Archives for April 2013

5 Simple Ways I Pamper Myself

I am getting used to writing lists. It is easier to compose my thoughts when  I find a common theme with what is happening in my life. Instead of telling a story chronologically, I write lists.

Summer is about to end in a month and I still have not done something remotely close to enjoying the sun.  Instead, I indulge in simple activities that I enjoy.

1. Cuddling.  This little fellow belongs to my cousin. I looked after him while my cousin was at work. His wife was on a trip so there was no one to look after the little one.  Most of the time, he loves sleeping so we take our naps together. He is the type who sleeps so close to a person that I alwaya feel that the bed is too small for us. On several ocassions, I worked on my computer while he slept beside me with his head resting on my lap. I guess we have became friends because he sat still for a photoshoot with me.  😀

 2. Cooking food. Eating out can be expensive. Chicken Inasal costs at least P80 per meal. Since there are 4 of us in the house, a trip to the restaurant would set us back at least P320. We got  marinated chicken legs from Monterey at a discounted price. I think four pieces of chicken parts (legs and wings) cost less than P150. We’d have grilled chicken over charcoal before and we always burn the skin. This time, I decided to use a broiler.

Why haven’t we thought about this before? Look, perfect chicken skin!

3. Restful sleep. I admit that I sleep later that I used to. I used to sleep at 10PM when I had a regular job.  Nowadays, sleeping at 12AM is pretty normal for me. It does not matter how late I sleep as long as I get at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then I am fine.  The best kind of sleep is when I change my sheets.

4. Enjoying the blessings. I got gifts from my cousin’s wife who went on a vacation to Ilocos. We got more than a month’s supply of garlic and onion! The fan is perfect for the brownouts. I’d like to think I already have toned arms after all the fanning I have to do during power interruptions.  On the lower right photo is not from Ilocos but from Manila. It is a J.Co donut. When I was in Manila last November, people were lining up for these donuts. It is already April and my cousin said that there are still long lines for these donuts.

5. Getting a shower. It is a must in this heat and all the power interruptions. I take my time at the shower, exfoliating and working up a lather. When it comes to cosmetics, I rarely put anything on my face but I am pretty indulgent when it comes to bathing. I use soaps one after another.

My friends have different ways of pampering themselves. I know a few who get their hair and nails done. Another friend goes on spa dates with  her husband.  Here’s the deal: I have not tried getting a massage. I feel that I might be ticklish. I saw this feature on a facial massage in Prague and it looks relaxing. It makes sense. Massage is a form of relaxation where tired muscles are given respite.   Facial muscles need relaxation, too.

How about you? How do you pamper yourself?

3 things that can add value to your life

I have been introspective these days. Indulge me a little if I write about life lessons and self-help thoughts. It must be age or the heat. This might actually be my stomach talking. (Baka gutom lang ito.)

I have learned not to compare myself with others. That successful person you envy has his/her own personal struggles. I learned not to wish I am someone else because I do not know that someone’s life too well to actually declare that that is the life I wanted. Instead, I pick what makes that person’s life beautiful and try to do the same thing about my own life. I believe that we write our own destiny.

I try not to indulge too much on material things. Gadgets get replaced with  newer versions in a month or two. Cars depreciate. Jewelry is a bait for snatchers. I can name more. This is just me. Yeah, this is just the poor me who cannot afford those things! What a sourgrape! Ha! Anyhow, there are 3 things that can immediately change my outlook and how I feel about myself.

1. Laughter. My father had a great sense of humor. It is hard to go through the day without laughter. I am the kind of person who does not take myself seriously. I have a self-deprecating humor and I am not afraid to look silly in the name of fun. I feel a tad happier around people with a good sense of humor. I always feel that laughter enriches my life.

2. Love. When you’re 35 and single, one of the difficult question to answer is ‘Why?’ When my wit works, I spurt our creative retorts. There are times that a smile is enough reply. I recently realized one thing. I will not settle for anything less than true love. I won’t mind letting my biological clock run out. No child should be borne out of my womb just because I worry that no one will take care of me when I grow old. God will take care of me. My cousin just recently lost his 3-year-battle against the complications of a lung transplant. He and his wife were a young couple starting their lives together. The love and devotion of his wife amazed me. This made me declare that it’s true love or nothing for me. I can derive love from a lot of things. I give it out freely everyday. It is that warm hug, simple hello or that pat in the back. True love will be given to ‘the one’. Naks!

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3. Learning. I love reading. I can be a nerd sometimes. When my father was alive, I discussed nerd stuff with him. My father was the analog version of Google. He seems to have an answer even to my silliest of questions. (Oh, I miss him!) I do not believe in being an expert, it will end learning. Sometimes, I wonder about the things I might learn had I pursued graduate studies. Well, it is never too late to get one.

10 Things That Make Life Better

Life is a journey and there may be bumps along the way. Let us not allow those bumps to prevent us from enjoying the ride. I have my moments of frustrations and a few times I have exclaimed in my head, “What have I gotten myself into?” I am an advocate to taking responsibility for my actions and taking risks. If something fails, there is a lesson to learn somewhere in the experience. And if you find success, it is a sign to enjoy the sweet rewards.

I tend to find the positive side of things. I can be the annoying and cheery girl who tries to inject humor in conversations. ( Sige na nga, minsan corny.)

Here are the ten things that made my life better the past month:

1. Skype. My aunt in Canada just recently learned how to Skype. It took awhile for us to use this means of communication because I do not have a decent webcam. Early this year, I bought a laptop because when my computer broke down on Christmas day, I realized how my work depends a lot on having a computer. I also get to talk to my cousin in Cagayan de Oro through Skype. We goofed around. When she tried to show me the neck pillow she uses, I showed her mine. Yes, we were like our crazy ten-year-old selves.

2. Little surprises. This was a creative pay-it-forward meme circulating on Facebook early this year.

I got my creative pay-it-forward gift. Thanks, Alma!

3. Random visits. My cousin came for a visit. She is my first friend in this world. Yes, she is the same person on Skype.

4. New desserts. We forgot to try this cake store in one of the subdivisions here because it is quite far from our place. Good thing that another cousin who dropped by to visit us gave us this cake. Yummy!

5. The new pope. For some reason, I am drawn to the simplicity of the new pope. I am a Catholic but I was never religious. I go to church, pray and try to be good person but I do not like joining religious organizations. I always feel like a sinner around these people. Pope Francis looks like a regular grandpa and it makes me hopeful. If you are on twitter, you can follow him here.

6. Rekindling traditions. We have not joined dawn Easter mass in years because we could not wake up that early. This time around we made an effort to wake up and I never regretted joining the mass. It was held near the park. There were a lot of people already but we found a spot where we can sit down.

Two days before Easter, there was an incident in a mountainous part of the city where pilgrims observe the Station of the Cross. I wanted to join that activity because I have not yet been to that part of the city. Good thing I did not go because I was not able to find a companion or I could have been one of those who got caught in the crossfire.

7. Friends. One classmate had a vacation here from overseas so my classmates and I were invited to his house. It was a fun afternoon of reminiscing high school memories for which, ironically, I was not a part of. When I say classmates, they were my classmates in grade school. I was the outsider but I never felt like one. We arrange another get together for another classmate and he did not show up. (Sa madaling salita, he stood us up!) He was apologetic and we understood. He had to look after his son that night. Since friends already brought food, we spent the night chatting and taking the 5 languages of love quiz. It is based on a book by Gary Chapman. It was meant to determine the method for which you show or accept love from another person. I found out that I want quality time. One friend wants physical touch and another loves receiving gifts.

8. Zumba. I felt the need to really lose weight. I already quit drinking coke and other beverages regularly. I only drink water. (Full disclosure: I drank coke three times since April 1.) I also don’t eat for 12 hours. I still have not observe changes in my body so I thought of engaging in an exercise activity. I thought of Zumba because it is fun. I try to exercise three times a week and I schedule it during brownouts. Mindanao has been experiencing rotational brownouts. To maximize my time, I exercise during brownouts because I cannot work without an internet connection. I still have not achieved my desired weight and I have not gained back my graceful moves (ha!) but the fun dancing is worth the trouble especially when I have nothing to do during the brownouts.

9. Free food. McDonalds gave away McMuffins on March 18 and my aunt got a free coupon for it when she came out from church that morning. She forgot to ask for extra coupons for us so we all shared this one piece of McMuffin. Ha! 10. Game of Thrones is back. I have to rub that in. I have read the book and I think the series is better than the book only because I had a hard time reading it. A friend shared this photo which made me laugh. How about you? What are the things that make your life better?

5 Ideas for a Productive Summer

There is no reason to be bored nowadays. There are different gadgets and apps that keep a person occupied . Waiting in line is no longer a difficult chore because you can always play mobile games, listen to music,  watch videos and even pay bills. It can be tempting for parents to let these devices babysit their kids.  There are ways to keep kids occupied this summer without having to touch a computer game. What they can do is use these devices as tools for more productive activities. Adults can learn some new skills, too.  Albert Einstein said, ” One you stop learning, you start dying.”

Here are some productive activities you  and/or  your kids can do:

1. Art. Give a kid paper and crayons and let their imagination develop. For those who want to teach their kids the basics in art, there are many resources in the library and on the internet where you can develop the drawing skills of the kids. Here is a simple instruction on how to draw a lion .

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Those are in for a challenge can sketch something as elaborate as this one.

Source: creativepro.com via kat on Pinterest

 

2. Snail mail. With the advent of email, sending out birthday cards became a novelty. It is nice to surprise a friend by sending a card through the mail.  Homemade cards are easy to make. How about this one for starters?

 

3. Plant something.  You can plant a tree.

 

Those who live in small spaces can start with an herb garden. The herbs can be used for cooking.

 

4. Discover new recipes. Tired of frying food all the time.  You can experiment on new recipes and  involved you kids in the preparation. It does not have to be complicated. How about this?

 

5. Summer classes. There are different summer classes available. Some are on crafts and some are of the academics type. A child can enjoy some play time and some advanced lessons or two. It does not hurt to engage them in advance Science or Math lessons. If that is too cerebral, how about learning a new language? A new language expands their world and it can get pretty handy when traveling. The world has become smaller with the advances in telecommunications and transportation. They can learn at their own pace by hiring a tutor. If you live in the United States, you can hire tutors at tutorspree.com where they have a meticulous method of screening their tutors to make sure your child gets the best learning experience possible.

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