June 29, 2012

Keep Costs Low With These 3 Online Services

The challenge for business owners today, especially for small businesses and startups, is to maintain efficiency in their business while keeping costs low. Despite the various efficiency tools available in the marketplace, cost can be a barrier. But using a few simple online tools may be just what you need to give your business that extra boost while maintaining costs at a reasonable level.

1. PickyDomains.com

Who needs expensive branding agencies when you can rely on the power of crowdsourcing? This is exactly what PickyDomains.com is all about. A service provider for companies looking for names that stand out – particularly true for startups who aren't that well-established yet – PickyDomains has a base of at least 50,000 contributors, each ready to contribute to a pool of ideas that business owners can utilize for their naming needs.

It's fairly simple. Just register as a client, pay a downpayment of $50 for a company name - $75 if you're looking for an excellent company slogan – and provide the site with a list of your desired naming specifications. It's risk-free as clients can get a full refund if none of the suggestions fit what they want. This is a good service to consider not only for its low cost but also because a business name that is unique and stands out in a crowd is most likely to generate potential customers than a business name that disappears in the background.

2. Bitrix24.com

Keeping an efficient workspace and workflow can be quite a challenge. CRMs and company intranets typically do the job by integrating the different elements of your business or workspace while maintaining free-flowing communications between employees. Still, a service of this size and scale can cost a lot.

With Bitrix24.com, you can have the benefits of a CRM and company intranet while getting it practically free or at a relatively low price. With numerous functionality such as a free calendar, free activity planner, free messaging and free real-time streaming, you can be sure you virtually have almost all the tools you need in order to run your business smoothly, even from the comfort of your own desk. For small companies with a maximum of 12 persons, the service is free whereas an upgrade to unlimited users only costs a meager $99 a month – a good investment especially if you're looking to expand your business.

3. JetRadar.com

In today's fast-paced environment, it's essential to get things done in the least possible time – and that includes travel. Air travel is one of the fastest and most reliable modes of transportation over long distances. But with the competition in the air travel industry resulting in airlines keeping their deals and promos exclusive to their own corporate websites, travel deals and other related information may be hard to find on price-comparison websites.

With JetRadar.com, you can cut the time spent on searching for the best ticket prices significantly. JetRadar.com provides data from 728 airlines and hundreds of flight and ticketing sites, readily available to the public in a single site. This can open up a bulk of time in your schedule and allow for more productivity, and perhaps even leisure.

Breakfast Omelet Muffin

I mentioned in my other blog that I’ve been trying to make muffin tray meals, I tried meatloaf muffins before and I was so happy with the result so last weekend I tried breakfast muffin omelet. I used bacon, mushroom and bell pepper instead of Italian sausage and broccoli.

This is another easy recipe that you can prepare for breakfast and school snacks. Next time I will add cheese.  

June 27, 2012

5 Things You Want to Do Before You Get Old

Honestly, I have so many things that I want to do before I get old but here are the five things that I really want to accomplish.

1. I want to learn how to sew. 

I can do some basic stitches just enough to fix clothes, mend a torn seam and sew a button or sequin on fabric. But I want to improve my sewing skills and make my own clothes, bed sheets, pillowcases, and curtains.

I remember when I was in high school one of our projects is to make a blouse and short but I don’t know how to sew. My classmates told me that their moms made their project but my mom was not with me so I went to my “suking mananahi”, I gave her my design, blouse and skort (skirt in front/short at the back). The finished product was so good and it is very obvious that I did not make my project so my teacher just gave me 85. Hehe!

2. I want to learn how to swim and dive.

We love to go to the beach and pool but I’m not an expert swimmer so I always rely on lifevest. I told you before that I did not learn anything from my P.E. swimming class, blame it to the rainy season. But I hope someday, I can swim and dive like a pro.

3. I want to learn how to drive.

We bought our first family car last 2007 when we found out that I was pregnant. I promised myself that I will enroll in driving school after I gave birth but it didn’t happen. We sold the first car then our second car and now we’re using the new one and I still don’t know how to drive. I’m still scared. Hehe!

4. I want to have my own business 

Now that I’m a full-time mom for four years, I don’t know if I can still go back to the corporate world so I want to have my own business but until now I’m still clueless on which business I want to pursue.

5. RTW (Round the World) 

I mentioned before that when I was young, I want to be a flight attendant because I want to travel and see the world. Tourism is one of my choices when I was applying for college but I did not pursue it. I accepted the fact that I cannot be a flight attendant, blame it to my height. If money is not an issue, I would love to travel around the world but if there is no budget I can travel around the Philippines. 

June 22, 2012

Hassleback Potato

I’ve been pinning for the last few weeks and I’m enjoying this activity because I discover a lot of interesting sites.  I keep on pinning those recipes that I like to try and Hasselback Potato is one of them It looks fancy but the truth is, it is so easy to make. All ingredients are available in your pantry and you can also use different seasoning according to your taste. I’m so happy with the result and now I’m searching for cream or dipping recipe. Click here for the recipe. 

Family Friendly Short Haul Summer Escapes

Finding time to spend as a family can be challenging depending on pressures from work and restrictive school timetables. When you book your summer holiday abroad, whether you opt for cheap holidays to Cyprus or all inclusive holidays to Tunisia, be sure to secure the best deal and save money to spend on your precious time together.

When considering traveling abroad, it is essential to factor in what is important for you and your family. If you are globetrotting with tots and young children, flight times and climates can be a big influence on your destination. Those with older children and teenagers will benefit from ensuring there is enough to keep active minds occupied at your chosen destination.

Although the Balearic Islands – with a travel time of just over two hours and manageable summer climes – are excellent for young families, short haul destinations stretch as far and wide as Tunisia, Turkey, and Cyprus. The longest short haul destination is Egypt, a great option for sun lovers with teenagers that can withstand the breathtaking heats.

Cheap holidays to Cyprus are bargain child-friendly breaks. The island’s year-round sunshine and 53 blue flag beaches make it a superb spot for a summer sojourn. While younger children can safely build castles in the safe shores at Limassol, older children will love the many waterparks and watersports available on the island.

While all-inclusive packages can seem like a more expensive option, they offer the assurance of three full meals every day, snacks, local and soft drinks and some activities. Tally up the cost of dining on half board or self-catering and you may find that splurging on an all-inclusive will save your spends and guarantee unlimited ice-cream for the kids!

However and wherever you choose to travel, book your break online for the very best holiday deals this summer.

June 21, 2012

Things that Make You Happy

Since yesterday, I’ve been thinking if I will join the first meme of BC bloggers or not because I having dilemma with my son. I told you before that he doesn’t want to go home and I really don’t know what to do to convince him that we need to go home and we can’t stay all day in school. I really want to cry because my son is not listening to me. It’s an everyday dilemma for me and just today this is our scene.

Me: Ethan, let's go home
Ethan: nooooo!
(Repeat for the nth time)
Me: Ethan, I'm going home now. (walking towards the gate)
Ethan: ok, bye mommy, see you tomorrow! 

Waah! As if I can go home without him. Anyway, like Peter Pan said, “think happy thoughts” so now I will be sharing things that make me happy.

1. Traveling 

Traveling makes me happy. Since I was a kid, I really want to travel and see the world maybe because I feel deprived. We only experience family outing if my relatives will invite us or if my mom was here. It is always my dream to finish school so I can work and when I have work I can save money for my future travels. When I was still working, I really save my salary and if my mom gives me money, I also save it so even though I’m a full-time mom now I have no problems if I need money for my getaway. But of course, I have to limit my travels because I don’t want to deplete my funds.  But I would be more than happy if my husband will finance my/our future travels. =)

Time doesn't wait for you... Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer

2. Cooking and Baking 

Now that I’m a full-time mom, I have more time to cook and bake. I love trying new recipes and I feel happy if my hubby and son like it. But don’t expect me to cook during holidays or if there’s special occasion because I find it stressful.

3. Time with my family 

I always look forward to weekends and holidays because that is the only time that my husband has time for us. I always wish that there will no more out of town and out of the country business trips. I always pray that one day; he will file a vacation leave on his own, without me telling him that he needs to file a vacation leave because I booked a flight or we need to attend this or that.

4. Family/Friends Reunion/Outing 

Because of distance and busy schedules, I seldom see my family and friends so I really appreciate those time and moments.

5. Blogging 

It became part of my life since last year and I’m happy sharing my random thoughts, pieces of my life and crazy moments in my post. This is my “me time”, my stress reliever and my connection.

June 18, 2012

Viaje Del Sol: Lake Pandin and Lake Yambo

If you’ve been reading this blog for quite some time now, you know that I’ve been meaning to visit Lake Pandin since last year. Yesterday, I visited my grandmother and fortunately she has no plan to go to supermarket so I informed my husband to text Ate Siony to ask for directions so we can visit Lake Pandin. But no one replied, so I told him to call the number and he said I gave him the wrong number. I checked his phone and told him that he texted and called the wrong number. #sayang oras. We called Ate Siony and asked how to get to Lake Pandin and off we went. We left Victoria, Laguna at 2:20PM and we reached Lake Pandin at 3:30PM including the 15-20 minutes trekking.

Finally, I was able to visit Lake Pandin.

We visited Lake Yambu too, about 3 minutes of trekking. It is not advisable to senior citizens and kids but since we want to check the other side, my husband carried my son. =)

Lake Yambu
When we went back to our raft, they gave us fresh buko juice. But if you want to avail their food package, you have to call them in advance. (grilled tilapia, shrimp, fern salad and banana).

Whether you are a good swimmer or not, you have to wear lifevest if you want to swim. Surprisingly, my son did not want to swim and he only stayed for two minutes. The place where we stayed is “75 feet deep” and other part of the lake is 180 feet deep. We left around 5PM. #bitin

If you want to unwind and relax, this is the best place for you. We will definitely go back again and avail food package.

Lake Pandin Rates and Contact

P180 per head
P180 food package per head

My son (3 yrs old) is free of charge.

Contact: 0929-9789565 Ate Siony

June 11, 2012

He is No Longer a Baby…

Time flies so fast and today was Ethan’s first day of school. After 3 years and 8 months, he’s now an official schoolboy, whether I like it or not he’s no longer a baby. How I wish I could stop the time so he will always be my baby but I know I can’t and I just have to accept the fact that time has come that I have to let him go. I have to allow him to spread his wings and fly, see the world, meet new people, learn new skills and discover things on his own.

It was a bittersweet memory, I’m sad because I know that he will have new friends when we used to be his only friend (me and hubby) #jealous. I know that he will be more independent when he used to ask for my help with everything #feellessneeded. I’m scared because I won’t be able to see him for 2 hours and 30 minutes, I can’t be there to defend him from bully kids and I can’t be there to comfort him. #paranoidmom. Maybe this is the reason why I’m not yet ready for school because I’m not yet ready for this moment.

But despite my drama moments, I’m still happy and excited for him, this is now a new chapter in his life and I’m just here to support and guide him. No matter what happens, I will always be proud of him and I will be here and there all the time. Even though he’s no longer a baby, he will always be my baby.

First Day of School

He started school this morning,
And he seemed so very small.
As I walked there beside him
In the Kindergarten hall.

And as he took his place beside
the others in the class,
I realized how all too soon
Those first few years can pass.

Remembering, I saw him as
He first learned how to walk.
The words that we alone made out
When he began to talk.

This little boy so much absorbed
In learning how to write.
It seems as though he must have grown
To boyhood overnight.

My eyes were blurred by hastily
I brushed the tears away
Lest by some word or sign of mine
I mar his first big day.

Oh how I longed to stay with him
And keep him by the hand
To lead him through the places
That he couldn’t understand.

And something closely kin to fear
Was mingled with my pride.
I knew he would no longer be
A baby by my side.

But he must have his chance to live,
To work his problems out,
The privilege to grow and learn
What life is all about?

And I must share my little boy
With friends and work and play;
He’s not a baby anymore –
He’s in Kindergarten today

I've read this poem here, I just edited she, her, little girl etc. 

June 08, 2012

Recipe using Crispy Fry Breading Mix

For the last few months, my husband has been requesting a breaded pork chop. The request was not granted not because I don’t want to cook it because I always remember my first try. I seasoned the pork chop with salt, dipped it in egg wash, coated with flour, and fried it. It was unsuccessful. I dislike the result so I don’t want to try it anymore.

But when I saw the instant breading mix in our pantry, I promised myself that I will cook breaded pork chop but as always I forgot about it. Hehe! So just this week, I put the breading mix in our fridge to remind me that I will cook a breaded pork chop, finally, I made it.

This was my first time using breading mix; I can’t even remember when I bought this. This mix is for chicken but I used it with pork and potato. Yes, you’ve read it right! Potato. I always love mojo’s of Shakey’s so I always fry potato at home though the taste and appearance are not the same. Check my first try here.  But now, I was glad because I have a better version of DIY mojo’s.

Wash the potato, slice, coat with breading mix, and fry it.

I used the same procedure with the pork chop. Finally, the result was successful and my son liked it too. From now on, I will include breading mix in my grocery list. 

Whenever I want to cook fish fillet I always buy cream dory a.k.a pangasius or white cobbler. I love this fish because it is so easy to cook but my husband dislikes it because for him it is tasteless. Whenever I cook this, I always use the FEB procedure (flour + egg + breadcrumbs). Even I seasoned my fish with salt, pepper, and garlic powder it is still tasteless for my husband.

Update: November 20, 2012

Fried Cream Dory Recipe

Last month, I tried using an instant breading mix and my husband liked it. He said “masarap ha, ano ginawa mo?” For the first time, he liked my fried cream dory + lemon butter sauce. (melted butter + lemon juice + salt + pepper)

If you’re wondering which breading mix I used….it’s no other than Crispy Fry. This breading mix is not only for chicken, but I also this for potato, porkchop and fish. It is true to his word, food is crispier and tastier. 

June 07, 2012

4 Tips in Finding a Home

You may all agree with me when I say that June is considered a wedding month. I do not know the true reason why couples choose June as their wedding date, all I know is flowers are cheaper during this month. Well, aside from wedding preparation, most couples are also busy finding their dream home. Like I’ve said in my old post, it is not easy to find your dream home. There are few factors that you need to consider aside from your budget.

1. Location 

Location is very important; you have to choose your house depending on your workplace and lifestyle. Do you want to live in rural or urban? We live outside the city but my husband's office is just 45 minutes to 1 hour away from our home via SLEX. We did not consider living in the city because we don’t like traffic but now we’re thinking if we have made the right decision because the toll fee is P158 one way only compared to P74 when we bought the house. That is an everyday burden for my hubby. 

2. Type of Home 

Do you want a single home, condominiums, or townhouse? We do not like condominiums because there is an additional payment for parking space and you do not own the lot.

3.  Number of Stories 

Do you prefer bungalow, two stories, loft-type, or split levels? We experienced the Typhoon Milenyo flood and it is really hard to save our furniture and appliances because we live in a bungalow so we chose two stories house. I believe that we now live in a free flood area so I’m praying that we will not experience any flood.

4.  Interior Specifications 

How many rooms, bathrooms, and extra space you want? We dislike big houses because it is difficult to maintain and clean them. =)

Those are my tips for finding your home base on my experience. If you are still having a hard time looking for your home, do not hesitate to contact real estate agents. They are the ones who will assist you in all the tripping, paper works, and other documents. You can search the internet and you will be surprised that there is an automated homefinder. If you live in Colorado, there are real estate agents in Denver that you can call for help. 

June 06, 2012

Lunch at Viewpoint Restaurant

Yesterday was hubby’s nth birthday and he didn’t have any plan where and how to celebrate his birthday. I suggested lunch or dinner in Marcia Adams or Dusit Hotel Buffet (to avail of the birthday discount promo – your age is the total discount) or visit BlueRoze Farm. All my suggestions were rejected so it seems that he has no plan of celebrating his birthday. But since we want to welcome the new member of our family, off we went to Tagaytay for a test drive. No definite destination we just enjoy the ride.

Hubby dropped by Our Lady of Lourdes church to give thanks.

Before we reached Nasugbu, Batangas we saw Viewpoint Restaurant, just in time for lunch. Parking was not difficult because there were only few customers.

This view deck is all ours.

We ordered sinigang na maliputo ½ kilo P325 (2 pcs) and lechon kawali P270. Price is quiet steep considering the serving but I guess you’re not just paying for the food but also for the ambiance. I want to add salted egg (3) with tomato and onion but the price is P150. waah!

The food was just ok for me but hubby and son were very much satisfied with sinigang na maliputo (simu’t sarap). You know that I’m a meat lover so I ate lechon kawali.

What I don’t like in Viewpoint, it is really hard to call someone if you need something or if you have additional order. Even though there’s a buzzer in the view deck, it took them so long to go to our table. So we immediately asked for the food bill after the staff delivered the extra rice.

Happy Birthday to my hubby!


Some people have their own piggy bank where they put their coins. I don’t want to hoard coins forever so what I always do is, group the coins (10pcs) and wrap them with scotch tape. One advantage of this is I can easily dispose coins in my coin purse. 

June 01, 2012

3 Credit Card Tips

Some people avoid credit card because they think that it is just a temptation. Somehow I agree because it is so easy to swipe the card but if you know how to use your card wisely, the credit card can give you benefits. If you read my post about “How to Save in Using your Credit Card" then you will understand why I love having a credit card.

I immediately applied for a credit card when I got my first job maybe because I just want to feel that I’m no longer a student. But after two years, I applied for a new card and canceled my first card because I want to take advantage of the freebies like free shoes, watch and plane ticket.

If you are planning to apply for credit card, here are my credit card tips. 

1. Choose the right credit card

Always remember to choose the right credit card according to your needs or wants. Credit card companies offer different credit cards that you can choose from. If you love to shop, choose the card that offers cash rebates. If you love to travel, choose the card that offers travel insurance or miles. If you are a parent, you can choose a card that offers rebates in grocery or bills payment. 

After I got my first credit card, I always receive calls about a pre-approved credit card. I accepted some of them but I also canceled the card because I don’t want to pay an annual fee for something that I’m not using. 

Now, I no longer accept pre-approved credit card because I’m happy with my current card. You don't need a lot of cards, one or two credit cards will do. 

2. Be a good payer

Always be a good payer and be responsible in using your credit card if you don’t want to ruin your credit rating. 

When I resigned from work, I immediately called my credit card company to cancel my other card (I have two) and the CSR asked me why? I told them that I have no work as of the moment blah! blah! blah!. CSR told me that I can no longer use my credit cards because I have no work, just give them a call if I have a new job so they could unblock my card. 

At that moment, I hated myself for calling but I just told myself that I can apply for secured credit card. The following day, I received a call from the credit card company asking why I want to cancel my credit card and I told him the same thing but CSR told me that since I’m a good payer I can still use my card and he’s waiving the annual fee just don’t cancel the card. 

Credit card companies also waive annual fee if you are a good payer. See what I mean, there are benefits for being a good payer. 

3. Pay your due

The most important thing is to pay your due on time so you can comfortably sleep at night knowing that you have paid your debts. Do not pay the minimum due to avoid the interest. Do not use the card if you know that you cannot pay the amount in full. 

One thing that I don’t want to happen is to receive calls from debt collection agency or international debt collection agencies. It happened to me when my credit card was hacked

Best Skiing Destination in Canada

Many avid skiers will agree that the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in British Columbia is the best skiing destination in Canada. As the largest ski resort in North America, it is truly an amazing ski destination in terms of scope and variety. In addition to the excellent and varied terrain, Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort literally offers everything that you could possibly desire for an outstanding ski vacation including great après ski ambiance, many options for local accommodation and a wide variety of additional outdoor winter activities such as ice-skating, tubing, helicopter skiing and snowshoeing.

The Whistler Blackcomb mountain statistics are quite impressive. The resort is home to 16 alpine bowls, over 8,100 acres of total terrain, 3 skiable glaciers, over 200 marked trails, more than one mile of vertical drop and 37 lifts. In fact, Whistler Blackcomb has the highest uphill lift capacity of any North American ski resort. The famous Peak 2 Peak Gondola connecting the Whistler and Blackcomb summits is the longest and highest unsupported cable car in the world. The resort reports an average annual snowfall of over 34 feet as well as a substantial snowmaking capacity. 

Whistler and Blackcomb are actually two separate mountains connected by a charming pedestrian village. They merged into a combined resort in 1997. Dining options include the 17 mountain restaurants as well as dozens of options in Whistler Village and the surrounding areas ranging from award-winning fine cuisine to affordable options for the whole family. Après ski bars, spas, and concerts provide evening entertainment options. Whether it be a blues concert or a charity ski race, there is always a special event going on at Whistler Blackcomb. Before planning a trip to Whistler Blackcomb, be sure to check out the events calendar on the webpage of the resort here. 

When you factor in the costs of hotel, lift ticket, equipment rental if necessary, meals, après ski entertainment and transportation to and from the resort, you may find yourself needing to consider the option of financing your vacation. It´s always a good idea to sign up for a travel rewards card to accumulate points or discounts toward future getaways. With credit and financing options available, a trip to the best skiing destination in Canada is attainable.