This post will be kept sticky until August 31, 2008. There may be newer posts below. :)

The Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival went through an unexpected break. But it's now back! This edition's topic focuses on discipline.

We all know that discipline is mainly the responsibility of the parents. But how do you go about it?

  • When do you start disciplining your child? Is there even a "right" age to start discipline?
  • How do you teach your kids right from wrong? How do you instill your rules?
  • What do you do if your child breaks the rules?
  • How do you feel about spanking?
  • Who is the disciplinarian in the family?
  • How do you feel when other people (teachers, grandparents, uncles/aunts etc.) try to discipline you kid?
This promises to be an enlightening topic. Submit your entry by posting your link as a comment to this post.

Deadline will be on August 31, 2008. Roundup will be posted on September 1, 2008.

Please click here for other guidelines of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival. You will also find past editions of the PPBC in the same link.

McCain runs with Palin

Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, was named by John McCain to run as the Republican's Vice Presidential candidate ... it is conservatives who think they have seized the political advantage.

No Sweat

Today's miracle sweat-wicking micro-fibers hide a dirty little secret that serious athletes know about. They're great at wicking away moisture. But they embed perspiration residue deep into the fabric. The result: musty, stubborn sweat odors that linger no matter how hard you try to get them out.

House Plants

I have to admit that I don't have a green thumb. I just like the look of nature, as I grew up with plants around the house. When I was small, we lived in an apartment, but my mom managed to keep a few flowering shrubs in our terrace, all in outdoor planters. My paternal grandmother, who lived next door, had a lawn with a lot of flowering and decorative plants. To complement the look of her garden, she also put a few decorative planters around her house.

When we moved to our present house, my mom had the free hand to design a garden herself. The result was a pleasing backyard where my son now runs around in the afternoons. My mother-in-law is also great with plants. She has a few flowering plants and fruit bearing trees around her house. She even planted a langka tree when my son was born, and designates it as Ethan's tree.

With the high prices of real estate nowadays, I really do not know if my family can get to live in a house, or if we'll be relegated to a small condo. Even if that's the case, we can still probably still have a few plants if we use window planters.

Living spaces look so much better when there are plants around.

Catching Up

I'm catching up on a lot of tags and HBs. I have so much I want to blog about, I just didn't really have the time.

August is a busy month for everyone, so the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival also got a little delayed. I'll be updating it soon. Watch for more announcements!

Want Clear Skin!

I wish I had inherited my mom's clear skin. Unfortunately for my brothers and I, we didn't. We had bad cases of acne during our younger days. I had my acne during medical school (when I was already in my twenties!), and although they are gone now, I still have scars that reminded me of that "dark" time in my life. I've tried a lot of treatments, but not murad acne. I wished they were around and available during that time. Sigh! You see, I've heard of people swearing that their skin cleared up after using their acne complex!

A blemish-free, scar less face -- that's probably an impossible dream for me right now. Although friends and acquaintances say I look nice enough and my husband loves me with or without the scars, I do wish I can just go out without any trace of makeup like my mom and my grandma and still look nice. (Well, I do go out without makeup but I just do not look as nice.)

I hope my children will have better skin than I did. If they unfortunately inherit my acne, I will let them try murad acne complex before the problem gets too bad so they won't get scars the way I did.

coffee break ver. 1.33

A new coffee break topic from Jan:

It really depends if I am driving or not, and if my ride was a car or public transportation :)

If I'm driving, there's really not much I can do--
  • I think -- about a lot of things -- a good blog topic, my son's birthday celebration, a good money-making venture, problematic cases, etc.
  • I answer text messages, but only when I'm on full stop.
  • I listen to the radio, mostly news. This way, I can at least catch up on news.
  • I've tried some audio books before and I've always thought it would be a great idea to listen to them on the car. I shelved the idea though, when I realized that I couldn't concentrate on driving while listening intently. But I do think this would be a good idea for those long stretches of traffic.
If I'm a passenger in a private car --
  • I talk to the one who's driving! That way we're both distracted from the traffic.
  • If I'm very tired and sleepy, I try to sleep.
If I'm a passenger in a bus or a jeep or even the LRT, I actually spend most of my time to make sure my bag and stuff are safe from pickpockets and snatchers!

Pottery Making, Anyone?

This is a rather old movie from the early 1990s, "Ghost". It was such a hit during that time that women started sporting short hairdos like Demi Moore had on the movie. Probably the scene that was the most popular (and the most lampooned) was the scene where Demi Moore was making a clay bowl and Patrick Swayze put his hands on hers, with "Unchained Melody" playing the background.

That movie probably inspired a lot of women to go into pottery making as a craft, not knowing that it's not as easy as it looks. In fact, centering clay is quite tricky. It takes practice to get it right. There are schools around teaching clay pottery making to enthusiasts. This includes teaching wheel throwing but this is admittedly not an easy task. Good thing there's now a Quickcenter device for making it a bit easier to center clay in ceramic pottery making, manufactured by AMACO/Brent. So, do check them out if you're interested in pottery making as a hobby or as a business.

Coffee break ver. 1.32

Another coffee break from Jan.

I was pretty "nerdy" and "square" during high school, so most of of my concerns were about my studies. I worried if my grades would be good enough for me for me and my parents. Mind you, they should not only be "passing", but they should be a bit higher, if possible. I worried if I would be able to get a high grade in NCEE (since my school had high standards and it's known that nobody scores less than 90). I worried if I would be able to be good enough to eventually land medical school.

I worried about getting scolded by my parents (still do). That's why I try to live by their rules, observing a curfew whenever I go out (usually a driver brings me to and from the place) and shaking in fear whenever I break any rule.

I worried about why I wasn't invited to certain parties. Am I not "in" enough? Am I not friendly enough? When I do get to a party, I worry about why boys didn't ask me to dance. Was it my dress? Was it my hair? Was it me?

I didn't worry too much about clothes (we had uniforms anyway), boys (didn't think of dating till later, even then, my parents forbade me to at that early stage), money (my parents gave us all we needed and some of what we wanted, even if there may be some difficulties along the way, and I was never "maluho" anyway.).

Eat Healthier, Not Cheaper

By just about any measure, global food prices rose significantly over the past two years. It's not your imagination. Eating right is costly. In fact, you may pay more than $30 more per day on food if you make healthy choices.

Yaya Talk

Since my husband and I are working, we have had to hire a full time nanny for our child. My little boy already had four official full time babysitters since he was born. He's now almost three. His present nanny, Yaya C. has been with us since January of this year. We have trust issues, though. We do not leave our little boy with just the nanny. Usually one of us is still around to supervise (and of course to keep Ethan company). If we are not around, my mom, mother-in-law, brother, sister-in-law or whoever is available among our immediate relatives is. We've heard a lot of horror stories about "bad" nannies and since our kid is not old enough to report anything bad that might happen to him, we do not really feel comfortable completely leaving him with any Yaya.

It's really difficult to find a nanny. They are either too young (not serious with job, may not watch your kid enough, entertains suitors/boyfriends) or too old (finds it difficult to run after my toddler, does not want to do things my way). Too experienced (has a set way already and does not want to follow what I want) or too inexperienced (has to be trained). That's why it is no wonder that although there are a lot of applicants for the position of yaya, there are still a lot of babysitting jobs unfilled!

I guess it's even more difficult for people in other countries who do not have the luxury of hiring nannies since they cost much more than nannies here. The issue of trust becomes even more glaring since parents will have to look for different strangers to stay with their kids when they have to go out. Good thing there's now actually a way for parents and babysitters to actually interact online, and for parents to get a higher ranking one based on the previous experience of the other parents. Pay is also standardized and schedules are a tad easier. Do check them out if you need to find a babysitter.

Obama runs with Biden

Barack Obama named Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate, balancing his ticket with a seasoned congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues.

In Less Than A Month....

...Ethan will be three!

I have already talked with Teacher Randy regarding Ethan's birthday to be celebrated at school. I guess I am more excited than my boy. I have already ordered cupcakes and I am already thinking of the food that will be served. Nothing fancy, just simple finger foods that the toddlers can handle themselves without much assistance. I have even thought of his gift!

Although it's just a simple school party, I would like my son to enjoy his birthday party. Hence I am looking for birthday party supplies that would fit his interests and his personality. I'm thinking a simple art party might be nice. Or a Sesame Street themed one since it's his favorite. Since I am on a really tight budget, I'd prefer if I can find discount party supplies that would not break my very small budget. Otherwise, we'd have to make do with whatever DIY party supplies that my husband and I can make ourselves.

Birthdays for kids are big here in the Philippines, with some people spending as much as 200 thousand pesos for parties. I am more of a frugal mommy because, really, we cannot afford to spend that much for a one day celebration. We had a McDonald's party because that is what we can afford. It's a good thing that we were able to entertain more than a hundred guests (the original guest list was for 200 people) for much lower than a regular kiddie party with a party host and all the bells and whistles. His second birthday "party" was just a family celebration at home since I just got out of surgery that week. Now, his third birthday is a celebration in school. It will probably be similar for his fourth, but, we'll see.

Whatever happens, I really hope that Ethan and his classmates will enjoy the celebration!

Phelps Is Now A Kellogg's Spokesperson

Current Olympic hero and smasher of world records Michael Phelps will now appear on boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes. Obviously, he is chosen because of his present accomplishments and celebrity status. What do you think of this development?

GPS Tracking System - The Good And The Bad

Much ado has been made about GPS tracking system technology. Much like any other device, it does have its own advantages and disadvantages, enumerated below.

The good:

  • Can track stolen vehicles
  • Can track company or government vehicles' movements, both during office hours and especially during non-working hours
  • Can lessen a parent's worries on where a teenager is
  • Can track lost or kidnapped persons last seen in a certain vehicle with the GPS tracking system
The bad:
  • Loss of privacy
  • Trust issues are brought up
  • More cost for the car owner
  • GPS tracking system technology has to be changed every so often
These are what comes to my mind. Feel free to add your opinion here.

For me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I do not have to hide anything, not my movements, not my whereabouts, so I would not really worry about people finding out where I was at that moment. But others may not feel the same thing.

Toys For Ethan!

My son's third birthday is less than a month away. My husband and I are excitedly planning for a simple school celebration on this day. Of course, we also want to give him a gift on his special day. Since Ethan is already showing signs of analytical thinking at this early age, we are thinking that any one of the best selling toys from Atomic Elephant Science and Toy Company might not only pique his interest, but also make him learn about Science in a fun way.

I grew up during the Martial Law era when good toys are scarce, so my parents bought our toys whenever they went to Hong Kong for business. They would look for the best selling toys there and bring them to us as pasalubong (going home gifts), together with oranges and apples. These things are hard to find in Manila during those times. To think we do not think a lot about these things nowadays. Maybe it's just the sign of the times. Those were the times when austerity was the rule.

Thankfully, our kids don't have that problem anymore. We can buy them practically anything they want, if we want to. We do have to control our spending, though.

The "New Room"

When my brother got married, my mother had to prepare the room for the couple and buy Bedroom Furniture for him and his bride. Our family tradition dictates that the parents of the groom should prepare the bedroom of the prospective bride and groom (the "New Room", which actually means the newlyweds' room). As far as I know, that's the Chinese tradition, but I've since learned that sometimes, some of these customs are not for the Chinese as a whole, but just for our clan.

Anyway, mom had the original wallpapers stripped, had the whole room repainted to nice shades of blue and silver (my brother's choices) and bought Modern Bedroom Furniture to achieve a clean, clutter free and functional area of them.

I think that her use of Contemporary Bedroom Furniture rather than heavy classics is a great idea because the more modern furniture suits the personality of the the couple better. Well, they say that mothers know best, don't they? :)

Personally, I'd also go for the same look. I guess, we, as a family, just generally prefer the simpler lines of contemporary furniture.

Scary Tic Tac Toe

Play at your own risk! I tried this out and I was spooked!

Of course, I'm someone who usually avoids horror movies if I can.

Who Called?

As a doctor, I sometimes get calls from patients. The thing is, I really do not know their numbers so sometimes when I miss answering a phone call, I do not know who it is from. It's great that there's now a service for reverse phone lookup so that you may be able to find out who's calling.

Another great thing about it is that it can trace annoying prank calls. Oh, yeah, telemarketers especially from credit card companies? Now you can check if they are genuinely from the company they represent before you give away personal information. The lookups are confidential -- your caller won't know that you are investigating their phone number.

I Love Shopping

This tag is from Carla. Thanks so much, sis!

I'm not really much of a shopaholic, but I really cannot resist buying books for myself and stuff for my baby. :)

~Start copying here (no need to right click the image)

~Credits: Paper & Elements Created by Kim Jensen / Layout by JennyL

1. Don’t remove the credits when you post the image.
2. Please link back to the person who tagged you
3. If you have more than one blog, please post this to all of your blogs so your other blogs can be listed to the master list too
4. You need to pass this tag to many friends you think loves shopping.
5. Come back at BARGAIN.SALES.DEALS. and leave the exact post url so I can add you to the master list to help increase our rankings and improve our Technorati Authority.
6. Enjoy Shopping !!!

SHOPAHOLICS : 1.) A Slice of Life 2.) Jenny Said So 3.) Simply Jen 4.) This and That 5.)Bargain.Sales.Deals. 6.) Me and Mine 7. ) Little Peanut 8.) Creative in Me 9.) Pea in a Pod 10. The Shopaholic in Me 11.) Life's Simple Pleasures 12.) My Planet Purple 13.) Women With Xtarordinary 14.) Women With Extraordinary Life 15.) Princess Vien 16.) Me, Myself and I 17.) Feeling 18.) after the i do 19.) Joey M.D. 20.) Tsinay 21.) Online Raket 22.) The Working Mom 23.) Practical Tips and More
{end copying here}

Expecting? Great Maternity Fashion

It's now hip to be preggy! That's because the days of dowdy maternity clothes are already past. I am so happy that I started having children when there are so many fashionable selections of maternity clothes. There is a wide range of designs, from the most casual to the most formal. I wished I had chanced upon Belly Dance Maternity when I was pregnant with my first kid. I was invited to a wedding but I was too embarrassed to go since it was a formal affair and I do not have anything suitable to wear. It was so difficult to look for formal maternity dresses here in Manila. Next time I know where to look.

For expectant mommies who still prefer designer clothes, there are also designer clothes especially for pregnant women like Juicy Couture Maternity. For mommies on a budget, they also have beautiful clothes on sale at a fraction of their original price.

Not only that, they also have mommy essentials like undergarments, sleepwear, diaper bags, and skin care products. Oh yeah, they also have nursing clothes! Truly a one-stop shop for expectant moms.

If you're not pregnant but know somebody who is, this is also a great place to look for gifts for babies, moms-to-be and dads-to-be. Don't know what to give them? No problem at all! Just give gift certificates, they'll surely find something they want or need here.

Do you buy or pay for ...?

Let's see what popular applications, devices, services, etc. you use.

Stainless Steel Kitchen

My mother decided to redo her kitchen a bit a few months ago. Feeling the need for a bigger table with adequate storage for her pots and pans and other utensils, she decided to purchase a stainless steel kitchen table. I think it was a good choice. The stainless steel was waterproof and less prone to picking up smells from whatever food was placed on it, unlike our marble countertop. It was also easy to clean. A very functional and good looking piece, if you ask me, all hip and modern looking. I also know that stainless steel lasts a very long time. That's why I'm looking at blomus, the stainless steel store. They also have various types stainless steel sinks, which would also look great in a busy kitchen.

It's so amazing how many things can be made with stainless steel. They have virtually everything for the home, from blomus stainless steel mailboxes, to the aforementioned kitchen tables and sinks, to fireplace accessories and other things for the home.

Why Do We Need Friends?

Another tag from Mommy Sheng! Thanks so much!

We need friends for many reasons,
all throughout the season.
We need friends to comfort us
when we are sad,
and to have fun with us when we are glad.

We need friends to give us good advice,
We need someone we can count on,
and treat us nice.

We need friends to remember us
one we have passed
sharing memories that will always last.

Spread the poem of friendship.

1. Everyday Life 2. Words of Love 3. Sheng's Simple Thoughts . . . 4. Tsinay 5. Joey M.D. 6. Practical Tips and More 7. The Working Mom 8. YOU!

Modern or Classic Furniture?

The answer is: I really cannot decide!

I have already mentioned before that I would love to have my own house. I know I would be happy if I have my own place to decorate, but more importantly, to call my own.

Even if I still do not have my dream home, I am gradually forming ideas about the look that I would like for it. Do you prefer the look of Classic or Modern Furniture? Personally, I like Modern Furniture in office and work settings since they look neat and, well, modern, with clean, uncomplicated lines. But these also work for homes, especially if the overall theme of the room decors is a more hip, modern look. On the other hand, classic furniture are timeless in design. I think what's important is that there is an overall "look" for the whole place. For example, if you decide to go modern, go modern all the way. Don't mix Classic Furniture or Decors with Modern Furniture, otherwise, there will be a lack of harmony in the whole picture.

I like the clean lines of modern pieces, but I like the timelessness of the classics. So, I'm really not that decided yet. Oh well, there's still time for me to dream up my ideal home since we do not have it yet. :)

What My Ideal Wedding Dress Says About Me

What Your Ideal Wedding Dress Says About You

Your Personal Style:

Classic and elegant. You prefer to make a statement with a few quality pieces.

Your Ideal Wedding:

Traditional and formal, but not tacky. You think the most beautiful weddings are understated.

Your Philosophy on Marriage:

It's a serious commitment, and the couple entering it should be ready to work for their relationship.

Your Perfect Marriage:

Is calm, stable, deep, and meaningful.

BP Monitoring

Do you have a family member with hypertension? If so, it is important for you to have his or her blood pressure regularly checked. Almost all clinics and hospitals have their own blood pressure monitors and will gladly check the blood pressure for you or your relative, but it's not a practical idea if you have to go there everyday just to have a blood pressure measurement.

Fortunately, there is now a wide variety of blood pressure monitors available on the market for consumers to choose from. These blood pressure monitors range from the more conventional, gold standard mercurial types which is the one used by more doctors and hospitals, to aneroid types, to automatic types, now including those which can be placed on the wrists, thus can be used by the patient even without somebody else's assistance. Although there may be an issue of accuracy, at least there is now a way to monitor your own blood pressure without having to go see a health professional each and every time.

coffee break ver. 1.31

This week's coffee break question from Jan:

Honestly, I really do not know if there will come a time that our athletes will shine better in the international arena. The problem with our athletes is primarily the lack of support, unlike other countries in which the athletes are really full time athletes. Here, most of our athletes need to earn for their families, so they do not really devote their full energies towards training. Especially since they are considered amateurs. A lot of our athletes who do relatively well are, sadly, self trained, meaning their parents sponsored their trainings.

It's a difficult question to answer, but there's a bright side to this. This is definitely possible, even if it would not be easy at all.

First, some support for the higher ups would be great. We know there are sports scholarships in schools. Why not give incentives for these schools to churn out great athletes? For example, if UST manages to train a swimmer who breaks some record or wins some medal, the school itself will also get some sort of "reward". Like maybe something as simple as tax discounts (if there are taxes in school -- I'm not really sure about this) or at least some sort of recognition.

Secondly, get sponsors for the athletes. If the athletes are to train in their respective sports, and especially if there is a big event like the Olympics, it would be better if he or she does not have to think about how much time will be lost because he's not working. Give them an allowance commensurate to what they would have received. Maybe give them housing too, in some athletic village, where theirr families could also live, so that they would not have to worry about where to live. With the numerous companies involved in sports related products, if we get them as athletes, they would have a good advertising deal and we would probably get better athletes.

I'm really no expert, so some of my ideas may seem funny. :( Bottomline is, anything that needs training needs the person to be completely focused. This includes athletes and sports. It would be difficult to focus if "practical" matters distract the athletes from sports glory.

Software As A Service

It's the 2008, and it's been quite a while when computers invaded the public consciousness and became virtually necessary for any kind of endeavor, in almost all fields. The problem is that sometimes it's so expensive to set up web conferencing systems and office network systems, not to mention that you also need an IT personnel just to be able to set something like that up.

Lately, I've come across "software as a service". It sounds very promising! Instead of purchasing software, you can actually just rent it! That sounds especially nice since software evolves and the one you bought now might just turn obsolete in a few months. Also, you can actually set up a hosted team foundation server in a few hours' time (not months!) AND you do not need an IT personnel for that. It's now also possible to have cheap web conferencing using software as a service (SAAS).

This is certainly interesting. Now there is much less excuse to modernize and computerize your business operations!

Kids Fear/Food Factor

Tagged by Melisse :) Thanks sis! Hirap mag-isip!

~~~Start Copy~~~
1.) Name something strange that your kids love to eat. Doesn’t matter how many.
2.) Post an image of him or her enjoying ‘the’ strange food liking. If none, just a photo of him having a feast.
3.) Add your kids name in the linky love with the blog where you posted this meme.
4.) Get back to Living the Healthy Life Blog by leaving a comment so your kids’ name be added to the master list.
5.) Tag as many of your friends with kids.

Kids who joined the fear food factor: ETHAN / MARTHA/ JJ/ Vin / Ethan / with your Blog’s URL
~~~End Copy ~~~

I do not know if this classifies as weird, but my son loves eating nori, the Japanese seaweed. What can I say, we love it too!

Hmmm, we do not have a picture of him eating the nori. Sorry :)

Looking Medical

It is sad for me that here in the Philippines, people automatically assume women in hospital scrubs or even white uniforms are yayas (nannies). There is really nothing wrong with nannies -- it's an honorable job. It is just that sometimes people do not really give a lot of respect to people -- especially women -- in such medical uniforms because they think that these people are servants and should be ordered about. I used to be so proud when I finally got to wear scrubs because that meant that I had achieved something and finally is able to enter the operating room to assist in surgeries. Yes, that's what the scrubs were originally for. They are very comfortable clothing, much like pajamas, so they make jobs so much easier. That's probably why they thought of putting nannies in scrubs, and we have to admit it's more practical. And, of course, that's more business for the local scrubs industry.

But maybe there might be a compromise to that. There's a difference between the ordinary scrubs that can be bought in tiangges (flea markets) and the better looking, more official looking nurses scrub jackets, maybe with a name tag or ID. Maybe ditch the scrubs with cartoon characters (save those for the nannies) and just use either solid colors or more subdued designs. Maybe embroider the last name on the front, even put the patch of the hospital or clinic you're working in so people will know you for who you are.

Celiac Disease ... Did you know?

A lifelong autoimmune intestinal disorder, found in individuals who are genetically susceptible.

A lot of people do not really know much about this disease. Even doctors like us do not get to see a lot of these, especially since my specialty does not deal with this. Nevertheless, I do believe that we should learn more about it.

New Mattresses?

We have been sleeping on a mat on the floor for quite a while. This is because we co-sleep and we find that it's much safer if we don't sleep on the bed platform since there is virtually no chance for our little boy to fall off the bed when we're already sleeping on the floor. Since we're not using a mattress though, it's pretty hard on our backs!

I cannot wait for the day that we finally buy new mattresses, since the mat, although cushioned, is not exactly that comfortable. We have been talking about buying a luxury mattress, but most of them are so expensive! We want an affordable luxury mattress, if there is such a thing. Apparently, there is! If you want to check them out, click here.

We'd also want to gradually introduce our little boy to sleep on his own. I know some people think we're spoiling him by letting him sleep with us at the age of almost-three. But we do that for various reasons -- cultural (we're a Filipino Chinese couple), practicality (we only have 1 small room to ourselves) and more importantly, because we want to keep an eye on him because of his prior health problems (while he cannot express his problems too much yet).

Brillante Weblog

Got this tag from Mommy Sheng :). Sorry forgot to put the link earlier.

The above recipients of the Brillante Weblog are welcomed to put the Logo on their personal blogs and have the honor of passing this award to seven other bloggers.Here are the rules for passing on the award:

l. Put the logo on your blog

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate at least seven other blogs

4. Add links to those blogs on your blog

Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

I nominate Maver, Jan, Jenny, Pheng, Pat, Aggie, Eds. Actually, I would like to nominate everybody but of course, I just have to choose 7, and these are from the top of my mind. :)

Wordcamp...But I Can't Go :(

The Wordcamp Philippines is to be held at the College of Saint Benilde on September 6, 2008.

Unfortunately, I was not able to register in time. Needless to say, I was very disappointed since this was a much awaited event and Matt Mullenweg himself is supposed to come and give a talk. There's supposed to be another one in Davao (on September 4, 2008) where registration has not yet been filled up but due to time and budget constraints,and more importantly, family and work considerations, I cannot go.

I wish a Web Conferencing setup could be done in either or both legs of the camp so that I can be a part of it even if i am not physically present. I wonder if they could perhaps get some sponsors to help in setting up either Audio Conferencing, or, better yet, a Video Conference. There are just too many people who want to join but are limited by either schedule, cost (not the camp itself because it's supposed to be free but the cost of travel) or other commitments. These kinds of setup would make it accessible to more people like me who really want to be a part of it all.

Tagged: book mark

A truly unique tag from Jan. Thank you so much! This is certainly very interesting!

I remember somebody else tagged me with this, but I cannot remember who. I'm so sorry. I was busy during that time and didn't get around to doing it, and, eventually, forgot it. But now, here it is!

The rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag as many people as you want.

My desk just happens to be beside a bookshelf and the first book that I see that is not a medical or ophthalmology book is "Follow Your Heart" by Andrew Matthews.

Unfortunately, page 123 is a chapter page, so it only contains 3 sentences, so I'll just post them:

How do you love people? Just accept them. Complete acceptance is unconditional love.

Very simple and very direct to the point. My reminder of the day.

Tagging everybody in my blogroll who hasn't done this yet :).

What Gift?

The hard part of choosing a "perfect" gift is that there is no such thing as a gift that would be "perfect" for everybody. It has to be something that the recipient would appreciate at that particular moment of his or her life. For example, the "perfect" gift for a female student would not be the same years later, when she's a single working girl, and then again later, when she becomes a wife and a mother.

That's why I am strongly considering giving gift baskets to people who are near and dear to me. I believe that I could buy or organize great gift baskets myself, such as baby gift baskets for new moms, or spa gift baskets for those who are fond of massage treatments and the like. That would certainly make gift buying a whole lot easier, and also much more personalized, according to what the person wants.

The Longest Breakfast Menu List

Tagged by Pat!

Everyone likes to start their day with a comfort food for breakfast. What kind of food do you take? This would be a good way to find out your blogger friend’s favourite food for breakfast.

All you need to do is to put your name down, the country you are in and your favorite breakfast meal. Let’s see how we can have this breakfast ‘menu’ travelled all around cyberspace and learn what each blogger living in different country and what they eat for breakfast. This meme was created by a little lady with a penchant to spy around little baskets while marketing. Her favorite breakfast of the day is none other than Roti Prata, an indian flat bread. What about you? What is your favorite breakfast meal of the day?

1. Spymama, Singapore - Roti Prata 2. Janeth Vicy’s Life Journey, Philippines - Ham and Hotdog with Rice 3.As The World Turns, Philippines, Milk and Biscuits. 4.Just Me.. Eds, Philippines- Sausage and Egg with Garlic Rice/Fried Mash potato 5. KATHYCOT, Phils, Fried Spam, Chicken and Scrambled Egg paired with Fried Rice 6. Alpha, Philippines ~ McDonald’s Big Breakfast 7. Aggie, Philippines ~ Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich 8.Jane, Philippines ~ Caesar Salad and Egg Mayo Croissant 9. Jody, Philippines - Tapsilog. 10. Jacqui, Philippines - Hotcakes and Sausage by McDonald's 11. Pat, Phils, Pancakes and bacon 12. Joey, Philippines, Tapsilog 13. Your Name, Country, Food

*End copy here*

Actually, I eat almost anything for breakfast. But I usually like kanin and ulam better especially when I am not sure what time I will be able to break for lunch.

Mas mabigat kasi sa tiyan eh :)

Hmmm, who to tag? :)

The Love Boat

I was a child of the seventies, so one of the TV fares that I've watched with my older cousins, aside from Charlie's Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man, was The Love Boat. Unlike the other shows I watched back then which were more of the adventure type, this was a TV series about the crew and passengers of a luxury cruise ship who invariably find true love at the end of the episode after going through a series of conflicts.

I did not realize that Princess Cruise Lines was the actual Love Boat introduced back in 1977. That would have made an interesting honeymoon for me and my husband, if we had known about it, had enough vacation time, and enough money to spend on it. You see, we have not been in an actual cruise before. Sure there were boat rides within the Philippines, but not the type that shouts luxury like the Cunard Cruise Lines.

We would love to have to have a vacation with a trip to the United States, preferably the East Coast since I've already been to the West Coast. Then maybe choose among the available Cruises from New York. That would make for an awesome holiday. Even more so for my husband since he has never been to the United States before.

How was I Born

Stumbled upon this joke while surfing online. Just sharing....Hope this will make you smile :)

A little boy goes to his father and asks “Daddy, how was I born?”

The father answers, “Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway!

Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your mother and we met at a cyber-cafe.

We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

“You’ve got a Male!”

Donate A Car

I just found out that if I have a car that I no longer want or need and cannot sell it for whatever reason, I can actually Donate My Car for a worthy cause. Carangels, an organization with they tag line "Help Us Help Others" accept Car Donations, in whatever condition they are in, whether or not they are still running. That may be a good option especially for cars who no longer have a significant market value. The foundation will tow your car for free. I will also get an instant receipt for the fair market value of the car. I can supposedly even use this receipt for tax deductions.

What does Carangel do for their charity work anyway? The following are only a small part of the good works that they do:

  • They do various charity works for different sectors. For example, unded the education, feeding and training materials for hundreds of school children in Africa, India and Central America and built a school for 10,000 in Uganda.
  • Their on going partnership with Mercy Ships, Compassion and World Vision has provided operations and needed medicine for thousands.
  • They have also has provided transportation, housing and food for hurricane drought, and tsunami victims.
They also have other programs, but the above programs are the ones which really caught my eye.

Donate Car and do good by actually getting rid of something that may be something you no longer want or need. It may make a lot of difference in somebody else's life. And for you? Not only do you get to remove a car from your garage (and maybe get to replace it), instead of money, you get a lot more in return. You get good "karma" because you are ultimately trying to help others through this method.

Home Talk

Our dream house is still that...a dream. We do not even have House Plans to fantasize and drool over since we do not have the budget yet for it. One thing is for sure, we would love to get our hands on some Country House Plans as these designs would look very nice as retirement homes especially in a cool place like Tagaytay or Baguio. I've actually seen some log home floor plans, and yes, they look really rustic and inviting. If you've seen Camp John Hay with its manors or Tagaytay Highlands, they have these really nice vacation homes made to look like log homes such as those in Abraham Lincoln grew up in.

For now we would be content if we just get a small condominium or townhouse within the city so that we would not be too far from our workplaces and our kid's school. But our retirement home will be another matter entirely.

Thrilling Twenty Tag

Tagged by Maver. :)

The rules are simple...

2. Take a pic of it and post it on your blog.
2. Link back to Maver's site.
3. Give Maver a shoutout so that she can include your thrilling-twenty in the round-up.

For Php17.75, this is a much cheaper alternative to imported chips and dip, which you have to buy separately :).

Drinks? I'll just get some cold water from the dispenser. :)

Poor Dogs!

We currently have 3 Chinese Shar pei dogs. I didn't know that even very short haired dogs like them may get fleas too. Last summer was particularly bad. Our poor dogs actually had some abrasions which bled because of those darned fleas. We've tried a lot of products which were supposed to control fleas, but nothing seems to offer a long term solution. We haven't tried flea bombs though. I only heard about them now. Maybe we should try this instead. Anybody who had some experience with this?

E's Home

...because he's having some sort of viral gastroenteritis. He vomited, had 2 episodes of diarrhea, and is generally listless. No appetite either. He's lost a lot of weight. My poor baby. :(

I hope he gets well soon.

US$14,000,000 Baby Pics!

It is rumored that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sold rights to their newborn twins' first photos to People magazine for a whopping 14 million dollars! Wow! The couple said, though, that the money will be used for charity.

Click here for the full article.

Compare LoudSiren and LifeLock

One of the prices of being modernization and technology is the fact that it becomes easier also to have our identities stolen. This is why some companies have started offering their services for ID theft protection. LoudSiren is one such company which endeavors to shield you from this sort of modern thievery. When we try to Compare LoudSiren and LifeLock, a more recognizable company, we find that LoudSiren apparently gives more protection for less. They even give you an identity protection insurance worth $20,000. Plus, it costs less than the LifeLock, especially with the promotion code.

We should realize that our identities and our very persons are even more valuable than material wealth. We spend the whole of our lives to make and maintain a good name. It's such a pity if the good name we made is stolen and damaged by some crook for some nefarious purpose. If we spend a lot to maintain our material wealth, we also should remember to protect our very identities from being used by unscrupulous crooks.

Got A New Set Of Awards!

Got this from Sheng!

From Sheng and Jhona!

Thank you so much! Passing it to everyone in my blog list! Grab niyo na!

Thoughts on Investing

Stocks and real estate prices have dropped, and people are afraid to invest because they fear that they will lose their money. If you play your cards right, now may just be the right time to make investments, especially if you have a little extra money just sitting in the bank, since prices are lower than usual. It is what is usually called the buyer's market, and that includes stocks and real estate.

Some people prefer to invest in stocks. The problem with stocks is that you have to be savvy enough for it. It also requires quite a large amount of investment, especially if you want to diversify your portfolio. Frankly, I do not have that much money to engage in that sort of investment.

Other people would prefer to invest in real estate during these times of economic downturn. This serves a lot of purposes. You could be buying your home for a cheaper price and live in it, thus ending your renting days. You could also buy a piece of real estate while it is still low, hold on to it and let it go when the prices rice. Or, you could buy a house and put it up for rent, thus having passive income that way. Looking for properties nowadays is so much easier because we now have online tools. So even if you live in Manila but would want to check out Chicago Suburbs Real Estate for a home to either to live in, to rent, or to eventually sell, you can check out some choice Real Estate in Downers Grove. I have found a website with a good listing of Downers Grove IL Real Estate with corresponding descriptions and prices. Just do your research from there.

Since I don't have a large amount of money yet to invest in large ventures like real estate or stocks and I'm not really a financial expert, I put my money in equity mutual funds instead. It is the instrument of choice for small investors like me. The idea here is the pooling of resources to be able to buy several stocks of different companies, hence having a built in diversification. Honestly, I have suffered a "paper loss" during the past few months but instead of panicking and converting it to cash, hence turning my paper loss into a real loss, I put in even more money while the price is low so I get more shares. Of course I only put in what I can afford to miss at the moment. I am confident that the market will eventually do better, so parking my money there may be a better option in the long run rather than letting it sit in the bank. I do wish my decision is sound and my investment would pay off in the long term.

Do People Like Me?

People Definitely Like You

You are very well liked, and many people admire you.

You are friendly, well mannered, and fun to be around.

Of course, you're not perfect... but that's okay.

Your friends are usually willing to accept you for who you are!

What People Don't Like About You:

People don't like that you're quite sensitive and easily offended. People feel like they have to watch their words around you.

People don't like that you put others down and like to gossip. They are worried that you also gossip about them!

People don't like that you forget them easily. No one wants to be friends with someone who doesn't remember their name!

What People Like About You:

People like that you take responsibility for your actions and admit your mistakes. They appreciate your maturity.

People like that you're interesting and intriguing. You always have something interesting to say.

People like that you can defend what you believe in calmly and rationally. You stand your ground and gain respect.

Web Hosting As A Second Income?

It's a sign of the times. Most businesses nowadays have an internet presence. Even individual persons also claim their little space on the web via blogs or personal websites. I realized then that somebody with an IT background could easily have a business reselling web hosting.

I wonder if my brother would be qualified to do that? He took up IT courses a few years back. The problem is that I don't know how much of that knowledge he has retained. Nevertheless, there are available web hosting articles and tutorials that would most likely jog his memory. Have to tell him about this, since he is in search for a good source of income.

We're currently undergoing a makeover!

I'm updating the template of this blog. I'm pretty excited about this, but for an HTML newbie, it's not that easy pala. :) I'm hoping that you'll all like the blog's new look. Please bear with me in the meantime. I'll be updating a bit at a time there may be some elements that may be missing during the time that you visit.

I still owe a lot of tag replies and bloghops! I am so sorry. Been busy both offline and online (but mostly offline). Will get to them once I get the time.

Employed vs Self Employed

There is so much to be said about being self employed. You practically "own" your time. You can choose the hours that you spend working and the hours you spend on leisure. And, how much and how little income depends on you.

There are disadvantages, however. When you're self employed, you have a certain amount of overhead expenses every month. And you're never sure if you're going to earn or lose money this time around -- meaning it's quite seasonal, therefore sometimes budgeting is not very easy. And vacations mean that you don't earn during that time -- in fact, you spend! Unless, of course, you have a business that is already running even without you to personally supervise things.

For employees, the bright side of things is that there is a regular amount of money that you get every month. This makes it easy to budget since it's regular like clockwork. Your employer is mandated by law to pay for your SSS and Philhealth contributions (well, here in the Philippines, at least). You have paid vacation, maternity and sick leaves. Some employers, especially the big corporations, also offer Incentive Programs for employees who reach a certain level of achievement, which translate into either Rewards in cash or in gifts. You also get retirement pay when you reach the mandatory age of 65 years old. If they retrench you before the mandatory retirement age for reasons other than breaking of their rules, you may also get an early retirement package which will allow you to live on it while looking for another job. During special events like Christmas parties, Employee Recognition by the employers, with the corresponding gifts and plaques, are usually announced.

Of course, the downside of being an employee is that you do not have your own time except during the days that you do not have work. And, if you did not plan carefully for your retirement, you might not have enough to live on when you no longer can work.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Choose the right one that will best suit your situation.