Sunday, 25 April 2010

I love spring and Cherry Blossoms!

The timing is perfect, the weather is good- not too cold, the sun is up and the cherry blossoms in High Park are blooming. It was written in Aloysius diary to "Go to a nature walk on Saturday on the park behind the Science Center" and so we did but in another park since we already went there last Fall. Instead, our family went for a High Park Cherry Blossom Walk yesterday. We went there by TTC subway, got off at High Park station and walked about 2 minutes to get to the Park entrance at Bloor Street West. We got all excited upon seeing the tulips at the entrance and when the kids saw the children's playground. We lingered for a while there before we headed to Hillside Gardens to see the trees and the lake. It was a 30-minute walk but we didn't notice it because most of the park visitors are walking (those in cars were stucked in traffic because it was hard to find a place to park - advantageous to commuters like us). Needless to say, it was all worth it. When we arrived at the spot, we were awestruck! I just told the kids - "Look at the trees with only white flowers in it and no leaves". Aloysius screamed, "Oh so these are the Cherry Blossoms!" We laid our picnic mat, had our lunch under the trees and enjoyed the view while Lito clicked on the camera. The view of the trees everywhere and overlooking the lake is amazing! Here are some of our High Park photo opps:

Cherry Blossoms @High Park

Grenadier Pond

Hillside Gardens Maple Leaf

Friday, 23 April 2010

My 17th month old Alexus - sliding and running

Lex turned 17 months last Friday and I realized time flies so fast. I still remember breastfeeding him and he couldn't get enough that's why I called him "Ot-Ot" LOL!. Now he eats on his own, in his messy kind of way - gets the filling from the bread (ham, cheese, wieners, licks the mayo, peanut butter and other spreads), eats the meats and veggies first before the rice or sometimes doesn't eat rice at all (Canadian na hahaha), likes yogurt and bananas so much. He is also brushing his teeth using a toothbrush (or just eats the flouride-free toohpaste hehehe). Lito is the chef for today and to celebrate Lex birthday, he cooked Pasta Alfredo style, say? I took a picture of his masterpiece but don't ask me about the taste hahaha. Good job sweetheart! still not bad for a first-timer. When we went to High Park children's playground today, Lex enjoyed it very much. He learned how to slide, he also tried the swing but he doesn't like it. I was tired running after him because he kept on walking and running on the park and chased the nice top-down cars stucked on traffic. Here are some of Lex moments at High Park:

12 words that can transform lives

I am sharing here what we have learned in the Bible Study last night. Chapter 3 of James in the Bible tells more about Taming the tongue. He said that our tongue can be the following: bit and rudder, fire and poison, fountain and tree. Our tongues have the power to direct, destroy and delight. Our tongues can be tamed when our heart is right with God. "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34" When Jesus Christ is the Lord of the heart, then he is the Lord of the lips too. I hope you have the time to read Psalm 141:3-4, Proverbs 15:1, 12:22, 10:19

These are the 12 words that can bring delight and transform lives:
Please and Thank you When we use these words, we are treating others like people and not things. We show appreciation.
I’m sorry These words break down walls and build bridges to gaps
I love you When we say this, let us also mean what it says. These are powerful words.
I’m praying for you When we talk to God about people, we can easily talk to people about God.

“Give your tongue to God and your heart each day and ask Him to use you to become a blessing to others.”

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Earth Day today!

I went to another job interview yesterday. When asked, "what do you know about this xxx company?" (will not divulge yet until I get the job, hopefully this is the one),I replied - "One of the reasons I applied here is because of this company being involved with the community. I am looking forward to working with an organization with social responsibility. Having been a part of an Environmental Management System (EMS) project, it's a plus factor to have a chance to do that again. To take part in preserving the environment." I've read on the internet that this xxx company is involved with different programs leading to the preservation of nature and it would be rewarding to participate too. Well, each one of us can help in our own ways. Use the 3Rs (Re-use, Reduce, Recycle), conserve water, segregate wastes (your used batteries, busted lamps, old electronics should be disposed properly) and use the bins properly, turn off lights when not in use, although I admit I sometimes forget this. I hope that we all contribute in this endeavor. It's for our children and our children's children. Happy Earth Day!

Wouldn't it be nice to see parks like this with clean environment, full grown trees that emit fresh air? --a glimpse of High Park and Cherry Blossoms, I hope we can see them up close this weekend:

Monday, 19 April 2010

My family's Bohol and Cebu adventure

Even if I was not physically there, I was with them in spirit and constant communication thru mobile updates, hahaha. I was even part of the planning and packing activities. I was glad they enjoyed the vacation. I hope my brother Roty will forget about how much he spent for this holiday because the smiles on his daughter and son's face is priceless. I heard they were on the beach everyday before the sun rises until sundown except when they went for the countryside tour. Sinulit ba? Good thing, they were on the BBC/Dumaluan area - the shoreline is long and clean, no boats and quiet unlike the Alona beach area which is too commercialized, the restos are already occupying the shores. The Bagobo Beach Resort is not bad based on the pictures and the service according to Wendy is what made their stay worthwhile. Value-for-money deals are always recommendable. Where can you find a place where everything is already arranged for you and you were always treated like a VIP at little cost? I hope my readers who are planning for a Bohol vacation will be able to get in touch with Tessa and experience what my family did - a stressfree (money-wise) and an enjoyable one.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Spaghetti and other Pasta lover

My family loves spaghetti and I love noodles of every kind. My kids do not like to twist the fork in order to eat the spaghetti right but likes to sip them instead. I could use some Kitchen Scissors to cut the Spaghetti noodles in half before serving. There are different kitchen shears to choose from depending on the use but I really want to try it with the noodles.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

My Caramoan Travel Photobook

It's been a year since I went to Caramoan Peninsula with my girlfriends. How time flies, I just feel like reminiscing and sharing our experience through a photobook. Here are my memories of that trip captured in a 20-page photobook I will get free from Artscow. Haay, I miss the Summer heat in the Philippines! :)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

I feel good

It feels good to have a "me" time. With the home chores and attending to kids, stay-at-home moms like me should find that "me" time so they will be recharged. I'm thankful that I am here in Canada, enjoying the perks and freebies that the government gives to the residents. They are after the well-being of individuals giving them the opportunity to engage in sports, exercise and other activities at no cost. I enrolled in Toronto Fun's boxercise and cardio exercises while Miggy attends computer class every weekend and Kyle attends a class similar to Gymboree which costs a lot in the Philippines. It feels good to work out and sweat. While we were jumping, kicking and punching, I feel stronger. Meeting new friends and exchanging hi's to classmates adds up to my social being.

It's springtime and what a good way to spend your day at the community centre while enjoying the view on the way there. Leaves are coming out and flowers are starting to bloom. The weather is perfect, the sun is up there and the cool wind is just right. Time to savor the moment and enjoy God's blessings. It feels good.

Friday, 9 April 2010

My KPM Results

Since I became a stay-at-home mom here in Canada, I thought I will forget my ISO lingo. I admit I have been an advocate of the ISO systems (QMS, ISMS and EMS) in my work and without noticing it, I have applied the principles of these systems in our day-to-day activities. I would consider the achievements of my children as my KPM (Key Performance Metrics) where I played significant roles in helping them get their own targets. I'm proud to present my KPMs: My first born's cursive handwriting and his answers in multiplication practice sheets although he skipped some of them because the exercise is timed. Notice that he wrote his name in no lined paper.

Would you believe that Aloysius learned to eat on his own when he was 6 years old, Kyle when he was 3? Back in the Philippines they were spoon-fed by yayas and that went on and just stopped when we didn't have a yaya. Well, sometimes the grandparents helped them. When we arrived here, they were already told that no one will spoon-feed them so they have to learn how to eat by themselves. With Lex, I didn't have a hard time because he sees his older brothers. He just observes how they use the spoon and fork and when he learned how to climb the chair, I just saw him finishing Kyle's food when he went to pee. At first, he used the fork with his left hand and also uses the fork in putting food into his mouth. He was a little stubborn but I showed him how to do it and it was not long before he mastered it. Sometimes, when he can't get the food in his spoon, he just picks them up with his fingers and put into his mouth. The video was the very first time I gave him his own plate, spoon and fork and look how he enjoys it. Lito and I are always amazed at how fast he learned this skill and a sure way to exceed my target, hahaha. I hope he learns how to potty without sweat too.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Long Weekend at Mississauga

We visited Tito Nilo, Neil and Kelly last holy weekend. We first went to Square One to visit the largest mall in Ontario. Then we spent the night at the Flores' home. The kids had fun playing the old toy guns of Neil. We didn't buy them any and the toy guns are already banned so they played soldiers and even Lex ran and shrieks with Miggy and Kyle. There was a paluwagan event and there's plenty of food. I cooked kare-kare and it was a hit to the thunders LOL. Here is one photo with Lolo Mel Castillo and the boys enjoying the chocolates, they didn't have to hunt for eggs in Easter. Sans commuting on the way home, it was fun.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Holy Friday and Herb-coated Fish

Matthew 15:10-12 (New International Version)

10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "

12Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"

It's Good Friday and most of the people are either fasting or getting rid of meat. The passage above is a revelation. I know that most Filipinos reflect and read the bible on holy week and I hope that it will also be revealed that Jesus died but He rose again and is alive and is to rule in our hearts. Jesus wants us to celebrate and experience His love, His salvation everyday, not only on Holy Week and Easter. We just need to seek Him and accept Him as our Savior. We need not do anything foolish like carry the cross or be nailed to it. God already gave His Son and He died for our sins. All we need to do is believe that Jesus is the only way.

This is for those who still want to skip meat on this day. Any kind of fish will do, but I use basa or cod fillets.

Herb-coated Fish


1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup crushed crackers
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 lb (500 g) fish fillets, cut into serving portions


1. Place butter in shallow bowl. In another bowl, combine crackers, cheese and seasonings. dip fillets in butter, then coat with the crumbs.

2. Place in greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Servings: 4