Monday, December 30, 2013

Life in Maine - The Beauty and the Beast

Last night we had another storm. Seriously? We just had an ice storm last week and some Mainers are still in the dark and freezing cold because they haven't gotten their power back since then.
Well, that's what life in Maine is all about. I don't have a choice but to deal with it. And how do I deal with this kind of situation? I fix with with ice cream.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Silvery Trees

I'm a horrible person. Oh, let me re-phrase it. I'm a horrible person! LOL

Well, I have not blogged anything about Christmas. That is why I am horrible. I'm a blogger duh. Why am I not blogging? All bloggers all over the blog-o-sphere have been blogging about the magical season since September (ate least for Pinoy bloggers where Christmas starts on the "Ber months", that is).
Christmas will be over in few hours and I am still not writing about it. And instead I'm writing about the horrible weather we have here in Maine.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thank God it's Saturday!

 There are two things I look forward to Saturday.
1. Sleeping in. I wake up 4 in the morning every day to go to work. But on Saturday, I still wake up at 4 AM still but not to go to work but to the bathroom. LOL. Then I would go back to bed and sleep in. And when I wake up, I don't need to change. I can stay in my PJs and browse on Groupons to look for discounts or play candy crush or some other thing that I don't usually do on work days.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bridal Shower Party Favor

Steph's Bridal Shower was not a disappointment considering the effort that her sister and Mom put into it. We did surprise her.
The food was delishhhhh and the party was small but intimate. I cannot take credit for anything but the candy bar. Which to tell you the truth, was a practice for my "real" candy bar for the wedding.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

1st Day of a long Winter in New England?

I'm not very impressed but someone across the globe is happy to see what I woke up to this morning. It's not even winter yet!
 My car has some frosting already. I wished it was cool whip, though.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Out-of-the-blue Craving for some Thai

It's raining outside and it's cold. I hate going out on this kind of weather. But I'm glad that the snow is all melted away.
Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad)

And when it is raining, I have nothing to do but think about food. Oh, if only I can drive to town to get myself some Thai food.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Do you have 5-minutes?

I have 2 jobs so I work 12 hours a day. I am not complaining. I am grateful because I have 2 jobs while I know there are lots of people who don't have one or even a part-time job.

I work from 6AM to 6PM. That is when the last kid at our Before and After Care Site is picked up at 6PM. If the the parents are late I will be working more than 12 hours.

Being on your toes 12 hours a day can wear anybody out. But that doesn't mean that I should look worn out or haggard or worse - a walking dead. LOL And how do I do that? Just give me 5 minutes.
This is my 5-minute routine which can last for 12 hours. And this wasn't photoshopped either.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Great Suggestions And Advice On Do It Yourself

Lots of people are able to appreciate taking on a do-it-yourself job. If you're beginner you should understand whether you need permits or what the rules are. What's the top option for an individual new to do-it-yourself? Perusing these practical suggestions and thoughts is definitely a great beginning. Love!

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Get your garage organized by arranging your things by their own kind and also the quantity of time you utilize them. After you have done this, place them into clear-plastic containers. Label each carton, and stack them up. These containers can actually assist you to arrange your garage. Additionally, it is helpful to keep bugs and rodents outside.  Clean out your house every couple of months by looking around and gathering things that you do not need. It's a fantastic experience to update your interior decor along with giving unwanted things to charity. Consider these things that you do not need and contribute them to your local charity or orphanage. This can de- clutter your house and provide you with space for new things.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

My Beloved Philippines

I am a Filipino even if my passport says otherwise. I may have denounced my rights as a Filipino a couple of years ago to be a citizen of my adoptive country but it doesn't change the fact that I am still a Filipino in my heart and in my mind.

We all know what happened to my beloved country a couple of days ago. It's all over the news. And for us Filipinos living outside the Philippines, we can only feel for them but we cannot truly say if we really know how it feels to be in their situation.

I shed tears when I saw the devastation brought by the typhoon. In my mind, I can rest assured that my loved ones are safe because they are all in the bigger island where they only experience strong wind. I felt relieved to be honest with you. But I cannot rejoice either knowing that in the other part of the archipelago, thousands of people have to suffer and die as a result of Mother Nature's wrath.

I am half across the world right now. The only thing I can do is to pray for my beloved country and my countrymen. I can only hope and keep the faith that God is watching my Philippines. And that more kind-hearted people will help them.

My friends, please think of a moment and be grateful for all the blessing that we have. Now, let us think of some ways we can reach out the help my countrymen in the Philippines.

Here are more links where you can send help:
1. Huff Post: Following Philippine's Typhoon Haiyan: Here's how you can help
2. World News: How to help: Organizations offering relief to typhoon Haiyan Survivors
3. USA Today: How you can help Typhoon Haiyan survivors

Photo Credit: Japol

Friday, November 8, 2013

Steph's Bridal Shower Candy Bar

Last May, my step-daughter married her long time love-of-her-life boyfriend in an intimate family wedding at the Barn. But this post in not about it. (Spoiler ALERT! I will have a separate blog for the said wedding.)
This is about the bridal shower that we secretly planned for her. Her favorite sister H (she has only one sister. LOL) and most of her loved ones conspired to throw her this party. It was well-planned and as expected memorable.
I originally set up the candy bar by the window. But since it was around 4 in the afternoon and the afternoon sun was directly shining through that window, I had to find another place to set the bar up because the chocolates started melting.
And I realized the arrangement is too boring.
The first set up.
I made the tags/labels myself that match her Wedding Invitation (Another spoiler ALERT! I will have another blog about the invitations. So watch out!)
 The apothecary jar is a DIY that I found in Pinterest.

Who wants melted chocolate? No one, right? Unless you love chocolate shakes. So, I rearranged the dessert tables where all the goodies are placed and found the perfect space for my DIY Dollar Store apothecary jars.
Setting up the candy bar at the dessert table is perfect since everything sweet and yummy are at arm's length.
And most importantly, the table is placed against the wall so no melting happened.
Hmmmm... that tag is upside down. Didn't notice it until now.
Now, the tag was fixed. I did notice it after I took several photos. LOL

And the poor chocolates were saved from melting. And if ever they did melt... they melted in our tongues. LOL

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Feeling Pretty

I'm doing some kind of makeover in my other blog right now. I was thinking I need to share something I love doing with my friends and readers out there.
This makeover thingy is not actually an original idea that I came up with. In fact I read a lot of blogs and pinned a lot of "before and after" photos in Pinterest on how to do a makeover. And I learned a lot from them so I am sharing that kind of learning in my own blog series too.
No, I am not running out of ideas for blogging. (I am bluffing. LOL) I just want to have something that I can go back to to remind me how to do things when I am in Alzheimer's mode. LOL.
Guess I need to learn how to do my hair too. What do you think? LOL

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Biggest Pricing Mistakes Jewellery Designers Make

Making a living as a jewellery designer is pretty sweet. It’s wonderful to be able to spend your time making something unique and beautiful with your own creativity and then sell it to others who will wear it with pride. Jewellery design is an exciting way to express yourself while earning a living.

However, a jewellery design must not only focus on the creative side of things but also on the cold hard business side as well. In order to successfully make a living as a jewellery maker, he or she must be able to understand the concepts of marketing, pricing, budgeting and sales. No matter how beautiful and creative the jewellery designs are, they will not be sold if they are not priced and marketed effectively.

One of the most difficult aspects of this is determining how to price your jewellery creations. Many jewellers struggle with this, because to them their unique works of art are priceless. However, when it comes down to marketing and sales the jewellery is only worth what the customer will pay for it. The jewellery designer needs to come up with a price that strikes a perfect balance between being profitable enough for them while also being affordable enough for the customer.

Unfortunately, many jewellery designers make mistakes when they first try to figure out the pricing of their creations. Here are some of the common mistakes that many designers make so that you can avoid making the same errors yourself.

Making Prices Emotional Rather Than Mathematical

Jewellery can have a lot of sentimental meaning and sometimes jewellers will get so attached to their creations that they will value them a lot higher than what a customer would pay. Perhaps you absolutely love your one-of-a-kind creations, but it’s important to remember that pricing them is a mathematical calculation. Take a step back from things and look at them rationally. If you really love a particular piece that you don’t want to sell it at any price you can always keep it for yourself.

Also, sometimes jewellery sellers will price too low as well for emotional reasons. Perhaps they are afraid that their work won’t sell or nervous about the reactions of customers. However, undervaluing your work will not help you at all. Approach pricing in a logical way so that you can get paid fairly for the designs you make.

Not Keeping Track of Materials and Labour

When you started out creating jewellery, you probably didn’t keep track of the beads, string, metal, wire, glass and other materials that you were buying on a regular basis. However, understanding how much you spend on materials is very important when determining the price of the jewellery. This is why you should create a “recipe book” for each one of your jewellery designs.

The book will include a list of all materials that go into the making of a specific piece of jewellery. For example, you might make a series of beaded bracelets that contain 28 small beads and 12 medium sized ones. Write this down, as well as the prices of the beads. If you know that a small bead is worth 3p each and a large bead is worth 5p, you will be able to calculate your material cost for the bracelet. Don’t forget to add in things such as the clasp, wire and any other parts.

Not Tracking Your Time Spent on Designing Jewellery

Your price is also based on the time you spend making the jewellery, so spending hours working on putting together a necklace without keeping track of your time is a mistake. You might price the necklace too low, then make your calculations later and then realise you are getting paid less than minimum wage.

Keep track of the time you spend designing and remember that increasing your speed will increase your profitability, so see if you can perform the process more efficiently.

Not Being Clear About Your Prices

It is odd when you see jewellery for sale but the price is not shown, whether online or in a shop and the prices are not apparent. If I have to ask the seller what the price of a piece of jewellery is, I probably will be less likely to buy it.

You might be thinking that putting your prices on your products will “scare away” customers, but the truth is that being honest about the price will only deter people who would not have made a purchase anyway. If someone is interested in your jewellery and will buy it at the price you offer them, they shouldn’t have to be a detective to figure out what that price is.

These are just a few of the major pricing mistakes that many jewellery designers make and how you can avoid them yourself.

About the Guest Blogger:
'Gerorge Torres is a freelance writer and part time jewellery designers. He has his own Etsy store and his designs were recently featured in his local community arts and culture magazine.'

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Getting Ready for Hunting Season

Last weekend, I was enjoying my regular Saturday breakfast-in-bed while watching Good Morning America while my Sweetest was multi-tasking... eating breakfast, watching TV and searching online. Apparently, we was trying to get a hunting license.
Oh yeah, it's deer hunting season again. It's the most awaited season for almost all men here in Maine. Well, I already anticipate it that's why the last time I went shopping at Sam's Club, I got him a pair of camouflage base layer tops and bottom.  See, I don't usually shop for myself. I love shopping for my loved ones too. wink*
Since it is Fall and Maine's weather is kinda cruel, having the right outfit helps. Well, I'm not really too crazy about hunting but since I cannot do anything about it because it's his favorite sports so I might as well accept it. Besides I want my Saturday breakfast-in-bed so much so I don't want to jeopardize that. wink*
The pair of camo was a steal. I paid $11.95 for the tops and same price for the bottom. It's made of microfiber materials so it is good for moisture absorption and quick drying too. He was happy as a kid in a candy store when I gave them to him.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

My Shoe Fix

I have a confession to make. I love shoes! Oppps, I think you all know that by now. It's not a secret anymore.
I have another confession to make. Whenever I finished a race, I reward myself a pair of shoes. That one is new to you, isn't it?
Yeah, buying a new pair of shoes is a good motivation for me to sign up for a race and of course to train for endurance so I can cross the finish line. So this pair of shoes are well-earned reward for finishing a race.
I have one last confession to make here. I always buy on clearance so this pair cost me only $2.96. Yup, I just don't have the proof now because I already worn it so I removed the tag.
And that is true. I am not lying.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Who doesn't want Freebies?

I love freebies! Every store in the planet has it's own commercial strategies to lure costumers to their door. And when you go inside... you are trapped!
Contrary to urban legend, I don't go shopping a lot. I go to the store but not to shop. I only spy for what is on sale. And most of the time I left the store empty handed. Well, there were times I got somethings in my hand or a little baggie but they were mostly samples and freebies. So don't judge me! LOL
I do love to shop though. And most of the time, if I really need to go shopping, I plan it. If the store has strategies to lure costumers, I have a counter strategy not to fall on their trap. And yes, I go there to take advantage of what good they can offer.
So yes, I went to VS the other day because I got this on the mail. I received this kind of promo on the mail every month and I take advantage of it. It does come with 2 other promo cards that says 1. $10 off the bra and 2. Free Tote for $65 purchase. I only use the the card above. Just to make it clear and to stick to my alibi. LOL.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Californication Day 7 (Part 2): Nothing Happened in Vegas

We woke up early the following day despite the fact that we went to bed late. As tourists, we didn't want to waste time in bed because we are on a mission. We need to cover as much of Vegas as our schedule would allow.
So we hit the strip early in search of Pinoy breakfast.
A Filipino Restaurant we found at the strip.
 My favorite comfort food - Tocilog.

Did a little walk along the strip.
Checked out some stores.
Went souvenir shopping.
 Cranking up this little machine for souvenir coins to add to our collection.
Had fun people watching.
 Inside the hotels... it's always night time.
And just enjoyed the sight around us.
It was also our last day in Vegas. We checked out a little early. While waiting for our bus to L.A. we banged some slot machines. After all we are in Vegas and it's not complete if you don't do a little gambling, right?
I did win though but lost too.

This is one of 'MERICA Posts Series. A regular post dedicated to my HOME away from home.

Read more about my 'merica HERE as I share my experiences in this land of amazing People, Culture and Traditions.