February 28, 2013

Keeping Up With The Boys

I have been feeling left out at home lately. Hubby and the kiddo talk in a language only the two of them understand. Sometimes they include me in their conversation but I just cannot keep up.

Last week, EJ borrowed my phone to text his Dad. I thought he was going to his Dad about what we had for snacks. But this is what transpired on their text exchange.


I have no idea what they are talking about! Okay, well, I guess they are talking about the game Red Alert. I just don't have any idea what the game is all about.

Hubby and EJ tried to make me understand the game. EJ even tried to teach me but my limited mind cannot process the game so I stopped trying to understand.

Hubby said it's RPG (Role Playing Game). Whatever that means. LOL! EJ said the reason I don't understand is because I am not a "gamer" like him and his daddy. Thank you very much, babe. You just made me feel officially left out. Hahaha!

I also play games. I was even partly addicted to Farmville in Facebook before. But that was a long time ago. Now I mostly play spider solitaire on my phone and laptop. LOL!

I realized two things: EJ is growing up fast. He doesn't play the usual baby games that he used to play before. Second, boys will be boys. It's not a bad thing. It's actually nice that hubby and EJ enjoy doing something together.

If I don't learn to play their game, I might become just a ghost to them. Uh-oh, I better keep up.

February 27, 2013

In Photos: Wearing Traditional Khmer Costume

So I got our photos wearing traditional Khmer costume from the studio yesterday. The first picture I saw out of the envelope was of EJ. It looked good! EJ looked good! I swiftly scanned the rest of the photos, while the receptionist was downloading the digital copy in my hard drive.

Here's EJ's picture. Doesn't he look adorable?


When I was back in the car, I looked at the rest of the photos again. And that's when I realized, I wasn't quite satisfied with the outcome. We should have asked them if we could choose the background for our pictures. While EJ's background looks nice, we didn't quite like the background used in hubby's photo below.


Lesson learned #1: If you want backgrounds in your photos, ask them if you can choose a background for each photos. If you also don't like backgrounds, I guess you can specify that as well.


This photo was taken by hubby using my iPhone while the photographer was also taking my picture.


Here's the official photo. Notice any difference? It doesn't look like me anymore, does it? They airbrushed me too much. My face is too white and my collar bones are gone making my shoulders look uneven. All my pictures are like that. I guess for them it is unattractive. But in fairness, I like my background.

Lesson learned #2: Tell the photographer you don't want too much photoshopping/airbrushing. Or you can specifically say you don't want any photoshop done anywhere your body or your face if you feel that you look nice in the pictures already (you get to look at the raw pictures after the photoshoot to choose the pictures you want printed).



I didn't have time to really look at myself while being made up because everything was fast and new to me. My hairstyle looks okay but if I have the chance to do it again, I would have it done differently.

Lesson learned #3: Specify the hairstyle (for women) you want. If the make-up artist doesn't speak English, you can point the exact hairstyle you want from their photo examples (they usually have a lot to choose from).

Aside from EJ's picture above, the only other photo I like is this family photo of us. EJ's smile may look a bit fake but I like how his eyes lit up. He looks really handsome if I may say so myself. Hehe.


The digital files I asked are in the edited form already.

Lesson learned#4: Ask if you can have the raw files. That way, you can still edit the pictures to your own liking.

So here's the rundown. We paid $33 for 9 printed photos and a digital copy. The costume and the make-up was included already. Out of the nine pictures, I like two.

I say, it's still a good deal. The whole experience was really fun and while all the pictures didn't quite turn out the way we wanted it, it was still an experience we will not easily forget.

If you're interested to experience this, you can check out the many photo studios along Monivong and Sihanouk Boulevard. We had our photos taken at SPK Colorlab (262A Monivong Street).

Have fun!

February 25, 2013

Year of the Green

According to Chinese astrology, this year is the year of the snake. To be specific, it's the year of the water snake and they say green is this year's color.

I didn't think of myself as superstitious but when you look at my things or some of my beliefs, you can say that to a certain degree I am indeed superstitious.

When I read that this year's color for luck and prosperity is green, I wanted to buy a dress or a bag in color green. But I haven't seen something which I like yet.

Last Saturday, I was shopping for a cover for my laptop. I actually wanted to buy a red or a pink cover. And then I remember green. Good thing they have this color. So I bought it right away.


I hope by buying this cover it will bring in more blogging work for me. LOL!

Speaking of blogging, I want to consolidate my blogs. I have four active blogs and I am thinking I could merge a couple of my blogs so I only have two. It's really difficult to maintain all four now. I am busy at home and there's also the problem of what to write in each blog.

I thought that having several blogs like other bloggers out there, I could earn more. But I am not sure it's working for me. I think I should put back my travel stories here. I don't have that much stories to share anyway. I am also thinking of merging my josiet's journey blog with this blog. If that happens, this blog will be a mish-mash of everything. But then again, it's already like that as it is. Hahaha!

Anyway, that's just a plan. I hope I could do it this year.

~~~

Happy Monday everyone!

February 23, 2013

My Life is Not Going Right

EJ really cracks me up!

The other day, he said something out of the blue and totally unexpected. We just got back from his school that day. And as per our daily routine, he takes a shower right away. As usual, he takes his sweet time taking off his uniform. I told him, "Hurry up, please. I have tons of work to do!"

He blurted out, "Why is my life not going right?"

I was stunned! What did you say, I asked? He repeated his words.

As stunned as I was, I still managed to ask him "Why do you say that?"

"Because, one: I am lazy, two: I don't listen to you guys, three: I play iPad all the time, four: I whine a lot....."

Really, can a six-year old say this? I was speechless for a while. When I regained my composure, I went up to him and hugged him tightly. I said "Of course your life is on the right track. You are a very nice, well-behaved kid. You are sweet and loving. You are super smart. You make mommy and daddy happy and proud. And we love you so much.

What a profound kid we have! Makes me think what we have done right. Oh, I love him so so much!

February 20, 2013

Ordering Online

Two Christmases ago, I sent Christmas cards to my friends, one in Maldives, one in Abu Dhabi and one in Australia. Guess what, nobody received a card from me. So I never bothered to send cards again last Christmas.

This is one of the example I hesitate buying online here in Cambodia. I am not that confident with the postal service here. So far though, I have received all my online orders. I have ordered from Amazon, from a bead supplier in US and the recent one from Victoria's Secret.

Yesterday, I received my Victoria's Secret package. I ordered it online and have it shipped via international shipping only (no tracking). Luckily, it arrived a day before the target date. Hubby picked it up for me and only had to pay 2,500Riels or $0.50 for the taxes. Yay!

Even though I have received all my orders online, I still feel jittery every time I hit the "buy now" button.

I am planning to order online again. I saw a nice green bag from Got Briefcases which is on sale. I want to buy a green bag because they say green is the lucky color this year of the water snake. And I think having a green bag will bring in more financial luck.

I also want to try to order from JCrew. I am always at their site. I have been lusting over some of their pieces but I always end up discarding my cart because of fear they might not arrive here.

But with the recent success in online ordering, I have gotten a little confident. I will let you know if I decide to buy the bag and some items from JCrew.

February 19, 2013

Khmer for a Day

Last Saturday, we went to a photo studio along Monivong Street and had our family photo taken wearing Traditional Khmer costume. I've never been really interested in doing this because a) the make-up worn by the girls are just too thick and over the top for me (make-up is part of the package) b) I've been told that make-up time takes about 3 hours and it's a turn off for me. I can't sit still for that long c) some pictures I've seen aren't done in good taste.

What changed my mind was when I saw a picture from EJ's classmate. Their family had their picture taken, all of them wearing Khmer costumes and they looked fabulous! The mom told me it's a good souvenir from Cambodia. And I agree.

Unfortunately, I forgot to ask where they had their pictures taken. They left Cambodia already.

So I researched a bit and I learned that this is a not a new concept. A lot of foreigners have done this. It's one of those fun non-touristy things you can do but still give you a glimpse of the customs and traditions of Cambodia.

From my research, any photo studio in Phnom Penh will do this thing. So we headed to Monivong Boulevard as we saw a cluster of photo studios there. We chose SPK Colorlab because the receptionist was very friendly and welcoming.

Here's a sneak peek of our shoot. LOL! I purposely said that to make it sound like I am a model. LOL!

{The photographer helping me with my poses}

The official photos will be available after one week. This one was taken by hubby. I am excited to see if it turns out okay. I will definitely share it here. If not, we'll try again another studio. LOL!

Here are some information you may want to know if you're interested to have your photo taken wearing traditional Khmer costume:
  •  Price is $15 for 3 photos (women) including make-up and costume. But you can always haggle.
  •  For men and children, price is $9 for 3 photos including costume.
  • Make-up time took less than 30 minutes for me. I specifically told the girl doing my make-up to make it light. And she did.
  • You can bring your own make up if you like. I don't have a make-up set because I don't wear make-up at all.
  • You can choose the color of your costume.
  • You can ask for a digital copy of your photos. Just bring a flash drive.
Surprisingly EJ had fun doing this. I expected him to whine about time and the costume, but he played along well. Maybe he liked the costume. He actually looked really handsome with his princely outfit and his mini sword, if I may say so. Hehe.

Hubby looked dashing in his costume too. He had a necklace on and he said it was heavy. LOL!

I can't wait to see our pictures. Even if it wouldn't turn out good like I expected, the whole experience had been fun. We definitely enjoyed being Khmer that day!

February 12, 2013

Sweet and Fragrant

Over the weekend or the Chinese New Year, the supermarkets here were littered with a variety of fruits. I know most of the fruits but one particular fruit caught my attention. The label on the fruit stand says "fragrant pear" from China.

As I love pears, I took a couple or so and put it in my basket. Little did I know that this is the pear that will make EJ eat pears.

{Fragrant Pears}

This is the first time I've seen this kind. It almost looks like a guava from a far. The jade green skin has a waxy feel. The flesh is white, crisp and it is super sweet. I love it! I googled this fruit and it says it originated from China. The skin or the peel is edible which I haven't tried eating yet.

We have been trying to make EJ eat pear but he steadfastly refuses to eat. He'll try a very small bite and that's it. But with this fragrant pear, he has eaten one whole fruit (peeled and sliced) all to himself. Hurray!

One kilo of fragrant pear is $4.30 here. I should head back to the supermarket and get some more before they run out of stocks. It's a seasonal fruit, I read.

Hopefully, EJ will eat the regular pear later on. Have you eaten fragrant pears before?

~~~

With the Chinese New Year over, it's time for love once again as we all celebrate Valentine's Day. Well, hubby and I don't celebrate the date. I don't know. I guess it doesn't hold much meaning to me. And as for hubby, well, never mind. LOL!

Anyway, I have been looking for a good headphone lately because I use it more often now. I use it whenever I watch shows from tfc tv.

I have seen some nice headphones around town but I wish someone would give it to me instead of me buying it myself because it's a little above my budget. Haha!

I know we don't celebrate Vday but at this time, I wish we do so I could gently request hubby to give me a present. Psst hon, are you reading this? LOL!

~~~

I wish everyone a Happy Hearts Day!!! Let's love, love, love one another :)

February 7, 2013

First Trip This Year

We've already booked our first trip this year and it's going to be Singapore! We'll be there on April during the Khmer New Year here in Cambodia.

This is our fourth trip to Singapore but I am still excited. Singapore is a vibrant and constantly evolving city. I am sure this year we'll have new things to discover again.

We're also looking forward to a trip to Legoland Malaysia.

2011.07.06_LEGOLANDAAA_.jpg

Legoland Malaysia is in Johor Bahru but I hear it's only an hour away from Singapore. It just opened recently. If I am not mistaken, it opened middle of last year.

We're going there because our son is a big fan of Lego. I am sure it will be quite an experience for him being there.

I have only booked our flight and hotel but I haven't booked our tickets and transportation to Legoland yet. I will start researching this week.

How about you guys? Where are you going this year? Any special travel plans?

The First Report Card

EJ brought home his first semester report card over the weekend. It was in his bag and he forgot to hand it over to us. He probably thought it was just a letter from his teacher. We only got to see it last Tuesday.

They were evaluated in all aspects including behavior and their special subjects like arts, music, physical education, swimming, etc. But the four main groups are: Social Studies, Mathematics, English and Science.

I am proud to say EJ did so well in everything. He's got "4" (excellent) all the way except for a couple of 3's in Math. Here's his report:


EJ got "3" for numbers up to 100 and for addition and subtraction. While "3" means very good, it still came as a surprise to us because EJ can do addition and subtraction without using his fingers. Well, I am probably just being a mother. Hahaha!



His English and Science evaluation were all "4". His love of reading has translated well into English and Science. EJ loves to read. He reads everything, from stories to science and even dictionaries :)

The teachers also say that EJ is a very good speller for a grade 1. He is very competitive but he gets frustrated easily when he doesn't get something right. His hand writing and his presentation of work still needs a lot of improvement.

It's nice to see that EJ is doing well in school. I know he needs to work on his hand writing but I am not worried about that. What I need to help him with is how to deal with his frustration. Hopefully in time, he'll master his emotions.

~~~

EJ, we are so proud of you! Mom and Dad will always be here to support you, guide you and cheer you on. We love you so much.

February 6, 2013

Coffee And My Hair

Some days are better than the other. And when I feel like I need a dose of happy pill, I turn to my new happiness in a cup:


{Dark Chocolate Ice Blended from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf}

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is not really new to me. But I don't know why I haven't tasted this delicious drink before. If you're a dark chocolate lover, I am sure you'll love this drink as well.


{At The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, BKK1 branch}

Last Saturday, the boys and I had breakfast at their branch in BKK1. I tried the Dark Chocolate Latte. It was good but I prefer the ice blended version.

Out of topic, my hair is growing longer. It is at its awkward stage. I wanted to grow it longer but now I am undecided. I am thinking of cutting it short again.

My only problem is that finding a consistently good hair stylist is a matter of luck. You can go to the same person but you'll get different results every time. It happened to me several times already. I wish salon los angeles is just on the next town. I bet there are tons of professionals to help me decide my hair. LOL!

Seriously, a bad hair has the potential to ruin a perfectly good day. But I try my hardest not to let my bad hair get to me. Haha!!!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Wish you all a lovely hair day!

February 2, 2013

Hooked

What have I been up to lately? Well, to be honest not much. But I am hooked with two things: fitness and tfc.

I am getting passionate about my fitness. I want to take it to the next level and see if I can have the six pack. NOT! Seriously, I want to see results from my hard work. It's not enough anymore that I have lost weight. I want to challenge myself and see if I can have the toned and fit body like Jillian Michaels. I know it would take a lot of hard work and sacrifices and at times I want to give up already but I just want to see how far I can go. I may not go that far but what's important to me is that I try and continue to challenge myself.

The second thing that occupies most of my time lately is tfc.tv! On my free time, I watch shows from the Philippines (ABS-CBN) through this website. If you noticed, I haven't blogged as much as before.


We used to have a TFC channel in our cable before but they took it out. If you want to subscribe to TFC, you have to buy a digital box and pay a separate monthly fee for it. There's so much hassle so we haven't subscribed yet.

Now, we don't to subscribe to the cable because I can watch the shows online anytime I want. There's a fee of course. I tried the one-month subscription for $7.99. It gets cheaper if you subscribe for a longer period of time. I think this is a bit expensive compared to the cable but what I like about this is that I don't have to adjust my time to be able to watch the shows. I can watch any show on my own time, anywhere as long as there's internet.

As much as I love watching the shows, it has kept me from blogging and I feel guilty. I promise myself that starting this week, I shall limit my watching time.

What about you guys? What have you been up to last month?

By the way, it's already February! Wow! Just wow.