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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yam Enjoying Cabrillo, San Diego

My ten-year old niece, Yam, enjoying the waves @ Cabrillo beach in San Diego, California during our visit to one of my blogging buddies in Salitype Society, Betchai, of Joys of Simple Life.

click photo to enlarge

For more watery shots, check out  Watery Wednesday

Visit other participants of  Wordless Wednesday

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Baby Changes Everything

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

Everything changes whenever a baby comes to a house.  Last year, we spent the Thanksgiving break at my sister's house. The house was so much different than the one I remember during spring break before baby Monica -my sister's youngest- arrived. Now, the whole house is cluttered with the baby's stuff. I see play pen, walker, high chair, crib and a huge comforter where baby Monica crawls and plays. I see her toys, bottles, clothes, wipes and bibs almost everywhere.

Even the grocery list and the schedule changes. Now, more than ever, my sister and her husband has to economize because the baby's material needs flows like an active waterfalls. There is constant demand for baby wipes, milk and diapers. Even while they go shopping once a week, there is still a tendency to run out of these things because the baby grows fast. It becomes difficult to rely on patterns. Good thing these items are available online at competitive prices. My sister and brother-in-law buy Bright Beginnings diapers online. They  buy on Right now, is offering 10% discount on all items and 30% cash back on diapers.
If you are practical like my sister who always looks for ways to economize, then check out Bright Beginnings on Facebook.

Yes, having a baby changes a lot of things. Since my baby niece, Monica, arrived, the house has been filled with laughter, joy and lots of love.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good Credit Scores

Recently my carpool friend, Poorva, bought a brand new Nissan Rogue. Truth is it's about time to get rid of her old Hyundai Elantra because it has been well used, and has consumed a lot of mileage already. It was high time for her to get a well-deserved brand new car because she has been working real hard. Also on the practical side,  she need a vehicle in very good condition because of the distance of our commute -40 minutes one way. We can't risk a breakdown -yikes.

Poorva got a very good deal with her Nissan Rogue because of her outstanding credit score. Over the years, people will get different credit scores. It's best to purchase a car or get a mortgage on a house whenever their credit scores are high, so that they can get low interest rate. That's what Poorva did, and she was able to save a lot of money.

Mom and Baby Seagulls

I saw this cute scene when we did a photo exploration @ La Jolla in San Diego, California. The mom seagull was feeding a baby that was almost the same size as hers. Typical mother's love. The kind that doesn't change however old her baby is.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tabasco Tradition

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

My three nieces -Cate, Yam and Becca are die-hard pizza lovers. But instead of the ready-made kind, they like to make their own. This way, they have the option to experiment on the sauce and ingredients (toppings). Each one of them have a particular way of doing their pizza. The two younger ones feast on too many types of cheese -before and after baking! Those two just can't get enough of cheese. My eldest niece on the other hand loves to experiment with the pizza sauce. She even tried a jar of marinara sauce and ketchup (hahaha). But after tasting TABASCO® Original Red, she stopped trying on other sauces. It's now her favorite!

Every Sunday our family come together to watch football -the whole clan is into it by the way-  the one thing we can't leave behind is TABASCO® Original Red. My nieces love it on their pizza, My sister and I can't have quesadilla without it, and my husband and brother-in-law loves it on their burrito and hot wings. TABASCO® Original Red is already part of our game-day tradition.

TABASCO® Original Red is "So Much More Than Hot." It unlocks and enhances the flavor of food so you can get the best of every bite. Original Red was the first sauce introduced by the McIlhenny family back in 1868 and continues to be their most popular sauce of 6 total sauces.

TABASCO® Original Red is not about heat for heat’s sake. It’s about what heat does to the flavor of food. The simple combination of salt, red pepper, and vinegar are perfected in a 3-year aging process that produces a hot sauce with the uncanny ability to bring the most out of your food. Other hot sauces add their own specific flavor to food. TABASCO® Original Red simply enhances the flavor of food.

Check out the  Game-Day Party Menu for some simple ideas & recipes for food everyone loves!
If you are like my nieces who find it thrilling to invent their own pizza then you might want to check out  Pizza Perfected for countless pizza perfect  ideas.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Reflection

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common-- this is my symphony.

~William Henry Channing~

A blessed year ahead of us - filled with love and enriched with laughter!

No More Diaper Rash

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

My seven-month old baby niece, Monica, is one of those happy babies that seldom cry. Her happy disposition makes it easy for us to take her on our photo walks and hikes. Several times we took her with us on our photo-exploration. One time, we even took her with us to Wupatki National Monument for a photo walk.  Amazingly, despite the tedious hike and the dropping temperature, baby Monica still showed vigor and excitement. We are so use to her coming along, but some time after Christmas, we were on a rush to get some after-Christmas good deals, when we noticed a different type of crying and whining from Monica. Her dad, my brother-in-law tried to give her milk which she finished in record time, calming her for a few minutes. Then she started bawling again -an unusual type of cry that sends alarm signals to us adults. She's seldom cranky. When my sister brought her to a diaper changing station, we were shocked to see some rashes. Turned out, my brother-in-law used one of the diapers that Monica received for Christmas -not her usual diaper brand. My sister was ready to purchase any type of petroleum jelly to ease the pain. She called another friend of hers who also has a baby and her friend said petroleum jelly would be too greasy, instead she recommended Boudreaux's Butt Paste. My sister promptly bought Boudreaux Butt Paste and was satisfied with the soothing effect it has on Monica. Like magic, Monica was restored to her happy comfortable self.
Boudreaux Butt Paste was specifically formulated by a pharmacist with direction from a respected pediatrician to provide effective diaper rash care.Boudreaux Butt Paste is pediatrician recommended. It is 16% Zinc Oxide, peruvian balsam that treats diaper rash and soothes irritated skin. It goes on and cleans off easily. Comes in flip top cap (tubes). Has pleasant scent and is skin protectant. It is available in handy travel, convenient sizes of 1oz, 2oz, 3oz and 4oz tubes and 16oz jars.
Boudreaux butt paste has been featured on Oprah Show, Tonight Show, Today Show, People Magazine, ESPN and While You Were Out TLC.
Visit the site to receive your FREE sample of  Boudreaux's Butt Paste
Visit Sponsor's Site

San Bernardino Mountains, California

On our drive to California from Arizona, we came across the beautiful mountains of San Bernardino. Breathtaking with its layers of colors and textures. Living in Houston Texas, this is not something we see every day.

Digital SLR @ Mission Beach

On our recent trip to San Diego California, my three nieces had a blast tidepooling. Their Aunt Betchai, another blogging friend of mine introduced them to it. We visited several beaches among a few of San Diego's finest, we visited Mision beach, Cabrillo and Torrey Pines. I myself have never had a chance to do tidepooling. Doods and I really enjoyed it. My nieces can't get enough of it.

My niece, Miriam, enjoying a splash @ Mission beach

A tide pool is a puddle of water left when the ocean recedes. This occurs during low tide. It is easy to find many interesting animals and seaweeds in a tide pool. My nieces saw lots of mussels and sea anemones. My friend, Beth and her husband, Khai, went tidepooling again yesterday at Cabrillo in San Diego and found several star fish, octopus and even a lobster.

It is important to have a good camera ready during explorations such as these. Preferably a digital LSR. A point-and-shoot is ok, but if you want high resolution guarantee, go for a DSLR. Nothing beats sharp pictures that posses depth.

On every trip, we always bring home beautiful memories, and thanks to our DSLR, wonderful photographs as well.

New Addition To Our Yard

My husband, Doods and I, and our three nieces drove to San Diego after Christmas for the reunion of The Salitype Society, and to visit long time blogging buddy, Betchai, of Joys of Simple Life. Her lush garden of succulents were already over-spilling on the pathway so Beth gave me several of her plants. Her garden is beautiful and filled with every hue of green.

Check out what Beth gave me for adoption. Beth gave me several cuttings of her lush green succulents, and she even pulled some out some -roots and all.

I can't wait to be home in Houston to plant these healthy succulents. I am seriously considering getting some indoor planters. I use to have an indoor planter, but it has been put-away because the plant I had on it was high maintenance, and despite all efforts to make it thrive, it died. But these succulents that Beth and Khai gave us are low maintenance. Beth even told me, she has been slightly neglectful of their garden, but every time they visit, the garden is looking good. These succulents were planted in their yard around the house, so am planning to get a lot of outdoor planters. I do not want to shock our newly adopted plants by placing them on our yard right away. For starters, I will put them in an outddor planter. Thank you, Beth and Khai for these  lovely, healthy and low-maintenance addition to our yard.

Overstock Coupons

Everybody goes gaga over Black Friday sale. I myself diligently wait for it every year. If you make a concise list and follow it accordingly you'll get good deals and will not be tempted to buy things just because they are on sale. That's the thing to avoid, the "just because" moments of buying. Because then you realize you have accumulated a lot of stuff that you don't need after all. The same holds true during  Cyber Monday, this is the online counterpart of Black Friday. This is when a lot of online deals pop up and a huge cyber sale takes place. My co-teacher, Lyn, never fails to get good deals during Cyber Monday. Though a shop online a lot, Cyber Monday is a bit new to me, but after the initial experience, I might make it a habit to wait for it with a ready list at hand.

At any rate, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not the only ways to get good deals. If you know where to get good coupons, then every day is like Black Friday. Get into the habit of coupon-clipping and you'll get a steal in stores that doesn't always go on sale. When I want to buy something, I always check overstock coupons. I have made it a habit to check for coupons online before purchasing something. Most often then not, I find something useful.

Life Insurance Advice

Doods and I have  been doing a lot of driving this winter break. First we had to drive for over 24 hours to Arizona to spend Christmas with my sister and her family. After Christmas, Doods and I took my three nieces on another long drive to California to visit blogger friends from The Salitype Society.  Even after we got to San Diego in California, we still had to be on the road almost everyday to tour the area. The kids had a blast visiting the beautiful beaches in California. Doods and I had a blast seeing friends.

Although our vacation was really fun-filled, it was also a time to reflect on several pre-needs. One of which was getting life insurance for ourselves. It has been overlooked for some time now. But after driving in slippery roads in Flagstaff Arizona, Doods and I were able to see the security of having life insurance. It was about time to check Life Insurance Quotes. A good life insurance advice can definitely help. Even my father-in-law and mother-in-law were able to get Over 50s Life Insurance. Methinks, this is the best time to seriously look into these things.

Inexpensive Medical Insurance

Some seven years ago, most of my co-teachers who uprooted to move here in America got here with an H1-B visa (work visa).  Having H1-B visa (work visa) is really good because it enables the visa holder to take his/her family abroad. The children and/or spouses of H1-B visa holders have an H-4 visa (dependent visa). Despite the different types of visa, anybody who comes here in America enjoys almost the same benefits and privileges as that of the locals. The only thing  the H1-B holder has to consider is the health insurance for the non-working family member, the dependents. Until otherwise, granted the work authorization permit, which takes about three years, all members having a dependent visa (H4) can not avail of any type of work yet. Not having work can translate to not having healthcare insurance benefits. With proper research and good advice, several of my co-teachers were able to find some inexpensive health care insurance packages for the whole family.

Now, most of my co-teachers and their family are green card holders, some are even citizens. Those of them who have benefited from these inexpensive healthcare insurance packages has never failed to pass on the information to other co-teachers who have newly arrived here in America and are in need of the same reasonably-priced insurance packages for their loved ones.

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