Thursday, December 24, 2009

Red for Me….What's Yours?

It's good to be back home in the blog world. I know I haven't been a loyal blogger lately.
An avalanche of work at school, Croatian language proficiency test, editing my manuscript and other personal issues among others are just a few of a number of nerve-racking hurdles that kept me engrossed and overwrought for the past months. Oh and did I mention about badminton? Yes, my newly found passion. It keeps me fit and a good stress reliever. Whenever I imagine the faces of obnoxious people in my mind while I smash the shuttlecock( odd name for a badmintno ball, isn't it?) boy, that feels so good.

However, there's no excuse for my being slack. My bad! I promise to make it up to you but please don't mention it to Santa as I need my Christmas presents this year badly.

Every Christmas whether we admit it or not, we unmindfully paint a shade of color of our own personal Christmas. With our disposition, moods, temperament, feelings and lifestyles we create an intimate distinct hue that suits our past, present and future. From there, we envision a Christmas theme for ourselves. With our chosen color, we whirl around the color based on our disposition and spirit for Christmas.

Some people think that Christmas has always a constant generic color for everyone.

Not to all.

For those people who anticipate the magic of the occasion, ginger up to decorate the house with Christmas trimmings in advance and making a list of friends to give presents to or those who frenetically count the days before Christmas- are people who paint their Christmases red. As red symbolizes love, the intensity of love resonates to people who chose red evidently share genuine sweet smiles, hugs and handshakes.

Choosers of green color pin hopes in their hearts that Christmas would bring promises of the future.
A hope for healing for emotional distressed or physical ailment. A hope for a better job. A hope to renew broken relationships or a chance to turn a new leaf.

But there's a caveat for green choosers. The green in extreme can be associated with the bad side. So be careful about that. Remember the Grinch's color is green. If you start noticing that you start being grouchy this Christmas with your family members, co-workers down to the store cashier, or giving recycled gifts to friends ( so as not to spend a penny), then you're qualified to print a business card with your name and underneath a title that says " The Grinch Who Stole Christmas".

Those who claim that they have a blue Christmas are those who you need to evade from -if you don't want to contract the blue Christmas fever ( at least better than Swine Fever this year.) People who are emotionally down, unhappy, depressed or melancholic can influence you in a way with your red cheery Christmas mood. Indeed, misery loves company. It's inevitable that we all feel lugubrious at this time of the year especially when musing over our sad past. But Christmas is a joyful celebration of God's goodness to us. And dwelling on our negative feelings can make you feel down or worse still, can pass on the negative energy to the person next to you.

Meeting people who just shrug shoulders and roll their eyes when asked about their Christmas wish and respond with a cold nonchalant "whatever" must have culled white as their favorite color for Christmas. White is known for neutrality, purity and cleanliness. Don't ever think that these people are not into Christmas, as white symbolizes the immaculate color of snow.

Choosing your personal color for your own Christmas aura is entirely up to you. We're the painters, the one holding the paint brush and choosing the color scheme we want to blend for our own Christmas canvas. There's a wide variety of color spectrum to choose from- turning dark red to light or light green with a shade of white is a creative way to play with our own Christmas colors. Do whatever suits you. You can even wear a color that harmonizes with your mood at the moment, if you want. Just don't forget to match it with christmasy bling bling. Which ever way you want it, feel free to do it.

However, if you're scrimping and saving this Christmas due to the current recession, don't ask me about that particular Christmas color....... because I think it's black.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Mama, I Don't Want to Go to School! "

Sounds familiar? I’m sure that you may have heard this objection before either from your own child or from your distraught friends who may have shared their woes and blues about their problem-their child’s refusal to go back to school.
You may be wondering why children utter the unwelcomed infamous “ Mama, I don’t want to go to school” line, don’t you?

Well, in a child’s preschool life, there will always be a point in time when he’ll cry, “Mama, I don’t want to go to school!” either during the early part, middle or towards the end of the school year. I know that this strong reaction from preschoolers is most dreaded by all moms. Since this means that more clinging around your legs, sudden stomach or head ache, moodiness, non-compliance and temper tantrums become your everyday struggle.

Not to mention that this also purports that you kiss your self pampering days, coffee meetings with friends, doing household chores goodbye. What a nightmare! Isn’t it?
But if you come to think of it, why do children really refuse to go back to school? Here’s my two cents worth.

A child who exhibits any of the behaviors mentioned previously is showing stress signals caused by a period of anxiety– a stage considered normal for preschoolers entering kindergarten schools. However, a child in crisis at this phase must not be ignored but be well attended to. Moms and Dads should look into the following possible reasons why these behaviors occur.

  • Spending time at home longer than necessary: When the child is ill, of course, it’s inevitable to keep your child at home until he feels much better. However, prolonged staying at home has its downside too. Your child adapts to new routine and gets comfortable with doing activities with moms at home. Naturally, your child will refuse to go back to school as he got used to his daily home routine. By the same token as refusal to go to school often manifest during long school breaks such as Christmas and Spring Holiday due to the same reason.

  • Longing for Feeling of Belongingness: During the beginning of school year, meeting new faces can be intimidating for a young child. This can illicit reasonable fear to be in the midst of children whom your child does not even know. Developing friendship and connection with other children in class takes time and a gradual process. When your child has not reached that stage yet, he may feel a little bit alienated and refuses to go to school. However, let me give you a word of caveat, once your child gains friendship and camaraderie among his peers, you will be confronted with questions like how come there’s no school during weekends-now, that’s a different story.

  • Changes in family dynamics: Your child may exhibit some kind of maladjustment behavior when there are changes in your family set up such as moving to a new place, travelling to a far place for a long period of time, divorce, death of a family member or a sick member. Considering all these, he may show distressed signs but definitively temporary.

  • Child’s physical condition: When your child is sick with the slightest fever or just coming down with a flu, colds and coughs, these factors are a good yardstick why your child cries without any apparent reason or hesitant to go to school. Remember that preschool children can not still articulate how they exactly feel. Don’t expect them to say “ Mom, I think I’m coming down with a flu, can’t go to school today. Can you please give me a paracetamol?” Try to check him out before he gets off the car or better yet, you may ask your child’s teacher to do that as well.

    To beat the “Mama I don’t want to go to school” syndrome, here are some few tips that could make you spend your life easier, stress and worry free when dealing with your preschool child.
    Don’t keep your child at home longer than necessary. The longer your child stays at home, the harder it is for him to return back to school.
    Check your child from time to time. Symptoms like runny nose, congested nose and slight increase of temperature, watery eyes, diarrhea, weakness can make your child lose interest in going to school.
    Collaborate with your child’s school teacher. Present your situation with the school professionals. They can evaluate your situation objectively and give you some helpful advices on how to resolve the problem. Don’t forget that it will benefit you more if you do not withhold any vital information about your current family set-up.
    Inquire about some potential bullying problems. Bullying not only in the form of aggression but includes teasing, humiliation, intimidation or name calling may result to socially withdrawn, anxious and depressed child. In this case, a child experiencing bullying, would not find school appealing.

    Every parent beset with the challenge of a preschool child refusing to go to school undergoes a nerve-wracking experience that makes you feel highly agitated, scared and on the brink of losing your mind. If a refusal to go to school situation arises at any point, remember to stay calm and assess the situation thoroughly. Find out the real cause of the behavior. More importantly, never give up school just because your child doesn’t want to go to school. If you concede, your child wins the battle over you. Be patient and determined and keep on trying. To make you convince your child go to school, always remember what Peter Kline, an American Professor said, “School is the best party in town”.

If you don’t go, you’ll miss the fun.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


No, I wasn't in any way resuscitated and restored back to life-Thank goodness!

But pretty close- if I had not taken a 5 week holiday back home in the Philippines, I would have been writing here about that too. The challenges of my work, writing and hectic lined up of scheduled activities in the past months and other personal issues were too unbearable at some point. My allergies, asthma, flu and cough and colds became my best friends that I've spent so much bonding with for quite sometime- a time when I'd wouldn't even dared to say the phrase "best friends forever".

My trip to the Philippines was awesome. The 20 hour long haul flight didn't seem to matter with all the pump of adrenalin rush of excitement inside me to see my family once again. Moreover, I was hell bent to break away from the humdrum daily routine of work-home then work again and short weekend respite kind of schedule every single day. The pressure of daily grind took a heavy toll on me.

Seeing the light of day hearing the cockcrowing sound and mild tropical breeze touching my skin instantly reminded me – that I was home. Home is always where your heart is just like what they say. And it will always stay that way.

Having a great time with my family dinning out, playing badminton, shopping here and more shopping there may seem common Sunday family activities. But not for somebody like me who do not see her family on a regular basis.

I have often asked if we went sight seeing. The answer is no, my husband and I purposely didn't do that as we preferred to spend more time catching up with more stories funny ones, gossips, goofing around and updated them with our life happenings in Croatia. The travel experience is simple, unfettering and reminded me not only to spell out again the five letter word R-E-L-A-X but more like the real meaning of it. It was priceless.

I couldn't stop hearing the tune of "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae playing in my mind.

"Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song
You go ahead and let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams
You go ahead and let your hair down
You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow."

On the way back to Croatia, stopping by Amsterdam Airport, I chanced upon a SPA parlor within the airport called "Back to Life". It caught my attention. Turned my head and chuckled. But deep inside, yes…that's it. I'm back to life. I'm going to take it slow because I know that I know I'm going to find myself somewhere…somehow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sun, Sea, Sand and Chicklit

Getting ready for the beach? Hold on a second. Before you leave, check all your stuff in your duffel bag first. If you think that you got all your beach paraphernalia-sun cream SPF 30, bikini, tanning oil, shampoo, conditioner, aloe after sun gel packed in and you figured that something is still missing, and then take a one more look. You may be missing the most important stuff that will keep you company during your sun worshipping moment - a book.

For those ladies who bask clutching a romance comedy novel ( or for those of you who consider romance novel as an item that you will not be caught without aside from your iPod), here are some good beach read that I highly recommend. Amusing, charming, sparkling with wit and humor all in one is all what you need to keep you entertained you while getting your sun kissed bronze.

Here's the list:

Chasing Harry Winston- Lauren Weisberger
Everyone Worth Knowing – Lauren Weisberger
Certain Girls – Jennifer Weiner
Shopaholic Series – Sophie Kinsella
Something Borrowed- Emily Griffin
Baby Proof – Emily Griffin
Eat, Love and Pray – Elizabeth Gilbert
The Art of French Kissing –Kristin Harmel
Rise and Shine – Anna Quindlen
Belong to Me – Marissa De Los Santos
Beyond the Blonde – Kathleen Flynn Hui
The Diplomatic Corpse – Anne Marshall Zwack
Dot.Homme – Jane Moore

There are heaps of titles of other Chick lit books that are out there in your local bookstore. But the ones I've mentioned above are the ones that I can give my thumbs up. Whether you're going on an island hopping or simply plunked down on a hammock under a coconut tree, take one of these books on your summer jaunt.

Oh and don't forget your IPod too.

Have a great summer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Croatia's Smoking Ban Takes Off and Takes Ashtrays Away

Stop Smoking- the staunch slogan of the Croatian Government slammed against "Stop Smoking Ban" clamor of coffee shop owners after the Croatian government implemented its strict law against smoking on indoor public places on May 6, 2009.

The government is bent to execute strict "No Smoking" law to safeguard the physical health and well being of Croatian nationals from the hazards of smoking. Prior to the new law, the government's media propaganda against smoking apparently, did not create much of an impact- thus, had fallen into deaf ears.Restaurants, coffee shops, ice-cream parlors and malls from run-of-the- mill to high end food service joints were filled with employees taking a break from work, friends engaging in a tête-à-tête, football aficionados, coffee drinkers including mothers with tag- along -babies in strollers.

These coffee shops habitués either active or passive smokers, oblivious to the dangers of smoking frequent to the coffee shops at any time of the day as part of their daily routine schedule.However, on the 6th of May 2009, the Croatian government blew its whistle and put a big stop sign to smoking. As the law stipulates -those who are caught smoking in an indoor public place shall be slapped with 1000 Kuna fine for smoker and 15,000 Kuna for business owner to ensure that Croatian public knows that the government means business this time (no pun intended.)

Since the Croatian government guards public places keenly watching for smokers who consist of more than half of the coffee shops' costumers started to wane their regular visits to coffee shops for their daily fresh espresso and cigarette ritual. Thereby, sudden drops of profit sales have recently been the cause of ire of food service entrepreneurs that consequently precipitated a protest among coffee shops owners and restaurateurs requesting the government to relax the smoking ban law.

During the first month after the law was strictly enforced, the once smoke filled coffee shops are not only devoid of smoke but with customers as well. It's an awful scenario to see coffee shops with empty seats throughout the day.To cope up with the sudden drop of sales, coffee shop owners opened the backdoor terrace or provided an open air make shift terrace or pitched small umbrella tables along the street curbs just so as not to lose old coffee shop patrons. The temporary resolution of setting up an open air smoking venue to regular coffee shop habitués is akin to putting on a band-aid to a big economic wound to stop the momentary financial bleeding.

The coffee shops' nightmare has started to be felt during this early summer days when occasional rain showers and cold breeze prevent customers to sit in the terrace.
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Recently, it was reported that a significant number of coffee shops and restaurants have already closed down due to the unexpected plummeting profit sales. Subsequently, the whirlwind effect of unemployment of wait-staff whose salaries could not be sustained by their employers is becoming a serious problem.It is a known fact that smoking causes 95% mortality rate due to lung cancer as verified by Dr. Desmond Carney, Oncologist and Secretary General of the International Association of Lung Cancer in Dublin.

The European Union Commission has made a giant step to create a conscious effort to promote a strong general awareness among EU member states by imposing tighter rules about smoking.Hence, the complete makeover of Europe's image as an erstwhile smoking haven now is heading towards a smoke free zone. Ireland initially banned smoking in 2004 followed by Italy, Sweden, Malta, Estonia, Finland, Germany, France and Hungary (not necessarily in this order.)

Clearly, the effect of the banning of smoking is helping the prevention of the spread of lung cancer among Croatians. However, alongside with that, it is now building up symptoms of economic cancer especially during the rainy months of autumn and cold winter months where people would prefer to stay indoors drinking hot coffee rather than stay in terraces.The idea whether the government would give in to the food service entrepreneurs' lament of relaxing the smoking ban is still hazy at the moment.

It's still too early to say at this point. Who knows? This could be an advent of embracing new coffee drinking habit of taking "coffee to go" clutching coffee mugs to work giving Starbucks,Costa Coffee, Peets Coffee and Tea and Caribou a fair chance to compete in the Croatian coffee market.The owners' petition to establish categories among coffee shops whether smoking or non-smoking has already reached the government. Whether the government considers it seriously or flexes its muscles or plays arm wrestling, the response to their plea is well much anticipated. In the meantime, coffee buffs continue to sip their hot espresso and puffs their cigarettes on warm sunny days in open air terraces and enjoying the feeling while it lasts.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Michael Jackson is dead at 50.

What could be worse news to see on your morning papers or in Yahoo news at the start of an early Friday than seeing an eye popping headline that the king of pop music is dead. A thought that's almost inconceivable almost mistaken as a hoax akin to regular text messages con game. Until reality sets in that Michael Jackson is gone- not ill or seriously ill or recuperating from illness but gone.

It's indeed a day of mourning in the City of L.A. And this time I sincerely wished that I was there at this moment to grieve with his millions of fans awaiting for his body to be released from L.A. Hospital side by side with the venue of paparazzi vultures taking snapshots.

Growing up in the early 70s, Michael and the Jackson Five had been my personal favorite choice as far upbeat pop music is concern. The Jackson Five made a loud resounding statement with regard to their musical standing in the US music chart from 1976. Hits like "Ben", " Rocking Robin", "Got to be There and The Brand New Thing" among others made MJ stand out from his bros during the early 80's. Titillated young and old ladies shrilled at the top of their lungs as they watched an eight year old boy's magnetic charisma worked his way on stage with his impressive snappy dance moves (that he can only do in perfect 10.... remember moonwalking?.) I knew this because I was one of those voices that gave out an ear splitting screams as a young girl whenever I saw him on American TV shows during the early 80's.

I practically grew up hearing his songs on the radio, watching him on MTV basically witnessing his successes and downfalls. I didn't bother much to know what was in with Michael since he was like a permanent fixture in the US Music Industry.

His songs were heard all over everytime -one hit after another. We all knew that Michael was just there somewhere around the corner of LA rehearsing perfecting his craft conceptualizing next MTV or finishing an album to surprise everyone at any moment. To date, I still delight in listening to his hit songs that made waves in unsurpassed decades of reigning on top of the game shoving away tons of Michael Jackson copycats and wannabees.

But sad to say, the prize of fame is indeed very costly. The guy had been a lot of tremendous pressures for maintaining his status as the King of Pop Music-straightening out his court cases, rising above from financial quagmire and most importantly dealing with his sanity in the midst of bad publicity. The viewing public all over the world had been harsh, relentless and brazen in skinning him alive when it comes to criticizing his grotesque looks, his questionable fondness for kids and Neverland, his gender, his rumored bankruptcy among others.

Inspite of the sensationalized and magnified issues to the inane cheap celebrity gossips hurled at him, based on what I've read, people who knew him have only one common thing to say about Michael- that he was a person with a good heart. This ofcourse I can't verify as I did not know MJ personally (wish I could say we grew up together and name drop him to everyone.) However, whenever I check out where you can find paparazzi's videos of Hollywood celebrities, you can see other celebrities turning violent losing tempers when pestered by journalists. However, it was always a different case with Michael, he graciously declined ambush interviews and spoke short casual pleasantries then ended up the casual chat with calm "peace brother".

This part of him was not known probably by the viewing public. But as human nature dictates highlight the negative first then downplay the positive, right?

Michael's demise will always be a bitter reminder to us to look beyond what our eyes can physically see. I think there was more to Michael than the pop legendary icon sensation, the image of a cosmetic surgery gone awry or a feigned philanthropist sharing The Neverland to young children.

There was once a lonely person hurting and concealed behind the almost deformed face battered by multiple plastic surgeries. Michael Jackson the King of Pop unselfishly shared his incomparable talents and outstanding music fit to perfection for the whole world to see.
May you rest in peace, Michael!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Tomorrow, June 23rd, I'll be turning 47. Ok not bad if you consider that life begins at 40.
In retrospect, my 46th year wasn't a bad year at all. As a matter of fact, heaps of blessings came in my way which I initially didn't perceive it as such. Work wise, it was a great year with a few challenges along the way. Health wise, I can consider myself in pink health except for a few asthma attacks, allergy rhinitis and bouts of severe dysmenorrheic cramps sans any signs of recurring pneumonia, thankfully.

This year, opened a wide door for me to pursue my personal passion for writing. My non-fiction book has finally reached the end of its 2nd draft. Indeed, time flies like an arrow.
I remembered how I grappled with all the ideas I could come up with to form my outline in the midst of my sunbathing session during my summer break. Burning with enthusiasm, I inched writing chapters or more like few pages every night after a hard day's work, sleepless nights or sometimes missing my regular shopping dates to be with my newly found best friends-my monitor and keyboard.

At a certain point in February, I felt that I needed a break from writing ideas related to my teaching profession for my book. Then I discovered a romance short story writing contest which I exuberantly joined. The competition is based on the number of votes of readers instead of the merits of your writing. Though it looked kind of foxy to me but what the heck, I thought, I joined just the same. Fortunately, my entry won the grand prize. And I got an unexpected $250 prize for that. Not bad for a first time short story writer, huh?

My story? It's entitled " Winter Dream." Honestly, I didn't plan out the plot. Believe it or not, the ideas just flashed in my mind while I was browsing through a news about a winter storm that got passengers stranded at the Madrid International Airport. Not only because of my winning experience but the feedbacks of my friends who enjoyed reading the story plot brought a lot of confidence and assurance that I could pull off a non-fiction chick lit style novel one day ( this year I plan.)

More than all of these salient colorful events of my year, the one that I loved and enjoyed tremendously is my glaring passion for cherry picking. Thankfully, the school where I work has beautiful cherry trees with sturdy branches bearing abundant cherry fruits that I devoured like being stranded in an island without food except cherries.

It was fun picking cherries-poking the fruits with a broomstick, using a ladder and pulling the sagging branches to reach for the maroon over ripe ones became my short obsession. Just like cherry picking, my 46th year was no different from that. With the challenges that I struggled during the year, I did everything to make things happen to rise above the hurdles just like everyone. In the end, a special bonus awaited for me-a bowl full or light, dark red and maroon over ripe soft sweet cherries that I delightfully nibbled under the tree.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


My Romance Short Story is now featured on “Enchanted” a newly published book containing a compilation of entries to the short story writing contest in February 2009 on a Be My Valentine Short Story Writing Contest. The book is now on sale for $8.24. For your book orders, please check out World Wide Association of Writers’ website

Story Title: Winter Dream


A light romantic love story that involves a vibrant career girl, Amberly who travelled to Europe on a business trip and unexpectedly got stranded at the airport because of a Snow storm. Little did she know that this grueling experience of waiting for her flight back to the States is a blessing in disguise. Her ho-hum life started to change drastically after an unexpected special romantic meeting that eventually marked her future.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Have you been feeling feverish or struggling with inexplicable tiredness? Or a sudden swing of clock pendulum mood that shifts from blissful temperament at one moment then ends your day with crestfallen feeling?

Does this experience of an abrupt change of mood make you feel crabby at work that make your co-workers brand you as one of the people that they can’t stand? How often do you make mistakes on your shopping decisions or picking dingy clothes instead of bright and vibrant colors. Do you flounder unexpectedly when you do your writing?

Good news to all and sundry. If you can’t find any source of this enigmatic changes that’s overwhelming you, then, blame it on the weather.

Weather has been the most convenient excuse people use for almost everything from common embarrasing blunders to the most trivial unthinkable faux pas such as fumbling at work, ordering the wrong dressing for your salad, sleepless nights or simply having a bad day? It’s the weather, as they always say. I hear this everytime from people uttering the “maybe-because- of- the-weather chant like a mantra sans the lotus position. Why blame it on the weather? It’s easy. You can get away with it without pointing a finger to others or to yourself at least no arguments or altercations with anyone.

Poor old weather-always gets the receiving end of the people’s condemnation. But hey, something has to take the blame, right? Not yourself, not anybody. I’m sure the weather won’t take it personally if you do.Whatever kind of weather it is, it doesn’t matter. People still preceive it as a yardstick of how our mood and disposition will turn out for the day.

So, if you think that I’m not making any sense on my blog today, I say, maybe it’s because of the weather.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Smart Spring Break Ideas for Family Adventures

Blogger's Note: If you're residing within Europe area, you may visit Croatia's suggested beautiful places for your Spring family adventures. This article was reprinted from TLT's school newsletter.

Spring is already beckoning. Since we’re expecting a lot of sunshine, warm days and a pleasurable ten day spring break you may have already been planning for your spring family adventures. To save you the trouble of racking your brains resolving how to keep your family attuned with nature, here are some savvy ideas for creative and productive family activities for the spring break.

1. Take a Spring Nature Walk:
A quick out of town day trip in Lika’s Plitvice and Eco Selo in Samobor in Croatia, provide a complete lush greenery to trek on. After a long nature walk, lay your picnic basket on your blanket on a green meadow and enjoy your lunch on a warm sunny day.

2.Zoo Visit: If you feel that you got enough of Maksimir Zoo, try Eco Selo in Samobor a good place to discover where your little ones are allowed to pet farm animals.

3.Flower Arts and Crafts: During times, when you feel that you need a break from outdoor activities, stay at home. Do some arts and crafts in your dinning or living room. You can do some picture frames, posters or book marks out of dried flowers, leaves, twigs and tree barks.
Display your finished products on your child’s bedroom as a souvenir for this year’s spring indoor activity.

4. Travel Light: Take a short trip to Croatia’s popular destinations such as Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. These famous places in Croatia are not jam-packed with tourists during this time of the year. Take advantage of this season as you may not have the chance to do so in summer.
A quick trip to Italy and France is not a bad idea at all. Whether you’re relishing your toothsome gelato or spinning around on a roller coaster at Disneyland, Paris, your kids would be most excited once they see you pack your bags. Just remember to travel light.

5. Blow Some Bubbles: While gardening, leave a bucket filled with water, glycerin and soap mixture to make your children occupied and engaged. This bubble solution will surely do the trick to make your kids to stay quiet- at least for the time being while you’re gardening. For a variety of bubble making activities and tips, you may check out this site:

6. Bake Some Gingerbread: The best recipe that we recommend the one we have tried and tested in our cooking activity. Please see shared recipe in the newsletter. Just one tip, if you want your children to give you a –wow-you’re-the-best-mom-reaction, make sure you use a gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter. They love imagining gingerbread man story while munching cinnamon smell gingerbread man.

7. Fly a Kite: Windy days are the best time to fly kites. Kites do not necessarily be store bought. You can make your own kites by improvising Japanese colored soft paper and bamboo barbeque sticks. For more details about the procedure of making a paper kite, here’s a site to help you out: When kite is ready to fly, go to an open field and fly your kites away.

8. Squirrel Feeding Day: Before you take a stroll in Maksimir or Ribnjak Park, make sure that you fill your pockets with walnuts. While sitting on a bench, you can spot some squirrels scouting for food. Make those walnuts ready incase, your little cute furry friends crossed your path.

9. Make a Date with the Stork: When I say this, I mean literally date with the stork. In Prekmurja, Sisak a small village called Mala Polana is known to be a stork breeding place. It was given the European Stork Village award in 1999 for nurturing a healthy habitat for 9 breeding pairs of stork. So if you have a passion for bird watching, this is the place to be. Keep your binocular handy.

There is more to family outdoor adventures than just mere fun and enjoyment. Special moments of bonding with your family nurture love and relationship. It does not matter whatever activities you choose. Go for it this spring break. Remember that a family that plays together, stays together.

Have a wonderful Spring break!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What Was I Thinking?!

I hope that there’s a tv show that features how people fumble showcasing everyday’s awkward, unconcious moments of silly, stupid and clumsy mistake, if there’s a tv show just exactly like that? - I think I could be their main star of the show. Mind you, not a regular guest but a main star of the show. And if there is a show similar to that that I don’t know about, producers should contact me immediately as I can give their show the highest rating ever.

Today, I’m going to boldly admit a blunder that I did to myself (thank God that no persons or animals got involved!) the unthinkable and almost bordering to qualify in “Beyond Bizarre” tv series.

I screwed up my age.

How is that possible? Here’s how I did my preposterous unfathomable blooper. As I was reading the news about the famous rapper in the Philippines Francis M. who died at the age of 44 born in 1964. I was gobsmacked by two things, his untimely death and as my eyes scrolled down the text, my eyes gawked on the birthyear 1964.

I muttered while reading word for word: born in 1964- died 2009.
Born in 1964 means 44 years of age. I was born in 1962 then that makes me 46 years old? But why the heck have I been saying all through out the time that I’m 48 years old?

Ok I’ve to admit that my heart stopped beating for a second followed by shrieks and screams- my initial violent reactions to this new discovery which was not supposed to be called a discovery as our ages are supposed to be a common information that we should know instinctively like our names. But knowing that I’m just 46 and turning 47 this June, my birthday is like winning a free ride to a time machine travelling two years back.

All along, I have considered myself, a 48 year old pushing fifty lady getting prepped up with menopausal blues, knees woobling with fear that at any time, onset of wrinkles will be more evident and getting into contemplation of hiring a cosmetic surgeon for a possible tummy tuck (or maybe not.) Entering the age of a golden girl (turning 50s) apparently is giving me a scare for some reasons. Beats me. I don’t know why.

Ok I know that Math is not one my strongest points, as a matter of fact, my mathematical ability is no better than gradeschool level. Unfortunately, it stopped right there and never moved on to the first year highschool level until now.

This is why my dependence on Brenda, my sister’s mathematical prowess as a banker to do basic computations for me is like depending on IV fluid when you’re hospitalized. Most of the mathematical equations that I am only able to do are too basic that my gradeschool nephews and nieces would gleefully solve for me. But calculating my age? This should be the only Mathematical addition that I should know, right? And yet I failed ( ofcourse!)

Probably, the fear of facing the big 5-0 has become a furtive reason for my unconcious stress or concern psychologically that I have been hiding since a year ago. Bearing 48 years old as my official age ( before this discovery)in mind, I have already listed down my plans of what to do before I reach 50, places to see, books to write, clothes to wear before I settle with the 50’sh style, rushed to diversify my career, announced on facebook, tbd and other social networking circles that I’m just two years away from being a golden girl.

Sheesh, what the heck was I thinking!

The usual common cases of people is not to realize that they are older than they thought. But in my quaint case, two years younger is an appalling yet an astounding blunder that I welcome as the greatest news happened in my life.

Two years younger means more time to take things in stride, a delay appearance of wrinkles
(not just yet), dismissing the thought of consulting a cosmetic surgeon for advice and changing my age profile on facebook ,TBD, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Friendster and shouting to the whole world : hey, due to the malfunction of the mathematical side of my brain, I miscalculated my age and I officially declare that I’m only 46 not 48 as previously declared.

Though shooting the 50’s is not far from now (ok I refuse to say three years from now as I might miscalculate again!). I know I’m getting there. But no- not just yet. I still got 2 or 3 years to go? Am I right? Aahh never mind, the important thing is, I still have time.

Friday, March 6, 2009


My blog today is heartfully dedicated to a popular young rap artist/ singer, Francis Magalona who just passed away at the age of 44- battled leukemia for almost a year.

Master Rapper, as he was popularly called had touched the hearts of millions of Filipinos not only because of his artistic talents both in rap music and photography but more than that, he exemplified hope, courage and strength that inspired people suffering from the deadly disease.

His great patriotism as a Filipino enlivened his rap songs that everyone in the Philippines continue to remember. With Francis’ bright and optimistic perspective- he painted his world in a multicolored symmetrical designs reflecting as mirrors. And finally, he allowed us to take a peek through a magic tube he called a kaleidoscope world.

Please see the links for the video of Kaleidoscope World:

Kaleidoscope World
by Francis M.
So many faces, so many races Different voices,

different choices Some are mad, while others laugh

Some live alone with no better half

Others grieve while others curse And others mourn behind a big black hearse

Some are pure and some half-bred Some are sober and some are wasted

Some are rich because of fate and Some are poor with no food on their plate

Some stand out while others blend Some are fat and stout while some are thin

Some are friends and some are foes

Some have some while some have most, yeah Every color and every hue Is represented by me and you

Take a slide in the slope Take a look in the kaleidoscope

Spinnin' round, make it twirl In this kaleidoscope world

Some are great and some are few

Others lie while some tell the truth

Some say poems and some do sing

Others sing through their guitar strings

Some know it all while some act dumb

Let the bassline strum to the bang of the drum

Some can swim while some will sink

And some will find their minds and think

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My List of TV Shows that Help Me Kick Off The Coffee Habit

Shows that lighten up your heart, give you a chuckle and make your mind alert without craving for a cup of coffee.

Boston Legal : The show gives me the desire to have the number one attorney, Alan Shore as a friend for pro-bono legal services, his court room theatrics, refined wit and occasional sarcastic banter make him a shark in the courtroom. Who wouldn’t be amused by the occasional memory lapses and narcissistic demeanor of Danny Craine, Senior partner of Crane, Poole and Schmidt. Shirley Schmidt’s shining attractive beauty and grace with her past golden girl age is every woman’s envy. Watching her everytime always makes me mutter-I wanna be like her when I grow up.

Valentine: Shallow but cute.

Grey’s Anatomy: Ofcourse, who could resist Dr.Derek Shepherd? A top A-1 list for boyfriend material.

Desperate Housewives: I love the characters more than Sex and the City. More down to earth, dealing with struggles of real life suburban housewives. Would make you wish to live in that well manicured Wisteria Lane.

The Mentalist: A crime investigation with a different twist. Though quite dragging but it’s a welcome change from the usual crime investigation tv shows.

CSI Series: Vegas, Miami and New York, exactly in this order.

Reba: hilarious
CNN News: reliable and 24 hour programming
Travel and Living: “While You Where Out” my favorite, gives tons of ideas about art projects; very relaxing.
Eli Stone: You should see the first episode with George Michael, priceless.
Medium: I just love the ideal family of Allison Dubois. Patrica Arquette is a born natural actress.

TV Shows that Help Cure My Insommia. A good way to save a wad amount of money from buying sleeping pills or going to a psychotherapist.

Married with Children: What a title! I wish they had thought of a better title than that.
Las Vegas: I rather read a book than watch this.
Dexter: Come on, I wonder why are they making this type of tv show that glorifies serial killers? Not to mention that the show gives the viewing public especially the young adults different techniques of killing.
Largo: Rubbish
Betty La Fea: Ok enough with ugly women transforming into a lovely princess.
Lost: Not very encouraging to go on a tropical beach adventure.
Big Brother: This should have been petitioned to be taken off the air; digusting!
Naked News: For the first 10- minutes, this will definitely make your eyes pop out seeing news reported in frontal nudity. I repeat n-u-d-e! As a viewer, my eyes kept on jigging up and down the screen gazing at the reporter’s face or the naked body or the naked body first then the face where ever you want to look first.

Not withstanding the frontal nudity, the news reporting is not worth watching anyway with or without clothes on. It’s more like porno stars trying to turn a new leaf in their lives by shifting careers from acting in an x rated flick to news reporting. It’s utterly distasteful, appalling and a disgrace in the news reporting industry. More than anything else, it will bore you to tears.

Tell me what’s your favorite?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Netiquette Crisis in Social Networking Circles

Few years ago, everyone went gaga over chatrooms, Mirc, YahooChat, AOL Chat and that includes me.

Through chatrooms, I’ve gathered a bunch of good friends from all over the world who became real life friends that I’ve met in person with whom I’m still corresponding up to now. Could you believe that? That was almost 10 years ago. Alongside with chat programs, ICQ Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Msn Messengers suddenly came into the picture.

But a decade after, who would say that internet social networking will be enhanced more with sophisticated features embodied in Friendster, Flixter, Multiply, My Space, TBD ( for middle aged people) and the coolest so far-Facebook.

Currently, I’ve got Facebook, TBD and Friendster. But most of the time, I ‘m an avid user of Facebook more than the latter. I like the idea of seeing different people on my facebook page. It’s like knowing what they’re up to without the effort of prying into their private lives.

However, I’ve noticed that several times, I’ve been asked by new faces that I assume wanted to connect and socialize online with me to add them on my social networking pages to be their friends. But once I click “confirm”, I don’t get to hear a simple greeting or any message to break the ice to start an online friendly relationship with me. Ofcourse that made me give a second look at my pic to see if I appear that grotesque that they would be too embarrassed to be associated with me. But I hear myself saying: naaah I’m not.

Worse part is that even if you jump in their conversation through their newsfeed or their posts I felt like I just engaged in a monologue and talking to the wind waiting for no response.
So what’s the point of asking to add you if you don’t even engage in casual pleasantries to pave the way for new friendship? It’s as simple as now I’ve added you then what?

In fairness there are few people who really made a nice friendly gesture to reach out through exchanging messages. That’s when I realize what a social networking site is all about. But to those who ask me to add them without saying a word or two. Thanks but no thanks! I can’t stand staring at their pics on my facebook just to realize that they exist on the other side of the world.

So if you’re interested, you can friend me on facebook, but don’t forget to send me a personal message and we’ll take it from there.

Write me on and we can talk about finding each other on facebook.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Ok stop right there.

Before you raise an eyebrow and give me a stern look like as if I opened a Topless Coffee Shop Business, let me tell you first that this is not my idea of a coffee shop. But in a small town in Maine, Mr. Donald Crabtree (what a name) just opened a topless coffee shop which raised the blood pressure of his neighbors around the area.

During this economic crunch, it’s amazing how people can think of all sorts of schemes and strategies to catch up or even to survive the economic downfall. The owner claimed a Mother Teresa type of social work as he quipped: He wanted to provide work for those who got laid off. Ok assuming that I believe him. On the other hand, isn’t he exploiting those who got laid off from work as well? Therefore, this leaves the waiters and waitresses bite the bullet because it gives couple of bucks to pay the bills.

And for those coffee addicts like me, should we go there for a business meeting and tête-à-tête with a friend sipping a cup of espresso with the risk of getting slapped by 38 D boobies or getting distracted and mesmerized by a six pack well toned abs while being served?

I don’t think so. Even as Mr. Crabtree proudly reported that his topless coffee shop is filled with people since he opened, no cameras, no touching are the cardinal rules. Damn! Why flaunt if you can’t touch!

If anything else, one of the cost cutting measures that Mr. Crabtree may have taken with this business idea is that he saved big bucks for food servers’ uniform.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Espresso or Cappucino?

What usually soothes your tired nerves in the midst of a stressful day -before a job interview, a doctor’s appointment or few minutes while you anticipate your boss’s ire over a low sales report during an early morning meeting? I’m sure you usually grab the first cup of coffee available in your sight. Whether it’s brewed, espresso, latte or instant coffee it doesn’t matter as long as it gives you your daily fix for your much needed perk to keep your eyes steady-eyelids open and mind alert, right?

Just like you, I’m an unofficial coffee addict too. Unofficial since technically there’s still no diagnosis and therapy (yet) for coffee addiction ( is there?) At least I’m not on denial. I’m a self-confessed coffee addict ( thankfully not a shoppaholic but also getting there.)
But if you ask me how did I get to be a coffee addict? It started during my travel to Europe where I currently reside at the moment. Initially, I thought that drinking coffee 3 times a day is more than the required number of coffee latte I could drink down in the Philippines, where I originally come from. But to my consternation, Europe produces the most coffee drinkers in the world. Everywhere you go coffee shops proliferate like synthetic bags and plastic toys made in China. Europeans frequent small coffee shops, hip and cool Asian motiffed coffee shops and umbrella table coffee shops set practically on the street curb which are more preferred during summer.
So my predisposition to the coffee addiction was further enhanced and turbo boosted with five strong espresso a day in Southeast Europe in such a short time.

I know that there are heaps of coffee addicts out there denying that they are or maybe proud to be one or on the verge of being one. Whereever you are..whoever you are coffee addicts or not…join me in my blog and feel free to rant or ramble about anything while both of us sip fresh hot Arabica coffee. But no smoking is allowed.