Merry Christmas!!!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! Here is all of my gang! 



Sweet Pea
Sweet Pea

Violet "Baby Rat"




Teddy "Bear"
Teddy "Bear" 





Rockwell Handmade! (From Lebow with Love)

Rockwell Handmade is now called: From Lebow With Love.

This pretty little winter ballerina is from Rockwell Handmade. A shop started by one of my childhood friends Leah. She makes handmade dolls, bowties & whatever else strikes her fancy, from pretty vintage fabric she finds.

(Click on photo to enlarge).
You can even customize your doll orders with what colors you prefer. I wanted our ballerina doll to have black hair. :-) And she is so gorgeous in person! And much larger than you would think. She is approx 17" tall.
I ordered the Winter Ballerina for my little one year old niece Zia in the Philippines. (My Sister in law's blog.). So we will be shipping this dolly off in the New Year as a belated Christmas gift.


More Enkelini Nail Polish!

Back in November, Enkelini Nails was having a 50% off sale for Black Friday. I decided to order 3 more colors. (I've posted about Enkelini Polish before).

I ordered a full size of It's Raining Happy. SUCH... a pretty glitter polish! With silver, green and aqua glitter. It's a stunning polish!
Something weird did happen when I was wearing this polish and I don't know if it was the polish itself or the Seche Vite I topped it off with. But after a few days my polish started popping off... in full pieces. (Like fake nails, lol!) It was really odd! I will try this polish with a base coat next time!

Lucky You is a pretty purple with red gold shimmer. It's supposed to be a dupe of the elusive Clarins 230. It's really pretty in the sun!

Shampayne is a silver gold holographic polish. In the sun or camera flash you can see a really strong holo. Indoors it has a nice silvery gold shimmery color. Love this one!

*All polish was purchased by myself.

 photo sarahlynn_zpse7845bbe.jpg

3 Year Anniversary! (Immigration & the Holidays)

December 19th, was our 3 year wedding anniversary! We just had a laid back anniversary this year.

I took F.B. to see The Hobbit for his anniversary gift. We didn't get home until close to 1am. (The movie wasn't my cup of tea... and it's very long, 3 hours!) We went Tuesday evening and the movies are quite empty on a weeknight!

We decided to stay home on our anniversary and order Chinese Takeout from one of my favorite places, King Wok. (We got an updated menu and it looks like they only sell Chinese now, no more Japanese. The picture below is of their old menu). We ordered so much food though, I think we have leftovers for 3 days now! :-)

So let's talk about immigration again. They received our paperwork and sent F.B. a notice. The paper he received is his 1 year extension. He also got his biometrics appointment for January 10th. Where he gets fingerprinted and his photo taken for his new permanent resident card.

But... our lawyer said the USCIS Vermont center is so backlogged with paperwork it is taking 8 months to 1 YEAR to process paperwork. So we will not know if F.B.'s conditional status removal was approved and he will not receive his new updated resident card for up to 1 year....

I asked our lawyer what happens if it takes Immigration longer than 1 year to process our paperwork and she said in that case his status would be extended but he would have to go to a USCIS center with his I-797 notice and his passport to have it stamped for an addtional year.

Immigration is just so complicated. I thought we were almost done and had no idea it could take 8 months to 1 year to receive his new resident card. Wow... Ugh...

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia.

To leave off on a more positive note here is a few of our Christmas Decorations!

Our "Christmas" door. It's already green, so the bow works, lol!
These are our Christmas trees. :-)
Christmas sock monkeys! Just a few of the holidays stuffed animals I have.


Remy & Emile :-)

Last night we brought home two little boy rats. A PEW and a Black Berkshire. We named the PEW; Remy and the Black Berk; Emile. (Ratatouille!)

Templeton and our elderly Aspen seem just fine with the new little boys. But my quiet boy Teddy is being a real Grinch to them. Hopefully he will settle down soon...

  photo sarahlynn_zpse7845bbe.jpg

Thanksgiving and Immigration...

This was the 1st year F.B. and I had Thanksgiving together in our own place. (Last year was at my parents, but we were in the process of moving, so I don't think I blogged about it.) We had an early dinner with just the two of us and later on Thanksgiving evening we stopped by my parents to visit and for dessert (Though all of us were so full, we didn't have any, lol!) We took them an Edward's Desserts cookies & cream pie. (AMAZING!) 

I don't like regular turkey meat so much, I like processed turkey though, lol. (Like turkey lunch meat, etc.) Every year we've always gotten a Tofurky (Which I love). But I was sick for quite a few days this year (Sinus infection, I think...) and really dizzy so we shopped at last minute. We got a Jennie-O turkey roast this year instead.

Thanksgiving goodies!
No table is complete without Martinelli's sparkling apple cider!
Martinelli's; The two Thanksgiving's I happened to be in the Philippines, F.B. & I celebrated by having dinner at Gerry's Grill and then having Mashed potatoes (From KFC) & Martinelli's sparking apple cider for a late night snack. Haha! I was so estatic they actually sell Martinelli's in the Philippines, because we always have it on our table at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years on my side of the family.

Our Thanksgiving table this year in our apartment! Yum! Turkey roast, gravy, cranberry jelly, green bean casserole, homemade mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes in brown sugar, stuffing, corn, & croissants. We had leftovers for 3 days, lol! F.B. ended up getting a rotisserie chicken from Shop-rite though because we didn't have anymore Turkey roast for the leftovers.

Other Blog Links:

Now onto immigration; As you know we have to file to remove the conditional status from F.B.'s permanent resident card. We are working Gonzales & Tiagha again.

F.B.'s paperwork for the I-751 cannot be filed before December 5th or else it could be rejected. Last Thursday we mailed off our stack of evidence for immigration. It cost $14 to mail express. We also had to write a check for $590 for immigration to file the form.

This is just some of the stuff we needed to submit as evidence:

1) Filing fee of $590 made payable to the Department of Homeland Security; (Can be personal check).

2) Two passports size photos of both you and spouse;

3)  Jointly filed tax returns (Federal & State);

b. Lease/mortgage with both parties listed;

c. Utility bills;

d. Bank statements for joint bank accounts;

e. Declaration page for insurance policies (car, life, and/or health);

f. Collage of photos with friends and family members.

g. Affidavits from friends and family members attesting to the nature of your marital relationship. The letters should include the person’s name, contact information (address and phone number), relationship to you & spouse, and a brief description of what they know about you both. The letters should be notarized.  You should try to obtain at least six affidavits (three from your side and three from his friends and family).

Our lawyer will file these forms around December 6th. Hopefully we have supplied enough evidence. F.B. will have to get his biometrics done for his resident card when they contact us. So hopefully we are near the end of immigration stuff for awhile!

I also included a letter statement about my blog. I figured since I have been blogging since 2008 and have written about all of my trips to the Philippines and our immigration process; holidays, birthday's, marriage, etc since F.B. has arrived in the USA, it may help. Fingers crossed this step goes as smoothly as when F.B. arrived in the USA back in March 2011!

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 


Daisy: 11/2010 - 11/2012

We lost Daisy, Wednesday evening the day before Thanksgiving. Daisy was 2 years old. She never had any real health problems, never had a trip to the Vet. She was getting older and more frail. She started getting bald patches in her fuzzy rex fur. (Turns out that is normal for older Rex rats). Wednesday evening when we came home, Daisy was very lethargic. I knew she wasn't feeling well and could tell it might be her time... I put her on the fuzzy purple fleece blanket, I keep just for the rats. Daisy passed away a few minutes later while I was holding her...

I brought Daisy home in November 2010. Daisy was a spaz when she was younger. Her nickname was 'Sheepie' because she was so fuzzy. She was hyper, she would hoard and hide all the treats or food she could find. She was 1st of my many rats to ever use a wheel. She loved running on that wheel. Daisy was the last of the pet rats I owned before my husband came to the USA in March 2011. (We are down to 3 boys and 6 girls). Daisy was also the last blue rat I've owned and the only Rex I've ever owned. She had Berkshire markings.

And here's a video of Daisy running on her wheel:


My Kindle Fire HD 8.9 arrived a week early! Yay!

What a surprise I got on Friday morning. An email from Amazon saying my Kindle Fire HD 8.9" (16GB) was shipping that morning! (It was supposed to ship November 21st). Being the techy geek girl I am, I picked one day shipping when I pre-ordered so later that afternoon it was delivered! Whoo hoo!

Being even geekier, I made my husband bring it in the car when he picked me up from the train station after work; (we stopped by my parents house to give my 18 year old brother his belated birthday gift). I just couldn't wait until I got home to open the box and check out my new Kindle! And... wow! Compared to the original Kindle Fire 7", the 8.9" is huge! Even though it weighs just a few ounces more than the original, it somehow feels lighter in my hands. It's also much thinner.

(Click on pictures to enlarge for better quality).

 Size comparison: The original Kindle Fire 7" next to the Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

 This is a bit hard to see, but the new Kindle Fire HD is MUCH slimmer

The new home screen- (with Amazon home screen recommendations turned off)

The new HD screen is so much more vibrant in color than the original Kindle Fire. The speakers are also better placed. And... there's now actual volume buttons on the side!

 Larger & easier to use keyboard

 Favorite's Toolbar

I have used my original Kindle Fire EVERY single day since I got it. I just stopped using it on Friday when the new one arrived. So let's talk pro's & con's between the two.

  • Bigger Screen
  • Vibrant HD Display
  • Slimmer design & more comfortable to hold.
  • TV & Movie's sound amazing with the dolby audio.
  • The keyboard is bigger and more comfortable to use. And now it even underlines your miss spelled words in red so you can correct them! 
  • Amazon Silk browser is faster & more compatible with different websites. On the older model some websites wouldn't cooperate and let me scroll so I would have to use Opera Mini browser to get around that.
  • Volume controls on the outside now!
  • Speakers are spaced out better
  • Finally a webcam & mic to Skype or take pictures and videos! (and this program I bought gives you even more options for the camera/video).
  • No more flash. Which means I can't view videos on 6abc or CNN, etc. Because Adobe is no longer making it for Android or mobile devices. Which means on older websites that still use flash instead of HTML5 you cannot view videos. (Original Kindle Fire had flash installed).
  • Certain games that you may have purchased for the original are not compatible yet with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9". (Sims Free Play is now compatible!)
  • Silk Browser seems to crash more often if you have 'Accelerate Pages' box checked in browser options. (Maybe an update will address this) (Update has addressed this!)
  • TV & Movies sound amazing with the dolby audio, but I found playing music through the speakers didn't have the same quality. And there's no equalizer in the newer model.
  • Lot's of Ad's. Supposedly you can pay $15 to disable all the ad's permanently. But, I did find in settings/applications you can turn off some of the recommendations. The only thing you can't disable is the ad's that show up on the screen when it's locked. Like I said though, you can pay a fee to disable them. It doesn't bother me too much yet though. 
These are the kinds of ad's you'll see when the screen is locked. They can be disabled for a fee. The recommendations you can hide in your settings.  
Another con for some people is the fact that the Amazon App Store doesn't have as vast a selection as the Google Play Store. That doesn't bother me too much either because they have most of the app's I use. (Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Netflix, Pinterest, Ebay, etc).

But, I did discover a way to get around this. I stumbled upon a mobile site called: You can download so many more free Android app's & games for your Kindle Fire. To install the 1Mobile App to access the store on your Kindle, you have to go to settings/device and select on for 'Allow installation of applications from unknown sources'.

Of course, there is always a chance an app may not work or be compatible. Most of the programs I've downloaded so far have worked though. (I downloaded Instagram! The Amazon App Store doesn't even have that yet! And it works just fine on my new Kindle).

Apps I've downloaded from the Market that work on my Kindle Fire HD:

I'm still getting used to things that differ from the original, but all in all so far, I'm pretty pleased with my new Kindle Fire HD.

And, because that shiny new Kindle Fire HD is now on my Amazon credit card. I am selling my original Kindle Fire 7" 8GB on eBay. It comes with the original box, original charger, 2 screen protectors, a stylus & a cute vintage sleeve case. It is in pristine condition with no scratches on the screen. (Reserve is $120).
(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend for their low prices. That or Ebay!

Designed by FlexyCreatives