Teachings about Positive Thinking

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"Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done."

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned"

The teachings of Buddha holds true in my last weekend happenings. The good thing despite the fact that every planned activity did not materialized, we still went home happy and sated.

Part of what inspires me was the iconic tower Burj Khalifa...

Have you noticed the golden glow of the tower and the white dot in the sky, the effect is due to the sun setting and the white dot was actually the moon (photos were by my phone camera)

and the beautiful Downtown Dubai

No matter how upset we are, we can always find something to cheer us up, we just have to look around. If we dwell on our frustrations, we don't know what we are missing. It is a matter of thinking, if we practice and develop the ability to shift our minds into more positive thoughts then we will never go wrong. I hope you had a happy weekend just as I did.

Happy workweek!

PS: I even have the chance to reach for the top :P see?

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Look who's baking!

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Mica is trying her hands on baking and she's baking here her favorite walnut chocolate chip cookies. Ingridients and procedure are Mommy's Cookbook

She watches All For Kids and Lindsay-the little chef is her favorite. With my supervision, she made these cookies herself. Please have some :)

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Losing weight gracefully

I never been this concerned with my weight until I had my blood tested for diabetes on a free check up conducted in a mall many many months ago. The doctor said my sugar is a bit elevated and I must control my weight, must exercise regularly and eat balance and healthy food. She advised me to get proper lab tests to be sure but I never went to get the lab test (not scared duhhh!) but I started to exercise regularly and try to eat as healthy as I could (wink). The building in which I work allow commercial tenants to use the gym conveniently located just on the upper floor of our office.

The heaviest I've become was about 70-75 kilos or 154 -165 lbs while I was pregnant with my son, I am not tall so I know I’m really BIG at that time. Three years later after giving birth, I still find it hard to lose those baby weights and as I age, it gets even harder.

Lately, I discovered one website called Blogilates - it is a blog of Casey Ho-a Pilates instructor. Her videos are awesome and easy (yeah OK not so easy for a beginner like me) to follow. I only run on the treadmill before for as long as I can but after I found her blog I get to print one of her printable called Treadmill Shredmill that consists of six sets with different inclines and speed. It is a combination of cardio and booty and legs muscle exercise. After using this formula, I can stay on the treadmill for a whole 50 minutes without getting bored, I get super sweaty and my muscles are sore after which is a really good sign that the exercise is working, yeah baby its working! I love all the exercise routines and want to do all of it.

Another inspiring blog I found that advocates proper diet is The Londoner with her anti-diet article. These ladies are uber sexy like models of Victoria Secret and they are truly a motivator and inspiration.

With regular exercise, I shed pounds slowly and look more fit now. Although it is not showing huge difference in numbers yet, I can feel it and I look better on my clothes. Let's visualize it, this is me in Jan  2013 and now. can you tell the difference?

All I can say is I am still in the journey and will continue and try to stay healthy for as long as I live. Do not wait for your health to falter before starting, it is your health, your body take care of it today to avoid early signs of sickness. I  have kids and I'd love to see them grow and have kids of their own. I wanna grow old with my husband too!
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Beware of Budol Budol Gang

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Recently we heard news about Budol Budol gang striking again in some places like Cavite (City in Philippines). This time they are targeting old women shopping alone, coming out from banks and remittance centers or wearing gold jewelries. Many of the victims killed are those who fought back. One photo of a dead old woman flashed on the screen. She had only gone shopping in the wet market but never came back. The husband and her family desperately searched for her but when they finally found her, she's dead, victimized by Budol Budol. Several cases like this have been reported. The police authorities apprehended some members of the gang and are now behind bars. These gang members are men and women, the women pretend asking for help, once the victim fall prey to their tricks, they will continue their drama; they have a van to drive around their victim while they sequestered all valuable belongings.

This news left me fuming. These people don't possess a heart, they are a living dead, they are still alive but their souls are burning in hell. They do not care who they victimize, they knew that the older the person the easier to overpower. These criminals must be hunted down and prosecuted, better yet given capital punishment.

Not many days ago I heard news of another old woman victimized by these gangs. She was on her way to the mall, while waiting for a jeepney ride, a woman approached her, asked her for help. Apparently they are from Baguio City (a City in North Luzon in Philippines), suppliers of fruit and vegetables in Manila, they are on their way back to Baguio but one of their colleague had severe stomach pain and must be taken to the hospital. The old woman was already suspicious and refused to help. As she tried to walk away, the woman who was asking for help put her arms around her shoulder and sticks a gun to her side telling that if she will not cooperate something bad will happen. In her state of shock and fear for her life, she just did what she was told to do. They took her in the van, inside were the accomplices - another woman and the driver. They took her mobile phone and cash money but still unsatisfied of what they’ve got, they told her to take them home, she tried to lie that she is not from that place and only visiting a friend but that didn't work. In reaching her house they asked her to take all her jewelries while one woman stands and watch her from the front door and the other was at the gate. They took her back into the van, took all her jewelries and drove off to the same place where they picked her up. Had she fought back they could have killed her. Sparing her life for not fighting back, they drop her there shocked, helpless and crying. Just right on time, two ladies who were supposed to go to the mall saw her. They helped the woman, took her to their home and let her stay until she’s calmed down and they let her use their phone to call her family.

I thought these stories only happen  in movies but they are for real so please if you are reading this please be extra cautious and be aware of your surroundings. Any crime can happen at any given time, keep your moms and aunts safe, warn them and share them this news and story so that they don’t fall prey to this vultures. Always go to places where there are many people, never travel alone.

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Today I am a Commuter

I am a commuter today. I have always been a commuter, during college when I decided not to stay in a boarding house in Manila I commute from my province in Bulacan to my University - PUP and back everyday for two years so it's not actually new to me. When I came in Dubai (that means Sharjah coz my family stays in Sharjah) years ago, I also take sharing taxis to go to Dubai that used to be very popular before until the laws got stricter where in cabs cannot car pool. And then we had a car and my husband always drops me to my workplace. (Yeah we have a car and we brace ourselves to traffic every single day (I am wishing and hoping that Dubai and Sharjah will agree to extend the Dubai Metro to Sharjah and to all other emirates-its good that Abu Dhabi started it but unfortunately I don't leave there)

As I was saying, today was no different, when my husband mentioned that we have to get up at 4:30 am and leave the house at 5 in the morning because they have a meeting at work, I lamely agree thinking of my options. This morning I decided to commute, how hard can it be, the only thing I dread was the trip from my house to the back of Sahara Center, without traffic I am paying about 10 AED but today with traffic I paid 19 AED. Many people who lives in Sharjah and works in Dubai and commutes daily knows what there is at the back of Sahara Center, let me tell you.

Behind Sahara Center is Dubai already, it is the border and there is a fence-it used to be fenceless and cars can pass and 4 wheel drivers treat it like in safari but then Dubai Municipality built a fence and no cars can ever pass again. In time, some people open the fence and create a passage from Sharjah to Dubai and it became very popular that even taxi drivers know it very well. When you commute the normal way like from Sharjah to Dubai using the Dubai Sharjah highway you are not only stuck in traffic jams but you will also pay hefty fares and from Sharjah to Dubai the meter starts at 20 AED, if within Sharjah, it is only AED3

Now that you know, I'll tell you how I go from home to work today. From my house in Jamal Abdul Nasser St., I took a cab and drove off to the back of Sahara Center and pay the taxi driver the expensive fare. I cross the border and I am in Dubai. It's the morning rush so there are so many people waiting for taxis that are barely coming, it's good that there are feeder buses and I decided to hop on bus number 22 (to Health care City) it will pass Dubai Metro Stadium station and Deira City Center Metro station. I opt for Deira City Center Metro Station since I don't want to change from Green to Red Line of the metro once in Union Metro Station, if I took the Stadium then I'll have to do the latter. I hop off the bus at DCC Metro Station, as I scan my NOL card it register AED 2.80 and I couldn't be any happier, cheaper fare for a longer route (sigh of relief), if from behind Sahara I took a cab I must have paid AED 10 until Stadium Metro Station and still I have to do the line change.

DCC metro station wasn't crowded at all and I am able to grab a seat. Nine stations after on the red line and I am on my destination. It took me two hours to commute from Sharjah to Dubai which is fair enough but this includes waiting time, in case taxis or buses are available immediately I can do it for 1 1/2 hours only. I actually find it very easy to commute this way and even on my way home If I need to commute I would chose this way.

Sure there are other ways to commute, I know some people who goes to the main Sharjah bus station in Rolla and goes to work in Jebel Ali, that needs longer time since this bus uses the Sharjah Dubai highway.
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Framing Artwork and Creating Photo Collage

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I heart everything, I see them everywhere, why not put it in my daughters room?

For this project I got a white card stock, pair of scissors, a black marker, a red pen and an old frame

Out of the white card stock, I cut out a square that fits perfectly to the old frame, I used the black marker for writing  I and Micaela and for the black frame on the edge of the paper while I used the red pen to draw the heart and color it. This was a pretty very easy-to-do art. I stick the art on the frame and mount it on the wall.

For the photo collage, I printed small pictures of Micaela in the places she's been to. Arranged it and stick together to a frame and mount it on the wall with a double adhesive tape. The letter L stands for Lanna my daughters first name. This was a jewellery holder I got from Claire's during a sale. The pink bear is Mica's lovey toy posing as my model.

I printed these pictures randomly and later on I realized that the pictures are from different experiences of her (from left to right top to bottom) By the Burj Al Arab, By the Burk Khalifa, Skii Dubai, Dream Land Aquapark, Dubai Zoo, Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque, Dubai Dolphinarium, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Crabbing in Um Al Quwain, Enchanted Kingdom, Hersheys Dubai Mall-Largest Chocolate Bar, Fujairah Open Beach, Rotana Abu Dhabi, Top of Jebel Hafeet with Aero, Tagaytay Horseback Riding Compound, Abra Ride at Dubai Creek, Malaysia International Airport and Bulacan Butterfly Garden.

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Shared Room - Creating Two Rooms in One

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We are used to co-sleeping, in fact our kids co-sleep with us until a week ago before I decided that they get their on beds and separate bedroom.

My daughter is turning nine this April and she was very eager to have her own bed (again). Since I divided the room in two parts using an Ikea wardrobe unit, we are literally still in the same room and she is not going to sleep alone. My dilemma before when I allow her to have her own bedroom was she's staying up late. I would put her to bed early, read her her favorite book and sing her lullaby's and leave the room when she is sleeping and since I went to bed thinking she's asleep, I didn't know that at some days she stays up doing some stuff which I discovered later on. My solution to this was to go back to co-sleeping since she really goes to sleep when we are also in bed. At present this is no longer a problem because she easily goes to sleep after I put her to bed knowing that we are in the same room, she is also a lot older now and enjoys her own space.

My son on the other hand is not very difficult to train. He likes his own bed immediately, his own space. The only thing now is one of us will have to put him to bed every now and then, it depends on to whom he is most attach during the day, it so happened that he likes us alternately so me and my husband take turns givings us more hours of sleep, oh but bottle feeding him at night stays my husbands duty :P (harhar) We like the idea that Prince likes his bed, he doesn't want to sleep on our bed anymore except during the afternoon nap.

We now have our own space too and we are loving it. Because of the wardrobe unit I used as a divider between our room and our children's room, we win back our privacy. We have two rooms in one room and everyone was happy, it was a win win situation.

The above move is part of the plan to de-clutter and redesign our room to a more inviting space for relaxing and sleeping.

This is the kids room in progress, here is the list of things I still want to do for their room.

Purchase bunk bed AED 450 or $122 from Sharjah Immigration Road Furniture Store
Add frames stop Mica's headboard (Create fremd art)
Add storage unit for Mica and Prince
Buy them both a themed bed covers and pillow cases
Add frames atop Prince headboard
Create a reading corner where the lamp shade sits right now
Install then each a reading lamp

As much as I love them to have warm feet in the morning by adding some carpet on the floor, I am ditching the idea since they both very sensitive to dust and carpets are dust magnets. They have both their house slippers and that will do the thing.

Our side of the room is not picture worthy at this time, it is still evolving but I will sure share it with you.
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Mommy's Cookbook

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I said I wanted just one blog so it's easy to maintain but then I couldn't. For the sake of my son and daughter, I created another blog dedicated to food. I can't tell you how much of a foodie I am but I am. I love to cook, eat out, shop for groceries and watch cooking shows, browse cook books, watch and follow celebrity chefs, surf the net for food blogs, read restaurant reviews and I even want to plant edibles for my cooking. :P I didn't study culinary art, I am just a daughter who was raised by a cook and I am a mom who loves to cook for her family. I love to have breakfast, I remember lunches in my aunts house where I spent my adolescent years and dine for dinner with my family now that I am married. I 've always wished that I have asked my dad to write down for me all his recipes but I couldn't and so I try to recreate his dishes using my instincts, I know how his dishes taste like, that's why. Now I know very well that although my children might have a different life from me and might not be interested in cooking, I might as well keep all my recipes and hope that one day they will crave for the food that I cook and can refer here in Mommy's Cookbook and cook the dish for themselves following my recipe. It reminds me of the movie Ratatouille, food can bring us back to our good old memories.

Alright so without further ado, please meet my new food blog Mommy's Cookbook - it is a compilation of Filipino and foreign dishes cooked and served in a Filipino home in the UAE. I only have a few recipes now and but striving to write more and more. Most of the recipes here are Filipino recipes but I intend to incorporate other cuisine as well.

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