Moving On

Miss us? Well, we have missed you immensely. I love blogging. Writing is fun, documenting our lives is important, rereading the adventures is awesome because it’s so easy to forget things so I will continue to blog.

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out the best way to proceed. I have no interest in going back and resizing all the past photos so that’s out. No biggie. I will print out this blog and add it to the other blog books (that I have yet to print but plan to do in one year increments) and put them on the shelf to reread and to pass on to future generations. But I also thought about splitting up the information from this blog to make it more focused. This one is a travel/parenting/living abroad/health/adoption/food/finance blog. It’s too much! I love writing about all of those things but it’s too much for one blog. But do I want seven different blogs? No, I do not. Did you read that article in Newsweek (July 16, 2012) about the internet’s effect on the mind? If not, let me sum it up for you: it talked about internet addiction being linked to depression/sleep deprivation and brain atrophy. Oh my. I am certainly affected. I am online hours each day partly due to living overseas (Skype, email, Facebook, etc.) but also due to boredom and blogging. Having several different blogs would make a bad problem worse. I am fine with (and prefer) decreasing content somehow if it means I have only one blog but this is a way to record our lives and I appreciate the details. So as you can see, I am still not sure how to proceed!

In the meantime the weeks are flying and not blogging at all is the worst option of all, so I set up a new temporary blog. It’s a work in progress as I play with the themes and the format (that current camel and pyramid picture, though cool, is not mine) so expect some changes while I get it together. Sorry for all the drama. Hope to see you at Joy and Coconut 2: Year Two Abroad! 🙂

~ Joy and Coco

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Miss Blogging!!! here are my options so I can get back in the saddle:

1. Sit my ass down and find the photos from all of the previous posts in my 30,000 pictures in iPhoto, upload them one at a time to picresize dot com, go into each post and delete the photos and upload the new ones (and hope it doesn’t mess up the alignment)    Pros? I can keep my URL and continue blogging here and I’ll learn how to resize photos Cons? Many, many, many hours needed–probably WEEKS and WEEKS

2. Write a final post on this blog of one year with a link to the new blog and start fresh Pros? I can set up a new blog in seconds and keep on trucking and I don’t need to learn anything new regarding photo resizing (and when it fills up again this time next year I will need to and start another blog then, too!) Cons? I will lose followers, I will lose my URL

3. Find/pay/beg someone to resize my photos for me

4. Start blogging again at Blogger where I never had this photo issue Pros? I can set up a new blog in seconds and keep on trucking and I don’t need to learn anything new regarding photo resizing Cons? I will miss the benefits of WordPress like private & password protected posts, replying directly to specific comments and the daily stats, and my mother will miss months of future posts while she figures out how to find me on Blogger (it took her about 6 months to figure out WordPress! Hi, Mom! Luv you! ;-))

5. Start a new blog on either WordPress or Blogger and quit blogging publicly so followers, stats, privacy and stats don’t matter

Which of these makes the most sense? What would you do if you were me?

I’m leaning towards having two blogs. I would start a new personal blog about me and Coco on a new URL for friends, family (and possibly committed followers) and mark it private. I would transfer all of the personal posts– finances, health, work, adoption, etc. from this blog to the new one (when I have the time) and continue from where I left off. Then this present blog could retain the URL and followers but it would become less personal with fewer photos and focus on a being a single parent living and traveling abroad. Both of these options do require learning about photo resizing at some point but it would be at a slower, more acceptable pace.

Did I miss any other options? What do you think of my plans?

Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments


Vacation has been great. We flew into LA and spent 4 days there. From there we spent 3 days in DC where I celebrated my birthday. Then 5 days in Orlando at Disneyworld and the past week we’ve been relaxing in Pennsylvania with relatives. I haven’t had time to deal with the photo issue and if I can’t figure it out before I go back to Manila I am going to simply start another blog. With all these large photos WordPress accommodated a year’s worth of posts so if I can’t find some tech guru to help me maybe I will just do a new blog each year! 🙂

So, sorry for the pictureless post but for now it is what it is. So vacation, yes, it has been really fun and relaxing but boy oh boy have we gotten derailed from our normal routine. When guests in others’ homes we eat what they eat for the most part and I haven’t been strict on our bedtimes and not surprisingly Coco is a bit off and I am suffering from inflammation and exhaustion! I wish I could pinpoint how I’m feeling to a specific cause like lack of sleep or eating too many cookies but honestly I have no idea. I can’t get back on track easily while here; I am really looking forward to returning to our healthier lifestyle.

I made a long list of things to avoid/adhere to but who can follow or even remember a long list? So here are the top three items I have deemed to be the most important and will get my focus when we return:

1. exercise                                                                                                                                              2. get lots of sleep                                                                                                                                 3. avoid junk food/processed foods (including wheat)

And my workouts will consist of tennis, yoga and weights. I can get a group of ten tennis private tennis lessons for $100! I will be scheduling that as soon as I get back so I can have form like Serena Williams! That’s it. I tried to narrow it down to two but which one could I rule out? And now, while I am able, I am off to Chipolte. Man I missed that place!

Posted in health, Joy | 2 Comments

Resolutions Update – June

Still no progress on the photo drama but in the meantime I can post this update on my resolutions:

Short Term Goals:

1. Sign Coco up for ballet lessons Done! 🙂

2. Sign myself up for tennis lessons

3. Put $1000 in emergency fund – Done! 🙂

4. Pay off Amex Done! 🙂

5. Pay my Mom back – Done! 🙂

6. Create some weekly family rituals – Done! 🙂

7. Create 3 photo books of important events Done! 🙂

8. Lose 10 pounds –  was done but I gained a lot back on vacation 😦

9. Back up all photos in two or more places – backed up thru March 2012 on a hard drive

10. Read camera manual  Done! 🙂

11. Make Coco’s lifebook

12. Pay Visa $10,000 – paid $7000

13. Complete a 30-Day Paleo Challenge

14. Take Coco to (Hong Kong) Disneyland – Done! 🙂

15. Teach Coco how to spell and write her name, count to 20 orally and count to 10 with 1:1 correspondence


Year-Long Goals:

1. Reduce sugar, flour, caffeine, and processed foods

2. Make working out a habit (yoga, tapes, tennis and/or kettlebells)

3. Be asleep by 10 pm

4. Post a photo for every day of 2012 at and 2x week or more on Joy and Coconut

5. Eat some form of coconut or apple cider vinegar daily

How are your resolutions coming along?

Posted in Joy | Leave a comment

I’m Really Annoyed

This photo drama really has me hating WordPress or hating myself for not understanding photo resizing. I am completely frustrated and am about to go back to blogging at Blogger where I never had this issue to just avoid the problem. I don’t have the time or energy to go back to and resize each and every photo. Thanks to those of you who left tips and suggestions. The only one I tried was going thru Flickr but that didn’t work. Someone from the WordPress forum gave me a long and tedious way to solve the problem. Honestly, I don’t feel like the hassle! I am soooooooooo annoyed!!  😦

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Blogging Problem

WordPress informed me as I was creating a post today that I have used up all the space in my media library and can’t upload any more images. I am sick because I have no idea how to resize a YEAR’S worth of posted photos on the blog in order to make space for new ones!! I posted a desperate plea on the WordPress forum begging someone to help me with this but I don’t know if I will get help nor how long it will take to go back and fix ALL of my images. It’s especially frustrating because we are traveling and I have so many great photos taken and stories to tell. This never happened on Blogger but maybe it’s because I am using new cameras and the images are set to really large sizes. I hate not knowing how to resolve this on my own and I hate not being able to continue blogging normally!! So, sorry for the lack of posting until this is resolved. 😦


Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments

The End of the School Year Wrap Up

As soon as school got out and we got back from our trip to Cebu we moved in to our new apartment. I like it so much better and Coco is glad there are no longer any ghosts living with us. Seriously, all year she complained of “the shadows” in her room. I asked her a few weeks ago why she says there are shadows and Mommy never sees them. She said, “that’s because they are here when I am here by myself and when you come in the room they go away.” Alrighty then. We’re both happy to be shadow-free in the new abode.

The new place is going to be painted and the floors are going to be redone while we are away. My yaya is staying to oversee the work and then she will go home to be with her family. I am looking forward to seeing how spruced up they make it in our absence. Before we left I spent many, many hours unpacking and putting things away. It was starting to feel a bit like home. Here is our new view from our new dining room.  Pretty nice, huh?

I decided to go TV-free in the new place. The landlord offered to buy us a flat screen but I declined. I never watched tons of TV anyway but Coco would beg to watch it every day and when I relented on weekends she would become a zombie in front of the tube, zoning out and her eyes would practically glaze over. She had an obsession with it begging me for it every day. That was annoying but it also seemed like it was causing her problems. I felt like she needed to build her attention span to other activities and choose and enjoy more creative activities to fill her time. It’s harder to not have it around as a crutch but she is doing all kinds of creative things, like the activity book I got her for her birthday:


Dressing up and dancing, going in a rocket to the moon and other shenanigans:


I think her favorite activity is dressing up! Look at all these creative outfits!!


And let’s not forget Neigh! Look at his makeover! LOL  I wonder if he likes it?? 🙂What else? The other day I noticed all these varieties of rice they sell in the market:I have been making smoothies for breakfast. I take a frozen banana, frozen mixed berries, a handful of spinach and a few almonds. Then I add water and ice to taste and one other fruit if there is some (apple, mango, etc.). Coco loves them. So glad I brought my Vitamix!!We left Manila ten days ago and are currently making our rounds visiting friends and family across the US. I am sooo happy to be home and will do posts on that very soon. Hope everyone is enjoying their summers so far! It has been really great for us.


Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments