Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lights Set The Mood

Lights can make wonders to any given room. It sets the mood. It creates an atmosphere of coziness, warmth, comfort, romance, or coolness. It also of course serves its purpose during the night and keeps a room well lit. Lighting also plays an important role in setting the right ambiance for any occasion so that it is a necessary part in any events venue. That's why for any big event, there is always the Lighting Director.

I have seen lots of rooms come to life because of the way the lights are set up. I have seen gardens whose beauties are intensified during the night because of lighting. And it is because of this that I am planning on getting some nice Maxim lighting for our dream home. 

I have always been fond of watching "do it  yourself" home improvement shows, and I have seen the importance that lights affords to a home. I have already learned lots of things just by watching these shows and have taken note of the styles and designs that I love. Surely, with the right planning and the right lighting, decorating our future home should not be a problem. And although I know that more money is needed in furnishing a house, I know for sure that if I do the interior designs myself, we will be able to save and be able to invest on good lighting for our house.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Want A Blog Makeover?

I have seen lots of blogs being transformed beautifully by my dear Marce Kaye. I just love how her genius and creative mind works... She knows just what to do with her blog designs and customizes them according to her client's needs.

She designs blogs in Blogger and WordPress platforms so that regardless of which platform your blog is, Kaye will surely be able to do wonders to it. She is very easy to talk to and although she is a Mommy and a wife too, you still get the attention to detail and the commitment that you expect of her. 

Below are just some of the fabulous blog designs that she has made:

Pensive Thoughts

In My Psyche

A Researcher of Life

I too am planning to avail of her great services for my new blog Cups and Lowercase once I get enough funds on my PayPal. Why? Because she is my friend, and friends help one another. Because I have seen her designs and no two blog designs are ever the same. Each one has it's own character and personality and truly reflects what the blog is all about.

And if you want to a free makeover, take a chance at joining her Blog Makeover Giveaway. You could be the lucky person to win her $100.00 worth of blog makeover.

Where Do Chemists Work?

Or chemical engineers for that matter. Many people were asking me where I would work after I graduate from college with my Chemical Engineering course. Some were skeptical that I would land a good job at all, considering the fact that there aren't much chemical industries in the Philippines, and if there are, chemist or chemical engineer positions are already filled up. I am not in it for the money though but for the experience and the opportunity to practice my profession.

Many chemistry and chemical engineering students these days would also be wondering where they will work after they graduate. There are lots of options actually. Some of which I have listed below:

1. Chemical Industry: Majority of those with chemical experience are employed in the process industries, from food, paper and metallurgical processing as well as in petroleum, pharmaceutical, fine and heavy chemical industries.

2. Food Research Industry: The aim of this industry is to develop new products that will help sustain the food supply.. It is through this industry where new processes and systems are developed, like hydroponic systems and hybrid systems.

3. Government Laboratories: Chemists and chemical engineers play an important role in monitoring and protecting the quality of the environment and fulfilling their regulatory responsibilities. Many also do research that is aimed towards fulfilling social needs.

4. Academe: Many chemists and chemical engineers also opt to teach. Most universities require a PhD degree holder majoring in this area and juggle their time between teaching classes, doing research graduate students and fulfilling administrative works.

There are lots more but I am afraid this post has gone long enough. So there really is no need to worry that you would end up jobless. All it takes is for you to know where to find those jobs.

TCP Themes for July

I can't believe it is already July! Before you know it, Christmas is just around the corner! Am I too advanced? Lol! I am just looking forward to our movie meme making it until the end of the year. Will it ever reach that period? I hope so...

So what's in store for the Couchers for the month of July? More TCP themes of course! Below is our TCP Themes explained:

July 6th: Angels
Movies that show about angels: how they touched human hearts, or how they have fallen or movies showing depicting miracles. There are a number of these movies that have made it to the box office and are really inspirational.

July 13th: The Best Chick Flicks
Sometimes also called gal films, these mostly include formulated romantic comedies, (with mis-matched lovers or female relationships), tearjerkers and gal-pal films, movies about family crises and emotional carthasis, some traditional 'weepies' and fantasy-action adventures, sometimes with foul-mouthed and empowered females, and female bonding situations involving families, mothers, daughters, children, women, and women's issues. These films are often told from the female point of view, and star a female protagonist or heroine.

July 20th: Road Films
Movies that have an episodic journey on the open road (or undiscovered trail), to search for escape or to engage in a quest for some kind of goal -- either a distinct destination, or the attainment of love, freedom, mobility, redemption, the finding or rediscovering of oneself, or coming-of-age (psychologically or spiritually).

July 27th: Slightly Epic, Slightly Historic
Epics include costume dramas, historical dramas, war films, medieval romps, or 'period pictures' that often cover a large expanse of time set against a vast, panoramic backdrop. Epics often share elements of the elaborate adventure films genre. They take a historical or imagined event, mythic, legendary, or heroic figure, and add an extravagant setting and lavish costumes, accompanied by grandeur and spectacle, dramatic scope, high production values, and a sweeping musical score. They are also often a more spectacular, lavish version of a biopic film.  Some 'sword and sandal' films (Biblical epics or films occurring during antiquity) qualify as a sub-genre.

Hope to see you all next month for Tuesday Couch Potatoes!

I'm Working On It!

Losing weight can be a really tough job. I have been going to the gym, on and off that is, for a month now. And although I have seen some progress (I can already fit into some of my jeans!), they are rather insignificant because I am still too far from my target weight. Right now, I am working hard to shed some weight. When am I going to reach my target weight? That is the BIG question!

Here's my usual fitness routine:
1. Warm Up: 5 - 10 minutes on the recumbent bike
2. Cardio: 50 minutes on the Cross-trainer
3. Lower ab Workout: 3 sets of sit ups or less
4. Cool Down: 10 minutes on the treadmill

I try to sweat it all out, going to the Fitness Studio at least twice a week but I guess it is not enough. I haven't gone on a disciplined diet yet and I know that in order to be successful, I have to go on a diet too. I have to cut down on my rice intake... one cup at first and then half a cup after my stomach has adjusted. I miss those days in the Philippines when I still get to play badminton with my colleagues. That was the time when I really lost weight and I was so slim. Will I make it? I hope so... I certainly hope so!

Another TCP Giveaway!

We are now already into the second half of the year 2010 and Tuesday Couch Potatoes is still strong, many thanks to you my dear Couchers. I know I promised to have another giveaway last month but since I wasn't able to post about the giveaway, I am just going to make random drawing from all the TCP entries made for the month of June. Today is the last Tuesday for this month's TCP so be sure to join us for a chance at bringing home one of three $10.00 in Paypal cash prizes.

Yes, I have decided to just send you the money instead of hosting another Own It On DVD Giveaway so that more Couchers can have a chance at bringing home a prize. I know it is not much but $10.00 is still $10.00. So what are you waiting for? Stop being a couch potato for a moment and start writing and posting your TCP entry.

Remember, you could be one of the three lucky Couchers who will win the $10.00.

Winners will be selected randomly via Random.Org using three pre-selected numbers. I will draw the winners next Tuesday, July 6 so good luck everyone!

Of Getting Old

They say that life begins at forty, but for me, life begins at 30.
I am not getting any younger. In fact, I am already thirty. Double that I will then join the countless other senior citizens who are hoping to reap the rewards of all their hard work. As one gets older, the health risks are also getting higher and chances for landing a good job are getting slimmer. And sometimes, accidents happen so that while we are still strong and healthy, we should prepare for the unexpected. How? By securing our future and availing of a good number of insurance plans, one of which should include ssdi or social security disability insurance. Call me crazy but having this kind of insurance will assure you that you will still be able to feed yourself and your family should a rather unfortunate event in your life render you unable to work. When it comes to financial security, having insurances such as this is way better than not having any at all!

TCP#45: Saving Private Ryan

Hello everyone! Welcome to the June 29th edition of the Tuesday Couch Potatoes. Wahhh!!! I am running late again for my TCP entry. My apologies! So many things happening all at the same time and the summer heat is making me weak.

Anyway, on to our theme for this week: Matt Damon Movies. I know you all love the guy. He is just such a great actor that you just can't help but watch his films. It was Good Will Hunting that launched him in the movie industry but he is a very versatile actor, playing a different variety of roles but he is famous for the Bourne series, Ocean's trilogy and Saving Private Ryan. Aside from him being a really good actor, I find his nose very attractive. I don't know... there is just something about his nose that is charming and boyish at the same time. Hehe!

And without further ado, my pick for this week is Saving Private Ryan where Matt Damon plays the roles of Private James Francis Ryan,   Perhaps many of you have already seen this movie but it was one of the many war movies that I really loved watching. It has got lots of drama and is an attempt to save the last of the Ryan brothers who has gone in the French countryside.

Truly, in the Last Great Invasion of the Last Great War, The Greatest Danger for Eight Men was Saving... One.

What's your Matt Damon movie? Come share it with us here by leaving the link URL to your TCP entry in the linky below:

Thank you for joining us on TCP this week. Next week, July 6th, we will start another whole new month for TCP and our theme will be: Angels. Hope to see you all again next week my dear Couchers! Till next Tuesday, take care and Happy TCP!

Monday, June 28, 2010

This Blog Is Two!

Exactly two years and four days ago, I discovered the joys and wonders of blogging. Thanks to good friends who encouraged me to blog about the things I love, I have found a very worthy hobby that allows me to express myself in a medium that can reach thousands of readers to different parts of the world with just a simple search on the Internet or just a click. 

Since then, I have found good friends, earned some on the side, and earned a good number of regular readers and followers. But of course, it entailed a lot of hard work on my part. To maintain readership, I had to regularly update my blog and think of interesting topics to write about. I had to learn how to read scripts if I want to give my blog template some make over. I learned a lot of technical stuff that I never imagined I would learn. I also had to return my readers' comments and visit other blogs too because in this very competitive blogging world, I also learned that I had to return the favor. Other online tasks have kept me busy these past few weeks though so that I find very little time to comment back, visit other meme entries, and blog hop.

I know I had to do something about my seeming "absence" if I want to maintain my traffic and my rankings. I hope my friends and readers understand.

So I guess it's a Happy 2nd Blogversary to me then!

Wilhelma The Second Time Around

It didn't rain the second time we visited the Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Garden last Saturday and that was a good thing. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I have got lots of photos to share, like the wonderful Fuschias, which I blogged about a few days ago.

Although it was the family's second visit, there is still much to be discovered in this 70 acre (280,000 square metres) park. Did you know that the size of Wilhelma alone can take up the area of some 40 soccer fields? That is a lot of soccer fields, but the space is enough for the growing number of animals and botanical collections at Wilhelma.

Last year, we didn't pay much attention to the STARS in the zoo: the ape collection which consists of the gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, and chimpanzees but this time around, we got to have a closer look. My PIL enjoyed looking at the primates. The ape houses were as expected, packed with local as well as foreign guests. 

And of course, we cannot just ignore the winter animals: penguins, polar bears and sea lions that all looked so exhausted and warm because of the hot weather. There are also the dessert animals who look so happy to feel the heat again.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Photos, Photos, and more Photos

It has been a little over two days since my parents in law arrived here in Germany. They are trying their best to adjust to the time but they just can't help feeling tired and sleepy especially if it is already past 1:00PM here. And they would wake up at 2:00AM especially Tatay. He would even take a bath already at this hour! I guess they are slowly but surely adjusting to our time here and perhaps in three days, they will have already adjusted to our time zone.

To keep them from sleeping too much during the day, I would take them out for short walks or show them around the city. Last Friday, we went to downtown Stuttgart and Nanay and Tatay were no longer sleepy. We also took them to the Wilhelma Zoological Garden today and they enjoyed watching all the animals and flowers. I showed them the photos that I took since they arrived last Thursday. Good thing our BD player can read SD cards so that I was able to play a slideshow of all the photos. We enjoyed watching the photos and we are going to transfer them later into on CD so that they too will have their very own copy. We were planning to have the photos printed here but decided to have them printed in the Philippines instead because it is way cheaper there. Nanay could just select the photos from among the hundreds of photos that she want to have printed and place them in a photo album.

I know there will be more photos in the coming days. For now, I must make an itinerary to ensure that they get to see as much of Germany and the Schengen states and be able to capture all those wonderful memories on film, errr digital medium.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Those Lovely Fuschias

Today, we went to the Wilhelma in Stuttgart, the only Zoological Garden in Germany that offers a unique combination of fabulous architecture, flora and fauna. It was different this time around because I am the photographer. I have full control of Niki so that I can just shoot away. 

The flowers of summer are in bloom this time around in Wilhelma and you will find below some of the photos that I took while we were there. I am not a good photographer but I hope you like my shots.

I was particularly interested in the one that they called the Fuschia or Fuschia flower. There was an entire house solely dedicated for this shruby kind of flower, majority of which are native to South and Central America. These exotic flowers have two-tone brilliant colors and are quite delicate so that they are best grown in hanging baskets. 

They are popular garden shrubs and are low maintenance, which means that they can live for years with a minimum amount of care. The original pronunciation from the word's Germany origins is "fook-sya" but most English speakers tend to say "fyusha".

Lovely flowers aren't they? They make perfect gifts. They are great as floral arrangement for weddings too. When I finally get the chance to build our very own home, I would definitely create my own garden with lots of fuschias in it.

Do You Pay Express?

In some stores here, especially the very big and busy ones, waiting in line in order to be able to pay can sometimes be a pain. Especially if you have a tired, hungry and whining baby in tow and you have a lot of stuff to pay for, waiting in line is that last thing you would ever do. Sometimes, tempers rise and sometimes, cashiers can be too slow.

That's why I try to avoid long lines whenever I can and choose to pay in the express lanes, where I can scan my purchased items myself using a hand-held bar code scanner like the Symbol LS2208. At first, I didn't know how to use them but they are actually very easy. You just hold the scanner, point it to the bar code and then press the trigger-like button. The LED light will indicate if the product has been scanned properly. RED if it is not yet scanned. GREEN if it is already scanned. Just a few minutes into scanning my items and I am already done. Wow, that was fast!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What's Inside My Bag?

I was thinking of not joining GT today because I don't have a proper bag to present. I just realized that whenever we go out, I always have Samantha's diaper bag in tow with some of my personal stuff inserted in the pockets just before we leave the house: my wallet, my Handy or mobile phone, my house keys, Niki (my DSLR camera, which I carry with me most of the time), my rosary beads and my hand lotion.

But I do have a dream bag. The Ginger Epiphanie bag. The one shown above is my absolute dream bag. It's not really a designer bag but it is made for camera whores like me. With this bag, I wouldn't have to worry anymore about my camera because it will be safely nestled inside. Now, isn't this bag just fab or what? I keep telling myself that I would purchase one for myself but I keep forgetting. Plus, my online earnings have a far greater purpose. So perhaps I would receive this as a birthday gift? If hubby could only read this.. Hihi!

And I hope I will be lucky and get the $20 that Anik has promised she will give to one Girl Talker. Then, I would only need $144.99 to set aside. :D
So, what's inside your bag?

How to Find Savings on Rising Drug Costs

Fighting the Rising Cost of Drugs

Prices for prescription drugs have been going up recently, and the economy has been going down. People are searching for ways to save on these costs by using coupons, discount codes, and free prescription cards. Free prescription cards can be obtained through doctors' visits a means of getting access to a prescription for free as part of a marketing campaign; it's just like getting a prescription sample, except you pick it up at the pharmacy instead of directly from the doctor. Another way to save is to fill out a discount or free card form from a drug manufacturer. You can check with your doctor to see if it matches your prescribed medication, and then try out the brand-name drug being advertised.

The Need for Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs have become a staple of American life and health. Every year, more Americans are taking prescriptions, all the way from newborn infants to centenarians. Drugs account for around 11 percent of health spending in America. For people who are not on a prescription plan, health insurance, or medical assistance, the costs of drugs can be very high, and the need to find out ways to save are essential to make ends meet. Free prescription cards and offers for discounts can be found through online sites. There are also ways to legally purchase prescription drugs online, and many people attest to the savings that can be found. The biggest worry is about the source of the drugs, and whether they're generics, or originating from the United States. However, there are online retailers that use free prescription cards who verify their sources, and the validity and legality of selling prescriptions online and are deliverable to your door.

Twilight Saga: New Moon

I have a confession to make. I know I am a self-confessed movie buff and proud host of  the movie meme, Tuesday Couch Potatoes. But when it comes to the latest movies, I must admit that I am lagging behind. Why? 

Because I only managed to watch the second sequel of the Twilight Saga two weeks ago and it was great! The love story of Edward and Bella is becoming more complicated as it is with Jacob in the scene. The three make a good love triangle. New Moon was a nice movie although I wanted to see more of Edward here. But I guess the focus of New Moon is about the men-wolves and their role in the vampire world. I also thought that Jacob looked better with long hair. Why can't he still have long hair even if he is already a man-wolf? That would have made him stand out more among his man-wolf friends. I can't wait to see Bella's reply to Edward's proposal. 

Eclipse will be shown here in Germany in July. There is an upcoming Twilight Saga triple feature to be shown on July 10 in Corso Kino International, a cinema that shows films in the original English version. I hope Hubby and I get to watch it. I think we can go on a Saturday movie date now that Nanay and Tatay are here. They can babysit for our little girl. Hehe! I'm excited. Looking forward to it!

Dell coupons Give you Quality While Saving you Money

Dell has been a long standing example of fine computer technology since 1985 when it produced its first custom designed computer called the "Turbo PC." Since then, Dell has grown vastly while continuing to excel in new technologies and customer satisfaction. One of the best known Dell products is the advanced micro devices (AMD) microprocessor, which has become so powerful that other companies use them in their own computers.

When you buy a Dell laptop, you are paying for high quality and powerful technology. Dell coupons give you the option to save money, but still get the high quality you desire. Some coupons can save you as much as 29 percent off Dell laptops and $400 off desktop computers.

Dell offers a wide variety of laptops to fill every need, from the Inspiron 15 -- made for everyday casual use at home -- to the top of the line Studio 17 created for high tech business use. The Studio 17 comes equipped with a 17.3 inch full high-definition screen and web cam as well as enhanced sound. If you don't need a high-definition screen and want to use the laptop as long as possible without plugging in, then the Studio 15 is your choice. It has an enhanced wireless network card and longer battery life, perfect for road trips and coffee shops.

If you are shopping for a desktop, Dell is currently offering 30 percent off their Studio XPS 100, the first of their computers with an AMD 6 processor. The Stuido XPS 100 is specially made for creating high definition movies, advanced photo editing and using graphical intense programs.

Ordering more than one Dell computer during these sales? You can personalize the laptops by selecting from different colors, processors, operating systems and much more.

They've Arrived

We had a very early day today. We had to leave at 3:30AM for Frankfurt International Airport to pick up my parents-in-law. All three of us, hubby, me and our little girl, are still very sleepy because we only had about 3 hours of sleep. I think our little one knows that her grandparents are coming because she refused to sleep early last night. And when I dressed her up so that we can leave early this morning, she didn't make a fuss and even sat up in bed to make it easier for me to change her clothes. When we were inside the car, I told her to catch some sleep because it's about a two-and-a-half hours travel but she tried with all her might not to fall asleep in the car. She finally gave in to sleep though 30 minutes before we arrived Frankfurt Airport.

We arrived at the airport at around 5:30 in the morning. Since it was still early, we decided to catch some sleep in the car. We woke up thirty minutes after to my little girl's crying. Perhaps she got scared because when she opened her eyes, all she saw were cars.

Anyway, we went to the arrivals and waited for Nanay and Tatay. Their plane has already landed and we were waiting for them at the Arrivals gate. A few minutes after, we saw them... all smiles and happy to see their grandchild. I think even my little girl was happy and excited because she immediately made the Mano Po when I told her to and then allowed her Lolo and Lola to carry her. 

I am glad they arrived safely. Now, they are resting. They had quite a long trip. And I am happy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

For Our Viewing Pleasure

I love to watch movies but because I am limited to watching movies here at home, I might as well have a movie experience similar to that in cinemas. We have movie marathons every now and then, especially weekend nights and then a movie once or twice a week, depending on our moods. We rent a movie online and it arrives by post so that there is no need for us to go out. For our favorites, we usually buy a copy of the film. I sometimes prepare popcorn or chips and then some drinks or ice cream if I feel like it. We can darken our living room by rolling down the shutters to set the mood.

We have a wide LCD TV just big enough for us to clearly watch the action, which by the way came with the house when we got here. I have one problem though. Our tv stand seems too small for our tv. I should search for tv stands where I can put our tv, media receivers and blue ray player, dvd & bd collections and then some home accessories in. Once I have that, I can stop bugging hubby to treat me for a movie. Why go to movies when you can enjoy it at home, right? It will also make one side of our wall "un-empty", if there is such a word. I think it would also be an investment should we decide to stay here. We wouldn't have to buy another tv stand when we move to another house.

Mercedes Benz Museum

We finally got to visit the Mercedes Benz Museum after a year and two months of living here in Stuttgart, thanks to our friend who came to visit us last weekend.

The Mercedes Benz Museum, located at the Neckar-Park in Stuttgart, surpasses many dimensions and is the world's largest museum displaying exhibits of just one brand. It is one of Stuttgart's unique attractions and a new city landmark, with it's intertwined double helix structure. It was designed by the team of architects UN Studio van Berkel & Bos in Amsterdam.

It has a vast exhibition area of 16,500 sq.m., where all the eras and milestones from 120 years of Mercedes-Benz history are represented. The museum is not only a Mecca for automobile fans of the world, but also for those interested in architecture.

From the outside, the museum appears to have three storeys, but by virtue of its spiral construction the interior actually has nine different levels. On display are some 80 passenger vehicles, 40 racing and record-breaking cars and 40 utility vehicles.

If you are planning for a visit, be prepared for the ride of your life and quite a fascinating journey through time.

Contact Information:
Mercedes-Benz Museum
Mercedesstrasse 100 (next to the main factory)
70372 Stuttgart

Exhibit hours: Tue-Sun and public holidays (9a.m. - 6p.m.)
Closed: Mondays
Admission: Adults €8.00, Children 4-15yo €4.00
How to get there: Buses 51, 56 or S1 train going to Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Huge Kitchen Is A Must

Every wife dreams of one day having her own dream home built. I am no exception. Even before my Hubby and I got married, I have envisioned how our home would look like. But having been exposed to different countries and the way they design their homes has also made a lot of "renovations" to the initial plans that I have in mind.

I have always dreamed of having a big kitchen because most of the kitchens that I have used so far are quite small. I find it difficult to move around and always end up feeling buried in all my cooking. I have always wanted a large work table with a huge stainless steel sink beside it at the center of the kitchen and I have already thought of how the sink would look like. I love large stainless steel sinks because from time to time, I love to host gatherings at our home. A huge sink will be perfect for all the cookwares, utensils, etc. that need to washed.

Why stainless steel sink? Because they are always very durable, will never rust and can be used for a very long time. I prefer those made from high quality 304 steel with 18:10 chromium to nickel content, and with a brushed finish to hide small scratches that occur due to wear and tear. And best of all, these kitchen sinks have a very reasonable price and will surely last a lifetime.

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