Monthly Archives

January 2016

Food Restaurant Review

Pizza Afternoon at Picobello!

Picobello Davao

Woot thank God it’s Friday!

(Except it’s not really the start of the weekend in my case since I have to attend a CPD session tomorrow and on Saturday. CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development, which is a requirement for PRC professionals. Oh well, that’s life!)

I’m keen on going through all of my backlog before mid-February so here’s another one. My college friends and I always get together every year for a little Christmas luncheon and gift exchange. Last year’s venue was Belito’s Vineyard while this year’s was Picobello.

If you’re from Davao, surely you’ve heard of the iconic Picobello, an authentic Italian restaurant that serves the best pizzas ever. It used to be located at Gaisano South Mall and then it closed (much to the dismay of perhaps every Davaoeño who loves pizza). Just recently, it reopened in another location at The Shoppes at Woodlane. Upon hearing this wonderful news, of course, we just had to visit it.

Here are what we ordered:

Picobello Davao Continue Reading

Davao Events Events

Nothing But Mott’s Apple Juice For Us!

A month ago, just a couple of weeks before Christmas, I was invited to an event hosted by one of my trusted brands when it comes to Yuri: Mott’s Apple Juice.

Yuri is a drink-person. He loves drinking (more like gulping) water and fruit juices throughout the day. Sometimes milk, more often water and juice. In fact, right now, he’s just back from the playground and thirstily drinking fresh calamansi juice.

So unless I have fresh fruit on hand (read: citrus), I always make sure that I have some juice in the fridge. Of course, I prefer them to be sugar-free and, as much as possible, free from most unwanted additives.

We do buy several brands of juices but when it comes to apple juice, I always go back to my failproof brand, which is Mott’s. I am such a loyalist that I even wrote about it in my old blog! For starters, it’s sugar-free and is 100% apple juice. No unnecessary flavouring or, ick, food colouring.

Second, it has a high dose of Vitamin C, perfect for building up the immune system of my preschooler. An 8 fl oz serving provides 2 fruit servings per day! My son loves fruit but we don’t always have access to fresh ones so 100% fruit juice does well in a pinch.

Third, even enjoy it because it tastes just like apple cider. Promise! All I need to do is grab a goblet, pour some chilled Mott’s apple juice into it, and feel like an adult. Drink it like it was real apple cider and they would be none the wiser. Haha!

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Travel

A Weekend Getaway At Jive Highland Resort in Buda

Jive Highland Resort

Yuri is having the time of his life at the playground right now (with his tito and lola), so I have all the time in the world to work on backlog. Woot! Here’s what I’m currently seeing:

A little downtime before the weekend officially ends (while the boy is at the playground teehee) #wahmlife #wahm #blogger #momblogger

A little downtime before the weekend officially ends (while the boy is at the playground teehee) #wahmlife #wahm #blogger #momblogger

Ah, my favourite time of the day is me-time. Haha!

Speaking of me-time, I had a fabulous vacation by myself last Christmas. Well, technically, I wasn’t alone as I was with my work friends, but it was the first night ever that I was away from Yuri. A little backgrounder: I was a little anxious that Yuri would miss me or would keep crying without me, but it turns out he didn’t even think about me at all. Yay, I guess? LOL!

Before I digress even further, let me tell you about that mini vacation. My workmates Jona, Sarah, Lenz, and I spent a night at Jive Highland Resort in Marilog District. That part of Davao is also known as Buda as it connects Bukidnon and Davao City. Yes, it’s still part of Davao City but it’s three hours away from the city proper — at least by bus. But it’s pretty far away.

Local folks call it the Baguio of the South since the temperature drops when you get to the mountains of Marilog District. Funny story: our trip was scheduled right in the middle of a storm, Typhoon Onyok, whose track included Davao and Bukidnon. However, we decided to push on with the trip believing that Onyok will dissolve overnight.

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Parenting Yurisms

There is a Sleepyhead in My Bed and It’s Not Me

I realise I still have a lot of blog backlog from last year (gee, where did my Christmas vacation go? I planned to spend that vacation writing…) but I just want to indulge in one more mindless (yet meaningful) post before I officially deal with the pile.

I have come into terms with the fact that Yuri, who will be turning 4 in a couple of months (ZOMG!), is a sleepyhead.

He started sleeping through the night near the end of his 3rd month as a wee infant. Before you envy me, let me assure you that before that fateful night, I barely slept at all. By the time he was 4 months old, we were almost always sleeping through the night and, save for those few nights when he would wake up and not return to sleep or when I discovered a new book I just couldn’t put down, I recaptured the elusive eight hours of sleep. More or less.

Let me digress for a bit. I have two favourite moments of the day. One is his afternoon nap and the other is his sleeptime. It’s during those times when I can focus on what I want to do (blog, write, do some calligraphy, update my planner). Of course, most of the time, when Yuri sleeps, I either watch TV, browse Facebook, or catch some Z’s myself hehe.

Anyway, as he gets older, I noticed that Yuri’s sleeping hours have become longer. For example, just the other day, he slept for twelve hours — and would have slept longer had I not woken him up. In my defence, it was already almost 9 am and the sunlight streaming through our bedroom window was too warm it wasn’t funny anymore.

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WAHM Diaries

My Messy Home Office Desk!

WAHM Home Office

Beginning, particularly, with my home office desk.

(I only “own” half of that office — I’m focusing on my desk now teehee.)

I mean, I know it’s not that messy (my mum’s desk is a lot messier!) but it’s no longer inspiring. Nothing is in its right place and it’s a far cry from what it looked like during the first days of January. Observe:

WAHM Home Office

Almost all of my pretty desk stuff unceremoniously dumped on top of my (Yuri’s) shelf

WAHM Home Office

I keep on forgetting to glue this cute giraffe back to my Rina Designs pen holder (see brown wooden box at the back)

WAHM Home Office

For some reason, I put this notepad on top of my (unclean) printer?

WAHM Home Office

And my drawer is overflowing with paper, stickers, cards, and whatnots

I read just this afternoon an article that one simple trick in boosting your productivity is this: a workspace that inspires youIsn’t that simple and wonderful? But at the same time, it’s quite hard to accomplish (at least for me). How will I ever find the time to reorganise and give my humble office space a makeover? I had printed a couple of wall art printables several months ago but still haven’t found time to frame and hang them. Now what?

To find some inspiration, I browsed what else but Pinterest and looked for beautiful desk inspirations that are also doable: Continue Reading

WAHM Diaries

Help-Less Once Again!

Hello, it’s me, your help-less friend!

As you might have probably guessed, yes, I don’t have a helper again. Michelle stayed with us for just a little over 4 months, and while we have had some complaints (who doesn’t, really?) about her work, her stay with us was generally pleasant. In fact, she’s really a pleasant person to be around with, and, thankfully, her last day was devoid of drama. Totally unlike our last favouriiiiite yaya! 😛

(Update about the ex-yaya who had brought so much trouble to our lives: her amo’s finally sent her away just last week! Finally, nagising din sa katotohanan! Good riddance indeed.)

Anyway, back to Michelle. I’m really glad that she was with us during the time Papa got confined in the hospital. She was such a big help. We have parted ways on good terms and I couldn’t be happier. Continue Reading

Messy Haul Planning Shopping

Messy Haul: Craft Supplies Haul from Daiso and Gaisano Mall

Craft Supplies Davao

Sooo… aside from getting into makeup (here’s my drugstore makeup haul!), I’m also getting into crafting now!

I’m not into all forms of crafting (yet), just creative planning since I’ve always used planners so I’m basically just levelling it up. And wadda you know? It can be very addictive!

As you may know, I operate on a limited budget so bargain finds are a must! I am not claiming to have an extensive smorgasbord of supplies — like what I said, I’m a beginner — and I don’t know the first thing about creative planning so basically I’m experimenting. Okay, more like groping in the dark. Haha! Seriously, though, the stuff I am about to show you are good enough for beginners like me but I’m sure crafting/creative planning experts know a lot more about the brands to buy and avoid.

Anyway, here we go! These are just some of the finds I added to my ~ hopefully ~ growing craft supplies. First up, my craft supplies haul from Daiso. I went into Daiso planning on just buying tissue and paper towels. I went out of the store with some craft supplies, a heart-shaped baking pan (not for crafting but too cute to pass up!) and, yeah, tissue and paper towels.

Craft Supplies Davao

1. Wooden stamps Continue Reading

Beauty Makeup Messy Haul Shopping

Messy Haul: This Novice Girl’s Drugstore Makeup Haul

Drugstore Makeup Haul

I finally got into makeup during the later part of 2015.

Not the entire thing, but you know, the basics. I’ve always been just the BB cream + lip balm + eyebrow pencil girl, and it served me well, but I noticed that I looked pale in pictures. That was the sole reason why I started mulling over full lip colour (good bye, sheer lip balm!).

As I’m a novice when it comes to the makeup game, I have no idea what colours would work for my face and skin tone. No way am I going to buy expensive makeup without experimenting first — that would be too risky for a clueless girl like me!

So I’m starting with cheap — as in cheap —  drugstore makeup, brands like e.l.f. and Maybelline. I already have a handful of lipsticks, but I wanted to experiment with matte lippies. Here’s my most recent drugstore makeup haul: Continue Reading

Online Shopping Shopping

Maximising My Savings With ShopBack!

If there's anything I love more than online shopping, it's BARGAIN online shopping. Now I'm able to maximise my savings using ShopBack, a cashback system!

It’s no secret that I’m an avid online shopper.

While I’m also striving to be financially independent, I can’t deny that I really love shopping. I like the satisfaction of scouring through the aisles (or bins — or browser tabs) and looking for sales, discounts, basically the best value for my money. So my favourite kind of shopping is, what else, bargain shopping!

Last Christmas, for example, maybe around 80% of my gifts was bought online, and maybe more than half of them was bought on sale. I even used my discount vouchers and blogger rewards. Nice, right? I bought my gifts from online shopping websites like eBayZalora, LazadaAliexpress, and Galleon. But I wanted to go beyond discounts and sales. This time, I tried the cash back system.

Yes! You can now avail of a cash back system online — thanks to ShopBack

ShopBack Philippines

It’s so easy. All you need to do is sign up and make an account, click on your preferred shopping website and shop using the redirected link, and wait for the cashback to be credited into your account. Here’s a step-by-step process: Continue Reading

Lifestyle Personal Planning

The Planner Dilemma

I am a little late to the planner game this year.

Scratch that: very late!

The truth is I wasn’t planning on buying a planner this year because my planner from last year is still good as new. This wasn’t the case during the previous years as I’ve been using planners since 2012. But because I barely used my 2015 planner, I thought that buying another planner this year would just be a waste of money.

Certified Positive Planner

This was my planner last year. I loved it but I was too busy to update it.

So what I did was buy a desktop calendar for the planning and a small leather notebook for my journaling. It  almost worked except that the calendar had too little space for all of my agenda and the notebook was a little bit cumbersome to use.

I guess it’s safe to say I’m covered for the year? 😁 #wahm #wahmlife #planner #journal #homeoffice

A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on

Leather (faux) notebook in deep pink in the lower left corner and my floral desktop calendar in the upper right corner

While I still love the pretty calendar and notebook to bits (the desktop calendar shall be a mainstay in my, well, desk while I converted my notebook into a devotional notebook, A Line A Day style), I later on admitted that I wanted a proper planner for 2016.

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Lifestyle Personal

My Word for 2016 and 6 Simple Resolutions

How was your first week of easing back into normalcy? I guess it’s safe to say we have all settled back into our regular routines and tasks?

Or maybe not. Haha!

During my short vacation (I haven’t had a paid vacation in four years! Thank you Lord!), I had time to think about what I really want to see and accomplish this year. I know a lot of other bloggers blog about their word for the year. I’ve wanted to do that, too, but had never found the time to sit and really think about it (because, again, as a freelancer, I used to have no paid leave at all). Now that I had time, I thought about 2016 and what it means to me.

And I realised that, based on the decisions and changes my family, my partner, and I made during the last part of 2015, 2016 should be a year of:

Commitment

2016 is my year of Commitment

1. A commitment to God and becoming a better Christian

2. A commitment to an even stronger relationship with Job despite the big changes looming in the horizon

3. A commitment to my family no matter what happens and a commitment to becoming a better mother to Yuri (preschool, here we come!)

4. A commitment to remain a person of integrity in the workplace, whether in Stay At Home Mum or in the real estate industry

5. A commitment to be more available for my dearest friends, old and new

6. And a commitment to taking care of myself in all aspects

Last year, there were a lot of things, a lot of transitions, and I’m sure there will be more changes coming this year but I am committed to keeping my faith, the most important people to me, and myself despite the changes. I think I have already spent the last couple of years changing, improving, excelling that what I want to do the most now is hold on to the basics of my being, the simple things that make me me.

This year, no matter how my life changes, I’m committed to keeping my core intact.

psalm 37:5

Via theversesproject.com

With God’s grace, I’m ready to face whatever life will throw my way.

Bring it on, 2016.

Lifestyle Personal

15 Decisions, Transitions and Adventures From 2015

2015 has been a  full  year for me.

There’s no such thing as an empty year I’m sure, but my 2015 has been filled with so many things, a few bad while everything else wonderful. I’ve been so busy throughout the year that I barely had time to write in my journal – – I say that regretfully.

I could go as far as saying that a lot more things happened this year than 2013 and 2014 combined. These are 15 handpicked highlights of my totally awesome year:

1. JANUARY: I weaned Yuri from breastfeeding. That was a tough decision to make but I felt like it was time. I felt guilty but had to remind myself that, hey, almost 3 years of breastfeeding ain’t bad at all.

2. FEBRUARY: I went back to “school” to become a real estate broker. That was a great decision; I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and and met wonderful people who are now my friends!

Me, third from the left

3. MARCH: I, together with my immediate family, my cousins, and some friends explored Benguet, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Manila, and Cavite for the first time. During the same trip, I volunteered to stay back in Vigan because of a nasty for poisoning and and got to explore the historic city on my own.

At Vigan

4. MARCH: I finally left my freelancing job (I had a dilemma about this nearing the end of 2014 because the new administrative changes no longer make the job worth it – – and I couldn’t even ask for an employment certificate since I am not “employed” after working with that group for 4 years).  Continue Reading