Friday, February 24, 2017

Drew Barrymore's Daughter Throws Epic Disney Tantrum

Even celebrity moms have to deal with it! Drew Barrymore shared a hilarious photo set of her daughter Olive losing her cool at the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland! Talking to Seth Meyers on “The Late Show”, Drew admitted that while taking her girls to Disney was an amazing experience, that as most things do with little kids, it “always ends in mayhem”. We can all relate to that! In the hilarious snapshots, Drew's four year old daughter Olive, lays on the ground at the theme park in the midst of a tantrum, while Drew casually posing and smiling alongside her. The pictures are so funny, and show just how things can turn out when you have young kids in tow

Drew admits that the girls were very sleep deprived during their time at Disney, and when Olive wanted to chase a duck, and wasn't allowed to, that just caused everything to completely melt down! So cute, and so relatable. Drew advises other moms on just how to handle tantrums of this nature, saying: "I think you should have 10 consistent tools in your arsenal," she said. "It's either the tender loving approach or the 'I'm very serious' approach." Drew is such a great mom, and her girls (with ex husband Will Kopelman) are so super adorable, we love when she shares photos and videos of them so we can enjoy them too! 


Handling Your Money is A Big Responsibility

When it comes to saving money, I wouldn't say that I'm an expert, but I was able to manage our finances with much success. As what everybody else is saying, you will never ever succeed at this if you don't have discipline, so I would say that this is the first key.  Next would be your ability to think wide.  Having said that, I am referring to your ability to imagine things like finding ways and means to cut on your expenses, earn from extra sources and of course, more importantly the ability to grow your money.  All these are very important when your ultimate goal is to save and be financially stable.  I know that there is no short cut to all these as most would definitely take time, especially when you are just saving  minimal amount of money every month.  However, these steps would not be successful without considering the other. If you wish to save more, the first thing to do is to cut on your expenses.  As what I've been saying in my previous posts, the amount of money you can save from cutting on unnecessary expenses is always the best start to save.

We have to face it, it's not so easy to find an extra source of income, it definitely takes time, so while you are doing that, finding ways to cut on your expenses would be a great way to start.  We have to face it, not everything we spend for every month is a part of our basic necessities. You might be surprised that we are spending more actually for things we don't really need.  That being said, it is of paramount importance that we re examine our spending habits.

After we are able to cut on our expenditures, probably our next step is to look for additional source of income.  It doesn't need to be a huge "money maker" but just enough to add up on our savings and to grow our "emergency fund".  Remember, it is not how much you make but how you keep, save and grow your money that matters.  There's a lot more to talk and discuss as far as "money issues" is concerned but more importantly, we have to change the way we look at managing our expenses.  This will give you a lot more reasons to be happy in the end.




Book Your Next Hotel With Ease At Traveloka

February is hubby’s birth month but since he is away from home due to his job overseas, we can’t really throw the best party for him.  Since he is due to arrive on the same month as well for his much awaited vacation, me and my kids thought of giving him a surprise get away the day after he arrived.  Since we don’t have enough time to plan for everything as we are also busy with ongoing projects at home, I’ve decided to look for a travel booking App that would help me decide and book with much ease.

I have chosen Traveloka not only because it’s pretty much new and I want to see how it differs from other travel booking apps but also because I’ve been reading a lot of good recommendations about this from friends.  Some may still opt to go through the traditional way of booking by going through a travel agency and letting it do everything for you, but I think it’s more convenient to do it by yourself right in your own desk or even when you’re out there in the mall.  Downloading this App would enable you to search for flights and hotels and compare prices based from your specifications in no time. Well, that’s a lot more convenient than spending call credits trying to contact your travel agency only to find out that all their lines are busy.


After much consideration, I downloaded the App and in a little while, I already found myself looking for the best weekday or weekend escapade. 



Initially, we wanted a “mini vacation” in a beach resort in Zambales but this App allowed us to choose from a variety of hotels available in that area complete with all the hotel descriptions, activities and attractions that each could offer which I find to be very convenient.  Not only that, it comes with reviews from previous visitors so you could absolutely get all the unbiased reviews based from the experiences of the previous travelers which is also a good thing as this could help you decide on what hotel to choose.


This App is so easy to navigate, you just type the destination of your choice in the search box and a list of hotel recommendations would already be available right before your eyes. You will be asked to write down the date of your trip, number of guests, rooms and the number of nights you will stay and the App would search everything for you. Easy peasy!


As to the payment method, the App allows you to pay through your Credit Card, banks, and over the counter from selected establishments like 7/11.    What I love more about this booking app is the additional discounts extended to Traveloka members from their ongoing promos.





When you are a registered member of Traveloka, you will have your account available at all time to view your previous and current bookings.












Now, everything is all set for our next trip. I am sure that hubby would have a great time in our forthcoming Zambales escapade more so that the family will be complete again.  My kids are equally excited for another family adventure at Casa San Miguel.  We’ve been hearing a lot of great reviews for this hotel and we can’t wait to see more of their facilities and participate in one or more of their activities.

Will be posting a separate review of our stay soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When You Suffer From Back Pains

Due to my recent out of town trip, I am currently suffering from a severe back pain.  I was diagnosed with straightening of lower lumbar lordosis  years ago and it is for that reason that I am being prohibited from staying in the same position for more than 30 minutes.  I should be continuously moving or at least changing positions at least every 5 minutes.  We rode a bus on our way back to our city and unfortunately, the bus is just an ordinary one and since we were in a hurry to go home, we were forced to take the first bus which had arrived on the bus station.  The end result is here, I am now currently suffering from a back pain.  I can hardly move and is unable to bend down on my knees whenever I need to pick something from the floor.  This has prevented me from doing my normal day to day routine which is really a hassle.  Now, I've learned my lesson, I won't be compromising my health condition even for any reason.  I can't even sleep comfortably because of the pains.  

I've taken a couple of pain medicines to reduce the pain and had my back massaged with hot ointment.  This is not the first time it happened, so I might be enduring this pain for two or more days.  As I have been dealing with my back pains for years now, more or less I already knew the precautionary measures that I need to observe when managing back pains.  

First, I have to avoid being stationery for a long time as I have previously mentioned.  Second,  I need to refrain from wearing high heels, third, I should always be watching my posture and lastly, I have to do stretching most of the time.  Luckily, I never smoke as this is really bad for those suffering from osteoporosis or other bone problems.  Also, I have an ideal weight which is another plus factor. Being overweight would alleviate the back problem so I'm just fortunate that I never get fat eversince.

Now, I am just waiting for the pain to actually subside and I just keep on moving so at least the pain would lessen if not totally eliminated at once.  It's good to know how to manage the pains if you have one.  Also, taking a Turmeric tea regularly would also be of great help as this could reduce inflammation and pains.

Maybe I should also be buying a back support.  I better start looking for a good one now. :)


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Preparing for An Open MRI With Claustrophobia

Being claustrophobic makes it difficult for anyone that needs testing done on equipment that encases the body. A traditional MRI is not an option for anyone suffering from this phobia. An open MRI makes testing possible if the right preparations are made by the patient, doctor and testing facility.

Watch Videos Online

There are videos available to view online for almost any subject imaginable. There are a few demonstration videos of open MRI machines that will show you what they look like in operation. The more familiar you become with the equipment, the less fear you will have when it comes time to take the test. Make sure you watch the process from start to finish so that you understand it is a very non-invasive procedure.

Mentally Visualize Having the Procedure Done While Listening to Relaxing Music

Find a comfortable spot in your home to lie down and mentally visualize having the procedure done. Replay the video in your head with you as the patient. Have some calm and relaxing music playing in the background as you do the visualization exercise. Repeat this as many times as you need to in order to completely combat the feelings of anxiety.

Ask If You Can See the Equipment Before the Day of the Procedure

You should explain to the facility that you suffer from claustrophobia and see if they would be willing to allow you to see the equipment before the day of the test. You might be able to meet with the technician and have the procedure explained. This can do wonders to help combat anxiety and stress. You will see a familiar face when the day arrives for the actual test.

Focus on the Open Areas of the Room

The open MRI equipment is large. It needs to be housed in a large open room. The good thing is that it leaves a lot of open area that you can mentally focus on as you lie down for the test. Keep focused on the thought that nothing is restricting you and that there is a lot of open area in the room. Slow your breathing down and the test will be done in no time.

Have Your Doctor Prescribe a Mild Sedative for Test Day

Talk with your doctor about the severity of your claustrophobia, if you feel it has the chance of making you back out of the test. The doctor can prescribe a mild sedative you can take on the day of the test. It will help you have a head start to feeling relaxed.

Contact imaging experts like Middletown Imaging about how comfortable testing with an open MRI machine can be!



The Importance of Having A Plan

The question, "what's keeping me busy lately?", I guess is no longer new to me coz I've always been a busy person.  My family used to call me workaholic especially my kids as they seldom see me idle. Aside from being "OC" which I guess is a disorder, I'm also a workaholic who always wants to end the day productively.  There might probably be some advantages and disadvantages to this behavior but trust me, I get more stressed when I did not accomplish anything good for the day.

I always keep a journal and I always make a plan.  A "to do list" is something I could do without.  For me, it is very important to have a goal...a plan. Without this, it is quite hard for me to accomplish things.  I was never a random person who would do things in an impulse.  For me everything should be carefully planned.  I know that some people are doing things in an instant and for them, this is a kind of adventure and they surely get thrilled with that which I totally understand.  In my case, I always plan.  Maybe I'm good at that? Well, I don't really know but so far, I've been getting things I want whenever I planned for these.  Sometimes, I do not get these too soon, but I will surely get those in time.  I just believe that when you make a plan, you would have a tendency to work things out and even work harder to achieve your goals.  I think when you make a plan, you have more chances of getting things organized for yourself.  This is true with your stuff, but most of all this is true with your life.

Planning is an important time management technique.  making a plan allows you to monitor your progress and see clearly how near you are to your destination.  Having a plan is essential for coming up with good decisions.  Without plan, you will end up wasting more time thinking of what to do next.  Improper planning or having no plans at all would let you to take inefficient steps.

For me proper planning is tantamount to success.  This is true to me and maybe to you, as well.


Why Do We Need A Spending Plan

Running a household without a budget is equal to driving without a map. You're moving but you're not sure where you're going. A budget is the tour guide to your finances. It lets you know how much money you have, what you need, and what and how much you spend your hard earned dollars on. This is why every household should have one.

Getting Lost

When you don't have a budget, there's an acute lack of vision in your financial forecast that can affect your overall quality of life. If you know that your mortgage is $1200 a month and your electric bill is usually $175, yet you still spend about $600 a month on eating out, movies, and impulse spending, you're headed for a fall at some point. The $600 that you loosely spend on non-essentials will probably begin to cut into the money you need for utilities and/or your mortgage, especially if you're only bringing in $2400 monthly. Your mortgage and utilities just represent a portion of the pie, not the whole pie. There are other essentials that your family will need as well. Remember, you still need to eat.

Finding Yourself

The best way to put money back in your pocket and to keep it there is to develop a budget and stick to it. Start by outlining all of your monthly expenses. Create a set amount that you can spend on non-essential activities and items and stick to it. You should also have a certain amount that you set aside to save. If it becomes hard to keep track of your spending, save your receipts. Your receipts will let you know how well you're following your budget and where your money is going. You need to know how much you're spending in every area of your life in order to get a handle on your spending. Even the money you spent on your cbrne training needs to be documented

Making Adjustments as Needed

The first budget you put together may have areas of weakness that you notice after following it for a short period of time. That's ok. Make any changes that you see fit as needed. The grocery budget may be too generous or not enough, or your utilities may be a bit more than you budgeted for during the summer months. It's your budget, make it work for you.

Once you commit to a budget your money will not longer be a mystery to you. You will be able to easily see where your money is going and make changes that put money back in your pockets. Do yourself and your family a favor by developing a budget and sticking to it. You will benefit greatly in the long run.


Doing What You Love

I am not so happy that I was not so active in blogging that I used to do before.  I was still an OFW when I've started blogging and obviously, when overseas I don't have to take care of anyone but myself.  I have no house to look after, manage and maintain.  I have no kids to take care of, I don't even have my own kitchen and complete set of equipment to improve my skills in cooking and baking.  Most of the time, I have to cook quickly as me and my housemates take turns in using the kitchen.  Therefore, during those times I have to find another passion where I can spend my free time and also to avoid being homesick and this is where I've discovered blogging.  I used to blog almost everyday and this keeps me busy apart from my responsibility at work.  However, soon after I returned to the Philippines for good, blogging has been taken into the back seat.  This is so because I am home now and I can do everything I love to do freely as I am literally in my own space now.  This is where I developed my passion in cooking and baking.

I would admit, I wasn't good at first, I don't even consider myself so good now.  But as the saying goes, "practice makes perfect".  Well, I know that I am not yet perfect and probably would never be but I am happy that I've been seeing a great improvement on me the past 3 years.  As a matter of fact, my passion in baking allowed me to turn it into business which I have never thought of in the first place.

Now I now, doing what you love does not only make you happy but also fulfilled.


“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you." - Maya Angelou


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

5 Tips for Finding a Contractor

Maybe you're adding a nursery to the second floor. Maybe you're knocking down a wall to expand a home office. Whatever you're rebuilding, redesigning or remodeling, you'll need a contractor to help you get the job done, so here are just a few tips for finding one that you can trust.

1. Check Their Credentials

Did you know that not all contractors are licensed? Some states don't require it. Make sure that you look into the background of any potential contractors on your list; if they don't have a license, they should at least have some kind of permit, training certificate or membership to a professional organization like the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

2. Ask for Referrals

If your cousin just had her windows done, don't be afraid to ask her about her contractor. If you notice someone down the street going through a renovation, drop by and request a business card from one of the workers. It's much better to make decisions based off real-world actions rather than online promises.

3. Stay Local

Find contractors who already live and work in the area. Not only will their prices be lower than someone who has to commute a long distance, but they'll also understand your city's unique zoning laws, noise ordinances and weather patterns. They might even be able to tell you a thing or two.

4. Consult Your Budget

Every contractor will have a different way of charging you. For example, some contractors might bill you by the hour while others will bill you by the project; some will pay for their own materials while others will expect you to provide the funds; some will accept payment plans while others won't. It's important to clear the air about financial issues in advance.

5. Talk About Guarantees

What happens if a contractor breaks something in your home? What happens if a storm comes and damages their work? Who will assume liability if someone on the construction site gets hurt? Good contractors will have insurance forms, so whip out your pen and get ready to sign on the dotted line.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you search for contractors. It isn't always an easy task, but it's worth the effort to find a serious and hard-working professional who will care about your renovation as much as you do.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Manage Your Expenses

I am proud to say that I have not really splurged into shopping for the past few years.  Not because I don't have a budget for that but because I don't really feel that there is a need to.  I only shop for groceries and foods but not for clothes, shoes, bags...etc.  I have nothing against those people who love to shop, if that what makes them happy, so be it.  I just feel that I have lost my interest to shop for things when I've realized that I still have a lot of stuff in my closet and that now a days I seldom go out anyway, so there's really no need for me to acquire more things. Besides I have other important projects that are long overdue and need a budget so I might as well build funds for that rather than spending for things which are really unnecessary.

Sometimes, we suddenly have that impulse to buy when we see something new from our friends. Does your friend buy a new bag? Chances are you would probably be buying one, too.  This is exactly how we got that habit of buying things.  We tend to copy what we see from other people and feel that we are of lesser value if we don't have what they have.  Funny, isn't it?  But that is exactly how it is.  Well not everybody are like that, but for those who cannot control and discipline themselves when it comes to buying unnecessary things, I think it is time for you to start with a journal and track all your expenses.  When you maintain a list of where your money goes, you will begin to be more cautious of your spending.  You will have a clear idea of where you tend to spend more and this way, you can control and manage your spending habits.

On a final note, I think it is very important that you know your priorities and what your goals are. This way, you will always have a reason to save and will be able to get that motivation to work on achieving your goals.



   
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