Saturday, August 30, 2008

C going on 30

it’s C’s birthday and just like me & Ryan, she’s just turned 30, too!

we met up a few days before her birthday to celebrate in advance. off we went to explore the Old Town in the Burj Dubai vicinity and checked out Dean & Deluca, an American café headquartered in Soho, New York. it was highly recommended by my friend at work, A. we didn’t regret swinging by the place – their food was really sumptuous!

apart from the good gastronomical experience we had, we also loved the feel of the place…simple, straightforward and clean looking. it felt like being transported to an Anonymous shop with food, pastries and coffee being sold, instead of garments, trinkets and other what have yous.


we ordered their beef stroganoff, baked potato and eggplant pizza. much to my surprise, the eggplant pizza was delicious! it’s got no weird after-taste and doesn’t leave an itch to your tongue. for dessert, we went for the M&M brownie and blueberry cupcake with buttercream icing. in contrast with their food, their pastries were like so-so.


but we’d definitely go back to Dean & Deluca, especially once the Burj Dubai and Emirates Mall open. it's located right smack in the middle of everything, so i’m certain come cooler months, the place will be packed - by tourists and locals alike. that would be a perfect time to enjoy the café dining al fresco.

to my dear friend, C, happy, happy birthday! i wish you more blessings to come! thanks for coming back into my life. i hope you had a fun time the other night as much as we did. xoxo!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

after the milestone

despite my horrible toothache yesterday, Ryan & i went on ahead to celebrate our 10th anniversary this year. (yes, i’m that stubborn!) quite unconventionally, our simple celebration was done in reverse. we had dessert first at Haagen Daazs at the DIFC to pass the time before heading for dinner at Shang Palace in Shangri-La Hotel. despite the 4 scoops of ice cream we shared, we still had room for the delectable Chinese cuisine. no doubt Shang Palace is the best Chinese restaurant in Dubai!

sucker for Strawberry Ice Cream

chocolate brownie fudge

while waiting for the food - love the ambience!

dimsum, claypot beef satay & prawn bread crumbs


but what made the event extra special to me was the gift Ryan gave me.

my new solitaire

it was included in my 30th birthday wishlist. i’m just so pleased i didn’t have to wait that long for it to be fulfilled!

honey, you’ve made another dream come true for me! thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

soap and shampoo tag

a lathery tag by Tracy – thanks girl!

Some Rules:
1. You can include in the post a picture of your favorite soap or the sopa you are currently using.
2. Please post this in the blog which you will add in the "blogs that joined." You can add unlimitted number of blogs as long as this tag is posted there.
3. Please link back to the person who tagged you and pass this tag to many of your friends.
4. If you have more than one blog, please post this to all of your blogs so your other blogs can be listed to the master list too.
5. Remember to come back here at
DANCING IN MIDLIFE TUNE (pls. don’t change this link) and leave the exact post url so I can add you to the master list as this is one way to help increase our rankings and improve our Technorati Authority :)
6. Tag as many friends as you can. BLOGS THAT JOINED:
Dancing in Midlife Tune - Aeirins Collections - BiznHoney - Kidd Designs - Shopaholic Ties The Knot - My Random ThoughtsA Reality Bite

soap questions:
1. favorite soap: Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar
2. facial soap: Neutrogena Deep Clean Scrub
3. body soap: Mark’s & Spencer The Floral Collection China Blue
4. intimate soap: Carefree
5. laundy soap: Tide
6. undies soap: Perla Pink
7. baby soap: not applicable
8. favorite shampoo: Head & Shoulders
9. favorite conditoner: Creamsilk (the one in the pink tube!)
10. baby shampoo: not applicable, too

i’m tagging
Jacqui, Jhona & Jody.

one decade!


“10 years ago, under a coconut tree in Los Banos, Laguna, a boy & a girl made a promise. little did they know that the promise they made was already the start of their lifetime of togetherness.”

pardon me for being mushy. i just can’t help it…i’m so overwhelmed and enormously happy with the feeling that envelopes me.

everything has been going great for us so far. we’ve been very blessed since our courtship days. our lives couldn’t get any better! and now that we’re nearing our 3rd wedding anniversary, our only wish is to be blessed with a little angel soon. we hope and pray for a healthy bambino that will add joy to our abode.

happy anniversary to us, honey! and thank you for deciding to celebrate this day still. cheers to more blissful years to ahead of us!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

fun-packed weekend

i’m the type of person who’s never fond of going out on gimmicks every weekend, or bar hop as frequently as the others of my age group. my days of bar hopping had ended when i turned 25, i think. blame it on my low tolerance for smoke and alcohol. since then, i’ve shifted from a party girl to a home body person. parties for me are now synonymous to nook crashing at a friend’s or cousin’s place, or casual dinners suitable for a lively conversation. anyone close to me would agree that i have indeed changed. either that or i have aged ;-)

so when i said i’d join my fellow Pinay colleagues to go clubbing last Thursday night, they were all so surprised. for one, they’ve known me as someone who’s not into the clubbing scene. and since i’m already married, they were also worried that hubby will not approve of me going out without him. but having been blessed with an understanding and liberated husband at that, i was allowed to go out on a girl’s night out with my friends at work. in fact, he even drove for me, H and M to our meeting point.

we went to Trader Vic’s at Madinat Jumeirah and The Apartment at Jumeirah Beach Hotel for some bust a groovin’. it was sweltering hot on both places as they were packed with people, but even so, we had so much fun that we parted ways at almost 3:00 am.



as if we couldn’t get enough of each other’s company, we met up again the following day. we crashed at Nick’s pad for a get-together over chips, Marry Brown chicken, home-cooked Pochero, Black Forest cake, Brazo de Mercedes, Moist Chocolate cake and Cheese cakes. and just like any other visit to Nick’s, the evening ended up as a karaoke night. thanks to his karaoke mean machine, the singing prowess of my Pinoy chums at work were unleashed!


after the rest of the ‘singing’ group had left, we decided to play a few rounds of boxing, baseball and tennis on Wii. M, hubby and i left Nick at peace at half past 2:00 am worn out and tired from all the singing and gaming.

it was pretty busy bonding time with friends at work last weekend, but i didn’t mind at all. i had an amazing time with them and i hope there’ll be more in the future! ‘till the next night out and house party!

Monday, August 25, 2008

weekend snapshot 2: bling



Middle East is known for the quality of gold that they have. apart from oil, it's one of the best (and priciest) resources they're known for. that's why their sold blings are usually a lot shinier compared to those found in other parts of the world. 'tis a reason enough for expats and travelers to make it a point to buy such souvenirs not only because they're attractive to the eyes, but also because of its value . in my whole life, only in Dubai have i seen a pure 24 K gold jewelry.
a trip to Dubai is never complete without stopping by their gold souk which is the central market for all kinds of jewelry - thousands of pieces and sets made of gold, silver and platinum adorned with precious stones. diamonds are a common sight here, too.

oh boy, it's really a tempting place to go to! it's a place i'm never gonna get tired of visiting...even if it means taking a full hour just to find a parking space.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

spread the love bug

thanks to Mich & Pat for this :)




(please don't remove) Credits: Elements/Paper by Dani Mogstad/ Layout by
JennyL

Rules:
1. Don't remove the credits when you post the image.
2. Please link back to the person who tagged you and pass this tag to many of your friends.
3. If you have more than one Blog, please post this to all your Blogs so your other Blogs can be listed to the Master List too.
4. Remember to come back here at
A SLICE OF LIFE (pls. don't change this link) and leave the exact post URL so I can add you to the Master List to help increase our rankings and improve our Technorati Authority.
5. Spread the BLOG LOVE FEVER!

BLOGGERS: 1.
Jenny Said So 2.) Simply Jen 3.) This and That 4.) Bargain.Sales.Deals. 5. A Slice of Life 6.) Aussie Talks 7. When Mom Talks 8. Mommy Talks 9 Aggie Shoots. Aggie Scraps 10 All Kinds of Me Stuff 11 The Salad Caper 12. Winding Creek Circle 13. InkBabyStudios 14. Me and Mine 15. Creative in Me 16. For the LOVE of Food 17. Little Peanut 18. Pea in a Pod 19. It’s Where the HEART Is 20. Around the World 21. SugarMagnolias 22. Nita's Random Thoughts 23. Nita's Corner 24. Nita's Ramblings 25. Batuananons 26. Thomas Web Links 27. Filipino Online Community 28. Thomas Travel Tales 29. Bohol Paradise 30. My Wandering Thoughts 31. Arts and Entertainment Center 32. Great Finds and Deals 33. Make Money Online 34. Entertainment News and Beyond 35. Erlinda's Wandering Thoughts 36. TnT Kit 37. Aha Mama! 38. A Zone for Digiscraps 39. RazorianFly :] 40. WebGeek Journal… 41.All About The Memories 42. Spymama 43. Alamak OiOi 44. HasH's Personal Blog 45.Jean's Live it Up... 46. Living A' La Mode 47. Bits and Pieces 48. Juls Random Thoughts 49. Shopaholic Ties the Knot 50. A Reality Bite

{End Copy Here}

spread the love people…feel free to snag!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

tanned, toned and tired from Jordan part 3

this is the last installment of the 30th birthday travel treat for Ryan & myself. so sorry for the immense delay, folks. been tied up with lotsa things lately.

this will be a lengthy post again – with lots of pictures, too, so i warn you to proceed at your own risk. pardon me as this is the highlight of our trip – a visit to the pride of Jordan, Petra.

on our 3rd day in Jordan, we woke up to a cheerful day, with minds ready to meet our new conquest. armed with two cameras, a light-weight tripod, 3 liters of water, and happy tummies filled with light breakfast, we headed to the Petra Visitor’s Centre to begin our day tour of the magnificent lost city created by the ancient tribe of the Nabataeans.

working our way to get to the Al Siq, which is the entrance to get to Petra approximately 300 meters away from the Visitor’s Centre, we went past this grand tomb:

the Obelisk Tomb & Bab As-Siq Triclinium

and this is the mouth of the Al Siq:


the Siq is a 1,200 meter stretch of long, deep narrow gorge brought about by the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates. once inside, you’ll feel the coolness of the rocks. we didn’t notice the long walk we did because there were a lot of tourists making their way inside Petra, too. and because it was shady, walking was easy peasy.




as soon as we saw the end of what seemed like a never-ending Siq, we instantly felt giddy excited. having a peek of this marvelous beauty was simply amazing:



the world-renowned The Treasury

this was the very same sight featured in the Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade film in 1989. after taking pictures of The Treasury, we proceeded to see more of Petra. having gone past The Outer Siq, we were bowled over when we saw these ruins and tombs ahead of us:




according to the brochure that we got from the Visitor’s Center, if you’ve only got a day to spare, the best places to see in Petra are The Treasury, High Place of Sacrifice and The Monastery (and we intend not to see everything as normally, it would take 2 full days to do Petra justice). as the last two locations require a bit of hike, we weren’t sure we’d actually see them. we obviously aren’t fit to engage in a strenuous activity. good thing there were donkeys available for hire, so we opted to just take a shortcut as we were also pressed for time. we were enamored by a young boy who offered his donkeys to take us to High Place of Sacrifice and The Monastery. what made us bite the deal was when he guaranteed that we will take a different path to see the other ruins usually missed by tourists, and then bring us back to The Treasury by 4:30 pm. after agreeing with a fixed price for the donkey hire, we started on with the ‘real journey’.


we didn’t waste any time and took a donkey to go up the High Place of Sacrifice. meanwhile, hubby had to take a mule going up. at first, i wasn’t scared of riding the donkey. in fact, i was pretty excited! it was my first time to ride one, and knowing how gentle donkeys are compared to horses, i never felt even a slight bit nervous. but when i finally saw the trail that we had to take to go all the way up, fear started to creep in me. the trail was next to a cliff’s edge and the steps were pretty rough and narrow. you bend over a little and you could actually fall off the donkey and go straight into the pit. the whole time i was hanging on for dear life and praying that the donkey doesn’t slip. when the donkey had to turn left or right on the narrow path, i always cringed with horror at the sight of what’s below. yikes! good thing my husband assured me that donkeys are sure-footed - that was reassuring to know, especially when they gallop (oh dear!). but i felt sorry for the calm beast whenever it had to step on rocks as i knew any hard surface could hurt the poor thing’s feet. in the end, i didn’t mind where the donkey had to step on to get atop, as long as both of us were safe.


when we reached the plateau where a makeshift refreshments shop was made, we got off the donkeys and hiked up to the cliff where the High Place of Sacrifice can be found. it was the first hike that we did that day, and my gawd, we were panting like crazy after just a few steps. but when we reached the top, we were rewarded for the bit of hard work we did with the breathtaking view of Petra.

top of the world

High Place of Sacrifice...sacrifice to climb indeed!


we took the ‘backdoor’ to go down the cliff. this time, we opted not to ride the donkeys as it was dangerous. we stopped every 5 minutes or so just to see the view, and i have to admit that it was truly amazing! it was good that we went for the donkey ride ‘cos otherwise, we would’ve missed the other good spots in Petra such as the Lion Monument, the Garden Temple Complex, Roman Soldier’s Tomb and the Triclinium.

The Garden Temple


Roman Soldier's Tomb

a peek at the Roman Soldier's Tomb

the Triclinium

after the Triclinium, we went on ahead and took the donkeys to reach the Qasr Al Bint, which looked like the center of everything in Petra. there was a restaurant just nearby, but we decided to forego lunch so we wouldn’t feel heavy (and lazy) to go up the Ad-Deir, or more popularly known as The Monastery. it was an easy ride, until we got to the climbing part again. but getting up The Monastery was less scary because the trails were wider and the steps were not as steep as those of the High Place of Sacrifice. a lot of people were also walking in the trail, but we didn’t trust ourselves to make the climb so we pretty much relied on the donkeys to take us to our destination.

when we reached the spot, this is what we saw:


The Monastery was spectacular! it was basking in the afternoon rays of the sun, giving it a wonderful color that made it stand out perfectly. just looking at its grandeur made us feel totally mesmerized.

after resting for about 15 minutes in the makeshift cafeteria along with other tourists who were either catching their breaths or having a snack after a long day, we decided to go down and see the rest of the sights. since we couldn’t take pictures going up the trail, we stopped every 5 minutes or so on our way down to shoot some pics. we didn’t take the donkeys going down so it was easier for us to snap away.





heading back to the Al Siq, we took a pit stop at the coffee shop for some refreshments and a visit to the loo. we then proceeded to saunter back to the entrance. part of the deal with the donkeys was a trip back to The Treasury, but we decided to go by foot instead so we won’t miss taking pictures of the other sights.

we went on with the journey and walked past the Colonnaded Street, the Nymphaeum, the Urn, Silk, Corinthian, Palace and Sextius Florentinus Tombs, and the Theatre as we neared the exit. by then, we were already lethargic so all we could do was take pictures. at some point, we even sat on one of those rocks in the shade because our feet were almost on the verge of surrendering.

are we there yet, donkey?

the Colonnaded Street

looks like Grand Canyon to me, honey

more tombs

the ampitheater

taller breed of camels

ugly, beaten feet

last glimpse of The Treasury in its rosy pink glory

in a span of 7 hours, i think we’ve covered pretty much of the essential sights to see in Petra. it was dead tiring, but extremely fun! i never thought Ryan & i will be able to see much of the world renowned ruins considering the enormity of the place paired with incredible heat. but seeing that kind of natural beauty proved me wrong.

that same day, we travelled back to Amman. Jamil fetched us from the Visitor’s Centre at about 4:30 pm. we passed by the inn to pick up our bags, and then sped off to reach the capital in less than 3 hours. for dinner, hubby and i found this Filipino eatery behind our hotel, which was referred to us by the two Filipinas we met in Petra. we had Pork Spareribs Sinigang and Bistek – perfect after a long day of walking and hiking! we also bought Shawarma for our midnight snack and a glass of Slush Puppies to take back to the hotel. we spent the night just watching cable TV till we dozed off to sleep.

the next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel’s buffet restaurant. we packed our belongings right after and checked out at 11:00 am. we were picked up by the same car that brought us from the airport a few days ago, and we were dropped off to the airport in no time. however, luck wasn’t on our side that day as our flight was delayed for 3 hours. we were so bored at the airport and had nothing else to do. to pass the time, we foolishly played a game where we’d pick a letter and call out a Filipino common noun that starts with it. yeah, that’s what boredom can do to you!


well, that wraps up our memorable trip this summer. i hope you learned much about Jordan through this 3-part account. if you do get a chance to come over this part of the world, please do visit it. it’s worth the trip, i promise!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

tagged: bookmark

thanks to Jade for this tag!

The rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag as many people as you want.


The book:



The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean

The Sentences:

They have invited guests to share the spoils Viktor has brought back from the front. Sergei Pavlovich and his sister Liliia have contributed a handful of dried apricots that Nadezhda boiled down to make a glaze for her shortbread. Anya has brought an onion, which they slice info wafers.

i've just started reading the book but i already find it appealing. it's a story about love, imagination and preservation of memories...something i'd typically be drawn to. the book has an old feel to it. the edges of the pages seemed like they were gently torn by hand, making it look like an old, handmade journal from the 1940s.
i'm tagging fellow booklovers Pat & Weng.


another meme

players: ALPHA / Vannie / Gracie

my roommate and i once: during freshman year in college got sick with flu at the same time. we both felt useless & pathetic!
never in my life have i: tried drugs.
high school was: fun & nurturing.
when i’m nervous: i bite my fingernails & feel a strange sensation on my teeth.
my hair: has a mind of its own.
when i was 5: i learned to climb trees.
when i turn my head left: i see a plush moose i won from 2006’s Canada Day here at work.
i should be: working & not blogging!
by this time next year: we hopefully have a new addition to the family.
my favorite aunt is: none. someone from my family might be lurking around :)
i have a hard time understanding: why my bestfriend is behaving indifferently towards me.
you know i like you if: i am generous to you.
my ideal breakfast is: crispy bacon, garlic fried rice & eggs
if you visit my home town: you’ll suffer from terrible traffic!
if you spend the night at my house: we’ll watch DVDs, eat lots of junk food & buttered popcorn & play Guitar Hero.
the animal i would like to see flying besides birds: horse
i shouldn’t have been: too lenient to people around me.
last night i: watched ‘Definitely, Maybe’ on DVD while doing the ironing.
a better name for me would be: Gracie – nothing suits me better.
i’ve been told i look like: Princess Punzalan. twice. i don’t see the resemblance.
if i could have any car, it would be: a Bentley Continental GT (in my dreams)…in reality, i’d be happy to own a Dodge Caliber or a Mini Cooper.

up for snags, peeps!

Monday, August 18, 2008

weekend snapshot 1: cold & creamy

on a hot, summer day, there's only one thing you'd want to do:


scream for ice cream!!!



starting the week right

my poor tummy’s not well since Saturday night. but not minding the fact that i can’t have anything heavy as i had to watch what i eat, we still went and had dinner last night with our friend, C at The Boston Bar in Jumeira Rotana. she just got back from a 2-week holiday in Manila so there were lots of chika to talk about. it was a spur of the moment meet up, to be honest. we were supposed to just come by her place and pick up her pasalubong for us, but decided it was best to have a quick bite altogether just to catch up. well, we sort of wanted to eagerly chat about something that couldn’t wait for the weekend…hehehe! ;-)

it was Ryan & i’s first time to step foot on Jumeira Rotana. we trooped to The Boston Bar, a Sports Bar we never knew existed in this side of town. Ryan ordered the sensational Chili Cheese Burger that was featured sometime ago in Time Out Dubai. i had pasta on the other hand, which i predictably didn’t finish, not because it wasn’t scrumptious but because i was afraid to eat too much that could do some damage to further upset my stomach. i kept gulping for water the whole time we were there as i was feeling dehydrated.

the mood in the bar was festive because of the football game that was on. Manchester United & New Castle were against each other, and the crowd cheered wildly when they rooted for their respective teams. i wish i brought my camera with me, but i took it out of my bag last weekend, so we didn’t have any photos. it was a rare thing for us to do – go out on the first day of the work week. we normally save the dining out thing on a Thursday. but with all the juicy stories we shared last night, Sunday definitely deserved an exemption.

brilliante award

thanks to Pheng for this lovely award! what an honor! :)

The Above recipients of the Brillante Weblog are welcomed to put the Logo on their personal blogs and have the honor of passing this award to seven other bloggers.

Here are the rules for passing on the award:

1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

i cheerfully pass this on to Jesse, Kelly, Aggie, Mich, Pat, Thea & Tracy.

have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

hooked to


finally understood why big boys are into this anime series. but i’ve yet to watch it from the start & read the manga online.

looks like i’m not really too girlie after all.

Friday, August 15, 2008

curious Joy wants to know...

was tagged by Cheryll :)
Rules:
1. Be spontaneous and have fun!
2. Grab your camera and get your hand bag and take out all the stuff inside. Take a picture of all of your stuff. Everything….even the used tissue paper or candy wrapper. We might see something amazing in your bag.
3. List all the things inside it.
4. Make sure to link back to Aussietalks and leave your URL.
5. Pass this on to your friends and tell them to link back.

this is my bag of the moment, with two small pouches inside:



i have so much stuff inside my bag. ready to see them?



LV Wallet, Marc Jacobs coin purse, Wish Chopard Perfume, Burt’s Beeswax Lip Balm, SE mobile phone, Untangler hair comb, mints – Smint & orange Tic Tac, floss, DIFC access card (aka office ID), spare car keys, a bunch of keys, Bath & Body Works hand anti-bacterial hand gel & a Giorgio Armani sunglasses.

since i carry a big bag with me these days, i can bring along my emergency kit wherever i go. these are what’s inside of it:



a tiny pink swiss knife, an average-sized swiss knife, safety pins, sewing kit, paracetamol & lastly, an oil blotting paper by Dior.

these are the contents of my pochette that i hook on to a D-ring inside my bag:



bracelet rosary, Freecom 2 GB USB card, a spare 2GB flash drive with a pink camel charm, credit & ATM cards, Hard Rock All-Access Card (hahaha, as if rocker ‘no?) & a Montblanc business cardholder.

List:

1. Joy 2. Lovejoy 3. Lis 4. haze 5. Joanne 6. Gracie 7. you're next

i’m tagging Abie, Thea & Jacqui.