Monday, November 28, 2011

the "down"side of a road trip

Like I talked about here, I am going on a road trip today. But as with every road trip, I worry... that there will be long, winding roads to get there.

Or a boat ride that will trigger my motion sickness (see related post here).

Or even old rickety transportation that I don't really mind the oldness of, but the rickety shakiness always makes me dizzy.

Yes, I am somewhat anxious about my motion sickness ruining the trip. But I am hoping for a pleasant time with opportunities to relax, swim, drink some wine, maybe even ride a horse!

Fingers crossed... Ciao!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

partyline, pakibaba

Do you remember the days of the rotary phone? Did you dial 9 and wait for the rotary dial to go back to its position? Or were you one of those who would force the dial back to 9?

Do you remember the days when someone interrupts your conversation and you have to say, "Partyline, pakibaba"?

Do you remember the time when the yellow pages were so important? Nowadays, they seem to be more useful this way...

Okay, my Lola (grandma) still uses her thick yellow pages book. So maybe they are still useful. But I'm sure even my 90-year-old Lola will agree that these are a much more beautiful use of ye olde yellow pages.

Photos from here and adverblog.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

oops, my neurosis is showing...

I have a meticulous photo-organizing system. I organize photos chronologically. So on big family vacations or on special occasions, I find it so difficult when there are so many cameras.

My chronological photo organization is put to test by multiple cameras - multiple photo sources. Would be easy if every camera had a uniform date and time. But of course, that is impossible.

So first, I organize the photos by camera: my folders will read cam1, cam2, cam3, cam4. Then, I create folders per activity. It's easy when activities are defined. Like say, lunch at Puca Beach. But idle leisure time drives me nuts. Like for example, hours playing in the sand. Based on the chronological order in each cam's folder, I figure out which idle activity went first. Oh, and when Isabella and Noah split up and go enjoy different activities, I end up having to have an Isabella folder organized by activity and a Noah folder also organized by activity.

Oops, is my neurosis showing again?

Photos from everythingfab and streetfsn.

Click here to see the first peek at my neurosis.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

oomph piece

I am a believer that towering heels can make any outfit look great. An outfit that looks dowdy and frumpy in flats is magically transformed into a smart, chic look with towering heels. They just give that oomph every fashionista [who has gained ten pounds] needs. Somehow, I stand up straighter, look slimmer, project a more stylish demeanor just by slipping on these oomph pieces on my feet!

Turns out, slipping on an oomph piece on your head works just as well... Check out these hats from the Hermes FW 2011 collection. Don't they make these puzzling, almost questionable outfits striking?

Isn't it magical how adding an oomph piece transforms a look?

Photo of the towering Pradas is a re-post from here. Photos of the Hermes FW 2011 looks from Vogue.

Click here for a related post on these Hermes hats.

Monday, November 21, 2011

bracing myself

Am bracing myself for the day ahead. I am anticipating a difficult day at work today.

But on stressful, exhausting days like these, I remember what one of my old co-workers would always say: "Diamonds are made with fire and extreme pressure."

So I know, something good & beautiful will come out of this long, hard day.

You never know... Maybe Chuck Bass will leave a diamond ring on the steps of my office tonight. Pardon the cheeky joke. They're both in khaki trench coats, so I couldn't resist. Plus, a sense of humor always helps on days like these.

Photo from heritage and here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today, I am un-loving...

Today, I am un-loving... the fact that my kids have no ratatouille. Anton Ego was the tough food critic from the 2007 Disney Pixar movie, Ratatouille. When he was served ratatouille, a peasant stew, he was shocked. But the second the flavor hit his tongue, he was transported to his childhood.

He returned to the time he crashed his bike and his mother prepared the same meal, the same way for him. It comforted him in a moving, inexplicable way.

I feel the same way about my Lola's (grandma's) cooking. Her chicken in brown sauce is my comfort food. No matter how bad a day I have, when I taste that first bite of her chicken in brown sauce, I magically feel better. None of us can recreate it (not that I ever expected I could. See related post here). I cannot even figure out what goes into the mysterious brown sauce. To this day, my 90-year-old Lola cooks me my chicken in brown sauce, my ratatouille, as my birthday gift every year.

I realized recently that my kids grew up with Inday's (Inday is a typical househelper's name here in the Philippines) cooking. We've gone through our share of different Indays through the years so there really isn't any dish - cooked in a distinct, personal way - that they grew up with and could call their comfort food, their ratatouille.

Sigh. Today, I am un-loving... that my kids do not have their own ratatouille.

Photos from here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am un-loving... series.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

married-with-children multiplication 2

I talked about how things multiply when you get married and have children here. Another one of these things are Christmas lists. When you get married, your Christmas list multiplies to include everyone in his family. Add to that the neighbors, utility & phone bill deliverymen, garbage collectors and village guards when you have your own home. Then, when you have kids, the Christmas list multiplies by the number of teachers, classmates or friends, school guards & schoolbus drivers.

It's no wonder your once well-thought-of and personalized gift list evolves into a generic gift list. One type of gift for every homogenous group (like classmates or cousins).

Eventually, you realize that gift certificates also avoid the multiplication of gifts to wrap, lug and deliver.

And so I hope you don't take it against me if you receive a gift card from me or your mom-friends this Christmas. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

dear Inday

I wish you were Superwoman-strong (or had these magical strong rods) so you could lift my bed and entertainment center when you clean my room. Noah and I were searching for some of his Mighty Beanz that got away and found Mighty Bunnies instead: dustbunnies! The clumps of dust were mighty big so I really wish you were mighty enough to lift our furniture.

Click here for previous posts from the Dear... series. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ack, i forgot!

When I saw these pretty wildflower ice cubes on acupofjo last week, I realized I completely forgot to prepare the gummy worm ice cubes I had planned to make this Halloween!

I had planned to creep Noah out with worms in a glass of Sprite. Though plastic spider ice cubes would have been fun too!

Sigh... How could I forget? :(

Photos from acupofjo, here and here

Sunday, November 13, 2011

married-with-children multiplication

When you get married and have children, many things get multiplied. Like the packing you need to do when you go on a family vacation. It becomes extra hard when the destination is somewhere cold.

I remember one family trip in December where I needed to plan for a top, top layer, bottoms, bottom layer (tights or socks or thermals), a jacket, cold accessories (gloves & scarf) and shoes for each of the 17 days of our trip x 3 people (me, Isabella and Noah - thank God the hubby can do his own packing!). I had a mighty excel file detailing the day, our itinerary and the different clothing categories (top, layer, bottom, jacket). 1 excel table x 3 people = 3 worksheets = my mighty excel file. Add to that the exponential amount of underwear plus pajama sets, toiletries, vitamins & emergency meds you also need to pack. Not to mention the fun pack of toys & games for the plane and road trips.

So this is what you're busy with days before you leave for the trip AND AGAIN, days before you head home.

The great thing is that you're allowed 2 big bags for each small kid. That's shopping-loot space multiplied!

Photos from Chance and fromainsleywithlove.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

that kind of day

As awful as it may be, I have to admit I draw a bit of comfort that even models have that kind of day.

That kind of day always makes me late for work. I end up trying on many different outfits before I find one that doesn't make it look so much like that kind of day.

But when that kind of day goes on for weeks, it's either time to hop on the treadmill or go shopping for bigger clothes! I prefer the latter. After all, as Carrie Bradshaw once said, "Shopping is [my] cardio." :D 

Photos from harpersbazaar and here.

Click here and here for previous posts on that kind of day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

just a thought

I don't remember ever being spun around like this as a child. I wonder... Could this be why I have motion sickness?

Click here for a previous post on my motion sickness.

Photo from i'mjustsaying.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

oops, my neurosis is showing...

This is the original image. When I first published this post here, I initially used this photo. But its color palette just didn't go with the colors of the Rudolph image. And I was obsessing about it... All day at work on the day I posted it... And the day after... So as I drove home on night #2, I decided to re-create it in white background.

... even if I had no idea how to use photoshop. So I made layers of rectangles and circles and eventually made a copy.

... of that beautiful & amusing minimalist poster that deserves to be featured. It was my favorite among this fairytale set from Christian Jackson.

I agree with Jo, the wolf's paw is pretty creepy. Just as creepy as my neurotic obsession with color palettes that have to go together.

Photos from acupofjo.

"in a little room called the kitchen"

In case you haven't watched this episode, don't worry, I promise not to spoil it so much. For this post to make sense, all you need to know is that Marshall brought the gang to a Hibachi grill restaurant against Barney's liking. I was laughing out loud when, as Chef Takumi started his Hibachi cooking stunts, Barney said, "Oh, that reminds me. There's this other restaurant we should try sometime. What they do is, they cook your meal in a little room called... the kitchen. What's the name of that? Oh yeah, every other restaurant in New York City!"

That's exactly how my hubby feels about shabu-shabu restaurants! It doesn't help when he's already hungry when we get to the restaurant. Seeing food in front of you, albeit uncooked, is understandably difficult for someone who's famished. So he'd much rather restaurants cooked our meals, as Barney said, "in that little room called the kitchen".

Photo from here.

Click here for a previous post about my hubby. Click here for a previous post that is NOT about my hubby.

Monday, November 7, 2011

measurements: from paper feet to hands

Do you remember when you were a kid and your mom would trace your foot on a piece of paper so she could buy you a pair of shoes? I remember how it tickled when the pencil went around my foot and how she'd test the cut-out paper foot inside a shoe that could still fit.

I realize that I don't do this with my kids. I use my hand and arm to measure my kids feet, chest (for shirts) and waist. So I hold the armpit area of Noah's shirt with my right hand - between my thumb and index finger. Then I pull the other armpit with my left hand and hold it against my outstretched right arm. Noah's shirt measurement is from my thumb to the line on the back of my elbow. Isabella's would be the same plus 2 inches. This works for Isabella's waist as well.

For Noah's waist - which is still too small to reach the back of my elbow, I fold his pants in the middle and measure the halfway point on my hand. His folded pants would start at my wristline to the middle of my middle finger.

Noah's shoe fits right between my wristline and the line at the back of my elbow.
Don't you think my hand measurements are just as good as those giraffe height charts at the pediatrician's office? :)

I store these measurements on my phone so I can buy the kids clothes and shoes that fit perfectly even when they're not with me (This is most useful on out-of-the-country business trips for pasalubong shopping). Of course, I have to update the measurements every couple of months. But it sure beats having to bring out a tape measure (which isn't so easy to roll back into place) or paper-feet when measuring clothes at the mall.

Photos of this fun hand-&-foot painting kiddie activity from playtimebreak.

Click here for a previous post about feet.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

tomato weirdness

I don't really understand why.

I looove tomatoes in Italian food... I love Italian tomato soup (My absolute fave is still the Seafood Marinara Soup of the Aranetas' chef. This used to be available to the public in Trattoria Uno in Ali Mall.) and Italian tomato-based pastas & pizzas (Penne Arrabiata, yum!).

But I hate tomato-based sauces in Pinoy food. I just cannot eat Afritada, Kaldereta, Mechado and Menudo. Though I do love tomatoes with salted egg or ensaladang mangga!

So odd because they're exactly the same tomato, right?

Another one of the lovely animated gif photos of Jamie Beck in frommetoyou.

Click here for previous posts with moving photos from frommetoyou.

Friday, November 4, 2011

spelling booboos

Reminds me of the classic Erap joke where a reporter asks Erap what his favorite color is. Erap answers "fuschia". But when the reporter asks, "Can you spell that for me, Mr. President?", Erap replies, "Ay, red na lang pala."

For me, the words I always have to spell-check because I often get them wrong are embarrass, occurrence and enrollment. I somehow sometimes think they shouldn't be double letters. So now, I just need to always remember this rule: when in doubt, double (except maybe when I'm spelling occasion or traveling). 

Photo from sothat'swhat.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

dear person who used up the roll of TP

This is for the people who used the office bathroom stall before me: the one who finished the roll of toilet paper on the TP holder, the one who used one of the new rolls of toilet paper piled up on the toilet tank lid (the ledge behind the upright toilet seat cover), the one who used more of that new roll but still left it on the toilet tank lid, and the next user who used even more of that new roll but still left it on the toilet tank lid.

Let me describe to you what I see when I enter the bathroom cubicle. There is an empty TP roll on the TP holder which is actually just a hook. It's not even the old kind with a cylinder you need to push to one side so the other end would detach from the wall. That requires some effort to change toilet paper rolls. Ours is a hook so one simply needs to slip the new roll on it. But when I enter the bathroom stall, the empty roll is still on this hook. At the back of the toilet is a neat stack of about five new toilet paper rolls. In front of the neat stack - in a more haphazard way - but still sitting on the toilet tank lid, is one (sometimes, two) half-finished roll(s) of toilet paper.

Here's what I cannot fathom. After you do your thing, you obviously have to reach over behind your back for that roll of TP. Even if you decided to hold onto the roll before peeing, you would have still had that roll in your hand at some point. And yet, you found it easier to return the roll on the toilet tank rather than slip it onto the TP holder hook.

Am trying to convince Human Resources to install as many TP holders in our bathroom stall as there are in the above photo of the Louvre -- so there would surely be tissue on at least one of these TP holders until the end of the workday. But until then, dear officemate who finished the roll of toilet paper, I wish you would try to throw the empty roll into the trashcan and replace it with a new one. After all, it's not like the empty roll left on the wall is a work of art like this.

Photos of the TP in the Louvre Museum in Paris from here and the TP roll art from lushlee.

Click here for previous posts from the Dear... series.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a not so pretty sunset

Around this time, four years ago, my travel buddies and I went to Siem Reap. Our itinerary included the Pre Rup Temple, dubbed as one of the best places to watch a sunset. It was quite a climb - especially for the very unfit me. I was panting hard by the time I got to the top. So imagine my disappointment when the sunset at Pre Rup Temple did not come close to the majestic sunsets at our very own Manila Bay.

I realized then that the Philippines is truly blessed with wondrous natural sights that sadly, we take for granted.

Don't get me wrong. Siem Reap's temples were grandiose and worth the trip. My favorite was the multi-colored Banteay Srei Temple.

It was just the sunset at the Pre Rup Temple that wasn't worth climbing up 12 meters of a hill and these stairs for.

That disappointing sunset awakened me to the fact that right in our own country, we have unparalleled magnificent sights -- as the Basta Pinas Travel Advocacy Campaign here by Bonamine and the Department of Tourism explores. Remember my very poor Lakbayan score here? I really should make an effort to bring up my score. Tara na, biyahe tayo!

Photos from here, here and my travel buddy's.