Archive | September, 2010

No Plastic Bag Day

30 Sep

Wednesday is now NO PLASTIC BAG DAY at the following malls and supermarkets in the Philippines:

Ayala Malls
Ever Malls
Hi-Top Supermarket
Isetann Malls
Makro
Robinson’s Supermart
Savemore
SM Hypermart
SM Supermarkets

Instead of getting the usual grocery bags for free, the malls will be charging a small amount for the use of plastic bags. The stores will also provide incentives for clients who bring their own bags.

This is our reusable bag story:  We forced ourselves to develop the habit of bringing reusable bags. I’m really proud to say that now we always have our bags with us when we go to the stores.

Here’s a very important tip if you want to go green: DO NOT BUY RECYCLABLE BAGS. Use whatever inexpensive cloth or nylon bag you have at home.  Buying a new “Eco Bag” for the purpose of going green is ridiculous. It totally depletes the purpose of using reusable bags for shopping. Think about the water, the fuel and the resources that was used to make that eco bag.

This is the second bag that we use (the other one is a Whole Foods grocery bag which my friend Mac gave me):

It’s a Goldilocks cloth bag that I got from a Nuffnang event. This is where we put all dry goods from the grocery and also all the veggies that we buy.  This is perfect cause you can roll it up and store in your back pocket if you like.

When you start bringing your own bags, you’ll really notice just how often you’ll have to refuse bags from merchants.  Depending on how much stuff you buy, you’ll end up refusing 5-10 pieces of small plastic bags every trip. Imagine how many plastic bags we’ll all end up not using if we all bring our own bags when we go shopping 🙂

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New School: Mint College

27 Sep

I am not a very big planner. I think some things in life you can plan; some things you just leave open for whatever thing (or event) that presents itself to you.

I studied in UP, not exactly something I planned (was not sure I event wanted to go to college) but it all worked out great for me.  My parents gave me 2 options: PLM (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila) or UP (University of the Philippines) because those were the only schools we could really afford that time. I took entrance exams in both schools and passed both exams. I ended up in UP to study Journalism. While I don’t work for any major publication, I still write for a living and get immense joy from it.  For me, it’s not really important what school you went to, what’s important is that you enjoy the things that you do, and are good at them.

Sometimes, it also happens that the things you enjoy doing at 16 are no longer the things you want to keep doing at age 40, 50, 60. Planning is good, but staying creative and flexible can be very good as well.

My college friend Teks Pabuayon tweeted about a new school: Mint College. The school’s website is here.

photo from Mint College website

I’m still browsing the site and may suggest it to Jay’s niece because she lives near that area.  I really think that when choosing a school, there are a number of factors one should consider and not just the name of the school.  Some of the major considerations would be the skills you want to learn and if these skills are being taught in the school you want to enroll in.  Other factors include: faculty, cost, and location. There’s also the school’s reputation, plus a whole bunch of other factors. In simple terms: make sure the school meets your needs.

Like I said, it’s always good to be open because you never know if a school you never even wanted will turn out to be the kind of school you’ll love.  Check out Mint/Meridian International College.  Many of the information you need, including application forms, are up on the website.

Address:

1030 Campus Ave, 2F CIP Building
McKinley Hill, Taguig City
Philippines 1634

How To Jazz Up Your Vintage Dress Form

27 Sep

Here’s a little project I did for another project I am working on. It’s something you can do in case you have an old dress form lying around your house somewhere 😀

Jay and I picked up an old male dress form from his parents’ home last year.  The dress form is older than us!  It came from his grandfather’s tailoring shop in the 60s.

The dress form was covered in black cloth that was already tattered and falling apart so I decided to just tear the whole cover off.  I don’t know what came over me that I decided to paint it a bright yellow. It’s not exactly the coolest color to use on a mannequin/dress form.

So this is what I decided to do with it this time: I covered the dress form with pages from an old magazine (Sesame Street magazine from the 70s):
What you will need:

  • old dress form
  • old magazines
  • glue (I used home made glue: boiled water + corn starch)
  • scissors
  • spray fixative

1.) Cut small pieces of paper from the magazines. I cut up pages of old Sesame Street Magazines from the 70s. In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have used these old and precious magazines but oh well…

Pages of old magazines +

home-made paste (boil corn starch in water)

2.) Glue the small pieces of paper all over the dress form.

Initially, I made the mistake of sticking whole pages at the back of the dress form. Not a very bright idea.  It was hard to lay them flat especially because the surface was not very smooth.

What you want to do is cut up paper to about 4×4 inches. Small pieces of paper are easier to arrange into a neat collage.

This is NOT the way to do it:

3.) Spray fixative.

The result: A new funky dress form!

** Have not found the time to visit a hardware or arts supply store to buy a fixative but it should be easy to get one from major malls.

How to Make a Bow Headband

23 Sep

What you need:

  • An old headband
  • Different kinds of ribbons
  • Glue
  • A sewing kit
  • pearls and beads

1.) Cover your headband by twirling a nice ribbon around it.  I used a purple ribbon with gold threads to cover the headband. This was easy to do because the headband I used is covered with cloth. The old headband came with Nicole’s Princess Jasmine costume but the little sparkly stone in the middle had already fallen off.

The covered part is on the right

I used a little hair clip to hold the ribbon while taking this picture.  As you can see the right side is already covered with ribbon. The left part shows the dirty cloth cover. To close the ends, use a bit of glue and then stitch them up.

2.) Make different designs with your ribbons.  Layer them and go crazy with them.  You can stitch up the bows or you can use glue whenever necessary.  Using the glue was tough because I don’t have a glue gun and had to use a candle to melt my glue stick (NOT recommended, the candle turned the glue black).

Cut up ribbons depending on how big you want your bows to be

Stitch up the bows in the middle

I also have little flowers from the bookstore and I just glued little pearls and crystals in the middle of the flowers.

Just layer the bows and work on creating a cohesive design.  It’s hard not to go over the top with these things,  I had so much fun!

I also found a little plastic Hello Kitty from one of Nicole’s old hair clips and glued that to the middle of the bow.

3.) Glue everything together!  If you have the patience, stitch them.  Then glue the finished design on top of your headband and tada!

The finished product 🙂

Review: CBS’ Mike and Molly

22 Sep

I’m  not very good with reviews because I never know the right words to say when describing films, TV shows or restaurants. I either like something or I don’t like it. Those are the only things that matter to me.  Plus I like most things so…

Chuck Lorre and Mark Roberts launched new sitcom Mike and Molly yesterday.  Chuck Lorre produces some of the most endearing TV sitcoms today including The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men.  The show is about the budding romance of Mike and Molly who met at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.  There are many TV programs that show the challenges of adult dating and love but I believe this is the first one to show the difficulties of finding love when one is obese.

Mike and Molly: When Two Fat People Find Love

The show covers the different emotions fatties feel. It’s so touching and real, the “fatty confessions” at the OA meetings made me cry. I think I got all emotional about the show because I really am trying my best these days to lose weight and I am experiencing a bit of success. I think even when I reach my ideal weight, the little fatty will always remain inside me, wishing I didn’t care about my weight and that I would allow myself to stuff my face with doughnuts.

I’m 5 ft tall but I have never gone beyond 150 pounds.  I’m a fatty but can still pretty much fit into doorways and stuff. But being fat, it’s a very emotional thing. No matter how happy I am, no matter what I do in life, when I’m fat I get a little sad about it.  Just a little feeling of sadness, a feeling I can easily brush off and ignore until I see a new photo of me in skinny jeans that are actually straight cut 🙂  When you’re fat, you can go from feeling sorry for yourself to denying you  even eat too much to flat out lying to yourself about your weight.  There are moments you tell yourself it’s OK whatever package you come in because you are an amazing person inside.  There are days you absolutely hate your body.

I wonder if only fat people will end up loving this show? There is a negative review of the TV show here.

The fat jokes may be typical. But believe me, that’s the kind of treatment fat people get in real life.

Mike and Molly airs every Mondays,  9:30-10:00 pm ET/PT on CBS.

The Issue of Homework

18 Sep

There’s a new DEP-Ed (Department of Education, Philippines) policy banning homework during weekends.

Several months ago, a homeschooling parent told me the reason she pulled out her son from a prestigious grade school in Manila is because the amount of homework they had to do daily had become crippling.  At one point she had come to ask herself- “If I’m paying so much for this school to teach my son, then why does it seem like I’m doing all the work for them?”

I told her I don’t have the same problem with my daughter’s school because Nicole only brings home homework once or twice a week, usually on Wednesdays.  If the teacher assigns homework for the weekend, it’s usually a project the family can do together like a house made of a shoebox or a simple family album. Just simple things the family can do for an hour or so. This, to me, is the ideal situation.

Now banning homework on weekends, I’m not sure how I feel about that.  If the school dumps 1-2 hours of homework on the kid every single school night, I don’t see how banning homework on weekends can help. Now the problem with banning homework during weekends is that it doesn’t solve the issue of schools giving kids too much homework. Poor parents who have to work 8-12 hours per day still need to go home to an hour or two of homework sessions with the kids.  The parents are too tired; the kids are too tired.

Implementing a weekends only homework policy sounds better to me because then the parents can sit down with their  child an hour or two every Saturday or Sunday to do homework instead of harassing the child to finish the homework before bedtime on school days.

What is your take on the homework issue and the NO homework weekends policy?

We love my daughter's school!

Event: Avon Step Out Against Breast Cancer

13 Sep

Walk or Run for Cancer (click to enlarge)

You can register here.

I’m still thinking if I want to join. If I register to walk, can I run?  just kidding 🙂