Winter this year is very warm and we didn't have enough snow. As my son would say: "It feels like winter but looks like spring... where's the snow???"

Things I love about winter --

  • White Christmas
  • Tree branches covered with snow
  • The serenity of seeing everything white
  • Tobogganing and playing in the snow -- hopefully I will be able to 'try' other winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and dogsledding
  • Cuddling in bed with a comforter
  • Free airconditioning
Things I hate about winter --

  • Black ice and freezing rain -- it causes accidents
  • When the snow melts, it becomes slushy and slippery
  • Layer and layer of clothing to keep me warm -- thermal shirt, turtle neck/long sleeve or wool shirt, sweater and a jacket, plus scarf, hat, ear muff and mittens
  • My laundry is twice as much
  • When its windy and snowing at the same time -- its hard to see where you're going
  • I hate driving when there's snow -- I got stuck once and nobody is willing to stop and assist me
  • Drivers who are driving recklessly despite the slippery road
  • Getting the flu

"Learning to Love Winter" (From Winter Solstice to Vernal Equinox)

Winter in Canada can be a vastly different experience in any one of the thirteen provinces or territories in this Country. In a country with six time zones and winter temperatures ranging from temperate to arctic, it can be difficult to prepare for winter (whether you are a Canadian or an International Student). The secret is to not just "prepare" for winter, but to "love" winter.

But how does one go from preparing for winter to loving winter, in a country that covers almost 10 million square kilometers of real estate and is almost completely covered in snow for three months of the year? The answer is, "It's all in how you view it." Now for those of you who are experiencing winter conditions for the first time, you do not have the benefit of having had a childhood experience in snow. And it is in childhood that all your best winter memories are born - simple pleasures like your first snowman or, first snowball or even your first experience on ice skates. The good news is that it is never too late to see and experience winter through a child's eyes. Proper clothing and a nice pair of sunglasses are all you need to change your point-of-view. To truly experience and indeed love winter, you must get outside! But getting outside is just the beginning; the next step is to get active outside. I know what you're thinking, "Exactly how active can one get in the snow?" You may be surprised and amazed by the following (short) list: Winter activities could include downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dogsledding, snowmobiling, tobogganing, sledding, hockey, ice sculpture, snowman building, and of course ice skating. (Did you know that there are over 2 million lakes in Canada? And almost every one of them freezes in the winter - that's 16 Canadians per lake; perfect numbers for a hockey game. And there are also over 1000 ice rinks in just Ontario alone.) ...

Admittedly, there are many dangers in winter: Frostbite, snowblindness or even poor diet, but none are as dangerous as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a wintertime disorder that can appear as depression or even excessive cravings for highly caloric foods. The cause of SAD is quite simply a lack of sunlight. This lack of sunlight alters the natural circadian rhythm of your body (or body clock) and can have profoundly negative affects on your daily life. This lack of sunlight is caused by a reluctance to spend time outside because it's cold and dark for much of the day. It is important to avoid the temptation to spend the winter inside, so that you get the natural healthy benefits of the sun. So instead of wrapping yourself in blankets, wrap yourself in layers of clothing, and venture out into this winter wonderland and make a snowman, or go skating on one of our 2 million lakes...

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

This entry is not related to the title... but I just wanted to greet all Chinese out there Kung Hei Fat Choi (Jan 29)! It's the year of the Fire Dog!

I finally got to eat tikoy (steam chinese coconut cake) again, after missing it for 5 years...


I got this link from Denny's blog... you all know how I love to travel...

Your travel type: Travel Yup

The Travel Yup likes exotic and adventurous travel, but prefers big cities with fast paced life. He has a keen interest in other cultures and always brings home a few souvenirs.

Shopping in Bangkok, getting a tailor made suite in Kuala Lumpur, that's the kind of thing the Travel Yup is into. Even though he likes to get away, he prefers his travels to be comfortable.

top destinations:
Hong Kong
Las Vegas

stay away from:
North Korea
Ciudad Perdida
Darien Gap
Get your own travel profile

Tag #5: Random Facts

I got tagged by Des... here's 10 random facts about me...

  1. I can speak, read and write in Tagalog, English, Fookien and Mandarin... I also studied Nihonggo and Spanish in college.

  2. I'm insomniac as far back as I could remember.

  3. I love pictures, albums and scrapbooking. Despite having a tight budget, I will always make sure I have money allotted for this passion of mine.

  4. I love shopping but I hate 'window shopping.' To me, 'window shopping' is a waste of time. Sometimes I would offer my friends to do their shopping for them. At least I got to go to the mall, shop and not spend a nickel. ",)

  5. I don't wear make-up at all... I don't know how to apply make-up... but sometimes you'll see me with lipstick and that's it. The only time I wore full make-up [done professionally] was during my prom night, graduation and wedding day, and formal parties.

  6. When we first migrated, all I know about the computer is using Word, Excel and Lotus Notes for office emails... I don't even know how to surf the net nor chat... now, I spend most of my time in front of the computer, learning new things everyday, and I do house chores on my breaktime... hehehe... [I know I know. Its suppose to be the other way around].

  7. I don't know anything about sports... I used to play bowling and volleyball and that was it.

  8. I don't know how to swim. Yes, I know its shocking to a lot of people but I had a traumatic experience when I was a kid.

  9. Movies and tv makes me cry... and I remember a few 'selected' commercials makes me teary-eyed too [though I can't remember which commercial/s it was].

  10. I need the sound of tv on the background when I do chores, blog or anything else... even though I am not really watching.

To everyone who read this: Tag, its your turn!

Thoughts to ponder

Sorry guys, I'm too busy to blog these days...

Thoughts to ponder by Frank Outlaw :

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; they become destiny."

Essay, the video-style

My hubby is into taking vidoes of my kids, usually before bedtime... it varies from the kids singing, playing, story-telling, building something or simply introducing a new toy. It's like an essay, video-style. And my kids love it!

January 21, Saturday.
Hubby took the kids to the bank to open Patrick's first bank account. He has been looking forward to this since his birthday. Thanks to his Tito Junnie for the suggestion.

We didn't get him any gift this birthday, instead we gave him a check to be deposited to his bank account. And he didn't seem to mind that he didn't get any toys from us.

As soon as I got home, I ask him how did it go... and he said: "mommy take a video of me with my bank card." And so I did, and this is what he said in the video.

This is my second most important card [showing his ATM card]. This is my card from my bank account. Well, you know what you do with a bank account. You put it in the bank and it stays there until you want to get it out again. I just did that this afternoon... oh yeah, it was this morning. And it was nice! [with emphasis on the word "nice"] I love my card! [beaming with pride]
I interrupted: "Why the second most important card? What was the first?

My first most important card is my health insurance without it I won't be anywhere right now. I won't be doing much. Everybody knows that everybody should have it...

And this [referring to the pamphlet about his savings account], I really don't know what this is, my mom just gave it to me. I think its a bookie [looking inside]... o yeah, it is a book... hehehe... That's all I have to say [his way of telling me to stop the video]...

Oh, but I have to tell you something else, everybody knows that the machine punch this out [referring to the numbers in his ATM card] and I wrote this [showing the signature strip at the back of the ATM card]... my name! That's it!

Wish I could share the video clip with you guys, but hubby is not too keen at exposing our kids online.

My wishes for my kids

Random things I would like for my kids (in no particular order) --

  • To be sports oriented (unlike us)
  • To be responsible and learn the value of money... "a penny saved is a penny earned."
  • To learn how to say "no" to peers
  • To learn to appreciate the little blessings that comes their way
  • To know that they can be open to me/us with regards to their feelings, problems and troubles
  • To graduate with a degree before marriage and babies
  • To learn how to protect themselves from strangers
  • To realize that everything I/we do are for their own good
  • To make their own choices, with no influence from family and friends, even if its not the right one
  • And to learn from these choices, hopefully not making the same mistake twice, in building a better and brighter future
There's more... but for now, I'll stop here.

Happy weekend everyone!

Mixed nuts #3

I am back in training again... tax season is here and I'll be working full time again till the end of April. Yey!

I left hubby and the kids in the car while I run over to the grocery to buy milk. A few minutes later, when I got back to the car, I can see frustration in hubby's eyes. I thought it was because it took me longer than expected because of the lineup at the counter... but its not.

He was really mad at my son for not listening and not stopping at bugging his sister. He grounded my son for the rest of the afternoon (which he rarely do). Few hours later, hubby said he was feeling sick. My son spent 6 hours in the den with no toys but only books and his drawing book as his buddy.

While my son was grounded, I re-painted both bedrooms... it was a lot easier for me with no kids lurking around, except for my daughter. But she was a big help laying down newspaper on the floor and picking them after I'm done. I find painting very interesting. A good exercise too.

Hubby stayed home coz he was really sick. He practically slept all day. All because of that little incident in the car. You see, my hubby is the most patient guy I have ever met. He tried to hold his anger most of the time. In our 10 years of marriage, I can really count the times when he raise his voice over me.

Hubby got a sore throat and is now on antibiotics. But he is well enough to go to the office and later that night, we went to a dinner and show sponsored by his company as a post-christmas get together for all its employees.

The show was "Grease!" An all time favorite movie of mine. But if you've seen the movie a hundred times like me, then nothing will beat the original cast. Overall the show was good! Dinner was buffet, food was not bad, though I wouldn't say its excellent either. The place was fully packed, not exclusively by the employees of the company.

Recipe #1: Veggie Pasta

I think I'd share some recipes for a change... hubby's cholesterol and glucose level is a little bit above the normal... all he needs is a little diet and exercise... so I have to convert our menu to healthier ones.


Veggie Pasta

1 package Vegetable Fussili
5-6 (fresh) tomatoes, cut up
onions and garlic
italian sausage, sliced
red/green bell pepper cut in strip

  • Cook vegetable fussili pasta per package direction till al dente. Set aside.
  • Fry onions and garlic with italian sausage in olive oil. Set aside.
  • In the same pot, put tomatoes until the juice comes out.
  • Put back italian sausage to the pot, add bell pepper and simmer to boil (10-15 mins).
  • Serve pasta in a platter and topped with tomato sauce. Serve hot.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Delurking week

I've been so slow on my blogging entries at the start of this year... I don't know why... I guess I was just busy with other stuff and am also running out of things to write/share.

On one of my regular blog hopping, I came across this. I think I'll participate on this delurking week since I wanted to know who else out there are my silent readers and frequent visitors but are too shy to leave comments.

Sheryl's entry yielded 226 comments...
Moxie's had 114 comments...
while cubbiegirl had 74 (as of this posting).

I won't compete with them... but it would be great to know that there are more people out there reading my blog... so please don't be shy, drop me a line or two. Take time out to introduce yourself. I would really love to hear from you (open to all my frequent commenters, regular and silent visitors and the lurkers).

My baby is no longer a baby

Time really flies so fast... Patrick turns 9 today!

To our dearest panga-panga,

You're a very sweet and smart boy... and you are very protective of your baby sister.

You have a lot of questions... a lot of dreams... a lot of ambitions... most of all, at this age, you are having an obsession with having "lots of money."

Continue on dreaming and aiming high, it will open lots of doors for you (in due time). Remember that you promise to buy mommy a car* when you have your own money.

For now, enjoy your childhood and study hard!

Happy birthday Patrick!

Mommy, Daddy and Patricia loves you very very much! Mwaaaah!

* During one of our conversation, I told Patrick that he had to study hard to get into a good university and get a good job... and maybe someday, he would be able to buy me a house. He said: "mommy, I'll buy you a car instead, cause a house is way toooo expensive."


Last Sunday was Patrick's advance birthday party. We only invited 2 families (I can only fit 2 families in our small apartment).

He was feeling sick that morning, stomach ache and vomitting but no fever. I had to take him to the doctor to make sure I can have other kids around him. The doctor said it was just a stomach flu. I wanted to cancel the party but he said "No, don't cancel the party, please. My cake will go to waste."

patrick's cake
"Mommy, I don't like party hats and balloons anymore... but we need loot bags for my friends."

patrick's guests

Tag #4: Perfect lover

I was tagged by Ghie to come up with 8 different points of "my perfect lover".

I don't believe there is such a thing as a "perfect" lover... but here goes (in no particular order):

  • my perfect lover know how to tickle me with words and make me smile despite all our problems
  • he is very thoughtful, responsible, understanding, patient, truthful, loving and faithful
  • consistently show his love with words and flowers [especially on special occasion]
  • he makes my dream come true; and very considerate of my feelings and needs
  • a little mischievous on the side, to get rid of boredom in the relationship
  • a good husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend
  • a good provider with a direction/goal in life
  • and last but not the least, he loves me till death do us part
I don't really like tagging people, but feel free to take this tag if you run out of topic to post in your blog... like me... hehehe... Thanks Ghie!

Highlights of 2005

My 1st part time job (in Canada) during the tax season... my first encounter with discrimination... dealing with Patrick's ADHD... meeting more blogger friends... Patrick's having fun at skiing... our first attempt at tobogganing... getting more hits due to a marathon birthday greeting... Patrick's first communion... celebrating our 4th year in Canada... numerous out of town trips and picnic at the park... trip to 1000 islands with my in-laws... hosting more parties and get-togethers... discovering the wonderful world of digital scrapbooking...

Patricia's 1st scrapbook masterpiece... Patricia's 1st time as flower girl... Patrick's 3rd time as ring/bible bearer... attended our 1st very elegant, very sophisticated "Canadian" wedding... getting our Canadian citizenship... getting our (blue) Canadian passport... currently holding dual citizenship... our 10th wedding anniversary which was celebrated in Sudbury... giving up our PAL mileage to be used by my cousins and in-laws as an early Christmas present... discovering Castpost, a way to share our home videos... the need for diet and exercise for hubby due to a little above normal cholesterol/glucose... getting our own Tony Little Gazelle cross trainer as a Christmas gift from my in-laws... my blog turns 1 year old... finally, completing the 20 photographic images of me.

A total of 158 posts by year end with 6,486 visitors.

My other blog, One Friend, turned 1 year old yesterday with a total of 121 posts.

THANK YOU to all my blog pals!!!