Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Pedicure Dialogues

Today, I finally took time to have my pedicure done. I am into pedicures not because of vanity or the nail arts. In my case, it's a necessity. If you have toe nail problems like mine ~ Onychocryptosis , you would definitely need an expert to handle this business. (Relax, it's only the medical term for ingrown toe nails). But the sad part is, I don't know how to do it by myself. So I really go to a salon or beauty parlor to have it done. At least twice a month, or else the next appointment will be a bloody episode, especially if the manicurista does not know how to take it out.

For today's session, I went to Going Straight at SM San Lazaro (since it's very near at our place). My manicurista's name is Ate Elma.


The Pauper and The Princess

In my hometown (Roxas City), I have a reliable manicurista. I only entrust in her the fate of my toe nails. I don't usually go to other parlors to try others but I guess I have to do it here in Manila. Aside from the trust and the homey atmosphere, the cost of mani/pedi in the province is very affordable compared to the mala-ibong Adarnang presyo of the mani/pedis here in Manila. With only Php60.00, you already have a very clean pedicure. Unlike here, prices start at Php100.00 (these are the parlors outside the Mall area) to Php200 (Mall tenants). A very posh service will rob you out at Php650.00. Well, if you have the luxury of paying this kind of amount, why not? But this can wait for a while.

Why it's very expensive to get a decent pedicure nowadays? I would like to consider the healthy aspect of this. Did you know that you can get infections and even Hepatitis B from just getting a pedicure? If the equipments they use are not sterilized, most likely, you can acquire such medical conditions. That's why, I'm not only looking at the facade of the parlor, but I'd like to know as well how they take care of their equipments after every procedure. So, I asked the manicurista who was assigned to me how do they sterilize their tools. She said, "pinupunasan po namin ng alcohol." Fair enough. I can live with that. But I failed to asked if how many percent of alcohol and if it's ethyl or isoprophyl. (Hayaan mo na. Basta alcohol. Patay din ang mikrobyo dyan.)

Conversations over Pedicure

Making the most of my pedicure time while finishing the book "World Without End".
Ate Elma is a petite lady and accommodating to her customers. As she positioned herself and her tools of the trade (and me, of course), the following conversation took place: (I must warn you, the following conversations contain several dialogues that are unpleasant to hear.)

Ate Elma: "Tatanggalin po ba ang ingrowns?"
Me: "Opo." (Surely, definitely, totally!!!)

Ate Elma: "Anong cut po ba? Square o round?"
Me: "Square po." (I'm not diabetic, but just in case, its one way not to cause deep ingrowns later)

Ate Elma: "Pili na po kayo ng color ng nail polish mam."
Me: "Cleaning lang po. Hinde po ako naglalagay ng color."
Ate Elma: "Ay sayang naman po." (Bakit kaya?)

She now began the ritual of cleaning, pushing, pulling and tagging out dry skin and ingrowns from my toes specially the big toes. While doing that, the Q&A continues...

Can you see the look on Ate Elma's face?
Ate Elma: "Kelan po ang huli nyong pedicure?" (then starts to look at me as if I just murdered somebody)
Me: "Uh...2 weeks ago po." (why do I feel guilty all of a sudden?)

Ate Elma: "Ang kapal na kasi ng dry skin nyo. Makati na siguro ito." 
Me: "Oo nga po e." (nahiya naman ako bigla)

After a while, she pulls out a dry skin and placed it on my foot to show to me that she painstakingly excavated the whole thing out from the depths of my toe. (Why do they do this? Is this part of their training? I'm just wondering since most of the manicuristas that I encountered have this kind of practice or routine)

Then she gave me an advice.

Ate Elma: "Huwag po kayong maglagay ng lotion sa kuko ng paa para mabawasan ang mga dry skin."
Me: "Ganun po ba?" (Really? I did not know that.)

So, our session together ended with me relieved from the uncomfortable feeling of dry skin and ingrowns in my feet. Though Ate Elma made me feel like an unkempt child, she did a very good job and I gave her a tip of Php20.00. My pedicure fee is Php140.00 by the way.

Until then... see you again in the next pedicure dialogues.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Trying Out Pond's Age Miracle Cell ReGEN

A Beauty Sacrifice

When I got pregnant, it was the end of my beauty experiments. Momentarily.

There are a lot of things that a woman sacrifices when she gets pregnant. One of which is her beauty regimen. It's not really depriving your personal hygiene, but there are some harmful ingredients in some beauty products that can also harm the baby. Although you can always ask your OB-GYN for professional advice on which products are good for you. In my case, I totally banned facial creams, astringents, and any beauty products. I only used kojic soap and drank a lot of water so as not to dehydrate my skin.

Well, I am not not a kikay kind of girl. Even before, I don't have a tremendous hoard of beauty products to put into my face. I only use kojic soap (from time to time), and before pregnancy, I used the Belo facial products. But I love to try beauty products and find out what's best for my skin.

Getting the Miracle

I made a promise to myself that after I deliver our baby, I have to take care of myself that includes getting myself a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, and a probably a new set of make-up. Top of my list is to get a new set of facial care. So last January 1, when we went to SM Megamall we passed by Watson's and I checked what's the latest facial care they have.

My attention was caught by the Pond's promo girl who is holding a box with the face of Cheska Garcia-Kramer on it. I went to her and immediately asked what's inside the box. She started to talk about the product that I was asking her and she seems very excited and confident that I will be getting one. For the price of Php699.00, I will be getting the Pond's Age Miracle Cell ReGEN Facial Wash and the Pond's Age Miracle Cell ReGEN Day Cream. Plus....I will also have a limited edition of Rajo Laurel clutch bag!

Wow! The clutch bag is really a treat for me. Nonetheless, it's one heck of a miracle to have this kind of promo. So I decided to take the box (and the clutch bag) and of course in order to complete the line, I also bought the Night Cream (@Php699).
pond's age miracle cell reGEN.katzlifechapters
My complete set of Pond's Age Miracle Cell ReGEN + Rajo Laurel's clutch bag.

pond's age miracle cell reGEN,katzlifechapters
The logo of Rajo Laurel inside the clutch bag.

I'm excited to look 10 years younger as what the product promises. Just stay tune and maybe I'll be able to blog about the results soon.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saving as a New Year's Resolution

"I will save money."
Yep. This is one of the many New Year's resolution that we make and somehow failed to achieve (I have to agree with the last part of the sentence). I admit that I am a ningas kugon when it comes to saving. I will start the process, determined to finish the goal at the end of year, but ultimately I can find an excuse to use the saved money and spend it again. Kaputt!

Some financial advisers say that it's not too late to save. So this year (crossing my fingers), I will try again my best to save.

The 52 Week Money Challenge

I came across this 52 Week Money Challenge online and I will try this technique. Although the original version is in US dollars, Kuripot Pinay have her own version, in Philippine peso that is. In addition to this blog post, she also made a student version of this challenge. This is ideal for students and the young ones who are only starting to save. You can use this as a motivating factor also.

I downloaded her template on how much will you be saving and how much will be getting at the end of the year. This way, you can monitor your progress. Isn't it amazing that you will actually be getting Php68,900.00 by December? I'm just praying that I will not be able to touch it the whole year in order for me to enjoy the whole amount.

52 Week Money Challege.katzlifechapters
Template for the 52 Week Money Challenge

So, are you with me in this challenge?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Our January 1st

I captured one!

Our New Year's Eve celebration was a blast! Having our daughters with us this Holidays made it more meaningful. We prepared a simple Media Noche. I cooked spaghetti, macaroni salad, roasted chicken, and we still have leftover Chinese ham from Christmas.

Since we are staying at the 6th floor, we enjoyed looking at the different fireworks display. The dark sky literally lit up as 12:00 midnight comes to close 2013. Maxime enjoyed watching the whole fireworks effects. She kept on saying "fireworks!" (in toddler tone) every time there's a firecracker that will lit up in the dark sky.

The Following Day

We woke up at 8:30 AM. Arnel and I decided to fix our little space from last night's mini-celebration. Who would want to start the year with chaos in the house? We're still quite full from last night's feast so we decided to have our coffees instead. By 10:00 AM, we readied ourselves to go and meet my cousin, Ate Laarni at SM Megamall.

Because there was hardly no heavy traffic, we arrived at Megamall in a much earlier time. So we decided to roam around and window shop. The SM Department Store is closed but most of the stores in the mall were open.

Its good that SM Megamall have this Rent-a-Stroller service. Since we brought along Miggy, we decided to rent a stroller for him. Unlimited use of stroller was at Php200.00 (till the mall closes). But if you opted to use by the hour, its Php80.00. Not bad, right? We took the unlimited time instead.

Our Starbucks Moment

Earlier on, we had the chance to stop by Starbucks and the six of us had our first Starbucks moment as a family. Arnel and I ordered our brewed coffee (they had Colombia brew at that time) while Gabie had Strawberry and cream frap, and Mika ordered for Java Chip frap. Our naughty Maxime had her Starbucks lollipop. I told her sisters not to give her a sip of their drinks because she can be too much to handle if she takes more sugar for the day.



Our Mini Reunion

Finally, we met Ate Arni and Becbec. They are my first cousins from my father side. Ate Arni is a nurse from the US. She's having her vacation right  now and she's meeting for the first time our little munchkins ~ Maxime and Miggy. Though the meeting was only for a short time, we're able to talk about our lives and catch-up on things. I'm glad that we started the year this way.

Hope to see you soon again!

Here with Ate Arni and Becbec, my cousins. We ordered Chinese.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My 2013 Gratitude List

It is an inherent behavior of a human being to be fearful of change. Whatever form it may be, change takes the face of a soul-eating monster that will take most of your strength from worrying and thinking what will the future bring. This is how I take 2013 in general. It has been a life-changing year for me.  I have made many big decisions that ultimately changed the course of my life. But I will not write about it (again). What I will be focusing here is more on things that I am grateful for 2013.


My first love is teaching. My 12 years in the academe has given me the chance to flourish intellectually and opened more doors for me to establish a name in the nursing profession. It's not only that I teach students to become nurses and love this profession, but I also learned several things that has given me more in return.  Sad to say, my professor life has come to a hibernation stage (I will not say close, because I know I will go back to teaching again. I just can feel it.)

I am thankful that a new job has been offered to me and this is to become the Training Officer of The Family Clinic Hospital, Inc., a newly acquired property by the Caritas Group of Companies. Although the salary is not similar to my previous job, I can still say that I am thankful for this opportunity that I have a job that can sustain us and is in line with my profession.


I am grateful that I have my family - My husband, Arnel, my daughters, Mary Gabrielle, Aryanna Mikaela, and Maxime Danielle. Plus our new bundle of joy, Sealtiel Jude Miguel. I am grateful that my parents and my siblings are in good state of health, especially when the super typhoon Yolanda hit our place last November 8. The only major damage was our roof, which can be repaired.


Oh, how can I not mention about them! They are the spice to my life and sometimes my lifesavers. =)

Living Conditions

Because of career change, relocation is a major issue to consider and finding a place to stay here in Manila is like finding your way out in the jungles of Amazon. With our mere salaries, we cannot afford to buy a condominium (not as of now), or even rent an apartment that is really comfortable compared to those in the provinces. The apartments here in Manila starts at Php10,000.00 to Php15,000.00. If you are looking for a lesser price, the living conditions are also to be considered.

I am thankful that The President of Caritas Healthshield ( the company that owns the hospital where I am working) gave us a place to stay. Of course there are still bills and payments to shell out, but it's lesser compared to renting.

Freelance Career

My contract with TAU.
 It is indeed very difficult to sustain the family's expenses in today's living standards even both of you are working. You need to earn another source of income in case you need a backup for some family emergencies. For some, direct selling is their forte. Mine is online writing and freelance writing.

As a freelance writer, I am thankful for the different job offers that come my way this year. I have 2 major online jobs this year that I am grateful of. I have a contract with Texila American University as a Faculty/Online Developer. Basically, I prepare the learning materials for students who are taking up MSN degree. I have 3 subjects with them and my contract will end this January. The other job is with Future Care but I will not discuss more about this first since I am only beginning to work for them.

Aside from these job offers, I also have my blogs which i have become addicted to. Sad to say, I haven't attended to these blogs lately due to my pregnancy state. But now that i am in maternity leave, I will plan and make time to update them.

My Prayer for 2014

Dear Lord,
Thank you for all the blessings that you bestowed upon my family. 
I will continually praise and honor thy name all through life. 
You have supported me and guided me despite my inadequacies. 
Forgive me on the times that I dishonor you. 
As we embrace the year 2014,   
I pray that you will always guide us, 
help us in our daily lives, 
and be there for us no matter what. 
I believe that nothing is impossible in your name. 
I believe that you are the source of everything. 
I am forever your child, O Lord. 
With the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
I am entrusting my life to you. 

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