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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

One Small Step at a Time

Exactly a year ago, I was diagnosed with a gallstone. The doctor said it was quite big and she recommended that I have it removed, although she assured me that there is no rush as it was not an emergency case. That made me think. If there is really no rush and since it wasn't an immediate concern, I thought I could find ways to avoid surgery. Holistic healing came to mind. My mom's friend recommended a Chinese doctor who does acupuncture.

I also did some research about the foods I should eat and avoid. Fatty meat, salty food and anything fried should be avoided. It was hard during the first few months because I loved dairy and anything salty. I avoided beef and pork and turned to chicken breast, fish and vegetables. It took some getting used to, but one advantage that I was really happy about is I lost weight. Yes, finally! After years of trying to lose weight, I finally got rid of the pounds, even without exercise. I lost almost 30 pounds. It felt really great, but after a few months, I've grown tired of my diet. I know, though, that I can't go back to the way I used to eat because I still have the gallstone issue.

I have to get creative with my everyday meals and find yummy, but healthy food swaps. I still get a small dose of dairy once in a while, but I make sure I consume the light or low-fat dairies. I search the internet for healthier ways to prepare food and for healthier swaps and I am glad to discover that there are many dishes I never imagined would actually taste good.

Eating healthy is important, but you really don't have to make big changes to your diet to do this. One small step at a time; that's how you should start. As you grow more comfortable with these changes, you will be able to embrace it and finally make more substantial and permanent ones.

Friday, September 16, 2016

My favourite Activities I Do With my Baby girl!

As a mum life is nothing but juggling around with hundreds of responsibilities every day. Dealing with the stress of meeting deadlines at the workplace or the tension of what to give the kid for breakfast the next day- any situation calls for a lot of strength and perseverance on a mother’s part. But what makes my pain worth taking every time is getting a chance to see that smile on my daughter’s face.

After returning from work, every day, I make it a point to spend some absolute fun time with my daughter and do some art and craft or some fun activity which she absolutely loves! That’s in fact, the most precious time of my day as I forget all my tensions and stresses behind in minutes.

Below, I have listed 5 of my child’s favourite activities that we often do at home. Now that the holidays are about to start, you can try them too.

MAKE PAPER MACHES- Your kid can make all sorts of wonderful craft with paper mache: pinatas, masks, a globe, pencil holders. All they need is a little bit of guidance from their mummies. So that flour and water outside the kitchen territory and be ready to get your and child’s tiny hands all messy!

CREATE A COLLAGE- Collage is a technique of an art production where the artwork is created using an assemblage of different forms and shapes of different materials. These forms and shapes eventually create a whole image.

What I usually do is ask my baby girl, to gather most of the irrelevant stuff lying around the house and while I figure out what to put where to create something out of it, I let her do the actually work like cutting and pasting. Last week I and my daughter had real fun making a collage out of dried leaves and flowers which turned out really beautiful.

PLAYDOUGH- When it comes to playing dough, both me and my daughter love getting our hands dirty and colorful with this great art and craft kids activity making play dough. Smoosh it, mould it and roll it – you can create wild and wacky shapes with play dough that you and your kids made yourselves!

KNITTING- Knit with your kids! Kids need to see us being creative. They need to see the process — how long it takes us to knit things, and that we persevere, rip out stitches, pick up dropped stitches, and so forth. My daughter and I, last November made her little dollies woolen socks, all colored and warm.

PRINT ON THE OUTFITS- My child and I love making customized clothes for ourselves and our family. 

We have printed on coffee mugs and t-shirts and most of them turned out good. My daughter wanted to gift her grannie a printed top and since my mum has a huge love of bingo games, we inculcated a theme of her favorite bingo game on her tee.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Smart Shopping using Catalogues

The digital age, or the age of the Internet, has made shopping an extremely convenient and pleasurable task. Most retail industries have gone online, giving consumers the choice to shop anywhere, anytime and it has given them a boost in profits unforeseen in decades. Convenience, the ability not to physically see how much money one is actually paying or spending and the strategy of packaging goods as must-haves have all contributed to a surge of commercialism. Not that this is a bad thing. As economies grow and employment incomes thrive, studies show that the average consumer is still very much in debt. In fact, in more debt compared to the average consumer a decade ago. And yet we hear claims of people having too much stuff these days, leading to a new way of thinking called minimalism.

The thing is, shopping shouldn’t be a guiltless pleasure. It is, technically, a way for us to get our basic needs. Money is a quantifiable way to attach value to things, and shopping a method to acquire these. Shopping is a necessary way for the average consumer to get by day to day.

What people need is to be smart about shopping. A very effective way is to actually focus on our needs, not wants and turn shopping online into advantage. How?

1. Sales and wholesale buys are easier to spot when shopping online. Utilize these to stock on things you constantly need and use throughout the year.

2. Coupons are a steal. Most online stores offer different types of it every week or month, depending on their marketing strategy. Most of them offer free shipping when you reach a certain amount, while other offer coupons for bundles. As a tip, never check out from an online store without searching online (via search engines) for a coupon offering.

3. Take advantage of feedback from real customers. What is so great about the Internet is the amount of information you have access too, this includes real customer feedback. Window shopping is easier so you might tend to put more into your cart without thinking, but do checkout customer reviews. This way, it can actually save you from the headache and disappointment of receiving an item you will eventually return and ask for a refund. Most customers are actually kind enough to point you in the right direction of where to shop, and what brands are better.

4. Subscribe to catalogues. Catalogue shopping isn’t a thing of the past. In fact, it is the best way to be able to carefully plan out your shopping and easily pay. For example, Ace Catalogues has a comprehensive list of shopping sites, or catalogues, ranging from clothing, furniture and home, electronics, appliances and gifts, that you can shop from in a weekly, monthly or as-needed basis. You just have to open a credit account to be able to shop, and it allows you choose payment methods as well. Whether you choose to load up your account, pay in installment or take advantage of the Buy Now Pay Later feature, it allows you to carefully plan, compare and budget your purchases across different shopping needs.

Shopping need not be a regrettable action done impulsively. Shopping using the tactics mentioned above allows you to literally score great deals (and even a steal!) when doing it online.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Way Too Expensive

The company I recently contacted for our security system requires 8 cameras. I said, what?1? Isn't it too much? I mean this house isn't too big to have 8 cameras.


The same company also installed 2 cameras at my office and they charged me Php 17,000. I was surprised that the monitor was not included and charged me an additional Php 7,000 for it. I didn't ask for the price of the 8 cameras anymore as I'm already guessing that it's going to be too expensive. I am looking at other companies and canvassing used monitors to save money. I know my family's security is important and I'm doing my best to look for a reliable company that won't "steal" my hard earned money.

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