Surprise for my parents' 44th wedding anniversary

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

I don't want to let this month pass without writing about this. Because of all the things that happened to me in June, the good, the bad and those in between, this event is what I am most thankful for: my parents' 44th wedding anniversary.

First, of course, I am thankful to God. Second, I am thankful to my parents. Not all the days leading up this anniversary have been spent purely on love, not everyday was blissful and beautiful. Nevertheless, I am grateful for each and every one of those days, because I know that my parents did their best to stay together for us.

Their wedding anniversary was an ill-prepared surprise party which was entirely my fault. I thought of the plan a little too late, lucky it had been salvaged by my siblings who were with my parents. Despite the utter simplicity of it all, it made our parents happy and seeing the smile on their faces was more than enough reward for me.

I feel emotional about this because I know my parents currently live a diffucult life. We always say that as people grow older, they become grumpier. I am guilty of this generalizing as I brushed off my parents annoyance with each other as part of becoming "old."

But it's more than just age. It's all part of married life. What I have learned from my own marriage is that it's hard. Sure, there is love, the foundation of the union between husband and wife. But love is more than the butterflies in your stomach. It's more than staring into each other's eyes.

The moment you have children marks the beginning of having less attention for each other. There'd be hardly any time for cuddling while talking about sweet nothings.

Instead, you discuss about what is good for the kids, which school they should go to, whether they have enough toys, are they happy, are they okay... everything will become mostly about the kids.

Then there are arguments arising from the most trivial things such as the kids being over or under dressed for an occasion, a disorganised desk, a missed laundry pile... spouses can easily become the sponge absorbing each other's exhaustion and frustrations.

The love required in a marriage is truly and most selflessly beautiful. From the time you loved the other person, you have made yourself vulnerable. You take on a role, whether as a provider, as a carer or both and for years you will be seen only in that role. And my parents had taken on their roles perfectly, in my opinion.

All those years, I saw my parents as the good provider and the selfless carer. It was hard to imagine that they were someone else too before becoming our parents, you know as lovers. Maybe, I realised, even my parents have forgotten who they were as individuals.

That night we surprised my parents on their anniversary, I repeatedly watched and looked at their videos and photos. Mom, being her sassy self pretended to be nonchalant but her face was beaming with happiness while Dad, the ever patient person, grabbed the opportunity to make Mom feel young and cared for again. 

It was a beautiful sight, my Dad's arm around Mom, smiles on their faces. It must have been a relief for everyone to see them in this mood too, instead of the constant indifference lately (sometimes even anxious and frustrated). As I have said, their 44 years together weren't all beautiful days.

I happily told my husband that if Mom gets more of these surprises, she'd probably be less cranky. My husband replied, that's because Mom has always been the one taking care of everybody. And he is right. 

Now, I realised that while age can make you resentful, so does the burden that comes inevitably in married life. Perhaps, it's about time that I help my parents let go of their roles and start attending to themselves again. Perhaps, I should make them feel cared for more often.

My parents have been wonderful as Mom and Dad, all those years and I feel bad because I haven't really shown how much I love and care for them too.

It's about time that I help them rediscover who they were before us, and that is as lovers, and as themselves. Because there is nothing I would want more for their anniversary - and for all the days thereafter - than to see them live happily. Ever after.

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Home Experiment for HS Students: Importance of Brushing our Teeth

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

It all started when my eldest daughter sought my help for her school project. They need to present an experiment which they could perform at home. Believe me, it wasn't easy to come up with on for the obvious reason that we lack materials and equipment at home. 

Initially, we thought to do an experiment about whether plants would grow better with more human attention than not, but this is not the growing season so it didn't work.

Then I remembered this commercial about a toothpaste when I was young. In the commercial, they brushed a couple of shells with brand x and y toothpaste and then immersed them both for 24 hours in bleach.

We had to replace the shells with eggshells to accelerate the results and replaced the objective by pointing out to the importance of brushing our teeth in general than comparing brands as this was not a marketing experiment.

Finally without further ado, let's jump in. And by the way, credits are all to my fantastic daughter who is too modest to take the lime light.

Purpose of the experiment

The objective of this home experiment is to show the importance of brushing one's teeth and possibly, to also discourage us from eating too much acidic foods. 

At first, we didn't think that there would be varying results between the brands of toothpaste used, so we only used 2 in this experiment. 

The results were surprising.

Background of the experiment

Eggshells were used because they have the same chemical composition as our tooth enamel, making them react similarly with chemicals.

Bleach represents the acid that damage our teeth. According to, one of the main causes of enamel erosion are acids found in the foods and liquids we consume. 

Saliva constantly neutralises acid in our mouth to protect our teeth. But eating too much acidic food and drink, and not properly brushing our teeth can cause the outer layer of enamel to degrade over time.

You can refer to the article mentioned above for examples of food that can cause enamel erosion.

Equipment used in the experiment

The clear disposable cups we used didn't come with lids. Demi had to transfer the eggshells and bleach to another container with a lid so she could bring them to school for presentation. 

If you need to present too, save yourself the hassle and get yourself disposable cups with lids online.


Demi prepared 3 disposable cups and labelled each as follows:

  • Oral B
  • Atomy
  • None

She then put equal amount of bleach in each cups.

Bleach on cups experiment

Then Demi started brushing one of the eggshells with ATOMY toothpaste. She left the toothpaste on before immersing the eggshell into the acid. 

Then she brushed the other eggshell with Oral B. As with the ATOMY, she left the toothpaste on and then immersed the eggshell on the bleach.

Finally, she added the eggshell without the toothpaste in the acid last.

All eggshells were immersed in bleach by 19:40 PM.


After less than 5 minutes, the eggshell without any toothpaste on was already crumbling. When we looked, the eggshell has completely disintegrated.

We left all eggshells overnight and checked again after 24 hours. 

The objective of the experiment has been achieved. Clearly, brushing our teeth is important in reducing the effect of acid on our teeth enamel. 

We thought that there wouldn't be a difference in the results of either eggshells with ATOMY or Oral B. Or if there would be, we thought that the eggshell with Oral B would hold its shape better because the toothpaste was marketed as good for "gum care and enamel restore."

Meanwhile, ATOMY is marketed as a toothpaste with "propolis" and "green tea extract." Meaning, its antibacterial properties help to prevent bad breath. While this feature had been proven by actual users, in this experiment, it wasn't very relevant.

Photo below was after 24 hours

After 24 hours, both eggshells with Oral B and ATOMY held their form. Surprisingly, there were less broken pieces found in the eggshell with ATOMY than the eggshell with Oral B.

There has been differences in the photo because we had to place the cups somewhere safer. Initially, we held the experiment on the kitchen counter but had to move the cups in a corner where it's not accessible as bleach is a dangerous substance.

As such, the lighting also changed but in the photo below, it is clear that the eggshell without the toothpaste has crumbled to the ground. The eggshell with Oral B had decreased its size dramatically and you can see that there were more broken pieces at the bottom. 

Meanwhile, the eggshell with ATOMY toothpaste held its shape the best among the three.


Demi's experiment had been a good eye-opener about the importance of brushing our teeth as well as choosing a better diet to keep our teeth healthy. We do not disregard other factors, of course, such as genetics and lifestyle.

Although it was not part of Demi's hypothesis in the beginning, it appeared that choosing a brand of toothpaste is also important if we want to keep our teeth healthy.

Despite the fact that we already use ATOMY toothpaste, this experiment only made me more confident and thankful that I made the right choice. 😁

PS: Feel free to re-create this experiment for a school project, for marketing presentation, or just for fun with the kids. Just be very careful in using bleach. Use gloves and mask!

PPS: If you want to shift your brand to ATOMY, message to buy from me. Thanks in advance! 💗

PPPS: The toothbrush used here is also ATOMY. It's soft bristles contain fine gold dust for antibacterial properties, keeping your brush clean 24/7. If you're tired of getting moulds on your toothbrush handle, go for this one. For the technology used to make quality toothbrush like this, their price is very cheap. If this convinced you to change brands, message to buy from me too hehehe. Thanks in advance again! 💗

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Winter Mail Art

Monday, June 21, 2021

It has been a really busy month (sorry if it seems like every month is busy 😂). But finally, here is my mail art for the month of June 2021. I will be posting these 3 handmade cards this week. 💗

The mail art was created using From Our House To Yours stamp set from Stampin' Up! And balmy blue ink on the edges.

The names and addresses werw handwritten with a brush pen 🥰

Mail art Stampin' Up! From our house to yours
#hugsinacard for June 2021

The theme is winter because June is officially the start of winter season here down under. And the three recipients of free handmade cards this month are:

Mylene Pecjo

Winter snow mail art handmade card

Tricia Angelique Roldan

Winter snow mail art handmade card

Ronna Joy Morallos

Winter snow mail art handmade card

Thank you all for being part of my hugs in a card project! 💗

Do you want to receive a free happy mail too? Simply fill out this form and be part of my #hugsinacard mission. 🥰

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Winter Interactive Cards - Sliding and Floating Stamped Images

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

It's good to finally have the time to make this post - introducing, my interactive winter-themed cards for this year! I got these cute stamp set after winter last year and I had to wait almost a whole year to finally use them. 

This year, the cold came really early. In fact, we hardly complained about the heat during summer either. It's a comparatively colder year in 2021. As early as the last weeks of May, I was already brainstorming and voila!

Winter interactive card ideas
Foxy on his sled on a couple of cards (using slider technique) and Twinnie Penguins bobbing on another card (using floating image technique by Jennifer McGuire).

The stamp set features a fox on a sled, a penguin with scarf and some really nice sentiments. They make cold look cute.

But unlike Elsa though, I don't like the cold, it bothers me a lot hahaha. Still, I find winter to be a beautiful season with it's glistening snow and tinkling icicles. I wish I was more like cute Foxy and Penguin so I could enjoy the snow too!

Fox in sled interactive winter themed card
Foxy slides through the snow when you move the card!

I looked at my stash to see how I can make these cards. You see, I try to limit my craft supplies spending now. Whenever I have a project in mind, I make sure that I can do it with what I have on hand.

Creating a snowy background cardmaking

Fortunately, I have 3 shades of blue inks and my ever handy brush makeup applicator to create the background. Then, using white poster paint ($2 from Kmart) and a fine point paint brush, I added the snowfall effect. Just looking at the background already makes me shiver in cold! ⛄

Snowy background cardmaking

I can't not use cute Penguin either. With one of its feet in the air, it looks like it's dancing so why not make 2 cute dancing Penguins on the snow? 

To make them "dance," I used the floating image technique by Jennifer McGuire

Here they are, dancing with their Happy Feet!

Cardmaking dancing penguins
Shake the card to make the Penguins dance 😄

Dancing Penguins winter cards
Close up of the bobbing Penguins

Close up of Foxy on sled

Winter has just started and God willing, I will come up with more winter-themed cards to make while the snowy season lasts. 😄Happy winter!


June 2021 #hugsinacard recipients are:

  • Tricia Angelique Roldan
  • Mylene Pecjo
  • Ronna Joy Morallos
Comment down below if this is you 🥰💗

Do you need some encouraging words? Do you think you can do with some kind thoughts today? Or do you just want to receive a free happy mail?

I send out my handmade cards to random people for free. If you're up for a free card, feel free to register here.

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My Birthday Wish

Friday, June 11, 2021

When you're almost 40 and you're running a household with 3 children at different life stages (1 teen, 1 preteen and 1 toddler, all GIRLS!), your own birthday is nothing more than a day to break from the daily routine. So instead of the usual 7-hour work, I took a half rec leave - to run errands and then treat the family out.

I'm not complaining. In fact, the mere messages of family, friends and friends of friends who greeted me on Facebook were more than enough to make me happy - I'm very easy to please. But yesterday was filled with surprises and I can't say thank you enough to everyone and most especially to God, for making my day a happy one.

First of all, I woke up to see my husband's gift right on top of my office desk. Although I knew what's inside (they're specific requests so this one wasn't a surprise haha), I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. It was distracting me while I got ready to go to office hehehe.

Mommy book and bluetooth earphones (for audio books and podcasts)

Then, at work, my boss brought a box of Krispy Kreme donuts for the team. We usually don't bring food on team meetings so it felt a bit festive to have some sweets while discussing. 😊

After the meeting, I went to lunch with 2 of my closest friends at work. Both of them had surprised me with gifts too. 

My lovely friends 💗

When you're old, you get to understand that people's time are valuable and so the mere fact that they spent time to have lunch with me was more than enough to make me gratified. But to have surprised me was just beyond what I prayed for. Thanks be to God to be blessed with such good friends in my life.

Then I received greetings from sis Karen and a photo of ube cake she baked (my favourite ube cake!) and a chocolate bouquet. She hand delivered the gifts at home and I just couldn't wait to see them in person.

She has always been sweet like that, which is admirable considering that we have the same birthdays. Of course, I have something for her too, but the day just went crazy yesterday that I wasn't able to drop the gift off to her house.

As I have said, I didn't really plan to make this day special. In fact, after lunch with my friends, I rushed to meet my husband (and our baby tagging along) at Blacktown, so I could organise Daisy's enrolment for High School.

After the enrolment, we took the opportunity to run some more errands (buy food stock, canvas for carseat upgrade, etc) while we waited for the girls to finish school. When the girls arrived, they were both hungry and tired so we had to get them some snacks while we did more groceries and finally took them to dinner - the only part that's related to my birthday celebration hahaha.

By the time we're finished, it was 7:30pm. As usual, it was a day packed with errands and running after Darla. 😄 Duties never end when you're an adult 😂 but it was a good kind of busy day. A contented kind of tired.

I looked at the messages from various people, the gifts before me, the memories of this day filled with blessings and lingered on to the good feelings inside. 

When you're almost 40, and a parent, and working and busy, birthdays are the perfect time to stop a few minutes, catch your breath, and remind yourself that if you have food on the table, a few people who care, a job you can keep, your family and loved ones are kept well/safe and just enough money to live by, then you are already blessed beyond words.

lAll I can say is thanks be to God for another year of witnessing His love and care. I've had more than enough share of happiness for my birthday today, I don't think I'd want anything else for myself anymore.

And so, as I blow out the proverbial candle on my cake, my wish goes out to everyone else out there - those who are in pain, those who are suffering, those who are in need, those who are in sorrow. Whatever it is they wish for in their heart, then that is my also my birthday wish.

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