Monthly Archives

January 2018

Product Review

Review: My First Anello

I am officially the world’s worst person when it comes to following trends. The bandwagon leaves waaay before I even think of jumping on it!

Such is my love story with Anello. I have always preferred bags over shoes, but I tend to gravitate toward leather and classic styles. I discovered Anello in early 2016 through a friend who is a fan of all things Japanese. And then in early 2017, a close friend who lives in Japan proposed a business with me. During this time, Anello was all the rage and we thought we could sell them here straight from Japan. Obviously, it didn’t come to fruition because none of us had selling experience hehe.

Come mid-to-late 2017. My son is already in school and I find myself bringing lots of stuff whenever I go out (which is everyday). I have to bring an entire change of clothes, a towel or two, snacks, Yuri’s Thermos… No one told me being a school-mom is much like being a baby-mom. While my old leather bags are spacious enough to accommodate them, they’re too heavy. I am on the go and I bring my laptop with me, too, and my shoulders can only take so much.

I decided to give Anello a chance. I wasn’t planning on buying the faux-leather ones as I had bad experience with leatherette, so nylon it is! I was deciding between the tote style and the 2-way shoulder bag but, with my current lifestyle, I thought I could benefit from an adjustable strap. Thus, the shoulder bag!

(I haven’t had my eyebrows on yet, thus the cropped picture haha!)

Tah-dah!

I am aware that there’s already a physical Anello store in Manila but Manila is too far from Davao. I did a bit of sleuthing and discovered Anello DirectI saw several reviews vouching for its legitimacy and how it only sells genuine Anello + it offers free shipping worldwide. I ordered the Anello 2-Way Shoulder Bag (Large) in Light Gray for $39.90.  After more than 2 weeks of waiting, here it is! Continue Reading

Money Matters

8 Tips to Get Started in Investing in Your Own Property

Contributed by Mandy Yanga

Who doesn’t want to have their own property, right?

Admit it—you’ve always dreamt of investing in a property. You’ve probably even exhausted the books, magazines, and blogs about it—that is, about success stories, about how to do it properly, about tips, and so on. More than that, you’re also hunting for actual properties, such as poring over the listing of the townhouse for sale in San Juan, among others.

But if this is your first time investing in your own property, then it’s easy to get overwhelmed and to be confounded by the whole process, which is why people sometimes quit before even getting started.

If that’s the case, then you’ve come at the right place. This article will explore the tips on how to get started in investing in your own property.

1. Know your budget

This is a very important step to get started. It’s as easy as listing down all your assets, your income, and taking into account your expenditures. Doing this will give you an idea on how much available money you have for investing.

Plus, don’t forget that you can (and you will need to) apply for loans. If you’re employed and have a stable income, then it shouldn’t be that difficult for you to secure a loan.

2. Acquire a pre-approval

Contact your bank regarding a pre-approval for your loan. This will give you an idea on how much you can actually borrow before you begin looking for prospective properties.

In fact, this stage can also be considered an extension of knowing your budget.

3. Keep in mind the ongoing costs

Ensure that you also allot sufficient budget for ongoing expenses, such as insurance, general repairs, and so on.

And once you finally have a property, do your best to do routine checks on it so that you can avoid expensive maintenance issues in the future.

4. Start budgeting

Now that you already know the basic financial matters that you need to take into account, it’s time to dive into this task—it might not sound very alluring, but this is crucial in guaranteeing that your income and expenses are balanced.

5. Identify your goals

What exactly do you want to achieve? What are you looking for?

To make your goals more specific, you can set a deadline for each of them as well. This can also serve as your guideline.

6. Opt for a growth area

This is especially important if you consider on having your property rented. It’s recommended that you choose an area where there’s a demand for rentals, such as being in close proximity to schools and other establishments. The townhouse for Sale in San Juan is also an excellent choice.

7. Be smart

In order for you to make smart decisions, it’s important that you arm yourself with the necessary knowledge. Read a lot about the market and about investing. This will also help you in avoiding property peddlers.

8. Always stick to your goals

It’s advisable to always, always be cognizant of your goals—about what you intend to achieve, and when you should have them accomplished, and so on.

Key Takeaway

Everyone wants to have their own property, whether it’s for residential or business purposes.

Before you visit that townhouse for sale in San Juan, however, there are certain things that you need to take into consideration to make your investment more seamless.

Sponsored

Where There is Care, There is Family

You can never underestimate the power of a single act of care.

I am blessed to have been born into a family where caring for each other is the norm. We have many imperfections, but at the end of the day, these are the people I can ultimately count on. And while belonging to a family is something that is very easy to take for granted, there is one thing that reminds me of how grateful I should be.

You see, my mother never knew her real parents.

She was adopted as a baby. As you can tell, it wasn’t an easy life at all, but fortunately, her adoptive father, whom she still fondly calls “Daddy” to this day, loved her like a biological daughter. They did not have a lot, but “Daddy” made sure she felt loved and cherished. Despite not attaining a high level of education, he sent my mother to school and taught her a lot of things. To this day, decades after Daddy’s death, he is still the kindest, smartest, and most generous person in my mother’s eyes.

Even though I never knew Daddy — my grandfather — I grew up knowing a lot about him through my mother’s stories. I knew how much he impacted my mother’s life. But is it possible that adopting my mother also changed his life?

You can imagine how moved I was when I watched this heartwarming video by Vicks. Inspired by a true story, the video revolves around a man whose life undergoes a complete 180° turn when he takes an abandoned baby under his wing. From a person who doesn’t care about anyone else, he becomes a different person when he learns to love and experiences how it is to be needed.

“A single act of care not only has the capacity to transform lives, but can transcend social norms, definitions and stereotypes.” 

How true. Even against all odds, a single act of care can transform lives and love can create miracles.

This was a rough man softened by the smile of an innocent child. From a tough tambay to a devoted father. I was deeply moved by how powerful a touch of care is! I don’t think I can ever find the words to accurately describe the message being conveyed here. You need to watch the short video! Tell me what you think about it in the comments!

PS: Please don’t hold me responsible for your teary eyes.

PPS: I never knew my grandfather — my mother’s Daddy — but after watching this video, I am now confident that it was not just my mother’s life that changed when she got adopted. I may never know for sure, but I am convinced that two lives were transformed the very day my grandfather met my mother.

About Vicks®
Vicks®, the world’s #1 selling cough and cold brand*, offers a portfolio of trusted products that are used by millions of people in more than 70 countries around the world. The Vicks family includes: Vicks VapoRub™ Ointment, Vicks BabyRub™ Ointment, NyQuil™, DayQuil™ and Vicks® VapoDrops™. As one of the most globally recognized brands, Vicks is proud to have helped relieve cough, cold, and flu symptoms for generations. Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, Vicks is owned and distributed by Procter & Gamble.
Lifestyle Planning

Review: Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

Last week, I posted this on my Instagram and Facebook and got a few positive feedback about the planner I’m using…

Guess which one among the six planner options I ultimately chose?

If you think it’s Design Your Life’s Back to Basics planner, you’re right! I was planning on buying it myself, but when my group of friends’ gift exchange came up last Christmas season, I decided to have my Secret Santa buy it for me lol! Thank you, Hazel, for fulfilling my wish!

As I mentioned, I got quite a few comments on both my Facebook and Instagram posts about the planner I am using. A former professor of mine even commented on how rare it is to find planners with vertical orientation. Actually, that’s perhaps 85% of the reason why I chose this planner. At first, I really wanted the Limitless planner. I loved its classic black cover and I think it really fits me. Even now, I still think it’s very pretty.

However, I will not be using the cover to plan, right? The actual planner pages are faaar more important than a pretty cover. So far, I’m loving my Back to Basics planner. I’ll show you why!

Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

Barely a week since I started using it and the cover is already dirty. I accidentally placed it over a piece of paper with wet marker ink…

Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

Happy to have big writing space again. Here the planner page compared to a personal size planner insert from my Kikki K!

A pocket plus the set of stickers the planner comes with

Opposite side of the pocket page with moooore stickers plus some Instax photos and the page for personal info

Back to basics!

Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

Contacts, obviously 😀

Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

I already edited the planner “manual” with my own legends and codes, but the personalization really is up to you

It also comes with this bookmark which you can use as a ruler

2017, 2018, and 2019

List-gasm! Two pages of lists <3

I’m loving this “Last Time” page. What better way to track haircuts and dentist appointments!

The “Monthlies” page. I don’t have regular monthly appointments or events so I’m using it for bill tracking

Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

A sample of the monthly planning page. I love that it has a “Pending” section for tasks you weren’t able to accomplish last month

Design Your Life Back to Basics Planner

And a sample weekly planning page. Vertical orientation FTW! Here’s how I’m using the divisions: first row for personal stuff, middle row for Yuri stuff, and the third row for work-related stuff.

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General Information

Mommy Bloggers and Nutri10Plus for Marawi

Mommy Bloggers Shared The Love To Kids In Marawi Through Nutri10Plus Syrup Vitamin Blog Campaign

(Press Release)

One of the outstanding qualities of mothers is their devotion to providing quality nutrition to their children. This is primarily done by preparing healthy foods and giving effective supplements to sustain and nourish their growing family needs. Nutri10Plus Syrup, a multivitamins packed with Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), Taurine, Lysine, Zinc and Vitamins C, A, D3 B1 and more, had been assisting mothers all around the Philippines in developing children with strong bodies, active brains and healthy appetite.

During the moving up ceremony where Kaye Koo of SinagTala Foundation helped in disseminating the Nutri10Plus and DayCee vitamin pouches to the kids

Military officers helped in distributing the Nutri10Plus Syrup and DayCee pouches to the kids

In the effort to help our co-mommies and their children in the war-stricken village in Marawi, 100 Mommy bloggers from Mommy Bloggers Philippines community had collaborated to bring boxes of Nutri10Plus Syrup,  DayCee Vitamin C Syrup and several toys, to a hundred kids in Marawi through SinagTala, a non-profit organization headed by Ms. Kaye Koo. SinagTala had been sending help to villages in Marawi since the war erupted and it had sheltered hundreds of children inside the Playroom which served as the mini-school and play area of the children.

Military officers helped in distributing the Nutri10Plus Syrup and DayCee pouches to the kids

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Lifestyle Parenting

A Grandmother’s Wisdom

It’s back-to-work day! And I am savoring the remaining days before back-to-school day. I just want to share with you a simple thing that happened today. It was a very simple thing, but I admit I’m hoping it will never happen again!

While eating lunch, I didn’t know that Yuri was playing with a stray thread from his shorts. He knotted it twice and thrice and accidentally wrapped it around his finger tightly. I didn’t notice it at all because he didn’t want to show what he did.

I only discovered it when I noticed that he couldn’t lift his hand all the way to the table. I looked at his finger and it’s already swollen because of the thread wound tightly around it. I wasn’t able to take a picture anymore because, hello, action first siguro. Anyway, it really was swollen I was afraid a slight nick would cause the finger to bleed. It was also stressful because there’s no room for a pair of scissors to fit in the gap between the thread and the finger. I also didn’t have time to go look for the seam ripper which I don’t even remember when I last used.

The offending piece of thread (sorry for my dry, dry hands. I went swimming the other day and they haven’t recovered yet haha)

I wasn’t at the point of panicking…yet… but I was having trouble figuring the solution out. Until I called my mother. She simply told me to use the nailcutter. Brilliant. Very carefully avoiding the skin, I was able to snip at the thread and set the swollen finger free.

I’m embarrassed to admit that such simple solution didn’t occur to me. Then again, there’s another level of wisdom only grandmothers know, which could only come from experience. Who knows which one of us siblings led her to this kind of knowledge? Teehee.

Personal

My One Word for 2018 and Looking Back at 2017

I started choosing a One Word for the year back when the year 2015 was ending. I discovered it from co-bloggers blogging about their One Words and thought it was a great idea.

In my experience, it works in such a way that it is so much easier to remember a single word than a list of resolutions. Right? For example, my One Word for the year 2016 was Commit. Throughout the important changes that transpired that year, I remembered that single word, which became my driving force to commit and remain steadfast in my beliefs. That year also turned out to be the year Job flew to KSA to work, which made my One Word accurate.

When 2017 came, my One Word was Push. 2017 was a very steady year and I can’t say that there were a lot of changes that happened. However, what happened was God blessed me in the aspects that were already present in my life — even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you Lord! I celebrated my second year in Stay At Home Mum and was made Operations Manager, which means more responsibilities lol. No complaints! This was also the year I got serious again about our finances. And Yuri also started formal schooling, which pushed me to become a better mother. I failed a lot, but my One Word reminded me that I need to keep on pushing.

For 2018, my One Word is…

Move. 

Two aspects. First, the literal meaning of Move. I literally need to move haha! Seriously, though, even though I have been watchful of what I eat, I still lack physical exercise. My schedule is full, but I am sure I can spare even 15 minutes of exercise each day. After all, my elliptical bike is just there in the living room and has been there since 2016. I should have had muscles of steel already if I just used it everyday lol. I already have the means (elliptical bike + free zumba lessons in the community twice a week), I just need to have the self-discipline to actually do it!

Second is the metaphorical Move. I feel like I’ve been in my comfort zone for too long. I stopped driving this year because I prefer being in the passenger seat — and I realized that applies to my own life, too. I stopped being in charge of my life. Oh yes, I did things, I initiated stuff, and I never really felt out of control. However, I stopped trying new things and taking risks. I settled for whatever was nakasanayan na and I let things happen to me instead of making things happen.

In short, if I look at it at a good way, 2017 was, again, a very steady year. If I charted 2017, it would appear to have a steady line that rises ever so slightly. It’s good but there’s very minimal movement — every day was more or less the same.

And if I look at it at a bad way, my 2017 was a passive year. I pushed forward but I didn’t really grow. I am very thankful for the blessings I have received, but I need to change some things.

I have no idea what’s in store for me this year (then again, who has?), but I feel like this is the year when I need to go out of my comfort zone and just move. 

What is your One Word for 2018?

Christmas Events

After the Long Christmas Vacation… Bring It On, 2018!

Happy new year, everyone! My 11-day holiday break is finally coming to an end! Here are the things I planned to do but, of course, didn’t:

  • Write a year’s worth of blogs
  • Update my blog’s look
  • Plan a new morning routine for 2018
  • Take pictures of the clothes I’m no longer wearing and sell them
  • Take Yuri on a date or do science experiments
  • Update the look of my home office
  • Lose 15 pounds

Perhaps I don’t need to say that I feel like a failure lol. But I am trying to be kinder to myself, to realize that while I am not able to do everything I think I need to do, I am still trying. That I’m only a failure when I stop trying.

Before I proceed, let me say thank you to the best bosses in the world for giving us a long break! Please visit our website: Stay At Home Mum.

It’s true that I could have done so much more during my vacation. I could have done science experiments with my son, rearranged the furniture, tried new recipes, become a real estate superstar… I could have rested more and watched an entire KDrama or two!

By the way, I wasn’t even able to write about our Christmas celebration. To be fair, because of our hectic schedules, we didn’t go all out on decor this year. Only your standard Christmas tree and Christmas ornaments on our shelves. No lights because they take effort to put up and even more effort to take down hehe. We also didn’t have a formal sit-down Noche Buena. Instead, we had a street party with our friends and neighbours.

At our Christmas street party, wearing my new Ever Bilena Toast of New York lippie hehe and the matching shirts our neighbors/friends worked on

What we lacked in decor and formalities though, we made up for gifts. I saved up a bit before Christmas and spent it all on gifts and Christmas stuff. For someone like me whose love language is gifts, Christmas truly is a special season. Yuri had the lion’s share of the presents, of course. Kids do have the best Christmases! I received a few gifts myself, both from friends and family. Thank you! Continue Reading