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Monday, August 30, 2010

Abandoned Bridge

I wonder why this bridge was abandoned. It still looks passable... hmm..



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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Old Car

Old Car



Visit other participants for The Weekend in Black and White. Grateful to Dragonstar for hosting this meme.



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Reboost

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.


Several times, I've seen facebook status that go "One more bus terminal and I'm off." Wow! Amazing how technology has evolved to connect people. Lately, a lot of my blogging friends have resorted to accessing their blogs through their cell phone. They even do facebooking 24/7 because of the easy online access they have, and of course, the hi-tech phones they use. Several times, my blogging friend, Che, replied to our egroup email through her Blackberry. I find this convenient and practical. For busy people like me, even the ride home can be precious time that can be utilized to connect to friends and family. Like most people, when I get home, I have chores to complete, and husband and three nieces to attend to. I feel my daily 40-minute ride home (carpooling) can be a good time to go online and check emails and read encouraging blog comments.

I am seriously considering  Boost Mobile. Their Re-Boost program has flexible payment options and allows you to pay online per person, or pay by phone. You can use your debit/credit card to make a payment or sign-up for worry-free automatic payments. A friend or family member can also make a payment for a Boost Mobile customer.

Boost Mobile phones are social in nature. Doing things like updating Facebook and twitter is simple. I can't wait to go blog-hopping while on my daily commute. Am seriously considering this time-saving option.


Visit my sponsor: Reboost


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So Little Time to Garden!

It has been a bit tedious and time-consuming to put this terra cotta garden together but, its ok, I HAD time then anyway. Yes, HAD... but hardly ever now  *sigh* Summer break is over... goodbye gardening, hello school and girls'-homework! Yeap, lately, I have not been gardening since the girls started school. This is their first week in school. I am left with just watering the plants on extremely hot days, where as before, I would even have time for container gardening!  Yet, I always include gardening on my weekend schedule, but er .. reality check, with so many other things to do, I end up not doing any gardening at all. A long grocery list can easily kick leisure-gardening off the to-do list. Oh well, fall is just around the corner, the garden is fixing to stagnate pretty soon.

My neighbor gave me those yellow-flowering plant. I do not know what it's called. I used those easy-to-grow plants to spice up my terra cotta pots.




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Win a Free Weekend Stay

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hampton Hotels. All opinions are 100% mine.

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One of the perks of being a teacher is the two and a half months summer break. One summer, my husband and several of our co-teachers decided to go on a mid-west road trip. Our starting point, of course, was Houston, Texas. From there, we went to New Mexico and explored Santa Fe. We were wowed by the beautiful architecture of the terra-cotta colored buildings and houses. We hiked around the crater of Capulin Volcano.

My co-teachers and I modeling some native products from Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Here we are hiking around the crater of Capulin Volcano

After a couple of days in New Mexico, we drove to Denver, Colorado. A visit to Colorado would not be complete until you climb the Pike's Peak, so we did.

Then we explored the Cave of the Winds. We were fascinated by the stalactites and the stalagmites. Some of the pettiest we have ever seen.

But of all the natural wonders that we have seen in this trip, the Red Rocks Amphitheater was the most amazing. Natural acoustic at its best. Huge boulders served as walls on both sides of the amphitheaters.

Yellowstone was a wonderland for wild life and landscape photographers. The excitement of seeing the Old Faithful Geyser blow out water and steam added thrill to our trip.

On our first night on the road, we stayed at Hampton Hotel and were thrilled to learn about their Hampton Chain of Friends Sweepstakes. Hampton is giving a daily -yes, daily- giveaway of a FREE weekend stay at any Hampton Hotel. Whew, this made us decide to stay at any Hampton Hotels throughout the whole trip.The more days you stay, the more chances you have of winning the daily sweepstakes. We have nothing to loose since Hampton has always been one of our choise.

Now, every time we plan to go on yet another road trip, we look forward to staying at any Hampton Hotel for that chance to win their daily sweepstakes. After all, we have a lot of  two-month summer vacations waiting to be used up, not to mention two-week winter breaks. You gotta love being  a teacher.


Visit my sponsor: Win a free Weekend Stay


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Date Night At The Movies

Guest Blogger:
Author: Joseph Sandoval

I am single and currently casually dating. I enjoy going to the movies on dates because it's informal and we can avoid the awkward silence that can happen during some dates. We usually have dinner before or after the movie so a typical date can last up to four to five hours. I like to have dinner after the movie so we have something to talk about if the conversation lulls. Sitting in a theater on a date can be fun because you are sharing popcorn and sitting so close, yet you aren't expected to be making small talk. You can silently flirt with your date while enjoying the movie. Since I am single and live alone, I make sure to set my home security alarm before leaving to go to the movie theater on a date. It wasn't hard to find Adt security system around hempstead. I don't want a date to be just a decoy to get me out of the house so I can be robbed while I am gone for up to five hours. I can relax and enjoy myself knowing my home is protected while I am gone for the evening.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

DVD Ripper

Lately, I have found it addicting to rip dvd. Doods found a program that converts our old VHS movies to DVD format and save it on discs. I pursued this hobby because our old videos on VHS format are becoming unplayable. Some are blurry, and some wouldn't even play at all. I'm sure you have experienced these with some of your old VHS videos. At any rate, now that they are in dvd format, I rip them and make copies for family. Most of the videos have some of our precious childhood memories in, and really worth preserving..

A DVD ripper is a software that allows copying the content of a DVD to a hard disk. This is used to transfer video in DVDs to different formats to edit or back up DVD convert, and for converting DVD video for playback on media players and mobile devices. The DVD ripper allows me to load old videos to youtube, and maximize video sharing among friends and family.

For mac users, DVD ripper mac is the the best option to rip DVD videos in whichever format -avi, mpeg, wmv. mp4 and lots for other formats. It also rip DVD to HD format.

I'd say, do not wait until it's too late before you save those precious VHS videos. Work on them now and save them in your hard disk or DVDs.



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Shore


Can you see the guy in white shirt?  Yes, he is my husband!



For more watery shots, check out  Watery Wednesday


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Monday, August 23, 2010

Stainless Steel @ Home

A visit to a state-of-the-art furniture store would show you that the "in" thing these days for appliances, kitchen accessories and interior decors -both indoor and out, is stainless steel. Some time back, we only see stainless steel in cafeterias in school and offices, but now, more and more people are finding it practical to utilize stainless steel material.

Just last week, my friend, Windie, was complaining to me of how frustrating is was to discover that some of her mail got all wrinkly and are sticking together because their mailbox rusticated and now bore holes that allow rain water to sip inside. For her peace of mind, it might be time for Windie to switch to blomus stainless steel mailboxes. This way, you feel secure that any important documents coming in through the mailbox will be safe from molds and rust.

I also saw some blomus stainless steel fireplace accessories online that have caught my fancy. Very practical-looking. I can imagine how much time I can save myself  cleaning stainless steel fireplace accessories. Not to mention the nice clean gleem after every cleaning. The usual brass always have soot-stain that is hard to remove, giving the fireplace a dirty look.


Another practical item that I would like to have is the stainless steel bird feeder. I've seen beautifully sculptured bird feeders go to waste because of  the cheap material. Having a stainless one will be practical in cleaning away bird poop that can cause disease  to birds if left in the feeder.

Stainless steel  have long been known to have a long life span and a finish that is easy to clean. No wonder more and more people are making that stainless steel switch.


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Cactus

I came across these beautiful blooms in one of our visits to Arizona.




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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Where Did the Pastel Colors Go?

Recently, we finished painting my nieces bedrooms. Becca will have a bedroom to herself, while Cate and Yam will share a common bedroom. Cate and Yam's choice of colors are pink and green. One would think it's such a dainty color, but it's not the pink and green of a fairy princess. Rather, an electric pink or some call it fuchsia pink. The green, a darker shade of the recycle logo. The way they had it done was, two walls facing each other, pink, and the other two, green! Yeap, kids nowadays know how to express their aesthetic mood. I was imagining soft pink and lavender, but I respect their choice. As for taste in furniture, I thought white bedside tables would have been nice on the girls' room,  like a clean white desks. But, my girls ages 9 and 11 are more fascinated with chrome  headboard and chrome legged plastic-topped tables (yes, green and pink too!). I guess even kids' tastes in furniture evolve. I have to agree, by letting them have their way, their room now generates a distinct aura of their unique personality! I'm glad I agreed to let them exercise their choice. It's risk, am glad I took!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Web

Web


Visit other participants for The Weekend in Black and White. Grateful to Dragonstar for hosting this meme.




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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Favorite News Program

Guest Blogger Post
Contribution by Terrance Kirby

My favorite news program is none other than the CBS Evening News. One of my earliest childhood memories is of watching the late, great Walter Kronkrite doing the nightly CBS News . Then would come Dan Rather and all the other hosts that have come after him. The CBS Evening News is well known for its inconic voice lead in who today that is done by the Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman.

It is by far my favorite news program to watch on satellite television or any other kind of television. The nightly news is something that alot of people take for granted. To me it is synopsis of the world's events of the day and the CBS Evening News does better than any other station on television, even on my satellite tv I got through www.tvbydirect.com. I also like their documentaries and features that also come with the CBS Evening News. The CBS News has been around for a very long time and I am sure that it will be around for a long time to come.

The CBS Evening News is my favorite news program because it is one of the first news programs that I can ever remember watching plus they deliver the news better than anyone on television.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clean Up Time

Talk about procrastination, just when school was about to open, we had to decide to do a drastic clean-up. Geez, truth is, it has been long overdue. Clean what? the whole house that's what! We had been laid back and a bit too relaxed, especially since we had the two-month summer break. I knew that our hands (and feet) would be tied as soon as school opens, especially with my three nieces (4th, 5th and 7th graders) around. Everybody would be too busy with their own thing -homework for them and lesson plans for us.

The house was kinda easy to clean, but since it's drastic type of cleaning, we had to include the refrigerator the microwave oven and even the toasters. Yes, those kitchen friends that we easily take for granted.  The fridge had some spills that needed scrubbing, the microwave had some splash all over the area, and the toaster had crumbs that needed brushing off. Whew, I will not enumerate the rest of the things that we cleaned up, but allow me to say that til now, two weeks later, we have not completed the job. *sigh* Sorting the clutter is the things that is taking a while. Hope this weekend will be the last that we will spend on cleaning and sorting.

Have you done a drastic cleaning lately?  :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yellow Shack

This my very first entry for Mellow Yellow Monday



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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Plan of Attack Grocery Shopping

Guest Blogger Post

The Author of this post is Jasper Ramsey

In these tough economic times every penny saved is a penny earned. I've tried to live by that adage, thanks to my father who grew up in the Depression. So, when I check my mail, the first thing I look for are fliers for the local grocery stores and coupons.

Normally I separate coupons according to relevance: cooking, cleaning, frozen and specialty foods. Holidays are a great time to get ample coupons from companies, and this is the perfect time to buy as much nonperishable foods as I can (like sugar and flour). Double coupon days are great. If there is a specific sale time for purchases, I'll make a special trip to the store just to save.


Weekends seem to be the best time for my husband, myself and the kids to do our errand shopping for groceries. I'll set my home security video surveillance alarm, hand my grocery list to everyone (the kids pitch in buying food) and head to the store.
We go through a lot of milk, bread and eggs in our home, so they're always on our list. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also a staple, and if on sale, I double up. Food, as we rationalize, will always be used and nothing will go to waste. Whatever can put in the freezer for later, the better.


Every bit of savings helps.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Working With Dirt

Oops, sorry guys, I woke up late! Here's my entry for DIRT, albeit late!

I created a terra cotta garden, using blue point juniper

and several lovely bloomers that my neighbor gave me.

adding the impatiens



Tadah... finished!

Placed in its rightful spot!


It's DIRT @ Brenda's Photo Challenge. Feel free to check the other participants.


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Friday, August 13, 2010

Bracelet

Bracelet


Visit other participants for The Weekend in Black and White. Grateful to Dragonstar for hosting this meme.



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Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Love Getting Lost in LOST

Guest post of the week by Val Flores

LOST is a drama that brings together people from a variety of backgrounds, each with a number of issues plaguing them. From Jack, the doctor and self-appointed leader who feels the need to fix everything, to Sawyer, the con artist with a tragic past, each of these characters gains an opportunity to start over when their flight out of Sydney, Australia crashes.

The show, which ended its six-year run in May, was remarkable for its diversity of characters, with major players from Korea, Iraq, Scotland, Ireland, Russia and many other countries, and for its complex exploration of topics ranging from religion and mythology to literature and pop culture. This show, which I watched faithfully on the channels that direct tv special offers, challenged its viewers to carefully consider clues dropped throughout the series regarding the origins of the island and its inhabitants.

LOST also showcased brilliant acting, especially from Terry O'Quinn as John Locke, a would-be mystic and wilderness explorer whose quest for meaning takes many dark turns, and Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, a manipulative but wounded leader of the island's indigenous population whose motivations are never entirely clear. Michael Giacchino also gets a lot of credit for the exceptional orchestral music that he composed.
I am thankful for the journey that head writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse took us on and look forward to their future television projects.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Classroom Organizers

Geez, how time flies! It's school time once again. Yesterday, I spent the whole day fixing and decorating my classroom. I took my three nieces to help me, and I think ( I hope) they had fun. The problem with my classroom is the clutter!  Throughout the years, I have accumulated so much stuff - mostly useful ones, just need to be properly stored. Am looking at ordering several shelves and classroom organizers for this school year. I checked online and found several at Netixchange. As soon as the budget for this school year comes out, I will order some wooden shelves. I like those that are low enough for the five-year old to access.


Am looking for shelves like the ones i already have in my classroom. These ones are low enough and it has wheels so I can move them around the room.

Daily 8 Drinking Jugs


Daily 8 Drinking Jugs @ ABC Wednesday

Summer is at its worst! If not careful, one would easily dehydrate. When kids are too busy, they can go without water for a whole day. Fatal! A friend recommended these drinking jugs, called Daily 8. The jug can hold1500 ml (51oz) of liquid. I bought these drinking jugs for my nieces. They find it difficult monitor their daily 8. Now with these jugs, it is easy for them to monitor and complete their daily 8.





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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Parents' Gadgets

My three nieces (ages 9, 11 and 12) moved in with us from Arizona. This coming school year, they will attend school here in Houston. Since the move, there have been several adjustments my husband and I had to make -the menu was on top of the list (teehee) Hello Pizza! Painting and "emptying" some rooms in the house -too much junk! And yes, there are other little (equally important) things that we are thinking of getting, like the comprehensive medical first aid kit -one for traveling and one for the house. We do have one, but it's so old, am thinking of changing it, instead of just replenishing it.

As I was checking for other similar stuff online, I came across interesting items that I did not even know existed, like the child locator. Here and there we hear of missing children. Every parent's worst nightmare! Parents can easily lose sight of their child. You turn around for a minute and your child is gone. They get bored easily and start to wander around. Especially when you're in busy places, like malls, amusement parks, or sports events. Yikes!

I also came across this thing called  key logger. This gadget is a computer program that records anything that you type in your computer including your password -emails, credit card numbers, etc. In short, a gadget for spying -oops! Much as we would want to respect the privacy of our kids, for safety reasons, I think it is good to know that, now, we have an option to track their activities online and monitor how they use the computers. We are not unaware of several young children who have been wooed by strangers that they have only met online, to meet them. Nip in the bud is better than crying over spilled milk.

Oh well, school opens in less than two weeks. I hope I get to accomplish more than half of the items in my checklist. Waiting for no-tax day! :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Purple Pleasure

I do not know what these purple beauties are called. Who would think these are just wild flowers? I like purple a lot. It is my birth color.



Visit other participants of Today's Flowers and feast on their colorful blooms!


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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Elite Competition

Guest Blogger
Posted by Heriberto Fuentes

I try not to think of myself as a helicopter parent of a competitive show mom but, that is very hard when your 11 year old is an elite gymnast on her way to the Olympics. Emma has been training for gymnastics since she was three years old. She was always tumbling and a wild child so I entered her in a day camp at the local gym. They could not get her off the trampoline or off the bars. They insisted I enroll her in the their beginner elementary class. Since that day, there was no turning back.

She has a huge international meet in a month. I know as soon as I set the motion detector alarm and head out the door, I will be a nervous wreck. She is one of the youngest elite gymnasts and she still has some time to develop and become even more powerful. She has her heart set on the Olympics and I know she will get there. I push her and her coaches push her to be the best. She is easily the best at her gym. She can pull moves that not even gymnasts in high school can accomplish.
I am afraid of her being too competitive to the point that she breaks down. I just cannot worry about that and hope for the best.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cherub @ Mission San Jose

I came across this 17th century sculpture of a cherub, found in Mission San Jose, one of the four missions built by the Franciscan missionaries, in San Antonio, Texas.


I was surprised to find my last week's entry, Arches (my very first entry for this meme)  as one of six entries featured  in the main page of  The Weekend in Black and White. Thank you so much Dragonstar, this is encouraging! :) Appreciate it.

Visit other participants for The Weekend in Black and White. Grateful to Dragonstar for hosting this meme.



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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Custom Laptop

Education has gone a long way from simple lessons under a shady tree, to simple pen and paper, and now, the "notebook," better known as the laptop. Most schools nowadays make homework available online. This is helpful in case a child (intentionally or unintentionally) misplaces his/her take-home work. Online homework allows the parents to monitor the completion of given work. Kids can no longer hide or intentionally misplace their difficult homework because parents can access it online. Parents can even check the deadline, and be able to remind their kids to submit on time.

Most parents find it wise to invest in a good laptop or have custom computersHoward custom computers allows parents to choose the specifications of the unit they want for their kids. That way, they can save on parts and hardware that the kids won't even use, and add the ones that will be most useful to them.

While kids are at a phase when they are establishing their mark, they try be different, and they are fond of branding their properties. Parents can opt for a custom laptop. With this option, the owner can choose even the casing he prefers. Little things like these can go a long way in inspiring kids to feel good about themselves. Like desktops, having a custom laptop will also enable the owner to choose the specifics that will be useful to them. I think in the long run, this will be more economical than getting the generic type. All i know is that I have a lot of programs in my computer that I do not use, let alone open.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Create Something Colorful

I've discovered this cool meme, ABC Wednesday. They are doing letter C this week. Here's my very first entry -the word CREATE, one of the decors in my craftroom.
"Create something Colorful to Cheer up your day!"



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