This August has been busy month for me and hubs and also lots of birthdays! I wanted to make a birthday post for those relatives and friends who are celebrating (about 20 celebrants) including mama-in-law this August earlier this month but then I failed to do so. Work has been so hectic and other matters along with it. Many special people close to my heart celebrated with me this August despite our distance. To name a few I'll start with my dear brother (aug.2), my older bro who treats me so dear and depends on me for many things most especially taking care of his precious baby Elisse. If you guys remember my birthday post he's the one who gave me that iphone. It's funny that between the two of us I tend to scold him more with a lot of things like I'm older than him. I guess I'm just more strict than him.

...bro & his baby Elisse...

I also have a very dear friend whom I treat as my sister who happens to be a 15th celebrant like me. We always try to celebrate our birthdays yearly with group of friends (HS buddies) considering it as a reunion or get together at the same time. I make sure I set up a date yearly so we could all meet like the event organizer. It wasn't easy because we were in different courses but at least in the same university and later on everybody's working or doing extended school studies for Bar exam and all.

This post won't be complete if I don't mention this very special girl celebrant none other than my favorite niece Elisse whom I treated as my own daughter. Her birthday coincides with ablogger friend Mariuca (aug29). I called my family yesterday to greet Elisse too bad she wasn't in the mood to talk. Bro said she's missed her nap on their travel thus throwing tantrums. Hmp, if he didn't set up that TV in the car then she could've taken that nappy and talked to poor auntie! What I know is that they were heading to the Manila Ocean Park (aquarium) for her birthday treat. How I wish me and hubs can be with them =(

I might have not mentioned everybody's name here but that doesn't mean I forgot who they are. For some reason while writing this I thought of them...and realized that I'm longing to see or hear from then again soon. The sentimental bug might have bitten me! hehehe!

Lastly, to reveal my very special gift this year.... you may also click here to know more, I have prepared a special blog just for this =) Isn't this the best gift of all?

Before I end this post I want to greet everybody again Happy Birthday! Also I want to ask all my blogger friends here for your birthday only if you willingly want to share it so I can have it jotted down in my datebook calendar. I love taking note of birthdays that's why a friend branded me as "the girl who always greets on birthdays" =P If ever you don't feel comfortable leaving your birthday in the comment you may also email it to me. =) Thanks!!!

Busy August...do you agree?

Last time I blogged about our movie nights on how much we enjoy and take time watching movies just to relax after work. Lately we haven't been watching much movies not even any of the DirectTV shows I love to see on specific weeknights. One reason is time but the other reason is our family extension in the house. Some of my blog buddies know about my hubs' family's temporary stay in our place but to cut the story short, I won't really discuss on that here. That's the very reason also why i channel more of my time blogging...looking on the brighter side, that works better for me =)

One time papa-in-law brought home a computer unit that needs some fixing. Because of that we had to clear the other table here in the room where we have our small tv too since hubs has to make use of a good work space whenever he's assembling or fixing a computer. That marked the day when I can't take much glimpse on the shows I want to see from time to time until that unit will be ready to go to be delivered back to his uncle. I don't watch much but it's sure frustrating still because there were times when I just wanted to lay down and see something on tv. Now I'm so outdated with the DirecTV programs. You might be thinking why not go to the living room and watch there? Nope, cannot be. The rest of the family are always there watching something else.

Finally!!! The table's clear and we already delivered the unit, time to rearrange things back to where they were. It took our saturday cleaning, organizing and fixing the room....everything's back into place. Hubs set up the tv to be up and running so as the Direct TV for our viewing pleasure. Now when we feel like checking something quick or watching shows and movies we need not to go to the living room and just stay lazily on bed in the comfort of our room. I know that I mentioned about him preferring to watch DVDs better than tv movies due to the commercials, we can get by with that since we don't really watch every night anyway plus there's a great selection of movies to watch. We just have to tune in DirecTV cinema and there we can see great movies.

One thing I love to do is to channel surf simply when I cannot find something to watch so having over 130 channels, my tv roulette seems to be a lot more fun not to mention more headache for hubs. Sometimes i annoy him for changing channels so quickly...what can I do I love switching shows! =P Before I forget, DirectTV has a feature in which you can record shows so no worries if I badly want to see a show but we have to be out and about. Just like our friend who makes full use of the recording her golf series, tournies and games whenever they are out on vacation.

I hope this one makes you smile!


I recently posted some of my birthday blessings which came from my family but I haven't included this one from my in-laws and the other special gift I was mentioning back then. That will come in later posts. This birthday seems to be the longest ever, a friend even called me the other day so that she could give her present to me. Their gesture and thoughtfulness gives a lot more meaning with the gift giving. Not looking at the material matters but the meaning and feelings sent with it.

This bright yellow active top is perfect for the rest of summer or during my walks however it's bigger than I thought. It's ok since mama-in-law always knew my size as "M" (asian size) but one thing I found out here, my size usually falls under "XS to S". I like the top and I still plan to use it even if it's bigger than my size. This is the best way for me to show them I appreciate their present. This instance made me more aware of checking my right size for clothing here. So I googled and checked for some buying guides in one of my recently visited shopping engine ShopWiki.

This site has various guides for women's fashion trends all the way to the petite clothing for women (suitable for petites like me). The tips they provided on getting the right fit really helped me nail down issues clouding up my mind. I was never a fashionista, I merely choose clothes by comfort and just dress up whenever needed. I'm happy to have known this shopping engine which has all these helpful tips.


I'd like to thank everybody who greeted me on my day most especially Monica who had a special dedication on her MM post. It's my first time celebrating my special day without my family but all your warm greetings made it extra special. Some friends greeted me thru overseas call, emails and friendster. Speaking of which, I'd like to share my bestfriend's blog greeting for me. We managed to chat for a while in YM, thanks to modern tech now I can easily be in touch with them.

On Missing Bes... You know it amazes me that you've heard it all but you still don't mind hearing it again. That you'll let me talk and talk and talk till I find my way through a new perspective. It's pretty cool how you always seem to know when I need a hug and when I need a kick in the butt... and you're not afraid to give either one. Few people in my life are able to see my good side and tolerate my quirks the way you do.. So, to my Bes who's heard it all, hear this... I love and appreciate you. I'm glad you're You with me. And I hope you won't mind hearing all that again and again and again...

Miss you Bes! Happy Birthday! I love you... always.
...this is my bestfriend's birthday present for me...

I mentioned earlier about my family, they also had something special for me aside from their call. Mom sent me a package and I got it yesterday. Check this out: the soups (had to blur the brand) are my personal request from mom and she also gave me some accessories and photos, the whole family and a friend gave cards and last but not the least my bro gave me an iphone. He must really be missing me so much! hehe

I explored my new phone lastnight and I just ended up playing that cute game. Aside from that one apps got my attention, the piano melody maker. That reminded me of my childhood days when i used to play the piano. Now maybe it's time for me to explore the possibilities again though i know it's not the same as having a real keyboard. I still can play piano somehow and I can always go check out Piano Chords. They have step-by-step piano video tutorials that can help you improvise on your piano skills. Mine definitely rusted and I can't even read piano chords so much anymore since I only had piano lessons when I was a kid. Who knows, I might be able to do it again, to play once again a whole good piece. I got a bit excited so I checked out some music sheets and piano chords that i can refer to. Sometimes my excitement leads me to a lot more trouble! hahahaha! Free music sheets are available for grabs too.

I have no plans on enrolling or taking up piano lessons anymore so this online tutorial might be the answer to my rusting skill. Good thing I still know the basic but that's all. Knowing new techniques and methods might make things easier for me. The best part...signing up is free. I get to have free piano lessons online! I'll try to familiarize myself first with the tutorails and see from there.

With gift or no gift, I am happy how I celebrated my birthday. I just cooked a feast for me and hubs and his family (they gave me a tanktop and card) here and we just relaxed at home. But there's one more very special gift we received...maybe I'll get to share it with everybody later on. Thanks again and enjoy your week ahead!

...boat ride, nice view huh?...

Our first major fun activity the next day was island hopping. I was hesitant to join them since i came there for work but I was persuaded by my clients to join and have fun, so I did. It turned out to be a fun-filled day even if the weather wasn't perfectly sunny and there were partial rains (storm) here and there. There were 2 tourists with us and we managed to chat and enjoy the shore while waiting for our lunch. All our island meals like fishes were grilled fresh just right before our meals. No snaps for the foods, guess we're always starving by the time the food's ready. hehehe

...waiting for lunch...

...fun shots...

Nathz, my friend who also owns the resort (her parents) who happened to be a shutterbug like me had so much fun with her cam. She discovered some new settings and then played with random shots like 10s and 20s. Trying to pose every 3sec was not easy and we literally got tired with all the laughing and posing. I just chose few photos to post... to much to display all =) We decided to rest afterwards and bury Abet (Nathz' brother) and wait for lunch! Eating time again!

...playing with sand, bury abet!!!...

...girls having fun in the lagoon...

Our favorite part of the island hopping was when we went to the big and small lagoon. We were lucky enough that it was off season for beach escapades since it's the heart of stormy season in the Phils. The islands and lagoons we went to were all ours, a few tourist crossing our paths and that's all. We were captivated with the lagoons...just look at the photos and you can see how much fun we had. White sand, crystal clear water and nice sunny day! What more can we ask for! We also did explore with the kayaks. Don't be fooled with the lagoons, it might look so inviting at first but as you go deeper inside there's a big drop in depth. From clear white waters to bluish gray and aquamarine colors. Pretty scary and to think we weren't wearing life vest at some point as we toured the big lagoon. Nobody else was there so if the kayak flips us over...goodluck! ahahaha! The phot below with the girls, we just explored the small lagoon and didn't dare go to that eerie part where there's a big drop again. we were told there was a small shark there. To think it was out first time trying the kayak and all 3 of us. So we just wandered off the shallow part whre we can still see the ocean floor. =)

...our first ocean kayak adventure...

Kayaking was so much fun! Despite the scorching sun, we still enjoyed the ride. We got so brunt that day! Ouch! The tan line wasn't so pleasant at all! have you tried sea kayaking? Will you?

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Been so stressed lately with work and other things, both me and hubs found some comfort watching movies after dinner. Sometimes we watch whatever's showing in the Direct TV but most times we choose among our dvd collection or our rental service. Watching is a great way for us to loosen up a bit and be ready to do some other things...ehem...extra works, blogs, emails, etc... later on. What were you thinking huh?

...some of our movie collection, hubs love to watch a lot!...

Not that we don't like watching TVmovies just hate it that it takes more time because of the commercials. That prolongs our movie time and limits our activity after that. We don't have a huge collection so we still opt the Directv movies and programs. I also have my favorite programs that I get to see like That 70's Show, Family Guy, Bizarre Foods and some other shows. So if I'm not in the mood for any movie, I tune in to my programs. Do you watch these programs too?

Eventually we'll be moving in to a new place, hopefully this year we'll get to have our house here. Apartment is okay but not too practical in the long run so we're seriously considering a new place that we can call our own and definitely still here in CA. Minor hassles would be transferring all utilities like phone and internet (I hope this can just in a snap!) AT&T, gas and electric PG&E, cable subscription Direct TV in CA, mail subscriptions and mailing address rerouting. Big stress I'd say for minor works. Hahaha, here I am not even sure yet about acquiring our place and thinking about all the stress. I don't think there will be problems anyway even if we do move because we can still continue all the services from our providers.

I better go for now, we just received our movie subscription for this month. Time to watch!!!
It was terribly cold here when we first came and I didn't have any other shoes appropriate for this weather so our option was to buy something for me. I brought along my other shoes and sandals but of course it's winter time and definitely it won't help me from having cold feet. Too bad that's where I'm very vulnerable to have a tummy allergy. Excessive cold makes my tummy go crazy so hubs being worried decided to get a pair of shoes for me. Something that will keep my feet warm enough most especially when we go out and do other things. Of course not only me who gets to have something, I also got one for hubs. Him on the other hand has a very good shoes for the extremely cold weather here but not too suitable for the warm days. I also wanted to get him something easy to wear and can go well with his clothes going to work, nothing too formal and nothing too casual. What do you think?

...looks small in the picture but it's size 13...
For me brown goes well with variety of colors or maybe I'm just being biased because I am not too fond of wearing black shoes casually. Good thing here hubs can get shoes easily than there in the Phils. rare that his size can be found there but mine is more or less a standard size. I don't know if you guys will like the design or style of our choices but we're happy with it. I opted for a walking shoes since i love to walk around the neighborhood and do shopping. This can go well with shorts, sporty skirts and my jeans =) Everybody has their own preference with things and I respect that. Mind sharing what's your taste & style?

...my "tiny" size 6 shoes as referred by hubs...

Now that summer's about to end I've been searching for long sleeves and boots for the coming cold days. I am an early shopper and I think I save more doing that. I started buying my winter stuffs this summer while everything's cheaper. Most items are on sale because it's off season. Who wants to do much winter shopping on summer? Guess just me and some other peeps. Well that's where my practicality kicks in. I shop both in-store, online and even during flea market spree. All with their own pros and cons but talking of convenience, I love shopping online. I get to compare brands and see more varieties without tiring my legs so much. I tend to shop half day or can even be whole day so to avoid varicose veins and all I see to it I check out Zappos.com.
Zappos also have a shop outlet but too far from here so online is my only option if I want to get items from their store. But be careful with online purchases for there are some incidents like system hacking, this is the only thing that I fear using internet. My payment preference usually is through paypal and they do accept this method. Convenient right? But don't worry if you don't have paypal, Zappos also accepts credit cards and debit cards. Now that I mention I actually want to get a pair of boots I saw there in their site earlier. I found the style I want there and price is just right too. Why boots you may ask? A must for cold days!
I have so many photos that I want to post but it's just so hard for me to choose which occasion should go first. Actually I specifically wanted to post this one last June 28, exactly a year after I had this trip in El Nido, Palwan (Philippines) but i lost track of time. The trip was both business and pleasure. How come? Just check out the islands we visited and you'll get what I mean with the pleasure part. As for business, it was a resort renovation project that I had to check so I can design accordingly. Having ocular inspection is very important in any project most especially renovation works.

...shots from grotto island? hehe forgot the name...

...neighboring rock formations...

...helicopter island...
see that helicopter shaped beauty resting on the waters?

...sea kayaking @ helicopter's island...

...snake island...
an island with a long snake like winding stretch of sand where tides meet

...little boracay...
this beach has a long stretch of fine sand shore with crystal clear blue waters to the open ocean

...some island resort, competition!...

Do you get it now why it's pleasure at the same time? We were able to enjoy some days doing island hopping and it was all free (for me) for 9 days. I passed on one island hopping when I was doing my measurements there on site. No personal stamps this time coz not all photos are mine, we all shared photos since everybody loves to snap away. I didn't even bother taking much. More fun personal photos for this trip for the next posts. =)

What do you think of this place so far?

Do you believe in the saying "health is wealth"? Before I don't put too much attention on those matters but not anymore. Since my dad had a near death situation last year I started getting more health conscious. That was a realization for all of us that we can't just stake on our health. Last January 2008 dad had bypass surgery and it was something very painful as he quoted. It was supposed to be just a regular check-up to check if he has to undergo Angioplasty, just check it out here to more about it. Everybody went to the hospital happy like a family outing but at the end of the day something big was announced. Dad's chest has to be opened! The doctors said his condition can be critical and just one heart attack... that's it. Sudden news, sudden decisions. After checking out all the options our parents came down to a decision, to do the operation. I'm just so glad dad made it. Thanks to the experienced doctors and all the prayers, our family surpassed the storm. That time I also resigned from work part of it to prepare for my migration and to attend to dad in the hospital. It's almost 2hrs drive or commute from our place and not all the time I bring the car so I even commute going there... everyday for a whole month. No, it wasn't easy but my dad's there and I want to be there. I know that will be my last year with my family. Wanna see his souvenir form the operation? Check this out!

...my light and healthy green salad with oranges...

...toasted sesame bagel cuts with guacamole dip...

Sorry guys I got carried away with the write-up... guess I just miss my family. I'm sharing this post to everybody most especially for the fast foods junkies. We were told by dad's surgeon to avoid fatty, greasy, salty foods and preservatives. It's okay to pig out once in a while but it's best to keep everything in moderation and as much as possible balanced. I hope this can serve as an inspiration for everybody to eat right, be healthy and happy =)

Have a great weekend to all!!!

One Sunday after attending mass hubs & I with his mom and sis went to visit his aunt. We purposely brought along mama and li'l sis to see auntie. It's been more than 10yrs the last time they saw each other after hubs' family migrated to Philippines for a while. Now that everybody's back here, so much visiting here and there takes a big toll on our time. It's ok, it's nice to be out from time to time just to have a little break from working. I guess it was a lucky day for me and hubs too. Auntie talked to me saying she's been wanting to see me fro some kind of business opportunity. Her friend has a shop selling almost all sorts of accessories for dogs, carrying bags, dresses, coats, warmers, leashes and etc. Her friend needs more exposure and them not being internet savvy, Aunt thought of asking us to do the work. Why not? All we need to do is to put up an online store and make the magic work =) We know it's not as easy as it sounds, marketing efforts still play a big role with the success of the store but we're wiling to work things out. Maybe now you get what "The Dog Shoppe" is all about. It's still under construction and hopefully we can launch it soon. Being out and running whole weekends made us lose so much time working on our computer and internet matters.

Do you like dogs or any other pets? Everybody has their own preference when it comes to pets, even with just dogs alone so many breeds and all are cute in their own ways. Talking about dogs, what do you think of these dog products? Kinky? Fun? Cute?

Aside from this store, many other online stores offer such products and services for pets. Buying online isn't bad at all, in fact it's way convenient than hopping from shop to shop. One online shopping site I recently came across has a big selection in their directory (of course we need to work on researches about pet products). You know what is this cool site I'm talking about? Any guess? Ok, no more guessing... it's ShopWiki. Nope this isn't an online store but a shopping engine which caters numerous retailers who provide the products. Don't mistake it to be related with wikipedia, they simply use the same "Wiki" technology.

So how does this Shopwiki works since it's not considered as a store but a shopping engine? I was confused also at first thinking it's an online store with bunch of products like accessories, collectibles, electronics, foods & beverages, pets and all. Their system simply scans the internet for the best deals according to the searches. It filters the products from online store sites to give you just what you need. Am i making it any clearer or I'm confusing you more? Hahaha, well the best way to know what I'm talking about is to check it out yourself. This site is ideal to those who love to browse for products and most especially shop online! I tried it myself and i was even surprised to see certain items I don't get to see when I visit some shops around.

I hope thru Shopwiki our dog shoppe products will find its way to success. I would love to expand not only here in US but in other countries like France, United Kingdom or Australia. Of course thinking of this vast expansion, it won't be all about dog products and accessories alone. I have other craft items up for grabs too. I'm getting too excited about this so i better end this post now before I even think of world expansion! Too much wishful thinking? I'd rather feel and think positive for this opportunity because we all know it's not easy putting up any business. Who knows what internet can do for us.

This series took quite a while to finish... it was really hard for me to choose among hundreds of photos to post. I'm finally on the last part, sorry guys if this is getting a bit boring already for you. The photos below were taken from the museum display which consist of experimental planes and models.


Trailers of movies we have seen on the big screen!
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