Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Relax!

I know it's just the mid-week but we don't have to wait for TGIF to have some fun, right? So enjoy your Wednesday and make the most out of it...whether you're at work, at home or away on a vacation!

As for me...same-o, same-o. Work here and there, housework everywhere! Fun, fun, fun!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Starting a Business

When I was still teaching and single, one of my many plans was to start a small business of my own. As many teachers know, a teacher does not really make much so I wanted something to either supplement what I was making or to replace it once I decide to retire. I wasn’t alone in my plan because I have a few friends who also wanted to do the same thing. I no longer have that plan because I now have a family and my husband has his own small business which someday I may be a part of. A friend of mine on the other hand is about to start her venture into the business world. She’s been asking me if my husband has a credit card merchant account for his business and she wants to know how to go through getting one set up for her small business.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn't really know how to set-up one because they don’t have that kind of an account. It’s not advisable for their kind of business to use it that’s why. But since the husband likes to help her nevertheless he did a little research and found a merchant account application online that my friend can use. I haven’t told my friend about it but I’m sure she’ll be appreciative of it. She’s been all over the place just getting this small business of hers off the ground that one thing off her list will definitely be a welcome respite. I wish my friend nothing but the best on her new business but after hearing everything that she has to do to start this business, I’m kinda’ thankful I don’t have to do it myself. I honestly wouldn’t have known where to start myself.

MidWeek Already?

Internet Security

When I started being a WAHM [work-at-home-Mom], I kind of had a hard time explaining to some friends and family what exactly it is I do. At that time, it wasn’t as popular to many people so I had a lot of explaining to do. It was fine by me because all I cared about then was being able to find something I could do at home to help the husband supporting our little family. But being on the computer…on the internet specifically is not all fun and games. Many times during the years that I’ve been working online, my computer crashed making me lose some important documents because of some internet security problems. Virus, malwares, spywares, etc…were constant problems that needed to be attended to that it felt like it was another work-at-home-job just to get rid of them.

Fortunately, I am married to someone who knows computer. Yes he gets a bit ‘mad’ whenever I tell him something’s wrong with my computer but he always ends up fixing it. Just a few months ago, my browser wouldn’t open at all. It turned out my laptop was invaded by a very nasty virus that wouldn’t get off. I actually thought I wouldn’t be able to retrieve any of my data. But after a day’s worth of ‘doctoring’ it, the husband was able to bring it back to life. As soon as it was fixed we decided to buy an internet security software. It seems that free one I’ve been using for my laptop is not actually doing a good job of keeping the aggressive invaders at bay thus the infection. I’m happy to say…I haven’t been scolded since then. I guess I’ve …err…the software have been doing a good job eh?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Total Opposite

YESTERDAY...it was....



TODAY....it is...

Yep...total opposite! It was expected since it's been in the forecast and the we need the rain since we had a pretty dry March. It's just that Mother Nature can change just like that. I even had to turn off my computer a couple of times because of the thunder and lightning. Tomorrow is another day. I think it's will still be rainy just like today. It's a good thing I'm a WAHM, eh?

Limited Space

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of the things that I'm not really thrilled about our current place is the limited space in the kitchen. Actually, there's limited space everywhere since it's not really a big house but this is especially felt by me in the kitchen since I'm in there majority as it my 'domain'...so to speak. There are not enough cup boards for everything so every one of them is overflowing with something. I also have to mix stuff in a cup board sometimes because of space issues. The pots for example...they're everywhere and I don't even have a lot of them...yet. I so want to get an enclume pot rack to help me organize my pots but even for the hanging enclume pot racks I don't seem to have any space.

Having a kitchen renovation is not feasible right now since we don't have the budget for it so we have to find a way to somehow make it more spacious without actually renovating or extending it. We have this little corner at the end of one of the counters [where we have the trash can right now] and hubby thinks it's a good space to probably put some kind of a cabinet. I kinda' like the idea since it's like a wasted space for now. Hopefully we can do by mid-year then I can probably start ordering some hanging [or even free standing] enclume potracks ASAP. I need to get my pots in order or I will go 'nuts'!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend is O-V-E-R....


In a blink I must say! Hopefully the week will also go by in a blink as well....LOL.


We had a busy weekend....sort of. We were out on both days either doing errands or just enjoying the good weekend weather. Saturday's weather was a lot better than today's weather. I think the temperature went all the way up to the lower 90s....it felt more like summer than spring. I can only imagine what the summer like weather will be.


Anyway...time to call it a day! Wishing everyone to.....



glitter-graphics.com

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Still Looking

Happy weekend everyone! It’s a nice day out here today except for a little of cloud that will probably go away in a few. It’s a great day to be heading out so guess what we’re doing? Yep, we’re heading out to run some errands. We have a few things to accomplish so we may be out for the most part of the day. We have no other plans other than that but who knows, right? One thing I’m definitely doing as soon as we get home is start looking for a web hosting company…again. I think I’ve been at it for a couple of months now but I still haven’t decided yet if I should push through with it or not. Well, the 2 months I’ve been looking wasn’t really that long since I would only do it when I feel like it…and when I’m doing absolutely nothing else.

I’ve actually asked the husband to just let me know what company he’s going to use for their company websites but even he is not sure yet. Just like me, he only does the searching when he’s not busy at work. It’s not really a priority right now but it’s something I want to do. I’ve been looking at a hosting guide and may just take it from there. Hopefully tonight I can sit down and read through the entire guide and cross my fingers I’d be able to pick a webhosting company that will suit my taste.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What Can I Say...


I hope the weather where you're at is as good as [if not better than] the weather we have down here....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Guilty as Charged!




Isn't he the cutest?

Something...Anything!

That's how I look everytime I think what I should get my brothers for say birthday or any occasion for that matter. It's just so hard to come up with something...anything to get them. It's also useless to ask them what they want because the answer they give is usually a puzzle on its own so instead of drawing only 2 question marks like the one in the picture, I end up with 10 more. Ugh!

Anyway, I am currently trying to buy things for my loved ones that I can either take with us if our plan to visit this year happens or send in a box before the year ends. I'm done with what I'm giving the girls/women. I'm now down with the hardest task...what to get the boys/men. I decided to go on a limb and started searching for personalized things. I stumbled upon a lot of websites that have interesting stuff like a site that makes different kinds of collectible coins like military coins or any kind of coin to suit one's preference. I don't know if the coins will be a good present for them but if I ever I run out of ideas on what to get my brothers & nephews for any occasion...I may just consider giving them a collectible coin bearing....my picture, maybe??? LOL...

Tying the Knot...Again!

A lifetime ago, I agreed to be a bridesmaid to a good friend's wedding. For the record, that was the only wedding where I agreed to be a bridesmaid. I just didn't feel comfortable walking down the 'aisle' even if I wasn't the bride. But I wasn't able to wiggle my way out of that one so I agreed to don a tight fitting long gown and walked the longest 10 yards of my life. Ha! Sadly, the marriage didn't last forever. It lasted for more than 10 years but I guess it ran its course and they went their separate ways. I still recall the long phone calls with my friend as she poured her heart out after the devastating break-up of her marriage.

But like I said, that was a lifetime ago. Today she's happily engaged. If not for FB I wouldn't have known because we don't get to chat as much anymore since we're thousands of miles away from each other now. Suffice to say, I am very happy for my friend. I spoke with her briefly not too long ago and she said they 'may' get married before the end of this year and that I should start looking for a sexy bridal lingerie to give her as a present. I laughed out loud when she mentioned that because that's what she also wanted the last time she walked down the aisle. I wasn't able to give it to her then but I'll try my hardest this time and find her that perfect lingerie she so wanted last time. Maybe that'll be the key to a long lasting union, eh?

Early Riser

I used to be an early riser....for work. Now, I wake up between 7 & 8 in the morning on weekdays and a little bit later on weekends. One thing is certain though...I can't go past 10 no matter how hard I try AND even if I'm left in peace [read: no little voice calling 'Mom?']

The little one on the other hand has always been an early riser...by choice. She rather hates it when she oversleeps or if I get up ahead of her. I guess this is also the reason why it's very easy to wake her up. She doesn't fuss about it all.

Anyway, because of the 'spring forward' change in time, she has been waking up 'later' than usual. She knew about the change of time but only thought about it much this week. Her solution so she won't wake up late anymore: an ALARM CLOCK! She asked Dad to set up the alarm clock in her bedroom at 7 so she'd wake up at that time. Odd, eh? But I'm sure glad she likes to be awake early. At least I won't have to take it upon myself to rouse her from deep slumber.

Searching & Surfing...

The little one’s birthday is coming up really soon. We asked her what she wants for her birthday and all she could tell us is this toy grabber she saw in one of the budget stores we went to a couple of months. So in between looking at some Miami used cars online, I’ve also been searching for that little toy she’s wishing for her birthday. At least her ‘wish’ is rather cheap. I’m sure one day she’ll be wishing for a much more expensive present like, maybe, a BMW 325 for her 16th birthday, maybe? Oh my! I cannot wait! Not! Seriously though, I think she will have an expensive taste when it comes to car because she really reacts when she sees those cool looking cars cruising along the road. A lot of times, she can even identify what kind of cars they are…which I can never do by the way. This is the reason why hubby says that she may even drive before I do. Very possible…LOL!

So why am I looking at some used cars anyway. Well, hubby is considering getting another vehicle some time. We’re planning in buying a used car instead of a new one for obvious reasons…economic downturn. He’s been looking during his spare time and I’m looking and reading used car blog whenever I feel like it. I don’t have much knowledge when it comes to cars so I try to read as much as I can [and blogs about cars have very information] so I can suggest what type of vehicle I want just in case I’m asked for my input. In the meantime, I better go back to my other task at hand…presents for the little one’s birthday. I don’t have much time left to search…ugh!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Spring-ing Around Here!!!!

Yep...it's definitely spring already. I just looked outside and saw that our bottlebrushes have flowers already....very red flowers. The blackberry bushes also have baby leaves coming out of their bald branches/stems already. Our majestic beauty is starting to look 'beautiful' again because its white and pink blossoms are starting to bloom. Nice!

The temperature is in the 70s going to the 80s later today. I'm pretty sure it won't be long before we start hitting the 90s around here though. It seems that this really nice spring weather only lasts for few weeks in the sunshine state. That's alright though...it's still great to see life 'springing' out of the different plants we have around the yard. We'll probably head out to the store this weekend and start getting some plants we can plant on the flower beds in front of the house. We are also planning in starting a 'mobile' garden ~ mostly vegetables ~ very soon. I am hoping that will push through....

How about you? Is it spring-ing where you're at already????

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not Fun

One of the not so fun part of growing up is acne. I didn't have a lot of them but from the way it looks, the little one will probably have them. The Dad still gets them ~ break-outs ~ whenever he's stressed out so I guess the little takes after him in that aspect. We started noticing those little bumps on her forehead last year so we got her really mild acne treatment to see if that will work. It works but she still gets the little bumps every now and then. I already got her some facial wash to make sure her face stays clean all the time. I also ask her to put on that cream as soon as she sees the little bumps on her forehead. This is the last thing I need right now...another reminder that she's indeed almost on that stage that most parents dread....the teen stage! Ugh! Can somebody please wake me??? Has it really been that long since I gave birth to her??? It can't be!

Scholarship Information

As our little one continues to grow into a fine young lady, the husband and I continue to worry as to how to make sure her future is secured. Ha! I think that’s every parent’s main aim…to make sure that their children’s future is as secure as possible. Of course we don’t know what the future holds but we still try to everything we can to help in shaping up our children’s future. One way we know that will make her future a lot better is good education. I don’t care what other people say. Hubby and I both believe that a good education is a form of security in the little one’s future. Without a doubt, the more expensive part of that education is definitely college. Many parents start saving for their children’s college pot even before the kids are born. But not all parents can do that. It doesn’t mean that all’s lost for those who don’t have any college funds to use once they get to that stage. There are a lot of college scholarships now that students can avail of. They just need to look for them.

Many colleges and universities offer different types of scholarships and grants. There are even scholarships for left handed students available now for the taking. But if there’s one very famous scholarship being offered out there, it has to be the scholarships for medical students, right? And I can imagine why…medical school is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e! Many people want to be a doctor but because of financial reasons, it’s just not possible. But with the scholarships being offered out there, it’s now possible for them to go at their dreams. Personally, I’m just glad there’s now a lot of information out there about the availability of scholarships for deserving people. During my time, it was quite hard to find these opportunities. I was just one of the lucky ones who was offered one instead of looking for one. I’m not even sure if I would have made it to college if I wasn’t offered one since I wouldn’t have known where to look in the first place.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hula 'Hooping'

Eons ago, I actually planned in hula hooping my way to losing some weight. The little one wanted to learn how to use it so we got her [and me] hula hoops. I already know how to use one since it's one of [few] toys I had growing up. While I was 'teaching' her how to use one, I thought it's probably a good way to shed some pounds while having fun. Well, that didn't work. After the little one learned, I stopped using mine. Needless to say, my attempt to lose weight by hula hooping didn't work.

I still pick it up for fun every now and then but I may just use it more often now that I'm trying to go back into exercising regularly. I'm still doing the elliptical regularly but I want to change it up a little bit and the hula hoop may be a good alternate. I was thinking of getting the weighted hoops at first but I read it's better to use the lighter ones like the one I have since it takes more energy to keep it on your waist/hips. I just hope it will help trim the spare tire I have hanging around my waist. Toink!

Building Credit Score

One of the things that I can honestly say I never worry about before is having credit. I tried very hard to avoid it as much as possible because I don’t like the stress of having debts. I saw how much it stressed out my mother which in turn stressed me out as well. Unfortunately my parents didn’t have a lot of choices so they had to resort to having debts when they hit a rough spot financially. There’s 5 of us that they needed to feed and it was only my father who was working so it was very tight financially. I guess that’s where I learned to be wary of incurring debts. So when I came here in the US, imagine my shock when I was told by the hubby that I have to have credit cards in order to have credit history and to build a good credit score for future use. Huh? It’s a total opposite from what I’ve been used to but what can I do? I now live in a place where credit history can have a great impact in your life.

Needless to say, I was persuaded to get credit cards in my name. My first attempt was get a store credit card. Guess what? I was denied because I didn’t have any credit history. Ha! So I had to apply for the regular credit card to get a head start on this ‘insane’ journey. A few years after I had my first card, my credit history was put in test. We applied for a mortgage. Lo and behold, we got approved quite easily it was rather scary. Apparently, hubby’s and my credit score are both good so we got pre-approved by all the banks we tried. I guess the free credit score site was correct when it gave me an above average rating, eh? Honestly, I didn’t expect much when we checked my score since it’s only been a couple of years since I started building my credit but I guess the time frame didn’t have that big of an effect to the score itself as long as dues are paid on time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Wardrobe...Again

Not for me but for the little one. I think it was just a few weeks ago when I got her some new clothes and they're already worn out and starting to be a size too small for her. She's definitely growing like a weed and there's nothing much I can do about it but be happy that she's at least growing healthy.

Now, that's just clothes I'm talking about. Her shoes...that's entirely a different saga on its own. Last time we bought her shoes, we got her 2 pairs. One pair were my size [because we SUDDENLY have the same size of shoes]. For the other pair, we got her one size bigger, just in case. Guess what...I suddenly find myself with a new pair of sneakers...brand new because she didn't even get the chance to wear them before she outgrew them. Do they sell adjustable shoes - in size - that is? I think we may have to resort to those if ever they exist.

Since I don't want her walking around in clothes a size too small for her, I again ordered some online and they'll be here by next week. I'm sure I'll be looking for new ones again in a few weeks. Can somebody give me a loan?

Going at it...Finally!

Whether I like it or not, the day will come when I will have to face the reality because I know I won’t be able to run away from it forever. What reality am I talking about? One word: DRIVING. Yes, I’ve come to terms with the fact that one day I’ll be visiting an auto shop all by myself to have my car serviced. I should probably familiarize myself with places like the San Diego auto repair shop so I know where to go if ever I need help to check engine light just in case. Scared? Not really. Apprehensive…maybe. The pressure to finally go at it is not coming from anyone but myself. I know I can do it, I just have to actually do it. So…I will.

Once I decide to get out there and drive by myself, I’m thinking I want a car that I will feel safe to be in like the Ford F-150. Yes, it’s a man’s car. I probably don’t need that much power but I want to have a car that has that much power. A car that would make other cars stay out of the way while I’m out driving creating havoc…LOL. Seriously, I don’t want to drive an itty bitty car for the simple reason that accidents do happen and I don't wanna be visiting an auto shop every other day just because my itty bitty car just couldn't handle the pressure. God forbid it happens to me…but if ever I get into an accident I want a vehicle that won’t flip if it gets say, rear-ended. I want something that will stand its ground...and if that's a man's car...then so be it!

Spring HAS Sprung!

Yep, it's officially spring! We've been having spring-like weather & temperature for a couple of weeks so to us...it's been spring for a while now. The downside....summer comes in early here as well....


Nothing much going on around here this weekend. We're just enjoying the gorgeous weather as much as we can by staying outside. I worked on the back porch for the most part of the day yesterday.
Today...hubby is busy is doing yard work while I'm busy tip-tapping here on my computer. The little one is also outside running around while Dad is out there.


That's how our weekend is going so far. Hopefully the weather stays as gorgeous throughout the week....


Happy Spring Everyone!

Simple Living

I’ve always known that decorating a house will be something that will take time…especially if we are on a shoestring budget…and that’s what we had for a budget. That’s because of everything that we had to go through just to have this house built. The money we lost from the fraud builder would have been enough to finish furnishing and decorating this house with some left over still. That’s all in the past and we try to move on from that unfortunate event. Anyway, when we first moved in this house, we only had the appliances [most of them anyway], some pieces of furniture and some lighting fixtures. We only had the basic stuff to live comfortably in a house we waited for years to be built.

As the months and years go by, we’re able to buy the other things one at a time. We started with small ticket items like simple lighting fixtures for the bedrooms. We would save for big ticket items like the dining set and would buy them when we have the money to pay for it. We don’t depend on credit cards which would have been easy to do since they’re very easy to reach for. Hubby and I know that it would be a burden in the long run so we’d rather wait until we can afford to pay for something in cash. Little by little, we’re able to get the things we need and some of the things we want. We still have a long way to go but we’re content with the way we’re doing things. We still have to put some lighting fixtures outside but that can wait. For now, we’re happy that we don’t owe much. In time, we know we will be able to get everything we need AND want for this house.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Watch &...

...&....&.....Just watch...

Security Concerns

When I was in college we had a professor who only worked part-time and that meant his classes were only conducted at night. I didn’t have a choice but to take his classes because it was one of my major subjects and I wouldn’t graduate if I didn’t take them. Our class ended at 9 PM and I had to take public transportation to go back to my dorm. Aside from the 20 minute commute, I also had to walk a dark stretch to get to my dorm. I was scared to say the least that I had to keep a pepper spray in my purse at all times. It was like that the whole semester and I couldn’t be happier when our class ended…and I passed in one piece.

Today I no longer have to commute late at night nor do I have to be out later than 6 PM. I am in the comfort of home where it’s safe. Or is it? We all like to believe that our home is a safe haven for us but the reality is it’s just not the case anymore. It’s sad but it’s a sad reality. Home invasions happen way too much I’m actually considering getting a stun gun for personal protection. Hubby is actually convincing me to consider getting a real gun instead but I’m not ready for that so I thought I’d go with the one that does not shoot bullets. Maybe one day…

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spout ~ Before & After


This is the spout I posted about 'Quality Work' 3 days ago. The one on the left was the work of the so-called 'professionals'. As you can see the spout was just laying on the pavement on the driveway. It means that if it rains, the water will just spill all over the driveway. If the flow of water is heavy enough, it can even flood the garage. The 'professionals' don't seem to see it that way so they left it like that. In comes McGyver....the AFTER photo. He moved the spout and pointed it down to the ground and drilled a hole [on the ground] going across the walkway where a drainage is. Voila! Problem solved!

When the professionals came back to finish the job, they stood by that new and improved 'work of art' [biased opinion here of course as McG is my man...LOL] for a good 5 minutes. I wonder if they were looking at it in admiration or were just plain stumped as to how easy to fix it it. Duh!

It's Time....

I have a feeling it won’t be long before I finally start driving. Ha! Maybe in a year or two I’ll be cruising down the streets of Tampa Bay so you better watch out if you’re in the neighborhood. LOL. Anyway, if and when that happens we will be need another vehicle. Right now we only have the family car…a Chrysler Jeep SUV. Knowing the husband, I’m sure that the next car we will be getting will definitely be another Chrysler product like a Dodge Grand Caravan. Honestly, I don’t really have much input when it comes to what kind of car we will get simply because I know NOTHING about cars. Hubby has been driving all his life so I leave it all up to him even if he hates the fact that I don’t have any input. Oh well…

We bought our current car brand new. But for our next car we are thinking of getting a used car. It’s just practical at this time. Even if we’re not buying one yet, we’ve been checking out used cars in Tampa just for preparations. Since I know nothing about cars, everytime we go looking around at used cars, I just comment on how pretty it looks just like the Chrysler Sebring I saw in the lot of a used car dealer in Tampa. That’s all the input I can make so I use it…haha. Seriously though, if ever I start driving by myself I want a vehicle that’s big enough to make me feel safer while I’m out on the street. I actually wouldn’t mind checking out used trucks just to see what’s out there.

I cannot believe I’m actually talking about cars…and me driving one. But it has to happen sometime, right? I guess it’s that time….

Change of Schedule

Before this week, I used to do my elliptical 'workout' first thing in the morning. Since it's something I'm not really looking forward in doing, I thought it would be better if I get it out of the way ASAP. It was going well for the most part...then came the 'spring forward' time change. It messed up my schedule and I couldn't get up early enough to do the work out in the morning.

This week I've been doing it in the afternoon...just before I prepare dinner. It's a bit tough since I have to do some preps in advance so I can have an hour of free time so I can be on the elliptical within that hour.

It turns out, doing it in the afternoon instead of doing it in the morning may be a good thing. I noticed a big difference with the way I'm feeling afterwards...and I think I know why. When I was still doing it in the morning I usually sit down a few minutes after the work out....and I would remain seated for about 3 hours due to work. During this time I noticed that everytime I tried to get up, my legs were sore & stiff which would last for the whole day. I would be limping for most of the day. This week, I have not felt that way. My legs will be 'tired' after the afternoon work out but it does not last. My guess is because I don't have the time to sit down after the work out since I would normally start working around the kitchen. I only sit down about 2 hours [or more] after the work out to do some work on the computer. My legs have the chance to loosen up now since I remain standing for longer periods of time thus the lack of stiffness or soreness.

So...much as I want to go back doing it in the morning, I'd probably keep doing it in the afternoon. Hopefully, I'll be able to find a way to work around my schedule.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eleven Years

A few days ago marked the 11th year of my mother's passing. It's been more than 10 years but it doesn't feel like it's been that long probably because I still think of her and my Tatang all the time. My parents didn't have a lot of material possessions to leave us when they passed but my mother left one very important possession she had to me....her wedding ring. She actually gave it to me years before she died and I always wore it when I was still single. It's not a fancy ring but it's one of my most important possession to this day. When she was still alive, I also got her a few pieces of jewelry. She doesn't really like wearing jewelry so I only got her earrings mostly.

One piece of jewelry that I wish I had gotten her while she was still around is a mother's ring. One reason I wasn't able to get her one is probably because I didn't see a lot of mothers rings
during those time. It would have been a perfect mother's day or even birthday gift for her since I know how much she loved all of us. I'm pretty sure that if ever I got her one it would have never left her finger even if she's not into jewelry much.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tired!

Thanks to the 'change' in time, of course. We went to bed the same time [which was an hour earlier] but my body clock doesn't know that of course. I tossed and turned for, maybe, 2 hours...then I kept waking up. Ugh. I woke an hour late but it's the time I would normally wake up. Confused yet? Meee toooo....

Result? I wasn't able to do my morning routine. It's a good thing I had the time to do it in the afternoon. At least I didn't miss a day.

I better start trying to catch that elusive sleep once again. Hopefully I won't toss and turn for hours again....

Cutting Corners

That seems to be the trend now since everything is getting more and more expensive everyday. The most obvious of course is the gas price that’s been going up like crazy in the last month or so. But before this crazy price hike in gas, we’ve been noticing a steady increase in everything from groceries to the energy bill. I can somehow control the grocery bill since I can either go generic or choose whatever is on sale but I can’t say the same with our electric bill. We can try turning off the heat or air but I don’t think that will fare well with the people in our house. Maybe I should have someone do a free home energy audit here in our house. According to http://www.mygreenenergyaudit.com it’s possible to save as much as 40% in energy bill every month.

So where does the savings come from? Apparently, a lot of air escapes the house and the home energy audit will determine which parts of the house the air escapes from the most like the attic. The insulation is also a major factor in some houses but our house is only a few years old so I’m pretty sure the insulation is not the culprit as of yet. Still our energy bill is still high I think so I think I should go ahead and contact the local company the does this free home energy audit to find out what's causing our high energy bill every month.

Quality Work...

Sad to say...it's very hard to find that now. Of course if quality work is hard to come by, quality workers are also nowhere to be found.

We've finally had the gutters installed this weekend. I like the way they look but some of the work they did was sloppy. For one, a spout was left laying on the driveway. Yes, it's on the side but it sure looks like a 'sore thumb' sticking out....and that's coming from me who doesn't know much about these things. If that didn't work for me, how much more for the man of the house. He of course told the people that installed them before they left. The response: That's how we always do them. Really? He just said that if ever we have any problem with it then we just let them know. Toink! Talk about QUALITY WORK, eh? Well, the husband wouldn't wait for a problem to happen so he went ahead and fixed it the way he wants it...and now it's fixed. No more spout sticking out on our driveway.

The guys didn't finish installing by the way so they're here right now. I saw them standing on our driveway staring at what my husband did. LOL...it's like they're in shock actually. Anyway, I can hear them working at the back. I hope they don't break anything or else....

I'm not sure how they're paid but I'm guessing by the hour because they're taking their sweet old time doing their job. There's 3 of them and I see one guy at a time going back to the truck to pick up a PIECE, yes, 1 small piece of tool, then he'd walk back to the back of the house at a pace similar to a beauty pageant. Seriously! After a few minutes, another one will go to their truck and pick up another piece of tool. Ithink they've done it 5 times already since they've been here...and they've only been here for less than an hour. Hmmm....I feel like saying: YOU'RE FIRED! But they don't work for me...they work for the gutter company.

Credit Card Education...

There should be some kind of a course or subject in high school with that title to educate us on the ins and outs of credit cards.

In the last several months, I’ve been getting several applications for credit cards in the mail. I have no idea what brought this on but I don’t really pay much attention to them anymore but it’s good to be getting those invitations in the mail, eh? The little one has fun collecting the cardboard cards that come with the mails and she has them stashed in a box in her bedroom with a couple of them ending in her purse. She knows they’re not real but she likes the idea of having a couple of them in her wallet anyway. I’m starting to worry that she may be one of those who will be maxing out a credit card when she’s of age already to have one. I sure hope not. This is why as early as now, we’re already trying to educate her with the pros and cons of owning a credit card.

Anyway, I never really wanted to have a credit card myself but I know that I had to have credit cards in my name to build my credit history for future use. So after a year or two of not having one, I decided to take the plunge. But before I got mine, I read some credit card reviews so I can make an informed decision when choosing. There’s quite a few to choose from and they seem to offer the same things so aside from reading reviews about credit cards like the chase credit cards, I also had to make sure I read the fine prints of each offer. Sadly, the catch of most of these cards are usually not easily found because they're usually buried in those itty bitty prints found that not many people bother to read. Boring at it is, I try not to fall prey into that habit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Forward 2011


That's tomorrow here. It means we're 'LOSING' an hour of sleep. Or maybe we can just call it...SLEEPING IN on a Sunday morning, eh?

I know it's going to take me about a week to get use to it. That's what happened last year. I hope it does not take that long this time. I've been trying to have some kind of a 'strict' schedule when it comes to my bedtime and so far it's been going well and I would hate to start over again.

Anyway, for those who are on these side of the world and are doing the 'spring forward' thing....don't forget to adjust your clocks before going to bed. That's what we do anyway since it's easier to remember and wake up to the 'new time'.

Perpetual Student

It’s now almost a month since my nephew passed the medical board exams back home. The days [maybe even weeks] after learning that he passed were filled with celebrations amongst friends and family. He was on cloud nine needless to say but he had to come down from that cloud start working. Fortunately, he didn’t have to look for a job because it came looking for him. He now works for 2 hospitals. He is also looking into a medical interview course and some consultant interview courses as well. Apparently he doesn’t want to be ‘just’ a doctor. He said he wants to do more.

What could that mean? He still wants to be a doctor but he’s also thinking of becoming a consultant in the future. Aside from that he’s also planning to become a doctor teacher [or should it a teacher doctor?] someday and use what he has learned in his master’s degree in special education. Although a teach the teacher course for doctors will probably more helpful to him since it focuses in training doctors to become teachers. Although medical management courses may also be helpful to him since he needs to learn how to manage his time more efficiently if he's planning in taking on all these other careers beside being 'just a doctor'. Honestly I don’t know where he’s getting all his energy. It seems like all he’s been doing is study. I thought he’d at least take a couple of years off from schooling and just work for now but I guess I may be mistaken. Talk about being a perpetual student, eh?

Friday, March 11, 2011

23-Ft Japan Tsunami

What a disaster! According to the news, hundreds have been confirmed dead while hundreds are still missing as a result of this natural calamity. Looking at the pictures posted online, I can't help but just say a silent prayer for all those affected by it.

I know a few people who are in Japan...former classmates & former co-workers as well. I don't know where most of them are located but I can only hope and pray that they are safe and sound. I emailed some and got replies from some letting me know that they're doing okay. Thank God!

The massive tsunami was the result of a very strong earthquake which was measured at about 8.9 in magnitude which according to some only happens once every century. Sadly, these natural calamaties are very hard to predict...especially earthquakes. It's probably one natural calamity I am most afraid of simply because I grew up in a country that's in the 'ring of fire'. I guess the feeling of 'uncertainty as to when an earthquake will actuall hit is the part that scares me the most.

Anyway, let's all keep all those affected by this calamity in our thoughts and prayers.

Chilly TGIF!

We almost hit below freezing...but we didn't. It's still pretty cold though so I'm back in my sweats again. It's good thing I haven't put them away or I'll be shaking like a leaf...or I'd probably would have dug them out. So far the weather forecast have been pretty accurate. Yesterday and the day before, it rained as predicted. As a result, the people who were supposed to put the gutters around the house had to postpone their appointments with us twice already which means I also need to postpone getting the window flower boxes I've been eyeing at one of the garden stores around here. The gutter people were supposed to come today but it's not happening so they're coming tomorrow which was the day hubby wanted to come anyway so he can be around while they work. If not, they I'll be forced to kinda' keep an eye on what they're doing...which I have no clue whatsoever.

Anyway, because of my not so successful gardening last year, this year I've decided to go with window boxes planters to put around the front part of the house instead of trying to grow them myself. They will mostly be flower planters which the little one herself picked when we were at the garden store last time. She likes the colorful little flowers and we think they'll look good. We wanted to get them last year actually but because we didn't have the gutters yet and because I wanted to try my hand in growing flower seeds, we decided not to. Well, now that I know better, I'll have a ball just going around the store picking garden window boxes with pretty blossoms on them.

As for my gardening....it's not a lost cause actually. Hubby wants to 'join forces' and start a vegetable garden in the backyard. This time it won't just be 'potted/boxed vegetable' garden...it would be a real one. Exciting....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"7 Year Itch" No More?

That's according to a study anyway. So what happened to it? It's been replaced by the '3-year glitch'. Yep, the test of time in married couple has just been shortened by more than 50%. Is life that complicated now? I guess people are less forgiving now? According to the study things like weight gain, stinginess and nail clippings are only 3 of the reason why some couples hit this glitch. Nail clippings....really???

Anyhoooo...only 2,000 couples were subjected to this study so it's a very small fraction of real life couples. Still...it's bothersome to note that something like this is now in existence. Well, it's probably been happening and this study just put it out in the open. Maybe it's important to note that the people involved in this studies are all adults so we cannot really blame age as a reason for the 'glitch'.

from: Yahoo.com

Being Resourceful

Back when I first started teaching, one of the first things I bought [together with my roommates] with my first salary were rain barrels...similar to the one on the left. Unusual, eh? You would think I’d buy a piece of jewelry to make it more meaningful but no. We had to buy them because we badly needed to collect rain water. For what? It’s for our basic needs actually like washing our clothes and cleaning. The subdivision we used to live in was having shortage of water during that time so the water was being proportioned among the residents. With that being the case we would get enough to use for our personal hygiene and cooking. For the rest of our needs like laundry, we had to be resourceful and rain harvesting was our bright idea at that time.

During the 3 years that we stayed in that place we were able to buy a few rain water barrels which proved to be very useful. When we decided to move out of the house we were sharing, we divided the barrels among ourselves. That was a good decision because there was now water shortage almost everywhere. The rain barrel that I got I was able to use in the next house I moved in for years. It was difficult at first but I got used to it that even when the water was no longer a problem, I still continued using the barrel to collect rain whenever possible. I used the water to either water the plants or clean the driveway. It was a great way to conserve water.

The "Rings"

These are the rings that the little one wears everyday. There is no given day that she's not wearing all of them. The rings are plastic and fashion jewelry. It's definitely NOT my influence because I don't wear such big pieces. As a matter of fact, I'm quite the opposite. I dress 'down' as much as possible. The only rings that are always on my fingers are my wedding and engagement rings on my left ring finger and an eternity ring on my right ring finger.

It's just amusing how different she is from me when it comes to 'dressing' or style. She likes bold stuff. We even asked her one time if she will ask her future boyfriend for an engagement ring similar to her big pink fashion ring. Her answer...she won't ask him....she'll just SHOW him. Tada!!! I guess we don't need to scare boys away from her...I think she can do that by just flashing them her 'taste' of jewelry....

Monday, March 7, 2011

Another Week...

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....and it's a bit chilly...to me anyway. It's in the low 50s right now but it was lower earlier. I guess I got spoiled rotten with the temperatures last week. At this time last week, it was already in the high 60s to the lower 70s so I'm suddenly feeling cold. Boohoo me.... Anyway, it won't stay like this for long because we will be hitting the 80s in the middle of the week so all's good, eh?

I tried to start my week right by going into the elliptical first thing in the morning. It's a lot easier to do it first thing in the morning. If I am not able to do it in the morning, I would usually spend the whole day wondering what time I can do it. I'm not obssessed with it. I just want to be consistent and make sure I don't go back to my old habit of starting something and NOT following up with it. Mind you, it's VERY EASY to get off track when it's exercising we're talking about. Not too many people are crazy about it...and I'm one of those people. But I'm trying...and I'm happy to say...so far, so good.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Laid Back Sunday

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Not much going on around today. The weather outside is perfect if I may say so. We're all lazy to go out so we're just laying around. The father & daughter tandem just finished watching some 3 stooges episodes on the little one's computer while I was busy browsing the internet...of course. I browsed the news first and read that the unemployment rate went down quite a bit recently. That's good news of course. Of course it's not really safe to say that the economy is getting any better...not unless we see people actually working.

Our local news channels here always advertise about local jobs but they always have this little friendly reminder to those who are still looking for jobs that if they're looking for high paying ones like management jobs, then they may be disappointed. Not many companies are hiring for such high up on the ladder jobs right now although some still do. They're just making the job seekers around here that most of the jobs available are either entry level or something that does not pay as much. Still, it's a job....and it's better than nothing.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Losing a Loved One

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About 10 years ago, my father died of what we were told was lung cancer. He was a lifelong smoker so it wasn’t really a surprise when we were told that he had advanced lung cancer a few months before he passed. There was no use explaining to us the different lung cancer stages and what could be done because it was so advanced surgery was no longer an option. I was out of the country when he was diagnosed and I was only told about it when I came home because my mother died suddenly of a heart attack. My mother’s demise came as a shock to everybody but I was more shocked when I saw my father for the first time since his diagnosis. He was so frail I thought he wouldn’t be able to stand on his feet.

After we buried my mother, I decided to speak with the doctor that diagnosed my father. I wanted to know why surgery was no longer an option for my father. He showed me an x-ray that he had of my father’s lungs that show how extensive the cancer was already and explained to me the different lung cancer stages and how each stage is being treated. It became clear to me after speaking with the doctor that all we could do at that point was to make sure my father was comfortable as much as possible. He passed 4 months after my mother passed which was about 6 months after he was diagnosed.

I still miss my father to this day. I can only wish now that his cancer was diagnosed in the early stages. It may have been inevitable for lung cancer prevention in his case since he smoked all his life but if his cancer was detected a lot earlier, we would have all those options available to him and extend his life even for a few more years. But such is life and all we can do now is hope it does not happen to anyone we love again because losing a loved one to cancer of any kind is never easy.

Top 13 of Season 10 in AI


That's them. I don't know all their names but I know of one...THIA MEGIA. Yes, she's a Filipina. Here's a bigger picture of her that I got from the Official American Idol website.

I haven't been watching the show but I heard her sing during the audition as well as during the Hollywood week. I must say she has the voice alright. I also read online that she also went to perform in another talent show...America's Got Talent a few years ago. I'm not sure how far she was able to make it there. Hopefully she'll have a long run in AI...or maybe even win it. Who knows, right?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Decorating Challenges

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One question I am asked quite regularly especially by old friends is if I miss teaching or not. Of course I do. I like everything about teaching and almost everything that goes with it. Besides the obvious ~ classroom teaching ~ I liked writing lesson plans, computing grades, making tests, participating in school activities, etc. I said ‘almost everything’ because there is something about being a teacher I am not really crazy about…decorating the classroom. It’s part of being teacher unfortunately. I didn’t have to come up with something extra-ordinary as simple decorations would have been fine but I just never really knew what to put on those enclosed cork bulletin boards in the classroom but the word: WELCOME! Seriously. Sometimes I’d put pictures but that’s about it. I could never come up with anything creative unless some co-teachers took pity on me and would help me with it. Yep, that’s how creative I am. Not!

Anyway, the classroom was not the only place with enclosed bulletin boards to be spiffed up on a regular basis in a school. If remember it right, almost every other month [or was it every month] we would have to take down whatever was on the bulletin boards around the school to replace it with something new, preferably with whatever was being celebrated like foundation day. Luckily, we would work in groups when we had to work on the different enclosed fabric bulletin boards found in almost every corner of the school or the school would have had very dull & unexciting bulletin boards.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Late Post

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Work got busy so I didn't have the chance to post anything today. I still have a few tasks to finish but they can wait. I just don't want to let the day pass without posting something here...short it may be.

It's almost TGIF...yay! As usual, I'm itching for the weekend to be here. Nope, nothing special planned. I just like the idea of the weekend just like everybody else...

It's not FRIDAY yet but I feel like doing this anyway...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reading The Walking Dead comics

I haven't really read any comic since I was in middle school, but when I watched the show The Walking Dead and loved it so much, I thought that maybe I should try and check out the comics that the show's based upon. The show's just so great anyway and I really grew attached to it even though it was a very short season.

A few weeks ago I thought that I could go ahead and look up the comics so that I could put my money where my mouth is and enjoy them before the second season begins. I used my Clear Wireless Internet to order a book of so many of the first comics that were put together and can't wait for it to get to my house.

Part of me wishes that it was just a graphic novel like Watchmen so I could read it all in one weekend and spend a whole lot less on the matter. But I'm interested to see what kind of details the comics have in comparison to the TV series.

Guest post written by Justin Wagoner

Filipino Accent Tutorial

What can I say but...watch and learn...then laugh and say....yep, SO TRUE!!!

It's Time...

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My brother has always been a Honda fan so it was no surprise that for his first car he bought a Honda Accord. He was the first one in the family to own a car so we were all thrilled when he drove up our road in his first car. To christen his brand new car, we went around town and visited friends and relatives letting them see and ride on his new Honda. It sounds like he was showing off and that’s probably true in part. But friends and relatives were actually happy to see how well my brother was doing both in his job and his family life. Anyway, if he’s only here I’m pretty sure he will be one of the first to check the newly opened Honda Dealer in Chicago because he would want to see what they have to offer. That’s how much of a fan he is of this car.

My husband on the other hand only drives American cars. He believes we need to patronize our own if we want to keep the economy up float especially now. As for me, I don’t really have any preference since I don’t know much about cars or any kind of vehicles for that matter. I know nothing about oil change or when to get it or how to maintain a car since I don’t even drive yet. But I’m hoping to change that before this year ends. I am about to have my very first driving lesson very soon and I’m kinda’ excited about it…a bit scared but excited nonetheless. I can only wish everything will go smoothly and that I won’t be too nervous to be behind the wheels once I get my hands on them. Just thinking about it is making me a bit uneasy. But it's time so...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Internet Researcher - Work-At-Home

Came across this ad while I was surfing. It's a work-at-home gig specifically for those in the Philippines. Goodluck!

Internet Researcher

Location: Work from home, Philippines
Type: Full Time
Min. Experience: Entry Level
Seeking web researcher that the terms alexa, pagerank and affiliate marketing are familiar to them. Employment is with start-up within well established US company with more than 1,000 US based employees.
The ideal candidate will have command of of research skills, familiarity with basic SEO concepts and online marketing terms.
This is an ideal position for a bright hard working communicative individual fresh out of university.
To be considered for this position you MUST:
Work 0700 - 1500 Filipino Standard Time.Report daily and in detail of your progress using google docs spreadsheets.Send in your CVWrite a persuasive cover letter .

To apply, click here.

Shoes =Temptation

I think I pretty much established here that I try not to buy shoes unless I feel I need them. I just don’t like it when I see something is left idle or unused. What’s the point, right? Having said that, I don’t deny the fact that I also love shoes and I wouldn’t mind owning a pair of tory burch shoes myself as long as I get them for the right reasons. What could be a right reason to get a pair of this yummylicious shoes? Hmm….special days maybe…like Monday or Tuesday? LOL…just kidding. Seriously, if the husband surprises me with a pair on my birthday then I wouldn’t say a peep…that’s a right reason. Ha! Maybe I should join and be member of the Shoe Inn club. Who knows he might get me a pair of those lovely shoes there on my birthday this year?

Now, it’s not easy to do what I do. Temptation is everywhere you know. Avoiding to buy a pair of shoes is like avoiding to breathe…LOL. But I get around it most of the time. I try not to go to places or sites where I’d come across old gringo boots or any other shoes that will make me drool and wanna’ buy a pair or two. Like I said, it’s not easy but I manage somehow. Whenever we go to the mall, I try to divert my attention so I won’t gravitate towards the shoe stores.

I’m not sure how long I can do that because the little one is already showing signs of being a shoe lover as early as now. In about a year [or even before that maybe], I’m sure she will be dragging me or Dad to shoe stores so she can grab a pair or two of new shoes every chance she gets. Hmm…maybe when that time comes, I’ll finally have an excuse to just grab a pair without really feeling guilty about it, eh? Maybe then I'll even join the Shoe Inn club. I heard club members get those special discounts on some lovely pairs of shoes....

Motivation

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It's cloudy around here today but it's still a wee bit warm since it's 72 degrees as I type this. The highest in the forecast for today is in the low 80s. It already rained a little bit early this morning ~ it was drizzling when hubby left for work this morning ~ but it stopped already.

Not much going on around here now except for the usual...chores, a little bit of work & school work for the little one. I have quite a bit of writing assignments to do but I don't have the motivation to write or compose anything at all.

That's actually my main problem when it comes to 'writing'. I just can't sit down and write. I need to have some kind of a 'place' I'm coming from or I won't be able to write anything at all. I even wonder at times why I write. I know that I don't write anything mind-boggling but still I have to be at that certain 'place' whenever I have to compose something...no matter how short or irrevelant or even non-sense it is at times...

So for now, I'll just sit here and do the usual surfing online until I get that 'motivation' to come up with something related to the assignments I have waiting for me to accomplish.

Overhauled!

That's what happened with this blog. It seems the host for the personalized blog template I used to have expired. I checked one day and ...