Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So heavy!


I've got about 3 and a half weeks left before I pop, and I am feeling so heavy and immobile. It's quite a challenge to leave the house and run my errands such as my Christmas and baby things shopping. I've done a lot of online shopping which is okay and convenient, but not as great to see things live and get to take it home straight away! But with the heat, and the weight I don't really have a choice. I did sneak out to buy some of our friends' gifts in the city.. and just took a cab home amidst 31 degree heat! I so loved the cool aircon inside the cab! I immediately had some ice cream when I got home just to cool me off :)



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fear of flying

Hubby has always not been fond of going on plane rides. He'd much rather go on a month long caribbean cruise or round the world cruise, than catch a plane. He's had a bad experience when he was young, and this explains the fear of flying he developed. It is not uncommon to be afraid of flying, especially nowadays when airlines' (lack of) safety is very much publicized. I know a lot of couples who either both or half the couple would prefer long drives over air travel. I guess this would be good if one lived in a big continent such as Europe, Australia or America. If one lived on an island one would be limited to driving around the island! Of course if one lived on a very nice island then maybe it would be wise to just spend it on that paradise!

Having said that hubby dislikes air travel, on a handful of times I was able to convince him to travel by air with me. We have agreed though, to go on a cruise maybe when baby turns two or three years old. Perhaps we would be able to visit husband's sister in the America on this cruise! If only I can reconcile within myself to travel across the Pacific Ocean for days without seeing land!

So Hot!

I wish I was going on ski holidays, to taste and smell snow! But no, we are experiencing some weird fluctuation with temperature. One day we have temperatures ranging within the low twenties, and then the following day we have mid to high thirties! How annoying! I guess I am just jealous of my cousins' white christmas holidays photos playing with snow. I wish I could have them ship a box of snow and cold air to me. Having only just one month to go before I give birth, the heat is getting to me. Sometimes I find myself wanting to stuff myself in the freezer, or just splash myself endlessly in the bath. Instead, I try to make do with my noisy aircon while typing away my entry and watching television. I never thought I would be missing the winter chill. I suppose I am just human, always whingeing and never satisfied with the weather. Really, I know everyone's concern at the moment is about climate change. It is that real, and we can feel it happening. I hope come January the temperature would still be manageable enough so my baby would be comfortable. I'm still grateful that we have bought an aircon now. I remember about a month ago, the weather got to 40 degrees! And I was sweltering in heat, and swimming in sweat. So I really shouldn't complain now..

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Finally!

After months, long hours, sleepless nights .. I managed to order the major furnitures for baby's room!! :) So very glad. Am happy, I got to order all that I wanted. And, it will be delivered in three days!
There are a few other pieces that I ordered .. I can't find decent photos of them. Hopefully I get to post a picture of the nursery once it's all done! Am so excited!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Stealing


1. When is your birthday? I'm a Valentina
2. Where were you born? Manila, Manila, Manila..
3. Where do you live now? Sydney down under.
4. What is your heritage? I'm a mongrel.. Filipino/Russian/Irish/Chinese
5. Tell us about a weakness. Overnight stays at luxury hotels.
6. What's a goal that you'd like to achieve? Start my own business. Soon. Hopefully.
7. What is the most overused internet phrase? Is BTW counted??
8. What was your first thought this morning? I'm late! I didn't get to cook rice for hubby. Bread nalang sha. Hahaha.
9. When do you usually go to bed? Sometime before midnight.
10. Do you smoke? If not, did you ever? I used to.
11. Do you like your current relationship status? Yes, yes.
12. Do you (or did you) get along with your parents? Most of the time yes, except on a few topics where we just cannot agree on. At all.
13. How often do you drink alcohol? It's been a very long while since the last alcoholic drop! Umm, 8++ months ago!!
14. Have you ever tried drugs (that weren't prescribed)? Never. And I intend to keep it that way.
15. Have you ever gone skinny dipping? If yes, do tell. Nope. Not yet. Hihi.
16. If given the choice, how would you like to die? Peacefully when I'm old.
17. What did you want to be when you grew up? Flightie or Lawyer.
18. Have you ever been dumped? Yes. Twice too many times. They both regretted it, and tried to ask me back years after!! So, in the end, I won!! :D
19. What's on your pizza? Italian sausage, mozarella, anchovies, etc...
20. Have you ever shoplifted? Never.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Banana Bread Recipe

I am soo excited to go on maternity leave. I will finally be able to concentrate doing the nursery, clean the apartment, put up our Christmas tree, and maybe even try baking this banana bread. I've been meaning to try really....


BANANA BREAD (from Taste.com.au)

Preparation Time 10 minutes

Cooking Time 45 minutes

Makes 10-12 slices

Ingredients
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g butter, melted, cooled
2 eggs, whisked
3 ripe bananas, mashed
Method
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base and side of an 11 x 21cm x 6cm deep (base) loaf pan.
Combine flours, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk butter and eggs together. Stir in banana. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth the surface.
Bake for 45-50 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside in the pan for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm spread with butter.

Not this year

With the holiday season coming up, I asked hubby whether we would be going on a trip away this year for Christmas. I was thinking more like an all inclusive resort nearby, and was willing to settle for even just an overnight trip somewhere (perhaps the city). I was not expecting to go far, but I started researching on Jamaica all inclusive vacations and maybe we can go once the baby is a year old. I would even consider other Caribbean resorts for as long as they are kid friendly. I used to not take note of which ones are family oriented vacation spots, but obviously I would be more interested in these now with the baby on the way.

Anyway, hubby answered me saying we won’t be going anywhere this holiday season just because it will be too close to my due date then. I suppose we don’t really have a choice. I am sure there will be so much more occasions to go on a family vacation!

Suddenly Splitsville

So far one of the creative accommodation packages I have come across is the "Suddenly Splitsville" package by the Marmara Manhattan hotel. As much as one would not want to ever be on that package, meaning having been walked away from or have walked away from someone .. it is quite an expensive package. USD 7250 ++ for a one bedroom package for one is a lot of moolah, even if that is for a month! You can choose from either 1,2,3 bedroom packages, the most expensive costing USD 14,500 ++. I'd probably go shopping instead! Hehe! Having said that though, the hotel is tres chic, and quite nice actually. Of course, the location of this property is very classy as well : Upper East Side. Close to the museums, Central Park, etc. I would love to stay there but not on that expensive and sad package..


The "Suddenly Splitsville" Package includes:
•Accommodations in a fully-furnished luxury apartment with sizes ranging from one to three bedrooms
•Weekly housekeeping services
•A one-year subscription to Divorce Magazine, the only magazine of its kind, read by those who need advice from attorneys and other divorce professionals
•A pint of Haagen Daz ice cream to drown those sorrows in
•A bottle of Champagne to toast new found freedom
•A complimentary pass to the 92nd Street Y to work on that new physique
•A complimentary 45-minute in-room spa session (either a massage, facial, or manicure and pedicure) once a month
•Complimentary wireless Internet to start surfing the dating sites.
•A complimentary copy of "Confessions Of An Online Dating Addict" -- a book about the trials and tribulations of a woman who dated online in New York City to learn all about dating on the Web.
•A one-hour consultation with a real estate agent to start searching for a new place to live

The Marmara Manhattan
301 East 94th Street New York NY 10128
Phone 1 212 427 31 00
Fax 1 212 427 30 42

My positive list

Being pregnant is not all negative. In fact, if one really weighs it all, there would be so much more positive things about being pregnant. The gift of life leads the positive list, plus the fact that one does not need any of those breast implants especially at this time. However, of course one should still go and do research if one really wants longer lasting enhancements.

I know my husband can’t wait to see our little bub as much as he wants my bodily function to go back to normal post pregnancy. I guess he is tired of doing the dishes, laundry, bathroom cleaning, carpet cleaning, taking trash out, and all other things that I can’t help with. Well, I think it’s just fair enough since he didn’t do the carrying for 9 months anyway! One thing is for sure, we are both excited to hold our baby in our arms, and go on adventure trips, go on picnics, all these among many other activities we are now ready to plan!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Everyone loves a buntis


Okay, we are slow walkers most of the time, we do get too emotional too often, we can bit quite helpless in carrying heavy things, but you still can’t resist the charm of a pregnant lady! People get up on the bus to accommodate and give seats, chairs are vacated to allow us to be seated, doors/elevators/etc are being held for us, priority is given when queuing, and these are not all the things that preggy women enjoy. There are more. But hey, we have our uncomfortable moments when we are at home in bed at night, and can’t sleep, when we suffer for morning sickness every day for three months, when we can’t see our toes when walking, can’t eat the usual food we want to, when we grow fat and stay that way for a while, when we pant at every step up the stairs. Not to mention the headache galore, dizziness, swollen hands and feet, stretch marks, dark skin patches, and other unexpected things.

Oh well, at the moment, am at the stage where ‘everyone loves a pregnant woman’. Soon, it will be ‘everyone loves a cute little baby’ stage. Hehe. I can’t wait!

(Photo credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/97445131@N00/250736277/)

The Titanic memorial cruise

I read the other day about the British travel firm that enlisted one whole Fred Olsen Cruise Liner to do a Titanic memorial cruise in 2012. This would be to commemorate the 100th year of the original Titanic's maiden voyage. I think this is a fabulous idea to have come up with. Not to mention that it probably would be quite a healing trip for those who would be going on the cruise because they had a family member who did not make it back then.

There would be the same number of guests as the original Titanic, and they would leave the port at the same time that the Titanic did. Of course, this time around there would be enough lifeboats, and there would be no icebergs.
No, Leonardo diCaprio and Kate Winslet won't be on it.


Joys of trip planning

I know I can’t really travel by air anymore, as baby is due sometime soon. However, this hasn’t really stopped me from researching about cheap airline tickets for our possible Manila trip next year. I guess I should really just be trying to save as much moolah as I could for that, because I am pretty sure the rates would be about in the thousand dollars mark per person. Of course, then I would have to think about pocket money, shopping money, buying presents, and other expenses. Plus of course, if we do push through with going home next year, I would love to go on a weekend away with hubby and baby. This means more vacation packages researching for me! I love it! I just can’t get enough of researching about travel. I guess that’s why I love working in the travel industry!

I have a bit of a trivia about me and travel. For fun, I ask my colleagues where they want to travel to, and I come up with an itinerary for them! It’s as if my real passengers don’t give me enough work! I just think it makes travel researching more fun if I know the person I am making arrangements for.

Hot weekend!

It has been quite a weird weather we have been having lately in this part of the world. This weekend the temperature ranged from about 25 to 42 degrees Celsius, and we are expecting the average to drop to 22 degrees Celsius tomorrow! It would have been great if we were at Myrtle Beach Golf club or some place where we can hang out for a while outside, and then come into an air conditioned room! However, I am not that lucky to be enjoying Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations at the moment. I can try to just make myself comfortable with my homemade mango shake, and surf the net for a Myrtle Beach Golf Package that we could possibly go on sometime in the future.

While having lunch earlier, hubby dropped a question that I thought he was serious about. He asked if I wanted to go home this Christmas! Of course, without batting an eyelash I said yes. I told him I would immediately start researching about plane travel for pregnant women in the 32nd week! But of course, he was not serious! Hmp! So instead of researching about that, I should stick to searching on Golf Packages Myrtle Beach.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Less than 2 months to go


This year's gone so fast. I can't believe I've got 58 days to go (according to my ticker) before we actually have a baby to hold in our arms. Amazing. Time flew by so quickly with a miracle growing inside my belly. It still really hasn't sunk in that I will be a mum soon, and hubby will be a dad. We still have a lot to do in terms of fixing the nursery (I feel guilty). Perhaps if I wasn't studying I would have been able to finish the nursery project by now... :( I guess we still have time anyway. I am meant to finish my last subject within this week or in about a week and a half (depends if I have to do a supp exam!)..
This weekend hubby and I are celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary! We were meant to go on an overnight at Sir Stamford on Circular Quay (with my agent discount almost free!!) but then I was insistent to do it on our anniversary date which falls on a monday. Hubby wanted to go on the weekend, but the hotel (or other hotels) didn't have a good agent rate! So! We would just have a special lunch (I'm tired by dinner e!) at a secret place on the weekend. Then on our actualy anniversary, we are going to have an ultrasound to see baby! The doctor referred us because so far baby is still in breech position. We may even see the gender, well if we ask. Or maybe not. Hehe.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stroller Crazy

Okay, I never realised that there were so many different types of strollers out there! In a lot of ways it is overwhelming, and I am sure all first time moms out there will agree. I have been doing a lot of research on this product, and there are just so many stroller reviews to read which give information about the differences and find out which one best suits one’s lifestyle or need. Sometimes I find myself staying up late trying to decide which one is best for me and husband (more for me really). Although my mom said she will bring me two relatively new strollers (my sister has just given birth) from Manila when she comes over when the baby comes out, I am still wanting to find out for myself about stroller safety and the best features one can get out of the pram. Luckily my friend has given my tips on what to look for, and what could work for me. She has also given me a link to a really good website about strollers! Really, there should be a comprehensive handbook on motherhood and a twenty four hours hotline for mothers! I can only wish! For now, that hotline is my own mother.

Pre Christmas Blues again

I’ve been feeling the pre- Christmas blues lately as it would have been the time of the year when I would have planned to travel to Manila to give birth there. However, things have taken a big turn, and we’re having the baby here instead. Weighing pros and cons during my first trimester and deciding in the second trimester was not the easiest decision we had to make. Having said that though, having the baby here means we will have slightly more money to spend for gifts. Should we have pushed to go to Manila, we might have had to use the services of those emergency loan lenders. Now, we don’t have to! We do have a lot of things to buy for the nursery though, but I amidst my online baby shopping I have been checking out Christmas gifts for family back home. I have been busy preparing those Christmas cards to send, and my other endless list of items to buy for the apartment. I still cannot fully comprehend the fact that I will be giving birth in about two months time! I guess my Manila Christmas dreaming will have to be downplayed this year to give way to baby thoughts (I am not complaining!).

Last Stretch

Am on my last stretch doing a lot of things at the moment..

- I am finishing up doing my last subject at uni !! And then I graduate !!
- Working my last month at work before I go on maternity leave !!
- Of course, waiting for baby to arrive in 2 months time !! Preparing so many things for this!

I guess no matter how much I have tried to plan things, and be in control, I could only prepare so much. With the way things are winding up/winding down now, it couldn't have happened any more perfect. Things are falling into place, and at the right time. I am being taught so many things in life this final quarter of 2009. Plan one's share, and leave the rest to God.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I may be Australian but . . .


I miss going on Halloween trick or treats! Among other American influenced festivities that I grew up with in Manila.

Here, trick or treating isn't all that big. There may be a few of these celebrations here and there, but nothing like having them organised in most villages/suburbs. They may have Halloween costume parties for teenagers or adults, but nothing like good old knocking on neighbours' doors to ask for sweets. I wonder if my bub will get to experience one when he/she grows up. Not that it's a big deal if baby won't. I guess it's also about sharing the experience which I once had. I know my mummy friends in Manila do put a lot of thought into what costume they will put bubba in for the occasion.

Okay, it's not just Halloween that I miss. I miss spending Easter going on egg hunts or watching kids go on one. I miss the whole hullaballoo of Christmas, etc., etc.

Here I feel they put more emphasis on the other holidays such as: New Year's Eve (fair enough- the Harbour Bridge fireworks is really good), Valentine's (?! I wouldn't be able to relate since its my bday !) .. I think that's about it! Haha! Plus of course big on local/national holidays which obviously should be something big.

Oh well. I guess I should really be used to the Aussie way of life. Resisting most American things, thoughts, and way of life. And that's not a bad thing. It's just the way it is.

Same old thoughts

With all the things currently going on in the world market, is it wise to start a business? Or is it better to do a bit more of research and possibly just invest in gold or gold bullion? I am still just considering the options as to what to do. Although the latter may be attractive to some, I think I may opt to start my business. It has been a long while since I have been contemplating on this, and with my maternity leave coming up I may actually finally push through with it! It has been seriously lingering in my head, and hubby has been giving me pep talks about how much he believes I can make a big business flourish. I suppose when it all comes down to planning and pushing pens I will be raking my brain and doing my own market research. For now, its all about baby.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Couple Meme

* What are your middle names? Secret!
* How long have you been together? Bf/Gf for 8 years. 1 year in November!
* How long did you know each other before you started dating? 2 months :)
* Who asked whom out? He asked.
* How old are each of you? I'm 31. He's 30.
* Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? Same as Em. Having been in an LDR for 2 years!
* Did you go to the same school? No.
* Are you from the same home town? Not really.
* Who is smarter? Me :) (hahahaha)
* Who is the most sensitive? Him.
* Where do you eat out most as a couple? Mmm. Sushi Train.
* Who has the craziest exes? Him.
* Who has the worst temper? Him.
* Who does the cooking? Me!
* Who is the neat-freak? Neither. But, more him than me.
* Who is more stubborn? We are equally stubborn.
* Who hogs the bed? Him!!
* Who wakes up earlier? Usually me.
* Who is more jealous? Both.
* How long did it take to get serious? 1 year I think..
* Who eats more? Definitely him.
* Who does the laundry? Just hubby.
* Who’s better with the computer? Definitely not me. So its him..
* Who drives when you are together? Him.

Got this from Em :) Feel free to take on!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Trying times

There has been another wave of employment terminations at work, and to think the economy is meant to have been getting better. Who knows what that really means nowadays? I suppose it is so much more difficult particularly at this time of the year, as it gets closer to the holiday and supposedly festive season would be the worst possible time to lose one’s means of livelihood. People lose jobs because of cheap labour, and cost cutting measures practiced by businesses. It makes one wonder whether all these termination procedures are fair, or whether there are underlying reasons behind getting sacked from one’s job. I suppose a lot of it is treated on a case by case basis.

I know of two colleagues who would very much benefit from second wallet loans at this particular time. One of them has just bought a house, while the other one a car. They are quite young professionals and as much as they both have a lot of bigger things in store for them in the future, losing a job is not a nice predicament to be in at anytime. One can only wish for re-consideration or an alternative position to be available once redundancy takes effect.

Holiday arrangement for other people

At the moment I am thinking about clear blue skies, waves crashing ashore, that quaint seaside cottage balcony overlooking Myrtle Beach Resort. Somehow the silent house makes me dream of going away. I prefer an Oceanfront Myrtle Beach Resort property over a mountain getaway. I am sure the husband feels the same. When I was a lot younger I used to put my ear next to a large sea shell. It would simulate the thought of being at the beach. I wish I could have the luxury of time and money to travel to all Myrtle Beach Resorts and spend my day lazing around. If only I could I would!

For now, I have to make myself busy with arranging other people’s vacations while I work hard.

When the world says its time for a change.


How do you put into words feelings you don't even understand.
When is news good news? And when is it bad? Can it just be a blessing in disguise?

Just when you thought that you are wanting to try to plan life for the next few months, you are suddenly faced with having to plan a whole lifetime. Or at least, two, three, four, five years down the road.

How does one decide where to steer the wheel? Somehow maybe decisions have already been made due to the circumstance. Is that any easier? Should it be any easier?

Finally, something that has been lingering for the past three years..
Is it really a blessing? For now it is all still feels like a fleeting memory. Distant. Near. Close. Far.

Perhaps this is it. It's time for change.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rebuilding lives

All the talk about how the bad the storm was in Manila makes me feel sad. There are so many people now trying to rebuild their lives and homes after the big destruction. Apparently there is another storm headed the way of Manila again. I am hoping that the city and its surrounds do not get further damage, and that the storm will whisk it’s way as soon as it arrives.

I know so many friends and relatives who are doing everything they can to help by volunteering their time and giving donations. I wish I could do the same. For now I will only be able to offer my prayers and a bit of my monetary contribution.

I would not know where to begin if I would have been one of those whose families were personally affected by the storm. I have cousins and friends who are undergoing this and I feel for them. I remember reading somewhere that Siem Reap also experienced this sort of catastrophe in the past. The city has managed to rebuild itself and become one major tourist spot. I pray Manila will be able to cope and come out as a winner in the end of it all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting all hormonal

Early this week I had a bit of a glitch in my system. At work I suddenly felt quite down for some reason. I was late for work by a few minutes and that made me feel bad. I also was not in for work the day before, and one of my colleagues said that one of my passengers' files had an issue with it. Those triggered something and I ended up having to excuse myself for a good 15 minutes to get myself composed again.

Now, watching all these videos about the horrible storm that has hit Manila yesterday, balls of tears are forming in my eyes. I am easily emotional, more than usual. I consider myself one of those generally happy people, and even while pregnant for that past 23 weeks I have been a happy 'buntis'. Only recently have I been getting these glitches, which I hope and pray won't last long as I am wanting a happy baby too! I feel for hubby who's asked me if it was him who made me cry the other time. He must be confused with my recent emotion swings.

I am trying to gather people to donate to Manila's flood victims and I am praying this move will make things better for those affected, even in a small way. God bless the Filipino.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The week that was

I so need another long break away with hubby. We were meant to have a week off and take advantage of some cheap holiday deals, but then I was called to work and re-schedule my time off. Not the best thing for employer to do, but I guess they were desperately needing staff!

Early this week I had a major exam at university which drained my brain. It’s good that I was able to concentrate on the subject instead of dreaming about Cheap Holidays in Greece or Hotels in Alcudia. Now that university is on a short break, I would like to wallow in the dream of a holiday! I have been researching for weeks about where to travel to for our babymoon. As much as we would like to go on a luxury travel frenzy, we have limited our budget in order to accommodate to buy baby things. It’s times like this that I wish I was in Manila to be able to go shopping! I know there are a lot of nice and cute baby things back home at a much cheaper price. I guess that will have to wait. For now, I will have to just be smart and buy necessary things first.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bucks and Hens

Soon I will be needing ideas for Hen weekends! Two of my good friends are getting married, and have expressed their interest in a fun girls’ weekend to celebrate! I guess as much as I would love to have my usual bottle of wine, I won’t be able to! I will have to make do with enjoying the girls company while remaining sober. Next weekend we’d be going out to brainstorm about how to celebrate this once in a lifetime pre-wedding event. The funny thing is that the bride-to-be does not want to know anything about how his groom-to-be will be celebrating his bachelor’s party. Fair enough. I guess the couple is both mature enough to know their party limitations! I just hope the groomsmen know as well.

I wish I can share about my own hen’s night, but I did not have one! Our wedding was even just planned a mere four weeks before the event. Perhaps when we prepare to celebrate our church wedding we will have those pre-wedding parties! Or, maybe not anymore. After all, we are really married already and by then we will have our baby with us.
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October is Crave Sydney month!

Hubby, and I and a few other friends are hoping to get a spot at the Breakfast on the Bridge morning! Only 6,000 people will get tickets, and they are drawn randomly, so we are crossing our fingers that we secure tickets!! It is the first time this event is organised and it is one cool idea if I may say so.

The whole month of October ushers in a range of festivities and events around the city. Noodle nights, markets, art events, etc... So many activities to choose from. Hopefully I still have enough energy by then to be able to go around town!

Monday, September 21, 2009

First love : Travel

I took the day off today since I had to study for my university exam this evening. I am hoping to pass this subject in one go! Hopefully in a year I am able to shift industry so I can try something new. Although I don’t think I am totally able to leave the travel industry as I am sure I will always be drawn to the exciting world of travel. I will forever be excited with the challenge of booking a passenger on a flight to a popular destination at peak season, find the easiest website to book Car Hire Lisbon, and find a room available in a city that claims to have reached one hundred percent hotel capacity. I guess booking travel will always be my first love, however I must spread my wings and discover my other interests. I can’t wait to graduate!

Guess the baby's gender!?

To find out? Or not?

A month ago hubby and I went for my 19 week scan (ultrasound), and it is normally at that time in the pregnancy that one can find out the gender of the baby.

At work, people were volunteering their opinion about whether to find out the gender or not. Some of them were really old school and have said that for the first baby in the family, it is best to keep it a SURPRISE! I know two of the ladies who recently gave birth left the gender unknown until delivery day. It is pretty exciting I suppose. If you can stand to wait that long and not find out!!

A few other people have been asking me about the gender of our baby. Especially my Filipino friends :) I know in Manila, almost everyone finds out the gender as soon as it is possible! I don't think I know anyone who's opted to keep it a surprise.

Anyway, as of the moment, it is 50-50 still. Possibly a baby ballerina girl, or maybe a soccer playing boy. Months before the 19-week scan I was partial in wanting to find out baby's gender. Part of me wanted to go old school and not find out (hubby was fine whatever I decided on)... And then on the day of the scan, at the very last minute I asked the U/S technician. She said she thinks baby is a girl. As she couldn't see anything in between the legs. But then again, she did not want to confirm. She went on and said it could be a boy, and that she was unsure. SO there. Still 50-50. Unless the technician was really just playing safe.

Now, now, now... we still don't know really. Soon, we have to start baby shopping seriously and we will have to stick with the neutral colours... whites, yellows, light greens, baby blues. Honestly, I am not that fussed now to find out. I don't know when the next scan is. I might ask again if baby is in a better angle. Or, I might not ask. We'll see. Either way, hubby and I will be happy for as long as baby is healthy and normal.

Would you go old school and not find out baby's gender?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good nights sleep

Every pregnant woman knows how challenging it can be every night to find a good sleeping position. It helps if one invests in a good mattress, with the help of the bed experts one can find solace in sleepy nights. I wish we had consulted an expert when we bought our mattress. I thought I wanted a soft cushion but I just realized I really want a sturdy and firm mattress. For now, I will have to settle with really nice and comfortable pillows. I do hope they sell maternity pillows at the baby show that hubby and I are attending tomorrow.

Firsts, Seconds, Thirds

FIRSTs
1. What's the first thing you do when you wake up? Check the time
2. What's the first thing you wash when you take a shower? Hair.
3. What's the first thing you do when you get in the car? Put my bag in place.
4. What's the first item of clothing you put on when you get dressed? Underwear.
5. What age did you give your first kiss? Late bloomer me... 20
6. What age were you when you first drank alcohol? Officially.. 18.
7. What's the name of your first love? Korean boy
8. Where was your first vacation? Baguio
9. What was your first car? Never had my very own.
10. How old were you when you got your first job? 19

SECONDs
1. What is your second favorite food? Thai
2. What is your second favorite animal? Cat
3. What is your second favorite drink? Iced Tea
4. What is your second favorite song? Too many
5. What's your second favorite store? Coles
6. What's your second favorite saying or quote? It is better to have loved and then lost, than never to have loved at all.
7. What's the second thing you seen this morning? Pillow
8. Name one of your second cousins? Sheila
9. What is the name of your second favorite restaurant? Pancakes on the Rocks
10. Who was your second grade teacher? Dont remember

THIRDs
1. What was the name of your third boyfriend? Hubs
2. Where were you three days ago? At work
3. What's the third job you ever had? Travel agent
4. In high school, Freshman year, what was your third period class? Dont remember
5. What did you do on the 3rd of this month? Eat
6. What will you be doing in 3 hours? Sleep
7. What's your third siblings name? (if you have one) Grace
8. What's your third favorite sport? Nada
9. What's your third favorite car? Benz
10. What is the third thing you thought about today? What to eat.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shutter dreaming

When I think of outdoor shutters, I think of this really nice beach front hotel in California. I wish I could go and visit that place for real, but for now I am satisfied with just looking at its website! Perhaps one day when I visit friends in the west coast. Meanwhile I will just go back to my california dream about the sun, beach and sand.

Kids at the workplace


Let me whinge for a bit.. Kids at the workplace.. They're so moody, always gossiping, talking about silly things.. Sometimes I don't mind. But sometimes they can get to me when I am not feeling up to it. With kids one would have to adjust to their level. Too much effort sometimes. They take something so small and make it a big deal. Ugh. Life is about other more important things you know. Hay. C'est La Vie.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A new one

Was surfing around and came across LinkFromBlog. I guess I want to be able to blog actively as much as I want again. Maybe in a few month's time I would have a bit more time to do these things which I like. But then again I would not know what to expect once bubba is born. I guess at the end of the day I am just glad to have found an outlet to be able to say what I want, when I want. The rest will just follow suit.
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I could get used to this


... Wake up early to cook hubby's lunch

... When hubby leaves for work, I have my breakfast

... Watch news on the morning show

... Check my emails, read, answer messages
... Blog!!

... Call my parents

... Do the dishes

... Clean the house a bit

... Head off to the city to window shop

... Have lunch, maybe with a city friend

... Stop at the park to rest, maybe take a few photos of the flowers

... Do the grocery

... Head home

... Watch dvd

... Siesta

... Cook dinner

... Wait for hubby to get home

... Watch tv

... Have dinner

... Do the dishes

... Sleep


I think I am wanting to be a housewife!!! Oh how I wish!!
(Photo from laynekennedy.com)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Still undecided

I still haven’t found a place to spend a week long ‘babymoon’ with hubby. Initially I wanted to travel about six hours north, and spend some time along the coast. But then given my bigger bump now, I am thinking it could be too long a ride for me. Maybe a maximum of three hours road trip would be fine. Perhaps we could save budget perth hotels for next time, and instead settle to choose from cheap hotels Sydney cbd. I guess just really a few days away to spend quality time as parents to be would be what we are after.

A few months ago I watched this travel show where some hotels do offer special babymoon packages. Some of these packages even included a massage treatment specifically for pregnant women! Writing about this makes me so excited to plan this getaway! I am sure whatever we decide on we will have a great time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I am finally identifiable!


I finally got my Blue micro chipped passport today!! Meaning, I have a real ID now. I used to have a big problem since I don't drive here, my Philippine passport has expired, and with my recent surname change (to my married surname), etc etc etc .. I had big troubles getting identified. As in, I have to produce numerous bank statements, utility bills, credit card statements, marriage certificate, etc.

Oh well, that's all in the past now. :)

Big plus is that I travel visa free to majority of the countries I want to visit someday! Yahoo! I still cannot believe it. For the longest time, I've waited for this day. And now, well, it's here. I have to set another goal for the next 5 years!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day dreaming again

Yesterday hubby and I talked about home plans. In a few months we are expanding our family and so we will need a much larger home space. We are both looking at starting our respective home businesses as well, thus the need for house plans that would accommodate our arrangement. Since we were in the mood to talk about our dreams and goals, we drew in air our luxury dream home plans. We talked about a four bedroom, three levels home (complete with a family room basement), spacious garden and a gazebo in the backyard. Hubby told me he does not want to raise our kid in an apartment unit, while I on the other hand always lived in an apartment or townhouse so I don’t mind.

Since our rental contract will be expiring in a month’s time, we were thinking of renewing only for half a year before moving onto a new place. I can’t believe I have moved so much in a span of six years! This will be my sixth move in six years! Hopefully only two more moves for us until we settle into our real home.

Nice Sunday


It was a nice, nice sunday.. Still have a week left til winter is over, and we welcome spring, but the temperature hit 26 degrees! Lovely! Where else in the world can that happen?

Loving it..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Babymoon Getaway

I have been researching again about going on a holiday! This morning as I got to my desk at work hubby called asking if we could go on a week long or two weeks getaway. I was so surprised I actually encouraged him to tell me what sort of holiday he was after. I was trying to get him to say he wanted an inclusive Jamaica package of some sort, since I know this is the way to go nowadays! Inclusive and exclusive all the way! He said we couldn’t really afford to go on a two week break to stay at Ocho Rios hotels, or any of those caribbean hotels for that matter. He said he was looking at going local only. Oh well, as if I could really travel very far with my baby bump!

Although we have decided we needed a bit of a break (our last decent holiday was in December last year!), we are unsure when and where. I have given hubby a number of brochures this evening and obviously he was overwhelmed. I do hope we push through with this much needed vacation. It would also be a good way to spend quality time, since in a few months for sure we would be busy with our new baby!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Alive n Kicking!

I've been feeling faint flutters from the little one the past week and a half. I am now 18 weeks preggo and feeling a LOT better. No more morning sickness for me. Although I am still trying to adjust to eating a lot. Coz, for some reason even if I eat and eat, my weight does not increase that much if at all. They say that's okay, even my doc says so. Since I've been having more veggies and healthy snacks instead of the chocolates and chips. Although, I must say, I've been having a lot of ice cream recently (coz I crush my vitamins and mix it with that!).

A lot of things have happened between the last time I wrote here. Attended a wedding, had my citizenship oathtaking (YEY!), developed unknown rashes, decided to have baby in Manila, and then, decided to have it here instead. And, so finally, we are having the baby here. I have booked into the hospital and will be having an appointment in a week and a bit's time. It just makes a lot of sense to have it here, for practicality's sake. It would not cost us a thing to have it here, I would still be able to maximise my work time (work til maybe mid-December), not have to have baby travel back to Sydney when I give birth, etc.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Birds and Plans

My sister will be visiting me soon, and I am working out our itinerary for her two weeks stay. With her around, there will be three photography buffs in the house! I am the most amateur among the three but that only means most of the time I am their model!

We were looking at visiting a few gardens while she is here, and take snaps of different plants and animals while there. I know that the botanical gardens have lots of interesting birdlife, among them the hummingbirds! I am glad that my husband and my sister are into nature. So we can do some bird watching on the side. It would have been nice if we could have a hummingbird feeder in our balcony (no private garden for us) so we could catch a glimpse of them at home. Perhaps when we upgrade into a house with a big garden, I could ask husband to gift me with a cute feeder! I’ve seen that there is quite a number of varieties available!

Another place we are considering visiting when she is around would be the zoo. We went there though last time when she visited last year so I am not sure if she wants to spend the day there. A month ago husband and I went to the zoo so I will be relieved if my sister decides not to head to the zoo!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Weight concerns

I've gained the 2kgs that I lost early on, but now I am back to 3kgs less. I never though I would be this concerned about my weight. Gaining it! Although people say that it is not that unusual to be losing weight early in the pregnancy. I know why I'm not gaining any kgs. I don't have a great appetite now, and when I want to eat, I cannot get the food that I want! I really wish my sister would come and visit me so that I have someone to cook for me. Even for a while. She could possibly whip up my makati supermarket spaghetti.

I want my appetite back!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Baby Love


I'm almost into my 3rd month! Meaning, first trimester almost over!!

I've felt all the early pregnancy symptoms, and I am just praying that I transition into the second trimester soon with less of the symptoms. (I know I whinge a lot, but I guess if it means baby is okay then I don't mind it all!!)

The first two and a half months I've lost a lot of weight (like nearly 3 kgs), coz I could not eat anything. I had no appetite and was very lethargic. Considering I was still studying this was really a bit of a challenge. I had to ask my lecturer to extend the deadline to my papers, twice! And I am done with that subject. The question now is if I should go onto the third subject! Almost half way done with the course!! I am hoping and praying for more energy the next few months, and a better appetite too!

Part of me feels tempted to head back to Manila even for a week just to eat! Hahahaha! Really! I would love some Jolly Hotdog (with lots of cheeese), maybe Smokeys would do. And, Makati supermarket spaghetti! I've just got so much cravings for food that can only be perfectly eaten in Manila!! Oh well. We'll see. For now, I am sleepy. Need to get my rest..

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Road tripping in England

There are so many pretty places in England which I would love to visit. Perhaps go on a road trip and visit manors, castles, and golf courses along the way. I know I've had a client who's given feedback about going on this road trip with her husband. They loved traveling from one manor
to another, and sometimes spending a day at some bed and breakfast, and other times enjoying a day of pampering at a Hotel in Sheffield, or at a Day spa along the way.

Truly there are various ways of seeing the world in style, if one can afford these luxuries. Otherwise, there are lots of ways to travel in style without having to spend way too much.
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Time to slow down


I've always been a busy bee, and with my current pregnancy I am practicing the art of slowing down. Or should I say, I am trying to enjoy a slower pace of life. At least for now. I was feeling a bit dizzy yesterday in spite eating every few hours. Today I was not feeling my best as well, still dizzy, and so I decided to just stay at home. I know I have about two weeks sick leave left to use, in case I really need to. So why not use it when I feel I need to slow down?! I never wanted to make an excuse of my situation but hey, it really is life changing. A perfectly healthy person such as me, can be bogged down with a hormonal high and I don't really care what others say. I had to hear my doctor remind me that work can wait, and what's important now is taking care of myself and my baby. I hope I get my energy back after the first trimester is over. I really want to be able to study properly and be a good wife. I've been slacking in taking care of the house, and I want to be able to do all that again. But for now, it is time to slow down.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Adventure tripping

I have this friend who’s recently broken up with a long term partner of 8 years. They were planning on getting married early next year, but they recently decided to call it quits. She’s called me and asked me to organize an itinerary for her to Travel Alaska this June, as she wants to forget about her love misfortunes. I willingly obliged and have come up with a few activities and adventures for her to do whilst doing a bit of Alaska Travel. I told her now would be a good time to travel since the weather would be a bit warmer in Alaska.

Adventure is one of the necessary factors included in my friend’s trip. I found a tour group that would take her camping, traveling around Denali Park, canoeing and abseiling in various places as well. It’s good that I have used this particular tour operator before, so that I know that I can trust them in taking care of my lovesick friend. Now, I am not sure how effective adventure traveling is for broken hearts, but I am sure she will fall in love with the place.

We are expecting!

... Yes, it has been a while, and although I am only just about approaching my second month I just can't wait to share it to the world :) I am really praying for a safe first trimester for me and bub.

We found out I was expecting a day after Mother's Day :) Little did I know that I was already a mum on that special day! We were both so happy to learn that we would be parents sometime in the new year 2010! How exciting! Over the next few weeks and months I will be sharing updates about this exciting phase I am undergoing, and about my thoughts about the whole waiting game :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sooner than later

Sooner than later I think I would be wearing maternity clothes! So, I enjoy browsing through the websites that people have referred to me. What I like are the ones which don't look old fashioned or too eccentric (if there are any!). I am also leaning towards more dressy type of clothes that come in light or pastel colors. I wish I could find some outfit that I could wear to work, especially during winter season. I guess I still have to do more research to see what would suit me. I really need my sisters with me when choosing what would look nice in a baby bump fashion sort of way!

Taking photos

The past few days we've been going out during the day to take photos. We're lucky to have had really nice weather on saturday and sunday. We ended up going to the botanical gardens and the park a few blocks from our place. We also went around and did a bit of shopping again! Here's one picture I took. Not the best, but nonetheless I like it.

Almost checked in

As usual we were tempted to go and check into a hotel in the city yesterday, and almost book last minute accommodation online! We went around the city taking photos (it was such a lovely day!), and we even went on a picnic at the botanical gardens. We got so tired and lazy to head home. I guess it’s good we didn’t give in this time, since it would have been nice to maximize checking into a hotel maybe around mid-day and requesting late check out the next day. Plus, we did not have proper clothes with us, just the clothes we bought from shopping! Hubby and I agreed to just plan an actual weekend getaway sometime in June, during Queen’s birthday weekend. I’m not sure if we could already consider looking for last minute flights and last minute hotels since it still more than three weeks away. Surely there are a lot of good deals with cheap flights on Qantas or Virgin Blue.

I don’t know if we could really afford to go on an all out splurge this time, since we are planning to spend Christmas in Manila this year! I guess a few nights wouldn’t hurt that bad!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Travel Rituals

(Note: Postcard photo from here)

Everyone's got their own travel ritual. Pre-departure. On the trip. Post-departure.
It can be a quirky pre-departure endless list of things to do, things to bring, must eat, places to see, people to write postcards to, people to call, things to take back home, etcetera. (I know I am guilty of this!) (Bigtime!).

Or, it can be upon entering your hotel room : take photos of each corner of the room, the view, the bathroom (Okay, I do this too coz I need it for my job!). And it could also be : setting the wake up call with Reception,or checking out the closets/bar fridge/drawers, etcetera.

Arriving back home, some people literally just plop onto the bed and take a very long sleep. Others I know unpack straight away and do one load of laundry. And still others, take a long warm shower.

We all have our quirkiness and travel rituals that comfort or satisfy us in some way. It's just simply the way we do. The way we are. Oh how I love talking about travel.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chatty stuff

My family has always been opinionated about every single thing. This could be a good or a bad thing, depending on the circumstance. I remember having a lot of political chat around the dining table that could last for a few hours! Recently, I've heard that one of my sisters now is engaged in some sort of online discussion forum about politics. I guess it is such an interesting and colorful topic that a discussion can go on for years.

Thinking out loud.. By a Travel Agent

1. I know everything about all cities in the world, the minute you ask me about it.
- You ask : What is the easiest way to travel to Yekaterinburg? (Isn't that a name of a person??) (Umm, no. It is a city in Russia, and I've known that information since I was in First grade. Duh.)
- Oh and yes I know that at this very moment it is -5 degrees in Anchorage Alaska, because I was just there 5 seconds ago. Not.


2. We don't use Google. At all. Never. Because See #1, we know e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!
- Do you have the telephone number for the airport in Belize? Oh yes, I call them all the time, everytime.


3. We know all Airline Promos, Hotel Promos, Stay Pay Deals, Etc... happening everywhere in the world for your trip to America.
- Oh yes, we do have a list of all these things emailed to us every single day from every single airline. Every day. Let me pull out my 100 page email from United Airlines this morning.


4. We are mind readers.
- I know exactly where you want to go, and you don't have to tell me your travel dates. I can tell from your voice that you want a one way ticket to .. Mars. Travelling tomorrow.


5. Oh yes, I will have your enquiry quote emailed to you within the hour.
- Yes, because you are my only client that has called me today and I am at your service 24/7. And I don't need to have lunch now because you called and are so special. Even if it's now 3PM and my shift started at 8AM. Oh, I forgot. I don't eat. And I don't have breaks.


6. I have a seat on that aircraft specially for you, because WAITLIST is not in my vocabulary.
- Let me send you my private airplane so you can travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Carnival, even if you called me just today, and the celebration starts tomorrow. And you thought about booking this trip at the very LAST minute. Literally.... Of course, I HAVE a seat for you on my Plane. Anytime you call. Because I own Qantas, you know.


7. You ask me about checked in baggage, and I know all airline policies by heart. This was part of our 100 item quiz in my subject Airline Baggage 101 years ago.
- And, so I know that you are not able to take your ladder onboard the aircraft, even if you say you need this to climb the roof of the house you are building in the province of Manila. (I think excess kilos will cost you more than what your ladder is worth in $) !!!


Above information based on true stories of my everyday life as a travel agent.

More of my 'happy thoughts' next time. I am revealing too much of my mean self. Oh dear oh dear. I never knew what sarcasm was until about 9 years ago when I joined the Travel Industry... Please don't think I'm rude, I am just a travel agent.

Site project

I am always on the look out for a good web hosting site that someone like me (techonologically challenged) would be comfortable using. I was browsing around and have come across a site that suits me well. Now, the only thing I need to find is time to do all these things. I would like to renovate my site and add a few things, improve on the layout and colour. It has been over a year since I've given proper attention to my website and I would probably need to dedicate more time here if I want to see this project through. Only time will tell!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Unfinished Business

Every so often I am sure we all ponder about those "Unfinished Businesses" that we have. Oftentimes we push the thought aside, knowing that the longer we think about them the more bitter we become. Really it is not always easy to let go of those what ifs in life. And the only solution to it is : Time. The longer we move away from the past the less important they become, and the more in touch we become with the reality that it isn't.

Unfinished Businesses have a purpose. And that is, to be part of the past that once was, but no longer is. I am sure if things turned out the way they were meant to be, then we don't have those what ifs. Sometimes things left unfinished are left at its best that way. Don't we all agree to that?

The magic of no endings allow us to relish the thoughts that will be kept in that snow globe of memories.

Booking my groups

One type of tourist accounts for those who travel out of motivation from an interest (or interests). I have made a booking for a group of people who traveled to visit archaeological sites in Greece, and another group that traveled to France and Britain to attend a war memorial event. Recently, I have had a group of people wanting to travel to the United States to visit a list of museums located in the Eastern part of the States. They were quite a handful as some of the travelers were wanting to try Gettysburg camping style, while the others wanted at least a four star rating hotel to stay at.

At the end of it all, they came into consensus that they would give rv camping Gettysburg a go. Majority of them haven’t tried this style of pa rv camping but were convinced that it would be an interesting experience. It was good that they have all agreed to this, otherwise I would end up having a divided group which would mean more work for me. I usually like dealing with group bookings especially if I communicate with only one coordinator.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Making my life easier

Recently I discovered online grocery shopping at Woolworth's HomeShop website. I usually like doing the grocery when I am not pressed for time, but sometimes it can be a painful chore. Especially when it's time to buy rice/detergent/etc (this can be gruesome taking it home-living without a car can do this). So now I have the option of doing my heavy shopping online, and have someone take it straight to our apartment! Another plus, is that I can just browse through weekly specials in one go. You know how while at the supermarket it can be overwhelming seeing all the stacks and shelves of goodies. One can easily miss out on things, or forget stuff to buy.

I love it that I can just click one button if I decide not to buy a certain item. I can even double the same item in one hit. Overall, I guess Homeshopshopping is just an alternative. Nothing beats the therapy of going through aisles and aisles of actual goodies.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spa needs and wants

Since I am feeling cold and sore now, I am dreaming of getting a massage, facial or body treatment. I have recently suffered a few body aches and pains and so I am in dire need of pampering and beauty therapy. I would settle for a one day treatment for now. Ideally I would head to one or two Spa Hotels for a series of de-stressing and some body loving retreat. At the moment, this won’t be possible since I am due to start my second subject this coming week, and surely I will be busy with assessments and tasks. I hope I won’t be sickly this term as I am so over being sick or just the overall feeling of being not well. Maybe it is a good idea to get my spa this weekend just before I start studying again!
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Autumn Chill

We are still a month away from Winter and it is too cold!! I literally have three layers of clothing on me + my super thick blanket, but I am still cold! Why??!! I know in other parts of the world, eg, Manila they are experiencing some heat wave (obviously due to summer). I am now really wanting to go some place warm, tropical, hot, anywhere but here!!

At this time of the year I am contemplating about moving to Queensland where it is most of the time tolerable weather.. Hubby is not considering this anymore, since he is pretty happy with our current city. I reckon we could migrate north for six months during winter!!

Is there some sort of 'heat' dance to do? I know there is the 'sun' dance to try to attract sunshine. Oh well, I should just another layer of clothing.

Flowers for Her

When I was younger I used to think very differently to my mom. We used to disagree about so many things, whether it was a petty issue or something trivial. She used to impose her opinions on me, and offer unsolicited advice. As I grew older things did not change. She was still very opinionated and bossy. When I moved here to live on my own, I remember missing her nagging and hearing her opinions. It took me a while to get used to living without her being always there with something to say about everything. She had the answers to everything and for this I admired her. She is one of the most intelligent women I know, and I love her so much.

I remember when I was in college I used to go bonding with her at the mall. We would spend countless times shopping and going for a snack afterwards. We would chat about everything. There were also a lot of times in college when she would pick up me and my friends from school and treat us for lunch at the country club. She instantly became the star mom that everyone loved and thought was cool. I was so proud of her.

Now that mother's day is coming up, I am sending her a lovely bouquet of flowers care of my siblings in Manila. As much as I wish I could be there to spend it with her, I can’t. Maybe next year she can spend it here and visit me!

Cebu Central


I’ve booked my parents for their anniversary to travel to Cebu and Bohol. There were great deals on Cebu Pacific and so I immediately grabbed them seats to travel for one week! Now, I am looking for a place for them to stay at in Cebu and Bohol. It’s not like it’s their first time to travel to these cities, so I am trying to check out places that would be nice for them and at the same time cost effective (they don’t want to spend too much). Since I love checking out hotels and resorts, and doing a lot of research, I am quite excited to do this for them. Besides, I travel through my family’s and friends’ eyes.

One of the options I saw, which was at the lower end of the options list, is Casa Escano. I’ve read that this is a quaint Bed and Breakfast place in Cebu. This was one place that had no frills, but was clean and comfortable. It is centrally located (not sure if this is a good being that it is in the city). Reviews on Tripadvisor mainly say positive things about Casa Escano. I suppose if my parents choose this they would feel at home.

Another option if they decide to be located in Central Cebu, is to stay at Crown Regency. My sister can get free nights here so it can be quite a good deal, really. And, I think there are quite a few choices of locations for this hotel. Okay, I'll research the beach resorts now.

(Photos from Casa Escano Website)

Those small things

When hubby and I weren't living together yet his old apartment had a bedbug problem, and some other insect problem. He even had to call an exterminator to get rid of this infestation. I remember the guy was very accommodating in answering our queries. I wish we found a site earlier that discussed issues such as this. It might have helped us understand the problem better. I don't think it was something he could have avoided since the apartment was pretty old. Hubby only stayed about a month at that place! Good our apartment now doesn't have any of these insect problems!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book Free Nights at the Intercontinental!


Everybody loves a great deal! Especially me! Another promotion by the Intercontinental Hotels Group (Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental). For every two nights, get one free! I am soo tempted to book a few nights stay even just around Sydney. Maybe we should do Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach again.


Check in anytime between May 4 to July 3 of this year. And then, redeem the free night anytime between July 3 and December 26, 2009! Have a look at the Priority Club website for more information. I love love love it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some travel blah

The past two weeks have been pretty quiet at work. There are a few new enquiries here and there, and a few new bookings as well. Nothing that is too challenging for me to handle. I wish I can take more cruise or fully inclusive tour bookings, and not just about hotels in new york city or one night accommodation at some local airport.

I guess I shouldn't really complain about this. Times are tough and people are being more frugal in spending, especially about traveling. Nowadays, travellers are after the best value for their money. Nobody passes up cheap accommodation in Vancouver (or anywhere) for that matter. I know everyone is wanting to purchase good deals, and even airline or wholesalers appreciate this. Promotions on domestic and international travel are being advertised on television, newspapers, etc. They say these special deals won't last that long, and if one must plan travel now is the best time. That is providing of course that one has the resources or savings to do so.

She will always have Paris

Okay, not me. But one of my colleagues at work is excited about something.

She's probably about 60 years old. Ready and wanting to retire. Just waiting.
She's recently lost her only family in town, her precious aging dog.
She's single. She's an immigrant. She has no children.

When she lost her dog, she was so sad she had to take a few days off to grieve. Obviously she was affected by her loss. She even mentioned she wanted to just die to be with her dog now. Obviously, she was grieving, like any normal person would.

Over lunch, I caught up with her. She was her usual self eating her salad, wearing her shawl, her scarf, her long jumper. (She always complains about the aircon being cold - even in summer!). Okay, must be age. She's feeling all ill, feels all the aches. Or, perhaps she was just wanting attention.... So back to lunch. I told her she was glowing nowadays. She lifted her face and I saw her unusually sparkly eyes. She says she has a secret. She volunteered to tell me this, saying that I'm one of the very few people she really liked.

She has a secret. And that is, that she is excited to leave the company, so she can live in Paris. She's been given the notice at work to firm up her sales figures and do better now that times are hard. Well, for a 'mature' woman her age she says she is doing her best and so she is just waiting to be given 'the letter'. But, she said she was really excited anyway, to leave. She told me, that for once after such a long time she was looking forward to something. And that was to spend her last years/decades in the city she always loved. And that was Paris. How can I not feel happy for this woman who's eyes speak of her dream and excitement. C'est La Vie.

If these walls could talk

I've been meaning to put a bit of wall art into our home ever since we have moved in. Initially we wanted to have a wall with our favorite photographs, chosen from our travel collection. It still remains to be one unfinished project for hubby (and myself). We received a few picture frames from friends who have volunteered to print their favorite photos, but these frames are of different sizes and so they are just all in one table top (for now).

I had an idea to maybe put up either a modern art piece or something like the eternity tree from the website I saw online. It was something that caught my eye since it was not that ordinary, but not that eccentric either. I would need to check with hubby if that suits him, or if we should just choose an abstract art work instead. Most of the time I trust hubby to choose our home furniture pieces, since he's got the better 'eye' than me. It's a good thing that I usually agree to his decisions on matters like these. After all, he's done such a good job with our current place. I really should remind him to complete our art wall project!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Want ...

This week, I want :

- To Feel Better.
- To Be able to cook something different for a change.
- To Bake brownies.
- To go and take photos on the weekend.

Fashion sense

Why do stars get away with wearing something like a 5.11 Tactical Series uniform? I was watching the morning show today and they were reviewing stars and their choice of clothes. Kylie Minogue had this combat pants on and it was not very flattering. I am not really the biggest fan of cargo pants and the like. I think I've only owned one set of these pants which I've only worn once. I guess it's really a preference. If I could say one thing about this army boot camping style : leave it with the experts who wear them for a purpose. I don't think that army fashion will ever be in. That's just me.

Dealing with sore throat

The past few days I've been hit with a really bad sore throat. It came to a point where I had trouble swallowing. So, I couldn't really eat anything solid. I lost 1 kg already, which is good. But then I feel so weak coz I haven't been eating. I am well now, I hope. But I am still under house arrest. Need lots of liquid and rest.

I've searched ways to soothe my sore throat, and have tried some of them myself. Here they are:

- Heat compress on my neck (worked coz I had felt my neck muscle twitching)
- Warm Tea
- Honey and Vinegar with Warm Water (hubby prepares it best)
- Sea Salt with Warm Water (Gargled)
- Banana (it just glides down the throat well)
- Lots of water (lukewarm)
- Lozenges (in moderation)
- Betadine Sore Throat Drops
- Lots of rest, less talk

I guess it depends on the extent of one's swollen throat. Mine was uncomfortable for a few days (and nights). I ended up saying so many rosaries at night when I can't sleep. But, it all is working well for me. I hope to resume back normal living tomorrow. I am just glad that the assessment results are out for my first Uni subject, and I passed! One down, Three to go.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yes or No

1. Kissed anyone one of your GIRL friends on their lips? - NO
2. Been arrested? - NO.
3. Kissed someone you didn't like? - NO
.4. Slept in until 5 PM? - YES
5. Fallen asleep at work/school? - YES.
6. Held a snake? - NO.
7. Ran a red light? - YES.
8. Been suspended from school? - NO.
9. Totaled your car/motorbike in an accident? - NO.
10. Been fired from a job? - NO.
11. Sang karaoke? - YES.
12. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? - YES.
13. Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? - YES.
14. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? - NO.
15. Kissed in the rain? - YES.
16. Sang in the shower? - YES.
17. Sat on a rooftop? - YES.
18. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes? - YES.
19. Broken a bone? - NO.
20. Shaved your head? - NO.
21. Blacked out from drinking? - NO.
22. Played a prank on someone? - YES.
23. Felt like killing someone? - NO.
24. Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? - YES.
25. Had AN EXOTIC pet? - NO.
26. Been in a band/CHOIR? - YES.
27. Shot a gun? - YES.
28. Tripped on mushrooms? - NO.
29. Donated Blood? - NO.
30. Eaten alligator meat? - NO.
31. Eaten cheesecake? - YES.
32. Still love someone you shouldn't? - NO.
33. Think about the future? - YES.
34. Believe in love? - YES.
35. Sleep on a certain side of the bed? - YES.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Words

I’ve been doing a lot of studying the past two days, as in with only break for meals, sleep, occasional massage break and toilet. I’ve warned hubby of this, because I was cramming a 3000 word assessment due last night. He was prepared, and he rented so much DVDs and did not complain when I couldn’t cook proper meals, or have them at decent hours. I guess I’m glad for the long Easter weekend. Although, I’m not pleased that I did not really get to reflect much at this time. I will make it up.

My mother in law

My mother in law’s sideline business involves plants, gardens and landscaping. She’s so good at it that a few of my friends’ house were landscaped by her, and hubby is proud of it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her, and I heard that they are heading off to see my sister in law who has just given birth recently. They’ll be staying with her for a month and a bit, and they said they were looking at traveling around California. Being a travel agent, they’ve come to me and ask what places are good to see and if I had good hotel deals. I said I would look into it for her. I have come up with a few options for them, and have even stumbled upon a San Diego landscaper that she may be interested in meeting up with just to share interests and see what others’ works are. I know in Manila she usually attends those expos and exhibits, and sometimes even just travel around Bulacan area to meet with her friends and inspect plants and gardens. I am trying to have a look at my California guide to see if there are other gardens which she may be interested in visiting while she is over there.

Intercontinental Asia Hotel Super Sale is On Again!

Okay, times are tough when the big name companies come up with sales every few months or so. The last Intercontinental sale was in February. Okay, maybe the sale really was so great they had to bring it back again! Well, so they have!

Intercontinental Hotel sale starts on 15 April, 2009 wednesday and will go on for 3 full days!!

So Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental in Asia will be available at such good rates, and if I only I could travel endlessly I would billet myself and hubby every month..

Anyway, if you are planning a trip, have planned a trip in and around Asia, but still need some great place to stay then I suggest turning your alarm on to remind yourself of the Great Asia sale!

One of those thoughts again

For the longest time I have been writing and thinking about pregnancy. This time hubby and I are talking seriously (finally). I guess when one gets to the age of 30, one can hear that biological clock ticking! I was talking to a friend the other week and she was sharing her concerns about having a child at the age of sixteen. She said it was difficult then, but she is now enjoying motherhood as her son is old enough to understand their situation.

Anyway, since hubby and I are talking about having a child anytime now, I am into researching about the best ways to be healthy prior to conceiving. I have also been trying to eat healthy food. One of my friends in Canada is pregnant now and advised me to start taking pre-natal vitamins! I wish it was that easy but I never liked taking tablets.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hot Cross Buns


Today as I walked through the station the scent of Hot Cross buns lingered, I could almost taste it! These buns which come in flavours or justplain, happens to be a pastry popular at Easter. Of course coz of the "Cross". Okay I haven't really done my research on that but that's what my workmates said. To me, well, the original ones just are like cinnamon buns. But that's just me. And, I am not that fond of how it tastes like. I prefer Cinnzeo or Cinnabon back home.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Status update

Amidst my so busy schedule, I forgot to give an update about my Australian status. Finally received in the mail a letter from the government officially welcoming me to take on Australian citizenship. Okay, finally after more than five years!! Now, it does not really mean so much to me anymore. Surely I won't give up my Filipino citizenship. It did not even cross my mind to renounce my Philippine citizenship. (Of course I can hear my mom giving me a long lecture on my roots, etc, if I did. Not that I would) I'm just glad that there is such a legislation now on dual citizenship. Apparently a few years back this was not the case for Phil-Aussies.

Last week's module for class talked about Australian citizenship. How timely for me, I was able to relate personally. I had a few questions about citizenship by birth, descent or by grant. Just in case I was to give birth in Manila (down the track) I wanted to know if that had any implications whatsoever.

So anyway, finally I am getting my AU passport. Free to travel the world without having to think about visa applications (okay, except for China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and some South American country). If only I can convince hubby to go with me and travel the world!

Healthy change

I have never been the best at trying to live a healthy life. Well, until recently when I turned thirty. I decided it was time for a change. Now, I am more conscious about the salt that I put in our meals, I am trying to serve more vegetables in the table, and even trying to have at least two or three fruits a day! My work mate was even trying to convince me about the benefits of taking up a lemon diet. She said to have warm water with freshly squeezed lemon in the morning is good for one's health. Well, I told her it's quite difficult since I am not an early riser and my mornings are usually in a rush but I said I would try. At least the good thing is I am more knowledgeable about the good and bad food which I should and should not eat. Likewise, I know that there are good food supplements such as Beta Glucan which are out there to assist with having a healthy body.

Cramming 101

Can you remember the time back then when you had to stay up reading books, making notes, studying for exams, doing research papers? I am currently studying again and so all these things are happening again. I guess some of us are just students for life! (We all are aren't we?).

Last week I was cramming a case study that was due last monday at midnight. Ten minutes to deadline I just submitted my work! Okay, I guess it would have helped a lot if the Lecturer/Teacher gave us all the details of the assessment a month ago. But no, he decided to give it to us 3 days before the paper was due!! So, obviously every single one of us crammed to finish this.

How unfair. I guess that's just the way student life is supposed to be. I cannot wait to graduate in November! So I can start with this new career!


Cramming Tips:

1. Keep water and food next to you while cramming. It saves time, by avoiding having to stand up to get them. Better yet, stuff yourself up a day before that way you don't have to be bothered on the day itself.

2. Have a fully charged mobile phone handy. To call classmates, to compare notes. And find out if you are stuck on the same question.

3. Warn family a day before due date. Tell them that you will be out of range, out of touch, incomprehensible, at least until assignment submission date. Keep a DND (Do Not Disturb) sign on your door.

4. Rest your hand, head and eyes a day before. So that typing will come easy, and possibly your mind will work properly.

5. Block networking sites from your computer a day before. That way you are not tempted to check your Facebook or Multiply or Myspace site while trying to accomplish something.

6. Just do it. There is nothing worse than having a mental blank while cramming to finish an assignment. So typing even nonsense is worth the jumpstart. Sooner (hopefully rather than later), the intellectual juices would flow effortless.

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...