Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Frugal Christmas 2010

In my attempt to stay within our goal of having a "frugal Christmas" this year, I would like to savor this picture as I know this is not going to happen anytime soon anyways :)

Hadn't hubby and I promised to make this Christmas humbling and simple, I would have gotten this gift for my husband and daughter- a personalized iPad.

Yes, people, I think I finally justified why we need (errr, want) an iPad. But, Christmas is not the right time for these kinda gifts (at least in my family circle) because it's just too extravagant. This year, we want our Christmas with our daughter truly humbling as how baby Jesus was born. It's just easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas with all the media extravaganza during the holidays.  Oh well, that's how it is these days and it's our job as parents to change the pace if we want our kids to understand what Christmas is really all about.

Anyways, I'm really enjoying this picture because this is as good as it gets :)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mikka and the Pigeon

One of Mikka's favorite books of all times - Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!!!!

This is one of her first books as we got this 2 yrs ago (when she was still in my tummy) as Christmas present from hubby's brother :)

She loves this because it's her turn to say "No!" :) She have another Pigeon book "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!". That's also a fun book to read.

I love reading to my daughter. Sometimes we converse based on books and songs we both love :) Nobody would understand us unless they are familiar the book or the song we're talking about :) For instance the other day, I was singing "I'm Madeline, I'm Madeline and though I'm very small, I'm Madeline, I'm Madeline but inside I'm......" then she would say "tall!!!". Hilarious!

I totally digressed. Anyhoo, here's Mikka and her dad reading "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Yay, finally, we have a backyard we could actually use and enjoy :)

About 7 months ago, here's what the backyard looked like:

When we got our house in 2006, this is the most decent property we could afford with a big backyard. 4 years after, we realized that we don't get to use our backyard as often as we want to. Too hot during summer and even during winter, there's technically nothing in there but dying grass and weeds and of course, a big dog run for the 4-legged kids.

Then Mikka came along and she's getting bigger and active. We knew we had to do something as we're outgrowing our little old house and it's nice sized backyard. So we decided we expand a bit, clean up and said good bye to the bigger backyard we thought we want.... - all these for the tot!

So now, much smaller backyard but definitely functional... and here's what it looks like:

our old patio converted was converted to a room addition. now more space for mikka!

the walkway and my empty planters... gotta plant some winter flowers in there! woohoo!

Oooopps the hoops :) Here's the gate of the dogrun in case the waggly tailed kiddos needed to stay in there whenever we have guests who are scared of dogs.

I love the huge wind chime :)
So there... it's one of those gazzillion things that kept us busy... it's so worth it especially whenever we see Mikka running around safely and the dogs enjoying the grass :)

Now if only I could get that thingie they call bbq grill..... hmmmm....

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Potty Time!!!

We think Mikka's close to being ready to be introduced to potty training so we got her this cute teeny potty :)

 We were told if we really want to train her on how to use the potty, it would only take 7 days (there's also a 3-day version) but it requires for one parent to be at home with the kiddo the entire "training camp". You'd just have to put regular undies on your kid during those 7 days or leave their bottom bare. Since kids hate the feeling of wet bottoms and that there's no diapers to catch their pee/poop, it would leave them no other choice but to "go" potty. I think it's a pretty clever idea! This "technique" works most of the time and I've spoken to a number of moms who swore by this.

However, at this stage, we'd just slowly introduce Mikka to potty training. We're not going to do any drastic steps until we know she's totally ready for it. Introducing the concept might help but I feel that if she constantly sees and understands what potty is, it would be good enough prep for her to do the real thing.

Wish us luck! At least she's not afraid of this and she looks like she can sit comfortably on it ;) Maybe she thinks it's just but a toy... oh well, we'll find out :)

Video link:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mikka and her Jigsaw Puzzle

She loved loved loved this puzzle set for the past 2 months that she found it challenging. Every morning as soon as she woke up, first thing that comes out after "Hi Mommy" would be "Puzzle! Puzzle!" Then she'd work on it over and over until she gets tired of it.

Now at 20 months, she have had this memorized already so sometimes she just put them together once and then keep them away.

Here's one of those days she kinda like it but was over it after putting the pieces together once then she's ready to move on with another thing that catches her interest...

Anyhoo, so proud of my sweetheart being the impatient tot that she is, she still could put these guys together, haha!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

And the Winner Is....

Remember my previous post (about a month ago) when I can't decide which counter tops to use in my kitchen?

I had granite (Tan Brown or Baltic Brown) and Silestone (Mahogany or Coffee) as my choices. Then I went to Home Depot the night before the tops guy come over my house for templating and saw another  type of Silestone top! To make my long story short, I ended up with Sierra Madre Silestone for my countertop! I love love love it!

Also, I ended up getting my choice#2 glass tiles just because I realized it looks nicer and has that little extra pizzaz I subconciously looking for.

Hmmm, anyways, here's a sneak peek of my countertop and glass tile backsplash :o)

I loooooooooooooveeeeeeeeee my kitchen now that I notice that I'm spending a lot of time in there lately :o)

Will post more pictures soon.

Yay!!!!!!! Now it's time to think about paints paints paints!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Not Just Another Princess...

Cuz mine's a warrior, is green and most of all, I love her soooo much :o) Video link here.

Since we decided we're just going to stay home this Halloween as the kiddo would probably enjoy giving out candies and saying hello's and good-byes to trick or treaters than if we take her out, we thought it's alright for her to wear something a little bare like this...

We still gotta get her a small sword and maybe paint her green? Hahah, just kidding :o)

I really love this Warrior Princess Fiona costume :o) We got 2 costumes for her that I ordered online. One is Princess Leia and Warrior Princess Fiona. My first choice is Princess Leia however, the smallest size available is way too big on her :o(

But the Warrior Princess Fiona costume turned out to be cute too, hehehee :o)

child size version of the costume... can't find toddler size one. it's way cuter, ha!

Anyhoo, happy halloween everyone!!! Be safe and have fun!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Which tops???

Countertops that is...

I'm on the lookout for some decent countertops for my kitchen as we're temporarily using some cut wood our contractor put together for us until we find the real deal.

I had some tops guys come over during the weekend and they brought in samples. My oh my, I didn't realize they're really expensive. For a teeny weeny sized kitchen as mine, I thought I wouldn't be spending an arm and leg for an ok looking tops. Oh maaan, I was sooo wrong.

I grabbed some granite samples from one of the guys slab shops as well as some silestone from Home Depot. I was looking for something simple yet would get my chosen tile back splash to pop.

Here's what I got.

I narrowed the choices down to these guys - bottom 2 are granite, the smaller squares in the middle are the silestone, top most are my glass tiles (i dunno which one to get yet) for my wall that would go above the granite backsplash. geesh.

granite#1 with my glass tiles. below's my cabinet color.

granite#1 + tile#1

granite#1 + sparkly tile#2

granite#2 + tile#1

granite#2 + tile#2

silestone#1 (coffee brown) + tile#1

silestone#1 + tile#2

my heart is set on this top - silestone#2 (mahogany) + tile#2

silestone#2 + tile#1 --> this combo is my favorite of all!!!!
 It would all boil down to the "right" price (read: cheap, affordable, reasonable, haha!). I already know that my silestone#2 would bust my budget (unless of course I sell more stocks but I'm not going to do that!). Also, now that I look at the pictures, I think I prefer glass tile#1. Still gotta get the hubby's opinion (and approval) before deciding which is which.

Here are some pics that I took from the slab shop. They look so much different with different lighting and the bigger slab gives you a better picture on how the stone would look like as tops.

this is granite#1 slab (look at the bottom since the top part was dusty)
granite#2 slab
Worst case, we'd just stick with what we have now, the pieces of cut wood my dear contractor put together for us, hahaha :o)

see, wood piece is not too bad at all, huh?
messy temporary kitchen with cut wood as our countertop, thanks to our contractor for doing this for us. gives us some sink we could use while waiting for the whole kitchen to get done.
Decisions... decisions... all these projects are driving me nuts! But nonetheless, I know it's worth it since the kiddo is getting bigger and we need extra space. A lot of people were telling us, we should have just bought a new house vs having to renovate "This Old House". Yeah, but moving is not an option for us right now, so renovating to make some space is the best option though admittedly it's not the most cost effective route. But hey, we love our neighborhood - easy access to everything! We could have gotten probably a much much cheaper brand new home but we gotta drive an hour to go to work and another hour coming back. Plus, everyone knows it's buyer's market out there, so we really think that we made the right decision that works for us. So there... all these with a 19 month old and 2 waggly tailed kids are more than enough to keep a working mom beyond being busy busy busy... Good thing I love my job, or else, my sanity level would be down to the pits.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


One fine Sunday at Church, my Anikka was trying to catch our attention by making all sorts of noise and such. As a mom, I thought I'd shush her to let her know that a church is a place of worship and noisy kids are not regarded as cute. Even if we're inside the cry room (yes, our church has a dedicated cry room so familyiesand adults who didn't want anything to do with kids throwing tantrums in the middle of the Holy Mass, could still pray and worship without disturbance), it's still embarrassing if your kid starts to act up and be the noisiest in the crowd. Oh noh noh noh.

Anyways, as I shushed her here was the scenario:

Me: "Quiet Mikka, shhhhhhhhh..." (as I quickly tap my index finger on my lips)

I got a good stare from my daughter and immediately, she laughed and enthusiastically screamed---- "Booooooo!!!!" 

Oh my goodness, I was trying soooo hard not to laugh! 

You see, one of my daughter's favorite books is Leslie Patricelli's "The Birthday Box". She has memorized this by heart since we've read this a million times already. The story was about a toddler who got a present on his birthday to discover a big brown box when he unwrapped it. Of course, kids would get too excited with the what they could do with the box more than the present itself, so this tot's endless imagination have brought him & the box to a whole new world of his own.

Now to make the story short, here's the page of that book why I got the silly response from my Anikka when I shushed her.... ---

All these antics and she's not even 2. She was just 15 months old back then, she's now 18 months old and could count and recite her ABC's. Oh Mikka, you never fail to put a smile on mommy's face :o)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Almost Done...

I'm so close to reclaiming my bathroom after almost over a month of hiatus from choosing the tiles, the paint colors, vanity, shower assembly, faucets etc etc etc.

Here's some pics of the shower and sink area.

sorry for the dust
gotta love these fixtures!

wall paint on the side walls is also sesame not sure why it looked bright yellow in the pics

The only thing that's missing now is the shower door. Now, I asked hubby to choose which shower door he wants since I really don't care that much. I'm too tired to be picky about shower doors... of course, not until he showed me this. Now I can't stop thinking about it. My budget for a decent shower door is about $350 to $400. Imagine how I almost died when I found out that this puppy costs about $1500!!!! Oh well, time to shop for something more reasonable and within the budget... 

Will definitely update this once we find the best shower door that would fit our need and wouldn't leave a big hole in our pockets :o)

Oh, here are some "before" pics. Taken just before we moved in the house back in 2006 - yeap, at the beginning of the the housing market crash. It was still expensive back then... only if we had waited for another year before getting our own house... but then again, it's alright. In return, we could have not adopted Chewy had we stayed in a rental home any longer than we should. So, no regrets :o)

yep, we bid goodbye to the tub and converted the area into a full shower
excuse my big belly making a peek- shoot, what the?@$#

Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL