Mouth-watering Memoir

My paternal grandmother, Lucena Ravelo Lacho used to say, "Candy, I'm happy. You know, I just live the simple life..." It's true, if we are happy with what we have, we see the beauty in its simplicity. I miss her so much... I love her so much more.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saying Goodbye to this Blog

I want to thank those that took the time to read this "rant and ramble" blog of mine. I'll be slowly transferring the important contents here to our family blog and welcome you to visit me there...

Nothing big of a reason, just too busy with life to maintain several blogs...

Goodbye...

http://complicatedsimplicity96.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 7, 2009

CoL:Day 26-32

Now I'm the one who's sick with another one of my children sick also and has a broken pinky. Yikes! So now, instead of eating well and healthy, I haven't had much appetite! Plus, last night, our neighbor, though gave us a warning, partied with loud music from 10PM to 3AM! Oooohhh, my migraine.... plus I had to bring down the fever of my now sick child. Man, why can't they just make these journeys easy? LOL

Though to my credit, we moved a lot! patio cleaning, gardening, sweeping, reorganizing, fridge cleanout and sorting and walking and swimming so at least I'm losing weight that way.

I'm also getting into baking, so I'm using my arms a lot in mixing and keeping things steady and reaching up. (Does that count? I hope so...) ;-)

Til next time... (I hope...)

Monday, June 1, 2009

CoL: Day 17-25

Still not getting enough time to focus on eating right but then again who can with 2 sick kids?


I'm hopeful though, very hopeful... (can you see my crossed fingers?)


Activity: Walked a lot in doing errands and getting my dinnerware fix. Sometimes, just looking helps so much in getting great ideas!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

CoL: Day 6-17

Sorry about the lack of discipline it would seem but between my graduation, hubby's Apprentice Program graduation, School concerts, trips and last minute errands, eating healthy much less tracking has been difficult.

I should be back on track tomorrow...

Hopefully... It is Memorial Day and we're barbecuing!

Ok, ok... I'll be good!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CoL: Day 5


Change of Lifestyle adventure continues...

Today was wrought with itinerary printouts, confirming rental car and hotel room, looking at budget and getting just the right clothes. All to just get to my own graduation! I'm so glad I only have to do this once! Whew! ;-)

BREAKFAST:
*** Cheerios Crunch & 2% milk - 1 bowl
*** Water - 2 glasses

LUNCH:
*** Mama's Spaghetti - 1 small bowl
*** Diet Pepsi - 1 can

VITAMIN:
*** Centrum Complete
*** Water- 1 glass

SNACK:
*** Water- 2 glasses

DINNER:
*** Arby's Roasted Burger - 1 (It was FREE!)
*** Rootbeer (I had to buy a drink to get the burger)
*** Ice Water- 2 glasses

ACTIVITY:
*** Got up at 6:15A again!
*** Made sure kids got to school
*** Took care of travel plans
*** Did laundry
*** Washed and dried dishes
*** Blogged future posts

Since we'll be in Phoenix and we've got friends in Mesa, I know I will be doing a lot of walking and talking. That's a lot of calories to be burned, not monumental, but still a lot!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CoL: Day 4


I had a late Mother's Day Brunch today. I know, I know, excuses...
Let's see how I did today, shall we?

BREAKFAST:
*** Honey wheat with sausage muffins
*** Water - 1 glass

LUNCH:
*** Quiche - 2 small triangles
*** Grapes - 1 cup
*** Decaf Lemon Herb ice tea - 3 glasses

VITAMIN:
*** Centrum Complete
*** Water- 2 glasses

SNACK:
*** Rondnoir chocolate - 2 pieces
*** Water- 2 glasses

DINNER:
*** Hot & Sour soup - 1 medium bowl
*** Ice Water- 3 glasses

ACTIVITY:
*** Got up at 6:15A
*** Baked breakfast fares for Brunch
*** Did a tablescape
*** Took pictures
*** Talked with friend - 3 hours
*** Washed and dried dishes
*** Booked flight for trip
*** Blogged

Man, I need to be more active!

Monday, May 11, 2009

CoL: Day 3


Day 3 only of my "Change of Lifestyle" journey and I'm already late posting. Yikes!

BREAKFAST:
*** HBoO with almonds & 2% milk

LUNCH:
*** Mama's Spaghetti- 1 small bowl
*** Sonic burger no cheese
*** Ice Water - 3 glasses

VITAMIN:
*** Centrum Complete
*** Water- 2 glasses

SNACK:
*** "Slim Cocoas" cookie -1
*** Water- 2 glasses

DINNER:
*** Fried rice w/ veggies- 1 small bowl
*** Ice Water- 3 glasses

ACTIVITY:
*** Went to Walmart- 1.5 hours
*** Took a shower
*** Took a nap - 1.5 hours
*** Cooked dinner
*** Baked a biscuit tart w/ my fam
*** Talked to my hubby
*** Did a tablescape
*** Took pictures
*** Washed and dried dishes
*** Did Laundry
*** Stretched- 15 mins
*** Blogged

Still too much food, but I got a lot more done so I kind of made up for it. LOL

Sunday, May 10, 2009

CoL: Day 2


The second attempt, I mean day of changing my eating habits by watching what I eat and being more active...


BREAKFAST:
*** Breakfast sandwich (white) & 12 oz. 2% milk

LUNCH:
*** Filipino beef stew with rice- 1 bowl
*** Diet Pepsi
*** "Slim Cocoas" cookie - 1
*** Ice Water - 2 glasses

VITAMIN:
*** Centrum Complete
*** Water- 2 glasses

SNACK:
*** Water- 3 glasses

DINNER:
*** Fried rice w/ veggies
*** Mama's spaghetti - on a small salad plate
*** Ferrero Rondnoir- 1 piece
*** Ice Water- 3 glasses

ACTIVITY:
*** Went to church
*** Took a shower
*** Did a tablescape
*** Took pictures
*** Cooked dinner
*** Stretched
*** Blogged

Ok, so it looks like I overate... Gotta be better tomorrow. LOL

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Can Stand To Lose a Few...


I guess as Spring comes, it is more apparent that weight loss is at the top of the agenda list for most people. Since I belong to this global conspiracy called human race, I might as jump into the band wagon and lose a few, (ahem) 20 lbs!

Starting today! (Did I really just think that?!)

Oh, well... I can do this right? I took a semester of Food and Nutrition class and I've reaped the benefits in how I feed my children. They would gladly tell you, "We're still alive!" So that must mean I'm doing good right? ;-)

Ok, here I go...

BREAKFAST:
*** Small bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds & milk

LUNCH:
*** Olive oil & Garlic Pasta w/ Broccoli - 1 bowl
*** Corn - 1 cup
*** Ice Water - 2 glasses

VITAMIN:
*** Centrum Complete
*** Water- 2 glasses

SNACK:
*** Apple Slices -3
*** Water- 2 glasses

DINNER:
*** Crab Bread Quiche- 1 slice
*** 1 cup rice with Spam
*** Ice Water- 4 glasses

ACTIVITY:
*** Washed dishes and cleaned stove, again!
*** Did laundry
*** Organized some more
*** Took more pictures
*** Baked two cookie batches
*** Made dinner
***Blogged

Ok, that wasn't so bad... Wish me luck for tomorrow, though, I'll need it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Room by Room: Freshen Up!

I know this is late, but a promise is a promise!

Now that it's Spring time again, that means Spring Cleaning!

BIG Disclaimer: I DON'T DO SPRING CLEANING because my kids' schedule are chock full at this time and lately Spring meant finals for me, so there... Instead I do SUMMER CLEANING the first week of summer vacation.

7 Tips to Freshen Up Your Home

1. Open up your all your windows before you dust. Let the fresh air in for about an hour. If you have ceiling fans, turn it on for 20 minutes. This brings in enough oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange that it actually freshens up your lungs and energize!

2. Now sit in the main living area where your biggest couch is. If you can't feel the life-giving exchange of breezes, that space is stagnant. Find a configuration where one has a window facing it or the air reaches the couch. It's a simple concept, you have a sofa for a reason, it holds more people and it's subject to immediate stagnation of air. After you close all the windows, then dust and vacuum to "seal in" the freshness for a little while to help you relax and enjoy the cleaner atmosphere.

3. If your main living and sleeping areas are dark (my MB is fairly dark) because of its normal orientation, then place more light in them. That's it! Nothing induces more happiness than a bright (moderately so) area. You wouldn't sleep in a brightly lit room, right? Why would you read in a dark room? Capish?

4. Dust your corners and bring life to them with either a plant or an inanimate object with movement or a light. Corners tend to be forgotten and so are numerous issues in your life that have been piling up.

Example: in my home, my corners are given a purpose: a cat tree, a shoe cubby, utility shelves, important posters, extra shelves. Corners are useful; do not forget them. It's like using up one part of your brain with important items that can exercise it enough to add to your betterment.

5. Kitchens need pruning too! This is my latest project as I am a self-proclaimed "Stock-Up" Queen. If you don't need it, give it away! I just recently did this by giving away some of my unused and rarely bakeware, doubled up kitchen stuff and using up good pantry items. Remember, kitchens are the best indicators of what you value. And to be honest, mine right now says, "busy woman". But I have a plan and slowly being executed! So pictures soon?

6. Just the mere act of clearing the couch (no, not by tossing things off!) can do a lot of wonders. Perform the 5-minute test: sit for 5 minutes on the cleared couch. If you can't smell the fresher air (not the Febreze only) or be able to have a wider view of your home, you are stagnant!

7. Look at your colors. See if you can freshen it up a bit. Even if you're a fall gal like me, just adding a neutral light or complementary seasonal color combos can bring great change in mood and energy. Try these:

Rust (Browns) and Red- add in muted turquoise or dusty blue. (Spring & Summer)

Browns and Rusty Red- add in taupe to tone down the heaviness.

The above is regular daylight, the two tone pillow broke up the heavy colors of rust red and brown.The photo below is with flash simulating night time and yet the lighter and smaller pillow still served to lighten up the look.

Burgundy and Black- add in minty sage or pale rust to lighten up the mood

Blue and White- infuse in some reds or yellow to transform the feel

Pink and Black- infuse in some pale sages to bring in a complete look and bring in another level of energy

Sage and Red- add in some taupes to complete the sophistication.

Enjoy your Spring Cleaning!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter To All!

JESUS CHRIST,
OUR SAVIOR AND REDEEMER
HAS RISEN
AND
HAVE ATONED FOR OUR SINS!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Only Seven?

In visiting other blogs who joined SITS, a commenting group of women bloggers (and one man), our featured blogger yesterday had a fun meme about writing out "7 Weird Things About Me"

Here's my list...

"7 Weird Things About Me"

1. I love to stay home; I mean I'm not lazy or anything, just probably the epitome of a homebody. Sure I love to travel, if I can, but between Aruba and my couch with a good book, I say, "Aruba-bye!" and "let me at that book!"

2. Super obsessed with purple! No, not every single thing I own is purple, but to me there is no better color to paint the best things in life with: grapes, eggplants, velvet capes, throws, pillows- you get the idea. If people want your attention, in this day and age, you won't see yellow or red, you'd see purple! You want people to notice something unique, paint it purple. You want a classic elegant look, go deep purple!

3. I can only grow petunias; I guess it's my lack of patience, but c'mon, even my herb pot quit on me, the jasmine plant kept getting munched on by some bug I can't catch, marigolds shrink too quickly, irises take too long to bloom after the first round from the store! Are said "weak" plants still around, sadly yes, but they look so sad- spindly cilantro & parsley, miniature iris leaves, marigolds with tiny blooms... But, petunias, I seem to prune, watch, and bring back to life, making it at least bi-annuals! Does that mean I have "only petunias" thumb?

4. Rather clean the toilet over ironing. Can't handle ironing. Maybe because I'm short and can't handle the insult of that most iron stands, go up to just under the "chest" for me. Hey, if I want to be insulted, I'd rather have my arms free and ache free! At least with toilets, you can fight back with one flush and a brush!

5. I'm the stock up queen! No, not STUCK UP, STOCK UP as in food, necessities, for a rainy day? I have this system down that I've been ridiculed with by reg folks that use their funds for rec stuff they don't even appreciate or end up collecting dust in one corner of their house (their excuse, they have no time- yeah right!) Well anyway, I go major Costco shopping twice a year, refill up the freezer every month or two, and refresh the fridge every two weeks. Why? Why? Didn' t I just say I'm the STOCK UP queen?

6. I am most coherent when I'm upset! So watch out, if you find that I keep making sense during our conversation while I'm pummeling you with accurate aims at the weak points of your character, you know I'm upset! Normally, I like to daydream and think of my darling babies...

7. I don't like solicitors and the stupid ones at that! If you're going to solicit me for something, don't use the "disarm you with warm greetings and small talk" because if you can see me then, you'd see raised eyebrows, going "what does he want and when can I tell him, no thank you?" The stupid ones, where they think they can intimidate you by being covert or mysterious ("Hello, is so and so there?") and not tell you who they are ("Are you so and so?") or who they work for ("I can only speak to so and so, is he/she available?), do they really think I'll keep them on the phone?
As I've said, S-T-U-P-I-D!

And we've reached the end of this segment of how weird I really am. Bye.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Awards Worth Sharing!


Megan of Infertile Myrtle shared this blog friendship award to those who visit her blog. I was one of the lucky ones that visit her, so... Now, I share it all with you!

If you think or know I'm a true blog friend and you'd like to continue or start becoming one of my true blog friends, please accept this generous award. If not, take it anyway and pass it on to your true blog friends. The point is keep sharing...



I also created an award for all bloggers. Blogging has been very therapeutic for me and am very sure most of you feel the same way, so take this award and also, share with those you deem fabulous enough who also has a blog!

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just A Token...

Anne, I hope you see this post. My heart couldn't help but be heavy for you losing Britta when she was little. I wished I knew you then and had the opportunity to help comfort you...
All day today, I couldn't stop thinking of you and now, a part of me which loves you and your family can't help but make this little token. As my daughters often point out, "we are heavenly sisters, so we always love each other." So, as my heavenly sister, I offer you a token of my love to help ease a little bit of the pain...

I hope you don't mind... Knowing you, I can almost imagine how beautiful Britta is. She has been appointed to watch out for your family from heaven and fulfill a mission only she can do... I hope that you would take this token and put it in your blog so that as this post becomes old, my memory will be refreshed each time...


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life... what does it really mean?

I love having a blog and reading my friends' blogs because it helps me put my views into perspective. And through our written stories, we bond and we tackle the most daunting item on the list, we call it, simply, life...

Take me for example, my brief stint in Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona was wrought with misery. Not because it was a bad place where we were, but I found me miserable because as I've previously mentioned, I'm Asian and from a tropical island called the Philippines. I couldn't handle the heat, the dry and the dust. I remember feeling very claustrophobic in our very first apartment in Gilbert, it was dark, we were the bottom apartment and we faced a main road that blasted dust into our patio day in and day out. I went insane! We transferred to an upstairs one and I was happy for a while but our bottom neighbors couldn't handle the noise of small children and constantly told on us at the office and blew smoke upwards through our balconies! We were veritable prisoners!

Then of course, we transferred to the ASU Williams Gateway Housing and each morning was so quiet and deserted that I thought I would crawl out of my skin! I didn't want to be happy anymore... I just wanted to get out!

But life has a way of turning things around... I have met a handful of women that have truly left a lasting impression in my heart and each of them I still care for. The fact that we have found each other through our blogs, show me that we have yet to care for each other. Each one was an example of love, patience and motherhood to me that I can never learn on my own. (I hope they don't mind that I comment on their blog the moment they post, lol) We celebrate each other through different means and find ways to strenghten our bond despite the different directions our lives have lead us. Blogging, I think is purely inspired...

I love my children so much that I am a "Motherhood" student still hoping that someone would be smart enough to compile all successes and give it to me personally! But until then, I continue to be in awe of these few women that have shown me that home is where I make it to be. A handful of them is all that made me feel grateful I am a mother during stressful times, but it is enough.

Their triumphs, joy and pain, I feel... I want to run to them and rescue them from their hurt. And someday, somehow, I can do that for them, even just to say- "Thank you for teaching me to be a better mother."

Right now, we are all mourning with our dear friend, Crystal Eldredge and her husband Spencer , for losing their son, Sage, at 8 months old last Thursday. Each of us have known Crystal in our own special way and along with the entire Eldredge and Reidhead families, express our love and concern. She is one of those examples that shines without anyone's help. She is simply amazing in all that she does and still find time to compliment others. Some of us will come to her side, some will send their love and some, like me, will say goodbye to Sage the same way as Crystal on Wednesday, even though I am two states away. Life, no matter how you define it, is a gift to cherish and when given the chance to flourish, has a way of binding people; and children is the best glue there is...

Sage; meaning healing herb or wisdom

I can tell you that this precious little boy's name was also inspired; he certainly HEALED his parents of any void they were feeling in their lives and WISDOM to know the truthfulness of the gospel when he joined them, though briefly... That is how I feel about all of my children, and on Wednesday morning, they will join me in releasing colorful balloons in honor of

Sage Lawrence Eldredge


Thank you Heavenly Father for granting my desire to be a mother to prepare me to meet these ladies that will always be a part of me...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"I ran over a surfer in my car because I'm a Ninja!"

I like this meme; it makes you laugh about what's associated with your personality. It may even be true!

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March--------I karate chopped
April----------I licked
May----------I jumped on
June----------I smelled
July-----------I did the Macarena With
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbour
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------ - a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1--------- In my car
2 --------- On your car
3 ----------- In a hole
4 ----------- Under your bed
5 ----------- Riding a Motorcycle
6 --------- sliding down a hill
7 --------- in an elevator
8---------- at the dinner table
9 -------- In line at the bank
0 -------- in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White---------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink-----------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red-----------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple---------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray----------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow--------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange--------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown---------because I can.
Other----------because I'm a Ninja!
None----------because I can't control myself!

This is so cute! Thanks, Melissa! Make sure to write in the comments what your funny sentence is!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Check out this giveaway dress!

Kathleen of Grosgrain is doing a great dress giveaway, check it out!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Candy is like..."

I found another cute meme from Lara's blog. I did the same for my name, but didn't pan out much, so I used my nickname. (Ok, most don't know this about me, so you will forget about it after reading this meme...) Also, I chose the most PG ones, so I didn't get the first ten results off Google.

1. Candy is like a candy container after an evening of trick-or-treating.

2. Candy is like asking a parent which child is his or her favorite.

3. Candy is like borrowing from your best friend.

4. Candy is like diamonds and how crystal molecules form.

5. Candy is like that seed planted by the sower in the parable spoken by Jesus in Matthew 13.

6. Candy is like your crazy old grandma-who-never-throws-anything-away.

7. Candy is like dipping an apple into caramel and then dipping that into chocolate.

8. Candy is like my enemy too….but i still will die for it!!!

9. Candy is like reaching the next level in a love affair: It's familiar yet filled with passion and surprise.

10. CANDY IS LIKE THE BEST PINK THING EVA!

I love 8 & 10! I think they best describe me, lol!

How did yours turn out? Make sure you Google your first name and "is like" in quotations to get the best results. Try to see what the first 10 results say about it. Have fun!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My First Ever Thankful Thursday


I found this at Jan's blog, so here goes nothing... I think it's so much fun!
  • I'm THANKFUL for my internet back after 12 hours.
  • I'm THANKFUL that my children are safe back home from school.
  • I'm THANKFUL that I was kept safe walking to and from the store today.
  • I'm THANKFUL that I have a great next door neighbor, Annette.
  • I'm THANKFUL that I'm almost done with school.
  • I'm THANKFUL that we have ice cream to pacify the kiddos.
  • And lastly, I'm THANKFUL that I get to enjoy my dishes and add more with my uber clearance finds!

What are you THANKFUL for today?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Room by Room Feng Shui- Bring on the good luck!


This month, we will focus on the top three of the bagua: Wealth, Fame, and Love

Who doesn't want their bleak luck to change? But did you know that in Feng Shui, there are three areas that are intertwined with luck and prosperity that their colors even match or strongly compliment each other?

Again, from your front door, with the bagua, identify these areas. If you have an open area, these areas stop at the very back wall.

Inviting Wealth: Purples, Reds and Blues would be good here. So those that love burgundy or red, you're set. Clean this area and keep it neat and accessible. Dust and place something of value like a jar of coins or a favorite figurine fitting for the room. Add to the coin jar everyday or keep the the figurine clean or a purple plant healthy. In my apartment, this area fell into the bottom of the stairwell. The only thing that could fit in was our shoe cubbies, so by keeping the shoes in pairs, in good condition and neatly tucked in, I am showing off my "wealth" and therefore, inviting more wealth chi that normally would be lost if kept messy!
By doing these little changes in this needed area especially in this economy, you are activating the chi that invites more opportunities to bring in more wealth. (Of course, you can do all of this but if you are lazy and not proactive in helping yourself bring in more wealth and maintaining it, nothing will help you! Just sayin'...)

Establishing Fame & Reputation: Red is the strongest activator for this area- the middle back wall or room. We can all bring in more luck and prosperity by having a reliable reputation and making good friends, so to activate this area, place a prominent red anything on the middle of this area. Do not put a fountain, as it water can drown, it can overwhelm this chi and ruin chances for you.
On my wall, I have great sayings and round candles on wrought iron wall candle holders. The flame activates it and the "climbing" effect of the stairwell gives us opportunities in upward ways.

Improving Love and Relationships: Mine fell in my laundry room which makes it hard to keep clean, but by just doing laundry and tidying things up while I'm in there, I "refresh" my love for my children (especially when I smell their clean clothes!) and I remember more family related things. Activate your with a sweet memento from your family; even the act of placing an family album or your phone contact book here will help activate it. On the wall, a painting of a beautiful home or two people in love or laughing children will strengthen it.

With March as the month to kick off Spring, this new season is perfect for new opportunities and refreshing relationships to reestablishing your loving natures and good reputation.


Take Note: Wealth is best invited when it is shared with those you love because they are the ultimate source of your fame which gives you your best reputation...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Meme for March

Ok, I know technically it is still February, but it's fun to do memes (Lara got me hooked!) so we will do another one, starting... Right now!

1. What do you do when you see a penny on the ground?

I pick it up. No penny is safe once they've been spotted. Unless of course it belongs to somebody, then I pick it up and give it back to the (careless, I mean poor) owner.

2. If you picked it up, where does it end up?

In a piggy bank or a jar for pennies. It depends really on who in our family found it first.

3. When you think of a penny, what's the first word you come up with?

"Penny!" (Don't you?)

4. Do you prefer shiny or patina'd pennies?

Patina'd; only because I know that there's a possibility that it may be an older penny. Those are cooler, especially the earlier ones- before the Lincoln Memorial

5. Do you collect them?

Yes, and save them and teach with them. My dh is the more avid fan of penny collecting. I go through them more for the older ones.

6. Do you clean them first?
No, not normally, but I did wash my dh's huge collection while I was bored one day waiting for my classes to start. I washed them all with bleach and proceeded to sort them by decades. Did I mention I was bored? (Yes, I did do some laundry, the dishes, made dinner and checked homeworks in between...)

7. What would you rather get for a lucky charm, a penny or a shamrock?

Honestly, a penny because I know its value and I feel lucky to have that extra ".01" spendable cash in my possession, lol!. A shamrock, what would that do but wilt on me. Who needs that?

Alright, it's your turn... Try it and see how many pennies you'll notice after this meme. What do you think inspired this meme, a penny of course!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Romantic Meme

Another brilliant meme from Lara's blog.

1. Where did you and your husband (or boyfriend) meet?
San Jose, CA inside a Taco Bell. His friend and my friend flirted and next thing I know, we were sitting next to them at a booth and then talking at the nearby park!

2. How long before you kissed?
About after our third date; a stolen one. Then, after a month, we went up to Highway 9, and talked about where we're headed with all these dates, since I already have a kid and all, I wasn't comfortable acting like a highschool girl on a date (though I loved it, he was hot!) It turned out we liked each other a lot so we sealed it with a kiss.

3. Who kissed who first?
He stole one from me; I was adamant that we weren't dating and I guess it was his way of telling me otherwise. It was quite flattering. After a month, it was mutual.

4. How long from the time you met until you were engaged?
2 years + 9 months

5. How did he propose?
Actually, if we want to be technical, when we were dating for six months, he knew he wanted to marry me, but my "single mom" adventures kept getting in the way. No, I don't mean Lisa, it's the people around Lisa and I that made our dating difficult.
On July 31, 1996, he calls and offered to take me to work, but we stopped at his house first. He had to look for something which took long enough to threaten my work schedule. Then he asked if he can show me something- we ended up at our favorite park in a nearby city. He parked somewhere that overlooked a beautiful garden setting. He then asked me to help him look for his commuter mug. I found it under my seat; he asked me to open it and the ring box was in it.
When I saw the ring, I was speechless! But I also didn't try to say anything because on our 2-year dating anniversary, he gave me a promise ring and I didn't want to be presumptious. He took out the ring and asked me to marry him by saying my full name (though he won't admit to it) and, of course, I said yes! On our way to work, he treated me to a quick dinner and I was almost an hour late!
I got reprimanded, and then my manager asked why: all I could do was show him the ring. He paused and said, "Do not be late again. Congratulations! Now let me see this ring."

6. Did he pick out the ring or did you?
He did; he designed it for me. I wasn't a "big ring" kind of girl, so he designed this 14K yellow gold solitaire setting for a 1/4 carat diamond with one small diamond each on opposite side, diagonal to each other and the wedding band thinned out at the top with a graceful twist to hug under the diamond. It was perfect!

7. Do you still like the ring?
I do, but I lost it back in Mesa, AZ when I had strepthroat and fainted outside the urgent care after my exam. Someone from the ambulance or hospital staff must have taken it out of my finger just in case, but we couldn't remember who or when. I hoped that it was somewhere in the house.
I still miss it.... I was distraught over it for a long time, but then when we were packing to move to Texas and it still didn't turn up, he said that he'd rather lose the ring than me.
Then, on our eleventh year, on Valentine's Day, he replaced it with this...


It was his Valentine's Day gift for me! A beautiful 1/2 carat solitaire diamond on white gold surrounded by over twenty smaller diamonds. It's just beautiful! HE WENT TO JARED! He took me there to see if I can spot a similar ring to replace the original someday. I went through the whole store but didn't find anything that compared. Given, most were beautiful pieces, but I kept seeing the original wedding ring in my head that I wanted to cry... Then he says, "I know I can't replace that specific one, but what about this one?" and pulls out this gorgeous diamond studded band setting and asked me to choose a diamond for it. I couldn't contain myself; I was so nervous picking out a diamond, it took us another hour just to decide on one. There was a couple who were also upgrading their ring, and she told me, "get the biggest diamond honey and just pay it off slowly." Yeah right, lady! First of all this ring is already twice as thick as my original one, can you imagine it with a 2 carat bauble like the one she chose? (Hers was gaudy by the way, because she chose a big band filled with diamonds, but chose a bigger diamond that covered most of the ring! Ugh!!!)
The lady who set and cleaned my ring, called me about a delay but ended the phonecall with "we are all in awe of how beautiful this ring is! It's one of the most beautiful I've set, and I've been doing this for over twenty years!" It made the ring that much more special...

8. Where was your wedding and reception?
We were married in the Oakland temple, an hour and a half than our appointment because Charlie slept in! His parents wouldn't even wake him up for me. His mom said, "He has an alarm, I'm sure he set it. He'll wake up." This was 15 minutes before we were supposed to be at the temple and we were coming from San Jose- 1 hour away from Oakland! We also wed during one of October 1996's windy days! Charlie wanted my hair down... (you get the picture)
The reception was at our then future church ward. The carpet was perfect for our colors.

9. How many bridesmaids did you have, and who was your maid of honor?
MOH- My BFF Sheila in highschool; two bridesmaids- my SIL and Sis who refused to wear purple then saw the colors and said, "why didn't you just buy me a dress?"

10. What color were your bridesmaids dresses?
Purple

11. What was your bouquet made of?
White stargazer lilies, purple irises, lisianthus and ivy

12. Who gave you away?
No one; temple weddings do not practice such things. But I did seek the approval of my dad in the Philippines and asked my eldest brother to be there at my reception to stand in for him.

13.Did you cry during your wedding?
During the ceremony, yes! The whole time! I barely acknowledged anybody in the room.

14. What style was your dress?
It was something that a tall wide person would look good in; I thought it looked good as an alternate to my dream dress, but even my MIL said, "That looks too big on you, Carolyn!" Let's just say I wouldn't ignore the possibility of offering it in FreeCycle.

15. Was your wedding kiss sweet or sexy?
Honestly, I don't remember if we kissed or not. But if we did, I'm sure it was sweet, Charlie's very appropriate.

16. Who caught your bouquet?
One of my highschool friends; though Lisa was knocked down during that.

17. What flavor was your cake?
German Chocolate with buttercream frosting. It was delish! I insisted on it.

18. Did you smash the cake onto each other's faces or feed it to each other nicely?
Nicely; Charlie wouldn't have done that to me. I think I smeared some on his face though. LOL

19. What was "your song" that you danced to at your wedding?
Last minute, I didn't want to use any of the songs we've exchanged with each other, so I started looking for something different. I heard Mariah Carey's "When I Saw You" and it was perfect!

20. What did you serve your guests to eat?
His mom and some RS ladies took care of the food. All I remember is how much grapes we were able to enjoy on our first night together because they packed a big picnic for us since I was starved at my own wedding reception!

21. What did your friends do to decorate your car?
They trashed it with soap, cookies, lotion and whatever else that we couldn't even see out the windows! We spent our route to the wedding night suite in the car wash three times!

22. What was your favorite wedding gift?
My mom's wedding dress fund for me- $1000! (Too bad, I didn't get to use it on my actual dream dress...) Charlie loved the toaster oven that my work crew from another building pooled money for. I was their favorite Engineering Assistant Tech.

23. What was the worst wedding gift you got?
I don't know, I thought all were so cute and generous at the time...

24. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Disneyland; we spent three nights at this Best Western that overlooked Anaheim from the Honeymoon suite. It was very romantic.

25. Looking back, is there anything you would have changed about your wedding? A lot! Read "Different Is Good". You'll know why... But despite all of the mishaps, once we realized we were married, things just became something to "laugh at".

Friday, February 13, 2009

Read Lara's Blog

at OVERSTUFFED and get to know one of her friend, Misty's journey with her latest addition. His name was to be Isaac...

Social Metamorphosis

I still see how hard it is for me to bring more of me out there... This is a rather long missive, but I hope you read it all. It's my way of reintroducing myself to all of you. Enjoy reading; I'd love to hear from you.

Me, Myself and I

It's nice to be able to take something out of my pot, a blog about my tablescape adventures. Thanks, Pink for the challenge...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

C is for Charity

I love reading Lara's blog. Her and her other amazing friends or throngs of followers, come up with the coolest memes that I just had to bring on to my blog. It was fun to read what she came up with (I love the larynx one), so I hope you do it and see what you can come up with.

Man, I don't know how many things I LOVE can come out of the first letter of my name, but I guess I'm off to a good start with Charity since it is also likened to Love in the scriptures! Yay!!!

("Brain", help me out here... You had your fun at Walmart. Now time to earn your keep for something else other than bargains, ok?")

Charity. What can you say that it doesn't already imply? It oozes of kindness, compassion, patience, sacrifice and all things good. How can you not want to have it in your personality file?

Jesus Christ. He invented Charity with Heavenly Father, for us. 'Nuff said.

Charlie. My mahal or beloved in Tagalog (Philippine language). He's everything I asked for from Heavenly Father and more. I love him, love 'im, loooove him! How can you not love a guy who whisks you off to the sky on the first date? Or tells you, he thinks he loves you because he wants to give you the world after only a month of knowing you and proves it?

Chocolate. First it's yummy; the darker the better for this Filipina! Not to mention all the "good" stuff to love like it being labeled an aphrodisiac or happiness booster. Even without all the hype and nutrition goodness, I'd still eat it. Have you smelled one lately? (I seriously agree with "Brain"; she thinks it's the original ambrosia of the gods...)

Centerpiece. This is actually one of the fun aspects of tablescaping that I love! Being on SS Creative to see what could go on the table to enhance the dining adventure, nothing beats that cruise! The sky is the limit, flowers are no longer the only holder of this awesome title. I should know I've made a few in my lifetime.

Children. Just like Lara, I love my children best, but since I was a kid, I felt compassion (hey, another C!) for all the little ones. I think maybe that's why my fave calling of all is Activity Days and Nursery. Love playing and teaching them, though just as nervous about teaching these souls closest to our Lord and Heavenly Father. As for my three little ones, I can't get enough of them, especially when they fall all over themselves trying to sniff me! (apparently, they miss my smell while they're in school. Gotta love that!)

Cars. What a great and inspired invention! Though I love walking, cars certainly help with reaching otherwise far destinations that may just be adored in pictures! I think I was born in the era of cars because there was no way I could've survived without them. Though I don't drive myself, I've funded quite a few, so yes, I have a certain level of love towards these marvels.

Christmas. Remembering the Lord's humble beginnings always make my heart pump faster with gratitude and humility. And that is a good thing, I realize how lucky I am to be here, knowing and studying of His mission, for me and all of us. It is my favorite time of the year, hands down.

Cleanliness. What else is there to say?

Courtship. I love this phase of falling in love. The heart-melting first impressions, the romantic dates, the love notes and the copious amounts of time spent in the bathrooom looking just right for that special someone. I feel like that when Charlie tells me we're going out somewhere nice. I feel courted all over again.

Wow, I came up with 10 C's! Alright! I'm sure I can come up with more, but I don't want Blogger to shut down this blog, lol!

Why don't you try? And if you LOVE shopping at Target, try your luck at my other blog, What Now? Tablescapes. I'm closing the Giveaway at Midnight tomorrow!

(Thanks, "Brain"... I knew you'd come up with some good ones.)

Now, it's your turn to list all of your LOVES... ("Brain said so." :-D)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Room by Room Feng Shui- Master Bedroom

Feng Shui your Budoir just in time for Valentine's Day!



When it comes to our Master Bedrooms, we need to make sure that it is the room that should envoke tranquility, harmony, love and passion between any MARRIED (man and woman) couple that shares it. So here are some tips you can do to bring some immediate rush of romance into this special place.

1. Box up all those papers cluttering the room. Either get beautiful lidded containers or baskets and stack up nicely in the corner if you can't take them out.

2. Find inexpensive solid colored sheets- red, pink or white. If white, accent with romantic colors or your fave shade.

3. TWO is the color of unity and love, so make sure to place things of two in your room- pictures of two blooms, two hearts, picture of the two of you, or a statue of a couple.

4. Bring out the extra pillows- accent your bed for romance, so fluff up those suckers and place them in the center for a focal point.

5. If you have a mirror facing the bed, find a way to soften it by temporarily covering it. Nothing kills a romantic evening than to start criticizing yourself in front of the mirror. Make the two of you the focus of the bedroom.

6. Candles accentuate romance and strengthen passion, so get them in different sizes and spread them in two's around the room. Of course, be safe about it...

7. Don't forget to air out the room before you start any "redesign", to cycle in the good chi and cycle out the stagnant chi. Dust the shelves and vacuum the floor.

Keep the passion alive by leaving the candles and sheets for about a week. Remembering the passion from the night before can lift up your spirits and spread the love around to the other rooms of your home.

Alright, go and attract love and passion into your Master Suite! That's what that room is for! Go on, go on!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Some cards you just can't forget...

I've always been fascinated with greeting cards...

When I was in 6th grade back in Laguna, Philippines, I found some old Victorian type greeting cards that sparked a business for me to earn some "secret money" for when I was hungry. I started to fold copy papers into four and from one of the corners, start to trace the Victorian print. Soon, I had so much that I had my own designs. Around Christmas time, I sold each card for 10 sentimos (cents) and made about 5 pesos. To most people, it wasn't much, but to a hungry kid like me, it felt like hitting the Lotto! No one knew about the money, not one, only me. Of course, it didn't last because of the Philippine econony as it was, but the mixed emotions stayed with me throughout my life, even now...

Fast forward to a few years ago... I made these cards for the lovely females in my family and no one else- so far. I've tried, but I haven't been able to.

This is my favorite; it was for my Mama Lucing (Lucena) who taught me the beauty of living a simple life, no matter what life throws at you. I miss her so much...
This is the outside and inside (below) of the Thank You card I made for Charlie's mom for her birthday to show her how much we appreciate her.
These two are for my niece in Elk Grove and my sister in San Jose.
This one was for my in-laws' wedding anniversary, February 12th. I made them a matching envelope.

This last one, I made for my own dh (I know... not a female, but he loved it!)

I think I'm addicted to that "Lotto effect" feeling of making a card for someone or something significant- each of these ladies are significant in my life, including my niece Taryn. I made one for her, mostly purple, because we share the love of purple- she the lighter variety, me the darker end of the spectrum. I made her a card out of my shade to show her how much I love her, but in all of that outpouring of love into one card, I completely forgot to take a picture! Maybe next time, I'll take one.

I hope you liked them too...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Different is Good"

I subscribe to Netflix, so today I perused through the "instantly watch" and found Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell. Have you seen it? Did you like it? I loved it!

I was fixed on the desk chair watching Phil Connors (Bill Murray) live the same day over and over, as well as go through the phases of confusion, defiance, acceptance and self-redemption while winning Rita's (Andie McDowell) heart in the process. It took several weeks of being slapped, conning and undoing all that he did wrong and even became a hero in efforts to bring tomorrow.

By far, in the movie, this is my most favorite line:

"What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?" (Phil to Ralph in a bar)

A fellow blogger, Pink Ink had a similar post about Groundhog Day's phenomenon according to this movie. And I left a comment about how I would change my wedding day. Thinking more about it, I still would change this "what should have been the most special day of my life" event back in 1996.

First the flowers; I chose mine but it really wasn't reflective of anything that would be memorable for me or Charlie. I crammed in too many flowers, got a cascade that was too long. For a moment, I forgot how short I was. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO A NOSEGAY OF WHITE TULIPS WITH A SINGLE DEEP PURPLE BLOOM IN THE MIDDLE. THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOUQUET WOULD BE SURROUNDED BY FREESIA GATHERED BY A DEEP PURPLE RIBBON.

The pictures; there weren't enough! I didn't get a shot with my school friends or any shots of me and Lisa OR more of Charlie and I. When we finally saw the pictures, most of them, I didn't like. I would have loved to see more random shots. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO ONLY FAMILY SHOTS WITH A PRO SHUTTER BUG AND HAVE DISPOSABLES ON EACH TABLE FOR RANDOM BUT DEFINITELY MORE PICTURES!

My hair; I didn't have time to go to a salon, I didn't even have anyone to come and help me with my hair. I didn't even get any sleep! I WOULD CHANGE IT TO ASKING SOME SALON OWNER NEARBY TO COME OVER AND DO MY HAIR- TIGHT FRENCH BRAID WITH WISPS ON THE SIDE. I'D ALSO PAY HER TO SHOW UP AT THE RECEPTION TO DO MAINTENANCE FOR PICTURE TAKING SAKE.

The menu; Charlie and I couldn't decide on the menu and didn't know if I or him took care of it. So glad his mom sought the help of other sisters in RS to bring and maintain the food and table. People asked me if I chose the food, though very delicious and all I had to say was, "that was Charlie's department". I didn't even know if we would have food. The one Filipino food I ordered, came late and it was smaller than I expected. Of course, my family gravitated towards that and it was gone before the other guests arrived. It was embarrassing! Thank goodness his mom took care of it. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO SAVORY FINGER FOODS LIKE TEA SANDWICHES OR CANAPES THAT ARE PERFECT FOR AFTERNOON TO EARLY EVENING RECEPTIONS, BUT START OFF WITH SALAD, END WITH FRUITS AND CAKE.

Bridal lunch; I was the last one to sit at the lunch table after we arrived from the temple to the reception site because I was waiting for Lisa to arrive who rode with my maid of honor who got lost after taking a wrong turn. But our first guest was my boss, so I had to get up and start the reception line while the others ate and was nourished. The worst part, no one, not even my own groom, asked if I was hungry. Mind you this was me awake since 5:00 am, only had one meal, and on my feet until 8:30 pm! I ran to the kitchen as soon as the last guest (that wasn't a Mathews' family friend) left and begged the good ladies in there to please, please give me some food- in tears! I stayed there until someone looked for me. I told them to hide me so I can eat. Oh yeah, I was sooo mad! I WOULD CHANGE IT TO HAVING AN USHER LEAD MY BOSS TO THE BUFFET TABLE, HAVE HIM GET SET UP WITH SOME FOOD, I TAKE MY PLATE OVER TO HIS TABLE, CALL CHARLIE OVER WITH HIS PLATE, AND WE EAT TOGETHER WHILE THE OTHERS ATE AT THEIR OWN TABLE.

My cake; it's one of the few only perfect things that day (the temple and my family there the other). I designed it under constrained budget. I WOULD CHANGE IT TO A BIGGER ONE, MORE ROMANTIC LOOKING, BUT LEAVE THE FLAVOR (GERMAN CHOC) THE WAY IT IS.

My dress; oh, I can't believe, I resorted to that dress! It never suited me, but it was supposed to be the more inexpensive alternative to my $1000 square neckline, 3/4 sleeve with a bow, princess-style bodice beauty that my mother gave me money for. I WOULD BUY MY DREAM DRESS AND NOT LISTEN TO ANYBODY TELLING ME OTHERWISE.

My honeymoon clothes; I ran out of time to do any clothes shopping before and after the wedding. I packed clothes that I normally wore to work (I know, ewww!) and my lingerie. I'm glad that Charlie didn't want anyone using the real camera to take our pictures. (Yeah, no honeymoon pictures, another blooper!)I WOULD CHANGE IT TO SHOPPING FOR BETTER SWEATERS, JEANS, HOT BOOTS, GLOVES, AND BETTER SUPPORT TO LOOK THE WAY I WAS FEELING- IN LOVE AND HAPPY TO BE MARRIED!

Just like Phil said when tomorrow finally came,
"Something is... different... Anything different is good."

Since we can all dream those wonderful what ifs without disturbing the now, it never hurts to examine life and wonder "what if..." because someday, even in the near future, you may just get your chance to change things for the better...

Happy blogging!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

5 Things...

I got this from Melissa Minson's blog

TAG... YOU'RE IT!

5 things on my to-do list for tomorrow:

1. Go pick up our new dining table
2. Help hubby assemble table
3. Do laundry
4. Go get potatoes to bake
5. Go to Marshall's to find some ramekins

5 things I would do with a million dollars:

1. Pay off annoying big bills
2. Buy land and build dream home on land
3. Complete my wedding china and crystal
4. Visit China, Spain, Philippines, Canada, Italy and France
5. Put money in different CDs

5 places I have lived in the U.S.:

1. Sunnyvale, CA
2. San Jose, CA
3. Gilbert, AZ
4. Mesa, AZ
5. Carrollton, TX

5 jobs I have held:

1. Great America amusement park- Cashier / Lead / Restaurant Supervisor
2. Sizzler- Cashier
3. Exxon Mobil- Cashier
4. Komag, Inc.- Manufacturing associate / Mfg. Lead / Prototype Engr'g / Standards Prototype Engr'g Assistant / HR Departmental Hiring Consultant
5. McWhorter's office supplies- Cashier

5 pictures from 5 years ago: (2004)
Christmas at our house in Williamsfield campus
Thanksgiving dinner in campus
Halloween party at Williamsfield Elementary, across from our house
Serena Shores apartment, just before we moved to ASU campus.
Chuck E. Cheese; Jasmine's 5th bday celebration

Ok, your turn!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Unveiling the New

My family blog has a new name (you may have noticed).

It started like any other day, except it was cold (brrr!!!). We woke up, had lots of things to do (like actually cleaning) and picking up Michelle at the airport. Michelle Branch is one of our great family friends and my "mentally" adopted daughter. We've known her since 2003, and now that we've moved to Texas, the normal thing to do is to send her a ticket every now and then so she can visit and unwind for a few days. This is her third visit- I feel so loved!

Ok, on to what this post is about...

Despite all the stuff we had to do, our day, to me, seemed too calm and too slow- almost like I was watching a typical day (already boring) on a slo-mo screen showing. It was unreal! Needless to say, I had a moment to think about how our life truly is... (Overstuffed and Pink Ink had great posts and got me thinking more- my brain hurts, lol)

My hubby and I do not have many bankable talents outside of his actual job that Southwest Airlines (thanks, Gary Kelly!) is training him for. I am a student- full time, so for now, we enjoy a routine: homework, work, race to see who can nap, eat, shower, race to see who can fall asleep first (he always wins), etc... But our children, boy, our children- they run us! Not take advantage, but run us as in we plan the day according to their schedule! (I'm sure I've posted about this before)

LISA has AP US History & Calc BC; Math UIL,Choir & AC/DEC competitions and practices; a healthy social life and homework load that most college students drop out of college for.
JASMINE has Safety Patrol, Choir and LEAP. She keeps joining in all these extracurriculars and have a swarm of friends who constantly knock on our door asking, "uhm, can, can... Jasmine come out?" Her homework load is almost as daunting as Lisa's while still needing to read about 30-45 minutes a day, plus she loves to watch TV and the Wii!
IAN has LEAP and a constant battle of "sitting still for a stamp" with himself. He's such a bundle of energy that sometimes he finds himself hitting every corner he rounds (hilarious and scary). They are so much fun and they mostly dictate how we end the day- normally with an extra somebody in our house, eating our food, and playing our games. JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT!:-D

Ooppss! Ok, back to the story behind the new name...

I was talking to Charlie about getting ready to pick up Michelle and where to take everyone to lunch after, when the "sticky note" (as Pink Ink called it) from the top of this blog came into my head with the downplay countermove of, "but you complicate it!", and voila! the name "CompliCated s1mpl1c1ty" sprung in my mental bank as if it was a million dollar note waiting to be deposited into the vault I call my brain. I didn't want to forget it so I asked Charlie how he liked it and he did so I had to quickly make a title graphic for it and post about it. If you noticed the C's are both in caps- that represents me and Charlie while the "1's" in simplicity represent our three little "ripple starters" we call our children; Lisa, Jasmine and Ian. With them, our life is beautifully balanced; without them, our lives would be empty.

So, if you ever wonder about this new name, it's because our simple life is complicated with the love, faith and laughter we share with our three other "mahals" or beloved. Charlie and I are simple folks with lots of big dreams, but sometimes simple is just too simple, it needs to be spiced with the miracle of children.

There you have it, "Complicated Simplicity"! I'm sure you noticed...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's in Your Pot?

Since I'm Filipino, LDS and a mom, I wanted to find who else in the blog galaxy are in these same boats with me. I found Grumpy Angel and Pink Ink. Both blogs are hilarious and thought provoking! For example, while cruising for updates on the blogs I follow, I saw Pink's new post, "Refilling the Pot" which is about making yourself do other things that make you feel alive and appreciate your life and what else is out there.

Katherine Anne Porter: Our being is subject to all the chances of life. There are so many things we are capable of, that we could be or do. The possibilities are so great that we never, any of us, are more than one-fourth fulfilled.

Leo Buscaglia: Our talents are the gift that God gives to us... What we make of our talents is our gift back to God.

Henry David Thoreau: Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.

After pondering these quotes, I figured out which things I would like to fill my own pot with...

1. Go to Disneyland again, this time with our children
2. Travel more
3. Continue to do tablescapes and maybe have a blog just about it.
4. Teach more people about Feng Shui- be certified
5. Learn to sew and make something
6. Learn to grow orchids (and keep them alive!)
7. Get started on my scrapbooking (again!)
8. Own a house
9. Bake more
10. Walk more
11. Go on a lobster boat and witness lobster harvesting
12. Go clamming on a gorgeous beach
13. Visit Spain, China and Canada
14. Focus time on genealogy
15. Learn how to drive and swim

What would you fill your pots with?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Name Game

This is one to try: It's a funny name game I found on one of my friends' blog just a little bit ago. I had to go and copy it. Thanks a bunch Lori for this funny meme!!

1. Your real name: Carolyn Aspiras Mathews

2. Your gangsta name: (first three letters of real name plus izzle) Carizzle

3. Your detective name: (favorite color and animal) Purple Goldfish

4. Your soap opera name: (middle name and current street) Aspiras B. Hollow

5. Your Star Wars name: (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of your moms maiden name) MatCaAsp

6. Your Super hero name: (2nd favorite color and favorite drink) Green H2O

7. Your witness protection name: (mother's middle name and fathers middle name) Fang Rave

8. Your goth name: (black and a name of one of your pets) Black Cece

Ha, ha... My #7 should be my #8 and vice versa! #6 sounds gross! :D Both of my parents' middle names are long so I shortened it and it worked out funnier!

What did you come up with?

I Miss..., but...

Now that the kids are old enough to get things done on their own, I find myself with more time to think about different things in between the chaotic wave we call our life. Many times, when I can't easily fall asleep, I reminisce and hope. Here's some of the things I miss but with its accompanying caveats. (Gotta love being alive!)

I miss seeing my children as babies and toddlers still very much dependent on me with voices so cute, I feel like I can fly from sheer giddiness, but... I don't miss the stinky diapers, toilet training and weaning- all three bit me!

I miss being only an hour from the beach, playing in the sand, hoping to see what's beyond the unseen while listening to the screams of the other "sun" patrons, but... I never liked the time when I got knocked down by the wave that collapsed the sand underneath me! Good thing I managed to grab on to my friend's leg! Scary!

I miss being able to come back to my studio, all alone with the quiet and sense of pride that I'm in my own place, but... I don't miss the times that my cousin and her bf (dh now) trashed it while I was away for Christmas!

I miss walking from one place to another and riding the city bus, but... I never liked the uneasy feeling of others' looking at you. Creepy!!

I miss being able to climb trees and eating the juicy, sweet ripe fruits, but... I don't miss the fact that my sense of adventure was driven by my fierce hunger!

I miss going out to lunch with co-workers, but... not the part where I gained weight after only a few weeks! Chinese food and after 10PM, not a good combo!

I miss walking to school until I get to the bus stop, but... I never wanted the windy days that threatened to whisk my thin frame away!

I miss the dating game, being showered with attention and silly tokens, but... not the heartache, confusion and uncertainty!

I miss my wedding day, pledging my eternal commitment to one and dancing as man and wife, but... not being hungry throughout the whole reception because I was told to stay under the canopy! And no one asking me if I needed anything until I ran crying into the kitchen looking for food!

And of course...

I miss a clean house with open windows making the drapes whistle with the wind (I don't have any drapes here); the kind we had in San Jose, California before our second child was born, but... not the emptiness I felt while praying for more siblings for Lisa!

Maybe someday, I can "redo" all these experiences. I know that I don't have to start over to start over!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Me, Myself and I

Growing up, I had very few friends and mostly boys at that. Even after I came here back in 1987, I tended to befriend boys easier than the girls. I did belong to a group of 12 girls that I still keep up with, but my most meaningful and memorable friendships were with the opposite sex. Of course, after a while, the eventual spread of unsubstanstiated rumors got the best of me. I started to feel uncomfortable about having so many "guy" friends. At my wedding reception, it was very apparent that most of the guys that attended were "of my party". I think it was because I grew up with four older brothers that I got along more with the boys, and having a younger sister and an even younger step-sister made me act more like a second mom to them rather than a friend or mere sibling. Like I've mentioned before, it got to me. I wanted to have some real "spill your guts out without fear" kind of female friends, but I guess it's just not that easy for me. Sure, I have Facebook, but I see that as more a storefront to how many friends (or the friend of a friend of a friend) you could link up with. It's great for genealogy though!

In comes blogging...

In blogs, thru comments bantering, I find my equals, my mentors, my life classmates. It is exhilarating! Just like many, I started just to have a quicker way to log down the day's adventures. I didn't really share it with others in the beginning, but as I found more friends from back in AZ and the comments they get, I was able to see just how many women out there see things the way I do, feel the way I do, about their families, careers (they gave up), relatives and friendships.

In real life, I quake in my boots to talk to many women because gossip and husband bashing eventually becomes the "special of the day". And then there's the jealousy aspect of hearing about and being with other women. I grew up surrounded by all of that and I really try to avoid it, so most women, they don't understand that about me. Very few in fact, because venting is women's main crutch to hold themselves up. I do vent a lot, but not about my husband or another woman who I think is prettier than me or more talented, but rather my venting is more about "why am I so different from most women out there?" "Am I afraid to be a friend or are they afraid to be my friend?" It gets pretty tiring, you know, not to have someone close by to talk to. Of course, I can't count the exchanges of given and shared advice because that comes with the territory of being a woman and a mom, much less an LDS mom.

Thru blogs, I've found and met talented, beautiful, resourceful women who know how to bring a repeat audience into their cyber journals. I've met women who are truly hoping for a miracle because their faith is what sustains them. I've met women who are so creative, they can write about things that I've never thought about or hoped to remember again. Being LDS and a mom, I read a lot about the great childhood they had and have used it as bonds to connect with others, but me, there was nothing like that: I had to learn things on my own, find things that bring out what's good in me, on my own.

As it turned out, it was food and children. I dress my tables in the most appetizing way I can because that's how I respect food- growing up hungry and all (Just like Sandra Lee, I know...). I was a lonely child then, so children from lonely homes seem to find me and they find that connection thru my own very friendly children. My best callings have been in serving children. My daughter Lisa, 16, last night said,
"I'm so glad you are the kind of mom who stops what she's doing to listen to what I have to say." (funny, since I was dusting the table while she told me this) "I hear many of my friends, LDS or not, complain about their parents not listening or being too strict to talk to them, and then they meet me, then you, and ask me how we do that."

This is my true self; I am lifted up by children's innocence, their need for attention and my respect for food. The few friends that I count, it is because they let me be who I am though we don't seal it with scheduled lunches or shopping trips. I've been told that I don't take care of myself enough or that I could do with more ME time, but that's not who I am. I love staying home because I moved so much in my lifetime. I love to read children's stories because I never got to. I didn't like much mystery then (my kids do now)(I'm a fan of the supernatural) because the books belonged to my brothers. The other things that I can do, I learned from all the LDS women that have crossed my path, and for that, I thank Relief Society.

I love reading others' blogs because I see myself relaxing; by laughing with them, it helps me remind myself to laugh at my own situation and appreciate the small things in life. I cry with those that poured their hearts out. I scream with those frustrated authors. I rejoice and go ga-ga over posts about beauty, rewards, accomplishments, discoveries and great talents. I read them all because each one makes me think, and boy do I love to think! I read and I leave a comment because, as one of my friends reminded me, she reads all of her comments. (Thanks, Lara!)

I could write about how I didn't like the "weaning and potty training" stages of my children plus I hate ironing. Or that if I have my way, I would only make Filipino food all the time, but I'd be facing a sure mutiny in the near future. How about how our diva of a cat still thinks the new couch is her biggest scratch post despite the awesome cat tree my dh made with his own hands. Or, that I have a habit of not finishing projects, that I am a literal zombie due to a family with 3 schedules. What about that I'm afraid of growing veggies of my own despite promises to my 9-year old enthusiast. Or even how I like to observe people, though I am not a people watcher, being able to decipher reactions pretty accurately. But truly, I find all that frustrating and awful to remember (but it's funny reading about it in y'alls blogs!).

So.. I write in my blog about things that are good in my life; careful to focus on the highlights of the day. It's not to have a perfect front (as others like to describe it), but to show anyone who wants to linger in my blog, my own struggle to appreciate the life that I now enjoy- which only took about 20 years to receive. (So yes, I feel somewhat hurt when other blogs claim that "only good news" blogs like mine are only fronts to cover up the bad. I find that it's a little bit judgmental. Just a tiny bit...) You see, I'm a faithful sap, meaning I look at each blog as a different chalkboard to take notes from, from different teachers of life. And just like different teachers, bloggers have different ways of looking at their lives and which part of it they wish to share. (Just sayin' y'all...)

I feel that everyday is a gift; not because mine is never as chaotic as most people's (oh, the stories I could tell you!), but rather, at the end of the day, I make a choice- to dwell on the bad but funny or the good that makes me hang on to my sanity and show my family how great they truly are. This is my journal after all, plus we talk about how funny and imperfect we are (even with visitors) that we can all laugh about it now rather than later. Right now, everything is still surreal to me- a great husband who truly cares about me, three wonderful and beautiful children who can hold their own and a life that I am truly grateful for despite the lack of excess in resources.

Back in 2007, I taught in RS a lesson about how gratitude leads to happiness. I recall being so inadequate to teach it, but equally excited to share the good news. I came out of it just as well fed as those I hopefully fed with my lesson. It spoke of how gratitude leads to better actions and decisions that bring about happiness. But to me, throughout my whole life journey so far, my pursuit of happiness has been my source of gratitude... It's been the only consistent workout routine I've been able to stick with!

To the women that I've truly connected with (you know who you all are, thank you so much!). Those that taught me much thru your leadership, thank you. To those that left a kind word with me or my family, we are in your debt. And to those new, I thank you for letting me know I'm not an alien, just different...

Why write this long missive? To show all of you how much I love all blogs, except those truly offensive of course. My talents now were born through your examples. But most of all, I am still a woman who secretly wants to be just like all of you. I've been different my whole life, and it's getting pretty tiring you know?

I truly want to get to know you and your friends. Share this post with them and see how many other women out there can relate to me. Thanks for letting me "read your eyes off"... 'Til next post! :D

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Love the girls, no matter what..."



Most of you know that I used to be the Activity Days Leader for the Gateway Ward in Gilbert, AZ for two years. I am glad to announce that I still hear about most of them. And they have done great! Check this out:

Lisa Thompson(16)- NJHS; 5th in Regional Spelling Bee; AP classes; Math UIL; AC DEC Medalist and District Choir Champs

Tina Wilbur(16)- Early HS graduate; lost 30lbs; going to comm college next sem

Brittany Rowe(15)- Academics; Band

Kamry Brower (13)- School sports

Kaitlyn Lang (15)- School Drama

Jennifer Malmin (13)- Academics;Sports

Caitlyn Hanson (13 or 14)- Academics

and now

Kaylie Minson (13)- Academics; NJHS (National Junior Honor Society)

I can't help but feel very pleased with these girls. They were great then, now and I know that if they keep it up, the world is theirs to mold according to Heavenly Father's plans for them. It was a real honor to have known these girls. I loved them then and I still love them now, "no matter what"...

More good CHI

Two days ago, I reactivated my WEALTH area (it holds our shoe cubbies and the jackets hang on the wall. It also has Charlie's commercial planes poster hanging above the jackets.) by pairing up the shoes, dusting and clearing the space. Plus, I created a vertical focus by placing a small trunk on top of the cubbies and a plant on a burgundy and gold pot. Plants symbolize growth and trunks are often associated with valued possessions. Guess what happened? The next day, the rest of my school grant arrived in the mail plus Charlie mentioned that he was paid OT for the extra hours they put in one night of extended maintenance check. He came in the room asking, "Did you see my net?" Let's just say, "Good going, Charlie!"

The next day, and even today, we found some really good deals! Check my FREE Feet post

Remember... Energy in, energy out...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another Awesome Thing to Note

I opened my email when we got back from Walmart this afternoon and guess what? I got and email from Stephanie McWilliams! I am now part of her mailing list, meaning I get her Feng Shui tips directly from her and Evolving Arts, the company she founded. Today's "My Cup of Chi" email topic focused on "How 9 Quotes from the King that Can Transform Our Lives Today" (MLK) and #6 really struck home with me.

6. "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
Especially in this country, we tend to see ourselves as individuals, separate from the whole. We get concerned with our own needs, our own injustices, our own struggles, and our own desires. But if you look around, we are all so utterly interdependent, that it's almost mind-blowing. Every bite of food, piece of clothing, brick that built your home, or piece of metal that makes up your car has likely been touched (literally) by hundreds of other people. Unless we're living off the grid, every move we make is linked to lots of other folks.

The same interconnection is found on an interpersonal level. Every time you meet another, you're making an impact -- either positive or negative. Every smile, grimace, compliment or hug ripples out into your home, your community...and eventually, the planet. Only until we begin to see each other as united, as cells of a larger being... as our very own selves... will we experience peace throughout the planet. So let it begin with you!


This has been my personal mantra since I was a little kid forced to grow up. I quickly realized that if I want people to get to the real me, I shouldn't be afraid to show the best me and focus on leaving a positive impact rather than negative because I want the best people to grace my life here on earth.

Then on her email, she invited all to join her in her Facebook Network of Friends, so I did. I thanked her again for visiting my blog and for sending out great practical tips on using one's chi for good. She responded just a little bit ago:

Subject: You're SO welcome!
"You're adorable... thanks for joining my mailing list too!!!!

Have an awesome week...

Love,

Stephanie"

She is great! Her personality in her show is not any different than how she shares herself in her email and responses. She is very aware of what her chi can do to impact other peoples' lives, including mine right now. She is helping build my confidence in myself to teach people about Feng Shui to help them better understand themselves through their immediate spaces and circles. I love that!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sometimes...

All you need is one post to say everything for that day...

Thankful for my Eyes

Happy reading!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hmmm...

"A good design is all about balance." - Karen McAloon (Find Your Style)

"Growing up in suburbia gave me an aversion to sameness,..." - Kim Myles (Myles of Style)

"...get back to the basics." - Kristan Cunningham (Design on a Dime)

"Everyone likes different things from different rooms, and determining your personal style and how you want your room to feel is a key step..." - Vern Yip (Design Star/Deserving Design)

"People are afraid, very afraid of color." - David Bromstadt (Color Splash)

"...your master bedroom should appeal to buyers of both sexes." - Lisa LaPorta (Designed to Sell)

Getting a pattern yet? All of these design philosophies and observations have been encompassed in the practice of Feng Shui! Here's a good summary of how a good design can bring the impact you are looking for:

"Keep in mind that everything in your space has a voice to it..." - Stephanie McWilliams (Fun Shui)

That means, just because you brought it in to your space or you displayed it does not mean that it suits you or the room you placed it in. It can mess with your natural chi balance by either revving up the extremes of your personalities or further drag what you are trying to change about yourself and your space. It's all about harmony and balance between you and your space. In other words, Feng Shui...