Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving In to Online Shopping

I am not that much into shopping. Impulsive shopping is not in my vocabulary and will not trade a precious rest day just to spend it for window shopping even. When your salary is just enough for a family of nine, once you shop or visit a store, it is with the intention that you will be back to buy your purchase. That is how simple it is for me and my kids. We know the difference of needs and wants early on. We also take advantage of sales and discounts but not to the point of going our way to grab on any midnight sales. That is not how it works in our household where its main focus is on simple things and basic needs.

From time to time, I visit online stores just to look at the merchandise and ponder on the advantages of buying online. Accessibility and convenience are the major ones since you do not have to fall in line to check if the clothes or shoes that you are about to buy fit in, same thing when you look for a counter where the queue of customers are long. You do not have to spend money to get to the mall and suffer  that heavy traffic due to the holidays plus you are not tempted to buy more than what has originally been planned. On the downside, you have to set your expectations that the purchase you bought might not be tailor fit. But at the end of the day it is the novelty, the feeling of trustworthiness not only for your purchase but for the online store as well that will make you think twice if it is indeed smart to spend your hard earned money for an online purchase. That for me is the main reason why I am hesitant to try online shopping. But then no matter how novel the idea is, one should be open to change to get abreast with the times and move forward. And in order to do that, one should be brave enough to test the waters and take the plunge but not before getting informed.

I have heard  a lot of positive news about Zalora Philippines , their huge variety of products and brands that you can choose from, the ordering process, shipping and delivery where a minimal fee is charged for orders above 1000 Php and more importantly, the Cash On Delivery  option to pay for your purchase on authorized payment centers for customers who do not have credit or debit cards. What more, they now have an ongoing advocacy to Shop for a Cause where 10% of all sales from selected Zalora items will be donated to foundations and charities supporting the relief effort for Typhoon Yolanda.

That being said, I can't wait for my 13th month pay to arrive. I deserve to have a new set of work out clothes anyway and I already have my eyes set on that sports bra and running shorts. I might even be tempted to buy an extra set just in case. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Benefits of A Foot Massage

Most people love a good foot massage in Indianapolis. This can provide you with time to sit back, relax and enjoy a luxurious experience. What many people don't know is that there are also a number of valuable benefits associated with foot massage and these include the following :
                                      *  Fast , effective pain relief 
                                      *  Relaxing and rejuvenating experience
                                      *  Instant stress relief
                                      *  Improves range of motion
                                      *  Improves circulation
                                      *  Enhances energy 
                                      *  Strengthens the immune system
                                      *  Shortens healing time from a range of diseases and treatments
                                      *  Stabilizes blood pressure


 Enjoy Softer, Smoother Feet

Following a massage, your feet will usually feel softer, pain free and ready to walk 100 miles. The next time you have your spouse or a professional give you a foot massage, ask them to use a foot softening cream  on your feet. Following a massage, wear a pair of thick socks for at least an hour or overnight.You will wake up with considerably softer, smoother feet.

Are You Suffering From Pain?

If you are suffering from a condition that may cause pain on your feet, calves or legs, you may enjoy even greater benefits from a professional massage. For instance, if you suffer from planar fascia, diabetes, arthritis or physical injuries, a foot massage can help your life back on track. Massages, acupressure, foot manipulation and reflexology services can help to enhance your body's natural healing abilities, whether you are suffering from a sports related injury or ongoing pain. Best of all, massage therapy has little to no side effects and can greatly benefit nearly every aspect of your life.

Do You Need A Pro?

The best way to get a worthwhile foot massage in Indianapolis is to visit a professional. Call your local salon or spa to schedule for an appointment. However, you can also enjoy a number of benefits, along with an incredibly relaxing experience from home. Ask your spouse if they will give you a massage in return, you can give hem a relaxing massage as well. Foot rubs are known to be a sensual and loving experience, so don't forget to give your loved one a relaxing massage tonight. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Toy Drive For the Traumatized Children of Yolanda

One of my favorite episodes from the old Oprah Winfrey Show was when her whole staff and crew together with Oprah had visited South Africa for the first time where they brought along tailor fit shoes, toys and dolls for  50,000 children who had never received any gift in their lives. When it was time for the kids to open their presents, the cheers of happiness and excitement were overwhelming that even Oprah could not contain her own tears. It was a trip that had been made a few months before Christmas but had touched Oprah in so many ways that she adopted ten children who had no family nor relatives to take care of them, an experience that she described as the best Christmas she ever had. 

When I read a Yahoo article by Thea Alberto-Masakayan early this morning, I again remembered all the devastated people that was hit by Typhoon Yolanda. Men, women and children who lost  everything. I chose not to watch the news on TV because no matter how true it is, it still gets in to your psyche, making you stop for a minute while eating, heading for work or walking your way home. I know that at this age of social media, one can pretend to be blind or deaf but a historical catastrophe such as Yolanda will be heard and talked about anywhere especially at work where some colleagues hail from the affected areas whose families and their conditions are still unheard of until now. You cannot help but tear inside especially if your think of the young children who have witnessed everything and the trauma that will probably haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Here in the Philippines, fund drives, donation boxes and the spirit of volunteerism again can be seen and felt anywhere you go. From schools, churches, malls, offices and especially the social media. In fact a colleague who just learned about his family's whereabouts is now on his way home, bringing with him relief goods and donations, both in cash and in kind so he could fly to Tacloban faster because his parents need their maintenance immediately especially during this trying times. Advocacy groups are also doing their share so that relief goods can be distributed as soon as possible. And though it is a given that food, water, clothes and medicine are top priorities, the power of a hug cannot be under estimated and might even help the trauma felt by the children. Since every kid deserves all the comfort they could get in times like this, the Advocacy group 1000Bearhugs has set up a toy drive to help the traumatized children of Yolanda recover faster.

How The Advocacy Started

It all started when Cathy Baboa initiated the sending of stuff toys and teddy bears in December 2011, when Typhoon Sendong devastated Cagayan De Oro. I will never forget that incident because a female colleague lost both parents including her home and spent her very first tragic Christmas by herself. Since then, the 1000Bearhugs had sent out toys to typhoon wreck areas like Bicol and in conflict zones like Zamboanga. Mon Corpuz of the Black Pencil Project, who now heads the toy drive for traumatized children of Yolanda said that they were able to transport the toys to the disaster areas through the help of military personnel and local non-government organizations. He also noted that the organization does not accept cash donations, barbie dolls, battery-operated toys and toy guns. He added that the movement does not only give away toys but includes facilitation of psychosocial therapies through the help of volunteers.

How You Can Help

The 1000Bearhugs will be accepting new and pre cleaned huggable stuff toys and teddy bears until December 8 where the toys will be brought to typhoon-afflicted communities in Leyte, Panay and Bohol in time for Christmas. If you want to join the toy drive, check the nearest drop off points here. Now if you want to organize your own toy drive area, you can download the toy drive kit here .You can also send an email to or call (63)917 7961 378 and look for Mon.

Every kid deserves to have a huggable toy, whether given or hand me down. Children who have seen and witnessed a tragic catastrophe like Typhoon Yolanda will always remember the horrible experience of seeing it all. My only prayer is that they may learn to survive and overcome the scars of such nightmare in their lives, enough for them to move on. I also hope that one day they will again learn how to smile, laugh and see the world in the eyes of a child. With every huggable toy given, a child's pain is lessen. And with every smile seen in a child's face the minute a huggable toy is received, an undeniable, happiness is felt. Compassion after all is universal, so is pain, emptiness and hope.

I just wished that whatever we have witnessed, felt and experienced with Typhoon Yolanda and its aftermath will remain in history and stay there forever, never to haunt us again.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Surprise Your Friends and Family With This Unique Gift

You know that feeling when you cannot find the right gift for your neighbor or colleague. It is even worse when you are seeking for something perfect for a friend or family member. The next time you find yourself in this tricky situation, consider surprising your loved ones with an order of special cookies.

There are websites offering customized cookie options that everyone is sure to love. Who doesn't love a good cookie? It is difficult to go wrong when there is something sweet and delicious in the mix. If you do a search online, you will  find  the most detailed and artistically decorated cookies around. They are little works of art that you can eat, and who doesn't love to eat something that looks as beautiful as it tastes ?

The decorated cookies come in wide variety. You can find seasonal assortment and you can have the cookies decorated to support the cause or theme of your event. If you are looking for something nice to send a business associate, these beautiful cookies can be arranged in fun whimsical bouquets. You will be amazed at what can be done when you have a team of creative geniuses with access to sugar cookies and frosting in hand.

Your guest of honor, birthday recipients, or unsuspecting neighbors will be delighted when they see what you have purchased on their behalf. A bouquet of cookies is such a fun and unique gift that won't clutter up the home or sit on a shelf collecting dust. Usually those are  the best kinds of gifts.

If a bouquet is just not your style, you can go to the more traditional route and send a box of the most delicious cookies of your choice. You can select from a variety of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamia, ginger snaps and much more. A box of special cookies from you to someone you love or just to show appreciation for, will always be received with open arms and a watering mouth. Do not wait another minute to go online and order a gift that is sure to be unforgettable.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Love For Reading

I had been reading as early as I could remember. Old magazines borrowed and bought once a month because my Dad enjoyed answering the crossword puzzle and books from school, whether torn or old which was typical from somebody who had studied in a public school. Some days I got lucky when I visit my cousins who studied in private schools and bought books every year. Since it was a given that lots of their school books will no longer be use, my Dad took the liberty of acquiring a few of them, instead of letting them rot due to non usage. I think that helped developed my love for reading and how I learned to value books, whether borrowed or not.

Thus commenced my journey of spending hours alone, learning and knowing words, worlds and phrases including the colorful names, characters and plots that went with it. That habit continued until I had kids. There may have been instances that I felt when the love for reading perhaps had waned because I could not  even finish one book in a year, still I tried to revive it until I succeeded. Old habits die hard indeed.


The love for books and reading was something that I have inherited from my Mom. Though our reading choices had become different through the years, we somehow still get connected when we discuss about the books that we have read. The story lines, the dialogues even the authors will always be a favorite topic each time we have our long conversations which had gotten rare over the years. A sad fact considering it was her who taught me how to read not only because she was a teacher but simply because I believe every parent always find the time to read to her young kids no matter how tired and busy she is.

There had been a time when my Mom had read almost every day since my Dad passed away. The line "to ease the pain of losing one's other half " can be seen and read on the book's first or last page with every pocketbook that she had bought. Perhaps it had been a mantra or a silent prayer at that time. She once  told me that the minute she started reading, she let the story carry her to where it went, making her mind busy and wander helping her forget  the pain, loss and misery that will start to envelope her once she finished the book. I am not sure if the pain had started to lessen when she started having grandkids and witnessed all the growing pains that went with it to such time that all of them had left until she was alone again in her empty nest.

A few years ago my Mom had one major stroke that had affected her speech. It was the first time I heard her talk differently over the phone, unaware that tears already rolled down on my cheeks,  trying my best to cover the sadness in my voice. Despite the lack of sleep due to working in graveyard shifts, I immediately went back home, forgetting all the tiredness, afraid that it might be the last time. The minute I arrived in the hospital, my eldest daughter who went ahead to take care of her said that my   Mom had asked if we already bought the seventh book for the Harry Potter series. Though  she was already on her late 70's, Mom had read every Harry Potter book and was even familiar with terms like " Quidditch " and " Gryffindor. " Despite her condition, she wanted to know if Harry Potter died in the end.  My daughter saw the eagerness in her old eyes, now both with cataracts, eagerly waiting for an answer.

" We already bought the book, Nanay. Try to get well soon because it is a good read until the end."

My mom then replied, "Very good because if he died, I am not going to read the seventh book anymore, "

When I heard about this, I knew that my mom will recover. And she did. And every confinement there after, whether due to a mild stroke or not. I know that no matter how many times her health may seem to fail her, the love for reading will not. It will continue to shield her like an invisible fortress, willing her to turn another page in her life, knowing that in every chapter, there will always  be a story needed to be told.