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Saturday, June 30, 2007


Pirouette is one of the most famous ballet movements wherein the dancer spins around on demi-pointe on one leg. The other leg can be in various different positions.

Pirouette was the title of the cultural show we watched last night with my five-year-old grandkid at the Luce auditorium. It was actually my granddaughter's debut as an audience of a cultural show which she really enjoyed.

It was an evening of enchantment. The costumes were superb, the background of the stage was classy, the choreography fresh, and the dancers were well trained.

Clean, with no clutter and with soft colors coming from the costumes, lights, and backdrop, I should say were were, during the entire presentation mesmerized.

I've never watched a ballet show for many years and last night's experience told me that I should watch more.

Ballet wasn't the only fare we had last night. There were contemporary renditions of our native dances, some jazz, and hip-hop numbers. This is actually an annual presentation of the MEV Dance Studio located in Dumaguete City, Philippines.

When the show was over, guess what my five-year-old company said. "I loved it!"

Thursday, June 28, 2007

planning a shoestring wedding

With high cost of living, having a grand wedding could be the farthest thing that will cross the minds of those who plan to tie the knot. A dream wedding could amount to millions if the couple has that much money to waste for a single moment of blessedness. It is all worth it, we know that, but to splurge one's many years of savings on a wedding may not be a very good way to start a new life together.

Who says that only the moneyed have the right to marry? Planning an inexpensive wedding may be the wisest decision that a couple can do for starters. What are the ways in which a couple can have a dream wedding on a budget? Is that possible? Of course if you allow ample time for the planning and preparation to happen on a slow but sure manner. Preparation should be done at least six months before the date and by this time invitations should have been finalized and printed.

If the budget is very limited, then it is not wise to hire a wedding planner. You can plan your own wedding with the help of close friends and family. Here are the things you need to consider in planning your own wedding:

1. number of guests (hiring a caterer may be more expensive but it takes off a lot of the headaches that come while preparing for the reception; if possible, contact a caterer that gives the best offer----remember, the caterer does not only prepare the food but also does the table setting as part of the package and may even provide the venue)

2. wedding dress (borrow, rent, buy, have it made----which is the least expensive?)

3. wedding attire for the bridal entourage (borrow, rent, have them made----of course the last one is always the most expensive---if you get your own relatives and friends they might even volunteer to pay for their own gowns)

4. Cake (find out if the caterer can make this as part of the package)

5.transportation (rent or borrow?)

6. invitations (can be personally done if you have a computer and printer---start making six months before)

7. venue (if the caterer cannot provide this, you can have this at your own house or a relative's house)

8.emcee (a friend or relative will do)

9. entertainment (singers, live band----friends, members of your church's choir, family)

10. church (of course, you need to arrange your schedule here long before to avoid conflict)

11. wedding favors (can be handmade, you can buy the raw materials cheap--start making them several months before)

There are countless of other details like the rings, bouquet, garter, wine etc. that had been missed out. Be sure to make a list of these and assign two or three people to take charge of them. With that said, you're on your way to a shoestring wedding.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

liven up the party with finger puppets

Utilize your creativity, liven up your kid's birthday party with finger puppets. You could make-do with used clothing and other scrap materials at home and use them as give-aways, prizes, or a game/contest in which you provide the materials so kids will get busy making their own finger puppets and win fabulous prizes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

b'day party at school!

Schools have different policies regarding the celebration of birthday parties. I know of one school that discourages the holding of birthday parties anywhere on campus. This is to avoid discriminating those who do not have the resources to host a birthday party.

Having the party at school may prove to be more economical for you only prepare for the number of classmates your kid has. You may order the food from any food outlets or you may prepare the food yourself which does not need to be that lavish. Here's a list of food kids will surely appreciate at parties:

1. spaghetti (may be messy but kids love this)

2. chicken joy

3. steak

4. hotdogs on sticks

5. cakes, candies

6. tocino on sticks

7. colored sandwiches

Question: Is there a need to prepare invitation cards if the party is to be held in school? Of course, simple handmade cards will do or if you have some extra, you can buy them by the dozen at any department store.

Friday, June 22, 2007

courtesy words to be used at special occasions

When we attend formal gatherings we are expected to be at our very best in clothes, words and deed. Earlier, we have gone through some of the things to do and avoid while at such gatherings. My dear boys and girls, when at parties where adults are also invited, make sure that you avoid talking loudly or shouting. When you have a message to tell a friend across the hall, go up to him or her and not shout out the message. That's a no-no. This also holds true about laughing. It is rude to laugh loudly while at a gatheing. Show your breeding while maintaining conversation with friends or other guests. Greet everyone with a smile and use the following words or expressions that exhibit good manners.

Good evening, ma'am/sir. (to those older than you) Otherwise, just say "Good evening" to everyone.

Thank you. (after a favor has been done to you like being served something)

Please. (when asked if you want something and you want to say yes)

Excuse me. (when you want to call the attention of someone )

You're welcome or It's a pleasure. (when someone says "Thank you" because you've done her or him a favor)

I am sorry. (when you have wronged someone like when you step on someone's shoes)

May I.......Could you please.........(in asking for favor)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

b'day gifts for 14, 15, 16 yo

Moms sometimes find it hard to look for the perfect gift for their kids who are turning 14, or 15, 16. Of course, the usual questions to be asked are:

1. What does she want?

a. music

b. books

c. clothes (blouses, bags)

d. writing

e. accessories (jewelry, friendship bands)

f. cologne

2. What is it that she already has but still wants more? Does she have a hobby? Is she collecting something?

From observation, teens ages 14 to 16 love new things such as new blouses, wallets, bags, and they like to change the look of their cellphones. Those who love to read will appreciate a good book. And yes, any piece of jewelry like a bracelet, pair of earrings, or a necklace will also be appreciated.

Summer splash at Sea Forest

No, it wasn't a birthday party but the culminating activity of ABC Kiddie Learning Center which happened with a big splash at Sea Forest, between Sibulan and San Jose, Negros Oriental, Philippines. Photo shows Dewey, Chula, gramma, and right behind are Pia and mom Christina. Sea Forest is one of the best places to visit in Dumaguete City. It is where you, friends , and family can have loads of fun.

Monday, June 18, 2007

kids and make-up

As a general rule, make-up is not for kids. However, there are times when they are required to have some color on their faces when the occasion calls for it. For instance, if the kid is going to be performing on stage, then she will need a little color so that she will not appear deathly up there. Make-up for kids is done on necessity, and that is, to add or give color to the face for stage presentations.

However, there had been many cases of kids being made up a la Marilyn Monroe especially during kids' pageants. Ok, ok. It's a beauty pageant, but these are only kids! For God's sake, shaving their eyebrows and making them arched will turn them into hags!

Kids, no matter what presentation they are joining, should look their age. A small amount of blusher and a dab of lipstick will do just for the color effect.

Otherwise, please, do not tamper on their innocent faces.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Party etiquette

Here are a few basic things to guide us when attending parties.

1. When it is a formal party where guests were invited by an invitation card which you were not given, do not attend it even if another friend who received an invitation will bring you along.

2. If you are the host, greet guests as they come to the door. You should have a place for their personal items which they might want to leave.

3. As host, you need to introduce people.

4. If you are an invited guest, bring a gift for the host.

5. Use utensils from outside in. Used ones should never be placed back onto the table cloth. Rest them against the side of the plate.

6. Napkins should never be placed on the table until meal is over.

7. Never talk when your mouth is full.

8. Eat with mouth closed.

9. Never bring too much food to your mouth. Avoid making chewing sounds or utensils grating against your teeth.

10. Never pick your teeth in the open.

11. When leaving and the host walks you to the door, do not engage her in long conversation at the door.

12. Don't forget to thank the host and to tell her you have enjoyed the night.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

spending time with dad

We are celebrating Father's Day on the 17th and we're running a list of things you can do with dad. Bonding time with family need not be expensive. So here are suggestions that friends have wanted to do with their dads but never got to and before they know it, they've grown and are too big now to do these fun things to do with dad:

1. Fly a kite with dad. A friend had been wanting to do this with her dad but never got to because of her parents' divorce that separated her from her dad for the rest of her childhood.

2. Go fishing with dad and cook your catch together.

3. Play video games with him. This can be done at home or at the nearest mall where there are such games.

4. Play catch-the-ball with him at the nearest park.

5. Jog with him early in the morning or when he comes home from work. Make him choose the time and be the ever willing jogging pardner.

6. Does your dad like swimming? Then go swimming with him on Father's Day.

7. A picnic at your garden or at the nearest park with dad and the whole family would be fun.

8. Does your dad like to sing? You can go to a karaoke bar and sing along with him. If you have your own videoke machine, then you don't have to go anywhere.

9. Play golf with dad.

10. Watch his favorite movie with him.

11. If he likes to dance, go disco dancing with him.

12. Go horseback riding with him. If you don't own a horse, go to a nearby farm and rent one.

Make dad's day something different. Happy Father's Day to all the great dads on this planet.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What's a great dad like?

Speak up all ya children of great dads. What makes your dad special? Why do you think he is different from all the other dads in the world? Here are some of the possible reasons that make dads great:

1. He always finds time for the family no matter how busy he is.
2. He remembers special days like birthdays and Christmases.

3. He is very much like mom because even without mom around, he keeps the house running.

4. He teaches me stuff like how to fish and how to fly a kite.

5. When mom is too tired to accompany me to the room because I am scared, dad would always be there for me.

6. He is my number one fan. He adores me.

7. Dad is always on my side even when I do wrong, he is there to protect me.

8. He never raises his voice nor lay a hand on me.

9. When he comes home from work he always has something for me.

10. He works, works, works for the family. He said so.
How about your dad? Share please.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Make him King for a day

Since June 17 is Father's Day, why not give your dad a big surprise? Make him King for a day. Have a program in his honor where you host and perform while your mom will be the audience along with your dad who will be seated on his thrown.

Get his favorite chair, cover it with some silky stuff (a bed cover will do) for his throne, make a crown out of cartolina, then color it and a scepter too using rolled cartolina, paint it of course and a sash bearing the title "Best Dad in the World". Prepare the whole thing before he comes home from work. Then when it is almost time for him to arrive, you might want to switch off the lights and when he steps into the door, switch on the lights and tadaaaa, let the program start.

FAther's Day

Happy FAther's Day to all dads in the world! You're doing great!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

18 well-wishes

A segment of a debutante's party allows close of kin and friends to express their good wishes to the debutante. This is done along with the lighting of the 18 candles right before the birthday song and the blowing of the 18 candles. This can be simultaneously with some fireworks and other noisemakers.

What wishes does the debutante want to hear on her big day? Here are some samples of well-wishes:

To the debutante--

1. I wish you all the happiness in the world, may you achieve your goals in life and be happy for the rest of your life.

2. Good health, peace, happiness, and successs to the debutante. We love you!

3. May all your prayers be answered so that you will reach the goal of success.

4. I wish for your good health physically, spritually, emotionally, and mentally.

5. May you always have undying faith in you, faith in God, your family, and people in general.

6. I wish you all the good things in life, but if in case trials will come your way, I wish you all the inner strength to make you withstand life's challenges.

7. I wish you will not change. You've been a perfect friend to me, I could not wish for anything more but for you to remain as perfect as you are.

8. May you live your life in a Godly way, stay away from vices and bad influence. May you continue to be a good person come what may.

9. Cherrie, we've been friends for like a thousand years. I know you and I know what you want desperately to have on your birthday. Don't worry. I keep my promises. I wish you will finally achieve what you want. You know what it is. Happy birthday!

10. I wish you will grow taller by say, 5 inches. No kidding. I know that you've been dreaming to grow taller. So if I were your fairy godmother, I am going to grant your wish of becoming taller.

11. I wish my friend that you will finally meet the boy of your dreams tonight. Happy birthday, big girl!

12. I know you hate your pimples. My wish for you tonight is for those pimples to disappear from your otherwise angelic face. May you become lovelier each day.

13. Cher, you're a big girl now. Stop sucking your thumb. I know that you're going to shoot me after this, but my wish for you is for you to grow up into a fine young lady who no longer sucks her thumb.

14. I wish that you will finally meet your dream boy. Happy birthday!

15. May you have many more birthdays to come, say, a hundred more?

16. My wish is for you to have 10 wishes that you could use to realize your top ten wishes.

17. May you have all the blessings you need the whole year round! Happy, happy birthday!

18. I wish you all the success in the world! Mwah!

Monday, June 11, 2007

the bridal shower

Traditionally, bridal showers or pre-wedding parties were hosted by the maid or matron of honor. Today, friends or those invited to the wedding can plan the shower without the bride knowing it. It is considered bad taste and improper for the bride's family to host the shower party because it might appear like they are asking for gifts. A bridal shower is not only an occasion for giving gifts. It is considered as a party with a purpose which is to assist the couple in equipping their new home. The planners can choose a party theme like "kitchen shower" wherein gifts will be composed of kitchen utensils that the couple will be needing in the future. Other variations are "bath shower", "lingerie shower", "camping" or "recipe showers".

The party should be fun, there should be games and entertainment. The best time to hold it would be two weeks or 15 days before the wedding. It is in bad taste to hold it close to the wedding date because by then the bride would be facing last-minute wedding details and this might prove to be stressful rather than a fun occasion.

Regarding the food served at bridal showers it is preferable to keep the menu simple with cakes, punches, and some finger foods. Invitations should likewise be as simple as the illustration given here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

fantasy debut

How about fantasizing a debut that you will never have because it could cost your family millions? What sort of debut party would need five million bucks? Let us imagine having 18 of everything. Since you are turning 18, let us see what 18 things you can have to make it as the world's most expensive debut?

18 roses, 18 girls and 18 boys to dance the cotillion, 18 "lechons" or roasted pigs, an18 -layered cake, 18 gown changes, 18 candles, 18,000 balloons, 18 gunfires, 18 local and foreign guest celebrities, 18 diamonds on your tiarra, 18 caterers, 18 courses of dish, 18 escorts, 18 long tables laden with food, 18 different kinds of wine,18 bands, and 18 cars to be given away as door prizes.

Any other fantastic suggestions are most welcome.

Friday, June 8, 2007

summer debut

Charla, a sixteener, recently was at a friend's debut where she was a member of the cotillion. The debutante, a lady named Claire certainly looks awesome in these photos with friends.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

costume party for kids

When a kid is invited to a costume party this often causes some worries to parents. In one of my previous posts, one mom did away with such for she was afraid this will make invited guests decide against attending because they do not have costumes for their kids to wear. In case this is a problem with you, I don't think not having costumes is a good reason for not attending a party to which your kid is invited. Consider this as a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, that this could be the one and only such party you will ever be invited to and you missed the fun because of one flimsy reason. Here's what you need to do. REcycling old clothes can be fun and will cost you little. Be creative. Does the party not require any specific theme? Does it only say come in any Disney character costume, bunny costume, pirate, fairy, princess, mermaid, or just plain ANY costume of a cartoon character? Of course we know that there are costumes which you can buy but that would be added expense on your part. Borrow? Nah--may not be a very good idea. The best way to handle this is to put on your thinking cap and start creating your own. Once you have determined the perfect headdress, you're halfway done with the costume. Actually, the real trick is in the headdress. Tails, paws, or ears, or trunks can easily be made too. The dress or outfit could be any dress with the closest color or cut to the character you want your kid to portray.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

gowns galore!

Three occasions in which every woman wants to look her dazzling best are during her debut, prom night, wedding day. A woman now can actually have several options when it comes to the choice of her gown. She may want to:
a) rent one (there is a gownmaker in town who makes a gowns at a reduced price provided that after use the gown is returned at the shop. The gown is supposed to be made for you but you rent it from them), or you can choose from their already existing gowns.
b) borrow one/recycle from close of kin or friend

c) buy or order readymade from online gown boutiques or at your nearest department store

d) have one made for you by your favorite couturier (expensive but you get to keep the gown and choose the material to be used)

Well, well, well. The gowns displayed above are from some of the online boutiques I found on the net, particularly from Onlygowns . You will view more of their gowns if you click here.

useful tip for greeting dad

Get your cute glitter graphics to greet your dad on Father's Day at Cute-spot. Actually it has all you need to greet anyone on any occasion----birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones. Quick! Make your dad's day special!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

b'day gift for mom

Finding the right gift for our loved ones, particularly for our mom, can be an arduous task. You need to consider the following before rushing to the nearest mall: your budget, mom's age, mom's interest, the occasion. You might have noticed that in all my suggestions, budget is always top of the list. What you buy for your mom will depend on what you can afford to buy. How far can you go? Do yo have that much cash to buy her a new washing machine or do you only have a limited budget?

Years back my children gave me a fish in a bowl as a birthday present. I also received such gifts as blouses, skirt, make-up kit from them. I have worn and used all those gifts except for the fish that died after a few months because of overfeeding.

As a mom, I'd appreciate and welcome such gifts as a pair of fancy earrings, a red wallet, or a handy bag. If money is a problem then why not surprise her with a good deed like giving the house a whole new look---cleaning it and rearranging the furniture, changing the curtains, etc. Make sure that you do this while she's out doing the marketing. Or, volunteer to be the cook of the day, or dishwasher of the day. There are various other creative ways to make moms happy. You can put up posters all over your place saying, "to the best mom ever: happy b'day!" or "We love you mom! Happy b'day!" Moms are pretty sentimental and touchy and they will appreciate such gestures. Come on, give your mom that perfect gift now.

Once upon a time....

Once upon a time, when my children were still kids in high school, I got the biggest surprise of my life when they concocted a sort of program for me on Mother's Day. I am sharing this now because of the coming of Father's Day on June 17, some of you might get some ideas from this experience.

I just got back from the market and I was about to step inside the house when they gave me a surprise dramatic welcome. They had prepared the house in such a way that there was supposed to be a grand program that was going to happen and they were hosting it. They sat me at a chair in the middle of the sala and started the program. Of course, there was no big audience to witness that surprise program except my helper and our two dogs. But there I sat like a queen because they gave me a scepter and crowned me as "the best mother in the world" along with a sash bearing that title. It was such a big surprise to me that I did not know what to say.

See? My kids were being creative. They didn't have money to buy me anything but they had given me the greatest affirmation.

Happy Fathers' Day to all dads and also to moms who act as dads in the family.

Friday, June 1, 2007

the best gift for dad

June 17 is Father's Day. After honoring moms recently, now it is dad's turn. We all want to make our dads happy by letting him know we love and care for him. One of the ways to do this is by giving him a gift and this task of looking for a gift for dad can cause bewilderment to any girl or boy. We want dad to appreciate our gift, to be able to use it on his day-to-day routine. So what are the things to be considered in buying a gift for dad?

1. budget

You know your dad needs a sports car but you can't afford to give him that. So think of something that he will want and which goes within your budget. A new wallet? Do you notice the same wallet he had when you were a baby? It's time to change it.

2. dad's age

Do not give him earrings or hip-hop shirt. Your dad is not like your crush who wears earrings and hip-hop shirts. If you decide to give him a new shirt, don't forget to do some sneaking around to get his exact size which is found on the tags of his shirts. Also, observe his color preference and style. He might not want a pink shirt with a turtle neck.

3. dad's interest

What does dad do during his free time? Does he tinker in your backyard and do some gardening? Did you hear him complain about a tool he needs but which he does not have yet? That can be a clue. Between now and the big day, listen for clues from dad's own mouth. What does he say he wants to have?

Is dad interested in music? What type? You can give him a CD or a CD player. Find out about dad's interest. If he is into reading, again, find out what sort of stuff he reads and maybe give him a book of his interest.

There are myriads of other ways to make him happy if you do not have the budget to buy him a nice gift. You can shine his shoes for him, you can cook him his favorite dish, you might want to clean his room and organize his stuff, give him a surprise visit at work and declare to everyone that you have got the most wonderful dad in the world and reward him with a personally-made trophy and plaque of appreciation. There are lots of other ways. Be creative!

cotillion de honor

The cotillion is a formal dance which originated in France and is now popularly used in high society gatherings (ballroom dancing), especially in a young lady's 18th birthday party or debut. The girls here wear floor-length gowns while the boys wear the tuxedo. Ideally, in a grand deb ball, a cotillion should be composed of 18 pairs. But since this is very hard to do the cotillion de honor is performed by 9 pairs with a total of 18 dancers.

Coming up with 18 pairs is an impossibility for it means looking for 36 people to compose the cotillion and who can be present during practices. It is not easy to get a hundred percent attendance in practices so this can be one problem that may affect the total performance of the group.

Budget for the cotillion dancers' gowns should be considered too. If the family decides to rent the gowns and suits, well and good. You can opt to rent the gowns and suits.