Fun & Logistics of the 239th Marine Corps Ball

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It's hard to believe we attended our first Marine Ball together as a couple a year ago. It's crazy how much can change in a year... During this time last year, we were waiting on the bidding results, unsure of where we'll be in a year (or hell, possible even five to nine months out). This year, a lot of unknowns and semi-expected surprises have manifested themselves - some more welcomed than others... like the fact that the dress I fit perfectly a year ago was now trying to kill me through asphyxiation. Really, it was bad. I had to excuse myself several times to run to the ladies' room and … [Read more...]

Hiring a Filipino Nanny…. From Brazil

photo source: Nanny Diaries movie

Once we arrived in Brazil, we knew we needed childcare (see why here). At first we tried to find one locally, but we couldn't find a Brazilian empregada that wanted to "live-in". So, we took others' advice and hired a nanny from the Philippines.  There are quite a number of Filipino nannies and housekeepers in Brasilia. So naturally, we started looking around in that community, but our search was fruitless. In the end, with my mom's help, we took our search to the Philippines. This post is mainly about the steps and process that a diplomatic family and future employer of a Filipino nanny … [Read more...]

When Dessert Pizzas Are Done Right….

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Do you guys remember dessert pizzas - from places like Dominos, Pizza Hut, etc.? Are those things still around in good ol' #murrica? I remember trying an oreo pizza once and just feeling like such a glutton who'd probably die first were a zombie apocalypse were to break out right after consuming one. There's no way you could move after a slice of the oreo pizza. I don't even know what possessed us to even try it in the first place. Dessert Pizza in Brazil, however, is on a whole different level. First, the flavors, which you wouldn't think would work well with pizza dough, are surprisingly … [Read more...]

Ninja Speed Bumps

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I mentioned before that after few days of touching down in Brasilia, we started driving. It's been an interesting experience so far and I can't help but compare it to my previous driving experiences in other cities (mostly all in the US).  Generally, driving in Brasilia isn't so bad - after all the city was designed to be a driving city.  I guess "so bad" is subjective. I do find it easier than driving in DC, or San Francisco, or Chicago mainly because the traffic is so, so much lighter. Growing up in the Bay Area and living in the Washington DC area has made me really, really appreciate … [Read more...]

The Well-Adjusted Schnauzer

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When we were first preparing to move, I'll admit I was freaking out a little about the dog.  The regulations surrounding international pet transport and relocation, like many things, are very fragmented. The USDA has its own rules and requirements on exporting a pet; the receiving country has its own import rules on pets; and the airlines have their requirements on pets. While I was pretty sure I had covered all my bases, it wasn't until we got through customs in Brasilia that I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Like the rest of my children, DRJ has been a trooper. He rolls with the … [Read more...]