DIY Halloween Birthday Party

Xander’s spooktacular trick or treat birthday celebration….

Nov. 3 marks my son’s 7th birthday. The date fall on weekday so i decided to celebrate it 3 days in advance, Saturday Oct. 31.

Since it is Halloween season I have planned to have a Halloween theme for the party. I did not intend to celebrate it in Jollibee or McDo for the reason that my son Xander is not very fond with mascots. I know almost all the kids love Jollibee and who doesnt? (Xander of course). Even myself loves Jollibee mascot. But for some unknown reason unfortunately Xander cringed every time he saw the mascot. Anyway we did celebrate his 1st birthday in Jollibee so i guess that’s enough for him

So, on with the preparation and planning. Months before his actual birthday i am already busy scouring the net. At first i planned on doing a LEGO theme party but was later on changed it to a Halloween theme party.

First stop, birthday cakes. There are lots and lots of Halloween birthday cake design in the web but its hard to find a cake decorator for real especially if it is customized. Aside from the cost, the available design is not to my liking. After all Halloween party is not a very common celebration for a birthday in our culture. But I wanted Xander’s birthday to be different and unique and so I have come up with the trick or treat birthday bash.

I think I have talked to at least 10 cake decorator who can be a good candidate for my design before I finally settled to one. The best part of it was that they also offer photo booth and balloon decors. Aside from that their location is just blocks away from our area.

The sample cake and cupcakes. CaptureI have made some modification on the cake though.  I asked if they can insert some ghosts and here is the result. Photo credit to MomDadzcakecupcakesSo cute!  I couldn’t be more happier when I saw the actual.   As a precaution so as not to attract bugs or any flying insect around these cute little one I did buy cupcake holder and the result is so good looking…12211019_1049301328436827_1342626394_oHalloween theme design I made sure that all the colors are in sync with the Halloween theme so what I did was I put orange, purple, white and black combination for all my party essentials. Photo credit to MomDadzballoon setupdecorInvitation, bday tokens and loot bags. For invitation I’ve found a cute design from the internet and opted to give it a try. Materials can be easily bought in any crafts store. For the envelop I printed out a small note and just paste it at the back.invitation

Same with the loot bags. I just used brown bag and stick the thank you note on it.Loot bagsThe photo booth layout…20151030_125240Xander’s costume as green Ninjago Lloyd  A week before the event I am still looking for the celebrants’ dress. Initially Xander doesn’t want to wear costume, but I told him that all his guests are gonna be wearing one and he needs it too because there will be a parade for the trick or treating afterwards. Since he likes Ninjago I tried to look for a ninja costume. Unfortunately Xander is too big for his age almost all the stores I went to are either out of stock or the large size is not large enough for him to try 😦

So off to my DIY strategy. My first attempt is a total failure even the celebrant don’t want to become ninja anymore. sad face3 days before the date I am already at my lowest esteem because I am still not making any progress with my DIY costume. Thanks for my bff’s coaching and guiding I finally realized my mistake in getting it all done.costumeThe final costume which the celebrant is too happy to wear and doesn’t want to take off even after the event.costume1The Photographer I made this last minute decision to hire a professional photographer. Though there is also an available photo booth for the guests.  In all the pandemonium activity during the party proper I know beforehand that I needed someone that can capture all the memories from start to finish, pre and post. And since my fund is already on its limit I have to find one that would not hurt my wallet. I guess luck is on my side because I happen to stumble an old friend in FB and turned out he’s a photographer by profession and  he even gave me 50% discount for his service!collage1collage3collage2Other Essentials The food, one of my office mate’s business is catering.  I just ordered food from them.  I then asked Xander’s previous nanny to be the food keeper.  I rented chairs and tables.  For the event place, as you will notice it is just outside our house,  I occupied the whole road  🙂

Well, that sums up my DIY preparation for Xander’s birthday….

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What to wear in Mt. Pulag

LAYERING… One word that came to my mind when I decided to climb Mt. Pulag. Some fellow climbers told me that it can get as low as negative temp atop this mountain. As I don’t want to get hypothermia, I started googling the net on ways to prevent this. Upon searching I found out that the best way to overcome cold weather is by way of LAYERING.

This process is very effective if you want to survive during your stay atop this mountain. Be mindful also that when you layered your clothes make sure to use the proper cloth material.   The thing is even if you layered 3 or 4 types of dri fit clothes or just an ordinary shirt and jackets it will not warm you overnight.

LAYERING means wearing multiple sets of clothes one on top of the next with the right fabric that will keep you warm all throughout your overnight stay. Remember that in Mt. Pulag, weather is unpredictable.

Let me share with you the clothes I have used that helped me conquered the 6ºC temperature. It may not be as cold for others but for me any temp below 20ºC is way too cold for me.

top layer

You would notice that I’ve put a number on it. The number represents the sequence in wearing them.

  1. Dri fit shirt – this serves as the base layer. It is the first set of clothes you have to wear of course aside from your underwear before that :). It will keep you dry from perspiration and will not cling to your skin on your hike.
  2. Thermal wear – your 2nd  layer.  Thermal cloth serves as an insulation to help retain the heat in your body (it basically trap the heat in your body).

thermal wear3.  Mid-layer same as thermal wear, also trap heat into your body. It can either be a fleece jacket, a heattech type clothes or a down jacket. Notice that the fabric of jacket is sort of the same as that of my thermal wear.

fleece

4. Outer layer – since my mid layer can absorb the wetness, I have to use one more set of layering that will protect me from wind, rain and/or wet part of the mountain. Below is the jacket I have worn. Take note that it says water proof and wind proof.

outer jacket

The thermal, fleece and waterproof jacket all three of them I bought in UKAY-UKAY store. Waterproof jacket I chance upon on the day of the climb, lucky me 😉

The next sets of clothes are protection for your lower part. Same with top layering, your bottom consists of 3 – 4 items, I used 3 items.

bottom wear

  1. Base layer – leggings to keep you dry, this will also serve as your outer wear on your way down.

2. Mid layer – thermal leggings. I have been buying clothes in preparation for my Korean trip. Some of them consist of pants and leggings that can withstand the cold weather in Korea. I bought the thermal leggings online in aliexpress.com in time for the climb.

thermal leggingsthermal leggings1

If you are skeptical about buying online you may visit DAISO Japanese stores. I saw leggings there with same material as that of the item I bought online and it only costs P88 each (which I bought 2 pcs)

This is the item I bought online which is the same material I saw in DAISO.

thermal leggings daiso3.  Dri fit jogging pants which I also bought in UKAY to protect you in case its rains.

jogging pants

Aside from the top and bottom wear there are other accessories that you also need to consider wearing. Here below are some of those paraphernalia used.

accessories

Footwear – 2 sets of socks. I learned that socks made of wool are the best type of sock material for cold temperature. Same with thermal wear, wool socks retain heat and it can also repel water.

Hand warmers – I borrowed gloves to a fellow mountaineer, aside from that I knitted hand warmers made of crochet yarn which I find warm enough for my hands (this is also in preparation for my Korean trip but has been very useful during the climb).  Your hands will turn to violet and you won’t feel anything on them if you don’t wear hand warmers during your summit.

Russian head cap – during our DENR registration there is a store that sells different types of hat. I bought the Russian type of head cap as present for my son and thought it would look cute on him. I tried it on my head and felt the warmth it brings in my ear and decided to wear it during the summit.

Neck and mouth warmer – is also very handy especially for wiping out the liquid coming out of your nose if you can picture what I mean hahaha 🙂 ! You wouldn’t feel that something is going down your nostrils when you’re up there.

neck and mouth

Well that sums up the sets of clothes I used in Mt. Pulag.  Hope this article help you be prepared on your climb.

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I survived Mt. Pulag – A holy week penance

Mt. Pulag, 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines. At 2922 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak in Luzon. It gained its popularity because of its majestic sea of clouds and the milky way galaxy at dawn which I have not seen so I guess I’ll have to go back again 🙂

April 2 – 4 was the scheduled date, Holy week time in the Philippines. I was one of the fortunate people to have accepted the challenge. It was really a challenge for me to have climbed this mountain. To think that this was the first major climb I have done although I have been climbing mountains at least 8 times but those entire climb are all minor hike. The temperature was also a challenge because I am not very fond of cold weather and Mt. Pulag is one of the worst to give you a good spanking in cold weather. Thankfully the temperature during our climb was only 6ºC and the super typhoon Maysak did not pushed through with her plan to smash the Philippine archipelago.

Aside from that I think you could really say “I SURVIVED MT. PULAG” if you have taken a shower after the climb at the ranger station. Sounds weird? You could raise an eyebrow or laugh at me but this one is really the biggest challenge for me LOL! It was like an ‘ice bucket challenge’ times three.

Well without further ado; let me share with you some of my memories in Mt. Pulag…

20150403_060436 In Ambangeg bridge which we have passed and decided to take some photos.  This bridge can accommodate 10 persons.

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DENR orientation

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summit – almost 🙂

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20150404_063603with my fellow mountaineer

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at camp 2 saying our good byes for now, we’ll definitely go back to see the amazing sea of clouds and its milky way galaxy…

Well that’s it for now, in my next post I will be sharing with you my #OOTD atop this mountain.  It may not be much but I think it will help first timer make it through the night in such a cold temperature.

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The big step I have done

Capture

Taking legal action against someone I used to love is the biggest leap I have ever done.

Fighting for what is right and fighting for the welfare of my children. It may seem unjust to others (especially my in-laws), or it may seem petty to some. It can be an example to someone facing the same dilemma or it can be a tough decision to make.

It’s like a major climb with which I am uncertain. Can I reach the top? I still have to know. Did my legs cramped? Yes, every now and then. Will it break? I still have to know. I am in the middle part of the mountain where the road is narrow and steep I’m afraid I could fall.

One thing I am certain though, it’s worth a try.

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A PRAYER FOR MY FILIPINO COUNTRYMEN

Lord, help all those Filipino people who have survived the nature’s wrath
Give them strength and more will power to stay focused and unscathed
That may they see light in every sleepless and gloomy night
And may they see hope and perseverance on each day that passed

Forgive those who do wrongly because of panic and fear
Fear that they might not see and live another day
Frightened by the thought of hunger and despair

Dear Lord, I asked for your guidance and protection
For our government officials to be organized and controlled
That may they have more vigor and energy
So that relief can turn up fast and arrive immediately

Lord Jesus, I thank those who give aid to my fellow country men
Strangers they may be, their kindness is very much appreciated
I thank them all in behalf of my brothers and sisters
Their support only shows that kindness lives to every human kind

This I pray in Jesus name, AMEN!

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The adventure of sosyalerang julalay

Definition of terms
Sosyalera – socialite
Julalay – assistant of assistant of assistant

Sosyalerang julalay is the name I want to use on me outside the company premises doing office work.  I have chosen sosyalera to identify myself because I am not used to entertain or meet people and julalay to remind me that I’m there to work and not to mingle around.

Previously I have blogged about my new job as the executive assistant to our Operations Director.  That was just phase one of my new role, mostly office work related.  Phase two of my job is doing work outside the comfort of my four sided cubicle thus sosyalerang julalay. 

As part of my professional development I have to undergo training and mentoring.  That training started last Monday in the General Management Meeting or GMM as we call it.  In GMM all the managers, senior and junior leaders meet to reflect on the previous year achievement and activities done and also to discuss the future plans and goals of the coming year.  As part of my training my role is to assist in the preparation of the event and oversee the things needed during the actual activity which will commence in one of the hotels in the city.

The day before the GMM we need to check in the hotel to supervise the  preparations like the stage,  table settings,  technical matters (sounds, lights, projector).  So this means that I have to leave the children for a night and not sleep with them which is a first to my son (one of the disadvantages of being an EA).

There are 3 of us who met at the hotel me, my mentor, and her assistant.   Since I am in training I have to assist the assistant thus the julalay part.  The trip going to the hotel is not that hard because there are many ways to travel.   Thanks to a blogger named Lagalag for his very informative website.

The hotel is great, considered as 4.5 star; one of the many first that I may have to experience on this job I guess.  Here is the room that we have occupied on our sleepover.

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This pool is on the 2nd floor, unfortunately we have no time to loiter since it was already late and we have to wake up early.

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Dinner time, they opted to eat in a Japanese restaurant although not a first for me I can say I have managed considering the use of chopsticks (ouch!)

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Morning came, the attendees have arrived, there are about more than a hundred of us at the event.   My designation was to give complimentary ticket for the early bird.

Morning snack was served around 7:30 then the program proper followed through.   We had our lunch at the adjoining ballroom. It was Roasted fillet of sea bass which is basically composed of fresh herb and potato galette, seafood bouillabaisse sauce and the dessert was Espresso infused tiramisu with crunchy ladyfingers.  

Had I lived here I surely wouldn’t worry about my diet and weight 🙂

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Even though my feet,  legs, and thighs ache for standing and walking every now and then to see things and in  assisting the guests for their needs , overall it was a great experience for me.

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The job of an executive assistant

It was December of 2012 when our Operations Director called me for a talked about his plan of having an executive assistant on his side. As he go along with the plan he then told me that he is eyeing me for the position. Of course I wholeheartedly accepted it without even asking him why me? The job is totally different from my current position that year and that I don’t even have a proper training of being an EA.

21233558-woman-in-hurry-with-coffee-cup--cartoon-business-vector-characterFrankly speaking I’m not sure what the job is all about but I said yes nonetheless. All I know is that the position is some kind of an errand girl to some executive person.

They do petty things like:
• Copying and printing of documents needed for the presentation.
• Make some phone calls and cancel some.
• Prepare coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon or whenever your boss feels like drinking.
• Prepare notes during meetings, schedule meetings and sending minutes of the meeting.

One of my colleagues even told me that an EA is sometimes perceived as a GOFER.

I thought “Excuse me? What the fuck is a go girl?”

Gofer is someone who “Go For this”, “Go For that” she added that’s why they are called Gofer, got it?

Well, not much of a difference from what I have in mind.

But after 3 months on the job I began to look differently at the role of an EA. Their job and responsibility is not limited to being just an errand person. Their task is not all for the GOFER things as an ordinary person would see.

It is a common misconception that an EA’s role is a very easy job that anyone can do which now I totally disagree. There are certain qualities that only a qualified EA should have all the time. These are just some of the qualities that I am starting to learn along the way.

•Keep all confidential matter confidential
Sitting on this position, I am placed at the center of business dealings and communication inside the company. As an EA I do not have the liberty to tell my BFF all the information that I have gain. I am in actuality signed an imaginary NDA to my boss when I accepted the job.

•Can easily adapt to change every now and then
I have learned during our previous meetings that nothing is final until it’s final. Period.

At the end of the day it’s not about sending minutes of the meeting, making coffee or copying of files. I now understand it better that

I am here to:
• Ensure that my boss’s time is well conserved to do more meaningful things. Meaningful things that make the company grow.
• Provides a bridge for smooth communication between my boss and his senior management team.
• Help promote our company’s corporate image internally and externally.

As I go through this journey, I know that I still have so much to learn. I haven’t even discovered theEY-Office-Girl-Clip-Art advantage and disadvantages of this position but I am sure I would enjoy this new path of adventure!

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