Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home During The Easter Weekend

It's Palm Sunday today and in a few day's time, mostly-Catholic Filipinos will be trekking somewhere on the 4 no-work days on the weekend. Call us killjoys, but we do not really feel the compelling need to join the exodus. Our little girl just had her measles vaccine, and we have to watch her for fever since she had an episode of benign febrile seizure just last February. Going out of town takes us farther away from the more equipped hospitals where our doctors are. Our cars also experienced troubles during the past week, and unless 24 hour towing offered by Wheeler's Club extends to the countryside, it might be a better idea to just stay in the metropolis.

They do say that "Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan" (You think of a lot of excuses when you don't want to.) Yes, to be honest, we just want to stay put and enjoy Manila at its laziest. When else can you experience Manila without the traffic, the hustle and bustle, and the WORK? :D

Friday, March 26, 2010

For Formal Occasions, Men Are Luckier

While I am essentially a girl and I do love dressing up once in a while, I do have to admit that it's more difficult for us. If you have worn a particular dress to a formal occasion, chances are you cannot recycle it again, unless it happens to be an occasion with another group of people. Sigh.

Unlike men, whose barongs, suits and tuxedos could be used again and again, and people would not even notice. Which means that they only need 1 set of each.

Why can't women have a "uniform" of sorts for this formal occasions? It would save on closet space too!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Repaired Our Car

On Saturday last week, my 12 year old inherited-from-my-dad Toyota Camry overheated while my husband was driving it home. We called up Wheeler's Club to have it towed. Thank goodness we're members!

It turned out that the radiator was already cracking. No wonder, it was already 12 years old and made of a plastic material. Hubby tried to canvass for a new radiator, and learned that it would cost a whopping 30 plus thousand pesos!!! I know that the Camry is considered a "luxury car" but, hey, I didn't expect that price. I wonder how much Ferrari parts would cost. Now THAT is a luxury car!

Anyway, my husband was able to find a cheaper replacement part. We finally had it replaced and my car is again in excellent running condition.

Take home lessons:
  • Be a member in Wheeler's Club or some other towing company. It only costs 700 pesos a year. This is especially if your car is old. If you don't have a membership, towing would set you back 2000 pesos EVERY TIME!
  • If your car is old, it would certainly show its age sooner or later, so be prepared to spend for repairs.

Alternative Relief

Yesterday, my colleague and I were discussing about alternative therapies for most of the common symptoms that we see in the clinic and which are not totally helped by conventional therapy. For example, we often prescribe pain relievers as migraine treatments but there are studies suggesting that there may be some deficiencies in magnesium that might trigger migraine headaches. We agreed that as long as we don't cause any harm, we could try incorporating supplements into our treatment plan. Anyway, we can always stop it when we think it's not helping at all.

Just goes to show that there are always other alternatives out there and that we should be open minded about it.

Small Space Challenge

We're thinking of how to decorate our small less than 20 square meter condo unit which we plan to rent out already furnished. The small space is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Needless to say, we won't really need fancy home theater seating, just simple basic furnishings. The challenge is how to fit everything into the small space so it would be comfortable and nice.

I'm thinking of getting a sofa bed with drawers. That's a 3 in one furniture already! Bed, soft and storage. And maybe a coffee table that could double as a dining room. Mounted TV. Closet. Refrigerator. I wonder if it's better to put in a stove or a microwave oven? Hmmm.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Reasons To Lose Weight

When my mom got her partial hip replacement surgery, she was advised to lose weight so that there would not be too much weight bearing to be placed upon the hip joint that's been replaced. It will also provide joint pain relief for her knees, since she is already above 60 years old and very prone to osteoarthritis.

That's another reason why we should try to be within our ideal weight. Our weight bearing joints can only take so much weight and would likely "give" if there is just too much.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bikini Season

Holy Week is next week already!

While it's supposed to be a time for prayer and reflection by Catholics, most people here in the Philippines would rather spend the 4 day break from work to head out to the beaches and soak up some sun. Some ladies would engage now in a quick weight loss diet so that they would look good in their bikinis and bathing suits.

While it's okay to want to look good, keeping slim and healthy should not be just a one time effort but something we should do all the time, with a sensible diet and exercise plan.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Protect Your Skin From The Sun

With the summer season upon us and the damaging effects of UV in full force, always remember to have enough skin protection. The best day creams should contain SPF, but in this season you might have to consider putting on a sunblock too. And not just on the face. Even on other exposed areas of the body. Especially when you're going to be out under the sun for extended periods of time. Be sure that your kids also have adequate sun protection when going out.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kids Change Everything

The great difference between being single and being married with kids is that you have lesser control over both your money and your time.

When I was single, I could choose to do anything in my free time. I could just sleep all day (if it's a free day, of course) if I want to. I could decide on the spur of the moment to go shopping. I check out diet supplement reviews on the net whenever I feel like it.

Same thing with money. I could simply put it away if I want to, or splurge when I see something I fancy.

Now I can't.

I have to remember that I have 2 young children who are fully dependent on me and my husband. I can't just go out without ensuring that somebody's taking care of them. I can't spend left and right, I have to make sure that I spend wisely because I have to budget for their needs.

But I'm happy. I would not have it any other way. Every time I look at my kids, even when they're at their naughtiest, I feel that everything is so worth it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Invites to Children's Celebrations

Mommies nowadays spend a lot for their kids' celebrations. I get a lot of invitations especially from E's classmates whenever somebody's birthday is coming up. I truly understand, because mommies want to make the special day of their kids even more special. I'm just a bit surprised that now you have birthday invitations even if it's a school party only, baptism invitations and even first communion invitations. We used to just call people we want to invite!

Now, I usually just send out a text message to the invitees. It's a little improvement on the "tradition" of calling everybody. The good thing about this is that I get response quickly. Saves a lot of time, effort and money too! But that's just the frugal me talking. I still like receiving and looking at printed invites, although I know a lot of people who, like me, forego that in the interest of cost cutting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cool Drinks

The summer heat is upon us...big time! We've been having temperatures of 36 degrees Celsius! Hot, hot, hot!

It's so nice to have a refreshing drink to cool off. Although sodas are considered "bad", it's just so "ahhhhh...refreshing" when you are feeling the heat. But in this heat, a cold can quickly becomes tepid. These cute custom koozies would make those drinks remain cold a little longer. They even have a design that's perfect for bear bottles!

It's just the right thing to put in your car when you're traveling and want your cans to stay cool longer.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Working Space

Since I do a lot of work at home, I feel that I should ideally have a working space at home, where people won't try to disturb me unless it's really important so that I can be more productive and have my work done. Nothing fancy, just basic office furniture like a desk and a comfortable chair, a laptop and adequate lighting. That's it.

But since I don't have it, I'm doing the next best thing, I think. I just do my work after my little family falls asleep, so that there will be less chances of people disturbing me at my work.

Multitasking mom, that's me!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Car Insurance

I think it's dumb if you own a car and do not even think about getting insurance. Even if you are a very careful driver, there are times when accidents still happen. Also, it's not just about you being a careful driver or not, it's also about other drivers being as careful as you are. You may just park your car and find dents when you come back, and the culprit nowhere to be found. With so many companies out there offering cheap car insurance, there really is no excuse on not having the budget to have your car insured. If you have the budget for a car, you should have a budget to have it insured.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Own Swimming Pool

When my family starting searching for a house years and years ago, we wanted to have one with a pool. That's because we feel that since we all swim, a convenient pool of your own would encourage us to have more exercise. Fat chance!

That was before we realized how tedious it is to maintain a pool. You have to vacuum the water every so often. With the amount of dust in the air, the pool does get dirty quite easily. Also, any pH change will allow algae to grow, making the water green and murky. Ugggghhh! We also have to put in chlorine once every so often to disinfect the pool.

All in all, it's quite expensive to maintain a pool. You'll need to spend on electricity (for the vacuum), water, chlorine. I wonder if a uv pond filter would work for a pool and be cheaper in the long run?

Anyway, unless you do swimming everyday, I would say that having a private pool may not be such a good deal after all. It may be better to just look for a community pool near you and pay the minimal entrance fee.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Diversify Investments

We just put a little more money in our VUL (variable unit life insurance). As explained to us by our agent, it's combi product cross between mutual funds and life insurance. Which should not only give a little something for our family in case something untoward happens to us.

We are also putting a little here and a little there whenever we can. We have mutual funds that sadly, we haven't added to in long time. We're trying to buy at least a condo unit which we could rent out and earn some passive income in the process.

Next, we'll are exploring other options. Maybe try the stock market. And maybe also buy gold bars. After all, gold is a precious metal that is valued throughout centuries. There's been a rise in gold prices in the past two weeks and that's not expected to stop. Which makes it a great investment.

Experts do always say that we have to diversify our investments. We are certainly trying to.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Do You Really Need It?

The reason why I haven't jumped on the IPod/Blackberry or other so-called smartphone bandwagon while many others are is because I really do not want to spend for additioanl features that I do not need yet. I'm still pretty happy with my current phone, so unless it starts giving me problems, I have no intention yet to change/upgrade it. Now, on the other hand, I can see why busy people like my uncle may need a gadget like that!

That's why for my micro micro backyard online business venture, I do manual receipting instead of getting a POS system with a tm-t88iv receipt printer. I just don't need it right now. Maybe (wishful thinking) if my business were so big and busy I just might think of buying it, but getting it at this startup stage is just too impractical.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Learning By Doing

I don't generally like reading manuals. I feel like I learn more by doing, especially when it comes to computer stuff. That's how I learned how to use Microsoft word, powerpoint and other Microsoft office programs. I learned to surf the net just by doing it. And I learned to blog by learning it mostly by myself. I think that's also why I haven't learned Photoshop yet, because I don't have the time anymore to sit down and work on it.

So, I suggest if you want to learn something, just take a deep breath and DO IT! You won't learn if you just won't do it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not For All

Most people get pimples at the pubertal stage. Other people, like me, get their worst pimples beyond that. I was already past twenty when I had really bad acne, which even the supposedly best acne creams of that time didn't cure. Other people get acne because of something they had, whether it's medication or some skin product that doesn't agree with their skin makeup. I only had pimples on my face even at my worst, but I know people who get it on their backs (the so-called "bacne").

The causes are a combination of different factors like age, hormones (that's why it's more common in teenagers, when hormones go haywire), stress, hygiene and to a lesser extent, diet.

I found that birth control pills which regulated my periods cleared my face up. Other people swear by tea tree oil (I sell tea tree soap, by the way) in different formulations. Of course, there are the traditional creams and oral medications. Some go regularly to their dermatologists for their treatments.

There really is no one treatment for all in this case. Unfortunately. So what works for your neighbor may not necessarily work for you. So, do keep your mind open if it doesn't work, because that may not be the right treatment for you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't Judge

In my practice, I get patients with herpes simplex virus in the eye. It's treatable and I tell my patients so.

But I realized that some people think that HSV infection is a a sexually transmitted disease. There are actually 2 types of HSV, one of which is NOT in any way related to sex.

Some of these people protest that they are faithful to their partners (who also say that they are faithful) and there is no way that they could acquire the infection. While having more than one partner is not as big an issue now as it was a generation ago, STD seems to be still a stigma that people try to avoid. Some people avoid getting seen by a doctor if they think they have an STD problem and hence avoid treatment.

The point of all this is to not be judgmental. The eyes of society are powerful deterrents for people. They would rather hide than seek treatment if it means that they will feel "less" in the eyes of society.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Treat The Cause

I've said this before and I'll say it again.

If you self medicate and what you gave yourself didn't work, or even made your condition worse, you spend even more. No to mention that you'll suffer longer.

The key is to find the cause and treat it accordingly. And if there is really no cure at all, you have to find the best way to control it.

That's why it's important to consult the experts.

Back when I was in med school, I had the worst case of acne ever in my life. I've tried all sorts of treatments, even home remedies but none worked. In the end, the best acne treatment for me turned out to be a certain brand of birth control pills prescribed by an OBGYN. It turned out that my hormones were going haywire at that point. I did not get my menstrual period for more than 2 months because of extreme stress. The pills not only made my periods regular, it eliminated my bad acne.

Now I'm wishing that there would be a good way of getting rid of the scars on my face. Sigh.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why Think Of Another Income Source?

It's a sad fact for many of us that our jobs or professions just do not allow us to save for tomorrow. That's why we either take on a second job on top of the main occupation, or do some other "sidelines" like opening a small buy and sell business, or whatever. Some invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc.

It's never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. What if you lose your job? What if you get sick and cannot work? Your expenses won't stop even if your income does.

The point is, you should always have a source of income. My aim is to work as much as I can while I still can and at the same time invest my money in instruments that will provide me a passive income when I no longer could.

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 :)