Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thinking Of A Business

In a few more days, it will be 2010. While I will always look back on 2009 with fondness since it is the year when we are blessed with a baby girl, it has not exactly been a good year as far as finances is concerned.

We are painfully aware that there are trade offs to our profession (we're doctors). Spend more time with the profession and you tend to neglect your family. Prioritize your family and your career tends to take a back seat. Be absent for a day, you don't get paid because you don't see patients (unlike employees who are allowed a certain number of paid leave).

Therefore we are looking into the possibility of having a small business, a home-based one if possible. I'm trying to look into franchise opportunities that I could probably incorporate into my "balancing" act.

While a business will most certainly take up your time especially at the beginning, it is something that, once processes are already in place, we can delegate tasks to other people (unlike our profession, wherein we have to be the ones personally looking after our patients). Also, it's something that we can bequeath to our kids, unlike our profession, especially if they do not want to follow in our footsteps and become ophthalmologists.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

No Drugs

Tonight is Christmas Eve in our part of the world. For us, that means reunions and parties!

It's a no-brainer, but in the partying, people sometimes forget to "say no to drugs". With all the info out there about drug dependence, it's a wonder why people still do it. For fun? For the exhilaration? Believe me, it's not worth it.

If you're already on drugs, the best Christmas gift to yourself and to your family is to undergo drug rehab and start clean living.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Antivirus & Anti Spyware

It's always practical to have an antivirus software check your system periodically for any viruses, trojans or malwares that could hamper the performance of your computer. The problem is what type of software is best.

Being the frugal soul that I am, I am currently using a free antivirus. It actually works well and does not interfere much with what I'm doing. Meaning, I could still work on my computer even if I am running a virus check. Lately, however, my freebie software is having some problems and I'm not sure how to fix it. Also, it does not have a built in spyware, which means that I have to download another problem for this. I have another freebie for this, but which lately seems to have some problems too.

I do believe that like our health, prevention is so much better than cure and that a periodic check for viruses and spyware by a reliable software is something that we should do once in a while. I've been looking at a few software programs. VIPRE is supposed to be a two-in-one antivirus and antispyware. There's a free trial which I might just avail of to see if it's worth buying. Reviews have been very promising. It's supposed to work very well without bogging down your resources too much. And the annual subscription seems affordable enough, especially if you're online a lot.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Small, Comfy Hotel

If you're looking for a homey place to stay in Manila with a price much cheaper than the hotel chains, do try Orchid Garden Suites.

We were there yesterday. There were events in the Buddhist temple where my mom goes to. Since the events are spread out over the day, my mom decided to get a room in this small hotel which is just literally a few steps away.

She got an executive suite for Php3500, which is not a bad deal at all! It looked very homey, with a small kitchenette, dining area, receiving area and a separate bedroom with a queen sized bed, small closet and a flat screen TV. It has a small bathroom with a shower stall and complete bathroom amenities, nothing luxurious but very basic. There are 2 room airconditioners, one in the living area and one in the bedroom area. No heaters though (so no furnace filters) -- I'd be surprised if they had this in our very warm weather). They have a standard room for only Php2500.

I actually like this better than some of the more luxurious hotels I've been to!

Pictures to follow!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Disney!

While on the subject of family vacations, one place where I will have to definitely bring the kids someday is Disneyland, the "happiest place on earth"! I've been to both Disneyland in Anaheim and Epcot Center in Disney World, Orlando, Florida (although we didn't get to stay in downtown disney) before. I was already an adult in both trips, but I still enjoyed both trips.

Good thing there's already Hong Kong Disneyland, which is very much nearer. Maybe in a few years' time, when the kids are older, we could bring them there. :)

Vacation For The Family

After getting a taste of a family outing, my appetite for travel, long denied because of budget constraints, is now whetted. My friends and online buddies are right! It's fun to bring the children to experience different things in different places.

I'm thinking now that we should have a yearly budget for a family getaway. Now that the kids are still small, land trips are the way to go especially since the nannies come with us. But when the kids are bigger, we could probably think of trips abroad.

Accommodations can be quite expensive though, especially if we stay in hotels. That's why I'm also looking at houses for rent, like the ones here: outer banks vacation rentals. This might prove to be more practical than getting hotel rooms as they will prove to be cheaper than the usual.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Looking For Senior Insurance

There's a thread in one of my yahoogroups about health coverage for the above 55. We all know that the elderly suffer more health problems than the younger set, however, this is also the time that they are starting to retire.

Not all HMOs cover senior citizens precisely because they have higher risk to get sick and hospitalized, which, from a business standpoint, is certainly not good. I am, however, still trying to see if there is an affordable option for seniors (checking out health insurance in NC right now) because I'm thinking that my mom may need coverage. I was told that Caritas can cover people up to 70 years old but the premiums are higher. That's still worth looking into.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get On a Vacation With the Family!

Less than a week from now, schoolkids are gonna take a long break from their usual routine of school-home-school-home. This is the time when families finally get the chance to bond for a longer time, so this is an especially popular time for family vacations and trips.

Do remember to take some precautions before you leave. Thieves are good in detecting a house where owners are taking a vacation. If your home is obviously unoccupied, it attracts thieves.

Some tips to keep your home safe while you're away:
  • Get somebody to house-sit. It may be your relatives, or maybe even just the househelp.
  • Double check the locks.
  • Check that your home security systems are working fine.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your home's perimeter once in while.
  • Set a timer for the lights so that the they automatically turn on at a certain time.
Vacations are fun, but only if you're not worrying about something else, particularly your house. Do go out and enjoy your family!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Toy Sale

Many parts of the world would now require both indoor heaters and maybe outdoor fireplaces to keep warm during the cold Christmas season. Here in the Philippines, though, it's a comfortable weather -- cooler than the usual mid thirty degree Celsius temperatures that we usually experience, but not cold enough to warrant more than a light jacket. Yep, it's certainly the Christmas season, all right!

Now here's another sale event that you might want to consider going to in order to complete the list of gifts for the children on your list:

(Click on image for a better view of the details)

I've been told that the Richwell sale which I featured a few posts back has more items, but the items in the Toytown sale have better packaged items. The conclusion from my online friends is that the Richwell sale is great for items that you want to get for your own kids while the Toytown sale is better for items that you want to give as gifts since their boxes are in better condition. :)

This sale is ongoing until January 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wishlist

While figuring out the Best Buys for the season of giving, I totally forgot one very important thing: that I do deserve gifts too! Hahaha! (or should I say Ho Ho Ho!?)

Here's my top 5 non-material wishes: (in no particular order)
  1. No more natural calamities like Ondoy or Pepeng or the earthquakes in Indonesia, where the toll on human life and property are on a magnitude higher than we ever expected. We are so helpless when nature wreaks its fury.
  2. The people behind the killings in Maguindanao be held responsible. And please, no more similar killings.
  3. A stress free home. Nobody getting major illnesses, no major quarrels. Just your regular, everyday family life. Just like now.
  4. My kids be as happy as they seem to be right now.
  5. World peace. (very beauty pageanty, noh?)
Now, let's be a little bit more materialistic...Here are my top 5 material wishes.
  1. A house of our own
  2. A new car
  3. A vacation, away from all the stresses, all expenses paid (this counts, right?)
  4. More money!!
  5. Hmmmm, more money?????
That's probably why I really couldn't think of a good gift to myself. That's because my wishes are so grand! Hahaha! But seriously, I have very few real wants/must-haves as far as small items are concerned (you know, designer clothes, bags, jewelry, cosmetics, the usual...) so any gift I get is always highly appreciated. Some people just know how to pick presents, they give me things I didn't know I wanted or needed until I get it! Thanks so much!
Now if you're wondering why I'm listing down my top 5 wishes, it's because of a challenge question posted by nomnomclub. I MIGHT just win a limited editionStarbucks USB drive if I'm lucky. You can join too, by clicking on this link.



Good luck!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Anvil Publishing Sale

It's December and there are just so many sale events happening.

I don't generally like going to warehouse sales because I do not like crowded places, which warehouse sales tend to be. And if you're looking for toys that are operated by batteries, sometimes you just do not get the chance to property test them. We've had the misfortune of buying a defective toy a few Christmases back. The kid was just so excited at the toy, but unfortunately it simply stopped moving after a few minutes, even if the batteries were fresh. Since we got it at a bazaar, it was difficult to return it.

But there's a sale I'm definitely interested in, it's the Anvil Publishing Book Sale. I've always loved books myself and think that they make very good gifts. Here's their poster, for your reference: (Click on the thumbnail to enlarge)


I've been told that they have a lot of children's books. I'm hoping I'd be able to get some for my inaanaks! There's still a few days left, and I'm aiming to go there before the sale ends!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Acts of God" In Car Insurance

One practical lesson I've learned from the recent floods is to check our auto insurance quote to see if it covers for "acts of God". I admit that I never looked into that detail before. After Typhoon Ondoy, that was the time that I became of the term "acts of God" and that it can actually be covered. When I checked my insurance policy, I was dismayed to learn that my car insurance does not cover "acts of God". Good thing it wasn't in any of the flooded areas at that time, but if it were, that would have been a big, big expense on my part. Oh my...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Win a Belle de Jour 2010 Power Planner

I love planners and I love freebies!

I actually use 3 planners:
1. A desktop planner which I use for my family's activities including my son's school activities, my daughter's vaccinations, our due dates for our bills, etc

2. A notebook type planner which I use to put down my patients' appointments, and

3. Another notebook type planner which I use to put down the actual patients I've seen for the day.

As much as possible, though, I try not to spend for my planners. I usually get the planners that are given out as corporate giveaways. Truth be told, they do work fine. But, they are usually lacking in terms of the looks department. LOL

That's why I'm so excited about this contest! This may just be a chance for me to WIN the popular, girly Belle de Jour Planner!

Here's how to join the contest:

1. Write about the contest in your blog.
2. Make sure to link your post to the url of this post.
3. Leave a comment here with a link to your post.
4. Contest ends December 22, 2009 at 11:59 PM . Contest winner will be announced Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
5. Kikay Corner will send the winner’s Belle de Jour 2010 Power Planner as soon as Air21 resumes delivery after Christmas.

Who knows, we might just get lucky!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

One-Stop-Shops for Home Building & Renovations

While there may be places where supplies for home renovations and decorating are cheaper, one-stop-shops like MC Home Builders and Ortigas Home Builders are good places to start for people who are not really that sure what to get. They have practically anything needed for a home project. Lights, building materials, water closets and bathtubs, even some swimming pool supplies. I'm not sure if they carry pond supplies, but I would not be surprised if they do.

It would really be a good starting point to look for building and renovating supplies. I would suggest though, that you look for the things you want for your home, note down the prices, and try to canvass for cheaper suppliers. If all else fails, you can always go back there to buy. ;)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saint's Day

Most of the family is going to the cemetery later to pay their respects to our dearly departed. They are leaving early so that they won't have a difficult time finding parking space and hopefully, the place won't be too crowded yet. Unfortunately, I know some people who would already set up tents and mobile homes the night before and just stay there at the cemetery.

I would believe, however, that it might be a better idea to just schedule your visit a little before or after All Saint's Day. A week or two makes a lot of difference in terms of density of people (which brings a whole lot of other problems) and the prices of flowers (it is just so much more expensive during All Saints' Day).

A Trick o Treatin' We Go

The nannies and I brought the 2 kids around the village for the annual trick or treat event. My son finally walked around! Last year, he could but would not. This year, he did! Of course, my baby daughter was carried by either me or her nanny.

Anyway, I just noticed that there were a lot of other kids who went around the village with their cars and drivers. I find it quite funny. For me, the trick or treat just is not the same if you don't walk around. Not only do you get to really "feel" halloween, it's also a very good fat burner for both adults and kids. No charge too! And of course, after consuming all those sugar, you wouldn't want it to remain stuck in your system, right? :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stainless Steel Tiles

I just came across these stainless steel tiles while surfing the net. I wonder if this would be a good idea for flood prone areas. Would it be easier to clean and restore back to its former appearance after being submerged in floodwaters? Most floor and wall tiles are difficult to clean after so much mud. If anybody is considering building in a flood prone areas, he has to take the material he uses into account.

Still Cleaning

It's been more than a month since Ondoy wreaked havoc and my in-laws' house is still not the way it was. Well, that's according to my husband. I haven't dared to even suggest that I go there. Wouldn't want to bring my 4 month old there too.

My husband tells me that there's just so much that needs cleaning. Sometimes, though, some of the stains, mud and dirt are really tough. We wonder if a steam cleaner would make the job much easier. I believe that it probably could. My guess is that this would also help in disinfecting the house. Hmmm....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kidz Kraze Warehouse Sale

Christmas "kidz kraze" Warehouse Sale @ Libis

Up to 80% off on branded toys, apparel & shoes!

Click on the poster for a bigger view:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

E-commerce Musings

Having a business on the side is fulfilling. You get to earn just a little more to add to your income. It's also a great learning experience.

However, nobody said that it was easy. But now, there are so many services that you can find that cater to both newbie and long time entrepreneurs (especially in e-commerce) -- online payment systems, order fulfillment services, courier services, and even sites on teaching you how to go about having a business.

Now, anyone who has the guts, the will to learn, the patience and perseverance can find ways of having an online business -- and that's a VERY good thing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SALE = Saving If...

Maybe there are less and less people buying lately, so there are plenty of sale events and deals everywhere, especially when it's around payday. There are plenty of tempting offers, like the tv deals offered by my credit card company wherein you can buy a flat screen TV for only Php10,000 and pay for it in 24 monthly installments.

While offers like these are tempting, do NOT give in to impulse. Buying on sale is not being practical if you don't need, or even want those items and just buy for the sake of "saving". I generally avoid going to sales if I don't have something in mind that I have or want to buy, so I won't be tempted. But if there's something I've been eyeing for a while, I do wait for these sale!

Monday, October 26, 2009

To The Gym!

My brother's done a great job with his exercise regimen. He's been religiously going to the gym and doing both cardio exercises and weights. His weight has dropped accordingly, and he has become thinner, not in an unhealthy way but in a more "packed" appearance. He has lost his flabby belly. He actually has to take some clothes out of the closet since they now hang loosely on his body. All these without the use, as yet of any weight loss pills! Now, if I can only get his discipline (and his time, him being a bachelor and with no kids yet), I can hopefully achieve a similar result!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mounted Electronics

With condo spaces getting smaller and smaller in the city, most families are forced to stay in cramped quarters as bigger spaces are usually very expensive. The problem with a very small living space is the difficulty of putting stuff like electronics, as there is a finite amount of space to put them.

If you are one of those people who have space problems, having rackmount electronics would be a good idea. You can have your TV, your DVD player mounted. You can even have some other items like microwave ovens mounted, too! That would certainly be space saving.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Working From Home

Do you work from home? If so, it's always best to define your work area. If you have enough rooms, reserve one room for your work needs. If that is not possible, at least have a certain area in your home where you put some office furniture and work. If that is still not possible because your home is just too small, at least define where and when you will work. For example, you can use the dining table but you have to work there between the times for meals.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mommy Loses Weight

I haven't seen a scale for quite a while so I was not really sure if I was losing any post partum fat. Yesterday, when we took our baby daughter to the doctor for her check up, I decided to check my weight on their scale. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was back to my pre pregnancy weight. Mind you, I never had to resort to any diet (in fact I was constantly hungry) or exercise (not ANY of those proposed by weight loss austin).

My secret? Breastfeeding and taking care of the baby!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Check For Other Charges

Pinoys are fond of imported stuff. Traditional pasalubongs (roughly translated as "welcome gifts") include perfumes and soaps for women, liquor, blue seal cigarettes and Dutch Master cigars for men and toys for children. Toiletries and bath towels are also very much appreciated. These are also cheaper when bought abroad.

However, you should also check for any additional charges that you may incur. For example, if you're buying a lot of cheap stuff but encounter additional charges because your luggage is simply too big or too heavy, you don't really save at all. Not to mention the extra effort of lugging around all those stuff. So don't just be tempted to buy on the misconception that you are saving, but take these other things into consideration too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Not A Real Estate Job?

With so many people displaced out of their homes after the typhoon, real estate companies are having a field day with inquiries from people looking for a new place to stay (whether rental or a new home they want to buy) and from people who want to sell their homes. It might be a good idea to look for jobs in a Real Estate Job Search sites, as I am sure there are companies who are looking for new hires, given the present situation.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crow's Feet

I'm now on the wrong side of thirty. In less than 365 days, I will looking at the numbers 4-0. While I would like to think that I still look much younger than I really am, there's no denying the fact that my skin is not as elastic as it was, say, ten years ago. I'm starting to grow crow's feet and looking for the best eye cream for wrinkles. For now, I simply try to remember to put my moisturizer and to use a gentle, non-soap face cleaner. I've stopped using products with Retinol when I became pregnant (because it might have effects on the unborn fetus) and since I'm nursing, I still haven't gotten back to using them. I'm sure there's a good product for me that would be safe for nursing too.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Run!

Sometimes I think we're just too plain busy...or lazy to do exercises. Simple exercises which do not require complicated equipment are running, swimming, biking. These really burn a lot of calories.

My hyperactive four year old son's nanny is now VERY slender and sexy looking, even when she still has a very healthy appetite and does not take any diet pill, because she's the one constantly running after my boy. Hmmm, maybe I should be the one doing that...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Invest In Rare Coins

Everybody wants to invest, but what to invest in? What's safe, usually appreciates over time, easy to dispose of when needed, and easy to transfer ownership to (just GIVE it to your kids!)?

Precious metals, such as those found in jewelry and rare coins are. Between the two, rare coins from a reputable coin dealer seems to be the better choice. Monaco rare coin seems to be a good company to deal with, since they BOTH buy and sell such rare coins. My dad, on the other hand, used to buy from banks in Hong Kong. That may also be a good choice, but it's just not as convenient as an online company. Of course, we have to check out the company's reputation and not go with just any dealer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

If Somebody You Know Is Going Abroad

The optometrist in our clinic is going to the USA for a much needed vacation. I did what a lot of Pinoys do whenever somebody they know is going to the States. I asked her a favor: to help me bring home some stuff I want to buy.

But instead of wasting her time by asking her to scour stores for the items I want to buy, I just simply ask for her uncle's address (where she is going to stay while she is there). I'll just buy online and have it delivered there. All she has to do is bring the item home.

This is now possible because there are so many things that can be bought online. Everything from clothes, bags, shoes, perfumes, vitamins (including the best weight loss pills), baby items, and many many more. Some items are actually cheaper there, if you don't consider the shipping charges. At least I do not need to pay the prohibitive shipping charges from the US to Manila. And I don't have to ask her to actually go to the stores to buy for me.

Thanks, T!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rain, Rain

Time and again, we have been caught unaware by the weather. The key is to expect the unexpected, as far as weather is concerned.

I remember that when my mom and I went to New Orleans for a convention, we decided to do the tourist bit and go to Florida first. Unfortunately for us, there was a hurricane in Haiti and parts of Florida like Orlando (not sure if Miami was included) also experienced rainy weather. Rather than let that put a damper on our vacation plans, we still went to Epcot Center in Disney World. We bought a couple of rain ponchos inside (the one with Mickey Mouse print at the back) and toured the park. We still had a very good time.

My wedding day dawned a bit dark, a bit gloomy and WET. It rained throughout the day. Traffic was bad. We still chose to enjoy what is the happiest day in our lives. My mother-in-law swore that it rained hardest when we were saying our vows, and that we are supposedly blessed because of that. On the practical side, I'm glad we never thought of having outdoor venues for either the ceremony or the reception. I do not want the added stress of contending with a fickle weather. In my wedding video, it still showed how happy we are. The rain actually added drama to everything.

I'm rambling. What I'm trying to say is that there pretty much is nothing you can do about the weather except to work with it and to just enjoy whatever you are doing, rain or shine.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just A Thought...

A used RV may not be such a great idea after all (see previous post) even for flood prone areas. Sure you can drive your car away. But what happens if you encounter a traffic jam along the flooded streets and your engine stalls? I do not think that there are companies here in the Philippines who do rv towing aside from the regular car towing. So essentially, you'd end up as if you lived in a small one story house, if that happens. Yikes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No Bungalows For Me

After the great flood that Ondoy brought, my husband half-jokingly said that we should either buy a rubber boat for the house in Marikina, have a house built that would float when the waters come in (a la Noah's ark) or just simply look for a used rv for sale so that we can just move the whole home when the floods come.

I've always been wary of floods since I grew up with yearly, constant floods. I'd love to have a home in an area not very prone to flooding, but I realize that no matter where you live, you'll have to contend with something. For example, if you live in a higher area like Baguio, you might have to watch out for landslides.

The best thing to do is to live with whatever place you have chosen to be your home. If I were to build a house in a flood prone area, it would definitely not be a bungalow, it would have a raised carport, and have at least 3 floors and a roofdeck.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Save Online

After the great flood that was Ondoy, I realized how vulnerable data is, whether in paper form or even in hard drives. My in-laws' desktop computer got submerged in floodwaters. We're not sure yet if we could still use it, but there's still a chance. But what if we can't anymore?

I'm seriously thinking that an online backup may be a good way to store data elsewhere other than your computer. After all, computers may get damaged by fire, or in the recent weeks, flood. Laptops may be stolen. They may ba replaced, but valuable data may be unrecoverable if we don't have a backup.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Slim & Fit

People tend to turn to weight loss supplements as a shortcut for losing and maintaining body weight. What we tend to forget is the fundamental -- take in less calorie laden food, and exercise or move more to burn off excess calories. We've become couch potatoes with a high calorie diet -- what do you expect but increasing weight and girth? So we should remember the basics -- don't eat too much, and don't eat too much calorie laden food. And move, move, move!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Closed For Business

For the weeks following the onslaught of Ondoy, only my husband has been back to Marikina for cleanup. We have deferred our weekly trip to my in-law's house because the house is a mess. Maybe it's a good thing for me and the kids. I feel depressed everytime my husband describes the place, and I'm sure I'll be even more so if I actually see the house in the post-flood state. As for the kids, we really do not want them to pick up any flood-related microbe.

My husband tells me that it's so heartbreaking. Marikina is now almost like a ghost town. Business establishments are closed for rehabilitation and renovation, even the familiar McDonald's. I'm sure a lot of small business owners do not even have business insurance to cover for their losses. Now following this experience, I would believe that having such an insurance is a need, since we do not really know what happens when nature unleashes her fury, leaving losses to both life and property in her wake.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fast House

If you need a structure built fast, but still want it durable, you may want to consider prefabricated steel buildings. This is a great choice for industrial purposes, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that you can actually have residential buildings built in a similar way.

My uncle's company actually has them and I was told that this may even be more economical than having a made-to-order house. If having a one of a kind house is not really that big a deal for you, you might want to consider having this done.

Proving or Disproving Paternity

My mother-in-law used to say that "paternity is by faith". Meaning, technically, you are never sure about a child's father except by believing that you and your wife made a baby together. That was unlike being a mother, wherein a mother is always sure that her child is hers because she carried it in her womb for nine whole months. Of course, this was before all the modern advancements like in vitro fertilization and DNA testing came along.

Still, there's a simple way to disprove paternity, if the need arises. This is a much cheaper, although cruder way, and it does not always applicable.

You can look at the blood types of the child, the father and the mother.
  • If the child is type AB, one of his parents have to be type A and the other type B. No exceptions.
  • If the parents are both type O, they can only have type O children.
  • If one parent is type A and the other is O, the possible blood types for their children are type A and type O only.
  • If one parent is type B and the other is O, the possible blood types for their children are type B and type O only.
  • If one parent is type AB and the other is type O, their children can be type A, type B, type O but never type AB.
  • If both parents are type A, their children can be either type A or type O. If both parents are type B, their children can be either type B or type O.
  • If both parents are type AB, their children can be type A, type B, type AB but never type O.

Confused? You can simply ask your doctor about it. The logic is in genetics, dominant and recessive genes. Type A and B are dominant, while type O is recessive. Although, as I've mentioned, it's not always applicable. In case of doubts, there's always DNA testing for paternity.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cheap Is Not Always Practical

If you have the money, try not to buy the very cheap plastic faucets.

My husband bought a bidet and one plastic faucet (which looked like a metal chrome faucet mind you, we didn't know it was plastic until we opened the package) was given for free. It really didn't work very well. Maybe that was why it was given away for free. Lucky for us! We didn't really lose anything because it was a freebie, but it would have been a loss if we really did shell out money for it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Charity In Gift Giving

It's October. December is certainly not too far away. Typhoon Ondoy has pushed back all other thoughts for the meantime, but I doubt that Pinoys would not at least attempt to have decent Christmas celebration, complete with feasts and gifts, however downsized.

The recent events have reiterated to us that no man is an island. I would think that holiday gifts can be more meaningful, like a donation to a charity of choice. Not only do we not waste resources and buy useless things in our bid to give gifts, but we also reach out and give to a good cause.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Priorities Right Now

I have a sudden insight now that we went through Ondoy and its destructive floods...When you down to your last few thousands of pesos, you have to prioritize what is important. Especially now in times of calamity. However tempting the deals to miami are, when there's a storm, it is, unfortunately, one of the things that I won't think about first. I'd think about having enough food and drinking water, clothing and somewhere to stay. The basics. Then my children's education and our health fund.

We haven't been able to work at all the past few days, what with the typhoon, the recovery operations at hubby's house, and the fact that our little boy is sick. Bills keep coming. No money coming in but lots going out. Sigh.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why I Believe In Insurance

The recent disaster that was Ondoy made me realize, once again, how fragile life is. Thankfully, I have no family member that perished in this disaster. Property damage, yes, there are lots, but not lives, and for that I am eternally grateful. Other people were not so lucky.

In times like these, I'm reminded of my own mortality. That I really have no control over when and how I'll be called. That's why I opted to get whole life and term life insurance quotes a few years back. My thinking was that I needed to ensure, at least for a short time, that the people who depend on me will not have financial worries if ever I'm taken from them.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How Do You Wash Formals Submerged In Floodwater

If anyone knows a way of saving formal clothes like gowns and tuxedo jackets submerged in floodwaters, please do let me know. My husband found some of our soggy formals in still clean condition since they were in boxes, but we're not sure how we should treat them. Since they are wet, could we just launder them? Or do they need dry cleaning?

The easier option would be to just discard them, but the frugal and sentimental in me doesn't really want to. Thank goodness my wedding gown was spared.

Monday, September 28, 2009

We Were In The Car When The Floods Started

The typhoon has made me realize that we really are so inadequately prepared. As in my previous post, I'd like to say a little thanksgiving prayer as we are all safe. Shaken but safe.

Imagine, on the morning of the typhoon, we went to the pediatrician to have our kids checked. It was already raining cats and dogs at that time. We've encountered problems traversing Ortigas Avenue because of flash floods. Imagine! Ortigas Avenue! We passed by Greenhills Shopping Center to buy meds but the branch in Shoppesville actually had some floodwater already!

We were lucky to have reached home before the traffic jams became really bad. It could have been worse. The only things we had in our car that could conceivably be thought of as rain precautions were 1 umbrella and the car mats! We had half a dozen doughnuts which we just happened to buy on the way. No drinking water. And there were 4 of us adults, 1 preschool aged kid and 1 infant in the car. I shudder to think of what will happen if we didn't get home when we did.

We really ought to have some emergency supplies in our car. Will try to make up a list of what we could possibly need.

In the meantime, I would, again, like to be thankful for the blessing that we are all safe.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Odyong: The Day After

My husband and his brother came back from the Marikina house. They tried to survey the damage wrought about by the flooding of the house. My husband found our wedding album. My brother-in-law found the receipts for payments to their wedding vendors, some baby pictures, a cellular phone and some wet Logo flash drives. So many years of stuff, including irreplaceable stuff like photos...we do not know if we could still recover them. But I am thankful that everybody is safe. Thank you, Lord, for keeping my family safe, despite everything.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's Flooding All Over Manila

I had a bad feeling when we came home from The Medical City and the streets were flooded. Imagine, Ortigas Avenue flooding! It seldom does, at least not at this rate! I'm glad we're now home, safe.

Other areas are under water. My niece is stranded in school. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law had to evacuate to the upper floor since the basement and first floors are all submerged in water. I am worried and I hope that the water stops rising.

Now is not the time to go out on unnecessary trips. You could get submerged. Your car could get into accidents (I wonder if a Tacoma car accident lawyer could help you if you injured somebody at the height of theis weather) or at the very least become submerged. You or your car could get swept away. You can get nasty diseases like Leptospirosis.

The best thing to do at this point is to stay put and pray.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Good Faucets

Trying to be frugal (sometimes too much so), I really do not find the need to get expensive faucets because for me, a faucet is a faucet is a faucet. As long as water comes out when I turn on the tap, I'm fine with that.

I have to admit that I was wrong though. Even if the "generic" faucets look and work like, say Delta faucets, there are sometimes some problems with its innate construction that it will cause problems -- and ultimately, more costs for repair -- in the long run.

This is just one area which it pays to pay more at the start.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Slow Computer?

It's bound to happen. Your computer gradually becomes slower and less efficient over time. That's because your system memory requirements may have increased already. You download more programs with bigger files which need more, more and more memory. Not to mention that files like photos also become better (more defined with more pixels) but so much larger.

Short of getting a new computer, you can actually improve performance by upgrading your memory. It's probably the easiest way to improve your computer's performance.

Insure Yourself

Some people think of insurance as an added expense/burden, but for me, it's a necessary one if you have people depending on you and most especially if you are the sole breadwinner of the family. Every dad or mom should think of the what ifs? What if I die? What if I become incapacitated? Unpleasant questions, but something we should always keep in mind.

Anyway, there are many companies willing to give you free insurance quotes when you inquire. You can shop around to look for the one that fits your needs and your budget.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why Pets Are Not For Me

I am not a pet person. No, I don't hate them, I just don't have the personality to keep pets. I do like to look at them and occasionally pat them for being good dogs/cats. But that's not enough. Pets need love. Pets need their owners to take care of them like family. I do not have the time or the patience to take care of mundane matters for them like walking them, bathing them, buying dog and cat supplies. Pets are not fashion accessories. They are living things and deserve to be treated decently, and I fear that I just don't have it in me to care for them the way they deserve.

What if my kids want a pet in the future? Sure, they can have them, but they have to handle the responsibility of having pets like feeding them and taking care of them. Don't expect me to do those for them when they get tired of doing so because it was not my idea in the first place.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fastfood Parties Rock!

Unlike most other mommies, I'm somehow not as OC (obsessive compulsive) with my kids' parties. The reason is that I'd like to enjoy the party myself, and being so stressed about it takes the fun away for me. (Although the stress does shave some pounds like fat burners!).

That's why I opted to choose a fastfood resto (McDonald's) for my son's first birthday. It just makes work so much easier. Just choose your date, your theme, then go and enjoy your own party! There are already invitations, balloons, nametags, giveaways, prizes, a party host, and a mascot appearance, also the use of their (airconditioned) function room and play area. Children also enjoy such parties, which is the point of a children's party! Also, people don't generally complain about the food since they know what to expect anyway. You also have the option to bring in the cake. And it's much cheaper than having to hire a host, get a caterer...you get the drift. I did get to personalize it a bit as we made our own lootbags and giveaways and guestbook....but I didn't have to!

For my daughter, I'm planning to celebrate her first birthday at Jollibee. I've even eyed the branch! Time to save up for it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A/C

Have you checked your air conditioner filters lately? If they are dirty, that may be the reason why the air conditioner is not as cold as it should be. Have them cleaned or replaced (if it can no longer be cleaned) would make your A/C perform better.

Another reason why your A/C may not be performing up to par is its placement. If you put your window type room A/C under direct sunlight, expect that it will have to work harder to cool the room, thus it becomes less efficient, using up more electricity and not cooling your place up as efficiently as it should.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ask For Freebies

When buying appliances, some stores offer freebies. You have to ask for it if they didn't mention it, though, because sometimes if you didn't ask they won't bother. For example, many television sets, especially the high end and big ones come with a free tv stand that would cost you at least a thousand pesos or even more if you buy it separately. Airconditioner units may come with a free electric fan. Washing machines may come with a flat iron, or some powder detergent, or a laundry basket.

Nothing is lost if you just ask. In fact, you may actually gain some freebie.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Win An All Expense Paid Trip To Boracay For 5!

Found this ad on facebook.

You just have to answer a short survey to get a chance to win a trip to Boracay for five people!

Who knows, one of us might just get lucky and get to bring the family to Boracay!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More On Vacation Planning

In my previous post, I've said that you should have an idea on what you want on your vacation. Aside from that, you should have a clear idea of how much your budget is and where you want to go, and of course, when you can go. What kind of accommodations you want and the number of people in your party would also be important things to consider.

Once you have a more or less concrete idea of that vacation, you can then research on a specific place that you're eyeing. For example, if you are looking at a holiday in the Outer Banks in North Carolina and a house is what you want, click on this link: Outer Banks rentals, then put in the required information (arrival day/date, number of bedrooms, price range and specific area). Voila! All the houses that fit your requirements will come out! You can check the description of the house and even book it online! Even better, the cost per day, and the cost per bedroom per day would come out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Focus On What You Want In A Vacation

We all have different wants when it comes to vacations. Some prefer a more laid back place where relaxation and getting-away-from-it-all is of the most importance. Some prefer a more cosmopolitan, happening, partying place, while some others would prefer a more "cultural" experience.

The internet has actually made researching for the "perfect vacation" easier. For example, you can find different types of vacations on the Riviera Maya itself, all under Karisma resorts.

For example, if it's a family vacation you want, Azul Beach Resorts seem to be the best choice, with its amenities not only for adults but also for kids. If its a "stress free" vacation you want, there's Azul Blue which promise the ultimate in pampering. There's romantic El Dorado Royale where you can actually have a worry free beach wedding if you want to, and El Dorado Suites if you want an adult-only resort. There's even one for nudists, the Hidden Beach Resort.

That's only from one place! Imagine all the places you can research on the net. You should also ask about your internet researched places from friends and online buddies, get any feedback.

Good luck on your vacation!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Restos vs. Catered Affair

I'm somewhat in the thick of preparations for my baby R's baptism and E's 4th birthday. Somewhat because I'm not as OC as other moms are. I just need a place where we can have our reception. No frills, just good food and talking between friends. I'll reserve the big bash for the first birthday celebration next year.

Since I'm not looking at an elaborate affair, I'd go for a restaurant rather than get a venue and catering, so that there would be less work involved. Less costs, less worries (equals less wrinkles so no need to look for the best wrinkle creams). In fact, the church (Christ The King) I chose has less requirements (no seminars) and less cost than others.

Bottomline is: I want my baby baptized, I want a double celebration for the Christening and my eldest's birthday and that's what I'm going to get. Within my budget.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Good Buy Rainy Days Great Brands Sale!

Up to 80% off!

Oh, man. Even if I am quite confident that I will be able to eventually shed my excess postpartum weight, I am still not confident enough that it will be gone by the time this event comes along (because it's just a few days for now! Maybe it's time for me to look for diet pills that work?). Oh, well...

Click on the poster for a bigger & clearer view of the details.

Anyway, for those who can't resist a great sale, don't forget! Here are the details:

Start Time: Friday, August 14, 2009 at 10:00am
End Time: Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 8:00pm
Location: Megatent Events Venue
Street: 30 Meralco Ave. (Between DepEd and Renaissance)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Stay Healthy!

Without adequate health coverage via health insurance or a health maintenance organization (for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC), a single confinement in a hospital, depending on your condition, could wipe out all your savings.

So try to live healthy. Stay away from vices like smoking, drugs, too much alcohol. Get enough rest and relaxation. Eat healthy.

Although this does not guarantee that we won't ever get sick, we can at least minimize the chances of preventable diseases.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Double Celebration

To cut down on costs, I'm holding a double celebration for my daughter's Christening and my son's forth birthday. I'll only be inviting family members and the godparents.

But I'm cramming! It will be next month and I haven't done any canvassing yet. I have to do so because I am on a tight budget. What I need is a place which serves good yet affordable food. Preferably a buffet so people won't complain about the (lack of) food. (Whether they'll need apidexin later is their problem, not mine!)

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

World Breastfeeding Week

It's World Breastfeeding Week and while I'm not out there celebrating it with the rest for the hordes, I'm practicing it myself. I encourage all moms to seriously consider breastfeeding their babies!

I'm currently 7 weeks post-Cesarean section. For the past 2 days, I noted a loss of 2 pounds. No diet, no exercise, none of any of those top rated diet pills. I'm attributing this to breastfeeding. I've been purely breastfeeding my almost-seven-week-old daughter and I want to continue to do for at least a year. I breastfed my firstborn for 1 year and 10 and a half months and I know I could do the same for my daughter.

The benefits of breastfeeding are outlined here: http://www.joeymd.com/2009/08/04/world-breastfeeding-week/

Monday, August 3, 2009

Las Vegas - Not Just For Adults

If you have kids, you may want to consider taking Vegas vacations. While there are still the requisite adult entertainment - gambling, topless girlie shows, quickie weddings (does that even qualify as entertainment? LOL), there are also a whole lot of activities for the kids and the rest of the family. Walk around Las Vegas at night and you get free shows like the volcano at the Mirage, the water show at the Bellagio, the pirate show at Treasure Island. Even walking around the famed hotels is an experience in itself.

There are also shows that are family oriented and are suitable for both kids and adults. Hotels also tend to be reasonably priced. Next time I go to USA (hopefully with my family), this will be part of our itinerary.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Compare Prices

There's actually a website online where you can allegedly find the lowest prices for the different diet pills! You see, sometimes supplements which address vanity (weight loss, wrinkle removal, skin whitening etc) sometimes sell for outrageous prices. So it's best to do price comparison too.

That being said, it's better to consult a doctor specializing in weight loss before starting on any weight loss regimen.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Look For Our Kitchen

My mother wanted a new look for her kitchen countertop, so she had granite tiles installed. The problem with granite tiles is that it is more expensive than either ceramic or porcelain tiles, however it is more durable and looks elegant. But since it is a natural stone, there are few variations on its color.

However, you can consider porcelain tiles if you want more variety in color and design and you are on a budget. It is also quite durable and cleans up quite nicely.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cyber Monday on Buy.com

For techies looking for great deals on the newest gadgets, do check out Buy.com . They have a wide variety of computers, electronics, smartphones, software, books and other stuff at affordable prices. If you want even better deals and great buys, they also have Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials!

I am also surprised that they now carry more items than before, even jewelry and ladies' bags!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cebu Pacific 50% Off Seat Sale

From Cebu Pacific's website (link here):

Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific (CEB) celebrates the first anniversary of its operations in Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (T3) on July 22, 2009 with a first-of-its-kind 50% off seat sale.

Passengers can avail of the 50% discount on all domestic and international flights from July 22 to 24, 2009. This is valid for travel from September 1 to November 30, 2009.

“CEB’s move to T3 has allowed the airline to grow continuously despite current global market conditions. Now, not only do we provide our passengers with the lowest fares, newest planes, most flights and destinations; we also operate from a world class airport.” said Candice Iyog, VP for Marketing and Distribution.

“Our first anniversary in T3 underscores the solid partnership between CEB and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). The MIAA’s support has been instrumental in CEB’s expansion,” she added.

Passengers are advised to book their flights through www.cebupacificair.com, or CEB’s reservations hotlines (02)70-20-888 and (032)230-88-88, or their travel agent.

CEB, Asia’s third largest low-cost carrier, has flown nearly 36 million passengers since its inception in 1996. It now flies to 32 domestic destinations and 14 Asian cities from four hubs, utilizing the youngest aircraft fleet in the Philippines.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Health Insurance

Even if we are doctors ourselves, we still find health care costs steep, especially if you're looking for quality health care. Because we want to choose the doctors that we want, we didn't get an HMO anymore, but we do get hit with huge bills once in a while.

HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) are a good idea if you want health coverage with less, if any, out-of-pocket expenses and do not mind the limited choice of doctors. You may opt to look over some low cost health insurance -- perhaps there's a plan that would be best suited to you or your family. After all, we won't always be healthy (although we wish we were). And getting sick not only drains your finances, it also costs you in terms of potential income since you have to take time off your work and/or your business.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Find The Cause

Of all the acne treatments I've tried back when I was getting lots of pimples while I was in medical school, the one which really worked was an oral contraceptive (Ethinyl Estradiol or brand: Diane 35). It turned out that what I had then was a hormonal imbalance due to stress. Looking back, my periods were also more irregular then.

Lesson learned: Find the cause so that you can solve the problem. This works not only for acne but for other things in life as well.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Before Hiring A Nanny

With a newborn and a preschooler, I definitely need help as I will soon be going back to work. With so many crimes reported on the news nowadays, one can't help but be a little paranoid about employing people, especially one who's going to take care of my kids and stay in our house. That's why I make sure that my nannies should undergo at least a basic employee screening. But even with that, I make sure that somebody I trust is always with them-- either my husband, my mom or mother-in-law, or our siblings -- if I'm not around to supervise their work. It's better to be safe than sorry.

I also have my nannies undergo a pre-employment checkup to make sure they don't harbor any communicable diseases to our kids.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Grand Vacations With Kids?

My husband and I agree that it's best to travel with the kids when they're older. Like maybe at least 4 years old. This is because of the following reasons:

1. They do not need as much gear, unlike babies, wherein we have to bring the whole caboodle -- stroller, sterilizer, crib, etc etc

2. They will actually have memories of the trip.

3. The parents (that's us) will enjoy the trip more because they don't have to spend their time watching out for the babies' various needs.

That means our Orlando vacations will have to wait.

But that's our opinion. Others also say that trips with babies on board are very enjoyable. So, it's pretty much up to you.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Win a Jollibee Kiddie Party!

Join the Play happily ever after photo contest. This is sponsored by Johnson's Baby powder.

Click here for the mechanics.

Good luck to everybody!!!

(Now off to find the perfect pictures...)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lights!

We all know that not all light fixtures are created equal in terms of energy efficiency and brightness. Incandescent lamps are less bright and consumes more electricity while fluorescent lamps and so-called energy efficient lamps are brighter and consumes less electricity for their brightness. However, sometimes we do want pretty lights in the more "public" areas of our homes.

The solution is to pick the rooms where you need more aesthetics and the rooms which need more light and do not need to be too "pretty". For example, living rooms look much better with chandeliers, while the study or workroom needs more lighting.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Let Your Fingers Do The Walking....

A handyman-at-heart, my husband often wonders why it is so difficult to find some industrial products in handyman shops like Ace Hardware, True Value and DIY store? My guess is that the things that are difficult to find are the ones that are not very saleable, so the store owners don't really keep them in stock.

The good news is that there are actually some companies which, while not being retailers of such products, do let consumers buy some in retail quantities. Just flip open the yellow pages and look for the item that you are looking for. Chances are, you can find them there. Or, use the net to research on where best to look for the item that you want.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Invest In Coins

Investments are a tricky business and require a lot of knowledge, for the most part. They also require a huge capital outlay, especially for real estate, that most of us do not have. Stocks also require quite a large amount of money, and need constant monitoring.

For small investors, mutual funds pool the resources of different individuals in order to invest in stocks, bonds, the money market, securities and more, and are often overseen by a someone who's knowledgeable.

The problem with most investments, whether big or small, is the difficulty in transferring to a different name whenever you want to. It's also difficult to pass on when the investor passes away. Worth considering too is the fact that these are subject to inheritance taxes which slices off a big percentage when that occurs.

That's why it's also worth it to invest in different instruments and to also consider investing in smaller, non-traditional investments like jewelry and rare coins. Of course it's best to get coins from reputable coin dealers like the Monex Group of Companies, who have been operating for 40 years, and not from any fly-by-night sellers who might just give you fake coins and run away with your money.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hand Me Down Textbooks

Despite the frequent suspension of classes due to both the weather and discovering cases of swine flu within the student population, the new school year has started, albeit shakily. One of the biggest expenses parents face during this time is the buying of new textbooks. They do get more expensive every year.

If you have more than 1 kid studying in the same school, it would be wise to keep the older sibling's books to hand down to the younger sibling when the latter reaches the same level. Of course this would not apply if (1) it's a workbook and is to be written on (2) the book has a updated edition by the time the younger sibling got to use it (3) the older sibling didn't take care of the book and it's too dog eared already by the time he's through with it. With the last, it might be a good idea to impress upon all your children to take care of their books so that they will last.

I've always used new books when I was studying, mainly because I'm the eldest. My classmates who had older siblings, though, "inherited" a lot of books from their older brothers and sisters in the same school. I think it's a great idea, one that's very practical!

Friday, June 26, 2009

On Pets

I am not a pet person. I firmly believe that if you decide to keep pets, you should accept that it takes a lot of responsibility. It's like taking care of children. You don't want to shortchange your children. Neither would you want to shortchange your pets. I would get good products for my pets like Frontline and to keep their skins and coats healthy. I know there are other cheaper ways to get rid of fleas but I'd rather go for the sure thing to keep my pets healthy.

If you just want a pet but do not want to take care of it and give it the love that it deserves, forget it. It would be better off in another home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Option For Shaping Up Post Partum?

A lot of mommies complain that their figures are no longer the same after having children. I am one of them. Although I did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight rather fast (about 3 months after giving birth -- even without any diet or exercise), my tummy still looks perpetually pregnant.

I wonder if Kettlebell workouts would help in getting me back into shape? It looks like it could, but this is all new for me so I hope somebody could tell me if this really works.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Florsheim, Naturalizer & Bossini Warehouse Sale!

Got this from one of my mailing lists. Too bad I can't go...

Enjoy!

Date: June 18 to 20
Time: from 9 to 6 pm

Place: RSI (Retail Specialist, Inc.) Warehouse, 2295 Jannov Building on Pasong Tamo Extension.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weight Watching

Doctors will always tell people to watch their weight because obesity brings about a host of health related problems like hypertension and diabetes, just to name two. I think it begins with proper eating habits that are honed since childhood. We usually grow up to prefer the food that we were used to while growing up. And, if that means that a lot of junk, then it's no wonder that we get more and more stored fat.

Activity is another factor. I do not think I've seen an obese farmer or construction worker. While I am not saying that we should go for these occupations, I would admit that our life nowadays is generally more "cushy" than it was before. If you "plant" yourself in front of the TV doing not much else but press the buttons on the remote, you won't really be burning too much of the food that you are consuming. Worse, you compound the problem by taking in high fat, high carbo snacks while watching TV.

While there are lots of ways to lose weight nowadays, it still is best if you don't put on the weight in the first place. If all else fails, do consult a weight management specialist who will recommend a good diet and exercise program and maybe discuss some diet pill reviews and other unconventional choices with you so that you can achieve your ideal (and healthy weight).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not A Shopaholic At All!

I'm looking at today's topic for wifespeaks, and I just could not resist answering this quiz. I know I'm on the "kuripot" (frugal or stingy) side...this probably just shows how much! My answers are in orange, by the way.

Shopping Allowance…
(a) Hubby gives me on a monthly basis…
(b) I save up for my own.
(c) Non-existent.
(d) Depending on whatever’s left in the budget.
Others: I pool our incomes and allot a small weekly allowance for each of us. What we do we with that allowance is our own business. :P

The bulk of my shopping money or “extra cash” goes to…
(a) Bags
(b) Shoes
(c) Clothes
(d) Jewelry
(e) Books (and magazines) -- but not lately
(f) Gadgets
(g) Make-Up
(h) All of the Above
Others: _________

The one kikay item that I can never live without, even if it’s worth my last penny is _________. Can't think of any...not a kikay person! :P

The most expensive kikay item that I have or had, but I think is worth every centavo is ______. Does my Tag watch count? I didn't buy it though, it was a give from my mom :)

The best place to shop for affordable but quality goods is at:
For Clothes/ Bags/ Shoes: SM -- they've got it all!
For Gadgets: Greenhills
For Books: ebay, Books for Less
For Make-Up: Watson's
For Jewelry: Ongpin

If you cannot afford a brand new Louis Vuitton, you will…
(a) Buy pre-owned ones at lower prices
(b) Save up and wait until you can afford it
(c) Swipe the card anyway and think about the bills later
(d) Buy a similar type from the more affordable brand

Who is the bigger spender in terms of shopping?
(a) Me!
(b) The Hubby!
(c) Same

Have you ever splurged on something that was not really worth it? If yes, what item?

Can't thing of anything right now.

Is there any kikay item or any gadget that you are currently saving up for, care to share?

We want an HD video camera and a digital SLR. :)

Are you the type who goes to the mall, and can never leave empty-handed?

No (My husband's lucky!)


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This is my contribution to Wifespeaks: Fab Finds Thursday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Practical Tips in the Kitchen

I am no domestic goddess. I would be the first to say that I do not like doing household chores and I hate the fact that in most cultures, the household chores fall by default to the wife. Well, we can't all like what we're doing. And, whether we like it or not, somebody HAS to do the chores. It's nice that here in the Philippines, we have househelp who can do these for us.

Even if household chores are not my favorite thing, I can proudly say that I can do them. I am not helpless without maids, just inconvenienced. Cooking may not be my favorite pastime, but my mother trained me well and I can cook up family meals even without any assistance. Being lazy about having to cook AND being a frugal, however, has made me develop some tricks that would make it a little easier for me. Here are some of my tips:

  • Save the soup from boiling chicken (for making Hainanese Chicken, for example). You can add asparagus for a tasty chicken asparagus soup, or put in some chicken strips, carrots and milk to make chicken sopas.
  • Invest in nice pots which would also look good on the table. That way, you can serve the dishes in their pots without transferring to plates. Saves you the trouble of having of cleaning both the pot and the dish.
  • Some sauces are good in other dishes. My mother used to save the sauce from Hong Ma or Patatim and use it to make a really good sauce base for bihon. It's also good for cooking kelp and banana blossoms. These are mainly Chinese dishes though, so I don't know if you can relate with me here.
  • Peel carrots, potatoes, and others with some newspaper underneath. This makes for simpler clean ups.
  • Steaming is a good and healthy way to cook. Not only that, it's easy too. You can steam fish or vegetables at the same time as you're cooking some other dish. If you use a rice cooker, nowadays, there's a steaming attachment which you can use at the same time as you're cooking your rice.
  • My favorite pieces of cooking utensils are the wok and the cleaver. They're both very versatile. You can deep fry, steam, boil soup, saute...just about anything in the wok. The cleaver, I can chop veggies and meat, slice meat, crush garlic, lot of stuff. With a good metal spatula and a chopping board, the 4 would be my bare essentials for kitchen utensils.
  • Plan your menu for the week, so that you can do your marketing and groceries in one go.
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This is my contribution to Wifespeaks: Foodie Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Laptops Better For Personal Use

Once I started on my first laptop computer, there's really no turning back to a desktop, at least for my personal use. It's so much more portable and user friendly, and it already has most of the features of the more bulky desktop. I can work wherever I want.

The biggest drawback of laptops is the price. For the same price, you can actually get a desktop with much better specs. But it's ok for me. After all, there are always laptop deals available. And, honestly speaking, I only need a computer for basic internet surfing and office work, and I do not need those other bells and whistles. What I need is something I can bring with me anytime!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Honeymoon Must Haves

My husband and I went on a whirlwind honeymoon trip (only 3 days 2 nights!) in Hong Kong. Our experience was nonetheless memorable. I'll probably make another post on this, but for the meantime, these are the things that I believe are the must-haves during a honeymoon:
  • camera--Document each moment! Would you believe we actually brought 3 cameras - 1 film camera, 1 digital camera and 1 video camera? :)
  • airline tickets and passports -- Pretty self explanatory...
  • enough money -- do bring some US dollars, which can usually be easily converted to local currency. Don't forget to bring some small change in the local currency for tips and small purchases.
  • credit cards -- I usually pay in credit card if I can so I don't run out of cash when I'm abroad.
  • a passport envelope to keep your money, passport and other important documents close to you.
  • Photocopies of passport and important docs, in case you lose them.
  • maps
  • locks for your suitcase and for closets, if possible.
  • comfortable but versatile shoes -- anticipate a lot of walking!
  • some toiletries -- especially if not all shampoos/soaps/lotion suits you.
  • cardigan or jacket -- in case weather turns chilly
  • backpack -- to put your jacket/cardigan, some food, drinking water etc, when you go out
  • jeans -- goes with any top and any shoes, and goes anywhere!
  • more than enough underwear -- in case you can't wash, you'll still have some extra
  • emergency meds -- OTC meds for headache, diarrhea, allergies and other emergencies. Also your regular maintenance medications, if any (They may not honor the prescription from your local doctor). In case symptoms do not go away, do see a doctor.
  • rubbing alcohol -- All around sanitizer. It's pretty easy to find here in the Philippines, but not as easy to find in Hong Kong. Not very sure about other countries, though.
Of course, each other! Do enjoy your first trip as husband and wife!
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My entry to Wifespeaks: Fab Finds Thursday. Sorry it's late!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Be Critical When Researching About Health Online

It's a sad day when somebody in the family gets diagnosed with mesothelioma or some other cancer. Nevertheless, the patient himself/herself and the family, after going through the stages of denial to acceptance, should bravely consider the choices and consider what has to be done. The internet is a giant and easy source of information where you can research on the topic, but there are reliable sites and there are those that are less than reliable. Be sure to be a critical reader -- don't just rely on one site. Do your research in several sites, and not only on the internet. Try to discern which of the sites look to be the most reliable ones. This way, you will be able to get more information, and from these information AND your discussions with the doctor, you can form a better understanding of your disease, the choices that the family faces, and come to a decision as to what is the best decision for your family to make.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Know Your Priorities

My husband would love to have a playstation 3, but we considered the following:
  • We don't need or want extra expenses right now, since we're expecting to pay E's tuition fee AND pay for a C-section next month!
  • Although his playstation 1 is pretty old, he can still use it.
  • As it is, he does not have time to play with his playstation 1.
  • By the time he gets the time to play (or my son becomes interested in game consoles), there would already be a newer version of the game console, which will make our purchase obsolete.
The first reason is actually the most important -- we have more important things to do with our money, and that's what we're prioritizing right now.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Make Time For Yourself

This is something I haven't done lately -- schedule some time just for myself. But I should -- everybody should. It doesn't matter if it's just an hour of just not doing anything and relaxing outdoors on the patio furniture, or a power nap, or a movie, or a massage. Just make sure you do have some time to recharge. Life is difficult enough as it is, better make sure you schedule some time to simply just enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weight Gain during Pregnancy

Still continuing on pregnancy weight gain, we should remember NOT to gain too much weight during pregnancy. Back when we were in medical school, we were told that the ideal weight gain is 2 pounds for the first trimester, then 10 pounds for both second and third trimesters. Of course, this is not absolute, but, hey a 50 pound weight gain is mommy's weight gain, not baby's. If you make your calories count and not take too much sugary and fatty snacks, you should be able to gain a healthy baby weight, slim down gradually after giving birth (without having to look for thebest diet pills) safely!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day To All the Moms Out There!

Breast is Best!

I've already said this before, but I'll say it again. Breastfeeding after giving birth is one of the best and cheap fat burners around. It saves you from spending money on formula (imagine a can of formula for about 800 pesos -- lasts for only about a week). Not only that, it contains antibodies which helps your baby fight off diseases. It's clean (no need to buy or boil water to prepare the milk), readily available, always at the right temperature. It also promotes mother-baby bonding. There are benefits for mommy too, and that includes weight loss!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Losing Weight

It's no secret that maintenance of an ideal body weight is important not only for better confidence and self image but also for a better overall health. Obesity is usually the product of many factors: a poor choice of foods in the diet, lack of physical exercise, basic constitution, genetics. Every individual is different, hence, there should be different strategies for weight loss.

It's best to consult experts in the field of weight loss as to what program (whether diet, exercise, weight loss pills, or surgery, or a combination of the above) is the best approach for you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Something Old...



From http://www.kasal.com :
Sometime after the exchange of vows, the groom presents the arrhae or arras to his bride after it has been blessed by the priest.

The arras, Spanish for "earnest money", is said to come from a Roman custom of breaking gold or silver into equal halves by both parties as a pledge of marriage.

The thirteen coins, said to represent Christ and his 12 apostles, symbolize the groom's unquestionable trust and confidence. By giving arras to his bride, he places all his material wealth into her care. Acceptance by the bride means taking that trust unconditionally with total dedication.

It is also said that the custom came from Spain. The arras usually come in ornate boxes or gift trays and represents the bride's dowry as well as good wishes for prosperity. Oftentimes, these coins become part of the family heirloom.


During our wedding, instead of using a brand new arrhae (bonus: we save money in the process!), we used an arrhae that was used during the wedding of my parents-in-law. It was also used at the wedding of my oldest brother-in-law. My youngest brother-in-law will also be using it during his coming wedding.

The arrhae is made of 13 Philippine coins from the turn of the century. It is considered an heirloom piece by my husband's family. It does not only signify the trust of my husband in letting me keep and manage his material possessions, but also the trust and confidence in me by husband's family. I am honored by this ceremony. I hope to pass on this tradition to my children when they get married in the future.

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My "pahabol" contribution to Wifespeaks: Fab Finds Thursday!

Children, Pets and Responsibility

I think that people should treat pets like babies in the sense that when one takes on the responsibility of caring for a pet, one should look out for the best interests of the pet. It's either that or don't have a pet at all. I've seen some people get a dog as a "bantay" (watchdog) and maltreat it.

I have told my husband that if ever we get to have our own place, I would not want to be a surrogate "parent" to any pets taken in by either him or our children. Whoever gets the pet and wants the responsibility should be the one to take care of it, feed it the right food (there are actually some dog supplies that a kid can afford on his allowance), treat it right. The problem with some children is that when they get tired of the pet, they don't really take care of it anymore and their mom ends up being the one to do so, even if she was not the one who wants to adopt the pet in the first place.

I would concede, though, that having pets would teach children responsibility. They just have to follow through with the responsibility of having the pet, and not pass on the responsibility to me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Supplements

I'm generally not a fan of supplements, mostly preferring natural sources in food and drinks rather than pills and powders concocted in laboratories, especially if the person does not really have any nutritional deficiencies to begin with. This is also because of the multitude of so called supplements available through various sources, both legitimate and otherwise, which claim to make one healthier, enhance performance, and generally just make one feel better than what he feels right now. There are however, some supplements like Stemulite which claims to be backed by well-researched by a team of respected professionals, with testimonies by athletes and ordinary people like you and me. I would be more inclined to think that their products would be much more reliable than others which give many promises but do not have the research data to back them up.

Still, I would suggest that prior to actually taking this or any other supplement, a visit to your friendly neighborhood family physician would be best in order to determine your baseline health status and to give you the go-ahead to take these supplements.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Know The Cause

I used to have really bad acne,back in my 20's. I've seen dermatologists and tried a variety of treatments. I've also tried some so-called natural acne treatment and even old wives' tales. I've avoided chocolates and oily foods. It was only when an obstetrician gynecologist asked about my (irregular) menstrual periods and put me on anti-androgen birth control pills that my acne started to subside and eventually, disappear completely. My periods also became regular. It turned out that I was having hormonal imbalance at that time, probably due to the fact that I was pretty stressed out. Afterwards, I still do get some pimples sometimes, but these are few and far between.

This illustrates the importance of knowing the cause of whatever problem, and endeavor to solve that problem by eliminating the root cause. Not only will this solve the problem completely (we hope!), you also avoid the stress and the expenses associated with just trying to solve the "symptoms" or signs.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Big Bulacan Garment Sale

The original warehouse sale is back! Featuring brands like RL, Nautica, CK, GAP, Billabong, Hollister, American Eagle, BR and a lot more overruns directly from factories in SEA so you're getting them at factory prices. Please limit your invites to only friends you know! And bring your membership cards. New members will be processed at the gate, just bring company or school ID.

Start Time: Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 8:00am
End Time: Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 8:00pm
Location: MEYCAUAYAN BULACAN
Street: Block 4 Lot 3 Acefree Street, Sterling Industrial Park, Bgy. Iba, Meycauayan, Philippines

Here's the map: (Click image to enlarge)


Phone: 022996061
Email: biggarmentssale@gmail.com

Here's their facebook invite.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On Debts

I try NOT to get into debt, especially consumer debt that credit card bills and especially if they are used to finance wants and not needs. However, there are times when it's inevitable that one has to borrow money -- for emergencies, for housing (it would take forever to save up for a house), for sudden cash flow problems in your business venture, etc. The key is watch your spending and not let the debt balloon to something you cannot manage.

If your debt is from different sources and gets to be confusing and difficult to keep track, it may also be wise to consider debt consolidation to make it easier for you. There are companies which offer these services, some even offer lower interest rates. You may consider this.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why I'd Like To Have a Patio

I've always enjoyed the patio in my grandmother's house. It's an airy place with lots of natural ventilation and natural lighting within a setting of greens. I find it so peaceful and relaxing. I could do some work or simply relax on patio chairs while in a nature setting of fresh air. It's also a great place for having meals al fresco and a place to meet friends when you don't want to use the formal living room. Since it's roofed, it would still be a great place to chill even when it's raining, as long as it's not too windy.

On the practical side, since there are already lots of natural lighting and natural ventilation, there is little need for artificial lighting except during nighttime, and little need for fans except when it becomes excruciatingly hot already, in which case, the additional air from the fans, at the lowest setting would already do the job.

Of course, this works because we live in a tropical country. I don't know if this will be as practical in winter.

But this is definitely something I'd like when I get to have my own house!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Great Idea From an Advertorial

Yesterday, while reading the papers, I came across an article (I guess it's a promotional article for some gated village) which suggests that in these times of economic uncertainties, people consider using the amenities in their gated villages or condos like the swimming pools, basketball and tennis courts and entertainment areas instead of spending the money on more expensive weekend getaways. While a lot of people would balk at this, I think it's a real good idea if you are really having a tight budget at the moment. Anyway, most Pinoys associate outing with the above activities. And not using up your money for such brief holidays would enable you to save up for a grander holiday in the future!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kids and Money

My son is only 3 /2 years old and is (thankfully) not yet old enough to ask for his allowance, but this early I would like to instill in him the value of money. It does not pay for children (and adults too) to be materialistic since the momentary pleasure of material things do not give us happiness in the long run.

I do not give him "pasalubong" ("meeting" gifts) when I get home from work "just because". Some Pinoy parents do this and it makes the child look for the "pasalubong" when the parent comes home. Well, maybe, I'll do it occasionally but not always. My (both working) parents didn't raise me on that.

I would also like that my son (and daughter) would NOT be "bilmoko" ("bili mo ako" or "buy me...this or that"). Things that are essential, yes. Things that are required by the school, yes. But no PSPs or equestrian apparel that they do not need. They have to work with me to save up for it if they really want it. It should not be that easy.

Hopefully, I will be able to raise children who are not materialistic, have a healthy respect for what they have in life (and not just buy for the pleasure of buying), with a good grasp of the value of money.

If you have any suggestions on how else to do this, feel free to post it here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Timing is Everything!

I've been to Las Vegas twice but we've always been conscious of our budget. The first time I went was with my whole family. We simply walked in at a motel which had a vacancy and which could accommodate all of us in one room. The second time I went was with my mom. A relative pre-registered us at the Palace Station Hotel, which, while not being top-of-mind luxury hotel, was nevertheless adequate. We were, however, able to experience one night of luxury at the Bally Hotel, on a particularly low day. It made me realize that if you time it right, you would not have to spend an arm and a leg to experience great hotels like the Stratosphere hotel. It takes careful planning and scheduling, but if you do it right by avoiding the peak seasons or days and go on low days, you might just get the luxury you want and deserve at a price that you can afford.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why We're Staying Put

It's now Holy Thursday. Many Filipino families are making the out-of-town trek to enjoy the 4-day respite from work. Some have even started their vacation since last weekend, since there are only 2 working days this week. We have opted to stay in Manila and just rest since we don't really want to join the vacationing crowds.

For most resorts, this is considered as a very high season since most people really schedule their trips with their families at around this time, as children are already enjoying their summer vacations. It's also perfect to go to the beach at this time because the weather is hot and sunny. Unfortunately, this also means that resorts will charge higher prices at this time of the year. That goes for hotels, food, travel (whether by air, sea or land). You'd find that you need a bigger budget for vacations if you schedule it at this time. It IS Holy Week, so it may be a good time to practice fasting and abstinence (forced, since food will cost high and there's no need for appetite suppressants when your money won't really go far)

Our family has decided that we will take our vacation during the low season. Not only will prices be cheaper, there won't be crowds on the beach (or other places of interest) and the vacation would truly be more relaxing. Also, there would be more vacancies available.

Now, we'd rather just chill at home.

My Vacation Thoughts

The standards for feminine and masculine beauty may be different, but universally, healthier looking individuals look more attractive. That means people who look lean with no excess body fat but with a healthy amount of muscle tissue look more attractive than those who are too skinny and too fat. While this has made gyms and health clubs the place to be to achieve that "perfect" look, some people also try to enhance their body building experiences with supplements like NO2 Black.

Just remember that you must try to look good for YOURSELF -- your own health, enjoyment, self-esteem -- rather than just to attract compliments and other people.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Scholastic Summer Warehouse Sale!

Got this from one of my mailing lists:

BOOK FIESTA!


April 15-19, 2009
Wednesday-Sunday, 8am-8pm

May 4-10, 2009
Monday-Sunday, 8am-8pm

Scholastic Warehouse
#70 C. Raymundo Ave., Rosario, Pasig City
Tel. nos. 751-6714, 628-4487, 0922-8562077

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Big Outlet Sale is Not Cancelled!

The Big Outlet Sale 2009
Biggest Brands, Lowest Prices!
April 17, 2009, Friday to April 19, Sunday
9am-8pm
Megatent
30 Meralco Ave, Ortigas Center,
Pasig City

Here's the facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=61849996285

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shoes and Bag Sale

For bagaholics and shoe lovers out there -- a chance for you to satisfy your cravings!


(Click on image to enlarge)

Delegate!

The more menial stuff, that is. Especially the ones which take a lot of time away from the more important work.

When you have all the time in the world, it's okay to multitask and do everything. But when the time comes when 24 hours in a day is not important, it may be better to just hire somebody else to do the job that require less of your attention, especially if such a job is either not your expertise or something that you'd rather not be doing.

For example, I'd rather not stress over the nitty gritty of tax preparation, so I hire retainer accountant to do the job for me. What I simply do is submit the required information and paper to my accountant and she does the rest -- process the papers, compute the needed taxes, go to the BIR at the right date. Less hassle and less need for eye cream for me in the long run. And of course, she does it much better than I do, so it's money well spent.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lacoste Sale

Got this from the Philippine Star. Only a few days to go so hurry!

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cebu Pacific Seat Sale

Sale Period: March 25-31, 2009
Travel Period: June 1 to December 31, 2009


(Click on image to enlarge.)

About Me

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A part time ophthalmologist, part time micro business owner, part time graduate student and FULL TIME MOM struggling to find balance in the confusing world of multitasking :)

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