Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas

 Every single day, as soon as the month of November kicked in, my parents would adorn my front yard with christmas ornaments and christmas lights. Two days ago they hung the parol that they made out of papel de hapon. I got the papel de hapon, also known as gift wrapping tissue, from the Dollar store.

Parols are ornamental star-like Christmas lanterns from the Philippines. They are traditionally made out of bamboo and paper and comes in various sizes, shapes and designs, however its star-shape façade and basic design remains dominant.

Its shape is said to be inspired by the star on the Nativity of Jesus that guided the Magi to the manger. It also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and the Filipinos' hope and goodwill during the Christmas season.

I don't really decorate much for christmas. I usually just have a wreath for outside, and inside the house will be a 7' 5" christmas tree with red and gold ornaments, santa's socks, plus a garland to decorate my stairs and that would be all. When my parents hung the parol, I got so excited that I thought I have to take a picture. I just hope that the upcoming snowfall would not rip the paper or I'd feel so so bad.

Then last week we went to see the Santa Claus parade, which is a pretty interesting experience for all of us. My son had his face painted, which was also a first. He never liked having his face painted that's why I was surprised when I heard him say "I want to have my face painted".  I wanted him to be a dog, or a tiger, but he didn't want to, he said he wanted to be a clown, so be it. I don't  know where and how he got the idea but.. okay! There was a long line, so we waited for almost 2 hours to have his face painted but it was all worth it.

The Santa Claus parade is very nice, but it was sooo dragging. After 30 minutes of watching I felt so tired and bored. The parade itself lasted for 1 1/2 hour, I think. If they made it more like the "disney way" I think it will not be that boring.

Tomorrow, November 29,  we are going to see Santa again arriving by a helicopter in Galerie des Sources. We went there last year and I have to say that my son and I really enjoyed it. I love the sight of the dancing fairies calling out on Santa to come, saying these words "Pere Noel! Viens ici!" Then out of nowhere you'll see SantaClaus coming down through a helicopter. So effective and so magical.

Shopping centers are starting to be filled up with busy shoppers, which also means it's getting harder and harder to find a parking area, ulk!

Weather forecasts that snow is starting to fall on sunday night.

I've started putting up my tree.

I've started buying christmas presents.

It's definitely beginning to look a lot like christmas...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

State of Emergency Declared After Flooding on Vancouver Island

Another breaking news that I heard from CTV this morning.The full story plus the video is available in this link

About 300 families have been forced from their homes on Vancouver Island about 50 kilometres north of Victoria.Up to 155 millimetres of rain fell within 24 hours causing two rivers to spill over their banks and flood homes.The affected area includes the region around Duncan and North Cowichan. A local state of emergency is now in effect in that area.Water in some homes was as high as the doorknobs.  SOURCE

What's happening to the world...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Santa Claus' Parade

Santa Claus is having his traditional parade in downtown Montreal on November 21st at 11am.

Weather forecasts that we will have a not-so-bad day tomorrow with the high of 8°C sunny/cloudy. It's going to be a chilly day but at least it's not raining. It'll be a first for all of us (me, hubby, son and my parents), that'll be fun! I'm thinking of bringing some knick-knacks, some drinks, and extra blankets.

Helpful links:

Santa's route

Santa's tips for his favorite kids

Everything you need to know about Santa's workshop

What's happening today?

I've been very busy the past few days bringing my parents to some places in Montreal. Now it's Friday. TGIF! yay! I've decided to focus this day pour moi. So, today will be my hair salon day, electrolysis and shopping day! I already booked an appointment with the salon, and Shahla, my aesthetician, just called to book me an appointment for an electrolysis follow up, so I guess I'm all cool. One more thing to be excited about is the 50% sale on previously marked down prices in Old Navy starting today.

Also, NEW MOON showing today! yes!

Random thoughts

A lot of things are happening nowadays

Jon and Kate plus 8 is finally ending. The series finale will be airing on monday November 23. After all the chaos, all the circus, all the drama, yup it's about time.The kids deserve to regain their privacy.

Oprah is ending her talk show on 2011. WHAT! Reports say that it'll bow out around September 9, 2011. I just can't imagine my weekday afternoons without Oprah.

Then women were adviced to delay the mammograms until they're in their 50s.. MORE

this is just way too much.

I need a coffee..

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Obama bows

November 13, 2009, President Barack Obama arrived in Tokyo Japan on the first leg of his Asian visit.

Apparently, this gesture brought controversy. Full story in HERE. Some people think it's more of a submissive gesture.Some people think that this is Obama's way of kissing other leader's a**. Okay, people! stay focused! Well, in my humble opinion, this is a sign of respect for somebody else's culture. Hats off to you Mr. President!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

... and he made history

After the much awaited Pacquiao - Cotto fight last November 14 in Vegas, our beloved Pacman placed our country back in the world map again.

Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao!

24 hours after receiving the vaccine...

I have to edit my post on H1N1 vaccine. Exactly 24 hours after receiving the vaccine I got awfully sick, with chills, nausea, muscle aches. Fever? naaah! But I felt feverish though. Prior to getting the vaccine, the nurse told us that we might experience the flu like symptoms, I didn't believe that because I was okay until around mid afternoon yesterday. My two boys were having muscle aches and chills too, but they were fine compared to what I felt. Anyhow, I'm much better now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Got the vaccine! Finally..

After all the hype and the scare of getting the Influenza A H1N1 Vaccine, I finally got it last night in Allancroft School. The vaccination clinic in Allancroft is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.*
The coupons or tickets are available from 6am to 11am. The time that you need to come back is specified in your coupon. I went there around 6:45am, then specifically asked for a 6:30pm schedule so my husband can get it too.

The process goes like this: Go to Room #1, a person will hand you a number, then when your number is called, you have to-> #2 line up on the corridor -> go to Room #3 , to register with your medicare card, then you will be given a form to be filled up. The form is basically a consent form plus basic medical questionnaire. -->Go to Room #4, the interview room. A nurse will ask you about certain medical conditions that you might have and tell you about the possible side effects of the H1N1 vaccine. --> #5 Line up on the corridors outside Room #6, which is the vaccination room. After the vaccine, you will be asked to go to Room #7 to wait for 15 minutes. You will be asked to wait for 15 minutes to see if you have any allergic reactions, e.g shortness of breath, rashes, or headache after receiving the vaccine.

On top of that, the way they organized the procedure is actually great. The place didn't look crowded, and the nurses were very accommodating, well what can I say, they're Canadians!

Possible side effects of the H1N1 flu shot
The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:

* Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
* Fever (low grade)
* Aches
* Nausea
Credits from SOURCE

The vaccine itself didn't hurt at all. I got scared for nothing, LOL. My 4 yr old son didn't even cry after receiving the vaccine. He was just telling everybody that the man put a hurting crayon in his arm hahahha. The next day, my arm feels sore but that's about it. No fever, no chills, no nausea, Thank heavens! Please refer to post

*If you're from the Montreal West Island, please refer to the schedule, it has to be respected or you will be turned away.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pinoy Smile

Please vote for my friend's little princess Marian Jaeniel C. Pascual in

She's adorable isn't she? so please vote for her until November 30. Thanks a lot!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An apple for an apple

Weeks after our apple picking, I have noticed that we still have one bag full of apples left. I gave away most of the apples that we picked and we still have one bag of apples left, imagine! Thank heavens for google that I could get recipes within my fingers reach. Don't you just love the cyberspace generation?!

Last week I made an apple cake. Credits to Pastry wiz.

Easy Apple Cake
Yield: 5 Servings
4 x Apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 c Sugar

1/2 ts Cinnamon
1/2 c Sugar

2 tb Soft Butter or Margarine

1 x Egg
1/4 ts Vanilla
1 c Flour
1 ts Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 t cinnamon. Place a layer of apples in greased baking dish (approximately 5" x 9" x 3"), sprinkle with half the sugar-cinnamon mixture, cover with remaining apples and cover with remaining sugar-cinnamon. Cream 1/2 cup sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Stir in flour and baking powder and spoon over apples, spreading it as best as you can. Bake 30 minutes Best served warm, with vanilla ice cream.
Just a little note:

* I got great feedbacks from this recipe but I find it too sweet. Maybe it'll be perfect if you could lessen the sugar.*

Today, I made apple muffins with my little boy. Credits to Natrel

Apple Muffins
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 12 muffins


1 cup (250 ml) rolled oats
1 cup (250 ml) milk

1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (50 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 ml) all purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder

1/2 (2 ml) tsp salt

1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda

1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon

1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh diced apples

Preheat oven to 375º F

1. Put rolled oats in small bowl and cover with milk.
2. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. In separate bowl, beat oil and sugar, add egg and beat well.

5. Add rolled oats to egg mixture and stir to combine, then add to dry ingredients.

6. Stir in diced apples.

7. Fill muffin cups and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

I know, I know, I'm not good with photography!

Then, I put some chocolate chips on top to make it more interesting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

For the love of tea

I am such an avid tea drinker, that I think, I've tried most of the tea brands in the market. I started with Lipton tea, you know, with their usual regular and black tea. Then, there comes Nestea. I remember ordering refillable iced tea in Dad's Megamall, drinking gallons of them, without realizing of its high sugar content. Then there was the regular jasmine tea from Chinatown. Then my aunt from Cali introduced me to the Celestial brand. Celestial has this collection of flavored teas that are really tasty. Then I tried Twinings then Tetley. One time I went to Tim Hortons to try their Chai gourmet tea, which smells more like a combination of chamomile and jasmine. So smooth and so enticing. Then I tried the Tazo "Refresh" tea from Starbucks. I must say that I really liked it more than their coffee. Refresh is made of tarragon with spearmint.
Yesterday, for some good reasons, I ended up in front of this new tea shop situated in Fairview shopping center in Pointe Claire. It's called the DavidsTea. When I was in the store they let me try their Creme Brulee tea. Not only that it tastes like creme brulee but it also has the health benefits of green roobois.

"Green Rooibos has increased effectiveness of Red Rooibos’ therapeutic properties due to the elimination of oxidization, thus boosting the levels of flavanoids and anti-oxidants. Flavones are not only one of the strongest anti-oxidants, but are also essential for the complete absorption of vitamin C. Green Rooibos has a soothing effect on the central nervous system, reduces tension in the body and can ease psychological tension as well, and is known to help people suffering from irritability, headaches, disturbed sleeping patterns, insomnia, nervous tension and mild depression or hypertension.Green Rooibos aids in the relief of stomach and indigestive problems like nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach ulcers and constipation.

It was awesome! Actually, that drove me to buy some of their yummy smelling teas. One tea that captured my eye was the sweet dreams tea. Sweet Dreams tea is made of chamomile, lemongrass, hibiscus, lemon, orange and rose petals. They claim that it aids in sleeping, so hey let's try! They also have a collection of Oolong tea which is high in both antioxidants and polyphenols. Oolong has a reputation for speeding up your metabolism and burning fat. You can buy the teas per grams or in tea bags. One tin can has 15 tea bags inside. Price per tin can starts at $11.50/ea. It is a bit expensive for a tea but everybody deserves a taste of luxury once in a while, so why not?!

David's tea

Order online?
Click HERE

Blog Makeover

I've noticed that every month I'm thinking of changing my blog template. Honestly, I haven't seen the look that I really like and what made it more difficult is that, I don't seem to know exactly what I really want. I tried the 3 column template, and I must say that I loved them, but as the days go by, I got tired and later on, it looked messy and unprofessional. Though I don't and cannot consider myself as a professional, are you kidding me?, it literally looked messy. So this morning, as soon as I woke up, I thought of a blog makeover, again! Please bear with me..

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still with the H1N1 vaccine

As the day of my scheduled vaccine draws near, the hesitation within me grows bigger. The H1N1 scare plus the vaccine is still a very very touchy subject. Opinions and feedbacks on the vaccine are currently divided. Most of the people I know don't want to take it, which makes me believe that maybe it's not really necessary, but upon hearing the news of several "healthy" people dying in the United States and Canada who contracted the disease makes me think twice. Yes, I am scared. Not with the needles though! the thought of the vaccine being new to the market and with no sufficient studies, that was what I am afraid of. We absolutely have no idea if there will be any side effects. On the other hand, I don't want to get the bug too. Luckily, here in Canada, the H1N1 flu shot is available free of charge for all residents. We just need to show any of the photo IDs (RAMQ card, driver's license, passport, school id etc).

On my previous post, I've mentioned that my parents are visiting until some time in January 2010. My parents, especially my father, are more than willing to receive the H1N1 flu shot, but the problem is that they are not eligible since they are presently in tourist visa. Tourist visa holders are not covered by medicare. People without medicare are not eligible for the H1N1 vaccine. Therefore as sad as it may sound, they cannot get the vaccine. Today, I emailed Service Quebec to ask if it can be available for a fee, hopefully it will. I'm waiting for their reply.

Anyway, people who couldn't get the shot should be extra careful and must follow extra precautions on preventing to get the virus. There are ways..

How can I avoid catching H1N1 flu (swine flu)?

* Wash your hands properly and often. Learn all the steps to proper hand washing.

* If you aren't near a sink, use an alcohol-based cleaner to wash your hands. Use enough alcohol-based cleaner to keep your hands wet for a minimum of 20 seconds. Rub your hands together as the cleaner dries. Make sure you rub the cleaner all over your hands. Don't forget to rub between your fingers, the backs of your hands and under your fingernails. Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it when you can’t wash your hands in a sink.

* Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hand. If you cough up phlegm (mucus), spit it into a tissue, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands properly right away.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

* Stay at home if you are sick. If you have flu symptoms, call your doctor or health-care provider. Depending on your symptoms, they may tell you stay home or to come to the clinic or hospital.

* Use a regular household disinfectant to wash common surfaces every day. Make sure you wash:
o counters, taps and sinks in your bathroom and kitchen
o bedside tables
o children's toys
o computer keyboards
o desks and tabletops

* Wipe surfaces with paper towels that can be thrown away or cloth towels that can be washed afterwards. Use soap and water to clean the toys and objects that young children may put in their mouths.

* Stay away from people who may be sick..

* Stay healthy: get enough sleep, eat healthy food and exercise.

* If you have a long-term lung disease like asthma or COPD, take extra steps to protect yourself.

For more information please click on SOURCE

and don't forget the DECISION CHART