Kung Hei Fat Choi! Cheers to the Year of the Ox..

A lot of people now, though non-Chinese, are celebrating the Chinese New Year. This celebration is known as the Spring Festival in China, T... thumbnail 1 summary

A lot of people now, though non-Chinese, are celebrating the Chinese New Year. This celebration is known as the Spring Festival in China, Tet in Vietnam and Sol in Korea, other Asian countries simply refer to it as Chinese New Year.

But what exactly is Chinese New Year? I've done a bit of research about this.The date of the new year is determined by the lunar calendar, so the festivities begin with the new cycle of the moon that falls between January 21 and February 19. That is why Chinese New Year is also known as the "Lunar New Year".

Each year is named for one of 12 symbolic animals in the Chinese zodiac in sequence. The animals are (in the following order), rat, ox, tiger, hare (rabbit), dragon, serpent(snake), horse, ram (sheep/goat), monkey, rooster, dog and boar(pig).

The Chinese New Year celebration is one of the most important events in Asian communities worldwide. Traditionally, the celebration lasts for two weeks and during this period, towns, villages and homes are decorated with colored lanterns, flower displays, and brightly colored banners with new year greetings. Preparation usually begin a week before the new year, where houses are cleaned to symbolically sweep away all misfortune. It is also the time to pay off debs, paint doors and windowpanes with red, and decorate the home with flowers.

To avoid bad luck, people should be on their best behavior and to avoid uttering bad words. On the eve of the new year, familes gather for a feast of special dishes. Each dish has symbolic meaning, often signifying prosperity and good luck.

At night, families light fireworks to attract the attention of generous gods and to drive away evil spirits. Some well to do families, or in some cases, communities have dragon dances to shoo away evil sprits.

On the first day of new year, people put on new clothes to symbolize the end of the old year and its negative happenings. Some visit relative and friends and give gifts like special rice cakes and fruits, usually of round varieties like kumquats, oranges etc. Adults, follow an ancient custom of giving small red packets with money (called hong bao or lai see in Chinese) mostly to kids, unmarried adults and employees.

2009 is the Year of the Ox.. and Pinaywifeatbp., wishes everyone good health and prosperity! Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Sprucing Up Your Old Mailbox

Who says mailboxes are out of vogue now? I always think its nice to have one in our front yard. Most houses though has neglected, rustin... thumbnail 1 summary



Who says mailboxes are out of vogue now? I always think its nice to have one in our front yard. Most houses though has neglected, rusting and unattractive mailboxes. Majority of the mailboxes I see now are all dull and drab because for most people mailboxes are just empty metal boxes there to just hold junk mails.



But if you think about it, mailboxes can be used to accent your landscape and the front of your house. You can make your mailbox standout on your own with just a bit of creativeness and with some work it could be a showcase of your own creative talents or your quirky personality.



You can paint it to give it a new look. Or if you have brimming with suppressed artistry :) then draw a picture on your mailboxes. Any design will do so long as you like it or if not get your kids to practice their art skills by drawing on it themselves. Another option is to stick small ceramic tiles and glue it to the mailbox creating a pattern. You can also have plants around your mailbox to give it a more homey look or you can also decorate it depending on the season.

Pigeon Feeding in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is developing so fast that there are literally constructions in almost all blocks yet I find it pleasing to see that the city is ... thumbnail 1 summary
Phnom Penh is developing so fast that there are literally constructions in almost all blocks yet I find it pleasing to see that the city is still so laid back and relaxing. Manila makes feel so exhausted especially if I need to commute around the city but here in Phnom Penh, the pace seem slower and people still find time to fly kites, sit on parks, and feed the pigeons in front of the Royal Palace.

We took our daughter there several days ago and she had so much fun! Bird feeding right in the heart of the city? Yep!





Save with Coupons

With the economic crisis looming all around us, most people are bracing to tighten their belts this coming year. As homemakers we have added... thumbnail 1 summary
With the economic crisis looming all around us, most people are bracing to tighten their belts this coming year. As homemakers we have added pressure of saving as well as still looking out for good quality products.

Of course, all of us aims to cut down on our overall living costs and discount coupons can really be grabbing particularly for items you regularly use. Coupon codes like the Kohls department store coupon codes can actually be found in various places. You just have to be creative in looking out for these big savings coupons.

Some sources of coupon codes are newspapers, product labels, product websites, magazines, store displays and nowadays, there is plenty available online.If you have a particular brand in mind like an Adidas NBA superstar footwear, or you've been wanting to buy the latest Samsonite luggage set but it's too pricey, or if you're like me whose into creating websites, then a GoDaddy discount coupon would come in really handy and there are several online resources where you can find these saving deals or you can also go directly to the brand site and check out their latest discount offerings.

Even in cents or single dollar savings can really go a long way especially if you make these purchases on a regular basis. Isn't it always nice to have some extra moolah when you need it? Clipping and digging out coupons can really be a big help to budget conscious mommies like me.




My Friendship Style

I miss my friends back home.. That's one of the most difficult things you have to adjust to when you are living away from home. I can... thumbnail 1 summary
I miss my friends back home.. That's one of the most difficult things you have to adjust to when you are living away from home. I can't see them whenever I want to. Good thing there are phones and chatting now if not I think I'll go crazy here..

Talking of friends and friendship, I came across this interesting quiz..What is your Friendship Style? Here's my result.. and I do agree, I tend to be very independent but a loyal and steady friend nonetheless..



Your Friendship Style is Independent




You love your friends, but you don't always need them as much as they need you.

You like to do your own thing. Sometimes this means taking a break from your friends and carving your own path.



As long as your friends give you the space you need, you are happy to be there for them whenever you can.

Your friends lean on you for advice and problem solving. You tend to be "the rock."



You and an Empathetic Friend: Go well together. Your Empathetic Friend understand and accepts you... but may be too needy sometimes.



You and a Gregarious Friend: Get along well, as long as your Gregarious Friend is happy to only see you occasionally.



You and another Independent Friend: Have a love / hate thing going on. When you agree, things are blissful. However, more often than not, you butt heads.



You and a Philosophical Friend: Are somewhat a matter of opposites attract. You're both thinkers, but you think very differently.

Beautiful Loft Conversions

I love lofts! It's one of the things I wished our house had. I'm not sure why but I like the irregular space lofts have, plus the pr... thumbnail 1 summary
I love lofts! It's one of the things I wished our house had. I'm not sure why but I like the irregular space lofts have, plus the privacy it offers. My daughter describes it as like living in a bird house.

I found one site of a company specializing in loft conversions London and I just love their gallery. Here's some of my picks, but do check out the loft conversions London site for ideas if you have plans of converting your attics.



Converting the attic into a bedroom, a bathroom, a reading nook, walk-in closet, entertainment area is a good idea for you to have some more space. If your attic is just there as a storage area or just empty, like the one's showcased in loft conversions London site is a good and cheaper alternative than adding another wing or extension to your house or moving to another house.

As I browsed through the site, I was just wowed with the possible things you can do to you loft. I am now really wishing I have a loft to convert. Lol!

Cambodian Food: Nom Kutchay

This a yummy treat usually found in carts along the streets of Phnom Penh. The outer part is made of soft chewy rice flour with kutchay leav... thumbnail 1 summary
This a yummy treat usually found in carts along the streets of Phnom Penh. The outer part is made of soft chewy rice flour with kutchay leaves inside. It is usually fried over low heat topped with sweet and sour sauce.

The first time I tried this, I didn't think it would be delicious but it is!! Best of all its so cheap..










I dig this car!!!

We've been looking around for a new car and I've been reading some car review sites just to have some insights and knowledge on wha... thumbnail 1 summary

We've been looking around for a new car and I've been reading some car review sites just to have some insights and knowledge on what we should look for. Of course, we'd want to have a car that is efficient, affordable, not bad-looking, and it should have some space for us as well as our kid.

One thing that we really consider in choosing a car is its fuel efficiency. Just recently, Honda has unveiled its Insight hybrid . When I saw the photos I was just wowed. I love the sleek lines as well as its ultra-modern dashboard. The greatest features though of this new Honda hybrid is its fuel economy as well as its great value for its price. This Japanese-built car will be priced below the Honda Civic which is a great news for us who are on the lookout for affordable cars.

The 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid has almost the same outward apprearance as the Honda Civic sedan, but it has Honda's hybrid system to yield fuel economy ratings of 40 mpg city, 45 mpg highway. 

I think that will be the trend of the cars of the future. Sleek looks with emphasis on fuel economy. Well, hardly surprising, since fuel costs are just so high..Anyway, I wish we could have this one :)


My Internet Provider Search

For the past two months blogging has really been testing my patience and persistence. You see, I have yet to have wireless internet provider... thumbnail 1 summary
For the past two months blogging has really been testing my patience and persistence. You see, I have yet to have wireless internet provider at home so I spend some of my at internet cafes. Of course since I cannot stay so long in a cafe, well I make less posts now, I haven't really dropped much for Entrecard, have neglected some of my other sites and foregone a lot of writing opportunities.

I have been looking at different Wireless Internet Providers  but I have yet to settle on which one. Before I used to take my wireless provider in the Philippines for granted but now I really appreciate the choices we have back there. Here there are limited number of operators or wireless providers and to top it all, its really so expensive. 

In Manila, I used to pay less than $20 for an unlimited connection with speeds of more or less 300 kbps but here if I want to have an unlimited account, night time use only I have to shell out more than $50 for a 64 kbps connection. 

Internet is really indispensable for us, my husband does a lot of research online, corresponds with a lot of people online, and as for me I have blogging, I also have several web projects which I have shelved for the meantime because of the lack of wireless internet providers here that would best suit our needs.

I guess we have to settle for the provider with the best speeds but it should also be affordable. I hope it would be soon...




Shopping for Kitchen and Dining Things..

I'm getting a bit frustrated here. For some weeks now I've been scouring Phnom Penh's supermarkets and I even ventured to marke... thumbnail 1 summary

I'm getting a bit frustrated here. For some weeks now I've been scouring Phnom Penh's supermarkets and I even ventured to markets just to look for my requisite kitchen gadgets and other kitchen and dining accessories.

Sad to say the choices here are so limited though some of the well known brands are around but still the styles and the items are limited. I guess I have to forego buying some bakeware coz I've been checking the supermarket shelves, they don't have much in terms of baking ingredients anyway. Here people are not so much into baked goodies and the dairy products are limited as well.

I have just settled for the essentials first like the pots and pans, small kitchen appliances and other gadgets and as for the rest I could not find here, I'll probably shop when I go home to Manila or if we go to Bangkok or Singapore next time. Or if not I'll look into buying this stuff online but well just wait and see if the shipping costs would not be too much..



Concept Furniture

I've been feasting my eyes again this afternoon while hopping around on furniture design sites but one really stood out.. I love orange ... thumbnail 1 summary
I've been feasting my eyes again this afternoon while hopping around on furniture design sites but one really stood out.. I love orange and when I saw this living room furniture I was just so wowed!

When it comes to furnitures I like minimalist designs. I love clean and sleek lines without much design. The form and structure itself makes it standout. When it comes to colors I usually have our walls painted in neutral shades and the furniture adds the splash of color. I love oranges, blacks, reds.. well, bright colors. 

I found myself browsing the whole site and I love it! I especially dig their bedroom furniture collection.. I could hardly choose which one is better. Lovely! If you're into interior designing, or you just plain love furnitures, then check out their site for all kinds of modern, minimalist furnishings and do remember to check out their entertainment centers collection, its pretty impressive.



Stuff I Know Nothin'About

My husband likes fixing stuff.. He likes making furniture, fixing pipes, tinkering with valves etc. I think if he has the time he'll bu... thumbnail 1 summary
My husband likes fixing stuff.. He likes making furniture, fixing pipes, tinkering with valves etc. I think if he has the time he'll build our house on his own. When it comes to this things, our differences becomes more apparent. Me, if I want to have something to be fixed, I'd grab the latest issue of the yellow pages and search for whoever can fix it the soonest at the most reasonable price.

Hubby does it differently though. If there is something that needs fixing, he'd want to get a shot at fixing it by himself first. His tool box is like a totally alien place for me and I just find it plain weird that he collects different screws, screwdrivers, pliers, valve parts, stuff for fixing pipes, gauges and other tools.

Just recently we had a little discussion about having a bookshelf. He has hundreds of books and we want to organize a small home office, so we both decided to put a bookshelf at one corner of our living area. That's where our agreement ended. Me, I wanted to buy a ready-made one that would match all the other furnishings in the area, while he wanted to make it on his own.

Guess who won? Him. Yes, it took him several days to make it coz of his busy schedule but he still did it. I'm not complaining now coz he looks really happy with the results. Sigh! Husbands and married life... These are the things I should really just understand..


A Little Piece Of New Year Celebration History

New Year’s Day, first day of the year, January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. In the Middle Ages most European countries used the Julian calen... thumbnail 1 summary
New Year’s Day, first day of the year, January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. In the Middle Ages most European countries used the Julian calendar and observed New Year's Day on March 25, called Annunciation Day and celebrated as the occasion on which it was revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God.

With the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, Roman Catholic countries began to celebrate New Year's Day on January 1. Scotland accepted the Gregorian calendar in 1600; Germany, Denmark, and Sweden about 1700; and England in 1752.

Traditionally the day has been observed as a religious feast, but in modern times the arrival of the New Year has also become an occasion for spirited celebration and the making of personal resolutions.

In the Philippines, we celebrate New Year always with a big bang. Tradionally, Filipinos attend the midnight mass, then the whole clan would eat together in what we call "Media Noche".The feast would usually consist of Pinoy native favorites like suman, sapin-sapin, lechon - roasted pig, pancit palabok and other viands. The new year feast is another testament to the Filipino's love of food, good company and merriment.

Filipinos have also embraced the Chinese belief that loud noices would drive away evil spirits so we use a lot of firecrackers. In the past years though, we have seen an increase of firecracker explosion accident victims and this has spurred a goverment campaign of avoiding the use of firecrackers but instead use other alternative noisemakers like the "torotot" - an improvised trumpet which is really popular with kids. A lot of cities have also started to hold free new year parties with shows and fireworks displays so there's no need to light your own firecrackers but instead watch it all for free..

Cheers to the New Year, 2009!

Pharmacy Technician Schools

A lot of people want to be in the medical profession. Most of them though are unable to pursue this dream because of time and financial cons... thumbnail 1 summary
A lot of people want to be in the medical profession. Most of them though are unable to pursue this dream because of time and financial constraints. Being a doctor or a nurse takes a lot of time as well as a big chunk of financial resources.

Nowadays, though there are several career choices open in the health care field which doesn't require one to spend a lot of time and money. There are several technical areas like dental assistant, massage therapy, medical assistant, pharmacy technician etc.

Pharmacy technicians in particular are very important in the health care industry as they assist pharmacists with technical tasks. They are usually tasked with entering prescriptions into a computer, maintaining records and inventories of drugs and supplies, stocking, packaging and pricing medications.

If you are then thinking of shifting into the health care profession, check out this source for pharmacy tech schools.

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