Friday, February 26, 2010

Win The Hotel Elizabethan Experience

Trip or Treats is having a goodie and cool giveaway! Yes, as cool as Baguio, heh.

One very lucky and hardworking commenter/follower of Trips or Treats will win 2 nights of Baguio breeze in a Deluxe Room good for two guests at The Hotel Elizabeth! This includes complimentary wifi internet and breakfast for two! Perfect for the upcoming summer season, don't you think?

The Hotel Elizabeth
is Baguio's 3-time Hotel of The Year* from 2007-2009!

Check out this link for the contest details.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The New Me

(Before and After Photos)
The New Me -- no longer shy but bolder and more confident

I used to be a very shy girl (stress on the word “very”). I would easily hide under my shell and retreat to my room whenever my parents would have visitors in our home. And when this would happen, I would overhear my parents apologetically tell their “kumares” and “kumpares”, “Oh, that’s our youngest, you see, she’s very shy.”

I have never been a sociable person, more so, the “biba” kind. Maybe as a way to overcome my shyness, my parents would usually ask me to play the piano to entertain our visitors. Just the thought of unfamiliar faces watching me would make me cringe, what more when it was actually happening? Yes, I would oblige but those moments were like, killing-me-softly-moments. Thinking about it now, I’m glad I had those moments. It just proved that my parents believed in my capabilities so much and were very proud of me.

I didn’t know why I was shy. I was probably too conscious of my two crooked front teeth (sungki). They were so evident that I just couldn’t smile confidently for fear of revealing my two crooked teeth, which resemble vampire fangs, only shorter. My parents would actually tell me that because I had cute dimples, my “sungki” added more to my cuteness. Of course, I believed them and that helped boost my confidence… but still I was shy.

That all changed when both of my parents passed away at the same time. I wouldn’t go into details anymore because that’s like an epic story worthy of another blog entry. All I know is that the tragic incident TRANSFORMED me BIG time. I was 15, then.

From a very shy girl, I learned to depend on no one but God. I didn’t want to burden other people, not even my siblings just because I was the youngest and the sole witness to that tragedy. My attitude was, we were all going through the same thing, facing a loss of our beloved parents and I was not any different from them to be given any special treatment. I didn’t want to stay helpless and I refused to go on a self-pity mode so I learned to move on rather quickly pouring everything there was to pour out to God, until my cup was empty. I became fearless and brave all of a sudden. I felt I had no other choice but to unleash that hidden courageous animal in me. I was determined. All of a sudden, I was no longer this shy little girl. All of a sudden, I had a new found confidence. I was confident that I would pull through even without those people who mattered most in my young life. I felt that this one more lease in life given to me was a make or break thing. I chose to come out of that episode of my life a better person and not a bitter one.

I still had crooked teeth for all those years that I was a teenager and up to the early stages of being a yuppie but it didn’t bother me at all. My teeth and my looks didn’t define who I was. Oh yes, I had my teeth fixed when I was already working and earning my own keep. I felt fixing them would make my smile look better. That’s all. But yes, I’m still cute... a cute wife and mom (LOL). Now, I don’t see any traces of me being a shy girl. As a matter of fact, I’m the exact opposite of who I was before. I wonder where it (my shyness) all went?

This is the new me, happy and proud of what I have become.

"Glutamax, See the Results"

This is my official entry to the Glutamax The New Me promo.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My husband is the one who introduced Yoshinoya to me. He loved this place first. So, when I tried it the first time during one of our lunch breaks, I liked what I experienced, too.

Among their Jumbo Plates, my favorite would have to be the combo of Gyudon and Ebi Tempura. Now, that is one mumbo jumbo of a serving! I love the "thinness" of their beef gyudon that resembles bacon strips. They're just so tender. I also love their siomai and not to forget, their green ice-tea. It's one-of-a-kind!

So why do I love Yoshinoya?
The food is great. The serving is oh-so generous and best of all, the price is reasonable, considering the good quality of the food.

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In connection to this blog post, The Philippines and Beyond - brianong.blogspot is sponsoring a contest wherein you may win a P500 Yoshinoya GC. All you have to do is answer this question: Why Do You Love Yoshinoya?

Check out the contest mechanics by clicking this link: I Love Yoshinoya, Japan's #1 Beef Bowl.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In the Middle of It All...My Entry to Yugatech's Giveaway Round #2

YugaTech is having a Round#2 of its Great Gadget Giveaway. This is our chance to get that MSI Wind U123H, the 10-inch netbook with built-in 3G powered by Globe Tattoo.

So what do we need to do? Simple.

Go to the most crowded place and have your picture taken holding the sign “Follow @abeolandres and @talk2globe on Twitter! “.

Whew! This contest has been, by far, the most difficult I have ever joined. I say this because I had to be creative which, I think I’m not, and muster some much-needed guts to pull this through. Plus, I had to contend with a very apprehensive husband (who would be my photographer) and an embarrassed tweener.

I just knew I had to join this contest for the chance to win that MSI Wind U123H.

I was already planning for this contest days after learning about it. I mean, as a working mom, I know a lot of really crowded places. My initial plan was to visit a wet market on an early Saturday morning and hold my poster in the middle of the fish section where everybody else were busy haggling. But Saturdays came and went; I still did not have an entry. No poster, nothing. It was only last Saturday night (Feb. 20), in between putting my baby to sleep and helping my toddler with her assignment, that I was finally able to squeeze in my poster-making project. I got my eldest daughter’s cartolina and used my tot’s crayons and began making my poster. I first wrote the words in pencil, starting with the letter “Q” then the letters “U-I-C-K-L-Y-!, F-O-L-L-OW” and so on. Then, I traced them with a pentel pen and crayons. My hand was a bit shaky because while I was writing, I was also thinking of my color combination. Even with that, I still had to “multi-think”. I wanted to draw a bird (for the Twitter part) but I didn’t attempt anymore since I know myself very well. I can’t even draw a nice stick-person, what more a nice bird? Nonetheless, I was happy with the overall outcome. It may be a desperate attempt to be creative yet to me it was more of a labor of love.

The next day, we started out early with our usual Sunday routine and schedule. I thought SM Megamall would be the perfect place to execute my plan.

There I stood in front of a group of students (who I thought were having an excursion) and shoppers making their way inside the mall. I had to BEG my husband to take my picture in the middle of the crowd and he was way too embarrassed to click the camera in front of all those strangers. We even had to park our kids (ages 9, 3 and 8 months) in a shaded area before I could quickly do what I had to do. My eldest told me afterwards, “Mama, you’re nakakahiya. What are you going to win ba?” I felt bad upon hearing her comment but I still told her that I could win a laptop for doing that.

On our way to our next destination that day -- to a children’s party at Frontera Verde -- I wasn’t speaking to my husband and my eldest because I suddenly felt all alone in this journey, ahh err, rather contest. I was expecting them to cheer me on instead of being embarrassed for me. But anyway, that didn’t stop me (or to put it more bluntly, it showed how desperate I was!) from asking my husband again to take my photos in front of 200+ guests who attended the party. This time, my husband was the one who acted as my “director”, prompting a lot of our friends and relatives who were there, to read the poster and ask, later on, what was that all about.

Holding the poster I made complete with spilled iced-tea markings, in the middle of the function room where we attended a children’s party.

When we got home, I immediately uploaded the pictures. However, when I saw the other entries to this contest, I didn’t want to submit my photos anymore. I thought my entries would not stand a chance at all to bagging the MSI Wind. Yes, I wanted to back out from joining but my husband was the one who boosted my spirit and told me, “Babes, i-submit mo pa rin, you worked hard for it.” That made me smile. He very well made up for his negative reaction the first time he had to photograph me.

So folks, here I am writing about my so-called travails in coming out with an entry for this contest and hoping to, well, still win the grand prize.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Shoe Stories

This is the rack where I store some of my shoes.

I have less than 20 pairs of shoes…and that’s including slippers or flipflops. I think I’m one of those rare breed of women who can live with just a few pairs and still be happy about it. As long as I have a pair of black medium heeled shoes and black pumps and a brown shaded medium heeled shoes, I am good to go to work every single day.

My mom had a collection of pretty shoes when she was still in her prime. She was a shoe lover and so are my female friends and female colleagues at work. Well, I also love shoes but I don’t obsess with them like most women do. And because I just have a few pairs, I get to use each one of them for a very, very long time. I do get sentimental when I have to part with my shoes due to wear and tear. It’s like, “We’ve been through a lot together, in good times and stormy weather, but now I have to let you go,” – that’s exactly my drama.

I have had a few funny and silly shoes stories based on personal experiences. There was a time when I was a yuppie, I came to office wearing a mismatched pair of pumps. Good thing, both shoes were black but the heel height and design were different from each other. To think that I commuted to work (rode a tricycle and bus) from our house in Quezon City to Makati. I just noticed the blunder I made when I was already having lunch and my colleagues asked me if I did it on purpose, just to make a fashion statement. I survived that day pretending that I was, indeed, starting a trend.

Another fiasco happened about 6 months ago. I had this most-treasured white pair of sandals that had been with me since 2004. One afternoon as I was dressing up for our usual Sunday bonding “pasyal” with our kids, I already noticed that there was a deep crack on the sole of the LEFT pair. My husband even told me to “retire” those sandals already but I refused. I love those shoes and in my mind, that day might be the last time that I would wear them. Well, it turned out that I was right.

That Sunday, we went to our favorite bookstore. While walking on a carpeted floor, I thought there was something wrong with the flooring or the carpet, like it was not even. When we got outside the bookstore, my daughter noticed that the RIGHT sole (on the heel part) of my shoes was missing. So, that was the reason I felt the carpet was not even. My face almost turned red when I saw that half of my right shoe’s sole was gone. Funny but it was the sole of my LEFT pair that was “dying” in the beginning. My daughter and I had a good laugh after seeing the mini trail of sole fragments left by my broken sandals.

This is the box of my favorite white sandals.
I still keep the box for sentimental reasons.

When we got home, I felt nostalgic and wanted to bury my favorite white flat shoes in our garden. But my husband told me that I was over-reacting. Oh well, I got over it, but hey, it wasn’t easy.

The latest booboo I had involving another pair of sandals happened just 3 weeks ago during my toddler’s presentation in school. I was prepping her up for her dance number when I felt the thong of my right sandal snapped off. Good thing I was keeping a pair of black high-heeled shoes in our car. When presentation came, I stood tall, wearing high-heels, cheering my tot as she danced to Michael Jackson’s Beat It. Yeah!

Before and after the presentation.
(See the different pairs of shoes I was wearing)

This is my official entry to Nuffnang's The Red Shoes Story Contest

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Living Life to the Fullest!

My husband and I are blessed with three beautiful daughters. We are blessed to have each other. Friday nights are sacred to the two of us. It's our date night. It is during these times that we just chill out and enjoy each other's company. You see, we are each others' greatest adventure.

We both try not to be weighed down by the troubles of everyday life, and have always taken positive outlook on life and making the most of it. We're living our life to the fullest!

Refreshing Myself with Minute Maid Pulpy Drink...Day & Night

I am one happy, working mom. I would like to believe that I have already found “my balance” in terms of handling my family life and my career. As a mother to my three precious angels, bonding with them is one of my ultimate joys. But aside from that, I still have lots of simple joys in life that I wish to celebrate as much as I could. One of these simple joys is knowing in my heart that my husband and my kids love me. I love it whenever I come home from work and I see my two older daughters waiting for me at the top of our stairs, shouting “Maammaaaaaa!” and then they would be taking turns giving me their kisses and tight hugs. Oh how wonderful is that?!! And then when I proceed to the room of my 6-month old baby daughter, her face would immediately light up upon seeing my face. She would then give me that heart-breaker smile and I would kiss her tiny cheek. I love being a mother! Such a blessed feeling, indeed.

A glass of refreshing Minute Maid Pulpy Mango Orange

The moments with my husband are on my list of simple joys, too. I make it a point to treasure our “twogetherness” or date nights every Friday coming from our respective offices. Watching movies, dining out, or sometimes just plain walking together hand-in-hand (HHWH) looking for a cheap place to eat are just a few of my simple joys with him.

Enjoying a Minute Maid Pulpy Mango Orange Drink one weekend afternoon

But there is one person I do not neglect no matter what. That person is “me”. I don’t want to sound narcissistic but I’m proud to say that I value myself dearly. That is why I allot a “me” time everyday. And that time is sacred. It could be just an hour of being with myself, during lunch time or when everyone else at home is fast asleep. It is the time that I refresh my mind, body and soul. Whenever I am home during weekends, I refresh my body and mind by lying down on our old couch, reading a good book or a magazine while snacking on a cookie or a brownie and drinking a glass of ice-cold Minute Maid Pulpy Orange or Mango Orange Drink. Reading is for my mind and soul while the glass of Minute Maid is for my body. Nevertheless, I believe that drinking Minute Maid can also help in relaxing my mind and soothing my soul. It would be easier to have a relaxed mind and soul, if my body is likewise, relaxed and refreshed. Don't you agree?

A glass of Minute Maid Pulpy Orange Drink

Minute Maid rehydrates and re-energizes my body, giving me the boost to do more. It is just an ideal snack drink for mothers, like me, who are expected to do a lot, or shall I say everything. Just like all working moms, who are trying to fit it all into a 24 hour day, I have had days that were pressure-packed and yes, have felt that life can be overwhelming. But the minute I get home, I feel refreshed. Add to that is a bottle of Minute Maid Pulpy Drink that keeps me company for most of those stressful days. Well, I must admit that my family loves it, too.

Enjoying a Minute Maid Pulpy Orange Drink one weekday evening

So calling all moms, let’s give ourselves a break! We deserve it. Drinking a glass of Minute Maid Pulpy Drink on the rocks will help do the trick. I tell you, the minute you drink Minute Maid, you will immediately feel refreshed. I just got hooked and may I say, “Let’s love and refresh ourselves more”.

Note: This is my entry to Between Bites Minute Maid Contest.

Real Leaf Paparazzi

My family is a heavy Real Leaf Green Tea drinker,
from my husband to my 3-year old toddler!

Whenever we do our grocery shopping,
it's one of the must-buy items in my list.

See the proof below.

We make it a point to buy, not just one, but at least two bottles. It's always safe to have a ready spare.

Let's do a close up, shall we?..... See, it's the real thing, Real Leaf Green Tea Drink. In a few minutes, we're going to open the first bottle since it's nearing dinner time.

I could smell the baked fish that goes so well with a glass of ice-cold Real Leaf Green Tea Honey Lychee flavor.

There's the baked fish in the background.

It's time for dinner!

Each of us has our own signature plates. Our eldest daughter has her own plate we got for free (courtesy of a chips brand). Our toddler has her favorite Winnie d' Pooh bowl while I have my green ceramic round plate. It's actually my hubby's, but I get to use it also when he's not around.

But we have one thing in common -- that one transparent glass with Real Leaf Green Tea drink on the rocks. Oh yeah, we all share one glass and one drink.

Come TV-viewing time (just a few hours after dinner), my hubby reached for the second bottle of Real Leaf Green Tea Honey Lychee (see, I told you, it's always good to have a spare).

He, together with my eldest and my toddler, enjoyed it to the max while watching their favorite show on TV and munching on their favorite chips. It's a very healthy alternative to softdrinks. It tastes so natural and it's good for the mind and body.

Obviously, Real Leaf Green Tea is their favorite (sort-of-a) midnight snack drink.

Goodnight, y' all!

The next day......

A visitor of my toddler came to our house with a bottle of Real Leaf Green Tea Honey Apple, which he gave to her.

Though a bit heavy for her, my tot accepted the gift without any hesitation.

She was too happy to have her own bottle of Real Leaf Green Tea that she gave it a kiss. She couldn't wait to have a drink of this refreshing tea drink.

When, she finally took it home, she asked her mom (that's me) to open it for her. She got her favorite plastic cup and savored that refreshing taste.

Oh, how she loved it!

~ The End ~