Friends Around the World

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sharing Sparkle Time with my Family #DASANIdrops #DASANIsparkling #Infusions

This is a sponsored  post written  in partnership with Dasani and Target.  All opinions are my own  and may differ  from  everyone else.  

When I first met my husband, I found it so  odd that he  is not fond of drinking water.  I thought that was very odd since I grew up drinking water and I seldom  drink soda or any other kinds of beverage.  By that time, he was   only drinking  sweet team, which in my opinion was not very healthy  because of sugar.  Anyway, I encouraged him to  incorporate water intake into his  daily routine especially when he started  gaining weight.  He was doing his  workout routine  very regularly but he wasn't losing anything.  I think he finally  realized that  the sugar in sweet tea is  sabotaging his  fitness goals so he started  drinking flavored water at first then he learned to drink plain water eventually.  I am so glad that I was able to  encourage him into drinking water  because  it is important to show our kids that water is an essential  thing for healthy living.

I was very excited to have given a chance to try the new DASANI products.  I received two naturally flavored black cherry sparkling water. two strawberry basil flavored drops infusion, and two lime flavored drop infusion.  You can purchase these products at your local Target store or by  using Target’s Cartwheel app.  If you use the app, you can  enjoy the coupons that will be available for both DASANI DROPS Infusions and DASANI Sparkling in Black Cherry for a limited time.

I love the  taste of the  Dasani sparkling water  with black cherry flavor.  I thought  that it  is going to  taste   strong but it didn't.  It is very mild  but  you can really taste the cherry in it.   I saved one for my husband to take to work.
My son is  really good with drinking water but my daughter kind of rejected water there for a while until she got  dehydrated and got sick.  Now I make sure that she drinks enough water or juice  in order to keep her hydrated.  I let them try this  strawberry basil  drops infusion and are 50-50 on it.  They love strawberry but not  totally sold with the hint of the basil in it.
My husband and I love the lime-flavored drops infusion.  He will be bringing one of this to his work since he brings a bottle of water everyday when he go to work.
Water is my fuel when I do my workout at home.  Please don't mind my messy hair. O just got done with my   short workout when this photo was  taken by hubby.  Water is a big   part of our everyday meal s.  Sometimes the kids would  drink juice but most of the times, we  all drink water.  My husband would still make  sweet tea once in a while but it is  sort of a special treat now instead of  a regular thing.  
Here's my Burritos enjoying their own flavored Dasani water.  Sharing Sparkle time with my family has never been this fun, thanks to Dasani flavored water!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Tropical Plants Survived the Winter - Indoors

I decided to  try to grow tropical  fruit plants again last year after my failed attempt previously.  The failure   was due to the fact that I grew them outdoors and thought I could protect them during the Winter by covering them.  That  did not worked so  I planted  the fruits in the pots this time and brought them inside the house.  I put them by the window where the sunlight shines through over the winter.  So far they are doing great.  I can't put them outside yet since it is still 26 degrees at my neck of the woods.   Anyway, here are the tropical fruit plants that I have.

My Dad taught us that when you chopped the crown of the pineapple, you can cultivate it by sticking it to the ground.  That's how we  always done it in the past and  our backyard has always pineapples.  I miss seeing pineapple flowers, it's been a long time.
Another fruit that we always have in our backyard when I was a kid was avocado.  It is very easy to grow and is a pleasure to harvest the fruit and enjoy  the nuttiness of the  fruit.
I have been trying to grow  a lemon tree since I got here in the US but it always  dies.  With this one, I think I am lucky.  My son actually put the seeds of the lemon that we bought from Iowa when we  had our road trip last year.  When I  brought  it inside, there's  only one leaf in it but now, it has grown quite a bit and I may need to transfer it into a bigger pot.
This miniature rose is  what my husband gave e during Valentine's day.  I always prefer this potted miniature roses over a bouquet because I can transplant them outside and I can enjoy it during summer time.  I have plenty of them in my garden now. I have several  office desk plants inside and it's screaming for some real sunlight.  I hope that  the weather will be warmer in the coming weeks.  Below is  indoor plants that I love and reminds me of the plants that we  have had  in the office when I was still working in school.  
Having plants in the office  can really sends clients  an inviting environment.  It also brings  freshness in the office.  Some companies hires professional to do this.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Cleaning with The Laundress

Disclosure: The author of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the products mentioned  in exchange of my honest  opinion which may differ from yours.  

Hey there everyone, my weekend went  very fast.  Busy  doing house chores and cooking for the family.  Today, I started my Spring cleaning  using the All Purpose Cleaning Concentrate and  Scented Vinegar that  The Laundress have sent me to try and review.
This 16 fl. oz all-purpose cleaning concentrate can be used  to clean porcelain, granite, and even finished wood.   It is ideal to clean floors, showers, toilets, and tubs. It is safe and effective to use in every surface,  It is toxin-free  and packed with  active ingredients.  I love the scent of lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, and ylang-ylang infused  in it.  The scent  actually reminds me  of freshly bathe babies
I used it this morning to clean my  kitchen floor.  It works great to our linoleum floors.  I used two capfuls of this concentrate and mixed it  with one  bucket of hot water.  
I have a  regular mop but thought of using old socks  to clean the floor this time.  I don't throw away  hubby's  old socks because I used them when I polished the furniture at home.  It works great as well to use with my swiffer sweeper.  I  cut the  sock into half and just  clip it into the swipper and it cleans better that a regular mop.
I can't wait till we can replace our kitchen flooring.  I don't like the color of our linoleum because it looks  dirty all the time even when it's clean.  Anyway, I am happy I started cleaning today.  I know  that we still have a week or so before Spring but Spring cleaning for me takes time.  I don't normally do it in one day.
I  love  cleaning my kitchen using vinegar because it is  safe and it cleans better so I was excited when they sent me this scented vinegar.  
I used  it to clean my counter top.  Having a fake laminate counter top  is nice but I would  love to have new  counter top  with granite, it would be easier to clean, I think.  The counter top next to the stove is always the one that needs cleaning because sometimes food splatter and I don't  get to clean it right away and it  sticks there  like the the one on the photo below.
Using  sponge, I soaked it with the vinegar and scrubbed it.  The scented vinegar is  okay,  If I would rate it, I would give 3 stars out of five stars.  It's not the best  cleaner I have used.  In fact, I would prefer my  diluted vinegar and water over this  scented vinegar.  Quite honestly, I don't like the scent either.  
I would say though that it cleans  our back splash  really good.  Now, I have a clean kitchen and would love to continue cleaning  some part of the house in the next few days.  
The scented vinegar claims to remove odor on fabric, deodorize the air, clean spotty glassware, and it can be used as natural drain cleaner.  It also removes bacteria, clean stainless steel, and wash pergo floors.  I used the whole bottle in cleaning my counter top.
I was hoping that The Laundress will send me  laundry detergent to try but they didn't so that's a bummer lol.  Anyway, I am glad they included some  How-tos and Tips and a brochure of all the products that they sell.  The Laundress specializes in producing products like laundry detergent, fabric care, and home cleaning.  I love that their products is non-toxic because we have kids and pets at home so it is very important that I used cleaning products that are safe both for my babies and  fur babies.  

Thank you, The Laundress for the effective cleaning products you guys sent me. You can check their blog editorial,  The Great Fridge Clean Out that  offers tips on how to properly clean and re-organize your fridge after the hectic holiday season.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Recycling Empty Boxes into Storage and Organizer

So I have been saving my BeautyBox5 cute boxes because I was thinking of making my son a storage and organizer for his  toy car collection.  Today however, I  saw the ductTape that I bought a few months ago and though, maybe I should make this boxes into  an organizer for my  cosmetics and stuff in my dresser and that's what I did.  
 I also used the box I got from Influenster and made into  Ms. Burrito's hair accessory box using the same pattern of  ductTape.
 Now it would be a lot easier for me to locate things such as  tweezers, nail cutters, nail polishes, and other things.
 I bought this beauty storage box  via amazon but  it wasn't enough to organize my stuff.
 Now I have a space for everything.
 I will continue to save the boxes because I want to  make one for  crayons,  coloring pens, and other arts and craft supply of my kids.
 Daughter suggested I should use some of her broken hair  accessories.
 I still have to finish my  cereal boxes project that I made for  filing my kids school papers and bills.

Empty boxes could be useful if you recycle them into something you could use around the house.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How To Survive The Polar Vortex

The winter season is upon us, and it's as bad as it ever was. The recent debate over drastic (or catastrophic) climate change has led to endless bickering in Congress, but one thing simply cannot be denied: Whatever the reason, these past few winters have been nasty. And one of the greatest casualties in this recent climactic tail spin has been the average American utility bill. 

Winter, Be Ready

Were you aware that 50 percent of all spending on utilities goes directly toward heating or cooling your home? And here's another handy statistic that's sure to brighten your day: During last year's winter season, 90 percent of homes in America were predicted to receive higher utility bills than ever. And that prediction came true. Now, we're facing an even uglier, longer, colder, and more expensive winter. What can be done to stave off the impending financial disaster? 

Saving Energy Means Saving Money, But How Can It Be Done?

Luckily, the news isn't all bad, There are some steps that you can take to "winter proof" your home and reduce the amount of money you spend on your utility bill. For example, if your gutters are clogged up with debris, now is an excellent time to get them cleaned up. Doing so will get all of that excess water out before winter causes it to freeze up solid. A frozen or bursting gutter is a serious hazard in winter time.

Another important thing to consider is the amount of cold air that creeps in through your front and back doors. If you're someone who needs to go in and out a lot of times during the day, you'll soon notice that your heater is working overtime to warm up all that cold air that's coming in when you open the door. Use a door snake, or maybe a rolled up towel, to seal up any cracks in your doors that might be letting all of that cold air in.

It's An Excellent Idea To Call On Professional Advice

Even if you're completely unskilled when it comes to making home improvements, there is still a way you can prepare for the upcoming winter season. You can call on expert advice and assistance in order to "winter proof" your home. For more handy tips on how to survive the winter freeze, feel free to contact Columbia Utilities.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Teacher's Day

Once a year, the  Catholic schools celebrates School Spirit Week where they do different  activities such as   Student ?Day, Teachers, Day, Open-House,m and the likes.  The teachers give their  students treat on student's day and parent's would often  serve Sundae's for them,  The students  can bring something for their teachers during  Teacher's day as well.
 My daughter  bought this heavy duty stapler for her teacher because she said that  they always go to the office to use a stapler.  Hubby and I were hesitant to get this because it's not a usual thing that you get for your teacher but  glad that  our daughter insisted because she said that the teacher loved it.
 Our son, whose teacher love gardening, got this  flower on a pot.  He write a message on a small piece of  paper  and stick it in the pot.
Teachers in private school doesn't get paid  much compared to  teachers in public school.  They deserve every little thing that we can give for them.  We appreciate all their hard work in helping us mold our children into good citizens.  I love that patriotism and  religion is still a big part of the curriculum in  private/catholic/christian schools.

Piano Practice Today

School is  closed again  today due to icy  road condition. It is snowing again and it's getting so cold.  I know that Spring is just around the corner but I am not sure if Winter will  let us enjoy that with the crazy weather we been having everyday.  I can't wait till snow is gone and we can all enjoy the outdoors again.  My indoor plants definitely need  more sunlight than what  they are getting now.  I am very surprised that my tropical plants, pineapple and avocado (not in the picture) are doing great indoors.
Anyway, I will let my kids practice piano after we eat breakfast.  Meanwhile, I am looking at this roland electric drums online and wonder if my son would ever be interested  in instruments like this.  I am just so glad that his interest with piano is revived.  He is doing good now considering that he has only been back to his lessons for 4 hours.  Below is  a short video I  recorded yesterday when he was  practicing.  Wait at the last part to see my goofy girl dancing lol.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dream Kitchen

If there's one home improvement that we would do, my priority would be our kitchen.  It is so outdated that it really need a face lift so bad.  Sometime in November, we went to a  kitchen and bathroom remodeling company here in our area to find out  how much it would cost to  renovate our  kitchen.  Upon consulting the guy in-charge and  told him what we want to do, the amount  he gave us is a staggering 40 grand.  Holy Smoke! That's almost half if the  the amount of this house is worth.  There's no way we would really pay for that!  So we modified  the design and the agent said that he would get back to us but he never did.  Maybe he realized that we can' really afford their price lol.  Oh well, at least we have  an idea now what to do with our kitchen.  Hubby said that he would try to work on improving our kitchen this year, we will  see. 

But anyway, browsing the beautiful  designs  at Danze website makes me wish that we have a much bigger bathroom at our home.  That is one wish that would probably never realized because the way this house is designed, the bathroom is too small.  That's one reason we built an additional bathroom downstairs, a bigger one.  With our 8 years of living at this house, we have updated some features in our bathroom including the   bathroom faucets, shower heads, the bath tub, and flooring.  It's better that it used to be but still not the dream bathroom that I want.  It serve the need of the family  and that's what is important.  
Anyway, if you want some inspiring designs for kitchen and bath, check out the website I mentioned above.  They do have some beautiful designs that would make you say "Wow!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


One of the most memorable thing that we did during our one-week getaway in Ocean City is the mini-golf at Jolly Roger amusement park.  The  whole family enjoyed  this beautifully landscape Jungle  Golf.  
It was actually more for the kids.  Hubby and I just assisted the two.  
My main thing is to capture the moments as usual.  Ironically though, all the photos I took was taken by my iPhone since the battery in my camera  decided to die on me.  I was bummed but  glad that I had my phone with me.  
My daughter said that she had so much fun celebrating her birthday  at the said  amusement park.  Hopefully we could go back there again when the kids are much older.  

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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