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(Gro├čmarkt)
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: Gro├čbritannien / 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!

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