April 30, 2010

Grateful Friday #3

It has been a busy, great week. And I'd like to end the week day with appreciation.

It's raining right now and like everywhere else that's hot, we welcome this rain. The aircon must be shouting its thanks as well because it's been working doubly hard this week and now it is resting.

There's another holiday on Monday. And no it's not because of Labor Day. It's a local holiday called Royal Ploughing Day. I just don't know what is it exactly. I am just thankful that we have a lot of holidays here in Cambodia. Holidays mean family time. More holidays mean more family time.

The economy seems to be going strong if I have to base it on our mutual fund. When the economy was down last year our mutual fund plummeted big time and now it is slowly and steadily appreciating. This week, the trend is good and that makes me happy.

Can you still go back to a world without internet? I can but it would be difficult and inconvenient. Right now, everything works in just a click of the mouse, banking stuff, online bachelor degree, shopping, etc. I am thankful that we live in this modern and convenient world.

I am thankful that I receive a steady and constant workload online. It keeps me sane and at the end of the day makes my paypal account fat.

My jewelry business looks promising. It has started out as a hobby and now it's evolving (it seems) to be a real business. I have sold several necklaces. And I have a lot of inquiries from others if I would like to ship to other places. Very flattering.

~~~

Happy weekend everyone!!!

April 28, 2010

Moving Up

I have mentioned in this blog that we're having problems with EJ regarding school. He was losing interest in school. It's been on and off though. But most of the time, he doesn't want to go to school. I was really worried.

We talked to EJ but he wouldn't say anything. I asked him if there is something in school which bothered him or if he just doesn't like school in general. But he kept mum during our conversation. I couldn't figure out what's wrong or what's happening in his little mind.

So I approached his teacher one day.

I asked her if she has any idea why EJ has somehow lost interest in school. At first she said she really has no idea. She goes on to say that EJ is very friendly and is friends with everyone in class. He likes to sing and dance and does well with his school work.

Then suddenly the teacher as if remembering something, told me that EJ is actually really good in class. In fact he already knows all the things being taught. The teacher then suggested that maybe EJ is getting bored in class? That maybe she could ask one of the teachers from the higher class (OWL class 4yo-5yo) if they could take EJ in for a trial.

Wow, okay.

I don't want to sound boastful (even if it does sound like it, LOL) but we feel that EJ is a fast learner. He has a sharp memory which his teacher can confirm. And hubby and I also think that EJ feels unchallenged with their current lessons. We just don't want to suggest it to his teacher lest we be accused of being staged parents. LOL!

But now that the teacher herself has brought up the topic, we are excited at how things will turn out.

I have been telling EJ that he's going to a higher class but he's not receptive to the idea at the moment.

If moving EJ to a higher class does nothing to bring back his interest in school then I guess something else is wrong. I am hoping for the best though.

Meanwhile, checkout EJ's video. This was taken when he was 2 years and 1 month old.

video

I treasure this video. This is really for keeps. It's my go to video when I need a smile. A sort of credit cards for bad credit like of video. I just love my son!

Please excuse how he pronounced his letter "W". LOL!

April 27, 2010

My Version of Lo'chaa

I am a certified copy cat. I am.

Whenever I am in a restaurant and I like a certain food, I try to guess the ingredients and when I have time and am craving for that food, I try to cook the food based from my recollection and duplicate the taste. Operative word is try.

So yesterday, I was craving for a lo'chaa. Since it was too hot to go outside, I tried to make lo'chaa at home.

I had the ingredients ready last Sunday because I was already planning to cook the dish.

This is the authentic lo'chaa, the one we had in a local place.

And this is my version of lo'chaa.

My ingredients:
Rice flour noodles (pasta) - but I call this worm-like noodles
Fresh Bean sprout
Spring Onion
Squid balls - I just added this because I don't have the local's Pate
Egg
Dark Soya Sauce

I just sauteed the whole thing and I purposely did not make the egg sunny side up. I mixed it with the whole dish.

I also made my own version of sauce:
Vinegar
Ground Pepper
Salt
Sugar
Sweet and Chili Catsup

I drizzled the sauce over the lo'chaa. And voila! My perfect afternoon snacks! It may not be the exact taste of the local's version but I love it.

I love cooking and experimenting. Maybe I should open a restaurant one day. Who knows, right?

The Fair That Was

Last Saturday was Mith Samlanh's Fun Fair. As previously blogged, my friends and I joined the fair as a seller.

We went there as early as 7:30AM and started arranging our items. Before the opening at 9AM we were ready to sell!

Here are the products that were on display that day.

Crocheted items like coasters, doily, scrunchy, etc.

My lovely necklaces were on display too. LOL!

We also had these barefoot sandals which we expected to be a hit but sadly it wasn't. Sales wise it was not a success as well but it was okay. We still went home with a meager sales and a very valuable lesson. We know what to sell next time! That's right, my friends and I will be joining fairs and other events regularly.

These are the other stalls. Some were selling handmade cards, old clothes, pots and pans and other knick knacks.

There were also live performances like this one above. And games for the kids as well.

All in all, it was a very successful day. I had fun and I love selling stuff. LOL!

April 25, 2010

Ants for Money

The ants have invaded our apartment. Look at the picture. Those are not smudges or dirt on our wall, those are ants. Please click to enlarge.

We've tried everything, from sweeping to spraying insecticides. But they keep on coming back.

Ate Mitos said having a lot of ants in the house means money. Hubby said "okay, get some and try to use it to pay for groceries." LOL!

Ate Mitos corrected herself and said, no, it means there will be lots of money coming in this household. Ahhhh...

We hope so. LOL!

April 23, 2010

Funny EJ

Everytime hubby comes home from work, he kisses EJ and I.

One night, EJ noticed something amiss.

Hubby comes home and kissed me. He goes on to kiss EJ. Before he could go to the bedroom to change clothes, EJ blurted out:

"Daddy, kiss Ate also."

He was referring to Ate Mitos, our "kasambahay".

LOL! LOL! LOL!

We couldn't stop laughing.

April 22, 2010

Fun Fair

I have posted this in my other blog but I will post this here too.

My friends and I are joining a one day fair this coming Saturday. It will be at Mith Samlanh Center, Street 13 from 9am-1pm.

There will be music, games, crafts corner and stalls. And that's where we come in. We will have one stall and we will be selling hand crafted accessories we got from Philippines. And I will be selling my handmade necklaces too.

Exciting! But tiring! But fun too!

My friends and I have been meeting often this week to finalize our products, prices, banners, etc. We always meet in a coffeeshop because 1) we don't have an office, LOL! 2) we are coffee addicts..oppsss lovers lang pala. 3) free AC in the coffeeshop. 4) easy access to yummy muffins.

I have been having too many muffins lately that I have gained weight and I really need to read the Clinicallix reviews asap.

But I also couldn't complain (about the weight loss) because I have been having too much fun to be bothered by a 1.5kg weight gain.

LOL!

Last Night's Dinner

I was craving for something spicy and hot the other day. I went to the kitchen, looked for spices, curry paste and chili. Here's what I made.

A pork curry with veggies. I don't know what kind of curry is this. I just used a ready made curry paste I got from the grocery. The result kinda look and taste like a Thai red curry. LOL!



I put in a little peanut butter to add a tinge of sweetness to it. And it worked. I'll be making more of this in the future.

April 21, 2010

Spa Indochine in Siem Reap

As mentioned in my earlier post, staying in a budget friendly hotel in Siem Reap allowed us to indulge in some other things.

I read from a magazine that Hotel dela Paix is a member of small luxury hotels around the world. And since staying there means breaking our wallet big time, we decided not to stay there.

But...that doesn't mean we couldn't experience their award winning Spa.

So after a very tiring day at the Angkor, hubby and I left EJ with Ate Mitos at our hotel and headed to Spa Indochine at Hotel dela Paix. I was really exhausted and I looked like I needed a fix of the best night cream pronto!

To get to the Spa you have to pass through the hotel's beautiful infinity pool and this little gardens around. It was very lovely!

The massage room was not as big as I imagined it to be. But nevertheless it was very cozy, inviting and tastefully decorated.

The therapists were very polite and very well trained. One thing ticked me off though. The therapist did not ask me beforehand if I wanted a massage in my tummy and breast, she just assumed. I am not being a prude. There are times I wanted a massage in those areas but I need to be asked first. LOL! Was I being a prude afterall?

Anyway, in general, it was a pleasant and relaxing spa experience.

April 18, 2010

Pub Street

When the sun goes down, the tourists then flock to the happening and vibrant place in Siem Reap, aptly called "Pub Street" because of its numerous pubs and restaurants. Being first timers in Siem Reap, we didn't want to miss this place.

From our hotel, we hired a Tuktuk for $6. That's already a return trip. The Tuktuk driver will bring you there and wait for you until you're ready to go back to your hotel.

Aside from the many pubs and restos, there's also the Old Market and the Night Market to explore which are both walking distance from Pub Street. Both markets offer wide varieties of souvenirs - silk, jewelries, Cambodian handicrafts, etc.

We had dinner at In Touch Restaurant and was surprised that the food weren't priced ridiculously high like the other tourist traps I've been to. The fish amok I ordered was only $3.50. Not really cheap but not expensive either.

There's a small alley parallel to Pub Street about half a block away called Alley West Street. It's a pedestrian only lane and most tuktuk drivers don't know this. So to find this place you have to explore the whole Pub Street by foot. I wanted to see this place because I read from somewhere that it's one of those place you don't want to miss.

I love this place! It is a bit quiter compared to the famous Pub Street. It has small shops, art galleries, quaint cafes and interesting restaurants on it. The vibe is relaxed, artsy, hip, cool, intellectual, etc, etc. Hubby and I stayed here for a while and drank mojitos and margaritas until I got tipsy. LOL!

Not far from Pub Street are hawker food stalls. On our second night we tried it.

We ordered fried noodles ($1.00), stir fried squid ($2.50) and stir fried morning glory (kangkong) with pork ($2.00). Cheap, right? =)

So remember, if you're visiting Siem Reap, don't forget to check out Pub Street and Alley West Street.

April 17, 2010

At Angkor Wat

Our last stop was at Angkor Wat. This was a bad decision because by then we were already exhausted. The sun was at it's hottest and the temple was full of locals offering prayers and thanks to their ancestors.

If we didn't have a kid in tow, we would probably have explored Angkor Wat more. But EJ complained that his shoes felt like it was burning. It was really that hot. He wanted to go back to the hotel. Poor baby.

So after a quick and few photos, we went back to the hotel.

Angkor Wat
Constructed: Early - Mid 12th century C.E.
King" Suryavarman II
Religion: Hinduism
Style: Angkor Wat





Angkor Wat is supposed to be the highlight of the Angkor Archeological Park visit. Unfortunately it wasn't in our case.

Angkor Wat is massive compared to the rest of the temples. It is visually stunning. I hope to be able to come back here one day.

Next post is about Pub Street.

At Bayon

After Ta Prohm, we took a break. It was almost 12NN by then and the heat was becoming unbearable. We were also thirsty and hungry so we had lunch at a nearby Khmer resto.

At 1PM we went to Bayon. According to a travel guide, if you can only visit two temples, it should be Bayon and Angkor Wat.

Bayon has about 37 standing towers with carved faces. We had a hard time going up and down the temple because the stairs was so steep. Nevertheless, I like Bayon. If I had more time, I would have loved to explore this temple more.

Bayon
Constructed: Late 12th century C.E.
King: Jayavarman VII
Religion: Buddhist
Style: Bayon











Next stop...... Angkor Wat

At Ta Prohm

Our second stop was at Ta Prohm. It is famous for its Tomb Raider/Lara Croft shots taken here.

But more than that it's worth exploring for its dark corridors and jungle like atmosphere with massive fig and silk-cotton trees growing from the towers.

Ta Prohm
Constructed: Mid 12th - Early 13th Century C.E.
King: Jayavarman VII
Religion: Buddhist
Style: Bayon









Next stop....Bayon

At Banteay Kdei

A visit to Angkor Archeological Park (a UNESCO world heritage) will take you more than a day. There are several temples inside, among the famous are Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Bayon. A one day pass will cost you $20. But there are 3-day passes and 7-day passes available.

Since we were on a time leash, we decided to cramp four temples in our one-day itinerary. It was fun but it was also very tiring expecially with a toddler in tow.

Here's our first stop.

Banteay Kdei
Constructed: late 12th to early 13th Century C.E.
King/Patron: Jayawarman VII
Religion: Buddhist
Style: Angkor Wat














Next stop at.....Ta Prohm.

Hotel Cozyna: Wallet-friendly Hotel

For our short getaway at Siem Reap, I booked our stay at Hotel Cozyna Angkor. And I am glad I did.

It's very affordable. It's only $24/night for a deluxe room (Ate Mitos stayed here) and $29/night for a superior room (our room, picture below). Breakfast is already included.

Our room is nothing fancy of course. But it is big and clean. It has a balcony and a bathtub!

What I like about this hotel aside from the room rate is that it is quiet but still very accessible to the city.

The pool is also a plus.

After a very hot and sticky day at Angkor, we splashed in the pool. We had the pool to ourselves making us feel it was our own. LOL!

I only wished they had pet beds for their dogs. I saw one dog roaming around and I was not comfortable.

Other than that, it was a pleasant stay. And oh, staying in this budget friendly hotel allowed us to splurge in some other things, like spa and food =)

Off the Bucket List

It's a broken record how people go on to say they need a vacation right after coming back from a recent vacation. But it's always true in my case. Right after I come back from a vacation (short or long, it doesn't matter) I always crave for another vacation right away.

Case in point, now. I just came back from a short adventure at Siem Reap's famous Angkor Archeological Park (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, etc) and I am already googling places to visit next. I am looking at Beijing, Tokyo and Las Vegas right now. And speaking of Las Vegas, I found out that there's a rapid detox for opiates available right there? Who knows, right?

Anyway, Beijing and Tokyo are the more realistic travels this year. Both are in Asia and easier to get around to and not to mention cheaper airfare.

Tokyo or Japan in general has been in my bucket list for a long time, so is the Great Wall in Beijing. Hopefully we could travel to both cities this year.

April 12, 2010

Going to See Angkor Wat

Almost everybody we know have left Phnom Penh already. It's like a mass exodus. LOL! But before you think there's something wrong, nope, there is nothing wrong.

Cambodia will celebrate Khmer New Year from Wednesday until Friday. It's a long holiday. And people are taking advantage of it.

The locals have left for their respective provinces. And the expats have escaped to somewhere probably not too hot. Because I tell you, it's almost boiling hot in here. Okay, a bit exaggerated but you get the point.

Us? We're going to Siem Reap.

We're leaving on Wednesday. We're taking a bus because it is more convenient and cheaper compared to taking a car.

Finally we'll be visiting the famous and magnificent Angkor Wat.

I am looking forward to this trip.

April 10, 2010

Full day

Today was the busiest Saturday ever! But I am not complaining. It was actually a great day.

My day started with a tennis game at 7AM with hubby. Hubby promised he'd win the game but you know what happened. LOL!

After breakfast we all went out and bought a new guitar for hubby. He's been itching to buy one since early this year but I always stop him. Poor husband. LOL! Seriously it's him who's been going back and forth with the decision about buying a new guitar.

Presenting his new love. Hahahaha!!!

We had lunch at KFC today because EJ wanted to eat chicken. The place was full and a bit chaotic which in turn reminded me of the time I used to be a manager of KFC in Pinas. After lunch it was grocery time.

In the afternoon, hubby and I had a relaxing body massage at Bamboo Spa.

Not the usual big and fancy spa but hubby and I like it because it maybe small but it is cozy. The service is great and our therapists are excellent. Full body massage only costs $8! Definitely a Best Buy, that is if I am shopping. Seriously, I think there's no other spa in Phnom Penh with this price and excellent service.

After the massage, hubby and I went to check if Gloria Jeans Coffee had opened already. When I checked yesterday they were still on soft opening. Luckily, they opened today.

We ordered creme brulee and white choco frappes. The apple tart was free because they were still testing their products' correct serving temperature. Lucky us! LOL!

I love the place. I will definitely come back but I don't think it would become my favorite hang out place. It's a bit far from my place and the prices aren't very tempting. It is still cheaper at Brown Coffee.

After coffee we went home and I started my beading projects. I just finished working on two necklaces. I posted them in my accessory blog. Do check it out. Thank you =)

Busy day but I don't mind. In fact I love busy Saturdays as much as lazy Saturdays. LOL!

How did you spend your Saturday?