Thirteen Thursday #33: Dream Home

13 Things in looking for our dream home

  1. Location, location and location!
  2. Minimum of at least 2 full bath
  3. A big kitchen with an island in the center and lots of cupboards
  4. Walk-in closet in the masterbedroom
  5. Spacious closets in the kids' room
  6. Minimum of 3 bedrooms
  7. Attached garage
  8. A playground nearby
  9. A community center close by
  10. Close to our current place of work
  11. Close to medical clinic and dental offices
  12. Close to malls/grocery stores/banks
  13. Close to schools/church

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It's easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Join Thursday Thirteen

Art Attack #2

The Filipinos are very creative indeed... this is one of the things that my daughter enjoyed while on vacation in the Philippines. I have never seen this in Canada yet, so if you are an enterpreneur, you might want to bring this concept to Canada. Children of all ages will surely love this activity.

This activity is quite simple. First you choose the design you want... then fill it with colored paint that was provided... once you are finished, they will put it in an oven toaster for a minute or 2 to dry it up. Wet the back a little and it will stick to your fridge.

Patricia and my godchild, Zoe

Kiddy's Art Town at SM Mall of Asia, Philippines

My Firsts in 2007

This question came from Junnie's blog entry today --

What are some of the firsts that you experienced in 2007?

  1. First full time job
  2. First car registered to my name
  3. First time earning $$$ through blogging
  4. First LCD TV
  5. First trip to Jasper National Park
  6. First Reconciliation of Patrick [November 24, 2007]

  7. First Eucharist of Patricia [starts this wednesday]
  8. First mortgage pre-approval in Canada

Photo Hunters: Hot

Care to take a swim in the hot spring pool?
It is refershing and you're going to love it!
Picture taken at Radium Hot Springs in British Columbia.
[A 3-hour drive from Calgary]

Hubby and daughter in the picture.

Join Photo Hunters

Always a winner!

When I was in my teens, I always tagged along wherever my mama would go -- to Divisoria, to the wet market, to the grocery, and even to Casinos. Yes, even to Casinos. Back then, they were not strict on age requirement especially if the casinos are part of the hotel that we were staying. Nobody was really checking IDs as long as they see you with an adult.

I would say I've been to about 6 casinos with my mama, and every time I go there, I always win! Yup, you heard me right, I always win!

You see, my Mama would give me about PHP 500 to play at the slot machines. I would get chips for PHP 100 and once I lose that money, I stop playing. And when Mama asks me if I won or not, I would always say I won PHP 400. Because technically, I didn't shell out any money, it's my mama's money. Yet, I get to keep it at the end of the day. So instead of wasting it all up at the slot machine, I keep it to buy things that I like. But for my mama, she lost PHP 500 [to me] and whatever amount to the casino.

For those who love gambling and casinos, is a free guide to help players find safe and fun online gambling destinations.

Tag #21: Linky love chain

I got tagged by Vanessa.

The rules are simple - When you get tagged... you have to add your name next to people who had done the tag and and let the list grow!
Girlie HiPnCooLMoMMa
Daphne Laura

Let's keep the list growing, so more and more people will discover our blogs.

If you want more people to discover your blog, consider yourself tagged!

Conversation #21: On test scores

Two weeks ago, my so brought home a science test with a zero mark [0/6]... and the following day a Math test with a perfect score [52/52]. And I told him that he should be bringing home perfect scores and not zeros.

Today, my son brought home the following project/test scores for my signature...

All about me booklet [project] = 66%
Spelling 1 = 30%
Spelling 2 = 80%
Math 1 = 84%
Math 2 = 90%

PATRICK: "Mommy, it is a good thing that I don't get perfect scores."
ME: "Why is it a good thing?"
PATRICK: "Then people will not think that I am bragging."
ME: "Having a perfect score doesn't mean you are bragging. It should make you feel proud of yourself."

This is how my son is justifying his grades to me... haaaaaayyyyy! I should get his first report card on the 26th.


Vacuum cleaner is one of my favorite cleaning device at home. My only problem is the previous vacuum cleaner that I bought easily breaks down on me. And once it broke down, it is more expensive to have it repaired or find replacement parts. The cheaper way to go is to buy a new one. And I had my third one in the span of six years. I guess the models that I choose doesn't last very long.

But if you had a Dyson vacuum cleaner, whether you have the upright or cylinder or handheld vacuum cleaners, you don't have to worry. Dyson parts and accessories are now available through their website at a reasonable cost. Just look for the model you have and you will see all the parts and accessories for that particular model.

Dyson is currently having a special promotion where they offer some free stuff on certain models and even free delivery on some orders.

Photo Hunters: I Love Shrimps

I love shrimps. Hubby used to be allergic to shrimps when he was young... but he got over this as soon as we got married.

This is from the all-you-can-eat Shrimp Feast at Red Lobsters.
I had Fried Shrimps and Shrimp Linguine Alfredo [pictured above]
and additional servings of Garlic Shrimps and Buffalo shrimps
-- for a total of approximately 40+ shrimps. Yummy!

Join Photo Hunters

On Retirement

One thing that scares me about living in North America is the influence of the Americans or Canadians about not taking care of their elderly. Coming from a country where people value the family unit, and children taking care of their old and sick parents, I sometimes wonder if my kids will do the same for us.

Hubby's plan, for now, is to retire in one of the beaches in the Philippines. Because he fears that nobody will take care of us here once our kids have their own family and lives to live.

I once met an elderly Caucasian lady as she walks through the metal detector at the airport, she hugged me as soon as she founds out that I am from the Philippines. She said she just came from the Philippines for a visit, and she loved the people there. She loved the way the children takes care of their parents. That brief hug definitely made my day!

But because the trend here is going to care homes after retirement, there is a lot of dedicated service provider out there to help us find the right kind of care we needed.

Is your PC safe from viruses?

I don't know much about computer. I used to download a lot of stuff from the internet and even install free softwares that I wanted to try. I was even a victim of spam mails. Of course, I didn't know that they were spam mails at that time. So I ended up with tons of viruses on my PC and losing some data in the process. That was 5 years ago.

It's a good thing that hubby is a network administrator/analyst. He decided to buy and install Norton antivirus on my PC. He knows how to clean all those viruses.

For those of you who are illiterate on viruses like me, this is your chance to get free Norton antivirus . Hurry, this free download is offered for a limited time. Learn to protect your PC and protect your files.

Kananaskis County

This was the last road trip of my inlaws before they went back to the Philippines yesterday. Three weeks flew by so fast. Three weeks was long enough to spoil and pamper my kids too... ",)


Please pray for the biopsy of my father-in-law scheduled on November 17. Thank you.

Free Blogger Cards

One of the requirements to get more opportunities for paid blogging is to generate lots of traffic to your blog. And in order to generate traffic, you need to promote your blog to the World Wide Web.

Here's the best way to do that. is currently offering 100 Free blogger cards. There are 500+ models to choose from. Go get your free cards now!

Readings to share

Here's some stories to reflect on --

  • Beware of Garbage Trucks
  • God's touch
  • The Yellow Shirt

    And the all time favorite of almost everybody --
  • The Velveteen Rabbit

    Please feel free to share your favorite heartwarming stories.


  • Thursday Thirteen #32: Screening tips

    All airports in Canada operates under the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority [CATSA], any complains you may have regarding our screening process may be addressed to them. Screening officers are just there to implement rules and regulations.

    I decided to come up with this list since I have been encountering angry and rude passengers during my training two weeks ago.

    13 things to remember when going through airport security

    1. Don't get angry if we need to search your bag or you, we are just doing our job. And remember there is always a first time for everything. You may travel a lot and this could be the first time you are being checked.
    2. Do not pack stuff in your carry-on that you don't want to be checked or touched by the screening officers.
    3. Do not complain or say bad words, we could detain you and let you miss your flight. Really.
    4. Do not say "I have a gun or bomb" even as a joke! We take these things seriously. You could be banned from flying - forever!
    5. If we confiscate stuff from you [like swiss army knife, your toiletries over 100ml in containers, pointed scissors and other non permitted items], don't curse us. We have no interest in your items. They either go to charity or auction or garbage.
    6. Random checking does not have anything to do with your race or color, so do not ever initiate that you were picked because of your color.
    7. If you were pick for random checking, that is good; it means we are doing our job properly. This is being done in all airports, it doesn't mean that if you had not experienced this before that we are not doing it.
    8. To avoid having items confiscated, please make sure you are well aware of the rules regarding permitted and non-permitted items in your carry-on and checked baggage.
    9. Always remember 9/11... would you want to be one of the passengers in one of the flight that day? So please, let us do our job the right way. No shortcuts just because you're late for your flight.
    10. And if you encounter staff training on the line, be glad! It means new hires are given proper training to make you feel safe and secure during your flight.
    11. Remember, we are risking our lives on the line everyday too... in case of a bomb alert, we cannot even leave our post until police and bomb squad arrives.
    12. Remember, our job is very important for the airline crew and the flying public's safety. You may not think so, but just talk to people who lost their loves ones on plane that were hijacked then maybe you can better understand our position.
    13. Last but not the least, please do not ever complain that the x-ray operator is moving too slow or taking too long.

    Other related posts:
  • 13 No-No at the pre-board screening area
  • Tips for travellers

    Join Thursday Thirteen

  • Get a wireless broadband now!

    When hubby first started talking about changing our current subscription to a broadband, I said “what?” It really took hubby a long time to explain this for me to understand.

    Basically, the wi fi broadband gives you real savings. You see, with wi fi broadband, we cut down our phone bills' monthly fees in half. And we are able to choose the area code for our phone number. Example, if you live in Calgary, you can have the area code of New York or Los Angeles. If you have families abroad, who also have a broadband with the same area code as your phone number, all your calls will be considered as local calls even if you are in the different parts of the world. No more long distance charges to pay. Now that is what I call real savings!

    During our last summer vacation in the Philippines, we even brought our broadband with us so if anybody from Calgary, employer or friends calls, it will still be a local call for them and us. And this is only possible to the technology of wi fi.

    Blog Advertising - Get Paid to Blog

    The Big Apple

    New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is one of my favorite cities in the world. I don't want to live there, but I wouldn't mind visiting it once a year.

    Since 2001, we've been visiting my sister-in-law and her family in New York at least once or twice a year. From Toronto to New York, it’s an average of 10-12 hours drive. And by now, you should all know that we love road trips! Since we've relocated to Calgary late last year, we can't afford to visit them anymore. Driving is definitely out of the question, and flying is going to be too expensive.

    Anyway, if you ever plan to see New York, or if you are a New Yorker who is expecting visitors this holiday season, get the New York CityPass. This pass includes 6 of New York's famous attractions and allows you to skip most of main entrance ticket lines. You can't say you've seen New York if you don't visit the Empire State Building and take a cruise around Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This pass gives you big savings of up to 50%. And its special winter run gives you up to three months to use your citypass. It is really such a great value for a big city.

    Calgary vs. Toronto

    For those planning to migrate or relocate, here's something to think about...

    All airports in Canada is operated by CATSA [Canadian Air Transport Security Authority], but each airport is run by a private company and its own labor union.

    In Calgary, working on your first day off, you get paid x1.5 [example: if your basic salary is $14/hour, you get $21/hour for the first day overtime]. On your second day off, you get paid x2 [$28/hour]. Not bad, right? And because of lack of manpower, it is easy to be overworked because your overtime is guaranteed to be approved. Calgary airport even have to borrow Screening Officers from Toronto airport to help us out. And even with the $5,000 yearly retention bonus, this job can't seem to hold its employees down due to other competitive wages and job opportunities available.

    We also have a 10-hour shifting schedule. This means you can only work for 4 days a week. And if you want to, you can apply for overtime. On your second and third day overtime, you get paid x2. And believe me, there are a lot of people who choose to work 7x a week at 10 hours each day.

    In Toronto, its the same rate for your first day off [$21/hour]. But on your second day off, you still get paid $21/hour. Big difference, right? Plus I was told by my friend who worked in Toronto airport that it is hard to get overtime hours there as they have full force. And they don't have the $5,000 retention bonus to look forward too.

    DISCLAIMER: This comparison is based on my current employer ONLY. This is NOT a generalization.

    A bad hair day!

    There were times in the past where my first instinct was always right. Sometimes I'm glad I followed my instinct. But there were times when I don't follow it and regreted it.

    Yesterday was one of those days! As I was doing my first load of laundry, I had this instinct not to do a second load. But I still decided to go ahead with my second load and guess what? I forgot to take out my cellphone in my pants! Huhuhuhu... it got soaked in the laundry and now its useless!

    I don't usually put anything in my pants pockets. But working at the airport, where I don't have access to a landline, I had to have my cellphone with me in case of emergency at kid's school.

    I even replaced my old Nokia 6110 with a Motorola SLVR as I need a slim and lightweight phone for my pocket. And it breaks my heart that after only 3 months, my Motorola is gone.

    Now I am back to using my old Nokia phone. Arrrgh! I do plan to buy the same Motorola with my sponsored posts' income, but hubby wants me to find a different one.

    Moral of the story: I should learn to trust my first instinct from now on.

    PMN Family Photo: Plated

    Mango Crepe at Cafe Breton
    Greenbelt 3, Makati City, Philippines
    [This is the "in" thing among my friends after dinner.]

    Click here to join PMN Family Photo.

    Previous PMN Photo entry:

    September 2007: Potted
    October 2007: Green

    Shopping for a Digital Camera

    My brother in law, L, who got married last year, just had a baby boy last August.

    While I was on vacation, I took lots of pictures of baby R and left them copies. They loved it because it’s the only print copies they have. They don't have a camera , all they have is the camera on their cell phone. Quality wise its not that good.

    It's a pity they decided to hold the Christening 2 weeks after I left Manila or I would have volunteered to be their photographer. My MIL took some pictures during the Baptism, but sad to say, nobody initiated or remembered taking pictures during the reception.

    Now that MIL and FIL are here, we are looking to buy him a digital camera so they won't miss capturing the growth of their baby boy. And browsing through the internet, I found This site gives you a comparison of prices from a wide variety of products through hundreds of different shops.