Author Archives: Mommy

Lunar New Year 2018 | Year of the Dog

Last Saturday was the the beginning of the 3rd Annual Lunar New Year Celebration and this going to be a two weeks celebration from February 17th until March 4th. This celebration known to many as Chinese New Year. This year they celebrate the 2018 Year of the Earth Dog! Squirrel hill and the Asian Pacific American community of Greater Pittsburgh have come together to honor the Lunar New Year with events that cultivate an appreciation of Asian arts & crafts and authentic cuisine, as well as to promote a deeper understanding of the East Asian cultural diversity. Philippine is one of the Asian country so we take part of that said event. This coming weekend is a continuation the the Lunar New Year celebration and there’s going to be a parade at squirrel hill, so if you are in the area next week, then you would not want to miss it out.

I just read an interesting story of Lunar New Year and the story behind the making of the Chinese zodiac of 12 animals. This story was found in the program from last week, here it goes.

The Jade Emperor wanted to create a way to organize time, so decided to hold a race crossing a river. He would honor the first twelve animals to finish the race with a year each in the zodiac. The rat, which could not swim very well, asked the ox to carry him across. The kind-hearted ox agreed, and as soon as land within the sight, the rat jumped off ox’s back and was the first to make it across the river, followed by the ox and then the tiger. Next came rabbit. The dragon came 5th, after stopping along its way to help some creatures below. The horse almost came in 6th but was scared by the snake, who took its spot. The monkey, the ram, and the rooster all made their way across the river together on a raft. They crossed he finish at the same time but agreed to give the ram the 8th spot, the monkey the 9th, and the rooster the 10th.

The dog was the fastest swimmer but had stopped top play in the water, thus coming in at 11th. In 12th, and the last place, was the boar, who stopped along the way to eat and take a nap. Quiet a funny story for the dog huh. Are you born on a year of the dog? If so well, hear this out and see if the dog’s characteristic suits you.

Meanwhile, this year, 4716 on the Chinese calendar, is the Year of the Earth Dog. In the West, dogs are often seen as loyal, friendly, and loving. Likewise in the Chinese zodiac, people born in the Year of the Dog are steadfast, honest, kind, cautious, and courageous. They are good-natured, get along well with others, and keen to help much like “man’s best friend.”

Horoscope- People who are born in the year of the dog can expect ups and downs in their luck this year. Lucky numbers for people born in the year of the dog are 3, 4, and 9; lucky flowers are rose, oncidium, cymbidium, and orchids, and the lucky colors are green, red and purple. For those not born in the year of the dog, this year should be auspicious and a good year to embark on new projects.

Financing a Family Summer Vacation: 3 Money-Saving Strategies


Despite the way the world and trends change, the family summer vacation is still going strong. A 2017 report from the American Automobile Association revealed that more than one-third of families had planned a summer trip for their families that year. If you want to plan an adventure for your family this summer but money is tight, there are a few money-saving strategies you can use to finance a trip without your household budget ballooning out of control.


1.      Set Up an Automatic Savings Deposit Plan


Even the best-laid savings plans can tank if you are constantly tempted to spend money instead of putting a set amount into your savings account each month. One way to curb your impulse and unnecessary spending is to have that amount deducted from your checking and transferred into your savings each month. Not only will you no longer have to remember to transfer the money, if it goes into your savings as an autopay, you might be less likely to miss it.


2.      Find Money Within Your Budget


You may be surprised to find additional funds within your household budget if you are committed enough to look for it. To accomplish this, sit down and revise your current budget by going over each expense individually. For example, if you spend up to twenty dollars or more a week on morning coffee runs or take-out breakfasts, start brewing your own at home and pack portable snacks. At the end of the month, add up what you saved by curbing your spending in this area and add it to your vacation fund to help it grow faster.


The whole family can invest in your vacation by making their own financial sacrifices. Ask your kids to cut back on the family’s cell phone data usage, have them donate their pocket change once a month, and remind them to care for their clothing and shoes so they last longer. When your kids are involved in the saving process, they may appreciate the result more.


3.      Change Your Insurance Deductibles


While having a low deductible for your car or homeowners’ insurance premiums can ease your budget, you may save more if you raise them. For example, if you live in central Pennsylvania and currently carry a $500 deductible, you can ask your Harrisburg insurance agency to adjust this amount to $800 or even $1,000, depending on what the company can offer you. You may have to pay more out of pocket if you file a claim, but the risk can often outweigh the cost when you are trying to save money.


Saving money for that dream trip this summer can be a challenge, especially when you are raising children. However, with a bit of effort and wise planning, your vacation account can grow by leaps and bounds.