Wednesday, December 10, 2008

That time again

It's that time of the year again when we are hopeful and have faith in ourselves that next year will be better. Better for us, in terms of our lifestyle, our habits, our career, our love life, our family life, personal life, etc.

It's the season of hope, and I am thankful for it. That each year, we have to chance to feel that it is never too late to give it another go. In whatever that is that needs improvement. Really, don't you just love Christmas and all the mixed feelings it can bring?

Well, for me particularly, I am happy about all that and more, so many blessings 2008 has brought. But then again, I am just wishing I was in Manila especially during this festive season.

Oh well I can only hope, that next year I am home to celebrate. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


As much as I love lists. I love countdowns. For this means that one is looking forward to something. Something big, Something small; it doesn't matter. The best countdowns for me at the moment are:

Counting down to..

Hubby coming home!
Planning a baby!
Planning our second wedding!
Planning to come home to Manila!
Planning a long holiday!

Okay, I shouldn't get too excited. But I suppose that's the whole point of countdowns. To get excited!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Something about Jazz

For the longest time, I have been fascinated with Jazz Music. The earliest memory of me appreciating this type of music was probably when I was around about 10 years old. It was the summer of '88 and I was studying Ballet at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines, along Roxas Boulevard. For our Ballet recital's general dress rehearsal, everyone was inside the auditorium waiting for our turn to perform. One of the performances by the older dancers, had a very jazzy music to it. I don't recall how it went, but I remember the music. Since then I just learnt to appreciate it.

While studying at a University in Ortigas, there was this coffee shop that played Jazzy Blues music inside the store/cafe. I loved loved visiting that nook. Reading my case studies and class books inside this coffee shop gave me a sense of calm. I could hear the notes just glide on. As if the entire song is played in a suave, smooth breath.

Today I did a bit of Christmas decor shopping on my lunch break. I chanced upon this Jazzy Christmas CD (which I am listening to right now!). It's not a CD screaming a popular artist's name in the cover. Just plain, sweet Jazzy Christmas music. Traditional songs such as Deck the Halls, First Noel, O Holy Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, I love it! I love it! And so I remember my long love affair with this type of music. Especially at Christmas. Sweet :)

I've always imagined playing smooth Jazz in a dimly lit pad/apartment on a cool spring night, snuggling in bed with my man, and just sharing a good conversation topped with a bottle of bubbly or red wine. Perfect!! Oh romantic me. Haha!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas Wish

I know the past years I may have wanted some material thing/presents for Christmas.

This time I just want honest to goodness Peace. Within me, my immediate family, my circle of families, and the rest of the earth :)

If only we could all wish hard enough for the last one, maybe it will come true.

I may still probably want a vacation, but I would definitely skip that just to have my first Christmas wish.

Countdown to less than a month to go before Christmas. Before we get all too busy with the festive season of eating, drinking, shopping and merrymaking, let's take time to reflect on the true meaning of gift giving and the real reason for the this holiday's celebration.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chasing a Dream

How often do we run after a dream? Should we go after each and every one, or choose the ones that really matter?

We can only do so much, and so it can be very draining if we did push too hard sometimes. Wouldn't it be nice if we knew how we are meant to live our life in such a way that will lead us to a happy balanced lifestyle.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

10 Random Things List

Sometimes don't we all just want to be random..? A bit of information here and there, which are seemingly useless and nonsense. Here's mine for today:

- I am getting melancholic now for some reason.

- I am wanting to just take a long break from work.

- I am wishing time stood still, for a while.

- I am craving siopao asado.

- I just remembered Iceberg's Ice Creamery in Greenhills. Memories.

- I am having a bad tummy ache. Must've overeaten dinner.

- I am sleepy, but can't seem to sleep.

- I am wishing.

- I am thinking about the next two weeks.

- I am restless.

If only I can earn $4.7m a year!

A bit of trivia, did you know that incoming Qantas CEO Alan Joyce will be earning $4.7m a year plus plus plus incentives! He is the new head of Australia’s flag carrier, and I am sure he would be inheriting a lot of head ache caused by the current financial crisis, as well as other quality issues that plague the company. I am sure he’s got a whole bunch of big responsibilities that would have come together with that big, fat (excuse my politically incorrect term) paycheck.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just a bit of a worry

I’ve been trying to convince my boyfriend to change jobs. At the moment his job requires him to wear work boots which are a bit of a concern to me because having to wear protective gear to work means there poses some risks involved with the job or duty. His job pays him really well though, but it doesn’t mean I don’t worry every time he is at work. So much for the feeling of job security. I know I may just be over reacting about this, but I am only a girl in love. Oh how cheesy am I?!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pinoy Food

I am missing a few things, scents, texture, sounds from the Philippines. I told myself I would not not go home every year, but I would not be travelling to Manila this December..... Made me think about the family gatherings I will be missing, friends I will miss seeing, tradition that I would not be experiencing, childrens' carols I won't be hearing, Christmas midnight mass, Noche Buena, Media Noche, Christmas traffic along Edsa, etcetera.

I've decided to surrender to sulking about missing my Pinoy delicacy. Here they are in order of taste bud recollection and memory.

1. Piaya = from Bacolod. I like them heated up in the microwave for half a minute. Bit warm. And crunchy.

2. Authentic Binagoongan = from any Pinoy resto. I remember eating it at C2 in Shangri-La (not sure if that resto still is there). Best with steamed rice. Yum.

3. Quickmelt Ensaymada = from Shangri-La. I am pretty sure it is still there (?!). Love taking a bite right after heating it up for a few seconds! Droool.

4. Teriyaki Boy's Chicken Teriyaki and Nasu Abura Itame = from Megamall. Oooh I think I am soo tempted to just fly to Manila anyway. Hmm.

5. Asado Siopao and Dumpling = from Shangri-La again. I am obviously an Ortigas baby! Yum, with that brown sauce for siopao and soy/lemon for dumpling.

6. Smokey's Hotdog/Cheesedog or Jolly Hotdog = from Jollibee. I am just wanting it right now. Hotdog on a stick.

7. Burger Machine burger = from my boyfriend's neighbourhood stand. Yum.

8. Jollibee Spaghetti with extra cheese = from where else, Jollibee Megamall. I am getting so hungry.

9. Lumpia Sariwa = from Goldilocks Megamall. I remember a lot of other yum goodies from Goldilocks!

The list can go on and on. I will stop here for now, before I am so tempted to book my flight back home. :D

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Meeting people

Nowadays reality television series are everywhere, at any time of the day or night. There is one particular show which I used to watch which showed Millionaire Men seeking for a serious life partner. I am wondering how that (would) actually work. I know in life there is no set rules as to where, or how one should hook up with a potential partner. I cannot even imagine myself going on a speed date of some sort so I cannot imagine going on a date with a complete stranger. I guess it works for some people. Will it work for you?

Surfing the internet

I have come across Top Websites which lists various sites and reviews about them. Such a handy tool for anyone into surfing the internet, gathering information through this world wide web. Nowadays WebSite Reviews are great source of subjective and objective information about particular sites. I for one browse around and do my research about websites. It can be time consuming, but for an internet user like myself, it is a break from the real world!

007 Book (James Bond)

I may not be the most ardent fan of the James Bond series, but finding out that there’s a book available which lists the locations that James Bond movies were filmed at sort of caught my attention. Martijn Mulder has compiled and created On The Tracks of 007, which comes in Black and White print (cheaper) and a Full Colour print (obviously more expensive – limited edition!). 007 enthusiasts would have access to the ladies man’s hotel lists, travel film stories, hundreds of photos, background information, etc.

Surely there are ways to enjoy the film aside from watching the reel!

Did you know that there exists already a Halong Bay tour where they’ve filmed one of the 007 movies? This is in Vietnam.

I am quite excited to see the upcoming 007 movie! Daniel Craig is such a hottie! :D

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where is Sea Isle City?

Facing the Atlantic Ocean’s splendour lies a city which is part of New Jersey’s coast. Unknown to a lot of big city dwellers, Sea Isle City has got to offer one of the most relaxing weekends away. I have read that Sea Isle city has beachcombing activities and biking tours that I am sure I would love to check out if I find myself traipsing that part of the world with my boyfriend of course. A visit to the town’s historic museum is also something we might do. Where to stay should not be a problem as sea isle city rentals are plenty. City rentals sea isle has a range of luxury to budget accommodation that would appeal to different tourists: whether you and a partner seeks a nice quiet place, or a family of six that wants to be right in the middle of the happenings. Looking at possible places to dine at while visiting Sea Isle, one can choose from a variety of restaurants, lounges and bistros. Perhaps even just a quick phone call for pizza delivery for that lazy mode evening is quite appealing to me now. There are so many reasons for me to visit the United States soon. I have been getting so many invitation letters to come visit family and friends. One of my good friends would be leaving Manila this month to live in the East Coast of the US. She’s requiring me to see her if and when I go to the other side of the globe! Well, I told her we’ll have to wait and see!

Am I being cranky or does one’s patience level get shorter when they grow older?

Recently I’ve had a few run ins with a few people. I am normally one non-confrontational person as my friends could all attest to, but recently for some unknown reason I just am not putting up with things. Whether it may be some small or big issue. In a way, I am wondering, have I changed? Or, is it just the season? Or the pressure that I am in lately? That made me just not take it this time (or these times)? All these happened in about two weeks, and I have confronted about four persons each about different things.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How annoying are these calls?

How many times do we get bugged by pranksters or annoying phone calls from telemarketers of some sort? I am glad to have come across this website that lists a number of phone numbers to watch out for. I am sure I am not alone in experiencing these time wasting calls. On the average I would get one call in six to eight weeks. I know that some of my colleagues and friends get them as well about this often. It can really get to you especially when they are those ones who insist that you talk them. Once, I hung up on this man who was pestering me to unsubscribe from this cable network when I told him that we don’t even have any cable network installed at home! As if he knew better than me about what I have and have not signed up for! I just really wish they would all stop. I know for some companies they think this is an effective method, but really they are just simply a waste of our and their time.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Speaking of a gift

Okay, recently I have been obssessing on taking photos with my camera. No, I don't have new lens, or some other new thing (not counting that my boyfriend bought us matching camera necklaces/straps). Must just be the increasingly better weather. Slowly we are saying goodbye to winter, and in a week's time we would be entering Spring time! How exciting!

I have been posting my photos on my other sites, and am encouraged by the number of people commenting and viewing them. I am now thinking of coming up with gifts for Christmas and considering putting all my really nice photos (favorite ones) in a digital picture frame to give to my parents and my boyfriends' parents. His dad absolutely loves photos as much as we do, so I am sure he will like this. We may even think of giving them these ones on our wedding day as our personal souvenir to them. It is amazing whoever came up with this thing!

digital picture frame

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cuban taekwondo athlete kicks referee

Oh my goodness! When we saw this, I thought we were watching some Hollywood movie where tempers flare everywhere. This Cuban taekwondo athlete would be banned permanently in all World Taekwondo Federation competition. Angel Valodia Matos, together with his coach would be banned, that is. I've read here that all details/records of this athlete will be deleted from the Beijing Olympics! Imagine all his hard work lost because of him and his inability to cope with his temper.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Another perspective of the city I love

Last week when I was feeling a bit better, hubby bf and I went to the park and took a few photos. It was a lovely, lovely day! It's a prelude to spring, which I am so excited about! The photo's not the best one coz of the glare, against the sun. But I think it turned out better than expected.

I can't imagine how seemingly quick winter's gone by. And by next week we would be officially in Spring! Expect more photos from Spring onwards. And then, go back to hibernating again next winter!

Monday, August 18, 2008

To study or To study

I’ve never really talked about me opting to pursue distance learning courses on tourism. Initially, I wanted to be able to continue with my then work and study at the same time. I did not really get the chance to pursue that option because something else was presented to me thereafter. A friend and colleague is actually currently doing an online intensive course and she is just raving about it. She says that she still has time to do other things on the side, while pursuing her studies. It is very practical and convenient, especially since a single mother this method is very preferred by her.

There are a number of advantages in pursuing distance learning. One of the main concerns of student wannabes is the lack of time to physically go to a regular lecture. With distance learning, courses are available to everyone. Age or time constraint is not a limitation for as long as one can complete requirements of the course. It is quite a good opportunity that technology has brought forward to modern society. Interesting if I may say so. Ages ago learning outside the classroom was unthinkable!

The break of dawn

I have always wanted to wake up early every day to catch a glimpse of the new day before it gets too busy. I have tried a couple of times, but when I am in my usual daily life I can't seem to. I find that I can wake up to see sunrise when I am on holidays. I think it is because I know that it's not everyday that I will be waking to that city (wherever that is). Here is a photo taken one morning (sunrise) in Mauritius. Land of the smiling sun. (I made that up). :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Weighing Scale Options

Okay, it's not always about dieting and finding the most effective diet pills around. Sometimes the things that you weigh are unseen. This is harder as the facts are unclear. It's not in your face how much kilos one's gained, but really it's about weighing advantages and disadvantages.

Life can sometimes give us too many doors to choose from. And one door is so similar to the next one that it can get confusing and complicated. No matter how simple we try to approach decision making. They say go with your gut feel, but then one shouldn't be impulsive. Of course, it depends on how important the decision is. That's the thing. How long are you supposed to think about it before you say to yourself, time is up, I have to decide.

I guess if either decision will not paralyse you then whichever you choose can only make you a better person. Okay, okay, I should be saying this to myself.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Baby dreams

Okay, my parents have been pushing me to get married soon, as they are wanting to have grandchildren from me as soon as possible. They think I am getting too old, but really they are just itching to be grandparents wanting to spoil my babies with cute baby dresses, baby pushchairs, little toys, etc. I have told them I’m giving myself about maximum two years to prepare for a child. I also have dreams of being a mum and pushing my baby in a pram (or playing with baby in a pushchair). Really nowadays though, having a baby, in the Western world requires one parent to fully take care of the baby. There are no household helpers here, no grandparents to leave with (I am working to hopefully get my parents to live here). I know of couples who work in shifts, just so that someone will be left at home with the kids. The wife works during the day, while the husband works the graveyard shift at night. Tough times really call for these situations, and although it is not ideal, it works for some. I am hoping to be a stay at home wife and mum one of these days, after we get married. It is just going to be so much better I am hoping. Imagining that I will get to attend to things that matter, be able to put more attention to home details, etc, will hopefully be the way to go. As early as now I am doing my research about working from home. A big step it will be, but I am just praying that it would be the right decision.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rising costs

Today I am finding it difficult to put my thoughts into words, for some reason. Whatever I am thinking just does not come out in words the way I want it to. It could very well be my current state. I guess it must be because of the many things running through my mind. That can happen to one person, when thinking about cash advance payday loan for example and the current rising market prices. I think I am still a bit quite lucky though, as I’ve spoken to a friend in Manila, and she’s mentioned about the rising prices of general commodities back home, such as oil, rice and other things. Everything is just getting to be too expensive. Expensive enough that even high income earners are feeling this big slump in the economy. It is a worldwide thing, but it is even more of a concern for the less fortunate from third world countries. Times are getting to be really hard. It is hitting even the first world countries, and careful measures about planning, forecasting, and the like should be thoroughly studied. This is what globalization means, that whatever is happening to the other side of the world, one is rest assured that the other side feels the effects as well (good or bad)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Conquer the fear of flying

Today I read about this course to overcome fear of flying. Imagine they say that about 1 in 4 persons are afraid of flying. My boyfriend had this as well, so I immediately told him about this course. He's not as scared of flying anymore though. I told him that the more you fly the less scared one gets.

I guess in a way taking courses from experts can make one more excited about flying, and make flying a comfortable experience. I know a lot out there love going to new places. But, sometimes the actual travel method can be a bit too much. Imagine 15 hours straight flight. It can wear out one's body, it can drain the mind. Having a positive outlook to flying can help alleviate all these travel-related stress. (I guess flying business or first class would help as well!).

Knowing the ins and outs of the aviation industry could possibly help. Sometimes it's all in the mind. And, that is a pretty big thing to conquer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Questions and Wants

There are a few things that’s been running in my mind the past few days. A lot of it involves money, my time, and my future. In a world where everything seems so uncertain, I am trying to juggle my priorities in order to achieve a balance of life. So many questions asked and there’s just not enough time to think about all of them, or come up with an answer: should I just go and do part time work so I can focus on my research about travel agency business? When my boyfriend and I get married, will it work if we have separate savings accounts or a joint account? Should I go to Manila and spend one or two months on a business and leisure trip? Or, should I just not go? Should I go on my solo trip?

I guess I am just feeling that life at the moment is going too fast. So fast that I just want time to breathe, and enjoy the moment. After all, I am not getting any younger. I would like to be able to do things that I want to do, such as jogging in the morning at the park, study my finances, come up with a weekly healthy food plan, go to the parlor and spa to do my hair and have a massage, hear mass every day if I can, etc. There are just too many activities that I would love to do. But I can’t or I won’t. One day, I hope I get around doing all these and more.

The Rocks Market Rocks

Every saturdays and sundays, the Rocks comes alive from 10AM to 5PM, with all sorts of people buying and selling things, trinkets, souvenirs, and a lot of other things. There are homewares, art, indigenous crafts, food items, and some other novelty items. Whether they are useful, interesting or just pretty to look at is left to one's opinion. Here are a few things that I snapped at while visiting The Rocks Market. Be sure to visit the stalls should you find you find yourself strolling in Sydney.

The Rocks Market is located at the old part of the city of Sydney, a few steps from the water's edge by the famous icons : the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. There are Irish pubs, Aussie pubs, nice restaurants along the street markets should you need a mug of beer or a pack or yummy ribs. (If you can, visit the Pancakes on the Rocks!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wanting to spend time with family

Okay, everyone is getting older. I spoke with my parents last week and told them that I was wanting to spend more time with them. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on too many family gatherings and celebrations by being too far away. I went on and telling dad that it was not really very enriching personally, if I don’t consider traveling to Manila every so often just to spend time with them. I told him it would have been good if one of my siblings decided to live here as well. Dad said him and mom were both willing, in case I get to work on and process their resident visas. I asked him how mom was doing, and whether my other siblings were doing anything to provide her with Menopause Symptom Relief, you know at their age this is a big thing. Dad said mom was coping pretty well. That’s a relief to hear. Although he said that every so often mom gets hot flashes and gets really moody as well. Aside from that though everything is normal. I wonder if when my time comes I would feel the same discomfort? I hope not. Oh well, time will tell. Meanwhile, I am still a bit homesick.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

For the love of Tomatoes

Okay, I love tomatoes. As you may have read my previous post on my cooking delight.

A long time ago, when I was in college I watched a travel show which featured the Spanish event: La Tomatina! The festival is celebrated on the last wednesday of August, in the town of Bunol, in Valencia, Spain. There are numerous festivities which lead to this final celebration of tomatoes, such as : food stalls, street parties, parades, dancing, fireworks, etc.

It is quite a costly celebration, that their city council spends up to about USD15000. However, attracting up to 40,000 tourists and visitors who travel 38 kms from the city of Valencia, this Tomatina festival offers so much more that it has been ongoing since the year 1945. Quite a while now! When I saw this festival on television I thought to myself I should try this and experience this in my lifetime. Well, I guess not this year, sadly.

The celebration begins mid morning, when the lucky person has reached for the ham at the top of the greased pole. Water cannons are fired up onto the street filled with people (dressed in hopefully not white tees), who armed with their eye goggles and gloves. Although tomatoes are squished before being thrown, it is always best to keep safe and cautious of the chaotic-tomato filled hour. The Tomatina ends in about an hour, with the water cannon firing away signalling the end. Time for clean up, and the people head towards the Bunol river to rinse, while the local council clean the streets. Another end to a good time, until next year again when the city comes alive with tomatoes in the air. They say it takes experiencing it to appreciate the event. Otherwise, one just feels tomato rotten about the wasted fruit.

I've gathered a few trivia on tomatoes:
  • Botanically, Tomatoes are fruits
  • The tomato seeds are source of vitamin C
  • A tomato plant can produce up to 15 tomatoes in a season
  • French people refer to tomatoes as the "apple of love", while the Germans refer to it as the "apple of paradise"
  • There are more than 4000 varieties of tomato, ranging in size, shape and colour

My Mauritian Creole Chicken

I dont think I've posted this one here! But I've been meaning to!

A few weeks ago I was craving this Mauritian Creole Chicken that I was served during my trip to Mauritius. I was not sure how they make it (like really make it), but I was able to satisfy my craving using my OWN tastebud's version. It turned out pretty well. To think I am not usually good with cooking up something out of nothing. My boyfriend loved it as well! :) Yipee! Here is a quick roundup of what I did:

Stuff needed:
Oil, (sliced), onions, sugar, chicken breast fillet, roast chicken spices, (diced) tomatoes, pepper, and any other spice that suits ones taste.

The process:
Heat oil in a pan, caramelise onion by adding bit of sugar. Fry until golden brownish. Set aside or just keep them on the sides of the pan. Add the chicken, fry until golden. Sprinkle the spices onto the chicken (both sides). Add tomatoes just enough to create texture, but not overpowering the chicken. Mix together until tomato juice gets onto the chicken bits.

Voila! Serve while hot, together with rice.
I did not take a photo of my ensemble, but it should look something like this:

Diet and the struggle to live healthy

I am constantly on a diet, just like the rest of the female species of this world. I suppose it’s the way that society is portrayed in the movies, in magazines, on television, etc. They say that there are changes happening and that the media now shows a lot more healthy women out there. I suppose in a way that’s true. We are not all born to have size 24 waistlines, and really sometimes our body frames are not built for this. I have never been really obese or anything close to that, but I was never really skinny ever as well. I am in between, and I try to keep it that way. Age is not really cooperating though, and my boyfriend just keeps reminding me that no amount of unhealthy diet can change that, and that exercise is the real solution.

Having said those, I know a few people who resort to taking diet pills. My sisters even have tried them. I have not. It is a preference I guess, and whether one believes that these pills work is another thing. The real deal then really is to strive to live a healthy lifestyle. There are moments that we just need to indulge in happy food, but there should be more times that we should watch what we eat. Body shape is just that exact words body and shape, but healthiness is not measured by one’s dress size.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A hole in the plane

Have you heard about Qantas' emergency landing today, in Manila? It's one of the scariest experience that one could experience flying on a 'holed' aircraft.

The flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne, heard a big bang midway after taking off from Hong Kong, and have experienced decompression in the cabin. Apparently the reason for this was the hole in the aircraft, exposing a bit of the baggage, with a gush of air entering the cabin. The aircraft plunged about 20,000 metres after the said bang. The cabin crew were able to control the situation and it was reported that every passenger remained calm. Based on interviews of passengers, one mentioned that she did not feel that the crew were not in control, and so this obviously helped people to remain calm and not panic. Although the situation posed a bit of concern, as it could have potentially knocked unconscious the passengers onboard. Luckily, none of the passengers or crew were injured and the plane was able to urgently and safely land into Manila International airport.

Qantas is still undergoing investigations regarding this incident. One can read more about this here.

Techie Momma?

Isn’t it great that there is a bingo targeted at lady audience? 888ladies bingo offers different promotions throughout, particularly catering to the women out there, or maybe just the women at heart? They’ve given free passes to horse racing events, premier tickets to movies, and there are more available when one plays this online game.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Famous twins (or half of)

When I was younger I always wanted to have a twin sister. I guess it’s the influence of having read too much Sweet Valley Twins/High (I grew up with Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield). It’s quite interesting to note the twin (or half of twin) celebrities out there. Among them are:

Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
Alanis Morissette (has an older twin brother, Wade – older by about 12 minutes)
Aaron Carter (has an older twin sister, Angel Charissma – older by about 2 minutes)
Jeremy London and Jason London
Joel Madden and Benji Madden
Scarlett Johansson (has a twin brother, Hunter)
Vin Diesel (has a twin brother, Paul)
Joseph Fiennes (has a twin brother, Jacob)
Ashton Kutcher (has an older twin brother, Michael)
Isabella Rossellini (has a twin sister, Ingrid)
Kiefer Sutherland (has a twin sister, Rachel)
Gisele Bundchen (has a younger twin sister, Patricia – younger by about 5 minutes)
Linda Hamilton and Leslie Hamilton
Jessica Origliasso and Lisa Origliasso (The Veronicas)
Kofi Annan (has a twin sister, Efua)
Brittany Daniel and Cynthia Daniel (Sweet Valley Twins!)
Giovanni Ribisi (has a twin sister, Marissa)
Parker Posey (has a twin brother, Christopher)

Earning points

There are different mediums to booking a holiday. Nowadays it is quite usual for people to be into earning points to claim a holiday, whether it was a full package or just bits of the holiday. Buena_viva is a vacation international points club based in Exeter, England that offers this type of service. Buena-viva offers a number of resorts available to be booked, if one had enough points. I had a look at their rewards points system and this is quite achievable in a short period.

I for one, have always been a fan of rewards programs, whether it was with an airline, or a hotel. I make sure that each time I book with these preferred suppliers I get my points. I suppose being in the travel industry can do this. I appreciate the way the programmes are run. In a way it can speak about loyalty to a brand, among other things. Having moved to Sydney, I’ve increased my rewards program membership. I am now also a member of supermarket chains’ membership program. I try to keep my memberships in a controllable number so I can earn points quickly. So far so good. I have earned a few nights hotel accommodation which I am looking at using soon!

41st Sydney International Boat Show

From 31 July to 05 August, 2008 Sydney will be alive and filled with boat enthusiasts, boat lovers, boat collectors, and the like. I may very well be part of it again. Maybe I just like the crowd and the whole exciting festive ambiance. Or, I just enjoy seeing the Marina filled with different boat sizes, shapes,etc!

The Sydney International Boat Show is held annually at Darling Harbour's Cockle Bay Marina. Tickets sell from AUD 10 per child and AUD 18 per adult. Package rates are available for families or groups. It runs from 10 AM to about 6 PM at the Marina, and a bit longer til 8 PM at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Last year there were really nice boats docked. I am sure this year would be as fun to see! Well, another excuse to take my camera with me and take a few snaps.

Minding my (own) business

It’s been a while since I’ve started to do some paid blogging on my site. It keeps me busy trying to run around and see how exciting the blog advertising industry is and how much business it is generating for everyone logged on to the internet. I believe it’s not for everyone, but surely it is something I enjoy doing. I feel that each time I write I learn more about the world out there, whether it’s something I run across or something I realize for myself on my own.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A tag from Rhea

The rules are simple.
At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
..I was on my 3rd year in college

2. What are the 5 things on my to-do list today?
..Cook dinner
..Pay my bills online
..Watch Lipstick Jungle
..Call my mom
..Research a potential trip?!?

3. Snacks I enjoy:
..Ice Cream
..Cheese/Crackers/Wine (??)
..Milo White Choco Bar
..Any Chocolate Bar!

4. Place where I lived:

5. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire
..Donate to charity
..Travel around the world (fly, cruise, train)
..Invest in a business

Quotes from a Mauritian Hotel

During my stay in Mauritius, at The Residence, they turned down my bed at night and had left me with a food for thought (left photo)... The following day while we were touring their Spa, they had this quote displayed (right photo). Quite interesting to find bits and pieces of these ones when you least expect it.

A swirl of colours

Life is meant to be lived in a swirl of colours.
Constantly changing..
Living, always trying something
New and different.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dreamy driving

It’s already halfway through the year and I still haven’t applied for my driver’s license. I can’t drive in Sydney anymore with my Philippine license. Although I don’t really intend to get a car just yet (living in the city one does not really need this), I would really like to probably just go for a car rental to do long weekends away from the city. I already have a mental list of places I would like to visit. Topping that list would be the South Coast’s Bulli. I went to Bulli beach a few months ago and had a really nice experience. I read the paper today and saw that there are quite a few promotional rates and discounts available. I’m sure with my travel agent card I would get even better deals. Who knows I could probably rent a convertible (yeah right!). Now all I really need to work on is getting my driver’s license.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Coping with the J word

Everyone copes differently, but one way or another everyone feels this. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first time traveler. The only difference is probably, the frequent traveler is more aware of what’s happening. Here are a few tips to overcome or prepare for an anticipated travel plan. Some may work for you, and some may not. I know I just really need at least 6 hours sleep upon landing in my destination to adjust. And, upon arriving home I need at least 24 hours sleep and rest to recover. Here’s my way of coping with jetlag.

Prior Departure
- Pre-Plan your activities wisely at your destination. Allow rest time.
- Don’t plan a big night on the eve of your flight. A good night's rest is always advisable.
- Take fruits and vitamins prior, you will need all the extra nutrients to combat getting sick in transit.
- Take a long, warm shower prior leaving your house to ease tension and lower one’s stress level.
- Avoid too much sugar, caffeine, nicotine as these just add to one’s stress.

Onboard Flight
- Constantly drink water to hydrate yourself.
- Move about the cabin. Try to do mini stretches (in the loo or along the aisle) every hour or two.
- Set your watch to your destination’s time.
- Eat right onboard. Take light meals and snacks. Disrupting your body’s eating habit onboard will make one prone to upset stomach, stress and headaches.Get some rest. Sleep with your eye mask, request for a neck pillow. Or, if possible take a day flight. It makes one feel less tired upon reaching one’s destination.

Upon Arrival
- Set some time to have your body adjust to the climate, time zone, atmosphere of the local area.
- Warm baths ease the tension built up in flight.
- Do some stretching, or take a walk. This helps your body circulation.
- Re-hydrate. Take lots of water.
- Put on aromatherapy to calm nerves and ease tension.

(Image from Qantas' aircraft interior)

Raising bilingual kids

I am pretty proud about our eldest being able to speak my mother tongue (Filipino). As young as one year old we taught her to speak Tagalo...