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September 2016

Summer Destinations Tips and Tricks Travel

My Top 6 Tips for Budget Travelling With a Toddler

I used to think that being a mother marks the end of my travelling, gallivanting days.

To be honest, travelling with a child in tow does come with limitations. However, these limitations don’t necessarily mean saying good bye to treks and trips because it is possible to work around them. In fact, ever since I became a mum, I’ve been travelling even more!

It is challenging, but travelling with kids makes a trip even more fun and memorable. Don’t worry; I’ve been there. My 4-year old has already gone to different places in the country including Baguio, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Cebu, South Cotabato, Maragusan, and Tagaytay. This summer, we’re planning to visit Bataan and Subic. All on a budget! If you want to know how I did it, here are my top 5 tips for travelling with a toddler on a budget.

1. Organise the trip ahead of time.

It’s funny but I organise trips several months — even a year — ahead of time. Not only are we able to book cheaper flights, we are also able to look for affordable accommodations. What I do is check online travel websites for great deals. Since we’re planning to stay in Subic next summer, I already started looking for a good accommodation in the area. I found this hotel:

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Charming and quaint — affordable, too!

2. Arrange a “journey pack” that will entertain them on the road or during your flight.

Backpack, backpack!

Backpack, backpack!

My son always has his small backpack with him wherever he goes. When we travel, I fill it with things that will entertain him such as snacks (try to avoid too sweet stuff though – they go hyperactive), books, toys, and gadgets. This way, he wouldn’t get bored and at the same time, I wouldn’t need to buy him food and toys all the time.

3. Let them use their own cheap camera.

Taking his own pictures in Banana Beach, Tagum City

Taking his own pictures at Banana Beach, Tagum City

On-site entertainment can be cheap! If you have a cheap camera phone or a tablet, you can give it to your child (provided that he is old enough to carefully use gadgets) and encourage him to snap away. Three benefits: they are entertained, the photos will become memorable souvenirs, and photography is always a learning experience.

4. Don’t forget to pack weather-appropriate clothes.

Changed Yuri from a thick sweater into a casual shirt

Changed Yuri from a thick sweater into a casual shirt

Sometimes, this is obvious. Like, if you’re going to a beach, you will pack swim suits and clothes with breathable fabric. If you’re going to Baguio or Tagaytay, you will bring sweaters and thick garments.

However, pay attention to the weather. For example, one time, we were at the beach and the weather suddenly went gloomy. Thank goodness I also brought sweaters and jackets! And when we were in Tagaytay, it was so sunny it didn’t really feel like we were in Tagaytay. Good thing I brought extra shirts that were humid weather-friendly. This way, there won’t be any need for you to buy new clothes — unless you want to. *ehem*

5. Remember that a child-friendly accommodations are not always expensive.

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In my dictionary, a child-friendly accommodation doesn’t necessarily equate to playrooms or custom-built furniture. My definition of a child-friendly accommodation is simple. It is clean, secure, and convenient. A working elevator, friendly staff, a comfy bed with fresh sheets, cool air conditioning… you know, the basics!

I’m leaning towards booking our accommodation through Traveloka. I love that I can see the prices per night right away. But more than that, there’s also an option to look at various traveller reviews. As someone who always books her trips online, these online reviews are very valuable to me!

6. Don’t worry about things not going your way; just have fun!

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Resting at Bell Church in Baguio

Not everything is going to happen the way you were envisioning it — that’s the truth and that’s also the truth whether you’re travelling with kids or not. I’m terribly OC but I intentionally let go of my rigidity whenever we’re travelling. Just go with the flow and have fun!

What are your travel tips? Do share!

Messy Haul Online Shopping Review Shopping

Messy Haul: My First BeautyMNL Loot

BeautyMNL Review

I’ve been lurking around BeautyMNL since, I don’t know, last year?

But for some reason, I’ve never made an order there because I gravitate toward Korean products and I get my K-beauty fix from Althea — Korean products are much much cheaper there.

This time, though, I was in dire need of micellar water (regular toner is too strong for my skin) as well as some cheap but good dry shampoo (because sometimes, honestly? I don’t have to time to shower before taking Yuri to school). There’s dry shampoo on Althea but no micellar water so I thought of checking out BeautyMNL.

BeautyMNL Review

Love at first delivery: I am so loving the packaging — it’s ziplock!

I was originally planning on getting the Japanese brand, Biore, but then I discovered the my fave (next to e.l.f.) drugstore brand Maybelline has cheaper micellar water. I wanted to try both but decided to go with Maybelline for now.

Of course, I also bought dry shampoo for days I just can’t shower before going out. Here’s my BeautyMNL loot – with the reviews I left on the website for each of them. Continue Reading

Places Review

Yuri’s First Big Boy Haircut

Fun Cuts Just For Tots SM Lanang

Yuri has a history of not getting decent haircuts because he screams bloody murder each time he gets one.

So I tend to avoid pricey kiddie salons because I wouldn’t want to pay hundreds for a botched haircut. I don’t know; I kept imagining Yuri punching the barber and running out of the salon with only one side of his hair shaved.

But a few weeks ago, I decided that it’s high time for him to get a proper haircut at a proper salon (at age 4!). I may or may not have bribed him with an hour at the playroom. I chose Fun Cuts Just for Tots at SM Lanang Premier because it’s near Eye Level. Also, I’ve passed it a number of times and think it’s clean and hygienic.

I prepared for the worst (and was ready to throw money down the drain), but surprisingly, Yuri was really well-behaved. He just sat through the entire thing! I attribute it to the cool seats, the TV screens, and the skilled barber. I belatedly realised though that I should’ve had Yuri’s hair cut even shorter. I didn’t know his hair grew that fast.

Another pleasant surprise? The kiddie haircut didn’t cost me a limb! It was just P220 per cut.

Fun Cuts Just For Tots SM Lanang

Getting comfortable – he loved the seats!

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Messy Haul Review Shopping

My Recent Loot from Korea, Care of Althea (As Usual)

Althea Philippines Review

I remember blogging about Korean dramas and Korean stars in my old college blog (nope, no link haha). I’ve always loved Korean food too though, for the life of me, I cannot memorise the names of the dishes. But recently, I became obsessed with Korean skincare products and makeup.

So for me, it just makes a lot of sense to order directly from Korea (via Althea, of course!). For starters, not all of the products are locally available here. Also, prices are much, much cheaper, not to mention you can earn referral points and rebates!

Without much ado, here’s the latest loot I received from Althea a month ago:

Althea Philippines Review

Pink packages make my heart sing!

Althea Philippines Review

I ordered during their Birthday Special and received…

Althea Philippines Review

A celebration in a box! (Plus the products in their bubble wrapped glory)

Althea Philippines Review

Here they are! (But not everything is mine – all the lippies are for my colleagues, Sarah and Jona)

Althea Philippines Review

Giddy, giddy, giddy! Sorry, no time to put on makeup – must open the package asap!

And here are the products inside the lovely pink box:

1. Mat Fix Chica Y Chico Matt BB Cushion (P610)

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Davao Events Events Messy Haul Shopping

Fun and Finds at Expo Mom 2016 – Davao

Expo Mom Davao 2016

I look forward to Expo Mom Davao every year because it’s another chance to discover and patronise local goods.

But the last time I’ve been to Expo Mom was in 2014. I’m sure I wasn’t able to attend last year’s expo though my memory of it is vague. I’m not sure what the reason was – I think I was either sick or busy or out of town.

So because I wasn’t able to go last year, I made sure I was able to attend this year’s. It was still held in Abreeza and still didn’t disappoint, but I must admit I bought fewer things this year. Which is most probably a good thing, lol! Look at these pictures I took from the Expo Mom 2015 in Davao.

Expo Mom Davao 2016

Upon registration, I was given free Caltrate samples.
(The SunLife Financial notepad naman I won from the SunLife booth)

Expo Mom Davao 2016

And almost immediately upon stepping inside, Yuri ran toward the Stockbridge booth

I remember that their booth in the 2014 Expo Mom was smaller. Also, there were more teachers this time and they were really teaching the kids for free! I asked Yuri if he’s okay on his own (there were a handful of teachers manning the kids and I made sure they remember Yuri’s guardian’s face – which is mine lol). He almost didn’t hear me because he was already so engrossed so I called his attention again and he nodded. I left him there while I explored the other booths. Here are some of the booths that caught my eye:

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Personal

4 Goals I Must Accomplish Before the Year Ends

It’s weird.

knew it was just yesterday when I wrote about my word for the year and the things I want to accomplish. Well, at least it felt like yesterday. And now it’s already September! I haven’t lost a single pound yet! I haven’t added anything substantial to my personal savings! Unfair!

Can one consider better skin to be an accomplishment? What about being to watch 5 Korean dramas in the span of 2 months? No? Okay, homeschooling nalang. I’m proud to say that I am now the mother of a reading and writing 4-year old. A bit late compared to others, a bit early compared to some, but hey we’re not focused on comparing, are we!

I know I didn’t write down my resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I know it’s nowhere near New Year now (unless we’re talking about New Year – 2017), but I believe there’s still time to accomplish these goals:

1. Lose weight

Weight loss is a long-term struggle for me. Sometimes I diet and work out like a mad man, and on some days, all I want to do is stay in bed and binge on junk food. It takes a toll on my weight (and health) so now I’m determined to commit to a realistic but steady fitness routine. Help?

Fatso. Huhuhuhu

Fatso. Huhuhuhu

2. Save money

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