Monthly Archives

August 2015

Online Shopping Shopping

Fab & Frugal Finds for August

Lovely Monday, everyone!

I’ve taken the entire weekend off. Aside from trips to the playground and walks around the village, I never stepped outside the house. I needed some rest. But the bad news is that, because I was also almost always online, I was constantly checking out online shops. Noooo!

Well, for one, I really need a new phone (my Zenfone is still working really well, but its crack is growing – it’s almost like the West Valley fault now – and I don’t want to fully destroy it). I’m looking for a midrange unit with a good camera; what do you suggest?

Also, after last week’s weekend getaway at Villa Amparo Resort in Samal, I realised I needed a backpack. You see, I always used travel totes and duffel bags. They have always worked for me — until I needed to bring a pre-schooler along alone. So, backpack it is.

Don’t worry — I haven’t bought anything yet. I’m trying to save up. Emphasis on trying.

But let me show you some fun and frugal finds I bought in August. Let’s start with kawaii office supplies!

Nine West wallet
Nine West wallet – P1,200

Coin purse/ earphone case – P40 each

Card holder – P25 each

I actually bought the wallet a month ago, but I belatedly realised it (I took the picture already) so I just included it. The coin purses and card holders, I bought from an online store. Send me a PM to know where. More items from that store after the jump.

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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch at Sea Green Cafe and Lifestyle Shop

Sea Green Cafe and Lifestyle Shop

You’ve been re-directed from my review of Sea Green Café and Lifestyle Shop on DavaoMommy.com.

Sea Green cafe is only the hippest healthy restaurant in Davao City. Or so I heard. So from the first time I came to know about it, I knew I should try it.
After months of craving, I was finally able to eat at Sea Green last Sunday. I was one happy gal!

Sea Green is this quaint little restaurant in the middle of the city that gives off strong country vibes. It’s popular for serving only fish and vegetables and only fresh ingredients. Thus, Sea + Green. Love! Also, I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s tucked in somewhere in the middle of the city. We almost got lost because we’re from the north and not very familiar with Torres-Marfori area. (Just go to Mercury Drug Garcia Heights and make a right. Or left, depending on where you are from. Ang labo ko lang.)

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was little, too. There were only a few tables inside. I tried to take many photos of their charming interior but I could not move so much because the table next to ours was occupied. But here are what I was able to get:

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Money Matters

10 Tips for Mums on a Budget

10 Tips for Mums on a Budget
This is a guest post from PawnHero.ph.

There are times when no matter how much we work and no matter how much we save, we just can’t seem to have enough money. Our family’s expenses just keep growing. What’s a mum to do?

During these tough times, mums like us need to think creatively to stay within our budget. We can save a lot of money just by thinking out of the box and doing things differently.

Here are some tips that may help you out.

10. Borrow Instead of Buy

Whenever someone in our family needs something, our first instinct may be to buy it. But before you do, think hard if you really need to buy it or not. If the item is something that you need for the long term, it might make more sense to buy it. However, if it’s something that will only be used for a while, such as books for example, just borrow it from someone else and return it after you’re done using it.

9. Go for Value

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Lifestyle Summer Destinations WAHM Diaries

A Weekend Getaway at Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort

Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort | Joyful Mess

Hi everyone! *waves*

I think I have finally recovered from the weekend that was. From the way I was describing my aching limbs and muscle pain, you would have thought I was involved in extreme sports or something. Well, I was not. Anybody who knows me knows this for sure – I don’t have any interest in extreme sports (or any kind of sport for the matter haha).

I digress.

So I had a great weekend.

My colleagues (the Philippine team for stayathomemum.com.au) and I had our first outing slash bonding activity, and I was so thrilled. However, I was initially torn between bringing Yuri along or leaving him behind because, you know, even though I want him to enjoy the beach with me, I was also craving for some me-time. Eventually, I decided to just bring him along because my teammates want to (they did promise to look after him while I take a bath haha).

We decided to book a room at Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort at Samal. Because I called the resort at the last minute, the room/s we wanted were already fully-booked. I asked for the most expensive one, the penthouse, because that was our only remaining option. Unfortunately, the lady I was talking to said it was already tentatively booked.

But my ears picked up on the word “tentatively.” I said, tongue-in-cheek, if we pay now, can we have the room? She said she would have to confirm with the original group who reserved.

To make the long story short, after assuring her that we’re 200% sure, I was able to get the room. Yeah!!!

It was so fun. First, you should know that I’m a girl who loves to pack (I can volunteer to pack your clothes for ya) and had a fun time deciding which of Yuri’s things should come. Of course, while his things come first, I also made sure to pack all the essentials like sunblock, lotion, and perfume (because you’ll never know!). You can find the perfect scent from a selection of perfumes from Zalora.

Then there’s the resort. The resort was lovely (it could use some improvements but overall I was pleased) and I was in the company of girls who, paraphrasing the words of Pam, just could not stop talking. Oh well! By the way, here are pictures of our accommodations: Continue Reading

Summer Destinations WAHM Diaries

Sneak Peek of My Weekend

Hey guys! I’m just leaving this picture here. It was yesterday afternoon when we arrived from our fun frolicking at Villa Amparo with my virtual teammates, but my muscles are still aching! So I’ll still be needing my much needed rest. It’s no picnic bringing a preschooler with you to the beach haha!

Villa Amparo

Messy Wins Real Estate Broker Diaries WAHM Diaries

Messy Wins: Our First Outing and My Licence

PRC License - Real Estate Broker

I was tempted to call this new section of my blog “Wins of the Day” if not for fear of my (remote) officemates stumbling upon this and laughing. How very office lingo-ish!

Anyway, whew, what a week this has been — so far!

Weekend Plans with my (Remote) Officemates

I’ve been busy, but the wonderful, happy kind of busy. While we’re still like bumblebees at work, this week was slightly different because we’re also planning for — guess what — an office outing!

Meh. What’s so exciting about that?

If that’s your reaction, I’m sure you’re not a WAHM or a remote worker!

Ever since I resigned from an office-based job in 2012, I had never joined a company outing of any sort. I’ve worked freelance from 2012 to early this year, and while we had an office here in the country, it was based in Manila and I was never able to join any company get-together. Basically, for more than 3 years, the only trips I’ve joined were the ones with my family and friends! So excuse me for feeling like a hermit haha!

Another thing that makes me excited for the weekend is that despite working with each other for months now, talking everyday (even on weekends), and seeing each other on Skype, this is the first time we’ll ever see each other in. the. flesh. I’m kinda sad I had to be fat this year, but hey, it’s not our last meeting either. 😛

I’ve been busy because I’ve been organising the whole trip. I didn’t anticipate that this weekend will be Kadayawan weekend (I thought that was last weekend – forgive me), so the resort we wanted to stay in was fully booked. The room we wanted was already reserved. However, do not underestimate the power of a girl in need. With much pleading and promising that I’ll pay ASAP, the reservation was finally given to us.

(In my defence, the original group who reserved the coveted room still hasn’t paid the required deposit so it’s not as if I sabotaged them or anything.)

Hey paradise, see you this weekend! (Image from Trip Advisor)

Yesterday afternoon, I immediately went to the bank to deposit the money to the resort’s bank account but not before I went to the PRC to claim my…

Real Estate Broker’s Licence

Yay it’s finally here! It’s not as if we were made to wait for a long time – on the contrary, the IDs were ready long before our expected time, which was 3 months – but I’m still giddy to finally get my hands on it. I know this will be the third time I’ll be using this word in the same paragraph, but finally, I now feel like an actual licensed real estate broker! I would plug our website here, but it’s still unfinished so… Hee hee.

PRC License - Real Estate Broker

These are two of my messy wins for the week. I actually have more, but I can’t write them here yet! Now I’d like to hear about your wins. How has your week been so far?

Lifestyle Personal Real Estate Broker Diaries WAHM Diaries

Reclaiming My Life

A little more than a month ago, I started this new blog on a whim (well, not really – I explained my reasons here). I also explained why the name “A Joyful Mess” charmed me, but really, the name was also reflective of my present situation.

Life is messy.

I’ve accepted and embraced living a messy life because I realised that the more I acknowledged the mess, the more I’m allowing God to be in control of the clean-up. I’m nothing but a weak human being who messes up, imperfect. And I love it. I love calling to my God whenever I feel that life is becoming too much for me to handle. I love knowing that God is always there, always there to supply the strength to my weakness, unlimited grace to my flawed human nature.

However…

There are some — many — aspects of my life that I couldn’t afford to mess up any further. I need to acknowledge the truth that for these aspects of my life, it’s not normal living that took course. It’s laziness and lack of planning, pure and simple.

I need to work on these aspects of my life. I need to reclaim and return some sense of organisation to my life!

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Lifestyle Parenting

Mumnesia

I’m suffering from a sickness.

It’s called mumnesia.

Funnily, it’s been more than 3 years since I’ve had my anaesthesia (for my CS operation), but mumnesia is only affecting me now. I keep on forgetting everything! Well, I’m thankful it doesn’t affect my job — but I’m sure that’s hugely because of Todoist (thank you, Todoist). All my tasks and deadlines need to be written into my Todoist list or I’ll forget everything. Seriously.

My other “big” tasks (for the household, for the blog) all get written into my list, so I don’t really forget them. But the everyday stuff? The everyday stuff — the mundane things that don’t necessarily get written into my list — are what gets me into trouble.

Mumnesia

I took this when I was studying, but maybe I need to take it again,

The Lost Password

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Personal

This is the email that tried to ruin my day.

A few days ago, I innocently checked my email for work updates and personal messages when I came across a mail, the intention of which I’m still unsure of.

The email was sent to my blog email, maan@joyfulmess.com. It simply said:

Disgrasyada ka ba?

I didn’t reply immediately. Instead, I pored over it for a day and tried to figure out if it was a spam mail. However, it really didn’t look like one. The coincidences of a mail written in Tagalog, sent through a blog email, and sent to a blogger who happens to be a unmarried mum were just too strong to be plain coincidences. I wasn’t angry, but I felt insulted. Never in my life have I received that comment. Never in my life have I felt judged for being unmarried.

And I couldn’t imagine how angry Job would be if he finds out.

I curtly replied and said:

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Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

An Afternoon at Ice Giants

Ice Giants Review

One sunny afternoon last summer (way before my dad had his blood tested for various illnesses), we were all craving for ice cream. Since we wanted to try something new, we decided to go to the nearest Ice Giants to eat what else but a giant sundae!

Before that, we ordered some “real food” because we haven’t had lunch yet. Since we’re going to be eating a giant sundae, we stayed away from rice meals. But the dishes we ordered were still calorie-laden so I don’t understand my point. Here they are:

Ice Giants Review

I forgot the exact price, but it should range from P250 to P300

Ice Giants Review

This was just a small serving of lasagna – P120

Who knew Ice Giants served savoury dishes? I didn’t! While we were eating, we ordered our giant sundae to be served later. We wanted either the mango or the halo-halo flavoured ones, but the young’uns really wanted chocolate so chocolate it is. Lo and behold, the chocolate giant sundae.

Ice Giants Review

Why does my 3-year old look so binata here?

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Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch with Friends at Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar Davao

I had a great time last Sunday! Well, I always have a great time whenever I find myself spending the day with my friends since college. Last Sunday was another of the days (although one of our friends, Christine, was sorely missed because she’s now living in Japan!).

We wanted to try the new Picobello at first, but on Saturday, we decided to try Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar instead. We’ve heard a lot of great reviews about it, and upon checking out their menu, we couldn’t wait to try their Filipino dishes with a twist.

But first – OOTD! I didn’t want one taken because I was feeling fat that day (yet I ate to my heart’s delight), but Hazel insisted, so here it is 😀

Midi dress – bought online | Denim bolero – Mags, given by George | Sandals – Gibi | Bag – Aldo, gift
On Yuri: Shirt – Garanimals | Shorts – Mothercare | Shoes – Nike | Bag – Disney

I had a crisis that morning because none of my clothes fit me. I hope I’m only kidding but I’m not. I’m so sad. How do you lose weight? Huhu.

Okay, back to Perch. I only have phone pictures here; I can’t believe I forgot to bring my camera! It was just lying beside my bag, but I grabbed my bag without putting the camera in. Blame it on my weight crisis (or is it the anaesthesia?).

Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Freaky picture – the upper side looks cropped diagonally but it’s not

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Technology

A Girl’s Review of Windows 10

Windows 10 review

Have you tried the all-new Windows 10?

I upgraded my laptop to Windows 10 last Saturday — and I’m loving it. It’s the best

I reserved my upgrade about 2 months ago, and I seriously couldn’t wait for July 29 to come. When the day finally came, I thought everyone who had reserved would automatically get notified and receive the upgrade. Apparently, that was not the case as Microsoft was rolling out upgrades gradually. This explained why it was already the 31st and I still didn’t get any notification.

Then impatient-me discovered that there was another way to upgrade — through Microsoft itself. You only need to download their Media Creation Tool, run it, follow the instructions, wait, and say hello to Windows 10. I ran the installer last Saturday, and I had to wait for 6 hours to complete the entire installation process. Some of my friends only waited for an hour, while some 5 hours or more. Since my laptop is fairly new (Intel i3), I guess the internet connection factor also plays into the wait.

Windows 10 upgrade

But the wait was totally worth it. At least for me. I’ve been through several Windows OS — and when I say several, I mean Windows 95, Windows 98, even Windows ME, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 — and this is, so far, my absolute favourite OS. These are the reasons:

1. The interface is beautiful.

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Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

Disclaimer: I apologise for the quality of the pictures – my Samsung WB150F doesn’t do very well in low-light settings. Perhaps it’s time to invest in another camera? Haha.

Hi, everyone!

Whew, what a busy week. I’ve done a couple of overtime work this week – good thing I actually enjoy doing my job – and there were a handful of power interruptions. The longest one happened last Thursday, where we had a 3-hour brownout. Coincidentally, that was also the evening when a Payoneer event I was invited to attend was scheduled.

Payoneer in Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

It wasn’t technically a blogger event, but this was the first event I attended ever since I started blogging here in A Joyful Mess. Also, I think I was the only one there who wasn’t technically a freelancer and didn’t have a Payoneer account yet… Hehe. The guys from Payoneer hosted the dinner as a way to give thanks and/or introduce themselves to the online workers and freelancers (more on freelancers) in Davao City. As it wasn’t really a blogger event, let me just tell you about the restaurant where we had dinner: Bon Appétit La Boutique.

A quick research about this restaurant reveals that it’s Davao City’s number 1 restaurant, according to Trip Advisor. I was super thrilled to go to that dinner and discover why it’s #1.

Owned by a French man and his wife, Bon Appetit La Boutique is a really tiny, tiny place tucked into the inner corner of a restaurant compound in the heart of Davao City. When they said it’s a hidden gem, they really weren’t kidding. It actually reminds me of Belito’s Vineyard, another secret gem tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Anyway, back to Bon Appetit.  It looks unassuming when you see it from the outside, but wait until you get a taste of their dishes.

Here are the dishes served in our dinner:

Complimentary Side Dish

Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

Freshly-baked bread with Black Olive spread

This picture was taken when the power was still out. This explains the candle hehe. It was my first time to eat black olive spread, and I liked it!

Appetizer

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