Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'll Be Home for New Year!

Two days more to go before we finally bid good bye to 2010.  For someone like me who is trying to catch up with the last days of the year...each moment counts.  Today, after I check out from work, I'll be heading to Tan Soh Nat Airport in Hoh Chih Min City Vietnam for my late evening flight to Manila.  Yes, I'll be home for new year!  I have to get myself energized for a long day's trip.  What would be waiting for me in the Philippines is a look forward to event.  But whatever it is, I hope it's for the better!

I have too many things in mind now...what will I cook for the Media Noche Dinner, where will we spend the rest of the holidays and the limited days of my vacation, how am I going to catch up with a long list of "things to do" at home, how we're going to celebrate Mikz birthday, what "pasalubongs" will I bring back here...and so on and so forth...

I just wish that my short vacation in the Philippines will give me enough energy and motivation to move on with whatever is in store for me in 2011.

I hope I would still be having a little bit extra time to pass by at the airport's mall for the last minute shopping and perhaps....to have a sneak peek of what are the latest movies at Mega Star Cineplex...hihi :) i think it's the 3D Tron Legacy... But even a walk at the cinema's lobby with a big pack of caramel pop corn and soda on hand is already such a thrill.

Megastar Cineplex at Parkson Tan Soh Nat
  Photo courtesy of MegaStar Cineplex


I wish there is something like this in Subic...
 

Thanks for hopping by!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Some Thoughts to Share!

This article was sent to me through email and I can't help but share it here coz I find it very inspiring, and in a way most of us could relate to this.  I myself did. Before, I'm also a type of person who loved to delay doing things.  I always have that thing in mind that there is always tomorrow, so why would I rush doing things.  But now, I've come into a realization that there are things in life which cannot be postponed especially when this thing concerns your happiness. 

There are also situations in life where we are caught with the difficulty choosing between what is right and what will make us happy.  Life is in itself a very complicated thing, a thing that requires much attention and thorough thinking.  For normal people like us, we have the luxury of time to delay things and prioritize on what we think are most important considerations.  But what are really the things that are important and really matter to us?  How about those people who are very sick and the days are numbered?

The author of the following article, Erma Bombeck showed how those simple things can put meaning into our lives.  At least, while it's not yet too late...

Here it goes:

If I had my Life to Live Over
By: Erma Bombeck
(written after she found out she was dying from cancer)


I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day...
I would have burned the pink candle sculptured like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more...

I would have invited friend over for dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the good living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fire place.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grand father ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more responsibility carried about by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would sat in the lawn with my grass stains.

I would cried and laugh less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was  practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away 9 months of pregnancy, I'd cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later, now go get washed up for dinner".  There would be more "i love you's and I'm sorry's"

But mostly, given another shot of life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it...live it and never give it back.  STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!
Don't worry about those who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead we shall cherish the relationships with those who love us....


Have a Great Day!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do you Believe in Astrology Reading?

Today, I have a pleasant surprise after opening my email... my astrological reading for 2011! This was from someone whom I had an encounter with through internet since January this year.  Actually, I almost forgot everything about her already and she also ceased to send me mails for quite sometime now.  She had a friendly approach though.  Although she is doing this as a career, she is not the insisting type that would force you to do this with her for a professional fee. Of course, there is a corresponding minimal fee attached to the service as this would be an arduous task for her.  She normally would give you a sneak peek of what your astral sky has in store for you... some key points in your life, things you must avoid and such kind of stuff... I'm surprised though that she can be very detail about it.  Although she did not get through into a detailed study yet, she can even cite specific dates and even a glimpse of your past, what your current feeling is...and although I'm a bit skeptical about it, I'm amazed that what she is mentioning are actually facts.  I have not really gone through this kind of thing in the past.  My encounter with her through the net was only a result of my curiosity but I haven't actually paid her yet even a single cent. But now... I'm thinking of giving it a try although I'm still trying to figure out what would be it's importance to me.  Well... I still have to weigh things first.  For now, I would put it on hold first until my doubts are totally cleared.  I would admit, I have developed the strong curiosity to get a full report of her readings after I got the initial report with some amazing facts. Hmm.... Let's see! 
God Bless your Day!  

Thanks for hopping by!


From Google Images


Foods for thought!

On Perseverance:
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!"
Galatians 6:9 NIV



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Beyond the Blues!

 From Google Images

Two days more to go and it's Christmas!  Too bad for me... coz today, I'm having a severe migraine attack.  I am not in the mood to do anything, even to blog.  But my melancholies forced me to write something here...

Now...thinking that I would be able to download some negative emotions within me..I suddenly grabbed my pen and have an outburst of feeling in the paper.  Well..I think it's normal to feel like this sometimes..when all your days had become a routine and there's no one to listen to all your fears and worries and all your sad stories...a feeling of sadness just keeps on doubling up.  

It is during this solitude moment that you would really feel that you're all alone.  Hope this feeling will get over soon...  The only consolation is that...yes!! I'll be home in time for New Year celebration.  Well.. I had already my ticket booked since last week.. The air fare now is relatively high due to the holidays in the Philippines but...this does not stop me to catch up with the New Year celebration and presenting myself physically for my daughter's birthday come first week of January.  Sometimes...we have to learn to cope up with sadness and depression especially when we have to fulfill some obligations that we're tied up to.  Well.. I guess I just need to pick more inspiring books back home to bring over here when I come back.  So, a week more to go and I'll be heading to Philippines once again.  I hope I can recover all the "blues" that I'm having right now the moment I got there!  We'll be having our traditional "exchange gifts" in the house but instead of Christmas, we'll be doing it on new year... So to get way from my sadness, perhaps I would be spending my Christmas day here sourcing for some gifts to be brought home.  Life has to move on...

For my final note...here is something to reflect on to :


"When people hurt you over and over...
think of them like a "sand paper"...
They may scratch you and hurt you a bit...
but in the end, you'll end up polished and 
they end up useless...."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My New Garden!

Today, I was so thrilled to receive the pics of my "new garden" - a gift to myself this Christmas, which I did mention on my previous post.  My new home garden has a mini water falls made from a simple rock formation.  I requested the landscaper to make my mini garden appear to be colorful and lively.  After all, this place will be meant for relaxation or for some solitude moments.  The space is not so big but all my requested features were able to fit in.

Here... have a look!




This is the simple water feature, a "mini falls" that comes with a fish pond which will be a "home" for 4 pieces of "Japanese Koi" courtesy of the landscaper herself, Regine.  Just hoping the fish will stay long and healthy! Lol! 
This is the mini garden set that I requested, ideal for a coffee or tea break with family and friends.



See the parrots? Aren't they lovely?

I love the rock formation, makes me feel closer to nature and it looks so natural!

Lovely and colorful parrots !


I love the accessories...really cute and colorful.

My mom was so thrilled, as well, to see such a lovely garden!  She's always been a garden enthusiast.  The reason why my whole yard has plenty of plants and ornaments.  This has been her hobby for years and I considered myself lucky to have her stay with me as I have an instant gardener in the house hihi.. :)

I think the kids will more likely to have their friends invited to come over as there's a new space for them to unwind and have some "group talk".

The landscaper, Regine was so friendly and able to have an instant buddy in  the person of my Mom which compelled her to leave 4 varieties of  tall plants as a gift to my Mom.  I'm so happy to come home end of this month as I'm looking forward to see this lovely garden in real.  A cool sight to welcome year 2011.

Woooa!!! More projects to come!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reminiscence 05 - My Son's Greatest Battle!

If there's one thing and one story that I want to recall and keep in my memory box forever,, that is my son's greatest battle!  Why I called it his greatest battle?  The following story is here to unfold....

I would say that God gifted me with a wonderful sonHe's cute, sweet, loving and responsible (proud momma!).  

My son was confined in the hospital when he was 4 years old.  He suffered from acute bronchitis.  Since then, his body become weak and he is so thinHis body resistance was not that strong.  It's so easy for him then to catch colds and flu.  Realizing it, I consulted our family doctor  as to what vitamins he could take to boost his body resistance and stimulate his mental growth and development. The  doctor prescribed him to take Nutroplex.  And so, as a concerned Mom, I would only want the best for my child.  True enough, my son grew up to be strong, active and intelligent.  When we relocated to our newly constructed house, I was so worry that my son would have the difficulty to travel to and from the school as the new house location is quite far.   But, because my son demanded to stay in his current school, I just gave in.  After all, I wanted him to be happy and enjoy his school life to the fullest.  With God's will, my son was able to surpass all the difficulties of the passing years.  I was staying and working in the Philippines then.  I was closely monitoring his progress in school and continued to inspire and motivate him to excel. With our combined efforts, he was able to rise up from his original ranking of Top 3 to Top 2, which he himself cannot believe.  I used to tell him, "Trust in yourself and recognize your own abilities, and the rest will follow through."  Until the time that I have to move on with my job, as our company in the Philippines closed down it's operations in 2006.  I got the job abroad and my two kids were left behind with just my Mom and a house maid.  But since their foundation was already strong, as they were properly trained up and well guided ever since, there are no problems at all until one time that I was asking each and every person in the house about the result of Edmar's ranking in school as I knew that cards for the first grading were already distributed.  Nobody could give me a straight answer. Until I discovered from Edmar himself that his class standing sank to No. 5.  I felt so upset and restless that time.  There were no days that I did not scold him, ask his whereabouts, go to the extent of asking him to drop all his extra curricular activities in school and even asked him to surrender his cell phone.  He was in a complete "martial law" then...so to speak.

This pains my son so much.  I didn't know that time that he would always cry at night and go to school the following day with swollen eyes.  He was the subject of everybody's attention.  We had a serious talk one day and he compromised with me that should his class standing for the next grading will not improve and go back to it's original place, he would, without further thinking drop all his activities in school, which according to him will give him so much pain.  I compromised with him and accepted his proposal.  I gave him another chance.  His classmates, teachers, adviser and friends are all giving him moral support and encouraged him to be strong and face his life's greatest challenge.  All eyes were glued to him, waiting for the result of his battle.  Days, weeks and months passed.  My son still juggles his time coping up with the so many activities he had in school, focusing on his academics, his responsibility at home and assisting his little sister in her academics, as well..  

Until the day comes, his class adviser announced the day for the distribution of cards and the second grading's Top 10.  My son was so stressed out the night before, excited and worry perhaps of what would be the outcome of his greatest battle.

Alas! the day comes.  His class adviser announced the Top 10 and Edmar jumped his way up to his original ranking (Top 2).  Everybody was happy for him. His teachers, friends and classmates congratulated him for a job well done.  Edmar is twice as happy because he won his battle.  I was informed of the result and true to my words, I submit myself to his conditions.

The rest of the year went on smoothly with Edmar enjoying the admiration from his teachers and friends.  He was a school icon and maintained that status until his graduation.  

My son graduated Salutatorian with 13 special awards to his credit.  He was awarded with "Academic Excellence for Outstanding Student Leadership" signed by the President then, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo together with few of his classmates who also got similar awards on their own fields of excellence.  I flew back from my place of work to the Philippines and stayed there for only six days just to witness his graduation and her sister, as well, who with God's grace was a Valedictorian.  I cannot forget that day of my son's graduation.  No amount of words can describe the feeling of happiness, excitement and pride that engulfs my being.  The privilege, the honor and the thrill of walking down the aisle with cheers and applause from the crowd who witnessed that momentous event made my day truly happy.


Looking back, I ask myself, "What is the price of being a Mom?"  It's the feeling of having a child who has grown up to be the best of what he can be, amidst the trials, sorrows and difficulties.
  
" A Fighter Not a Quitter!"  

Someone who would do his best to make his parents  truly happy and mighty proud of him. 

I'm happy that Nutroplex has been my long years partner in providing my two kids with the nutrients needed to keep them healthy, strong and intelligent.  

My kids, more than anything else, are my life's greatest treasures and I thank GOD for them !

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Celebrating Christmas on a Budget...


Now a days....it's a well accepted fact that economic crisis is being experienced anywhere.  The cost of living is getting higher. Cost of foods, clothes,shoes and other personal stuff is killing our pockets and hard earned money.  Sometimes...we find ourselves faced with so many financial problems ... but we also do not want to deprive ourselves of the joys of celebrating the holidays.  After all, this is the best time of the year to celebrate with family and friends.  I myself wanted to have a meaningful celebration.  I do not want to pass any occasion unnoticed. But..Christmas should not be equated with money.  There are lot more ways to celebrate Christmas without causing a pain to our pockets and not bringing ourselves to more debts that we will surely be facing for the coming year.  The following are my ideas on how to celebrate a meaningful Christmas without over spending....

photos courtesy of google 

  • Gift giving is a traditional way of celebrating Christmas and I myself do not want to take it out from my list.  However, there are so many ways to give gifts to family and friends without causing you to spend much.  Try home made gifts. I already mention this one on my previous blog.  If you are good at cooking try giving foods as gifts.  It can be some sweets, cakes, bottled preserves, bottled acharas, a special dish, home made cookies or it can be some jars of dried herbs.  This can even be more special by adding a personal message printed on a cute and decorative paper.  Packaging is the secret.  Make it cute and attractive.  This will surely be a winner!  Relatives like parents, grand parents, or even friends who are also mommies will definitely appreciate these kind of gifts which are considered a labor of love. 
  • You can also give a kind of gift which has something to do with the recipient's hobby or life style.  If she is into cross stitching, try to give some cross stitch set even the small one.  If your friend is so madly in love with gardening, try to pick a cute jar or pot from a garden shop and plant it with something that can be derived from your own home garden.  Potted herbs in cute pots is also another alternative. If the person is someone who adores pictures...try to make some collage of his/her own photos and put them on a nice picture frame.  The options are endless...all you need is time, attention, a sense of creativity and a small amount of money.
  • For a change, you can also try a Christmas gift in a form of vouchers or gift certificates that they can use for a free "spa" service, salon service, a special massage, or a movie ticket for two.  
  • For "noche buena" and "media noche", try to cook and prepare foods which are tasty, nutritious and easy on the budget.  It's the presentation that matters.  If possible, just get away from the traditional foods that are so expensive.  Try to scout for some recipes on the net that are unique and special.
  • Instead of going to malls and get lured with buying unnecessary things, why not opt for a walk in the park, a picnic, or an early morning walk in the beach where you would only be required to bring a light breakfast with some breads, fruits and coffee, then be back home for lunch. 
  • For traditional family reunions, instead of hosting the whole gathering, you can suggest each family to bring a special menu of their choice which can be put in all together on the buffet table.
  • If giving gifts to each member of the entire clan is such a pain in the pocket.  Suggest  to have"exchange gifts" instead so each person will only be required to bring one gift.  Those who are well off can sponsor some gifts that will be distributed in a form of raffle draws.
  • Do some house cleaning and decluttering in the house.  Goods or items that were found to be of no use like old books and toys which  are no longer applicable for your kids, old wardrobes that are still good but are not being use and some personal stuff that just collect dust in your cabinets, can be packed for give away to street children or less fortunate families within the neighborhood. Organize a gift giving activity with your kids and let them have a feel of the true meaning of Christmas.
  • Hear mass with the whole family.
Christmas is a special occasion and not merely a  season of spending and over joying with lavish foods and material things.  The true meaning of Christmas should always be incorporated in it's celebration.

After all, it's the thought that counts... :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Miss this Christmas!

  

 Bibingka



 Puto Bumbong


                                                                   Parol
 Photos courtesy of Google Images, Pinoycook.net, Dubaichronicles.com

Christmas is fast approaching.... and I'm terribly missing the symbols of Christmas.  This is the season of the year that  I truly miss the Philippines.  I remember the last time when  I was still working there and staying in my own house...I can feel the Christmas spirit all around the corner. Truly, Christmas is the happiest time of the year, well..at least for the Filipinos.  What I miss this Christmas?? 

Let me count :

1.)  Bibingka and Puto Bumbong
2.)  Simbang Gabi
3.)  Christmas Carols
4.)  Malling
5.)  "Monito - Monita"
6.)  "Parol" (Christmas Lanterns)
7.)  Christmas Tree
8.)  Christmas Parties
9.)  Exchange Gifts
10.)Hamon and Queso De Bola

and the list goes on and on....

Anyway...what were mentioned are just only symbols to remind us that it's going to be Christmas soon,  but more importantly, it's remembering the birth of Jesus Christ and thanking HIM for all the blessings and joys HE had given us all these years.  The fact that we are alive, healthy, earning, productive and loved are far more important than having all of the above. :) Have a Blessed Christmas!!!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reminiscence 04 - Remembering Summer at Anne Raquels Resort!

As early as now, I am looking forward to celebrating my "unica hija's" (only daughter) birthday on January 04 next year.  Why not! Because I guess it's about two years in a row that I failed to celebrate this happy moment with her and I feel so guilty already.  So this time, I want to make up for the lost times... :)

But until now, I don't have the idea yet on how are we going to celebrate.  She is requesting to do it elsewhere but we can't decide yet.  Moving along...I suddenly recalled our fun day last summer when we went to Anne Raquel's Resort.  There's no special occasion that time but only a sort of a week end get away. This resort is quite huge and there's plentiful of green sight inside as gardens are all over the place.  I was once again felt close to nature and had a grand time appreciating it's beauty.  Here are some sneak peek of the resort:







Hmm..Hope we can have the chance to visit there again next summer....
Thanks for hopping by!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

For Garden Lovers

Early morning today, I got a text message from Edmar trying to arrange with me about our agreed project for this month.  Guess what!!  It's our long time fancy... our pocket garden in the house which I did mention on my previous blog titled "Brighten Up your Gardens with Cool Water Fountains".  Finally...after countless days of thinking and working out with the budget trying to figure out the pros and cons and after consultation with my friend and colleague... I finally decided to push through with the projectOn the second thought, I also would like to achieve something great before finally saying good bye to year 2010.  That will be a souvenir and a gift to myself this year...anyway, I really love to have one long before.  I will surely post pics of the new garden here after it's completed.

Well...talking about "garden thing",  I came across this article from Female Network about a new book launched last month titled, "Tropical Garden of the Philippines".  This book features some of the best tropical gardens in the Philippines and covers topics on gardens big and small and also a wonderful introduction to the basics of gardening I'm sure nature lovers out there will get to enjoy the high quality photos of the gardens featured in the book, as well as the tips on running and maintaining our lovely home gardens.

Tropical Gardens of the Philippines is available exclusively from National Book Store and Power Books, at a standard retail price of P1,950.

Please visit Female Network Book Shelf: Tropical Gardens and enjoy their landscaping tips, as well.


Happy Gardening !

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reminiscence 03 - My First Visit To Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon

Today is a just a so so day for me...nothing special, some more ... I'm feeling the blues, maybe because of the thoughts of the Christmas season fast approaching and yet I cannot see any signs of Christmas spirit floating in the air.  Too bad, my work place does not pay particular attention into celebrating Christmas.  Luckily, I managed to see one reminder that  it's going to be Christmas soon.. that's a 14 footer Christmas Tree put up on the hotel lobby.  Aside from this, nothing else. Hmm..too bad. But I already get used to it.  Normally, I would just content myself doing a cyber walk trying to scout  for some Christmas goodies on the net.  My laptop has been my best friend lately.  Browsing through my folder, I've seen these pics of my first visit to Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon.  I've been there a couple of times but I wasn't able to attend a mass.  The schedule of the mass there is not really known to me.  Most of the times, the church is closed.  So on my first visit there, I just content myself admiring the French inspired architectural structure of the church building from the outside. I saw a lot of tourists taking photos just in front of the church building, as well.  I wish I could drop by there this Christmas to attend a mass.

 Notre- Dam Cathedral Basilica is situated at the heart of Hoh Chih Minh City and one of the city's famous land marks. This French inspired building of two towers was built in between 1863 and 1880 from which some of the materials used for construction were said to be imported from France..

Have a look .....


I'm looking forward for my next visit there this month and I do hope I would be able to hear a mass this time.

Thanks for hopping by!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

On Employing a House Help

I always brag about being a hands on Mom (self proclaimed).  Indeed, it's true.... yeah! I've always been a working Mom but this doesn't stop me from monitoring the progress of the kids in and out of school and home.  Of course, I do not consider myself a "wonder woman" to be able to handle all things at the same time.  

That is why, I always employ a house helper ever since.  For one, my full time job will not allow me to do all the household chores, but at least, I can supervise most of them.  To be able to do this effectively, we need to have a trusted, credible and reliable helpers whom we can entrust things at home when we are away.  Having them around, would at least help us ease the burden of thinking about truck loads of clutters that need to be cleared.  Not to mention the countless worries of whether the foods will be prepared on time for the family's dinner.  With a trusted and properly trained helper around, we can at least be sure that everything around the house is still going through smoothly even in our absence.  But through my years of experience employing a house helper, I've been through a lot.  From the good and worst scenarios you could ever imagine.  I guess, I am not always lucky all the time.  I am, on several occasions, able to employ someone who gave me mega head aches and premature wrinkles (lol). 

But through the years, I've learned from my experiences and these taught me to become more careful, if not a lot wiser. :)

I'm sure that a lot of busy "moms" like me would like to get cleared of the pros and cons of having a house maid and the tips to prevent if not totally avoid some problems....



 Here are some that I gathered and compiled from my past experiences...

From Google Images
1.)  If you do not have a full time job and you have someone else staying with you in the house like your parent or distant relative, it would be better if you just employ a part time house maid.  Schedule them to come at least twice a week to do the laundry and general cleaning of the house.  The daily tasks can be scheduled and divided among the family members.  This will still allow you to attend to your part time jobs or small business or any "rakets" that you may have.  

2.)  If moms work full time, then a "stay in" helper is a must.  This is so because tons of household chores will be left undone since we do not have enough time and energy to accomplish them after work.
      Google Images



3.)If you are having a single detached house and your budget can accommodate, it would be good to have a Surveillance camera installed inside the house.  There are now a lot of basic and simple system offered in the market for a reasonable price.


4.)  If you have a land line installed in the house, make sure that it is pin locked for long distance and international calls, otherwise just opt for an option to have it only available for local calls, same as what I did.


5.)  Make a thorough briefing with your maid on what was expected of her when it comes to the daily tasks to be done, as well as the protocols that have to be observed in the house.  As much as possible, discouraged them from accepting visitors.  This is for security purposes.


6.)  Make sure that you brief every member of the family to be extra cautious with their personal belongings. If possible, invest on a good and reliable safe deposit box.  There are cheap ones in the market.


7.)  As much as possible, avoid getting from Employment Agencies unless it's really necessary and urgent.  Not only these agencies charged expensive fees but most of the time they are unreliable and unwilling to be responsible for any untoward incidents arising as a result of getting the maids from them. Opt for referrals from relatives, friends and neighbors.  Choose the ones from far provinces.  Even you shoulder the transportation fees, at least you can ensure that they will stay with you for a minimum of one to two years.


8.)  If the helpers you employed were proven to be trusted and reliable, don't hesitate to give them rewards either in the form of gifts or bonuses on special occasions like Christmas or birthdays.  Not only they will appreciate you for this but this will inspire them to work harder and live up to your trust.
 
 9.)  Allow them to have regular days off.  This will help them get energized and forget their boredom.  If you're having family trips once in a while, tag them along.  This will give them a "sense of belonging" and also enjoy some time away from the usual routine in the house.

10.) Make them feel that you care for them and not treating them just an ordinary person servicing you.  This will make them develop a sense of commitment and "love" for each member of the family.  This will make them show a genuine concern for the welfare of the family which they now regard, as they are, a part.

11.)  If you think that you are satisfied with their performance and made you really stress and worry free with their presence, consider giving salary increases or additional benefits like contributing for them for SSS or Phil Health.  This will also help them in times of needs especially during emergencies or unforeseen health problems.  

12.)  Brief your kids to be respectful of them and consider their needs as a person.  This will boost your helper's self regard and self respect.
 13.)  Allow them to participate in family activities like exchange gifts on Christmas.  In short, treat them like a family.

14.)  If you sense that there is a behavioral problem in your house maids, avoid pampering them  as giving them a chance to abuse.  Do not always give in to their request for cash advances. If they ask permission to visit their hometown, avoid giving a big cash advance and if possible, just make sure that they do not owe you much in case they didn't come back.  

Remember, house helpers are the ones always left in the house so there is a need to have a credible and trusted maids.  You can make them one through proper training and supervision.  Humanitarian considerations are always up to you as an employer but this requires careful study and analysis of their behavior and performance.  We should always be balance and maintain an open line communication with them.  Problems or incidents can always be avoided by being cautious and not being carefree.  House helpers can be an asset and at the same time can be a disgrace, depending on how you deal with them.  It is best to keep them with you for longer time especially if you really intend to be forever working Mom.... To be able to do so, strike a balance by being cautious on security aspect and be sensitive of their feelings and needs as individuals. 

To have a good one is a blessing to the family....

Cheers!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Reminiscence 02 - "Life's Sweet Moments"

On my previous post, I did mention that I will be citing more of the precious moments that I had through a series of my "Reminiscence" posts.  For today .... I choose the title, "Life's Sweet Moments"... yupp.. because I will be talking really about something sweet, what else but sweet brownies and Philippine Davao's sweets.

On my last trip to the Philippines, we had a chance to drop by at SM Megamall after we had finished with the appointment with DFA for the kids passport renewal.... Since we had a limited time then, we just manage to get a quick look on some of the items.  Too sad for me :< as I'm a person who loves shopping and my feet never complains of walking for as long as the reason is shopping..Lol !

After we manage to buy some personal stuff, I did ask the kids to wait for me as I would like to buy some Philippine sweets and delicacies that I will be bringing back to Cambodia for my stock as well as for some "pasalubong" to colleagues and friends.

I did buy some sweets like pastillas and "Davao sweet candies".  Looks good and "yummy"..




After I'm done, I met the kids outside the SM Supermarket, I saw them overloaded with some great finds, as well.  Of course, Edmar will never go back home without his favorite.. "Brownies" from Brownies Unlimited.  But I do agree with him, these brownies really taste good and comes with a packaging that's truly cute and can be an instant gift to friends and relatives.





I regret that we did not buy enough for few days stock. hihi.. :)  I get curious with these brownies and I decided to visit their web site to check if they also have other varieties. Who knows, they may also offer some business opportunities or an affordable franchise (I wish!), and so after I log in to their site, I saw that they have this promo for the coming holiday season.  I feel "sayang" coz I won't be able to participate now that I'm not in the Philippines.  But anyway, I would like to share this with you.. Who knows you can be an instant "dealer" of the free 100 boxes of brownies this December...


The promo ads says that any purchase of 6 in a pack brownies from Brownies Unlimited will entitle you to one raffle coupon.  You can also get a raffle coupon by simply "liking" Brownies Unlimited official Face Book page.  You will then get a message with a link to short "online form".  Just fill out the online form, submit it and print out the next page which you then can use to redeem your free raffle coupon from any Brownies Unlimited outlets.  Promo runs from November 19 to December 19 and first raffle draw will be on December 21.

For further details, log on to www.brownies.com.ph


I miss that fun of shopping with the kids that's why I just content myself with the thoughts of that good day that I was with them...but no worry coz I'm sure that there are still a lot more to come. :)

Have a sweet and merry day!!!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Reminiscence 01 - "Joyful Moments"


Today, I had a great time as I browse through the pictures saved on my laptop.  Some photos were just taken recently, some a couple of  years back and some I cannot actually recall when.  But there's one common denominator though... these were the "joyful days".  Just try to think of it, Filipinos really loved to take photos. We take photos for a number of reasons but the most common one is that we take photos to capture us of something close to our hearts.  Whether be it a celebration, an event, or simply bits and pieces of just an ordinary day filled with laughter and cheers, photos are precious reminders to help us cherish those joyful memories.


Here are some :



  

Photos taken at SM Clark Pampanga, Philippines. Taken during my summer vacation around April this year.  Went there with Edz and Mikz. 








Taken recently at our favorite hang out, Sam"s Pizza Haus during my vacation last October.  We love pizza at Sam's... really yummy!





Taken same month at SBMA Subic's Fiesta Carnival.  Me and Mikz took a ride on a cable car.








Mikz trying to show a funny face while waiting for me to finish with my salon visit. 


Mikz trying to make an artistic photo.  She really loves to make one.





 These photos were taken at Sihanoukville, Cambodia when I was assigned there a couple of years back.

 These pictures were taken when Mikz joined the Ms. UN competition in their school at Kristogail Montessori.  Guess what??   She won the title of Ms. United Nations representing Russia.

These were just few of the happy moments. I'm still counting for more.....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beauty on a Budget!

I had been stuck up in my room lately ... busy with some personal things, doing some researches online, hooked on reading some good articles on few magazines, blogging and of course, chatting with kids via SKYPE.  Without me noticing it, geeeeee.. I overlooked caring for myself.  I haven't gone out to have my nails cleaned, have my hair treated and some routine facial cleanings. I guess this is the dilemma of any Mom in this world.

As  working mom, juggling up your time attending to the needs of your family, home, your work and yourself is such a great challenge, and I would admit...it is also such a thrill....

These modern days, caring for yourself is such a pain in the pocket.  Let's face it, skin care products are now getting more and more expensive.  Not to mention the budget on our regular visits to spas and salons.... all for the sake of beauty! Lol... but behold! Caring for yourself is equally important as looking after your career, home and family.  As the saying goes... Before we could love anyone and anything, we must first learn to love ourselves.  Only then, we can be more confident to love others".

But what if we are confronted with so many bills to pay, kids allowances in school, important household purchases and kids wish list.  At the end of the day, we end up with just "a little bit" over for ourselves.  So, as a smart mom, we should not stop finding ways and means to cope up with our needs.

Looking around, I found few items on my rack and my pantry area that I'm sure will be a "winner" for "home fix remedies".  I just have to look after the right recipes....
And so...after some searches on the net, I now have the simple recipes for a perfect home beauty regimen.  It's natural, it's organic and best of all...it's so cheap!



credit to : Google images
Take a look at these quick finds:

Quick Facial Mask
 Try a paste of warm water and oatmeal for 10 mins.

Quick Facial Scrub:
Apply raw oatmeal mixed with olive oil and scrub your face in gentle circular strokes to exfoliate the skin.  Wash off with tap water.

Quick Astringent:
Mix calamansi or lemon juice with a little cool water and use cotton balls to wipe your face.  Can also freeze the solution in ice cube tray then rub cube over your face.

Make Up Remover:
Mix a teaspoon of powdered skim milk with warm water and apply with cotton balls, then wipe with tissue and blot dry.

Refreshing Facial:
Fill spray bottle with water and 1 table spoon salt, then spray the solution in your face.  Blot dry with a towel.

Home Made Wax:
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar 
2 to 3 pcs calamansi or lemon
1/4 cup honey

Procedure:
Mix lemon, sugar and honey in a bowl.  Cook in super low heat until sugar thoroughly melted.  Store in a glass container.

Being beautiful need not be expensive.... just explore and experiment...  :)


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