Girls Talk - Best Birthday Ever

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I have been absent from the Girls Talk scene for a few weeks due to some personal issues. I thought to take a hiatus for the month of July but found that I simply could not wait till August. I just had to blog or I shall go mad. So here I am, my fellow Girl Talkers, back with a vengeance :-)

So good to actually have made it still for the last topic for the month of July - Best Birthday Ever. So what constitutes making a birthday the best ever? I'll say! I can't even remember much glamour happening on my last few birthdays.

On my last birthday, I took time off from work that day to spend it all like this: Started the day by going to the gym. Drove around and did some errands. Went to visit my BFF around lunch time and ate some KFCs. Spent time a bit with her and then went home. Later that night, the family had its usual birthday tradition of celebrations by eating dinner out - at our favourite seafood place. And that was it. Not much hey? It sounds very normal, and ho-hum very boring.

And yet, I really think those are the best birthdays ever. Simple. Inexpensive. And filled to the brim with quality time with family and friends. Best of all, I had "me" time as well. What can I ask for more?

Someday, I suppose I'll want to have my balloons and cakes and lavish gifts. Maybe on my 50th. For now, I'll settle for the boring kind. Which reminds me that I have to be thinking about how to celebrate my anniversary today. Probably do it the boring way again.

For other birthday bashes and celebrations, check out Girls Talk this week!

My Professional World In Shambles!

Picture Borrowed
In less than a week's time, I am about to experience the biggest upheaval in my professional life....we are moving offices! What did you think I was talking about? (wink, wink)

Can't believe that we are almost there. We started the whole project about 3 months ago - looking for suitable space, negotiations regarding the rent, liaising with the movers, landlord, space planners and other key players, etcetera. There has been a lot of work involved. And although this is far from what I normally do (which is finances), I am actually lucky that the bosses have included me in the project team to handle and manage this ordeal. Lucky in the sense that I am learning so much more (basically I am thinking outside the accounting box now :-)). Unlucky, I suppose, because the time space given is not really conducive for training and so if there is any learning to be done, I had better be flexible and do it fast and pronto.

So we will see. The project has been moving along nicely, albeit at a faster than normal rate. No major hitches (thank God!) have been encountered. And in less than a week, I will be in my new office. I'll post some pictures up then.

Practical Magic

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Well, here's hoping to get back into the swing of things. Been away for a little while to sort out some personal stuff and have not really had time to blog too much. First, I thought I'd try and get back in August but I realised August was just too far off. I wanna start blogging now. :-)

First up is Tuesdays Couch Potatoes where we talk about Witchcraft movies this week.

My choice would be the 1998 film, Practical Magic, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

Bullock and Kidman play sister witches in this movie where tragedy strikes in the midst of true love. The sisters are cursed in that the man they fall in love with are doomed to die an untimely death. The movie chronicles the sisters' struggle to use their gift of magic to eventually overcome the obstacles standing in their way to gain true love.

For other witchcraft movies, join us on Tuesday Couch Potatoes.

Harbouring A MasterChef In The Making

Thursday, July 21, 2011
We have been very interested in the goings-on of MasterChef Australia Season 2 recently and have been keeping up with it.

My hubby was even stoked to create a dish, which he believes is inspired by one of the MasterChef episode. He has dubbed it "Vegetarian Dish" for now for lack of a better description. LOL.

The dish consists of fried eggplants, which was then stir-fried with chillies and spring onions. He seemed very impressed with it although I did not touch it because I don't touch greens.

I think based on the pic, hubby lacks a bit of presentation flair but I think he'll get onto it after a few more episodes of MasterChef Australia :-) I think I'll also have to tweak his choices a bit to include other meat that would be more to my liking...

Novice Blogging - Note #28 (Business in Blogging)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Funny that the first thing that comes to mind at this very moment is that unforgettable scene in the movie Jerry Maguire, where Jerry Maguire (played wonderfully by Tom Cruise) is screaming into the phone, "Show me the moneeyyyyy!!!!"

And with blogging, it probably works very much the same. Most bloggers normally make money writing product reviews and selling ad spaces on their websites.

Although my main intention for starting my blogs have not been of financial nature, I must admit that it did cross my mind to make monies of it several times, after reading some of my fellow bloggers' comments and posts about it.

I've recently dabbled on this side of blogging when I registered both my blogs on Blogsvertise, a website specialising in connecting advertisers to bloggers.

Also recently, I got my very first review assignment, wherein I was asked to write anything about the products I was presented. I was thrilled! I set to work immediately and published my post the very same day.

Afterwards, I submitted my entry to Blogsvertise for approval and within 2 days, the post was approved. Weeeeh! My very first money-making post. I was really chuffed.

So, I am pretty sure that if any of you, my fellow novice bloggers out there, are thinking of mixing business and blogging, that there is really some serious money to be found.

Ka-ching to us all!

Undomesticated Goddess Does Separation

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

But really, guys, I am honestly not all that bad. Somewhere deep down inside, I wouldn't mind showing my face once in a while in the kitchen.

On a recent occasion, my eldest daughter wanted to learn to cook some leche flan (creme caramel or caramel custard). So being the so-called "expert", I opened my laptop to the Panlasang Pinoy website, searched for the recipe and proceeded to teach my eldest how it is to make this dessert.

You will notice that in the picture below, I am in the kitchen, breaking the eggs and separating the whites from the yellow. Take note. I am in the kitchen. No police lines cordoning off that says "Do Not Cross This Line". I am actually in the kitchen! Of course, there were no tools in sight, not even an egg separator (because you never know what I can get up to even with just an egg separator). It is always a good sign not to give me anything that can be treated as a weapon when I'm around the kitchen area.

After the egg separations, I gave the reins to my eldest to mix the other ingredients in and steam the flans. The results were never in doubt. The flans were fantastic in all shape and taste!

Old Topic Reposted: Celine Dion Live!

Monday, July 18, 2011
Reminiscing a time when I was star-strucked! And who wouldn't be? After all, it was Celine Dion!

16 Feb 2008 - A week has passed. After the much awaited concert has come and gone, I am still very much shaken and mesmerised by what I had experienced.

We arrived for the concert at about 6pm at the Loftus Stadium in Pretoria. There were long queues at the gates. We patiently waited and by 7pm, we were led in and found our seats, which were in the middle of the field (Golden Circle area) about 30m-40m from the stage. The stadium was huge and one had to wonder if Celine could actually fill this place. Soon enough the place filled up. The opening act came on. It was Jody Williams, South Africa's latest Idol winner. I was impressed with her as she was still very young but could deliver her performances quite convincingly. A few more years and we might see her strutting her own stuff and having her own tour.

At exactly 9pm, the show started. The lights dimmed and the big screen started showing images of Celine, with "I Drove All Night" playing in the background. And then, there was Celine...on stage. The crowd went wild at first sight of her on stage. And then she started singing. Her voice - so powerful and charismatic - rendered the crowd silent. She actually filled the place, a whole humongous rugby field with open spaces and a packed crowd! She was simply brilliant and amazing. I could feel goosebumps all over as she hit the high notes. As a performer, she was as professional as one can get. As a person, she was very humble and down to earth. Her interactions with the crowd was wonderful.

Celine sang song after song, hit after hit....without tiring or relenting. Her voice sounded exactly as it had at the beginning of the show....and she sounded exactly as she did on her CDs. She was a marvel - a most liberating one at that.

She sang "Alone", "Love Can Move Mountains", "Think Twice", I'll Be Your Angel", "All By Myself", "To Love You More", "The Music is in Me", "My Heart Will Go On", "It's All Coming Back", "Because You Loved Me", "Pour Que Tu Maim Encore", "Taking Chances", "Eyes On Me", "River Deep Mountain High". There were some other songs that I did not recognise but just to hear her voice sing them was inspiring enough.

It was truly an unforgettable experience.

A Mother...In Retrospect

Friday, July 15, 2011
If my mom were alive, she would have been 64 years today. Sadly, she passed away a few days short of reaching this milestone.

More than a decade ago, my mother suffered a stroke and never really fully recovered. She was inflicted with paralysis on the right side of her body. Doctors said that she would have been able to regain the normal functionality of her body but she might have suffered something more traumatic that was stopping her progress. She never went back to work and instead, went back to the Philippines to recuperate.

I have not seen my mother in the last 13 years. Life happened and in between things, I suppose I took our mother-daughter relationship for granted. And although I phoned her occasionally to see how she was, somehow now it does not feel that I did enough to give more substance to our bonding moments.

But then, for all my shortcomings, it did not mean I loved her any less. She was, after all, still my mother and that was just that. She gave me life and loved me regardless...and for those, I am and will always be eternally grateful.

If my mom were alive, she would have been 64 years today. Sadly, she died in her sleep last July 1, 2011. She is survived by her siblings, nephews and nieces, her daughter and son-in-law and her granddaughters.

This post is for my mom, wherever she is now. And may her soul rest in peace.

Be Back In A Jiffy

Sunday, July 10, 2011
For those who follow my blog closely, you will have noticed that I have been a little quiet on the blogging side. I hope that you have not thought that I've decided to abandon blogging. On the contrary, I love this part of my life and wouldn't dream of giving it up, even in my busy work, family and study schedules.

I am currently dealing with some personal issues that required a bit more of my attention at the moment. I shall probably tell some deep and melancholy tales here...but all in due time.

As I blog, I am sitting, waiting to board my next flight out. A flight that will finally take me home after a hectic week.

It feels funny to be blogging in an airport. Can't even do spell checks. Thank God my phone is smart. ;-)

Anyway, I shall return to blogging mode shortly. Watch this space.