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Spending and Saving, the Filipino (Kids') Way.

Summer is almost over here in the Philippines, which also means one thing - another academic year is about to start. The 2012-2013 school year officially begins on June 4th (for public schools, at least), and thousands upon thousands of students are expected to swarm to their respective schools on that day.

I know some kids aren't quite excited with the fact that summer break is over - no more fun and games, back to books and homework. But still there are some who are very, very eager to go back to school - mostly because they'll be receiving allowances again. I know, because I used to be one of those kids who are totally bummed with the 'no classes, no allowance' rule.

In this year's 'Cartoon Network New Generations' survey, research shows that 9 out of 10 Filipino children receive allowances from their parents on a daily basis. On the average, a typical Filipino child receives an allowance amounting to Php 206 per week. Not surprisingly, children from more affluent households receive more. For instance, kids from AB homes (ergo, the Upper Class) have allowances averaging to Php 366 per week; kids from C homes (aka, the Middle Class) receive an average of Php 268 per week.

Photo credit: Perceptions, Inc.

On top of these daily allowances, Filipino children also receive an average of Php 1,969 per annum in the form of gift money. Think birthdays, or 'aguinaldos' on Christmas Day. Studies show that kids in Manila receive more money than all other kids in the country. Their average weekly allowance of Php 214 plus a Php 2185 annual gift money is substantially more than what a child living in Cebu receives, which amounts to an average weekly allowance of Php 143 plus a Php 995 annual gift money only.

As for the spending habits, 57% of kids in the country spend all of the money they receive, while 87% claim to spend only half of their allowances.

When it comes to saving, 51% (that's more than half!) of Filipino children claim to be unable to save money. However, a good 34% have their savings stashed in their piggy banks (or coin banks, for that matter), while another 11% have turned over their savings to their parents for safekeeping.

Alarmingly, a whopping 61% of Filipino parents do not have bank accounts set up for their children, and only intend to do so (hopefully they will) within the next 12 months. Only 14% of Filipino parents have bank accounts under their child's name, and I'm proud to say that I belong to this very small proportion. I don't worry too much about my little man's spending habits because even at an early age, I've instilled in him the value of money. He'll be entering as Kindergarten this June, and at his age, kids usually bring snacks to school instead of receiving money from their parents.

Here's hoping that Cartoon Network New Generations survey for 2012 will serve as an eye-opener for Filipino kids, and most especially, their parents.

The Cartoon Network New Generations is a study that focuses on the lifestyles and preferences of kids in the Asia-Pacific Region. For 2012, the survey focused on the Philippines, where a total sample of 1000 kids across Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao participated.. The kids, aged 7-14, were interviewed face-to-face, in-house, together with their parents. This year's study was conducted by Ipsos Philippines.


Join | $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Beautifully BellaFaith and over 160 blogs have put together an awesome gift card giveaway for everyone to enter. Not only will one lucky person WIN a $100 Amazon gift card, but they will also win a $50 Victoria's Secret gift card AND a $50 Target OR Walmart gift card

This giveaway is open worldwide. You must be 18 or older to enter. It will begin May 30th and end June 7th. There will be NO substitutions for any of the gift cards. 

I realize that there are quite a few entries, so I included an end bonus! The more entries you have...the more of a chance you have to WIN! 

Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. If you have any problems, please e-mail Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another will be drawn. You do NOT have to be a blogger to enter OR win. Good luck!! 

The Story of Dirty Tom.

Because I won my first speaking contest at age 2.5, I knew there'd be pressure on my little man (hello, stage grandmoms, lol). But it seems like Yue really takes after me when it comes to stuff like this. (Stubbornness included, haha!)

Here's Yue, now at age 3.5, reciting 'The Story of Dirty Tom'. This kid's got a pretty sharp memory so our next project will be... The Gettysburg Address. Hahaha! :)

Sharing with Wednesday Whites and Wordless Wednesdays all over the blogosphere. :)


Spotlight | Chimera Online Shop

I'm not much of an arts and crafts person, and whenever I come across pretty little handmade things, I am always left in awe. Especially when they're made out of unconventional and eco-friendly materials. Case in point, Chimera Online.

What began as a simple hobby for childhood friends Kaye and Keyt has now become a booming business for these innovative entrepreneurs. From clothes, to accessories, and now venturing into shoes, Chimera carries a wide array of products that are eye-candy and easy on the pocket.

But there's more to Chimera than just being hip and trendy. Their merchandise, are in fact made from old clothes, vintage accessories, and even materials that some might consider as junk. By revamping  and restyling old clothes, upcycling and modifying vintage accessories with a modern twist, and using locally-sourced man-made materials, Chimera proves to be a staunch advocate of green living and eco-friendliness.

For instance, old and unwanted pairs of denims showcased in the Braided and Jeans Collection. Tattered and torn denims (and perhaps no longer fit) are transformed into something as pretty as these.

A headband, a foreband, a bracelet... these braided jeans are actually quite versatile. You can wear them  how you want it, any way you want it.

Then there's the Alambre Art Collection - fashion accessories made from the humble tie-wire. And so they say one man's junk is another man's treasure!

These tie-wires can also be found in other Chimera accessories, such as these dainty rings.

Wires were used to bind the beads together. (The very reason why they're called 'tie-wires'.)

Aside from these, Chimera also produces clothes, bags, and shoes. They carry a bunch of other cute and quirky stuff too, such as Korean stamp sets, cable winders, and even the Magic Egg. All these and more are found in Chimera's Facebook page and Multiply site.

Oh, and in case you're wondering if there's a giveaway coming soon, YES there is! (If you're a regular reader of my blog, then I know you know the drill, haha!)

I have the privilege of working with Chimera for my next blog event, the Fun in the Sun Giveaway which goes live come June 3rd. There'll be a bunch of assorted Chimera merchandise up for grabs, including an Usamimi-inspired Twist Headband ala Park Min Young! (More popularly known as Kim Nana in City Hunter.)

I'm not exactly fond of Lee Min Ho, but I have to admit, him and Min Young look good together. And City Hunter was one of my favorite Kdramas from last year. A-aaand these Usamimi Headbands are so yeppuda! (That's lovely in Korean.)

So, if you're a fan of the drama, or would like to channel your inner Kim Nana (lol), or simply want to win some cool eco-friendly stuff, mark your calendars and be sure to check out my blog and social media pages from time to time. June 3, folks! :)

Shared with Blue Monday and Wednesday Whites. :)


Join | Jennifer Ouellette Hair Accessories Review + Giveaway!

Note: The following post is written by Divine of FadandGlamor, who is also the main host of the Jennifer Ouelette giveaway.

~ o ~

Wearing headbands is timeless. It can accessorize women in all occasion. It makes woman’s crowning glory more blooming! And this what Jennifer Ouellette proudly offer not just for ladies but also for men. Jennifer Ouellette is a premier hair dress designer in New York City.


What makes Jennifer Ouellette’s designs so special?
brand_05Jennifer’s sense of design began during childhood days spent in her mother’s vintage clothing store in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia, majoring in Textile and Apparel Management & Costume Design. She continues to combine her passion for vintage fashion with her modern New York City style. Using her needle and thread as an artist uses pencil and paint, she applies her manual sewing techniques to her millinery sculptures with loving detail.brand_06
In 1999, she was granted a US patent for the development of a unique headband design and construction, which greatly increases comfort and value. Her sustainable approach to her design proves she is a recycling artist. “I get creative when I start to clean my studio, reinventing our scraps is my expertise. I am content when we have zero waste.”
Jennifer Ouellette’s work is included fashion’s best periodicals around the world and her loyal customers demand more than shallow trends to compliment their style. Her designs are full of vitality and innovation, with inspirations from history, science and nature.
Jennifer Ouellette do not just sell hair dresses and accessories for profit, their utmost aim is happiness. They provide guaranteed satisfaction to their customers.

This is one of their most favorite designs.

An enchanting beauty that even your little girl could not resist wearing.
The Giveaway and Jennifer Ouellette and a group of amazing bloggers are giving away 9 headbands to 4 lucky followers! A total estimated value of more than $400. fadgiveaway_thumb
1st Winner – 3 headbands ($150 value)
2nd Winner – 2 headbands($100 value)
3rd Winner – 2 headbands ($100 value)
4th Winner – 2 headbands ($80 value)

This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE (free shipping) and will end on June 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST. No purchase or sign up required to enter. The winners will be emailed and has 24 hours only to respond, otherwise, another winner/s will be drawn. So, make sure you always check the email address that you’ve submitted in this giveaway. Kindly submit your entries on the Rafflecopter form below. Goodluck and stay beautiful!


Sunday Shuttering | Go Green!

My 'Sunday Shuttering' post from last week gained a lot of favorable responses (I even got featured on Lauren's blog!) that I might actually do this on a weekly basis. You know - flowers, a good perspective, a snapshot. Perhaps even a linky party in the near future.

In the meantime, here are some gorgeous greens.

I'm in a pretty good mood today because the Boston Celtics now advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.  And in case you're living under the rock all these time, we all know green is the Celtics' color. So yeah, even if I'm not a huge fan of green, that color becomes my favorite once the NBA Playoffs begin.

Let's go Boston! Beat the Heat! :)

Shared with Oh! Snap, Scenic Sunday, i Heart Macro, Green Monday.

Join | 7 on a Shoestring Celebration Giveaway!

May 21, 2012 was officially 1 year since I moved my old blogspot blog over to WordPress and became 7 on a Shoestring. The past year has been an amazing ride! I have done things I could have never imagined and have been to places I would never have thought possible. Plus, the friends I have met along the way have been incredible and I am excited about continuing the journey.

10K Facebook Fans and 1 Year Blogiversary Celebration

Therefore in honor of hitting 10K Facebook Fans {and then some} and my 1 Year Blogiversary, I am celebrating by giving each of you the chance to win some great prizes from some of the gracious sponsors who have joined me in commemorating the event. Not only do you have a chance to win the great prizes below, but you can also enter to win from the 7 Giveaway-A-Day sweepstakes from over the past week. Our sponsors have been awesome and all deserve much appreciation as well!

Sponsors for the Grand Prize Event

Each of the sponsors below have included a prize in the Grand Prize event. On the Giveaway Tools form you will find each of their Social Media accounts listed in order to support them as well. I will draw 6 winners, 1 for each prize. You MUST tell me your 1st and 2nd choice in prizes and you MUST like the sponsors Facebook page in order to be eligible for that prize. I believe it is only fair to the brand. Secondly, a HUGE thank you to the 143 other bloggers that have joined me in promoting this celebration! My blogging community has been amazing and I could do not have gotten where I am without your support. Therefore, other than liking them on Facebook or following them on Twitter, please make sure to include the blog's name or URL where you are entering so I can personally thank them for their hard work!

Enter to Win

Are you ready? Here are the prizes up for grabs and the sponsors offering them:
VTech - Safe & Sound Digital Audio Monitor
Clipa- Polished Silver Handbag Hanger
BabbaCo - The BabbaBox
Bling Bling by Cyndi- $25 Gift Certificate
Rubbermaid - Clean & Dry Plunger
Build a Dream Playhouses - Choice of The Cosmic Cruiser or The Dream Machine
Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Make sure to show your support for the sponsors and bloggers in the event. And THANK YOU for making the past year a success. Good luck!
Javascript must be enabled to enter this giveaway. Learn how to activate Javascript by clicking here.
Loading Entry-Form
Disclaimer: No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are clearly based on the number of entries received. This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. This giveaway is compliant with Facebook TOS. To qualify to win, you must fill out the entry form and follow all rules above. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond. You must be 18 years old to enter and live in the continental US only! Please understand that 7 on a Shoestring and other participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that fail to fulfill their prizes. Please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping.

Join | Cook'n Birthday Bash Giveaway!

Cook'n Recipe Organizer is Celebrating their 20th Birthday!

 To celebrate they are giving away over $385 in prizes to 


Prize #1-Valued at $130!
(Cook'n Software and $50 Walmart Gift Card)

Prize #2-Valued at $130
(Cook'n Software, Cook'n Binder, and Recipe Cards)

Prize # 3-Valued at $125!
(Cook'n Software, Old fashioned popcorn maker, & latest edition of Cook'n Magazine!)

Cook'n, Give Oh Giveaway, Raking in the Savings, Mamal Diane, Capri's Coupons, and The Rebel Sweetheart have teamed up with some other great bloggers to share this awesome giveaway with you! 

What exactly is Cook'n?

Cook'n is the #1 selling recipe organizer software with over 3 million copies sold! 

Some of the awesome features include: (hint: click the link to see the feature in action)
"Capture" recipes from the internet- My favorite feature!
Calculate the nutrition of the recipe-Helps you live a healthy lifestyle!
Enter your family's favorite recipes easily- There is an quick fill in feature!
Print your own cookbook- This would make a great gift!
Generate grocery list by aisle- An organized shopping list and cost of meal estimate!
MORE great features here-There are so many cool things this software can do, it really is amazing!

After seeing all these cool features you want a copy of Cook'n, don't ya? You can buy it HERE or try to win it via my blog first! This giveaway starts now and will end on June 6th at 11:59 
pm Eastern time. Sorry this giveaway is for US only. I know that makes some of you 
sad....sorry, international shipping is a bugger.  
To enter all you have to do is answer the following question on the rafflecopter form below. 

What is your favorite feature of Cook'n? Easy right?

Of course you will have plenty of extra entries to submit too! For this giveaway each participating blogger is listed individually. Choose to like the ones that might interest you and submit those entries. Or better yet, like them all, get every possible entry in for the great prizes; then if in a weeks time you feel your news feed is too clogged, just adjust the notifications. You can hide the posts from your news feed by clicking on the little gadget (star like button) and then adjust accordingly. It is easy to do and better than un-liking a page. Remember you can fill out as many or as few extra entries as you want on the Rafflecopter form! The winner will be emailed and have 24 hours to respond. GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I did not receive any monetary compensation for sharing this giveaway. I just like to share great giveaways!  The comments made above are honest opinions generated by Cj from Give oh Giveaway. 

Save Big From Your Electricity Bill.

Electricity consumption is known to spike during the summer. This means more of your money being eaten away by your electricity bill. During the summer, the average residential electricity consumption can go beyond 1 megawatt per hour. With the average price paid per kilowatt hour being 10 cents, the average monthly bill of a household can easily reach a hundred dollars, especially during the summer.

The high cost of electricity means that we can also save more with every kilowatt hour that we save. Thus, finding the best practices to save electricity during the season becomes increasingly important. And to help you with this, here are some ways to save literally precious electricity.

Use the Thermostat Wisely
One of the culprits of high electricity consumption during the summer is the air conditioner; and with little wonder since the temperature can reach three digits in some parts of the country. Apparently, beating the heat is very expensive. Program the air conditioner to allow higher temperature during work days or turn it off completely if no one's at home. This alone can already save you more than $10 per month.

Unplug Your Appliances
Appliances that are not being used but are still plugged are called electricity vampires. And as the name implies, appliances suck electricity when plugged, and yes, even when they are turned off. So when you are not using the TV, the microwave oven, the washing machine and the cell phone charger, be sure to unplug them as this can significantly increase your electricity consumption.

Consider Alternative Suppliers
This is an electricity saving trick that few people know or consider. In some areas in the country where electricity is not regulated by the government, the power is supplied by private companies. Most mainstream companies charge more than the smaller ones. If there are multiple suppliers in your area, try to settle an annual contract for huge savings. The rates will usually be fixed and you can save up to 15% of what you would otherwise pay.

Use Fans and Air Conditioner alternately
Air conditioners have timers and you can connect the fan to the air conditioners plug so that the electricity will be rerouted to the fan when the other is not working. Program the air conditioner to run only until the room is cool. Once it is, let the fan do the air circulation. Make sure that the room is well insulated. Use curtains or blinds to keep the sunlight out. This causes the room to heat up much slower.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances
If it so happens that you are about to buy new appliances, try to get ones that are certified to be energy efficient and ones that have the "time of use" feature. This will let you program the said appliances such as the refrigerator or the air conditioner to turn off during peak hours so you are not paying for the electricity during the time that it is not expensive. These appliances may cost extra, but it can be offset by the savings that you will make in the future or getting it from best buy using best buy coupon.


Foodie Goodie | Maja Blanca.

I had a can of corn kernels sitting on top of my fridge for quite some time. I've been meaning to make some maiz con yelo out of it, but because I'm too lazy to shave ice, that idea didn't quite materialize. I found this One-Step Maja Blanca Mix at the supermarket and opted for this one instead.

The only thing you need to do is dissolve the mix in water and bring it to a boil with continuous stirring. When the mixture is thick enough to cover the entire ladle, then you're done.

The mixture already has tiny bits of corn kernels in it, so using that can wasn't actually necessary. But since I like my Maja Blanca with generous heaps of corn kernel on it, I used it anyway. For something made 'instant', this Maja tasted pretty good. The little man and I devoured this pan in one sitting. Haha!

Shared with Food Friday, Food Trip Friday, Yummy Sunday, Heavenly Treats Sunday, and Mellow Yellow Monday.

Sign-Up | Summer Celebration Giveaway Hop

Summer Celebration

Happy MotheringEco-Crazy Mom and Organic Mama are excited to bring you the Summer Celebration Giveaway Hop, which will run from June 21, 2012 12:01 AM EST to June 29, 2012 11:59 PM EST. The hosts are accepting blogger sign-ups right now! Click here for more information and to sign up!


My Suesh + Kiss & Makeup Winnings!

Otherwise known as the blog post that almost took me six months to make. LOL.

I actually won these from Diane's Christmas giveaway, so imagine how long ago that was. Haha! The prize needed to be claimed at any of the Suesh branches, and the nearest from where I live is the Alabang Town Center outlet - which didn't open until February this year.

My best friend was supposed to do the claiming in my behalf, but being such a workaholic, doing night shifts, and even working overtime deterred him from going to ATC. I finally had the chance to claim 'em myself last month. Remember my out-of-town weekend with the sibs? From Cavite, we made a beeline to Alabang just so I could drop by Suesh.

And now, without further ado, I present to you my jaw-dropping, heart-stopping winnings! The first ever from a blog giveaway!

A 3-way LED Lighted Mirror, a 7-piece brush set, a makeup palette.

Woot! The lights work!
Valued at Php 8000 (more or less $200 USD), the LED Lighted Mirror comes with a lifetime warranty. In the event that the lights malfunction or the electricity gets busted, all I have to do is bring the case to any Suesh branch and I can have the lights replaced or repaired, free of charge!

Saving energy while staying pretty. :)
The 7-piece brush set, on the other hand, includes: a Powder Brush, a Stippling Brush, an Eyeshadow Brush, a Brow Brush, a Cheek Brush, a Concealer Brush, and a Lip Brush. The handles are made of birch wood, while the brushes are made from the finest animal hair.Valued at Php 2400 (around $55 USD), the set comes in a leather pouch with magnetic snap closures.

The softest brushes in my collection so far.
As for the makeup palette, the prize package originally stated a 'purple Suesh color palette'. The congenial staff of Suesh ATC, however, gave me the liberty to choose the palette that I want instead. I chose the Gold Beauty Angel palette, because I realized that I already have way too many purples and pinks in my makeup kit.

The Gold Beauty Angel palette.
The palette includes twelve eyeshadows, two blushes, a dual-ended applicator, and even a mirror. Green and Blue are the other variants of the Beauty Angel color palettes. The retail price at Suesh? Php 250 only!
Will post an FOTD using these babies soon.

Now allow me to give my thanks - again - to Suesh, for these wonderful, wonderful prizes. And of course, to lovely Ms. Diane, for hosting such a great giveaway. This makeup junkie is certainly overjoyed. Until the next! :)