December 31, 2012

The Firecrackers We Allow

If it were up to me lone, my kids will only have noisemakers and lots of food on new year.  Unfortunately, my husband grew up in a firecracker-loving family so he is okay with our kids trying out firecrackers.  But these are the only ones they are allowed to touch.
They bought these firecrackers just a while ago, already selling at cheap prices.  They will only be lit with adult supervision and with strict reminders never to touch the lighted part, or if it fails to ignite, to just throw it.
I think this is okay as long as the kids are well supervised so they can enjoy themselves too!  Happy New Year everyone and keep safe!

December 28, 2012

Update on Withdrawal of Pag-Ibig Fund Contribution

Remember my posts about withdrawing  Pag-Ibig fund contributions for my boss who permanently left the country to reside abroad? Well, remember I first filed for her in 2011 since she gave me a special power of attorney for this. Since it was not approved initially because she only had multiple visa on her passport, we waited until she got her permanent residency.  Last week, when I went there again, the documents had to be authenticated by the Phil consul (red ribbon) since she is already abroad.  When we first filed it, she was still in the country.  Now that she is residing there, the red ribbon is required.  And the special power of attorney has to be issued to a next of kin, or if not, like me, I was her staff, a proof of relationship to me (e.g. her old company ID and my ID as well).  She finally decided that it would be too difficult to have the documents authenticated so she will just file it when she come home for vacation next year.  According to the girl at Pag-Ibig, they can process the documents for her in less than a week when she comes here so she can show her passport.  Oh, and remember, a check will be issued so you must have a bank account where you can deposit the check.

December 10, 2012

Exams Before The Holidays

It's that time of the year again, with just a few days before Christmas and my to-do list is overflowing! Since I only have a few hours after work and the weekends to do my errands and Christmas shopping, I am really behind schedule.  And to add to the stress of the holiday season, my kids are having their third periodical exams next week, and we are all in panic! I wish I can take off a day from work to tutor them, or maybe hire  somebody like the New Jersey tutors or somebody special like the ones I've read about varsity tutors.  My sister, who tutors my kids, is also busy with her own school stuff since she is already a candidate for graduation.  She is also applying for internship and even busier than I am, if you could believe that! Anyway, I am sure we will find a way to finish everything by next week and maybe I will just take a day off to tutor them. Then we can all relax and be ready to enjoy the holidays.  I really should plan my shopping activities earlier and not just wait for the last time to do it that I have more time to tutor my kids. I will remember this for next year, ha ha ha.

December 7, 2012

Withdrawal of Pag-Ibig Fund Contribution

Remember when I blogged about how to withdraw your contributions from Pag-Ibig Fund last year? We were not able to finish that transaction because then, her passport was only stamped with multiple entry visa and the requirement was a proof of her permanent residency abroad.  

She was able to get her approved migrant visa so I will file again with Pag-Ibig next week.  Hope that it will be okay this time! And I will blog about how it goes.  Stay tuned...

December 4, 2012

November 21, 2012

Time for Taxes

My husband just transferred from one work to another and its now time again to fill out a new income tax form for his current employer. He has to fill out the forms so that his taxes will be according to his income and number of dependents. He is married with 3 kids, and the tax exemption for the dependents will take out a big chunk of his tax due for payment.  I am also telling him to follow up his tax forms from his previous employer because it has to be filed together with his new forms so that his taxes can be counted accordingly.  Taxes take up more than 25 percent of our income and it is indeed huge.  The money that we can save form taxes will be a big help for our other needs.  And while I know that the taxes we pay fund the government and our needs for roads, hospitals, schools and other public services, I just hope that every body pay accordingly and equitably.  I also hope that the money being collected from taxpayers are spent properly for basic services so that I won't feel bad especially when I see unfinished bridges and very bad roads.  And while we are on the subject of taxes, it also means its time for real property tax payments for the dream house. More expenses!

November 6, 2012

My Office Plants

Remember my post about how I would like to recycle some glass containers and hope to use them for my office plants? Well, I finally was able to get around to planting water plants and here they are now:

I brought some white sands from our recent trip to Boracay which I really intend to use here and they did quite nicely.  Unfortunately, the plant on the tall glass look quite unhealthy.  I just got them from our neighbor who was pruning their plants but when I look at the leaves, they have some sort of discoloration.
Anyway, I just hope that the plants recover soon.  I washed the sands a lot of time, and have been changing the water everyday as soon as I get to the office because the water may still be salty.  I want them to be a little better before I give them to my friends for them to take good care of!  My desk is starting to look like a garden, as it is!

For Rent

Serious na talaga, I am going to have my house rented out. Hmmm, now, how does this work? First, I have to make a For Rent sign, then wait for somebody to contact me, then we will go from there. Okay, wish me luck!  Now, all I have to do is to find time to got there and put up that sign! Oh, and how much should I rent it out? Hayyyy. Decisions, decisions!

November 3, 2012

No Time For Rest

The kids are on a 2-week break but I don't know what their teachers scheduling the periodic exams after the long holiday! In most schools, or in schools I know, they finish the exams before the kids go on break.  But the teachers in my kids have a better idea: we can't have rest or go on vacation because the kids need to study!  I have raised this concern in several meetings already but they don't listen to us.  So because of this, we only went to Batangas last November 1 and rushed back home the following day.  If only I can hire some tutors, like those woodmere english tutors, then I won't have to worry at all about helping them study.  Anyway, the kids already started with their review before the vacation and they already have their reviewers ready so it won't be as tedious this time!  But I will have the kids rest and play until Sunday and then study on Monday and Tuesday.  Its a plan and we will have some sort of rest, though we cant really go on a vacation!  Maybe will just do the needed R&R on a weekend after their exams, if my schedule and my husband's schedule permit.

Best Time To Have The Floors Done

The kids are on a two-week vacation due to the holidays brought about by All Saints Day and because its their semestral break.  I was thinking if I can already have the floors done while they are on break.  According to the carpenter I talked to, it will take 2-3 days for them to finish the floor tiles installation at the living room, and another day for the room.  I was wondering if this is as fast and as good as the floor installation Humble TX guys that I was looking at the other day. I want it over before the Christmas season but since our house is small, everything in the house will be put on hold while the floors are being done! Everything will be filled with dust and we wont be able to stay on the house and might even have to sleep next door at my in-laws! And then I remember that the kids will have their periodical exams when school resumes so I am having second thoughts on whether I should have the floors done now. Or maybe on the first week of December?  If we cant have it done before the year ends, then we will have it done by summer break.  And I was so looking forward to having our house ready for Christmas!

October 30, 2012

Getting the House Ready for Christmas

Time flies so fast and its now just a little more than a month before Christmas! And Christmas, being the season of giving and sharing makes us open our homes to our friends and families.  I expect to have lots of parties and to be invited in lots of homes too! So this early, we are already getting our house ready for this occasion.  Since we have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas, we are planning on inviting my sister's family to stay for the holiday.  And to prepare, we are thinking of re-painting the house in a festive yellow color to make it look extra alive and clean.  We don't think we need to replace our sofa because we just bought it last year.  Maybe  we will just buy a coverlet or have it re-upholstered, depending on the budget.  We are also thinking of getting new carpets to accent our living room.  Good thing I saw this great sale where you can Get $100 off carpet today!  And I can choose from a variety of design that will showcase my home.  I am so excited to be getting new carpets and I know my house will look wonderful, homey and ready to receive my  family and friends.

October 16, 2012

My Room!

Found this here and just had to share!  But instead of DVD's, they would be filled with books! I love this room idea.  If I can do this to my room, I wouldn't leave it except to eat! Ha ha!

October 15, 2012

What's a FruiQuet?

Its a Fruit Bouquet! And my boss got one last week and shared some with us! Sorry, but I only got a photo of my pineapple and not of the whole basket because it was almost finished when I got there, ha ha ha.
This is actually a great gift ideas for bosses who do not drink and are not into wine. So if you are tired of the usual flower arrangements, try sending a fruiquet instead. I found their website here.

October 14, 2012

Recycling Glass Containers

These are just two of the glass containers I have on my table at the office that I am going to recycle.  The round container was sent to me with  thank you flowers for an event where I helped at the registration.  And the slim glass container was for olives that my office mate brought.  I am thinking of making them into plant holders, like the one below.  The glass container was from a wedding invitation of a friend.
I am just looking for the right plant to put something on it but I will surely post a picture o the finished product.  See how recycling can be fun?

October 10, 2012

Meralco's Bill Deposit

My mother-in-law showed me two Meralco bills this morning: one for our regular monthly bill and the other for the additional bill deposit that they require us to pay by November 1.  We looked at each other and I know that we were thinking the same thinking: 'Is this for real? Where will I get the money for this when this is not in my budget?' After hearing on the news this morning that Meralco bills will increase due to the generation charge, this bill deposit will make a big dent on my budget.  I am still waiting for the latest development and hope that the ERC will somehow stop the collection or ask Meralco to make a monthly staggered collection. 

October 7, 2012

More Home Improvement Ideas

My friends and I were sharing horror stories of our home improvement experiences over brunch this weekend.  Ana had her house painted, and it chipped and cracked after less than a month. Rhea had her roof repaired and it leaked just last weekend! And the leak almost made the whole ceiling collapse.  And I told them about the time when we had our floor tiled and some already got chipped even before the whole floor was done.   They had a hard time looking for their contractors to have the job done all over again.  And aside from spending more, the time and effort spent in home improvement is indeed an investment. It really is not easy to make home improvements especially when you are working on a tight budget.  I told them that I am saving up to have the floor tiles changed and that I am looking at various flooring choices. I am thinking of getting ceramic tiles and my friends agreed with me that it is a good choice.We also discussed getting wooden floors, carpets or vinyl and it was a morning well-spent talking about home improvements. I love how I was able to catch up with my friends and learn new improvement ideas at the same time!

October 5, 2012

Need Money to Grow Your Business?

Do you need money to grow your business? Are you into online selling and business over the internet? I only have my Paypal account which I use to buy some things over the internet because I do not have a credit card but for online sellers and small business that needs capital, this is great news.  You should try and find out everything you can learn about Kabbage. From my readings, I found out that Kabbage is a trusted source of capital for Ebay online business so if you need some funds for your online business, this might be the answer to your prayers! Of course, please do not take my word for it but instead, do a complete due diligence before entering into any online activity.  While transacting over the internet is now very easy, it has also become easier for scammers and hackers to commit fraud.  So before entering anything, make sure that you have read all about it.  Do read testimonials and ask around if the people you trust are familiar with it to avoid any problems in your online business.In this day and age when everything can be done over the internet, it helps to be safe and secure while being efficient!

September 21, 2012

I Could Live Here

I typed "dream house" on google and these are just two of the houses that popped out from this website! I can seriously live here! Seriously, who wouldn't?

Or even here if you want to make a fine point of it!

But without them, it just wouldn't be the same! So while I wish the universe to conspire to give me that dream house already, I am happy wherever I am as long as I am with my family! After all, its what matters most!

September 14, 2012

Emotional Investment

While this house might turn out to be a not-so-good financial investment, my emotional investment is so high I don't think I will be able to sell it :(  This realization is after I got a call inquiring whether I am selling my house and for what price! Ouch, I don't think I can sell it anyway. That's all.

August 29, 2012

Calamity Loan for House Repairs

The company I work for offered a calamity loan for those affected by the recent typhoon. The term of the loan is very generous: 6-months zero percent interest and salary deduction.  I availed of this loan because the roof of our house leaked during the heavy rains and we are indeed due for some house repairs.  My mother-in-law who owns the house we are renting is now asking for a quote on how much we need to budget for these repairs.  The roof is the priority actually but I cant help but dream that I can also have the floor tiles installed.  Unfortunately, the loan being offered is not enough to have both the roof and the floor fixed so for now, I am just looking at Downs carpet to satisfy my need to beautify the floor.  Good thing that the carpet that I am looking at looks really good and is priced just right.  Otherwise, I would have to cut the budget for the roof! Although there are other loans being offered for those victims of typhoon, I would rather wait when we have saved enough for other repairs.  The priority now is to change rotting roof sheets so that we wont get panicky again when it rains.

August 18, 2012

Dream House

LMG Projects
I love watching home improvement shows.  I like how they transform an ordinary home into a family's dream house.  It is really my dream to have a beautiful house that I can fill with everything that I love.  Our current home, where we are renting is very small and of course, we cannot make any improvements because its not ours.  But we can only do so much with paints and curtains and while my house here looks okay, I dream of something more.  And while our Montalban is big and we can do with it as we please, I am not sure anymore if we are just throwing good money after bad because of the recent flooding.  What I really want is to build a home from the ground up, using these wonderful materials from Lazer Marble and Granite. I want something like the bath above and luxuriate in a bath to soothe my body.  I want a living area with marble floors and a kitchen with granite counter tops.  This is going to be a dream that I really want to have someday.  Now, it is not yet possible because we are building another dream, that of sending the kids to a nice school.  But once the kids have careers of their own, one day, I will have this dream house.

August 10, 2012

Flooded Again, Ondoy Redux

We live in a compound in Santol Quezon City and our house is located at the lowest portion of the street.  During heavy rains, our street gets flooded but the water subsides immediately after.  I have been living here with my family for 15 years and this is only the second time that the flood water reached our house! This is like Ondoy,  thankfully, on a smaller scale!
When the water reached our gate and the rain was still pouring like crazy on Tuesday, we were already on alert mode and started packing things to be moved to the second floor of my my moms-in-law house. Unlike Ondoy when most of our things got wet because we didn't think the water would reach up to our chest, we prepared for the worst and had almost everything brought to the other house!
During Ondoy, the water rose immediately up to chest level and by the time we wanted to move our clothes piled on top of cabinets and chairs, we were already tired and resigned and the cabinets were toppling over and everything got submerged.  
 Our washing machine got wet last time too so everything had to be washed by hand.  This time, our washing machine was already up on chairs and was ready to be moved again if the water rises once more.
Thankfully, the highest that the water reached was up to our knees and everything was safely moved to the other house. Only the refrigerator got submerged as my husband was not yet home to move it to higher ground.  Anyway, we will just keep it off for a few days and it will be good as new again just like last time. 
One thing I learned after Ondoy was to take no chances.  We moved everything because it would be easier to put them back again than to try to save and clean wet stuff.  It was also very fortunate that I now keep canned goods, noodles and biscuits otherwise we would have to wade through the waters to get to a sari-sari store.  We were not so fortunate during Ondoy because we underestimated the flood but we were prepared now, thank God.  I really feel so bad for people who had to experience this again and I know that despite the inconvenience, we are again luckier than most.  Of course, our house in Montalban is another blog post all together!

August 9, 2012

How To Claim Insurance from Pag Ibig Fund

This is a re-post from my 2009 post when I filed for insurance claim for my house in Montalban during Typhoon Ondoy.

 How to Claim Insurance from Pag-Ibig for Typhoon Ondoy
I heard this first on TV and from the news, I saw this part of an article:

Insurance claim Members whose houses are currently mortgaged with Pag-IBIG may also file for non-life insurance claim covering the difference of the estimated cost of repairs and the proceeds from the non-life insurance claim, provided it does not exceed P150,000. Like its regular housing loan program, the pieces of property should be covered by appropriate titles issued by the Register of Deeds “free from all liens and encumbrances” and should be in the name of the borrower. Members can avail of the rehabilitation loan within 60 days starting October 5, 2009. For any inquiry on the new program, they can visit any Pag-IBIG branch or call the Pag-IBIG hotline at 724-4244.

 Of course, I had to find out if I qualify for an insurance claim. I have been paying for this housing loan for 5 years now and have even qualified for their good payor program. My only problem would be on the title since it is still on process until now. I called the hotline and was told to submit the following documents at the Pag-Ibig office at the Atrium Building in Makati, Room 314:
1. Barangay clearance or certification
2. Pictures of the damaged property (at least 12 pictures)
3. Bill of materials From my developer, aside from the above, I was told to get these forms from them and submit to Pag-Ibig also:
4. Insurance application form
 5. Sworn Statement-notarized
6. Architect Estimate I think the architect estimate will include the Bill of materials as well.

I will secure these documents within the week and submit to Pag-Ibig as soon as possible. If I can claim some form of insurance, it will be a big help at this time. Pag-Ibig office is open from 8am-5pm, from Mondays to Saturdays.

Note: I was able to get my insurance claim 5 months after I filed it in 2009.

July 25, 2012

No More Flood Please!

Every year, as soon as the rainy season starts, I feel apprehensive about floods and any news about them.  If you have been a long time reader of this blog, you would remember that this dream house felt the wrath of Typhoon Ondoy some 3 years ago.  In October 2009, our house was flooded up to the ceiling, and the mud that was left after was ankle deep.  We spent a lot of money cleaning up and fixing the place.  We got some insurance money and took out another loan from the bank to make our house look this way.  So every time I hear some news about the water levels on rivers and dams getting higher than normal, I am worried.  We have new floors, new dining table and chairs and new appliances at our weekend house and I dont want them to get flooded again!  While I really would love to change our flooring after looking at , I would rather that it is because I want to change them and not because they were flooded!  We are hoping to save more money to build the second floor of this dream house but since our priority at this time is the college fund for our eldest son, the dream is now on hold.  So I am just praying for no more continuous rains which mean no more flood!  And I think that is the prayer of every one else during this season.

July 19, 2012

Of College Entrance Tests and Exams

My eldest child is currently on his third year in high school and this early, I am already looking at colleges and universities that offer his preferred course in college.  He is currently thinking of getting a degree in Geology and there are only 2 or 3 schools offering them now.  This makes it harder to get into those schools so I am seriously thinking of hiring a gmat tutor to increase his chances of being accepted.  My best friend's daughter who is now in her last year in high school, is listing down her choices of tutors and I am glad that Veritas Prep is on her list because how she will fare will help me make the decision for next year!  I keep telling my son that I got accepted on a state university and my college education was paid for by the state, and he should just follow my route to do away with all these expenses.  But he wisely replied, and I have to agree, that times have indeed changed and getting into a university is now such a competition and one has to make these investments to have better chances.  Since education is the only thing that I can give my children, might as well spend for it and hope to get the best!

Commercial Cleaning: You Need One!

No matter how much we do a thorough cleaning of our houses every day, dirt will still accumulate after a while.  And this is something that frustrates me very much because I cannot stand a dirty house.  I want my house to look and feel clean, and smell good.  My friend, who owns a two-story house and has a stay-in helper, told me that the secret to her house looking always new and clean is, she hires a crew from a commercial cleaner. She gushes how having professionals do a once-a-month job is really worth the money she pays for them because her house, though it is five years old, looks like a showroom!  You cannot see any speck of dirt and even hard to reach places are clean.  We all love going to her house and she is proud of it too because we know that she is living in her dream home.  And I guess if you really love the house, you will spare no expense in trying to keep in nice. And it was a good idea too to have commercial cleaners because they really do a good job. So the last time that I was at her house, I asked her for the name of her cleaners, and I really got interested at Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems.  So if you want to check them out too, here are some further info to help you out.

Tiles or Carpet?

I love the feel of carpet on my feet and I love how there are many designs that one can choose from to decorate the house.  With a good carpet, a room can be transformed from blah to pizzaz!!! But, my mom will skin me alive if I were to put carpet on our house because she has sworn them off when one of my kids developed strong allergies from the dust that accumulates on them. No matter how often we vacuum the carpet,  my kids will always start sneezing like crazy and scratch on their skin until it bleeds.  Good thing that there are wonderfully designed tiles that I can live with.  The ones I saw when we shop tile the other week were really chic looking and would definitely add more personality to our white-tiled floor. There are designs that look like beautiful carpets from afar without the added burden of carpet cleaning! I brought my mom with me when I was looking at those tiles and she loved them.  I really just have to order the designs I love and schedule changing our floor tiles. I know that it will be again very messy, but I can wait for two to see my tiles that look like carpet on my floor! I am excited already!

July 13, 2012

My Dream Wedding

All girls dream of getting in that white dress, walking down the aisle at the church and looking at her dream man, waiting for her at the altar to begin a life of happily ever after.  And I am one those girls, despite being married to my husband for almost 15 years now. Our wedding was at the office of a judge, at his office at the top of a food chain in Manila.  Not very romantic, but I was young and already pregnant with our first child.  But I have never given up on my dream of being married in church and we plan to have it on our 25th wedding anniversary.  By then, my eldest son and second son, would have already finished college and starting their careers and my youngest will be in college.  I can only imagine how fun it would be to look for dresses for bridesmaids, who of course, are my best friends Ron and Ehms and my sister Dianne.  My youngest sister and my daughter will be my bridesmaids and we will plan my dream wedding the WeddingtonWay.  I know that I can really have my dream wedding 10 years from now and it is indeed a dream to look forward to!

July 6, 2012

Building My Dream House

This blog, Building My Dream House was my attempt to chronicle our journey towards owning and building a home for our family.  When we first took out a housing loan from a non-profit organization, we were so excited that we were already on our way to owning a house, albeit a low-cost rowhouse.  It was really an accomplishment, as both me and my husband came from families who were just renting and did not own property. 

But we were not able to move in at once, because we live in Sta Mesa where everything was accessible: the kid's school, the church, the malls and our workplace.  We ended up paying for the house but not living at it for almost 3 years.  Until one time when we went there to visit and it broke my heart that well-intentioned neighbor put his dog on the house to prevent vandals from coming in.  He also made it his storage area!  Right then, I knew we had to do something and there began construction for the house.

And the, Typhoon Ondoy happened. Our house, like most in the city was flooded and mud was almost knee deep.  With the help of friends and families and some insurance money, we got our house back in shape and the construction commenced again.  The first picture above is the current state of my house.

We also had tiles installed.  It is actually not my first choice because I would have preferred to get hardwood flooring I saw at that I loved so much!  But we had to have tiles instead because they were cheaper in case we got flooded again.

So when I sum up our journey towards building this house of our dreams from scratch and what we went through to have it looking very homey right now, I feel a sense of accomplishment.  The universe has indeed conspired to help make this dream come true!  Indeed, there are still lots of things to be done, like the second floor, but I know that God will still provide for this wonderful dream!  I just have to believe!

July 5, 2012

Life is Beautiful

I may not have the most beautiful house.  I may not have the best job.  I may not be getting the highest accolades from other people.  But I have my family and I am complete.  And for that, life will always be beautiful!

Home is where your heart is and my mine belongs to each and every one of them.  Our house may or may not be flood prone and we may be staying in a cramped one-bedroom house in the city, but I would rather be there than somewhere else without my family.  And for that, my home is my dream home.  And what a beautiful home it is!

July 2, 2012

Toyota Lite Ace for Sale or Swap

For Sale or Swap
Toyota Lite Ace 1989 Model
Text or Call:
NOEL 09228887674

June 23, 2012

Choosing the Proper Flooring For Your House

Choosing the proper flooring for your house is really a big decision. Remember that you would have to live with that flooring for  long time.  You cannot just change your mind and have it replaced because it is very costly and time consuming.  I decided before that I wanted white floor tiles for my house and when it was installed, I found it too boring and lacking in personality.  I would have really preferred to have natural hardwood for my floors.  But its too late now because I don't have the budget to have it replaced.  So for you out there that are  still in the process of choosing of your flooring, you get more information here while you still have time. I would really suggest that you get samples of the flooring that you like, then put it on the floor and see how it looks. Get as many samples as you like so you have many choices.  Don't rush into making the decision to choose the flooring and consider everything.  Make a list of your considerations before you finally decide. It may seem a little too tedious, but I'm sure that it would be a lot of fun too!

June 22, 2012

Stock Market for Beginners

When I was in college, I was fascinated with the stock market and on the story of how many people became rich of it.  I read about their stories and followed movement of some stocks that I would have bought if I were to start investing in the stock market.  However, life get in the way and I got a job that did not give me the kind of exposure that would enable me to properly try my hand at investing.  So after 15 years, I am now  in a job that is all about investment and my interest on the stock market has picked up again.  I am currently reading some tips on stock market for beginners and here are some of them:

1. Take stock investing seriously.  It may feel like gambling, but it is not.  You can really earn, as long as you study each stock that you will buy.
2. Learn basic accounting principles, reading an annual report and the history of the stock market.  If you know the game, you will know how it works.
3. Read the business section of the newspaper and be on the look out for trends and investment opportunities.
4. Buy low and sell high is the game, but be sure to know how it works.  Be patient and your investment will grow.

I am currently reading Timothy Sykes and hot technology penny stocks.  I know that I have a lot to learn before I take the plunge.  And I am lucky to be surrounded by people who knows about the stock market, and would willingly answer my questions. I really have to think a lot and study a lot before I can say that I am ready to start playing the stock market.

June 19, 2012

Natural Hardwood vs Tiles

If I have the budget and the energy to have our floor re-done, I would have opted for natural hardwood instead of floor tiles that I had installed in our house.  Just this morning, I realized that I really enjoy buffing our floor with coconut husk, like we do in the old days and I won't be able to do this in our dream house!  With floor tiles, I will just need to have a mop to clean it and I know it is so easy but there is just no personality on white floor tiles.  If I at least couldn't have the nice natural hardwood at, then I should have opted for tiles that are of the wood design. But still, there is something to be said about wooden floors.  Not only the added exercise that I can get from buffing the floor, but the personality that the house will acquire over the wear and tear of the wood.  With tiles, they just get broken or chipped, while wood retain its personality, even its charm over the years.  Of course, at the back of my mind there is that nagging thing about flooding and what it will do to the natural hardwood, but hey, one can dream, right? And this blog is not called building my dream house if I cannot put down what I really want for it, except that I don't have enough resources right now! Well, back to the drawing, I meant, dreaming board then!

June 16, 2012

How to Make A Happy Post!

I believe that there is always something to be happy about.  I just look around the house and I am immediately reminded of four big reasons for my happiness: my husband, and my three kids.  And of course, there is my mom, my sister Kris and my sister Dianne and her family.  They are the people that makes my life meaningful.  I may not have of money and I may even lack lots of things, but with them healthy and safe around me, I know that I am luckier than most.  So it is quiet easy for me to make a happy post: just put their names and funny emoticons to describe them and my post is a happy one already!  And those are just for the people in my house and in my family.  If I have to count  little farther, I can always count on my two best friends, Ehms and Rona, to be with me in happiness and in pain.  They give me reasons to be happy because they have been great friends since college.  And when I count my friends at the office, then this will be an even happier post!  My office mates are such characters that I would need a whole bunch of crazy emoticons to make a sensible post!  So this how I can make a happy post: just start by counting my friends and I am not even starting to count my blessings!

June 15, 2012

Bills, Bills Bills

You know what, utility bills, like death and taxes are inescapable.  I hate that I pay too much for those bills just because we don't have our own meters.  This has gone on for far too long and its way past irritating: its a nuisance.  Wish I do not care too much about world peace, ha ha and would just go for an all out war.  Now, that would be a sight to see.  But, I would rather pay the bills than live in a constant state of irritation.   I am just irritated once a month. Ha ha! I really wish I can live in my own home already and stop thinking about these things.  Unfortunately, our home is just too faraway for now, both literally and figuratively.  So, for now, i wish this stop irritating me to bits!

June 10, 2012

Terror de Manila

Photo courtesy of Carlos Celdran
This is just wrong.  DMCI, one of the biggest real estate developer in the country has this project, Torre de Manila that once finished, will be visible behind the image of our national hero.  Every picture that we would take there will always have that condo as a backdrop! 
Then we wont be able to have images like this anymore! How could the City of Manila allow such a development that will destroy the sight line of our nation's pride?  

Let us all make a noise and encourage prospective buyers to stay away from Terror De Manila!

June 8, 2012

Weekend Warrior Mode

It is the last weekend before classes officially start for my kids and this is going to be a busy weekend for me.  While I already prepared their uniforms the week before, I still have to iron them tomorrow.  And if there is chore that I hate doing, it is ironing clothes.  I sometimes bribe my sister to do this for me, since we don't have any helper at home, but she is worse at it than me so it really doesn't work well for us.  Good thing they finished covering their school books and they are preparing their school bags today.  We have also sorted their socks, handkerchiefs and inner shirts so we are okay to start the weekend.  Now, if only I don't have to iron any uniform then I would have had a perfect weekend.  I was so into weekend warrior mode these past few weeks so all our clothes cabinets were sorted out and we gave away lots of stuff already. If I were not scheduled to prepare their school uniforms these weekend, I would love to be in a salon, enjoying a peaceful afternoon of nail and hand care! But as it is, I have to be in my best weekend warrior mode and work myself up to enjoy doing all these stuff, ha ha.

June 4, 2012

Better Safe Than Sorry

The rainy season is almost upon us and I can't help but become apprehensive once more about flooding.  I can still remember how Typhoon Ondoy ravaged our house, both this house in Montalban and the one we are renting in Quezon City and how hopeless I felt after.  Of course, I really cannot know then that it could happen and I guess half of Metro Manila was not prepared as well.  But this time, I know that flooding is a possibility in our house and it is better to start looking for cheap insurance quotes both for our house and for our car.  I will really cry and blame myself if the same things should happen and I am not prepared. It was a good thing that our amortization also includes insurance for the house and the money that we received helped to rebuild the house once more.  But one can never really be too sure and it is best to really get insurance.  The weather has changed a lot and flooding is almost a fact of life now.  I just wish that I can afford some cheap insurance, or at least one that I can afford to invest in for my peace of mind as well.

May 31, 2012

When to Buy A House?

My friend Vangie and I were discussing their plan to buy a house.  She is currently pregnant and her husband is home from his work abroad and is still undecided whether he is going back or not.  They are looking at several lots and they just want to build the house based on their own design.  My friend was asking me whether now is the right time to buy a house, given her situation.  I told her, buying a house is a commitment and if they are decided, then now is the right time to buy.  They have saving enough for down payment and they can take home loans from either Pag-Ibig or at various banks, depending on the interest rates that they can afford.  They can also check out Advantage Home Rates for mortgage computations and to know more about getting a home on mortgage. There are several options on rates, which they can also find at Advantage, like this article on Fixed and Adjustable Rate Home Financing. I told them also to read on some tips on housing loan options for OFW's like her husband.  I am sure they can finally decide when to buy their house after reading all about it.

Again, for me, buying a house is a commitment and once you have decided to do it, then it will happen for you because you will do everything in your power to finally get that house of your dreams!

May 21, 2012

Frequently Asked Notary Questions

One of the best sites to learn about notaries is on FindNotary blog or at wikipedia.  They cover many frequently asked notary questions to help you best understand the notary industry. There is also a Notary Forum for notaries and people looking for notaries can interact easily with each other and where they can  and get as many of their questions answered quickly and professionally. Here are just some of the frequently asked questions for Notary:

What is a notary? A notary is a public official which performs services in everyday life that gives agreements legal backing and proof. They have undergone training and have been approved by the state to acknowledge signatures, conduct oaths and affirmations and issue subpoenas in law suits.

How to become a notary?To become a notary in the United States, you have to you pass a simple test and a background check and you  You need to be a resident of the state that you are applying to.  You must be and at least 18 years of age or older. An application has to be completed, and a fee has to be paid to the commissioning authority.  Then you must obtain a notary bond and take an oath of office at your county clerk’s office. It is also important to check with your state office as every state will have different requirements.

What is the difference between notary public insurance and notary public bond? Insurance protects a notary from financial liability if he/she makes an error when performing the notary duties. The notary bond only protects the public not the notary. The notary can obtain a bond from an insurance company but is also able to to submit personal property as security.

What is a notary seal? The procedure requires a notary’s signature and a seal as well. This is evidence that the signature is valid and that the person that is witnessing is a current notary public.

How long is the term for a notary? The term of office for a notary is four years. The notary is able to contact the clerk’s office to find out the exact procedures for renewing.

What is a mobile notary? This is a notary that is mobile, which simply means that he/she will travel to different locations to perform notary services. This may result in an extra charge for travel expenses.

Where can I find a notary? Finding a notary is simple. One of the best way to do this is by using, but they can also be found a county offices, financial institutions, and courthouses.  There are also mailing centers, such as UPS and post offices that have notaries.

May 18, 2012

Saying Goodbye to an Old House

Our neighbor recently sold their house and moved to a condominium.  Their house is the only in the street that has retained its good looks over the years.  I am sure that if their father did not pass away, they would not sell the house.  But as it is, our neighbor and her siblings have been living apart for some time now and it was understandable that the old house has to be sold and the money divided among the kids.  I know that if I own that house, saying goodbye would be difficult.  There will always be childhood memories in that house and besides, as I said earlier, the old house is a looker.  I dont think I have ever seen such nice and well maintained lawn as though  San Diego synthetic turf worked on it!  It is actually my dream to have a pretty garden like theirs. The flowers, especially during summer make for pretty garlands and the trees, for great shade! And the nice bench makes for great place to rest. I just wish the new owners would take care of that old house so that our street would retain the charm that that house brings! And if I own the place, I will probably not say goodbye to that old house!

May 16, 2012

I Can Live Here!

This is a cottage in a resort we visited last week located in Binangonan, Rizal.  This is built in a fish pond and even during midday, it was not hot or humid here.  We saw the resort owner fishing in one of these cottages and it got me thinking that I can retire here, if not in a farm!  I love how peaceful it was just looking at the water, with the soft breeze blowing in your face.  This is the life!
And with a view like this on the water, with a book and no schedule to laze all day, I can think that I am already retired and living the good life!
But its way too far from where I am in my life right now so I will just take these moments to imagine what could be :-)

May 13, 2012

I am loved!

I may not have the dream house that I want because it is a work in progress, but I have the kids that I have wished for all my life.  I feel so loved! Thanks Drex, Danniel and Ishi, abnd my sister Kris too!

May 11, 2012

My Dream Wedding

If asked about two things that I want to have, it would be to have my dream house and, to have a church wedding.  I have not yet been married in church because we only had a civil wedding way back 14 years ago.  I know that it is every womans dream to walk down that aisle, dressed in white, to be met by the man she wants to spend the rest of her life on the altar, and for God to bless their union.  But once you are a mother, yor priorities change.  Suddenly,  there are  bills to pay and kids to raise and everyday expenses to live with.  And so my dream of of having a church wedding just stays at the back of my mind.  But when I saw the other day a feature on New York Estate Weddings, I again remember my dream.  I suddenly realize that my dream can actually become real with the help of a company like Estate Weddings and Events. I was thinking that maybe a year or two would be enough to save money for this wedding.  I know that my family will support me on my dream because, this is also for them: a validation of our family.

April 27, 2012

Cool Hanging Lamps

I saw these cool hanging lamps from a KFC store in Shangri-La Mall. They caught my attention because the design were made of leaves and they are really beautiful!
I like this yellow lamp and I think that this would look good in my dining area! I just hope that this could be pulled down and pushed up as needed.
And this big red hanging lamp would look just right in my living room!  I love how it can be dimmed or lighted depending on the mood.  

Oh how I wish I have more money for my dream house so I can enjoy these things in my house soon!

Credit Card Tips

I used to own a lot of credit cards.  I accepted each and every card I get from each and every bank that would give me pre-approved cards. And I felt such a millionaire that I bought lots of useless things and just swiped it all.  Then came the bills that brought me crashing back to reality: I was drowning in debt! After that, I surrendered all my credit cards and I am still paying off some of them until now.  If  I had my wits with me then and I didn't get so excited about what I thought was free cash, I wouldn't be in this situation right now.  I should have read about proper usage and credit card tips the moment I had my hands on them!  Now, I only use my friend's credit card so that I am sure to pay it on time and only for very important stuff.  And for those of you who are new to using credit cards, I would like to share some of these tips:

1. Keep your credit cards at home and bring it only if you really need it.
2. If you really to buy something with your credit card, check for freebies and other offers.  That way you get to save some money.
3. Pay it off in full on time. Saves you from a lot of finance charges.
4. If you need to buy something, check for installments that offers zero interest. Easier on the pocket.
5. Keep only 2 cards at the most.

So happy responsible spending to all of  you!

April 20, 2012

Online Back up and Disaster Recovery

Do you regularly back-up your blog and other online storage? I am ashamed to admit that I have never even done it once for the longest time that I have been blogging and only yesterday when I found out that my friend's email has been hacked and she cant access anything did it crossed my mind to check it out! I am now looking at and checking out thoroughly how I may have an enterprise-grade online back-up and disaster recovery plan set-up. It is really not a laughing matter because I can see how frustrated my friend is and she has been blogging longer than me. Most of her online accounts are linked to one another so she feels crippled at the moment. I know that I should have started learning about online back-ups the moment I started starting blogging but the thought has never crossed my mind until now. I am just thankful that I am not in my friend's shoes and I can still very much do something about it! It is really nice to know that you can prevent disaster from happening as long as you know the right enterprise IT services and way to do it. So goodbye for now while I back up my blogs.

April 15, 2012

Of Rooster and Wild flowers

Just some of the things that my son took photos of while we were in Montalban: these wild flowers and the rooster below. Some things that they do not see everyday at our house in the city.
And we wake up the crow of this rooster every morning!
We really are in a place where animals and plants, and people too can enjoy fresh air and cleaner surroundings!

April 13, 2012

Vaporizers and Humidifiers

For the longest time, I have been suffering from sinusitis. I already a surgery some years ago, but coupled with rhinitis, this has been plaguing me for some time now. Therefore, I have lost my sense of smell. Lost may be an overstatement, but there are more times when I cant smell a thing! And this is where humidifiers and vaporizers are a big help to me. Have you ever heard of molecular gastronomy? Well, its a kind of cooking technique where the flavor or aroma is extracted via a vaporizer and infused in the air to make a different eating sensation. I can definitely relate to that because a strong aroma can make the food tastes way better and make the dining experience a lot times more enjoyable! Another thing that can make people like me smell and enjoy the sensation is by trying out vapir no2. It is a cordless, handheld and portable vaporizer that once can easily carry around. Seriously, I have never tried a vaporizer before but I have had experience with humidifiers since with my sinusitis when I cant really sleep properly. But vaping is something that I can seriously consider trying. And for others out there, you can check VaporExperts for other vaporizers for your needs.

April 8, 2012

Our Home Vacation

We have been staying at our Montalban home since Thursday after we did our Visita Iglesia and it is both very simple, restful and fulfilling. Nothing very special, but we been together and spending the lenten season at home. We have been watching mass and reflections on TV, watching horror movies from the laptop and just chilling.
We have also been watching the sunset, and the beautiful farm before us!
The kids are having a grand time playing, just enjoying each other's company, without gadgets to distract them.
And we have been feasting as well!
Our long weekend at home is really very simple yet I feel a certain peace that I have been looking for. I feel blessed, having a beautiful home, and the people whom I love and who loves me back are with me. What else can I ask for?