Strawberry Melon Froth

5:43:00 PM

 One of the perks of working online and at home is that you do more, or less, in the kitchen. Which, in my case, I'm on the "less" part. Since I'm alone most days and considering the mall is just 10 minutes away, I tend not to cook and resort to fastfood instead. And so one day The BF said, "I love you, 'coz you're chubby," and I'm like, "OMG! Yeah I am." I realized I gained a few more pounds while sitting on my desk working away!

So I decided this morning that FROM.NOW.ON. I will include fruits in menu everyday. For starters, I bought this at the market:

  • 1 medium Melon
  •  A few Strawberries
  • 1 small can Evaporated Milk

I just cut the melon in half and scooped using my favorite spoon to catch the juices. I think that's a better way than cutting it into quarters. I washed the strawberries really well. These are not bought from the mall / supermarket so they are not perfect and have a little soil on them. I brought out my mother's blender and I realized that since we bought it 4 years ago, it was rarely used. Don't mind the remaining melon, I'm actually eating straight from the bowl. Such sweetness!

I also love Muzcovado (unrefined) sugar for it's molasses flavor, so I added a spoonful of it. Just 1 spoon, I don't want it to be too sweet.

Ooops! Don't forget to add the milk and a few ice cubes and run the blender for a minute.

The outcome is that my Strawberry Melon Froth (I made that name up) is not too smooth. I can still feel the strawberry pith  and small chunks of melon. That's how I like it. For smoother Strawberry melon Froth, blend it more.



Next time, I'm going to buy clear glass.

Top 6 Basic Tools of a Virtual Assistant

3:51:00 PM

I started online freelancing as an Administrative Assistant in August 2013. Thank goodness to Mr. Google, blogs and various Facebook support groups about online freelancing, I was able to get into the outsourcing bandwagon in no time. I've had my share of rejections and declined applications, way too much I think, but it did not stop me from trying again (and again).
Google photo

Clients expect their virtual assistants to be ready for the project and already know what to do. Do not expect your client will hold your hand and spoon feed you because aside from having the technical knowledge, a virtual assistant is expected to be creative in finding solutions.

Working remotely is so much more - graphic designer, web developer, writer, social media marketer, etc. But for the purpose of this list, I will use the term "virtual assistant" loosely.

Email - This is a no-brainer but it is nice to point out that it should be a professional sounding email. Leave out the word "sexy" or any other word that will give a client a wrong impression or image of yourself. Remember, for virtual professional relationships, first impression starts with your email name.

Skype - This is the most used, and highly recommended, messaging app. Aside from email, this is the second mode of communication between you and your boss (sorry, I still have the corporate slave-master hangover) client.

Skype features:
  • Like buttons for social media 
  • Cheap international Skype-to-phone rates 
  • Conference call capability 
  • Video conferencing 
  • Computer screen sharing options 
Again, be reminded to get a professional sounding Skype name. You can sign up for Skype here:

Screensharing and Remote Access Tool - Gone were the days that your boss can breathe down on your neck and watch what you're doing on your screen all the time. For a virtual assistant, the only way that both you and your boss/client see each other's screen is through the use of the screensharing app. This is very helpful during training sessions, online meetings, demos, and collaborations to remotely access each other's desktops.

I currently use Teamviewer and Join.Me but there a lot remote access tools out there that you can use. You can check's Top 10 Free Remote Access Software That Let You Share and Access Files from Another Computer to see what fits your needs.

Task Manager - To make sure that everyone is on the same page, a task manager is highly recommended. This app manages the project's calendar, collaborations, and progress -- the team's meeting place.

Timetracker - In hourly projects, this is very important tool to track your progress. Normally, online job portals like oDesk and Elance, to name a few, have a downloadable time tracker. Time trackers take periodic snapshots of your screen that you can review to assure both parties that only project related tasks are billed.

Password Manager - Don't forget this. For obvious reasons, it is not sensible, in fact it is plain stupid, to get a generic password for all your accounts. For sure, it's going to be hard to keep track of passwords across your accounts so a Password manager is a very helpful tool.

Cloud Drive - This very useful for storing backup files. In the event that your working PC or laptop crashes, you can still retrieve your files from other computers and continue working.

There is a lot cloud storage but my top 3 is:

  1. GoogleDrive
  2. Dropbox (if you sign up using this link, I get 500 MB bonus space =) )
  3. SkyDrive 
These are just basic tools that will surely get a new virtual assistant started.

The Mystery of Webinars

2:15:00 AM
Do you live off Facebook? Do you eat, drink, breathe Facebook? I'm sure most of us do. But unlike what other people think that we FB addicts only think Me, Me, and more Me, we can actually pick up valuable tips and opportunities for self-growth on this social site.

One of them is an invitation to attend a free webinar about online freelancing. The title of the webinar is Online Jobs Career Orientation : Know If Having an Online Job Career Is RIGHT For You! by Coach Genesis of Online Jobs University.

I'm a new virtual assistant, having jumped into the online freelancing bandwagon just this July 2013, so I know there are still a lot to learn about freelancing. I am glad that there are FREE Webinars such as this.

First things first.

What is a Webinar?

Wikipedia defines it as a seminar held over the internet. Web seminar. Webinar. Get it? =) A webinar makes it possible to attend conferences and live meetings without leaving your home. A webinar is very cost-effective for both the presenter and the attendees in terms of time and venue especially for remote outsourcing and virtual staffing.

What can be shared in the Webinar? 

  • Presentations 
  • Web pages 
  • Other Multimedia content 

How to join a Webinar?

  1. You must be interested. (Yes, that's a no-brainer.) 
  2. You must be a registered participant. A registration link is provided. You will be asked for your email address and phone info. 
  3. Come to the webinar on time. 

Here is the registration confirmation that I received via my email.

  1. Bridge Link - This is a web page where all the attendees are accessing the webinar 
  2. Password to Log-in : This is your nominated Password you log-in to the bridge link
  3. Toll Number is the phone number to access the webinar using your phone line and the Attendee Access Code is used to verify or authenticate the attendee. 
What is the Etiquette during a Webinar?
At this time of posting, I haven't attended the webinar yet. In fact, I haven't joined ANY webinar yet. It will be my first time on Sunday, October 13th, 10am to 11am. So I don't know yet how it is inside. I'm going to cross the bridge when I get there and blog about it. Anyway. Of course, just like any face to face meeting, there are rules of behavior that we must take note of.
  1. Don't be late. Log-in a few minutes before schedule. Preparing your seat, so to speak. 
  2. IF you come in late, please do not demand to backtrack the discussion for you. 
  3. It is important that the phone line / cVOIP is dedicated to the webinar. If you have an important call in the middle of the webinar, it is advisable to just log-out and sign-in again instead of putting everyone on hold. The reason? Courtesy. Your phone's "hold music" might distract other participants. 
  4. Take note also of other background noise. It is recommended to Mute your line when necessary. 
  5. Listen carefully and take down notes. As in an actual class, please be prepared to ask and be asked questions. A webinar is supposed to be interactive. 
  6. Remember, this is a faceless conference so it is polite to introduce yourself first before speaking. Make your comments, suggestions, or questions clear and concise. 
  7. Respect the Host / Facilitator / Moderator of the Webinar. 

Other Sources:

Top 3 Reasons Why I Decided to Work Online as a Freelancer

5:54:00 AM

I don't have to commute.

Traffic sucks. Commuting takes away valuable hours from our lives. An hour or two stuck in traffic 6 days a week roughly translates to 600 hours a year! I realized, I could have read a lot of books by then, taken a vacation, or completed a short training course!

I can be my own boss.

Have you ever had a micro manager - a boss who controls the very littlest details of your job, who is always there breathing down your neck? Stressful, right? I had one, too! Since I'm dictated by the 8 to 5 workday, I can't just decide to log out and go home without getting dire consequences, can I?
Photo Credit : lifehacker

It's time to work anywhere, anytime and in my own terms.

Freelancing is considered work-at-home but it could be anywhere - in the park, at Starbucks, while sipping a smoothie by the beach!  I'm sure my client won't mind where I'm sitting, as long as I have my computer and internet connection with me.

I don't have to get up as early (like 4 AM, to avoid the 6 AM rush hour) I could work as little, or as much as I want to, depending on how much I want to earn. Of course, there'll be deadlines, too but with proper time management, I can dictate what time I'm going to go to work.

Done with office politics.
There are times that I wanted to tear some co-worker's hair because of some petty office injustice. Who says grapevines grow on vineyards? I suppose I got tired of these silly, subtle, and not so subtle politicking.

I'm saving my dress allowance.

Working in a call center requires you to power dress most of the time. Most days I have to wear something that is within the given theme of the day, and boy! it costs me heaps! So now, I decided to go to work in my robes and in my PJ's.

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