My 36th

I had a simple celebration of my birthday last Saturday. My day started with a video chat via Skype with my family in the Philippines. They cooked Pancit Canton or Chinese noodles for me as they also celebrated my birthday. I was really happy that day because I saw my mom cried when she saw me and my kids. Not that I’m happy because she cried but I was glad that she’s already responding. She was making this sound as if she wanted to say something while tears were flowing from her eyes. I know she wanted to greet me, maybe even was trying to tell us to go back home like what she always say.

A snapshot of Mama looking straight at the monitor. 🙂

We were supposed to try out an Asian restaurant near our place but we went out late and the place was so full when we got there. We went to a Mexican restaurant but was still closed and will not open until 6pm. So we settled for a Pizza and Döner resto.

Pizza and fries for kids, DĂĽrĂĽm and salad for hubby and me
Yes, that is shawarma!

And what is a birthday without a cake? 🙂

I always say I miss having my birthday celebrated in the Philippines. I know I could have had a videoke session with my co-workers. But then again there is no better way of celebrating my special day than with people closest to my heart, my family.

Hump Day $50 Giveaway

Hump Day $50 Giveaway

It’s time for Hump Day $50 Giveaway and today’s event is for RSS and Email Subscriptions. But wait, this week, you can win $50 TWICE since there are 2 groups holding the giveaway! Group 1 is composed of the 27 wonderful blogs listed below so feel free to check them out after joining. A link to join Group 2’s giveaway is below the post so make sure you enter that as well when you’re done with Group 1.

My Tots Exactly | Frugal Experiments | Money Saving Mindy | Life’s Cheap Thrills | Our Travels | Extreme Personal Measures | Make Money Online | Topics on Earth | Exotic Philippines | Pinay Mom in Germany | Mom’s Ups and Downs | Life as a WAHM | Ask Rapido | Certified Foodies | Diva Fabulosa | Teach Me 2 Save | When SAHMone Speaks | Wonderful Things In Life | Gen Walks | Healthful Choice | Sonya’s Happenings | Retail Therapy Lounge | Mom’s Online Magazine | Techie She | Shop Vintage Clothing | Nanay Blogs | The Food, the Places and the Badtrips
There are 2 types of entries this week. You can follow a blog though it’s RSS link, which you can subscribe via a Reader or Email, or a link directly to their Email Subscription. For a short tutorial click here but be sure to come back to enter through this blog.

A note though: You can only join this on one blog/page. There will be a maximum of 33 entries ONLY. If you have more than 33, I reserve the right to delete duplicate or fraudulent entries. May I request that you use only one name and email address for quicker validation of entries.

On the first mandatory entry, please do not forget to write Pinay Mom in Germany referred you since it is a mandatory entry. You must complete the first 2 tasks before the others are enabled, and for all your other entries to count.

Thank you very much and good luck. By joining this giveaway, you agree to the Terms and Conditions on the bottom of the form. Contest is open all-day Wednesday, from January 25th, 12:01am EST to January 25th,11:59pm EST (January 25th, 1:01pm Philippine time to January 26th, 12:59pm Philippine time).

Continue reading “Hump Day $50 Giveaway”

My Future Equestrienne?

A horseback ride has always been present when there are festivities here in our city. Kids always love to ride on these horses. Lucky me Ryz is never scared of it, she just loves it. She would even stand in line on her own just to have that ride. Even when we’re driving and she sees someone who’s horseback riding, she would scream and feel happy seeing one. For her love of it, can she be an equestrienne someday? I wonder how would she look in her chaps. Hihi..

But before I think of how she would look like, I think I should know what she needs to become an equestrienne. There have been tips on how to be a professional equestrian, or in my case equestrienne. It isn’t just riding well. They say that aside from the talent, attitude is also important. How motivated are you to become a professional in this field of sport? And while being a student, you have to learn the styles of all, if not of the majority of the top riders. By observing their techniques you can learn eventually and apply those techniques to your own horse. You have to listen and have a grasp of what experienced people say. But still, attitude is the most important because these techniques can be acquired and it will depend on your desire to learn.

Now here are what you’ll need before you can ride. Riding is a risky sport so you have to be properly equipped and protected. Aside from the chaps or the boots, you’ll need also helmets. Not only an ordinary helmet but it should be approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). You’ll also need jodhpurs. Although these are not necessary, they allow for a fuller range of motion than most pants at the same time avoiding the saddle sores you might get from riding in jeans or thinner tights. There are caldene jodhpurs which fit to your planned use, either just for your yard work or for training or competition. You should look for strong, attractive fabric. If possible with fabrics technologically incorporated into the seat and thigh panels for breathability. Another apparel is the jacket. Material of a riding jacket varies depending on the weather. You may opt for a lightweight jackets or waistcoats for warmer weather or the quilted types for autumn or winter. Navy or tweed, caldene jackets have these styles and material and are of good quality.

For now, riding horses could just be a play time for Ryz. But I believe that with independence and strong will as her strengths, she can achieve her goals and be whatever she wants to be.

Welcome Big Bro!

I am really glad that my big brother has now joined the so-called blogosphere. I know SIL has been persuading him to open a blog site but he’s just too busy and always stressed from his work. It seems SIL’s convincing power has worked. Ang Tindi Nyo, Tsong! is a personal blog which tackles just about anything. Comments, opinions, observance on everything that’s happening around him written in Taglish (Tagalog and English). I hope he also opens an English blog where he could display his writing prowess. He’s really good at it. It has been his strength since we were students. And you know what they say, “when you’re good in English…” So you know who’s better in Math. Haha! (Bro, are you reading this???) He’s really my inspiration and my idol when it comes to English composition. I remember there were times I would call in his office just to ask if my sentence is right or was I writing my memo correctly. Hahaha! He’s my no. 1 critic, too. He corrects my grammar when I was still starting to blog. So when you see a wrong grammar on my post, that means he didn’t read it. Hahaha!

Good luck Big Bro!

RV for Travelers in Europe

Planning for a vacation in Europe? If you’re a person who’s fine with driving big vehicles, appreciates natural beauty and doesn’t need going to big cities to have fun, then getting a RV for a stress-free vacation would suit you. Did you know that every country in Europe has camping spaces available for RVs? And it’s easy to get around because major highways are built to carry large vehicles like these.

There are three ways to get a RV in Europe; through rent, lease or buy one with a contract to sell after you have used it. But if you’re just in for a short stay, of course you’ll just have to rent one. They say start your rent here in Germany even if most of the places in your itinerary lies outside Germany because it is less expensive and the insurance lets you drive pretty much in the western part of Europe. RV insurance is very important especially for travelers like you. So look into the rv insurance quote for the coverage so that you can be sure that you and the RV are protected.

Known for their love for travel, Germans really use their six weeks off from work and spend this going to their neighboring countries. Probably as early as now many, not only Germans, are already looking for sites on RVs for rent for their summer vacation this year.

Performance Evaluation as Management Tool for Greater Output

Last week, we bought a printer. We thought we’ll be needing one to print some documents for the filing of hubby’s annual income tax return. I was so happy with it I suddenly missed working. I miss the environment, the sight of papers all over my table, the documents for checking, the checks for signing, the fast-paced life and most importantly the people I worked with especially my subordinates. Actually, I don’t like calling them “subordinates” or “staff” because I have always regarded them as my friends. They knew how thankful I was to them for their valuable effort in helping me run the Trust Operations of our bank. I knew I couldn’t have  done it without them. I remembered how easy it was for us to talk if there’s a problem and open up to me and tell me their grievances or talk just about anything. Our Section received praises from our Boss because of our teamwork and camaraderie. That’s why during annual performance evaluation I see to it that I take note of their improvements and in every year I see these on them. I also emphasize their strengths and praise them. And I point out their weaknesses and motivate them to overcome these. I have always liked the part where I talk to them and say these things out. Making a performance evaluation on each of your staff could be tedious. With all the paper works, answering every factor objectively and justifying them. But these are nothing compared to their hardwork and dedication to their job so I see to it that they get noticed and rewarded for it. Other colleagues observed how fast promotion was in my Section and I always say that nobody could question it because it is seen in their output and they really deserved it.

Performance evaluation is really a great management tool to help employees achieve their career goals. In this way, we superiors give them hopes, help them grow and attain their dreams. And with this, management also benefits from motivated employees to produce desired output and likewise reach the company’s targets.

 

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog for contractor
management and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my
own.

The Three Kings and a Dinner

Last Friday was a holiday here in Germany in celebration of Epiphany or the Feast of the Three Kings. Unlike in the Philippines where it is celebrated every first Sunday of the year, here it is on every 6th of January. It is a tradition that doorways are sprinkled with holy water and the initials of the Three Kings — C+M+B (Caspar+Melchior+Balthasar) and the year are written in chalk on the door and said to protect the house and home.

We were having a raclette dinner at our Filipina friend’s house that night and we were surprised a man dressed as one of the Three Kings peeked on their glass door. So we all went downstairs and listen to the Three Kings’ song.

After this Peter, our German friend, gave them money and wine. He said he doesn’t usually give the “Three Kings” wine because it is usually kids who do the “rounds” as Three Kings but this time they are all adults.

Anyway, it was my first time to have a raclette dinner. We prepared mushrooms, pineapple, shrimp and chicken. We also had sausages for the kids and of course the raclette cheese. They are cooked in an electric table-top grill with small pans and I say this was a lovely experience.

It was nice coz we can chat and catch up while waiting for our food to cook.

They say raclette dining is really ideal especially during Christmas or New Year or any social gatherings where the meal can run for several hours.

 

Insulators to Block the Cold

I could still clearly remember the day we came here in Germany. There was a snow storm and they had to close the Frankfurt airport where we were supposed to land and instead we were diverted to Munich. It was our first time to experience snow or winter for that matter. I feared for my kids especially Ryz because I know that the extreme coldness could trigger her asthma. It was harder then because our first home was on a ground floor of a three-story house. Coming from a tropical country, it was really hard for us to adjust to the season. We put on thermal wears even when we were just inside our house and we only rely on our heaters to beat the cold. And because of Ryz’s situation we had to immediately look for a new home. Came March of last year we transferred to another home but this time it is an attic. Thankfully our landlord has installed good insulators to block the cold. It was really a relief for us. Although it only lessened Ryz’s asthma attacks, still it’s better far off from our previous home where cold came directly from the ground. But one disadvantage of living in an attic is that we’re the first ones to be hit by the rain and snow and lately, the weather is not very cooperative. It has been a mixture of rain, wind and snow and I could really feel the cold and even hear the wind blowing. If only there’s a better insulator or a thermal block that could prevent cold from entering our home and at the same time could help retain heat inside. We can not rely on our heaters alone for our monthly bills will skyrocket.

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own.

A post of gratitude

It may have taken me a long time but like they say, “Better late than never”. This post is for all those who have helped me and my family during the time my mom got hospitalized. For the financial aide we received from relatives, friends, colleagues, former colleagues, online friends and even acquaintances not to mention those I don’t even know but who have spared to help someone who’s in need. And also for those who have continuously prayed for my mom’s recovery. Thank you very much.

Colleagues of my brother from National Book Development Board

My former colleagues from Manilabank and Chinabank Savings, Inc.

The Mommies from Pinay Mommies Community:

Joy Blanca
Khan Studios
Gennie T Pascual
Sunshine May Navarro
Clarissa Sasaki
Maria Sigrid Dugenio Lo
Karina Mendez
Juanita Thomas
Jesselyn Grace Lising
Floressa May Castro
Ruby Ricafrente

To give you an update of my mom’s condition. Before I went back here in Germany, she was already in stupor (The lack of critical cognitive function and level of consciousness wherein a sufferer is almost entirely unresponsive and only responds to base stimuli such as pain. A person is also rigid and mute and only appears to be conscious as the eyes are open and follow surrounding objects.Wikipedia). Although she must be first diagnosed by a professional of this condition, based on what we observed she is already in this state.

But my brother told me that lately my mom cries whenever she looks at our family pictures which hang on a wall in our house. I don’t want to think of my mom crying but the thought of it just pacifies me. It just means she is now responding. Although she can not still talk, at least there is emotion in her. I’m really glad about this. I just hope that when I get to speak to her again, I would see her usual reaction, cry when she sees my kids. I might be giving her hardship but I just want to see her respond again.

Again, to those who helped our deepest gratitude!

On the Eve of 2012

Another celebration  I miss from the Philippines, the New Year’s Eve! The noise and the colorful fireworks that light up the night. But I guess I won’t be hearing those noise and see those lights again for God knows how many years.

We just had a simple celebration here. I cooked Chicken and Cashew Noodles, a recipe I learned from the cookbook hubby got me from Malaysia. I also made a macaroni salad and for a first-timer I guess I did good. We bought a ham and fruits, that’s all. The kids waited for the fireworks. Yeah, we also saw and heard fireworks here but of course it’s not the same as in the Philippines. Well again, I’m speaking for our little city and I know it’s more festive in other cities.

Here’s to a more prosperous 2012! Cheers!