Staying In Touch With The Kids

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone. All opinions are 100% mine.

Being protective and mindful of our kids' welfare comes with being a parent. No matter how paranoid we may seem (especially to our children), we cannot help but want to check on them as often as possible if they are out of the house. Of course there's the expense side of it, but thanks to Tracfone, the whole family can easily Get into Everywhereness for as little as $7 a month.

And by that they mean even grandma and grandpa! Tracfone not only markets to parents and their kids, they realize the importance of Senior Value as well. So the whole family can stay in touch, wherever they are, whenever they want using a camera of their choosing from great brands like LG, Motorola. Samsung and Kyocera, all available at the Tracfone shop.

You can even call your relatives internationally (60 international destinations and counting) for the same price as any other normal call you make using Tracfone. Plus, with the phone's International Neighbors program, you can easily provide your family in Canada or Mexico with a number which will enable them to reach you at a cost local to them.

See this video for more ideas on how Tracfone makes it easy and why it may be the perfect phone package that you've always wanted to help keep your family stay in touch all the time.

Tracfone makes it easy... by LittleBard95

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Back On Track

I've been reading every night since I got a phone after almost four years of having none. Right now it's Janet Evanovich's and her Stephanie Plum series, which is really, really good. By that I mean funny and sexy and never boring. I first encountered Smokin' Seventeen, which had me glued way past midnight, trying very hard not to laugh out loud while reading it.

It was only when I finished that I learned that there are actually 18 books in the series now, so now I am reading the first book, One For The Money. I hope I can finish all of her Plum series by the end of the month so I can check out Stieg Larsson's novels next. It was a recommendation of one of the Girl Talkers (a Thursday meme I host in my other blog) during our book month, and I've been wanting to read the novels ever since.

So I guess you could say I am one happy camper these days because I am finally able to get back to doing what I love most during my free time.

Missing Elijah

My nephew Elijah and my sister Phoebe are not here in Baguio right now. Phoebe decided to prolong her vacation in Bulacan, so they're both with my mom right now. I usually wake up earlier than Paulie and Svet, but Elijah wakes up earlier, so I'm used to seeing him and his mom already in the living room when I get out of our bedroom. Now it's complete silence in the morning until Svet wakes up. No shrieking and singing Elijah nowadays.

That's him when his hair is still long. Although we talk in Skype, it's still different when he was actually here and will suddenly run to me to hug me or call my name out of the blue or something equally sweet. Even Svet looks for him almost everyday. I hope Phoebe decides to go home soon, because we all miss this cute boy dearly.


Even though we're up to our neck in work, we still get bored. At least I do sometimes. Like now. It's been code code code ever since we got back. The only break I got was when I weeded out the undesirable plant growth outside the house the day after we got back. Nothing else is left for me to do outside, and Paulie has sufficiently cleaned the inside of the house, so I'm bored.

Although we watch at least two episodes of Bones (the TV series) at night before we go to sleep, I find myself wanting something else to do. So when I reach this point, I usually play games in my computer or read ebooks. I have read all the ebooks in my phone already, so I am left with choice number one. I have no installed games currently, so I turn to online gaming. There are a lot of free games online such as this one:

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I had a vague idea of how to play the game, because me and my sisters used to play actual cards while growing up. And besides, there were tips appearing on the screen so I'm good. It took a good portion of my hour playing the game, and by the end of the hour it was already dinner, so Paulie had to drag my butt out of my chair so we can all eat.

Good To Be Home

Wow. We're finally back home from an extended vacation due to the typhoon Pedring. Our front screen door was a bit broken (by the strong winds, most probably), and our induction cooker refuses to work, but other than those minor casualties, the house was exactly how we left it.

Anyway, as to be expected, weeds grew in the front and side of the house while we were away, so I took time the whole morning today to weed out all of them. I don't do this very often nowadays, mind you. I have been stuck up with work during the past several months that I hardly do any household chores. So now I have a clean environment outside the house and really, really dirty fingernails.

I had a couple of packages waiting for me at the guard house, contents of which have yet to be revealed, but I'm pretty sure I know what's inside. It's been several months late in coming. Yes, several. Says a lot about how efficient the postal service in this country is.

So yeah. That's my life so far since we got back.

Straight Talk

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine.

I recently rejoined the world of mobile users and I've fallen Hook, line and sinker for my new phone. However, I am again experiencing the damage done by my phone bill, one of the many reasons why I decided to ditch owning a mobile almost four years ago.

As much as I would love to have the Straight Talk prepaid wireless phone service to Call a friend, I do not live in the United States and thus do not qualify for their great services. I do, however, know that my aunt in San Diego, California uses Straight Talk to cut her phone bills in half. She raved about it the last time we talked on Facebook.

Why Straight Talk? Simple, because it has Everything you need and more! Aunt says they have a great selection of phones starting from $10 for the reconditioned ones! How affordable is that? They also make international long distance calls so much easier on the pocket.

Imagine, unlimited calls, text, picture messaging, and web for only $45 a month! Computing, that's just half of what I pay for my bills here! I am sooo jealous. Can we have Straight Talk here in the Philippines? I would definitely be the first one to avail.

Want to know more? Check out the Straight Talk commercial below!

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Rush Rush Rush

I cannot believe how many design clients are asking to rush their orders these days. It's like everyone is going on a vacation and want their blogs to have a new look before they leave. LOL. Not complaining about the extra money though (they pay for extra of course, my lovely clients!) but I am hardly on Facebook anymore. LOL. Yeah, that's what I'm complaining about. I cannot get on Facebook as much as I want to nowadays. Ha ha.

We are about to go on a 3-day vacation out of town (to Vigan, for the curious) and I'm pretty excited to take some time off work and be with the family, just exploring the wonders of Vigan. I haven't been there before, so another thing to be excited about. I've already advised my clients to hold off their excitement for a while about their new designs because I seriously need this break.

How about you? What's keeping you busy these days? ;)

Big, Big Girl

Since second year high school, I've always been one of the tallest girls in class. Also always one of the slimmest, so you can imagine how I stand out even if I don't want to. My height I've always been uncomfortable about since, well, forever, but my weight I'm pretty okay with. I mean, I can eat a lot without gaining too much weight, who doesn't want that?

But as with all good things, my eating like a pig without consequence came to an end. You know how our metabolism slows down when we get older? Well, it's finally caught up with me. Last last week me and my sister Phoebe went out to buy ourselves a pair of jeans each. How silly of me to ask for my old size before I gave birth to my daughter. I thought I didn't expand an inch since then. LOL. Turns out, I am already three inches larger. Augh. So much for pretending to have a size 26 waist.

The low carb cereal that nobody in the house was paying attention to before is now eaten during breakfasts by yours truly. I cannot afford to grow an inch larger anymore. That would mean I would have to buy another pair of jeans again. Which is a crime, really.

Reuniting With An Old Flame

I used to have a passionate love affair with reading, the kind that gets me in trouble from too much of. When I became a mom, I only get to read when time permits me, and it's not very often these days as I have tons of work. Rarely do I make time for it anymore, and rarer even that I get to read an actual book (as opposed to an e-book, which is readily available in my hard drive).

But, the other day while I was cleaning the house, I found an old book of my grandpa's that I've been meaning to read for the longest time (Degree of Guilt, Richard North Patterson). I decided that I needed a break from work because it's been stressing me so much lately, and reading seemed like the perfect way to unwind.

So here I am, halfway through the book. I realize I really miss this old hobby. I made a promise to myself to buy a couple of books the next time we go out, and I intend to keep that promise no matter what. I've been out of the loop regarding what good books to read, though. Any suggestions?


Family Trips and Vacations

Megan Gates is an active blogger and handles communications on behalf of She provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to New York Luxury Real Estate, Long Island Real Estate, and the latest in architecture, design and fashion.

Theme parks and state fairs are a fun way to keep your whole family entertained. Whether you like roller coasters for the thrill seekers in your family or water parks to beat the summer heat, theme parks usually give great deals to groups of people to get more customers coming through their gates. Check out this list of amusement parks and zoos in New York. Call ahead to the parks before you plan your trips to find out what deals are being offered.

Heading to a beach is also another great way to spend time with your family outside and enjoying the summer heat. Heading to the lakes in the Catskills is a way to enjoy swimming and boating. Heading down to Long Island to experience the beaches and the ocean is another wonderful way to get outside and bond with your family. There are many kid friendly beaches that offer more than just sand and water to keep them occupied.

Taking your family to the wilderness of the Catskills or the ocean view of Long Island, there are many ways to spend time with your family to finish out your summer.

Adam Kutner

When you’re behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, as fun as it may seem, you’re taking on a lot of responsibilities. Your well-being, the well-being of your passengers, the well-being of other drivers and pedestrians – all of them are on the line when you’re driving a car. As drivers gain experience, the muscle memory does a lot of the driving and we tend to get distracted.

Here are some things to watch out for when you’re driving: Text messaging has been linked to a large number of fatal car crashes. It makes sense – in order to send a text message, both your eyes and your hands must be occupied with the device.Not only is there a mental leap associated with using a phone that distracts from driving, but also there is the technical difficulty of pushing  buttons on the phone.

This is by far the most dangerous of the distractions on the road – and completely preventable. If you have to answer a text message, wait until you are safely parked and then respond. How urgent can it really be? Is it really more urgent than a trip to the emergency room (or worse)? Didn’t think so :) 

- Adam Kutner


Birthday Blues

Uh yeah. The first three weeks of July I'm usually depressed. I can't remember when it started, I just feel down when my birthday's about to come. I know some people get the birthday blues, too. The later you get in life, the worse it becomes. And I understand why. I feel I should have done/accomplished more during the last year, and how another year was just wasted on me.

Looking at my daughter, though, and how she has grown up the past three years, erases some of the depression away. She wouldn't have grown up that fast without me doing anything, right? I should have been doing something all these years, because I have her as a delightful evidence.

But still. I can't fully shake this feeling off.


Joe Petrashek

Through the program, Joe Petrashek has taught over 6000 students worldwide this unique art form and how to make money with it. Starscapes is proud to carry on the original tradition of teaching this world class celestial masterpiece so you can create glowing wonderlands of stars for happy stargazers, young and old.


My Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs for 2011

This is the first I am joining this writing project spearheaded by Janette Toral. Last year I started to become friends with a lot of mommy/women bloggers, and have come to know them through their blogs. There are a lot who deserve to be in this list, but unfortunately, I can only choose ten. But who I chose to nominate below are the best of the best, and their blogs have helped me a lot in the respective niches that they chose to write in. So who are my top ten? Here they are, in no particular order:

The one type of blog that I like to visit often is a food blog. Most blogs I visited frequently before were owned by foreign bloggers, and while their recipes and food features look heavenly, I am looking for familiar food. So I'm glad Ken and Mhel decided to start this particular food blog, because now I can finally relate to the food entries! Restaurants and menu items that they suggest are always on top of my list when me and the fam want to eat outside. Always engaging and with a touch of humor, Certified Foodies is my go-to food blog.

I am a work at home mom like the author of this blog. I feel her predicament when it comes to looking good everyday while working in front of the computer from home, taking care of kid/s and keeping the house. This blog not only taught me about lipsticks per se, but also inspired yours truly to spend more "ME time". After all, the author (supermom of the blogniverse) has four kids (I only have one) and tons of blogs maintained (I only have four), and if she can do it, then I believe I can do it as well!

 I came to know of her blog in a contest she participated in. I supported her throughout, initially because I like how she writes. In the process, got to know the single mom behind the blog. She is influential for me because I see in her the strength that all moms should have, and I admire her passion for motherhood. To think that she is doing this all by herself is much more admirable. Her blog is chock-full of information about parenting and life in general which I all find worth taking into heart.

 There is none in my list that I admire more than the mom behind this blog. Mom Writes is some sort of a gratitude journal. The blog posts that she publishes in here are inspirational by their very nature, but knowing some of the life story of the author makes me appreciate the blog more. Here she shows that life is indeed more beautiful if you count your blessings, yes, even the smallest ones.

 The author is one of my blogging idols since I discovered her blog. She publishes relevant, funny, informative and endearing blog posts in all of her sites. I knew what to expect from LEVYousa when the author first announced that her new blog is finally live. The top-notch quality of posts shows the passion of the author in blogging, and her dedication to living life at its fullest shows through each and every article she publishes.

 It is rare that a personal blog could actually teach me so much about household management. The author of Notepad Corner taught me that and so much more through her posts. I highly recommend her blog not because I über like the woman behind it, but because just by browsing her site, you too could benefit a lot from her articles about life experiences, challenges, travel, parenting, food, home, housekeeping tips, interests, work, business, etc.

I write blog tutorials as well, but it doesn't mean I already know everything there is to know about blog tweaking. The Bloggers Journal is one of my favorite sources of information when it comes to the subject. I know how hard it is to come up with a tutorial and I admire the author's passion for teaching bloggers the basics (and even advanced topics) that they need to know to make their blogging life easier and better.

Mommyhood isn't exactly a walk in the park, and I'm always glad to find a blog which shares my sentiments. Mommy Survival as a parenting blog stands out from the crowd for me because it dishes out the hard core facts of parenthood and holds your hand throughout the journey with all the great advices and tips for moms and dads out there. Only the tough ones don't go crazy, the blog tagline says. Could it be any truer?

Yet another parenting blog, but not just another one of those run-of-the-mill sites which gives parent advices based on nothing. Stemming from the personal experiences of a mom to two toddlers, I was able to relate to her because we are in the same boat. Homeschooling, just one of many topics of the blogs that I am drawn to, proves very useful to me since I am planning to homeschool my toddler as well.

I developed a keen appreciation for nature and its preservation when we moved here to Baguio. And it's also the time I became attracted to eco-blogs like My Green Living Ideas (MGLI). What makes MGLI influential for me is that it features tips that are easy and feasible to follow. And someday, I wish to follow in the author's footsteps and maintain an eco-blog of my own. I want to be an Eco-Mom!

So there you go. My top ten. This writing project will not be possible without these generous sponsors:

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Nominate your own Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs for 2011 by reading the details of the writing project HERE and get a chance to be picked as one of the ten who will win $100 each!

Pinay WAHMs' $800 Birthday Giveaway

Pinay WAHMs’ $800 Birthday Giveaway!

Three WAHMs are celebrating their birthdays this July and they want to celebrate with you! Cash, gift certificates, domain names and blog hosting are in store for participants!


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On Moving

Factors like neighbors, work, health and personal relationships are the reason why people move and sell their house. My family has moved several times already during my lifetime so I know how moving can be chaotic. So here are some tips:

You should be able to determine the cost needed in moving. Plan ahead. Decide whether you'll move by yourself or hire a Moving Company. Contact them as soon as you can so they can give you the estimate of the job and necessary equipments.

If you can't make your own moving checklist, download free checklists in the website to help you get started. Hiring professional movers is not necessary if you are moving to a small apartment, no big furnitures and if you have friends willing to help you. If you will hire professionals, select your moving day. Weekends, first and last week of the month are usually harder and the most expensive time to rent. Consider only those trusted and referred movers. Know the size of truck you need and confirm your reservation so everything will flow smoothly on your moving day.

Do not pack everything. Donate some of the things you don't need to a charity or sell it so you'll save a lot of time. Pack them separately so you won't be confused. Never pack in different rooms. Focus on one room to avoid confusion.

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This Blog's Got A PR4?

Yep. That's a question mark you see right there, not an exclamation point. I am just surprised how this blog could get a PR that high when I don't do anything special for it. It was PR3 originally, then gray bar for a long time, then PR2, then PR4, where it is right now. A roller coaster of a ride, no? I've quite figuring out a long time ago about how the algorithm works, and just when I couldn't care less about whatever PR I get, then comes this.

Google is messing with my mind. LOL. I don't know how long the PR will last, but I sure will try to enjoy the benefits that come with it.


Furniture Addict

Hi, I'm Kaye. And besides from being a WAHMaholic, I'm a furniture-aholic as well. I love the smell of the inside of furniture shops, although many people might find it repulsive. There's this semi-large furniture shop along Abanao Road (Unifur Home Furnishing is the name) that's two stories high and has very friendly staff (quite unlike the other shop further along the road, the Balingit Home Furnishing. Its attendant is always glowering like we'd steal their furniture, and would constantly look at her watch and tap her shoes impatiently as if willing us to go out already), that I like to go to even if we have no money on hand. I would just go inside and inspect their new arrivals, planning what I'd buy next.

I haven't been earning this much for very long, so it's only now that I got the chance to buy furniture for our house. I couldn't even afford Cheap Roman Blinds several months back, but now I'm glad I am able to purchase stuff for the home, even if it's just one by one. My latest purchase is a big computer table of my very own, complete with shelves, drawers and all that jazz. We are planning to go back there next month and buy a cabinet for our clothes. And then again on April to buy a bigger sala set, or maybe that cute baby dresser for Svet.

We'll need a bigger house by then. Sheesh.


Long Weekend

I had a long weekend last week because my mom and my cousin Karla was here. My break started Thursday and I only came back to work properly on Monday. So that's four days of just watching movie, eating, sleeping and going out. We went to Market Encounter at Burnham last Sunday to check out what the stalls have to offer. Most of the prices of the goods are incredulously expensive, but there were also some good buys inside. We had to pay Php10 as an entrance fee, but I think it was worth the trip. Even if it meant more looking than buying.


After making the rounds, we looked at the entries for a landscaping competition beside Market Encounter, and boy were the flowers gorgeous. We of course took the opportunity to pose in front of some of the entries, and if it weren't for the rain I don't think we would have left so soon. It was a tiring day because Svet was her usual hyperactive self, refusing to be carried and wanting to just run and run and run. It's not all the time she gets to do that, so we let her be. She was dead tired when we went home. Hee hee.

One of the landscape competition entries

Svet, my cousin Karla, and I
Svet posing in front of another competition entry

I hope to get another long weekend early next month. Mom told me she'd be here again by then and we'd go to the Session Road In Bloom to look at (and perhaps buy some) stuff again. Panagbenga can be tons of fun, especially if you know where to go.


I am. I haven't drunk myself into buffoonery in ages. In fact, I haven't even drunk anything intoxicating at all this past, errr.. three years? Yep. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I stopped drinking completely. To be honest, I only drank during my late high school and college days because friends do it. I totally hate beer. I barf at the smell of it, and the only way I was able to consume beer during those days was to down it fast. After a while I get immune to the taste, and it's all good after that.

So yeah. I'm not looking to join any wine clubs this year or the next. Paulie has been convincing me to drink with them when he and Lloyd (my sister's partner) have their drinking session. But I stand my ground. I think I am through that phase of my life. And that's one thing I am thankful of when I became a mom. I can now easily swear off things that are not good for my health like alcohol. And smoking. Yeah, I did a teensy bit of that as well when I was young.



Not me, as I have enough work in my hands to keep me occupied for three lifetimes. My daughter Svet is. I know she feels it's almost the weekend, and she's already showing signs of utmost boredom. Today she watched Disney movies almost the whole day, and played Plants Vs. Zombies with me when I took a break from work. But that's about it. Her dad does not play with her all the time anymore because he's busy himself, making vectors for submission to stock photo sites.

I hear her in the background now, singing to herself while trying to sleep. She takes hours before she can actually sleep, and she just lied down so I know the singing will go on for a couple of hours more. I will retire to bed a bit later to join her, but right now Mommy still has to finish some work. I sometimes wish she has someone else to play with, like a nanny perhaps? But I don't think that's wise economically for us right now. Oh well. At least she's learning to be independent this early. And of course we'll spend time outside during the weekend, to compensate for her boredom during weekdays.


WAHMaholic Logo

My friend Fedhz offered to have her logo designers make me a logo for my WAHMaholic blog. It's free, so of course I said yes. Besides, I really suck at graphic design, and only rely on Paulie to make the the vectors I need these days. And oh, what joy when I saw the final results! There are two versions, both of which are lovely. One of them is waiting to be incorporated in my new template design. Well, at least I hope I get a new template designed for myself sometime soon. Want to see?

It makes me giggle just looking at it. Why wasn't I given a talent like that? Could have come in handy with what I do for a living. Sheesh.


British Accent Is Sexy

Don't you agree? Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks so, because I just Googled it, and there's this Facebook page with tons of fans which has the same name as the title of this post. I have two cousins who live in London, and the younger one, having moved to that lovely city in a younger age, has acquired the thick accent so wonderfully. She refuses to talk like that when she's here, though, so it's kind of a bummer. I would have loved to hear her talk British non-stop.

Me and Paulie recently watched Going The Distance (where Drew Barrymore and Justin Long played the lead roles) and there's this Damon character (played by actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who's sooo hot he makes me want to cry because he has a thick, lovely British accent and he was portrayed to love his mum a lot. I think I love him now. Another one in the list of the hottest men in Hollywood.


To Move Or Not To Move

My blog designs portfolio site is on a subdomain of my WAHMaholic blog. It already has a PR1 and I think it's quite comfortable where it resides now. However, the OC in me insists that I get its own domain. It doesn't get a huge amount of traffic, don't get me wrong, so I don't think I would need business web hosting anytime soon. I do want a more professional feel to the site, though, and for me that includes a website's own .com domain.

Of course I know I will lose its Page Rank if and when I move, and that's one of the biggest factors that's holding me back. Added to that is the fact that I need to market the new domain again to make it known to new and old clients. And it would need a new theme as well. Oh dear. That's a lot of work for someone whose time management is not the greatest in the world. aybe I'll just sit around, wait and see. No one's forcing me to move anyway.


Of Fun And Videoke

Although my singing voice is bordering on the seriously unpleasant, I still find our videoke sessions quite enjoyable. No one in the family is a great singer, so I guess that helps everyone not be conscious that their pitch is too high, too low, or most of the times off-key. My mom has a DVD player which mainly functions as a videoke, so we need not hire those huger videoke for rents that can be found here in the neighborhood.

Last time we had a videoke session, my cousin Karla was here and she's one of the people I know who is always game when it comes to singing her heart out. We had fun, and the session lasted until the neighbors called the police because we were too noisy and they were already sleeping. Kidding. We stopped because we were already hoarse from too much singing.

Even back in college with my closest friends, videoke is what we look forward to after (or even before! LOL) a long day of working on our thesis. Coupled with beer and good food, those days are the most I miss looking back.

Hey, who's up for a videoke session tonight? We might have another go at it. It's been like what, a week already since we last sang? Tsk. Too long.