Sweet Love and Good Luck 2021

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Real Life Story/ Advanced Prostate Cancer

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Happy Halloween 2020

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Weird-Shaped Radish

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Events/ Holidays/ Special Occasions | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Technology/ Learning Tips

Sweet Love and Good Luck 2021

By on February 14, 2021

This year 2021 is a double festive event the ”Chinese New Year” (February 12) and ”Valentine’s day” (February 14), merging altogether sweet love and good fortune to start the year right although this year is a different one because of the existing economic crisis brought by the pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions. The opening to normal life is very slow and uncertain, we don’t celebrate it the way we used to do in the past but It’s safe to celebrate at home with sweet and delicious simplicity.

 If you prefer indoors at least you can move and enjoy more, you can serve at-home delicious dinner or just order out, you can also arrange DIY Valentine craft decors. Safety and health our prime responsibility. When you won’t be able to get-together in all ways, it would be better to send best greetings online and meaningful chat on screen, this would be more meaningful for both parties to be safe.

Wishing you all Happiness and Prosperity, Give Love and be  Loved, ”Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Chinese New Year”

February 12, 2021 is Chinese New Year, the ‘’Year of the Ox’’ it signifies the hardworking trait, this is a good symbol that will help us through the pandemic season, it is also a symbol of spring and agriculture in Chinese art. Ox is compatible with people of rat, snake and rooster zodiac signs.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Stay Safe and Healthy!

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Real Life Story/ Advanced Prostate Cancer

By on February 4, 2021

At first, I don’t know where to start, I was confused as my tears rolling down my eyes, my hands are trembling, different tremors begin to interfere while writing but I felt the need to share my experience. Things don’t look good nowadays. I’m not sure what to do next, what the future holds, no one can tell what will happen but I’m trying to be in good spirit showing positive outlook to stay calm than countdown. I keep on encouraging myself like a brave soldier capable of must be seen up front showing a brave face and feeling.

A month ago, my husband was having a problem, the rushed need to urinate more often than usual at night, he’s having difficulty passing out. Days after, He was having a pain in the pelvic area radiating one leg. An immediate need for medical attention, I brought him to the hospital, skipping GP and straight to the urologist, it was our first visit and treatment started immediately. After receiving medical history, the doctor immediately performed Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) to check for any abnormalities inside. Shortly after, the doctor discovered a hard spot inside and I was shocked to hear the immediate result” It’s a suspicious prostate cancer” Our first visit was very stressful following diagnostic test of Prostate urinalysis and (PSA) Prostate Specific Antigen, the findings of PSA level was extremely high associated with a chance of having prostate cancer but because it is still just a suspicion, there’s still hope that the next screening test would be better because I was told by a certain friend that PSA is not always accurate to conclude. A number of reasons to continue and follow for the next procedure.

Comes next the (MRI) Magnetic Resonance Imaging performed at the hospital (St. Luke’s Medical Center Global city) it was a painless procedure that lasted for 2 hours. To go ahead with the plan, we signed a consent form, he was asked to remove all things that will effect the magnetic imaging. Two days after we received the result from my email add. I was bothered because the interpretation can be seen immediately and it was a detailed result of” T4 N1 M1” and back to the doctor for the official reading and again it was big blow.

I firmly believed to hope that it won’t be known until the next stage, the initial test suggests sample tissue to confirm. Not too long, Biopsy was done -to find out if the cancer is really present. The biopsy result ” a Grade 5 Advanced Prostate Cancer” with a Gleason score of 9. it was a very disappointing and heartbreaking result breaking down my courage to hope completely.

To continue with the remaining test, The Bone Scan or Skeletal Scintigraphy report’‘ Increased activity noted in T8 right ilium and left, shoulder, joints etc.

The CT Scan was performed, this is to check how far the cancer has spread and to pinpoint the definite location of masses and tumors. The delay in releasing the result was even more disappointing thinking something bad was found in the scans. The impression was malignancy from the urinary bladder to hepatic cyst, bilateral renal mass, hepatic lobes segment 11,11 and 1v, sigmoid diverticulosis etc..

At the time of the diagnosis, cancer has metastasized to the distant organs. I was dismayed breaking down. I just hope it’s not a fast moving cancer however, with the advances of treatment and routine screening, there’s still hope. Once cancer has spread in distant areas, it needs a more aggressive treatment. It’s hard to cure once reaches the advanced stage, I know that it couldn’t be cured and survival rate will fall.

With the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak, cancer treatment is very difficult, it’s hard to sort out things ahead of time adding the hospital health protocols to follow as you need more supportive care.

Ongoing treatment, we make decisions together, The Antigen Deprivation Therapy was done, receiving this kind of therapy as the doctor suggested is very important to stop cancer cells from spreading. There are many treatment options or what will be best work for him. The Bone injection is the next to follow, this is to delay the skeletal complications. Aside from the two The doctor prescribed Oral prostate medications; Bicalutamide Bicapros, AHCC, Abiraterone Acetate which are all costly medicines for advanced prostate cancer. What worries me now are the side effects of cancer treatments both intravenous and oral.

When alone with too much worrying, I turned to search, reading stories of people who had similar health issue and in the end of the story, it was all very disappointing. No choice but to accept fate of what is already destined in life.

This time as I was associated with negative hopes and emotionally needy, I turned to God in prayers urgently seeking God’s help and guidance, for him to answer all my prayers and have faith in him. It was a worrying time awaiting on what to expect as the cancer progresses, we will continue with the remaining treatment to save his dear life. I hate to think of the end stage, the life expectancy . How long my husband has left to live? I sometimes ask myself” is this a dream? if so, pls wake me up! it led me to believe the cruel thing would be death, how scary hard to take.

In the meantime, we are trying to live normally as if nothing happened, we continue to support each other whatever lies ahead. We can beat this! I would always be an optimist, that is looking forward through the brighter side. We will continue to have a good life and partnership, the remaining time has to be best memorable every second, we will always be together as we hold on to what is already destined. When faced with this kind of distressed, I really need to be strong so I can take care of his needs, watch his diet serving him healthy foods as well as mine too in order to be in the best position to take care of him. I’m trying to be strong to organize things quietly for the family, a quality time for all of us. There is no better way of spending your time during these times than being with your family. I need to be more caring and patient among other things and God will do the rest. I hope to hear from others who have been through the same process.

Throughout all this, at this critical time, when I’m with friends, it makes me feel I’m not alone, it makes me feel hopeful for the future to come. My closed friends and mentors gave me an idea on what to do, what to expect, I appreciate the love and care through the toughest times. Thank you very much dear friends, my sisters and brother, my classmates, my bff. Thank you very much! I hope others will read my story to give them hope especially to those who’s been in similar situation.

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Events/ Holidays/ Special Occasions | Gardening/Greenery/Garden Insects | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography

Happy Halloween 2020

By on October 30, 2020

Halloween may not look quiet the same this year for the kids, it would be a different one. It’s a NO NO to a party, NO spooky costume and NO pumpkin carols but still we can celebrate it at home with some spooky ideas.

This year’s theme goes well with a greater sense of purpose in connection with nature, I love gardening, my most pleasurable activity, the most relaxing during quarantine. For my Halloween accent, not so creepy as you think, it’s miniature garden props.  

It’s about time to take a look into my spooky and creepy skull pots, a Halloween indoor planter.

My skull pots are cute decorative pots that can become plants new home, it is good for cactus, succulents and other mini plants.

I don’t like the creepy outdoor decorations like the white ghost, skeletons, zombies and witches that keeps me up at night, it scares me!

How about you? How do you celebrate the spookiest time of the year?

Anyway, Enjoy the fright night!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Recipes for busy moms/Fruits/Desserts/Salad/Decorative Ideas

Weird-Shaped Radish

By on October 26, 2020

Another amusing features to see, a perfectly white radish with abnormal form, it’s surprising to see vegetables that are equipped with odd features. Most farmers have to contend with this kind of problems at some time during harvesting season, it can come as quiet a surprise to find something intriguing, veggies can grow into a strange weird shape because of environmental conditions.  

Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow primarily grown for its peppery edible roots, the same family as turnips and mustard. There are two types of radish; the large winter type and the long varieties. Grown for use in salads and vegetable soup, usually eaten while they are fresh and tender.

Other radish produced strangely funny features but remarkably unusual. It’s quiet amusing! My best example, the long variety in form which is common in the supermarket. Instead of growing long and straight, it produces unusual course and abnormal fibrous in form.

When growing problem arises, these vegetables make a funny present that appeared to be like a split human leg.

 Thank you for stopping by, I love to share funny vegetable features.

Stay safe and healthy!

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Fresh Fruits in a Cocktail Glass

By on October 24, 2020

The most relaxed way to entertain your friends is to serve whatever you have. On the spot, you don’t need to rush on what to serve, all you have to do is to check what’s inside the refrigerator and look for something that will boost their energy. It would be a refreshing day to welcome them with nutritious fruits, I’m sure, any kind of fruit is always present and available ready to be served. The good thing about serving fruits? it’s a great source of vitamins, minerals and it only takes minutes to prepare it. Today’s choice is something fresh and nutritious. Not daily routine to serve fruits in cocktail glass, just my home-style way of serving when rush hour calls, I always go for it! There’s no substitute to self-prepared fresh fruits, it requires only 10 to 15 minutes of your time to serve these kind, just a short time preparation without cooking at all.

Heart-shaped Watermelon

Make your table and refrigerator overflow with different kind of fruits. Mixing and matching flavors of fruits, sometimes, you’ll discover which one is ideal for, which one is not. I have tried mixing and matching all flavors of fruits in different ways as well as arranging fruit slices on a bowl, as individual serving, on a platter, in a cocktail glass, salad bowls, cups, boats and many more.

Cutting of fruits must be neatly done, I used a paring knife to cut my fruits, it’s easier to handle and more comfortable with it. Best blend is completely good if the fruits has both the intensity of sweetness and fragrance.

Note : When buying fruits ,make a good selection of family favorites. It must be firm, free of bruises and fresh.

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Gardening/Greenery/Garden Insects | My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Uncategorized

Stunning Mating Butterflies

By on October 15, 2020

What a pretty surprise to wake up in the morning to see my morning visitors, the monarch butterflies mating. This is a rare movement of insects that you probably never seen before.

Take a closer look of my macro subject, this is a rare shots you need to see at least once.

Trying out to shoot a handful of close-ups, the intricate detail is being highlighted, the butterflies appeared larger than its size and smallest imperfections will be revealed.

Ok fellas! See you again next posts.. Thanks for reading my blog!

Take care and Goodnight

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My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Recipes for busy moms/Fruits/Desserts/Salad/Decorative Ideas | Shakes, Juices and Smoothies

Home Cooking during Pandemic

By on October 12, 2020

Note: This is the continuation of my blog, ”Home Cooking during Coronavirus Pandemic”

Home cooking during this season offers another marvelous opportunity to cook more and to eat more, it’s a day entirely dedicated to enjoying home-cooked meals. Nowadays, Planning a family meal is easy but challenging to cater to different tastes and oftentimes ended up preparing more than one meal at a different time, which means more time spent in the kitchen.

When it comes to buying, the pandemic has made it harder for everyone to go out, things to consider; which are the best days to go out, and food is less available when needed. Nowadays, there’s a shortage of food supply because of the increase in the number of people cooking, experimenting with food trying out new ingredients while others still learning the basics luckily, we live surrounded by food shops around. When my time is limited and my main concern is to prepare the meal on the table quickly, I have to move quickly fast, I don’t have any helper. All I have to do is to prepare a meal in advance or a day before, using a few shortcuts, I focused not only on time but economic factor is important. I cannot justify the cost of food. I go for least expensive ones.

Life has changed since the pandemic started, most of the time I feel helpless to think that this would be long-term. I’m not alone to imagine what life be like after, I’ve always been very cautious and careful since then, I created house rules to keep us safe and healthy during this pandemic outbreak, everyone involved in cooking and cleaning. I have to be very strict as most mothers do, I’m no exception to that.

Whatever the new normal life would be, everyday cooking continuously consistent. there’s nothing better than home-cooked foods. Somehow, I’m delighted to get the taste of real home, I feel more connected to my family now. I would also say, It’s a joy to cook food for someone you love, agree?

Here are my home tested family meals in the course of the pandemic

At home, I served 2 kinds of recipes and a soup or a salad for starters. I go for foods with essential food nutrients, following a well balanced diet. I cook vegetables every day, wanting my children to follow healthy eating habits. Everyday dishes made special, this is my way to cheer up my family, my way to express my love and caring interaction through food.

My before and after cooking pictures

Before

If I cook, I want the aroma wafted through the house, I tell you, it usually brings family members right away on the table.

After

Here’s one I prepared earlier, it’s a Classic Morcon a dish everyone likes I tend to increase the quantity so I can leave a small portion for another day, have something to hand on last-minute dinner the next day. It’s a pre-prepared meal on a busy weekend, reheating would be easy after all.

Before/After pictures of Mango Float

Cold delights dessert, Mango Float is an icebox cake with layers of fresh ripe mangoes, graham crumbs, condensed milk and of course you can see on hand the Alaska Crema whipped cream. This kind of dessert is very easy to prepare.

Before/After Pictures

Cholesterol Free Pancake with fresh fruits for breakfast. I want to try something different adding fresh fruits for my cholesterol free pancake. Making our own breakfast is good, I know exactly what my family is eating.

Before/After cooking pictures of Garlic Buttered Crabs

We want male crabs with claws larger that contained the white meat but I really believe female crab’s meat is more sweeter especially the orange crab fat called,”aligue”

Before/After pictures of Oysters omelette

My Oysters omelette is great addition on the table and very easy to prepare, it’s a quick meal during busy days. I bought these oysters in SM Supermarket, packed in clear plastic brick and priced accordingly. One thing to watch out when buying oysters at the supermarket is to know which ones are the type intended for cooking. It’s safe to buy oysters there but in the wet market, I usually ask wet market vendors where the oysters come from, it’s a common question. I don’t buy oysters or any shellfish from Cavite waters because I just think they are dirty, the red tide poisoning with oysters from Cavite, it’s deadly. Buying oysters from supermarkets is one way of getting them easy and safe, it must be cooked the day they are purchased.

Easy Beef Nachos our favorite snack.

My homemade Assorted Fruit Shakes and Smoothies

I love surprises! This is something a little special to serve.

Pineapple-Pear Shake

Kiwi-Strawberry Shake

When the kitchen rules, there’s nothing better than home-cooked foods. With all my cooking methods for both modern and traditional, it requires a bit patience to achieve great results, everything to make our home a better place….

Thank you for reading my blog! Stay safe and healthy

Take care and Goodnight fellas!

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Mid-Autumn Festival / Mooncake Festival 2020

By on October 1, 2020

My greetings to all Chinese worldwide

”Happy Mid-Autumn Festival”

It’s time again to celebrate the brightest full moon of the year, the ”Mooncake Festival also known as Mid-Autumn Festival” it falls on this day Thursday October 1, 2020. In Hongkong and Singapore it is also referred to as a celebration of harvest and ”Lantern festival” Every year on the 15th day of the 8th month of Lunar calendar Chinese countries such as China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and all countries throughout East and Southeast Asia celebrated this important event.

Today, fellow Chinese families will gather to celebrate the moon fest with good luck food, family reunion, moon gazing and it is already a tradition to go out in the evening to admire the brightest full moon of the year while partaking their favorite mooncake and it is usually accompanied by a tea. This is also a romantic time for lovers, they usually stay up late to view the dramatic full moon outdoors.

This year 2020 would be a different celebration because of travel restrictions and to practice social distancing, not to gather in groups but still celebration will go on as long as you ‘ll legally take safety measures.

Wishing you all good health and safety!

Mooncake is a sweet Chinese delicacy usually rounded in form contains a thin or thick pastry including the yolk of salted duck eggs to symbolize the moon. The sweet filling is made from red bean paste, mung bean paste, lotus paste to name a few..

Versions of Mooncakes

Mooncake with sesame

Other versions depends on the Chinese country you’re in.

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Rare Pink Atis or Sugar Apples

By on September 28, 2020

Sugar Apple or Annona Squamosa, a tropical fruit in the Philippines with a pink or green heart-shaped fruit with pronounced green scales. Widely considered wild fruits thrive rapidly in any types of soil, grown from seed and can be planted in rough corners of the garden, it also looks attractive outdoors bearing many fruits at the same time and the tree never become tall enough with no disturbance to other plants. It is well adjusted even in a small spaces, the garden doesn’t need to be spacious to plant this kind of fruit.

I was so excited to discover the first fruit of an atis grown in our own backyard, it’s a pink Thailand variety, the fruit tree was abundant. Thailand varieties are much larger and far more luscious than the native ones.

My First harvest, pink in color with no bruises and black spots at all. The sweet taste is refreshing especially when it is cold but the most intriguing is to see the scaly- rough skin and the fruit itself contain numerous seeds. I’ve collected more than 15 seeds from one medium Atis alone.

Freshy-picked, you can see the internal parts, the creamy white in color of the flesh and the big stalk inside. From the picture itself, you can now imagine how many seeds inside it. To eat this kind of fruit, you need to be patient to remove the seeds however, it’s worth to taste the sweetness.

One thing good about picking fruits in your own backyard, well assured to be guaranteed fresh, clean and first hand to touch it. I’ve reduced and produced my expenses for fruits growing in our own backyard, it’s a big help and the excitement to get up early to pick the fruits is a blessing!

Atis tree continuously bearing fruits all year round, indeed, it is designed for our weekly consumption throughout the year, I just hope the tree will live longer.

When Picking Atis

Fruits can be left on trees until fully ripe or you can pick it after maturity, that is, if you know the indicator of maturity, you wait 2 days after picked up. If you have this kind, the only problem after maturity, birds and bats present a big problem in growing sugar apples and maybe necessary to cover the fruit before ripening time.

When buying Atis

Having bruises and black spots is not good, just represents how many people have touched it. Blackening of scales makes the fruit dirty and annoying to see, much as safer to buy a fresh one and the first hand.

Take care everyone, see you next posts

Thanks for reading my blog!

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My Indoor and Outdoor Photography | Recipes for busy moms/Fruits/Desserts/Salad/Decorative Ideas | Technology/ Learning Tips

For Snails, Fork or Toothpick? Helpful Tips

By on September 24, 2020

In the restaurant, they serve some of my seafood favorites like; Black tiger prawns, crabs, lobsters, oysters, octopus. Beside the seafood platters, there’s a separate saucer for toothpicks to extract flesh of snails. If you noticed, toothpicks are often provided when snails are served especially in buffet restaurants. Informal way, they provide toothpick for snails and for formal is always with tongs accompanied by steel snail fork.

Now, in Buffet restaurants, what are those toothpicks for? If you hear the word toothpick, would immediately come to mind the definite purpose is normally used for picking the dirt of teeth and now we are using for food, that’s two different thing which is not good for two different purpose of one kind. Is it a yucky thing? It is already a common practice around. Oftentimes, following a good dinner when guests are dressed up and toothpicks are served first when snails are present for appetizers. However, after eating, usually you ask for the same kind.

It is already a common practice that you can see around. It’s probably the easiest way to keep table setting simple because of the number of guests involved that they can’t provide the proper fork intended for the purpose. Normally, in rural areas, they don’t use toothpick for snails either, they use their mouth to suck up pieces inside.

Ginataang Kuhol

I will now share with you my unforgettable but funny experience. I never forget the first time I tried snail in the province. At first serious sampling,I threw up! I’ve tried it again the 2nd time, this time is a more serious tasting. The good recipe was Ginataang Kuhol, the aroma you can smell inside the house and thought it was delicious. I carefully imitate what the olds are doing. Following it, I carefully picked one and goes directly to my mouth and sucked it. Glorious! I’m a damn sucker! I sucked everything including the flesh, watery part and sandy portion. The bad thing? I almost sucked the whole piece of shell. LOL! It was here that I learned to love the taste minus the shell.

My helpful tips calling for a change

For more successful and safe results, I suggest to use and select the best fork suited for seafood. It is improper and unpleasant to see toothpicks beside the food itself. Simple rules are easy to learn following basic rules in using appropriate fork. We have different kinds of fork for seafoods like; lobster fork, prawns fork, fish fork and cocktail fork for squid and octopus too.

Which fork works best for snails? Seafood is considered safe and special using appropriate fork which is easier intended for this purpose. If you don’t have the steel snail fork or silver one, there’s a decorative fork which is plastic but firm and disposable like toothpicks too, the price is just right especially the small ones just like the price of toothpicks in a box. Check photos above of Ginataang Kuhol with decorative snail fork that has a firm pointed tines.

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