Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Traditions

It's New Year's Eve and I know that everyone is busy preparing for the celebration that is to come a few hours from now. As I also plan on what to cook for our New Year's celebration here in Germany, I remember the many traditions that we had when celebrating the coming of the New Year back in the Philippines. It makes me nostalgic about it but reminiscing those days makes me smile and even chuckle.

Here are some of those traditions and beliefs:

1. 13 round fruits to be shared by everyone. It is said that the 13 round fruits will bring in good luck, maybe because fruits are healthy and if you eat them all year round, you won't easily get sick. Makes sense, right?

2. Firecrackers to start the year with a bang. It is a belief that lighting up firecrackers on New Year's Eve will help ward off the negative vibes. But because they are dangerous when handled improperly, many would just opt to turn the volume of the speakers to maximum and make any noise inside and around the house imaginable. Don't forget to sound the torotot too, a local horn made of paper and bamboo and plastic film.

3. Wear polka dots to welcome the new year. The bigger the dots, the better because it means more money for the New Year! But shouldn't we make it checkered stripes instead? Dots means coins and the latter means notes. Which do you prefer? The notes of course! So it better be checkered stripes! Lol!

4. Throwing of coins for the children. It is a symbol of sharing your blessings to others, especially to those who have less than you have. It is always a good idea to share your blessings to others, no matter how small, because they will come to you a hundred fold.

5. Round dishes on the dinner table on New Year's Eve. Keso de Bola, Pear-shaped or Ball Ham, round shaped cakes, and other dishes placed in round containers. Aside from the circle being a symbol for money, the circle is also endless and perfect. The belief is that the more you have on the table, the more bountiful and prosperous the year will be because the blessings will just pour.

There are countless others. But these are the significant ones. Whether you believe these or not, what matters most is that you always do what is good, you give your heart and best in every endeavor, and you never fail to give back and share to others for all the blessings that you have received.

I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Peaceful 2011! May God bless YOU more!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Empty Balcony

Our current house will always be an ongoing project for us. There is still a lot of work to be done in this two-bedroom flat, one of which is our very spacious balcony.

See the photo below? It is very wide, boring, empty and bare, right? It could really do some improvement, or an overhaul perhaps? I know that lots of creativity, a little planning, some Kichler outdoor lighting and of course, some money, will do the trick!

I have always dreamed of creating my very own balcony garden and I can already imagine how it will look like: some wooden flooring on one side, a small water garden with some tiny fish, greens here and there, some orchids, garden furniture, and voila! I really want something that will evoke that relaxing and natural feel and a balcony garden like the one in the photo below is just what I want!

Isn't it just the perfect little haven especially in the summer? This would really be the perfect place to relax and chill out after a long day at school for me and a long day at work for my hubby. I know I should start saving up if I want to create my very own balcony as in the picture above. And I must find the right garden furniture too.

To Be Blessed

The year 2010 had been a very wonderful year for us. I never expected the bountiful blessings that came our way nor did I expect that we would be able to manage and surpass the challenges that came along the way. I am personally very thankful for all of the blessings, the experience, and the many encounters that helped me and my family to grow closer together. It is mainly thanks to the people surrounding us, who in one way or another contributed to our growth.

It has been almost two years since we became expats here in Germany and although it is not always easy, it amazes me as a look back and I wonder how we were able to come to where we are now. All the prayers helped a lot and I just feel so blessed. I feel blessed to have hubby who is responsible and always prioritizes the family. Although he may have his shortcomings, I know that he has always done his best for the family and for that I am thankful. I feel blessed to have a beautiful daughter who has always surprised and never ceased to amaze me with her ability to make me lose my wits and make me pull my hair during those "moments". I feel blessed to have wonderful friends who make us feel that we have a family. I feel blessed to have been given the chance to study again, realize my potentials and do something for myself. I feel blessed for the seasons: the cold of winter, the blooms of spring, the heat of summer, the warm colors of fall. I feel blessed to have been able to live with my in-laws even for just a short period of time. I feel blessed to have a family who thinks of us and prays for us. I feel blessed to have met very good friends in the blogging world, especially the Marce Club, who have always been so thoughtful and helpful. I feel blessed for the many earning opportunities online.

There is so much to be thankful for, I know... and as I look back and continue to count my blessings, I realize that I am more than blessed. And I am filled with hope and excitement for the new year that is to come. Because I know and believe that this journey will always be blessed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Structured Cabling Solutions

Data and communications is an essential part in any competitive business. Be it a medium scale enterprise or a multi-national corporation, an effective and up-to-date communications system plays a very vital role. And that is why many companies would upgrade and even overhaul network and communication systems just to be on the competitive edge.

It all begins with how well your cabling is designed. That is why a structured cabling contractor is as important as the building contractor itself as far as communications is concerned. Gone are the dial-up days so that many businesses would prefer broadband or DSL, thus the need for optical fiber installation. Imagine having a call center business and your building cabling does not support new technology. That would indeed be really bad for your business, right?

Structured Cabling can really do wonders. Why? Because they are already a set of standards... which means that as a building cabling infrastructure, they are being recognized internationally. And because it is a standard, one is assured that every component from cables down to the conduits comply with the set standards.

TCP#71: When Harry Met Sally

Hello Couchers! I am as always late for this week's edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes. I am beginning to doubt whether I should just end it this year or not. What do you think my dears?

Anyway, this Tuesday's theme is New Year's Eve Movies. I must admit, there aren't much movies with this theme compared to Christmas themed ones. So if you can't find any, a Christmas-themed movie will still do. Anyway, my pick for this week will be When Harry Met Sally, a 1989 romantic comedy starring Billy Crystal as Harry and Meg Ryan as Sally. It's really a nice movie that explores the question: "Can men and women ever just be friends?"

Here's a plot summary from IMDb:

Harry and Sally meet when she gives him a ride to New York after they both graduate from the University of Chicago. The film jumps through their lives as they both search for love, but fail, bumping into each other time and time again. Finally a close friendship blooms between them, and they both like having a friend of the opposite sex. But then they are confronted with the problem: "Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way?" Written by Greg Bole

I think you ought to watch the film to find out what happened in the end! But I guess it is quite obvious.

Joining us this week? Don't forget to enter your TCP link in the linky below:

Thank you for joining us here on Tuesday Couch Potatoes. Here is wishing each one and all a very Prosperous 2011! And because 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, our theme next week will be Rabbit/Bunny Movies. Hope to catch you next year guys! Enjoy the New Year and God bless you more!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Next Travel Destinations

The wanderlust in me just cannot resist the idea of traveling to a new place again.We have been to some parts of Europe already but just the thought of planning for our next vacation is making me excited and restless.So where to next year? I am not yet sure but I surely still haven't gotten enough of the southern Europe and I also want to experience the Mediterranean. It is no wonder then that I would like to visit Italy again, but this time in a different location and then Cyprus. I have always been curious about this country and want to learn more about it.

So where in Italy will we be going next? We are considering Assisi, a town in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region in Italy and is the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the Franciscan religious order and of St. Clare, the founder of the Order of Poor Clares.We could stay at various villas in Italy near Assisi so that our stay will be more comfortable. We haven't stayed in a villa before and so I know that the experience will be quite different. It would be like staying in your own rest house abroad!

And what about Cyprus? What is so special about this country? It has a great cultural and historical heritage, because it has been around since the time of the Greeks and because it is an island, it offers great architecture, lots of beautiful landscapes and sandy beaches. I bet there are also villas in Cyprus that are up for rent where we can stay for a more relaxing and worry-free vacation. As I research more about the country, the more that I get excited and would want to visit it. I am not yet sure when we will get to visit this place but I know one day we will get there. But first, I need a VISA.

TCP#70: The Miracle on 34th Street

Hello Couchers! Welcome to the December 21st edition of Tuesday Couch Potatoes where we post about a movie each week. In a few days, we will all be celebrating Christmas. Wherever we are in the world, Christmas will always be a part of our family lives and I know you all are excited for this week's theme: A Family Christmas.

My pick for this week will be the 1994 remake of the film, Miracle on 34th Street. I saw this movie way back in high school and what can I say, this movie is unforgettable for me. Although this is the 4th remake of the original 1947 version, many reviews said that it stuck close to the original story but offers more contemporary, crisper pacing and a tone curiously more reflective--even sorrowful--than before. The original version featured and used the name Macy's department store but because it didn't want anything to do with the 1994 movie, they used the fictitious name Cole's. I find the characters very endearing in their roles and one of the scenes that I find so sweet and touching was when Santa was visiting with a deaf little girl and he used sign language. The look on the girl's face as it lit up is just one of the things that you need to look out for in the movie.

Here's a preview that I got from

If you are looking for Christmas family movies, be sure to include this one in your list. It will definitely be worth it!

Joining us this week? Don't forget to enter your TCP link in the linky below:

Thank you all for joining us this week on Tuesday Couch Potatoes. We hope to see you all again next Tuesday, December 28th, for the theme: A New Year's Eve Movie.

Here's wishing everyone A Wonderful and Happy Holidays! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A First for Everything

In life, we get to experience a myriad of things: some strange, some beautiful, some worrisome. And as with all things, there will always be a first.

Growing up as a child, I remember going to first grade, meeting my first friend, receiving my first communion, even having my first crush. As a teenager, although I am not specially good at anything, I realized for the first time what my potentials really were. As a young adult, I fell really in love and met my first (and last) boyfriend, got my first job, earned my first pay check, got to facilitate my first high school recollection, and lots more. I thought that I have already experienced all the firsts that one has to experience in their lifetime. Then I got married and did my first travel overseas. Then I became a Mom. And the firsts seem to flood and overwhelm me. I had my first pregnancy and everything that followed after I had my baby seemed to be a first!

I am fortunate to have been there and to witness my firstborn's firsts: the first smile, the first crawl, the first steps, the first toy, the first pair of shoes, the first words, the first birthday, the 1st birthday invitations, the first day in Kindergarten, the first friends she met, the first song she sang. And I know that as a Mom, I will experience more firsts with my little girl. I just hope that I will be able to always make myself available each time she needs me so that I don't miss on the firsts.

WASTE Christmas Party

I seem to be attending Christmas parties left and right. Two Saturdays ago, we attended a Christmas party. Then last Thursday, we had our MSc WASTE Christmas Party at the university and then last Friday, we had the Sto. Nino Group Christmas Party. Since I already blogged a little about our Sto. Nino Christmas Party in my Moments Moments entry, allow me to write about the WASTE Christmas Party. 

So the master program I belong had a Christmas Party last Thursday, 16th of December. I can say that it was a great success. The lecture hall where we sit most of the time was converted into a restaurant-like setting and had a really Christmassy-feel, thanks to the creative minds behind the decoration team.

The food was also great, and there was enough for everyone to share! Even my plate was full! The buffet table was just overflowing with food, thanks to all those who prepared them with love.

What made it more fun was the presence of Santa Claus, who was wonderfully played by one of our classmate from the program.  There was great music that everyone can dance too.

Everyone just had a blast! It just goes to show that Graduate School life isn't all serious stuff. All of us, even our professors, showed that we can all have fun too. I didn't know when the party ended because I had to go ahead but I know that they partied the night away and really had tons of fun!

Want to Try Handicraft

I always believe that handmade crafts last longer than those that are mass produced. Because they are handmade, no two pieces are different and it takes longer to make them. Most handmade craft is an art in itself so that one can expect them to be a bit pricey than the usual commercial version.

I have always wanted to do handmade crafts but time does not permit it. I am very much attracted to furniture design and have always wanted to design my very own mosaic glass tile table. Have you ever seen those colorfully designed coffee or dining table tops? They could really help brighten a room and they also could make great conversation topics. Your guests can't help themselves but ask, "where did you ever get this one?"

It makes me wonder when I would find the time to make my very own mosaic glass table.  But I know, one way or the other, I'm gonna make one! All I need to do is create a design, look for tiles that will be perfect for the mosaic, buy a new dining table and work on it. But when? One never knows... I guess I will just have to write this down in my "bucket list" lest I forget all about it.

Mommy Moments: Give Love on Christmas Day!

I know this is a late entry but I just had to wait until we had our Christmas party last Friday to post this one.

As a parent, I know how important Christmas is to children. My parents have made sure that we get to experience the joy of Christmas, even in the most simple way. They give us something that we need, like new clothes, and we always share Christmas dinner. We also have exchange gifts, so that we learn the value of giving to others and sharing what we have and the feeling of being loved because of receiving them.

Checking out the gifts under the tree with her friends.

My little girl now understands the concept of gifts but she sees a gift as something that is for her, and wrapped in a gift wrapper and tied with a ribbon. So I had to explain to her that not all gifts are for her, that she also must share and give gifts to others. I bought some gift items one day and then I showed them to her, some already wrapped and some, I had to wrap myself. She wanted to open all of them at the same time so I had to explain to her that it is not hers. They belong to someone else. I explained to her that because it is Christmas, she will share gifts with her friends. And then I asked her to help me wrap the rest of the items that she will give to her friends as small gifts. She seemed to understand because she didn't make a fuss.

And my, was I overwhelmed at the Christmas party because she received more than what she gave away. The best part of it all was the wonder and delight in her eyes upon seeing Santa Claus and receiving her gifts!

To Go Piu-Piu-Piu All Day!

I used to love and have in my possession techie gadgets, especially the handheld games. I remember working hard just so I could earn some extra money to purchase them. More often than not, I find myself in gadget shops in the mall, watching out for new product releases and scouring for the best deals before finally buying one.

I guess my fascination for handheld game gadgets started when I got my hands on a brick game. I could go pushing the buttons all day and night just to beat the current high score. Then came the other handheld game consoles. I even remember the Tamagotchi, a handheld digital pet, which was so popular in my teens that almost everyone has them! Now that I am older, my hands are being kept busy with household chores and blogging that I have less and less time and interest for computer games. But if I were to receive a psp for Christmas, I wouldn't mind at all! I think I can still manage and afford to go piu-piu-piu all day now that the winter break is fast approaching.I must confess, my hands have been itching to get their hands on one. And if Santa could read my thoughts, I know that he would make sure that I get one for Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Marce Chris!

Birtdhay wishes goes to a great Mom who has managed to keep a balancing act between being a teacher and student at the same time. I think you are doing great at homeschooling Kyla Marce Chris and I know she feels the same way too. I admire for being able to inspire other Moms and for living your Christian values and passing them on to yourself. May God bless you more this year and the years to come!

Faithful, kind and always true
Reassuring through and through
Insightful in your wise advice
Enthusiastic, sweet and nice
Noted for your smiling face
Dear friend, no one could take your place

A very Happy Birthday Marce Chris!

If you know Marce Chris, do visit her blogs below and give her some birthday love!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

RFID And Why You Need To Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

What is RFID? And why is my post title written in this manner? I absolutely had no idea what RFID is until today and I realized that it has been around for more than fifty years, a technology which was once limited to tracking cattle and is now tracking consumer products all over the world. RFID or Radio Frequency IDentification is a technology that uses communication via radio waves (also known as electromagnetic waves) to exchange data between a reader (a device which interprets the radio waves sent by the RFID tag) and an electronic tag (The RFID tag) attached to an object, for the purpose of identification and tracking. Quite technical huh? Although this technology is very promising and is foreseen to eliminate long lines in grocery stores and airports, there are also some entities who would take advantage of such a technology like the electronic pickpockets.

We all know that the new credit cards and e-passports today contain tiny two way radios called RFID chips. Because of this, millions of us are prone to electronic pickpocketing, because these thieves can just scan our credit card numbers and other personal information without making physical contact. It would be such a horror to find out that you have maxed out on your credit card limit without you even purchasing a thing right?

To stop these electronic pickpockets, we need to arm ourselves. We need to protect our credit cards, electronic passports and other ID cards by blocking the data/information contained in them. How? You would need an rfid wallet for that.With RFID or contactless technology, identity theft and electronic pickpocketing has become like a stroll in the park. And everyone who holds a credit/debit card is at risk! Would you risk it too?

An Early Christmas Party

We attended our first Christmas party of the year last Saturday. It was not really planned that we will join so we just came as we were. A good family friend, who we consider our "uncle" here called us up and invited us to the said Christmas party. It will be attended by other members of the Filipino community so we went. We didn't bring any gifts or food to share on that day because as I have mentioned, it wasn't planned and we received the call on the day of the party.

My little girl, in brown dress, staring at Santa in wonder.

Happy to receive her gift: a bag full of sweet candy treats. Thanks Santa!

The party took place at the Alte Feuerwehrhaus (old fire department building) here in Stuttgart and was attended by the Filipino-German community here. It was an event mainly for the grown ups but they did have a gift-giving for the children portion, where Santa Claus gave away gifts for the children. My little one was so delighted to see Santa Claus: dressed in red, with a fake white beard, a bulging belly, and a bag full of gifts. She kept staring at him in that amazed look of hers and waited to receive her gift. She also had a blast dancing on the dance floor with her Dad.

Having a blast with her Dad on the dance floor.

The next Christmas party will be on Friday, with the Filipino community again, which will be hosted by the Sto. Nino group. The party will be mainly for the children, and food and drinks will be served FREE. We will also have an exchange gift among the members. Which reminds me, I still need to shop for gifts this afternoon, after my classes. 

Dreaming of Spring!

It's a rather cold week this week. The weather forecast says that it's gonna snow the whole day and that it's going to be colder than the previous week. The cold feels so intense maybe because all of us in the house are not feeling well. My husband and I have the colds and my little has been sneezing and coughing for quite sometime now. Going out of the house is quite a task especially if you have to walk in the icy, cold weather and you could just feel as if your nose and ears freezing. It would indeed be a great comfort to come home to a warm home, and lie in a bed that has heated mattress pads, because it would be like you are nestled in a warm cocoon.

I have no choice but to drag myself out of bed today and move. I was already absent from my classes yesterday and I must attend my class today. I cannot allow my body to give in to the illness that has befallen me, otherwise my little girl will get sick too. Furthermore, I need to know from my classmates what I will prepare for our class Christmas party tomorrow. Even my husband, who has not been feeling well since yesterday, dragged himself to work today. 

So on my way to school today, to feel a little less cold and a little bit warmer, I will think of the chirping of the birds, I will imagine the snow melting and things coming to life again: plants and trees growing back their leaves, squirrels and rabbits coming out from their hibernation, the sun coming out and feeling warmer to the cheeks. Isn't it nice to experience the difficulties and the coldness of winter in order to better appreciate the next season that is to come?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TCP#69: The Santa Clause

In less than two weeks, we will be celebrating Christmas. I know everyone is busy with Christmas parties and gift shopping among other things. And I bet each one is expecting to receive some lovely surprise from Santa Claus this year. But before we dig in, let's enjoy our share of movies for this week's theme: Santa Movies here on Tuesday Couch Potatoes this week. My apologies again for posting very late this week.

My pick for this week is the movie The Santa Clause.  What would you do if something bad happened to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve? You would definitely go on a panic right? Who would give the children their gifts if Santa cannot make it? I guess this movie explored that possibility and the result is a very funny yet heartwarming tale of a man who doesn't believe in Santa Claus until he was forced into the situation to become Santa Claus himself. With Tim Allen leading the role as the new Santa Claus, this movie is one great way to spend the Christmas Eve with the family.

Missed this one? Here's a preview:

The Santa Clause (1994)

What's your Santa Movie? Come share it with us this week by entering your TCP entry in the linky below:

Thanks for joining us this week Couchers! Our theme next week will be: A Family Christmas, movies about families celebrating the Christmas season. Hope to see you again next time. Take care and Happy TCP!

For Our Viewing Pleasure

A new LCD TV for Christmas? Not bad! It would just be perfect as a Christmas gift, don't you think? My husband has been looking for television sets on the internet including those from Sony and he has been comparing the many options and features available.

Our TV rack is well on the way. It is scheduled to be delivered this Friday. The only problem is that we don't have a TV set yet. Our internet socket is in another room, and it is very far from the living room and our media receiver and network connections are in that room. So I guess we will be needing HDMI repeaters that can extend up to a 100 feet if we want to enjoy internet TV and high definition shows. Good thing there is that sells just these stuff. An HDMI converter is out of the question because most of the commercially available TVs are now HDMI ready.

I am excited to get our own television set. I wish though that we could get it sooner. You see, we have been using our desktop monitor as a television screen if we want to watch a movie or a television program and it is not so exciting because the screen is small. With a 40 inch LCD TV, the experience will be very different.

Achiew! Bless You!

I just don't like getting sick. A few days ago, Hubby and I were discussing about me being as strong as a horse because I never get sick. And now, I am down with the colds! It would have been better if we didn't discuss it at all. 

I just don't feel so well that I had to skip my classes for the day so that I won't pass the virus to my classmates. I even sent my little girl to Kindergarten because I just can't stop sneezing. After I sent my little girl off, I passed by the pharmacy to buy some OTC medication for colds, some painkillers, tea for the colds and lozenges. I still feel weak and unable to do productive things. I have a very runny nose and my box of tissues is about to run out. My nose is aching from too much sneezing and blowing. My throat is getting sore too. I must eat first, take some medicines, get some sleep and rest before I sit back in front of my PC. Perhaps later, I will have already felt better and I can write some more sensible stuff on this blog.

I hope tomorrow, the colds will just go away and I'll be good as new. I still have so many things to do, I'm afraid I won't be able to finish all of them before Christmas. Bless me and get well soon to all who are feeling under the weather too!

Missing My Long Hair

I had my hair cut short in the summer because it has grown too long and I have been having some hair fall problems. Now that it is winter and cold, I am starting to miss my hair. I wish I could grow it back as soon as possible while it's still winter time. Do you know of any hair care products that makes it possible for a faster hair growth? Oh yes, I want to get longer hair but I also don't want to have hair fall problems again. So I am taking precautions.

If you are having hair fall problems like me, try the following tips:

1. Eat protein-rich food like milk, egg whites and fish. Hair is made up of keratin, a kind of protein so the more protein you consume, the more hair you can grow. 

2. Don't let the fact that your hair is falling out stress you. Stress is one of the main causes of hair fall so just keep your cool and keep a calm mind.

3. Take biotin, Vitamins C, D, A and B and minerals like potassium. These are the best hair vitamins that will keep your tresses intact and strong. 

4. Smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine are generally not good for your body. So if it is not good for your body, it must also be not good for your hair. 
5. Get a regular exercise so your body will sweat. Sweating helps clean and unclogs your hair pores. 

6. Avoid any rough treatment to the tresses. Unnecessary brushing, combing, heating or handling of your mane will weaken the hair at the root level and cause hair fall.
7. Cut off all split ends to allow your mane to grow healthy and to prevent further damage. A trim every eight weeks will be enough to stop the split ends from infecting other newly grown tresses.

8. Keep your hair moisturized by having a hot oil treatment once in a while. 

If these won't stop the hair fall, then there must be another reason why your hair is falling out. Then this is the best time to consult your physician.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Better Be Safe than Sorry

Anywhere in the world, we hear of news about thieves and criminals breaking into houses, or women feeling unsafe and getting stalked, or children being abused by their babysitters. If you have a family, of course you would like to keep your family safe from these bad people. You would provide all the security possible in your home. You see to it that you lock the doors and windows securely so that no entry is possible. You do not just open the door whenever somebody rings and peep first through the peep hole on your door. You even install hidden cameras outside your door or on your foyer or terrace so that you can monitor if somebody is lurking about your house.

Our apartment, although it doesn't have surveillance cameras at the main entrance has security features too. The main door can only be opened if you have a key or someone from the inside opens it for you. Doors to the units have peep holes and double locks to ensure that the doors are locked securely and to prevent break ins.

The police even makes a regular surveillance in residential areas especially if there have been threats and calls for observed unidentified persons lingering in the streets. If the life of a human being is at take, it is always best to take precautionary measures. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Getting Rid of Steinschlag

I have been reminding my husband time and again to have the steinschlag (stone chip) on our car's windshield repaired. There is now a technology that will repair these small stone chips on your vehicle's windshield that takes only about thirty minutes and is usually covered by your car insurance.

So last Monday, on our way home from Frankfurt, he decided to drop by the car glass company and had it checked. When the technician saw where the stone chip was located, he said that he could not repair it because to stone chip is located on the driver's field of vision and recommended that the entire windshield be replaced. Generally, they have a "keine Reparatur möglich" zone (no repair possible zone) or Reparatur verboten (repair not allowed) as in the image shown below:

The costs would still be covered by the insurance since the chip was caused by natural means and we would only need to pay a minimum fee for the services. 

So now, instead of a repaired windshield, we got a new windshield and we no longer have to worry about the stone chips getting bigger and presenting higher risks should we run into an accident.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

A white Christmas is a dream come true for someone like me who comes from the tropics. As an expat, I feel so lucky to live with my family here in Germany, where it really snows in the winter. I always feel delighted when we have snowfall. Although I am getting used to it, I sometimes wish I had a portable ariens snowblower with me each time I take my little girl to the Kindergarten to clear the way. It could really be difficult to tackle a soft snow-covered footpath especially if you are pushing a kid's stroller, and worse if you are going in the uphill direction. Yes, my little girl, although she loves the snow, prefers to sit in her stroller and be pushed rather than walking in it, thank you very much.

But let it snow. This Christmas, I hope the heavens will let it snow. So that then, we could truly call our "first" Christmas here in Stuttgart a white Christmas, the ground covered with fine, white snow. And then perhaps, we can finally make a big snowman somewhere in the park or in the forest. Hihi!

I hope everyone will have a happy and warm Christmas this year!

Mommy Moments: Oh Christmas Tree

As a child, I always find wonder and excitement whenever we put up our Christmas tree. I remember putting it up together with my siblings and parents and that feeling of wonder has stayed with me since then. Now that I am a mother, I too would like my little girl to experience that same kind of wonder and excitement that I felt while putting up the Christmas tree with the family. And I guess she did when we put up our first Christmas tree this year.

It's nothing fancy like those you see on television and in home shops but it's something that we call our own. And the trinkets are small and my little girl put most of them up herself, one branch after another. She used a small ladder so that she could reach the higher branches, with Daddy gladly assisting her. It still doesn't have Christmas lights and we are going to put it up perhaps on the 16th, at the beginning of the novena de Gallo.

How I wish I was able to take photos of her decorating our tree but I too was so busy handing her the Christmas balls and stars and little wooden toys that taking photos slipped off my mind. I so enjoyed watching my little girl enjoying putting up the tree that getting hold of the camera was the last thing on my mind. I guess the wonder of Christmas has never left me after all. And I all find it through the eyes of my little girl.

mommy moments

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