Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fun Under The Sun

Plan A Picnic.

There’s no better way to enjoy the outdoors than spreading out a picnic blanket and having a feast at the park or in a spacious backyard. Set the date and theme and call up your relatives for their assignments. Utensils, drinks, and easy-to-eat finger foods are a must on your list. Don’t forget your sunglasses.

Get Kitchen-Savvy!

Who says staying indoors is a bore? Cool down by trying out simple recipes for fruit shakes and refrigerated desserts. Get mom or a sibling to help you whip up these dishes in no time! This is also best done on lazy Sundays.

Start A Summer Scrapbook.

Collect mementos from your summer vacation – seashells, theme park passes, luggage stickers, and souvenir photos. Put them together in colorful scrapbook pages, and voila! It’s going to be tough forgetting all about this perfect summer. Enjoy relivinig your sunny memories!

Magical Things To Do

  • Indulge in your favorite chocolate bar or crepe dessert to raise your happiness quotient. No guilt included!

  • Save the earth and get into recycling! Donate your old and unused books to libraries and use the clean back part of your old printouts as scratch paper.

  • Mean what you say and say what you mean.

  • Appreciate the beauty in everyday wonders like the sun shining through your window.

  • Find a lucky charm – like a stone – that will help remind you of future blessings.
  • Horoscope


    There is a task you must finish. You’ve been delaying things for sometime now and they’re coming back to haunt you. Finish these ASAP, and you’ll have fun without worries.


    Exploring new places excites you, but watch your step! Being cautious is the key to preventing mishaps. Let your mind and body wander at the wonders of seeing new places and rediscovering old ones.


    You deserve a fab break! A fun-filled vacation is in the works. Be sure you watch what you eat because an upset tummy can ruin all the joys of summer.


    Play it cool while deciding which summer classes to take. Make sure to try something new! Be firm with your decisions so you won’t waste any time and money.


    Do some spring cleaning this summer. A lot of clutter creates chaos, not to mention a mad mom! Friends are welcome to drop by when everything is put back in its place.


    Keep your teddy bear close to you. There’s nothing better than a good snuggle after a bad day. Let tears flow. Nothing should stop you from pursuing your plans, so walk away from people who put you down.


    Getting butterflies in your stomach when he’s around? Stay cool and keep things to yourself first. Let him make the first move to see if he’s really interested.


    You’ve been waiting for this moment. Now there’s loads of time to do whatever you want! You’ll see a different side to people, something that’s been hidden before.


    Feeling left out? Update yourself with the latest trends! Since you excel at anything related to food, why don’tyou take cooking lessons to learn how to whip up your favorite dishes?


    Bored? Get involved in your community’s activities. You have an inner desire to give to others this month, so why not join groups that lend a hand? It’s also the time to listen more than to talk.


    Be yourself when love comes. Honesty will go a long way! Things may get boring at home, but try not to laze around and stuff yourself with junk food. Get active!


    Simplicity is the key to having lots of fun this month. It shouldn’t cost you much to have the best birthday party ever. Hanging out with your best buds over ice cream and snacks will be okay! A relative becomes a great companion, so turn to her for guidance. Dubious schemes and quick fixes never produce the best results. You’ll go back to square one.

    Blazin’ The Trail To Brazil

    Sandy beaches and colorful flip-flops are not the only things that rule in this hot country!

    Paradise Found

    Brazil is the largest of the Latin American countries. The Amazon River, the second longest in the world after the Nile, is partially found in the Brazilian territory.

    “The English Invented It, The Brazilians Perfected It.”

    Brazilians love soccer! Legendary star player Pele hails from Brazil. He scored 1,282 goals in his 22-year career. No wonder his nickname is “The King”.

    Sight To See

    The famous statue of Christ as the Redeemer can be found atop the Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

    Something To Flip About

    Inspired by the Japanese Zori sandals, the first pair of Havaianas was created in 1962. To this day, people around the world love wearing these ultra comfy flip-flops.

    W.I.T.C.H. Spotted

    Launched in February 2002, W.I.T.C.H. is the number one comic book magazine among Brazilian tweens, selling 70,000 copies every month!

    Discovering Peter Cook Of W.I.T.C.H.

    Cool, friendly, sporty, and absolutely irresistible. Taranee Cook’s big brother lets us into his special lair.
  • Sunny, positive, and really jolly (though he can be vain at times), Peter Lancelot Cook is a brother anyone would love to have!

  • Aside from being Taranee’s best friend and number one ally at home, the funky-haired athlete is also her personal driver!

  • A person who does not know the meaning of the word “boredom”, Peter is always doing something! He is a boundless source of energy.

  • Peter considers himself exemplary in all sports… but he’s right. Forget about finding him at home, you’ll spot him on the beach or on the basketball court until dinnertime.

  • The only time Peter is lazy is in the morning, right after he wakes up.

  • He’s an unbelievable source of ideas: he always has new projects in the works.

  • Peter is very creative! He’s quite good at drawing.

  • Corny’s new crush attends the Art Institute of Heatherfield, but he doesn’t like to study so much. He manages to answer any of the teacher’s questions thanks to his “inherent skills”.

  • Peter is currently learning how to play tennis.

  • This cutie likes displaying the trophies he’s won while being in the college basketball team. He’s a very good player… and he wants everyone to know it!

  • After negotiating with his parents, Peter attached his television set up high. He loves watching spy and action films with Matt and Joel.

  • Peter takes extreme care of his surfboard. He adores the sea. If he could, he’d spend all his days riding the waves!

  • The mini trash basket is a gift from Taranee. As soon as Peter’s sister saw it, she instantly thought of her brother. Peter laughed for 15 minutes straight after receiving it.

  • Peter uses his laptop to keep in touch with his buddies around the world and to check the weather forecast before catching the waves on his surfboard.

  • Peter keeps a number of photo albums and art books. He’s not a keen reader, but his curiosity pushes him to improve himself. If he has some free time on his hands, he reads with music playing in the background.
  • From Russia With Love

    Cool Spots

    If we have the MalacaƱang, Russia has the Kremlin. St. Petersburg is a city called the “Venice of the North” because of its placid canals and grand palaces.

    Find It, Love It

    Russia lies in Eurasia, composed of two continents: Europe and Asia. Moscow is the capital of this very cold country, and its currency is called the Russian Ruble.

    Hello, Dolly

    Matryoshka dolls are handpainted dolls that got their name from popular peasant names, Matryona and Matriosha. Some say it has a Latin root “mater” (mother).

    Fur Everyone

    People wear these winter hats called ushanka (which means officer) inspired by the fur hats the Soviet military soldiers wear.

    World Of W.I.T.C.H.

    W.I.T.C.H. was launched in Russia in March 2003.

    Magical Must Dos

  • Re-evaluate your goals this year. If you had a bad 2005, use your birthday to jumpstart your resolutions.

  • Make an inventory of the things you already own. This way, you save money and prevent having doubles in your closet or music and book collection.

  • Hug a tree! When sadness hits, a tree gives comfort to an ailing heart.

  • Blue and violet are lucky hues that’ll help you be your best.

  • Find people who can be your mentors. Pick up their good habits and ask for their advice.
  • Horoscope


    There’s a time to share as well as a time to keep things to yourself. Knowledge shared with classmates wins you high grades, but nasty rumors should end with you.


    Be ready for a major change. Anything that initially feels uncomfortable has a purpose to it. Stick with it till the end. Head to the beach on the last week of the month and find yourself being lucky in love!


    Planning to get new beach gear this summer? Put this off until the third week. A lot may be on your mind right now, but you’ve got to stay focused on the now. study hard!


    Manage your time wisely! Activities on your list overwhelm you. Beat the clock by getting organized by the first week. Delegate work properly among your group mates.


    Love is on hold. Shift your energies to studies instead. You may need the extra cash when school ends, so learn to scrimp and save! Summer is almost here. So take care of your health.


    Take good care of yourself! Your energy depletes easily during crunch time. Get enough sleep and get your daily dose of vitamins. Do all you can to keep yourself going. Let your potential shine this month.


    Hanging out with the boys makes you the best bud of one and the love interest of another. Do you like him too? Discuss your fave music with him to strengthen your bond.


    No need to hurry in love. Let time tick slowly while you get to know him more. Phone lines scorch as an endless stream of conversation takes place during study breaks.


    Karma is out to get you, so be careful of the things you do. Good or bad, things will come back to you in threes. Be a diligent student first then you can dream of summer trips afterwards.


    Don’t forget to return the things you’ve borrowed. Lost items must be replaced and given back immediately. Don’t try to hide the truth! Honesty makes you a better pal.


    Poke fun at yourself when there’s tension within your circle of friends. A good laugh is what everyone needs. Warm sun and calm waters await you.


    Make school your top priority! For the first two weeks, seriously hit the books. Love takes the backseat but catches up by month’s end. A lot will happen so brace yourself! Enjoy the ride the month brings. Take things in one at a time to savor each moment. Carry a camera wherever you go to capture these special moments.

    Dancing Queen

    Unleash the dance diva in you!

    These dance-inspired pieces take your look from casual to cute in a snap! But first, take this quick test to discover which groovy moves fit your personality.

    1. You love to dance:

    a. With a partner.

    b. Solo.

    c. With your gal pals.

    2. You never get tired listening to:

    a. The Black Eyed Peas.

    b. Classical music. Mozart and Beethoven rule!

    c. Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce Knowles.

    3. You describe yourself as:

    a. Romantic – you’re filled with love.

    b. Conservative – very prim and proper.

    c. Real – what you see is what you get.

    4. Your everyday style is:

    a. Sporty. You’re always decked in track pants and running shoes.

    b. Girly. You like wearing pretty blouses and flowing skirts.

    c. Casual. Your usual getup is a vintage tee and jeans.

    5. Your rhythm is:

    a. Smooth but energetic.

    b. Slow and rhythmical.

    c. Upbeat and with pizzazz.

    Dance profiles:

    Mostly As: Salsa

    You love being around people! Your mind is filled with projects and dreams. Latin American rhythms will match your dynamic spirit, especially since you enjoy stealing the spotlight through your passionate moves.

    Mostly Bs: Ballet

    Your inborn sweetness and feminine grace make you perfect for classical dance where your capacity to push yourself to the limits will obtain wonderful results. You’ll look irresistible in a tutu and ballet shoes!

    Mostly Cs: Hip-Hop

    You’re generous and real! People can count on you, especially when they need you the most. You’ll definitely enjoy the freestylin’ ways of hip-hop where you can groove to the beat with your good friends.

    It’s A Party

    A cozy room + yummy snacks + lots of exciting activities = FUN!

    Furry Friends

    Cornelia’s tip: They’re there to comfort you when you start feeling a little homesick. (We understand it’s not always easy to sleep in a new place.)

    Glowing Friendship

    Taranee’s tip: Begin the party by sitting on the floor, placing the candles in the middle of your tight circle. Make a pact to have nothing but absolute fun this night! When the clock strikes 12, exchange scary stories around your homemade campfire. Don’t forget to blow out the candles before heading off to dreamland.

    Bed Buddies

    Will’s tip: Share a bed and win a friend! If you’re the hoest, double check if everyone’s got a spot to sleep on before you doze off. (If there are a lot of you, ask your pals to bring sleeping bags!) Create a snooze-worthy atmosphere by piling up the pillows and blankets in your friends’ favorite colors.

    Sleepover Checklist

    Taranee’s tip:
  • Get your parents’ permission to attend the party.

  • Pack your overnight essentials (cute PJs are a must!).

  • Bring cool CDs and fun games.

  • Buy all your gang’s fave snacks.

  • Sleep all day… but only after the night of the sleepover!

  • Shadow Painting

    Hay Lin’s tip: Challenge your friends’ creativity! Stick a piece of cartolina on the wall. Ask a friend to stand still (on her side) in front of the cartolina, then switch the lights off. With a flashlight, put your friend in the spotlight. Trace her shadow on the paper and… voila! Instant profile portrait. Take turns doing this until everyone has a portrait. Turn on the lights then color your works of art.

    Snack Attack

    Orube’s tip: Popcorn is the best sleepover snack! Why don’t you whip up new flavors and see who comes up with the best tasting one?

    Musical Madness

    Irma’s tip: Make a list of all your favorite songs and singers a week before the bash. At the party, play a game that would make your friends either name a tune, sing a song, guess the singer, or act out a song title. The possibilities are endless. Take your pick!

    Floor Fun

    Cornelia’s tip: Have a pillow fight, throw a fashion show, or play Jenga if you dare!

    Survival Tips At Work

    #1: Rise and Shine
    Eat a good breakfast, even if you don’t normally feel like one. Countless studies have shown that a healthy breakfast sets you up for the day, and making sure you have some proper food when you get up will leave you less peckish later on. This is NOT an excuse for a big greasy fry-up five days a week, though. And as well as helping your energy supply, it can help your money supply. If you’re working in the city, snack foods can be very expensive.

    #2: Use Your Headlines
    Buy a paper for your bus or train journey, or listen to the radio in the car. Not only does it help you to focus on something other than the day ahead, but being up to date on the news and gossip is excellent for small talk by the water cooler. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a daily paper, remember that most of the major titles have their own website. But don’t kepe accessing them on company time, or the only reading you’ll be hearing will be the riot act!

    #3: Sole Survivor
    Wear comfortable shoes, especialy if you’re commuting across town on public transport. Male and female employees alike may also find that it’s hard to keep that shine on the early morning trek. There’s nothing wrong with wearing trainers on the way to work, as long as there’s a pair of smarter shoes ready to change into when you get there. Carry them in a bag and then keep them in your office drawer or locker.

    #4: Welcome… To The Warzone
    Most workplaces have their factions and cliques. Avoid all attempts to recruit you to one side or the other… in most cases maintaining strict neutrality proves to be the best course of action in the end. Refuse to geti nvolved with any backbiting or criticism of colleagues who are not around, even if you privately agree. You’ll increase the chance of people respecting you when you’re not around either.

    #5: Say It Again, Sam
    There’s an old saying that you can say you don’t know something… or you can prove you don’t know it! No matter how long you’ve been in a job, there’s only so much you can get right first time round, so don’t think that it’s a sign of weakness to ask questions and ask your superiors to go over information until you’re sure you’ve got it right. In most cases, far from being annoyed, they’ll be happy that you rate their thoughts highly enough to want to hear them again.

    #6: Don’t Get Hung Up
    Don’t give out your work number to too many family members and friends, or if you do, make it clear it’s for urgent calls only. If you do fancy a chat, try conducting it via e-mail at lunchbreak – but only if this doesn’t clash with the company policy on internet use. By the same token, when you DO chat to friends and family outside work hours, keep the subject of work to a minimum. That way you’ll actually benefit from the downtime and have something to look forward to when you’re back in the office.

    #7: To Do… Or Not To Do
    Whatever your current duties are, get into the habit of planning your work day by day. In an ideal world, this can be done in conjunction with colleagues or your boss, but it’s not unusual to start a new project and wait weeks for someone to have time to brief you properly. Getting used to planning on your own will help you to feel less lost, and ticking off a task on your to-do list will give you a great sense of achievement, and motivation to get the other tasks done too.

    #8: Different Strokes
    You don’t bond with everyone you meet in the outside world, so you shouldn’t expect to at work either. Your goal shouldn’t be to like everyone or have them like you, although it’s great if that’s the case, but to get on with everyone and work in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Treating people as you would like to be treated can sometimes produce amazing results from even the most difficult colleagues!

    #9: Bully For You!
    Bullying in the workplace can be just as common as bullying in school – and just as distressing too. It’s not a sign of weakness to seek help. After all, the bully is the one with the problem, not you. If it’s a colleague who’s making your life miserable, take it up with your boss. If it’s your boss who’s the culprit, check out for lots of advice, support, and practical steps to take.

    #10: All Work And No Play
    New work projects may take up a lot of your time as you try to get into the swing of things. Explain this to friends and family, but try to carve outs ome time with them even during the busiest periods rather than neglecting them completely. However, if you’ve been in your job for a while and life is still all work and no play, you may need to talk to your manager about practical ways to organize your workload better.

    #11: Keep Cool
    Fill a two-liter bottle from the water cooler every morning, and keep it by your desk. Most of us drink too little water at the best of times, but combine that with a stuffy office and a little stress, and headaches and lethargy can easily creep in. Having water to hand so that you don’t have to keep making trips to the cooler should help with time management headaches too. Remember to empty the bottle by the end of the day, ready for refilling the next morning.

    #12: Screen Test
    If you use a computer for long periods at a time, make sure that you look away from the screen every fifteen to twenty minutes and focus on a distant ponit. Make sure also that the screen brightness is adjusted so that it’s right for your particular work environment, and that your seat is the right height for you to access both the screen and the keyboard without putting your back under undue strain. You might even try talking to your company about fitting ergonomic keyboards, if they haven’t already. If your comfort and safety aren’t a priority for the, the promise of increased productivity might just do the trick!

    #13: Get Out And About
    Rather than sweltering in a stuffy staffroom all lunchtime, refresh yourself by taking a walk, going to the gym, eating out or reading in the park. Even in an urban environment, it is possible to find green spaces tucked away where you least expect them. Make it your business this lunchtime to discover the oasis nearest to you. (And if you are spending time in the sun, make it your business to pack a sunscreen before you leave for work!)

    #14: Tea For Two
    Research shows that a single cup of coffee after lunch can provide a much-needed energy boost for the afternoon, but more than that could leave you jangling. Try tea, or even better, herbal tea instead. And do offer to make the coffee for your colleagues every so often, so that you can boost your popularity as well as your energy levels! Make sure that you drink water throughout the day as well. Besides being healthier for your insides, the trip to the cooler will give your legs a stretch too.

    #15: The Paperless Office
    You won’t ever be able to find what you’re looking for if your desk is overflowing with paperwork, so once in a while it’s a good idea to plan in a ‘clear your desk’ day. Be ruthless: file what you need and bin – or recycle – the rest. If you haven’t referred to a file or a memo in the past two days, the chances are it doesn’t need to be on your desk at all. The same applies to e-mails in your inbox… cyberspace clutter can be just as distracting as the paper kind.

    #16: Getting Personal
    Pin up a few pictures of family and friends, some of your favorite art, or jokes that make you smile… as long as this fits in with the code of your particular workplace. Creating a working environment that suits you will not only lift your spirits but your productivity as well. after all, it’s the individual talents of each worker that make your company operate best as a whole.

    #17: Keep Up To Date
    How many diaries, address books and calendars do you have? If possible, have just one place where you record your various appointments, or at least one central place that you transfer them to once you’ve jotted them in your diary, hand-held PC or on a scrap of paper. It will save you the hassle of booking yourself in two places at the same time… or, worse, not remembering where you’re supposed to be in the first place!

    #18: Give It The Once Over
    Try to handle each piece of paper that comes across your desk only once. Items that are dealt with immediately (even if the action is simply to bin them) are far less likely to end up contributing to the general mountain of clutter that slows up work on most office desks. And every time you manage to action or get rid of some paperwork without double-handling it, you will feel a glow of efficiency that works wonders for your general stress levels!

    #19: No Chance
    Be careful what you wish for… you might just get it. but wish for nothing and that’s exactly what you’ll get! Don’t leave anything in your career to chance. Put together a profile of your ideal career and employer, including everything from your ideal corporate structure to the management style, industry and corporate values system that appeals to you most. And remember, however big your dreams for yourself are, God’s dreams for you are bigger.

    #20: Speak Up!
    Don’t wait for your boss to initiate discussions about your job performance and expectations. Check regularly to find out how you’re doing and if your manager’s expectations are the same ones you’re working to. Besides potentially saving wasted effort and keeping you both on track, it shows a commitment to high standards that can’t fail to create a good impression within the company.

    #21: Where Credit’s Due
    Always give co-workers and subordinates credit for their contributions. Competition between colleagues is always fatal. Embracing an attitude of ‘I only win if you win, and then we all win together’ means that you not only get your fair share of recognition, but you’ll also have people ready to help out when things don’t go as well as expected. And if things really go pear-shaped, it’s always best to have people on your side, rather than viewing you as someone onto whom they can shift the blame.

    #22: Heart To Heart
    Many of us spend most of the week at work, and often in close proximity with each other, so it’s no surprise that workplace romances flourish. And as long as you’ve established that the object of your affections is free to engage in romance (and not just bored with their relationship at home), there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get to know each other better. But keep a strong demarcation between work and social time. All work and no play may make for dull boys and girls, but letting romance get in the way of work is a recipe for disaster.

    #23: Heads Together
    There’s no substitute for the wisdom of others, so it can be valuable to approach someone who has the skills and insight you lack. You’ll be surprised how flattered even a busy person will be when they see that you really value their opinion. Your mentor doesn’t have to be all-powerful or perfect, just someone who can help you to learn what you need. The same applies to you uif you are called to mentor someone else. Knowledge and experience are important, but support and encouragement are the most important skills of all.

    #24: Fun And Games
    Why wait for someone else to organize after-hours activities for you and your colleagues? The chance to interact on a non-work level can strengthen your working relationships, so why not take the plunge and become the life and soul of the office? From jazz concerts, to dinners, to special events, there are lots of great ways to relieve work-related stress. Often all you have to do is simply make the suggestion. And if the event goes well, it will encourage someone else to organize the next one!

    #25: Fail Safe
    Most of us will fail at some point in our careers. From Walt Disney to Richard Branson, every business success story has its downs as well as its ups. If you’reh aving a ‘down’, be honest about your share of the blame and take away whatever lessons you can learn from it. Soon you’ll be able to look back and realize that yesterday’s failures often carry the seeds of today’s success.

    #26: A Learning Experience
    Your industry is changing every day, so you should be too. A job where you’re not being stretched may feel comfortable, but if that feeling changes to boredom, you may find that you don’t have enough extra knowledge to move on to something else. If your job isn’t increasing your knowledge base, consider having extra training, or maybe just taking out a subscription to a trade magazine that will keep you up to speed on the latest developments.

    #27: E-asy Does It
    The great advantage of e-mail is that you can respond to any message instantly. The great danger of e-mail is that you can respond to any message instantly. If you get hot under the collar, by all means fire off an e-mail, but put it in the ‘waiting to be sent’ box until you cool down enough to work out whether it’s really the best way to deal with the issue. Remember too that the very ‘ease’ of e-mai means that if you really want to get a point across – for good or ill – a personal letter often carries a lot more weight.

    #28: Be Passionate!
    When you love what you do, you do it well. So if it’s at all possible, choose a career and a job that you know will be personally fulfilling. If that’s not possible right now, try to find at least some element of your work that you can feel passionate about. Often it’s this very thing that can carry you through until the next job comes along. And when the dream job comes up, how well do your existing job may be the factor that gets you the offer.

    #29: A Pat On The Back
    The rule ‘As you give, so shall ye receive’ is true in the office as well as in the offering box. Be quick to compliment and support others in their career goals and challenges, and you’ll build up a fund of goodwill you can draw on when you’ve got your own mountains to climb. Remember that those above you appreciate a kind word too; it’s never toadying if you are saying something for their benefit, not your own.