I don't like the situation that they are in, but I really admire the fact that single moms are handling their parenting responsibilities singlehandedly. Their problem is that some single parents, especially the moms, have difficulties in looking for people to date and for a possible long term relationship. Everybody deserves to be happy and there's nothing wrong with single mom dating, as long as they've fulfilled their mommy duties.
One of my favorite actresses is Meg Ryan and I'd like to nominate her for the BoB Awards!
I'm a sucker for lighthearted, romantic movie fare, and she appears in many of my favorite romantic comedies with different leading men. Those that immediately come to mind are "When Harry Met Sally", "Sleepless in Seattle", "You've Got Mail" and many others. "Sleepless in Seattle" is a particular favorite. :)
Although she is often cast as a cutie, girl-next-door type in such romantic comedies, she has also proved her acting mettle in more dramatic vehicles like "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "Courage Under Fire". Although she had one movie where she decided to appear nude (I haven't watched it), her image is mostly a wholesome one and the movies she made are quite appropriate for most ages. I'm looking for DVDs of her movies to add to our collection of "must-watch-again-movies".
Please nominate me in the Best of the Best Awards!
My husband and I have always talked about having a break from work and the daily humdrum. Imagine, the last time we really had a vacation was our 3-day honeymoon in Hong Kong! But after that it was pretty difficult to get away, especially as I got pregnant soon after the wedding. Later, there was a small child to consider. While others may say that it's fun to bring the child along, we didn't really like the hassle. We did bring him to Tagaytay when we had a convention, after which we thought of exploring on our own. We brought along so much baby stuff then! His portable crib, his stroller, a cooler of expressed breastmilk, sterilizer, bottles, breast pump...We decided then that we'll just wait till he's older and probably have some memories of the trip.
This year, our convention is in Cebu and we had thought of going and extending a few more days for a vacation, maybe go over to Bohol too! There are all inclusive beach resorts in both Cebu and Bohol, so getting reservations would most likely be easier for all of us. Since our little boy is no longer a baby, it would be easier to bring him along. I was actually starting to look at all inclusive vacation packages so that we would be able to enjoy the trip without too much hassle. But before we could make any definite plans, we found out that I was pregnant! By the time the convention rolls around, I would already be in my 8th month of pregnancy. Although it's still safe enough to travel, we decide to postpone it again this time, since it is difficult for me, and also because we know we needed to save money for my Ceasarean delivery.
Still, we're trying to dream up and save for a vacation, with or without the kids. A "second honeymoon" at an all inclusive resort vacation, especially in places like the Bahamas would be very ideal. Or maybe Brazil. Then explore some interesting and historical places in South America. Ah, it's really fun to dream about exotic vacations with the love of my life (my husband, of course)! Just what a tired, working mom needs!
We all want to invest and eventually EARN from our investments. We (that means you and I) have to invest during this time that we are actively earning from our jobs and professions, so that we will have more passive income for the time that our retirement looms.
But investments are risky -- the stock market is low right now, which means that if you put in your money at the time that stocks were performing very well, you are now experiencing a "paper loss". That is not too much of an issue if you put in the money for long term gain, but what if you need money right now and convert it into cash? You would be selling at a loss. Also it's pretty hard to predict what companies are stable and would survive this economic downturn and which of them would eventually fold up -- together with your investment. But, this seems to be the right time to make investments (if you don't need the money right now, that is) because you will be getting them at bargain prices. You can also invest in mutual funds, which is easier than trading in stocks on your own.
Real estate is also a good investment right now, since land is a limited resource. There will be less and less habitable and commercial land to be had in the future. You know what drives prices -- supply and demand. So if demand later overtakes supply -- prices go up -- and you earn. But real estate investment has its drawbacks -- annual real estate taxes, possibility of attracting illegal dwellers ("squatters"), and difficulty in liquidating it in case you need the money.
At the moment, it seems like a good option to buy gold bullion. Gold is a finite, precious metal, and there is always a demand for it. Also, its easily transportable especially if it's in the form of gold coins. It's possible to buy gold coins in different weight sizes, from as small as 1/10 ounce to 1 ounce. And, if you're in the United States, you can do a gold ira transfer in place of the usual IRA, 401k, 403b, and Pension Plans, so you can have funds for the time that you will retire.
My car is now up for renewal of LTO registration. It's a 10 year old Camry that my mother gave me as a wedding gift but was my father's car. Although it's quite old, it still is a smooth drive. We always get a comprehensive car insurance for it because, well, accidents do happen and it's so much easier if we're covered for any damages. I'm not exactly the best driver in the world and although I haven't endangered anybody's life yet (knock on wood) with my driving, I've had my share of minor collisions. Sure, there's the mandatory TPL (third party liability) which is required by the LTO, but it doesn't cover for property damage, either to my own car or to another car, so we still have to shell out a lot of money when the unforeseen happens. I know it would be more expensive, with a lot more hassle, if I'm not covered, so I'd rather spend a bit more each year to cover for such incidents.
In my previous post, I mentioned my dream house, but I forgot to add one thing that I'd want for it: security. I'd prefer my dream home to be in a secure, possibly gated community. I know crimes still happen even in the most exclusive communities, but not as much as those located those without security measures. I'm also reading a Home Security Blog I found so that I can get more tips for making my (future) house "resistant to crimes". Our home should be our haven, where our children grow up safe and sound, and where we retreat to at the end of the day without worrying that it will be invaded by the less savory elements of society.
I am entertaining fantasies of having my own hearth and home, where we get to set our own rules and do things our way, not somebody else's way (even if that somebody happens to be mom). But, our current budget only allows monthly amortizations on a very small space which is not enough for a growing family. So why get it at all? That's because it's a good investment. Selling or renting it means income for us. Now if we can only get a good agent like the San Antonio Realtors to help us in offering our tiny condo unit for sale or for rent, and also to help us look for a more suitable (and affordable place) for our family to eventually live in.
Although I am aware that I may be too idealistic, it never hurts to dream of the ideal house for us right? Yes, you read it right, would love a house, even a townhouse, rather than a condo. Would love something with at least 2 bedrooms (but 3 or 4 bedrooms would be better), with at least 2 bathrooms, a kitchen that's separate from the rest of the house and a garage that can house 3 vehicles. Large windows with lots of natural light and ventilation and high ceilings would be ideal, as well as an outdoor patio where I could laze around in. A small, easy to maintain garden (I don't have a green thumb) for my children to play in and for that nature's touch. And, of course, not too far from our clinics and our children's school. Having a grocery, a market, drugstore, hospitals would be great too!
I guess if I wish and pray hard enough I'll get it. I really hope so.
I've only been to Hawaii once in my life. It is really a beautiful place. It has beautiful weather and clean beaches. It actually reminds me of the Philippines, only it's cleaner, maybe because the people strive to keep it that way despite some modernizations. The sands on their beaches are not as fine as the ones in Boracay, but they are clean and the water is crystal clear. I wonder if a foreigner like me could invest in some Honolulu Real Estate if I had the extra dough? I believe that properly values on this beautiful place would increase over time, and investing in such would be a wise move at the present time. And, if I decide to keep it for myself, it would make a great retirement place for me and my husband.
I've always loved my grandmother's old house. Last I looked though, it was in great danger of being a victim of age. It's not surprising since it's been quite neglected when my grandparents moved. When my grandparents still lived there, my grandmother has been very vigilant about house repainting, periodic house repairs, termite control...things like that.
I loved its timelessness (even though it was built in the 1950s), its airiness (which is sometimes lacking in some houses being built later), its lawn and garden, its patio. I love that it's something that children can actually grow up in...with adequate space for them to play. I wish that it could be renovated again so that it could be lived in again (although I would prefer experts like those in Houston Remodeling to bring it back to its former glory).
The negative thing about the house, though, is its location. There are nearby squatters. Unfortunately, when my grandparents moved, looters came in immediately to cart away anything and everything of value! It's also located in a low lying area, hence the place is prone to flooding when the rainy season comes. Still it's a nice house, and I'd love to build something like that when I get the chance to have a house of my own.
While I've been quite slim for most of my life, I noticed that my dress size has increased throughout the years. I used to be an XS in my teens, then S in my early twenties, M in my late twenties, and now I'm hovering between M and L! The years and childbearing have certainly taken their toll. Good thing it's not too obvious yet! Now I'm pregnant again. I've found that it's easier (and cheaper) for me to just buy or borrow Plus Size Women’s Clothing instead of buying strictly maternity clothes which I will only use for a few months' time at the most. I don't know why, but things marked "maternity" seems to be more expensive too. My tummy is so big that I have to use the larger maternity sizes anyway. And from my experience from my firstborn, it does take a while for me to look like I did before pregnancy.
Would you believe that the following are plus size clothing?
Looks fab, right? :D Unlike the unstylish clothes that plus size women were forced to wear before, just because there were not enough choices!
We are certainly blessed with a lot more choices for nice clothing, even if we are not blessed with model thin figures.
I'm currently on leave from my studies at the UP Open University. I figured since I'll be giving birth in June and that's when school starts, it would be a trifle difficult for me to struggle with new mom duties AND schoolwork. I'll also be on leave from work -- my priorities are clear, and my responsibilities as mom take precedence over everything else at this time.
Anyway, one of the subjects I will have to reenroll in is about research. It's really not an easy subject, since we have to first think of a topic that will (1) fit our course and (2) be approved by our professor and (3) be simple enough for us to do on our free time -- which most of us do not have, as we are all working. This is the time that I wish that I could make use of such resources like MSU ME 201 Homework Solution which are available for MSU Michigan State University ME 201 students. Well, there's nothing like doing it yourself, so, I guess I'll have to be doing that sooner or later
People are going gaga over Susan Boyle. Here's the video if you haven't watched it yet.
The ordinary, rather frumpy woman didn't LOOK like a star, but when she started singing "I Dreamed a Dream", she made such an impact that transformed the faces of the judges and got the audience on its feet. She's now a youtube sensation.
It's pretty weird how people treat mailboxes here in the Philippines. The household help do not inspect them, and the kartero (postman) does not put the letters inside and would rather just insert it between the recesses of the door or the gate. I always thought that mailboxes are a better idea, since your mail gets protected from the weather elements like sun and rain. With the current technique by our local postmen, the mail may get wet due to rains or even lost when a strong wind blows. Also, you only have to look in one place for the mail.
Maybe we just have a culture where not having mailboxes is just the norm, especially in the provinces, where the housewife usually stays at home and the postman just hands the day's mail to her. I do believe that in the busy city where sometimes people are not always home when the mail arrives. My mother agrees, so she had a mailbox installed when we moved into our current house. It actually complements the look of our house and I love the idea that I just need to look in one place for our mail (which didn't happen -- sigh!) I love the look and the function of a mailbox, and even though they do get ignored, I'd still have one installed when I get to have my own house.
Parenting is one of the most difficult (but rewarding!) jobs in the world. Imagine being responsible for somebody who's totally dependent on you for everything -- basic needs, education, major decisions, etc. This is a "burden" I gladly share with my husband, my life partner and who's a great daddy. We now have one 3 year old son and a daughter due to be born in less than three months, and we feel blessed to be chosen to be parents to our angels. Of course, we have our ups and downs in parenting but everything is so worth it!
Parenting is doubly difficult when one does not have a partner to share the major parenting responsibilities with. It's great that single parents are no longer maligned and their efforts are appreciated. There's even a single parents chat where they can meet online and chat about everything. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is for single moms and dads. I have a great dad for a husband and there are still times that I wonder if we have being doing things right. Kudos to single parents who have taken on the parenting burden willingly, all for the love of their children!
I don't believe it! It's common knowledge that some people try to hook rich people, exchanging love for money and hopefully a life of comfort, but such hookups have generally been hush-hush. Of course, you can't help tongues wagging when something like an older richer man-younger beautiful woman (or an older rich man-young handsome man) occurs. But do you know there's an actual site for so-called sugar daddy dating? Well, as long as they know what they want and what they're getting into, I guess flirting and dating is harmless enough.
My mom, since she is semi-confined to the home because of her limited mobility nowadays, has decided to have some house repairs. It's a perfect time for roofing since summer is here and we don't really expect any rains. I wonder if the people mom got are as good as the Albuquerque Roofer says they are. We don't want any leaks when the rainy season comes but it's pretty hard to tell how good is the work done unless there are already rains, but by then, it would be too late to do further repairs. That's what happened to us a few years back when we had our roofing replaced. The leaks worsened! The few leaks we had before the repairs were even less than what we had after the repairs. Arrrggghhh!
Another drawback to having house repairs is the need to have stuff moved around from room to room. It's such a hassle, but necessary since you don't want your precious stuff to be "in the line of fire", so to speak. That's what I'm doing in between blogging -- moving stuff around -- and before going to work.
I just hope that the repairs would be fast -- and good.
The last trimester of my pregnancy has made me quite awkward in my movements. My tummy is definitely bigger than the average almost 7-monther, and my center of gravity has shifted forward, which results in sort of a waddling gait and awkward movements. The added weight has also put a lot of work on my poor feet. I need comfy shoes! But since I go to work, I need shoes that are comfortable enough to make walking with my added weight a breeze BUT stylish enough to pair with my office clothes. Definitely something that would match most of my maternity wardrobe please!
I'm currently coveting a pair of tory burch reva which seems to fit the bill. They look so comfortable! And they look more stylish than the current rubber clogs that I'm wearing and which I chose for its comfort rather than its style. The colors are so nice too, just right for the summer weather!
Unfortunately, I do not know any store here in the Philippines which carry this brand and type of shoe (or maybe I just don't go out too much!) It's fortunate that I could actually buy this pair online via Jildor Shoes, which is an online shop for designer shoes for women.
Being raised in a predominantly Buddhist family but educated in a Catholic school has somehow made me more tolerant about other people's beliefs. I have realized that most religions are actually similar. All of the major religions teach us to be morally upright and to do the right thing. My grandfather used to say that he'd rather that we believe in some religion so that we have a guide to follow in life.
However, religion is really a topic that's subject to a lot of argument. While I'm interested in what other people have to say about their own beliefs, it's pretty difficult to talk about the differences when people become passionate about their own and would sometimes go through the (implied) "My faith is better than yours". That's why I generally don't discuss about different beliefs with other people (same is true with political beliefs, although that's another topic entirely.)
It's a great thing that nowadays there are already online communities which discuss and chat about different topics, even "taboo" ones like religion and politics. I came across a site promoting Free LDS Chat and I think it's a great idea! I wonder if only LDS are allowed to join, or other people who are simply curious can join and probably get a little more insight into their lifestyle and beliefs, without arguing about them, of course.
We still live with our parents even though we are already married and have a kid. Other people may not understand this, but it's a common practice with Asians, especially since I'm Chinese. It's the most economically viable option at present. Not only that, we have instant babysitters for our kid/s whenever we have to work. The grandmothers are more than willing to watch over their precious grandchild/grandchildren. We're staying with my mom during the weekdays since her house is nearer our work and Ethan's school, as well the hospitals and groceries. Hence it is much more convenient for us. We stay with my mother-in-law during the weekends.
We do plan to move out eventually, especially when the kids go to big school. We just haven't decided where. It sometimes is difficult to believe how much stuff we've accumulated through our 4 years of marriage. We have a lot of stuff in both our mothers' home -- baby stuff, wedding gifts (both used and unused), electronic gadgets like the TV and computer, and of course our personal stuff. We're gonna have to hire a good mover like Fort Worth Movers who can transport our stuff without damaging anything when the time comes for us to move.
The Holy Week that past coincides with the hottest days of summer, at least here in the Philippines! The fact that I'm currently pregnant also means that I feel the heat even more acutely. Our electric bill is getting much higher because we can't help but turn our air conditioner lately.
However, our current air conditioner is more than 10 years old already. Not only is it noisy, it probably does not do the cooling job well. We're currently scouting for a new air conditioner. There are lots of deals right now, with 0% percent interest, which would fit our budget. We feel that with the air conditioner's age, it's not anymore cost effective to have it repaired unless the technician is certified and as good as those of Austin HVAC-Air-Conditioner. It would probably be easier for us to just buy a new one.
We hope we'd able to install the new air conditioner within this month or next month. I'm due to give birth in June and we'd like the new air conditioner to be in place by that time. Although it might be a bit cooler during that time due to the expected rainy season, I like the idea of having a controlled temperature setting for my newborn. Also, I'm expected by my mother to do ge-lai (confinement period for one month) and she expects me not to take a bath for a month! I don't really know if I could last, but I'll survive if it's not too hot!
There are at least two things I want my husband to teach my son: swimming and biking.
Although I do swim, I'm not really as good as other people who are more serious about the sport. It seems that my husband is more serious than I am about this, and thus is more qualified to teach our little boy how to swim during this long, hot summer.
About biking, I'm embarrassed to admit that I never really got the hang of it. Perhaps it was already quite late when I attempted to get acquainted with the bicycle. Or maybe I'm just not cut out to ride bikes. My husband, on the other hand, has been biking with his childhood friends. Since they all lived near the vicinity of the UP Campus, they were able to make use of the relatively un-busy streets within the campus to ride their bikes.
My son already has a bike, one with detachable training wheels. He got it as a "birthday gift" when we had his first birthday at McDonald's. Now, he is 3 1/2 years old and old enough to learn to bike. And I really believe that his dad will be a good teacher.
One of the things that worry me about having a daughter is the number of sexual crimes that are reported in the news. You just have to turn on the local TV channel to get at least 1 report of rape. Newsboys would sell tabloids screaming lurid headlines of such crimes. Being a mom, I would not want my children to be exposed to such, but I'm aware that I can't protect them forever. I wish there were a way to Track Sex Offenders here in the Philippines, so that we can at least know who are the known culprits and at least try to avoid them. It's not a foolproof way, but at least it's a start.
Meanwhile, this situation does beg the question: Are crimes more rampant nowadays? Or are we just more aware of them because they're now reported? Unlike before when such crimes were considered "shameful" on the part of the victim and people don't report for fear that their reputation will be forever sullied and they won't be available to marry well afterwards. It's a sad fact that a lot of men like to play the field when they are single but expect their brides to be untouched during their wedding night. Although "rape" is not the victim's fault, with the consequences the victim faces, it might as well be, in the eyes of society then. Thankfully, men nowadays are a little more open minded about these things and realize that (1) virginity is not really an issue anymore and (2) a rape victim is a victim and not a criminal.
More and more Filipinos and Filipinas are choosing nursing as a career because there is a perceived increase in demand for nurses both here and abroad. Even doctors here are taking up nursing as a second career so that they may be able to seek greener pastures when their economic situation turns to be be unbearable. That's because there are more openings for nurses than doctors in most hospitals worldwide.
Most locally trained nursing graduates eventually take the nursing boards in other countries in order to look for a more lucrative job in the country of their choice. While the reason is mostly financial, some of them are actually happy to be leaving their homes and comfort zones to travel to different places, experience different cultures while earning their keep. If you are so inclined, there is now a category of travel nurses, who actually choose their own destination with the wages that would satisfy them. I mean, why be stuck in one place you're not crazy about when there are simply other choices for a travel rn to choose from? The best way to go about this is to consult a travel nurse agency so you can actually get a job that would satisfy both your wanderlust and your need for financial security.
Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.
You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
We've always loved the 1960's style (or was it 1950's?) patio chairs and table my grandparents had in their old house. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my mother-in-law's house also had a similar set of furniture.
My grandparents had since moved, but they still had a patio in their newer house. That is my favorite spot in their whole house. They now have a different set of furniture, with a ceiling fan.
I would love to have a patio when I get to build my own house in the future. Being the frugal person that I am, I would be sure to look for discount patio furniture. :) Fortunately, I found a site online which have patio furniture for sale at reasonable prices, and the selections look great too!
I'm especially love the look of wrought iron. Another plus is that it's considered low maintenance. Being the no-fuss, hardly-the-housewife-type that I am, I would be very hesitant to choose something that would require a lot of effort to maintain. Other good choices would be aluminum, plastic, and teak (which is more durable than just any ordinary wood). Can't wait to have my own house and my own patio soon. :)
You Are 60% A Child of the 80s
Back in the day, you were totally 80s.
Tubular, totally tubular.
I've never been much of an outdoor person, but I enjoy hearing my husband telling me about exploring the caves in Sagada, going to "virgin" beaches around the Philippines, doing their community in the smallest barrios with no modern bathrooms and limited electricity, and basically just roughing it out with friends and/or family.
To be honest about it, I love going on trips, but I prefer those places with some basic modern amenities like a bathroom and electricity. Must be my parents' influence, because I really do not see myself roughing it out. I did go to a camping trip during my CAT days, but the girls were billeted at the barracks instead of tents, and we did have bathrooms, electricity and hot meals.
I would probably consider such nature trips for my family if we are well-equipped with the right gear, and if there are amenities close by, if not onsite. Right now, I'm dreaming of going to beaches in Boracay, Palawan or Bohol, but these are places which are developed for tourists to visit. I know there are other smaller beaches with less development but with basic amenities that would answer my needs but allow my family to commune with nature.
After my father died at the relatively young age of 58, I suddenly realized that we can "go" anytime. You just don't know when and how. That year I decided to check on some life insurance quotes from my insurance agent friend. Life insurance makes even more sense now since I now have a family who depends on me and children who still need their basic needs and education if ever something terrible happens to me (I pray not!).
I am glad that I chose a whole life insurance policy since I was still relatively young then -- only 30 years old and my premiums are cheaper then. The fact that I took out a whole life insurance policy means that I'll be locking in my premium rate, although it's more expensive than term life insurance. The way it's explained to me, if you are young, it may be wiser to spend for whole life insurance policies while your premiums are low especially if you have the budget for the relatively high premiums (compared to term life insurance). If you are on a tight budget though, term life insurance cover you for a certain period of time, typically a year, at a lower rate, but the premiums go up every year. This would be a better option if (1) you are older, (2) you can't afford the premiums of whole life or (3) you just want to add more insurance coverage after you've already obtained whole life.
Many people do not really believe in insurance and in fact think of it as an extra expense, but you really should think about this: What will happen to my children if I'm gone? I for one would like to make sure that they would be covered.
Am I growing old? I find that today's music doesn't appeal to me as much as the music of my youth. But then my parents couldn't see the appeal of eighties music too. I guess it's more of a generational thing. The music probably defines our generation.
Now is DEFINITELY the time to educate ourselves more on finance. Consider ourselves lucky because unlike our parents' time when such information was not as easy to come by, we now have loads of magazines and websites all dedicated to educating the people who want to be educated in ways to better handle their money. I'm always on the lookout for such information. I periodically buy (or borrow) magazines and books on personal finance and I've even started my own "practical" blog on http://www.practicaltipsandmore.com .
Lately I've come across http://www.invesmint.com/, which looks like a great resource for people who want to learn more about making money work for them. Take a look at it, it's a good read and a good help for people who are either financially unsavvy or people who just a need a little push in the right direction to financial freedom.
It amazes me how many subcultures we actually have and how the world wide web has made it so much simpler for people to find with similar tastes, inclinations, cultures and religious beliefs. I've only seen Goths portrayed in TV or the movies. I don't think I've ever seen any "real" Goth here in the Philippines, only some who are made up that way because they want that certain "look". If there are any, they will probably be in the minority and would be hard pressed to look for people here who have the same inclinations. But since there are now Goth Personals online, it may be a lot easier for them to hook up with other Goths from around the world, either as friends or more.
Unlike employed individuals whose monthly withholding taxes and final ITR are computed by the accounting department of their employers, a self-employed individual (like us) need to submit our own taxes. Although we have an accountant to take care of the nitty-gritty, it's still up to us to give them all the required documents. Now, I'm busily trying to collate all the needed papers so that our accountant will be able to submit them to the BIR come April 20, 2009 (the deadline for the 2008) ITR. Not a pleasant job, but something that has to be done.