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Mousey joined a weekly challenge…

So, I got to know a cyber friend as they now call it through Facebook and our mutual love of the new Sherlock series on BBC. Which by the way, is THE BOMB!! If you have not seen it, you should. Back to the topic, she started a weekly challenge on FB for her blog. The weeks before, there was a bow/ribbon top challenge. A white shirt/T-shirt challenge. Now there is a purple dress challenge. Then there were also sub-challenges like straw hat, sunglasses, etc.. I took part in all of them so far except for the ribbon/bow top cause I don’t have any and the purple dress cause it was just issued and I haven’t decided which dress I want to send in. πŸ™‚

Last week a challenge for “what is in my bag” was issued and it got me all excited!! Why? I don’t know. It just sounded fun! Maybe i was also looking to see what rubbish I carry in my bag. People always tell me that my bag is heavy and ask whether I am carrying rocks or gold. I wish!! that they were gold, of course! But, alas, that was not to be. What I have in there is now going to be listed. but first a photo.

what is in my bag….all the above!

Ok, in my bag there is a whole host of things. Yes, I carry ALL of that and more. πŸ˜› I used to even carry a water tumbler! They are……
1. Hermes inspired bag (made by local leather shop)
2. Tintamar “carry all” bag organiser (there is a disposable toothpick case at the side)
3. Tintamar “Refresh” make up pouch (there is a mini freezer pack to keep make up fresh too. How cool is that? I don’t use it though)
4. 2012 Diary
5. Moleskin notebook
6. nos. 8 pens (why I need so many I don’t know. I love to write my notes in colour!)
7. Nu Skin antiseptic
8. Johnson&Johnson’s Baby oil
9. Perfume atomiser (with my favourite scent which is becoming increasingly hard to find. Might be out of production. Oh no!)
10. Cuticle oil stick
11. Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream
12. Lip Balm
13. Nu Skin Anti-plaque breath spray (amazing when travelling. rub it over your teeth, feels like you just brushed your teeth!)
14. Revlon lip gloss
15. Maybelline lipstick
16. Tissue paper holder
17. emergency sanitary pads
18. plasters (in my line of work, there is always a use for this)
19. Hygienic wipes
20. Panadol & anti histamines
21. Rayban Sunglasses
22. Hair turtle combs and screwpins (to keep the hair in check)
23. Card holder
24. mirror (red pouch. the way I handle my bag, don’t want the glass to shatter all over)
25 Wallet
26. Ipod
27. HTC
28. Blackberry
29. nos.3 reusable eco-bags (for groceries or anything else. Used to carry more. gave them away where needed)
30. Keys for the office and home.
31. Camera Canon G10 (in use)
Ignorance is bliss! Until I actually type it out do I think that I have sooooooo many things but all packed away into 2 pouches, a wallet, sunglasses and phones. easy to change bags too.
You can read about IA’s own “what is in my bag” challenge blogpost here.
Then, I joined another challenge too. The “Red shoes” challenge. I LOVE ❀ ❀ shoes!! This challenge got me even more excited!! I have quite a collection of shoes. While I read this challenge, I was going through my shoe racks in my head, finally deciding on these 3. I am wearing them to death. πŸ™‚

my red, red shoes…. ❀

Joining these challenges makes me happy! Now to go off and decide on that purple dress! Wonder, what she is going to come up with next. hmm……..

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Mousey needs to work harder…

It is a dog’s life….

I have got to say that since I started blogging here at WordPress, things have changed for me. Actually many things have changed for me since I have started on changing my mindset. Blogging at WordPress has brought many like minded people to my blog and mine to theirs. What this does for me is that it shows that I really have to work harder.

All the other blogs are so entertaining, interesting and chock full of useful information, amazing photos, great recipes and out-of-this-world works of art. Mine pales in comparison. 😦

I really have to buck up!

Suddenly it feels like school all over again…but, I was a lazy student. Guess I am back at square one! Oh, well….

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Mousey is…..thinking if she should try..

Blogging in Italian? Now that would be torturous fun!

I live in Italy. I read and speak and understand Italian. Notice that I didn’t say that I write Italian? Well, it is something I….am not confident about. I feel I make a lot of grammatical mistakes as I didn’t officially learn the language. I learnt itΒ  off the streets as they say. I didn’t know a single word before I met M. Really, not a single word. When I was flying, I didn’t fly to Rome either though my company flies to Rome. That was because I was trained for a different fleet and at that time another type of aircraft was flying to Rome which I wasn’t trained for.

Fast forward many years,, I am now living in Italy and have Italian friends. When I tell them I have a blog, they ask me whether it is in Italian. I always smile and say “purtroppo, no. Non scrivo in Italiano.” Which basically mean, no, I don’t write in Italian. ThenΒ  I think, why don’t I try it someday. Maybe that day is today! I read other people’s blogs, especially those whose native language is not English as is technically neither mine, and they do so well! Though I can’t claim that English is not my first language. I am from Malaysia and technically our first language is Malay or Bahasa Malaysia as we call it. We learn 11 years of it in school. Everything is in Bahasa except English class or if you take other language classes on those classes. Math, History, Science..everything! If we fail Bahasa at our national exams, we fail the entire exam even if we score straight A’s for all the other subjects IN Bahasa. How ironic!

But as I say, I can’t claim that English is not my first language because we, my family, speaks English at home with a mixture of Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Hokkien…) and outside with all our family and friends. My mother was an English graduate and an English teacher and my dad studied in England. We all took English Literature in high school AND Uni as part of our syllabus. I have aunts who were English teachers. English is in our blood!! If I or any of my siblings failed English in any way, we were dead! So, I can’t actually claim English is Not my first language. πŸ˜›

In the end it is THE ONLY language I am proficient in. Well, maybe not. Bahasa too. So sad! I studied French for years, I still suck at it.

While others have tried and did so well, maybe I should take the plunge someday. Maybe that day is today!

okay…lets not be too ambitious. I shall start small….part of a post and see how we go from there. So here goes…

Ciao a tutti! Non credo che ho ‘readers’ Italiani ma visto cheΒ  io vivo qui in Italia gia da molti anni e’ giusto che io scriva qualcosa in Italiano. πŸ™‚ In futuro, mi impegnero’ a scrivere di piu in questa meravigliosa lingua.

(the above was written with great input from M, I suck at Italian… T_T)

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Coffee 1 – Mousey 0

Iced Cold Coffee!! Heaven in a glass!

I went on a warpath with Coffee and Coffee won! It was a 5-day long battle and I lost. Today. *_*

A splitting headache did not help matters. In the end, I caved and made an amazingly horrible coffee, if there is such a thing. Instant coffee with hot milk bought from a dispenser. My office has no pantry but we have dispenser machines. I don’t know how it went so wrong. Instant coffee with hot milk and sugar. That was all that was in it. How did it go so horribly wrong? uurgggghhhh!!

The sad part of the whole thing is…..I finished it! Every last excruciating drop of it!

I don’t even know why exactly did I decide to go cold turkey on Coffee. Why? Maybe I thought I should just cut down on my coffee intake. Not to be so dependent on coffee. Who knows? Before Uni, I didn’t like Coffee! Being the struggling active student that I was, *cough* I needed Coffee. Now, I hardly drink tea which was my preferred choice before Uni.

Maybe it was because I was having too much Coffee. A big mug of Malaysian style Coffee to start my mornings, which is strong Coffee, none of the Americano crap, which in Italy is a shot of espresso topped with hot water. Basically diluted Coffee, bleh! Thena shot of espresso after every meal everyday. Too much coffee! I still sleep, no problems there. So why?

I don’t know. Maybe it is because I am trying to lose weight and all, I figured cutting out coffee and other sugary stuff would help. I don’t take carbonated drinks at all except sparkling water and the odd beer. M doesn’t drink so no fun drinking alone. I cut it out so well, that the other day a sip of Coca-cola made me sick! Imagine that! Though I think when the cravings come, I can down a whole glass, I am sure! For now, I am safe.

I guess I will figure it out soon enough. For now, I shall forge on….Coffee! you have not seen the last of me!

Ps: Coffee, I might need you to come back some day….so don’t go too far away.

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Annual Girly Trip 2012 – Boracay, Philippines

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I am finally writing about our Annual Girly Trip (AGT) though some of you may have seen the photos posted on FB by my friends. I hardly ever post any picture on FB so unless I was tagged, you won’t see them. πŸ™‚ I have also trashed the other blogpost that I was working on because to me the moment has passed and I didn’t want to write about it anymore.

Anyway, lets start from the very beginning of our AGT planning which as always, starts the year before.There were the usual, where do we want to go this year. I wanted to go to Boracay! Like the year before and the one before that too. They finally caved in this time. πŸ˜› Somehow, it was easier this time round to decide on the date as no one is flying anymore and only 2 of them have to decide between them the dates to apply for leave and then inform the rest of us. They decided on the last week of June. The MATTA fair also helped matters along. The said 2, Dee and Simone went scouting around and found a great deal that included air fare, airport transfer and hotel with breakfast! It was such a good deal, everything was locked in almost immediately! All this was done by March this year.

Then our journey begins. I flew in from Italy and Von flew in from Indonesia. We were missing another person but this year she has too much on her plate to leave Malaysia for this trip. So it was just the 4 of us, or so I thought. I got both good and bad news 2 days before leaving for Singapore. Suffice to say, the travel will not be very good for her. So She dropped out. But was with us in spirit! We missed her filming..she always does the filming while Simone and I took photos. This time, I filmed instead and Simone took the artistic pictures.

We left Singapore on the 28th/29th June. Check in was the night before as our flight was after midnight. After 4+ hours we landed in Manila International Airport in time for dawn to break. By 6 we have gone through immigration and customs and we were making our way to the domestic terminal. Once we checked in, we found a slice of home! We found Ya Kun Kaya Toast! It was funny! We were a little hungry so some strong coffee, kaya toast, half boiled eggs and bowl of hot noodles was welcomed with open arms. We had almost 3 hours to kill. After breakfast we sat around. Von caught up with her trashy magazines as she calls them, I, with my “1431” book and Simone with her sleep, only for her to wake up to knuckles on her face! LOL!!! what a sight!

Then it was time to board for Kalibo. Oh, I have to mention that Philippine Airlines has a very interesting and funny safety video. We all found it very entertaining! Made us laugh and smile each time. We had hot food on the first leg, but since this 2nd flight was only an hour they served us biscuits and something else, I forgot. I only remember the biscuits because they were really good. Not my first time eating them but I was happy to have them again. Spicy tuna crackers! Yums!!! Their service was good too for both the flights! A very good first impression for me. πŸ™‚

All this, we were still not there yet. When we arrived, we were met and ushered onto a bus. That bus took us another 1 and half hours through winding roads uphill and down. If we were not so tired and didn’t sleep through the journey, we would have been really sick. Which is what happened on the way back. This time it took us even longer as it rained! *choke* *squemish* *choke* After that bus trip we finally arrived at Caticlan, to be met by the reps from our hotel La Carmela. Ushered onto a van only to be dropped off 5 minutes later at their jetty reception. 15- 20 mins wait and we were loaded onto the boat (though I am sure they have a better name than my generic term) for the 30 minute ride to Boracay. Next up, into another van for another 15 minute ride to the hotel. FINALLY! we arrived…..it took us nearly 12 hours! Now we know why the tickets was such a good deal. πŸ˜›

Then….another long wait to check in. It was nearly 2pm and we were not in a very good mood. So we snapped at the reception when the rooms were not ready and they told us to wait. Not happy campers! 😦 They also took FOREVER to check us in. Photocopying our passports took eternity while the machine was just there, right in front of us! They were writing and writing and writing and shouting into their walkie talkies. We couldn’t understand why it is taking so long. We were tire, but we couldn’t sit and wait for our rooms but have to stand there at reception while they “check us in”. Apart from this little hiccup, the rest of the stay was really good. The hotel was at a good location. We had the beach right in front of us.

Now the holiday begins. First day, Simone and I didn’t get very far. We headed out for lunch and then both of us crashed till the next morning. I crashed earlier. Simone made plans for diving the next day. Only Von, the strong woman that she is managed to go for dinner and did a little exploring. I woke up bright and early the next day. Up and about and on the beach by 6am. The breakfast from the hotel was not the best, but I was hungry. The voucher didn’t entitle me to the buffet but just a plate. Bummer! 😦 Then I rolled and lazed around till the girls got up and finished breakfast at 8.30. Simone was planning on a dive at 9am. We tagged along with no intention of diving but then got sweet talked into diving. We were pushovers! So easily talked into diving! We didn’t have anything better to do anyway…LOL!!!! It has been years since I last went diving. It was a really good experience. We saw, turtles and a very long black and white sea snake! urgh!! I don’t like snakes! After the trip I realised I didn’t have proper sunscreen on so my freckles were out with a vengeance! Darn it!! have to work extra hard to care for my skin and not look so “chau ta” (burnt).

back on land for lunch and lookee-here! Look what we found! Nespresso!! Both Von and I are huge Nespresso fans!! Coffee was the order of the day! πŸ™‚ Lunch was good too! Then we wandered off to the beach to “nua” our afternoon away while waiting for Simone to come back from her dive. We saw a couple of girls posing away a la FHM or Sports Illustrated while taking photos of each other in those poses. They attracted quite a crowd. It was really entertaining! A good hour was wiled away watching them. This day was also the day we had cheap and good buffet dinner, polished off our wine which we bought at Changi and went for drinks AND witness amazing poi (hopefully spelled this way) fire dancing. We even explored a little and chanced upon a bar with table top dancing which left us with a sight we wish to forget! @_@

The next day was THE best day! Simone went diving again while Von and I “nua-ed” again but this time at another bar. Right next to the previous one. We had an adventure searching for bubble tea drink kiosk up and down the beach when all the while it was right next to us! We thought it was further down the beach. We walked under the hot sun back and forth, got bitten by ants (cause I stepped on an ant hill, silly me!) and sweating buckets. Finally, we decided to wait for Simone to come back and tell us where it is. We walked back to the cafe where we were at the day before but decided to go next door. If only we walked a few more steps forward, we would have seen the kiosk!! Imagine Simone’s face when we asked her. All she said was “you girls are so funny! It is right there! (pointing straight ahead)” We were mere 5 metres away!!!!!!!! @_@ We waited 2 hours for Simone while Von kept going “I want bubble, bubble, bubble !”

The sea was so refreshing on such a hot day! We were told that we were very lucky as it is monsoon season and the weather was predicted to be good over the weekend and then rain on Monday which was the day that we were leaving. Just nice! It really happened as predicted. Lucky us!! We lazed around till about close to sunset. Von suggested we go see the other side of the island. So we did. Got a tuk tuk like taxi and made our way to Puka beach. It is a very nice and quiet beach. The view was amazing! Off in the distance it looked like it was raining fire as the sun set.

We got back just before the heavens opened. We stopped near the shopping area so we had to walk back in the rain to the hotel. A quick shower and braving the rain, we made our way back to the wet market which Von had kindly showed us. The concept here was to buy all that you want from the wet market and all the shops surrounding it and bring all our produce to the restaurant nearby. They charge a fee for cooking the items but we get to choose how it is going to be cooked. It was THE best dinner of the lot! We bought prawns, lala (shellfish or vongole), crabs, ladies fingers, eggplants, squid…..what a feast!

Because it was raining we didn’t do much. Went back and finished off the last bottle of wine just chatting. Last day, Simone wandered off early to take pictures while Von and myself squeezed every ounce of rest we could get before checking out. One last dip and some packets of amazing out of this world ‘siew yuk’ (roast pork) we were on our way to make the long, long journey back to Singapore.

That folks is our uneventful, beautifully relaxing holiday. Even if we wanted it to be more exciting, the place didn’t help or maybe we were just to tired… πŸ˜›
P.s: I don’t know what I did or how to undo it. Been at it a few times but I can’t get my photos in the right order. 😦 Just enjoy the pictures then…