A Week Break for the Saints’ Day

Yahoo!!! I have a one week break from my boring German class same with all the schools here in Aalen. 😀 Just like many other Catholic countries, we are celebrating the All Saints’ Day called Allerheiligen.

Traditionally, Catholics take part in a church service, light up candles and offer prayers for their deceased relatives. People may also visit graves of their dearly departed family members or friends. These graveyards are adorned with plants and flowers and candles are lit just as it begins to get dark in the latter part of the day.

Honestly I’m really surprised knowing this. I thought Philippines is the only country remembering our departed loved ones on All Saints’ Day and not on All Souls’ Day which is celebrated on November 2. I have yet to see really how they do it here as we didn’t go out last year to witness their celebration.

Newweling, All Saints' Day in GermanyUpon research I learned that All Saints’ Day in some parts of Germany is symbolized by Newweling. As described, Newweling is made of two or more candle wicks dipped in wax and wrapped around a cone shaped form. The form is removed before the candle is lit. Traditionally, each candle wick is dipped in red, white, blue, yellow or green wax and two or more different colors are used for each candle.

 Anyway, for the whole week me and Zyc will just be staying home since Ryz has Kindergarten and offices aren’t closed except on All Saints’ Day itself. What will I do? Of course update my blog(s) and work up with my two new baby blogs. 🙂 Oh, I almost forgot! Our teacher gave us “tons” of homework to do during the week-long break. Haist! Oh well… Hope I still remember to do them and will not be so preoccupied with my online world.

Early Winter???

I usually check on the weather forecast every Friday so we’ll know if the weather will be friendly to us the following day. You see, Saturday is the only time for us, the whole family to go out. We stroll, city-hop, shop and do our weekly groceries during this day. I was aghast as I saw that we will be having a moderate snowfall today.  My initial reaction? “Oh no!” – Honestly, I’m really beginning to hate winter. Coming from a tropical country, I should love it right? Yes, I did love it when I first came here understandably. It was a first time for me to experience snow. But reality sunk in… I got chapped lips, cracked and super dry skin and the most I hated… I needed to wear tons of clothes to keep me warm. Haha!

Seeing everything white around me makes me sad, depressed actually. I suddenly remembered the first few months I came here. Missing my family, friends and the life I had and all the white surroundings just added to the sadness I felt, aaarggh!!!

winter

Despite these, I still was glad to see snow falling today. I love seeing my kids having fun and playing with those white flakes. They actually were excited when they learned last night that it’s going to snow today. So this morning I was awakened by their shrieks upon seeing whitecaps on our neighbors’ homes.

kids playing in snow

In spite of the “unfriendly” weather we still went out for our weekly errands. We knew we needed to be ready for the season, meaning we had to buy things to protect us from the cold weather. We drove to a nearby supermarket and bought shoes for the kids. I remember Ryz said her shoes felt like Mama Grace inside. Mama Grace is the name of one of her stuff toys. 😛

Snow fell throughout the day and even went a little stronger late afternoon. I just checked the weather and saw that temps will be dropping this whole week with rain showers at night. 🙁

 

Saving with Codes for Shopping Online

The holidays are the perfect excuse to go shopping. All mommies love to go shopping not just for themselves but for their loved ones as well. Discount coupons for shopping online put icing on the cake with sweet deals on a great assortment of items from various online merchants. There are a lot of horror stories about shoppers getting scammed online though that’s why I think I will stick to reliable sites like couponchief.com. The coupons offered on this website are from many of the known brands and retail stores around.

It’s simple enough to take advantage of these Coupon Chief coupon codes. You can easily search through the categories for discounts on the items you are looking for. You can also do a store search to give you a list of coupons available at your favorite online retail store. Don’t forget to check the fine print for purchase requirements and expiration dates. Since it’s early enough and there’s a couple of months more to go before Christmas, you can actually wait for better discount coupons. Just register with Coupon Chief and have news about the latest coupon code promotions sent directly to your email.

I would love to shop more online – at least for certain items that I do not need to inspect closely. Since I am still new at it, it would not hurt to be extra careful with online transactions. Even with the great coupon codes I could get from Coupon Chief, it’s still important to take the time to check out the retail stores offering the discounts. I particularly look for return or exchange policies as well as shipping charges. Although I haven’t yet bought an item that needed to be replaced, I’d still want to have this information just in case.

Coupon Chief will definitely be my go-to website for discounts on shopping online. I can share coupons that I could find in other sites too for discount shoppers like me to take advantage of. With the website’s Pays-2-Share Program, I will be able to earn a couple of dollars more in shopping money. Great brands, top retailers, savings, deals, extra cash, what more can an online shopper ask for?

Image Credit: nerdychic.co.uk

My First Purchase Online

One of my challenges in shopping is buying a pair of shoes that could fit comfortably on my feet. It has been my problem since ages ago because I have flat feet with bunions.  It takes hours for me to fit shoes and most of the time still ends up coming home empty-handed. This always irritates my husband, haha!

Last week as I was bloghopping I saw this pair of wedges a blogger-friend made an article on her shoe blog. As I have been searching for a pair for this season, I immediately asked her where she bought it and how much it costs. She gave me the link of choices in Amazon.

Many times I’ve wanted to try purchasing anything online but I’ve always had second thoughts and I don’t know why. I think I just need someone to vouch for the product just like my friend did. Someone to reassure me that the product is good. It’s always been like that even when I’m shopping for clothes, I need second opinions or approvals from other person.

Then there I was browsing the site looking for other choices. I wanted to have ankle boots at first but thought it will be really cold soon and I’ll eventually would use a pair up to near my knees. I already have one like that so for practicality’s sake I chose the wedges much like my friend bought. It was unfortunate as the one she was wearing in her blog is already out of stock so I ended up buying this.

wedges
My first online purchase.

I compared the material used here from the ones I find in the stores and I noticed this is better. It is thicker and well-crafted. There was also a red pair of this but I thought I might have a hard time giving justice to it.

My friend ordered it for me coz I can’t use my Paypal directly since the credit card I used to verify my account is already expired. Once she had ordered I told Zyc about it. He was just so excited that everyday he would ask when the shoes will come. Later on he already asked what the website is and he wanted also to buy toys from the site. 🙂

Good thing I was not disappointed with my first purchase online and I think this will be the start of more shopping. 🙂

Framed! Beautiful Displays for Your Walls

The holidays are just around the corner. There’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all rolling in one after the other. I’ve been cleaning around the house and doing some redecorating to welcome the festive months. It seems like the tapestry on one of my living room walls has to come down to make way for a more modern display. I’m thinking, why not have a photo wall where we can display our family photos and memorabilia – this is actually inspired by the discount poster frames I found online. When people visit during the holidays, it would be a wonderful focal point.

frame
Sample frame perfect for my family photos.

It’s not difficult to finish the project myself. I figured, once I have everything planned out, it will not take me a week to have the wall up. The poster frames supplier is one of the key elements of my project. Since they deliver and customize, I would not have to spend too much time doing the framing, matting, and mounting myself. All I have to do is to have a layout in mind, list down my specifications, order my frames, wait for delivery, and then hang them on my wall following my layout. The great thing about it is that I do not really have to spend a whole lot of money since I have all my posters, photographs, and memorabilia all tucked away in the attic.

If you have a wall that you want to decorate too, you can achieve a variety of looks with the use of poster frames. You can go with simple poster framing, perhaps of a playbill or a theater poster of a play you were in. Or you can choose to have matted frames of family photographs. You can also opt for a shadow box to display your medals, your children’s baby booties, or any other item you want displayed on your wall. Just get creative and decide on how you want your wall to look. Once you have everything on paper, pick up the phone and order your poster frames.

Enjoying My “Me” Time

Being a wife to my husband and a mom to my kids is a lot of work, but I do enjoy it. Like what I always say, it is physically tiring but fulfilling. However, when he’s away at work and the kids are at school, I have a little free time to myself (when I’m not doing the laundry or cleaning up after them at least). I try to do what I can to enjoy myself before they get back home and make the most of my time alone. Usually, I try something fun and relaxing like watching TV, chatting with friends in Facebook, reading or surfing the net.

One time, when I was web browsing, I stumbled upon something on the Ladbrokes website that I enjoyed from the first minute I played it. It was bingo and I suddenly missed mom. Bingo was always a game I liked playing with her. A visit to that site made me realize that I can play online from the comfort of my sofa on my laptop, tablet or smartphone while I was doing something else like watching TV. Convenience wasn’t the only thing I liked about this online bingo site. I thought if only mom’s still here, I’ll introduce the game to her so she doesn’t need to go some place else to enjoy the game.

online bingo
A screenshot of their exciting game.

I liked the wide range of games including ones themed on films and popular board games, the fact that I had chances of winning prize money every time I logged on and the ability to talk to other players in online chat rooms during games. When it comes to trying to stave off boredom, online
bingo is perfect, even if you’re trying to do two things at once like cooking a large meal for the family or waiting for the washing machine to finish cleaning everyone’s clothes.

Bored to Death

My expectations on my current German class went poof! I don’t know if this is something psychological or what but I am really bored. Psychological because I might be thinking I don’t need this course anymore (shouldn’t I be the only one who could answer that?) or it’s just the environment. I’ve always been comparing my current class now against my previous one and it really is a lot different.

First and foremost, our teacher… I know she’s a good one ‘coz VHS would not let her teach the level so important. B1 is the required level for us, immigrants to reach and pass so we could apply for our permanent residency. But she is sooo… soft-spoken I feel like I could really fall asleep with her voice. I also feel like she wastes precious time. She always writes on the whiteboard which I think are not necessary, like answers from our exercises which we already know and had written down. I just feel like we’re first graders. For me, it is more important to write note-worthy things like new words and sentence formats. Worst part… she couldn’t control our classmates who speak so loud and talk to one other using their mother language. They are really, really disturbing the class, it is so annoying and very disrespectful. Imagine a soft-spoken person talking in front overpowered by just one loud-mouthed woman. I could just pity our teacher. Sometimes some would react to that woman’s noise but most of the time we’d just let go as we don’t want tension in our class. I think she knows that I’m annoyed because most of the time she makes eye contact with me while discussing and she would see the annoyance on my face whenever my classmates are talking with each other. A sign that I couldn’t hear her well and trying to understand what she’s saying. But she just doesn’t do anything!!! I remember our teacher from the last course. It would have been perfect if she’s handling our class now. I don’t know what would happen to my classmate since that teacher can really tell a person straight that she is disturbing the lesson. She had done it many times to three of my classmates who actually come from the same side of the globe. In fact one of the three is the other one the loud-mouth is talking to. I just hope our teacher could have the courage to say straight up to my classmate and say indeed she’s disturbing the class.

The environment… I must say that our last course was better. I believe we created a good relationship with one another and it was already evident even when the course had just started. Very important factor was, our teachers interacted with us and let us, the students, interact with each other. They made our lessons fun which I think is very essential in learning. Two of my classmates had even joked around and exchanged insults but was nothing really. It added to the fun in the class. We had mini parties and even a picnic which sealed our course. Now with this class, I’m not really expecting that to happen. You could really feel the coldness in the atmosphere (or is it just me..?). I really don’t like the people I’m with right now, well the new ones actually. That’s why it’s such a drag for me to go to class, I just prefer to stay home and sit in front of my laptop. 🙂

Haay… My class will end on January and I don’t know if this situation I’m in is going to change. I’m not hoping really. I just wish this course ends soon or better this classmate be kicked out of the class. Hahaha!!!

Shielding PC Data from Cyber Threats

These days one can hardly live without having at least one desktop computer or computer gadget. These devices help us manage both personal and business concerns that involve data management, communications, presentations, etc. The list grows longer as new applications are continuously developed for almost every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, the list of dangers in using the computer is also expanding. A few years ago, my only concern was keeping my data safe from computer viruses that may crash my computer or my phone. Now, threats that range from virus infection, hacking, identity theft and other cyber crimes are being faced by users of the internet. Fortunately, there are also effective ways to combat these threats and protect your business and personal PCs.

I consider myself lucky for having my computer crashed by a virus at a time when my desktop’s sole purpose was for personal recreation as the software securitydamage was minimal compared to now that I use my computer for work and business. Nevertheless, I still experienced the frustration of not being able to retrieve data from it and the inconvenience of not having a PC to use while it was being serviced. Since then, I became conscious of the importance of PC security and kept my eye out for tools that will ensure its protection. I started out by installing firewalls and anti-virus programs in my computer then evolved to more sophisticated programs that the present necessity dictates. Keeping your data safe is a matter of prudence and vigilance. Availing of an efficient software package that cleans, protects and troubleshoots your system is one of the best ways to secure your data. These programs can be set to automatically scan, clean and block malicious software from infiltrating your PC. But this does not mean that one can simply surf as he pleases, practicing safety in your internet searches and transactions is also one way to protect yourself and your business from hackers or identity thieves. Don’t be content with simply installing the software, exercise vigilance in updating your software so you can get the latest protection there is.

Computers and gadgets are necessities of today, both for personal and business use. Shielding them from cyber threats is the best way to protect your data and allow you to enjoy continued use of an efficient device to run your business.

 

Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Dishwasher Broke Down

Ahuhu.. My ever reliable (not anymore) dishwasher broke down! Actually this happened a week ago. Yup, late post again and I could only blame my dishwasher. Hahaha! I had no enough time to tell a story about it as I have to wash dishes after every meal! Anyway, it was last Saturday that it stopped all of a sudden. Hubby and I were surprised when it suddenly beeped like it used to sound when it’s done washing. So hubby asked me if I programmed it to pre-rinse. I said no since I already rinsed the dishes before placing them inside. I thought that would save us water and electricity instead of using its pre-rinse program which lasts for 8 minutes. The beeps sounded like forever. It was too long, hubby just turned it off. We tried turning it on and off many times hoping it was just a glitch or something but nothing happened. I was so frustrated that night. I asked why it has to happen the day hubby decided to bring out from the storage room our other plates and have it washed so we can also place them in our cabinet for everyday use…? Why, oh why???

dishwasher
My Bomann GSP778 now just a giant dish rack. 🙁

We looked for  the dishwasher’s User’s Guide on its previous hiding place which was on top of our heater control but it wasn’t there. I wasn’t even sure how it got lost. Last thing I remembered was the electrician who fixed our heater control last time took down all the stuff from up there so he could open its door. And now it’s gone. I searched for forums on the internet hoping I could find an answer what those 30 beeps mean. Yes, I counted how many were the beeps and it was 30. As I remembered reading the manual, each series of beeps has a meaning but I can’t recall what 30 beeps mean. I even looked for a copy of the handbook hoping a site has downloaded it in PDF format. I was surprised there are such sites that download these copies but to my dismay they weren’t free. I know of course the site has to earn but I was thinking how can I be sure that this is not a scam. How can I be sure that after I paid, a copy will be sent to me. In short, I didn’t get one. So until now, I have to wash dishes after every meal and they eat up my time.

Many may ask why do I need a dishwasher when we are just four in the family and I’ve got time to do this particular chore. Oh well, we decided to buy this machine during the time when my hands were cracking up due to severe dryness on my first winter here. It had passed yes, but now it is important to me since it saves me time and let me do other things like blogging. 🙂

By the way, if any of you has a dishwasher with Bomann brand can you please tell me what 30 beeps mean? I believe their models almost have the same signs for troubleshooting. 🙂

Keeping Doors Open for Better Living Arrangements

My husband and I are renting an attic space with our kids. This temporary living arrangement is set to last during our adjustment period or until we feel settled and secured with our job overseas. Nevertheless, we are determined to make our attic abode a safe and comfortable place for our family. The first thing we did was to pick out furnishings that would complement the existing interiors of our humble attic residence.

Our choices were limited to compact furnishings in classic designs. Compact because we wanted to maximize the space and classic designs that can blend in any interior theme is a practical option for temporary living arrangements. We were very careful not to go overboard on our shopping given so we won’t have any qualms about leaving some stuff behind in case we have to transfer soon, and much as I would like to do some renovations in the house, our leasing provisions prevent me from doing so.

If I had my way, I would replace my white internal doors with natural wood colors. Our kitchen door would also look better and safer if it is replaced with interior fire doors, which are basically fire resistant doors that slows down fire and smoke from going through the next room. They are more expensive than regular ones but the protection it affords the family is well worth it. I would also like some glass paneled doors to make our living spaces look a bit bigger. Since I can’t change any doors in our apartment, I’ll just save these wonderful door types for our dream home. Other than the interior doors and cozy living spaces, I’m quite happy with our temporary home away from home.

A simple classic furniture for my dream home. Perfect for a natural wood door.

The simple decorations and furnishings on our attic home helped us get settled and adapt to our routines in a foreign environment. But we are still keeping our doors open for better housing opportunities that may come our way just like the one grabbed by our relatives in the UK. They worked and saved hard then used their savings to buy their own house during the recent drop in house prices in their area.

It may be years before we are able to buy a place of our own so we just have to make do with the decent and reasonably comfortable living arrangements that we have now. Soon we will be moving to a bigger and better home and somewhere in the future is a house that is meant for us to own.

Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net