Wednesday, February 27, 2008

nice award

fab Mom Thea granted me this award:

thanks girl! hugs! :)

to all my sisses in n@w, i share this with you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

weekend get-away

the morning after v-day, we went off to our road trip to Al Ain. to entertain ourselves, we sang Coldplay, Matchbox Twenty and Linkin Park songs while on the road. it sounds so unromantic, but yeah, we did belt out some rock tunes to keep us awake during the long drive. it’s about 140 kms. away from where we live, so just imagine our boredom, especially Ryan who was driving our car in cruise control the whole time.

my driver

you know that you’re in Al Ain when you begin to see red sand dunes and rock formations as huge as mountains that are similar to the ones in Roswell, New Mexico. by the time we got to the town centre, it was already 11:00 am. our first stop was the Al Ain Zoo since the last time we went there, the cat house was already closed for viewing. i know, i know…going to a zoo doesn’t sound so fitting when you want a romantic weekend getaway. but it’s just that it’s on the way to where we were headed to so we decided to make a pit stop. besides, Al Ain Zoo is one of the most popular places to see in Al Ain since it doesn’t only have an African Safari feel to the place, but it also is a beautiful park where families could just relax and have picnics. in fact, we had lunch at their glass pavilion that has a fastfood outlet, so while having our leisurely break, we got to watch kids run around the huge lawn and play in the fountain.

chow time

Al Ain Zoo is not the typical zoo we’re used to. it’s a conservation zoo, so their animals are not locked up in cramped cages, and they look like they’re treated well and fed properly. in fact, these animals, even the not so endangered ones, are kept in an enclosure that is similar, if not close to their natural habitat. some animals have cages that surround them, while others have fibre glass to encircle them. their huge space enable them to freely roam around.

as you walk past the entrance, you’ll find a small lagoon on your right side where pink flamingos gracefully wade their way through the water. and when you stroll past the other pens, their structure would remind you of bedrock, and would even prompt you to subconsciously imagine Fred Flintstone sitting on one of the boulders :D

our favorite part of the tour to the zoo was the visit to the cat’s house where the lions, tigers, pumas, black and spotted leopards, and the jaguars were kept. i know that chimpanzees do not belong to the cat family, but they do have a special spot in the cat’s house, as well. tall posts with ropes and ladders were made for these human-loving creatures who enjoy being looked at. they’re not exactly adorable to my taste, but i have to admit they could be cute & funny in their own way.

chimpanzee in action

endangered bengal tiger

the lioness

Timone, is that you?

pumas in waiting

after spending about three hours in the zoo exploring every area of it (yes, it is that huge!), we worked our way to Jebel Hafeet to see the much talked-about Green Mubazarrah. surprisingly, it didn’t take us much time to find the place. my instincts were pretty much intact that day, and despite the fact that my last visit to Jebel Hafeet was more than 2 years ago, i managed to remember how to get there. i guess i’m just plain gifted when it comes to directions :)

as soon as we disembarked from the car to enjoy the scenery, we couldn’t help but wonder how such lush greenery could possibly grow on rock formations right smack in the middle of nowhere. it was a refreshing sight! we welcomed the change of atmosphere.

me trying to be cute...haha!

the greens

view from afar

after surveying the area and taking some photos, we proceeded to our final stop: the Mercure Grand Hotel. we checked in at half past 3 pm, and was given a room with a breath taking view of the Green Mubazzarah and the hotel’s recreation area.

the road to relaxation

the view from our room

the weather was great up in the mountain – not too warm, and not too cold either. i didn’t realize it would be that nice that i regretted tossing out my swimwear from our luggage while packing our stuff the night before. the pool was too tempting so i ended up buying a swimsuit from the hotel’s gift shop. good thing they were selling O'Neill items, so i was able to snag a pretty-looking swimsuit in black and white hues. a lot cheaper if bought from Beyond The Beach, but i had to settle for it. at least it’s something i can wear again.

we rested for about an hour and walked towards the pool just before sundown. hubby took a few photos of the area as i swam for about an hour, and then headed back to our room again to quickly shower and change for dinner. we grabbed a quick bite at the Orient Café in the lobby, and thereafter took a quick peek at the viewing deck overlooking the sights and lights of Eastern Abu Dhabi. it was chilly in the evening, so we decided to just hang out in our room instead and watch more TV. yup, telly watching with bubble bath as a night cap.

me & hubby

overlooking Al Ain

the following morning, we woke up to the usual gorgeous sunshine of the UAE. we had a hearty buffet breakfast at The Belvedere and stuffed ourselves like turkeys with cold cuts, breads, sausages, hash browns and fruits. after breakfast, we played a round of mini golf where hubby won by two points. (he just luckily got past the “volcano” hole without any glitch!)

at the hotel lobby

the winning shot

at around 2:00 pm, we checked out from the hotel and maneuvered back home fully content of how we spent our weekend. more importantly, hubby enjoyed his gift immensely, and wouldn’t stop thanking me for the trip! :D

6 quirky things about me

thanks Joanne & Pat for this tag :) i think i have already answered a similar tag before, but it sure is fun to do it again.

The rules: Link to the person that tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Share six unimportant things/habits/quirks about your self. Tag 6 random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. Let these random people know that they are tagged by leaving comments in their blog. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

six unimportant things/habits/quirks about myself:
1. i love walking…and i walk too fast. i’ve gotten so used to this pace that there are times i tend to leave my companions behind (even hubby!)
2. i can’t start work without my caffeine kick (bad habit!)
3. i am a gifted child when it comes to directions.
4. i always get fidgety while getting a pedicure.
5. ironing de-stresses me.
6. i sleep like a 7-year old. i tend to “occupy” the entire bed with my sub-conscious twisting and turning. poor Ryan…hehe!

now i’m tagging Drea, Abie, Cheryll, Weng, Mich and Pheng :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

pimp my ride

last Saturday was officially Yumi’s day. we spent a great deal of time with her since she needed a good bath, a visit to the tyre shop for her punctured tyre, and a long overdue tinting procedure.

carwash was relatively easy as we came in early to the gas station so there was no queue. we finished in a jiff and proceeded to the Sharjah Industrial Road 1 for the tyre and tint needs. to be honest, we didn’t have a clue where to bring the car since it was our first time to require vulcanizing services, and we never had her windows tinted ever since.

as soon as we got to this road where all these motor shops are lined up (similar to the one in Banawe, QC back home), we went for the first tyre shop that offers vulcanizing services. we couldn’t care less how much it would cost because what we needed was a shop that has this equipment to automatically take out the tyre from the wheel seamlessly, without scratching the rim. besides, we didn’t wanna go back and forth because the next U-turn slot was a bit far, and traffic was already building up on the other side of the road. anyway, the vulcanizing service costed us AED 20, including installation, and we’re happy with the result.

once the tyre was done getting fixed and the spare tyre returned to its original place, we went further down the road to find a shop that installs window tint. during the car show held in Dubai last November 2007, we literally drooled over the
V-Kool Tint which had a promotion of 30% off when you book on the spot. but despite the substantial slash from the original price, it still was too pricey for us. we left the car show decided that we will go for the conventional window film, most probably from a reputable brand like 3M. so while we were driving along last Saturday, we were on the look-out for a shop that has the 3M logo.

i don’t know if it were my eyes, or if i was just plain stupid for not spotting a single shop that read 3M. we were at the end of the motor shops strip when i saw a big sign that says something related to car window films. it was on the other side of the road, but the U-turn slot was just a few meters away, so hubby geared towards the left for the turn.

when we parked in front of the shop, we felt kind of intimidated. firstly, they were putting on tints inside the floor-to-ceiling glass shop. nothing of this sort is typical for us as we’ve always seen tints being installed on cars outdoors. secondly, the vehicles being tinted were brand new Nissan Armada and Mitsubishi Pajero - obviously expensive SUVs that we could only stare at but couldn’t afford. and lastly, the shop exudes this image of professionalism that we were not sure we can pay for, given our measly budget. even so, we still gave it a shot to feed our curiosity…we bravely stepped in to inquire.

as we entered the
Nanolux shop, we were cheerfully greeted by a pleasant sales guy who escorted us to the section where samples of window films were plastered towards the sun’s direction. then, he showed us a demo of the infrared light’s heat emanated from an ordinary glass, a conventional tint, and their top of the line tint called Super Lux. we initially wanted to go for the conventional tint they have called Lux since the price tag is within our budget. but when we were told that we could go for the Lux and Super Lux package combo that can cover the front windshield with Super Lux, and all rest of the windows in Lux film, we were almost convinced. with discount, it was pegged at AED 1,300, a little over the amount we have allocated.

however, we were also leaning towards the Super Lux series package since the benefits were quite tempting. for just an additional AED 500, we could have the windshield and all windows covered in Super Lux film that has 88.98% UV rejection, 82% infrared rejection, 83% visible light transmission, and 46.34% total solar energy rejected. plus, this package comes with a 5 year warranty, so that made the deal more appealing. to check for feedback, we called a friend who’s quite familiar with car accessories, and we were told that the package proposed to us was reasonable, considering that Nanolux is apparently also owned by the same producers of V-Kool, and it’s the next best supplier for window tints. we were totally sold upon learning this, so right there and then, we decided to go for the Super Lux package and filled out our form.

it was quite hefty for the pocket as we had to cough out more than what we have budgeted for, but at the end of the day, we believe we got ourselves a trusty product. it would not only protect us from the blazing heat of the middle east’s summer, but would also protect our car’s interiors, especially the leather seats that are prone to cracks and discoloration from heat. the next time we get on to sit in our vehicle in the middle of the day, it will be more comfortable for us and our passengers. that made our purchase justifiable.

our little adventure last weekend proved to be fruitful, and we’re extremely pleased. we got to do everything we planned as scheduled, and got a good deal in tow. how’s about that?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

best blog award

what can I say, Abie…i’m speechless! thanks a million for this :D

i pass this tribute to
Thea who has recently moved to a new home in cyberspace. she definitely deserves this award as she has put on a lot of time and passion in creating an informative blog that also reflects her thoughts and insights about life.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

hubby's mini data tank

i finally got hubby an uber late anniversary gift. after a looonngg period of hunt for a 1st wedding anniversary gift, i was able to come across something which i'm very sure he would like – a Buffalo DriveStation Duo 1 TB.

this isn’t as much as the sparkling earrings he got for me, but see the look on his face…doesn’t he look happy with it? :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

v day story

my dear husband Ryan sent me flowers at work. a dozen of roses in the loveliest shade of pink i’ve ever seen on earth! i wouldn’t deny that i love receiving flowers, so when they arrived at my office, i was completely elated! what made the delivery sweeter was the message that came along with it...the card read the exact same phrase Ryan used to tell me when we were still in college. kilig talaga!

my desk at work with my bunch of flowers

he picked me up after work, and since our reservation for dinner was at 7:30 pm, we both decided to have coffee at the Starbucks outlet at the DIFC Balcony Level to pass the time. we just chatted for about an hour, lazily checked out the other outlets nearby after having our drinks, and watched the juggler perform in the Spanish Steps.

when it was time for dinner, we headed to the nearby Shakespeare & Co., a local café that has the ambience of a chic early 1900’s coffee shop. picture this on your head: on the indoors, they have granny doilies and French-laced decors that match their wooden antique furniture, with low volume soft music, while on the outdoors, they have this ginormous outdoor terrace that has a refreshing look – thanks to those billowing sheets and floral upholstered sofas that could literally hug you when you sit.

although the weather was so enticing to dine al fresco, we chose to stay indoors since we wanted to stay away from the smokers. as soon as we got seated, i was handed a long stemmed red rose by the maitre d’, while hubby was given dark chocolates on a small platter. hmm, so valentine-y!

i’d have to say that besides the great ambience, our dining experience was superb! the Shakespeare Co. special and salmon fillet they served totally stuffed our bellies that we no longer had room for dessert after the main course. after our dinner, we headed straight home as we had to pack for the next day’s trip to Al Ain. as a gift to my loving husband, i treated him to a tour of Al Ain, which is located in the eastern region of Abu Dhabi, plus an overnight stay at the Mercure Grand Hotel in Jebel Hafeet. hubby was gung-ho about this trip as he’s never been to Jebel Hafeet before.

kwentos of our trip to Al Ain will be shared in another instalment, so hang in there for details of our out of town weekend. i promise, there’ll be loads of pictures!

until then! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

biggest heart award

what a timing! :) got a new award, this time from one hot momma in the house, Vannie!

awards like this fill me with joy, especially when i get to receive it first thing in the morning :) and i hope it does the same to newbie mom, Dionne.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

heart's day

happy valentine’s day everyone! spread the love!

taken during our pre-nup session in Dubai while waiting for the sunset at the beach

sweet sexy thing

when it rains, it pours. this latest downpour is my favorite so far...tee hee! :D can't thank you enough Thea for this. i am horizontally challenged, i know. but sometimes, it’s nice to dream, di ba?

this i share to Kelly and hope it makes her day, too! :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

more awards

heaps of thanks to Patricia for these awards! :D

i share the honor of both awards to Mich & Marie, who are such wonderful bloggers. their blogs are definitely on my list of sites to visit on a regular basis.

thanks to you, girls for sharing fun stories of your married life!

Monday, February 11, 2008

the story of stuff

a colleague shared with me this interesting 20-minute movie about “stuff”. it is quite an attention-grabbing short video that gives an overview an item's life cycle, starting from how its raw materials are extracted, how it is produced, how it is marketed to consumers, how we people use it, and how we dispose of it. fascinating details, i must say.

i promise, this short video will change the way you look at your “stuff”. for shopaholics out there (ehem!), this one’s for us:
The Story of Stuff.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

white rose award

How sweet of you Drea to send me this!

White roses can mean many things to many different people. They can convey feelings of love, friendship, respect and hope. Underlying all of these messages is the impression of innocence and purity with which white roses are now synonymous. An arrangement of white roses is not only beautiful; it can carry a complexity that belies its simpler appearance. Whatever the reason white roses are given, it can be assured that they will be deeply appreciated by their recipient.

i pass this on to Patricia, whose simplicity, just like a white rose’s, exudes class and sophistication.

circle of friends

my sweet thanks to Cheryll for passing this on to me.


Anger is only one letter short of danger
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He, who loses money, loses much;
He, who loses a friend, loses much more;
He, who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others
You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me...
You brought another friend...
And then there were 3...
We started our group...
Our circle of friends...
And like that circle...
There is no beginning or end...
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

So now, let's see how many circle's of friends we can make by simply adding your link on this Friendship Meme! 1-Catsy Carpe Diem , 2- Catsy Download s, 3-Out of the Blue , 4- A Day to Savor and Relish 5- A Piece of Idea 6- Write Shy 7- Stupid Wise 8- - Teacher's Corner 11- Abby of Mom and the City 12- My Views On My So Called Life / 13 – A Reality Bite

I am tagging my forever friend Drea and hope that our friendship remains the same till we grow old :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

my first blog award

this 5-Star Blog Award is given to a blogger whose blog is of highest classification. a blog of excellence in the following criteria: content, design and style, informative and accommodating.

i am honored to receive this award bestowed by Abie – sis, thanks very much! :D

i am passing this on to Gracita, Weng, Fritzie and Berns, whose blogs i find truly entertaining. i’m always cheered up whenever i pay their blogs a visit.

to all of you girls, keep those posts coming! :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

click the new click-wheel

writing does pay off.

this is my prize after submitting an article to the monthly newsletter of our company, the DIFC Diary.

with the “eclectic mix of art and culture” in our organization, i thought it’s only but timely to write about the upcoming Chinese New Year for our Thought of the Month column for February. i actually wasn’t expecting to receive any token for my article, so i was surprised when i found out from my friend at work, Abbie that i will be getting an iPod Nano for my published piece of writing. yey! another free Mac stuff...not bad :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

big bang world record

*Start Copy Here*

You do not have to be tagged to play along. This game is simple and so are the rules.
1. Copy from *Start Copy Here* through *End Copy Here*

2. Add your site(s) to the list. Just be sure to post at each site you add.

3. Tag or don’t tag, your choice, however, the more tags you create the bigger the list will grow.

4. Let me know your blog’s name and URL by leaving me a comment. I will add you to the master list.

5. Come back and copy the master list back to your site, often. This process will allow late-comers to get as much link benefit as the first ones in.

1-Attitude, the Ultimate Power 2-Juliana’s Site 3-Rusin Roundup 4-Grow Rich Along With Me 5-Comedy Plus 6-lynda’s loft 7-Amel’s Realm 8-MAX 9-Speedcat Hollydale 10-Mariuca 11-Complain Complain Complain 12-Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery 13-Life Is A Roller Coaster 14-Sugar Queen’s Dream 15-First Time Dad 16-Life 17-My Life 18-The Painted Veil 19-My Thoughts 21-Little Aussie Cynic 22- A Nice Place in the Sun 24-The Down Side OF Up 25- Ladyjava’s Lounge 26- Cat Tales 27-moms…check nyo 28-Colorado Baby 29-It’s a Woman’s World 30-ENLIGHTENED BITS 31-My View of “It”� 32-My Reviews and Finds Along the Way 33-Our Hep Chat 34 - Rantings of a Woman 35- The Callalily Space 36- Mom Knows Everything 37- Hazel 38- Chronicles and Tales Unlimited (RED) 39- From the Mouth of Jabber Jaws 40- Sunny Side Up Foodie & Lifestyle 41-Carmel Corn 42-Daily Stock Picks 43-The Whole New World 44- Wifespeak 45-Slavery Bliss 46- Rooms of My Heart 47- Unpredictable Life 48- My Life, My World 49- At Your Service 50- All About Ebay 51- Everything Amazon 52- Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out 53- My So-Called Site 54- New Wife Blog 55- It’s not the way 56- Nick’s Bytes 57- My Scratch Pad 58- Choc Mint Girl 59- Life Is Just Around the Corner”¦ 60- Amori, poseia, art”¦ virtuali by Hanna 61- Maryannaville 62- monaco - monaco’s 63- Nyumix’s Blog 64- read my mind - my keyboard monologues 65- Shower You Children With Love - The Right Way 66- Secret Agent Mama 67- Pinaymama’s Diary 68- Answers to the Questions 69- Work of the Poet 70- A Total Blog 71- My life, my hope, my future 72- NORTE 73- A Window to Our World 74- Life as a Mom 75- FIELD OF DREAMS 76- lisgold 77- See Me for What You 78- Caught in The Stream 79-Pinay Mommy Online - My Home 80-I’m Running To Win Two 81-CRUEL VIRGIN 82-Garden of Moments in Blog 83-So Cute 84-Love Everlasting 85-WeLcOmE To My CriB 86-WELCOME TO PINAYSMILE’S JOURNEY 87-Ice’s Icelog 88-Jenny’s Wandering Thoughts 89-Hobbies and Such 90-Sweet Paradise 91-Mommy’s Gibble Gabbles 92-Rusin Review’s 93-My Small World 94-Little Peanut 95-Online Ramblings 96-My Mood My Feeling 97-BLOG it with ALLEN 98-Entertainment World 99-Let’s Go Singapore 100-Firelynx 101-Catsy Carpe Diem 102-Every Beat Of My Heart 103-Always Da Fresh Princess 104-Listening.. Learning..Living 105-All About Mars 106- Syii From Afar 107-Some Thoughts I Have 108-From Here and Beyond 109-My Paid To Blog 110-Scholarship Corner 111-Cell Phone Review 112-“Apples of the Eyes”� 113-It’s All About Play 114-The Luttrull Journey 115-RennyBA’s Terella 116-Unchained Melody 117-Out of the Blue 118-The Lure Of the Unknown 119-Maricel’s 120-my blog 121-Spiff, the Spaceman 122-Living Well 123-The Dog Log 124-Catnip Corner 125-A Piece of Idea 126-Observations From the Back 40 127-Poetry by The Redneck Gypsy 128-Odd Facts 129-Juliana’s Lair 130-My life is murphy’s law 131- lisgoldsmemoirs 132-My memories, as time goes by 133-Somewhere over the rainbow 134-Blogging by Sandee 135-Our Journey to this so called life 136-Idaho Daily Photo 137-Memories that Never Fades.. 138-Anything goes 139-Your Caring Angels 140-Little Paces 141-Laketrees 142-PoeARTica 143-fracas 144-Just FraCas 145-Archies Archive 146- Chez Francine 147- La Place de Cherie 148- Le bric à brac de Cherie 149- Cherie 150- Gagiers Striking Zone 151- Gagiers Amazing World 152- Caroland’s Breathtaking Adventure 153- Kusina ni Gagiers 154- Chic Shopaholic 155- Gracie de Guzman 156- Jaqqq in the Blogs 157-I am Dzoi 158- My Happy Place 159-Raising Sandy 160-100% Kelly 161- A Reality Bite 162 - INSERT YOURSELF HERE

*End Copy Here*

i'm tagging Drea and Cheryll :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

off to the race

25.01.08 - one chilly Friday morning, we braved the cold front and drove to Dubai Autodrome at the Emirates Road to watch some real car racing. we were looking forward to catching the Dubai Grand Racing (Speedcar Series) this year, not because we were interested with the teams who were joining, but simply because we wanted to take some pictures and hear some engines roar like crazy :P

as soon as we got there, the ever coffee addict me dragged everyone to Costa’s booth for a cup of steaming coffee. since we were situated in the middle of the desert, the winds that day were blowing gustily. with a temperature of 17 degrees, that’s not something my Pinay body could withstand, so picture me with a jacket on top of my knit sweater, and cursing under my breath for wearing Havaianas flip flops, for heaven’s sake! (toink!)

anyway, since we arrived early, we got great seats in front of the finish line, and near to the bend so we could really see some action. however, we only stayed for half a day ‘coz we could no longer bear the cold. plus, we didn’t go for the VIP tickets so we were not able to go down the pit and paddock area, where all the hive of activity took place. nonetheless, it was all fun and exciting! we will definitely come back to check out the finale on April.

Friday, February 1, 2008

she one person full of love and ardour in all the right places. loves unconditionally, period.
…is my sanctuary, my complaint department, and my sounding board in one.
…is the most generous person i know. always goes the extra mile to make her friends feel special even when there’s no specific occasion.
…is a sister every being would wish to have.
…is every parent’s dream daughter.
…is a friend everybody would want to have.
…is the best Maid of Honor a bride could ever ask for. (our wedding wouldn’t be as spectacular, in our standard, as it was if it wasn’t for her and all the help she’s extended to us)

i call her by many names – Be (“diing maragsa”), Beth, Bes, Lizzie, Bachuchay, but my favorite term of endearment for her is Pangga. she is my bestfriend, my soul sister, and my partner in crime on a lot of things. i am so grateful for having her around - i couldn’t express elaborately how much she’s made a difference in my life! i pray to God that she be granted with all her heart’s desires, and ask fervently that He bless her with good health, not only for this year, but all throughout her lifetime.

sister, happy birthday to you! i pray for your continued happiness and success in life. you deserve only the very best! we may not be connected by blood, but by soul, we definitely are. i hope you bear in mind that you have a family in us – Ryan & myself, together with my parents and siblings.

love you loads!! mwah!