Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Australia 2005

Once upon a time,when I was a teacher without kids of my own, I'd take my students on travel around the world. It was such a rewarding experience to take students on travel to other parts of the world. The wide-eyed looks on their faces and the big smiles I'd see everyday was priceless.

Many of the students I've taken on travel are not from well-off families. It took months of saving and thousands of boxes of candy bars, yard sales, and more to pay off their share for their trip. Some students had to choose from getting a car or going on travel, a fancy "quincenera" or travel. All the students who came with me said they made the better choice!

Here a few pictures from our Australia and New Zealand trip in 2005:

My students and I in a photo-op with a real koala in Australia.
Keeping low while feeding the kangaroos, being careful to to get kicked!
Sling-shot ride with awesome views of the green hills of New Zealand.
My students and I with the Syndey Harbor Bridge in the background
Winter is Australia, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
Australia's capital
My cousin Weng and family took us around Canberra
Thermal activity in Rotorua, New Zealand

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Awesome Night at Diner En Blanc San Diego

When I saw the pictures from the first Diner En Blanc event in San Diego last year, I was so curious! The pictures from Diner En Blanc all around the world were beautiful. Everyone was wearing white, the venue and decor was also covered in white. The food looked delicious and it looked like everyone was having a wonderful time. Diner En Blanc quickly was quickly added to my bucket list!
I added myself to, what it seemed like, an exclusive wait list. I waited and month later I received an email with directions on how to purchase my pair of tickets. I had a specific day and time to login to a website to purchase my tickets. Once my tickets were purchased, I had the opportunity to invite a friend to attend as well. 

Once the tickets were purchased, I received very detailed information about the event. I already had a white white outfits in my closet and shoes to match so I was ready to go. My husband on the other hand didn't have much white to wear. We went on a hunt for white pants and shoes. We found white pants on clearnance at JCPenney's for $6! The white shoes we found were from WalMart. 

We also needed to bring our own white chairs and table. The table was OK to be colored since it needed to be covered in a while table cloth. I bought a table at Walmart and rented chairs from Jasso's Party Rentals. We had to bring our own china, wine glasses, napkins, and all.

The location for Diner En Blanc is secret so all the attendees were to board a a bus at various pick up spots around San Diego. Our pick up spot was Fashion Valley shopping mall. It was neat to see all the people gather, wearing white, unloading all their goodies from their cars. 

Here is hubby and friend Jose not really liking having to carry all of our stuff! 
The party started on the bus!

Once we were all in the bus, we were taken to NTC Liberty Station, the secret location for our Diner En Blanc. I was surprised on how organized the event was. All 1,600 attendees set their tables up quickly. Rows and rows of white tables with beautiful tablescapes were set in within minutes.

Our table decor was a collection of a few items I already had around the house: tea light holders with a white mini pail with silk hydrangeas.

For our dinner, I picked up some items from Goldilocks Restaurant and Bakery. We dined on Rice Medley (adobo fried rice with lechon, tomatoes, egg, and mango), Shanghi Lumpia, and Garlic Chicken Wings. Yum, yum, yum! I had to represent the Filipino cuisine!

No formal announcements were made the entire night. Once the white napkins started to wave in the air, that was our signal that the event has officially begun!

Everyone had their dinner, enjoyed their wine, and eventually ended up at the dance floor in the middle of it all.

We had a great time with our newly engaged friends, Eleina and Jose!

I even ran into a few friends from junior high school!

Around 10PM, everyone packed up what they had brought with them and boarded the buses. 

Diner En Blanc was a great experience! One more item checked off my bucket list!

Get Healthy Now: Sharp Women’s Health Conference

Have you registered yet for Sharp HealthCare’s annual Women’s Health Conference? There’s still time to  get your ticket. Register for this once-a-year event and you’ll be able to see these acclaimed speakers and  enjoy a full day of education and activities – designed to empower women of all ages to live healthier and more balanced lives.

Raoul Martinez and Shally Zomorodi - Emcees
Co-anchors for Fox 5 San Diego Morning News

Rhonda Britten – Morning Keynote Speaker
Topic: Fearless Living
An Emmy Award-winner, repeat Oprah guest and bestselling author, Britten is the keynote speaker for the morning session at the Sharp Women’s Health Conference. The founder of the Fearless Living Institute, she has devoted her life to teaching people how to master the fear of rejection, loss, failure, success, abandonment, pain, and the invisible fear many people have of “just not being good enough.”

Marianne Williamson – Afternoon Keynote Speaker
Topic: A Return to Love
An internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher, author and lecturer, Williamson is the keynote speaker for the afternoon session at the Sharp Women’s Health Conference. A popular guest on the topics of love,  forgiveness and healing on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America  and Charlie Rose, Marianne has published ten New York Times Best sellers, including four No. 1 titles.

More About the Sharp Women’s Health ConferenceFor the past 20 years, Sharp HealthCare has been offering conferences to the women of San Diego to empower them to make lifestyle changes to improve their own health and well being, as well as that  of their families. The event is open to the public (you don’t have to be a Sharp patient or member to attend), and women ages 16 years old and up are welcome to attend. This is a great way to include women in the entire family – from daughters to mothers to grandmothers.

What’s Included in Your Ticket:

• Continental breakfast 
• Fabulous gift bag 
• Free health screenings
• Gourmet three-course lunch
• Opportunity drawing with great prizes
• Pampering booths
• Informative breakout sessions on health, fitness and lifestyle 

For a complete list of breakout session titles and descriptions visit

Date and Time
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
Registration, screenings, and exhibits: 7:30 am
Conference: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Tickets are $45 thereafter. Tickets are available for purchase online or by calling 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.

Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
1380 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

For More Information

If you have any questions, please send us an email or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Breakfast in Bed

For hubby's breakfast eve, I prepared breakfast in bed. I don't think I've ever prepared breakfast in bed for hubby. If I did, I don't remember. I'm starting to have a hard time remembering things. Mommy brain, I guess.

I wanted to do something special for him, but because we both work and have kids to prepare on weekday mornings, it would've been a challenge to prepare his breakfast in bed tomorrow which is his actual birthday. So, his birthday breakfast in bed happened today, his birthday eve.

My hubby loves Hawaiian Bread and Spam. Yes, spam! We have a love affair with spam! That's a whole other blog post in and of its self! Anyways, I decided to make him spam sliders with Hawaiian bread for his breakfast in bed.

In the bread I put a slice of the spam, a bit of scrambled egg, mayonnaise, and ketchup. I put some ice cold water in hubby's cup and dressed up the tray with a pretty flower from our side yard.

Hubby ate them up in minutes with a moan of "Yummmmmmm" here and there! I have to admit it was breakfast in bed success!

Happy birthday to my hubby who is the best husband and daddy to me and our two boys. He always makes me laugh especially when I need it the most and always makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

First Days of School: Dealing with Anxieties

First days of school anxieties are natural for any student each year they begin a new school year. For my kindergartner, his worries are less and less as the first days of school become a memory. Meeting new students at the school where I work, I often deal with students who are apprehensive starting at a new high school. Easing first day of school worries at home and at work has surely kept me busy the last few weeks. 

I thought I'd share the article below to help my parent friends in supporting their children as a new school year begins. I hope your kids had a great start just like my kindergartner did!

Coping Skills When Children are  Having a Hard Time Adjusting

Anxious feelings are normal and expected during times of transition or change. This is especially true for children and teens going back to school. This transition can be stressful and disruptive for the entire family. Prior to the first day of school, your anxious child may cling, cry, have temper tantrums, complain of headaches or stomach pains, withdraw, and become sullen or irritable.

Here are some general strategies parents can use to deal with back-to-school worries:
1. Look after the basics. Nobody copes well when they are tired or hungry. Anxious children
often forget to eat, don’t feel hungry, and don’t get enough sleep. Provide frequent and
nutritious snacks for your child.
2. Build in regular routines, so that life is more predictable for your child. These routines can
involve the morning and bedtime habits, as well as eating schedules.
3. Encourage your child to share his or her fears. Tell your child that it is normal to have
concerns. Set up a regular time and place to talk. Avoid giving reassurance. Instead, problem solve and plan! Encourage your child to think of ways to solve his or her problem. This gives
you the opportunity to coach your child on how to cope.
4. Role-play with your child. Sometimes role-playing a certain situation with your child can
help him or her make a plan, and feel more confident that he or she will be able to handle the
5. Focus on the positive aspects! Encourage your child to re-direct attention away from the
worries, and towards the positives.

A couple days before school:
1. Go to school several times – walking, driving, or taking the bus.
2. For young children taking the school bus, describe and draw out the bus route, including
where the bus goes and how long it takes to get to school. Talk about bus safety.
3. For new students, take a tour of the school. Show your child the classrooms, the cafeteria,
and the bathrooms. If possible, meet your child’s teacher with your child present.
4. Ask your child to help choose the outfits for the first week of school. Let your child wear
his or her favorite outfit on the first day.
5. Together with your child, pack up the schoolbag the night before, including treats.
6. For younger children who are nervous about separating, suggest taking a special object to
school that reminds him of home.
The first day of school:
7. Have your child go to school with a friend for the first couple of days.
8. Tell the teacher that your child is having some separation anxiety – most teachers are
experts in this area, and have years of experience!
9. Most importantly, praise and reward your child for brave behavior!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Workplace Camaraderie: How Do You Do it?

Camaraderie is one of the most important aspects of any workplace. I'm so fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of people!  At the school I work, each department sponsors our monthly staff luncheon. Its a great time enjoy a yummy lunch and catch up with our colleagues we don't interact with on a daily basis. I look forward to each month's luncheon with the different menus and the different decor. Each department is always very creative and always raises the bar for the next month's festivities.

Today, the counseling department with which I work hosted a football theme party! Here are the highlights of our luncheon:

Here is the awesome counseling center team I work with each day:

 The food we served:

Caprese Salad
Veggie Bread Bites
Grape Skewers and Black Forest Cupcakes
Fruit and Desert Table
Decor and Set-up Before
Our entire staff enjoying each others' company and good eats!
How does your workplace promote camaraderie and teamwork?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

San Diego Bubble Run 2013

Walls of bubbles: pink, blue, green, and yellow! Run/walk buddy Eleina  and my boys had a great time today at the San Diego Bubble Run at Qualcomm Stadium!

The morning was a warm one, approaching 80 degrees at 8AM. The crowd gathered wearing white, ready to have their blank canvas of t-shirt colored by the bubbles. 

9AM the run began with most people walking with the sun and heat getting the best of most. My kids usually complain in being "tired" and "bored" during by run/walk events, all too often asking "Are we at the end yet?".

This time, there was not one complaint from my boys, which I was totally expecting because of the heat. What took me more by surprise was when they said "I don't want to ride in the stroller Mom, I want to run!". 

The walls of bubbles were so much fun and the anticipation of the next wall of bubbles was enough to keep my boys distracted from the heat and being tired. My boys loved the walls of bubbles that they'd get lost in. They laughed uncontrollably when they saw our stroller covered in bubbles. 

The Bubble Run has to be one of my favorite runs because my kids loved it so much! I can't wait to do this run again and bring some of our family friends with their kids with us!
WE finished!

Thanks Eleina for helping make sure my kids didn't get lost in the bubbles!

We found cousin Gia too!
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