Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How To Find Hidden Water Waste in Your Home

Water waste is often the cause of a change in the water bill, and you may not realize the problem until you find yourself faced with charges that are much higher than what you normally pay. While meter error is sometimes to blame, hidden water waste, such as leaks and poor drainage, may also be an issue. Targeting this problem does not have to be difficult, and there are several strategies you can use to find and resolve it.

Perform a Dye Test on Your Toilet

A toilet with a faulty flapper may be a hidden leak that is raising your water bill. However, there is a simple test you can perform to gauge whether your toilet is malfunctioning. To begin, add a teaspoon of blue or green food dye to the water in your toilet tank. Replace the lid, then wait about 20 minutes. Once the time is up, check the bowl water for any signs of the dye. If the water there has any color to it, this means you have a tank water leak.

This type of leak can usually be fixed by replacing your toilet’s flapper. Fortunately, it is a simple repair that you may be able to perform on your own. Ask your local plumbing supply or hardware store about the tools and parts you will need. 

Inspect Outdoor Water Lines

Outdoor irrigation or sprinkler systems can malfunction and cause leaks that you may not detect right away. This can be especially troublesome if the lines are not visible or have been installed underground. Leaks can be caused by aging lines, freezing temperatures, or backyard pests interfering with the system.

If you suspect an outdoor water leak, walk your yard carefully and look for damp spots or grass that seems to be growing faster than the rest of your lawn. While this can lead you to the source of the leak, you may need to call in a professional plumbing contractor to have the lines exposed and repaired.

Check Under Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

Not all leaks are fast or instantly noticeable. In fact, some can occur so slowly that you might never become aware of them until they get large enough to cause a change in your water bill. Leaks that are hidden by cabinetry fall into this category, especially when the cabinets were installed specifically to hide the plumbing and are not used for storage.

The presence of mold can clue you in to a slow water leak because many types of fungi do not require sunlight in order to grow and spread. Many species can be found in dark, damp environments and may produce a musty odor once patches start to thrive. This odor may guide you to leaks under your kitchen or bathroom sink, although it is wise to have mold removal specialists come in to remove any fungi before you call a plumber.

Change Your Laundering Habits

Not all water waste is caused by leaks. You and your family could be wasting a great deal of water without realizing it, especially when it comes to doing your laundry. Top-load washers tend to waste more water than front-load models, and washing small or incomplete loads can also contribute to water waste. If you live in California and want to learn about how to conserve water, the Cadiz Water Project twitter page can be an informative and educational resource for you and your family.

Water waste can lead to skyrocketing water bills and costly home repair bills. Knowing where to look for hidden leaks in your home can help you control what you spend on water services and prevent the needless waste of this precious resource. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

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There are those chilling moments in life where you can tell that everything is just going wrong. Sometimes it happens out of the blue, and you’re assailed by multiple crises one after the other, and sometimes it builds up. You have a bad run in the office, and then an unexpected bill hits you, next thing you know you’re sick, and your car has broken down on a rainy day.

Things can quickly mount, and issues can build up, to the point where what was once a fairly manageable issue threatens to become a major life crisis that you will have real difficulty salvaging.

The key, when this unfortunate kind of situation arises, is to catch things as early as possible, and take the right kind of steps to begin correcting course as soon as you notice what’s going on.

But what are the right steps to take? In this article, we’ll take a look at a few things you can do in order to seize back control of your life when you can feel things sliding off the rails.

Research practical solutions before taking rash action

When you first notice that things are not as they should be, you may well be inclined to resort to rash actions in order to attempt to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

If you’re in a bad financial situation, for example, you may find yourself itching to sign up to the first unscrupulous payday loan provider you can find, without undertaking the process of learning what you should know about the various options available to you before committing to any single one of them.

It is simply in your best interest to pause, take a deep breath, and do your research before committing to any course of action which could have long-term or significant consequences for you.

The internet is a great resource for finding out about different strategies that people might use when in a tough situation, and various kinds of support groups, programs, and services are available which can help you to identify the best course of action before diving in headfirst.

Assume an attitude of extreme personal accountability

When something goes wrong in your life, it generally a good idea not to beat yourself up too much. It’s likely that you may only be partially, if at all, responsible for the way that things have gone. This doesn’t, however, mean that you’re free to sit back, cry, point the finger at others and try to externalise your issues.

The hard reality is that you need to adopt an attitude of extreme personal accountability in order to make the right kind of productive changes in your life going forward.

While you shouldn’t beat yourself up about how much of a failure you are, you should act as if you are 100% responsible for the way that things develop going forward, even if, on paper, you’re not.

Why should you do this? Simple. When you adopt an attitude of extreme personal accountability and take the default position that the outcome is in your hands and your hands alone, you empower yourself, psychologically, to take as much action as you can to set things right, while remaining driven and motivate to do so.

The opposite stance — one that says you’re a helpless victim who’s been hard done by — does not empower you at all. It robs you of your power and increases the likelihood that you’ll only sit in the corner feeling bitter, sad, and resentful.

Focus small, very small, and work on making things incrementally better day by day

When things go wrong in your life, you will often want to take the biggest possible corrective actions you can think of, as soon as possible. Sometimes this may be viable. In many instances, however, being overly frantic and ambitious in your attempted solutions will only set you up for failure and disheartenment.

Instead of shooting for the star, consider starting small — very small — so small that it’d be nearly impossible for you to fail — and do whatever you realistically can in the moment to make things even just a fraction better.

Keep doing that on a daily basis, and before too long, you’ll be in a much better position than you were to start with, and will be well on the way to getting things back on the right track.

These small actions could be having a difficult conversation with a loved one, or opening a new bank account, or even just vacuuming your home. Whatever makes things a bit better than they were before.

Try to restructure your habits and systems in line with what will be most beneficial for you

Humans are, to a large degree, creatures of habit. It’s not so much that we make conscious decisions about everything we do in our lives, it’s more like we run on autopilot for a significant chunk of the time, and look up occasionally to see what’s going on around us.

Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comics, notes that it’s the systems we have in our lives — those routines that we play out each day for their own sake, without really giving much thought to a distinct goal — that define our destiny to a very large degree.

Charles Duhigg, author of the book “The Power of the Habit” frames things similarly, when he talks about “keystone habits” that radically affect the way we live our lives.

To get your life back on track as soon as possible, one of the most meaningful things you can do is to identify the kinds of habits and routines that would be the most beneficial for you, and then to take steps to implement them, bit by bit.

Focus on one or two at a time, and keep the rest written down somewhere you can refer to them often. The more of these habits and systems you manage to successfully adopt in your life, the more you can expect to benefit in the near future.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Everybody knows that saving money is important, but people often put it off when they’re younger because they think that the main reason for saving is to prepare yourself for retirement. That is important, but you also need a good savings account to use as an emergency fund. Life is always unpredictable and from time to time, you’re going to be hit with unexpected bills. They might come from serious issues with the home or a broken down car. Whatever it is, if you have to pay out a load of money and you don’t have an emergency fund there to cover the cost, you’ll end up having to borrow money. That’s going to make it harder to save money and lead to financial problems in the future. You can stop all of that from happening and alleviate all of your money worries by building a good emergency fund. Here’s how you can get started today. 

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Find The Right Savings Account 

The first step in any savings plan is finding a good savings account. There are a lot to choose from so it can be difficult to decide which is best. Most people focus on the interest rate which is important, but it’s not the only thing. As well as finding an account with a high interest rate, you also need to think about the fees. High fees are going to eat into your savings more than you realize. Luckily, there are plenty of accounts that don’t have high fees. Most of the top online savings accounts have low fees and decent interest rates so they’re probably your best option. You should also think about how easily you can access the money. If you’ve got a savings account that you can easily dip into, you’re more likely to struggle with your saving. 

Set A Savings Goal

Now that you’ve found the perfect savings account, you need to start filling it up. If you don’t have a solid savings plan, you’re not going to get that far. Set yourself a savings goal, about half a years worth of expenses is a good number to aim for. Then you can start looking over your finances and work out how much you can afford to put aside. As soon as you get paid, put the money in your savings and forget about it. 

Save Change 

Saving up change doesn’t sound like the most effective way of building up a good emergency fund but you’d be surprised. Putting all of your extra change into a jar is a start, but what you should really be doing is cutting out the small purchases that you make throughout the day and putting the money in a change jar instead. Things like coffee or sandwiches that you waste money on every single day quickly add up over the weeks and months. Even if you saved $1 a day, that’s $365 in your emergency fund every year. 

If you don’t build an emergency fund right away, you could easily land yourself in financial trouble when disaster strikes. 

If you’ve spent years in the rat race, working a job you hate to survive, you know the incremental frustration that builds up week upon week, month upon month and year upon year. You know how spirit crushing it can be to slave away in a boring, repetitive and meaningless job while the skills you spent your formative years developing go to waste. This isn’t the adulthood you were sold. You were told that all of your hard work, study and endeavor would pay off. Yet here you are, years later, spending 8-12 hours a day in a cubicle under fluorescent lighting wondering if anyone even knows you’re there.

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Yet all this living death is almost worth it when you’re able to shake of the shackles of corporate wage suppression and the anaesthesia of the 9 to 5 (or increasingly, 8 to 6) and go into business for yourself. If you’ve recently begun freelancing it can be extremely intoxicating being able to make a living doing something you love and working on your own terms. Just make sure that, in lieu of a payroll department, you’re honoring your tax commitments. Running afoul of the IRS could not only be damaging to your reputation, it could see you stuck with a hefty fine that could seriously cripple your operation. 

Here are some things you need to know about tax and your freelance business...

Even if you only freelance as a side hustle, it’s still taxable income

Many freelancers begin their career as a side hustle in their free time so that they can build their experience and establish a healthy client base while still enjoying the steady income from your day job. Just keep in mind that even if you’re side hustling the income from your business is still taxable and must be declared. Even a small amount needs to be declared to the IRS. The rule of thumb is, if in doubt, always declare. The IRS is far more lenient with those who are open and honest with them. 

Invest in an accountant

Even if you have a good working understanding of how to fill out your tax returns, it’s still advisable to invest in an accountant. Sure, they may represent a significant overhead, but they provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing your accounts are in safe hands. A good accountant will also generally save you more than they cost.

Accounting for your earnings

Needless to say, if the IRS is to accurately gauge your income, it’s your responsibility to keep an accurate record of your earnings and that means keeping an up to date account of your invoices. If any labor you undertake is of a casual nature and your client is unable to validate your invoice, use this paystub generator. An accurate and up to date account of your earnings is essential to keep the IRS on side. 

Keep track of your expenses

Finally, it’s important to remember that you are taxed not on your earnings but on your profits. Thus, it’s essential that you keep an up to date record of all expenses incurred throughout the running of your business. An accountant is especially useful here as they may be able to help you get a clear picture of what can and can’t be claimed for business purposes. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The summer is over and the kids are back to school. Vacations and road trips won't happen until weather warms up again. Ten months to plan the next grand family vacation is more than enough time to do research and save for it.

A vacation overseas may seem costly, however, with careful planning, a dream becomes a reality. Why not visit Asia? The Philippines has the some of the best beaches in this part of the world! Imagine all those 7,107 islands boasting of luxury resorts, pristine lakes and virgin beaches. Think paradise! 

Recently, a unique resort has been established in Subic Bay, Zambales, Philippines. For a bit of information, Subic Bay used to be the site of the United States Naval Base. It is situated in the main island of Luzon, approximately 159.5 kilometers (99 miles) from the capital of Manila. 

Inflatable Island goes by the tagline "Beach Play Reimagined," and it truly lives up to that. It is the biggest floating island in Asia, measuring  4,100 square meters (4,908 square yards) or just about the size of 8 full size basketball courts put together side by side. It contains inflatables slides, towers, bridges, human launchers, swings and so much more! Challenge friends to a race or just compete against yourself. A good, total body workout doesn't get better than this!

The newest addition to this floating playground is the "Unicorn Island" for the kids and kids at heart. Start with the rainbow walk and enjoy climbing the sea unicorn and sliding down the back of a giant magical horse named "Baba." 

The Inflatable Zoo is giant animal shaped floaties near the beach. If you want some relax time or get that perfect tan, these floaties are ideal for that. 

When the day winds down, families may find a nice spot on the Pink Bali Lounge and watch a movie on the giant floating cinema! Amazing!

This awesome beach playground's rates will not burn a hole in your budget. Considering the current exchange rate of  $1.00 = PhP53.50, a whole day pass will only cost less than $16.00 per person or $79.64 for a family of 5!!

Make the Philippines your next vacation destination in Asia. There are many luxury hotels around the area so finding the accommodation that would suit your needs will not be a challenge. While in Subic, you may also check out other cool places like the Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure. Remember to ask your travel agent about these too.

Unsure about the perfect time to book a stay? Here's a tip - the best months to visit the Philippines is between March to May. It is during this time that the weather is warm and rainfall is minimal. 

If you need more information about Inflatable Island, check out their website and Facebook page

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. 

Sometimes, when people get bored with their home, they just up and move. But this is not always going to be necessary. There are ways that you can redo your home so that it feels new when you’ve actually been living there for years. From simple changes to more drastic changes, you can make your home feel brand new. Moving should only be considered as a last resort if the only reason you want to move is that you’re bored with how your home looks. We’ve come up with some things that you can do to make your home feel new.

Redo Your Bedroom

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One of the first rooms in your house that you should change up is your bedroom. You will probably spend quite a lot of time in there as this is where you get dressed, sleep and many people will spend some down time in their bedroom. If you want it to feel new, you should consider completely changing the style of your room so that it looks nothing like before. Change the paint or the wallpaper, get a new bed, buy a new dresser, there are so many options for you to choose from. Even something as simple as buying a new rug can change the design of a room. 

Add A Pool

This one is for those of you who have a little extra cash laying around. You can think about putting a pool in your garden. When you invest in a pool though, you are also going to have to invest in a heater. A site like Best 4 Your Home will provide you with reviews to help you find the best pool heater for your pool.

Another thing you need to think about with a pool is how big do you want it to be? Measure your garden and figure out what size pool will fit best and then start looking into how much this is going to cost. You might find that it is not as expensive as you previously thought and it will make a wonderful addition to your home. This may make your home feel new as it is something that you have not previously had and will be something to look forward to using.

Give Your Kitchen A Makeover

Your kitchen is likely to be the place that you make and eat all of your meals. As such, you will spend a good portion of your day in this room, and you need to make it feel brand new. You can invest in a new oven or a new hob. Induction hobs will save you money on your electric bill as they only heat up the part of the hob that the pan is on. A new oven will make your kitchen look nice and sparkly when it is installed.

You should consider painting your kitchen. You might find yourself bored with whatever color you currently have. Changing it rather drastically to something completely different is going to be fun and also make the room feel fresh. Even if you just do this, something as simple as a coat of paint can make a whole room feel brand new.

New Furniture

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As the saying goes, it’s out with the old and in with the new. Throw away all that old furniture and replace it with something that you love. You can do this with every room in the house, or you can just choose one. The living room would be a good place to start this little experiment as this is likely to be where most of your furniture is. Sofas, chairs and coffee tables can all be replaced and give your room a completely new look. If you want to go further with this, you can always hang some new wallpaper. This is a more simple change from replacing all of your furniture, but if you combine the two, you might find that it is like looking at a new room.

Or, you can change your furniture around. You don’t need to buy new furniture every time you want to change up your room. 

Invest In Tech

Tech is becoming more and more common in households across the world. From games consoles to smart fridges, tech is certainly becoming more dominant on the market. Buying new tech is definitely going to make you feel like you’re in a new home because it will be something that you have never had in any of the other places you have previously lived. You can get an Amazon Alexa that can control your lights and if you ask it questions, will scour the web and answer them for you.

We hope that these ideas will be beneficial to you and you will consider redoing your house instead of selling it.

Friday, August 17, 2018

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As a consumer, it should be fair to assume that you’re always safe when you’re spending your money with a company you recognize. There are strict laws in place across the world which make it hard for businesses to take advantage of their customers, and most simply wouldn’t want to damage their reputation by upsetting the people spending money with them. Of course, though, it doesn’t always work out this way, and a lot of people find themselves in bad positions when they trust the wrong company just a little too much.

Where Do You Stand?

When you think a business has done something bad to you, the very first thing to do will be figuring out where you stand. The law won’t always be behind you when you’re starting a fight like this. In other cases, though, you might have a very good leg to stand on, and it will be worth figuring this out as early on as possible. A quick Google search or two should be able to reveal other users who have had similar problems, giving you access to people who can serve as evidence of your potential success.

Researching The Issue

The research doesn’t stop here, though. Instead, when you’re doing work like this, you’re going to need to put a lot of time into research, as this will help you to understand the problem you’re having in greater detail. In some cases, you may find that the potential return from a consumer fight is far too small to make it worth doing anything. This won’t always be the case, though, and your web-based research could show you the true extent of the company’s mistakes.

Finding Solutions

One of the hardest parts of this sort of process is finding the solution you’re going to use. Whether you’ve fallen in a store and they’re refusing to help you, or you bought a product a product and it simply didn’t arrive, know which direction to go in can be impossible. With the help of a highly experienced and respected law firm behind you, this part of the job should get a lot easier, especially for those with no experience with legal issues. The solution you choose could take awhile to work out, but will be worth it in the end.

Spotting Signs Of Trickery

Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about how trickery might be spotted going into the future. It can be hard to rely on trust when you’re buying products from a big business. You assume that you can expect to get what they tell you they will provide, but they won’t always pull through. One of the easiest ways to solve this issue is through reviews, as most companies which are willing to trick their customers will have done it before.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into fighting your corner when you come up against a big business. This sort of process can quickly become a big challenge, especially when you’re dealing with a very large corporation, and you will have to use everything you can to make a difference.

The 4 Way Test

It suddenly came upon me the other day... I have not been seeing these signs that used to be all over the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila. Have they been taken down? If so, then why?

I loved those signs, they were little reminders of our calling to serve. I am not a member of the Rotary Club, but I just find this particular campaign of theirs really appealing.

When my eldest child was in Nursery school, she participated in a special activity sponsored by the Rotary Club. All the little kids in her school were given t-shirts with the print "I am a Rota-kid." The activity for that day was to interact through play and little performances with children their age who were students at the public elementary school nearby. I found the activity very good, because it bridged the gap between children from private schools and those in the public education system. There were no inhibitions, there was no racism. The children had a good time and the activity ended with the private school kids giving a little "loot bag" to their new found friends. The whole day was filled with smiles and laughter. Years from that heart-warming activity, I wonder where those kids are now. Do they remember? 

The 4-way Test tugs at our conscience. These 4 simple questions can be used to improve our daily relations with the people we love, the people we work with, and the people we meet on the street. By keeping these little reminders in our minds and hearts, we can strengthen our morals and ethics. 

In our every day battle of survival in the modern world, we must never forget about how we interact with other people. Were we kind? Did we do something to make someone else's life a little better? Did we share a smile today? We must always work towards going the "right way" and this may be accomplished by having a "yes" response to all the 4 questions. Our actions are dictated by our thoughts. If we keep positive thoughts, then our actions will provide positive results. A concrete example would be the practice of "paying it forward." Did we serve others without expecting something in return? Did we put service above self?

Our children deserve all the good things we enjoyed when we were their age. Let us set an example to them and rid the world of divisiveness. They will inherit this earth in due time. Give them a peaceful world. PLEASE.

It has been almost 5 years ago since I wrote this post. Sadly, nothing has changed. I live in a country riddled with corruption, distrust in the government and poverty all around. It saddens me to think about of the kind of world will my children and grandchildren have to live in. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

How efficient your home is is one of those things we all think about from time to time. It is useful to pay attention to for a number of reasons, some of them personal and some a little wider than that. Clearly, the more energy efficient your home is, the less money you are having to spend on your maintenance and energy bills, and sometimes that means that spending a little upfront can be worthwhile. Similarly, if you home is more energy efficient then you are not making such a great impact on the environment, which is definitely something to be proud of as well. In this post,m we are going to look at some of the really simple and yet highly effective ways in which you can ensure that your home's energy efficiency is going to be increased and improved in no time. All of these simple acts are likely to make a considerable difference.

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Replace The Windows

If your windows are even ten years old, you will find that they are just not holding in heat as well as you would hope. It is always worth having them checked out, and if they are less than perfect, you might want to call out a paint and glass window replacement service to re-fix them for you. You will find that this immediately makes the home warmer, and that you are therefore spending much less on energy bills straight away. You will also be able to essentially feel safer in the home, which is a bonus that everyone can appreciate, as your windows are one of the major safety concerns in any home. Replace The windows and you will generally improve your home in a number of ways, so it is definitely worth your while.

Reduce Water Consumption

If you really care about utilising the energy in your home, you will want to pay attention even to the amount of water you are using. People often think of this merely as an issue of the waste of water itself, but actually it is more than that. When you use water, you are effectively using the energy of the suppliers who bring it into the pipes into your home. Likewise, if you use heated water, that will be using energy in your own home as well, which is going to work against what you are trying to do here. You can easily use less water by being constantly and consistently aware of your usage and cutting down where appropriate. Just make sure that you do so and don’t let it falter, and you will find that you can really make a huge difference here.

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If your home is not already well insulated, you will want to think about doing so in order to make sure that you are only using the energy necessary to keep the home warm. It’s very simple - the better the insulation, the less energy you have to use. With that in mind, it’s worth ensuring that you have the best insulation you can afford throughout your home.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Nasty Scams You Want To Watch Out For

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As much as we wish life was flying unicorns, cakes for breakfast, sleeping in cloud-like beds and never shedding a tear, it’s not. There are little niggles, hiccups, bumps and lumps that we need to do battle with more and more, and a prime example of this are scams. It’s something we all have to be wary of and dodge on a day to day basis nowadays, and it totally sucks. But playing ignorant is not going to save you, which is why we want to do a little post on the topic and focus on the kind of consumer scams that we are all susceptible to.

The reason for this is simple: just this morning, we received an email receipt from Uber for a fare that apparently cost is $329.42. That sort of thing has become commonplace, but it still makes us wonder what the angle is, whether our card was used or whether this is the scam itself. It’s frustrating and frightening. 

So, without further ado, here is a list of the most prolific scams out there right now. If knowledge is power, hopefully, your journey through laugh will see these nasty people wasting their time with you and everyone else, as you stand your ground.

1. Jackpotting
Believe it or not,  hackers have found a way to hijack ATMs so that they then spew out cash, and they do it with bad actors disguised as repairmen who then install some sort of malicious software that causes the machine to cough up all its cash. So, if you see a machine that’s clearly haywiring, you can guarantee it’s been hacked. 

2. Secretary of State
Another scam that has been doing the rounds is regarding an email from Rex Tillerson, former Secretary of State, emailing people with regards to an $1.85 million payment that you are owed after being falsely investigated by both the FBI and the CIA. The hope is you’ll believe these fakes are official government officials and hand over your details so that you can claim your compensation. Don’t do it. 

3. Disability Insurance Fraud
We received information from LongTermDisabilityLawyer.com about more and more people receiving long-term disability benefits even though they are unusually healthy. And it’s a worry. These people are claiming they can’t work their desk job, but there are photos of them all over Instagram of them at Disney World last week. Trust us: disability fraud is a very severe and illegal move to make. 

4. Shimmer Scam
Another one that is reportedly on the rise involves thieves "skimming" your ATM card and stealing your details from the magnetic strip (yes, that strip does something). This is where fraudsters use devices called "shimmers", popping them in the card slots at ATMs and then take your card data from the chip, which can then be used to create a clone of your card and rack up charges. It’s dreadful but very real. 

5. Phishing
Email phishing is still a big scam and one that is getting more sophisticated by the minute. Like we aid, we received one from “Uber”, while fraudsters have been pretending to be Apple and Amazon over the years too. The problem is, they look so real these emails. Thankfully, clicking on their email address will display one that’s far from legit. That’s how to test. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

If you have a room that you want to decorate then it is so important that you choose a theme. If you do not choose a theme then your room may end up looking the opposite to what you want and you may even find that you are just not able to bring certain decorations together either. Luckily, choosing a theme for your room has never been easier or more convenient.

Pick a Theme you are Passionate About

A lot of people confuse their interests with passion. If you start decorating a room with a certain theme then you can’t have a change of heart halfway through. If you do then this will cost you time, money and extra effort. For this reason, you need to stick with the passions that you have because they will last much longer when compared to your interests. Your passion could be to do with anything, but when you do make your decision, make sure that you are happy to be surrounded by it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Buying your Products
This may sound daft, but if you pick a theme then make sure that you aren’t limited to one shop when decorating. It’s helpful to be able to buy things from your local market for example, as this can save you a ton of money and even more time. If you have to order everything in online then this will make it even harder for you to finish the job and you may even find that you lose interest halfway through as well so do keep that in mind.
Make Sure that the Theme fits with the Space
Certain themes or designs will require far more space when compared to others. Some themes are suited to smaller rooms and others are suited to much larger rooms. Don’t try and copy a style blindly and don’t try and force a style to fit in with a room that is just not suitable. This will cause you a ton of problems later on and it will also make it much harder for you to get a good result out of it. If you want to get budget items then consider checking out habitathm.ca/restore/ as this is a great store that can provide you with whatever you need.

Plan for your Budget
Remember that you do not have endless money to spend on your theme, so try and choose something that gives you the chance to decorate your room without going out of your budget. You also have to make sure that your theme does not compromise your comfort or even the utility factor of your room. After all, a room that looks great but isn’t comfortable isn’t really good for anything and you don’t want to be throwing money down the drain either.
Of course, there are so many things that you have to take into consideration when choosing your theme and when you are able to make the right decision with it, you know that everything else will fall into place.

Sickness has plagued my family since January. During the first 11 weeks of this year, four of my family members were admitted to different hospitals.

In January, my mom was admitted to the University of Santo Tomas hospital in Manila for a Modified Radical Mastectomy of her left breast. She was diagnosed to have Stage III-C Breast Cancer at the time of her surgery.

Early February, my husband was admitted to The Medical City hospital in Ortigas because of extreme pain in his lower back. My husband has been diagnosed with lumbar stenosis and scoliosis years ago and that is the cause of  his chronic back pain. 

On the 3rd week of February, my niece suffered from acute gastroenteritis and was admitted to the National Kidney Institute in Quezon City.

The first week of March had my sister admitted to the WorldCiti Medical Center in Quezon City because of Hypokalemia and Hypocalcemia, probably brought about by stress and in part as a result of her Thyroidectomy in mid-2017.

Well you would think everything is fine now, but, unfortunately, we are still seeing family members getting ill. My mom's disease progressed to Stage IV Breast Cancer, with bone metastasis in her hip. My husband's lower back pain has not disappeared, although it is now being managed by opioid analgesics. My niece recently suffered from sore throat, and since her kidneys are not fully functioning (as a result of Glomerulonephritis three years ago), she showed signs of edema in her legs and around her eyes. 

The most recent "victim" was my grandson. He was admitted to the WorldCiti Medical Center because spiking fever and diarrhea. We feared it might be Dengue Fever but all screening tests and  blood profile tests showed a negative result for the disease (thank God!). The diarrhea led to dehydration so starting an IV line was a must. The initial diagnosis was Acute Gastroenteritis with dehydration fever, but then it turned out that he had a bad sore throat too. My grandson stayed in the hospital for 4 days. 

WorldCiti Medical Center is only a kilometer (1.6 miles) from home so it is our "emergency hospital" because of its proximity. I was surprised to see the renovations done on the entire 7th floor which is now the Pediatrics floor.  It is very child-friendly with bright painted walls, a reading nook, themed private rooms and strollers that are actually huge plastic toy cars! 

Here are the photos I took of the Pediatric Floor of the World Citi Medical Center:

His room and bed for the next 4 days

Private Room # 703 - his home for 4 days

The hallway and strollers

A comfy couch of the reading nook beside the bookshelf

Lots of kid-friendly books you can borrow

The nurses' station

The elevator lobby
Trying out the toy cars. It is a little difficult with an IV line attached.

Killing time by learning to draw

Yay! IV line gone. He's coming home!
I would like to thank WorldCiti Hospital for the excellent care they've provided. I would also like to express my gratitude to my grandson's wonderful and kind pediatrician, Dr. Arlene Dy-Co and to all the Pediatric nurses who were very caring and patient with my grandson, despite his ear-drum breaking screams every time they enter his room. 

I ask you, my dear readers, to please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers. May we survive the rest of this year with no more hospital confinements. 

For God's Grace, I pray. 

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. The opinions are 100% my own and based on my grandson's recent confinement in this hospital.

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Better Lawn In 3 Easy Steps

If you are keen for your garden to be as good as possible, there is plenty that you need to consider in order to make that so, but one of the main areas is always going to be the lawn itself. Almost all gardens have a lawn, and it is something which you need to look after regularly and consistently if your garden is to be in their best possible condition and state. However, a lot of people actually find it surprisingly hard to keep their lawn in shape, and that is something that we are going to look into now. In this article, we are going to take a look at three easy steps you can follow in order to make sure that you have a much healthier, more attractive and vibrant lawn - and therefore a much nicer garden on the whole too.

Regular Trimming

No matter what else, you need to make sure that your lawn is being cut or trimmed regularly, even when you feel as though there has not been much growth. It’s not actually just about keeping it short, it’s also a case of allowing the air to get into it, and the more often you cut it, the more likely this will be possible. If you don’t enjoy mowing your lawn or you find it difficult, or you haven’t got a lawnmower and have no interest in getting one, then you might want to think about hiring the professionals to do it for you, such as ABC Home & Commercial Lawn Care. With their kind of help on board, you can be sure that your lawn is going to be cut as best as it can be, and that is one less thing you need to worry about when it comes to looking after your own garden.

Consistent Feeding

Most people forget to feed their lawn, but the truth is that you need to do so if you are going to look after it as best as you can. If you are not feeding your lawn regularly, then it won’t naturally be getting all of the nutrients that it likes in order to thrive and survive, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you don't allow this to happen. Get some good generic lawn food and make sure you sprinkle it over every six weeks or so. This should be sufficient, a little more if there has been particularly low rain or sun levels recently. With some food every six weeks or so, the lawn will look that much more beautiful with ease.

Occasional Reshaping

Sometimes it might be necessary to make sure that you are keeping the shape in the best possible condition and that means that you might want to reshape it as soon as you can. Having it in a good shape means that you are going to be much happier with how it actually looks, and you should find that you can enjoy it more as a result too.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

3 Reasons Why I Gave Up My Dream To Travel

Photo credit
"Nothing is impossible."

Nah. I don't believe it. There are things in this life that are impossible to achieve. For me, it is traveling that is now close to being impossible. I know, some of you are now raising your eyebrows, but it is true. I am giving up my dream of traveling and these are the three reasons why.

1. I don't have the money.

Really, I don't. Surviving every day is a task in itself. Trying to make the budget last to cover all the necessary expenses - food, utilities, doctor's fees, maintenance medicines is a mind-boggling thing. Despite having a job (online work-at-home gig), I barely have what you may even call "savings." 

Why won't I get a regular 9 to 5 job? Well, there's an explanation to that and read on to reason # 2.

2. I am homebound

I am tied down to responsibilities concerning the health and well being of my family. My mother has Stage 4 Breast Cancer with Bone Metastasis. My husband suffers from a myriad of chronic illnesses which gave him mobility issues. I babysit for my grandson everyday so his parents can go to work. I cook, clean, do laundry, buy groceries, run errands to the drugstore, and do other tasks as needed, as well as trying to earn my keep by doing my online job. 

I barely have enough time to spend for myself. No "me time" ever. None. 

With all these going on, traveling has been pushed out of the picture. The only "traveling" I do is going to the market, the grocery store, and the pharmacy. My travel radius has been reduced to within 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from my home. Once a month, I take my husband to see his pain doctor, that is about 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) away from home. That's it. That's about as far as I get.

3. My wings are broken

I am the dragon with broken wings. I have lost the fire in me. Since I gave up my corporate job, I no longer have friends to talk to. My days are full of worry and stress. There are days when I just want to hop on a bus going to wherever. I need a break, I badly need a vacation but with everything that's going on, I simply cannot. 

And so I go on everyday, dreaming of places I wish to see. I long for at least a weekend in a far away place, without having to worry, without being rushed, without thinking about making dinner, scrubbing the toilet, and tidying up the house! 

In my mind I sing a stanza of the song, "Part of your world," "What would I give if I could live out of these waters? What would I pay to spend a day warm on the sand...."

Am I being selfish? Am I only thinking about me?  

It is early morning as I write this post. Another sunrise. It is time to start the daily grind. 

Today my mind will entertain me with the wanderlust for Santorini.

Come travel with me. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

So, you’ve decided to move away from the city and into the suburbs or even a more rural area. You may have chosen to do this to escape the pressures of urban life and reduce stress. The good news is that research reports do seem to suggest that people who live in the country are less stressed. In fact, psychologically, when you move away from the city time seems to go a little more slowly. As such, it can be a more relaxing experience. However, there are some things that you need to know about living in rural areas and what you should be prepared for. 

Pic source
Speeds May Not Be As Fast

We are, of course, talking about the internet speeds. Superfast internet requires fiber optic cables which need to be laid down. There are plenty of towns that still do not have these cables to provide fast internet. Even with the cables, the internet can still be significantly slower, often depending on the service that you use. 

That’s why you should make sure that you are comparing the different internet providers and find the one that can offer the best service in your area. There are various sites that you can use to find the different internet levels for your area like uswitch.com

Of course, it’s not just the wired internet. You might find that the internet on your phone is also significantly different from what you’re used to in the city. It will be slower, and you might struggle to go online if you’re not connected to your wifi. This is the price you’ll often need to pay for the peace and quiet of the countryside. 

Certain Services Not Available

You might also find that there are certain things that you could do when you were living in the city that you can’t in a rural area. The classic would be  food delivery. Over the past couple of years, food delivery has greatly improved, and you can even order food from Mcdonalds at 2am! Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do that when you move to a rural area. But, on the plus side, just think about what that could do for your diet. 

Another example would be cable TV. Similar to high-speed internet, the cables probably won’t be there for you to gain access to this option. As such, you’ll need to think about digital cable, and you can find out more on a site like optimum.com today

Those Darn Commutes

You do need to make sure that you are handling the commutes. Even if you live in the country, the likelihood is that you will still be working in the city or, at the very least, a built-up area. As such, you probably will be facing a massive commute into work each day. You’ll need to learn to love them, and there’s a lot to enjoy. First, you probably won’t be fighting traffic all the way there, and that will give you a chance to enjoy driving again. As well as this, the drive home after you finish for the day can be quite relaxing and cathartic. 

We hope this helps you deal with some of the issues that you will likely encounter once you move out of the city. Still, there are plenty of benefits as well. For instance, you’ll have a lot more space, and that’s perfect, particularly if you’re thinking about starting a family. 

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

It is not often that I get to watch soap operas, but this one I just watched was one of the most beautiful stories I've seen in a long time.

"Loving, Never Forgetting" is a Chinese drama with a powerhouse cast of Taiwanese and Chinese actors. Jerry Yan (Yan Cheng Xu) plays the role of the male lead character, Li Zhong Mou and Liya Tong (Tong Li Ya) is plays the female lead, Wu Tong.

The plot is standard soap opera material. Li Zhong Mou is a successful but ruthless businessman. Raised in a single parent household, Li Zhong Mou is the illegitimate son of their business rival, Xiang Yi. At the peak of his success, Li Zhong Mou discovers he has a son from a one night stand he had five years ago with their company intern. A legal battle for custody of the child ensues, however, as with most drama series, the male lead eventually falls in love with this poor, ordinary woman named Wu Tong. The antagonists are the man's mother and his scheming half-brother, Xiang Jun. But it is not really that simple once you watch it. I am sure you too will be hooked on it and wish it went on longer than 34 episodes. 

Here are my favorite unforgettable scenes in this drama series.

Episode 1 - Hospital Scene - Wu Tong pleads Li Zhong Mou to save her son

Wu Tong: "I beg you. Please save my son! Please help him. Please save my son!"

Li Zhong Mou: "If you don't explain it clearly to me, then I'm sorry, I can't help you."

Wu Tong: "HE IS YOUR SON!"

Episode 2 - Wu Tong talks to her best friend Mei Ling

Wu Tong: "This is the road I have chosen. Even if I have to crawl, I will finish this journey."

Episode 10 - Li Zhong Mou asks Wu Tong a very personal question:

Li Zhong Mou: "Since the moment I discovered I have a son, you have never told me... exactly when did you conceive my child?"

Episode 10 - Wu Tong tells a story in front of powerful businessmen:

Wu Tong: "My son and I have always been poor. I didn't have money to buy him presents, so he was a bit depressed. So I told him a story... In the grasslands, there was a Mother Lion with her son. One day, the son asked his mother, 'Where is happiness?' The Mother Lion replied, 'Happiness is on your tail.' So the son kept chasing his tail, going round and round but could never catch it. Then the Mother Lion smiled and said, 'My son, happiness is not obtained like that. As long as you keep your spirits up and move forward, happiness will chase after you.'"

Episode 13 - Li Zhong Mou reveals to Wu Tong that he is an illegitimate child.

Li Zhong Mou: "I have no father."

Episode 16 - Li Zhong Mou eventually falls in love with Wu Tong.

Li Zhong Mou: "Wu Tong, tell me. Do you love me?"

Wu Tong: "Yes. I used to love you. But that was in the past. When you started fighting with me over custody of Tongtong, when you told me that Tongtong would be better off with you, when you said we had nothing to do with each other, at that point, I knew. I was in a dream for the past five years. Do you know? I worked so hard to stop thinking about you! Why are you telling me this now? Why?!"

Episode 20 - Li Zhong Mou shares with Wu Tong his resentment towards his father and half-brother

Li Zhong Mou: "He would look at him with his eyes full of love and care. I really envy that. He is the right and legitimate child of Xiang Yi. As for me, I am only Li Zhong Mou."

Episode 21 - Li Zhong Mou confronts his mother to stop making choices for him and his future.

Li Zhong Mou: "Is marriage just based on terms? Just choose someone with wealth, money, beauty?  If this is the case, why are you still alone then? Aside from Xiang Yi, there are many men who fit that standard. I want to know a person who does not prioritize benefits over emotions. You don't have the right to tell me to choose who to love. I decide my own life. I decide my own happiness."

Episode 21 - Li Zhong Mou proposes marriage to Wu Tong.

Li Zhong Mou: "Be patient and listen to what I have to say. The last time we were at the civil affairs bureau, you were not willing to marry me. It was because I owed you an apology. I know the thing you want is not my pity and kindness. You did not want a luxurious life nor the status name of Mrs. Li. What you wanted was someone who would sincerely give you love and respect. Someone who can give you, like the old saying goes, "If I have your true love, I will be with you until the end of the world." That day when you asked me if I love you, I will tell you now.. I love you."

"This has nothing to do with our son. It has nothing to do with your past. Let me be your little prince. You are the most unique woman in this world. Will you marry me?"

Episode 23 - Wu Tong resists the sexual advances of her brother-in-law Xiang Jun, who is unaware that Wu Tong and Li Zhong Mou are now married and living together.

Wu Tong: "Xiang Jun, what you did to yourself really made people feel sorry for you. I can honestly tell you. and I will tell you this for the last time. The one I love is Li Zhong Muo. I loved him 5 years ago, And I love him now. He has always been the only one I love! Do you get it now?"

Episode 27 - Xiang Yi asks Wu Tong who she has in her heart

Xiang Yi: "I want to ask you to make a decision as I have been on this crossroad before. I have already asked Xiang Jun and he said the one he loves is you. I don't know where your heart lies. Who did you choose?"

Wu Tong: "I'm really sorry. I made everyone unhappy because of my reason. I have already set the record straight with Xiang Jun. I care about him, respect him and worry about him. These are all from a perspective of a friend. From the start, until now, the only one who I love has always been Li Zhong Mou. You asked me this question today. My answer is still the same. I love Li Zhong Mou. Please believe me."

Episode 28 - Li Zhong Mou agrees to donate part of his liver to his biological father, Xiang Yi. Heartbreaking conversation in the hospital the night before the surgery. 

Li Zhong Mou: "Dad..."

Xiang Yi: "Please call me that again."

Li Zhong Mou: "Dad... Its been 32 years. This word, "Dad" bears deep grief for me. It feels very strange."

Xiang Yi: "Son, it is my fault.  I caused you to suffer for so many years."

Li Zhong Mou: "Sufferings? Those past years could not even be summarized with sufferings. From what I remember, my only memory is a mother who is full of resentments. I always couldn't understand why some people have normal lives, but not me. I longed for my father, but I could only watch you from afar. Seeing how Xiang Jun has you and your love, I realized, that I am an abandoned child."

Episode 30 - Li Zhong Mou's mother scatters photos of Xiang Jun and Wu Tong  in intimate poses for the entire family to see

Wu Tong: "Listen to my explanation. This isn't true. This really isn't true. Please believe me."

Li Zhong Mou: "What else is there to explain? Do you remember when I called you from the hospital and you didn't answer? The second day when you switched off your phone, you said you were at Mei Ling's house. Actually, Zhang Yuan didn't go on business, right? You didn't go to Mei Ling's house at all. Do you still remember when I asked you later if you had anything to tell me, you said no? Why did you lie to me?  

Episode 31 - Li Zhong Mou gives Wu Tong one last chance to see their son. Wu Tong goes to Xiang Jun to beg him to tell the truth. She faints and Xiang Jun takes her to the hospital, only to be told by the doctor that Wu Tong is two months pregnant. Wu Tong heads to Li Zhong Mou's office to tell him the news.

Wu Tong: "Zhong Mou, I have something to tell you. It won't take long.... I'm pregnant!"

Li Zhong Mou: "Are you here to show off your adultery?"

Wu Tong: "This is our baby!"

Li Zhong Mou pushes Wu Tong and slams his fist into the wall. "I don't want to see you again. When I have signed the divorce papers, I will send them to you. He turns his back and walks away leaving Wu Tong crying. 

Episode 31 - Yue Qi talks to Wu Tong to inform her that anyone who signs a contract with her father's corporation will lose a significant amount of money. Wu Tong decides to warn Li Zhong Mou but Mei Ling tries to stop her.

Mei Ling: "Wu Tong, don't go! He has already hurt you so much. Don't go! It is already generous of you to forgive him. You don't need to help him!"

Wu Tong: "Don't be anxious. No matter what, he is still the father of my children. Moreover, he is still the man I love deeply. Even if he doesn't love me anymore, I don't want to see him hurt. Even if he is just an ordinary friend, I just can't stand by and do nothing.

Mei Ling: "You're ridiculous. Why would you sacrifice so much for him? You'll be ruined."

Wu Tong: "Since this has been fated, there must be a reason. If I cannot change my fate, I can only change my attitude."

Episode 32 - Wu Tong receives the divorce settlement. 

Lin Jian Dong brings the divorce settlement documents to Mei Ling's house where Wu Tong is staying. Right after he leaves, Xiang Jun appears at their door. Mei Ling, seeing Xiang Jun pushes him out of their house but Wu Tong asks her to stop. Wu Tong drags Xiang Jun out and asks him to tell Li Zhong Mou that there is nothing going on between them.

They meet at the parking lot of Li Zhong Mou's condominium. A confrontation ensues between Xiang Jun and  Li Zhong Mou. Wu Tong was in a daze and drives off in Xiang Jun's car. Xiang Jun manages to get into the car with her and she drives away at top speed. They get into an accident and Xiang Jun suffers a concussion that puts him in a coma. Li Zhong Mou arrives at the scene. Xiang Jun is taken to the hospital. Li Zhong Mou takes the fall for Wu Tong.

Li Zhong Mou: Listen to me carefully. I drove the car.

Wu Tong: "What do you mean? Why?"

Li Zhong Mou: "You have to pay the price for harming Xiang Jun."

Wu Tong: "I didn't mean to. If the police were to investigate this, I will take responsibility."

Li Zhong Mou: "I am doing this because you are Tongtong's mother. And also, you have a baby with an unknown father. I don't want them to be ashamed of you. For everything that you have given to Tongtong, I am repaying you now. I don't owe you anything now. I have already signed the divorce papers. We are over."

Li Zhong Mou is arrested and taken into custody. He remains firm in his statement that he was the one who drove the car in the accident.

Wu Tong goes to the hospital to see Xiang Jun who is still in a coma.

Wu Tong: "Xiang Jun, I'm sorry. I caused you to be hurt. Did you know I have always regarded you as my best friend? I really did not think that you would hurt me. I 'm very grateful to you for always being by my side, for supporting me in the toughest time of my life and for helping me protect Tongtong. I really wanted to do something for you, to repay you, but this is not love. I hope you can understand. When I got together with Li Zhong Mou, I finally knew what I should do. I thought I could mend your relationship, but I didn't imagine that you would make use of me. I was really sad at that family gathering. The Xiang Jun whom I used to know was missing. He turned into a stranger to me, who was ruthless and evil. I don't blame you. Li Zhong Mou doesn't love me anymore, but I must do something for Tongtong and the baby in my belly though he doesn't acknowledge that this is his baby. He's arrested. I drove the car and caused you to get injured, but he took the fall for me. Even though he has decided to sever ties with me, but no matter what, the only thing I can do now is to beg you to wake up. Only you can explain everything and save him from being sentenced. Xiang Jun, this is your opportunity. You don't wish to keep seeing him suffer, right? Please wake up soon and let go of your grudge. Come back to your family, okay?"

Episode 33 - Xiang Jun appears in court before Li Zhong Mou's sentence was handed down. All charges were dropped and Li Zhong Mou was released.

Wu  Tong leaves Mei Ling's house to start a new life alone. Meanwhile, Xiang Jun goes to Li Zhong Mou's house to tell him the truth.

Li Zhong Mou: "What are you doing here?"

Xiang Jun: "I only want to talk to you."

Li Zhong Mou: "What else is there for us to take about? Don't think the past can be forgotten just because you saved me. We will never reconcile. I did not do revenge on you because of our father."

Xiang Jun: "Listen to me first, okay? Frankly, I regained my consciousness for quite a while, but I couldn't face myself. Hence, I pretended to be in a coma."

Li Zhong Mou: "What's the point of telling me this now?"

Xiang Jun: "What Wu Tong said to me made me come to my senses. She made me realize what to do next. You misunderstood Wu Tong. I was the one behind it all. I took those photos when I drugged her with sleeping pills. We didn't do anything. I was full of hatred and lost my mind. That's why I did such a stupid thing. I couldn't accept that she chose you. That's why I chose to take revenge. I didn't think that things would turn out this serious. I didn't imagine that you'd take the fall for Wu Tong. I have to admit, your love for Wu Tong is even deeper than mine. It was my fault. I made use of her trust. I can't get her to forgive me. The only thing I can do is to reveal the truth. She loves you deeply. Please believe me."

Li Zhong Mou. "I get it."

Xiang Jun: "It was my fault. Please forgive me, my brother."

Xiang Jun tells the truth to Li Zhong Mou's mother who felt sorry for how she treated Wu Tong. However, it was too late now. Wu Tong has left and no one knows where she went. Crisis erupts at the Li Corp. The business collapses because of a bad deal with Liang Corp. Creditors start showing up one by one, asking for repayment of the the company's loan. Xiang Yi appears and takes responsibility for repayment. He hands over all the assets of Xiang Corp. to Li Zhong Mou. Li Corp. is saved and the project in Hainan turned out to be successful and highly profitable. Li Zhong Mou then transfers all assets back to Xiang Yi. He tells the family that Li Corp will now be known as Xiang Corp and that he will change his surname to Xiang.

At this point, there is still no news about the whereabouts of Wu Tong. Li Zhong Mou goes on public broadcast in the hope that Wu Tong will see it.

Li Zhong Mou: "My friends, Hello. I am Li Zhong Mou. I am here today not as a businessman but as the husband of Wu Tong. I'm here to make a request. I hope that you can see this video. Perhaps, for many people, last year is no more than an ordinary year. But I will remember this year forever. Because during this time, in my world, there was you. Your love for Tongtong, your trust in friends, and your overwhelming optimism, are the desirable traits that I lacked. But I didn't know how to express my love, and I kept hurting you. My heart has never been this painful. I cannot even think how I'll live without you. So please, come back, Tong. Come back."

Episode 34 (Last episode scene by scene summary) 

Li Zhong Mou and Tong Tong takes to a garden at night to wait for a shooting star to make that one wish - for Wu Tong to come home.

Tongtong: "Pa, look! A shooting star! I wish Mommy will come home soon."

Li Zhong Mou: "Tong, Where are you? Can you see the shooting star?"


Li Zhong Mou was in the middle of a meeting when his assistant Lin Jian Dong barges in and whispers something to Li Zhong Mou. They head on to the police station because according to a report, the police found a body of an unidentified woman, who fit the description of Wu Tong. Police wanted Li Zhong Mou to identify if that was the woman he was looking for.  He could not find strength to look at the corpse and asked for a DNA examination instead.

Li Zhong Mou: "I am begging you. Don't do this to me, okay? I don't believe it. You are not Wu Tong."


Back at the Li Zhong Mou's residence, his mother cried and is full of remorse and guilt for the way she treated Wu Tong, which caused her to leave Zhong Mou and Tongtong. Everyone tried to console Li Zhong Mou while they await the results of the DNA exam.

Li Zhong Mou receives a call from the police station informing them that the body of the woman in the morgue is not Wu Tong. Overwhelmed by emotion, Li Zhong Mou stands up and goes inside his room. His phone rings. It was a call from his ex-girlfriend, Zhang Man Di asking him to meet her someplace. Li Zhong Mou obliges.

Zhang Man Di: "I will always remember this place. This is where you broke up with me. There is something I have always wanted to ask you... If Wu Tong hadn't shown up, would you have fallen in love with me?

Li Zhong Mou did not respond.

Zhang Man Di: Do you have any news about her? If you can't find her, what do you plan to do in the future?

Li Zhong Mou: "As long as I am alive, I will keep looking for her."

Zhang Man Di: "You really love her very much."

Li Zhong Mou: "If I could still hold her hand, I won't let her go until the end of the world."

Zhang Man Di: "I always thought that I could be your partner. But what a pity that I don't have this luck." (Zhang Man Di hands Li Zhong Mou an envelope) "Take a look at this. It won't disappoint you."

Li Zhong Mou: (Opens the envelope and sees it contains a photo of a very pregnant Wu Tong) "Where did you find her?"

Zhang Man Di: I'm the image ambassador of Left At Home Kids Foundation. This was mailed to us from a remote village. The address is at the back of the photo. She's a volunteer in this school. Being with those children, she will be able to forget all  her unhappiness. Perhaps, this is the reason why she's staying there. You rejected my love, but I couldn't stop loving you. Even though I could never be your lover, I don't wish to see you unhappy. Zhong Mou, promise me, that you must be happy, okay?

Li Zhong Mou: (crying) Thank you. Thank you.


Li Zhong Mou sets off to go to the place where Wu Tong is staying. His whole family was there, wishing him well on his journey.

Li Zhong Mou bids good-bye to his mother, Li Zhi Ning: "I'm leaving."

Li Zhi Ning: "Remember to bring my daughter-in-law home."

Li Zhong Mou arrives at the school and speaks with the Director, telling him that his company is going to give a big donation to the school. He did not tell the director that Wu Tong is his wife and that his real intention of being there is to take her home with him. The director shows Li Zhong Mou around the school premises and takes him to the outdoor learning area where Wu Tong takes the children every day. Li Zhong Mou's eyes fill with tears when he finally sees Wu Tong again.

However, Wu Tong's reaction was not what Li Zhong Mou expected.

Wu Tong: "What are you doing here? Didn't we end it all?"

Li Zhong Mou: "I'm sorry."

Wu Tong: "Why are you apologizing to me? You were not at fault. Please go back. Go back to your world. You don't belong in this place. I would like to live peacefully on my own."

Wu Tong leaves Li Zhong Mou in tears.

Wu Tong makes a phone call to Mei Ling, asking for advice. She tells her she is confused because Li Zhong Mou found her. Mei Ling tells Wu Tong to go home with Li Zhong Mou because he loves her very much. Wu Tong hangs up the phone.


Wu Tong returns to the outdoor garden at night. He reads the children's wishes written on the cards and hung on the tree. She comes across the card where Li Zhong Mou wrote the message, "I hope that the woman I love can forgive me and give me one last chance to compensate her for the rest of my life."

Li Zhong Mou was there all along while Wu Tong was reading the card.

Li Zhong Mou: "Wu Tong, I was thinking. Among all the wishes up there, you found mine. Does this mean we are fated?"

Wu Tong: "Who do you take me for? I am not a pet summoned at your will. When you like me, you let me stay with you. When you don't like me, you abandon me. I am no longer that naive girl, that submissive girl. I don't want to live that kind of life again. I used to love you very deeply, but I don't love you now. So, please don't try to patch up. Go home. Our fate as already ended.

Li Zhong Mou: "God decides our fate. Let's leave the decision to God. You said the shooting star could realize our wishes. As long as you wish sincerely, the wish will definitely come true, right? My wish is that you will forgive me. If a shooting star passes by before midnight, it means that my wish will come true. Otherwise, I will never disturb you again.

Li Zhong Mou looks up to the heavens and starts to pray. He sees a shooting star and happily says, "It's the shooting star!" But then he finds out that Wu Tong is no longer with him in the garden.


Wu Tong packs her suitcase to leave early the next morning. Li Zhong Mou sees Wu Tong board the bus runs after her but she continues to get on the bus that slowly pulls away from the curb. Li Zhong Mou chases after the bus on foot. Wu Tong cries as the bus moves farther away. Li Zhong Mou gets hit by a small motorized cart. He is hurt but stands up and keeps running. Seeing this, Wu Tong asks the bus driver to stop so she could get off. Li Zhong Mou and Wu Tong reconciles and they fly back home.


Li Zhong Mou and Wu Tong arrive at the Li Residence and is welcomed warmly by the entire family.

Wu Tong: "Aunt, I'm sorry I got you worried."

Li Zhi Ning: "What did you just call me?"

Wu Tong looks over to Zhong Mou who smiles and nods his head to encourage her.

Wu Tong: "Ma...Pa.. I'm home."

Tongtong: "Mommy, why is your tummy so big?"

Wu Tong: "Tongtong, didn't you want a younger sister? She's in my tummy. Are you happy?"

Tongtong: "Yes!"

Wu Tong: "Tongtong, say a few words to your younger sister"

Tongtong: "Meimei, when are you coming out? I will tkae you to the amusement park."

Li Zhi Ning: "Xiao Tong... first of all, welcome home. I would like to apologize to you for causing you to suffer in the past. I hope you don't hate me."

Wu Tong: "Ma, don't say that. I was at fault in the past for making you angry. Don't worry, starting now, I will be loyal to you and Papa."

Xiang Jun: "Wu Tong, I am sorry. As your friend, I took advantage of your trust. As your family member, I let you and my brother suffer so much. I feel very guilty."

Wu Tong: Xiang Jun, In my heart, you will always be my friend and relative. Thank you for being with me during the most difficult times of my life. When I was depressed, you encouraged me to stand up."

Just as the family was getting ready to have a family dinner, Wu Tong faints and falls on the floor. She was immediately brought to the hospital. Zhong Mou was informed by the doctors that Wu Tong has a tumor in her uterus that should be removed right away. It will cause Wu Tong to have massive bleeding if it ruptures as the baby grows inside. Wu Tongs's life will be in danger if that happens. However, the doctors cannot guarantee that they will be able to save the baby. They leave it up to Zhong Mou to decide.

Li Zhong Mou talks to Wu Tong about her condition.

Wu Tong: "I cannot abort this child. Zhong Mou..."

Li Zhong Mou: "Tong, this is also my child. I feel sorry for this child, but you can't give birth to her."

Wu Tong: (crying) "I can do it. I really can. I really can give birth to her. I am begging you."

Li Zhong Mou: (crying) "Tong, listen to me. We already have Tongtong. You don't need to give birth to her."

Wu Tong: "Zhong Mou, she is the fruit of our love. She is God's gift to us. Touch it. You can feel her move in my belly. Do you know that I can feel her heartbeat every day? How do expect me to abort her? I am begging you Zhong Mou..."

Li Zhong Mou: "In my heart, you are a hundred times more important than her.I won't let any harm come to you."

Wu Tong: "She is the proof of our love. She is the descendant of our lives. Zhong Mou, I love you. The one and only thing I can do is to give birth to your child. Please let me give birth to her."

Wu Tong's parents arrive at the hospital. They leave the decision to Li Zhong Mou, as the husband of their daughter.

Li Zhong Mou spends time alone outside the hospital, crying and unsure of what to do. Night time comes  Li Zhong Mou takes Wu Tong out for a walk in a wheelchair.

Li Zhong Mou: "Tong, I agree with you. I know, if I want you to abort the baby, your heart will hurt more than your body. You always believe this world is a dreamland. As long as you don't give up giving birth to my baby, you'll have a better life. That's what you believe, right?"

Wu Tong: (looking weak and pale) "Zhong Mou, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Li Zhong Mou holds Wu Tong against his chest.

Li Zhong Mou: "I am willing to believe in this dream. Let's face the future together. Tong, I owe you one thing in this life. I don't know if I will be with you in the next life. Hence, I must repay you now. Wu Tong... Wu Tong...."

Li Zhong Mou looks down and sees blood flowing down Wu Tong's leg.


Blue sky. Family picnic. Zhong Mou holds his baby girl. Xiang Jun takes Tongtong to his father and baby sister.

Xiang Jun: (looking at the baby in Zhong Mou's arms) "She really looks like Wu Tong."

Tongtong: "Papa, can I hold my baby sister?"

Li Zhong Mou: "You can hold her when you're a little older. Come, give her a kiss."

Xiang Jun: "Come, brother. Let's go over there."

Xiang Yi: "Zhi Ning, without Wu Tong, our family won't be like this today."

Li Zhi Ning: "We should have understood her earlier."

Li Zhong Mou: "Ma, It is not too late yet."

Wu Tong arrives and joins the whole family. All is well that ends well.

My thoughts on this series:

This is a typical "rich guy falls in love with poor girl" kind of drama, however, there was an element of a one night stand which got the girl pregnant. The lead actor discovers that the boy he saved from an accident that happened during an event where he and his movie-star girlfriend were guests of honor was actually his own son. Like other soap operas, there is the custody battle, the family "skeletons" (the lead actor is an illegitimate child himself), the hatred between the half-brothers (Zhong Mou and Xiang Jun), the distrust of Zhong Mou's mother towards Wu Tong.

For me, what sets it apart from other soaps is the chemistry between the male and female leads. The character of Li Zhong Mou was portrayed by Jerry Yan who showed a more mature acting style. Compared to his other drama series where he most often played the role of a spoiled, rich brat, Jerry Yan was totally different in Loving, Never Forgetting. His cute, bedimpled smile was a rarity in this series. This is also the first time I have seen him really cry. Not those fake, induced tears, but real, crying tears!

Tong Liya was the perfect choice to play the role of Wu Tong. She exudes feminity, innocence and naiveness to a fault. She portrayed the role of a woman who would go to the ends of the earth to protect her child.

Denny Huang who plays Xiang Jun was equally effective in his role. Honestly, I hated him so much for being so scheming! Comic relief was provided by the Zhong Mou's special assistant, Lin Jian Dong, played by Lu Xing and Liang Yue Qi, portrayed by Veronique, who was hopelessly in love with Xiang Jun but her love was never reciprocated and she ended up with Lin Jian Dong eventually.

Meteor Garden was mentioned at least three times in the drama, and the "chasing after the bus" was like watching Meteor Garden 1 where Dao Ming Si chases after San Cai. I don't know if it is the same director for both drama series but I wish they would come up with a different scenario when the female lead has to leave. Maybe chasing after a train or stopping an airplane? haha. Just something different.

In conclusion, I would give this series a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I did make me cry, laugh, and get angry as I watched episode after episode. A simple but moving story and the dialogue was very moving.

If you would be interested to watch the series, you can view it on youtube. Click and bookmark this link for the version with English subtitles: Loving, Never Forgetting

Next Review (Coming Soon) : 心星的淚光 (English Title: Starlit)