Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm Getting A New Gown :)

6 months after giving birth to my daughter, I'm VERY satisfied with my weight, but not with my shape. I still look pregnant for goodness' sake! I know it's time to get on that elliptical or do crunches or whatever that could give me back a waistline that doesn't look like "mommy"! I'm not really complaining but the goodies we got this Christmas are certainly no help. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's dinner at Grandma's where I'll eat a lot again, for sure.

That's why, for my brother-in-law's wedding, I can't get an off the rack gown. I am going to have one made, one that will camouflage my tummy while having openings so that I can nurse my baby. I am so excited! Hopefully, it would fit my budget.

No pictures yet, though. I'd rather keep it a surprise for now. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas In My Heart

A belated Christmas greeting to everyone!

The Christmas season is actually a hectic one, what with the gift preps, the parties and whatnot, and of course, most importantly, the time we (want to) spend with our family. I want to make memories with my kids, even if it's just something as simple as looking at the moving display at Greenhills Shopping Center, or Noche Buena (Christmas dinner) at their lola's (grandma's) house, or simply going around the village gazing at Christmas lights. So do pardon me for not being very good with updating this blog. :)

My family is more into New Year's celebrations rather than Christmas celebrations, which is great for me because my in-law's are the opposite. It gives our family the chance to celebrate with both sides of the family for this season.

So far, the season is usually spent in Manila. The only times I've spent Christmas outside the Metro are the single Christmas I spent in Hong Kong with my Dad, Mom and brothers. It was so cold that thermal underwear, thick jackets, heaters and electric blankets even if it were not snowing (It doesn't snow in Hong Kong). We also experienced a real burning fireplace in Baguio on a New Year's Day evening (not New Year's Eve) in the Hyatt Terraces (which is now simply a memory after the great earthquake).

New Year's Eve is always spent with my grandparents. We used to have firecrackers when we were younger. But now that we're older (and presumably, wiser), we choose not to spend money and risk our life and limbs with explosives.

Of course, there are years that are better than others. But the season is generally about family. Wherever we are, as long as we are with family, the season will always be special.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tsinoy Wedding Invites

If you've gotten wedding invitations from Tsinoys/Tsinays like me, chances are, you'd notice that aside from the main invite and the entourage list, you'd also find another card or another page that's written in Chinese. This is actually the main invite in Chinese form. Some Tsinoys opt not to include this part, because of budget constraints or maybe because they think it's repetitive and no longer relevant, since most people just look at the English language main invite.

I have opted to still include this because this makes gives character to the invite. My then-fiancee agreed because...well, maybe he didn't really have any choice? LOL. Ours was the usual beige invite but with that extra sheet. I felt that not only does that extra page add a touch of culture to our invites, but it served the purpose of informing the older Chinese among our guests about our wedding. Believe it or not, some of them are still not as good in English as they are in Chinese.

Other Tsinoy couples go even further with tradition, opting for the red invitations with gold press lettering, which is the traditional look for wedding invitations.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mom Gifts?

There's a joke (that's half meant, I believe) that men give their wives or mothers gifts that, while the women in their lives appreciate, are ultimately for the benefit of the whole family. You see, men give their mothers things like a microwave oven or a blender or a toaster or a washing machine. While these gifts may make the life of a busy homemaker much easier, still it feels like a gift that would benefit the whole family and not just the recipient herself! You see, the washing machine is to make washing clothes easier, but whose clothes? The family! It's not like the techie stuff that men often get that are all about them only, for their pleasure and not for anybody else.

What people don't seem to remember is that it's actually easier to buy gifts for her. Well, for me, actually! I find it more difficult to shop for gifts for men. I mean, there are so many things women would appreciate, and a lot at prices that are quite inexpensive. Bags, perfumes, clothes, makeup, jewelry -- the possibilities are endless and are limited only by your imagination and your budget! Of course, a microwave oven is still appreciated, but if it's given by the husband or son, it just feels like mommy's being given something that is actually for the whole family! Do give her something that she can appreciate!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

No House Yet For Us

The Ondoy flood actually shattered another dream -- our own house in the very near future.

You see, my mother-in-law has a house and a lot, both located in Marikina. Her house is the one where she currently lives. She has another lot elsewhere, and a townhouse in QC where my brother-in-law and his family now resides. In short, there's a piece of land for each of her 4 children, whether or not there is a house.

My husband always had the idea at the back of his mind that we will eventually get our own place, either by building our own house, even one of those fast, prefabricated and inexpensive manufactured homes on my mother-in-law's lot, or the house that my mother-in-law now lives in. Or maybe the other lot. Whatever my mother-in-law decides to give our husband. The point is, we'll eventually have a place of our own.

However, with the deluge of floodwaters that came with Ondoy, my husband began to think twice, thrice and more times about settling in Marikina. It was just too dangerous and risky. The flood may or may not happen again to that extent, but he did not want to risk it. As it is, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were both lucky to have survived, although they spend a whole night on the roof with no rescue in sight.

We really, really want our own place for our little family. But at the moment, that is simply just a dream.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Hi-Tech" Games

Technology has come a long, long way in my lifetime. Let's take games. I remember that my uncle used to have the Atari, which was considered a state of the art game back in the seventies. We didn't have any of those since it was apparently expensive and difficult to acquire, so we were very happy when my uncle got tired of it and decided to give it to us. If you look at it now, it's so simple. The Tennis game does not look like a tennis game at all. A small square is the "ball" and rectangles are the "rackets". I guess kids nowadays would laugh at it!

Later, my father would buy us "game and watch" by nintendo. It was the in game in the late seventies to early eighties. It was his usual pasalubong (gift) whenever he went to Hong Kong. It was much better than the Atari. It's still a far cry from today's Wii and wii accessories, but during those days, they were considered hi tech!

Lest we forget, there were the arcade games like Pacman and Mario Brothers, available in game arcades in places like Virra Mall. They are also available for computers -- in those days computer monitors were all in green. Then there's the Nintendo Family Computer, then the Game Boy, then Sony Playstation, PSP, then the XBox, then the Nintendo Wii.

Electronic games have come a long, long way, indeed.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Art of Regifting

When I was younger, I was more idealistic and would never think of recycling gifts. But that was then. Now, I'm a bit more practical and do recycle gifts, especially if it's something I don't need or want and just takes up space in the closet. Or sometimes there's a duplication of gifts. For example, we just need one water softener, a second one would just take up space and be virtually useless. Or a blouse might be in the wrong size (especially when it was bought in a bazaar where it's difficult to exchange) and would fit somebody else better. You know, things like that.

I believe, though, that there must be some finesse in doing gift recycling, or regifting. These are my tips:

  1. Always remember who gave the gift. You may stick on the tag for easy reference later. It's embarrassing if you end up giving the gift back to the person who gave it.
  2. If it's a food gift, check the expiration date and give it out as soon as possible. Do not give out expired food!
  3. Check the packaging. Make sure the gift still looks presentable. Change the box if it has yellowed (shudder) or do not give it out at all. Change the gift wrap!
  4. Do not give monogrammed items, items with a personal messages inside, promotional gift items!
  5. Be sure that the gift will be appreciated by the person you plan to give it to, even if it were a recycled gift. Give some thought to who to give it to.
  6. Do not give used gifts! Partially used up perfumes, lotions and the like are not in good taste at all.
  7. Be quiet about the gift being a regifted one.
  8. If you are the recipient of what you suspect is a recycled gift, smile and graciously accept it! It's still a gift. The giver might have thought that you may have more use for it!
Do YOU practice regifting? Any more tips that you care to share?