Sunday, March 20

Your Kindle Needs an UPDATE!!

Since I am obsessed with books and I was literally hoarding them (background story: when we were still in Dubai, I would go to different bookstores or secondhand bookshops to purchase at least one book in a week. Also, I am updated whenever there would be any book sale).

A photo posted by R@chiel (@rach_alarcon) on

R was very forgiving about this obsession that I have. I think he doesn't seem to mind because it feeds the mind and always makes me preoccupied on days when he wants to go mountain biking with his friends then.

To be honest, I can be left alone in the house and I can read all day.... yeap, all day.

Over the years, I think I have accumulated close to a 100 books in my then 7-year stay in Dubai but most of them accumulated for 2 years really *gulp*.

R had to kindly ask me to send my books home because for the remainder of our stay in Dubai, we have been moving a lot. We kind of find it a bit difficult to pack our stuff because of my books! I understand the situation so instead of getting more books, I thought of getting myself an ebook hence I searched and a friend suggested that I get a Kindle.

Back then it was not that easy to buy a Kindle because first off, it was not readily available in Dubai. Only a few shops cater to the device because I guess, they too do not see the benefit of having an ebook reader on stock.

Slowly, it has slowly gained its popularity and I was able to secure one for me (thanks R, again!).

I used it to its maximum capability until I got myself a tablet. The Kindle and I parted ways.

I kept it in its box up until I saw series of emails from Kindle and also reminders from web articles online about the need to update my Kindle device or else it will not be use at all.

So, today I got reunited with it. We actually had a bit of a hiccup awhile ago because it was not booting and I was only getting the "empty battery" page. Fortunately, it still is alive and kicking! :p

I have now updated my Kindle device and rather than keeping it in the box, I have decided to use it again. This is so I do not get distracted from other apps which is very tempting when you are using a tablet.

You still have until March 22 to do your update, Kindle lovers. You can read about this article from Good Housekeeping on how to update your Kindle.

**Note: You can also click here for another news link related to the Kindle upgrade 

Update: 52 week challenge

So, it was during this month last year when I have made a decision to take up the 52 week challenge (see my post here).

I initially thought it was easy but....*drum rolls please* I failed. Initially I was diligent in putting money in the pouch where I have kept the monies. However, I have noticed that I am getting delayed in remitting my challenge and would at times, do a one month deposit so as not to miss out.

I guess the inevitable happened, I was not able to deposit anything at all :(

It made me think of how I manage our finances and made some alterations to also accommodate this challenge but still all plans went in vain :(

In the end, I was not able to continue with the 52 week challenge. I think I was only able to save up a few thousand pesos which I was slowly using to pay off our snacks when we go out or some of the groceries, etc.

Now, I am determined to do the 52 week challenge again. I am still thinking if I should retain what I have decided as a contribution. I will re-start on the month of April.

I realised this exercise is like keeping your New Year's resolutions. You are so psyched to start and then determined to keep your resolution only to realise at the end that you have completely forgotten about it.

Let's do this 52 week challenge! :)

Wednesday, March 9

NSO Helpline - a fast and reliable service!

First off, I just want to let you know that this is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to write about it because I am so pleased with their service. 

If you have been a reader of my blog, you know that I still use my maiden name. I will not bore you of the details why but you can read it here. I know I needed to do something about this (R to be quite honest, is not offended in any way because he also likes how unique my last name sound). I was meant to do it last year since it was part of my "to-do" list then (Hmmm, makes me wonder where I have kept that list - probably buried somewhere if it was written in pair or deleted just like the rest of my files - boo!).

However, I was not able to do it because a lot of things took place that it got sidetracked. I told myself that it has to be this year because I plan to at least book a travel vacation for R and myself (a well-deserved vacation, believe me). Also a good opportunity because R's passport is already expired and needs to be renewed.

I checked online and was about to go through NSO's website and make the necessary payments but I came across this blog post of frustrated billionaire about getting his birth certificate. We have our passport renewal application soon and because of the upcoming Holy Week holidays, I thought we might incur a problem.

Reading through his post, he offered different options on how you can get a faster response and I found it in NSO Helpline. I checked the FAQs and they also process marriage certificate requests. Since I prefer using my online payment, I was a bit disappointed that they do not have any tie ups with my bank. Though they do have an option to make you pay using your credit or debit card as long as it has the Master or Visa card logo. Other payment options were also discussed like the Bancnet ATM payment and lastly, the over-the-counter payment.

Grabbed from their website

I did the latter since it will not be deducted from my account, I am confident that seeing someone do the transaction for me makes a difference! :)

They have a page where in you can check the status of your request

After that, we went home (but of course since we were out already, we also had a quick but meaningful stroll) and I checked the status online. To be honest, I was not that confident that it will be updated but I was wrong.

And today? We got it! *dancing around to Dawin's Dessert* ----> just kidding!

Though when I opened the package, I saw that I was only charged Php 140 for my request. I paid Php 350 over-the-counter. I guess the remaining pesos that was not mentioned on the receipt is their charge covering processing and delivery.

It was fast and reliable! In any case, I would recommend their services to you, my readers. :)

Wednesday, March 2

Summer on my mind

In a few days, summer will be hitting the country or it did already because of El Nino). I remember when we were still in Dubai, I would always look forward to the early days of summer.

Coming from a weather that has been windy and all too cold, the warmth of the sun is being embraced, literally by everybody. You will definitely see more people frequenting the beaches than the parks!

Taken at one of the public beaches in Dubai, Jumeirah Open Beach Park

R and I would always schedule a beach visit then because it's nice to just hang out and enjoy the scenery, the waves of the water, the sound of people's laughter around you because of either great conversations or they have been playing around.

I am not sure if this is the biggest but it sure is huge (Zabeel Park, Dubai)

UAE, though small gives a lot of importance on where families can enjoy and have a good time. That is why they have big spaces when it comes to parks, beaches and theme parks. For water theme parks, they have Wild Wadi and Atlantis in Dubai. I have only been to Wild Wadi once (yes, it is a bit costly to go in) and it was the height of summer so a lot of people were there to enjoy the water and the different slides they have to offer. Just a few years back, Atlantis opened and that was massive.

Atlantis Hotel promo (sadly I can't go back, just yet)
Sadly, I was only able to visit Atlantis to eat buffets in their restaurants and not experience their theme parks and hotels. Friends have mentioned the rooms that they have wherein you'd be like in an aquarium surrounded by different fishes i.e. sting rays, Nemo's Dory, dolphins and sharks!

They do offer a day pass as they call it wherein you can try out all their slides, rides and experience a tour inside with guides giving you different trivia about our water friends. Unfortunately, R's schedule did not permit us to do so and well, we were not really bothered to do it that time.

I haven't unsubscribed to Atlantis' newsletter so I still see their hotel or park promos for the tourists and residents. Definitely makes me want to go back to try it out.

Be still, my heart. I am pretty sure we would be able to do it soon :D