Sunday, November 25, 2007

ready for the battle

i’m officially off for the entire week. oops, not really. i forgot that i need to be at work on Wednesday for a meeting. then i’ll just take a day in lieu next week, which is wise to do since we’ll have two days off for the UAE National Day. woohoo, more holidays for me!!

so, what’s the plan? i’ve been thinking a lot last week on what i really NEEDED to do. just considering those on top of my head had already made me feel slightly in the brink of stress. but no, i’m not gonna easily give in to a panic attack. i’ve resolved to being a good home maker while on holiday. it wouldn’t hurt to play humorous and be OC at home ala Joanna of The Stepford Wives :) well, that is if i can stand the part. hah, we’ll see.

below are my list of things to do during my break, inclusive of weekends. i officially commenced brawling with the list last Friday, and hopefully by Monday next week, everything’s 100% done. let the 10-day typical housewife mêlée with chores begin:

1) do a general cleaning of the apartment. every nook and cranny must be spic and span. God help me.
2) reorganize the wardrobe closet. precious bags, where shall i put you? dilemma, dilemma.
3) empty the hamper. wash a week’s mountain of laundry.
4) sell the old washing machine so we could get a new one. either souk.com or Abu Shagara…hehe!
5) get some Christmas cards for family & friends. mail them by the 28th November tops.
6) wrap the Christmas presents & put them under the Christmas tree.
7) er, put up the Christmas tree :D
8) do some serious ironing (a month’s worth of clothes…haaaayyyy!!)
9) prepare dinner & baon for hubby every night.
10) schedule the AC’s maintenance.
11) change the busted lamps...by myself :)
12) choose wedding pictures for posting. this is soooo long overdue and i’ve been given an ultimatum by honey na. hala.
13) print our favorite wedding & travel pictures then find a reliable framing company.
14) put together a nice Christmas menu. we’ll be having some close friends over so i need to do some research on new recipes. gotta claim back my zeal for cooking.
15) lastly, go to the salon for a little prettifying. well, this i already did last Friday in time for the DIFC Anniversary celebration. gotten a new hairstyle with a hot oil treatment on the side, plus pedicure & footspa & eyebrow threading. it took 2 hours of my time, but was worth the trouble. got home in the wee hours of the morning with my hubby telling me how gorgeous i looked. *BIG GRIN*

hun, i’m especially doing all of these for you so better get me a nice Christmas gift ha! LOL.

from time to time, i will be updating this post to highlight those to-do things that i’ve already completed. well, gotta head back to finishing those that are yet to be done. wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the welcoming cold

we woke up to a nippy morning a couple of hours ago. by the time we got out of the apartment, traffic was already starting to build up. reason - this morning's quite hazy all over the place. Ryan had to be extremely careful behind the wheel because there was almost no visibility on the roads. we can only see within 10 meters from our car and traffic lights were a blur. yes, it is officially winter.

i got to the office at exactly 7:00 am. pretty early today as hubby needs to get to work earlier than usual. as i got to the lift, i noticed that only the peak of the
Jumeirah Emirates Towers can be seen. it was picturesque! as if the premier landmark was sitting beautifully on top of the clouds.

now sitting at my desk and sipping my cappuccino, i couldn’t help but feel like i’m in another place and time. staring at the window, there’s nothing at all to see except the thick, white fog staring back at me…and i am savoring this moment. the office is still almost empty as traffic’s really bad today, so i’m having some peace and quiet in my little corner and enjoying my company before the crazy day gets started.

if the weather remains this way, then i can’t wait for my holidays to begin next week. the bed weather has come, and i’ll be savoring it at home curled up in the sofa to watch series marathons with a warm cup of coffee. hmmm, nice!

Friday, November 16, 2007

brand tag

got tagged by a fellow w@wie & FBG bride, pheng :)

1) what's the brand of your wristwatch?
Cartier Tank Francaise

2) what's the brand of your bracelet?
Charriol – birthday gift from hubby 3 years ago

3) what's the brand of your cell phone?
Nokia

4) what's the brand of your computer?
Mac named Amanda, and LG named Lucy. My laptop at work is an IBM Thinkpad that I didn’t bother to name…it’s gonna crash anytime soon so what’s the use!

5) what's the brand of your bags?
my addiction!!! mostly LVs, a piece each of Fendi, Marc Jacobs & Ralph Lauren, and a few pieces from Nine West, Mango, Lacoste & Esprit

6) what's the brand of your undies?
Victoria's Secret, Women’s Secret & La Senza

7) what's the brand of your flip-flops?
Havaianas & Lacoste

8) what's the brand of your shoes?
mostly Nine West & Zara for work / Nike & Lacoste sneakers / Celine, Charles & Keith & Janylin for casual wear

9) what's the brand of your wallet?
Liz Claiborne & Marc Jacobs

10) what's the brand of your shirts?
Lacoste & XYDE from Pull & Bear

11) what's the brand of your tv?
Samsung & JVC

12) what's the brand of your cars?
solid Mitsubishi

13) what's the brand of your mp3 player?
Apple ipod

14) what's the brand of your make up?
Dior, Maybelline & L’Oreal

15) what's the brand of your shampoo and conditioner?
shampoo – Head & Shoulders
conditioner – Creamsilk forever!

16) what's the brand of your jeans?
Levi's, MNG & Zara

17) what's the brand of your laundry soap?
Touch & Tide

ok, done. now i’m tagging shiela & dionne :D

Thursday, November 15, 2007

dreamy over McDreamy

People Magazine had just released their list of this year’s 100 sexiest men alive. who’s on top of that list? i don’t give a damn. all i care about is Patrick Dempsey, who came in number 2. popularly known these days as Dr. Derek Shepherd, or McDreamy in Seattle Grace Hospital, he’s beyond doubt a shoo in!

i’ve had this thrilling little crush on Patrick Dempsey since i saw him on Sweet Home Alabama opposite Reese Witherspoon. he portrayed a character who was difficult not to choose –good looks, good family background (well, except for his wacko Mom), and good taste (Tiffany’s, remember?) on top of his great personality. and now that he’s frequently seen on TV with the hit series Grey’s Anatomy, i couldn’t help but indulge by closely following the episodes.

oh those expressive eyes! they can really melt your heart away…


personally, i believe he should’ve landed on the top spot. but what can i do? he didn’t have George Clooney and Brad Pitt to campaign for him.

anyhoo, to find out more about People Magazine’s list, click
here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

extremely gratified

hubby and i went to St. Mary’s Church last Sunday to hear mass, and i must admit it has been a while since we’ve last been to the church together. ours is a mixed marriage - him being a Protestant, and i, a Catholic, so our joint visits to the Catholic church is not exactly a common practice. nevertheless, whenever we go hand in hand, it never feels like we’re much too different from the other couples in the flock. he respects my belief as much as i respect his. and at the end of the day, we’re both Christians. we believe in one God - that’s what’s matters to us.

while talking to God in His home, i could not help but feel emotional with all the things that are happening around me. i have so many reasons to be thankful for…so many blessings that i know i should count. i could not even put into words how happy i am at this stage in my life. life’s not perfect, but it’s awesome! how can i complain when i’ve got:

…a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally despite my faults, who’s very supportive of me, and who accepts my good and bad sides wholeheartedly. he cooks and bakes well, too, so that’s an added bonus :) his steadfast love keeps me going, and i am enormously thankful that God gave him to me to be my lifetime partner.


…great parents who brought me up the non-interventionist way, turning me into a person of individualism. despite being liberal parents, they have instilled proper values in me and made sure i’d grow up with great fear of the Lord.

…two lovely sisters who can be quite
a handful at times, but are the sweetest and the most fun to be with even in the most ordinary situations. they add spice to my madcap life, and if given the Twilight Zone chance to choose my siblings, i’d still pick them without any qualms.

…well-meaning relatives who assure me and my family that we have trusted people to run to when problems arise.

…five bestfriends who know me inside out, who support me when needed, and who tell things straight to my face with no reservations. i may not be connected to these people by blood, but we are definitely linked by soul. i really do think they were cherry-picked by God to walk down my path.

…old, faithful friends who grew up with me and nurtured me into a person worth calling a “friend”. despite the distance, we know that our friendship will never dwindle. i trust that we would find it quite easy to pick up where we left off. having met them and keeping what we have intact after all these years is something i am incredibly proud of.

…all three human basic needs available within reach. not exactly luxurious but enough for us to live in comfort.

…a satisfying career that continuously provides challenge to my capabilities. my industry doesn’t touch lives in a direct way, but it gets credit after the unforeseen happens. it deals with the aftermath of accidents and catastrophes, and takes on practically every risk imaginable, making it the back bone of the financial services industry.

…sunny weather all-year-round. i wake up everyday to a beautiful clear, blue sky. temperature shoots up during summer, but it’s part of the deal. nothing beats the feeling of seeing the rays of sunshine on a crappy day.

…Saidur, our office tea boy, who makes superb coffee in the morning. my day at work officially begins when he puts down my steaming cup 5 minutes before 8:00 o’clock. i get my dose before everyone else does (yup, i beat my MD for that!). he definitely tolerates my addiction to coffee that’s why i love him!

…Kumar, our security personnel, who never fails to greet me every morning with a smiling nod. i know that when something horrible happens in the office, at least someone will care to look for me to make sure i’m alright. i’ve proven that when we experienced earthquake two years ago. he combed the entire floor looking for me when i wasn’t at the assembly point and silly me got a good scolding when he found me later on dilly dallying in the lobby to evacuate.

… an affordable but dependable dry-cleaners that keeps my suits clean and crisp. i’m a sucker for well-pressed clothing and they definitely have a content customer in me.

…good available technology that gets me connected to my loved ones. and when i say good, it’s equivalent to fast, reliable connection.

...a personality that can be easily pleased with simple pleasures in life. i get childishly excited over little things, and i can’t be bothered with what people think. oh, the joy i get over receiving a mail by post, hearing people say “thank you”, or seeing old couples still holding hands!

see, God is tremendously good. He provides, He listens, He bestows blessings. sometimes, even if you don’t ask, He just gives generously. you just have to be appreciative and know how to value His gifts. in life, what truly matters is how you live acknowledging the fact that everything that surrounds you is nothing but temporary. it should always be His love that would count as the greatest blessing of all. agree? agree.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

scratched the itch

although the Christmas holiday is not widely celebrated here in the UAE, the much awaited season of all’s spirit had finally hit me. i’ve started on my Christmas gifts list, and this list i blame for my urge to go shopping last weekend.

thanks to
Chalhoub Group's Year-end sale last Friday and Saturday at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, we managed to grab some really cool stuff at more than half their original prices. hubby got himself some shirts from Polo Ralph Lauren and a couple of pairs of casual shoes from Geox. and guess what i got? yes, another bag…my first Fendi. i got it on Sale and i don’t care. so long as it’s original and bears the nice little logo, i’m happy.

needing to break-in Yumi, hubby & i, along with our buddies B & K, went to the
Dubai Outlet Mall down the Highway 66. even if there are still a few stores that have not opened, i’d say the trip was worth it, especially since the stocks that most of the stores have are still ok, and the items are tagged reasonably (note: reasonably here means 50% off). we invaded The Grand Store and snatched a classic vertical shoulder bag and keychain from Lacoste. checked out from Mango if i could find some nice pieces there, but couldn’t get any in my size. and no shoes to fit me in Kenneth Cole either (bummer!). guess i’d just have to come back some other time.

now what have i got for gifts? hmmm, i really can’t share with you ‘coz it’s gonna ruin the surprise for the recipients. for all i know, they may be lurking at this blog for clues. i haven’t ticked much from my list yet, but i’m getting there. for our families in Manila, i’ve done the shopping ahead of time and in fact, the box is ready for pick up by the cargo company. i just hope the package arrives in time for Christmas.

so yep, i had the itch last weekend to shop…and yes, i scratched the itch. it depleted some of our reserves, but it doesn’t matter. hubby was with me, and i got his nod on every purchase made. besides, we totally had fun! it was one of the rare shopping sprees where Ryan was exceptionally participative. he didn’t mind all the walking, the queues, car parking difficulties and even the big crowd. it made “shopping” more of a husband and wife activity for us both, and it was a nice feeling. hitting the mall has never been better!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

the cop visits a crook

it was a refreshing feeling that someone from the Philippines came to visit me here in Dubai, albeit his trip being principally more of business related than leisure.

Aris, my dear HS friend, arrived in Dubai last 27th October and stayed here for six days. he was pretty thrilled about the fact that he’s in a completely different place and finally seeing right before his very eyes the things that he used to read on papers and hear about from his business partners.

during his first day in Dubai, we managed to tour him around the metro and thereafter brought him to a desert safari tour. it was the de gracias’ first time to go for this tour, too, and blame it on me for being too scared of getting onboard the feisty 4x4s. the experience was definitely not for the faint-hearted – one can literally feel motion sickness while aboard, or worse, suffer from a heart attack from the thrill you're bound to get.

it was already almost sun-down when we pulled over to the Bedouin campsite. parked around the area were dozens of Land Cruisers and a station of dune buggies for the more adventure-seeking souls. bessie Beth and i queued for the camel ride, while the boys took our snaps and stood by till we finished. afterwards, all five of us tried on the traditional costume of the UAE nationals and posed for our souvenir photos. we all looked silly, but what the heck!



while waiting for dinner, we checked out the apple flavored Hubbllee Bubblee or more commonly called “shisha”. it was a good chance for us to technically try smoking minus the bad taste of tobacco & the unpleasant niff of smoke. after getting bored with all the huffing & puffing, Beth & i lined up next for some henna tattoo. funny how some male tourists queued, too…they didn’t know that henna tattoo in the UAE is exclusive for ladies only!




of course, we didn’t let Aris miss the most exciting part of the night – the bellydancer’s show. he didn’t bat an eyelash during Valentina’s dance number… either he was mesmerized by her beauty and gyrating talent or he was jetlagged and slept with his eyes wide open! *rolling with laughter*



the adventure-packed day ended with our droopy guest dragging himself to the lobby of his hotel. we were not sure if he took mental note of the plans we made for the rest of his stay, but we hope he had fun as we absolutely did!

*****************

come Monday night, hubby & i met up again with Aris to have dinner at The Noodle House in Burjuman, and soon after went on see the majestic

Burj Al Arab. i had to attend a client’s cocktail reception then, and my invite became our ticket for all of us to enter the elite hotel’s gates without any fee. it’s a shame though that we forgot to bring our cam so we just made do with our mobile phones’ built-in cameras to take a few keepsake photos.

the lavish lobby, with extra huge aquariums to its left and right which were filled with varieties of fish and other underwater creatures, complete with corals and seawater plants, was such a wonderful sight for the two men who escorted me to the hotel. although they only stayed in the lobby to roam around, i sure bet they had a grand time people watching. a lot of rich and good looking people were going in and out of the over rated hotel, and their eyes feasted on them. well, sorry for these two guys because i didn’t stay long in the reception and we left the hotel in an hour’s time.

*******************

the icing on the cake of Aris’ trip, so to speak, was his last night in Dubai.

since he finished early with his meetings, he did an early check-in at the airport and then went to my office to meet me. Ryan fetched us and we proceeded to
Mercato to meet our other companions and find some birthday gifts for our friend Sam. meanwhile, Aris picked up a nice pair of earrings from Damas for his wife who is also celebrating her birthday. *sweet!*


next stop was the Madinat Jumeirah complex. his brief visit to the Souk Madinat was an eye opener for him to the kind of lifestyle the people of Dubai have on a Thursday evening, which is equivalent to the “TGIF” gimmick night in all other parts of the world. he’d seen all corners of the Souk brimming with people of various cultures – either having dinner, sipping coffee or simply hanging out to start their weekend. a lot are in their party outfits ready for clubbing after having their meals in one of the fab restos in the famous complex.

it was a busy evening (payday Thursday). we found our way skimming through the crowd towards the hip Japanese resto called Japengo. we were extremely lucky to find a table inside, although it would’ve been lovely to dine al fresco with the cooler winds embracing us as we overlooked the waterways leading to the hotel side of the Madinat Jumeirah.


i guess between all the places Aris has been to the entire week, this was his personal favorite. he couldn’t stop himself from vocally admiring the place. i couldn’t blame him though. among all the properties of Jumeirah International, this is my preference, too.

after having our meal, we walked through the maze-like halls of the souk and helped Aris find some handy souvenirs. we were about to hit one of the bars in town, but i guess Aris was feeling run down already and couldn’t wait to go home, so before 1:00 am, we dropped him to the airport and bid goodbye.



******************

i’d say the few days that Aris was in town were very enjoyable. for a change, weeknights were spent with a long-time ka-barkada. it felt good to see a familiar face in person and hear a recognizable voice while we talked about married life in general and how our friends back home are doing. sure made me miss Manila even more, and somehow, the regret of not coming home this year has started to seep in.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

another blessing to be thankful for

when i got sick last September, hubby and i realized that it was high time we get a vehicle of our own for mobility purposes, especially in cases of emergency. thankfully, Ryan had just passed his driving licensure practical exam with the Roads & Transport Authority, so that made us officially eligible to own a vehicle in this country.

our main requirement for our first ride is that it must be of substantial size enough to fit a small family. it should be able to seat people comfortably at the second row with ample shoulder and leg room, and must have a big space accessible at the back/trunk for bulky items such as luggage, a week’s stock of grocery items, and even a baby’s stroller in the future. but it should also be compact so that i can manage to drive it easily and not have any trouble parking it – that is, if i ever get around to getting my own license…LOL!

of course, since this is a desert country, we also considered the functionality of the vehicle. these are a few of its must-haves:
  • 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive option
  • fog lamps, which are crucial when it suddenly becomes hazy or foggy depending on the weather change
  • cruise control for long drives
  • dependable braking system
  • exceptional safety features

originally, we were pining for the Toyota RAV 4. it fits almost all of our requirements (except for the fog lamps). it was pricey for a 2.4 litre, 4 cylinder engine compared to its contemporaries, but we were so convinced that we were ready to buy one. or so we thought.

one morning during Ramadan when my Filipino colleagues and i were having our coffee at the pantry, Raquel mentioned to us in passing about the new 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander that she and her husband were considering to purchase. we weren’t aware that Mitsubishi had already released a newer version of their slightly smaller SUV, so as soon as i got back to my desk, i straight away shared this with hubby over the phone. now you must know that Ryan is a huge fan of Mitsubishi motors. he loves Ralliart and has always dreamed of owning at least one Evolution in his lifetime. just imagine him hearing this piece of news…i tell you, he was instantaneously excited about it! later that evening, i found him busy googling and checking out reviews of his latest discovery.


apparently, compared to its predecessor, the new Outlander has the 3.0 litre, 6 cylinder option with the latest MIVEC engine, and multi-select 4-WD mode. not only that – it has a paddle shift, and boasts of a Rockford Fosgate audio system with 9 speakers. eagerness had struck Ryan big time, so that very same weekend, he dragged me to the nearest dealer to see the actual piece in the showroom. when we took our first glance at it, we were instantly dazed by its classiness and bang for the buck features. it was a case of love at first sight!


after two days, we came back to submit our requirements for financing and placed our order. since it was newly launched, no units were on stock, and the local dealer had to order it straight from Japan. we got a bit disappointed when we were told to wait for 3 more weeks to a month for the 1st shipment to pull in, but settled on the idea of waiting since we already fell in love with it.


from then on, hubby started counting the days till “Yumi” arrived. (yep, he already thought of a name for his new babe! Yumi is a Japanese word translated as “beauty”) and i’ll even let you in on a little secret: every night, he would browse at the catalogue as if it’s his favorite fairy tale book. i wasn’t surprised at all that that he had memorized all of its features in less than 3 days! :D


until finally, Monday of last week, our much-awaited ride arrived to the shores of Dubai. we’re so delighted that the unit was worth all the delay. she’s a total black beauty inside and out, and more importantly, she’s a practical choice for a starting family. with all the add-ons that aren’t available in other compact SUVs in the market, plus with the price tag that goes with it, it was a sure-fire winner. you bet Ryan was over the moon when he drove it home. he was too excited that the following morning on our way to work, he exceeded the maximum speed limit and got a ticket for it. (sheesh, what is it with boys and the fast lane...seriously?)





anyhow, we are now the proud owners of one of the first 2008 Outlander units here in the UAE. we had her blessed at St. Mary’s Church last Saturday before meeting Aris for his Dubai tour, and this coming weekend, she’s already due for her 1,000 km check-up.



we gladly welcome “Yumi” to our family, and cheers to the many memories our family will share with you!