Edmonton's Mid-Autumn Festival 2015

Every week, we try to go somewhere to explore our new home, Edmonton. Last month, we decided to go to the Mid-Autumn Festival at the Churchill Square. The event's Facebook page describes  The Mid-Autumn Festival as follows:

The Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally a harvest festival that revolves around the gathering of family and friends, giving thanks to the harvest, and wishing for longevity, good fortune, and happiness. It is often celebrated with mooncake, lanterns, and reunions.


Digital Project Life, My Way

I have been on a bit of hiatus for a while. School and life just took too much of my time. Now that school is almost done and I am doing my work practicum, I have more time in my hands. I actually started with several projects and hobbies like jewelry making, but then I started getting interested in scrapbooking again. That's what usually happens with my creative juices, either they're not there or they come in bucketfuls.

2015 Week 34 (Seafoam kit, Project 52 title card)

I've always been into scrapbooking, the digital kind, but when the hubby and I started our photography business years ago, I had no more time to spare. Recently, as I was watching youtube videos of jewelry-making,  I stumbled upon a video of Becky Higgins and Project Life. I have been hearing about it but I never really bothered to find out more. When I finally sat down and read blogs and watched videos, I was hooked!


Cooking Lechon Kawali in Canada

One of the things I  really miss from our life in the Philippines is the food.  One of our favourites is Lechon Kawali.  It is definitely not the healthiest food choice,  but it is soooo good.  That became our staple contribution to family potlucks.


Dinosaur Unearthed Exhibit at the Telus World of Science

Yesterday was Victoria Day here in Canada, a holiday.  We were so grateful for the chance to rest and be together longer.  Weekends always seem too short.  We wanted to go for a trip to Calgary,  Jasper maybe, we also received invitations to join different groups of people camping.  It was pretty obvious everybody was bent on enjoying the long weekend.  Since Bea was still a bit sick,  we decided to just stay within the Edmonton city limits.


Lessons I Learned From Working at Tim Hortons

My stint as a Tim Hortons team member 
Before we left for Canada,  I was aware of people with established careers in their home countries,  start from scratch.  I knew of people who worked in what they called "survival jobs".  I felt anxious of me getting into the fast food industry as well,  not because I looked down on people working in this industry,  but because I know I am clumsy and I feared that I would be asked to serve a tray filled with food and I'd spill everything on my customers!

When Bea started school in September,  I had nothing to do at home.  I decided to try looking for a job.  I needed a job with a schedule  that would allow me to pick up Bea from daycare in the afternoon.  So I went and applied to the Tim Hortons branch near where Berto was working.

I got accepted and started working in October.  I got 1 week training for the basics,  like how to operate the coffee machine and the milk/cream/sugar dispensers,  what a one and one or a double-double means,  how to greet the customers etc. It was a huge adjustment from the work place I was used to.  I really wanted to quit after that one week,  but I didn't want to be a quitter so I persevered.  I'm  glad I  did,  I learned a lot from my stint in Tim Hortons.

  • Customer Service - Customers differ.  They can be the nicest,  most understanding and appreciative people, but they can also be difficult and unreasonable.  Despite that,  it was our job to keep them happy and to keep them coming back. 
  • Time Management - Everything is fast-paced.  There is a target time for making the coffee, tea, iced cap,  smoothies,  sandwiches,  soups.  Walking in a relaxed manner is simply unacceptable.  One has to be always rushing,  shouting "behind"  or "hot, hot!" There as so many things to do,  chores to finish,  showcases to refill,  and everything has to be done fast! 
  • Team work - I worked with people from different cultures and backgrounds.  There may people you don't particularly like but you still have to do your best and work well with them. If you do this,  you will end up with valuable interpersonal skills that will benefit you in the long run.
  • Multitasking and Working under pressure - serving cranky customers,  getting instructions from grumpy supervisors,  malfunctioning equipment, listening to unreasonable requests from customers were  part of my everyday routine.  After a few months,  they didn't bother me anymore.  Plus I became more patient. 
I spent only four months working in Tim Hortons because I decided to go back to school and get a Canadian diploma. Those four months may have seemed like the longest four months of my life,  but I really learned a lot.  I also appreciated the people working in this industry a lot more.  Boy,  it wasn't easy! Fast food jobs are often looked down on,  but it is actually a noble job with lots of things to learn that you will get to take with you no matter where you go. 

Hopefully when I graduate,  I will land a good office job,  something right up my administrative /accounting /financial alley.  One thing I am sure of,  I will never forget the lessons I learned from my short stint at Tim Hortons. 


Our Typical Friday Night

Yesterday,  I got home feeling tired but excited.  It has been a very long week for me.  I have been having a hard time in school.  I just feel so stressed all the time.  Deadlines creep up on me and I feel overwhelmed.  Needless to say,  I welcomed the weekend with open arms.  

My friend from school dropped me off and I dragged myself up the stairs to our apartment. I tried to find the energy to cook dinner for my family but failed.  I texted Berto the sweetest message with a pizza request in the end.  He asked "what flavour?"  Score!  

For Bea and I,  our  favourite Papa John's pizza flavour is cheese! Boring, I know,  but we just can't get enough of it.  For Berto,  it's different every time.  This time he ordered The Works.  

The Works 


Happy Anniversary Berto and Kwala

I can't believe it has been 14 married years already, plus 8 years of being together. Berto and I have definitely been through a lot. No need to bore you guys with all the boring details of our fights, some petty, some  huge; the important thing is that we always make up in the end. Our life has been one big adventure, a big roller coaster ride. What counts is that we face life's surprises together.

At different points in our lives, we found ourselves unhappy, lost, dissatisfied, in career limbo, with family problems. It was hard, and it meant the world to have each other to give support and comfort. There are lots of good times as well,  and celebrating is that much more enjoyable with someone who's been with you from the very beginning.

Now, we're in a foreign country and like many others before us,  we have to start from scratch. People are amazed just how fast we've adapted. For us, it's easy because we see it as just another chapter of our big adventure. We were anxious, but we're together and that's enough. We see it  as a second chance, a chance for new beginnings.

Here's to more adventures together. 

Thanks for being best friend,  my number one fan and my loudest cheerleader. Thanks for supporting me and my dreams.  I'll always be here to do the same for you. Here's to looking forward to more shared adventures with you!


Hollywood Celebrities Support Pacquiao Despite Loss.

Jimmy was part of Pacman's entourage that night 

Rocky loves Manny
The Filipino pride lost the "Fight of the Century".  I just took comfort in reading tweets from Hollywood celebrities who still believed in Manny Pacquiao.

I wonder what's next for the Filipino champ?

Our Free Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 from TD Canada Trust

When we first arrived here in Edmonton last year,  we didn't know any banks.  As immigrants,  we were expected to have enough funds to support our family as we get settled in.  We didn't want those funds just lying around in the house,  we knew we needed to open a bank account as soon as possible. When we asked hubby's family members,  most of them were banking with  TD Canada Trust.  It is open 7 days a week and has extended hours,  plus they have so many branches scattered around the city. So we decided to open an account with TD too.

The guy who assisted us suggested that we open an account perfect for immigrants.  The minimum was $3,500,  we get unlimited number transactions a month and we get a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.  As happy as this made us,  we came to Canada with all our gadgets.  2 laptops and 2 tablets plus our phones.  We thought we didn't need any more gadgets. So the TD guys gave us another option.  We can say no to the free tablet,  and get another deal instead.  With this account,  if our money falls below the minimum,  we get a bank charge of around $15. He offered to waive that charge for 6 months.  We thought it was a great idea and opted for that deal. 


Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Gives Birth to a Princess!

The Royal Couple's Official Engagement Photo
Photo credit : goabroad.com
The royal couple's 2nd baby is born,  finally.  After days being overdue from her April 23 due date,  the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their little princess today! 

Prince William was present for the birth of the 8lbs 3oz (3.7kg) baby girl at St.  Mary's Hospital in London.  Prince George is officially a big bro!

So happy for this family! They seem like a normal family,  except they richer and they dress better.  Hehe.  Congratulations!

UPDATE:  The Royal Couple's newborn princess has been named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana as a tribute to Prince William's parents and grandmother.

Charlotte is considered a feminine form of Charles, after the newborn's grandfather, Prince Charles. The middle names honor Queen Elizabeth II, the baby's great-grandmother, and the late Princess Diana, William's mother.


Pacquiao - Mayweather Fight: Why Pacquiao Needs to Win

Photo credit: Philstar.com

I am Filipino.  I obviously am biased in favour of Manny Pacquiao winning the boxing bout on May 2, 2015. I may not support all his decisions,  especially dabbling in politics and alleged extramarital affairs,   but I do believe Pacman is a great fighter with a good heart.  

I don't want Mayweather to win.  His ego is big enough as it is now,  imagine if he gets bragging rights of defeating Pacquiao. Argh!  We'd never hear the end of it.  

Another reason though, why I wouldn't want Mayweather to win is because  he has already been winning his battles with women for years.  He is known to have a history of domestic violence,  even serving jail time for it last 2012! He has had brush-ins with the law seven times for abuse against five different women!  This guy doesn't need punching bags in the  gym.  He uses real live women for practice!  

Why would I want a man who physically abuses women to win the "Fight of the Century"?  No way.  I'm all for Pacquiao on this one.  He's far from perfect, but between the two,  he's the good guy in my book.  Good luck Pacman!  


Temporarily Offline

Photo credit: samsonmedia.net

Today,  I just wanted to kick myself in my a$$!  I was so frustrated! Imagine my dismay when I discovered I lost my domain subscription just as I was getting my blogging mojo back. Argh!  Since our move to Canada,  I haven't set up our paypal account. I've already cut off our credit cards from the Philippines and I have not yet connected our credit card here to our paypal account. My domain subscription bills are charged directly to Paypal.

Although I vaguely remember getting an email reminder about the bertoandkwala.com domain due for renewal,  I didn't really pay much attention since  I knew I had everything set up already.  It was supposed to renew automatically. When this happened 2years ago to our photography site,  I thought I already learned my lesson.  Yes,  you read right.  This gross negligence of mine has already happened once before, and yes I also paid the obscene charges just to keep my domain of choice.

Call it OC behaviour,  or just simple fondness for my domain,  I just felt I had to keep my little corner of webspace.  I considered getting a .net or a .ca instead,  but I still go back to my original domain. Believe me this "fondness" cost a lot of moolah!  The company charged for the usual renewal charge,  plus a redemption package costing more than 5 times the regular rate. Since I already owned this expired  domain for so many years,  the domain masters assumed I'd want it back desperately.  They assumed correct of course.  Did they take advantage of my situation? Hell yeah!  Who's fault was it?  Mine.

Although I was temporarily offline for a few hours yesterday,  I've gotten our name back (Berto came to the rescue when he saw me moping around the house).  I really have to push myself to publish more, not that this blog is actually earning a lot, but it makes me happy.  I have to prove to Berto that this blog is worth his "investment".  :) 


Easy Recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Herbs

Saturday is a special day for me. After a 5 grueling days in school, it is a welcome break for me. Um, not really a break break, more a reprieve from school, and time to focus on household chores.  Although, Berto encourages me to sleep in, I still wake up early to prepare his breakfast and lunch for work.

I also need to get the dirty clothes ready for laundry. This has always been a cause of stress for me because I'd want to be able to go to our building's laundry room and find both washing machines available.  There were few times when I'd find the machines occupied and then I had to go back and check on the machines again a couple of times to make sure they're available already.  This can be a hassle since our laundry room is a floor above our apartment..meaning early morning cardio exercise for me.  Thankfully,  last Saturday,  both machines were available. 

While waiting for the laundry,  I decided to treat myself to a special breakfast. This is the only day I can prepare my breakfast and actually sit down and eat slowly, in peace. There's Sunday brunch too but Berto's in charge of that.

I love scrambled eggs.  I wouldn't eat my eggs any other way.  I decided to try  something different though. I decided to add some herbs.  I came up with a delicious egg dish that is so easy to make.


2 eggs (whipped)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of dried thyme
4 tablespoons milk
Parmesan cheese


Whip eggs is a bowl.  Add milk,  salt and pepper.  In a skillet,  add a bit of oil or butter if you want additional creaminess.  Add the egg mixture.  While the bottom part of the egg is cooking sprinkle dried thyme and oregano all over.  Also,  scattter parmesan cheese all over.  Mix and turn egg mixture as you would usually do with scrambled eggs.

The result: yummy goodness with additional kick of the spices.  Extra special  breakfast indeed.  I made it again today (Sunday) so that Berto can taste it.  He loved it!  I guess my special scrambled eggs with herbs will be a staple in our Sunday brunches as well.


Welcome Spring!

Spring is finally here! It took its sweet time,  but it's finally here nonetheless. Not that we'd have anything to compare it to.  We are experiencing Canada's four seasons only for the first time. We do know now that winter means being cooped indoors loooong periods of time.  Now we understand why people are so excited about summer,  sun and heat!  Coming from a tropical country,  we often took those for granted. Now that we finally got the warm weather we hoped for,  we grabbed the chance to spend some time outdoors. 

Berto,  Bea and I went for a walk around our neighborhood.  It felt so good to stretch our legs.  We were so happy to be out of our clunky snow boots and into our runners too.  

We had so much fun that it was almost dark when we headed for home.  

Spending time with the family need not be expensive,  just a simple stroll together is enough. 


Super Simple Corn Cheese Omelette

Well hello there! Yep, I have been so busy lately that I have been failing to update my blog. I hope I can slowly post some stuff that has been happening in our lives lately. But first... a recipe share: Super Simple Corn Cheese Omelette!

Here's the back story. A few weeks ago, on a Saturday, I just felt like eating something different for breakfast. Bea wanted her usual Eggo and Eggs but I felt like eating something eggy yet cheesy. So I experimented and came up with this.


2 large eggs
half a cup of frozen corn, microwaved with a bit of water
2 slices of mozzarella cheese cut in half
salt to taste

I just whipped 2 eggs, added a pinch of salt, and poured it over the hot non-stick pan. While the bottom part of the egg is cooking, I just placed the corn and cheese on top. When the bottom was cooked, I just folded the two sides over the middle part. 

Tada! It wasn't picture perfect, but it was yummy! I just ate it with a piece of toast sliced in the middle and some freshly-brewed coffee. Perfect breakfast!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...