5 Major Adjustments When Moving From Asia to Berlin

It’s been two months (!!) since we moved to Berlin and I thought I’d share an update on how it’s been. We’re slowly settling in and getting to know the city. So far so good! But I thought I’d share with you some adjustments we had to face when we first arrived.

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No complaints in being this city since I’m now really enjoying it. However, I want to share some realities with you in case you’re thinking of moving here or to some other city in Europe as some bits may be applicable. Just to avoid a teeny bit of shock and hopefully, help you adjust faster. 😉

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Marriage: How we got our dream wedding without breaking the bank

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Practically everyone at my wedding!

Four things: Lots of research, careful planning, friends and family who love us dearly, and a teeny tiny bit of luck

When my husband proposed on February 2013, we got into planning our wedding right away. We had a theme, a budget in mind, and 8 months to get everything in place. Sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? But truth be told, wedding planning isn’t as bad and excruciating as some people might think. It was actually a breeze for the both of us. (I didn’t turn into a bridezilla at any point in the planning and even on the wedding day!)

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Nope! No bridezilla! Though I did cry – a lot – during the ceremony.

With a husband who gets a kick out of planning along with friends and family who were ever so supportive, we got what we always wanted. A very classy (if I may say so myself) and intimate wedding with just our closest family and friends where we were able to talk, laugh, and mingle with everyone which made everything just oh-so special.

Plus, we were also able to go on a honeymoon in Singapore and Bali within the wedding budget! How much did everything cost? Php 250,000 (Conversion rates: MYR1=Php11.04, EUR1=Php51.92, USD1=Php45.69)! Which is basically unheard of in the Manila wedding circuit these days.

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Stormy weather! But the skies cleared up a few hours before the ceremony! 😀 #MeantToBe 😉

In fact, someone who writes for a wedding magazine found out about our wedding, saw the photos, and was eager to write about it for a feature on intimate weddings. However, when I told him how we did everything by ourselves and how much money we saved by not going through planners and all the people in the wedding business, he told me he couldn’t write about it anymore. Why? Because the magazine will lose advertisers. 😛

So I won’t go into detail about everything as this is not a timely wedding guide anymore since it was two years ago. But I hope what you read here will be great advice to anyone who’s in the planning stage! 🙂

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Beauty: Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon Review (4/6 shades)! Plus: Get your own at a DISCOUNT with this code!

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It took a while but finally – Burt’s Bees’ Lip Crayons have finally reached our side of the world! I was lucky enough to be invited at the launch, held at Marini’s in Suria KLCC a couple of weeks ago.

Afternoon tea + blogger friends + makeup. What more can a girl ask for, right?

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Six colours were introduced – Hawaiian Smolder, Napa Vineyard, Redwood Forest, Carolina Coast, Niagara Overlook, and Sedona Sands.

My friends and I had fun swatching the  colours during the event but since the lighting at the venue was way too yellow, getting you good pictures that are true-to-colour was quite impossible. But fret not! I took some just yesterday under natural light. And there will be a review of 4 out of the 6 shades that they came out with in this post. 😉 I made the extra effort because you know I love you guys, right? *virtual hugs for my readers*

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Random Thoughts and Happenings 2

Things that have been happening lately compiled into one blog post. Get ready for the word vomit! 😉

Home Alone

The husband is off to another work trip and this time, he’s going to Davao, in the Philippines for a couple of days. I’ve always been an independent person but I don’t think I will ever be used to him going on work trips and being gone for days. Knowing that he won’t be coming home for lunch and at around 7pm (yes, the people at the Philippine Embassy in KL work long hours) feels weird for me.

Also, I do tend to worry and I’m not that used to sleeping alone anymore. The teddy bears on our bed are actually there for a reason, you guys. 😉

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Events: ASEAN Ladies’ Circle Coffee Morning (Philippines)

A week before December 15, I was informed that I will be hosting the program for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ladies’ Circle Coffee Morning that’s hosted by the Philippine Embassy along with one of my husband’s colleagues. Eeeep!

Though I’ve been doing hosting on the side while I was still in Manila (been doing it since I was 13 as it was a great way to earn extra money), I found myself excited and a bit nervous. Coffee mornings for ASEAN ladies are usually a great venue to promote country as a tourist destination. I’m huge advocate of promoting our islands to people especially since we’ve been getting some bad press. Some have basis while the others were written by travellers who just found themselves in the wrong places at the wrong season. So I really wanted to do well in this gig.

And two – if I mess this up, I won’t be just an embarrassment to myself but to my husband as well! It was even our Ambassador who picked me to host. So if I mumble or call someone by the wrong name or if I trip while hosting – arrrgh. I would end up beating myself up so bad. I hate disappointing people – especially those who have so much faith in me. (Thanks so much sir! :D)

In the end… It went pretty well. Whew! So all my worries disappeared by the end of that event. Thank goodness that the past 6 months that we spent in KL – where I was considered pretty idle – didn’t make me rusty. Most of the ladies even approached me after the event to tell me that I did a good job. That meant a lot to me since just days before the event, I was already having dreams wherein I mess it up because I haven’t been hosting and even reporting in front of a camera/crowd in months! Oh, and since it was my first time to do a hosting gig in Malaysia, this is really an event that I will never forget. 😀

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Travel + Photos: Purrfect Cat Cafe (Penang)

Penang’s 1st and only cat cafe can be found in Jalan Muntri, a street connected to the famous Love Lane (Lorong Love), George Town.

The last stop of yesterday’s walking tour of Penang’s capital, George Town was Purrfect Cat Cafe along Jalan Muntri. I’m putting this one up first so I can link to it once I do the full walking tour post. Oh, and because the cats deserve a post of their own. Don’t you think? I’ve always loved animals, sometimes more than most people. If you watch the news on a regular basis, you’ll probably get me why I feel like this.

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Travel+ Food + Photos: Getting to Penang, Penang Hill, and some Food Worship

Hello from Penang! 🙂 It seems we haven’t been spending a lot of time at home in our condo in KL. When my husband told me that he’s got a conference to attend on this island and that he’ll pay for my fare if I wanted to tag along, I was actually having second thoughts about going.

Yes, really! Carol, with the crazy levels of wanderlust and the constant travel whims! I guess after going to Sabah then to Langkawi (we even have a scheduled weekend trip to Singapore a couple of weeks from now!) in just a span of weeks then attending events in between, I just felt like we were never home anymore (and I am honestly in love with how cosy our condo is) and I know I have a ton of posts to write (all the traveling has given me quite a backlog). I honestly felt that I wanted to just stay still for a bit – preferably on our couch, watching  Gossip Girl re-runs or baking.

But hey, I couldn’t pass on the chance of seeing Penang with my husband. I knew I would be jealous if I was left at home. And though I’m missing the ASEAN Ladies’ Circle Coffee Morning this week (one of the events I’ve been looking forward to for a while!), I’m glad I went with him. Penang is just so beautiful! From the moment we spotted the island from the air, I knew I’d have a special relationship with this place.

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