Friday, October 2, 2015

Great Gifts for Men: the Top 4 Gifts Any Man Will Love

Buying a gift for a special man in your life can seem like a daunting task. Whether you’re buying for the holiday season, a birthday or just for no reason at all, gift giving scares the average person more than you might think.

However, even if you’re giving a gift to a picky man who seems like he has everything there’s something out there that will make him happy. Use this guide to help you pick the perfect gift for any man you need to buy for this year. 


If you want to give the man in your life a gift that will truly knock his socks off, you really can’t do much better than a fashionable watch. While this gift is probably best reserved for family members or partners, you can’t go wrong giving a man a watch that he’ll probably wear at least a few times per week.

Best of all, a high quality watch is a gift that he’ll be able to keep for the rest of his life. He’ll think of you every time he wears it, too.

Desk Set

Men that work a lot appreciate the finer things in their offices, so a quality pen or desk set is a great option. These types of gifts are also impersonal enough that you can give them to your boss around the holiday season without it seeming too strange.

Shaving Set

Every guy, unless he happens to be a lumberjack, needs to shave on a regular basis. Unfortunately most men just don’t feel like they should be buying good shaving blades and quality shaving soap for themselves.

That’s where you come in. Buy him a great shaving set and he’ll look and feel better for months. He might even keep buying the products you give him once he sees how much better a good shave really is. 


Even men that don’t drink a lot enjoy scotch from time to time it seems, so buying a good bottle is never really a wrong move unless the man you’re buying for abstains altogether. Even if he doesn’t like scotch so much he’ll appreciate the effort and he’ll love to have a bottle around for when his friends come over. 

Every guy at least has one or two buddies that like a good glass of scotch.

Marcus Cupkeyks On It's 3rd Year

I take pride in my passions and I strongly believe that doing what you love is not work but fun. This is why me and my son have decided to venture into a cup cake business.  We both have a passion for baking and my son's passion for arts was also transformed in this little business of ours. We make customized cup cakes, simple party cup cakes and anything that our customers would request. At first, we are not sure whether we could make it and whether we could get customers to patronize our products but we just told ourselves that we are not more into making it big actually, bust just to be able to do what we love.  I am actually the one who loves to bake but since my son is a "little me", he would certainly try what I love to do. :)

We began creating our own designs:

customized fondant cup cakes

We also came up with regular cup cakes for parties and we're truly delighted with a very good response from our loyal customers.

We also begin to offer party give away cup cakes as requested by clients.

And we didn't stop from there, we continue to develop new flavors and designs.

Introducing our Toblerone and Kit Kat cup cakes:

We also came up with a new design for special holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day:

Indeed, we had traveled quite a long journey in this cup cake business and we also take pride and derive great pleasure for doing what we truly enjoy and love.  I just hope that we can continue to explore the business and my passion.  I would admit, there are still a lot of things to learn and to improve but that's what make everything fun and exciting.

Lastly, the name Marcus Cupkeyks was derived from the name of my shih-tzu pet Marcus whom we love so dearly.

More years to come and celebrate! :)

Simple Strategies To Start Looking And Feeling Your Best

Portland residents who want to look and feel their best should know that the process doesn't have to be complicated and arduous. In fact, you can make the endeavor relatively fast and simple by implementing some or all of these health and beauty tips:

1. Seek Professional Help. 

Oftentimes, the best way to start looking and feeling your best is to obtain professional help. Cosmetologists and hair stylists typically attain extensive training and education in order to offer clients the personalized, precise care necessary to make them as aesthetically appealing as possible. For this reason, visiting a local salon is a great way to really jumpstart your appearance and send your confidence through the roof. One of the best hair salons in Portland is Gigi Salon Spa. This business offers excellent customer service and effective beauty treatments that make you look and feel incredible.

2. Make Exercise A Must.

In a country where only half its citizens exercise regularly, it's unsurprising to note that many people don't look their best. Exercise has numerous benefits that result in the optimization of your appearance, including:

• better posture
• a slimmer physique
• increased metabolism
• weight management
• glowing skin
• and much more

Since exercise is a relatively easy way to enhance your appearance, you should make regular activity an integral component of your lifestyle. 

3. Use Natural Masks.

Typically, one of the primary regions of the body that people are concerned about is their face. This makes sense because having clear, glowing skin enhances your self-esteem and helps you feel confident when working and/or socializing with other people. One of the best ways to improve the appearance of your skin is with a natural mask. These masks are effective because they contain natural ingredients with vitamins, minerals, and/or antioxidants that soothe skin and speed the cellular renewal process. One of the simplest natural masks out there is mashed bananas. To reap the full benefits from this natural mask, make sure that your bananas are ripe. You'll know that they're ripe when they are covered in brown spots and are soft to the touch. 


There's nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel your best. However, not knowing how to accomplish this objective can leave you frustrated. To ensure that you can really enhance your aesthetic appeal, try using the health and beauty techniques listed above. Doing so will likely empower you to attain the physical appeal that you're seeking!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How To Run An Organized Household

I was asked a number of times on how I manage to run an organized household with tons of activities and side duties I'm having.  I can't explain everything in detail and would normally respond in the simplest way I can, so I decided to write this post to share how I manage to be a busy Mom and yet organized.  

The basic thing that you have to master in running an organized household is time management. I am a great fan of organization and wants everything in it's proper place. Cleaning and organizing is every Mom's job but what about if you still have tons of things to do aside from these two?  I used to have a house helper before and probably, this was a great help to me during the years that I was still active in the corporate world.  Now that we are on our own, doing all the household chores while managing the family's finances and having part time jobs is indeed a challenge for me.  Good thing that my son and daughter are both old enough to help around the house.

Let's look at these tips:

1.)  Make A Rule

It is quite tough to run an organized household, it is very important that everyone in the house is following a set of rules.  My basic rule in the house is that, "if you can't help me clean the house and keep it free from clutter, I would do it myself  but you have to help me keep it that way." In short, if you can't clean, then don't mess up! :)

2.)  Collaborative Household Works

Sharing with the household chores for me is an effective parental education tool. Collaboration works in every one's favor.  We had a house helper from the very beginning, since my kids were born and due to the fact that me and hubby are both working, we don't have any other choice but to employ a house helper. Although my Mom used to live with me when she was alive, I didn't want to burden her with house works.  I simply want her to rest and enjoy life while supervising our helper. However, aside from trying to cut on the expenses after I resigned from my work abroad, I also took the opportunity to train my kids in different house chores.  I know for a fact that it wouldn't be good for them not to learn these things especially when they begin to build families of their own. Besides, collaborative household works will make things a lot easier for me as a busy Mom.

3.)  Make A Schedule And Prioritize Tasks

In the beginning stage where you are trying to set a fixed schedule, it can be beneficial if you will come up with your ""to do list".  Planning ahead of time is very important for you to set your tasks in order of priority.  You can do your tasks according to the list and could always cross out the last items in the list if your time can't really allow you to do everything.  At the end of the day, you won't feel stressed out because you've managed to complete the more important tasks.

4.)  Get Things Done And Still Have Time For Yourself

Train your family that you too deserve a time for yourself.  Make them realize that you are human and not a machine and you deserve some time off for yourself. You can use this "free time" to watch your favorite TV program, read a good book, go for a rewarding coffee break or just simply play with your pets. Everybody deserves a break and no one can't do her work more effectively if she's totally burn out.  To achieve this, you can do multi tasking and time yourself so you could get things done on time and still have remaining time for yourself.

5.)  Get Away from Distractions

I may sound rude, but do you know that I used to tell my relatives to inform me ahead of time when they want to visit me in the house?  I have this rule that they should tell me when they want to come over and to avoid "ambush" visits.  This is so because I explain to them that I have routine chores in the house and things could pile up if I wouldn't do things as scheduled.  Besides, I have online (part time) jobs and I also need to have a little time for rest in between.  So, I am making known to them what is the perfect time for them to visit me or better yet, we come up with an agreed schedule.  This also allows me to plan on what would I prepare for them for snack or dinner.  I hate it when visitors come and they would arrive in a messy home and I could not offer any appropriate meal for us to partake.  More so, I also feel upset when I am unable to do things accordingly especially the more important ones.  Of course, it's different when it is an emergency situation where I have to cancel everything and attend to to an emergency. This seldom happens anyway. :)  Also, if you could avoid social networking sites during your "busy time", it would help a lot for you to beat your deadline.

A busy Mom doesn't have to be crazy or insane to do everything and please everyone. You can run an organized household, have a side job, have bonding moments with your family members and most especially, to have time for yourself and recharged.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Keeping Your Memories Alive

I am a person who gives strong emphasis on things with sentimental values.  I always like to keep a record of those happy memories I had.  We had our wedding ceremony recorded as well as the Christening of my two kids and their first birthday celebrations.  We wanted that way so we could always go back and reminisce those beautiful memories that our family had.  However, due to the advancement in technology, we were not able to preserve some of these recorded videos.  I really felt upset losing these special memories, how I wish I had a cd duplicator then so I could make several copies of these videos for back up.  Now, I lose the videos but not the memories coz until now, I could still remember clearly what had transpired during those special milestones in our lives.  I've learned my lesson though and I think it wouldn't hurt if I would learn to back up my videos to make sure that I wouldn't lose them.  I think, there is also a need to transfer these to a new format every time there is an upgrade in the technology.  For those short video clips of our travels, I'm glad we'd managed to post it on FB, at least we still can retrieve these videos online in case something went wrong with our CD's and hard drive. 

There is really a need to keep our memories alive to remind us of how beautiful life is. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How You Could Possibly Go For An Early Retirement

Filipinos normally retire at the age of 60 to 65 years old but I am certain that given a choice, most of us would like to retire earlier than that.  Why not? Retiring early will be a dream come true for most people.  Who would not want to spend long years of their life doing things they love to do?  Perhaps going for a much needed vacation once in a while, eating out with your family, travel locally and abroad, going to movies, picking up a sport or simply following your passion while having control of your time.  This is definitely ideal, but the problem is how could we possibly achieve this?

Gaining control of your financial situation is the secret for getting an early retirement.  The first step that you have to do is to have a clear vision of what would you expect to happen during your retirement years.  We all know that retirement fund varies from person to person, that's why it is very important to figure out what do you foresee about yourself in the future. Having established this fact, you can now move on to the following steps to assure yourself of retiring early.
1.) Make A Plan 
Making a plan is very crucial to achieving this goal.  The question would normally be, "Where would you get your spending money during your retirement years?"  Will it be from a profitable business?, substantial savings? or from passive income?

You see, I've decided to go for an early retirement.  I was just in my forty's when I've decided to resign from my job abroad two years ago.  Of course, before I came up with that decision, I made a plan.  I tried to figure out what would I do back home and whether we could still comfortably live on one income from hubby.  I still have a daughter who had just started in college and expenses would be quite tough.  After careful planning, I tendered my resignation, packed my luggage and flew back home.  Before I knew it, I am already enjoying the benefits of an early retirement.

2.) Review Your Expenses

What financial experts are saying is always true. Saving money is not just on adding income but lessening your expenses as well. If you are able to lessen your unnecessary expenses, it's tantamount to saving money in the long run.  As soon as I got home from abroad, I made a "spending plan".  I reviewed our monthly budget and tried to check on where could I cut down.  This has gone far as giving up our land line subscription as I noticed that this is rarely being used anyway as all of us at home has a mobile phone.  Last time also, the house helper is the one buying foods from the wet market, so I did it this time.  I'm not saying that I don't trust our helper enough but you know, it's different when I am in total control of what we're spending.  Later on, our helper decided to go for a vacation and I never asked her to come back again.  You see, it's only me, my son and my daughter at home and they are big enough to help around the house.  Because of that decision, I was able to save nearly 10K on expenses for a house help, not to mention the savings from utilities.  It's seemed like I have instant 12K of savings per month. 

3.) Find Your Passion and Earn From It

I'm now at home enjoying the company of my children, managing the house and doing some hobbies like gardening, cooking, baking, reading and doing some arts and crafts.  Now what's next?  I lost an income from my job abroad but I am able to save some from our monthly budget for cutting unnecessary expenses.  For me not to touch my personal funds/savings and manage to still add up to it, I turned my passion into earning opportunities. I also made use of my skills to earn extra. This doesn't interfere with my early retirement since I am in control of my time and still at home most of the time.  I still enjoy life and my freedom from an eight hours corporate job.  I could watch TV and movies anytime I want and have scheduled pampering sessions at spa regularly.

4.) Diversify Your Income

Let me get to the point, It's a part of my plan to have a "passive income".  Of course, if I decide to retire early, that means freeing myself from the stress of working under a required schedule and dealing with office politics.  Maintaining a passive income is the answer to this.  You see, I've worked for more than 20 years to earn some money, it would be wise to let money work for me this time. This is why I've decided to invest on real estate which could give me monthly earnings without doing anything.  Properties I've invested into would be a part of my net worth.  This assures me and hubby of a comfortable home to stay during our old age and the rest could pay for some of our monthly expenses.  I've also managed to invest on UITF which I intend to keep invested for a longer period. Thanks to blogging, this is where I derived my UITF investment and from where I build up my "emergency fund".

Going for an early retirement is not really as hard as you can imagine, however, it requires a great amount of discipline, hard work and a strong determination to succeed.  Focusing on your goal and making it happen is hard but definitely rewarding.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

What You Need to Know About Hepatitis C

Do you suspect you have hepatitis C? It can be deadly if the symptoms go undetected or untreated. The good news is that much research has been done into the subject, and with proper medical care, your prognosis can improve significantly. Here are just a few things you need to know about hepatitis C.

Anyone Can Get It

It can be passed through sexual intercourse; it can be transmitted from mother to child; you might even have been exposed by sharing a razor that had someone else's blood on it. Hepatitis C is spread so easily that it isn't anyone's fault for getting it. It's just bad luck.

It Isn't Airborne

Despite the ease at which it's transmitted, it's important to understand that hepatitis C is not airborne and cannot be passed through things like hugging, touching or even coughing on one another. You don't have to be paranoid about catching or spreading hepatitis C. Just exercise caution when you have sexual intercourse or use needles.

It Affects the Liver

One of the main dangers of hepatitis C is its effect on the liver. The liver is responsible for fighting infections and purifying blood, so if those functions are compromised, hepatitis C will run rampant through the body. Left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis or even total liver failure.

The Symptoms Can Be Sneaky

Many symptoms of hepatitis C are indistinguishable from common illnesses like the flu. Here are just a few things you might be experiencing:

- Fatigue
- Fever
- Stomach pain

- Dark-colored urine
- Muscle aches

As you can see, it can be hard to tell what's a cold and what's hepatitis C. If you suspect you might have it, talk to your doctor immediately and ask them to perform special rapid tests on you.

It Can Be Treated

While it can't be cured, there are a number of medications available that will help you delay the spread of hepatitis C and prevent its ill effects on your health. If it's already done damage to your liver, you can also receive a liver transplant if you meet all of your hospital's qualifications.

These are just a few things you should know about hepatitis C. While it can be a deadly disease, early detection and rigorous treatment will work wonders. Contact your physician today to get a hepatitis C test.

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