Peddler's Village

Saturday I went with my brother & cousins to Peddler's Village for the day. Peddler's Village looks like an 18th century village. They have a lot of unique little shops & an old fashioned candy shop. I got black licorice, homemade dark chocolate covered pretzels & dark chocolate nonpareils & old fashioned candy sticks in flavors: licorice, rootbeer, lemon, butterscotch, cinnamon & cherry cola to take home.

It was sunny and warm on Saturday and there were a ton of flowers blooming up at Peddler's Village. I got alot of great pictures. We had lunch at the Peddler's Pub. They had amazing homemade chicken noodle soup & I also had a chicken ceaser salad.

I picked up this cute little little rubber/plastic rat figurine at one of the little shops there.

They had a set of Henry VIII & his wives at the toy shop. Wish I could have gotten it, but it was $134! They were hand painted supposedly, oh well I got a picture!

We also had a great time playing at the arcade. They had funhouse mirrors, we played skeeball, pinball, etc. Also took pictures of the carousel. We go to Peddler's Village at least once a year in the spring or summer and always have a great time.

After Peddler's Village on the drive home we stopped at Rita's Water Ice. They are the best! Though they are only open during the spring/summer months. I had vanilla chocolate swirled custard with chocolate sprinkles. So Yummy!

We stopped at a park near my cousins house later in the evening. They had swans & ducks with their little babies. I really had a nice day.

All of the pictures from our day:


Saffron (Saffy)

I've been thinking about getting another white rat for a few weeks, so Wednesday after work I stopped at a few pet stores to see if they had any rats. 2 of the stores I went to only had males and the Petco where I adopted Tansy had 3 white females, so I didn't feel too bad since I was only buying 1 of them.

Please meet Saffron! "Saffy" for short!

She is very tiny and she isn't quite used to being handled by people just yet. When you hold her she cries and squeaks a bit until she settles down. She's very sweet & curious and so small compared to my other girls! The sales associate at the pet store had a heck of a time trying to get her out of the cage. She kept running away from him and she squealed up a storm when he finally caught her! I'm thinking about introducing her to my other girls this weekend so we will see how things go. If all goes well she will be living with Ginger & Nutmeg. Sugar is still very territorial, so she & Cinnamon live in the upper part of the Ferret Nation cage.

Now for some updates on my other 4 girls!

Sugar is around 1 year 7 months old now. She's been suffering from abscesses on her left front paw since January. I took her to a new vet last month and he gave her a shot of baytril & started her on a new antibiotic. She has not had anymore abscesses since then, but she did develop a blood blister in the same spot she had her last abscess and it's healing very slowly. Sugar also seems to be developing a mammary tumor on her belly near her left back leg. Since she is getting older now and has alot of other health issues I'm not going to put her through surgery to have it removed. Right now it is growing very slowly.

Cinnamon is around 1 year 3 months old now and doing just fine. She's my chunky monkey. She is the biggest of all my girls. And she loves to be cuddled. She'll hang out on the bed with me if I'm reading or on the laptop.

Ginger & Nutmeg are both around 5 months old now. Nutmeg never sits still. She loves to run all around my bedroom when I give her free time. She will climb up the curtains just to get into the window to look out.

Ginger started bleeding a few weeks ago and it was very similar to Cinnamon's issue over a year ago. I was very hesitant to have another rat spayed so I started her on antibiotics hoping it was just an infection. After a week on the antibiotics the bleeding went away and hasn't been back. Which makes me wonder if Cinnamon ever really needed to be spayed and if my old vet should have tried her on a different antibiotic.

In other news; I ordered some new books on last week and just started reading them. I ordered: Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace, Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary - A Photographic Remembrance & Designs of the Heart: The Pattern/The Pledge/The Promise. The last book I read the 1st book- but I wanted to read the 2nd & 3rd so I ordered a volume with all 3 books.


Mmmm... Strawberries!

For Mother's Day I made my mom chocolate covered strawberries. White chocolate and milk chocolate with different colored sprinkles. Yummy!

I also made her chocolate covered cherries with maraschino sundae cherries. They taste soooo good, but they don't look as nice because the cherries were bigger than my candy molds, so no pictures of those!

Tomorrow for lunch I'm taking both of my parents out to Red Lobster. We're doing a Mother's Day early Father's Day lunch. Then we'll stop at the mall to go to Bath & Bodyworks so my Mom can pick out her favorite anti bacterial products.

I upgraded to Internet Explorer 8 from Internet Explorer 6. Once I upgraded, I had to edit my blog layout a bit because it was not appearing correctly for me. If you are having any issues with the pictures on my blog not being aligned correctly you may need to upgrade to IE8. The resolution on my computer is also 1280 x 800, so if any of you reading are having issues with the alignment of my pictures please let me know & I'll try to see what I can adjust.


Wedding Mix

I've put together a Wedding Mix CD. F.B. & I are not having a big wedding. We are just having a civil ceremony, but we will be having a "reception" or dinner party with his relatives after we get married and I've been thinking it would be nice to play some of our favorite music at our "reception". And we could also play it at our renewel ceremony when F.B. comes to the USA after our immigration paperwork is complete.

I definitely want to play our Best Of: Mahal Mix CD & The Walk to Remember Soundtrack since they mean alot to us but I also thought it would be special to create a Wedding Mix CD of love songs that we've shared throughout our relationship and to start our future on.

So I've come up with a playlist of 19 songs. I initially wanted 21 songs but they wouldn't all fit on one CD so I had to get rid of a few songs. I also still need to get F.B.'s opinion (if he wants to add any other songs or replace any, etc.) but here is what I came up with for our Wedding Mix. I've included links to where you can preview the songs if you haven't heard them already.

1. Brand New Day- Forty Foot Echo
2. It's Gonna Be Love- Mandy Moore
3. Just For You- William Tell
4. Everywhere- Michelle Branch
5. Wherever You Will Go- The Calling
6. Things I'll Never Say- Avril Lavigne
7. Unbelievable- Craig David
8. The Way- Clay Aiken
9. Kiss Me- Sixpence None The Richer
10. I'll Be- Edwin McCain
11. I Wanna Be With You- Mandy Moore
12. The Reason- Hoobastank
13. She Will Be Loved- Maroon 5
14. Again- Lenny Kravitz
15. Your Guardian Angel- The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
16. Far Away- Nickelback
17. Godsend- DC Talk
18. A Moment Like This- Kelly Clarkson
19. If You're Not The One- Daniel Bedingfield

Edited the songlist and changed song #4 to Michelle Branch, (F.B.'s suggestion.)


Cupcake Bites!

I really love Bakerella's Blog! She is so creative! I think her creations are stunning; I'm always so impressed with what she comes up with. I've been wanting to try making her cake pops for awhile and I thought it would be easiest to start with her recipe for cupcake bites!

I used a store bought chocolate cake mix & chocolate fudge icing for my cake balls. I made the cake last night and let it cool, then after I mixed the cake & icing together I rolled them into mini balls and put them on cookie trays to freeze overnight- (only because I didn't have enough time to do everything last night!) The cake mix made nearly 70 of these!

When I came home from work today I got the cake balls out of the freezer and got my dark chocolate melts ready. I dipped the chocolate into candy molds and placed the cake balls into the chocolate to make the base of the "cupcake". I used white chocolate melts for the tops and I dyed them pink & purple with food coloring, and I used cinnamon drops to make the "cherry" on top.

I found it very tricky to coat the top of the "cupcake". It was hard to get the chocolate very smooth and even around the base. I am no where even near the quality of Bakerella's gorgeous cupcake bites! I did take a few pictures of the "cupcakes" I thought turned out best. There's quite a few "rejects" though, haha!

It also takes a heck of alot of time to prepare all of these. I would say I spent 2 hours each night making them. 4 hours total. They look cute though and they taste so unbelievably good! You have the crunchy dark & white chocolate coating on the outside and inside is moist chocolate cake & icing. Mmmmm! Heavenly!

I'm taking a bunch to work tomorrow to give out to my co-workers. And I'm taking some up to my cousins house for our "movie" night tomorrow. I won't be making these all the time, but they are fun for special occasions & holidays! :-)


Playing tourist in my own city.

Saturday my cousins, brother & I decided to take a train to 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. The point of the trip really, was to see how I'll be taking a train there because the location where my office is now (I work for the Dept of the Treasury) will be moving to another location downtown in Philadelphia in late 2011, early 2012. So taking the train will have to become regular with me. (Not enough parking at the location we are moving to.)

I've never taken a train in my own city in 26 years, haha. Neither had my cousins, so it was an adventure for all of us. It was a nice sunny day out. So we planned to take the train down, and walk around downtown for awhile and take pictures.

We walked around 30th Street Station and had Auntie Anne's (I had lemonade, yum!) Then we walked around outside and up Market Street to City Hall. The building where my office will be, is in the old United States Postal Office, across the street from 30th Street Station.

We had a great day taking pictures and sightseeing around our city for the day. It was warm & sunny and I could actually wear sandals! Now that I know how to get there on the train, I think I'll be going downtown more often to take more pictures in other locations. We had stopped at Starbucks before heading back to the train station to catch our train home.

Here are some pictures from our adventures on Saturday:

Waiting for our train:

30th Street Station:

Statue on bridge at Market Street near the station:

Skyscrapers downtown in Philadelphia:


City Hall:

You can view the rest of the photos from my day in my Photobucket album: HERE


Happy Easter!

Sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger & Nutmeg wish everyone a Happy Easter!


World Rat Day!

Back to the Philippines in November!

I bought my plane ticket on Orbitz this afternoon. I've been researching plane tickets for a few weeks now. The prices are not bad but the flight I've always taken the delay when I get back to Chicago is only 1 hour and that's not enough time to claim my luggage, go through customs, take a tram train to my terminal, go through security and make my plane. Last time I was stopped at customs and one year my luggage was lost and never made my flight because they don't give you enough time.

I was really looking for a longer delay when I get back to the USA. So I found a flight that gives me a 4 hour delay when I arrive in Chicago. That is more than enough time. The only thing is I will be stopping at 2 airports I've never been to before. 1 in Tokyo Japan on the way there. And then Shanghai China on the way back. But I still get to go from Philadelphia to Chicago. The other good thing is, when I leave the Philippines I'm leaving in the afternoon instead of in the middle of the night. And I'm also leaving through Philippine Airlines which means I get to go to the smaller airport and will have more time to say goodbye to F.B. When I arrive in Manila, I'll be at the larger international airport and I'll be taking Japan Airlines. I've never flown Japan Airlines before. I'll also be using American Airlines. I've always used United Airlines, but I did take American to Florida 2 years ago.

There were only 4 tickets left for the flight I wanted. And I wanted to think it over before buying it. I saw the ticket on Thursday night. I slept on it. The reason mostly because we haven't been having overtime at work and I still have $800 on my other credit card that I wanted to get lower before buying a ticket and adding $1,200 to another credit card. (at least it's 0% apr for a year!) But this morning when I woke up I was thinking, "Next month is May!" I can't believe how the year is flying. And I will still need to apply for my visa this year too. So this afternoon I bought my ticket and I will be heading back to the Philippines in late November.

Leave Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Depart: American Airlines, 6:15am Philadelphia International (PHL)
Arrive: 7:45am Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)

Change planes. Time between flights: 1hr 35min

Depart: American Airlines, 11:05am Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
Arrive: 3:15pm Tokyo, Japan Tokyo Narita (NRT)

Change planes. Time between flights: 3hr 5min

Depart: Japan Airlines, 6:30pm Tokyo, Japan Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Arrive: 10:30pm Manila, Philippines Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL)

This is an overnight flight. Total duration: 25hr 25min | Total miles: 8837 miles

Return Saturday, January 23, 2010

Depart: Philippine Airlines 12:20pm Philippines, Manila Ninoy Aquino Intl (MNL)
Arrive: 3:50pm Shanghai, China Shanghai PuDong (PVG)

Change planes. Time between flights: 2hr 10min

Depart: American Airlines 6:00pm Shanghai, China Shanghai PuDong (PVG)
Arrive: 5:10pm Chicago, IL Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)

Change planes. Time between flights: 4hr 5min

Depart: American Airlines 9:15pm Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
Arrive: 12:10am Philadelphia International (PHL)

This is an overnight flight. Total duration: 24hr 44min | Total miles: 8889 miles

The only thing is, I'm leaving a few days before Thanksgiving. I will also miss Christmas & New Years at home this year. I guess I will have to do an early "Thanksgiving/Christmas" with my family like I did in 2006 before my first trip to the Philippines. This will be by 4th trip to the Philippines.

Once I arrive in November, F.B. & I will go to the US Embassy so I can get my Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage. Then we can apply for our marriage license and after a 10 day waiting period we can make an appointment with a judge in Cainta, Rizal to have our civil wedding ceremony. Then we were going to just have a dinner afterwards. F.B. said his parents were talking about giving us a "reception" most likely a dinner party. I know they will invite all the relatives, hehe.

NOTE: If you are getting married in the Philippines and you are a US citizen these requirements from the US Embassy in Manila Philippines, will be helpful: Getting Married in The Philippines.

When I get back from the Philippines in January, I'll be starting the immigration process for F.B. with our lawyer. The process will take close to 2 years before F.B. will be able to come to the USA. But we are doing it the longer way so when he does arrive in the USA, he will be a permanent resident alien. We are choosing do to it this way because we want more time to save money for when we are together. Also, even though it will take longer it will actually save us money in the long run.

So now that I've gotten my plane ticket, the next step will be to apply for my 59 day visa in September from the Philippine Consulate. Now to start paying this plane ticket off...


5 Years Ago

5 years ago today F.B. & I first said "I love you." 5 years ago today we decided to start this relationship. April 1st, 2004 was a defining moment in our relationship. We've been through so much together in these past 5 years, and I look forward to our future together...

Happy Anniversary Baby, I Love You.

I've decided to name a category on my blog: 'The Beginning'. If you click on it it will bring up key stories on how F.B. & I began our relationship.

Music has always been a way for us to connect and express our feelings for one another. It's been a way to stay close even when we are so far apart. F.B. & I would send each other mix CD's in the beginning of our relationship. One year we compiled our favorites onto a CD and called it: 'The Best Of: Mahal Mix'. ('Mahal' means love in Tagalog.) I wanted to share the list of songs that's on our 'Best Of' CD. There are links to where you can listen to a preview or purchase the songs.

1. Brand New Day: Forty Foot Echo

2. You: Switchfoot

3. Everywhere: Michelle Branch

4. She Will Be Loved: Maroon 5

5. A Thousand Miles: Vanessa Carlton

6. The Reason: Hoobastank

7. It's Gonna Be Love: Mandy Moore

8. I'll Be: Edwin Mccain

9. Wait For Me: Rebecca St. James

10. Iris: Goo Goo Dolls

11. Naked: Avril Lavigne

12. Beautiful Soul: Jesse McCartney

13. On The Way Down: Ryan Cabrera

14. Happy Together: The Turtles

15. Unwell: Matchbox Twenty

16. Passenger Seat: Stephen Speaks

17. If You're Not The One: Daniel Bedingfield

18. For You: The Calling

There are also a few albums that really stand out to me. Whenever I listen to them I'm reminded of how our relationship began 5 years ago and how far we've come.

A Walk To Remember: Soundtrack

A Walk To Remember: Soundtrack, was one of the very first albums F.B. & I shared and listened to. It just fit for the feelings we were starting to have for one another.

Michelle Branch: The Spirit Room

One of the first private messages I ever sent F.B. I quoted some lyrics from the song 'Breathe'. It was also the first song I ever played on the guitar for him over the phone.

Michelle Branch: Hotel Paper

'Breathe' & 'Desperately' were song lyrics F.B. shared with me. We both had Michelle Branch's albums and it became a way to connect with each other by listening to the same music.

Maroon 5: Songs About Jane

This was one of the first CD's I went out and bought after F.B. recommended it to me. He would quote Maroon 5 lyrics to me sometimes. And 'She Will Be Loved' is one of our favorites.


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