Show Your 4th of July Colors with These Unique Decorating Ideas

 

Waving a flag around is the most common way for people to show their American colors on the 4th of July. I have some ideas, though, that are not the norm and that are sure to turn some heads!
Dye Your Hair
At any hair supply store, Hot Topic, and many other places, you can buy red or blue hair dye. If you are not blonde, do yourself a favor and get some bleach to go with it. There are lots of ways you can do this, whether you just would like one strip of hair, or your whole head done is a special color. I’ve done a lot of them, and here are some pointers: do not skimp on the bleach. It’s going to look terrible if you do. Red bleeds out of your hair a lot, so avoid white shirts and white pillowcases. Also, make sure you use lots of conditioner afterwards (color safe) to make sure that your hair stays healthy. Bleach and dye are not good for it. The best brand I’ve found was Special FX, but Manic Panic isn’t bad, either.

Dress Up Your Car
This is exactly what it looks like. Window decals, stickers, ribbons, or flags will all be displayed while you drive around. Find out if it’s legal in your area first, but many stores also carry little lights that screw onto the valves on your tires, and you can find red and blue ones. Antenna balls are also a fun addition that can be easily removed from your car.

Dress Up Your House
Again, exactly what it looks like. Put up decorations- those Christmas lights might be good for something else! Try ribbon on the stair railings, or other light touches. in the kitchen, make sure you have some nice wooden dinnerware sets to accentuate your table.

Colored Lights
Not just the Christmas lights. At many stores you can get floodlights and outside lights in different colors, including red and blue. If you have multiple outside lights, this can be a neat way to display your colors. If you have a lantern-style outside light that you don’t want to change the bulb in, try using colored cellophane.

Sidewalk Chalk
Especially good for the kids, give them the pink blue and white chalks and let them go to town on the driveway. Don’t let them play in the road though!

Your Yard
Make your yard a field of flags. (It’ll help aerate it!) If you have the time in the spring, plant red white and blue flowers where they’ll be visible. Barring these, you could also try mowing your lawn with a flag design in it- but that’ll take some planning.

Window Treatments
I wrote about some ways to make your own window treatments in another of my articles. It’s a fun, crafty way to decorate the house and show your colors. Curtains aren’t difficult to make, and thrift stores often have older curtains that are very inexpensive that can be dyed.

Clothes
This one’s more common on Independence Day. Wear blue jeans, and a red or white shirt. It’s not so different from most people’s wardrobes that it’s hard to find the clothes. Most workplaces will allow or even encourage this, but check the policy where you work so that you’re not breaking any rules.

Enjoy your 4th of July and have a safe holiday.

Benefits of Bumpy Name Orbit Labels for Organization and Safety

 

As the mother of four, I am always looking for ways to get and stay organized. Being a concerned parent, I also want to keep my children safe. Bumpy Name Orbit Labels help me to do all of these things. Here is why every parent needs Bumpy Name Orbit Labels.
Convenience

If you have ever been to a play date or the sitter’s house and wondered which child had the red sippy cup, then you will immediately see the value in the Bumpy Name Orbit Labels. At one time, a few friends of mine would bring their little ones over for a visit. We may have had seven kids in the house at a time. Who had the Gerber bottles? Was this Andy’s jar of Hawaiian Delight, or maybe it was Monique’s? Bumpy Name Orbit Labels takes the guess work out of this situation.

The labels by Inch Bug are colorful, easy to read, and tactile for the visually impaired. You will never wonder again who’s items belong to which child.

Durable

The Bumpy Name Orbit Labels are made from safe, durable material. They can safely be boiled and sterilized. They can even be put in the microwave oven with no problems.

The Bumpy Name Orbit Labels won’t peel off like sticky labels. Your inquisitive toddler won’t be able to rip it off the drinking glass. These Bumpy Name Orbit Labels are made to last for years to come. Originally designed by a mom, they are stretchy and grow with your child from bottle to sipper cup. They can even be used on large water bottles or shampoo for overnight trips with your older children. My kid, who’s attending school at Kinderopvang Leiden, always uses this one.

Educational

Bumpy Name Orbit Labels can be used as an educational tool to practice associating letters to words. Your youngster will quickly learn that the letters “Kevin” are on his cup. Parents can begin to teach the child the names of the letters and word recognition with the labels. Also, Braille is included on the Bumpy Name Orbit Labels. Visually impaired children will be able to experience Braille from an early age. Sighted children can learn about the tactile methods used by others.

The Bumpy Name Labels come in different colors. Very young children can learn to distinguish their cup from their sister’s cup by the color. Parents can teach their child about blue or green, for example. These labels are a great way to introduce kids to colors, letters, Braille, and personal items.

Alternative Uses

Bumpy Name Orbit Labels were originally designed to fit snugly on a standard four ounce bottle for babies, but they can do so much more. The labels are also perfect for older kids, too. The next time your daughter heads out on an overnight with her Girl Scout troop, label her shampoo, body wash, or vitamins. There will be no question of whose items belong to which of the ladies in the group.

Use a recycled Pringles container as a pencil holder, Hot Wheels caddy, or craft container while traveling or at school. Mark each of your child’s containers with the Bumpy Name Orbit Labels.

Blind or visually impaired people could use the Bumpy Name Orbit Labels to mark their cans, drinks, or conditioner. Having their name in Braille on their item can be very handy. I know when I am at a picnic where everyone’s glasses are scattered around the table, it is handy to put my hand on my cup and drink with confidence knowing which cup is mine without needing to ask.

There are so many benefits to the Bumpy Name Orbit Labels. Check them out at www.inchbug.com

To learn more.

How to Make the Most of Your Obagi Nu-Derm Skincare Products

The Obagi skincare line has become one of the leading prescription-strength anti-aging and skincare products on the market, and can be found at many plastic surgeon’s and aesthetician’s offices today.

If you’ve ever considered a facial peel or skin resurfacing treatment, Obagi products offer similar benefits without the pain and cost of conventional treatments. These formulas contain active ingredients that stimulate collagen development and increase production of fresh skin cells. This in turn helps increase the rate of cell turnover which is necessary for healthy, radiant skin.

If you’ve recently purchased the Obagi Nu-Derm System, here’s what you need to know about each product:

The Obagi Nu-Derm System: Key Products
The Obagi Nu-Derm system offers a series of products help you manage your skin with in a particular order. The company promotes this system as one that prepares, improves, stimulates, protects, and controls; each product has a specific purpose, and most require a daily application.

You can purchase these items separately with dermaroller amazon , but the starter set is one of the most cost-effective ways to begin. The Start Kit retails for $342 and is best used for normal or oily skin. Each start kit contains the Foaming Gel, Toner, Clear formula, Exfoderm Forte, Blender, Sunfader, and Healthy Skin Protection SPF 35. The kit also comes with a blue travel bag and instruction booklet. If you’re looking for a simple way to get started with Obagi, this is the first investment you need to make.

If you prefer to purchase the products individually, expect to pay $32.40 for the toner and cleansers, $74.30 for the Blender treatment, $78.30 for the Clear formula, and $50 – $80 each for the Exfoderm, various serums, and Sunfader treatment for full-sized versions at retail. A travel-sized collection of four key ‘Control’ products is also available for just under $100.

The Promises of Each Obagi Nu-Derm System Product
Each of the products within the Obagi Nu-Derm system have a specific purpose to help transform your skin throughout each phase of treatment.

Both the foaming gel and gentle cleanser are designed to remove impurities and control your skin’s natural oil production. These are more intensive formulas than standard drugstore cleansers, and offer a pH-balancing solution to manage troubled skin. The toner contains alum as it’s main ingredient, which also helps to manage the skin and flush away impurities. Each serum in the Obagi line has a different concentration, and is made with a high level of L-Asorbic acid; this helps to protect the skin against sun damage, and can be especially beneficial for aging or wrinkled skin.

The Clear formula is designed to balance out an uneven complexion and reduce the visibility of age spots. If you have freckles, age spots, or other marks on your skin that are ruing your complexion, applying a thin layer of this formula is recommended.

Exfoderm Forte is made with alpha hydroxyl acid, and helps to remove dead skin cells more easily than a standard cleanser or face masque and also encourages the absorption of other serums and concentrates you are using.

Obagi Nu-Derm Blender product is one of the most important in the system; this is the treatment which helps with cell turnover, and is used with the Tretinoin Cream to stimulate the skin and encourage healthy cell growth.

For sun protection, the Obagi Nu-Derm line offers sun block, a skin protecting cream, and the Sunfader, a formula designed to product skin from UV damage. All three of these are recommended for anyone living in a sunny climate, or for those who spend a lot of time outdoors. Since sun damage is one of the leading causes of wrinkles, these skin protecting formulas offer one way to reduce the signs of aging at any age.

The Control products in the system include the Eye Cream, Action moisturizer, and Tolereen. Each of these are designed to promote healthy skin and moisturize and soothe any dry areas; plan to use these more infrequently than the other products.

Getting Results with the Obagi Skincare Line
The Obagi Nu-Derm System is one of the leading lines of products from Obagi, and is especially recommended for anyone undergoing the Obagi Blue Peel or other cosmetic peels and skincare treatments. While the kits and products come at a steep price for most consumers, there are many benefits of using a prescription-strength formula to treat aging, discolored, or imbalanced skin.

Ongoing and consistent use is the only way to get results, and this can mean using the products for months at a time. Determining the actual costs upfront is a good strategy to find out if Obagi will be a good match for you; once you start using the products it can be difficult to switch to a different skincare line or brand without creating skin imbalances and skin problems.

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Logitech Squeezebox Duet Digital Audio System – Review

 

If you have been looking for a way to play your favorite iPod tunes, access your favorite Internet stations such as Rhapsody and Pandora or listen to your downloaded music files, while also being able to play your favorite CDs on one speaker system with immersive sound , the solution has arrived! Now, you will no longer need long cables or extra speakers, you can enjoy music from all your favorite sources with the use of a single device – the Logitech Squeezebox Duet Digital Audio System.
The small, handheld wireless controller makes it highly convenient and easy to access all of your favorite songs. With this system, you can expect a great sound and the Wi-Fi connection reaches throughout your entire house. It doesn’t require a computer or an Internet connection, but your purchase will include access to a free, Internet based radio service offered through Logitech – the SqueezeNetwork which enables you to tune into thousands of Internet radio stations without a subscription. The system also allows you to store mp3 files without downloading them onto your computer.

You can also use the system to listen to podcasts, so with the convenience of one tool, you can listen to your digital music on your home stereo system without all of the hassle of downloading, transferring, etc. that you typically have to endure to listen to your digital music on your stereo. And with this system, you are no longer limited to listening to your computer stored music via small computer speakers!

The Duet Digital Squeezebox remote control sort of resembles an iPod and has a scroll wheel and small color LCD screen that allows you to control the most highly used functions for your stereo – volume, play/pause, and forward/reverse. In addition, you can set up your system for use in different rooms throughout your house by purchasing additional receivers.

It’s simple and easy to use and setup. Logitech makes it quite user-friendly, even for the technically challenged by installing a wizard that walks you through setting your system up, step-by-step. You coordinate all of your online music via the Logitech SqueezeNetwork and can manage your podcasts, radio stations, and RSS feeds via one source. Their system is compatible with any machine – Mac, Windows, Linux and works with all portable devices. You can also access the SqueezeNetwork via any Internet browser (Firefox, IE, Opera, etc.) making this device great for anyone. Lastly, for the price, it’s the best system on the market – retailing for only around $400.00 versus the $1,000.00+ options currently available.

So if you’re looking for a reasonably priced audio system that will allow you to play music from all of your favorite choices, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet Digital Audio System will make a perfect system for you! It’s reliable and is money well-spent for the convenience, ease of use, and excellent quality that you get.

Is Drupal the Right CMS for You?

 
Drupal is what is known as an open-source content management system. You can use it for free, but it’s a powerful web development software that may be used for many purposes. Since it was introduced in 2001, Drupal has become one of the favorite CMS applications among web developers and has over 600,000 contributors and group users. Drupal is written in PHP and uses MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Drupal uses a database to compile and organize the website’s content. Then it combines the content with the template of a site to create web pages. It allows you to have total control over the website by simply logging in to the administrator page. You can create new pages, menu structures and modules. It also allows you to assign different levels of capabilities to different users. For instance, some of the users of the site can write content, but not publish it while others are allowed to edit and publish. This allows you to moderate and/or edit the content of your site through DNN .net CMS.

One of the most outstanding features of Drupal is you can restrict access to your website. You can create usernames and passwords for the people who have your permission to access your site’s pages and menus. This is useful for membership or employees-only websites. Also, you can easily e-mail the registered users of the site which makes it easy for you to keep in touch with your members or employees. You may disable the feature if you are not going to use it.

With Drupal, you can work with thousands of “modules”. The modules are from some software companies and individual programmers who contribute their expertise to make Drupal the versatile CMS application that it is.

Its versatility and the many capabilities it offers makes Drupal one of the best CMS applications available today. Incredibly, Drupal is free. However, be sure to read the fine print because some restrictions do apply. While a good number of these modules are free to download and use, some will need to be paid for. To see if Drupal is the right CMS for you, visit the Drupal website.

Employee Financial Counseling – a Needed Employee Benefit

 

It is no secret that people are struggling with their finances. Many people have debts that have overtaken their lives, while others are struggling just to pay their everyday bills. All of these financial problems produce stress and distract employees when they are at work. This leads to mistakes, lower productivity and even employee absenteeism. If you want to help improve your company position then you need to help your employees manage their personal finances. Fortunately, this can generally be done with your in-office staff’s assistance.
Financial Counseling – A Benefit for Employees?

Financial counseling can be a huge benefit for employees at all levels. It can be used to identify retirement savings strategies, it can be used to help find a way to pay off personal debt or it can be used to establish a budget and more appropriate spending behaviors. Financial counseling services can also be used to help employees set financial goals for things like saving for their children’s college education, saving for a house or increasing their net worth to a specific dollar amount.

Who Offers Employee Financial Counseling

Financial counseling services can be offered by a number of different staff members on your payroll. First of all, if you have a financial advisor that works for your company then they will obviously be the first choice. However, personnel managers that are familiar with your company’s retirement savings plans and other financial products can also be utilized as a financial counseling, at least for sessions that relate to retirement planning. If the company offers financial planning services then you can offer your services to your non-financial employees like your administrative staff. Finally, if you don’t have a financial planner or advisor on payroll then you can bring in a financial advisor from a third party company to meet with your employees once a year, once a quarter or once a month.

Setting Up This Benefit

In order to set up this benefit you will need to create a policy. This policy will describe who is eligible for the benefit, what the benefit will include, how the employee will be able to access the benefit, when it is offered and what restrictions will be applied to the benefit. This policy will need to be added to your employee handbook and an enrollment form will need to be generated. When you are ready to implement this benefit you will need to hold a company meeting or at least release a memo that describes the benefit and the benefit’s policy.

Encourage your employees to know more about financial counselling. As a start, you may encourage them to write down their thoughts and dreams in an organizer, like the one I am using from Toad Diaries. I bet it will be beneficial for them.

How Drugs Changed My Life

 

My childhood in the suburbs of Michigan could be considered perfect. I had the right friends, the kind who were part of the “in-crowd”, and therefore had access to all the raves. My parents were incredibly trusting and thought I could do no wrong. I knew how to get anything I wanted with a simply call for Daddy. All these seemingly innocent luxuries aided in sending my life in a downward spiral that I would spend years trying to climb back up.

Growing up, i searched for different products for my face. That’s when I saw a vitamin c serum for face that really help me against pores. Aside from product, I was also introduced to drugs.
It amazes me to think of how an average teenager has such easy access to drugs. My friend’s daughter informed me, to my surprise, that all she had to do was walk into school and find the right people to buy drugs from. In fact, she said most of the teenage drug dealers never even hesitate in selling and purchasing drugs in a public place. Upon hearing the stories from my friend’s daughter, I was brought back to a place in my early life when I was not ashamed to sell, buy, and consume drugs.

I should have been honest with my parents in high school, and perhaps I would not have spent months in rehab and actually have memories of my days as a teenager. Unfortunately, those days are gone with the wind for I was either too high or drunk to remember anything. I was a drug dealer, buyer, and consumer. I was in denial at its worst at the time and managed to find my way out of the once so luxuries hell I had trapped myself in.

“Just say no,” my teachers always told the class. These words, which ultimately saved my life, completed slipped my mind as I accepted my first joint. The first led to the second, the second to the third, and so on. Before I knew it, my life was an uncontrollable whirlwind of drugs and lies.

Ultimately, drugs changed my life. Drugs became my best friend. This “best friend” eventually played a part in the reason why I was sent to jail. When I was nineteen, I went to jail for being caught with marijuana, a controlled substance. The handcuffs were placed firmly… nearly too firmly, on my wrists. I’ll never forget how the cold metal of the restricting handcuffs felt. I found myself in the back of a police car with my friends, who were also high at the time, as my company. My life was slowly falling down around me. My friends were in handcuffs, I was in handcuffs, and curfew was only minutes away.

I will never be able to erase the painful memories of my mom’s tears as she became informed of the events of the night. Seeing the woman I had once used for money, the woman who had trusted me so much, now consumed with tears because of my mistakes proved to be overwhelmingly painful.

I was sentenced to rehab for three months. In rehab, I went through withdrawals, which almost ended in a successful suicide attempt. Those in charge of the rehab institution completely changed my life. I realized my former lifestyle was wrong and harmful, and not to mention, could easily have resulted in death. My life was finally beginning to pick up. As I walked out of the doors of rehab, I was changed for the better. No longer was I restricted to a certain group of friends or a certain curfew. I now had no friends and didn’t have the opportunity to go out, which called for no curfew. My new, sober life was spent indoors under the close supervision of my parents.

Drugs had been a friend and a release. I have used drugs as an excuse for many of my problems in life. Drugs had become my worst enemy and I had allowed them to send my life down a path to nowhere at full speed. Life was no longer enjoyable once the handcuffs were placed around my wrists. No longer was I going to be out past curfew with a bottle of vodka or spiked punch in my hand. Winning my parents trust back was the most challenging, and ultimately most rewarding result of my dance with drugs. I am now sober and have been since the day I was released from rehab. I have not spoken to the friends I had when I was living the criminal lifestyle. However, I have heard through the grapevine one has three children, all of which have been taken custody by social services. I thank the police officers and the individuals I met in rehab each day I wake up for helping guide my life on the right path. Drugs changed my life, and a different, positive outlook on life is what I have to show for it.

Balancing Act: The Principles of Good Web Design

Good website design is not about pretty pictures or the latest bells and whistles, it is about how well the site achieves a specific goal. These goals vary by organization, but ultimately it is about the end-user. The user’s experience, or in some cases the lack thereof, is what distinguishes the site from the competition. Regardless of industry, there are several key elements that exist in all good websites.

All good websites start with a plan
First and foremost, you need to define what you are trying to accomplish, who you are trying to target and how you plan to achieve these goals. Having a sitemap containing all the content you want to include and how you plan to organize it is a start. You need concrete goals about what you wish to accomplish. Is your site purely informative? Is it to generate sales leads? Is your site e-commerce enabled? Does it have a specific, measurable task? Are your goals for the site obtainable? These are all things to consider when developing your website.

Content is king
Good websites have engaging content that concise, informative, easy to understand, necessary and skimmable. One way to accomplish this is to use techniques such as the inverted pyramid, which places the most important content in the beginning of the page and least important content at the end. Another way of helping the readability of the site is to use sub-headers, typographical elements and white space.

Keep it simple
Designing a site that is overly complex will hinder its usability. Good websites are aware of structure and organization. They are also transparent to the user. The design should be intuitive and not require directions in order to be used. Design with a purpose rather than doing something just for the sake of being cool.

Error Free
Typos, broken images, scripting errors and broken layouts are not only unprofessional; they are a distraction that could ultimately leave to website abandonment. Having multiple people proofread as well as test your site on a variety of platforms and browsers can make all the difference. Remember, not everyone is going to have the latest web browser or computer. Also keep in mind that your website may be viewed on a phone or tablet.

A style guide is a must
Good web design is consistent in layout and navigation. The user shouldn’t need to look around to find the navigation, nor should they be distracted by your ever changing design. Using specific font treatments and style cues can help the user to perform tasks with ease. In addition, using consistent language will also aid the user.

A picture tells a story
The use of images to convey ideas or illustrate a point can help your readers, but use them sparingly. Users are often overwhelmed by text heavy and/or graphically heavy pages. If you find your images or copy dominating your page it might be time to re-think it. Are you trying to provide too much information? Does the size of the image need to be scaled? Can you say more with less?

Good design doesn’t have to be boring
Create a sense of style, use colors to create a mood but make sure it makes sense for the industry and user. For example, in some countries white is a color of mourning and would never be used for a wedding design. The use of bright, primary colors works well for a children’s site but not for bank. Just as small, little blue type wouldn’t work well for a website developed for seniors because they would have a difficult time reading it. Keeping your users in mind is the utmost importance. Good designers know the rules and which ones to break.

A good website design is a balancing act. It combines the color, typography and layout with writing, content and programming to obtain a user-friendly experience. Having clear cut goals, organization in addition to engaging content and a well laid out pages is essential for the site to be used as well as usable. If you need help in these, seek great digital marketing agencies and I am sure they will help you.

How to Participate in January’s Get Organized Month

The group is known as the National Association of Professional Organizers. That’s NAPO for short, and yes, it’s a real organization. As January leads us into 2007, millions of us can jump into some early spring cleaning endeavors with some helpful tips from the folks at Clutter Control Headquarters.

The benefits of staying organized are well-founded in the principles of neatness, decluttering, and adopting an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mentality. An organized office or home is a happy office or home. Or something like that. Staying organized can boost productivity, reduce stress, help you manage time. . .the list goes on. It’s a chance to lighten that work load and help you stress less.

‘Getting organized’ is a popular New Year’s resolution, but actually doing it might take a little planning. (If you’re the type that wants to create a draft or blueprint of the area beforehand, be sure to send in your application to the NAPO to become an *official* member of the club). Whether it’s the drawers in the study room, the kids’ play area, cleaning your listings in the hospitality jobs london, clearing your resume, or the avalanche waiting to happen in your closet, here’s what you can do to get started on your quest for organizational health:

Create a cleaning to-do list. There’s magic in them there words when they’re on paper, right in front of you. Checking off a to-do list as you whisk away that pile of laundry in the corner has tremendous benefits of instant gratification too.

Bring structure to your finances. Whether you’re a penny pincher or extravagant spender, it’s wise to track your bills, expenses, and income in one place. Set up an easy-to-use spreadsheet just for you; organizing your money in a tangible way can have a very positive effect on your spending habits.

Estimate your time. The best way to coordinate a cleaning frenzy in your house is to section of blocks of time for each area. Not only does this make it easier to tackle, you’ll really learn the value of 15 minutes needed to scrub that kitchen floor before you let the kids where shoes in the house again.

Make it fun. If you can get some friends or family members to join you for half a day, create a plan of attack for each project and delegate responsibilities for a group accomplishment.

Buy a bathroom organizer or closet space saver. Even though many of these come in those ‘As Seen on TV’ stamps, they really do work. Consider investing in a couple of space savers to rearrange some clutter, and avoid the missing sock fiasco every morning.

Organize your kitchen with expandable racks and additional shelves. Today’s fancy additions include hidden shelving in cabinets, hooks over doors, and clever ways to display cookware. Clear up that counter as much as possible.

Organize your bathroom and clean up that medicine cabinet. Throw away all the expired items, things you don’t use, or half-opened items. It’s time to start fresh!

Clean up your desktop or laptop. Create new files, delete old documents, empty the recycle bin, and run an antivirus program to cleanup your hard drive. Your computer will run faster, more efficiently, and help you be more productive.

Organize the office in one day. . .and create some new habits. Throw away all clutter, extra files, and paper. Section off one desk drawer to accommodate for desk toys, pens, knick-knacks, and your daytime snack. Make a new routine of cleaning up the desk before leaving so it’s fresh and new (or at least looks that way) when you arrive the next day.Since you want to manage your time better this year, these are just a few ways to follow in the footsteps of professionals. If you really can’t find time to join the fun this January, there’s still another option: hire a professional. Professional organizers can be found in local community pages, or online at the NAPO website. Good luck!

Missing mother

Time runs so fast. A while ago it was night, and now it is already morning. The warm sunny day is about to come and yet here I am sleepless, in front of my laptop, trying to update my status on my Facebook account. Today is Sunday. I know it should be a special day, because it is considered as a family day. But losing the most important person in the family makes me think, how can it be special when someone is missing? – Someone who only knows the best for me and someone who’ve always been there through my ups and downs. Sad to say, that special person is not with me anymore.

I hate Sundays. Aside from the reason that my relaxation from all the stress I felt during the weekdays will soon be over, the other reason is something personal. It’s like a big part of myself was taken away from me. My usual happy Sundays were changed into gloomy one.

This was the day when she always wakes me up early in the morning to go to market and buy our ulam for lunch and dinner. I think this was also one of her relaxation habits after all the pressure she had from her work and also the stress she encounters every single day because of us, specifically me and my four brothers. This may be an ordinary scenario to others, but those were some of the precious bonding moments I have with my mom. Especually that time when I told her I want to know more about hosting ranking and website making and all.

 

Back then, from Project 6, we would go to a wet market near Cubao instead of just going in a talipapa near our house to buy our food for the day. We would always use our car so that we can arrive fast to the market and come back before lunch time. We also need not to carry those heavy plastic bags full of our pinamili. (Because I am too small to carry all those things.)

While we’re inside our car, my mom would always do her motherly role by checking on me. We would talk about how my school days went, check if I had found the love of my life, or just let me share my major sentiments or even the petty ones that I want her to know. (Maybe this was the reason why we always go to far markets.) Those were the times when she would put a smile on her face and let me feel that everything is okay. She would give me helpful advices, and would explain to me that some things are ought to be achieved through passion and hard work. She would let me know how she feels towards the things I have said and done, and tell me if I am doing the right thing or not.

After we parked our car, mommy and I would just go inside the wet and smelly market to know what our ulam would be. Mommy usually doesn’t bring with her a list of what to buy. She just goes straight ahead to the stalls and tries to see what she wants to cook later on. Usually, we end up buying seafood. My mom loves seafood and even exotic kinds of food. When she has money, she would buy crabs, shrimps, talaba (her favorite) and lato or seaweeds. These became my favorites too. During weekends, expect that some of these will be served on our table. After an hour and a half of buying our favorites, we would immediately head home so that she could cook something special for the family.

 

It is sad to say that we won’t be able to do it anymore because she’s in heaven now. She passed away 3 years ago due to her stage 4 cancer. Sundays became the ultimate bonding between me and my mom. I won’t be able to see her smile or even raise his eyebrows while listening to my sentiments. I’ll never forget those warm and special times, when she encourages me to do things that will make a big difference not only to me but to others as well. Now, I feel incomplete. Every Sunday, I  am often alone in the house. My older brothers are not here because they are working even on weekends just for my tuition. This is the reason why I seldom stay here because most of the time, there’s no one at home. The old times where we would all be in one table to eat and talk about anything can no longer be seen. It is quite saddening because the bond that we always do when my mother was still alive, seem to not exist anymore.

But as others say, life must go on. My life has changed since she left. On a positive note, I can say that I became a stronger and more independent individual than before. I believe that I could already face the world with high hopes and with more trust in God. If all else succeeds or fails, I know that God has a good reason and a better plan for me.  Everything that we see in this world is not permanent, all is just borrowed. We just have to give importance on things with great value and grab the chance while it still exists. That’s what I learned before mommy left us.

I never regret the time when God gave me the opportunity to take care of  my mom and let her know how much I love her . I thank God for that last 3 months I had, just to be with my mom. I stopped schooling for a year with a reason. And that reason is to have the second and last chance to take care of her, to give back all the things she had given me, and to assure her that I could survive without her.

Too bad I don’t have  pictures of me with my mom only. But I could show some pictures of her with our family.