Thursday, December 31, 2009

The New Me

At the hardly tender age of 32, I had finally contracted that horrid little disease I had successfully eluded my entire childhood: varicella, aka chickenpox. That was this year. I could have spent Valentine’s Day playing connect-the-dots, but I think my sense of humor took a huge dip around this time. You really couldn’t blame me; I looked pretty much like the plague had descended upon me. My darling toddler was the culprit. While the adorable tyke had gotten off virtually scot-free (no scars at all, didn’t even have a fever), the same disease turned yours truly into a wretched, agonizing, and utterly gross piece of humanity (raging fevers, howling migraines, and a multitude of those gruesome blisters).
I really don’t know how I could have been so thick. Our vaccination philosophy is to let our daughter develop immunity from the usual childhood diseases naturally, but if she doesn’t contract them by the time she’s ten years old, THEN we shall vaccinate. Those diseases (the chickenpox numbers among them, of course) are supposed to be worse for older children and adults. Well, there I was, a couple of decades older than ten, unvaccinated… you do the math. If you came up with the answer of over two weeks of suffering and scars unto infinity, you would have been partially correct. They do say that chicken pox scars linger indefinitely for those who contracted it in adulthood, but mine went practically non-existent within the year. The following pictures demonstrate this.

Not scarred for life - from spotted to clear



The Before picture was taken in late March aboard the Doulos, about a month after I had chicken pox. You can imagine how terrible I had looked when the blisters had been in full force if I felt that my face in the Before pic was ready to brave the public. Still, it was all I could do not to wear a sign declaring myself non-contagious even if I did look like a public health menace. The After picture was taken in early September at a friend’s wedding in Bacolod. Thanks to Glutamax, which helped fade those awful scars, you couldn’t even tell I had had chicken pox earlier in the year.
My brush with chicken pox was actually a wake-up call of sorts. Prior to that, I was complacently going through the transitions one generally makes into motherhood. I knew I wasn’t happy about my physical state then, but I had excuses upon excuses for not doing anything about it. I think I’ve always had a pretty healthy attitude about the physical. Skin care for me wasn’t an issue. Except for a time in my teens when I was assailed by blackheads - my share of the usual adolescent skin woes - I’ve always had pretty okay skin. Just soap and some inconsistent application of toner were my idea of facial care. I had a tug-o-war battle with 5 lbs, which didn’t really bother me all that much. I was anything but perfect, but I wore whatever I wanted and did not give two hoots about what other people thought. Through the years, I was able to cultivate a good sense of self. The inner person was what mattered. Then again, I had been lucky enough not to encounter any serious body issues. Up until my late twenties, people told me I could still pass for a teenager. I put it down to my height (4’11.5” technically, but I shamelessly round up), being Asian, and living in the tropics (humidity and sweat are natural moisturizers after all). I really thought I’d indefinitely go on looking youthful without any effort. But then I got pregnant. Exit all delusions of indestructibility. It was a difficult pregnancy filled with projectile vomiting and dizzy spells. I was in a perpetual state of discomfort and the strain showed on my face and disposition. After childbirth, I made the mistake of trying on my pre-pregnancy clothes, which only resulted in their furious banishment to a large storage box hidden in the distant recesses of a cupboard. I refused to buy bigger-sized clothes to pressure myself to get busy losing pounds and bulges. Um, what happened instead was that I simply alternated about five outfits for more than two years, lol. Along with the mega-milestone of becoming a mother, I also reached another one: turning thirty. As though I didn’t have enough going on, I also decided to transition into the kind of mother I had zero training for, which was the attachment parenting, homeschooling, homesteading, ‘50s homemaking kind. I thought all these changes could occur without me making any sort of adjustment. Around this time, I started noticing other signs of maturity. I discovered a few strands of gray hair, the appearance of the beginning of crow’s feet, more freckles, the general diminished elasticity of my skin, and just a body made inferior by age and experience (gah, pains and stiffness). So, there I was ravaged by pregnancy, childbirth, childcare, and an abrupt foray into domesticity, I knew I was letting myself go but, what the hey, I had my excuses (essentially, no time or budget for vanity).

Here I am rocking the frump look *snort*

Unsuccessfully hiding that spare tire I'd been keeping in my gut

Anyway, I may have been twenty pounds overweight (at 4’11.5”/5’, there was no way I could rock that look), perpetually attired in shorts, loose tops, and, gulp, maternity dresses (I kid you not), bare of accessories or even perfume (anything that I thought would irritate my daughter), flipflopped even in church, with my thick, frizzy hair forever unstyled and sentenced to be kept in a slapdash bun or ponytail… but if I kept away from mirrors or pictures of myself, I didn’t have to confront how frumpy I had become. However, heap those chicken pox scars on top of the mess that was li’l ol’ me and there was no more avoiding it. I had turned into a frump and, la frump, ce n’est jamais chic. It wasn’t the physical at all. The physical was just the result of an attitude. I just looked like I wasn’t taking care of myself. It wasn’t just about the looks either. Attitude affects everything, from appearance to health, to disposition, to overall wellbeing. I had to ditch those excuses and make a conscious effort to care better for myself. It’s an ongoing process. I have to be organized and really set aside time for wellness rituals. I have to be more thoughtful about things like wearing rubber gloves for chores or religiously putting on sunblock. I have to be more aware of my mindset, to check and recheck if I’m keeping things positive. I have to remember to take pride and joy in presenting myself as a person of beauty and loveliness. As I make concessions to vanity, I gradually work toward a balance, ironically toward that old sense of self that held the inner person at greater esteem. Ultimately, I believe I was unhappy more about my lack of discipline and grace than I was about my actual appearance. I say so, because now, even with pounds still to lose and actually looking my age (the goal is no longer to look 17 in my thirties, but to look a youthful thirty-something - there’s a difference. It’s in the spirit, the sparkle in the eyes, the energy in movement… but, hey, those crows feet still aren't welcome), I can still claim I clean up good. Just caring makes a huge difference.:)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"Pourquoi le Diable et le Bon Dieu?"

I recently re-discovered something I really love. Here's a cute song from that lovely French film "Le Papillon". I know I was listening to Sylvie Vartan's "Les Yeux Ouverts" (Dream a Little Dream) on YouTube (as usual) and I think a Le Papillon music video was one of the related videos... and Marguerite and I have been watching the following video and learning the song ever since (that was about 4 days ago).

Here are the words to the song. It kind of reminds me of Lucy's song "Little Known Facts" in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" (another favorite) .

Le Papillon

Pourquoi les poules pondent des oeufs?
Pour que les oeufs fassent des poules.
Pourquoi les amoureux s’embrassent?
C’est pour que les pigeons roucoulent.
Pourquoi les jolies fleurs se fanent?
Parce que ça fait partie du charme.
Pourquoi le diable et le bon Dieu?
C’est pour faire parler les curieux.

Pourquoi le feu brûle le bois?
C’est pour bien réchauffer nos coeurs.
Pourquoi la mer se retire?
C’est pour qu’on lui dise Encore.
Pourquoi le soleil disparaît?
Pour l’autre partie du décor.
Pourquoi le diable et le bon Dieu?
C’est pour faire parler les curieux.

Pourquoi le loup mange l’agneau?
Parce qu’il faut bien se nourrir.
Pourquoi le lièvre et la tortue?
Parce que rien ne sert de courir.
Pourquoi les anges ont-ils des ailes?
Pour nous faire croire au Père Noël.
Pourquoi le diable et le bon Dieu?
C’est pour faire parler les curieux.

Ca t’a plu, le petit voyage?
Ah oui beaucoup!
Vous avez vu des belles choses?
J’aurais bien voulu voir des sauterelles
Des sauterelles ? Pourquoi des sauterelles ?
Et des libellules aussi,
A la prochaine fois, d’accord.

Je peux te demander quelque chose?
Quoi encore?
On continue mais cette fois-ci c’est toi qui chantes.
Pas question.
S’il te plait.
Non, mais non.
Allez, c’est le dernier couplet.
Tu ne crois pas que tu pousses un peu le bouchon?

Pourquoi notre coeur fait tic-tac?
Parce que la pluie fait flic flac.
Pourquoi le temps passe si vite?
Parce que le vent lui rend visite.
Pourquoi tu me prends par la main?
Parce qu’avec toi je suis bien.
Pourquoi le diable et le bon Dieu?
C’est pour faire parler les curieux.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Chip's Party and the Day After

My only sister turned 30 last Saturday. She had a small party with just family and a handful of friends. It was intimate and rowdy at the same time - just our kind of party, lol. Thankfully, we did not get locked out of the party! If you are turning 30 soon too, and are thinking of earning a degree, check out a locksmithing career.

My mind just can't seem to switch on blogger mode, so I'll turn to the usual resort of just posting pics, hee!


Busting moves with Antonella

 "I'm so over those crackers. How about some of that cake, eh?"

That binky has got to go!

Some early morning chocolate chip cookies. We obviously breed good habits around here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Taken by Husband. That was just our bed and blanket. I cut out the snowflakes myself. Does it look like a proper studio photo? :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Biddazled Redefines Online Auctions

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Bidazzled. All opinions are 100% mine.

Bidazzled is a new online auction site that is revolutionizing the auction market with its savings offers and charity program (Bidazzled funds The Ruch Foundation, a lung cancer charity). Like most penny auctions and pay-per-bid sites, how it works is, you get to buy your bids in advance after which you may then use them to bid within the system. With each bid, the price goes up by a few cents and the countdown clock adds another few seconds to make room for other bidders. The process ends when no more bids are placed. It’s possible to get something really great for a low price if no other bidder goes after the same merchandise. Bidazzled offers savings of up to 90% with auction winners usually saving over 80% off the retail price. Non-winning bidders receive up to 50 bonus bids simply for participating. You can purchase an item for less than what you invested in the auction. Bidazzled typically offers winners cash (via check or paypal), cash and bids, or bids for items they have won. In Bidazzled’s first month alone, two bidders have won Nintendo Wiis using their 5 free bids. Bids are priced at $1 and can also be bought in packs for as low as $25. Those who buy bid packs also receive bonus bids, which technically reduce the actual cost to $.67 per bid or even lower. You can take part in Bidazzled’s lucrative viral referral program, which works in the following system:
*A refers B. A receives 5 Bonus Bids
*B refers C. A receives 4 Bonus Bids
*C refers D. A receives 3 Bonus Bids
*D refers E. A receives 2 Bonus Bids
*E refers F. A receives 1 Bonus Bid.
Bidazzled is also extending an exclusive offer to readers of this blog. You get 15 additional bids if you use the following code (BBP1202A) until January 15th. Just enter it on the registration page. It doesn’t come with obligations or cost of any kind.

Rest and Flushing vis-a-vis Crafts and Reading

I'm praying that Marguerite be completely well by tomorrow. Right now, she's feverish, coughing and leaking snot and tears. Naturally, she's also at her crankiest. It sucks to be sick at Christmas. I should know; this used to be the case with me - until I realized that the usual holiday stress was shooting down my immune  system and making me susceptible to viruses. Since then, I've learned to arm for combat against the little buggers. With Marguerite, we're doing our usual water therapy, lots of rest, and just flush, flush, flush. It's no fun missing out on all the excitement. Anyway, we're going to my parents' for Christmas Eve. My mom has prepped a fun party for what remains of our clan here (all the rest are in the US and Canada). I hope Marguerite can take part. Anyway, for the past few days I've been nursing my sick little girl, I've taken the opportunity to just lounge with her, knitting, crocheting, and reading. I'm making a cowl for my sister, among other things. Actually, I should get off the computer and continue work on her birthday party banner. Oh well, pretty soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Non Surgical Nose Jobs

A nose job is not something I have ever considered in my life. The old schnoz is anything but perfect, but I think I want to keep it. Rhinoplasty, however, is not just performed for cosmetic purposes. I remember Ashley Tisdale admitting to having undergone the procedure to correct a deviated septum that caused her breathing trouble. I think she had her nose straightened too as long as they were already at it. That’s why I’m not about to claim that I’ll never go for a rhinoplasty. Who knows if my nose would ever suffer trauma or whatnot that I’d need to have it corrected. More often than not though, rhinoplasty is done with aesthetic goals. There are probably many people out there who would like to have their nose reshaped. They just realize that a nose job is a pretty big risk too. There are potential complications and the possibility of the results falling short of expectation. Also, it is an expensive procedure. For those who want rhinoplasty without the commitment that a surgery requires, there’s what they call the 15-minute nose job or non-surgical rhinoplasty. How it works is, topical anaesthetic is applied and then filler is injected little by little in precise areas so the resulting shape and contours are controlled. You are awake during the process and can see your new nose take shape. Results are instant and there’s no need for prolonged healing. The results are relatively temporary too, lasting from 6-12 months, hence safe and non-invasive adjustments can be made to suit your face as it changes over time. The price is also significantly lower. Knightsbridge offers it at about 1/10 of the price of traditional rhinoplasty. This is certainly a viable option for those who are hesitant about undergoing a regular nose job.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh That's What a "Steluscope" Is!

I wasn't able to go online at all this weekend. Saturday was the children's Christmas party at our church while yesterday was the actual church Christmas party. Also, Marguerite and I slept over at my parents Friday and Saturday because Husband had to shoot a wedding all of Saturday in Laguna. Sigh. One of my fervent wishes really is that we be able to live in Marikina again, if only to be closer to our church. Anyway, the weekend was fun. I actually found my missing 4mm knitting needle, which was a neat surprise since I'd dismissed it as a goner. I was at my folks', sitting in the recliner reading the paper when I heard something fall to the floor. Lo and behold! My missing needle! That was certainly funny since my mom had looked there when it first went missing and all she found were the marbles that had lodged between the seat and the arms, courtesy of Marguerite. 
I was supposed to post about this project last Friday before we left, but I had to pack and then "You've Got Mail" (I never get tired of watching it and yes, it has become a personal Christmas staple and, yes, I got the "twirl with your daughter" and "embroider her initials and a daisy/marguerite on a hanky" ideas from there - all rights go there, I don't own anythang! lol) was on HBO and the next thing I knew, I was just lounging there all thoughts of blogging forgotten, hehe. Anyway, we spent the morning cutting out snowflakes. Since there was a paper towel tube and some colored cellophane that were on their way to the recycling and scrap boxes, I thought we might as well have some fun with them first. Voilà, le steluscope. If you think those snowflakes we glued on the thing look weird... they do. It's because I couldn't be bothered with actual patterns, lol.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fresh Air Fund at the NYC Half-Marathon

The Fresh Air Fund is looking for runners and sponsors to join their Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon this coming March 21st. This is a great way to participate in NYC's premier summer road race while helping Fresh Air Fund children.

The Fresh Air Fund relies on donations this time of year to keep their programs strong for the summer months. If you're interested, you can see more details here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

String Along

Marguerite found what seems to be the drawstring of an old pair of Husband's shorts. Anyway, she seemed to be having fun with it without any help from me (she was performing something that involved some impromptu gymnastics and  some made up song), but I still went ahead and looked up activities that involved use of such a string. Actually, as soon as I saw it, I immediately thought of the knots we had to learn in Girl Scouts (I learned about knots and building campfires, but I didn't learn to use a knife or strike a match until well, embarrassingly late), so I googled that and spent quite a bit of time reviewing them. And then I remembered this string game we used to play, so, yeah, I kind of lingered on a couple of sites with how-tos (at this point, I had sat Marguerite down with a few sheets of paper and her art kit). Obviously, homeschooling is well and alive over here, lol. I really learned and relearned a lot from that piece of string. If you have something similar and plenty of time to sate curiosity (I won't call it idle), here's a good page for some string fun. Look! Two half hitches!lol

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Jones Customized Sodas

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Jones Soda. All opinions are 100% mine.

Trust Jones Soda to come up with something fun and innovative. This holiday season, you do not have to agonize over gift shopping, you can just give out customized sodas. This could really work for us. We send out customized postcards with pictures of our daughter most holidays, so sending out a customized soda bottle would add a cute quirk to the tradition. We would probably take a Christmas-themed picture of our daughter, something like the ones in this:

And add a holiday message (a cute poem if my brain can churn out one), and voilà. We need only place our order and be all set to receive them. The sodas will considerably diminish your shopping list. Of course, only the ones we know who really care about our daughter (enough to cherish pictures and soda bottles) would get them, probably just immediate family and really close friends. I think it would be fun to choose a flavor that screams Christmas, something like Holiday Cheer or Snowdrift. I think Goze (our last name) Guzzlies would do as a soda name (this is subject to doubts and second thoughts of course). Go check out myJones custom soda and then come back and share your ideas.

Stocking on the Wall, er, Door

I've temporarily replaced Marguerite's door plate with the above stocking. I'm so happy that it survived that horrible flood and that it doesn't seem to be the worse for wear. My mom got it for Marguerite's first Christmas (she was just about 3 mos old then - you can see it in a couple of the images included in our 2006 Christmas ecard below). Mom also embroidered the "Midge*" (Marguerite's nickname) to personalize it. I was hoping to have it around for many more Christmases (all of them, in fact), so I was so relieved to find that it was okay after having the mud washed off it.

All You Need to Know About Wheat

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Wheat Food Council. All opinions are 100% mine.

I personally am a fan of wheat. My family has always preferred bread and pasta that are whole wheat. We believe this option to be the healthier and more wholesome choice for us. Wheat understandably is the most consumed grain out there, and yet very few truly understand how it works. To learn more about wheat, go to How Wheat Works, and check out the interactive, online multimedia program it features to show everybody the journey wheat takes from the soil to our own homes. This interesting and educational activity caters to all ages. Through it, you can virtually farm wheat and produce your chosen wheat food. The program lets you go through four stages of wheat’s journey - growth, harvest, milling/baking, sale - to our table. It lets you make certain choices such as the kind of wheat to grow or the kind of wheat flour to mill. You go through the program in four days, but each phase really takes but a few minutes to complete. Activities are suggested after each phase to encourage you to further your learning. Some of the activities involve preparing wheat-based dishes, researching on local wheat grown in your locale, and watching videos of wheat being harvested. Thanks to Wheat Foods Council members from two of the world’s largest millers, ConAgra and ADM, this program has been made extra special for their commitment to donate two pounds of flour (up to 90,000 pounds)for each participant it has to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization that assists needy US troops and their families. The Council believes that awareness of how wheat food comes to be makes for better understanding of its nutritional value, which then leads to more informed food choices. This program is extended to the youth through

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blogging Inspiration

UPrinting is asking its members to share their inspiration for blogging. As I formulated my reply, I could see my view of blogging shift. I went back to my first ever entry here and that reminded me why I started blogging in the first place. That’s certainly a good way to put things in their proper perspective. Spinning Lovely Days, the name should say it all. This blog is supposed to document my attempts to create lovely days for our family. Pretty much like a homeschool portfolio, this blog is a testament to whether the journey has been consistent with our desired end. When I’m mindful, this blog is a clear reminder of what quality I want our days to have. This blog does not only act as a reminder, it is an actual aid, a tool that pushes or drives me to remain true to my ideals, not only as a parent, but also as a person. My nature leans towards the negative, so the effort for rainbow and sunshine should be a conscious one. Blogging is simply a part of that campaign.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Notebook of Letters


One of the things I'm afraid to confirm is that Marguerite's well-baby books and calendar of firsts were damaged beyond repair by the flood. :(
Thankfully, I took my notebook of letters to her with us when we moved out of my parents' home. The thing has had a couple of close calls. You'll notice the back cover to be singed at the edges, a souvenir from the small fire in our old bedroom. I started writing in it about a month before Marguerite was born (I wish I had started earlier). It has been three years thus far and it actually does me good to go through the entries and remind myself of what my ideals, hopes, and dreams about parenthood originally were (of course, they've been modified some...). I wrote another letter this morning, the first since she turned 3. I practiced my Spencerian. Does the script look old-fashioned?

Just FYI: Marguerite can read HBO, but when she talks about it, she says "bitchy-oh". :-p

Friday, December 11, 2009

Win a Free Boracay Package

Win a Free Boracay Vacation Package by WOW Philippines Travel Agency
WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is celebrating it's 5th year in business during July of 2010, and we would like you to have a chance to celebrate with us, so we have decided to give-away a FREE Boracay Package complete with 5 Star accommodations at the luxurious Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel on Boracay Island. The lucky winner will win the following Boracay vacation package.
Vacation Package Inclusions:
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- Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines

- Island Transfers - Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila Domestic Airport

- Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

- Boracay Activities - Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat

- PLUS - 5,000 peso Spending Cash

Read More Information:

ZENMED Rosacea Skin Support System

If you’re a Gleek like me, you probably took note of the fact that Jenna Ushkowitz’s character, Tina Cohen-Chang, has rosacea (“All this baby drama is making my rosacea act up”). When I heard this, I turned to my sister and asked, “What’s rosacea?” She described it as blotchy redness that happens in the face. I grew alarmed, “Is that what we have?” My sister replied, “No, we get hives (True. When it’s hot, when we’re embarrassed… Anytime we experience anything extreme.) That’s different.” I wasn’t convinced though, so I googled both text and images, and, yeah, we don’t have it, but I know a couple of people who do. I thought it was just bad acne or extreme weather burn, but it seems it’s an actual chronic condition. I wonder if they know about the Zenmed rosacea treatment. It has gotten excellent reviews. This rosacea treatment system comes with a gentle cleansing cream, an anti-redness gel, and a support serum. Skin support is necessary for people who suffer from rosacea. They can actively battle against the damage the condition is possibly inflicting on their complexion. Zenmed has formulated a system for dry and oily skin each. With these options, skin care and management can be optimized.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Countdown

Marguerite and I made a Christmas Countdown poster to amp the anticipation and to make sure we carry out certain traditions (being a young family, we're still in the process of building them) with regards to the holidays. Anyway, we stuck the poster on the back wall of her playhouse. She's supposed to rip out a number at the end of each day (the paper goes into the scrap box) and draw an activity from a box. Examples of activities listed are:
- make Christmas-themed paper chains
- make eggnog (no rum, of course)
- Christmas tea/picnic (red and green elements)
- read Christmas story
- take Christmas ride (go around in the car to look at houses decorated for the holidays)
- international Christmas ( do 3-5 Christmas traditions from other countries)
- take Christmas picture for postcard
- have hot cocoa

Some of the activities (like the Christmas picture) I've already scheduled for specific days, of course. Since Marguerite doesn't read yet, she still draws a piece of paper (sometimes, disruption of routines upsets her) and I just tell her what the scheduled activity is. I make her draw the activity the day before so I can plan for the following day (some of them are pretty elaborate). It would be really awesome if we can continue this particular tradition as she grows up.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Here's to the Memory of Café Schober

If given the chance to travel anywhere in December, I would choose to go to Zürich. Sigh. Zürich. Sigh. I'll have to blame Samantha Brown and her Passport to Europe show for this deep yearning to experience a Zürich winter. On the top of the list of things I'd do when I got there was have hot chocolate at Café Schober. The café was the oldest café in the city, which is fascinating in itself, and its interior looked absolutely enchanting (well, based on what I saw in Sam's show - oh, okay, I've also been googling images like an obsessive dork). I mean, really, LOOK (each letter links to a different picture). The place was famous for its pastries and absolutely decadent hot chocolate. It was a real trip watching Sam try to figure out how the thing was drunk. Supposedly, it was made with fresh milk, grated Swiss chocolates, and a thick topping of whipped cream. Getting past the thick whipped cream to the actual drink was the challenge, of course. Anyway, I recently found out that the original café closed down and has been replaced by another establishment called Café Felix (same owners, different location I believe). The pastries and hot chocolate are still there, but it's a different place. It is still gorgeous, but I'll never be able to claim that I've drunk hot chocolate at the Café Schober. Too late now. Anyway, I'm nowhere near Switzerland or even just winter in general right now, so I really shouldn't worry about it. No reason why I can't have a Swiss hot chocolate  experience though. :)

Well, one of them is a Swiss brand and the other has the word "Swiss" in its name, lol.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Your Choice Giveaway at Conversations with Moms

Contests just make the holiday season more fun, don't they? I wanted to let you know that Maria over at Conversations with Moms is hosting an "It's Your Choice" Giveaway to celebrate her One Year Blogversary. The winner gets a choice of one of the following: a $50 Target Gift Card, a $50 Gift Card, OR a $50 Deposit into your PayPal Account. To enter, simply leave a comment here. You must do so to be eligible. To gain additional entries, you can tweet or blog about the contest, subscribe to her blog, add it to your Technorati favorites, etc. You can find all the details here.

ConversationsWithMoms:Every day Conversations with a Mom Blog

Friday, December 4, 2009

Win a Php500 Gift Certificate or $10

Hi, all. Just wanted to let you know that Levy over at Living Life to the Fullest is sponsoring a contest in honor of her 5th wedding anniversary (December 12). The contest will run until December 15 and the winner will get either a Php500 gift certificate (for Metro Manila residents only - the store of your choice) or $10 through Paypal. She has a few simple tasks for you to do and each task is worth a specific number of points (so the more tasks you complete, the more raffle entries you get). There will be two winners. Go check it out! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Annual Dose of Kenny and Dolly

I'd like to welcome the newest addition to the Goze clan, my nephew, Matthew (born on December 1). Congrats to proud parents Joi and Mike. We thank the Lord for the safe delivery of this joyous blessing.
Lately, I've been watching/listening via YouTube to a lot of the Christmas albums I was exposed to as a child. Thanks to my dad, who is a country music fan, Christmas wouldn't be complete without Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Once upon a Christmas".

Of course, we also had the Jackson 5 Christmas album. To date, my sister and I (actually, also my mom) still go through this exchange:

Merry Christmas everybody!
Yeah, Merry Christmas everybody, big deal...
Hey man, what's wrong with you Jermaine?
Yeah, that's no kind of attitude...
This only happens once a year!
Hey, fellas, don't bug him!
He and his girl just broke up, so get off his back!
Can't you see there's tears in his eyes?
Yeah, he's cryin'...
(and then scream) Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry!

And then there's my grandmother (Marguerite's bisabuela whom we miss so much) who was a huge fan of Karen Carpenter, so...

It's really not so hard to capture that excitement for Christmas you had as a child. Just keep those traditions (and the musical kind is always lovely) alive. :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I really do enjoy knitting. There's something about the activity that's kind of hypnotic. Anyway, I somehow lost the other half of my size 4 pair of needles, which was really annoying. I'm sure it'll turn up when I don't need it, lol. Anyway, I went to the Marikina public market yesterday (have I told you how much I love my hometown?). I went to the 2nd floor of the dry goods building to look for more knitting needles (I wasn't sure I'd find any as knitting isn't really popular here - people are more into crochet. I usually get my needles from specialty craft stores at the malls.). I was already convinced that I wouldn't find any when I took a wrong turn on my way out of the building (I seriously lack any sense of direction) and came across this stall that sold sewing thingies. Just for the sake of inquiry, I asked if they had knitting needles and the owner (an elderly woman) kind of spaced out to remember if she did have knitting needles. She finally decided to check and instructed her assistant to rummage through the bottom part of one of her display shelves, describing the needles as she did so (that's how unpopular knitting is here - they wouldn't even know what I was talking about - one clerk actually handed me crochet hooks when I asked if they had knitting needles). The woman told me that she knew she had stock from decades ago that never sold. Thankfully, she did still have them (they looked really vintage, lol) and I bought 3 more pairs. So, yeah, you can count on me to be knitting, baking, or making origami boxes in the following weeks. Ought to be fun. :)

Pick-up-sticks, anyone?