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What's all the fuss?

>> Sunday, 7 December 2014

It's December 6 and I'm one of those people with schedules suddenly filled up, had to decline meetings and appointments because I need to finish work before Christmas. I was led into the frantic mode as the year comes to an end. There are still tasks to complete: project charters for next year to submit, my school project and the final exam coming, endless last minute training schedules to finalize, add to that my hubby and sons birthdays coming up and my in-laws are coming over the holidays, lots of shopping lists and what to give that will be acceptable....Phew! Just thinking about it makes me anxious and what-if scenarios are floating in my mind.

Stop! I had to pray to clear up my mind to get the right perspective, Gods perspective. Jesus Christ birthday is coming up, that's the only thing that I need to think about.  As I was wrapping the presents we bought today, I thought about the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and the simplicity of that night. The night God gave His only son to save the world. I was so guilty of being materialistic and spending so much time to think about the gifts to give and wait for the fulfillment of the receiver expectations.  I realized about how my mortal body responds to the worldly need of 'getting for giving' something, the thought of gift giving has come to a different level, it has become selfish - I'm sure you also used the word "Wish List".  You tend to give so that you fulfill the desires of your own flesh.

The first gift of love that was supposed to be our pattern for gift-giving happened on that night in Bethlehem.  God gave selflessly, in a simple, no-frills manger.  I can't believe that until now, not all humankind recognize or accept that gift. They don't even know Jesus personally and His purpose, why He even came to this world.  Blame it on us who are focused more on attending parties, exchanging gifts and fulfilling our own desires, who didn't want to slow down and respond to the real concept of Christmas.

God's love is everywhere - His forgiveness, mercy, kindness, faithfulness and patience in us. What other great time to celebrate this love than on Christmas? I hope we realize that instead of being frantic we try reconnecting and sharing God's message with our families and loved ones. Real JOY, PEACE and LOVE that comes from the true reason of the season - CHRIST.

The next time we wrap a present, let's not worry about how the recipient will react, it's the thought that counts. What's important is that we believe that Christ was born on earth and the Word became flesh and God's gift of salvation is more important to accept than any other gifts. God bless you and your family today.


“Nice One Nails”

>> Sunday, 23 November 2014

Alexus is turning 6 today and already graduated from Senior Kindergarten.  I am writing this because I want to remember the first phrase that Alexus read while we were on our way grocery shopping.  He just blurted out, “Nice One Nails” without anybody teaching him. I felt proud at that time. He was happy too and became confident reading the stores names and signs after this.  Today, he is in Grade 1 and his teacher told me that his reading level is the same as Grade 2’s.  He can finish a book (with pictures) in one sitting.  I couldn’t believe that I no longer have a baby, he refused to be called such. He is growing up fast. Thank you to all who taught him how to read, to the Leap Tag, Dr. Seuss and Geronimo Stilton books and for the phrase “Nice One Nails”. 


Tassimo: our early Christmas present

>> Sunday, 16 November 2014

Lito and I were eyeing that single cup coffee maker for a while now.  It was only until today when it was time to spend the points we earned and Tassimo prices dropped to almost 50 percent, that finally we decided to get our early Christmas present.  We were undecided which machine to get, we were to choose between a KEURIG or a TASSIMO. They have many similarities. Based on the internet, Keurig and Tassimo manufacture some of the most popular single-cup coffee makers, a.k.a., coffee pod machines. These machines puncture and brew conveniently pre-packaged, single-serve cups of coffee, tea, or other drinks. Both machines usually take 2-5 minutes to heat up and brew the contents of a cup. For the difference, here are some: Keurig use K-Cups and Tassimo use T-discs. Keurig has over 200 varieties of coffee brands including Starbucks while Tassimo are limited to less than a hundred without Starbucks. Nabob, Tim Hortons, McCafe, Cadbury, Gevalia, Maxwell house are some of the brands that Tassimo cater.

Now you may ask, why we opted for TASSIMO? It’s the barcode technology! Tassimo is using barcode technology, the system reads every T DISC individually and adjusts for temperature, water volume and brew time. A Keurig machine has 3 options for the quantity of coffee so if you choose the largest cup, the K-cup will be adjusted to fill the cup.  I'm not sure but it looks like the flavor is compromised because there is more water with a larger cup. The Tassimo manual says, The barcode holds information about the quantity and temperature of water needed, as well as the brewing time required to craft the perfect cup of your favourite beverage. The instant your T DISC is scanned, your TASSIMO brewer is ready to make your drink the right way, every time. Another thing that attracted me is the BOSCH manufacturer - German Ingenuity.  I also found out that Mondelez International (Kraft) owns Tassimo.

What I like most about are the many options I have: delicious caffĂ© crema, cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and exquisite espresso, tea and hot chocolate. Here in the picture is my first cup of cappuccino from our new Tassimo. I hope my sister will not have second thoughts about her Keurig.  But you can always find a good deal for T, Wendy, the black friday sale might offer this kind of deal.

Happy Coffee Brewing!


Set foot on the promised land - a continuous improvement lesson from the bible

>> Thursday, 16 October 2014

My most favorite part in my almost 28-year-career is learning about quality and getting better at it.  My first job exposed me how to do quality hamburgers, giving excellent customer service and being measured at it in different ways- first by our own superiors, second by the regional managers and lastly, by a mystery shopper.  At a young age, I learned about key performance metrics  (KPM or KPI) and how it drives you to perform more than the expected.  Getting a 100% rating from a mystery shopper is my ultimate goal then.  Receiving such rating means you were consistent in following the steps in delivering quality service.  All jobs no matter how small or big it is, whether it is a blue-collar or white starts with learning and following steps or instructions in order to achieve a product or service.  After doing the tasks, the outcome of the service or product is being measured by the stakeholders or customers. There is a set target that needs to be met in order for that product to be considered high quality.  Sometimes, making some changes in the process are needed so that your numbers improve or go up.  After you have consistently reached your target, you will move on to the next level - a higher target and so on and so forth. This is the idea of continuous improvement. You always move up and not down.  The reality is, reaching the target is not that easy, there are issues or something that prevents you from delivering quality service.  Believe it or not, there is always someone who will speak negatively about your goal, much more achieving it. Embrace change as this means you are accepting the challenge to be in the next level, in moving up. No turning back, the numbers should be up and not down.

If you remember Moses and the thousands of Israelites who were delivered from slavery in Egypt. On their journey to the promised land (Target) the people were complaining because of hunger and thirst  (Obstacles). There was always murmuring going on instead of them trusting and following God.  When they were being chased by the Egyptians, and they were at the edge of the sea. People complained and regretted leaving their comfortable life to join Moses. Bad as things were in Egypt, the known seemed better than the unknown to those who lacked faith (Resistant to Change).  During their forty years of desert wandering, the children of Israel alternately blessed and cursed the name of God. Because of this, every Israelite over twenty years of age when they left Egypt under Moses’ leadership was now dead.  

How do you feel when you are working towards reaching a long-awaited goal? Are you happy? Are you excited? And looking forward to a new journey? Are you anxious about what the change could bring? Are you following the instructions and faithful to the end? Will you set foot on the promised land? 

As I was meditating on this, I looked back and remember my KPIs, the obstacles and trials, the changes in or absence of comfort.  I realized that God's words are really alive, never changes, it is still the same before and until now.  It is a good analogy on how to handle change in my career in continuous improvement.  We want to set foot on the promised land! 

The Lord said to Moses, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them” (Numbers 20:12).

Read more: 
Exodus, Numbers and Joshua


How to make ourselves valuable - Adding Value Part 2

>> Friday, 3 October 2014

Here is a sequel to my earlier blog post entitled - "Adding value to others by adding value to self".  This time I am quoting Mr. John C. Maxwell because I read this in his book - The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader's day. Revitalize your Spirit and Empower your  Leadership.

How to make ourselves valuable according to God's words:

1. Constantly IMPROVE ourselves.

So how do we do that? Make an assessment, try one skill like cooking or baking. If you think you are good in cooking "Kare-Kare", try another one like "Kaldereta" or "Mechado" or tweak the recipes and replace the ingredients like beef to oxtail in Kare2 or beef to "kambing" in Kaldereta, or use pure tomatoes in Mechado and not canned tomato sauce.  For baking, if you've baked cookies, try brownies or cakes, then move on to the challenging ones like sponge cakes, tiramisu or Braso de Mercedes. The samples provided refer to VARIATION, or doing a different way to achieve a different result.  Here's another one, if you can run 5 kilometres in 25 minutes, beat it by trying to finish in 12 minutes....or if you can type 45 wpm, practice more to be able to do 60 wpm. Set a target and meet or exceed it.  We call it KPI or KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS - set of values use to measure the performance and meet the goals. Try to increase or decrease your numbers. Simple improvement strategies can not be measured rather the RESULTS indicate improvement.  If you used to always miss the bus, and you did something and now you are earlier than the bus, that means you've improved in managing your time or maybe the bus schedule changed. You alone can say which is which. :) the important thing is you've learned to accept the need to improve and you're doing something about it. Do not be COMPLACENT! Once you've accomplished something, no matter how dramatic the change or result was, continue to improve.  You'll be amazed at that potential God embedded in you. You just have to start at something.

2.  STRENGTHEN your hands and knees.  "Hebrews 12:12"

Remember the motto of the body builders, no pain, no gain. Exert some effort. It will not just happen. You need to initiate something.

3. RENEW your minds. "Roman 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your minds."

The brain is located on the top most part of our body. That indicates that everything starts from the top, from our brain.  I remember it in science, the brain sends signals to the body parts before it starts to function.  I call it MINDSET...whatever the mind conceives, the body achieves.  Try it, tell your brain to always think about accomplishing something and you will be able to finish it, the same goes if you always think about negative things - complaining, fear, "can't do it", worry, it-will-not-work attitude, what do you think is accomplished? Nothing!

4. Desire and USE GOD-GIVEN Gifts.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

We have INHERENT Values from GOD, like a chip embedded in us when He created us. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Romans 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

God loves us and values us. He wants us to be valuable so we can give and add value to others.


Throw it all away

>> Sunday, 28 September 2014

In the Sunday School class of my 2 younger sons, they were discussing about repentance and salvation. There is always a handout for the parents for follow up and we did the activities tonight.  It was a fruitful exercise. The family gathered together in a circle and each one had a paper and pen. We are to write down the things that are not pleasing to God (SIN) that we know are wrong but we keep on doing. So here are some of those that were listed: lying, getting things that are not your own (stealing) even small things like comb, toys, shirts. Disobeying parents, shouting at parents, disobeying teachers, not sharing, making other things more important than God, like video games, iPad and Lego; saying mean things, hitting others.  I wrote buying too many purses, not doing my chores and ignoring Lito, gossiping, too much Facebooking.  I remember how Lex wrote his, he asked how to write - too much video games, hurting and crying, hahaha. Anyway, at least they got the point. The main idea is after writing them down we are to pray for each one of them to be taken off our list, to forget about doing them again. Of course, we can't do it on our own. We need God. I can still remember how they uttered the words "Sorry", we pray for His guidance and protection from any temptation of doing it again (Repentance) or turning our backs on these wrong things. We had one last look at the list and crumpled the paper and threw them away. God wants us to trust in Him and ask Him to forgive us our sins. He sent Jesus to die on the cross to save us. We gave it all to Jesus. We believe that even if sometimes we do it again, Jesus still loves us and saves us (Salvation).  It is not about our being good, but His being Good and His grace.

Pray together as a family asking God to forgive your sins and thanking God that Jesus came to throw our sins away.

"There is repentance of sins for all who repent." Luke 24:47b


Adding value to others by adding value to self

>> Saturday, 9 August 2014

Two years ago, we had a team building exercise that focused on our "colours" or personalities.  The seminar is called "colours insights" and it was very good. I thought I know myself that well but after the exercise I learned more about my colours and how others perceived me.  One of the major characteristics of my dominant colour which is "Blue" is that I'm detail-oriented. I like details, I also like to write and plan. I like to continuously improve and learn, receptive of feedback and use that to improve. I will get bored with repetitive tasks and it's true. I'm glad that what I'm doing now is not that repetitive and exposed me to different people, handle difficult ones and helped bring out the "Red" in me which I lack.

The second dominant colour is "green". This is the "I Care" colour. This traits tends to focus on the emotional side of me.  It always look at how I'm feeling instead of being objective. This has both the positive and negative effect.

So that's me, my personality, the traits I have based on how God created me to be. Maybe there's more. Remember we are created in God's workmanship.  When God talked to Moses to lead His people, Moses said he can't even talk straight, how can he do that? There is nothing impossible with God.  Our colours can change depending on how you want to develop. If you need more "Red" - the GO-getter, then you have to brush up on leadership skills, if you want to have more "Yellow" - the encourager then you need to speak up more, engage in interesting conversations, listen and talk, not only listen or be a wallflower.  Our colours will increase or decrease depending on how we put our energies to it.

It takes something to be somewhere. We need to invest in time and effort to be wherever you want to be.  Like what I said, if you need to talk more, express yourself not only in writing but in speaking to crowds, you need practice. Start with how you answer a question, it can be more than a yes or no, or in asking a question, use an open ended type so that the one you are speaking to will not reply with a nod but he too will keep the conversation going. If you both ask or reply with a yes or no, the talking will eventually die. The conversation will end in an awkward situation.

Attend a class, volunteer. The more people you are exposed to, the greater chances of you having to talk to more than your family members or close friends.  Not only will you learn more in a particular subject, your network of acquaintances will also expand.  Doors and windows of opportunities arise.

Learning (and reading) has lots of advantages, it widens your vocabulary which you can use in conversing. You become interested in new things, you will become more interesting to others making you more comfortable because you know about something and will be confident to contribute.

I was just recently promoted as Training Specialist and these are some of my observations from those I've dealt with regards to training and improving one's self.  First, those who are resistant to change will not progress.  These are the proud, complacent, the know-it-all, the closed minded people.  Second, those who are humble, open-minded, knowledge-seeking and change-embracing individuals will have a long way to go upwards.  I said upwards because they will continue to learn, to excel and perfect their craft and they move to the next level.  These people are not afraid to take risks, not afraid to fail because they believe that even if they fail, there will be another chance for them to correct and improve.

So where does a value-added individual comes in? First what does VALUE mean, it could mean low value or high value, like quality, lo or hi-quality.  What do we usually buy? The high quality because we know that it lasts longer or has more to it than the regular.  High quality means high value, remember what Louis Vuitton and Hermes are known for?  High value! But because of their high-quality, the consumers bank on that, they consider it an investment. 

Add value to your self - be that humble, open-minded, knowledge-seeking and change-embracing individual. Learn a new craft, find out how to improve the way you work, attend classes, read a new book, learn a new language and join enriching activities.  Along the way, you will find yourself sharing what you learned and your deeds mean something to another. Before you know it, you as an individual makes a great impact to your workplace or community by giving something of value because you are overflowing with it.

Don't waste your time with just something, invest in more valuable habits, it will add value to you and to those around you.


About This Blog

My blog is about ME as a wife and a mom to Aloysius, Achilles & Alexus. MYSELF as a career woman, and IRMEE as my other roles - a daughter, a sister, a co-worker, a friend and all my discoveries in this wonderful life that God gave. I'll also share my latest finds in food, fashion, gadgets and places.

The rest is anything under the sun, so read on.

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