Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My Idea of What Friendship Is

http://friendshipkeepers.wordpress.com/friendship-quotes/

A lot of cliche you can use to define friendship. But I rarely use one. I would rather define it through a story. Usually... a very long story.

Moving from places to places.. it usually takes me a while to develop a very deep a friendship and would call someone my bestfriend. Maybe because I do not do constant relationship anymore. I am not the old me, burn-the-phone-lines, week-end-overnights, hang-out-'til-you're-out kind of a friend anymore.

I learned that true friends stay forever. Whether you never get in touch anymore. Whether you were not there when they needed you the most. Whether you were never anywhere when they wanna find you. Whether you never find quality time for them anymore. Because true friends understand.

True friends understand when you can't spare enough time to hang out with them. When you can't afford to put them on your top priorities in your life. When you can't keep up with a promise. Or even when you have other friends you are busy with.

Because a true friend cares enough to know why. They know you enough to understand why. And they are sincere enough to stay back and just let you be.

For me, friendship is just like marriage. The sincerity lies on your commitment to be a friend forever.

I am proud of all my friends. I know... we can count on each other .. when one need each other the most. Sometimes, it may not be physically.... by I know.. emotionally, we all connect.

Because friendship is, first and foremost, a lingering connection. When you connect you build this strong commitment. Up or down, richer and for poorer, sickness and in health...

I firmly believe that "Friendship will stand the test of time."

Family Time: Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Photo courtesy of: http://www.torontosun.com

As a mother, I am just like any mom and that I also want the best for my daughter. Since knowing that I am going to be a parent, I promised myself that I will do everything that I can to raise her as how I perceived society, as how I would have wanted to grow up. Not in a material way, but that as a child who is full of wonderful memories. Memories that she won't trade for anything in this world. Memories with us, her parents.

So far, despite the distance separating us from her Dad, I have tried my best to raise her as a wonderful child who never question her Dad's lack of presence. Not that it is a justification. But their camaraderie when they are together is beyond my expectations, it is but as if they never get separated for weeks. And it is with pride and joy for both us her parents that we see her as a happy kid and that we raised her to be a better person despite anything.

Hence, hubby and I always support anything she is very much interested, as long as we are able. Like simple thing as her love for parades. 

This year is going to be her first Toronto Santa Claus Parade. It's gonna be chilly... but it's gonna be another wonderful memory for her to treasure.

Ialways try to come up with something that she can keep in mind. Something of a tradition. I am hoping that she will grow up with this little tradition in mind. And I am hoping that when she becomes a parent herself, she will never forget to take a backseat from such a busy world she might live and spend time with FAMILY.

I know that others would say, we can spend time at home... watch tv or something. But for me, to do this is to do something special. And I know that she will remember it forever. 

I will never forget my first Toronto Santa Claus parade. The joy, the experience, that one moment in my life that made me promised myself that if I'll have my own family -- I will not deprive them of it. And bringing Khloe this year, is also fulfilling a promise to myself. And having said this, I am thankful of that special family who brought me with them to experience it. Indeed... it's a beautiful celebration of sort. Despite the chill, the crowded street... and the chill again.

I know Khloe will love it. I know she will thank me one day for bringing her.

I am a huge believer of family-first. And a huge advocate of Family Time. 

This sunday, is gonna be on that list of our Special Family Time.

http://www.captmondo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/November-20-2011-Toronto-Santa-Claus-Parade-14-Looney-Tunes-Float.jpg

Monday, 5 November 2012

Evolution of Khloe's Halloween Costume

 'Pink Leopard' - Khloe at 2 months old

The weather in Sunnyvale, California is warm enough to just dress her up with this cute sleeper-costume. I was not picky with the style, nor the grandeur. I am all for Khloe celebrating her first Halloween in a costume.

Got this Pink Leopard from Walmart for $12.99

'Twas a steal.











'Dorothy (Wizard of Oz)' - Khloe at 1 y.o. and 2 months

Celebrating Halloween in Canada is Khloe's first time. I have to consider the freezing weather that might be possible. I have to think that she is only a year old. And it's gonna be her first Halloween to experience trick or treating.

I got this costume from Target (Sunnyvale, California) for $19.99

At this moment of her life... she's very fond of her Barney. But I let her watch Wizard of Oz for her to grasp the idea of her costume. Of course, what can you expect from a one year old. The musical moments were her favourite. She does love music, song and dance at this stage.

The turtle neck is never a question. She needs it to keep her warm for trick or treating. The red shoes, we scoured most of the possible stores in Silicon Valley (California) and here in St Catharines (Ontario). Either she don't have the size, or it's not red. I got the red shoes from Sears here in St Kits. It's more like a slipper-shoe than a sandals. But she loves them. Her Tita Clarisa lent her a puppy stuff toy for her Toto. Thus, completing the look.






'Pirate Princess' - Khloe at 2 y.o. & 2 months

At this stage of my daughter's life, I wanna dress her up devoid of the usual princess-way. At this year, she was really into Dora. But I saw this costume online from SpiritHalloween.com and it consumed me. I saw Khloe on it... and online, I purchased it. $34.99, shipped to her Dad in California and her Dad brought it here in St Catharines.

When she tried it the first time -- it awed me. In my mind, I can dress her up with anything and she'll walk the talk, or talk the walk.

This photo speaks more than a mother like me could write. I completed this with a black turtle neck and black boots. Trick or treating was not as freezing as the last time. She enjoyed her journey around the block. 





'Cinderella Princess' - Khloe at 3 y.o. & 2 months

When your toddler consumed her toddler years with everything princessy -- at some point, a good mother has to give in and indulge her. I did try so hard to sway her from wearing anything princess for Halloween.

With little princess like Khloe, a crayon costume or a little red riding hood is no substitute to being a princess for a night.

So I gave in and indulged her. My sister tried to hand me down 3-generations of Belle costume. Unfortunately, it is too big for her tiny size. But I am one lucky mom who is surrounded with awesome friends with fashion style and princess little girls. My 'kumare' Rose handed me down my god-daughter's Cinderella costume -- a piece of costume I can't resist to showcase, especially with Khloe's flair for royalty and all.

So, my little royal highness, graced this year's Halloween with her royal presence as Little Cinderella. I completed this with a navy long-sleeve shirt, a navy-blue stocking, black boots, blue headband and a white lace gloves.

It was a very royal night. Despite the rain... Khloe had so much fun trick or treating with her cousins and friends.

2nd-generation of Cinderella costume = $Priceless (Thank You, Rose & my princess, Cheska)

Next year would be a different story. No more long gowns. No more princess costume. I'm hoping she'll say yes to a crayon. LOL.





    



Experiencing the Eraserheads Again


It's been more than 10 years since I first seen them play live!!! Been more than 10 years of waiting for this moment.. dreaming of this moment to finally happen. And it did. October 19, 2012. Koolhaus. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Ely stood in front of me, up the stage... just a few yards away. I saw Buddy on his right, Raimund from behind with his drums and Marcus on his left. It's that most awesome feeling. 

Leaving my daughter in Niagara, for the first time, travelling to Toronto more than an hour away, and falling in line for hours, and waited with the crowd for hours.... is all worth it!!! The V.I.P (Meet n Greet plus concert) ticket price is all worth it!! My hubby.. gave me the most awesome birthday present of my life (next to our drive-thru wedding in Niagara Falls). 

I've never had so much fun in my life, maybe since... university days. Never been so free. So belonged. Sharing this precious moment with my friend, Michelle, whom I gave hubby's ticket, and watching her fall in love of Ely is very reminiscent of my  Eheads-manic years. Mind you, she has very little idea of the Eraserheads, and even of their songs. All she know is that most people she know is watching the concert. And she was almost headbanging on some of the songs. Did I say, she don't know the lyrics? So yes.... I discovered a new fan. Sharing my gifted Eheads, sharing the love... that connection to every song. 

If you'll ask me... would I do that again.... DEFINITELY, YES!!! Bring on another tour... and I'll go wherever possible. 

That's how a fan I am.





Thursday, 6 September 2012

A Woman's Prerogative

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02176/pregnant_2176694b.jpg

Philippines' controversial RH(Reproductive Health) Bill has been nothing less but controversial. Politics vs Religion. Cultural Preservation vs  Population Control. Pro vs Anti. Yellow vs No Yellow.

My take on the issue is, Reproductive Health is and will always be a woman's prerogative.

By law, or sans law, this is all about being a woman. How you end up with a final decision will affect the woman who is reproducing, no one else.

I firmly believe that when it comes to woman's health, especially when it comes to pregnancy, to be pregnant or not to be pregnant could be decided between the couple, but above all, the woman should have the last word.

What if we have a medical practice in the Philippines of taking out the baby at 8 weeks because there's is no heartbeat that can be found? I wonder how the conservative Filipino will react. Would they ask themselves why they let the RH Bill be passed? Would the mother have enough tears to shed and ask herself where did she go wrong? Why there's no heartbeat? Why can't she keep the baby and wait for the baby's heart to start beating? Would this scenario actually happen?

Because yes... maybe not in Philippines (right now), this scenario does happens. I, personally, had to take days of bed rest because at 8 weeks, the little life in my tummy has no heart beat. I was too scared to stress myself out that I can not let myself cry. Because after 5 days and there's still no heart beat, my baby will be taken out. So I rest and did not stress. After 5 days.... we found a heart beat.

It was torture. It was a very taxing moment for a pregnant woman.

Is this going to happen if RH Bill will be passed?

I have no idea.

One thing I agree after watching all the discussions around RH Bill -- information dissemination, access to information, access to funds, and universal health care especially to pregnant woman all over Philippines is a MUST -- should have been before, a must now, and perfected for the future.

As a woman, I would like to know my choices. My option. And what can I do as a pregnant reproducing woman. Or as a Mother or Mother-to-Be. Support and Information is very important.

I had a roller-coaster pregnancy trimester test results, even if I had such a remarkable OB GYN and medical group in the US. Without the support of my OB GYN and the counselor and information that was shared with us, I would not have known what to do. I would not have known my options.

Hence, I believe in a must for INFORMATION. Maybe it's where we should invest first as a country. With 7100 islands, NOT all the woman has access to information beneficial to their health. Especially when it is about REPRODUCING.

Getty Comfy at her Tita Yolly's


November, 2009

Khloe started travelling at two months old. A week after she turn two months, she travelled with me and my Mother with four stops/lay-over. Four stops from San Francisco, CA-Charlotte, NC-Buffalo, NY to drop off Mother to go home in Catharines, Ontario Canada. And then flew from Buffalo, NY-Detroit, Mi-Raleigh, NC to stay with her Aunt(Tita) Yolly in Bahama, NC.  

Despite it being her first ever travel, she was such a good baby and slept the whole 6 hours and more overnight flight. It's amazing how well she adjusted to the taking-off and landing of the plane. With stroller, car seat and 3 luggage s in tow, my sister was appalled of how I was able to get to North Carolina with no mishaps.

Our stay in her place was one of the most wonderful vacation I ever had. Staying there for 3 weeks doesn't seem to be enough. It's peaceful, calm, serene and very laid back. My sister and brother-in-law, Danny, is one of the most admirable couple I've ever known. Their very simple, nature-style living is such a treat from the busy life I had in California.

I will never think twice of going back there given a chance.



August 26, 2012

My other sister, with her hubby and two kids drove to Bahama, NC with my hubby and our princess, Khloe, in tow. It's my sister's first time to visit Ate Yolly & Danny at her place, and their very first long drive. I am excited for them as were as the kids. Hubby & Khloe are very used to long drives and I am pretty assured they won't have any problem with Khloe even if I am not with them. They got there after 13 hours of driving.

And Khloe just got so comfortable, as if she never left from her last 2009 vacation.

Hubby liked my sister's very serene surrounding. Khloe had a blast playing around, that when the grown ups went out for a drive, she covered her Tita's furniture with her princess stickers.

After resting for a night, they went out the next day for sight-seeing and enjoyed the beauty of Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina.











Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Happy BirthDay, Princess!!!

Miracle of Love
By: Linda Jones

Months have passed, the day is here
My little angel does appear
God's new masterpiece is done
And my job has just begun.

You are laid upon my breast
So content, you softly rest
My perspective now has changed
Everything's been rearranged.

Helpless eyes look up at me
A whole new world in you I see
Tiny fingers grasp my thumb
A whole new person I've become.

A brand new life I must help mold
From this pure innocence I hold
All of my thoughts are now for you
You have made a dream come true.

Unimagined love -- so much
Your smile, you smell, your laugh, your touch
I thank each day the Lord above
For you, my miracle of love.





August 28, 2009
Khloe Chantalle Rivera
was born


Happy 3rd Birthday, Our Beloved Princess.



Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Getting Anxious

I've been anxious the past few days... and I can't seem to narrow it down to a specific reason.
A lot of possible reasons...  and maybe drinking more coffee would help me out.

Maybe, I am just way too excited to see hubby again. He's coming in 3 days and we miss him so much. Although it's a quick visit (like, literally just a week and some days), I know father & daughter will bond like crazy. And the bonding moment is making me anxious because they're driving away without me for 2 days.

Maybe, it's because Khloe will be going with her dad for a long drive to see her Tita Yolly & Tito Danny in North Carolina without me. Although they're travelling with my sis, bro-in-law, and her cousins, I still can't get over the fact that she'll be travelling without me. I won't be able to join them until the 3rd day and I'm getting agitated. Atleast my sisters would be there... and I know they would be able to help hubby take care of her.

Maybe, it's because I'll be crossing the border as I fly to Myrtle Beach to join the family. Border-crossing has and always will be a HUGE factor for me to start an anxiety attack. I have enough share of border-crossing stress that facing another one is giving me frantic nerves. I'm hoping this one will go smoothly. Cross-fingers.

Maybe, it's because I am so excited to spend time with my family -- to bond with Ate Yolly again, spend quality time with hubby as we enjoy the beach and the sun, at the same time, with Khloe enjoying her cousins company in a different environment -- vacation mode.

Maybe, I am just stressing myself out for Khloe's birthday because of such a short time (hours?) between getting back home from vacation to her birthday party. I know I tried my best to prepare it in the smoothest way possible, but I always expect glitches here and there. I am just hoping I won't be too tired to fix the glitches and the kids will just have fun on the party.

And lastly, maybe because ..... I simply just wanna do something but can't seem to figure out what.

#really.need.to.de-stress

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Multiply will be saying Bye-Bye

Just like Friendster, Multiply will stop hosting the social game Multiply users has enjoyed for long.

I have my own Multiply Account, and even if I haven't been using it that much as I used to, yet, it is with sad heart to hear them closing the social site. Good thing, this time I am warned in advance and would be able to save photos and videos.

Here's the letter:


Hello. Stefan here, writing you from Multiply HQ in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

As most of you are probably aware, Multiply's mission has evolved over the past year and a half to become the biggest and most beloved ecommerce marketplace in two very exciting markets, Indonesia and the Philippines. As our focus has shifted, we have reviewed all of our operations, and made some decisions that will affect everyone here.
  • From December 1st, we will unfortunately no longer be able to support Multiply in its current form - notably we will be removing the social networking and content sharing part of Multiply (photos, videos, blogs, social messaging, etc.). We have decided to discontinue providing and hosting these services, as we have concluded that other Internet sites who are committed to social networking services will do a better job serving you than we can.
  • For our existing users of social networking features, we will be providing easy ways for you to either download your stuff (photos, blogs, content, etc), or migrate it to other online services. We'll announce the precise details shortly. It will be your choice whether to download, migrate or just let your content lapse (and get deleted).
  • For our existing ecommerce users (both buyers and sellers) in Indonesia and the Philippines, there will be no action required.
  • Regarding any existing Multiply Premium subscriptions we will refund any unused balance, and apologize for any inconvenience this will cause. Please contact customer service to request a refund. Note that this is for Multiply Premium, not the ecommerce related Multiply Trust product.

I am aware of how disruptive this news may be, and understand the disappointment that it may cause. Ultimately this was a business decision, critical to our to success moving forward. Instead, we are excited to pursue our own mission to give the 350 million consumers in Indonesia and the Philippines a great way to buy and sell items online. Our singular focus now is for Multiply to retain its status as a vibrant e-commerce destination in Southeast Asia in the years ahead. 

I suspect that many of you will not like this news, and am sorry to have to deliver it now. I hope that you will be able to understand the reasons for our decision and thank you for being a part of the Multiply community over the past eight years. 

Stef 


Eraseheads: The Only Band That Matters To Me

This blog was inspired by Eraserheads upcoming 2012 North American Tour.
For tickets & details see Schizo's Eheads Archives.

Some say Eraserheads is the band that transcends through generations.
Other say it's the band who defined their generation.

I'll say, it is the only band that Matters Most To Me.

Eraserheads do transcends through generations. For every fan, their music lives on forever.
You can move from Luzon to Mindanao, from Alaska to Antartica, but you will never forget an Eraserheads song. And whether you're a 5-year old during the 90's, or the groupie, years will pass, but you'll never forget an Eraserheads song? Even if Calla Lilly will revive it ten times and still not get it right, even if Aiza Segeurra will sing for you "With a Smile" and you'll think she owned the song with so much soul and more, YET, someone else will tell you, it is first and foremost an Eheads song.

They said Eraserheads music defined their generation. The elementaries of the 90's define them as the band who taught them how to swear with "Pare Ko". The high schools of the 90's would define them as the band who made them brought "Magasin". My generation would define them with an album title -- "Cutterpillow" and of course, the Sunken Garden.

Every fan has their own Eraserheads story.

My Eraserheads story is etched on my life, my first love, and how I become to be who I am. I don't need words to tell it. But I do have my song to define it. My life started "With A Smile"... and ended up with "Lightyears" away from me.

Eraserheads gave me song when nothing else matters. The song healed up my tortured soul. Then life mattered to me again.

Gave me my rainbow... my "Maselang Bahaghari"





Friday, 10 August 2012

Re-Use and Not Dispose

Part of my new found living with Mother & my daughter is watching the morning news about what is going in Philippines. These past few days of the week, I can't help but be sad as we watch the flood creating havoc to the lives of a lot of Filipino all over the northern part of the country.

Today, one of the news segment discussed about the campaign to practice not using plastics.

I definitely agree.

However, it is easier said than done.

When I was working in one of the biggest retailer in the US, they tried to start getting rid of the plastic bags by selling this reusable bags for 40 cents. Some customers were agreeable and purchased. A lot reacted otherwise and started complaining. The company pushed back the idea and when I visited last time, there's not much reusable bags in the counter. Proof that it was not a hit to the customers.

When I went home last year in the Philippines, I tried to purchase reusable bags every time I get groceries from SM. My nieces would complain because it was costly. I told them that except for the durability, it is reusable and a little way of helping save the environment. But for them, the cost defeats the environmental issue.

I definitely understand why Filipino who do not have the means cannot afford to campaign to get rid of the plastic bags. They have no choice but settle for the one which is FREE.


In my own little way, I help my family get use to this practice by sending them reusable bags. My mother would complain why I always buy new ones every time I go for groceries or shopping. She finally understood my reasons when she saw me stashed tons of them inside the balikbayan box we sent. I told her, this will help them a lot when they get groceries from town. The bags are durable and can stand weight or even rain.

In this connection, I also would like to commend the Ontarians (Canadians) who are really into this campaign which is very inspiring. I am still trying my best to bring my owns bags everytime I go for groceries. But it is remarkable that most grocery stores here charge extra if you want the plastic bags. This actually encourages customers to bring their own bags, at the same time, it helps the environment.

Until now, I still buy and collect reusable bags. Again, it my intent to send more to my family in Philippines.

(Khloe wanna be a part of this blog. She said "Me, too, Mom, blog, Mom!" So I let her model this one reusable bag I like the most. You can roll it into a little ball and won't use up that much space in your purse)

I encourage those who live abroad to start the practice of collecting reusable bags and to send it to your family back home. In our own little way, we can help.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Flying Comfortably With An Airline You Trust

Flying has become ordinary to me since I decided to explore the different places of this northern part of the continent. Well, not really an explorer, just a passer-by, I may say. Going back in forth, West to East, North to South, I got myself immune to flying. I could say, I may have tried most of the airlines, may that be before I became a Mom or even after that.

My worst experience was with American Airlines. I am not sure if I was just a rare case, but I discovered that they don't have family boarding. Very inconvenient for a traveller with kids, expecially a baby. I flew with Delta, Northwest, United Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, Jet Blue & Southwest. My favourite so far is Southwest.

Why Southwest? I love the fact that they don't have assigned seats. And family boarding is next to Business Class. Their customer service is awesome. And your bags fly free (no baggages fees for up to 2).

Shopping for a good deal to fly to Myrtle Beach, I found this airline that fly straight to Myrtle. Spirit Airline. If everything is set up and I am able to fly with them, I'll post further of how I find their service.

For now, my most priority about flying is making sure my family members travelling with is comfortable. And that is equal to EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE which I never find lacking with Southwest.

Because believe me, I have my worst share of airport stories. Be that getting stranded, airport getting snowed-in and debating with boarding attendants.

Flying has to be comfortable!.PERIOD.


To Hat or Not to Hat

For weeks now, there's an on-going debate inside my head on what to give-out on Khloe's birthday party. With a Princess Theme & a thrown-in Tea Party, I was pretty intent on giving-out tea party hats as a souvenir.

Wouldn't the little royals look fabulous if they would be all wearing hats as they enjoy their tea?

But with an-hour of play-time prior to the party, I found the hat too-containing for them to enjoy playing around. So I scratched the hat idea despite the fact that I was almost ready to order the supplies for the parents/guardians to decorate their kids own hats. This is also because of the fact that the hosts of the party have allotted half-an-hour of craft-time for the kids. Who knows they might make their own tiara or tea-party-hat. LOL.

So what I decided is come up, surfed up and down for an alternative. Finally, I found something really close, looking-really-so-royal, and less-of-a-brim-hat-but-still-the-same-idea.

Can't describe it in words.... but I can make you picture it --- you'll feel like Princess Kate with this head-gear.

Downside, I have to order it in lot. But for the beauty I saw -- I can always use it for something.

So, NO, it is Not To Hat. Such a pity because Khloe can actually pull it off despite such a sour face. In fact, this photo is still featured in Halo Heaven's Tea Party WebPage. Wonder what made them choose this photo. Still a why for me.


Trying to Organize a Toddler Birthday

The thing about a toddler's party is, they know what they like.. and in their little brain, that's what they wish for their birthday.

My toddler started believing that she'll be a princess on her birthday when the dress her Aunt Yolly
sent her arrived in the mail, and the only way she'll take it off (after trying it) is by promising her that she'll gonna wear it again on  her birthday. And that was 3 months before her birthday. Then her dad have to fly back to California after his visit, and the only way for her not to be upset about him leaving, is by promising her that he will bring her a princess birthday cake.

What a Mom to do?

For long, I have always wished to be a party organizer. A  lot of ideas in my mind. But for whatever reason, I can never find the time. Especially for my own little princess. To think, I was very organized and creative prior to motherhood and being a wife. But still, I have to try. If not for my passion, but for my dear daughter.

Princess is a theme I tried to push away for her birthday. I've been saving it for her 7th. But I am that kind of mother who believes that a kid's fascination with characters are a timed-kind of thing. She was crazy with Barney on her 1st birthday, so I hired a Barney. The glee on her face was worth everything. On her 2nd birthday, I brought her back here in Canada to celebrate for the first time her birthday, with her co-celebrant, non other than her Aunt/GodMommy, Cherry. So now for the 3rd, it has to be something special. She is into Princess and she believes that Princesses and Tea Party goes together. Or maybe, I am just trying to use this as an excuse to plan something pink. (haha!)

Again, I firmly believe that this princess-thing and tea-party-thing will also pass. So I am going to indulge her because I don't wanna look back in the end and regret the fact that I let her missed the chance to enjoy this phase. Who knows, on her 4th, she'll be asking me for a Justin Bieber or One-Direction theme of a party. With the rate her cousins are training her, it's never far-fetch.

However, as I've said, TIME is never enough for me to attend to everything. I tried doing it myself on her 1st and I felt so beaten right after. I'm not doing that again. So hired help is what I did. With a Princess Theme, I booked a package for them to decorate and host the kids for fun & entertainment. The venue is part of the package, so all I need is to invite, buy the cake & loot-bags, and bring in the foods.

I will post my suppliers and vendors when all of this is done. I'm pretty excited, because this time I am able to purchase the supplies a month before the event. As I am not really into the usual loot-bags (unless I ran out of time like what happened to her 1st), I hand-picked all the give-aways and I am so excited about it. I wish I can post the photo's right now, but unfortunately, I don't have the right until I received the packages.

The food, pretty much, I am ordering. Because it is a Tea Party, it won't be the usual Filipino feast. I am sticking to the theme and the venue is limited for Kids schedule only. Also, added to that, we won't have time because my family will just be arriving back from a long trip. Just like my supplies, I post the  vendors, too, and throw in my own 2-cents.

Organizing a toddler's birthday party is no picnic.The good side though, she'll be running all through out, unlike the first birthday when she was just starting to walk. And to indulge her for that release of energy, the hosts, allotted the kids an hour of play time in the gym with princess theme games. Added more, they have a half-an-hour craft time. Then, an-hour party to celebrate.

All moms need help. Especially on occasions like this. So I am hoping, what I planned will all work out. Who knows next year, I might be able to have that PERFECT TIME to organize everything myself.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Valenzuela: Hubby's Hometown slashed by Typhoon Gener

Despite the frenzy events this past few days, added to that a sick toddler, the news about the recent Typhoon Gener slashing Philippines at it's worst didn't get unnoticed. Mother has been watching the news diligently, just to check out that our province is not that harmed. As the typhoon is more wreaking havoc in Luzon, my hubby's hometown is never spared. Historywise & geographically wise, it's always on the news. Everytime the news names his Elementary School & High School as one of those whose classes are still cancelled, I keep on telling our almost-3-year-old that it's her dad's school and hometown.

Khloe would watch the videos and photos for some minutes and say "Daddd school" or "Lola Mina". This reminded me of our journey last year when we stayed there for some days to visit.

Hubby grew up in Bilog, Balangkas in Valenzuela City. Although I visited and stayed there twice already, I do have my own experience of their flood, big and small.

Small is when you are still able to go from one house to another and the "padyak"(tri-pedalled transportation) can still bring you from place to place.

Big is when you stayed all day on the upper floor of your house and the only way to go places is a truck or a "padyak" with your legs leveled-up with your bum while sitting.

Both of these scenarios, I experienced. The big one was last year, when I stayed there with Khloe. Imagine my struggle.

But despite these events, I am still connected to the place in my own little way. Major reason is because it's my hubby's hometown and my daughter's roots. When Mama (mother-in-law) and I brought Khloe there to meet her Granddies, Aunts, Uncles & cousins - I felt really moved. She was only a year and some months then but she looks like she belongs. Maybe because she looks like her cousins. Most of Khloe's features where from her Dad's side.

And simply because of this that I feel really bad to watch news about how badly hubby's hometown got wreaked. I hope and pray that the residents got through this typhoon safely and would be able to spring back to their usual life with not much damage.

For more vivid information, visit this blog:
http://pinaythrillseeker.blogspot.ca/2012/07/valenzuela-flood-update-typhoon-gener.html

A Sick Princess

The month of July ended at work with its usual frenzy way.

Then I got home to find a sick toddler. I tried to calm my frantic nerves as my toddler tried her best to be her usual self despite coughs, dripping nose and sneezing. Next day is her doctor's appointment to follow-up her broken collar bone last month.

One of the most scary moment was when she woke up in the middle of the night claiming her tummy hurts. What a mom to do when stuffs like this happen? It was a first for her to say her tummy hurts, and it was a first for me to deal with this complaint now that she can actually tell me what she's feeling.  I found out she a little bit feverish, and gave her a tsp of medicine. This made her feel better and the turning side to side, up and down finally stopped. She ended up finding a comfy sleep on the couch in our little living room.

Her doctor's visit went on smoothly. Despite the fact that I dragged her out of her sleep to bring her to the hospital, she was actually very responsive and cooperative during her x-ray session.

With pride and joy, I brought her to Tim Horton's for her favourite chocolate chip cookie treat.

Then we went home so she can rest a bit more. Still coughing, sneezing and nose dripping, Khloe tried her best to play as if she's all fine. Of course, there's the jumping up and down, blocks and puzzles all over the place.

And for a sick baby, she looks like she is not sick at all, which is a normal Khloe-way of dealing with cold or fever. So I indulged her with one more of her cravings.... by honouring us with her royal presence.

And who am I to refuse....?






Thursday, 26 July 2012

Venice International Film Festival, Philippines Entry

I couldn`t be more prouder to say that I am a Filipino,especially with this news I just stumbled as I browse the net.

Philippines, yes, my beloved Philippines has an entry to the Main Category for the Venice International Film Festival and this is the film by Brilliante Mendoza entitled `Sinapupunan` (Thy Womb). In this film is our very own Superstar, Nora Aunor, who just came back in the entertainment scene months ago after years of hiatus in the U.S.  This film feature Sama (Bajau) in Tawi-tawi, Philippines.

A lot has been said and not said about this southern part of Philippines (Mindanao), but I had this chance to watch an interview with Nora Aunor about her experience filming in Tawi-tawi at one time. Her connection to the place was very moving and just watching how sentimental she was of Tawi-tawi and the life our fellow Filipino lives there, I felt like I wanna go there myself and see it for myself that that part of Mindanao is not as dangerous as they famed it to be.

But thank goodness to a film like this, we would be able to take a glimpse of their life, of the place and of how lucky we are to have such a culture that we can be proud of.

Support and be Proud!!!


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Looking forward for September 2012

One of the best thing about coming back here in Canada is experiencing the four seasons of the year: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. We had an awesome Fall when we came back here last September, then the most awesome Winter (which gave us like 3 dumps of snowed week-end only), then a summer-like Spring that felt like we never had Winter.. and right now, the most intense-humid-dry Summer. Can't blame me if I am already looking forward for Fall. :)


But I am seriously looking forward to Fall. Simply because of everything is coming up...

Khloe's Ballet - as soon as first Saturday of September starts, Khloe's ballet is starting. This is a regular Saturday schedule until their Recital Production on May, 2013. Khloe has been asking to go back to her ballet non-stop. Her little brain can't comprehend the fact that there is a Summer break even for teachers of ballet. She's all registered and ready to come back.

September Mondays, All-Star Dancing With The Stars - Not only is DWTS starting again, but most of all, it's an All-Star. I am looking forward for Mario Lopez coming back. My mother is looking forward for DWTS staring again, PERIOD.

September Tuesdays, NCIS Season 12 - Of course, my beloved NCIS. If the teeners are looking forward to Glee, I can't wait for NCIS to start. I miss me some Gibbs, Tony, Ziva, Abby, McGee, and Ducky!!!

September Wednesdays, Survivor (in Philippines) & X-Factor - This is the day when the I become an expert on switching channels. Pick which one.. but both are very promising. Looking forward to watching Survivor showcast places in Philippines. Wonder where they shoot.

September Thursday, X-Factor Result - What can I say? If Mother watched X-Factor and not watch the result, what's the purpose of anticipating? 

Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays - Family Bonding. September means Fall and kids go back to school. Week-end is their time to bond with Khloe. Also means, Thanksgiving and Christmas is on it's way. And it means Birthdays are around the corner, too. 

What can I say? Time flies so fast :)




Saturday, 21 July 2012

Baking with My Toddler

As we enjoy our new place... I can't help but get anxious with things that needs to get done and organized. I haven't had a home to organize for months already that I felt like this is a different start all over again. But with the move happening very smoothly and we got settled really fast....now I have to come up with ideas on how make this new home really enjoyable for both my mother and my toddler.

Of course, the kitchen is always my favourite room.


 I haven't  enjoyed cooking and baking this much until now, and it's because of my almost-3yearold toddler, Khloe.


When we were in California and was staying at our own apartment... she was still very young to actually enjoy baking or cooking. I think she was just starting to walk. I remember, I would pull up her high chair close to the counter tops and would give her ladles and wire whiskers to play with. 


But now... she's a big girl enough to roll her own crescent, whisk the ingredients, or even just beat the eggs. Her favourite part is putting  the cup liners on the baking pan.


She loves what we're doing and she would always ask for something to bake.


These activities keep her busy that she is now used to not having her cousins to play with at all times,  and also makes her appreciate home baked and home made foods and pastries.

With this, I am able to stock up with healthy muffins for my mother's breakfast and snacks. I am also able to encourage Khloe to eat home made snacks.. like home-baked french fries. 


My mother's strictness to healthy eating habits made me conscious with buying groceries. Zero calories is very important on the packaging. My blueberry muffin is all whole wheat flour, oat bran   and even, wheat bran. 


This healthy diet is growing on me.

Now I just have to start with a work-out.












Sunday, 15 July 2012

Khloe's First Emergency Visit to the Hospital


BROKEN COLLAR-BONE!

We were in a Christening Reception when it all happened. Her dad was suppose to be watching her/them.
He was watching alright, but was not able to get to her on time.

One second is all it takes!!!

If blaming is the game, I don't blame hubby, but I could blame the fact that he lacked training and needs to get back to that babysitting/parenting game.

SCENARIO: As a godnmother, I was inside the restaurant with the celebrant and family and friends. The kids went outside for a play. Hubby watching Khloe. My nephew decided to play chase with Khloe on a piggy back ride. He lost his footing and lost his balance, scraped his elbows and (as much as he tried to protect Khloe), Khloe fell off his back. Both of them crying. Hubby didn't came to me right away. First time to see Khloe crying so painfully and non-stop. I am so used to her consolable and I just have kiss her bo-bo away and she'll be fine. Not at this point. I thought she scraped her back. I tried not to look at it because she doesn't want to be moved or touched anywhere. I held her.. she's still crying. We ended up going home early as both kids were un-consolable.

At home, I tried to check where she got hurt. My sister keeps on telling me to bring her for a check-up. I tried calmness. Khloe is still crying and don't want me to move her. She just wants me to hold her and not move. I can't check anything. My sister repeatedly asked me to bring her to see a doctor. Again, I waited until Khloe stopped crying and I can check what happened. It was a couple of minutes before I was able to console her. I checked her back and found no scrape. Then I notice she's not moving her right arms. I thought she broke her shoulder. I tried to move her from the side and she ended up wailing in pain. That's when I decided to bring her and see a doctor. I know.. this is one pain I can't just kiss away. Atleast I know what to tell the doctor.

We went to a walk-in. The clinic is almost closing, so he wrote us a referral to the hospital for XRAy. Getting Khloe in and out of the car and her car-seat was a struggle. When we got to the hospital... the wait was... a wait. I tried to put her to sleep but she wakes up everytime I shifts her on my other arm. Hubby was out mostly to try and find parking for the car. Being this is a FIRST TIME for both of this, for all of these... it was a learning experience. Still, we were so clueless, parking was even a struggle. 

When we got to the one of the emergency room, it took forever for the doctor to come. Good thing Khloe found the bed comfy, she slept the whole time waiting for the doctor. When the doctor came in, he sent us for xray at the upper floor and we came back and waited for the result. After a couple of minutes, we were told, she got a broken collar-bone. Thank goodness she is young enough that her bone will heal back in a jiffy. We didn't get any prescription. We were just told it was a broken collar-bone and that we need to go for a follow-up check the next week with a bone-doctor.

After another struggle with getting her inside the car -- we brought her to Port Dalhousie for a carousel ride. This idea made her face lift up... and for a couple of minutes, we saw that old Khloe back to herself, riding the horse on the carousel. 

This experience showed us how brave of a toddler she was. Despite the pain.... she tried to smile.. to laugh, to play the best that she can. She didnt got sick  which is such a relief. The pain comes and goes especially when she tries or we try to move her. The next day, I was late at work because I need to leave her comfortable in bed resting. I showed her that putting a sling could help her. I came home with her playing her puzzles in a sling.

After three days, she is good enough to run and stumble. From time to time she would remember she got hurt on her right shoulder and she would tell me "Doctor, Mom? Medicine??"

Then, I tell her that she is perfectly fine and that she doesn't need a doctor, nor medicine.

Thank goodness, I have a very strong baby :)


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Niagara Region: Places I Personally Recommends

Since migrating from Philippines and living since in the Niagara Peninsula...
I couldn't be any prouder to call myself a Niagaran-by-Heart, even if I did left it for three years to try California. But the fact that I came back, and decided to stay with my little princess is a testament of how much I love the region. 

A friend asked me to recommend to her other places to see when they visit Niagara the next time (except for the infamous Niagara Falls (Horseshoe Falls) and Fallsview Casino... 

Fact is, I don't know that much places either. I haven't been around Niagara that much. I would know more of places in North California if one would ask me where to go in Bay Area.(Maybe??) But I will try my best to come up with something that would help. And this is mostly a family-oriented kind of scene. (If you ask me which club to go at night -- forget it!!! If not for my job in call center and knew people in bar scenes, I'll never be into one)

If you want detailed places, stop at a Tourist Center (they have one somewhere in QEW)  and you'll get detailed places...

Here's my recommended list:



NIAGARA FALLS (Horseshoe Falls) - I would always specify the Horseshoe Falls because this is the one that we have on the Canadian side. The other one is the American Falls (it might have a name but I forgot what is), but it's the one from the American Side. Parking: There's one close to Table Rock (The Tourist Shop) but you have to pay $20.00. I recommend to park at Fallsview Casino (sometimes when it's not a popular day it would only cost you $5, if you play Casino and get a Players Advantage Card(PAC), show the card when you drive out, cost you nothing, $0. Then stroll down Clifton Hill to experience the breathtaking Niagara Falls. Daytime is good, wait for the mist to subside to get beautiful photos. Nightime is spectacular because of the play of the lights on the water falls. Make sure you bring strollers for the kids, light sweater or coat, weather-wise. Sit on the grass. take your time. I did climbed the tree once when we were too young to be bored there.

CLIFTON HILL (Niagara Falls) - again park in Fallsview Casino (read above post RE: Niagara Falls). When you wanna stroll up (or down) for something to eat, enjoy Clifton Hill. We have the XD Movie Theater  that is full motion (moves). (Haven't experience it yet). There's also the most scariest Hunted House as per my niece. My sister said my niece came out scared and ghostly-faced. Don't forget to try the SkyWheel. Or the Dinosaur Adventure. While at it... along Clifton Hill, you'll see a tower... my nephew's favourite - Skylon Tower. If you're into a romantic mood and have lotsa cash/cards to spare, treat yourself and your guests unto a dinner at the Revolving Restaurant. Tried it with my two friends, twas very expensive but they served me the best and yummiest Salmon Dinner ever. The view of the falls at night, from atop, is worth all the money you spend for the dinner. Again, it doesn't come cheap. If you think too formal is not for you but still would like to try the towering height, try their Buffet on the other level, they charged $35 per person as per my last inquiry last week. (that is plus tax & drink, LOL!) However, if you don't wanna spend money for food but want the KIDS to enjoy themselves, save those coins and small bills, the ground floor of Skylon Tower houses indoor kids fun. All you need is to change those bills to tokens.. and you can sit down there at the dining area as the kids go around and play. 


MAID-OF-THE-MIST. This is a boat ride to experience the thundering water falls. Kids of certain age are not allowed on board. Hence, my hubby and Khloe hasn't experience this yet.


MARINELAND &  SAFARI NIAGARA. Niagara's answer for your zoo escapades, Marineland is located in Niagara Falls while Safari Niagara is in Stevensville (towards Fort Erie). 

GREAT WOLF LODGE, AMERICANA OR FALLSVIEW INDOOR WATERPARK. So far, I have only tried Fallsview Indoor waterpark but I got some info for the other two. Great Wolf Lodge can only be enjoyed if you book the rooms. It's pricey but my family enjoys them.. and watch online for deals. Usually priced between $200 up, with deals, you can get a room for $100plus. Kids could enjoy it so much, I cannot describe it in words except for whatever they say about it, that's pretty much covers how amazing it is. Americana & Fallsview Waterpark are accessible by a day pass or by booking a room. Fallsview is very convenient if you wanna enjoy the Falls scene. Americana on the other hand is driveable.  


BUTTERFLY CONSERVATORY, FLORAL CLOCK, BOTANICAL GARDEN, CABLE CAR RIDE (to New York Side crossing the Whirlpool) & NIAGARA HELICOPTERS -- if you wanna enjoy these beautiful greenery of Niagara, follow the Niagara Parkway (going towards Toronto NOT Fort Erie) and it will lead you straight up to these places. While you're at this locations and you still have the time, try checking out the QUEENSTON HEIGHTS. All you need is a picnic basket, and whatever you need to laze on the grass, hike a trail or smell the flowers.

HAPPY ROLPH'S BIRD SANCTUARY & PORT DALHOUSIE (Saint Catharines). If you want to experience a less hectic place and just wanna enjoy nature at it's best, Happy Rolph's is the place to be. You can feed the ducks, (use to pet) the different animals, little play area, the green grass, follow the trail that would lead you to a rocky lakeside and just breath that air of tranquility. If you wanna enjoy the skin-view beach scene, Port Dalhousie is the place to be. The kids could enjoy a wonderful, fully-restored carousel for a nickel (5 cents) per ride. You can bring your volleyball and test your sports power, or laze around to get that perfect tan on the beach. You can enjoy the stroll as far or beyond the lighthouse. There is also a play area for the kids.(And yes, there is a Tim Hortons in the vicinity).

CRYSTAL BEACH, SHERKSTON BEACH, CRESCENT BEACH, THUNDER BAY BEACH & NICKEL BEACH (Along the beaches of Fort Erie to Port Colborne). Want some sun and beach time? Niagara has all that. Check out these beaches and you don't need to drive hours up north.

CAMPARK RESORTS, RIVERSIDE PARK CAMPGROUND, SHALAMAR CAMPGROUND, WINDMILL POINT PARK, BISSELL HIDEAWAY, are just but a few of Camp Sites for your camping appetite. We did Biseell Hideaway, and although the cabin we booked was pricey, it was all worth it.

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE WINERIES. Love you wine? Learn how they make them. ENjoy Niagara-On-the-Lake!!!

I know I missed a lot.. but this is what I can come up with as of this moment. Hope it will help you especially for this hella-hot Summer we have!!!!










Getting Filipino TV Shows in Niagara Region of Ontario (Canada)



Moving to our new place means a lot of stuffs to organize and to set up. Considering both my Mother & Khloe's interest is always at the top of my list. The first two days was painful, with Khloe screaming for her "Treehouse" channel after getting bored with her DVD movies. Inside her little brain, she cannot grasp why the same TV is not showing her same favourite show. On the third day... I gave up on my struggle and contacted a provider. I have no choice... I have to settle for what I can have.

What happened was that, days prior to the move, I tried to get RogersTV for my cable provider. RogersTv has TFC (ABS-CBN) Channel subscription. I know my Mother would appreciate it much if I get her a TFC on tv. Unfortunately, after filling up online application and getting a confirmation for a technician to come over, I was not able to complete my online check-out. I tried to contact their customer service and I found out, we have no RogersTV signal in out area. My only option is Cogeco, Bell or Shaw TV(StarChoice).

I tried to work-out the reason why RogersTV didn't work out. I was really excited. So I googled and surfed online as to how or why I can't get a TFC in my area. Until I found out that RogersTv is not availble in our region. Period. The only way I can get TFC is if get the box and pay monthly extra subscription for the Filipino Channels. I rested my case. So I was left with only one choice...

Get BellTV because they have GMA-PinoyTv & FilTv.

When I had everything at the place installed last tuesday and contacted Bell to add the Filipino channels, I was pleased to know that I was actually speaking to a call center agent located in Quezon City. It's comforting to learn from him that Bell is actually considering adding TFC to their channel line-ups. Maybe because of the influx of Filipino immigrants in the Niagara Region who are requesting for TFC. Right now, most Filipinos I know are either subscribed to Cogeco or having their own box.

For now... Mother is trying  to learn GMA-PinoyTv. She has no choice. I let her watch her TFC teleserye from online, connecting my laptop to the small TV we had in the room. The news from 24oras, SAKSI & the likes is a good source of information for her. Atleast, that keeps her updated with what's going on in Philippines right now.

However, when John LLoyd & Bea's teleserye, A Beautiful Affair, will start airing in TFC, I have no choice but to get the box. I think, it's gonna be worth my while and would keep Mother happy.

For now... we just have to enjoy GMA-PinoyTv. I like their news anyways.




New Place... New Home!!!!



Settled at Last!!!

It's been week since we moved to our new crib. It was a hectic day for a move.
The heat was intense. Me & hubby woke up early of friday last week to shop around for last minute shopping and furniture sales. Then we waited to have access for the new pad..  With the help of my ever helpful brother-in-law, Dennis, off they went to haul in the boxes and meager furniture that I had. Dennis borrowed a  truck for our move, and did 2 trips of intense hauling in and out under a surge of crazy humidity and blazing heat with hubby. Then off they went to haul in and out more boxes for my sis' friend.

With the help of Mother & my sis, Clarisa, Khloe was spared of that crazy temperature as she stayed with them at her house. I tried to put away as much stuffs as I can, and set up my kitchen as fast as I can. Thirsty & toasted, I requested to loan a cooler from work and brought home Cook & Cold Cooler from the shop. The cold & refreshing water helped me a lot in not losing my sanity from such a rigorous day.


I decided to spend the night with hubby & Khloe at our new place, especially given the fact that hubby is flying the next day back to California. After some 4 hours, the apartment is almost set-up except for the dining set that my sister, Cherry, is giving us. When everybody thought everyone was hungry and tired enough... we decided to eat out to grab some Vietnamese food.Cherry ended  our tiring day with the promised dining set. 

Next day... hubby flew home...
With that weak determination to cross the border.

I know... he loved the new place.
LOL


Monday, 18 June 2012

My Gap for Toddler Addiction


Shopping is an addiction. Period.

But if you have a little princess... a baby princess, a toddler princess or a tweeny princess...
Shopping is beyond addiction. Sometimes it becomes a vocation.

However, personally, I made rules to curtail my shopping spree to becoming an addiction.

Rule No. 1 - Never hesitate to shop around. (That's why retail stores offer price-match.)
Rule No. 2 - Shop only to what suits your lifestyle. (Seriously, you don't need a Louis Vuitton purse to babysit or a Burberry umbrella to sit the dog)
Rule No. 3 - Wait for Sale Event. (That's why they got special sales event...and 4-words for you --- end.of.season.sale ---)
Rule No. 4 - Bring those coupons. (It helps save you a LOT of bucks)
Rule No. 5 - "Sale" is the new word for smart shopping. (Really, who won't care for extra savings?)

I know what you're thinking. I'm too cheap!!!
Gurl... read my lips ---I am just using my brains. At least for some moment in my life, I am using it in one of my passion - shopping.

I am not picky with brands. I always believe in spending wisely, especially not buying stuffs because of brand names. Never been my style. Never been reasonable for me. Maybe, unless I am super rich with enough cash to spend for stuffs I don't need but would like to buy. That is luxury at it's best and boy, I have enough family out there who would need more than one brand name stuffs I could purchase.

For my little princess.... I am most addicted to shop.

With hubby's consent, spending for her is sometimes, beyond my reason and rules.
How can i resist?
But resist I must... and reason I have to.

But that doesn't stop me from styling her from head to toe.

As a baby, Carters and H & M were my favourites.
As a toddler princess, GAP has been my most frequented stores.

As much as I try to avoid the new arrival rack... my heart can't help but skip a beat. They just have awesome colors that could enhance you little one's personality.
Of course, as always, I would go straight to the sale rack. And for whatever reason, I always end up buying something.

Here's few of the stuffs Khloe had shone with this outfits...






My heart says.... buy her more.
My brain says.... no matter what brand is... it's about style.

I am so glad.... at some point... I do have a sense of style. 

LOL.

#Love.Gap

A Memorable Father's Day

I've been looking forward to the day when we can get-away from the chaos of work & daily routine.

A cabin was booked, and with hubby arriving from California safely, everything fell into plan. We got ready and packed for the week-end retreat.

As I wrote on my older post about our Father's Day Plan, the day arrived and (as always) starts with the last minute packing and errands. My other sister, Cherry, picked us up at 12pm. Almost right on the dot with check-in time. So much for the idea of perusing the facility earlier. Rose and her family check-in on their own cabin way ahead of us. Of course, they were able to enjoy the facility already. The set-up was crazy, but really fun. To detail it...

I got these deals from Groupon. $20 for a $100 worth of cabin.
I was allowed to purchase one for myself and get 2 extra as a gift.
As soon as I purchased mine, I posted on Facebook about it and my sister, Clarisa, asked me to get her one. Then her friend, Rose, asked me to get her one, as well. So there goes my allowed purchase for this Bissell deal.
With hubby coming for a visit, I called Bissell and booked us for Father's Day. My sister opted to come with us the same date, and so did Rose.

I know you'll be asking what the $20 Cabin look like....
 
It's the basic Rustic Cabin, worth $100 for weekdays and $125 for week-ends!
Comes with a double bed and a bunk bed, a 2 adult & 2 kids pass for the facility.

This is what I said about going Camping without roughing it. If you wanna be comfortable and avoid the inconvenience of rain or back pains from sleeping with your sleeping bag, this is a very good option.

I opted to upgrade my deal to a bigger cabin, the Deluxe Cabin. And it was like this...


with this interior...
It has a room with queen size bed, a bunk bed, a living room with pull out sofa, and a kitchenette with a dining table. Accommodates 6 adults or a family of four. The deck comes with our own grill, and we have a huge patio that comes with a pit and patio chairs. (Firewood has to be purchased from within the facility, no outside firewood allowed). And the reason why I upgraded to this because of my great consideration for Mother, whom I know would need the washroom all the time. Of course, the cabin is equipped with our own shower, bathtub and toilet. The bonus round, it's fully airconditioned, with a satellite and dvd for TV viewing.

Every dollar was worth spending. 

Everybody enjoyed that little camping we did. All the cooking and the eating was prepared and shared with in our cabin. The kids, when not perusing the facility would stay inside and watch tv. Most of the time, the grown ups were on our deck either cooking, eating or chatting. There were too much food, and too much talk. My sister, Cherry, brought their dog, Iris, with us. Khloe had so much fun dog-sitting Iris, as Rose' kids did their best to stay out of Iris' reach.


Before the darkness fall, we stayed at the patio for some games. 
(Blindfold)

(Tumbang-Preso)

(Bubbles)

Of course.. we did not forget to start a fire.....


...and roast hotdogs

....and marshmallows and smores


Then.. everybody got so tired and sleepy...
and nobody remembered about star-gazing... and bear-hunting???

The next day...

We prepared breakfast for the Dads....


                                    And watch them enjoy their Father's Day breakfast...


Then... we heed out to end our adventure...
with these little ones enjoying their last dip for this trip...



This photo alone is all worth anything.
Priceless Toddler Joy!!!