Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

To All,


Give a hug

Be nice

Be extra nice

Every single day.

I think that's what Christmas is all about - spreading cheer!

After all, Christmas is not about you or me.

It's about making love ones and others happy.

Love and alohas,


Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Day!

It's Monday and it's almost 9 AM but I'm still in my pjs. It's my first snow day of the year, which means no work (big smile). The snow blizzard has pretty much left the DC area buried and commute is a bit crazy. Yesterday on my way to check on Pinky, the freeway was littered with cars stuck on the snow or sliding uncontrollably. Days like these really require some good driving skills. Below are photos I took during and after the snow storm just to show what we're going through at the moment.

The neighborhood kids getting ready for some sledding and sliding.
Winter wonderland view from my apartment window.
Going out for a night walk during the snow storm.

Unplowed street and the cars starting to get buried with snow.

The day after - snow blowing!

How about a natural holiday tree?

Imagine trying to back out with this much snow.

I was thinking about sliding down my neighbor's car.

Where's my car?
My faithful car ice scraper. Bought it for a dollar when I was living in New Jersey.

How many halo-halos can I make with this mound of snow?

Since I'm not working today, I might go out for a little shopping later. I'll also spend the rest of the day wrapping some last minute gifts.

How is everyone doing? I hope well and ready for Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Album: Atlantic City

As of now, we have gotten about more than two feet of snow. I just got in from scraping snow from my car, and I'm hoping we won't get anymore snow. I had a few plans today that were canceled and that I do hope things will be in my favor tomorrow. Moving in the midst of a snow storm is no fun and that I was hoping to get settled at my new house before Christmas, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. For now, I'm stuck at home and decided to blog and share some photos from my recent trip to Atlantic City.

Last week, my friend, F, and I made our trek to Atlantic City. It's been two years since I was in AC, so I was excited because this was another chance to experience the place and also see if the place has changed. We stayed at the Borgata and got great room rates. Borgata after all has been getting all the raves in AC. When we arrived, Borgata didn't disappoint and that I would totally stay there again. Below are some photos from the trip.

On the road AC.

Crossing the Baltimore tunnel...

Entering Caesar's Palace, and Caesar is wearing a Santa hat.

The tree at the Caesar's Palace.

Sandy Christmas decoration at the Caesar's Palace new shopping mall.

Shopping beneath the starry ceiling.

A display of really small jeans.

Water show at the Caesar's Palace mall.
Water show

Atlantic City beach
A stray cat at the boardwalk. There were a lot of stray cats there.

AC boardwalk - featuring Elvis at the Hard Rock Cafe.
The Market Cafe at the Tropicana casino.
Tropicana Christmas tree
Snowman at the Tropicana
Gifts =)
I think this is the AC Christmas tree located at the front of Trump Plaza.

There are a lot of changes in AC especially with the additions of the malls at the boardwalk. I think there's a push to make it look like Las Vegas, but I think it will take quite a while before AC can compete with Vegas. On its own, AC has the advantage of being near the beach and its boardwalk has a beauty on its own. Finding trinkets at the boardwalk shops is something I really enjoy. AC has its own beauty and that I'm glad I got this chance to see this place again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Where Are You Christmas?

Remember the movie "Elf"? Where Santa's Sleigh couldn't fly anymore because people lack the Christmas spirit? I'm afraid I am contributing to the sleigh's inability to fly because I lack the Christmas spirit. Although there's chill in the air, snow on the ground, neon lights adorned houses glimmering in the dark, glossy and shiny decorations hanging on every store, I still feel that I am lacking something. I feel that Christmas is approaching too fast, too soon and that I am caught not ready.

This lack of Christmas excitement could be attributed to me celebrating the holidays away from my parents this year. Clearly, I've been missing the islands so much lately, and that I'll terribly miss my annoying, noisy cousins and most of all, grandma's cooking. Yesterday, I received a card from grandma. I was in tears because she never had to send me a Christmas card since I was always home during the holidays. This week, grandma sent me a family photo. I guess she's telling me that even if I can't come home this Christmas, the family's still with me.

After all, Christmas is about - family and friends. So, where are you Christmas? Probably buried deep in my heart.

Monday, December 7, 2009


On Saturday, we had our first December snow. I planned for a lazy weekend since I'm still recovering from my recent biopsy, but playing on the snow was too hard to resist. So with a sore back, I donned my jacket, gloves, and boots, and went out for a long walk. It was a struggle to still walk around, but when I felt the snowflakes hit my face, I felt a sense of hope and healing. Feeling the soft, cold snowflakes melt on my face invoked life and a sense of gratitude - that I could still feel and that I am still here. I was feeling rather low the past few days and finding inspiration was a task. I think that there are things we go through in life that sometimes beat us down, but I don't consider myself beat, I was just harboring the fear of uncertainty. I'm still trying to make sense of what's going on and trying to figure out what's next. It will be a couple of weeks before I hear about my biopsy results, and the waiting is killing me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Battle Continuous

Part of my weekend getaway was to take my mind off from my scheduled bone marrow biopsy, which took place yesterday (Dec. 1 - Mom's birthday). Getting through the biopsy procedure proved to be a challenge, but a special thanks goes to my friend F who kept watch during the whole process. Thank you very much.

I chose local anesthesia the last bone marrow biopsy, but this time, I went for conscious sedation. In preparation for my conscious sedation, I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything before the bone marrow biopsy, which was scheduled at 1 PM. The usual blood work took place, but this time there were 17 test tubes of different sizes to be filled. I was taken aback at how much blood they were going to draw. After the blood work, I suddenly felt light headed and everything just went dim. I could hear the technician saying my name, but it sounded so far away. I woke up later lying down on a bed, with a bag of ice on my neck, and soaked with sweat. Passing out was a scary experience.

Afterwards, I met my new doctors. I said "new" because I am meeting these new doctors for a second opinion regarding my Aplastic Anemia. I was told that before any conclusion and diagnosis will be properly given, we'd have to wait for lab tests and of course, the result of my bone marrow biopsy. My new doctors were nice and very encouraging, and I'll be meeting them again next month.

At the end of the day, I was prepared for conscious sedation. I was nervous as hell. I was hooked to an IV and all types of monitors were also attached to my chest. It was a new experience for me and the tubes clearly made me nervous. I was half awake during the procedure, and I could still feel the pressure and the pain. Unlike last time, I was more interested in fighting to stay awake than what was going on with the biopsy. Next time I knew, they were applying bandage and I was told to go ahead and sleep.

I slept for a good 20 minutes. I woke up to F bringing in crackers and some Apple juice. The nurse adjusted my bed for me to be able to sit up. I guess they knew I was so hungry. I crammed the crackers in my mouth, gulped the juice and slept some more.

The battle continuous.


To Mama,

Happy, happy birthday and many more birthdays to come!


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back From The Blue Mountains

Spa weekend was absolutely fantastic! I have never been pampered like that in my life. The drive from Maryland to Pennsylvania was about three hours, but the destination was definitely worth it. Our weekend was spent at Eagle Rock Spa situated in the Blue Mountains of Hazleton, PA. It was much colder up in the mountains, so it took us sometime adjusting to the fresh mountain air. We heard they had about four inches of snow the weekend before, so we were there at a perfect time - no snow. First on our itinerary was lunch so we headed straight to the restaurant and had light lunch (photo R). We thought it would not be wise to fill up since the whole afternoon is dedicated to spa massages and other treatments.

After lunch, we checked in at The Lodge and proceeded to The Spa after we got our things situated in our room. We were ecstatic to find a fireplace in our room. Just like little girls, we screamed, jumped and peeked through every door and cupboard.

Although at the spa, we tried to act completely adult-like and mature-like but we still had childish grins all over our faces (at least, I know I did =)). Our spa package started with a one hour, relaxing and soothing hot stone massage. As the massage therapist started with the hot stones on my shoulders and back, I was in a daze and felt completely relaxed. The hot stone treatment melted the stress away. An hour of hot stone massage, and the thought of work and chores vanished for the time being. Below is  The Spa atop a hill hidden by the now leafless trees.

In between our treatments, we gathered in our white robes at the Meditation Room where we rested on soft, fluffy, giant-sized couches while relaxing music played on the background. Time was of no essence there, and for a day I thought time froze.

Next was our hot stone facial massage, and oh my gosh, this one felt amazing. I had no idea what the heck was going on as I drifted with every warm towel and every soft brush that touched my face. Inhaling the aromatic scent of mint was bliss as it opened my sinuses and cooled my lungs. Every out breath was of toxic stress never to come back again, and for every in breath was of peace and rejuvenation. Lastly, I settled for my hot stone pedicure. My feet were massaged and treated with a mint scrubbed. I never get pedicures, and when asked what nail color I wanted, I chose deep purple. It reminded me of ube.

After the whole afternoon of relaxing massage, we settled for heavy dinner. For starters, we had a bruschetta with basil and tomatoes. I ordered the grilled Salmon which I absolutely loved and devoured. For dessert, I settled for a champagne and chocolate cake (photos below).


What best way to end the day by chatting with R and drinking tea in our room. We chatted until we dozed off, while the crackling fire kept us warm the whole night.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stuff I Didn't Post (In Bullets)

  1. For Halloween, I was at "Hershey's at the Dark". I did a wee bit of shopping and of course, ate sweets at Hershey's Chocolate World. For the first time, I ate a chocolate covered double chocolate cake with Hershey's signature hot cocoa. I was in heaven and was on a sugar high for a few hours =).
  2. I was summoned for jury duty on the 2nd of this month. I made it all the way to the court room for a civil case but didn't make the final I enjoyed the experience, but I was a bit nervous about being chosen for a murder case.
  3. I have started wrapping Christmas presents, and I am almost done with my shopping list. I'm not spending too much on presents this year but just simple gifts for family and friends.
  4. I saw "A Christmas Carol" in 3D and it was absolutely amazing. I want to see it again.
  5. My car just got the 30,000 mileage manufacturer's maintenance requirement. Big bill, but I am glad my car's still in great shape.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Meet Pinky

I wanted to write a much longer post, but I think that this photo and a little narrative would sufficiently explain my successful project. I have to say that the experience and the process was quite challenging and very stressful,  but in the end, absolutely rewarding. More than a year after I wrote my bucket list, I actually made part of number four into a reality. Until today, I still couldn't believe I'm finally the owner of a house I referred to as 'pinky.'
I met 'pinky' about three months ago, and it caught my eye because of it's workable size and the beautiful view from the living room, which I'll take a photo of at a later time. I referred to this house 'pinky' because there's a part of the house that's painted pink. Also, at that time, I was visiting so many houses and this house really stood out in my mind because of that striking pink color. From then on, I fought and stressed to make 'pinky' my home. So when I stated that I won't be home for Christmas, it was a misstatement because I will be in my own home for the holidays. Although I will stress that I will miss Hawaii this year.

Next month, I will be moving to my house, and since I have started to pack my belongings, I can't help but think how I'll miss my apartment (photos below) which has been my home for the passed two years. This apartment has seen one of the worse experiences in my life, the break-up, but it also laid witness to how I stood up, moved on, and succeeded. I will definitely miss this apartment.

Lastly, dreams absolutely do come true no matter what!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Big project was a success, and I'll be posting a longer update soon. I got the decision on Tuesday afternoon and I was ecstatic. So ecstatic that I went inside my car, locked it, rolled up the windows and screamed to my delight. When I heard the news, the first people I called were my parents, who were anxiously waiting for my call. It was a day of answered prayers. I can't describe this wonderful feeling, but until now, I still can't believe I did it.

I'm ready for the holidays!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finding Kayni

Find the couple

Find the hidden bird

Find Kayni =)

I haven't exactly been hiding; I've just been busy. As I have mentioned before, one of my big projects this year is concluding on November 10, so all of my energy and time has been dedicated to it. Today was sort of a breather but actually a day of waiting if all paper work for my project went through and are in good shape. To tell you the truth, waiting is harder because it's like relinquishing my power and putting the decision in the hands of others. Hopefully, I'll hear the decision tomorrow.

For now, I'll relax and wait. Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


The word for today is Pumpkins.  In the spirit of Halloween, it was a delight to go Pumpkin hunting. The weather was perfect and Pumpkins were abundant.  I felt like a kid again.

Pumpkin hunting

I was actually thinking of taking the flowers instead

I thought this one was asking for a photo

Scary, weird looking Pumpkins

These ones reminded me of Papayas

The cute mini Pumpkins

and some snake looking gourds.