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


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.

Then and now

Hubby and I saw his work colleague who has just undergone a lap band surgery, I think that happened a year or so ago. He was now doing well and keeping trim. Although one could still tell though what his past was like as he had his double chin in place. I guess one could think that would just be genetics showing up. Overall though, it looks good on him. Considering the first time I saw him he looked really unhealthy and tired. I guess his main reason for undergoing this treatment was really due to tohealth reasons. Fair enough. He now has a new gal pal and so it worked well.

Chatter, Wine and Lunch

Been a while since I've met someone new for the first time and actually think that we could be friends :) I guess as one gets older (for some), meeting real friends (potentially) can happen once in a blue moon or very rarely.

Anyway, I had lunch with my new NFF (new found friend) today, her name is Cat. I've been liasing with her through work for work for the past 4months or so. And we have planned to actually meet up and not just be 'penpals'. She's also from Manila, same as me, she migrated here a few years before I did.

Such a fun lunch we ended up staying longer than expected, asking questions about each other, talking about the past/present and future. Talking endlessly while sharing a bottle of wine for lunch! We talked about life, love, school, work, family, travel, other people, food, plans, etc. We realised we had a lot in common, yet had a lot of things different. All in an hour and half of meeting, no second was wasted! It was greatly enjoyed and we said we will catch up again soon. At the end of lunch we were both feeling sleepy(umm, a bottle of wine for lunch), but still had to work! Good thing it was friday! Time to unwind and welcome the weekend!

When was the last time you met someone for the first time? And you just knew that this was the first of many meetings with them. I miss my old friends in Manila, but I am happy to meet genuine new friends in Sydney.

Happy weekend all!

Going camping

Two weeks ago three of the ladies from my team went camping. They asked if I wanted to try this with them but I declined since I am not really a fan of pitching tents, creepy crawlies, shared toilet (if any at all). When they got back to work on that monday they were saying how great the experience was and they would not mind doing it again, if ever at some rv park nc, or rv park north carolina. I agreed to go with them the next time they go on one of those camping trips, provided that it was in nc rv parks or some park that is very safe.

How many times does one try out a new adventure? I guess it has been a while since I went on one. The last time I remember was going on a hiking trip with my hubby. It can be very exciting and at the same time tiring! Oh well, I just hope that the girls don't schedule the trip anytime soon!

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...