Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We had a quiet Christmas. Christmas Eve we had Alfredo sauce & bow tie pasta with mushrooms & bacon. And strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

Christmas tree at 30th Street Station, Philadelphia

F.B. & I exchanged gifts Christmas Eve. We're poor, so we just got each other 1-2 gifts each. I got F.B. The Dark Knight Trilogy Dvd & 84 mini bags of Herr's Potato Chips!

F.B. got me the Victoria's Secret Pink set. My favorite perfume.

Christmas Day we met my parents & brothers at a Chinese Buffet near Franklin Mill's Mall. Then we went back to my parents house to exchange gifts. My parents got us a George Foreman Grill so we can grill at our apartment now! :-)

New Year's Eve we stayed home. I cooked a ham and homemade mashed potatoes. Around 11pm we watched the Rockin' New Years Eve on 6abc and had crackers, cheese, pepperoni and toasted with Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider.

And just some other random Instagram Photos...

 My new favorite red wine.

 Black Converse All Stars with silver sequins I got on eBay!

In work news, I was furloughed on December 21st... but... my manager just called me today and I will be back to work January 8th. So it was a pretty short furlough. My unemployment wasn't even set up yet, though I can still claim for the weeks I did not work. 

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The one with nail polish!

My not so creative Christmas and New Year's nails. I had wanted to do red/white candy cane stripes on my ring fingers, but it turned out looking more like a bloody mummy...so yeah... I just went with something simple, lol!

These aren't new polishes. The Sally Hansen Celeb City I've owned since 2010. And my ring finger has China Glaze Make A Spectacle layered over the silver.

One of my new favorite polish brands is Zoya! I first bought three of their 2012 Holiday collection. Blaze, Aurora & Storm a few months ago. And then with the $20 Amazon giftcard I earned from Valued Opinions, I bought two more polishes.

Just a quick bit of info about Valued Opinions. I like it better than Swagbucks because you earn money faster. You do online surveys, some you may qualify for and some you may not. I joined for free in September 2012 and I earned my $20 by December 2012, so not bad at all! Even better when I claimed my $20 giftcard from Amazon, the code was sent to me instantly through email! So I got to buy my nail polish on Amazon that same night. (You can also get a Visa card, or Macy's, Itunes Giftcards, etc.)

I ordered Zoya Zuza. :)
And Zoya Roxy. Zoya Roxy didn't want to photograph correctly. But it's a magenta jelly polish with silver sparkles in it.

 With Flash

Without Flash

Disclosure: Valued Opinions did not ask me to write this blog. I wrote it because I enjoy doing the surveys & earning giftcards. The two polishes below were purchased with my $20 reward from Valued Opinions. The rest were purchased with my own money.

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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.

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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...

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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. 


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