Tuesday, July 31, 2007

happy birthday shopping feet

on Ryan’s exact birthday, he fetched me from work and accompanied me to Welcare Hospital for my x-ray and sonography appointments – both of which were procedures required by my new urologist (this is another story). afterwards, we headed to Dubai Festival City just to hang out after a pretty tight day at work, and have dinner with a couple of pals.

while waiting for our buddies to arrive, we decided to look around the various shops of Dubai’s newest mall. i managed to pick up a few pieces of Dior cosmetics to brighten up my mood, after having gone through the hectic day of beating deadlines, completing another one of those ad-hoc lists and subjecting myself to a procedure that made me drink 2 liters of water in just one sitting. realizing that Marc by Marc Jacobs opened a shop there recently, we made a quick stop-over for a fine piece of contemporary Totally Turnlock Satchel added to my collection, and a cute little gold purse that i've been swooning over since summer started (of course, with the consent of the birthday boy). i was pretty lucky ‘cause they were on sale, so it made the purchase a bit more pocket-friendly.
feeling all-guilty with my retail therapy shopping spree, i dragged my hubby to the nearby Plug-Ins store to get him a PSP value pack – a complete set of gaming console, a 2 GB memory card, and a free racing game. it’s actually my 3rd gift to him, added to the leather wallet and Nike shorts i gave him on the eve of his birthday. he looked contented with his present, so the guilt feeling melted away, and he happily opened the pack as soon as we headed to Black Canyon for dinner. he started tinkering with it the moment we placed our orders!


on the evening of the 25th July, two people went home with exhuberant smiles! what shopaholics we are!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ryan's surprise birthday party

i’ve been frantically planning for weeks on what to do to celebrate Ryan’s birthday. since his two college buddies Armil and Bobby are now based here in Dubai, thought i might as well prepare a little something to push the boat out and make him feel really special on his big day.

a few days ago, i contacted his friends and invited them over to our apartment for a nice get-together. there’s one thing i required from them, though - and that is to keep this gathering a secret. i initially wanted to celebrate it elsewhere, but because the private venue i wanted wasn’t available, i opted to hold his party at our place instead.


thursday afternoon: as soon as i stepped out of the office, i immediately contacted his friends to confirm the time of the dinner. i ordered his cake from French Bakery and arranged its pick up c/o Alvin and Kitten, and phoned Bamboo Chinese to order in advance for the next evening’s doof.

the following day, i convinced him to do a little spring cleaning in the afternoon, with a promise that we will catch a movie afterwards. i even coaxed him to check the screening times at Sahara Centre’s Grand Cinemas and talked about what stuff we needed to buy at the mall. it worked! he practically had no clue about the planned surprise! thanks to his new PSP, he was so preoccupied he didn’t bother to mind the chinese food delivery boy who rang the doorbell at 7:20pm!

after 10 minutes, another doorbell rang at our apartment. this time, i asked him to see who it was. finding him halfway to the door though, i remembered we have a security peep hole, so i scrammed and told him that i’m gonna be the one to check instead. when i opened the door, his friends greeted him in chorus with a videocam on hand to record his stunned look. he was so clueless he was caught on camera on his surprise birthday bash on a “pambahay” look!
a few minutes later, Alvin and Kitten arrived with the lovely and great-tasting triple chocolate cake i ordered. must say it was divine! the sweet-toothed guests loved every bite of it.



i can never forget the look on Ryan’s face last friday evening. it was almost a duplicate of his  astonished look a few years ago when i first surprised him on his birthday. this year, it was minus the kink cake, the funny waiters of congo grill and two of his other buddies Edizon and Francis, but still, it was fun-filled with the boys’ good-natured teasing and hearty mirth!


to my hubbybear Ryan - happy, happy birthday! hope you liked this li'l surprise! :) love you loads & loads!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

my daily perk up tune



i soooo love this song!

it’s been recorded by natasha bedingfield in 2004, but up to now, this song is still a major hit for me. i start my mornings at work listening to this song, pumping me up for the day’s proceedings. girl power song minus the angst…very positive and inspiring. makes you wanna seize the day and look forward to what the future holds for you. no wonder even a figure skating champ has used this song a couple of times for her exhibition programs. well, can’t blame the songwriter/singer - after all, she’s a christian rock band member by heart and will always be one.
the uptempo beat of the music wakes up my sleepy nerves. goes perfectly well with my warm coffee to begin the day.

unwritten
i am unwritten,
can't read my mind
i’m undefined
i’m just begining
the pen is in my hand ending unplanned

staring at the blank page before you
open up the dirty window
let the sun illuminate the words
that you could not find
reaching for something in the distance
so close you can almost taste it
release your inhibitions

feel the rain on your skin
no one else can feel it for you
only you can let it in
no one else, no one else
can speak the words on your lips
drench yourself in words unspoken
live your life with arms wide open
today is where your book begins
the rest is still unwritten ,yeah

oh, oh i break tradition
sometimes my tries
are outside the lines, oh yeah
within condition
to not make mistakes
but i can't live that way oh, oh

staring at the blank page before you
open up the dirty window
let the sun illuminate the words
that you could not find
reaching for something in the distance
so close you can almost taste it
release your inhibitions

feel the rain on your skin
no one else can feel it for you
only you can let it in
no one else, no one else
can speak the words on your lips
drench yourself in words unspoken
live your life with arms wide open
today is where your book begins
the rest is still unwritten


staring at the blank page before you
open up the dirty window
let the sun illuminate the words
that you could not find
reaching for something in the distance
so close you can almost taste it
release your inhibitions

feel the rain on your skin
no one else can feel it for you
only you can let it in
no one else, no one else
can speak the words on your lips
drench yourself in words unspoken
live your life with arms wide open
today is where your book begins
the rest is still unwritten
the rest is still unwritten

Saturday, July 14, 2007

home-made baked goodies

my husband Ryan has long been telling me about his dream of fulfilling his life-long passion – baking. he got hooked into it after college, and is forever declaring how much he wants to pursue this hobby. i vividly remember how much he was into this baking thing when we were still in manila. in fact, i had given his home-made butterscotch as Christmas presents to my colleagues in my ex-company. oh yeah, he’s really that serious about baking!

i thought this whole baking thing was just a phase, till we finally lived together when he joined me here in dubai last year. boy, he had tons of recipes in tow! he never got the chance to actually bake them until we came back from the wedding early this year. he showed signs of serious enthusiasm, and being the supportive wife (naks!), we purchased a new cooker with built-in electric oven and thermostat (this was a MAJOR requirement!), courtesy of the cash wedding gift from our dear friends Yvonne & JP. in honor of the former, who was a baker herself, we named our dear oven “Annette”, which is Yvonne’s middle name.

being an excited amateur baker, the first recipe he tried was the oatmeal cookie. i have to admit that it wasn’t bad at all. bessie Beth was too excited about the whole idea that she kept encouraging Ryan, as well to keep baking. and so he tweaked his oatmeal recipe a bit and added raisins to it. the outcome was too good i decided to share them with my friends at work, and they loved it!

but the best he’s baked by far is his now-famous carrotcake. never fails to delight the lips of those who taste it. during my recent birthday bash, he prepared one for me. we served it as dessert for my guests, and of course, it was a blockbuster hit! my friend from work Jen even commented that it was of the same notch as that of Lime Tree Café’s - the city’s most popular café known for it’s best tasting carrotcake.

with this new talent that Ryan has unearthed, the apartment now frequently smells of this wonderful aroma of freshly baked goodies. the sweet scent is now a familiar odor in our humble abode as ryan perks up his new found talent on a regular basis. just last night, he baked his famous carrotcake with cream cheese icing. i took a secret peek at the oven to have a look:

…and waited for a few minutes to find this divine-smelling masterpiece on our table ready to serve:


after spreading the home-made cream cheese icing, it was ready for devouring! yum yum!!



i think we should seriously start considering opening up a small consignment business here. with a few patrons left and right, i’m sure we’ll do just fine. at least ryan gets to do what he really wants, and earn from it, too. now if I could only get my hands into this.

Friday, July 13, 2007

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

dubai summer surprises

i’ve been to dubai for just a couple of years, and this year is my 3rd Dubai Summer Surprises experience. apart from the shopping occurrences i’ve lived though in Manila, the encounters i’ve had here in the UAE are definitely worth raving about. all imaginable international brands you can name are on sale – from 30% to 70% off.

just the mere thought of it will give you an adrenaline rush! since it began last 21st june, malls all over town were flocked by hundreds of patrons from all over the city and the neighboring emirates. some even flew in to dubai to experience this kind of shopping phenomenon, while taking a holiday break into this fast-paced city with 5-star hospitality offering with low-season rates. as a counterpart of the winter season Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises offers the same kind of excitement to shoppers of all ages. and to someone like me, a shopping event like this is like a roller coaster ride thrill of an experience.

well, allow me to give you a picture of how this year’s DSS has changed my life: (1) my shoe cabinet wouldn’t fit all my shoes anymore, (2) our wardrobe closet has undergone a re-organization session last weekend because of the additional pile of clothes accumulated in the last couple of weeks, (3) my weekends were spent outside the flat, (4) my credit card company has sent me a letter increasing my credit limit for the nth time, (5) i had to sell a used item at souk.com to give way to this:


i promise -- this will be the last shopping spree for the year! then i’ll start saving again on my piggy bank for our planned holiday travels! (inshallah!)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

healthy living...healthy options

finally, i had the chance to kick start my daily regimen of going to the gym. yup, you read that right – i have begun working on my mission of shedding off my unwanted pounds. after months and months of whining about how much i’ve grown horizontally, i’ve decided to just hit the fitness centre and get back into shape. i’ve been carrying this heavy baggage since the first half of the year, technically after the church wedding, and if i don’t start working on it now, i may forever succumb to this horrible feeling of discomfort, especially with the heavy panting due to my extra weight disproportionate to my wonderful height!

a little discipline for a few more months and hopefully i’ll head straight back to my usual dress size. shopping for new clothes is so much fun, but it’s no fun at all if the clothes you love don’t fit you anymore!

p.s. special thanks to bessie Beth for the complimentary workout…LOL!