Saturday, December 3, 2011

An Officer and a Gentleman

Originally posted on June 2008, as a Father's Day tribute to my Dad, I'm re-posting this on the occasion of his 75th Diamond birthday this year. I may have written this 3 years ago, yet it still carries the overflowing love I have for him and the pride it brings to be his daughter. I read this during his surprise party, to share with everyone how great he is in so many ways and how we love and treasure his presence in our lives.

June is already about to end, but I cannot let it pass without writing about the first man that I ever loved.

My Dad.

Not every child is blessed with the opportunity to be with his/her parents. It is a fact and a sad reality that has become increasingly common nowadays in the society. The prevalence of failed marriages and other factors that break families apart or prevent them from being whole, makes me feel fortunate to have lived my life with the loving presence and guidance of both my mother and father under one sturdy roof.

My dad was a soldier and an officer in the Philippine Army. In his youth, he was a consistent honor student; he was able to put himself through college as a working student, all the way to an MBA degree in Ateneo, by sheer patience and perseverance.

While simultaneously working and attending school, he also devoted his time to help out his family by sending his siblings to school. He is second among the brood of 3 boys and 2 girls, yet he stood as the family's breadwinner.

He met my Mom when he was assigned in Leyte during the late '60s; he fell in love with the lovely Waray lass 11 years his junior and later married her a month after he turned 32. Theirs is a love story that spans 39 years of marriage to date, yet it still carries the same warmth and magic it always had.

Mini Him

I am more like my dad, in many aspects. In fact, he would always joke about me being his 'junior', because of our unmistakable similarities. Apart from our shared love for spicy food, just like him, I am also being commonly referred to as the enigmatic and intimidating silent type who writes more and talks less.

A voracious reader, he ingrained in me the love for reading at a very tender age. I remember his shelf full of books on health, power, how to get rich and positive thinking. Two of his favorite books that he shared with me are Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking.

So that’s how I got the optimistic virus, huh? He gave me a gift that would carry me through a lifetime.

A Good Soldier

Majority of his assignments were in provinces and NPA (New People's Army) infested remote barrios, where my mom bravely tagged along and experienced distributing hand grenades to soldiers' wives, whenever there's a threat of rebel attack in the community.

My sister and I on the other hand, stayed in Manila counting the days when they will be back home again. We survived the distance through prayers, radio to phone patches, letters, telegrams and scheduled school break vacations with them.

The magic acronym to us then was ETA (Expected Time of Arrival), for that's the time when we will see each other again.

He finally tendered his early retirement in 1987 to be with us, but mainly to spare his integrity from the pressures of corruption from his superiors.

The Survivor

Dad became a health buff later on and buried his nose in health books and medical research. It was then that fate played a trick on him and out of the blue came out the big bad 'C'.

He was diagnosed to have Cancer of the vocal cord in 2003.

It was heartbreaking and world-shattering to be told that this man who hasn't smoked a cigar in his lifetime, doesn't drink liquor and is leading a relatively healthy lifestyle had this particular disease already in its advanced stage.

Nevertheless, we did not lose hope. As a family, we had to be strong enough to face this trial head-on. We armed ourselves by storming the heavens with prayers and thoroughly researched about the disease and its treatment. We opted for surgery, but dad compromised that whatever happens, chemotherapy and radiotherapy will never be an option.

The operation was successful, but the recuperating stage was the most emotionally and physically draining aspect of the treatment. A tracheostomy tube was temporarily placed in the hole/stoma in his throat after the operation, where a continuous supply of mucus come from.

I had to learn how to suction to keep his air passage clear, every time. I, who faint at the mere sight of blood, was able to survive this medical nightmare.

This has made our family stronger in more ways imaginable. With God's grace, dad has remained Cancer-free to date, but the trial doesn't end there. Currently, he is under continuous medication for congestive heart failure.

Physically he is strong, but anatomically, his heart has gone weak. Even the doctors were amazed on how he survived this condition without major attacks and other physical manifestations. He attributes this miracle to taking alternative supplements religiously that improved his overall well-being.

The Best Father

I know this post has gone longer than I originally planned, but there will never be enough words to describe this great man who is a loving and loyal husband, a good father, a role model and a prayerful son of God. He is one of the few men who gives justice to the word 'father' in its truest essence and meaning.

They say that a dad will know if he has been a good father when his daughter's ideal man is 'just like daddy'. This rings true because I would also like to end up with someone who is just like my first love, my hero and real super man.

Thank you dad, for all that you are and all that you've given to make our family what it is today - solid and God-centered. In my heart, you will always be the best father and teacher. I love you!

Happy 75th Birthday, Dad!

Related Post:

The Best Mom in the World

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Online Bingo, Anyone?

Whenever I go to my favorite mall, I always hear the fun and cheering when the bell rings loudly in a particular section of its 2nd floor, just a few stores away from the bookstore I frequent. One day, out of curiosity, I checked it out and discovered that it’s actually a Bingo hall where people from all walks of life spend their leisure time, with the hope of winning the varying prizes at stake being offered daily. I wish I have the luxury to sit, play and enjoy even a single game. But whatever time I have gets spent in browsing for books and more books for my little lady, so before I know it, it’s closing time already and I haven’t accomplished much - not even the reason why I went there in the first place. It happens all the time so I just resort to making a mental note to play online bingo games instead, since I spend a generous time in the internet. Being online is where I need not worry about the pressure of rushing things I love to do, just to squeeze in a game schedule. Anything can be done in the comfort of my room, in my fluffy slippers and goofy pajamas. 

Playing Bingo is one of the first adult games I learned as a kid. My favorite aunt would always bring me along whenever she gets invited to play Bingo in our neighbor’s house. I enjoy the simplicity of the game and the rush of excitement whenever my card number is drawn and the desired pattern is formed. We play a few games and when we have enough winnings to buy us snacks, we go to a convenience store to buy soda and baked goodies. It seems nothing special, but it's a delightful memory I will never forget.

When I was in college, my sister and I organized Bingo nights at home exclusively for the family. It became a regular thing where my aunts and cousins would go to our house right after dinner to spend time with us and play. A bonding activity that made each of us closer in more ways than one, it’s one of the moments I wish I could bring back, to revive and sustain our warm relationship with relatives again.

I'm sure almost everyone has played Bingo at one point in their lives. Please feel free to share, I would love to hear your fond Bingo memories, too. =)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Saw the Sign!

My sister is finally doing the finishing touches of her bridals shop and office, after working on every minute detail of each element and design for almost year now. What can I say? She set her mind and heart to it years ago and for her, perfection is the only way to go, no matter how long it takes to achieve her dream.

She is still choosing furniture, frames and decorations, so it would probably take a few more months before she officially launches her shop to the public. But before that, she needs to finalize her product and service branding to complete its professional business personality. We are already brainstorming for a business sign that would embody the shop image that she wants to project. The symbol that we are envisioning represents a mixture of style and class without being too bold or intimidating. 

While thinking of ways on how to execute the design of the signage, my mind couldn’t help but wander fast forward, to the time when her shop becomes well-known all over the country. It thrills me to visualize that she could already have one of those lovely bronze plaques attached to the exterior of the shop that gives the impression of professionalism, success and stability in the industry.

It's still premature to tell, but I believe so much in my sister because I know she has what it takes to make it big in any endeavor she wishes to pursue. Besides, a lot of positive thinking benefits any dream that is worth realizing, don't you think?

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Christmas List

I have been really busy with my Christmas list lately, thinking of appropriate gifts for everybody. It’s barely a month away from the big holiday, I haven’t done any shopping yet and I’m already anxious at this point. Last week, I started writing the names of my family, relatives, friends, officemates, plus my little lady’s 11 teachers and 45 classmates. Yes, that is equal to almost a hundred things to shop!

While thinking of more people I might have missed adding to my already extensive list, I began scribbling gift suggestions opposite the names to maximize my time. What do they like? What will fit their personality? What do they need? These are just some of the factors that helped me come up with possible items that the recipients would actually love. 

I don’t have a huge budget, so I have to rely on my creativity and shopping wisdom to source the best buys without draining my piggy bank. For example, as much as my generous heart would love to give iPhones this year, I think giving protective sleeves for iPhone instead, is a very practical gift any iPhone owner could have. My cousins who are also moms like myself, often complain about how their phones always get accidentally wet and sticky whenever their little tots are near. I think it would be a perfect gift for them, don't you agree? 

Christmas for our family had always been a celebration of sharing. It makes us happy to see that the love we express through whatever we manage to give brings joy to those who receive them. I also believe that nothing should get in the way of showing people how much you appreciate them. And as always, believe that it’s the thought that matters, and what you heartily give is what really counts.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Winner of the Best Caption Goes to...!

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for visiting and commenting on my JOHNSON's My Kid's Growing Up so Fast Contest post. And now, as promised, I am announcing the best photo caption among all your creative entries!

I asked a little help from my Little Lady and she chose this chic and catchy caption:

Congratulations MyMaria! Please respond to my email with your contact details. =)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stress, Stress, Go Away!

The main reason why I seldom watch the news is, although it’s packed with updated and live information, it’s also a great source of stress. I already have enough pressure in my life that came abundantly with parenting and being an adult, so I try to find ways on how to unload some of my anxieties and not to invite more in my life.

Sometimes I just want to lock myself in my favorite room, lounge in my cozy bed, grab a good book I’ve been meaning to read but couldn’t finish, sip steaming herbal infusion, and have a relaxing worry-free day. But since I could barely manage to have that whole package because of my hectic schedule, the most feasible thing that I could think of is to plug those in ear noise cancelling headphones I wished for my birthday, and shut out the world and its noise for even just a few moments each day. Maybe during break time at work or while doing chores at home, I think a pure dose of relaxing music will help a lot in keeping my sanity intact amid the hustle and bustle of everyday living.

How about you? When you feel overwhelmed and jaded with real world issues and responsibilities, what do you do?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What's your Passion?

Sometimes, you don’t realize what you are truly passionate about until you discover what makes you happy.

When I was younger, I draw a lot. I was also amused with the idea of attaching my cutout facial photos and that of my cousins, to the bodies of Cindy Crawford and other famous celebrities. Yes, it may sound ridiculous, but I really did that in the past. So just imagine my happiness when I met Adobe Photoshop! Finally, I am able to execute my imagination digitally and manipulate it however I wish it to be.

At first, a friend taught me how to use the basic Photoshop tools, while I learned through observation and lots of practice. And because I am very interested in discovering how to achieve different effects, my impatience led me to develop my own ways on how to implement them without the aid of tutorials. True enough, if there’s a will, surely, there will be a way.

Soon after, designing became a regular part of my life because I’m always making projects personal and otherwise, for family and friends with utmost pleasure. I never thought that even calendar printing can be a breeze. I create the layouts and let the printing experts execute my designs to turn them into real and live works of art. 

It’s truly fulfilling to do what you love and share your passion to others who in turn, appreciate it. So have you found your true love yet? If not, then follow where your heart leads you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

JOHNSON's My Kid's Growing Up so Fast Contest

If I will be asked to cite one particular moment that changed my life, I’d beam and say it’s that beautiful thing called 'motherhood'. It turned my life around 720 degrees, and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I’ll do it over and over again, because it has brought into my existence a wonderful, almost magical being that is worth all the treasure in the world. Okay, I might have sugar-coated it a tiny bit, but this ‘wonderful almost magical being’ can also be the annoying, demanding little rascal that is also adorable all at the same time (just like any real kid). And I love her to bits! 

Aside from the usual important baby stuff that parents arm themselves with after bringing a new baby into this world, one of the first things I invested in is a point-and-shoot camera. I find it indispensable and an absolute must-have in every baby’s life to capture every single moment - from the smallest to the biggest milestones, to eternalize each smile, temper or tantrum that make a child charmingly unique. 

My little 10 year old girl Chestene has gigabytes of photos I collected through the years. Some have survived the frequent crashing of my computer, while some I am lucky to recover from social networking sites I feverishly post her photos on regularly, to share with everyone. 

Yes, I became a stagemom at heart, right from the moment I saw her first ‘superstar’ toothless smile. =) 

Whenever I look back and browse over her photos all through those 10 memorable years, I think about this: My kid's growing up so fast I still can’t help but be amazed on how she has transformed into the beautiful person she is today, inside and out – loving, sweet, thoughtful, smart, generous, optimistic and all great things rolled into one. Truly, a gift from God.

Time flies extremely fast, so I cherish every moment of her childhood and innocence. And despite my hectic schedule, I try to bond with her whenever I can. Whether it's trying new restaurants, hanging out in our favorite bookstore, drawing and painting, or a trip to the salon for some pampering, I make sure she enjoys every minute of our time together.

At her tender age, she already has so many dreams she couldn’t wait to achieve. She wanted to become a model and she did, for real, starting from the age of 6: 

National Bookstore Calendar

Smart Parenting Magazine

NIDO Billboard

She wanted to be the cover of her favorite magazine and Mommy made it happen on her 6th birthday:

She wanted to be Hannah Montana and be a rockstar, and she did, during her 7th birthday party where she had her 1st concert:

She loves to write, so I helped her set up her very own blog, DeCaFFeiNaTeDwhere she shares her online diary to the world. Her blog has gotten quite popular, earning a blog page rank of 2 and oftentimes landing on the 1st page of Google:

This year she wanted to be Sharpay Evans even for a day, and so she did on her 10th birthday:

She is changing before my eyes but her skin is still like a baby's. We still need the gentle care of JOHNSON's Baby Milk, with Vitamins A&E and 100% more milk proteins to nourish developing skin. 

So whether she wants to become a model, actress, singer, writer, scientist, Miss Universe or the future president of this country, as early as now, I like her to know that Mommy would be behind her every step of the way until she realizes every single dream she has set her mind and heart on, and becomes the best of what she could ever be.


Comment on this post and win a Johnson’s Gift Pack! 

Joining is soooo easy: 

1. "Like" the Johnson's Baby World of Firsts Facebook Page to be eligible for this contest. 
2. Create one unique title/caption for my little girl’s photo above (as Sharpay).

Don't forget to leave your name and email so I can contact you in case you win. That’s it! Please share with your friends so they too, can give it a shot. =)

Commenting period starts on October 8 and ends on October 21. The winning caption will be announced on October 31, 2011. Thank you and goodluck!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mega 3-Day Sale at SM Megamall

SM Mega 3-day Sale 
Up to 70% off on selected items!
April 29 - May 1, 2011, until 11:00 PM
SM Megamall 
*SM Makati is on sale too!*

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reader's Digest Easter Egg Hunt Contest

Terms and Conditions

~ The contest is open to all residents in Asia.
~ Free to join. No purchase is required.
~ Winners may not transfer prize rights nor obtain substitutions or cash redemptions.
~ All entries must be received by 11:59 pm on April 29, 2011.
~ Eight winners (2 winners per egg) will be drawn and announced on May 16, 2011.

Related Posts:

Friday, March 25, 2011

McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop 2011

McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop 2011

It’s summer time once again and a lot of parents have been Googling about the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop 2011, and landing in my last year’s post. Thank you for reminding me to write about this year’s summer program. =)

My Little Lady has outgrown this workshop and is ready to move on to other summer courses, but she still loves McDonald’s to bits and the memories that she had with it. After all, McDonald’s is a significant part of her childhood.

Anyways, it’s your children’s turn to make their own summer memories at McDonald's!
  • ~ The McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop 2011 is for kids aged 6-12
  • ~ Registration is now ongoing at participating McDonald’s stores nationwide until May 6, 2011
  • ~ You can download the printable Kiddie Crew Workshop 2011 APPLICATION FORM HERE  or get a copy at any participating McDonald’s branch, where filled-out application forms can be submitted afterwards.
Registration fee and inclusions

The registration fee for the Kiddie Crew Workshop is Php 550.00 per child. This already includes the Kiddie Crew official t-shirt, cap, bag, I.D. with lace, workshop materials, meals and graduation certificate.

Kiddie Crew Official Uniform

Kids who will take part in 5-day workshop are required to wear the following: Kiddie crew official t-shirt, cap, lace, black pants or jeans, rubber shoes and hair net.

What’s in store for the participants?

The McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop is a 5-day summer program specially designed for kids to enjoy and have fun while learning through different activities. For each workshop day, Kiddie Crew members will get to experience the fun of greeting guests, manning the restaurant and drive-thru counters through on-floor trainings; showcase their skills through creative art workshops; and learn the importance of different values, from hardwork, discipline to teamwork, through values formation lessons and activities. More than the fun activities lined up, the workshop is also a great way for kids to meet and make a lot of new friends.

At the end of the workshop, a series of grand graduations will be held in major cities all over the country to recognize the achievements of all Kiddie Crew members and treat them to a day filled with exciting booths, games and a ton of prizes.

Orientation Schedule

Briefing about the Kiddie Crew Workshop from March 18- April 17, 2011.

Batch 1  -  9-11am /1-3pm/3-5pm March 18 to 20
Batch 2  -  9-11am /1-3pm/3-5pm March 25 to 27
Batch 3  -  9-11am /1-3pm/3-5pm April 1 to 3
Batch 4  -  9-11am /1-3pm/3-5pm April 8 to 10
Batch 5  -  9-11am /1-3pm/3-5pm April 15 to 17

*Maximum of 10 kids per time slot only.

Workshop Schedule

Week 1  -  April 4 to 8
Week 2  -  April 11 to 15
Week 3  -  April 25 to 29
Week 4  -  May 2 to 6
Week 5  -  May 9 to 13
Week 6  -  May 16 to 20

*30 kids will be scheduled per week

Grand Graduation Schedule

The Kiddie Crew Workshop will conclude with a Grand Graduation, which will be held on designated key cities nationwide. To end the summer event with a blast, McDonald’s will treat all Kiddie Crew graduates  with fun-filled activities like games, raffle, Ronald and the Gang Show and a lot of more exciting activities.

SM Sta. Rosa, May 7 (Saturday)

Ayala Center Cebu, May 14 (Saturday)

Gaisano Mall, May 21 (Saturday)

World Trade Center, May 28 and 29 (Saturday and Sunday)

*Note: Schedule and Venues are subject for final confirmation.

Related Posts:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Up to 90% off at Fully Booked Top Shelf!

The sale is open exclusively to discount card holders who can bring their immediate family members on March 26 to 27. They just need to present their cards upon entry. On the other hand, the sale will be open to non-discount card holders on March 28 to April 1, 2011. Sale hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Enjoy up to 90% off on select titles at Fully Booked Top Shelf (does not apply to other floors or branches)  5/L Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City.

See you there!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When All I have to do is Dream

Pink dreams
I don’t travel much as often as I want to. It’s hard to plan a relaxing trip sans the worries of the responsibilities I will be leaving behind, not to mention that time and budget-wise, I have a lot to lose. So more often than not, I decide to stay put and reschedule. Given these reasons, miss-imaginative-me found the cheapest way to travel without draining my piggy bank.


Truly, the best things in life are free, you just have to recognize and appreciate them. I find beauty in dreaming freely anytime, traveling to a lot of places without the need for passport, ticket, or pocket money. I can do it in the comfort of my home or even during a long bus trip where I can catch some zzzs, and I can be teleported easily into a surprise adventure. The exciting thing is I don’t have a clue of where I’m going and the kind of journey I will be taking. Drama? Horror? Love story? The possibilities are virtually endless!

I often dream of a love story (maybe because that’s what I need in my life right now). Sometimes, there are familiar characters from my past and present all in one scene. But I always dream of this mystery guy looking handsome in crisp white shirt, jeans and Panama hat. On one occasion, we're both skating and enjoying the freezing weather of a country unfamiliar to me. What puzzles me though, is that no matter how many times I dream of him, I couldn’t seem to remember his face!

When I was a kid, fortune tellers always say to my parents that I would marry a foreigner. Of course we never believed that prediction. But could he be the one manifesting in my dreams? Will I be packing my winter hat and clothes and board an international plane, very soon? That would be thinking too fast forward, but who knows?

What I do believe is, if it’s meant to be, then in God’s time, it will be. But for now, let the real-life adventures continue!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Keeping the Spirit of Optimism Alive (Part 2)

To continue my follow up post on Keeping the Spirit of Optimism Alive (Part 1), I would like to share with you a good read adapted from "Why is God Laughing: The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism" by Deepak Chopra, that embodies the essence of what I wish to share and send across. I hope it gives you wisdom and inspiration!


1. The healthiest response to life is laughter.

This first principle serves as an antidote to fear and sorrow by encouraging you to experience life as joyous. When you feel momentary happiness, or you want to burst out laughing, or you smile for no apparent reason, you are glimpsing eternal reality. In time, these moments of joy will begin to knit together. Instead of the exception, they will become the norm. There is no better way to know that you are growing in God-realization.

2. There is always a reason to be grateful.

This second principle is an antidote to victimization. The purpose of gratitude is to connect yourself to a higher vision of life....Once you realize that you alone are the projector of reality, you will no longer be dominated by external events. You will correct the mistake that lies at the very root of victimization: a belief that the movie controls you, instead of the other way around.

3. You belong in the scheme of the universe. There's nothing to be afraid of. You are safe.

The third principle is the antidote for insecurity. The role assigned to you is right and proper. It is tailor-made for you, for your complete self. The voice of fear tries to convince you that you are a helpless victim of chance. The very opposite is true. At the deepest level, the level of the soul, you are the author of everything that happens to you.

4. Your soul cherishes every aspect of your life.

The fourth principle is the antidote for feeling undervalued. It states that your worth is absolute, and that everything that happens to you - whether it feels good at the time or not - is part of a divine plan unfolding from the level of the soul. A person's worth is the value of a soul, which is infinite. Since every event in your life isn't happening just to a person but to a soul, everything in life should be cherished.

5. There is a plan, and your soul knows what it is.

The fifth principle is the antidote to meaninglessness. It states that your life has a purpose. You determine that purpose at the soul level, and then that purpose unfolds in daily life as part of the divine plan. The more deeply you are connected to the plan, the more powerful it becomes in your life. Ultimately, nothing can stop it.

6. Ecstasy is the energy of spirit. When life flows, energy is natural.

The sixth principle is the antidote to inertia. It states that infinite energy is available to you. You are a co-creator with God. To claim your creative power, you need only connect with the primal energies that play within you. The kind of energy you can call upon at any given moment depends on your level of consciousness.

7. There is a creative solution to every problem. Every possibility holds the promise of abundance.

The seventh principle is the antidote to failure. It tells us that every question includes its own answer. The only reason a problem arises before its solution is that our minds are limited - we think in terms of sequences, of before and after. Outside the narrow boundaries of time, problems and solutions arise at the same instant.

8. Obstacles are opportunities in disguise.

The eighth principle is the antidote to inflexibility. The secret is to abandon old habits and trust in spontaneity. Whenever you catch yourself reacting in an old, familiar way, simply stop. Don't invent a new reaction; don't fall back on the opposite of what you usually do. Instead, ask for openness. Go inside, be with yourself, and allow the next reaction to come of its own accord.

9. Evolution leads the way through desire.

The ninth principle is the antidote to hypocrisy. It encourages us to act on our genuine desires, because they show the way to real growth. Don't pretend to be better - or other - than you are. Don't fall into the trap of having one face for the world and another to God. Who you really are is exactly who you should be.

10. Freedom is letting go.

The tenth principle is the antidote to attachment. If you let go of what isn't real in your life, what's left will be real: what's left is God alone. To be free, you must find a way to let go of all the stuck energy that keeps sending the same old messages. The past is a false guide to the future, and yet it's what most of us rely upon. By letting go of stuck energies, you let go of your past.

Related Posts:

Friday, January 28, 2011

If the Shoe Fits

When I was in grade school, I remember my whole family going to Cubao every year to buy supplies in preparation for the school opening. I also remember feeling a mixture of delight and anticipation when it’s time to buy my new school shoes, only to be disappointed repeatedly year after year, for we always end up going to the same shoe store and not taking home the pair that I had my eyes on for so long. My sister and I just sigh in dismay and wish, with our fingers crossed, that the following year would be a better ‘shoe year’ for both of us.

Mom always had the last say when it comes to our school shoes. She decides what’s best and chooses the more expensive pure leather and durable (and boring!) kind that lasts for a long time (yes, an awfully loooong time). As we continue to dream in shiny patent shoes with pretty bows and slightly elevated heels, just like what the rest of our classmates wear. In my mind, I always wanted to tell Mom that girls shoes are supposed to be fun! Not mediocre or worse, dull.

Only when I became an adult that I realized that those shiny patent shoes with pretty bows and slightly elevated heels, nice-looking as they are, get worn out easily because they are crafted with cheaper materials. Mom may have always picked the unfashionable pairs in the past, but she got what she knew was best for us. 

You were right, Mom.

So now it’s my turn to be in my mother’s place and be the shoe authority to my little girl. Good thing there are several choices that make it hard not to choose the best pair that me and my kid will both love, and a lot of resources online too, that guide parents in getting the perfect fit. With this video that shows how to measure a child’s foot with a shoe gauge, finding the right shoes for a little Cinderella would surely be a breeze.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale Birthday

Have I ever told you that I am a self-taught graphic artist? 

In the not-so-distant past, I used to cut out my ID photos and that of my cousins, and attach them to the bodies of Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer. I would then run it through the photocopier and voila! I get the body I want without a sweaty workout.

Imagine when I learned about the wonders of Adobe Photoshop and its endless possibilities -- I was ecstatic! I never realized something almost magical like it existed.

I eventually learned editing skills through observation and a whole lot of practice. It's always fun to explore and learn along the way especially if you love what you're doing. This knowledge also opened an avenue for me to earn extra income. It's truly a blessing!

Our beautiful baby princess (my niece) turned 4 years old last year, and she wanted to have a Barbie Fashion Fairytale themed party. (I remember the Little Lady had a Fashion Barbie themed party too, when she turned 6 years old.) Since she was having 2 parties, I made 2 photo cake layouts for her, 2 invites and 1 Barbie Fashion Fairytale tarpaulin backdrop.

 Barbie A Fashion Fairytale school invite 1 and Photo Cake layout
 Barbie A Fashion Fairytale tarpaulin 

 Barbie A Fashion Fairytale invite 2 and Photo Cake layout

I just love the sparkle in children's eyes when they see themselves together with their favorite character in a photo or be the star character, no less. It's priceless! And that alone makes all the effort and all the eye bags in the world worth it. (Did I mention I made all these within 24 hours?)

Cramming, cramming me, as usual. =) 

Related Posts:

I Miss You!
My Art, Revisited
Back From My Unannounced Blog Leave - Part 1
Back From My Unannounced Blog Leave - Part 2
Back From My Unannounced Blog Leave - Part 3
Before You Call Me a Tease… (BFMUBL Part 4)
Chestene is Hannah Montana

Monday, January 17, 2011

Christmas: Hospital Style

We had a very different Christmas celebration last December 2010. We spent it at the last place in the world no one would ever dream to be on Christmas Eve - inside a hospital. My niece was admitted due to pneumonia on December 23rd, and given the extra care and medication needed for her condition, we're left with no choice but to make the most out of the situation during the coming Christmas dinner.

Our family brought food and gifts and the kids were still able to open their presents. That somehow made it more like our usual celebrations, except that it was on a different setting. Nevertheless, I am still thankful that we were able to spend it together as a family.

My sister and I stayed there for a week, looking after our little patient. The only comforting thing that made our stay convenient in the hospital aside from the state-of-the-art equipment and hotel-like accommodation, are the cheerful, beautiful and efficient people wearing soft cotton scrubs.

I love to watch people - observe their clothes, accessories, style and the way they carry themselves. And in the hospital, I noticed that all the nurses look good in their unique scrubs. My sister, who is a fashion designer noticed it too. She said it must be the uniform cut and style that made them fit every shape and size. Whoever was in charge of buying wholesale medical uniforms for the staff made a really good choice.

Anyways, despite the special hospital treatment we experienced, I am not too keen in spending time there anytime soon. I feel much better staying in my messy bed, at my most favorite place in the world - home.