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Online Work Productivity Review: October 2012

October has come to an end so I'm doing a Productivity Review once again. Unlike the previous two months though, I earned just a little doing part-time jobs at oDesk this October. And like I said last month, I am currently trimming down my working hours because I'm already on my third trimester and I'm having a hard time finding comfort sitting in my chair for long hours even though I take frequent breaks.

I managed to snag a large data entry project, but it won't be completed until November 15th. And I don't do it all by myself, my sister-in-law and a friend is helping me complete that large database my client requires.

As for my full-time job, there has been lots of additional tasks because my Boss is currently on vacation in Hawaii and I was asked to take over two of his small start-up businesses. On this I can say I utilized my productivity and energy to the max! :) And though I accept part-time jobs on the side, my full-time job is still on top of my priorities.

So here's how much I earned during my free time (told you it's just a very small amount) on oDesk during the first week of October. I stopped after that, but maybe I'll resume working this November so I can have some extra moolah on Christmas. :)

oDesk earnings for October 2012

Paypal Account Limited/Closed Because of a Scam

Two days ago, I received an email from Paypal saying that my account has been limited. (Your account has been limited until we hear from you)
We need your help resolving an issue with your account. To give us time to work together on this, we've temporarily limited what you can do with your account until the issue is resolved.

We understand it may be frustrating not to have full access to your PayPal account. We want to work with you to get your account back to normal as quickly as possible.

What's the problem?

Your account is linked to a PayPal account that has a negative balance. Before we can remove the limitation on your account, you'll need to add money to your PayPal account with the negative balance.  There are a few ways you can do this:
1.  Contact customer support to help you resolve this issue.  Call +65 6510 4650 (for SG customers) or +65 6510 4584 (for rest of Asia customers)

Case ID Number: PP-002-047-175-065

How you can help

It's usually pretty easy to take care of things like this. Most of the time, we just need a little more information about your account or latest transactions.

To help us with this and to find out what you can and can't do with your account until the issue is resolved, log in to your account and go to the Resolution Center.

Yours sincerely,


I went to the Resolution Center, submitted a photo ID and a proof of billing address. I could not access my old account, though. I don't know my password, and the password recovery feature isn't working at all.

After 24 hours, I received another email saying that they have closed my account. (Paypal appeal denied.)
For the safety and security of the PayPal network, we often review accounts for potential risks. After reviewing your account, we have decided to close it because of security issues.

We are making every effort to minimize any disruption to your business.

If your PayPal account balance is zero, and you have no unresolved buyer complaints or chargebacks, your account will remain limited.
Disbursement options
Option 1. If you owe refunds to any of your buyers, you can use the money in your PayPal account to refund them.

To refund your buyers:
1. Log in to your PayPal account.
2. Click "Contact Us" at the bottom of any page.
3. Click "Contact Customer Service."
4. Under "Choose a Topic," select "Sending/Receiving Money."
5. Under "Choose a Subtopic," select "Refund/Cancel a Payment."
6. Click "Continue" and follow the instructions to refund payments.

Option 2. Money in your PayPal account will be held for 180 days. After 180 days, we'll email you information on how to receive your funds.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause.




The thing is, that old account they linked my current account to was the one I was using when I was scammed by a group of Ukrainian nationals back in July 2010. They posted a project in Freelancer.Com (where I was doing part time jobs back then) mainly looking for Processing Assistants from other countries. Here is the job description they posted:
We are into digital currencies exchange business. Currently we do exchanges between paypal, e-gold, liberty reserve and webmoney. If you ready to go, we just need to know your verified paypal email address, so first few test transfers can be sent to you so you will get familiar with the process. If you will get payments in different currencies (GBP, EUR, etc), convert it into USD and withdraw. Once the withdrawal will be done, you will need to send funds back to us using Western Union. Of course we will pay all the fees, such as Western Union, PayPal and your $20 fee. After the trial period is over, you may expect several transactions per day $100-$1000 range. (Search ppexchangers@comcast.net in Google and you'll know what I mean.)
The test transaction when okay, but further research in Google proved that the person I was dealing with was a scammer, hacking people's Paypal accounts. I reported the incident to Paypal and provided them all the details including the email exchanges between me and the scammer, but they did nothing. Then a few weeks later, I received a reversal which resulted in a negative balance. I refused to add funds to my account, of course since I was really scammed. Paypal then started harassing me with emails that they are referring me to a collection agency, etc etc. I did nothing. I closed the bank account linked to my Paypal account and proceeded to create a new one. But now they have closed my new account, too.

I know I am at fault here. I should have checked the person's history and reputation before dealing with them first. But that time I really thought the project was legit. I wasn't the only one scammed, many other honest freelancers have been victims as well. (If it's a consolation, I wasn't the only one na tatanga-tanga. Madami pang iba.)

The negative balance was a result of a scam where I was THE victim. I felt unprotected by Paypal's terms because it took them a long time to investigate the transaction and rule out that the money was sent to me without the account owner's authorization. And then they deducted the whole amount to my account afterwards. Ridiculous!

Now I'm searching for alternatives to Paypal. I don't really want to create a new account and have them link it to these two Paypal accounts and close it again. :(

UPDATE (October 31, 2012)
The refund instruction is probably FAKE. I've been trying to refund my client $500 for a week now but I'm still getting this error even though the transaction ID is valid: The transaction selected is not a payment. Please click "Get PayPal Transaction ID" to select a valid transaction.

Looks like it's their way of saying that I have to wait 180 days to get my money! How unprofessional!  :(

Fight Face and Body Acne with Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash

I used to have a smooth and acne-free skin. But ever since I graduated from High School, my dilemma started. My face started to become oily on the T-zone and I've been having acne breakouts that gets worse during my period. Not only that, I also get occasional acne on the chest, shoulders and back. Not so much maybe, but enough to make me lose confidence sometimes. I cannot wear really nice tops and dresses that bare those areas without feeling self-conscious.

Following the basic skin care tips I know like keeping my skin clean, drinking more water, eating a balanced diet and avoiding stress doesn't help. Even tried a lot of products that promises to clear and get rid of my face and body acne but still the pimples keep on coming!

There's a lot of buzz about Proactiv Solutions not only because it's being endorsed by famous Hollywood celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Katie Perry, Avril Lavigne and Justin Bieber but also because it's always been proven effective. Proactiv Philippines even offer a Money-Back Guarantee if you are not satisfied with their product.

Incidentally, Proactiv is giving away a FREE Deep Cleansing Wash (4.oz) for every Proactiv 60 Day Kit purchase that can save you as much as P650.

Benefits of Using Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash

1. It's smooth exfoliating beads cleans and refreshes your skin while exfoliating dead skin cells, pore-clogging oil and other impurities.
2. It contains 2% Salicylic Acid which fights and treats acne.
3. It contains Camelia Oleifera Seed Extract and Aloe Barbadensis Gel which soothes and heals the skin.
4. It's special formulation prevents future breakouts in the face and the entire body.

It's somewhat comforting to know that there are products in the market that can really help people like me achieve clearer and smoother skin. Not just on the face, but on the whole body. So don't miss out your chance and take advantage of this great offer. Check out Proactiv in participating stores nationwide!

This promo is available in the following outlets:

1.    All  Watsons’ outlets or SM Department Store branches
2. Door to Door Delivery Hotlines (729-2222, 1-800-8-729-8888, 1-800-10-889-4444, 0917-801-8888)
3.   Proactiv mall kiosks located in:
      Glorietta, Ground Floor
      Trinoma, 2nd Floor
      Robinsons Galleria, 3rd Floor
      Marquee Mall, Ground Floor

Terms and Conditions:

1. The Free Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash, P650 is not convertible to cash and or other Proactiv products.
2. The price of the Free Proactiv Deep Cleansing Wash, P650 will be deducted from the refund value, should the customer avail of Proactiv’s Standard Money Back Guarantee.
3. Promo period runs from October 15 to December 31, 2012 per DOH-FDA promo permit # 1745, series of 2012.

Yabang Pinoy Launches PHmade: “It’s Worth Buying For”

Yabang Pinoy intensifies its consumer revolution campaign through the PHmade movement.

The pioneering Filipino pride movement, through PHmade, yet again encourages Filipinos to support Filipino ideas, business concepts, products, and services. The campaign aims to educate Filipinos, through videos, print materials and events, on the availability and viability of Filipino brands, and on the positive impact that going local contributes to the economy.

PHmade’s tagline “It’s Worth Buying For” encourages each Filipino to think twice before spending: is it really worth buying for? Yabang Pinoy believes that small things, when done together, can create a big difference. If each Filipino became conscious of where he spends one peso, he will understand how each choice affects himself, fellow Filipinos, and the country. PHmade also aspires to influence Filipino entrepreneurs into supporting local natural and human resources.

Indeed, patronage of locally made goods and services should be a lifestyle. It enables homegrown brands to improve and compete against foreign brands. The local economy also improves as money goes back and forth between consumer and business, employee and employer. And as more entrepreneurs create, develop, and expand their businesses, more job opportunities are generated. PHmade recognizes Filipino ingenuity and the role of each Filipino in nation-building.

PHmade focuses on seven categories: Produce, Home, Footwear, Fashion, Personal and Home Care, Food and Beverage, and Entertainment. The campaign will continue to collaborate with Filipino entrepreneurs and encourage them to continue to improve their products and services and to always aim for Filipino brands to be global brands.

PHmade is a project of Yabang Pinoy, the pioneering Filipino pride movement that started in 2005. As it celebrates its 8th anniversary, the organization includes it among numerous Filipino pride projects, such as the Y.A.B.A.N.G. Camp (Youth Achievers Building A Nation of Greatness Camp), Yabang Pinoy Goes to School, Pinaka-mahabang Todo Patintero, Global Pinoy Bazaar, and many more. In the 8 years that Yabang Pinoy has immersed itself in various nation-building activities, it re-affirms its belief that true progress and development in our country will start once Filipinos begin living a proudly Filipino lifestyle.

Yabang Pinoy invites every Filipino to be part of the PHmade movement. As early as now, save November 10- 11 2012 for the 8th Global Pinoy Bazaar – a showcase of Filipino products made with 100% Filipino Love and Pride.

For more information on Yabang Pinoy, visit www.yabangpinoy.com or email yabangpinoy@gmail.com.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

The schedule for my next pre-natal checkup was originally scheduled on November 2nd. But last weekend, after our 2-day trip to Pampanga, a frequent tightening of my uterus (which is painful sometimes) commenced. My baby also seem to move a whole lot more than the previous weeks and months. Aside from that, I can feel the kicks in my pubic area, which somehow made me think that my baby wants to get out as soon as possible.

Asking fellow Moms in our neighborhood only worsened my anxiety. One of them said she experienced the same thing when she was 7 months pregnant and was ordered a complete bed rest by her doctor because her placenta was then lying too low and the baby could burst out all of a sudden. Another one told me that her neighbor gave birth at 7 months because of the same symptoms I now encounter. When I came home that day I cried my heart out, in 2 hours! I do not want to give birth prematurely, well who does? Hubby was there to console me but I just couldn't stop crying. In the end he called my doctor and she advised me to go to the clinic ASAP so she can check.

The next day, I was still afraid and very nervous. My doctor did all the routine checks plus an internal examination to see if my cervix has dilated. But the Lord is so good, he would not let anything happen to me and my baby. She said I have absolutely nothing to worry about. The frequent kicks and jabs only means that my baby is very active and healthy. While the hardening of the uterus is called Braxton Hicks contractions and it is very common during the third trimester. Not all women experience Braxton Hicks, though. So how do we differentiate real labour contractions from Braxton Hicks contractions? 

How to tell the difference between Braxton Hicks from Labour contractions
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Labour Contractions
Can be once, twice or thrice in an hour, a few times a day
More frequent
Usually irregular; if regular, only in very short periods
More regular
Usually lasts to only a minute or less
Lasts noticeably longer
Low intensity and often stops if you change activity (walk if you’ve been sitting, and vice versa)
More painful

I am very glad and thankful that what I'm experiencing is just normal. Though I still complain of lower back pains and occasional cramps in my hip area. It really pays to have someone knowledgeable or an expert to talk to. At least now I have peace of mind, knowing that my baby is growing healthy inside me. If ever you are in doubt and have questions, talk to your doctor.

Also take note of any watery or bloody vaginal discharge, or if you think your waters have broken. These should definitely ring an alarm, so call your doctor immediately.

Items to Buy Before I Give Birth

When I was pregnant with Dirk 4 years ago, husband and I bought a lot of baby things and equipments. But many of them are rarely used, a few aren't even used at all. We just donated the lot to my nephews and friends' children. So this time around, I decided to just stick with the necessities and essentials for my first shopping for our new baby. Some other baby things can probably wait until our little Princess has arrived.

I already have some infant clothes (sleepsuits and bodysuits), a crib, a car seat, a stroller and a buggy courtesy of my Aunts and two sisters-in-law who all earlier gave birth this year. I also already bought nursing bras and breast pads from an earlier shopping.

And here are the items left on my checklist:

- Storage for clothes and diapers
- Diaper bag, Infant diapers
- Alcohol-free wipes
- Onesies, Cardigans, Hats
- Booties, Socks, Shoes
- Wash cloths, Burp cloths, Towels, Blankets
- Baby wash, Shampoo
- Digital Thermometer
- Petroleum Jelly
- Cotton balls
- Rubbing alcohol
- Bottles, Nipples, Bottle brush

I hope these are really enough. But if ever I missed anything, it would be much easier to buy since we already have the basic necessities. I just want to make sure that I have all the things I need when we finally take our baby home.

If you have other suggestions on what other things to get before I'm due, please write them in the comment section. I would loooove to hear what you think I've missed. Thanks! :)

I'm a Productive Momma!

The past couple of months have been amazing, work-wise. Back in April to July, I was forced to temporarily stop working due to complications and some difficulties with my pregnancy.  I spent the time instead to just concentrate on getting fit and healthy for me and my baby girl. But as the pain and frequent bouts of nausea began to fade to memory, I was able to go back and pick up where I left off with my part-time freelance career in oDesk.

oDesk earnings August to September 2012
I was lucky enough to be hired for a handful of projects, thank God. And every assignment and project I handled was completed successfully, with hardwork and a lot of patience. I am able to maintain my 5 star rating so far as happy clients always give perfect feed backs!

And now it's time to reflect on how productive I've been for the months of August and September. I have a full time job as well, so the money I earned in oDesk is only a bonus. And who doesn't love bonuses? :) I plan to use the money to pay for hospital expenses when I give birth in December. Makes all the hard labor extra rewarding because it's for Love. Awww, cheesy. :)

But... as much as I love to continue working and earn some more, I'm afraid that I will need to pause again soon. My tummy is getting bigger each day and I already feel some discomfort when sitting in a chair and working in front of a computer for long hours. I do take some short breaks to relax and lay in bed, but soon this will not be enough I know. I have to keep my working hours to a minimum and as soon as I complete the other jobs in progress in my oDesk account, I'll be saying "See you, later!" to all my current clients again.

I am planning to start some serious shopping for me and my baby girl's now. 68 more days to go and she'll be here with me, Daddy and Kuya. I definitely have to prepare! I'm currently working on a list with all the basics and necessities. Do you have a shopping list to share for an expecting Mom like me? I would love to compare and cross-check with my list to make sure I don't miss anything. Let me know. Thank you! :)

Pond's Gold Radiance Revealed Facial Foam

Our skin changes as we age. And as much as we'd hope that the changes are for the better, truthfully and naturally, they're not. Most women have more skin problems today compared to 3-5 years ago. At 29, I now have uneven skin tone, age spots, oily skin and occasional breakouts. My quest for skin products that will help remedy these problems has begun. And fitting as it is, I have read this review of the Pond's Gold Radiance line from Mrs. Martinez's Raves and Rants. I like her glowing skin very much so I was encouraged to buy the cheapest product from the Gold Radiance line to road test!

 I bought Pond's Gold Radiance Revealed Facial Foam 100g tube from Watson's on February 14. I used it that night as soon as we get home. (Yes, I was that excited!) It has a rich and luxurious lather like the other Pond's facial foams I've used before. But this one has a distinct smell so different yet similar to White Beauty and Pure White. It has beads infused with real gold particles for gentle exfoliation which is a must to reveal youthful radiance for aging skin. 

I've been using Pond's Gold Radiance Revealed Facial Foam every morning and evening for 2 weeks now. So far, what's noticeable is that a few pimples have dried out. New ones emerged, though. But I know it's hormonal, I really tend to have breakouts during this time of the month. What I like about this product is its whitening effect on me. Some of my pimple scars have miraculously lightened and my friends tell me I have this radiant glow on my face. One of them even exclaimed "You're glowing and it's not just the smile, I swear!"

Taken last Friday after dinner with friends.
So what do I do if I see positive results on a product? I continue to use it and will try my best to buy the rest of the product line! Pond's Gold Radiance Youth Reviving Eye Cream, you're NEXT!

Taken just this morning. Exactly 2 weeks after my first use of Pond's Gold Radiance Revealed Facial Foam.

Another Card: Martini Pinup

Hello everyone. I hope your weekend is going great so far. I had a connection problem that lasted for two days (Friday to Saturday) but now I'm back. Thanks so much WOYWWers for the all sweet comments, I've visited only about twenty, but I'll be back later tonight and visit the rest of you hopefully.

I love whoever invented android phones, as I was able to grab this week's free image courtesy of Sassy Studio Designs in Paper Craft Planet. And special thanks to public wifi spots in town for the free internet. Hahaha.

I really think the Sassy Girls love partying! Look at the image. :) Above is the card I created using Martini Pinup.

I tried stitching, but it turned out a disaster. The top and the the bottom stitches looks like they were done by two different people. Really fugly. But I have to move on. Harharhar.

I'm linking this up to the following:

Sassy Studio Designs Fabulous Freebie Friday 2-24-12
Sassy Chery's Challenge #103 - No Embossing
Crafts and Me Challenge #72 - Shades of Spring
Make it Monday #78 with Di's and Digi Downloads
Card Patterns' Sketch 154
Inspire Me Monday - Week 8

 Thanks for visiting!

Let's Celebrate: My First Card!

I did it, finally! Yay, my first card... Joy, happiness and celebration!

I haven't really kicked off with the whole card making thing because of a number of reasons so I only have very limited supplies in my stash. My friend Renata was the one who really inspired me, but unlike in her country, we have very limited craft stores here in the Philippines.  So I have to be resourceful, right? And the only work around I thought of is to start with digital stamps. See, Resourcefulness is now my new last name! Haha.

I've been a member of Paper Craft Planet since 2009, but not really doing anything to contribute to the community. I was browsing through my favorite blogs last night, I ended up reading a post from Charmed Stamping about a free digital image from Sassy Studio Designs. And then I got all excited! I checked the group out and there it was, waiting for me and my love!

They call it Sassy Studio Designs Fabulous Freebie Friday. And this week's free digital image is called "Cosmopolitan". The challenge is called "Tie One On" which means that you have to incorporate something you "tie" in your card, like ribbons, twines, threads, etc.

And here my friends is my finished card. Comments, wild reactions, encouragements are most welcome. Please don't be too hard on me, it's really my first time. Hahaha.

I know, that brown and gold paper flower looks familiar. It's from the Ferrero Rocher I was munching on last night. Hehehe. Told you, I'm resourceful.

I'd also like to enter this card to the following challenges:

Totally Papercrafts Challenge 104 - Ribbons &/or Bows
Delicious Doodles Challenge 13 - PINK to make the boys wink!

Shelly's Images 2-16 Terrifically Thrilling Thursday
Digital Tuesday Challenge #147 Use your Stash  
The Crafty Pad Challenge #157 - The Letter "B"
Sassy Cheryl's Challenge #102 - No Designer Papers

Thanks for visiting!

Silhouette CAMEO, Versatile and Powerful Electronic Cutting Machine

I've been obsessing about the Silhouette SD Digital Craft Cutting Tool (QuicKutz) eversince I begun scrap booking last year and it's been on my wish list since then. It's an electronic cutting tool specifically designed for personal and home use. Using scissors and handheld cutters just don't give you the perfect shape you need, thus the need for an electronic cutter. Another alternative is to get yourself a die cutter, but you'll have to buy the machine itself plus the cartridges which can be too expensive. I figured the Silhouette SD is perfect for the job. Less expensive, too!

I visited my Amazon account today and found out that the sale of the Silhouette SD is already discontinued. Made me frown and sad at first, since I really wanted it that bad. (Just didn't have enough money to buy it.) I went to the Silhouette website next to find out why their product was discontinued and surprise, surprise! They stopped marketing the SD to give way to it's replacement, the Silhouette CAMEO.

The Silhouette Cameo (Silhouette) is like a home printer that you can connect to your PC or Mac using a USB cable. Instead of printing though, it uses a small blade to cut your designs and shapes. Unlike the die cutting machines that uses expensive cartridges, this versatile cutting tool includes a free software where you can create your designs and eventually cut using the machine. Fonts and shapes installed in your computer can be easily cut using the CAMEO. Designs printed using your printer can be cut out using CAMEO. You may also purchase ready-made shapes through the Silhouette Online Store.

The amazing Silhouette CAMEO can cut paper, card stock and cardboard, vinyl, fabric and other materials. You can create projects from 1/4" to 12" wide. The cutting length is unlimited.

Having a Silhouette CAMEO will be a dream come true. I really hope I can save enough funds for this next year, so as to satisfy my lust for scrap booking. There's nothing better than perfectly cut fonts, shapes and designs for my crafting projects.

The Silhouette Cameo (Silhouette) is now available in stores for as low as $269.00.

Whoa... No Preservatives?

I just drank a bottle of Minute Maid Pulpy. They say it’s got ‘no preservatives added’. Aw, c’mon…It’s bottled juice. Is that even possible? So I thought maybe... I should really check the label. I know it's from good 'ol and trusted Coca Cola Bottlers but I've learned a lot of things from my awesome 2010 and one of them is to stay fairly guided and to not believe everything you read, hear and see in the internet. There are scams everywhere and perhaps it's all nothing but pure hype!

I didn’t believe it the first time I heard it’s got no preservatives added.  So I read the ingredients (even the fine print) and everything checked out! It really has NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED!  That means it doesn’t have ingredients that may turn out to be allergens, or worse...carcinogens!  Whew! Now that’s healthy goodness that tastes so good, I... grabbed another bottle and eagerly shared it to my husband who instantly loved its taste and pulpy goodness! I was impressed.  I smiled and thought of giving it another test. (Now you all know I'm a bit hard to convince. Haha.)

So okay, it’s got no preservatives added. That’s really good, right?  Not just because it doesn’t have those icky, harmful ingredients, but it also means... I am getting the full nutritional value that this drink can give.  No wonder I felt so refreshed after just a few sips! But the question remains... Will it pass the ultimate test?

So far anyone who still has a hard time believing that Minute Maid has got no preservatives added - meaning it's THAT natural, it's almost like it's plucked straight from the tree, it's just as Mother Nature wanted your orange juice to be, it's got nothing but the good stuff yes, none of those potentially toxic stuff that can harm your brain, kidneys, heart; cause tumors aargh- the list of preservatives' bad effects just go on!!! Anyway, just to prove a point on just how good Minute Maid Pulpy is 'cause it's got NO PRESERVATIVES ADDED, I'm gonna get my 2 year old son Dirk to drink it. Will he like it? I was dying to know and discover. So I approached him while watching his favorite cartoon on TV and handed him a 330mL bottle. He asked "Ano po to, Mommy?" and eyed the colorful bottle curiously. I was preparing for a nice reply but he pressed, "Bukas po, please." I twisted the cap and handed it back to him. He took a sip while I just sat there waiting for a reaction. Dirk is just like me, hard to convince and picky so I really wasn't expecting him to like it since he is more into chocolate beverages. But he smiled and exclaimed "Saraaaap!" then started to drink the juice in gulps! Big big gulps! I was so delighted. One of my wishes came true today, to make him drink more fruit juices so he can get more Vitamin C to boost his immune system. As for the test? Minute Maid Pulpy definitely ROCKED it!

Can't get enough of Minute Maid Pulpy!

Dirk, after finishing a 330mL Minute Maid Pulpy Orange.

Feels good to know about the real pulpy deal, right? C’mon show me a smile on the comment box, and you might win yourself a Really Pulpy Deal! (That’s a chance to win a Minute Maid gift pack simply by commenting. Sweet! C'mon you just might be picked as the lucky 'commentor'!)