Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Free Doughnuts!

Cinderella Man

I slept late last night. I was watching a movie entitled Cinderella Man. Admittedly, I cried. Such a very nice and inspiring  movie with great actors,too.

The movie is about the boxer James J. Braddock who went through Great Depression. He lost everything, from stocks to his taxi business. He broke his hand and resorted to an odd job as a laborer in the port. He gets second chance as a boxer in a time when America needed a hero. It was the saddest time in the history of America. Poverty was everywhere. 

It made me think what if we go through Great Depression, are we able to survive? Since I am investing in the stock market, it made me think that stocks could plummet next to nothing  and what's next? It made me think that Great Depression could happen anytime and we should put that possibility in the back of our mind.

Guys, watch the movie and be moved. It will surely make you realize that no matter how unfulfilling your job is , you should be thankful coz at least, it put food on the table.

A great movie worth watching. While watching,put a box of Kleenex next to you, you would reach for it,  for sure.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trader Joe's Escapade

I have been meaning to go to Trader Joe's for the longest time but my laziness always gets in the way. Today, I went there and boy, I'm glad I did!

I love it there! I think I'll be going back to try their Cocoa Spread. It look like Nutella to me , it must be yum, so I need to try it. I didn't buy it today so I have the reason to go back soon. Haha!

My main purpose was to buy Virgin Coconut Oil for my hair but I can't resist the low prices so here's the stuffs I bought: 

• Organic Virgin Coconut Oil-  $5.99 for 16 oz
•Roasted Peanut - 3.29
•Organic Thompson Raisins - 2.99
•Dried Cranberries w/ Orange - 1.99

It was a nice experience and I'm pretty sure Trader Joe's is on top of my list of places to go for grocery shopping.

Philippines was mentioned on the back label ,so yay! 

Curling My Hair Cheaply

I have been curling my hair this way. This, I think, is the cheapest way. If you have plenty of time, you can certainly do this. 

When you hair is wet, part it two ways and twist it. Like this: 

Keep twisting. When you are doing something, twist. When you are having breakfast, twist. When you are doing anything or whatever, twist.Twist until it dries. Then, voila, you'll have the cutest curls!
It works for hair that isn't stubborn, you know, that kind of hair who doesn't have its own mind or that kind of hair that "sumusunod sa gusto mo". This  lasts longer on me.


• Heatless
• No need of fancy curling equipment


• Time consuming coz you need to twist the hair till it  dries
• Doesn't work for all hair type, specially those kind of hair that is not easy to style and you need tons or hairspray to be able to keep the style last longer.

I hope this frugal tip on curling your hair works on you :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fudge in a Mug

Let me tell you my quick and easy treat in under 5 minutes to satisfy my sweet tooth.


3 tbsp  all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder 
1/8 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk 
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp chocolate chips


Vanilla ice cream
Chocolate syrup

• Coat mug with cooking spray
• Combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar , cocoa, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Mix.
• Combine milk, butter and vanilla in another bowl. Mix. Gradually put the mixed dry ingredients . Add chocolate chips, mix and transfer to the coated mug.
• Microwave by 2 minutes. Let it stand 3-4 mins. Top with ice cream, vanilla is strongly suggested:) then sprinkles.

No vanilla ice cream available so I topped it with chocolate ice cream :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Update: Aman Futures Group Scam

Manuel Amalilio
Photo from ABS-BCN
Recent News, read here:

I have been following the developments of this issue because I grew up in Pagadian. Victims of this scam includes my relatives and former classmates as well as people familiar to me. I know too well the people involved, like the former mayor and his wife.

I first knew about the scam when my high school classmate messaged me in Facebook. She knew that I have been investing in the stock market, and she told me that she saw my aunt lining up to invest in Aman Futures Group. I asked her what business is Aman into and she said "stock market", and she said it promises 100 percent gain in just 2 weeks! I told her right away that it is scam and that she should pull out the money before it'll collapse. She said that "daghan na nangadatu" (many became rich) because of that investment. I was so cocky and said straight to her that it was a scam. I know, I know.. bragging.. bragging.. blah blah blah..  Forgive me, but I was so proud of myself because I spotted right away that it was a scam, thanks to all the reading and studying that I did before dipping my toes into the world of investing.

Upon learning about that scam, I was posting statuses in Facebook, posting in forums and all to let Pagadianons know that it's a scam, but no one would listen. I did my share and I talked to my relatives to pull out there money before the pyramid will come crashing down, but no one would listen. I even emailed SEC and ABS-CBN, but my emails weren't answered.

Three months later.... all I can say was " I TOLD YOU SO".. I was so sorry to brag like that because too many suicide was happening left and right because of that scam. A retired teacher committed suicide coz all her retirement money was in the scam. My uncle's 1 million was all gone (he took out loan against his house so he can invest in Aman), retirement money of my aunt, our family friend who did not go through a necessary operation for the heart coz all the money was gone and a lot more sad stories up until now. I am so devastated coz I feel like I did what should be done and warned them, but they won't listen.  I guess it's hard to teach old dog new tricks. Sigh.

Here's hoping that victims will get their money back even without interest or, if worse comes to worst, even 80 percent of their money. I hope PNoy will help Pagadianons as Aman Futures Group scam is the biggest scam in the history of the Philippines yet. I hope the government will implement teaching financial literacy to school....

I hope....

Pancakes from Scratch

I was craving for pancakes since yesterday and early this  morning, I was busy in the kitchen making some pancakes. Yummy!


1 cup flour
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar 
3 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
Vanilla ( a drop or two- optional)
Chocolate chip ( optional)

Combine all ingredients. 


Tip: Add mash banana for more flavor. Be creative.
Tip: If you don't have syrup available, add more sugar to the ingredients.
Tip: For equal portion, use ice cream scoop. This recipe makes 7 scoops.
Tip: Cook thoroughly and wash dishes with hot water to avoid salmonella infection from eggs.

Good with coffee. I swear:). Good morning. Off to work. Bye.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunny Sunday

I woke up around 6:30 AM. I was ready to fall back asleep but my eyes and brain won't cooperate , so I just got up, made coffee then jogged.

While jogging, I was controlling my breath to avoid Side Stitch-that pain in the right side of the abdomen.

I went home after 33 mins, turned on the washing machine for a laundry day,  showered, ate breakfast...

Toasted bread with PB and Nutella with Orange Juice

I did laundry and watched t.v. a little bit. I took a nap :) ZzZzzzZzZ

Why is anything fried yummy?!
My Lunch

It's 8 PM, I just finished watching Deadly Devotion, an Investigation Discovery (ID) show. It's all about Teeny Bimbo Gypsy who, they said, committed a crime. She killed her 85 years old husband. Man, It's my first time hearing about gypsy crimes. Need to study more!

Good night! Paalam. Ciao

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hotta Hotta

As I was rummaging and arranging stuffs, I found a coffee that was given to me by a Vietnamese coworker. She wants me try it coz she knows I'm addicted to coffee. 

What a hot day! I'm sweating like a pig!

Metro doesn't allow passengers to drink inside the trains and buses, but now, since it's too hot, they lifted up the rule a lil bit so passengers can sip here and there. That's how hot it is here!

I jogged this morning and mowed the grass after. The mower gave up on me again! Ugh! I'll let it rest and see what happens in a day or two. I also went to the library and returned the DVDs I borrowed.

I went to church this afternoon for an anticipated mass. I am happy that the recent parish priest is a Filipino and we both speak bisaya coz he is from Tacloban. At first he thought that I was Spanish until I said "Pa bless po, Father". I am always happy to know Filipinos around my area.

I'm watching the Price of Sex, a documentary about sex trafficking of Eastern  European women . My heart is crying for the women involved :(. Some women were promised well-paying job but, in the end, they were traded for sex. People there are looking for greener pasture coz  when communism fell, their economy collapsed.

I got to finish this show.  'Til next time.

Paalam. Ciao

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Frugal Workout Routine

I love eating! I love carbs! I can eat challah all day! Ohhh, and croissants,too! Don't forget the pearly white jasmine rice! Yummers!

I grew up chubby or fat, whatever you want to call it. I envied those people who can pull out sleeveless tops! I had Brazo de Mercedez-like arms , so I never got to wear sleeveless tops when I was a teenager! Ugh!

 But now? ahem... allow me to brag a little bit. Let me show my before and after pictures:

Before (130 lbs)                                             After (105 lbs)

Let me tell you my workout routine. :)

My Workout Equipment:
Two 1 liter of Milk Jug filled with water
Two 6 lbs of dumbbells bought at Thrift Store



My Workout Schedule:

Monday-  Chest and Triceps ( My problem area and my least favorite workout :( )

  •  Two Minute Ab Exercise
  • Flat Bench Press  --3 sets, 20 reps
  • Bench Dips          -- 3 sets, 12 reps 
  • Seated Triceps Press -- 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Triceps Dumbbell Kickback-- 3 sets, 12 reps

Tuesday - Abs

  •  Two Minute Ab Exercise
  • Crunches -- 3 sets, 25 reps
  • Leg Raises -- 3 sets, 25 reps
  • Bicycle crunches -- 3 sets, 25 reps
Wednesday - Legs
Thursday - Back and Biceps
  •  Two Minute Ab Exercise
  • Dumbbell Row -- 3 sets, 20 reps
  • Hammer Curls  (dumbbells vertical)-- 4 sets, 20 reps
  • Hammer Curls  (dumbbells horizontal) -- 4 set, 20 reps
  • Butt Blaster Workout -- 3 set, 20 reps
Friday-- REST--- REST-- REST-- REST-- REST-- :)

  • 3 Mile run for 30 minutes
  • 3 Mile run for 30 minutes

That's it! It takes 15- 20 mins every workout except the weekend runs. Special thanks to my good friend who gave me this routine ideas! I have been following this routine religiously for almost 2 years now and it feels great seeing all the pounds go!

For food that I have been eating, click here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Oh NOoooo!

One of my faves Philippine Coffee

Nothing beats a good cup of coffee before starting the day! I love my coffee! I gulped 8-10 cups of coffee every day! I know, its not good, blah blah , but I love it and I'd die without it! 

I brew coffee every morning through my coffee maker, but I have my "cheat" coffee sent to me by my good friend from the Philippines and I was totally hooked and addicted. I was using it sporadically so it wont go buh-bye, but now, isa nalang! huhu!

I also love the Nescafe Chocolate, but I'm out of it already :( .. Oh well.. I'll be home for good in few months, I can still hold it :)

App that Monitors Stocks

I am not techy and I am not the type of investor who constantly check and monitor  the movement of the stock market. But one day, while I was tinkering the App Store for a free apps to try, I found and installed a free app that deals with stock market. Hey, it's free and it has high ratings, why not try? It turns out to be a good one. Yay!

This is how it works:

Click the Stock Finder (encircled) and type in Enter Company box ( encircled). For Philippine listed stocks, type the ticker symbol then ":PM". Above picture has companies that I recently searched. 

Let's say we are searching for Jollibee Food Corp. stock. You type in Enter Company box       JFC:PM

After typing JFC:PM ,this page will pop-up.

When you want to see the chart, just rotate the screen and it should look like this: 

It has chart for one day, one month, 6 months etc...

This is my favorite part of the app My Stocks where you can record the Position and the price of the certain stock you bought. If you want to enter those infos, the screen will look like this :

I covered my stocks for privacy purposes 

When you are done putting all the infos, you can track if you are negative or positive. 

In my almost three years of investing life, I only traded twice. Through this app, I am able to know how much my gains are. Example, I bought SM stocks 2 years ago, which was PHP 500 per stock and the present market value is PHP 1000+, I am over 100% gain. :) 

I am loving this app. It feels good looking at how much I have gained over time. It is really true that time is our ally when it comes to investing.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Lovin'

I rarely go out during weekends, but today, as a late birthday present for my buddy Amanda, I went out for a lunch with her in the nearby mall. It was tiring but, at the same time, fun going out with a 13-year-old buddy of mine.

I woke up around 9 AM, which was a pretty late. I slept late last night, around 1 AM, coz I was watching The Haunting, which creeps me out. The belief that God always wins makes me want to finish the whole show, that belief makes me sleep soundly. I am addicted to this show, yes!
I started with a nice jog this morning. Dude, I really need to buy a new sports bra, ugh! I have this pain in the side while running my second mile-- you know, that kind of pain below your lungs at the side of your abdomen-- I usually get this kind of pain because I don't use proper breathing technique while I'm running. What's that thing called? Lemme google it... Oh, it's called Side Stitch.
After all the sweats, I went home, showered, ate, cleaned the whole house, slam dunk my comforter in the washing machine.

Then my mall adventure with my buddy, Amanda began around 11:30 AM.

The mall is walking distance , but she insisted that we ride a bus- she wants to experience the dropping of the coins and the pulling of the string thingy. I have my reloadable card called SMARTRIP for paying the bus and she had none so , she paid the bus by dropping coins-- she loves it! I'm glad I am able to show her the public transportation stuffs. :D

We went to my bank to deposit and they have this new machine for depositing money, I tried it but it gave me a problem- so, I went inside the bank and talk to the teller to let her know that I deposited money but the machine never gave me any receipt and the screen just posted that there was an error . We waited for like 30 mins , but I'm glad it all went well. That's my week's pay, me no want it to go buh-bye!

Reading while waiting for the teller

We ,then, went to the mall. We walked around and went to the arcade. It was my first time in there. She played Deal or No Deal and she won 75 tickets! She is good with this stuff.

Lunch: Subway for her Fries and Shake for Me

Dulce de Leche aka Caramel Shake at MickeyD is yum!

Walking home barefoot! Talk about feeling teenager!

Saw little bunny on the way home

Frugal tip: Cooking in Bulk

I used to spend the bulk of my salary on eating out. I love trying different cuisines and since I'm alone, it's easier for me to just eat our rather than cook.  When I started my journey towards "frugalism", I realized that I am spending way too much money on eating  unhealthy meals and I was getting fat! Making my meals easier came with a hefty price tag! I needed to do something about it or I might end up little or without money to show or I might end up being too fat and get sick. After all, overweight is the main source of deadly illnesses such as diabetes and/or high blood pressure problems.

Back then, I don't know how to cook so I watched Food Channel, Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray a lot. I also read cooking books or surf the net for easy recipes . After familiarizing myself with basic cooking stuffs, I was busy experimenting in the kitchen. 

Nowadays, I make meals for the whole week on Sundays. It's easier and considerably cheaper. I also made sure that the ingredients  are in season. This method saves me time and money, plus I'm getting healthy!

Stuffed Peppers
(Turkey and Brown Rice inside)
$8 for 4 meals

Baked Eggplant Lasagna
($10 for 8 meals)

Spicy Chicken
($10 for 8 meals)

Side Vegetable- Baked Zucchini 

Meatballs and Pasta

Marinating Chicken Meat to be baked the next day

Spaghetti Squash

Mushroom Chicken and Meatloaf with Brown Rice

I also freeze food in single servings so the food will last longer. Freezing food allows me to choose what to eat rather than eating the food because you-just-have-to-or-it-might-spoil. I might be having meatballs today and chicken the next day  or whatever I have in the freezer at the moment. I want and need variations!

It is a must to learn to cook coz it doesn't just saves us a lot of money, it also saves us from gaining too much unwanted weight! Cooking is doable! I can't believed I am saying that, from someone who had zero knowledge in kitchen stuffs.

Let's get our kitchen busy, save money and lose weight

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Commandments to Follow Before Investing

I want to share with you the "commandments" I followed before dipping my toes into the world of investing.

  • Thou shall not invest without a goal

  • Thou shall not invest without at least 3 months of emergency fund

  • Thou shall not invest without any kind of health protection 

  • Thou shall not invest without studying. The knowledge that you gain in books and/or seminars is priceless.

  • Thou shall not invest on a borrowed money

  • Thou shall not invest without knowing your risk tolerance by asking yourself,"if my X amount of money invested is down by 50 percent tomorrow, how would I feel?"

  • Thou shall not invest without psychologically parting yourself with your money. You might not see your money ever again
  • Thou shall understand that in investing, high risk equals high returns. Go out from you comfort zone once in a while

  • Thou shall not invest without fully understanding that market goes up and down. You might have a heart attack when your portfolio is all red and bloody

  • Thou shall not invest without knowing what the company you want to put your money is selling. Get to know the management as well

And when you become an investor and you already grasp what if feels like inside the world of investing:

  • Thou shall not be too proud, the market will eventually humble you

  • Thou shall share your knowledge to anyone who is willing to listen. We will help Philippines get out from the "third world country" label

After all is said and done, thou shall trust the hardcore studying that you did early on and let time and compounding interest be your allies. 

Happy investing!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Frugal tip: Jogging as a Pastime

 The chirping of the birds, the sound of a rushing river, the sight of the green trees, the audible sound of a woodpecker pecking a tree trunk, the chipmunks and squirrel carrying and collecting acorns, the geese and the occasional turtle here and there- these and a good run are what I look forward every weekend.

Jogging for 6 miles every weekend has been my form of relaxation. I am an early-riser and I would hit the trail as early as possible, but I do exercise caution coz you never know if there is a bad guy lurking nearby. I stay in an area where there are lots of jogger and Park Rangers just to be safe.

I used to jog 12 miles (6 miles Saturday and 6 miles Sunday), but I suffered from runner's knee which was super painful. I even thought of giving up jogging because of the pain. So, I settled for a 6-mile weekend run (3 miles Saturday and 3 miles Sunday).

I don't listen to any music while jogging, but I do carry with me my iPod Touch with a Nike + App that records my miles and average pace.

Started recording my runs since March of last year, but I have been running long before that

I also carry my IPod to snap a picture occasionally.

A Misty Winter Morning

A Frozen River
A Frozen Pond

A Rare Black Squirrel

The beautiful green

I will miss these kind of stuffs once I'll be back to the Philippines. I thank God for letting me experience what it feels likes to be living in a country with four seasons.