Friday, December 28, 2012

a partnership business, why not?

Not so long ago, I had been talking to some friends about opening up a partnership business, an online selling business, that is. This plan didn't materialize this year, though. We thought we could squeeze some time for this but we ended up getting too busy with our own bread and butter - our respective jobs! We are not giving up, though. Hopefully, after we have already set up and optimized our online presence, we would be able to launch this small business some time next year. Right now, we're still discussing how we can make this small business work smoothly because we also don't want it to interfere with our jobs. We ended up agreeing to have some roles/tasks to carry out. I thought my role is quite challenging since I will have to focus on the marketing side of the business. Hmmm, how do I do that and how do I get started? Perhaps someone can help me carry out some parts of my task. I thought I could probably use some advertising ideas from a friend who happens to be a professional copywriter and editor. Another good old friend who will arrive from the U.S. next year suggested that we print flyers at because she thinks flyers can be effective advertising tools for our business. Hopefully, I can come up with some catchy phrases for our future ad campaign. Now, I am getting all the more excited in this business! I can't wait to get started. I am really hoping that 2013 will be another good year for me and my business-minded friends.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

a message of gratitude to my wonderful in-laws

When our HR personnel sent a message today congratulating my husband for his anniversary at work yesterday, I got teary-eyed. Her message was a great reminder that it has already been a year since we have been welcomed by my in-laws in their home. Moving away from our own home was something we needed to do since we couldn't find someone we can rely on to take care of our little girl while we are going back to work in an office environment. We are so lucky and grateful that the in-laws have been very gracious enough to welcome us into their home and to have unselfishly poured over their love and attention to our daughter. Hopefully, come January 2013, we are going back to our own home, bringing with us all the unconditional love and support they have shown to us while we are staying with them and while our daughter was in their care.

No words can ever express how grateful I am for their kind and thoughtful ways. Although we have already found someone reliable to watch over our kid, we know that the love/attention they have given to our kid is unmatched. I could never thank them enough. I pray that the Lord will bless them even more. Truly, they are among the finest, genuine people I have ever met in my entire existence. :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

thinking of what to give to my little girl

What do I get her for Christmas? I am almost running out of unique ideas. If I ask my daughter what she wants to get, I am sure she has lots of things on her list that I may end up broke. LOL! Although I thought of granting her own wish to own a new pair of Barbie sandals, I also thought of giving her something that I have decided on my own - a gift that she would be surprised to receive because she didn't ask for it. Wasted no time, I have looked around online for ideas and found some really nice toys for girls that I knew she would love to have and play with. She is at this stage where she would enjoy playing with dolls and animal figures. Hopefully, I can get her the caravan toy or any Sylvanian Families toy just in time for Christmas. As a mom, I hope to make this season of giving and love the merriest experience for my daughter; although I don't just mean the material things. This is why I also want to make sure that husband and I get to spend the best quality time with her.

This Christmas and in the many Christmases to come, I hope to make my daughter smile and to give her joy in every way I can.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a few days before Christmas

Several years back, I've had mixed feelings about Christmas. It was like a part of me wants to rejoice and celebrate in this season of giving but there was also a part of me that grieves and aches for the loss of my mom.

Yes, it was five years ago, a few days before Christmas, when we lost mom. It took me some time before I have overcome this huge feeling of loss. At the time of her death, it has only been less than two months since I got married.  I remembered I was juggling my time between work and married life that all I did was wish I could go home and see her. Who knew we would lose her that year? Definitely we were all clueless. If I had known, I thought I would have put off everything else and spend most of my time with her that year. But everything is all in the past now. I know she's happy where she is already. Every time I think of her, I would recall the happy times with her. I would also recall those times when she was starting to worry that I didn't have a lovelife. This was prior to meeting my husband. I would recall those times when she tried to play the matchmaker and gave my cellphone number to anyone she considered a potential match for me. I found this desperate cause to find me my prince charming more funny that it is embarrassing :-) And when I was younger, I also remembered her asking me if I had wished my mom had a job instead of being just a plain housewife so she could help dad financially in sending us to school and in providing for our needs. Indeed, life was a little hard at that time but I am proud of her for being there for us 24/7. I will always miss her and the things that used to be when she was here. I no longer feel sad, though, that she's gone ahead because it is God's will and I have already looked forward to spending a happy Christmas each year.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

thinking of a gift for a terrific husband

I have personally declared this day as husband appreciation day. I do appreciate him everyday for everything that he is and everything that he does but just this week, he had practically over delivered. I will spare all the details but it has something to do with him being a great listener. You see, when there's something that's bothering or troubling me, he is all ears for me. What seemed to be complicated for me seemed easy enough for him to solve. For all those times that he's been a terrific husband and confidant, I thought he deserved to have a gift from me and I am thinking of getting him a guitar and a chord book. He's been wanting to add guitar playing to his list of his hobbies. Hopefully, he will be able to learn how to play great music and I’ll be his biggest fan he will never lose. The purchase will have to wait, though, as I am still saving up my extra earnings online to be able to come up with an amount to pay for such a terrific musical instrument.

this music is keeping me awake

Happy Friday. It's almost midnight here. I'm already sleepy but I need to finish some online tasks. So, I  have to find ways to keep me awake. This is one of those times when music on Youtube can be of much help. Right now, the music of  Foc Fashion, one of Cebu's rising bands, is keeping me awake and enthusiastic about  completing my assignments for the day that I could do away with coffee and still stay focused towards the end. Of course, I had to stop briefly to check out their video.  I only have good words for this band. After all, I personally know one of its members. The bassist here is my sister's bf. Cool! :-)


on keeping our promises

Lately, it is getting a little harder for us to leave for work every morning as there are times already when our daughter wouldn't want to be left behind. I thought that she has already gotten past the separation anxiety stage but there are now instances that she would cry and beg to go with us. Thankfully, a simple promise of returning back home with her favorite lollipop and chocolate drink is usually enough for her to let us go. However, we always have to make sure that whenever we would promise her anything, we need to make sure that we're not breaking it since she has sharp memory that she would usually remember to ask about it later when we get home. There was one time, though, that we almost forgot to buy what we promised her to get. It was a good thing that there's a convenience store near the gasoline station where we stopped to fill our motorcycle tank with fuel. At first I thought it would take longer to find exactly the goodies that we needed to buy for our daughter but I was glad to find that they have organized Retail Store Displays, so the last-minute shopping turned out really quick and easy. Next time, we'll make sure she is reminded why we need to leave home each day without bringing her along. After all, I know it is not good to bribe our daughter with something just so she wouldn't cry when we leave.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

getting caught up

The past few weeks went pretty hectic that I again find it really hard to sneak in to blog as well as to blog hop. Yes, the line had been very busy again. Thinking about it, I felt sad about not being able to see my good friend before she went back to the U.S. There is also another friend that I have been meaning to see and she's even just around the corner from where I work. Oh, I really felt bad about not being able to attend to two consecutive birthday parties hosted by these two mommy friends. My little girl should have enjoyed the two separate Jollibee birthday parties but it was too bad because her mom got caught up with other pressing itineraries. It's a good thing that these mommy friends understood me and my situation. I do hope to make it up to them next time!

I have not even written/blogged long enough but my daughter wouldn't get to sleep if I don't sleep beside her. So, off to bed will I go now. I'll probably just pretend to sleep and sneak back in if I can. :-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

a quick update on today's event

It was kind of our boss to let us go home at noon today because of a typhoon. I had a lot of things to do at work but it was safer to be at home than be trapped in the workplace when the strength of typhoon increases. Indeed, when calamities like this strike, we would want to be with our family than anywhere else. So, I was excited about the thought of surprising our daughter for being home early. However, when we arrived home, we found our daughter sleeping in the sofa. She doesn't want to be surprised, huh! Anyway, it's not like I didn't have anything to do besides waiting for her to wake up. I thought it was also good chance to tinker with the computer as I remembered that a Windows cleanup is already due. Definitely, I am no longer pleased with my computer's performance. However, I could not proceed as planned as I realized we had power outage - something that naturally happens when there's a threat of a strong typhoon. The power just got back tonight, though, but it's almost bedtime when I got the chance to go online. Right now, I definitely could use some sleep. So, any updates that I need to make on the computer had to be put on hold.

on grandmother's funeral

Last Saturday, we went to attend grandmother's funeral. It was one hot afternoon but the heat was tolerable since our aunt hired a bus to get us all to the cemetery. We were told that she actually hired two buses; so, me and my family (dad, me and my sister, husband and kid) chose to ride on one bus with less people still on it so we can be comfortably seated. However, after we went a few kilometers and stopped at an unexpected destination, we realized that we didn't know the rest of the people that were on the bus. It was then clear to us that we were on the wrong bus! Thanks to SMS and mobile technology, we were able to communicate with my other two siblings. Fortunately, the bus that they were on was still coming; so eventually, we were able to ride on the right bus. Even in times of mourning, some circumstances such as this happen so that we can see the funny side of life. In fact, I have also recalled that in another funeral we have attended some two years ago, we have also experienced one funny situation wherein we have mistakenly eaten the snacks served by  another bereaved family who mistook us for their relatives. Boy, were we embarrassed but it's a good thing that they didn't notice the blunder we made; so, we quickly got ourselves away from the wrong crowd. :-)

Going back to the topic on grandmother's funeral, I was really touched by our aunt's eulogy. When she recalled and said a lot of good things about grandmother, I also remembered my late mom's character. How my aunt described our grandmother was almost exactly how I would describe my mom as a mother when she was alive. When it was my turn to say my piece, I wasn't able to completely get all my thoughts together but I was able to thank my grandmother for everything that she was when she was alive. What I am today is also partly because of her because she has raised our mom so well that she was also able to impart her parenting skills to us.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

keeping myself warm and comfortable at work

No, it is not winter in this part of the world but there are really times when it feels like we're also experiencing this type of season in the office. I am not complaining about it, though, as I would rather shiver than sweat a lot, not to mention "smell badly", at work. LOL. I can't adjust the temperature of our air conditioner since almost everybody wants the coolness that way. Anyway, a colder office environment can be remedied by drinking a cup of coffee and a thicker wardrobe.  There are times, though, when an ordinary sweater wouldn't be enough to keep me warm at work; and for that, I am thinking of getting myself a fox fur jacket. Not only will this jacket keep me warm, it can also keep me fashionable. For the record, I  am planning to buy one that will not catch so much attention because I also hate it when I get noticed for what I am wearing. :-)

Monday, November 26, 2012

think of them as blessings

Here's one song that can help us handle whatever negative and unpleasant things we are going through at the moment and see them in a different perspective. It's called  "Blessings" from the Laura Story album. I wish I can get hold of a copy of her album before the year ends.

Are you one of those who think that you've been bombarded with problems after another? Health reasons? Financial difficulties? Family problems? Loss of a loved one? Whatever problems we have at hand, it's time that we think of them as blessings and offer them to God.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

she will be missed dearly

Some three months ago, our Tita Sarah (my late mom's elder sister) passed away after more than 3 years of battling with the big C. For some personal reason, I earlier decided I wouldn't blog about death anymore but today, I am breaking my rule as we are again losing another special person in the family - our grandmother! I know she has lived even longer than my mom and my aunt (she was 88 years old) who already went ahead of her but still it's a sad passing for we weren't expecting she'd be gone last Thursday. Even though I wasn't able to visit her as often as I would have wanted to, I have also thought of her fondly. Hopefully, if she will be able to see our situation up close now, I'm sure grandmother will understand.

Truly, I will miss her. Thanks to her, I had a mom who was just as caring, as  thoughtful, and as wonderful as she. Even though her memory would fail her already, her sweetness was already part of her nature that it wouldn't be such an effort for her to accommodate anyone who comes to my aunt's house to visit her. She would insist that you take some snacks or anything she had prepared even if you would say you've already eaten. She can also sense when something's wrong or when you're troubled. Even when she 's tired and could use some sleep/rest, she will always find time to accommodate and to talk to any of her family visiting the house. She's been the sweetest, most caring and loving Lola during her lifetime. I will always remember her like this.

We love you lola! Hopefully, I am not going to cry that you're gone because death is a reality for all of us and you are just going ahead. More importantly, I also know that you are already in a better place now.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

an employee's take on Christmas

As an employee, there are many things that I love about Christmas. Aside from the 13th month pay which I look forward to receive (I'm smiling here), we also have our weekly Kris Kringle as a prelude to our company Christmas Party. It's really exciting to receive gifts even though we still have no idea who is giving us our presents every week. Anyway, we will find that out during the revelation.

Here's what I received so far from my Mystery Giver

Another thing that's just as exciting as the 13th month and the Kris Kringle is our Christmas caroling contest during the party. As for our group, we haven't been seriously rehearsing yet. In fact, we are still trying to agree on what karaoke version of the Christmas song to use.We can't seem to decide on the genre of the song yet. Some of us wants to sing the pop rock version while the others want the classic version. I am almost tempted to suggest that we buy cme wireless midi at Musicians friend so we can conveniently record our material and give us that winning edge. I also asked an officemate if he would want to showcase his talent by playing the guitar himself but he was quick to refuse because we don't have a lot of time for rehearsal that we might as well use some mp3 instrumental. I'll have an update later on our company Christmas party.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

almost Christmas

This early, many parts of the city are already glittering as homes and establishments have already put up their decorations and lights as their way of welcoming the Christmas season. Stores and malls have already made their themes even more Christmas-y than last year. Some weeks ago, I had been to J Centre Mall in Banilad (one of the newest malls here) and I just love how they have put up their decorations. Here's a picture I took of their entrance when I was there to buy some personal and office stuff.

this one is at J Centre Mall entrance
I love going to this mall because it's near my workplace and it is not too crowded yet. Moreover, the stores that are in this mall that I have been to are selling a lot of good stuff at reasonable prices. I'm pretty sure they also have plenty of activities lined up for this year's celebration of Christmas. I hope to be back soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

career and business talks with brother

Now that he's almost getting tired of waiting for the actual processing of his working visa for UAE, my brother told me he might not be able to hold his patience any longer that he'll probably just go into business. I believe starting  your own business is a pretty good idea especially if you are the type of person with excellent people and selling skills. Knowing my brother, I thought he's someone who really knows how to deal with and market to people; so, I told him that if he's really serious about going into business, I would support him on his idea. In fact, I should be able to help him market that business online. I told him to find something he loves doing and then we'll figure out a way to turn that into business. He told me he loves to drink beer and he wants to get into the business of selling beer. However, he wants to try making beer on his own so it can have a unique taste. I also learned he already found a good beer brewing kit that can help him get started.  I looked it up and concluded that the kit should be easy to operate as it comes with a manual. So now, he's actually torn between going back to working abroad or starting his own business. I thought either way should be fine as long as he is into something he loves to do.

make birthdays special without spending hugely

Indeed, birthdays can be made special without spending too much. In our case, here's how we've basically done it and I am sharing this to my blog as fun tips to help enjoy birthdays without splurging way too much.:-)

5 Tips to Make Birthdays Special Without Spending Hugely

1. Keep a low profile so that only the very few significant people will know that your birthday is coming. Only when your birthday is over that people will realize that you just had a happy one. :-)

2. Don't feel pressured about having to hold a birthday spree. Some friends or workmates are likely to send you a hint or two that they're expecting a birthday blowout but if it is not within your budget, you can just politely smile or beg off. For friends who send their birthday wishes on your Facebook's timeline (which you forgot to turn off), you can also jokingly say to your well-wishers "Your greetings are good but I need cash!" or "Can I convert all your birthday greetings to cash so I would end up a millionnaire?" So now, they will get the point. Some of them might even cook up a birthday bash for you (You wish!).

3. Go to church and give thanks to God for another great year for you. You don't want God to get disappointed about not inviting Him to your birthday, do you? He should be your most important Guest especially on your birthday.

4. Merge your birthday with other celebrants in the house. Here's the cake to prove my point. :-)

If your husband's birthday is anywhere near your birthday, for example, you might as well spend it together. My birthday falls on the same day as his Aunt V, so it's quite practical to spend birthday with her since she's holding a party! :-) The only down side to this clever and crazy tip, though, is that we don't get to have our own guests. LOL!

In our case, we only had to order the cake and the rest of the food and drinks are on her. Haha! Isn't this a great money-saving tip? :-) Next time, though, I will have to remember not to bring husband and daughter along when I buy the cake so that we won't end up taking our birthday lunch together. :-)

5. Birthdays are also fun with a microphone and karaoke system at home. It should be fun singing a few high-pitched songs with just a couple of beers for the gentlemen and soda for the ladies. You also don't want kids to miss out on the celebration, so you can have fruit juice for them as well. Of course, you need to pass on the microphone to your kid so she can sing her favorite happy birthday song which will surely make your day even more special.

And we sure made our birthdays special without spending hugely! You can come back here on my next birthday (which happens to be the Veterans' Day, by the way) if you want to learn more frugal ways of celebrating birthdays with loved ones. :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

married life - how's your listening skills?

Many times I wonder if there is really some truth to that thing called "7-year itch" in marriage. I heard it is that stage when couples will purportedly experience too much familiarity with each other that would somehow cause a serious stir in their relationship. Like most people, that is not something that I look forward to happening in the next 2 years. Of course, I would like to believe that there is no such thing as a "7-year itch".

Without sounding too presumptuous, I asked someone I know who's been married for more than 20 years if she has experienced that stage of her married life, although I am aware that not all marriages/relationships are the same. She kind of told me that it's normal for couples to have differences despite the love they have for each other. She told me that right now, though, the challenges in their married life started popping up again now that her husband appears to have lost the sharpness of his hearing. Many times, their arguments stem from the partner's inability to hear accurately and would often result to misunderstandings and unhealthy communication. I told her if the partner's hearing deficiency is the only thing that's upsetting their married life, they might want to seek the help of a hearing specialist. Her husband doesn't have to go through all that difficulty of hearing especially now that there are already affordable digital hearing aids in the marketplace. I also thought that helping her husband improve his hearing abilities would help him bring back the esteem that he unconsciously lost as he tries to hide this impairment from his friends by simply not seeing or talking to them. Good to know she took my advice well and is now looking to get a hearing device as a Christmas present for the husband but only after seeing a specialist first.

An old picture of us :-)

Anyway, while reflecting on our marriage, I thought we were doing good so far as a couple of five years. Overall, there were no major fights and no major arguments - just some pretty occasional minor differences that are not even worth dwelling upon. Indeed, it takes patience, understanding and respect to keep marriage or any relationship healthy. Hearing or listening to what a husband or wife is saying is important. In fact, there are also times where you need to be a little more sensitive about the things your partner may not be telling you. I do hope to keep our marriage healthy like it is and has been. I know we can do this if we continue to support one another and to keep our spiritual life healthy. With God in our midst, I know we can remain strong and not give up on each other.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

that mommy moment

Because there are less words to say today, I should let the photo speak for itself. :-)

If only I can always capture all moments like this one in photographs, I would!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

appreciating talent, great music and sound

I extremely admire talented people - especially the ones who can sing and play musical instruments really well. Nowadays, I think aspiring local bands can have the chance to make it really big in the music scene if they are serious with their craft that they are willing to spend their time and money (although some have benefited a little bit from sponsorships) to create great music. I believe it takes a lot of things to really stand out as a band. Other than talent and skills, bands need to invest in the best musical gadget/equipment, an example of which is the marvelous Eventide effects processor, which will help them produce unique and impressive music, sound and recording. Moreover, most local bands have also gained a lot of following worldwide even by simply sharing their videos on Youtube and Facebook. Of course, I would personally suggest that they have their own website as well for branding and popularity purposes.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

welcoming another favorite month

October was supposed to be a long month for me but it felt like I haven't had enough of those 31 days. There were things left unaccomplished and personal goals that were not realized but the month has already ended. Good thing, though, there's always another month to make up for it! So, now I am saying hello to November, my birthday month! Hopefully, this month will be a good month for me as I am planning to be a little more productive in all aspects of my life. Hopefully, I'll get to come up with that right balance in everything that I do so that I don't get to sacrifice my health, family and personal life.

Thanks to the 2 holidays last Thursday and Friday, we were able to spend our weekend with dad in Medellin. Husband and I were supposed to go to the Compostela cemetery on November 1st but we couldn't sneak away from our daughter who's been begging to come with us wherever we go; but what with an extremely hot temperature, we decided it's definitely not a good idea to bring her along especially that we're expecting a throng of people honoring their dead. We can't just risk her getting sick afterwards. I'm sure my late mom would understand that I didn't go to the cemetery for this year's All Souls' Day like I used to. Anyway, we really did not forget her since we went to church on November 2nd  and offered a mass and prayers for her and for our other deceased relatives. After the mass, we went back home to get our stuff and pushed through with our Medellin trip. It was a long travel/trip but it was less of an inconvenience because we were seated in an air conditioned Ceres Tours bus. :-)

I thought the November holidays was our chance to visit my dad. After all, I still have a living parent who's also longing for our presence. Well actually, I thought I just have to dwell with the fact now that he missed his granddaughter more than he misses seeing me or his son-in-law. LOL! Kidding aside, I realized that my dad is also getting older. He himself decided not to travel on November 1st to visit the cemetery in Compostela as it was really hard for him to get a ride to the city on special holidays like All Saints' and All Souls' Day. Instead, he went to the cemetery in Medellin to light some candles at the big cross to remember mom and his other deceased loved ones.

Monday, October 29, 2012

that's my dad

I am not sure if I have mentioned in any of my posts that my father is a professional mechanical engineer and that he works at a sugar milling company. Career-wise, he actually had humble beginnings where he started from a mere rank and file employee who works hands-on with bearings,  vise accessories and other industrial supplies and equipment that I am not familiar with, until he got promoted to a supervisory position. Today, even when he is already past the age of retirement, he is still working, although now I heard he is already holding a consultancy position (sort of). I am proud of my dad's achievements especially that I am aware that he worked really hard to earn his title. He's not from a well-to-do family; so, he had to work his way to get to college. I remembered even when he already got promoted in supervisory level, he's still willing to do manual labor if he deemed it necessary. He also has a lot of friends at work and this is because he didn't forget where he came from. Definitely, he knew how to keep his feet on the ground!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

celebrated our fifth

Yesterday marked our fifth year of marriage. We were glad it fell on a Saturday so we can have some time to celebrate.

Weeks before our anniversary, we actually thought of traveling to my hometown but since the weather is not that great days before our anniversary, we decided to put off traveling. We then agreed to celebrate this important day with our Dipdip at SM. I think celebrating it with our daughter (the fruit of our love) is the best way to celebrate as a form of our renewal of love and commitment to one another.

Initially, we planned on watching a movie with our daughter. It was supposed to be her first movie experience but we can't find any movie that's suitable for her age. Besides, if it's not a Dora or a Barbie show, she's not that attentive yet. Thus, we ended up watching an Art Exhibit at the Art Exhibit Center, buying socks for ourselves (bought 3 pairs for each of us) at the department store, a Snow White book and Barbie puzzle at the Toy Kingdom. And to satisfy our stomach, we went Italian as husband treated us at Sbarro for some pizza and pasta. I did not forget to hold my appetite, though, as I already know the consequences. :-)

I thought our celebration would end after Sbarro but our little girl requested for a carousel ride at World of Fun. She went ecstatic. My little girl is a happy kid but I have never seen her too happy like yesterday. I guess kids aren't really hard to please.

I am really happy that we decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary this way. So happy we have come this far.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

losing weight is difficult!

Some people think that I am comfortable with my weight but they don't really have any idea what I am going through. I've been planning on losing weight for ages but just can't find the means to achieve it. All those negative talks directed towards me that are supposed to motivate me to lose weight simply didn't help at all. Instead, they only add up to my anxiety and stress and has somehow caused me to eat some more - a great alibi for not being able to trim down.

Lately, it is getting more and more difficult for me to lose weight. I remembered I had my chance last year when I was hospitalized because of dehydration due to severe diarrhea. I lost a lot of weight during that time but quickly regained it within two weeks after recovery. I want a healthier body for many reasons. Aside from the fact that I want to look and feel great again, I really don't want to be a burden to my husband and loved ones. I am well aware that being overweight can be a detriment to my health. I know I should strive to keep myself fit especially that hypertension runs in the family. What I thought of doing now is to heed to the advice on eating less carbohydrates and minimizing my snacking habits. A friend of mine also suggested that I should try protein supplements for weight loss but I am not going to take any diet supplements just yet until I am able to exercise regularly and until I am already fully convinced that these supplements will work for me. Speaking of exercise, my husband requested me to sleep early because we're going to jog early in the morning. Time to burn those accumulated fats! I just hope that the alarm clock will do its job in waking us up. :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

something for our listening pleasure

Happy Friday, everyone! I found another favorite singer in the person of KZ Tandingan, grand winner of X Factor Philippines 2012.

I really like her style of singing - it's like a mixed genre or something - I am not sure how they call that. Definitely, her voice is a delight to my ears. I would say she's really a total performer. I would love for you to listen to her version of the song "For Once in My Life" which I will happily dedicate to my hubby on the occasion of our wedding anniversary tomorrow. Nothing sentimental. :-)

best friday ever

Husband has declared this Friday as his rest day from driving the motorcycle to work. He said we needed to be without the motorcycle today as he wants to do grocery after work. Besides, he finds it stressful to drive because there are a lot of crazy drivers out there who have no regard for others' and their safety. If we only live nearer to the workplace, we wouldn't be riding the motorcycle when coming to work.

We have already agreed last night that we will leave home early because we have to commute to go to work today. Thankfully, we made it to work on time even if we skipped the last ride and just chose to walk our way to the workplace so we can have a few minutes of exercise. We're kind of getting used to this sedentary lifestyle already which is not good. So now, with this motorcycle-less day, I feel like I've done good job for myself. I'm sure husband feels the same way. We haven't had time to do brisk walks ever since we were riding our motorcycle to go to work. So, now I feel recharged. This is the best Friday ever! A few more Fridays like this and I'm on the road to a healthier me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

my love for music

My ex-workmates used to tease me that I have a thousand voices and that's because I enjoy singing along with the songs played on the radio in my own style and tune. They never complained about my singing, though, as I have already primed them up that I was a choir member when I was in high school. In other words, they have managed to accept that I am musically inclined. Haha!

Speaking of my choir days in high school, I thought I would consider these days as one of the best times of my student life as this have somehow helped build my self-confidence. Being a member of a choir is probably one of the best memories I have of my younger years. Every time we go to church, I would remember the good old times with the group because not only did we perform onstage before, we also sang at our local Catholic church. And would you believe we sang even at funerals for free? Oh, it's not entirely free after all because we get served with snacks after the service. :-) I remembered how our choir professor would spend a few hours each day to teach us some new songs. I could not also forget the keyboard we were using then. Although it was branded, it was not that portable and as slick as the exquisite keyboards that are being introduced and used these days.

Can you recognize me in this picture? :-)

Reminiscing on the times with the choir, I thought it was a wonderful experience to not only have the chance to sing and perform but to also belong to a group. I'm sure my little girl would also want to be a member of a singing group one day because, even at her small age, I would already hear her singing and blending along with today's popular music. Oh, I really think it is a good thing that her mom has a thousand voices. :-)

Monday, October 15, 2012

post-birthday treat, reunion and then some

Another reunion took place on a weekend.

This time, I met up with some of my ex-workmates. Thanks to our friend Jenn who invited us over for her post-birthday treat, we again had the chance to catch up on each other. You see, we were all busy (work, family, lovelife, etc.) that we didn't even think about hanging out for old time's sake. Although there's Facebook, nothing beats having real conversations and seeing friends in the flesh.

To be honest, though, I do have apprehensions about going to reunions like this. Sure, I would love to see them but I knew friends would surely notice how I wasn't able to manage my weight well after entering the motherhood phase. And I was right. One friend didn't think twice about telling me how scared she would be if she had grown to my size after giving birth herself. Ouch! I thought that was a little on the offensive side but, anyway, I thought she only mean well and I was probably getting too sensitive. So, I just pretended not to hear it - the price I had to pay for being plump and overweight. :-)

Anyway, my ever-supportive husband is going to buy me shoes for running soon. I also thought of starving myself. But what to do?  I can't help it - I want to eat when I am hungry or when I'm craving for something. I know I could have done better with my physique or my weight issue after entering my 30s but..... I guess this is something I have to go through - a challenge that is yet to be overcome.

So thankful for the one who took this picture :-)
Overall, I am very happy to see my friends. I only have a few friends and some of them are already missing in action - I do miss them big time but I guess they have decided to move on without keeping in touch.

And the food was great!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

minireunion with classmates in high school

I knew it. This year will not end without reunions taking place. In fact, I just had a mini reunion with two of my classmates back in high school. It was actually a brief meeting with them at Krispy Kreme in SM. There were a lot of things to talk about but we don't own all of our time that day. I brought my little Dipdip with me while husband enjoys his short 'me time' window shopping for a wedding anniversary gift (I wish).


Anyway, it felt great talking to a nun and a property specialist while enjoying the best doughnut in America. So thankful that we get the chance to taste it here as well.

My classmates in high school

Before this year ends, I should be able to meet up with old classmates and friends from my elementary and high school days as well as those I have worked with in the past. It's actually nice to finally have the time to socialize.

Monday, October 8, 2012

a good friend is enjoying her vacation

I promised to devote a separate post about a friend of mine who recently arrived from the U.S. for a vacation. I think, it was about two years ago when Jenn and I last saw each other. At that time, she was still planning on her pregnancy after marrying her husband for the second time here in the Philippines. They had their first wedding in the U.S. and had carefully planned for a Philippine wedding after that. Although we weren't really talking about our wedding plans before,  we were happy about the fact that we share the same wedding date as her very first wedding that was held in the States. Isn't that great?

There are many things that I am thankful for this friend of mine. Aside from being a thoughtful friend that she's always been, I will always be grateful for being one of those partly responsible for leading an officemate (now my husband) to me. Had it not been for her and another officemate's pushing (the 'instrumentals'), I am not sure if my guy would find the courage to court me. :-) Okay, enough of me and hubby. This is supposed to be a post dedicated to Jenn, the owner of My Sweet Haven, who taught me how to make a writing hobby pay off.

Lately, I realized we have other things in common aside from sharing the same wedding date. Here are some of them:

1. We both don't know how to swim.
2. We both have one child (she has a boy. I have a girl, though).
3. We both delivered our first baby via CS.
4. Due to health and other reasons, we are both scared to have another child.
5. We both want to lose weight. I know she has the edge, though, because she now has time to go to the gym.

Here's a picture of us when we met at the mall so she could give her 'pasalubong' (presents) to us.

With Jenn and my daughter

So, there you go. Now, I am convinced I really need to lose weight. Gosh! Haha! Obviously, she successfully found herself a physical coverup and left me in a defenseless state (if you know what I mean). LOL.

Anyway, last Saturday, she celebrated her  birthday here in the Philippines. Belated happy birthday, my good friend. I know I still owe you that leche flan I promised. After all, you need it to regain what you have lost so I can catch up. Just teasing :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

here comes October Special!

It's funny how you end up getting too busy to blog lately despite wanting to do so, yet find yourself checking out the link to an old post of a blogger friend during a lunch break, and then find yourself or your alter ego being mentioned in the post (A Tag from Shengkay) you are reading.  This, by the way, showed up on her 'feedjit live' widget of her blog about a week ago.

I originally intended to publish this post before September would have ended; but lo and behold, it is already October! :-)

Thank you brother Jason for this photo :-)

So, after a year of being tagged, here are my quick answers to the questions:

1. Do you think you’re hot?
A lot of people say I am, which is why I am "forced" to think that way. LOL! Seriously, I am! :-)

2. Upload a picture or wallpaper that you’re using at the moment.

3. Talk about the picture.
The little girl in the picture is my daughter. She inspires me to work harder. All weariness goes away when I am with her; and if that's not possible for some reason, I just simply look at her picture.

4. When was the last time you ate chicken meat?
Just last month. Can't remember when exactly it was but it was a 'tinolang manok' - the one cooked with malunggay (horse radish) leaves.

5. The song(s) you listened to recently.
Oppa Gangnam Style -- haha, can't believe this (and the dance steps) keeps playing on my head over and over again, even at work. Last song syndrome, eh?

6. What were you thinking as you were doing this?
I was thinking of how I would make October special without having to spend so much  as this is an important month for me and hubby. Soon it will be 5 years since I've been married to a wonderful person. Isn't that great? #excited mode

7. Do you have nicknames? What are they?
My mom(+) had a nickname for me - Luannie (pronounced as "lu-wa-ni") but no one ever used it to call me.
Meretrisha is the name I would often use online and especially when I don't want to use my real name which is Joanne.
Mashka is a nickname given by a high school friend of mine, Contessa. She got that from one of the characters in the book she was reading at that time. So, this is how I got joannamashka as the domain name but I believe I have a post about that already.
Haha.. information overload? thought you'd like to know..:-)

8. Tag 8 blog owners -
Jenn, Cat, Shiela, Juliet, Brother Mel, Lainy, Jellybelly, Bing 

9. Who is your No.1?
Jenn of My Sweet Haven

10. Say something about No.5.
Brother Mel is a spiritual adviser. A very good person that can help you realize God's greatness and kindness through his blog posts.

11. How did you get to know No.3.
We're officemates, up until right now. I am also godmother to her son.

12. How about No.4?
We're officemates as well. Apart from that, we are also neighbors.

13. Leave a message for No.6.
Hi Lainy. Sorry I have not blog hopped lately but I sure love to read all your blogs/writeups.

14. Leave a lovey dovey message for No.2.
Hi Cat, my friend! We've both been busy these days. I'm just so glad to see your updates on Facebook. Happy to see pictures of you, the family, your escapades and the beautiful pictures you are sharing.

15. Does No.7 and No.8 have any similarities?
No, not really. :-)

16. State 5 things you know about No.1.
An ex-officemate, now a very good friend of mine. She was my mentor when it comes to blogging for extra income. She went home from the U.S. just recently for a vacation. I'll have a separate post about it later on.

17. State the similarity of a goat and cow?
They have milk. Haha! That's the best impromptu answer I can think of.

18. How did you feel when you answer the above question?
I feel like a celebrity being interviewed. Hahaha.. :-)

Thanks for reading. I am glad to have answered all of the questions. :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chasing Happiness, Are We?

I feel like making another blog update today because I bumped into a happiness quote being shared on Facebook. This is a good thing about social networks, you get inspired by the positive things that are being spread around.

Photo: Not Mine

Indeed, happiness in this walk through life is hard to achieve and this is due to the fact that most of us are bound to seek it only for ourselves. We tend to look for it for our own benefit. However, if we start wanting this happiness to be felt by the people around us and actually doing something about it, this feeling will simply resonate with us. Let's not also forget that it is not through material or financial things that can give permanent/ultimate happiness. It is the peace within ourselves that can bring about that feeling. No one else can make us feel that way but God in His goodness and grace.

A blessed Sunday to all of us.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

blogging is a must for all businesses

I recently had a word with a friend/officemate who already started a home-based online business. I think she and her partner did pretty well that I thought going into it is worth a try one day. I guess I am going to have to start planning my own business as well. I must say that I find her small business blogging activities worth emulating one day. These days, I think that it is already expected for a small business, no matter what kind/type of business it is, to maintain a blog and update it frequently. This is one way that visitors will know that your business is very active because you have put every effort to maintain your website/blog and provide some information that visitors and potential customers might need to know.

Right now, though, I am already contented with accepting content writing opportunities for extra income - SEO and the works. This is why I always see the need to update this blog every so often because I don't want potential clients to have a wrong impression of me. :-) You see, blogging is more of a personal thing for me rather than a proof of my writing skills and abilities. I usually blog when there's something I find interesting in my head. Otherwise, there would be none to write about.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I miss blogging, big time

Thanks to a former officemate who left all her bookmarks on the computer which I am already using at work, I have learned some very useful tips about blogging and marketing. I particularly find Chris Brogan's blog interesting that I have actually subscribed to his posts and newsletter. Among the many things I learned from him was to never apologize if you haven't written in awhile. Hmmm, I must admit I was about to do that ('apologize') after contemplating on getting back to the blogging world. Anyway, I felt like it didn't matter to most readers/visitors that I was on hiatus - well aware of the fact that the world can go on without me or my blog update.

Let me just say that I really miss blogging again, BIG time! I miss all my blogging friends. Time is indeed both an enemy and a friend - depends on how we make use of it. I'll have to remember that every time I choose not to update my blog just because I can always put it off tomorrow or the day after. :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Thirty Seconds that Made A Difference

Found this 30-second Coca Cola CEO speech all over the web and across social networking sites.

I thought this is the best speech ever made to inspire each one of us to be efficient in our work so that we don't get to leave behind all the other important aspects of our life.

For many employees out there, the message also boils down to one thing - time management! There are times when some of us can be guilty for goofing around while at work and, as a consequence, we would end up stretching our time and sometimes to the point of not delivering the desired quality and amount of work that is often expected of us. That is not a commendable behavior.

Sometimes, messages like this can give us the best motivation that we need in order to create a good balance in our life in order to end up happy and fulfilled.

Happy Sunday to all. Looking forward to a great week.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Motherhood celebrated

Sunday was pretty special because we were celebrating Mother's Day at home with the in-laws. It was actually a double celebration as hubby's aunt also celebrated her birthday. I felt special not because I received flowers from husband. As a matter of fact, he didn't think of giving me any but it is no reason for me to feel disappointed like I once used to. After all, flowers are not practical gifts because I will have to dispose of them when they rot and wither, anyway. See, I am starting to think like him. LOL. I am happy to say, though, that he took care of our laundry that day without asking me to help out. He also ordered 3 trays of leche flan from mother-in-law. That was clever of him to decide on having leche flan served on Mother's Day because it is also his favorite. :-) Overall, my heart is full of happiness because of the many blessings I have received from God. Motherhood is surely one of my biggest blessings. There may also be trials along the way but they didn't
come without solutions. God is good!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Can't Stop Shopping!

Note: This is a sponsored post for Sway Chic
If you find that you can't stop shopping, maybe you should give your wallet to a trusted family member. You probably didn't need those high waisted shorts, or those cute dresses, but you wanted them, right? And that's all that mattered? At least try and buy shorter dresses. Since they are short and have less fabric they tend to cost less (unless designer). Short dresses can be worn technically on any occasion and can really help to flatter your figure. Although you don't want to go too short, mini-dresses can really help to alleviate hot flashes in the summertime and also make you feel sexy at the same time. Mini-dresses are most popular for clubbing and going to parties. Wearing a short dress can help you to attract men and really be the center of attention. If you've been working out in the gym a lot for a killer body, you may want to try for a shorter dress to really show off what you've been working for. There is a pretty wide selection of mini-dresses available online and at different stores worldwide. This is because the mini-dress is a very popular clothing choice for today's teenagers and young adults. You will see shorter dresses coming out in spring, and may even be tied into colder weather since the fashion trend of fishnets came along. I personally love wearing short dresses because it makes me feel attractive, and I just find that there are much more kinds of short dresses to choose from than long ones. Also, I never liked the dresses that reached my calf or anything like that. I never really go to anything formal so there would be no reason for me to have to own a longer dress. They are very hot and although some older women may rock them, I really can't do it. I do like maxi dresses though since they fit a bit better and are also made to have really cool designs like tie-dye and what not.

No matter what kind of dress you may end up wearing, either way you will feel much more feminine and lovely wearing one, I guarantee it. Indie clothing is very trend-setting and can help to really set you apart in the fashion world. I personally love the fashion and have been buying indie any chance I get. I have found a few celebrities that I follow as well doing the whole indie look and it's a really cute fashion statement. I really love the headbands in girls' hair, they are so cute and creative!

hidden beach finally explored

Thanks to my in-laws who have planned for a summer vacation, we finally had the chance to explore the Hidden Beach in Aloguinsan, Cebu. We have planned to visit this place last year but due to the not-so-pleasant weather (there was a threat of typhoon at that time) where the van we were renting got stuck on the way to that hidden beach, we decided to change our course and headed to another beach in another town.

You can only imagine the anticipation of being able to finally experience the white beach and the long shoreline. So, this summer, we finally made it happen. But, it almost didn't happen when, as we were on our way to where this beach was hidden, the rented van didn't seem to cooperate. Unfortunately, the vehicle's radiator leaked while we were still halfway through our destination. I think we were in Naga at that time, which spoiled our anticipation for a good swim.

I thought we wouldn't push through with the Hidden Beach summer outing. I thought we will again settle for another beach elsewhere just like we did last year, closer to where our vehicle got stranded. Thanks to the initiative of the driver, we transferred to another van after he called a fellow driver for back-up.

You know what it's like to get stuck or stranded, right?

Well, I considered it as a temporary setback. Coincidentally, my in-laws realized we got stranded in front of the house of their friend (a former workmate of father-in-law, I believe). To make the long story short, they ended up asking for "makopa" or "tambis" fruits (I don't know how they call that anywhere else in the world - I'll look that up pretty soon). So, we weren't really super bored at that time.

Because of what we went through before getting there, we were able to appreciate Hidden Beach Aloguinsan even more. To say that it was all worth it is, in fact, an understatement.:-)

So, this is just one of the few favorite beaches added to my list.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Do you have fast fingers?

Working for a BPO company has definitely taught me more than just delivering quality work. It has also taught me that speed is an equally important factor. After all, swiftness in terms of delivering any kind of service is important. If you have fast fingers, for instance, you will surely do well with delivering encoding and book formatting services; provided, of course, that you also have the required skills that are needed for these tasks.

Do you have fast fingers? I do. Ahem! I also know some of them who do. They can format your e-books and best-selling books at the most reasonable cost. I think I am going to have to try their service as soon as my book is done.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

time to get skin tanned this summer

The temperature is getting hotter and some schools are already done with their commencement exercises this month. Shopping malls and department stores have already displayed their swimming gears and attires for sale. These are indeed obvious signs that summer is here. Most of us are already looking forward to enjoying a summer vacation alone or with family and friends, aren't we? The scorching heat of summer is calling. It's definitely time to get our skin tanned (or burnt, if you skip the sunscreen ritual).

So, how do you plan on enjoying your summer vacation? Where are you headed? Are you going to swim at a beach or at a pool resort? If it were all up to me, I would most likely prefer the beach because I don't know how to swim. I'll probably just stay where the water is not too high. Swimming at the pool is also fine with me; provided that we go to a swimming pool resort that provides excellent service. It is not enough that it has great ambiance. It should also be able to provide their staff with quality pool supplies and equipment that should be used for cleaning and maintenance. It matters to me that I have knowledge that they clean and maintain their swimming pools on a regular basis because that's where our safety lies. My husband (who used to be my boyfriend) once suffered an ear infection because the swimming pool at a resort they went to lacked the resources for cleaning and filtering their pool water. Today, it would be hard to get him to go pool swimming. Thus, we have decided to add this activity to our shared disinterest list.:-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

wives can relate to this

I would like to share this image that I found online since this is a little bit related to my earlier post. :-) Pretty sure there are some times when we would like our partners to see things our way. However, no eyeglasses can ever provide for this intangible need. Truly, communication is still the best way to address any type of problem or argument you have with your partner. Right!

Friday, February 24, 2012

benefit from buying prescription glasses online

Having perfect eyesight is important especially for most of us whose jobs would require keen and sharp vision. However, because of a lot of factors such as age, heredity, not to mention our lack of proper eye care, it would be quite hard to maintain that naturally perfect vision throughout the years. Thankfully, there's technology to hopefully help us see more clearly again.

For those who are looking to buy affordable and reasonably priced eyeglasses, you must not make the mistake of buying them at the expense of quality and your looks. Making the wrong choice and buying eyeglasses with the wrong fit will not only provide you discomfort but it will also make you look twice as old. If you are budget-conscious, though, you are likely to appreciate the many choices of affordable eyeglasses that are sold online.

So, how can you benefit further from buying prescription glasses online? Well, if you don't have any idea what type or shape of frame would best fit your face, you would definitely appreciate optical shops that offer a frame fit feature on their websites. You can easily learn how to use it and this will help you make the best purchase of eyewear. Now, you can choose to look different each time by owning three stylish pairs of eyeglasses!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

finally he's arrived

My elder brother arrived from Abu Dhabi today. I think it has been 3 years since we last saw each other. As a sister, I would have wanted to go with the rest of the family to fetch him at the airport earlier today. The thought of seeing him again (plus the presents that we call "pasalubong" *wink*) is already enough to excite my thoughts. However, since it's a work day and I still didn't have any leave credits yet, I thought I would need to put off seeing him until my working hours are through. I forgot to mention that I also needed to wait for my husband because we are going together to the restaurant where my brother and the rest of the family were waiting. Suffice is to say that my excitement in seeing my brother back again got extended for several hours. Can anybody relate to that?

Anyway, when we get to finally see him at the restaurant, I didn't quite expect to see a reaction that seems to show that he was more than excited to see me. Well, it is probably because he has already drank several bottles of beer with dad, my brother and my sister's boyfriend before me and husband finally turned up. I didn't realize just how much I miss talking to my brother. Sure, there's Facebook and all other types of tools that are meant to provide communication but, somehow, it is really different when you get to talk and physically see the person.

So, there. Finally, brother has gone back home with lots of stories to tell. However, it was already late and he already looked like he could use some sleep, so we already said our goodbyes. We will be seeing him back this weekend at my father's place in the province and it will be a long journey. Of course, we didn't leave empty-handed. Aside from his wonderful presents, I also received something from my classmate way back in the elementary who is also working in the same place as my bro. It's funny how I got her to send me those chocolates. I think it has only been two days ago when I jokingly asked her on Facebook if she would like to send me something through my brother. And she did! Wow, additional blessings. Indeed, it was like "Ask and you shall receive." :-)

I have yet to decide if I would need to add pictures to this post. Good night.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

finding a good real estate agent

Whether you’re buying or selling homes or properties, real estate agents are very important for any profitable and secure real estate transaction. In many cases, property agents are only known through word of mouth. Perhaps you know these agents because they are recommended by your family and friends who are satisfied with their services in past transactions. You can also find real estate professionals through advertisements in classified ads or through the Internet.

From the moment that you advertise your intention to buy or sell a home, it would usually mean that you will be opening your door to property agents. These agents will be very persistent in trying to represent you; after all, they make a living through buying and selling properties. They are also willing to do the extra mile just to help you achieve your dreams and goals.

A good agent is known for his credibility, so don't be shy to ask questions. You can ask and get yourself educated on the many aspects of buying and selling property. Every agent has a responsibility. Expect him to do more than just driving clients to various homes and properties that are for sale. Helping his clients with negotiations, inspections, contracts, and closing processes are the major parts of his job. The best property agent must continue to educate himself in order to keep up with the laws involved in buying and selling property. Moreover, he needs to be knowledgeable about the market trend.

When choosing an agent, you need to choose a licensed one because he is legally required to stand by the Code of Ethics. With a licensed agent, you can be sure about his qualification, capability and dedication to sell and to help in the buying of properties. Of course, it is also important to verify that this agent has a good reputation and a proven track record.

If you have plans of buying a good home, contact real estate agents who are within the community first since they are likely to know the price range of the property that you intend to buy. It should also be the same way if you intend to sell your property in the same community. An agent who is in the community should be knowledgeable enough on how to properly price and market the property you are selling.

Finally, don’t forget to look at how well the agent represents all his clients. It is never a bad idea to visit some of the open houses that he has organized. You can snoop around and check whether he is able to explain everything about a client's property with confidence. This is a good way to gauge his ability and skills which will help you decide if you can trust him to represent you in front of sellers or buyers.

Talking About The New Normal

What's the new normal these days? This got me thinking today, and I thought I should make a list. 1. Wearing Masks. Obviously, it'...