Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Insurance, again

It's the time of the year when we are being charged again for our premiums on our insurance plans. Truth be told, I need a good insurance agent who would remind me about these deadlines and would explain to me things like cd annuity rates in laymen's terms, since they are very confusing for me most of the time.

In any case, I make sure my insurance is up to date.  With tragedies occurring left and right, we really do not know what is in store for us.  My husband and I would like our kids to be well provided for in case something untoward happens to us.  I hope not, though, not while they are small and still cannot fend for themselves but of course I really cannot tell.  That's why we religiously pay our dues to make sure they wouldn't be destitute in case of such situations.

Holidays in the Metro

For some reason, Christmas this year just doesn't feel as joyous as the previous years. Maybe it's because Christmas Day and New Year's Day fall on Sundays, which mean that there is practically no additional free day. Quite a bummer actually. While I love my work and actually like being able to don my discount scrubs and get into the OR, there are really times that you just want to take it easy.

Well, I guess we can still enjoy ourselves as a family and within Metro Manila.  My son got a couple of tickets for a "train ride" at Active Fun so we'll probably find time to go there.  There's a deal on Ace Water Spa that I might just avail of (click on this link to join cashcashpinoy if you're not a member yet).  I also saw a deal on Hotel H20 that I would like but the inclusive dates do not include the next few days.

I am so glad there are just so many choices today, hence staying in the Metro for BOTH work and play seems like a good idea!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Online Christmas shopping!

It really is not easy to shop for Christmas gifts when you just do not have the time to do so. I'm now doing a lot of my shopping online. While it may not be the cheapest way to do shopping, it may actually save me more in the long run since I am saving time and gasoline, not to mention my effort. I shop online, order the things I'm interested in, pay for it online, and it gets sent to my doorstep! Hassle free!

Of course, not everything can be bought online.  There is also the matter of expiring gift certificates which I have to use soon, so I'll probably still buy some gifts at the mall.

But it does make things so much easier, and I'm not panicking, because I know that when there are time constraints, I can actually still have gifts ready for the people I would like to give them to.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why I'm choosing to commute this season

My car was rear ended by a bus last Saturday during a bad traffic jam. My husband got angry with me for not reporting the matter to the police. I reasoned that at the time I did not think that it would help. Anyway, the car was not damaged much, just a little paint was chipped off and I really hate the hassle of going to a police station. But later, I realized that I may need some auto estimating for damages that may not be so obvious. After the incident, I get a general warning sign whenever I try to use the car. I haven't figured out what's wrong, but my husband's guessing that the accident probably damaged my rear lights. Sigh. That means we have to spend for essentially, an accident that was not my fault. Grrrrrrr! Good thing I have insurance. I do believe in karma and if the driver continues with this sort of attitude, he'll meet his match in somebody much less forgiving than I am.

In the meantime, I'll probably just commute.  Pre Christmas traffic is really really bad and riding the MRT would be much faster anyway.  And of course, I don't want to risk another incident like that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Short getaway for us

Our little family took advantage of the long "Undas" weekend to take a short breather from our daily routines. It's not often that we get such a chance. We simply went to nearby Tagaytay via a short 1 and a half hour drive. We simply borrowed a relatives' house, did our own cooking. Our kids loved playing in the playground (free!) and it was so much more fun when it was cold. They were able to run about in the village's deserted streets, which we don't get to do back in the city. How much did we shell out for such a trip? Let me put it this way, the money spent for the food for 5 adults and 2 kids for the 4 day 3 night trip would have lasted us only 1 night in wood cabins and log beds. And did we enjoy ourselves? Tremendously! There are ways of having a great time without spending a lot!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No prohibited drugs

It seems like a no-brainer that one should not get involved with prohibited drugs -- to put it bluntly, they do bad things to your body at a high price and you develop a dependence to it. Getting out of it is not easy too, there are simply not too many drug rehab treatment centers around, and you do need to have some resources in order to stay there for the time it takes to try to clear off the drug habit AND not work at the same time. So, it sometimes is a puzzle on why some people would willingly enter into the "drug trap", as I would like to call it. Maybe it's the thrill? Or is it an escape from reality? It might be difficult to get a person to say why he went into the habit in the first place. As a parent, I would like my kids to be secure enough, happy enough, and knowledgeable enough about the consequences in order that they won't fall into it. Correction: it's our duty to make sure that they don't. Because you lose so much when you become a drug dependent.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Live a little

I feel bad that we do not have the budget yet to buy the things that we WANT. I know we should be thankful that we can now more or less finance out needs like food, clothing and shelter, but luxuries and wants like an all terrain with atv power steering, new cellphones and laptops and gadgets like Ipads are still not practical for us at this point. I'd like to think that we should sometimes "live a little" and enjoy the finer things in life, however, for people like us who watch over the budget like a hawk, it's crucial not to spend too much on wants, especially when the "needs" will have to be compromised. Do not deprive yourself. While you may not be able to afford the high end toys and gadgets, small pleasures like eating in a nice restaurant once in while is a nice treat to make you feel good about yourself. I believe ti also gives you a boost so you get more energy working. A little splurge now and then makes for a better frame of mind. Just do not overdo it.

Online shopping for Christmas

Christmas is knocking on our doors, so some people have started on their Christmas lists. Now, more and more people are turning to online shopping as an alternative way to buy presents as people have less and less time to go shopping in the malls. I like that, actually! It's a lazy person's (like me) way to shop. You do not have to go to a mall, park (which becomes even more difficult at this time of the year), look all day for the perfect gift, line up at the cashier. In a lot of circumstances, you actually save on money if you factor in the money you have to pay for gasoline, parking, and time spent away from doing other things. Another benefit of online shopping is that you can buy gifts for your loved ones residing abroad. Red Envelope is a good site with a great gift selection. There are also discounts available only to online purchasers, of course you have to know how to redeem coupons on RedEnvelope in order to get the benefits. As for the local setting, there are now several options available. You can either shop at multiply, ebay or sulit. Technology certainly has made shopping for gifts so much easier!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Who's using my computer?

One of the reasons why I could not log on as often as I want to (and hence update my blogs) is because a little person has been elbowing me out for position in front of my laptop. I'm pretty proud of him, actually, because he was able to google video games. Good thing he plays games like Angry Birds and some puzzle games which are not only safe but I think quite beneficial to him as he was able to think. I wonder if there would come a time when he'd look at the call of duty modern warfare 3 reviews but I'm hoping not now yet, after all, he's only 6 years old. This is the time when my defective laptop is an advantage. The laptop sometimes stops when he uses it (there's some subtle positioning that you should do so it doesn't shut down) so it kinda limits his use. And he can't turn it on because the power switch is broken. I have to use a screwdriver to turn it on. So if your computer has some small problems and you have small kids who might compete with you for computer use, this might even be an advantage!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Partners

I think that in a marriage, husband and wife should remember that they are partners in life. That everything they do now impacts the whole family unit, whether it's just the couple, or if there are already kids, even the kids. That's why we have to check on our strengths and weaknesses so that we can let the "expert" do what he/she does best. For example, I have very little knowledge about matters pertaining to cars. I do not even see the difference between a saturn outlook custom floor mats or an ordinary cheap mat, but my husband, while he is not really a mechanic could do simple repairs and critique the job of repair people. So car and handyman duties are his. On the other hand, I'm supposed to be the thriftier person, so I am in charge of the budget. Things like that. We try to do the best that we can as a couple so that our whole family can benefit.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Get a good photographer for your wedding

Ask any couple who has gotten married on what they would advise people to spend on and many would say that you should get a good photographer. And it certainly makes sense. Memories of that special day captured by a seasoned raleigh wedding photographer would make better keepsakes than random shots by amateurs. Morever, your guests are there to celebrate the occasion with you, so that should be their main focus -- enjoying your moment, and not be the ones to document the said occasion. Hired photographers can better capture the essence of the wedding without being distracted since that IS their job. So if you're planning a wedding, this is one area you should not scrimp on -- getting a good photographer. If you need to save, just get a labor only package and get the photo files; do away with the other parts of the photo package for now--you can get back to making a good photobook later.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Partners in marriage

I've been a bad blogger lately. There are just so many things happening lately that I could simply not keep up. Between an increased practice workload and increasingly hard-to-keep-up-with kids, there are just so many things I want to do but can't. I'm glad that my husband is a great partner, as we basically are a tag team in trying to keep up with our family's needs. And, of course, being different in some aspects help. For example, my husband is the handyman. Ask my about casters and I'll draw a blank stare. Ask my husband and you'll get a more decent answer. But ask me about what diapers are in supply and I can give you a straight answer...he can't. I guess one of the secrets of having a marriage that works is to have a healthy partnership. It can't work if only one person is the one doing everything and the other does nothing. I am not dictating what you should do with your marriage. The idea is that each partner has his/her own strengths and weaknesses and each should try to work together in maximizing strengths and minimizing the shortcomings in order to have a successful family life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trust issues with nannies

In one of my mailing lists, an online aquaintance was very disappointed with a helper that she thought was trustworthy but had stolen small amounts of money from her. It's really difficult to totally trust people these days. But then it's also difficult to do everything ourselves because, let's face it, we are only human and cannot do everything ourselves.

 One of my worries is leaving my kids with just the nannies. Our present nannies seem to be good and trustworthy, but with my online aquaintance's experience, somehow I get a bit scared. That's one of the reasons why we are still living here at my mother's, so that our kids will have grandma watching over them. Although of course this could not be a permanent arrangement. We know that someday we do have to move out. I'm thinking if security cameras would be a good enough measure if the nannies are home with the kiddies while me and hubby are away?

 Oh well, I guess there is no perfect setup. We just have to adjust to whatever situation we find us in. Good luck to us.

Thrifty kid?

This month was such a busy one for me. Last week was especially busy as I was preparing for my son's birthday. No, it wasn't a big celebration, just dinner but it turned out to be a bigger production than I thought it would be.

I like to think that we raised a kid who was also practical. We asked him if he wants a bigger celebration next year, since he will be turning 7 by then. He said yes, he wants McDonald's, lots of balloons and birthday party invitations for his guests. When I asked who he wants as guests, well, he basically just invited my family and my in-laws. We could bring to the toy store and leave without buying anything coz he's not the type who would bug you to buy him a toy. Thank goodness!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Good vacation

Everybody has a different view of a good vacation. Some people love looking at historical sites, touring old churches, buildings and landmarks. Some prefer the great outdoors, perhaps the beach with various water activities, some prefer hiking or mountaineering. Other people would prefer modern delights like amusement parks or for the older sets, maybe a casino. Still others prefer to relax in a luxurious hotel with the staff holding Concierge Jobs looking after their every need. Others prefer shopping till they drop. That's why it's sometimes difficult to find a good vacation spot that would cater to everybody. Because everybody's idea of fun is different. I guess for a family vacation, it's best to look for a place that may have activities that would cater to everybody. I guess that's why places like Subic are popular -- because they have a little bit of something for everybody -- the adventurous, the shopaholic, the nature tripper, the beach lover, the gambler etc. ...and of course, it's easier to have a vacation with fewer people. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Still technically homeless

Almost all Pinoys dream of one day owning their own hearth and home. But sadly, it's a difficult dream to achieve. I've been looking at ads, and if I find something that's suitable for our small family, it's out of our financial reach, even if I check city payday loans, PAG-IBIG loans or bank loans. Sigh.  If I find something that's within reach, I'd find that it's located far away from the city, far from our work and our kid's school.  Still not a practical option since we'll be spending a lot for gasoline (whose prices seem to be always moving UP) and toll (and they now impose MORE taxes.  Tsk tsk tsk.

So now, living with relatives, while needing to have to swallow some pride and to give up on decision making, is still the best option for now. Although if we find a place that's within our financial capacity and with a reasonable location, we'll get it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I want to record TV programs but how?

I sometimes wish that we had one of these digital converters! It will be very useful for us. My brother used our VHS before, using old tapes over and over again, but now, our recorder/player has broken down and I don't know any place where it can be repaired.

My husband loves some TV shows like NCIS and some TV specials but he doesn't get to watch them. For several reasons -- the kids hog the TV, my little boy has to do his homework or study for his test, the program plays at an inconvenient time.

My kids also like certain cartoons, but I would really like to limit them to just a few shows and of course, if homework and tests are going to be done, TV will have to be deferred. We tried looking for DVDs of his favorite shows, but they don't seem to be available locally AND they are really expensive.

Maybe it will be more affordable in the months or years to come.  We'll wait for the time when we can finally afford them.  (Or if somebody has an idea where to buy this cheaply, please tell me.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting insurance early?

Do you know that insurance companies ask for more premiums if the person who wants to be insured is classified as a high risk life insurance case? For example, smokers command higher premiums than non smokers; the elderly also get their insurance premiums higher than those in their twenties, and people in high risk occupations like soldiers, policemen, firemen and others who have a higher chance of meeting an untimely death would have a more difficult time finding affordable insurance.

That's the only reason I could think of if you're getting whole life insurance for minors -- if the occupation that they desire would be classified as a high risk. If, for example, my kid becomes a soldier (but, dear Lord, I really hope not), I'd get a whole life insurance for him as early as high school so that he wouldn't be saddled with high insurance premiums in case something happens to him. We all know that life insurance benefits only the people left behind. And if someone is in the high risk group, there's a bigger chance of leaving behind people who depend on you.

Otherwise, for the usual groups, I wouldn't really recommend getting life insurance unless other people depend on you, like your spouse and kids.

I don't believe in getting insurance for small children, since they really don't have a big chance of dying (knock on wood) and, generally, instead of providing for family, they are the ones provided for.  Their untimely death would usually not mean financial dire straits, so getting insurance is usually not very practical at this stage.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The rental option

I do not know of anybody who doesn't dream of owning their own home. I am one of those people who am still holding on to that dream, although through the years, that dream has been somewhat downsized. I used to dream that I'd have a big house with a big garden, plenty of room, located near the places I frequent. When I started earning, it became somewhat farfetched. A townhouse seemed more feasible. Later, a condo. Finally, I'm even considering rental homes already. I used to think that renting is not a good option, because you don't get to own it, but if you only have a certain amount of money to budget for a home every month, that is the cheaper option if you want a space of your own. And, you don't have to think about realty taxes, repairs etc.

Now to find one that would fit our budget and requirements is another story.  Good luck to me!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hi tech thievery

The downside of the hi tech world is that there are also hi tech ways for savvy criminals to steal your hard earned money and even your identity. If you're often online, you've probably heard of phishing emails to get your personal information. A healthy dose of mistrust over suspicious emails could easily counter such, but now there are even more ways for hi tech criminals to steal from you. I recently watched a show where a girl casually strolling walking down the streets is holding some gadget which actually scans and gets the information from the credit cards of the people she passes. Later, she goes and haves a shopping spree! Scary. Maybe we should be thinking about getting rfid blocking wallets. Hmmm.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sometimes it just pays to pay

In an aim to be frugal, we tried to be the ones to personally take pictures of our kids' birthday parties. It was fine for the home parties, but since we were the hosts, it was pretty difficult. Sometimes we even forget to take some shots.  And that's quite sad, because photos are irreplaceable.

I guess the more practical thing would be to enlist the help of relatives or friends. Ask them to bring their cameras, whether it's a simple point and shoot, Exilim EX-H20G or a DSLR and ask for the pictures later.

Of course, it's less hassle to hire a photographer. I actually saw a package which already included the photobook and costs only a little over the photobook itself (in Digiprint). I thought to myself that had I known about that earlier, I would have spent the 5000 bucks and hired them. Oh well, that's all water under the bridge.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

To each his own

What's practical for some people may not be so for others.

At the cemetery, people may be weirded out by the sight of outdoor fireplaces near a family mausoleum. It may not seem practical at all, especially in this country with the hot climate and in a place where people don't actually live in. But for Chinese, it is. That's because "paper money" (actually special paper with gold paint to symbolize money) is burnt whenever an offering is made, in addition to the usual candles and flowers and food offerings. It's safer to do the burning in the fireplace rather than in the open air.

So sometimes practicality is cultural or personal. Every person's situation and circumstance is different, and we adapt in our own practical way.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Say it with flowers

Is it practical to send flowers? I used to NOT think so. I mean, flowers eventually wilt. So what used to be an elegant arrangement which costs a lot would end up in a trash can in the end. But that's the "practical side" of me speaking. As a women, I still get a thrill when the husband gives me flowers "just because".  And I love it when they're red.  It means "I love you" and what wife wouldn't want to be assured of her husband's love?

Flowers are also a good way to send messages across when it's difficult to say the words. Somebody I know from work received flowers from a recent ex. He didn't send it himself but ordered if from an online site similar to www.orderflowers.com. It was a bunch of pink roses. The girl took it to mean that he just wants to be friends -- it was truly over. I didn't count the number of flowers but it's supposed to also convey something.

So, while it may truly be expensive, showing how you feel when you couldn't express the words through flowers is one way to do it, while giving a thoughtful gift in the process.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jewelry (vs bags)

My husband was telling me that one of our anesthesiologists moonlight as an alajera -- she sells jewelry. Not being very familiar with jewelry prices, he was pretty taken aback when he learned about the prices. We both agreed though, that for about the same price as a high end ladies' bag, jewelry is a better investment. You can get cash for gold, because it is a finite resource and has been considered a valuable commodity for centuries and in every culture.  I mean, almost everybody can appreciate gold, not everybody can appreciate a Hermes bag.  I'm sure a lot of women wouldn't agree with me, but that's how I see it.

In a bind, jewelry can also be pawned in order to get a temporary loan.  Of course, you would be lugi (losing money) if you don't  get it from the pawnshop later when the cash flow problem subsides.

I certainly hope I could buy a few good pieces that I can pass on to my son and daughter.  Because jewelry is not just about its value when sold.  It's also something that can be passed from generation to generation as a legacy, and I hope I could pass on a legacy to my descendants.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Value is relative

Ask me about an eotech 552 or a guitar amp or car repairs and my eyes would glaze over. There's a big chance that whatever the price is, I'll think it's too expensive. That's because I am not aware of the prices of these things. Same as men who wonder why women have to spend 6 peso figures on a handbag (but it's Hermes!) -- they don't see how a handbag would be worth that much.

The value of a certain product in the market is dictated by the people who use it, so if you want to buy something you're not familiar with, consult the people in the know.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Choose a career you'd love

I've always told younger relatives not to take courses just because it was the "in" thing but to take it because it's something you can imagine doing for the rest of their lives. Sure, there was a time that information technology degrees were the hot courses, as there was a great demand for it. Then the nursing courses. But when everyone else scrambled to get these degrees, there came a point when there were too many graduates of the said degrees and not everybody could go abroad or get a high paying job. Now if you love the course that you have taken, it probably would still be okay because you would NOT be stuck with a degree that you don't like and can't earn from.

This is not to say that you shouldn't take those courses, just that you don't take courses just because there are a lot of demand for it right now, because you're not sure what happens in the future.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Raising practical kids

I'm so proud of my kids for not being "bilmoko" (a shortened Tagalog phrase which means "ibili mo ako" or "buy me...")  You could actually bring them to the toy store and get out of the store without them whining or having tantrums about us not getting a particular toy which caught their fancy.  My son is probably the only boy in school who does not have a PS3...and I like it that way.  I'd like to raise them in such a way as to not have too many wants.  Other people may say that my kids are "deprived" compared to other kids but I really do not think so.  One does not need to have every little whim satisfied to be happy.  In fact, I think the happiest people are those who do not have too many wants, since they do not feel bad if they do not get those things that are really not important at all.

I hope my kids continue to be happy without all the fancy contraptions or things that will surely come their way.  I want them to be practical -- not wasting their money on trivial things that lose their luster after a while. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Regrets

When I was still in training as an ophthalmology resident, I was so excited to buy my equipment. At that time, eye centers were not commonplace and most ophthalmology practices had the doctors buying their own equipment. They were major purchases, I tell you. And I was advised then that it's best to buy while I was still in training because prices go up every year.

Years later, I do regret my decision to plunk down a huge portion of the money I've saved up through the years via gifts from relatives. Well, it was true, the equipment I've bought at the time have increased in value. There are now cheaper alternatives, like India or China made slit lamps instead of the name brands like Haag Streit or Topcon. I didn't have to use my own operating microscope.

But now, all the clinics I'm practicing in have equipment for ophthalmologists, unlike before when you had to provide for even the basic medical equipment like exam tables. Now, it's rare for clinics to not have these equipment. I really did not see that coming.

Sometimes I feel like I should sell my equipment (they're rarely used), clear the clutter and just get my money, but what's stopping me is that I would lose a lot of money that way.  Most new doctors are not willing to spend for the name brands too, so I won't be able to sell them at the price that I want.  Sigh.

A seemingly practical decision which turned out to be not so practical.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Simple birthdays for us

My daughter just had her second birthday and it was a very simple celebration. On her actual birthday we just had the traditional Chinese birthday misua for breakfast (and lunch and dinner). Come evening, we just bought a cake and had the usual candle blowing ceremony in my mother's room.

The actual celebration would have been the next day, a Sunday, which also happened to be my birthday and Father's day. We wanted a joint celebration and a small celebration involving immediate family only -- my side and my husband's side. I was able to score a deal off Dealgrocer and got a great deal for Yellow Cab pizza, my son's favorite. I was planning to add some more food on the day itself.

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. It rained and rained. My in-laws couldn't come. Coupled with the fact that some members of the family couldn't come (my brother and my husband's brother were out of the country; another brother-in-law was also out of town with his family for Father's Day), we decided to forego the celebration. We just bought some food at Maki Place (since I was craving for oyster cake) and bought another small cake for me. We just had another candle blowing ceremony in the evening. Maybe next week? Or maybe next year? I guess it was just not meant to be.

My children's first birthdays were both celebrated in McDonald's because of budget constraints. Of course, we had to forego a lot of things that we would have wanted, like a magic show, "dirty" ice cream carts and chocolate dipped strawberries because McDonald's didn't allow these. I guess that's the trade off of not spending a lot for a party.

While we do not really spend a lot for a party, we realize that it does not really take a lot of money to make a child happy on his/her birthday. My daughter was mesmerized by the candle on both birthday cakes. My son sung the birthday song with gusto. I guess what's really important is that we've celebrated another milestone in our children's lives -- and as long as they're happy and thriving, we're happy, no matter what the weather is!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Multiply Marketplace

I love selling on multiply. It's free to start and very easy to maintain. You can simply "set up shop" and wait for orders.

I started when selling on multiply was not "legal". But Multiply recognized that the growing number of online sellers who make use of their platform to sell stuff is getting VERY significant and have thrown their full support into it.

Now there's even a multiply marketplace. If you need something, just type in, say "cheap flyer printing" on the search tab and the stores selling that kind of service will be listed for you. This is a boon for sellers who want their products to be easily found by buyers.

Incidentally, in case you're interested in my shop, it's http://ethanstore.multiply.com . :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wholesale insurance

If you are employed in a company which offers an option for life and/or health insurance, better grab the opportunity. That's because the policies offered to companies are usually cheaper since it's by the group rather than by a single individual. As with most things, insurance policies are cheaper if it's wholesale. Most insurance companies have that option for group insurance. If your company does not offer it, maybe you can ask your HR to look up Wholesaleinsurance.net or other insurance providers in order to look for good deals for employees like you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Discount Pimple Treatment

I was "cursed" with bad acne during my years as a medical student. Since I was already in twenties then, it was even worse for my self esteem than having them when I was a teen was (since everybody had already outgrown it by then).

I wish now I hadn't picked on them and realized that my case was related to stress and wacked out hormones. What ultimately made them disappear was 3 months of Diane 35, an anti androgen birth control pill. But then the scars still remain to this day. Sigh. At least I know how to advise my kids when they get their skin problems. Perhaps they'll have better skin than me.

Anyway, this just goes to show that the best blackhead remover and acne/pimple treatment is not the same for everybody. It's still better to see the professionals. Avoid picking on them! And although derma visits are not cheap, it pays off in the long run.

In case you're on a budget but you think you need a professional medical skin treatment, here's a deal from Ensogo:
Only P300 for a Pimple Treatment at YJC Beauty & Slim Center, Manila (valued at P700)

Now, you have to be a member of Ensogo to avail of this, so if you're not a member already, do join first by clicking on THIS LINK.

 To a more beautiful you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

On getting sick

Hubby and I were sick. While I guess we dropped a little weight, I wouldn't recommend it as a weight loss solution. I'd still go for the conventional exercise and diet, and well, maybe read up on hydroxycut reviews.

Getting sick is no joke! We can't work -- thus no income since we depend on being there and actually seeing patients in order to earn. I have to hide from my kids since I didn't want them to catch the bug. Sigh.

But it did give my hubby and I some overdue alone time, even if it was only to commiserate in our shared miseries. We got to bond over Skyflakes and tea. And, we got an unspoken license to stay in bed all day. Not exactly the way we wanted it to be. But then I'd like to look at the silver lining.

But, I'd take more care from now on. We stand to lose a lot when we're sick, so we better make sure there is little chance of that. We're probably be getting a flu shot sometime soon. So are our kids. A little prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Working from home

More and more moms are going the WAHM (work at home mom) route, taking on freelancing jobs and/or setting up online businesses. This is now possible because of plenty of resources like instant messaging, emails, skype, megameeting.com web conferencing and other tools which make working from home much easier.

Some companies are now finding that having employees telecommuting ultimately spells savings, as they do not have to maintain too many office cubicles and facilities.  Employees are also happier, as they do not have to report to work all the time, but instead have deadlines which they have to finish certain jobs.

Better communication facilities certainly spell greater convenience and productivity. If you have a company and need more manpower but do not have the space to do so, you may want to consider freelancers and /or telecommuting employees.

Service Center

One thing we learned the hard way is not to buy too many products that have no service centers here in the Philippines.

We have an old laptop which is not a brand that is popular in the Philippines. When we encountered some problems with it, we had a difficult time having it repaired since it does not have a service center here.  That's probably why we do not see RV's around, there's no rv repair or services, not to mention difficult to maneuver around our narrow side streets and provincial roads. If there are any around, they're probably imported.  I just hope they don't break down because it's going to be very difficult to repair.

So, we now keep in mind that even if we're out of the country, we should buy something that has after sales service here in the Philippines so that it would be easier for us in the long run.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Deal or no deal

There are so many group buying sites nowadays. I've featured a few of their deals here on this blog. Everybody loves a bargain, and group buying discounts usually give deep discounts off rack prices and very tempting offers. Lately, there have also been some unusual offers, like discounts off cosmetic surgery procedures, LASIK procedures on top of the usual food, massage and travel deals. I wouldn't be surprised if I'd see discounts for bipolar rehab treatment centers one of these days!

However, one has to exercise due diligence if seeing if the deal is, indeed, a good deal.  There are some so-called deals which shows a good discount when being compared with usual rack prices, but when you check and do some computations, there actually is no discount at all!  Or worse, you actually pay more for something that you could have spent less on!  With the internet, nowadays, you can do your research and check if the deal is really a deal.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pacquiao vs Mosley

Only 1 week left to go! Pacquiao, dubbed "The People's Champ", once again has a fight, this time with Shane Mosley. Manny Pacquiao captured the imagination of the Filipino people when he emerged from being a skinny newbie boxer to one of the greatest boxers of all time. You can be sure that his muscles came about with hard work and training (maybe boosted somewhat by a little creatine powder in his diet, but again maybe not).  It will be difficult another boxer as talented and as accomplished than the Pac-Man.

A few weeks ago, I saw several coupon sites offering discounted tickets for a live coverage of the upcoming fight.  Most of them included meals and are housed in comfy hotels.  Now I cannot see them anymore.  I suppose they are already sold out, seeing how near it is to the actual date and how popular Manny Pacquiao is.  This is just to highlight that you should really reserve tickets early if you want a good deal for something that's sure to be a hit because not only will you miss out on deals, you might miss out on the opportunity as well.

Well, there's sure to be a lot of TV and radio coverage on the day itself, just not as comfy as a hotel live screening, so if the fight is what you're after, you basically have not lost the chance to watch it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today's Food Deals!

With irresistible food deals like these, you won't even think about your colon cleanse diet! (Or you can just go back to it when you've enjoyed all the food that's now surprisingly affordable!

From Cashcashpinoy  (JOIN THROUGH THIS LINK)
  • 50% Off! Only P250 for P500 worth of Food and Drinks at Sweet Pea by Chef Florabel Co!
  • 50% OFF any kind of Fondue and Drinks at Old Swiss Inn!!!

From Ensogo  (JOIN THROUGH THIS LINK)
  • Only P150 on Any Coffee and Slice of Cake at Goodies & Sweets Food, Greenhills (valued at P300)
  • ONLY P197 on Freska’s Set Meal for two persons at several Freska Ilonggo SeaFood and Inasal branches (valued up to P394)
  • Only P250 for a choice of any dish with refillable iced tea at San Mig Alabang Pub & Restaurant (valued at P500)
  • Only P45 on an Ice Ice baby PLUS a P25 store credit on any other products available at California Berry Tomas Morato, SM Megamall and Robinsons Galleria Branches (valued at P90)
  • Only P200 for a Middle-Eastern Fusion Fare at Kabab Korner, Diliman, Quezon City (valued at P400)
  • Only P300 on 1 Dozen Chocolate-Covered Fresh Strawberry Mochi at Dez√Ęto Mochi, New Manila (valued at P600) 
From Buyanihan:  (JOIN THROUGH THIS LINK)
  • 50% OFF on Food and Drinks at Kazam Kebab House! Only P250 to enjoy the best Persian Cuisine in the Metro! (Original Price: P500)
From Deal Grocer:  (JOIN THROUGH THIS LINK)
  • Feast on 4 bounteous courses of Bubba Gump’s best, originally priced at P2,242.30 - now only P1,395 for Deal Grocer members!
  • Deal Grocer members get first dibs in trying Hyphy out at a steal! For just P 350, you get to sample anything up to PhP 500 worth of food from Hyphy’s fly menu.
  • KEG is offering half-off on all items on their menu, exclusively for Deal Grocer members! Bring as many friends over and order anything up to P1,000 worth of food and drinks for just P500.
  • This summer, we invite you to try Chef Godrey Laforteza and Chef Him Uy de Baron’s exciting Pan-Asian creations in this 8-Course Lunch Menu which you can enjoy unlimited servings of and in the intimate confines of the Crystal Room, originally worth Php 1,190 – now ONLY Php 595 for Deal Grocer members! What’s more, you can enjoy this deal for two exciting visits - that’s right, for this Deal Grocer exclusive, ONE coupon entitles the holder for TWO visits to the Crystal Room!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Great Boracay Deal!

Found this deal in Cashcashpinoy, good for 2 persons.  I'm very tempted!

 Inclusions:
       - round trip airfare tickets from SEAIR,
        - 3 days/2 nights accommodations at beach front Microtel Boracay
        - daily breakfasts for 2
        - a dinner at Zuzuni Boutique Hotel and Restaurant
        - welcome drink and lei
        - free flowing coffee from in-house coffee machine
        - free use of swimming pool
        - free use of kiddie play center

All for ONLY P15,280!  That's 65% off the "real" value of P43657.  

The only catch for me is this:
  • Travel period from June 15 to October 15, 2011 -- can't take a leave.  Sigh....
  • Booking/redemption period is May 2 to June 30, 2011.
Only 16 hours to go as of this writing!  So if you haven't done so, click here to sign up with Cashcashpinoy and get this deal and other great deals NOW!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gymboree deal!

On both our recent Tagaytay trips, my kids went crazy over the playground, especially the wooden swing sets and the slides. I'm now thinking if this Ensogo deal (which is already expiring in a few hours' time) which offers an Annual Membership, inclusive of 10 Play Coupons and 4 Age‐Appropriate Core Classes at Gymboree for only 2500 pesos (instead of 6800 pesos, a whopping 56% off!)

I didn't do this for my older kid, because I found it too expensive.  I enrolled him in a playschool instead.  But since this deal is really cheap, maybe it would be good for my youngest.

If you are not an Ensogo member yet, click on THIS LINK to join and see this and other great deals.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Relaxing deals

Feeling old? Tired? I do feel that way sometimes, and it's not because I feel that I'm in need of Hormone replacement therapy anytime soon. But stress does take its toll, what with trying to juggle a full time job, being a mom, and numerous rakets.

I've found the following deals that seem attractive to me:

From Ensogo:
  •  Only P450 for a Facial with Chemical Peeling of Face and Neck at Zhao Skin & Body Care, San Juan City And Quezon City (valued at P1,800) 
  • Only P600 for Skin Lift Infusion at Zhao Skin & Body Care, San Juan City (valued at P2,000)  
  • Only P200 for One Hour Massage plus use of Wet Floor Area at Platinum Executive Gym and Health Club, Quezon City (valued at P800)
  • Only P550 on a Beauty Regimen Kit at Diana Stalder, various branches in Metro Manila, Cebu and Lucena (valued at P1100)
  • Only P425 on a choice of Fruity or Floral Hand and Foot Spa with Manicure and Pedicure at Nailconcept, Timog Avenue (valued at P850)
From Cashcashpinoy:
  • 52% OFF!!! Only P699 for a 3-Hour Relaxing Package including a Full Body Massage + a Full Body Organic Scrub at Simply 1 Spa!
  • P999 for a Facial Mesotherapy or Resolift + Free Ultra Lipo Session at The Zen Institute!
 Click on the highlighted sites to join and to receive special offers like the ones mentioned!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Rakets"

We just finished submitting our 2010 income and 2307 to our accountant for proper income tax filing. My husband and I have irregular income so we pretty much have some difficulty knowing how much we earn on a monthly basis, until we actually list everything down. What appalls is that we actually don't have much money left over after paying for expenses!

That's why we're always on the lookout for "rakets" for a little something extra. While the husband and I think we are not good with sales jobs, we actually were able to sell a little something here and there, nothing big really, and very occasionally, but it kinda boosted our belief that there's money to be made if we really look hard enough for opportunities.

What I think I'm good at is writing.  And I try to get some extra income from it.  After all, with today's rising costs and prices, any extra income would only be helpful.

What "raket" do you have and what would you suggest?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In emergencies

I really hate being in debt, because to my mind that means that I have negative balance of money. But sometimes we couldn't help it, because there may be times that urgent situations call for urgent solutions.

This is a time when I can say that credit cards are definitely an asset! Imagine having to seek medical attention without any cash on hand? While there is supposed to be law against hospitals collecting a deposit on emergency cases, it is a fact that you do have to pay for your bill sooner or later. What I do then is pay off the bill with my credit card.

Then, after the storm is over, I have until the payment due date to determine if I have enough funds to pay for the credit card, hopefully from our emergency funds. If I do, I earmark that money to pay the credit card around the time the due date rolls around. But if not, I may try to look for personal loans who have an interest rate that's lower than the interest rate offered by credit cards (since credit card in the Philippines charge a whopping 3 percent EVERY MONTH!).  My mother gives me no-interest loans without a due date (except when she needs the money) and that is the best type of loan because it's not as pressuring.  However, I do make sure that I pay it off as soon as possible.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hot ticket accessories

Every uber successful business spawns a lot of "peripheral" businesses. Remember when cellphones first became so widespread that everybody, including the household help has one? Housings, cases, ringtones etc. became hot businesses. With the advent of laptops, laptop bags and sleeves also became hot tickets.

Now that iPads are "in", people who manufacture or sell iPad Cases benefit from this trend.

So, if you're into buy and sell, look for hot ticket items, then look for their accessories! Or make them! And sell them while they are still the trend!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My BPI Petron Mastercard

This is the time when I am so glad I have my Petron BPI card. Not only do I get rebates on my fuel purchases, I also get a 24 hour price shield whenever there's an increase in fuel prices. But the fine print is that the price shield only applies to 40 liters of fuel. So it's still better to fuel up when you know that there's a projected price increase. You'll end up saving more.

Other benefits that I get -- I get the usual perks of BPI cards, like freebies for a minimum spend of 2000 pesos. For the past few days, I've been availing of the free Jollibee chicken meal. (Promo period is from December 1, 2010 to February 7, 2011. Redemption period is until April 8, 2011.) Now it's a choice of Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen or Taco Bellfrom February 8, 2011 to May 7, 2011. Redemption period is until July 6, 2011.

Added bonus for me is that with the BPI Petron, I can get either a free car wash, free brake fluid or free wheel alignment. Great! I have been accumulating my gas purchases and now I can avail of the free wheel alignment without having to resort to taking the best muscle building supplements or shelling extra for it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Remember your sewage?

A few days ago, we noticed that there was some dirty water seeping from the floor to our breakfast nook. A whiff told us that it was probably sewage water. First order of the day was to ask MWSS to "suck" the septic tank. My brother called them up, and one day they came with a big truck, and with a metal hose, they suctioned the dirty water from the sewage. We spent a little over 800 pesos for that service. Not too expensive actually.

I know we sometimes forget about the "dirty water" in our houses, but really, we have to remember to have it suctioned once in a while. The MWSS slip says at least every 6 years. And 800+ pesos is really not that high a price to pay for something that would help ensure our health.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ready for power outages

Early this week, we experienced a power outage which lasted for about an hour. Our neighbors were ready with their yamaha generators while we had a couple of rechargeable lamps and some candles (can't afford the generator). While the rechargeable lamps were quite safe, the candles post a fire hazard.  Over the past month, I've heard of fires in Metro Manila in which is, ironically, the Fire Prevention Month.

We're thinking of just buying more rechargeable lamps to keep on standby, because not only are they safer, they also provide more light than just the candles.

Hubby also bought a rechargeable electric fan because he realized that without electricity, our home could become quite hot and humid.

Would have been ideal if we had a generator so the refs could be continuously powered, but in the absence of one, we just had to remember not to open the refrigerator door unless it was absolutely necessary.

I really hope we won't get any long blackouts this year! Such a hassle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Car accident

Almost a year ago, I had a minor accident involving my car. I was so shocked. I didn't see her car before it appeared before me. The rear of the other car and the front of mine collided. The driver of the other car said that it was my fault and I really thought it was, therefore I decided to pay the damages. Good thing I had car insurance. The damage was just minor scratches on the car. Nobody was injured.

Anyway, the next month, this "lady" was harassing me about paying damages. They wanted me to give them cash, and they do not want to wait for the insurance to pay for repairs. It was my first time to deal with such a situation. I had already informed my insurance, but they wanted a specific, high end shop to repair their car. I called up my insurance again. I was assured that I am covered for anything in any accident, up to a limit of course. If the other party had decided to press charges, they have lawyers on standby, too.

I later reviewed mentally the case with my husband, studied the pictures of the damages to both our cars, then I realized, hey, it was not my fault at all! It was actually her fault. I didn't see her coming because she was behind another vehicle. I was making a left turn and the vehicle in front of her stopped to let me pass. She was in a hurry and decided to overtake the vehicle in front of her, thus going in my path! She was even speeding. It explained why there was a long gash on her rear -- coz she was moving and I was hardly moving (since I was manuevering to turn)! The nerve of her trying to pass on the blame to me! And she was actually shouting at me over the phone the last few times she called!

Anyway, since I've already set things in motion, I just decided to let insurance take care of it. She may have won a partial victory (having my insurance pay for her damages) but I really didn't want trouble, which she was.

Lesson for me: Don't immediately assume that the fault is mine.

And have a good insurance policy, or a good lawyer. If you're in Texas and need an Austin personal injury attorney, look up O’Hanlon, McCollom & Demerath – Personal Injury Lawyers – 808 West Avenue, Austin, TX. 78701 – 512-494-9949.  Oftentimes, it pays to have other people take care of such messy businesses.  Saves a lot of stress.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wear hats and shades this summer!

I wish people would not look at people wearing summer Ladies Hats like they were weird because these are actually practical accessories in our sunny, sunny country!

With the amount of UV rays we are receiving, and especially during the summer months, we ophthalmologists are forever telling people to protect their eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses with UV protection and also hats.  I know dermatologists are also telling their patients to wear sunblock.  Wide brimmed hats will also protect the face by keeping it in the shadows so to speak. Bonus for white skin loving Pinoys is that skin will be less likely to darken with such protection.

However, the wearing of hats is simply not trendy here yet.  I wish some celebrity will start the trend so that other people will follow suit, if only in the name of nakikiuso (keeping up with the trend).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not the right time to be an OFW in the Middle East

With all the trouble that's brewing in the Middle East right now, I really do not think that this is the right time to consider being an OFW, if you're not already there. Sure, jobs over there, whether it's a health related job, a finance job, a construction related job or a job in the hospitality segment, usually pay higher than the same jobs over here, and under normal circumstances, notwithstanding the fact that you have to suffer homesickness and loneliness while there, is a good choice. But with the unrest there, your life may be at stake just because you're there for money. Your family needs YOU more than the money that you will earn by risking your life.

This is simply not the right time to be there right now.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kids

My brother's wife is due to give birth anytime. They are currently trying to enjoy the last of the days of just-you-and-me time together, and that's good. When you have kids, things just change. Priorities shift, and the little bundle of joy always comes first.

My husband and I know that while raising our 2 little kids, things like dates take a little more effort (looking for somebody to look after the little ones, making sure there was enough breastmilk for the baby, things like that) and big things like taking advantage of cruise deals and even out-of-town trips would take even more planning (whether or not to take the kids and the nannies, and if not, who'll take care of them while we are away).

While we enjoy parenthood, we are very much aware that you need to be VERY committed. So, yeah, I do understand it when couples sometimes do not want to have kids, either temporarily or permanently.

But while it may be difficult, parenthood is something that I really do not regret. I can no longer imagine our life without those 2 little pint sized beings to make it more interesting.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My weight is still considered healthy, but...

I'm so glad that I'm never really overweight. I've always been within the ideal weight for my height. On my son's family day, there was a "BMI assessment" being done by one of the booth sponsors, and I still passed. Well, they still tried to convince me that I needed their product because I told them that what I needed was a lower ab workout rather than an overall weight loss product.

I am glad that except for the fact that I though my figure could use some reshaping, my weight is still considered healthy. At least I am not prone to the so-called lifestyle diseases that plague people who are considered overweight and obese. 

My husband and I are contemplating on running.  But with our schedule, good luck to us trying to find time to squeeze that in.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tattoos are permanent on principle

When I was younger, tattoos were a bit of a taboo since most people who sport them are criminals. Nowadays, that is no longer the case. It is already fashionable, for both men and women, to have themselves "inked".

Remember, though, that a tattoo is permanent. While there are ways to remove them at some future time, like lasers and the best tattoo removal creams, it would take money. Sometimes, it won't be successful, and a raised scar or keloid might form, making it look even more unsightly.

So, if you're planning to have one done, be sure you won't have second thoughts and regrets in the future. Don't put the name of your current significant other, because things happen and you might not want that tattoo later.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Watch those expiry dates!

The advent of groupon sites have certainly been beneficial for both consumers and business owners. Now, consumers can get deals on various stuff, from services to get rid of blackheads to a much raved about buffet, at a fraction of the price.  For businesses, it's a way to get the word out AND get more customers, even if they have to give up a bit of their profits.

But, one small advise of caution for consumers...do check when the coupons will expire! One of the coupons I bought already expired! Sigh...that's not savings but money spent for nothing and entirely my fault. :(

Monday, February 21, 2011

RISQ Grand Summer Show at 60% off


This looks interesting -- a fashion show featuring 10 young, up and coming designers vying to be the best among them.  Only Php200 when you buy at buyanihan (regular is 500 pesos.  A whopping 60% off!) and already includes a free cocktail drink.

As a child of the eighties, I often felt that modeling is such a glamorous occupation. But the stereotype of a model then (and now, actually) is tall, thin, young with at least an unblemished face and with enough confidence to walk on the ramp. I didn't have the height and the confidence, and adult acne which left scars on my face virtually crashed any hopes I might have. :)

If you're a fan of fashion shows but on a budget, this may be for you.  If you're not a member yet of buyanihan, click here to join and avail of this and other special offers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snack substitutions

Whenever I'm out and I need a little snack, I usually pick up a popular juice drink containing propionyl l carnitine -- mainly to ease my guilt about eating junk food specifically the chips that I am so fond of.  I guess it's a better than softdrinks which contain much more sugar and no other nutrients.  At least my juice contains some amount of vitamins, less sugar, and an ingredient which is supposed to help speed up metabolism.

Other substitutions which may be possible is exchanging peanuts for my chips. Peanuts contain more nutrients than chips.

These would ensure that my every bite counts and would not just be empty calories to add to my weight and girth.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Go to the doctor

I have to admit I get a little exasperated when some patients attempt to self medicate and just go to the doctor when things go very wrong, especially when it's the self remedy that worsened the situation.

On best way to get rid of pimples, well, there is really no clear cut answer. It really depends on what the dermatologist finds.

Same thing with conjunctivitis. Pinoys have this annoying habit of just buying eyedrops over the counter. Or one member of the family sees an ophthalmologist and the rest just share with the medication.

Do yourself a favor and see a doctor for your ills. You may even end up paying more for meds without a proper assessment by a professional -- in lost income and days of work and more meds bought.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Need to organize

My desk is a big big mess! I have to go and buy organizers, in and out boxes to organize my desk and perhaps throw away the papers that have accumulated through the years. We are using a laptop which cost us much, much more than discount desktops (but which would occupy more space), but still the table top is full!

I need to organize SOON so that I may be able to be more efficient!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A fallback career

The problem with being either a professional or being an employee is you earn your keep actively -- that means that if you stop working, the income stops. What if you suddenly cannot work? Like if you get old? Or sick? Or laid off? These exit signs (well, except for getting old) are sometimes not expected at all, so if you haven't invested or even put aside some money, you might be floundering when you suddenly find yourself without an income.

That's why it's important for us to have a fallback.  For me, my fallback is all online -- paid blogging gigs and online selling.  I will be soon blogging about this (in the soon to be launched onlineraket.com -- watch out for it!)  Of course, I'm also investing in mutual funds.  I only hope that it will all be enough so that we (hubby and I) won't have to be dependent on our kids when we get old and we retire.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gifts are supposed to be for personal enjoyment!

While I would believe that a gift is a gift is a gift and any gift would be really appreciated on any occasion, you do have to consider how the gift would impact the recipient. For example something you buy at the le creuset sale would be a great idea for a wedding gift when, presumably, the couple is beginning to build a household together. But please, for your wife's birthday, for mother's day or Valentine's day or even Christmas day gift, please do not give kitchenware unless her passion is cooking or baking and she would really really appreciate it.  To my mind, these gifts are really not personal -- not for her own personal enjoyment but for the family's benefit.  It's like a wife giving the husband a lawn mower for Christmas or his birthday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cool party idea!

This looks like an interesting deal. P5,250 for a Crazy Party Room Package at Victoria Court! And it's good for 20 people. I've heard a lot about Victoria Court but haven't really been there, but its themed rooms, some with classic decors, others with modern furniture, while still others with an Austin Powers vibe, are legend.

Package includes room for 7 hours with Sound system, LCD TV, Videoke, Jacuzzi, Mini Ref, etc.  Food good for 10 people is included.  You can choose among the following:  Tuna Jalapeno, Onion Ring, Potato croquette, Spicy sausages, Canapes, Noodles, Crispy Kare-kare, Pinakbet with Lechon, Shrimp Roll, Priston Chicken … you'll be able to select for you and your partymate several food items and also pitchers among Beer, Cocktail, Lemond Ice Tea or Gulaman!  Waived corkage fee, no additional guest charge!

If I were planning for a Bridal Shower, I'd take this offer.  Now that I'm a mom and my world has my 2 kids as priority, I wonder if this package would work for a kid's party as well.  It would also be a great idea for a Christmas party with a small group!  Hmmmmm......

If you're interested in this offer and is currently not a member of cashcashpinoy, I'd appreciate it if you use this link to join

Hurry!  Only 15 hours to buy (as of this writing).

Happy partying!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I usually give practical gifts

It's not easy for me, a girl, to buy gifts for guys, even if I've known them all my life. Last Christmas, I had to wrack my brains thinking of a unique gift for my brother who's into guitars, basketball (I'm not, so I really do not know what to buy) and gadgets (I am, but these are certainly way out of my budget) and another one for my other other brother who has other interests which I do not share.

In the end, I went for practical.  While toiletries are not exciting gifts and are really downright boring, I can be sure that they will use them.  And they did.  I saw that the shampoo and soap that I've given my brother is now being used.  So, they are not a waste of money or dust gatherers just there without any use and just occupying precious space.  Are they happy with my unexciting gifts?  Well, they are satisfied and grateful.  And that is good enough for me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blogger reputation in shreds?

It's no secret that many bloggers earn from keeping their blogs. There are several ways and many people have welcomed this chance to be part of "the new media" and earning from it. However, there is a buzz going around saying that a certain food blogger is used by a PR firm to give good or scathing reviews about a restaurant, depending on whether the people behind the restaurant are willing to pay an exorbitant price. A lot of people trained their spotting scopes on a certain popular food blogger, who has since issued a statement saying that he was not the blogger alluded to.

This is viewed as a serious matter by many food bloggers.  It has kind of sullied the reputation of food bloggers in general.  This is bad.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still awake at 3am

Yes, I'm still awake! And it's not because I haven't found sleeping pills that work -- in fact I'm starting to get sleepy -- but because this is almost the only time that I can work in peace without interruption from my kids.

All moms have the problem of finding me time because of the demands of family and career, and sometimes the only time that we can have for ourselves are the "dead hours" when other people are already sleeping.  This is the time that we can surf the web without interruptions, check emails, read (e)books, and generally not worry too much about our roles as a mother or wife or a career person.

And no matter how busy you are, you should find a little time for yourself.  To recharge and to remember being "you".

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sounds fishy

Lately, I've been getting phone calls from some telemarketers pushing me to get things like cheap car insurance quotes, hospitalization plans, personal loans etc etc. Most of these emphasize their benefits, which sound great on the phone. But I am not one to immediately sign up, there and then as they would want me to do (claiming that only a select few are invited, but we HAD to ACT FAST! I would rather study the whole thing first and read the fine print. I do not want to pay for something impulsively, especially since this involves monthly payment through the credit card. Sounds fishy to me! Scam? What do you think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ride with the tide

Remember the cellphones around 10 years ago? At that time, cellular phones were just starting to mainstream as prepaid cards became available. Texting also became low cost alternative way to communicate. Telecommunication firms found a new market: the lower income segment who previously couldn't afford having a cellphone now found that keeping in touch became something they could actually have.

Now, not everybody can have the capital to sell phones as this does require a large capital outlay. Cell phone accessories, on the other hand, became a lucrative side-business.  Bag companies now produce bags with a cellphone holder, and cellphone pouches as well.  There are different types of jackets and cases to protect your cellphone from damage.  Now these same companies are adapting to the newer type of touchscreen phones as well as gadgets.  There are cellphone charms available to personalize your phone.  Some companies also produce replacement covers.

The lesson here:  an industry that does well spawns sub industries which benefit more people, providing more jobs.  So, if there is a trend, we should think out of the box and go with the tide...what will go well with THAT?  Who knows, you may find your fortune there.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How were your holidays?

I know I've not been a very good blogger lately.  I had hoped to be even more productive during the Christmas season, but that didn't happen.  The holidays turned out to be even more busy even if we took a short break from work.  The kids were both home since my schoolboy didn't have classes. That means that it's difficult for me to do other stuff like blogging, let alone look at computer monitors -- my kids wouldn't let me!  Add to that the buying and wrapping of gifts, the parties...it makes for a very busy season!

But it's a break from the usual routine. Instead of complaining about the traffic and the stress, I think it's best that we focus on what the season is all about -- the birth of Christ. 

Hope you all had a good Christmas season!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Decade!

What did you do as a welcome to the New Year?

We DIDN'T have firecrackers. Since hubby and I are both doctors and we've seen a lot of firecracker injuries up close and personal during our stints in the emergency room, we decided that it was just not worth it. It's like burning money. And with 2 small kids, we just do not want to risk injuries.

We did make noise though. My cousin gave Baby R a "band set" toy and my kids used the cymbals and the drum with gusto. We also bought torotot (makeshift horn). It was so much fun for the family, and much much safer too!

Oh, and the kids jumped at midnight! It's tradition. The elders said that it's supposed to make kids taller (like an hgh supplement?). Well, my eldest jumped and my little one -- I lifted her up repeatedly. LOL

Happy New Decade, everyone, and stay safe!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

We had a short Tagaytay getaway!

My family went on a short (just overnight) getaway to Tagaytay. To keep costs down, we stayed at a relative's house rather than at a hotel (in all honesty, it was the thought of free accommodations that clinched the decision to go). We just had to bring our own bedsheets and light blankets (my mom brought a cashmere throw). 

We would have saved even more if we didn't eat out.  We're thinking of doing just that for summer.  Probably another week in Tagaytay to recharge and bond with the kids.  We're thinking of just bringing our own rice and rice cooker, maybe some sardines, quick cooking oatmeal, etc. so that we spend less money and time on eating (waiting and eating at the more popular restos took quite a long time!) and more on activities for the kids.

Can't wait!

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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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