Wednesday, April 30, 2014

IC's 10th Birthday in Italy

IC's dream came true.
IC along the beach area in Lake Mergozzo, Italy
She celebrated her 10th birthday on April 13 at Camping Continental in Verbania, Italy last April 13.

So excited, she couldn't sleep the night before as she was too excited about her possible gifts, thus, she woke up a little later. Good thing, because I got the chance to prepare a special birthday breakfast spread for her.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rikki at Camping Continental in Lago Mergozzo, Italy

Camping Continental in Lake Mergozzo, Italy
We just got back from an Easter camping trip that brought us to campsites in Switzerland and Italy.

I have loads of laundry so I would post more stories and photos later!

Friday, April 25, 2014

IC's Sunset Photos

There we were, comfortably lounging in front of the television: just another lazy afternoon.

Then IC started shouting, 'Mama, look outside!'

I encouraged her to try to capture the beautiful sunset, and she did.

And that's how this sunset photos came about :-) Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Celebration 2014 in Italy

It's not only IC's birthday, we also celebrated Easter during our camping in Italy.

And despite being away from home, traditions would remain traditions, like having dyed eggs!

Two days before Easter Sunday, my husband and the girls spent a few hours boiling, dying and painting eggs. I brought the dyes and the paints as I know that they would be looking forward to this yearly activity.

And the result? See the photo below. If there's a will, there's colored eggs!

Colored eggs for Easter
A day before Easter Sunday was stormy. My husband and I spent a lot of time outside, trying to keep our awning's posts from being torn by the wind! And then we also took time to fix the awning so that water won't seep inside! We refilled our empty plastic water bottles and used them as weights to keep our awning in place.

Friday, April 18, 2014

DIY: From an old t-shirt into a no-sew summer top

I have been busy sorting out our closet... and then the girls arrived from school. They started rummaging through the clothes, grabbing items they absolutely cannot live without.

And there ensued a long discussion, just because some t-shirts are simply too small for them already.

The solution? Old favorite t-shirts turned into airy, summer tops!

The cookie monster version

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Love Oma's Waffle Machine

I am lucky to find this waffle machine in my in-law's living room's side board, behind other kitchen knick-knacks. It seemed it has been collecting dust for a long, long time.

I was real excited to find it. But, where's the electric cable? My husband and I decided to rummage in the attic. We found all sorts of electric cables and hoped that one of them would fit the waffle machine.

Well, one did fit :-) The next challenge would be -- would the waffle machine function properly?

Oma's waffle machine
I am happy to let you know that yes, the waffle machine is functioning properly. The girls and  I have been using the machine for breakfast and dinner waffles! And always, we cannot believe how this old waffle machine worked better than our 'new' waffle machine.

You could regulate the heat, meaning, it bakes waffles faster, too. It is more stable and yes, a bit heavier. Cleaning it is a breeze, too.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Your Quirk Quotient

Always neat and proper
What is your quirk quotient?
 I googled the phrase on top and what do you know, I got all kinds of hits.
Quirk quotients for picking up the latest styles and trends, quirk quotients to explore the wacky side of life, quirk quotients to keep one creative, quirk quotients to have a modern home, quirk quotients to keep up with the Kardashians ( ok, the last one I just made up J)…
It seemed most of the articles that focused on quirk quotient talked about the list of how to have a wonderful lifestyle, to be popular, to be creative, to be stylish, to be, you know, up there being loved by everyone because of your quirkiness made you special. Well, that could be.
But I would rather talk about the quirky side of the quirk quotient. Nope, we won’t choose between what is good or bad. There would be no positive or negative. There would be no do’s and don’t’s. I simply wanted to explore on personality quirks, which could be someone’s pet peeve, or anybody’s chance to show off his cute character or somebody’s else’s special way or but could also be on everybody’s list of irritating things they encounter daily or some quirks could also indicate a medical condition.
Read here.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Our First Caravan Trip: Campingplatz Kleinenzhof in Schwarzwald (Black Forest)

To try-out all the functions of our new caravan, we've decided to drive to Campingplatz Kleinenzhof in Schwarzwald (Black Forest) one weekend.

The main function of the drive to the camping area is to check if everything is working properly-- the toilet and shower, the electric switches and plugs, the gas cyclinder, the lights, the ref, the burner oven and the tap. We also wanted to make sure that the grill oven we bought would be grilling and the awning would have all the parts to be installed properly. What else? We wanted to know if we could have missed something that we would surely need during long trips.

We were lucky that we chose a sunny weekend, although it was real cold at night. That's an excuse to check if the heater is working!

Most important, I wanted to know how my husband would handle driving a caravan. I want to be assured that everything would be safe.

That's the reason why we ended up at Camping Kleinenzhof in Schwarzwald (Black Forest), and I supposed, it was a lucky choice, too.

Camping Kleinenzhof is a clear choice because they accept dogs (a number one in our checklist); and because they have an indoor pool (a number one in our girls' checklist), plus an outdoor pool for spring/summer use, too. Also, because they are open all-year round. Other camping areas in Germany are still closed at this time of the year.

Here are some photos of Camping Kleinenzhof.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dog Therapy: Our bestfriends can heal us, too!

Every time I see images and videos of heartwarming stories about people being saved, helped or assisted by their therapy dogs, it always makes me feel good.
And because we have a very friendly three-year-old Golden Retriever, Rikki, we had always played around with the idea of turning our dog into a therapy dog.
You see, it is already a sort of a therapy just having our dog around. It was the thought of having another dog that healed my family’s great sadness after having had to leave our very first dog in the Philippines when we moved back to Germany.
My two young daughters ‘suffered’ badly. They missed our first dog so much, one cried herself to sleep almost every night while hugging a look-alike stuffed dog.
My other daughter embraced her longing for the dog in silence. We would find her sleeping surrounded mostly by her assortment of doggie stuffed toys. She has collected more than a dozen of them and called them all the same ‘Candy.’ The name of the dog we had to leave behind.

Read more here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our Caravan: Adria Altea 562PK

Remember last month we were contemplating on buying our own caravan/motor home? Well, here's the result.

It was not an easy decision but we simply cannot control the rising enthusiasm and so we went for it! After all, dreaming the impossible doesn't always mean it won't come true, right? Thanks to a friend who's business is caravaning, who pointed us to the right direction.
Adria Altea 562PK
It was a challenge looking for the 'best' caravan/motor home for our family. But when we found it, we all fell immediately in love!

Admittedly, it was my thoughts about savings and my inherent nose for bargains that made me go for the cheaper one with almost the same features. My family managed to persuade me just because it was a three against one decision :-)