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Setting Up a Home Tutoring Business

If you’re like me you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I make money at home?”.

I’ve ask myself that a thousand times because I have to move around a lot for my husband’s job and I have a child. I have always stayed at home with my son so I am looking for opportunities to work at home.

Let me share my journey.

In 1982 when I was a teaching assistant in the English Dept. at Duquesne University, I strolled over to the ELI (English Language Institute). It was a couple buildings away from College Hall where I taught. The waiting room was full of international students. They smiled when I walked in and some of them bowed to me. I could tell they were right off the boat because of the way they dressed.

I spoke to the receptionist and started to fill out a form to tutor. Sherry Goldman walked in with her glowing smile and my life changed forever. (Sherry was the director in 1982.) She introduced me to some of the students sitting in the waiting room. She served tea and we all sat around chatting, me wanting to know about them and their countries and them trying to communicate with me in that broken English sort of way. Like if you put a bunch of words in a Yahtzee cup and shook them up and spilled them out. However the words landed, that was their sentence. I listened.

Happy 6th Year Anniversary!

Dear Daddy AP,

Happy 6th year anniversary! How time flies. From an inseparable couple to a family of four (but still inseparable), I can't believe it's been that long. We're still very much together, in body, in soul and in spirit, and the bond is going much stronger every day. Our marriage is far from perfect, but who cares? We're all happy and we know it and yes, we do clap our hands. :P

I know I get cranky often, but that doesn't mean I care or love you less. And though at times I say things I'm not supposed to, out of annoyance or anger, I really can't imagine my life without you.

I have my share of bad moods and exaggerated fits, and for those crazy moments I am sorry. I do try to take everything on a positive note but sometimes, or oftentimes rather, I'm just... not in the best of spirits. I know though, that you love me even for my shortcomings. Maybe I'm just awfully stressed. Or whatever. Sorry!

I want you to know that I appreciate every little thing you do for me and our kids, especially those things that are easily taken for granted. Thank you for being a good and caring father, a thoughtful, understanding and supportive husband, a joyful companion and a trustworthy best-friend.

I am truly blessed that you're always here for me, armed with your legendary wit and humor to make me laugh and smile even in my gloomiest days. Saying that you are my reason for breathing or that you make my life complete probably sounds OA, but even those words could not give justice to the love and passion I have for you. Even the famous line "You are my Everything" is an understatement.

Thank you and I love you beyond measure.

With Love Always,
Mommy L


I might not say it often but I do accept and love you for everything that you are. No limits, and no boundaries!

CandyJapan: Mystery Sweets from Japan

I decided to temporarily ban myself from getting beauty subscription boxes and sampling sites. It's addicting, and I love the idea that I'm getting a variety of new products every month at an affordable price; the problem though is I am currently breastfeeding my baby K and many of the products included have ingredients that are not recommended for breastfeeding Moms like me.

But I know one subscription site that anyone can subscribe (except to those with allergies), and it's called Candy Japan! Well, basically, it goes like this: You subscribe to Candy Japan at $23.95 a month (FREE worldwide shipping!) and you will get mystery sweets and candies from Japan in the mail twice a month! Exciting, right? And yummy!

6 Ways To Ensure Your Children's Safety Next To A Swimming Pool

Image courtesy of  Swimming Pools FYI
Many children love swimming. A swimming pool at home can be a very enjoyable health, fitness and recreation feature for your children. However, it's very important that you ensure your child's safety when they are next to or in the swimming pool. Carelessness can lead to accident and mishaps. Below are 6 ways to ensure children safety next to a swimming pool.

Door Alarms
Young children tend to lean against windows and doors that will allow direct access to the swimming pool. Sometimes if the window or door is not properly locked then kids can fall in the pool. When such an incident occurs, the door alarms are automatically activated. The alarms have a very high-pitched sound that is similar to that of a smoke alarm. This will automatically alert you of any danger your kid may get into.

Swimming Pool Covers

They mechanically cover your pool when your kids exit the place. This will provide full protection of your children against jumping or falling off into the pool.

Alarm Bands
The swimming pool alarm bands can be put on the kid's wrist before he/she enters into the pool. The alarms get activated once they are immersed I eater; this will make you aware in case your child faces any risk of drowning. Ensure you remove the alarm bands when your kid is out of the pool to avoid receiving signals even when the child washes his/her hands or even taken takes a bath.

One of the most popular ways to ensure children safety next to a swimming pool is installing a fence around the pool. This fence will restrict kids movements around the pool and therefore reduce any risk of mishap. The fences are of different materials such as metal, fiberglass or wood. The glass fence is most preferred since it gives a fancy look to the pool. You can see a lot of pics at Aqua Vista Glass pool fencing company's website.

However, make sure there are stickers on that fence to make the fence clear and your kid doesn't run through it. Whatever the fence you choose, make sure it's of good height so that kids and pets are not able to jump over it.

Water Quality
You need to make sure that your kid swims in good quality water. Sometimes, swimming pool water may get contaminated with bacteria and other water illnesses such as giardia. Use chlorine to kill all the germs in the water. However, make sure the chlorine level is correct since inappropriate chlorine level can lead to breathing difficulties and burning eyes. Talk to your pool dealer to ensure the water quality is properly maintained. Never let your kid swim in murky looking water.

Proper Supervision
Even if your child is a good swimmer, you need to closely watch him/her. Have your telephone plus emergency numbers with you. Put a clear mark on the deep end and kip your kids in shallow waters if they are not experienced. Spell out some rules: no pushing, no running, no swimming alone and no horseplay. Remind your kids that if they see clouds or thunder, they should get out of the pool immediately to avoid electrocution.

Swimming pools are fun places for children and it's not wise to stop your kids from swimming just to avoid accidents. All you have to do is adhere to the aforementioned guidelines to ensure your children safety by the swimming pool.

Protect Your Children from Rotavirus Infection

Baby K is now 13 weeks old. She now smiles at the sound of my voice and makes cute cooing noises. She follows my every move and sees me from across the room. And most of all, she can now hold and cling to my fingers and give us her sweetest smiles and laughter. She's a happy one who shows signs of being smart like her Kuya D, and I'm one proud Mom. Such a loveable little girl, and we are truly so blessed to have her.

Last Monday, we brought her to her pediatrician for her first dose of Rotavirus vaccine. The vaccine is in the form of oral suspension and is not injected into the baby's bloodstream. It is administered in two doses of 1.5mL that contains live attenuated human Rotavirus RIX4414 strain and is recommended to be given to babies within the age of 6 to 24 weeks. The doctor said that the interval between doses should be at least 4 weeks so we set another appointment after a month to complete K's dosage.

Rotavirus is a virus that causes mild to severe gastroenteritis coupled with vomiting, fever and pain in children. The watery diarrhea causes dehydration that may result in hospitalization and worse, death in children. The statistics I saw on the web while doing some research is really alarming and frightening, with about 50,000 unvaccinated children hospitalized and about 20-40 deaths each year.

2013 New Year Resolutions: Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Cloth Diapering

Duyan / Cradle / Hammock Carry
I did not post my new year resolutions online, but had them written in my journal instead. Because for some reason, I believe that hand written words are more powerful and gives an extra dose of encouragement than computer-written ones. I put my journal beside my laptop so I see it all the time. And when I see it, it seems like its inviting me or rather challenging me to turn the words into action and reality.

I am not going to mention everything on my list here, because it's quite long. I broke it down to categories namely Blogging, Finance, Health, Family&Recreation&Travels and Parenting/Motherhood/Kids. This post is focused on the Parenting/Motherhood/Kids category where I have listed three NEW resolutions this year. And this 2013, I pledged to do:

Breastfeeding - Today is exactly three months after I gave birth to little K. I bottle-fed her during the first three days because I didn't have milk then, but as soon as I felt a surge of milk in my breast, I started breastfeeding her. It was an agony at first, my breasts were swollen and hard and very painful, but thanks to Mustela Nursing Comfort Balm, everything went smoother after a week or so. I also started drinking two glasses of Anmum Lacta during the second week, and two capsules of Moringana after a month. I wasn't joking when I said that I want to give the very best for my children and this is a part of that aim.

I am breastfeeding K exclusively now, since she was 6 weeks old. She doesn't want the nursing bottles and I don't force her to, even though sometimes breastfeeding her means another delayed task. ;)

Cloth Diapering - I am delaying this one until I my daughter is at least 6 months old. This I hope will give me ample time to find a regular washerwoman so I won't be forced to wash diaper inserts in between doing VA tasks on my computer. We're using disposables, but we're doing good so far, no redness or rashes because I use Mustela Vitamin Barrier Cream on each diaper change.

Photojeepney: One-Stop Online Photo Center

Photos are an integral part of everybody's lives. They say that a picture paints a thousand words and I can only acquiesce to that. And we all want to keep our most precious memories in any way possible, right?

Introducing Photojeepney

Photojeepney is the newest online digital photo printing and imaging service to hit the Philippines by storm. It's a one-stop online photo center that offers a variety of products and services including, but not limited to the following:
  • Online Digital Photo Printing
  • Imaging
  • Fun Art Services
  • ID and Card Services
    Keychains and Frames (Wood/Plastic)
They can send and receive digital image files to and from virtually anywhere in the world and enhance them, turning your photos into valuable and precious memorabilia. Their Fun Art Services is a popular gift idea in particular, especially this graduation season. Photos can be made into a cute and funky caricature or cartoonized art, a photo montage, or a cover photo you can use on your Facebook account. They can also produce photos filtered with different instafects such as puzzlefects, photo surreal, photo splash and picture to oil painting services.You may choose to receive either a digital file of the output or a printed file in various sizes or both.

They also accept Customized Projects so if you have an idea in mind which is not in the products and services mentioned above, feel free to contact them using the details at the end of this post for a quote.
Payment Options and Shipping

All transactions are done online through the Photojeepney website. Their products and services are very affordable and they accept the following payment options:
  • Paypal
  • Credit Card
  • Over-the-Counter via any Cebuana Lhuillier branch
  • BPI Bank Deposit
  • ATM (Soon to be available)
Please do note that additional transaction charges may apply depending on the payment method you selected.

Photojeepney ships nationwide, so you can have your photos printed in high quality and delivered right to your doorstep.

Contact Details:

Contact Nos.: 661-4108, 0917-6673864, 09182715950 or 0923-6576946 (Look for Michael)
E-Mail: customercare@photojeepney.com
Website: http://www.photojeepney.com/

Anew Clinical Pro Line Corrector from Avon Philippines

This arrived last February 28. The note says that I'm one of the first to try Avon's fastest wrinkle fighter ever, Anew Clinical Pro Line Corrector treatment with AF33.

AF33 is short for Amino Fill 33, a breakthrough skincare exclusively patented to Avon. Based on dermatologist-supervised clinical studies, this formula is proven effective in reducing wrinkles and fine lines in as early as 7 days! Here's a quick rundown:
  • Day 1 - 7         Deep wrinkles begin to fade
  • Day 8 - 14       100% of women showed improvement in fine wrinkles in just 14 days
  • Day 15 - 21     Reduces wrinkles in 3 dimensions: depth, length and number
  • Day 22 - 28     6 out of 10 women who considered cosmetic procedure who tried this product said that improved their skin so much they decided to postpone it.
I will be 32 years old this coming March 24th and when I look into the mirror, I can see fine lines already on my forehead and in the eye area. But the product has Retinol which is not recommended for breastfeeding women so I'm gonna pass for now and will give the 28-day trial pack to my Mom.

I will just ask her for photos documenting the trial. Thank you for my Anew Clinical Pro Line Corrector, Avon Philippines!

For more details, please visit Avon Philippines on Facebook and on Twitter.


Review: Mustela Bebe Vitamin Barrier Cream

Mustela Bebe Vitamin Barrier Cream
One of the most common drawbacks of using disposable diapers is the higher probability of your baby to develop diaper rash. These red rashes are caused by a fungus called Candida that thrives in warm and moist areas, like the skin beneath the diaper. This is why I chose to use cloth diapers for my firstborn Dirk.

This time, however, we ran into a bit of a problem. We can't find a regular 'labandera' to wash our clothes twice a week, like we did before. So washing cloth diaper inserts can be really challenging for a full-time work-at-home Mom like me. I don't even have a "Yaya" for my two kids now so I do everything like a superMom. The reason why even if I advocate and fully support cloth diapering, Kassy is using disposables.

I don't fear the dreaded diaper rashes, though, because I don't give them a chance to develop on my precious baby's skin. No, no, no, no. Not a chance! What I do to protect my daughter's skin from rashes? Read on below:
  • I see to it that the diaper is changed often so as not to irritate her skin by exposing to wetness for long.
  • Putting on a diaper that is too tight is a NO as well. It prevents the air from flowing through that would result into a warm and moist environment, the perfect condition that the fungi wants! Shoo!
  • I always keep her skin dry and clean. I use baby wipes made of natural cotton and alcohol and parabens free.
Aside from those mentioned above, I also apply a medium to thick layer of Mustela Bebe Vitamin Barrier Cream at each diaper change.It is specially formulated to minimize the risk of developing redness, rashes and other irritation. It's paraben-free, phthalate-free and phenoxyethanol-free so definitely no allergic reactions!

The cream is white in color and just a bit thinner compared to toothpaste. It's scent is so good, the perfect scent for babies, which my husband and I truly like. It glides on to skin smoothly, can be removed easily and it doesn't stain! I sometimes accidentally put some on the colored clothes, quilts and baby blankets and I got worried at first, only to learn later on that it can be easily removed using a little soap and water.

Another thing I love about it is that it lasts a long time. I've been using this on Kassy since December but the tube still have about one-fourth of the content left. They say Mustela products are expensive but they're really worth it. Especially if you look at its benefits. Mustela Bebe Vitamin Barrier Cream is proven effective in:
  • protecting the skin against the aggression of urine, stools and diaper friction;
  • helping early signs of redness disappear;
  • soothing sensations of discomfort with Vitamin B5; and
  • softening the skin with Shea Butter.
So you see, it helps to have an armor and not just a gun in the combat against nasty diaper rashes. And I've found both in Mustela Bebe Vitamin Barrier Cream. Offense and Defense in One. Kassy haven't develop any rashes so far.

Definitely makes this WAHM's life less buggy. :)

Mommy-picked Baby Headwear from Honeybaby

Wearing the triple hydrangea headband in fuschia.
I'm still very much behind with my blogging tasks. But believe me when I say I have a couple of valid reasons, and the best reasons at that.

One, I got busy with our little family. A few readers of this blog might recall my post about my maternity leave being extended. It was supposed to be for only 30 days, but my Boss could not help but be more generous every passing day and granted me additional days with pay. My actual maternity leave period begun last December 14, 2012 when I gave birth to Kassy and ended last February 3, 2013. 50 days in total! And it's been great, really great. I was able to spend more time with my family and friends, especially my little one.
Two, I got busier when I resumed work.  Kassy and I got too close with each other and literally "magkadikit palagi" when I was still on leave so when it ended, it was too difficult for me especially during the first two weeks. I could not accomplish my tasks on time because I am breastfeeding her on demand, and she seem to always want to nurse. :) I can only work when she's asleep. But things are getting much better now. I requested for a flexible working schedule from my Boss which was approved instantly. I also decided not to accept too many freelance projects on the side. I believe that there's a time for everything and my family is clearly my priority right no. Hopefully, I'll be active in freelancing again when Kassy at least is a year old.

Anyway, I would like to share with you all a few of the many gifts my daughter received last Christmas. These goodies from Honeybaby store were waiting for us at home when we were discharged from the hospital last December 16, 2012. And hey, adorable is an understatement! The sun hat, the crochet hat and the flower head bands are all too gorgeous! My little one indeed had an early Christmas. :) 

Lavender Delight crochet hat

Pretty Sun hats. Kassy owns a cherry-colored one pictured at the top.
Four seasons head bands.

Triple hydrangea head bands.

The hats are for babies 6 months and older so they doesn't fit yet. The head bands, on the other hand, became a staple in Kassy's everyday outfit. 
Kassy sporting the four seasons headband.
Thank you, Mommy Angelica Dimayuga for these beauties!

Aside from hair and head accessories for little girls, this growing online store also carry colorful fedora hats for the boys.  They cater to all cuties, girls and boys, newborns to kids aged 7 years old. Honeybaby has been featured in Smart Parenting magazine, a finalist for the Best Mommy Management Idea and the winner of Sulit.com.ph's People's Choice Award during the Multiply Origination Awards last January. These features and recognitions prove that not only are their products cute and quirky, they're also of the highest quality.

So what are you Mommies waiting for? Get the best and the prettiest hats and headbands for your babies. Honeybaby offers FREE shipping for new customers and for purchases worth Php1000 and above. They also have a gift wrapping service for any occasion. Visit Honeybaby Online store in Multiply and in Facebook for updates on their newest collections.  Have fun shopping!

Yoga and the Male Body - Health Benefits of Yoga for Men

Ten years ago, if a man openly proclaimed that he was doing yoga, his masculinity would be jokingly put into question by his peers. But due to the revelation of popular male athletes and celebrities such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John McEnroe and Wayne Gretzky, the art has been accepted by the mainstream male population. Hollywood has also romanticized the male yoga instructor as men who have such undeniable appeal and impressive physique sure to make the ladies in the class swoon. Health benefits of yoga for men for have been stressed to versatile athletes looking for non-taxing exercise outside the court and field.

One type of yoga that has been popular within men is Bigram yoga. It is also called hot yoga because it is done in a room heated up to forty degrees Celsius which hastens detoxification during the whole session. Health benefits of yoga for men take on both physical and mental levels simultaneously. Aside from these, men are amazed that their usually stiff postures can now take on flexible and sometimes almost impossible positions at will. Yoga is for everyone regardless of size and physique, unlike sports which are usually dominated by certain stereotypes. Here is a roundup of the main benefits that men take into account when considering enrolling for the class.

Whole Body Workouts

Some active sports such as football, hockey and tennis will only make use of ten to fifteen percent of the body. With yoga, a whole session with different poses will cover every joint, muscle and organ. The cardiovascular, muscular-skeletal and endocrine system will all equally benefit. Even body parts that are commonly ignored such as the knees and lower back are given attention. With this kind of workout, the whole body is oxygenized as opposed to only a few body parts depleting the oxygen supply. This will result in a more refreshed and energized feeling after every session without the soreness.

Bedroom Benefits

Some poses are favored by men because they revitalize the body and improve endurance. The Eagle Pose and Triangle Pose exercise the heart and lungs to stimulate the circulation of clean blood and oxygen throughout the body, especially to the sex organs. Flexibility is also a plus factor for men who practice yoga.

Mental and Physical Balance

Any man who does regular yoga restores his biochemical levels and energy. Toxins are flushed out from the body thus improving resistance against diseases and giving the men a “glow” similar with women. Balance and coordination is improved because of the focus, discipline and attention required and cultivated during classes. Men have been shown to have more efficient learning and mental clarity with just a few sessions. Their moods are gradually stabilized; flare-ups and prideful egos are shed. Majority of the people taking yoga eventually make better and healthier lifestyle choices to complement their overall improvements.