Last July 22ND we went to Flagstaff, it's our fourth year anniversary and for a change we went exploring. A very nice drive we went a detour on highway 337 to see what Mormon lake looks like and the village. On the way, such a pretty pine village very pretty houses made of pine trees. We drove on a dirt road but even so it's very nice drive on such a beautiful day in the middle of those pine trees and we saw a lovely wide meadow. As we reached into the Mormon village it started to rain. Just a small village but it's great for camping, we are so surprise that there are a lot of people over their camping and it's Wednesday. There are a lot of RVs and tents around and that's gives us an idea that maybe next time we could do camping over there. A very nice place but i am so disappointed by the lake cause it looks like muddy and dried out, so not swimming just for camping.
We stayed at Flagstaff for the night and went thrift storing and exploring around town in the morning. I like Flagstaff it's every nice town, that was my 3rd time visiting that place. They have everything almost Phoenix as to offer and you got to love the nature and the pines and the weather of Flagstaff. On our way back to Phoenix we are planning on going to Sedona's way, i never been on that place but i heared nice things about that place. Again it's Wednesday and that place is full of people. Before that trip we are thinking about spending the night at Sedona and my husband is calling for a reservation but everything is full. Such a beautiful place no wonder it's very popular for rock climbing. They have a very nice red rock mountains. Just on our way alot of cars parking on the side of the road for some sightseeing, we saw students having some field trips. They have lakes too, so we saw ladies on their bikinis. If we could just left Flagstaff a little early we could stay a little longer around Sedona. It's like a tourist attraction place... As we reached into town again full of people, they have this booths of native jewelry's and stuffs like nost people selling in a tourist spots place. Just full of people and the set up is like in Care Free Arizona only fancier. Anyways, that was a lovely trip a very nice family bonding on our 4Th anniversary... I have this few pictures of Sedona...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My 3 years and 3 months old daughter knows how to do the hoola hoop! Gosh, i was so shocked and so proud of her. I don't know where she learned it, nobody is doing the hoola hoop in our house. She probably saw it on TV. One day we went to the store and she saw one and so eager to have one.Of cause i don't wanna buy her one cause i know she is still too small to do the hoola hoop but her father bought it for her anyway. I don't even know how to do it but i still showed it to her even though it doesn't stays on my body just dropped all the way. The next thing i know she is in the living room with her father and she knows how right away. She is such a smart one and i am so proud of her..The father has a video of her i will upload it here once he'll send me one.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
1. Buy new instead of used. Talk about a spending leak -- or, rather, a gush. Cars lose most of their value in the first few years, meaning thousands of dollars down the drain. However, recent used models -- those that are less than five years old -- can be a real value because you get a car that's still in fine working order for a fraction of the new-car price. And you'll pay less in collision insurance and taxes, too.
Cars aren't the only things worth buying used. Consider the savings on pre-owned books, toys, exercise equipment and furniture. (Of course, there are some things you're better off buying new, including mattresses, laptops, linens, shoes and safety equipment, such as car seats and bike helmets.)
2. Carry a credit-card balance. If you have a $1,000 balance on a card charging 18%, you blow $180 every year on interest. That's money you could certainly put to better use elsewhere. Get in the habit of paying off your balance in full each month.
3. Buy on impulse. When you buy before you think, you don't give yourself time to shop around for the best price. Resist the urge to make an impulse purchase by giving yourself a cool-off period. Go home and sleep on the decision. If you still want to make the purchase a day or so later, do your comparison shopping, check your budget and go for it. Oftentimes, though, I bet you'll decide you don't need the item after all.
4. Pay to use an ATM. A buck or two here and there may not seem like a big deal. But if you're frequenting ATMs outside your bank's network, the surcharges can add up quickly. Put that money back in your pocket by using ATMs in a surcharge-free network such as Allpoint or Money Pass.
5. Dine out frequently. A habit of spending $10, $20, $30 per person for dinner can be a huge drain on your wallet. Throw in a $6 sandwich for lunch and a $4 latte in the morning, and you've got quite a leak. Learn to cook, pack your lunch and brew your coffee at home and you could save a couple hundred bucks each month.
6. Let your money wallow. If you are stashing your savings in your checking account or a traditional bank account, you are wasting money. You could put it in a high-interest online savings account and get paid to save. You can even get an interest-bearing checking account through such reputable companies as Everbank, Charles Schwab, E*Trade and ING Direct.
7. Pay an upfront fee for a mutual fund. Selecting no-load funds can save you more than 5% in sales charges. Of course, no matter how well a fund has done in the past, you can't be sure how it will perform in the future. But if you pay a load, you'll begin the performance derby in the hole to the tune of the load. See the Kiplinger 25 for our favorite no-load funds.
8. Pay too much in taxes on investments. Are you investing in a tax-sheltered 401(k) or Roth IRA? If you're not maxing out those accounts before you invest in a taxable account, you're spending too much.
9. Buy brand-name instead of generic. From groceries to clothing to prescription drugs, you could save money by choosing the off-brand over the fancy label. And in many cases, you won't sacrifice much in quality. Clever advertising and fancy packaging don't make brand-name products better than lesser-known brands (see Similar Products, Different Prices).
10. Waste electricity. Of the total energy used to run home electronics, 40% is consumed when the appliances are turned off. Appliances with a clock or that operate by remote are typical culprits. The obvious way to pull the plug on your energy vampires is to do just that -- pull the plug. Or buy a device to do it for you, such as a Smart Power Strip ($31 to $44 at www.smarthomeusa.com, which will stop drawing electricity when the gadgets are turned off and pay for itself within a few months.
11. Pay banking fees. Overdraw your checking account and you'll pay $20 to $30 a pop, so it pays to keep tabs on your balance. Plus, are you still paying for a checking account? Free deals abound -- but make sure they're really free. For instance, will the bank charge a fee if your balance drops below a certain level or if you download your info into a personal-finance software program? That's not free.
12. Buy things you don't use. This sounds like a no-brainer to avoid, but how many times have you seen something on sale and thought you couldn't pass it up? Even if something is 50% off, you're spending too much if you don't use it. href=Couponing, for instance, can be a great way to save on your grocery bills. But if you buy things you wouldn't have purchased in the first place simply for the sake of using the coupon, you're wasting your money. The same goes for buying in bulk. A bargain is no bargain if it sits unused on your shelf or gets thrown away.
13. Own an extra car. Okay, so a car is a necessity for most people. But face it -- cars are a huge drain, from their loan payments to insurance fees to gas and maintenance costs. Own more than one car and you'll double or triple those expenses. Ask yourself if that second or third car is really necessary. Are you holding on to an old car for sentimental reasons? Can you or your spouse carpool, take public transportation or bike to work?
14. Ignore your local dollar store. Shopping at the dollar store can be hit-and-miss, but it's not all kitsch or junk. If you know what to buy, you can find some real bargains. For instance, my local dollar store charges 50 cents for greeting cards versus the $3-plus at a drug store or gift shop. (I have a big extended family so I figure this saves me more than $100 per year.) You can also score a deal on cleaning supplies, small kitchen tools, shampoos and soaps, holiday decorations, gift wrap and balloon bouquets.
15. Keep unhealthy habits. Smoking is not only bad for your health, it burns up your cash. A pack-a-day habit at $6 a pack costs $180 a month and $2,190 a year. A junk-food or tanning-bed habit can be costly as well. Not to mention the money you'll waste on medical bills down the road.
16. Be complacent about insurance. Your bill arrives and you pay it without a second thought. When was the last time you shopped around to determine whether you're getting the best deal? Rates vary widely from insurer to insurer and year to year. Reshopping your auto, home or renters insurance might save you hundreds of dollars.
It also pays to evaluate your insurance needs. For instance, upping your out-of-pocket deductible from $250 to $1,000 can save you 15% or more on your car insurance. Consider using the same insurer for your home and auto insurance -- you could snag up to 15% off for a multiple-line policy. And make sure you're not paying for insurance you don't need. For instance, you need life insurance only if someone is financially dependent upon you (such as a child).
17. Give Uncle Sam an interest-free loan. If you get a tax refund each April, you let the government take too much money in taxes from your paycheck all year long. Get that money back in your pocket -- and put it to work for you -- by adjusting your tax withholding. With a little discipline, you can use that extra cash each month to get started saving or pay down debt (or make ends meet to avoid going into debt in the first place). You can file a new Form W-4 with your employer at any time.
18. Pay for something you can get for free. Dust off your library card and check out books, music and movies for free (or dirt-cheap). Don't pay to receive your credit report when you're allowed to get it at no charge by law. Take advantage of kids-eat-free promotions. And dial 1-800-FREE-411 for free directory assistance.
19. Don't use a flexible-spending account. Your employer may allow you to set aside pretax dollars to pay for medical costs not covered by insurance. You can use the money for expenses such as therapy, contact lenses, insurance co-payments and over-the-counter drugs. You may be able to do the same for child-care costs.
20. Pay for unnecessary services. How many cable channels can a person watch? Do you really need all those extra features for your cell phone? Are you getting your money's worth out of that gym membership? Are you taking full advantage of your subscriptions (such as Netflix, TiVo or magazines)? Take a look at what you're paying for and what your family is actually using. Trim accordingly.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Last Saturday July 18Th we are invited by my friend her in Phoenix for her sons 1 year old birthday party. We've meet in my worked before when she was pregnant, the second time when the baby probably 1 or 2 months, then no more after that cause i quit my job, but we are talking via net sometimes catching up in our lives. Then last Saturday, got to see them again on their sons birthday party. We lived in the same province in the Philippines, she lived in the city and I'm in the town but we shared the same city. So it's nice to have some neighbors around here. At the party got to meet some Filipina beauties in Phoenix. Talking on our native tongue so it's kinda exciting and eating Filipino foods.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Last Wednesday we drove to Globe AZ, it's unplanned drive and it's already afternoon 1pm. We always talked about it anyways and i don't know what gotten into our head. Might be boredom and heat. It's not too long of a drive maybe 1 1/2 hrs or 2 with some sightseeng and stopping we get there like 3. I liked Superior AZ, it's a very nice small town. A beautiful set up, a tiny town surrounded by mountains. Before Globe there is Miami,i don't really care. And Globe, not so much as i liked Superior but cooler weather than Phoenix and it went down as it gets late in the afternoon. We get to walk outside and do some sightseeing not to get hurry to go back in the car because of the heat and temperature gets down as it goes to the night. Very nice place and we sure do going back in there again and making sure i charge my camera battery. We've enjoyed our short outing and having fun sightseeing. I have some few pictures before the battery went dead.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Cardiac CT angiography
These colorful 3-D images allow radiologists to calculate one of your most important heart numbers: your coronary artery calcium score, a measure of how much plaque is piling up in your arteries. A 2007 study of over 10,000 people published in the journal Atherosclerosis reported that calcium scores alone can predict heart attacks, while a 2003 study found that a high calcium score is associated with a tenfold increase in heart-disease risk. This is compared with a less-than-twofold increase in risk from traditional risk factors such as diabetes and smoking. The test has one significant downside: The radiation exposure from your average cardiac CT is equal to 600 chest X-rays, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This produces a 1-in-5,000 risk of cancer, another study reveals.
Who needs it: Men with some of the risk factors for heart disease whose physicians may be on the fence about starting treatment. "In these medium-risk cases, cardiac CT scans and calcium scoring can provide the extra level of information that we feel we need," says Gerald Fletcher, M.D., a professor of cardiology at the Mayo Clinic. The lower the calcium score, the lower the risk. If you reach 112, your physician might recommend aspirin or statins.
Cost: $350 to $900. Most insurance companies will reimburse you if you've previously had an abnormal stress test or chest pain.
Bone density scan
Think osteoporosis affects only old ladies? Fact is, men begin losing bone mass at age 30. That's why it's important to assess the state of your skeleton now with a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, which uses low-radiation X-rays to gauge bone mineral density (it can also measure body fat percentage). "DEXA scans allow us to identify people at high risk for fracture so they can start treatment to strengthen their bones before a fracture occurs," says Murray J. Favus, M.D., director of the bone program at the University of Chicago medical center. Your doctor might suggest adding strengthening workouts to your exercise program and supplementing your daily diet with up to 1,000 milligrams of calcium and up to 400 IU of vitamin D.
Who needs it: Anyone with any osteoporosis risk factors: inactivity, smoking, a family history of the disease.
Cost: $250 to $300. To increase the odds of your insurance covering the scan, make sure your doctor notes any risk factors.
VO2 max test
With the VO2 max test, you hop on a treadmill or stationary bike and give your maximum effort while wearing a mask that captures your every breath. By analyzing the amount of oxygen you consume, the test determines how efficiently your body extracts and uses oxygen from the air. This makes it the gold standard of fitness markers, as well as a strong indicator of your overall health. "Blood pressure, cholesterol—those are what we call 'remote markers.' The best predictor of your longevity is going to be your fitness," says Walter Bortz, M.D., a longevity researcher at Stanford University.
Who needs it: Anyone who wants their blood to pump. If your score is under 18 ml/kg/min, talk to your doctor about increasing the intensity of your workouts.
Cost: $110 to $160. The test is available at physical therapy, rehab, or cardiopulmonary centers. Insurance providers won't cover it.
By definition, something "virtual" usually can't compare to the real thing. But with a virtual colonoscopy, you avoid the two downsides of a traditional colonoscopy—sedation and the risk of a perforated colon—while still benefiting from the one big upside: test results you can stake your life on. "Virtual colonoscopies have the same sensitivity for detecting large polyps, which are the precursor lesions of colon cancer," says Judy Yee, M.D., a professor of radiology at the University of California at San Francisco. Though the CT scanning technology of a virtual colonoscopy can miss some smaller polyps, a University of Wisconsin study found that these are usually benign anyway. And don't sweat the radiation; you'll receive about 5 to 8 millisieverts, an amount that isn't considered dangerous, says Dr. Yee.
Who needs it: People ages 50 and older, especially those on blood thinners, because an "oops" with a regular scope could cause dangerous internal bleeding. The exception: If your family has a history of colon cancer, you should be screened at least 10 years before the age your relative was when he or she was first diagnosed, Dr. Yee says. People who are overweight or inactive, drink or smoke heavily, or have an inflammatory bowel disease should also consider early screening.
Cost: $500 to $1,000. Many health-care plans now recognize the effectiveness of virtual colonoscopies and increasingly cover them.
While it's not a test per se, putting your diet under the microscope could result in a leaner body and a longer life. "The benefits of meeting with a dietitian are accountability, moral support, and troubleshooting if your progress stalls," says Alan Aragon, M.S., the Men's Health weight-loss coach. In a 2008 Kaiser Permanente study, diabetic patients who received nutritional counseling were nearly twice as likely to lose weight as those who had no guidance. To find a registered dietitian who can see beyond the food pyramid, Aragon recommends going to the American Dietetic Association's Web site (eatright.org) and clicking on "Find a Nutrition Professional." Then call the R.D. and ask how he or she stays up on the latest research, which should include reading journals such as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition or the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Who needs it: Anyone who should lose weight or simply wants to know how they can eat to beat disease.
Cost: $40 to $75 a session. Your insurance company may reimburse you if you have a condition that can be improved with diet changes. Ask your doctor for a referral.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Every 4Th of July we only watched the fireworks display in our front yard. We lived near Peoria Sports Complex were they always have fireworks display every year. Instead of going out in Arizona heat we stayed indoor and went outside when they showed the display. When we first heard the booming of the start of the fireworks, we told Richelle lets go see the fireworks are starting!.. she started crying and screaming and freaking out and was not going to go outside to see what terrible thing was making all that booming! So my husband and I went out without her.. after a minute or 2 I went back in to try and get Richelle to come out.. no no no no no no way! crying and freaking out at the thought, so I went back outside. I had brought my camera out and had taken pictures and video.. so I take in the camera and show Richelle, so she did. Richelle- "Oh that's pretty,, I wanna see!". So out they come, as soon as we come out the door Richelle is oooing and awwwing. She enjoyed the show. So funny.