Friday, October 31, 2008

My Small Things List - November 01

Our family will be flocking to the cemetery tomorrow to pray for and visit our dearly beloved family members who have gone ahead. In the morning, we will be going to visit my mom. I plan to bring a picnic basket and some chairs so we can at least a good hour or so there to be with my mom. In the afternoon, we will be going to my husband's family and give candles and flowers for my FIL and other in-laws. I'm not sure if my husband would want us to go to the place where my FIL rests because for sure there will be a lot of people towards the end of the day.

Anyway, here's my small things list of this to bring for this trip:

1. Responsory for the Dead prayers
2. Rosaries
3. Flowers
4. Candles
5. Holy Water
6. Banig
7. Picnic umbrella
8. Food - siomai and siopao
9. Drinks - bottled water
10. Zoe's milk and biscuits
11. Chairs
12. Zoe's Maclaren

Hmmm....I guess I need to prep all the stuff to bring tomorrow ASAP. I hope it doesn't rain!

Need Help?

Many people are talking about and are interested in personal finance these days. I wonder if this because a lot of people need serious debt help. As you see and hear in the news now, things in the financial realm are somewhat unpredictable. One day you're up, the next day you're down. Even big banks crumble and file for bankruptcy. Well, that's really an eye-opener for companies and individuals. We really need to place all the safety nets to help prevent incurring high interest rates from credit card and other past due loans.

Here are tips can I share with regard to removing debt from your life:

1. Get debt consolidation help from reliable loan companies.
2. Pay more than the minimum of your credit card bill total.
3. Try snow-balling your credit card repayments.
4. Prioritize credit card payments before cash savings.
5. Get a loan from your Mom and Dad. Hahaha!

Actually, I've broken the bank and gone beyond my budget too many times before. But when I became a parent, I became more budget-conscious and try to be a good money manager. Now, every single day, I resolve to be more controlled in my spending (and it's very hard I tell you). If only all our debts will be paid off tomorrow!

Happy Halloween Everybody!


Happy Trick or Treating!

Accentuate Your Walls

Bare walls are always boring. Do you have bare walls that need accentuating? Are you looking for ways to decorate and improve your walls? Well, I've got the perfect solution for you.

You can now shop for wall decorations and accents without leaving the comforts of your home. The very answer is at the tip of your finger and it's just a few clicks away. Wall Decor and Home Accents offer online shopping options to those who want to purchase beautiful and attractive wall art that can fill your walls with aesthetic sense and life.

Aside from wall art, they also showcase beautiful metal wall art that is perfect for any room in your home or office. It can immediately transform your area into something majestic and ornate that nobody would think that it even costs cheaper compared to those being sold at the regular stores.

There are actually more options and choices to choose from. They have lovely canvas wall art that can serve as conversation pieces for guests and relatives who come to visit our house. It will also give a welcoming mood to anybody who enters the house. There are also contemporary art pieces that would enliven the tone of your walls.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How Can I Get in Touch?

One of my aunts is leaving again for Canada soon to be with my cousin's family. She is bound to leave I think after another one of her daughters celebrate her 18th birthday debut party. She's really looking forward to taking care of her grandchildren in Canada and celebrating Christmas with them. The only thing that bothers her is the cold weather there. Being not so young anymore, the winter gives her a hard time to move around and go out of the house.

Now I'm thinking of how I'll stay in touch with her to see how she's doing. Good thing I can always use the canada reverse phone directory to get a hold of their contact numbers there in Canada.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mommy Says, Zoe Says

Mommy says: I love you!
Zoe says: YOOOUUUU!!

Mommy says: Wake up Daddy.
Zoe says: DADDDDDDYYYY, 'SING (gising)!

Mommy says: Good girl ka?
Zoe says: GUUUUDDDDD!

Mommy says: One, two, three,...
Zoe says: Nine, Ten!

Mommy says: Where's Nanay (MIL)?
Zoe says: Sig. (Pasig)

Mommy says: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Zoe says: AMEN!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Coffee Break Ver. 1.42


I really don't think this is the spookiest ever but I'm writing down here the most recent paranormal story I experienced.

This happened only last Sunday...

My Dad and Ninang (my dad's new wife) were browsing through old photo albums of my deceased aunt from Germany and pictures of the trip to Germany of my deceased Lola. You see, my Ninang never got to meet my Tita and she said she wanted to see how she looked like. So while looking at the pictures, all of a sudden, our tv in the living room opened. I thought I sat on the remote control or something because I was the last one to use the tv. Anyway, the remote was nowhere near anybody because it was there just beside the tv itself. Of course, many may say that maybe the tv was unintentionally put on timer or wake up mode. But no, I don't think so because as I said, it was I who used it last. The scary part was, the tv opened at Channel 6 which was a dead channel (meaning, there's nothing showing there) and it made a very loud zzzzz sound that made us all jump.

Now I wonder if that was my aunt and lola's way of welcoming my Ninang into the family...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cleanup Event

As a part of the company's corporate social responsibility in action, the Heritage Web Solutions and their employees with their friends and family joined their efforts for a cleanup event. In coordination with the local city's parks and recreation department, they tried to make a lasting mark in the community by helping out in the improvement and development of the river trail system in the area.


Here is some news about their recent exciting activities:

Heritage Internet Technologies’ Good Works Committee is pleased to announce that we have teamed up with the Parks and Recreation department for the city of Provo, Utah in an effort to maintain the Moon River section of the Provo River Trail System.

The committee held their first cleanup event on September 24th 2008. We were pleased to see a large number of employees, as well as their families and friends, attend. Everyone was in good spirits, and had a great time as they dug in and brought this trail back to its original beauty.

The cleanup project included graffiti removal in the two tunnel portions of the trail section, vandalism repair, as well as litter and debris removal along the trail.

The HIT Good Works Committee conducts bi-weekly checks of the trail to ensure that it is being properly maintained. We will also be holding cleanup events once a month with our next event scheduled for October 29th 2008. We are looking forward to having as great of a turnout as we were able to have last month.

Heritage Internet Technologies has always been eager to find ways to give back to our surrounding community. We are very excited to join forces with the Provo City Parks and Recreation department to help maintain this beautiful trail system.

We would like to thank everyone involved in this cleanup project. We are proud to have such a generous group of employees, willing to dedicate their time to bettering our community.


Ain't this company a model for employee volunteerism? Not only do they help the community but also promote solidarity among their employees.

Recollection Day Today...

"Recollection. Seek God within you and listen to him." -J.E.


A day of recollection at least once a month ~ don't we need it all? Thank God for days such as these.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Setting the Tone in Your Home

Living areas differ from home to home. In particular, the living area, which is usually the first room that a person sees as he enters the house, sets the tone of the house. So many times, you want to decorate this room in a way that makes a statement about your and your family. The style, colors, accessories, the window treatments like Blinds, the placement and quality of the furniture speaks a lot.

So now take a look at the present state of your living room. Ask yourself if you want to change anything about it? Do you need to buy some pieces of furniture or accessories to serve as a good room highlight? Do you need to bring in the room more pieces that serve as storage to get the clutter in the room out of the way? Do you need to rearrange some pieces of furniture or do you need to spruce up your windows by Window Coverings or wooden window panels? If you plan to do the latter, then I suggest that you check out some of the Hunter Douglas Blinds online (they come out at a cheaper for the quality you buy) and see how you can improve the appearance of your windows not only in the living room area but also in the other rooms of the house.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cut Yourself from Time Slack

So busy at work right now that it hurts (my head aches, my back aches, my eyes ache, my feet ache, hahaha). Do you feel that way sometimes?

Here are some time-saving tips to cut yourself from some time slack:

1. Live close to places you go regularly such as your work, church, dentist, doctor, school, hairdresser, and the like.

>>>A major issue now for me is the "work" part - my daily 2-hour travel back and forth has become so stressful since unlike when I was still single, I now have mommy duties round the clock.

2. Use technology to save on time falling in line in stores and banks.

>>>I've been so blessed to discover the good things about online banking - I don't have to fall in line ever to pay for my bills.

3. Make early appointments and start on errands early.

>>>>For the past weeks, we have been going to the supermarket exactly at 9am, just as the store opens. There are less people, no lines and fresher produce (more picks for me).

4. Group errands to accomplish more things in one trip.

>>>My officemates and I always try to book a service to bring us to Glorietta or Landmark so that we can do our knick-knack shopping during the lunch break.

5. Take advantage of personalized services and restaurant deliveries.

>>>Whenever I need to bring home a cake or some pastries, I just call Red Ribbon or Goldilocks to deliver me the cake at the office. Easy as 1-2-3.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hotdog


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Shopping Last Weekend

Last Sunday, I went around the mall with my husband to check out the sale in the different stores. Since my husband had to go to the barber first for his regular haircut, we went our separate ways right after we got inside the mall. My first stop was the department store. It was still quite early so there were not much people going around yet. Initially, I went to the children's department. I was looking for a toilet adapter seat for Zoe who had just learned how to use the potty. I saw that she preferred to use the real toilet instead of her musical potty and so I thought we needed that toilet adapter seat so that she fits nicely into the hole of the toilet. Good thing, there was still one piece of toiler adapter seat waiting for me. Great! I bought it immediately and then proceeded to the shoe and clothes section. I didn't find anything nice enough there so I went to the household section. After a few minutes, I felt to tired to look for good discounts so I just stepped out of there with just the toilet thingy on hand. I then met with my husband and we went to stroll some more around the mall.

After having lunch and going around for a good thirty minutes or so, we stopped by the Handy Man store. Honestly, I think I can stay there for hours and enjoy myself. I don't think I missed a lane in that store. We went to check out the locks, the plastic mats, door knobs, plant seeds, decorative tiles, hangers, character stickers, glass frames, and many more. They also have a variety of discount steam showers but I didn't bother looking because I know that there are cheaper ones for sale which I can find at Unlimited Showers. Speaking of Unlimited Showers, they offer both affordable and high-end showers. You see, I have been browsing through their online shower store for the past days now because I am currently on the look out for great shower deals. You see our bathroom at the smaller house needs some renovation and I think that a sliding door shower enclosure would be perfect to improve its current state and appearance. Now I'm aching to buy shower enclosures online.

Anyway, when we got home from the mall, I opened my computer and went to do some more online shower shopping. Do you think I'll ever get tired of shopping?

On TV!

Guess what? I just got a call from someone from Channel _ asking if they can rent our humble home for a day of shooting for one of their shows (for a fee of course). That's on Sunday. Whoaaa! Well, whaddya know? The "House" is going to be on TV!


I wonder who are the celebrities who will be coming? Abangan!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Viral Linking

Vannie got me infected! LOL.

{Start Copy Here}
Rules:

1. Copy paste from {Start Copy Here} to {End Copy Here}
2. Please link back to the person who tagged you and PASS this tag to many of your friends
3. If you have more than one blog, please post this to all of your blogs, the more the merrier.
4. The use of NO FOLLOW on links is not allowed, Let’s all be fair!
5. Remember to come back here at JENNY TALKS (pls. don’t change this link)and leave the exact post url so I can add you to the master list to help increase our rankings and improve our Technorati Authority.
6. Spread the virus.. oooopps I mean the VIRAL LINKING and happy blogging!

BLOGGERS:#1. Scraps & Shots #2. Simply Jen 3. This and That 4. Fab & Chic Finds 5.A Slice of Life 6. Jenny Talks 7. Tech Stuff Plus 8. Food on the Table 9. Aussie Talks 10. When Mom Talks 11. Moments of My Life 12. My Crossroads 13. A Life in Bloom 14. Because Life is a Blessing 15. Digiscraptology 16. BLOGSILOG 14. Cherry’s Comfort Zone 15. DigiScrapz: Captured Memories 16. Buzzy Me 17. Fab Finds, Etc. 18. Thinking Out Loud 19. Wishing and Hoping 20. PRC Board Exam Results 21. Jobs Abroad 22. My Blog Portfolio17. Race Corner 18. Mommy Talks. 19. Home and Health 20. All Kinds of Me Stuff 21. Ink Baby Studios 22. The Salad Caper 23. Winding Creek Circle 24. Aggie Scraps 25. Momma Stuff 26. We Are Family 27. Gandacious 28. Busynessworld 29. Folcreative 30. Swanportraits 31. Rumination Under The Clouds 32. Consciously Think 33. Sprawt 34. Healthy Skinny 35. Geekyology 36. When Mom Speaks 37. Rumination 38. Etc Atbp 39. When Silence Speaks 40. When Sahmone Speaks 41.FunFierceFabulous 42.Ozzy's Mom 43.Kidd Designs 44.Me,Myself+2 45. On A Wonderful Day Like Today 46. House Everything 47. Your blog here.

{END Copy Here}

Passing this "virus" to Sheryll and Jhona!

Looking for Love

I had lunch with a friend from MBA last week and we talked about how our lives have been since we last saw each other. I was so "entertained" with her stories about her past boyfriends and how they broke up. As we're not getting any younger, I urged her to not to lose hope and continue trying to meet new people and to date more. Since we have a common friend who found love through online personals (they got married last year and are now happily together), I even told her to call that friend of ours and ask for some advice regarding the use of Personals to meet single guys.

This post sponsored by US Online Personals.

Friends are Like Orchids

One of the simplicity tips of Beth Dargis stuck me today:

"Take a look at the health of your relationships. Spend some extra time with someone today."

As I reflect at the state of my current friendships, I feel kinda sad that I am not as in touch as before with my old friends. Neither do I have new active friendships (aside from my online friends). What is happening to me? Why are my friends so few now? Hmmm. I think I need to apply this advice given to me before - "Friends are like orchids, you have to water them and talk to them so that your relationship with them will grow."

More on My Christmas List

I made use of the time going to the office to come up with several lists about several things that I needed to remember. These lists are very random and ranges from baby names, dinner ideas, recipes, shopping lists, etc.

Well, I also thought of my Christmas list. This is not necessarily just for myself but for the whole family and some friends. I see the need to really budget our Christmas bonus well so that it does not go to unnecessary purchases just like what has been happening in the past.

Anyway, here's my list:

1. new 14-inch TV for the helpers (our 20-year old TV broke down last week).

2. eyeglasses for me. I have been browsing through the different eyeglasses available at Zenni Optical and I am surprised at how cheap their eyeglasses are compared to the local eyewear stores here. My old pair is already worn out. It has been my pair for a good three years. I also broke the ear tips last month while I was cleaning it. I thought that it could be repaired so I brought it to one of the stores in the mall. They said that I had to order specially-made tips which would probably cost more than a new pair. Actually, when I bought this pair, it would probably be equal to 4 pairs of eyeglasses if I buy at Zenni Optical. The quality that you get is as high plus there are more styles to choose from compared to the local store. It's even found in a Chicago Tribune article (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/chi-ym-spending-0722jul22,0,2050256.story) that high quality at a cheap price can be purchased none other than in Zenni Optical. Therefore, getting a new pair at Zenni Optical is surely one of the wise things that I could do this Christmas.

3. a pair of black flats - something that's sturdy, stylish and comfortable

4. a new watch for Hunny. The strap of his sports watch broke the other month and he has no choice but to wear is Swiss watch all the time.

Anyway, the list goes on and on but I think this is all I really want for now. I'm really feeling budget-conscious nowadays.

On Cheerfulness

Christian cheerfulness is not something physiological. Its foundation is supernatural, and it goes deeper than illness or difficulties.

—Cheerfulness does not mean the jingling of bells, or the gaiety of a dance at the local hall.

True cheerfulness is something deeper, something within: something that keeps us peaceful and brimming over with joy, though at times our face may be stern.

-J.E.

Another Day at Work

I just arrived in the office after going through an hour and a half of traffic. My husband had to leave for work early so I had no choice but to commute. Anyway, I punched in just right on time at 8:30 a.m. Yesterday, I literally closed our office since I was the last one to leave. I already went home at around 9:30 p.m. last night. Yeah, it's another unpaid overtime work for me and I think today will be no different.

Another, it's another day at work today. I checked my telephone and this early, I already have around 7 missed calls, 5 of which are not familiar with me. Could it be another one of those telemarketers offering me a multi-purpose loan or a hotel membership? Well, I guess I'll be able to know that when I get that reverse phone directory. Meantime, got to start working.

Planning on a Mini-bar

My husband and I would occasionally go to bars when we were dating. Actually, even up to now, when time permits, we would drop by our favorite bar to have a couple of drinks. We would sit near the pub tables, stare at each other's eyes and just talk.

But ever since I gave birth, you can actually count the number of times we went out till past midnight. I just feel so guilty now and could not anymore bear leaving the baby to the nanny. At one time, when I said to no my husband's invitation for us to go to a bar one Friday night, we compromised by just buying some bottles of beer in the supermarket on the way home. When we got home, we placed the bottles in the freezer and then took them out after having dinner with the family.

So, where did we drink those bottles of beer? Well, sad to say, we drank it all in the kitchen (while our daughter sleeps in her crib in the living room). And although our kitchen is cozy, it does not have that bar atmosphere. So most of the time, we just end up sleepy and not really in the mood to have a nightcap.

Because of this, I told Hunny that maybe we can make use of the extra space in the corner of our dining room to construct a mini-bar where we can put some comfy bar stools which we can find at Premier Barstools. Anyway our dining room is big enough to accommodate the bar and stools. With a mini-bar, we can have a bar-like atmosphere anytime we want without having to go out the house. And I won't feel as guilty because I left the baby to the nanny, right? Besides, we can already take out from the pantry all our wine collection plus the wine glasses and free up significant space in our pantry too. Moreover, during special reunions or get-togethers, while the women sit around the dining table, the men can gather around the bar and sit on extra tall stools so that they can drink some wine or beer. In addition, having a mini-bar can also serve as a nook during lazy mornings when we both want to have just a cup of warm coffee instead of a heavy breakfast. Isn't this a great idea? I'm actually very much looking forward to having a nightcap with my husband right in our very home soon.

Mango Panna Cotta

I love to eat panna cotta. Just sharing the recipe that I use to make one.


photo credit here


PANNA COTTA:

BASE:
1 can evaporated milk
2 packs all-purpose cream
1-2 Tablespoons caster sugar (white sugar)
2 packs Alsa (unflavored gelatin)
½ teaspoon vanilla

TOPPING:
2 pcs. ripe mangoes, sliced thinly
3 Tablespoons caster sugar (white sugar)
5 Tablespoons water

Base:

Put milk, all-purpose cream, sugar and vanilla in a pan and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is just about to boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the infusion back into a clean pan.

Soak the gelatin in 6 tablespoons warm water until spongy. Whisk into the cream mixture and heat gently until the gelatin has dissolved.

Pour into four lightly greased 150 ml moulds and refrigerate until set.

Topping:

Peel and slice the mangoes thinly and arrange on top of the hardened gelatin. Put sugar and water in a pan and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool and pour mixture over the mangoes. Serve cold.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recalling Those Days in Europe

Ever since I got to go around some cities in Europe a few years ago, my mind always dream of going back to experience more of the European life. My memories are still very fresh and vivid even if the trip occurred quite a long time ago. I could still remember the day we arrived in Rome. I felt so harassed right before the trip because I was rushing to prepare my speech for the convention that we were supposed to attend. Therefore, I felt so tensed during the whole 16-hour flight. I could barely sleep.

Anyway, when we finally reached Leonardo da Vinci airport which led to the eternal city that is Rome, we were greeted by a great "Arrivederci" and a cool breeze of the city. Our hostel had a homey feeling and the bath tubs there were simply fabulous! Just to tell you, I spent the a good hour soaked in the tub in order to calm my nerves for the presentation that I was giving in the afternoon. Oh boy, it was heaven!

Anyway, my presentation went better that I expected and after getting that out of the way, I was so ready to embrace Rome. We stayed there for a whole week. We flew to Spain via Barcelona after that for more educational and cultural touring. In Barcelona, we stayed in this beautiful hotel that is smacked next to the bull fight arena. The hotel rooms had quality walk in tubs that when my roommate saw the place, she was shrieking and shouting "Thank you, Lord!" (I can still imagine that moment now and it was hilarious).

After Barcelona, it was a tour of the other cities in Spain, namely: Torrecuidad (which has the pilgrim church of Our Lady of Torrecuidad), Pamplona (a beautiful place with a population that was full of young families and cheerful folk), Avila (famous for Sta. Teresa de Avila and St. John of the Cross), Saragossa (Our Lady of the Pillar), and Toledo (the former capital of Spain). We also made a little side trip to the pilgrim town of Lourdes in France (it was so worthwhile to take that trip). And lastly, for our final destination, we went to Madrid.

Aside from the Palacio Real de Madrid and Museo del Prado, Madrid equated to shopping for me. We spent five whole days going around the shopping malls and boutiques in Madrid and I love it there. We fancied ourselves there with great leather finds, discount clawfoot tubs, so many colognes and perfumes, jewelry and many more. It was the perfect way to cap our tour.

Now, remembering all of these places makes me ache to go back there, this time, with my husband and daughter. I hope we can save up for it soon.

On My Christmas List...

Do you agree that living frugality and true virtue of poverty does not exactly mean not buying anything but planning ahead, buying superior goods that will last a longer time (so you need not keep on buying) and also religiously taking care of your stuff (weekly cleaning if needed)? Well, I believe in this philosophy and this is what I plan to do this Christmas.

For starters, no more ukay-ukay (which I just tend to give away), no more cheap shoes (they "smile" way before I get my ROI) and no more inferior make-up (they just don't do the trick compared to those better brands).

If you know how to read between the lines, I'm actually airing out what I want for Christmas. Hahaha. Hunny, are you reading this?

Duct Cleaning Equipment, Etc.

I had just put down the telephone after talking to my good friend Tina. We haven't spoken for a very long time and I'm glad we got in touch again. She recently moved back to the central business district because her new company merged with another and they had to transfer. This was good, I thought, because apart from being nearer my office (we can see each other more often), their new office building is so much bigger and nicer now.

Anyway, we talked about so many things. We even got to talk about how the air-conditioning was at the office (we used to be officemates). She told me that when she was still working with us, she had bouts some sort of asthma maybe because the office needed some air duct cleaning. She even suggested that the property manager conduct regular use of their duct cleaning equipment so that the air ducts are always clean. Right before she resigned, their whole division transferred to our new building wherein they used state-of-the-art Heat Seal air duct equipment so everything was alright. Too bad, she received a better offer and a higher position that she couldn't resist. We didn't see each other that often after that. But now, her place of work is only almost a stone's throw away. We can have lunch together as often as we want now and talk about duct equipment and much, much more.

A Trike for Zoe this Christmas

Yesterday, while out in the playground, we saw how Zoe stared at the other kid's trike. Zoe was riding her own car-car that time and wouldn't take her eyes off the girl on her yellow trike. And then today, when we went for a short trip to the mall (hubby got a haircut while I window-shopped), we saw this very nice trike that I think would be a nice Christmas gift for Zoe.We didn't buy it yet coz it was not in the plan (control!). Well, I just hope it's still available by mid-November when we get our Christmas money. :-)

I also searched online and found something that looks even better coz it's Dora the Explorer! Saw this one at Toys 'R' Us online. I'm not sure if we can find the same model here or if someone would be kind enough to ship it all the way to Manila. But I'm sure Zoe will be a very happy kid when she gets this for Christmas (I would!).

I know that I just talked about saving but who can deny that Christmas is for kids? :-)

Control, Control

Well, what do you know, we're almost halfway through the weekend and we have somehow managed to go to the mall but not spend anything on credit. I purposely left my credit card at home so that when we had to go and do our weekly grocery, our cash in hand will be enough to cover for our total grocery bill. At first, it was really hard because we weren't used to being so conscious of what we picked up along the aisles. We both know that what we needed to buy should only be the essentials so we tried to check each other first if we really "needed" to buy that extra kilo of beef or that box of biscuits. Sometimes, it felt painful, even somewhat heroic, to get over our wants and just stick to our grocery list and weekly menu. Good thing, we supported each other very well.

My husband and I both know that we have used our credit cards too much in the past already and it's now high time to pay for all our debts. We plan to get a non profit debt consolidation loan soon. This is on top of our combined 13th month pay and Christmas bonus that is due this mid-November. I read somewhere that using your credit card and then not paying for the whole amount due the following month is a simple way of saying that you are living beyond your means. If you do not clear your debt right away, you pay a huge amount of interest that should have been better put on your savings account. I would have to raise my hand there and say "guilty as charged" when it comes to credit card debts. No excuses, really. I really lacked control in the past. But I am definitely trying to reform. My first step is really to avail of that debt consolidation and get that much needed rehabilitation from this addiction of mine. Well, good luck to me. I'm sure it will get tougher this coming holiday season.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Security Concerns

My husband recently attended the homeowners' association meeting in our village. He told me that the main point of discussion was the security within the subdivision. They said that although there are no cases of theft or presence of Child Molesters for the past years, there is still an urgent need to solidify our security measures in order to avoid any untoward incident from happening. Being parents, we second the motion to deploy more security guards who will make regular rounds in the village to maintain the security and order in our area.

Gift-wrapping Lessons, Anyone?

I just received another invitation from Home Matters for their October activity. Here are the details:

Home Matters invites you to experience the fun of gift-wrapping (with hands-on) with MS. ZARA RACHO, hobbyist turned businesswoman.


Date: October 25, 2008 (Saturday)
Time: 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Place: Amorsolo East, Rockwell, Makati City
Fee: Php 250 (inclusive of snacks and materials)

I'm so looking forward to this! Care to join?

So Timely

I was running to catch a call from my mobile phone only to hear from an agent trying to offer me a new credit card plus a loan! What a time-waster since I don't need a new credit card nor a loan. And then I read in the internet about the No Call List Information wherein your personal numbers will be deleted from the databases of these marketing agents who try to sell you anything and everything. I experience being bothered by many of those agents often that I always think twice whenever I have to answer an unknown number. However, if the number is regarding a job offer, I would be more than eager to pay for the service of Reverse Cell Phone Lookups to know more about the details of a missed call.

This post sponsored by Who's Number is That.

Busy Bee

I just need to stop a little to take a breather! Work has been so busy! Never in my entire career has my table been filled with so much paper and file! Whaa! I need an assistant!

Where Did That Come From?

Part of my job is to assist in the queries of our employees regarding their salaries and benefits. This entails that we be available to explain whatever questions they have. And since we operate on a nationwide and even global environment, we often get calls from everywhere. It could be from the southernmost part of the country or the northernmost part. In some cases, we would need the help of Phone Number Tracer to determine the point of origin for some of the calls we receive daily but miss answering. With this information at hand, we are able to know if this is coming from one of our many offices or branches.

This post sponsored by Trace Phone Numbers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coffee Break Ver. 1.40

Here's Jan's coffee break question:




Well, since my daughter is still young to talk with me (though I love that she's learning to talk and say many things -- to blog about this separately), I thought at first that I don't have anything to share for this week's coffee break. Then I remembered "my kids" when I was still teaching catechism to street kids. I was doing that weekly for about 3 years or more.

Yup, I was a true-blue catechist during my college years. My friends and I would go to the community near what used to be called K-Mart (near Katipunan/Ateneo) to teach the kids there about God and virtues. There were many squatters there before. Later on, they were all relocated by the government somewhere in Montalban (I think).

Oh boy, I loved those kids. I used to be afraid of them because I thought that they would be the future pick-pockets and criminals in QC. But no, their sweaty faces and dirty noses grew on me. I was able to look beyond the physical. We were able to see them every Saturday and then after every class, my friends and I would make visits to their tiny homes and try to meet and talk with their parents, especially the mothers. It felt great because I was able to forget myself every time I talk to these poverty-stricken (but full of hope) people. Our conversations were all very memorable.

Anyway (sorry for the long intro), one time, on my way to school one stormy morning, I went down from the jeepney in Katipunan to catch another ride going to UP. But the sidewalks were all flooded and problematic. Some of "my kids" were there and they were wise enough to put big stones on the street so that the people can cross the flood without submerging their feet/shoes in the water, but for a small fee, of course. When one of the boys saw me, they shouted "Ate Vina, Ate Vina! Padaanin nyo si Ate Vina! Ate namin nya eh." (or something like that). Haha. They held my hand and helped me pass through without having to wade in the flood. Obviously, I also need not pay them. The other people were looking at me with a big "?" mark on their faces. True enough, I was their "Ate Vina" and I felt like a million bucks (with a happy heart), though soaking wet! When I went to visit them that week, we all had a good laugh about our short encounter in the street. :-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bathroom Happy

Are you happy with the way your bathroom looks? Or is going inside the bathroom in your house make you feel down?

Our house is a made up of two buildings, if you can call it that. We have the main house, a 3-bedroom home, where my family stays. Each bedroom has an adjacent bathroom. We also have a smaller house at the back, an annex of sorts, which is actually a house in itself. It has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It is where our helper, her son and the nanny stay. So all in all (let me count), we have a total of 4 bathrooms in the house and I think that's a lot!

When we had these bathrooms installed, we had to go to various home depot shops to canvass for the best bathroom furnishings available. Since those furniture and fixtures were not part of the contractor's price, we opted to delay buying those vanity products until towards the end of the house construction because we wanted to buy those with the highest quality, of course, can be for a higher price. Since I was not such an internet-addict at the time (am a self-confessed internet addict now?), I literally had to drag my Mom to the stores so that we can look for the best buys in town. It was a great bonding moment for us. Besides, it was so much fun choosing the colors and designs that we will have for these bathrooms. Compared to our bedroom furniture hunt, this was more exciting for me. And if you're like me who can stay in the bathroom for hours (although my schedule almost does not permit this), the bathroom for me has to be a place of comfort and relaxation too.

It really helped that there are available choices for single bathroom vanities online now. There you can choose the color, size and model you like. In our case, we had to look for furniture which should match the bathroom floors and wall tiles. The bathroom tile color combinations we came up with were: mocha and celadon green for Francis, blue and white for my husband and I, red and white for my parents and brown (almost the color of brick) and cream for the helpers. With these combinations in mind, we purchased the matching wooden vanities. It all looked great!

So, if you ask me now how I feel about our bathrooms at home, well, I am definitely bathroom-happy!

P.S. Well, of course, being able to clean all four bathrooms is another story. Hahaha!

My Small Things List

Here's just to remind myself to buy the following for our house:

1. Plastic socket protectors
2. Chain locks for the back door
3. Padlock replacements for the front gates
4. Additional rags
5. Liquid handsoap
6. Gardening scissors

...I think there are more but I can't remember anymore. Gosh.

Loving the Web

Web publishing and blogging has been one of the more interesting things I'm trying to learn these days. I admit I have zero knowledge when it comes to HTML but I guess if I put some effort, I can manage to learn at least the basics. And to be honest, I really feel more at ease now with blogging my thoughts here daily. Of course, I am open to all sorts of comments and Website Reviews but that should not stop me from sharing things that are of value to me. Never mind if I will never be listed as part of the Top Websites. What is important for me is that I get to impart some goods things to the others and at the same time, I learn more and enjoy myself in the process.

This post sponsored by Talk Reviews.

The Suzuki Method

I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.
—Shin'ichi Suzuki

Have you heard about the Suzuki method? Well, I first encountered this when my sister had a research about this in one of her Music subjects in UP. If I remember it right, she had to teach a very young kid and an adult, both with no music background, on how to play the piano. Well, she was successful I guess because only after a few weeks of teaching, both were able to single-handedly play infront of a live audience.

Here are some information on the Suzuki Method according to Wikipedia:

It was conceived in the mid-20th century by Shin'ichi Suzuki, a violinist who desired to bring some beauty to the lives of children in his country after the devastation of World War II. From his perspective as an adult skilled at violin but beginner at the German language who struggled to assimilate it, Suzuki noticed that all children pick up their native language very quickly, and even dialects which adults consider "difficult" to learn are spoken with ease by people of 5 or 6 years. He reasoned that if children have the skill to acquire their mother tongue, then they have the necessary ability to become proficient on a musical instrument. He pioneered the idea that any pre-school age child could begin to play the violin if learning steps were small enough and if the instrument was scaled down to fit their body. He modeled his method, which he called "Talent Education" (才能教育, sainō kyōiku?), after his theories of natural language acquisition.

Suzuki believed that every child, if properly taught, was capable of a high level of musical achievement. He also made it clear that the goal of such musical education was to raise generations of children with "noble hearts" (as opposed to creating famous musical prodigies).
The Suzuki method was first developed in
Japan. It spread from there to other Pacific Rim countries, and then to Europe. The method has also begun to be taught in a few places in Africa. Although it originally used the study of the violin to achieve its goals, it has also been adapted for other instruments: flute, recorder, piano, guitar, cello, viola, bass, organ, harp and voice. In addition, there are a few "Suzuki Preschools" which have adapted Suzuki's philosophy to use in the non-musical disciplines of early childhood education.

My second encounter with this method was during a field trip that we had in one of my Educ subjects. We went to the Greenhills Music Studio of the Arambulo's and saw young kids learn how to play the piano and the violin.

Hmm....interesting right? Maybe I can enroll Zoe there as soon as she's old enough to join a program.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Do You Recycle At Home?

I am lifting this material from here because I think it is worthwhile to spread the word about recycling. Read on...

General tips for recycling and avoiding rubbish:

1. Buy a smaller rubbish container for the kitchen. This makes you to remember to recycle.
2. Make sure bottles and tins are clean before putting in the recycling bin. This prevents flies both at home and the recycling station.
3. Reorganise the kitchen so it has an efficient recycling area with good sized bins to help with sorting and holding. This will encourage other members of the household to contribute and help share the work instead of it being reliant on one person.
4. Cutting both the tops and the bottoms off tin cans (and placing them inside) and squashing them makes them smaller to fit into the recycling bin.
5. Put a 'no junk mail' sticker on your letter box. You'll be amazed at how much this reduces your rubbish.
6. Spread the word. By telling other people and helping them to get started, we increase the savings that can be made. Also get your children involved – if we can educate them early, they will grow up and appreciate waste reduction and will be able to apply these skills in later life.

This is Me Today

I finally got to do this tag from online friend Sheryll. I was browsing just now at some Website Reviews and remembered that I still owed some people tags. She sent this to me ages ago and I hope it's not too late!

Rules:
1. List 6 things that describe yourself today.
2. Add your blog to the list. Feel free to add all your other blogs.
3. Tag other online friends you know.

Today, I:
1) ...started the day right. I went to Makati early, was able to go to mass and there was even enough time to pray the rosary.
2) ...am trying to beat a deadline at work but with the volume of things that needs to be done, I am at a loss! I've been looking for the Top South African Websites earlier this morning and I hope this research can help me with the study that I'm doing.
3) ...ate Chicken Joy for lunch plus had a fruit shake. Yummy!
4) ...had a headache again. Good thing my boss gave me her ponstan. :-)
5) ...am planning for a weekend get-away with hubby to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary (just the two of us).
6) ...am looking forward to going home to be with dear Zoe. Her vocabulary's increasing by the day.

Thanks Sheryll! I enjoyed this! Better late than never!

This post sponsored by Talk Reviews.

Boo!

Yikes! Halloween is just around the corner and I haven't even found yet a nice costume for Zoe.

I guess I'll have to hit the mall soon and look for one. Be trick or treating soon!

Quick Reviews

In the past, when I am asked about my hobbies, reading books and magazines would often be on the top of my list. But as the years pass by and my interests evolve, reading now can be extended to more than just books and magazines but also reading Top Websites and great blogs online. Is the same true for you? But you know as in the case of having criteria for the books and magazines I read, I also look up on Website Reviews to have a quick review of the site in order for me to know the general content of the sites that I read so that the things I encounter are good for me and not just trash material.

My Cousin's Wedding

My favorite cousin Joefa (aka Net-net) got hitched to Edward last October 10, 2008 in Chicago. Too bad, we missed it! Anyway, best wishes and congratulations to you both! We love you!



Above: Nina, Net and Jay ~ You all look fab here girls!

Monday Blues

I went home late (as usual) from work today. It was a very long day. I've been working on the promotions and salary increases of our employees and it seems to be never ending. On top of that, I still need to start on the database of the employees in our foreign branches and offices and make sure I get to Locate Area Codes for each of the branches in the US (for our directory) before I completely turn over all of it to my officemate. I have to make sure everything is in order before our new staff comes in before the year ends. Meanwhile, it's work, work, work!

Weekly Simplicity Tips

I must say I'm a huge fan of Beth Dargis of My Simpler Life. Here's this week's simplicity tips she sent though email:

1. What part of your work do you enjoy? Can you concentrate on enjoying your work rather than everything you need to do?
2. Don't do any work one day this week.
3. Create email templates with responses to frequent emails you receive either through your email client or by keeping a folder of replies in text form.
4. Commit to a time to stop for lunch.
5. Schedule 20 minutes to read sometime this week.
6. What do you need to tell yourself the truth about?
7. Look in the newspaper for a craft fair to attend.

Whaa! I need a simpler life, definitely!

Inmates

I've been finding so many databases available online and one of the interesting things you can look up are the names of inmates across America. Technology indeed has brought in so many great solutions to people's needs. Now you can already make a county inmate search if you happen to be looking for a particular person who may have been imprisoned somewhere. These online public records are really something.

On Marriage and Family

Before I got married, I was advised to read a spiritual book entitled "Three to Get Married". Indeed, the book was an eye-opener for someone like me who was getting a little too much into just the material preparations of the wedding day itself. I realized then that getting married is not just about the ring, or the cake, or the honeymoon. Marriage sure is a vocation and a holy vocation at that. Now, being married for almost 3 years, I realize how grateful I am for that person who advised me to also prepare myself spiritually prior to marriage. Putting God part of your marriage is the only clear solution to staying happily married. And as I live my current role as a wife and also now also as a mother, I always ask God to assist us especially in the difficult moments in our married life.

Here are some quotes from St. Josemaria from Christ is Passing By on family and marriage which I want to share with you. It answers my questions on the purpose of marriage and the reason why it can be your/my path to sanctity.

We cannot talk about marriage without referring to the family, which is the result and continuation of what is begun with marriage. A family includes not only husband and wife, but also the children, and, in different degrees, the grandparents, other relatives, and even the domestic help in those households that have it. All these persons should in some way share in the warmth of the home and family.

Of course, there are couples to whom our Lord does not grant any children. If this happens, it is a sign that he is asking them to go on loving each other with the same affection and to put their efforts, if they can, into serving and working for the good of other souls. But the normal thing for a couple is to have children, who must always be their first concern.

Being a father or a mother is not simply a matter of bringing children into the world. The capacity for generation, which is a share in the creative power of God, is meant to have a continuation. Parents are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the development of their children into men and women who will be authentic Christians.

The parents are the first persons responsible for the education of their children, in human as well as in spiritual matters. They should be conscious of the extent of their responsibility. To fulfil it, they need prudence, understanding, a capacity to love and a concern for giving good example. Imposing things by force, in an authoritarian manner, is not the right way to teach. The ideal attitude of parents lies more in becoming their children's friends — friends who will be willing to share their anxieties, who will listen to their problems, who will help them in an effective and agreeable way

Parents should find time to spend with their children, to talk with them. They are the most important thing — more important than business or work or rest. In their conversations, parents should make an effort to listen, to pay attention, to understand, to recognize the fact that their children are sometimes partly right — or even completely right — in some of their rebellious attitudes. At the same time, they should help their children to direct their efforts and to carry out their projects properly, teaching them to consider things and to reason them out. It is not a matter of imposing a line of conduct, but rather of showing the human and supernatural motives for it. In a word, parents have to respect their children's freedom, because there is no real education without personal responsibility, and there is no responsibility without freedom.

Family Tree

Before TP became my boyfriend years ago, I had always been curious about his family. You see, he is the youngest among a brood of eight. Compared to my own family (I only have 1 sibling), this is really big for me. So the day after I said "yes" to him, he had a litany of the names of his grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, in-laws, nephews and nieces for my information. I wrote that whole lds genealogy down on a big piece of paper which was almost filled up! Up to now, I still have that paper tucked in somewhere safe serving both as a keepsake and a valuable information guide of sorts. Good thing nowadays, you can already look for your family history online. Ain't that great?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Maybe...

...the reason why I'm not getting preggy is because I'm still a bit overweight (haha!).

Guys, need a little push to revive my exercise routine. I would love to do Pilates and running again. I used enjoy all of these because not so long ago, I was THIN!!! (sob sob).

Any suggestions on how to get myself back in shape?


photo credit here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hey!


Myspace Countdown Clock

Butterfly Award

I received this cute butterfly award from Tet ~ happy birthday to Izech! Looks like you had a fun party!


The mechanics of the tag is below:
~ Put the logo on your blog.
~ Add a link to the person who awarded you.
~ Nominate 10 other blogs.
~ Add links to those blogs on yours.
~ Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

I'm passing this on to Mari, Jesse, Trinity, Sherryl, Hailey, Jhona and Eds!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Christmas Season is Coming Up!

During my one-day sick leave last Wednesday, I had enough strength during the late afternoon to tackle our middle cabinet which was full of clutter and knick-knacks. And as I was sorting out some boxes filled with different sorts of paper supplies, I came across a bunch of unused Christmas cards with envelopes which are still in good condition. So I pulled it out from the box and hope to find the time to write those Christmas cards in advance so as to avoid delays associated with snail mails. Now if only I could find out the mailing address of some my relatives abroad (I only know their phone numbers). I guess I'd better click on Nationwide Phone Lookup to find out their where I can mail those cards.

Coke Addict


I, Mommy Vina, do solemnly swear, that I will stop giving Coke or any softdrink to my 2-year old so that the kid will not develop an addiction as swell of her mother's. So help me God. :-)

More on Time Management

To save on time, it is best to return all phone calls during a specific time period instead of on responding to each one erratically. If you miss out on some phone calls from unknown callers, allot a particular time to Find Out Who Called You. You may take advantage of the National No Call Registry to help you.

This post sponsored by Find Out Who's Calling.

Window Cleaning

Cleaning professionals know that plain water can easily clean lightly soiled windows. But if you put off washing your windows until they're really dirty, then you would need somthing more potent. You can either make use of a home-made solution or just buy a commercial glass cleaner.

In Search of Some People

Have you been trying to locate some people whom you have lost touch with through the years? Or probably you want to contact some supplier and don't know who to get their contact details. If yes, then maybe you can use People Search to find out how to locate these people. It's the easiest way to get the location or phone numbers of people anywhere in the world.

This post sponsored by
Worldwide People Locator.

Time Management

Here are some tips on time management:

1. Each evening, try to list approximately 10 items to accomplish for the next day.
2. Rank each item on the list (1, 2, 3, ...) depending on its importance or stress level.
3. Enter the To Do tasks in your calendat so that they correspond with your biological rhythms.
4. Cross each item off the list as you complete it and transfer unfinished items to the next day's list.


Source: Getting Organized by Stephanie Winston

Delays

It's another day at work and I have been pretty busy. To start off, it was so rainy on the way to work so there was more than the usual traffic. And then when I arrived, my computer wouldn't turn on so I had to call our computer support to find out the reason for the problem. Because of this, work was delayed. I still needed to check on some Court Records and also print out several letters so I was rushing for the guy to repair my computer. Thank goodness it was just a problem with my computer's power supply. After 30 minutes, I was able to start with my work.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tita and Zoe

My sister was in Manila last weekend and we got to spend some time together. It was so much fun!

Zoe and her tita-look-alike:


"Tita, can you pls. give me a fone for Christmas?" Lol.


Until we see each other again -- maybe when we go to Iloilo!

Help is Underway

I am no drug and alcohol addiction expert. In fact, I think I can be one of those who can be very naive when it comes to drug addiction and drug rehabilitation. Maybe it is because I have no close encounter with this issue in my own family. However, drug addiction is real. It does not just happen in Hollywood movies. What’s also important is that the ill-effects of drug use are also real and there are more and more real people who get hooked to drugs.

Given this, I am still positive that there is still hope and that help is underway. There may be no one answer that works for everyone. People are individuals. Not all solutions work for everyone, one person may get off of drug addiction while the other person may not. “Tough love” may work for some, for others it doesn’t. The same is true with going to an intervention therapist. Some need it more than others do. AA and NA programs work for some, not for others. Other techniques, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, or motivational interviewing therapy, can be effective for some. Since the field of drug and alcohol counseling is still rather new, progress is still being made as scientists discover more about the brain and addiction and as drug counselors and treatment centers learn more with regard to treating addicts. Personally, I think that what the drug addict needs, first and foremost, is love (from the families or friends). They also need serious moral and professional support. Because for a drug addict, it can be a very tough fight. It can go up to the point of losing his own life. But it doesn’t have to be this way. His family can give him the strength to support him and convince him that he needs drug detoxification in a drug rehab. If this is the best answer or not, well, what is more important to agree on is we should not stop looking for the right techniques and approaches to get the addict to be motivated to lead a functional clean and sober life.

TAG Meeting with NCCT Exec

I recently joined TAG (Television Advocacy Group), a group of concerned mothers whose mission and vision is the following:

VISION :
To establish an association of TV viewers who can effectively influence the content of local programming on free TV. This means getting network owners, producers, directors, stars and advertisers to hear the association’s opinion on particular media content.

MISSION :
To positively influence the content of local TV programs in terms of :
1. values portrayed;
2. decency in speech , dressing and action;
3. contribution to intellectual development of viewers;
4. promotion of healthy love for country; and
5. respect for religious beliefs.


We met with National Council for Children's Television (NCCT) Executive Director Alice Panares and discussed our possible collaboration in promoting good TV viewing habits especially for children. We had a very engaging and enlightening discussion on how children can be educated to make wise choices of tv shows, with the guidance of their parents, of course.



Again, TAG found a renewed sense of hope that it is possible to bring about good influence to the public through constant vigilance and the proper education of parents, teachers and kids.

Mortgage Loans During This Financial Crisis?

I was on leave yesterday due to severe migraine so I just stayed the whole day at home to rest my head. I also played awhile with my daughter Zoe who seemed so glad to find me just at home with her. I also watched a bit of TV and in between commercials about mortgage loans, I also incidentally got hooked on CNN and Bloomberg during their live telecast of the proposal of UK's Finance Minister Alistair Darling on UK's move to help the dropping economy worldwide and fortify their economy by infusing several billions of dollars into the market. He was saying that what the market needs now is for banks to gain back the confidence on each other so they can start lending to each other again. Really, since I work in a bank, I almost felt fidgety with all of these recent developments in the US and Asian economy. Yesterday was noted to be a really bad for Japan, the second biggest economy, so I am pretty sure it will trickle to other Asian markets sooner than I thought it would.

Now I wonder how many companies can offer bad credit home loan because for sure there will be a lot of people who will either lose jobs or take a bad effects of the bad economy (i.e. inflation, interest rate cuts, etc.). I think that loans for people with bad credit are now so timely for it can be the solution to their existing obligations whether for home or car mortgage or credit card debts.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Melamine-Free

I know that everyone (especially mothers like me) had a bit of a scare because of the melamine issue in China.

So when we wanted to open a box of chocolates from the States, we had to check first the country of origin, the place of manufacture, expiry date, etc. etc.


Nope, no melamine there.

Chomp-chomp-chomp...


Totally yummy and melamine-free!

Mommy, I Love Pansit!


My little girl loves to eat pansit (with some sips of Coke!).

Rose Award

Thank you Trinity for this lovely rose. It truly brightened up my day!

The rules of the award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you've nominated.

Passing this to everyone!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Special Award



The rules are:
* The winner may put the logo on his or her blog.
* Put a link to the person you got the award from.
* Nominate five blogs.
* Put links to the blogs.
* Leave a message to the nominees.

Thank you so much Jesse for this special award. Na-touch naman ako. :-) I also received this award from Chris. Hi Chris, thank you so much!

In return, I am nominating the following blogs:

1. Ai - for being a reflective writer and a great Pinay mom in Poland
2. Agnes - for always being true and sincere in her posts (she's friendly too!)
3. Vannie - for her kikay-ness and her flair for fab things
4. Dyes - for being my newest friend online
5. Pat - for putting her creative juices to life -- good luck on your online biz!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why It Helps to have a Notebook

I thought that it would be more practical for me to type all reminders, computations, and to do lists in my computer at home. But after some months of trying it out, I always feel completely exhausted and lazy to open the computer, open the file, check the lists, etc., etc.

And then I found some notebooks lying around the house and thought of making use of these to replace my computer "organization" files. And it worked!

Now my life is simpler. All I have to do is open my notebook, scribble the things I need to remember and the list of my To do's. I make it a point to highlight the important ones so I could go back to it. I find that this is more effective for me rather than sticking my nose on the computer all the time!

On a side note, I just love the notebooks from Paperchase (picture above). I got mine from Borders when we went to Singapore last year. Wish I could buy some more for next year.

Wrong Decision

Because of my love for travel and for freebies and discount, I had entertained this certain sales agent last year who was selling hotel memberships with 40% discount on published rates. I didn't think twice about it back then and she immediately was able to get my credit card details and consummate the transaction. I never bothered to check on her Phone Number Info which could have helped me avoid making a wrong decision.

What happened was, although the membership was valid, this agent apparently a scammer and was into some bad scheme like asking monetary help from her clients. What's worse, before I got to know about this, I even referred her to my officemate who also availed of the membership. After some time, I learned that the agent borrowed a huge amount of money from my officemate and then the agent vanished like a bubble! My bad!

So next time you receive a sales call, better check the background of that caller first before you get swayed, like what happened to me.

Desk Check

Are you an organized employee? Do you leave your desk after office hours full of clutter and unfinished jobs? Well, I would like to share these points to help you have control over office clutter at the end of every working day:

1. Are all your "To Do" papers in the "To Do" file?
2. Are all you "To File" papers in the "To File" box?
3. Any papers left out on the desk are as yet untracked. Track them before you leave. Any paper you're unsure of means that some decision has to be made - even if the decision is only whether or not to throw it away. Making a decision is an act, and therefore the paper os a "To Do".

Hope this helps!

Source: Get Organized by Stephanie Winston

Telephone Woes

I don't know about you, but I always receive calls from people I don't know. Sometimes, you even go through such a hassle and then by the time you answer the phone, it's a wrong number or it's an irritating sales call. How about that? I wish I am able to know who those persons who call me all the time. Well, wish granted since the emergence of USA Phone Lookups. Try it!

Did You Know?

...that gumamela extract can be an ingredient for dishwashing liquid?

Here's how -

Soap (the sodium salt of a long chain fatty acid: CH3-(CH2)n-COONa) can be enhanced (made bubblier-more colorful and fun) when gumamela is added to it but the plant itself cannot produce soap.

The recipe is: water with a bit of powdered detergent and crushed gumamelas (including leaves). This gumamela is the special secret ingredient that makes the bubbles bigger and better.

From: Wikianswers

Finding Long Lost Family

As early as now, my dad and godmother have been planning for their upcoming US trip which would probably happen during Christmas time this year. This reminded me that we have this uncle (my dad's brother) who has lost touch with the family since they had moved to there. Maybe it would be a good idea to look up their contact number through Phone Book Resource so that they can get in touch and maybe even see each other again after a long, long time. Anyway, that is what the Christmas spirit is all about.

This post sponsored by USA Phone Book.

Coffee Stain

We picked up my sister from the airport last night. She's here for a 3-day seminar (so short a visit!). Anyway, on the way home, we decided to treat her for some to-go Starbucks coffee. She ordered a Caramel Cream Frap while my husband and I ordered hot Caffe Mocha (delicious by the way).

Anyway, since our coffee was for take out, I had to hold my cup while in the car. And clumsy me, while drinking it, some of the coffee spilled on my pink blouse. Tsk. Tsk. When we got home, I immediately looked for my "How To Clean Practically Anything" book and looked up the way to remove the coffee stain.

Here's what I found ---

"For washable clothing, pouring boiling water through the fabric from a height of 12 inches may help."

Of course, you need to remove the blouse first or else - OUCH!!!

Stalkers Beware

Have you ever experienced being stalked by an unknown caller? Well, one of my friends did. Not only did the guy disturbed my friend but also her mom, her sister and get this -- even her next-door neighbor! How did that happen? Apparently, this guy is a bit crazy and was calling my friend's phone endlessly. And when their family stopped answering the calls, he even tried calling the telephone number that's closest to their telephone number (which by the way is her neighbor's number). It was really such as a hassle. I wish my friend had known about Phone Number Investigator to aid her in this situation. With this help, she will be able to totally get rid of that nasty caller.

This post sponsored by Phone Number Investigator.

Checklist - Meal Preps

Evaluate yourselves out there (especially for wives and moms out there):

1. I consistently give importance to daily meal as a family.
2. I prepare good meals as a regular thing.
3. I plan a menu for each week.
4. I start meals ahead when necessary.
5. I ask for the assistance of others in the family in food preparation.
6. I have favorite recipes available for use.
7. I have an efficient system for shopping for groceries.

Can you count how many yes and no answers you have for the whole list?

Inspiring

I've read about many rags to riches and Nouveau Riche stories before. At first I didn't think it was possible for ordinary people to get rich and be successful until I saw it embodied in my own boss' life.

You see I work for a financial institution and currently assigned under the office of the BIG boss. Well, I consider him as Nouveau Riche since he was just a simple man of Chinese origin who sailed to this country with hopes of building some kind of business. I guess he didn't think that his dream of becoming Nouveau Riche would be realized so soon because they started out as really not so well off back then. And now, after some years of struggle, this man is now so successful that he is already one of the top 5 richest men in the country. He now has businesses in different industries such as banking, automobiles, real estate, manufacturing, leasing as well as health care and education. And to think his first business was only in flour milling! Wow. It is really incredible. His story never ceases to inspire me everyday because it only shows that through ingenuity and hard work, success if never far behind.

 
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