Showing posts with label Animals & Pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Animals & Pets. Show all posts

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Blood, books, boys, and my birthday: A busy life update!

Hello, my dear Loyal Readers! I disappeared! My last post here was early October and lookie here - it's almost December! What did we miss???

Well, I missed you, that's for sure. I've always enjoyed sharing my stories here on the blog because you share your stories, too! And then I don't feel so alone. Thank you! But since I've been quiet, we haven't been talking. And I miss you all!

So let me tell you what's been up with me. I'm sharing some posts from my Instagram because I do a few life updates there. So follow me @francesampersales! But I'll do a summary here as well. 

First, some of you emailed or DM'd to ask about my literally bloody predicament in my last life update (School, Sex, Blood & Books). Thanks for asking! I'm better now. Not bleeding anymore. Huge relief considering I was bleeding profusely from August to October. What hell! I had to have a D&C so that the gynecologist can rule out scary diseases. 

Thankfully, I'm just perimenopausal. My reproductive system is okay, just acting up because I'm an old woman. What a relief! But it was a truly stressful week worrying about cancer. I switched birth control and after a few weeks adjusting to the shot, I'm sooo happy. No more blood!

Then right after I got out of the hospital, I was busy supporting my husband and the launch of his novel, The End of All Skies. It's gotten good reviews on Goodreads, Instagram #TheEndOfAllSkies, and blogs.

We're happy fellow Southeast Asians love the book. I'm hoping it also finds an audience globally. Our mythology is very different from the West, which is familiar with East Asian stories. But Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Thai, and the rest of the region? No. Even Moana was strange for many people in the West. We need to talk about our own stories because ours is so rich and wild and spectacular!  

Please buy a copy of Vince's novel! If you want a signed copy and a FREE copy of his first book, Children in Exile, order from me! It's P1,050 plus shipping. 

Send me an email - Now na! Thanks!

You can also get a copy from Amazon for $24.90 or download the ebook from Kindle for $13.99.

Anyway, it's not all happy news. My sons' hamsters died. It's been sad and sweet, saying good-bye to the cute critters that made the last 2 years so bearable. We thought we'd have one more year with them (tame hamsters can live up to 3 years), but apparently, their sole purpose was to keep my quarantined kids happy while the COVID-19 virus raged outside our home. And now that we're all vaccinated and better equipped to face the world, our hamsters went over the Rainbow Bridge, their task done.

Let me tell you that our hearts were so heavy the weeks we waited for the hamsters to pass away. They were old and slow, spending the days just sleeping. The kids were stressed, wondering, "Is this the day?" Finally, the dreaded days did arrive. My boys were so sad. I was sad, too, because I was the main caretaker of those hamsters! We comforted each other. And it's been 5 weeks but my youngest boy just told me as I'm blogging, "Mama, I miss Chocnut."

Gosh, we love you and miss you, Choccy and Spoody. Thanks for the joy! 

Then I turned 46!

I didn't do anything special. I was recovering from my health scare, neck-deep in homeschooling, trying to write my werewolf romance novel, looking for a job (which means no budget for any big celebrations!), and being a mom and wife. I was exhausted! 

But grateful. Always grateful. Thank you so much for the love! Maybe when I turn 47, I'll have pictures to share! 

Oh, another thing that I appreciate is I found out my blog turned up in these lists by Feedspot:

#26 in 80 Best Philippines Mom Blogs and Websites 

#32 in 100 Best Asian Mom Blogs and Websites

#22 in Top 80 Philippines Mom RSS Feed 

Thanks, Feedspot! I didn't even know I had an RSS feed. I'm kinda bewildered by this all since I was never on these lists when I was one of the top mom bloggers in the country way back from 2008 to 2016. Now that I'm hardly blogging and my stats have understandably gone down, my blog gets recognized. And on 3 lists, too!

I'm thankful. That tells me that despite the sporadic posts, I'm still writing good posts. 

That also tells me to blog again! 

I know everyone's on Tiktok now. Apparently, people don't read anymore and just want to watch people dancing and pointing to floating words while smiling and shaking their heads. But that shouldn't stop me from blogging because I'm writing for the ones who do still read. And you are my favorite people. The best kind of all - readers!

I have sooo many stories. Plus, some of you suggested topics or sent questions about my life and marriage so there - more stuff to blog about! So I'll get to that.

Hey, thank you for sticking around. There are so many other blogs and vlogs and social media accounts to follow, yet here you are. Thanks for caring. It means the world to me. You mean the world to me! I love you all! 

Monday, April 13, 2020

Quarantine Update: What I've been watching on YouTube

Hello everyone! It's a month into our community quarantine because of the novel coronavirus. How are you all? I hope you're all safe and healthy inside your homes, with family you love. We're doing okay over here in our condo. The kids are watching more TV than usual but they do spend their mornings doing chores, playing with each other, and doing arts and crafts. My husband is working from home. I sometimes work, do a few chores but I'm mostly sleeping in. I haven't slept well in 10 years because of motherhood so I'm now definitely catching up!

What else have I been doing? Well, there's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (yes, I started Tweeting again!). Organizing. Cooking a ton! I finished Spiderwick Chronicles because my eldest boy said he liked it. I've been seducing my husband every chance I get haha.

I fell in love with this little cutie while quarantined.

Another thing I've been doing is watching YouTube a lot. I thought I'd be Netflixing or reading a book, which I do now and then. But I'm mostly on YouTube. I think I'm late to the platform. There are just so many videos I've discovered! I used to just watch YouTube for music videos. But now I'm browsing so much and having lots of fun, I'm even thinking of finally vlogging (yikes—discourage me please haha).

It all started when I was looking for an old Spice Girls music video and got this on my recommendations: a funny Posh Spice!

After wandering around in YouTube, I found tours of tiny homes. Such joy! I follow all sorts of tiny houses on Instagram. It's a little hobby I love—checking out people's houses, specifically tiny homes. I like to dream that when the kids are all grown up, I'd live in a tiny home with a big garden or a magnificent view of the mountains.

So imagine how thrilled I was to find Living Big in a Tiny House! I have a lot of favorite episodes but I want to share this one because the couple living here are so cute. The guy's obviously in love with the girl. Ladies, always be with someone madly in love with you.

Another thing I follow on Instagram and like on Facebook are cats and dogs. I can spend hours and hours watching corgis and munchkins! So I searched for cat and corgi videos on YouTube and found so much happiness! My super favorite channel now is Kish-log, which follows the adventures of a munchkin kitten in her new forever home.

It's also a peek into life in South Korea. I loved the accidental home tours (because the camera followed the cat around the house), the food the hooman eats, the changing seasons, and the family trip to Jeju island. The recent videos also touched on how COVID-19 has affected their lives, which was jarring for me because here I was enjoying all the cuteness and then suddenly a reminder of the health crisis felt around the globe.

How about you? What do you watch on YouTube, Netflix, etc? Please share with me! Our community quarantine just got extended and I need more happy distractions from these strange times.

I hope you are all safe and healthy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Photo dump!

Okaaaaaay, I just went through my computer's files and, boy oh boy, do I have a ton of photos that I never got to share with you! I was thinking, "Maybe I should just write a book on lessons I've learned from marriage, parenting, friendship and career, then I'll put all these photos in that book and put on the cover, 'Never Before Seen Photos Inside!' and sell that book to all my blog readers!!!"

Joke joke. I'll share a few of these photos with you. For free!
Those cuties are Basti, Vito and Sjofn. They are watching Disney Junior's Tayo, The Little Bus. They are very near the TV because they think it's an iPad. Every kid I know now think all screens are touch screens.

That is a month-old Iñigo doing tummy time while his excited Mama takes tons of photos. The camera caught a disgruntled Vito and my heart broke. Vito was still adjusting to life with a brother. He was never really jealous of Iñigo; he was more unhappy with me. I knew he didn't understand why I "abandoned" him. This was a really difficult time for me and Vito. Thank goodness we are past that!

Iñigo smiled early. At just a month old. He's a happy smiley baby. He laughed early, too. At 6 weeks old! He's a happy kid. I love that happy little chubby baby so much!

Ohhhh, this was at Kabbie's wedding. Vito was the Bible bearer. Such a proud moment for his parents really... Until we got to the church and he started running and screaming all over the place! Seriously. He was like a little Tazmanian devil. I chased him everywhere! Look at my hair!

Oh oh! This is a gift from Mothercare. Thanks, Mothercare! You're so good to my kids. That's why I'm so loyal to you! Anyway, this is a Stokke Tripp Trapp chair. It grows with you. From babies as young as 6 months (or as soon as baby can sit up without support) to adults as old as... well, as old as adults can get! Vito loves his Stokke chair.

This is my article on marriage and money that came out in the June issue of Good Housekeeping. It was a very well received article. I got a lot of Tweets telling me how they liked it and learned a lot from it.

This is me with my almost 2-month-old Iñigo visiting Nuffnang. That's the always cool and fabulously chic Trixie (who also blogs at That Girl Trixie). She's my Nuffnang ninang! She makes sure I always get tons of assignments, half of which I turn down because I'm too busy!!! Still, I've earned enough from Nuffnang this year to buy me this...

OMG, diba??? It's a MacBook Pro. Purely Katas ng Nuffnang yan. I bought that baby in July and I am so happy with it!!! I haven't blogged about it. Completely forgot! Well, actually, my hair and dress are ugly when I unboxed it so I couldn't blog about it haha. Vain vain vain! But I'm so happy this MacBook Pro was purchased entirely with my Nuffnang income. Kids, as long as you're good and you work hard, your dreams will come true.

Anyway, I told Trixie my next Katas ng Nuffnang goal is a Tod's D Bag. Trixie, 70K minimum ang Tod's D Bag. That's a lot of work! But... Challenge accepted?

Oh, look, there's Trixie again! This was also in July. Iñigo's 2 months old here. Vince and I met with funny girl Karrots Nazareno of Karotitay fame. She also now has a show on YouTube called Live Love LOLz. She's hilarious. I've never met her but I'm a huge fan so I started hounding her on Twitter, asking to meet meet meet! I figured she'd agree to meet me because, though we've never met, she's friends with friends of mine. I figured she wouldn't think I'm insane. So she finally said yes and here we are!

That same afternoon, after our brunch with Karotitay, Vince and I went to Fully Booked High Street and bought all those books. We usually have a book-buying spree once a month or so. At the cashier, Fully Booked's Aimee Diego (a fellow mommy and blogger!) came up to me. This was the first time we've ever met although we've known each other online for a while.

Oh, if you're wondering why I bring Iñigo with me everywhere, it's because he breastfeeds only from me. He doesn't drink from a bottle. It's not a choice I made. I tell ya, life would be much easier (and safer for him) if he just stayed home and drank my expressed breastmilk from a bottle.

Anyway, carrying him around is easier with a ring sling. I'd like to thank Eliza, author of The Painter's Wife and staunch babywearer advocate, for coming over to the house and giving me a personalized lesson on babywearing. You have saved my life, Eli!!!

This photo was taken at Chow Fun. Review of that fantastic Chinese food bistro coming soon! Sorry for the blurry photo. We're actually focusing on the owner. Yep, the guy in the pale green shirt. He personally helps diners with the menu. Good food, good service!

Oh, and I had to put this here because some readers are asking me if our Matilda is still alive. Yes, folks, she still is. She's almost 5 years old. She's still a masungit bunny. And Vince loves her to bits.

But of course, Vince loves the baby boys best! Here we are at Power Plant having coffee and cake. This was in August. We left Vito at home because we bought him toys (see big bag) for his 2nd birthday. And, as I said, Iñigo is always brought along because of his aversion to fake nipples. Haha. It's cool. We love having him around. Vito, meanwhile, prefers to stay home. I miss that little boy as a result!

Okay, enough photos. I have tens of thousands more! Maybe I will really put them all in a book! Buy one, okay???

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Photos of my life, part 1

Turning 32 tomorrow! Here's a look back at some of the most amazing times of my life!

2006, Obviously thrilled at the shoot for
my very first "letter from the editor-in-chief" photo
(This is not the photo we used, by the way!)

2008, Promoting the magazine at radio stations very early in the morning

2008, At London for the OK! International Conference and very proud of OK! Philippines

2008, Appearing on TV shows, like The Sweet Life with Lucy Torres and Wilma Doesnt,
to talk about Hollywood and how to live like a star

2007, I'm no party girl but when Cosmo magazine
throws its annual Bachelor Bash,
I'm front row and center!
(L-R: Red, Lana, Nic and Coni)

2007, Cosmo beauty editor Nicole and Cosmo fashion editor
Kat and me (no, I'm not from Cosmo)
enjoying ice cream and beauty products

2008, Supporting my darling Kate's store opening
(visit Kate Torralba at Greenbelt 5 now!)

2007, Singing our hearts out at Zo's birthday videoke party
(L-R: Zo, Kat, Jing and Nic)

2007, Ianne and me at the posh salon of Louis Philip Kee, our favorite hairstylist
(Louis has a fab reputation: any woman who goes to him gets engaged/married within the year!
I never thought I'd get married--I liked single life--but I went to Louis in March 2006,
by December that year, I was engaged!)

I'm a rabbit mommy. I've lost a lot of kids
(Christopher Columbus, Waiter, Gandalf and Alice)
and miss them terribly but I still have
Galadriel and Matilda to dote on!

I've had a tiger on my lap. This is little baby Lilo (he weighs like a house). I bottle-fed him!
Big smile but I was also nervous big time!

And here's a little version of a tiger, Maisa's baby boy. I can't remember the Japanese name
but it sounds like Marshmallow

The moment I realized I was a bride

No, I didn't feel like a princess; I felt like a goddess!

My walk down the aisle with my beloved parents
(Mama looked so chic!)

The fun begins!

At the sunny wedding of
my younger brother Theodore to Rose

Realizing my sister Jacqui, who is 13 years younger than me,
isn't a kid anymore... and that she needs a good haircut.
Would like to bring her to Louis but
I don't want her to get married yet!

Our library! Yes, it's a dream come true. I live in a house with a library!

* * * * * * *

More photos coming!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A death in the family

In loving memory
Gandalf Rabbit
April 18, 2002 - February 16, 2007
We will always remember your snorts, your licks,
and your beautiful Spanish eyes.
May you forever hop in peace on the rolling pastures of Heaven.

Mommy, Daddy and Galady miss you.