Friday, February 28, 2014

Imma Mobile Blogger

Earlier today, I was planning to email some pictures to myself (from my phone to the PC) so that I can post them together with a blog post. Honestly, I found it frustrating as I need to email about 4 or 5 pictures. 

So I decided to check out the Apps store - just maybe Blogger has an app that would allow me to create or update a blog post directly from my phone. To my surprise (and delight), Blogger indeed has an app which would grant my wish. The next thing I checked was how much would the app cost. As a novice blogger, I am not earning anything from this blog - my sole motivation for maintaining this blog is my love for writing. As such, if the app would cost that much, I would rather stick to my old but reliable PC to update my blog. So, imagine the smile on my face upon discovering that the Blogger app is free. Yes it is F-R-E-E!! I am now trying this Blogger app. This post was actually created using the Blogger app. I am hoping that the Blogger app lives up to my expectations. :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Papercut and Washified Bookmarks

This is a post-Christmas post. I was just too busy that time with work and with my craft give-aways that I was not able to blog about it. Anyway last Christmas, my former officemates/girl friends and I had sort of a reunion get-together. After several months of not seeing each other (some of us - like me - moved on to another company), we decided to get together last Christmas for a reunion. It was nothing big. We had take-out food, some good old board games (we are an avid fan of these games), as well as reminiscing moments of the times we were still in that old office.

As I love those friends very much, I really had to make something for them for the holidays - it may not be that expensive, but at least something with my personal touch on it, and a simple reminder that I remembered them. So, I prepared the personalized papercut bookmarks decorated with washi tapes.

As I'm an avid fan of papercutting and washi tapes, I took the occasion to share this passion with my friends. I sketched their names on the bookmarks to make it personalized, carved their names and the design using papercutting techniques, and decorated the top part of the bookmarks with washi tapes. To make the bookmarks appear laminated, I bought some cold laminating film from Bee Happy Crafts and carefully pressed the bookmarks in between the laminating film. The washi tapes were bought from different sources (PaperBlushPh, Bee Happy Crafts, Washi Works, and Hey Kessy). The papercutting skills, I learned them by attending a Papercutting + Washi workshop also from Hey Kessy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top 10 Relationship Wreckers

I wrote the article below for the February issue of our office newsletter. I was having second thoughts attending that huddle meeting for the February issue, as I already have an inclination that the February issue will be about love and relationships - two topics that I try to stay away from as much as possible. But the good employee side of me took over, and writing has been a good therapy for me, so I still attended the huddle meeting. And true enough, love and relationship was the theme of our February issue. I was again assigned the Top 10 topic - and this time, it was Top 10 relationship wreckers. I've checked and researched on several websites, and came up with the list and article below. I just realized that these are indeed eye-openers. How I wish I knew them before I got into those 3 failed relationships (one of which I consider as somehow the One who got away). Oh well.. useless crying over spilled milk. Perhaps, I'll keep these items in mind if ever I will still be fortunate enough to fall in love again..

February ushers in the spirit of love and relationships as Cupid paints the town red on Valentine’s Day. Indeed love and relationships are splendored things albeit the fact that they are fragile as glass or thin ice. In this top 10 issue, we look into some of the reasons why that fragile glass can get shattered.

1. The Cheating Hearts
This item should indeed be on the #1 slot. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Cheating and dishonesty in the relationship breaks this basic foundation and makes the parties involved feel betrayed. And just like shattered glass, trust cannot be put back together to its original piece or appearance, as there will always be markings and reminders that it has been broken before.

2. My Way or the Highway
The second relationship breaker is when one or both parties become too controlling and or possessive. There is a difference between stating what you prefer, and imposing on your partner what you like to happen.  The latter may lead to limiting and invading the rights, needs, and will of your partner. Consequently, this can lead to feelings of anger and annoyance, and may eventually cause the oppressed partner to either get out of the relationship or to stray.

3. Outside Interference
There is a movie catchphrase that goes “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Same thing holds true for relationships. Any issue or problems encountered by the couple should be known and discussed within the relationship. It should not be broadcasted to friends and even family, without the knowledge of the other person. Instead of ranting to one’s friends and family, the problem or issue should be discussed with your partner.

4. Me, Myself and I
Being selfish in a relationship can be seen in the simplest things – like monopolizing the TV. This can be toxic to a relationship as the other person may feel deprived or unimportant or even resentful. Relationships involve two people. As such, when doing or deciding on something, one should take into consideration his/her partner.

5. The Doormat Complex
This is the opposite of number 4. In as much as you should give consideration to your partner, it is also equally important to factor in one’s own needs and desires to keep the relationship healthy. Relationship martyrs often feel unhappy and burned out. It is important to stand up for oneself, and effectively communicate one’s needs to one’s partner so that it can also be taken care of.

6. Attack and Abuse
Attack and abuse can take many forms – it can be verbal, emotional, physical, and even sexual. But regardless of what form it takes, any kind of hostile behavior against one’s partner is simply unacceptable. If not managed properly, this can cause a permanent separation between the couple. Difficult as it may seem, especially when disagreements arise, it is important to keep calm and avoid aggressive behavior during talks.

7. Scapegoating:
All of us have gone through some irritating and frustrating moments in our lives. It is ok to share and discuss those moments with our partner, but it is not okay to vent out our anger and frustration on them. Instead of using one’s partner as a scapegoat, it would be better to meet and address the real cause of one’s anger and frustration.

8. Great(er) Expectations:
Relationships usually start great but things get sour if there are expectations that are not met. There are times when we expect or demand too much from our partner, even if we knew from the start of the relationship, that these expectations cannot and will not really happen. Expectations should be managed carefully.

9. Failing to Stop, Look, and Listen:
Having a relationship can be compared to raising a plant or a pet. It cannot survive if one or both partners neglect the needs of the other person. It cannot survive without the right amount of attention, affection, and TLC (tender-loving care). Oftentimes, we neglect people because of our busy schedules. Finding quality time with our partners helps nurture the relationship and keep it strong and vibrant.

10. Familiarity breeds contempt:
When a relationship has been ongoing for a span of time, the couple may feel too comfortable with each other, that the relationship and everything that happens within it becomes a routine. The original “spark” that ignited the relationship has died down, which leads to the relationship hitting a plateau and everything becomes predictable and monotonous. Couples should find ways to rekindle that spark and make an effort to somehow incorporate small changes and surprises to their usual routine to make it more interesting and appealing to each other.

To sum it up, in any relationship (be it a romantic one or not), it is always nice to remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love and treat people the same way you want to be loved and treated. Have a love-filled month everyone! :)


Late Post: Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Here's a late post. I wrote this article for the January issue of our office newsletter. I would like to share this to you as I really find the ideas I've researched interesting and inspiring. Besides, it's almost the end of February and the start of March is almost at hand, and it's still the 1st quarter. Not too late yet to get those resolutions going. :)

As the fireworks and merry-making brought about by the New Year settled down, most of us find ourselves listing down things we wish to achieve in the coming year. Indeed, the New Year ushers in a clean slate to start fresh. Below is a list of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions:

1.    Let’s Get Physical
Whether it be losing or gaining pounds, hitting the gym to lift weights, or deciding between a Yoga or Zumba class, one of the most common New Year’s resolution has to do with getting in shape and sticking to a fitness plan. A great new year’s resolution as it does not only enhance our physical looks, but also improve our health and can possibly prolong life.

2.    Break a Bad Habit
It can be as mundane as getting off the habit of nail biting or procrastinating. And it can be more serious like quit smoking and alcoholism. Going cold turkey on a bad habit may not be easy and may only result in a relapse. Instead of doing an abrupt stop, try doing small steps that slowly but surely leads to breaking the habit.

3.    Financial Wellness
Money does not grow on trees and only a lucky few win the lotto grand prize. As such, having a resolve to wisely manage one’s hard-earned moolah is good, not only during New Year. Financial wellness can involve increasing one’s savings, being debt-free, starting one’s business for extra income, and cutting down on unnecessary expenses.

4.    Sack Stress and Enjoy Life
Stress is something inevitable. But there are sure ways to lessen it. Different people have different ways to cope with stress. Activities like seeing a movie and pampering oneself in a spa are simple activities, but it allows the mind and body to relax and have some time away from the qualms of everyday living. It is important to find one’s haven to get away from stress, even temporarily.

5.    Spend quality time with Family
They have been with us in our brightest and darkest moments, have seen us in our best and worst fits, and have loved and accepted us for who we are, and yet they are the ones who we often put aside due to our busy schedules. Finding and spending quality time for our families is a very good resolution. Money comes and goes. But lost time and missed memories cannot be bought back even with gazillion amounts of money.

6.    Pay It Forward
No man is an island. At one point in our lives, we may have needed help and it was freely given to us. Helping other people is a good way of repaying that kindness that we received before. Paying it forward does not require huge acts of charity. It can be as simple as helping a senior citizen cross the street or assisting your nursery nephew/niece with his ABC’s. 

7.    Cross something off the bucket list
    Whether it is learning a new skill like swimming or cooking, or the more emotional ones like falling in love again, or even the more extreme and daring ones like getting inked, bungee jumping, and skydiving – Go. The world is your oyster. Of course, having a sense of responsibility should always go hand-in-hand with whatever we desire and decide to do. 

8.    Disconnect from the Internet and Connect More with Friends
There is nothing wrong with being tech-savvy. But there is surely something odd with a group of friends supposedly having dinner with all of them glued to the screens of their smartphones. This New Year it is nice to get in touch again – to physically talk to, laugh with, cry with, and share stories - with friends. The fancy emoticons are no match to your best friend’s sincere smile and tight hug.

9.    Give in to Wanderlust
The desire to travel has its perks. For some it serves as a respite from the daily grind of life. To others it serves as way to broaden one’s understanding of the world. Travelling does necessarily require one to board a plane and visit another country. It can be a simple trip to a nearby rural town or province where one can enjoy the scenery and learn and appreciate the local culture as well.

10.    De-Clutter and Get Organized
As the year progresses, the clutter increases. The New Year is a good time to de-clutter, sort things, and throw away those which are already outdated and no longer needed. Just like an empty glass ready to be filled, a de-cluttered space allows one to acquire stuff that are more valuable and useful that those that were already disposed.

In the end, it does not matter whether you’ve come up with a thousand resolutions or just one. What matters is how well you stick to those resolutions. Strive to make these resolutions come to life. Have a good year everyone!


The Nth Revival

For the nth time, I'm reviving this blog. If I mentioned this to my friends and family, they might say "OWS?" or "Na Naman?" (i.e. Again) or "Pang-ilang revive na ba yan?" (i.e. How many revivals have you done to your blog?".

I must admit, when work schedule creeps in, I tend to neglect my blog. My apologies. My regular work is still my bread and butter, and provides for something on the table. Nonetheless, this year, I'll try (again...) to keep this blog updated. Most especially now that I have joined my office's newsletter club. I think it would be a nice idea to share in my personal blog those articles I contribute to the office newsletter. I don't there will be violation of any proprietary information, as I'm still the author of those articles. And there will be no conflict of interest issues, as I do not earn anything from those articles. :D

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I hope this time, I'll be able to sustain this blog. Wish me luck. ;-)