Friday, December 17, 2010

Which Lenovo IdeaPad laptop are you?

If ever I'll buy a new laptop, I want to get a Lenovo IdeaPad U150.  Why? Because I feel it's like me.

1.  It has subtle design has some unique and attractive elements.  Well my husband always tell me that I am beautiful.

2. The lid, which comes in either black or red, features a hard matte surface with subtle lines and a web pattern.  I love to wear red and blck clothes.

3. The keyboard (excluding the top row) and textured touchpad share the same silver color, and the touchpad is covered with a layer of dots. I like accessories and kikay stuff.

These is just some of the reasons why I can say that I am  Lenovo IdeaPad U150!  If ever I can own one in the future, I will surely discover more similarities between me and my dream laptop 

This is my official entry to the Lenovo-PTB Great Laptop Giveaway!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Handling Your Christmas Bonus Wisely

When I was young, I always hear people say that Christmas is for kids.  That’s why I used to be concern of growing old since I might not enjoy the fun and festivities that the holiday season brings if I am already an adult.

It turns out that Christmas is one of the most awaited time of the year by “grown ups” especially those belonging in the employed sector mainly because of the 13th month pay and bonuses given by their respective employers.

In the Philippines, it is mandatory for companies to give their workers a 13th month pay on or before December 24 while giving bonuses is a prerogative of employers depending on the performance of their employees that year.  A bonus can be in cash or in kind like gift certificates, grocery items, and other gifts.  

And once an employee gets his hands on to his much-awaited bonuses, which may come as early as November, one can’t help but get himself into shopping mode.  With bazaars and tiangges sprouting like mushrooms in just about every corner, a lot of people end up asking, “Where did my money go?” just weeks after receiving their gifts from their bosses.

When things like these happen, Christmas is just around the corner, indeed.  Well, I just hope people will be wiser in spending their bonuses and still save even a portion of what used to be a big amount when the actual Christmas day comes and will not end up looking for places to hide or stay away from godchildren.  This may sound funny but I know some who does this trick almost every year.

Being a working mom for four years now, I have gained some lessons from good and bad experiences in handling money during the holidays.  Here are tips that I would like to share that I hope can help others to show how special their loved ones are without spending that much in giving gifts this Christmas.

1.      Make a list.  Write down the names of the people you are planning to give a gift this holiday.  You may write their age, what their interest or hobby and how much is your budget for each one of them.  Having a list will also help you avoid missing out someone or buying more items than the number of your intended recipients.

2.      Make your own presents.  If you know how to bake cookies, cakes or pastries, you may send them to your officemates or to your boss.  Gifts don’t really need to come from the store.  People will also appreciate the fact that you spent time cooking and preparing for such gifts.  Just make sure you practice cleanliness from the mixing of ingredients up to the packaging so it won’t get spoiled easily. 
3.      Shop early.  Good items with good prices are the first one bought in store.  Don’t wait for Christmas rush hours to go shopping so you can still compare prices from one store to another.  Also, when you are under time pressure, you’ll sometime end up buying just about anything that looks good in your eyes without considering the quality and the price.

4.      Avoid using Credit Cards if you can.  Those plastic cards are so easy to use.  Just swipe it and sign the transaction receipt and you can take home whatever you want.  The temptation can sometimes be irresistible but if possible, use your credit card for emergencies only.  If you’ll use it, make sure that the amount you’ll get is something you can pay within a month to avoid any finance charge or late payment fee.

5.      Check out items on sale.  There is nothing wrong in digging for items from a bargain bins or going to warehouse sales.  With patience and being practical, you’ll soon find a jewel by being practical. Almost all major malls go on sale on and before Christmas.  Don’t think that giving sale items to loved ones means you don’t love them that much.   After all, it’s the thought that counts

Hopefully, by following these tips, you’ll be able to lessen your spending and save some money during the holidays.  It will definitely be a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year if you don’t have to think about debts and still has some cash left for other upcoming occasions.

Good working habits we can learn from kids

This article was published last November 28, 2010 in the Philippine Daily Inquirer - Working People section.

I was amused to hear someone has just invented a double-headed broom to collect large debris and fine dust simultaneously.  I was floored (no pun intended) when I found out from BBC that a 5-year old boy from UK named Sam Houghton invented it to help his father sweep leaves in their front yard. 

Then, I told my self, “Why should I be surprised?”   Justin Bieber conquered the imagination of music fans worldwide at the age of 14.  Then, Filipino Steven Purugganan was hailed as the World Speed Stacking champion when he was just 10.  These stories only prove that age doesn’t matter when it comes to reaching one’s dreams.

Being a mother of a 1-year old son, I am surprised how fast my little one learned things like clicking the mouse of our PC, turning off the TV, answering the phone, and other things.  Makes me wonder what kids today have been eating that we don’t have when we were young.

But one thing that really surprises me and something I hate to admit is the fact that I actually learned a lot of things from children.  Allow me to share some good working habits that I learned from kids since I started working in a school three years ago:

  1. Use multitasking for routine tasks. It is helpful in accomplishing more chores at the same time.  If you want to get some technique on how to properly do it, watch your child study while watching TV, eating merienda and play with his/ her favorite toy in your living room.
  2. Be honest always.  It has been said that children speaks the truth.  If we adults can establish trust within our respective workplaces, there will be better productivity since it permits people to overcome doubts and unknowns and enjoy peace of mind. The absence of trust causes confusion, worry, inaction, and fear.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new things.  It's the only way you can truly realize your potential.  It’s like limiting yourself into just doing the same things everyday because you are afraid to take the risk.  The next time you compose a letter, try to do it in front of the computer and not with the typewriter.  Did I mention that my 1-year old son knows to use a mouse?
  4. Think positive. Do not think how hard your work load is or how many days you will need to finish them.  Consider these difficulties as challenges that are just part of your job.  Remember those times that you hate to wear shoes because you don’t know how to tie their laces.  Now, as if it’s like paradise when you’re in a shoe store.
  5. Ask questions when you’re confused.  Don’t think that if you keep on asking for help people would compare you to a child who never runs out of questions.   Part of learning is getting information from people who know how to do things that you are not familiar with.  It’s more embarrassing when people try to lecture you after you failed with your work.
  6. Respect the elderly.  It always makes me smile when I hear kids say “po” and “opo.”  It reflects that these kids where raised properly by their parents.  Sometimes, we tend to forget to say those “magic words” when we ask for favors from our janitors or security guards who are older than us.  Believe me, they are more inspired to work when they feel they are respected.
  7. Be true to your word.  Kids remember every detail of the promises you gave to them so make sure these will not end up as broken promises otherwise they’ll be broken-hearted.   Remember that when something is agreed upon, it should be done.
  8. Always be on time.  There is a golden rule that you should always remember when you work in a school and that is you should not be late for work.  Students and being taught everyday about the value of time and it will be uncomfortable to arrive in the office when all the students are already there.
  9. Give importance to rest and relaxation. Good working habits are not just about working. Our body and mind also needs a breather from all the office tasks we are doing.  Take time to play.  It’s not for kids only.
  10. Dream and believe you can achieve it.  No one is too old to dream.  Always remember that life is an unending journey and each day provides a different opportunity to learn new things.  Work hard, put your heart and mind into it and you’ll definitely reach that goal someday.