Last Friday was my U.S. Naturalization Oath Taking ceremony in New Orleans. It’s a five (5) hours drive from my town. We left Thursday after I picked up my boys at school. We arrived in New Orleans a little after 9 p.m. Checked in late at the hotel we stayed in for the night. The hotel we stayed at is called Brent House Hotel. This hotel is attached to Ochsner Medical Center located on Jefferson Highway near Uptown New Orleans. From the hotel, it was only a 15-minute drive to where my Oath Taking ceremony took place.
We arrived at the USCIS facility before nine (9) in the morning. The ceremony started a little after ten (10) and was over at about twelve (12) noon. I wasn’t sure how the other applicants felt that day but I was a little emotional. After I applied, I waited eleven (11) months for this very special day. After living in the USA for a decade, who wouldn’t get emotional?
AFTER THE CEREMONY
Now it’s time to celebrate! My boys are so ready to explore around New Orleans. They are loving this busy city so far.
Finding the right pair of running shoes has been a struggle for me for a long time. I would say most of the walking or running shoes that I have not only hurt my feet but also give me blisters. I couldn’t even wear any of those shoes for a long time without having pain on my legs. Until one day, I went to the Shoe Department Encore store at the mall to pick up my eldest son’s shoes that I put on layaway. While I was at the store, my gut really told me to go check out their Clearance Room for good deals (when your gut is telling you something you gotta trust it ). I get disappointed most of the time because whenever I find very comfortable shoes it’s either the size runs big or they don’t have my size. I wear a size 5 and that’s size 3 in girls. Hahahaha it’s a cute size!
So I checked the store’s Clearance Room and saw this pair of Skechers Elite Flex. The first thought on my head was “please I need a size five (5). When I picked the right foot and checked the size, I was like YEAH BABY YOU’RE MINE! Also, guess what? It was on sale for under twenty dollars ($20.00). So delighted I went to the store that day because these shoes are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS SHOES?
I can literally wear this pair all day long without pain in my legs and feet. The memory foam inside feels so good. Yes, this pair has memory foam inside. I Tested it for a week by wearing the pair every day and yes it passed my expectation. I highly recommend these shoes.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT THIS SHOES?
The only thing I don’t like is the soles. They collect dirt and rocks and when you clean it, you have to dig it out.
Have you ever feel like you have no time for yourself? While other people think that you have all the time for yourself. People around you see everything you allowed them to see and judge you based on it, but how about those things that you don’t want anybody to see. How about your time? Do you really have time for yourself? I’m not talking about the time you spend shopping; spending with friends; watching movies; or even eating out. I’m talking about the TIME you need to meditate and spend it with God. The TIME that you need to figure things out in your life and do what you really love to do. Have you ever find time for yourself?
Not long ago, I’ve been asking myself the same question. Do I find time for myself? The answer is NO! People who know me swimmingly think I have all the time for myself for one reason they could think of. I’m not working. Yes, I am unwaged right now, but that doesn’t mean I have all the time for myself. I am an honest person and I will tell you that I am struggling in that area.
Time after time, we ignored ourselves because we have other priorities. Those are just excuses! I admit I’m that person too. There are things that I really want to do for myself but I don’t have the time for it, because like what I said I have other priorities and I don’t think about myself until now. You too, if you find yourself in the same situation, probably, that should change. Don’t be afraid to find that TIME for YOURSELF and GIVE yourself the time you need.
You guys know that when you are craving for something you will do everything to satisfy that craving, am I right? Being a Filipino I know that I’m not the only one that is always craving for some Filipino foods, snacks, and etc. Before, we had to travel for 2 hours just to shop at an Asian market in Shreveport. There were also plenty of times that we drove four (4) hours to shop at a Filipino grocery store called Kababayan Asian Food Mart in Tyler Texas. Driving that far for grocery shopping means I had to make sure that everything I need was written down on my list. Honestly, driving that far is exhausting! Thankfully, we have a new Asian Store in our local area now that carries a wide variety of Filipino goods. This store is called Saigon Asian Market. I’m sure the Filipino community here in Monroe and West Monroe are very happy just like me. Now, whenever I’m craving for my favorite snacks or something else I’m grateful that I can finally get it, enjoy it, and the cravings are satisfied!
As I mentioned before, I love photography! I haven’t been working on my photography site for a while due to time management. Perhaps I need to work on it more to get better at it. I just want to share my artistic side and I hope you will visit my photography site. All feedbacks are welcome!
Living here in the United States for a decade is a wonderful opportunity, but becoming a citizen of The United States is beyond amazing! I applied for Naturalization in May of 2018. Three weeks later, I received a notice for my Biometrics which was done in Jackson, Mississippi. After my Biometric appointment was completed, I waited a whopping eleven (11) months for my naturalization/citizenship interview. Not everybody waited that long though. Some Filipinos I know waited for four (4)months, others waited for six (6) months. So, If you don’t receive an interview notice within four months don’t panic. It will happen, just be patient and be positive. Also, keep on studying.
By the way, I’m residing in Louisiana and my interview was in New Orleans. Now, back to my unforgettable experience. Honestly, I was so nervous (it’s normal for everyone to feel nervous). My interview time was 1 p.m. ( Note: Make sure to arrive at the office no earlier than 30 minutes before your interview. This is to avoid the office from getting too crowded). When you are already inside the office make sure to check in and give your appointment notice to the person in charge at the service window and then have a seat. An officer will come out from the interview room to call your name when it’s your turn.
Listen carefully, when your name is called, you need to pay attention to the officer that called your name because that same person will be the one conducting your interview. Before your actual interview, the officer will ask you a question about yourself like “How are you today?” That is one way the officer is testing your English skills by your response. In my case, I answered, “I am well, thank you for asking. How about you?”
When entering the interview room, don’t do anything unless the officer instructs you to do something. Just relax! When I entered the room with the officer I remained standing. Then she told me to pull out three (3) things from the envelope I was carrying and put them on the table and place my purse and the envelope away from me once I had those three things she required (so I placed them on a chair beside the door).
I remained standing and then she had me swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. After that, she told me to have a seat (she was testing my communication skills). The interview itself only took 20 minutes and then I was done. When the officer told me I passed, I gave her a big hug and thanked her from the bottom of my heart. To GOD be the glory!
If you are still waiting for your interview, don’t worry, it will come.
Being away from home and not able to eat your favorite Filipino dishes is not easy. Now and then I crave for Filipino dishes. Yes, I’m not kidding! I’m sure many of you can relate to this. Lately, my friends and I decided to have a Filipino dinner together at my place after their work is done. Guess what we had?
This fried, seasoned marinated Bangus (Milkfish) is so good! We called this Daing na Bangus in the Philippines. Daing are usually split open, gutted, salted and air-dried. This is a preservation technique. For others, I’m sure this doesn’t look appealing at all. However, for us-Filipinos, we could eat lots of rice with this dish.
Inihaw Na Tulingan is one of our native dish in the Philippines. This is one of my most favorite dish growing up. I love eating this fish when it’s grilled, friend, or stewed.
Galunggong when crispy fried is the best! You’ll never see even bones on my plate. My friends, Melanie and Odette both love the crispy friend as well.
Now, when it comes to cooking bitter melon you need to make sure you know the technique on how to lessen the bitter taste of it before cooking.
Cut melons in halves. Remove all the seeds and slice it thinly.
Soak the thin slices of bitter melons in a bowl with warm water and plenty of salt for 30 minutes. The salt helps the bitter juice to come out.
After 30 minutes, wash the slices really good and give it a squeeze to help get the bitter juice out more.
Now, it’s ready for cooking.
There are numerous variants of Pancit in the Philippines. This savory dish is very easy to prepare and ready in less than 30 minutes. In this one, I added fried slices of chicken breast and fried shrimp and mixed in the noodles before I seasoned it all together.
The word “halo-halo” means mixed. This cold dessert is a mixture of crushed ice, evaporated milk, enough sugar, and other various ingredients including fruits, sweetened beans, topped with ice cream.
Now, who’s hungry? We are going to do it again soon and we are going to cook another Filipino dishes. Stay tuned!
I haven’t seen my siblings for a long time. The last time I saw my two older brothers was back in 2013. Unfortunately, that’s nothing compared to how long its been since I saw my older sister. I haven’t seen her for 11 years and I miss her so bad. Though she was a little mean to me growing up I still love her dearly! It’s so hard when your family is on the other side of the world. So hard when you can’t see them right away when you need them; when you miss them; when you need some listening ears and when you need your family to just be there for you. It makes me really sad to be this far away from them.
Now, I have two beautiful boys and I pray to God that they will not experience the same struggles that even now I still experience. I also pray that they will have each other’s back no matter what life throws at them because I know exactly how it feels when you have nobody from your family around to back you up whenever you need them the most.
It’s Spring season, however, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s been raining for days and it’s really nasty outside. Even my furry baby (my dog) doesn’t wanna go out. So, for days I’m back to wearing sweaters. Just the lighter ones, not those thick sweaters. This knit sweater I am wearing below is just perfect!
I don’t know why, but I get to feeling cold too quick, especially in this kind of weather. I’m from a tropical country (Philippines) and I love to feel cozy all the time. Who doesn’t want to feel cozy anyway? Right? Spring is not my favorite season at all. When it’s not raining during Spring, I will be so miserable because of my allergies, and I can’t stay outside longer because of the pollen. Thankfully, the rain helps reduce my allergies to pollen. On the other hand, when it’s raining, I can’t wear t-shirts because I always feel cold too quick. Hmm, what should I do? Can anybody relate to this?
About this sweater? I got this from Belk like a year ago. I love this sweater so much. Honestly, this is my most favorite and comfortable knit sweater ever! Also, I only paid under $10.00 for this including tax.