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I have a soft spot for children's book, especially after having illustrated a couple myself (read: Super Labandera and Si Aiyah...), so I'm more than happy to promote Mommy Loves You Just The Same, launched May 19, 2016, from inspirational speaker and mommy-author Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag.


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MANILA, Philippines – May 25, 2016 – #1 Amazon bestselling Author and Inspirational Speaker Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag launched her first children’s book Mommy Loves You Just the Same last May 19, 2016. The author’s two older children inspired her to write the book while she was pregnant with her third child. It tells the heartwarming story of how an expectant mother assured her son of her unchanging love — during her pregnancy and after she gave birth to her new baby. It also shows how this mother’s assuring love inspired and enabled the little boy to become a loving and responsible big brother.

“As a mom of three kids, I love how this book reassures the older kids that we love them just as much as before as well as helping to foster and nurture love for their new sibling. Children can be quite anxious about the arrival of a new baby and this book does well to put those insecurities to rest,” says Author of Project Mom, Celebrity and Blogger Amanda Griffin-Jacob.

“A definite must-have for any family who is about to add a new member to the family,” adds Jacob.

“Mommy Loves You Just the Same is a pleasure to read with its melodious text and clean illustrations. The story is sweet and relatable: it will be a great source of comfort for the new older brother or sister who might feel a bit threatened by the newest member of the family,” says Mariel Uyquiengco, a homeschooling mom of three, editor and speaker at the Learning Basket, a U.S. licensed Kindermusik educator and a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator.

Martine De Luna, another mom who is also a Content Creation & Social Media Consultant, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Make it Blissful and owner of MJ De Luna Events says this about the book, “As a mom of two, I could very much relate with Mommy Loves You Just the Same. Teresa has done a wonderful job of marrying the joys of motherhood with the challenges of parenting, resulting in a balanced storyline that partners and children can relate with easily. I also appreciate how the coloring pages can be incorporated into my children's homeschooling, as a purposeful yet practical activity for them to enjoy.”



Mommy Loves You Just the Same can be purchased online for only Php 150.00  through Hands-OnParentwhileEarning.com’s online shop, via email at teresa@fulllifecube.com or through the following Facebook Pages: Full Life Cube, Hands-On Parent while Earning or BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking.

Book Review Giveaway


All book buyers of Mommy Loves You Just the Same are invited to join the ongoing giveaway. Just write a book review and giving a rating in the website for a chance to win one (1) year membership from Gymboree Philippines and P500 gift certificates from Halo Philippines and Mom and Milly Educational Toys respectively.
This is probably the prettiest I've painted so far, so I'm sharing it with you goys hehehehe.

Jenen!
Inspiration: this watercolor piece by Casey Ligon


I saw it featured on The Craft Central's Instagram page and I was so taken by it that I immediately pulled out a postcard sized watercolor paper and started drawing the flowers. I actually keep a stash of art materials in my office drawer in case I run into moments of inspiration, like this. 


I know it has to be super light and it didn't have to be perfect cos it'll be colored anyway but I couldn't really spare the details. Drawing was my first love so I tend to over-illustrate things. Notice that I drafted the flowers first in my notebook using ballpen before actually drawing it on the vellum pad. I didn't want a lot of erasures on this one cos it damages the paper and could ruin the texture.

Then I started painting! For this I used a small water brush I bought from The Craft Central. For some reason the head doesn't dry out completely, it seems like water continuously flows through it as you brush. I thought it was a defect cos you usually have to squeeze the handle to release water once it's too dry. Mine doesn't seem to need any of that, but it's not leaking either so I let it go. It's very minor and didn't ruin my piece anyway haha.


I applied the colors layer by layer, starting with the lightest grade. I think the key to achieving this effect is to let each layer dry first before applying the next layer. I don't really know what it's called hehe. XD


After the flowers I went for the leaves. I did a mistake of making a darker green shade instead of just layering it so there are a couple of irregularly darker leaves somewhere.


Finally, I added a light blue background, erased the pencil outlines, and redrew them using brown Titus ballpen. Here's the final output:



Hope you like it! Looking forward to improve my painting skills :D If you have tips, tricks and know of super cheap watercolor workshops in QC, let me know!
I'm trying to see if Blogger has any form of default code formatting.

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Ooooh, looks like the code needs to be parsed and enclosed in <pre> and <code> tags so they could be displayed properly. This was helpful. Yeyy I can finally paste code lol. That snippet is from this tutorial, it lets you insert Google ads between your post. :)

I have left-over ground coffee from seven months ago that I'm drinking now. The aroma from the tin can still gets me euphoric like it did that first time I opened the pack. But after setting it up on a pour-over and drowning two sachets of Stevia, the elation dispersed at its apparent staleness. It's still good coffee, nonetheless, one that'll help me stay up alright. I may have to add two more scoops on my second cup to make it stronger, but at this point it's okay.


Long time no Sunday Currently, so here you go hehe

Currently

Reading
Nothing. I wonder if I really liked to read in the first place. I'm never the voracious reader, who could read almost any type of material and has a huge vocabulary. I get easily bored if I don't like the style.

Anyway, God is Disappointed in You and Me Before You are both on hold. I started reading The Last Song this week but I didn't like the heroine so I stopped reading haha.

Watching
Rewatching Heartstrings KDrama. Also regularly waiting for new uploads of Game of Thrones S06.

Listening
To instrumental cafe music on youtube (here). I hope I could download them but no online converter would let me cos they're too long, like three hours huhu.

Two weeks ago my playlist looped around Reese Lansangan's first album, Arigato, Internet. Grabe, love her voice (but hate her rapping)! My favorite (and I'm trying to kapa the chords) would be Creeper 'cos I could relate haha. Edit: I'm not trying to kapa anymore, I'm just asking around for the chords lol.

Thinking
About how to really get back in shape. I want to lose at least 5kgs for the sake of my withering self esteem and wilting wardrobe funds. The healthy lifestyle doesn't excite me too much and requires a lot of commitment, but I'm always willing to try. I'm looking into subscribing to diet meals (again) but I'm getting frustrated trying to bargain for a different delivery schedule (Monday to Friday PM) just so it would fit my fkn graveyard shift.

Speaking of the graveyard, looks like working a different shift isn't going to be possible for me unless I get moved to another team or get sent onsite long-term. I'm hating it again cos it's starting to (yet again) get in the way of my bonding time with Jeckie. We only meet on Saturdays and I'm always so sleepy pa huhu

Smelling
Massage oil <3

Wishing
I get to work a different shift naman. I'm really going to resign next year if my shift doesn't get better or if I don't get promised long-term onsite assignment (blog, don't jinx this). I know it's going to be unfair to my team lead, cos if anything, he's the most deserving to be flown for good, but I can't ignore my own needs as well. Whatever.

Wearing
Singlet and shorts

Loving


This footbridge being constructed along Quirino avenue, between Robinsons Novaliches and SM Fairview. Soon there will be no fear crossing the pedestrian! I do wish it was connecting the two malls directly but this is already superb. I wanted to say change is really coming but I'm not sure if Duterte is to be credited with this project so, Thanks DPWH! Rare times they build something sensitive to the commuters' needs. 

Wanting
To start reading Inferno by Dan Brown.

Needing
To lose weight

Feeling
Heavy, as always lol.

Jenen! I'm not taking credit for the design cos it was taken entirely from this theme and applied to the original backbone of this layout which is this theme. I already finished layouting my test blog but found that there are some features that I may lose out if I overwrite the existing theme with a new one, so I decided to just incorporate the features I want from the other theme. It's not a lot anyway, just the background and the single column post container which I dissed eventually.

I changed my mind, I'm not really decluttering, I'm just trying to make my widgets appear neat and organized. I hope it shows lol.

On my previous theme I was fascinated by the idea of a video header. But it's quite a task finding a free video host that wouldn't take down my file without notice, and I wouldn't invest money on a measly 15second webm file either, so I just shrugged it off, more like I got tired of looking at it lol.

Then I was browsing at blogger theme galleries for inspiration and found Padhang Theme, I was caught by the beautiful background and thought ohkaaaaay let's do that. It's a CSS miracle to be able to fix and scale a background image proportionately to a browser window (or maybe I'm just old). Digging through the codes I learned it was actually a jquery plugin called Backstretch that's responsible for the perfect background haha. I'll leave it at that but know that I'm very happy I found out about it.

Just like how I was so glad learning about Font Awesome. <3

Happy Friday you guys!

I'm in the middle of editing my test blog for a possible layout change. Ever since I decided to not care about being a professional blogger, my sidebar has been drastically decluttered, so I'm thinking maybe it's time to try out a single column blog! Yas! Edit: My footer is still cluttered haha

You see, I wanted to focus more on just writing right now. None of those SEO optimized listicles that provide real value to readers, and a tiny bit of income to me haha. And speaking of income, it took a lot of thinking on my part to decide on putting down Google's leaderboard ad because it almost always messes with the design, and the only reason I'm keeping a Nuffnang ad is to be able to call myself a "Nuffnang registered blogger" and ultimately be eligible to join their contests (which recently have become so blah and competitive so ohkay). Anyway, not giving up ads entirely as I've found a pretty alternative to pesky header ads... inline ads!

The more I try to direct my blog to a source of income, the more cluttered it becomes, the more desperate I feel, the more out of character my entries come out. I even have a lot of reservations joining comment exchanges because here I go again shamelessly plugging what I ate for lunch and forcing people to come up with encouraging comments lol. And half the time, I don't really know how to engage with people's posts, especially those with glaringly bad grammar. It's already a chore trying to understand the entry, and then I have to say something nice. Ugh, as much as I want to snark up, my conscience tells me to suck it up instead 'cos karma happens even to the best of us. Char.

To be fair, Comexes has served its purpose of providing me some reading material. I love to read but lately it has been a struggle to reach out to my virtual bookshelf. Blog posts are easier to conquer. If I'm lucky, half the list I'm supposed to read is well written, other times I'm just trying to get by link after link wondering how the hell some people love to write badly.

Don't get me wrong, grammar can be learned. I'm just bitching out cos I've been reading a lot of bad writing lately, my blog included heh.

Why are we talking about Comexes again?

So there, actually I've finished tinkering with the design. I'm just contemplating on installing the theme now or later (or never). I don't know why I can't keep a layout for long, moreso, I don't understand how some people could stick with their blog layout for months. Just how.

Actually I think I know why, I was a UI developer so I can't help going to the HTML editor to experiment on stuff. It's my knowledge and curiosity of web design trends that make it hard for me to stick to one theme for even just a quarter. Isn't that tragic. My blogger-designer friends don't seem to be this way with their own blogs. What's wrong with me. Not a question.

Okay. I should be off to sleep, it's 3:30PM, and that reads 3:30AM for zombies like me. Off to the grave.

Jenen! I didn't really think when I decided to change my layout design, it just sort of happened haha. I don't know why but I easily get bored with my theme, kaka-visit ko siguro LOL. Anyway, I decided to change a couple of things here and there after browsing tumblr themes and finding this: http://rainier-theme.tumblr.com/
I thought, oooooh a video header under dark translucent overlay! Let's do it! It was a simple F12 job for me (Inspect element). I copied a few lines of code, a couple of CSS properties, and voila! It's refreshing to see something moving on my header. Needless to say, I was happy and bent on finding/making my own short HD clip of something nice but it's such a hassle. I didn't want to just grab the original video too cos I may be violating some creative commons chuchu, so I just settled for a picture first. ;)

I also removed some post borders and stuff. 

Hm, on second thought, a video header would be cool. I'm looking at www.abbey-sy.com for inspiration. I suddenly want to shoot my own header lol. A 15 second webm clip is only 3.9MB. TEMPTING. Whatever, what do I know about shooting stuff lol.

We'll see ;)

Driving lessons finally over! I'm excited to get a license and finally hit the road. Kidding. I'm scared. Really scared, but I'm also very excited. I was looking forward to my lessons cos then I can finally validate all the driving knowledge I had kept in my brain while observing my dad do his usual ultra-defensive driving. In my head, I know how to shift gears and turn. In my dreams, I'm racing the highway. In real life, I'm struggling to keep the engine moving, failing every now and then especially on uphill turns. Hay, but I've learned a lot and can't wait to practice more.

Earlier this evening was the last day of my driving lessons. I woke up pretty late so I rushed my 'grooming', skipping ironing my hair HAHA. Then something happened, I left my student permit!!! When I was nearing their office I reached to my back pocket to get my evaluation form and student permit and panicked when I realized they're not there. So I reached to my bag in hopes I left them in the front pocket of my backpack but holey moley they're not there as well. Pag minamalas ka nga naman o, kung kelan last day ko na. I was thinking if maybe my instructor could drive me home so I could get my permit... buti na lang before I could enter the office I heard two men calling out to me, THEY PICKED UP MY PAPERS ON THE ROAD! Must've fallen while I was crossing! THANK GOODNESS DEAR LORD, you couldn't imagine my glee. Yeyyy.
Today, I got around the farthest and managed to reach the 3rd gear cos we finally ventured to Commonwealth area where my comfortable 30 kph was challenged by the 60kph speed limit. I only went as fast as 40 and didn't dare push further, 'cos my instructor won't let me anyway, not that I wanted to. It was very fulfilling, albeit some jumps, I think with more practice I can finally drive myself to the office and back bwahaha. That's the goal.

Yosh!

* is the driving school

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Mondays are slowly becoming bearable in that it gives me another chance to restart my weight loss agenda after failing week after week, so yeah I feel quite hopeful. Here's to wishing I don't disappoint myself again. But to be honest, I don't mind. Damn, I should learn to be hard on myself in this regard.

So this week, I'm back to diet pills. I have three different bottles sitting in my drawer, and today I decided to try Hydroxycut. The others I have are MySlim and Herbalife Total Control.

I bought Hydroxycut at Walmart when I was in the U.S. but delayed on using it after thinking I don't need another supercaffeinated diet pill that's gonna overwork my nervous system and give me headaches. But what have we, I never learn.

I actually have a mild headache right now but I don't mind. What I can say is that it's really good at curbing my appetite. I just don't like that I'm feeling more nervous than ever but the thing is, apart from the 1 cap I took around 9pm, I also drank caffeinated green tea so there goes the extra push.
Ah, can't wait for the elections to end. Watching the VP race results is stressing me out. #LabanLeni por favor.


How to apply for a student permit at LTO East Ave.

Last week since it's swelday, I took the chance to finally enroll in a driving school while I still have the money lol. So on the way home, I inquired at one of the nearest driving schools to our house (Xcel) and readied the requirements.

They only asked for a student permit so okay I went to LTO and applied for one. The entire process took a lengthy 2 hours. First I was led to a shabby LTO accredited clinic along East Ave. to have my medical permit (₱200) then I was directed to queue somewhere inside the LTO complex for evaluation, picture taking, payment (₱317.63), and releasing.

Medical


I didn't know this was required so I was very reluctant when the guard I asked for directions told me to secure a medical certificate first because it's a requirement. Watda. I thought I was being scammed but I still followed the lead of one of the guys he called out to help me find a clinic outside. I was very suspicious along the way but eventually I learned it's really required lol. The medical exam is really just an eye test, a very casual one. The "doctor" just points at random letters on the Snellen chart and you read 'em. Masabi lang na na-medical ka. Oh well papel, this has been going on for decades. What can I do. :\

Then I walked back to LTO to get a queue number and application form. I filled it out and waited until my number is called for evaluation.

Evaluation

Where I handed the clerk my queue number, application form, medical permit, and a photocopy of my NSO certified birth certificate. She validates and encodes the data, then points to a notepad window on her computer where the next step is written. That is, go back to my seat and wait for my name to be called for picture taking.
I was called back to the first window cos my address was too long daw. Not my fault their data encoding application has a character limit for street names, what a bummer. They resorted to trim my subdivision address further. I would personally resort to throw back the app to the developers for a quick change on input maxlength, but what am I to do but whine. Yeah, like a true millennial.

Picture taking

Yadda, yadda, yadda. They also ask for your signature. Btw, I just had to roll my eyes at one of the girls there making paganda to the camera (ang sama ko lol). If anything, I want all my government pictures to look bad (not that there's any effort involved) if only to show my displeasure (in hopes it would) at the type of service they're giving. But this girl is in all smiles, all kulot, and made-up like she's going to some party kanto to get picked-up. I can't blame her, she's probably not paying taxes yet, I still rolled my eyes anyway.

Payment



Easy breezy, but I just had to rant about the fee -- ₱317.63. I don't know where they get their figures or how they compute for such and such fees but what the hell may butal talaga? I paid ₱500 and was given ₱182 for sukli. I was short-changed by 37 cents. No biggie. What's 37 cents anyway. Well, what is 37 cents times the number of applicants they short-changed that day, that month, that year? Where does that un-audited sum go? If I knew the exact fee I would've prepared the exact amount up to the last centavo if only to mock them. Char. And yes, I'm accusing LTO, the government rather, of pocketing my change. :P

Releasing

It's really the waiting that gets to my nerves. Sure there are seats, and there are industrial fans, but it's still too hot. Weather's not LTO's fault yeah? Of course not, that's just me being arte lol.

I was excited to receive my student permit but I gathered I had to let my excitement die after reading the notes on the windows saying that due to their incompetence in managing supplies, all they can give in exchange of our ₱318++ and precious hours is the official receipt. So much for picture and signature taking. Why don't we just skip that step if we're not gonna receive the official paper anyway? We're all just given OR's that would serve as our student permit cos they're (still) out of resources. I say just make the OR the official student permit so we won't keep on wondering what it is. It's only valid for a short time anyway and will be used for a specific purpose only so it doesn't matter what form it takes. I guess it's also the reason LTO stopped caring about it. But still.

Aaaand that's it. As much as possible I want to limit my transactions with government offices cos I almost always go home pissed. That day was nothing new. I've always had major trust issues with the government, well who doesn't nowadays. I always had to mentally question why this and that is required and internally whine at the blatantly corrupt practices they employ. Gosh, this sucks.

Or the other way around cos it's really me who doesn't want to give up on losing weight the easy (but expensive) way. Last week I ordered a 3 day juice cleanse package from Pure Jus. And in fairness, it's one of the best tasting blends I've ever tasted. Sly Diet still tops the list unless they've changed ingredients. I also tried Sexy Detox last month and it sucked big time cos I think they gave me expiring bottles. Not three days in the chiller and it smells rotten at the lid. Eew. Do not buy there. Their Hulk Green is slimy and gross (which is weird cos it's not the first time I ordered the hulk green. This last one just tasted repulsive), the only drink I enjoyed was their Grape Jolt.

Anyway, I'm on my 3rd day of taking Pure Jus and I haven't lost weight lol. But that's because I can't hold my cravings. On my first day I cheated a lot already, eating snacks with my juices. It wasn't a pure juice diet for me but I sure didn't eat a lot that day. I mean, even you combined all my Day 1 cheats (2 packs of crackers, half a brownie, 2 small cheese bread, 1 pandesal, banana, this is embarrassing, mango caramel bar, daing, I should stop, and corn soup), it's still not halfway the amount of food I ingest on a regular day. Argh, why is it so hard to eat less.

Disappointing as it seems, that's how it went for the next two days. I already ate rice on my second day in the form of two onigiris from Family Mart. On the third day my self-control became worse as I ate two rice meals. haha. I should feel bad about myself after wasting almost ₱6,000 in hopes of shedding off even a pound, but for some reason I don't. Does juicing make you this optimistic? Or did 6k just seem like barya to me? Charot on the latter of course. :P
I can attest though that I felt better, albeit not lighter, than how I usually feel working the graveyard shift. I wasn't sleepy at work (though I was expecting I should as a form of side effect) and my mind was active. I DIDN'T CRAVE FOR COFFEE. Day 1 was my proudest day, cos I only ate snacks throughout the day and my tummy didn't fill up that much. I think I could follow up on this!

2 out of the 6 bottles I have to take everyday are lemon maple juices, which are very easy to make. I think for my next attempt at making fad diets work, I should retry the lemonade diet and modify it so that I get to eat solid foods still. Day 1 kindof worked for me in a way cos I drink and eat lightly every 2 hours.

Now that I've disclosed my future diet plans, let's forget about it.
Hey! Long time no food post!

I'll get straight to the point, Buffalo's Wings n Things serves the hottest sauce in the history of sauces. But that's coming from someone who'll run at the scent of Tabasco, so don't take me seriously lol. My boyfriend, however, loves spicy foods and wanted to know if their spiciest of 1,000,000 SHU measures up to the chili sauce the siomai vendor sells at their church. Spoiler: it does.

Scoville Heat Units (SHU) is a unit of measurement that determines how spicy a chili pepper is. The higher the hotter. Record holder for world's hottest pepper right now is the Carolina Reaper, rated 2.2 million SHU. Tabasco is rated at 30,000 - 50,000 SHU, Jalapeno at 3,500 - 10,000 SHU, and Pimento at 100-1,000 SHU. Can you imagine how 1 million SHU tastes like? You couldn't taste fire.

I have very low tolerance for spicy foods but I got curious when Jeckie ordered Ultimate Wingsanity (the spiciest on the menu). What could be so spicy that you had to sign a waiver to relieve the restaurant of any liability related to a possible suffering? So I poked a bit into his plate just to try it out, and well...

IT WAS HELL. The spiciness lingered for hours and that's just a teeny tiny drop of their hottest sauce.
No wonder they require you to sign a waiver before taking on their extremely hot chicken wings (but not really cos we had to remind them about it, and they served us tenders cos they didn't have wings yet that hour).


Here's a peek at the menu and the waiver. They have over 10 signature sauces arranged in increasing spiciness. Take your pick, I chose one of the mildest, Chipotle Lime cos I'm lame like that.

Chipotle Lime
And Jeckie took the hottest on the list,

Ultimate Wingsanity
and earned bragging rights with it!


They have a promo every 2pm-5pm where you get a plate of chicken plus NY dirty rice for just ₱99. Super good deal! My meal reminded me of a deconstructed chicken burrito. Their salsa is amazing!

Complete menu:




Will definitely come back!

Buffalo's Wings N' Things
SM North Edsa Annex, UGF