Monday, May 18, 2015

On Conserving Energy

I don't actually have an idea whether I am consuming low or high on my electric usage.  The only thing I know is that I am consuming less than a number of people I've asked before like my brother, sister and niece.  I get curious on how much they pay for their electric bills and we compare actual usage of appliances at home.  I practically got everything in the house which would make our lives comfortable... washing machine, water heater in the bath room, microwave oven, A/C unit in the bedroom, indoor and outdoor lights, entertainment appliances, computers,ref..etc.  Al these are being used on a regular basis except for the A/C unit which I used on and off year round although I would admit using it on a daily basis during summer.  I'm quite surprised that they are consuming a lot more than me.  Should I congratulate myself? That I am not so sure as I am not yet certain whether I am doing my best when it comes to conserving energy.  

There are actually a number of things which we can do to save on our electric bills and all what it takes is a great amount of discipline.  Like for instance, we should make it a habit to unplug everything that's not in use.  Proper use and care of our electrical appliances is also a great help.  For instance, we have to to know the basics in operating our electrical appliances, things like connecting xlr to rca, using the right kind of extension cords and sockets, installing breakers where necessary to prevent circuit shortage are only few of the things that we have to be aware of.  This way, we are not only saving electrical consumption but we are also preventing the possibility of putting our house on fire. Conserving energy sometimes requires making small sacrifices like getting more familiar with the heat of summer.  We use A/C unit more often during summer but I try to balance it by not using water heater anymore whenever I'm taking shower and taking advantage of the heat of the sun in drying up our clothes instead of using spin dryer.  Sometimes, we all sleep in one room just to maximize the use of air con instead of opening two air con units at the same time.

There are lots of useful tips that we can read online in as far as conserving energy is concerned but even if you don't read a lot, sometimes a plain common sense will dictate us on how we can conserve energy better and on the process, we are not only helping our pockets but the environment, as well.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Personalized Mother's Day Gift

I always believe that as people matures, they tend to have a change of perspective. This has always been true in all aspects even in wants and taste. When I became a Mom, my attention was refocused to my children more than myself.  Every time I shop,  I would always try to think first of what they need, I guess that's how Moms really are. 

As my children grew up, I always have those happy memories of them giving me a personalized gift be it be their own drawing, crafts, DIY greeting cards and more on every occasion. Somehow, it thrilled me.  I came to a point that the price tag attached to a gift is no longer an issue.  Receiving a personalized gift somehow excites me.  Speaking of personalized gifts, I was very lucky to receive a lovely personalized necklace from  and it comes in a very simple but very cute packaging, really great to be given as gifts to our loved ones. 

Well, I was asked to choose my preferred design and it took me almost an hour browsing through their designs.  There's a lot of interesting details on the photos and it's really hard to choose the best one for myself.  Finally, after my long search, I've decided to take a gold cross name necklace with heart.  I love that it's simple and meaningful.  An order was placed and the item reached me in more than  2 weeks time.

I was thrilled to receive it in a cute red box with ribbon and upon opening it, I saw a fine crafted jewelry that's not only personalized but exudes a quality workmanship.  It maybe smaller in size than what I've expected but it's cute and has a unique design that's not normally found in some local shops around my area.

The lenght of the chain is long enough that it could be worn and perfectly matches my blouse or shirt.  Since, it bears my nick name, anyone who sees it would not mistaken it for a cheap necklace that could be bought elsewhere. They knew that it was ordered directly from a shop that specializes on fine jewelries.

Well, since Mother's Day is fast approaching, I think it would be a perfect gift for any mother out there.  I knew it, I am a mother myself and it's an advance Mother's Day gift that I really really love.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On Being A Homebody

Since I've resigned from my job almost a couple of years ago, I have more opportunity to stay home now. Do I get bored with this arrangement considering that I'm an active office worker for almost 2 decades?  Well, my answer is a big NO!  I used to go out and hang out with friends before, that I wouldn't deny. Being in the corporate world requires you to establish a good rapport with your colleagues and staff and one way of doing this is to socialize with them and have fun once in a while. But you know what? There is something within me that longs for a quiet and simple life.  I am basically a domesticated person and doing house chores like cooking, baking, home decorating and gardening is something that really excites me. I think not so many people consider hanging around the house to be pretty awesome.  Well, for me it is! :)

One good trait of being a homebody is the ability to make her home a great place to live in.  They do their best to make their homes as beautiful and as comfortable as ever.  Because of this, I believe it is a wrong notion that homebodies are lazy people.  Because homebodies love to stay home, they would always want their homes to be extra clean and beautiful inside and out. You wouldn't want to spend time at home when it's messy, untidy and disorganized.  Would you?

A lot of people may not understand what kind of joy can a homebody get by just staring at 4 corners of her house, seeing the same things over and over again and more often, they are referred to as "boring people".  Little of them do know that being a homebody means allowing yourself to revel in all the things you love to do at home.  Many activities would only be possible while having your own private space, your own sanctuary where you could have inner peace and privacy.  All this can be found in your own home!

Now, I am even more thankful with technology, because of internet, I am also able to earn from home and there's no other thing more convenient than doing your job in pajamas and loose shirt at your own time and space while having all the extra time doing your passion.  To me, that's something great and special and it is for these things that I wouldn't trade being a homebody.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Road To Recovery

I can't remember how long, but if I had to guess it’s probably been over a decade since the last time I saw my brother. Being the youngest in a family of six, I was really determined to make the most out of life. It's been years, but I can still remember how my brother's life was shattered into pieces due to the wrong decisions he made.  His marital problems coupled with bad influences from his friends pushed him into drugs and a back injury for which he was prescribed powerful pain meds sealed his fate.  I was still young then but I remember how he suffered and how his life fall apart.  

I didn’t know much then, but I knew enough to know that it was easy for him to get into that terrible rut but it’s very difficult to get out. He lost his job and his family, his health deteriorated and he became emotionally and mentally stressed.  My elder siblings went out of their way to do everything they could to help him to no avail. He needed professional help.
My brother needed professional help and after a lot of research, we finally found a place that we felt could help him.  The minute my brother checked in to Origins Recovery Center even he knew it was the right fit. Their program is state of the art but also focuses on healing the soul, not just the body. We knew his road wouldn’t be easy but at Origins he finally had the help that he really needed. And we could all finally rest easy.

Sometimes, recovering from a nightmare or from an unpleasant experience brought about by drug addiction is indeed a painful task. A person in this situation may feel alone and hopeless and treatment may seem to be out of reach.   He may experience setbacks and pitfalls, even discrimination on some extent but change is not impossible especially when you have the right treatment and support.  Although I acknowledge the fact that the biggest leap to recovery is accepting your wrong decisions and getting yourself ready for a change, still, it cannot be discounted that reaching out for a support from the right people will definitely make a big difference.  Choosing the right center that would cater to an easier road to recovery is very important.  A home that provides a safe and supportive place to live during the recovery period is very vital for that big change.  

On a final note, I would say that giving my brother an assurance that we will always be there for him no matter what happened is an added factor.  We do make wrong decisions in life, everybody does, what is important is that as a family, we continue to work together for a common good.  Love, support and understanding are so far the greatest gifts we could give to a recovering family member.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gifts For Mika

This is quite a late post but better late than never! :)  I just want to share the fun and excitement that my pretty daughter Mika had experienced opening her birthday presents after her recently concluded debut party.  She received awesome gifts from her friends and relatives and she cannot contain her excitement seeing those for the first time.  We stayed over night in the hotel where her party was held, so we just sent all her gift back home right after the party.  She just had the chance to open the gifts the day after.   

Mika was not the only one excited about her gifts, her kuya Edmar has been asking her to open her gifts right after we arrived home.  Actually gifts are just part of the fun but the most important gift that Mika received is the memory of having shared her 18th birthday to the people who matter most to her.  The gifts that she received range from decorative pieces (which we love since we are committed to have her room renovated come February), accessories, watch, bags, clothes, lamp, books, and other DIY gifts from her close friends.  She was hoping to get one from musician friend, probably a guitar but sorry, there was none (lol).  She is a certified music lover and loves to play guitar, that's why.

Now that we are currently on the process or renovating her bedroom, these gifts will really be of great use!  As a Mom, I am very happy that I was able to deliver what's best for my daughter even in the absence of her Dad (he wasn't able to get a leave from work).  Her successful 18th birthday celebration is just a solid proof that we are bound to give her the best of everything that she deserves. After all, the sacrifices and hard work that we are doing all through these years are directed towards giving a bright future to both our kids.

Again....I hope that we made you very happy on your special day anak!

Friday, February 13, 2015

What Makes Tomatoes The Super Food?

Tomatoes are versatile as they can be consumed in just any form. You can have this fruit raw, add it to salads, or use it for gravies. This wonder fruit tomato is not just the taste-maker but it can be used for various other reasons too. Many foodies understand that tomato is good only because of taste and color but the fact is quite different. This sour fruit is nutrition packed and can be consumed to meet many of your daily nutrition needs.

While tomatoes are commonly used in almost all dishes, it is significant to know more about its health benefits.

Bottomless health benefits of this super fruit

Loaded with vitamins

The red tangy fruit is loaded with vitamin A and C. These vitamins have vital role to play in your immunity boosting. Your body needs these vitamins to fight against various diseases. Including tomatoes in your daily diet would provide you of these essential vitamins. The folic acid in tomato is also known for overall growth of your body’s defense mechanism.

Tip - Consume it raw or cooked according to your personal liking.

Packed with antioxidants

Antioxidants will take your life into reverse direction. You can stop the ageing process by regeneration of cells. Tomato gets its red color from Lycopene which is one of the most active antioxidants. This antioxidant keeps your skin young and flawless. Lycopene is also known for its cancer fighting properties.

Tip - One glass of tomato juice in the morning will rejuvenate your body with its antioxidants and vitamin content.

Helps in Diabetes

Alpha-lipoic acid present in tomato will convert your body glucose into energy. The energy thus formed will help you feel energetic throughout the day. Those suffering from diabetes or at higher risk of diabetes would get substantial health advantage by tomato consumption as the blood glucose easily gets converted into energy and hence keeps the sugar levels in control.

Tip – Add tomatoes to all gravies as they will add to taste and would also help you cook with low oil.

Weight loss

If you are aiming at weight loss then you will have to control the fat deposition. The tomato consumption will never add calories to your diet but it will keep your tummy full for long. The minerals and vitamins present in this fruit will control the fat deposition too. The glucose conversion will also reduce the fat deposition. Another major content of tomato is choline which aids the fat absorption in the body. All these contents together make tomatoes better for weight loss.

Tip - Make your each meal healthier by adding sliced tomatoes as accompaniment. This will make you eat less while reducing the fat deposition.

Better Sleep

If you find difficulty in sleeping then choline in tomato would solve this issue. Choline reduces the inflammation and transmits the nerve impulses. This will allow you to sleep better as your brain will be calm and cool.

Tip – Have tomato soup at dinner time as it will affect your nerves positively. If you have acidity then add celery stalk to it.

Tomatoes can turn out to be wholesome food if you consume it in the right combination with your other favorites. The best part is that they are tasty too!

Carol works as full time article writer and is passionate about healthy lifestyle and overall wellness.  Presently she is writing for Garcinia Cambogia Extract US, an online store for pure garcinia cambogia extract that aids in burning unwanted fat from the human body.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mika @ 18 .... Bits and Pieces

My daughter Mika celebrated her 18th birthday last January 4 which is nearly two weeks before the papal visit, which I think is a sign of good luck for her. Actually, we are having second thoughts on whether we are going to throw a big party for her due to a number of unforeseen events which took place last year. Mika herself is half hearted about her party but finally all of us in the family, (her dad and kuya included) decided that our princess deserved to have one. We came up with this decision for a number of reasons.  One, she is our one and only daughter, second, she proved to be a nice and disciplined girl, not giving us any head aches (winks) and lastly, she constantly get good grades in school. So, we just thought that giving her a nice and decent party wouldn't be a bad idea after all.

We spent nearly two months choosing the venue and conceptualizing the whole thing.  We are a family who loves designing, crafting and everything that's nice and pretty, and to top it all, we wanted to come up with unique ideas for her party.  You know, something that we haven't seen in other debut parties yet.  In short, we really wanted to make this event a very special one for her.

First, we came up with a unique concept on her invitations.  We thought of having some print outs together with a flip flop.  By the way, we have chosen her motif to be white and pink and so, we bought white flip flops for all the guests. We have chosen a pool side venue, so her kuya thought that this idea would be a perfect fit.  So there we go, we had the details about the party printed out and enclosed a piece of flip flop with the intention that the other half would be claimed by the guest right on the day of the party.

here is what we actually have:

After we have chosen a unique invitation for her, our next step was to plan for her photo and video shoot.  My son and the debutant herself are fond of making videos and they even joined school competitions on video making.  My daughter, with her group actually won first prize for this on a national competition and so, it is just expected that we will be coming up with a lot of video presentations all throughout the party and so we did.

We didn't hire a designer to decorate the venue, we did it ourselves.  The hotel just took charge of the basic set up of the venue and the foods, the rest is up to us.  We've chosen a simple but elegant design for the stage.

This is the night effect :

We also design her dessert table according to the color motif.

The table set up is plain and simple and was just adorned with twigs, fresh flowers and tea light candles.

The other half of the pair of slippers were distributed to the guests at the venue entrance.  We've inserted a thank you note which was personally signed by the debutant.

The guests were so excited to claim their slippers other half to be worn during the party.  it's so cute to see everybody wearing white slippers. :)

We also had a dedication table where guests could write down their birthday wishes and advises to the debutant and these written messages were all dropped inside a glass jar.

Instead of renting a photo booth, we made our own where guests could take photos of themselves.

We added simple decors all over the venue and the pool was just adorned with pink and white balloons.  We like it to be that simple.

Here are some of the other photos during the party:

 Her brother and cousins all dressed in white, all wearing their white slippers.

 Me in my white maxi dress. :)

Her last dance was her kuya since her dad wasn't able to come home due to work

Mika's opening dance with her escort

A souvenir shot with her best friend

Taken in the hotel lobby with the emcee doing the final touches on her hair

I considered my daughter's 18th birthday celebration to be a successful one based on the feedback we've received from our guests and relatives.  They were all pleased with the foods served on the buffet table and they all complimented the unique set up and concept of the party as well as the program.

I'm so happy and grateful that I was able to deliver a pleasant celebration for my one and only daughter.  She was so happy with the outcome of her party and can't thank us enough.  Her Dad was equally happy knowing that everything turned out well even in his absence.

Ahhh ... another manifestation of a mother's love!

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