Monday, June 30, 2008

birthday weekend

first of all, thank you to all those who greeted me during my birthday. i sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness, and all your warm tidings. i had a blast celebrating this milestone birthday, and here is my uber late story. have to warn you though of the photo overload! :D

i’ve always loved staying in hotels. so for my birthday, just as last year’s, i decided to book for one night at Dusit Thani Dubai Hotel. thanks to my dear cousin who works at the hotel, i managed to get a pretty good deal with the rates, owing to their family member special rate benefit. not only did i get a fairly discounted rate – i also got a two bedroom suite accommodation with freebies such as breakfast for 2, access to the Club Executive Lounge, and a whopping 50% discount at their coffee shop. what a nice birthday gift, no?

me & hubby at our suite

i was pretty lucky my birthday landed on a weekend here, so i was able to have a relaxing day for myself. hubby and i checked in at the hotel at 9:30 am, then went to St. Mary’s Church after dropping our stuff in the suite. afterwards, we had lunch at Dusit Delicatessen, where we ordered their Blue Plate Special. for drinks, i had a glass of a flavorful Strawberry Smoothie.

having lunch - all my favorites in one plate

i dared not let the day pass without taking a trip to the salon. i haven’t been to one in the last few weeks, so i took the opportunity to pay it a visit, this time with my bestie Beth. when we finished, hubby picked us up, and headed back to the hotel, where the husband surprised me with a lovely bouquet of flowers. i knew that he may order flowers for me since he always does that on every occasion, but i was totally surprised when he handed them over to me after we got off the car. i was spaced out that afternoon because i was feeling sleepy, so when he walked towards me with the big bouquet in his hand, i was rendered speechless!

bonding time with bestie

from honeybear

i had arranged a small gathering for my birthday, where i invited my cousins, my Pinoy family at work, and a handful of friends to celebrate with me. i prepared a bowling party at Dubai Bowling Centre, where my guests and i bowled to our heart’s content for two hours. after making my guests work so very hard at knocking off some ten pins, i treated them to dinner at the nearby Mugg & Bean. the highest score of the night was by Harvey (ni Gracita), who took home a box of Cadbury truffles as a prize.

bowl a strike

an EB (finally!) with my katukayo, Gracita & her Papa Harvs

with the best husband in the world!

at the bowling centre

with my pretty cousins

blow the big 30 candle

cutting the cake

after dinner, we all headed to the hotel for some cocktails and drinks. here are some more pictures, with my gifts, too:

with the girls

a pose with the drinkers in the house


the bar

it's fun being 30!

opening a gift

lovely presents

the birthday girl

it was a fun party, all in all. i had a great time bonding with my family, and friends, plus i got to meet new ones, too. the night was capped at half past three in the morning, i think.

come 9:00 am, hubby and i roused ourselves from our deep slumber to have breakfast at The Californian Restaurant at the hotel’s 24th floor. despite the lack of sleep, i was pumped with energy as we were to catch the movie, Kung Fu Panda at the Metroplex Cinema for the 11:00 am time slot, which was exclusively arranged for all of us DIFC Authority staff and our families. loved the movie to bits! :D

we had late lunch thereafter at the famous home of peri-peri chicken, Nando's in Sheikh Zayed Road. once we finished savoring their sumptuous chicken delights, we trooped back to the hotel for a short nap. when we woke up, we packed our stuff to check out at 6:00 pm. but before doing that, we made a side trip to the Executive Lounge for some cocktails before heading back home.

it was a tiring weekend for the me, but of course, i never complained - not even one bit. a person turns 30 only once in his/her life, so he/she should make the most out of it. for my case, i obviously did! and despite my family being away from me on my special day, it was still extra special because of the guests who took time to come by and party with me.

i used to not believe in happy birthdays, but now i do :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

sweet snail mail

this afternoon, i received the best snail mail ever since i moved here to Dubai. i’m sure those of you frequent visitors of Munchkinmommy are aware of the little contest she’d made in celebration of her 3 blissful years of blogging. and whaddaya know, i was one of the lucky winners! well, i'm not really good at winning raffle contests or anything, but since she decided to declare all those who participated as winners, i managed to fish a prize.

since the announcement of the winners last 9th June, i've been eagerly watching out for the special envelope to arrive. everyday, i always give a hopeful look to our Empost guy who makes two rounds each day in the office to deliver our mails to our desks (oh yes, we're rotten spoiled at work!). it took a couple of weeks for the envelope to arrive, and when it did, i was in total shock. it felt soooo good to see my nickname written in front of the envelope, jotted in my most favorite ink color of all. i was tickled happy! it was exactly the same kind of feeling i used to get when my Dad sends me pop-up, musical birthday or Christmas cards when i was little.

the envelope addressed to moi

i lifted the envelope gently from my desk, and i gingerly opened it from the side, careful not to tear it for fear that i might accidentally ruin what's inside. when i held on to the cards, i was totally bowled over! Weng said her cards were a bit on the toddlerish quality. i say NOT! they were perfectly beautiful! of course i didn't miss reading the message that came with it, which in truth got me teary-eyed. the message was so sweet and heartfelt! totally made my day! :D

the inside envelope & the extra-special message

cutesy handmade cards

i promised myself that as soon as i receive my prize cards, i will do my best to revive my love for arts and crafts by making such lovely cards from scratch. i may not be as talented as Weng, but i do hope i could wring out some creative juices out of me to pay the touching gesture forward to somebody else. i'd like to experience that awesome feeling of giving other people joy through my labor of love.

to Weng, thank you so much once again for the gift! it truly means a lot to me! it's amazing how God works wonders in our lives. my last memory of you in highschool was an accomplished Senior, and an officer i look up to during my Tenderfoot years in Girl Scouting. we were not really friends then, but look at us now...i feel like i've just earned a big sister in you. i am grateful for your kindness, your thoughtfulness, and most of all, for your moral support in all things. you're like my online personal cheerleader! believe me when i say that you are blessing to people, that's why you are gifted with many wonderful things in life. you make a difference in this world with your own humble ways. you are truly special, and i hope you know that. God bless you and your family always. xoxo!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

all chores day

hi folks! i'm squeezing a bit of blog time, amidst all the stuff i need to do here at home (i.e. chores). plus i have to help the husband bake a carrot cake that my colleague ordered for one of her team mate's birthday celebration tomorrow. well, i'm not exactly baking here...i'm just peeling, slicing, dicing, greasing, and dishwashing, and that's my little way of helping out. it's quite tedious to bake a carrot cake, to be honest, so my better half really needs some assistance with these mediocre tasks (unless i want him to finish 'till midnight doing everything, the poor thing!)

anyway, we decided to stay at home today to finish a few stuff that we have neglected to do over the past few weekends. for one, i am busy stuffing the washing machine with our weeklong laundry, and i'm hoping to finish before the sun's down. i also need to change the bed sheets, and fold clothes that have been ignored over the past couple of weeks (i was busy with my party last week, so i guess i'm excused..hehe!) listing down all these chores, i am reminded of one post that has been a topic in the n@w forum, and that is the division of chores between the husband and the wife. i was itching to give an answer, but was sidetracked with other things to do. nonetheless, i am posting it here now.

i know most couples would agree with me that it isn't easy peasy to divide chores between the two of you. when one (or sometimes both) of you isn't used to doing chores at home when you were single, it's really gonna be a bit of a challenge. it will take a lot of adjustments and sacrifice of time to make things work.

my husband is a typical guy who is no fan of doing chores, especially cleaning up. i pick up his mess, like any other wife. i do remind him to from time to time, although it gets to a point where i throw my hands up in frustration, too. men are generally slobs, but it's not an excuse when you have a room mate who likes things in their proper places, if not tidy. so there, cleaning the house is obviously my job. one point for me!

now let's go to cooking. i admit Ryan is a better cook than i am, but it doesn't mean that i don't cook, OR that i can't cook, which is so untrue. there are dishes that i can whip up, which he cannot copy, so if we're up for such dish, he leaves the kitchen to me. most of the time, it's the husband who does the cooking (except cooking rice, which he doesn't fancy doing), but during weekends, i try to compensate by manning the kitchen. now that's one point for the husband!

washing the dishes is a task that we both do. our rule in the house is that if he did the cooking, i do the dishwashing, and vice versa. fair enough, right? so that's one point for each of us.

emptying the hamper is my job. i segregate the clothes that need to be washed by batches. folding clothes is also my task, although Ryan also helps me, but only when i ask him to. since i am particular with the way our clothes are pressed, i take care of that, as well. the wife - three points!

i'm still lucky because my husband is somehow domesticated, so even if i scored more than him, it doesn't mean that he's not helping me out on the household chores. he does so, but on varied levels, depending on what the situation calls for :) i noticed that he's the type who needs to be asked to do things.

other than the job of upkeeping the flat, there's also car to maintain, which Ryan is totally in charge of. i leave the driving to him, and all other responsibilities that go with owning a car (car wash, check up, etc.) i think that evens out things between us.

so there you have it, a little sneak peak of the 'chores chapter' in our married life. gotta head back now to the kitchen, before Ryan thinks i've forgotten about him.

happy Saturday, and be safe everyone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

fully loaded

whoever said that summer is the slowest time of the year at the office is quite mistaken! since June had started, piles and piles of tasks keep coming in. not that i’m complaining, but i just find it bizarre that everyone’s chasing one another for deadlines and targets. isn’t it the season for holiday breaks?

it’s a completely different scenario two years ago. now, it’s totally chaotic! Dubai has indeed grown so fast paced over a short period of time. it’s like being in Manhattan, but sunny (and dusty)-all-throughout-the-year style. i feel like my nerves have gone haywire already from juggling too many things. sometimes i silently wish i could duplicate myself so that i could easily finish everything that’s in my plate. oh dear! *sigh!*

flame of friendship

flame has been passed on to me by Pheng. thanks, thanks dearie! :)

The Flame of Friendship.
A symbol of spirit of unity.
The burning icon of love.
Undying picture of hope.
The hot symbol of oneness.
The Flame of Friendship.

And now it's your turn to flame yourself! Meet new friends. Discover friendship. Make bonds.
Copy this post starting from the PICTURE ABOVE to the end and add your blog on the list below.

Let's start FLAMING!
A Reality Bite

i am now passing this flame of friendship to:

Pat, who’s such a sweet online buddy. i’m always left with a smile whenever she leaves a comment on my blog.
Kelly, who’s one of the coolest Moms on earth. her posts never fail to make me laugh.
Weng, probably the one of the longest i’ve known in my blogroll. was so happy to bump into her in the blogosphere after so many years.
Chung, my new friend, and fellow ‘grace-ful’ UAE expat, who i recently got to hang out with. it feels so good to see your online buddies face-to-face indeed.

travel to the 7 continents

a tag from super mommy Aggie - thank you!
Rules :

1. Start Copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy”.

2. Put your blog’s name and url write in which continent you live, add the country you live in. Example : My Imaginary Travels (Netherlands)

3. Leave your url post in here and I’ll add you to the Master List.

4. Please help spread this tag by tagging your friends as much as you can.

5. Don’t play unfair! If you have more than 1 blog, you can participate all your blogs for this tag. BUT you will have to post this tag to all your blogs as well. So, please. Don’t cheat!

6. Please come back again to copy the update of the master list, often. This process will help new participants to get the same gains as the first participants.

7. Don’t forget to use the banner at your post, you can save as or you can just copy the code in here.

Master List :

A. Asia : 1. Moms… Check Nyo (Philippines) 2. Aeirin’s Collections (Philippines) 3. Jenny and Belle(Philippines) 4. Hailey’s Beats and Bits (Philippines) 5. Appleofmyeyes(Saudi Arabia) 6. Deranged Insanity (Philippines) 7. PROJECT HEAVY TRAFFIC (Singapore) 8. Rooms of My Heart (Indonesia) 9. Blessings and Beyond (Philippines) 10. lancerlord (Singapore) 11. allinkorea (Korea) 12. kimchiland (Korea) 13. korean food (Korea) 14. idealpinkrose (Korea) 15. Pinay Mommy Online (Philippines) 16. Momhood Moments (Philippines) 17. Business Mars (Philippines) 18. Mommy Talks. 19. All Kinds of Me Stuff 20. Winding Creek Circle 20. The Salad Caper. 21 A Reality Bite (United Arab Emirates)

B. Australia : 1. Reflexes (Australia) 2. Only the Good Stuff (AU)

C. Afrika : 1. your turn

D. North Amerika : 1. Simple Life, Simply Me (USA) 2. Pinaymama’s Diary (USA) 3. 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires (United States) 4.Traipsey Turvey (USA) 5. Dabawenyako (USA) 6. Icelog (USA) 6. The Misadventures of an Ordinary Housewife (USA) 7. It Is Nap Time (US) 8.A Mother’s Journal (USA) 9. Journey And Journal [USA] 10. Life is good and beautiful (USA) 11. Mind Bubbles (USA) 12. Vanity Kit (USA) 13. Something Purple (USA) 14. Stripe&Yellow (USA) 15. Em’s Detour (USA) 16. YOUR TURN.

E. South Amerika : 1. your turn

F. Europe : 1. My Imaginary Travels (Netherlands) 2. Juliana’s Site (Netherlands) 3. Picturing of Life (Netherlands) 4. SuperMae (Portugal) 5. The Callalily Space (The Netherlands) 6. your turn

G. Antarctica : 1. your turn

~ End Copy ~

free for all tag :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

have visa, will travel

despite the scorching heat of the sun, i endured a high noon trip to the Jordan Consulate a while ago to pick up our passports with the visa required for entry to Jordan. Ryan and i will be traveling next week for a 4-day stay at the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as a treat to celebrate our 30th birthday this summer. we’re both excited as we are keen on visiting the Dead Sea, and seeing Petra, which is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

i just hope it’s not gonna be too hot as walking on Petra alone is going to be rough and tiring…unless i could get myself a good donkey to ride on.

share the love

Pat & Kelly thought of me with this beautiful tag (i’m glad to learn i make you smile!). the tag originated from Crystal, whose son's life was saved by an organ donation. let's all pay it forward. let's share the love.

Rules in sharing Crystal’s Love:
Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same**

As you may have recently seen on my side bar, I have finally created a custom blog award!! I have wanted to do this for a long time but never came up with something that “fit”. I didn’t want just anything. It had to be something that meant something to me. And what could mean more than Sharing the Love by giving you pieces of my heart??

So I created this award in Honor Of The Donor That Saved Noah’s Life. I share this award with those of you whose love and friendship have enriched my life and made my world a better place. I hope by passing this award around the blogging world we can all help raise awareness of the need for Organ Donation.

i’m passing this on to Weng, Mich & Abie. share the love!

Friday, June 20, 2008

30, quirky, and thriving!

cheers! today is my 30th birthday. there, i’ve admitted the cold, hard fact. i couldn’t believe i’m actually turning this old already! in my heart, i feel like i’m still 12. ok, that’s exaggerated…make that 16. tee hee!!

to celebrate the 3 meaningful decades of my life, i’m going to share with you more about myself and walk you through my personal experiences and feelings about my past – from my childhood to adolescence to adulthood.

time for a little stroll down memory lane...

let’s start with the year 1978 – the year i was born. Martial Law prevailed that time so imagine my parents’ worries whenever i’d get convulsion attacks. my Dad had to beg soldiers then to let him walk in the streets after curfew just to fetch a doctor. and because i was a very sickly infant, the doctor told my parents i’d be lucky to live longer than 12 months. of course he was proven wrong.

1980 – my first vivid memory of childhood. it was my cousin’s 2nd birthday party and i was a little over 2 then. i still remember how i had told him and his playmates to eat pancit bihon properly because they were making a mess.

1982 – the year i first went schooling. call it bizarre but i still remember my nursery graduation day then. the gift i got was a set of colorful building blocks, which i totally disliked. (there are pictures to prove this! hehe!)

1983 – because i was nanny-less, my Mom had to bring me to Dagupan, Pangasinan so my paternal grandma could look after me. i studied at Edna’s School for a year so i picked up the dialect. i could still speak & understand Pangalatoc, although now i admit i need some sharpening up.

1984 – we moved to our home in Novaliches, Quezon City. for me, that’s where my heart will always be. and why not, when that’s where i actually spent most of my childhood, which i will never trade for anything else in the world?! memories of being free to roam around the village, play in the streets, learn to ride a bike, climb over the gates, nurse wounds, bumps and bruises, share toys, books and food, and understand the fundamentals of friendship will always remain precious to me.

1985 – i tagged along with my parents on their second honeymoon in Hong Kong. my Mom & i travelled by ourselves to meet up with my Dad in HK airport. my Mom almost had a seizure because she thought she lost me in the airport. i remember very well that as soon as i saw my Dad from the other side of the glass door, i scrammed swiftly when my Mom turned her back for a second at the security check. while she and the guards were looking for me, i was already safely carried by my Dad’s arms. (hmmm, bad girl!)

1986 – i discovered the joy of being onstage. no, not singing, silly! dancing and joining speech contests. remember i can’t carry a tune?

1989 – joined a TV game show in Channel 13 called “Campus Break” with my classmate Jinkee during 5th Grade. we won against St. Mary’s College. it was my first TV appearance…LOL!!

1990 – i was so good in Math when i was in gradeschool, especially during 6th Grade. i even join and win interschool competitions. (i wonder now where my love for Math go?)

1991 – freshman year at UST High. met new friends and actively participated in the Girl Scouting movement. it was also in july 26 of such year when i had my most memorable flood experience in UST. no kidding, but i literally walked all the way from UST Dapitan Gate to Bagbag, Novaliches with my classmate, Len. i don't know how far is the distance in numbers, but i do recall that it was a long way. it was the only time i've seen the cloverleaf interchange in Balintawak soaked in flood water.

1993 – the best high school year of my life (III - St. Cecilia). barkada. intrams. cheerleading. puppy love.

1995 – freshie at UP Los Banos. it was an entirely different world for me. i thought highschool life was fun, but college life was waaayy better. although i was raised as an independent child, when i went to UP, i felt the real sense of independence. it was a tad scary then because every decision i had to make will have an impact on my future, but at the same time, it was also exciting because i got to test my self-control and discipline myself. i earned new friends, joined a play, became part of the Freshman Bloc Assembly, etc. i also had a boyfriend during freshman year, which i regret to this day, not because he was a total jerk, but because the relationship ruined our friendship. it was through him that i met my husband, Ryan.

1997 – the husband & i were classmates in the afternoon Nasci I class. he & his room mate became my official dinner buddies during Friday evenings. after spending so much time together in between classes, my friendship with him blossomed into something more serious. in August of that year, we officially became a couple. it was one of the happiest years of my life!

1999 – finished school and joined the work force. my first job was at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Insurance Brokers. by end of the year, i got poached to work for Union Bank’s insurance agency arm.

2000 – was too old to have braces, but had them on anyway because my chompers were just hideous then! and now i thank God i did!

2002 – said bye-bye to my brackets. oh, and i learned how to drive shift stick :)

2003 – started the year with a bad break-up with Ryan, but (thankfully!) we got back together in the end.

2005 – moved from Manila for Dubai for work. joined the DIFC. met bessie Beth. got engaged (finally!) :D

2006 – got married twice to the same man (civil wedding & church wedding). he later joined me in Dubai, where we started our journey as husband and wife. this is the most stressful year i’ve lived, both careerwise and wedding preps-wise. my weight see-sawed for like a half a dozen times, but thank goodness i was slim when i walked down the aisle! despite the rollercoaster ride i had during this year, i would still say, without batting an eyelash, that it is the most memorable period of my life.

2007 – a year of firsts for me: first promotion at the DIFC, first business travel, first car, and first Christmas away from home.

2008 – so far, everything’s been great. a few ups and downs here and there, but managed to keep things at bay. every pitfall is considered part of the ride; every challenge is faced head on. i find this year quite hopeful for me, and i do look forward towards its end because we will be going home for a month-long holiday this year. seeing my family is the ultimate gift i could ever receive.

now that i'm 30, i don't think much will ever change, actually. i'd probably just be adjusting the two-digit number i write on forms, but other than that, things will be just the same. anyway, you are as old as feel, right? :)


God, thank you for another year you have blessed me with. i cannot wish for anything more on this birthday as You already endowed me with so much. i celebrate this beautiful life You have given me, and i promise to live it to the fullest. my wholehearted gratitude for the many things you have bestowed upon me all these years. i embrace what is ahead of me, because i have faith that You will always be there for me, and i know that you will never leave me...i've had 30 years of experience to prove that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

and she turns 3

Naomi Ysabelle Aveisha

hooray! my favorite niece in the world, Ysha, is 3 today! :D

we could've had the same birthday, but my sister couldn’t hold it any longer when she was giving birth, so the little princess was born a few hours before my birthday. not that it makes a big difference really because other than almost sharing the same birthday, we have more than a lot in common anyway.

she's the 'mini-me'...the little Gracie 20-ish years ago. my family says we are so much alike in many ways. my Mom sends me MMS messages of her pictures from time to time, and tells me how much she resembles me when i was her age. we also happen to have the same habits, the same interests, and the same love for books, bags and shoes. i often tease my sister that her daughter doesn’t look an inch like her. she probably hated me when she was pregnant so her little one ended up looking like the Tita Ninang! LOL!

to our little darling - HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! may you have a bright future ahead of you, and the pinkest of health as you grow older. remember that even if Tita is far away from you, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t think of you. in fact, i do quite often. my gifts for you are with Tita Sarj. she’ll bring them for you on her next flight to Manila next week.

i love you very much! mmmmwaaaahhhh!!!

dressy gracie

since it’s my birthday week, i got a go signal from the hubby to do some dress shopping. yes, i decided it’s high time i wear dresses instead of the usual jeans/blouse ensemble i strut with during dress down Thursdays and weekends. besides, summer’s already kicked in, so donning a dress is just oh so comfortable!

with my current size, it took me quite a while to find decent pieces that could camouflage my enormity. silly me for forgetting that there’s
Promod, where i could find all the girly pieces i like - with my size. LOL!

here are some the dresses i picked, which i hope i could do justice to as they are very pretty (and chic) for my taste:

Oriental tunic dress

Macrame bib dress

Canvass Safari dress

i'm thinking of wearing one of these for my birthday this Friday. i’m leaning towards the bib dress as it is the comfiest one of all, not to mention flattering on my ‘curves’, too :-P

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

about me & true/false tag

the preggy, but still sexy momma Mich tagged me. thanks!!

here goes my answers:

- Sparkle
- Cleng
- good morning Gracie! i will pass by the bank on my way to the office now…won’t take long…thanks.
- no
- no, just wavy
- nothing in mind yet
- my husband, of course!
- seriously (either with an exclamation point or a question mark)
- digestive

- “ok, i’ll check it out.” – to my colleague Khalil
- not much
- nope
- no…i’m too scared
- happily married already

- just this morning (to Ryan, of course!)
- researching
- yes, i do
- no
- Bernadette
- i guess so
- early 2005, Ven’s skateboard. after 5 minutes of trying, i realized it’s not for me Q: WHERE WAS THE LAST PLACE YOU SLEPT BESIDES YOUR HOUSE?
- hotel in San Diego
- never
- none ‘cos i haven’t been to the cinema in the last couple of weeks
- my husband
- maybe, but i’m not so sure

1) person you saw: my colleague, Ahmad when he came in earlier
2) talked to on the phone: Lesley
3) person you hugged: bessie Beth when i saw her at the gym this morning
4) person you texted: honey

1) date: june 17
2) plans: complete the documents for Visa application to Jordan
3) dislikes about tomorrow: none

1) missing someone: yes, not just someone, but my entire family!
2) mood: sleepy

i am a morning person: false
i am a perfectionist: true
i am an only child: false
i am currently in my pajamas: false
i am online 24/7: false
i am very shy around the opposite gender: false
i can be paranoid: true
i currently regret something that i have done: true
i enjoy talking on the phone: true
i have a lot to learn: true
i have a secret: true

this is so much fun, so do snag if you wish :)

fitness girl

yep, i’m now officially one of them!

eversince we got back last year from our wedding, i’ve begun putting on weight, which i refused to acknowledge despite the difficulty fitting into clothes i used to wear (and love, for that matter). however, i didn’t see any motivation for me to work on losing the extra pounds i gained. eating out and lazing around has been so tempting! until one day, i woke up to a heavy feeling – i am big, i am pregnant-looking, and worst of all, i cannot find a decent dress from my wardrobe to fit me. it was so depressing! :(

i admit i’ve procrastinated a lot going through the membership procedure. i promised myself i will do it after my US trip, but then it took me a couple of weeks to actually register. i’m not going through this alone, of course. i asked the husband join, too. we thought it would be nice to come home to Manila this December looking fit and healthy, not heavy and chunky!

i’ve been seriously working out for 3 weeks already – 5 times a week. cardio, Les Mills classes, circuit training – the works! i know i could do this because i’ve done this before, and i keep reminding myself of that. before i left Manila, i was a member at Slimmer’s World for 6 months. i went to the gym religiously, sometimes twice a day even, and when there was an opportunity, i work out 6 times a week. yes, i was a crazy gymaholic then! and now, i wanna gain back that motivation i had. i wanna feel light and energetic again.

gotta shed off those extra pounds slowly but surely. i'm trying to eat right these days, minimizing my carbs intake (especially rice), and i've started lessening my coffee intake, as well. no more 2 cups of cappuccino in the morning for me. oh well, i’ll keep you posted if there’s any progress. will be meeting with the fitness instructor next week, so good luck to me!

Monday, June 16, 2008

first and last

tagged by Weng. thanks! :D

Participants: 1.
Me and Mine 2. Creative In Me 3. Little Peanut 4. Pea in a Pod 5. Sugar Magnolias 6. All Things Me 7. Because Life Is Fun 8. Mind Bubbles 9. Something Purple 10. Stripe at Yellow 11. Vanity Kit 12. Em’s Detour 13. Big Eyed Gal 14. The Chronic Shopper 15. Vital Sighs 16. Maver 17. CODPG 18. Working It 19. MyParty.Finds.A Home 20. Munchkin Mommy 21. Cafe Munchkin 22. Mapped Memories 23. A Reality Bite



First real job
- Marketing Assistant at Jardine Lloyd Thompson

First screen name
- Gracie (my blocmates in college gave me this name)

First funeral
- my paternal great grandmother

First pet
- a white cross-breed canine (forgot the name!)

First piercing
- ears

First tattoo
- none

First credit card
- UnionBank Visa Card that was later changed to a UST Alumni Credit Card

First kiss
- next question please…

First enemy
- a playmate during gradeschool years


Last car ride
- 7:35 am today with hubby as he dropped me off to work

Last kiss
- hubby before i got off the car

i’m tagging
Drea, Cheryll & Laine.

moment of truth

got an interesting tag from Tracy. thank you! time for spilling some beans :)

are you deeply in love with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend? if you do, let's try how well you remember the moment of your life with him. but before you put yourself in the hot seat please read the rules of this tag first.
1. this tag should be pass on to your friends.
2. visit the blog of the person you've got this tag.
3. leave a comment on her/his tag post. be sure to thank her/him for this tag.
4. highlight and link all the list of people who accepted this tag by visiting their blog site.
5. there are 10 questions that you need to answer but you will be the one to write the 10th question for the next person you want to pass this are the questions. be honest with your answers.

1. how did you meet your husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend?
- he was introduced to me by an old flame (i was in a relationship then).

2. where did you go on your first date?
- i really can’t remember ‘cos we never dated, dated. there's nowhere to go to in LB! LOL! we were buddies until one day, he realized he wanted us to be 'more than friends'. i think the first decent date we had was in Alabang Town Center. we watched a movie and then had dinner.

3. when was your first intimate kiss?
- oh gosh, we had that kiss way before we became a couple! ;-)

4. how many girlfriends/boyfriends he/she had in the past? do you honestly know?
- i was his first and last. this i'm very sure of.

5. what is his/her ethnicity?
- Filipino

6. what is his/her favorite food?
- Japanese food

7. what is he/she like if he/she is mad?
- he’s usually mild mannered and calm, but when he’s mad, boy, he's very scary!

8. what are the things he/she did you thought is the most romantic thing he'd/she'd ever done?
- tons! but the most recent one is just last weekend. we were already in bed and he thought i was already asleep. i heard him whisper “i love you, baby” to me, kissed my hair then wrapped me in his arms. syempre i pretended i was asleep pa rin, but inside, my heart was glowing! :D

9. describe how he/you proposed to you.
- it was around June 2005. it wasn’t exactly a romantic proposal you could imagine. he was in Manila, i was here in Dubai. we were on the phone, then we both just came to the subject of weddings. we casually talked about our plans, and then decided to get married the following year. when i came home for a Christmas holiday, he gave me my ring :)

10. (my question) what is his best trait?
- apart from being good at cooking and baking, Ryan’s best trait is his being ethical. he’s the type of person who wants to do the right thing all the time. he is fair, just and sensitive of other people’s needs and feelings. he’s like my conscience in the flesh!

me tagging the pretty mommies Thea, Jody & Vannie.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


maligayang araw ng kasarinlan sa ating Inang Bayan!
mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!

*photo courtesy of 3D flags

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


snagged this from supermodel Vannie.


not as easy as you may think. now copy paste, change the answer to suit you. pass it on to your friends, kinda hard to only use a one-word answer!

1. where is your cellphone? pocket
2. your significant other? work

3. your hair? boring
4. your mother? home
5. your father? work
6. your favorite thing? laptop
7. your dream last night? none
8. your favorite drink? coffee
9. your dream/goal? succeed
10. the room you’re in? office
11. your ex? dunno
12. your fear? snakes
13. where do you want to be in 6 years? top
14. where were you last night? mall
15. what you're not? tall
16. muffins? yummy
17. one of your wishlist items? diamonds
18. where you grew up? Manila
19. the last thing you did? bloghop
20. what are you wearing? suit
21. your t.v? LCD
22. your pets? dog
23. your computer? spiffy
24. your life? blessed
25. your mood? excited
26. missing someone? yes
27. your car? Outlander
28. something your not wearing? hosiery
29. favorite store? LV
30. your summer? hot!!
31. like someone? yes
32. your favorite color? pink
33. when is the last time you laughed? earlier
34. last time you cried? forgot
35. who will/would repost this? friends

this one’s up for grabs people! go give it a try!

Friday, June 6, 2008

honey, i shrunk...

myself!! look...

good ant, no biting please!

ouch, that hurts!

feeding frenzy (don't eat me alive!! and not in front of my building!!)

this is an art exhibition called "The Great Ants" at the DIFC by bronze sculptor, Susan P. Cochran. when we first received the invitation to the opening of this art gallery at work, i was like, "is this for real? an ant colony gallery? in the centre?" but when i saw them after a few days, i realized they were not bad. in fact, they were cute...especially these ones:

dig in!!

must get out!!

the queen laying her eggs

it's quite interesting to have them around. i enjoy looking at them on my way to work in the morning, and sometimes, i even bid them goodbye in the evening on the way home. i was tempted many times to name them, but decided not to thinking that might insult the artist :D

the gallery will wrap up this June, as far as i know. in a couple of weeks, these giant ants will be moving off to another location. just thinking about it makes me miss them already :(

Thursday, June 5, 2008

JUNE toon

tagged by fellow LV lover Kelly. mabuhay ang mga mahilig sa maganda, matibay at pangmatagalang bag!!

the rules:

1. determine your birthday month and get a word that rhymes with it or you can affix to it. caps lock your birth month (ex: MAYday! JUNE dune, APRILicious, JULYvely, AUGUST pocus, parched MARCH…). be unique.

2. your birth month plus the word affixed or rhymed shall become the tag’s title in your case.

3. get your birthday and add the digits involved. Example, if your birthday falls on the 25th of July, add 2 and 5 you get 7.

4. whatever is the sum, write a list of the MATERIAL gifts you wish to receive, the number of which shall correspond to the sum of your birthday. For example, applying the case above (in rule number 3), you will write seven (7) things you wish to receive.

5. after your wish list, put your name and birthday in the Bloggers’ Birthday Directory, with a link to your blog/s. Note: when you add your birthday, please place it in a way that the dates appear chronological (January, February… 1, 2, 3)

6. pass this tag meme by tagging as many people as you want.

name: gracie

birthday: june 20

calculation: 2 (this is so not fair!!)

ok, i’ll be a bit realistic here, just in case the husband is reading this. and since i’m only allowed to put 2 items in my list, i’m gonna make the most of it na!

my wish list:

  1. no less than 1 carat solitaire diamond ring
  2. Gucci Princy Large Hobo bag

February 22 - KellyFebruary 23 - JammyMarch 7 - Mari May 8 - joanjoyce May 27 – Zang Caesar June 10 - Vien June 20 - Gracie September 30 - Mckhoii December 18 - JoshuaOngYS
tagging Tracy, Joanne and Thea.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

just graduated

…from the ‘Up Your Service!’ College!

for 2 consecutive days, i attended the Course 100: Achieving Superior Service program held at Sheikh Zayed’s newest hotel to boot, The Monarch. the training was supervised by our company’s ‘Up Your Service!’ internal certified course leaders, but had video guidance from the college’s founder, Ron Kaufman. Ron is recognized as one of the world's leading educators and motivators on quality customer service, and is the author of the bestselling "UP Your Service!" books and newsletter.

the course was useful, fun and stimulating! material is handy and easy to read, too. i’ve attended lots of customer service training in the past, but this is by far the best i’ve ever been to. now i couldn’t help but apply what i’ve learned, not just in the office, but also outside. i’ve been more critical of the kind of service i get from establishments and shops anywhere i go…especially those that charge me 10% service charge! ha! *wink!*

Sunday, June 1, 2008

it's all about you & me tag

tagged by the lovely Vannie - thanks girl!

1. add your blog/s to the list. feel free to add all your other blogs. it’s okay if you only post these questions in one blog as long as you answer them.
2. get back to ME {refers to YEN} and i’ll add your blogs to the master’s list here! yup, another linking thingy but this one has 15 questions and you get to enjoy answering them too!
3. tag as many friends online you know. but you don’t need to be tagged in order to join.


1. when you buy a greeting card, are the words or the picture more important to you?
- both actually

2. what’s your favorite kind of cake?
- carrot cake baked by hubby and cheesecake from Vintage in Wafi City that has 3 syrups to choose from

3. do you ever make gifts for people, if so what, or do you buy them?

- i buy gifts for people, but i try to get them something which they can use, or something that they will really like, not just run-of-the-mill stuff

4. what’s your favorite holiday?
- like everybody else – Christmas!

5. are you going on holiday this year? if so, where?
- yes. we have plans of going to Amman & Petra in Jordan this summer, and Hong Kong Disneyland on December, not to mention the trip back home to Pinas.

6. what was the best party you’ve ever been to?
- my coming out party (biased, hehe!!)

7. if you are married, describe your wedding. if not, what would your ideal wedding be like?
- our wedding was what we have always dreamed of. the ceremony was solemn and we were surrounded by family and friends. during the reception, everyone had a grand time! there were laughters, tears of joy, and beautiful music played from the heart.

8. what’s the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to you?
- hmm, difficult to choose ‘cos there’s plenty. i’d say when Ryan cuddles me at night and tells me how much he’s blessed to have me as his wife. for me, that’s very romantic!

9. what’s your favorite girl’s name?

- Alexis

10. what’s your favorite boy’s name?

- Miguel

11. which celebrity would you like a dream date with?
- Justin Timberlake. i imagine he will sing to me on our date, and then we’ll dance the night away.

12. which female celebrity do you find beautiful?

- local celebrity: Lucy Torres-Gomez / Hollywood celebrity: Catherine Zeta-Jones

13. which male celebrity do you think is attractive?
- local celebrity: Marc Nelson / Hollywood celebrity: Patrick Dempsey

14. what is your best character trait?
- my sunny disposition in life

15. what is your worst habit?
- trying to please everyone

Bunnie, Jesse, Thea & Weng.

the list:

Me and Mine 2.Creative In Me 3.Little Peanut 4. Pea in a Pod 5. Sugar Magnolias 6.Me,Myself+2 7.FunFierceFabulous 8. Supermodel Wannabe 9. A Reality Bite 10. YOUR BLOG HERE