Happy Homes, Smart Kids

Working Mom is one of the better magazines in the market with well-written articles by working moms such as Maribel Sison Dionisio and Queena Lee-Chua. This April’s issue had a very insightful piece about which factors contribute to student success written by Queena. What makes students excel? Through the joint efforts of family unit. Learning starts at home and parents are the key to success.Recommendations of the Parent’s Best Practices Study (Ateneo de Manila High School)
· Develop good study habits
· Create a conducive environment for study
· Communicate regularly and well
· Encourage love for reading and judicious multimedia use
· Ensure solid grounding in the fundamentals
· Emphasize effort more than ability
· Promote genuine self-worth
· Discipline with love
· Set personal, academic, and life goals
· Be there for the family

Recommendations of the 2006 Study focusing on Marikina and Bulacan public high schools:
· Discipline to instruct, not punish
· Set goals, for wishes are not enough
· Rely on ourselves, not on fate
· Strengthen family bonds
· Make the home fit for learning

It comes as no surprise that children raised in loving and supportive home-learning environments have been found to do better in school. Parenting is not an easy task but we need to take it seriously for our children’s mental and emotional well-being.

Nappy Sac: Not Your Ordinary Diaper Bag

As a new mom, one of the first things I did after giving birth was look for a diaper bag which wouldn’t crimp my style. No cutesy plastic-y bags covered with bears and bunnies for me. =) I found a nice cream and white bag at Whimsy which was spacious and stylish but didn’t have enough inner pockets. Thus started my quest to find the perfect locally produced diaper bag (in terms of specs and price). My favourites so far are Baby Couture and Nappy Sac which have become my staple baby shower/christening gifts to close friends and relatives.

Baby Couture produces bags which were great for moms. I’m now using one (Madeline) as a gym bag during the weekday. Visit their kiosk at the Shangri-la Mall to see the different designs.

Nappy Sac is another new local brand which is a hit for those who love a splash of color (read: no limited to pink and blue). My favourite is the brown “Gabby” bag with its orange lining – perfect for the funky dad out for a stroll in the mall. I also like the “Jell” bag made of brazilian leather.

Newly launched a few months ago, the makers of Nappy Sac are negotiating with various retail outlets and the bags should be publicly available soon. For those who want to get one now, contact Jell at 0917-522-6349.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Earth Day Mission: To Save Paradise

“Don’t It Always Seem To Go That We Don’t Know What We Got Til It’s Gone They Pave Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot.” Joni MitchellApril 22 is the day we renew our commitment to Earth which we should actually be doing everyday. Below is a list of little things (downloading from a WWF-affiliated blog) which we can do for one day to alleviate the pressures we put on our ailing Mother the rest of the year. Heck, try them for at least 20 days so that they can become a habit, an earth-changing lifestyle.

Don’t leave the water running. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or washing the car. Fresh water is one of our most precious natural resources.

Flick off the light when you leave the room. Power plants burn fuels to create energy for your light bulb. Burning fuel makes carbon dioxide that adds to global warming. The less energy you use the less they need to make, and you’ll save on your energy bill. Makes cents (pun instead).

Print on both sides of the page at work. It’s easy to change your printer settings – you’ll use half the paper and save trees.

Wash your clothes in warm or cold water. It works just as well as hot in your washing machine and cuts back on energy use.

Bring in a glass to keep at work instead of using the paper ones by the water cooler. Did you know that Starbucks will give you a P5 discount if you use a mug instead of their disposable cups?

For every soft-drink bottle recycled, enough energy is conserved to run a television set for an hour and and a half.

Use the right settings on your appliances. Many appliances, like your dishwasher and refrigerator, come with energy-saving settings. Make sure they’re turned on.

Turn off your computer at the end of the day. A monitor left on overnight uses enough energy to print 5,300 copies.

Look at the labels. Take the paper items with the “recycled” emblem over the ones without. Look for the Energy Star symbol when buying new appliances.

Take public transportation whenever possible.

Eat organic, if possible, from your garden. If you don’t have a garden, start one.

Don’t eat sharksfin, Chilean seabass, any reef fish, fish balls (contains shark meat), turtle soup, turtle eggs, dolphin, dugong, Philippine Eagle, Tarsier, Tamaraw, Philippine crocodile, and spread the word.

Try to go vegetarian for one entire day.

Here’s a fun one: go to Youtube and watch Will Ferrel do George Bush on Global Warming

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead