Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blog Awards

Thanks to Liza of Mommy's Little Corner for these awards!

Here are the rules for the Adorable Blog Award:

1. Include the award logo in your blog or post.
2. Nominate as many blogs which you like.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I'm nominating the following blogs:
My Sweet Escape
Life Marriage and Kids
Meow Diaries
Limitless Adventure

Monday, July 6, 2009

My New 3-Column Layout

I have finally emerged again after hiding in my invisibility cloak for two months. Unbelievably, I have managed to change my blog layout and to come up with this pinkish style with 3 columns (just the way I like it!). I think having a 3-column blog maximizes the horizontal space and it looks cool too! However, Blogger doesn't have a 3-column default layout so I had to look somewhere else to customize my blog. Blogger Buster has some good tips on how to change your blog into 3 columns without downloading any xml file. This way you can avoid deleting your widgets accidentally. You can also find other blogging tips there. I haven't really finished everything yet like the navigation links ("Home", "Links", and "Email"). They will all lead you to the same page so don't click it yet (but I know you will). I'll finish constructing the pages some other time (hopefully not two months from now). Anyway, enough blogging...I need to get back to work now. Ciao!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Looking for a Job?

First of all, I would like to congratulate the newly graduates! You finally made it to the unemployed world. So what's next? Job hunting? Well, let me tell you something. The best thing about the internet is that you don't actually have to hit the streets to look for a job anymore. You can simply sit comfortably at home and email your resumes. There are a lot of job sites that you can find online. Here are some of them:

JustEngineers - for engineers like me :)
Craigslist - just beware of scams


=Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental=

I have also placed some freelance sites that I personally recommend in the right hand column if you would like to be a freelancer like me. If you still don't have any luck on finding a job online, then I guess you're going to need that brown envelope after all.

It might also help if you read books on how to answer job interview questions.

Here's one funny clip on how to land a job:

Good luck on your interview!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pimp Your Blog

Wow it’s been months since I last posted and this blog has gotten a little dusty now. Looks like I have a lot to catch up. Well anyway, I’m thinking about changing my blog layout coz frankly I’m getting tired looking at this same old layout. The only problem is that I don’t know how to do it (or should I say I’m lazy enough to do it). Although there are a lot of custom layouts out there, I would love to make my own design someday (someday...the operative word)

Speaking of custom layouts, here are a few blogs that you might want to take a look:



Their designs are very lovely. You might want to order some for your blog. And if you want to design your own, these blogs have some cool scrap kits that you can download and use:

Southern Scrapz

So go ahead and pimp your blog now. Remember, good content + nice blog design = more traffic + more advertisers + more moolah! (I just love the sound of that hehe).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Data Conversion Using OCR

I've been inactive in this blogging thing for the past few days since I have been busy at work and I will even be busier next week. I will be going out of town to take care of some important matters and I'm planning to bring with me my Sony Microcassette Recorder so I can just dictate my blogs (that is, if something comes to mind) while I'm on the road then I'll just transcribe it afterwards.

Speaking of data conversion, this method may come in handy in your freelance projects when converting images into text. Instead of doing it manually, using an OCR is quicker and less tedious. Before, I've searched for free OCRs in the internet not knowing that I already have one in my computer. Most computers already have this but I don't think many people use it as frequently as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Here's five easy steps to convert images into text:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Office Document Imaging

Go to Start >> All Programs >> Microsoft Office >> Microsoft Office Tools >> Microsoft Office Document Imaging

Step 2: Select an Image for Data Conversion

In this case, I just opened a scanned document in PDF. Click the Select Tool. Highlight and copy the data that you want to convert into text.

Step 3: Paste Data in Microsoft Office Document Imaging

Click Page and select Paste Page or simply hold Ctrl + Shift + V.

Step 4: Use OCR to Recognize Text

Just click the eye icon to recognize the text using OCR.

Step 5: Copy and Paste Data in Word

After recognizing the text using OCR, you may paste the data in Word, Notepad, or Wordpad if you like.

Since these OCRs are not as smart as humans (ok there may be some exceptions), they are not always accurate so you still need to check it for any possible errors but at least you saved a lot of time converting pages of scanned documents into digital text. Hope you find this useful as it helped me a lot.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Scam Alert

I hate to admit it but I am often lured by those websites that promise huge sums of money. I mean, who wouldn’t be? If you can earn that amount “even while you sleep”, then why not, right? They even got these flashy 30-day money-back-guarantee seals and promo countdown timers that mysteriously don’t run out of time. Well hear this, the moment you pay for those, it’s either you won’t hear a thing from them anymore or you’ll get a bunch of manuals in your email teaching you how to make a new website similar to theirs. Sure, you’ll get what they promised, a thousand dollars a day, but it’s stealing from other people for crying out loud! You can count me out ‘cause I still have my halo stuck above my head.

It is always best to do your homework first before joining any program in the internet. Conduct a thorough research to see if there are any negative reviews of a certain website. Always take extra precautions. In case you have been a victim of these scams, you may file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or if you are too lazy to do that, you can just charge it to experience. No biggie!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting Started as a Freelancer

Join Freelance Sites

One way of working from home is by bidding on projects in freelance sites. There are a lot of freelance sites all over the internet but these are the ones that I personally use and recommend (especially the first two):

  1. GetAFreelancer
  2. Scriptlance
  3. oDesk
  4. RentACoder
  5. Elance

All of these sites have free and paid membership. Of course, paid memberships have more privileges but that doesn’t mean free members won’t get their share of success. You can start by signing up for free and as soon as you have built a strong profile, you may then upgrade your membership status. Make sure to read and follow their terms to avoid being banned on the site. (Scrap that! Just click on “I Agree” and you’re all set.)

Know Thyself

Assess your skills and interests. What is your field of expertise? What do you want to do?

I am good in… Maybe you can try…
Speaking Voice Over
Writing Copywriting
Selling Telemarketing
Typing Data Entry
HTML Website Design
Japanese Translation
Art Logo Design

If You Have It, Flaunt It

Convince your clients why they should choose you and what makes you so special. Do you have years of experience? What tools do you have? Make sure it is related to the job being offered. For instance, telling them that you can make a 3D design of a house, or that you can make a software for networking, or that you have an X-ray vision won’t do any good if the job only entails editing simple data.

Aim High

Do not settle for mediocrity. Try to exceed your clients’ expectations. If you have committed to deliver the project in 10 days, surprise your client by sending the complete and error-free data in 7 days. In that way, your clients will give you good reviews and possibly recommend you to others which can also help increase your market value.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Heck You Know The Rest…

Do not be easily discouraged if you weren’t able to close a deal yet. Oftentimes, landing on the first job is the hardest part. It gets easier as soon as you are able to build connections with your clients. If you have succeeded on your first try, then your one lucky guy after all. You can go thank that Feng Shui guru in the Chinese shop where you bought that golden waving cat figurine.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

5 Worst Things in Working in an Office

In another one of my mindless brainstorming sessions (if there’s such a thing), I came up with a list of five worst things in working in an office (yeah, exactly what the title says…thought you wouldn’t notice). Well, here they are:

1. Waking up to the same beeping sound of your alarm clock in the morning (not to mention hitting the snooze button for the nth time)

2. Meeting your officemate, who by the way has a very strong body odor, in an elevator on your way to the 37th floor (should have just taken the stairs)

3. Arriving in the office with your boss glaring at you and his widely-opened nostrils vacuuming every molecule in the room (now what?)

4. You thought the shredder was the fax machine (how stupid can you get?)

5. Getting stuck in traffic on your way home with an upset stomach (can’t get any better than this!)

That's why I’m so glad to be working at home! Anyway, feel free to add more.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Investing For Your Future

Just yesterday, a fire broke out in our compound. It burned down one apartment unit just in front of ours. Fortunately, the firemen who got there in no time were able to keep the flames from spreading. It was such a traumatic incident. Everything happened so fast that I was only able to get dressed (I was still in my jammies!), to bring my wallet and my cell phone, that’s all! My mom didn’t bring anything either. Unlike us, my dad was able to get our car out and the other cars in the compound as well (our neighbors gave him the keys). He still went back to get a bag of important documents (birth certificates and other papers) and one laptop despite the rising smoke! There were a lot of things in the back of my mind at that moment. I was thinking, “What if it’ll burn down our apartment? What will we do? Where will we go?” All those things that I mentioned in my previous post except for the laptop were all in the house. They could have gone down in flames in a matter of minutes! If we didn’t save anything in the bank and didn’t invest in something then all our hard work would be useless. That’s why it is really important to have a backup plan.

Aside from insurance, my boyfriend, Joel, (he is also working full time at home) and I are investing in land. Just recently, he found a 2-hectare lot for sale in their city at a very good price (not even close to a million pesos). He already paid half of the down payment (33% of the total amount) from his savings just this month. I will also be paying half of it next month when I get there for the signing of the contract. The rest of the amount will be paid monthly starting this March. We decided not to loan from a bank or a cooperative to avoid the interests. The owner, a widow, is selling it because her daughter will be going overseas and they need money. The lot is located on top of a hill, just a few-minute ride from the center of the city. The area is not yet developed but there are already residents nearby. It already has electricity but no water supply yet. The 2-hectare lot was split into two parcels of land by the highway. One side, which has an area of 4k sq.m., was filled with around 20 mango trees; the other 16k sq.m., coconut trees. Joel’s mother also heard from a friend in that area that the owner was able to harvest the coconuts and sell them for around P17,000 (not bad!). It is indeed a good investment because not only can we profit from harvesting coconuts or mangoes but also as soon as the area is developed, its value will increase perhaps even more than ten fold!

So if you are thinking of what to do with your money whether from your online or offline work, it is wise to invest it in things that don’t depreciate in value. Unless you're freakin' rich, spending your earnings in shopping, dining in high-class restaurants, buying new cell phone models will only satisfy you for a short period of time. Save some. Plan ahead. Reap the rewards.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Things That Internet Money Bought

Working at home has been a very big help for my family and I am very thankful for that. We are a family of four. As a family, we all share the expenses at home. My dad is in charge of the rent. My mom takes care of our daily needs. My brother, who is also working at home, helps me in paying the bills (telephone, cellphone, internet, cable, water, electricity). We also give our parents a weekly allowance (quite the opposite from the way it was before when we were still in school). We also provide financial support for our relatives in the province (a common Filipino trait) and for some friends. But aside from that, there were also other things that my brother and I bought from our online earnings. Some are the following:


We have an old second-hand air conditioner but it’s been ages since we last used it so it’s time we needed a new one. It gets hot here in the Philippines especially at noon which is not good for our computers.


We have two desktop computers and one laptop at home but we can’t just simply bring the desktop computers anywhere and we need another laptop since my brother and I work separately so we bought another one. Now, we can also work in an internet cafĂ© or any where as long as there is a stable internet connection.


Power outage means no work so we bought a small second-hand generator just enough to operate the lights, fan, modem, router, and the computers.


We applied for another internet service with faster internet speed just in case we will have internet issues in the other ISP. So if we are disconnected, we can just switch from one modem to another.


We didn’t actually pay for the whole price. Part of it was loaned by my mom from a cooperative. The product was made in Korea. Its company, Happy Dream Medical, have several branches here in the Philippines but they only have one in our city. We purchased the massage bed both for personal and commercial use. It combines the therapeutic effects of germanium, infrared heat, and acupuncture.


My brother usually spends his earnings in clothes, shoes, and cosmetics. He is very much concerned about his looks. Believe me, he’s more vain than I am. If you could see what I wear, you will know right away that I’m not an avid shopper. I am thriftier than he is. I only spend when I think it’s necessary or profitable.

But of course, we don’t spend all our earnings as that would not be wise, would it? We save most of what we earn in the bank for safe keeping and perhaps start a new business later on.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pros & Cons of Working at Home

I have been working at home for more than a year now and I am enjoying it but working at home is not always easy. Today, I have compiled a list of some pros and cons of working at home in my point of view. Let's start with the first one.


1. COMFORTABLE. Simply, there's no place like home. There's nothing more relaxing than being in your own private space. You can be working in your pajamas (in my case, a tattered hand-me-down shirt from my dad and loose shorts), and at the same time watching your favorite television show.

2. FLEXIBLE. Most work at home jobs do not have work shifts so you have all the time in the world. Some only require you to reach a certain daily quota so you can work during your free time and just deliver the job before the deadline. This is very suitable for moms since they can spend some quality time with their kids and can still generate a reliable source of income.

3. COST-EFFECTIVE. It can be expensive commuting to work or renting a place close to your office. Take out meals for lunch can also cost more than just cooking at home. Uniforms or formal outfits can also add to your shopping list, whereas if you work at home, you can minimize all these expenses because all you need to have is a computer with an internet connection.

It's a jungle out there. We all know there's a higher rate of danger outside your house especially when you travel to your office at night or at dawn. You can meet an accident on your way to work or get robbed in a dark alley on your way home. It is always much safer staying at home.

So what's the bad news? Read on...


Since you don't get to move a lot when working at home, you will start to get...brace yourself, this can get a little nasty...fat! I know girls, it's kinda hard to digest but it's true. My brother has been constantly teasing me on this. Not to worry as this can be solved by daily exercise (Yeah, I'll do that tomorrow...I'm serious!).

In the office, you can always interact with your co-workers, participate in team-building activities or attend company gatherings. Although you may have less social life when working at home, what's most important is that you will have a lot more time with your family.

Sometimes it gets too comfortable working at home that you tend to laze around and leave the work behind. It needs a lot of self-discipline in order to stay productive. As much as possible, keep your bed out of sight so you won't be tempted to lie down and sleep all day.

Despite these disadvantages, I can still say that working at home is something that is just right for me and I know most home workers would agree with that.