Friday, October 21, 2011

A Friend Got Engaged! What Should You Give?

I have always loved weddings... I always find them beautiful, sweet and perfect in their own way. But I love hearing stories of the engagement, and how the relationship blossomed, better. How the groom proposed, whether it was love at first sight, or if it started with friendship. Being a romantic, I love watching sappy old movies about weddings and engagements.

I learned some high school friends just got engaged and are now planning for their wedding. It would really be a great idea to send them engagement gifts but I really have no idea what to give since I don't know their interests as a couple. But perhaps I can play safe by looking for a personalized engagement present that will somehow show them that I care and something that will be memorable for them.

It could be a heart wedding canvas like in the photo shown above, with their names written inside the heart and text below it that said: "It doesn't matter where you go in life... What you do... Or how much you have...  It's who you have beside you." That is just sweet right?

Many of my friends have already been married. I wasn't able to come to their weddings. But maybe I can make up for it by giving them personalized gifts. After all, there will always be wedding anniversaries, and they are a good excuse to send such a heart wedding canvas their way. :D

When the SSB Goes On Strike...

It was very short notice. I learned just three days ago that there will be a transport strike for the subway trains and buses yesterday. I never experienced how difficult it would be to commute without the Ubahn and buses, until yesterday.

Photo Source:
I had an important class to attend to yesterday so that it was important for me to get there on time. I had to hurdle many obstacles yesterday just to get to the venue of the class, which is located not within the university but at the wastewater treatment and research facility in a small town a few kilometers away from the university.

My little girl didn't want to go to the kindergarten yesterday but I was glad that she agreed after explaining to her that there will be no trains. After bringing her to the kindergarten, I had to walk going to the S-bahn station, which took almost thirty minutes. Thankfully, the S-bahn trains are not affected by the strike so that I can still get to the university. Then I had to run to catch the bus going to the Büsnau. I thought I would make it when I saw the bus loading some passengers while running up the stairs from the S-bahn station going to the bus stop. I ran and waved for the bus driver to wait for me for a while but just as I was only about 10 meters away, it drove off! Grrr!!!! With shaking legs and a growing frustration, I sat on the bench waiting for the next bus to come, which came more than 30 minutes late! I want to curse them all!

I know I could have just called a taxi but since I was being frugal, I held my ground at the bus stop. I could have just walked through the forest from the university to büsnau but I was too exhausted and I don't want to walk alone in that forest, not that it is dangerous but I just want to be safe.

So in the end, I waited for the next bus to come and I arrived at my destination at past twelve. I was lucky though because they haven't started yet.

That experience had me wishing I could drive and that we have another car. Hehe!

Ready for Halloween?

Halloween is fast approaching... I wonder if I will ever muster enough courage to go to a Halloween party all dressed up in a costume. A friend of mine once joked that she would wear a skimpy catwoman costume even if she has a big belly due to a recent pregnancy... She added that her big belly would make it all the more scary! I actually praise her for her daring attitude... Maybe she can disguise herself and wear inexpensive wigs so that she will not be recognized? Hehehe! I wonder if she will ever do that since I know she is just jesting. But who knows, right?

As early as now, I see some houses with pumpkins on their doorstep. I think it will be a fun activity to make a pumpkin lantern with my little girl so I guess I will head out later to the garden center and buy a few pumpkins. Maybe I will make it three. Two large ones for me and my hubby and one small one for my little girl. Then maybe we can carve it together this weekend. I am sure she will have lots of fun scraping out the seeds and soft flesh of the pumpkin. Yup, I think that will be a good activitiy for the family to do. It has been a while since we did something together, what with me being busy in school and my husband at work. We could use that as an opportunity to bond together too!

Halloween party or not, I think Halloween is a good reason to celebrate the autumn season. And since my little girl gets scared of monsters and scary sound effects already, it will be better to keep the mood light and interesting for her.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

"Übung macht den Meister"

There is still so much to learn about the German language... Although I have been here for more than two years now, I still have got so much to learn. Since I don't really practice German at home because we want to speak in our dialect for the sake of our little girl, I can only catch new words or phrases from the TV while watching shows with my little girl. Reading German children's book also help, since I get some new vocabulary there. Still there is so much to learn... And as they say, "Übung macht den Meister"

So I guess beginning today, I will try to learn a new word or phrase to enrich my vocabulary and maybe share it with my husband so that everyday, we have something new to add into our vocabulary chest, which by the way is in dire need of filling. I love the German equivalent of vocabulary: WORTSCHATZ.... "Wort" literally meaning word, and "schatz" meaning treasure.

Perhaps I will also be taking a German course after all to fill this need to improve my German language skills. Hopefully, I get accepted to the lecture, which starts next week. There is a reason for everything after all. I hope I get to choose my lectures well for this semester and be able to manage my time wisely.

After all, "Übung macht den Meister."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn And It's Promise

Summer flew me by so fast. I guess I just was so busy studying and worrying about my exams so that I never really had the chance to enjoy the warm summer. On a very nice day, I was stuck inside the study halls instead, buried in the world of solid waste, waste water and process engineering. I even missed going to the Canstatter Volkfest with my family and had to trade weekends spending time with them just to study some more.

Losing your way can be an exciting and beautiful experience too! This was proof of it!
Now, it is already October and before I know it, the third semester and the lecture period has already started. I never really has the time to relax and now, I am feeling under the weather. Maybe it's my body's way of telling me that I needed a break. It has been more than three months now since we went somewhere to relax and recharge. Even going on a road trip had been impossible for us the past few months.

Along the River Neckar... On a road trip to Heidelberg, Autumn of 2010.
I would love to see the German countryside at this time of the year. It has a nostalgic and golden glow and although the days are beginning to be shorter and the nights longer, I love watching the sky glow golden red as the sun sets on the horizon. I love the feel and sound of the fallen leaves as my feet step on them, made crisp by the cool autumn air. And although it can sometimes be gloomy, wet and gray, autumn promises frost and snow.

Laternefest 2010 at my little girl's kindergarten. It was a new and fun experience for us.
I look forward to the Laternenfest at my little girl's kindergarten which takes place at this time of the year. I look forward to the day when will create her own lantern by ourselves. I look forward to snapping photos of my little girl enjoying a day at the park or the forest, running around, throwing leaves. I look forward to lazy weekends spent at home, watching DVDs or TV series or reading books, and sipping hot chocolate. Or maybe we can do something new this autumn, like visit the museums on cold, rainy days.

There is indeed still a lot to do. I just hope I won't be swept away with school work and in the flow of things.

To "Get Into Everywhereness"

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have always wanted a cellular phone provider that will allow you to have a clear and strong reception wherever you go. I feel that need most when I learned that my parents are moving back to my father's hometown. Communicating with them lately has been difficult since I can only send SMS messages, which they sometimes don't receive due to poor network reception. Calling them is IMPOSSIBLE! The weak reception doesn't allow my call to get through. It really is sad.

Then I learned about TracFone, and their signature motto "Get into Everywhereness". The service they promise stays true to this attractive branding.  It is surprising to learn that if you want to own a cell phone with them, there are no surprises such as contracts that will tie you down, credit checks that can sometimes be embarassing, and activation and cancellation fees that can be expensive. I love that fact that they have a wide selection of cellular phones from the simple "candy bar" phones to the more sophisticated "smart" phones, all these at a least expensive cost. A clear reception and excellent connectivity is guaranteed all throughout America too. Ain't that just great? And what's really attractive with the TracFone service is the International Long Distance. You can call internationally at no extra cost to over 60 international destinations. Since we are overseas, I could get my parents the Senior Value so that we could still keep in touch, in a very affordable manner.

If only this wonderful wireless service company exists in my home country, that would make it easier for us to catch up on our daily lives...

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Little Sweet Lady

It has been a while since I updated this blog. Maybe I am having a writer's block... or I have lost the interest in blogging? Perhaps I am just going through a phase called "I don't want to blog just because". Or maybe I don't have anything to blog about?

But alas! I do have tons of things to blog about... like my little girl who is such a wonderful little thing who just keeps on amazing us in many different ways. Like the time when she drew Biboi... a cute figure of a boy with a large head, stick feet and hands, and a very cute smile. She can draw flowers now too. I have a bunch of her drawings all waiting to be displayed in our hallway. And do you know what her most favorite activity is, aside from eating ice cream? It's dancing ballet. At her age, she has so many ballet moves that she imitated from watching Angelina Ballerina, a cartoon series about a mouse who loves to dance ballet. We are even thinking of enrolling her at a ballet school next year, when she turns four, at one of the ballet schools here. We'll see if she will be able to sustain her interest in ballet until then.

She also loves JoNaLu... also a cartoon program on TV and she loves to sing and dance along with the characters. She also loves the online games that this program offers. The games allow for audio and movement coordination, listening comprehension, and identifying different sounds. She is now also able to memorize dance moves and songs from the website itself and she would entertain us with them when she gets bored playing or drawing.

And did I tell that she also loves storytelling? She would get a book and would ask me to read it for her. After I am done reading it, we would exchange roles and she would "read" and "tell me the story" out loud. Isn't she a cutie?

Everytime I look at her, I can see how much she has from a very tiny baby. And she doesn't even like it anymore that we call her Baby Samantha.She would  say "I am no longer a baby", in German of course. But in our hearts and minds, she will always be our baby Samantha.

Friday, October 7, 2011

One Step At A Time

Getting a job in a country where you do not speak their language is a big challenge for me. Why? Because communication is very important, most especially at the workplace. To hurdle this challenge, first things first. Learn the language. And so learn I did. I went to a language school and there learned the basics and then went on to attend a six-week intensive German course. Then I realized I need to earn a Masters Degree if I wish to work in my desired workplace since my Chemical Engineer license is not recognized here. So I am attending Graduate School right now and going on my third semester. Thankfully, the program I applied for is taught in English so understanding the course content and the lectures is not a problem.

So what's next? Just wait and see? No, definitely not. To get a step closer to my desired job, I am planning to apply as a student assistant in one of the many institutes at the university. Hopefully, I will be accepted and then I could get my work permit from the Auslanderbehörde (Immigration Office). Once I finish my Masters, I will definitel apply to the many different environmental firms. I could even get one of those Night Audit Clerk Jobs while I am waiting for the right employer. It should be fun... And I get to practice my German with the hotel guests and brush up on my English with the foreign guests.

I haven't experienced doing the real jobhunting part yet so I don't really know how difficult getting a job here in my part of the planet will be. But I guess once I set my heart out to getting a job, I will be able to tell. Until then, I will just enjoy the fact that I have a very good husband who has an equally good job to support us. There's really no rush... I am taking things one step at a time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fun Facts About Travel and the Human Body

You may have noticed that I have been posting some infographics in some of my blog posts. I guess I always enjoy learning some new facts about different subjects. I have got two new infographics for you. Since the family and I love to travel, I thought this one about travel is pretty interesting. It is interesting to note that only 3 European countries were listed in the top ten travel destinations, but I am not surprised if Paris, France is on top. What's more interesting? That the Germans spend the most on vacations. I wonder why...

All About Travel

Travel and Vacation Data Visualized
Check out more resources at

Another interesting and fun fact is about the human body. I am no biologist or anatomist but it's fun to know geeky anatomical stuff every now and then. Did you know that the surface area of a human lung is equal to a tennis court"? Did you also know that "Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest?" Maybe it's because on Mondays we go back to work and the stress that goes with it? Hihi!

The Human Body

Larger ViewRadiology Technician - Body
Via here:

Knowing all these new info...doesn't that make you feel a little bit smarter? Because I do. Feel a little smarter that is!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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