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!

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 :)