October 30, 2012

Leaving The Army

I can no longer remember when exactly Jeff and I have decided to leave the military.

We have had discussions about this important issue numerous times. Earlier this year he was very closed to re-enlisting for another three years. We weighed the pros and cons and ended up with more cons on the list.

Fast forward to last night. Here is my soldier answering some worksheets as part of the class he is attending on the transition process from military to civilian life.

I feel sad whenever I think of the day when we have to leave. The Army, not so much. Germany, yes.

This country has been our home for over four years. Our daughters were both born here. We were able to travel to some countries - France, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and Austria - that we would never have the chance to go to had it not been for the Army. There are so many things I will miss here in Germany. Yes, including the good friends we would have to leave behind.

But for whatever it's worth, I am very happy of our decision to leave. Although we only had one year long deployment, I cannot imagine going through another one. Especially now that we have two kids. Don't get me wrong. I can handle taking care of the girls by myself. It is the emotional and mental stress of knowing that my soldier is in constant danger that will eat me up.

I guess I'm just not tough enough. Or come to think of it. Maybe Jeff and I believe there is more to life than staying in the military.

We all have choices. Jeff and I have chosen ours.

October 28, 2012

Photography: Daddy and Me Photo Contest

I did a Daddy & Me photo contest March this year.

It was limited to the military community where we are at. I'd say it was a success. My goal of expanding my photography's audience base was met. I was also able to give back and made one family happy.

Did I mention I was 5 months pregnant when I did these photos? Right!

Little Miss "I" was everywhere but I had a lot of help from her daddy and mommy in keeping her at one place. In fact, they did all the job.

My heart melts everytime I see photographs of a father and daughter. Aren't these beautiful?

"Someday I may find my Prince Charming, but my daddy will always be my King." - Unknown

If you have feedback about my work, please feel free to comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for stopping by!

October 26, 2012

Sugar-Coated Plantain with Whip Cream

Yay! TGIF!

I have done most of the laundry yesterday. Those of Skye's and Ryne's, which happen to be the top must-be-washed clothing in the house. The bathroom and kitchen rugs have been washed as well.

I feel good because starting tomorrow I will be working on my paper. It's due in 13 days! Will I be able to make it? Okay, I'm crazy for even asking that. I have to!

Out of topic!

What I want to share to you today is my breakfast this morning. Jeff always, except when he can't, cook breakfast for me every day. That doesn't make me a spoiled little wife. He is just very caring of a husband and father like that. He loves feeding me and Skye. Okay, we're spoiled!

This morning Jeff had to leave early for his Class A uniform inspection. So I was left to fend for myself. I ended up cooking (what's the proper term?) this.

I call it Sugar-Coated Plantain with Whip Cream. I don't know anything about calories and what-not but I think this is healthy because I did not use oil. I tend to associate "oil" with "unhealthy".

This isn't an original idea, I must say. My friend, Wena, who is a hair and make up gal, was who this recipe idea came from.

I'm definitely making (cooking? preparing?) this again in the near future. Maybe tomorrow or the day after.

October 23, 2012

The Poet in Jeff: Waiting for Skye

I'd like to share a poem that Jeff wrote three years ago. A month before I gave birth to Skye.

This is very special to both of us for a couple of reasons. It spoke of the emotional pain we went through because of the loss of our unborn baby and the happiness he felt while waiting for Skye.

Waiting for Skye
(Written by Jefferson Corpuz)
With warm embrace
At a timeless place
Dark and empty
Sit, wait, and we frown
Try and try again
Everlasting time passes
Shoulders weighing
With hopeless failing
Door opens
Ouch, what a blinding light
Twice we've walked these steps
I walked and walked
'Til the end
Such beauty can't be replaced
Oh Skye, oh Skye
I wait no more.

Jeff and I have been blessed with two beautiful girls since. Life is beautiful!
Let's count our blessings instead of wallowing on the things we've lost and the ones we couldn't have.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!


October 21, 2012

Photography: "O" Family

I have not been taking pictures for the past six months. My last project was a senior portrait back in April when I was six months pregnant with my youngest daughter.

So it was no surprise that I got a little worried about the session I had yesterday. After all, it has been a while since I took pictures of other people. I was scared of the thought that I lost the little photography skill I had gained.

I thank my neighbor, the "O" family, for trusting me to take portraits of their beautiful family.

I love vibrant colors but I'm a sucker for black and whites too. Here is pretty little Miss E.

I welcome comments and suggestions about my work. If you have one, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you for stopping by!

October 18, 2012

Operation Rising Star (USAG Schweinfurt), Finale

Again, I'm posting these pictures out of gratitude to Wena Diaz for giving me a make-over. She has the magic touch! Don't you agree? She's available to do make-up and hair services. If you are in the Scwheinfurt area, find her on Facebook.

Here's the latest. I survived the singing competition last night. Yay! I'm alive! Below is the home-made video of my performance. You can find the official video here.

If you are an Adele fan, that makes two of us! I love Adele's voice. It's very unique. Never have I heard a singing voice like hers. I just love the power and the passion in her voice. Who doesn't? So when my best friend, Jovy, suggested I sing this song I was very hesitant. However, my husband's encouragement sealed the deal. I have been listening to this song the very moment (which was the day after the third round of the competition) I decided I'm singing it at the (USAG Scwheinfurt) Operation Rising Star finale.

By the way, I went home last night as the first place winner of the contest. Please don't raise your eyebrows. I'm not bragging. I just felt that all the effort and time I put in paid off and I'm proud of myself. I'm very happy that I made Jeff and Skye proud of me.

Posing here with our garrison commander, garrison sergeant major, and the event host.

Hey you! Yes! You! Bring your eyebrows back to where they should be and just give me this moment, please.

To all my friends who came to watch, scream and cheer for me from day one (and to those who came last night), thank you very much!

None of these would have happened if not for my family (my parents and three awesome sisters) and Jeff's encouragement. I hope I have made you all proud.

And to my two little girls, you may not understand it right now but you both are my inspiration in everything I do. Always. I love you both very much!

It's time to catch up on my school works. It's spelled NOW.

I hope you enjoyed reading. Thank you for stopping by!

October 13, 2012

Review: Cross Pebbled Leather Passport Wallet

I didn't feel the need of having a passport wallet until Jeff and I got married and started travelling together.

He's been taking the responsibility of making sure we have our travel documents (passports, IDs, boarding passes, etc) with us during our trips. Nice, huh? Of course it is! Only if he doesn't put them in my purse (rolling my eyes). In the mix with all the girly stuff I carry on a normal day. Not to mention the ones I think I need to carry during trips. Argh!

The solution? A passport wallet that can accommodate both our passports, IDs, boarding passes, receipts and some bills. So I bought a Cross full-grain pebbled leather passport wallet during our flight from Virginia to Frankfurt in 2008. It cost me $60 then.
I've tried and tested this product for at least 3 years now. In my opinion, this wallet can only hold travel docs for two people at the most. So I bought another one to hold both of my girls' passports. I ordered this pink Cross leather passport wallet from Amazon.

See that additional compartment? It's perfect for bills, receipts and boarding passes.

It also has 5 slots for IDs and credit cards.

Now our passports have their own places.

Don't they look neat?

I highly recommend this wallet. It is very well constructed and is made of real leather. It spells QUALITY. I'm giving this a rating of 5 out of 5. I hope this review helps.

Thank you for stopping by.

Have a great weekend!

October 12, 2012

Operation Rising Star (USAG Schweinfurt), Round 3

Guess what?

I made it through the third round and I'm very excited for the last and final round next Thursday.

Again, I thank Wena Diaz for my make up and dress.

I can't pose and don't like posing for pictures and so I apologize if these photos are somewhat not pleasing.

Again, my deepest gratitude to my friends who were able to make it to the event and gave their support. Your presence really mattered.

Below is a video of my performance last night. My husband's screams are part of it!

Sorry for the missed notes. You'll hear lots of them. I wish I sang and performed better. For some reason I kept looking down at the floor as if I dropped something and kept looking for it the whole time. Seriously, it's very annoying. But, it's okay! I enjoyed the time when the stage was mine.

If you have any feedback, please comment below or email me. I'd love to hear what you think!

Aren't you glad it's Friday? I am!

Thank you for stopping by.

October 10, 2012

Twinkle Little Stars

I feel blessed to have some of the best things in life.

Love. Family. Laughter. Friends. Happiness. Good Health. I could go on and on and end up with a long list. But this list will not be complete without my kids in it. They are my inspiration. My life. My everything.

Every day I'm thankful for having them because one way or another, they always give me something to be happy about.

Like this one.

I recorded the audio back in May (when I was still pregnant with Ryne) during one of our daily bedtime singing routine. The photo I used for this video was taken the day after the audio was recorded. I made it this way to give voice to the face and vice versa.

I can't help smiling everytime I listen to this because Skye kept missing the second "twinkle" in the song. I just love her version! She loves it too. Too much that she sang herself to sleep.

Isn't life beautiful?!

I hope you all have something to smile and be happy about every day too.

Thank you for stopping by.

October 9, 2012

Review: Aeromax Child Garden Fairy Costume With Wings

My daughter's current favorite cartoon character is Tinkerbell.

So for her third birthday, Jeff and I bought her a Tinkerbell costume from Amazon.

I never have, and hopefully won't have, issues with Amazon's shipping and this arrived in my mail after about 7 days. That's really fast considering I live overseas. Can you tell how happy she is with this dress?

First off, I'm no expert in fabrics but I know a cheap and poorly constructed material. With that being said, I can confidently say this costume is made out of good quality fabric. It has a lot of details as well.

This is advertised to fit children between 4 to 6 years of age. Very true to size because this is a tad loose on my 3 year old daughter though the length is perfect. The bodice is made of two different fabrics. I'm assuming the front is satin (please correct me if I'm wrong) and the back is a stretchy knit fabric. The straps have elastics underneath. The leaves on top of the tulle, which do not go all the way around, are made of the same material as the front bodice. The underskirt is the same material as the back bodice.

The wings are very sturdy and well constructed. However, after my daughter has worn this for a good 6 hours at least during the party, I notice a tear on the wing.

Other than this little tear, the dress and the wings held up pretty good considering all the running and playing my daughter did during the party.

Overall, I'm giving this a rating of 4 out of 5.

If the weather isn't too cold, I will have my daughter wear this again for the Halloween. Not happening because our weather is around the 10s (Celsius) these days. What is your child's costume for the upcoming Halloween?

Thank you for reading.

October 6, 2012

Review: Capezio Ultra Soft Footed Tight For Girls

As promised, below is my review of the Capezio footed tights that I purchased from Amazon.

If you want to see the rest of the items I got for my daughter's ballet class, click here.

First off, this item arrived just in time for my daughter's first day at ballet class  last week. I've never had issues with Amazon's shipping.

Now, on to the product itself. This tights, based on the product description, is made of 86% nylon, 14% spandex. It is matte and semi-opaque. It is supposed to fit children from 2 to 6 years of age. My daughter recently turned 3 and this tights fits perfectly. Since this is a pretty stretchy material, I'm quite sure she will still be able to wear this when she turns 4 but definitely not when she's 5. If your child is a little on the chunky side, I'd suggest buying the next size.

I was very impressed with this product until after my daughter's one hour ballet lesson was over. I couldn't help but be disappointed because of the tear and holes at the knee area considering that it has only been used once. For just an hour, at that. This is definitely not tough enough for daily practice.

I also ordered this in pink but it's been packed and ready to be returned on Tuesday. I've decided to have my daughter pair her Capezio short sleeve leotard with H&M cotton/spandex tight during practice.

Overall, I'm giving this a rating of 3/5. Would I buy this again? Yes and No. Yes, if it will be worn for a recital. No, if it will be worn during regular class practice.

I hope this review has been of help.

Happy Saturday!

October 5, 2012

Operation Rising Star (USAG Schweinfurt), Week 2

If you have read most, if not all, of my posts you will know that I don't normally write about myself. It's a whole lot less difficult to write about anything else other than one's self. That's true in my case at least. But I really want to share this one. After 3 years of being just one of the cheering audience, I finally joined this year's Operation Rising Star in our garrison.

Let me be clear. I'm not in the contest to win and I said that with honesty. "Sing in a competition" is in my bucket list before leaving Germany in a few months. Now I can check it off my list! I'm well aware that I'm competing against other contestants who sing way better than I do. I know my singing ability can only bring me so far. Yes, it brought me through the first and second round and I'm very happy.

I have many people to thank for and let me begin with Wena Diaz. I'm posting these pictures up out of gratitude and appreciation of her art. If you are in the Schweinfurt area and would like to hire her for hair and make-up service, find her on Facebook.

To all my friends who screamed and cheered for me, your presence meant a lot. I look forward to seeing all of you again on Thursday. My family who, despite not being here (they're all in the Philippines), have always been my supporters, I wish you all are here cheering for me as well.

And to my wonderful husband and number 1 fan, thank you for the all out support and love. You and our girls are my inspiration. In everything. Always!

Now I'm being sentimental. Below is a video of my performance last night. I hope you'll enjoy listening!

Happy Friday!


October 2, 2012

First Day in Ballet Class

Monday was a big day for Jeff and myself. It was Skye's first day at her ballet class. We felt so much pride and joy looking at our daughter's happy little face so eager to learn. I think every parent can relate to what I'm talking about.

Stretching and warming up.

Here, she is taught to do the first (feet) position.

A fast learner!

I'm not familiar with ballet terms but I remember her teacher said this is a passé.

Being taught to do arm and finger movements.

Walking en pointe.

And she managed to do a small jump with one leg in the air. Too cute! I'm such a proud mommy!

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

October 1, 2012

My Princess Turned 3!

Jeff and I hosted a party over the weekend for our daughter's 3rd birthday. For party invitations and more, visit Tiny Prints.

I hate to admit this but our lack of experience in party-hosting had our guests waiting for a full hour before the party started. A big NO-NO. We'll do better next time!

This yummylicious Tinker Bell themed cake was designed and baked by Arleth Carrigan.

I'd like to thank my friends Clare Story for the pancit bihon, Wena Evans for the beef kare-kare, Mischelle Orsini for the lasagna, Arleth Carrigan for the pork ribs and Gemini Dyer who did a lot of lumpia frying. Thank you so much ladies!

The birthday girl posing like a grown up lady.

And then it was time to sing the birthday song.

Singing is a must in a Filipino party.

My girl posing with her Ates (big sisters).

Toast from the mommies.

I'm glad I was able to snap pictures of Skye together with the guests. With the exception of the Ordillas' family whom I thought I have a picture of as well.

With the Keys...

With the Evans...

With the Dyers...

With the Orsinis...

With the Storys...

The first guests to arrive were also the last ones to leave.

Already way past her bedtime, but Skye made sure her cards were opened and read.

To all our friends, thank you very much for celebrating our daughter's party with us and making it a happy one.

Have a blessed Monday!

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