Friday, January 30, 2009

Furnishing A Small Space

Those in the city are feeling more and more cramped. There just isn't that much space to work with when you live in a metropolis and bulky furnishings make you feel all more overwhelmed.

What to do?

It may be expensive, or not (depending on how resourceful and inventive you are), but investing in good pieces with clean lines and that are designed to save space is really the only way to go.

Sample innovations you can do may include any of the following:

1) Buy a center table or side tables that can accommodate extra chairs (or cabinets) under them. For more seating when company comes calling, or for more storage.

2) Make do without a tv stand and prop your TV instead on a shelf. Or invest on a flat screen one you can have mounted on a wall.

3) Place the largest pieces of your furniture against the longest wall of the room. That would generally mean the sofa or dining table.

4) Consider double-decker beds in your kids' room. You can even decorate it enough that it also doubles as their play area so they wouldn't mind so much that one has to climb ladders just to get to his bed.

5) Instead of miscellaneous figurines, consider paintings or photos instead of your favorite things and have these mounted on the wall. You can even fill an entire wall of miscellaneous pictures and get an artsy feel to that space.

Of course, you may have to get rid of the really bulky pieces. And most of your clutter. Give away your old stuff to be sold in garage sales or sell them yourself on Ebay. Use whatever earnings to buy more usable pieces that will allow you to 'breathe' in your abode.

Shopping for Valentines

I was recently looking up home improvement products online and landed on How many of you use that site when you do your online shopping?

Anyway, I was looking for some tools and hardware stuff as possible gifts to the hubby, especially since our jack was stolen in our car before. Tools for men as valentines gifts. Brilliant, I say! But I think I also need a First Aid Kit for the car. We already have one at home but we should also have one in the car.

I was thinking of bags to give to the hubby to, for his new netbook, but since he already bought one, that's out of the question. New shoes would be great as well, especially a new running pair.

And I have to start printing out those coupons that will entitle him to more of my cooking and other treats that are priceless such as a whole body massage from me.

Good luck with those others who are scrambling for their Valentine gifts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shopwise Cakes

Shopwise cakes are really delicious, sinful creations at a fraction of the cost. This one, in particular, was moist enough and rich enough without being too sweet. What's more, it only cost P250. Their most expensive cake costs only P350!

So next time you're grocery shopping at Shopwise, stop by their bakery section before going home and buy one of their cakes.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Photographs Using Phone Cams

Interested in photography but want to check out first if you have tha artsy eye for it? Use your phone camera then. If you have a high-end model, you could even probably increase/maximize the memory capacity by buying another micro sd.

There is a science that goes with shooting good pictures and starting out with what's available to you. This way, you need not spend that much yet but can be on your way to developing a new hobby.

If you can master your phone camera and still take good pictures with it, then investing in a professional camera like a DSLR someday would be a good investment for you, because you know you will maximize its use.

Of course, only the expensive phones usually pack a decent camera with it, and most of these cameras work well if shots are made using sun as light so that exposure is okay. And if you want pictures for keeps, phone cameras may not be the best medium. Still, they provide the means for practicing a new craft. So go and start shooting. After you've mastered your cam, then you're ready to step up and invest in a new, more challenging one!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Psych Consult, Inc. Workshops for 2009

PsychConsult, Inc. is composed of a group of psychologists engaged in counseling/ clinical work. Established in 2001, its consultants conduct individual and group therapy, play therapy, psychological assessment, workshops and consultancies. Training and supervision of aspiring psychologists is likewise conducted through its practicum/ internship program.


For Psychologists & graduate students

Ethical Considerations in Clinical Practice
April 18, Saturday
Early bird: Php 1,200.00 Regular fee: Php 1,500.00
Delves into the different Professional Codes of Ethics relevant to the Philippine setting and its application to areas of assessment and psychotherapy, utilizing a combination of lecturettes and case studies

Psychological Report-Writing
April 27 to 29 (Mon. to Wed.)
Early bird: Php 5,500.00 Regular fee: Php 6,000.00
Training in the basic principles of psychological report writing, with feedback given to participants’ practice reports

Play Therapy Workshop (Module 1: Basic Skills)
May 4 to 8 (Mon. to Fri.)
Regular fee: Php 8,500.00
Intensive training in play therapy skills, through the use of lectures and discussions, as well as hands-on supervision on the actual conduct of play therapy sessions.

For teachers, parents, non-psychologists

Fostering Emotional Growth Through Play
April 20 to 22 (Mon. to Wed.)
Early bird: Php 5,500.00 Regular fee: Php 6,000.00
Basic training in using play as a way of handling common behavioral and emotional difficulties of children ages 3 to 10 years old, applicable in a variety of educational or community settings

Chaos in the Classroom: Identifying Red Flags
April 25, Saturday
Early bird: Php 1,200.00 Regular fee: Php 1,500.00
Designed to help preschool to high school teachers identify “red flags” in students’ cognitive, language, and socio-emotional development that may manifest as academic difficulties or inappropriate behaviors in the classroom

Venue of Workshops
Regalia Park Towers , 150 P. Tuazon Avenue , Cubao, Quezon City

Data sheet and workshop fees
Request for the data sheet and fill it out. Fax it and the deposit slip to (02) 4212469.

Reservations are confirmed upon receipt of information sheet and bank deposit slip.

Bank account:

Banco De Oro, Makro Cubao Branch
Account name: PsychConsult, Inc. Savings account #: 2330018106

Workshop fees are non-refundable but may be transferred to another participant.

For inquiries, please call (02) 4212469, (02) 3576427, 0917-8080193, or email

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Milk Pellets from Thailand

People coming from Thailand usually bring spicy tamarind candies as pasalubong to give away to friends and family. But what about the kids who may not be fond of spicy anything yet? And what of those who really do not like anything spicy at all (plus, not all spicy tamarind candies are made the same, even in Thailand, some taste really good while others just taste as if the makers just had a field day with the chilis).

What's a good alternative then that cannot be found here?

Try these milk pellets. We could never decipher what it says in the packaging so we've taken to calling them milk pellets. Or milk candies. They're milk solids (tastes like Nido milk with sugar) shaped like small, flattened discs. They're a hit with almost everyone I know. My husband's aunts and uncles even ask for some in reunions, so we've taken to bringing some for dessert, to pass around.

They're also generally cheap. I believe the 25 small packs we have cost only some P300-400 (when converted). And they can be bought in most of the convenience stores around Thailand so they're not really a hassle to find. They also come in chocolate flavor so make sure to notice the packaging (it would still be white but with brown packaging print, instead of blue).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Basic Parenting Skills Seminars

Love Institue and Second Moms School have organized a series of parenting seminars for FOUR Saturdays (Jan 24, Feb 7, Feb 28, Mar 14) at Valle Verde Clubhouse, 9am -12n

The program includes the following topics:

A = Attention-Giving (Jan 24)
B = Building Self-Esteem (Feb 7)
C = Communicating (Feb 28)
D = Disciplining with Love (Mar 14)
E = Enhancing Couple and Family Relationship (Mar 14)

Seminar fee is P 1000.00 per person but 10% discount will be given if both dad and mom will attend. More discounts will be given if attending all 4 sessions.

Call Love Institute at 4364-143 or Second Moms School at 6359743 or email for reservations.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Don't Just Pop Pills

The holidays take its toll on everyone. A pretty known digiscrapper I know even gained 12 pounds over the holidays. Must be all the cooking she did for her six kids.

But even if it's only two pounds or ten that you want to lose, you might want to reconsider popping that diet pill. After all, with basically the same discipline you'd require popping those pills everyday and the same amount you'd spend on them, you can lose weight more healthily. Not as fast maybe, but healthily, and probably in a more permanent way (unless you binge again).

Go grab a copy of Readers Digest Asia (January issue) for the weight loss tips that work best. Some are as easy as making sure half of what you eat are veggies, taking a great many number of steps and eating spicy food.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chansel Pizza: Delicious and Cheap

We grew up with pizzas bought at the street corner, with pizza sauce that is sweet and toppings limited to ham, cheese and pineapples. But i've always loved those type of pizzas, even when I can personally afford the more expensive (and greasy) ones that Pizza hut and Sbarro sell.

Anyway, Chansel is one such brand that many families probably have a history and love story with. The dough is umami-yummy and soft and the pizza is just really tasty without being greasy and salty. The secert may be in how much cheese goes into each one.

The hawaiian pizza costs P95 (or was it P97?). Super cheap for something super delicious!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tastier Tomato-Based Dishes

Want to give your tomato-based dish a little more flavor? Consider adding some liver spread on it. In just the right amount, your dish will be richer and would have more of that umami oomph.

Remember this the next time you cook up afritada or menudo.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shoebox Organization

Having problems locating your Manolo Blahnik pair in the midst of all those shoe boxes in your closet, and just when you're also very late for that very important date or appointment too?

Maybe one lazy afternoon, when you've got nothing to do but do not want to waste it, you can work on your shoe boxes. Label each one to facilitate finding the pair you want. Sometimes, just a simple card label or sticker will do. But if you've got many pairs of the same color, maybe you should consider taking pictures of each pair and printing those on sticker photo paper for faster identification.

Or, you can cut a hole on one of the short sides of each box and put a transparent plastic on that for easier peeking. This way, you'd also know if the shoes you're looking at will complement the outfit you're wearing.

And yes, do keep those boxes because storing your shoes in canvas bags or on top of each other will just facilitate them losing their form... and just putting them on shoe racks (except for those you often use) will get them gathering more dust.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Badjao SeafrontRestaurant - Pto. Princesa

Badjao Restaurant is a very popular seafood place in Pto. princesa. Dignitaries, when they visit Palawan, are all brought there to feast on the freshest seafood. A really cool thing about the place too is that it isn't THAT expensive, especially for Manila-based travelling middle class.

Going there without a car can be quite a problem though. You may have to hire a tricycle to wait for you because it's definitely out of the way.

The restaurant is built over the beach so both high tide and low tide bring a different magic on the view.

The staff are very friendly (as most people in Palawan are) and the food is divine!

sunset view from the restaurant

the dining area

Monday, January 05, 2009

Pool Parties with Bert Lozada

Summer is coming up and for those Moms who are throwing parties for their kids around summer, you may want to consider working with Bert Lozada Swim Schhol and throw a pool party with professional swim school teachers/coach to facilitate activities and games.

Instead of getting clowns and mascots, you get the following instead:

BLSS Pool Party Specialists Birthday Tarpaulin
BLSS Pool Party Specialists Standee
6 pcs. Noodles
6 pcs. Inner Tubes
6 pcs. Mini Mats
2 pcs. Inflatable Boats
2 pcs. Mini Inflatable Pools (for game use)
12 pcs. Armband Floaters
4 pcs. Beach Balls
9 pcs. Baskets
Colored Balls

Check out their website for rates and more information.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009 Prospects

Taking advantage of a bad thing is only bad if you exploit something for it.

Now, many experts are saying that real estate will suffer big time this year in the country, which would be the perfect opportunity for those who have money to invest. Even commercial real estate would be affected, which would again be a good opportunity to be grabbed by those who couldn't invest on it before.

However, dipping into savings and applying for financing loans should only come second. One must still do his research first so any investment made will not be for naught. Go for areas where some development have already started (like that area at the Fort that is slowly cropping up near the city slums) or where roads have at least been built. When the economy recovers, these areas should pick up as well.

It also wouldn't hurt to attend a seminar or two to learn more about your options and investment opportunities.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Og's Inn - El Nido

It has been two years since we actually went there, but i'd still recommend Og's Inn for travellers on a budget who are heading off to El Nido.

First of all, it's cheap. Back then, we got a non-airconditioned room for P500/night (I hear it's P800 now). You won't really need air-conditioning because the inn is beachfront and the rooms have windows where the sea breeze can lull you to sleep. The owners even had the initiative to harness solar energy for some light in the comfort/shower room (there is no electricity at El Nido from 3 AM to 3 PM).

Try these numbers to reserve rooms:
+63 (0) 91 6707 0393 / 92 0404 0223

our P500/night room had these two beds

the lobby/reception area where you can enjoy the beach view
while sipping beer

view from the inn's porch

The inn also offers internet connection for a minimal fee.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Weight Gain = Pain

The holiday binge may not be enough for you to develop Plantar Fasciitis (unless you started on it as early as September and intend to keep eating till May, figuring Valentines and Mother's Day entitles you to the same feasts) but any weight gain is sure to tax your body somehow.

Stairs may suddenly rob you of breath. The same walk of a few blocks may get you clutching a stitch on your side. Your back, feet or hips may suddenly 'give' sooner. Heck, just bumping into things due to a miscalculation of space will result in bumps and bruises.

And it's true, the heavier you get, the more pain your lower body will feel. The stiletto heels certainly won't be giving you enough support as well, so that would be double whammy for your legs.

So unless you're a masochist, keep to a healthy weight. And whatever you gained over the holidays, work on losing it asap. Delaying the return on your treadmill will just make things harder (and more painful) for you.
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