Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TCP#67: Snow Buddies

Hello Couchers! Welcome to the November 30th edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. Because it is winter, we can all expect lots of snow in countries that do have this season. It was snowing here the entire day yesterday and I felt like just stuffing myself into the couch with a popcorn bowl in one hand and a mug of hot chocolate in the other hand and just do a movie marathon. But instead, I mustered my courage to get my butt out of the house early in the morning and set off to the university.

Anyway, enough of my small talk. Let's proceed to this week's theme: On Ice. My pick will be Snow Buddies, a 2008 Disney movie in the Air Buddies series that features talking dogs and puppies. I really enjoyed this movie and I think it is one of the perfect family movies that you could add on your movie collection. Watching these puppies reminded me of Bruce and Alice our former Labrador retrievers who all looked so cute and cuddly when they were still puppies. I am a dog person after all and movies like this one just appeal to me and my family.

Here's a review I snatched from the official website:

The Buddies puppies (Air Buddies) have been a great team since birth and now that Buddha, Mudbud, Rosebud, Budderball, and B'Dawg have all been adopted by various well-matched families throughout Fernfield Washington, they've each developed a comfortable routine with their new owners. After being chastised by Ms. Mittens (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) for chasing her kitten, B'Dawg and the rest of the Buddies meet up in the park for a game of ball, but Budderball leads them astray after spotting a truck full of ice cream. What none of them expects after their all-you-can-eat ice cream binge is that they will soon end up parachute dropped into Ferntiuktuk Alaska with what's left of the ice cream shipment. After a night spent alone in a strangely white and very cold world, they are befriended by a young husky dog named Shasta (voiced by Dylan Sprouse) who's young owner Adam (Dominic Scott Kay) wants nothing more in life than to assemble a sled dog team and compete in a dogsled race across Alaska. Assuming that the Buddies are the answer to Adam's prayers for a sled dog team, Shasta convinces the Buddies to race and enlists the legendary sled dog Talon (voiced by Kris Kristofferson) to train them all while Adam pours over his father's old sledding journal and single-handedly constructs a sled that's the perfect size for him and his team. Adam secretly enters the race against his father's wishes and thus begins a perilous, but exhilarating journey that teaches everyone involved a lot about teamwork, faith, and the importance of helping others. While many aspects of this film are completely unbelievable, the talking Buddies are adorable, the plot is significantly improved over the movie's predecessor Air Buddies, and the wholesome message will appeal to children and adults alike. (Ages 3 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Got a movie related to winter and ice? Come share it with us this week here on TCP and enter your link in the linky below:

Thanks for joining us this week Couchers! Next week, join us for a Family Adventure Movie. Thank you all for joining! Keep warm and Happy TCP!

Bad Habits Are Hard To Break

I am finding it difficult to take out my lecture notes and study here at home. I just can't get myself to focus and concentrate because the moment I leave the University, my body seems to shift automatically to "wife-and-mommy mode" the moment I get on the train to go home. Since classes started last October, I cannot recall a day when I have really studied here at home.

I made plans and tried to resolve it by waking up very, very early and tried to do my exercises to no avail. I have got lots of distractions that kept me from touching my books and notes: a very messy house that needs cleaning up every now and then, Facebook, emails, blogging and watching another Korean drama series that somehow got me hooked.

My classmates would have mistaken the dark circles under my eyes as if I was burning the midnight oil, studying. But nope, they were because of doing one or two of the stuff mentioned above, things I can only do when the rest of the family is fast asleep.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Prevent Molds in the Bathroom

The bathroom is a very conducive place for molds to grow because it is always moist and humid. And when molds are allowed to just grow, they cause health problems and are also very unsightly. Breathing in the spores produced by these molds, especially the bad black ones, causes health problems from a seemingly harmless itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and a runny nose to the more serious ones like asthma, sinusitis, nausea, chronic fatigue syndrome and learning disabilities.

That is why it is important to regularly clean your bathroom. How frequent you clean it depends on you but once in two weeks is my standard. 

The best way to prevent molds is by keeping your bathroom dry as much as possible. After using the bathroom, open the doors and windows to air it. Use a squeegee or a towel to remove excess water on your glass and tile walls after each bath. Spray your bathroom walls, especially areas that always get moist with an antifungal spray once a month. Bleaching your tub or bathroom sink and scrubbing them with a mold and mildew removers every now and then also helps a lot.

Meet The Oldest Mayor in the World

Do you know this old lady? She is no ordinary old woman. Her name is Hazel McCallion and she is the mayor of Mississauga City in Ontario, Canada.

I recently saw this in the news and it amazed me to learn that this old lady, at age 89 is running the 6th largest city in Canada as mayor. What is more amazing is that she is planning to run for her 12th consecutive term. She filed her for her nomination papers for the Oct. 25 municipal election Wednesday afternoon, according to the city website.

With her hands full, I guess she wouldn't find the time to visit www.howtogetridofwrinkles.org. But it is okay. She looks beautiful even with all the lines on her face, a real testimony to the time she spent serving her city and her some 734,000 people.

Girl Talk: A Shopaholic I Am Not

I have been missing out on Girls Talk for the last three Thursdays. I hate when I had to let the week pass without joining the memes that I used to regularly participate in. But I guess in the circumstances that I am in, I have no choice but to sacrifice some things in order to gain something else. Anyway, I am here now and I have got some time in my hands and so I am typing away this entry.

I am not much of an apparel / accessories shopper but if I am in the mood to go window shopping in this department in the mall or I happen to pass by a shop where I usually buy my clothes, you would find me lingering at the kids apparel section! Lol!

Because I have a little girl for a child, I have this impulse to check out the kids new collection rather than looking for apparel for myself. Since I don't care so much about accessories, I usually don't go beyond checking out watches and wallets.

I am such a bore eh? But bring me to the home section of a department store and you will definitely find me purchasing an item or two even if it was not on budget. And I could window shop till I drop as far as home section is concerned.

Girls Talk

Oh Christmas Tree!

On my way home today, I dropped by a home deco shop to buy a Christmas stocking for my little girl. The Kindergarten sent us a note saying the Nikolaustag is just around the corner so that my little girl should bring along with her a nice stocking to be filled by Santa later on. When I entered the shop, I suddenly had the urge to shop for Christmas decorations. I have been longing to put up our own Christmas tree this year since it has been a while since I decorated one.

I really was so tempted! I really started filling up shopping basket with ribbons, Christmas balls, angels and small Santas and candy canes, candles and garlands and I had to stop and put them all back. It just wasn't time to buy yet because it was not in my budget for this month. The next paycheck is still a few days away and I just can't ask for cash advances, because I don't even have a regular job that earns me a regular salary to start with. That said, I ended up buying three Christmas stockings and a deep red table runner for our non-existent six-seater dining table. Hahaha!

But just wait till the end of the month. I will definitely go back to that shop to buy Christmas decors. And since the Christmas markets are opening soon, I know I will have more great finds!

Monday, November 22, 2010

TCP#66: Little Fockers

Hello Couchers! Welcome to the November 23rd edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. This week, we will feature films released by DreamWorks Pictures so for all those DreamWorks fans out there, come and join us.

My entry for this week is Little Fockers. I really enjoyed the first two sequels: Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers and had a really good laugh and I was so overjoyed to find that there is a 3rd installation. The movie was supposed to be released last June but the filmmakers decided to release it in December instead to cater to the family viewers. It is a film jointly released by DreamWorks Pictures, Universal Pictures and Paramount Studios.

In this movie, Pam and Ben now have five-year old twins and I am looking forward to watching these lovely couple as parents. The plot of the film from Wikipedia goes like this:

"After marrying Pam, the daughter of a retired CIA agent, Gaylord "Greg" Focker now has five-year old twins. The film will revolve around the couple trying to cope with raising their children.

Greg begins to go through a mid-life crisis as he ponders the rest of his life as his children come into play, he also begins to worry about being a good father and obtaining a stable job earning money for his family. This leads Jack to become highly suspicious once again about what is going on with Greg. This leads to a lot of suspense between the two and eventually leads to a fight between the two characters."

Here's a preview of the movie and I hope you all enjoy it:

Joining us this week? Be sure to enter your DreamWorks Pictures Movie in the linky below:

Thank you all for joining us this week Couchers! Hope to catch you all once again for another movie with the theme: On Ice. Happy TCP and TTFN (Ta! Ta! For Now!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cyber Monday Is Almost Here!

You must all be busy finishing up your Christmas list and some of you may have already started with your Christmas shopping. How are you faring then? Are you worried that you might go beyond your budget? Then worry no more because Cyber Monday is just around the corner! Shopping at this time of the year, the Monday following Black Saturday, allows online shoppers to save as much as 80% because many items are sold at drastically reduced rates.

So if you are planning on saving on fuel, energy and money, shop on a Black Friday or Cyber Monday and find the best deals in town and finish on your Christmas shopping.

Mommy Moments: So Little

Last Friday's theme for Mommy Moments is So Little. I know I am late again for my entry but I am posting this one anyway. My little daughter loves to play with little things. She always enjoys opening her Kinder Überraschung (Kinder Surprise), a hollow egg-shaped milk chocolate that contains a small surprise toy inside. She would ask me to buy her one each time we go to the grocery store and since it is the only thing that she asks for, I would always relent. 

Below is a photo of her collection. See the yellow container beside Shrek? That's where the surprise toy is placed.  We were able to collect much more than what is here but since they are so little, they easily get misplaced, lost or hidden under bigger things like stuffed toys, floor rugs and bookshelves.

And here's my daughter exploring nature and tinkling with small things. In the first photo, she was holding a very small flower that she intends to give to her Daddy. In the second, she was picking tiny wildflowers for her Lolo and Lola. Ain't she a sweetie?

mommy moments

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Soon It Will Be Christmas Day

It's amazing how time flies. It is almost Christmas. The stores are decked with variety of Christmas decorations ranging from classic to rustic. Lots of decoration ideas abound and I am too am excited for my Christmas shopping. I suddenly have the urge to do my decorating right now. The Christmas spirit is certainly in the air and in a country where Christmas is very much celebrated, you really just can't help but feel cheery and bright.

I am looking forward to visiting the Christmas markets here and in other parts of the country. And of course, tasting a variety of Christmas delicacies, most of them sweets and loaded with lots of butter and drinking warm glühwein in the wintry day. I know I must arm myself with fat burners so that I could still fit into my clothes when the Christmas holiday is past.

We celebrate Christmas differently depending on where we are in the world. But no matter the differences in our customs and traditions, one thing remains: Jesus is the reason for the celebration.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Mye

It may seem late but it is still officially the 18th of November here. So I wish to greet one special mommy who I so admire for all the creativity and talent that she has for designing digital scrapbooking kits. And I am happy and proud to have been associated with her through the Marce Club. Here's wishing you a very, very HAPPY BIRTHDAY Marce Mye de Leon. I so love your kits and if I finally find the time to create my very own photobooks from our travels and what-nots some two years from now, I will definitely raid your online stores here and here and here. I bet you'd give me a generous discount if I buy more than 10 kits. We're Marces after all! Lol! And who knows, maybe I could be part of your Creative Team in the years to come? I wish...

So what's my birthday wish for you? That all your prayers and dreams in life will come true. May you continue to find inspiration in your family so that you can create more wonderful kits that are truly worth a treasure!

CFD What??

It was our second lecture for CFD. It takes place in the most unholy hour of the day... 2:00PM. Because the mess hall is packed an hour before our lecture, I decided to just grab a sandwich at another institute's cafe and then bought a cup of coffee from the vending machine. I thought it was enough to keep me up during class but I was so wrong.

My professor was droning on and on about a fluid undergoing convection and pressure and frictional forces and was showing us the derivation of the Navier Stokes Equation as if it were the most interesting thing in the world. I tried with all my might not to fall asleep. My eyes would just shut, as if it had a mind on its own. Just deriving the equation took almost an hour and a half. Thanks so much to the brilliant scientists Newton and Stokes for simplifying things for us. 

I didn't see the point why we had to endure that lecture that was just all about equation derivation. I could have made better use of my time looking for safe diet pills that work or doing some much needed research and studying at the library. But perhaps, there's a reason why we needed to learn how to derive that equation. Perhaps it will come out in the exams? Hmm.. I will soon find out in the succeeding lectures.

In case you're wondering, CFD is Computational Fluid Dynamics. And no, I am not a geek.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TCP#65: Narnia

Hello Couchers! Welcome to the late November 16th edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. My computer is acting up again and the weather is not any good so I haven't got time to drop by an Internet Cafe to make it in time for this week's TCP. I really do apologize for the inconvenience my dears. But here I am again for this week's theme: N. I know you have seen a lot of films with titles beginning in N so let us start the ball rolling.

My pick will be Narnia. The entire title is of course The Chronicles of Narnia but it is best known as Narnia, thus the N. Lol! It has always been one of my favorite fantasy adventure sequel movies, aside from Harry Potter and LOTR of course. The world of CS Lewis is just so fascinating, enchanting and endearing. And it delights me to watch the characters mature in their roles in every sequel. The 3rd installation of the movie, entitled The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will be coming out this Christmas, just perfect for a great family movie that everyone can look forward to.

What it's about?

Hope you all enjoy the official trailer of the movie:

Chronicles Of Narnia 3

Can't wait for it to be shown on the big screen! I hope the family gets to see it this Christmas!

Joining us this week? Please enter your TCP link in the linky below. Thanks!

Next week's theme will be: A DreamWorks Movie, where we will feature movies released by DreamWorks Pictures. Thank you for joining us this week Couchers and I hope to see you all again next time! May the rest of your week be blessed.

Mulling Things Over

I always commute when I go to the university. A one-way trip from home to the university takes about 40 minutes including changing trains. This allows me ample time to mull over different things, ideas, and what nots. I should say that I enjoy this short quiet "me" time.

Sometimes, I would think about the what ifs. What if we were still in Japan? Would I also get the courage to get a Masters degree? What if I run into an accident,(God forbid!)? Who would take care of my child? I haven't got any funeral plans yet. What if, what if, what if? I am not so fond of the what-ifs because they always lead me to think negatively and conjure up very gory images.

Sometimes, I would reminisce my little girl's infant-hood and it never ceases to amaze me at how much she has grown. Then I become grateful and realize how much lucky I am.

Sometimes, if my husband opens up a subject that needs to be discussed and decided on, the travel time allows me to think through the pros and cons. And I get to prepare my argument, if ever there is one.

I also get to pray on my way to the university. I must admit we haven't been praying together in the mornings the way we used to because our schedules just won't fit. I find the travel time my prayer time. With no one to bother me, I can sit (or stand) in silence, pray and hope that the day will go according to His will.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mommy Moments: Favorite Color

It's still difficult to tell what my little girl's favorite color is. After all, I am the one who buys her clothes and decides what she will wear for the day. However, because she is a girl, pink and red and purple will always be a part of her wardrobe. And she just enjoys wearing these stuff because she sees me delighted when she wears them. Lol! I think she has a preference for pink though because she can associate the color with Hello Kitty, Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake (Emily  Erdbeer). 

Although she wears mainly these girly colors, I also love it when she wears gray and brown and other neutral colors. I think any color suits her so let's just wait and see what her favorite color will be in the years to come. For now, Mommy pulls the strings when it comes to choosing her clothes for the day. I do look forward to the day though when she starts to choose what I should wear. I just know she'll be a better fashion consultant than me.

mommy moments

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Little Girl's First Laternenfest

I was so excited for evening to come last Tuesday. Why? Because it was the scheduled date for my little girl's Laternenfest (Lantern Festival) at the Kindergarten. It was her first time to join such a very traditional German custom that me, my husband and a good friend also went to join. At 5:30PM, it was already dark and the weather was perfect for a lantern parade. The kids excitedly lined up and proudly held their lit handmade lanterns. My little girl was so delighted and fascinated by the lit up lanterns that she didn't mind the cold weather and the fact the she's hungry and tired from a whole day's activity at the kindergarten earlier. She refused to wear her hat at first, and seeing the other children already wearing their winter bonnets reminded me that it is high time for me to buy hats that are suitable for cold weather.

We did a small procession and walked around the neighborhood, the children holding their lit lanterns, the parents holding their kids and singing songs suitable for the occasion. I didn't know the songs so that I just sang whenever I can catch some familiar words especially on the chorus part. Along the way, I would hear a child or two cry because his/her lantern burned down and a parent trying to console the child. That's why I was also on a close watch for my little girl's lantern, making sure she was holding the handle properly. Candles can really be dangerous if you don't take any precautions. I should have researched more and looked for an alternative for candles, as the other parents did with their kids' lanterns where they used battery operated LED lights. Well, I now know what to do for next year. And I am looking forward to creating another handmade lantern. What will it be next time Sam? A dragon, a princess, a star, or a mickey mouse?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TCP#64: E.T. Extraterrestrial

Hello Couchers! Welcome to the November 9th edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. I am glad the scary part of this month's theme is over. I have yet to check out your entries though and I really apologize for not visiting them. I will try my best to comment on them during the week.

So let's move on to our theme for this week: Favorite Steven Spielberg Film. What makes Steven Spielberg special? His early science fiction and adventure films were the archetype of modern of modern Hollywood filmmaking. He is without a doubt, one of the most influential personalities in the history of film making. He has directed, produced and written countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed films so that whenever I hear that the movie is from Spielberg, I am sure that the movie will be very good. He is also one of the founders of Dreamworks movie studio.

I love Spielberg's movies and I must admit, it was difficult deciding on a favorite. If there is one movie though that was so endearing because of it's family friendly theme, then that would have to be E.T. Extraterrestrial. Elliott, the main character in the movie, has the childlike, even naïve, sense of wonder and faith. He befriended E.T., an extraterrestrial botanist who was accidentally left behind by it's kind. According to Wikipedia: "The concept for E.T. was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents' divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a new story from the stalled science fiction/horror film project Night Skies. The film was shot from September to December 1981 in California on a budget of US$10.5 million. Unlike most motion pictures, the film was shot in roughly chronological order, to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast."

Got a Spielberg Movie to share? Come share it with us here on TCP and enter your TCP entry's URL in the below.

Thank you for joining us this week on TCP my dear Couchers! I hope you can join us again next week for N, movies having N titles. Take care you all and have a great week!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Adjustable Bed

We recently moved to a new house and we are currently trying to furnish it, one day at a time. Our next project will definitely be furnishing our bedroom. We badly need a new bed and so I am looking for good beds out there.

These days, we are sleeping the traditional Japanese way where we only use futons for beds. I must admit it has been a while since we slept on one so that when we wake up in the morning, we end up having low back aches. Even the hubby snores a lot because of the uncomfortable flat position. But I know it will end and we will finally get better sleep soon.

So which bed to choose? I have been hearing a lot about Craftmatic adjustable beds and how equipped with optional heat and massage may provide temporary relief of low back pain and temporary relief of edema or swelling legs. I know that we just need one especially now that the cold days are here. We sure could use an adjustable electric bed with a heating accessory so that we wouldn't need to use the heater in our room overnight. My legs also tend to swell especially during the cold season because I don't move a lot. Having a bed that I could adjust so that I can raise my legs for a number of minutes during the day and in the evenings will indeed be very helpful. And because it is adjustable, hubby can adjust the bed in such a manner that he sleeps in an almost upright position. Perhaps through this, his light and occasional snoring may be lessened or subside.

With all these benefits that a Craftmatic adjustable bed provides, we might as well purchase one.

Change IS Constant

You most probably have heard of the following words at some point in your life: "The only thing constant in life is change." True. I wouldn't argue with that. Everyday in our lives, we experience changes. Even as the clock ticks, changes are happening. Biologically, our body undergoes changes that we don't even feel, taste, hear, see or smell. But it IS there. When the day turns into night and night into day, there are changes. And these changes may be good or bad. These changes entail risks, consequences, challenges. They may bring sadness or happiness, chaos or peace, disappointments or triumphs. That is why we should always be alert, our eyes and minds open for these changes. We may never know what the exact changes are but at least, we try to anticipate them. So that when they do come into our lives and hit us head on, we will know what to do. We can decide what our next move will be and we can rise above the situation.

Have you got a story to tell about some life-changing event? Or is there any change that you want to happen into your life? Then come share your story with us and join Just Another Pixel's Blog Contest: Thirty on 30, Changes in My Life. Be an inspiration to others and win lots of fabulous prizes too!

For more details and contest mechanics, please click on the badge below:

Don't miss you chance! You never know, this contest could turn things around for you! Contest will run from October 30 until November 30, 2010.

Good luck to all the contest participants!

Monday, November 1, 2010


When my friends here learned that I am blogging, they were amazed and asked all sorts of questions. Of course, the answers do not always come easy and quick. There are also some who got interested and wanted to try writing a blog of their own. But when I went down into the details of how they should proceed about it, what to do and what not to do, and then some technicalities, a deafening silence and a blank face often follows. I guess I am not very good when it comes to explaining myself verbally.

So I guess what newbies want is a user-friendly platform that will allow them to write and publish their entries in a hassle-free manner. If they want their own domains for FREE, they could also get webhosting and the package may or may not include cpanel web hosting, a new feature that allows its users to manage their emails and files easier, enables the installation of software with just a click, track and understand useful blog statistics, and other advanced options.. Having your blog hosted in a separate web hosting service allows for unlimited bandwidth and disk space unlike in free-hosted platforms like WordPress or Blogger.

Technicalities notwithstanding, I can absolutely say that blogging is a very great way to journal and chronicle things, a means to expressing oneself and even getting others to respond through comments.

TCP#63: The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Hello Couchers! It's All Saints' Day today and I know that in some parts of the world, like here in Germany, it is a national holiday. I hope that you were able to spend it in a good way with your loved ones. Today's theme is quite a challenging one for me because it has been a while since I last saw a scary movie. As you may very well know, I am not very fond of watching this type of film because I have a very good imagination so that this category is the least watched.

I think the last scary movie that I watched on the big screen was The Exorcism of Emily Rose way back in college. Don't even get me going about the plot because just typing the title is already giving me goosebumps! Even searching for a suitable image for this movie reminded me of those scary scenes. So I guess I will just keep this entry short lest my imagination will get the better of me.

What movie scared you so much that you wished you never dared watching it? Come share it with us here on Tuesday Couch Potatoes by entering your TCP URL in the linky below:

Thanks for joining us this week Couchers! Next week's theme is going to be lighter as we feature our Favorite Steven Spielberg Film.

May you all have a good week!

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