Moving out of

Ok, I am taking the big leap. I am moving out of to my own domain. Please join me in this move, change your bookmarks, update your feed readers to my new URL:

No shocking changes, just a new template that works for me (for now) and you just basically delete the phrase “wordpress” in the URL. Nothing heavy, right?

This blog will still be here for a while but the last post will just be a reference to the new blog.  See you in my new site!

september morn

It’s the first day of September and we are greeted by heavy rains and a cool 15 degrees celcius (59F) this morning. Everything was in synch: the rain, the comfort of a warm bed and toddler still sleeping even at 6:30  (she usually wakes up earlier). I feel I could sleep for another hour with this weather, if only I don’t have to work!

After work today I need to go drop some mails at the post office, pick Pristine from pre-school and meet up with M at the grocery store. We will have barbeque tonight with friends, have fun celebrating the first day of September, dining outside, talking and welcome the relieving feeling of cool air that signals the start of early autumn.

— taken from a post I wrote in my previous blog, exactly one year ago.

Reality check: We are not in Japan and there is no such thing as autumn in our current geographical location. The temperature is no where lower than 35C (95F).

The Blog and Blogger Meme

 This was originally called The Blog Crush Meme but since I think I am too old and too married for the word crush, I renamed it.

1. What was the first blog you read? The very first blog I ever read was Accidental Mother. She writes about single parenting with humor, as if it is a piece of cake – which I know is not. Also, I started reading Supermom Melany’s blog since three years ago – – one of the first family blogs I stumbled.

2. Do you still read that blog? Yes, but Accidental Mother rarely posts now. I still read Supermom’s blog up to this very day.

3. Do you have a blog crush, in other words, is there a blogger you’d love to meet? Not a crush, but an admiration and respect. I would love to meet The New Parent and learn his cool and meaningful parenting style.

4. Upon meeting would you crumble and mumble under the pressure, blurt out something incoherent, or blush madly? I don’t function well when nervous or under pressure. I’d sweat a lot even if it’s dead cold in winter. So I probably will still blurt out words normally but my heatbeat is twice as fast.

5. If you could have a long, leisurely lunch with one blogger whom you’ve never met, who would it be? With ONE blogger only? I would love to meet so many!!

On top of my head, I’d love to meet Melba. She is currently in Tokyo doing her research study. We get along really well and instantly clicked minutes after we were introduced to each other by our common friend. We talk a lot, sometimes we forget we haven’t even met yet! If I were in Japan right now, I would take a train to Tokyo and see her. Too bad Ginee (our common friend) introduced us to each other only after my move to Dubai.

and speaking of hopping over to Japan, I would love to meet Tanabata. Book readers are inteligent and interesting people and she is no exception.

I would also love to meet Sabine. Our email conversations are almost endless!:-)

And then there’s Kailani. I will be bringing my daughter if I meet her. Our girls will surely have fun.

..then I’d hop on to NZ and have a warm cocoa with Cheryl!

See? I can’t decide! If I can, I’d love to meet all. Since that is physically, geographically impossible, I am glad we all have this one common meeting place called the blogosphere where we can talk and interact with each other in the comfort of our own homes (or offices).

No jet lag!

Thursday Thirteen #7



  1. MacGyver – I can’t forget how MacGyver always has something to come up with even in most impossible situations!
  2. Three’s Company – I love John Ritter’s humor. So sad that he has to die so young.
  3. Miami Vice – the original is always the best.
  4. Small Wonder – dreamed of having a robot as a sister after being an only girl in the family for almost 14 years.
  5. Remington Steele – Pierce Brosnan never aged a day after this TV series. I thought he looked so good together with co-star Stephanie Zimbalist. Too bad they are not real life partners.
  6. The A-Team – didn’t you love these bunch of toughies?
  7. The Cosby Show – a good laugh, every time.
  8. The Wonder Years – Now who would never miss this?
  9. Punky Brewster – funky show I loved.
  10. Quantum Leap – a good detective story every week!
  11. The Love Boat – I imagine being in a cruise ship everytime I see this show.
  12. Growing Pains – I watched the reruns when I was one bored soul in Japan years ago. Still entertains me.
  13. Beverly Hills 90210 – watched the show with parental guidance. Immensely enjoyed the no-parent-present reruns years later.

Do you remember any of these shows?

where do we get all this water?

Water is one of the first things that come to mind when we hear the word desert.

Do you imagine vast, endless arid area without greens and unbathed people with dry throats? Dubai is so far from it. There are lots of greens grown in parks and on the streets with lots of water supply to make Dubai look like a normal place to live them survive.

 how-they-do-it.jpg      petunias

Left: grasses are regularly watered; Right: beautiful flowers on the streets

surreal greens

With money generating from black gold, everything can be possible: the greens, the trees, man-made islands and of course the seemingly endless supply of water available, thanks to multibillion dollar state of the art desalination technology. The United Arab Emirates is a coastal country facing the Arabian Sea so they put the sea water to good use. Dubai is actually planning to build one of the world’s largest desalination complexes to supply enough water to the city’s growing population.

Thanks to that, we are able to take a bath regularly. I mean, we really need to.

choosing a theme wisely

I am not in a hiatus after the long carnival post yesterday although I admit, I want to break free from blogging by at least a day. Oh well, I couldn’t do it so here’s a quick post.

As mentioned in my previous post, I am slowly migrating into my own domain. Contents moved, some bugs checked, some bugs given up with. Now the ultimate grilling time has consumed me: Choosing a blog theme.

This is by far the most exhausting and time consuming of all. Blogggers with own domains, do you agree? Choosing a template that works for you in all aspects requires visiting and downloading and testing theme after theme after theme. Sometimes I experience some difficulty and encounter bugs. If I really like the theme, I’d them go find resources to fix the glitches or look for developer community forums and disturb everyone with my technical questions.

Were you able to pick your blog theme quickly?

I am really choosy but that doesn’t mean I have a grand taste. I actually love minimalistic, basic, clean theme that works, like Cutline (this current theme).

The 1st Carnival of Family Life in Dubai

The Carnival of Family Life is in Dubai!


The ‘normal’ calendar says summer is about to end, some places must be welcoming the cool autumn air already but guess what, it’s still and will always be summer-y in this corner of the globe so follow me as your guide through the first COFL summer fair here at Sandier Pastures.


First things first, Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife has some timely tips that work great for all of us who has trouble getting organized before getting out the door with kids in tow. Check out: A Day at the Theme Park – Prepare Yourself!


We will go through the fair attractions and rides so brace yourselves and have fun. Enjoy the carnival!




Where people talk about sweet, sweet stories that never fail to put a smile on our faces!

Little helping hands and that proud smile on our kids are the sweetest. Corey gushes about her Little Helper at Living and Loving Every Minute of It! Little kids love to help, they want to be a part of all that is happening inside our homes. My own daughter at home wants to be a part of every little situation we have. Taking Corey’s example, I will grab the camera and take pictures instead of minding if the chore is done well.

zamejias presents Itsy, Bitsy Spider Core(s) posted at Verb. It is always a joy listening (and trying to understand!) our kid’s first words. 

Rebecca at Be A Good Mom points out in Geetle’s Bookstore that once in a while children need some mind candy – – we should not expect them to just trail around us while we do our errands (usually in a hurry). Have you noticed while shopping for more than, say, 30 minutes, toddlers tend to behave differently than the first time you stepped in the grocery store?

Marilyn Terrel presents a grown son travelling Italy with his mom on bikes, and nothing terrible happens in Intelligent Travel: Traveling with my Mother posted at Intelligent Travel.

micpro shares the simple joys and humor found within moments of childhood in her conversation with her little girl one fine day in Where’s Da Budderfly at In The Life Of A Child.

gameguy doesn’t need to worry about the toy recall chaos as he talks about his son’s simple joys in Playing in the Dirt at Play To Relax.

Charlie Close has some hints on what to do to keep a marriage alive and sweet in Love and Hug Therapy at Summer Grasses, stories from the seasons of life by Charlie Close.

Leisa talks about her 5 meter radius world in Mind the Bump at Down With The Kids. The 36th week of pregnancy is the time to slow down, involuntarily!

Cory Aldrich shares a short but sweet post in A Promise posted at Marriage Actually.




What goes around, comes around!

Abel Cheng asks us, Fairness: Where did the 4-year-old learn that? posted at Parent Wonder. Kids point out things adults normally see, even if we disagree with them.




Kids (and sometimes, husbands!) are a handful but it is no secret that they are also the ones responsible for our simple joys in life.

pickel has “that” kid that makes her laugh hysterically than the clown show in No Shoes, No Socks, No Glasses, No Service posted at My Two Boys.

DeputyHeadMistress shares the precociousness of her young boy in Watermelon Fiend at The Common Room.

Amanda Regan and her conversation with her little bundle of cute mischief in Tomato Sauce? – I Guess Not at The GOOD, The BAD & The MISCHIEF.

SuburbanOblivion presents Lines That WILL NOT Entice a Woman Into Bed at Suburban Oblivion. Have you heard any of these lines?

Expat Chef write a post about what happens when you have raise a child just like you were in “Terrible” Karma posted at The Expatriate’s Kitchen. Check out the suggested approaches to handling the Terrible Two’s, especially the tempting, but very misguided list.

KimC wants you to guess why her children is taking Trash can baths at Life in a shoe: the methods and madness of one mother of 8.




Getting married and starting a family is a rollercoaster of emotions. I guess no one will disagree with this.

The real excitement begins when you find out your wife is pregnant. Will it be a boy? or a girl? Anmol Mehta presents How to Make a Baby the Right Way- With Illustrations! posted at Mastery of Meditation, Enlightenment & Kundalini Yoga. Check out the secret numbers and certain “procedures” to getting the baby gender you want!




It’s always to relish good memories not too long time ago.

metamommy remembers how it was to be an accountant and the joys of staying at home with her son in Accountant vs Stay At Home Parent at They Call Me Mommy.

HowToMe remembers the sweet moments of measuring heights every Christmas at the grannies’ house and shared some tips on How to Make a Wooden Growth Chart at How To Me.

Lill Hawkins talks about her feelings regarding her 17-year old son learning how to drive while relieving memories of her own in Driving in the Deep End episodes at News From Hawkhill Acres.

FamilyBriefs recalls her own childhood and her journey to ‘growing up’ in Are We There Yet? posted at Family Briefs.



Emily Berry shares her thriller story about their Unwelcomed House guest at Mommin’ It Up! I don’t know what I’ll do if I were in this situation!

TerryM recounts an ordeal scary enough for anyone in When It Rains, It Pours at The Chocolate Chip Cookie Family.

Hello Kitty Hell presents The Dangers of a Hello Kitty Cell Phone at Hello Kitty Hell. The world famous Hello Kitty merchandise…good if you like them, horror if you don’t.




Charlotte King invites you to Matthew’s First Birthday at My Charmed Life. If you click through the picture link, you’ll see what the birthday boy did with his cake! Time flies by so fast. In another blink, 1 year old baby Matt will be introducing his girl to Mommy!




tropical-drink.jpg  melon.jpg  choccake.jpg  cheers.jpg

Time flies quick when you’re having fun! It’s lunchtime and the chatter continues at the fair food court.


Back To School Stories

Karen share some first day of school bittersweet thoughts in In Survival Mode posted at Write From Karen.

The start of the school year is always a period of adjustment especially for younger children. Mom & Dad shares the Kindergarten Meltdown posted at Raising 4 Boys.

Tiffany Washko provides tips to prepare Healthy, Fun, Frugal…School Lunches at Nature Moms. Make your children’s first day of school extra-special by making creative lunches dashed with mommy’s TLC.


Sharing Tips

Interacting with our children and having them play and interact with other kids is important to stimulate their personality growth. Amanda Harris shares some Mommy Resources at Pajama Mommy.

Stephanie writes some helpful info on how to keep everyone’s sanity while out Running Errands with Kids at Adventures in the 100 Acre Wood.

No need to shoo the kids away from the kitchen when they want to help! Corrie presents a few tips to keep it fun and easy (and with less screaming) in Kids in the Kitchen at Tyler’s Triumph.

Elaine writes that music is extremely important for children and many learn best when the concept is set to music in Sensory Play 4 Sound at Play Activities.

Need a unique and very smart seat booster? Mommy Poppins recommends Kaboost Portable Chair Booster Gives Booster Seats the Boot posted at Mommy Poppins—Get more out of NYC for kids.

Char Polanosky shares Fun, kid-friendly recipes at Raising A Healthy Family. Check out so many links and perk up your children’s lunchboxes!

Tired of all the singing and dancing of young, cute teens in High School Musical 2? Terri Mauro shares ways of Making High School Musical 2 Work for you at About Parenting Special Needs.

Kymberlyn Steel-Fannin wants you to release your inner Chihuli in these beautiful Refrigerator Chihuli: An Artful Magnet posted at My Education Junction.

Stop throwing those cereal boxes! Lori Cooperstein show us what to do with them in Creating Toys from Trash – Teaching Kids to Recycle at Fun Playdates.

Alvaro Fernandez presents some tips to keep our brains sharp in The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Brains at SharpBrains: Your Window into the Brain Fitness Revolution.

Pregnant? Csara presents a comparison of ingredients in prescription and over the counter prenatal vitamins to help you decide which to take in Prenatal Vitamins – Prescription or OTC? at Baby Talkers.

Kerri Aldrich share some resources on Movie Making for Kids posted at Play Library.

If you are torned between Satellite and Cable Television, Kevin Fleming points out the difference between Satellite vs Cable at Satellite TV Guru.


Home, Parenting and Kids

Kids pick up language and actions from us even if we don’t want them to. Super Saver explains further in My Actions May Be Used For Training Purposes at My Wealth Builder.

Deb shares every mom’s intinctive feeling in My kids’ first taste of ‘freedom’ at Mom of 3 Girls.

Sometimes not helping is helping. Leticia Velasquez shares her take on that thought in How to help our children learn independence posted at Cause of our Joy.

Summer presents A few educational moments at our house posted at Mom Is Teaching. What is new in your house lately?

Can you survive without a microwave? Jennifer in OR shows us how she and her family does it in Surviving Without a Microwave at Diary of 1.

Sheila Scarborough asks, “What if you like funky and the kids want big n’ splashy?” in Travelling parent faces hotel reality check posted at Perceptive Travel Blog.

Do you know something called “Geographic Tongue“? Eagerblogger explains at ExtraSuperMom.

Shera R. muses about how moms so often get lost in the midst of motherhood in In the Midst of Motherhood posted at There’s A Frog In My Soup…and other mixed blessings!

Raising kids is itself a challenge. Raising kids with health issues requires more effort especially in the communication part. Kevin Heath shares Special Parenting Skills Are Needed For Raising Children With Health Issues at More4Kids. The article offers great advice even for parents with healthy kids.

Cara shares her Family Goals posted at Green Bean. What are your family goals?

Do we really need this in our society right now? Madeleine Begun Kane writes about Bulletproff Backpacks: In Case Your Kids Classmate is Packing at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog. The initial stock of several hundred backpacks has been sold out. One backpack costs US$175. Would you buy?

Mommy Babble presents When Toys Aren’t That Fun at Mammy Babble. Kids did just fine for a billion years playing what they could find. Are toys really necessary? The recent toy recall should be our wake up call.

In one of those light bulb moments where you realize how much you needed your darling husband, Laura shares her story in I have power tools and I just might try to use them!!! posted at Adventures in Juggling.

Jenny had to deal with some uninteresting people in her recent trip in Honey, I’m Home posted at The So Called Me.

Affirmation is a positive way to motivate children as well as adults. Hal Sommerschield explains in Yes! Yes! Yes! Do That! posted at North Star Mental Fitness Blog.

Kristie McNealy gives us a peek of what it’s like to have a mix of work and play at home, everyday in An Asymmetrical Lifestyle at Kristie McNealy, MD.

What makes young people between ages of 13 and 24 happy? Cate3 presents the result in The road to happiness posted at Why Homeschool.

Jill talks about Christmas in July (well, really August) at The Diaper Diaries. I don’t mind playing Christmas songs this early, my daughter loves the joyous Christmas song beats!

Do you have grown up kids who are finishing college? The Career Counselor presents The Post-College Career Reality Check posted at Ask the Career Counselor.

Carole Holder is glad summer is over at Capitalism in Captivity at Can’t Holder Tongue.

Take a look at the recent trend in family vacations. Jody DeVere presents Families Travel Farther, Spend More, and Take Shorter Vacations posted at Ask Patty – Automotive Advice for Women.

Donetta shares some piece of humor despite something quite serious in A Life Uncommon: On Humor. posted at A Life Uncommon.


Money Matters

Money matters, matters. Marriage is not all about romance. Family finances and budget are two great factors to make a marriage work and assigning all of your money before spending it is the key.

Evelester talks about a simple and smarter budgeting system that works for her family.  Read The Budgeting Secret that saved our Marriage at Confessions of an Everyday Housewife to know more.

How do you handle your finances, with real money or plastic? Stephanie share some insight in Chanding Times Mean a Change in Money Handling at Stop the Ride!

Tushar Mathur presents High Energy Bills?? Try out these simple ideas! posted at Everything Finance. It’s summer but mind that A/C!

Kids have no price, but there’s a cost to raise them, Here’s an amusing piece about this from Silicon Valley Blogger in Are You Ready To Be A Parent? Know The Cost Of Having Kids posted at The Digerati Life.


Pet Love

Matt M offers a collection of More Fun Pet Quotes at The Pet Haven.


Serious Talk

GP presents A Monthly Missive posted at Fish Creek House – INNside Innkeeping, saying, “The passage of time, one is told, can allow us to heal, to move forward, or face the world through a new set of lenses. That being said, time can also serve to allow an individual, who must learn to live with pain or unpleasantness, allow one to go forward. In other words, in the end, we can get used to anything.”

Warren Wong discusses our differences and the way it can make or break our relationships. The Key To A Healthy Relationship posted at Personal Development for INTJs, asks, Are you in a healthy relationship? Do you know what makes a relationship healthy? Hmmm, tough questions.

David B. Bohl shares an insight between children and personal fulfillment in Children and Personal Fulfillment: Slow Down Fast Today! posted at Slow Down Fast Today!

Kevin Bedell presents a set of resources to help you take steps to reduce how far your food travels before it reaches you in A simple step you can take: Eat more locally grown food at 21st Century Citizen.

Louise Manning talks about the effects of workplace friction in Will you just stop bickering! at The Human Imprint.


The dads share some candid moments and wonderful words of advice…

A doting dad attends her eldest daughter’s leaving day from her schoo in Kent. A day of mixed emotions is captured in Founders Day posted at artThailand.

Eric Ellen presents All It Takes Is A Little Gratitude To Make a Big Impression whether on parenting or in a marriage posted at Husbandhood.


Lastly, A Contest!

Kate Baggott presents Announcing The Family Vacation GWP posted at Babylune, saying, “Babylune is hosting a family vacation group writing project. Write a post about your family vacation and link back to the contest. The winner will receive $1 for each participation post up to $100. In other words, if 100 posts are entered, the prize will be $100. Contest closes on 31 August.”


Thank you for all the submissions this week that add spice to the carnival. It was a great pleasure to be your host this week and what fun to read all the entries. But of all the time, the ever efficient wordpress went berserk down for maintenance for soo many hours (longer than what they promised for it to come back!) yesterday and I admit, I did panic!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Don’t forget to submit your posts for next week’s issue at Down With the Kids.

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