...proposed low cost 2bdrm house with mezzanine/attic...

Looking at the all the designs, do you notice anything that I love to put in my designs? Any guess?

Oh well let me reveal it, I love to incorporate nature in my designs even with the smallest lot possible. I see to it I have provision for some "greens" in the designs just like having garden window boxes. Of course I have to consider the clients if they want it too but as much as possible I like to put even a small window box or series of window boxes / window flower boxes thinking a house is better with plants.

I find it very "friendly" most especially for resort houses to have those window boxes planters to add more touch of nature to the resort feel. It's a more practical and cleaner way than having cluttered plants in pots. Don't you agree? Do you know that staring at plants or greens when you are so tired (like being infront of computer for long time) can actually relax you? It's like an eye soother. Maybe that's why I have this fondness of incorporating plants with designs. I also love having ponds and landscapes but sometimes clients prefer to maximize the use of space and really not want to have such a lush garden. This is when window plant boxes come handy for me. I get to input some natural character within the whole design concept.

...all 3 photos above are small resort hotel schemes...


Have A Blessed Christmas
Prosperous New Year!!!

Thank you for being part of jif photojournal!!!

Taking care of babies, toddlers, kiddos is not an easy task most especially for those super hyper kids who simply can't settle in one place. I had a hand on our dear Elisse and it was like a rollercoaster ride running after her at all times. Our home has 2nd & 3rd floors so we always had to keep an eye on her. Hubs on the other hand had his big accident as a kid when he was brunt with boiling cooking oil. Me also had several mischief as a kid. These are the things that I am concerned about now that I am nearing to have my baby. Just like what my title says, better safe than sorry.

Keeping our kids safe is one of our first and foremost priority. Now that we're about to start our baby shopping, we're seriously considering of buying all the necessary baby proofing products like baby gates, child safety locks, etc. All parents can't have their eyes every minute set to watch after their little ones no matter how much we want to have it that way. Of course to avoid uncertainties within those "unwatched" times, we can feel more secure if we have things around our home to protect our kids.

Other important things which are very practical to get to keep our child's safety are outlet covers, corner cushions, door locks, appliance locks, window guards and much more all under KidSafe. You can also refer to some child safety tips and child safety issues in KidSafe blog. NO parents would ever want to see their kids hurt or get into any accident, let us all be aware of the things we can do to make our homes a "child safe" place. =)

images c/o yahoo travel

Every year my husband's officemate goes to Boston and sends postcards from there. It's been an office tradition to send some memorabilia to places each one visits. Whenever I go to their office I will see the postcards all lined up hanging on one particular wall in the production / work area.

I checked what they have in Boston and to my surprise so many nice places to see for those who wish to visit. I found this article when I googled for yahoo travel in Boston:

"Boston was, until 1755, the biggest city in America; as the one most directly affected by the latest whims of the British Crown, it was the natural birthplace for the opposition that culminated in the Revolutionary War. Numerous evocative sites from that era are preserved along the Freedom Trail through downtown. Since then, however, Boston has in effect turned its back on the sea. As the third busiest port in the British Empire (after London and Bristol), it stood on a narrow peninsula. What is now Washington Street provided the only access by land, and when the British set off to Lexington in 1775 they embarked in ships from the Common itself. During the nineteenth century, the Charles River marshlands were filled in to create the posh Back Bay residential area. Central Boston is now slightly set back from the water, separated by the hideous John Fitzgerald Expressway that carries I-93 across downtown. The city has been working on routing the traffic underground and disposing of this eyesore (a project a decade in the making known as "the Big Dig"), though the monumental task won't likely be completed before 2004, much to the frustration of locals."

That explains the very pleasant architecture shown below too =)

Now Boston offers such luxury living and for those interested in getting settled there, Bushari Group Real Estate can help you with real estate in Boston. May it be Boston condos, Boston Lofts or even Boston luxury lofts, they have it. If it's Boston luxury real estate you are looking for then this Boston real estate can get your deals settled.

images c/o yahoo travel


It's been a dry here last year, didn't rain so much leaving the waterbeds dry. During those times people were advised to save water and you can even see several articles in local newsprints & magazines giving tips on how to save water. That's a good idea to further educate people, every little thing can help save the natural resources from depleting.

Here are some water saving tips that everybody can apply to our households:
  • repair leaking faucets & toilets, don't let those leaky fixtures waste our clean water supply
  • don't keep the water running when washing dishes, use a basin or container to wash and rinse dishes; this also applies when you wash your face of brush your teeth, it's not practical to keep the tap running
  • use high efficiency clothes washer, washing full loads and shorter cycles is good
  • use dual flush toilet which is more economical (install dual flush conversion kit)
  • water the lawn in the afternoon, it can retain moisture overnight
  • sprinklers must be placed on the lawn where plants are and not being wasted on pavements
  • use water & bucket when washing car and a hose with nozzle stop

These are just few practical tips, feel free to share here if you have more water saving tips for everybody. Enjoy your holidays!!


Yesterday something weird happened in the car, FIL told us that he checked the back side of the driver's seat carpet and it's soaking wet. I honestly don't know how it got wet and even hubs was left thinking what could've happened. It's really weird for that unlikely part to be soaked considering the water container we always carry in the car is always on the other side and we even checked the lid, tightly closed. I ended up cleaning it out, squeezing out the water using rags. I think my hands got numb after all the squeezing, the water was really ice cold. The most that i can think is (if water didn't really spill there) that the underpart might be needing new undercoating, could've been damaged with a big bump since it's lowered. Who knows? We'll just be checking it later. If that's the case then it makes sense why it's wet since last Sunday we drove on very wet roads, it was a rainy night even last Monday.

Car maintenance is a must not only to fix problems but to keep the car in healthy condition just like our bodies. Just like the saying, prevention is better than cure. May your car be old or new, this doesn't excuse you to from taking care of it. I believe it will take care of us as long as we take care of it too. Makes sense right? Making sure everything's in order and working well in the engine, break, fan belt, timing belt, radiator, oil filter... all those have to be well maintained. Tires must always have the right pressures too, it will make the drive smoother and gas usage can depend on that too. It doesn't matter if your car is a Ford Expedition, Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Nissan, BMW or Volkswagen, cars are cars. They all must have their "check-ups" too. Having a well maintained car also prevents us from spending more with future damages and the inconvenience of having it in the shop for repair.

...photos were taken using my camera phone 09-30-07, office greenhills Philippines...

note: for San Francisco auto repair, you may check here.

Some people are very gifted when it comes to numbers just like these people that I will be "exposing" here today! I didn't manage to get photos of other known Mathematicians in the family and I think these 3 peeps are enough for this post =P

This big boy is my godson & 2nd cousin who was our ring bearer also for our wedding. He's a very smart boy who competes in math olympiads and always have good grades in school and always on the honor roll's top place.

My sis (like her gown? I designed that! hehehe), my bridesmaid and the youngest of us 3 siblings. She's the most gifted with math! She also used to compete during her elementary years. Now she's a newly registered engineer! Yey!!!

Lastly, my aunt who's my mom's cousin. She's a math teacher and she's the one who really practiced my godson (above) with math (his mom and aunt are sisters). Too bad she's abroad now but I can tell she left such a good imprint of math skills to her nephew.

I used to love math when I was young but I outgrew it too! (lol) I remember how it was to always go by the books to study and patiently listen to the teacher during classes. No online math tutoring available before unlike today just a few clicks away with your keyboard ad you'll find online tutoring for almost all subjects.

Thinking of some math help now? You may check out Tutornext which provides one-on-one online lessons for mid & college students. May it be as simple as checking math problems & math answers all the way to precalculus help, statistics help or chemistry help, name it they got it covered! Rates are convenient and affordable and students can connect to a tutor as often as needed 24/7.

I love Christmas holidays most especially when I was in school & working because it's one with the longest vacation. Who doesn't love vacation, right?

We just heard from some friends the other night that they just came here for Christmas holidays though they are staying in Vegas. We were asked if it's possible to meet there in Las Vegas, NV even for 3 days stay only but even if we want to see them it's just so hard to commit right now. You all know my condition now and we think it's safer also to get away from much crowds now that "swine flu" is all over US grounds too. It might not be a wise decision too to travel so far at this point. If ever they will find their way to San Francisco, CA then we can definitely find time meeting them as long as it's in the bay area. We told them not to force it coming all the way here because we know there's so much to see in Vegas.

Many of our friends here are already preparing for their vacations, one heading to Miami, FL to enjoy some beach and Disney fun with their kid, other office people for hubs to Pittsburg, PA visiting relatives and another friend to go in Charlotte, NC just to see places there. Oooohhh I'm so envious!!! I know I can also go out and travel even to do some cross cpuntry road trip but it's not really that advisable. I guess the motherly instinct is kicking in! =P Looks like a relaxing holiday vacay is what me and hubs would really want to have having to work so much lately.

Any of you who are off somewhere this holiday break? Just travel safe and enjoy but try to make time to be with your families too!

Happy weekend to all!!!

I've been having hard time getting something for my grandma but luckily I came a cross some gold jewelry gift sets one shopping time. I saw this gold necklace and earrings set and I didn't think twice, I got it that same day. She likes adorning herself with jewelry most especially when she goes out. I guess that's her posturioza side. I hope grandma will be happy for that very late Christmas gift (yes I still haven't shipped the box I am preparing but hopefully after Christmas).

Speaking of gold, I got these cool gold (plated?) coins from BIL when he asked for some quarters. I never get to have these $1 coins and just always bills. I kept it for our coin collection. Do you know that those genuine gold coins have great value? So if you are keeping one or even more better check it out on how you can have it for future investment. You can check out Gold Coins Gain where you can get Investors Gold Guide book and see more informations about gold investing. This site can help from the beginner investment all the the way to complex family trusts so that you can preserve and grow your assets in the future.



I blogged about receiving a call from my brother's friend regarding the package my family prepared for me. They were not really ready yet for the package when they were told bro's friend can hand carry it to give me. Mom and sis rushed getting stuffs to take the opportunity sending me an early Christmas present. They were able to the most important things I requested and for me it's the thought of them wanting to send me and hubs something here counts most.

Last Saturday we set up our meeting a little after lunch since me and hubs take our time sleeping extra time and not waking up too early on weekends. It was a rainy day and really freezing out there, I was lucky enough to snap on a rainbow along the freeway. We met in Union Landing, a place nearer to his area about 30miles away from us more or less 30mins drive. It's better there since we are the one getting favor, it's really so kind of him to bother about our package when he can just fly without carrying any extra baggage. Hubs and I got there ahead and stayed in Jollibee, a well known Filipino fastfood. We grabbed a little meal there while waiting for a pre-late lunch. In case you missed my post about how much I was anticipating for this meeting, just check here.

Soon he came and we decided on eating our late lunch in Gerry's Grill which is another Filipino franchise within the same commercial complex. It was my husband who chose this place because I never had the chance to bring him there in the Philippines during his short stay. Hubs and bro's friend already met before when he brought and handed him a small package from me so they got chitty-chatty talking about computer programs, urls, codes, etc once seated. I actually had to interrupt them and asked for their orders. Looks like it was hubs lucky day because we let him choose his particulars. Bro's friend referred to the orders as "A Feast" when we gave it all to the waiter saying it's alot! Silly me I was even thinking of adding some orders if it's not enough. I totally forgot the serving here is really big compared back home.

noodles with pork slices, pork cracklings, egg,spring onions, roasted garlic
(this didn't pass my taste, nothing beats the authentic Filipino Batchoy!)

...Pork Sisig...
crackling chopped pork meat sauteed with onions, spices & served with egg
(hubs loved this but me & bro'sfriend didn't... it may be because it's a bit bland and we know how to make this dish too, it's lacking essential spice, also my sisig is way better than that! wahehehehe)

...grilled squid...
I love this dish! The squid was cooked just right, not chewy like a gum (overcooked) & the sauce they used to marinate was very tasty. I really insisted on this dish remembering how good the squid there in Geryy's Grill back home and it didn't fail me =)

meat rolled in leaves & cooked in coconut milk
(I ordered this thinking hubs will like it & he did! I wasn't expecting much with this dish at first thinking it's a very local dish that they might not make it the same here but overall verdict, it's very good! The sauce is tasty and everything in it.)

bitter gourd, long string beans, squash, okra sauteed in shrimp paste with shrimps, pork slices & garnished with crushed pork crackling
(Another dish I didn't expect much but surprisingly tasted so good! Hubs love this dish but very hard to get the ingredients here so I don't get to cook it much. Another thumbs up for this dish!)

...Crab Fried Rice...
We ended up ordering 2 extra plain rice when we were told the serving for this fried rice is just 2cups worth but when the bowlful of rice came to our table we were like laughing because it's good for a regular 4 person serving.

We were so stuffed (of course I'm not telling my doctor about this pig-out) that there's no more room left for dessert and that's good too because I can't have desserts =) We ended up taking out all the leftovers, the servings were big unlike there in the Philippines. That actually saved me from cooking til Sunday! Seeing how hubs enjoyed the dishes so much I footed for the bill though I had some help with the tip from him. I wasn't expecting I'll be spending that much that eat out alone..hehe but it's ok, we all enjoyed. After our very nice late lunch we took some photos to send to my family. See...I gained so much weight now =P

We had a little tour within the area, he showed us good places to eat there, Asian groceries and bakeries & freight forwarding services. Me and hubs initially thought we can do a little "baby shopping" after the meeting but never pushed through anymore. It gets dark as early as 4:30pm here plus the rainy weather, we decided to call it a day and head home. The day turned out to be a relaxing day-out for us. Perhaps I'll just share about my little package on the next post =)

I bet you heard about Lady Gaga and her hit Poker Face, me and hubs already have LSS (last song syndrome) hearing this over and over on the radio being played everyday. I admit this electropop song has a nice tune to it and she has good voice too. Not that I am fond of it but it's fun to hear it once in a while.

internet image

So what is really a poker face? Based on what I found when I googled for the meaning it says "A face lacking any interpretable expression, as that of an expert poker player." I don't really know how to play poker so I am lost with the poker face thingie. All I know, it's a card game with betting and the expectation of the game can be based on the players' actions, gestures, expressions... basically psychology. Maybe that explains why there's a need to be poker face so you can't be read directly by your opponents. I still can't understand how the game goes so I need to check out any poker videos, poker tools or even poker odd charts to understand more about it. I've been hearing FIL lately wanting to bring us to casino just for fun, maybe it will be good to know more about the game if ever he'll force us to tag along.

internet images

Have you ever been called poker face or played poker game?


Oh well I just said that, just wishful thinking. I can't even fly back home to spend holidays and all travels plans are all laid back so I can just dream about a travel to Argentina for now. Just like what people say, dreams can take you anywhere perhaps I should just dream about tours in Argentina til the time comes.

Actually there so many good places to see there and no worries with accommodations because there are many hotels in Argentina which may suit your budget preference. Even if you hop to other places definitely there will be so many options like hotels in Buenos Aires or hotels in El Calafate. Those are the hot tourist spots to visit there.

images c/o Explore Argentina

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