Save Up!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of ING Direct. All opinions are 100% mine.

Since moving to London, I've been planning on opening a Savings Accounts for myself. But the thing is there's just too much of a hassle, and I got lazy... so never mind. :D Hubby has an account anyway, and I use it whenever I need it (which is all the time hehehehe).

But... I'm still thinking about it. Having my own account would still feel different... holding my own money, or maybe budgeting our household expenses. Or maybe shopping without hubby seeing my expenses. hihihi!

Anyway... the other day I discovered this widget from ING Direct, which is amazing! From this I can easily see how much, on average, households are saving in my area.

Find out more about ING Direct Savings


What I did was I clicked on the "My Comparison Table" and zoomed in on my area. Red, green and blue dots will appear. Click on those dots and the average household savings in those areas will appear.

If you see the blue dot, you're seeing the average savings per region. Zoom in more and you'll see green dots, which refers to the average savings per county. Zoom more and you'll see red dots that points to your local district. This would be encouraging for me and for others as well to save more because I can easily see if we're saving more or less than the others. :D

What do you think? Try out the "My Comparison Table" and tell me how much you could be saving. :D

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Missing My Family


I miss my family…

After going back to London from our very short vacation in the Philippines, I realized that I miss my family. It took us a year before we had the chance to go back home, and I have never been gone that long before since I started working. Even during business trips, I do my best to go home at least every 6 months or every Christmas. Now, it’s different because hubby and I are too far and air fare is too expensive.

Not only do I miss my family in the Philippines, I also miss my other relatives who are in the US, especially my grandmother and aunt, they’re in New Mexico.

Tita (that’s what I call my aunt) is a doctor and a nurse (yes… both! She was a registered nurse first, then took up medicine and now she’s a doctor), but I think her career in the US is in the nursing field. I guess you can call her a Career Builder or a traveling nurse? Hihi! :D Kidding aside, she has great benefits with here current work. And she loves it there.

Lola (my grandmother), on the other hand, has been living in the US for a long time… can’t remember since when! She’s a US citizen now. Before Tita moved to the US, she was living with my aunt in LA. Now, she's with Tita in New Mexico... too far away from our other relatives.

Hope Lola and Tita can visit me here…. Or maybe hubby and I can visit them there… :D

Christmas is in the Air!

It's December! Christmas is sooo in the air! And we have Christmas décors at home too. :D

Our flat's very small but we saw this small pot of Christmas tree and a small pot of poinsettia from the supermarket. So that's it... our Christmas décor. :D

It's super-cold now here in London. And now, the strong winds from Scotland are on their way south. So since last night (or was it early this morning?) we can hear the wind from outside.
So sad... coz I was planning to go out today and go malling...

Speaking of malling... I haven't bought any Christmas present for hubby... what to buy what to buy?!?!

11 days to go before Christmas!

What a Nightmare!

I had a really weird dream last night...

I was at home, with my family. They were out of the house that time, but I was expecting my dad to be in the living room, watching TV. When I went to the living room, it was someone else... a man carrying a knife! As soon as he saw me he gave me this scary grin that I only see in movies. So I shouted and ran, and he chased me around the living room. He caught me and I screamed louder. As soon as he stabbed the knife (or was about to stab the knife) to me, I woke up.

Whew! Seriously, the dream and my screaming felt so real! I was so surprised I wasn't screaming at all when I woke up! So... thank you God for waking me up!

I think this is the result of reading too much of The Hunger Games. :D

Happy First Year!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I can't believe it...  time flies so fast! In just a few days (less than a week!) we'll been living in London for a year! Yay! 

This means one thing... we can now cancel, renew/extend or replace our contracts. What contracts am I talking about? Contract for our flat, cable, internet and phone plans.

A few days ago, I came across Straight Talk. Straight Talk is mobile phone plan provider. Comparing their monthly plans to my monthly usage, this can cut my cell phone bill in half! Imagine the amount of money saved if I can switch to Straight Talk.

Here's the list of their Monthly Plans:

  • The “All You Need Plan” meets even the needs of heavy phone users with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data.
  • Unlimited Monthly service is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web.
  • Imagine unlimited calls, text, picture messaging and web for a whole year, for only $499.00!
  • 411 calls are included at no extra charge.
  • Free from activation, reactivation, or termination fees

Straight Talk only uses trusted phone manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung. Their phone selections include reconditioned phones that are great for teens/young users. They also have the new touch screen phones with various features. Android on Straight Talk will be amazing!



One thing that I like most about Straight Talk is there are no contracts! On top of that there are also no surprise bills and no credit checks. They have great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity.

Another major thing that I like about Straight Talk, is their International long distance service. Straight Talk International Long Distance Service is a flexible prepaid calling service that enables you to make international calls from your home, cell or office phone at low rates. Great to use to Call a friend overseas.

If this is available here in the UK I would get one Hook, line and sinker.

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Our New Bookshelf

We finally bought a new bookshelf!


I've been asking hubby to buy one years ago, even when we were still living in Singapore. He finally gave in because... seriously... we need one!

For years, we've been using the shelf in the photo below - for our CDs, DVDs, BDs, books, Starbucks city mugs and souvenirs PLUS some of our kitchen appliances, 50% of which are in the photo below. Good thing this shelf was very sturdy with all the weight it had been handling for years. :D


I should've taken a before-and-after shot of that shelf so you'll see how many stuffs were in there. :D

Our bookshelf... now looks like this
♥♥♥! 

Kikay!

Kikay
Filipino slang word for someone (female) who loves make-up, fashion, accessories and the likes.
(definition from Urban Dictionary)


I'm not ma-kikay.
  • I don't wear make-up, because I have oily face and it will just end up looking more oily on me.
  • I only wear nail polish on my toes. I'm very clumsy and I have busy hands, so I always end up ruining nail polish on my hands.
  • I'm more comfortable wearing jeans and shirt. 
  • Before moving to London, I'd usually wear flip flops.
Lately... I've been kinda ma-kikay.
  • Since I had a haircut two months ago, I now blowdry my hair. There's a valid reason for that... If I won't blowdry my hair, they end up frizzy and all messed up! It's too embarrassing to go out looking like I just got out of bed.
  • I bought a hair straightening iron a few weeks ago. I love it! But I don't what to use it that often because I don't want to make my dry & damaged hair to become drier and more damaged!
  • I now find it weird and I feel incomplete if I do not wear at least a face powder whenever I go out (I have no idea why!). Maybe because I am now in a country with a cooler climate, ergo my face doesn't melt easily. :D 
  • I've been buying these make-up that I want to try out, mostly from e.l.f. because they're so affordable. Now I even have mascara and eye liner! But only when I'm in the mood to put them on. Usually it's just powder/foundation, then some blush/color on my cheeks and some lip gloss. :D
  • Now, I've been looking for some nice nail polish, but I'll still use them more on my toes than on my hands. 
  • I feel so out of place when I go out wearing a simple jeans, shirt and sneakers. So now I try to wear nicer tops, and during lazy times I wear my flats. 
  • Let's not forget the coats and jackets... ooohhhh if only I can buy all of them! 

So what's with all the change? I guess it has something to do with the environment, the surroundings, the people around me. People here are too... fashionable (?).

I am not yet a certified kikay... but does this mean I'm being one? hahaha! 

A Sip of Soda

I am a softdrinks drinker. I don't drink them everyday, but I do drink them when craving calls... maybe twice to three times a month. I seldom drink those diet or zero colas, I want them regular. :)

I am aware that softdrinks are not good for the body, but I still drink them. I saw this posted in Facebook. It shows the effects of soda to a person's health.
Harmful Soda
Via: Term Life Insurance

waaa! Scary!

Hay... I seriously need to blog more often and do more productive stuffs.

This week I will try to do the following tasks:
  • update my list and photos for my monkey business
  • post my recent toy in my food blog
  • visit other blogs a.k.a. bloghop
  • clean the house... REALLY clean the house
Aja!

UPDATE (09-Aug): I'm thinking of revamping my blog... watchathink? :D

No, I'm Not Bored

I’m so lazy the past few days. I want to go out, but will end up just staying at home the whole day.

People always ask me if I ever get bored because I just stay at home… the answer is always this – NO.

I do a lot of things at home. On productive days I clean the house, do the laundry, cook and bake a lot! On some lazy days I watch TV, surf the internet, and chat with family and friends.

Whenever I go online to surf the net, I can read/see all kinds of stuffs, watch videos, listen to music, read, etc. There are a lot of things to see online, helpful and informative sites, although some I think we won’t need yet like BurialInsurance.org.

Yesterday while chancing upon an article about VA Mortgage Refinance I realized our condo’s monthly dues. See? It’s a reminder of sorts! :D Or the other day, there was an article about Japan and it made me remember of our trip there years back and the time spent processing requirements like the Certificate of Eligibility.

So, no… I don’t get bored, and I love staying at home. :D

Counting Blessings

"Count all of your blessings and be grateful for what YOU'VE got.....stop counting other peoples blessings and count your own......"
- Tweet from Vivian Green 

A friend of mine re-tweeted this and I'd like to post it here.

I can say that hubby and I have been blessed - we've been receiving more blessing than we deserve. And because of these, we are always thankful of what we have right now.

It definitely is not avoidable to want something that others have, but at the end of the day we still need to think of what we have and be thankful for it.

Money In = Money Out

After talking about earning extra money from my Monkey Business, let's talk about spending the earned money... hate hate!

Our insurance payments will be due soon – one in September and one in December. I better set a reminder to pay it on time, otherwise… well, I don’t know what will happen otherwise. Extra charges or fees maybe? I can’t afford to pay that!

I’ve also been thinking, should we get Medicare Supplemental Insurance here in the UK? Health care here in the UK is free. But I haven’t read anything about it, like the limitations and stuffs like that. For now, I think that will do.

Okay, time for a break and catch up with my reading/browsing at Fifties Web. :D

Monkey Business

A few days ago, I was having a girly chat with two of my friends from Singapore. They mentioned this one brand to me that they only buy through online stores. It's originally from the US but's it's available here in the UK and is very much affordable. I checked their website, and they really have cheap products!

My friends then suggested that I buy some of the products they like, then sell these items and have it delivered to them in Singapore. And so I did! And then some of our friends joined in as well. Two became four, then five. In the end seven of my friends from Singapore were ordering products - mostly cosmetics, but also includes some handbags. :D

After a lot of calculation, a bit of research and checking from online sellers, and a lot (as in A LOT!) of persuasion to convince hubby to agree, I bought everything and just had it mailed a few hours ago. hihihi!

Now they're spreading the word to their friends  as well. I'm still researching on how to charge for the delivery fee. For my friends' deliveries, I just told them to pay whatever the post office charged me. For other buyers, there should be at least a fixed fee, right?

For international buyers/sellers out there, any suggestions? :D




Busy Again

I haven't blogged for a while. I have been busy the past few weeks. I am so busy I haven't watched my usual Korean drama for weeks!

I can't say yet what I've been up to, I don't want to jinx it. All I can say is I've been reading a lot of books lately, and I feel like I'm having some history lessons reading all these books.


Note: I still have 4 to 5 books here that's not in the photo above, and some more in my Kindle. Will keep you posted once it's okay to blurt it all out. For now, I'll take a break from all this reading and watch my piled-up Korean drama.

Riing Riing! Byee!

The other day, our phone rang. It seldom rings because not a lot of people knew our home phone number. I'm not even sure if my parents know that number. And whenever hubby calls, he rings my cellphone. So it really makes me wonder a lot whenever our home phone rings. The caller... some insurance marketing thing!

Since we arrived in London, these people would call us up, either looking for me or for hubby. The first time I got a call from them, this is what they said, "Have you or any family members had an accident within the last three years?" The first thing that popped inside my head was, "oh no, hubby's in an accident!" As in my heart was racing! After I realized that it's just a marketing thing, it just made me mad. I told them whatever they're saying is not possible because we've been in the UK for 2 months, and told them to keep their facts straight before calling people up. Hahaha! It's sooo obvious I was pissed! In some days, I'd talk to them nicely and tell them that the accident is impossible. But in some days.... it's like there's this big GO AWAY sign on my forehead. They're like junk mail! Oh gosh... I'm sooo mean! hahaha

So anyway, the caller the other day... poor him. As soon as I realized its for an insurance, as soon as he said "accident within the last 3 years", I told him whatever that is I'm not interested. He kept on talking! Although it seems like he's new because he's stuttering a bit and sounds nervous. So I told him my usual line, we've been in the UK for only 6 months and the flat we're living in is brand new and less than a year old. And my parting words "keep your facts straight!". And then he said some things and we hung up.

Taray!

Weather Forecast... Good and Bad

Last Saturday, hubby and I went out. The weather was perfect! The sun was out, the temperature's not that cold! In fact it was warmer than we thought. We were wearing our winter coats and we were sweating! Seriously! Good thing we bought some jackets for spring... and yes I wore mine and didn't shiver at all. I even had yogurt ice cream for dessert and ate it while waiting for the train. :)

Another news: the day before (Friday), I went to Starbucks and saw that they're already using their new logo for their cups, mugs and cup holders. :D


Despite all these good weather and good news, Friday was not so good at all. Well, weather in the UK was okay, but in Japan....

Japan had an 8.9 magnitude earthquake that day, triggering a massive tsunami that hit Sendai, located north-east of Tokyo. This earthquake also damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. People near the power plant were already ordered to evacuate. I have friends who live in Tokyo and I was so relieved to hear that they're all doing fine.
Stay Strong Japan! 
Image: Kent Ng's Tribute "Stay Strong Japan!"

Let us continue praying for the safety of everyone in Japan, and for the earthquake/aftershocks to stop (or at least lessen).

Field Trip - Tower Of London

Two weeks ago, hubby and I went on a field trip. Yes, we were officially tourists that day. :D But we only went to one place... we went to Tower of London.


William the Conqueror had it built at the center of his fortress in London. As monarch to monarch passed, the tower turned into a prison and even a place where executions were done. If you've watched the movie The Other Boleyn Girl, this is that tower, where Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn (former wives of King Henry VIII) were executed.


The place was big! And we were not able to check out all the nooks and corners. Some were closed, the others, well we were just tired and cold already. hihi!

We enjoyed our tour.  Definitely worth a visit. :D

A Gift from Hubby

Last night, when hubby got home from work, he was carrying a box from Amazon. I was wondering what it was and when he ordered it, because whenever he orders something from Amazon I'd be the one doing the transaction. Plus, I'm the one who has an account in Amazon! I asked him what he ordered and when he ordered them. He said he ordered some movies. Okay... that made me think because the box is a bit bigger than expected, too big for just a few movies!

I continued cooking while he opened the box. After a few minutes, hubby called me and when I turned around he said "happy anniversary" and on his hand is a box of Kindle Wireless Reading Device! Even with all that garlic on my hands, I hugged him! Sweet!!!!


Before yesterday, I've been seeing one almost everyday, someone reading from his/her Kindle. It's like calling me... teasing me... telling me to buy one too! And every time I'd see one, I'd tell hubby about how cute and amazing it is... it's so clear and readable like a book, unlike other devices like maybe my phone wherein it still feels like reading from a monitor. I love it! And by the time I got home I'd be browsing around Amazon looking at the Kindle page, double-checking if they lowered their price. haha!

 
I still haven't removed the plastic coverings hihi!

Although I've been telling him that I wanted one for a loooong time now, I seriously never expected it! Although when he was carrying that box I was already thinking that maybe he's going to surprise me with a Kindle. Well, my guess was right! hihihi! ♥♥♥

Lazy Weekend with Hubby

This post brought to you by TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

The weekend was 2 lazy days for hubby and me. Actually, it was 3 lazy days because the laziness started Friday after work!

Friday evening, when hubby got out of work we were planning to watch a movie. Unfortunately it was raining and we didn't have any umbrella so change of plans. We then decided to just try out this Mexican restaurant near the cinema. We ordered two beef tacos in soft tortilla. Hmm hmm! Then add some drops of TABASCO® Original Red hot sauce... perfect! TABASCO® Original Red is "So Much More Than Hot." It's really not just the heat I'm after, putting some hot sauce enhances the flavor of the tacos, changing the good tasting food to a great tasting food! After having our yummy tacos, hubby and I went home and watched some shows on TV.

Saturday, we were suppose to go to the supermarket but decided not to and just stay at home! So this was really a not so productive day.

Sunday, we forced ourselves to go out for a while to watch a movie. After our not-so-often movie date, we decided to just go home and order take-outs. We ordered a medium size pizza and some chicken fingers on the side. Of course no pizza is complete without the TABASCO® Original Red... Pizza Perfected. Haven't had pizza for weeks and we really finished it fast hihi!

While eating pizza hubby mentioned that it's the football season and the Super Bowl is right around the corner. Our best friends love watching the games and would usually watch the game while having some slices of pizza. He told us that Super Bowl + pizza + TABASCO® Original Red a game day tradition! He also mentioned other Game-Day Party Menu that he and his friends usually have. He even gave me the web page for some simple ideas & recipes for food everyone loves!

Gosh, just talking about it is making me hungry....

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Korean Drama

I'm into Korean dramas nowadays. I always like watching them, but lately, I think since late last year, I've been watching a lot of them. :)

I just finished watching Marry Me Mary (also known as Marry Stayed Out All Night) two weeks ago... I love it! Now I'm watching Personal Taste (a.k.a. Personal Preference). Bought the DVD before leaving Singapore. :) These two Korean dramas are more like a mini-series, because there are only 16 episodes. But, oh my, each episode is an hour long! hihi!

Ok, now time to continue with today's Korean drama. :D

FaceTime

My mom just got back this morning from her VERY LONG vacation in the US. She was there for 6 months, stayed with some of her cousins and of course my grandma & tita (mom's sis).

There's no balikbayan without some pasalubong. There's clothes for Wookiee, my sister's shih tzu (the family's little baby. My sisters told me she has more stuffs than the rest of the family haha!), chocolates and other food of course, and some techie products. My aunt bought iPod Touch for my sisters and my mom brought it with her. Perfect time to try out my phone's FaceTime!

Hubby and I tried using FaceTime before, just to see how it works. But we were just sitting beside each other. We haven't really tried it with someone from far away. So this is kinda like my first time. :D

 My sister asked for my FaceTime ID (same as the Apple ID) so she can contact me. No idea why she can't contact me, so she gave me her FaceTime ID instead. It finally worked! The whole family's home, playing with Wookiee, looking at pictures. I toured them around our flat. And they showed me the clothed mom bought for Wookiee. She changed clothes a few times just to show me... fashion show! hihi!

Hubby's guess why it didn't work because I'm using iPhone so it's suppose to use the phone number, and my sister is using an iPod Touch so she's using her Apple ID. I didn't use hubby's ID to contact him before, I just pressed the FaceTime button from my contacts. I gave my number to my sister (it's not in her iPod yet) and told her to try to contact me thru FaceTime again, and it worked! Again! :D

FaceTime... heaven sent to those far away from their families...

Colds Go Away!

I have this terrible cold since the weekend. Terrible! It ruined my weekend!

Hubby and I were supposed to go out with friends yesterday (no work yesterday, so long weekend for them). But there was also some problems with the DLR yesterday so sick or not, we won't be able to go out. Good thing too, because our friends have a toddler and if we did go out, little Eezie might get the colds from me as well.

It's Tuesday and my nose still feels stuffy. I finished a box of tissue already, and I'm halfway thru my 2nd box!

Go away colds!

Cadbury Wishes

This post brought to you by Cadbury Wishes. All opinions are 100% mine.

New chocolates from Cadbury that's perfect for Christmas? Perfect! :)

The new Cadbury product is called Cadbury Wishes, specially made this holiday season. It's a star-shaped milk chocolate with a truffly, bubbly centre. Not only is Wishes sinfully delicious, it's also true to its name - make wishes come true. This is because for every Cadbury Wishes sold, Cadbury makes a donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation - 10% of its profits.

What is Make-A-Wish Foundation? It's a charity that makes wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses come true. A kid's wish can be as simple as going out to the beach or have a cute little teddy bear. Granting simple wishes of little kids can give joy and happiness not only to the kids but to their families as well.
I heard that Cadbury toured around the UK to get people involved in the Wishes campaign. It's not just helping Make-A-Wish, it's also making chocolate lovers' dreams come true! In the workshop, you can mix your own Cadbury concoction. :) This is my favorite, as I am a chocolate lover myself hihi!

Check out Cadbury Wishes Facebook page. From here you'll get more information about Cadbury Wishes, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the schedule of events.

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