Tuesday, August 30, 2011


♪♫ "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight...
Near the village, the peaceful village, the lion sleeps tonight...
Hush, my darling, don't fear, my darling, the lion sleeps tonight..." ♪♫

~ The Lion Sleeps Tonight 

Kilimanjaro Safaris is the largest attraction at any Disney theme park.  It simulates an African safari through the 100-acre savanna in the Africa area of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.  Aboard a rugged open-sided safari vehicle driven by a tour guide, guests are in for an exciting expedition through the wildlife preserve.  Since animals have a mind of their own, they say that no two Kilimanjaro Safaris experiences are the same.

When I went to Walt Disney World Resort in March 2010, I had the chance to hop on this safari ride.  Among the animals I was luckily able to catch glimpse of are antelope, baboon, crocodile, giraffe, ostrich, flamingo, hippopotamus, warthog, zebra, white rhino, and of course, that very handsome, newly groomed looking (and I'm assuming newly fed) lion above. 

A savanna is a flat, grass-covered area of tropical or subtropical regions, nearly treeless in some places but generally having a mix of widely spaced trees and bushes.  Another interesting find in Disney's African savanna is the baobab, also known as upside-down tree.

Towards the end of the expedition, our cool tour guide received a message from his radio that poachers had taken a baby elephant from its mother.  This was the part where the ride got bumpy as we chased the poachers and ultimately rescued the animal and saved it from harm - a good storyline to end the ride :)

The Kilimanjaro Safaris is but one of the countless things to enjoy in Walt Disney World Resort.  I will share more of my "child-again Disney adventures" in future Tuesday Travel posts.  Later !


To read more of my travel stories, check out:  TUESDAY TRAVEL

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Monday, August 29, 2011


Hello foodies out there!  Did you wash your hands yet?  Well, you better do because for today, we are going communal as I share you my Ethiopian cuisine dining experience ;)

Ethiopian cuisine consists of spicy vegetables and meat dishes usually in the form of a thick stew called wat (or wot) and served over a sourdough flatbread called injera.  Ethiopians practice an act of friendship (goorsha), wherein during a meal, a person may strip off a piece of injera, roll it in the wat, and then put the rolled injera into a friend's mouth.  The larger the goorsha, the stronger the friendship.  Also notable in Ethiopian dining is its coffee ceremony.  When serving coffee, the preparer roasts the coffee beans in a clay pot, and then walks around the room for others to sample the scent of coffee.  A complete ceremony has three rounds of coffee, and is accompanied by the burning of frankincense.

The Ethiopian cuisine is the most exotic among all the many cuisines I have tried so far.  Thanks to a couple of friends who share the same adventurous palate as mine that in December 2009, I got to know the Queen of Sheba - an Ethiopian restaurant located in Bloor Street West, Toronto.  Although the name depicts some kind of royalty - don't be fooled - because the place is far from being fancy.

My delightful experience began when the platter pictured on the right was served to us.  Of course, we needed to consume it the Ethiopian way, meaning we had to eat with our hands using the injera to pick up bits and pieces of the entree.  What's more interesting is that we literally had to share this platter - no serving utensils or plates - communal in its true sense.

i miss you, guys !

And yes, we didn't miss out the fun of a coffee ceremony!  As you can see in the picture on the left, some sort of incense was burning, and my friend was pouring coffee from a clay pot (partially seen).  I cannot tell what kind of coffee it was, as I'm really not a coffee person, however, it was pretty strong and dark, it sort of reminded me of the famous Kapeng Barako from the Philippines :)

I haven't gone back to any Ethiopian restaurant since then.  Not that I didn't like the strong flavored stew and veggies I had at the Queen of Sheba.  Let's just say, it's a cuisine that I won't mind having every once in a while, but not the kind I would crave every now and then.  If you do get tired of the usual Chinese, Japanese, American or Italian cuisine, by all means, try Ethiopian for a change ;)


For more foodie stuff, please visit:   GASTRONOMY MONDAY


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Friday, August 26, 2011


"A successful alarm dodges near the dash."

If you recognize the quoted statement above, you know what I'm up to.

If not and you're curious, feel free to leave a comment.


Thursday, August 25, 2011


This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


It's Tuesday Travel once again.  Care to join me inside a prison cell?  Today, we'll take a peek into where the infamous mobster, Alphonse Capone, was once confined for a short time.

Al "Scarface" Capone was an American gangster who led a crime syndicate during the Prohibition era.  His gang, The Chicago Outfit, was notorious for illegal activities such as smuggling, bootlegging, bribery, and prostitution.  He was involved in the famous St. Valentine's Day Massacre when seven rival gang members were killed.  In May 1929, a few months after the massacre, Al Capone was arrested on a concealed weapon charge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was given his first jail sentence served in the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Last year, I had the chance to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary and see Al Capone's Park Avenue cell.

Al Capone lived a "high life" in his prime.  His ill-gotten wealth afforded him to indulge in fine things including custom suits, gourmet food and drink, cigars, jewelry, and female companionship.  True to that, even in prison, he paid his time behind bars in relative comfort and luxury:

Al Capone's cell had lamps, oriental rugs, fine furniture, paintings, and a cabinet radio.  My initial reaction when I saw this was, "Is this a prison cell or a bachelor pad?"  I could just imagine how the other inmates felt towards his fancy cell then.  Al Capone did not stay here long, though.  He was released after eight months, and his subsequent years were remarkable for his conviction and imprisonment ultimately in Alcatraz.

The Eastern State Penitentiary is a US National Historic Landmark.  If you happen to be traveling in Philadelphia, I strongly suggest you check it out.  In the future, I will share other interesting stories behind the walls of Eastern State Penitentiary, as well as pictures of my visit there.  Ciao for now!
Source:  Wikipedia


For other travel stories, please visit:  TUESDAY TRAVEL


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Monday, August 22, 2011


One thing that brought Vince and I together is our common love for food.  Suffice it to say that I gained 20 pounds in the first six months of dating him.  Our satiety thresholds are high, so as our appetite tolerance.  We entertain ourselves by watching Food Network.  We (try to successfully) cook and bake at home.  We explore local restaurants.  We simply love to eat.  That being said, I'm dedicating Mondays for blogging about our gastronome-wannabe adventures ;) Hungry or not, here I come !


Last Saturday, we had our date night at Olive Garden, an American restaurant chain specializing in Italian-American cuisine.  It has more than 750 local restaurants, and the closest one from where we live is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which is about 45-minute drive away.

For antipasti (appetizer), we had a three-choice Sampler Italiano consisting of calamari, stuffed mushrooms and toasted beef and pork ravioli, served with parmesan peppercorn and marinara sauces on the side.  I loved everything in this platter but my favorite was the stuffed mushrooms (parmesan, romano and mozzarella cheese, clams and herb breadcrumbs baked in mushroom caps).


For primi piatti (first course), we had creamy chicken and gnocchi soup and a bowl of garden-fresh salad.  Gnocchi are small, thick dumplings, similar to bilo-bilo (glutinous rice balls).

Now, comes the main course:

Vince had a Tour of Italy (homemade lasagna, lightly breaded chicken parmigiana and creamy fettuccine alfredo),


and I had a well-done Steak Gorgonzola-Alfredo (grilled beef medallions drizzled with balsamic glaze, served over fettuccine tossed with spinach and gorgonzola-alfredo sauce).


I paired up my sumptous meal with a Mango-Strawberry Limonata.  This drink is a mixture of mango and strawberry puree, lemonade, and slices of fresh strawberry.  Definitely healthier than sodas/carbonated drinks :)


As usual, we didn't leave enough room for dessert!  Maybe next time ;)

So after all that Italian dinner, Vince and I went home a couple of inches flubbier on the waist, $50+ poorer, but twice happier :)


For more foodie stuff, please click: GASTRONOMY MONDAY


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Sunday, August 21, 2011


"I will love You in Your silence, I will trust You in the dark."

~ In Your Silence by Molly Ijames

There are times when it feels like God has turned a deaf ear to our prayers.   It can be when we are asking for a cure from an illness, a broken relationship to be restored, a job promotion, a large amount of debt to be settled, a loved one to get saved, or even the simplest thing we could think of.  We tend to get impatient with the "delays" in the answers to our sincerest prayers.  We then begin to question if God really cares.

It is truly difficult to trust God wholeheartedly when we don't get immediate answers to our prayers, or when we can't seem to see His plan, but keep in mind that God is in sovereign.  The Lord said in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways...   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts," and in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you...   thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."  What we perceive as "delays" are God's perfect timing, and what we perceive as "silence" is His way to say that He is in control and will carry us through.  We just have to trust Him.


Dear Lord,

Thank You for another wonderful and blessed Sunday at church this morning.  Thank You for using that song to touch my heart.  Forgive me when I fail to put my complete trust in You.  Thank You for reminding me that You are always in control.  Teach me to be more trusting in You. 

In Christ's most precious name,



For more inspiration/devotional reading, please click:  SOLEMN SUNDAY


Saturday, August 20, 2011


Look what I got from a fellow blogger :) Yehey !!!

I would like to thank Rovie for granting me "The Versatile Blogger" award.  Although I started this blog way back in 2008, I kept it private for a long time, until a few months ago when I decided to go public.  Wait, that sounds so showbizzzz.  But I know you know what I meant ;)

Anyway, I just want to let Rovie know that I appreciate her for this acknowledgment, and I will surely pass this along to fellow versatile bloggers :)

Below are the links to Rovie's blogs.  Feel free to network with her:



Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm not a morning person but if there's anything I love about mornings ... no, it's not a cup of coffee or a piece of toast, but rather that moment when I'm in a half-asleep half-awake state, then Vince pulls the comforter off my face to plant sweet tiny kisses on my lips and whispers, "I love you very much," every morning before he goes to work ♥  That's the best part of my mornings :)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"You can reach me by railway, you can reach be by trailway
You can reach me on an airplane, you can reach me with your mind
You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man
I don't care how you get here, just get here if you can."

~ Get Here ♪♫

Nowadays, there are so many ways to get from one place to another - train, streetcar, bus, boat, horse-drawn buggy, helicopter, airplane, hot air balloon, rollerblades, skateboard, bicycle, etc. - but for today's Tuesday Travel, we are going to Segway our way :)

Segway PT (personal transporter) is a two-wheeled self-balancing electric vehicle.  It is battery-powered and operates by computer and motors to keep it upright when balancing enabled, as well as sensors which detect the shift in weight.  Thus to move forward or backward, the rider must simply shift weight by leaning forward or backward respectively.  To turn left or right, simply tilt the handle bar to steer.  The Segway detects the change in the balance point, and adjusts the speed at which it is balancing the rider accordingly.

Sounds complicated?  Hmmmm, not really :D

Around the World at Epcot Tour - Walt Disney World - 2010

My first Segway experience was in March 2010 through Walt Disney World's Around the World at Epcot Tour.  The first part of the two-hour tour was a fun and educational training session which included watching a short video tutorial of how a Segway operates, and also learning about safety measures and proper handling of the transporter.  We were then given hands-on maneuvering exercises which required us to move forward and backward, stop, go up and down an inclined ramp, veer and steer, and avoid obstructions we may possibly encounter during the actual tour such as low-lying tree branches.  After we've passed those series of "driving tests" and once up to speed, our tour group headed for a trip around the Epcot World Showcase.  The tour guides were very efficient in enforcing traffic and safety to prevent collisions and injuries.  We did the tour around pavillions even before they opened so as to avoid crowds.  Additionally, our Segways were set into "turtle mode," meaning we weren't able to speed beyond 6 miles per hour.  It was a smooth and uneventful tour around the Epcot Park and we were able to see a lot of attractions in a short time.

Segs in the City - Washington DC Tour - 2011

My second Segway experience was in April 2011 through Segs in the City at Washington, DC.  The training session in this tour was short and very straightforward.  Our tour group did a few circles in one spot and after 5 minutes or so, we headed around the city.  There were a lot of things going in the city at the time.  There was the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and a Japanese-American festival, so the streets were very busy and full of people.  It was a more challenging tour as compared to my previous Epcot Park tour.  There were people and cars everywhere.  Some of the streets were closed for the parade.  We had to squeeze our way amidst crowd.  We drove along busy streets (on the bike lane) with vehicles passing on our side.  We crossed intersections and followed traffic lights.  We traversed on various surfaces - moist, dry, cement, pavement.  We went uphill and downhill.  We had to do narrow turns.  All those sort of stuff, but I kept myself aware of my surroundings as I didn't want to get myself or a pedestrian hurt.  Also, we weren't driving on "turtle mode," so our Segways could go as fast as the maximum speed of 12.5 miles per hour.  At the end of the tour on our way back to the booth, we were somewhat slowly going down from a slope, when one of the girls in our group zoomed herself down the road, overtaking the rest of us.  I guess she lost control and panicked, so she wasn't able to bring herself to slow down.  It didn't help too that she was wearing high-heeled boots.  Eventually, she managed to recover control and was able to come to a complete stop.  Hehe!

En route to United States Capitol

Travelling around by Segway is fun.  The transporter can bring you from one attraction to another in an expedient manner.  Just remember to always stay on the safe side.  Wear helmet.  Don't go too fast, and never race!  Be watchful of your surroundings.  Observe traffic rules.  No texting while driving.  Don't try any tricks as Segway is not designed for such and doing so may result in severe injuries.  Be very cautious and careful because you don't want to end up the same fate as the owner of Segway Inc., Jimi Heselden.  He died from blunt injuries sustained when he apparently fell off a cliff while riding his Segway.

Until our next travel, ciao !

For more travel stories, please click:  TUESDAY TRAVEL


Sunday, August 14, 2011


Matthew 18: 21-22

"Then came Peter to Him, and said Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him?  till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times:  but, until seventy times seven."


Sermon at church this morning was about transactional forgiveness.  The latter portion of Matthew 18 taught the parable of a servant who owed his master an unimaginable amount of debt, yet when the servant asked for compassion, his master forgave all his debts.  This servant then went out and saw his fellow servant, who owes him an amount comparable to a third of his annual earning.  He laid his hands to his fellow servant and took him by the throat, demanding that he be paid.  The fellow servant asked for compassion in a similar fashion the first servant did with his master.  Having been forgiven, we would expect the first servant to show compassion towards his fellow servant.  However, he refused and instead threw his fellow servant into jail.  When their master learned of this, he was angered with the first servant and punished him until he could pay all his debts.

As Christians, we were once sinners who owed God an amount we could never repay, but because of His love for us, He sent His Son to pay for our sins.  When we sincerely repented through faith and accepted Christ to be our Saviour, all our sins - past, present, and future - had been forgiven, just like an unimaginable amount of debt paid in full.  As God forgave us, we should also forgive.  If forgiveness is something we can't find in our hearts, let's ask ourselves if we have indeed experienced God's forgiveness... because forgiven people forgive.


For more inspirational/devotional reading, please click:  SOLEMN SUNDAY


Saturday, August 13, 2011


Few more days from now and it will be six years since I left my native land.  Six adventurous years of wandering elsewhere but the Philippines. 

When I left the Philippines in August 2005, I never projected myself this far.  I had a short-term goal of saving enough money for the first couple of years so that I could go home for a balikbayan (homecoming) trip, and maybe get married, and then sponsor my family.  That's what I had in mind all along.  My vision was limited to the year 2007 and nothing beyond that.  I told myself that two years is too long a time to be away from my family and loved ones.  I know that so many things could happen with my family back home in such a span of time, and I wouldn't allow myself to miss out on those.  What I didn't realize then was that so many things could also happen to me while away in such a span of time.

A month after I landed in Canada, I got myself a nighttime full-time job.  It was not quite what I hoped for but it was decent enough to sustain the newcomer me.  The following month, I got myself a second job, working from home as a subcontractor medical transcriptionist.  Although I was initially declined for the position due to my lack of Canadian experience, the results of my online test outweighed it, so I was reconsidered.  Not too long after, as if working 12-8 and then 10-3 was not enough to keep my hands full, I took a third job - part-time cafeteria server/cashier/general help.  Between three jobs and sociocultural adjustments, all within three months' time, it was just too hard to cope up.  I was either working or asleep.  I didn't have much of a life to say.  Inevitably, I quit my cafeteria job.  Sometime along there (which I now can't exactly pinpoint when), I broke up with my left-behind boyfriend and concurrently entered a new relationship with a shady-character Torontonian guy.

In about six months, I was on my way to moving out from my relatives' place.  I felt I was ready to live on my own.  I moved from Vaughan to North York in a two-bedroom apartment along with two other roommates.  I had enough savings then for my much thought about 2007 balikbayan trip, but relocating to a new place meant monthly bills, purchasing furniture, and other basic essential expenditure, so needless to say, I used up a good portion of my savings.

Not quite long after I moved in to a new place, I quit my full-time job.  With big responsibilities I had on my shoulders, that was a big decision to make.  I was supporting and looking after myself; my financial obligations to family back in the Philippines; the pressure of sponsoring my family to come to Canada; my utmost desire of a 2007 balikbayan trip - all that and I didn't even have a stable full-time job to begin with.

Amidst depression and frustration, God blessed me with a spiritual home.  I felt the warmth and love of a family through my church.  I gained friends; in fact, much more than friends, brothers and sisters.  With my spiritual family, I found comfort and refuge.

I continued my at-home job.  In fall 2006, my roommates and I decided to move to a cheaper place.  I liked our apartment but I needed to cost cut so that I could save money for a 2007 vacation.  We found a basement apartment close by - and yes, it was not fancy at all, but we moved in anyway.  A month thereafter, it didn't work out the way we thought it would, so my two roommates decided to move out.  I wasn't left with much choice either.  It just didn't make sense to pay a three-bedroom basement apartment and live by myself, yet there was literally no time at all to find somebody who was willing to at least sublet the place.  There was I thinking of cost cutting but then instead I lost a month deposit for breaching the lease.  Much more, with all my stuff, where in the world would I find a place to live at in that such short notice, and winter approaching soon?  It was nearing the deadline and I was in tears chatting with my bestfriend, pouring my heartaches to him, and telling how much I wanted to quit and go home, to which he lightheartedly replied, "Ano ka ba? Gumive up dahil lang sa house hunting?" - loosely translated as "What the heck? You're giving up just because you're having a hard time looking for a place to live?"

Christmas 2007 when I moved in to a two-bedroom apartment situated north of Toronto.  A well-mannered widow was already renting the unit but for the same reason of cutting back on expenses that she rented out the smaller room.  She was quite choosy for a roommate, but we got along well.  Although I mostly kept to myself inside my room, I enjoyed those hearty conversations we shared every once in a while.  Approximately two to three months after I moved in, she purchased a house in East Toronto.  She asked me to be her tenant, which I didn't mind at all, only the commute would be painstaking for me.  I was working from home but I was busy too with church activities, so I wanted to stay close to North York.

Subsequently, with much urging from one of my big sisters in church, I started looking for an office job.  She thought that it was a waste of my talent not to explore my opportunities outside.  Lo and behold, in April 2008, I secured a full-time office position in a company located downtown Toronto.  Little did I know that this opportunity would catapult me into a much bigger world.

With a more secured job, I had the courage to rent a place on my own - no roommates.  I was getting desperate because yet again my move out deadline was nearing.  My bestfriend was relocating in the midtown area at the time so I went with him to check out his new place when he signed the lease.  On our way home, one block from his new apartment, another building had a vacancy sign.  We were both ecstatic and literally jumped for joy when we saw that.  The building superintendent showed us the available units.  First, a one-bedroom, which I couldn't afford, so he then showed us a bachelor, which to my relief suited my budget.  I didn't even think twice when I signed my lease the following week, in May 2008.

Finding a place was just one of the many challenges I was facing then.  I took the worst turn when the shady-character guy I was in a relationship with (or pseudo-relationship more appropriately) left me.  It was like my whole world collapsed.  Again, I was undergoing adjustments - renting on my own, new job, being outside and interacting with people - it was a long, tedious, roller coaster ride for me.  I got by with prayers and help from friends, and the distraction my job brought me. 

In September 2008, five months into recovery from the heartaches of my recently ended relationship, I met Vince.  He was new at work and was training under the supervision of my boss' executive assistant; hence, he had to share the room with us for the first week.  We started off as friends and then became really close, and as they say, the rest is history.

Six months after, in May 2009, Vince quit work to move to the States and pursue residency.  We weathered the long distance between us.  He drove up as often as he could to see me.  I flew down more than a couple of times to visit him.  We went on vacation trips.  We texted, emailed, called, and shared dinners over Skype every day.  In September 2010, we got engaged.  Twenty eight days after, on October 30, 2010, we got married.  It was a very lovely and memorable wedding - more of a wedding impossible - but by God's grace, we pulled it off successfully.  Two days after our wedding, Vince drove back to the States.

In mid November 2010, I was ready for another move - but this time, a really big move.  I was bound to the States to be with my husband.  I submitted my resignation letter at work but God's faithfulness just never fails.  My boss kept me and allowed me to work remotely from the States.

I became a Canadian citizen in December 2010.  I traveled back and forth between Canada and States in January 2011 to finalize my move, obtain my passport, and tie whatever loose ends.  In February 2011, all settled in the States, I was back to working in the comfort of our home.

In April 2011, six months after our wedding, Vince and I went to Jamaica for a honeymoon trip.  Since I moved, we actually have gone on to several other trips and there are more travel plans ahead of us, but yesterday, I was glad when I called a friend to book our flight to the Philippines.

There were countless detours and delays that caused me to miss my supposed-to-be-2007 balikbayan trip, however, none of them matter at all now.  What is important is that finally, the once 25-year-old naive girl who left home to face a battle she had not known, is going to reunite with her family and loved ones soon.  I can't wait to tell them the stories behind each scars and invisible medals pinned on my chest, and if anything else, I can't wait for them to meet the wonderful man I share my life with.

Thank God for those six long years that I have been elsewhere but the Philippines.  I thank Him more because it won't be long until I am home :)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Yesterday, Vince and I attended a dinner/seminar hosted by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).  While the presentation was intended for physicians, particularly residents and fellows, the facilitators discussed topics such as Curriculum Vitae (CV) writing and interview preparation, which are as well applicable to any job seeker.  So for today's entry, I'm sharing those pointers I learned from the seminar, with a touch of my own quips.  I realize that this kind of information is readily available in the Internet and I wouldn't be surprised if this may sound as old news to you, but who knows what new things someone (like me!) can pick up from an old trick, right?  Plus, if you haven't done your CV in quite a while (like me again!), consider this as a refresher course ;)


1.  Below is a set of headings you may use as applicable:

Post Graduate
Licenses and Certification
Professional Affiliations

2.  Remember to use reverse chronological order (most recent to oldest).

3.  The headings should be clear and should stand out from the other text in your CV.

4.  Use appropriate spacing and font style and size (e.g. Arial/Times New Roman 11/12).  The font style and size determines how easy on the eyes your CV will look when printed/faxed.

5.  Keep the format consistent throughout.

6.  The most important part of your CV is your contact information, so make sure that it is up to date.  Put a contact number/email address where you can be easily and directly reached.  Do not use your mom's, dad's, spouse's, neighbor's, neighbor's wife's, neighbor's wife's cousin's, neighbor's wife's cousin's girflriend's contact infos.  Of course, I'm exaggerating over the last parts there.

7.  One thing you don't want a prospect employer to see in your CV is spelling and typhographical mistakes, which pretty much reflect a "sloppy and careless" attitude.  We know by now that Spell Check is not perfect, so it is always advisable to have another set of human eyes do a final proofread of a hard copy of your CV.

Also worth mentioning is that, once distributed out, we do not have control as to whose hands our CV may end up with.  In this regard, we should exercise caution with what information we put in it.  While I have yet to know someone who puts credit card/bank information in a CV, details like Social Security Number should be excluded.

Keep in mind that our Curriculum Vitae is our passport to a job interview.  We can maximize its power by supplying accurate and precise information.

I hope what I wrote above is helpful.  Thanks for taking time to read.  I plan on writing a follow-up post and share HCA's tips on how to write a great cover letter and how to prepare for an interview, so stay tuned to learn more :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


In my City of Fountains post, I mentioned how Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City reminded me of Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia; so for today's Tuesday Travel, we are going to have an authentic Philly cheesesteak experience ;)

Summer 2010

The cheesesteak is a signature dish of the city of Philadelphia.  A very popular Philadelphia restaurant specializing in cheesesteaks is Geno's Steaks.  Geno's was awarded Best of Philly for Best Takeout by Philadelphia Magazine in 2000.

Feeling celebrity !

The walls, roof and interior of Geno's are decorated with memorabilia and hundreds of autographed and framed photos of celebrities who have eaten there.  Among those celebs are Nicholas Cage, Oprah Winfrey, Sylvester Stallone and Shaquille O'Neal.

Look at that line !

There is no indoor dining but there are tables under canopies on the sidewalk for those who wish to enjoy sandwiches on the premises.

Gobbling down an American Cheesesteak Sandwich !

One thing I remember in my Geno's experience is that when I wanted to get some relish, the condiments counter outside was almost empty.  With the bulk of people lining up there, it would not be unexpected if the counter would ran out of stock very quickly; hence, if I may suggest, the Geno's staff should be more prompt in refilling/restocking that.  Anyway, it was all good.  The absence of ketchup did not hinder me from devouring my first ever authentic Philly cheesesteak ;)

source:  WIKIPEDIA


For more travel stories, please click this label:  TUESDAY TRAVEL


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Monday, August 8, 2011


Slowly but surely, I'm bringing skinny back ^.^

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

I can't remember now when I last had a tall Green Tea Frappuccino with whip cream on it, so if I hit the 100-pound mark, I swear I'm going to indulge on one ! :D


To read more on my weight loss progress, please click:




Saturday, August 6, 2011


I craved for fish last night and lucky me, there was a small pack of frozen flounder fillets in our fridge.  I initially thought of baking it with instant Kraft salad dressing, but I decided to try something new, so I ended up formulating my own concoction.  LOL.  I know, that sounds too cocky.  I'm no chef, so I don't have the right to say that.  I guess I've been watching too many Iron Chef battles and Chopped episodes lately, hence, I was in a kitchen stadium mood last night.

Almond Baked Flounder

This is actually a pretty basic recipe.  Not a lot of cooking skills needed. As long as you know how to turn the oven on, then you're good to go :D

4 flounder fillets
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon ground chilli pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
sliced almonds
baking dish

1.  Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  Season fish fillets with salt, black pepper, chilli pepper, and garlic powder.
3.  Place seasoned fish fillets in a shallow baking dish.
4.  Mix olive oil and lemon juice.
5.  Pour mixture into seasoned fish fillets (or if you wish a dry variety, just brush the mixture onto fillets).
6.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
7.  Boil broccoli heads.
8.  Melt butter in a pan and saute onion and almond.  Add parsley.
9.  Sprinkle sauteed onion, almond and parsley onto baked fish fillets.
10.  Place broccoli on a plate, and layer baked fish fillets on top (and pour residual dressing if you wish).
11.  Serve with a smile !

Although not seen in the picture above, I also prepared a bowl of sweet corn kernels on the side for a contrast taste to the sour flavor of lemon ;)

So after the kitchen stadium, I was presented to the chopping board, and the verdict:

Don't you pity this guy?  Left all alone?  Not too long though, because I had him for lunch just now :D

Please select one:

a) Vince and I were both famished.
b) The meal was really good.
c) Vince and I just love to eat anything.
d) All of the above.

Regardless of what you're answer is, by the looks of what was left over, I don't think I was CHOPPED.  Hehe!  Until my next concoction ... err recipe :p


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Thursday, August 4, 2011


After three decades, my eyes finally succumbed to wear and tear.  I evaded it as much as I could but to no avail.  Behold, the bespectacled me! 

As you can see, the picture above... no, those aren't the pair I got yesterday :D  Those belong to my friend, and I was just fooling with them.  The second photo however on the left... those are what I got for real ;)

And of course, I am very thankful that I don't need to wear my glasses all the time.  I'm good without them when working in front of the computer or during daytime.  For distance like when watching TV, and during nighttime, the glasses are really helpful.

Anyway, I'm not a big fan of glasses (at least on myself - I am not one of those chics who can rock the bespectacled look), so I'm hoping to get scheduled for a contact lens insertion and removal session soon.  The optician did not think I need contact lenses, considering that I don't even have to wear my glasses most of the time, but I still requested that I be fitted.

That's it for today.  Before I part, I'd like to say my heartfelt "thank you" to my dear husband, Vince, for getting me these glasses - now I don't have to bug you to read out subtitles aloud for me when we do our late-night Netflix movies ;)  I love you very much, Vince ♥

PS:  Don't you think I look better with the blue glasses? Hehe!


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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Travel feature for today is Kansas City (Missouri) also known as the City of Fountains.  With over 200 fountains, Kansas City claims to have the second most in the world, just behind Rome.  The city is also well known for jazz and blues as well as Kansas City style-barbecue.

Last week, Vince and I had a taste of Kansas City.  Despite the full schedule we had, we were able to squeeze in some quality time exploring and learning what the city offers.  *Photo credits to Vince ;)

JC Nichols Memorial Fountain

The JC Nichols Memorial Fountain is the best known and most photographed fountain of all the city's fountains.  The fountain has four equestrian statues which are said to represent four rivers:  the Mississipi River, Volga River, Seine River and Rhine River.

Country Club Plaza

The Country Club Plaza is an upscale shopping district and residential neighborhood.  It was the first shopping center in the world designed to accommodate shoppers arriving by automobile.

Giralda Tower of Seville

The basic design of the Country Club Plaza reflects classic European influences especially those of Seville, Spain.  There are more than 30 statues, murals and tile mosaics on display in the area, as well as major architectural reproductions such as a half-sized Giralda Tower of Seville (the tallest building in the Plaza).

The Liberty Memorial ... and the Liberty Memorial Fountain !

The Liberty Memorial is the largest and only memorial in the United States dedicated to those who served in World War I and its museum is the only one whose sole theme is that war. 

Power and Light District

The Kansas City Power and Light District is the mid-west's premier entertainment epicenter.  The district offers more than 50 unique and captivating shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

Enough of the Karen-less photos by Vince!  It's time to see fun pics :D

Enjoying Kansas City-style barbecue at Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue
For the love of ribs !!!
Another barbecue night at Arthur Bryant's Barbecue hole in the wall restaurant.  Among the many famous people who visited this restaurant were US Presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.  You'll see pictures of their visits hanging on the restaurant's wall.  *This place reminded me of Philadelphia's Geno Steaks - which I will blog about some time in the future ;)
Stopping for gelato at Balsano's - Power and Light District
The Savoy Grill, a fancy steakhouse
Perpetual Change (80's and 90's music) live band night at the Midland Theater
They gave away cash prizes ;)
Yes, cold cash, baby ! :D
What happens in Kansas City stays in Kansas City ... or not?! :D

Vince and I had a heck of good time in Kansas City.  We loved the fact that KC downtown is not crowded at all and noticeably clean.  Although the crime rate is reportedly high, we were thankful that we did not encounter such.

So there goes another Tuesday Travel, and by the way, this is the second entry for that category.  I hope and plan to travel more, and then share the experience with you through my blog.  For now, I wish everyone a good trip ;)



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