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Of Chandeliers and Lights


When you think of art for your home you probably think of pictures for the wall, figurines to display on accent tables and floor sculptures that can draw one's attention to an otherwise unnoticeable space. The lighting options you choose for the various areas and purposes for each room of your home can actually be considered functional art. Some of the most outstanding examples of artistic lighting can be found at places such as Crescent Harbor Modern, where the contemporary light fixtures are magnificently stunning. 

Simplistic elegance is a characteristic of modern, contemporary and transitional decors. Simplistic does not translate into unnoticeable. Some of the contemporary floor lamps and wall sconces that are simple in design make quite an impact on the atmosphere of the room. The shape of the lamp base can have a sculptural design that would rival any piece of free standing art. If you want to inject a burst of energy into a modern decor, you can do so with a funky table lamp that is sure to be a conversation piece.

Chandeliers and pendant lights are available in such a variety of artistically interesting designs that you can use them to make a style statement in every room of your home. The foyer and hallway of your home may be an area where you tend to forget how influential the lighting design can be. In some instances, the only opportunity you have to make a decorative statement in the hallway is with the lighting.

Halloween/Trick or Treat Events for Kids this 2013


I want to take my daughter and hopefully her cousins too to a trick or treat event for Halloween this year. So I searched the net for events we can go to and here are some of the events I gathered so far.

Cartoon Network's Irregular Halloween AdventureDate: October 31, Thursday
Venue: SM Megamall Event Center, Mandaluyong City

Get 1 ticket to Cartoon Network's Irregular Halloween Adventure with a minimum P500 purchase (single-receipt) of any Cartoon Network merchandise from participating Toy Kingdom and Toy Kingdom Express branches from October 1-31. Each ticket entitles 1 child and 1 adult to the event.
For more details, visit Cartoon Network Asia Facebook page.

Araneta Center's Trick or Treasure
October 27, 2013

It’s time to bring out your favorite Disney costumes and head over to the Araneta Center for a special Trick or Treasure Halloween this October 27! It’s going to be one big Halloween party for kids at the Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza Activity Areas!

Go trick-or-treating with cosplayers, be amazed at the bubble show, get your faces painted, learn how to make spooky artwork, and more!

For a minimum single-receipt purchase of P300 at any Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza establishment, you can already participate in all the activities!

Loads of exciting activities, fun games, and surprises are in store for kids as the Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza will be transformed into a treasure trove of games and prizes. You can also dress up your kids in their favorite Disney characters to get the chance to win in the costume contest!

The Araneta Center’s Trick or Treasure Halloween will be from 10:00AM to 6:00PM. For more updates and announcement on events at the Araneta Center, visit www.aranetacenter.net and www.facebook.com/AranetaCenter.
Spooktacular Halloween at Starmall Las Pinas
October 27, Sunday, 1:00 PM onwards
Food Court, Starmall Las Pinas
Kids 3-12 years old can join the mall-wide trick or treat and costume contest. See also what the future holds for you at the Psychic Fest from 1 to 6 PM. For details, call 874-8805 or view their website or Facebook page.
The Crazy Halloween Carnival at Robinsons Place Manila
October 27, Sunday
Robinsons Place Manila
For a minimum P500 single receipt transaction made at any Robinson's Manila retail outlets from October 11 to 27, kids aged 4 to 12 can register and join The Crazy Halloween Carnival from 10 AM to 4 PM. Activities include a carnival game booth, spooky magic show, photo booths, games and prizes. For details, visit their website orFacebook page.

KKK Restaurant @SM Megamall: Authentic Pinoy Dishes


One Sunday after church, my family decided to go to the mall to look around and eat lunch. This small family bonding activity is actually special because it is Bea’s first time at the mall.
Anyway the original plan is for us to at have lunch at Shakeys but my husband is not so fond of pizza and pasta so I suggested we try other nearby restos there at the basement of SM Megamall such as the Luk Yuen and this new resto (well for me) called KKK. The resto is very colorful, has interesting interiors and menu so we decided to try it.

Do you also feel some anxiety whenever you try a new resto? The feeling that it might be a wrong choice and maybe we should settle on familiar resto and dishes? I had that feeling with KKK but it turned out I was wrong.

As soon as we are seated, a waitress handed us the menu and then we were given complimentary chicharon and vinegar as appetizers. It was nice because my daughter is complaining of hunger at that time and the chicharon kept her occupied as she love this pinoy snack. The chicharon is crisp and not so salty and the vinegar is perfect as it is a bit sweet. I am guessing it is sukang Iloko.

We ordered Sinigang sa Salmon (Php 290) the KKK rice (Php 150), lechon kawali in tausi leaves and sauce (Php290), sisig Pampanga (Php190), and fresh fruit juices (Php75 each).


I apologized for the lone pic as it obviously failed to capture the yumminess of the dishes we ordered. Partly because I am so busy attending to my very active daughter, Sophie and the crying Baby Bea. Anyway, I also need to learn food photography (or food porn).


I fid everything delicious and affordable. Their servings though (especially the rice) is not so huge. I also like the claim that they prepare their dishes in authentic Pinoy way. I will be glad to recommend this resto and I think we will come back soon.  

Official List of Philippine Holidays for 2014


In my dream world, everyday is a holiday. so the news that President Aquino signed the document that list down the official list of holidays for 2014 excited me (lol). Good to know there are lot of rest days and family bonding time to look forward to next year.

List of Philippine Holidays in 2014:
Regular holidays
* New Year’s Day – January 1 (Wednesday)
* Araw ng Kagitingan – April 9 (Wednesday)
* Maundy Thursday – April 17
* Good Friday – April 18
* Labor Day – May 1 (Thursday)
* Independence Day – June 12 (Thursday)
* National Heroes Day – August 25 (Last Monday of August)
* Bonifacio Day – November 30 (Sunday)
* Christmas Day – December 25 (Thursday)
* Rizal Day – December 30 (Tuesday)
Special non-working days
* Chinese New Year – January 31 (Friday)
* Black Saturday – April 19
* Ninoy Aquino Day – August 21 (Thursday)
* All Saints Day – November 1 (Saturday)
* December 24 (Wednesday) and December 26 (Friday)
* Last Day of the Year – December 31 (Wednesday)
Special Holiday for all schools
* EDSA Revolution Anniversary – February 25 (Tuesday)
National holidays for Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha shall be declared in accordance with the Islamic calendar (Hijra).

Have You Tried: Jugnos Monster Pizza


Are you craving for pizza and want it somehow different from the usual Shakeys, Pizza Hut or Greenwich- why not try Jugnos Monster Pizza? My officemate introduced me and our whole office to this pizza years ago and we all loved it so it is one of the regular orders whenever we have celebrations at the office. Our household has also become a regular customer.

It is a must-try because it is simply very tasty. Each bite is bursting with flavor and it comes in four different sauces.  Another thing that makes it unique is they are offering it in huge party size (20 x 20 inches) that is said to be good for 6 to 8 persons.

Their pizza also comes in smaller sizes and one can choose from different flavors such as beef and mushroom monster, all-veggie monster, monster special, etc. I realized we always order the monster special so next time, I wish to try the all-veggie monster and the cheesy garlic.


Their monster size is affordable (Php448 for classic flavors and php590 for signature flavors). One can also add extra toppings for additional costs. You can also customize the pizza and request the number of slices you want. You can also have four different flavors in one pizza.

I don’t think they have an actual resto because their store in Mandaluyong which is near our house is very small. Their delivery hotline via text is 0906-305-1132.

They offer free delivery for a minimum order of Php250 and are open for 24 hours but their delivery areas are limited: Ortigas, San Juan, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Baclaran and Pasig

For more info about monster pizza, check out their website:

Way to Find Great Deals & Save Money



Almost everyone especially homemakers like me dig discounts and promotions because it is an opportunity to save money. It is such a great feeling to know that you were able to buy something you like but did not shell out huge amounts of money.
 
Thankfully, the web has become a haven for discount divas because there are so many group buying sites out there that offer almost all kinds of products/items you can think of at a special price or rate. Yes there are Uber Coupons everywhere.
 
For residents of USA and Canada, a one stop site where they can choose coupons is UberCouponCodes 

What Happened During The Last Trimester Of My Pregnancy



Last March, when I am 32 weeks pregnant, my mind is happily set to the plan that I would give birth via caesarian section around the month of May. So when my husband and I went to my ob-gynecologist for the regular check-up one Saturday, I confirmed with her our preferred date for the CS operation. Little did I know that I would give birth two weeks after that.

It started when my ob remarked that my baby seems small for 32 weeks. She said my tummy is big and the fundic height () is in normal range but she thinks it is mostly water. Actually she had been telling me since past visits to eat more, specifically add more protein in my diet and to drink 2 glasses of milk a day to make the baby bigger. I think I did just that (although not consistent with the 2 glasses of milk) and I did gained weight but she said the baby is still small. I am not sure if the fact that I am always tired because of work and other matters contributed to that.

My first baby is also quite small (5.5 pounds then) and she said that maybe it is a gene thing. But she still required me to undergo another ultrasound.

I am quite nervous but still not worried when I went for the ultrasound. But what happened after left me dumbfounded.  The OB-sonologist called my doctor to inform my condition. I actually forgot what it is called but she said something is wrong with my umbilical cord- so the nutrients and oxygen can’t pass freely from me to the baby. Thus the reason why the baby is almost three weeks behind in terms of height and weight and it is called intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR).

My husband and I were instructed to go to the delivery room right away and there I learned that I might need to give birth right away. When I asked the resident doctor the reason why - she told me that it might be the best thing to do so we can save the baby. 

Apparently that calls for an emergency because there is a risk for my baby to die while inside my tummy. Just imagine the shock and fear that I felt that moment. I felt helpless because the doctors and nurses seem so sure that I need to deliver right away. I felt so nervous that when they check my blood pressure, it was unnaturally high (I think 140/110). That is unusual because my BP is always between 90 to 120 range. Anyway they told me to relax and my bp went to normal soon after. They then interviewed me about my medical history. And I was given the first shot of steroids- needed for my baby’s lungs to mature faster. 

Then I underwent a non-stress test (NST), in this procedure they forced my tummy to contract to see if it has an adverse effect with the baby’s heartbeat. If they see that the baby’s heartbeat weakens in every contraction, it means the baby needs to be delivered asap. Thankfully, the results are very positive as my baby seems okay and can cope with the contractions. I also have no risk factors because I am not suffering from any diseases (no high BP, no diabetes, no infections).

So my OB called to say that I can go home but with the instructions that I need to go back very early the next day to get the second shot of steroids and to further discuss my condition.  The decision of my OB relieved my worries a bit and I glady went home that night.

What happened the day after? To be continued…

Hoping To Take Stamp Collecting Seriously


I admire people who collect things. The obsession and fascination to a certain item and the choice of things to collect says a lot about a person’s character. Anyway, the reason, I am saying this is because I recently I felt this urge to collect stamps again. Yes, I actually have a small stamp collection that I started when I was in high school. I got interested in it when my eldest sister gave me her stamp collection.

Back when postal mail is still ‘in,’ I would await letters from my sisters who works abroad because I wanted to take the stamps. When sending letters through postal mail became too tiresome and long (because of the advances in technology), I kind of forgot my stamp collection too. In fact, my small stamp notebook kept in one of our cabinets hasn’t seen the light of day for years.

Out of the blue, I wanted to start and take this hobby seriously again but I don’t know where to start. In fact, as of this writing, I still have to dig that stamp notebook. Also, I think it is so hard to be a stamp collector today. Finding a person to send mail to is actually challenging.  An officemate even said that she had never sent a snail mail before.

Well I guess if I really want it, I need to exert effort so I’ll try to update my stamp collection little by little. For those like me who are passionate about stamps, I saw this group that can be of great help:



One Afternoon at Work


Today at work, I find myself struggling with what they call “writer’s block”. Okay maybe a bad case of laziness or boredom or maybe depression because I don’t really believe in writer’s block. Whichever way, the point is, I am finding it hard to even start that new writing task.

I have been assigned to write an e-book about overseas employment and as I stare at the almost empty piece of paper (I mean blank Word doc), I suddenly realized that my new project is actually my first in this company. I was hired to write a guidebook about overseas employment. Now I am doing another one just like it, only now it is an ebook version and this one will be much shorter and more polished. 

I start to wonder if it is some kind of premonition that it is going to be my last project here as “resignation” seems like a sweet word to me for some time now. I also find myself digging for the copy of that document I have written seven years ago.

I recognize the changes in my writing style and I am glad because I believe things have improved. The book is written like a novel and it is much too long. I am doing a shorter version now. Before, I was given six months to finish the book. Now, I have one week. 

Well, I do hope to finish this new book soon and I hope to do it well, just in case it is going to be my last project here (lol).

Clean, Healthy Home Made Easy




My sister used to work in the Middle East so when she came home she brought beautiful carpets as pasalubong. She said carpets are very affordable in the Middle East whereas it can cost a fortune here. So I am happy to receive carpets from her because it can really transform an ordinary home from boring to classy and stylish.

The only problem with carpets is that they are hard to clean especially since my 3-year old daughter is at a stage when she loves making a mess. Almost every day, our carpet would have stains from milk, chocolates, candies and others.  Cleaning it up is quite a chore because we don’t have a vacuum cleaner. Of course keeping the house clean is  one way to ensure the health of the house dwellers.

I wish the carpet cleaning Cochrane is also available here because it would save homemakers like me a lot of time. This business based in Canada offer quality home services which include  carpet, rug, upholstery and furnace cleaning in Airdrie and Calgary, Canada. They boast that the products they use for cleaning such as cleaning agents and deodorizers are safe. Folks from Canada who want to make their homes clean and healthy can check out Alberta Pro carpet cleaning solutions.

Solution For Water Main And Sewer Problems



Pullini Watermain & Sewer Excavators are a family owned and operated business. They provide all their services; cement, asphalt, and expediting, in house, not contracting out to others who may not give their clients the quality and prompt service they deserve.

They are ready and equipped to handle all your emergencies, any time of day, 24/7. With an experienced and professional crew, you can be assured they will provide you with the best service possible. All work adheres to the strict codes put forth by the NYC DOT, NYC DOB, NYC DEP as well as the Parks Department. 

They will be sure to procure all appropriate permits, affidavits and inspections needed for each job. Providing plumbing, water main and sewer services for Brooklyn several of the surrounding boroughs; Manhattan, Queens and the Bronxs, Pullini Watermain & Excavators will bring highly skilled and experienced workers to every job. They will be professional and punctual as they know your time is precious and emergencies need prompt attention.

The commercial services they provide are: • Leak detection • Camera line inspection • Sewer line replacement • Line detection • Water jetting.

If you have a Brooklyn water main problem or sewer issues elsewhere in Queens, the Bronx or Manhattan, contact Pullini Waterman & Sewer Excavators for more information or to schedule an appointment. Don’t wait until it’s an emergency situation, call today.

Easter Activities for Children




Holy week is almost here and as much as it is a time for reflection, it has become the best time for vacation and relaxation. And that is what my family will be doing this year. We are again opting for a staycation because long travel is not advisable for me at this stage (33 weeks pregnant). 
For this year though, I think my daughter is ready to take part in various Easter activities so I check out some of the Easter events at the mall. 

Araneta Center’s Hop, Up, and Away Easter Fair
Easter Sunday, March 31
Venue: Smart Araneta Coliseum’s Quadrant C Activity Area will be from 3:00PM – 7:00PM

The entire Araneta Coliseum Parking just outside the Smart Araneta Coliseum will be transformed into a fairytale Easter venue complete with balloons, giant Easter eggs, and more!
Entrance is free for everyone who wants to come into the fair grounds. To take part in some of the activities and get freebies, just show a P300 single or accumulated receipt purchase from March 15-31 before entering the fair grounds.!

You and your kids can also have your photos taken at the Easter display at Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, and Farmers Plaza from March 31 until April 15!

Fun in the Sun! Easter Party at Shangri-La Plaza
March 31, Sunday, 1:30 to 4 pm
Venue: Activity Center, EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
Price: P500 (Registration is at the Shangri-La Plaza Administration Office at level 5 from Mondays to Saturdays, 11 am to 5:30 pm; inclusive of gift pack)
Activities: Egg hunt, games, shows, coloring activities, snacks
For inquiries and ticket reservations, call (02)370-2590 or (02)370-2597 or visit www.shangrila-plaza.com.

A Mega Easter Village at SM Megamall
March 31, Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm
Venue: Event Center, EDSA corner Doña Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City
Price: To register, a single or accumulated receipt worth P800 (valid only if dated from March 24 to 31) from any SM Megamall store must be presented at the SM Event Center. The fee is inclusive of a loot bag, guest pass for two at the Mega Easter Village with the Sylvanian Families, free play at the Sylvanian Families game booths, one picture at the photo booth and more.
Activities: Egg hunt, bracelet making, meet and greet with the Sylvanian Families 
For inquiries and reservations, call (02)633-5042 or visit SM Megamall's Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/smmegamall.
Egg-citing Easter Weekend at Fun Ranch
March 31, Sunday, 2 to 5 pm
Venue: Fun Ranch Ortigas, Frontera Verde Ortigas Avenue Corner C5, Pasig City
Price: P500 per child, inclusive of Ride All You Can ticket, snacks, food cart treats, loot bag, kiddie activities, Easter show and Easter egg hunt; and P250 per adult, inclusive of snacks, food cart treats, all activities and Easter show
For inquiries and reservations, call (02)706-3031.
Hoppy Hunt at the Rockwell Tent
March 31, Sunday, Time: 2 to 5 pm
Venue: Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Drive Corner Estrella Street Rockwell Center, Makati
Price: P550 for one child plus one adult and P200 for one adult
Activities: Egg hunt, games, program, activities and more
For inquiries and reservations, call (02)898-1702 local 2016 or visit the Power Plant Mall Concierge Desk and Mall Admin Office.

Are You Joining Earth Hour this 2013?


The Earth hour this year will be this Saturday, March 23 at 8:30 pm. I always try to participate in this activity every year because it is an opportunity to do something worthy very easily. One hour in the dark is nothing if one thinks of all the energy that will be saved and the environmental awareness it will create. 

For this year, I want to strongly involve my young daughter in this activity. This year’s theme is going beyond the earth hour. It means supporting their campaign doesn’t stop after the hour of turning lights off. It is now a challenge to adopt a lifestyle that will be friendly to the mother earth.
 

I am responding to this challenge in my own little way by striving to do the following:
  • Recycling papers.
    Segregate our wastes.  
  • Try to lower our electricity bills.
  • Try to use cloth diapers for my second baby.
    Try indoor gardening
Come to think of it, all the earth –friendly ways I listed would actually be more beneficial for me. 

Summer Programs/Workshops for Kids 2013


For a while now, I have been busy looking for summer programs and workshops near our area. I think participating in workshops/activities is good way to maximize the summer breaks of children. Instead of watching TV or playing all day, children can widen their knowledge and interest with educational activities.

So here are some of the summer programs I have researched and currently considering for my nieces and daughter:

McDo Kiddie Crew Workshop
The registration for the McDo Kiddie Crew is ongoing until April 30, 2013 and I already registered my three nieces for this workshop. This is for kids 6 to 12 years old but the store manager I talked to said that they accept kids as young as 4 years old. Jollibee also has a program similar to this.

The workshop fee is very sulit because for only Php550, a child would get to have 5 consecutive days of 2-hour workshop. The fee includes workshop materials (T-shirt, cap, ID lace, bag, workshop materials, graduation certificate) and meal.
Workshop Schedules: April 1-5, April 8-12, April 15-19, April 22-26, April 29-May 3, May 6-10, May 13-17, May 20-24, May 27-31

Learn more about McDo Kiddie Crew here: http://www.mcdonalds.com.ph/home/featured/kiddie_crew_2013

Museo Pambata's Art Workshops
Museo Pambata always has these fun educational events for kids but I have never been or taken my daughter or nieces to one because it is quite far from our place. They also have art workshops this summer but I don't think I can enroll my nieces here because of the location. Anyway for those who are interested, here are the art workshop schedules of Museo Pambata for summer 2013:

Museo Pambata's Arts Cool 2013
Enrollment starts February 11, 2013 and ends on April 3, 2013. Classes start on April 12, 2013.

Basic Visual Arts
For children aged 4 to 6 years
Fee: Php 4,500 for six (6) sessions
Dates and Time: April 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25 from 9 AM to 12 noon
Facilitator: Hubert B. Fucio

Advanced Visual Arts
For children aged 7 to 12 years
Fee: Php 4,500 for six (6) sessions
Dates and Time: April 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25 from 9 AM to 12 noon
Facilitator: Marc Vincent P. Cosico

Creative Writing
For children aged 12 to 18 years
Fee: Php 3,500 for four (4) sessions
Dates and Time: April 12, 16, 18, and 20 from 9 AM to 12 noon
Facilitator: Genaro Gojo Cruz

Creative Theater
For children aged 8 to 12 years
Fee: Php 4,500 for ten (10) sessions
Dates and Time: April 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 and 26 from 9 AM to 12 noon
Facilitator: Sipat Lawin Ensemble

Learn more about Museo Pambata's Arts Cool Programs 2013: http://www.museopambata.org/artscool2013.html

Bert Lozada Swimming School
I think knowing how to swim is an essential life skill. Aside from being an activity that can improve overall health, it can also instill discipline. So I am planning to enroll my daughter to a swimming program this summer and I am considering Bert Lozada swimming school. As indicated in their website (http://www.bertlozadaswimschool.com), they have swimming courses for all ages and a course usually includes 10 sessions. The fee (Php3000 to Php5000) varies per location. Their summer 2013 swimming programs starts on April 1. They can be contacted via (02)-563-5532.

Musikgarten Manila
I once enrolled my daughter for 4 sessions of their toddler music class and I find the teacher and all the staff very friendly. My daughter really enjoyed the music and activities. They also offer voice and instruments lessons and I want to enroll my daughter for a one-on one piano class. They are soon opening a branch in Robinsons Galleria.

You can learn more about their program here: www.musikgartenmanila.com

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