Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post for 2007
My original plan was to post an entry about what made 2007 special. But I'm sure that by now the faithful readers of this blog know that the MAIN highlight for me this year was meeting D, falling in love with him, getting engaged and now just excitingly waiting for the day when we are bound together for life in holy matrimony! I believe you have read enough of my blossoming relationship so I won't bore you with more mushy stuff. But suffice it to say that 2007 was indeed a very good year for me! So I would just post a message I received in my email inbox a few hours ago:
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far

May you never forget what is worth remembering,
nor ever remember what is best forgotten

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live
May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold,
And at the end of all your rainbows may you find a pot of gold!



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hair Spa
Yesterday was pamper me day!
It has been months maybe even a year since I last got my hair cut. You see, my usual stylist got transferred to another branch all the way in hilly Tagaytay City of all places. Since then, I didn't muster enough courage to try a new stylist so I've stayed out of the beauty salons. I am very particular about my hair style. It has to be cut in a certain way so that it accentuates my curls and not hide them. Yes I am still as stubborn as ever and always have my I.dont.want.to.rebond.my.hair.so.please.don't.bother.convincing.me.thank.you spiel ready in case they get into their long boring speech about the benefits of having straight hair.

My (new) stylist recommended I go for a hair spa when she noticed the dry condition of my scalp, I wholeheartedly agreed! The smell of minty fresh shampoo and conditioner being massaged into my scalp felt utterly orgasmic! Midway during the hair spa treatment, specifically the part where they enveloped my hair with plastic wrap and enclose my head within that round thingy to warm it up, I realized I didn't have enough cash. Ngek! I panicked and texted my sister who was at the supermarket to bail me out in case I got arrested for not paying. I also texted D and told him about my foolish spur of the moment indulgence. He was willing to come all the way from Project 8 to David's Salon in Megamall just to pay for the treatment. Ain't that sweet? Not that I will accept his offer but it is the thought that counts, right? But luckily they accept credit card payments so I didn't get arrested. Phew! My new stylist (bless her!) cut my hair precisely the way I wanted it. I was indeed one very satisfied client for Ms Susie! =)
Play and Win!
If you like playing guessing games, then bid4prizes is the perfect site for you. It is a reverse auction game which you can play online or by sending text messages to a certain number. All you have to do is sign up, pick a prize then place your lowest unique number to win free gifts such as iPods, Notebooks, HDTVs to cash prizes You can play several times and bid on different prizes at any given time. It is just like betting at the sweepstakes. When the prize game ends, if you have the lowest guess which is not the same as any other current guess, you win that prize for free. Their user friendly website provides first time users enough information to better understand the mechanics of this exciting game. Let's play!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Memorable Christmas
All of my Christmases so far have been more or less memorable but this year it was more significantly poignant. A bit overwhelming (in a good way) tinged with a certain melancholic ambiance.

After we heard the 10pm Christmas eve Mass at St. Francis, we headed home for the noche buena. Our sumptuous meal consisted of Marca Pina Queso de Bola, Adelina Ham, Milky Way Morcon, Purefoods Chicken Ham (for the parents who cannot eat pork), Hizon's dinner roll and my only and usual contribution to the fare - chicken salad.

We celebrated the fact that it was my 'last' Christmas with my parents and sister as a single person and in this loft, a place I've called home for the past 6 years. Surprisingly, no tears were shed, I just felt a certain calmness and utter contentment in my little heart.



On Christmas Day itself, D joined us for Christmas lunch here at home. He added a yummy mocha cake to the reheated Noche Buena leftovers. We all had so much fun just laughing, eating, being silly, opening gifts, talking, eating some more and just being inundated with my childhood stories which is my parents' way of embarrassing me. Eeeps!



Then D and I heard the 4:30pm Christmas Mass at Edsa Shrine. I thanked the Lord Almighty for giving me the greatest gift - the loving person who always holds my hand and fans me because I sweat like crazy. His smile uplifts my spirits when I get stressed and he tells me he loves me constantly. I love the way he treats my parents and sister with due respect and shows genuine concern for their welfare. The man I will grow old with and spend the rest of my life with in (hopefully) blissful marital harmony - my one and only honey bunchy who is truly a blessing to me! =)

So yes Christmas 2007 was indeed quite memorable! As 2008 sneaks in a few days, I am both happy and excited to begin a new chapter in my colorful life.

Monday, December 24, 2007

December 2006 - Policarpio street, Mandaluyong City


You all have a Happy Christmas now, ya hear? =)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Prayers
Yesterday, I was shopping at Tiendesitas, Pasig with my sister and my mom when I got D's SMS. He was informed by his sister in the States that his 93 year old father suffered a mild heart attack and was confined in a hospital.
D last saw his aged parents 4 years ago when they came to the Philippines for a visit. They are kind hearted simple folks who have been together for over 50 years. Whenever I talk to D's mom over the phone, she always excitingly conveys to me their extreme pleasure that D is finally getting married. She has been wishing and praying for the longest time that D would settle down so that in her words "may mag aalaga sa kanya".

Kindly say a prayer for his full recovery so that some day D and I will get the chance to visit him in Seattle.

Thanks and God bless!
Disclosure Policy
This policy is valid from 20 December 2007.

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact daphnelaura@gmail.com

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

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This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Online bookings
Let's say it's the Christmas holidays, Holy Week break or simply an extended long weekend and you suddenly feel the urge to pack your bags and escape, Hotel Reservations is a good website to visit to book a trip.

HotelReservations.com offers more than 70,000 properties worldwide - from hotels to B&B's to condos to all inclusive resorts. They have the lowest Internet rate price guaranteed. You can save up to 70% off on their competitive prices. It isn't limited to accommodations, you can also book flights, cars, vacation rentals or check out their vacation packages. They are guaranteed to make your trip as hassle free as possible.

Bon voyage!




*This is a sponsored post*
Toys Store
D has 12 inaanaks ranging from 3 to 12 years old. He is the generous type of Ninong as opposed to me the scrooge Ninang who doesn't give gifts to her inaanaks. I have 7, most of them I haven't laid eyes on since they were conceived! So we have been making the rounds of the different toys store like Toys Kingdom, Toys R Us and the toys section of department stores.

I was shocked to discover the costs of toys - mucho expensive! I mean come on, most of these toys end up scattered all over the living room. They eventually start gathering dust after the kids have lost interest and move on to other distractions. Besides kids these days are tech savvy they won't settle for anything less. They want those Nintendo, PSP games or worse the latest cellphones. In short, very expensive items. Phew!


I told D why don't you just give cash instead? He tells me well (1) the cash go to the parents who won't spend it on the kids and (2) kids are easy to please just hand them a toy, they are happy for life. Ok fine, whatever. I guess he has a point. My only input - give toys which will nurture their skills and/or develop their physical activities. You know items such as badminton sets, Frisbees, almanacs, jigsaw puzzles, jewelry beads weaving machines - things that make use of their brains.


While D was pondering on what toy to give each child, I was tinkering with sketch o matic screens, little drum sets, remote controlled toy cars and flying helicopters and musical xylophones. I had so much fun. The fun part for D though ended when his wallet got a lot lighter. Heh!

Online blogging community
Thoughts.com is a free blogging network. A blogging community where you can post pictures, upload videos and podcasts, interact with other users, voice out your opinions in the forum section and of course blog to your heart's content. Their main page has a section where you can read interesting news articles covering different topics like news, life, sports, technology, business, politics and oddly enough news.

It has a very user-friendly site. Pictures, videos and podcasts can be organized into different categories. This allows for simple navigation through different photo albums. They have a one stop control panel where you upload everything. No pesky pop ups for each task.


Since July 2007, they have been giving away one free 6 month Netflix membership each month to an existing member that has referred a friend to become an active member of the thoughts.com community. All future winners are announced on the last Friday of the month.

Thoughts.com has a user rating system so members can rate each others posts and provide feedback in the form of comments. In addition to leaving blog comments, you can also rate each blog post, photos, video or podcast from 1 to 5 stars. This rating system helps determine your average user rating. Each year thoughts.com will be bringing top contributors on free vacation to exotic destinations. This year they flew 5 lucky users to Las Vegas! How grand is that?

Sign up and be part of an engaging blogging community at http://www.thoughts.com/!



*This is a paid review*

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Did you know?
The Christmas card, probably the most popular way to express holiday sentiments, was started in England in 1843.

The first Christmas card was printed in the United States in 1875 by Louis Prang, a Massachusetts printer. By running nationwide contests for the best Christmas designs, Prang helped launch Christmas cards into a multi billion dollar industry.

I got my first Christmas card for this Yuletide season in the mail today. It came all the way from D.C c/o fellow blogger Kayni. Enclosed was a gold plated bookmark with the words "With God All Things are Possible". Very true, indeed!

Thanks, Kayni I appreciate it a lot. =)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fun stuff
The Internet is full of interesting stuff that help boost our artistic senses. If you like tinkering with your pictures, then The Bubblenator would surely keep your creative mind busy, all day or night as the case may be.

It is a fun application which adds cartoon captions to your pictures. You know those cloud like thingies you see in comic books. Simply type in the full URL of your image. Very large or extremely small images though will give an error message. So make sure your image doesn't exceed 500kb in file size. The next step brings you to the bubblenator. Pick between 'spoken' or 'thought' bubbles. You can place up to three captions anywhere on your image. Simply type your text for each, choose the size and that's it! You have 'talking' images! Once you're done, simply copy and paste the HTML code of the captioned image on your web site, blog, Myspace page or just about anywhere else!

So jazz up those vacation pictures. Tell us what you really thought about the Boracay sunset or how you felt when you first laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower. I'm sure your imagination will run wild while it brings back pleasant memories of those happy photographic moments.




*This is a paid review*

Monday, December 17, 2007

Viva Espana
Spain is one country I didn't have the opportunity to visit among my numerous travels. Back in the 80s, we were set to go there for our next summer vacation but we got recalled back to home base. Our first stop would have been the capital, Madrid. A must see is the Palacio Real, the official residence of the Spanish Royal family. Another attraction is the Reina Sofia art museum which houses a huge collection of 20th and 21st century art pieces. Works of Picasso as well as Miro and Dali, famous Spanish artists are prominently displayed in this museum. Back then, the Internet was non existent but nowadays it would be easy to book online from hoteles en Madrid.

Barcelona, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso would have been part of our itinerary. His works can be seen in chronological order at the Picasso museum. A visit to Barcelona won't be complete with feasting your eyes on the Sagrada Familia, a massive edifice by master architect Antonio Gaudi and the magic fountain of Montjuic which showcases a light, music and water show every night. Hoteles en Barcelona offers a wide range of accommodations depending on one's budget.

It would have been great to visit the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, explore Alhambra in Granada, watch a bullfight in Pamplona or simply people watch while having tapas in some quaint Spanish restaurant. The possibilities are limitless as is the wide range of hotels, inns and accommodations one can avail from this hoteles en espana website.

I'm sure on our way back to Brussels where we were based during that period, we would have passed by Paris. It was like some travel custom we had back then. Prayed at the Notre Dame cathedral or the Sacre Coeur Basilica, wave each time we saw the Eiffel Tower and spend the night in some hoteles en Paris to rest our weary bones. Ah yes the good old days. =)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fitting room chronicles
I have basically abandoned my quest for an affordable custom made bridal gown, because well I'm being practical or you can say I'm being cheap. So I've been making the rounds of the malls to find an appropriate evening gown which will satisfy both my mother and my sister. Seriously, all of sudden they have become experts in wedding gowns. Never mind that I specifically told them that I don't like lacy (read: first communion dress), beaded (read: Reyna Elena in a Santacruzan), sequined gowns (read: Miss Universe contestant) with a long train (read: Princess Diana's wedding gown). Frankly I am still sticking to my original plan to just wear jeans and tee. OK I'm just kidding, D might feel out of place in his fancy Barong Tagalog if I showed up in casual wear.

I've tried all sort of gowns (some of them weren't even white just for the heck of it) ranging from a price range of a whooping P29,000 to a mere P2,999.00. I was surprised to find out that (a) I didn't look like a midget in a long gown (b) I was having so much fun trying them on!

But the best part is hearing the snide remarks of the companions of the women who were in the other cubicles at the fitting room. I once heard a male voice say: "Ay ano ba yan labas ang didbdib mo, tanggalin mo yan. Di pwede yan!" The lady retorted: "Ganyan talaga ito, off the shoulder style". On another occasion, a male voice yet again said: "Ganda nyan, easy access". But I nearly peed in my jeans from laughter when D pointed out to me that the dress I tried made me look like a manghuhula (fortune teller) in Quiapo. Moments later when he insisted that a white santana long sleeved Barong would do, I told him he will look like the security guy who patrols the Shangri-la food court. Hah!

By the way, I totally fell in love with this off white chiffon gown which I tried at the Landmark in Trinoma. But they didn't have it in medium size. Blah!





The search continues.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Leah's US$ 25 contest
Blogger Leah of Mga Muni Muni.com is conducting a contest to drive more traffic to her other blog ("Cool and Composed") which recently got approved for PPP.

Since she herself won the Starbucks coffee challenge, she is being generous this Christmas season. She will be giving US$ 25 to the blogger who sends the most readers her way to increase her blog's traffic rankings. The contest ends on December 23, 2007 midnight Eastern time.

So it is double the fun. You help me win the contest as well as visit her blog. Click here, drop by Leah's blog and say hi. Oh you can click several times too, just be sure you do it through this post entry, ok?

Many thanks! =)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The right person
Would you believe that I, the couch potato rarely watches TV nowadays? But since I discovered this TV show entitled "Brothers and Sisters", I make it a point to watch it every Mondays on Studio 23. They also show older episodes over at Star World, I'm not sure of the exact day.

It stars Ms. Sally Field, Calista Flockhart (Ally Mcbeal herself), Rachel Griffiths (Brenda from Six Feet Under) and a bunch of hotties who play the brothers in the Walker family. A mature show about 2 sisters, 3 brothers and their recently widowed mother played by the effervescent Sally Field. It has its light comedic moments as well as dramatic sequences and they delve into topics like infidelity, the war in Iraq, and the U.S. presidential elections among others.

A recent episode dealt with Nora Walker going out on a date. Her first date after her husband died. Her children were giving her all sort of dating advice but it turned out pretty well. The conversation she had with her date touched a nerve.

David: You're missing your husband.
Nora: Yes. Do you ever miss...um?
David: Cheryl. Sometimes.
Nora: What happened? Can I ask?
David: Well to tell you the truth I'm not really sure. We waited a long time to get married because.... Well, I'm not really sure about that either...
Nora: You were playing the field?
David: Not that much actually. I just never met the right person. The person that makes you feel like you'd better hurry up. Like there's never going to be enough time.
Nora: William made me feel like that. Its been its own perfect little hell finding out about all his betrayals. But, when it was good ... he made me feel like this whole world- like this whole big beautiful world, was lucky to have me. Little me. Some trick, huh?
David: Not at all.
Nora: Sometimes it hurts so much to remember.
David: I think ... it would hurt even more to forget.


Ever since I met D, I've felt that way. A certain sense of urgency that there are so many things we need to do before time runs out. Well for one, the fact remains that we are already in the 4th decade of our existence. But sometimes deep inside I keep wishing we had met earlier, much earlier. So we could have gone traveling together, celebrated more birthdays, Christmases and important occasions together. We probably could have gotten our priorities right, saved more and taken our time before we start a family. You know just enjoy each other more without feeling the need to rush. This probably sounds like I am being pressured to get married and I'm not ready to settle down. I'm not ... being pressured that is. I know I am ready. I have never been this sure about anything in my life. A few months ago, I had my doubts about my ability to compromise but I have always felt sure about D being the one. I won't say that I met Mr Right but merely that I met the right person for little me. =)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tension headaches
There are two things which currently make my head spin like crazy. (a) Making the rounds of bridal gown designer shops and (b) checking property prices. The latter is self explanatory so I won't go into a winding rant about that stressful issue.

I attended that bridal fair last month so I managed to gather brochures of some designers who make wedding gowns for a living. Boy, is that a lucrative business or what? Most of the leaflets announced in big bold letters "Special Price P40,000 for entire wedding entourage". So what does a budget conscious bride to be who simply wants a very 'functional' gown with no veil, no train, no beaded sequins, no lace, no heavy fabric do? Give herself tension headaches! I'm the type of person who likes to compare prices over and over again before I make any worthy purchase. So I said oh what the heck I will go for consultations.

What do I have to lose? Well it seems a lot. For one, my self worth and secondly my pride. In my opinion there is nothing more degrading (well for an already stressful bride to be) than to be subjected to tactless (and dare I say hurtful) statements like "Your budget is too small for a bridal gown"; "How come you are scrimping on your gown when you are getting married in a nice church and your reception will be at a 5 star hotel?"; "I only use bridal duchess fabric for all my bridal gowns so my starting price is P15K"; "Your idea of a bridal gown is cheap, that is merely an evening gown"; "I believe you are too short to pull off what you have in mind for a bridal gown"; "You only get married once so you might as well have a 'bongga' gown to show off"; "How come you don't have bridesmaids and flower girls?"; "Oh I see it is the smaller chapel not the main church, huh?". It goes on and on.

Yes I know it is my fault. I was the one who dragged my ever patient and truly supportive sister to drive me all over town. From San Juan to Kamagong in Makati. Then from A.H. Lacson near UST to some dark street in the Paco area. Getting stuck in traffic, finding no parking area, almost fainting from hunger for what? To feel totally depressed that I cannot afford to spend P18,000 for a gown I will only wear for 1 hour at the most? Geez! Thank God I can bend D's ear over the phone to recount one horror story after the other to the point of getting hoarse. While he simply listens to my ramblings and never once told me the dreaded phrase "I told you so"! So I haven't really lost my mind just yet.

6 months to go before my nuptials, I still don't have a gown. Go figure! I am this close to buying any formal evening gown (or what I call the 'Ninang' collection) off the rack just to stop these tension headaches from ruining my life. It is preventing me from enjoying this.long.queues.at.taxi.stands.and.horrendous.traffic.inducing season we call Christmas.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Better caring
I am at an age where I worry about the health care of my parents. Being Asian, I highly doubt I have it in me to put them in a nursing home yet it is still reassuring to know that there are organizations which offer this kind of service if the need arises.

Better Caring is a resourceful service which offers valuable information about providing care for our loved ones or even ourselves. On their website, you can read about the different care options available like residential or nursing care. There are relevant articles from care experts who give us tips on caring for our beloved elderly. They also have a forum area where you can interact with other users to share your experiences or ask questions about health care. It is a daunting task to care for our loved ones but being part of an interactive community can help one cope with it. We owe it to ourselves and to our senior citizens to be properly informed about their health care.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Twelve Months Meme
The rules are simple:
1. Mention the person who tagged you and create a link back to them.
Interestingly enough I got tagged by both Leah and Wil and we all happen to be October born. =)

2. Copy-paste the traits for all the twelve months (click here).

3. Pick your month of birth.

4. Highlight the traits that apply to you.

5. Tag 12 people and let them know by visiting their blogs and leaving a comment for them. I'm not tagging anyone simply because I doubt there are even 12 people who read this blog.

6. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve done it!


OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often I am usually very patient but lately with everything weighing down on me, I'm ashamed to admit I get angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dyson vacuum cleaners
An essential item for any household is a powerful yet handy vacuum cleaner. So why not try a Dyson vacuum cleaner? If you don't know which type suits you, don't worry their website provides a section where they help you choose a Dyson based on your needs. Lightweight, easy to store, all floors suitability as well as vacuums for pet owners and allergy sufferers.
Their Dyson uptight vacuum cleaner range includes 4 types. The DC07 original Root cyclone Uptight which is installed with the Root cyclone technology. It basically separates dirt and dust from the air by a centrifugal force and collects it in a bin not a bag. The DC14 telescope reach is equipped with a telescope reach wand. This comes in handy for those hard to reach places and it comes fully assembled. The DC18 Dyson Slim as the name implies is lightweight. It also comes with a telescope reach wand with flexible steering. Lastly, the DC15 The Ball. A vacuum that twists and turns to reach those little nooks and crannies of your house.
They also have an easy to use parts and accessories section. Each component is depicted with a picture as well as the product description. They are categorised by the model type of the different Dyson vacuum cleaner range. Every Dyson vacuum cleaner is covered by a free 5 year parts and labour guarantee.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Out of my comfort zone
Ever since I started dating D, I've been more adventurous and spontaneous. I've come out of my isolated little cocoon. I, the pampered spoiled brat is now confident enough to take the MRT. I've walked miles even though I perspire like crazy. I've ventured into unfamiliar territories, unscathed. Of course, I survive all of these endeavours with the able guidance of D who always asks me before hand, several times if I'm up to the task. He knows it is way out of my little comfort zone.

Last Sunday after we heard the 11 am Mass at the Edsa Shrine with my parents, I was excited and all geared up for our latest adventure. I wore my most comfortable jeans, a loose peasant blouse which doesn't 'bleed' when I sweat. I had my walking shoes, a body bag slung across my chest, my cellphone and money in my jeans pocket. My wallet devoid of my credit cards. No flashy rings and dangling earrings just a battered wrist watch. I tied my hair in a tight ponytail. Ehem I know I sound paranoid you would think I was entering a thieves haven but you can never be sure, right?

Our destination was the row of jewelry shops in the Binondo area. We were advised by some friends of my sister, wedding rings there are much cheaper than at the malls. D had the taxi drop us off in the Escolta area so he can show me around the places he frequented when he was much younger. The Bureau of Lands where his father used to work. The old buildings dating back to the American occupation and being the frustrated architect that he is, he diligently pointed out the elaborate architecture of those ancient edifices. The original Savory chicken restaurant. The PNB building where both my parents worked during their Department of Commerce days. It was a nostalgic walk back in time tour of the Escolta area. Places I hardly remember even though my parents would tell me tales of their 'pasyalan' in that locale when I was a mere toddler.

We reached the Binondo church then entered the arch which I believe is the start of the Chinatown area. We then proceeded to Ongpin Street which was teeming with several jewelry shops. I am very particular about the type of rings I want for our wedding bands. I want them to be light in weight and color, not too flashy with minimal design. It should also be thin, without any stones and look and feel like a wedding ring. At first I was leaning towards the yellow gold 14K ones but as we hopped from one shop to another, I developed a liking for the white gold 14K variety. Prices are really cheaper in Binondo and surprisingly as we moved towards the Santa Cruz area, the cost of the rings were reduced remarkably.

For instance, the first shop we entered quoted a set of 14K rings at P8,000. By the time we reached the very last store at this jewelry mall near the Santa Cruz church, the sales lady was willing to sell us a set of 14K white gold with a simple design for only P3,000! I was telling D what the heck? How much do these wedding rings really cost? How come when we first asked her, she said P4,500 when she saw our hesitation, she said ok you can have it for P3,200. Then as we were heading for the door, she suddenly said "Ok sir, ma'am you can have it for only P3,000!" I don't know it just didn't seem right. Probably it wasn't even white gold but white glass or something. Besides we were only canvassing and we were not really going to buy just yet. We will go back next year nearer to the wedding date.

Anyways, our sojourn to Binondo and Santa Cruz won't been complete without pasalubongs. The thing is every time my father and D have their after dinner conversations when D drops by the house, they always talk about the old jaunts in the Santa Cruz area. Or what I call their "Avenida Rizal" chats. So D thought it would be a good idea if we bought Eng Bee Tin hopia for merienda and 1 whole Ramon Lee chicken for dinner. Yes he bought them specifically for my father and yes he was making sipsip. Teehee!

I had a great time during our latest adventure. I was able to pray at both the Binondo (San Lorenzo Ruiz church) and the Santa Cruz churches. I got to explore the rows of jewelry shops in Chinatown. The weather was pretty pleasant and a bit windy I didn't perspire. The walk was light and easy since it wasn't crowded. Best of all I was happy that D shared with me some of his fondest memories of his childhood. Next year, our target will be Divisoria to buy wedding items like the cord, veil and the arrhae. Now that should be interesting!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

'Tis the season to send cards!
I am totally disoriented. I am losing track of time with everything I need to do. It is like I'm hopping from one stressful moment to another yet equally tension filled moment. I even have the dark circles under my puffy eyes to prove it!

Some days I am busy calling up suppliers getting quotations for missalettes, flowers and a wedding gown. Everything is way too expensive for my plan of a very simple wedding ceremony. You'll see like 8 wedding related websites on if you check my browsers. Gosh!

Other days I get sidetracked by trying to find a suitable place to live in which doesn't cost a fortune. D and I agreed it would be cheaper if we just transferred to another place instead of spending money on the complete renovation of his really old place. Property developers and real estate listings websites are plastered all over my desktop. Never mind that most if not all of these beautiful condos, townhouses and house and lots are way way beyond our limited income. I just get such an adrenaline rush looking at those floor plans!

Meanwhile, in the grander scheme of things, I still have film reviews to write (I seem to have hit a writer's block in this department), paid reviews to compose (I am motivated by the monetary value so I squeeze my brain till the last drop) and a million other things all vying for a piece of my ready to explode mind!

Giant Christmas tree at Mall of Asia


But let's get to the event closer at hand => Christmas! I accepted fellow blogger Kayni's offer to spread the holiday cheer. In her Thanksgiving entry dated November 22, she wrote:
Happy Thanksgiving to all! And in the spirit of giving and the holiday season, I am going to send gifts to the first five special readers who will comment on this blog entry. I know a lot of you are overseas, so I will try to find something light and easy to send.

Before the end of 2007, I will send a card and physical gift to each of the first five people who comment here. The catch? Each person must make the same offer on her/his blog.


Now I hope you don't mind if I tweak the offer a bit. I am foregoing the physical gift part, I am really kuripot (cheap) that way! But I promise to send Christmas cards via snail mail your way if you are among the lucky 5 bloggers to comment for this entry. Fair enough? So leave a comment here and email me your mailing address at daphnelaura [at] gmail [dot] com! =)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Vacation Rentals
Planning to go somewhere for the Christmas holidays? Instead of spending a fortune on hotel accommodations why not merely rent a place. Goin2travel.com is a website that lists vacation rentals worldwide. It is a comprehensive directory of a wide selection of beach villas, condos, cabins, homes, resorts and even islands in all of the great vacations spots on earth. They are posted by the owners of the properties themselves so you deal directly with them thus minimizing your expenses. Once you've chosen your type of accommodation, you are directed to its specific page where you can see thumbnail pictures of the actual place. The product description, its amenities as well as the different activities and attractions within the area. All the relevant information are well documented in just one click.

So why not book an oceanfront home from the Hawaii vacation home rentals . Or a private cottage overlooking the Pacific ocean from Maui vacation rentals. Or fall asleep on a hammock in a luxurious resort listed in Kauai vacation rentals section. Go for it, you have nothing to lose but a tan to gain!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yesterday
At roughly this time, I was having lunch at Kaya Korean Restaurant with my parents at the Power Plant Mall. The table started to shake violently, our plates clattering. For a split second, I held my breath as my mind slowly registers what was occurring. Oh an earthquake! But the lunch time crowd at that posh mall didn't panic, they merely continued to munch on their chow.
I immediately texted my sister and D to ask them if they felt it.
My sister replied first: "Yes I felt it. I'm at Pan Pacific hotel for a function. It was rather strong but lasted for a few seconds lang."
D's reply: "Nope I didn't feel anything. I'm cleaning the ref. Where are you, are you ok?"


The whole point of this post is to let people know that my husband to be cleans the refrigerator. Teehee! =)
Mp3 players
Before I buy anything, I usually check the Internet for the specifications, the various available brands to compare prices. If you are in the market for a good mp3 player, Savebuckets.co.uk is the website to visit. It comes complete with pictures of the different brands of mp3 players, the product description and the online store which offers the best price for them. You are then directed to the store's website for your purchase. You can either choose to sort the audio devices by name or by best price. The mp3 players category lists 924 products! That is quite a long list and wide scope of items to view and compare prices. How convenient!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Enchantment
Last October, my sister gifted me with an E-See Club card. This 'ATM" card allows me to book movie tickets online or over the phone at the Shang Cineplex. I also earn rewards points each time I buy a movie ticket using my E-See Club card. The perfect gift for a movie buff like me. I got my card last October 27 and was issued 3 coupons. They entitled me to 1 free regular movie, 1 free 45 grams plain buttered popcorn and my choice of iced tea or lemonade. The coupons were valid for one month. Since then, things have been quite hectic both physically and emotionally for me (i.e my engagement and my impending wedding). I totally forgot about the coupons until I woke up this morning to check my wallet for coins. The coupons fell out and I was alarmed to find out today was the last day. I promptly checked the film schedules at the Shang Cineplex -"Enchanted", "Hitman", "Beowulf" and "One More Chance" were showing. Ah movies I won't watch even if you held a gun to my head. The only mildly interesting one or should I say tolerable one was "Enchanted" - a fairy tale with a twist with embedded animation bits along with some singing and dancing sequences. Yes, a Disney production. Much to my surprise I enjoyed it but mostly due to the swooning presence of Patrick Dempsey, Dr McDreamy himself! So I had an enchantingly free movie experience, after all!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Blinds
The first thing I noticed when I entered D's place was that he had curtains instead of blinds. So I added blinds on my items to buy list.

Terry's Fabrics is an online store that sells all sorts of blinds. I didn't know there were various styles of blinds. It was only when I check out their website that I learned they come in categories like Venetian, Roller, Roman, Roman Blinds kit, Vertical and Wooden Blinds.
Terry's Fabrics has a comprehensive website that explains each type/style of the blinds with sample pictures. It also familiarizes us with the accessories like head rail, fixing brackets and blind slats. They offer valuable tips so you know which type of blinds best suits the window(s) in each room of your house. The blinds come in different colors and fabrics so they can blend with the walls.
Once you have chosen a particular blinds, you can customize your order. Details like color, length, width as well as sample pictures are all neatly presented on the order form. So no matter the motif of your home, there are various blinds to match your windows. You can mix and match them or you can use just one type for your entire house. The possibilities are endless!



*This is a paid review*
Picture perfect
We only have 29 days to go before Christmas. A digital picture frame is a great gift item. You simply take pictures using your digital camera, then transfer the memory card to the digital frame. Simply plug your 9V adapter (comes with the frame) and you are all set. The digital frame displays your pictures in a slide show presentation. Use the infrared remote control to choose the settings for your pictures. Brilliant idea, isn't it?
The digital photo frames are available in different sizes from 7 to 15 inches LCD screen with black, clear acrylic or aluminum coated finish. Place your order from Digitalframez.com, an online electronic store so they can be shipped just in time for Christmas!
My first bridal fair experience
Saturday, I went to the bridal fair and survived but left with this deep sense of inadequacy or should I say poverty? Every booth had the wealthy, fancy wedding brides to be as their targeted market. Invitations required a minimum of 50 to 100 pieces; couture boutiques offered special price for gowns of the entire entourage with huge banners announcing P40,000 ONLY!; studios had video coverage, prenuptial, wedding and reception coverage at whooping prices; jewelry shops had the most exquisite wedding rings averaging from P22,000 to as high as P59,000; flower shops offered packages for both the church and the reception venue. Holy smokes!

And there I was asking what how much if I just ordered 20 misalettes (take note not invitations!)? Do they have more sedate designs of misalettes because pastel colored dainty flowers and butterflies are a tad too juvenile for my taste. How much for just a bridal gown? (huh? P15,000? but I don't want beads, sequins or a long train!). Do they have simpler wedding bands? How much if it is only the bride who gets her hair and makeup done? How much for just one bouquet to adorn the main altar? Everywhere I asked they implied with only 6 months to go I didn't have enough time to get my gown made! When I signed their log books I saw the others indicated their wedding dates as far as November 2008 and one even listed February 2009! What on earth?!

I texted D who was at work that we should just elope because I don't want to end up in debt spending a fortune for just one day! He just laughed it off and texted me that's what I get for attending a bridal fair. Grrr. A funny observation were the faces of the few guys who decided to tag along with their fiancees. Their ashen pale demeanor visibly revealed their discomfort, they were probably thinking 'bankruptcy alert' each time they saw the prices. He he he

Friday, November 23, 2007

Ceiling fans
As a toddler, I remember falling asleep watching the blades of our ceiling fan rotating round and round. That was eons ago in our bungalow in very humid and very hot New Delhi, India.
Since then, ceiling fans have evolved from those bland white blades to more exquisite styles and designs. It was a revelation to find the wide variety of ceiling fans available from Farreys.com. You can shop by ceiling fan brand or by ceiling fan style. Most of these ceiling fans include accessories like lamp kits, remote and/or wall control. Casablanca fans offer several style categories like traditional, contemporary and the cosmopolitan collections to choose from. Fan blades are no longer limited to rectangular shape. Check out the Fanimation ceiling fans, they offer palm leaf style blades made of different materials like wicker, rustic pine and wood. So exquisitely grand, these elegant ceiling fans will certainly air out your stuffy homes. The website comes with a ceiling fan search tool where you can key in your preferences or choose from the menu bar. No sweat really, it is quite a breeze.
Dulcinea
I had to do some banking transactions at Power Plant Mall, yesterday. By the time I was done it was lunch time so I made the rounds of the food establishments. In my mind, I was crossing out the restaurants I passed by: Kenny Rogers, ah not in the mood for some chicken. Banana Leaf - I didn't want my food to be served on a banana leaf. Kaya Restaurant - hmm Korean cuisine dak bolgogi, spicy beef stew but nah maybe next time.

Oh Dulcinea, ok this should do. I haven't eaten there in ages. I usually order their Chicken ala King, this little pastry stuffed with chicken tidbits covered with some creamy sauce. For merienda, I would order their churros dipped into thick hot chocolate. I ended up going for their Lengua Estofado which is served with diced veggies (carrots, peas and beans) and mashed potato (a favorite of mine). NO rice! As much as possible I try to minimize my carbohydrates intake. Before my main course arrived, the waiter served some creamy soup (not sure if it is chicken or mushroom because I'm clueless when it comes to identifying taste) which according to him is part of the order. Ok fine, thanks. My Lengua Estofado arrived 3 minutes later. The 4 pieces of tongue was thinly sliced and quite tender. It was covered with thick mushroom gravy/sauce (this time I could tell because there were sliced button mushroom on top of it, hehe). The meal was quite filling. But I kept thinking, hmm how come the last time I ordered this dish from the Dulcinea branch at Megamall or was it Glorietta, the tongue was served with onions scattered all over the plate. Not that I mind, I have this peculiar habit of taking out the onions from everything I eat from pizza, pancit to kaldereta and bulalo. Then it occurred to me, maybe the Lengua Estofado I ordered wasn't from Dulcinea but some other restaurant. It isn't possible for one branch to cook this dish without onions and another branch to serve it with onions. Either way, my stomach was full. I was glad to return to one of my favorite restaurants in town for some alone time and give my very weary brain some time off from thinking about my wedding preparations!. =)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Online Furniture Store
Nowadays you can buy anything from books, clothes, movies and even Furniture Online. Furniture from home is an online furniture store that has been operational for 3 years. You can browse/shop by room (bedroom, kitchen, home office, dining room), by style such as wood, leather or contemporary or by color like neutral, dark, fabric. Whether it is a contemporary sofa for your living room or a side table for your bedroom, they have an extensive collection of Furniture sets to choose from. Oh be sure to check out their sale section where they offer discounts on several furniture sets. Their comprehensive website contains all the useful information you need to make a worthy purchase. Their full time customer service staff are ready to answer any questions and solve any issues you may have. You can contact them by email, phone or FAX 7 days a week.

Who would have thought?
My transformation from a sarcastic, cynical I.will.never.marry spoiled brat to an excited, happy bride to be is phenomenal. A year ago, I would be the first person to scoff and snicker whenever I saw long queues at bridal fairs. But yesterday, I registered online so I don't have to pay the admission fee to the Dream Weddings - Before I Do Year 2 at Megatrade Hall 3, SM Megamall, this weekend. Surreal!

In other news (still wedding related), it seems that I would have to deal with my in laws after all. Last Sunday, I was able to talk to D's mother, his younger brother and his family in the US. It was an interesting phone conversation. I got some dirt on D's personality courtesy of his family - that was fun to hear! But I didn't expect the whole brood's definite plan to attend the wedding, next year. Eeeps. I understand they are excited about D finally getting married but it seems our guest list (and expenses) will have to be further stretched beyond our limited budget. D even joked "it is nice of them to come for the wedding. But instead of spending for their airfare, they can just remit the money so we can use it to renovate the house" Hey don't look at me, he was the one who said it, the idea never crossed my mind, really ... I just laughed.
These days there are only two things that occupy my scattered brain. Wedding preparations and making money by writing sponsored posts.

Bloggerwave is the latest company I've signed up with to increase my earnings. It is Europe's biggest advertising media on blogs. You get paid for blogging. There are three types of post you can select : Buzz, Review and Opinion. A bright well maintained interface on their website makes it easy for any blogger to join their growing network. After you have registered, you can add up to 5 blogs. You have a limitless amount of opportunities to choose from to be posted on any of your blogs. But a single blog cannot take a single opportunity more than once. Plus you have the option to write posts in different languages. A good way to practice your language skills. So come and join the wave, the Bloggerwave!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Let there be light
I have this particular quirk that restaurants need to be brightly lit or else I won't eat there. This attitude also extends to my home. My surroundings especially my work place needs to be well illuminated. One of the items I check out when I go to home stores are lamps. I can spend one whole day just admiring these house fixtures.
Farreys.com offers a wide variety of lamps. It is a one stop online lighting store. You can browse through categories from price range, by brand, style, finish to different types like table lamps and torchieres which are indoor portable lighting which you can move to any area. Take your pick, put it into your shopping cart, fill in your payment details and have it shipped right to your house. How very convenient! I had so much fun clicking away choosing from their wide range of lamps and lamp shades of different shapes and sizes, function and colors. There are thousands of lamps to choose from, it is mind boggling!
I intend to bring all my lamps to my new 'home' so it will be bright and cheerful. D just needs to brace himself once he sees our electricity bill. Teehee!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Step!
I told myself I won't let this week past without making at least one booking for my wedding. I've been making phone calls to churches inquiring about the requirements, the cost and the procedure. All these pieces of information, I diligently write in a notebook.

Yesterday, I dragged D to accompany me for a look see at a couple of churches. Our plan was to meet at around 2:30pm so we would have enough time to check out 2 churches. It turns out his family called long distance and they had quite a lengthy phone call. After all, they are excited too with the news of our nuptials. So by the time he finally showed up at 3:45 pm, I gave myself an ulcer. My mind went into panic mode as per my calculations, we won't make it to either of the churches. The traffic situation being horrendous in our beloved nation.

We get to Villa San Miguel (The Archbishop's Palace) just before 4:30pm. We had to wait a few minutes for the concerned person to attend to our inquiries. Actually, this visit was just to get an idea of the area. Frankly I wasn't too keen on it knowing that they don't provide a priest to officiate at the ceremony. It was already 5:20pm when we got to our second choice. We just took a chance to see if they were still open. And thankfully, they were. So it is all systems go for May 15, 2008 10 AM at the San Lorenzo Ruiz chapel, Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace. The date when the most eligible bachelor in Q.C weds the most eligible bachelorette in M.C! he he he (crazy joke D came up with!)

Woohooo!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I signed up for PPP
I've heard/read all the buzz about Payperpost from several bloggers. They were raving how easy it was and how much they have earned writing sponsored posts. You simply write reviews/opinions about different items and products on your blog, wait a few days for approval. Once it is confirmed, you get paid through Paypal. The payment scheme facility though kept me away. But once things eased up, I immediately signed up for PPP.

To distract my mind from the wedding arrangements, I have been spending a few minutes each day to familiarize myself with the mechanics involved in PayperPost. I have been reading and learning how to submit opportunities, checking out the different tools available that will help boost the traffic rankings of my blog. As well as browsing other bloggers site to see previews of sponsored posts. PPP's website is easy to navigate. It contains all the relevant information which new posties would find useful. Besides I'm a fast learner so I am confident I will be successful. I was delighted to learn this morning that my blog finally got approved. Yay. Now, I'm excited! I look forward to writing reviews and getting paid for it. I intend to save my earnings so I can buy household items for D's place. Ooops I meant our place.




Thursday, November 15, 2007

Alert: major emotional roller coaster post ahead
In some previous post I mentioned my way of dealing with stressful situations is to cry. Well true to form, I had a nervous breakdown, the other night. Ok so it was more like the wee hours of the morning. After my nightly phone call to D, I sat on a small stool in my sister's office. We started discussing my wedding plans and my married life thereafter.

The thing is I have no problems at all with D. I have known since the very beginning what he could offer, what to expect or not to expect from him. I had my doubts if *I* could adapt to his lifestyle and kept changing the topic whenever he mentioned the M word. Yet as the months went by, I was willing to compromise and in the process I conditioned myself. Now I'm confident I am ready to face the task ahead. I credit it largely to D's laissez faire attitude, his optimistic outlook on life and his genuinely nurturing ways. Sa Tagalog, ang gaan gaan ng pakiramdam ko pag kasama ko si D.

But it has been very difficult for me to explain to my family my desire to settle down. The family who has raised me for 39 years. The family that has blessed me with material and emotional support unconditionally. The family who is now supporting me in full force. The family that overwhelms me in their need to make my transition into married life as comfortable as possible.

I know that it is all my fault. In my usual protectively guarded style about my romantic involvements, I don't tell them about D's lifestyle. I wanted to shield my family from the disappointment. I didn't want them to expect too much from D. I wanted D to feel welcome by my family. Of course they have welcomed him with open arms. For me to open up to my family was pretty daunting and vice versa. I understand my family's concerns considering the fact that I don't openly discuss any aspects of my relationship with D. So I was emotionally troubled yet kept up a brave front in view of all the arrangements I had (have) to deal with.

The tears started to roll down my cheeks when I told my sister, everything. I started sobbing uncontrollably. I let it all out. My sister who believe me has her plate totally full and overflowing with a million things bore the full brunt of my emotional meltdown. Really embarrassing yet very cathartic for me. A major stress reliever. I aired my concerns, my fears, my excitement, my happiness. So after that tearful episode, things have toned down quite a bit. I don't let the interrogation sessions bother me anymore. I feel much better. I sleep better. I've regained my appetite. I panic less. I smile more. I just need to take one baby step at a time and relax more. I should probably spend less time reading http://www.kasal.com and actually go out and make the darn bookings already! Teehee =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Linky love chain
I got snared in this love chain by Girlie.The rules are simple - When you get tagged ... you have to add your name next to people who had done the tag and and let the list grow!


Limadang.com

RamblingMoo.com

blogginginmypyjamas

StylewithPassion

Chinneeq

Dora-zooropazoo

Babyshern

HiPnCooLMoMMa


Daphne Laura


Let’s keep the list growing, so more and more people will discover our blogs. I'm tagging:

Wil

Kayni

Denden

Vanessa

Em Dy

Monday, November 12, 2007

Formality's sake
D and I have been talking about marriage on and off the past few months. But I haven't had the chance to officially tell my parents about our plans. They aren't the type of parents who would question me openly about the state of my relationships. I guess they trust me enough to do the right thing so I've never discussed any of my romantic relationships with them. Well yesterday, we finally had the courage to formally announce our engagement/plans to settle down.

The night before, D and I rehearsed a number of scenarios on how to introduce the topic over lunch. Some were downright funny, others were silly, most were serious. I stressed myself out, kept tossing and turning in bed which prevented me from getting a good night sleep. I woke up early (for me anyway) barely ate my breakfast, took a quick shower then went to hear the 11 AM Sunday mass at the Edsa Shrine with my parents and D. I couldn't concentrate and broke out in a cold sweat (yes I know the church is air conditioned but still you know what I mean), several times.

My brilliant idea was to tell my parents during lunch at Teriyaki Boy. You know during that lull when we wait for our orders to arrive. But we couldn't do it. Blah. Ha ha ha! We ordered, the food came in rapid succession. We ate, glanced at each other sheepishly, ate some more (well I barely touched my food, preferring instead to drown myself with iced tea) talked about everything under the sun except the main issue at hand! My hands were literally shaking and my stomach was in knots. I was a nervous wreak. Occasionally, D and I would look at each other, smile and secretly hoped the other one would finally blurt it out to end our misery.

After the waiter cleared our table of our plates, I took a big gulp of my iced tea, took a very deep breath, looked my mother straight in the eyes and finally just blurted it out. "Ah Ma, Dad we have something to announce. We are planning to get married na next year!" *Big smile* My parents had this blank look on their face like my statement didn't register. D quickly said something to support my announcement. To say they were surprised is an understatement but they welcomed the good news with glee. My father gave the thumbs up sign. My mother was in shock and tried desperately not to cry as we were in a public place. Later that night, my parents kept saying that the announcement was slowly sinking in like some sort of delayed reaction. But the feedback has been mostly positive. I guess it has to do with the fact they like D immensely for he has always accorded them the respect they deserve.

After that announcement, I felt tremendous relief like a huge burden was taken off my chest. The interrogation part though started in the car and went on high alert when we got home. It was further compounded when I went online to read websites on the numerous requirements even for a simple Church wedding. D keeps telling me to relax and not stress myself out he will help me with everything but I can't really help it, I'm a worry wart, remember?

But overall, my parents are very enthusiastic, quite excited and have given me their full support. My beloved sister is the only one who dares to ask the hard nosed questions. She raises the issues I've been desperately trying to sweep under the rug, so to speak. She does have very valid concerns. I truly understand where she is coming from. I like to believe she merely means well and in due time I hope she would eventually ease up on me and D. But don't get me wrong, she is also very supportive. She serves as my shock absorber, my anchor and my rock. I know I can depend on her for anything, anytime, anywhere, forever!

I am currently a ball filled with mixed emotions. I'm ready, happy, confident, panic stricken, apprehensive and fearful yet I've never been more sure about finally finding the person I will grow old with. D has been such a wonderful supportive presence in my life and I couldn't ask for more! He was the one who pointed out that yesterday, November 11 was our 5th month anniversary. I was so stressed and freaked out I totally forgot about it.

Now excuse me as I finally have some private alone time so I can have a good cry over this whole thing. You know just to let it all sink in, cry away my worries, my fears and of course some happy tears as well.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Travel Recollections
The last time I was in France was about 10 years ago. Yes it has been that long! My sister was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her friend somewhere in the south of France. We managed to arrange our schedule to meet up in Paris after the wedding so we could have a grand vacation. We stayed at the apartment of another friend of my sister in Paris which was located in the Bastille district of the French capital. But if you don't know anyone in Paris, this website listing the different Paris hotels will surely come in handy.





We visited all the famous tourist spots like The Eiffel Tower, The Sacre Coeur Basilica, The Notre Dame Cathedral. We even patiently waited in line to enter the Louvre Museum. This was way before the book by Dan Brown "The Da Vinci Code" and the movie for that matter was released. My favorite tourist activity in Paris is to take the scenic Seine River cruise and simply soak in the lovely ambiance of Parisian life. Just like the boat which Celine and Jesse took in the movie "Before Sunset".

The great thing about traveling in Europe is that everything is connected by a very efficient rail transportation system . So you can basically just avail of an Eurail pass, hop on a train to visit the different cities within France. For your accommodations, simply book online on this website which offers a wide variety of hotels located anywhere in France.







For example you can head to Nice (pronounced "Niece" not "nice") the capital of the French Riviera. The last time I visited this coastal city was in the early 80s when we were on our way to Monte Carlo, Monaco. Beautiful sun drenched beaches, charming cobblestone streets lined with cafes and historical museums are the main attractions of this southeastern French city. A vibrant nightlife also awaits your presence. At the end of the day, you can retire to one of the numerous hotels which you booked through this extensive website. Then you can truly say you had a nice time in Nice!
Shopping Cart Software



A few years ago, I took a short term course in web design in a computer school located in the Shaw Boulevard area. Our final 'thesis' was to design an interactive e-commerce web page from scratch. I remember spending sleepless nights and getting very frustrated trying to get my website to work.

I know that if I had this e-commerce software available to me back then, it would have been a big help in finalizing my project. Ashop Commerce provides a very vital tool in any online store, the shopping cart. Their website is well designed with comprehensive information about the mechanics in setting up an e-commerce store. Their tech support and customer service are always ready to answer all your enquiries. You can also use a trial version of their shopping cart software for 10 days to familiarize yourself with their product. They make it all seem so easy! It is a one stop solution for all your e-commerce needs.

By the way, I am ashamed to admit that I simply gave up and failed to submit my final project for that course. Another one of those tasks I've left pending because I lost interest. It's the story of my life, really.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pasa Load
Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays are D's off days for this semester. The rest of the week he works from 7:30 AM to 6 PM. Great! And we got a wedding to plan!

OK maybe not.

No don't get me wrong, we are still getting married next year! I meant we don't really need to plan for it or so I keep telling myself. So far, we have decided to just find a priest who will be willing to marry us in some chapel or church without the frills of having bridesmaids, sponsors and whatever it is you need at these ceremonies. Only my parents and sister would be present. His parents (they are already too old to travel) and his siblings are all in the US of A. He hates the idea that he has to invite the whole university where he teaches to the wedding. Our 'reception' kuno would be at Teriyaki Boy. Then we check into the Linden Suites for our honeymoon.

I know people would say hmmm it is just one day why don't you splurge a little? Or worse, he must be poor he cannot afford an elaborate wedding. The thing is the less stress the better it is for me. I don't function well in stressful situations. I cry my eyes out. A bride with puffy eyes on her wedding day is not a good sign, I tell you! When I emailed my friend to consult her about the preparations, I read her reply twice, went on a brief panic mode then I forwarded the email to D so *he* would do everything. In other words, I 'pasa load' - I passed the load of planning the wedding to him. Teehee!

It is more important for me to plan for the marriage instead of the wedding. I rather spend on improving the little apartment we would call our conjugal home. And believe me, the place does need a LOT of improvement. The minute I stepped into D's place I was already thinking on how to renovate the whole apartment. After all, I would be working from home so it is imperative I make it as comfortable as possible. Since D works such long hours, the thought that I would be all alone for hours on end is already stressing me out, this early. D has been teasing me constantly that I might start to cry out of loneliness being stuck in that tiny place the whole day. Well, I just need to prove him wrong, won't I? Either that or I have an hour and a half to dry my tears the minute he texts me he is on his way home. Ehem!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dangling Earrings (Batch 2)
I took pictures of the remaining set of my earrings at Linden Suites. I hanged them on the lamp located on the side table by the bed. Now if you want to contribute to my collection, you are very much welcome to do so! After all, Christmas is just around the corner and it is the season to give gifts! Ho ho ho =)




Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Advantage Term Life
Every year my sister receives a letter reminding her to register her car as well as renew her car insurance policy. We also had both our condo unit and our parents house insured in case of damages due to natural calamities and accidents. But we have never thought of buying life insurance.

Advantage Term Life is a company that sells a wide range of comprehensive life insurance. These include term insurance, whole life and employee benefit package. They offer a reliable insurance quoting service where you can compare the different policies and the coverage it offers to make it easier to decide the best option. Everything you ever needed to know about life insurance policies is conveniently located on their website. Click away and get insured!
Smorty
To get the ball rolling (special thanks to Girlie!), the first site I signed up with is Smorty. Its name sounds like a delightful candy, oh wait ok so that's Smartie! But I digress!



Smorty is a service that links advertisers with bloggers. Advertisers pay bloggers to write their opinions about products, services and websites. It only takes a few minutes to compose an entry with a link back to the advertiser prominently displayed in your post. After all, don't we always have an opinion about something?

Its features include the opportunity to earn more money by writing your opinions in multiple blogs, the choice to select only products that interest you and you get paid to blog, weekly through Paypal. For advertisers it is a chance to increase your search-engine rankings and targeted traffic by blog advertising.

Their brightly designed website is comprehensive and very easy to navigate. Take a few minutes to read all the relevant information and tools at your disposal. Sign up as either an advertiser or a blogger, wait a few days for your blog to be approved then voila, you are all set to get paid for blogging.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Quick Update
Last month was pretty hectic. I came back from Bohol and Cebu. We celebrated my sister's birthday. The very next day I developed severe abdominal cramps which got me bedridden for a week. Then I was off to watch foreign films at the Spanish Film Festival. My computer broke down permanently and this 'event' had me frantic in deciding what to do next. Until I finally bought a new PC and couldn't be happier with my purchase. I celebrated my 39th birthday on the day the Glorietta explosion occurred. Then my sister and I checked into the Linden Suites for an overnight stay. I managed to watch only 1 movie at Cine Europa. I still have movie reviews to write, emails to reply to and tons of bills to pay.

D had 2 weeks off work due to the semester break so it was bonding time. A time well spent since we have made several concrete plans about our future. Exciting plans which I admit give me butterflies in my stomach and has my head spinning with numerous thoughts and ideas. Yet at the same time, I am freaking out if I am up to the daunting task ahead. I make it sound like doomsday but just imagine after spending 39 years of my life in the lap of independence and luxury, I am going to embark on a journey where I alter my last name, adjust to new surroundings, adapt to a completely different lifestyle and make decisions which would affect the rest of my life. But how hard can it be, right? After all since I was 3 years old I have been on this nomadic path of always adjusting to everything from locale, culture, climate, cuisine, residences and even friends, I guess it is time to dig in and grow roots!

The main point of this entry is to announce my intention to write sponsored posts on this blog because I need to build a nest egg. And yes I am getting married next year! Wish me luck, for both! =)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Meme Time
1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
D, as usual!

2. What were you doing at 0800?
I'm not a morning person so I was still asleep

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Washing the dishes

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Ah I turned 38

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
"ok you can pull the USB thumb drive out na"

6. How many beverages did you have today?
2 - coffee and water

7. What color is your hairbrush?
I use a light blue comb

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
the car wash for my sister's car at the parking lot of the Shangri-la Plaza

9. Where were you last night?
Home

10. What color is your front door?
Brown

11. Where do you keep your change?
Coin purse which I have to search for deep within my bag everytime I pay for anything

12. What’s the weather like today?
Pleasant enough, no sun, not too humid.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Mint chocolate which I haven't had in ages!

14. What excites you?
film festivals, out of town trips, special occasions and my dates with D

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Yes, my hair needs a trim but the thing is my stylist has been assigned to another branch (all the way in SM North of all places) so I've been hesitant to try someone else

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Definitely

17. Do you talk a lot?
It depends on the company but not really.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
Nope

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
A friend of my sister but I don't really know him

20. Do you make up your own words?
Sometimes, yes

21. Are you a jealous person?
No

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Ash

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
Karl but he was just some guy I went out with just once

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
My sister

25. What does the last text message you received say?
"Ok hon c u l8r ingats ha, i love you!"

26. Do you chew on your straw?
No

27. Do you have curly hair?
More like wavy hair

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Baguio but nothing definite yet

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
No one

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Lunch - rice, kaldereta with clear veggie soup

31. Will you get married in the future?
Yes, next year. Gosh!!!

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
"The Lives of Others" a German film and the only film I caught at the recently concluded Cine Europa at the Shang Cineplex

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
D

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
I did it before I answered this meme

35. Are you currently depressed?
Not at all

36. Did you cry today?
No, do I have to??

37. Why did you answer and post this?
I decided to post this meme to prove I am not neglecting this blog, gone missing or abducted by aliens. Things have been hectic, period!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The long and winding road that leads to ... a new PC
Each time my PC develops a problem like say it won't start or the operating system won't load, my usual reaction would be to fester, fester and fester some more. I go through a period of being so indecisive, I give myself headaches pondering on the next step. I spend sleeping nights worrying:
( 1) should I just have it fixed?
( 2) where do I have it fixed?
( 3) do I pay cash or by credit card?
( 4) check my dwindling bank account online countless times
( 5) how much do I pay monthly if I use the Pay Lite 0% interest pay scheme?
( 6) do I buy a new one?
( 7) where and which brand?
( 8) how do I dispose of the old one?
( 9) how do I get rid of the broken ones I've accumulated which are gathering dust?
(10) do I buy a desktop or a laptop?

Then after I've obsessed over the above issues, I go through a period where I hog my sister's laptop to research online the different brands available, the specs and features of each unit - ergo further confusing my already cluttered mind. As if I didn't have enough worries to give me pimples, I had film festivals to attend, film reviews to write, dates with D to plan and pictures from my trips to upload aside from the chores I have to deal with on a daily basis.

My next phase would be nonchalance wherein I simply shrug, sigh loudly and wean myself from my obsession by sleeping it off. I would take naps midday for no apparent reason even if I wasn't even sleepy! Until one day, my sister, my parents and even D asks me the procrastinator - the 64 Million (dollars ha not pesos!) question: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT YOUR PC???

Argh!

I eventually snap out of my lazy phase then go full gear into my malling phase. The period where I drag my sister to accompany me to all the malls in the metropolis (well almost all, ok?) so I can have a look see on the different options available at my disposal. So we went to SM Megamall, Robinsons Galleria, Shangri-la Plaza, Glorietta even as far as SM North Cybermall and Trinoma wasting precious gasoline. I was deeply disappointed to learn that I only have 2 options desktop wise: Acer and HP. I know, I know there are other brands like those made in China or worst those brand less ones which are assembled in some warehouse. But I refuse to give myself more headaches once they start breaking down on the exact day their warranty expires! Surely you would say well there you go! How hard can it get silly girl you only have to choose among 2 brands. Well, I like to complicate things just for the heck of it. I'm strange that way! For example, I wanted a desktop without an operating system because I refuse to use Windows Vista. My sister has enough troubles dealing with tech support each time her Acer laptop hanged due to this very faulty OEM. Then I wanted freebies like an upgrade to a higher memory, a free printer or a USB drive or all of the above if I'm lucky enough!



You still with me?
Read on, I am going to wrap this entry up shortly, I promise!



So after agonizing for almost 3 weeks and numerous follow up phone calls to my contact in Complink at Trinoma Mall (of all places), I finally bought myself a HP Pavilion Desktop. Slick black CPU, Intel Dual Core E2140 1.6 Ghz, 17 inch LCD monitor, with a memory upgrade to 1 GB and the best part is my operating system is Windows XP.

HP Pavilion g3037

Now comes the hard part - where on earth do I find the funds to pay for my exorbitant credit card bill?!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Linden Suites pictures
We stayed in a very spacious 2 bedroom suite (Room 1114) located in the Linden Suites Tower 2 on the 11th floor. A new wing of the hotel which recently opened and is still undergoing some construction. It was a refreshing change of scenery even though it was merely an overnight stay. =)



Living Room

Dining Area

Second Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Home Theater system

Office area

Room service dinner

SM MegamallView of SM Megamall

Ortigas AreaView of Ortigas area

Ortigas Skyline

Monday, October 22, 2007

Surprise Treat
I was still in dreamland yesterday when my sister woke me up at 11 am and told me to pack up for an overnight stay at my favorite hotel in the metropolis - Linden Suites. I didn't believe her and just chuckled "yeah right, I'm still sleepy go away".
Well it wasn't a joke!
I'm here blogging live (using broadband) from room 1114, a beautiful 2 bedroom suite at the Linden Suites Tower 2.
I'm having coffee typing away on the keyboard of my sister's Acer laptop with a panoramic view of the Ortigas area.
I have Josh Groban (in concert DVD - another birthday gift) serenading me with his rendition of the Don Mclean song "Vincent" or is it "Starry Starry Night?" I'm still half awake so pardon the memory lapse!
I had a refreshing soak at the jacuzzi located on the 9th floor, yesterday.
We ordered room service for dinner last night. We had mussel & clam chowder, pumpkin soup, margherita pizza, poached chicken linguine carbonara, philly cheese steak burger and a plate containing a combination of mini desserts of panna cotta, bread pudding and blueberry cheesecake. Yes we were hungry!
I had a very good night sleep on a pristine clean white bed with just the right kind of pillow covered with a fluffy duvet.
I'm overwhelmed, I'm grateful for having such a generous sister and boy was I surprised with this post birthday treat. But I enjoyed every second of this experience! =) Now excuse me as I take a relaxing bubble bath before we check out at noon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dangling Earrings (Batch 1)
It is 4:50 in the morning and I'm suddenly in an artistic and creative mood, go figure! I'm weird that way. It is probably due to lack of sleep or my maniacally insomniac tendencies. So I decided to take pictures of my (growing) collection of dangling earrings. This is the first batch because my digicam battery supply ran low. I reckon it would since I clicked several times to perfect each shot at a good angle. By the way, that glass cup contains a scented candle gift from the Shangri-la Mactan and not a glass of warm milk! Just in case you were wondering. Heh! So enjoy the pictures while I drag my large derriere into my cosy lil bed.