Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It Ain't Over Till I Say It's Over

Yup, you heard me right!

And I meant Kaye and Pehpot's Blogversary Contest.

Although it has officially ended, I still just can't get over the fact that it has come to end... like most beautiful things should. The beauty of it though is that the friendship that was formed while the contest was ongoing has gone stronger. And the writing skills and the spamming, err... commenting skills were honed even more. That is the great impact that this contest has I guess... And for that I am thankful!

Of course, a contest would not be complete without the winners. And I must say, CONGRATS to all the winners, especially me! LOL!

I did win! Want to know what I won? Here they are:

5th Grand Prize: $20.00 Paypal cash
Best Review for Make or Break blog: 1 month advertising on Adgitize
(I just received my Adgitize Gift Card and I will use it to advertise next month! That means, I get to save on my Paypal Funds! Hurrah!)
Yummiest Review for Dishes by Pehpot: $5.00 Paypal cash
2nd 10 to complete requirements: Three Month Sidebar Text Link at Make or Break and Random WAHM Thoughts.

So now that I have published my winnings, I can finally say, "It's OVER!"


PINT#1: Thankful & More!

My first time to join PINT and immensely enjoying it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

TCP#31: Prison Break

Welcome to the March 30th edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes. I can't believe that it's going to be April soon! My apologies to my Couchers too for posting late. And this week's theme is Behind Bars. This week, we will feature movies or shows depicting any of the following situations: the lives of those behind bars or prisoners, how they ended up in prison in the first place, the sentence that they have served, the injustice and discrimination inside the prison walls, even the corruption that happens inside or the adventures and the chase that ensues when a prisoner decides to escape... I know you have seen a number of movies with this theme so I hope you can share them with us this week.

I am going to break out of my ordinary movie features and have decided to pick: Prison Break. This is a drama TV series which premiered on Fox. It was actually Hubby who told me all about it and ever since I watched it, I got hooked. It first came out in 2005 and was a hit back in 2006-2007. I think the series had four seasons. I enjoyed watching the first three seasons but found the last season dragging. Season 1 revolved around how Scofield intentionally got himself in prison in order to get his brother out and how he planned everything so he and his brother (along with six others) could escape the Fox River Penitentiary. Season 2 is about the Great Chase that ensues 8 hours after they escaped. The authorities are literally on their tails, tracking them down. Season 3 takes Scofield back in prison, this time inside Sona, a prison run by prisoners and is only guarded from the outside.

I just loved Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller). All I can say is that he is a genius! Who would have thought that his body tattoo is actually an escape plan? I also loved the characted of Sucre and of course, Lincoln Burrows and Sara Tancredi. It should be noted that while I enjoyed watching this series, I squirm at the sight of violence, coarse language and references to sex and drugs. As a parent, I of course wouldn't want my small kid to be exposed this kinds of shows.

So what's your movie for this week? Don't forget to enter your TCP entry's link URL in the MckLinky below:

THANK YOU for joining us this week on Tuesday Couch Potatoes. Our theme for April 6th is Easter/Spring Is Here. It could be any film that shows the tradition of Easter, or easter bunnies and egg hunts or it could be a Spring Movie, movies that came out during Spring season. Till next Tuesday Couchers! Take care and Happy TCP!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Skeletons In My Photo Archives

What do you consider as photos that you'd rather hide? Are they the scary ones? Or the ones that make you look unpretty and unfabulous? Or are they the ones that make you look so big? Whatever they are, these are the ones that we would rather hide in our photo archives. It is fun to look at them once in a while though because they too have stories to tell.

If you are going to ask me which photos I'd rather hide, I have lots of them. Our external hard drive is filled with them. But I must take courage and finally join this week's theme since I already missed the first two.

So here it the most recent skeleton that took lots of courage to publish. No matter what you all would have to say, I guess I'll just have to look at it on the brighter side: at least I have entertained you all with my very ugly face.

I am sure Hubby will react once he finds out that I published this photo for everyone to see! LOL!

The story behind the photo: This was taken last year when we went to London. We just arrived at the London Bridge Train Station and while waiting for the tube to arrive, we Dad took this shot. I was already tired and it was raining the whole day during our sightseeing so that I really wasn't in the mood. The result? The photo above. I just look so ridiculously sour and ugly here! LOL! Blame it on London weather? Hihi!

How about you? Do you have skeletons in your Photo Archives too? Share it with us this week on Girls Talk! It's fun!

To The Class of 2010!

Dear Class of 2010,

You have finally reached another milestone in your life... that of finishing the highest level of education that your great young minds could achieve. I salute you for all the hardwork, the resourcefulness, the determination and diligence that you have shown in order to make it till the end. I am glad that you never gave up on your dreams and plans in life.

Now that you have graduated from the Academic road, know that there's still lots to learn in life. Soon, you will all be looking for jobs in your respective careers, filled with the idealism and enthusiasm. Some of you may be lucky and be hired immediately in your chosen profession. Others may not be as lucky. With the current status of the economy the world over, I hope that you will not give up looking for the job of your yours. And if your chances of getting hired is pretty slim, I suggest that you do other things to add up to your CV. Instead of just moping around and be miserable, you can always continue on to further studies in your chosen field of study (you might even land on a job at the University to support you) or VOLUNTEER! Make good use of your time and soon, the opportunities will just come flowing.

Do not give up on your dream job. Do not give up on your plans in life. Move on. If you made it through College & University... you'll also make it in the real world. If you believe it, you can do it!

Kudos to the Class of 2010!

This is my entry for this week's Letters That I'll Never Send, hosted by Mys of Written By Mys. If you have a Graduation to the graduates of this year or to a particular someone who is graduating this year, come share it with us!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

For The Sake of The Family

All of us have to SACRIFICE something just so we could get to where we are now. Nobody is exempted, I think. All of us, in one way or another had to give up something in order to gain something. It doesn't matter if it is great or small as long as the sacrifice is done wholeheartedly and sincerely, meaning one is not pushed to do it. This is especially true when we have a family to take care of... There are lots of things that we need to sacrifice.

As for me, I sacrificed my job and my career in the Philippines just to be with my husband and raise a family with him. I may be out of a job but I have a family that I can call my own. As a parent, I had to give up some little luxuries. I only buy what I need and not what I want because one never knows when emergencies arise. When we were still in Japan, Hubby would sacrifice his weekends to go to driving school to earn his Japanese driver's license. It was hard for him considering that Sam was too small then but his efforts paid off and now we can go wherever we want to go, the budget considered of course. As a newly married couple starting their life together in a foreign country, we had a lot of sacrifices to make. It was hard living in a country where the standard of living is way too high, if you know what I mean. But we count ourselves very blessed because God answered our prayers. He has crowned our efforts with success and blessed us today with a good home, a stable and satisfying job for Hubby, a beautiful (but makulit) daughter, and lots of opportunities for me to earn on the Internet.

I guess it all boils down to this: When you make a sacrifice, why do you do it? Is it for the family, for your loved ones, for personal advancement, or for money? Nothing is wrong when you make sacrifices... for as long as you do not step on somebody else, I am fine with it. :D

How about you? Where did sacrifice take you? Share it with us here on Couple's Corner!

Rodliz’s Nest

Share A Virtual Hershey's Basket & Help Children

Now here's a nice tag that's for a worthy cause. And it's very timely too, what with Easter only a few days away. Thanks Hazel of Delineating Des for tagging. Thanks to Marce Chris of Chris Chronicles too. The basket full of Easter goodies is just perfect!

The Hershey's Better Basket Blog Hop

Here's what to do:

* Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
* Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
* Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
* Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
* Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this Better Basket Blog Hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.

And just so you'll know, passing this virtual basket along has lots of benefits. Aside from the Easter cheer that it brings, you get to help too! How?

* Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
* Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.

So pass this one on, pretty please? I am tagging all my beautiful marces from the Marce Club namely Chris Fedhz Gene Jade Kaye Liz Mye Niko Pehpot Seiko Yami.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Traveling On A Budget

I have already posted about our next travel destination: Holland or The Netherlands. I am so excited! I know it's going to be a very wonderful trip. As with our other trips, I always set a budget so that we would know how much should be spent on hotel accommodation, food, souvenirs, and other miscellaneous fees like parking, entrance fees, the likes.

I am glad that most of our travel preparations can be done via the Internet such as advance bookings and reservations for museums and parks and of course, hotel booking. These online transactions require credit cards as a mode of payment and I am glad that we have one. Credit cards simply do make life simpler... Now that I have mentioned it, there are indeed lots of advantages of credit cards. They simplify our online transactions and we can also purchase items that are only available on the Internet for a limited time. They are also recommended as the form of payment especially when you travel. I think it is more safe because you don't need to carry cash around with you all the time and fear losing them because you can pay with your credit card. When we travel, we only bring just enough cash (bank notes and coins) for souvenirs, parking fees, and meals. The more expensive purchases or bills like hotel fees, we usually pay by credit card.

How about you? How do you use your credit card?

Change of Heart

I was again my usual restless self so I immediately headed for the bookstore and browsed through their English novels section. Something caught my eye... there's a new set of books from bestselling author Jodi Picoult.

I picked up the first book that I can get my hands on and fell in love with it just by reading the front cover which explored a question that many of us wouldn't know how to answer:

"You daughter needs a new heart.
The only match comes from a murderer.

Here's a synopsis from the Jodi Picoult Official website (http://www.jodipicoult.com/change-of-heart.html):

Shay Bourne - New Hampshire’s first death row prisoner in 69 years – has only one last request: to donate his heart post-execution to the sister of his victim, who is looking for a transplant. Bourne says it’s the only way he can redeem himself…but with lethal injection as his form of execution, this is medically impossible. Enter Father Michael Wright, a young local priest. Called in as Shay’s spiritual advisor, he knows redemption has nothing to do with organ donation – and plans to convince Bourne. But then Bourne begins to perform miracles at the prison that are witnessed by officers, fellow inmates, and even Father Michael – and the media begins to call him a messiah. Could an unkempt, bipolar, convicted murderer be a savior? It seems highly unlikely, to the priest. Until he realizes that the things Shay says may not come from the Bible…but are, verbatim, from a gospel that the early Christian church rejected two thousand years ago…and that is still considered heresy.

Change Of Heart looks at the nature of organized religion and belief, and takes the reader behind the closely drawn curtains of America’s death penalty. It also asks whether religion and politics truly are separate in this country, or inextricably tangled. Does religion make us more tolerant, or less? Do we believe what we do because it’s right? Or because it’s too frightening to admit that we may not have the answers?

I am currently reading the book and while it is a page-turner, I had to pause and stop every once in a while because my daughter keeps tugging at my hand. I don't like interruptions when I am reading but my little one has to always come first. Will tell you all about the book once I am done reading with it, which I hope is soon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dreaming Of A Spring Wedding?

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TCP#30: Johnny English

Welcome to the March 23rd edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. I can't wait to find out what the other Couchers have featured for this week's theme: Spies & Espionage. I enjoy watching spy movies in general because of the mystery, the action, the thrill and the suspense, and the great chase that ensues as the spy is discovered or is set up. Have you got a spy movie to share? If confused over what to post, I am sure you have seen one of the James Bond movies. So that would suffice. :D

Anyway, my pick for this week: Johnny English. This came out in 2003 and is a British film that parodies the James Bond secret agent movies. It stars the famous Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson and while this film is about spies and espionage as well, you're off to a great laugh with very hilarious chasing scenes, spoofs from James Bond films, and a fun soundtrack. Although the plot is predictable and the storyline nonsensical, it is one movie that surely made me laugh out loud...

It is the tag line of the movie that made me watch it in the first place:
He knows no fear, he knows no danger, he knows nothing.

Here's the movie trailer from YouTube.com:

So what do you think? It's hilarious and funny right? So what's your Spy Movie for this week? Come and share it with us today! Be sure to enter your TCP link URL in the MckLinky below so that others may find you too:

Thank you for joining us this week Couchers! I hope you can join us again next week for some Behind Bars movies. Hope you had fun joining! Until next Tuesday Couchers! Take care and Happy TCP!

Finally, A Haircut!

After a year of having gone to the hair salon for a haircut, I finally managed to make my very first appointment for a haircut here in Germany. My hair is already too long, and it's beginning to dry up and fall as a result of washing with warm water and blow drying. Two Sundays ago, I finally had my hair cut. A friend of our friends who is also a Filipina and works at a salon was the one who did my hair. I liked how it turned out although I do not know how to style it the way she did, hence no photo of me here... :D

I want something like this hair style that Julia Stiles is sporting.

She just cut a few inches of my hair off and then layered both sides. She didn't slash the back though although I would have preferred it if she did. I have thick hair you see and a slash hairstyle makes it a little thin. Anyway, it is still a bit cold so I guess I will just have to make another appointment with her when summer comes.

I hope to have my hair treated too because I want it straight. Since it is too expensive to have that done here, I guess I'll just to wait when we fet to schedule our home visit back to the Philippines.

Visiting the Land of Flowers

Photo source: Keukenhof website.

What better way to celebrate spring when in Europe? Visiting the Land of Flowers, of course! I am very excited for Easter to come because we will be visiting Holland... Keukenhof in particular. This is one of the most popular destinations in Europe at this time of the year. Here are some facts and figures about Keukenhof:
  • Has won prizes as Europe’s most valued attraction
  • Keukenhof is unique and famous throughout the world
  • It is one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands and has clocked up more than 44 million visitors in the last 60 years
  • It is the largest bulb flower park in the world
  • It covers an area of 32 hectares 4.5 million tulips in 100 varieties
  • It is the most photographed place in the world
  • There are 15 kilometers of footpaths
  • It is the largest sculpture park in the Netherlands
  • The bulbs are supplied by 93 Royal Warrant Holders
  • 7 million flower bulbs planted by hand
  • More than 2,500 trees in 87 varieties
  • Walk of Fame with tulips named after famous people

I just can't wait to get aim my camera at the thousands and thousands of tulips of different colors and sizes.

And because it is an out of town trip and will require about six hours of travel by car, we have decided to stay for one night. This trip will be special because we will be traveling with our friends. As usual, I am in charge of where we're going and where we're staying. Been searching the net for good hotel deals but I have to move fast because hotels are being booked at lightning speed. Promo rates in hotel rooms are the ones taken first. I guess I am not the only one who is looking to save money.

We will be traveling by car though so that we will be able to save on airfare. I know that airfares have also gone sky high, what with the holidays and the spring season coming in at the same time. I am just glad that Hubby availed of their company's auto loans a few months after we got here in Germany. It saves me the trouble of having to find cheap flights. Without our car, I wouldn't know how we could go around Germany and Europe that easily.

So wish me luck that I may be able to accomplish this task of ticket reservations and online bookings, and that in the process, I might find great deals and savings.

Who Would Have Thought?

My dear Marce Pehpot sent me an instant message on YM this morning telling me that I am her favorite reviewer. I was puzzled at first then she clarified that I won the best review for her blog Make or Break. At first, I cannot believe her YM because I honestly do not think it would pass her scrutiny considering there are other well-written reviews by other great bloggers. But when I checked her latest post Winners of Post About the Contest, I just can't believe my eyes! It was indeed written Kikamz under Best Review for Make or Break. If you still haven't read my review of the Make or Break blog, you may find it here.

That said, let me congratulate also those who won the Best Blog Post About the Contest and Best Review for Random WAHM Thoughts namely Mylene and Mys respectively. To the two other bloggers who also received a special mention for Best Blog Post About The Contest Marce Yami and Bambie Sunshine, congratulations too!

What great news to start the week! I can't wait to learn who the big winners are. The next big day: March 25th! So watch out for it!

Ready For The MLB 2010 Season?

Are you ready for the Major League Baseball 2010 Season? 13 days from now, baseball fans from the US and the world over are all eyes as the Yankees play against the Red Sox. This is going to be one very exciting night as fans cheer and even bet for their favorite team. Did I just mention BET? You bet!

Sports betting is very common in the world of sports. Why do people bet on sports? There are three simple reasons. People bet just for fun to make the game more exciting. If you bet that this team will win, you will of course cheer hard for that team, making it more exciting. People bet for their favorite team, even if the odds are against their favorite team. Others bet simply because they want to earn money.

So for those of you who are baseball fans
and first timers in the world of sports betting, it would be smart if you arm yourself with the basics of baseball betting. A pretty good knowledge of the different team standings and records is a good start. There are also lots of tips and tricks and of course, betting tips that you need to take note of so that you won't be groping in the dark once you start betting.

But of course, as with other things in life, experience is always the best teacher. So for those of you who loves to bet in sports, good luck!

Spring Is Finally Here!

Being an expat here in Germany has allowed me to experience and witness the changing of the seasons. I basked in the hot summer sun, delighted in the golden hues of autumn, got chilled to the bone in winter and is now amazed as the earth springs to life!

We will be enjoying a temperature range of 11-20° this week with warm sunshine and a few rainshowers. Tulips and other blooms are already springing forth from the ground, giving the green fields a splash of color here and there.

Here's some photos from our neighborhood that I took, a sure sign that winter is history and spring is finally here!

I just love looking at the tiny blooms that has sprouted here and there. They surely add more life. Add the singing of the birds and everything seems so cheery and bright. What I love about spring? When we were still in Japan, we look forward to the sakuras. Here in Germany, we look forward to crocuses and tulips and chamomiles blooming, Easter celebration, and Spring Festivals.

Easter is coming soon and we are going on a roadtrip for the holidays... We will be off to see the beautiful tulips in the land of tulips itself, Holland! I am so excited! I'd better start doing my research now...

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