My Recommended Scrapbook Sites

In response to Leen-leen’s request for other scrapbook links, here are more recommendations.  There are a ton of digital scrapbook sites out there that I am still discovering new ones whenever I surf the web.  Just google the search string “digital+scrapbooking+freebies” (don’t forget the + sign) will yield some of the most popular scrapbooking sites.  There are also several scrapbook site ranking sites that will give you a listing of the same scrapbook homes on the web.

In March of this year, I had written about three scrapbook sites I highly recommended here.  Since then, I have discovered The Digital Scrapbook Place, Digital Design Essentials, Digital Freebies among others.  I have continued to resist the urge to purchase anything for my scrapbooks, instead relying on downloadable papers, embellishments and elements from these websites.  They are also full of layout ideas that will truly inspire you to work with to immortalize your own memories.  As Toni warned, scrapping can be addicting!

Lily's Peanut Butter Forever!

Alan went out with some friends last night and didn’t come home til very late, so he’s in the room snoozing, trying to catch up with sleep.  I managed to put Angel to bed to take his afternoon nap just a few minutes ago.  We haven’t had lunch (except Angel).. I decided to have a light snack of potato bread with Lily’s Peanut Butter.  While it is readily available from the Filipino stores here, I brought 2 containers of Lily’s Peanut butter from the last trip home, and I will take Lily’s over Jif, Skippy’s or any other brand here in the US, anytime!

I’m already on my second container because the first went the last time my mother-in-law cooked Kare-kare.  It’s one of my favorite comfort foods to have — gives you that warm feeling inside, brings back memories of childhood meriendas and school baon, and satisfies my sweet tooth.

In between chores

I’m sitting up here in bed, laptop on my lap, taking a half hour break from housework.  I’ve fed everybody their breakfast (Angel his oatmeal, the dad a chicken longsilog complete with brewed coffee, sliced tomatoes and suka with siling labuyo), washed the dishes and straightened out the kitchen — and I’m giving myself another 13 minutes to go online before I hit the chores again.  (Have to get Mom’s bed ready, take her stuff down from the attic, wash what needs washing if any, and then get the baby bag ready for lunch out.)

It doesn’t help that I have a cold that’s been bugging me the past few days.  (Where’s that Neozep pad of tablets I had leftover from Manila?)  But I’ll live.. haha!

We need to get a replacement flourescent light for the kitchen so that means we’re heading out to Target later.  Maybe get Angel some of his diapers again.  (As you can see, I’m doing my shopping list here.. LOL).. and maybe get the birthday cards for July.  (Dad and Audrey!)  At least I am no longer in daycare baon mode so I need not worry about the apple juice tetra packs although I will still get a few for Angel’s daily snack.

(7 minutes and counting)  I’ve managed to clean up my fridge of leftovers that are no longer worth reheating for replay, clearing space for the goodies Mom’s bringing.  (I have pastillas, cheese tarts and some yema coming.. hooray!)  I have a long weekend ahead and I’m good for the meals actually — thanks to my mother-in-law’s afternoon trips to the grocery in the neighborhood and my own stocks, we wouldn’t need to go out for food even if we decided to stay home all weekend.  (And of course we’re not doing that!)

I even replanted a sampaloc seed which sprouted in one of my tiny planters — one out of 10 isn’t bad.  (The others refused to open and just lay there and “dried up”.)  When I uprooted it using a plastic spoon from the planter where my fortune plant was in, it turned out it had a 3-inch main root.  THERE IS HOPE!  My tiny garden is taking shape..

Fortunately, the sun’s out and it’s nice outside today.  I think the rain will spare us even just today.  (Keeping fingers crossed..)  Here’s to a sunny start to our fourth of July weekend..

Thanks for the feedback..

I used to be able to respond to each feedback point for point even with just a simple “Thank you”, but these days, there are too many to reply to individually, so I have opted for moderation.  I have found that with my limited time to post (I only do it in the evenings now even if I get to draft my posts during the day), and the hundred and one things I want to write about, sometimes an e-mail “thank you” is all I can manage.

So please provide a working e-mail or a working URL, otherwise, I cannot respond to you here in my blog or through e-mail.

Which brings me to Jane who wrote that she wishes she could be busy at work and still blog.. the thing is, you have to be spontaneous in writing to be able to do it during your coffee break, between e-mails, or during lunch time which is when I sit down in front of my computer to browse the latest edition of Philippine Star on the web, answer e-mails, write new ones, and put a quip here.

Blogging to me is like just speaking my mind out, literally.  If I’m not online, I’m writing longhand.  (I have a journal or two I’m putting together to send to friends later, and I enjoy writing real letters, not just e-mails.) 

The trade off, I think is either you write or you bloghop.  Much as I enjoy reading the blogs I read (please refer to my sidebar), I do more of the writing, and then read on my leisure time (like the weekend).

If you can manage a post like this in 5 minutes, then it shouldn’t be a problem.  If you need to compose your thoughts, edit and re-edit and re-edit a couple of times more, then you will end up spending an eternity in front of the screen.  My thing about blogging is, it’s supposed to be spontaneous.  Much as I hate misspellings and grammatical errors, I do fall prey to those pitfalls.

Good luck with the blogging.. keep it simple, keep it real, and it won’t take much out of your day.

Raw Emotion

I got an invitation from Jerome to visit his blog and read this post.  I finally got the chance a few minutes ago and I highly recommend it.  Just get the tissue box ready because you might find yourself close to if not in tears.  Written years ago, it’s a timeless piece on family, regret, love, forgiveness.. Jerome, thanks for inviting me to know you in a more intimate light.  I envy your honesty and braveness to show such raw emotion.

Your Dad knows, he heard you.  Love has a way of transcending even the boundaries that separate those who have crossed to the other side and those of us who are still here.

Waiting for Mom

I was expecting I would be sent home early.  I guess that wasn’t happening because we were just too busy here at work.  I’m not complaining.  The boss has been very laxed during this period when I had major childcare issues.  Barring a medical emergency, Mom arrives tomorrow evening.  I cannot wait.

I just hope she isn’t too upset I wasn’t able to postpone  her trip.  I couldn’t even dream of trying because of the monumental cost.


I’m just happy she will be here again.  The past two years with Mom present in New York most of the time have been a truly remarkable bonding experience between her and me.  Although I am not literally her first born, (a brother four years older had passed away at birth before I came along), Mom and I have a special bond now that we are both mothers.  We have our own personality differences and like most Moms, she is sometimes difficult to please, but I know that deep in her heart, she wants only the best for her children.


Looking at myself as a Mother, I realize that we get our maternal instincts from our own Mothers.  Whether it is to do what they had done while raising us, or avoiding their missteps along the way, it cannot be denied that the way we relate to our mothers factors greatly into the way we relate to our own children.  (Right, Ces?  Lani?)  I would be the last person to say one turns out the way their parents were.  I think we all choose our destinies, but it cannot be denied that what we become is greatly influenced by the lives that shaped ours.


I had a mentor somewhere in my early years on the workforce while I worked for a boutique Advertising Agency a lifetime or two ago who told me time and time again that we can only give that which we have.  Hence if we have compassion, we can give it.  If we were given love, we can give it as well.  If we were shown patience, then we would be able to be patient with others as well.  So what our parents had given us is what we give in return – be it good or bad.


I have learned so many things from my Mom’s life and the way that she lived it that I cannot single out anything more outstanding than the other.  Her life is telenovela material, a testament to her capacity for sacrifice and selflessness.  I think while she and I are two very different people, we are the same in the way we love.  We hang on to our passion as if our life depended on it, and we protect those we love with a tenacity only a Mother would know.


And once more she has come through with that selfless love of a grandmother – coming to my rescue for the love of her baby and precious grandson.  I know I am asking a lot of her when I ask her to stay here for extended periods of time.  Her health, while not totally frail, has been rather unpredictable.  We are constantly arguing about what is causing whatever she is feeling.  Like most of the elderly, she like to self-prognosticate – and there I am, the daughter playing devil’s advocate.


I wish I could raise my family here and keep her where she would be happy – the boondocks of Bulan.  10,000 miles is just too far that I hate thinking about how things will be a year from now when she completes her three year tour of duty and returns to Manila for good.  For now, I have my final year.. that is more than I can hope for.