How I celebrated my birthday

Did I mention it was my birthday last December 12, 2012? Yes, I was one of the so-called lucky ones who got to celebrate their birthday on 12-12-12. I know that doesn't happen all the time, so I felt kinda excited when I realized the cool coincidence.

Anyway, it's the second year I've celebrated my birthday away from my family and best friends since I'm already based here in Dubai. Aside from taking a five-day leave off work, it was a very quiet and laid-back occasion over all, but still felt special nonetheless. I was actually planning to be all ninja and go unnoticed this year but four of my colleagues and friends at work blew my cover and still remembered. Was so surprised to receive a call from them. They never fail to make me smile. I feel lucky having them as my extended family here in the desert.

The best part was waking up to a short but very sweet message on my phone from my mom (which made me cry a bit) and then being greeted by a handful of fresh flowers from my man. I couldn't imagine a better way to start 12-12-12. He was even wearing the shirt I gave him during our first year as a couple. It's a spoof of Salvatore Ferragamo, which reads Sobratorpe Ferrogwapo (the direct translation in our language: super shy but handsome). My favorite shirt ever! Cracks me up every time because the description is so him. Haha!

He then accompanied me to the Philippine embassy to get some documents stamped for the property we're buying back home. Our dream is finally coming true and I couldn't be happier! Afterwards, we went to church and had lunch in my favorite Chinese restaurant. He even got me this New York New York canvas print that has LED lights. I've been eyeing this beauty in Home Centre for quite some time and now it looks magical hanging in my tiny apartment. So fun and relaxing to look at especially in the dark. I still can't believe he got it for me!

I also received three postcards (which I appreciate so so much!), a teddy bear, and online access card to my favorite tv programs from our loving Dubai friends. I was really surprised. So many loving people have gone out of their way to greet me and send in their love (online and offline) as well. I feel so loved and blessed with the kind of family and friends I have even though I'm a thousand miles away. It's a beautiful life. :)

Here's a few more highlights from my special day courtesy of Instagram:

  1. Finally gifted myself with my own extended office at home. It's my favorite little corner now where I go online, blog, read and organize my bills and stuff. Will share more of this creative (and not to mention messy) space in a separate post. :)
  2. As I already shared with you the other day, I also started a mini Santa Claus collection!
  3. Haven't eaten a cake for some time now (because I'm supposed to be dieting) so I was really excited to finally have my cake and eat it too. My boyfriend did a great job choosing ChoCo'a. It's my favorite chocolate cake in this part of the globe. Real yum!
  4. Had to give in so I purchased one raffle ticket just to see if triple 12 is really a lucky day for me. Let's see if I'd win that car...
  5. My boyfriend and I crashed a stranger's wedding! The bride's dress looked stunning!
  6. After visiting Dubai Mall, we finally capped off my special day in Ikea where I got some scented candles and a small cabinet for the apartment.
That's it! I just got a year older but my heart feels a lot younger and happier to be honest. It's been a great 26 and I'm looking forward to more adventures, blessings, challenges and surprises that my 27th year here on earth will bring. I just know in my heart that it will be incredible. :)

Cheers! xo


Monday Favorites - Pretty Inspirations

Happy Monday everyone! How are you guys doing? Been experiencing one tough week after another that's why I haven't been online as much I would have wanted to lately. But that's all water under the bridge now. I kept on saying that there's gotta be a rainbow behind all those clouds and true enough, looks like I'm looking at a better future once the next two weeks are over. Finally! The power of words and positive thinking working at its finest indeed! Anyway, I've saved and collected quite a few lovely things from all over once again, so in the tradition of Monday favorites, I'm sharing them today to hopefully add a little dose of pretty and inspiration to your day too.
I'm tough like Monday morning. Like this print so much!
This photo reminds me of my upcoming 27th birthday. Yes, somebody's getting so old. Taking five days off work starting tomorrow (yay), but will most likely celebrate alone at home. Oh, the perks of living abroad! :(
Speaking of birthdays, how cool would it feel like waking up with these pretty colorful hope balloons on my birthday?
This adorable little kitty will be me in a few days (I hope). Finally getting my first ever pair of eyeglasses. It still bugs me that I no longer have perfect eyesight though. :(
Saoirse Ronan looks beyond chic and gorgeous in this In Style photoshoot
Enjoy the moment, slow down

Lovin' today's Google Doodle's tribute to Ada Lovelace. Smart girls rock!

Hope you're having a great Monday! Let's show this day who's the real boss! :)


Dubai Snapshots: Rainy days and birthdays

Happy Sunday everyone! How's your weekend? I didn't realize that it's already December (my birthday month!). Today is an official non-working holiday for all of us because of UAE National Day. I even woke up with an SMS sent by His Highness Sheik Maktoum this morning warmly greeting all citizens and residents of Dubai. How cool is that?

Anyway, something miraculously special happened last Friday morning. It rained like cats and dogs here for real! I was so excited because I haven't experienced that much rain here in the desert and it felt awesome. Hearing its pitter-patter (there was even slight thunder) was like music to my ears. Really couldn't believe it! I ended up opening the windows completely and watched the rain until it stopped. It felt so good and refreshing!
But since it rarely rains here in the desert, the  downpour resulted to instant flooding all over Dubai. Traffic was terrible! We were supposed to drop our friend to the airport for her flight to Manila but since we couldn't manage to enter because of the crazy flood, she ended up walking a long distance right from the highway to the departure area instead.

After getting Chinese food take-out in Bur Dubai, we decided to take Business Bay Road on our way back home instead  to avoid the traffic jam, where I took this (really far) shot of the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) along with other skyscrapers:

What's the weather like in your part of the globe?

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