Saturday, June 27, 2020

Why I Am Considering Going Barefoot



I was recently doing some online shopping for footwear. This is one of the things that I've found myself doing quite frequently during the lockdown. During this time I came across a website that talks about barefoot shoes. 

The last interaction that I had with these sorts of shoes was when they were worth available in the form of the ones that had a separation between the toes. those were a no-go for me. I've imagined myself wearing them when exercising, and that's was not a pretty figure.

Surprisingly, when I encountered them, this time, they were not what I expected. They look just like you would expect from any other shoes. If I had not been told by the text on the website I would not have been able to tell that they were barefoot shoes. There is some style to them. They are available in all sorts of designs for all sorts of uses. 

Some of the brands that I have been looking at

I have found that unlike I had expected there are various brands that are making these shoes. My favorite ones include Vivobarefoot, Be Lenka, and Groundies. The ones that are liked are the Vivobarefoot Winter Shoes. This is mainly because they have various shoes that you can choose from boots to sports shoes and a variety of colors too! 

Even better is the fact that these shoes are shipped worldwide! How cool is that? Most of these brands are out of Europe. They have been leading the charge when it comes to this market. Some US brands have minimalist shoes that are not quite barefoot. Maybe over time, they will also have additional lines to add to it. 


Things that can improve

One of the things that I wish the brands could do better with is the addition of more feminine lines of shoes. This is not to say that there aren’t any. Most of the shoes that they currently have are uni-sex. I would like to see more designs that are created for women. 

Some obvious limitations need to be overcome. The first one of these is that going barefoot means that the heels we are used to having on ladies’ shoes are not available. 

Maybe the next step would be to see how creative designers can create a new type of shoe that captures femininity. I am not sure what those would look like, and fortunately, that job is not going to be left to me. 

Seeing as I am not a designer. The clear one that is lacking are shoes that I could wear with a dress or a skirt when I go out. If I am going out on the town with my friends, or when I am going to an event that requires dress up. 


Conclusion

I am yet to purchase a pair, but will certainly update you all when I do. The one thing that I am looking forward to experiencing is how different they are from cushioned shoes. What I do know is that care should be taken when transitioning from regular shoes to these. 



Thursday, June 25, 2020

How To Stay Positive During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by I Am Band, written by bits-en-pieces, opinions and views are solely mine.
Today is Day 99 of the Covid19 pandemic lockdown. This is my day to day count since the first day we have noticed at work that it was our last day and the city will be on lockdown. 

After 99 days contemplating on the days, weeks, and months that have passed by, I could not help but be anxious about the time that we were inside the house...time flies so fast, I did not notice it went by so quick!  

There were a few days from the past weeks that were still so vivid, times that the anxiety, fears, and depression rolls down in one downhill stroke. There were sleepless nights in the early weeks, overwhelming thoughts, the feeling of being sick, and the feeling of being tired upon opening my eyes in the morning. Everything was hard to digest at first, knowing the unknown and when will the pandemic situation will end. 

Until one morning, something inside me kicked in, I saw that lighted bulb above my head with the idea on my mind. 

Why not do things that I normally do before the lockdown, before this pandemic happened? 

For so many reasons - I still wake up in the morning, same time as my usual morning time when I go to work. I need to take a shower and why not dress up like I will be going out of the house to go to work, and fix myself up just like before, with this I am started my day just like before. 


Adding up some things and longer hours in the confinement of our house such as; adding more time and enjoy every sip of my morning coffee during breakfast, making kitchen and other house chores fun and exciting by listing all the things I need to cook, bake and clean. I get to spend more sitting time for my motivational video yoga, spend more time with each of my family members whether by video calls or the ones I am with. Spiritually, silently I devoted time to say a prayer whenever I feel down. 


With all these anxiety I am learning to cope with and battle, there are some other ways that I can try and help me deal with all these, I am keen to benefit from I Am Band. I saw this page when I was searching and reading some Covid-19 affirmations. 


"An Affirmation changes lives lifts spirits, provides confidence, and creates success. A simple affirmation that you do most of the time to yourself daily, by your thoughts, drives what you need to do, want to do, and how you wish to live your life.
A focused affirmation you say regularly for what you want creates the power that manifests the results faster. Everything we take for granted today, started with some form of affirmation. Things are created via a thought than a word.
To understand the power of an affirmation targeted to what you desire is to understand the true power of who you are. This must never be forgotten." 

The I Am Band bracelet can blocks negativity, stress, undefined thoughts or depression, spiritual attack, harmful energy, and even common ailments that can be passed on to one member of the family to another, it says it can also boost health! 
Along with all my self-care management, I would love to include this with me as I journey to more days ahead of this pandemic and shove all the negativity that is around me. 

If you are interested as I am you can check on them on the following sites:










Have you heard about this product yet, your thoughts on this? 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Common financial challenges for 2020

Disclosure: This article is a sponsored post, written by bits-en-pieces, opinions and views are solely mine.
Now that we are slowly inching out to go back to normal after more than three months. We can now do things that we were supposed to do before COVID-19 with minimal health standards such as social distancing, wearing of face mask, and hand washing at all times. 



Things that were placed on hold; weddings, family get-together, seminars, school, getting and moving to a new place, and most especially work. 

Work recession and unemployment became the economy's biggest challenge at this time.

Unemployment continues to grow quickly and sometimes stays high during a recession. With the onset of the recession as businesses face rising expenses, stagnating or decreasing profits, and increased pressure to pay off their debts, they tend to lay off staff to cut costs. The number of unemployed workers in many sectors is growing concurrently, newly unemployed workers are struggling to find new jobs during the recession, and the average number of unemployment for employees is increasing. This shows the link between recession and unemployment. 

Managing finances at this time of the year can be difficult. Things you need to look and view at a larger picture are the following: 

  • School debts/ student loanskeep abreast of school policies regarding payment as they can provide an automatic stoppage of payments. 
  • Health insurance payments- with the precedented volume of COVID-19 patients worldwide, health insurance claims reached its peak. While not all medical costs were covered by the policies, it was a huge benefit to have one, so invest in this field once the system is back in place.
  • Car paymentsseek payment agreement plans.
  • Everyday expensesregulate unwanted food splurge; do not hoard!
  • Veterinary expensessetting payment plans with your veterinary doctor or clinic.
  • Credit card paymentsmany that have lines of credit should be aware that the loan agreements with their bank can allow the lender to reduce their credit limit or seek repayment.
  • Mortage and house rental expenses




I was reading at one of my friend's posts about asking recommendations for a new place. They are into transferring to a new place because of the number of positive cases in their area and they are being held in lockdown for weeks now and they cannot move and do their everyday life because of this. So, the best thing to do is transfer or buy a new place for them away from their current situation. They have the means financially and what they need is a good recommendation that can accommodate them with the move. 

I suggested seeking a professional real state broker or a real estate professional like Ron Legrand. In a topic I read, Ron Legrand's net worth is impressive! I believe that one can base their success on the figures one has. I enjoyed reading success in one's business and this is one of them. I hope my friend can find a place soon for her family, less to the physical and emotional stress that brought about by the health situation the world is dealing with.

Nevertheless, we still need to stick to budgeting, this will take a toll on all the members of the family. So, plan and work on this aspect closely as we go back to the "new normal".  


Monday, June 15, 2020

Basic Vegetable Home Gardening For Beginners

Even before the lockdown and the pandemic, you can always find me in the kitchen, whipping, and preparing meals. I always find cooking as one of the relaxing things I can do at home. In cooking my creativity for food burst in ideas. I am not a professional cook, but I can cook meals out of what I have in the kitchen, or what I plan to cook. 

There was a point when the lockdown was implemented in the city, I panicked with some of my necessities for cooking. I was half-prepared with my stocks. Limiting the purchase of supplies and closing of the markets made me stressed out a little. Good thing, some business owners came up with an idea of home delivery. From vegetables to meat I was able to get some fresh produce and meat products from the market without going out and exposing myself in the crowd of people who are trying to get their daily supplies. Food and supplies delivery became my lifeline in providing and preparing fresh and nutritious meals for us during the lockdown. 

I have also learned to start my vegetable home gardening, yes, I am a novice when it comes to this. I am trying my luck to grow some vegetables and herbs which I normally use. And, since I have no work for now I have so much time to tend to my mini-garden. 

From my last produce order, I thought of saving some of the leftover basil leaves which turned a little dry. I soaked the stem in water and after 24-36 hours it turned green and fresh. 

BEFORE

AFTER 24-36 hours in water


From this batch, I cut out some milk cartons which I saved taped the sides and placed some twisted wires to serve as hooks for the hanging. 

Placed a handful of soil and stick the basil leaves stems in it. 


This is what it looks like after 24 hours in the soil. 


Can you see the budding flowers? I think they sustained the water to soil transfer. :) 
I have two more carton/pots which have okra seeds and the one has red chilis.

I was able to pick some of the basil leaves before planting them and made some beef and basil omelet for lunch.


Wish me luck with this vegetable gardening adventure at home! 



UPDATE: After a week.












More photo update soon...

Sunday, June 14, 2020

How are you holding up with the lockdown?

***This is a sponsored post by Melvin Brewing, this article is written by me, opinions and views are solely mine.


How are you holding up with the lockdown/quarantine? 
In my countdown, it has been 90 days since the first day that the lockdown was implemented. Days passed by so quickly, stagnant at times, and I know some of you can agree with me about being anxious on some days upon waking up in the morning. 

With the days that have passed by-staying inside the house with limited resources and not allowed to go out, were you able to do things that you have been doing before? Like, going out on weekends, with family and friends? Going for a drink after office or work hours? I guess these are some things we missed doing because of the pandemic.

Speaking of beer, I stumbled upon this brand of beer called Melvin Brewing. Check out their line of craft beer designed cans and for sure you will be amazed like I was. 



To give you an insight into what their company is all about: 

Melvin Brewing was born in the back of a Thai restaurant in 2009, when owner Jeremy Tofte decided to bring beers from the future to Jackson, WY. Our 20-gallon brew system quickly grew into a 3 barrel system, and we served our award-winning beers — the original Melvin IPA, 2x4 Double IPA, and Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb — with sides of Asian street food, kung fu movies, and old school hip hop.
After winning Small Brewpub of the Year at GABF 2015, we opened a 30 barrel production facility 45 minutes away in Alpine, WY (pop 750) with the awesome help of the people of Wyoming. Shortly thereafter, we went on to win Brewing Group of the Year at GABF 2017.
Embracing the chaos and riding the wave, Melvin Brewing is now ready to take its world-class beers on a worldwide tour, via our lifted border patrol Melvin bus.
"Remember: if your beer is not madness, it’s not beer. "

And boy they are bagging awards from 2011 up to 2018. 

Out of their can designs, my favorite is this one. It depicts the Asian vibe in it. I am seeing the tradition, fun, and excitement of the vibrant colors. 



Check out their page and sure you will enjoy the rest of the designs and you might want to buy some. 

As things are slowly opening, lessening the lockdown and the stay at home orders, people are now creeping their way to go back to the normal or the "new normal" way of life. Bars and restaurants are starting to fill-up with customers, who missed hanging out in their favorites places to have a beer and food. I guess I will be getting this brew from Melvin's to taste. I might stock up some and collect too.

How do we communicate in today's world?

***This is a sponsored post by Syniverse, this article is written by me, opinions and views are solely mine.



Today's way of communication defines the development and the advancement of technology the world is providing us. 
People are finding ways to adapt to abrupt changes in modern technology. Almost all are dependent on technology as a means or a form of communication to family and friends; work situation; business-wise; and even to what we need to know around the world. 

During the implementation of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people, in general, relies on technology as their means of communication. People were not allowed to go out, shut down of businesses and schools temporarily closed. In general, people were forced to stay at home, isolate themselves from the outside world, and some were placed in quarantine. Hospitals and medical facilities were the only ones operating to the fullest. 

Mobile or text messaging is the most effective way to communicate with others. With almost all of the people worldwide has mobile phones or even gadgets that can send SMS to someone, this is known to be the most reliable and easiest way to message someone.

After three months of closure due to the lockdown, we are all slowly getting to the "new normal" stage. People are in the streets, businesses are slowly on its operation and what comes next - the demand for services. 

There are plenty of messaging platforms on the market today where you can access or buy them free of charge from your mobile provider. Messaging platforms vary in the degree of the needs of the customer, from personal to business use. 

Business-wise: 
  • Build brand awareness and loyalty with more valuable interactions. Customers are drawn to brands that serve them meaningful interactions, and having real-time, actionable data is the key to creating them. 
  • Rely on seamless operations to efficiently manage programs and campaigns.
  • Provide best-in-class customer care that amplifies your brand.
  • Reach your customers, and find new ones, on more channels.
In my understanding, this mobile messaging technology can provide its services when it comes to aiding communication with customers and owners. Read below their featured services:  
  1. Syniverse can help build an omnichannel mobile program that’s both strategic and creative. And, your plan can continue to evolve and become more successful with our robust performance reporting.
  2. Syniverse is all about agility, quickly and easily integrating with your current infrastructure. There’s no downtime, and we offer 24/7 support. And most importantly, our secure global platform keeps you—and your customers—safe.
  3. Syniverse can be the feature that sets your brand apart. With a suite of tools that delivers a consistent, quality experience, you’ll keep the customers you have and earn an impressive reputation that will bring in new ones.

Personal-wise, there are a lot of famous personal messaging apps in the market today. Most of them are meant for socializing, chat, calls, games, and some provide links to easy-payments. 

No matter what form of communication that is out there in the market today, always make sure that all your data and personal information are secured and protected. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

How to make Mango Sticky Rice




Making the most out of the availability of mangoes which is in season right now I decided to make and give this snack/dessert a try...mango sticky rice.

Mango sticky rice is a traditional Thai dessert made with glutinous rice, fresh mango and coconut milk, and eaten with a spoon or sometimes the hands.


I made it as simple as you are cooking rice on a rice cooker. For the recipe, you will be needing the following:

1.5 cups- glutinous rice (malagkit na bigas)
ripe mangoes
1 cup- pure coconut milk
1 cup- second squeeze coconut milk with water
1/2 cup- white granulated sugar
1/8 tsp- iodized salt or any salt available
sesame seeds 









Rinse the glutinous rice and drain the water.

Add half of the coconut milk with water

Add half of the pure coconut milk


Add sugar


Stir
Add salt


pan roast the sesame seeds until golden brown, set aside. 

Check and mix the glutinous rice half-way through cooking and check for the rice consistency. 


This is the finished product, mango sticky rice, it is the easiest and simplest way to cook this Thailand dish. 
The combination of the sweetness and tanginess of the mangoes combined with the glutinous rice with coconut milk blends well perfectly. 




Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Healthy Diet Safeguards Against COVID-19

PRESS RELEASE


The COVID-19 Pandemic intensifies Philippine’s battle against Double Burden of Malnutrition. Double Burden of Malnutrition is defined by World Health Organization (WHO) as “the coexistence of undernutrition along with overweight and obesity, or diet-related non-communicable diseases, within individuals, households and populations, and across the life course.” 

The limited distribution and access to food supplies aggravate the plight of poor and low-income Filipino households to sustain each person’s required nutrients through healthy meals. On the other hand, home confinement due to the mandated community quarantine may cause more people to not only restrict their physical activities but also to overeat and/or consume more food with empty calories as part of coping with stress and/or boredom. 

Given the importance of maintaining healthy diets to sustain our health and immunity against viruses and bacteria, we should turn to the practice of Pinggang Pinoy® as a viable safeguard to protect our family from diseases.



Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) introduced “Mag-Pinggang Pinoy® Tayo 7-day Menu Challenge” as a way to encourage homemakers to serve a variety of balanced meals to their families. Homemakers could access the Mag-Pinggang Pinoy® Tayo 7-day menu plan at www.ajinomoto.com.ph and facebook.com/CookmunitybyAjinomotoPH. This is part of the company’s “Eat Well, Live Well. Stay Well.” campaign to provide Filipino families with practical tips on proper nutrition, recipe menu, and fitness activities to cope, stay well, and enjoy life despite the current COVID-19 situation.

Ajinomoto’s 7-day menu plan is composed of complete meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each meal provides recipe suggestions for Healthy & Delicious Pinggang Pinoy® Recipes that are easy-to-do and affordable. These recipes are simple, solutions to serve enjoyable Pinggang Pinoy® meals. Homemakers could make use of their extra time to purchase widely available and inexpensive vegetables and fruits to complement rice beyond the usual supply of canned goods. Ajinomoto’s recipes make common ingredients more palatable like tofu sisig, meaty pechay picadillo, pork tapa and tomatoes, ensaladang talbos ng kamote, sweet and sour galunggong and many more. Here are three (3) recipe samplers done in three (3) easy steps:

Meaty Pechay Picadillo

1) SAUTÉ onion, garlic, and ground pork and mix in carrots, green peas, and pechay. 
2) SEASON with pepper, soy sauce, and AJI-GINISA® Flavor Seasoning Mix. 
3) COOK for 1 minute more.

Tofu Sisig

1) FRY tofu until golden brown and set aside. 
2) SAUTÉ ginger, onion, and garlic, add fried tofu and liver spread and mix well. 
3) SEASON with sugar and PORKSAVOR® All-in-One Seasoning mix and add chili peppers.

Pork tapa with tomatoes

1) MARINATE pork in water, sugar, soy sauce, pepper, and SARSAYA® Oyster Sauce for an hour or overnight. 
2) SAUTÉ onion, garlic, and pork. 
3) BOIL. Pour the marinade mixture and boil until the mixture is thick.    

For full recipes and more information about Ajinomoto and its products, visit www.ajinomoto.com.ph and facebook.com/CookmunitybyAjinomotoPH.
***
The Ajinomoto Group is a global company with specialties in the business of food and amino acids, guided by our leading-edge bioscience and fine chemical technologies.

Based on the corporate message “Eat Well, Live Well.”, we have been scientifically pursuing the possibilities of amino acids in supporting the healthy lives of people all around the world. We aim for future growth and continuous contribution to greater wellness by creating value through sustainable and innovative solutions for communities and society.

The Ajinomoto Group has offices in 35 countries and regions and sells products in more than 130 countries and regions. In fiscal 2018, sales were 1.1274 trillion yen (10.1 billion U.S. dollars). To learn more, visit www.ajinomoto.com.

Monday, June 1, 2020

How to Make Mango Chia Smoothie


Mango is a juicy stone fruit produced by numerous species of tropical trees belonging to the flowering plant genus Mangifera, mostly cultivated for their edible fruit.

One of the best and the sweetest mangoes are said to be found in the Philippines, in the province of Zambales, to showcase their best mango produce they hold an annual festival called The Dinamulag Festival, also known as the Zambales Mango Festival to celebrate or encourage the abundant harvest of mangoes in the province.

I think I have tasted at least five varieties of mangoes in my lifetime and the most typical ones are the "piko" the pointed ones and "dinamulag" the rounded-shaped mangoes. They are sour and green in color when unripe and yellow and sweet when ripe. 
They can be added to dishes or can be eaten as is, you can also make candies our of the meat, mango jam, and for a refreshing drink, smoothies and shakes are the perfect drink. 

I made three jars of mango smoothies out of the 10 ripe mangoes I have in the kitchen, want to know how to make mango chia smoothie? Check on the video above and learn how easy. 

You will be needing:

10- ripe mangoes, peeled and pitted
1-cup yogurt
1-cup skimmed milk
3- tbsp organic chia seeds. 

Do not add any sugar or sweetener to it as the mangoes have this natural sweetness. 

I hope you can make one and tag me when you do. 

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