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Maan

Kindergarten Lifestyle School

School is Almost Over!!!

I can’t believe it. There’s only 1 week of formal classes left for Yuri! After this week will be their final examinations, and after that, practice for moving up. The weather is chilly right now, but I can almost smell the sweet scent of summer (break).

Guess who needs new jogging pants?! Ang ikli na!

With two of Yuri’s classmates

(By the way, their jogging pants don’t look like that ha haha. I just erased the name of the school. You know na, mahirap na)

Funny because I still have several school-related posts sitting in my drafts, which I never got to finish. I guess I’ll  have to wait until the next school year to work on them again… LOL I’m so bad at this, I often wonder how come I’m still blogging! (Speaking of pending posts, I’ll probably be able to post them all once school’s over, so yay!)

From our school’s FB page

Yuri’s class hasn’t had formal classes for about two weeks now — actually, the whole school. They spent a week rehearsing for their Sama-Sama, which is the school’s culmination event for the year. I remember my first Sama-Sama back in 1996… or was it 1997? I was new to the school, a transferee, so I had no idea what Sama-Sama means. The school celebrates its fiesta every August, so what could this event be?

Imagine my glee when I found out that aside from the field demonstrations and food stalls, there were carnival rides in the campus! I didn’t ride on the big rides because my parents didn’t allow me, but I did have a great time trying the other attractions.

But that was more than 20 years ago. There’s more regard for safety now and regulations are a lot stricter, so there wasn’t any single ride at school. Actually, there hasn’t been for a long time. Instead, the students — and the parents — enjoyed the food stalls (bawal junk food!) and the program. There was even a magic show, which was fun.

Oh, and the kids danced, too!

Formal classes will resume this week, and by next week, they will be having their final examinations (paulit-ulit haha). I will be busy again with making worksheets and studying. And then we will all be busy with the preparations for moving up. But after that, freedom! Hurrah to the last stretch of school year 2017-2018!

PS: I’m planning to enroll Yuri (and myself!) to a swimming school in the city, but let’s see what happens. What are your plans for summer?

General Information

5 Things I Learned After Someone Stole My Identity Online

This was a rough week. Actually, scratch that. This was a terrible week.

So terrible I just had to go attend a Zumba session (yes I’m doing Zumba! I’ll blog about it sometime soon!) despite my hectic schedule and had my hair coloured and highlighted, which is something I’ve never done before (referring to the highlights).

It all started on Monday. Oh wow, was it just 6 days ago? Looking back, I feel like it happened way back, as in weeks back. That’s how tough this week was. It felt like it had lasted forever!

But I digress. It was Monday afternoon when someone I didn’t know sent me a message on Facebook. She basically asked me if I was this specific person selling LV bags on Facebook. Um, that was easy. No, I’ve never sold bags — whether online or offline. I was alarmed when she proceeded to tell me that someone has been using not only my name but also my pictures.

It was hard to accept that I just became a victim of identity theft.

A loooot has happened, so I’ll tell you about it in bullet points, avoiding the specific details:

  • I had the Facebook account reported. Thanks to all the people who helped!
  • I went to the NBI Cyber Crime Unit to report the incident. The person in charge wasn’t there.
  • The next day, I went back to the NBI. After almost 2 hours of waiting, the person in charge finally arrived. Not much help; he didn’t even get my name. Thanks so much, NBI.
  • Later that night, two more people I didn’t know contacted me to let me know that they were scammed by the person pretending to be me. They reportedly paid the scammer a big amount of money.
  • I immediately went to our local police station to file a blotter report. This was already late, but they were very helpful and accommodating. Kudos to my district’s chief of police!
  • The next day, I went to the Davao City Police Cyber Crime Unit carrying 20+ pages of printouts. First, I was immediately entertained, unlike NBI. My statement was taken, I filed a complaint report, and the investigator was very thorough in going through all the details of the incident. I went back home feeling very relieved because my name is cleared and someone is finally working on my case.

That’s it. I tried my best not to disclose anything specific, but to be honest, I’m still wary of sharing my story. Still, I think a lot of people would benefit from this — especially fellow bloggers like me who rely on social media. Here are the lessons I learned from this terrible experience.

1. Never use your complete name online.

This was my first faux pas. Even though I’m using only my nickname in my blog and in all my social media profiles, there’s one thing I overlooked. I listed my complete name in my “Other Name” in Facebook. As I’m not someone who looks at my own profile often, I have forgotten that the “Other Name” is publicly listed right under my profile name.

2. Never give out specific details about you, your life, or your family.

To be clear, I’ve never mentioned the following details about my life whether in my blog or in social media. I just included this because it is an important tip that everyone should know. 

Never state your address, your background (how many siblings you have, etc.), your middle name, your parents’ name, your spouse’s full name, your children’s full name, your children’s school. Anything a thief can use to assume your identity.

Also, if possible, avoid posting your child’s/children’s pictures publicly. This is a big lesson for me.

3. Make your Facebook profile as private — and unsearchable — as possible.

My Facebook is private. Or so I thought. After this incident, I realized that the default setting of my album pictures is Public instead of Friends Only. There’s an easy remedy for this. Just go to settings, then click on privacy, and then choose “limit past posts” (or something like that — I’m sharing from memory).

But even if only your friends can see your posts, you’re still not 100% safe from identity theft so you should…

4. Only accept friend/follower requests from people you personally know.

In defense of myself, I try my best to only accept friend requests from people I know. That’s why I never thought I would become a victim of identity theft — I’m not Facebook-famous and I don’t have a lot of friends and followers.

However, I’m also guilty of accepting friend requests from people whom I have a lot of mutual friends with — even if I can’t really recall who they are. That’s what I’m working on right now. I’m going through every single Facebook friend I have and immediately unfriending people I don’t really know.

Don’t be afraid of offending people. If you’ve unfriended someone who turns out to be a relative or someone you personally know (perhaps they changed their name or something), just apologize and add them again. Better safe than sorry!

5. Here’s a not-so-obvious one: avoid posting or commenting on public Facebook groups.

Here’s another angle I’m considering. Just last year, I became a member of a very big Filipino community in Facebook. I’m not new to Facebook groups — in fact, I was fairly active in the Breastfeeding Pinays group years back when I was still breastfeeding — but I must admit I’ve never considered the possibility of someone using and abusing another member’s identity. I actually can’t back this up, but hey, it is possible.

While I’ve never posted in that particular group (the unnamed Filipino community), I occasionally comment on posts that I think are interesting. It never occurred to me before, but now that I think of it, almost 400,000 people — possibly even more — could see these posts/comments. These may not be necessarily revealing in your opinion, but in the eye of an identity thief, you can be easily seen as a potential victim. So be very careful!


This has been a very horrible incident. As I have mentioned to some friends, this is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. Even though a couple of people have commented that I’ve been dealing with this problem so calmly, to be honest, it is one of the most stressful events of my life. I would gladly go through difficult labor again rather than this incident.

Still, it’s also an eye-opening event. I have learned so much from this, and I’ve seen the things that I should be more careful about. I realize that I might’ve been too lax and that I should be more proactive in making sure no one will be able to use and abuse my identity. I am praying that this will all end soon and that it will never happen again to me or to someone I know.

To everyone reading this, you can never be too careful, especially on social media. There are people out there whose minds don’t run like ours. They are not afraid to steal and will not hesitate to do evil things for their own benefit. It is our job to protect ourselves and our families.

Kindergarten Parenting

My Child Doesn’t Like Reading Storybooks…And It’s Okay (Plus a Few Finds from Booksale!)

I was raised a reader. I probably spent the most part of my childhood and early teenage years curled up in bed or in the couch, reading a book. I also don’t believe in keeping books looking pristine and like brand new. You would know which of my books were my favorite: they look tattered and full of dog-eared pages. I tried to stop this habit in high school because a lot of my friends were very careful in handling their books. But it wasn’t me. I preferred (and still prefer) having books that look like they were read.

So when I had Yuri, you bet all I wanted was to raise him to be a reader, just like me. When he was a baby, I bought more books than toys and made sure he was surrounded by them all the time. I gave books as presents. I even wrote about his books constantly in my old blog (this was how his library looked like 4 years ago – the collection’s grown a lot bigger now). We read all the time and I religiously read him bedtime stories.

Until he lost interest in the classic story books I bought. He refused to be read books and only wanted to play.

I wasn’t really devastated — I just accepted that maybe he just wasn’t into books as much as I am. When he finally learned how to read when he was 4 years old (thanks, Eye Level!), I thought it would spark his interest again. Well, he liked reading alright… only he preferred to read road signs, car models, and things written on walls. Books not so much. Our books remained unopened and I didn’t buy any new story books for quite a long time.

Instead, I bought him maze books and activity books, which he devoured! I just thought I shouldn’t push it because he might see reading as a chore. So I let him be.

On his fifth birthday last year, his Tita Hazel (aka his Tita Girlfriend lol) gifted him with a thick science book. It was a great addition to Yuri’s ~untouched~ library. I left it in the bedroom with full intention of transferring it to the bookshelves, but life happened, and I completely forgot about it.

It wads ~thicc~

One day, Yuri discovered the book by himself…and by 11 pm, I had to force the book away from him because he didn’t want to stop reading! Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Lifestyle Planning

My 6 Initial Choices for My 2018 Planner

I finally found some downtime! I am actually on vacation — have been on vacation since the 23rd of December actually and I don’t need to be back until January 3rd.

Everyone who knows this thinks I’m very lucky. Well, I am, not everyone is given a full 11-day vacation by their employers. But the truth is I have only been able to rest for one day, Christmas day. The rest of my “vacation” was spent working on other projects + chores. I haven’t gone to a single reunion or outing… I couldn’t even catch up on blogging duties!

At least Christmas is over. I love Christmas with all my heart and I am very grateful for Jesus’ birth, but celebrating Christmas as a mother is plain exhausting. I still don’t know how I was able to manage to get gifts for everyone haha!

Now that it’s almost 2018 — woah, wasn’t it just 2015 yesterday??? — I am off to a new personal agendum: a new planner! The tangerine Kikki K ring binder that Job gave me last year (I bought it myself, he just gave me the budget lol) is still pretty as ever. I am amazed that it still looks beautiful when I used it every single day.

However, I am not someone who can use the same planner two years in a row. After two years of using ring binders (Webster’s Pages and Kikki K), I am itching to try a new planner system. So I’m keeping my Kikki K for future use and decided to just get a new planner to scratch the itch.

I already have my 2018 planner with me. A big thanks to my Secret Santa, Hazel, for fulfilling my wish! But before I reveal it, let me show you the planners that made it difficult for me to choose just one. Here were my initial choices for my 2018 planner!

(And no, I never planned on getting a coffee shop planner since I can’t tolerate coffee…)

1. Keepsake Planner from Filed

Via Filed website

I have never had a planner from Filed despite it being popular among people I know. My bestfriend George, in particular, gets it every year and loves it. So I decided to try it and see for myself. I waited for them to officially release their 2018 planners, and when they came out, I decided I wanted the Keepsake planner.

Buuuut I never saw a single mention of trackers, which are very essential to me especially the finance trackers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I checked. It’s not in their website, not in their Facebook page, not even in reviews. The planners are relatively cheaper, but I cannot give up my non-negotiables. Maybe next time!

2. Limitless Planner fro Design Your Life (CNS Designs)

Via CNS Designs website

Design Your Life is another planner brand I’ve been wanting to try though I’m not a fan of their flagship planner. It’s too girly for me and the designs, too crazy. I need something reliable and organized. Good thing they have other designs, such as the Limitless. This year, I found out they’re releasing two Limitless planners, one in horizontal layout and another in vertical hourly. I never liked horizontal layouts — they just don’t work for me — so I was pretty excited to see the vertical hourly!

Well, I tried having a vertical hourly layout in my Kikki K for practice, and guess what. It didn’t work because I don’t have a fixed schedule every day. Also, I prefer bullet marks and ticking them one by one BuJo style. So back to square one!

3. Back to Basics Planner from Design Your Life (CNS Designs)

Via CNS Designs website

I really, really covet the vertical layout of Back to Basics, still from Design Your Life! Unlike the Limitless planner, it’s not hourly so you’re not limited to designing your day by the hour, which doesn’t work for me. On the contrary, the layout is similar to the classic Happy Planner’s and Erin Condren’s. I love being able to divide my day into categories and listing away! Plus, it has all the trackers I need, which is great.

The only thing I didn’t like about this planner is the cover. Boo. It’s not that I hate it, it’s just not me. I really wanted the minimalist cover of Limitless. Hopefully they can come up with a planner that has the classic minimalism of Limitless and the layout of Back to Basics…

4. 17-Month Medium Agenda from Ban.Do

Via Ban.Do website

I love the covers of Ban.Do planners. They’re fun but don’t look disorganized and all over the place (unlike the DYL flagship planners…). I especially like their classic “I am very busy” covers, but their florals are very me, too! The covers look young and fresh but not immature.

I thought I could get past the horizontal layout because of the other features (cool cover, graphics, stickers), until I found out that it also lacks the essential features that I need. It has nice add-ons but none of the trackers that are important to me (as described in number 1). In other words, it’s all fluff. Not to mention it is cheap in the official website ($28) but is so much more expensive when bought locally.

5. Discbound Planner from BDJ

Via I Love BDJ website

BDJ planners were my first real planners. I think I had them from 2012 to 2013? I didn’t know how to make the most out of planners then so for two years, I had planners that were barely used. I considered going back to BDJ this year especially as they came out with a discbound planner. The thing with discbound planners (like Happy Planners) is they are customizable! You can rearrange the sheets, add sheets, remove them… It’s a super idea.

One thing I can’t get past BDJ planners though is how the print looks, I don’t know, washed out? Perhaps it’s done on purpose for the boho vibe, but I don’t like it (I don’t like boho, too). I like my colors vivid and sharp! Also, I’m not a fan of the motto on the cover. What does that even mean?

6. A bullet journal

Via Bullet Journal website

It’s a very first world problem, but choosing a planner is always a dilemma for me. There are non-negotiables and pros and cons and we’re not even talking about the price points yet. For the first half of 2017, aside from my Kikki K, I did BuJo for my work-related stuff. I just used a cheap dotted notebook and it worked very well. Which reminds me, I haven’t even blogged about my bullet journal!

Anyway, yes, it worked for me for the first half of the year. Almost. I think I was able to do it until the first week of June? When the school year was about to start, bullet journalling started to become a lot more difficult than it was without school-mom responsibilities. And when classes did begin, it became impossible. I considered going back to bullet journalling to satisfy my OC-ness, but I remembered that it’s just going to remain impossible for me with all my responsibilities.

Which one do you think I chose?

Mixed Mess

6 Things That Are Keeping Me Busy This Christmas Season!

Wooh busy, busy, busy! I’m feeling super guilty that I haven’t been updating my blog as often as I should, but then again it’s Christmas time. No one is not busy!

I mean, Christmas season has always been busy. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the hectic schedule that having a school-aged child brings. Events here, tasks there, preparation every-friggin-where. I could only imagine how busy moms of multiple children are. Gah! I’m just thankful I am healthy and able to do all these things! These are what’s keeping me busy this Christmas season… and I’m sure there’s still more to come!

1. Paskuhan 2017 (Yuri’s school’s Christmas show)

Christmas season means Paskuhan season for Yuri’s (and my old) school! It’s a pretty big deal, especially to the teachers and the junior high school students. It should be a big deal to the younger pupils as well, but you know how unpredictable little kids can be (special shoutout to Yuri’s class lol!). They spend weeks preparing for their presentations, and that includes the kindergarteners. For the senior kinder class, they did a nativity show, and Yuri was Joseph!

I stole this shot when I went inside Yuri’s classroom to drop him off lol

My little Joseph’s costume!

And the costumes! I’m very thankful we have a neighbor who sews (she was a seamstress when she was younger but is now retired). It was a pretty smooth process for us, and I love the outcome of Yuri’s costume. We (the parents haha) think the SK class’s show was very cute, but of course, there were a lot of clumsiness on stage. Still adorbs!

Practicing their blocking before the show started. That’s their teacher and TA/tita (teacher’s assistant)

2. Auntie’s visit

My auntie (Papa’s older sister) hails from Masbate (which is also my birthplace) and came to Davao to visit. Of course, we toured her around.

My Papa and auntie. Spot the photobomber!

We didn’t go far from Davao City since we have two senior citizens in tow, but it was still fun.

3. Yuri’s exams

The thing with 3rd quarter is that the exams are very narrowly spaced. See, Yuri has two major exams each quarter: a monthly exam and a periodic exam. There are supposed to be 3 or more weeks in between the two exams, but because of the nature of 3rd quarter (it’s in between the sem break and the Christmas break), the kids only get less than 2 weeks in between exams.

Only one of the few “dates to remember” from the last couple of weeks

And on top of that, there’s the Paskuhan in between, which means there wasn’t a lot of classroom teaching that happened due to rehearsals. So we literally just studied for the monthly exam and now we’re studying for the periodic exam!

4. Mama’s and my sister’s birthdays

There’s exactly 1 week between my mother’s and my sister’s birthdays. Enough said!

5. Work events and obligations

It’s not just Christmas season but also year-end season. For worker ants like me, that means chasing deadlines and working twice as hard to make sure everything is wrapped up nicely before the year ends. That usually also means having more clients than usual (thank you Lord) and therefore, more tasks.

I just recovered from illness here so please excuse the eye bags!

For real estate, that means having 2-3 Christmas parties in a week (one party per developer). We’re only going to 3-4 parties this year to save sanity!

6. Christmas shopping!

And finally, Christmas shopping! Because who doesn’t get stressed shopping for Christmas? Just thinking about it makes me feel tired. Last year, I was already halfway done with Christmas shopping by November. That’s how organised I was last year (to be fair, Yuri was not going to school last year). For this year, it’s already the 10th of December and I haven’t bought anything yet! Help!

How is your Christmas schedule? Kaya pa? 😀

Health and Fitness Lifestyle

Of Tonsillitis, Flu, and The Vitamin Dilemma

I haven’t blogged in almost half a month!

That’s a record for me not counting the hiatuses… Actually, my hiatuses were even shorter than this one! I wasn’t meaning to not blog. I didn’t have a choice, really. First, Yuri got sick with flu. Then, got sick with flu and tonsillitis. In between our sicknesses, even though I had time to blog, I just didn’t have the energy to do so!

Yuri’s Flu

A couple of Fridays ago, Yuri went home feeling lethargic. I thought he felt warm, too, but he always had relatively high temperature, so I got out the thermometer to be sure. Ayun na, 38 degrees. Our consolation was that it was a Friday and he had the entire weekend to recover.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a simple case of cold. Based on his symptoms, I’m pretty confident to say it was a full-blown flu. I decided that if ever his temperature goes higher than 39 degrees, we will go to the doctor na. Good thing it didn’t. It did go as high as 38.8 degrees on Saturday night, but it consistently went lower after that. I didn’t feel like we needed to go to the hospital as everything seemed manageable. I just gave him paracetamol round-the-clock and let him rest as much as he needed to.

It also helped a lot that he drinks a lot of water. On a good day, he drinks maybe more than 1.5 liters or 6-7 glasses of water (5-year old’s only need to drink 1 liter or 5 glasses in a day). When he got sick, I think it doubled! He was drinking literally every minute and was peeing every now and then. By Sunday afternoon, he was already feeling better and was well enough to go to school on Monday. I didn’t let him go to school, though, to make sure he has already recovered 101%.

His loyal Thermos always at his side

My Flu… and Tonsillitis!

Everything was well… until last Friday when started feeling lethargic. I was already sure I caught Yuri’s virus, whatever it was, because I was already coughing. I didn’t expect to get the whole flu (the works) though because I rarely get fever. My token illness has always had something to do with the gut, not fever. When Yuri was sick, I even announced that I don’t remember the last time I had fever. I shouldn’t have said that haha!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use that weekend to rest (which I should have done). Yuri has upcoming exams and there were deadlines to chase so I had to work overtime. I did rest whenever I found time to do so, though it wasn’t plenty.

I also had really sore throat. At first I attributed it to the fever and cough. I mean, sore throat is common when you have fever and cough, right? But it grew really sore and I couldn’t eat anything but soup and lugaw. I had the sense to check my throat on Monday when I was feeling well enough and saw that my tonsils had white spots. Eek! On top of that, I had severe dry cough. I was so afraid I’ll cough my tonsils out, LOL!

I went to see the doctor Monday afternoon. I went to MDMRC (Metro Davao Medical and Research Center) instead of San Pedro Hospital (which used to be my go-to hospital). MDMRC is a new hospital that is a lot nearer, and since it’s new, the clinics were also new. I love it! I’m contemplating on switching doctors for Yuri, too. I actually saw a family doctor (I love her, too!) so maybe I can take Yuri to her instead and we’ll have the same doctor.

It’s a Friday again today, and I’m feeling a lot better! No more cactus in my throat and I can eat normal food again. No more lethargy!

By the way, happy first day of December!!!

On a positive note, I lost a total of 2 kilos that weekend! Now that I’m eating normally again, I gained some of the weight I lost, but it was still amazing. I’m going to do a lugaw diet again and hope to lose weight again hahaha!

Anyway, I’m rethinking the vitamins we’re using. Yuri and I are both taking chewable vitamin C (a generic brand) and ever since the rainy season began, we’ve been doubling our dosage. But obviously, it didn’t work. I know not all vitamins are the same so I’m thinking of switching to Kirkland. Does anyone take Kirkland vitamins? How is it?