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Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Say No!

I can't understand why some people here in our village is proposing to connect our water pipes to Manila Water.  We have our own water system and we're doing well with it with the help of our own water pumps. If the project is approved, water bills will go up because charges are way higher than what we are currently paying for.  This will definitely add up to our already tight budget.  Concerned villagers are going around the village to ask for signatures.  We are petitioning to the Board of Directors not to approve the proposal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sleep Better with Jasmine

If stress keeps you from getting a good night's rest, try this little trick: rub a few drops of jasmine oil onto your wrists or temples 20 minutes before bedtime.  Sniffing the calming aroma of jasmine works as well as valium to relieve anxiety and promote sleep.  According to experts, the floral scent triggers the olfactory nerve to activate GABA receptors in areas of the brain responsible for the sleep-wake cycle, boosting their ability to receive sleep-inducing signals.

Mom's Rubber Mulch

Having problems with the unsightly weeds in your garden?  Sometimes, no matter how much we work hard in our gardens to make it so pretty, it is not enough to get rid of the weeds. If weeds are your problem, landscape mulch might just be what you need to avoid the weeds. The mulch is any type of material -- rubber, bark, leaves, wood chips, compost mixtures, bark, pine needles, cocoa husk, and other plant-based materials that you put on top of the soil to conserve soil moisture and prevent weeds.

However, if you're new at this, don't just put anything or everything on top of your soil.  There are different types of soils and not all the materials mentioned above works the same. Know about proper mulching and it can improve the health of your garden.  Your plants will be healthier and stronger and will be more resistant to diseases, aphids and other harmful insects, and drought.

My mom uses rubber mulch in her garden. She says, it's the best way to protect her plants from the hot rays.  We live in the tropics and the only seasons we have here are summer and rainy seasons.  The rubber's composition protects her soil from the scorching sun and too much water.  Mom also loves that the rubber will not decompose, unlike organic mulch that you have to replace from time to time.

Not As Lucky

In these hard times, so many companies are complaining about very low sales.  If the "bi-times" are complaining about their sales, what more with small business owners like me?   My family owns a small grocery store.  It was a good source of income and we have enjoyed a very comfortable life out of it.  When the recession started, the sales dropped by 50 percent.  There are also other stores that opened around our area and that too affected our sales.  But I am still thankful that we still have a source of income.  It may not be as big, but it's more than enough to send my kid to school and buy the things that we need.

My friend is not as lucky though.  Her family is into the paper business.  They supply most of the papers -- typewriting, receipts, continuous paper, etc -- to a lot of companies around our area.  For the past three years, their company has been struggling financially.  They cannot pay their creditors anymore and lawsuits against their companies have been filed left and right.  Their lawyers advised them to close the company.  It was very difficult for their family but they'd rather go bankrupt and use their remaining assets to repay their debts than let the interests from the loan accumulate.  That will put them in a more difficult situation.  Their lawyers are trying to come up with a good debt solution.  They want to polish everything before filing for bankruptcy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday #116


Care for some barbecue fries? 
Happy MYM!

Cute Checks

If my sister had not told me that it is cheaper to order personal checks online, I would still buy checks directly from my bank.  And I wouldn't have known if I didn't ask her.  She asked me a favor yesterday to pay for her bills since I was on my way to pay mine.  She handed me a personalized check with the Strawberry Shortcake and Friends design.  Oh, it was so cute!  I didn't know that our checks here can be personalized with those cute designs.  The first time I saw these cute designs was when my aunt, who lives in New York sent me a check for my birthday.

I'm so glad that these are now available here and from now on, I will be ordering checks online.  My eyes feasted on the website's very cute check designs, it was difficult to choose.  It took a while before I settled for the Little Miss Sunshine design.  Paying for my bills will now be fun even if it's going to hurt my pocket, lol.  I can't wait to get my hands on them and for sure, my cousins will love the cute design too, and pretty soon they'll follow.  :)

Next Summer

If museums and historical places are what you are looking for, a trip to Zurich is what you'll love.  The place is home to so many art galleries, 50 museums and many historical places.  It's the art zurich my mom fell in love with.  She loved that everything was there when she and my dad visited Switzerland some years ago.  She enjoyed visiting the many Zurich Art Galleries boasting with a variety of Monet, Chagall, Van Gogh, Matisse and Munch.  She said the sculptures of Rodin are amazing.

Mom was our first teacher about art.  It's from her that we learned how to appreciate the beautiful works of these famous painters.  She loves to collect the works of our local painters here especially the landscapes.  Next Summer, my parents plan on traveling to some parts of Europe, Zurich is included of course.  They want us to go with them this time and it's on them.  :) 

While my mom and dad are looking forward to seeing the art galleries and museums, I can't wait to try vienna restaurants.  Spanish cuisine is my favorite and I am looking forward to tasting authentic Spanish dishes.  Of course I'd love to see the arts too but food first. Haha.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Advances In Education

The world is truly wired. Almost everything is now in the world wide web. In the past, working people enrolled in correspondence schools to finish their college degrees. Many people had to work their way through college. Reasons vary, some were homemakers, others where forced to work to help out their families. A close friend of mine got her degree through this.

The internet is evolving. Along with its evolution, universities and colleges have realized its potential. They have brought their campuses in our homes. Paying for College has become easier on the wallet for busy homemakers. No more dormitory and travel expenses. You can finish your degree at your own pace. An Online School frees up time for those who have small children to attend to. Even the elderly can now attend online schooling.

The fast pace of life is making it more difficult to get a degree. Most opt to enter the labor force early to address the high cost of living. I am a mother. There are still so many things I would like to accomplish. Motherhood has taken a priority and took most of my time. I would like to take up advertising but is unable to. Online schooling would help achieve that goal. Even if my kids are all grown up, attending regular isn't possible. My family is pushing me and is very supportive. I may just take their offer and I'm pretty glad that I can finally do something for myself.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Take it with Juice

Contrary to the belief that you should only take your multivitamins with water, researchers advise to take them with juice.  According to them, you'll absorb 33 percent more of the energizing  minerals if you take it with something acidic like orange juice.  For prescription meds, ask your doc first to make sure acidic juices won't alter their absorption.

Experience Nature

If you think that only Africa can give you the best that nature has to offer, you are definitely wrong. Though thousands of miles apart, Australia, South and North America can equally give you an experience of what nature has to offer. There are different australia tours that will give you different experiences. There are tours that allow you to see up close the great Australian outback or its diverse sea life. A trip to Australia will not be complete without sailing to the Great Barrier Reef.

South America has so many things to offer. You can go to Peru and travel machu picchu. Declared as a UNESCO Heritage site, Machu Picchu or "Old Peak", gives you a perspective of ancient Americas. This is the seat of power of the great Inca people. You will be amazed of its architecture and its lost civilization. I also has wildlife indigenous to the country. Just picture yourself trekking up the mountain to see a lost civilization. Along the way, nature will offer you a closer look at the Peruvian flora and fauna.

Not to be outdone, Canada is a country that has yet to be fully developed. If conservation is taken lightly in other countries, Canada takes nature conservation seriously. Different canada tours will allow you to experience North American virgin forests. In fact, despite Canada's huge land area, much of the country is protected from human intervention. Its natural resources are well managed. What is taken is commensurate to what is needed. No wonder it is one of the most envied nations in the world. You must really travel to these places in your lifetime.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday #115


Fiery sunset

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Photohunt - Informative

My take on informative.  Happy hunting and don't forget to drop by tnchick's for the different takes on the theme. 

The New Condo

My friend Lynne who's an interior decorator is on a hunt for lighting fixtures.  She knows I love to shop with her when  it comes to home fixtures and decors.  As usual, she called me up before going to the home depot.  Good timing, I said to myself, I'm going to check out the ceiling fan lights they have there.  Just before summer started, hubs installed a ceiling fan in the living room.  One of the bulbs is busted and  since we'll be going to the home depot, I'm gonna buy a few.

Lynne and I spent hours at the shop.   We love to look  at everything they have and every time we visit the depot there is always something new.  Our eyes feasted on the latest in home lighting fixtures.  Pendant lights always fascinate me.  I really don't know but there is something dramatic about these lights that I insisted on having pendant lights at the corner of our living room.

Lynne loved the modern crystal lighting and she thought of using them in the new condo.  She was lucky to find discount lighting fixtures too for the kitchen and bathrooms.  I've never been to her new condominium but I can already picture how beautiful it's going to be with all the wonderful lighting fixtures she chose.  Two weeks more and it'll be finished.  I can't wait to see her new abode.

Friday, June 17, 2011

For Less Than 60 Seconds

Got no time to meditate?  You don't need to set aside an hour a day to experience the relaxation benefits of meditation.  Here, try these less-than-a-minute exercises I found from Woman's Day:

1)  REST YOUR HEAD - Our minds tend to get carries away when we experience an emotion.  Next time this happens, try to feel the emotion in your body.  If you're nervous, notice your physical reaction, such as sweaty palms.   Concentrate on the sensation, not your inner dialogue.  You'll give your mind a rest and return your focus to present.

2)  PRACTICE LOVING KINDNESS - Give yourself a break from chores by closing your eyes and visualizing someone you care about for one minute.  Silently repeat to yourself, "May you be happy" each time you take a breath.  This allows you to unwind by thinking about something pleasant.  See if your heart doesn't soften just a little.

3)  EAT YOUR WAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT - Make one bite if every meal a mindful one.  Remove all distractions and focus on the physical sensations of the food, such as how it feels on your tongue.  Eat slowly and don't swallow until you've chewed fully.  Paying attention to your meal lets you truly enjoy it.

She's going to be a fashion Designer

After graduating from high school, my cousin, Michelle wanted to take up fashion designing.  It wasn't really surprising because she loved to design her own clothes even at such a young age.   It was alright with her parents and since they live in Connecticut, my aunt thought New York is so near she might even decide to go home everyday after school.  We also have another aunt in Flushing so she can stay there if she likes.  But she and my uncle was very surprised when Michelle announced that she wanted to study Antwerp Fashion.  Why in the world would she be interested in Antwerp fashion and study in Belgium?

To be honest, I was curious too and so I tried googling what is so interesting about their fashion.  I found out that fashion Antwerp is a combination of London, Amsterdam, Paris or Milan fashions.  No wonder she's so keen about it.  Michelle is one of my favorite cousins and I wanted to help her convince my aunt and uncle so I made more researches.  I'll help her prove to her parents that it is safe in Antwerp and there are dormitories for foreign students like her.  Michelle loves to eat and I'm sure she'll enjoy the food there just like how she loved the food in valencia.

I'll have to call her now and tell her about the things I found about Antwerp.  This will surely help a lot in convincing her parents to let her go to Belgium.

My Handyman

Whenever we went to the mall, hubs never failed to visit his favorite store, the hardware.  Even if there is nothing to buy he loves to roam around the store just to see what's new.  Sometimes I leave him there and do my grocery shopping and come back for him afterwards.  If I can stay at the grocery store for hours, he can stay at the hardware for hours, too.  :)  When I'm with him, he'll show me lots of stuff like the latest in tv remote controls.  He'll show me how it works and the added features.  He loves that hardware because they have almost everything.  He says whatever he needs he'll surely find there: nuts and bolts; wires and cables; curtain rods; gardening stuff; barbecue grills and accessories; tire cleaners; car accessories; pots and pans; and even TV Parts and Laptop batteries.  And when he buys something, he's like a child because he can't wait to go home and tinker with it.

My husband is like the handyman.  At home, we don't even have to call the plumber or the carpenter for minor repairs.  It's a great advantage for me because we save lots of $$$ from repairs.  Remember Tim Allen's Home Improvement?  That's his dream, haha.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sleep Better The Natural Way

If all the day's work and errands have you tossing and turning for hours, try this sweet trick to sleep better.  Enjoy a late-night snack of one teaspoon honey on a cracker.  Although too much sugar can be stimulating, a small amount tells the brain to shut off the production of orexin, a neurotransmitter linked to alertness and focus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Only a Couple of Weeks More

My daughter is now on her 34th week of pregnancy.  She is carrying twins so hers is a little difficult than normal.   As per last prenatal check-up, her cervix is already open.  Two centimeters to be exact.  The twins are expected to come out on July 7, but it seems they can't wait anymore.  Her doctor said they can still wait for a couple of weeks more just as long as she takes the medicine prescribed to her and that she rests in bed.  Abrupt movements may cause premature labor.

She said she feels sore because she can't move well, so I called up her doctor to ask what we can do about it.  She recommended prenatal massage and gave a number to call.  She explained that just like a regular massage, this kind of massage will help improve her blood circulation since she has not been moving enough, relax her tensed muscles and ease the sore spots on her sides and back.  It is tailored to target the specific needs of a pregnant woman and only trained therapists can do it.

I already called the clinic and she is scheduled to start tomorrow.  We are all hopeful that this technique will help her go through the most difficult part of her pregnancy with ease. 

Treasure Hunting

Skateboard and fingerboards last summer and now metal detectors.  Ever since he (I'm referring to my son) and his friends found an old coin at the park, the boys were hooked.  We even had to look for metal detectors sale on the internet so he and his friends can buy each.  Every free time they have, they would run to the park and start looking for more coins or perhaps a relic (winks).  I'm sure they can't wait to go to the beach.  I wonder what would be next after they get tired of their metal detectors.

Keeping Track of His Collection

If you think barcode scanners are used only for businesses, then your missing something.  When hubs almost gave up organizing and making lists of his movie and music collection, we thought of using his spare usb barcode scanner that was just collecting dust in the attic.  He has a lot more of these CDs that were borrowed and he lost track of them.  Now he can track who borrows what.  I'm also thinking of using it with my books. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let Bokhaut Handle Your Finances

Just because they are physicians it doesn't mean they are only concerned about their fields of expertise.  Like any other citizens, they too, are concerned about the taxes they pay.  And because not all of them understand the figures, any help that they can get regarding their financial statements,  tax planning and minimizing their tax obligations are always welcome.
If you are a physician and you have been having difficulties with your financial statements and tax planning, Bokhaut is here to help you.  It's a dependable firm that has helped hundreds of satisfied physicians.  Click on the link for more information.

Did You Know?

Red peppers can fight the bugs.  These ruby-colored vegetables are packed with retinoic acid, a natural chemical that rallies T-cells, the body's first line of defense against cold and flu germs.

Saving Up On Eco-Friendly Products

First thing that we think about when we talk about going green is recycling.  I am pleased that this concept has become top of mind for many households.  Another main thing that we need to focus on is buying organic foods and products.  Have you read the ingredients on some of the things you eat or even use for personal care.  Some of the shampoos and deodorants have some pretty unrecognizable chemicals in them.  But, I know what you are thinking. These products can be so expensive compared to the generic items and when you are working on a budget, it is tough to make that purchase.  So, why not find a way to save money on eco-friendly products.  Only make sense!  One site that has great discounts is  They have hundreds of coupon codes for all the top merchants.  They even have a section for Free Shipping coupons.  Need help with a retailer or have some questions about online shopping, just connect with one of their CouponPros through email, Facebook or Twitter.  That is a great resource for you because you can recommend vendors to them and they will help you get an offer.  Right now they have Home Depot Coupons and Staples Coupons for savings on eco-friendly products through their site.  The site has so much information on the vendors, the coupons used and savings information for each coupon.  You can also sign up on the VIP List through Facebook to get access to weekly prize giveaways and exclusive offers. Finally, if you want to save some green, check out the discounted gift cards section.  They have hundreds of retailer gift cards, like Bath and Body Works, for sale below face value.  I know they make some great organic products and you can get a $90 card for only $78.  Those cards make great gifts, especially if you send a greeting card and recommend a couple of your favorite organic products for your friends to try.    So, keep recycling, buy organic and keep saving money while saving the planet. 

Monique Rowe is a guest writer for My and loves doing product and service reviews on her site The One Income Dollar.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday #114


My son's eyes were feasting on these colorful boards it took him a long time to decide on what he likes.

He settled for the green Dark Star after about half an hour.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Photohunt - Triangle

The paper place mats at the cafe have lots of triangles.  The glass of mint lemonade almost looked like a triangle.  And the rice... looks like a pyramid.

I was thinking the theme Triangle is tough but when I went over my files and saw these photos, it's not tough after all.  These are perfect for triangle!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Did You Know?

You can tame your cough with dark chocolate.  A 1 oz. serving of the treat suppresses coughs 33 percent better than over-the-counter cough syrups.  dark chocolate is rich in theobromine, a compound that soothes the cough-triggering vagus nerve.

Custom Gift Cards, Uniquely Mine

Since high school, I want my personal things distinguishable from others. I use distinct markers, labels and designs so I easily recognize what is mine. Nowadays, more and more people customize their stuff. Even cars are customized to suit its owner's personality. With the innovations in multimedia and designs, I can now make everything personalized.

For special occasions, I have Custom Gift Cards printed. This way, the recipient would know who the present came from. The same goes with my personal things. My books and gadgets have Custom Labels that reflect my personality and of course for easy identification. We all know how sometimes people mistake things for their own. This has happened to me several times.

All these are possible with Custom Printing. Printers now can print whatever designs you want. They can incorporate these designs to their existing layouts. It really doesn't cost much. Printers have fixed rates according to size and volume of order. Feeling special is my goal. A personalized card would make the recipient feel special. That is what we would like our friends to feel. I go out of my way to ensure this. Any gift would look ordinary but never with a personalized card. Go custom, you'll never go wrong with it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday #113


Mommy, do I really need a haircut?

Green, Greener, Greenest

I'm trying to redo our backyard's layout. It may look like a daunting task but I'm willing to give it a go. Instead of getting new stuff, I'll try recycling some of the items and getting more recycled materials. I want our backyard to be as green as it can be. For starters, my landscape mulch will will be recycled rubber. Aside from being safe, it will help protect the soil and prevent weeds from ruining my garden. Our driveway in fact is paved with rubber. It's more durable than ordinary pavement and does not crack like concrete. Fences and flower boxes will be from used lumber. My husband had taken great pain searching for used wood.

We've recycled other things before. Banisters and our front door came from a turn-of-the-century house.  Our backyard porch's planks are floorboards of an old house too.   Even some of my husband's office ceiling frames were from a very old house. Instead of having new ones done, it would be environmentally sound to reuse things that are reusable. An environmental advocate, my husband talks the talk and walks the walk. Being green is living green. I never realized things we think have outlived their useful life can still be useful.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Photohunt - Dirty

I've never seen this shop dirty.  Whenever I bring my dog for grooming, there's always a guy ready to clean up the fur.

Don't Leave Them With Nothing

Why is it that too many people only realize the importance of life insurance when it's already too late?   My husband and I are not risk takers.  Ever since we got kids, we got ourselves life insurance policies just in case something happens to one of us.  The policies are not big but at least the kids will have something in case one of us goes.  Don't leave your loved ones with nothing.  Visit and secure your family's future.  Another great thing about life insurance these days is you also get to enjoy the benefits.  When you reach a certain age, you can get the dividends, enjoy it and still be secured.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Did You Know?

Garlic helps keep arteries clear.  Researchers discovered that this spice reduces the formation of nanoplaque, the first phase of plaque deposition that leads to atherosclerosis by up to 40 percent.
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