Fully Booked: Focus On One Task At A Time

A photo by Surachai via freedigitalphotos.net
Barely hours before your long Halloween weekend and you still have that big pile of work still sitting on your desk? 

To keep everything running smoothly, make sure you have installed ESET security. Every one knows what a hassle it would be if that old computer breaks down!  Then try concentrating on doing one task at a time.   Instead of trying to do everything at once, focus on one thing – Get It Done! – and pretty soon you will be breezing through that long list of to-dos.  Set reasonable goals for yourself.  You are no Super Woman.  Besides, Super Heroes need their break too J!

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SEMBREAK BLUES: Four Things to Do to Make Your Sembreak Rock

It’s sembreak. Yay! As you finish that last exam for your finals, you think up a lot of ideas you can do for sembreak. But then you go home then BAM! It’s just boring, old sembreak.

There’s this thing that I always remember when sembreak, summer break, Christmas break and whatever kinds of break comes to life. It’s the “REPETITIVE CYCLE OF BORINGNESS”. It honestly just drives me crazy. The cycle is something like this:

Then that cycle goes on and on…and on and on…and on and on for the rest of the sembreak that it drives me bananas.

So you want something to do productive this sembreak? Here are some brilliant-o ideas that I thought of just hours ago.
Caution: Results may vary J


Yeah. Reading books may be considered as a “boring” hobby by other people but this hobby goes well with me. I can’t honestly live a year without reading a friggin’ book. So if you’re bored and all, and you have nothing to do, just sit down somewhere, be it in your room, or living room, or even beside the pool, go ahead. Reading brings you to places you haven’t been to and makes you more creative! So go ahead.


If your room’s design is practically the same as it was like, bazillion years ago, you know you gotta let it go. Design your room in a way that it will show what type of person you really are. Like, if you’re the fun type, paint your room fiery red, orange, and yellow. Plus put cute accessories that scream fun. If you’re the girly type (like me) leave it light pink, lavender or anything with a pale effect in it. Then add girly accessories in it and if you feel like it, add Christmas lights like those pictures of rooms you see in Tumblr. Design your room based on your personality and bring out your creativeness while doing it.

    3.Put up a business

Nope. This doesn’t mean that you do something big. And yes, it’s something really hard to do that even I feel like my head’s gonna explode when I think of starting up a business. But start small until you grow into a bigger and greater business. Remember, you can quit whenever you want. It’s just for extra money anyway.

   4. Go to a Vacation-slash-Escapade

Tired of the view from your window? Then go to a vacation to a faraway land- or even in the province! Life in the city is all busy and business-like while in the province it’s relaxing and all laid-back. (Well, that’s how my block mates describe being in the province) Are you ready for a vacation?! If so, get ready now!

Those are just few of the ideas that I thought of that’ll make your sembreak more fun and cool. Add your own ideas plus a few of mine and I’m sure that this sem break will be better than what you thought of JJ

SemBreak Blues written by Venessa Paula

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On Wanting To Be Perfect

A photo by Witthaya Phonsawat via freedigitalphotos.net

You might feel pressured to be perfect – but there is really no such thing!  No matter what you do, you cannot please everyone.

Those beautiful clothes, those beautiful pandora bracelets and your winning attitude never fail to make you confident.   Often, however, the pressure to be perfect comes from within.  Give yourself a break!  Face the mirror and tell that girl looking back at you that yes, she will make mistakes from time to time, but she is awesome just the way she is.

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Understanding Urinary Tract Infection

A photo by Marin via freedigitalphotos.net
Urinary tract infections are a serious health problem affecting millions of people each year.  Some studies claim that one woman in five will suffer from a UTI during her lifetime.

In fact, my dad passed away this year because of sepsis resulting from a severe UTI.


UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection.  Normally, urine is sterile.  It does not have bacteria, viruses and fungi.

An infection occurs when microorganisms, usually bacteria, cling to the opening of the urethra.  Urethra is the tube that connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body and begin to multiply.

Most infections arise from one type of bacteria – escheridia coli (E. coli) which normally lives in our colon.


UTIs in boys and men are not as common as they are in women but can be very serious when they do occur.  UTIs may occur in infants, boys and girls, who are born with abnormalities of the urinary tract, which sometimes need to be connected with surgery.

Microorganisms called Chlamydia and mycoplasma may also cause UTIs in both men and women.  However, unlike E.coli, Chlamydia and mycoplasma may be sexually transmitted and these kinds of infections require treatment of both partners.


Not everyone with a UTI manifests the symptoms but most people will show at least some symptoms.  Usually, there is a frequent urge to urinate and a painful , burning feeling as one urinates.  Most of the time, one may feel uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone.  A common complaint is that, despite the urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed.  The urine may look milky or cloudy, even reddish, if blood is present.

If your baby or child seems irritable, is not eating normally, has an unexplained fever that does not go away, and has incontinence or loose bowels, then you should suspect UTI.  Unlike adults, children are more likely to have fever and no other symptoms.  You should bring your child immediately to a doctor if this happens.


To find out if you really do have a UTI, your doctor will test your urine for the presence of pus and bacteria in a test known as urinalysis.  If bacteria is found in your urine, another test may be performed to ascertain what specific antibiotic is best to use against it. 

If you have recurrent infections, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound exam to check the health of your internal organs.  Another useful test is a cystoscopy using an instrument made of a hollow tube with several lenses and a light source, which allows the doctor to see inside the bladder from the urethra.


UTIs are treated with antibacterial drugs.  The choice of drug and length of treatment depend on your medical history and the kind of bacteria causing the infection.

Often, a UTI can be cared with one or two days of treatment if the infection is not complicated by an obstruction or other disorder.  Still, many doctors ask their patients to take antibiotics for a week or two to ensure that the infection has been cured.

Various drugs are available to relieve the pain caused by a UTI.  A heating pad may also help.  During treatment, it is best to avoid coffee, alcohol and spicy foods.

Never choose your own antibiotics or buy them without a doctor’s prescription.  A doctor’s guidance will help  cure you faster and more efficiently.


Doctors suggest some ways that women can take to avoid an infection:

  • Drink plenty of water every day.  Most  doctors suggest that drinking plenty of water helps cleanse the urinary tract of bacteria.  Some experts recommend drinking cranberry juice as it produces hippuric acid in the urine and helps prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder.  If pure cranberry juice is not available, you can take cranberry capsules which can be found in most health food stores.  Always take those with a large glass of water.
  • Urinate when you feel the need.  Don’t resist the urge to urinate.
  • Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria around the anus from entering the vagina or urethra.
  • Take showers instead of tub baths.
  • Cleanse the genital area before sexual intercourse.
  • Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches, which may irritate the urethra.

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Breathing Space

Feeling like crap lately?

Why not try playing with your pet dog or sprucing up your private space?  Making over your room – your own private spot – will lift up your spirits big time.  And while you are at it, get one of those little pet beds for your dog.  She makes you feel like a princess.  Why don’t you make her feel like one, too? 

Consider this your mini project.  This will definitely inspire you to be more creative. (And believe me, your dog will love you more as well.)
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{Random Thoughts} From Plain to Powerful


Admit it.

Don’t you sometimes wake up in the morning and wish you are no plain Jane but a more confident, powerful Miranda Priestly (minus the meanness) in the corporate world?

Are you tired of seeing people go by, more successful with a more happening life than you?

I am…

Investing in oneself is the key to becoming truly confident and empowered.  You just have to be well-informed enough to figure out what are things and moments that guarantee your transformation.
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Music and Me


Can you relate music to your life?  Like do you have a specific soundtrack for those special moments in your life?  The day you went to the park with your dad and you dropped your ice cream cone (and attempted to pick it up and eat it again)? The day you hammered and pounded those meinl hi hats at guitar center because you were so happy you were going to burst because the most gorgeous guy in junior high asked you out? The day those mean girls put you down? The day you turned eighteen?  The day you met him and thought, “He is the one.”?  The day you walked down the aisle?  The day you held your beautiful baby?

Music  filled my life. And as I continue to create moments, music  - sweet, beautiful music – will continue to be my soundtrack.

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You Deserve Your "Me" Break


Making alone time a priority for me makes me so guilty!  I have been used to the role of nurturer, mother, wife, house slave, that thinking of myself first makes me seem selfish.  And irresponsible.  Like any mom – or woman, for that matter – I feel like I am neglecting everybody if I think of myself first.

I have to get myself off the idea that it is selfish to take care of myself because it prevents me from being my best.   A lot of times, I think that giving myself my “me” time is a luxury I can’t afford.

But then, I figured out that I can’t give away what I don’t have.  Without a peaceful, well-rested, loving, caring spirit, I am in no position to be nurturing my family and friends.  Having my “me” time will send me back to my friends and family calmer, happier and nicer.
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The two of you go way back.  In fact, you’ve known her forever.  But lately, you feel kind of disconnected – you don’t understand her like you used to.  If we were talking about your oldest friend, you’d make a date to spend some time just hanging out – getting back in touch would be a priority.  But the woman we are talking about is YOU! And lately, you’ve been telling me that it’s been too long since you’ve actually spend some time by yourself.

Does the idea of being all by your lonesome make you lonesome?  It may turn out that loneliness – or being on your own -  has an upside, but to discover that, you need to do some things on your own.  You may want to visit the country on your own after checking out a trailer manufacturer online.  Or go to Hawaii on your own.   I have not gone to dinner on my own, alone, or go on vacation, alone, but I may seriously consider doing them soon.

Because in the end, these adventurous little moves will not only open up your life; they will lead you back to something absolutely incredible – yourself.
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Early Detection is Key

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Everyone is encouraged to participate by helping to raise funds, doing some kind of volunteer work and educating oneself on breast cancer prevention and treatment.

The Philippines has the highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia. 

Should you be worried?

You might be at risk for breast cancer if:

  • You are older than 50;
  • A first-degree relative was diagnosed with the illness;
  • You got pregnant with your first child at age 31 or above;
  • You’ve never give birth;
  • Your first period occurred when you were nine or younger;
  • You experienced late menopause at age 51 or above;
  • You were exposed to ionizing radiation during childhood;
  • Or there’s post menopausal obesity, among others.

Starting age 20, you should perform a breast self exam on the seventh to the tenth day from the first day of your period.  Women who have breast implants, are pregnant, or are breast-feeding should also perform a breast self-exam.

Ask your doctor to perform a clinical breast exam periodically.  For non-high risk: every three years from age 20-39, and every year beginning age 40.  For high risk, every six to twelve months from age 20 to 35, and every three to six months beginning age 35.

Have routine mammography screenings, too.  For non-high risk: every year or two from age 40 to 49, and every year beginning age 50.  For high risk: every one to two years beginning age 35.

Increase your chances of survival by keeping in mind the curable breast cancer equation:  early detection=early diagnosis=early treatment.
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{Heart Health} What Is An Angiogram?

I met a friend a week ago who was very worried about her dad.  He has been complaining occasional chest pains and was advised to have an angiogram.

A photo by digitalart via freedigitalphotos.net

What is an angiogram?  Is it a major operation?  Is there a non-invasive yet equally effective alternative to angiogram?
I had to consult a cousin doctor because it made me wonder what it is.

According to her, an angiogram is not an operation.  It is an x-ray of blood vessels.  In my friend’s father’s case, it is a procedure to visualize the arteries on the surface of the heart to see if any of them are blocked.  When blood flow to heart muscles is diminished, it often manifests as chest pains.  Her father’s doctor is justifiably worried that problems with the coronary arteries are creating his new symptoms.

With the usual chest x-ray, you cannot see coronary arteries.  They have to be made visible using a special dye.  The dye is delivered through a catheter that is guided from a blood vessel in the upper thigh all the way up to the heart.  Once the catheter is in position, a dye is injected and it goes right into the coronary arteries.  The x-ray is taken at the precise time the dye flows through the arteries.  Later, the dye is excreted with the urine.

The angiogram helps to answer the following questions:

  • Are there problems in the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle?
  • How many vessels are affected?
  • How bad is the problem?

The result of the angiogram gives your doctor an idea of what to do next.  Treatment can range from adjustments in medication, to widening of the affected vessel, to creating another pathway to supply the heart (bypass surgery).  The results are discussed with the patient and his family, and a decision regarding treatment is made later.

Before the angiogram.

The doctor should explain the procedure clearly to the patient.  Coronary artery disease markedly diminishes a person’s functioning.  If treated, the patient would likely be able to do more physical activity, and look forward to more years of healthy living.  If not treated, the patient will experience chest pains with less exertion. 

During the angiogram.

The patient will be awake during the entire procedure.  It is usually done in an x-ray room.  Usually a local anesthetic is applied in the area in his leg where a needle is inserted.  The catheter is threaded through this needle.   He will feel pain when the needle breaks through the skin – just like an IV line is inserted into a vein in your arm.  But the passage of the catheter through the blood vessels is painless.

When the dye is injected, patients sometimes report a brief, warm feeling as it spreads through the heart’s vessels.  Several x-rays are taken to follow the flowing dye.  He will be asked to hold his breath and be perfectly still so that the images will be sharp.  The entire procedure usually takes about an hour.  Afterwards, the catheter is removed and the insertion site is pressed firmly for up to 20 minutes to stop bleeding.

After the angiogram.

There is usually no need for hospital confinement.  But the patient should not be exerting himself for at least a day.  Occasionally check the puncture site to make sure there is no bleeding.  He will be asked to drink more liquids to flush out the dye through his kidneys.  There are no food limitations.  He should be back to his regular activities by the second day.  Possible complications include bleeding or infection at the site of puncture, allergic reactions to the dye, or problems in excreting the dye among persons with kidney disease.  Any invasive procedure entails risk.

New heart imaging technologies are being developed.  A new generation of CT scans is able to visualize the heart’s vessels without the need to inject dyes.  Ultrasound can visualize the heart to some extent.  Ask whether such invasive options are available.

Keep an open line of communications with the doctor.  Do not hesitate to ask for a second opinion to ensure the diagnoses are correct and the options being taken are helpful and necessary.
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{Life Tips}Four Things You Can Do To Organize Your Closet

I have an awful secret.

I have a closet full of junk!

Photo from here

I don't even open this anymore because I cannot deal with it.  Seriously.  Until I realized that one day, if I pass away, those I left behind would have to deal with all my junk.

What a legacy.

I do want to wake up one day to a wonderfully organized closet, so I finally decided to do it.    One step at a time in one weekend afternoon!

If your closet, like mine, is bursting with clothes you don’t even use because they don’t fit you anymore, try streamlining them.  

Here are four things you can do:

Note: I did all of this yesterday, but I made sure I  bought catches online  first.  There is nothing more annoying than having a closet with a catch that does not work.  

  1. Throw everything on your bed and start sorting.
  2. Set aside your favorite clothes – those that you actually wear at least once a month, if not weekly.  Forget garments that do not fit anymore and please get rid of those you haven’t worn in the last six months.  Let this be your good deed of the moment: give them away!
  3. Toss worn-out items such as color-faded shirts, scruffy shoes, and bags covered with mildew.
  4. Handpick items that need an alteration or two (more than two means you have to get rid of it), place them in a bag and take them to the tailor.
I will tell you how I dealt with my foldables, my cold weather coats, bags and accessories later (I am so not looking forward to those weekend afternoons :(   )

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{Life Tips} Make A Memory File: Here's A Quick Alternative to Journal Writing

A photo by artemisphoto via freedigitalphotos

If you are not a fan of journals but still want to keep memories alive, do this:  Insert special influential items inside clear books.  They could be interesting magazine articles, short but inspiring notes given by family members, or even takeout menus from slumber parties or concert tickets signed by all your friends or the performers.   It is like making a scrapbook minus the cutting and pasting.  And it works just as well, too - whenever you flip through the plastic pages, you still get to relive all the mad and funny experiences.
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Is Your Bad Mood Bringing You Down?

A photo by Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net

We all have those days.  Here are tips on how to cheer you up.


Of course, you already know this, if you  have read “The Secret”.  Your brain is so powerful that you tend to attract whatever you think about! Stop thinking of things that might go wrong, because you are inviting them.  Think of the glass as half full.  Positivity makes you forget about those things which you worry about a lot.  Besides,  if you let those worries get into you, you will be trapped into an endless chain of assumptions of things that may go wrong, which will worsen your bad mood.    


Finish your scrapbook and make sure  everything stays together by using a medical grade adhesive.  Write a poem.  Learn to cook.  There is nothing than creating something out of nothing, doing something you really enjoy and fully tapping into your creative energy to make you center your thoughts and express your feelings.


Everyday, make a list of things you are thankful for.  Keeping a record of all the good things in your life will help you appreciate what you have instead  of feeling sad about what you wish you had.

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{Hair-Raising Problems} Dandruff Treatment

A photo by David Castillo Dominici via freedigitalphotos.net

The weather has been crazy lately I was having a hard time getting rid of my dandruff.

And I was shocked when my dermatologist has a not-so-nice sounding name for it - Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Seborrheic Dermatitis can be seen as those white flakes on the shoulder of one's clothing. That has not happened to me so far, but my scalp became so dry and itching like crazy and for someone who is quite obsessed with her hair, this would warrant an emergency!

Because at its worse, having this  would make you look like a real mess.  This happens when a naturally occurring fungus on the scalp, Pityrosporum Ovale grows out of control disrupting the production of new cells.  This fungus likes the oil produced by the skin and so people with oily scalps are much more likely to suffer from dandruff.  An antidandruff shampoo can be helpful as first aid.  I have personally used Neutrogena T-gel.

Neutrogena Therapeutic Shampoo, Original Formula, 16 Ounce

My dermatologist prescribed a coal tar treatment, but I can't take the smell.  Seriously.  It smells like you have been swimming underneath an oil depot or something.  Neutrogena T-Gel doesn't smell that good but it does not smell half as bad as the coal tar though.  I do need to follow it up with a conditioner because my hair would feel so tough and tangled (plus it vanishes the smell, too).  I occasionally apply apple cider vinegar too although that "amoy-paa"  (stinky feet smell) really is a big issue with me.

 Dry, flaky scalp may result from climate or weather changes (like here in Baguio where it can be cold and with low humidity) which can dry the scalp out.  Using a shampoo with a harsh detergent base such as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate, over shampooing, and the use of hair gel and hairspray all contribute to the development of a dry scalp.  Olive oil and coconut oil applied on wet clean hair and wrapped in a towel for 30 minutes on the scalp can also help.

Both washing your hair too seldom and too often can cause your scalp to become itchy.  If you do not wash too often, dead skin, oil and potentially skin-irritating substances can accumulate on the scalp.  Excessive washing on the other hand can cause the skin on your head to dry out and also become itchy.  Too much shampoo can leave a residue behind that may act as skin instant causing itchiness.  Sometimes itchy scalp can be an evidence of an allergic reaction to a product that was applied to the scalp.  Gels, softening creams, molding clays, shine waves, etc.,  these substances can cause allergic reactions.  Even perfumes, added to shampoos, are notorious for causing itching.  Removal of the chemical and application of an inflammatory lotion may be helpful.

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