College bound

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My daughter turned 15 last January. I have been behind her back now that she’s on her last year in high school.  It was time to decide on her college degree.

As I have said in my previous blog, I’m currently an “online” mom. Helping my daughter decide which college course to take is a little bit difficult because of our distance.  Today,  I did some search on Google for some articles on how to choose the right college course. Honestly, nobody taught me this when I was in high school. Yeah, they have this career orientation but it was not enough. It didn’t prepare me for the harsh realities of life after college. Also, I just picked the course which my high school buddies was going to take. In short, I might have made the wrong choice.

Now that I’m a mom, I find it a great deal to spend time and help my daughter out in planning her future.

Here are some points that I ask my daughter to answer before choosing the path to her lifelong future profession:

1. Reviewing real life professions- I’m doing this in reverse. Instead of asking her what course to take, I asked her which job she thinks or feels that she can do and enjoy doing it. So, I gave my daughter links to the list of top paying jobs of 2014. After choosing at least 10 kinds of jobs, we can now link it back which program she can take to be able to apply for that job. Honestly, I prefer to teach my kids to be entrepreneurs. I don’t know why schools don’t teach us to be bosses anyway. Most of the time, we are taught how to be employees rather than employers. In the end, it’s really all about making money.

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2. Selection- Showing her a list of courses, I asked her to choose at least 5 and rank them, 1 being her first choice and 5 being her last.

3.  Assessment- Is this the course what she wants?  Will it bore her or will she get fed up with it after some time? Choosing what she wants will get her more chances of enjoying working with it in the future. I learned my lesson when it was too late already. Got myself in a course where I was just studying it to pass. It didn’t give me any gratification. I didn’t feel excited to learn. So this time, I will make sure my daughter will like her college program and not be pressured by her peers.

I want my kids to develop long-term planning and good attitude towards work.  Just taking any course isn’t good enough now a days. Life is not as easy as it was before. We will all end up working just to pay for a living. Providing the best education for our kids is like arming them for the future.  It’s the best gift that parents can give to their children and our children to theirs.

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Experiencing Fireworks!

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December 31, 2013  -I have made up my mind that even one time in my life here in the UAE that I will try to go out and watch the Burj Khalifa fireworks live and in person. We have been preparing for this life event ever since Christmas.  We have watched the fireworks only from the television or in Youtube since 2006.  I wanted to see it this time at the beginning of 2014.

Our plan was to avoid the traffic. We decided to get to the nearest Dubai Metro station around 7:30 pm, park the car and take the train ride to the Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa station. It was a simple plan. We will take the red line from the Union station. This marked the beginning of our increasing stress levels. At the Union station, there was already chaos.

DSCN4141Piles of people waiting to pass towards the gates to the train. The traffic of people was controlled by the police from the stairs. I feel that if people will push from behind, a lot will get hurt if they fall from the stairs.  Luckily, I’m a lady and the police prioritize to let pass the ladies and families. We are able to get through. The train was jam packed. It stops in every station but cannot accommodate more passengers.

We arrived at the Dubai Mall station and the police were also controlling the flow of the people towards the bridge walkway going to the mall. Families walk in the middle and bachelors on the left. It’s a long walk to the mall. Good thing we were wearing sneakers.DSCN4146 At the mall, they placed signs “FIREWORKS” arrow to the left, right, up and down. Good, we will not get lost inside this huge mall. We still have more than 3 hours left so we walked leisurely inside the mall.

We followed the fireworks signs that led out to the open areas around the mall. The exit looked like a dugout. We walked through it but I was already wondering why some people are coming back to the mall. I felt uneasy. Something must be wrong. When we were outside a big crowd of people were outside the Address Hotel. I turned around and tried to look for the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. It’s the reason why we went out of trouble to see it, to witness the fireworks that will draped around it when the clock strikes 12.DSCN4149

As we push our way towards the crowd looking for the best place to view it, the crowd was becoming thicker and thicker while the air is getting thinner and thinner. It was hard to breath. It was harder to move around. I raised my eyes up eyeing the tip of the Burj Khalifa. We’re fine were we are. I can see half of the building I thought to myself. Alas, you are not be able to stay put. People start to push forward, push on the sides and push backwards. It was starting to be uncomfortable- not being able to move freely.  My personal space invaded! This is not what we had in mind. It was not enjoyable anymore. I tried to calm myself. I told my husband that we needed to look for a better place to see the fireworks. Pushing out of the crowd, we literally fought our way out but still there was no space at all. We settled for another spot where there were mostly ladies and families and away from the roaring crowd of men. DSCN4155

11 PM- one hour left to wait. I have never been this patient in my life. I told myself. There’s no use arguing with the people. We cannot be upset. I looked around. Dubai is really a melting pot of different nations. There were mostly Indians,  Arabs, Americans, Russians, Filipinos, Chinese, and many other nationalities present just to witness this 4-minutes of grand display.

11:45 PM -This is the worst scenario ever! Just minutes away before midnight, an ambulance was trying to pass through the crowd in front of us. There was no space to move anymore. We got squashed by the people from all sides. With my hands wrapped around me, I cannot move. It’s like wearing a straight jacket. I hear people panicking, shouting, and children crying from both sides of my head.  I feel my heart thumped wildly. I was going to collapse. I closed my eyes. Relax. Breathe. I look at my husband. I prayed. “Dear God, please keep us safe.”

12 midnight- With my eyes closed, I hear the crowd start to shout happily “Happy New Year!!” I opened my eyes and saw the most magnificent fireworks display. My fear was lost. Chaos that was among the crowd died down. I was in awe. My husband tried to reach me to kiss me but he cannot move as well. I tried to stop my tears from falling. I am here now. I am watching the fireworks from the tallest structure in the world. How wonderful is that!

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Bitstrips Mania!

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There’s a new craze on Facebook- Bitstrips!

It’s fun to do role playing and putting yourself and your Facebook friends in funny situations.  Test your creativity by creating your own caricature. Facial, body and hand expressions are changeable.  Enjoy putting your wits on your very own comic strip.  Make a personalized comic greeting cards for your family and friends.

Anybody who will be annoyed by this app really don’t have a sense of humor.

Start your Bitstrip today! Enjoy!

His Royal Sharpness

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Believe  me when I say, I am not into endorsements. I have lately taken a liking of buying things online since it’s more convenient (and I am lazy to go out) but not necessarily practical. It is still better to buy what you can actually see in the stores or probably have been highly recommended by your family and friends.

I recently bought a set of Pro V Contour Knives (as seen on TV) on Souq.com but returned it only after 3 days. I took out 3 knives (paring, fillet and steak knives) which I think I will use regularly. Surprisingly, these “stainless steel” knives start to rust.

item_XL_4702964_1322707I learned my lesson well. Before you buy anything online, make it a habit to check the product reviews. You will find loads of reviews online. The best reviews, of course, are from the buyers themselves who made home videos while showing you how they test the product. Souq did a great job, by the way, with their customer service. I got a refund 2 days after they picked up the item.

Now, I still have my knife problem unsolved. I believe that every home needs a good set of knives.

Ceramic_Knife_and_Peeler_Set_Red__03991.1375162383.1280.1280 Ding! I remembered receiving from a very dear friend (who will remain anonymous in this blog) a Kyocera ceramic set for my birthday last May- a knife and a peeler. I didn’t want to use them because it really looked fancy and dainty and I didn’t want to break them.

Looking at my veggies for salad on the left and a dull old knife on the right, I decided to try out the ceramic knife for the first time.  OMG! It was amazing. It was very sharp and you do not need too much effort. I was in a slicing frenzy!  For the first time ever, I was happy to slice anything in the kitchen. I even tried to fillet a fish with it.

After washing the knife, I looked at it and carefully returned it to the box and kept it like a treasure. I highly recommend to you these ceramic knives. I even see them being used in Junior Masterchef Australia- by kids. It comes in different colors and sizes too. The knife grip is also engineered to the natural contour of your hand.

This is officially my first ever endorsement!

A new beginning

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There comes a time in our lives

When you feel tired and worn out

You feel stagnant and unimportant

When everything seems to fall apart

When you feel so down

Even when everything is fine

The days are passing by

And you are still where you are

But not where you wanted to be

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There comes a time in our lives

When you feel older day by day

As you look in the mirror

The person staring back at you

Is never the same

When dreams feel shattered

Success is out of reach

When friends seem to come and go

To live their happy lives

And you are still where you are

But not where you wanted to be

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All the while, all that you ever wanted was a new beginning!