Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas to everyone!! :) Wishing you all the best for this season of faith, hope, love and FOOD! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Classic timepieces

I believe that there are some home pieces that can actually liven up the whole place by that mere pretty piece set in a good location at home. Of course, among other things such as a Christmas tree (given this season), grandfather clocks can do this to a home as well. At my grandparent’s old home, they used to have a really nice eye-catching grandfather clock that would do its round song, round the clock, and it would just be a source of conversation for first time visitors. If I were to buy my own one, and if I had a massive house, I would put it very close to the dining and living area. The cost is like buying your usual big appliance, so might as well make it a big thing part of the conversation!

These excellent timepieces are very much an accessory, as it is a practical home or office piece as seen in that photo of President Bush calling the new president elect Obama. Really, classic clocks can never really go out of style. There are a lot of clocks out in the market, but that one special one would be a reflection of one’s home style and character. I’ve seen a few of them that were very modern, while still some other ones are really a classic!

December Special : Christmas Island

Somewhere on the Indian Ocean, between Asia and Northern Western Australia, lies Christmas Island. This lovely tropical island, which is administered by the Australian government, is in fact home to the famous Red Crabs. There are after all, about 100 million of this species that call this island home. Every year sometime about November-December, these red crabs crawl their way and migrate to the shoreline to breed by the sea. Can you believe that they even have their own crossing grid, to facilitate their safe journey! (see photo!)

This red crab migration is such an interesting phenomenon, and here is a good read if you want more information about this whole process.

Getting to Christmas Island, one can travel from Perth or Kuala Lumpur. There are numerous Christmas Island accommodation type suitable for different travellers. A number of activities (birdwatching, photography, etc) Surely, this nature haven would bring so much excitement and great photos!

Sell and Buy

My sister in law and his husband was meant to buy a new house before they give birth to their child. It is now only about 3 months to go before she delivers her baby, but they still haven’t bought a new one. According to hubby, they are delaying a bit because they would end up selling their current home at a very depreciated value and would not want to do that. I was going to tell them that there were Round rock tx homes for sale that they may probably be interested in, but given their situation I would probably just save my words. Maybe in a few months’ time the financial situation of the world would be better. Although, in our recent general meeting at work, they are predicting that this global crisis may take us all until 2010 for things to go back to normal, whatever that means.

Office Christmas Parties

Don't we all just love this season of merrymaking, food, music, dressing up, friendships, families, gifts, giving, receiving, sharing, etc!

Last friday I attended my work Christmas party, and as much as I wanted to stay with the rest of the girls to party until at the most midnight (yes, I am old and this is a personal choice), I had other commitments to attend to so I stayed only for a few hours. Still good, and I am glad I left at that time, just enough for me to have enjoyed.

I know this is not uncommon, but a few years ago, again at the Office Christmas Party, there were quite a few unacceptable happenings that left some people regretting, others offended, and still the rest satisfied and happy. I think at these events, it is always still wise to keep some sort of etiquette. Especially since they are people we usually deal with on a professional level. Wouldn't one feel embarrassed if their boss witnessed drunk behaviour and lewdness?!

Oh London!

There are just so many places that I want to visit, and although I have been to Europe, I have not visited London. So for my next trip to Europe, when that is I don’t know yet, I would definitely be looking for cheap London hotels (or maybe stay with friends!). But then again, with my travel agent status I should find some really nice London hotel without having to ruin my budget.

For those who are looking to travel to this part of the world, it is always suggested to be canvassing rates early on perhaps a good five months before the trip. Truly there are sometimes great latest London hotel deals at this time. It would also be wise to study street guides which give depth info of the city of London. I know I would do this for each and every city I plan to visit..Okay, I may be sounding too much of a travel agent I should probably just leave your planning to you, but if you need help I am here!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Casual December

..Smart casual that is.

We've been advised that we are having December casual (as in casual day for the whole month!) Yahoo! Don't you just love rocking up at work in your comfy smart casuals. None of those uptight suits, or high heels and skirt dress ensemble. Well, just to give these outfits a bit of a few weeks break is fine (sometimes its fun to dress up all corporate-y too I know!).

It helps liven the atmosphere as well I guess when people are more comfortable, relaxed and jolly. Feels like a friday work-day I guess. It's always just been friday casuals at our company, and I noticed people are gleeful on this day before the weekend. I suppose that is the reason for it. Nonetheless, I am just looking forward to work now! Haha!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Buying presents

Sometimes I find myself in a dilemma when buying presents for people who already have it all. Really, how does one buy the perfect gift for these people? One of my family friends here is a classic example. Their family has everything, and I mean everything. I was thinking that maybe Visa gift cards are the way to go for them, so that I don't buy gift them with something that they don't need. I know though that they need love and peace, for Christmas. Last time I heard they may actually be going through a divorce. Sad, but true. Sometimes when we think people have everything, really they don't have it all, all the time. I wish I can just give them back their love for each other. That's life though.

Why do we need girl-friends?

And I don't mean lovers.

(coming from another girl).

We need someone to bitch with. Especially when it involves a current's EX.
We need someone to cry with. Especially after that big break up.
We need someone to call when we have that Lalala mood.
We need someone to remind us when enough is enough.
We need someone to share dramas with.
We need someone to share our giddy moments with.
We need someone to ask an honest question, to get an honest answer back.
We need someone to go for pedicures and manicures with.
We need someone to pep talk us.
We need someone to be there for us, someone who can be truly happy for us.
We need someone to enjoy girltalk with.
We need someone to witness our big day.
We need someone, to be able to be a someone (a girl friend) back.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tree Tree Tree

I've put up my first Christmas tree, ever. By myself. This time, as much it would have been cute to just use my old, small, wooden Christmas tree...I ended up buying this 5foot++ Christmas tree. And i have not regretted! Well, I've been thinking about buying a tree anyway for the past few weeks. The decision to put up a tree this year just came out of impulse so suddenly. I was on my way home, and passed the Home shop. Within the hour, I ended up buying a Tree, some ornaments, Christmas Baubles, tinsel, etc. Fast forward another two hours, my tree is up!! And I am proud :) and glad I have put up one this year...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Concert and Scrapping

I can't believe I got tickets to see Coldplay! Yipee! There was another pre-sale on the 29th of November and so I secured seats. Coolness. :) Gold Reserve seating.

And, I was able to catch up a year's worth of scrapping. I now am behind two years nalang! Haha! Well, a big improvement from being 4 years behind this. Hopefully I get to update this all the way to the present. It was quite nice to be able to reminisce a bit. I appreciate the places I've been to, the events I attended, the restaurants I've tried. And of course all these with the company of my family and or friends, or hubby. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Life is too Short..

.. That it is meant to be lived so sweetly."

Cheesy I know, but for the past month or two, my workmate has been repeating this to me over and over again.

True though. So true. Life really can go by too quickly.

I realise I have been prolonging so many stages of my life. Like life is a waiting game. To test your patience. In this instance I can say my patience gets the better of me. Sometimes one just needs to jump, live, take risks, and move forward. Whether people judge you (or me), for making such decisions.. Is really not their concern. At some point a patient person needs to decide. I have. And I just hope everyone can be happy with that.

Deep :) But so True..

A day late


I am feeling a bit cross. I just missed the Visa pre-sale for Coldplay's Sydney concert in March 2009. I was so tempted to buy tickets to see them in Melbourne or Brisbane instead.. But then again, the concert's scheduled for the middle of the week! Hassle!!

Okay, I lie, at the moment there are Sydney seats. Single seats. Meaning no two seats seated together. So that's really no good!! :X

Should we just watch them in Melbourne???

Monday, November 24, 2008


One thing that I always wanted to do but never got around to doing, or finishing, or ... Is Scrapping. I tried it just when I got to Sydney five years ago, and for a while I thought I would do it quite regularly, but then after a year I just got backlogged, and it just hasn't been updated since. It's a shame, coz I have quite a few things to document..milestones, events, travels, memories... I have put this on my top five things to do before the year ends. Hopefully I get to catch up on a bit. I am crossing my fingers and hoping I really get this done. Soon. :) I know it can be therapeutic to do this activity regularly, and really just to be able to let me creative juices out would be nice.

I really salute everyone who can scrap regularly. I know a few people who do this often, and I am jealous. It's some sort of like a life story, a snapshot of events, summarised in a pretty personalised book. Just thinking about it makes me want to do it right now. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Over again

There are some movies which I can never tire watching over again. No matter how many times I do watch them they just make me cringe or feel lovey dovey all over again. It's like a chocolate bar that you never get tired of.

Oh well, sometimes I just seem to find myself repeating my favorite movies when I am alone, because I know I don't mind seeing it again. My boyfriend is the same with a few really good movies. But, maybe not as often as me, he loves to listen to the great movie sound effect. Especially when he's got a new toy (eg, subwoofer, dvd player or whatever).

I guess, sometimes like a child we too have our favorite things. Whether it is manifested through a good movie, favorite chocolate bar or meal, or even just a cd. Human nature I suppose, to repeat the experience especially if it's a good one. I guess, I would not mind at all to have a nice long holiday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Need a Break

As usual! I am just wanting one again. Well, I think the last real break I had was.....

I think in May! So that was six months ago. No wonder I have 3 weeks annual leave left for this year!

Actually I am taking four days off in a few weeks time. Still have nothing planned for that. When you plan trips left and right during the day, at work.. it can be tiresome to plan my own. That's just the way it is. Did you know that many travel agents leave booking their own holidays at the very last minute?! haha.

I am dreaming Fraser Island now... See picture. It's just so magical! Ohh I want to go back!!

That Christmas tradition

Spoke with a good friend from Manila last week, and she was telling me about what to give her daughter this Christmas. While on the topic of Santa, I’ve told her that there was this provider or service that would send to their home Letters From Santa himself! We were both sharing about our own experiences on writing Santa letters and receiving gifts that we asked for. It’s just really heartwarming to talk about traditions such as these, that are still being passed on from one generation to the next. I can’t wait to get my own little one to help write Santa letters!

Where? and Why?

Where would I be if I had chosen to stay in Manila? Pondering on how life would have been if I was (still) there. I could be enjoying myself with the company of people I love. Hanging out at some place over crepes (at Breton) or beer perhaps. Sometimes I think of these things. What if I was a person who never wanted to leave my homeland? I would probably lead a comfortable life. And by comfortable, I mean emotionally comfortable. Knowing that day in, day out, in one phone call, a few minutes (or so) drive, I will be with people I want to be with, at that time. I would probably be blissfully satisfied with all those emotional cravings that my family and friends would offer. On the other hand, I would have a job that would not pay me well, and that which I would endlessly complain about (not much difference with here i guess!). I probably wont be able to afford to live on my own and fend for myself. I would most likely be dependent on my parents for financial support for a longer time. Part of me wants to put blame on the government for this, that so many people in Manila (and anywhere in the Phils) would like to leave the country to be able to achieve financial independence. Think about so many families divided because of this situation. But then again, this situation is present in other countries. A lot of the foreigners I have encountered here have the main motive of improving their economic status. Sometimes I wonder where I would be happier, here or there? Where is the right place for me? Where do I belong? There are so many endless questions that I could ask, and as much as I would like to make the best of what I have at present/at hand, it is very difficult. Especially when homesickness sets in. All the financial freedom, career goals, etc that I have seem to fade into a distant memory. There are moments when I would just like to pack my bags and head home. No questions asked, no future considerations, no consequences. But life is not meant to be lived that way. In everything I do, I would have to think twice, thrice and so many times about the implications it would bring on my future. My fiance's and mines for that matter. After all, I led him to this life.

My fiance and I often talk about life and so many things involved in it. Such as where to settle. Where to raise our kids, how to raise them, what our ideals in life are, and what our ideal life would be. Oftentimes we would have the same emotions involved, but sometimes totally different actual ideas. Life here would entail a lot of sacrifice. Especially when kids come into the scene, one of us (most likely me) would be a stay at home parent, taking care of kids and the family's needs. Raising a child here is not easy, as we cannot depend on relatives or helpers to give assistance in rearing them. Or, just to watch them for a few hours while I have my "ME" time. Unlike in Manila, relatives will be around to offer (if not request them to) take care of the kids for a while. Here, it could be very restraining. Having to watch them 24/7 for 365/year. It will mean being involved in the baby's life every step of the way. In some cases that I have encountered here, some of the Filo parents bring their child to the Phils and leave them there with the grandparents. This is sad. Parents not really being able to fulfill their role as one. But then again, life here is different and I understand where they are coming from. They have a choice, and their choice is to work hard to be able to give their child the best. It must be a very difficult decision to do that. I wish and pray I would never have to decide on that.

I am feeling a little bit better after writing my thoughts about being here now, and my what ifs if I were in Manila. Its not much, but I think in all this, there is a purpose of me being here. I need to learn about life. Initially I really came here to study about Tourism. I learned a lot more than the things I learned inside the classroom. I learned to live on my own. I learned to cope with homesickness (most of the time, but of course, i break down too). I learned to be strong, for myself, by myself. I learned that if I wanted something done, I had to do, and no one would do it for me. I learned that after sometime one gets used to the place they live in, but one never forgets where one came from. I learned that out in the world, there are real situations, real life events that are not always easy to handle. I learned that life is not always easy, and that after being spoonfed for 20 years, one must learn to look for their own spoon, look for their own food, scoop it, and learn how to eat by themselves.It was not a very smooth road, but one must appreciate that, at least, there is a road. I learned that there are a whole lot of different types of people alive. Not all of them are nice. Not all of them play fair. Not all of them want whats best for you. Not all of them can be your friend. But maybe, One of them may be there at the hardest time of your life. I learned and understood that life is about the journey, and that we should at least make it as pleasant as possible for oneself and for others. For all we know, it is harder for the other person across the road. ( I heard that quote somewhere, worded differently of course).

Just like job hunting

They say when one goes into a business franchise it should be something that one is passionate about, because diving into a business is meant to be long term. A few or so years ago I was researching the probable best franchise for myself. I saw a couple that really interested me. However, I did not pursue this nor did I even speak with a franchise broker. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time then, or maybe I should have just made an appointment with anyone who may have known about any small business for sale, but I was not in a rush. Only recently did I find out that there is such a site which I know would try their best to match up the potential business owner and direct to the appropriate and suitable business. I think that this is quite a good thing to consider, that the right business for the right person. I mean, it is easy to just invest money but hard to actually invest one’s time and effort into something is something that needs careful consideration.

Something that crossed my mind just now: I think finding the right business for you is like looking for a job and going for interviews. A business idea or proposal may be appealing in the beginning just like the prospect of starting in a new company where it all seems so exciting and promising. However, when it comes to the actual details, we may realize that this employer may not take us to where we want to go in terms of growth and career. Same with a business. Makes me think now, is there something that I may never grow tired to work for? I guess it’s pretty obvious my choice will still be travel.

Crazy, Early Thoughts

Crazy Morning thoughts,
..brought about by a dream
A dream that never existed in reality
Igniting that aimless fire within
Lonesome, troubled, confused soul
For a second, dreaming what ifs
Just until I awake, and find myself lost
Eternal space, endless possibilities
To seek the truth, where?
Counting seconds until
I realise I know where I am
Wasting thoughts on meaningless limbo
Drifting season, recurring dream
Ceasefire and sleep
Until the next time I awake
And find myself
Sleeping while I am faced with reality
Sweet melancholic slumber
Is what I need
We all know, it isnt
We all know we are happy
Let us not remember
Suppressed surrender
Peace, then live.

Keeping myself busy

At work, the girls and I were talking the other day about how they enjoyed playing their Nintendo DS games with their partners, and how fun the new Nintendo Wii is. One of my colleagues had bought so much games, including the gadgets that come along with it. She is also very much into that Wii yoga at the moment that she had to demonstrate to us how her sister and boyfriend imitated her in this weird balancing position. This got us all cracking! But really, if I had a Wii Fit game I would probably end up doing a bit more exercise.

There are just so much games to choose from that an actual window shopping day for price comparison would be necessary to be able to find the best buy! Although with how the rate things are going, I may end up just buying impulsively just before Christmas. I guess I should just consult my boyfriend or my work mate to ask for tips on choosing a good console game for me.

... all about me (again!) :)

...i love making lists
...i love to travel, but i hate airplane rides
...i love daydreaming about the future family, future vacations, future anything
...i love chocolates! milk chocolates...not dark bitter ones...white chocolates, maybe sometimes...
...i like beach trips. but i dont like getting dark...
...i like taking long and hot showers...
...i like mellow, soothing sounds
...ive always thought of playing jazz/blues music in my apartment, with dim mood lights, chilling and just wasting time...lounging on a big lazy couch...with the aircon turned on, and my big warm blankie...
...i like reading about showbiz chatter! to forget about my own life concerns just for a moment
...i like watching movies!either in the theatre, dvds played at home..
...i love rooftops and views...
...i like planning vacations, day trips, even if i have a feeling it might not push through!
...i like sulking sometimes. i feel better afterwards! crazy me,,,
...i like collecting brochures of sorts...i think i could fill a whole closet already!
...i like buying bags... sometimes i have to convince myself that i dont have room for any anymore.
...i lik e people watching, sometimes.. just sit on the park bench and watch the world go by...
...i like mcdo chicken nuggets...with BBQ and Sweet and Sour Sauce. I always buy 2 sauces!
...i like going on a ferry ride... on a hot summer day... cruising on the harbour...keeping quiet..
...i like going to loud music bars, ocncerts, once in a gives me a natural high during and after...
...i like balconies and views...
...i like krispy kreme, marble frost....
...i love long weekends and public holidays
...i could sleep all day if i could...
...i dont mind being alone sometimes... sometimes, i wouldnt want to be alone...
...i have a mental list of names that i would like for my baby someday...
...i hate winter weather... gloomy days, cold nights
...i like peeking into other people's thoughts about things...
...i used to like opening emails, until i started getting too many work related ones!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I read in this article that supermodels have their own getaway destinations. Heidi Klum hides away in Mexico with her hubby Seal. Gisele Bundchen hies off to Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro or Florianopolis. Kate Moss on the other hand chills in Mallorca, Spain whenever she wants to get away from it all.

Whoever you are, or I am, we all need to get away from it all once in a while. Whether we go local or international we just need to rejuvinate every so often and live our unrealistic dreams in order to get a grip on reality once again.

I, for one, sometimes immerse myself in the internet world when I am trying to forget about some issues. But sometimes I need to physically go out and just hide. Whether I am gone for an hour, for a weekend or so depends on the need. Although I may not go to far flung exotic places like my (fellow, ahem) supermodels do, I get the same thing out by hiding away at the following:

- At the Supermarket. Yes, getting lost in aisles and rows of grocery items can be therapeutic. One need not buy something to feel good. Although, often times than not I would get a couple or so unneccessary items.

- A walk in the Park. The grass was made for thinking people to walk on, or lay on. The benches were made to be sat on. The park was made for all these and more, especially to someone who wants to be lost, but does not want to be alone. Truly, there are endless best spots to choose from.

- That quaint cafe next door. It’s been a while since I’ve visited this spot of mine, as I often choose to just go to the above options. However, that Italian bartender’s accent sometimes is enough for me to pull that grin off my face.

- Neverland. Sleep can do wonders. Sometimes without me being aware of it, a mere overnighter (sleep) is enough to feel better the next day. Maybe a nap won’t have the same effect. But having a glass of wine before sleeping would surely be a winner!

There are different seasons and so different places apply to me whenever I choose my spot outside my apartment. Sometimes, a quick call or a long call to a friend can bring back that positive spirit in me.

Oh lazy day!

Okay the weather is good outside today, as opposed to gloomy yesterday, but I am just really quite lazy now. I was in the mood for the beach yesterday but today I have opted to do a dvd marathon on my travel guides (watching Italy now). I should really look at buying a treadmill equipment mat and a treadmill of course. I could possibly lose a lot of unwanted kilos with my couch time! One day maybe! Should actually be trying to get my summer figure in place because soon it will be nice to laze around the beach, park or the marina.

Street Performing and Street Art

I have been a semi-frustrated performer almost all my life. Sure, I have had my fair share of ballet and piano recitals, school plays, speeches and other things which escape my mind at the moment. But what I really haven’t tried is to perform in the streets. In a lot of western cities, begging comes in a lot of forms. Whether they are art camouflaged or magic tricks to entertain. I have seen in the streets: a contortionist, man eating fire, man on a bike on a tight rope, magician playing tricks, a mime dressed in silver paint, chalk artist on the pavement, musicians wearing their didgiredoos and a bit of cloth, singing acrobats, young violinist, ball juggler, man making music with glass beer bottles, etc etc etc.

I am sure each of us have seen them at least once. I say they are all on a league of their own with their performances. Whether it is a silent act, or a scene stealer. I have a sense of respect for them who have guts, courage and (sometimes) unique talent.

These travellers, backpackers, locals, or whoever they are and wherever they come from, they form part of the street scene which makes walking down the street a bit more interesting. They can be a nuisance to some, but really it is your choice whether you want to stop and see them do their thing. Whatever their reason is for doing this, does not really matter (much).

Do you want to travel or not?

I am currently working on an itinerary for a client who intends to visit that interesting city, Amsterdam. He is a first time European visitor who would be traveling alone for the first time as well. He does not know where to stay or what to do, and I am just a bit reluctant to give him suggestions or advise as he is unsure of what he wants. I suppose it is the hardest situation to share ideas with someone who does not really say what he is wanting out of a trip. He’s been really apologetic and all about not participating in planning his trip, but apologizing is not very helpful at all. I have deadlines to meet and the pressure is on.

Anyway, I have come up with a few ideas and have sort of let go of the possibility and fact that he may not really get the most out of his trip because of his own doing. I’ll just do my best, and with the limited knowledge I have of him. I have given him a few choices of cheap hotels in Amsterdam, a list of things to do and visit while in the charming city, restaurant guide of different cuisines as well as popular pubs and clubs. I realize there is only so much I can do, and at some point he will have to participate actively in this trip planning if he wants to enjoy his Amsterdam experience.

Send someone a handwritten letter

If there was only one person you could mail a letter to at this point in your life, who would it be? And why?

There are so many people that we would love to get in touch with again. If only we took the time to write them a handwritten heartfelt letter. Instead of typing away a cold email. But then again, do people still appreciate handwritten letters? I know I still do.

Just Playing Games

I was reading through this Sydney magazine or brochure ( I think ) when I saw that there’s this mall along Darling Harbour which had a Laser tag venue located within the complex. I remembered the time when my siblings were here for vacation and thought to myself that I should have just brought them there, instead of having my friend drive us to the suburb about forty minutes away! Oh well, I should just keep a mental note on this for when they come visit me again. I am pretty sure we would not have to wear tactical pants or extreme protective outfits at this place, since Laser tag is not that dangerous anyway. But I will probably call the place just to double check, oh one can never tell nowadays what can or can’t be done or worn. Haha!

On being a Team

Okay, we've been told by our Manager that we've got quite a special team. We all get along really well, and are so united to a fault sometimes. That's what happens when you put a bunch of girls together in a seemingly un-structured environment where our only source of morale boost is each other. Really. We made it through six months without a leader to guide us. Considering our team was built less than a year ago, myself being the most senior and the only founding member left in the team. We had a leader come and step in for about a few weeks but she did not last long for reasons I am sure we are not responsible for.

From a group previously composed of Four, we now have one new lady join us yesterday. So now we are Five. It may be a tactic of management to break into our solid teamwork. Not that we have not been reaching our targets while maintaining that high quality service because we have been doing pretty well and our figures can prove so.

But anyway, we are Five now. We would be evolving to a different mixture with our new team member. And only time will tell whether we will all gel constructively the way we used to. Nevertheless, work needs to be done. And whether we get on or not, work is something we do well and take seriously. Life goes on. C'est la vie.

Tech rant (again)

I’ve never been a real techie person, and so when I was starting out in this blog bandwagon I did endless research on a good web hosting site. I found out that I did not really have to be a tech geek or an IT graduate to be able to run my own site. It still has its challenges, and it does take me a lot longer to do my widget configurations and all that, but I manage (in some ways). I have been thinking about changing my site layout again, but I am just not prepared to go through having to adjust all the settings and all that just yet. Maybe when my boyfriend heads off overseas for two weeks I will be able to work on this.

Friday, November 07, 2008

How to save up for that Trip and Live Healthy

Especially during this trying time. One can only try to think up of ways to save. And be healthy!

Cut down on junk food and soft drinks.
Not only would one get to save a about thirty dollars a month, but also lose a bit of tummy bulge to be able to get ready for that beach holiday.
Approximate saving per month: $30.

Walk at least thirty minutes a day.
If one lived within an easy walk to work, it is smart and healthy to get exercise. Walk either to work, or from work at least three times a week, or more if one is not pressed with time. A good way to cut transportation cost, save on petrol, and get that lazy bum to walk.
Approximate saving per month: $40.

Drop your gym membership.
One can easily save big bucks by getting into shape the economical way. One need not be a member of Fitness First, or Gold’s Gym or whatever. We’d only need to stick to our daily regimen of walking, jogging and we’d be keeping fit and losing weight in no time. Truly being healthy does not have to be expensive. It is better to use hard earned moolah towards a much deserved holiday.
Approximate saving per month: $70.

Give your plastics a break.
I know some people enjoy retail therapy so much, but revert to being stressed again once the credit card bill comes in. Really, one does not need a new pair of jeans, shirt, underwear, shoes every week. Perhaps indulge every other month or two, maybe. But not on a weekly basis.
Approximate saving per month: $100.

Cook at home. Bring lunch to work.
I don’t know anyone who does not appreciate home cooked meals. They are a lot cheaper to prepare, way healthier (without too much salt, or MSG, or other unhealthy ingredients that restaurants or fast food put into your meal). Aside from hubby appreciating your time spent cooking that delicious and healthy food, you get to save.
Approximate saving per month: $250.

At the end of the month, if you’ve been good, imagine having an extra $500 to spend towards that dream holiday. I know not everyone may appreciate that weekend away over something material (eg, hotel and spa pampering versus new camera). However, if you are a travel buff like myself, you would think up ways to save up for that goal: holiday! Come to think of it, spending wisely leads to a healthy lifestyle as well. Now, it is just a matter of putting to action all these nice things!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

From an Insider looking at the picture

With all the hullaballoo the financial world is experiencing at the moment we are all affected. I work for quite a big financial company and we too are. Maybe not as much as others, but nonetheless everything is just really entwined and there are things we cannot avoid.

So... Recently I've noticed a lot of clients cancelling their planned holidays because of the current situation. Many of them are not ashamed to tell me the real reason why they are cancelling their trip. On a few occassions, family of five or six travelling to Europe or America for four weeks, would love to push through with their plans but want to pursue a dream holiday not having to think at the back of their mind that when they get back from vacation reality will bite hard. Thus, big families opt to postpone the trip.

Having said that, there are still a number planning and booking holidays. Perhaps they are badly needing one and no cost crisis would hinder them from going on one.

Whatever it is, travel is something inevitable for some. While for others it is something that they can do without for a prolonged period. However way we cope with the changing needs of the world, we know that this situation will end one day, some day. When is the big question.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

After a while...

In high school I read this poem, it went something like this : "after a while, you realise the difference between falling in love and.... " ... i forget the lines after that.

Now, I realise, that after a while, you learn the difference between spending time with people you like and enjoy company with, and spending time and just wasting time with people you don't really know.

When we are young we just hang out for the sake of being seen at a certain place, with the certain crowd. Etcetera. But as we get older, we realise that we actually don't just go out to spend money and time with people we don't care about. We go out because we want to share our time, a bit of ourselves with people that matter.

There is a difference between spending time and sharing our time. We realise this as we grow older.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Winter is back today!

I am too cold to write much. See here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Laptop Break

I Can't wait to get my internet connected!! Finally (cross fingers) I get it set up by tomorrow night!! :) It's just so annoying that I can't open up and read my blogger friends' blog updates with different windows open, while I check email, read online Filipino news, and my Pinoy showbiz,etc!

I have to admit I enjoyed giving my laptop a bit of a break. I was able to catch up on sleep. I think almost every day I was asleep way before midnight. I was awake as well by about 7 or 8 am. I have let go of a lot of blog opportunities and entries I said I would do, but then again I don't regret it (much). I know I would live another day without net. I guess when you don't have a choice then you just have to live with that fact.

Oh well.

I have also gone to a couple of places, picnics, night outs with friends and colleagues and of course boyfriend. I guess every once in a while we all need a break from the online world. I had mine, for the year! So, next hiatus would hopefully be not until next year. HAHA.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crisis and Stuff

Was having lunch with a good colleague today and we talked about how expensive it is to purchase a house nowadays. Having said that though, we both know quite a few people who’ve recently bought houses and so far they are not that stressed out about repayments. But then again watching the news, and listening to other people’s stories, some of them work seven days a week, and have two or three jobs (both husband and wife). Really, I guess when one is ready to buy, the timing does not matter as much (I mean recession or not), if it is the right one and one has prepared and researched extensively then no one can really question. I am just thinking about those Tampa Realtors and whether with all the media frenzy and information about the global financial crisis, whether they are still able to sell properties now. I know that my sister in law in the US is currently looking for a property, but unfortunately is having a difficult time doing so (due to so many reasons), I suppose I could try to help her research on properties being offered by Realtors in Tampa. She is pregnant as well and wanting to purchase a bigger house as soon as possible, so it is not healthy for her to stress about these things.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

You appreciate something when it's not there

That's the way it usually is. It's been just under two weeks that I haven't had proper internet at home! :X

I use my mobile 1 gig internet sparingly since I don't really know how much net I use normally for surfing or blogging. Good thing I can check my emails at work, so that means I don't have to when I get home!

One thing that I realised I am obsessed with now, checking either at work or on my mobile, is the current weather status!! I guess since we are in between seasons at the moment it helps me plan what I should wear. Just last week we had a couple of warm/hot days as in reaching 30+ degrees C. Now, we are again hitting 15/16 degrees!! But then again, you know how sometimes temperature inside the house is not necessarily reflecting how it is outside? Oh well.

I have to go, more updates soon!

Monday, September 29, 2008

At 30 I realise..

.. the value of comfort over fashion
.. that what matters is not the place, but who you're with
.. that high school life is way easier than life after college graduation
.. that parents always mean well, no matter how they say things
.. that one must always look after ones self, especially at work
.. that I am really responsible for what I do, and what I say
.. that we come to an age where we have to decide. alone.
.. that life is too short to be lived in a rush.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mumbles on Work

Anything travel related is something I deal with on a day to day basis. Sometimes, what seems to be a simple travel query turns out to be a big thing. A call could come through for someone wanting to book a simple Sydney Melbourne return flight, while the next call could be a round the world itinerary with at least nine stops during high season in December. I would be lucky if I got a travel insurance question, as we are not allowed to give insurance information or advise we put their calls through to another department specifically handling these types of questions.

Really, no two days are alike in terms of taking travel related queries. This makes my job a little bit more interesting, and it keeps me on my toes trying to figure out a proposal for a family of eight doing all sorts of tours, stopover, etc.

I guess in a relatively plan crazy world we live in, everyone thinks about traveling. Whether it is just local travel, maybe taking public transport to the next suburb or taking an overnight flight headed for Antarctica, everyone plans travel. It is not just our job as travel agents to think of your trip, but you yourself should think about your trip too. After all, without your thoughts and ideas we would never really know where to send you to. Next time, maybe you would like to make our jobs a bit easier: give us tentative series of dates that we can play around with. If we had our way, there wouldn’t be any waitlisting. But of course, our world was not meant to be perfect.

Nasty Stingers Migration

I could not believe it when I saw the photos of Sting rays’ migration! Hundreds and thousands of them apparently migrate from Florida area to the Gulf of Mexico area twice each year.

Having watched a lot of Planet Earth documentation, I am always amazed at how nature takes it course and reflected onto us, by our animal friends migrating. I suppose, humans do migrate too, not necessarily as often as the animals, and maybe not every human specie migrates. I, of course, belong to those who do. Read about it here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My secret culinary career .. Not!

Not everyone may know that I once studied cooking. I actually wanted to take it really seriously because I could not cook at all. That, and the fact that studying cooking would have been a very big help in applying for my permanent residency to Australia. At some point in my eagerness to learn, I was searching for culinary art schools every spare time I had until I found one. Luckily, I did find one. I enrolled, and was meant to do a year’s course doing commercial cookery (they did not have just home cookery class!). I went and did about 3 months studying how to cook, how to cook properly and how to cook well. Unfortunately, I did not go far and ended up just doing a quarter of the course. I found other ways to learn how to cook, and I found other ways to apply for my residency. Going through a lot of hardships along the way, I got my permanent residency. It all ended well. I’ve learned the basics of the kitchen, and I am now more confident in mixing up food. I am still way far from being a good cook, but I’m glad that I know more now than I did two years ago.

Exchanging Homes? Why not do Reunion Island?

One type of accommodation option that has emerged in the past decade or so among potential tourists, is the idea of Home Exchanges. We saw this recently in the movie, The Holiday, with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz exchanging their British and American homes to each other's delight. Really, as much as this modern society is more open to these sort of things, one can never be cautious enough in dealing with complete strangers. Especially on the internet. Nowadays, psychos are roaming mad, and a mere innocent look is not enough to see through what one is capable of. How paranoid our society is becoming.

One advertisement caught my eye as I was searching for my apartment. It was from a person from Reunion Island, located near the coast of mainland Africa in the Indian Ocean. I first got familiar with this French island when I went to Mauritius a couple of months back. Most Mauritians raved about this lovely neighbour of theirs. Reunion island is not a very populated destination, with only 700,000 inhabitants. Their culture is a mix of French, African, Indian and Chinese as reflected through their food, music and way of life. Really there are so much that this small island can offer from beautiful landscape, to refreshing seascape. The best time to visit this island is from April to September when the weather is not too hot.
It is not for the faint hearted tourist, as the authentic experience of this island is anything but traditional but everything that one could hope for in a travel destination. I do hope that I can visit this lovely neighbour of Mauritius one day. Costa Cruise offers sailings to this paradise island as seen here. This island is also good for surfing, adrenalin sports, mountain biking, treking, photography enthusiasts, spa lovers, nature lovers, and everyone else.

There is a growing number of resorts from budget to luxury found at majority of the island's towns. A few of them are: Les Villas du Recif, Les Villas du Lagon, Boucan Canot, Novotel Saint Gilles La Reunion, Hotel Saint Alexis, Lodge Roche Tamarin, Palm Hotel and Spa. I was surprised to find out that they had a lot of accommodation types to offer!

Starting April 1, 2009 Air Austral will connect Sydney and St Denis, Reunion Island direct, twice a week. People travelling to Paris will have the chance to see this magnificent island on their way to Europe. Surely this is something I look forward to selling to my passengers!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How many weddings to plan?

Okay, seriously I think I have planned my wedding twice, with the same guy, and it still is not pushing through this year. I am praying that the next time we do plan it, that it would really push through. So far this was the furthest that we have been at in planning. We have already decided on the wedding accessories as well as the colour motif, and of course have reserved the church and the wedding reception. It is quite disappointing but then as much as I was disappointed, life goes on. Things don't always turn out the way we planned them to be.

Perhaps next time I plan it, we'd have it in Sydney? Or maybe still in Manila? I guess I should not get ahead of myself. Things will just happen and fall into place one day. For now, I would just let go and keep dreaming.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where do you start from here?

Sometimes I hear them say they wish it
They just don't know
It's not that easy

Sometimes It can be fun to do all over again
For the sake of it
Or maybe, to start fresh

Then again,
Sometimes it makes you think you're running in circles
And then you don't know where to begin

Live to Learn

The past years I have learned a lot about so many things. Including the national no call registry website, and how to Find Out Who Called You. This was quite a good thing to know as sometimes there are random numbers that pop up on my phone screen which I don’t feel comfortable picking up (especially in the middle of the night). Recently I have also managed to understand the way tax deductible items work, and a few other tips in filing my income tax for this year. So many new things to learn each day, I still surprise myself each time. The other day my colleague went on a trivia night. I have only been on a trivia night once at a restaurant a very long time ago. I probably would know a bit more about travel, geography and countries but I must say I have a lot of learning to do in terms of numbers, arithmetic and such things. Oh well, that’s why life is exciting. We learn something new every so often.

Such is life...

Sometimes no matter how much we try to make plans, some things are just not within our control. Things change. Plans change.

The control freak in me worked full time a few weeks ago. However, it is taking a back seat now.

Want to know peek at what's happening? Click here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Loving my flats

Ballet flats. I remember having a fascination for ballet flat shoes when I was young and studying ballet. I loved the way the shoe turned magic on me as my classmates' eyes were on my feet doing my ballet walk and run. Those were the days.

In high school I had the chance to revisit using ballet-like flat shoes that were sold by Sari Sari/Cinderella. I loved how they would curl up, just emphasizing how comfy the bendable soles were.

In college, I had a bit of a break from flats. I enjoyed my chunky shoes then. Clanking on my feet, making me appear taller than usual. It must have been a phase.

When I moved here five years ago (my anniversary is actually today!!) I was so into pointy heels. Then, came the walking. Walk to the bus stop, walk to work, walk up the hill. I beared it all, until I became practical and went back to loving my flats.

The past recent years I have revisited wearing my flats and find it really comfy. I keep a few heeled pairs underneath my desk at work, for those impromptu meets and others. Once I opted to wear my flats to this work function. I was the only asian girl! And while having cocktails and chatting, I felt all the Aussies towered over small me. But I managed to pull it off well, so I loved my flats even more.

This weekend I bought two pairs of flats. Nothing expensive just a gray coloured one and a brown one. I love how I can just slip them on, with anything I am wearing.

After my purchase my boyfriend and I went to another shoe shop: Shoe Box. There was this cute cute black heels that caught my eye (this doesn't happen very often anymore-especially for heels). I was tempted to buy it, to replace my stock underneath my work desk. But I just bought two pairs a few minutes ago. I resisted, but right now I am wishing I have bought it.

I am loving my flats, but once in a while the lady in me wants to prance around in my sexy heels.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Travel agent in the family

I have been in and endless search of Free vacation rental listings for my family and friends. You see, some of them think I know everything and when they come and ask me where to look for such properties for travel in and around North America I struggle. I know there are a lot out there but only a few offer options for popular Telluride vacation rentals, which is the area my American friend is looking at taking her family to this coming Christmas vacation. She said her niece and nephews have been asking their parents (her sister and brother in law) about going to the snow for a long holiday, and she is actually also looking forward to this break from the usual beach holiday they go to at that time of the year. Recently I have come across the perfect site and I am truly amazed at how the internet can be a good source, as I’ve seen so much information on Free vacation condo listings available!

Heeeellloooo Summer!

Okay, I may be too excited.. But the past few days we were all treated to nice warm weather. It may be all too good to be true yet. Only time will tell whether we are really welcoming summer days. I am excited and ready to plan summer trips!

On friday, as I was walking through the park in my jeans and sweater I felt the sun and decided to take my jumper off! It was that hot! I was thinking to myself, finally my skin would get a bit of colour again. Not that I am that white, or that I am intending to get sunburnt soon (I vowed to myself that since I am 30 now I will not expose my skin to too much sun anymore).

Using this one everyday

How many great inventions of this modern world do we take for granted? I for one used to neglect Toshiba laptops and their greatness. You see, I love using my laptop in bed. It’s not the best of habits, as it nurtures a bad posture and gives me back aches often times, but I am sometimes lazy to type using my good old computer table. When I was researching about the best laptop to purchase I considered the weight and screen quality of the unit. Also, initially I was doing a price comparison to see which laptop would give me the best run for my money considering I am on it everyday. I was happy with my old one until I was given a new one as a present. My new laptop is a lot better than my old Toshiba as it is still fairly new, and the screen is glossy. The only thing I am not that happy about is the screen size. It is a bit too small (than my old one), but of course this means it is a lot lighter in weight as well so I should not really complain about it.

Cutting Corners not at all the same as Cutting Cost.

I am just so annoyed with companies or management who would cut corners just to cut cost down. Oftentimes at the expense of quality. How annoying! My boyfriend and I talked about this particular big grocery chain in the middle of the city, who at 2 PM on a sunday afternoon had only one staff working on the till! And he was taking his time swiping and punching those numbers. Imagine the customer queue at that time. Took us a good 10 minutes just to buy that one bottle of water. There were other people in line who obviously were getting impatient too. This same thing happened to us last week as well. Same supermarket at about the same time. I would probably understand if it was a small town shop, but this was not one of those. Maybe they are wanting to lose their business to their competition a block away! Hmmm!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

How easy to get Information Nowadays

I am amazed at how great the modern society is at information. I have come across reverse lookup database that can track the owner for any phone number in the United States and Canada. What is interesting is that the whole process is a discreet and easy procedure that no one will have a clue about investigating on that telephone stalker, or that old strange high school sweetheart trying to be in contact again. Truly the whole process is the most confidential one. I might suggest this to my friend who has been getting calls from telemarketers and stalkers alike.

Can I borrow $25 Please?

I got this in the mail. Made me think twice about time and family. My boyfriend asked to borrow $5. Apparently he had $45 already!! Haha! But, really this is a very nice read.

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.
SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'
DAD: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the man.
SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'
DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the
Man said angrily.
SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an Hour?'
DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.'
SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.
SON: 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?'
The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish.... I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.'

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions.....How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked. 'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.
'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man.
'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the
$25 you asked for.'

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. 'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled..

Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied. !

'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.'

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts.

Do remember to share that ‘$50 worth of your time’ with someone you love.

That quick rush feeling

I must admit, fiancé and I have considered the thought of doing an out of town wedding, that was far from Manila or far from Sydney. There was something about destination weddings that sparked a bit of excitement from both me and my boyfriend. I guess it was the travel junkie in us that was thinking. We thought it would be a great idea to have all our families with us, bonding at some destination that neither of us were from. It would have been a good place to discover and start our life at. A foreign place where we could kick start our life together, or maybe just have the wedding at the same place we would look at having a honeymoon all inclusive resort that could take care of everything for us.

Playing on this idea gave me a quick rush, the same feeling I get every time I plan discount vacation packages. There are so many good deals out there just waiting to be discovered. I guess I should be satisfied with just planning an out of town honeymoon for now, as wedding preparations are already underway.

Goppis Girl

Me and my twisted tongue. Haha! That's what I called Gossip Girl today when I was getting too excited sharing the first episode of the season! I am such a sucker for anything set in New York, even make believe New York setting.
I can't wait to watch the next episode!

Recently, I find myself waiting to watch a few series. Waiting each week. In Manila, I used to wait for daily local telenovelas. I even remember being a fan of the ever cheesy Meteor Garden ( not local, but a Taiwanese telenovela)! I did not get to finish this series because I was moving to Sydney that time. My girlfriends then just gave me for my despedida, the whole season's cds. This was my companion when I got here. To combat my homesickness I would watch Meteor Garden and just sob with Shan Chai and Dau Ming Szu...

The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly n...