Friday, September 14, 2012

Reading Chapter Books: Little Women

The school year has started. Our little Year 2 girl is loving the school days! And still has the time and energy to read after school. (YES- THIS IS WHY WE DON'T LIKE HOMEWORK!)

There are a lot of ways to encourage kids how to read although our favorite is talking about the book after reading and discussing the lessons and practical applications for the book.

Here's what she has to say about Little Women. With little side comments from our little boy.

Keep exploring!

Dreams Do Come True... Keep on Dreaming!

So I am 34. My last year before I turn mid-30s (cringes!) Life has been unbelievably good the past years and I am almost on my plateau. I sincerely hope not.

I have reached my vision. You know that scene when you realize that there is nothing better you could imagine. I totally felt that the past few days.

I have imagined this for years. Somewhere between university days and my first years working here in the desert.

My final destination for every day journey... a dedicated parking space for me! And yes, I have a parking space for both office and home now. Goodbye to going to work way too early just to be sure to get the closest parking spot. Goodbye to going around and around the building looking for parking spot for the night as I head home.

I have done it. I have realized my vision. And what do we do when we reach our destination? We plan for a new one, preferably to a vision we never experienced before.

Having parking spaces only for me is like seeing the lanterns for Rapunzel. That feeling is beyond words.

Intro the song... I See The Light...

I See The Light lyrics

All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I've been
Now I'm here, blinking in the starlight
Now I'm here, suddenly I see
Standing here, it's all so clear
I'm where I'm meant to be
And at last I see the light
And it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light
And it's like the sky is new
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted

All at once everything looks different
Now that I see you

All those days chasing down a daydream
All those years living in a blur
All that time never truly seeing
Things, the way they were
Now she's here shining in the starlight 
Now she's here, suddenly I know

If she's here it's crystal clear
I'm where I'm meant to go

Rapunzel & Eugene (Flynn):
And at last I see the light

Eugene (Flynn):
And it's like the fog is lifted

Rapunzel & Eugene (Flynn):
And at last I see the light

And it's like the sky is new

Rapunzel & Eugene (Flynn):
And it's warm and real and bright
And the world has somehow shifted

All at once, everything is different
Now that I see you,
Now that I see you!

I am where I'm meant to be... And we are just starting our journey!

Keep on dreaming!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dining Out in Doha: Jones The Grocer

We SOOO love the concept of Jones the Grocer at the Gate Mall. The food we tried, however, is not super extraordinary but it was very much great value. For QR40, we got some fresh sandwich, side dish (fries or salad) and organic and sugarless drink.

It is  perfect for a quick lunch with husband before the school run to pick up the kids!

The husband who became so spontaneous inviting me for lunch - one boring office day!

BLT plus fries, mine of course!

The healthier choice with salad dish is his! 
Our new office is really close by Jones The Grocer. We love the place, we love the food, we love the beautiful people, we love the mall, we love the location. Business lunch is bliss nowadays! Awesome!

Keep exploring!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back to School in Doha!

It's back to school and we are ready.. well, almost. Kids, at least!

I will definitely miss these naughty moments.

The Ate bullying the kid brother for a Rapunzel scene. And the story:

Girl throws the ball. Boy throws back the ball to the Girl in the Bunk Bed. 

Girl asks the Boy to climb up to get the ball. And say: "Rapunzel let down your hair!" 

Girl lets down the hair. (blanket). Boy climbs up. 

And Boy gets down with the ball. 

And the story continues over and over again. 

Summer 2012 ends. Sighs.

Keep exploring!

Reading Chapter Book: The Phantom of The Opera

Our last chapter book for summer 2012: The Phantom of the Opera (A Stepping Stone Book) ! Tomorrow is back to school and our little lady is Year 2! We must admit that we missed reading chapter books  during the summer since we have lots of excuses really! New baby, new house, new job, new office, travel - we should have sneaked in one chapter book a week but we got too comfortable adjusting to the changes in our family lives. No valid excuse really..

Anyway, here is the how she understand the book, The Phantom of the Opera and right after this video, she watched a very good version of the play and here is the link: The Phantom of the Opera.

I know at the moment, this classic play is showing back home in the Philippines. Maybe we could watch the play once it's showing in this part of the world.

By the way, we got this awesome book from Dubai Mall during our Dubai travel. Let's see if these Stepping Stone books area available here in Doha. (and of course, we will let you know!)

Keep reading!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Exploring Dubai from Doha!

We pretty much got too preoccupied with some minor and huge changes in our lifestyle in Doha and had less of  Exploring Doha for a while.

The Turknoy family decided to re-strategize our priorities. Actually, it was not about changing the strategy but taking our "Keep exploring" mantra to the next level... as it should be.

Finally, we went outside Doha as a family and enjoyed an affordable travel to Dubai. As it was offseason, right after Eid Al Fitr and end of summer season (almost!), we got a really affordable deal at Atlantis The Palm Hotel & Resort. We stayed in the magnificent hotel for 2 nights and it was such a glorious family experience! We enjoyed the Aquaventure and The Lost Chambers for free as we were staying at the hotel.

Just watch for the promotions from the hotel; to stay in such a luxurious place with superb customer service is a great treat. And to think that we stayed at the 'cheapest' possible room, the hotel add ons for all guests is just so amazing and affordable.

The kids definitely enjoyed exploring Atlantis. Our Kylie even signed in excitement several times while shouting - "this is really happening! this is not a dream."


We can see the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa from our hotel.

our room for our comfort! 

kids could spend hours in this aquaventure - water slides for kids, such great fun!
but then mom and dad needs to enjoy also - the rapids really made our day! kids were so brave holding on to their own! 

We had such a full day right after leaving Doha and yet we ended up staying late just for exploring the hotel.

For our second day, we even woke up early for some breakfast treat in our room, headed for an early swim and went to Mall of Emirates and Dubai Mall for some great unexpected fun!

look who's ready for breakfast!

and look who's ready to dip in the pool! 

someone is really happy! 

gotta love the robe after the swim - cozy! 

exploring The Lost Chambers for the curious minds
We went to the Mall of Emirates for one specific reason - SKI DUBAI! We haven't see and experience snow and we were dying to get that experience, albeit fake. 

kids all set!
oh just look at them so cute - someday! haha

and explore we did!

DUBAI MALL Waterfalls - explored the supposedly biggest mall in the Middle East - it was HUGE alright!

a little bit of window shopping of things we want but can't afford! 

We were so lucky to have a local (er, localized?) tour guide in Dubai. She is my  high school classmate - we didn't meet for the past fifteen years and it was exploring and mommy-talking all the way. 

Ochay with our Turknoy family, posing outside Burj Khalifa  - thanks again classmate! 

our photo by Burj Al Arab - someday (again!) HAHAHA - we dream, we dream!

Our third and last day, we went for another swim around the hotel, checked out and head back again to Dubai Mall and waited for our scheduled viewing of Burj Khalifa - after all, it is the tallest tower in the world. So OFF WE WENT TO GO HIGH! Literally.. 
Oh the things we can see from top of the world!



Of course, we had to check out the books in Dubai and they had such an enormous selection we didn't want to go! How we wish they have such great selection of books in Doha like what we saw in Dubai. 


It was so short and sweet, a visit long overdue. We have been staying for more than five years in Doha and it was just right that we explore and travel outside the country. We need it and we deserve it. 

Here's to more happy travels with Turknoys! 

Keep exploring!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Religion vs. Spirituality

This eloquently stated how Turknoy feel about religion. I always say to most of the people I know who will understand me that religion is the most profitable business there is. It caters to people who are really afraid of suffering after life. The routines, the guilt feeling, the idea of doing less than what is required and fair.

Everyone has a belief system. Faith is intangible. Religion is the most popular attempt to make faith tangible. Human beings,  most of the times, exaggerate.

Anyhow, here goes what says it all:

Needless to say, I am a very spiritual person.

Keep believing!

Qatar Cinema: Bourne Legacy

Bourne Legacy was partly taken in the Philippines. PARTLY. Not all scenes were taken in the Philippines. We thought, all the while, with so much hype and publicity about the movie taken in the Philippines that it's all throughout showing the touristic spots. But we were mistaken, the movie was too long and too boring; Matt Damon made the right call not to make another Bourne movie.

As for the Philippine setting, showing the Philippine traffic in a Hollywood movie is really something. Gotta love the motorcycle chase, bumping into jeepneys here and there!  We felt homesick but not too sentimental because the movie is really boring. Too boring that we noticed lots of movie goers left in the middle of the movie.

Big shame but of course, if there will be part two for this movie, we are ready to watch for another Philippine scene.

Keep exploring!


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