Photo-A-Day April 2012: Last Week

Well, we have reached another month end. I finished my second monthly photo challenge. Yay!

April passed by in a snap of a finger. I am on a secret mission on this last week of April. I will let the photos speak for itself.

Day 22 - The last thing I bought
The ONLY thing I bought. Snack from Auntie Anne's before boarding the plane.

Day 23 - Vegetable
I love ampalaya or bitter gourd/bitter melon.
For me, the Philippines has the greenest and crunchiest ampalaya.

Day 24 - Something I'm grateful for
A sleeping baby
The iPad
Abundance of my favorite 3-in-1

Day 25 - Looking down
Sorting and arranging Starbucks items for trading

Day 26 - Black + white
Javi and I picked out this dessert from Golden Spoon - cake batter plus Reese's Peanut Butter

Day 27 - Somewhere I went
I took my little boy to see the Barney show.
He was terrified and wanted to leave the venue.
He eventually warmed up the last 15 minutes and was jumping up and down. 

Day 28 - 1PM
We celebrated my father's 80th birthday over lunch.
He passed away 12 years ago but we still do something to remember him on his birth date. 

Day 29 - Circle
This is a Filipino delicacy/dessert, Ginataang Halo-Halo. My husband loves this. 

Day 30 - Something that makes me sad
I am sad that my father couldn't be around to celebrate milestones with us. 

You may find earlier posts about the Photo-A-Day April challenge here --

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

My challenge is also in --


And there goes the rest of April for me.

How was your last week of April?

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Shelf Ideas

I am about to reach number 50 of my Starbucks city mug collection. If you think that is a lot of mugs, you have not seen the collection of the hardcore collectors. 

The vacant shelves at home are now being filled. I may need to move on to the master bedroom and eventually rearrange Javi's toys in the other room so I could take over the top shelf. 

As early as now, I need to think of shelving ideas. I wouldn't want my mugs to end up in the storage room. 

After looking through so many photos on the web and from fellow collectors, here are what caught my attention --

Google led me to this photo. It is a personal collection of the wedding photographer of Metrophoto. I love the shelves but if I would let my collection get out of control, this type of shelves won't work. 

Photo source

I found this home office idea from Pinterest and I thought a home office would be the perfect room for my collection. I could customize the shelves which could be similar to the one in this photo.

Photo source

I joined several collectors group in Facebook. I was introduced to the hard core collectors. 

When I saw this shelving from one of the collectors, I immediately wanted it for myself. It looked so clean. The mugs are perfect in white shelves. And the bright colors of the stuff in the room added to its appeal. But I can only have this type of shelves when Javi and a future child would be older. 

Photo from fellow collector Tom Carroll 

The collector said he bought all his shelves from IKEA. Oh, lucky me. Thailand now has IKEA. When we move to our next destination (we still do not know when or where), I will shop for bookcases/shelves from IKEA. What if our new home won't have a place for my mugs? I have to be prepared.  

Do you have a collection? Where do you keep them?

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Photo-A-Day April 2012: Third Week

It is already the third week of April. Summer is in full swing here in Bangkok. It feels like the city is a one big sauna. Temperature was going as high as 41 degrees Celsius.

Day 15 - Sunset
We do not see the sunset from where we live. But the change in colors of the sky is beautiful.

Day 16 - Flower
Bougainvillea is also a very common specie of flower/plant in the Philippines.
I took this as I was on my way to an appointment.

Day 17 - Something I don't like
Heat + Bangkok traffic. No further explanations required.

Day 18 - Hair
These are my favorite make-up brushes, possibly made from horse hair.

Day 19 - Orange
Bangkok has got to have the most colorful taxis.

Day 20 - Something I drew
I cannot draw, PERIOD. This is a note that was included in the package I sent out.

Day 21 - Bottle(s)
Jed was given this Coca-Cola 125th Year Commemorative bottles. Thought they were pretty cool.

So, how is your April coming along?

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A Very Special Easter Sunday

This recent Holy Week/Easter had been pretty memorable for me. I attended my very first Victory Weekend.  

I had known Christ since I was born. In a way, I do believe in him.

I married Jed who is a born again Christian. I strongly believe in order to make a marriage last, we need to believe the same thing. I also want to raise our children in the same way.

God is amazing. I am astounded that when I felt the need to get to know Him, He had it all planned out. 

As I sought Him, every people I meet led me to a yearning to have a relationship with Him.

He truly knew what's in my heart, everything was falling into place. 

If our time in Cebu was made memorable by our son being born there, Bangkok is where God awakened my faith. We immediately found the right church (Grace Bangkok Church). If I had hesitated meeting a mutual friend then I wouldn't have found our church here. 

He really knew where to put us. I understand now that at this stage, we needed to be in a smaller church where we would be asked to attend church events. If it were a bigger church, we would not have participated as much.

Jed and I are both in a small group. Somehow all our schedules work. I'm telling you that it is only through God, I found fellow mothers with small children, too, and we meet for small group no matter how crazy it gets. It is not the norm in the Philippines to bring your child with you to small group. But here in Bangkok, I can. 

It all happened so fast. I finished the One-2-One book. Right now, I have a chapter left for The Purple Book.

I still cannot believe Jed and I went through Victory Weekend together. I could not have it any other way.

Last Easter, we were both water baptized. It was my first. 

Photo grabbed and taken by one of our church mate

I was teasing our church friends that being baptized together is our new "Till death do us part." Until we see Jesus together!

I cannot explain how God is revealing Himself to me. I am a work in progress. And I would still fail Him. Maybe even every day. But He still chose to die for me. 

Photo source

And now I choose to follow Him together with my husband and our son.

For it is by grace you have been saved, 
through faith—and this is not from yourselves, 
it is the gift of God— 
not by works, so that no one can boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)

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Photo-A-Day April 2012: Second Week

My second week of April went like this....

Day 8 - Inside my (your) wallet
I keep a small wallet.
Just enough for the necessities: cash, IDs, credit card, health card, loyalty card and a bunch of receipts.

Day 9 - Younger me (you)
What perfect timing, my friend Oliver posted our high school photos in Facebook.
I was in second year high school and was joined by Oliver, Samantha and Jo.

Day 10 - Cold
I live in Bangkok. It's the middle of summer and the temperature can be as high as 41 degrees Celsius.
Cold for us would be ice and ice cream.

Day 11 - Where I (you) ate breakfast
I have never been a breakfast person. Breakfast is coffee plus something else.
That day it was cantaloupe. I ate it at our kitchen counter.

Day 12 - Stairs
The reason why I think Bangkok is not child-friendly is because of these stairs.
It's particularly difficult to carry a toddler and a stroller while going up.

Day 13 - Something I (you) found
When I opened my bag, I found all these paper (receipts, cash envelope, bills) which I need to go through, sort and file. Yikes!

Day 14 - How I (you) feel today
It's Songkran time in Thailand meaning a four day weekend.
And  I had the luxury to laze around in our house all day. Definitely my idea of a perfect Saturday.

Okay, time is flying so fast again. April is almost half over. Wow.

If you want to follow my Photo-A-Day challenge, I am on --


Here are past links of posts I did:

First week of April 2012
March 2012

How did your week go?

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Introvert 101

Lately, I find myself wanting to know more about my personality. Just last week, I wrote about my top  five strengths.  At this point in my life, there is very little room for mistakes. I want to be focusing my time and energy on what I love to do the most. 

This week, I am reading up on being an introvert

Oh, I am definitely one. Growing up, I thought I was a freak or a loner. I used to keep to myself a lot. I never really excelled in school. I was not out spoken. I was happy in my little corner. But boy, I was diligent.

Image source

I had to get out of the "introvert shell" when I started working. I had to deal with different types of people. It definitely was a stretch for me.  

But I keep on going back to my introvert self. After all, it is who I am.

It's nothing bad at all.

I am currently reading Susan Cain's book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I want to learn about this power I'm supposed to have. How being an introvert is to my advantage.  

In the first chapter of the book, I took this quiz to find out if I really am an introvert. I marked the following statements TRUE.
  • I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities. 
  • I often prefer to express myself in writing. (And that's why I have this blog!)
  • I enjoy solitude. (This happens rarely now that I am married and a mom of a toddler.)
  • I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame, and status.
  • I dislike small talk (YES!), but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me. 
  • People tell me that I am a good listener. 
  • I enjoy work that allows me to "dive in" with few interruptions.
  • I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members. (THIS IS CLASSIC ME.)
  • I dislike conflict.
  • I do my best work on my own.
  • I tend to think before I speak.
  • I feel drained after being out and about, even if I've enjoyed myself. (Yes!)
  • I often let calls go through to voice mail (Or missed calls. The only person whose call I always answer is my husband's.)
  • If I had to choose, I'd prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled. (I am enjoying that weekend now.)

There is more to being an introvert and I am excited to find out what these things are. I will share what they are when I finished the book.  

If you are curious about the book, you can check it out from

Are you also an introvert like me? I want to hear from you.

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Photo-A-Day April 2012: First Week

It's the fourth month of year. Summer is here! The first week of April was quite busy. It's Holy Week. In the Philippines, it is a big thing. But for us here in Thailand, life goes on. 

And I am here joining Fat Mum Slim's photo challenge. She changed the title for April to distinguished her challenge from the others.

Photo source

To know more about April's challenge, check out Fat Mum Slim's post.

My first week of April goes like --

Day 1 - Reflection
Took this one on my down to the grocery. Love the effect of the mirrors.

Day 2 - Colours
These are a few of my Starbucks City Mug collection. I got one of each color. I am so missing yellow.

Day 3 - Mail
Stamps from the package I received from Greece

Day 4 - Someone who makes me (you) {VERY} happy
Oh, this little boy makes me very happy. This is while he was singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

Day 5 - Tiny
My son's Matchbox vehicles

Day 6 - Lunch
Although we do not observe the Good Friday no meat tradition, I cooked this Prawns in Aligue (Crabfat) Sauce with  Sauteed Kangkong. Yum!

Day 7 - Shadow
The two most important men in my life. This was on our way home from Victory Weekend.

My photos also be found in these sites:


If you've joined this challenge, you may wish to join the group on Flickr, Photo A Day 2012. The other members take excellent photos. 

Check back again next week for my second week of April.

How did your first week of April go?

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What Are My Top Strengths?

I had been wanting to read Strengths Finder 2.0 and take the test when I heard friends took it. Our pastor in Cebu and his wife had been constantly referring to the book. It took me two years to get my hand on an e-book. Yes, if it weren't for the newer technology, I would not have owned this book. 

It would be interesting to find our what my top themes or strengths are. I may have a hunch what they are but I need a more structured way to know what they are. Finding my strengths out would help me with my career, relationships and ministry.

The book comes with a code which you will use to take the online test. If you purchased an e-book like me, the code will be e-mailed to you.  The online test, conducted by Gallup, is about 30 minutes long. You have to create an account on the Strengths Finder site for access to your results.

Photo source

Apparently my top five themes/strengths are:
  1. Empathy
  2. Developer
  3. Discipline
  4. Maximizer
  5. Connectedness
The results definitely came as a surprise as I thought Discipline would be number 1. Well, I do have a soft spot in my heart after all.

What do these five themes/strengths mean?

People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others' lives or others' situation.
  • Now that explains why people are comfortable opening up their feelings to me. 
  • This also explains why I cry - A LOT - over movies, the news, weddings of people I do not know, etc.
  • It is true that I make it a point to really know people. 
People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.
  • I see the potential in each and every person. 
  • I give acknowledgement where it is due. And I would tell the whole world what a person did.
  • The report says I have a special gift for helping people truly realize that I value them and hold them in high regard.
People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create. 
  • Discipline is the only theme I know is in me. I make sure I have established routines. I live on routines. It comes in handy especially when I am having a day and do not want to move.
  • I complete tasks/assignments. Sometimes ahead of schedule. I am such a geek.
  • Mapping out a plan allows me to accomplish more and be productive. Even if it is going out  to ran errands, I create a to-do list so I do not forget anything. This used to drive my husband crazy before but I think he understands why now.
People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb. 
  • I like following people and reading blogs who will bring out my personal best.
  • I focus on what I feel my strengths are. It is easier to accomplish goals this way.
  • When I like an idea, I do it. I do not just copy, I find ways to make to call it my own version. This justifies why I love Pinterest.
People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
  • This is where my faith and belief in Christ comes in.
  • I have this drive to do so much more because I know I can. It is true that I feel restless when I feel my life lacks a noble purpose.
  • It also explains why I want to surround myself with all positive people and ideas. 

As I am driven by discipline, it is good to know what my top themes/strengths are. After all, I need to live my life with a purpose. 

Have you taken the test? What are your top themes?

If not, I highly recommend you take this test. 


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March Photo-A-Day: Last Week

March went by so fast. I actually finished the March Photo-A-Day challenge. 

Curious as to how the last week went, here it goes.

Day 22 - Kitchen sink
In action. Preparing the day's lunch.

Day 23 - Moon
From Javi's "My Very First Bible" book
There is no chance I would capture the moon from my phone camera plus there was no moon that night.

Day 24 - An animal
This is the beaver. One of my Canadian connections.

Day 25 - Breakfast
A hearty breakfast on a weekend.

Day 26 - Key(s)
My set of keys - card key, mailbox key, and house keys.

Day 27 - Your (my) name
Ah, it's a package for me!!

Day 28 - Trash
My darling little boy helps me (or his dad) bring out the trash every night.
Day 29 - Feet
Two sets of feet - mine and my little boy

Day 30 - Toy(s)
Out of all the toys Javi has, my favorites are the wooden ones.

Day 31 - Where you (I) relax
This is where I sit for my quiet time, to watch the television or when I need to take a breather.

I enjoyed this photo-a-day challenge. I documented my daily life for a month through these photos. 

Tomorrow is a new month. Watch out for the April Photo-A-Day. I am so joining! 

If you wish  to join this challenge, please click on this post by Fat Mum Slim for the instructions. 


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