Thursday, December 19, 2013

That Loud, Noisy Crash...

It is difficult for me to relate to heavy metal music... I know heavy metals, but only in the chemical point of view, Hehe! :) But the loud, noisy, crash sound of aggressive hard metal, metallic rock or whatever you call it actually gives me a headache. Still, there are people who are into this extreme, musical genres and well, one just needs to respect that. 

If you happen to be one of those enthusiasts and are looking for a gift for yourself or for someone you know, you can find affordable paiste 17 rude wild crash at guitar center. The Paiste Rude wild crash is a cymbal that is meant to produce that strong and wild crash in aggressive playing styles. If you want to make some noise this Christmas and New Year, this could also be a good idea. Let's just hope no neighbors will go knocking and complaining at your door.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Winterwonderland at the Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt

The Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt or Christmas Market here in Stuttgart officially opened last Wednesday, the 27th of November. It will run until the 23rd of December, one day before the eve of Christmas. I am sure it will be another spectacular and wonderful experience for those who believe in the magic of Christmas. My little girl is especially excited since she is one of those with pure hearts, full of wonder and innocence. Even the adults will find themselves amazed in the wonder of Christmas and cannot help but be in a cheerful mood as they visit the Christmas market.

In case it snows heavily, it will not be a problem since the city has snow brooms in the ready to clear the roads and the pavements. Plus there will always be warm food and hot wine (Gl├╝hwein) for those who find themselves hungry while looking around shopping for unique gifts for friends and loved ones or for beautiful home Christmas decors and adornments.

So many things have happened this year (some happy, some tragic and sad) and I think a visit to the Christmas market will help to bring back the Christmas cheer in our hearts. 

A Quick Way to Get Around The Campus

When I was still doing my Master's degree, it was very tiring to go to the campus and going from one institute to another for the different lectures. Getting from one place to another, especially in the cold seasons, has proven to be very tasking especially that I don't have long, quick legs. I wanted to be more mobile but driving a car to get to the campus in Vaihingen is impossible since I don't have a driver's license then. Going by bicycle is also not an option since I don't know how to ride one.

I was thinking of getting myself a scooter. I am sure it will not be as difficult to maneuver as a bicycle plus it is faster. And there are mopeds for sale that are really inexpensive and very suitable for ladies like me. Ain't this pink one just cute? The younger crowd will definitely go for this one. But since I already fiinished my Master's (thank goodness!), I think I will not really be needing a scooter or a moped or whatever you call it. Perhaps my daughter can have one when she goes to university and we only live in the vicinity of the university where she will attend in the future. Crossing fingers!  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Shoes Are Boring. Wear Sneakers!

The title may seem weird since sneakers are shoes but this advertising line from the classic and well-loved Converse All Stars brand just stuck to me. Now that winter is almost upon us, keeping our feet warm and dry must be a top priority. Catering to the young and the hip market, the new collection of winter sneakers from Converse is just, what can I say, COOL!

The good news is long out: the Chuck Taylor All Star Rock Craftmanship Collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 is out and good to keep you hip and cool during the cold season.

Choose from any of the following Chuck Taylor styles:

The Chuck Taylor All Star Collar Studs: with spikes, rivets and zippers - the perfect silhouette for those who want it a little bit higher.

The Chuck Taylor All Star Double Zip: it's got zippers on both sides of the shoe. The washed-out used look and  frayed edges gives it a worn feel and a rockin' touch.

The Chuck Taylor All Star Animal Prints Collection: a burst of colors and leopard prints.

The Chuck Taylor All Star Studded: also available in  washed-out used look. The rivets run around the back of the shoe and along the laces.

Which one is your favorite?

Photo credits (all photos):

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lovely Shoes For Your Little Fashionista

On our way home from the Kindergarten, a parent asked me about my little girl's Barbie shoes. She asked where I bought them because her little girl also wanted one. Her daughter is turning a year older in the next few days and so she was frantically searching for something just like it at the shoe shops here and also online. She wanted to give it to her daughter as a bitthday present you see but her search is in vain. Since my husband was still in the Philippines on the day this parent approached me, I asked him if he could buy two pairs, one for my little girl and the other one for her friend at the Kindergarten. Thankfully, he agreed and even sent me photos of the cute, colorful and dainty designs. The material is made from sythetic leather and the outer sole is made of lightweight rubber (I think). 

Don't you just love these? Which one's your favorite?

My little girl's first pair is already "kaputt" so to speak, with the heel part slowly separating from the counter, and the synthetic material peeling off. It could be because of too frequent wear, with my little one tending to drag her feet while she walks. But whatever the reason, we need some fast cure clear adhesives (click here for a selection of other adhesives) FAST so we can put them again to use here at home during her impromptu ramp modeling sessions or in the next summer season. This also got me thinking as to whether I should ask the hubby to buy more so I can sell them to the little girls at the Kindergarten. ;)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Black and White Never Goes Out of Style

Although the color of the season is GREEN, I can still see new styles in black and white gracing the windows of fashion shops in downtown Stuttgart.

I especially love Hallhuber's new winter collection: don the 60's look in graphic! These dresses from Hallhuber in Op-Art-prints, colorblocking and Jacquard design are simple and elegant and just eye-catching! I must have at least one (dreaming!) to update my winter wardrobe, which by the way, has become unwearable since I have gone maybe 2 sizes smaller. :D

Photos from Hallhuber.

So, which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's Stocking Season Once Again

The days are shorter and the nights are getting colder... and it is the time of year for them good old stockings. They come in different shades and colors and materials, and different lengths too!

Knee-High Socks:

Match your plaid and / striped combo with knee-high socks and you'll look as if you just got off from a fashion pictorial. :)

Overknees or Over-the-knee:

Source: (L), (R)

If Overknee boots are not for you, you can wear the substitute: over-the-knee socks and still look chic in it. It's the trend this fall season. Plus it gives you the excuse to still wear your shorts, skirts and dresses with your favorite pumps or ballerinas without freezing in the cold.

They also go well with ankle boots too!

Good old Tights:

These will never go out of style and will always be a basic in autumn fashion. They come in bright colors, with patterns, volume elements and sometimes, embroidery too!

Upgrade your fall wardrobe now with a pair or two of these stockings or socks or whatever you call it and look your best this fall season!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Planting For Spring

Autumn is a good time to prepare your little home garden (even a pot garden) for spring. Why? Because it allows you seeds to sleep for a long time until it wakes up to the warmth of the spring air. In this part of the globe, the best times to plant bulb flowers like tulips, crocusses and narcissus is during the cold months between September and December. By April and May, you could expect your flowers to bloom.

We planted three tulip varieties: Triumph Tulpen, Indian Summer and  Farbenrausch.
I guess it a blessing in disguise when my daughter insisted that we plant as early as now. Yesterday, we planted our tulip bulbs, with the little insisting that she put the bulbs in herself. Thankfully, we live four floors up so there is no risk of snails creeping up into the balcony. With this wet autumn, you could always expect these naked snails (they don't carry their shells) to slither their way into pavements and terrace steps. Otherwise we would have to take action and do our own "do it yourself pest control".

She is so into it! She even skipped Kindergarten so she could plant the bulbs herself!
I just hope the flower bulbs will grow and transform into beautiful tulip blooms. Now I have something to look forward to in Spring: a burst of colors from our little pot garden in the balcony.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Fridge for a
Busy Mom Like Me

We decided to buy our own fridge a few months back because we always run out of fridge space with the one that is included in the fitted kitchen. When we go shopping for our groceries, we cannot stock on meat and vegetables because there is just too little space in the old one. It was really disadvantageous because we end up buying choice cut meat, which are considerably pricey, and we have to go to the groceries once a week to furnish our supplies.

Fortunately, my husband was determined to buy us a big fridge with a freezer so that he can also stock up on pork legs and feet, which he uses as soup stock for his ramen. Was I so happy! We went to the appliance store and searched for the ONE. It took us quite a while because we were deciding between a white one and a stainless steel. We finally settled on the stainless steel Liebherr upright ref-freezer combi after much thought.

What I like about this appliance it that it keeps vegetables and fruits fresh for a longer period of time so I don't have to worry on stocking them too. And it has adjustable shelving so I can move them whenever I want depending on the space I need. You can also control the temperature for both the freezer and the fridge and has an option for Superfrost for the freezer and ventilation for the fridge. I know that we will have this one for quite a long time. It also has a A++ efficiency grade, which means savings in energy consumption and green emissions.

It even has become a home to our little girl's artworks and our magnetic souvenirs. :) 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Don't Be A Victim!

The world is full of hackers, phishers, scammers... so you have to always be careful what sites you enter. If you are fond of watching korean dramas (like me) or movies on streaming sites, you must be familiar with the endless ads and pop-out windows that come flashing each time you click on something. These may seem like just ads but you never know if it is already a virus that creeps into your computer system and eating away your data or a robot that crawls and collects important personal information.

So before you venture into these sites, make sure your computer is safe and protected. Never hesitate to install a good anti-virus software that also has internet protection. There are many good anti-virus softwares out there, including the avira professional anti virus software. With so many smart people these days trying to take advantage of those who are not so internet savvy, it is always better to be on the safe side. So don't be a victim. Give your computer the protection it deserves.

The Poor Vikki

Perhaps its my fault... but after a little over two years of using my laptop, she suddenly died on me! :( Maybe its because I don't put it on sleep mode whenever I am using it and just let it run 24/7. To think that I have so many files in it, including my thesis data and report, and images from our travels to name a few. 

When I asked my personal hardware technician a.k.a. husband to take a look at it for me, he said that it's most probably because of the fan. It doesn't work anymore so that the system automatically shuts down the computer when the processor gets too hot to prevent it from doing further damage. So all I had to do was look for a replacement fan on the internet. It's also one of the reasons why my husband was skeptic about Sony Vaio laptop computers because it usually is good only a little bit after the two-year warranty period. So I guess the next time I buy a Sony Vaio laptop computer, I should get a three-year warranty so that when it dies on me a few months after the two years general warranty, I can still claim for free repairs and services. 

I hope the fan I ordered online comes soon... So I can make a back-up of my files and work on the article I promised a friend to write for a university publication.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Photobook Project:
Summer Vacation 2013

Yes! I finally finished our first photobook for this year with the theme Summer Vacation 2013. I must say, this is the record time so far. It only took me about 3 days to finish the layout, thanks to the very user-friendly software of Saal-Digital Fotoservice.

The first photobook that I made was for my daughter with the theme "The First Year". I made it to document and chronicle our firstborn's first 12 months. I planned on making the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th years along with our other vacation photos from the last 5 years but I guess the plan was forgotten in between graduate school classes, parenthood and household chores.

Anyway, I really love how the photobook turned out. It is printed on real photo paper in Matte finish and the printing quality is very excellent. Even the colors came out vibrantly and beautifully... thanks mostly to my Hubby's very good photography skills using his smartphone. :D

Here's a sneak peak into some of the photobook pages:

The front hardcover printed on real photo paper in matte finish.
A quick glimpse of what's inside the covers...

I plan on making more photobooks using the services of Saal-Digital. The next photobook project I would like to call "Ah Barcelona!" Watch out for that! :D

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Them Mattress Toppers

Complaining of a hard mattress yet too stubborn to get a new one? Here's something that might chase all your hard mattress blues away without having to haul it out of your beds: a latex foam topper. This may be the best thing yet... aside from getting a new softer mattress that is. It's cheaper than getting a new mattress and provides better support because of the latex material. It helps to regulate temperature too because of its "breathing mechanism". You can also choose the hypoallergenic ones if you have a family member who is allergic to dust mites and synthetic materials.

I too would get these mattress toppers should I want to reinforce my old ones. Saves me money and effort in throwing the old one out too! :D    

The New Chromebook

Have you seen the latest from Google? I wonder if you have seen the latest ad for the Chromebook. Here in Germany, it is advertised as the notebook for anybody and for all. Below is a video of the ad from Youtube.

It really looked cool... It is made by Samsung but Google is advertising it as the Chromebook: The Laptop from Google. Sold here in Germany for €299. Not bad... Perhaps when I need a new laptop, I will get one just like it.

Anybody who is using the Chromebook? How is it's performance?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Of Guitar Lessons....

I remember back in high school when we had our guitar lessons.. It was actually one grading period when we had to learn how to play the guitar and at the end of the quarter, we were asked to play a song that we composed ourselves. 

I had to struggle with the chords, especially shifting from one fret to another, since I really don't know how to play the guitar in the first place. It is actually one of my frustrations up to this day. But anyway, since we were required to play a song that we made ourselves, I thought I should buy my own guitar so I could practice all I want at home. We bought a locally made guitar so it was cheaper than the branded ones but I insisted on getting Gibson guitar strings. I had no idea that getting the strings could make a difference but I thought it played nicely...

We had some exercises where we would learn a song with easy chords to play and our teacher would grade us accordingly. Many of my classmates played the guitar beautifully... you would think they were born to play the guitar. As for me, I had to muster a lot of courage and really practice hard. I didn't get a 1.0 though so you would know how I fared. Even if I didn't ace the guitar lessons, learning how to play the guitar was a great experience for me. From the classes I had, I am able to recognize the chords and can lead the "choir" when we practice for the mass songs. 


Friday, July 5, 2013

How I Lost 12 Kilos in Four Months

Yes, you read it right... I lost 12 kilos in a little over four months. I didn't get it with crash diets or subjecting myself to a hunger strike. I simply did it one step at a time... deciding to live a more active lifestyle and eating more healthy food. I got myself enrolled in a fitness studio. You can of course choose to jog by yourself around parks but I guess it didn't work for me. I wanted more than just jogging. The exercise and/or dance classes offered by fitness studios are more motivating for me as I enjoy being in a group. It really depends on you. Plus you get to use the gym equipment to help you tone and build your muscles.

Me during my masters graduation ceremony in November 2012.
Then I changed my diet. You know how it is with Filipino diet.. rice and meat and anything salty always goes with it. So I cut down on that especially on the salty and on the rice. No more rice during dinner. Vegetable salad and fruits take up most of my diet. No more sodas for me... even the diet ones are crushed out. I drink freshly prepared fruit juice. There's also one slimming juice that I take even until now called the summer slimmer, which I think is really effective. It is a concoction of apple, celery, cucumber, lime and ginger juice. It looks gooey but really, it tastes better than it looks. Just don't forget to add a few ice cubes into it. Definitely refreshing!

I spent a lot of time in the fitness studio: at least 3 hours if you are really up to it. I do exercises at least three - five times a week consisting of a warm-up exercise on the threadmill, 30 minutes jogging, one or two hours group exercise such as zumba, step, power board, cardio kickboxing or latin aero depending on the day's schedule, strength training and toning and then sauna afterwards. It has helped a lot in burning the fats and in improving the blood circulation. And because you sweat a lot, you really feel good and refreshed afterwards.

I still have some 7 more kilos to shed... and I am almost there. With this change in my lifestyle, I now feel more comfortable about my body and myself and I have more energy to do things. People notice it too and say that they like the change that they see and I am happy about it. I can now even wear dresses with confidence. :)

The present me... my face is not so round anymore.. Hehe! :D
So there! I hope you are inspired with my story. Go break some sweat. Losing weight and getting in shape does not happen overnight. You have to have the willpower and the determination to do it! And don't forget to have FUN while doing it! Enjoy!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Prospect of Moving Out

Moving is one of the things that gives me mixed emotions of uncertainty and excitement. Uncertainty because you never know if your neighborhood is going to be as good and ideal as the one you are used to. Excitement because of the new experiences that come along with the moving and the opportunity to try new decorating ideas. Being an optimist though, I always look at the positive side of things and just put the uncertainty aside and choose to be happy about the prospect of living in a new abode. 

So while we are waiting for things to be confirmed, I busy myself with moving out projects. Right now I am looking for ideas for a little girl's room and even considering doing some online catalog printing from online shops offering children's room furniture and accesoires. Since our little girl will start in the first grade next year, getting her a room for herself will be very helpful so she can sleep early and do have her own quiet space for making her homework.

There's still tons to do too before we finally get to move out. Send a notice of rental contract cancellation, pack up, paint the walls white anew, clean, clean and clean! So wish us all luck! We will definitely need it! :)


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