Friday, November 29, 2013

Lighting Adds Flair To Your Home

Looking to add a little flair to your dining or sitting room? Changing the lights can bring a remarkable change within your home without the price tag of heavy renovations. Here are a few fresh, fun alternatives to traditional light fixtures.

Once the domain of castles and kings, modern-day chandeliers, like the ones available from Crescent Harbor Modern, are usually made on a smaller scale for 21st century homes. What they lack in size, however, they make up for in grandeur. None of your guests will be able to pass your chandelier without a second look, so don't be afraid to splurge and buy one that looks really impressive!

Clappers have come a long way from the plain, utilitarian models that first appeared on the market in the late '80s. They now come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs, and their hardware can be fitted to almost any electrical unit, making them a easy and convenient option for everything from kids' playrooms to senior citizen bathrooms.

Hanging Lights
Unlike flush or semi-flush mounts, hanging lights dangle freely from the ceiling, bringing artistry and a certain kind of style to the rooms that they decorate. You can buy them in beaded, spiral or wind chime designs; they might be made of gold, silver or even crystal material; their sizes will range from small foyer fixtures to impressive dining room centerpieces. If you're looking for a unique way to change the atmosphere of a room, a hanging light can make all the difference.

Eating Healthy

I attribute the success of my weight loss program mainly to a healthier lifestyle: exercise, a balanced healthy diet, and a good and positive outlook. Currently, I am just maintaining my weight (I have lost about 19 kilos in total since I decided to have a healthier lifestyle in April of this year). I still go to the fitness studio whenever I can and try to eat more vegetables and fruits and protein-rich foods. I try to stay away from sweets and salty snacks. Instead of snacking on chips and fries and chocolates, I opt for sliced fresh fruits or the dried ones. I also see to it that my main dish has lots of vegetables in it, especially during dinner time as I don't include rice during supper time. I try to inform myself about the health benefits of various fruit and vegetable varieties, nuts and seeds. Which ones have high antioxidants (like kiwi), high vitamin C content (like apricots and oranges), high protein content (like almonds and cashew), high fiber (like kale, brocolli and spinach), etc. I also try to look for the best bitter raw apricot and other healthy products, opting for organic products because they are more stringently controlled albeit they are more costly.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Hafelekar in Innsbruck

I wasn't really prepared (at least physically) to go up the Hafelekar when we went to visit Innsbruck, Austria last Saturday. I had no idea that it was called Hafelekar then. All I know is that my husband said it would be a very find place to visit especially that we have visiting friends from tropical Philippines. He mentioned about riding a cable car to get to there but I hadn't the slightest idea how high up it would be. I had been to the mountains in Montserrat near Barcelona in Spain (which reminds me that I need to blog about it!) and the Nebelhorn in Oberstdorf, but it was in the summer. Going up the mountains during winter is an entirely different story. 

It was cold when we arrived Innsbruck and higher up the mountains, it was colder.... and there are only stones and snow and more snow! But it was worth all the "tagos hanggang buto" cold feeling. The mountains looked majestic in its white glory. It is a definite high, with just you, the clouds and the mountains. And there was the hot and spiced gl├╝hwein at the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market) at Innsbruck's city center later.

The ascent at the Hafelekar station.
Excited feet stepping on the powdery white snow
The cross at the peak. The view is just breathtaking!
Just my husband's booted foot... My other booted foot never got the courage to go up to the peak. 
This blogger is just so happy to be here!
The child in me was screaming: "Let's go make a snowman!"
Maybe next time... when I am more dressed up for it! :D
Then it's time to leave and say goodbye, arrivederci, au revoir, auf wiedersehen.
The photos were taken by my husband, whose adventurous spirit took him to the peak of the Hafelekar or the Hafelekarspitze when we (me, our little girl and our two guests) retreated into the warmth of the cable car station because our hands and feet could no longer bear the cold. :)

To get to the Hafelekar, take the funicular from Innsbruck to Hungerburg. From there take the cable car going to Seegrube and then change to another cable car that climbs up Hafelekar. There are combi tickets available, if you also want to visit the Alpenzoo. For more information on the rates and the schedules, just visit the official website of the Innsbrucker Nordketten Bahnen at

Look out for this logo:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why Good Air At Home Is Important In Winter

Now that it is winter, it could really get very cold so that we tend to just close all our windows and doors to keep the cold out. Lucky if you have heaters because you can just turn it on and Voila! Your rooms are heated. For those who have not, this could really be a problem as winters can be very long, and of course too damn cold! I can still remember the musical Annie, where the orphans were living in a very poor condition and all they had were "cotton blankets 'stead of wool." The orphanage could certainly use a heating system. If it were a true story and there is indeed such an orphanage, they can solicit help for a chauffage installation montreal or heating installation. I am sure many generous hearts will lend a helping hand.

But keep in mind that it is not only heating that is important in winter. Keeping the heaters on for hours on nend for the entire duration of the winter will find your walls with mold growth, and a stuffy and wet air, it is almost impossible to breath. Which is why it is very important to air the rooms in your homes for at least 15 minutes daily to let fresh air in. Or if you have larger areas to ventilate, you could go modern and have a ventilation system installed.  Ventilating your rooms is essential so that the bad or dirty air is removed. It helps also keep your rooms dry, thus preventing the growth of molds, which is a known health risk.

So these two things are essential: heating and ventilation. If you are planning on changing your heating system at home and are living in the Montreal area, heat pumps or thermopompe montreal suppliers are within easy reach. Consult a professional first so you may be adviced as to which heating and ventilating system will work best for you and your budget.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Logistics and Inventory Management

Being an OC-type of person, I think I would do well in the area of inventory management or even warehousing.  I like to put things in order and I guess this would entail a great deal of organizing and keeping within the budget. My area of study though, which is in environmental management, chemical engineering and waste process engineering is not quite relate to it. That would mean more training and specialized study to learn the basics, get more info, and know by heart the twists and turns of the trade. But whatever the reason, I still believe that I will do well in this area. 

I have had a little experiene in logistics management and I really see it as a fun way to work. You deal with various suppliers and customers: you try to fullfill your customer's demands and needs while you haggle over the price with the suppliers so you are able to stick to your budget. It's quite challenging and fun in its own way. 

If you are thinking of changing careers or just planning about your career path, this could be one of the things that you might want to consider.

Western Union Germany's Way of Helping The Philippines

Good news to all those who are living in Germany and want to send financial aid to their families, friends or chosen institutions who have been affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda. Western Union Germany offers zero (€0) transfer fees for all online transactions from 15th to 30th November, 2013. This is Western Union Germany's way of sympathizing with the those who have been affected by this very tragic event in the history of mankind. Just use the promotion code PHIL2013 in the "Payment" tab to activate.

Please note that *No-fee activations may not immediately be available. Due to the severity of Typhoon Haiyan, some Agent Locations in the Philippines may not be immediately operational or possess sufficient funds. Available at all participating agent locations.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Invest, Swap and Protect

Most of us work a regular 8-hour job. What we earn from this regular day job is usually just enough for our day-to-day needs and survival. Some are lucky enough to earn a little bit more, which is set aside for bank savings and for emergencies. Sadly though, the interest earned in banks is too small so that investing your money somewhere else would be a good option. Investing in properties for instance will always be in the list of those who want to invest. With the help of mortgage brokers, investing on properties allows buyers to save on time, money and effort as they will help you secure low interest and fees.

Of course, there is always a risk involved when investing but with the right people who cares about your assets and whose main objective is to protect it and help grow your net worth, it should somehow be worth the risk. In New Zealand for example, GRA chartered accountants do just that. 

And what of your old stuff that you no longer need but is still in good condition? Well, you can always Swap or Trade It. This helps a lot in managing unwanted wastes in our landfills and you also get something really nice in return. If you haven't tried it, give it a go.

And while you're at it, try watching the video on Leafbusters too. I know that Autumn is almost over but there are still trees that haven't completely shed their leaves yet. With strong winds blowing in the last few days, chances of the leaves blocking your gutters are high. I think it is a good thing to do to protect your precious house's roof from rotting too early. Don't you think so?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Little Drummer Boy

I have always loved this classic Christmas song: The Little Drummer Boy. As a child I never understood the lyrics. All I really cared about was the rhythm. As I got older, I begin to understand the words and realized how a little boy gave the humblest and greatest gift to the baby Jesus: the music of his drums. 


So that is how it came to be that drums began to fascinate me. And I would look with awe and wonder to those who can actually the drums so beautifully. Whenever there are parades, I would always be on the lookout for the marching band and of course, their drummers beating to the rhythm with their cool marching band drums

God Bless The Philippines

It has been more than a week since the Philippines was hit by the strongest typhoon ever recorded in history, the Super Typhoon Yolanda. Many lives were lost, many families were separated from their loved ones, many were displaced, cities and towns were completely wrecked. It was horrible as the news unfold. I am very saddened with the devastation that swept the nation, and more saddened when relief operations isn't as organized and quick as expected it should be. It also angers me to learn how some politicians take advantage of the situation as they try to stick their faces unto the relief good bags. What the...

Although we are far from the country, the Filipino community abroad are also saddened by the situation and are organizing donation drives and charity events to collect goods and financial donations for the victims. These initiatives and efforts show how the international Filipino communities are more than willing to help our beloved country, the Philippines. There is also international intervention and financial support coming in. This I know will be very helpful so that the affected areas will be able to rebuild again. 

So to my fellow Kababayans, do not lose hope. Hang in there and continue to trust in our God who alone knows the reason for everything. We may have gone through a very painful change, but I know that with it comes a beautiful transformation. Our prayers will always be with you. God bless the Philippines.  

"Klangwunder" in Your Studio

For musicians, the quality of the sound that they are creating is one of the most important things. Have you ever been to music or recording studios? You would be amazed at how wonderfully all these audio recording equipment can help to enhance your music. If you are ever planning on putting up your own studio for your musical hobby, then it is important to get the basics. If you are dealing with electric instruments, you would of course need speakers and amplifiers. Make sure you to get some studio speaker stands so your speakers and amplifiers are standing steadily and not in the way. Sound proof your room to ward off unwanted background noise and to keep your music from reaching your neighbor's ears. Get an airconditioning that is silent as a noisy one will just contribute to the background noise.  These are just simple tips but are sure to give you that "klangwunder" in your studio.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Does Your Business Have An Online Presence?

We all have heard of small businesses closing down because of its dwindling clientele. Fact is, more and more people shop online these days. If we look at the numbers, there is no denying the fact that more and more people, in fact 42% of consumers, find a better price online for a similar product that one finds in retail shops. Indeed small business marketing through social media and the Internet has become a "must" for small businesses to survive in the very competitive world of internet marketing.

If you are an online entrepreneur or just a simple business person, you probably have heard of local search engine optimization.  This is one of the vital things that you need to have to make your online presence known. If you want to be on top of the search engine lists, you need to have a strategic SEO that will help you land just there. If you are not so familiar with this, it is best to consult the experts like RevLocal that will act as your company's Internet Marketing Department so you can focus on your business.

It would also be great if your website also has a mobile version since more and more people opt to use their smartphones to search for many different products. A mobile version of your online shop for example makes it easier to browse through your products since they load faster than the online version. A neat website that is very user friendly and has effective graphics is something that online shoppers like me really love. Another thing that will help boost your online presence? Coupons and deals every now and then. Who doesn't want to buy a good bargain nowadays? A good SEO company will advice you on just that.

So, does your business have an online presence?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Time For Some Holiday Spirit

Well now that Halloween has come to an end, it is time to put away the scary and the terrifying and glam up the house with some holiday cheer. My favorite home decor shop is more than ready to spread on the Christmas holiday cheer and it has taken me a lot of effort to just be content with looking at the window display. But I must tell you, my feet have been itching to go inside so my hands can get a hold of those glittery, sparkly, bright and merry decors of the season. My head is flooding with ideas and I am afraid I wouldn't last a month without taking action.

So here are some of the decors that I fancy which I think will cheer up our home this Christmas season:

1. Hand-made Advent or Christmas Calendar: I didn't have an idea about the Advent calendar but this has been practiced by the Germans since the beginning of the 19th century. It usually comprises of 24 windows, representing the 24 days before Christmas day and in it, one can place chocolates or small toys (if you have little children) as a small gift them. This is to celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas and I think makes Christmas more exciting. There are many ready made calendars available in stores but I think I want to make this year a little different by making my own. There are some pretty and interesting ideas I found on Living At Home like the used coffee-cups covered with different gift wrappers, the colorful small pouches hanged on a curtain rod, and the small gifts on a shelf. So I guess I will have to make first a list of 24 small things that I think will be appreciated as small gifts. Ah, my little girl will be so delighted.

Photo from

2. Christmas Balls in Clear Cylinders: If you want to have a color theme for Christmas, this would be a good idea. Get a tall, clear cylindrical vase and fill it up with colored glass balls. It can come in different shades of the color you want: gold, green, purple, red, silver, blue. This is a good way to also recycle the old Christmas balls that you have. These are good as center pieces for your tables. You can also throw in pine cones and hand painted chestnut shells.

3. Candles. No matter what the season, candles always give warmth to any room and is considered a no-fail home accessoires. Just make sure you don't burn the house down.  You can choose the scented variety that smells of the season: roasted almonds, chocolate, vanilla, orange. Choose the colors that fit with your theme. If not, red and white are always the safe ones to go with. Candles, once lit, instantly add to the holiday ambience that you want to create, be it on the dining table or in the living room.

Photo from

4. Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree. I have always wanted to get a real tree for Christmas but failed to get one every single year. This year I might really go for it. It need not be as tall as the ceiling though cause that would mean more ornaments to fill it and more space needed. As long as it's a real tree, it's fine with me. I would love to adorn it in red and gold... Or maybe not. Whatever.

5. Advent Wreath. Christmas is a time to prepare. It is an anticipation for the birth of Jesus. And what better way to celebrate this waiting than lighting a candle each Advent Sunday. This is always an important part of my Christmas deco... And I love these ideas from my favorite store's brochure. More home decorating ideas you can find in their brochure HERE.

Photo from
So there... Here's looking forward to a wonderful Christmas for everyone!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween And the Mysterious Drips

On a dark and cold Halloween night, you are walking down a dark alley... it's a short cut that you usually take on your way home. You know the way... even with your eyes closed. Suddenly, a black cat cuts your way. A dog howls somewhere and the night owl hoots. You don't worry because that is just your usual evening walk home. As you are nearing your home, you suddenly notice that it is unusually quiet. No children. That's odd. It's a Halloween night.. children should be running around in their costumes and going from one door to another trick or treating. And then you hear it. Drip. Drip. Drip. It was the most unusual DRIP that you have ever heard... That very eerie drip that you hear amplified ten or more times in those horror movies that you saw. And it dawned on you that it was coming from your very dark house. Another odd thing because you always turn the basement lights before you leave for work.

Your heart goes boom boom. You are a afraid because the drip drip could only mean one thing: your plumbing breaking down. One of your greatest nightmares come to life because it means only one thing: your basement or maybe your entire house flooding. But what drives you crazy: you don't have an insurance to cover the damages created by damaged plumbing. And it is not even counted as natural flooding. Oh no! 

You rush to open your main door and a wash of water lands on your feet. How great is the damage? You still don't know... Then you called for emergency plumbing toronto because they are the most reliable there is in your area. After a few minutes, the plumbers came. Your neighbors must have heard all the commotion because they suddenly came streaming out of their homes. They have curious but relieved looks on their faces, as if saying "thank goodness for a very good plumbing repair toronto service." And the children cheered! Now they can go trick or treating....

And that is another odd thing.. Perhaps it wasn't just drip? 

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