Monday, December 31, 2012

Mommy Mondays: a new holiday eve tradition

What do you do while waiting for the Christmas or New Year's eve festivities to begin? What do you and your kids do during that time after dinner on December 24 & 31, before Noche Buena or the New Year fireworks?

During previous Christmases, I'd be frantically wrapping gifts in time for gift-giving on Christmas eve. But this year, since I had wrapped all my gifts and put them under our tree early here, I realized we didn't have a customary activity for this window of time. With nothing to do, Isabella and I googled the right lyrics to Christmas carols and didn't bungle them up like we did here. :)

After we had sung all the Christmas carols, Isabella started searching for the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne. The lyrics she googled was just of the chorus so I jumped up from my bed and popped in our DVD of the movie, New Year's Eve, and played the part where Lea Michelle started singing Auld Lang Syne. We sang along since it had subtitles.

The movie kept playing after and when it reached the closing credits where the cast partied to the song Raise Your Glass, we both started dancing. While Zac Efron danced perfectly with Michelle Pfeiffer who crazily danced in-character, we also went crazy, dancing in front of the TV and laughing at how crazily we were dancing. We even replayed the part a couple of times and kept dancing!

We both don't like to dance (Isabella prefers choreographed routines and I have two left feet here), but we had a blast dancing freestyle together while waiting for the Christmas eve festivities to begin.

I think we stumbled upon (literally too, 'coz that's how I look dancing) a fun new tradition. I'm playing the New Year's Eve DVD again tonight and will go crazy dancing again with Isabella.

Don't be fancy, just get dancey
Why so serious?

So raise your glass if you are wrong
In all the right ways
All my underdogs, we will never be, never be
Anything but loud and nitty gritty, dirty little freaks

So won't you come on and come on and
Raise. Your. Glass.
Just come on and come on and
Raise. Your. Glass.

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Mommy Mondays series. Click here and here for previous New Year posts.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

some stylish kids

I am normally not a fan of kids dressing up like grown-ups. I prefer kids to dress like kids because they grow up too fast as it is. I prefer that their childlike quality is preserved for as long as possible. But oddly, I am enamored by these really well-dressed kids.

Loving the mullet dresses of these two. 

On the fence on the black one though. Not sure kids should already wear black. Am attracted to this mustard & gray color combo though...

What about this kid in these adorable brogues?

Am even drawn to these tiny snakeskin Celines.

Good thing I'm done shopping for all the kids on my Christmas list! Or I would be in a real dilemma with all these stylish, grown-up kids' clothes around.

Photos from annnniegirl & garancedore.

Click here for a previous post about avoiding conversations about how they look when talking to little girls.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

a wish come true

Remember how I was wishing for a Tiffany & Co gift here and here? Well, I got my wish this Christmas!

The hubby got me the perfect (for me) pair of sunglasses! You see, I have the traditional Filipino's pango (flat) nose. I hardly have a bridge so I can never wear shades without nose pads. Because I've so wanted nose-pad-less shades, I used to buy one every now and then but the rim would rest on my cheeks and after wearing them a while, the shades' bridge would eventually sink to my low nose bridge and I would look like a grandmother peering out on top of my glasses. And if I bowed my head, the sunglasses would surely fall to my lap because it wasn't clutching my nosebridge at all. Plus, I might also have an odd-shaped head, 'coz I can never raise my shades up to my head like a hairband. It would always pop out!

Because of a number of disappointing experiences with nose-pad-less eyewear, I'd given up even trying them on already.

But these Tiffany shades rest perfectly on the bridge of my nose. And even if I bow down, they stay stuck to my nose. And I can wear them like a hairband when the sun goes away! So perfect for me! :)

As if perfect wasn't perfect enough, it has all these perfect little details... The Tiffany key... 

... and the Tiffany blue color peeking out through the sides and the frame's insides.

And the subtle branding - a tiny T&Co. - on the inside of one of the temple tips...

But to tell you the truth, this gift had me at hello. I saw the iconic Tiffany blue box and I was already smitten! 

I already knew whatever was in it was a wish come true!

Photos are my own and from here & here.

Get your own pair of Tiffany eyewear at Adora in Greenbelt 5.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

blissful bungled carols

Isabella and I have been singing Christmas carols in the car for weeks now. And I discovered that we don't know the right lyrics to many, if not all, carols!

Sa-ilent night, Ho-oly night. All is calm, all is bright... Okay, what's next? Is it down or round? Okay, round... Round young Virgin... Turns out, it's "yon", not "young". And there are 2 more stanzas after that that I don't think I've ever heard.

It's the same for Deck the Halls. Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Fa la la la la la la la la. Tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la la la la la la. On with our way gay apparel. Turns out it's "Don we now our gay apparel". Fa la la la la la la la la. Oh, the ancient yuletide carol. Fa la la la la la la la la. But it's "Toll the ancient yuletide carol" after all. And there are 3 more verses I, again, have never heard!

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. With every Christmas blah I blah. May your days be merry and briiight. And may all your Christmases be light? bright? white?

Isabella and I sang so many carols at the top of our lungs... even though we said "blah" a lot of times through them all. We did figure out the 12 Days of Christmas, but not after switching days 7 to 11 around so many times.

We even bungled Jingle Bells! And I've been singing that since I was a kid! Okay, we got the chorus right: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells. Jingle all the way. Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh. We didn't do so well with the first verse though: Dashing through the snow. In a one-horse open sleigh. Oh? All? O'er the fields we go, laughing all the way. And then we just ruined the song...  Bella botcha ring, making spirits bright. What fun it is to ride and sing the sleighing song tonight!

Yes, we don't know the correct lyrics to common Christmas carols. But I think what matters is that we sang at the top of our voices, laughing hysterically every time we substituted a word with "blah" and felt the Christmas spirit all the way home. Maybe it can even be a way for us to be identified as family - singing the same wrong lyrics of Christmas carols (just like the father & son's Amazing Grace in the movie Maverick). :)

Hope you are having a holly, jolly Christmas - whether your lyrics are right or not!

All together now! Bella botcha ring, making spirits bright. What fun it is to ride and sing the sleighing song tonight!

Photos from annnniegirl.

Click here for a previous post on a Christmas song Noah botched up too. Hehe, runs in the family.

Monday, December 24, 2012

our dog didn't ruin our gifts

Remember how I would never have gifts under our tree here because I never had time to wrap gifts early enough? Well, now that I'm on sabbatical with a lot of time on my hands, I got to wrap gifts early and even got to meet up with friends who gave their gifts early. So the bottom of our tree has been filled with gifts.

I was worried our dog would pee on them or pull on the ribbons & tags. But she didn't!

And I just love that Noah has been holding gifts up to his ear while shaking them in eager anticipation of finally unwrapping them tonight on Christmas eve!

Enjoy your Christmas eve!

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here & here for previous posts on our dog. Click here on how I got to wrap gifts so easily this Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Santa's just like us

I couldn't help but smile at these photos depicting Santa in everyday moments that we all - apparently, even Santa - experience.

Turns out Santa also has laundry day.

And also needs to find parking. Haha!

For those of you doing last-minute shopping today, I sure hope you find parking at the mall! :)

Photos from annnniegirl.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Noah says...

Noah was singing Jose Marie Chan's Christmas In Our Hearts...

"In every pray'r and every song, the community unites, celebrating the BURP of our savior Jesus Christ."

Oh, my little devil, er- angel!

Photo from happythings.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah Says... series.

Friday, December 21, 2012

a different kind of Christmas lights

Remember the delightful surprise of the heart-shaped red light on Valentine's day in Bonifacio High Street here? Well, they're now Christmassy!

A Christmas tree for the green light and a star for the red! Aren't they the cutest?

They're quite different from the customary sparkly, twinkly Christmas lights. But I have to say they are adorably charming! Certainly made me smile (and circle a High Street block a number of times to get a good picture).

BHS folks, I <3 you!

Photos are my own.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

my pretend closet: boyfriend pajamas

I am so drawn to these vintage-style - or as J.Crew puts it, "borrowed-from-the-boys classic" pajama sets. Am not usually a pajama set type of person: I wear a tee with my typically printed pajama pants. But I am loving these sets with a boyish charm!

There's always something sexy about borrowing your man's clothes - whether it be his crisp, white shirt or jeans. And boyfriend pajamas are no exception. Especially this nightshirt version.

Too bad my SIL already left New York when I found these PJs. I hope I can bear to wait 'til she flies back there to order them from J.Crew. For now, I am willing them to stay in my pretend closet rather than in a tempting (but not shipping-cost-free) box to Johnny Air Cargo. 

Photos from annnniegirl, acupofjo & j.crew.

Click here for previous posts from the My Pretend Closet series.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

what's adorning your door?

What adorns your door at Christmas?

This Christmas, our doors aren't adorned with store-bought wreaths. They are decorated with paper parols (Christmas lanterns or stars) that Noah & Isabella made!

Noah brought this home from school one day. He was so proud saying "Teacher didn't help me one bit!" So he hung it on his bedroom door...

And made new ones...

... to hang on my bedroom door...

... and Isabella's door...

They're actually quite easy to make...

Isabella made a parol out of paper boats...

... and we hung it, and two more of Noah's parols made from the adcube, on our front door...

Every time I enter the house, or any of our rooms, I can't help but smile at the homemade Christmas parols adorning our door. Sure beats any store-bought lantern! :)

Photos are my own and from annnniegirl.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today, I am loving...

Today, I am loving... my early Christmas gift from my buddies K & C! It's not exactly from Tiffany's, but it's in a lovely Tiffany blue color - my purrretty Matroyshka necklace!

I was already smitten because as you know from here & here, I have a thing for Matroyshka dolls. To my wonderful surprise, it didn't just look like a cutely fat Matroyshka, but it was an actual nesting doll!!!

I was in love!

So I wore it everyday after that.

To a friend's birthday dinner...

To the Sting concert...

On errands the following day...

Today, I am totally loving... my adorable Matroyshka necklace present! Super thanks K & C!

Photos are my own and from annnniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am loving... series. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mommy Mondays: teaching them to love books

Both my kids love to read today. And I truly believe this love for books was borne out of our nightly bedtime stories. Since they were babies, until they were about 6, I made it a point to read them a bedtime story (at least 2-3 times a week). We started with board books, then picture books, then those staged-reading books with big letters & some words substituted with pictures for the child to "read".

Today, I am so pleased that 7-year-old Noah borrows 2 books from the library every couple of days. He reads Geronimo Stilton (for girls, you can go for Thea Stilton books), Diary of A Wimpy Kid and 39 Clues books. Naturally, his favorite is the Wimpy Kid series, but I worry he'll bring some of the pranks to life. :( I am thrilled though that he's already reading 39 Clues because 15-year-old Isabella was reading those books just last year!

Isabella, on the other hand, reads and re-reads these books: the Twilight series, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Legend of Aang, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series & the Heroes of Olympus series.

I just love that Isabella is such a wide reader! I have to say I am impressed that she reads novels with substance. I remember reading a lot of (eep!) Sweet Dreams when I was her age!

Some books both Isabella and I enjoyed as children that I am looking forward to Noah reading someday are: books by Roald Dahl, books by Judy Blume, Encyclopedia Brown, Cam Jansen & Nancy Drew (though my mom and I enjoyed them more than Isabella did and I suppose Noah will choose Hardy Boys if he does get into such a series).

I have to admit that both Isabella and Noah watch a lot of TV and play a lot of video games. But I am so thankful that they also have a desire to sit back and read a good, old novel.

I'm not 100% certain their love for books is solely due to our nightly bedtime stories when they were younger. But it doesn't hurt to start them young, right? Plus, books help teach other things too. Like reading a book about going to the dentist (ours was a Dora the Explorer book) helped take away the fear of Noah's first visit to the dentist. I also remember reading a Muppets Bye, Bye Diapers boardbook to Isabella when we were potty-training her. Among the books I read to them, my faves would have to be Guess How Much I Love You, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Veggie Tales' God Made You Special. I adore that last one because it was short (reading aloud is hard on your voice), it rhymes (I looove rhyming books because it's fun to read in a singsong tone! Dr. Seuss books are just so so long.), and I got to use a fake French accent on one page ('Allo boys and girls! We are zee French peas!) which always made both Isabella & Noah laugh out loud. Awww, such fun memories of enjoying a book together! 

Have fun reading with your kids!

Photos from nyctaughtme & pinkwallpaper.

Click here for previous posts from the Mommy Mondays series. Click here for a previous post about the lack of classic children's books these days. Click here for my own version of "I love you to the moon and back".

Sunday, December 16, 2012

style inspiration: stripes + florals

Since I went on sabbatical, I've kinda lost my shopping mojo. I was used to a constant stream of trends that were appropriate for my pretty laidback office (It wasn't a business-attire type of office). I'm not sure if I just haven't gotten in the groove of casual clothes trends yet; since my shopping mojo has been wired for office clothes for years. But I haven't come across many new trends in my current daily uniform of shorts & shirts.

So these style pegs of mixing stripes & a floral print has been really inspiring. Will definitely try this out this week. I, and probably every single one of you, have a similar striped tee from H&M (yes, the one that comes in pairs, with a plain white tee). So all I need to do is pair it with floral shorts, scarf or shoes!

Ooohh, excited, style-wise, for the week ahead!

Photos from annnniegirl.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

divi finds

My friends M & C went to Divisoria a few months ago to buy stuff for M's son's 7th birthday party. So I tagged along and stumbled upon these pretty & uber-cheap finds in 168 Mall.

These stamp sets were being sold for less than PhP200 (less than US$4.50)!

I got lowercase stamps in typewriter & handwriting fonts. Love the wooden box with a clasp!

Can you believe these nesting dolls were only PhP70 (US$1.70)?

Was of course delighted to see the flower design made out of dots on the smallest doll. I immediately found a spot for the dolls on my shelf between my photo box here and scrapbooks here.

These fabric tapes were a steal at 5 for PhP100 (US$2.45)! Notice the bume-Burberry tape?  :)

I didn't really know what I'd use them for when I grabbed a bunch. But I was killing time one day and dressed up my blue Pilot ballpen with my polka-dotted tapes!

Isn't it much prettier now than a regular ballpen? 

Then my friend C brought us to a giftwrapper store. Minimum wholesale purchase is 25 pieces per design to get these glossy wrappers at PhP2.25 (US$0.06) per sheet.

And thanks to this (non-Divi-find) tape dispenser that automatically cuts tape into small even strips (which I discovered via Jen of Next9Baby. See reviews of the tape dispenser by 101gramsofeyecandy & ocmominmanila.), I'm almost done wrapping Christmas gifts with my Divisoria-bought striped & dotted wrappers!

Oooh, I just looove my purrretty Divi finds!

Photos are all my own.

Click here for a previous post on Matroyshka dolls.