Saturday, July 23, 2011

Packing and Other Pseudo-Related Thoughts

My stuff from Manila has finally arrived! Happy to have a few more wardrobe pieces to choose from outside of the 2-weeks worth of clothes I lugged over with me when I first arrived here.

Good timing that my stuff arrived for unpacking the same evening I was to pack for long-ish trip. Amusing that the shipment arrived, only so I could bring some of it back home for my quick layover before Europe.

(Almost) set to go - one more "little" thing to get done before I go, ie: WORK.

Like all my recent trips, this is going to hit me in the face only when I'm on my way to my destination. Personal planning for a trip before was serious business - researching, surveying, etc - which totally helped build the anticipation of the trip, months before.

Now the time between booking a trip and actually going on a trip is spent.. i don't know where it's spent actually, working? Whining about work? Hehe. I still remember arriving in Seoul, shivering cold in my summer attire because (1) i didn't research on the weather, and lost (2) because I didn't research how to get to hotel. lol. Thankfully, all of my mini-adventure have worked out and I come home with lots of great memories.

Time to head to the office on this bright Sunday afternoon to iron out my work and turnover. Looking forward to seeing my family, my doggies, exploring new places with "new" travel mates, seeing old friends in new environments, going on this adventure that has been over a year in the making!

Blessed Sunday folks :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Results Are In

FINALLY!!! After:

  1. Worrying about how I'd manage the application with my new work/living situation
  2. Worrying about how to pay for all of the things I would be spending on
  3. Worrying about not being able to refund any of the things I had already spent money on
  4. Booking an interview (and figuring out if I'd get all my papers done in time)
  5. Going through the process of getting all of my papers together
  6. Dealing with my nerves as I applied at one embassy, only to be told to apply at another embassy
  7. Getting all my paper together AGAIN for a new embassy, and booking another interview (ie: repeat steps 4 onwards)
  8. Being questioned at the new embassy why i was applying there and not the other embassy
  9. Harassing people for documents and prayers
  10. Waiting for the results of my application

I finally, FINALLY have my freaking VISA!!!!! 


I'd like to b*tch about my passport and whine about how needing a visa to almost anywhere else in the world simply because I'm Filipino is beyond irritating - but I'm too happy to complain.

A group of us have been planning this trip for at least a year now - purchasing tickets, planning itineraries, booking and reserving flights and accommodations.  With everything that's happened in my life from then till now, I had absolutely no idea if I'd still be able to go on this trip - but pushed forward anyway, feeling confident that it WOULD work out. Admittedly, at one point, I almost did give up. Thankfully I didn't. And thankfully, the support from the people involved has been amazing. 

It's a little photo finish - finally getting a go-signal for a trip you've been planning for a while, a week before you actually need to leave? But a go-signal now is better than a no-go-signal! 

Few more things to sort out before I leave, but thankfully, the biggest thing I had to sort out, has been sorted! 

And in celebration of my joy, sharing a few of the gazillion pictures I took, from the some of the places I got to visit last time I was in Europe. 

Paris, France

Mt. San Michel, France

Honfleur, France

San Sebastian, Spain

Bilbao, Spain

Granada, Spain

Normandy, France

Cordoba, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lost at Fort Canning Park

I had a date to meet up with K and her family at the Singapore Food Festival. I got to Clark Quay early so I thought to explore the area a bit.

Took some more pictures of this cute building (Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts) - which never fails to make me smile every time I see it.

Then I saw stairs that lead up to Fort Canning Park. Never been, so I thought why the heck not?

Large complex and will probably go back and explore some more. Lots of people (all armed with really decked out cameras!), lots of interesting things going on. Almost lost my way as I wasn't allowed to go back the way I had come in (closed for a wedding), but finally found my way out and to my friends before it got dark.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Be(a)sty Weekend

Good friend of mine was in town last weekend, so we spent some time wandering around Singapore.

Arab-Malay Quarters: Also known as Kampong Glam. Hot hot day so spent most of the time here along the partially shaded Haji Lane. Lovely lane with lots of interesting things to see. This was after our morning "teh tarik" (where I had spotted Anthony Bordain the week before!), and lunch at my favorite Moroccan place. 

Little India: This was a quick pit spot only because we were so freaking tired by the time we reached here. We walked from the MRT all the way to Mustafa, then zoned out a nearby resto with Lasi's and cheeseballs to reenergized. 

Marina Bay Sands: We ended the evening at Marina Bay Sands, exploring the giant expanse of a mall and having late dinner with a friend at Mozza Pizzeria by celebrity chef Mario Batali. 

Orchard: After checking L into his hotel, we met up a friend for late brunch (ie: at 2pm!) at PS Cafe. I'd been hearing so much about it (and their famed truffle fries) that I thought it'd be a good opportunity as any to try it out. We spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around some of the malls along Orchard.

Lau Pa Sat: how do you not go to Singapore without trying some local fare? Stuffed ourselves silly at dinner with satay, fried oyster & carbs. 

Din Tai Fung: Introduced L to the wonderful world of the Xiao Long Bao

Many of these places I've seen before, but as I was going there under different circumstances, it may have well been the first time.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Prepping my lunch for tomorrow and I found myself googling this:
I can scramble an egg. I learned last year how to poach an egg. 

Yet how to boil an egg? Yeesh. Beats me. I may have well googled "how to boil water". lol

Finally living by myself (for real this time! not "live-by-myself-for-5-days-then-go-home-over-the-weekend-to-have-my-laundry-done-&-bring-some-food-back-to-my-studio" living by myself), I'm coming face to face with a number of "first time" experiences. 

There are the big things, such as, looking for a place on your own, that really scream "INDEPENDENCE!" - but it's the smaller things, the things you take for granted, that really solidifies your status as a self-sufficient human being.  

So simple that when you actually need to do it yourself, you realize... wow.. THIS is a first!

Some things that come to mind:
  • Buying a mop - that was first. lol
  • Slicing a cucumber (ya ya - i don't cook, so what)
  • Sewing (ok - so I put a hole in my favorite pants recently, and I have yet to actually sew up the hole, but you get my drift)
  • Choosing the best all-purpose cleaner
  • Burning my first pan 
  • Buying my first frying pan & cooking pot (only to realize that they don't work on an induction cooker... grrr)
Thankfully, other things, such as paying for my bills, cleaning the bathroom, weren't too new for me. 

I'm sure the list will continue to grow. Can't wait to add things like: roast my own chicken (in my oven toaster! ya!), change my first light bulb (no idea how I'm going to do that, but i'll cross that bridge when I get there). 

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I remember when getting a physical letter in the mail was exciting. Heck it's still exciting.

I hear it a lot, people saying that we don't receive snail mail enough because of the internet.

I got a "letter" in my virtual inbox today and was just as excited to receive it. Thanks to social media, proper letters through email are also not so frequent anymore.

I love letters though, regardless of the format they come in. With the infrequency of it all - I'll take what I can get!

Choosing Essentials & Other Money Related Ramblings

I'm on self-declared frugality for the next few months. This move, plus other financial commitments have totally kicked my butt from now till the end of the year.

Only the essentials from now till end of the year.

essential purchase #1: camera (SQUEEAAAAAAA!!!!)

I've been wanting my own camera for a long long LOOOOONGGGGGG LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG LOOOOOOOONNNNNGGG time now. So yes, this is considered essential. I was a good girl and opted for the very basic kit and held off of any other camera-related purchases. First reason was a tip I had gotten from a good friend about testing it out first and seeing what kind of photographer I'd like to be (thanks Deeps!). Second reason was well... see very first paragraph of this blog entry. There are a couple of trips I'm taking this year; some of these places I've already been too, while other places I'm going for the first time. Regardless, it'll be great to capture them with a new "eye".

essential purchase #2: eyeliner

I've been an eyeliner girl since time and memorial immemorial, a liquid liner girl at that. My face took a hiatus from any sort of primping over the last few years, but now that I'm in a new place... well, hopefully sowing good habits? (Yes. Make up = good habit, lol). Finishing up my stock of liquid liner (after a few months you toss it diba?) & moving to gel liner. I've heard from a friend it's wonderful so I looking forward to testing it out. This particular brand is for sure of a different caliber than my trusty everbilena liquid liner, but hey, my eyes can afford some luxury every now and then ya? 

essential purchase #3: glittery shoes

I have a number of friends who would deny me being their friend for saying this but: I LOVE CROCS! They're cute & comfy - especially if you're ehm.. big boned and giant footed. But seriously, these are essential for again, the trips I'm taking this year, where I expect to do a whole lotta walking! They had the same variety but in red but I opted out. I'd hate to accidentally tap my heels together while traveling and find myself home! 

And last, but for sure, not least... essential purchase #4: giant paper clips

Everyone needs giant paper clips to sort out their files - duh.

I've been eating food that doesn't need my own cooking because the 2 pans I did buy don't work on the freaking hot plate, and have been drinking my hot beverages out of a bowl. Why these aren't on the list essential purchases is beyond me - but if you haven't noticed already, I do have a skewed sense of what is essential.

Through this exercise, I've observed that 3 of the 4 "essentials" are items I've had my eye (eyes?!) on for quite some time. If I'm (1) googling it, and (2) still thinking about it months down the line, I've realized that it's something I must buy - lest I go crazy. I've known myself to visit shoes at a department store over and over again until they finally disappear and I become very sad. Hopefully I don't graduate to the likes of luxury bags or else I'll really be done for!

But seriously, on the original intent to blog about penny pinching - I've had a good look at my finances recently, and will seriously and consciously be watching my spending. I go through cycles where I diligently track and budget my finances to modes where I really couldn't care less. The discipline of learning to live within your means has been a battle I've been fighting for a while now; I'd like to think I'm getting better at it with age. So the next few months shouldn't be too difficult right?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weekend Mornings

I live for lazy weekend mornings.

Thank you "patch-of-green-outside-my-window"for enhancing my morning coffee & toast.

Happy weekend folks!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Office Sharing

Someone at the office sent this out. So I in turn, am sending it out as well