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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kitchen Bay Window Gardening

Our bay window used to display various glass vases before that I used for flower arrangement. However, since I converted those glass vases into succulent terrariums which are now adorning the living room and bathrooms, suddenly I found our bay window having space for more plants.
The succulent terrariums
Suddenly, it dawned on me that why do I keep on going outside whenever I need some green onions and lemongrass. So, what I did, I planted green onions and lemongrass on pots, and also, I planted some alogbate (called here Vietnamese spinach in Asian supermarket) too.
Now, I am happy to say, whenever I need some green onions for cooking, all I needed to do is reach out to one of the pots by the bay window. I am so inspired by the results, I will add more vegetables, and will make our kitchen bay window, my indoor vegetable garden! :) Another advantage aside from accessibility when cooking, I also won't forget to water them each time I wash dishes! Haha! Love them!

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Bling- bling Tree

I love bling- blings, probably not too many would notice because of my "hiking" and outdoorsy get up most of the time. If some collects magnet on their travel, I actually collect blings! :) They are not expensive, since I am not into expensive jewelries.
I however love getting bling-blings from the side walk stands whenever we travel. I enjoy buying someone's crafts. Thus I have collected lots through the years. I use boxes to organize them, and then, I also use a bling-bling tree!
my bed nightsand with the bling-bling tree

There is Christmas tree, and for some women, which also includes me....there is also a "bling" tree! It serves to be an added decor in our bedroom too. :) Unlike Christmas tree, this bling tree goes year round! Now, could you find the necklace I was wearing below from the tree above?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

In- Store Shopping Through Clearance Racks

I hardly, I never buy clothing items at regular price. I am impatient when it comes to shopping, probably one of the most boring activities for me. I do not go to the mall during big sales day because I am allergic to crowds and getting in long line is not worth my time. I am also lazy to window shop for price comparison. The time I spend for that I rather would use for hiking or more fun activities. But I won't buy items also at regular price. When there is a need for me to get something, I do not go blindly to the mall. I call my favorite stores first ( Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Banana Republic or Gap) if they have items in CLEARANCE RACK. If they don't, I ask them when they would most likely have them, or if they can give me a call. Two of my favorite stores here in San Diego because they are friendly to me that way are Banana Republic and Bloomingdale's. I am always lucky in getting $5 something! Okay, maybe, $5 something at Banana Republic, and $10 something at Bloomingdale's. I know, I know, not many would believe me probably, since Bloomingdale's is known to be a high end store where most of their items are over $100. But I only get items from clearance racks but I don't get them on advertised big sales day because I hate long lines and big crowd.

Here are samples of the clearance look:
Red two button blazer: Anne Klein from Bloomingdale's, I got for $18!, originally at $109
Red Printed Dress: Banana Republic from Banana Republic Store, for $12, originally at $89
Boots: Coach from Bloomingdale's, I got for $30, originally at $275

Hmmm, did I not mention $5 something clothing? Here's a sample!
Jeans: Banana Republic for $5 ( Banana REpublic Store ), originally at $98
Blouse: Banana Republic for $3, originally at $50
Cardigan: Banana Republic for $5, originally at $80
Sandals: Tory Burch from Bloomingdale's, I bought for $35, from original price of $195

Those are city clothing clearance items. Notice how the price really DROPS! If someone says, "I do not shop at Bloomingdale's, it's very expensive!", I just smile quietly, since I know, I will always have my "lucky clearance $5 days!" They do not come often, that is why I also do not buy things often, since I only do when the price really DROPS! 50-70% discount is not good enough discount for me, yet. And even if the price drops, if I do not need them, I still do not buy them since I do not want unused clothing still with their price tag collecting dusts. In short, to hoard is a NO for me!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rice and Beans Casserole

Rice and Beans:
Simply mix rice and black beans,  then add cheese on top. Bake until done.

Tomato Salad:
Simply mix cut up tomatoes,  onions and cilantro. Add a little bit soy sauce and pepper.

Then, enjoy the two together in a meal! Guaranteed healthy vegetarian meal.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Grilled Summer Squash and Mushrooms

This isn't dinner, but snacks. Snacking on vegetables when getting hungry.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Technology in the bus

I love technology, and the bus. What I love about the two is that I am able to continue and actually finish my work for school during the times when probably the only choice is to do nothing.  A teacher's work does not end when school hour ends. We are only given one prep period to prepare for several classes, and that is not enough.  Others have only to prepare for one class since they teach the same subjects in all their classes, the whole day. In my case, I am preparing for 4: Algebra,  Geometry, Pre-Calculus and Chemistry. Having 3 different classes or more actually is not allowed in our Union. Teachers can complain at the grievance board to reduce their class preps since more preps means more time needed outside of school hours and teachers deserve a life outside too. However, I love the school where I am teaching at, and I do not mind preparing for 4 different subjects each day. At the end of every school day,  I have several lessons to reflect and plan for the next day, and hundreds of papers to grade. How do I finish these tasks and still do household chores when I get home, some blogging after, and if there is more time left,  Facebooking?

First, I grade papers at school. I come to school at least one hour before school starts and leaves at least one hour after school ends. In short, I spend at least more than 2 hours extra at school everyday, more, when some students ask for after school help. 

Second, I continue working in the bus. I do my lesson planning and flip charts presentation on my way home. I always have my laptop, iPad, and cellphone to help me. 
lesson planning in the bus with my  work thinkpad
Because of technology, it is easy for me to review our lessons because I save all that we did in Promethean Board to my laptop. I use snipping tool to create images, so I could upload these images in our class website for students' extra resources.
sample work by students in Promethean Board saved to my laptop and uploaded to our class site for students extra resources

I am just glad for all these mobile gadgets that allows me to work while in the bus.  I actually produce more in the bus than home, why? I do not use Facebook mobile so I have no Facebook to distract me. My biggest distraction at home that consumes so much time doing nothing is Facebook! I am sure some of you may have experienced, you just sit in front of your computer, opened Facebook, and before you know it, it's almost bedtime or actually past bedtime, without you doing anything really.

But thanks to the technology everywhere, that when I get home, I am all done with lesson planning and school work. When I get home, I would quickly prepare dinner, water the plants, and do my daily regular exercises. After dinner, washing dishes and packing our lunch for the next day, I have about 2-3 hours left before bedtime. I would go to my computer thinking to write more blog posts and do some blog comments. NO TV at all, despite we have two 60 inch TVs at home. Watching TV is always the last in my priority, would only do so if I have done most that I wanted to do. However, most of the time, while doing comex rounds, I get distracted by the social activity in FB that is seen in my screen. I would click here and there, and before I know it, writing a new blog post becomes forgotten. :( Somehow, my greatest time waster is Facebook.

But thanks to blogging, I am able to reduce my FB time. If not for blogging, after all household chores are done, I probably may just simply be watching TV or movies and spend more time Facebooking. Thanks to blogging as my form of relaxing instead, I am able to save more by earning extra happine$$!

I know several very active FB users ( they use FB gazillion times more than me) who told me, "buti ka pa Betchai, pa-blog blog lang, you have so much time, ako, just tooooooo busy with work!" Then, I would respond, "Siguro, mas mabuti ka, kasi, pa-Facebook Facebook ka lang."

Sadly, some have this impression that if you blog, you have no job, you have nothing else to do, and you have all the time in this world! Anyway, we all have that little extra time, but we just manage our time differently, others manage it more efficiently. For me, both FB and blog takes some of our time. The only difference is that,  we could be very socially active in FB without having to use our thinking what to write. Whereas blogging needs more thinking, it helps take care of the health of our brain. Blogging for me, is a more meaningful and more purposeful way of spending our free time, than Facebooking. I love blogging more than Facebooking, because I learn a lot more from reading blogger's posts. There is more depth in a blogger's sharing, and I have so much respect and appreciation for the bloggers I've known through these years. And frankly, the extra $2000+ or more per year I earn and save from blogging, which I consider to be just an icing in the cake, is something I will not find in watching TV nor spending more time Facebooking. 

Despite of so much technology use these days, I am still thankful for technology for allowing me to be productive in my otherwise "nothing to do time." There are just so many people now working in the bus with their laptops, so they could enjoy life when they reach home! Like me, I could enjoy blogging after doing all the household chores at home, because of the convenience these days of using technology in the bus. :) It helps me finish my work there on my way home, and it allows me to review my lessons on my way to work.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Macros Picstitched

Monarch butterfly, caterpillar and green beetle.

Looking For A Hassle Free License Renewal?

photo not mine
In this busy world, most people no longer have time to actually go to the mall to shop for things they need. Life is now fast paced and to keep up with the needs of the population, online shops and web-based business have found their profitable niche in the world of cyberspace. Information about goods and services are available online and accessible to anyone anywhere in the world.

However, it is a different story when it comes to proprietary information. Gone are the days of logbooks and ledgers, as this is no longer practical in running and maintaining present day businesses. All online businesses handling sensitive client information invest in top of the line internet security suites. This ensures that all software that run the business and client data are kept safe from spyware, malware and vicious viruses. 

There is a wide array of products to accomplish this task of keeping the business running, however, a smart option would be to choose one that is affordable with a wider scope of protection. In addition to that, license renewal should not be too much of a hassle. ESET security renewal offers existing clientele the convenience of renewing their existing licenses online. No more lag time, no more sales reps to speak with. A few, simple clicks of the mouse and its done. Uninterrupted and continuous protection is yours to enjoy.

Investing in a good security suite to run alongside your business will not only make you reap in your profits, you can get that much deserved peace of mind.

~post by Aio Kona~

Monday, September 9, 2013

Before School Cleaning Up

I got a chance to clean up some more my shoe cabinet. Though I had cleaned up before and gave most away,  but the sad reality was, I had a hard time letting go of some. But there is just no point for me to continue keeping the shoes that I no longer wear or very seldom wear.
So, these have to go.
 they will have to go
And these will stay for now.
 What were left in my shoe cabinet

I know, it may still look a lot for someone who wants to keep everything at minimum. But they include some of my activity shoes such as:
3 hiking shoes- ( 1 for light,  2 for medium and 1 for heavy weight hiking)
1 running shoes
1 tennis shoes
several walking sandals and dress shoes, which I could probably still further reduce. But anyway, my resolve for now is, I would have to give up one of the shoes in the cabinet for every new shoes I will get, so that I will avoid collecting more mess and dusts.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Activities That never gets boring

Snorkeling, swimming, hiking and tennis. Who needs to go to the gym if you are lacking time enjoying the wonderful life outdoors?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

6 Get Fit Strategies for Women

Losing weight and getting in shape is a cultural obsession for us. Unfortunately, sometimes this obsession conflicts with the equally powerful obsession to attain optimum health. Many practices that promise to get you skinny are also guaranteed to affect your health negatively. Such paths as starvation, purging, pre-packaged diet foods low in nutrients and high in sodium and dangerous diet pills can wreak havoc on your health. There is a balance, however. There is a happy medium where women can improve their physical appearance and increase their level of health at the same time.

What About Supplement, Can't I Just Take a Pill?

I get asked this question all the time and the answer is both yes and no. Supplements give you a big boost in productivity and increases results. Everywoman trying to lose weight should take an appetite suppressant or a diet pill as well astaking a good multi-vitamin daily, but if you feel like you need a little extra help during your workouts, you might want to consider using a pre workout supplement like EvoDrene. A pre workout supplement can increase your energy level and stamina during your workouts. Many pre workout supplements can also help your body assimilate nutrients during your workout. For example your body needs to convert carbohydrates into energy while you are working out. A pre workout supplement can help your body do this.

Take Control

Often in life there are many things we feel we do not have control of. Your exercise and eating habits, however, are two things you can certainly have control over. Many women find that when they take back their power in these two areas it translates into greater empowerment in other areas of life as well. If you constantly feel guilty over not working out, or constantly feel ashamed of your food choices you are not in control. When you take control of these things you can feel confident of your choices and you will begin to see real, physical results as well.

Don’t Give Yourself Options

When it comes to exercising you must remember that this is something you have to do. There is no option to not workout. You must work out in the same way that you must take care of any of your other responsibilities in life. Your health is at stake. Your self-confidence is at stake so there is no option to skip. Develop a workout plan that you can live with and simply do it. No excuse is valid.

Eat With Common Sense

Eating healthy has been greatly over complicated. Deep down we all know what are good choices and what are not. Whole wheat is better than refined white wheat. Less sugar is better than more sugar. Naturally occurring fats are better than synthetic fats. Fruits and vegetables are always a better alternative to chips or sugary, fatty snacks. Real food is better than processed food. Every time you approach a meal or snack consider each aspect of it and ask yourself, “Is this the best choice I can make?”

Go To Bed

If you are sleep deprived your body will really struggle to let go of fat. Sleep deprivation is a signal to your brain that things aren’t right, and we must protect our self. The body always attempts to protect itself by holding on to its fat for survival. You will also have a hard time getting through your daily workouts if you are fatigued from lack of sleep.


There has never been an energy drink or sports drink that can match good old fashioned water. Most people are significantly dehydrated at all times. The old rule of eight glasses a day, doesn’t apply if you are also incorporating an intense workout into your schedule. You will need  significantly more water when working out. Shoot for a gallon of water a day.

About the Guest Author:

Matt Whillians directs that national center for Health and Fitness in Nashville, TN. He is also an advocate for World Vision.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Amaranth...or "kulitis" in Ilonggo, I am not sure if it is also called kulitis also in Tagalog. Sometimes amaranth is also labeled as "Chinese Spinach" in Asian stores. 
Amaranth or kulitis 

Health Information of Amaranth ( source: Wikipedia)

Cooked amaranth leaves are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate; they are also a complementing source of other vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, plus some dietary minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Cooked amaranth grains are a complementing source of thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese - comparable to common grains such as wheat germ, oats and others. Amaranth seeds contain lysine, an essential amino acid, limited in other grains or plant sources.

Amaranth cooked in Mung Bean, Green Jackfruit and Coconut Milk