Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Since I will no longer be able to access my blog until next year, I’d have to post this farewell to the outcoming year 2 days earlier. This is my 40th post too, so it’s quite a fulfillment on my part as well to post this now than later.

Another year is passing and though it’s cliché, I can’t help saying “how time flies!” I’m a year more older, more mature, stronger and wiser and though the days of 2011 are not of equal contribution to my growth, for most days may have passed unnoticed and forgotten while the other days were more memorable than the rest, I am most thankful to God for giving me each day of the year under his protection, guidance, love and consideration. I know I’ve been considerably disobedient and I’m constantly sorry about that but still, I have witnessed His works in my everyday living.

The highlight of all the marvelous presence of God in my life this year, is the hope given me about a dream I’ve always wanted. Then there’s the turnover in my family’s status in faith, which had been most hurtful for me for most of the year’s part. I know the situation’s still not thoroughly turned about but I’m letting it all rest in God’s hands. Before the year ends, there’s hope given me, again.

Then there were the happy moments with the kids and my husband, the Company outing where I took the kids for the first time, their swimming party, our escapades to the Rainforest Park, and our anniversary celebration. My own adventures with Bes such as the occasional food trips and shopping sprees. My firsts at cooking, body massages, etc. And I could never forget to thank Him for the random acts of kindness I’ve experienced through the people I encounter everyday especially the Sheep, which definitely triggered my inner soft spots, as well as the gifts, both during my birthday and the holidays.

Such a wonderful and fulfilled year 2011 was indeed. Thanks to God for His constant protection over my loved ones, most especially my kids who have grown in love for another year…
[caption id="attachment_654" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="My growing babies..."][/caption]

Happy holidays everyone! It might be sweet sorrow to say goodbye to 2011 but with the belief that God will be lending me more days to grow more in love and faith, I’m saying thank you in advance. In everything that I shall be looking forward to in 2012, may Your will be done. :)
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What I Got For Xmas

First of all, I don’t really feel comfortable saying Christmas to refer to the holidays because of my conviction that the celebration did not really originate from the birth of Jesus Christ as in my earlier belief. Nevertheless, I do not intend to argue about this conviction with non-believers either. I just felt it shorter and finer to use “xmas” in the title so pardon my usage of the acronym. Finally, I am neither against “xmas” as I have previously mentioned and constantly explained to other people. In fact, I regard the whole month of December as festive due to the celebration because I, myself, have always been a beneficiary to the benevolent nature that everyone acquires during this season, from gifts, to 13th month and bonuses and of course, vacation! End of intro.

For this year’s holidays, I’ve got a handful of gifts from friends, co-workers and families. Various gifts that were equally delightful to me, consumable, useful or decorative they may be.

But the best gift I received was of bias choice of course (please forgive my impartiality). But the best gift I received in my opinion were from my husband and kids. These were Lock & Lock lunch boxes, which were larger than the one I currently own, with chocolate treats inside that made the gift sweeter and Sophie Kinsella’s the Twenties Girl!

The first one, Nilo knew what I needed. He had always been feeding me more than I can normally consume to fatten me up hehe. While the second one, Nilo knew what I wanted. He knows I love to read but he’s clueless of which book. Since I’ve been reading good reviews about this one, I made it a point to give emphasis to it, and though I hinted what I wanted to receive, I was honestly surprised when he’d actually made it real hehe.

Until my next year’s blog then, most probably a review about the Twenties Girl. ;)
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A Bright Holiday

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

For people like me, whose joys in life depend on very petty things, such as bright lights, free tours and free entrance (hehe), the Meralco Park is definitely a nice place to try. Despite just recovering from a 2-day upset stomach, I mustered up all strength and discipline and mind power to heal myself and be able to take the family to this enchanting bright place last night. I heard their keeping the place up to the last day of this year only, so for all those who'd want to see it, better hurry. :)

It was worth it! The moment we entered the Meralco center gate, lights of various colors already covered the ceiling of the pathway. The kids were really amazed it was so fun to watch them. Various huge icons of houses, people, robots, etc, made of bronze or copper wires, I think, were positioned about the grounds for picture taking. Well, that’s mostly the fun you could get from the attraction really, to take pictures and memories.





Not to mention the experience to ride the electronic jeep too, which was what we did next. We lined up and waited patiently for our turns except for Daisy who can’t keep still at one place just like her daddy.


[caption id="attachment_637" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Riding the electronic jeep"][/caption]





And though the park was quite small, we spent hours and enjoyed every minute of it. That’s because the kids kept running to and fro every ornamental houses lined by xmas lights.




















As if our energies were unlimited, we planned to head next to Greenhills to check out their lights attraction too. However, the clouds warned of rain so we all headed home instead. Sure enough, it started to drizzle when we reached home. We were all exhausted after all, nevertheless, happy.

Thank God for a wonderful and bright holiday. :)
[caption id="attachment_658" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Meralco: "Maliwanag ang Pasko""][/caption]
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'Tis the Season to be Shopping

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December’s here again. What a more fitting time to shop! I’m not a fan of shopping or “spending,” in fact I’m a frugal person. But ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed giving gifts to my friends and families. No matter how small or inexpensive my gifts were, I’d always wrapped them beautifully such that whoever may be the recipient will be delighted. Well, anyway, perhaps because I can’t get gift-giving out of my system, I’m practically probing around malls and bazaars to look for gifts and there’s one particular place on my mind, the Ynares Bazaar!

Last Saturday night, after the kids had gone to bed, Nilo and I went to Antipolo Ynares Stadium where the annual bazaar was being held. I’ve never been there before but I know what bazaars are like. Usually a variety of items are sold for very low prices, DVDs, dresses, purses, gift items, etc. But I’ve never tried the Ynares bazaar before so I was really excited.

Unfortunately, our night didn’t turn out very happy as I expected. For one thing, the weekend had been rainy so it wasn’t really comforting to walk around the place. It was muddy everywhere. I noticed that Nilo wasn’t so excited. He barely got close to any stalls at all. Unless I pointed out something, he wouldn’t take notice. We spotted an Elmo’s world DVD though and decided to buy it immediately for the kids. Afterwards, we casually walked about until we reached the end where the food stands were. We ate only a little because we’ve just had dinner and then we walked our way back to the stores again. I figured, perhaps he’d be more interested this time.

But he still wasn’t, I sensed. Maybe because Nilo is naturally a patronizer of branded products. Bazaar items are generally new, but usually they’re fake that’s why they’re cheaper. However, the items they sold at the bazaar, we noticed, were relatively quite expensive. Maybe these were the real reasons on my frustration but I had to voice out that I dislike his disinterest and so we ended the adventure with hurt feelings. We decided to go home. I myself lost interest in looking around.

At home, we spent the night arguing and defending ourselves. Usually, our arguments get lengthy because I wouldn’t admit my mistake. But since I did not want to sleep angry, besides, I was getting sleepy so I can’t keep my stubbornness any longer, I offered my peace. It’s really funny to think that I got angry because I wasn’t able to spend. More likely, I’d be mad because too much money had been spent. I realized now, it was my frustration on the place that caused my bad temper and Nilo was just my victim, again (hehe).

The next day, I barely recalled the incident except for one thing that happened. In the afternoon, while the kids were napping, Nilo and I decided to take a look at the apartment where we planned to move. It was just walking distance. On the way, we passed by a Snoopy Bodega Sale! Of course, we went in and guess what luck! We found 4 pieces of clothing for Demi and Daisy which were fairly flawless for only Php500! What we have saved from last night, we spent on something more worthwhile. I observed too, that Nilo wasn’t really boring as a shopping company. It just depends on the items, after all, Snoopy was branded hehe.

That concludes my shopping adventure, for the moment. Truly, what seems like tragic endings may later turn up being blessings in disguise. Besides, all’s well that ends well. If it’s not well, then probably it’s not the end. Hehehe… It’s really not necessary to be profound in this experience. Bottom line is, if you don’t find something good in one shopping, try another shopping place. Most likely, you’ll have good finds in bazaars and sales after all ‘tis the season to be shopping. Happy thrift-shopping to everyone!
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NBS, My Life Saver!

Monday, December 12, 2011

As much as I prefer to give gifts that have personal touch, I discovered that I have to give up on this ideal. In my previous post, I said I’ve found the perfect DIY xmas gift, but then I discovered, besides being fitting only for girls, it required much time than I thought. I was able to make 15 but that was all.

With the hustles and bustles between juggling official and personal occupation, plus the fact that we are in the process of new residence hunting, I’m afraid I’ll have to modify my mission on DIY gifts. I have to admit, I overdid my gift-giving this year to make up for the last. The previous year was quite a tight one. We’ve just moved house back then so I had to be extra thrifty. It was our first time on our own dwelling and the money had to go to furnishings. So now I’m playing Santa for at least 90 people and without elves to help me (my husband is willing to help but his flesh is weak on arts, hehe) gift making will take forever.

So far, I have only 20 gifts less to worry about. For the past few days, I’ve been brainstorming about ideas but to no extent. I was becoming helpless already so I decided that a little canvassing would help. I asked permission from Nilo to let me browse National Bookstore (NBS) last Sunday and although he’d let me for a longer time, I promised it would only take 45 minutes or so (hehe). It was weekend after all, family time. Fortunately, I followed this instinct and found answers! Thanks to NBS, it never fails to please me. :)

While browsing hastily around the store, I have found these cute little wooden key chains with inspirational messages and immediately hoarded 20 of them for my co-office. They’re perfect for close friends or acquaintances, male or female. For the bosses however, I found the hallmark datebooks more suitable. I was on the verge of tears when there were only 4 datebooks left on the ribbon counter. The saleslady told me though, to check on other counters, which was what I did, and was able to hoard 10.


Since I was at the store already, I decided I might as well think about which materials could be used to wrap the tiny gifts. Tiny self-made envelopes seemed like a good idea plus it will give me the opportunity to add some personal touch on the gifts. The perfect materials? Parchment papers and glitter strings. I felt happy having accomplished my task well plus there’s still ample time. I looked around some more and found another perfect gift for Demi, art and drawing materials in a pink case! She’s a lover of arts like me, and this gift was her personal request. Since it was the last stock, I decided that I’d rather not postpone it for later. I didn’t bring enough cash but there’s credit card. Another life saver. :)

Finally before leaving the store, I confirmed my loyalty to NBS by availing the Laking National Card. In a month, I’d be able to proudly present my card at every purchase and gain benefits. Not that I’m asking for more. I’d say, NBS helped me a great deal this time around… again. :)
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Confessions of a Tiangge-holic

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So much has been going on with our lives individually and so Bes and I decided to meet again, catch up and unwind. The venue? Tiangge at QC Circle! I was so excited to see this place promoted by none other than Bes herself of course. The last time we met in October to see their house-for-rent in Binangonan, she told me about this cute dress she bought for only P75! Well cute and inexpensive seem like a good combination so it really excited me to check the place myself. Last Friday, after office hours, she finally took me to this interesting place hehe.

Before we went there though, I had to account first the interruptions hehe. Bes is a very successful and busy woman thus interruptions are inevitable. ;) Not that it bothers me, I actually enjoy having a glimpse of my Bes as Director. She told me that there was a change in her schedule and she had to give some documents to her staff, while tagging me along haha! Believing that this incident is a trouble for me, she voluntarily commits herself to a penalty of Coke Float and Fries! Yum. If only I was a bit more wicked, I’d have acted in exaggeration and get another free Sundae! Hahaha :p

Well as it turned out, it didn’t take us too long. Her staff was a little late but we didn’t mind waiting. At least, I didn’t. Killing time was easy while eating the treats away and before I even noticed, he had arrived. I’d say the boy had to thank for my presence or he’d have gotten scolded real bad (for being late among others haha). Soon afterwards we were making our way to QC Circle.

We noticed that the vendors were just setting up their posts and thought that we were a bit early so we decided to eat first... ok… again (smile). No, we were not being gluttons (hehe just being defensive).Take note: we only ate float and fries so there was still plenty of space. Upon Bes’ recommendation again, we tried out the Coconut House where every dish they serve has some coconut ingredient in it. Interesting! There were so many delectable dishes like Laing, even Barbecue and Pansit, I think, ALL containing the coconut ingredient. Since we were not too hungry, we skipped the rice meals and tried my favorite, calamari with sour cream dip and coconut atsara. We tried but one dish and the verdict? Delicioso! Not that my recommendation matters, after all, the Coconut House had been featured in various TV programs, including Rated K. Right next to every resto is an ice cream station. This should be the perfect dessert complement but too bad, the station has closed. I guess we lingered quite too long over the calamari hehehe.
[caption id="attachment_569" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Yummy Calamari =)"][/caption]

Well anyway, while we were walking the QC Circle grounds, Bes and I were contemplating whether we should wait or just go to UP Tiangge instead. I was hitting for another penalty because of this misinformation by Bes but she wouldn’t let me hehe. By the looks of it, Tiangge proper would be starting by Saturday morning already so we just took a cab and went to UP.

Contradictory in UP, the Tiannge stores were starting to close. :( Only a few stores were open. There were hardly any toys I could buy for Dem and Dais nor clothes or the cute dress that all started this Tiangge adventure and I even brought a large tote bag for this! (hehe). I didn’t go home empty though, I had boxer shorts for Nilo and white under blouse for myself. :) But I had to say it wasn’t the shorts that made Nilo happy but the tasty isaw I bought home for him. For the rest of our bonding, we spent the night away eating isaw and sipping drinks over Bes’ profound thoughts (hehe).
[caption id="attachment_571" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Manong Isaw =) hehe"][/caption]

As usual, we had another wonderful time spent together. Her brief sharing of a few business projects in the future kept me excited up to this moment. Well, these projects involve arts and creativity, that’s why. And the journal correspondence we first started in High School? We’re continuing it right now, this time our notebooks were far more expensive such as the one Bes chose. I used to remember that composition notebook with Bananas and Pyjamas on the cover hahaha! I think I still had that notebook with me. Well, it didn’t matter whether I had bought only a handful or nothing from Tiangge just like it didn’t matter whether we had nice or cheap journal notebooks. What mattered was that we were able to share again the events in our lives, bad or good. After all, come December, there will still be more chances for us to go shopping Tiangge! Until then! :)
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My DIY Xmas Gifts

Monday, November 28, 2011

I only have a few more days left and I haven’t started one gift yet! And I have like 30 people on my gift list! As early as September, I had been brainstorming about what to make for give-aways this holiday season. I even bought blank key chains already and saved the decoration part for future. But until now, I don’t see a more fit deco for these key chains and so the project is still unstarted. This is the trouble with do-it-yourself gifts, nevertheless, I choose to push through with this. For me, gift with personal touch are always the best.

My first thoughts were to make a mini desk calendar such as the ones Papemelrotti sells. I received the same gift from my co-worker last year.


So far, I’ve achieved nothing more than printing the calendars. My plan was to make the stand out of cardboard. I have made a pattern already but haven’t tried it yet. Now that I’m running out of dates, it seems like a lot of work glueing the cardboard together and covering it with coloured paper. At this rate, good luck to me.

My other idea was to give out key chains. National bookstore sells key chains which could be customized. But up to now, I can not decide what kind of theme or style, whether to just print the designs or make it out of miniature craft items like sequence. The latter seemed definitely better but, again, hard work. With constraint in time, I guess I don’t have much choice. But if I would have to sacrifice the quality of my work, I wouldn’t be as happy and I think it’s better to just think of an alternative project.

I’ve been browsing the internet seeking for help and I have to admit, there are endless projects that I’d like to make except that, I don’t have the liberty of time. Among the suggestions, the following are the ones I’ve chosen:

Storage Box

I love boxes! It takes time though to make one. With 30 people to give to and only 20 days left to do it, it’s not possible even if I take the leave from work for the following days to come hehe.

Holiday Coffee Sleeves

Coffee sleeves are not really specific for the xmas season, but then again, so are boxes. With the right touch of decoration, it will sure set the holiday spirit just fine. However, looking for the right fabric such as the one in the picture requires time and I have no idea where to find these kind of items yet.

Candles

Candles are lovely giveaways also if decorated with the right touch. Trouble is, it’s a little too late to look for candles by this month. Making one is hard work.

Tin organizers

I really feasted my eyes on this one but to be able to make it as lovely as the one in the picture, I think I’ll need plenty of time from canvassing for the tins and craft items to making the decorations unique for each tin. Next year, willing, I’ll put this on my list of ideas earlier (wish a procrastinator like me GOOD luck!).

Holiday Magnets
This idea was influenced greatly by Hallmark. I was thinking about creating seasonal designs and pasting them on a cardboard and then glue a piece of magnet at the back. This one’s easy and simple and I was considering this as my only feasible option. But then it was too simple. Tsk tsk tsk…

Finally, I found the perfect gift! Thanks to the blog sites offering self help crafts or this site in particular

Post-It-Note- Holders! Lovely aren’t they? Cost is under $10 and time to complete is less than an hour. Now they’re the perfect give-aways this year. Not only are they pretty but also very useful. Plus, with the limited time I have, they are quite simple to make without limiting my design ideas.

With my mind made up and at peace with the choice, I'm all set up to buying the materials and will soon be posting pics of the final product. Thanks very much!
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Holidays 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It’s so hard to believe that 2011’s almost over again when the holidays of last year was still fresh in my mind. Why it seemed like yesterday, we were strolling the grounds of Valley View with my family as we welcomed the year. Maybe because so many unpleasant and stressful things happened during the current year which compelled me to block out most of these events thus cutting the weeks and months shorter. Still, it’s undeniable that the holidays are getting nearer once more.

Just this morning on my way to the office, I felt that the breeze was a bit colder than usual despite the sun which had already risen high because I left home quite late today. And when I entered the Accounting Office, there was the concrete sign that says it all: fake pine leaves around the entrance ornamented with glitters and lights of colors red, blue, silver and gold plus the tall pine tree, likewise fake and decorated with ribbons, flowers and Christmas balls. Even the air-conditioning system added effect to the atmosphere. Yesterday, some of my “co-Associates” (term borrowed from kuya Tony hehe) were busy decking the halls literally and though I really wanted to help out, I was too busy to follow this other passion of mine. See? Work is always first without it even asking hehehe. Although I wasn’t able to take part in the fun, it still brought me wondrous feelings upon seeing the work of art finished.

Growing up, we never really observed the exciting task of preparing for festive holidays. When we were just kids, it was Mom and Dad who set up the Christmas tree and lights. After that, we moved house and I no longer remember seeing that old favorite tree. Mom and Dad no longer bothered to buy new ones either because we were getting older plus they were getting much occupied. And then later on, I discovered something: Christmas wasn’t really the date of Christ’s birth. Ever since then, I preferred “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings” over “merry Christmas.” In fairness, it remained to me a most agreeable holiday because it is fairly evident that most people behave their best during this season (well, excluding the hold-uppers, snatchers and the like hehe).

So I still find it amusing to decorate for the holidays. After all, one must understand that I am a natural lover of arts and creativity. Plus it sets the mood of like being in a snowy country, which I have always dreamed of going to since childhood. Seeing the lights, glitters, lanterns and trees everywhere makes me feel like a child again unaware of all the cares in the world. Perhaps this season may even serve as serenity for me to help me get ready for year 2012, before facing another year of insurmountable odds and ends. Well, I do not want to hasten for now (hehe). Until then, happy holidays everyone!
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Swimming Party Success

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

After a few stressful weeks of preparation for Demi and Daisy’s conjoined birthdays, I can’t believe it had finally come and gone and looking back at the memories captured in pictures, I had to smile in contentment and say it was quite a success. With a little help from my friends at the office, especially Rhen who contributed a great deal in transforming the cut-out of fishes from downright simple to remarkably beautiful, all our efforts paid off when the master plan laid out in my mind was finally executed. And the outcome?


Not bad :) Well, the shelf supposed to be for television set made the task easier and the result better than the table I had in mind. What luck! Haha. The design excluding the cake costed only P250. ;) It was more than I could expect for and so we all started calling it my masterpiece hehe… But I had to admit, behind the simplicity of the final outcome was a series of stressful planning and execution.

First and foremost, the idea of a swimming party came up way back in May when I realized how much the kids enjoyed the Company outing and then the recent love of the kids for Little Mermaid. Looking for resorts and trimming down the expenses required time to visit the places I’ve browsed at the internet. We initially checked Club Serene, but the place seemed neglected except for their very accommodating staffs. We considered Casanjo next, but the place was too small. The kids needed to have a place where they could stroll. Bosay Resort proved to be worth the final choice and although I scowled in the beginning at the expense (VIP rooms required an extra cottage rent), my hesitation faded the minute we visited the place. The resort improved and expanded a great deal since we last went swimming there in 2009. The whole place was neat and the rooms were clean and tidy. Bosay is definitely worth recommending at its current state. :) So one week before the celebration date, we reserved the room thus settling one hassle down.

Next, making the decorations took weeks of shifting from office to deco work. It took time to complete the cut out fishes, from choosing the “right” sketch to print, to coloring, to pasting onto cardboards, to highlighting the edges and finally, cutting and glittering them. Then, there’s the strain of finding the right materials at the lowest costs possible. Good thing, there’s this new party supplies store in front of our village where I got most of the deco supplies (plus a few gift items) for only P94! Again, what luck! :) This step was polished, believe it or not, a day before the swimming itself.

Then there’s choosing the food stuff and cooking them ourselves which needed more than the effort I thought. Here, credits go to my dearest husband, our constant chef. To ate Rizza, too, for offering to cook the hotdogs herself. Hehe.

Finally, the most breathtaking hassle was transporting the cake to the resort room. Because Goldilocks bakeshop doesn’t open until 830am, we decided to bring the cake home the night before. The other problem arose when we realized that the cake won’t fit inside the fridge. To add more anxiety, the storekeeper said that the icing will melt easily at room temperature. Sure enough, the edges at the front were starting to sag in the morning, but that was all. When we finally had the cake at the center of my “masterpiece,” I can’t help but smile and sigh in relief. :)


After putting the place in order by 7:30am, ate Rizza, Yanah and I killed time while Nilo picked up the kids who were still sleeping at home. There was so much to explore I could hardly wait until the kids arrived.
[caption id="attachment_533" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Mesmerized by the abs... hehe..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_534" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Anacondas!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_535" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Beautiful morning sunlight..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_536" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Waiting for the kids by the entrance"][/caption]

By 9am, the kids finally arrived to our delight. They still had puffy eyes from sleep but their smiles and joys are not to be missed. Precious and priceless!



When the kids entered the room, it was just as I had pictured out in my mind beforehand: bubbles everywhere, the kids jumping in joy (except that Daisy’s still too young to capture everything that’s going on), and “Under the Sea” playing in the background. There was just one mistake. The bubbles took their attention that I had to highlight the cake and the deco before the kids notice them. I guess that’s the pay-off for overdoing the effects (haha). After settling the excitement down a little, they dressed into their mermaid costumes. Too bad, they can’t swim in the water with their fins on. But rules are rules and at least they got to keep the mermaid tops on. :)







All in all we had a wonderful time swimming and strolling around, taking photos at every picturesque corner. Daisy loved the water too much that whenever we took her out to go to another pool, she’d chant “Wi-Ming-Pool” until she’s back into the waters. It was so funny. Demi, on the other hand, didn’t take her nap at all, even when her sister and cousin, ate Yanah, took their afternoon naps by 3pm. When the kids woke up, we took the remaining hours packing up and strolling some more. How time flew so fast when you’re enjoying! Soon afterwards, we had to go home. Although we were still hankering for more, we were all too exhausted to extend so we decided to call it a day. Yup, we were all dog-tired but we all went home happy and contented.

I don’t know about the others, but I’m feeling a little sad. I prepared for this special day for weeks and then it’s over in a flash. This morning before I left home, I teased my husband that I had to be early to cut some more fishes. He just laughed at my usual folly but deep inside, I really meant it hehe. I’ll kind of miss the things I did, stress, hassles and all to make this special day a successful one for the kids.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll keep myself distracted with other projects for the fast approaching holidays. :)
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