this boy is loved

ñigo Miguel is an ever adorable nephew! He's the 2-year old son of my cousin Ella and I haven't seen them both since they left for Cyprus about 4 years ago. Yeah, I only see this little darling in pictures since Ella gave birth to him there. But with the help of Facebook, Cyprus seems like a stone's throw away from where I live! They have no plans yet of visiting us back home here. When they do come for a visit, I am definite it's going to be a merry reunion for us all!

Since I only get to see how charming
Iñigo is in photos, I thought of making a scrap of him. This photo of him candidly touching fresh, yellow flowers is one of my favorites. To scrap it, I made use of a quickpage made by Denny. She used the Sweet Autumn kit of Lisete. Although it wasn't autumn when Iñigo's photo was taken, I think this quickpage highlighted the yellow flowers in the picture.

More quickpages soon!

this blog turns 2

You read it right. This blog turns 2 years old today! I have been a deliquent blogger several times by neglecting this little corner of mine. But after all the lethargic and sluggish days, my blog has survived! So here's a simple scrap with a 2-layered cake to announce to the blogosphere that it's a day to celebrate.
Credit for this little birthday announcement I made goes to: Numb Bumm for the 2-layered cake embellishment and Nicole for the paper from her One Day I'll Fly Away kit.

My blog wishes more blogging years together. More creatively crafted digital scrapbooks. More well-composed photos. More useful freebies. And more spirited blog hopping and blog link exchanges! Cheers blogmates!


refreshing moment

Oh! How I love a cold and rainy Friday night. With no work-related tasks to think of, it definitely feels relaxing to hear the sound of rain tapping on the roof. It is so relaxing I have here another digital scrapbook layout! The secret is that, it's another quickpage. All I had to do was look for a picture that suits the title "Refreshing Moment". And that photo is from our Coffee Farmhouse weekend.

This is a quickpage made from the Raindrops kit created by May S. This QP was creatively crafted by a scrapper who was generous enough to make a freebie out of the kit. That's you Denny! Like what I said, your LOs are really inspiring! I hope to see more freebies from you soon.

smile. beauty. sun.

It has been quite awhile since I last posted a digital scrapbook layout. Although I have always wanted to scrap our latest out-of-town photos, I just couldn't. Our computer here at home seems to be asking for a replacement by being a pain in the a**. How? By moving in terribly slow motion whenever I lay-out with photoshop. Anyway, I shouldn't be ranting here. Because finally, I have a layout to post!

I used a photo of my husband during our weekend in The Coffee Farmhouse in Alfonso, Cavite. And yes, I must admit. This one's a quickpage I used from Julie. She used a kit purchased from Enchanted Studio Scraps. Julie added a note that says "I see your smile in the beauty of the sun". This freebie she shared is so beautiful I clicked the download logo right away.

Stay tuned my dear blogmates. More digital scrap layouts are coming soon. But for now, I would have to stick with quickpages.
And to be handy, I hoarded a lot of other QPs! Now that's being resourceful!


freebie: printable thank you card

It's give-away time! I felt a little creative this afternoon and thought of making a printable Thank You card. Like before, it is for free! All you have to do is click the link below and download it. I have also included a short Thank-You note on the page that says "Even the little things you do make a huge difference in my life".

Printable Thank You Card Cover

Printable Thank You Card Page

Credit goes to Sande Krieger for her Mary, Mary Quite Contrary kit. I got it for free, thus, I made something from it for free too! Click HERE to download. Don't forget to show me some love by leaving a comment. It will inspire me to make more freebies!


freebies: live, laugh, love stationary pad

I remember back in elementary and high school how my friends and I would show off our collection of stationary pads during break time. We would fondly collect those pads in various colors and designs. Gladly, we would trade one for a more unique collection. Back in those days, having a number of colored sheets completes the simplicity of our day.

Now that we have access to digital scrapbook kits and photoshop, we can make our own stationary pads. We are able to customize it according to our preferred color and design. I am now sharing 3 stationary pads you might wish to have. I have made 3 designs in 3 hues, all of which comes with a tag that says "Live well. Laugh often. Love much".

Blue Stationary Pad

Pink Stationary Pad

Yellow Stationary Pad

Credit for the kits I used goes to Anne Langpap from her Two Peas in a Bucket Freebie Collection. Get these stationary pads at this LINK
for free! Don't forget to show me some love by leaving a comment if you liked what you downloaded. It will inspire me to make more freebies!


forest club: an earthly terrain

A month before my mother-in-law's birthday, Gino and I thought of giving her a surprise birthday treat. We considered dinner at a fancy restaurant offering authentic Filipino cuisine. But then, that is not something out of the ordinary. We searched the internet and found this not so new tourist destination in the heart of Laguna. The next thing we knew, we were confirming our reservation for a daytour package for 6 adults and 1 child at Php525 per pax inclusive of 3 meals!

Gino and I loving the rainforest ambiance
at the Forest Club

The Forest Club is an earthly terrain found in Barangays Puypuy and Masaya in Bay, Laguna. A family owned resort, once you enter the gates of Forest Club, you will feel the warm Filipino hospitality with the way its staff welcome you. You will feel quite lost in the vast landscape with tall trees, abundant flowers in various hues and the sound of cascading water on the hot-spring pool.

My quiet moment by the hot-spring pool
with the sound of cascading water
from the man-made falls

The Forest Club has various activities for its guests depending on a group's needs. An ideal teambuilding venue, eco-adventure programs such as Survival, Trust and Field, Filipino and Pool games may be availed at a reasonable rate. Imagine facing your fear of heights by traversing a 10-foot high canopy walk. Or braving a mud-filled 25-meter long crawl course. How about testing your strength by pulling yourself at the bamboo raft floating on the 2-feet deep man-made lagoon?

Gino trying the bamboo raft

My mother-in-law had an incredible time at the Forest Club last weekend. It gave her another chance to bond with my mom. As we left the gates of this tourist venue from our daytour trip, we all had one and the same judgement for Forest Club: at a reasonable rate, the experience it provides its guests is world-class!

More photos HERE.

The Forest Club is found at Barangays Puypuy and Masaya in Bay Laguna, right after University of the Philippines in Los Banos. It is about a 2-hour travel time from Manila. To see instructions on how to get there by private or public transportation, click HERE. To know more about the Forest Club, visit their website HERE.

another red tag sale

If I didn't pass by SM Megamall yesterday morning, I wouldn't have known Megatrade Hall was having another Red Tag Sale on branded shoes. Offering 40-70% discount from September 16-20, the Red Tag Sale features the following footwear brands: Skechers, Rockport, Vans, Sandugo, Tribu, Dupe, Anta, Outland, Sonnix, Rider and Ed Hardy. Aside from bringing your cash, you have to be equipped with your decision-making skills if you wish to drop by. Why? Because there are a lot of cheap but fashionable finds you wouldn't know which one to get!

It took me and my husband hours before he could decide which pair of training shoes to get. An hour of fitting on the various pairs he liked didn't help him choose. To give him a breather, we went out of the Megatrade Hall, heard mass and ate a hearty dinner at Wham. With our tummies full, Gino was keen on finally choosing and buying his pair of training shoes. In 30 minutes, he had 2 pairs infront of him, still undecided which one to get. After asking me to choose the pair I wanted for him, he goes to the cashier paying for the pair I didn't choose.

Now who says girls are indecisive?


food for the soul 09.2009

Being persistent is extremely important when you are trying to implement a change in your life. You will accomplish much more by constantly trying than constantly giving up. Consistency is how you build a solid foundation. Without consistency forming good habits to replace bad ones or new habits to make life better will be virtually impossible. Of course, there will be failure…but that is when persistence becomes even more important. You must remind yourself of the concept two steps forward, one step back. You will overcome the failure and bypass it with even more success. - SPARKPEOPLE


hippie mommies

It is amazing to have mothers like them --- spirited and passionate! Spirited because they gamely battled the mud-filled soil of Forest Club, oblivious of the fact that their once brightly-colored toenails turned into an ugly shade of brown. Passionate because of the enthusiasm seen through their eyes over the grand display of hued flowers, blooming plants and aged trees. In short, my mom and my mother-in-law are hippie mommies!

Mama and Nanay during one of their
bonding moments in Forest Club

It was a surprise birthday treat for my mother-in-law. Obviously, she was blown away with the daytour adventure we had in store for her. She did not expect such a rare surprise! But looking at this photo of her with my mom sitting at the poolside casita made me realize it was I who had the biggest surprise of my life! The realization of having 2 hippie mommies is amazing. They are my real gems!


meet polly pocket

Given the rare chance to be in your lonesome with an ample amount of time, what would you rather do? Find company? Or enjoy your solitude?

After the suspension of classes this morning, the faculty were allowed to go home early. Despite the heavy downpour, I had to go straight to Robinson's Galleria to buy a new umbrella for my husband. I was planning to pay for the first umbrella I see. Spending several minutes before I could choose which color to buy, I finally picked out the green one. Why the green one? Because I decided to give Gino my old umbrella and use this new one instead. Mean? Yeah, I could sometimes be one.

As I walked around the mall still in my lonesome but ready to go home, I passed by Toy's R Us. It felt kinda odd but the establishment was trying to pull me in. Without even thinking why, I obliged and went in. The next thing I knew, I was handing the cashier my 500 peso bill. Blogmates, meet my new friend --- Polly Pocket!

Polly Pocket sporting a blonde bob cut
looking pretty in her pink floral top and pink skirt

Polly's trendy pink bag

Polly's little pink shoes

My husband can't help but laugh as I proudly showed him my new toy. The child in me just had to buy it. Aside from reminding me of my childhood, dear old Polly will come as a handy subject in my photo shoots. And these 3 shots are just the beginning of Polly's new career as my model!

So how did I spend
the rare chance to be in my lonesome? I enjoyed my solitude by looking around the toy shop. Eventually, I found company by adopting Polly Pocket!


freebies: september 2009 wallpaper

Admit it! We all love freebies. The surprising September long weekend made me feel a humble rise on my creative juices. I thought, why not be generous in sharing some desktop September 2009 wallpapers. Come to think of it, it has been months since I last played with my digital scrapbook kits. And now, here are some freebies I am sharing with the blogosphere. Grab them anytime!

Teal-colored September 2009 wallpaper

Citrus-colored September 2009 wallpaper

Pink-colored September 2009 wallpaper

Credit goes to Michelle Coleman for the kit I used. I made just 1 layout but in 3 variations --- teal, citrus and pink. To download these freebies, click HERE. Don't forget to show me some love by leaving a comment if you liked what you downloaded. It will inspire me to make more freebies!


dramatic lighting

If you are observant enough, you would notice how a decorative lamp can create a dramatic ambiance in a room. Aside from its practical use of illuminating a particular space in your home, stylish lamps help compose the color, warmth and mood a homeowner wants to achieve. But with several factors to consider in buying light fixtures, how does one choose a good lamp?

Low voltage lamps are the types usually used in museums and art galleries. These are used to highlight a specific object to aesthetically define its look. Although it produces white light, we rarely use low voltage lamps in our homes since these are fire hazards. To create a homey feel, it is a common thing to see fancy desk and floor lamps in living rooms. I especially love the antique feel a stained glass lamp conveys. It is beautiful and a classic interior decoration for your home without sacrificing its function.

In general, in purchasing a good lamp, a buyer has to consider both functionality and its aesthetic look. It would help to look around your room and ponder on what mood you really want to create. Naturally, aside from these 2 factors, one has to consider the budget too!


the coffee farmhouse: a hushed sanctuary

Tucked in the outskirts of Tagaytay lies a hushed sanctuary unknown to many travelers. Located in Alfonso, Cavite, the Coffee Farmhouse is a laid-back destina
tion that provides its guests a domestic and friendly setting. Owned by Bert and Bebet Arenal, the vast landscape was acquired by the retiring couple in 2002 as a vacation destination for the family. With friends and relatives constantly persuading them, Tito Bert and Tita Bebet finally decided to open the gates of the farm for explorers to experience serene days in the farmhouse.

Gino in his quiet moment by the hammock
(this would make a lovely flyer of the farm)

Blessed with lush coffee trees and flowering plants, the scenery itself in the Coffee Farmhouse casts a spell of tranquility to a tired and weary soul. It is a place where one would enjoy walking on the dew-filled grass while admiring colorful flowers spread out everywhere. Hammocks, age-old wooden benches and swings made from tree branches are found in various nooks for guests to rest, reflect and give praise to God. Outdoor and indoor activities for the able-bodied may be enjoyed too.

The dew-filled grass and the finer details
found in the Coffee Farmhouse

A very reasonable overnight rate at Php2,075 per head provides guests the use of adequate amenities and facilities. The rate is inclusive of 7 appealing buffet meals --- 3 snacks, lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day. With the abundant supply of coffee beans available in the farm, guests get to enjoy a warm cup of coffee anytime of the day.

Gino and I with Tito Bert Arenal

Above everything the Coffee Farmhouse offers, what separates them from the rest of vacation destinations is the homey feel the owners generously provide their guests. From picking you up in the main road of Tagaytay down to cooking your delightful meals, Tito Bert and Tita Bebet will be there to serve you with all humility.

More photos HERE.

The Coffee Farmhouse is located at #
23 Palumlum-Matagbak Road -Brgy. Palumlum, Alfonso, Cavite, about 2-hour drive from Manila. To get there by public transportation, ride a van bound to Nasugbu via Tagaytay. The terminal is at the Starmall parking lot in Crossings, EDSA. Tell the driver to drop you off at Splendido. By private car, take Sta. Rosa exit in South Super Highway. Head straight to Tagaytay Rotonda. Familiar landmarks would be the Casino, Robinsons Mall, Mushroom Burger and Mendez Market. Stop by Splendido. From here, whether you have your car or commuting, Tito Bert will pick you up. For reservations, call 0928-5000599 or email thecoffeefarmhouse@gmail.com. Accomodations are as follows: daytour with buffet lunch, snacks and free use of facilities at Php725 per head, an overnight stay inclusive of 7 buffet meals, free use of facilities and room accomodation at Php2,075 per head. Both packages come with an overflowing cup of coffee. Visit their website HERE.


the other side of darkness

For almost a year, I missed using my Canon Powershot A530. The rechargeable batteries were defective already and I was pressured to purchase a new pair for our weekend trip. Armed with new Energizer batteries, I aimed my ever reliable point and shoot camera to this old lamp by our bedside table in our Coffee Farmhouse room. I wanted to make sure its manual mode is back to its old self --- with that ability to take dramatic night photos. And what I have below, left me speechless.

On the other side of darkness,
far away, there shines a light.
A light to end all sorrow.
A light to be ever free.
A light for a new tomorrow.
- Raja Sivaji

Title of the Photo: The Other Side of Darkness
Date Taken: August 29, 2009
Canon Powershot A530

ant bully

Whether we admit it or not, each of us have fears. Some are scared of tangible things while others are fearful of certain circumstances in their lives. Without any hesitation, I confess to be a part of the first scared group.

I turn into a scared cat whenever I see creepy crawlies. The mere sight of ants, bugs or whatever insect, make the hair on my skin rise like a mad soldier. But the sight of these 2 ants bullying each other in the vast landscape of the Coffee Farmhouse was something I couldn't resist. For a few seconds, I bravely faced my phobia of insects and took a snapshot of them, pushing each other!

Title of the Photo: Ant Bully
Date Taken: August 29, 2009
Canon Digital Ixus 80 IS