this is about family and its ups and downs, living, and everything about life from a working mom's perspective.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sulit Mom

I always make it a point to make the most out of everything. As a working mom, I should know how to budget our family's needs - this includes balancing our expenses, yet making sure that we are not so deprived.
So I have to make sure that every peso we spend is "sulit". This includes making the most out of a rewards card. 
The other day, I went to a Savemore near us to buy my kid's "baon" for school, and bought some other essentials.
When I went to the cashier, I asked her if I could use my SM Advantage Card points to pay for the grocery items. She said yes, and proceeded to check out the items. My bill amounted to P661.00. When she checked my points, it was 660 points already! So she said, "Ma'am, piso na lang ang ibabayad niyo."

Wow, nakakatuwa. I bought items for one peso.  Here's the list of items that I bought:

1 pack Oishi Pillows
2 Highlands corned beef (150 gm)
1 box Zesto Choco
2 packs Lucky Me Pancit Canton (6 pcs per pack)
1 Vitasoy Soya Oat Drink
4 cans Campbell Cream of Mushroom
5 cups Creamy Delight Yogurt

Ang hirap lang mag-ipon ng points, pero, ano pa nga ba at makakaipon din tayo, diba?


Book Review: "The Woods", by Harlan Coben

I started my love affair with books late. While members of the family were already enjoying novels, I was still stuck with Enid Blyton's children's stories, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. I started reading the more serious novels in college.
Not too many few people know that I try to finish at least two books in a week. Yep, that's my goal. If I get to finish three in a week's time, then that means I have a lot of extra time in my hands. (Gasp! I do?!?!!?!)
Anyway, a year ago, someone (Ms. Dawn) visited me in my former office and saw a book I was currently reading perched on my table. After that, she gifted me with a copy of "The Woods" by Harlan Coben, her favorite author, and another book, the first book in the series of the same author. The name was so unfamiliar, I was scared that I won't be able to finish the book (what a waste!)

I started reading The Woods, just a few page turns and I was hooked. This was also the start of my love affair with Harlan.  I've read all his books, and I thought I'd share with you The Woods by giving a review.
The setting of this book was 20 years ago, in a summer camp, where four teenagers walked into the woods one night. Two of them were later found dead, while two went missing.
Meanwhile, Paul Copeland is the new county prosecutor, and he is coping with being a single dad. His wife died six years ago.  Paul's sister was also one of those teenagers who went missing.  Someone was arrested for the murder but that someone never confessed to the killings.
Paul finds the surprise of his life when  a murdered guy is found and he is one of the two missing teenagers from 20 years ago. Paul's life is turned upside-down, his family is tested and his past is unearthed. Secrets unfold and the truth finally comes out.
This book is fast -paced and an easy read. Its twist and turns are like the Enchanted Kingdom's Space Shuttle. One moment you speculate what the ending would be, but when you turn the page, there's something more that you didn't see.  I like the witty dialogues and the profound reflections on simple matters. One is a reflection made by Lucy, and this struck me as a teacher:
"It was hard to teach students. She often tought back to her own education, the hours of mind-numbing lectures, and could not remember one thing from any of them. The lessons she had truly learned, the one she internalized and recalled and pit to use, were the quick comments a teacher would make during discussion time. Teaching was about quality, not quantity.  You talk too much, you become Muzak- annoying background music. If you say very little, you can actually score."
I like Paul. I think he's really a great guy. I love it how he defended Chamique Johnson, the rape victim. When I started reading this, I couldn't put it down. Even if I was riding the train, standing up, I had to fish out my book from my bag just to get on with my reading.

This is also where Loren Muse is first mentioned; and Cingle too. Harlan Coben's characters somehow meet each other in some other novels, which is one thing I like about his writing style. You should read his other books so you'd know what I mean.

Anyway, I give this 5  out of 5 smileys:

:) :) :) :) :)


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tupperware Women of Confidence for 2013 - Photos

My room for two nights

Last November 20 was the awarding of the Tupperware Women of Confidence for 2013. There were five of us, but unfortunately, two were unable to attend. Remember my post about that?  If not, you can view it here.

Anyways, here are some of the photos.  As a sidenote, we were housed by Tupperware Brands Philippines at the Holiday Inn (for an overnight stay).  Venue for the awarding was the Oz Bar at the Holiday Inn Makati. The three of us didn't know that the awarding ceremony was for that day. (I didn't properly read their email for me).  We thought we were attending the workshop. I arrived at lunch with my bags, thinking that we were just having lunch and when I got there, everybody was dressed - except the three awardees. Oh well!
The staff of Tupperware were so nice, they insisted to take my bag and bring it  directly to my room while I ate, and my camera was there. So yep, I just stole the photo below for the awarding from Rockstarmomma who was one of the bloggers who attended the event. 

After lunch, we got interviewed by bloggers, and writers... Feeling artista thingy... Plus more photo ops.

Around 4 in the afternoon, we had a Personality Development Workshop (that I heard, cost an arm and a leg) with Karen Loren Agustin-Ostrea, Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2002.  Wow, natupad ang pangarap kong magpapicture sa isang Beauty Queen.   We learned how to walk, sit straight, maintain good posture, introduce ourselves and others, and more feel-good things.  Ang dami kong natutunan! Had it been longer, I would probably have discovered that I don't have manners kasi ang dami kong social faux pas! Hahahahah!

Feeling Beauty Queen!

Si Ms. Karen, making a funny gesture.
After dinner, we were given a complimentary whole body massage at the hotel. Hay, first time to have a massage in a hotel (mas mahal kasi diba?)

The massage room with its own CR

I can get used to this life!
The next day was our scheduled photo shoot and video shoot. The photo shoot is for a magazine feature (Metro I think) that will come out this coming February. The video shoot is for Tupperware's campaign for confidence. There was another interview while we were waiting for our shoot

We were prepped (I hate my hair, by the way) but I didn't want (wasn't in the mood) to complain. Wearing those 4 inch killer shoes was really painfully nice - it was so nice, it looked like I had longer legs, but it was so painful that I had to remove it after every shoot.  It also hurt, because it was only a size 8... I have big feet and there is no other bigger pair. :(

Love my dress by the way... There's another, a red one, that I wore for the YouTube vid.  We were super duper feeling artista that day. Grabe! It's so hard!!!

The awardees: Nanay Remie and Dolly, with Bianca Valerio

My uber-sakit-sa-buong-paa-BUT-to-die-for-sexy-heels

Behind the scenes... while doing the youtube video

One of the prizes, an Aranaz bag.

My beautiful flowers and Plaque

Enjoying the elevator and the endless mirrors

Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Special mention to Atsi, who nominated me, Chasen, Caru, etojac family, Tan family, Esperon family, my officemates (current and former), and friends.

Ayan, huli, naglalakad nang nakapaa sa lobby.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pay Less with Payless

Last December, I was seeing signs of tear and tear (not wear and tear - dahil di pa naman sila masyadong gamit) on two pairs of shoes that I bought from Zalora.  They weren't sulit, I tell you.  So I told myself, I need to buy a replacement soon, in case I accidentally leave behind the soles of my shoes while walking along Taft Ave.
Malls offer big inventory sales usually after the holidays, until the second week of January. It's a good time to shop for yourself, you know.

Then I passed by a mall on my way home, and saw that there was a sale on Payless.  I have never bought anything from there since I didn't like their shoe designs and their price.  I've only gone inside Payless twice in my lifetime.  Third time was the other day, when there was a big "SALE" sign outside. 

First thing I saw was this cute black stiletto from Fioni Night, which was originally priced at P1250.00. It was on sale then for P300.00! Siyempre, bumili agad ako!

The material is satin and synthetic leather. It's 3 inches, me thinks.

Then, there's another pair that caught my eye from Lower East Side.  Originally priced at P995.00, it was on sale for P470 or something. It's made of synthetic leather, and it's comfortable enough for walking (and it's not flat!!!)

These are my New Year's gift for myself since I didn't buy anything for me last Christmas. Now you know that I rarely buy items for myself unless they're on a BIG sale.
Hay, ang sarap ng sale. (Kuripot talaga. heheheh)

I think (think ha, not know) Payless is on nationwide sale until January 12, 2014 (just like the other malls).

Teachers are Usually Forgotten

A few days ago, I got a Linkedn invite from a student ( he was my student in Consti three semesters ago, and he sat in front).   The signature on the mail contained his fullname, with the name of the company where he is currently associated.

Thinking that he has graduated, I replied, "Hey ____, congrats, you work at _______ na pala." And he said, "OJT lang po". I further replied that still, it's a good opportunity. Then I read his next reply a few minutes ago, which was:
"uhmmm sorry ahh , san nga po ba tau nagkakilala ?"
OH MEYN!!!!!!
I am not sure if the Linkedn invites are usually sent by its members, or if it's just an automatic thing. But the thing is, he was in my address list, and he usually sent me emails since some of my classes' requirements are passed through email, so I ASSUMED that he still new me.
Too bad, I made an ASS out of myself.
I always thought teachers somehow leave a mark on their students, not only after teaching them but also if their teachers have somehow shown them compassion when they were under their "wings". Turned out, that was wrong.
What's my poiny in writing this? Nothing. I just want to vent.
Even if I go out of my way pala to try to touch the lives of my students, I'm still just an unrecognizable face among the millions of faces that they encounter in their lives. 
At least I tried.
My only wish is that, I hope they remember what I taught about life and being kind to others, even if they totally forget about me.
Bonus na lang kung maalala nila ako...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Resolution

Every year, I make a list in my head of things I resolve to do (or not to do) and every year, I fail because I forget what's in the list.

I remember a year though, when I jotted it down, and forgot all about it all throughout the year.  So it's not just my head, I realized. It's just that I am not the "new year's resolution" type.

Just to be different, last January 1, I cleaned the house. Okay, one-fourth of the house... or one-eight of the house. It's so not easy for me, since I am not a domesticated wife, but it was an achievement. I even broke a sweat. I even tended the garden (again, a bit, since it was bigger than the house hehehe).  I also washed the dishes and gave hubby a break since he was sick.

On January 2, it was "selfish" time. Hubby encouraged me to have a massage in the morning, his treat, since according to him, when I return to the office, I will again be so busy that I wil forget to take care of myself.  I didn't take too long to be convinced so we were at the parlor as soon as it opened at 10 am.  I had a body scrub, hair and scalp massage, sauna, ventusa, turtle walk massage, shiatsu. Woooow!!!

Later in the afternoon, hubby and I had a pedicure at home. See, it's nice to have a hubby who is more vanidosa than I am, because I am reminded of what I am missing if I don't pamper myself. Then, I thought of getting a hair color, so I did. I even had my eyebrows tamed!  The little boy said (as usual), "ang ganda-ganda mo mommy!" Hay, ang sarap ng may fan!

Today, January 3, it's back to work after almost two weeks of much-needed rest.

For this year, I welcome all the blessings that will come my way (as I am sure there will be a looooott! - yep, positive thinking).  I am also looking forward to all the opportunities  that are waiting for me.

I won't have any list with me, but I now what I want for this year: More "pamper me" time, better attitude to life, a cleaner environment (this would be a little hard for me, but I'll try), and more love to give to others.

Happy new year and God bless us all!