January 2011 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- currently reading Judith McNaught's Perfect

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Black Swan, Life as We Know It, My Amnesia Girl

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- My sister's 29th birthday
- Our 6th Anniversary!

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
- I treated my sister and Mom to the spa at Sofitel

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- Cough and Colds as usual

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Post Christmas dinner with MM at Cyma
- Post Christmas celebration with Highschool friends
- Dinner with Farrah and Erik, Ercs and Sofia at our place
- Went to the Spa with my sister and Mom
- Went to San Pablo Laguna/Quezon for our Anniversary celebration
- Ate at John and Yoko Greenbelt to celebrate my sister's birthday

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- John and Yoko Greenbelt
- Aristocrat
- Casa San Pablo
- Jay's Kinabuhayan Cafe (Kubli Springs)
- Ugu Bigyan's Restaurant

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- Didn't shop this month and I'm proud of myself! (*grin*)

What were this month's disappointments?
- I can't think of any

What were my accomplishments this month?
- Finally got a new Yaya!

Celebrating New Year's Eve and the First Day of the Year

We initially planned on going to a NYE countdown party but everyone was so tired. And just by looking at the people at Vivo City Mall made us backed out. It was practically full, especially the monorail to Sentosa. I can't imagine how the traffic would be with all those people wanting to party!

So what we did, we just had dinner at Barcelos at Vivo City (thanks to my sister for the treat!) and then we all went back to the hotel.

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It was a good decision, check out our view from the hotel.

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Aside from the fact the we had an alcohol detox for not going to the party, we had an incredible view of the fireworks. We were also saved from the worst traffic at Marina Bay Sands area and at least we were able to sleep as soon as the fireworks were over.

We arrived at the hotel just in time for this...

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The next day, we woke up a bit late and went to hawker's near my brother's office for lunch. Hubby also had a chance to check out a couple of gadget malls such as Sim Lim and Funan Mall. Although most of the stalls at the Hawker's were closed, we were still able to get a hearty lunch.

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Then off we went to Orchard Road for my quick shopping at Cotton On. Boy, I was happy! (*grin*) We called it a night after having dinner at Pizza Hut. This time, it was a my Dad's treat. Thanks again Dad!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Internet!
2. Get together with Highschool friends over the weekend
3. Family Day
4. Got better after severe headache yesterday
5. Facebook
6. 6th Wedding Anniversary this weekend
7. Laughing little girls
8. Bonding time with the family every night before going to sleep
9. Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter
10. Ken Follett's Jackdaws - such a good read!

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Our 2010 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

I can't believe it took me a month to post our Christmas photos. Life has been soo busy these days. I don't know why really. It must be the post holiday meetups with friends. The holiday celebrations are not yet over after all!

We spent our Christmas eve with the in-laws this time. We heard Christmas eve mass at 7PM, had dinner and took a few family photos.

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And then we didn't realize that it's already 12 midnight and time to open the gifts. Time flew by so quickly.

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I was surprised that Andie made it until 12 midnight but after that, she became cranky and sleepy already. We finally called it a night at 1AM.

Santa had a couple of stuff in store for them and they were so ecstatic with what they got!

Alex got a Tinkerbell puzzle, a notebook, gummi worms, and metallic pens.

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Andie got marshmallows (which she asked me to open as soon as she saw it), a princess comb and mirror set, and a tinkerbell puzzle too.

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It was a lovely day for all of us. We had a sumptious lunch with the whole family, rested a couple of hours and then off we went to the airport for our Singapore trip.

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At NAIA Terminal 1

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Dinner with Farrah, Erik, Erica, and Sofia last night at our place
2. BBQ and chicken from Amber, Ice Cream and dessert! (thanks Fars and Ercs!)
3. More time to sleep today
4. New Yaya
5. Snickers and Malteasers - took away my stress the other day!
6. Pictures!
7. My supportive and understanding Hubby (*grin*)
8. Mom's Lasagna
9. Online Assignments
10. White Coffee!

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

The Kids had a Blast at the Night Safari

After a relaxing trip to Bintan, we went straight to the Night Safari. I knew that the kids will love this place but I didn't know that they will really be excited to see the animals! That's why inspite of the long lines that we encountered and the long wait, I would say it was still worth it and it was a good decision to go there.

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My only regret was that we didn't have dinner before going there. With that, we ended up so late for the shows, good thing we made it to the last show which was at 945PM. I wanted it to be a relaxing time as much as possible, taking our time watching the animals, even take time to have some coffee and Cohiba cigars. BUT, time was very limited that we needed to be on the go. I guess that would have to wait. Perhaps we can do that now that we're home!

We arrived at the area around 6PM but there were already long lines. I bought tickets then while watching the fire show, we had dinner.

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The fire show was that ok. Hubby and I were even joking that Pinoys can do it better! LOL!

After the show and our dinner, we proceeded to the hard part - lining up for the tram. I don't know how long it look us to ride the tram, but I'm definitely sure that the wait was longer than our 35 minute ride inside the zoo.

The kids though had a SUPER great time and they were so excited seeing the animals. Even if some of the animals were sleeping like the lions and the tiger, they were still ecstatic seeing the elephants, the deers, the giraffe, and more.

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The show was also fun! They were listening all throughout the show and were laughing when we talked about some parts of the program.

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They ended up veeeery tired afterwards that both of them slept while at the bus on our way back to the hotel.

Our Trip to Bintan was Unforgettable!

When we were planning our Singapore trip, we knew that it's going to be a tiring trip so we opted to go to Bintan, Indonesia instead of KL. We made the right decision, because everybody had fun. We were able to relax and bond as a family for 3 days and 2 nights.

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My Kids Enjoyed the Giant Snakes and Ladders.

We got there around 11AM and our room was going to be available at 3PM So, while waiting for our room we explored the area. The kids loved the human sized snake & ladder board game.

When our room was finally available, we slept the whole afternoon! The weather was bed-weather, you can't blamed us!

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Stayed at Suriah 5 Villa.

It has complete amenities - living room, dining room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 1 toilet and bath on the first floor, 2 toilet and bath on the 2nd floor. We loved this!

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A bit cloudy on our 2nd day

Good thing the sun showed himself after breakfast so we were able to swim at the beach and the pool too!

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It was indeed one of the most unforgettable vacations we ever had as a family. We wished to stay more but we needed to go back to Singapore for the NY's countdown.

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On Cars and Men.

Hubby and I were talking yesterday about cars. I just don't understand their passion with cars such as 2011 Milan Premier or the 2011 Mdx. I told him, it pretty looks the same to me! He laughed and patiently told me that it's like women and bags or women and jewelries. For them, all bags look the same but of course for us women, it's definitely not the same. How can a black purse look the same as the brown purse? How can you pair a black purse with a pair of black shoes? Well, Hubby can't relate with that most definitely!

So he discussed cars and the concept of 2011 Miata Grand Touring, how fun it would be to watch that show. All types of cars will be there. I remember when I worked in a transport show, I guess, it would be like that. It was amazing to see new cars there! All the accessories that you can imagine! It would be the place to be for the men who loves cars. I'm not into cars but I had fun then so what more the men who are really into that. It's going to be like disneyland - the happiest place on earth!

If you want a preview, you can check out TheCarConnection.com. Photos and videos are available at the website. Reviews and news can also be read there. They review almost all the cars in the world. A great site to check when you are planning to get 2011 models. I will definitely recommend this to my guy friends.

A Whole Day of Fun at Universal Studios Singapore

One of the highlights of our stay in Singapore was our trip to Universal Studios.

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We made sure we booked early so 3 months before our trip, we already booked our tickets online. Everyone warned me that there's going to be a lot of people in December, but I didn't expect that it would be this crowded...

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Looks like a market to me!


Lines were veeery long, it took us more than an hour to ride The Mummy Ride! But it sure was worth the long wait. We all had a blast at the ride.

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It was drizzling so I needed something to cover my head. LOL!


While we were lining up, the Lolo and the Lola took care of the kids and watched Water World.

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This one is not recommended for small kids though since there are going to be very loud shots during the show. Andie asked Lola to cover her ears. Poor Andie.

All of us tried the Shrek 4D which also took us almost an hour to line up.

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By this time, we we were already regretting that we didn't buy express pass! Good thing the weather was not too hot and we were all in a good mood.

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We had a late lunch at the Madagascar Cafe, which was the kids' favorite area (they had a blast at the carousel, they rode four or more times I think). The food was just ok and very spicy for the kids. I wished we ate at the diner instead.

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At the Madagscar Area


After my brothers, sister and Hubby lined up for an hour and 20 minutes at the Jurrasic Park ride (I had to beg off since the kids wanted to ride the carousel AGAIN), we left USS around 8 or 9PM but made sure we had a complete photo of this beautiful Christmas tree of Resorts World.

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What a fun day indeed! Before we ended the night, we went to Vivo City Mall for dinner at Marche. A treat from my brother (thanks again Dandok!). It was the most sumptious dinner I ever had in Singapore.

Have you Considered Getting a Travel Insurance?

Every time I travel, I would always consider getting an international travel health insurance but it's way too expensive for me that I ended up not getting at all. But now that we're traveling with our kids, I'm seriously considering getting a travel insurance on our next travel. I'm concerned with my kids' health since we are not in our comfort zone. We are in another country and I wouldn't know what to do if one of them would get sick. Of course as much as possible I make sure that I bring all the medicines they would need in case of an emergency, but still, you'll never know.

While looking for these type of insurance, I came across SevenCorners. It's an interactive guide to travel insurance. How cool is that? They will ask you which country you are going, if it is in the US or outside the US. Then it will give you comprehensive information and comparison that depends on your convenience. You will be asked to answer a few questions and then they will find the best plan that would work for you. After that, they will give you quotation if you want to pursue. Yes, it's that easy! So, I will go through the process now and we'll see what plans will work for us. Wish me luck!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Singapore/Indonesia trip with my family
2. Happy little girls!
3. Lots of Christmas loots
4. Online Caching!
5. More online tasks... So thankful!
6. Meetup with friends over the holidays
7. Work :)
8. Meetup with Farrah last weekend
9. Old toys were given away last month
10. Planning for our 6th Anniversary

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Watched the Snow Show at Mount Faber

After we went to Sentosa Island on our first day in Singapore, we went straight to Mount Faber. This is the other end of the Jewel Cable Car Ride. We went there to watch the free Snow Show at the deck. We were so tired by then after a long day at Sentosa, but still, we made sure we make it before 10PM, the last show.

I was expecting more of this but the snow show was just at the deck with an immitation of the snow falling down on us. It was hilarious! But at least we knew what it was and saw Mount Faber too. I heard it was new in Singapore.

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We went back to the hotel and got there around 12MN already. I'm definitely sure we lost weight after a long day. It was like taking natural diuretics because I felt really slim that day. We haven't eaten that much since we were rushing and couldn't find the time to just lounge around and eat. But it was a great day for all of us! And looking forward to another great day the next day.

Another New Year's Resolution - Stay on a Diet!

Every year I always make a New Year's resolution to stay on a diet. Good thing I stick to it at least 6 to 8 months of the year. I don't include November to January months anymore since it entails a lot of Holiday lunches and dinners, right? Not to mention my brother and sister's birthday on January too.

I would also want to stick to the best diet pills this year. Make sure that I find the best one that would fit my lifestyle. It's really hard to shift from one pill to the other. So I want to find the best for me and stick to it for the next few years.

Same as last year, I want to eat healthy, START doing exercises (which I just did for a total of 1 month last year! Boo!), sleep as much as I can, and take care of my skin.

Had my Warts Removed Last Weekend

Finally, after months and months of putting off my appointment, I finally had time to go to the derma and had my warts removed! Last month, December was a suber busy month so I wasn't able to schedule this one. I vowed to take care of my skin this year, focus on myself for a change, deal with acne treatment, and splurge on moisturizers and makeup, so it's really good that I've started the year right. Now there are still marks from the procedure but most of it are healed now. I can't wait to be wart-free for the next few years (because they said that these will come back after 5 to 6 years)! Now, I'm off to looking for treatments for acnes which is my next step after this.

A Story of Appreciation

Such a nice read! Especially for parents out there!

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One young academically excellent person went to apply for a managerial position in a big company.

He passed the first interview, the director did the last interview, made the last decision.

The director discovered from the CV that the youth's academic achievements were excellent all the way, from the secondary school until the postgraduate research, never had a year when he did not score.

The director asked, "Did you obtain any scholarships in school?" the youth answered "none".

The director asked, " Was it your father who paid for your school fees?"

The youth answered, "My father passed away when I was one year old, it was my mother who paid for my school fees.

The director asked, " Where did your mother work?" The youth answered, "My mother worked as clothes cleaner. The director requested the youth to show his hands. The youth showed a pair of hands that were smooth and perfect.

The director asked, " Have you ever helped your mother wash the clothes before?" The youth answered, "Never, my mother always wanted me to study and read more books. Furthermore, my mother can wash clothes faster than me.

The director said, "I have a request. When you go back today, go and Clean your mother's hands, and then see me tomorrow morning.* tras The youth felt that his chance of landing the job was high. When he went back, he happily requested his mother to let him clean her hands. His Mother felt strange, happy but with mixed feelings, she showed her hands to the kid.

The youth cleaned his mother's hands slowly. His tear fell as he did that.

It was the first time he noticed that his mother's hands were so wrinkled, and there were so many bruises in her hands. Some bruises were so painful that his mother shivered when they were cleaned with water.

This was the first time the youth realized that it was this pair of hands that washed the clothes everyday to enable him to pay the school fee. The bruises in the mother's hands were the price that the mother had to pay for his Graduation, academic excellence and his future.

After finishing the cleaning of his mother hands, the youth quietly washed all the remaining clothes for his mother.

That night, mother and son talked for a very long time.

Next morning, the youth went to the director's office.

The Director noticed the tears in the youth's eyes, asked: " Can you tell me What have you done and learned yesterday in your house?"

The youth answered, " I cleaned my mother's hand, and also finished cleaning all the remaining clothes'

The Director asked, " please tell me your feelings."

The youth said, Number 1, I know now what is appreciation. Without my mother, there would not be the successful me today. Number 2, by working together and helping My mother, only I now realize how difficult and tough it is to get something done. Number 3, I have come to appreciate the importance and value of family relationship.

The director said, " This is what I am looking for to be my manager. I want to recruit a person who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the sufferings of others to get things done, and a person who would not put money as his only goal in life. You are hired.

Later on, this young person worked very hard, and received the respect of his subordinates. Every employee worked diligently and as a team. The company's performance improved tremendously.

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A child, who has been protected and habitually given whatever he wanted, would develop "entitlement mentality" and would always put himself first.

He would be ignorant of his parent's efforts. When he starts work, he assumes that every person must listen to him, and when he becomes a manager, he would never know the sufferings of his employees and would always blame others. For this kind of people, who may be good academically, may be successful for a while, but eventually would not feel sense of achievement. He will grumble and be full of hatred and fight for more. If we are this kind of protective parents, are we really showing love or are we destroying the kid instead?

You can let your kid live in a big house, eat a good meal, learn piano, watch a big screen TV. But when you are cutting grass, please let them experience it. After a meal, let them wash their plates and bowls together with their brothers and sisters. It is not because you do not have money to hire a maid, but it is because you want to love them in a right way. You want them to understand, no matter how rich their parents are, one day their hair will grow gray, same as the mother of that young person. The most important thing is your kid learns how to appreciate the effort and experience the difficulty and learns the ability to work with others to get things done.

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A Rainy Trip to Sentosa Island

I was warned by my friends that it is going to be a rainy trip to Singapore! I didn't know that it would THAT rainy (or should I say stormy!?) so I still opted to go to Sentosa Island on our first day. On our way there, the weather was still ok. I think the heavy rains started when we were falling in line for the tram ride on our way to Siloso Beach. Siloso Beach is the only place that I wanted to check out in Sentosa so I still insisted in taking the tram. So we ended up sooooo wet after a quick ride or tour of the Siloso Beach. LOL! Good thing it stopped! I actually thanked God and the heavens it stopped! At least we were able to take a few photos of the popular beach in Sentosa!

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Another reason why I wanted to go to Sentosa - to watch the Songs of the Sea show recommended by my friend, Thea.

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We ended the night by watching a "snow show" at Mount Faber which is not worth blogging about. LOL!

Blackberry Curve - Should I Get One?

I've been browsing online for smartphones recently and my search has always lead me to the blackberry curve. It has good deals considering the functionalities are really good. It's a smartphone definitely! I like the colors available online - silver, purple, gold, and black. The Blackberry curve 3G looks like the one that I really need which includes the following features:

- Trackpad and dedicated media keys
- GPS and Wi-Fi
- 3G network support

I just hope I will find the budget to buy a new phone. If only I could asked Santa Clause to give it to me last Christmas. But he had other plans in mind. (*grin*)

Christmas Party with Highschool Friends

Thank God for digital cameras, we were able to capture moments like these.

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Priceless, isn't it? I don't see my Highschool friends often that is why I make sure that Hubby gets their photos everytime we see each other. We've been friends for years now. We've been there for each other during highschool days, college days, and now that almost all of us have kids, we can now relate on each others' stories about motherhood and kids.

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My favorite part of Christmas holidays is meeting up with these wonderful highschool friends. Until our next meet up Ladies!

Looking for the Perfect Lawyer?

I have been browsing online for days now about lawsuits and lawyers when I came across several lawsuits. It's new to me so I researched more about it. The O’Hanlon, McCollum & Demerath is a company that takes care of you with regards to injuries that is caused by Topamax and provides Austin personal injury attorney. I was surprised that topamax causes a lot of injuries that can an result in cleft lip or cleft palate – birth defects that occur when the lip or palate fail to completely fuse together. Scary isn't it? So if you are scared, you badly need to talk to a professional. That's where O’Hanlon, McCollum & Demerath comes in. They will defend you and help you in anyway they can. If you are having these symptoms, I guess it's best to call these guys asap!

Call them at: O’Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath – Personal Injury Lawyers – 808 West Avenue, Austin, TX. 78701 – 512-494-9949.

Back from Singapore!

And boy, we all had fun...


* Photo taken at Siloso Beach


Inspite of the heavy rains, the long lines, and the rush, I would say, it was one of the memorable trips we ever had as a family! (*grin*)

More stories and photos SOON!

December 2010 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Ken Follet's Jack Daws (still reading it)
- Emily Griffin's Heart of the Matter

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Santa Paws (loved it!)

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Andie's 2nd birthday/Mom's arrival from US
- Christmas! : Coffee with MBAPs, Dinner with YFC friends, Snacks with my highschool friends, Dinner with CFC household, Office Christmas Party
- Kuya Toby's 8th birthday

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
- I got an IPOD dock from Hubby, housewares from the in-laws, nice bag from BIL, flipflops from SIL, LC bag and wallet from Mom (yes!), cash from Dad and Dandy, sugar scrub from Farrah and Erik, nice souvenir from Bahrain from Ercs and Cesar

Felt so blessed for receiving these loots. Thank you so much dear family and friends!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- I had diarrhea, flu, cough and colds :(

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Went to Singapore and Indonesia to spend the NY's with my family

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Hawker's in SG
- Marche in SG
- Peri-peri Chicken in SG
- Nirwana Gardens Cafe
- Pizza Hut SG
- Nirwana Gardens Food Court
- Indonesian food
- Q Stick
- Toastbox (loved this!)
- Coffee Toast
- Garrett's Popcorn from USS
- USS Malay food

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- Went crazy shopping at Cotton On, Rubi Shoes, and at Bugis Junction (SG)

What were this month's disappointments?
- We got sick this month because of our busy skeds

What were my accomplishments this month?
- Had super fun at SG/Indonesia! I'm so thankful for that trip. My family was complete after almost 2 years (*grin*)

Andrew Matthews' Day 7 of 7 Days to Greater Happiness

Here's the final step towards greater happiness by Andrew Matthews...

ONE BITE AT A TIME

Question:
"How do you achieve BIG goals?"

Answer:
You break BIG goals into SMALL steps.
You list all the small steps -
and then tackle each step.


Does this seem obvious?
Most people don't do it!

Let's say that your office is a mess.
You have been postponing a clean-up for two years.
Seen as ONE BIG job, it is frightening.

So you make a list of small steps ...
Step 1: tidy your desk top
Step 2. empty out the top drawer
Step 3: create new files
Step 4: clean out the bookshelf ...

One step at a time, you can do it.

Research confirms that we are more likely to tackle tasks that we can complete within 15 MINUTES.

Whether you want to write a paper, build a business, or get fit, break your goal into bite-size pieces.

Starting today:

Commit your goals to paper.
Break your big goals into "bite-size" pieces.

You'll achieve more - and you'll be happier.

Today is the perfect day to start those goals! And remember, break into ito "bite-size" pieces and achieve it little by little. You are looking to a happier year. (*grin*)

More of Andrew Matthews' articles at his website.

Happy NEW Year!

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WELCOME 2011!

New year, new goals, new thoughts for me! I'm so looking forward to another blessed year for me and my family. Lots of travel plans this year. I'm soo excited and I can't wait to start the year with a BANG!

Enjoy the first day of 2011, everyone! (*wink*)