July 27, 2015

Culture Buzz: In What Language Do You Think In Your Head?



The Thinker / Photo: WikiCommon

English is not my first language. Not a shocker there. But it is for some people who couldn't tell - and I will tell you, I've got a few many fooled without meaning to. Tap on my shoulder. "heck, got you fooled!" I can't help it. I was born and raised in Asia but I'm pretty fluent with the language and I can gab my way through a conversation without sounding soooo foreign and soooo fresh off the boat - which most "judgmental", ignorant, people think I am- just by looking at me. Tough. "Do you know English?". "Can you speak in English?" 

Right. Of course I do. Bitch.

To which I would get this "Oh wow. Your English is good!" 

I've rolled my eyes so many times, I've got the roll down to a science.

Bitch.

But you probably don't know this - but I'm telling you anyway -  that I also speak three dialects and semi-fluent with 2 other languages. I can hold 4 different conversations in 4 different languages and dialects at the same time. I have no problem keeping up and drives people nuts! Awesome right? Well, kind of.

July 25, 2015

TechTalk: How To Get Rid of Your Cable And Dish For Good - Survive It and Save Tons of Money!



With the rising cost of cable TV and satellite dishes, I'm sure the sound of saving thousands of dollars sounds very appealing to you right now. As to date, we have saved approximately $3,312 derived from a $69/month subscription fee in the course of 4 years. Money that went to more important stuffs like food and other essential necessities. How did we pull this off?

July 23, 2015

5 Ah!-mazing Reasons Why Carowinds is One of My Top Family Destinations to Beat the Heat This Summer


Aerial view of Carowinds / Photo: +Maricris G 

I can't believe the heatwave upon heatwave Charlotte is currently experiencing. It's unreal but there's no denying it - the heat is quite real alright! It's so hot out here, I almost want to live in the water just to escape it! Now that I think about it, I guess I could, some way, somehow. I could go to the beach but the closest one is at least 3 hours away and that would only give me at least a week to enjoy it. Or, I can always go to my community's pool, but nah. It's too small and pretty crowded most of the time, there's just no way to enjoy even a short dip. So, what to do? Why what else, but go to Carowinds! It might be the best solution at this point. Here's why:

July 22, 2015

Photography: Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Photos


Waterfall inside the Orchid Conservatory at +Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden / Photo: +Maricris G 

I recently visited the DSBGarden and here is an inside look covering several areas of the garden. I'm in love with my photography (of course I am!) which is why it's best to let the photos speak for themselves and tell you their story - or you know it, I'll be bias! Not that, that's a bad thing IMO. Now, do you know what is so great about staring at these pictures and getting lost in them? If you can't guess, I'll tell you anyway. Well, you most certainly won't be able to smell the foul scent of the stinky flower. Lucky duck! So... Ooh-gle on! 

July 20, 2015

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Now With Kid-Friendly Options


Photo: +Maricris G 

Different and kid-friendly-er are probably the two words that will pop out of your mind when you visit the Garden this year. And rightly so. I haven't been to the gardens in ages and I can definitely see the recent changes and upgrades they have done within - in my opinion - to make it more conducive to families with younger children. A good business move as well if you ask me.

Last time we were there (ages as I've mentioned), there was nothing for my young child to get "lost" into, thus making the visit rather "boring" for her. Much as we adults enjoyed the visit, we never dared go back since we didn't want to "bore" our child again and give us grief in the process. Fast forward. We went back! We had a reason to go back. And surprisingly, there was something for my kiddo. I was hopeful. She's a lot older now but is still young enough to gravitate towards "child stuffs" especially in a boring-to-a-child-garden setting.

July 14, 2015

ZimSculpt 2015 Exhibit Photos


Story to Tell by David White / Photo: MaricrisG

I had the pleasure of visiting the ZimSculpt 2015 exhibit and these are just a few of those that are on display at Daniel Stowe's Botanical Garden.

ZimSculpt A Feast for the Artistic Eyes And A Treat For the Uber Spender Art Collector


Sculpture done on an Opal stone by Aron Kapembeza / Photo: MaricrisG

This is the last week of ZimSculpt exhibit at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens which was reason enough for us to just go out there and brave the heat and humidity or miss it altogether. There was so much buzz around this exhibit that I decided, we must find out if this exhibit is really good as they say. It was also a chance to explore the gardens which we haven't seen in ages. As it turn out, going there on a late Sunday afternoon was a great choice. It was uncrowded, which created a relaxed atmosphere, making for a pleasant visit - except of course, for the intense heat that literally melted me in a puddle as I dragged my heavy artillery: camera, tripod and my womanly possessions, all over the gardens with me.

July 7, 2015

Staycation Challenge: How to Beat The Summer Heat Without Breaking Your Bank And Losing Your Sanity


Photo: MaricrisG

We're heading into the middle of Summer and it's getting hot, hot, hot out there! The heat is on and there's no escaping it. And for those who are stuck staycation-ing, it can be a little challenging especially when the kids are home with you 24-7 and for the entire Summer. I can assure you, you'll lose your sanity pretty quick - guaranteed. But, before you lose your cool - I know how that is - do as I do. It will even save you some money. Though I can't guarantee your sanity remaining intact, you at least have some great options for your staycation challenge here besides going to your neighborhood pool or staying at home all day.

Here are places and ways to make your Summer creatively bearable and enjoyable with the rest of the family (that meant the kids of course) and saving you some money as well:

July 6, 2015

Summer Escape Plan: How to Make Use of Malls and Shopping Centers To Your Advantage



Photo: +Maricris G 

Staycationing? Then let's talk. Worn-out mom to another worn-out mom. When people mention either the Mall or Shopping Centers, which thought comes to your mind? Shopping right? Well, listen, that's already a given but if you think creatively and out of the box, you'll see that there is actually more to these shopping havens that you can take advantage of especially during the hottest season of the year, Summer! Think of it as your escape plan for beating the Summer heat and keeping your sanity intact. Remember, Kids are home all Summer. Good enough reason, no? I think so.

And here's more. Malls should not be just for shopping in your vocabulary any more. They have play areas for your young ones. Free wifi if you must need to catch up on some online work. And if you've got older kids, you can go shop-hopping with them. How fun is that? No guarantees you won't buy anything but at least you had fun with your kids. If not, you can chill at a Starbucks cafe or lounge at the mall's numerous lounging areas, with your favorite pretzels, preferably with your favorite coffee drink in hand. Maybe you can people-watch too. You didn't hear it from me, but it can be fun! I'm watching you!


July 2, 2015

Where to Watch Fireworks for July 4th 2015 Celebration in North Carolina

Photo: Marc Averette via Wikipedia commons

July 4th is right on the corner. I bet you my bottom dollar that you and your family is looking to watch a good fireworks show just like everyone else. Well, we scoured the land and found these places just for you so you know where to go and when to watch, right where you are! Or nearby.