Sunday, August 31, 2008

To read or not to read?

I have so many ideas to do, so many things I want to do.

Recently I have stumbled upon a few good books that I wanted to buy and read. But then I am thinking to myself that I have quite a few things hanging from both my hands.

I have so much to research on the net, as it is.
A lot of my nights are filled with either supplier events, business seminars, wedding planning or just plain relaxing night blogging away.

I have so much pending blogstuff that I cannot seem to balance my time properly with all the plans I have underway.

How I wish I've got even just an extra hour or two in a day.

But then again, I don't think even that would be enough to do everything I have planned.
C'est la vie.

Pill vs. Diet vs. exercise

Countdown to 3 months before the wedding is happening in a week’s time. Panic mode is almost switching on, as I am badly needing to diet, or exercise! I was surfing around for the best method for me to trim down even just my tummy and hips. The rest of me is probably fine enough to be seen in a wedding dress. I’ve read that apidexin is quite an effective diet pill but I am not the type to try something new like this, especially not without doing a thorough and extensive research about that pill. I am known to not even take medicine when I am sick with the flu or something. I am sure by cutting down on my sugar, chocolate and cola drink intake I should shed off a few pounds. I wish the weather gets warmer soon so that I can do walks or jogging at the park. At the moment it is still too cold to do this without too much effort. Hopefully soon I get around to this, in time for me to be measured to fit my wedding gown!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Have you heard about Baby Whale Colin?

A few weeks ago we went Whale watching. It is the season when the migratory sea creatures were heading either north or south (apparently the turnaround was quite quick). So, when I saw this on the news I sort of could imagine, as I saw it's relatives or friends just a few weeks back.

Colin is the baby whale (calf) treading on NSW waters' Sydney region on its own, abandoned by the rest of the group. Colin who for a while thought that one Sydney yacht was it's mum. He kept following the yacht and keeping close to the boat's bottom. The authorities advised the yacht to take the baby whale out onto the deeper part of the ocean, hoping that he would find refuge in other whales. But this did not happen. It still kept tagging along the yacht, and so authorities decided it would be more dangerous for Colin this way and so euthanasia on him was the best option. News article and photos here. Warning, It can be quite a sad picture. I don't think it was right, and there have been protests against this. I don't really know much about whales, but I hope Colin's now at Whale Heaven (i know there isn't such tho).

Just a bit of thought

Boyfriend and I have been talking about kids and plans after our wedding. We were thinking that there's just so much happening in the world. Whether it be natural or man made ocurrences or situations. Scary that there are crimes happening here and there, there should be a list or Sex Offender Registry like Megan's Law or even just a compiled information that is available when requested by the public. It may cause a few sneers but it's the government who would decide on this anyway. Really, there are a lot of things outside any parent's control, and caution is best exercised at all times.

So, we were just discussing our thoughts on society nowadays as well as other things. We even went on and discussed politics! A preview of what married life discussions, possibly.

(Still) Calm (So Far) inspite of long list of things to do

Finally, things are falling into place for our December wedding! (Still have my fingers, toes, legs, arms, all crossed!) (And praying too).

So far we have the church all finalized, but the marriage license and other church and legal documents are still not done.

The reception venue that we are having closed, and exclusively hiring (Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay) is almost all organized. We are booking all their rooms the night before the wedding, so we’ll have butlers answering to our whims. All good except we haven’t decided on which package to take in terms of food choices. And, of course a few other things!

Photographer/s will be decided on within the week. We have a tentative one booked. But we are just looking at last minute options right before we decide.

Guests are slowly coming back to me confirming their attendance. (We are doing a very intimate affair with 50 or so guests only).

Gown and entourage dresses are still pending, but will or should be taken cared of before September. Hair and Make up to be done after.

Souvenirs, Invites, Strings still pending.

I think I still have a quite a FEW things to do! But the good thing is, I am not super panicking yet. We have our church and reception venue firmed up, so that’s the biggest thing. Since it is a small group, it is not overwhelming. Just the way we wanted it. Just really close family and friends. Chosen ones even. It is going to be like a house party, only it is done at a hotel, OUR hotel for the day. This is I guess a dream for me, to have in my life set for the record that I had a hotel entirely to myself (with hubby and guests of course) for our wedding, my ‘small’ big day.

P.S. All above things have been accomplished in 10 days! Which is quite good enough if I may say. Considering I am planning all this from overseas. (Well, I’ve got my sister doing a lot of things for me too, on the side!)

Wedding Chronicles : Air tickets

All the wedding plans I’ve been thinking and doing recently has made me neglect booking our airline tickets! I guess I am not as concerned because the time we are looking to travel will not be during high season. In fact on the way back to Sydney we will be going against the flow of tourist. Just when some of them would be heading to Manila for the holidays, we would be heading home to Australia. I know I should do this within the next few weeks, at least just to give us a starting point on travel plans.

This morning I spoke with my boyfriend asking him where he would like to go for our honeymoon. He was saying possibly Singapore, because that’s where our stopover would be. I told him I would not really like to stay in cheap hotels, but somewhere that would be really nice and reasonable. I am still not sold to having our honeymoon in Singapore. We have just been there last year, on our way to Manila. But then again, we really love that city and my boyfriend even considered looking for a job there. Oh well, I should look at this honeymoon planning thing again later. For now, it’s back to wedding plans.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My apologies: Systems were down

The past week I have been sick three times, been to the doctor twice. And I did not enjoy that at all. I was home most of the time. Trudging myself to blog. Struggled to keep myself busy inspite of my immune system being down.

Last Wednesday, Thursday.
I had laryngitis. Thus had this sexy voice for about two and a half days. My boyfriend found it cute. But I just found it uncomfortable. Obviously I could not go to work with my voice that way. I was advised to not talk at all. My body was feeling okay at that time.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
And, then it hit me. Something. I had my voice back, so I tried to go to work. Ended up going home after a few hours. My body felt weak and I was nursing a bad head cold and had this chesty painful cough. Bad case of Sinusitis. So, I took lots of oranges and by monday I was back at work.

I was well and working.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (today) and Friday.
Still working, but by the end of the day I was aching again all over, and officially had the flu. At night I had the worst chills one could have on a Cold Cold winter night. The next day, I brought myself to work. Struggling. I barely made it alive, as my back was aching, my tummy was painful for some medical reason I found out later on. I was feverish. Miserable than ever. The doctor's given me a medical certificate to take the rest of the week off.

I am feeling much better today. I am still on my medication and I am most likely to take tomorrow off again. I would rather get completely well, than come to work and then run back home.

This is the reason why I haven't been visiting sites much. I am hoping to get back to my usual routine soon. Enough of these sick days and bad system. Although, honestly I was able to plan our wedding a bit due to these days at home. Blessing in disguise? Hmm. I prefer to have been home and well tho. I am thankful I am better now.

Georgia moments

The last time I was in the US ages ago, my family and I had the chance to visit Georgia. I would say that the cities there are not as big as those in California yet, but the Marietta GA Utility Combination would have a fair chance at proving that they are quite a great place to live in as well. They have excellent utility and recreation facilities that would still impress someone visiting the state for the first time.

Visiting Atlanta one would not miss the number of Marriott properties they have there. We stayed in one, and at some point got confused which property we were on. One long street would have at least two Marriott properties! A lot of my memories of our US trip happened in Georgia. We had a bit of an encounter one time at the parking area with one utility vehicle, and one of my siblings almost got run over by this. This was one scary time of my life. But, happy moments have happened to and I remember that Georgis was where we had countless visits to the best pancake house ever, and I’m sure you know what that is.

Handy travel buddy

Whoever invented or created the gps tracking system is a genius. This is such a handy thing for regular travelers and local people as well. My boyfriend and I travel every so often and we are constantly trying to find our destination, or good places to have our meals, or even just navigating our way to and from where ever. Recently we’ve got our new phones which are capable of gps tracking. He is stoked. While I am just fine with it; maybe that is because I do not fully appreciate the service just yet. He is saying though that there should be a cheaper way to subscribe to this service, as it is really quite a good tool for us when we travel. He goes on talking to me about turn by turn accuracy of this easy to use device. It is amazing that a satellite knows ones’ position in this earth, and transmits information for easy navigating through streets and areas of this world.

In one of our travels I remember arriving into the little beach town, one late rainy evening. Based on my research we would have been able to walk a good 10 minutes to our beach cottage from the train station. However not anticipating the bad weather, we arrived and it was raining cats and dogs. A gps would have been good to have at that time and maybe if the weather was better too. Luckily, we managed to get into a cab, which brought us to our destination dry and safe.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Artsy Hotel in Copenhagen : Fox Hotel

There are some tourists who particularly like trying out different hotels. Whether the ambiance is different, the food or services they offer are one of a kind, truly there is a market for unique hotels. Hotel Fox is marketed as a carbon dioxide neutral hotel, in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark. They have 61 rooms, each uniquely designed by international artists conveying anything from urban to mythical to fantasy. Some done really bright and colorful, while others keeping it simple with a couple of colours. Rates range from EUR 75 per person per night to about EUR 120 per person per night. It is quite interesting that they've got about 4 different room sizes Small, Medium, Large, Xtra Large.

I probably would consider staying at some of the hotel's room types. I guess it depends on whether there are deals available at that time (whenever that is!).

Wishing I can get a good deal soon

Ever since I can remember, I have loved hotel bargains (Who wouldn’t). I always get this excited rush whenever I visit last minute accommodation websites where I could possibly snag some last minute hotels great deal either for myself or for my family member back home. Once in a while the rates for the weekend drop considerably. Enough for me to consider packing my overnight bag and head of to some posh hotel somewhere.

What’s even better is that they have last minute flights on jetstar or Qantas. Last year I went to the Fraser Coast with my boyfriend. We were able to secure cheap flights on virgin blue and stayed at Kingfisher Bay Resort for three nights. I am keeping a watch now to see if there’s anything available sometime during the summer.

Olympics heat

Hubby boyfriend and I are not really the most athletic persons but have found ourselves engrossed in watching the olympic events during our free time. We are fond of the events: swimming (won a lot of medals here!), gymnastics, track and field and team pursuit. There was a time while watching when I asked how many golds do we have now. I was referring to the Philippines but he answered me based on how much Australia's got. We got sort of confused for a minute. Hehe! I suppose when one's moved to another country, during events like these (and the World Youth Day too!) we get a bit confused. In a small bit. Whether we are rooting for Oz or Phils. I guess we can't really decide. As we would definitely be happy for both countries either way. Just don't make them compete against each other! :)

Accommodation challenge

Everyone in the travel industry knows how difficult it is to secure a booking for snow holidays particularly during the peak season in December. I for one have experienced trying so hard to search for Whistler accommodation for two families this coming December. I’ve searched so hard and tried to get them a lovely Whistler lodging to enjoy the holidays at. I have been told by the mom that aside from celebrating Christmas and New Year in Canada, they were celebrating their twin daughters’ seventh birthday as well. This put the pressure on me even more! I find it more engaging when I am told of the stories behind my passengers’ holidays.

Finally after weeks working out to find them a property which would accommodate all fifteen of them, I was able to find the Taluswood Ridge Chalet, which would just be the perfect place for them since it is ski-in and ski-out with 5 bedrooms. They will particularly like the tall window mountain view and the 7 foot television screen!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A very long engagement

We didn't plan on getting married on 08-08-08.. but on that day we seriously talked (again after a long while) about getting married likely this December. We've been together 3 years shy a decade, and we've been engaged for 3 years. We've been through so many things together including a 2yr-long distance relationship, we've planned our wedding a few times too many which didn't push through.
We've been engaged for a while, a very long while. But we're not waiting another year to plan our wedding. I would have preferred a short engagement, but having gone through a long one, I would say it was to our advantage. We've thought about this literally more than a thousand times. Not to say that we were never sure from the beginning, but really, it is about getting it right at the right time. And no one can dictate that on us.

Our minds are now filled with so many images of our intended wedding day. Our church and reception venue, My Gown, His Coat, our photos, guest list, food, wedding banns, my Shoes, our entourage, our families, our souvenirs, our invites, the priest, pre-cana seminar, our cake, our flowers, our songs, our honeymoon, our life after... and the list goes on.

We're planning an intimate wedding. Just our families and our close friends. We've sort of narrowed down our choice of date, church and venue. I can't wait to plan the honeymoon (doesn't matter if we have a short one), since I know we would be doing a lot of travelling anyway.

On buildings and trees

Traveling to countries which don’t have much infrastructure can either be an advantage or a disadvantage for some. A lot of the Western world would have their constructions with Precast Concrete laid out with careful thought accompanied by modern designs. While many countries in Africa (such as Mauritius, which I’ve been to recently) and Asia don’t have it all yet. Tall trees are in place instead of tall department stores, children playing alongside the roads outnumber the cars traveling by. Precast Concrete Septic Tanks may not be something everyone knows about, high rise buildings may not be seen but it surely these pose no hindrance to a real adventure traveler. In fact, sometimes without traces of modernity the place can be more appealing, as it is less commercialized. To each their own, really. Each city’s architecture and infrastructure may be charming in their own way, even the lack of it is welcome (in my opinion that is).

Perth's Air Race in November

Whoever said flying was dangerously fun must have been part of the Red Bull Air Race. There is one happening in Perth, Western Australia on November 1 and 2, 2008. It will be held at the Swan River, visible to spectators from the river banks in the city.

I've watched the Budapest version (on television), and it just caught my eye. I wish they would hold one in Sydney (near or around the city) so my boyfriend and I could see one live. We've thought of flying to Perth but then that would be quite an expensive trip that we can't afford for now. So I should just settle for live tv broadcast and photos from others.
(Image from Hamedog)

My cup of IT

Okay, with all these technology propping up here and there in your face, how can one keep up? For a business person I am sure this poses more of a challenge. Especially for those businesses that would like to reach their market through the internet. With software as a service available now, it is easier to create a business plan, or make use of software that works for the business. There is even hosted team foundation server available to those who don’t want to be involved in too much technicalities of a seemingly easy job: maintaining the business and earning the big bucks. At work now, I know that remote access devices are in place for support required from off shore technicians. I also know that they have managed to find cheap web conferencing for those urgent and crucial meetings of minds. I am in awe by all these things available nowadays. Sooner or later the unimaginable would be somewhat ordinary. My appreciation goes out to all those involved in the IT industry who strive to make this world an easier place to live and work in.

Coriander Travels: Port of New York

In my perfect travel world, I would be doing at least one relaxing cruise each year. Perhaps a two week long cruise would satisfy my cruise cravings each year. Cruises from New York appeal to me more as it would mean I could spend a few days in New York for shopping or even to just go for picnics and walks through Central Park before going on a cruise. Princess Cruises offer itineraries that allow one to join the ship at the port of New York, and I may as well do that Caribbean cruise while I’m dreaming. Best time to go would probably be in between the peak and low season where there would not be too much or too little tourists (my boyfriend does not like a deserted vacation place!). Cruising around the Caribbean would be the ideal way to do it, since I would like to see a lot of the islands. The joys of cruising can be very interesting, stress-free and comfortable, if done on the proper cruise. In my travel agent job, we try as much as possible to match appropriate clients with the products. Just because they have the money to pay for a holiday doesn’t mean any five star property or cruise would satisfy them. There are small ship clients and there are big ship clients. Having the other go on the other cruise can be a disaster, if one does not know how to do travel counseling. I guess in my case, I do not fall under a particular client category yet. Or maybe, I could not care less if I was booked in a cozy and intimate charter boat, or on some Cunard Cruise Lines ship. I would be too happy to be bothered to complain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beijing Olympics : Aussie queen of the pool

Okay! We’ve won our first gold in swimming! I haven’t really followed so much of the Olympics. I only got to watch the Women’s lightweight lifting (and we were not even in it) and swimming. Stephanie Rice won 400m Individual medley! Such an intense competition as Coventry was coming in very close. But not close enough. Here is a link to Yahoo 7’s online olympics watch.

Cooold Sydney weather

We’ve been having just freezing cold weather recently, and I am so much looking forward to warmer days and nights! I know it’s still quite nice (say between 7 and 16 degrees celsius) and bearable compared to Europe or America winter. But still! I am just hoping I could hope on a plane and head to tropical country, or perhaps just go and check out Hilton head homes for sale, maybe it would be a lot warmer. Sometimes when it gets really chilly I just go to my boyfriend and tell him that maybe we should consider relocating to sunny Queensland (where it never really gets too cold). In the northern bit of Australia, it is always tropical and nice, just like Hilton head real estate, the prices of homes for sale Hilton head are a lot more affordable. In Sydney, I’ve read in the papers that there are more and more people buying together piece of land or property, like for example two couples purchasing a home together. It may not be ideal but with real estate being so high then it just makes sense to co-purchase property. I guess, I am just really griping and whingeing now because I am really cold!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Siblings and further studies

The other day I spoke with my siblings and they’ve told me that one of them was looking at studying masters in Australia. I would have been so happy for this, if only my sister meant it really. In the past, some of them told me they were interested in taking up some Nouveau Riche course or some other college program that would run for about half a year to as long as a year. For the longest time I’ve been asking any one of them to come visit me, or even live with me for a while to see if they like this country. Well, some of them visited my a few months ago. Even my youngest brother showed interest in taking up a Nouveau Riche course, but of course he was still just a freshman in high school! Still too young to be trying out another country with me as I would rather him still go on and live with my parents (just so he can get proper guidance and all that). Going back to my sister, so as much as I want to get my hopes up and be excited about her wanting to stay and study events management (or some Nouveau Riche course), I try not to think about it too much, until the day she says she’s got her visa all organized. Really, living overseas is not a joke, as it entails a lot of sacrifice and countless homesick moments. I would love to have any one of my family around with me, but only if they want to. After all, no one forced me to leave Manila in exchange for life abroad.

On being Domesticated and Chores tag

This was passed on by Sheng!
This meme is pretty simple. Here are the rules:
1.) List down the household chores you hate and why. Do you think you can survive without helpers and nannies?
2.) Copy the image.
3.) Tag as many girlfriends you want, the daddies and hubbies can also join.
4.) Add your blog's link in the domesticated divas linky love. You can add all your blogs.
5.) Leave ME a comment and I'll add you up in the masterlist.
~~~END COPY~~~
MY ANSWER: Like Em, I just absolutely don't like doing the laundry! As In, the folding and stacking new clothes, sorting them out! I just am not that patient doing that. If I could just forever buy new clothes I probably would just so I don't have to do the laundry ever! I used to not like cooking, but I have matured a bit and learned the basics so I would trade laundry any and every day for a cooking chore! I am surviving life without household help, but given the chance to have a bit of help, I would be SO glad!
I am tagging Val, Crissy and Rhea!

How many times do we have to play the game?

Having watched a lot of movies whose story revolves around the theme casinos and tournaments such as those one can see online on, makes one dream about being a winner one day. It can make you think though, whether they are sometimes just a series of schemes or whether real people actually win in these games? And how many times one needs to play to have a chance at wining? At Pacific poker, everyone is a winner, especially considering the players get a welcome bonus is actually a treat on its own. There are just so many games available out there and I wonder which is my lucky game?

That brown paper stationery

I'm sure some of you may relate to stationery collecting as a teenager. I remember collecting, swapping and just staring at my stationeries. I had a whole big box full of stationery with different scents, colours, sizes, shapes, designs, etc! I remember using them to write to my then penpals (I had about 2 or 3 constant pen friends) and good friends who I wanted to show off my stationeries to! I remember collecting papemelroti stationeries the most. I guess coz it was Philippine made and I enjoyed visiting their shops to look at statios and trinkets of sorts.
Recently I've stumbled upon Papemelroti's website and just brought back memories of elementary and high schoool days. :) Letter writing to peers (who may have been a seatmate or who was from a different year level or different class room) was something we all must have done at some point. I admit this habit carried on to college. I suppose writing's always been something I loved doing, whether it be on ink and paper, or typing away on square letter buttons!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dream home dreaming

At one point or another we all have come up with ideas about our dream houses and Home Plans. I admit as early as fourteen years old, I was drafting my kitchen impressions, bedroom features, and all that onto my sketch pad. I would look at magazines and study Contemporary house plans, checking out bathroom designs and gardens became a hobby for some time. It helped that my parents owned a number of books that relate to houses and designs. I remember seeing French Country House Plans that were so cozy and pretty. Looking back at those times, I have fond memories about sketching and designing homes that I may have been an architect or an interior designer if the calling to the travel industry not have been stronger. Now that I am older, I still don’t live in my dream house yet, but I have ideas in my mind about how I want my future home to be. It’s a good thing that my boyfriend and I agree on the house designs that we find pretty. I’ve also come to accept that although my ideas are okay, his is better. He sees the whole master plan and he makes sure that the furniture matches up to the main theme of the house.

Jobs and starting somewhere

I was talking to my colleagues and friends the past month about wanting to look for a side job which will allow me to do other things that would involve anything else but travel, and something that won’t really make me think or use my brain too much. I was telling them that ever since I could all my proper jobs have always been as a travel agent. I didn’t really want to shift careers or anything like that, but just to be able to try something new. In the western world, it is not unusual to know people who have worked in retail, or in fast food, or in some coffee shop or restaurant during their younger years. Since I never really got the chance to do all these, I thought about trying to do some job like: sandwich hand, movie/cinema attendant, video rental check out chick, or a barista. But oh well, since many Starbucks coffee shops are closing down in Australia (read about this in the news) then I have less chance of getting onto this (besides one needs a certification of some sort).

The ‘desire’ to do these odd jobs have waned, and I no longer want to try any of these jobs now. I just go hands down to people who started out as a check out chick, or a assistant junior barista, etc. They have gone through seemingly menial jobs, but really, life is never meant to be easy. I can say they are the ones who appreciate more of what they have now because they know what it is like to strive and work labour job. Well, I started out just ripping off VOID coupons from paper tickets and photocopying documents!! I guess we all have started somewhere somehow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Personal loans and other things on my mind

A lot of thoughts about plans for the future (again), thinking about work, what to wear, about what to cook tomorrow, and a few serious stuff about personal loans, business plans, current life, and did I mention about unsecured personal loans? So many thoughts running through this messy head of mine at the moment. Generally, I guess I just am feeling that my current work life is not really giving me that much challenge and I am finding ways to enrich my life even more and maybe think of some ways to establish a good personal line of credit, and even just other ways to make every day life better.

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...