Skip to main content

My gift to myself is to see you happy. If you’re happy, I’m ecstatic!

Have you ever done something totally new lately?

Have you ever tasted something special that used to be an ordinary treat?
Does absence really make one’s heart grow fonder?

Staying over in a hotel – whether be in the city (NYC) or Princeton, used to be a regular weekend treat for us. But with the change in the economy, we have tightened our budget: no weekend getaways; very limited restaurant dining; no shopping just for the sake of it.

Yesterday, with the help of my husband’s parental units (mom and dad), my husband and I had one relaxing day – a break from our crumbcatchers’ regular hectic schedule. Lucky for us, we have parents that love to break away from their regular routine and gift us with a “mini-vacation”. For our past birthdays, mom and dad gave my husband a spa gift card and dinner money for mine. Mom calls them the “save-the-marriage” gifts! I think they are more like spreading “tinker bell gold dusts” at a loving marriage. Yes, happy thoughts were badly needed and a time off is what the doctor ordered!

(Mom and Dad gave us a gift certificate to Short Hills Hilton’s Spa. The spa was closed for 10 months, and it was just great timing that I booked it last week! Or is it bashert or kismet? )

Honey had fun at the hotel’s fitness center while I had the realigning sports massage . And I must say that I totally loved it! This morning, I woke up and I felt so relaxed – no achy bones! I was hesitant at first because most people I know tell me that the massage could be painful. I must tell you: no pain at all – just pleasure! Tightness in my neck, lower back, shoulders and glutes are all gone! The best treat was that the massage was supposed to be for my husband, but he gave it to me instead! I felt guilty (for a second) because I truly enjoyed his birthday present, but then he said,
  “My gift to myself is to see you happy. If you’re happy, I’m ecstatic!”

We stayed the entire day just hanging by the pool – reading and napping. And then for an unplanned dinner, we headed to Ruth Chris’ steakhouse. (courtesy of mom and dad’s birthday present to me!)

Let me tell you, once you have deprived yourself of something special, the day you get a chance to enjoy it again is something memorable! Ruth Chris’ was like going to McDonald’s to us at one point. We stopped going a few years back and didn’t really miss it because the last few times we went, the sizzling hot prime rib steaks that are seared to perfection at 1800 degrees and topped with butter - just didn’t make us salivate!

 However, last night…the steak was absolutely delicious! We had: carpaccio, chop salad and wild mushroom. Our palettes were enjoying every flavor. We split every thing and we still had left overs! We savored every little bite and you’ll be amazed on how tasty the foods really are!

While enjoying every bite, we realized that our past over indulgences had clouded the little things that we used to enjoy! I shouldn’t say little because there’s nothing little about Short Hills Hilton and Ruth Chris’ sizzling steak. When you over indulge so often, you tend to overlook and take the pleasure it provides for granted, so the experience was just a waste.

I should know better since I grew up in a Third World country. America does allow someone to live in excess that the beauty of simple pleasures get lost at times. It’s not the country’s fault, it’s just human nature.

So I think when we give ourselves a treat once in a while, every little tiny experience becomes so much more meaningful.

Have a meaningful Sunday everyone!

Keep smiling (:

BTW, today is the North Central NJ Walk Now for Autism. If you're in the area, come and join us! 


  1. what super folks you have. and i so know what you are talking/writing about. not 20 minutes ago we passed some homes with a LARGE amount of halloween decorations. my son says, "this might sound weird, but when you put that many Halloween decorations out(and the are the gruesome kind)--it isn't's just weird and silly." it loses the effect. we miss so much here in the states, don't we? taking it all for granted--or rushing through. i going to think about this some more, thanks friend.

  2. i need to proof-read. rushing through. ;)

  3. And I believe we're in this economic mess because people don't have contentment, even having a lot of things in their lives. Through this tough economic times, may it bring people to have desire for those things that truly count the most!

    What an awesome "gift" you got and the beauty of it all, you and your DH got to share it together in His perfect time! God bless you sister.

  4. Dad and I are so happy that this day brought you both lots of happiness, and a much needed, and well deserved, day of rest and relaxation.
    We love you both. Just let us know when you need another day away. We are happiest when you are happy.
    Love you, Mom and Dad

  5. That is so sweet of your hubby... :)

    Ruth's Chris!! We love this place, but don't go there too often. A bit pricey, hmmm. :)

  6. You're blessed to have such wonderful folks, Jenjen!

    Have a nice day!

  7. I am lucky indeed to have wonderful folks!
    @Deborah, no need to proof-read - this is a place where you won't be judged at all!
    @RCubes, you're right. Part of the economic mess we have right now is due to the fact that a lot of people bought homes they couldn't afford, and companies who fed on such notion.
    @Buckeroomama, that's why we split the appetizer, entree, etc..and came home with left overs!
    @Veronica, thank you - you, too!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Completed my first 16 Week IsaBody Challenge: Believe You Have A Purpose

My family is what matters most to me.  I’m 51 and a mother of 4 (ages 14 – 26). I wanted to be healthier, more active and stronger not just for me, but for the people I love.  I wanted to set an example for my family that we each possess the tools to master our wellness and vitality. I've always been petite except when I was pregnant ( when I gained an average of 50 pounds per pregnancy - 4 times!) Over the years I had tried various diet and exercise regimens, and I did enjoy a degree of success, but the results were not to the level I hoped for, and they were somewhat short lived.   Achieving stable, long-lasting results proved stubbornly elusive.    Then when I hit menopause everything became more difficult.    My body stopped cooperating altogether, and I was constantly grumpy. My waist and hips expanded and I found myself napping in the afternoons.    I started to accept the idea that there would be this new, less vibrant version of me. I just completed my P

SPICE-up a young child's development: social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional

Children are the precious gems of a family. When they’re young and innocent, they are like sponges that willingly and quickly absorb any knowledge and emotion. That’s why at an early age, we encourage our children to read, be creative, be happy and feed their curiosity. With all the technology and instant gratification that children get from playing video or computer games, asking a child to read a good book has been a challenge for some parents .     “Your children are not your children.       They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.       They come through you but not from you,       And though they are with you, and yet they belong not to you.       You may give them your love but not your thoughts,        For they have their own thoughts.        You may house their bodies but not their souls,        For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,        which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” -                     Kahlil Gibr

Immigration and Family: Will my mom ever get to see my daughter walk down the aisle

Last year when my father passed away in the Philippines, I went home and took some time to visit the U.S. Embassy in Manila to ask what the options are for my mother to return to the U.S. The consul reminded me of the 10-year travel ban. That on or after November 8, 2015 — not earlier – or 10 years after my mom, was deported in 2005 for overstaying her visa, I can email the U.S. Embassy and inquire about my mother’s approved petition. I asked if I need to file another petition, and she informed me I didn’t have to. I asked if I could… and she stopped me and said to ask everything on or after November 8, 2015. This is where I am, and where my thoughts are drifting as I celebrate this month my 16th American birthday. I am counting the months, the weeks and the days. My daughter is getting married in January 2016 and I would love to have my entire family, especially my mother, to be here when that momentous occasion happens.

Helping others surpass their goals and expectations

"It's not about the end goal. It's who you become by consistently pushing to the edge of your limits." - Robin Sharma Do you ever wonder why you stumble on new things?  Do you ever wonder why unsuspecting strangers cross your path? Do you ever wonder why your mind takes you to a direction you didn't think exist? I was walking to StarBucks to meet my husband when I noticed a sign...

Still shaky, skidded in snow, but so blessed my guardian angels are looking after me!

"Never again wonder, what to be thankful for..."   - Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life It’s yet another snowy day in New Jersey. Beautiful, yes but dangerous! In line with my goal for this month is to get back on schedule. I got up around 4am to get my 15yo ready for his Model United Nations conference. (Thankful that our neighbor offered to drive him to school by 5:30am ) I got my 9yo ready for school and I'm thankful that my other neighbor offered to drive him to school. I then drove my husband to the train station to Manhattan. I decided to stop by the Community Center and decided to run a fast 5K on the treadmill. I was 1 mile short because I was so sweaty and hot. (Note to self: dress lightly next time) While cooling down inside the car, I read Day 14’s chapter of Rick Warren's the “Purpose Driven Life” book. I felt really good because it just reminded me that there is always something to be thankful for no matter how awful yo