Thursday, December 18, 2008

the best Christmas gift ever

and we can't ask for anything more!

kaya naman pala i was feeling so tired and sickly the past couple of weeks.  since we arrived in Manila, i had no appetite and couldn't eat properly.  i had no clue i was pregnant! and to think i even went for rides while we were in Ocean Park and Disneyland last week. it was a pleasant surprise!

blogging took a back seat and this explains everything. i know i owe you our HK kwento, and a few tags, but i promise to do them before the year ends.  stories keep piling up, but i will make it up.  just give me time, dear friends, ok? 

anyway, it's just a few days to go before Christmas. how's your preps so far?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

wonder woman award

thanks to Joanne for this award! :) sorry for the delay sis!

passing this on to all my blogger friends out there who are wonder women in their own right. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

HK tomorrow

we're going to Hong Kong tomorrow...hooray!!

our bags are packed already and we're so excited! my niece is so thrilled about the trip she keeps saying she's riding an airplane and picked out the clothes she's gonna wear during the whole trip.

'till we get back next weekend! :)

supreme bathing experience

ever since i was little, i have always dreamed of having a bathtub in our home. i would always feel envious of my cousins who have bathtubs to bathe in and enjoy. that is why whenever i go on vacation at their house, i always look forward to having the chance to savor a nice bath, and imagine i am in a fashionable soap commercial. yes, i am that imaginative as a child!

when i got to Dubai, my dream came true when i moved in to a flat that has its own bath tub. it's not exactly like those whirlpool bathtubs you see on glossy home magazines, but i immensely like it. i can go for bubble baths anytime i want at the privacy of my own home. i also use the bath salts i received as gifts and those that i bought from the resort in the dead sea. i have loads of bottles of cream bath that i keep in stock, too which i choose from depending on my mood. i even light candles around the bathtub when i want a total spa-like experience. oh, it's so relaxing and heavenly!

i told Ryan that when we build our dream home, i want white clawfoot tubs on all the bathrooms. a clawfoot tub may look scary for some (reminds you of the movie "What Lies Beneath"), but i simply love the classic and vintage look of it. i'm always impressed with houses that have such bathtubs in their bathrooms. i'm simply attracted to its shape and the fact that it is not attached to a hard concrete that is covered with tiles. it's like a separate fixture to the room that gives it a distinct, tasteful look.

i'd also like to make a provision for discount walk-in bathtubs that i can order online. this bathtub will be ideal for my grandparents and for our parents when they get older so they can easily access the tub without the hassle and difficulty of getting in. it will be a real treat to them knowing that they can still savor a nice bath without the fuss.

i am a fussy person when it comes to bathrooms - it's one of my favorite parts of the house. i just hope i can turn my plans into reality as i would love to have a fabulous bathroom at home. one bathtub would be enough for me.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

we're home!

and so glad to be back! our flight yesterday was a breeze, though we barely had any sleep at all on the plane. the only movie i saw was the third installment of The Mummy. the rest of the time i was trying to get some sleep, but was so fidgety i never got some proper shut eye.

guess what our first meal was? yep, good 'ole Crispy Pata, what else? :)

gift hunt

for a change, we have started our Christmas shopping earlier this year. we didn’t want to be in the malls with crowded people, so we began building our list as early as August, and planned ahead with what to get for people. we have already bought plenty of items for our respective families, relatives and friends, both here and abroad, so you can just imagine how long our list is.

but despite being prepared for the holidays gift giving (or so we thought), we seem to have forgotten to include a few more people that we need to get gifts for. and it’s always a challenge to find nice gifts for men because they’re very particular with designs and styles. like for my Dad for instance. we have searched high and low for a suitable gift for him, but nothing comes up and we always go home empty handed. he’s very choosy with his things and would always go with tried and tested items that would last him for many years. if all else fails, my last resort would be to get him one of those mens sunglasses which he can put to good use. i remember he likes getting himself some dandy pairs before, and when i was younger, he would always carry one wherever he goes. i haven’t seen him sport a new one lately. i suppose one of those new arrival Ray Bans would do the trick. it would suit him quite well because their sunglasses are fashionably made to suit any facial shape. most importantly, i know for sure he would like it because that’s his sunglasses brand for the longest time.

now that i am considering getting this gift for Dad, i might as well get my Mom a pair, too. i’m leaning towards Arnette sunglasses because they look casual yet so chic. i love their designs and I’m so certain Mom will like owning one, as well. like my Dad, she likes wearing sunglasses when traveling. she lost her favorite pair a couple of years ago, and she hasn’t replaced it since, so this will be a nice surprise for her this Christmas. well, that and a new pair of earrings.

it’s good i still have enough time to pick out gifts for my parents. thank goodness i’m already done shopping gifts for the rest of my family! for Ryan’s side, we’re done buying gifts 100%, which is a first. in fact, when we went to Duty Free this afternoon, we only shopped for chocolates and a few groceries. what an achievement!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

one more night

...and we'll be home in Manila! i can't wait...i'm so excited already!!! we're taking the 3:45 am flight tomorrow early morning, so we'll be at the new Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport by midnight.

wala nang tulugan 'to! :D

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

a dose of me time

before leaving for our holidays in Manila this coming Friday early morning, i managed to squeeze in some time for myself earlier. i went to the office to pick up my laptop and fixed my desk to see if there's anything important that i missed. i stowed away my notebook and cleared my table, hoping that when i come back next year, it will be not so cluttered from all the mails that will be coming in for me.  

after a quick dash at the 14th floor, i went to the B1 level to make it to my salon appointment at 8:00 am. i had my hair's oil bath and went for a mani-pedi, too. it was all done in an hour so i had breakfast first at Testa Rossa to kill time. i needed to go to the Emirates Towers Boulevard to have my watch adjusted, but they won't open 'till 10:00 am. i just took advantage of the moment to read a few magazines and enjoy my breakfast leisurely. at 10 to 10, i made my way across the building.  

the adjustment of my watch didn't take that long - i guess only about 5 minutes. near the exit, i passed by Coach, and decided to check what's new - with no intention of buying anything. but when i saw the silk scarf that was similar to the one i lost recently, i decided to purchase it right there and then. let's just say it's a souvenir from my first paid gig as a photographer (wow, i'm starting to love the sound of it!).  

here's the Christmas packaging of Coach, which i love:

and my new (and definitely last) scarf for my black hobo bag:

i swear, i'm really gonna secure it with a pin this time! i bought it for a full price as opposed to the first two scarves i got, which were on sale at 50% off, so this should last me long.  

after that impulse buy, i went home by cab and did some last minute packing. in a little while, i should be preparing dinner for me & the husband. the weather is gloomy today and it's been raining since morning, but i love it! the bed is so enticing i just wanna curl up and read a book 'till i fall asleep. 

from strangers to friends

when we went to Petra last summer, we met a lovely Chinese couple who are of same age as us.  we had dinner altogether after the Petra by night, and chatted away like old chums. we learned that Charles was on a study leave (he's an MBA student at Harvard), and during his break, he decided to tour the middle east with his fiancee Vivian. 

they were ecstatic when they found out Ryan and i were from Dubai! turns out the next leg of their tour was Dubai. Charles felt doubly excited when i told him i work at the DIFC 'cos apparently, he really did wanna see the centre.  so a week after, we met up and toured them around the district. we had dinner at Noodle House and helped them choose some dates to bring home. we also accompanied them to buy souvenirs and check out some diamond rings for Vivian at the Gold Souk.  

since then, we've kept in touch. and the other day, just before our offices closed for the holiday, i received this parcel at work:

when i opened it, this is what i saw:

goody - a Sex & The City DVD! and an extended cut at that! i was so happy 'cos i haven't seen the movie yet ('cos it wasn't played here), and i've been dying to get my hands on a clear copy via torrent. i've been tormenting the husband for months now to find me a decent copy, and it looks like he doesn't need to bother anymore.

to Charles & Vivian, thanks again for the gift. you shouldn't have sent us a thank you gift - it wasn't necessary. we were quite happy to tour you guys around. nonetheless, we do appreciate the gift a lot, especially me. you remembered that SATC wasn't played here, and i find that really thoughtful. 

see, i told you being chatty pays well :)

LV's latest ad

...made me gasp! and no, not by any of its leather items, but by its new face. i've just seen it and i was totally thrilled. it's none other than my favorite James Bond of all time, Sir Sean Connery. i just love how Annie Leibovitz captured that famous look of his for the 'Core Values' campaign. boy, oh boy, he still looks very much dashing even at the age of 78!

see what i'm talking about?

on another note, i wish i could get the hubby the same Keepall he's modeling for Christmas :) but because the world is currently in recession, so to speak, i'd opt to get him the more practical gift i had in mind.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

a new challenge

last night, i officially became a photographer. i earned my first paycheck and it feels so good! :)

a week ago, my bessie, who is a part-time events photographer, called me to ask if i'm available to help her cover an Emirati wedding. she needed a 2nd photographer, and that photographer must be a lady. reason being is that in an Emirati wedding, parties for the couple are held separately per gender. normally, the bride will only be escorted by the groom to enter the hall before midnight, and then he leaves her to party with her family & friends. he will then come back to pick her up after a few hours. so you expect that the guests to this kind of party are only women (poor groom, he must be feeling awkward being in a room full of women of all ages!). anyway, since i haven't been to an Emirati wedding before and wanted to experience one, i happily obliged.

while bessie was busy with the bride's preps and the couple's shoot before they made the entrance, i was assigned to take pictures of the guests, details and the venue. i would be lying if i'd say it was pure fun, 'cos it wasn't. i was so tired from standing all throughout the night! plus i had to run around the place to cover much ground (500 guests!!) and talk to people to ask them if it's ok to take their photos or not (some local women are not willing to be photographed). the garden of Four Seasons Golf Club was huge i had to work double time!

but despite feeling worn out after the shoot, i felt a sense of fulfillment knowing that photography is for me. being a camwhore that i am, it feels strange being the one behind the viewfinder, but i realize that i like it. i know i still need to learn more and practice a whole lot to improve my skills, but i know i will slowly get there. i'm simply happy that our investment is already starting to pay off. Ryan earns a few hundred bucks, as well on similar gigs, so the 40D is being put to good use. oh, we just love our cam!

going back to the wedding, i wish i can show you pictures of what i had taken last night, but i couldn't as the pictures are exclusively for the bride & dashing groom's eyes (and their families) only. i can only describe the garden as magical - adorned with the most beautiful flowers you could ever imagine, with a backdrop of brightly lit man-made waterfalls that could mesmerize you. the Anne Hathaway look-alike bride was radiant in a Monique Lhuiller wedding gown (which she says is the most flattering wedding gown she's ever tried on), while the groom was simply dashing, even in his traditional dress. they make a beautiful couple! :)

now that the photographer in me has been unleashed, expect this blog to filled with more photos. yes, i am up for a new challenge, and i'm loving it!

Monday, December 1, 2008

long holiday

remember i posted the other day that we’ll be having a 2-day holiday in celebration of the UAE National Day? turns out the government decided to extend it to one more day because Thursday was sandwiched between a holiday and a weekend. they declared it yesterday afternoon, much to my disappointment because we could’ve booked our trip a couple of days earlier than planned! now there are no more seats available on any flight starting tomorrow early morning *big sigh!*.

i wanted to take advantage of the 2-day holiday to pack our stuff and do a last clean-up of the apartment before we leave, and devote Thursday as an errand day to go to our banks for the bank transfers for our online payment of bills come end of December. with the last minute change, we had to amend our plans and squeeze all the banking stuff today. oh well, what else can we do? i guess we’ll just have to ride with the tide.

lovely award

thanks very much, Vannie for this cute award!

The rules of this award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5.Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

my nominees are these online friends i've made since i started blogging:
Joanne, Jacqui, Mandy, Mich, Pheng, Pat, Valerie, Jody, Kelly & Tracy