Friday, July 31, 2009

Mommy Moments: Look At That Mess!

My little one messing up the cables from the little pouch.

This Friday's theme is quite fun! I missed Mommy Moments for three Fridays already so I hope this one isn't too late yet!

When it comes to making a mess, my little Samantha is quite good at it! And it is an ordeal for me to try to just let her enjoy her mess (with me being an OC). My hands just itch to put back each item she messes up back to its original position. And she could be such a tease because she would just mess things all the more!

Got a messy experience with your kids? Join us at:

mommy moments

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Food (Trip) Friday: Pork Adobo

food friday

After two weeks of eating mostly bread, pasta and sausages, we have had enough. When we got home from our trip, I immediately made this food dinner:

Nothing beats Filipino home-cooked dishes! And the adobo was just right: juicy and with a sweet tangy taste!

Doesn't it make your mouth water?

Linz: Austria's Third City

Our third day in Austria brought us to Linz, a good hour and a half drive from Vienna. Linz today is a bustling industrial city but the Old Town is a must see for tourists for its many historic buldings and monuments. When we got there, our feet took us to the Hauptplatz, where there was a festival going on. People were dressed in Middle Age costumes and there was a festive air all around. Of course, I didn't miss the medieval square, which is bordered by splendid Baroque facades.

And there was the Alter Dom (the Church of St. Ignatius) in Baroque style which boasts a wonderfully ornate pulpit and altarpiece. Seeing this church was special to me owing to the fact that I was educated in a Jesuit run school when I was in college. And St. Ignatius is one of my favorite saints because his life story inspired and touched me.

The opulent Baroque altar at the Church of St. Ignatius.

L: The equally ornate pulpit with gold carvings on black wood.
R: An Organ Concert announcement.

L: The Jesuits' logo.
R: Steeple of the Alter Dom (St. Ignatius Church) as seen from the Hauptplatz.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time For A Makeover?

I have always had straight hair. I sometimes wear it short, one-length, shaggy, slashed, or whatever hairstyle you have had but never had it curled except this one time when I still a kid. And I tell you, it was a disaster! Because I have thick hair, and it was very straight then, the hairdresser had to apply the curling formula not once, but twice!, because the first time just wouldn't curl it. And I had to sit for like hours just to wait for it to cure. And when it was finished, the desired look that we were aiming for went bonkers. My curly hair was everywhere, and it was very unmanageable, dry and frizzy. That experience got the better off me. It made me wish I had my old straight hair back.

But with curly hair becoming more fashionable each day and hair products getting better, the idea of having my hair curled once again is attractive. Do you think a curly or wavy hair will make me look more fashionable and younger?

The Heart and Soul of Vienna

It is not surprising that the Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) is called the Heart and Soul of Vienna for it has survived many wars and has become a symbol of Vienna's freedom.

For over 800 years, from a small Romanesque church to the grand Gothic Cathedral that it is today, it has seen many additions, been burned down and destroyed by war, and was reopened in it's present glory in 1948.

One cannot miss the magnificent diamond-patterned glazed-tile roof that the Viennese citizens generously donated in 1950 nor the Gothic edifice of dark stone and the north tower called the Alter Steffl, "Old Steve" that rises to 450 feet.

The Interior contains lots of interesting works of art too, from the Gothic to the Renaissance style. The intricately sculpted pulpit, figures of saints adorning the piers and the canopies over many of the side altars are just some of the Gothic masterpieces. The Wiener Neustädter Altar bearing the painted images of 72 saints is the cathedral's greatest treasure.

Interior of the Stephansdom.

My digital camera's features and zooming capacity though cannot do justice to the beauty of the cathedral's interiors and I only have this lone photo above which I consider to be the best. Hehe! I really wished then that I had a DSLR to capture what my eyes can only see!

Online Forms Anyone?

Blogging has been a fun way for me to communicate with other bloggers of the same interest. It has taken me places, with lots of my blogger friends' travel stories. It has given me insights to their lives and inspiration with their anecdotes and ramblings and random thoughts. It has also shown me creative hand crafts that makes me wish I could do it too. I often find myself coming back for more of their stories, knowing that there will always be a new, amusing, awesome, touching or moving post just waiting for me to be read. I sometimes even find myself wanting to write them privately especially when writing a comment is not the proper venue to say my thoughts. Sadly though, only a few blogs have a Contact Me form in their sites. And I must admit, I am too lazy to write them an email or to ask for their email adresses.

I sure wish they know about this FREE Online Form Builder that will allow them to make not only Contact forms, but feedback, evaluation, and surveys and polls as well. With lots of templates to choose from, it is indeed very user-friendly. What's cool about it is that it uses Flash technology and allows a user to add any media to make the form interactive and personal. And this is not only for bloggers. It is also for business entrepreneurs and sellers who have online stores, event organizers and any other publisher that provides a service in one way or another.

As a blogger, I have always wanted a personalized Contact Me form application added on my blog. This way, it will be easier for them to contact me, should the need arise, by just filling in the form that I have provided to them instead of asking them to write me an email. No more opening another window or application. And the good thing with this web-based application from is that as a user, you get a real-time SMS notification so that you don't miss a thing! I think this is just one great way to communicate.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Augustiner Kirche

One of the many things that fascinate me about Europe is it's churches. Being the seat of the Roman empire and Christianity, the old churches are just so awesomely grand that I can't resist visiting them. When we were in Vienna, Austria we didn't get to explore all the churches but I was content to visit the Augustiner Kirche (Augustinian Church) which is just located in the Hofburg complex.

What makes this church so special?

The beautiful Gothic interior of Augustiner Kirche.

The tomb of Maria Christina.

Aside from its well-preserved 14th Century Gothic interiors, this former parish church of the Habsburgs also houses the 18th-century tomb of Princess Maria Christina, the favorite daughter of Maria Theresa. The ornately decorated tomb shows the Princess and her family entering the tomb and is an Antonio Canova masterpiece. The tomb, however, was never used because the princess was buried in the Imperial Crypt.

Ornate wood carvings on the church seats.

The Sunday masses of June to September are also special because the music of Haydn or Mozart are featured in a spectacular organ mass. Sadly though, we visited on a weekday so we didn't get to experience hearing mass with Mozart or Haydn's music. It must be an amazing and moving experience!

The Hofburg Complex

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is surprisingly a compact city. Many of its important sights, especially those dating in the Habsburg era are clustered around the Hofburg, Vienna's former imperial court.

The Equestrian Monuments of Prince Eugene of Savoy and Archduke Charles of Austria.

One can enter the Hofburg through the Burgtor or the outer gate and reminisce Vienna as it once was at Heldenplatz or Heroe's Square. On both sides of the square are equestrian monuments of Prince Eugene of Savoy and Archduke Charles of Austria, two of Austria's great military leaders.

A Fiaker in front of the Neue Burg and a monument of Eugene of Savoy in Hofburg.

Because it is compact, Vienna can be easily explored on foot. There is also the Hop On Hop Off tourbus that costs €20.00 per person, which takes you around the city for a quick look at the important sights. Or you can also see these in old-world style, but at great expense, by hiring a horse-drawn Fiaker. A tour on this carriage costs €40.00 for a short city tour (20 minutes) and €65.00 for a grand tour (40 minutes).

L: This fountain, which is a part of the Michaelertor, is famous among visitors.
And yes, he is pointing at me!

R: The sign says it all: Imperial Apartments, Sisi Museum and Silver Collection!

Exploring the Hofburg complex itself took most part of our day for it contained the former imperial apartments and treasuries (Schatzkammer) of the Habsburgs, several museums, a chapel where the world renowned Vienna Boys' Choir can be heard singing during Sunday mass, a church, the Austrian National Library, the Winter Riding School and the President of Austria's offices.

The Burgkapelle, Hofurg's chapel, is where the famous Vienna Boys' Choir sings.

The recently restored Albertina, with a modern addition: the lift.

The Albertina, hidden away in a corner of the Hofburg, contains a collection of one million prints, 65,000 watercolors and drawings, and over 70,000 photographs. The gems of the collection are those by Dürer, Michelangelo, Rubens, Picasso and Monet. One can also visit the Hapsburg State Rooms, a fine example of Neo-classical architecture and interior decoration. Entrance to the Albertina costs €9.50 per person.

The Augustiner Kirche has one of the best preserved 14-century Gothic interiors in Vienna.

Statue of Joseph II and the Austrian National Library behind it in Josefsplatz

The Hofburg is indeed a place rich in history, architecture and art, beauty and culture. Should you ever want to visit Vienna, Hofburg is really a must see! And if you want to listen to the good music of the Vienna Boys' Choir, be sure to come on a Sunday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yellow Monday: Of Buses and Souvenirs


Our trip to Vienna will not be complete without seeing the main sights at the city center, and what better way to do it than to go on a bus tour? Since we only had a few days to spare and we wanted to make the most of our time there and see all the important sights, the guided bus tour was our best option. And with the tour bus being HOP ON, HOP OFF it was easy to get off at the main attractions in the city and then get on again and continue on with the tour. And what do you know, this time, our tourbus was YELLOW!

Aside from the marvelous churches and glorious historical buildings and wonderful works of art that our eyes feasted on, souvenirs were always a treat! And the yellows in the shops made it all the more enticing to shop for a souvenir or two!

Just one of the many Tabak Souvenir shops scattered all over the city.

A yellow wooden duck that is ready to go home.

Pinocchio and other wonderful wooden creations.

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