It's Xmas Time

Posted by abie on 11:42 PM in ,
Christmas starts early in the Philippines. As soon as the BER months start (SeptemBER), expect that malls are already filled with Christmas decorations and you can hear Christmas songs being played already in the radio.

One of our neighbors always starts to decorate their house early. Their whole house is already decorated with Christmas lights, Christmas lanterns, and expect that their Christmas tree is already up as soon as the BER months enter.

Bela likes to go to our neighbor’s house as she enjoys watching the gold fishes in our neighbor’s aquarium. One day after her visit to our neighbor’s house, this is what she told us as soon as she reached home:

Bela: “Mom can we put up our Christmas tree. I want a Christmas tree in our house and I will put the star on top of the tree.”

How I wish we can put up our artificial christmas trees as soon as possible as it is already the BER months but since her birthday is in November, our house is still filled with the stuffs for her birthday party. So we always put up our tree just right after her birthday party.

Her birthday is coming up soon and hopefully in three weeks, hubby will have the time to set up our Christmas tree. I am sure Bela will enjoy decorating the tree with us and of course she will get the privilege to put the star at the top of the tree.


Let's talk Politics

Posted by abie on 9:50 PM in
I am not a fan of JE when he was still an actor. Nor was I a supporter when he became a government official. I hate how he ruled when he was still in position. I hate how he uses his power to get what he wants. I lost faith for the future of our country because of him.

And now he proclaimed that he will be running for office again. If he is a real leader, he will think of the future of the Filipinos and he will learn to be humble and admit the fact that he can’t rule a country.

Yesterday, he made me hate him even more. He and JB had their proclamation rally in Tondo and they had to close Moriones street because of the buses, the Rvs, the jeepneys that is parked along the street. Moriones is where my car pool service passes on my way from work and since it is close, I have to walk like more than 10 blocks just to reach home. How I wish I can call rv towing or bus towing services to tow all the rvs and buses that is blocking Moriones street. Imagine, they decided to hold a rally on a weekday and during rush hour. How smart right?

I can’t imagine that there are still people who support him despite the failure of his ruling. He will definitely not get a vote from me or from my family. Hope the Filipino people will think twice and be wise voters come election time in 2010 then maybe if this happens, there will still be hope for the Philippines.


Day 9: Aug 14, 2009 / Vienna, Austria

Posted by abie on 10:57 AM in , , ,
This is our last day in Vienna. If you will notice, we stayed in Vienna for almost four days because Euroline don’t have a daily trip from Vienna to Italy. So we have no choice but to stay here for four days. But due to my poor planning, I was not able to research that we can go outside Vienna to the outskirts where they shot the Sound of Music. Hubby definitely wants to go to that place but I was not able to do some research and I only learned from a friend a few days after we left Vienna that it is just a few hours bus ride from downtown. Oh well, at least now we know and now we have a reason to go back to Vienna. LOL.

We started our last day by going online to chat with Bela. We had breakfast after chatting with our princess and we check out from the hotel before we left and explore the city one last time before our scheduled bus ride at 2:20 PM.

We took the metro as we want to check out the Donatrum tower. On our way there, we happened to see a nice view of the river from the Donauinsel metro station and so we decided to go down for some picture taking. Then we took the next train again to go to Donatrum.

From the metro station, the tower is still a few blocks away by foot so we just decided to have a picture of it from afar (from the Austria Center) since we have no plans in going up the tower also. Then we took the metro again to go to Prater to check their oldest Ferris Wheel. Howell was so happy that we dropped by here because he was able to get his coin souvenir collection inside Prater Park.

It was already past 12 nn already when we left Prater then head to Westbahnhof to eat lunch at KFC as Howell is craving for rice again. Then we went back to our hotel to get our luggage.

It was already 2 PM and we are still riding the metro going to Edberg to catch our 2:20 PM bus schedule going to Mestre in Venice. We reached the bus station around 2:10 PM and the bus station is big and so we are running to look for our bus. Good thing we just made it in time for our bus ride.

We reached Mestre at 11 PM. Mestre is 5 minutes away from Venice. We decided to stay for the night here as I don’t want to travel that late going to Venice. I got really scared while we are looking for our hotel but we are lucky as we met a family who is also staying in one of the hotels along Capuccina street where our hotel is and so they showed us the way to our hotel.

We are staying at Hotel Adria which I booked through booking.com. The hotel was really clean (much better than the hotel that we stayed in Austria) and so I was really happy. We doze off to sleep as soon as we reach our room after that long travel.

You can view more pictures here.


Trying one of my Causeway Loots

Posted by abie on 10:19 AM in ,
My Causeway loots are here. Most of the Causeway girls already tried on their Causeway loots (with pictorials of course) but I hadn’t had the time to try my orders yet. I just opened the box from Air21 and scan through my items but I hadn’t had the time to really open each of them and try it out. But I already asked hubby to take my pictures later. (vain. lol).

We attended a birthday party today and since I don’t have anything nice to wear, I decided to try the black boyish romper that I bought from Causeway. Though it’s black, my big tummy is showing. LOL. (Looks like I will really have to ask hubby to buy me one of those ellipticals for Christmas). One of my neighbors even asked me if I am pregnant. (Though I am secretly wishing that I am).

Oh well, that is what I get from not being conscious with that I eat. Just last night, I shared an 800 ml of Vanilla Almonds ice cream from Selecta with hubby and we were able to finish it in one seating. So should I be shocked if most people noticed that I really gained weight? LOL.


Crossing my Fingers for SG & KL

Posted by abie on 9:43 AM in , ,
I have long been planning to check out Shangri-La hotel in Cebu. My good friend Peachy told me that Shang is having a promo until December and I was already ready to book our Cebu escapade for a vacation before the year ends. In fact I am already checking out nice beach cover ups (as I really need one to cover my tummy or maybe I should start using slimming pills instead), I already filed my leave fro December 4 and we already told Bela about the trip.

But last week, I received a news that there is a possibility that I might go to Kuala Lumpur to attend a 4-day conference. After being away from Bela for three weeks, I can’t imagine leaving her again even just for four days. So hubby and I decided that if I will be attending, they will be coming with me. LOL.

During the weekend, I checked out places that we can visit in KL. Honestly, I did not find anything spectacular. They have a National Zoo but the reviews are not good. They also have Genting Highlands where there is an Indoor and Outdoor theme park and a Wet and Wild park but I noticed that most of the rides are for those thrill-seeking individuals.

So we thought, why not go to Singapore instead before going to KL.

1. There is just a small difference in price if we drop by at SG first before going to KL
2. My friend in SG already invited us to stay at their place so we save on hotel also.
3. We get to go to Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and Sentosa which I am sure Bela will really prefer than Genting Highlands.

I am still waiting for the formal email to confirm my attendance so I can’t be that all excited yet as nothing is still final. But hopefully this trip will push through as we owe Bela a vacation for leaving her for three weeks when hubby and I went on an alone time together last August.


Day 8: Aug 13, 2006 / Vienna, Austria

Posted by abie on 8:58 AM in , , ,
We woke up around 8 AM, had breakfast at the hotel and we left the hotel around 10 AM. We took the Ubahn to go to Votivkirche (Church). While inside the church, I checked out our metro week pass tickets and I was really surprised to find out that I don’t have it in my bag. You see in Vienna, if you will ride the metro, you don’t have to swipe your tickets to gain entry to the train platforms to ride the train. Not like our system of LRT and MRT here where you need to purchase the tickets and swipe it before you can enter the train platform. But in rare instances, spot checks will be done by train officials to check the tickets of passengers, and if you can’t present one, you will be charged a fine of Euro 50. So for two days, we have been riding the train without me checking if I have the tickets or not. I removed all the things inside my bag and I really can’t find it. The weird thing is I have all our old tickets (museum pass, metro pass, etc for Prague and Germany), and our Vienna week pass metro tickets is the only one that is missing.

I am already in the brink of loosing my cool but Howell said that I should let it go and just enjoy the day. (This is really very hard for me to do. LOL. Nanghihinayang ako sa pera at Euro 28 din yun). But Howell was really good in making me smile so I was able to let go of my major boo-boo.

After the church, we walk a few blocks to go to the Rathaus (their city hall). We just had pictorial in front of the City hall and we did not go inside. We also saw the Hofburg Theater which is just on the opposite side of Rathaus. Then we walked again to the Parliament. We inquired and there is a tour starting in 10 minutes so we decided to join it. Ticket price is Euro 4 per person.

After the Parliament tour, we had lunch at Mcdo. Then we went to Museum Quartier but I told hubby that I am not into modern arts so we decided to not go inside the museum galleries (they have a lot of galleries inside). Then we went to Hofburg Palace, National Library, and Museum of national History which is just walking distance from Museum Quartier. We just had photo shoot in front of the said buildings and we did not bother going inside.

Then we took the metro and went to Stephenplatz again as hubby wants to check out Mozart’s House. We paid an entrance fee of Euro 9 per person and the fee includes access to the three floors of the former house of Mozart and an audio guide. The third floor house materials, art works, displays depicting Mozart’s era in Vienna, the second floor have displays and materials discussing about Mozart’s music and the first floor houses Mozart’s apartment. Howell bought some souvenirs too from their souvenir shop.

We had dinner after the tour (I forgot where we ate) then went back to the hotel and call it a day.

You can view more pictures here.


Fashionable Rx Glasses for my Sister

Posted by abie on 11:24 AM in ,
My sister is in her 4th year in college and since it is her last year, she is always very busy accomplishing all the requirements for all her subjects. Since she is a Computer Science student, she is always in front of the computer creating programs and documenting everything.

Because of this, she is always having headaches because she feels that she needs new prescription eyeglasses. She has a lot of school expenses and so she can’t afford to buy expensive eyeglasses.

So I showed her the site of Zenni Optical to show her the range of fashionable $ 8 Rx eyeglasses. I showed her My favorite high fashion eyeglasses and she was amazed at how affordable yet fashionable the RX glasses of Zenni Optiical are. She said that she can even afford to buy one for each day to match her outfits.

How You Can Start Spending Smart? Visit the site of Zenni Optical now.


5th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by abie on 10:31 AM in ,
In just three months, hubby and I will be celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. Hubby is convincing me to have a renewal of vows ceremony where we will invite our close friends and relatives and we will have a small reception after either in a hotel or in a resort in Batangas.

But since we only have three months left, I don’t think it will still be possible to prepare for this. And the coming months will be a really busy month for use since Bela’s birthday will be this coming November and we will definitely be busy during the Christmas season.

So I told hubby, why not have a romantic cancun vacation in the Mexican Riviera Maya. I was checking the site of Karisma resorts and honestly, I would rather have a relaxing vacation with hubby there while we enjoy the white sand beach of the Mexican Riviera Maya while lying down in our nice rooms with a great view of the ocean. This will be my ideal way of celebrating our anniversary.


Tiring Saturday

Posted by abie on 10:09 AM in , , ,
I was so dead tired when we reached home yesterday. You want to know why?

We woke up early to participate in the Relief Giving activity of Bela’s school to victims of Typhoon Ondoy in Malabon.

After the relief giving, we went to Malabon Zoo as it is just a few minutes drive from the Relief Giving location.

Then we drop by at Santa’s store in Nagtahan.

Then off we went to Robinson’s Place because Howell wants to check out the Toy Convention there and I also did some toy shopping with Bela.

It was already past 8 PM when we had our dinner in Flap Jacks.

We reached home around 10 PM and even though I still have tons of things to do, I decided to just call it a day and went to bed early (if you can count sleeping at 11:30 PM early. LOL).


Day 7: Aug 12, 2009 / Vienna, Austria

Posted by abie on 11:25 PM in , , ,
The hotel that we’re staying offers free wifi connection so we were able to go online to chat with Bela. Unfortunately, Bela is taking a nap so I was just able to talk to my mom and just have a glimpse of our little girl whom I miss so much already.

After chatting with my mom, we had breakfast (which was also included in our hotel package). We left the hotel around 10 AM to go to Schonbrunn Palace. We arrived around 11 AM and then we lined up for an hour to buy tickets to enter the palace. We got the Classic Pass Light (Euro 15 per person) which includes entrance to the Palace, the Privy Garden, the Gloriette with viewing terrace and the Maze and the Labyrinth.

We had lunch first at the small shop near the palace entrance while waiting for our turn to enter the palace. The tour of the palace includes tour of the 40 rooms of the state rooms, private apartments and the 18th century interiors from the time of Maria Theresa. Too bad they don’t allow taking of pictures while on tour but it was the most extravagant and amazing palace I have ever seen so far.

After the grand tour of the palace, we check out the Privy Garden then we hike up to the Gloriette. We had a photo shoot in the garden and in the fountain on our way up. Then we had snack in the shop near the entrance to the maze before exploring and getting lost in the maze and labyrinth.

It was already 6 PM when we are finish with the tour. Glad that I did not take the Gold pass which entitles us to visit 5 destinations because we don’t have time anyways to visit the other attractions as it is near closing time already. We explored the park after and had a photo shoot in the garden near the Palm House. We also saw the zoo inside the palace grounds and it looks really big. We checked out the shop for souvenirs for Bela as she is just crazy about animal toys but we did not find anything interesting (or maybe we find the price so expensive. LOL).

We took the metro again and we went to check out St. Charles church as it is in the list of my Top 10 Places to visit (which I got from Trip Advisor). Then we had dinner at KFC in Westbahnhof where we saw a lot of Filipinos eating because they offer rice in their menu. LOL.

After dinner, we took the metro again to go back to our hotel and call it a day.
You can check out more pictures here.


Howell's Collections

Posted by abie on 8:36 PM in ,
My husband is into collecting all sorts of stuffs. His latest collection was the US quarters representing the fifty states of the United States. He started collecting it when we first went to the US when we had our vacation in Los Angeles some five years ago. Since then, every time he has the opportunity to go to the US, he will really try to find the quarters that is missing from his collection. And he was just so happy, because he just completed all fifty quarters. His colleague went to the US for training and she was able to get the last two quarters that he is missing from his collection.

Now that he has completed his coin collection, he wants to take this to a whole new level and now he is looking at investing in silver or gold coins too. He has been doing some reading to learn about bullion and about the different bullion coins. He got really interested when he saw the Ben Franklin half dollar silver coins and he became more interested when he learned that half-dollars have higher premiums than quarter coins.

As for me, I am glad that he is putting his love for collecting things as a way of investing too. He told me that investing in silver bars and silver coins are a good way of investing as it has high resale value so we can easily sell it if we suddenly need cash. And investing in rare coins like the american silver eagle and silver bars is a good investment as they don’t depreciate in time. They are also easy to store since they have uniform size so we don’t have to worry for its storage.

He has been checking the site of CMIGS and he learned that they only sell 0.999 pure silver which is the industry standard so transacting with them will definitely give us an assurance that we are getting the best silver bars and coins the market has to offer. My husband is really serious in pursuing his plan to invest in silver coins and bars so I am sure a big chunk of his Christmas bonus will go to this investment plan.


Bathroom Remodeling

Posted by abie on 8:53 AM in
I have only done one hotel reviews so far for all the hotels that we stayed in Europe during our recent trip as I am still swamped with school and office work. But one of the things that I noticed in most Europe hotels that we stayed (be it a four star hotel, three star hotel or just a pension house) is that their bathrooms are really small. But I guess this is the standard for most of Europe hotels as what I have read in the various travel sites that I checked out when I was still planning for our hotel accommodation.

But the hotel that we stayed in Venice was really my favorite and the bathroom is one of the reasons for it. I am really picky when it comes to hotel and a clean bathroom is really a must for me. And even though the bathrooms in our hotel in Venice were just small, they were able to maximize the space – they even have a separate shower unit, a nice dresser, and a vanity mirror.
Since our bathroom space in our house is also limited, hubby got inspired to do a Small Bathroom Remodeling after he has seen the bathroom of our hotel in Venice. He has been planning to do a Bathroom Remodeling but he really has no idea on how to put a shower unit and my request for a vanity mirror for the small space that we have for our bathroom. Good thing we found the site of small-bathroom-remodeling.com because we were able to find a lot of tips on how to do the remodeling especially if you have a limited bathroom space.

If you check out their site, they can even find contractors near you after filling out a simple form. This is just what hubby did and he was so happy as he now has a list of contractors that we can hire for this project. He is really excited and he plans to have this project done before Christmas just in time for the holiday parties that we will be hosting in our house.

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