One Fine Wednesday

It’s been three days since summer officially started yet it’s been a cool day today. Rain poured on us since that day, too! I notice that actually; raining during the longest day of the year. Luckily today, sun showed its happy face.

I’m sitting on one of the benches here in the “innenstadt” or city center buying time. I have been walking around for a good half hour going specifically nowhere. As I sat here I realized it’s a good time to write something on just about anything I see since I’ve been idle here staring at a blank space.

Today is just like any other spring day (yes, it’s still spring weather) when I wouldn’t want to stay under a tree or stand behind any structure that could cover the sun for me. The wind is really cold, it was 14deg before I left home by the way. Seriously though, this is one of those days again when  you really don’t know what to wear. Those times when you go outside you’ll ask yourself if you wore the right clothes after you see others wearing T-shirts while you’re wearing a leather jacket and boots. I really find it funny and sometimes you’ll just have to shake your head and ignore.

Today I see people and their clothing and it’s really confusing to look at. Anybody who would try to guess what’s our weather forecast for today wouldn’t make it right. Haha! Boots, sneakers, flats were present in the shoe parade. T-shirts, pullovers, jackets, sweaters; one could guess it’s a sunny but cool day today.

Wednesday is market day here in Aalen. As usual, fresh from the farm produce are sold. I was thinking of buying a bowl of fresh fruit salad but settled with bread and iced tea for lunch coz there’s no fork that comes with the salad. 😛

Just another day for farm owners

As I sat here I thought of my kids. I bet they’re now excited knowing they’ll shop on their own. Yesterday they ask me if they can be allowed to go to one of the stores here and buy stuff without me. So, to build their confidence I agreed. I was planning to meet them in the store but I couldn’t bear it and instead waited for them near where they’re supposed to cross the street. However, I was “driven away” by son! Hahaha! I wasn’t allowed to come with them to the store and was told to stay outside and wait. :o. I was like, whaaat??!! Well, ok fine so before leaving them alone, I just got few reminders for them; don’t spend all your  money and don’t buy too expensive stuff. 🙂

The shoppers

I decided to stay in one of the ice cream parlors and thought of treating them for ice cream after shopping. Honestly I was surprised as they appeared with the objects they bought in their hands. I know only Ryz has money and I thought she’s the only one who’ll buy something for herself since it was her birthday last 18th. It seemed she also bought something for her big brother. Yeah, that’s sweet Ryz just generous. I didn’t question them too much on the cost of their stuff and just enjoyed that day with our ice cream.

A quick “me time” and time for the kids, a one fine Wednesday indeed!

Capturing Spring

spring

Aahh…. I just love the scent of freshly-mowed grass. It makes me see (err.. smell) more the beauty of the spring season. The flowers of different colors everywhere is always a lovely sight. Grandma upstairs maintains our garden and she plants mostly roses of different kinds. Inside our home, hubby takes care of a few orchids. I have always said that spring is my favorite among the four seasons except for the occasional rains. I just don’t like getting wet outside, hehe… Spring is always the perfect time to go out and have fun with the family. Sunny yet doesn’t burn your skin and that cool breeze blowing on your face, you’d hope it could also take all the worries in your mind.

One of my favorite spots here in our home is our balcony. I’ve taken many photos from here with our tree as my subject. We bought a coffee table set as it deemed perfect for the area. I’ve watched the kids play and do their stuff from here, sitting on one of the chairs.

kids playing, water guns, kids with water guns
Kids with water guns, enjoying the sun. 🙂

Hubby and I spend our quiet times here or just stay while watching the kids having fun. I’ve watched him also do some stuff with his car and yes, also mow the grass. I like seeing him mowing.

man mowing

I have dreamed of a house with a garden and my husband mowing the lawn but I realized having that kind of house can be a nightmare hahaha!! Just thinking of the work we have to do to maintain the garden; sweeping dried leaves in autumn, mowing grass in spring, watering in summer, I set that dream aside. Unless we’ll have that dream home in the Philippines where we could hire someone to maintain the garden, why not. 😛

We’re having warm weather the past few days, sign that summer’s taking a peek. Glad I got to write this post and capture a few of our spring days. I just have to be thankful we had enjoyed the start of this year’s spring and will make sure to have fun and savor it’s remaining days.

My Prize of Being a Mom

I know every mom has her own strategy on how to rear their child. I believe that we learn to become parents, of course from our parents themselves. We would remember our childhood days and how we were treated. When we became parents they would help us from the time our first-born comes out until the time they see that we could already do it on our own. They would guide us until they accept the fact that we can already stand on our own and should learn from our mistakes when we make them.

When I was younger I used to tell myself that when I become a mom I will not make the mistakes that my mom made on how she reared us and just emulate of course the good ones. Don’t get me wrong, my mom was a good mother. She cooked delicious food (which unluckily I never learned to do) and made sure we eat on time. She would meticulously wash our clothes so that we would look presentable. Being a teacher, she was more conscious on how we do at school and our grades. However, although these did something good on my character and how I am now I just know that we, as mother and daughter, lacked something. We didn’t have a “relationship”.  I could only count in one hand the times when we actually talked as “friends”.

mom
They cling too much! 😛

When I became a mom, I got a little conscious on how to act in front of my kids. I try very hard on being patient, hold back myself and try not to yell at them. I say every encouraging word I could think of to give them a push when there are times I see them losing confidence. I try to spend time with them; play with them, listen to their stories, make fun with them, make fun of them so they know how to laugh at themselves, and just simply touch and hug them. I believe these are some of the things I needed the most and what I am trying to give to my kids. I want to have a better relationship with them, one that my mom and I didn’t get to have.

With what I have done, here are just a few of my prizes:

Kids jockeying for position/racing to hug me 🙂

” Mommy, when I grow up and don’t have a house yet, I will stay with you so you don’t have to do everything on your own. I will help you. And you will teach me to cook.” – Ryz

“Mommy, my best buddy.” – Ryz

(while fixing their school things day before school opening)
Me: O, tomorrow your classmates might have new stuff for school. Is it okay with you that you didn’t buy new things?
Zyc: Of course! we don’t need to buy new ones.

Once I call out “huggy kuggy”, they will stop doing what they are doing and run to me and hug me.

I sometimes wonder am I really deserving of what I am having now? I thought, “I must be doing something really good to my kids!” or “I must be doing it right to deserve these!” I know I’m not perfect. I am faaaaar from perfect. No mom’s perfect and yet we can be perfect moms in our kids’ eyes.

How to Choose the Right Local Movers

movers, local movers
image credit: flicker.com/dolocalsearch

The lease is up, Moving Day is approaching and you’ve got a tonne of stuff that needs to be taken to the new house. There’s so many removalist companies to choose from online but it’s hard to know who offers better bang for buck. You need to be shrewd in your quest to find the service that’s right for you. Here’s a few tips on how to narrow the list of choices down.

Your Budget

You’re nowhere without a budget. What are you looking to spend on a move? Once you’ve got an idea of how high you’d like to go, start arranging quotes – many removalists like http://www.yourlocalmovers.com.au provide quotes online – and compare. The closer you can get to an amount that fits your budget, the better.

Their Reputation

One of the first things you should be checking up on when researching movers is if they have made a good name for themselves. That way, you can be sure the company in charge of getting your stuff into your new home safely can be trusted with the job. Finding this information out is far from difficult – ask your friends and family, get online and find customer testimonials. Don’t be afraid to ask the company directly for a referral.

Their Equipment

movers, moving house

What sort of gear are the movers using? What sort of vehicle are they bringing? Truck? Trailer? Ute? Make sure that the company has vehicles that are good condition before signing anything. Ask about what sort of equipment they’ll be bringing on the day and be upfront about any larger or heavier items like pool tables or pianos that need shifting.

The Legalities

Something you should be very aware of when selecting a moving company is their legal status. The last thing you want is to hire a fraud because if your stuff is damaged in any way, you’re going to be facing an uphill battle when having the deal with the company. Ensure that the company you are hiring is licensed. This will keep you from getting hit with any hidden costs and will guarantee quality service with security against any damages.

Their Locality

The most obvious advice for finding the right local mover is to select one within your area. They know their way around and will have no trouble being on time or getting to your new home quickly and safely. Many interstate removalists can run into issues of rest periods or traffic delays due to lack of familiarity with the region.

As you can see, there’s a bit of a process to making sure you’ve got the right guys for the job. But that’s good, you don’t want to put your belongings in the care of just anyone. Research and thorough planning are all that’s required to ensure you get the best service and safest transport on the day. What do you look for in a removalist? Do you have any success or horror stories from a move of your own? Leave them in the comments below.

Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/StuartMiles

Under the Sun

There are so many fun ways to enjoy the summer season. In tropical countries like where I came from, going to the beach resorts or staying over night in rented private pools help us cool ourselves from the scorching heat. Even going to air conditioned, giant malls without shopping became a habit to those who don’t want to spend more on their electricity at home. You won’t see us walking along the streets and having fun

Here of course is different. Although people would also spend their time in public swimming pools during a rise in temperature, aside from this they really go out and make the most out of the season. Ride a bike, jog, drive around with their convertibles, a grill party, or even just sit in their garden and read a book are some of the common summer activities here.

When we went to Munich last April we were lucky to have a sunny weather. It was still spring and the wind was a little cooler. We went to the Odeonsplatz and I was really surprised with what I saw.

Odeonplatz, munich, germany, ways to spend time under the sun

I thought this was a really great way to spend time under the sun especially those who just love the season. Bean bags were all over where everyone could just sit after hours of walking around, taking pleasure with the historical city. Bookshelves are filled with books for everyone to read. If you live nearby, this could be a great place to meet up with a friend and catch up.

Odeonplatz, munich, under the sun,

There were also hammocks aside from the bean bags. For those who are more comfortable reading books while lying down, this is just perfect.

As for me, I can never stay there just to read books 😛 . I love the sun, I really do but only when I need to dry my laundry. Hahaha! I just can’t bear the heat when it touches my skin. Despite wearing sunblock, I couldn’t stand it. I’m just thankful that summer here doesn’t feel that hot compared to the one we have back home because of the wind. The wind here is dry and cooler unlike ours which is wet and humid.

Catching up with Friends

I have been living here in Germany for more than 3 years now but still I could still feel homesick. I still miss my family, the Filipino food, my weekend habits and of course, my friends. That’s why it’s always been a joy for me to find a fellow Filipino wherever I go here, more so those living near my place. I know being with them and establishing a relationship will somehow cure my longing for my friends back home. However nothing beats meeting and catching up with my friends back home who share the same experiences. Agree?

I met with two of my classmates from the Goethe Institute (where I learned the language in the Phils) and was just overjoyed. Thanks to Facebook we are constantly in touch and with the same timezone, sharing our experiences, letting out our problems and worries, or even talking just about anything is easy.

We took advantage of meeting up while one of them, Mishel who lives in Berlin, stayed in Cherry’s house in Rheinplatz which is a two-hour drive from Stuttgart. We spent our day in Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Garden where we know the kids will also enjoy.

It was their first time to visit the 74-acre zoo. Fun and laughter filled our day while we roam around the place and while hubby constantly capturing our moments together. The kids? Hmm.. we thought we could have just brought them to a near playground. Haha! The zoo is so big they were just contented with running around. Although there were areas where they displayed their curiosity.

kids in the playground, wilhelma playground, wilhelma

kids in the playground

While waiting for them, we took the chance of taking photos with the ever beautiful tulips in the garden. It was such a colorful view and sure is the perfect sight of spring season.

wilhelma in spring, wilhelma, wilhelma stuttgart, tulips in wilhelma,

The whole gang…

I don’t know with them but I haven’t had such laughter for a long while. Nothing beats being with people who make you laugh out loud.

I’m really thankful that even for a few hours we have enjoyed each other’s company and made each other’s worries disappear.

A mini reunion with our other classmates who are also now living here is in the pipeline. Hopefully it will push through. 🙂

Proper Systems Always Make Life Easier

After moving in all our belongings from the old house which ended on the last day of September, we are now settled here in our new home (finally). Despite still having some stuff here and there which we still have to dispose/donate and look for a place to hide them, I’m starting to feel that this house will be our haven for as long as we wanted (I hope). October 1 is the day we officially start living here and with that we had to process some things which concern our residency here.

Informing the City Hall of our change in address was the first thing we did. A registration form was filled-up with information on our old and new address, the name of our new landlord and the names of those who will be residing in that address (our names, of course).

A portion of the form looks like this…

new address registration form in Germany, new address, neue Wohnung

Informing the governmentof the change in address is important since it has a centralized system of information. We sometimes receive letters from different government agencies and I believe it is from this database where they get our mailing address. It took only a little over 20mins for us to finish this process.

payment system in germany, payment systemNext stop is the Transportation Office here. Hubby needed to change the address for the car registration and his license. Altough it was not changed physically on his driver’s license, it was changed in their database. In this process, we needed to pay a certain amount. It took us around 30 minutes to finish this process. During this time I couldn’t help but compare our system in the Philippines especially the payment part. It is really convenient here since an automated machine directly accepts the payment. No money was handed over to the employee. In our country, it was the opposite that’s why red tape and corruption is prevalent. It is a sad thing. If only we have this payment system, we could help fight against red tape and not tempt our government employees to do something illegal. Bills payment supports this system why can’t we implement it in government agencies?

Last stop is our bank. The bank employee just clicked some buttons and typed some keys, let us sign a few documents and were done. This process changed our address to all our existing accounts in their banks including the ones for our kids.

We spent around 2 and a half hours on that day doing all these. Not bad at all. Really, when an organization or company has the proper system to go with, it would be easier for every individual to go through these kinds of activities.

The Best London Bed and Breakfast Hotels for Your Stay in the Big Smoke

bed and breakfast hotels london, bed and breakfast, bed and breakfast hotels

Exploring London is much more enjoyable when you have a wonderful room to come home to at the end of your tiring day in the city. Everyone knows that London is not an inexpensive city to be in. This is why it is so important for anyone who wishes to come for a visit to take the time to plan their stay. A great London bed and breakfast hotel can prove to be the most economical option. The lower prices do not mean that the quality of accommodations they provide are less than appealing. There are plenty of these bed and breakfasts that can make your stay in London as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

To make your search for the best bed and breakfast hotels less tedious, here’s a quick rundown of five of the places you should consider for the most affordable rates:

  • Queens Hotel London – Located in Crystal Palace, this bed and breakfast sits right in center of South London. It’s a great place to choose if you do not want to be in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s easy enough to get to London from this bed and breakfast through the Crystal Palace Train station.
  • Gatwick Belmont – If you are flying in through the Gatwick Airport, this is one of the most convenient bed and breakfast hotel for you. It has an airport shuttle service to pick you up from the airport so you do not have to worry about hailing a cab. This bed and breakfast offers a relaxed ambiance not only in your room but also in the rest of the hotel’s facilities. It even has gardens that can be enjoyed while lounging in the patios around the hotel.
  • Best Inn Hotel – A quiet and restful stay is what you can expect with this bed and breakfast in Ilford. Enjoy your stay in this three-star facility tucked away in a quiet side street North East of Central London. While this is so, you are not far from all the interesting places in the city as you can walk to the town centre to shop, dine, and party. This facility boasts of its newly renovated room that’s guaranteed to give you a relaxing time.
  • Holly House Hotel – You don’t have to spend much on transportation costs when you stay at this bed and breakfast. You can easily travel to the Buckingham Palace and all of London’s other popular tourist attractions. The Victoria Train, Tube, and Coach Station is also within walking distance from this hotel. With the delicious hearty breakfast offered at the hotel, you’ll have lots of energy to explore the city to your heart’s content.
  • Gatwick White House – Here’s another great bed and breakfast hotel near Gatwick Airport. This three-star hotel is a convenient base for your London trip you can conveniently get to Central London via the Horley Station to visit the city’s most famous landmarks. This is a family-run hotel that’s guaranteed to make you feel at home.

Rounding up the list to complete the Top 10 Bed and Breakfast Hotels in London with the Most Affordable Rates are: Bridge Park Hotel, Royal Guest House 2, Heathrow Lodge, Euro Lodge Clapham, and Heathrow House Bed and Breakfast London. While this list could change, there’s bound to be a bed and breakfast hotel in London to fit your budget and match your preferences. All you have to do is check online for the most affordable travel deals.

Image credit: bed-breakfast-world.com

Add Life to Your Walls with Decorative Stickers

Finally we have moved to our new home! A bigger and better one. The kids have their own rooms, a spacious living room, a bigger kitchen, a garden and a terrace where the kids could play and a balcony where I could relax and enjoy the cool weather.

We spent the last 2 weeks of September moving all our stuff from the old home to the new, which is by the way just beside it (luckily). Despite this, it has been a tiring and stressful 2 weeks but thank God it’s finally over. A new task for us now is to give life to our home; arrange the furniture, utilize space and decorate.

I think one downside of renting a home is that it limits you from making major modifications. Unless you have a budget to bring it back to its original state when it was turned over to you by your landlord, placing fixtures can be a disadvantage. When we first saw this home, I immediately liked the big space it has for the living room. Originally, it was the owner’s dining room but I think it will be perfect for receiving guests because of its wide window and the natural light that comes in. But the room has all-white walls around it. I considered putting wall papers to add color and life to the room but due to budget constraints I looked for alternatives. Then I saw the wall stickers.

wall stickers, deco stickers, decorative wall stickers, leaves wall stickers
Aside from paintings and photo frames, wall stickers can be perfect in giving life to your bare walls. With different designs to choose from, something could perfectly match with your room’s theme and motif. Our living room’s motif accidentally became green. At first I just want a colorful living room, something lively. But I was able to buy curtains for a bargain which was green-based. Then that’s where it all started. A carpet with green and gray combination and green leaves wall stickers completed my nature-themed living room.

wall stickers, butterfly wall stickers, deco stickers

Inside Ryz’s room… Since she loves butterflies, I also got stickers for her wall. Another advantage of wall stickers is that it is not that costly to change them. Kids normally get tired of anything and change their minds about it, like their favorites. Because of this, you can opt to a different design anytime you want. They are not messy even the kids can do it on their own and have fun.

We’re not yet done decorating our home. We still need to buy some stuff and keep the others. Unfortunately this home lacks storage room so we still have to think of other storage alternatives.

Get Organised with these Storage Ideas

storage

If you are feeling hemmed in by clutter and are finding it hard to easily store and locate items, it’s time to check out some storage strategies.

Space is often a precious commodity for many of us and using it wisely and well is important. Effective use of space for storage is all about organisation. It’s about maximising the space you have and using it in an effective and logical way to reduce the clutter you have around the home. Good storage ideas really will improve your enjoyment of your home and make finding things a whole lot easier.

Consider Off-site Storage

Storage is all about maximising your precious living space, so if you have lots of things that need storing, you might like to consider using the services of a storage facility. It’s inexpensive, it’s easily accessible and in the case of companies like Fort Knox, it’s very flexible around space and terms. For Fort Knox storage MacKay, Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Gladstone and many other places in and around Queensland, just jump onto their website and you can use their calculators to work out how much space you might need and how little it will cost.

Don’t Know Where to Start?

Often the biggest deterrent to getting organised is starting. Where do you begin? This is clutter overload, a scary condition, but it is easy to overcome. Simply break down the tasks into manageable pieces. Tackle one area at a time. Making your home more spacious and organised does not have to be a massive task. Start with the worst clutter first; a cupboard, a set of shelves, the kitchen drawers. Remember, any progress is good!

Getting Organised

If you are serious about getting organised, why not start with one of the most uses spaces in any home, the kitchen drawers. Go through each drawer and remove things you haven’t used for a while, say the last four weeks. Get rid of these items altogether or place them together in a plastic container labelled – use infrequently. This will stop the mad shuffle through your kitchen drawers.

Store in the Same Place

One of the keys to effective storage is having a place for things, especially commonly used items, and making sure this space is used each and every time. For example, buy an over the door hook for your child’s room and make sure they put their hats and bags there each day. This simple storage solution will prevent morning chaos as kids get ready for school.

Stuff without a Home

One of the biggest reasons for clutter is those things you have hanging around, just because they don’t really have a home. These things are usually items that need to be fixed or obscure odds and ends – spare earphones, old mail, loose coins, business cards, old bolts that must belong to something. You get the picture! Pop them all in a basket and sort through it, even if you just do 5 items a day. Repair, toss and return to correct owner. Getting rid of all those things lying around will definitely make you home feel more organised.

Apply these principles to each room and storage area in your home and pretty soon you’ll be organised!

Image credit: saifou.com