What's Your Gift?

Saturday, July 25, 2009




Your Gift is Intellect



You are a big thinker, and you're always playing with new ideas.

You are curious about the world. You enjoy learning and developing new theories.



You enjoy researching, analyzing, and solving problems. Thinking hard feels good!

You're the type of person who finds most mental tasks to be easy. You love to stretch your brain.


I was really laughing when I read the results. I thought that beauty or charm is my gift. LOL. I never really consider myself as a thinker. LOL.

Ready for # 2

Friday, July 24, 2009

So this is it. After much thinking and deliberation, I finally decided to join hubby for his trip to Europe this coming August. This is the first time that I will be away from Bela this long so as much as I wanted to be excited for this trip, I am still having mix emotions as I still feel sad for leaving Bela.

But like what my friends say, this is the perfect time for me to enjoy Europe and spend some bonding time with my husband. This will be our second honeymoon too as we plan to have our second baby made in Europe. LOL.

I was just talking to my friends about our plan and as early as now, they are already expecting that I will be distributing invitations shower as soon as I get back. Our daughter will be turning four this coming November and I can still remember the time when my friends and family got really excited when they received their invitation baby shower. I am sure they will be as excited as I am when they receive another shower invitations from us.

When I had my daughter, I was telling myself that I am happy and contented with just one child. But I was surprised to realize that I want more and I can’t wait to order Baby Invitations from Cards-411.com and send it out to all my family and friends. So wish us luck guys and home we will hit the bull’s eye.

Venice IT

AUG 14:
• 14:20 – Depart Vienna to Venice via Euro Lines
- Wien to Venedig-Mestre

AUG 14
• Arrive in Venice at 23:05
• HOTEL ACCOMODATION: Hotel Adria
- Breakfast included

ADDRESS:
via cappuccina, 34
Mestre, 30172
Italy

TELEPHONE: +39041989755
EMAIL: info@hoteladriavenice.it

TRAVEL DIRECTIONS:
From the Eurolines Bus Stop begin Via Capuccina. We are at the number 34 on your left side.

AUG 15
• Depart Mestre to Venice by Public transport
Buses between Mestre and Venice are constantly crossing the lagoon bridge (Ponte della Liberta) to Piazzale Roma, Venice's bus terminus. They're run by ACTV, who have an information kiosk between the square and the Grand Canal where you can get directions and buy tickets. Bus number 4 is a useful service, crossing the road bridge, turning right into Mestre along the straight Corso del Popolo and passing Piazza 27 Ottobre where you can alight for Le Barche shopping centre and the heart of town.

• Check in at Hotel:

HOTEL ACCOMODATION:
Hotel Continental
Cannaregio, Lista Di Spagna 166
Venice, 30121
Italy

Telephone: +39041715122
Email: info@hotelcontinentalvenice.com

TRAVEL DIRECTIONS: I am still waiting for a reply from Hotel Continental for travel directions from Mestre to the hotel.

• PLACES TO VISIT: Rialto bridge at St. mark's square, Rialto Market (near Rialto bridge, where we can find plenty of jester hats, masks, and "Ciao Bella" tshirt!), Jewish Ghetto.

AUG 16
• Gondola Ride – Euro 120 per gondola

PLACES TO VISIT: 3. Piazza San Marco
• 23:30 – Depart Venezia ( Tutte Le Stazioni ) to Roma ( Tutte Le Stazioni ) via Tren Italia

Perfect Family Vacation

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tweet-Tweet. Going on a beach this year was one of the topics that I discussed with my Twittermates today. My good friend Joy, is planning for a trip at the beach with her family and I can't help but imagine a relaxing family vacation too with Howell and Bela.

Our dear Bela loves going to the beach too so every year, we try to make it a point to go out of town and have a relaxing day at the beach, away from the pollution and away from the stressful city life.

But if I can afford it, my dream is to have a relaxing vacation in one of the hotels of Karisma. Imagine enjoying a day at the beach in the Mexican Riviera Maya, relaxing inside the casita suite while my daughter enjoys the white sand beach. Perfect! I am sure my husband and my daughter will really love that.

Caching-Caching

Caching-Caching. Does this sound familiar? Well this is how I describe the sound the barcode scanner makes every time I make a purchase. I miss hearing that sound. Well, at least for the unnecessary things that I usually buy like Bela’s toys. I have been saving up for our August trip that is why I am constraining myself from being a shopaholic for months now. I even can’t remember the last time I shop online, which I think before I always do almost every month. LOL.

But it is all worth it. At least I was able to save for my pocket money and my airfare for our upcoming trip. And this I got from my sideline and my overtime pay. I did not take money away from my salary so I am really proud of myself. And Aggie is right, it is not impossible to set aside even half of our earnings from our sideline because I have been doing that for months now and I was able to earn a little for my pocket money. My only regret is if only I have stopped my shopping addiction a long time ago and have set aside half of my sideline earnings, I would have been able to save enough for an LV bag. LOL.

Europe on a Budget?

Planning for a Euro Tour on a budget? Some tips that I learned while I was planning for our Euro Tour:

1. There are a lot of budget airlines in Europe (just like our Cebu Pacific. LOL) like Ryan Air, Easy Jet, Vueling which offer really cheap airfare within Europe. But you have to check too since some airlines, like Ryan Air, have their airport located in the suburbs which might even cost you more for travel from airport to the city. Easy Jet’s airport is more convenient since its location is more accessible via public transport.
2. There is also coach services in Europe that is also much cheaper compared to EuroRail (train), the Eurolines. They even have overnight schedule so you can save on one night stay at the hotel too.
3. Eurorail offers global pass where you can visit 5 countries valid for 15 days via train. The advantage of using Eurorail is that it is more convenient since trains are located in the city.
4. If you’re looking for hotel accommodations, try Eurocheapo.com. They have a lot of hotels, hostels, pensions and bed and breakfast listed in their database.
5. If you’re considering in staying in a hostel instead of a hotel, make a research first. We initially want to stay in a hostel but when I did my research, I found some affordable hotels (with good guest reviews) that are almost the price of hostels. Problem with hostels is that they charge per person, per night while a hotel charged per room so when I compared the price, there is not that much difference. If I book a Private Twin Room with private bathroom in a hostel, I will save around P4,000 compared to staying in a hotel. While if I book a Dorm type room (6 beds) with shared bathroom in a hostel, I will be able save around P13,000. If you are willing to sacrifice privacy then book a hostel since P13,000 is a big amount of money already.

More Economic Downfall?

During lunch break, I was able to get hold of the copy of the latest Expat Magazine. At the front page, it says that the global warming will affect economies of Asian countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. Because of the global climate change, there might be more rain and flood which will affect the rice industry of the Philippines. Economists predict that the GDP of those Asian countries will drop by 6.7% compared to 2.7% of the other countries.

Does this mean that the economic recession will have a bigger effect on our already suffering economy? This really made me think that I should not just rely on my daily income as an employee but I should look for ways to earn extra like making investments in stock options. My friend has been convincing me to try it too since she is making good money by using Power Options software to help her decide on which market to invest her money. This powerful software filters and analyzes all stock options so my friend can decide which market will give her bigger profit.

I think I am really convince that we should make investments to prepare us for the possible effect of the global recession in our economy and Power Options can help me do this successfully.

Thinking out Loud: Leaving on the 6th

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You might see me posting here about our trip this coming August. (Syempre fillers din). In a way I am excited because this is really my dream. And since Howell is getting his airfare and hotel for free, we find it as a great opportunity since we will save on the hotel and airfare. But I still feel GUILTY for leaving Bela.

We both agree that we don’t know when an opportunity like this will come and if we have more than 1 kid already, we are not sure if we can still afford a trip like this. Howell knows how much I am dreaming to go to Europe and he really convinced me to go. I am happy and I feel fortunate that an opportunity like this has come to us. I really didn’t even think that we will be able to fulfill our dream because I know there is no way we can afford a Euro Trip. Both Howell and I were laughing and we kept on saying how did it happen because never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we will be able to go to Europe someday. Every time I see pictures of Europe, I just look in awe and wish that someday, if God permits, I will be able to see Europe.

Howell never really applied for a training in Germany. He applied for a training in Washington since a US trip is more feasible for us because we already have mileage to cover at least 2 airfare tickets, we have friends in LA and Florida where we can stay, and we already have our visas so this is a more realistic plan than a Europe trip. But the management decided to send Howell to Germany instead. My initial reaction was I was really excited but then when it sink in already, I realized that it will be impossible to bring Bela with us if I will be going. Firstly, it will be difficult to travel with a toddler when you’re backpacking, secondly I don’t think Bela will still appreciate it and thirdly, it will be more expensive if we will all go.

I was on my way home from work and I saw kids playing with their skateboard ramps and it made me really feel sad and guilty and it made me think about Bela despite my excitement for this trip. Sometimes I feel like I am being an irresponsible mom for leaving Bela. But I know she will still be in good hands since I will be leaving her with my mom.

But like what I said in Twitter, despite my emote mode, I am still going with Howell. (Am I weird or crazy for doing this?) At least I can spend some quality time with him (and hopefully we can have baby # 2). I am so worried about Bela but I think I am the one who will have separation anxiety when I leave her on the 6th.

Vienna IT

Aug 11
• 8:00 - Depart Prague to Vienna via Euro Lines
- PRAHA, ÚAN Florenc, st. 6 WIEN

Aug 11
• 12 nn – Arrive in Vienna
• HOTEL ACCOMODATION: Hotel in Hernals (used to be Pension Madara 2)
- Breakfast is included

ADDRESS:
Hernalser Hauptstraße 86
Vienna, 1170
Austria

TELEPHONE: +4314082763
EMAIL: madara2@aon.at

TRAVEL DIRECTIONS:
At Westbahnhof you have to take Underground Number 6, direction "Floridsdorf" and get off at station "Alser Straße". At Alser Straße you have to take the tramway number 43, direction "Neuwaldegg" and gett off at station "Elterleinplatz". And then it´s only few steps till Hernalser Hauptstraße 86, our hotel.

AUG 11:
• PLACES TO VISIT: Explore city center (inner Stadt), Mozart Museum

AUG 12:
• PLACES TO VISIT : Parliament, Hofburg Palace, Museum quarters, St. Stephen's Cathedral

AUG 13:
• Schonbrunn palace (Outside City Center)

AUG 14:
• Last minute city tour before departing for Venice at 14:20

Howell really wants to go to Prague and Vienna. The only affordable means of transpo that I can find to go to these two cities is via Eurolines. Europe budget airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet don’t have flights here and Eurorail is way too expensive. And the schedule of coach services here is not everyday so we have to stay for almost 4 days in Vienna before going to Venice.

Party Planning Mode for Bela's 4th

I made a post here about our plan for Bela’s 4th birthday party. Actually Howell wants to have the party at our house in Bulacan. He said that he will build a butterfly garden and we will officially open it on Bela’s birthday and we will have the party there. But I told him that we only have a few months left and we still have to do a lot – major renovations of our house there, construction of the garden, purchase of patio furniture and patio furniture covers, plus the preparation for the logistics of a house party. Add to that the fact that we have to allocate a big amount of money for the construction and renovation which I don’t think we can afford right now.

I told Howell that he can have this project maybe, for the christening of our next baby. LOL. Of course when it comes to party planning, Howell leaves everything up to me. He just has to provide me the budget. LOL. So he willingly drive me to Jollibee last weekend to pay for the reservation. So it will be Jollibee for Bela’s birthday party this year.

I am excited already. I know Bela loves Jollibee and I also booked the entire Jollitown mascots for the party. But I am still not 100% convinced to use Jollitown as the theme for the party. I am still thinking of having a different theme than Jollitown. How about Little Einsteins visits Jollitown? LOL.

Midterm Exam: Done

Friday, July 17, 2009

I just finished uploading to MOODLE (our virtual classroom) my midterm exam in my Development Communication subject. I even thought that I won’t be able to make it before the 12 AM deadline.

I should be celebrating but I am too far from accomplishing my list of tasks. I still have two cases to finish, two papers that I have to read so I can participate in our discussion board, one tutor-marked assignments (which requires me to do hard core programming which by the way is not my forte and something that I would rather avoid if I can, that is why I quit my first job as a programmer), and another paper work for my Development Communication subject.

My dad was asking why I am subjecting myself to all of this. He said that I really need to get some sleep and wrinkle creams can do the work too since I look really haggard – i have one big baggage under my eyes and a dozen of pimples.

Well quite frankly, I don’t know either why am I doing this. But just wish me luck so I will be able to survive my first semester.

Frankfurt and Prague IT

Here is our IT for Frankfurt and Prague

Aug 8 – Frankfurt Tour

Aug 8
• 22:45 – Depart Frankfurt to Prague via Euro Lines
- FRANKFURT MAIN HBF to PRAHA/PRAG Florenc

Aug 9 – Arrive at Prague at 6:00 AM
• HOTEL ACCOMODATION:
Aparthotel Residence Trinidad
- Breakfast is included
(This hotel is recommended by my friend who just got back from Europe. She said that this hotel is just near the city center with a view of the Prague Castle so even though it is a few euros over my budget for our hotel accommodation in Prague, I decided to just book this hotel).

ADDRESS:
U Železné lávky 14
Prague, 118 00
Czech Republic

TELEPHONE: +420257530187
EMAIL: residence@trinidad.cz

TRAVEL DIRECTIONS:
Bus Station Florenc:
Metro - line C to station Muzeum then change to line A to station Malostranska

Aug 9 Prague Tour
• PLACES TO VISIT: Old Town Square (where astronomical clock is located), Charles bridge, museums and synagogue near old town square, Church of the Infant Jesus of Prague

Aug 10 – Prague Tour
• PLACES TO VISIT: Prague castle (other side of Vltava river), Jewish quarters

Schengen Visa: Granted

We finally got our Schengen Visa today. I applied last July 6 with Howell. The process was fairly easy. We just called their call center to schedule for an appointment. We called Friday and we got a schedule the Monday after. But it is kind of weird since we were give separate appointment schedule even though we will be traveling together. I got a bit worried since I got the first schedule and this means I would have to explain to the visa officer the purpose of our trip. Whereas if Howell goes first, the visa officer will at least be aware that my husband is going on training and I will just join him for this trip.

We went to their office for our scheduled interview and after just a few minutes, Howell’s number was called. His interview was just fast as he just handed the officer all his official papers about his training. I was already waiting for my number to be called after Howell’s interview but three applicants were already called and my number hasn’t been called yet. So Howell asked the officer who interviewed him and the officer said that I should have joined hubby when his number was called. So I just went to Window 1 and just submitted all my documents also. I have submitted the following:

1. My flight Itinerary.
2. Bank Certificates
3. Leave form signed by my employer (and this is really listed in their requirements).
4. Employment Certificate. I specifically requested my employer to provide me with an employment certificate stating my tenure, my salary, the purpose why I am requesting for the certification (which is to apply for a Schengen Visa), and that I am on paid vacation leave from Aug 6 – 26. My officemate gave me this tip to prove that my employer is aware of my travel plans and that I will be paid on the days that I am away.
5. Travel Insurance. This is also one of the requirements. Good thing I searched for cheap insurance for our car a few weeks ago so I already have a contact on where to get our travel insurance.

The lead time for the processing of the visa is 14 days. Howell called the German Embassy yesterday to ask them if our passport is already ready for pick up and we are lucky that our passport can be released today. So I went to their office today to pick it up as I really can’t wait for another day to know my fate. LOL.

And so I was really happy since hubby and I were granted a Schengen Visa. So this is it….I am really going with hubby. I still feel kind of sad because we will be leaving Bela but I am a bit excited now. First time to see Europe, my dream travel destination, and I can’t believe that in just a few days I will finally be able to fulfill my dream.

Multitasking

It is my midterm week. It is good that we were given a week to do it but you know how busy I am. I have case studies and tutor marked assignments that I have to submit for my other two subjects too so I just started with my midterm paper last Wednesday. I initially planned to start on it last Monday but I was too tired and so even after drinking one cup of strong coffee, I still manage to doze off to sleep.

So last night I was multitasking – trying to juggle with a lot of tasks like checking for available flights for our trip this August, then reading reviews for the hotels that I want to book, then I tried to check also my favorite online shopping sites as I learned from my shopping guru Peachy that they are on sale, then I have to do research work too for my paper. So you can just imagine how many windows I have opened.

If only my laptop can speak, it might have shouted right at me and demand to increase its computer memory. But since it can’t do that, it just started to act up and it was so slow when I was in the middle of doing something.

This is just my first semester in school so my laptop should expect more torture from the way I work. LOL.

One more day...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I was doing some research about Europe and I read somewhere that if we want to explore Europe on our own and we will not be joining any group tours (which they say is really expensive), then I should dedicate a lot of my time for research. And they are really correct since I learned that planning for a Euro tour would be a big challenge.

My friends lend me their travel book and they shared with me sites where I can get valuable information about Europe but gosh, I was overwhelmed with a lot of information. I actually don’t know where to start and what to prioritize. Like in Paris, I saw a list of the museums that we can visit there and there are a lot.

So you know what I did, I just asked my friends to give me a list of the places that they have visited when they were in Europe and that is where I based our itinerary. And if we still have time, then maybe that is when we can explore other places that I did not list in our itinerary. Each city also has a tourist office where we can get travel information so my friends suggested that it should be our first stop once we arrive in a particular city.

One more day and I will know my fate if I will go with Howell or not….

Affordable but Fashionable

I am so proud of my cousin who is now in High School this school year. He received a scholarship from one of the prestigious state university here and I know how happy and proud his parents are. I know this is his dream too and I am sure he is enjoying every bit of his time in high school.

But since school require him to do a lot of readings and there are times that he need to stay up late to finish all his homework, his doctor now require him to wear prescription glasses after his eye checkup last weekend. But High Five to Zenni Optical, since getting new eyeglasses for my cousin will not cost a leg and an arm since Zenni Optical offers a lot of $ 8 Rx eyeglasses.


I saw Zenni Optical on TV!!! that is why I checked out their site and I was impressed at how affordable but fashionable and durable their collection is so I am sure we will be able to find a nice new pair of eyeglasses for my cousin from Zenni Optical.

Fact of Life

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I received a call from one of my closest friends today. She and her husband has been our source of inspiration and they have been giving us guidance so we can become a good parent for Bela.

We used to talk regularly. I will visit her in their house at least every week and if I can’t make it, she will give me a call in my office just to catch up with each other’s lives. But I have been busy lately that is why it has been months since we last visited them. And I find it weird too because she hasn’t given me a call for months also. It was only today that I found out that they have been through a lot during the past months. Her husband has to go through series of check ups and laboratory exams as they are suspecting that he may have cancer. Her husband went through several work ups and they have to wait for weeks for the results and this has kept them sleepless for days. She told me that what made it worst was they have two kids and the thought of leaving your kids when you are not prepared made it even harder to bear.

I feel sorry for my friends because I was not at her side during those times but thank God because the results are negative and her husband is doing well. They are really thankful because once again, they proved that God is good.

Cancer is really something that I am scared of because our family has a history of cancer. That is why my husband and I have been thinking of getting life insurance quotes online from Wholesale Ins. After hearing my friends story, it made me feel scared too, not for myself, but for Bela whom our future we should take care of. As a parent, we really want to make sure that no matter what happens to us, we should make sure that Bela will still have a better future. This post may sound morbid but I guess this is the fact of life…

4 more hotels Booked

I spent the whole day Saturday reading reviews for our hotel accommodations and chatting with my officemate who just came back from Europe to discuss our itinerary. So I was able to book our hotel accommodations for Prague, Vienna, Venice, Rome and Paris. I haven’t booked our accommodations for Frankfurt (for our last day before going back to Manila) since I have to ask Howell to select the best (and cheapest) hotel that is close to the airport.

I am quite happy with my hotel choices. The hotel that I booked for Prague was recommended by my officemate. She said that the hotel is clean, the rooms are big, the CR is clean (with a big bathtub that made her feel like a princess), and the rooms have a magnificent view of the Prague castle and is near the city center. I just booked a pension for Vienna since the hotels there are so expensive but judging from the reviews that I read from Trip Advisor, it still sounds ok (basic but the rooms and CR is clean) even though it is just a pension. The hotel that I booked for Venice is just near the Grand Canal which is what I really prefer since we will be arriving there at 11 PM so I want to make sure that our hotel is just near the bus and train station. For Rome, I already booked a Bed & Breakfast accommodation (the hotels here are so expensive also) which is perfect since it is just a bus ride from the airport. But I am still looking at another hotel which is more expensive by Euro 45 but it is near the major attractions (they say walking distance) like the Colosseum, Imperial Forum, Nero's Golden House, Navona's Square, Spanish Steps, Trevi'Fountain, Pantheon, "Teatro di Marcello", "Bocca della Verità", Campitol Hill. For Paris, I was also able to find a cheap hotel within the 1st district which is just walking distance from The Louvre, Notre Dame, etc.

Of course, I made sure that I don’t have to pay for any cancellation fee if ever I need to cancel but I am really praying that I will be given a visa. I am still in suspense and is waiting for the results either on July 17 and 20.

Paris Hotel: Booked

Friday, July 10, 2009

I already booked our hotel in Paris. Although I am still not that happy with the hotel since I read some bad reviews about the hotel, but the location is perfect since it is very near Notre Dame, the Louvre and there is a metro close to the hotel. There is only 1 room left and since I can still cancel the reservations at least 2 days before our scheduled arrival for free, I booked it and I will just check later if I will find better options.

My friends are all excited for my trip especially since they have been to Europe also just recently so they have been emailing me for suggestions on places to go and sights to visit. They even suggested that I should go shopping for my wardrobe. LOL. As if I will still have a time. I haven’t even booked for our hotel in Prague, Austria, Venice and Rome plus our flight reservations and bus rides. But I have done my research already for the best fat burner so at least I still have less than a month to be in good shape for this trip. LOL.

I still don’t want to be that all excited since I still feel sad (and guilty) since we will be leaving Bela and I still don’t have my visa. LOL. Hopefully I will get my passport (with a visa) on July 17.

Europe IT

If I will be granted a visa (and I am really hoping to get one), this will be our itinerary (it took me days to plan for this itinerary).

* Hubby will be leaving on August 1 to attend his training scheduled for August 3-7. I will follow him and I will be leaving on August 5 and will arrive in Frankfurt on August 6. We have a day to spend in Frankfurt so we are still thinking if we will have a day tour in Berlin or just explore Frankfurt.
* August 8 at 10:45, we will be taking Eurolines (overnight coach) that will take us to Prague. I can’t find a cheap flight or train ride from Frankfurt to Prague so a coach bus will be our best choice. Plus we will be able to save for one night hotel accommodation.
* We will arrive in Prague 6:00 AM of August 9 and we will stay in Prague until August 10. My colleague who have been to Prague says that is picturesque and is perfect for picture. (This reminds me I have to take the best diet pills so I will look good in pictures. LOL)
* Then we will leave Prague via Eurolines again to move to Vienna and we will stay in Vienna until August 13.
* Aug 14 we will be taking Eurolines again at 2:20 PM going to Venice. We will stay in Venice until August 16.
* August 17, we will fly via Ryan Air to Rome and we will stay in Rome until August 19. We plan to join the Papal Audience every Wednesday but I checked the website and they don’t accept requests for ticketing for August. We have to check the Vatican website a day before the Papal Audience to check if we will be able to get tickets.
* On August 20, we will fly via Ryan Air again to go to Paris. We will stay in Paris for 4 days and we plan to go to Versailles (outside Paris) which is highly recommended by my friends.
* On August 24, we will take the DB Bahn train to go back to Frankfurt and we will stay there for the night to catch our flight back to Manila on August 25.
* August 26, we will be in Manila and I am sure by this time I am already missing my daughter terribly so we might go straight to her school to fetch her from the airport.

Planning for a Euro Tour?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What I learned while I was planning for our Euro Trip:

1. Planning for a Euro tour can be a real challenge. Like I was trying to book for our bus ride from Venice to Vienna, but the site is only available in Italian. I tried clicking the English version but it doesn’t seem to work so I have to change my itinerary just because of this problem.
2. There are a lot of budget airlines in Europe like Ryan Air, Easy Jet Vuelling. Imagine for jus P900, you can go via plane from Frankfurt to Berlin.
3. There are a lot of hostels in Europe but they charge per person per night and when I compared, I was able to find budget hotels at the same price but have a private bathroom rather than shared bathroom that most hostels have.
4. I am now familiar with Europe’s geography.
5. I will be able to save a lot if I plan my own itinerary rather than join tour groups but then I am already spending hours and hours in research just to plan for our IT.
6. I learned to appreciate Guests Reviews. Every time I search for a hotel for a particularly city, I will be totally lost as hotel booking sites can give me hundreds of options for hotel accommodation. But with the help of Guests reviews, I was able to easily narrow down our options.

My Decision

Most of my MBAP friends have been a witness to my drama episode a few weeks ago. You see I am really torn since Europe is really my dream travel destination and to be able to fulfill that dream with hubby’s airfare and hotel for free is really a big savings. But then this is the first time that I will be leaving Bela especially it will be for 20 days. I am sure I will go gaga while I am away because I know I won’t stop thinking about her.

So I have been asking for my friends’ opinions and hubby’s opinion too and this is what they have to say:

1. My friends say that I should go. If I won’t do it now, then when will I get a chance to do it again? If I am having a hard time leaving Bela, then what more if I have two or three kids that I have to leave behind. And will we still be able to afford it if we have two or three kids to feed?
2. Hubby said that even if we will be leaving Bela behind, she is still in good hands since we will be leaving her with my parents.
3. Also, Bela will be really busy as she now goes to school and she also have extra curricular activities every Saturday.
4. If ever we tag Bela along for this trip, she might not be able to stand the long (and inconvenient) travel since we will be moving from one country to the next. And there is really nothing much that she can see in Europe (except for Paris Disneyland) that she will be able to appreciate at her age.

So the verdict, I will be joining Howell for this trip seeing that this is a good opportunity and I really don’t know when will we be able to have this kind of opportunity again. This will be a perfect time to spend some quality time with hubby also which I know we haven’t done in a long time. And this will be our second honeymoon too since we are already planning for baby number 2. LOL.

August is summer in Europe. I checked in Google and temperature can be from 23 – 33 degrees Celsius so it is really hot. I already added skin care products to my list of things to bring just to be sure that I won’t get sun burn.

I am still waiting for the release of my passport. I will pick it up from the German Embassy on July 17 or 20 and it is only then that I will now if I can go or not with Howell but I am really praying that they will grant me a visa.

Do you think I should still go?

If ever I will be joining Howell for his trip, it means that I will out of Manila for almost the whole August. It made me panic for a bit as I know I have a lot of things that I need to finish.

Like:

1. I started calling Jollibee branches for Bela’s 4th birthday party. I am still not sure though if we will have a party for her because I still have to talk to my manager about the budget. LOL. But I panic since the date that I want for Bela’s party is already booked at Jollibee Blue Wave. So this means I have to make reservations before we leave if ever we plan to have a party for Bela’s 4th birthday if I want to be sure that I will be able to hold Bela's party at Jollibee Blue Wave (I like this branch because their function room can accomodate up to 200 guests).
2. I know that Bela will be having a Halloween program at school but I have no details yet (as it is still early). Since I will be back last week of August, I am wondering if that is enough time if I want to order a custom made costume for Bela from Prim for her Halloween costume at school. I am thinking what she will be this time – will she be an equestrian and I will make her wear equestrian apparel? I also like Sophia’s Bumble Bee costume (also made by Prim) and Sam’s Lady Bug costume.
3. I have a lot of papers that is due on the dates that we are away so it means we have to do it in advance if I will be going with Howell to submit it before the deadline. Otherwise, I have to bring all my reading materials and do the paper works while we are on vacation which I think is something that will really ruin our trip.

Oh well, I am still waiting for my visa so I am still not sure if I will be going or not. So I promised myself that instead of stressing about it, I will just make a decision once I have the results of my visa application.

Bringing scratch & sniff stickers to your graduation party

1. Do you tend to have a guilty conscious? Yes, most of the time.
2. Do you still have your wisdom teeth? It is gone (maybe that is why I no longer have wisdom. LOL).

3. Peanut Butter - creamy or crunchy? Creamy

4. Get up off your butt. Take 5 steps. Which leg did you start out on? Right.

5. What color is your favorite kitchen utensil? Purple is my favorite color and though I don’t really work that much in the kitchen, I would still say purple/

6. Did you watch the Michael Jackson memorial/funeral? Not ye but my husband downloaded it already and I can watch it on my Ipod.

7. Do you know anyone who graduated from high school this year?
Were you invited to their graduation party? Did you go? Nobody I know.

8. White with black stripes or black with white stripes? White with black stripes – I like white as the base.

9. If we were to call your 6th grade teacher, what would they say about you? I think they will be proud of what I have become.

10. Can you draw a perfect circle? Nah…

11. What was your favorite scratch & sniff sticker scent? I can’t remember.

12. What does your sibling do for a living? He is a businessman and my other sibling is still in college.

13. How many light switches and electrical outlets are in the room that you are in right now? 2 light switches and about 8 electrical outlets

14. Do you know sign language? Just the alphabets.

15. Do you step on cracks in the sidewalk? No

16. And the sheets on your bed look like....? Blue and white circles

17. What is something that everyone else has, but you don't? I can’t think of any right now

Fishing Trip

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If you are a fan of fishing, check out the washington fishing guides posted over the net. It will say, together with reviews among oregon fishing guides, that the MegaBites Guide Service is the best among the fishing guided trips you can avail of. According to the washington fishing guide, you must book at least two to six months in advance for you to be able to grab a spot. You can see from their site how nice their fishing boats are. They even have recliner sits that are cushioned, perfect for waiting for the big catch of the day. The famous oregon fishing guide, Pete Grace, is an excellent fishing guide and humble host when you book a trip with MegaBites Guide Service. Pete is one of the friendliest fishing guides you may ever get to meet and he is a great guy to spend the day with. He'll work hard to put you on the fish and be good company all the while.

Not a Businessman

There are really people who are good with business. Just like my brother. We started a gadget store a couple of years ago. At first my father was the one managing the shop but because business is doing well, my brother decided to give up his day job so he can concentrate on our business. Since then, he ventured with other businesses with his fiancée and it is all doing well too.

Wish I have a thing for business too but I guess me and my husband don’t have the skill to be an effective businessmen. But times are though and we both realized that we should not just rely on our day job if we want to give our daughter and our future kids a bright future.

One of the things that we are looking at are silver price as we heard that investing in precious metals like gold and silver is one of the best investments in the market. My friend who has tried this investment recommended to us Monex Deposit Company. They have the best staff that can help us get the best market value for our precious metal investments of our choice.

Both my husband and I agreed that precious metals are a good investment and we will definitely consider investing with these kinds of hard assets so we can somehow secure our family’s future.

Weekly Wrapup #31: Knowledge is Power

This was the Weekly Wrap Up Questions two weeks ago but I can’t relate to the July 4 post for this week’s weekly wrap up, so I decided to just answer this one instead. LOL.

Did you do any sort of research in the last week? (Sure, Googling counts!)

Yes. I have been doing a lot actually since I have a lot of paper works that I need to submit for school.

I have been doing some research too for our trip to Europe (that is if I decided to go. LOL).

Was it for work or play?

Both. Work (Boo-hoo) because I need to do some additional reading so I can finish my post for our discussion board and for my numerous tutor mark assignments. Play because I have been researching about hotels and means of transportation in Europe.

Learn anything you’d care to share?

That there are a lot of budget airlines within Europe. Imagine for just P900, I can fly from Frankfurt to Berlin and spend a day tour there. I discovered also that planning for a Euro tour is very challenging.

Do you have a hunger for knowledge or are you more passive?

I think I’m more passive.

Do you like the learning (aka school?)

I am currently enrolled in a Masteral program at UP’s Open University but looks like I am regretting my decision since I can’t remember when was the last time I was swamped with work from school. It is tiring!!

Something to Remember Manila

Preparations are already starting for the send off party that we will be throwing for our big boss. I can’t believe that it has been three years already. I remember, last Christmas, we really put a lot of time to prepare for our Christmas party since it is the last Christmas party that we will celebrate with our boss. We really planned it so well that we even have Christmas party invitations that we got from Holiday-invitations.com that we send out to all MCS staff.

All of us were excited to receive our holiday party invitations as we are all excited for this party. We were even divided into four groups and we performed a song and dance number since we are having an Embassy Idol thing and we have the big bosses impersonating as Randy, Paula and Simon (of the American Idol) as our judges.

Christmas in the Philippines is something that they will never forget and I am sure our boss will miss receiving holiday invitations as they leave Manila. They always tell us how much they love Manila and how much they will miss us and Manila. And so for our gift, we will compile all the Christmas Holiday Party Invitations that we had every year for all our Christmas parties and we will give it as part of the scrapbook that we are preparing for them. I am sure the scrapbook that we are preparing will be a good keepsake memory so Manila will never leave their heart and their mind.

Best Option

I have been really busy lately. That is because hubby and I just started our first semester for our masters degree.

Both of us took masters degree before but because we got busy with a lot of things (work, family, and business), we were already pass our residency period and sadly we were not able to finish our masters degree.

That is why when we discovered Capella University, we did not think twice and we enrolled in their online university degree program right away. Since they are a fully online university, this means that we can study at our own pace even while we are at home. And they have a good reputation as an online university, so we are confident that we are in good hands.

So even if we have a lot of obligations at work and at home, this will be our best option so we will finally be able to finish our masters degree. Wish us luck!

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit Blogitive.com.

Manic Monday # 175



Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at: surfing the net and blogging. LOL. (I think I won’t last a day without logging in to my blogger account and I am almost online 24x7).

Name two things you consider yourself to be bad at: staying calm in the middle of a very stressful situation and making decisions. (I always have to ask somebody’s advice like my mom or my husband before I make any decisions, be it minor or major decisions in my life).

Name one thing not many people know about you: that I am totally addicted to Farm Town. LOL. I just discovered this game a few weeks ago and I am really hooked. I will even log in to my FB account first to check my harvest than do my assignments in my masters.

On Constant Move

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We will be having a send off party for one of our colleagues tomorrow. He has been here in Manila for three years now and I didn’t realize that the three years just pass by like that. Before I knew it, he is already sending out moving cards to his friends as he will now leave Manila and will move on to his next posting. July is the month where staffs rotate so I am sure we will be receiving more move announcements from our colleagues.

I am not sure if I will be able to live a life like that. Imagine, I have to adjust to the culture and the people every time I move. And I know it may take years before I can fully adjust to my new environment and when I am fully adjusted then it is the time again to send announcements moving as it is time to move again to a new country.

That is why Announcements Moving Cards are so important to them as this is the only way that they can update their friends and relatives of their new contact details after they move. But at least they easily order these cards from Express-invitations.com.

Oh well, life will always have a trade off. At least they will get to travel and explore different cultures as they move from one country to the next….

Almost Finish

I haven’t talked to my future sister in law in the past few weeks but I think they are almost finished booking all the major suppliers for their wedding next year. We went to Tagaytay recently to check out their venue so we can help them decide if they will need the service of an event stylist or not.

I guess all that is left for them to book are the minor details for the wedding like their string quartet and florist. And my future sister-in-law is also asking for my help in looking for bridesmaid gifts.

Of course the easy answer to that is to visit the site of The Knot. This site has been my companion when I was still planning for my own wedding and I discovered a lot of great ideas from their site specially their personalized gift items.

I am sure my future sister-in-law will be able to find something from the Knot for her bridesmaid gifts.

My new addiction

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I have been very busy lately because of school and work and I really need a diversion to keep me sane. Aside from the games that I have on my Iphone, this is one of my latest addictions:


I just finished harvesting my potato field and my corn field and tomorrow I think I am ready to harvest my rice field. Yup, I enjoyed the life of being a farmer now. LOL. And I love it every time I sold all my goods in the market place.

I created a facebook account months ago but it is only last week when I started to get really addicted with it. My cousin invited me to join her in Farm Town and since she was at our house last weekend, she gave me crash course on how to play the game and since then I got really hooked.

I am now classified as Level 6: Adept and my ultimate dream is to be able to buy a small house that I can put up in my lot. But I don’t think I will be able to do that real soon as the small house cost 70,000 coins which means I need to do a lot more plowing, planting and harvesting so I have to go now as I have to tend to my farm so I can buy my dream house in Farm Town.

They Moved

And so I got a moving announcement card from my friend in Boracay in my mail today similar to this one:
I did not even know that moving cards exists until I received one today. Good thing I received my friend’s mail as I am planning to send my birthday gift for her today via courier. If not for this card, I would have sent the package to her old address and I would just receive the package back because it has a wrong address.

That is the reason why my friend took the effort of sending this announcements moving card to all his friends and relatives to keep them updated of their latest address. Since her husband moves from one city or country to the next because of his job, they have to constantly update their friends of their new address. Good thing she found an online site where she can order Announcements Moving Cards so she doesn’t have to worry in producing the cards every time they move and all that is left for her to do is mail the cards to all their friends and relatives.

Birthday Gift

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My cousin will be celebrating his birthday this July. We know that he loves to read books and he would really enjoy it if he will receive another set of books but we feel that we should give him something different than what we usually give him.

I know he is into karate and airsoft too and so we thought of giving him a new aeg airsoft rifle. He told me that he wanted to buy a new rifle but his savings is still not enough to afford a new rifle. So I have talked to my other cousins and I showed them the site where I saw really affordable airsoft rifle and they even ship it on the same day via FedEx.

I checked the site and I found different types of rifles so I just have to show it to hubby (who knows a lot about paintball and airsoft) so he can help us decide which he think is the best airsoft rifle for my cousin. I am sure he will be really thrilled when he opens our gift.

Weekend Snapshot # 38 - Triple Treat




Last June 20, our whole family went to Tagaytay for three reasons:

1. My brother’s birthday treat to us
2. Father’s Day Celebration
3. Ocular inspection for the wedding reception venue of my brother

We left Manila around 10 AM and we had some minor boo-boo on our way there but we reached Leslies around 1 PM just in time for late lunch. My brother ordered a lot of sumptuous food that we even have left over for dinner.

After lunch, we went to Sonya’s Garden which will be the reception venue for my brother’s wedding to do some ocular inspection. He wanted to show the venue to my uncle as they can’t decide if they need to hire an event stylist or not for their wedding. All of us agreed that the natural beauty of Sonya’s Garden is enough already for the perfect effect that they want for their wedding.

Of course, a trip to Tagaytay will not be complete without letting Bela go horse back riding so this is our last stop before heading back to Manila.

LES Merit Award

Every year, our company hosts the “LES Merit Awards” where they give recognition to outstanding performance of locally engage staff for the fiscal year. Any local employee can be nominated for the award and it is up to the Awards Committee to receive all nominations and evaluate who excels among all the nominees.

For this year, guess who received the top award? It is Me. LOL. Actually it is not just me but the award for this year was given to the Admin group who handled the office renovations. I was part of that group and our role was to make sure that all IT equipments and voice and data drops will be installed with minimum down time during the renovation. Remember those months when I am always working late and I am even working on weekends. Well our efforts paid off since our efforts have been recognized by our boss who nominated us for this award. (Actually the award is just an icing on the cake since all of us were already happy with the OT pay that we received. LOL.)

I really don’t have any idea that I will part of the awardees this year. If I only knew I would have brought my digital camcorders to capture the moment so I can proudly show it to Bela and Howell. I really owe it to them because they have been very understanding and I never heard my husband complain even one single bit if I have to spend some time away from them to work and for those late nights that hubby has to wait for me while I work overtime since he doesn’t want me to go home alone specially that it is late already.

To the ADMIN gang (Peewee, Brian, Karlo, Melanie, Marlon, and Michelle) congrats to all of us. And of course the cash prize that we will be receiving will be allotted for one of our Friday lunch. (I bet it will be a grand celebration).