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Writing is One of My Natural Gifts

>> Monday, March 14, 2011

It's mid-March already and I'm wondering how fast the days have gone by. It seemed like a day is lived only for few minutes and then it disappears. I'm so behind with my writing that I feel guilty not being able to produce content the way I want to. I realized it's just impossible to do so many things at one time; I have to slow down and focus instead on important things in my life right now-my family and kids. I could spare an hour or two a day on my hobby and the rest of the time I should be a full time wife and mommy.

Writing has given me so much opportunity to explore myself and connect with others. I always believe I am born with a gift of communication through the written words and I should not put this to waste. I write in a variety of voices and feelings, but my most favorite is writing in the first person. This is where I enjoy blogging  so much because I put my own unique personality into it without worrying about style, rules, and format like when I'm writing content for payment. There is more freedom of expression,and there is no limit to what I can write, and of course no deadline to catch up. I write what my heart dictates at the moment and there is nothing more beautiful than that.

My love for the written words is a part of me as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I remembered reading torn pages from a book or magazine that I randomly found. I wrote my first essay at age 7. I read my first novel when I was nine. I kept journals since I was 12. From then on, I have read countless books and wrote hundreds of articles, letters, essays, etc. I published my first book in the United States when I was 28. These are proofs that I have accomplished much in the area of writing and I'll keep doing this until my life has ended.

All of us are good in something and what better gift we can offer ourselves than to cultivate the gift and excel in it. Some people are naturally inclined to numbers, the arts, serving others, fashion, research, preaching, etc. Instead of trying to do something that is opposite of what you are naturally good at, turn your attention instead to those skills that you have that you know you'll excel. You'll realize later on that you have not only realized your life calling, you have also cut down the stress of pursuing something that is not carved for you.


Humba for Dinner

>> Sunday, March 13, 2011

I felt like eating humba tonight, so I decided to cook some. I had 4 pounds of pork belly in the freezer which my husband bought from the Asian store a while back. Pork belly with skin, fat, and lean meat on it makes excellent humba. Only Asian and Filipino stores sell this type of meat because the rest of the supermarkets sell only lean meat.

Humba (hoom-baa) or braised pork belly is a popular meat dish in the Philippines. Braising means to brown the meat first in its own fat, then simmer it afterwards with liquid in a covered pot. It is not healthy though to eat this on a daily basis because of the high content of fat and cholesterol, but once in while it is a tasty treat. You can eat this with rice (best choice for me) or bread.

My mom makes the best humba in our family. I tried other people's version of this dish and I didn't like them because they are greasy. I don't like eating humba with most of the fat still on. I tried to cook the recipe like my mom makes it, but still after a few attempts I could not get as close as how she makes it. I think I'll learn her technique over time.

I try to come up with the approximate measurement of the ingredients used in this recipe. I just usually estimate how much I'm going to need when I cook, but tonight I able to use measurements. The recipe is below.

Humba (Braised Pork Belly) Recipe


2 pounds pork belly, cut into 2 inch cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar or 1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tbsp salted black beans (tausi)
1/2 cup dried banana blossoms
2 pieces bay leaves
10 pieces peppercorns


1. In this step, you will remove most of the fat in the pork and brown the meat in its own oil. To do this, place meat in a pot and cook over medium heat. Turn the meat over every 2 minutes to make sure it browns evenly. As soon as the meat has browned and most of the oil comes out, remove the meat and drain them in paper towels. This step takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.

2. Remove most of the oil in the pot (leave about 2 tablespoons) and saute the garlic and onions. Put the meat in, as well as  soy sauce, water, sugar or pineapple juice, bay leaves, peppercorns, salted black beans, and banana blossoms.

3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the meat simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid is reduced and thickens. Remove from heat.

4. Serve with hot rice or bread.

This recipe yields 4 servings.


My Kids are Sick

>> Sunday, February 27, 2011

I haven't been able to post in this blog for several days because my kids are sick, and I'm tied down taking care of them. As most work-at-home moms experienced, when anyone in the family gets sick, the family becomes the priority and writing is put to the side for the meantime.

Thankfully, my girls are getting better. Except for the occasional whining, their health is improving and soon enough they will get back to being active and energetic.

My children got the cold virus from their cousins when they came to visit us. No matter how much we try to limit exposing our kids to other people during the flu season, they still got sick without warning. It's one thing that really frustrates me because it is not fun to take care of them when they're sick, nor it is easy to see them suffer from the illness.

I haven't given them any medications which I think is wise to do. I'm sure the doctor will advise the same (we didn't take them to the doctor either). As long as they're not very weak and still eats, they'll be okay. So far, my children handle the colds very good; I am looking forward they'll be done with it in a few days.

Having children and experiencing moments like this is one of the best things about motherhood. You got to be involved in the action, you get your endurance tested, your love expanded. Yes, it's the hardest job in the world, yet the rewards in seeing your kids grown-up, healthy, and happy are priceless.


Natural Remedy For Baby Constipation

>> Saturday, February 19, 2011

My six month old baby is recently having constipation. I'm figuring the recent switch from breast milk to formula, and the introduction to solid foods are the culprit because she never had problems with her bowel movement before.

Unlike her older sister who didn't experience being constipated even with the switch at around the same time she does, my little Jasmine is. It is not everyday though, but I remember it happened during the day I feed her baby food. Since the introduction of solid foods is gradual at this time, I decided to feed her cereal with veggies or fruit  every other day, and planned to increase the duration in 2 weeks or so until her tummy gets accustomed to it.

Normally, after feeding with baby food, I usually wait at least 30 minutes before giving my daughter formula. This is where I made a mistake, which I just realized lately. I should have given her water to aid in the digestion and waited few more hours before giving her formula milk.

Now I learned my mistake. I have discovered that the best natural remedy for baby constipation is WATER! Yes, no kidding. It's the most natural fluid there is.

So for three days now, I've been giving my baby at least 2-4 ounces of previously boiled water in her bottle and let her drink it. That's the day when she doesn't eat solid foods. I increase it to 6-8 ounces when I'm feeding her solid foods plus formula milk. That gives her enough fluid to digest her foods and so far I am happy with the results. No more fussiness and crying because she has a hard time passing her stool. The consistency of her poop improves significantly. It's much softer and easier to pass.

If you have a child with constipation problems, try increasing his water intake. I'm sure it will help fix the problem!


Celebrating Valentine's Day

>> Monday, February 14, 2011

Today is Valentine's Day and many couples are busy thinking of ways to make this day extra special. What better day to show how much you love and care for your sweetheart (or loved ones) than on Valentine's Day? Well, that's how most people think at least.

Valentine's Day is just like any regular holidays  for me. It comes and goes and I don't put too much thought about it. It's nice to have a special day for love, but I don't think the act of loving and its expression should be confined to only one day. I believe it should be a continuous process and must be practiced on a daily basis as long as you live.

I don't choose a day to express love and affection to people I care about. I love them every single moment and strive to show how much they mean to me to the best of my ability. I made a commitment to love my husband, my kids, my family, and my friends everyday even if sometimes they do things I don't like. The real essence of loving is to give your unconditional love without expecting something back, and to keep on doing that unceasingly.

Tonight we'll celebrate Valentine's Day together as a family. We'll probably buy some Chinese foods and order some desserts, then watch movies till bedtime. It sounds simple but we'll be making memories as family. After all, it's not how much money we spent that counts, it's the time we spent together that are wonderful and priceless.

Happy Valentine's Day to All!


The Best Diaper Rash Cream There Is

>> Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm a mom of two girls (the oldest is 2 years old and the youngest is 6 months) and I've changed diapers countless times since my daughters were born. It is not easy for me to see my poor babies cry and whine due to diaper rashes.

A diaper rash is preventable by changing wet and soiled diapers as soon as it happens, but sometimes we don't pay attention too much or there are times it's impossible to do the task (such as when you travel with the kids non-stop).

My eldest had diaper rashes when she was younger and it was caused by prolonged contact between a dirty diaper with poop rubbing against her delicate skin. As much as I tried my best to change her as often as I wanted, it did not happen, so my poor baby had to suffer.

I tried different brands of diaper rash cream but I settled with Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E because it has the ability to heal the affected area very fast, plus it has a nice scent. The cream is yellowish and has a watery consistency unlike most creams that looks white and feels like toothpaste when you apply it. This diaper cream is different. It's just like rubbing lotion into your baby's affected area. I noticed that one-time application is enough to remove the redness. Of course, you can apply the cream as often as you want, either to prevent future rashes or to heal the existing ones completely. I love this cream so much that I bought backups in case I ran out. It's the best diaper rash cream that I have tried, and as a mother, it's my pleasure to share the experience with you.

As I've said, you can prevent diaper rash by making sure your baby's diaper is changed often. However, if it's beyond your control and your little one got a rash on his bottom, don't punish yourself. Invest in an effective rash cream and make sure to apply the cream as often as needed.


How I Make Money Online

>> Saturday, February 12, 2011

Since I migrated to the United States, I have been making extra money on the side to supplement our family income, and I do all of that from home--through the internet.

It is now possible for moms to stay at home yet still able to work and take care of her family. After I got married, I thought I will be confined to rearing my kids and rely solely on my husband's income. But when I find out that it's possible to work from home and make the same amount of money (and more) that I earned before, I feel so blessed.

Making Money Through Writing Articles

Writing articles comprise a big chunk of my monthly income. I write for both up front pay and residual income. Writing for up front payment means I write articles for a publisher that pays me a certain amount of money per approved article. The publisher then owns the rights to my articles.

On the other hand, writing for residual means I write articles for myself through free article publishing sites such as eHow, Bukisa, HubPages, InfoBarrel, Triond, among others. I don't get paid as soon as I published the articles. But the earnings accumulate over time, and I got a consistent amount of income every month from these articles. I get paid based on the amount of views, ad earnings, article popularity, and other earnings factor based on the site's revenue sharing model. The good thing about it is that I own my article's copyright and the earning potential is indefinite.

Blogging is another method I adopted to make money. I maintained my own blogs both in a hosted domain and free blogging service such as Blogger. This post you are currently reading is an example of a blog post. I have few niche blogs and couple personal blogs, all building up passive income for me.

Making Money Through Ads

The ads that you see on the right side of this blog is an example of Google advertisements that has the potential of giving me income. I got paid through page impressions and actual ad clicks. Depending on the cost-per-click (CPC) amount of the keywords in the article, I get a certain amount of money in my Google Adsense account every month.

The other form of advertisement I used are in-text advertisements. These are the ads that pops up when you click the underlined words in green. Similar to Adsense, my income depends on the cost per click of the highlighted keywords.

Making Money Through Affiliate Marketing

I also make money through affiliate marketing. By affiliate marketing, it means that I get a percentage of product sales from  companies by sending customers to their site. So far, I use Amazon's affiliate link and ClickBank, and also small affiliate companies that offer to pay a small commission per every sale I made.

So far, these are the money making methods I have adopted that work for me and consistently bring monthly income to our family. There are plenty of other ways I'd like to try such as selling on eBay, multi-level marketing (MLM), home business, etc. But writing articles has by far given me a lucrative opportunity to make money on the side.

If you are interested to start making money online through article writing, feel free to ask questions. If you'd like to publish articles to free sites that earn you passive income over time, click on any (or all) link below and sign up:


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