Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day at Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort

It's that time of the year again when we honor and celebrate fathers everywhere, good and bad (but mostly good) because without them we wouldn't be here. 

A good father is so much more than just a provider, or a disciplinarian or man of the house. To me, a good father is...

Not so quick to pick you up when you fall, because they want to teach you how to pick yourself up...

Someone who will not only praise your strengths, but strengthen your weaknesses...

Willing to let you make mistakes, because they know you will learn and grow from them...

Never afraid to cry, whether they're tears of sadness or tears of joy...

A role model for what to look for in your future husband...

Going to teach you how to treat and love your wife and kids...

Always going to be there, no matter where life's journey takes you. They will love you unconditionally even if you messed up...a lot...like big time.

That is MY father! My dad, my papa, my look-alike! Thank you for being such a good father and a great example of a Godly man. It's no surprise that I ended up marrying a man that's just as wonderful of a husband and loving father as you...Happy Father's Day from 9000 miles away!

Me and My Dad (with his "jazz" hands) 2 years ago when they visited the PI
And today we showed my husband how much we appreciate him and all he does for us. The morning started off with a surprise breakfast along with a book the kids and I made for their dad titled "We Love You Because..."


My husband hasn't been out of the house in almost 3 weeks, literally. He's been consumed with launching new campaigns, running Facebook ads, and trying to figure out marketing algorithms...and the man has grown an impressively husky beard during this period.

I figured it was about time we reintroduce my sexy caveman back into society and what better way than with a day of R&R (without the computer) at a tropical beach resort! So after breakfast, we headed on over to Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort.





Daddy is really enjoying the beautiful view.....or not. At least he's napping relaxing.


We also came across a whole bunch of interesting creatures in the ocean including several different kinds of starfish, sea urchins, crabs, and one strange black pokey looking thing that scared the bedazzle out of me...





Overall it was a great and truly relaxing day. Hope everyone's Father's Day was just as awesome as my husband's!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Limitations: The Ones You Put On Yourself

 PhotoCredit of Rachel Hulin
PhotoCredit: DisneyBaby.com, photographed by Rachel Hulin

As children we believe that we can do anything and everything we set our minds to, even if that meant we thought we could fly like our favorite super heroes or eat an entire gallon of ice cream in one sitting (which is NEVER a good idea btw). But despite how unreachable, how impossible and how ridiculous these things seemed, we still believed we could do them. 

But what happens when we go from childhood to adulthood....what changes that we all of a sudden think we are no longer capable of doing or achieving amazing and extraordinary things in life? Our goals, dreams and aspirations start to seem like frivolous, wishful thinking and as we get older they dwindle and become only a momentary vision of what could have been.

This is what happens.

We grow up. We are faced with challenges. We experience failures. And then we become deeply affected by those failures. We become scared and uncertain of our own abilities. Eventually we start to lower our expectations only to avoid disappointment, we start becoming "practical" to the sense that we automatically shut ourselves off from any new ideas that could potentially take us to the next level of success or progress. We put ourselves, our goals, our dreams, our God-given visions in a box. And where do boxes go? In the attic, collecting dust and mothballs...

Why do we limit ourselves as adults? Why do we let the troubles of the pasts and the fears of the future stop us from being great and doing great things today...right now...at this very moment in your life? There are many limitations we put on ourselves that can easily cripple our full potential. These limitations not only become our crutch and our excuse for not doing/being better but we let it become fully ingrained into who we are. 

Growing up I had many dreams and many aspirations...I wanted to be and do many things. A well renowned martial artists with the strength, speed and precision of Bruce Lee was one of them...I had my dad and the Power Rangers to thank for that. I also wanted to be an actress, a singer, a dancer, a fashion designer, a lawyer...the first female monk in a Chinese temple who's mastered the art of levitation. Yes that last one might have been a stretch, but as you can see, as children there are NO limitations, there are no boundaries and anything is possible in our eyes.

Supposedly as we grow older we let "reality" set in and take over where our childhood dreams and ambitions left off. We're no longer good enough, smart enough, wise enough, strong enough, confident enough, powerful enough. But WE ARE. And not just that but as we get older, we get even better, smarter, wiser, stronger, even more confident and even more powerful.

When you look at it, it really is backwards thinking. I mean from being a child to becoming an adult, one SHOULD only expect growth, improvement, expansion, progression and the like. 

A baby who is learning how to walk can fall a hundred times and pick themselves up a hundred times only to keep trying again and again, even if that means they're going to get a couple of bumps and bruises along the way. This is because they know they can and will eventually start walking. They're mindset is probably "Well, I've got these two legs for a reason and it's not just to crawl around. I better start using them. And the sooner I learn how, the sooner I can get from Point A to Point B faster!" 

It's in our true nature, in our true being to be resilient, to be strong, to overcome the trials and tribulations that we face, to push on and keep moving forward...we were created this way and the sooner we realize it the sooner we can start living the powerful lives we were destined to have filled with endless possibilities. 

Limitations come in many forms..."I'm too old to do that"...."I don't have enough money"....."There's not enough time"...."I don't have any talents"....and my most despised limitation of all...."I CAN'T". In our household, saying "I can't" is just as bad as saying a bad word and we get on our kids for doing so. You never want to say you can't, because the more you say something, the more you believe it, inevitably making it your reality. And who wants to live an "I Can't" kind of life? 

I'm here to tell you today that you CAN and you WILL, but that's only if you let go of your crutches and take that first step into a life with no limitations.

You CAN stop being a negative person and start seeing the good, the positive and the love around you!

You CAN lose that weight and become stronger, more fit and healthier than ever!

You CAN become a better wife/mother/daughter/person whose light will resonate and positively impact everyone around them!

You CAN start that business and take control of your financial future, your time and your freedom!

You CAN overcome and move forward from the hurts of the past and let forgiveness, peace and joy saturate your everyday once again!

You CAN improve every and all areas of your life and awaken the giant of awesomeness within!

You CAN succeed, you CAN be happy, you CAN be fulfilled, you CAN triumph and walk in victory!

You CAN and You WILL!

If you're not where you want to be at this point in your life then take a moment and discern those limitations that are holding you back, especially the ones you put on yourself. Because now that we're adults who've learned how to walk....it's time we learn how to fly and soar in greatness!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bakelicious Wednesday: Chunky Monkey Oatmeal Cookies


Today I let Ben and Zoe bake these super easy, super delicious and super healthy cookies. Did I mention how super they were?

These are by far the simplest cookie recipe I've ever tried and you only need four ingredients. That's right, FOUR ingredients. None of which happen to be eggs or flour so that means these cookies are also great for those who are on certain diet restrictions.

So without further ado, I present to you Ben and Zoe's Chunky Monkey Oatmeal Cookies!


STEP 1: Gather all your ingredients.
           -2 bananas, the riper the better
           -1 cup of quick oats
           -2 tablespoons of hazelnut spread
           -2 handfuls of chocolate chips

STEP 2: Mash the living daylights out of the bananas, as you see Ben doing. This should yield about 1/2 a cup.
STEP 3: Pour the oats into a separate medium size bowl.
STEP 4: Add in the mash bananas.
STEP 5: Add in the hazelnut spread. You can also use other spreads such as peanut butter, almond butter, or even cookie butter. 


STEP 6: Mix everything together.
STEP 7: Add in the chocolate chips and fold into the mixture. Feel free to add other ingredients such as nuts, raisins, marshmallows and the like. The chunkier, the monkier, the better!
STEP 8: Scoop out a tablespoon of the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. These cookies don't really expand so no need to space them out too far.One batch makes approximately 16 cookies.  


STEP 9: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes.
STEP 10: Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes and they'll be ready to eat.
STEP 11: Take cookie selfies before devouring these chewy, yummy treats!

ENJOY!!! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Me Party on Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women out there. Today is the day where we as moms are recognized, honored and celebrated for all the amazing things we do for our family. 

Being a mom means so much to so many people, but in case you need a little reminder on just what the job title entails, here are a few examples....


Maker of Meals
Manager of Money
Maniac on Menopause 
Master of Minions
Milker of Many
Machine of Madness
Muse of Men
Multi-Operational Member
Must Obey Me

My children and husband showered me with love today and I can't help but to feel so blessed. We started the morning celebration with Mother's Day at church and after the service the kids gave me chocolates, a flower and a card they made at Sunday School.


We then had lunch at Royal Krua Thai restaurant which had good reviews from what I read online...


The reviews were right! It was all good and we were stuffed. Once lunch was over my husband told me he'd take the kids for the rest of the day while I have a "Me Party". I had the biggest grin on my face and this became my theme song for the rest of Mother's Day...


It was complete and total relaxation, peace and quiet ALL. BY. MYSELF. What does one mother do when she has no children in tow, in a mall, with a wallet full of cash?!? 

FOOTSPA 
MANI-PEDI 
HAIR CUT 
UNINTERRUPTED WINDOW SHOPPING 
CHICK FLICK @ the MOVIES SOLO 
INDULGE IN SNACKS I DON'T HAVE TO SHARE 


Thank you darling husband for giving this mom what most (if not all) moms with smaller children want and that is to be ALONE ;) if not at least just for a few hours.

Once my gallivanting came to an end, I came home at 9:30 in the evening to children who were fed, bathed, and dressed for bed. What an awesome way to end my Mother's Day. Hope your day was as relaxing and wonderful as mine!

   

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cebu: Taoist Temple

I've always been intrigued by the beautiful temples and architecture of ancient China and was delighted to know that there was one near us...6 minutes away by car to be exact. So this past weekend we visited the Taoist Temple which is located in the heart of Cebu City.

I like how this temple opens its doors to both believers and non-believers of Taoism. Which is great for those of us who just want to tour the beautifully maintained grounds while enjoying the calm and peaceful environment.











So much beauty all around. There's even a miniature replica of the Great Wall of China which serves as the main entrance to the temple.









Anyone and everyone is welcome to experience Taoism and see if the answers they seek is within the stones...

 


While I was basking in the calm and serenity of the temple, I see a troubled little boy running towards my direction... 


My tranquility was temporarily disrupted because someone wanted to throw a coin into the wishing pond. Unfortunately, I had no coins with me.


The aforementioned wishing pond.  


Grandpa comes to the rescue with a pocket full of change!


And the troubled little boy is no longer troubled after tossing several coins into the pond.


Below is my favorite shot of the day....



Our trip to the Taoist Temple was both educational and enlightening ;) Stay tuned for our next Cebu Adventure!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Cebu: Larsian BBQ and Rainforest Park

We've been in Cebu for almost a month now and haven't really gone out to see and discover the city, unless of course you consider "malling" an exploration. I'm done with malls. I wanted the family to experience something that didn't involve fast food and retail stores. 

Rainforest Park has been on my "To Visit" list since we arrived and I was finally going to be able to check that off. But first, we did lunch and this time we decided to visit a well-known bbq place that many locals as well as tourists love to eat at because of it's open air atmosphere and cheap, yummy food. Read a lot of good reviews about the place so we dropped by for a bite before our adventures at the rainforest began.

Presenting Larsian BBQ!


There were several stalls selling BBQ such as chicken, pork, sausages, and innards as well as seafood varieties...and you can even watch them cook it.


We had BBQ chicken breast, BBQ pork, BBQ longanisa (something like chorizo, sweet sausage), grilled milkfish with mango and tomato salad, and puso which is rice wrapped in banana leaves...all for about $8 and good enough for a family of 5. Not too shabby.


Top left is a photo of my youngest enjoying his BBQ chicken intestines, which he is convinced is BBQ baby snakes. LOL. Either way, this kid is an adventurous eater.

One interesting tidbit about this place is that there are no utensils and everyone eats with their hands. Fortunately they give you a plastic glove so as not to get all that BBQ goodness all over your fingers which makes for neat and clean eating.  

After lunch it was off to the Rainforest....park that is.


First stop, Amazon's Aviary and Tarzan House where we fed and interacted with birds and explored Tarzan's house. 


There were several bird species to see such as parrots, eagles, peacocks, baby ostriches and more. There was even a 4 year old deer wondering about the area...I dunno, maybe he thinks he's a bird?


Next on the list was the Jungles Adventure obstacle course which included challenges like the earthquake bridge, rock climbing, zip lining, nets and pretty much anything else that may give those with acrophobia a minor heart attack. However my children and I successfully completed each course, and we have the rope burns to prove it ;) 


Afterwards we went to the Oceanarium to take a look at a few underwater creatures. Unfortunately there was a function going on in that vicinity, so we were limited to just seeing the reptile portion of the exhibit. 


The Oasis Fish Spa did make up for the fact we didn't get to see much of the Oceanarium. These little nibblers are called Garra Rufa and given the nickname "Dr. Fish". They feed off your dead skin...yum! Well, my feet did come out looking and feeling much smoother. Funny how just an hour before I was eating fish and now the fish are eating me. That's what you call the circle of life (cue theme song from Lion King). Who needs a foot spa when you can just dip your feet in a pool filled with hungry Garra Rufas! 


Overall our visit to the Rainforest Park was fun and enjoyable. It wasn't too hot or crowded either which allowed us to go through the whole park in less than two hours. I'm definitely looking forward to more of these non-malling adventures while we're here in Cebu! Until next time...


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