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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Something For The Homebody: Gardening

Gardening is one of Tibs's favorite hobbies (he's only got 2 anyways - the gadgets and that - lolz). Our neighbors would always compliment our landscaping and would express their awe when told that Tibs did it (with minimal help from the village gardeners) himself. 

Getting Down and Dirty
When we're anticipating our favorite lazy weekends, he would make sure to squeeze in some garden time. Kitchen time (and of late i'm also starting to enjoy Crafts time) is my therapy, his would be this. He would look forward to dropping by the garden shop and would never come home empty handed. Most of the flowers and plants in our garden though were either given to us by friendly neighbors, by the village gardeners or brought home by us from a visit to Angeles or Antique. Come to think of it, most of the garden expenses were for the soil, fertilizer and grass. The garden just came to be this beautiful because of all the effort (read: hardwork) that Tibs's painstakingly put into it. Now, this part of our home has become our favorite corner. Maia and I would usually hold our arts and crafts sessions here. On lazy afternoons, we would just plop on the grass and munch on meryenda. When my parents come over to visit, they would come out and prefer to have their morning coffee here. 
everyone else is down on the ground except me hehe
Watching Tibs work in the garden has somehow inspired me to challenge my planting skills. And when I saw a Maqui's herb garden, that got me inspired even more to pursue Tibs' suggestion of me taking up a corner of the garden and turning it into my own herb garden. We've already have some sweet basil, tarragon, oregano and peppermint growing in there but I'm hoping to add more herbs and prettify this corner. I already have this set this in my summer goals. Hopefully before the rainy season kicks in, my plants will all be thriving already and could already withstand the rains.  
Italian Oregano and flowering Tarragon
I know this is me dreaming big again but I'm hoping that with me doing this, we will be able to encourage Maia to be more conscious of her environment, to learn to care for it and to raise her to be a nature lover. Model what you intend your child to be, right? I could only hope we're doing the right thing here.
this basil plant is now all over our garden. it was surprisingly easy to grow and i didn't even have to intervene with it's propagation (hahaha)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chocolate Fire

I like surprises. But unfortunately I'm married to someone who's not fond of it. So surprises are rare in my romantic world because it is really tasking for him to pull off. He's tried a couple of times, but he always ends up spilling the beans before the actual surprise happens. No issue there. I've already accepted the reality of me not ever getting surprises on birthdays and special occasions when I decided to marry the guy. Hehe.

What makes my heart flutter though is knowing that even if he really, really abhors Valentine's day (he thinks it's really more of a commercialism thing rather than a special occasion) he still goes the extra mile to come home with a special treat for me. For the past 2 Valentine's days he's been getting my chocolate treats from this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful chocolate shop in Salcedo Village in Makati. And all I can say is their chocolates are heaven on earth. I've been constantly craving for them eversince Tibs first brought a few of them home. Last year, we spent our anniversary dinner in their quaint + quiet resto (same location as the shop). (Mental note: schedule another dinner with the hubby there. food is great and the hot chocolate is just heavenly!) **notice how many times I've mentioned the word heavenly in this paragraph. i really suck at food/resto reviews hahaha**

I don't want to bore you anymore with my blabber. Instead, let me share with you some of the photos I took of my chocolate treats last Valentine's day:

the treats came in dainty kraft boxes. our little girl immediately grabbed this from his dad's grasp when she saw the pretty ribbons.
I'm at my weakest when there's a dark chocolate and mint combo in front of me. Ahh this was good.
Chocolate barks on the topmost part of this photo - no idea what they're called but the one on the left is dark choc with 2 kinds of nuts and the one on the right is milk choco. I also got strawberry, varieties of dark, milk and white chocolates, and that pyramid shaped one is milk chocs with chili (love this one too). 
Tibs may not be the best when it comes to surprises but he sure knows very well how to make me happy. And that is more than enough for me! (**insert cheese nyehehe**)

Chocolate Fire
PDCP Bank Centre
Leviste cor Rufino Sts, Salcedo Village Makati City
Tel nos: +632 8403473/+632 8400808/09282826527

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Condura Skyway Marathon 2012 Photos Are Up!

Looking at this makes me miss the adrenaline rush brought about by the feeling of running on an empty highway and racing with thousands of running enthusiasts

Yes, I'm still not over with my half-marathon stories and Condura Skyway Marathon narratives. Forgive me for this over-dose but it will probably take me some time to get over it given the fact that it might be my last race for this year. The official race photographer - Active Moments - has already released almost all of the race photos and I can't help but marvel over them. There are literally thousands of them but I unfortunately was only able to find Tibs' photos. Haven't found any photos of me yet. Bummer, no? (and I was telling Tibs, I was the first-timer why did you have to take the limelight off me?!#$!#)

Here is some of Tibs' photos as captured by Active Moments' Photographers:

You having fun? I am having fun! Thumb-up!

It turns out that my forgetting to bring Tibs' race shirt was a blessing because it made searching for the photos easier since not a lot of runners were wearing black (lolz). It was a good thing too that the shirts were a bit stretchy so Tibs was able to fit into my size S shirt (yes, that explains the instant sexiness. mind you he wasn't breathing all through out the race. wahaha)
And here's the only photo us Tibs and me that I found. I almost didn't make it to the frame cut! Lolz.

I'm still keeping my hopes up and is optimistic that I do have my own photos hidden somewhere in those thousands of race photos. Hah! I'm suddenly missing the efficiency of photovendo. For now, I am having fun viewing some of the race videos in You Tube. Let me share with you some of them.

Watching this video still makes me feel giddy! 

There's a reason why I chose this (there's tons in you tube)...
it's because we're in this video! Lolz.

I haven't ran a lot since CSM. Well, actually I've only ran once since and that was last Thursday when I decided to do a recovery run which was still a bit painful especially on my right ankle. I was hoping though to be back on my normal running form this weekend. I  just can't wait to hit the road! I've been doing some indoor cardio exercises for the meantime so I won't gain back the weight that I've lost while I was still training. I'm hoping to lose at least 3 lbs more before our big project for this year takes full control of me and my body. *wink*wink

Hop on over to this site if you'd like to view the photos from this year's race. I'm already thinking about next year, and I'm hoping I can still run by then. If not well then, I still have my marathon training to look forward to. I can't wait to start that!

All photos are from the Condura Skyway Marathon facebook page and website.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nanny Heartbreak

Nanny problems are not new to me. I have actually gone through a lot since I got pregnant but I do not know why each time I come across another nanny problem, I always get all emotional and stressed out. 

As full-time working-out-of-the home parents, we are very dependent on the caregiver-nanny-yaya-whatever-you-may-call-it that we get for our daughter. When we screen we try to make sure that their personality suits that of our daughter. We try to make sure as well that regardless of their age they can easily follow our instructions and that they understand that WE are the parents and that we always make the call when it comes to our daughter. But apart from that, what we try to make sure when we interview is that they are the type who could stay long with an employer. And usually, at the onset, they do appear passionate with taking care of the kid. They listen to and follow instructions well. They're easy to deal with. 

Fast forward however to (let's see, I've almost lost count) the 6th nanny and we're still searching for the ONE. The last nanny that left us had an impressive record of a 7-year stay with previous employer with whom she was never granted vacation days. With us she was entitled to a 2-week vacation with pay, bonuses and Philhealth but when she went home to Antique for a supposedly one-week vacation (she was with us for 6 months) she decided not to come back citing domestic problems as a reason. This last one really broke my heart. I always thought that goodness only leads to goodness. Love begets love. And I tried to show her nothing but goodness. Maia loved her dearly despite several quirks that I personally would have had difficulty living with (if not for Maia). I wonder now if I shouldn't have been extra nice with her and instead followed the previous employer's strategy, would she still be with us?

You know how it's like when a boyfriend who you think was already the ONE suddenly breaks up with you? That's how I feel like at this moment. Tibs is having difficulty understanding that but he will have to live with this for a while.

How do I exactly find the perfect nanny? Does she exist? And what should one do to keep them from leaving? Apart from the compensation, the benefits/perks, the household treatment, what else? My daughter is almost the perfect  ward. She's at this age where she loves to point out to people that she's already grown up and that she can take care of herself. She's very independent. She knows how to entertain herself, feed herself, even make her own milk. She's careful with fragile things.  She cleans up her mess (i mean literally, by the way). She's not a handful to take care of because she rarely throws tantrums around people she considers 'friends'. She likes to throw tantrums though when she's sure mom and dad is around. But never with 'other' people. So I ask, why would they ever think of leaving her?

I'm really heartbroken right now. But I know this will come to pass. For the meantime, I will have to fake a smile and try my hardest to be cheery because the little girl is already looking forward to spending a wonderful weekend with her mom and dad. Sigh.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What To Do (and some I did) After A Long Distance Run

It's a Monday and I'm at work (why shouldn't I be?). I climbed 3 floors (4 flights to be exact) to get to the office (yes, we do not have an elevator because we're health buffs like that lolz). There is nothing new to that except that yesterday, I just ran my first half-marathon. I'm sore. My knees are still wobbly and weak. I can still feel pain on the spot where I experienced the cramp yesterday.

But all that is not an excuse for me to miss work so I dragged my butt off the bed, fixed our breakfast (which was superb by the way) and went to work. I wasn't even too tired so I didn't bother getting a shut-eye on the shuttle bus ride to my workplace. I decided to just enjoy my running playlist again and imagine how great it feels like running on a Sunday morning. (ahhhh i am obviously officially over the heels hooked on this now)

So anyways, as I was wincing my way up the stairs, I thought I'm quite getting better at this. The climb up wasn't as painful as my previous post-running experiences. After my 16k stint last July, I wasn't able to get to work because I could hardly walk. But yesterday, I was doing really good. I was even able to do some laundry work since our househelp is currently on vacation. And I cooked all our meals (well we also ordered take out). I am starting to believe I must have done some things right this time to deserve some time major pain time off. So what exactly did I do?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Half-Marathons Are Hard Work

Yes, they are not conquered easily. But it can be done.

Despite (really dreadful for me) a big threat of a DNF looming over my head, I made a slow pagong move towards the finish line to earn this medal of victory.

I started seriously training for this race just last December and despite the confidence that I had of the training that I did, my fear of a cramp attack was realized. The biggest lesson that I learned here is PREPARATION is KEY. Had I seriously started my training when I decided to go for it last September, it would probably had been an injury-free race for me. But then again, I'm glad I was able to maintain my pace till the 18km mark. I was wondering though, had I not stopped to stretch for a bit would the cramp still have happened? Ahhhh the what-ifs. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Skyway Invasion Playlist v.2012

When I started putting this playlist together i didn't have any theme in mind. I just wanted to put together all the songs that make me giggly, happy. I wanted to hear songs that will give me the extra boost when my legs get heavy. And as I was listening to them a few days ago, I suddenly realized they seem to have a common theme - travel/the sky/run - suddenly they all just seemed very appropriate, and purpose-driven. Hehe. Lalim ng trip.

So without further ado I present to you, my energy-boosters on Sunday:

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