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Monday, July 17, 2017

12 Things We Did for Our Daughter's Birthday

From the previous years, we always go on a vacation on our daughter's birthday.  We always timed our trip on the week when she celebrates her birthday but this year, we  kind of slacked on planning it and decided that we should just  do  small  road trips  here and there and save  the money for next year's  vacation.  We want to visit my family in the Philippines and we also  wish and dream of visiting New Zealand.  Anyway, here are 12 things that did during our daughter's birthday month.

1.  Watched a 4th of July Parade
The 4th of July parade is always done ahead at our city especially if the 4th falls on a weekday  and this year is no different.  Seeing   their friends be part of the  pro-life float encouraged my kids to be part of it too next year.  We will see how to join but it's definitely something they wants to do.
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2.  Watched the Firework With Family Friends
We always watch the fireworks with  the Howells but this year  they went for a vacation so we joined two families from our church and school to watch it with us.  The kids had an absolute blast to be able to watch  it with their friends.

3.  Planted a Magnolia Tree
To make her 12th  birthday as memorable as possible, we planted a magnolia tree  at our  yard.  I know that it is not something you expect to  do on  birthdays but I thought  she will always remember this tree as long as we live here.  

4.  Water Balloon Fight and Played in the Rain
Thanks to my son for thinking about this activity.  He did all the preparation for this activity and it turned out to be a great time for both of them.  They even played in the rain as it came down towards the end of their play so it was a big plus.

5.  Volunteered at School
Even though it was her birthday, I felt beaming with  pride  as she decided to go to school and volunteered in preparation to the upcoming Vacation Bible School.  From the previous years, it's either she is attending the  VBS or we were somewhere vacationing so she never experienced doing this type of outreach program.  I am  so happy to see her step up  her game.  She  was also happy that she did it because she get to be with some of her friends while doing it so it was memorable for her birthday.
6.  Visited Columbiana Ohio
OUr little  trip to Columbiana, Ohio was random and unplanned.  MY husband wanted to look at Saturn Sky and we went for a ride with him.  Although he did not get the car as it was sold 10 minutes before we could get there, we still had a great time looking around in that quaint little town.  

7.  Visited Indiana, PA
Ordinary trips can be extra ordinary if you do it with loved ones right?  This road trip was planned but not for the reason of sigh seeing, we went there because my husband  wanted to look at another Saturn Sky after a disappointing result of his quest down in Ohio.  We are always game when it comes to  taking trips because  we get to see places we have  never been to before so it is exciting to see something new every time.  I should have not agreed to purchase  it that way we could have taken more road trips but I wanted my husband to have his dream car.  After all, he deserved it.  Daughter and I had a great time looking around  while the boys were enjoying  looking at cars.

8.  Went  to See the New  River Gorge Bridge
We live in West Virginia but we have never seen the  New River Gorge bridge.  Even my husband hasn't seen it and he   grew up here. It takes 4 hours to drive downstate  that's why we have never been there.   Anyway, we finally went and see it and glad that we did, it was gorgeous out there.

9.  Camped in the Backyard
Why go to a camp ground if you can do it in your won backyard?  I know that's not a real thing , yo]u would say, and it doesn't really  give you that real camping feeling but it's good enough for us.  It was special because  we did for  our daughter's  birthday and she loved it!

10.  Played Tennis
We play tennis regularly but to do it on her birthday is  special  as well.  We were always somewhere vacationing on her previous birthday but this year, we were home so went to play tennis  after  doing  little special things for her.  Tennis is something we all enjoyed playing.
11.  Shopping Trip At Macy's and TJMaxx
I realized that my little girl is no longer a baby and she is turning into a little lady so her likes are changing  each time.  She told us that she just want some new outfits for her birthday so we  took her  shopping at Macy's in Robinson since our Macy's here in the area  have closed already.  She also love shopping at TJMaxx so we took her there too.  I love shopping with my daughter because he is a smart shopper.  She not only  look at the clothing but the price  that comes with it.  We are not rich so when we shop, we always  remember how much the things cost and she is very good at that.  
12.  Devoured Some Sushi
Eating sushi is  quite  an ordinary thing for these two but we went out and eat at our favorite Sushi  restaurant in the area  because that was what she was craving for  on her special day.  I was going to cook at home but I did not object  because  that gave me  a break from cooking as well.  What made this a different from our previous visits was that, they tried the  Love Boat Sushi, it was a  combination of different sushi.  My husband said that since it was her birthday that they should  try  this one.  
We also gave her some  random but  kind of unique things like the 12 wooden roses.   Instead  of fresh roses, I thought this would   stay longer and she could keep it as a souvenir/ remembrance when  she turned  12.  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

#BirthdayPresents #THankfulThursday #MonthlyFamilyPhoto #BeautyBox5

I love the message that SparkPeople  sent me during my birthday, it's inspiring.  Sometimes, we forget  what matters the most and get distracted  with so many little petty things that we neglect what is important.  
I also love  this quote from Buddha.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him. Buddha
Now that I am older, I do appreciate every moment that I get to spend with my family and friends especially my husband and children.  My world  revolves with them 24/7 .  My goal  is to spend as much time with them while I am still given the chance.  I know that  they will have their own lives  soon and while they still at home, I would love to spend mine with them .  I wish  that my husband  could retire now so we can  enjoy spending time with each other  as much as I'd like to but since he is the only one providing for our family, it is not feasible at this time.  
I love homemade personalized cards from my kids, they are the best.  I compiled them in  scrapbooks or albums.  The sweet little notes  makes my heart  melt, it's rewarding.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored. Earl Nightingale

The kids got me  this  dehydrator for my birthday.  They are so sweet.  I haven't tried it yet since we are still so busy with our fence  projects but I will get to it once I have the time.
They always  make fun of me when I open gifts because I don't tear the wrapper .  I always  op\en them carefully lol.
I didn't even know that they are going to get me this.  I mentioned this before to my daughter that it would be nice to have a dehydrator.
We had a little  shopping trip at Robinson mall on my birthday.
My husband gave me this set of matching  bag and wallet.
It matches perfectly with my shoes, it's awesome!
Thanks Hon, I love them!
I took a short video of the  card that my daughter made for me.  It's a progression of a  rose flower.  I thought it was really neat.  My son's message was great too, very tpouching.

A good friend of mine from Japan  sent me a  box full of Japanese goodies, they are all yummy and kawaii!  Thanks a lot Clang and Sasaki family!  Clang is one of the  many bloggers I have met online but few of the ones that really became  great friends with me.  We haven't met in person yet but  our friendship grow stronger even though she no longer blogs.  I get updates on their family's lives on her Instagram and Facebook pages.
Another very good friend of mine who also sent me presents is Dhemz from Texas.  I also met this wonderful lady  in my early days of blogging and became friends with her and  her family for life.  We met personally in Disney World  five years ago  when we came back here from Korea and  we also visited  and traveled with them in Texas.  We can't wait to  meet with them again and visit their new home and see their new baby, we're excited!  It's great to met  people thru blogging and become friends with them for life.  

The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when. Simon Sinek
Last but not the least is this month's goodies from Beauty Box 5.  It contains Jesse's Girl liquid eyeliner, Prestige Cosmetics my biggest lashes mascara, Did Hair's  jeweled hair tie set, Larizy's lip pencil, and Coastal Scents' reveled 3 palette sampler.  
I mentioned in my post that I am embracing  the color purple  now that I am in my mid 40s.  BeautyBox5 must have sensed that and I got this eye shadow sampler.   Check out BeautyBox5, it's a fun subscription since you get 5 different products every month.  Most of it are full sizes too.  
I think purple is actually a beautiful color.  I wasn't fond of it before  but I am starting to like it.  

And for the month of June, here is our family photo.  So far, we haven't failed to take   a family photo each month since January so hooray for that.

Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the product/s mentioned  to help me  facilitate this review but  opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

#Birthday: 44 and Lovin It

Today marks  half of my lifetime (just kidding).  Who knows  when is my time  but  for now, I turned 44 and loving it.  Here's 44 facts about me, timeline, and other aspirations.
  1. I was born and raised in the southern part of the Philippines. 
  2. I am the 2nd child of nine (I don't know how my Mom survived with 9 kids, lol)
  3. I have three brothers and 5 sisters.  
  4. I put myself in high school by working as a house helper.  My parents did not have  enough resources to send me to high school.  
  5. A super typhoon Sisang  wiped away everything my parents  have worked for through the years (home and everything).  We have never seen our home again and what was left to us were the clothes we were wearing before the typhoon hit.   
  6. Graduated High School in March of 1992.  
  7. I worked for 5 years after high school then saved some money  to pay for my college
  8. Graduated college in March of 2001.  I was a working student in school.  My savings alone would have not survived.  I spent my savings during my first year then the second year I was almost broke.  God have always taken care of me, I got thru the scholarship in school that pay  part of my tuition and also gave me free  food and lodging.   Earned a Bachelors Degree in Commerce Major in Management
  9. I got employed  in the school where I attended one semester before I graduated.  
  10. I pursued my master's degree while I was  working an office job in school.  Working and  studying  is  hard but I was used to it since I was in  high school so it was just normal although during the last year of my  graduate  school, it was tough writing  my thesis and working at the same time.
  11. Earned my master's degree  in March of 2003.   During that time, I was engaged to my ex-boyfriend, now my husband.  He walked with me on  the stage during my graduation.  MBA Major in Financial Management
  12. Five months after my graduation, I got married, I was 30.
  13. One week before my wedding, my father suddenly passed away, it was a big blow and let down.  We already  scheduled our civil  wedding so despite  of him passing, we went thru a very simple  ceremony a  week after  his funeral.  
  14. My husband and I met  thru an online dating site.  One of my student assistants in  the office  told me about Asian Matchmaker.  I laughed and told her that I don't have time for it since I was very busy writing my  paper.   She told me she would me set it up, she basically did it for me, created my profile and everything.  Ruth  was my guardian angel, she did it really good for me and I owe her  the good life I have now with my husband.
  15. Even though we were married, hubby and I lived in two  different  countries.  I was still in my former country trying to  process my  papers of coming here and he was finishing his  military tour in Guam.
  16. One year and two months after our civil wedding, hubby  and I  got married again but this time in church.  He  thought it would be nice to have my family and friends  witness our wedding since nobody was with us  when we first got married.  Because of the  circumstance  of my father passing unexpectedly, we only had  two godparents with us during our civil wedding.
  17. After our wedding, God blessed us with a precious gift, I finally conceived after waiting and trying for over a year.  
  18. I came in the US in May of  2005, I was 7 months pregnant  with our first child.  
  19. I gave birth to our first born two months after I arrived here in the US, I was 32.  
  20. Nine months after that, I got pregnant again with our son, I wasn't sure if I would be a good Mom to two children but I think I am doing just fine.  
  21. We bought our first home in 2006.
  22. I never  drove  growing up but I learned  to drive a stick shift before coming to the US.  
  23. I got my driving license here in the US  in 2006.  It's been  eleven years since I have been a licensed driver  but I only drove  twice after having it lol.  Yes, I am scared to drive, I admit  it.
  24. We relocated to South Korea  in 2008 for my husband's last tour in the Navy.
  25. We visited my family back home in 2009.  That was  my family's first time meeting our children.  
  26. 3 months after our  visit to them, I was informed that my eldest brother  passed away due to a motorcycle accident, it was a tough pill to swallow.  We went back there for my brother's funeral.
  27. We came back in the US in December  of 2009.
  28. I used to  hate cooking but ever since I got married, I learned to love it.
  29. I ate rice  everyday, that is part of my identity lol.  Also the reason why I  have a hard time getting rid of my tummy fats!
  30. I love writing.  It's my main avenue in expressing myself.  I used to write  diaries.  I am not much of a talker so writing is how I fully express my opinions.
  31. I discovered blogging 9 years ago, I haven't stopped since.  It was June of 2008 since I started to blog and still loves it to this day.
  32. I love dogs, we have two.  I also love bunnies, we have 4.  
  33. I love doing laundry especially  the folding  part.  Some people hates folding clothes but I absolutely love it.  
  34. My mother is my hero, she   has done so many things that I don't think I would be able to do especially raising 9 children, whew!
  35. I am 20 years and a day older than my  youngest sister.  Her birthday is a  day after mine. 
  36.  I love gardening, I could work on a garden everyday and never get tired of it.
  37. I love taking photos, if I could take a a course  in photography, I would to  improve my skill.
  38. I love music, I sing once in a while but not much.  My favorite genre is country, love song, pop, and classic.  
  39. My favorite season is summer, you can do a lot of things outdoors.
  40. I  love walking but I like to  run once in a while.
  41. I   like yoga but I seldom do it.
  42. I'd rather  receive a plant rather than a bouquet.  
  43. I am not fond of baking.  It's either I burn myself or I burn the  goodies when I do lol.  Not just my thing.
  44. Lastly, I want to live a long healthy life with my husband and kids but only God knows that so I  enjoy  every moment I have with them everyday.
So that's it, those 44 facts would summarize what has been happening to my existence .  Life is hard  sometimes but it is up to us to choose a path that could alleviate whatever  hard situation we may have.  Being poor is not a hindrance in achieving whatever dreams or goals you have.  The key is your perseverance, resilience, hard work and determination in achieving  the things that you want.  I hope that I did not bored you with my story lol.  

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mother's Day 2017 and #BeautyBox5 May Edition

Celebrating Mother's day is always a mixed feelings for me because I am so far away from my Mom.  Being a Mom myself, I  appreciate  everything that my Mom did for us growing up and it kills me that I  can't even give her a hug during special  days like this or  on a regular basis for that matter.   I  just console myself by looking at my children and how blessed  I am  to have them in my life.    

My kids are growing up very fast and sometimes it makes me sad to think that they will have their own lives  soon and will be leaving our nest.  I am however  happy that they are growing up to be good individuals.  As parents, we can only hope   that they would grow up to be  good people.  The only thing that we can do is to guide the,m every step of the way.  

Anyway, on continuing with my goal to take at least one  family picture  every  month.  Here is for the month of May.  We had to take three because the dogs keep moving lol.
Our big dog, Bolt, gets it though.  Every time  I set up the camera, he would sit beside us and  get ready.  Our Jack Russell Terrier is a different story, he doesn't get it at all lol.
Our children have been  serving masses almost  every Sundays and we are glad to see  how  they enjoy doing so.  
We  went to the cemetery and visited my in-laws after we ate  dinner at Theo Yianni's.  Then for the last part of the celebration, we played tennis at Starvaggi's Tennis court.  
 "Make May your Bae" is the theme this month from Beauty Box 5.  Aside from the  regular  5 products, they  added a  surprised bonus this month to pamper Moms.  The  products includes  lip conditioner, exfoliating body scrubber, eye and lip pencil,  bare necessities highlighting pencil,  24 hour liquid lipstick and an added bonus of Arnic Salve for cracked skin.  
My favorite of them all is the  mulberry liquid lipstick.   I love this because  it really stayed on your lips even after you eat. The Arnica Salve is another favorite of mine because  I have cracked heels and I am not confident in wearing  shoes that shows my heels because of  it.  Hopefully this would help my feet.  

 It  is really nice to pamper yourself ponce in a while.  After all, we Moms, deserve it.
How did you celebrate Mother's Day??

Friday, May 12, 2017

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and New Sports Towel from Aurorae

It seems like April flew by so fast  in front of my face without me realizing it.  During that month when we decided to start taking Jiu Jitsu classes as a family.  A new  place just opened  here in our area last month and we  took the opportunity to avail their  introductory price of $120  a month for family.
Doing it with my husband is  really fun, it is exhausting but  fun!  We get to learn  on how to defend ourselves in dire situations.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu  is a martial art, a combat sport system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. This martial art was formed from Kodokan judo ground fighting (newaza) fundamentals that were taught by a number of individuals including Takeo Yano, Mitsuyo Maeda and Soshihiro Satake. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu eventually came to be its own art through the experiments, practices, and adaptation of judo.  It's an intense form of martial arts.
The warm up exercises are super tough but I like doing it.  The only part that I don't like is  wrapping your legs around some people  I don't really know.  At first, my husband and I were partners but then the  instructor said that we should be partners with someone who  are experienced already so they can teach us.  I was hesitant to do that because I am not comfortable with it.
There are some women doing it but they are big and  I get the sense of feeling that they don't  really want to partner with me since I am so little  so I ended up wrestling with guys.  I wasn't fond of it, so since then, I haven't return lol.  I told my husband  to continue so that when he is good at it already, I could return and be his partner again.
My kids are encouraging me to go back but I haven't really decided yet if  I will or not.  That's why I haven't buy me a Gi (the uniform that  they wear).  My husband has two pairs of Gis that he used when he was taking  martial arts (Aikido)  lesson when he was still in Guam but he hasn't wear it yet.
Thanks to my daughter for taking these photos.
Our kids are doing  this too so we bough them  new Gi's.
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 Since Mother's Day is this weekend,  I would like to share these  special deals from  Aurorae Yoga that you can enjoy for the best Moms in your life.
  • All 6.8oz Candles are on Sale 20-60% off (no code required) 
  • All Yoga Towels are on Sale 20% Off with code CWU4K8GV 
  • All Sport & Swim Towels are on Sale 20% off with code TOWELS17
 I love doing yoga once in a while because it relaxes me and it gives my body a break from doing the normal  exercise that I do.  Aurorae Yoga is one of the best companies that provides yoga products such as  yoga mats, towels, candles, yoga apparel, and  other accessories.

I have their yoga  tote and towel.  My husband wishes  he has his own so that he could use it during the Jiu Jitsu training so I am  glad that Aurorae Yoga sent me a blue sports towel  one.  I told him before that he can use my purple one but he wasn't digging it lol.  So now, both of us ill have each own.   Please check  their website  or you can find them via Amazon for their  products.  
 Happy Mother's day to all the Moms out there including Eileen!

To my Mom whose love  for all her children is  unconditional, my love and respect for you Mama.  I love you very much and I miss you a whole lot.  Hopefully we could see each other next year, fingers crossed!  Living thousand of miles away is  tough.  When you are living on the other side of the world, traveling is expensive so I can't always visit   as often as I would love to but please know Mama that I am thinking about you every day!

About Me

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.