May 26, 2007

Photo Hunt 59: Colorful

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The pictures in this collage are also in my previous post. It's my birthday yesterday and the night before my birthday, my husband gave me a dozen of roses of different colors. The gesture is really sweet - it's been three years since the last time he gave me flowers.

May 25, 2007

My Birthday Celebration

Today, I turned 30. I originally intended to prepare food and invite some friends and also bring food in the Office. Busy as I am, I didn't have time so I just decided to just bake a mocha cake and cook pancit. Actually, I ordered purple yam cake because my husband loves purple yam. The cake I baked was for my neighbors.

Pancit - sauteed fried noodles. Foreigners identify this as Filipino Food but to my knowledge, this is a chinese food that has evolved to what is it now.

Ube cake (purple yam cake) and cheese ice cream (leftover from the fridge). There's also a purple yam ice cream in the Philippines and the purple yum and cheese icecream combination is so Pinoy.

Mini-mocha bear cake that I baked and gave away to neighbors. I don't have time I wasn't able to frost the whole of the cake.

In the afternoon, we watched the matinee show of "Annie" at College of North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) Auditorium. The actors' performance were good. Too bad, the auditorium isn't really appropriate for a play. It's nice though as an auditorium. There's no "real theater" in Qatar. The one they used to have was struck by a tragic incident in March 2005. During the production of Shakespeare's "The Twelfth Night," a suicide bomber drove his car through the wall surrounding the theater. The show director, Jon Adams was killed. Several people who were at the theater and some residents nearby were injured . So far, that is the first and only bomb-attacked in Doha. Btw, the CNA-Q campus is huge and very spacious.

Then on our way home, we stopped at the Heritage Village and Al-Bidda Park (they are side by side) and took some pictures. We've been in Qatar for three years and this is the first time to visit these two places. There's not much to see but there seem to be a show at Heritage Village at a later time. Not sure what activities they usually have there. The Al Bidda park is strictly for families and strolling only.

May 24, 2007

Pampering Myself

As I am celebrating my birthday tomorrow, I thought of going to the saloon to pamper myself. I had an oil massage, pedicure, hair cut and hot oil from my favorite saloon (Thai Massage and Saloon) at Al-Kinana St. near Al-Naser - Al-Sadd area. Normally, I prefer Emil's massage but this week, our schedule didn't match. I'll be busy tomorrow because I'm planning to bake a cake and prepare some food.

The massage is so good and relaxing - I fell asleep ;) Emil's massage is harder though. For hair and feet matters, only Thai Massage and Saloon can satisfy my expectation. Their hairdresser is Thai and I like her because she takes her time when working on my hair - from shampooing, hair-cut and other treatments. The pedicurist is Filipina and I like her because she's gentle. One Filipina pedicurist I've tried sometime ago made all my toes bled - I was horrified! Anyway, my pedicurist asked me what is my regimen for my face. Hmmm... My face is not flawless but the moisturizer that I am using is also supposed to lighten blemishes. I think it's working! I'll write another blog on that.

Before going home, I drop-by Toys R Us to buy a brithday gift for our neighbor's son - who is also celebrating his birthday tomorrow. There are some Barbie at discounted price and I bought a bunch! Hehehehe for gifts when I go home for vacation.

When I got home, my husband is already sleeping and normally, if my husband is already asleep, I would just turn-on the bathroom's light so as not to wake him up. I kissed him then when I lifted my head, I noticed a figure dressing table shaped like a bouquet of flowers. It was roses of different colors! I was touched because I didn't expect to receive flowers. The last time he gave me flowers was three years ago ;). I think it was a really sweet guesture.

May 19, 2007

Photo Hunt 58: Cooked/ing

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For today's lunch I prepared "Sinigang na Hipon" (translation: Shrimp in Tamarind Soup). I thought I'd post it for photo hunt cooked/ing theme because it's a uniquely Filipino dish. It's a soup but normally eaten as main course also. There are many variation of tamarind soup dish such as fish, pork or beef. I love anything cooked in tamarind soup. When availble, I normally use fresh tamarind but if not, I use the tamarind powder sold in supermarkets and Filipino stores.

May 13, 2007

Signing Off Temporarily

I'm signing off temporarily to finish some work before I travel come first week of June and before my upcoming long vacation in my beloved country. This is such a very difficult decision and I am not sure I am disciplined enough to keep myself off-line.

I apologize to my fellow Photo Hunters because I won't be able to make my visits this week and probably in the next two weeks. I will still post my weekly entry and hopefully, I can do as much blog hopping as I could whenever I get the chance.

See yah ;)

Yet Another Blessing

I guess when it rains, it really pours. We just won a 3D/2N holiday package to Dubai as a raffle prize during the family day of my husband's company. My husband wasn't even planning to attend the family day.

We've been to Dubai twice last year so my husband inquired if we could encash the prize. Apparently, we can't but we can choose another country as long as the cost of the Holiday Package is comparable with the Dubai Holiday Package.

We're thinking of Oman, Bahrain, Egypt or Jordan as options but we'll decide later. Obviously, summer isn't really a good time to visit these countries. Plus, we have a US trip and vacation to the Philippines to worry about.

Nevertheless, I'm excited and I am looking forward to this another adventure!

Doha Players to Stage "ANNIE"

Doha Players will be staging "ANNIE" this May.

For details on play dates, time and venue click here.

To read the Program, click here.

May 12, 2007

Photo Hunt 57: Five

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For this week's theme, I have here the photo of my niece, CHELSIE, during her 5th birthday. She celebrated it last April 27th by having a party at KFC in SM Mall of Asia (Manila). She likes Barbie and Disney Princess; thus her costume. At present, she is the only grandchild of my parents so she is everyone's apple of the eye.

At five, she can already read and write English, which is quite an achievement since English is our second language only. She has her own multiply site (created by her mom, on her request) and she chats with me with her own chat nickname. Yeah, she can operate a laptop on her own.

May 9, 2007

Almost an Accident

The car in front of us made a sudden stop so my husband had to step on the brakes as fast as he could to avoid collision. Unfortunately, the car (2nd car) in our back hit us. I am very sure that we were hit because after a long screeching sound, I've felt the restraining force of my seat belt for the second time (the first time was when my husband stepped on the brakes). Upon realizing what happened, I began to imagine how big was the damage and more than that, I was horrified at the thought of not having a car for a few days and all the inconvenience it will cause me.

Luckily, when my husband and my brother inspected the damage, it was a very minor scratch only, which can be removed by car wax. In fact, we were wondering if the car really hit us because the 2nd car was actually a few feet away. We also found out that the back of the 2nd car was badly damaged by another car (3rd car) and the lady driver was really shocked. We never knew what happened next because we already left the scene after learning that the scratch is so small - it's not worth the inconvenience.

Lesson: It is important to wear the seat belt and if there are rear seat belts encourage the passengers to use them. My brother and my uncle weren't wearing their seat belts and they could have been hurt. Second, it is important to be a defensive driver and to be careful all the time. The accident rate in Qatar still remain high despite the campaign efforts on road safety.

I think it's another blessing that we escape what could have been a big accident.

May 5, 2007

A Week Full of Blessings

Last week was a week full of great blessings and I'm very grateful for that.

First, we got our US Visa, which in my opinion is the ultimate visa in the whole wide world. I believe US Visa is the most difficult to get as compared to other visas. But frankly, US Visa requirements is the easiest to comply (at least in Qatar, you only need employment letter and bank statement). The only hard part really is convincing the consul that we will not overstay in the US and we were able to do it!

Second, I finally got an incentive, which my boss have been trying to work out (me not knowing about it) for a few months already. Actually, my boss was also surprised that it was finally approved. He really wouldn't know if I didn't inform him about it. Sorry guys, I cannot reveal it here but I'm sure you already have an idea what was it. I am very happy because it was unexpected. I must say, I'm now more motivated to work than ever.

I thank God for all the blessings and the good things that He's been giving me! There's nothing more I could ask for, except for one last blessing - a baby - which I hope He'll give me very soon!

May 4, 2007

PJ's Birthday

This is the second year that my brother is celebrating his birthday in Qatar. This year, we chose to just dine out at the newly opened T.G.I.Friday's at Villagio Mall. There's really not much choice in Qatar in terms of food variety. There's a lot of resto but most of them offers Arabic, Indian and Oriental (Chinese or Thai) dishes only.

Unfortunately, the "Ribs" we ordered is not what we expected it to be. It's so fatty and sauce served isn't that good. I think, it has some Arabic spice which makes the flavor really strong. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed eating out together.

After the dinner, we strolled around to burn some calories. Villagio Mall is the first and only themed mall in Doha. It has faux-sky ceiling which is the same as the one in Tunisia court of Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai (also a themed mall). One of the areas in the mall even has a night sky (see the slide show). There is also a canal inside the mall and a Gondola but not yet operational. Not much has changed since our last visit in March. Some portion of the mall is still under construction and a lot of shops/boutique are yet to open.

Some of the popular shops found at Villagio include Carrefour, H&M (a Swedish clothing company), Zara, Next, Hush Puppies, etc. There were also a lot of high-end shops, some of which I've only seen in Qatar. But our favorite shop that can only be found in Villagio is the Virgin Mega Store. So far it is the store in Doha with a good collection of books and at cheaper price too.

I am looking forward to the completion of Villagio Mall. I'm sure it has a lot more to offer once construction is completed.

Pictures also available at my Picasa Web Album.

Photohunt 56: Childhood

I don't have a lot of childhood pictures with me, most of them are in my parent's home back in the Philippines. Of the limited pictures with me, this is my favorite. I'm one year old here and I'm not sure why I am crying but everyone says that I'm a colicky baby and worse I do it at night when everyone is sleeping.

One afternoon, my grandmother was very happy that she was able to put me to sleep in a cradle. But that cradle is traditional one and it is outside the house and tied in the tree. Unfortunately, it rained but they didn't want to take me because I will surely cry if I wake up so they untied the cradle instead, and brought it inside the house ;)