the holiday project

The minute my husband and I learned about tomorrow being a holiday, we got excited as we began planning how we would spend it. Will we go on a WednesDATE? Will we clean our home? Ow will we stay in the roofdeck and have a bottle of beer?

I suggested that we go to Dapitan Arcade in Kanlaon St.in Quezon City and look for Christmas decors. He agreed it was a nice chance for us to haggle the prices for pre-Christmas shopping. I also suggested going to Farmer's Market to buy seafoods. Which he agreed to because he wanted me to try a new recipe I found (gambas baby, gambas!) But then again, I have 3 worth-watching movies in my flashdisk and they're shouting "Watch us tomorrow!" We have the Jet Li-Jackie Chan starrer
Forbidden Kingdom, the 1993 true-to-life film of the Uruguayan team trapped in the Andes mountains entitled Alive and the 1989 humor-filled movie called Weekend at Bernie's.

Hahaha, isn't it funny? After all the planning, the holiday project becomes a lousy popcorn day.

coffee break ver. 1.38

His parents must have been so frustrated to see him the moment he came out of this world. Why? They named him Granada. What's wrong with the name? Because his last name is Sabug. Yeah blogosphere... Meet Granada Sabug.

Her parents must really love the Holiday Season. For all we know, a lot of monumental happenings in their lives might have transpired during Christmas. Or maybe they simply love the decorations during this season. Why? Because they named her Christmas Tree.

And so I did my research and these are the weirdest names I found on-line. Jack Pot. Bill Ding. Dick Sweat. Heaven Lee. Moe Lester. Booger Mountain North Carolina. Sexmoan Pampanga (now changed to Sasmuan). Vevherly from Survivor Philippines.

This post has no intention of insulting any person or place. If it has, my apologies. In behalf of my blogmates who will participate in this post, we simply wish to have a good laugh amidst all the financial crises the world is experiencing. Thus, the birth of this post.


my husband has the virus

My husband has been hit by the virus! The blogging virus, that is.

Over the weekend, he kept contemplating if he could maintain his own place in the blogosphere. "What would be the theme of my blog? How shall I call it? Will I have my own pool of avid readers?" Being articulate himself and assertive of his thoughts, I am absolutely sure he would have his own crowd. Although I advised him not to let his blog appear to aggressive, of course I fully support him of entering the blogosphere! For the longest time, I have been convincing him to let the world listen to everything he's got to say. Whether it be about politics, education, computer hacking, money matters, parenting or shopping --- my husband always has a thousand kick-a$@ words to say!

Blogmates, I'm pretty sure you'll read his posts too. Don't worry. He's not after paid blogging. He just wants to speak his mind. Abangan!

the 5 people you meet in heaven (the movie)

All endings are also beginnings.
Read the book first. And then see its theatrical version.

The 5 People You Meet in Heaven, a book written by Mitch Albom, is a must-read for anyone thirsting for the meaning of life. The story plot is mainly about Eddie (played by Jon Voight) who dies at the age of 83 after he saves a young girl in the circus. As you go through the chapters of the book, you'll agree with Albom in the concept that all lives are interconnected, directly or indirectly.

To watch the film version of the book, download it HERE for free.

first paid post

Can you believe that! Finally, a paid post. What a lovely birthday gift for my blog! I have been waiting for a task from Blogsvertise and I did after such a long wait. Oh dear, I didn't know it could feel this exciting! Now that I've done it, I think I'm ready to try on the other paid blogging sites.

Baby steps, Jan.... Baby steps!


candle fascination

Since my teen days, I have always been fascinated with candles. Its colors. Its scents. Its small flame. Lighting an ordinary tea candle even puts me in a trance whenever I'm in my lonesome. I remember back then, wishing that I would learn in time to make my own candle designs.

And just yesterday, I found a place where I could purchase candle making supplies! Candle-making is as easy as 1-2-3 because they sell various candle jars for you to use in molding your preferred candle design. They have votive candle molds, tart designs, brick candle molds and even crescent moon molds. Now wouldn't that keep you glued to candle-making as a hobby!

Of course, candle-making wouldn't be complete without adding a lovely scent to it that would match your personality. With various fragrance oils offered at CandleScience gift-giving this coming Holiday season will definitely be much easier. I would love to try their Coconut Lime Verbana and Rain Water scents. I think that would be a great gift to my UP buddies. Ever heard of soy wax? That's a new innovation in candle-making. At CandleScience, they even offer you a video showing candle-making using soy wax. This new discovery gives me more reason to get excited about Christmas. Now all I need to do is learn the skills of candle-making!


1st birthday

Guess whose birthday we are celebrating today... Drumroll please! Tadan!

Credits: Bonnie of Silver Rocket
Scraps_Birthday Cake Freebie
Kim Jones_Lollipop Kit

As my blog blows its candle, it wishes for a longer life in the blogosphere. Cheers!


haven for booklovers

This is currently my favorite place in the net. It's a haven for booklovers like me! And the best part of it all is that --- it's for FREE!

Aside from ebooks and magazines, the site also has audiobooks which keep me company whenever I'm on the road or just bored. Believe it or not, through this free site, my husband was able to download an audiobook of all Harry Potter series! Now isn't that an awesome find!

Dear blogmates, have your own share of these freebies. Check out http://www.freeebooksdownload.net now!

minicamp 2008 logo

I'm almost done doing my presentation for our Mini-Leadership Camp tomorrow. I took the job of designing this year's logo. And to show it to you, here it is.

Credits: Sueli Colbert_my moment kit

I am pretty sure the class officers will have a blast tomorrow. The activities and lecture we have prepared are really helpful and entertaining. Be posting updates tomorrow! Oh, and by the way, wish me luck with my talk.


food for the soul 09.2008

You are not the wave. You are part of the ocean.
-Tuesdays with Morrie

october calendar

Six days to go and it will be another month ahead. I recently finished our October calendar and I'd like to share it with the blogosphere. So, here it is.

Credits found here.

Oh dear, I am so addicted to minimalist designs. It is obvious, isn't it. And just to show you how addicted I am to minimalism... I have convinced my husband to re-design our house too! Yipeee! Been reading and researching about interior designing so I would understand the concept of minimalism more.


coffee break ver. 1.37

Since I am preoccupied this week with stuff related to leadership (see related post), I think it is okay for me to bring that up as a topic in coffee break.

In high school, I remember my teachers always appointing me as a leader, be it in a group activity or as a class officer. Guess what I would do... Refuse the position being assigned to me. I just didn't like responsibilities. I wanted to be normal --- meaning, free to do what I want, unmindful of whatever people will think of
me. To me, being a leader meant that you have to be a role-model. You have to be cautious of your words and actions because you are influential. You are the motivator and inspiration. And back then, I didn't want to be one.

Up to this age, I would still try to run away from leadership tasks. This time though, I simply cannot. Gone are the days when I can sweet talk my teachers to spare me the role. Now, I realize that there will come a time in a person's life that we really have to step up and play certain leadership roles. I say certain because I bel
ieve that we are all leaders in our own ways. The only difference is that some people are born leaders while others are made. And I think I fall in the latter.


qualities of a good leader

Pardon me if I won't be posting that much this week. I'm a busy bee again. Not that I'm complaining. I actually love what I'm working on.

On Friday, we will be having a Mini-Leadership Camp for our Lower School 3 to Middle School 5 class officers. And I was hand-picked by our School Directress (wink, wink!) to give a talk on the Qualities of a Good Leader.

I'm half-way through preparing my modules, powerpoint presentation and hand-outs. But will still try to blog. Coffee break will be up soon! I'm still thinking of a nice topic.=)

new nike shoes

First of all, I apologize. You won't appreciate this post that much because I don't have a photo attached with it. But I hope you still read it.

Saturday was a tiring yet a day full of discovery for me and my husband as we explored every corner of the Marikina Riverbanks Mall. My gosh... the outlet stores they have there are worth seeing! I got so excited I didn't get to buy anything for myself! But it's perfectly okay, really. Why? Drum roll please... Because my husband was able to buy a new pair of Nike shoes for an eye-popping bargain prize of Php1,350.00! Its original prize? Php2,030.00! That's an amazing 66% discount!

While on our way home, my husband and I listed down our Christmas gift list. With all the original and brand new-yet-discounted items we have found there, we'll surely make our loved ones happy this Holiday season.

Be going back to Riverbanks Mall this coming weekend. For my stuff this time! <wink wink>



We celebrated my mom-in-law's birthday last Saturday at La Maison in Trinoma. It was a tummy filling lunch we all had. And of course, in every occasion, a load of shots are taken to keep the memories warm. Below is a scrap of Jill (my sister-in-law), her son Terrence and the birthday celebrant, my mom-in-law.

Credits found here.

A smile is a language even a baby understands.
It costs nothing but it creates much.

Although I used 3 colors in this scrap, I would still add this to my minimalist series. Why not. I used just 3 embellishments. And the colors are somehow close to each other (pink and red orange, sky blue and navy blue).


coffee break ver. 1.36

Individuals from my generation would surely know him. I mean, who could ever forget him. The street-smart guy who has the ability to do whatever needs to be done with barely nothing at all. His ultimate secret? His awesome creativity in making something out of what's available. Clever indeed. That's Macgyver, the guy who could make a bomb out of toothpicks and a can of soda.

While watching Fox Crime in cable the other night, a commercial was shown and I just couldn't believe what I was looking at! Re-runs of Macgyver in another cable channel! What a surprise! Now that brought me back to memory lane.



Seriously wanting to create my first minimalist series, I ended up making a scrap that somehow carried a melancholic mood. Yet it still had that calming minimalist look.

Lately, something here don't feel right
This is just the half-life
Without you I am breaking down
Wake me, I wanna see the daylight
Save me from this half-life
-from the song Half-life, sang by Duncan Sheik

The key in creating a minimalist scrap is the photo and the use of 1-2 color tones with a limited number of embellishments.



This is a truly interesting find. Colorstrology. It seeks to describe your personality and colour tone based on your date of birth. With my birthday falling on the 17th of August, here is what colorstrology says about me.

Click the image for a larger view.

My Profile: You have an enormous amount of depth and awareness. Capable of seeing what is hidden, you are a light for others as they move through troubled or uncharted waters. Taking actions and making mistakes are important parts to your evolution. Learning to express yourself fearlessly is a life-giving exercise. Your personal color guards you against discouragement and obsession. Wearing, meditating or surrounding yourself with mecca orange supports joy and renewal.

Wow. Deep. Healer. Perceptive. Am I really like that? Is that why I am a school counselor? Let's see what's your colorstrology. I'm passing this to Vien, Jannesse, Farah, Rocks and Joanne. Just click HERE to see your colors! Quick! I'm so excited to know more about you. Tell me when you're done, okay?

guess? usa outlet store sale

Calling those who are on a budget like me. You will definitely love this news I found in the
Marikina Riverbanks site. Guess? USA is having a special event sale in all their outlet stores in the Philippines! The big outlet sale runs from September 12-30.

Click the image for a bigger view.

A Guess? USA outlet store I know is the one in the Riverbanks Mall which is very near the entrance. So... I'll see you there this weekend!

invading trinoma

Before I start with my post, promise first that you won't laugh at me. C'mon... Say it. P-R-O-M-I-S-E. Alright, that will do. Now here goes.

Last Saturday was my first ever visit to Trinoma. Wait! You promised you won't laugh at me! Why do I see your mouth stretching!

Let me explain. I am NOT a mall rat. My husband and I only go to malls if we need to buy something. That would mean just one mall. Robinson's Galleria (because it's so close to our home). We would rather dine out in stand-alone restaurants (is there such a term?) than go to the crowdy malls. I just can't stand it when people brush over my shoulders!

But last Saturday, we just had to go to Trinoma because it was my mother-in-law's birthday blow-out, sponsored by us (and my sister-in-law). And boy, was I amazed at what I saw! Most of the establishments my hubby and I go to are there! Dairy Queen. Taco Bell. Gerry's Grill. Sbarro. Mexicali. Yellow Cab. California Pizza Kitchen. Brother's Burger. Bubba Gump. Chef D' Angelo. Italliani's. Congo Grill. Not to mention the other Must-Try restaurants we have seen featured in various TV shows! And then the clothing and shoe stores are there too! Bayo. Ginger Snaps. Apple & Eve. Freeway. Kamiseta. Maldita. Kashieca. Plains & Prints. People are People. Kisses & Co. Celine. Alberto. Shoe Salon. Aldo. VNC. Schu. And the soon to open Charles & Keith. Of course, there's Adidas and Nike for our I-wanna-be-sporty side!

With such a long post, is it too obvious how much I love Trinoma? Hehehe.


funday friday

It's my favorite day of the week! It's Funday Friday! Who wouldn't love this day, huh? Everyone loves Fridays! Although I have several tasks in my To-Do list today, I don't really mind at all. Anyway, it's the weekend tomorrow and it's my mom-in-law's birthday celebration too!

I'm sending this cute Funday Friday tag to my favorite blogmates Jannesse, Joy, Joanne and Vannie. Happy weekend girls!

JellyMuffin.com - The place for profile layouts, flash generators, glitter graphics, backgrounds and codes


the clown in me

Being a school counselor can sometimes be very challenging. Wait, did I just say sometimes? What I mean is... it's a 101% challenging job. Yet, it's ultimately fulfilling too!

All day long you hear ranting. But there are some raving too. You hear cries. But you hear laughter too. You help them accept failure. But you also celebrate with their triumphs.

And sometimes, a school counselor acts like a clown, making funny noises and weird facial gestures... just to make your counselee come out of her shell.

Just 5 minutes ago, I was the weirdest looking clown as I tried to make my poker-faced counselee smile. Was I successful? She left my office with her face as red as an apple!

Photo credits: Clown by Sailor and Widow


beckham's new do

There goes Mrs. David Beckham sporting a new do.

I find it really sophisticated. Although most blogs I read didn't quite like it, personally, I think it looks good on her.

If you're an icon, you can pretty much wear whatever hairstyle you want and you would still have heads turning.

coffee break ver. 1.35

By now, because of what happened to my father, the blogosphere knows and have proven the enormous power of prayers. At this moment, Papa has been transferred to another room, safe from harm and away from ICU. Again, my sincerest thank you to everyone who prayed with me and my family!

With that, I think it is but timely for us to talk about the power of prayer. I am sure, whatever your religion is, you have your own story to share on how your life has been changed because you called out to Him.


korean jackstone craze

Ever heard of the Korean jackstone? That's the latest craze here in our school.

It's the same as our country's, except that it looks different and you won't need a ball to be able to play with it. The Korean jackstones come in a hexagonal shape in various colors. It has grain-like particles inside which give it some weight.

So why am I writing about it here? This week, our school is having its first ever Korean Jackstone Tournament. House points are at stake!

miracles do happen

I believe that my Papa was warmly and lovingly touched by our Lord. I got a text message from my tita just now. This is how the message goes:

Tita Inday: Good morning. Ok na Papa mo.
He can raise his left arm and foot.
He won't be paralyzed, said
the doctors. It's a miracle,
everyone here is saying.
Praise the Lord!

It is in times like this when you feel hugged by our Lord. It is His way of telling us all that whatever challenges may come our way, He will always carry us.

My dear friends and blogmates... I sincerely thank you for all the prayers you offered for Papa. Miracles do happen. And we just proved it.

Photo Credits: Prayer by Bluwi


prayers needed

I'm calling out to the blogosphere for prayers for my dad.

He suffered a mild stroke Saturday afternoon and is still in the ICU up to this time. A blood clot was seen and as each day passes, sadly, he is able to move his left body parts less and less. His speech has become slurred. He barely recognizes his visitors too.

Your prayers are very much needed.



This is one of the rare times that I create a digiscrap featuring just me. I wanted to try something different with my latest scraps. And I thought being minimalist with the design would really be pleasant. Here is my first, of hopefully a series of minimalist digiscraps.


the sacre milestone

I just got a call from my husband telling me to check out a certain website.

It seemed like his officemates were bored at work and so they tried typing his name in google, just to see if something would pop out. And guess what they found. His salutatory address back in High School at Sacred Heart Academy in Novaliches! Oh dear, the world wide web never fails to amuse me!

Yep, yep, yep! My husband is one smart kid! Ssshh. This is not to compare us, okay. My husband graduated salutatorian in his school, I finished valedictorian in my school. Ssshh again.

If you are curious and want to read what my husband said in his graduation, click this LINK.

RTV auditions

I just sat down as one of the judges in our RTV musical instrument auditions!

RTV or Reedley Talent and Variety Show happens every after 2 years. It's a showcase of various skills and talents our students (even teachers) have. This year's theme is Glamour and it will happen on February 10, 2009 at the AFP Theater.

I am a certified music-lover. Everyone probably knows that already. I can listen and appreciate any genre. And if given the chance, I would love to learn to play the piano or the violin. Having said that, you guys now know that I have zero knowledge in playing instruments. So, how in the world was I chosen to judge?

Upper School students playing Canon D

But the experience of sitting there and appreciating these students' gifts was superb! It was the most amazing 60 minutes of my week!

pilates for dummies

Believe it or not. My husband downloaded me a full-length video of Pilates for Dummies. Why? Because I really need one. Buzz. Reality check! My fats have found their comfort zones in my body. Lower tummy area, arms and legs. And it's so frustrating to see cellulites on my used-to-be-firm thighs. Arrgh!

My husband said, "We can't go to the beach next summer looking like this", also referring to his bulging tummy. My husband has grown so conscious like me! But he's not going to do Pilates. He has his own routine. I'm sure it's going to be very challenging for me. But as Michelle Dozois said in the video, do it one at a time until your body begins to adjust to the routines.

I hope to try on it this weekend.=)


you smell like a donut

Err... I need help here. You see, the minute I came in school today, I got a hug from a Lower School 3 student. She hugged me so tight and it made me feel so appreciated! It took away all my frustration of this morning's traffic. (As if feeling frustrated would solve it.)

And then she looked at me and said sweetly, "Ms. Magtoto, you smell like a donut!"

Uhhmm... Is that a compliment? Because I would love to think that it is. Hahaha!

Photo Credits: Cascadegon pory of www.deviantart.com


spread the christmas spirit

I really can't help it. The Christmas spirit is all over me! As you can see, I changed my blog's playlist to our favorite Christmas carols. And I thought, it would be really lovely to spread this joyful spirit I have now to the blogosphere. You'd be willing to help me, right?

It's so simple. This is how it goes! Copy the photo below then write your blog and your wish this Christmas 2008. Your wish has to be something PRICELESS and SELF- LESS... something that money can't buy... something that another person will treasure dearly.

1. Bits and Pieces by Jan :: I wish Gino and I will be able to convince friends to help us sponsor a simple Christmas party for the children of White Cross Children's Home in San Juan.
2. Your Link Here.

I'm passing this to my blogmates Abie, Eds, Farah, Jannesse, Joanne and Mari. Tag as many as you can!

coffee break ver. 1.34

Believe it or not, I just finished texting everyone in my phonebook their very first Christmas greeting! Why not... It's only 115 days before Jesus is born! And it really is something to look forward to, despite every bad thing we see whenever we watch the news. And my husband is so excited too! On his part, he started playing Christmas carols already!

Christmas tree. Lanterns. Simbang gabi. Holiday shopping. Bibingka. Red cardigan. Josh Groban singing Holy Night. Forgiveness. Love. These are the things I love most about Christmas.