Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some things in this world are FREE

I was very disappointed when I found out that the Compaq laptop which is on sale at Wal-Mart has been sold out. Even if I went early at the store, I still didn’t get a chance to spot just a single piece of it on stock. That was the Christmas In-store Specials of Wal-Mart where they have limited stocks, only ten units available for each particular store branches. I could’ve got it for half of its original price (it was tagged at $298 on sale price). I envied those people who are checking out their new laptops. Well, maybe it’s not meant for me to get one, at least we saved money and Compaq is not really my brand. I think I’ll just wait for some other good deals that Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas may offer.

In facing today’s economic crisis, looking for best deals and bargains has definitely been included in our priority list. If you know how to use your resources, you won’t believe that there are still things you can get for free.

First, we searched for school that offers free classes for Clarence and we found the Judy Center housed in Campfield Early Childhood and Development Center. This will prepare Clarence for preschool. We attend classes 3 times a week and it’s all for free.

Second, we looked for Parks and Museums that has no admission fee and we all got it from this site, (Thanks to our good friend, Annette). They give schedules of some educational museums, musical theater, art exhibits and workshops. You will enjoy your family hang-out while learning and having fun, which makes it absolutely PRICELESS!

Third, we had been informed by our good friend, Karen about the wealth in earning grocery coupons. Some sites offered printable coupons that you can use in all stores actually. Like the,, and You may also buy Sunday paper that gives pages of coupons. You should also be aware of the “Double Coupon” policy of the grocery store. Like in Giant, they double your coupon when it’s worth $0.50. For example, you get a chance to learn that their toothpaste is on sale from $2 to $1. And your fortunate to have a $0.50 coupon of the same product, you’ll just say to the cashier that you want your coupon doubled, they will match the $0.50 coupon you have so it will give you a total of $1 coupon which will make the toothpaste free of charge. Huh! Was that really cool or what? Sometimes you just need for the product to be on sale to maximize the benefit of your coupons.

Fourth, we signed up to so that we will get email alerts of the bargains and on sale items that different stores offer. You will be informed ahead of time. Some stores give pre-blackfriday specials like the one I waited for Wal-Mart. They will tell you not only the sale for blackfriday but also for thanksgiving, Christmas and other extra offers that stores have.

At home, we replaced all lights with energy-saving fluorescents, we also loosen some of the bulbs/fluorescents that came in set like in chandeliers and bathroom vanity lights (from 6 to 2 fluorescents) . We made sure that lights were off in rooms that are not in used. It will save cost also if you will totally unplugged appliances that are not in constant use. We used jackets/sweaters and socks inside the house when the cool temperature is still tolerable, this is to keep the heater from use. Instead of the centralized heater, we’re using a portable one in our bedroom since that’s the only place we need warm in time of sleep.

I think finding ways like cost-cutting is an effective approach in fighting the crisis were facing today. I have proven that the phrase “Nothing in this world is FREE” totally wrong.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

90/10 Principle of Stephen Covey - Anger Management

Have you heard of the 90/10 principle? I got this from an email and this taught me a great lesson. Applying this in our daily lives will save us from distress, heartache and depression. You are to choose your own consequences. Making your day bad or good is really up to you. Please read this article and be involved in it.


Author: Stephen Covey

Discover the 90/10 Principle: It will change your life. The 90/10 principle is incredible! Very few know and apply this principle. The Result? Millions of people are suffering undeserved stress, trials, problems, and heartache. They never seem to be a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be constantly happening. Theirs is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time, anger ruins friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel. Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged. You can be different! Understand and apply the 90/10 principle. It will change your life!

What is this principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane may be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%! How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light, but you can control your reaction. Don’t let people fool you; You can control how you react!

Let’s use an example. You’re eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the coffee cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize them for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed zone.

After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 (traffic fine) away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs to the building without saying good-bye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to going home. When you arrive home, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.

Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?

B) Did your daughter cause it?

C) Did the Policeman cause it?

D) Did you cause it?

The answer is D. You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.

Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “It’s OK honey, you just need to be more careful next time.” Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase. You come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You and your spouse kiss before you both go to work. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good of a day you are having. Notice the difference. Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you Reacted. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% is determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle. If someone says something negative about you, do not be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You do not have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out, etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound the steering wheel? (A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off!) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? Who Cares if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive. Remember the 90-10 principle, and do not worry about it!

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep or get irritated? It will work out. Use your “worrying” time and energy into finding another job.

The plane is late. It is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger, etc. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results.

Complaints or Appreciation

Are you the kind of person who always sees things in its worst form? Who are proud to tell to everyone how hard you’ve gone through just to get out in a situation? Some people complain about everything. Patterns like parent to child, employee to boss, student to instructor and vice versa are the common ones. They complain because there’s no contentment in their hearts. You can’t expect everything to happen in your own will and preference. This is why I hear many parents complain about how mischievous and terrible their children were. We cannot blame our children to be playful or naughty (at times) for it’s part of growing up. That’s what they supposed to behave. Instead of complaining, why don’t we be grateful that our kids are healthy that’s why they are lively and full of fun. If you are to choose, a sick child or a playful one? Why don’t you try to say “I’m so blessed for this stress because I know this is just a small cause of having a healthy kid”. And if someone asks you on how your day went, would you say that you had the worst boss and job in the whole world? Remember that there are people who are homeless, jobless, disabled and ill. Learn to be appreciative on what you have. Think of the good things behind every bad thing that happens in our lives. Life is beautiful if you'd only know how to look at it right.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why party?

Today, we went to Aidan's birthday party. We really had a great time. Clarence met some new friends and restlessly played with them. Food were all delicious, I had a lot actually. I went back to the table twice :) . Our efforts in buying Aidan’s gift paid off when we saw the excitement in his face. He even asked his mom to open it up after unwrapping it which he did not do with the other gifts. We really appreciate it because we perceived no trace of pretend in his actions. That’s what I like in kids, they’re telling their true feelings and not being hypocrite. I was also invited for a beer by the host’s brother-in-law which I refused at first for the reason that I will still need to drive home. In the Philippines, to maintain a harmonious relationship, we practice camaraderie, so I gave-in with his request plus the fact that I also like to drink some. I just had 2 bottles of beer. I know my limitation whenever I go out. We waited for almost 4 hours before leaving the party, I took coffee and soda just to wash away the beer (that’s only in my theoretical thinking :)). They even prepared take-home food for us which we openhandedly accepted, of course. The day was filled with friends. We’re really grateful for having people around us who value our presence in such special occasion. They are the likes of people who are worth praying for.