We're torn between getting a mini mac or another quad core pc, both are powerful machines and capable for our architectural programs.  One big factor is the price, we all know how pricey mac units can be whereas my husband assembles computers as his hobby.  That alone is big savings right there and he can even make it with the best components inside.  Having said this you can tell we have more advantage with a pc, but why think twice?

Well, there's a certain versatility of mac when it comes to client impression here.  We know that it's not about showing off in order for you to sell your service, expertise is highly regarded above all.  Though admit it sometimes impression can sell you more.  With this kind of business, being on top of the game is a must.  But again that's not all to consider.  We're also after the convenience of having out platform open to the tech market, mac on the other hand is more restricted with everything.  You can find things like video converter for mac (like ipad video converter), dvd ripper for mac, etc. but that won't be enough to convince us to get one.

To buy something is so easy but to find the right buy for your needs sometimes needs more thought and not just plain impulse.  Bigger purchase like this must be weighed with the pros and cons, it will be your work partner so it has to be the best for your use.  Just like us being torn with the two, we won't rush so not to have any regrets later on.

...Milu with our little boy...

It's tax time once again and we're proud to say that we've already accomplished our tax deals.  Last year was pretty rough with us having to pay instead of having some returns.  It's understandable since we're just rolling out our home office for the first tax year.  This year on the other hand, we're having some returns.  It feels good because we can tell also that our business has improved from previous year.  As usual we do our taxes in San Francisco through Milu's Tax.

There are other means of preparing taxes, some people can even do it on their own through online tax kits.  Community libraries also offer free tax help, it is conducted on a yearly basis.  There are also many offices which conduct tax preparation services but of course it's not free.These offices use the expertise of an enrolled agent who has taken and passed the ea exam in order to be able to work on tax preparations in a higher level.

We prefer to go to Milu since we get the personal kind of service, all that's needed is an appointment and we're set for the date.  She knows all our tax deals which makes it easier for us for the business.  Over the convenience of doing it ourselves here at home online or in nearby tax offices, going all the way to San Francisco is far more favorable for us.  We normally would go to a special place to complete our outing for the day and that alone is a bonus already.
Finding the time to work right infront of the computer is hard when you have a baby.  Everything has to be by the baby's schedule. You can only do as much things whenever the baby is resting or playing on his own.  Having a laptop is quite an advantage if you want to do something online or any other works as compared to desktop.  You can be mobile with the laptop and can actually work wherever the baby wants to stay.  That's something you really can't do with the desktop as you are compromised with using it wherever it is located.  

Laptops are valuable and expensive piece of electronic that's why proper care must be exercised when using one.  Proper laptop storage is a must to avoid the kids from getting it or damaging it.  Some kids most especially the young ones can be so grabby at times wanting to reach everything, one nasty fall is all it takes to break a laptop apart.  Little fiddler would always want to touch and press buttons and worse when they want to use their little feet to do it, they simply love to stand and step on anything!  Having a laptop cart can save your laptop from such abuse.  Laptop carts have special storage designed to keep laptops in for safekeeping.  This way you wouldn't have to worry about the curious little monkeys at home wanting to play with your precious gadget.
One of my oldest blog, The Real Paying Online Surveys was all of sudden removed in blogger and without any notice I was clueless. I panicked after trying to retrieve it several times and all I got was an email stating it's a spam blog. Oh dear, I was so furious because I put a lot of effort and work on that blog. That was actually created as my first attempt in blogging. I was hoping to share some money earning tips for those who rely on online resources and having it deleted from blogger truly saddened me. Hubs told me it was a robot thing routine checking blogs and that he has appealed to have it back. It took awhile but it was eventually restored.

Imagine your blog being deleted all of a sudden and there's no warning or whatsoever before you even know it, it's gone! This happening made us think how we can prevent such thing from happening again. It felt terrible so it was an eye opener for us to consider web hosting. It would be best for us to have our own domains and our sites hosted. This way we wouldn't be worrying about losing it anymore. Though everything is still in black and white, we are not cleaning our slate about the idea. Hubs is still checking webhosting options, once he gets to nail down his choice then we're off to our goal. I honestly don't know much about those hosting stuffs so I'm leaving hubs the decision and final say on it.
It is nice to have a gracious limit on your credit card but abusing the use can result to debt beyond your paying capacity. There are times when there's a need to use the credit card and it's okay but always be mindful of your usage. It is best to pay off everything the soonest possible time rather than paying it on a monthly basis. This way you won't be paying interest which can add up to big amount in the long run. Of course not all the time you can pay off everything, this is when you can make full use of your credit card.

What happens when you over used your credit card to a point in which you are in big struggle already just to pay it off? Serious debt like this can take years to pay for some people. Just imagine how much money you are losing with the monthly interest payments, you could've been saving that amount already for something else. Worse case scenario is that you can no longer keep up with your payments and having yourself buried in debt. This will hurt your credit status or credibility, bad credit score will be reflected to your account and it's not a good thing.

One way is to find a way to have a credit repair. It all starts with you, given the right advice about credit repair process it's not impossible to work your way to credit restoration. Cleaning a bad credit can be a tough job but there's always a fix for it, you just need to know the best credit repair service that will suit you. The process will still involve money of course, you'd still have to pay off your debt. If you can work your way even to slowly catch up with your payments then i will be good for you. Another thing to be mindful of is your credit card use, if you're already struggling to pay off your debts then it is best to stop using your credit card. Live by your means until you have cleared yourself from your debt.

There's nothing wrong in using credit cards but being mindful of the use can save you from bigger responsibilities in the long run.
 ...pierogi garlic and herbs in mushroom & asparagus sauce...

Aside from designing, my other passion is cooking.  I have been cooking since I was a kid and thanks to my mom and grandma who taught me what is cooking all about.  Though I don't have as much time as before to prepare meals, I try to reinvent recipes and make an easier and quicker preparation.  I am not the type to follow recipe books in the first place, I always just browse and see a certain recipe that I don't know about and then do it how I want it.

Over the years I have designed several establishments like resorts, hotels and bar & restaurant.  Of course not the big ones but still my gear is towards that path aside from residential planning.  My college thesis is actually a combination of all having it as a SPA hotel and resort.  It would be nice if me and bes can really put this thesis into reality, it's like one of our ultimate dream.

If only putting up such business is as easy as baking a cake, then we'll have no problems at all.  Seriously it is not as easy as it seems, such establishment would require generous amount of time, effort, money and work.  This doesn't discourage us at all, we are still positive about fulfilling our dream in the future.  Who knows if one day we'll be in need of hotel supplies & restaurant supply for our dream spa resort.  

Given that planning and design will be very much handled easily, all we need is to find resort supplies & catering supplies for the operations.  Me and bes will be checking out PeachSuite hospitality supply to get all the necessary equipment we'll need.  I know you're reading this bes, it's sure nice to dream huh?  I Know we'll make something happen in the future, big or small it doesn't really matter as long as we'll do it together!


This is a very nice photo of us when we were about to leave Manila during our short 3week stay there.  All photos looked sad and finally something in which everybody's smiling.  Too bad my sis isn't there, she called me up and asked if she would still go straight to the airport from work but I told her she might as well go home because she'll be caught up so much with heavy traffic.  Of course we would've wanted to see her as we leave but sometimes you have to consider practicality over sentimentality.  At least we were able to talk for a bit and she even saw us before heading off to work that morning.

I can't believe it's been a year and looking at Jariel there, he's so small.  Our little boy has grown so much already and he's been talking a lot more.  We have to plan our next trip back home so we can better prepare for it.  It's always good to plan the trip ahead so better choices for cheap flights can be checked.  We never go on last minute flights, that could only happen if there's some sort of emergency.  We can't expect fare prices to be lower anytime soon due to the gas price hike, therefore better planning must be done so we won't end up losing all our vacation budget to air fare alone.  Only if we can teleport from here to there then there's nothing to worry about.

Hopefully for our next visit there we'll get more time for vacation and get to meet up with our friends.  We didn't have the luxury of time to do that before due to some other things that we had to do.  If we do get more flexible schedule then we can take baby to the beach or other farther places.  By that time he'll be more settled in the car, probably can have longer drive time without baby fussing.  We wouldn't mind going to HK Disneyland or other neighbor Asian countries if possible.  It's easy to find flights there and best deals on last minute accommodations, unlike coming from here.  I'm wishful thinking right now but who knows?  It would be nice to see and spend some time with my family again and for them to enjoy Jariel a bit while he's still a baby.  Just us being back home will make them happy already regardless if they need to go to work and can't really be with us at all times.  It will also be good for our boy to know more my side of family as he grows. 


Aside from receiving mother's day gifts, having a celebration party for her would be a good idea to make her feel special. This is ideal especially if she has a lot of friends, and if your family is big. Organizing a motherâ's day party is something not so traditional worldwide even though it is celebrated by many in unique ways. However, if you can afford to make her day extraordinary and special, then it should not be a big problem. A simple celebration with good food, good friends invited, and all her loved-ones present would be the best time of her life. 

You can begin organizing the mothe's day party for your mom by planning on the special people or friends you may want to invite, the budget for the food, drinks, and any other related-expenses. Also, if you are planning to have it as a surprise party, make sure you schedule it at the time during the day when she does not really have to be away from home all day. A surprised mother's day celebration party would be something unusual yet grand, which will make her extremely happy and pleased. 

Planning and organizing a surprise celebration party is not easy to do alone. For this reason, it is best to seek help and assistance from other family members such as your father, siblings, aunts, or your mom's closest friends in accomplishing what needs to be done. A secret to making it into a success is proper organization of things that should be done, things to buy, what good food to cook, the drinks, and many more. It is also better to plan ahead before the Mother's day. Doing this ahead of time will prevent any rush worries which would definitely spoil the surprise. 

Moreover, preparing mother's day gifts to give her during the celebration would be ideal. Your gifts do not necessarily have to be expensive. Anything will do as long as the gifts are sincerely given. Receiving at least one gift and having the celebration for her are already enough to make her special day. Also, when organizing the celebration party, try to add up a special activity such as having you speeches or special message to your mother in front of others or friends during the party. Encourage your father or siblings to do the same. Expressing how much she means to you as a mother would surely touch her heart very much.

Money is getting tighter these days, of course no one will just give it to you as if it grows on trees.  Though life is not all about money and any other material things, in reality we need it all for our existence and comfort as well.  Like me who runs a home office I honestly would say I don't get paid as much as any regular employment.  If any it is more like a part time job rate to compare with.  For us it's nothing to complain about.  Being self-sufficient is a better milestone than just working behind the desk of somebody else's office.  We might not afford much luxury of things but living by our means isn't bad at all.  

There are several ways to cut down on expenses, simple things that can make a big difference in your way of living.  Say for instance dining out over home cooking.  How much do you usually pay per head for a meal or even if you get a family meal how much does it usually cost?  On average it will be around $10-20 depending on where you eat and that amount alone can be used for a day's worth of meals for the family.  That's savings right there!  Cutting down on your dining out frequency will greatly improve your budget and in our case, it means healthier eating too.

Money saving can be better observed at home, reading through home energy efficiency tips can help do the trick when it comes to utility bills.  To lessen water bills make sure you don't let the tap running while brushing teeth, instead use a cup.  For washing dishes it's ideal to have a basin to hold water for rinsing or soaking.  Gas and electric bills can also be reduced by securing all windows and doors with proper seals.  This will improve the efficiency of the heating or cooling system of the house and also lower your bill.  You may also seek for a home energy audit to see if your home has efficient energy system. These people are professionally trained to inspect and see what they can do to help you implement cost effective measures to reduce your utility bills.  Though this might cost you at first but in the long run after having the home insulation contractors work on your problem areas, it can save you more in the future.

The advancement in technology these days is exceptional.  So many things people get to discover which were thought to be things of the future.  This kind of reminds me of the movie Wall-E wherein people live through the aid of technology.  The plot was very futuristic, everybody was living in a space shuttle providing them the most comfort and convenience life has to offer.  It may sound too good to be true but technology gave ridiculously awful comfort for all to a point that people didn't even know how to walk anymore.  Since birth babies were fed by robots and given certain program to cater all their needs all the way til they grow up.  Unfortunately they were taken cared of too much that they sat all their lives.  

Amazing isn't it what technology can bring to us.  Apparently our world is already entering that phase wherein people rely heavily on the use of technology.  Mobile phones nowadays are even capable of voice prompt commands, computer getting smaller in a form of tablets, cars with added cruise controls and such.  It's not surprising to see anymore that people will be more or less hands free doing their day to day tasks in the future.  Way before like years ago it seems too much to think about but we clearly see evidence of the innovations technology brings to us.

Whatever happened to the old fashioned internet service like dial up?  Before dsl even came to be known, dial up was the best thing ever before.  Being able to connect to the internet was like a breakthrough before.  Now it's nothing because being connected is practically part of most people's lives, there's no going back to the basics.  Speedy connection is what people crave for now, no more beeping dialing sounds and few more minutes waiting for the internet to be connected. This is just a simple example of how technology has evolved, the advancement that this modern age has to offer. 

I promised my bestie I'll show her photos of the fondue set that she gave us. Thanks so much for your sweet li'l gift, baby will get to enjoy this with us in few more years though! =p

Me and hubs accepted the fact that we will be stuck in our apartment for this year and maybe another year more.  It all depends if finances and opportunity come knocking on our doors.  For the meantime I have been doing a lot of innovative measures to keep our tiny apartment in good condition for all our needs.  Just yesterday I installed a closet light to our home office area.  Since the living room is poorly lighted at night, having just one lampshade on the other end isn't sufficient to keep the entire work area comfortably lighted.  Making use of a closet light is just an innovation, it's simple, easy to install and also very affordable.

Last month I was too busy working and re-arranging our bedroom.  I allotted a mini play area for baby so he can have his own space and feel free to explore on his own whenever he likes.  I have converted his crib into a train station since he's not really sleeping in it.  I also made use of bed risers to accommodate some storage space under the bed.  This truly gave us some stretch with our organization deals.  I was able to somehow de-clutter and move things under the bed and still have plenty of space to finish off the rest of my clean-up.

I am now focused fixing up the kitchen.  I arranged some pots where it should belong and added some racks to add storage for plates and other canisters.  I had to keep my wooden spice rack since it feels a bit on the bulky side and I want more space as much as possible.  I was able to use some small spice racks within the kitchen counter corner to accommodate some of the major spices I used on my day to day cooking.  I am still looking for a simple wall spice rack which can hold all my other spice jars in one place without having to consume anymore counter or cupboard space.  Just like what I got for our kitchen knife organizer, instead of the common counter stand type I had something like a wall mounted one.  It's great because it's not easy for baby to reach things from the wall even if he grabs a chair. I eliminated the unsightly counter tiles by concealing it with vinyl sheets, it worked like magic!

I don't have photos to show the kitchen right now and even the room or our office area, maybe when everything is more fixed up then I can take good documentation and take a lot of photos.  I just wonder when will I ever truly finish with all the improvements that I want to do here at home.....

This guest post from Hong Alexander

I wasted no time online Katy wireless internet shopping for new bedroom design once I had enough money saved to turn the forgotten room in to a haven. I found a great blog site called Emily A Clark Interiors and was inspired to say the least! Her beautiful use of old and new, simple classic design with unexpected punches of color or pattern had me swooning. This girl had me considering everything from painting furniture to hanging art in an unexpected way. I was so carried away I knew AI had to reign in my excitement or I would have the whole house under renovation. I kept my eyes on the bedroom design only and created a pin board with all my favorite details scattered across it. With a little imagination, I began finding unique pieces right here in my local city that is filled with consignments and antique shops. I was blown away at what people will throw out! The bedroom project is turning out better than I had imagined and I am certain this is just the beginning of my design endeavors.
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