Early Christmas Shopping

The past few months have been a blur of spending -- not on wants and luxuries but on definite needs. While it hasn't been easy, we're grateful that we were able to go through this difficult time, at least on the financial front.

This means, however, that we do not have a lot of money left in savings. We're taking it one day at a time. But since it's less than 100 days till Christmas, we do need to look for a way to save AND for affordable gifts for people on our (very) long Christmas list.

I found some online coupons that could be used to purchase some great gifts online, at a discount, of course. There are plenty of choices online. I'd love to get my son some Lego toys (which could be had for 50% off with coupons) since they encourage creativity. My daughter...hmmm, perhaps Stuffed Animals would be appreciated? I'm still looking around for the best choices and the best deals, not just for my kids, but also for my husband and the rest of my family. And our inaanaks too. Quality gifts at great deals, that would be such a treat for me!

Checking Our Credit Score

My husband and I always dream of getting our own place someday, but we've realized that it would be close to impossible to actually be "saving up" to get a house. We'd probably be saving all our lives and in the end not get any house because by then the prices would have been way, way higher than they are right now.

So we're trying to see if it would be possible for us to get a housing loan and if we could afford to pay the installments. We're checking if our credit score would entitle us to get a big enough loan for the house that we want. It's a pretty new concept for me -- credit score, that is. What is a credit score? That is what I am studying right now. What I basically know for now is that if you do not have a good payment history, your credit score goes down. Also, having no credit at all is not necessarily good because lending companies do not know anything about your paying capacity and how good you are with your payments. And, that there are ways to improve your credit score so that you will have a better chance of getting the loan that you want.

I would have to study more about it. I'm actually wary of getting into debt but sometimes debt is good -- if we can afford to pay it off.

I Love Scrubs, But....

I used to be so proud when I finally got to wear my first set of hospital scrubs. It's standard uniform inside the operating room, the delivery room, the nursery and all the other places that required a very clean environment. Changing into scrubs (from street clothes) is a precaution against bringing in microbes that would infect the patients that are particularly susceptible. Now only people who are already given the go signal to enter those areas that were considered off limits to many get to wear scrubs. So just imagine how I felt wearing scrubs and entering those "hallowed" areas.

Our scrubs used to be boring -- just one color, with a generic design. My first pair of scrubs was white, because it was the required color for medical clerks (4th year of medical school). Later on, though, some enterprising individuals made scrubs out of printed fabric. With more designs to choose from, it became sort of like a fashion statement. I remember that I bought quite a few.

I don't know when the trend started, but when cheap nursing scrubs with cartoon characters became available, some mommies snapped them up as uniforms for their kids' nannies. Protest is futile. They will never understand what those scrubs meant to us. It's like uniforms for soldiers. Or even uniforms for students in a certain school. Nobody else gets to wear them except those who earn it by being qualified.

Now I only wear the hospital issued, boring scrubs inside the operating room. Never outside the OR. While I still love the designs (and prices) of the discount nursing scrubs now widely found, I am aware that people no longer associate them with my profession, but instead think of them as uniforms for nannies.

But there's hope, I've found that there are actually more elegant versions of this hospital staple. I just don't know if the hospitals here would accept a design like this, for example...

Hmmmm.....I'd probably get something like that for myself!

New York, New York

Although I've been to the United States, I've never been to New York yet. I'd like to go there someday as it's one of the cities that I've heard so much of. I have a cousin who lives there and works there as a private tutor. I haven't seen her in a long time, maybe more than a decade already. Her job entails her to go to her tutees' homes. I don't even know if she commutes or drives. I'm guessing she drives (if so, she needs new york car insurance for her vehicle -- one can never be too careful!)

New York also a place where a lot of Pinoy MD's go to for further training. My friend told me that when she was just starting to apply for training in New York, she had absolutely no idea on how to get around and was getting around in taxis! I didn't ask her for details but I'm guessing that she soon got a car with ny auto insurance when she got accepted and eventually spent a few years of her life there.

New York also has Broadway, which I (and maybe most people on the planet) have only heard about. It also has the Empire State Building. It used to have the World Trade Center before that infamous event almost 1 year ago. There's also the Statue of Liberty among others. One thing I'm sure of...I won't run out of things to see if I go there.

Vicks -- An Awww... Moment

I have to blog about this!

Background: Our son considers Vicks Vaporub as his cure-all for minor booboos. When he gets bumped, a swipe of Vicks and the pain is magically gone :).

Last night, my little boy E was sitting on lap when he noticed that I had a small wound on my thigh. He said "sugat mommy" (mommy's wound). He stood up and looked for Vicks. When he found it, he opened the cap, put a little on his index finger, came back to me and rubbed it on my wound. It was pure magic for me--a loving gesture from my small son which warmed my heart and made me so happy. :)

Blog SEO?

Everybody and his mother has a blog nowadays, some more than 1 blog. Heck, I have FOUR active blogs! That's because not only has blogging been an avenue for sharing one's thoughts and emotions with the entire world, it's also a way to make some extra money, mainly through selling adspace or promoting products through the web. However, it's no secret that the higher ranked blogs and the blogs which get the most traffic get the most opportunities. That's where Search Engine Optimization comes in. In a nutshell, it simply means that you try to make your website or blog more search engine friendly, hence making your site appear whenever people use certain search terms. For example, if your blog's topic is about cosmetics, you'd want your site to come up when people search on Google or Yahoo for "cosmetics" or "make-up".

For the life of me, I do not really know how to really do that myself. Maybe I should consult an SEO Firm to improve my site's rankings? I'm thinking about it, actually. As a blogger, I want my blog to be popular (who doesn't) but I do not really have the time to learn SEO myself. All I want to do with my blogs is to write content.