Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Wish Come True

I remember blogging a few days ago that I want a new desktop PC for my birthday. I think it was written in item number 5. Our trusty but old laptop has become too slow for blogging, dropping and blog hopping, and digital scrapbooking which explains the reason for my absence in entrecard dropping. Then last night, Hanhan arrived home a little later than usual. He phoned me an hour before he got home, telling me that he is still on his way home. I was expecting him 35 minutes later but everytime I hear the elevator doors open, it was just the neighbors. I was a little worried and tried to pass the time by playing with Sam. Then finally, he arrived. I could hear footsteps from outside our door... but it took quite a while for him to open the door.

I tried to frightened him and said "Bah" just as he opened the door, and the trick worked. Hehehe! Bad Kikamz! And then he went back outside and brought with him two large boxes and said, "Happy Birthday Kamz!" And in the box was a new Acer CPU and an LCD monitor! I guess Hanhan was reading my posts after all!

Here are some specs:
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
Memory: 8GB DDR II RAM & 1TB HDD
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT130 up to 2907MB
CD Drive: DVD RW Dual, Double Layer
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium

My new babies... Oh, I am such a brag! Hehe!:D

Thanks Hanhan for the birthday gift! Now, I can blog and hop, update my social networking accounts, and do layouts as much as my limited free time can offer.

I love the PC. But I love you more! MwaHugs!

It's My Birthday!

Today, I am a year older and I am thankful! Thanks to family and friends who greeted me this day. I appreciate your love and your goodness and your thoughts. Hugs to you all!

Celebrities on Twitter

Oh yes, Twitter is indeed growing in popularity that even celebs have their own tweets too! Check out if they have twitted you or not or if you don't have a twitter account yet, sign up today! Who knows, you could be bff's with your favorite celebe. And lucky you indeed!

My Heart's Thanksgiving

I can't believe that I am now 29! I am almost on my third decade of living this life and I just wish I have done what my Creator wanted me to do and have become the person that I ought to be. One thing's for sure though: I am happy and contented with what I have. I am truly blessed with a beautiful family and have been to places I never even imagined I could reach at this age. Each day reminds me of what my Ate Shals used to say: "Malakas ako kay Lord." And I guess it is true.

I could list countless events in my life when my Lord has been my suffrage and strength. He has always been there for me and he has heard many of my prayers. So let this day be a thanksgiving for all the goodness, blessings, mercy and love that He has given me and my family all these years.

And here's a song that bares what's in my heart this day, this moment:

My Heart's Thanksgiving

May God bless me with more years of happiness and peace and love.

To Drive or Not To Drive

That is the BIG question.

Last Saturday, we went to the indoor karting arena near our place for hubby's weekend round of karting. When we got there, the parking lot was empty. Instead of going directly to the karting arena, he convinced me to get behind the wheels and taught me the basics of driving. I resisted at the idea but he won in the end. Said that I should learn how to drive so that it will be easier for me to take Sam everywhere. I mustered enough courage to bring myself behind the wheel. I was all nervous and my hands were clammy. I was even sweating with the A/C on. It's as if I have developed this fear of driving due to my accident more than 20 years ago.

He gave me some intructions first. Which pedal to step on first, where to rest my left foot, and where the accelerator and brakes were. Then he taught me about the gears and how to turn the steering wheel. I am lucky enough to try driving for the first time in an Audi A4 Quattro, he said. I wonder why... He said it's the newest model there is for Audi A series. It's fully automatic, has a very good steering and has ESP. Well, I guess I'm lucky. It's not ours though. I wish it were. It was just rented out to us for 6 weeks until we can get our own ride.

Anyway, there I was, driving the car too slowly... I managed to make the run at 10 kph. Hehehe! I made several turns around the parking lot. And when I forgot to bring the steering wheel back to it's original, I suddenly stepped on the brakes in panic. I might smash the car into the steel post! Whack!

Oh yes, I was a nervous wreck behind the wheel but I survived it! I think I am not fit to drive though because I easily panic. And I realized how big a responsibility it is because the lives of your passengers are in your "able" hands. Now I understand why hubby would sometimes give me an angry look each time I startle him with my remarks when he drives.

I need more practice, hubby said. I should learn to drive a little before he sends me to driving school otherwise, it will be too expensive. Oh well, it wasn't really that hard. If only I could muster the courage and have the presence of mind. We'll see next time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Need A New Web Host!

Remember my blog being down for the nth time? It is such a nuisance each time this happens. And this time, it took almost two weeks before I was able to blog again. Within that period, I lost my page rank and Alexa rating and traffic all at the same time! And my friend, who kindly helped me put up this blog, was also unhappy with the web hosting service that our provider offers. Should we switch again? But which web hosting service provider should we choose then? With the Internet swamping with them, one never knows.

Issues like customer support, uptime, data transfer limitations and server interruptions are just some of the things that me, and mostly my friend, have faced. So if you are tired of free hosting, and want to avail of a web hosting service, it pays to check out which service provides the best.

If you are confused, as I am, as to which provider to choose, it pays to check out the Web Hosting Geeks' web hosting awards. They have a comprehensive list of web host service providers and customer reviews which allows you to choose the best and most effective for your home or office e-business. And while you are at it, you could also check out some very helpful reads about web hosting and more.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Everyday Is EARTH DAY!


I believe it should be so so that everyone will be conscious about their activities - whether they are contributing to the destruction of Mother Earth or not. We only have one Earth and God created us to become stewards of His creation. The question is, are you doing your share in saving Mother Earth from destruction?

Here's my share of GREEN ideas:

1. Ecobags. When you shop, be sure to bring your own bag with you. I always bring mine each time I do my groceries. If you don't have an ecobag, reuse the old ones that you had.

2. Natural cleaning agents. If you want an odor-free room, use powdered charcoal (activated carbon) or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) instead of an air freshener. How? Put a few spoonfuls in a shallow container and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for the added scent. Powdered coal and sodium bicarbonate are powerful deodorizers. Also, if you want to clean glass-tops and glass windows, use diluted vinegar instead of a glass cleaner. Wipe with a newspaper when done for that complete clean and polished look.

3. 3R's. I know this is old school but remember the 3R's? Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. That's the way to go. Segregate your wastes properly. Recycle what you can and reuse old stuff. If you are creative enough, you can create lots of wonderful stuff from your seemingly "junk" stuff.

4. Biodegradable. Check the labels of your shampoos, soaps and detergents. Are they biodegradable? If not, switch to biodegradables the next time you hit the supermarket.

5. Volunteer. You don't have to be a member of a civic-oriented organization to help save the environment. You can still join in by volunteering yourself in various efforts: coastal clean-ups, tree planting, mountain clean-ups. You can involve the entire family so that they too will have the awareness.

6. Clean as you go. Remember that we are all responsible for our wastes. Each time you go outing, bring along with you a trash bag. You never know when these can become handy. And garbage bins may not be available in the area too. Do not leave your trash behind nor leave the cleaning to the caretakers. We arrived at the place clean so we should also leave it clean.

So there goes some of my ideas. I would like to thank Mommy Jona for passing on this tag to me and to Mommy Enchie for opening this tag in her blog.

Now, I am sure you also have GREEN Ideas there too. Tell me what you think Niko, Kikit, Hannie, Te Shals, and Cookie.

Here's the rule:
~Click the badge and get the code then put the logo on your blog sidebar and post.
~Tell us what is your contribution to our planet? You live here for sure you've got something to share!! Post any pictures or share some of your ideas on how to help and save out planet Earth.
~Post these rules.
~Share this meme-tag to as many bloggers as you can think.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Frühlingsfest 2009

Spring is here and the Germans usually celebrate it with a Spring Festival. They call it Frühlingsfest, an annual beer festival and fair now on its 71st year, and here in Stuttgart it is celebrated from April 11th to May 3rd. We went there last Sunday, April 26th to have a feel of this German festivity.

The entrance to the 71st Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest.
It says "Warm Welcome!"

There were lots of attractions and rides including the Transformer, the Turbo Force, the Starflyer, the Höllenblitz, the Alpina Bahn (a family coaster ride), the WIldwasser Bahn (a coaster ride for the entire family), the Power Tower (a free fall ride), the Bellevue Riesenrad (ferris wheel), and the Wilde Maus. Food and drinks were also available anywhere the venue including the famous Almhüttendorf, a small "village" at the festival that depicts old alpine huts. As exciting and breathtaking as the rides were, we didn't take them yet since Sam is not old enough to ride them. But we did have lots of fun eating and drinking and strolling and playing some games.

Blue skies and warm weather: perfect for the festivities.

The Almhüttendorf

The Hollenblitz

The Wilde Maus and The Bellevue Riesenrad.

The Alpina Bahn

There were also games that you can play for a price. Hanhan played basketball and won Sam a cute Good Night teddy bear, which she lovingly hugged upon receiving it. The cost of playing at 2 tries, 5.00 Euro. The cost of seeing Sam so delighted and happy, PRICELESS!

Sam and her new teddy bear which Daddy won for her.

A Wonderful Gift

I was in the shower last Saturday morning when hubby came into the bathroom, all excited and happy and in his high-pitched voice said, "Kamz, makalakaw na si Sam! Makalakaw na si Sam!" I could really feel the utter joy when he said these words.

It was really a wonderful surprise for us because she never really did this before. She could stand on her own all right, but never did she try to take a few steps from the couch to the TV and back. She would always crawl. We even blogged here that she cannot walk yet... but a couple of hours later, she was wonderfully strutting her stuff! Her walk still looks wobbly but I am so proud of my baby!

She has indeed grown a lot since Day 1 and we are so thankful for this major achievement in her babyhood. And I am most thankful that hubby witnessed it first!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Are You A Blogger Too?

If you are, Be a proud member of the International Bloggers Community!

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Copy the image above, the rules and the questionnaire in this post.
3. Post this in one or all of your blogs.
4. Answer the four questions following these Rules.
5. Recruit at least seven (7) friends on your Blog Roll by sharing this with them.
6. Come back to BLoGGiSTa iNFo CoRNeR (PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THIS LINK) at and leave the URL of your Post in order for you/your Blog to be added to the Master List.
7. Have Fun!

Questions & Your Answers:
1. The person who tagged you: Niko Ganda
2. His/her site's title and url: Niko's Blog at
3. Date when you were tagged: April 14, 2009
4. Persons you tagged: Samantha, Wendy, Bambie, Beth, Kikit, Ate Shals, Pchi.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Honesty Is Still The Best Policy

Nothing beats like an award given the second time around. Thanks to Mommy Chris of The Mommy Journey for this Honest Scrap Award. Mommy Chris is our gracious host to the meme Mommy Moments. Go visit her blog now so you can share your Mommy Moments too!

There are 2 rules
- Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find Brilliant in Content or Design and pass this Award.
- List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

I am going to break Rule #1 and would like to pass this on to EVERYONE in my BLOGLIST.

Here are some 10 truths about me:

1. I love making TO DO lists for the day but never get around to finishing all of them because I tend to move too slowly. I have my "own pace" as Hanhan would say, without a care whether I am going to be late for the train or not.

2. SORRY and THANK YOU are my most used words. And I do mean it when I say them.

3. In my recent medical check-up, my doctor said that everything is normal except for my liver, which is a little fat. He said there is no cause for worry. All I need to do is watch out what I eat and take long walks. Afraid that it could get worse, I always tell myself this: "I will start exercising and dieting TODAY" but never got around to actually doing it.

4. Books are a source of inspiration for me and I have a long list of books waiting to be purchased and read.

5. I wish to receive a few things for my birthday: a new desktop PC, a bag and a wallet, a new camera, and a pair of pearl earrings. Hehehe! SImple lang kung mangarap ano?

6. I wish I have a green thumb so that I can grow my own little garden. I already have a design in mind. I just don't have the space to make it yet.

7. When I was little, I used to go to a water cabbage (kangkong) pond, get into the knee-deep pond and get some fresh kangkong to feed to our pet pigs. I am afraid of slugs but I love our pigs, so there!

8. I want to give baking a try as a hobby. But first, I need some baking equipment and some good baking tips. Anyone willing to teach me?

9. I never wear any make-up, not even face powder or lipstick. There are only very few occassions when I can remember wearing one:my graduation day, my sister's wedding (I was Maid of Honor), my wedding. Maybe I should learn how to wear one. I always envy women who know how to put on make-up and make it look so natural.

10. The Lord of the Rings is among my favorite movies and I never tire of watching it.

Mommy Moments: It's Daddy's Turn!

mommy moments

Like most mommies, I really love to see my hubby spending time with Sam. Because he is at work during most part of the day, he sees to it that he comes home early to us and spends time with us as much as he can. Weekends are always special because it is our time together as a family.

Each photo has a story to tell. SO be warned. This could get lengthy! :D

A Father's love immortalized.

Remember I blogged about Sam getting sick while we were in Kyoto? We had to cut our trip short by then so that Sam could get some good rest and proper medication. Since it was a road trip, we had to make various stopovers so that I can change Sam, stretch our legs and have some much needed coffee. The photo above was taken at the coffee shop. Sam was already so exhausted and weak and she was holding on to her Daddy for comfort. Daddy was reassuring her that she will get better and that we are there for her. I just love this photo of them together.

The family that prays together stays together.

Praying is an essential part of our family life. We pray the rosary together in the mornings and it is usually Daddy who leads it. Even if Sam can't understand yet what the prayer was all about, we pray with her. Even when is still asleep, we pray in our bed so that when she wakes up, she will hear the prayers. I know in time, she will adapt this tradition and understand what the prayers are all about. These morning prayers are perfect to jump start your day.

Their favorite past time: Riding high on Daddy's shoulders.

This is their special moment as father and daughter: Sam riding high on Daddy's shoulders. I guess there is nothing like the HIGH of being above anything else in the hands of your loved ones. And look just how happy she is!

Posing for Mommy.

This is a typical scenario when Daddy gets home from work. After greeting and kissing Mommy, he would take Sam in his arms and give her a big hug. I can really tell that he misses the family a lot and I am most happy to see him back home safely to us.

At home in Daddy's lap. This was taken at
the Filipino cultural show last year.

While we were still in Japan, we attend some Filipino functions every now and then. The Filipino Catholic community is very alive and active in Tokyo so that there a a number of events organized each year. This was during a cultural show entitled "Crossing Borders" and as usual, Sam can be seen comfortably sitting on Daddy's lap.

I am just so lucky to have a husband who is 100% FAMILY MAN. He adores our baby and loves us so dearly. And I always pray that God will always keep us together.

Thanks Daddy for all EVERYTHING that YOU are. We LOVE you so much!

I know you also have a Daddy Moment to share! Come and share it with us here.

Discovering Stuttgart's City Center

One Saturday, the family went to the city center for an afternoon stroll. It was a fine day: the sun was shining brightly, the air was cool, the skies are clear - perfect indeed for a walk. We took the U-bahn (subway) from our place and rode for about 20 minutes and got off at Schlossplatz. We didn't buy train tickets going there because we didn't know how to buy it and how their system works. And we were able to get off the train without even being stopped by the station masters. Hehehe! It was quite different from the system in Japan.

We just got off the subway. Happy kasi di kami hinuli? Hehehe!

The Palace Square. It was once part of the ducal pleasure garden.

Because some of our stuff (mostly clothes and BOOKS) from Japan didn't arrive yet, we didn't exactly know what we are looking at or where we are, except for the name of the area. I was expecting high rise buildings and a concrete jungle at the city center but to my surprise, we were met with beautiful old buildings, a palace, large squares and parks. It was very charming... we were even walking on bricked or cobblestone alleys.

Behind us is the Collegiate Church (Stiftskirche),
Stuttgart's main Protestant Church and one of its landmarks.

There was a lot of activity going on: there were beer gardens and lots of people drinking beer everywhere, coffee shops and bistros with long lines of people, the square filled with children, teenagers, couples, families doing sorts of activities, etc., etc. There were even performers and artists at different points of the square.

A Hello Kitty balloon for Sam.

The Monument at Schiller Square.

I was wondering why there was such merriment on such an ordinary day. I guess that is how people spend their weekend here. It was quite fun and exciting and I can't wait to explore this new city with a rich architecture and history.

Amongst the Germans in busy Schiller Square.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Kiamz

Kiamy, diving in Palawan.

My dear cousin, Kiamy, turns a year older today. I am going to miss her birthday again but I know she will be celebrating it with loved ones back home in the Philippines. This very dear cousin of mine is loved by everybody because of her compassion, simplicity and serenity. She is a good listener and never fails to entertain us with her wackiness and her golden voice. I thank her for singing our psalm during our wedding and for being our emcee at the wedding reception. She also has an adventurous heart... her love for travel has brought her to many places.

At our wedding reception... she is one great emcee. Never a dull moment.

Kiamy and I are almost of the same age (me being a year older). We celebrate our birthdays on the same month, 9 days apart. When we were younger, we would celebrate it together with another cousin and we would usually spend it at the beach. I only have very fond memories of her. I cannot remember a time when we ever argued over something and I think that's a good thing.

In Laoag, during one of her many travels.

I can only wish of good things, love, happiness and peace for this kindred soul who never ceases to amaze me with her great capacity to love. Someday we will celebrate our birthdays together again Kiamz... and by then, I know I would be seeing your little angels too.

God bless you more, Kiamz!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wedding Passbook

What if, for every wonderful thing / blessing that comes in your married life, you would save a certain amount of money into you bank account? Would you have been richer by a thousand, ten thousand, hundred thousand, a million-fold? Allow me to share this nice story on marriage and the blessings that come with it and how counting these blessings could save a failing marriage. I hope you will be inspired with this story.
Monica married Hitesh this day. At the end of the wedding party, Monica's
mother gave her a newly opened bank saving passbook. With Rs.1000
deposit amount.
Mother: 'Monica, take this passbook. Keep it as a record of your marriage life.
When there's something happy and memorable happened in your new life,
put some money in. Write down what it's about next to the line. The more
memorable the event is, the more money you can put in. I've done the first one
for you today. Do the others with Hitesh.When you look back after years,
you can know how much happiness you've had.'
Monica shared this with Hitesh when getting home. They both thought it was
a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit can be made.
This was what they did after a certain time:
           7 Feb: Rs.100, first birthday celebration for Hitesh after marriage
           1 Mar: Rs.300, salary raise for Monica
           20 Mar: Rs.200, vacation trip to Bali
           15 Apr: Rs.2000, Monica got pregnant
              1 Jun: Rs.1000, Hitesh got promoted
           ..... and so on...
However, after years, they started fighting and arguing for trivial things.
They didn't talk much. They regretted that they had married the nastiest
people in the world.... no more love...
(Kind of typical nowadays, huh?)
One day Monica talked to her Mother: 'Mom, we can't stand it anymore.
We agree to divorce. I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy!!!'
Mother: 'Sure, girl, that's no big deal. Just do whatever you want if you really
can't stand it. But before that, do one thing first. Remember the saving
passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend
it first. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage.'
Monica thought it was true. So she went to the bank, waiting at the queue
and planning to cancel the account. While she was waiting, she took a look at
the passbook record. She looked, and looked, and looked. Then the memory
of all the previous joy and happiness just came up her mind. Her eyes were
then filled with tears. She left and went home.
When she was home, she handed the passbook to Hitesh, asked him to spend
the money before getting divorced.
The next day, Hitesh gave the passbook back to Monica. She found a new
deposit of Rs.5000.
And a line next to the record: 'This is the day I notice
how much I've loved you throughout all these years. How much happiness
you've brought me.

They hugged and cried, putting the passbook back to the safe.
Do you know how much money they had saved when they retired? I wouldn't know... I believe the money did not matter any more. What matters most is that they have survived the rough years of their marriage, re-affirmed their feelings and commitment to one another and enjoyed all the good years in their life.

Moral of the story.

"When you fall in any way, don't see the place where you fell instead see the place from where you slipped. Life is about correcting mistakes."

Friday, April 17, 2009

God Bless You Girl

Here's a prayer to all my wonderful blogger girl friends. Thank you for the inspiration, your heartwarming and sincere comments and your genuine interest in my life. I am so happy to have met you all, even if it is just online! Who says you can't meet real people and good friends on the internet? Well, NOT me!

Dear God:

The girl reading this is beautiful, classy

and strong, and I love her..

Help her live her life to the fullest.

Please promote her and cause her

to excel above her expectations.

Help her shine in the darkest places

where it is impossible to love.

Protect her at all times, lift her up

when she needs you the most,

and let her know when she walks with you,

She will always be safe.

Mommy Moments: Sentimental Moments

mommy moments

When it comes to our baby, I am always sentimental. And being the hopeless sentimental that I am, I try to document all of her milestones and take lots of photos and videos of her. I'll just have to remember to make back-up copies of them or else I'll lose them in case this computer bugs down. So what was the most senti moment for me? I think it would be the process of having Samantha in our lives.

God blessed the day Hanhan and I are going to have a baby. Everyday was an anticipation of the unborn child that is to come forth into this world. And it was an awesome feeling to feel her growing slowly inside of me. I marveled at this miracle that is growing inside me and felt blessed to be able to bear children. And then she came one fine Spring Day.

The proud and exhausted new mommy after an hour of labor. The feeling of holding her for the first time was just too overwhelming... I was too scared to hold her in my arms that time, afraid that I might break her. And the first thing I did? Checking out and counting her tiny, tiny fingers and toes if they complete! Hehe!

Finally, my life has come full circle. Our very first family picture with our little Samantha Ysabelle.

This photo is very special too, along with the others. Here, hubby was lovingly holding our baby... and he was singing a lullaby too!

I know you also have sentimental Mommy Moment with your babies too! Come and share it with us here.

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