July 29, 2011

Mommy Moments - Family Trips

mommy moments

We have had quite a few family trips and this one was not our last, but it seems to be the most memorable for Joaqui right now because he keeps on telling us that we should go back here. This was during the 16th Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga where we also celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary.

We stayed at The Oasis Hotel. It was a quaint cozy hotel and we enjoyed our stay.

Joaqui's chillax position...a proof that he really liked it there.

After watching the early morning take off of the hot air balloons, we spent the rest of the day watching flying airplanes and helicopters, kites up in the air and just relaxing on the lawn.

We're looking forward to more family trips like this soon. Join us at Mommy Moments.

July 27, 2011

A is for amusing

Seeing little children in food costumes is really amusing. This is our second time to participate in our preschooler's nutrition month program and every time I look at this picture, I am sometimes amazed on how far my creativity can take me in making a food costume.

If you have seen my previous post, you'll probably know what kind of food he is. It's actually his favorite....frozen yogurt. Enjoy!

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday Round 9.

July 24, 2011

our froyo boy

If you have a preschooler here in the Philippines, you may very well know that July is Nutrition Month, the time when our little tots will don on costumes from the different food groups. Joaqui's school had their Nutrition Month culminating program last Friday and since he is now in kindergarten, he is supposed to wear a costume from the Grow Food group. Last year he was a pizza from the Go Food group. I thought about what food he will be and decided on him being a frozen yogurt. His school encourages parents to make their own costume and this is what I have come up with.

I'm happy with the outcome and he looks really cute as a frozen yogurt boy. I never really thought that I could make a costume like this. I don't consider myself creative, but I guess when it comes to your own child, a mother's creativity will naturally come out.

July 22, 2011

a penny for your stocks

I have noticed that lines for those buying lottery tickets get longer and longer. Well, who would not be enticed to try their luck on the lottery when the prize money is so huge. People who buy lottery tickets are just waiting for their luck to strike and winning in the lottery is one of the easiest ways to get rich. Another way which seems easy is trading stocks. When I read about this, I thought that it is so hard to understand and such a big risk to undertake until a friend explained it to me. She got started in this endeavor by self-learning and she said that if I just read about these penny stocks, I would be able to learn the ropes of it, too. She is now earning from her stocks and all those money she initially spent on DVD guides totally worked out for her. Isn't it amazing?

My insurance policy segregates a portion of my premium payment for the company's investment called a flexifund and so far, so good. I have acquired a small amount of money from the insurance company's investment, but I guess if I get into trading stocks, it would be all a different story anyhow. They said that it's a big risk to take, but money will not grow if you just put it in a bank. There are now a wide array of options for those who wish to invest and I'm studying my options regarding that route. My friend who got into trading stocks said that at first it was really difficult, but when she developed her own strategy on how to trade, she got the hang of it. It is not a bed of roses for her and there were quite a few times that she lost, but her overall experience with stock trading is a pleasant one so far.


July 16, 2011

money management tool

I admit that I do not have the talent and the skills when it comes to money management, but I am trying and learning how to do it properly and stress free. I am always in the look out for tools that I could use in budgeting and managing our finances successfully. Thankfully, I am almost in the right track, especially in paying for our loans and credit card payments.

I know many people are in debt because of the different loans and mortgages that they have to pay. Although the process of applying for a loan is different here than in the U.S., it still pays to do your homework when it comes to the right kind of loan and the terms and combinations that applies for one's financial capabilities. Luckily here we do not make use of a credit report score, but it is always wise to analyze your cash flow versus the loans and credits you will be able to handle. In the U.S., people there can readily know their capacity of applying for a loan through a free credit report score, which will also let them know where they stand financially. Wouldn't it be helpful if somebody does the analysis for us and we are given the unbiased facts on mortgages, credit loans and debt to income ratio? These things about finances look difficult to understand, but if we spend the time to learn them and make decisions based on the data and information that we gather, I think a lot of people would think twice before making that credit card purchase or applying for another loan. Money is not everything, but if we make it work for us, then an inefficient money management will just be a thing of the past.

the winning smile

This was our entry for SM City Taytay's Backpack of Smiles contest and we won 1st Place out of the 200 who submitted their photos. I was really happy because this contest was not based on Facebook likes alone, although it is 25% of the total criteria. I gave it the title "Monkeying around with my Monkey Backpack and Monkey Lunch Bag." I am so proud of Joaqui for having that winning smile. : )

July 9, 2011

the dream home

Since video chat is available now in Facebook, I can't wait to chat with my friends from the U.S. whom I have not seen for a long time. I'm excited about one of my friends who recently got married and now his wife is pregnant with their first child. I never really thought that he would settle down because I've known him as a very happy-go-lucky kind of guy. He now lives in Los Angeles and currently looking for a bigger house. In one of his e-mails to me, he said that they have searched a lot of walnut houses for sale, but they have not yet found the one they really want. It reminded me of the time we were looking for our own place. There were a lot of considerations in choosing a new house or a new home. It would really depend on the family's priorities and of course, the financial capability of the future owners. He asked me for some advice and I told him that searching for their dream home is not an impossible task. They should keep in mind the qualities of a house that they are looking for. A trusted real estate agent would be of great help. Finally, I told him to try not to look at every house for sale. He could make a list of the areas where he would want to search, the price range, property criteria, etc. Well I do hope that my advice has helped him. Now I have to figure out this video chat from Facebook and soon enough my friend and I would share his experiences in his search for their dream home.


July 8, 2011

Mommy Moments - Parks

mommy moments

I love going to parks, but unfortunately there are not too many good parks to go to here in Manila. I like looking at the lush greenery, smelling the fresh air and just enjoying the natural surroundings when we go to a park.

This picture was taken when we went to Nuvali in Laguna. I don't know if it counts as a park, but it is open for the public. Air is fresh and the surroundings are clean. It is one of my favorite places to go to.

This was Joaqui's first trip to a park, which was in La Mesa Ecopark.

This was in Quezon City Memorial Circle. We went there past 6 p.m. already, but still Joaqui and his cousin were able to play in their huge playground. We even rented a bicycle and the three of us went around the bike trail. I like going to the circle also because there are a lot of things you can do, plus the huge playground is a fun thing for the kids.

I hope that there would be more parks to go to, especially in the midst of high-rise buildings and condominiums. It would let our children appreciate nature more. For more of this week's theme, just click on the badge above.

Happy Mommy Moments!

July 5, 2011

marketplace for odd jobs

All of us one way or another have been through bazaars to buy something that we have been looking for, but what if there is a bazaar for odd jobs? Wouldn't it be great if you could post a job, like cleaning your house, for a certain price and actually get the job done? Well, luckily Zaarly can do that for you - it is a collection of marketplaces in a particular area where people can post for the service they want while others browse for the job that appeals to them. Teaching your child math, fix a broken pipe, build a custom cabinet - these are just some of the jobs you can post after you sign up for the service. If the price you are willing to pay for a completion of a job appeals to someone within your local area, then all they have to do is contact you and get the work done.

Zaarly is actually a platform that connects buyers and sellers because it allows direct communication with buyers and sellers but still maintain a certain anonymity. It has a secure application with their payment processing partners, so you do not give out pertinent personal information to strangers.

Just as with other business transactions, good judgment and common sense are two very important things to keep in mind. Make sure to go over the Zaarly marketplace rules to have an enjoyable experience in a buyer-powered market.

July 4, 2011

drinking from a glass

This was one thing I forget to blog about and that is because I posted it on Facebook first. Anyway, I'm very proud to say that we've said goodbye to milk bottles and Joaqui is now drinking his milk from a glass. I was hesitant at first to let him drink milk from the glass because I was worried that he might not drink milk anymore. Thankfully, he liked it and now he's drinking milk from the glass all by himself.

This also prompted me to teach Joaqui to eat by himself using a spoon and a fork. At first it was quite difficult because it was messy, but after a few tries, he got the hang of it. Now I even send him rice and viand as his lunch for school. I think more than me being proud of him, I think he is also proud of himself for doing these things by himself. Makes him feel like a really big boy now.