Friday, June 28, 2013

Ways to Create More Time

When we live in a world where efficiency, competency and productivity are common jargons that needs to be met and quantified, we often wish we can squeeze more to dos in our 24 hour daily time ratio.
Time management seems to be an issue in almost everyone’s lives whether we are a full time mom, a work from home parent, or we work outside the house or a full time student.  It seems that we do not have enough hours in a day to get it all done.  So we want to make sure we manage our time wisely.
The succeeding article is taken from one of my favorite journals the “Awake!” magazine April 2010 issue.  I find the suggestions very practical. 
I wanted to pinpoint steps that I think are more valuable as compared to the rest, but after having reviewed it, I could not decide which is weightier.  Though I already subscribe to points 1 and 4, and with the little one around, both the hubby and I are becoming advocates of point number 2, I still have to adopt more of the pointers here as they are very useful and practical for me.
Do read on and I hope you will find it useful too.                 

“Go on walking in wisdom . . . , buying out the opportune time for yourselves.”—Colossians 4:5.

HAVING identified the activities with which you want to fill your days and hours, the challenge is to move from optimistic theory to actual practice. The following suggestions may help you to do that.


1 KEEP A DAILY TO-DO LIST. Number items according to the order in which you will handle them. Indicate items that are worth spending more time on. Check off each item when it is completed. Carry over unfinished tasks to tomorrow’s list.
2 SYNCHRONIZE YOUR CALENDARS. Don’t risk missing an appointment because it is only in your other calendar. If you have a calendar in your computer and another in a handheld device, see if you can synchronize the two.

3 WRITE AN “ACTION PLAN” consisting of all the steps involved in a project, and put these in their proper sequence.

4 GENERALLY, SCHEDULE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS FIRST. It will be easier to find time for the less important ones.

5 SET GOALS OVER WHICH YOU HAVE A LARGE DEGREE OF CONTROL. You have more control over increasing your skill at a certain job than over becoming president of your company.

6 ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE TIME FOR EVERYTHING. Favor activities that yield the most important results. What about other tasks that are urgent or that simply have to be done? If you cannot eliminate or delegate them, see if you can spend less time on them. Some unimportant tasks can wait for months if necessary, or they may not need to be done at all. Allocate as much time as possible to those activities that are related to what you feel is truly worthwhile in light of your goals.

7 KEEP A TIME LOG. To find out where your time is going, keep a time log for one or two weeks. Is much time lost on unimportant activities? Do most of your interruptions come from the same one or two individuals? Are you most likely to be interrupted during a certain part of the day or week? Eliminate time-wasting activities that have crept in.

8 SCHEDULE LESS. If you plan to shop for food, fix the car, entertain friends, see a movie, and catch up on reading—all in one day—you will feel rushed and will likely enjoy nothing.
9 MINIMIZE INTERRUPTIONS. Block off a portion of time each day during which you are not to be interrupted unless it is absolutely necessary. If possible, turn off your phone during this time. Also, turn off electronic pop-up alerts if they tend to interrupt your work.

11 DO THE MOST UNPLEASANT TASK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Once it is out of the way, you will feel more energized to work through the less-challenging activities.

12 ALLOW TIME FOR THE UNEXPECTED. If you feel that you can arrive at a place within about 15 minutes, promise to be there within 25. If you believe an appointment will take an hour, allow an hour and 20 minutes. Leave a portion of your day unscheduled.
13 USE TRANSITION TIME. Listen to the news or a recording while you shave. Read while waiting for a train or riding on it. Of course, you can use that time to relax. But don’t waste it and then later fret over lost time.

14 APPLY THE 80/20 RULE OF THUMB.* Are approximately 2 out of 10 items on your to-do list the most important? Might a certain job be as good as finished after you give attention to just the most important aspects of it?

15 WHEN YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED WITH WORK, write each task on an index card. Then divide the cards into two groups: “Action Today” and “Action Tomorrow.” When tomorrow comes, do the same.
16 PERIODICALLY, TAKE TIME OFF TO ‘RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES.’ Returning to work with a refreshed mind and body might prove more productive than hours of overtime.

17 THINK ON PAPER. Write down a problem, describe why it is disturbing you, and list as many solutions as you can think of.
18 DON’T BE A PERFECTIONIST. Know when it is time to stop and move on to the next important activity.

19 WORK LIKE A PROFESSIONAL. Don’t wait for the right mood. Just start working.
20 BE FLEXIBLE. These are suggestions, not hard-and-fast rules. Experiment, find out what works, and customize ideas to your circumstances and needs.

This idea is roughly based on the work of the 19th-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto and is also known as the Pareto principle. It involves the observation that often 80 percent of the results come from about 20 percent of the effort. It has been applied to many things, but here is a simple example: When a carpet is vacuumed, about 80 percent of the dirt picked up is likely from 20 percent of the carpet, namely, the high-traffic areas.

How about you, how do you manage to squeeze more to dos in your day?


If you want to read more articles that shows you how to cope with today’s problems and builds confidence in the Creator’s promise of a peaceful and secure new world, you can access from this link.

Photo source:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dreaming of Hokkaido

So when I saw a link a friend posted in her FB wall that Japan would be lifting visa requirement for most ASEAN countries starting July 1 this year (You can read more of that here.), I was ecstatic!  Ok, all right that’s too exag (OA lang ang peg). 

But anyways, if there was a two thumb up sign for like in FB, I would have clicked on that.  The hubby and I have been talking about places we would love to visit, and Hokkaido was one of them. 
While most Singaporean friends I have spoken with visits Hokkaido for the snow, I want to visit Hokkaido for the sunflowers and the lavenders.  But unfortunately the sunflower season comes just next after the lavender season which is sometime in August.  While the lavenders are in its glorious around the time of June to July. 

Now I am having a hard time choosing between frolicking amongst the sunflowers or breathing in the relaxing scent of lavenders.  Which would it be?

Well I guess I still have two years to decide which is which.  Yes I know my earlier excitement is quite contradictory with the number of years that we are putting off travelling to Japan.  This year, and probably the next one and a half years, our plates our full and so travelling that requires an expense of $S2000 budget for each of us (that's the budget our friend quoted on her last Japan sojourn) will have to be put on hold.
 Now I am resigned to dreaming of Hokkaido.  And mind you I am good at that.  Probably the news of Japan lifting the visa requirements for some ASEAN nations is a good sign that the "universe is conspiring" to make this dream a reality. (Pa da secret epek pa oh! :)) And maybe all these dreaming would not come to naught.
Please indulge me as I continue dreaming of fields of lavender and bright sunflowers.

How about you mga kababayan ko, does this news stir any travel plans to Japan anytime soon?

PS: The initial news was flawed, unfortunately.  Visa are not waived for the Philippines, but they have relax visa rules already.  They will issue a multiple entry visa that allows Filipinos to stay in Japan for 15 days and this visa is valid for three years.

Oh well, I guess I was too excited. But who knows what could happen in the next two years. *wink *wink... (pa da secrect epek pa rin)

photos from : lavender field, sunflower field from

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reviving a love affair

a love affair of reading that is :)

I love reading.  I have always been a reader for as long as I can remeber.  Reading a good book can mean travelling to a whole other time or place.

If you sit down with a good book to read, it is as if you can go to an entirely different world, and be in a world of your own for a few hours.  I notice that it also helps increase my vocabulary. 

Now, I'm letting you in my own little secret...  I so love the smell of the crisp pages of a new book.  So even if I am in the technology industry, I still love a real book as compared to a digital one.  Flipping through its pages is kind off therapuetic for me.  Im old fashion like that.

But despite my love for books and reading, as a self-proclaimed bookworm unfortunately I am so "under read".  Leisurely reading is indeed a luxury now a days.

Hey, if you really set your heart into something, you will always find time right?

And so this year, I will revive my love for reading by starting a goal of reading X number of books per year.

Considering that half of the year has gone by, I am targeting on 6 books for 2013. One book a month.  Now, with all the juggling between work and domestic "divaness", I hope my target is not so ambitious.

So to kick-off this 6 books project, I have already compiled a list of books I have read here and I am hoping to increase it exponentially (hahaha!!!) 

I am starting this project with this Grisham book which I gifted the hubby last summer.

Here's to  more reading and an increased vocabulary for 2013.  I wonder how new motherhood would fit into this.  Well, all the best to me! :)

Do you enjoy reading books ? What kind of books do you like to read and who’s your favorite author/authors?  What books will you be reading this year?  Let's build a list!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Easy on a Sunday

Easy on a Sunday

I bought a loud colored floral pants.  Hehehe, yeah I know, not my style, but I want something different.  Let's see if I can pull this look :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hazy Days in Singapore - a mother's worry

Every year between the months of May through October, haze falls upon Singapore.  This is caused by transboundary smoke from land and forest fires. These annual fires are caused mainly by land clearing and “slash and burn” agricultural practices in Indonesia, particularly Sumatra and Kalimantan. This year we hit the record high of 401 PSI (Pollutants Standard Index) and we don't know if it would still climb. Or until when this unhealthy range stays on. And according to the National Environment Agency of Singapore, this is hazardous level.  

PSI ValueAir Quality Descriptor
0 - 50Good
51 - 100Moderate
101 - 200Unhealthy
201 - 300Very unhealthy
Above 300Hazardous
Bright and sunny Singapore skyline which normally looks like this
Is now transformed into some ghost town, a scene straight out from a creepy movie :(

With the haze around, it can result in eye, nose and throat irritation.  People with history of sinus problems or sensitive nose are more likely to develop nasal congestion, sore throat and coughing.  There may be increase occurrence of skin irritations as well for those with eczema and other skin conditions. 

Children are more vulnerable to respiratory problems should the haze persists due to the fact that they have faster breathing rates and that their lungs are still developing. :( 

Now, if it's just me and the hubby, I would not worry that much.  But with the little one around, worry meter is up 100x.  We have done the necessary precaution of staying indoors and closing all the windows, but still my worry meter hasn't lowered down a notch.  I am just hoping and praying that this would be over soon.

Here are some precautions I gathered from the Health Foodies Singapore FB Page:

The haze in Singapore is creating several breathing ailments. One of the things your body does is build up mucus in the breathing tract as it tries to fight the pollution. It is the mucus that can become infected and result in illness. Her...e are some ideas to help your body deal with it naturally:

1. Add generous amounts of ginger, cayenne pepper, horseradish, onion and garlic to your diet. These herbs help your body to break up the unhealthy mucus in your lungs. You can use up to 3tsp a day of cayenne. Sprinkle on food if you love the heat, or dissolve in water and drink it.

2. Add a few drops of rosemary oil to a humidifier and spend 10 minutes a day breathing over it with a towel over your head until your lungs feel clearer. Rosemary oil vapor dilates the bronchial tubes which relieves congestion by breaking up unhealthy mucus. You can also boil up eucalyptus and mint leaves and inhale the vapor.

3. Drink plenty of water regularly. Good hydration allows all organs, including the lungs, to refresh themselves by staying moist and flushing out toxins. 2-4 glasses upon rising, followed by a glass of water every 90 minutes throughout the day is recommended.

4. Avoid mucus-forming foods such as dairy, meat, eggs, white flour, sugar.

5. Increase your intake of green tea. Green tea contains EGCG, an antioxidant that protects lungs from cellular damage.

6. Increase intake of vitamin C, D and E supplements. These are powerful antioxidants. Look for products containing 15,000 IU of mixed carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Try and find supplements that are made from natural sources, not synthetic ones.

7. Be extra vigilant about washing your hands and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Rinse mouth and gargle with 1tsp natural salt in warm water. Avoid touching escalator rails, public door handles etc.

8. If you do yoga, practice Pranayama - yogic breathing and cleansing exercises. Do this indoors for now, and when the haze clears do it a lot outdoors.

9. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, notably broccoli, oranges, corn, carrots, mushrooms, onions, apples, tomatoes, fennel, berries, grapes, spinach, garlic. Raw is best!

10. Cordyceps and Reishi mushrooms. These Chinese medicinal mushrooms are useful in promoting optimal respiratory efficiency and protecting against lung diseases.

11. Use a neti pot with a salt and water solution daily to rinse out the nasal cavity. Use a third of a teaspoon to 2 cups warm water. Use daily.

12. Try out fennel, flax and fenugreek tea, a strong lung protector. Recipe here:

13. Take a teaspoon of raw or Manuka honey 3 times a day. Let it dissolve in your mouth and slide down the throat. It relieves dry throat and is a powerful protector.

14. Limit outdoor exercise and exhertion until the haze clears.

 Please avoid outdoor activities, drink lots of water and stay safe Singapore!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What happens to couple time

Lately, most of our activities revolve around this little one.  Feeding, cleaning the poop, dressing him up, trying to get him to sleep and the list goes on and on…

source of our stress, but source of our greatest joy as well
 So what happens to “couple time”?  I am a firm advocate of that.  I honestly believe how essential alone time together is.  Amidst our busy lives, we become disconnected, stressed and even lonely when we do not make this a priority.
But given our situation where we live in a fast-paced city with no help, alone time together is a luxury we could not afford (as of now only I hope).  But that doesn’t stop us to plan and thankfully execute date nights.  Even dinner out or a stroll in the park, we count that as date night.  We are shallow like that ;)
After months, hubby and I have finally resumed our date night Fridays J Yay!!! But what makes it more fun, is that we have a little guy that tags along.
Two Friday’s ago at Pizza Hut Bukit Panjang Plaza, enjoying a cheesy trio pizza while the little guy looks on

Pizza Hut's yummy cheesy trio...try it!!!
                                              What was left of our date night dinner last Friday
                           Too busy to take the before picture while it was still whole and intact.
                      We had the chili crab at this Halal Restaurant at the Park near our place. 
Rasa Istimewa C2K Restaurant - The Makan Place @ CCK Park
And of course the tag-along who is the star of the show.  Fist clenched, as if saying to dad and mom, I want a taste of that crabby too!
he completes our threesome Fridays! :)
Couple time may have to take a backseat for now because we need to tweak the date night a teeny weeny bit.  I guess that’s what urban parenting is all about. Hahaha!  But then again I don’t mind having the tag-along, tag along with us.  Happy hubby + happy mommy = happy baby. 

How about you mommies, how do you get to spend couple time?


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Classic Monday

Classic Monday

Jigsaw striped boatneck shirt
$56 -

Yesterday's outfit inspired by the mood board above....Hays wish i could do more mood boards because dressing up in the mornings is really becoming a chore now that I hardly fit my pre pregnancy clothes and my pregnancy clothes looking frumpy on me....sigh again.

How about you where do you get fashion inspiration?

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Great Singapore Sale – How motherhood changed me

Hear ye hear ye, shopaholics from the region and beyond.  It’s that time of the year again!  Oh yes I’m talking about the Great Singapore Sale!  It’s on from May 31st till July 28.

With prices slashed up to 70% off its original prices at main shopping belts (READ Orchard Road!) and suburban shopping mall island wide, its eight weeks of fabulous shopping and indulgence of delectable offers!
But alas! Or should I say fortunately, motherhood has changed me.
This would have been how my loot would look like pre motherhood

Now, with new things added to our grocery list, I think twice before I do the splurge purchase. Oh I still love beautiful things, who doesn’t?  But I just simply visit the malls and find inspiration.  List it in my wish list, and say someday, someday.   :) 
But I few days ago while I was out malling with the hubby and LO at ION orchard, we happen to pass by H&M kidz, and I just couldn’t resist!
Here’s the loot:

H&M kidz for the little one :)
 Indeed motherhood has changed me, and I’m quite happy with the change ;)
For shopaholics across the region and beyond, refer to this site for more information.

Happy Shopping



Monday, June 3, 2013

How is life lately? Hello June!

Between balancing a career

                                              And the pile of dirty laundry

and feeding bottles to clean and sterilise
And whole "to do" list of a domestic diva....updating this blog is indeed indulgence...

But I am not complaining...

With these boys around.. Ako na si DARNA!

Loving a busy mom's life... How about you ladies and mommies, how's your June so far?
Imagine half of the year pass by already... Time to sit down again and reaccess our year's goal.

Have a good day!

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