Thursday, May 29, 2008

unwelcomed discrepancies

the past week has been a nightmare for me. it’s nothing serious as getting into trouble or going through a bad ordeal that concerns family, work, friends, or our household, God forbid. it’s more of a headache any person would usually go through once they start dealing with adult stuff…like banking and insurance coverage for instance.

working in the insurance industry since my internship days, i’ve been exposed to the idea of properly securing your future. i’ve learned to calculate the risks i take, and i logically weigh pros and cons whenever i need to make decisions, especially big ones. i have short-term and long-term goals, and i do my best to achieve them. in short, i look before i leap.

in late 2006, i’ve made a decision to take up another life insurance policy through
ALICO. the policy was purchased from one of the big local banks in the UAE through their bancassurance scheme. i thought then it would be good to have another policy in place for me, knowing that the policy is going to be written by the world’s top ranking insurance company (ALICO is AIG's life insurance arm) and currency is in USD. however, after paying for a month, i changed my mind as i realized i already have two standing insurance policies, one of which is now paid in full, and another with only just a few remaining years to pay left, not including the group term insurance coverage i have at work. to cancel the policy, i stopped paying the premium as i know that it will automatically lapse anyway. from thereon, i’ve contemplated on getting a pension plan instead.

come early 2007, i’ve made up my mind to get a pension plan through the same bancassurance scheme. i was torn then between ALICO & Zurich, but went for the former. premium payment was arranged through automatic debit from the savings account they had set up for me. i received my own ATM card that’s also a debit card, along with 2 Gold credit cards that are free for life. my banking life couldn’t get any better! or so i thought…

early this year, i suspected that something was wrong with my account. i wasn’t receiving my monthly statement of account on a regular basis so i wasn’t able to monitor my account closely. to make the long story short, the bank’s system, brilliant as it is, has been debiting me twice a month – one for the pension plan, and get this – one for the life policy that has long been cancelled (i had received a formal advise from the insurance company, which i have in my file). apparently, the bank did not set up a new account for me. they assigned me the same customer number where all my other transactions fall under (car loan, credit cards, pension plan). so whenever it recognizes the money i deposit for my pension plan, the bank deducts premium for the lapsed life policy. come due date for the pension plan, the system reflects that there is insufficient funds, therefore, they can’t remit to the insurer. how did that happen, you ask? because the bank claims that i didn’t ask them to cancel the standing order for the life policy, despite them knowing that my policy is already cancelled. wtf!!!

i was fuming mad when i learned that my pension plan had lapsed last December because ALICO was not receiving premium payments to keep it rolling. they did admit, however, that i have $710 in my suspense account because my bank was remitting money for a policy that is no longer existing. all along, money was floating in ALICO's system, and they didn’t know what to do with it. they couldn't contact me directly because of their agreement with the bank. the bank didn’t inform me either because their system is, for lack of a better word, inefficient. it was a messy picture, and for days, i was restless about it!

as i write this post, the application form to reinstate my pension plan has already been filled out. i obliged to have it signed by a witness, as well. i need to pay ALICO 3 months worth of premiums because the bank refrained from debiting my account. according to them, their “new” system does not debit premiums on reported lapsed policies. hahaha!! i wanted to tell them their operations is nothing but a huge joke!

oh well, what else can i do? i just have to face the situation and deal with all the paperwork with hope that everything will be settled soon. no sense in crying over spilled milk – even if i wasn’t the one who spilled the milk anyway!

wish me luck guys!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

merry reverie

i had a very entertaining dream this morning while napping. why entertaining, you ask? it’s because i was laughing in my dream, and i remember every bit of detail why i was cackling madly while my mind was in its subconscious state. it was a good laugh, not because of something funny that happened in my dream, but because i was having a great time then. (no kinky thoughts, please!)

when i woke up, Ryan told me he could hear the sound of my rapid exhale of air. i was making a funny sound! i confessed that i was chortling in my dream, and it felt wonderful. talk about sweet dreams!

Monday, May 26, 2008


just when i was about to give in to the mood of doing some research (i.e data gathering of insurance premiums from the Sigma Archive of Swiss Re), the unthinkable happens – the website stalled on me!

it’s a good thing the task is not urgent. otherwise, i would’ve gone berserk!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

10 random things about me

an interesting tag from Pat. thank you! here’s a little bit about more about me.

1. Each blogger starts with ten random facts/habits about themselves. 2. Bloggers that are tagged need to write on their own blog about their ten things and post these rules. 3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose 10 people to get tagged and list their breads. 4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

and my list of 10 begins…

1. i am the eldest in a brood of ‘tres marias’. since i am the ‘ate’, i have the tendency to be bossy. i hope you understand that with the age gap of 7 years and 14 years respectively to my two younger sisters, dealing with them can be quite challenging, too! (read: i get the same headache my parents have in raising them)
2. i love reading - a lot! when i was in grade school, i used to raid the books of my cousins when i stay with them for vacation. if i’m badly hooked to an interesting book, i could forego eating and sleeping.
3. i used to hate spicy food, but since i discovered the joys of Thai food, i now get frequent cravings of zesty flavor.
4. i cannot leave the house without wearing a pair of earrings. i feel naked without them.
5. i write with my right hand when using a pen, but i can use either hands when i write on the blackboard with a chalk.
6. i love singing, but it doesn’t love me back. i think i flunk in that area.
7. i’m easy to please. i get excited over little things that matter to me.
8. i used to be a cheerleader when i was in highschool. the only trophy in my awards case was from cheerleading. gee, that was like agessss ago!
9. my Dad is a skilled scuba diver. in fact, he’s a certified PADI instructor. me? uhm, i don’t even know how to swim (and yet i have my own diving equipment at home!)
10. i love traveling so much, but i hate, hate, hate airports! just the thought of being in one stresses me already. i get panic attacks most of the time, so imagine my nervousness when i went through Ionscan, not once, but twice, in the U.S!

have i listed out 10 already? wow, that was fun! :)

i can’t tag 10 people because my fellow bloggers have done this already. so to all passersby, please feel free to snag, ok?

have a wonderful week everyone! :D

Saturday, May 24, 2008

stain devils

i promised Pat that i will post my latest find on stain removing. here’s my miracle worker for oil stains and anything emulsion in general.

handy to have at home. it saved us a lot of clothes that had oil stains on them. the only downside is you can’t carry it with you and use it anytime there’s a spilling accident. you have to have the tolerance to keep the stain untouched until you get home.

Glo Care Stain Devils is highly recommended! (for other stains, you can try their other specifics range)

Friday, May 23, 2008

a splash of cold water

i have a personal relationship with God. i talk to Him in the same manner i talk to my Dad. when i am sad or angry or tired, i imagine myself running to him and cry like a little girl on His lap. that picture never fails to reassure me. it keeps me going no matter how tough situations are, whether at home, work or with my relationships with people.

for a fact, i know that the God i praise and believe in has a good sense of humor. He makes me crack up even at my most trying times. and when He thinks i am in need of a good jolt, He opens my eyes to wonders and blessings that i sometimes fail to recognize. most of the time, He does it astonishingly during mundane moments of my not so extraordinary life.

case in point: everybody knows that yesterday was a real bad day for me. in as much as i tried to cheer myself up, nothing seemed to work. even my favorite Strawberry Banana smoothie from Caribou, which the barista had double-blended for me didn’t do the trick. as i worked towards the end of a busy week, the further my mood slid down. by the time i had to leave the office, i was totally slumped. for the first time, the thought of the weekend didn’t excite me.

when i got home, i tried to fight off the mood through entertainment. i sat in front of my laptop, double clicked the latest download from Torrent and watched David Cook triumph over ‘Archie’. afterwards, the husband, who was an avid follower of the recent AI, showed me the all-star episode that i missed – the Idol Gives Back. it was hilarious and totally entertaining, as it was also heartbreaking. in a futile attempt to fight off whatever emotion i could have from a TV show, i guarded my feelings pompously, until i came to the part of Annie Lennox’s report which had me crying for a full minute. it literally made me feel so ashamed of myself for feeling so down for something so lame compared to what those children are going through, and yet, i was the one who’s on the complaining end. for someone who’s been so blessed in many ways, i acted like an ungrateful child, and i hated myself for it. in my teary mode, i humbly told God how sorry i was, and admitted that His plan was very brilliant to make the frustrated me come to my senses. it was as if my face had been splashed of cold water just at the right time (a splash similar to what Shamu does when you’re on the soak zone!).

yes, i know i may not be better than a sourgraping chipmunk who had lost all of its nuts at all times, but i do know when it’s time to wake up and count my blessings. God sure does know when to set the alarm, and He makes sure there's no snooze button for me to press.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


today is not a good day for me. i am feeling frustrated, demotivated and upset. it’s like life is playing a joke on me…and it’s one helluva bad joke!

this is one of those days when all i ever want is for the earth to open up and swallow me whole.


rekindling Nice memories

my most memorable travel of last year has got to be the trip to Nice (pronounced as ‘nis’), which is located at the Southern part of France, set beautifully in the Mediterranean Coast and nestled on the Cote d’ Azur (French Riviera). what made the trip quite interesting is the fact that i didn’t go alone – the husband was with me! yipee!!

Nice was actually our pit stop before heading to our actual destination, as it is the city with the nearest international airport. we landed on a weekday morning, welcomed by the loveliest weather we’ve experienced in years. the sun was bright, and the wind gently breezed on our faces. hmmm, great weather for me who just loves walking!

we stayed at Hotel Ibis in Promenade de Anglais, which is just a kilometer from the airport. it was a small hotel, next to a neighborhood park, and a stone’s throw away from the bus stop. we chose Hotel Ibis mainly because it’s affordable (we only needed to stay there for a night anyway), it’s accessible, it has free wifi connection, and is at least a familiar chain of budget hotels that provided us the basics we needed. we took the bus to get to our hotel because buses in Nice are tourist friendly – there’s enough room for your luggage, and people don’t mind your big stuff at all!

a view from the top

we had breakfast at the hotel – coffee with their famous croissants! after checking-in, we took a short nap before taking a tour of the place. we asked for a map from the concierge, and armed with our point and shoot cameras, we went about with our ‘tourist activities’.

our first stop was at the Gare de Nice SNCF train station, where the Tourist Information Office was located. we asked for directions on how to get to the Russian Cathedral and other tourist attractions, and also asked for additional maps (my gosh, how many maps does a couple really need in a small town like Nice?!? LOL!). after taking a few photos here and there, we had a late lunch at one of the cafés we’ve spotted next to the train station. feeling reenergized, we marched our way to the Russian Cathedral to check it out.

Gare de Nice SNCF

The Russian Cathedral

next, we took a bus to bring us to Galeries Lafayette. this popular shopping store in France is situated in the Place Massena, so that made it more of a famous landmark in Nice. the plaza was buzzing with tourists, and we were overwhelmed with all the beautiful shops and cafés in all directions. there were performers in the plaza, and our favorite was the guy who played fantastic piano music. his pieces were so lively that people started to come up to him to watch him play. after that, we walked a little further to appreciate the grand fountain.

feeling thirsty from our walk-about, we went to the Cours Saleya Market or better known as the ‘Flower Market’ for a little ‘merienda’ stop. this tiny street is a market place by day, and transforms into a big area for al fresco dining at night. we had refreshments at one of the quaint coffee shops where we had a chance to rest our feet. in half an hour, we found ourselves walking again to explore the Vieux Nice (Old Nice). a bit more walking led us to the beach side, more commonly known as Quais Etats Unis, where we settled on a bench and just watched people of all ages walk, jog and bike along the strip. time seemed to be slow in Nice, so it was no wonder a lot of people prefer to retire there because of its relaxing atmosphere. we also took good note of the following things we liked about Nice:

- it is a dog-friendly environment. everywhere you go, you’ll find dogs freely roaming around with their masters, and they are allowed to enter every establishment in town.
- people are relaxed and very patient. cars don’t go speeding, and they give way to pedestrians – all the time! no honking either.
- food is served fresh. when you check out a restaurant, try to ask for their catch of the day - guaranteed yummy-ness!
- compared to other European cities, shopping in Nice is a lot cheaper. food and drinks doesn’t cost that much, too.

here are some other pictures we took that afternoon:

Quais Etats Unis

trying to see Cannes from afar

locals doing some fishing

the flower market at sundown

that evening, when the sun finally had set, we chose a restaurant amongst the enticing array of establishments in the flower market. we picked a quiet corner and had a lovely meal where i tasted the most palatable pasta with the freshest shrimps in the world! after dinner, we took a cab to head back to our hotel at half past 9:00 in the evening.

the unfortgettable pasta...yummy!!

the next morning, we woke up early as Ryan promised me that we'd take pictures of us together because we'll carry with us our tripod. he also assured me that we will go hike up the stairs to get to Le Chateau so we can see the view from up there. we went about the same route that we took the day earlier, and had a chance to see more of the plaza as there weren't much people roaming in the area. we also went to see the street filled with luxurious shops, and took an interesting visit at the flower market by day.

i have to give credit to my husband who did some research about the place, as he highly insisted that we go and see the flower market. i wasn’t too keen on going to a market place while on holiday as i found the idea quite boring. but boy, was i so wrong! when we got to the flower market, i felt so giddy excited like a child discovering the joys of a bouncy castle! the tiny road was filled with make-shift stalls selling all sorts of stuff: fresh flowers and plants on nice flower pots, varieties of olives, fresh fish, beautiful vegetables of extraordinary colors that made them appear so ‘unreal’, bon bons of different shapes and sizes, soaps made of minerals found only in Nice, candles, wax and other household items that could pass as souvenirs. it was such a delightful morning seeing all the locals and tourists buy their goods in such high spirits.

after that trip to the market, we went our way to see the Le Chateau. the hike was all worth the effort especially when we saw the view from the top. we had a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea and the Notre Dame du port. the sun glistened in the water quite beautifully that it had a calming effect on us. we stayed there for about half an hour before going back to the hotel to check out and catch a cab to get us to our next stop – Monte Carlo in the principality of Monaco!

view of the Old Town and the Promenade de Anglais

overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

atop the Le Chateau

Notre Dame du Port

stories of our visit to the land of the Grimaldi Family Dynasty coming soon, so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

a long list of things i've done

tagged by the Chronic Shopper. thanks a bunch, sis!

i've highlighted the ones i've done already :D

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
Taken a candlelit bath
Said I love you and meant it
Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
Visited Paris (counted ba ang 5 hours in-transit at their airport?)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
Gone to a huge sports game (Valerie, i guess UAAP counts!)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
Slept under the stars
Changed a baby's diaper (yes, both my younger sisters' & my niece's)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (at my own civil wedding!!)
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
Had a snowball fight
Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
Seen a total eclipse
Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
Taken care of someone who was too drunk
42. Had amazing friends (though present tense is more applicable)
Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
Watched wild whales (thanks to Sea World!)
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
Taken a road-trip (many times!)
48. Gone rock climbing
Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love (was one of those silly geese!)
In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
. Sung karaoke
Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (thanks to my dear hubby-bi!)

69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
Played a Computer game for more than 6 hours straight (Sims, Civilization & UFO were the culprits!)

72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
Crashed a party (in New Orleans, LA, and mind you, that was a private, corporate party of a big company!)
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
Got flowers for no reason
Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark

88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship

94. Spoken more than one language fluently

95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
Picked up and moved to another city
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (it was awesome!)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
Eaten sushi
Had your picture in the newspaper (our wedding announcement!)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
Read The Iliad
Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read (Jane Austen - Pride & Prejudice)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Skipped all your school reunions
Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (happens a lot here at work, especially when i call Morocco, Japan, and Mainland China)
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
Been a DJ (DZLB…hehe!)
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
Saved someone's life

so, how about sharing your list? come on, snag & share! :)

weekend 21

so, how was your weekend, peeps? mine was fun, busy and tiring.

let’s start with the fun part first, shall we?

hubby & i met up with college friend C to help her out with her sister’s wedding. so off we went to the florist i recommended to finalize their order. afterwards, we went to Ramee Royal Hotel’s Sports Bar for a hearty buffet brunch. it surprised me that this four star hotel we used to ignore serve really good food. they also have wide array of selection that’s an instant plus. and their dessert station was the best! i couldn’t decide which sweets to try out, so i took a small portion of all their lovely looking desserts. everything looked and tasted yummy that i almost couldn’t feel a thing after eating. there was entertainment, of course, provided by an old couple – the man playing the saxophone, and the woman playing the organ.

after our incredibly sumptuous meal, we went to Wafi Mall for a little walk to burn the fats we gained from our gluttonous lunch. we store hopped while the bride-to-be purchased other items they still need for the wedding. hubby and i chanced upon the jug we’ve been eyeing for since we’ve seen it in the movie ‘Made of Honor’. the price tag was a bit over the top, but we just decided to splurge on it, rather than regret not buying it later on.

from Wafi, hubby had to leave us three to go home and change for his photo shoot with friends. being good girls that we are, off we went to hear mass at St. Mary’s Church. thereafter, we went to Starbucks at Jumeirah Palm Strip to have a round of refreshing frappuccinos while we discussed details about the wedding. being the only married girl amongst us three, i was asked questions from the missalette down to the ‘things to remember’ on the big day. after going through the wedding stuff, we all chatted coolly about everything under the sun. we joked, reminisced and laughed till our tummies hurt and our eyes brimmed with tears.

as hubby’s gig with friends finished late in the evening, C and i opted to stay late at the French Bakery in Al Wasl Road. despite the sticky feeling of being outdoors, we chose a spot in their Al Fresco area to savor the aroma of shisha (and for her to be able to smoke, too). my Honey was able to pick me up at 1:45 am, and that’s when we decided to call it a night.

now the busy part.

since we got home at past two in the morning, we woke up late the following day (Saturday). in as much as we wanted to gallivant around the mall because it was too hot to do anything outside, we had to drive from one place to another from 11:30 am to 7:15 pm. here’s a rundown of what we did:

11:30 am – open a new savings account (yihee!)
12:15 pm – lunch at Marry Brown, then coffee at Starbucks for some caffeine kick
2:00 pm – ocular inspection at the bowling centre option no. 1 for my birthday party. yes, i want a party because i’m turning 30, and it’s a milestone! (oops, did i just give away my real age?!?)
2:30 pm – since i had to cancel my salon appointment last Thursday, i had to go for my hair and nail treatments yesterday, and it lasted for 2 ½ freakin’ hours! by the time i was done, i was fidgety already.
5:30 pm – went to the Pioneer House booksale at Al Boom Tourist Village. it was a haven for book lovers! discount on their new books ranged from 20% - 70% off. i bought a lot of children’s books, and Disney books with CDs for my godchildren as gifts for Christmas. the hubby got himself two cookbooks, a copy of the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab 5's Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better and Living Better” book, and a Dan Brown paperback.
7:15 pm – ocular inspection at the bowling centre option no. 2

and lastly, the tiring part.

i honestly didn’t mind all the drive and hippity-hopping we did over the weekend. it’s the heat that made every bit of the weekend tiring. you must’ve all guessed that the feel of summer has already hit us. it is now SCORCHING HOT!! and when we talk about summer in the UAE, that’s about 45 degrees Celsius on the average, paired with 60%-80% humidity. imagine doing your errands with this kind of heat! double the effort indeed. goodness gracious!! we couldn’t even sit in the car immediately because we have to cool it first. we dreaded the feel of the leather seats!

how about you folks – how did you spend your weekend? i hope it was all fun, too.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

some wants

a fun tag from Pat. thanks a ton!

let me tag my good old friend, Drea & katukayo Chung. hope you enjoy the tag, ladies!

participants: 1. Tere-Blessing in Life 2. Yen- Me and Mine 3. Thea is bloggerhappy 4. Thea is berryscrappy 5. Tricia-Tricia’s World 6. Shopaholic Pat 7. Crazy Graciegirl 8. YOUR BLOG add here

1. what do you want for your birthday?
- wow, perfect timing (it’s in a month’s time)...i want an out of the country holiday with Ryan.

2. who will be your next kiss?
- the husband, of course!

3. when was the last time you went to the mall?
- Friday last week.

4. are you wearing socks right now?
- nope.

5. how did you spend your summer?
- summer here starts on June. hopefully our travel plans push through.

6. have you been to the cinema in the last 5 days?
- nope

7. what was the last thing you had to drink?
- Lipton lemon ice tea

8. what are you wearing right now?
- office clothes

9. what was your last purchase?
- a 1-litre bottle of Evian

10. what was the last food you ate?
- Garlic Chicken Shawarma

11. who would be the person you would call if you were up in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep?
- my cousins in San Diego, CA

12. have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
- no. hubby will be very cross if i buy more after my recent trip..hehe! :)

13. do you have a pet?
- make that pets, but they all are in Manila

14. what made you laugh in the last 5 days?
- my husband. sometimes i think he’s random! he surprises me with his crazy antics! ;-)

15. if you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
- at home sleeping

16. what is the last thing you purchased online?
- camera accessories for Ryan

17. one thing you hate about yourself?
- my weight

18. do you miss anyone?
- yes, my family back home

19. what are your plans for the day?
- go to the salon

20. last person you msg’d?
- bestbud Beth

21. ever went to a camp?
- yes, when i was in highschool

22. are you a good student in school?
- i guess so

23. what do you know about the (your) future?
- none. i like fate to surprise me

24. are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
- yes – the classy Estee Lauder Pleasures

25. where is/are your best friend/s right now?
- one is in Duluth, GA, one is in Pinas, and three are here in Dubai

have fun and tag as much blogger friends you have!

bloggers around the world

Pat, i’m with you on this tour!

let all the bloggers around the globe come together in unity by blog linking. all you have to do is add your name to the list. don’t forget to specify the country where you are from and of course, link your name to your respective blog. if you have two or more blogs, add and link ‘em all. then invite 8 or more bloggers to do the same. here we go!

Julia from Philippines, Catherine from Malaysia, Shi from USA, Mitch from Philippines, Hailey from Philippines, Sexymom from USA, Liza from Philippines, Sasha from Philippines, Thess from Netherlands, Marie from Philippines, mind bubbles from USA, Evi from Canada, Christine - Marikit from AU. Christine - Strawberrygurl from AU, Mel’s Untamed World from PH, Mel’s Uncensored Life from PH, vanity kit from USA, something purple from USA, em’s detour from USA, Sassy Finds from Philippines My Charmed Life from Philippines, Mommyhood and Me from Philippines, Changing Lanes from Philippines, Pit Stop from Philippines, Shopaholic Ties The Knot from Philippines, Gracie from United Arab Emirates (next passenger here)

guess everyone’s done this tag already so i’ll keep this open for others who haven’t hopped on the plane yet.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

feeding Kelly’s curiosity

i know this is long overdue, but as they say, better late than never.

here are the guys who make me feel kilig, and who i will most probably date, IF and only IF i weren’t married. (yup, date only - not sleep with... conservative ako! haha!)

1. Patrick Galen Dempsey

you all should know by now how huge my crush is on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Dr. Derek Shepherd, a.k.a. Mc Dreamy. such a charming face he has…haaaayyy! i love the way he smiles, laughs, cries – i love everything about the guy! i’m still pretty upset that he didn’t win People Magazine’s ‘sexiest man alive’ award. i think he deserves the top spot better than Matt Damon. don’t you agree with me?

2. Justin Timberlake

i’ve had a crush on this guy since N’Sync days. he was cute then, ngayon yummy na…hahaha! if i were to date him, i’d probably ask him to sing and dance for me…in private!

3. Zac Efron

seriously, i don’t care if you call me cradle snatcher. this is my blog so i can write whatever i like. and if i say i am crushing on this 21-year old hunk, you are not to judge me! ;-) i first saw this cute jock in the movie ‘Hairspray’, and then saw him next at Disney’s ‘High School Musicale’. wow, those gorgeous pair of eyes – they’re tantalizing indeed! i’d be happy to be in Vanessa Hudgens’ shoes right this very moment, even for only one day.

4. Brendan Fraser

yah, yah, i know this guy can be such a corn ball, but won’t you admit it that he’s awfully good looking? ‘Mrs. Winterbourne’, ‘With Honors’, and ‘The Mummy’ are his most notable performances for me - notable simply because he looks really gorgeous in all these flicks…tee hee!!

5. Hugh Jackman

do i have to even convince you people why i picked this guy?
back in high school, i used the code name ‘Jean Grey’…and he’s definitely my ‘Wolverine’!

6. Brendan Fehr

the only bad boy among my list. he's the rough-lookin' cutie Michael from ‘Roswell’, and he’s the reason why i never missed an episode of that now-defunct series.

7. Gerard Butler

the ultimate hunk. the uber sexy guy. the man of the hour. need i say more?

8. Marc Nelson

a surfer dude’s look can never go wrong: washboard abs, lean body, a knock out smile...what more can a girl ask for?

ladies, feel free to snag and tell us who you desire (ooh, sounds sleazy!).

kid at heart

that’s how i felt after spending the sundown at Al Qasba yesterday. we spent about a couple of hours just taking snapshots.

at first, i felt bored just sitting in there watching my companions click away.

not until we started watching the Al Qasba Musical Fountain do its magic.
here are pictures of me goofing around like little kid:

in fact, the kids began playing in the fountain after i did. husband thinks i’m such a ‘promotor’. well, the fountain is there for the kids to play with, right? in this kind of weather, one of the most fun thing to do is get wet!

here’s more:

let’s not forget the pictures of the dear husband practicing some shots with his brand new 17-85mm lens:

nice pictures, huh? all photos are taken by our friend K. thanks, dude!

describe yourself today

starting my week right with a nice tag from Thea. thank you, my dear! i hope you’re enjoying your day!


1. list 6 things that describe yourself today.
2. add your blog to the list. feel free to add all your other blogs.
3. tag other online friends you know.

today, this is me:
- a laid back and worry-free soul. i’ve decided not to sweat the small stuff anymore. i refuse to waste my time being sad & miserable over things i have no control of. i’m sure things will fall in the right places at the right time. God has always been good to me & my loved ones, so i trust that He will be there for us whenever we need Him most.
- a grateful wife blessed with the most wonderful husband in the world! being married to Ryan is one of the best things that ever happened to me.
- a fuss-free person who only looks at the brighter side of things. negativity is no longer part of my vocabulary (woo hoo, way to go!!)
- a passionate individual who will never give up on something so easily. determination has led me to great things, and i plan to keep up with such attitude.
- a believer that good things come to those who wait. the saying ‘patience is a virtue’ is one of my recent favorites.
- a more giving person. i am surrounded by generous people, and i’ve realized that generosity, apparently, is contagious.

Creative In Me Little Peanut Me and Mine Pea in a Pod Sugar Magnolias BLOGGERHAPPY Berry Scrappy A Reality Bite YOUR BLOGS HERE

since it’s Mother’s Day today, i’m tagging the wonderful mommies out there: Abie, Kelly and Roselle.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

rice feast

in my week long stay in the States, i never had rice at all. so i’ve started craving for the ultimate Pinoy staple food since i hopped on the plane back to Dubai. would you believe that from Saturday till yesterday, we were at Chowking each morning because of their breakfast meals? of course, having rice for breakfast is the way to start your day! i ordered tapsilog (twice), daingsilog and shanghai lauriat that filled me ever so happily. i took a leave today, which is a relief to the husband who had gotten tired of eating breakfast in the same place 4 days in a row.

to take our palates off the taste of garlic rice, hubby took me to dinner last night at Lemongrass, our new favorite Thai restaurant. we ordered their signature dish, Med Goo plus Talay Pao to go perfectly with Kao Suay, their fragrant Jasmine rice. to describe our meal ‘divine’ would be an understatement!

the husband with our seafood delights

...and this is me daydreaming with my rice

tonight, we will be watching ‘Iron Man’. but before catching the movie, we’ll have to have dinner first. hmmm, i wonder which restaurant we’ll end up eating at. well, i don’t mind which restaurant really, as long as they serve rice. i can start dieting next week.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

what kept me busy after 5…

…in San Diego, California was the shopping experience!

these bags contain just a few of my purchases. by the time i took this pix, the rest of the stuff i bought in the last couple of days were already stowed away. i literally racked my brains trying to fit everything in my 2 pieces of luggage!

i had a feeling i’d be able to find this in the States. Horton Plaza’s Louis Vuitton didn’t fail me :)

before i left, my Uncle Regie & Auntie Malou gave me this as a gift:

on top of this, i got a Hollister shirt and top, too. woohoo!!

what’s good about this trip is that it didn’t hurt my credit cards. since my relatives treated me to most of my meals each day, plus my cousins drove for me in town, i saved up from my per diem so i was able to buy (loads of) stuff for me & hubby. ok di ba? ;-)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

arte y pico

Vannie, thank you for this award! special gifts like this help me get my groove back. now at least i know someone thinks my blog is creative and interesting *insert blushing face here!*

The Rules:
1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award -

i’m picking the blogs of Jesse -
The Simple Life of a Baghag, Jody - In This Game of Life..., Mich - Random Thoughts, Jade - Everyday Jade & Kelly - 100percentkelly as recipients of this award. keep those interesting posts coming, ya habibtis!

i'm a social butterfly!

Mich got me tagged, and out of curiosity, i immediately took the test. i wasn’t surprised at the results as i saw this coming already:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

as an ESTJ, i am perceived as responsible, logical, norm-following hard worker. my efforts are carried out in a practical, structured manner. i trust facts and experiences more than theories. i am a decisive, loyal, tradition observing individual. on top of these, i am recognized as someone who enjoys being the person in charge, thus making me a potentially good supervisor. wow! :)

how about you
Laine, Pat & Cheryll, wanna try the test and see how you fare?

Monday, May 5, 2008

red rose for the ladies

this red rose came from Valerie.

thank you :)

red rose has number of thorns in it, when it pinches your fingers it hurts. everyday in my life is just like red roses. sometimes life is not always a bed of roses, but life is great with GOD. now, it's my turn to share this red rose.

i’m passing this on to the lovely wives, Bunnie & Che.

to-do's meme

i was tagged by Kelly . here’s a sneak peek on my actual to do list today, 5th May 2008.

my chopsuey 2.) mind bubbles 3.) vanity kit 4.) somethingpurple 5.) a detour 5.) women xplore 6.) princes bela 7.) our journey to life 8.) my planet purple 9.) 100% Kelly 10.) A Reality Bite

1. plan meetings for Hong Kong & Australia for our director
2. finalize the Monthly Executive Report for April
3. retrieve leads via online from Xpressleads
4. send emails to potential clients
5. update marketing templates
6. blog hop, if there’s time
7. set up an appointment at the salon
8. apply for a leave in lieu of my 2 weekends (that’s 4 days!!)
9. unpack my 2 pieces of luggage (er, good luck Gracie!)
10. catch up on sleep

Kelly, i’ve already finished 4 out of these 10 to-do stuff, and it’s only 1:24 pm Dubai time! haha! but i think i’ll spend a lot of time on number 9 tonight though. yikes!

Pat, Weng and Valerie, i’d like to see what’s keepin’ you tied up, too.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

high altitude blubber

when you are aboard a plane feeling bored and restless, DO NOT watch a movie like “P.S. I Love You”, unless you are ready to openly show your emotions to your fellow passengers.

i couldn’t stop crying on my way to Houston aboard flight EK 211 last 25th April. it was the first movie i watched since the plane took off, and the feeling of sadly missing my better half was aggravated by the movie’s story. good thing my seatmates were asleep and the cabin crews were not doing their rounds so no one noticed my flowing tears while watching the film. it would’ve been totally embarrassing, i imagine!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

home bound

i'm back...after a 17-ish hour journey...fresh from the airport!!

lots of stories to share, pictures to upload, and some luggage to unpack. for now, all i can say is that California is always a good excuse to see the U.S., especially during springtime!

be back folks with all the juicy stories, after i get over the jet lag, ok?