Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Camping in the UAE Desert

Winter is here in Dubai! Don’t you just love the weather now? Cold weather means winter, which means Christmas and New Year...Hurray! I just love this season. Everyone (err, almost everyone) is so nice and friendly, and everything is just so…Christmassy ☺

Cold weather also means camping. Well, here in the Middle East, it is. The weather is simply perfect for a night outdoors and underneath the clear skies and stars with friends and family. Which is why, when the weather changed and the temperature went down early this month, we planned an overnight camping with our KFC family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Padama sa Padala Giveaway Winners!

Ok, I’m going to make this short and sweet because I know you’re all excited to find out who won.

First of all, to everyone who participated in my first sponsored giveaway (by LBC, no less!), THANK YOU! I’m completely overwhelmed that there were more than 100 entries!

And now, on to the 5 winners who either liked, shared, followed, tweeted, and/or commented…  a Rafflecopter giveaway
CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Malen Rubin 
Gail Dizon 
Gemma Emilia 
Ana Cortez 
Jennie Dalangin 

I’ll be sending a message to each of you on how to claim your prize, so keep a watch on your inboxes.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My 2015 Wish List

Just 5 days until Christmas! Time sure is flying fast. Has everyone completed their shopping? Hands up to the procrastinators this year, and let’s high five ☺

Hubby and I were way behind on our preparations (actually, we still are), but fortunately we had some free time yesterday to buy presents for most of the kids we know. Now all we need to do is wrap them. Unfortunately, though, this will probably have to wait until Thursday (the day before Christmas) because that’s the only free time we will have. Yikes!  This happens to us every year, and the following year, we still don’t learn our lesson to shop early. Oh well. We like the feeling of the Christmas rush, I guess ☺

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Giveaway: Padama sa Padala

When the Christmas season starts (and for Filipinos, that means as early as September!), OFWs know it’s the time to save and buy all sorts of things to fill the balikbayan boxes. After all, if they can’t go home for the holidays, what better way to make up for their absence than a huge box filled with clothes, shoes, bags, chocolates, and grocery items for their families to enjoy.

The small carton is a symbol of the Filipino expat’s sacrifices…of hard work, adjusting to a different culture, and most especially, living away from their loved ones. Every tiny space of the box is filled with love and longing, so it’s always a joy to know that the recipients are excited and truly appreciate the surprises they find inside.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Parking Ticket

Last Saturday, we needed to buy something from Warba so Hubby parked the car while I headed to the machine to get a ticket.
I happened to pass by a car, and seeing its ticket, I thought "Sana dumating ang owner at ibigay sa amin ang ticket nya." (I hope the owner arrives soon and he'll give us his ticket)
Just as I was about to press the button on the machine for the ticket to come out, I heard someone call out "Excuse me?" Yes, it was the owner of the same vehicle and he was giving me the ticket!
I could hardly believe my luck!
I kept saying "Thank you" over and over to the kind kabayan. There was more than 30 minutes left so we still had plenty of time to do what we needed to do.
Coincidence or a quick answer from above to a very simple request? I'd like to think it was the latter ☺

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#GPinCanada: Road Trip to Seattle, USA

Surprise! Yes, I’m still alive ☺

I’m sorry for being quiet here for more than a month, but I guess the only reasons I can give are a mix of blogger’s block and laziness. Yes, I know that I still have the rest of our Canada vacation pending and everything else that happened since then until now so I can’t say that I didn’t have anything to blog about… but whenever I was in front of the computer, I just couldn’t think of any words to type or how to construct a post. I would type a few sentences and lines, delete, re-type, and delete again (repeat 10 times!), and then finally just give up with the hopes that I would be able to organize my thoughts later. It was frustrating, I tell you. But last night as I lay awake until 4am (augh, insomnia!), I decided that whatever happens, I have to start blogging again.

To tell you the truth, I missed blogging. This has been my online diary for the past few years, and I’ve been keeping it to store all my memories in. So if I stopped, if I kept procrastinating, if I let my blogger’s block win, I would forget all the special moments I wanted to remember. And of course, I wouldn’t want that to happen.

Which is why I’m back. Not with a bang, though. I’ll try to blog regularly, but what with the holidays coming up and so many activities, events, and celebrations to attend to (plus spending quality time with the family), I can’t promise. With any luck, I’m hoping to update this blog at least every week. Fingers crossed!

So, let’s continue with our trip to the north, shall we? ☺

Monday, October 26, 2015

Letter to Sophie for Her 3rd Birthday

Dear Sophie,

I know this is a bit late, but I couldn’t let any more time pass to share what happened on your birthday this year.

First off though, (belated) Happy Birthday! You’re 3 already! Wow! At this age, you’re already showing signs of becoming a future entertainer by singing, dancing, and talking non-stop. You also like to dress up, pose and ask me to take your picture. Your cute and funny ways are definitely one of the reasons why we find you adorable.
You’re growing independently so fast, anak. Most of the time, you want to do things by yourself: get food, eat, wear clothes, putting the seatbelt on, clean up any mess you made, and so many other things. It makes us so proud! Since you came out into this world, you made our lives more fun, entertaining, and crazy (in a good way); and we’re just so thankful at how wonderful our days are with you around.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#GPinCanada: Visiting Vancouver

Hi everyone! I’m sorry it took me so long to blog about the next part of our trip. I’ve just been really busy lately (with work, Kids for Christ activities, life in general), and sorting out, re-sizing, and watermarking pictures are just time-consuming. Really, if this didn’t happen to us, it would make blogging about our trip more easier. Oh well. Please just bear with me. You guys understand, right? ☺

Add to this the fact that our nanny left last Friday for a month’s vacation, so Hubby and I are going on leave from work to take care of Caila and Sophie. Hubby is the stay-at-home dad now. After 2 weeks, it’s my turn to be the stay-at-home mom. It’s an adjustment, but we’ll manage. At least it gives us more time to spend with the kids. And since they’re closer to me, these first couple of weeks will give them more chances to bond with their daddy.

Anyway, to continue with our first family vacation out of the UAE back in July, our 4th day in Canada was spent in Vancouver doing the usual tourist stuff: go to the popular places and take pictures ☺However, our girls weren't in the mood so most of the ones you'll see here are just of me and Hubby, or they'll be in the picture but they won't be smiling.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Post-Birthday Weekend Stay at Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah

Unlike the past years, we didn’t have any party or “big” celebration for Sophie’s 3rd birthday this year. I simply took the day off to take her for a date at Dubai Mall; and then in the evening when Hubby got off work, our family had dinner at TGIFriday’s (more about this in a separate post, I promise). However, we were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend the weekend after her birthday at Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah, so this treat was simply perfect timing.

Our stay was for the first 3 days of October, from Thursday to Saturday. Naturally, being the last day of the workweek and the building that caught fire that afternoon, we expected to arrive at the resort pretty late because of the traffic, and yes, we did. However, we did manage to avoid most of the main roads that had really heavy traffic. Caila and Sophie both fell asleep on the way, but as soon as we arrived and I told them we had finally reached the “nice, nice house,” they became all excited and re-energized.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bites with Chocolate Chips

Oh hello, October! You snuck up so suddenly, I didn’t realize we’re already into the last quarter of the year! Really, where did the time go?!

It’s already been 2 months since our Canada vacation, and I still haven’t blogged even half of it. Augh! Yup, bad blogger here, I know. Sorry! I’ve just been really busy with so many things lately. Even though we had a long weekend because of the Eid holidays, we always had something to do or somewhere to go to during those 4 days. Even this weekend, we’re busy; but a good kind of busy, though, because I’ll be able to relax and spend quality time with my family in another emirate nearby.

Anyway, I noticed it’s been a while since I shared a recipe of something I baked in the kitchen, so here’s one from Sally’s Baking Addiction I tried last week. If you love red velvet, cheesecakes, and chocolate chips, I guarantee you’ll definitely love this!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wish I May

I just like the lyrics and the melody...oh, and the guy who sang it, of course ☺

Wish that I could say these words tonight 
Wish I have the courage, wish I might 
Have the chance to show you, speak what's on my mind 
While you're right next to me 
I've loved you from the start 

Wish that I could walk you down the road 
Share each moment, have my hand to hold 
My imagination's beginning to unfold 
Every wish is granted, every dream and hope 

Wish I may, wish I might 
Find a way to your heart 
Wish that I'll be the sun to warm you all through your life 
Wish you may feel my love that is hidden in the stars 
Wish I may, wish I might 
Be the one 

Maybe now I'm ready to be found 
Then I'll be a part of who you are 
Promise of forever, never break your heart 
Always there to listen, always by your side

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#GPinCanada: Secondary Investigation at the US-Canada Border

Visiting Seattle in the US was part of our itinerary that week, but Kuya Boy suggested that we do a quick visit to Bellingham on Monday night (the same day we visited Whistler) to get the Secondary Investigation over with so that we would be able to cross the border easily when Ate Evelyn and Salman were with us (they’re Canadian citizens so they don’t have to go through Secondary unless the officer suspects something). So right after dinner, the five of us headed to the US-Canada border at the Aldergrove-Lynden Crossing.

Before our vacation, Hubby and I watched clips and episodes of Border Security: Canada’s Front Line on YouTube, but even though we were “clean and innocent” and had a general idea as to what usually happens, I still felt nervous as we approached the border.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

#GPinCanada: Whistler, Mountains, and Lakes

For our third full day in Canada, while Ate Mel went to work and my nieces went off to attend their respective summer classes, my brother took us, along with my cousin Ate Evelyn and her son Salman, to Whistler. The ride was pretty long, and although the views were pretty, the twists and curves of the road made it difficult to enjoy. We were halfway there when the kids suddenly barfed, so we had to stop at a shoulder to clean up the mess, change Sophie’s clothes, and change seating arrangements (the 2 kids with me in the middle, and Ate Evelyn and Salman at the back).

Finally, an hour and a half later (and almost 3 hours after we left Langley), we finally reached Whistler, which is famous for having hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games back in 2010

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Making Radisson Blu Memories on Al Mansour Dhow

Back in 2006, Mama and Gabe were in town for a visit when my sister treated all of us to a dhow cruise on the Al Mansour Dhow. It was my first time on a traditional Arabian boat and all I remember was enjoying the experience all throughout. Fast forward 9 years later, I received an invitation to an exciting dinner on board the newly renovated dhow. And since it’s been a long time since Ate Ning and I went out just the two of us, I tagged her along because…well, it just made sense.

Walking along the creekside of Baniyas Street, you can’t miss Radisson Blu’s famous dhow. She was docked right across the hotel, brightly lit to welcome everyone who boarded.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#GPinCanada: Alouette Lake

On the first Sunday of our vacation, we went to Alouette Lake at Golden Ears Provincial Park where Kuya Boy, Ate Mel, and their group of friends from their church had scheduled a get-together there. Since there were 8 of us and we couldn’t all fit in one car without breaking the law, Hubby drove my brother’s new SUV (making use of his international driving licence for the first time) while Kuya drove their sedan.

As we headed towards the Lake, we went through the Golden Ears bridge

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#GPinCanada: The Neighborhood

Despite going to bed quite late the night before, since our bodies were still following UAE time, our family woke up early the next morning at around 6:30am. Actually, our jetlag lasted for almost a week so we were always the first ones awake in the house.

Our routine was simple: we would get up, do whatever we needed to do in the bathroom, then walk around the backyard and neighbourhood. And since almost everyone was still asleep, we were able to enjoy our daily walks in peace and quiet. The area had a common playground for kids so you can imagine our girls enjoyed going there each day where they had it all to themselves. Here are a few pictures of some of those precious mornings:

Friday, August 14, 2015

#GPinCanada: From Dubai to Langley

Now that the shock of the unauthorized use of our photo has passed, I can now move on and share with you the details of our vacation in Canada. Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? No, not the ABC’s (sorry, I just had to put that in ☺), but our flights to the land of maple trees.

It might not have been the best decision, but because of our tight budget, we decided to book ourselves on the cheapest flights available. Considering the fares on all options to the other side of the world were pretty high, the tickets still put a significant dent in our savings…to the amount of Dhs23,000! Aacckk!

Monday, August 10, 2015

When Our Picture Was Used Without Our Permission

I wanted to blog about our Canada vacation as soon as I had transferred the pictures from my camera (which I've already done), but then something happened last week and I knew I had to share it here so that you guys are also aware that this can happen to anyone. So, here goes…

Last Tuesday, I was browsing through the feeds on Facebook when I happened to come across a post from a Filipino community. Normally, I would have just proceeded to the next item on the feed, but what made me click on that particular post was the image because it was the exact same photograph of one of our pre-nup pictures taken in 2007!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Quick Hi From the North!

Hi everyone! If you're following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you'll understand why this blog has been pretty quiet lately...it's because we're in Canada...Langley, British Columbia to be exact! Woohoo!!!

We've been here for almost a week (since the night of July 17) and so far, everything has been great!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Iftar at Liwan Restaurant

During the first week of Ramadan this year, I was fortunate to have received an invitation to an Iftar event for press and bloggers at Liwan Restaurant in Al Ghurair Rayhaan by Rotana. Hubby (my constant +1) had someplace else to go to, so I asked one of my good friends Ann to go with me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ramadan Camel Race

Hi everyone! How’s your Ramadan so far?

Don’t you just love the shorter work hours during this month? We get to go home early and spend more time with our families…and who can forget being invited to an Iftar and/or Suhoor at least once?

But these meals are not the only things people should focus on during Ramadan. Being charitable and joining in the spirit of peace and harmony are also important.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Gentle Art of Blessing

In the Couples for Christ community where Hubby and I serve, saying “God bless (you),” comes somewhat automatically...to the point that sometimes, we forget how special it is.  The below excerpt by Pierre Pradervand allows us to remember and realize the powerful effect saying those words and praying for others brings, and how much blessing others actually matters.
Image taken from CFC-KFC Dubai Cluster A
An Excerpt from The Gentle Art of Blessing 
How to incorporate blessing into your life

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spa Treat for Our KFC Daddies

When you think of spa treats, you automatically assume women are the ones being pampered. However, last week, as our (advanced) Father’s Day treat for them, it was the hubbies in our group of friends who were taken care of.

Since Father’s Day falls on a Sunday which is the first day of the working week here, we decided to give them their surprise on Thursday night, so that they would really enjoy and relax right after a busy work week and before the weekend.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

50 Flavours of Vietnam Brunch in Hoi An, Shangri-La Hotel

With a wide selection of different cuisines available in Dubai, it’s embarrassing to admit that although I’ve tasted a lot of Asian dishes, I’ve never thought to try Vietnamese food. Fortunately, I had the opportunity last Friday when I won a chance to try the 50 Flavours of Vietnam brunch menu in Hoi An, Shangri-La Hotel with my family. How awesome is that?! ☺

Monday, June 15, 2015

Our Anniversary Dinner at Boardwalk

Years ago, we used to dine at Boardwalk occasionally for breakfast on weekends, but we’ve never gone there for lunch or dinner. This year for our anniversary, we decided to return and try their dinner menu.
When I made the reservation earlier, I had asked for a table outdoors so that we could enjoy the view of the creek as the weather had been predicted to be cool and breezy, but in the car on the way to the restaurant, Caila fell asleep and she seemed to feel warmer than usual, so we opted for a table indoors instead. Baka kasi mahamugan at matuluyan ang naguumpisang lagnat nya.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Applying for a US Visit Visa in the UAE

When we received our passports with the visit visas to Canada, my brother suggested that we also apply for a US visit visa. He and his family have taken road trips to the nearby American cities, so they thought it would be great if we could experience the same during our vacation. Naturally, I thought it would be a great idea! This would be our chance to set foot in the home of Uncle Sam! Who wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity, right?

So on the 10th of May, my husband and I completed our online applications for our family. Unfortunately though, when we paid the fees and checked the appointment schedule of the US Consulate, the earliest one we could get was July. However, when I checked the US Embassy schedule and found they had available slots for June, we immediately prepared new applications (this time choosing Abu Dhabi as the location), called their customer service to request to transfer our details in the appointment booking site, and we set the appointment for the following month. Fast forward to the day of our appointment, Hubby and I woke up earlier than usual to prepare, and then set off to Abu Dhabi. We arrived at the Embassy a little after 8am and left approximately 3 hours later…relieved and very thankful that our efforts and money did not go to waste ☺

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How to Get an International Driving Permit in Dubai

Since my brother said we could use their car sometimes when we visit them in Canada, we figured that we needed to get an International Driving Permit. I was glad to know that the requirements and process was very simple and didn’t take long at all.

Here are the steps we followed:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Current Status: Confused

source
Picture this: There are 2 events happening on the same day, at practically the same time.

One event is a regular monthly activity; but since your office just recently started having all Saturdays off, this will be the first time after a long time you’ll attend. Plus, this time will be a bit different than usual because it’s centred on Father’s Day, so there will be something special prepared by the kids for their dads.

The other is a one-time event that’s expected to be full of fun and learnings, and will be held at a place where you and your kid are guaranteed to enjoy immensely. You were actually referred by someone which is how you received the invitation, and if you turn this down, this will probably be the 2nd or 3rd time you’ve done so. Syempre, nakakahiya. No, erase that. It would be very, extremely embarrassing to the highest level!

Which is why I'm so confused right now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Date With Myself

A couple of days ago, what would have been a regular Sunday evening with Hubby turned out to be a pleasant night with the greatest person I’ve dated: me! I’m kidding…well, not really. Hahaha!

Actually, it’s been ages since I went on a date with myself. Sure I’ve sneaked some me-time to visit the salon or go window-shopping or walk around the park…but that’s different. Back when I was still single and in the Philippines, I would go out and watch a movie, eat at a fast food restaurant, walk around the malls and take time deciding what to buy, sit down and people-watch...  I even went to Divisoria a couple of times. All alone! And it felt really good! Seriously! Because I got to do what I wanted to do without having to worry whether someone else was bored or wanted to do something else.

So anyway, as I was saying, I went on a date alone last Sunday after work. Here’s why…

Monday, May 25, 2015

Friday Brunch at Al Dawaar, Hyatt Regency

Our Mom and Dad from Germany are currently in town. Their last visit was 4 years ago, and this time they brought along Mom’s relatives, so we took them around the city again to show the different sights. One of the places we took them to last Friday was Al Dawaar in Hyatt Regency for brunch. It will be Hubby’s and my 7th anniversary later this month, and since they’ve never been there before, we decided to treat them there as an early celebration.

We were served appetizing bread and butter almost as soon as we sat down at our table, which Caila and Sophie just couldn’t get enough of. However, we made sure not to stuff ourselves too much of the bread so that we had room in our tummies for real food. We all had a light breakfast earlier (the night before, I told them not to eat too much), so we enjoyed practically everything that was served on the spread, especially the dessert!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Our Mother’s Day Surprise

If you think our evening on the 7th of May ended uneventfully after Anne’s concert, think again.  Our husbands had planned something for us that swept us off our feet.  Here's what happened...

When Hubby fetched me, he wasn’t in Pepper. He had walked! His reason? He had been waiting for a while, but because there were so many cars causing a traffic jam in the area, he decided to park the car instead and walk to meet me. I was like “Huh?! Hindi kaya! Gumagalaw naman ah!

Anyway, so we walked to the place where he said he left the car. On the way, he asked if Bentoya was still open because he was feeling hungry. Since we were going to the airport to fetch his friend arriving from the Philippines, I said we could eat there instead. Still he insisted that he wanted to eat Japanese food, so I just agreed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On Not Announcing Your Pregnancy During the First Trimester

Disclaimer: No, I am not pregnant...yet.
There were my tests when I was pregnant with Sophie
Several people I know are either pregnant or have recently given birth. Of course I’m happy for them. No doubt these babies will bring them a certain chaotic life that, no matter how crazy it would be, they wouldn’t trade for the world.

But my thoughts which are the reason for this post came about because of this particular lady I know. Here’s her story…

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Girls' Night Out at Anne Curtis' This Is It Dubai! Concert

It’s been a while since I went on a night out with girl friends so when one of the KFC mom’s asked if any of us were interested to watch Anne Curtis’ upcoming show, I was one of the first to say “Yes!” Never mind if I wasn’t much of a fan; I simply wanted to spend a night with other mommies and have a good time.
We bought the tickets from our friend, and since he also happens to live near our place, I was appointed to gather the payments and collect the tickets.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Applying for a Visit Visa to Canada in Dubai

When your child starts going to school, family vacations always need to be planned around the school calendar. Unfortunately though, in Caila’s school’s case, the holidays they have don’t exactly fall on ideal dates for us to go to the Philippines. Their school break, for example, falls between June and August which are the rainy months in our home country. Term breaks are December to January and March to April, wherein flight tickets are priced unbelievably high because of the peak seasons (Christmas, New Year, Graduation and Holy Week).

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Flowers in the Sandpit

Caila had another assignment to do this weekend that involved us having to go out: taking pictures of flowers in Dubai. Problem was there weren’t that many in our neighbourhood, and no way were we going to the Miracle Garden and walk around in this hot weather.

Fortunately, when we visited my sister yesterday, we saw several blossoms in the area where she lives, much to the delight of our eldest who kept running and pointing out the flowers she wanted me to take pictures of.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Repost: Disclipline and Being a Nagging Mom

Throughout our childhood, Papa was very strict with us. Having had training in the military, he made sure his 4 children grew up disciplined and well-mannered. We were raised to always do what we were told, never complain, carry out our errands, respect our elders, and never, ever disobey them. If any of us displeased Mama and/or him, you can be sure there would be shouting and tears at home. 

My siblings and I all had our fair share with Papa’s belt on our butts. None of us were exempted. However, before I was born (or maybe when I was still a baby), he also punished my older brothers and sister by making them kneel on monggo beans, squatting for a long time, and hanging one of them in a sack until that person fell from struggling.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Congratulations to Me!

I forgot to share the good news with you guys…I was promoted! From Coordinator, my position title is now Executive. And from Category E, I am now Category D. Yaaaaay! Praise God!

Finally…after almost 9 years with the company.

From the time I joined, there hasn’t been a female employee who was promoted or hired at a category other than E so I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment. I didn’t get additional benefits though (you get those if you’re a Manager, which is Category C), but at least my efforts have been recognized. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Biting Into Jipangei

After keeping us in suspense for quite some time, a group of friends we know from the CFC-KFC community finally opened the very first branch of Jipangei in the UAE last Thursday. Unfortunately, I was still sick so we couldn’t join in the celebration. But yesterday after work, and after Caila’s dentist appointment, we finally had the chance to visit them and find out why our kababayans in the Philippines endured long queues for the ice cream in the corn cane cone.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sandstorm, Little Chefs, and Ski Dubai

Could you guys believe the sandstorm we had two Thursdays ago? I honestly thought the they had overly exaggerated it in MI3, but when we looked outside the windows and saw how planet Mars-like everything was, we realized that the movie was actually spot on. From morning until early afternoon, we could barely see the nearby buildings; all we could see was sand, sand, and more sand. It was crazy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Since we’ve never visited the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo before, and my sister had vouchers in her Entertainer Book, plus the fact that Mama and Gabe were going back to the Philippines the following week, we took our family to Dubai Mall on the 20th of March.
You can’t miss the replica of King Croc while approaching the ticket counter

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Versatile Blogger Award

Woohoo! I'm an awardee! Thanks to Lou-Ann of Live, Love and Lou for nominating me the Versatile Blogger Award! I’m honoured you noticed Glimpses of Pam. I know it’s been a while since the nomination, but well, better late than never to do the challenge, right? Anyway, thank you!

Ok, first the rules (can be done in any order):
1) Nominate 15 other bloggers that are relatively new to blogging.
2) Let the bloggers know that you've nominated them (either through email or comments).
3) Share 10 random facts about yourself.
4) Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
5) Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Flying the iFLY Way

Believe it or not, that's me!
A few weeks ago, my sister and I made plans to take our family out to Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre on the 20th and 21st of March because Mama and Gabe were going back to the Philippines next week. I’ll share our day at Dubai Mall later, because I can’t wait to tell you about our iFLY experience now. Yeah, I have a low EQ. Hahaha!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ushering in Nowruz at Shayan Restaurant

Living in a place like Dubai, you cannot miss the different celebrations that are observed by the various nationalities here. One of them is Nowruz, the Persian New Year which falls on the first day of spring. In preparation of this, Al Ghurair Rayhaan invited press and bloggers to celebrate at their specialty restaurant Shayan, an event that was just too good to pass up.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Guest Post: Hubby's Experience at Zen the Spa

Remember I won a session at Al Ghurair Rayhaan's Zen the Spa? Well, Hubby also wanted a massage, so he checked out the hotel’s website, and lo and behold, they had a promotion going on where you could avail a 50% discount off their packages just by downloading their coupon! Of course he did this right away, and he instantly told me to book an appointment for us that Saturday. Being the obedient wife I am (hehehe), I did, and we made sure our schedules were clear for that afternoon. Anyway, since he’s the one who enjoyed the session more than I did, I’ll let him share his experience. So, ladies and gentlemen, my first ever guest and his first blogging stint…my husband, Christian (aka Guchi). Take it away, Mahal! =) 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Declaration of Abundance

I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and notes of the Kerygma Conference Grand Feast that we attended last month. There were so many stories, lessons and advice that the speakers shared, so I’m at a loss on where to start.

In the meantime, I’m posting this Declaration of Abundance prayer from that day, which is just too good not to share. And as Jay Yogawin (one of the speakers) said, “When you pray for something, pray as if you already received what you are praying for.”

Friday, March 6, 2015

Overnight at Marriott Executive Apartments

As I mentioned in my previous post, Ate Ning booked a 2-bedroom apartment in Marriott Executive Apartments on the night of Caila’s birthday. The birthday girl called it “a wonderful surprise,” and truly it was. Of course the bonus part was that all of us got to enjoy the surprise as well =)

I'm not sure if it's only with MEA or the same with other Marriott hotels, but the way they number their apartments was a bit confusing.  You see, we stayed at No. 1145. Ordinarily, you'd think our room was on the 11th floor, right? But at MEA, the floor number was the second and third digits (14), the fifth was the room number (5), and I don't know what the first digit represented...probably the block or building? Anyway, moving on...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Caila’s Birthday Surprise at Marriott

If you think Caila’s birthday celebration ended when the last guests left the party, think again. My sister had arranged a special surprise for her niece, and it was one that we all enjoyed. The only clue we told the birthday girl was that we would be staying at a “nice, nice house” (how she describes a hotel) after the party. That alone made her excited already.

Ate Ning had booked a 2-bedroom apartment at Marriott Executive Apartments for that night, ordered helium-filled balloons in white and green (Caila’s favourite color), and two dozen cupcakes. A fruit arrangement, delicious chocolate cake, card from the staff, kiddie toiletries, and swan and monkey towels were a bonus courtesy of Marriott.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Play-Doh Themed Birthday Party

When we asked our eldest daughter if she wanted to celebrate her birthday at school again this year, Caila said “no.” What she wanted was a party at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, and to invite all her classmates from school and friends from the KFC community.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Our Postponed / Extended V-Day

I know the Day of Hearts was a week ago, but I wanted to share how ours went. Humor me, ok? =)

Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend (for most) this year. It was a working Saturday for me, so while I was stuck at the office, Hubby was at the KFC monthly activity. At around 10:30am, he called me to go down the office building and I just knew he had something for me. I was right.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Look Good Feel Good at Zen the Spa

A few weeks ago, I joined a Twitter Party hosted by Grace of Sandier Pastures and Al Ghurair Rayhaan. There were 2 prizes of 60 minutes massage treatment each at Zen the Spa, and as luck would have it, I was one of the winners.
Yaaaaaaay!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Visit to Al Bastakiya

Our eldest daughter occasionally has school assignments that require her to go out and explore the city. At times, it’s a bit bothersome, especially when we have other plans for the weekend and I only have the Friday off; but most of the time, it’s exciting because we get to learn things and see places that we haven’t seen before. Yes, it’s embarrassingly possible; take it from someone who's lived here for 11 years =)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Late Birthday Gift of Time

A couple of weeks ago, I finally bought my gift for Hubby’s birthday (which was last December 6). Yeah, I know… overdue and very late. I had good reasons though: (1) I was waiting for the DSF sales and promos, and (2) It was taking him a long time to choose. Again =) The thing is, I didn’t want to get him another gadget. My past gifts to him were a laptop, iPhone 4, LED television screen, and Samsung Galaxy Note (I can’t remember which one, though). I knew he would have loved to receive a pair of Jordan shoes but he had several of those already, and I didn’t want to feed on his hobby. What I wanted to give him was a watch. The catch was he’s never worn or owned a watch during his entire adult life; the last one he had was when he was still in college, so I didn’t know what he would like.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Since I bought a kite from Day to Day last week, Caila had been asking us every single day, morning and evening, if and when she could fly it. Finally, she had the chance when we went to the nearby park yesterday afternoon.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ultimate Carrot Cake Recipe

Two Saturdays ago, my colleagues and I were at Ikea having lunch and sharing a delicious slice of carrot cake. One of them asked me if I had tried baking carrot cake before, and when I said “only cupcakes,” she asked me to make some again so that they could taste my version.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Pandora Charm Bracelet

If you recall, I mentioned last year that I wanted to get myself a Pandora bracelet with charms…but that plan took the back seat when I bought myself an Anne Klein charm watch bracelet instead. This year though, I really, really wanted to own a piece of Pandora jewellery, but now I didn’t want to buy it myself; I wanted it to be gifted to me. And I approached the only person I could ask…Hubby, of course =)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Our Staycation at Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah (Part 2)

The next morning, Caila woke up before any of us. Maybe she wanted to enjoy the early morning peace or she didn’t want to wake up me or Hubby, I don’t know…but when I woke up, I saw her sitting on one of the balcony chairs looking out and staring at the scene in front of her. She was deep in thought and didn’t notice me until she heard the camera after I took this picture.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Our Staycation at Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah (Part 1)

Remember how I was on leave for about 3 weeks last year because our nanny had to go to the Philippines? I was stuck at home the entire time except for the occasional errands, trips to the mall, and visits to friends with my family. But when I returned to work and the Corporate Sales Manager from Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek found out that we didn’t even go out of town, she made some arrangements so that we could visit Fujairah and try out their hotel there.

Monday, January 12, 2015

How We Spent 01-01-15

Hi everyone! How did you celebrate the New Year? Like we always do every night of the 31st of December, my family and I stayed at home. It would have been fun to watch the fireworks at Burj Al Arab or Burj Khalifa up close, but with 2 small girls to think of, we chose the hassle-free, traffic-free and most convenient option instead.
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