Nature in Full Bloom:Are You Good To Grow?


This is a re-post from my Mommy Unwired blog.   

The Philippines, so they say, have only two seasons: Rainy Season and Dry Season. I don’t know what the season is now (probably in between the rainy and dry or the “just-right-season” or the holiday season?), but nature is sure showing off!!! 

Flowers are blooming…

Hills are turning into fields of gold…

And the poinsettia leaves are turning red…


Everything is bursting into a kaleidoscope of colors!

How about you?  Are you blossoming?  Would you like to grow your confidence or your happiness? Act now and watch yourself bloom :)!

Grow Your Confidence
Think about what you love about yourself and those little quirks and bad habits that you’d like to ditch.  Challenge yourself about wanting to make a change. 
Ask yourself what worked before. The solutions may be obvious.  You may have times when you had that same problem and solved it fairly well.  Can’t lose weight? Look back to the time when you were eating healthily and working out regularly, then do those healthy habits again.
All you need to do is take the first giant step.  Sometimes, we dwell on negative thoughts too much that we miss out on our dreams. To change this, talk yourself into reaching your goals and believe in yourself.
Grow your happiness
Love and treat yourself right.  Relax and unwind at the spa, read your favorite book, watch a really good movie or bond with your kids.  Talking with my kids (kids are incredibly witty, in case you haven’t noticed!) totally relaxes me actually.  Moments I spend with them are priceless.
You can choose your mood.  Sometimes, we get really cranky and blame it on female hormones, but we can choose to have a better mood, although it is incredibly hard, I tell you.  Start by remembering that you can change your mood. Take a deep breath.  Finally, look around and notice what you love in this moment.  It may be that tweeting bird outside your window.  Open your heart to things that you love in the moment, no matter how small. 
Be thankful!
Give yourself space to discover new passions and give yourself permission to mess stuff up.  Mistakes should not be an excuse for giving up. 


“Look back and Thank God.
    Look forward and Trust God.
   Look around and Serve God.
  Look within and Find God.”
Enjoy the season, everyone!


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Heavenly Bodies

The Baguio Christmas Tree and SLU Lantern Parade, a photo by Sir Edmund Puzon
I thought I'd start out my post today with my very best holiday wishes to everyone.  It has certainly been a year of ups and downs, with "C" words such as Calamities and Crisis taking over the Cs in Christmas and Cheer.  A strong typhoon (Typhoon Bopha, locally known as Typhoon Pablo) ravaged Southern Philippines, leaving in its wake an estimated 1,500 people dead and missing, as survivors continue to stay in evacuation centers and bury their dead, with no chance of returning to their homes because they have been practically erased off the map. On the other side of the world, twenty children my little boy's age along with six adults were killed senselessly.  These could literally tear everyone apart, yet these helped in bringing people together as families and strangers joined hands in helping and comforting those in need.  

Although many of you may claim that Christmas comes with stress, I believe Christmas brings people together.  I think there is no better time to reconnect with friends and family.  Status updates and greeting each other online may be more convenient, but written words practically take off all the intense feelings of reconnecting.  These will never take the place of an actual phone call or taking some time out  to get together.  We are social beings.  We are meant to reach out, talk with and touch base with each other.

This might sound unbelievable, but I did read somewhere that it takes about 8,000 people doing the same thing at the same exact time to raise enough energy to prevent something as tragic as a natural calamity from happening.  I don't know if this is true, but I believe in my heart that it is possible.  You may have your own personal story to tell of people believing in the power of prayer and of love and how it healed someone.  Lorna, a friend, had a major stroke and storming heaven's gates for her survival worked.  You can read it here in Sir Mike Del Rosario's "Divine Mercy In Action." We all can heal and save lives.  We should focus on starting to care about what we have to do, rather than being miserable focusing on what we have failed to achieve.  




Angels do walk among us, faceless and nameless.  They come to us everytime we are in need and they ask nothing in return.  We can be a heavenly body, a star so close to heaven,   an angel to someone else.  

This holiday season and on days to come, look beyond the glitter and sparkling lights on your Christmas tree, and go light up somebody's life by extending a little bit of love their way. You know what to do.  

Let us have the Happiest, Merriest Christmas this year!



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Lose Five Pounds In The Blink of An Eye

All I want for Christmas, among other things on my wishlist which is quite long, is to go to my Christmas party looking like I have lost five pounds.  Dream on, Marie!  After eating all those chocolates, cakes and other early Christmas goody gift boxes, there is no way I can get my wish.  

There is no diet plan in the world that would make you look like you have lost five pounds IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.  It just doesn't work that way.  There are, however, "size cheaters" which can make you absolutely look svelte , stunning and sexy within minutes.

CORSETS



Way back in the sixteenth century, women have to absolutely torture themselves just to look good (I don't know how that torture will compare with what women go through nowadays, like undergoing tummy tuck and liposuction)by wearing this "magical" undergarment which made them have the tiniest waists with fuller busts and hips.  Centuries later, corsets are still being sold at the undergarment sections of department stores.

I have a friend who regularly uses them and she swears that she has reduced her natural waist size just by using one. I have tried one which my friend swore would fit my body like natural skin.   I lasted an hour using it because I felt like I can't breathe.  I could probably use this on my Christmas party, however, because it shaves two inches off your waist. Don't even try to stuff yourself, though.  Corsets and full stomach just don't mix.

SPANX


I actually have these in my underwear drawers after going on a wild shopping spree for Spanx after I read about Hollywood stars like Jessica Alba who absolutely don't have the need for Spanx, by the way, who swears by it.  

It is a lot more comfortable to wear Spanx as compared to the corset, however.  It compresses your tummy and thunder thighs, and eliminates those ugly love handles. 

I felt like wearing stockings all over my body, though, and after hours of wearing it, unlike others who swear it is like second skin, I felt strangled and pinched and have to take them off.  That, plus you take hours (an exaggeration heehee) to pee are the reasons I don't use them daily.  Otherwise, I would love to use them everyday.

HIGH HEELS



Adding inches to your height by using high heels will make you look like you have instantly lost five pounds.  A lot swear that using high heels are one of the easiest tricks to instant weight loss.    You can opt for skin-toned shoes since they give the illusion of length.  There is no obvious break in color to delineate the line between the shoes and the legs.

I enjoy splashes of colors, too, like pastels and reds, and I am in love with the wedges.  It is much easier to walk around in wedges.  

RIGHT COLORS AND PRINTS



Everybody knows this.  Black makes you thinner.  But unless you want to look like you are grieving every day, too much black clothes may make you look boring.

Dark shades such as dark grey, burgundy, brown and navy are good alternatives to black clothes.  

Just because you feel big does not mean you need to buy big clothes, too.  Choose something that will properly fit you.  Opting for V-necks also makes you look slimmer.


Others swear on vertical stripes clothing because this gives the illusion of having a longer slimmer figure.

Bronzers


The face is as important as the body when it comes to size cheating.  A chubby face can make you look bigger than you are actually are. 

Using bronzers can  give the illusion of a slimmer face provided you use the proper contouring brush and the appropriate technique.  Choosing the right bronzer by matching your skin tone with your bronzer is also important, unless you want your face to look too ruddy or dirty.

Applying bronzers can absolutely be tricky.   Always choose a bronzer that is two shades darker than your foundation.  You can find numerous tutorials on how to apply bronzers on the net.  With the proper technique, you will be able to create unbelievable contours on your face giving the illusion of visible cheekbones and a slimmer face.  

Proper Posture


Slouching makes your tummy look a whole lot bigger.  Standing straight hides those little rolls in the stomach and it does wonders to your confidence.

Having a good posture will make you look taller and slimmer.  Always imagine that you have a string on top of your head and pull it up whenever you feel like slouching.  Also try sitting up straight.  This will visibly decrease your rolls in the belly.





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Day of Silence

"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."



On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

 We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

 Love,
The Blog World 
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Dear God...





My children screamed with delight at the amazing firework display this evening which capped off the Christmas cantata and Christmas cultural show at Upper Session Road in my City of Baguio .  Watching my children so happy made me realize that in my other side of the world, in a place called Newtown, Connecticut, there are parents who can't see and hug their child anymore.  It breaks my heart that nine days to Christmas, presents they have so lovingly wrapped will remain unopened...
Dear God...





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Learning To Let Go

LEARNING TO LET GO/MAKING PEACE WITH YOURSELF
The past may be holding you back.  Let go, make peace, move on.

Something can end eventually...and unexpectedly.  It may be a relationship or a job.  Whatever it is, we dwell on the what-ifs, desire for an explanation and wish for a closure.  Women are that way, I guess.  We always want to put all loose ends together.  Somehow, we have this feeling that when we let go without any reason, we feel like we are losing control.  Worse, we tend to obsess over things we should have done and what could have been.

Brooding is totally unhealthy. You can do the following instead to free you from your what-ifs and uncertainty:

GAIN WISDOM

Usually, moving on isn't happening because we don't know how we should react to a difficult situation.  Try to contemplate on it.  Try to figure out if you have actually gained insight from what you have gone through.    Eventually, you will have a clearer sense of what you need to do.   

GET YOURSELF OUT OF THE FUNK

Think of all the good reasons why you should stop dwelling on your misery.  Choose the most convincing one.  I did a list like this one once because I was brooding over a little fight with an old high school best friend that got bigger and bigger.  The best reason on my list:  "I don't need to waste my time and energy on people who don't even care for me." If you start to brood more, list more convincing reasons.  Eventually, you wouldn't be blaming yourself anymore.   

TUNE OUT... SLOWLY

Your misery and pain will inevitably rise at times.  When these happen, think of your feelings as a song on the radio.  Slowly tune out.  You  are not totally denying and forcing your feelings away.    You are just realizing what they truly are.  After that, you can focus on more important and productive matters.

EXPRESS YOURSELF

Write and express every single emotion you feel on paper.  Then burn it.  Doing so will eventually prompt you to accept the situation.



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Healing Your Broken Heart

Okay.  I have to admit.  Finishing NaBloPoMo last month must be a fluke...I guess I am in my procrastinating mode again.  Amidst all the holiday cheer,   I am having a totally hard time thinking of a creative post every single day.   

For this month, I failed to post for six days. It must be the season. Besides, it is getting really cold in my side of this tropical country.  The total mood is sleepy (besides, I have just finished decorating.).

Anyway, this post, which I originally wrote for Triond and can be found here,  is all about healing your broken heart.  It must be coincidence, but a lot of you guys (and teens) out there get the heartbreak blues during the holiday season.  Aside from immersing yourself into the holiday cheer to get through your misery, the following may help. 


Broken Heart on the Sidewalk



Your heart is broken and your whole world is falling apart. Everything is in shades of gray and gloom and in this holiday cheer, it is taking you forever to smile. 

Going through heartbreaks, monumental disappointments, or epic failures can totally crush your heart to pieces, but take heart. You can pick up the pieces and mend your broken heart. What you need is enough time to heal, a lot of soul searching, a support team and the following: 

1. Channel your inner Drama Queen and have a good cry. 

Nothing makes you feel better than a really good cry. Crying purges all bottled up hurts and pain. Drama queen or not, if you’ve got any pent- up hurts bottled up, nothing purges like a good cry. Prepare rolls of tissue, promise yourself to move on after you are done crying, and wear those dark shades. The future looks so much brighter you got to wear them! 

2. Get crazy! Let it all out

Thrash your room, turn the volume up, jump on your bed and dance and sing like crazy. Do a Taylor Swift and shout out loud, “We are never ever getting back together!” Totally go insane for your total heartbreak cure. Or you can thrash your ex by writing a book or a song about him. It may become a hit or a blockbuster, you know! 

3. Say you’ve moved on and mean it. 

It is so easy to claim you have moved on when you are still pining over/plotting against the person who broke your heart. Let go. Get real. Move on already. 

4. Forgive yourself. 

You might have hurt, maimed or killed the person who broke your heart a million different ways in your mind. Don’t. Try to get in touch with your pain and stop blaming the person or yourself. Remember that as you move through life, ending a relationship does not make you a failure. 

5. Get out of your head and get over it. 

It is so easy to get caught up in all the details of what went wrong and what you should have done instead. Stop delving in the the never-ending what-ifs and wishing for every happy moment that you are certainly sure you will never get back. Stop letting your heartbreak rule your life. Keep in mind that outside your thoughts, there are a million other things going on. 

6. Treat yourself. 

A slice of the yummiest, moistest chocolate cake can definitely lift your emotional state to the highest “happy” level. Have you ever seen TV sitcoms where the women go for the ice cream after a particularly disappointing date or heartbreak? Of course, binge eating because you are feeling down emotionally is never good, but indulging occasionally in these yummy sweet things can make you forget the worst of heartbreaks. 

7. Get a makeover. 

Change the color of your hair, chop it or have it curled. There is something about heartbroken women and the decision to cut or do something new to their hair. I think it is a symbolic way of ditching the old and paving the way for something new. Get new clothes and have a new diet and fitness routine. Most of all, love yourself and your new look. 

Going through a heartbreak is tough, but you can tough it out. All you need is a good dose of positivity and lots of love and respect for yourself. 





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Corporate Lessons Learned

01 (157) by Victor1558
Woman Working, a photo by Victor1558 on Flickr.

I think I goofed.

It is the third day of December NaBloPoMo (NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month.  For details on it and how to join, go here), and after finishing one round in November over at my Mommy blog, I am experiencing a burn-out. Having the theme: Work (which I actually detest, thank you very much) isn't helping either.   

It is only my third day (thirty-third day actually, if I include all the posts I did on my other blog) and I want to throw in the towel and give up.

Thankfully, I came over this post made by Jon in one of the online writing communities I have joined and I am reposting it here, of course with his permission.

This is all about Lessons Learned.

LeSsOnS

Everyday, there are lessons to be learned.

I've read of these lessons:

Corporate Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.  The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.  When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.

Before she says a word, Bob says,"I'll give you $800 to drop that towel!"

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands in front of Bob.  After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 dollars and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?"

"It was Bob, the next door neighbor,"she replies.

"Great!," the husband says.  "Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Corporate Lesson 2

A Sales Rep, an Administration Clerk and the Manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.  They rub it and a Genie comes out.

The genie says, "I'll give each of you just one wish."

"Me first! Me first!" says the Admin. Clerk.

"I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world."

Poof! She's gone.

"Me next! Me next!" says the Sales Rep.  "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life."

Poof! He's gone.

"OK, you're up next," the Genie says to the Manager.

The Manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.

Corporate Lesson 3

A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day.  A rabbit asked him,

"Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?"

The crow answered:  "Sure, why not."

So the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow and rested.  A fox jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.

Corporate Lesson 4:

A turkey was chatting with a bull.  

"I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

Soon, a farmer, who spotted him, shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

So what lesson have you learned today?





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Blessed Sunday: Love, Time and Work


The year is about to end. 






Have you realized it yet?  It is like it has suddenly become the trending topic all over.  Some look forward to finishing the year the right way, others dread the end thinking they haven't done much yet, and of course, there are actually a  handful who actually think and believe that the world would be ending sometime this month (Oh, no! Not before I get my Christmas bonus!). 

Of course, we are all aware that there are 366 days this year.  We go to work, eight hours a day, five days a week.  We can tell with certainty what time it will be an hour form now.  We know that tomorrow will be the day after today.  Time has always been there, ticking constantly.  It is just our concept of it, how it flies when we are having fun and how slow it is when we are stuck into something we don't enjoy doing. 




What it all comes down to is how we spend our time, what we do and why we do it.

Your time well spent means that you love what you do.  Enjoying what you do makes a big difference in how you look at time and how you look forward to your day.

Admittedly, not a lot have the fortune of doing what they love.  You may find yourself waking up each morning, dragging yourself to a place where eight hours, five days a week, you die a little inside, just because you need to. You have to.

But just because you are one of the many who stare at the clock, marveling how five minutes before five o'clock seemed like five hours, who can't wait to end another desolate day, doesn't mean that it is too late to turn your desolation to jubilation.


Learn to celebrate each success and lessons learned.  Love your work and be open to challenges.  Believe me, it is tough.  I have spent countless sleepless nights wondering why I put up with my job and what can I do about it, then I realize it all boils down to learning to love what you do.

As Freud once said, "Love and work, work and love...that's all there is."

Blessed Sunday, everyone!

Other Sunday Thoughts:        
                 What Are You Thankful For Today?
                 Sunday Thoughts
                 Are You Good to Grow?Nurturing the Inner You
                  Burying Your Negative Thoughts
                                     

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Call Me Crazy, But I Am Joining The NaBloPoMo (Part II)


So, is this a new blog or your mommy blog disguised as another blog?




I have been blogging since August over at my Mommy Unwired blog.  Before that, I probably had three or four neglected blogspot and wordpress blogs, plus a live journal blog, with an average of only one or two posts.  Mommy Unwired was not even meant to be a serious mommy blog.  Before it became all about The Mom, it was all about The Lumpy Space Princess. (IKR.  I love Cartoon Network's Adventure Time. Seriously.  Until my son caught on the "stupid" word and other cartoon wisecracks which adults would love to say, but you wouldn't want your young son to love saying.) The reason for getting a custom domain was kind of lame, too, but I am reserving the story behind the custom domain in another post.

This blog, which has no sensible posts, by the way, except for the first post (the others were test posts for the other site), was originally created when my eldest daughter turned thirteen and was suddenly all too serious and weird and funny, all at the same time, hence, the  Raised By Teenagers blog name.  

However, being one of the world's greatest procrastinator, the blog shriveled and died a natural blog death by neglect.

Joining the November NaBloPoMo  gave me a concrete lesson on commitment.  And making it through the whole November month, posting everyday, made me confident that once I put my heart into something, I can cease to become one of the world's greatest procrastinator.

The NaBloPoMo, by the way, stands for National Blog Posting Month. National Blog Posting Month began in November 2006 as an offshoot of National Novel Writing Month. These writing and blogging events are big events in November. NaBloPoMo, however, has been turned into a monthly thing, and for December, the theme is: Work. (Go ahead, click the badge or you can log in to BlogHer. You have till the 5th to sign up)

NaBloPoMo December 2012



I got this blog's custom domain about two weeks ago, and the "Raised by Teenagers" name was ditched.  Would this be another mommy blog again?

Being a mom made me nurture and care for every one, but myself. Being always the giver, the listener, the comforter, the screamer (!) made me neglect every aspect of myself in epic proportions.  

Starting today, my project will be all about me, only better!



NO, REALLY???
(Image from Cartoon Network)


Okay.  I can't stop being a mom, even for a second, so I may include some , very few (I promise) mommy thoughts here



P.S. This may be wishful thinking, but can you follow me on my journey to a better me?  I will definitely follow back! 

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Project: Marie, Only Better!




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Zac Efron on Dating, Going Shirtless and Having More Fun in the Philippines!!!



Zac Efron, LOVE NA KITA! I literally watched Zac Efron grow up (well, since High School Musical started anyway).  Way back when my daughters still adored The Disney Channel (ETC, with its Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, was practically non-existent ) and were crushing on regular, wholesome looking high school guys and not on some blue-eyed vampire who everybody thinks should play Christian Grey.  I did the countdown with them before "High School Musical" premiered (oh, yes, there was a countdown and  and by the way, it was a Disney TV movie) and indulged them by buying the original soundtrack and the Disney High School Musical Magazine. I even bought a dance and sing-along DVD!!! (It was fun learning their moves!!!It resurrected my inner High School Spirit!)

Zac Efron was in the Philippines a week ago to shoot with Penshoppe.  I honestly don't know what happened to him and his career after High School Musical III, except that he and Vanessa Hudgens are no longer together. I am so over my fan girl mode for over 15 years now (ha!) and you know, I thought he was one of those "has-been celebrities" who do commercial print ads in foreign countries (like Lindsey Lohan?).

Imagine my surprise when he can't stop talking about his Philippine trip, over a week after he did, at Ellen De Generes' show! He was actually gushing!!! Talking about how great the Philippines while he is in the country is  the norm, but if he can't stop talking about the Philippines way after he left, well, that just means he genuinely loved it here. He was talking about having lunch on top of a volcano (okay, I will add that to my bucket list) and meeting two super cute girls who suddenly appeared out of nowhere in full fan mode.

From whosay
From Starmometer

Because of this video, old HSM fans are fangirling all over again.  And hey, he did turn out nicely :) Great abs, too.



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