giveaway? Because it is uber easy to join... You just need to enter some details into the first three entries in Rafflecopter found in the Hello Spring! $850 Cash Giveaway post and you are good to go. For more chances of winning, you can further complete the rest of the entries in the Rafflecopter. It is that easy! It just takes a few minutes!

So what are you waiting for? Come and join now!

Model For A Day

We bought a Groupon gift certificate last year for a kids photoshooting. I was able to have an appointment for my little princess yesterday and since it was her first time to be shot by a professional photographer, hubby and I took the time off and accompanied her. Since it will be her first time for a photoshooting with a professional photographer, we told her that if she did very well and listened to what the photographer says, we would treat her to an ice cream cafe afterwards. I brought two more dresses with me so she can have a change of clothes. We also brought with us her unicorn stuff toy so she has something familiar to play with.

The studio was located in Stuttgart-Weilimdorf and is on the second floor. The studio sets weren't finished yet but it was huge and has lots of room to move around. It is equipped with modern facilies: a small kitchen with coffee machine, an office corner with computer cabinet and computer tables, a photo printer, books about photography, and fine prints of different photos taken by Thilo. Thilo (the photographer's first name) told us that they are planning to make three sets so that in the future, they can do three photoshoots simultaneously. 

My little girl was photographed on the white set and I can say that Thilo took his time with Samantha. He first made her feel comfortable by allowing her to play around the studio with a bobby car. Then he also served us coffee so we can lounge while he was setting up. He explained to us what will happen and told us that we will all take our time. He doesn't like rushed photoshoots and believes that the client's satisfaction and a glowing smile after the shoots is more important.

They did four themes: on the bobby car; with Lucy, the unicorn; dance and lastly, on the trampoline.

I can say that Samantha was having fun and was paying attention to Thilo, listening to what he wants her to do and posing for the camera... It is not all of the time though, since she got carried away during the dancing part. I think there was a little communication barrier since Samantha cannot understand everything yet. Plus, we don't speak straight German. Hehe! But overall, it went well. While they were photoshooting, hubby and I were watching and were laughing and smiling. It was a really happy experience for us.

The photoshoot took about two hours, longer than what we expected but really worthwhile. I am personally impressed with the results and cannot wait for Samantha's next photoshoot next year. We certainly will go back to Thilo... perhapy a family photo this time? We'll see...

P.S. I haven't published photos yet since I forgot to ask Thilo if it is okay to put a few on my blog but will update this post when I get his go signal. Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just Sweat It Out

I decided to sweat it out today... for a CHANGE. I walked and ran on the thread mill for 30 minutes and decided to do some zumba basic exercises afterward. It was a wonderful feeling... I was able to sweat more than I normally do, especially now that it is still cold. It really felt good to feel my body cooling down after the exercises.

I don't know if I will be able to sustain this activity and make it a part of my daily routine. They say that in most things, the hardest part is the beginning. Once you have started, tuloy-tuloy na yan... I am keeping my fingers crossed. I do hope that will be the case for me. Because I badly need to get back in shape.

If I cannot go back to my original weight, at least lose some weight. That way, I can move around faster and I can fit again into my old summer clothes. I am on a tight budget now and saving on clothing expenses will really help. Besides, doing daily exercise is a healthy lifestyle. So why not, coconut?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Earn Some Extra Money From Home

No matter where a person lives or who they are, chances are they find the idea of making extra money from home attractive. They may be looking for more funds in order to save money on home insurance, or they may simply wish to have something set aside for a vacation. By looking at the ideas below a person will realize that they have a few options.

1. Sell Crafted Items
Some people enjoy creating things. They may find great joy from knitting a blanket for infants or painting something to hang on the family room wall. If this is the passion for a person wishing to make extra money they should consider selling some of their creations. They can do this by setting up special auctions on the Internet, or by participating in local craft shows. If a person so desires they can do both.

2. Become a Freelance Writer or Editor
Not everybody wishes to spend their time behind a crafting bench. For a number of individuals, writing is more attractive. If a person likes to write stories or articles they may want to consider offering their skills on a freelance basis. Blogs may be on the lookout for people that can provide entries for them; businesses may wish for somebody to check the grammar from their latest press release. Depending on the level of skill and the amount of work that is done at one time, a person can make decent extra money for their own personal wishes.

3. Tutor People of All Ages
Another option for a person that wishes to make money from home involves tutoring people. No matter how old a person is, chances are that they struggle with a particular subject. A child or adult may need help with math or their reading comprehension skills and a tutor can help them understand. The person that wishes to tutor can set up a special area in their home where they can teach the people that visit. If this is not what they want to do, they can join a website that provides digital help on the Internet. A tutor can be flexible in the hours that they create and this is good for busy people.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Good Place To Stay on Getaways

Me and my family love to travel. We see to it that we get to travel somewhere at least once in three months. You might think it is an expensive way of life but it is not. Once you know where to stay, that is.

A very good idea when travelling with the family is staying in holiday homes instead of staying in hotels. Not only is the accomodation rate lower compared to hotel rooms, you feel as if you are just at the comfort of your home. Most holiday homes Europe are equipped with modern home facilities and comfortably furnished. Another thing that I love about staying at holiday homes is that I get to prepare meals for my family and eat what I want to eat. Don't get me wrong... I know most of us would want to relax and keep our hands off the kitchen as much as possible when on a holiday but it is just like cooking meals in a leaisurely way. It is different if you are making meals for the family in a different kitchen. And because we are staying literally in a house, we don't need to worry so much about the time. We can eat anytime we want compared to staying at hotels when breakfast is usually served between 7-10AM. Plus, we get to save money because we don't need to eat out each time we get hungry.

Most of the holiday homes are also located near the lake or national parks... so they are close to nature. You get a breath of very fresh air and is able to go on walks, treks or picnics. There are also lots of activities that can be done for a quality time with the family like fishing in the lake, sightseeing in the nearby town, or just staying at the holiday home and having barbeque with the family. You don't really need to follow a strict itinerary so that is another task off my shoudlers. You see, when you travel without really following a tight schedule, you get to relax more. And as a Mom, that is important for me. Now that is what I call a holiday...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thank You!

My daughter had her 4th Birthday celebration here at home last Saturday, the 3rd of March. Our friends gathered at our house for a simple celebration and to pray the rosary since it was also the first Saturday of the month. My daughter was so excited, because she knows that she will be receiving lots of gifts on that day. She got more than what she expected.

Time to blow the candles on the cake! Thanks to Rizi for this delicious cake..
Samantha finished everything!
Aside from the material and monetary gifts, she received friendship and lots of love. Not just from us, her parents, bur from our friends as well. Her girlfriends came to play and celebrate with her. Her ates and kuyas, and "aunts" and "uncles" and "auntie-lolas" and "uncle-lolos" also came too. Even those who couldn't make it called to wish her good health and greet her a happy birthday.

There was joyous spirit on that day. And I know that although for now, she might only understand that birtdhays mean gifts and cakes and merrymaking, in her heart, she knows that she is LOVED.

We love you Samantha. We hope that you will grow to be a good child. May you always be surrounded with good friends.

The happy little princess, surrounded with her gifts. THANK YOU all!
To all those who came and who are with us in spirit, THANK YOU VERY MUCH... for your friendship, your generosity, and love.

Spring Is Here

I love the winter season... I love it most when it snows because everyhing is blanketed in white. I feel so blessed to have the chance to experience this season. I don't mind the chilly weather and the very cold nights, thanks to electric blankets that keep us warm at night.

But it is about time to say goodbye to winter. I know in the mountains, it is still very cold and people can still go on a ski trip but where we live, flowers are sprout from the ground and trees are beginning to grow back leaves. The birds begin to sing in the mornings and I have oberved that the days are stretching. It feels warmer, with temperatures going as high as 15°C. I am loving the fresh and crispy morning breeze. We can even take walks in the forest when the weather is fine, just like last weekend.

I feel sad that winter is now gone... But I am also celebrating the fact that spring is here! I can't wait to move forward, to initiate the plans that we have for this year, and hope that things will go as we expect them to. We are hopeful that things will turn out fine for us this year. It is time to move forward... it is SPRING!

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