Friday, August 31, 2012

Greens for a Clean Air at Home

I always find a house welcoming and "alive" when there are plants about. Ornamental plants have always been a part of interior room decor because of the many benefits that it provides. But did you know which greens are good for your home? Here is something that a friend shared on Facebook that I thought would be interesting and helpful if you are planning on putting plants inside your home. Since you are putting plants inside the home anyway, why not choose the ones that will be beneficial to your health?

1. Bamboo Palm: According to NASA, it removes formaldahyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier. 

2. Snake Plant: Found by NASA to absorb nitrogen oxides and formaldahyde. 

3. Areca Palm: One of the best air purifying plants for general air cleanliness. 

4. Spider Plant: Great indoor plant for removing carbon monoxide and other toxins or impurities. Spider plants are one of three plants NASA deems best at removing formaldahyde from the air. 

5. Peace Lily: Peace lilies could be called the “clean-all.” They’re often placed in bathrooms or laundry rooms because they’re known for removing mold spores. Also know to remove formaldahyde and trichloroethylene. 

6. Gerbera Daisy: Not only do these gorgeous flowers remove benzene from the air, they’re known to improve sleep by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off more oxygen over night.

These plants do not need much maintenance too. You just need to water them regularly, add fertilizer every now and then and place in areas inside the house where they can get some sunshine.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Spice Up Your Career with a Cisco Certification

Nothing adds value and importance to your resume like a Cisco certification. Earning a Cisco certification in several specializations is possible by taking the certification tests. Registration is done through Pearson VUE and the test must be taken at any one of their worldwide testing centers. Before taking an exam, candidates must thoroughly train, study, and prepare; this can be done in many ways. Popular options include the Cisco-certified training resources, such as classes, videos, and textbooks, as well as, an independent training program that offers a valuable practice exam, among other resources, which cover all aspects of each exam.

The exams differ in level of difficulty among fields; the exam length, type of questions, resources, and materials also differ. However, most fields include three types of certifications that can be earned. The first is the entry level exam certification, which requires knowledge of basic terms and concepts. It is required for the associate exam certification, while both are required for the professional certification and all three are required before the expert certification can be earned.

Cisco is often the vendor of choice for individuals looking to expand their knowledge for a variety of reasons. They allow participants to take any test(s) of their choosing; their structured certification program allows for minimum and maximum learning, based on the amount of time, work, and commitment an individual is willing to put forth. With this level of interactivity, participants can use Cisco to gain practical knowledge of a specialized vocation.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Swimming Is Good For Pregnant Women

Are you pregnant? Are you tired most of the time and would just want to le down in bed? The more tired you are, the more reason it is for you to get moving. Being pregnant is not an excuse to stop doing any physical activity and just lie in bed all day long. Maybe if you have a delicate pregnancy, your obstetrician will recommend a complete bed rest if it would mean saving your baby but for women having a normal pregnancy, regular exercise is also needed. You need not overdo it though, otherwise, you will harm yourself or your growing baby.

One good exercise when pregnant is swimming. It is considered the safest exercise for it poses a very low risk of injury. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that uses the large muscle groups in the arms and legs. Despite being low-impact, it provides a lot of benefits. It provides good cardiovascular benefits,  improves circulation, increases muscle tone and strength, and helps build endurance, which are good for you and your growing baby.

So get on your feet and put on those Maternity Swimwear and hit the swimming pool. Just take it easy and don't overdo it though. And consult your physician or midwife before you go swimming, especially if you haven't been swimming before your pregnancy.

My Little Piece of Heaven

My little girl enjoys playing outdoors. Thankfully, there is a neighborhood kids playground and park near where we live so that we can go there whenever we want. 

I was exhausted after working for my master's thesis and my little girl and hubby decided to meet me at the park. It was really fun to be playing with my daughter. She has this never-ending enthusiasm and energy about her that is just so refreshing, you can't help but be happy and forget all your series.

And here are some of those priceless photos that I took while we were playing at the playground. She is just so adorable and I love her to bits! And with that smile on her face, the laughter that rings in my ears and the face that lights up with happiness, I realize how blessed I am. 

This is my little piece of heaven here on earth... and I wouldn't want to trade these wonderful moments with her with anything else.

Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy. I first learned about this medical drama series from my sister last 2007 when she came to Japan to visit us. I guess it was aired late in my home country too because the first season came out in 2005. I guess I am not that updated anymore when it comes to western shows since there aren't many English channels that the cable company is offering.

I enjoyed watching how the lives of medical interns and residents unravel with each medical emergency and procedure. You can almost say that I have a penchant for medical professionals because I had a two-month long experience with them when I had an accident as a kid. I also find the profession very noble in that they help sick people get better. They would do as much as they can to save a life.

The part I love best in the series is when they need to do surgical procedures. Although only fictional, it felt like you were also in the same operating room with them. And when they don on their blue scrubs, which is almost always, I just can't help but wish I were a doctor or a nurse too. Maybe I should look for cheap nursing scrubs so that I can also look like a medical professional. I can even play doctor - patient with my little girl, who is also fond of playing pretend and who is the best doctor there is whenever I am feeling down.

Anyway, I heard that there this drama series is already on it's 9th season, with the 9th season to be aired this 27th of September. I think I was only able to watch until season 4 so that would mean that I have been missing a lot. Will I ever be able to catch up? Only heaven knows....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vacation Means A Day At The Pools!

It has been very hot lately and my little girl was very excited to go to the outdoor pool since she had a two-week break from the kindergarten. So we went last week. Not only once, but twice. She was so excited so that the day before we went swimming, she went with her Daddy shopping for arm floaties, swim ring and even swimming goggles. Then she happily said, "Ja! Nur einmal schlafen und dann gehen wir Urlaub!" (Yes! Only one more sleep and we will go on vacation!)

Yes, she equates swimming to a vacation! And we need not go that far... We only need to take the train to get to the outdoor pool or Freibad as they call it here. So one hot Tuesday afternoon, we went to Möhringen Freibad. When we got there, we headed directly for the kiddie wading pools (Kinderplantschbecken), which is a series of 3 pools, water cascading one after the other. The water was only knee waist-deep (my daughter's height as reference) so it is safe enough for little children. And since she is all geared up with her swimming accessories, we feel twice as safer.

My, did she have a lot of fun! There is also a playground adjacent to the pool with a sand box and water system where children can be creative and make sand castles. Plus there is an "Idiana Jones" ride that my girl really enjoyed!

It was a fun-filled afternoon and a very great day for a family bonding. On the way home, she asked: "Wann gehen wir noch mal in Urlaub?" (When are we going on vacation again?) to which I answered with a smile, "Mal sehen..." (Let's see...)

Of Family Gatherings: Because Life is All About Celebrations

Celebrations have always been a part of life. Whether birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries, thanksgiving or congratulatory parties, we always gather around to celebrate with family and friends the milestones that we go through in life. To make the celebration more memorable and remarkable, we even put up a printed tarp, with a specially designed graphic or layout customized for the person or the celebrant.

My cousin's layout for my little girl's first birthday. The theme was Winnie Pooh and friends.
The layout I made for my daughter's tarp on the occasion of her Christening and first birthday.
I remember my cousin making a very beautiful layout for my little girl's christening and first birthday celebration. She had it printed on white poly tarp and it was quite big, it covered half of the of the wall of the party venue. I also made a design for my daughter that my cousin kindly printed as well.

When there are family gatherings, it is of course important to prepare a place where everyone can move around and socialize. Outdoor gatherings are one of my favorites because they offer a sense of openness and freedom. But in my country where the weather can be unredictable, it is important to prepare for those weather changes so that the celebration can go on, rain or shine. So what we do is put up garden tents with canvas tarps - they help keep the heat and the water away. 

Of course, there's always music and food. For what is a family gathering or any gathering without these? Of course, to keep the little ones busy, we make it a point that there are games for the little children. And prizes, giveaway items, and loot bags too! Yes, that's how we celebrate. More or less.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Do You Wear Pearls?

Freshwater pearls for many generations have been the huge craze, fashion trends exploding, brides going nuts for the newest collection, and most importantly thousands worldwide participating in the trend. These gems, being the only ones created from a living organism allows for limitless diversity amongst the different varieties of shapes and colors. They are in fashion trends around the world and they can’t seem to escape the hearts or any women. These gems are way too desired without the high price that everyone seems to assume they are. These natural gems are worn by thousands throughout the nations and will continue to become more popular. Not only do they have powers to enhance your life, they also are very unique and diverse from each pearl, creating the statement of individuality. Personally I love them so much that I have a few sets of my own. I wear them every day, any occasion, and just about every second I get the chance to show them off, I do!

The accessories I love the most are my pearl necklaces. They are beautiful with each outfit I wear and they always happen to complete my outfit in a way I didn’t think was possible. Jewelry is a huge fashion statement and to follow all the latest trends, pearls are always incorporated someway. The simplicity with accessories like them is a wonderful thing to invest, because they honestly go with everything you have in your closet. It is a real challenge to find something they do not go well with. The extra special thing about these gems is because they are always in style they can be passed down from generation to generation and will always look just as great! Start a new family tradition and find your pearls today!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Guest Post: Getting Fit After Pregnancy
Can Be A Breeze

After giving birth, many new mothers are interested in getting back in shape but don't know where to begin. Eating a healthy diet is an important part of losing baby fat, but beginning an exercise program once you're ready is what will really help you lose excess weight and start looking and feeling fantastic again. Having a newborn at home can make getting to the gym difficult, but there's no need to fret, because there are plenty of ways you can get fit while watching your baby. Here's a look at how you can accomplish this.

Go Slowly

If you're like many moms and haven't exercised in awhile, don't jump right into an exercise program. Instead, promote your success by easing into it slowly. Don't ever strain yourself, and consult a doctor if you want to be completely sure that you can safely begin exercising. Your doctor, who was helpful in recommendations for options like pain management methods, banking cord blood, and circumcision, can be very helpful in making recommendations about the best way to get back into shape.

Walking for Fitness

Walking is possibly the best way for new mothers to get fit. It's gentle, easy and totally free if you go outside instead of using a treadmill. There's no need to find a babysitter, because you can simply put your newborn in a stroller for each trek. If you feel like an extra challenge, you can wear your baby in a carrier while you go for a walk. Whether you take your baby along in a stroller or a carrier, your child will benefit greatly from the stimulation of the varied surroundings you encounter together.

One great thing about walking is its versatility. By simply walking uphill or varying your speed, you can easily modulate the intensity of your walk depending on how you feel each day. Whether you're in the mood for a challenge or a relaxing stroll, the choice is yours to make.

Indoor Exercises

If you prefer to stay at home or don't feel like going for a walk, you can always do yoga or aerobic exercises in your living room while the baby is sleeping. When you want results fast, a program combining strength training, or yoga, and aerobics will get you in shape more quickly than either alone. Bigger muscles from yoga will give you a faster metabolism that burns fat around the clock, and aerobics will help burn fat by further elevating your metabolic rate.

To get started on an indoor fitness program, you may want to either watch yoga or exercise videos, or purchase a machine such as a stair climber or stationary bike. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to find exercise classes where the two of you can work out together. Of course, you can also work out together at home. This will help strengthen your bond and teach your child healthy habits as they grow older.

After giving birth, many mothers have trouble adjusting to eating for only one again. Once you recalibrate your dietary habits, you'll be coasting along toward your fitness goals. With a combination of healthy food and plenty of exercise, you can count on looking great again before you know it.

This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche. If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Flammende Sterne 2012

Me, my hubby and my little girl just love fireworks. Since we moved here, we make it a point that we get to watch at least one fireworks show every year. I guess my love for fireworks shows began when I went to Japan and witnessed the Hanabi festival for the first time. I've been fascinated by it since then.

Flammende Sterne 2011: Chinese musical fireworks show
One of our favorites is the Flammende Sterne, which is a three-day event and showcases musical fireworks from three different countries. This year's Flammende Sterne will be take place on Friday until Sunday, August 17-19, still at the Scharnhauser Park in Ostfildern. Since it is on it's 10th year, I am sure it will be another special and spectacular fireworks show. Three countries who will compete will be England (Friday), Spain (Saturday) and Germany (Sunday). The musical fireworks itself lasts only for about 30 minutes but the program starts at 6:00PM, with a "flamy" birthday show, live music and food. 

We do not really go inside the event area since we are there just for the fireworks. What we do is find a spot outside the event area where we have a good view of the sky. A good spot is the parking lot near the park. Then we just bring pizza and drinks and some picnic blankets so we can relax and won't go hungry while waiting for the fireworks to start. I didn't get good photos last year since I didn't know how to set up my camera but I hope I will be able to take some good ones this year. If you know what settings are best for a Nikon D5000 when taking fireworks shots, could you kindly leave me a comment? I highly appreciate it!

And oh, to get to the Flammende Sterne, just take the U7 line from Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof going to Ostfildern and get off at any of the three stops: "Kreuzbrunnen",  "Scharnhauser Park" or "Parksiedlung". Hope you find yourself a good spot! Enjoy this year's Flammende Sterne. I am so looking forward to it!

Writing Can Also Be Tough

I can breath a little bit easier now since I just finished the last batch of my experiments for my master thesis. I had a consultation with my direct supervisor before she left for Lebanon to work on a part of her PhD last week and I showed her my outline for the thesis report. I still have a long way to go on the writing part though since I only managed to write some subchapters for each chapter in my report. Looking at how many sub-chapters still need to be written, I realized that I need to write fast if I want to present my master thesis on time. I also need to make an impressive powerpoint presentation, which I will need to show to the examiners via epson projectors, and make a good job at presenting it to them.

Now comes the dilemma of presenting my data in such a way that it will not be confusing to the people reading it. Although I have a specific audience - people who are knowledgeable in wastewater treatment in general and anaerobic digestion in particular - I still want to write it in such a way that even those who don't have a background information on the subject will also be able to understand what my thesis is all about. And I need to be objective and analytical... two things that one needs when writing an effective technical paper. It has been so long since I wrote a technical paper. I have been so used to expressing my opinions through blogging that I am afraid that I won't be able to be as objective as I can be. Indeed, writing can also be tough.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I ♥ Berlin: Craving for Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts is one of the things that I miss about the Philippines. There's a lot of franchise stores there and it was one of my favorite hangout areas way back in high school. There's just something refreshing about the sugar-coated toppings, and the lightly-salted ham and egg and cheese sandwich. 

Sadly, there's no Dunkin' Donuts here in Stuttgart but I was happy to learn that in Berlin, there is! Some 23 stores if I am not mistaken. So during our trip to Berlin last end of April on the occasion of my birthday, we went to a Dunkin' Donuts store located at the Sony Center along Potsdamer Strasse for refreshments before continuing on our sightseeing tour.

The taste hasn't changed... But there are some assortments missing that I think is only available in the Philippines. It was a delight though to select my favorite flavors like Boston Creme, Bavarian Creme, Chocolate Coconut, and Double Chocolate. There are other variants too that my little girl chose and enjoyed eating. It was a wish come true... a Happy Birthday indeed!

When we left Berlin, we also bought a box of donuts as pasalubong for our friends in Stuttgart. I guess no matter where you are in the world, Dunkin' Donuts will always be "pasalubong ng bayan!"

No Pain, No Gain

Gaining weight is so very easy. You just have to eat a lot, sit in the couch the entire day and do nothing. Do this everyday, and you will be sure to gain weight in just a few days. Losing weight on the other hand is another story. It takes determination, discipline and lots of hard work to get your butt moving and allot at least an hour of your time sweating it out. But once you've formed the habit, it is not so difficult anymore.

There are of course lots of aid to help you lose weight. And depending on what you want to achieve: lose fat, build muscles in a specific area, trim down your tummy, thighs and arms, there is a particular exercise that you can use.

Supplements such as protein drink, fat burner, and fat binder pills are also a good idea to reach your goals. But these supplements should always be coupled with an exercise program and a diet plan to be effective. Once you achieve your goal, it would also be wise to continue with the exercise routine so you don't bounce back. Of course, living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to maintain a healthy body.

Friday, August 10, 2012


It was in 2003 when I landed my first job as a technical assistant for a salt company. It wasn't a very big company but it was a good learning experience working with them. The training was also good, and I learned more about salt and it's importance in our daily lives. As a technical assistant, it was my responsibility to assist the marketing team in providing product support, especially the industrial side. It was a good experience to go to different industries to conduct product presentations and all that stuff. I also got to meet the President of the company, a stout Filipino-Chinese man who has good principles, a strong personality, and who chews al capone cigars since he cannot smoke them due to health reasons. He was a strict person when the situation calls for it but very good at negotiating and explained to me the principles of agimat and swerte, agimat being a Filipino word for amulet or charm and swerte, meaning luck and how you can use this two to reach your objectives.

I didn't last long in that company though because I saw that the job entailed more marketing work even on my end. I realized that marketing just isn't the right way for me, since I am not the type of person who asks a lot of questions or is good negotiating. But it was indeed a good learning experience and I am thankful. 

Late Summer Blooms

Dropped by the mini-park in our neighborhood yesterday on my way home from the university yesterday evening. It was still very bright at 6:00PM and my hubby and little girl decided to go out to have some fresh air and for my little girl to have room for moving around and playing. We were meeting there at the mini-park. On the way to the playground, we saw some late summer flowers still in bloom in their bright yellow, red and purple colors I couldn't resist to take some photos. May daughter was also very excited. She always refers to flowers as sources of nectar that the bees and butterfly would "eat" for food. It's good to know that she is learning something from the Kindergarten. :)

Anyway, here are some of the shots that I took yesterday:

These yellows and purples are perfect to grow in the garden. When I get my own garden, I will surely add these to add color and life to the garden. The bees and butterflies would be very happy too.

I do think that late summer blooms are pretty... Even though their petals start to fall and they begin to wither, there is still beauty in them. Don't you think so? And yes, I managed to take a shot of one of the bees but I think I need a macro lens to give justice to the bee. :) 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Piano for my Little Girl?

My little girl doesn't know how to play the piano yet but I can tell that she is very interested in music. Her first ever piano? A small toy piano which she got as a 3rd birthday gift. When she feels like it, she would touch the piano keys and try to play a melody and sing along with it. Maybe, I can teach her some notes once she understands about the do-re-mi. Come September, she will be attending the music class at the Kindergarten.

Should she want to seriously learn to play the piano, we would of course support her so she can nurture her talent. Playing the piano would entail of course a lot of practice. I know that getting a brand-new piano, with fine quality is hard to get by so we wouldn't hesitate to settle for an old and used piano, yet that which has been restored to its original glory. 

It is not easy to find finely restored pianos so that one must be careful and make a thorough research on which company to engage with. Trustworthy dealers such as Steinways and Sons is the best place to start. They offer various services, including Steinway Piano Restoration among others. Using only genuine Steinway parts, owners are assured that their pianos are still 100% Steinway. It is also noteworthy to say that their factory in Hamburg and the Steinway Hall in Berlin also offer restoration services. Now that is something to take note of, just in case.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Proud of My Little Artist

My little girl loves to draw... She draws just about anything and most of her drawings even have a story to tell. Sometimes she would ask me to draw something for her, like animals and then she would draw in her own characters to complete the story. On most days, she draws everything by herself, because we encourage her to explore and be creative and because I have housechores to do. Hehe!

One day, she drew something on paper which she gave to our Aunt friend. Too bad I forgot to take a photo of it. It was really nice. She drew a rainbow, a hill with a house and a woman who is on her way from the hospital going back home. She even asked me how the name of her Auntie-Lola is written so she can write it herself.

And here is another drawing which she made recently:

She drew first a hill, and (from L-R) a house pet, flowers, a house, herself with the long hair, me, her "big brother", her daddy, and the garden with a playground consisting of a set of swings and a slide. In the middle is a flower and the scribbles are supposed to be the names of her friends who she invited to come over to play. I guess the photo shows how much my girl wanted to have a house pet. See the dog tied on a leash and the little girl with the long hair holding the leash? Maybe when she is bigger and can take bigger responsibilities, she can have a pet dog. And I guess my little girl is also longing to have other siblings in the house. Lately, she has been drawing not only three human figures but four, the fourth one being a brother or a sister. 

Ain't she a good artist? I try nurture her talent by allowing her to be creative and encourage her by telling her she is doing a great job when she is finished drawing something. I sometimes show her how something is drawn and she will later copy what I drew. I also allow her to play some coloring games on the internet. There are pretty good websites that offer crafts and coloring activities for kids. Our favorites:, and

I am one proud Mommy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Radiall Connects

Today, we enjoy the comforts provided by technology: television, internet, computers, mobile and smart phones to name a few. These devices have interconnect components in them that allow us to enjoy what we call "interactive mobility". Thanks to companies that produce such components, and who are continuing to develop technology that will benefit not only industries, but also medical technology, aerospace, defense and telecommunication.

I was browsing through the newly launced website of Radiall, a global company that innovates interconnect components and more, at and was immediately impressed by the clean, blue theme and the easily navigable pages. I also love their company motto: "Our Most Important Connection is With You.", which is visible in every page of the website. It gets the message across that people are important in their business process.

A new feature of the website that is very helpful to the customers is the Product Tools which helps the users or customers find products and specifications, allows them to build their own unique part according to  specifications, find replacements for parts, and download information.

Radiall has a wide variety of interconnect components that cater to a wide spectrum of customers. Their innovation and commitment to quality has enabled them to provide customers with reliable products like antennas, fiber optics, microwave components, multipin connectors, RF cable assemblies, RF coaxial connectors, RF & microwave switches, and space qualified components.

If you need quality interconnect components, visit and find out more. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Cupcake Boutique

I have read some months ago on some of my friends' Facebook statuses about The Cupcake Boutique. They are all praises and quite excited to share about this cupcake shop and I too was curious about it. Since I was busy with my Master thesis, I never really found the time to visit it with my family or friends until one day when I had to bring my daughter to the dentist for a dental check-up. We only chanced to pass by after my daughter's appointment and was really enticed by the front of the shop. It was so inviting and since it was a quiet afternoon, I decided to stop by for coffee and have a taste of their cupcakes. It was also some sort of reward to my daughter for being so brave at the dentist, she didn't even show any sign of being afraid.

I find the interior design very chic, charming and at the same time relaxing, with the main color in pink. I love how the cupcakes are arranged to form flowers on the walls. It may be a bit too feminine but I guess that is the target market - girls and women. It is a haven for those seeking refuge after a stressful day at work or on those lazy afternoons when you have nothing else to do but read a book or on days when you are craving for something sweet and chocolatey.

We both ordered chocolate cupcakes. Mine is the one with the chocolate and cherry, their version of the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (black forest cake). My daughter had the chocolate candy on top (I forgot what it was called). The chocolate cupcake was delicious, soft and moist, which reminded me of my mom's chocolate moist cake. I thought that there was too much cream topping though, which my daughter didn't like so I ended up eating half of her cupcake. 

It was a good experience for me and my little girl, we sort of had a little mother-daughter bonding. Now I know a place where I can meet up with my girlfriends for some coffee, good cake and a long chitchat. :)

Visit The Cupcake Boutique at Hirschstrasse 16, 70173 Stuttgart. You can find more information at their website at

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