Tuesday, September 3, 2013

POLL: What do you do when you have problems or misunderstandings with your in-laws?

Photo from http://www.zawaj.com

It is normal to have misunderstandings at home. But what if it involves your in-laws? What do you do? Please answer our poll question!

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Weather you like it or not...

I'm not a good swimmer. I can't even swim without wearing goggles. So I really don't look forward to riding boats, ships and ferries. For me drowning is just the worst way to die.

To add to my fears, just a few weeks back our country experienced another tragedy in the sea when M/V St. Thomas Aquinas sank in Cebu. 

We haven't even recovered yet when typhoon Maring devastated several parts of the country with heavy rains and flood two weeks ago. It's during these calamities that the subdivision we live in here in Antipolo turns into a "resort".

The husband enjoying a bottle of Mountain Dew with his buddies (L-R Jay my husband, Angel my brother, Jerome our churchmate)
It caused us such great discomfort and gave us sleepless nights. But we didn't evacuate because thank God the water level didn't reach Ondoy-like proportions. As a matter of fact, I managed to avoid treading the floodwater because I was wearing a bota (boots).

One of the casualties in 2009 Ondoy. Yes, that's a table on top of the piano. 

Ondoy aftermath
Maring flood. When the water outside reaches this level, the water inside the house would be almost knee-high.
When the rain started pouring heavily on Sunday night (August 18), we already braced ourselves for the flood that will soon follow. We elevated the couches and moved our valuable items (ukulele, camera and lenses. hahaha) to the second level of the house.

We thought the worst was over when the rain stopped and the flood subsided on Monday, but on Tuesday, my brother-in-law had to evacuate his wife and 2 y/o daughter to a safer place. My husband and I opted to stay so we could look after the house. But we had our evac bag ready just in case...

But despite all of the  bad weather and the tedious cleaning we had to do after the flood, I can only thank Jesus for keeping me and my loved ones safe. I remember one song I heard when I was a kid that I always sing to myself not only when I'm scared out of my wits because of the strong winds and heavy rain, but more so when I'm going through other storms in life... financial troubles, an illness, broken relationships, etc.

Sometimes He calms the storm 
With a whispered peace be still 
He can settle any sea 
But it doesn't mean He will 
Sometimes He holds us close 
And lets the wind and waves go wild 
Sometimes He calms the storm 
And other times He calms His child

There are times when we can really feel God's hand calming the storm in our lives, but sometimes He just calms us. He gives us a reason to smile in the storm (Yes, it's from another song hehe). And I believe He is enough reason for us to smile even if the flood reaches up to our neck. 

So even if our prayers go unanswered we can still rely on Him to be our anchor of hope. *Hope lets us see things as they are in a storm and still helps us be confident that something better is coming our way. We can still thank God and be joyful in Him even if we have every reason not to. 

I pray that whatever storm you're going through right now, God in His almighty power will show Himself strong and calm the winds and waves in your life... or maybe just calm your trembling heart.

Habakkuk 3:17-19
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

*From Joyce Meyer's devotional

Do you have any prayer request? We can pray with you! :)  You can comment below or shoot us an email at: themisisclub@gmail.com 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Ten Marriage Commandments

I came across an article from Family Share which I found so interesting. To see the original post, you can go here.

Anyway, it is about the Ten Marriage Commandments. Do we really need commandments on our marriages? I bet we need a little advice.

Photo of our rings. Photo by Framed-Up Production.

1. Thou shalt show respect. Every individual deserves respect. In a marriage, it is never appropriate to demean your spouse, and physical violence is never ever acceptable in any relationship. If your marriage is disintegrating into squabbling and fighting, remember that sometimes it's better to be happy than to be right.

2. Thou shalt be affectionate. The quickest way to pep up a marriage is to throw in a little love. Just being in close physical proximity to your spouse can take your relationship from meh to marvelous. Hold hands, kiss your spouse goodbye and hold on a little longer when you hug.

3. Thou shalt communicate. Your spouse has a lot of wonderful qualities, but he or she has never been and will never be a mind reader. Chances are, your spouse wants to give you the world, but you'll have to tell him or her what you need. Own your feelings and be honest about emotions.

4. Thou shalt forgive. Ruth Bell Graham famously said, "A good marriage is the union between two good forgivers." We all make mistakes. Yet sometimes those mistakes hurt the person we love the most — our spouse. Be generous and forgiving when your spouse makes a mistake and your spouse will be more quick to forgive your indiscretions.

5. Thou shalt be kind. We have a mantra in our house: kind words, soft answers. Think back to how you spoke to your spouse when you were still dating and aim to keep that kind communication throughout your entire marriage.

6. Thou shalt be appreciative. Make a conscious choice to let go of little annoyances and devote more mental energy to thinking about all the things you love about your spouse. Your spouse does a lot for you; let him know that you are appreciative.

7. Thou shalt be loyal. Adultery is the quickest way to kill a marriage. Protect your marriage by avoiding the slippery slope toward infidelity. In our world of constant contact through cell phones and social media, keep all your interactions innocent. If you're not sure if your behavior is appropriate imagine how you would feel if your spouse was engaging in the same behavior.

8. Thou shalt find balance. Cultivate friendships and hobbies that complement but are not dependent upon your marriage. At the same time, spend quality time with your spouse every day. You'll be a better spouse if you are a well-rounded person.

9. Thou shalt be honest. It's never OK to lie to your spouse, even if the lie seems inconsequential at the time. No good ever came from lying.

10. Thou shalt make decisions together. Avoid major marital drama by coming up with a game plan for life as a couple. All major decisions, including jobs, homes, children, and how to spend money, need to be agreed upon by both parties. In an equal marriage, both spouses should feel that their opinion is valuable and carries weight.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ginisang Mais for the Soul

I originally posted this on my personal blog, The Misis Outtakes, but I realized that it is also a good recipe to try during the rainy days. Not to forget, it is corn season now! So I am sharing this to you before I take a six-day vacation leave. Haha! Husband and I are flying to Palawan tomorrow, and backpacking to El Nido!

I am a self-confessed probinsyana. And even though I didn't like eating vegetable when I was young, I knew how to cook them (and eventually ate what I cooked) by the help of my mom. She's not really a good cook, but we love her pacham recipes. Pacham as in pachambachamba lang haha.

Today, I cooked one of the recipes I learned from her -- ginisang mais. I thought it was a Kapampangan dish, but I recently realized that it is a proud Tagalog dish. Jeff loves this so when he went for a tripping the other day in Nuvali and Tagaytay, he made sure he'll grab some white corn along the way. 

You only need few items for this recipe.
1. Native white corn

2. Shrimp

3. Ampalaya leaves

4. Fish sauce or boullion cubes
5. Onion
6. Garlic
7. Hot water

They say the first step is always the hardest. It is very true in this recipe. Shred the corn off the cob. Jeff bought eleven native white corn so it took me about thirty minutes to finish. Make sure that you have white corn and not the yellow Japanese corn that you also see along Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road or Katipunan. In Antipolo, you can actually buy shredded corn near Iglesia ni Cristo. If ever you pass by the area, say hi to mom in Jun and Fe Cold Cuts! ;)

I had about 750 grams of shredded corn.

Prepare the shrimp. Ask your husband to shell the shrimp because besides eating, this is the only thing that they will do. Do not throw the shrimp heads. Why? I will tell you later. ;)

You can also ask him to pluck the ampalaya leaves off the vine. The ampalaya leaves will balance the sweet taste of the corn.

Now let's start cooking. Sauté the onion and garlic. My Tita Tess told me to put the onion first so the garlic won't burn. Put the shrimp afterwards. 

When the shrimp turns orange, put in the shredded corn. Mix and cover. 

Remember the shrimp heads? Pour hot water and mash it. I learned this from my father-in-law. We are just basically getting the shrimp flavor from it. Get the strainer and pour the juice in the pan. 

Mix and let it boil. Make sure to check it once in a while to prevent from drying, the corn may get all the water so make sure to pour more hot water. Let the corn cook. Season with fish sauce or bouillon cubes. Today, I used shrimp bouillon cubes. Let it boil.

Put in the ampalaya leaves. You can also use sili or malunggay leaves. Cover the pan and turn off the stove.

Let the leaves cook.

This is best served with fried fish but we discovered that we don't have fish in the fridge anymore. Huhu. 

Top it on your rice. Carbs on carbs! Haha!

Enjoy the rain and the holiday!

Photos taken using my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, edited using Snapseed, and watermarked using eZy Watermark.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rainy Days and Mondays and Arroz Caldo

...rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

No, not today.

It was very rainy today in Manila and most streets are flooded and not passable. My husband and I woke up early because he is going to work, while I will go to my former office to get my cheque and run some errands before we go to Palawan this week. We had a rough night -- it was raining cats and dogs (and dinosaurs!), not to mention the loud thunders and lightning. I couldn't sleep. I just kept waking him up because I was scared. My husband prepared to go to work while on his phone, trying to figure out how to get to the office in this kind of weather.

I watched him go back and forth. At the back of my head, I knew work will be cancelled. After thirty minutes, it was final -- no work today. Hurray! A whole day of snuggling with my husband! I asked him if he wants to eat anything and he said arroz caldo (rice in chicken broth). We told my parents-in-law that we will cook lunch and headed to the supermarket. We bought ingredients for arroz caldo as well as champorado (chocolate rice porridge) because he wants to eat that for merienda.

I love cooking for Jeff. And he loves it when I cook for him. It was a joy watching him dig in to his bowl of arroz caldo without any comments or complains. It was actually very easy to cook it. Unfortunately, I forgot to take some photos. Anyway, I will still share to you my recipe.

Arroz Caldo

Photo from www.sweetcherriepie.com.
1 kilogram glutinous rice or malagkit
1/2 kilogram chicken, chopped like Tinola
8 eggs, boiled
100 grams ginger, sliced
1 onion, chopped
garlic, chopped
ground pepper
4 pieces chicken bouillon cube
fish sauce
onion leek, chopped (we were not able to get this because it was not available in the supermarket)

1. Wash the chopped chicken and boil in a big pot. When it boils, take out the chicken and set aside. Do not throw away the broth.
2. Pour the glutinous rice in the pot where you boiled the chicken. Let it cook. Make sure to mix it once in a while so the rice won't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add two chicken bouillon cubes. Boil another kettle of water and make sure to add water occasionally to make sure it doesn't dry up. I use hot water so it won't mess the temperature of the mixture.
3. On a separate pan, saute the ginger, onion, and garlic. Make sure you don't burn them because it will give a dark color to your arroz caldo. Add in the boiled chicken chops.
4. In another pot, boil the eggs. My mom told me to leave it without a lid because when the water boils, the eggs will bump into each other and will break. TIP: To know if the egg is already cooked, scoop it out of the water and if the shell dries right away, it is ready.
5. After the rice is cooked, pour the sauted ginger, onion, garlic, and chicken to the pot. Stir and taste. If it needs more taste, put it buoillon cubes and fish sauce. Put the ground pepper, stir, and turn off the fire.
6. Serve hot. Top it with chopped onion leeks and hard boiled egg. And maybe calamansi and fish sauce.

So that's how Jeff and I spent our rainy Monday. How about you? How did you spend your day? I heard Ria spent her day cleaning their house because the flood went inside. Aww.

Monday, August 12, 2013

To Yell or Not To Yell?

I am at the moment, a stay at home wife. I have been spending a lot of time writing and sleeping. A few days before my sister gave birth, I went to my parents' house in Antipolo and stayed for two days because Jeff went to Subic for work. I was sitting on our couch and channel surfing when I came across an interesting show, Face to Face.

Photo from Face to Face's Facebook page.

Face to Face airs on TV5 everyday at 4:30PM, or that what their Facebook page says. So the show is something like The Jerry Springer Show, a talk show in the US where two (or more) people would argue on TV. So here's the story on that particular day's episode. 

The first guest was a woman (let's call her sister-in-law or SIL because I can't remember her name). She said that the WIFE of her older brother who was in Kuwait was not taking care of her nephews and nieces, and that she was a gambler. She also said that her brother's wife had an affair with another man and that they had a child. Too complicated! So the WIFE was called in and they tried to hurt each other, but of course, the bouncers were there to split them. Too scripted. Amy Perez, the show's host asked the WIFE if the SIL's allegations were true. She said yes. The HUSBAND was called in and the show cuts to commercials. After the break, it was told that the HUSBAND came back from Kuwait and found out that his two kids are now three! HUSBAND threw the WIFE out of the house while the three kids remain with him -- even the last child who was the fruit of the WIFE's unfaithfulness. Upon watching, I realized that the HUSBAND still loves the wife too much but he just couldn't forgive her and take her back. 

The next day, I found myself channel surfing again and came across the same kind of show, this time from GMA News TV. 
Photo from Personalan's Facebook page.

So this show has the same pattern, calling two people who would like to argue on TV. So the first person called was Joey. He is married to Lynette and the couple has one kid. Joey said that he has a secret to tell to Lynette. Lynette was interviewed and all she said were great things about Joey -- he was her Mr. Right. Joey works as a barber in a barber shop where he met Alvin. They exchanged numbers, talked, and it was later revealed that they started a relationship ala My Husband's Lover. Everything was working fine with Joey and Alvin -- Joey goes to work and manages his relationships with Lynette and Alvin while juggling all the chores at home -- until a neighbor saw him and Alvin in the barber shop. So before the neighbor could tell Lynette, he did it ON TV. My goodness! Lynette walked out and cried buckets backstage. By the end of the show, furious Lynette forgives Joey but swears that if she ever sees Alvin again, she will leave him. Again, it was very obvious that despite the whole My-Husband's-Lover drama, Lynette forgave Joey. 

Now my question is, WHY DO THESE PEOPLE FEEL THE NEED TO TAKE THEIR ISSUES ON NATIONAL TV?!? I mean, yeah, these are big problems, but why do they need an audience to solve their problem?

Jeff and I fight at times. We used to argue a lot before the wedding, and after the wedding. This is the stage of the marriage when we argue about small things because we are adjusting to living with each other. Arguing is not bad. For me, it is a good thing because we learn a lot about our partners. We realize that they don't want us pinching their nose, or that they don't eat okra. We learn about their pet peeves. Most of all, we learn to be humble and apologize because at the end of the day, we are married to them and nothing can change that. 

Jeff and I have one rule about arguing -- NO ARGUING IN PUBLIC. Why? Because couples are not supposed to make a scene and put their fights out to be seen by the public, or by their families and friends. No, we don't pose as if we are a perfect couple. We are not, and we'll never be. But I do believe that couple fights don't need an audience. Problems should be fixed inside your homes, and in our case, inside our bedroom. When I was young, our neighbors would fight as if they were killing each other but the next morning, they were all PDA outside their house. At an early age, I thought that was very stupid. If you love the person, why would you yell at him and tell him that you would kill him? 

I grew up in a home where I thought that my parents didn't fight at all. I swear! I never heard my parents yell at each other. It was just a little before my wedding when my Mama was giving me advice on how to handle arguments that she told me their secret -- they fight but they don't yell. That moment, I wanted to have a monument done for my parents. I've never heard of a couple who never yelled at each other. She told me that if she is upset about something that my Papa did, she keeps quiet until Papa notices that she isn't her usual talkative self. They talk about it and they say sorry. 

I can't do what my Mama does. I nag a lot when I am angry, and then after I've said everything I wanted to say, I keep quiet. And then after a while, I'd talk to Jeff. My husband on the other hand would bug me on my quiet time and says sorry over and over again. I mean, I don't appreciate all the bugging because I talk to him when I'm ready. Lately, he's become cooperative and gives me time to think. 

How about you? How do you handle couple fights? 

“Be angry, and do not sin”:[a] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, - Ephesians 4:26

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cozy up your home in 8 easy ways

by: Jem Gezen

Home is where the heart is. Whether you live in an apartment, a bungalow, multi-stories, or a mansion - it is important to keep our houses warm and inviting.
Our humble abode in the suburbs
If like us, you have recently purchased (and/or rented) a starter home, you are probably struggling on which house items you need to get or what steps you need to take in order to make your house look pretty, functional and spacious while keeping the cost at a minimum. 

Here are some of my tips on how to cozy up your place on a budget.

1. Free your house of clutter and dust. As simple as keeping your house clean will definitely add value to your home. Rule no. 1 is to never let clutter pile up. The greater the mess, the harder to clean. I have a hobbyist for a husband and 2 playful dogs - they make a lot of mess! If you have kids,good luck (^__^). Keeping the house tidy can be challenging but not impossible. Sweep, vacuum, dust, wash the dishes, pick-up and empty your trash regularly. 

 2. Work around a particular color and design scheme. Depending on your taste, make sure to use colors that complement the size and design of your house. There are color palettes available at the hardware and paint shops. Ask for samples before you even start painting. 

We are into rustic- old world - victorian, some prefers modern, while others love splashes of color. For smaller-medium sized houses like ours, keep your color tones bright and/or natural because it makes spaces look bigger and more open.

 A peek at our living room

3. Invest on lamps and other lighting. I love lamps because they are not only functional but also adds drama to once dull space. Most lamps are also affordable. Whenever there are awkward spaces in the house, we throw a floor lamp or a small lamp on top of a small table and voila! problem fixed. 

4. Curtain up. The easiest way to beautify a house is to hang curtains. Depending on your budget and how bright or dark you wish your house to look - there’s always a curtain that matches your needs. I love it when sunshine radiates throughout the house that I hang simple white, translucent curtains. They’re not only functional but also affordable.

5. Flowers, plants, water fountain, scented candles, and incense make any house extra-relaxing. House plants add color and life to any house. No need to splurge on super-luxurious flowers. If you have a garden or flower-bearing plant, cut some flowers and transfer them to a vase. If you have a black-thumb like me, get a variety of cactus or other plants that require very low maintenance.

Aside from being clean, our house is also known for its heavenly scent. No kidding! Having pets made me extra-paranoid that our house would begin to stink that I make sure to light up scented candles and incense everyday. For incense, I highly recommend Nag Champa, lavender and full moon scents - you’ll feel like being transported to another plain! 

I also love water fountains - the sound, its serenity. I feel like I’m in a spa every time! 

6. Fill-in empty walls with shelves , mirrors or wall art. It will surprise you how many of these items have accumulated through time. Mix-and-match mirrors and artworks and hang them on empty walls.You can also build or buy shelving units where you can display various knick-knacks.

I see a puppy! :) 

7. Throw some pillows and colorful fabrics on a boring couch. This is a hand-me-down couch we got from husband’s parents. I find it impossible in the beginning to tie this to the room because of its color but with some plants, fabric and pillow - it all worked out in the end. I wrapped it with an ordinary red scarf and put a red-black-white woven blanket and some throws for accent. It’s not the most glamorous looking piece in the house but still functional and cozy. Plus it’s free! 

8. Display photos of yourself and loved ones. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who feel that hanging photos of themselves is tacky and narcissistic. I disagree. I personally think that especially for newlyweds, it is important to display photos of fun memories as the family grows bigger. This is a photo wall project we did in our dining nook and it has become a conversational piece since. We are planning on filling it up with more photos - mostly our happiest photos in the most beautiful journeys, with the most beautiful people: our friends and family.

So, are you ready to start on your very own home project today?