Sunday, February 24, 2013

Car Lift

I have a mechanically-inclined husband and I am very thankful with that. He do all vehicle maintenance with our vehicles and we save a lot for labor with it. He even overhauled my Ford Focus last year and put it back together. Now it is in good running condition. Other minor repair and fixes, hubby do it himself. I even told him he can make it his business later on if he like to fix cars. He can enroll for a short mechanic course so he can have his certificate and will be certified to fix cars. He dreamed of later on having most of the equipment and tools needed to fix cars. I am pretty sure if we do have enough space in our house where he can have a small shop to house a BendPak lift for vehicles, he would definitely get one. Right now he is only content of using the jack to lift the vehicles when he is trying to do some fixes underneath the autos. The lift would be a great tool to conveniently repair the vehicle without crawling. This is something that my husband would love to have.

Quality TV Programs

I am guilty when it comes to just allowing the kids to watch television for 2 hours a day. My kids watches television more than that. Yes, I admit, guilty as charged. The thing is, being a work at home Mom, I don't have other ways to keep the kids occupied aside from watching their favorite shows. Our kindergartner only have half day of school everyday. She comes home at 11:20am and my work starts at 12noon. When she gets home, I gave them lunch, get the little potty, prepare their snacks for later and then give them toys and books to entertain them. After they are done with playing and coloring and reading or browsing their books, they will ask for their show to watch. Hubby gets home at 5:00 pm or so from work and that is the time that they will be off the television. Hubby will give them dinner and do assignments and read. 

The tv time usually will be about 4 to 5 hours a day, give and take, during weekdays. Then the other day, I watched on the news that researchers and kids' specialist were making some new research and said that kids really can learn a lot in watching tv and instead of limiting the tv time only, it is best to also focus on the quality of tv programs that they are watching. There are lots of programs now that can develop the kids' character and personality as well as having them strong emotional well being. Our kids right now love to watch Incredible Vegetable that teaches them about God as well, Yo Gabba, Gabba that also focus on attitude, Strawberry Shortcake, Dora, and others that teaches them to understand Math and language and problem solving. 

I know these programs that they are watching is helpful for their development, but I still want them to limit their tv time as much as possible as I don't want them to be a couch potato at a young age. I still want them to experience an active childhood life and that includes going out and playing outside with their friends. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Protecting Your Computer

In December while I was working a webpage pop up in my screen and I was wondering why it happened. The page that appeared was saying about my computer was being frozen because they found out I was doing some illegal activities or what not. It really shook me as I was only working on my shift and only doing research aside from my platform that was open.

The webpage looks really real and it says from the department of justice, blah, blah. When I tried to exit it, I was able to do so and I continued on with my work. After work, I shut the computer and tidied my desk. When morning came, I turned on the computer and the same webpage appear and I cannot exit or close it. I was in panic because my work shift will start in couple of hours. I called my husband about it and he came home to figure it out. We were not able to solve it, so I decided to research about it online using hubby's laptop. I found out that it was a malware and scamming people to pay a certain amount to unlock it.The amount to pay was high and I don't want to pay for it. Good thing there was a step by step instructions on youtube to unlock it. I was able to unlock it with the instruction and so glad there are people out there that shares their knowledge about it. 

Lesson learned for me is to really use antivirus to the fullest to protect your computer. Ever since we have a very good antivirus and was really wondering why that malware was able to infect our computer. My husband cleaned up our computer, updated the antivirus. I really suggested to my friends who are working through their computer to really make sure the computer is protected. I have a friend who have an online buisness and I know ESET Endpoint Antivirus at can greatly help in protecting her online business. Once those virus, malware, spyware, etc infects your computer, personal information is greatly compromised, and we cannot afford that right now as there are lots of crooks out there that would really take advantage at every opportunity. I am more vigilant now and always make sure I only go to sites that I know, reliable and I don't click emails from those that I do not know.

Navigation and Entertainment

Nowadays technology plays a big part in everyone's life. I can't say if life would still be the same without the gadgets and electronics we have right now in the market. These things give convenience and make life easy. So traveling with thick Atlas map or directions to go around is somewhat obsolete as there is already navigation system available that will direct you to where you want to go. 

I remember when we moved here in the west coast from the east coast in 2007 we have the Atlas map that we used on our journey. A navigation system is already available at that time, but we don't own one as it was a bit pricey at that time. As the years roll by, those navigation system is becoming affordable and new cars also can have a built in navigation system. 

In December, hubby surprised me of having a navigation and entertainment system for our vehicle. It has a lot of feature in it. Aside from its navigational capability, it has bluetooth for wireless calling, you can listen to music through radio or Pandora, watch movie when not driving, have USB port, and other cool features. Like other navigation system, I like it as it will also suggest routes if ever there will be heavy traffic along the way. This addition really boost the convenience of having your own ride to do errands as it is really necessary here in the US. My vehicle is not a luxury one but I am thankful that hubby made an effort of making it more convenient and comfortable for me and the girls to use and drive almost everyday. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Housing Market Rebound?

I have read news about the forecast for housing market in 2013 and it is still not promising. The government is still in the talks and ongoing debate about the borrowing limit and  federal spending so it is not sure whether the housing market will be on a big rebound this year. Accordingly, there will be mixed results for this. 

Our community or neighborhood is new, about 2 years. Since we are near military bases, most of the residents are connected in the military. So basically people here come and go. One of our neighbors are moving to other station and they are putting their house on sale. It's been about 2 weeks that we saw the for sale sign and yesterday we saw another sign that says new price. The house is for sale around $320,000 and I am not sure how much it went down now with the new price sign. This just goes to say that still, even if interest rate is low, there are still less buyers and more inventory.

Sometimes, though, this would really depend on the area. Here in WA state the range of houses on sale are on the higher level. I seldom see houses that are below $200,000. When we got our house in 2011, it was on the high $200,000, but I compared it to Louisville housing market in Kentucky, where a friend is currently looking for houses, with the same square footage and you can see good prices of it in low or mid $200,000. 

I can only hope that the housing market really can go back up again. I know there are lots of people struggling and trying to at least break even when selling their houses, and hopefully foreclosures will be less this year.

Cold Day at the Park

Kids love to be at the park even if it's cold. Since I started working at home full-time with a shift from 12noon to 8:30pm schedule, I haven't brought the kids to a park or done any outdoor activities except during weekends. They have been asking me to go out to play during weekdays after school, but I just don't have the time. I feel guilty because I at home and they can see me, but I cannot be there for them due to my work. It is really tough. 

So yesterday, after church the weather was nice. The sun was up so I decided to bring them out to the small park in our neighborhood. They're the only kids playing there as it was nippy. They did not mind the cold and even use the park slides even if it was at first wet. I told the older daughter that it will eventually dry once she slides on it. 

I wish to change my time schedule in the near future so I can still have more time with the kids during the afternoon, especially that warm weather is approaching. They need to be out more than be in the house most of the time. They've increased their tv times because they need to be occupied while I have to concentrate with work. I am asking myself, really, if it is all worth it. My kids are the most important to me and I need to do something soon about my schedule.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pendant Lights

I love pendants, and while I wouldn’t be averse to someone adorning my neck with Tiffany, I mean pendant lights. Replacing boring light fixtures with suspension lamps instantly transforms a room, and I recommend experimenting with them in your home. You can use one as a feature piece, or use several to stunning effect. To give you some ideas, I have compiled a list of some of my favourite pendant lights.

The first is the iconic and award-winning Semi pendant light, created by Danish architects Claus Bonderup and Torsten Thorup for Gubi. The curved semi-circle lamp creates a uniquely shaped pool of light, and its simple silhouette makes it a timeless piece. It is little wonder then that it is just as popular now as it was when it was first designed in 1967. In addition to the classic matte black and white, it also comes in glossy blue-grey and glossy orange -- great for injecting a pop of colour into your room. Hang one over the coffee table, or several over the dining table to create a bit of intrigue. 

Although pendant lights work anywhere, they really shine (pun intended) used over worktops and breakfast bars. Another iconic design, Splugen Brau, was also designed in the 1960s but remains the perfect complement to a modern kitchen. Crafted from polished aluminium, its thick ribbed body looks like a modernist beehive and adds a touch of finesse to work surfaces and counter-tops. Alternatively, mix period and modern styles and place next to old or vintage furniture for a wonderfully rich contrast.

Smaller pendant lights, such as the Romeo Babe range for Flos, are much more subtle but equally gorgeous. Lined up in a row of three or four, these look great in the kitchen.

My personal favourite however has to be the Can-Can Mini pendant designed by the Dutch design maestro Marcel Wanders, also for Flos. Wanders is known for his imaginative creations and the Can-Can doesn’t disappoint. Underneath the clean and simple lines of the shade, peeks an intricately decorated filigree diffuser --just like a Can-Can dancer kicking her legs to reveal a lacy petticoat. The lighting effect is beautifully soft and delicate, and adds romance to any part of the home.

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