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....


Preparation Time 10 minutes

Cooking Time 45 minutes

Makes 10-12 slices

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
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:

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.

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...