Personal Financial Planning - Protect Your Family from Recession

The global economy is in an ICU (Intensive Care Unit). However, with a bit of flexibility and creativity, we could find ways and means to float above the current economic crisis. We could start by making some changes and adjustments in our lifestyles while making sure that we are still able to meet all the family needs.

Here are some tips to protect our family from recession.

1. Pay yourself first. Put money aside for savings first before dividing the rest for the bills and other expenses. Make it a habit to save, even if you can only afford to put aside a small amount at a time.

2. Review your budget. Check your finances and spending habits, then take out all the things that you really do not need. Learn to minimize spending for recreation-related activities.

3. Shop wisely. It is wise to compare prices at different stores and look for bargains. Check out where you can buy things at the lowest prices.

4. Avoid going into debt. Try to pay in cash and track where your money goes. Credit card purchases may lead to more financial worries later. It is also not wise to take out loans on things that you do not really need.

5. Find ways to earn extra income. There are people who actually thrive during a financial crisis because they know how to diversify and develop multiple income streams. You can take up a second job, start a small business, or invest wisely. Try to learn effective option trading strategies to ensure return of your investment.

Easy Healthy Snacks - Crispy Maruya Special

It's Friday once again and we are all looking forward for our free snacks today. We don't know yet what will it be. It is always a big surprise on Fridays. While wondering and trying to guess our free Friday snacks, here is one of my favorite Filipino snacks. This is one of my easy healthy snacks collections and if you're looking for some snacks for kids, I'm quite sure kids and other diners will love this. Nestle made some twists on its presentation that could equal any restaurant menu. You cannot find this menu in a steakhouse so try it yourself. :)
Crispy Maruya Special

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 pieces eggs
1/2 cup NESTLE Fresh Milk
6 pieces ripe saba bananas fanned
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup langka preserve
6 scoops NESTLÉ Ice Cream

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Beat eggs and add NESTLE Fresh Milk and sesame seeds. Add to the flour mixture.
3. Dip the saba bananas in the batter and deep fry in the hot oil.
4. Top with preserved langka and a scoop of NESTLE Ice Cream.

Christmas Gift Ideas - The Thought of Gift Giving

Gift Giving has nothing to do with how much money you spend. What you need to remember when buying or making a gift is that you are not just giving your loved ones a box containing a present but a box containing your thoughts and your feelings about them.

Here are some thoughtful Christmas gift ideas and Christmas gift sets for you. Have fun choosing and enjoy making them for your loved ones!

1. Christmas Gift Baskets or Goody Baskets. You can fill the basket with items or goodies about their special interest.

2. Paperback books, cookbooks or magazines.

3. Beauty Kit. Perfect for teens and the girls in the family.

4. Framed Collage. Gather pictures of the person you are making the collage for. Then cut and organize them to make an attractive display.

5. Homemade Ornaments. A childs' foot or hand imprint creatively decorated make excellent gifts for grandparents or relatives.

6. Family or Children Portraits. This is a perfect gift for grandparents or distant relatives you might not get to see very often. You can even make a holiday frame for it.

7. A favorite toy, doll, or book from childhood that someone has spoken of fondly.

8. Family heirlooms and memorabilia passed on to the younger generation. Parents, in particular, can give their children with important family heirlooms like grandpa's pocket watch, or lola's special fan or other things that mean a lot to the family and are now being handed down to the younger members for safekeeping.

9. Unique items to add to a friend's collection.

10. Something the recipient thought he or she would never see again, like an old toy or a favorite shirt.

11. Music that was popular in the year your friend or relative was born.

12. Retro jewelry, music, or movies.

13. A toy model of Dad or Lolo's first car.

14. A copy of Mom's first cookbook.

15. Personalized storybook. Write and illustrate a story with the child as the main character, if you're giving the gift to a child.

16. Booklet of your favorite memories related to the recipient.

17. Artworks. Give a framed photograph that you took yourself, a painting or drawing you made, or even a song or a poem. For grandparents, a framed picture drawn by a grandchild is the perfect present.

18. Personalized Christmas cards. Make your own cards and send them to relatives and good friends. Involve the kids in the preparation!

19. Personalized Calendar. Make your own calendar using cut-out pictures, photos, and drawings.

20. Coupons for special activities with your significant other, like a candlelit dinner, massage, or outdoor activity.

21. Gift Certificates for restaurant dinners, movies, a home-cooked meal, a car wash, a day of babysitting, etc.

22. A jigsaw puzzle for the whole family. You are giving hours of fun and bonding.

23. Tickets to a favorite cultural or sporting event.

24. Buy small pots and plant a mini herb garden.

25. Gym memberships. This means you care about their health and well-being and would like them to stay fit and buff!

26. Buy Life Insurance. This means you are taking care of the family's future if an unexpected life event happens.

27. Homemade Preserves. You can try your hand at making homemade pickled papaya (achara) or pineapple preserves and put them in a beautiful bottle.

28. A music album of their favorite band, or a collection of their favorite songs.

29. Holiday Mug. A mug filled with chocolates and candies has become a common holiday gift idea, and is a nice gift for acquaintances.

The above gifts would probably put a smile on your loved-ones face but there is one better gift than the list above. What could be more precious than time? Take the time to visit friends and relatives whom you do not get to see very often or spend some quality time with the elderly in your family.

Get that Fantastic Skin

Our skin is the first thing that other people may notice about us. An important component of the skin is the pigment called melanin. It gives us our color and helps protect us from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

Taking care of our skin is not merely a matter of vanity, but an important health routine too. There are many skin care products available today - for whitening the complexion, for getting a youthful glow, and for eradicating skin imperfections. However, nothing beats the basic skin care, and healthy skin simply needs care and consideration.

Here are simple tips for getting a fantastic skin:

1. Keep it clean. Make sure that you cleanse your skin gently and thoroughly, and that goes not just for your face, but the skin all over your body. Use soap with mild formulation for your facial wash, hand scrubbing and bathing
2. Be gentle. Even though a hot bath sounds like a relaxing idea, you have to make sure that your water is not too hot. This robs skin of its natural oils and leaves it dry. Exfoliants help to scrub away dead skin cells, but you have to remember that they are not meant for everyday use. Excessive exfoliation can irritate your skin.

3. Keep away from irritants. Many experts advocate using natural items that are found in your pantry as masks, peels, or scrubs. These are fine and dandy, however, you should check for allergic reactions by dabbing a dollop of the product on a small area of your arm. Soaps and creams with strong perfumes, or unregistered products that have not been approved by your country's drug agency can cause allergic reactions or worse, so you should be wary of these too.

4. Moisturize and hydrate. Dry skin is itchy, flaky, unsightly, and irritating. Therefore, you would do best to avoid its triggers, such as using strong soaps or applying too much alcohol, and dry weather conditions. Dry skin can also be caused by excessive alcohol intake, so drink moderately! Several glasses of water helps keep the skin healthy by flushing out toxins. With inadequate amounts of water circulating through the body, toxins can build up and escape through skin pores. This contributes to acne. Therefore, by flushing the body internally with water, acne breakouts are less likely to occur.

5. Stamp out smoking. Cigarette smoking contributes 4,000 toxins to the body and is taken by the bloodstream directly to the skin, leading to wrinkles, skin discoloration, and acne. So if you want to look younger and healthier, think twice before lighting up!

6. Eat right. Feed your face right with nutrients such as Vitamin E, for youthful, glowing skin, found in nuts, seeds, and egg yolk; Vitamin C, which eliminates free radicals in the body that destroy collagen and elastin, found in citrus fruits and green leafies; and Vitamin A, which is necessary for the repair of skin tissue, found in low-fat yoghurt and other dairy products.

7. Slather on sunscreen. Sunscreen is not just for the beach! Even on cloudy days, the sun's harmful UV rays can still get to you. Before you head out, reach for a trusty bottle with at least an SPF of 30, and remember to reapply after two hours of sun exposure.

8. Trust only a pro. Never try anything drastic, such as a facial or wart treatments, without consulting a reputable dermatologist. A dermatologist can recommend the best treatment for skin problems such as acne or scars that will work best with your skin type. Before having any skin work done, insist on a consultation with the establishment's dermatologist. It may be more expensive or time-consuming to do so, but it is the best way to save your skin from damage.

9. Get some shut eye. The term beauty sleep is not just an empty promise. Skin repairs itself when you are at rest, so make sure to catch enough Zs. Don't worry if you are on the graveyard shift. Experts say that as long as you get eight hours of sleep a day, regardless whether it is in the daytime or nighttime, you can still get the full benefits of snoozing.

Personal Blogs Craze

One of the cool aspects of blogging is its broad application potential. Blogs are taking over the internet and information exchange. They can be about anything or anyone with topics ranging from personal reflection to political views. Most newbie bloggers make blogs about their personal life and their family. Personal blogs have become popular. A personal blog is a great way to jot down the things that happen in our life. It is also a good outlet to share our own perspective.

When having a personal blog, the first thing we have to keep in mind is safety. A personal blog may seem safe enough since it is nothing more than words on a web page. However, we have to keep a few personal things for ourselves like addresses, phone numbers, and even email addresses. Once we put something up on our blog, it becomes essentially public and we never know who is watching. Always keep safety in mind first, and we are well on our way to a fun and successful blogging experience.

Personal blogs have become popular on the internet. If you want to get in on the craze, you could always set up your own blog in Blogger for free. Blogger also offers a free blog hosting but with set limitations. You could also avail of another web site hosting with better hosting features.

BBC World Challenge 2010 - Support Philippine Entry

World Challenge 2010 is a competition organized by BBC World News Limited ("BBC World News") aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level.

This is the sixth year of The World Challenge Competition and the 12 finalists again raise the bar for sustainable enterprises that are putting something back into their communities. They are all boosting livelihoods and improving living standards without wrecking the environment.

Showcasing finalists from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, this series promises to deliver inspiration while challenging viewers to select just one as their favorite to win the coveted award.

I am knocking on your hearts, asking for your support for the entry from the Philippines. Please vote for THE ONLY WAY IS UP.

Please vote before the November 12th deadline and make the country proud!!!

Filipinos are urged to unite and vote for the country’s lone entry among the 12 finalists from around the globe vying for the BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) World Challenge 2010 title because its ram pumps have helped thousands of poor villagers.

The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. based in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City, is the lone Philippine finalist, for its perfected model of the hydraulic ram pump that has brought water to numerous remote barangays in Negros and various parts of the country. The Negros Occidental provincial government and various local governments have also used the AIDFI ramp pumps to bring water to remote barangays. The foundation has made a big difference in the lives of the poor.

AIDFI chief executive officer, Auke Idzenga, said Peru is ahead of the Philippines in the online voting but if Filipinos unite we can create a tsunami of votes.

Go Philippines! Angat Pinoy!
Click here to VOTE Now!