Yahmir’s day with the Animé

The world of Animé, an abbreviated pronunciation of Animation in Japanese has been an instant hit to the younger generation nowadays. Anime shows, books and manga fall into a number of existing genres such as comedy, sci-fi, action-adventure, drama and so on which are usually featured via hand-drawn or computer animated characters.

My youngest son, Yahmir is a big fan of animé.  My husband, his elder brother and I fully support him in his present interest.  He occasionally joins cosplay events and contests due to his academic schedule.  However, we make sure that he can still watch and attend such events during school break.




Lovingly written by Joy












Online Buying Guide for Moms

We moms take advantage of the best deals offered during the holiday season. As Christmas bonuses and 13th month pay has been received, extra budget is on hand. Thus, this is the time when we schedule replacements and buying of new home appliances. Instead of hopping from one appliance store to another, we can find quality and best products through online purchase. Online buying will not only spare our feet to sore but save our precious time as we can find plenty of options and best deals by just browsing and navigating from one appliance website to another. Here are some suggestions and guide for buying appliances online.



Quality Products at low Prices

When it comes to the appliances in your home, you want to accessorize them with the latest and greatest in accessories. In the end, the accessories are what make the home appliance, such as a washer or dryer, work to its full potential. In order to get quality products, you can visit the Frigidaire online store. Once you are on the home page of the company, you are able to browse through the many selections that you can choose from for any of your home appliances.



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Holiday Greetings from Notepad Corner

“It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.” - Caroline Kennedy

How time flies! As 2013 is on its tail end, festive mood can be felt in the air.  Christmastime is here! Time to celebrate and to share, time to reflect on the wonderful moments shared with our family and friends and to give thanks for all the blessings received throughout the year.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincerest gratitude to all of you who made this year great for Notepad Corner.  It has been my honour and pleasure to share with you my thoughts, my views, my opinions and information essential to one’s daily living.

In behalf of my family, we wish you a Blessed Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year ahead filled with treasured joy, memories, prosperity and good health.

May 2014 be your best year yet!






Lovingly written by Joy












Adding a personal touch to Christmas 2013

As Christmas fast approaches, many of us are looking for ways to get a little more festive. When the big day finally arrives, we’ll need a selection of activities to keep our loved ones entertained – snoozing in front of the TV simply won’t do! In this post, we’ll show how you can add a quirky, personal touch to your festivities that are guaranteed to make this Christmas the best yet.

image via allaboutyou.com


Badges

When it comes to celebrating Christmas, badges may not instantly spring to mind, but they can be a really nice touch to the day.

Get some personalised badges printed with some festive nicknames on. Choose names like ‘Scrooge’, ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ or ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and let your guests select which name best suits them. It’ll be a great icebreaker and will get your guests mingling and talking with one another. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Bathroom Essentials You Just Might Forget

It is human nature to make mistakes, especially when one is undertaking something as overwhelming as a wholesale home redecoration or renovation project. This can be anything from taking a sledgehammer to the wrong wall to choosing the wrong curtains – they can be catastrophic or cosmetic, although to some people the latter might well equate to the former! It tends to be the smaller things – in size, not necessarily function – that escape notice. This is because the bigger, centrepiece items will be foremost in your eyes both literally and figuratively, as they draw the attention. But you ignore these things at your peril, as with just a little more attention you can get seriously increased functionality and style in your bathroom.




Tap Out

Now, you are well within your rights to say taps are taps, and that’s the end of it. How much complication can you introduce to an item of such straightforward utility? Well, as in most things, it’s the details that matter. I am shocked that many people still buy taps that use rubber washers. This is the same as using a mangle when we have washing machines (sort of). Ceramic washers are the very best option here as they do not wear out anywhere near as quickly, eliminating those annoying leaks. For extra elegance, why not try a waterfall taps, whose flow imitates that of the natural phenomenon it is named after. Something different,anyway.


Lovingly written by Joy












Getting Your Car Ready for the Winter

As the winter approaches drivers are constantly told to take care on the roads and to ensure they are as safe as possible whilst driving. This is not something that should be ignored; it really can be the difference between life and death. No one wants to be involved in an accident especially when it is through ignoring advice.

Experts know what they are talking about which is why they are so keen for drivers to really understand what it is they are saying. This is exactly why an infographic on being prepared for winter driving has been created to help drivers stay safe whilst tackling some of the worst possible driving conditions.

Your car needs to be prepared in the best possible way including having the correct tread on tyres and making sure you have topped up the vehicle with anti-freeze.



Lovingly written by Joy












Dr Who anniversary: time to get excited!

The 50th anniversary of the world’s best-loved time travelling Gallifreyan is soon to descend on Britain, invading not only our televisions but also our cinema screens in full 3D on the 23rd of November. Here are five reasons fans are getting excited for this historic moment.



'The Day of the Doctor' 

The feature length episode 'The Day of the Doctor' will not only see the return of David Tennant, recently voted Whovians' favourite Doctor, but will also feature John Hurt as a mysterious prior incarnation that spawned after Paul McGann but before Christopher Eccleston’s version. Confused? Don’t worry; it’s all just wibbly wobbly, time-y wimey… stuff! With so many doctors and a few assistants popping up in one episode, it's sure to be unmissable. The cinema screenings have proven so popular that over 200 theatres around the country are taking part, recently adding more show times when the original allocation sold out! 


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Family Health Card: Keeping Your Future Secured

They say, health is wealth, and so is our family. Many individuals get insurance coverage as well as family health cards to protect themselves and their families from future health-related expenses. Family health insurance is a great way to take care of the family. It is similar to other insurances wherein the family medical expenses are covered. With this, your loved ones can get quality services from trusted health care providers and top of the line hospital care services.



You can get a family health card and insurance as an additional premium to the coverage provided by your employer. There are businesses and companies that will require you to pay for some of the premiums if you elect to have additional coverage for your family members. You can also avail of a family health insurance for the whole family if you are self-employed. 

While some people put health care services and insurance on the bottom of their list, you should always think of the future and be prepared of the unexpected medical expenses which can drain out your meager savings. People without any health insurance coverage easily put their health and their finances at risk. If you seek medical services when it is an emergency, you will be shocked and even become more ill due to its expensive costs!




Lovingly written by Joy












Are you suffering from hearing loss?

Hearing loss can impact your life negatively on many levels, and on the lives of your family and friends. If you suffer from a loss of hearing, you’re far from alone. More than 30 million Americans suffer some form of hearing loss, and that includes teenagers. If your hearing has been damaged, it is likely you deal with frustrations big and small on a daily basis. These frustrations can range from not being able to hear at the dinner table to not being able to fully appreciate a piano concert.



The people you live with also get frustrated because they have to repeat virtually everything they say, or they have to endure loud volumes on the TV or radio because you can’t hear programs at a normal decibel level. A “yes” answer to the following questions means you most probably have hearing loss:

  • Do you constantly ask people to repeat what they have said?
  • Do family members complain that you have the volume on the TV too high?
  • Do you have a problem following conversations at the dinner table, in a restaurant, or any other venue that has a lot of background noise?



Lovingly written by Joy












Anti-Ageing Skincare Tips for Moms

The other day, my son and I were buried in his Science homework, talking about the different types of textures.  When we were on the topic of “roughness”, he jokingly held up a sheet of sandpaper against my face and said, “Mom, you know, sometimes the skin on your face feels like this!”  Since when did my son grow up to be annoyingly cute?  At that moment, I wasn’t quite sure whether I wanted to smother him with kisses or kick him to the curb!

With the countless responsibilities we moms are faced with, day in and day out, it comes as no surprise that we often neglect the things we shouldn’t.  Like our skin, for example.  Before we know it, our kids are making fun of us in the name of science.

If you’re starting to notice that your skin isn’t as glowing or supple as it was when you used to be a carefree woman of the world, take action.  Here are some anti-ageing skin care tips for moms:



Ban the Sun

How many times has your grandmother told you to never forget to put on your sunblock before going out under the sun?  She didn’t say that just to get on your nerves.  Not since the wise counsel of the sages from centuries past has there been a sounder piece of advice passed on to us.  The sun is a major culprit when it comes to skin ageing, so it makes perfect sense to stay away from it as much as possible.  If you must put yourself under the sun’s torture, be sure to slather on some sunscreen to filter out the sun’s harmful UV rays. Wear a hat or bring an umbrella.



Lovingly written by Joy












How to Find the Right Colour Scheme for Your Home

Choosing the right colour scheme for your home can be a challenge, but it is also a very powerful tool to spruce up your interior and let your personality shine. You should never make a half-hearted decision when it comes to colour. Make sure that you think long and hard about which palette will be right for you and right for your home.


earth tone color by nuttakit - freedigitalphotos.net


Have Fun

When choosing colours for your home, don’t feel as if you need to follow any rules or predetermined techniques. You can do absolutely anything that you choose. Be creative and experiment with colours and ideas that are quirky and out there. You’re never going to know which scheme is right for you unless you try as many options as possible. Keep your mind open and your colour senses tingling.

Think About Your Furniture

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing a colour scheme for your home is to forget to consider the way it will look with your furniture. Nobody wants colours that clash or look tacky. So be sure to take all of this into consideration. Try moving your furniture around to see if you can create contrasting or interesting tones. Remember that you don’t want to be reorganising your furniture down the track to find that your new layout completely clashes with your palette.


Lovingly written by Joy












Cozy for the Holidays: Home Heaters for Winter

The Festive Holidays is fast approaching and as the song says, “The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful.” Well, is your home ready for the cold winter months?

While everyone is busy decorating, shopping and doing all their Christmas to-do-list, someone must also take charge of your home’s heating system. Have it checked by a professional to make sure it is working properly so that you can control and monitor the heat all throughout the house.



Hence, while you still have time, consider getting a portable programmable thermostat wherein you can comfortably adjust and control temperature from anywhere in the home.  Its portable comfort control feature provides consistent warmth and coziness as it will automatically check the flow of the heat to save on your heating costs. Your heating system will be working double this cold season so it’s wise to check on all the necessary details to ensure that your home is well insulated and that the vents are clear of any blockage.


Lovingly written by Joy












Equal importance of Sight and Sound

Sight and hearing are two equally important senses that are needed to be monitored in the family’s health. More often than not we tend to notice at once if one of our kids is having problems with seeing things and do corrective measures in the soonest time by seeing an ophthalmologist.  However, we do not detect problems of defective hearing immediately.

While vision allows us to learn more about the surrounding world, hearing enables us to be aware of what is around and experience the world around us through sound. Sight and sound are important communication tools which provide our mind and body with much needed information in our daily life.

As parents we need to teach our children the significance of these two senses in their daily activities. Though they can learn the importance of these senses in school, it is still advisable to inform them how they can protect and care for their sense of sight and sound. 


Lovingly written by Joy












8 Benefits of LED lighting system for your home

To make our planet a better place to live in, more and more people are now turning into living a healthier and greener life. Starting from eating healthy foods to using environmentally-safe and socially responsible products to home improvement such as green roofs and now the use of LED lighting.

You can change the light quality of your home and create a more comfortable and sustainable atmosphere through using the LED lighting system. Light-emitting diode or better known as LED is a semiconductor electronic light source. It is the indicator light we see in our home appliances and devices.  Through technology advancements it was recently increasingly used for home and business general lighting source. You can use LED lamps and bulbs anywhere around your home and make a stylish lighting improvement to make your home an enjoyable and cozy place to live in.

Image via digsdigs.com



Lovingly written by Joy












Paint the town red with a Christmas Jumper

The festive season is here which means the return of several traditions and one that’s enjoyed a surge in popularity over the last few years comes in the form of the traditional Christmas Jumper.

With the high streets now littered with knitwear containing images of Rudolph, snowflakes and other festive imagery you would be well within your right to think the jumper has no where else to go. But it does!


The company behind the phenomenon Morphsuits has created the first ever range of digital Christmas jumpers! The Morphsuits Christmas Jumpers, which work with the help of your smart phone, bring to life a crackling fireplace, a snow globe and even a festive cat (!) all of which are guaranteed to cause a stir wherever you decide to wear them!



Lovingly written by Joy












Raising A Toughie: Introducing Mountain Bikes To Adventurous Kids

Adventurous parents would surely make tough role models to their kids. But of course, before you’d allow your kids to engage in any hard-hitting activities, you want to ensure that they will be safe. For moms and dads who love mountain biking, searching for a kid’s size bike needs thorough considerations. We need to make certain that it should have the working parts and features of a regular bike, but it should be smaller, weigh a little lighter and made according to their reach. If you are searching for a good bicycle to buy then Global Bike is one of the best venues to check out mountain bikes, road bikes as well as safety gears and accessories that you can get for your kid.

ftf10_6662
Image via themamabelly on Flickr


There are no age requirements on starting to ride bikes and you can find hundreds of models suitable for your kids’ height and abilities. For starters, your kids’ maybe eager to learn and ride a mountain bike even before they learn to balance on two wheels so make sure that your kid engages in sports activities to develop his muscles and maintain power for biking. 



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Tips in teaching kids house chores

One of the major responsibilities of parenthood is to raise children to become responsible, mature and well-rounded adult. Engaging children to do house chores at an early age can have a positive effect later in their lives. When we involve our kids in house work, we teach them a sense of responsibility, self-reliance, values, empathy, competence, independence and self-worth.

Housework is an inescapable part of life. Start to teach them house tasks at an early age while they are interested and eager to help.  But of course, we have to assign them age-appropriate chores. It is just practical to prepare them to manage and maintain a home while they are young.

 
Owen, my nephew willingly cleaned the bathroom with the supervision of his mom, my cousin Pam David-Peute. It took long but he got the job done. Good job Owen!

There would be times when it is difficult to get kids cooperate especially when they are glued on their computers or handheld gadgets. Be more patient, slowly they will learn how to contribute to upkeep the family home.  Set house rules and a schedule for their task. If you have 3 or more children, making a chart of their daily duties can help you save time from frequently reminding them of their routine. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Find entertainment and friends with online bingo

Image by brianfuller6385 (100,000 viewsWhoopee!)

When you’re at home all day with the kids, there’s the danger of feeling cut off from the adult world so it’s good to have different ways to spend a few minutes doing something for you. Something that’s fun and not just about catching up on the day’s chores! Taking a little break from being mum now and then will help you be a better mum to your kids the rest of the day.

A great way to do this is to start playing online bingo. Bingo is a game that has been around for almost a century in its current form, but since it went online, it’s more popular than ever before. And, unlike when you play bingo in a bingo hall and you have to focus your concentration on listening to the number calls and marking off the numbers on your chosen cards for the game, online bingo is quite different. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Staying active during the winter



When the temperatures start to plummet, it can be tempting to burrow into our duvets only to return when the sun has resurfaced. The last thing on our minds is donning our t-shirts and shorts and heading out on a run – no chance!

Many people’s fitness levels drop in the colder months as we lack the motivation to exercise. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. These top tips will help you stay active this winter.

Don’t give up

Once the dark nights arrive and the temperature hits single figures, many people give up on the outdoor sports they usually love. There are other alternatives to ditching your outdoor pursuits though.

If you’re part of a sports team, you could move the game inside a fitness centre in order to shelter from the elements. However, this isn’t always necessary – some sports can still be played outdoors. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Super Typhoon Haiyan’s aftermath, the Filipino spirit to rise up again – Bangon Pinoy!

Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally named Yolanda, the strongest and most powerful recorded storm ever to make a landfall this year battered Samar, Leyte, Cebu and much of the Visayas Islands of the Philippines last November 8, 2013.  The devastating typhoon rendered thousands of families homeless and helpless. The once full of life and beautiful towns with a bubbly community turned into a ghost town due to massive damage and destruction not only on the infrastructures but to the lives of the people as well.

An aerial photo of Guiuan, Samar courtesy of gmanetwork.com


I am a Filipino and it’s really heartbreaking for me to see that there’s nothing left out there for my fellow countrymen who survived - survivors who braved to hold on for their lives.  Homeless, hungry and emotionally upset people can be seen loitering in the streets and even resorted to looting just to feed their hungry children and families the day after for relief efforts are hampered due to infrastructure and communication problems. I can’t help but cry upon hearing and watching the news of different stories on how they survived.  My soul is grieving seeing the dead people and animals everywhere on the streets.  I deeply sympathize for those who are mourning to the lost of their loved ones whom cannot be even given a decent burial. You may see photos of before and after Haiyan hit our country here


Lovingly written by Joy












Tailor Business Packages with a Custom Printed Packaging Tape

When it comes to custom printed packaging tape, some companies leave a lot to be desired. Whether it's improper packaging materials, or an art department that doesn't really value the customer's feedback, it can be a general nightmare for someone trying to get their business started. Thankfully, Continental Packaging has none of these problems, as their customer service and commitment to quality products sets them head and shoulders above the rest.

After having been in the business for over twenty years, Continental Packaging has developed a system that they know works and that their customers absolutely love. From the in-house art department that actively craves customer input to dedication to such high quality packaging tape supplies as PVC and polypropylene tapes, it's easy to see how they've managed to stay ahead of their competitors for so long. In fact, much of Continental Packaging's success stems from its exclusive ink machine, which allows them to use a printing system that leaves minimal impact on the environment. Best of all, they only use 100% recycled paper for their printing supplies, ensuring that customers needn't worry about letting anything go to waste.

package boxes via SundayMorning-Freedigitalphotos.net


custom printed packaging tape via continentalpackaging.com
Of course, Continental Packaging isn't just interested in printing packaging tape for its customers, as they're even willing to sit down with customers and discuss possible logo ideas to go directly on the tape. This kind of service is difficult to come by, which makes it all the more appealing when it comes with the already affordable services of Continental Packaging.


Lovingly written by Joy












What to do with Kid’s Clothes they’ve Outgrown

Kids grow like weeds. You hardly ever notice how big and tall they’ve become until their clothes become a wee bit tighter and smaller for them. No matter how many clothes you buy for them, it just seem like they always need more. So you grow a pile of clothes that clutters your closets, drawers and bags. When your kids outgrow their clothes, you can dispose them in some productive ways.

Find a new home for your kids’ old clothing, accessories and toys by handing them down to their siblings, your other family members or your friend’s kids who needs them. It is one of the best ways to help out, reuse and recycle your kids’ old clothing.

Clothing swaps are also in on several local and online communities. You can get together with other parents who are also offering their children’s clothes for trade or gifts.

Another positive way of getting rid of your kids’ clutter is through garage and rummage sales. When your pile reached that uncontrollable amount, you can easily organize a garage sale to conveniently sell off items that you no longer need. Cragilist and eBay are also ideal venues for getting something back from the bulk of your kids’ old clothing the fast and easy way. But of course, you can only expect some 50% or less for pricing of your items when you sell them out on through these venues.



Photo credits:  Leonard Mc Lane/Digital Vision/Getty Images


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5 Casual Diners with Awesome Shop Designs!

Australia has become obsessed with food and many people are looking for the latest and greatest dining experience. We are looking for more than just a meal; we want the atmosphere, a holistic experience. So if you are looking for places with ambiance, here is a list of five casual diners with excellent design.

Max Brenners

Max Brenner
Photo via Flickr


Popular chocolate shop and restaurant, Max Brenners’ offers a holistic chocolate experience. Although there are many different franchises around Australia, they all share a similar internal decor. The overall atmosphere is one of warmth. It uses a dark pallet of materials, mostly dark wood, to create a cosy feeling, which compliments the warm beverages offered. The stores have a sense of quirkiness about them, and some stores have big chocolate melting vats that supply chocolate through pipes to the bar. The chocolate shop displays all its products in a well-designed fashion.


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When is the Right Time for Teens to Date?

As parents we tend to become overly protective when it comes to our teens, but it is also our responsibility to help them manage relationships and attractions to the opposite sex. It is an inevitable process and parents, especially moms should be prepared to make some important decision when it arises.



It helps to have some experience over dating, love and relationships from your own teenage years – you know only too well how everything feels. You want your teen to develop a healthy relationship and have good experiences when it comes to dating and puppy love. But of course you also want your teens to make wise decisions on who to date and how to handle situations around the opposite sex. Are they ready for it? 


Lovingly written by Joy












The battle of Carpet, Tile and Timber flooring. Which is best for you?

Whether you've chosen to build your new home or renovate an existing structure, choosing the right flooring for you and your family can often pose a daunting question. While there are benefits to all styles of flooring, you must consider which is best for your lifestyle, cleaning and comfortability. Having children and pets is often a major deciding factor when choosing your flooring, as most parents will consider hygiene and cleaning a big part of their choice. For some more information when choosing the right flooring for you and your family, read on to discover the benefits and disadvantages of carpet, tiles and timber flooring.

Carpet Flooring

Photo credits:  photostock - freedigitalphotos.net

For those home owners living in a cooler climate, there's often nothing nicer than stepping out of bed on to a warm, plush carpet, as stepping onto ice cold tiles in the morning can be quite a shock! Carpet is often a great choice for home owners who are trying to create a warm and homey feeling in their new house and is often referred to as the choice that feels more welcoming. While there are many benefits to carpet flooring, it is also important to consider the hygienic concerns on carpeted flooring. Unlike tiles and timber flooring, carpets are much harder to easily sanitise, a deciding factor for many parents and pet owners.


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A Date with the Jersey Boys

I have never been fond of watching musicals. I would like to believe that I am a picky viewer when it comes to such. While some may consider watching such as a way to feed their hunger for the arts, I consider it a luxury that should only be done when there’s a strong reason behind it. Nevertheless, I must admit that I would gladly spend my hard-earned money on Jersey Boys jukebox musical. To be able to get discounts on buying 4 tickets, I will compare price of Jersey Boys tickets at Big Ticket Shop UK just so my husband and I together with our two sons would never pass up the opportunity to watch them.

The story revolves mainly around the formation, success, and eventual break-up of The Four Seasons and its front man Frankie Valli. If you are not familiar with the group, perhaps because you were born long after the group disbanded, they were a rock and roll group that was quite successful and popular during the 1960s. They shot to fame and went over the top, literally and figuratively, because of their “doo-wop” harmonies – a huge trademark of the rhythm and blues genre – that were made better by Valli’s singular three-octave range.




Frankie Valli’s unusual falsetto voice was enough to make the group thrive despite competition from big-name artists as Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, and even the Beatles. They were good enough to be hailed as kings of “rock and soul”. 


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Coupon Searching for Bigger Savings

Shopping is a regular activity for everyone regardless of the amount of money you have.  You shop for things you need around the house.  It might not be a big deal for some people but several cents of savings here and there can actually add up.  I was inspired by an avid coupon clipper on television the other day who managed to spend only a little over a hundred dollars for nearly a thousand dollars’ worth of groceries.  That’s definitely something I want to experience.  Getting Futurebazaar coupons is a good start.  There are vouchers there that give as much as 70% in discounts.

For online shoppers, there are a few tricks to credit slip searching.  It is important to remember that not all discount ticket sites are the same.  You want to find sites that give you only the best price cut on high quality products.  Make sure that the offers are still valid.  There should be information about the shops and stores offering the discounts so you can check the validity of the offers.  This will also allow you to check whether these are legitimate establishments or retail outlets.  Even when you are doing your shopping with these vouchers, you only want deal with reputable stores and merchants. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Showers – Three Big Things You Need to Know

Taking the first steps on the bath to a bathroom redecoration can be a fairly daunting exercise. What is seemingly one decision actually breaks down into multiple other choices, which can bewilder and confuse.

One of these big choices is what type and style of shower to plump for. This is not just a consideration of setups and other technical considerations such as connections and systems, but also one of style and looks, too.

I like to think I’m a helpful soul, with time for everybody. To that end, I have thrown together a short list of three essential points to consider when you set out to get yourself a brand new shower. You are most welcome.



Going Thermostatic? 

For those that aren’t aware, the main selling point of a thermostatic shower is that it will automatically maintain your chosen temperature. A standard mixer shower will require your input to accurately balance the taps to achieve your desired heat. The advantage here is that you avoid what can be a frustrating dance judging both streams of water, while also inuring yourself against other people in the house siphoning off your hot water supply when they want to wash up or clean up elsewhere. Thermostatic valves are also fitted with additional safety features, such as anti-scalding devices. 


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Cleaning 101: Cleaning a Flooded Household

I love it when it rains as less dirt and dust gets in and home cleaning for me is much easier. The cool and fresh wind is also refreshing. The rain helps me to conserve water as I do not have to water my plants and can save on electric consumption too. However, there are also cons that the rainy days can bring.

The dilemma and burden of cleaning areas of homes soaked in floodwater is one of the extraordinary situations that most Filipinos tackle during the monsoon season. When too much heavy rains fall, floodwater arises, soaking vehicles and homes in most areas around the Metro.



Inundation is contaminated with different disease-causing germs, exposing every family member to various host of infections thus, tough cleaning is needed. To name some of the water-borne diseases we can get from the dirty floodwater are diarrhea, flu, and the deadly leptospirosis. Proper cleaning and sanitation is required to get rid and control the spread of such infections. 


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Keeping working mums organised

Juggling paperwork with a grumpy baby and managing conference calls with an inquisitive toddler is hardly an easy task. If being a mum wasn’t hard enough, being a working mum is even more difficult, so it’s vital that you make your life as easy as possible wherever you can. 



Here are some top tips to help get you organised.

Set up your own space

Trying to do paperwork while lounging on the sofa will not put you in the right frame of mind. You’ll feel sleepy and demotivated, so it should be avoided at all costs.

Setting up a home office will give you a space away from the hustle and bustle of the house that you can concentrate in. It will be an area where you can put your thoughts in order and really get to work. 


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Tips on changing your lawn mower blade

Mowing wet grass, sandy lawns or land covered in twigs and debris are all things that will damage your blades. Each time you cut your grass with a dull edging it will make it unhealthy, frayed and susceptible to diseases. So if you’re mower just isn’t cutting it anymore, it’s generally a good indicator that you need to sharpen or change your blades. Here’s some tips on what to do when you ready to put your mower back in to tip top shape.




Do they need to be sharpened or changed?

There are generally two reasons why you would need to change your blades. The first is if there is visible damage and the second is if you’ve been sharpening the same edges for more than a year. To decipher whether there is actual damage is quite simple to figure out. When you start up your mower, how much is it vibrating? If it’s a little too effervescent your blades are probably damaged. Once you’ve stopped your mower, flip it over and take a look in the undercarriage. Are there any visible nicks, dents and tears? If so, it means that it’s no longer usable and it’s time to pop down to your local hardware store and purchase a new blade. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg; a pristine one should only be $15 to $20. 


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Through the Plughole – Celebrity Bathroom Style

I’m afraid even I am not immune to the glitzy allure of the celebrity. Millions of pages – web, magazine and newspaper – are now committed to this most postmodern of phenomena, and as I would love to bring you the best in bathroom design news it is inevitable that I will turn to the elevated brethren of the gossip columns.

So, while affecting my best David Frost, allow me to take you through the plughole and take a look at some famous people’s bathrooms. Well, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d ever write…


Robin Van Persie



I am unabashed here about starting with one of my heroes, the beloved Netherlands and Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie. As Arsenal fans will tearfully confirm, RVP used to be located down south, and his previous bathroom is a marvel of minimalism. A shower cubicle with simple glass door complements blocky ceramics, while the black storage drawers making for a delightful counterpoint for the muted tiles. There’s even a TV there so he could take in Match of the Day while in the tub. Talk about living the dream…


Lovingly written by Joy












Thrills on Wheels: How to Have the Perfect Family Cycling Adventure

Weekends are to families what a fallen morsel of bread is to an army of ants- they’re both something keenly looked forward to.   After a long and tiring work or school week, all parents and kids can think about is a much-needed respite.  If spending hours at the mall no longer sounds appealing to you, why not try doing something different together as a family- like cycling?  If the idea of cycling is totally alien to you, here are some tips on how to have an awesome time cycling with the family:



Safety comes first

Before anything else, make sure yours and the kids’ bikes are safe to ride on.  If you hardly know anything about bikes, have an expert do a safety check on your wheels before you hit the road.  The brakes should work, of course.  Comfort is also important.  The height of the bike should be proportional to your height, and suspension has to be sufficient, in order to cushion the blow when you hit bumps on the road. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Ideas for a Spooktacular Halloween Party

It’s just been days before Halloween and you find yourself at lost over how to put up an amazingly spooktacular Halloween party for your kids. The 31st day of October is of course the best date for it and a lot of preparations are in order so you won’t find yourself spooked by half-hazardly planned party. Don’t stress yourself, even with a limited time and money; you can pull-off a Halloween party with these cool ideas.


My God-daughter Jerika Javien Barbero as Princess Dracula


Halloween parties are about spooky costume contest, ghoulish face painting, zombies, monsters, witches, pumpkin carving and apple-bobbling games. The party should have that eerie and exciting feel to spook your guests. Involve your family in the party preparations to come up with haunting ideas, creepy decorations, music and mind-boggling menu that will make your party the most horror-rific in your neighborhood. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Design Ideas for Small Living Rooms

You probably can’t stop pinching yourself to test your lucidity.  It’s because you can hardly believe that you’re not dreaming, that you’re turning the key, unlocking the door to your new pad.  Finally you have a place you can call your own.  Although your living room may seemingly not be big enough to do a decent burpee, you can still do something to make it look spacious and comfortable to move around in.

Photo credits:  intarya.com


Go glass.  Opt for glass pieces of furniture, as these reflect light, giving off the illusion of space.  And because they’re see-through, it has a barely-there effect to it.

Modular matters.  Choose modular types of furniture, such as an L-shaped sofa.  This is something you can fit snugly in a corner of your living room, while still giving enough seating space.


Lovingly written by Joy












3 Great Escapes for the Adventurous Family

The time has swung around once again. The family holiday. Instead of packing the kids into the back of the car, plying them with electronic games and portable DVD players, avoiding their pleas of stopping here and pausing there (or fielding petulant requests to just take them home already), discard your plans for another cross country/state/town trip and inject a little excitement into their lives. Once we reach a certain age, we stop being adventurous, favouring caution instead, but what if I told you that adventure will bring everybody closer together? No more forced bonding moments or tense discussion about stuff or school or friends you don’t like, actual mutual discovery and affirming moments. Sound fun? Great, keep reading.


image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid - FreeDigitalPhotos.Net


The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Take a dive Down Under and revel in the beauty of an underwater wonderland, bustling with life and colourful corals. The kids won’t have time to get bored, spoiled for choice with water sports, adventure experiences (swimming with sharks/dolphins/sea turtles anybody) and educational seminars where visitors don’t realise they’re learning. While the younger members amuse themselves and frolic with the fish, take a break on the sand, grab a massage and catch some rays under the Australian sun.

Queenstown, New Zealand

What? A small island nation in the middle of the ocean, off the east of Australia’s great mass? What could there possibly be you can’t get anywhere else? Everything. Queenstown is not only one of the most trendy little sprawls in the Southern Hemisphere, your kids will be torn between adventure 4WD across the rugged, though stunning landscapes; throwing themselves head first into a gorge or exploring Lord of the Rings sets on horseback. Not enough? Try white water rafting some of the toughest channels or losing the ability to breathe on-board the eponymous jet-sprint boats. Are we there yet will be replaced with, do we have to leave without a sentence to spare. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Plan your Family Escapade Ahead with 2014 List of Philippine Holidays

September 25, 2013, the Philippine President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation 655 which released a list of holidays, special days and special nonworking days for the year 2014.




You can now mark your calendar and plan ahead with your family getaway to take advantage of getting the special deals on early travel reservation or accomodation. Get the most of the 20 days break next year and enjoy bonding with your loved ones.

Below is the List of Philippine holidays for 2014:

Regular Holidays

New Year’s Day - Jan. 1, Wednesday
Araw ng Kagitingan - April 9, Wednesday     
Maundy Thursday - April 17
Good Friday - April 18                                 
Labor Day - May 1, Thursday                                  
Independence Day - June 12, Thursday
National Heroes Day - Aug. 25, last Monday of August
Bonifacio Day - Nov. 30, Sunday
Christmas Day - Dec. 25, Thursday
Rizal Day - Dec. 39, Tuesday 


Lovingly written by Joy












Getting the best credit card deals

Choosing credit cards isn’t something people should do lightly. These products can have a major impact on consumers’ financial health, so it’s really important to make the right decisions.

Credit Card
                                                         Photo credits: 401(K) on Flickr


For this to happen, you need plenty of information on credit cards. Luckily, there is a wealth of advice available online for you to take advantage of. By reading up on these cards, you can help ensure you benefit from the best possible deals and this can save you lots of cash in the long term.

Before applying for the cards, you should think carefully about how they will use them. For example, do you intend to clear their balances in full each month or not? Importantly, the most competitive credit card deals tend only to be available to consumers with excellent credit histories.

If you won’t be able to pay the balances off in full at the end of each month, you may benefit from opting for zero per cent purchase cards. However, it’s important to bear in mind that these interest-free periods do not last forever and you should attempt to clear your balances before any charges kick in.


Lovingly written by Joy












A Modern Bathroom Restyling - Tips

Now, before we get going here I should probably begin with a disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with vintage, traditional bathrooms. There isn’t! The ability to combine the best of cutting edge technology with classic style is still a fine way to go. It’s just not the only way…

Yes, we are looking at contemporary bathrooms here, which is just as good a design path to take as traditional; it all depends on your taste and your home. But the trick is how to achieve a gloriously modern look in your bathroom while still maintaining the high level of functionality that you will need.


image courtesy of bathempire.com


Well, here are a few suggestions.

Ceramics

The suite elements of your bathroom are, undeniably, going to be the ones that really grab the attention. To this end, you must ensure that they correspond to modern styling. A back to wall toilet offers minimalism due to its concealed cistern, for instance, while take pains to pick out basins and baths that evince a contemporary essence. Think stark lines and little embellishment – scrolled edgesand filigrees and the like tend to err on the side of the traditional. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Fancy Christmas Outfit Ideas for Kids

It can be a bit difficult to find wearable trends for the coming Holidays and the same can be said for kid’s Christmas outfits. The season is considered as the happiest time of the year. It is when the family will come together for a massive Christmas feast and spend time in utter relaxation. It is also the time for the kids to feel festive for this is their time to show off. Usually, kids become entertainers in family gatherings thus parents stress over Christmas outfit ideas for kids.

For both boys and girls, parents should go for comfort over style and designs when it comes to fancy costumes so that the little ones can enjoy themselves. Bright colors and Christmas hues will surely hit kids outfit store so be on the lookout for reds, greens, and some metallic trimmings on accessories.



Little girls will look cute and elegant in velour or velvet party dresses. Though some parents would dress little their girls in pixie fairy or angel costumes, you should choose something that does not restrict movement and will let them move freely. Little boys can easily get away looking real smart donning checked shirt and trousers to any Christmas event. You can also pull a vest over the shirt which can keep them warm when the temperature is cool and they can easily remove it when they feel hot. Boy trousers should also come with flexible waistband so that they’d be comfortable with their outfit all day. 

Photo credits:  estilo-tendances.com




Lovingly written by Joy












Heating & Radiators – A Brief History

Monty Python’s hilarious and controversial 1979 film The Life of Brian contains any number of seminal scenes, being as it is one of the greatest comedy films ever made. Set in the Judea of the Roman Empire around the time of Jesus’s crucifixion, the film, as the name suggests, charts the life of Brian, who has the bad luck to be confused with a messiah – the Romans were not big on dissent, as you probably know…

Anyhow, the scene shows a meeting of misfiring rebels who, traducing the Romans, demand ‘what have they ever done for us?’ What follows is a long list of societal benefits, including sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health. One thing they missed there, however, is central heating. The fools…

Yes, those ingenious Romans pioneered what we would now call central heating. This didn’t require radiators, as a hypocaust system would heat the air via a furnace and circulate it under floors to provide warmth. This setup was replicated sporadically over the coming centuries across Europe but unfortunately the dark ages followed, where people were far too preoccupied with charming medieval things like gout and pestilence to consider artful heating solutions.

In what is perhaps a grand expression of logic, the first water-based heating systems have been traced to Russia, a place where the sun would freeze if it came too close to the gelid ground.Home of the Nobel, Sweden, had the first functioning water-based heating system, whilethe Swedish engineer Triewald brought this idea over the North Sea to heat a greenhouse in Newcastle. In turn, steam heating systems were first installed in homes in the 1830s. 


Lovingly written by Joy












A Good Mattress: We All Need Some Support

Emma Sleeping


It used to be that only a new mother would find the topic of sleep endlessly fascinating—the way a hungry person might obsessively ponder their next meal—but nowadays sleep, and the elusiveness of a good night’s rest, is a hot topic. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Best Book Series for a Teen

We, moms like our kids to develop a habit of reading, the reason why we encourage them to start to like books and other reading materials while they are young. I am really proud to say that my son is an avid reader. Despite having gadgets and game consoles, Yahmir would rather bury his nose in adventure filled young-adult books especially the Percy Jackson Book Series. You cannot deny his being a huge Rick Riordan fan having the almost all the books in the series. He’s currently waiting for the next book, The House of Hades which is to be launched on October 8 of this year.



Lovingly written by Joy













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