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Philippines recap - Cebu and the family (plus Whale Shark watching in Oslob!)

| Tuesday, 6 August 2013
I mentioned a few posts ago that I had planned a trip to the Philippines for my mum and I to celebrate her 60th birthday. Well, that time has come and gone already! I had a great time seeing family, enjoying the tropical weather, and eating like a queen - although the eating like a queen part was halted after I succumbed to an awful week-long stomach bug halfway through my trip (which subsequently saw me in the Emergency department of a Kuala Lumpur hospital before I headed back to Sydney) - oops! Luckily it was nothing too serious, but after beginning the trip with too much rice and fatty foods, and ending the trip barely able to stomach anything at all, I ended up craving my favourite healthy salad (cherry tomato, avocado and cottage cheese salad with sea salt and cracked pepper) like you wouldn't believe!

Mum and I outside the Taoist Temple in Cebu

It had been almost nine years I had last been and seen the Filipino side of the family, so it was nice to see them again - although I think both they and I were a bit intimated. It's funny - although we're all connected on Facebook, we don't really keep in touch per se, and we don't know too much about each other. I can only speak English (which I regret), and although my family can speak English, they mainly communicate in Cebuano, and I can understand how awkward it can be to try to speak to someone in your second language you don't really know (and can't understand due to their funny accent and propensity to speak too fast -the hallmarks of being an Aussie in sales!) On top of that, at 5'8" I'm quite tall by Australian standards, but exceptionally tall by Filipino standards, and I believe this may have contributed to some of the intimidation factors haha! Regardless of the awkwardness, it was nice to see them - everyone has grown up so much since I was there last, and it's made me realise that I really want to make more of an effort to go back and see them and get to know them more.

Cousins reunited

Cute little cousins!
I spent most of my time in Cebu with my mum, my youngest sister and her boyfriend - I hadn't seen my sister since the last time I was in Perth, which was December last year, so seeing her was nice too! She absolutely cracks me up - that girl has an incredible sense of style, but the fact that she would straighten her hair, wear a face full of makeup and not bring a bathing suit on the day that we went down to Oslob to see the Whale Sharks in a traditional boat still makes me laugh!
Jacob, Melissa, Franz and I at the top of "Tops' in Cebu

Aunty Silvia, Mum, Jacob and Mel at Mums 60th shindig :)

Speaking of the Whale Sharks - they were incredible! It's true when they say that they are the gentle giants of the ocean. They came right up to the little boats we were in, and it was amazing to see them so close! I have to admit, I do kind of regret not jumping in to swim with them.... but the smell of the raw fish that the fishermen were throwing to them to attract them certainly made my stomach turn. Besides.... I wanted to take pictures anyway. Next time I'll swim with them! :)
Welcome to Whale Shark watching in Oslob :)

Whale Shark facts

I kinda get the 'Jaws' theme running through my head, lol!

Whale shark alert!

Look at that mouth!
I'm going to have to leave it at that for tonight. Once again, I planned to get an early night but now it's past 12! Oops!

Good night and sweet dreams :)

xoxo Mich

Late night update

| Monday, 5 August 2013
So... once again it's been awhile!

I'm finally no longer internet challenged (fingers crossed). Quite a bit has happened since I've been here last - namely kicking ass at work and enjoying my overseas trip!

Alas, it's late and I do have work tomorrow (oops - today), and as such this is a very short update. I promise I'll go into greater detail tomorrow (tonight).

I'll leave you all with a few pictures I took with my new Canon S110 camera - I finally did it and bought myself a half decent camera! I'm looking forward to getting a DSLR  next year, once I've mastered the point and shoot.

Sweet dreams :)

xoxo Mich

Night time in Coogee

Fench - north of Coogee Bay on the hill

Looking down at Gordon's Bay

Gordon's Bay

Looking tired at Ayala Shopping Centre in Cebu

Out at sea on a Whale Shark tour in Oslob, south of Cebu - more pics to come!

Having lunch with mum in Bohol :)

End of month / Vivid / Internet Challenged

| Tuesday, 4 June 2013
For the last few days I've been dying to write a proper blog post. But alas - the god-damned Internet bill has not been paid. AGAIN. (The account is not in my name, by the way - and thats a whole other story in its own right!) And as much as I love my iPhone, it is not exactly the most desirable tool for journaling.

However, to whet my appetite I've decided to make use of the Blogger app on my phone to write SOMETHING. Which, judging from my other entries, is a whole lot of nothing. But do you know what? Writing this blog keeps me sane.

So, anyway.....

Things have continued on a good path. I've finally recovered from my illness, and I've had another fantastic month at work - I performed my personal best numbers-wise and kicked everyone's butts commission wise. Yay for me! I don't care what people think, I am so proud of my efforts and I'll pat myself on the back, thank you very much! Luckily end of month landed last Friday, so drinks that night were definitely deserved.

On the same Friday my gay hubby was in town with his boyfriend (whom I refer to as 'the other wife' - wether he knows this and/or would appreciate this, I don't know), and we all went to Circular Quay to check out the Vivid Festival and to see Empire of the Sun perform at the Concert Hall in the Opera House. I love seeing the different light shows, particularly on the Opera House - if only the music were louder and there were less children and tourists around, it could be an awesome rave! Haha.

Empire of the Sun were fantastic - they played a few of their past chart-toppers (Walking on a Dream; We are the People), plus a few tracks from their new album. Suffice to say, I was incredibly disappointed when the performance ended after an hour - I wanted more!

What I really want more right now though is for working Internet. I actually started typing this entry on Sunday, and now on Thursday I've found out the Internet connection at home has been 100% cancelled, and it may not be reconnected for a few more weeks. Help?!

I hope nobody else is having Internet issues lol! :)

Xox Mich

I am blessed

| Saturday, 25 May 2013
It's not the first time that I've known this, but I have been reminded today again that I am blessed.

I have been at home sick since Tuesday, suffering from a pretty severe sinus infection, which I fear may have worked into my lungs. I'm on antibiotics, and this has been the fourth time I've suffered from such an infection this year. The last few days have been somewhat torturous - muscle soreness stemming from fever, which translated into insomnia, from which ensued constant headaches, dehydration, an inability to keep food down, and constant gut-wrenching coughing. In short, I have felt like absolute rat shit. But do you know what? I am still blessed.

I am blessed because I have a roof over my head, and I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I have a job that I enjoy and which I am good at, which provides me with the means to seek medical help and to pay for medicines and herbal remedies to lessen my symptoms and help me feel and get better. I have colleagues who have been kind enough to help look after my customers and outstanding tasks in my absence. I have a boss who cared enough to contact me to check to see if I am ok. I have friends scattered across the country wishing me well.

The gorgeous view from the apartment - even the birds love it! :)

I am blessed because I know that I have the power within myself to make a change.

I've been to the doctors quite a few times this year, because I knew that it wasn't normal to keep getting the same infections so frequently. I take care of my body - I eat well, I exercise, I read to keep my mind active. So why do I keep getting sick?

After a few tests, including a chest scan (which, scarily enough, was performed to rule out lung cancer), a blood test finally showed that I have ALLERGIES. Specifically, I am highly allergic to house dust, mould and pet dander.

I'm not happy to find out that I have allergies, particularly in regards to pets, but I am happy to finally know what is wrong. Now that I know what is wrong, I know what I can do to change this. The sad thing is that I love pets - cats, dogs, rabbits. My housemate has a pet bunny rabbit named Lolly, who is absolutely ADORABLE. But I have to face reality - as cute and adorable as he may be, Lolly is making me sick.

Lolly Tango

Isn't he adorable?? Devastating to find out he makes me sick :(

So what am I going to do about this? Well - I'm going to have to bite the bullet and move out into my own place. I'll be sad to leave my housemates, and I'll be sad to leave the amazing view that this apartment offers, but at the end of the day my number one priority is my health.

I'm not planning to move straight away - I don't have the funds saved up yet, and besides, I'll be in the Philippines for two weeks in July relaxing and enjoying time with my mum, and I'd rather not stress myself out too much prior to my holiday as I fear I would be sick once I get overseas! But I'm starting to think that perhaps this was meant to be - just the other day Nikki, a good friend of mine in Perth, broke the news that she is finally moving to Sydney, and that she will be here around the time I'll be looking for a new place! New housemate, possibly? Who knows - watch this space! :)

One last thing - I am blessed to have the friends that I do, despite the fact that they are far from me. Thank you to my dear friend Juana, my housemate back in Perth from 2009 - 2010. Such a beautiful, kind, and strong soul. Juana called me today, and whenever I hear from her I feel strengthened. Juana is the older sister I never had, who understands me and provides me with much wisdom and love.

This post is dedicated to Juana - you reminded me today that I am blessed.

Love you loads, gorgeous woman! :) xoxo


Farewell, weekend

| Sunday, 12 May 2013
Sunday again. I'm sad. So many things I could have done this weekend, but I've spent my weekend sick in bed. No!! I think it's the cumulative result of having been stressed out, not sleeping enough, and having had a big night out on Friday. Oh, and the weather turning cold too.

So, my weekend has quite literally consisted of sleeping in, re-watching True Blood Season 5 (for about the 3rd/4th time - I'm ADDICTED), reading 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett, drinking tea and once again sleeping! So much for writing a proper blog post. Oh well. At least I did achieve sleeping in - I've slept most of today and yesterday away. Hopefully that means the shopping bags under my eyes will have disappeared completely by tomorrow morning.

On a final note - today was Mothers Day, and I missed my mum. I spoke with her briefly on the phone, but it's not the same as seeing her. At least the good news is I'll be seeing her in the Philippines in just over two months time, celebrating her 60th birthday!

Me, Mum and my youngest sister back in 2009

Love to all the Mothers out there, especially my own.

xox  Mich

This is what happens...

| Thursday, 9 May 2013

...when I lock myself out of the apartment.


Thankfully I'm home now. Bring on Friday tomorrow, and the weekend! I'm looking forward to sleeping in, relaxing, and writing a proper blog post.

Goodnight beautiful people :)

Xox Mich

Even when I'm losing, I'm winning

| Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Today I was on the late shift at work. Usually this means I get to sleep in, but not today!

I was up this morning at 7:00am. Well.... I was awake at least. I did manage to stay in bed until 7:30am, at which point I decided it was best I get out of bed and shower before my chiro appointment at 8:45am.

Fast-forward to 8:45am, and I'm still battling traffic to my Chiro. Who is only 2 kms away from where I live. A collective "Oops" and "Seriously?!?". Somehow I managed to find a parking spot and rush to my Chiro, making it there by 8:50am. Phew!

By 9:45am I'm back at home, cooking bacon for breakfast. Piss-farting around, trying to figure out what to wear to work quickly ensues.

By 10:00am, the bacon is burned to a black, non-edible crisp. FML. Thank goodness I had the sense to pick up a coffee before heading home -  I need caffeine to put up with this poop.

On the bus into work at 10:25am - hardly any passengers and minimal traffic means I'm in the city by 10:50am -yay! This extra time on my hands means I can see my optometrist.

I picked up my new glasses last week, and lucky me - there's a special promotion where I get a free pair of sunglasses. Sweet! My sunglasses arrived yesterday, and so I go to pick them up.

Mr Optomerist has another surprise for me - my new trial contacts are in. I get them fitted, and he tells me that the fitting fee is normally $40, but today it's on the house.


By 11:15am, I'm at work. Suffice to say, it pretty much went all the way downhill from there.

A quick gym session at 3:45pm ensures I don't lose my sanity, or kill anyone.

8:25pm - I get a phone call from a customer with numerous questions. I'm supposed to finish work at 8:30pm.

Have I already mentioned FML?

10:15pm and I'm home in bed typing up this poor excuse for a blog post.

I don't have any pictures from today to highlight this post, so I've dragged out some pictures of me at Palmer & Co. on Valentines Day this year:


Winning!! :D

Good night and sweet dreams (goodness knows I need it - look at the bags under my eyes -eek)!! Tomorrow can only get better, right?


xox Mich

Emails, Dolly and Cheesecake

| Tuesday, 7 May 2013
Emails. I liken them to grey hairs. You knock one email down, and three more pop up in its place. I don't have any grey hairs - well at least, there's none that I know of anyway. But after the past few days at work, with the exponential growth of emails in my inbox, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm half-way to being a white-haired nanna by Friday. Ahhh! The joys of a sales role in a call centre environment.

Thank goodness I've started writing in this blog again. Instead of wanting to bitch and moan about work, I've voiced my opinion about emails and left it that. I bet my Team Leader wishes I would do the same about him and work. Alas, I digress again.

Onto other news.

Monday. Manic, manic, Monday. In an attempt to diffuse the steam building up within my mind and body caused by the internal battle between the devil on my left ("Delete the emails, Michelle!! DELETE!!!!) and the angel on my right ("Michelle - let's think logically here - is that professional? No, it's not. Yes, I know some of the emails are pointless and ridiculous, and some probably don't deserve a response, but STILL - , how many times have others answered YOUR stupid emails..."), I headed to my local gym after work to sweat out my frustrations. After all, what was the better alternative? Head straight home, kick up my feet on the sofa and drink bucket-loads of wine whilst lamenting my inability to actually BURN emails? Nope, not this chicky-babe - lets sweat this out and release some endorphins, yeah!

So off to the gym I went. I hadn't been there on a Monday before, and it was packed. Yikes. I hate it when gyms are packed, because it's usually packed full of smelly boys who've never heard of deoderant before, yet have their "supplements" provider on speed-dial (read: "steroids").

(Apologies for the blatant sterotyping. I know I'm stereotyping. Although I did have an ex-boyfriend who spent most of his time at the gym "making friends" (read: finding people who could get him testosterone and Human Growth Hormone steroids)).

Yikes. I digress once more.

Anyhow, I went straight to the weight machines. Chest press, Leg press, Leg Curl and Leg Extension. 3 sets of 10 reps on each machine. Done. Head towards the stretch and abs area. On the way there, pass aforementioned stereotypes. Hear one of them say to the rest of them as I'm coming: "Check this dolly out".


Did they just call me.... Dolly?


I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "Dolly", I automatically think of three things:
Dolly - the cloned Sheep

Barbie - the Doll

Dolly Parton - The Country Singer
In all fairness, Dolly Parton is a human Barbie doll in her own right, so perhaps it's only two things?

So my automatic reaction is - Excuse me?? Is it because I'm slim? Is it because I'm wearing pink? Is it because I'm wearing my cats-eyes glasses?? Well listen up, BUCKO - I'm sorry I'm no beefcake, but I don't plan on that happening. I'm slim because I work out and take care of my body, I like the colour pink (it goes well with my skin-tone, thank you very much) and I'm blind as a bat and have been told not to wear contacts for a week (dead cells on my eyes from contact overuse, apparently - ewww), so my cats eye glasses are NECESSARY.


I really do wish that boys would shut up and focus on other things at the gym - such as building up their legs, not just their arms and chests. Chicken legs are NOT a good look boys.

Perhaps I'm being a bit sensitive. But honestly, the last thing I want after a hard slog at work is to be judged on my appearance.

Onto good news - the cheesecake I made for our "Bring a plate of food to work" day on Monday turned out pretty well. It looked a little bit like a bloody massacre (or mixed berry greek yoghurt even), but it was good! Compliments were given and the whole thing disappeared. Phew. What a relief. Have a look at the picture below:

Well, this has been a bit of divergent post! Apologies for the rant(s). But I am feeling much better now!

Thank goodness hump day is tomorrow - yay!!

xox Mich

Lazy Sunday

| Sunday, 5 May 2013
I love Sundays. Sundays are my "it's ok to not do anything" day. Which usually entails sleeping in, walking down to Coogee Bay Road for breakfast, then trekking north and taking in the beautiful views of Coogee, Gordon's Bay and Clovelly. If it's warm, it's usually a visit to McIvers Ladies Baths where I can freely swim and sunbake half-nekkid. Life near the beach is amazing, and I doubt I could give it up.

Morning coffee in Coogee

Looking north towards Clovelly

Standing above Gordon's Bay!
Alas, it appears that Autumn is now upon us. So no more half-nekkid swimming or sunbaking for me :(

Despite the departure of Summer (which in all cruelty occurred LAST Sunday - 29 degrees celsius when I wasn't anywhere near the beach, but at Centennial Park, albeit enjoying a lovely picnic with dear friends - but I digress), I must admit that I am looking forward to the cooler months. An odd thing for an ex-Perth girl to discover, let alone admit, having once been accustomed to endless summers with temperatures continually over 30, and sweltering through every Christmas and Boxing Day in 40+ heat.

Centennial Park last Sunday -29 degrees Celsius, how I miss you!

So why am I now looking forward to the cooler months?

What I'm about to admit, in bullet points, is actually quite sad:

  • I will actually have time to do domestic things, such as do more laundry and cook more roasts and soups (potential boyfriends, please line up now! Pfft.)
  • I will more time to read and write (Yay!)
  • I can do girly things, such as touch up the colour in my hair and administer self manipedi's (a necessity, given the claw-like freakishness of my paws at the moment.... eurrggghh)
  • People will stop coming to Coogee, which means that I will be able to drive during the day on weekends without fear of losing my parking spot
    • Subsequently, I can do my grocery shopping (although I do doubt this - I hate dealing with screaming parents and kids on Saturdays - it's soooo not how I like to start my weekends)
    • I will start going to the gym on Saturday and Sunday mornings (this I KNOW will happen, seeing as I have the tendency to become gym-junkie-ish)
Well, I suppose it's not THAT sad. It's not like I have the rip-roaring social life that I did back in Perth - not that that is what i necessarily want back anyway! But I am looking forward to spending more time doing things that will enrich me whilst not breaking the bank.

One of my goals in life is to write and publish a book. This is something that I really want to focus on this year. Which is one of the reasons I have come back to blogging - it's time that I start getting some words out, which will hopefully get the creative juices flowing once more! So with any luck - or more appropriately, self-determination - I will start making this a reality this year, particulary given the cooler, less action-packed months are closing in.

Another goal is to get six-pack abs. It may sound strange, but this is a goal that I have, and I believe I am halfway to achieving it! Yay!!

My abs! (although I do believe the lighting was favourable here lol!)
Now it's time for me to start on a mixed berry cheesecake for our "Bring a plate of food to work" day tomorrow.

(This is not going to prevent me from getting a six-pack. Trust me.)

With love,
Mich xoxo

I'm back and I'm enjoying a fantastic 2013!

| Saturday, 4 May 2013
Hello! I know it's been a very long time, but I've finally decided to venture back into the world of blogging.

As some of you may know, 2012 started on a subdued note for me, due to the unfortunate events that marked the end of 2011. My last post, back in January 2012, was posted on a good note - I had found a new job, and things were looking promising. It is on this good note that I would like to continue, although I can safely say that 2012 was a tough year, with many obstacles and challenges. Thankfully, I can also say that throughout 2012 I grew as a person, found strength within myself, and learnt many lifelong lessons along the way. Perhaps one day I will shed light on some of what happened, but that is not a a post for today - I'm in a happy, positive mood, and in this mood I will continue! :)

2013 has been fantastic so far. To briefly sum up:

I spent most of January lazing at the beach swimming, soaking up the sun and reading (although to be honest, I've done this pretty much every weekend the sun has been out!)

Bondi Beach in January

Soaking some rays in Coogee in April
This month was spent at work with my head down and bum up - but working my little bum off certainly paid off, as I was the top revenue earner for the month! Luckily it wasn't all just work - I did find time to attend one of the AGWA boat parties for a friends birthday - but unluckily, it mostly rained all day! Just our luck hehe!
My AGWA boat party outfit

I celebrated my one year anniversary at work in March, where I was also the second highest revenue earner for the quarter. Who said working hard doesn't pay off? Suffice to say, I'm very proud of myself! I also shed some steam at Futuremusic, held at Randwick Raceourse. I lost everyone early on (although in a crowd of 40,000+ attendees, that's not a hard thing to achieve!), and pretty much spent my day waiting in lines for drinks, and then waiting in lines for the toilets. Ahhh - the joy of festivals!

Happy Work Anniversary to me!
To reward myself for my hard work so far this year, I booked tickets to the Philippines for my Mum and myself to celebrate her 60th birthday. She is so happy! I'm so happy that she is happy. I hardly see my mum anymore, as she lives in Perth and I'm here in Sydney, and so the trip to the Philippines will be such a treat. I'm looking forward to spending time with her, and to catch up with mum's side of the family - it's been almost 10 years since I've been there - I'm worried I won't recognise anyone lol!

To finish off today's post, I have to share with you the BEAUTIFUL dress I splurged on- the Sara dress in red, by Lover. All I can say is - I'm in LOVE.

Happy weekend everyone! :) xox

Copyright © 2010 With Love, Mich