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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Dealing With A Teen-ager

Sigh, you know that frustrating feeling of wanting your son to look clean and fresh all shaved and with a haircut to your liking yet being turned down because the boy-man says it is no shave November!

Oh my! Now I am looking for a shaving stand I could buy him if only to inspire him to take away those unsightly beard! Sigh again. Wish me luck convincing the boy in a man's body! Well to date he has agreed to shorten the mustache but not to completely eliminate, I'd say great start! ☺

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Music of Friendship

I miss the times I could just watch the sky changing colors. It makes me feel as if I could play a yamaha electric cello and listen to my friends sing. I had a highschool chum with whom I tried composing a song with! She took care of the melody while I filled in the lyrics. It was for my crush! Gee, the craziness of youth! Today as I type I think about so many friends who filled the pages of my life and silently call out their names wtitten in my heart. I miss you guys! Shoot me a comment please! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Lullabye

Yesterday I was smiling as I listened to a sister in law chanting to her baby. My nephew was not feeling well and was unusually cranky. So sis-in-law treated him to a lullabye concert sort of. I wanted to interrupt her singing to tell her she reminded me of her mom's voice. It's amazing how mothers could turn artists when it comes to their kids. Am sure as the boy grows he will be singing too and his mom would be frantically searching for musical instruments.

I think I will give the mother and son something from www.musician.com.





Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Almost Christmas!

You know what I love most when September comes? It means in just a few weeks people will be shouting for joy again- the magic of Christmas will soon fill the air!

Our Christmas Family Photo last year

As it is now the hubby who is more into decorating the house during the season has been searching for
radko christmas ornaments at christmas place and the kids are excited to watch me and their dad argue about the tree and the lighting around the house.Oh the happiness of having two kiddos- boys at that and a hubby who loves Christmas just as much as I do. Thinking twice, I think he is more into Christmas than I am LOL. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

'til Death Do Us Part....

Love is the most powerful emotion. It can bring out the best in you; make you smile the whole day through or sing to a happy tune. Simply cheap promise rings are enough to seal A LOVE MADE IN HEAVEN. With or with no ring to symbolize a relationship for as long as you both truly care for each other nothing can separate your bond. That much I know! Having been married for more than ten years and happy as happy can be I can say LOVE is worth giving a chance....until death do us part!



Thursday, July 3, 2014

January ... a Month filled with Surprise! A New Chapter ...A New Beginning!

It was one of the most celebrated month...
The air was filled with so much joy...
The cold winter breeze of January led us to this particular day...

His eyes grew wide...
His jaw dropped...
It was a feeling of disbelief...

I couldn't believe my eyes...
I asked, " Ny come quick!"
He said,  " Positive ny?"

"That was what I thought", I exclaimed!
We held our breaths...
He then quickly replied, " Let's do it one more time!"

...and we did!
With eyes glowing...we smiled...we looked  at each others eyes...
and in the next coming days...we smiled even more...knowing that a wonderful chapter of our lives is about to begin!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Links

Didn't you ever feel alone while being actually in a room full of people?  Don't you ever get lonely even while surrounded by many spactacular big "happy" things? Like you are being completely involved, consumed but yet unmoved.... Hmmm... we all do feel that sometimes, i guess... the emptyness, desperation, feeling alone, and the longing for that one soul to affirm our faith  and keep us on solid grounds. We search for the links which will anchor us back to the peaceful world of our realities... and from there, we can soar in the big sky again, unafraid.. (shared from kurdapya's collection of poetic murmurings)

 
 
Links
 
 Wanting to reach -
But meaning escapes
The cold utterances.
 
Wanting to hear –
But the drumbeating
Couldn’t out-sound
The screaming
Silence.
 
And there,
in a never ending cycle
Of  wanting…
wishing…
grasping for what cannot…
Linking imaginings
With a breath of life,
There we are…
 
hoping…
Hoping against hope-
 
To belong.

 

 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Three Thing's I'd Love To Do When I Retire


Work in the Garden from Sun up to Sun down

I've always wanted to grow my own ingredients for the kitchen. I'd love to have around the house all sorts of fruit-bearing trees and take care of those rare ornamental plants and sing to colorful petals kissed by butterflies!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding My Way Back To Gardening


I must admit I kinda lost time for one of my hobbies when I got hooked to other stuff. Now, slowly I am finding my way back. Last week I got inspired enough to do some transplanting and garden make-over. Now our blooms and succulents area is ready for some addition to the collection. The hubby and I were discussing about gathering plants from our childhood which are rarely seen in gardens now like sweet smelling Sampaguita. Hmmm my green thumb has to be utilized more often!  The world needs more "green" things and the best time to start is now! With the temperature and weather around the world getting crazily unpredictable and even deadly we must ACT in haste! A new plant a week, a tree a bush a flower... that is our goal at home. We've started digging and caring for almost extinct fruit bearing trees on our side of the world the other week. I am thrilled at this project of ours. The kids are hyped too!

My workaholic hubby teaching our son Roel and nephew Jhunvy the art of caring for nature
It's a huge challenge to undertake - kicking my sometimes lazy butt to water the plants and get the shovel on my hands instead of just bumming and playing games on my gadgets yet I am willing to do my part to save this planet. Come join the fun!  :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

4 Great Exercise Courses for the Future Instructor

If you're considering a career as an exercise instructor, you probably already know that courses in fitness, kinesthetics and choreography are paramount to your future success. But which classes are really worth the money? Which will build you up from a nervous student to an experienced, confident leader? Here are four excellent training programs that will get you fit, motivated and ready to teach in no time.


1: Core Bootcamp

Get started with the basics by educating yourself in the "dos" and "don'ts" of bootcamps. Cardiovascular exercise is more complicated than it looks, so if you want to lead your students from flab to fab, you'll need extensive training in endurance, flexibility, strength building, core workouts, et cetera.


2: Yoga Inc.

Most gyms and fitness centers offer at least one yoga class, so it's a good idea to know the Downward Dog if you plan on looking to these places for employment. Learn about posing, breathing and how to avoid common injuries experienced by gung-ho beginners.


3: The Cycle Coach

There's more to cycling than just sitting on a bike and pumping your legs. In this course, you'll learn about the physicality and psychology of the exercise, gaining the tools to lead your own class with equal amounts of passion and knowledge.


4: HIIT the Road

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) combines cutting-edge fitness knowledge with good old-fashioned strength exercises. Use this course to find out more about intensity, force application and heart rate monitoring. As a soon-to-be instructor, you need to stay ahead of the curve!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Comfort Food: Jolly Spaghetti


I am not really a fan of Fast-food chains but there is one Jollibee meal I love!

Their spaghetti loaded with cheese and sausage is flavorfully hard to resist!

In moderation it is good enough for me to be energized for a gruelling day at work or a stressful situation.

I love devouring peach mango pie with it. No picture of the pie because it was consumed before the camera could zoom hehehe.

How about you? What is your all time pick me up food? Want some of the pasta? I'm always willing to share!

Have a great time eating with family and friends!  :)

5 Fashion Trends That Look Great Anytime

Tired of rotating your wardrobe every spring, summer and fall? There are a number of ways you can upgrade your closet to be cute and seasonably appropriate no matter what the meteorologists say. If you'd like to enjoy round-the-clock style, here are five fashion trends that you can wear any day of the year.


1: Sheath Dresses

Sheath dresses are the kind that cling to your curves and create a dramatic silhouette. Buy them in bright, flirty colors for summer; pair them with thick overcoats and stockings when the weather cools.


2: Cashmere Sweaters

You may think that long sleeves are only appropriate for wintertime, but light cashmere sweaters for women can be worn any time. In fact, their coverage offers excellent protection from mosquitoes during summer baseball games!


3: Kitten Heels

Tall enough for sex appeal but small enough not to cause disaster during a rainy or snowy day, kitten heels are a workable compromise between pumps and flats. They look great in all colors, too!


4: Wraps

Unlike scarves, which are designed for bulk and warmth, wraps are often made of lighter, breezier materials. Their primary function is fashion, not protection from the elements, so you can wear them any time your outfit needs a "pop."


5: Leggings

In warm temperatures, leggings can be paired with summer dresses and skirts; in colder weather, they'll trap body heat and fit comfortably into furry boots. Go ahead and buy leggings in every color: You can wear them 365 days a year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Summer In A Bowl


Summer is just around the corner on my side of the world and the kids are already looking forward to enjoying more of "halo-halo" (shaved ice with mixed sweetened fruits and ice cream)! The other weekend we each had a bowl of Summer in our new found resto. The hubby promised to create his own "halo-halo" at home next weekend! Come share Summer In A Bowl with us then!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Parallelism


Any piece of artwork is a mirror of recaptured experience. It is an encapsulated slice of a particular reality. A creative attempt to foreground an understanding of what is rather obscure.

Where can true love be found? Or are we even equipped, capable to give and receive it? Hasn't it been butchered yet by this practical materialistic world?

Murmuring these questions led to the writing of this poem (2007 Thailand).  Dear friends, share this reflective course as we traverse the lines of "Parallelism"...


Parallelism

In a parallel paradigm of selling and buying
Abounding like merchandise in a busy marketplace,
Love can be sold
Half the price, discounted, on sale
Or buying things at a certain cost
It may come like a bonus - free!
No charge at all
Convenient.

A hopeless romantic may well find herself
Roaming endlessly in an abandoned cemetery
Where people caught in a mundane swirl of living daily
No vision of glory, passion or pain
Bury love under fathomless depth of oblivion,
"don't dare dig it baby, you'll end up feeling sorry".

Time passes without meaning
Onward towards the great nowhere
Move on!
Let it all pass under the bridge,
Ride the wings of time
Until you reach the end
Far from the here and the now
Far from all the things that make u feel invisible.

Go away.
Regain visibility.
Be not daunted by fear.
Be free!

~ Kurdapya~

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Feeling Bad? Dress Up!

I have not been my usual self the past days. I am frustrated over something, a plan which did not work out as I would have wanted it to be. Yet I continue being optimistic, taking each day one at a time until I find my answer. So, how do I deal with these unavoidable negative vibes?

I dress up!

I visited a salon for the first time in many months, got me some new clothes and some bling-blings. These days I just LOVE wearing huge accessories. I wish I could have some of those fashionable wrist candies from http://www.katydid.com/  and even just one of their uniquely designed belts too! Workmates were curious about my new look the other day and I was quick to tell them "It's just that my mind is such a clutter these days so I find joy in dolling up".  

I do believe though that real beauty is found in one's heart- that is why I am spending these days contemplating on what I have to do to be of better service to my fellowmen. For now, I wait, wait and pray.

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rebonded or Curled?: Hair Matters

I have let my hair grow for the past months. I last had it rebonded for a straight no frizzle look more than a year ago and it has started to become unruly. 


I love how it naturally curls on some days though and that I could tie it and twirl it or just let it down freely when I feel like it.

I still would want it rebonded though because I won't need to spend more time figuring out how to fix it when hurrying for work. I must admit the way we look has a lot of impact on people we deal with everyday so we must always look our best.

I believe though that a beautiful caring heart shines forever and that whether we have curly or straight hair does not matter.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

From Manual Printing to Online Printing, On Change and The Choice To Make A Difference


The photo above is a smartphone shot of a page of our school paper around twenty years ago. So much has changed when it comes to printing! Back then our campus magazine was printed using black ink on very coarse brownish paper. These days there are easily accessible online print solutions to choose from! Change is indeed good when properly used. Below I am sharing with you what I wrote as the "cover story" of our June-August 1994 school paper issue on CHANGE....

Change is inevitable at the same time vital.The crooked must be made straight, the vile must be turned into good. The world badly needs change but the transformation can not transpire in a matter of seconds. It might take years or even centuries for the ultimate transition to occur because the obstacles are myriad. The first challenge is set on ourselves. Albeit the steps to take are arduous, we must move on! UP THE LADDERS OF CHANGE!...the clock is ticking... (Kulasa, from twenty years ago)

Looking back I think there is still so much that needs to be done to make this world a better place....and the fact that EVERYTHING STARTS WITHIN OURSELVES, remains...

Have a great weekend one and all! Thank you always for helping us keep kiddo's dreams alive...


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Of Silence


If Silence has a face, 
It should bear tranquility 
If it has another name... 
It should be called 
P E A C E.

~ by kurdapya/ Carmen ~

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Our Ruthilicious Turns 29! Nine Things I Love About Her

1. Her gorgeous smile.

2. Her generous heart.

3. Her inspiring relationship with her siblings.

4. Her creativity.

5. Her contagious laughter!

6. Her voracious appetite that makes me so thankful to be alive.

7. Her love for her two homes. Her pride for her hometown Liliw and the "Maine" attractions she shares.

8. Her zest for life and positivity.

9. Her genuine FRIENDSHIP!



Happy Birthmonth Ruthisistah!!!
We all love you oh so much!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Holiday Stayed in Our Garden

The Christmas season may have been gone for quite sometime and Lent is drawing near. Yet around our yard, the Holiday cheer is still blooming! Why? because of our blooming Poinsettias!

We have two varieties!

One that has specks of white splashed over its petals giving it a printed lovely look...

and another one with the classic "ruby-red" gaiety!

I wonder how long they'll last and keep the Holiday Season fever in our garden. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I go to sleep and plan for more blooms to add to our home sweet home!

Have a lovely week one and all!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Siblings, My Friends

I have 2 brothers. Japol and Gary.
 For me they are enough. I don't need anymore.
 I get enough doses of their love and craziness. LOL
 When it comes to conspiracy, we are a team.
 We are partners-in-crime.
 And we are one.
And more importantly... we are not just siblings... we are friends forever!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Want To Snorkel The Great Barrier Reef Without The Hassle? Try These Cairns Reef Tours

You can't go to Cairns without exploring the pristine natural beauty of the famous Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef isn't just the world's largest coral reef system (spanning 2,600 kilometres over an area larger than the Philippines) it's also one of the most diverse. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO heritage site and one of CNN’s seven wonders of the world. But taking it all in can be an overwhelming feat. Where to start? What to see? Many marine biologists have dedicated their entire lives to exploring and studying the reef. As a tourist, it can be difficult to find and access the best spots, let alone get the gear and training necessary to see them at their finest. Don't despair: there's a huge range of accredited eco tourism companies that have a terrific reputation for helping tourists explore it safely, easily and conveniently – all while preserving the integrity of the local ecosystem. Let's look at just a few of the many tour options that will have you exploring the Great Barrier Reef in no time.

Poseidon Port Douglas Snorkelling Cruises Get You Up Close to Nature

For years, Poseidon has been taking visitors to three jaw-dropping sites along the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs, which are located in the Outer Barrier Reef. Those new to snorkelling will benefit from the introductory pre-tour courses, which go over equipment use and basic snorkelling techniques. The reel fun starts when participants plunge into the crystal-clear waters off the back of the Poseidon tour boat to explore the reef system with a dedicated marine biologist and snorkel crew. Poseidon is known for keeping tour groups small and intimate for the best safety, instruction, independence and unparalleled views of beautiful coral pinnacles and other stunning marine life.

Catch a Catamaran to Michaelmas Cay with Ocean Spirit Cruises

Want something a little different? The Ocean Spirit I with Ocean Spirit Cruises is a huge, beautiful sailing catamaran that takes visitors to the otherworldly bird-nesting rookery of Michaelmas Cay. The delicate ecosystem is considered the largest rookery in the southern hemisphere. From there, you have up to four hours to explore the surrounding reef via dedicated snorkelling tours and guided tours in smaller semi-submersible vessels. The tour includes a presentation by a marine biologist, snorkelling demonstration and tuition, a seafood banquet lunch prepared by on-board chefs, and special flotation vests for kids and beginners. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can also choose to take an introductory dive during the same expedition.

Divulge in Luxurious Exploration with Ocean Freedom Upolu Cay Tours

The full five hours of relaxed snorkelling exploration around the Upolu Reef and Cay - famous for a rare combination of hard and soft corals, sea turtles, a diverse array of reef fish, fans and giant clams - is the pinnacle of this extravagant tour. The sandy Cay is a great place to relax in between excursions below the surface of the bright turquoise waters. On the way to the Upolu Cay and back via the classy Ocean Freedom vessel, you'll be offered morning tea and coffee with Danish pastries, a self-serve buffet lunch including fresh salads, chicken and smoked salmon, tropical fruit salads and cake platters. You'll also get to experience the famous Ocean Freedom Glass Bottom boat tour upon arrival, for a different perspective of the incredible ecosystem below.
The spectacular reefs outside of Cairns are surprisingly accessible once you realize how many experienced, reputable tour services are available. What's more, you don't need to be a pro diver to see the reefs; even casual swimmers can plan snorkelling trips around the reef. The only hard part is deciding which of the many Cairns reef tours to do first!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Garden Blooms

Thanks to my loving mom in law who spends more time at home than I do and lovingly takes care of our little flower garden we got several petals gracing the yard....

Hibiscus, Poinsettia and Roses are her favorites. She bought gardening soil the other day and started her mini-roses nursery. She recycled sardines cans to grow those stems which she said must remain stable so the forming roots won't shatter. 

Our Roses collection 

I am sure in time we'll have more of these around the house.  Mom in law is working in the garden again while I am still in bed blogging LOL...

She's sweet and caring like my biologolical mom and I love them both to pieces.  Lucky to be having the best moms....and sharing the gardening inspiration with you all as I kick my own butt to help plant roses and make this world a cheerful place to live in.

HAVE A NICE DAY ONE AND ALL. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

What skills are required for poker?


Contrary to popular belief, poker is not a game of  luck. The cards, or luck of the draw, comprise only part of the game. In order to win consistently at poker, every good player exhibits a certain set of skills.

Mathematics

In poker, the necessary mathematics skills include more than simply knowing how to count cards. Yes, any poker player should know how to add the flop and board cards as well as have the ability to calculate the cards that are left in the deck (outs). However, he also needs to understand odds and probabilities of the outs.

How do you learn how to calculate the odds of any given game and translate them into a good betting strategy? Turn to a good poker player for help or research poker tutorials online.

Focus

Individuals who can not concentrate on a task and become easily distracted will find it hard to become successful poker players. While poker requires the ability to handle multiple tasks, the key is to keep track of the other players' actions without losing sight of the big picture.

Observation Skills

Of course advanced poker players know how to control their reactions by putting on what is called a good poker face. However, an individual with good observation skills can pick up those small, uncontrollable telltale signs that show up with a good or bad hand. That is when a good memory will come in handy when you can match up those signs with winning or losing hands.

Basic Psychology

Players evaluate their opponents before the first hand is even dealt. Bluffing and manipulation skills (making the opponent think you have a better or worse hand) win the game. A good poker player evaluates what kind of hands opponents have and what the opponents think others have. Betting high with a bad hand (fast playing) and betting hesitantly (slow playing) with a good hand as to not scare off the opponents constitute relatively simple forms of this strategy.

Understanding the Concept of Risk Compared to Reward

It takes experience to balance risks with rewards. It might take a streak of losing hands before getting ahead in a particular game. A skilled poker player needs to know when he is up against players who can afford to take bigger risks. He also needs a certain amount of ruthlessness and take advantage of the situation when competing against smaller fish.

Discipline

It takes a lot of self-discipline to come out ahead. For example, a good hand can easily lead to too much confidence and distract the player from paying attention to the whole game. Bet too high when someone else holds a better hand and the loss can be significant. On the other hand, playing timidly when the cards do not fall right might make for a short game.

However, even the most disciplined and skilled player can encounter better players. In that case, lack of respect for those skills can lead to foolish losses as well. As the saying goes: Know when to fold.

Good players understand that poker is about skills and know how to work all of these. While unskilled players can get lucky, advanced poker enthusiasts do not rely on luck. They simply hope no one else gets lucky.

About The Author:

Sarah writes for Allpro usually about sports and game reviews.

Hurray To Little Beth's New Adventure

Soon you will hug tiny hands and tiny feet....

Soon you'll be the happy listener to cute cries of hunger and discomfort yet also the recipient of the tiniest yet sweetest of hugs and kisses...

Soon you will become, one of the prettiest moms in all the world

Soon we will see, that beautiful miracle that came from ONE GREAT LOVE so unique and true

Soon we will witness your little family's blooming tale of sweetness

Shall I say we are overly thrilled????? and gleeful and thankful for this wonderful precious gift you have received....

Another Salitype baby is coming over!!!!!

Hurray little Beth!!!! We all love you oh so much!!!!

 Can't wait to see little= little Beth :)

 JOINING YOU IN YOUR NEW ADVENTURE!!!!



Marckie Listening To Music And Relaxing In the Garden

Our dog Marckie loves hanging out in the yard. He enjoys simply sprawling on the grass carpeted lawn and staring at our blooming garden flowers. On weekends, the hubby would be playing his favorite songs for all the world to hear. He usually plays guitar accompanied songs of yesteryears which the kids honestly do not appreciate much. 

Our grasses actually need a lot of trimming and the hubby is planning to set up permanent chairs on our front yard for our guests to seat on during parties at home. I was telling him the other day that soon we will graduate from holding kiddo parties and hold teenage parties instead! He squirmed at the idea that our teenage son's friends will be dancing and playing loud music with the aid of Line 6 Amplifiers. I laughed out loud imagining him ordering a curfew and begging the kids to tone down their guitars. But know what? When no one is looking, the hubby actually dances to new beats! I bet he secretly loves new guitar hits!

As for our dog Marckie, I think he doesn't mind whether it is modern or classical music that's playing at our home sweet home. He does react though as any dog would do to strangers and rowdy noise. 

Have fun in your own homes and may you always be blessed with love and peace.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saving Time In a Bottle Through Strumming A Guitar



I am not giving up, definitely not giving up on my dream to play the guitar. I used to be able to strum a guitar using book guides. I even actually had guitar lessons as a teenage girl. My instructor loved to let us play the song "Time In a Bottle". I just realized it is easier to learn now with technology allowing us to watch video tutorials! Even purchasing new b.c. rich bass guitars is a breeze online.

My brother used to have an electric guitar and was even part of his school's band. I am sure when his son grows a bit older he'd be interested in music too! My kids already are, and if I could have saved time in a bottle, I'd go back to that time when my brother and I were still teenagers and having a blast with dad who is now resting up in the clouds. 

Lourdes Grotto

        We had another trip to the City of Pines with the kids this summer. This time we took them to the Lourdes Grotto which is a Catholic place of worship where one could have an excellent view of Baguio City.
Devotees from all  over the world visit the place each day. We were greeted at the entrance by a brown friendly dog.

I took one deep breath at the foot of the first staircase and wished myself a lot of luck climbing the 252 steps. Already exhausted from roaming the rest of the city I knew I had little energy left.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Falles de Valencia

If there is one thing that the Spanish know well its festivals. With various celebrations on Saint’s days, Easter, Christmas and a host of other festivals, there is always something going on. Depending on if you like the peace and quiet or you love the idea of seeing some of Spain’s traditional fetes and festivals, the Fallas de Valencia festival could be the perfect thing to see while on holiday in spain.

Marking the Festival

A five day festival surrounding the celebration of Saint Joseph, ending on the 19th March. The name derives from the word falla which means ‘torch’. Every morning in the five days of the festival begins at 8am with large brass bands that march down the streets playing live music. Following that are the fallers who throw large firecrackers into the air to mark the festival days.
Every day at 2pm the clock tower will chime and the Fallera Mayor will come out onto the City Hall balcony and call out to the citizens to commence the Mascleta a series miniature firework displays that go off in each neighbourhood. The neighbourhoods will compete with each other for the honour of providing the final Mascleta on the 19th March.

Flower Offerings

During the days of the 17th and 18th March, all throughout the day offerings of flowers are made to the Holy Mary. The statue that stands in the city is soon covered in flowers, as well as its adorning pedestal, as a sign of respect.

Fireworks every Night

Every evening from the 15th to the 19th March has grand fireworks displays along the old riverbed, with each nights fireworks getting progressively grander until the crux of the festival on La Nit del Foc meaning the Night of Fire.

Ninots

Traditionally during the five days of the festival, families and neighbourhoods would get together and craft and build wooden figurines that they would burn on the last day of Fallas. These crafted figures were called ninots, and were traditionally in the basic shape of men and women. Normally inspiration was taken from events that had happened during the year to create the figurines, and the burning of these ninots would represent the cleansing of the ‘irony’ and ‘sin’ of the previous year.

More recent ninots are made out of cardboard, papier macher and wax, making them easier to burn and easier to carve. Artists, painters and sculptures can take months to sculpt and paint these ninots or fallas, for them to be burnt on the 19th March. These ninots can be as tall as the surrounding buildings, and often the flames from these fallas are so hot that festival goers can still feel the intense heat from metres away. Visitors are allowed to vote for which ninot they think is the best. At the end of the festival, the ninot with the winning vote is the only ninot that is saved from the burning or ‘La Crema’.

This lively, yet eerily haunting festival is normally accompanied with traditional dress, dancing, loud live music and dishes such as paella. It is strange to think that so much effort has been put into these stunning pieces of art, only to have most of them burnt on the day, but that is what makes this festival so fascinating.

About the Author:

Esthar Wood is a travel blogger with a keen interest in Spanish customs and traditions. She has contributed this post on behalf of Panorama Properties, real estate agents of repute on the Costa del Sol

This Year's Valentine, Letting Go.....

On heart's day this year I got to share in a momentous event in my teen-age son's life.

Flowers, chocolates and love songs all became fresh beautiful things to me as I watched the boy who used to be a baby I cradeled in my arms become a man. As I watched him glide into the dance floor, a lovely girl in his arms my heart lurched both with happiness and honestly a bit of sadness. So this is how it feels to Let Go and be a mom to a man.

It feels great, sigh. To see the once year old boy making his first few steps across the living room speak in public with authority and conviction and be applauded by a crowd is this mom's ultimate crown.  I probably did a great job and it is time...to Let Go of the baby and let him be A Man....

To every mom out there who witnessed their son or daughter's prom this year.....

HAPPY LETTING GO!!! And Congratulations....


Monday, February 24, 2014

Whistling The Tune of Love At Home

 The hubby often whistles when busy around the yard. I love it when he whistles my favorite tunes, the ones he used to play for me when he was still courting me. What I love more now is that our kids have developed a love for music too! They would love to have a recorder, a whistle-like instrument to play while walking to school or back home. I'm thinking of purchasing too one of those affordable recorder neckstraps sold online so they won't drop the instrument while chasing each other.  The two of them I am so relieved can sing and play a song without getting out of tune. I thank the heavens they did not inherit my unmelodious voice!

Our yard on weekends is singing with happiness when the kids and the hubby are all home to inspire me in my gardening!

May The Song of Happiness Always Play In The Sweetness of Your Homes

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to save money with cheap garden upgrades

There's a lasting allure attached to the designing of gardens for pleasure as opposed to tilling the soil in order to raise food.  Gardening that focuses on visual entertainment rather than practical benefit has been a province of the wealthy for several millennia, and is sometimes elevated to an art form.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which was a series of landscaped terraces built in the desert around 600 BCE, were considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.  The Chinese still maintain the magnificent Imperial Gardens of the old dynastic rulers in the Forbidden City, which cover 12,000 square metres and contain trees that have been cultivated for hundreds of years, and Japan opens similar gardens in Tokyo and Kyoto to the public regularly.

Today's casual gardener has access to the collective gardening wisdom of the ages in creating decorative effects, and the elements most often chosen for use in pleasure gardens have remained the same:  seating carefully arranged to catch the best views, plants chosen to present attractive displays all the year through, water features, pieces of sculpture, and accessories chosen to delight the eye.

Most popular garden additions

A little labour and ingenuity, plus an eye for beauty, are all that's required to bring the following elements into your garden successfully.  The simplest way to add dramatic focus to your garden is a water feature.  Installing a water feature can be done very quickly and cheaply, as the basic components are few.  You'll need a reservoir to hold the water, a submersible pump to cycle the water from reservoir to fountainhead and back, and the fountain spigot itself, which is optional.  The pump can run on electrical current from inside your house, and you'll want to incorporate a suitable circuit breaker as a safety measure.

Patio.  While usually more costly than a water feature, a patio gives you a space in which to host gatherings.  The materials needed for a patio are rather more expensive than those for a water feature, as to do the best job you'll need a foundation layer (usually of sand or crushed concrete) plus mortar and paving stones.  Depending on the type of paving you select, you can keep your costs low (a single sheet of concrete is cheapest, followed by concrete paving blocks) or spend more on pre-cut stone blocks like slate, shale, granite, or limestone.

Planters.  Almost anything, from wine casks to breeze blocks, can be converted to a planter.  The chief requirements are the capacity to hold garden soil and an outlet for drainage, to permit water to percolate through the soil, and any container that serves those purposes will do.  You can cast a planter in regular concrete, or mix up some cement-based hypertufa to mold a planter that resembles a stone watering trough.  The easiest planters to build are made of scrap lumber like wooden pallets, because you can knock together a box of any size, dump in a few bags of soil, and start transplanting.

Grill for outdoor cooking.  You can spend several hundred pounds on a gas-powered barbecue with a posh rain cover  (do check that you are getting the best rates available if seeking additional funds for this venture) or you can dig a shallow firepit, bank it with cobbles or leftover concrete, and place a wire grill over it on which your food can cook.  It's even possible to take the wire rack from your toaster oven and set it on little stacks of bricks, for that matter, because it's really that easy to construct an outdoor grill.  You can construct quite a large grill by adapting an old metal mesh-top table.  Separate the existing leg assembly from the top, which will form the grill, and substitute some shorter supports around the sides.  The smaller table tops work best for this application, but if all you can find is a larger size you can use only that part of the top that actually fits over your firepit.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Batsuy- A White Squash Recipe

One of my favorite vegetables is white squash and one dish I learned from my grandma and continue to love to this day is Batsuy. It is a nutritious, healthy and yummy recipe.



You need to slice the white squash into little rectangular portions and prepare onions, garlic and tomatoes and atsuete (for natural coloring).



Saute pork, ground or diced or for vegetarians a meat substitute could be used, add the white squash and a little fish sauce to taste.

I prefer eating it immediately after cooking with warm rice. Let's eat!

Friday, February 7, 2014

8 Presents Your Girlfriend Will Love This Valentine's Day

Valentine’s day will soon be here, so it’s probably a good idea that you start looking at gifts for your girlfriend right now. A woman without a thoughtful gift from her boyfriend on Valentine’s day is unlikely to be a happy one, so now’s the time to get thinking fellas! To give you a little bit of a hint, we’ve put together 8 presents your girlfriend is sure to love - no matter your budget or her style!

 


A Box of Her Favourite Things

What does your girlfriend like the most in the world? Throw it all into a pretty box or basket! You can put sweets, jewellery, Yankee candles, alcohol - anything she enjoys into her box. Fill it with things that will make her smile.

A Watch

There’s nothing like a watch to finish off an outfit. The most popular brands are probably Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood, and Guess. Take a look at those ranges and see if there’s anything that your girlfriend will like. Have a look at her current collection of jewellery to get an idea of the kind of stuff she likes!

A Charm

If your girlfriend has a Pandora bracelet or another popular charm bracelet, you could buy her a meaningful charm to go on it. It’ll mean so much more if you pick it rather than her picking it herself, just make sure you know what brand her bracelet is before buying the charm.

Clothes

All women love clothes, but they should be approached with caution. You need to be very confident that your girlfriend will like what you’re picking for her, and that it’s not just something you like. You should also bear in mind that if you buy her something too racy, she might get offended!

A Subscription to Her Favourite Magazine

Take a look at her magazine collection and see what kind of material she’s into. If there’s something there that’s more prominent than the others, get her a subscription for the year! Subscriptions are usually much cheaper than buying them singularly, so it’s worth it.

A Weekend Away

All girls dream of being whisked away, so book a weekend away as a Valentine’s surprise. You don’t have to spend a fortune and take her to another country (unless you want to), you could simply take her to another city where there’s great food, things to do and see, and shopping. All girls love shopping!

A Slap Up Meal

Whether this is home cooked or at her favourite restaurant, she’s sure to appreciate some slap up grub. If you’ve paid any attention to her you should know what her favourite food is - so get preparing!

A Pamper Day

You could book your girlfriend in at a spa, although this will take it’s toll on your pocket. If you want to pamper your girlfriend, you can do so for a fraction of the price by doing it yourself! Run her a bath, give her massages, cook for her, paint her nails...anything she wants!

What are you going to do for your girlfriend? Choose an option from our list and you can’t go wrong!





 



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Home Sweet Home: Of Gardening and Staying Fit


One thing I love most about living at the neck of the woods is the chance to plant  vegetables around the yard. It is an awesome feeling being able to till the land and have veggies on the dining table straight from the garden.

See our squash above? It's all grown and I believe it will still get bigger! I love coming home from work and seeing our plants healthy and colorful! 


The white flower is that of our white squash crawling on the ground and welcoming sunshine. I wish I could spend more time taking care of our vegetable plants.

 
Care to share with me the above healthy breakfast?- fresh bittermelon, eggplant, onions, tomatoes and pepper!

Health is wealth and what better way to stay fit than gardening and consuming fresh produce! Join us!

Monday, February 3, 2014

5 North American Holiday Destinations You Need to Visit



There are plenty of cities in North America that make it on to everyone's travel wishlist; most of us would give our right arm to see them all. The problem is, with so many cities to choose from, where do you go first? Unless you’re made of money, it’s unlikely that you’re going to visit them all at once! We’ve picked five of our favourite North American holiday destinations that should definitely be top of the list.

1. Albuquerque
Famous for several things; Breaking Bad, Balloon Fiesta and the fact that it sounds like you’re talking about cookies when you mention its name. We love Albuquerque and not just for the reasons we’ve stated above. If you want something a little bit different, and not teeming with tourists, then this is the American holiday destination for you. Situated in New Mexico, the desert climate will ensure you get the heat we all crave when on holiday, unless you visit during their snowstorms through December and January. There’s an amusement park, ice rinks and a space centre to keep even the fussiest of travellers happy.

2. Honolulu
Who doesn’t want to go to Hawaii on holiday?! Honolulu is the biggest city in the state of Hawaii, and one of the best suited for tourists. There’s some rather incredible beaches, clear blue waters, sunny weather, lovely locals, delicious food… We could go on. If you’re bored of relaxing then there’s plenty of upbeat activities to take part in, such as surfing on Waikiki beaches or visiting one of the many hula shows, cabarets and theatre performances. There’s so much to say about the charm of Honolulu, but we think you should discover it for yourself.

3. Seattle
One of the largest cities in the whole of the USA, Seattle will ensure you have plenty of things to do during your holiday. Any travel guide you pick up for this city will be split into different regions, just to cover the vast amount of area that makes up Seattle. We don’t have a whole lot of time left to write about all of the things you can do here, so we’ve picked just a few favourites; visit the Space Needle, go on an underground tour, visit one of the many museums and take a ride on the monorail.

4. Nashville
Music City is the nickname of Tennessee's capital, Nashville. If you have a passion for country music, rap music, rock music; music in general, then this is the American holiday destination for you. Many famous bands have started off playing in the many pubs, bars and clubs in the Nashville area, before becoming the superstars that you see today. There are plenty of music museums here if you want to learn more about this city's rich culture. Alternatively simply head over to one of the local bars and listen to some live performances from tomorrow’s biggest bands.

5. New York City
We couldn’t conclude the list without adding in New York City now, could we? The Big Apple is the most famous city in America, with many people assuming it’s the capital (that’s Washington DC, by the way). Famous landmarks include the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and the National September 11th Memorial site. Many people avoid NYC because they think it’s too expensive, but you can get cheap hotels in New York if you look around.

These are just 5 of our favourites, although we could definitely have added a lot more to the list. Where will you be going on your next North American holiday?

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