Friday, December 30, 2011

Off to Schwarzwald for Winter Fun in 2012

The New Year 2012 is just a few days away and I am excited because I know it is going to be a great one! I don't know the challenges that may come our way but I am confident and secure knowing that I will not face them alone. I have a wonderful husband and a bubbling little girl and a great God to back me up after all.

Another thing that I look forward to is our first family outing for the year 2012. We are going to skiing baby! Together with a friend's family, we are going to Schwarzwald and try our luck skiing or snowboarding. I am sure it is going to be fun... cold but fun! We will be staying in Pension Haus Inge, located in Aitern in the South of Schwarzwald (Black Forest) and just near the Belchen Ski Region. We initially wanter to stay in a Ferienwohnung (holiday flat) but all of them are already fully booked for the winter season. I guess I will have to book a little earlier if we want to go skiing again in the next winter season. Near the pension house is a ski and snowboard school where we can learn the basics. There is also the Rodelbahn Hasenhorn where we can go sledding if we get tired of skiing or snowboarding. Even our wooden sleds are now ready! Wheeee!!!!

And what's with summer? Well, I wouldn't mind going on an all inclusive vacation caribbean! That would really be great since I miss going to the beach and having fun in the sun. But since it is winter, having fun in the snow is a very great idea indeed!

Our 2011 Christmas Meal

This year's Christmas meal consisted of healthy and simple Filipino dishes, mainly seafood. It has been over a year since we feasted on tuna kinilaw so that we bought some fresh tuna at Elma's Fischhandel. If you live in Central Europe, eating fresh seafood is a rarity but if you know where to find them, you are lucky! So I guess we are lucky too.

So here's what we had: garlic shrimps, deep fried fish, tuna kinilaw and vegetable spring rolls.

The shrimps and the fish, we also got from Elma's.We love shrimps with the head and shells on because it is more tasty compared to the shelled ones. I bought Langustino shrimps, the large ones for the garlic shrimps, and Dorade Rose fish and deep fried them. The vegetable spring rolls was relatively easy to make. I sauteed onions, some ground pork, mung bean sprouts, carrot strips, and beans together  and flavored to taste. Then I wrapped them in spring roll sheets, which I got from Asian shops, and then fried in vegetable oil.

For dessert, I made chocolate muffins. My little girl helped decorate them with lady bugs and flowers.

I finished preparing for our Christmas meal in no time. It was a simple but glorious meal, shared with the family.

Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas celebration too!

More info on Elma's Fischhandel at
Location: Neckarwiesenstr.5, 70188 Stuttgart(Großmarkt)
Opening Hours: Mondays: closed,
Tuesdays-Fridays.: 5:00AM-6:00PM, Saturdays: 5:00AM-2:00PM

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ice Skating Fun

My little girl loves to try new things. There was this episode on Special Agent Oso on ice skating and my little girl, who so loves winter and snow excitedly, asked me if I can buy her ice skates so she can go ice skating. I think it was still summer when she asked.

And now that it is winter, she asked me again. Since buying her ice skates is out of the question, we took her to the ice skating rink instead. Hubby accompanied her in the skating rink since I don't know how to skate. We just rented since we don't have any idea yet whether she would like it or not. She had a difficulty balancing and so we also rented an "Eiszwerg" or a dwarf that she could hold on to while skating so that she won't fall down.

While watching them holding on to the Eiszwerg, errr skating, I daydreamed of my little girl all grown and being very good at figure skating, and winning lots of sport trophies. The daydream soon came to an end when hubby and my little girl approached me on the side of the rink and my little girl said, "Mommy, ich bin so schwer bei Schlittschuh laufen" which means "Mommy I find ice skating very difficult." Although she found it difficult, I can see in her eyes that she wants to try ice skating again. Maybe next time. When she is a bit older. All she needs is a good lesson, and lots of practice.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movies Your Kids Will Love This Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. In one week, we will all be celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Lord and savior. If you do not want to spend your Christmas break stuck at home, why not go to the movies? Here are some films that your kids, and even the entire family will love!

Arthur Christmas

Year: 2011
Country: Großbritannien / USA
Director: Barry Cook, Sarah Smith
Actor: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen
Length: ca. 99 min
Age release: FSK 0

Story: The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: 'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?' The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic - a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns.

Happy Feet 2

Year: 2011
Country: Australia
Director: George Miller
Actor: (Voices) Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Hank Azaria, Matt Damon, Alecia Moore (Pink)
Length: ca. 100 min
Age release: FSK 0

Story: The sequel to “Happy Feet,” the Academy Award®-winning animated smash hit, “Happy Feet Two” returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica in superb 3D. Mumble, The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son, Erik, is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven—a penguin who can fly! Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role model. But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces. Erik learns of his father’s “guts and grit” as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures—from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals—to put things right.

Puss In Boots in 3D

Year: 2011
Country: USA
Director: Chris Miller
Actor: (Voices) Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris
Length: ca. 90 min
Age release: FSK 0

Story: Long before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover and outlaw Puss in Boots becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town. This is the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend... The Boots.

And last but not least:

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Year: 2011
Country: USA
Director: Mike Mitchell
Actor: Jason Lee, Jenny Slate, David Cross, Alyssa Milano, Andy Buckley, Luisa D'Oliveira, Tucker Albrizzi, Lauren Gottlie, Jeremy Palko
Length: ca. 87 min
Age release: FSK 0

Story: The vacationing Chipmunks and Chipettes are turning a luxury cruise liner into their personal playground, until they become 'chipwrecked' on a remote island. As the 'Munks and Chipettes try various schemes to find their way home, they accidentally discover their new turf is not as deserted as it seems.

Have fun with the family at the movies!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Eyeglasses and It's History

The eyes, they say, are the windows to one's soul. Look a person in the eye, and you can see if he/she is sincere. This is something that I believe is true. But what if you yourself cannot see clearly? That, then, becomes a problem.

Thankfully, eyeglasses came into the picture, making it possible for those even with eyesight problems see things clearly. The origin of this very clever piece of craftsmanship dates back around 65AD (or maybe earlier) in Italy and they weren't even in the form that we are now familiar with. Early reports said that this device originated from a glass globe filled with water used as a magnifier by a Roman philosopher to read "all the books of Rome". In the year 1000, the crafty glass blowers of Italy were credited for producing devices very similar to the magnifiying lens that we have today.

It is still the Italians who are believed to have created the first form of eyeglasses in the late 13th century. And did you know that eyeglasses were called "spectacles" in the olden days? The first two artworks depicting a subject wearing these so called "spectacles" were the ones from Italian artists Tommaso da Modena and Crivelli in 1352. The former painted a series of frescoes where one subject is a monk who was reading manuscripts with eyeglasses perched on his nose and the latter painted Hugh of St. Cher, wearing bulky spectacles. Perhaps in those days, it would be so bothersome to wear these spectacles since they are heavy and bulky but since then, eyeglasses have evolved a lot. Today, one can even choose frames made of Titanium, a material which is very light yet very durable.

I used to wear eyeglasses back in my teenage days when I was myopic. It really helped especially in easing my headaches and in helping me get through all the readings and studying that I needed to do. Thankfully, my eyes are feeling better now and my optometrist even told me I don't need to wear eyeglasses when the myopic symptoms came back some months ago. I wouldn't mind wearing eyeglasses again though, especially if they will help make me look more chic and cool.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why I Love to Read

I love to read. This precious hobby of mine has taken me to many different places and into a roller coaster ride of emotions. My latest: Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult. I finished reading a month ago and although I only get to read a few chapters a day due to my exams last September and October, I managed to finish it without losing sight of the book's theme. It was a sad ending though... to think the main character sacrificed a lot just so she could give her child a secure future.

Reading doesn't only take me to places, it gives me an insight about life, about history, about our humanity. It is also my way of taking my mind off things, sort of my detox opiate when I want to escape the day's hussle and bussle. It also gives me time to think and reflect about my life, especially when the author raises a question in the context of the character.

I can't wait for my next read.. I am planning on reading Paulo Coelho's Aleph, a book which I purchased along with Handle with Care. It has an interesting title and an equally interesting catch phrase: "Each end gives us the opportunity for rebirth".

And the First Snow Flakes Fell

Finally, the first snow flakes of the year fell... It happened yesterday. We were waiting for our turn for our presentation for our Biowaste Treatment Plant Design class when the snow fell. It was quite a heavy snow fall and like a child, I was so delighted! Although this is my 4th time to experience winter, seeing the snow flakes fall still amazes me. I just love it as the snow flakes touch the ground and covers everything in white. But it was also raining after the snow fell yesterday so that the rain just melted the snow away... And here's a photo to remember the day by...

It looks like rain but those are snow flakes... falling hard on the ground.
Well, I just hope it will snow again today. It has been raining since early morning so I don't know if it will. Keeping my fingers crossed though. I have no class today so I can keep a close watch out my window and wait for the snowflakes to come. My little princess is excited too!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How To Help My Baby Get A Good Night's Sleep

Learning to live with a baby in the house is a big challenge for even a seasoned parent, for every baby is unique. Getting the baby to sleep well is a big factor for parents, for when baby sleeps well so do the parents. There are countless tips and hints on how to help your baby get a good night's sleep, from blackout curtains to lullabies and pacifiers. Here are a few specific tips to help you be able to help your baby settle down and sleep well. A well-rested baby is a happy baby with well rested parents.


The atmosphere of where your baby sleeps is an important factor in facilitating a good night's sleep. The room should not be to warm or too cold. A cool temperature is ideal for sleeping. Warm enough for light covers or pyjamas to be comfortable yet cool enough to breathe easily and rest well. Most people sleep better under cool conditions, babies are no exception. Some babies need quiet to sleep while others sleep better when they hear muffled household sounds. Once you learn what works best for your baby, you can adjust the atmosphere accordingly.

Lighting is also something to consider in the baby's sleeping atmosphere. Most people sleep better without any bright lights shining in. All electronics and bright lights should be kept from the room when it is time to sleep. Lights shining in from outside can be blocked with blackout curtains. These curtains can also let baby sleep past the crack of dawn. Blackout curtains can be easily closed at bedtime and opened when it is time to wake.


A soothing bedtime routine can help baby wind down and get ready for sleep. This routine need not be rigid or stressful, the point is to relax both you and the baby and get the baby ready for sleep. A baby's bedtime routine can be a warm bath followed by snuggle time and a story or soft lullaby, anything that is soft and calming that allows the baby's body to relax and wind down. This is a very important part of helping your baby get a good night's sleep. A baby that is wound up cannot relax and go to sleep. This is true for most people of any age.

By setting up a comfortable sleeping space for your baby and keeping the temperature cool and the lighting low, you are setting the stage for a good night's sleep. Helping your baby get a good night's sleep can be smooth sailing with attention to atmosphere, including lighting, and routine. A well-rested baby is a healthier and happier baby—which is what all parents want for their child.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gift Ideas for Medical Professionals

Christmas is just around the corner. In fact, today is the first Sunday of Advent. Are you already done with your Christmas shopping list? I must admit, I haven't even started mine yet. Right now, I am looking for gift ideas.

Are you looking for gift ideas for family and friends too? If you know of someone dear to you who works in the medical field, here's something that will surely delight them and will help spread the Christmas cheer: Christmas-themed medical uniforms. Scrub tops in seasonal print is just the perfect gift for the nurses and doctors and other medical professionals.

I would even gladly buy myself one... I have always wanted to don a scrub top. In my younger days, I loved to watch my aunt who is a nurse as she leaves for work and as she hangs her uniforms. I always thought that scrub tops are cool. Wouldn't it feel freat to also be wearing one? Even if I am no medical professional, I am the official nurse in the house. Perhaps owning a scrub top won't be so bad after all.

Gone Formal

It is nice to dress up for formal occasions once in a while. When an invitation to go to a Gala Dinner arrived, I was having second thoughts at first but then again, such events only happen once in a while, so why not? It is a Filipino event anyway so we wouldn't be bored, knowing that we have friends whom we can sit with at the table. The Gala Dinner, which was held last night at the Maritim Hotel in Stuttgart, was in honor of the Filipino Nurses who came here in Germany some forty years ago.

Since it was a formal occasion, we had to dress up for the event. I am not fond of wearing dresses and wearing make-up, and my husband is not a fan of suits and ties and leather shoes. I always feel awkward when I am wearing dresses but I guess once you are there, you realize that you need not be so self-conscious since everyone is wearing formal wear too.

Thankfully, a friend Aunt's daughter also came to the event and she helped me with my hair and make-up. I do not wear any make-up at all, nor do I have my own set of cosmetics so I was really null when it comes to putting on make-up. She applied gold eyeshadow on the corner of my eyes and also some mascara on my eyelashes. While she was putting on my make-up, I suddenly thought of women having very long eyelashes. I wonder if they are natural or they used products to grow them. My eyelashes are okay but should I want to have longer ones, I'd better read about eyelash growth products reviews. She also did my hair and braided both sides and tied it on the back of my head, Tibetan style. The make-up I can say was just light and good enough for the evening. I don't know what I would have done without her help. The make-up suddenly gave me a boost of self-confidence. Hehe!

It was a nice evening, with good music and Filipino folk dances. Dinner was also nice and delectable. The highlight of the event: the recognition of the Filipino nurses who have been serving the sick and the elderly for forty years now.

The night ended suddenly for us when our little Princess got exhausted and wanted to go home so she can sleep in our own bed. We went home exhausted but feeling nice about everything. It is not so bad to go formal once in a while after all. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Affiliate Networking

"Affiliate Networking" is not a new word to me. I always read about this term in affiliate sites as well as in blogs. I have also read some emails about it, with affiliate marketers trying to convince me why theirs is the best. Unfortunately, I never really understood what it is all about. With so many affiliate marketing strategies sprouting like mushrooms on the Internet, you never know which one is for real and will give the best results.

But what is an Affiliate Network? It serves as the "middleman" between those wanting to promote their affiliate programs reach a larger audience (advertisers) and website publishers who are aiming to find and participate in affiliate programs suitable for their websites and earn income from them (publishers). One such affiliate network is Blue Global Media, a performance marketing network. Since this company started as an affiliate itself, they understand the challenges that an affiliate faces in today's competitive market so that they design their affiliate programs to produce stable results.

A program that may be of interest especially to those wanting to make most our of their payday traffic and leads is the Payday Affiliate. With this program, round the clock affiliate support is provided to affiliates. Top-performing publishers also receive weekly payments. They have a high-powered tracking and performance management as well as in-house payday offers that are optimized for the affiliate's success. These are just some of the perks that payday affiliates enjoy with this program. Interested in becoming one? You are always welcome to apply online.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Visiting Beautiful Prague

31 October 2011. It was a cold and cloudy day when we set off for Prague. It was a four-hour drive from Stuttgart and we expect to arrive there at around three. We left at around nine in the morning so you must wonder where the remaining two hours went. Of course, we need to do some stops in between, to empty our bladder, to eat and to stretch our backs and legs. The autumn landscape of Germany and Czech Republic was really beautiful. We had no problems on the way. I could even say it was a very relaxing drive... what with the autumn scenery and the "unhurried" manner of trying to reach our destination.

Even the fallen are still beautiful...
We made a quick stop at a parking area to clean our car's windshield.
I wanted to take clearer photos on the way. Before leaving, I couldn't resist
taking a photo of the road bend with the trees lining it.
It was a little past three when we arrived. Luckily, we were able to park immediately in front of the hotel. After checking in, we went to our hotel room and refreshed a bit. Then we called home since it was Nanay Tessie's birthday. We promised to call her that day so we did. After calling, we headed out and explored Wenceslas Square and searched for a a place to eat. We discovered Chinese Fusion, a Chinese restaurant. We were too early I think since we came at around 5:30. The place was still empty. The ambiance was nice but the food wasn't impressive. It was too salty for our palate, which is an understatement for someone like me who likes her food salty.

My little princess at the Chinese restaurant.  
After dinner, we walked some more until we reached this very impressive structure which is of the neo-renaissance style. At the top end of Wenceslas Square is one of Prague's landmarks, the National Museum (Národní muzeum). The interior is unfortunately closed for renovations until June 2015 so that we were never able to experience it's inner beauty. What we were able to enjoy though was its very beautiful facade as it stands proud and staunch in the night light. Equally staunch and proud is the statue of St. Wenceslas on his horse, standing in front of the museum.

The family in front of the National Museum.
After exploring and lots of experimenting with my camera to take night shots, we walked back to our hotel. We know that the next day promises more beautiful stories and discoveries and experiences.

Let There Be Light!

Winter is almost here and that means longer nights... Did you know that winter is the time of year when more and more people become depressed? This is because of the lack of exposure to white light. If you want to beat depression, better have as much white light in your house as possible. And to make your room look modern, try putting up contemporary ceiling lights. There are lots of modern designs available today to suit your taste that have different lamping. Whether it is incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, or Xenon. If you want to stay healthy by having a well-lighted room and at the same time create different moods in your home, invest on lighting.

Some ceiling light designs that I really love are the following:

This is a flushmount ceiling light from Robert Abbey Lighting that has incandescent lamping enclosed in a frosted white glass. It is available in three finishes: antique brass, polished nickel and deep Patina bronze.

Got artwork in a room that you want to highlight in your house? This directional lighting with halogen lamps will do the trick! With a satin nickel finish, your room will always be modern and chic!

This two light semi-flush ceiling light is convertible! You can have it installed close to the ceiling or low by attaching the chain. That is why it is also perfect for the dining room!

Take your pick and make way for a more nicely lit room this winter season!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shopping Made Easy

Nowadays, I do most of my shopping online. If I am doubtful about a certain product, I would first check it out in the shopping centers, taking note of the size, model, color, etc. before I make my purchase online. Why do I bother to check when I can just purchase them right there and there? This is because most of the stuff sold online are way cheaper than those sold in shopping centers. So far, this is what I have observed.

So why is it cheaper? Maybe because there is no need to rent a place to display the products in an area where there are lots of people. The number of people will also be less. And they can just use the services of another delivery company to do the delivery of the items. I am pretty sure they also have a number of barcode scanners because handling items electronically is way, way more efficient when it comes to inventory and billing.

And there is this thing called Rückgaberecht, which is the right of the customer to return a product item without any questions within fourteen days from the date of arrival to your doorstep. It is the law and is applicable not only for shopping items but also for contracts, for example a mobile phone plan. This is so that you can return the product if it does not fit, or you don't like the color, or you just simply changed your mind.

Now, ain't shopping easier this way?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

At Last, A Holiday!

My hubby and I decided last weekend that we needed a break. It was also about time since I was also on the verge of losing my sanity... but this, of course, is just an exaggeration! :D

Saturday morning. Hubby woke me early with the words: "It's Prague!" I wanted to doze off some more since it was the weekend when it dawned on me that he wanted us to go on a short vacation. It may not be a long holiday, but it was better than nothing. And he chose Prague. We haven't been there before and it's not a very long drive... just about four hours from Stuttgart. I thought to myself, how on earth am I going to prepare for such a trip? I had tons of laundry to do, I needed to pack, we needed to book a hotel, I needed to read about Prague!

Then hubby showed me this great deal for a five-star hotel in Prague for two nights and when our booking was confirmed by the hotel, there was no turning back and everything was blitzschnell. I managed to finish packing and prepare everything for our trip the next day at "lightning speed".

Sunday. We arrived in Prague at around three in the afternoon. The drive took longer than expected since we had to stop for food, stretching and toilet breaks. I took photos on the way and I can say that just looking out my window and watching the countryside in its autumn glory helped to relieve the tension and stress that I was feeling for the past few months.

Our hotel was located at the heart of the city and I can say that we had a great stay. The buffet breakfast was superb, the room was large, it was quiet even though the hotel was in the middle of Wenceslas Square. More of our stay and our misadvantures in the coming entries...

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.

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