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Saturday, January 31, 2009

XOOM Money Transfer Sucks!!!

If you're a constant visitor of my blog, you would very well know that I don't usually complain negatively in my posts. Why? I just like to create a positive, feel good, light mood in everything that I write and share to my readers. It's not that I'm putting up a front or something, I just really want to be careful with what I write and say. This post might be different. I am so mad that I really had to let it out, or else, I'd be taking out this anger and frustration on my dear hubby.

We've been using XOOM Money Transfer when we send money to the Philippines monthly for two years now. Transacting with them had always been smooth, easy and convenient...BUT not anymore!!! For the past two times that I've sent money through them, it takes 1 WEEK before the recipient could claim it, NOT minutes as they have been advertising in their website and TV commercials. It bothers me a lot since we're old customers and we have not received any notification that they changed their terms of service or something. I would understand if we made any changes in our accounts which I did before, I know that they will have to verify some information but hey, we've been using the same bank for a long time and why the heck now they're telling us that they were waiting for my bank to clear the money. I mean my biggest question is "WHY JUST NOW?" What's the deal? Don't think that I didn't contact their Customer Service right away because I did, only to be put on hold for 30 minutes and not been able to talk to any single soul. I tried emailing them, sure I got a reply which didn't really answer any of my questions. I'm not even sure if it's a real person who emailed me back or just the standard auto-response to their general customers. One thing is for sure, the reply was nonsense.

I hate to dwell on this problem the whole weekend so I decided to just let it go. I sent the money last night and they said it's gonna arrive Feb. 6th, ok fine, so be it! But I'll definitely look for a different money transfer service from now on. We've tried Western Union way back, they charge exorbitant fees but I've never had any problems with them when it comes to claiming the money but if any of you know of any other money transfer service that charge reasonable fees, you're welcome to give your comments on this post. I'm desperately in need of finding a better one because I'm not using XOOM any more. I want this post to add up to the number of complaints from XOOM customers on the internet. I don't want to feel so stressed out whenever I send money so...

To XOOM, Good Riddance!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Like it, Love it, Hate it, Whatever... JUST ENJOY IT!!!

That's the famous dialogue of the newest YouTube sensation, "Rin on the Rox". I was visiting my favorite blogs one night when I came across with a post talking about this phenomenal singing duo. I got interested to watch their videos and listen to their voices when I've read that Ellen de Generes was calling out to this pretty girls to guest on her show. What's pretty exciting is the fact that these two talented ladies are Filipinos. I remember when Charice Pempengco was also given the chance to guest in this famous American tv show after being watched by millions of people in YouTube. Anyway, take the time to watch the videos below and you'd definitely like their voices and renditions of the famous songs, "If I Were a Boy" by Beyonce and "T-Shirt" by Shontelle. Enjoy peeps!!!



Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice Storm Warning

Our town is under ice storm warning until 6:00 A.M. tomorrow. The temperature is as low as 29 degrees right now. I know it's not as bad as the northern states but freezing rain, sleet and ice are the last thing we would want here in our place. I'd welcome snow with all my heart but not ice, pleeease!!!! If the roads are gonna be bad for driving tomorrow morning, I'd definitely just stay at home and skip work. I didn't see any ice yet when I went home this afternoon but I was practically creeping on my way home especially along the bridge. I'm just being on the safe side especially that I am so inexperienced when it comes to driving in bad weather conditions. I hope tomorrow wouldn't be very bad though. They were talking about losing electricity if this ice storm condition gets worse. Gosh! I can't live without internet, light and TV, lol!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Thoughts

It's Sunday and I've been staring at my laptop for at least 15 minutes now. I'm done EC dropping and I was wanting to write a post but I can't seem to keep my thoughts running. So I just thought about sharing what had transpired this weekend. We drove to Fayetteville to drop the Balikbayan Box for my family yesterday. Then we head to Ashley's Furniture Store to check out some furnitures. For quite some time, we've been planning to buy a dining room furniture and it was a blessing in disguise that my sister mentioned about the good quality and affordable prices of Ashley Furnitures. We took the chance to visit their store yesterday and we saw a few that we liked but we still have to measure our place here to check and see if it we have room for the one that we like. We're just renting right now and we don't have much space for huge tables and chairs so we'd definitely consider that. But we also don't want to settle for anything small and be unhappy about it so we'll have to think about it more. Anyway, I'm doing laundry right now while blogging, lol! I'm not sure what to make for dinner but I'm thinking of cooking the corned beef that I bought at the Filipino store yesterday. Alright, guess I'll have to stop my nonsense rambling before I'll bore you all if not already. Hope we all have fun this week!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Valentine surprise for DH

Have you already thought about what to give to your dear hubbies and beloved wives this Valentine’s Day? In 3 weeks, another special occasion would be shared with our loved ones. In our case, it’s going to be our 2nd Valentine’s Day together physically. Last year, we spent it in St. Louis, Missouri but this year, we’d like to keep it low. We would spend it out of town but it’s not going to be as far as Missouri. A week ago, I bought a watch for my babe for this occasion. How about you? Need some Vday gift ideas? Check out the Cyber Monday specials on Buy.com.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Can you pick me out? [I'm the pretty one...=)]

When I found out that there's only gonna be two (2) women in our department (Information Systems) here in the bank, and that includes me, it didn't faze me at all. As you can see in this photo, I've worked with an all-guys formatter's section back in the Philippines, so I know how it is to be around with men in a work-environment setting. I would say it was peaceful most of the time, since men don't like to chatter much and there are just things that you can't relate with them, but sometimes it just drive me nuts when they just start picking on me. What I would usually do is I'll just work silently on my own and instantly they would get the hint that I'm off-limits for their jokes and out-of-this-world questions. I saw this photo from my old files and I thought about sharing this here in my blog. Miss you, guys!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Creative party ideas

Birthdays are special. People celebrate it in various ways. I’ve always celebrated mine in a very small and simple family dinner sharing lechon manok, ice-cream and cake. I never had a grand birthday celebration though I wish I had a real party with family and friends when I was a bit younger. I am sure kids love birthday parties more than adults. When I’ll have kids in the near future, I want to give them a nice, well-planned birthday party. I have a lot of kids birthday party ideas in mind but I think celebrations.com has a lot more to offer. I made a quick browse on the website and indeed, they have countless party ideas for birthdays, bridal showers, super bowl, and even romantic events like engagement and anniversary party. I was amazed with how creative and easy on the budget their ideas are. Shame on me, I thought all fun birthday parties requires a fortune but looking on their website, I learned a lot of fun party tips and tricks that we all can make use of in the future. But if I had the means to go crazy with our budget, I’d like to throw a Disneyland-themed kids birthday party. It’ll probably be expensive but I’m sure the kids would all enjoy it. How about you? What’s your fantasy birthday party?

In the mood for senti music

--and i love you so...
the people ask me how.
how i've lived till now.
i tell them i don't know.

i guess they understand...
how lonely life has been.
but life began again.
the day you took my hand.

and, yes, i know how lonely life can be...
the shadows follow me, and the night won't set me free.
but i don't let the evening get me down.
now that you're around me.--

If you've reached this part, you may have realized that the text above is the lyrics of an old song. I'm in the mood for senti music right now so I listen to Regine's Low Key album. She has a nice compilation of classic love songs in this album but I fell in love with her version of 'And I Love You So' right instantly when I first heard it. I hope you would get a chance to listen to it. By the way, I don't feel well today so I stay at home and enjoy a relaxing, lazy, call-free Wednesday. It feels good to get away from people's computer troubles sometimes. Anyway, hope you all have a wonderful day, bloggers!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, federal establishments and banks are closed including where I work at. Since we don't observe this holiday in the Philippines, I don't really know who Martin Luther King is. I even mistake him as "Martin Luther", the German Theologian who was popularly known as the Father of Protestanism. It was hubby that told me that they are two different individuals, though the latter has some kind of influence on the lives of the former. I did some research and I found out a little about this guy. MLK was an African American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. He would always be remembered as a strong leader, a person who believed in peace and justice, and had won more freedom for black Americans. Each year, on the third Monday in January, we celebrate his birthday. This is the first national holiday to honor an individual black American.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Feeding my addiction

This is my first purchase in the mall for 2009. Actually, my real first purchase for this year is over the internet when I bought the Twilight saga books but I didn't get the chance to visit the shopping mall for this year until yesterday. We went to visit Dad in Little Rock and we headed to a mall after that. I bought a Valentine's gift for hubby and he didn't know of course. He just waited on a bench while wifey shopped to her heart's content. He knew that I purchased a blue winter jacket and a Kathy van Zeeland chocolate brown purse, but I hid the surprise gift in my purse so he didn't know that I got him something for Vday.

Anyway, I don't know why I get attracted with brown colors lately. Probably because it looks neutral especially that I plan to use it for everday basis at work. I've always wanted to own a Kathy purse but when I didn't have a job yet, I thought it would be a waste buying a purse that's worth more than $50.00. Well, actually I still feel guilty about getting pricey purses even now that I have a job, that's why I used my blogging money to make this purchase, hehehe. Haaayy!!! I am one of the few who has some kind of addiction to handbags.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Should I get one?















It looks cool, doesn't it? This is the 4th generation of Apple iPod Nano. It can hold as much as 2,000 songs. I don't own any kinds of iPod for that matter, but recently, I've been thinking of buying one. This particular model of iPod caught my attention. I love the svelte form and there's like 9 cool colors to choose from, but for me, green is the best. My heart is not 100% set on getting one but I'm kinda leaning on treating myself with this gorgeous music gadget. I don't know much about iPods but after I read about the reviews, I'm pretty sure that if ever I'll get one, this will be IT.

Helping myself combat it

After the terrible flare up I had at work the other day, I made an effort to research a little bit about my condition. I would still go to the doctor definitely, but reading about it over the internet helps me understand what causes it and learn about the things that I need to avoid. As I was reading about hyperacidity, acid reflux, gastrointestinal and heartburn problems, I realize that the symptoms I have are exactly what the web site describes, even the pain in the upper abdomen part. I learn that too much meat in your diet, overeating, no exercise, eating fried, hot and spicy foods would trigger hyper or extra acidity. All of the above accurately describes my lifestyle. No wonder I have this thing huh! I’ll be sharing here some tips and simple rules to follow in order to get rid of hyperacidity. I got this from Helium.com.

  • Have lime juice after your dinner. Lime helps in regulation of acids in your body, but hold on! The lime juice you have shouldn't be sour it should be sweet!
  • Have early dinner, by eight in the evening and sleep by ten- ten thirty, you acid peptic trouble should slowly leave you in peace.
  • Light Dinner! This is very important; we should have light dinner because after dinner we hardly do anything! Even for quick digestion, some activity is required.
  • A magic mixer, if you are suffering from acidity continuously here is a home remedy- Something that my Papa taught me - Take a glass, in which put about 5-10 ml of cold milk, fill the entire glass with water, add two teaspoons of sugar and mix.( Putting ice is optional) and your magic drink is ready. You will see that within minutes your acidity and ingestion will be gone! Trust me it works!
  • If you know you had too much to eat - Sometimes it happens - So what do you do, If you see lime around yourself, now understand this you think you may have acidity but not just yet, so take about 10-15 ml of water and squeeze an entire lime in it and add a bit of salt and drink it. Understand- This has to be done only and only if you think you had too much and you might get sick... this mixer will prevent any further indigestion!
  • Cold milk- Very good remedy, especially at night, if you are having acidity have cold milk!
  • Exercise- A bit of walk after dinner does miracles, but if you are one of them who likes to sit in front of the TV after you had dinner then you have all the above things you can do to avoid acidity!
I am glad I found this. I never would have thought that chilled milk could help!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The trip of a lifetime in Branson

Let me tell you about how we spent our Valentine’s weekend last year. It was a wintery cold weekend in St. Louis, Missouri. Yes, we’ve been to Missouri and it was one of the best vacation trips we’ve made. We had so much fun despite the cold weather and we personally enjoy the visit to the famous “Gateway to the West” also known as the “The Arch”. Another wonderful city to visit in Missouri is Branson. You can take a relaxing and romantic retreat away from the bustle of the city and yet be able to enjoy the electrifying entertainment capital of the Midwest. This is the perfect time to bring your loved ones and take them to a romantic escapade and get a chance to stay at the luxurious Hilton Promenade, Hilton Branson Convention Center or Branson Landing. Enjoy the Hilton Branson Escape Package for as low as $79.00 per night. Branson has ongoing events for everyone’s entertainment like the Third Annual Ice Carving, the exciting 2009 Polar Plunge and the 2nd Anniversary of the Hilton Promenade, live entertainment and theaters. If you want to take it slow, you can enjoy a romantic dinner and a movie date with your loved ones. Whichever way you want it, you’ll definitely have an experience of a lifetime in Branson, Missouri.

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Where Do I Begin?

I'm not referring to "Love Story", the popular song from the 70's. This is actually what I'm asking myself right now as I started to seriously plan my wedding in the Philippines. I don't know where to start. Planning a big event such as this is so stressful and I think being far away from the place where the wedding is gonna take place makes it harder. I'll definitely get a wedding planner but just the same, I don't want to leave everything to the hands of the planner. This is my wedding and I want Jeff and me to be able to decide ourselves on whatever it is that needs to be decided upon. I picked Cebu Cathedral for my church and I plan on calling them this weekend to inquire about the requirements. I don't know how this works since we've been married here and we don't have the luxury of time to attend a series of seminars which normally the church requires. I just hope everything will turn out fine. I am wondering if there's anybody here who went through the same process as mine. I want to hear your thoughts about this matter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm in Pain...

Practically my day at work was spent in suffering while I was attending computer issues. I would normally call my condition as "kabuhi" but it was not medically proven that it is. This could be stomach ulcer, gallbladder stones, gastritis or any of those horror sounding medical conditions, however, a doctor had not told me exactly what it is. I tried to see a doctor here in town a few months before I had my job. I told her about the symptoms and like most doctors, they would need time to observe before they will give an exact diagnosis. So for starters, she had me take a month's worth of acid blocker, it's a little stronger than over-the-counter antacids. It seemed to work for a few months but I've noticed it comes back every once in a while especially after I ate fatty and oily foods. I've been wanting to go back to the doctor so we could proceed to the next level of treatment but my job is what's keeping me from making an appointment. I plan on resigning before I'll leave for my wedding in the Philippines, so by then maybe I'd have the time to take my condition seriously. I don't know if anyone of you here experience this as well, but the pain I've been feeling is right below my diaphragm or upper abdomen. It can almost be described as being punched right on the stomach. One time in the past, the pain made me puke in the church's restroom while we were attending a Sunday service. Gosh, I didn't mean to divulge the gory details but anyway, just to give you an idea of how painful it could get sometimes. As of this writing, thank God I feel a little better. After I had dinner, the pain subsided. I didn't take any pill but Efficascent Oil has always been my first aid.

Duo's sweet weakness

I love chocolates! Who doesn't? If not for the fear of getting diabetic and growing big, I’m pretty certain that most people would like to make chocolates as part of their daily food calorie intake. Actually, me and hubby are tryyying…to shed off some pounds for our future wedding in the Philippines. Ironically, we still include chocolates in our regular grocery check list, du’h! We both particularly like dark chocolates with almonds in it. It’s something that we munch on while we watch tv or use the computer. I know that we need to cut back on this habit because it’s unhealthy but you know what, I’ve seen a show one time that featured Dra. Vicky Belo, the doctor of the stars back in my country. She looks healthy, sexy, and young and I could not believe it that she’s a chocoholic as well. I mean she has this huge and seemingly infinite supply of gourmet chocolates and she said she would eat at least one bar a day. So it got me thinking maybe there are specific kinds of chocolates that are not that bad for us after all. I’ve heard that Dark Chocolate Cordial Cherries are good so I’m gonna order it online and probably give it to Jeff as part of my Vday presents for him. One would think that all gourmet candies are pricey but surprisingly, this one is only sold for $11.79. Not bad for a gourmet chocolate, isn’t it?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The books that started it all

I barely know anything about the Twilight saga when I invited Jeff to watch the movie "Twilight" last year. I must admit, it was the blogs that I've read and prodding from friends that had talked me into giving it a try. Hubby's male co-worker told him that he and his wife got hooked on the series and literally could not put the book down. The books were owned by his teenage daughter and as parents, they just probably want to know what stuff their kids were reading. Anyway, so I thought, well, we should watch the movie and see if it's our thing. Lo and behold, we loved it! Like my other favorite, the Harry Potter series, I thought the books must be more detailed and entertaining than the movies, so I didn't waste much time, I ordered the books over the internet. I can't wait to start reading them. I don't know if we'll have the time but we'll make time for it, that's for sure. This is gonna be our next big thing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Holiday photos of my family back home

The best time of the year for my family and probably for most people are Christmas and New Year. Unfortunately, for 2 years now, I have not been able to spend my Christmases with them. My mom is a good cook and she's very keen with all the preparations that has to be done during this season. I am the eldest of 3, my sister Jingle is also here in the U.S., so that leaves only 3 of them (mom, dad, youngest sis) to celebrate the Yuletide season. I would always tell mom not to prepare a lot of stuff since it's only gonna be 3 of them anyway, but she would not want it any other way. The table is still full of yummy food and when I look at their photos, I can't help but wish that me and hubby could spend Christmas with them.

Papa, youngest sister Jhazel and Mama
My family and relatives
Christmas 2008
New Year 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It can wait...

The hardest part about Christmas is taking down the Christmas tree. Well, at least for me, it is hard, boring and tiring. Would you believe it? I have not taken down even a single ornament from our tree. I'm too tired, busy and lazy to do it just yet. Blogging and playing WII occupies the rest of my day for now. This has to stop. I mean there are more things than just blogging and playing, right? But right now, I'm still very much in the mood for Super Mario so I'm not gonna pay attention to our Christmas tree yet, hehehe. Seriously, a bank's holiday is coming up so I might make use of that to do the things that needs to be done. Hahaay! I'm a self-confessed big time procrastinator. (*smiles)

A heartfelt gratitude as I bid adieu to 2008!

I may have been a little late in blogging about the past year 2008 but I really feel the need to make a post about how fruitful my 2008 had been. It was the year when I started blogging and earn some dollars out of it. Jeff said he could recall the times when my face shone with excitement while I was telling him how much I’ve earned on a particular day. It’s not much actually especially that I didn’t have any page ranks and regular readers at that time. The friends that I gained and satisfaction that I got from blogging are what made me persevered. The income was slow but steady. After several months, I was able to save money to buy a laptop. Jeff didn’t want me to pay for everything so we shared the cost of my expensive lappy. As time goes by, blogging and EC dropping have become an addiction. It used to be just a hobby so as to ease away the boredom while I was jobless. Now that I am working and actually earning more than what blogging could give me, I could not do away with it. I am more picky right now with the topics that I blogged, but I still get a decent rate of opportunities especially now that my page rank went higher. I feel so blessed and I’m forever thankful to all my friends, especially Lou, who encouraged me and helped me while I was just starting. The past year was truly fruitful and memorable for me. My life is far from being perfect but the love and blessings that I got from hubby, family, friends and the ONE up above are overwhelming. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions but I strive to be a better wife to Jeff, a better daughter to my parents, a better sister and a better friend. Farewell 2008! I welcome 2009 with anticipation for better things to come!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Super Mario Galaxy rocks!

Does anybody here play Super Mario Galaxy in their WII video game? I bet you could relate to the feeling of fun, adventure and excitement while playing this classic but modern Mario adventure. I say classic, because the Mario concept had been there for ages. Modern, on the other hand, because the new Mario takes us to the wonders of the universe and space. I thought it's just for kids but me and hubby got hooked on this game. It's pure fun in all levels. I think our neighbor's small dog was scared or probably surprised, because we heard it bark so loud when I suddenly screamed when the screen says Game Over, hahaha! I love the graphics of this game, it doesn't look ordinary and childish. Hubby and I are almost on the same level but I must admit, he played very much better than me, huhuhu! I enjoyed our WII so much. I never thought that I could squeezed in WII in my schedule. What, with my blogging, EC dropping, Jeff-time bonding, household chores, I'm glad that I still have time to play and have fun. We may have not kids but me and Jeff are the kids in our home, hehehe!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Food during the holidays





Back home, it's customary to prepare even just a little something on the table during Christmas and New Year's eve. I remember mom would be so busy preparing food for the holidays. She'd basically do all the cooking and some cousins in the house but me would help. I must admit I am very lazy when it comes to cooking food especially on a big day like Christmas. Now that me and my sister are here in the US and no mom would take care of the cooking, it's basically my sister who did all the cooking. Well, I did help a bit. We didn't prepare much food anyway since we didn't have many guests but I think the food was too much for the number of people who celebrated with us last Christmas. Anyway, we all enjoyed the food. We had a hearty meal but I didn't eat like a pig like I used to back home during the holidays. Above are the photos of the food. My favorite is the Buko salad and the Ham.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Latest photo updates

It took me a while to post our photos from our Illinois trip. Work just got into me and I think the long drive back and forth was taking a toll on me. Jeff got colds and his eyes are hurting so bad that I also don't feel active around the house. I even have not unpacked our suitcase yet, I'm just too tired to do anything lately. I really hope I won't get sick for I know the chances are big that I'm gonna get whatever Jeff has at the moment. I hate being sick. Du'h! Anyway, here are some of the photos from our Christmas trip to my sister's place. More to come when I get the chance. See yah!


Me and Bren
Jingle in the kitchen
Magkapatid
Pa-effek lang gud
Me and Bren again
'Pilit on the tree' pose
Sister sporting a red sweatshirt with red house slippers
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