All Posts By

Maan

Personal

We Were Sick This Week

I’m currently writing this post from bed as I’m still recovering from gastro. Yes, eww, but I’m just thankful that this one is a lot milder than the bouts of gatro I’ve had in the past. Still, I had to take a sick leave because my body is tired from all that (TMI) throwing up and bathroom sessions lol, not to mention the headache that I’m still having.

If there’s one thing good about being sick today, it’s the timing. You see, Yuri had been sick for almost 5 days and just recovered last Tuesday. He’s back to his old form today, which is when my gastro started. At least I didn’t have to take care of another sick person while I was also feeling terrible!

Yuri’s Asthma

Let’s not talk about my yucky gastro. Let’s talk about Yuri’s asthma instead. Yep, he had another asthma attack, which I think just confirms that the poor boy is, in fact, asthmatic. I firmly suspect that it’s cigarette smoke that triggers his attacks since he was exposed to it last week (not in our home). Now I am praning about letting him outside the house. As much as I want him to play with his friends, I don’t want to risk it. I’ll just let him play either in the school playground or in the village playground if the weather’s nice.

Yuri’s first time to be absent from school… and hopefully the last! Asthma, asthma, go away! 😷

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

I learned that an asthma attack doesn’t always constitute rapid breathing and retraction. In many cases, it is there, but sometimes it’s just dry cough. Yuri happened to have both, but mostly the dry cough. He first got sick last Thursday, and I thought it was just an ordinary cold (which he’s had on and off because kids), and he seemed fine so I let him go to school.

When I left him at his classroom, he was fine and playing with his classmates. I didn’t know that a couple of hours later, he started being lethargic. Yuri refused to participate in the activities, which was unlike him. He was sent to the clinic, but he insisted he was fine (which was very Yuri). And ultimately, he threw up in the classroom. I cleaned it up when I arrived to fetch him.

(Segue: It also happened that they were having their quiz day – all subjects – on that particular day. I wasn’t worried but I was already thinking that he might have gotten low scores on his quizzes since he wasn’t feeling well. That’s why when we received the quiz results last Tuesday, I was really surprised to see that he got all perfect scores! #humblebrag)

On Friday, he was breathing fast and had retractions, but not as severe as before. Kuya Rey, our family friend and neighbor, who worked as a med-tech in Canada if I’m not mistaken, helped us procure medicine (Ventolin) and a nebulizer from another neighbor.

Our neighbor’s nebulizer

It seemed to relieve him, and the retractions immediately disappeared. I thought he was already fine but by the next day, Saturday, Yuri’s cough grew drier. It was so dry that he couldn’t even cough and cried because of frustration. That’s when we decided to finally take him to his pedia.

Yuri’s Nebulizer (Omron NE-C25S)

We were prescribed a gazillion drugs and were advised to continue nebulizing. Job and I decided that it’s high time we get Yuri a nebulizer of his own instead of relying on our neighbor’s. Here it is:

Without the tubing, etc.

I was firm about buying the Omron brand because our 11-year old Omron blood pressure monitor is still working. It’s more expensive than the brands you can buy, for example, at Watsons, but it’s cheaper than hospital-grade machines. Also, Omron has a service center in Davao City, which is certainly a plus. Most of the Omron machines I saw were within the 4k-5k price range, but fortunately, we checked out Amesco, which carries Omron nebulizers for cheaper.

Our Omron NE-C25S costs P2,650.

I’m very contented with it, and it delivered Yuri’s medicines to his lungs very efficiently. I’ll try to write a review about it one of these days! Awa ng Diyos, he’s already feeling a lot better now, still coughing but the normal, not-painful kind of cough.

My little honor student, back to his old self 😍

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

PS: Meanwhile, I still haven’t eaten a decent meal this day (it’s almost 5 pm) because I don’t have an appetite. Also, even if I wanted to eat, my stomach refuses to keep food down. Help!

Parenting Personal Yurisms

A Bullying Problem & Bikes Without Training Wheels

Hi! I’m hoping you enjoyed your holiday last weekend. Job certainly enjoyed his well-deserved break with his work buddies in Riyadh. They went road-tripping for 2 days, going from Riyadh to Dammam. On the other hand, I didn’t take a holiday (our team’s own prerogative) because we just took 2-3 holidays for the past two weeks. Not that it’s forbidden; it just felt uncomfortable to have to ask for another holiday again.

I’m already done with work so I proceeded to my current favorite place — right in front of our house! It’s a great place to chill (and people-watch) and it’s also a great place to blog because fresh air and all that stuff. Sometimes, our adopted cat chills out with me. It’s a bonus that I can see my son play with our neighbors.

My current favorite chill spot 🌸

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

Speaking of neighbors. We’re having a little bit of a problem lately. Yuri plays with the neighborhood kids a lot but two of them, the ones he plays with often, are going through their snobby phase. I’m not sure if it is considered bullying because they often play together; however, there are times when they refuse to play with Yuri. For no reason! I’m aware that there’s no reason because we literally just step out of the car and they’re already crossing their arms, looking mad and we don’t know why… Continue Reading

Lifestyle Review Shopping

First Time to Shop at Mumuso!

Two weeks ago, I explored Miniso, which just opened at SM Ecoland. While it has its redeeming values (I think there’s no other budget Asian store that’s up to par with Miniso’s selection of tech stuff and gadgets), the fact that it is too far from where I live — as well as their disappointing policy — means I probably wouldn’t be frequenting it.

Wala lang, selfie lang lols

And then there’s Mumuso. It’s Korean, a departure from all the Japanese options, and I do love Korean stuff. Plus, it’s opened in the way nearer Ayala Abreeza. I admit, it sounds a lot more promising! I didn’t go there during the opening. Instead, I went there on Friday, which was a good idea because there was no crowd so I was better able to check things out. Does it deliver? Yes! In my opinion, it does!

I’ll take you on a mini-tour around the Mumuso branch in Abreeza (click on the thumbnails to enlarge):

Things in the pictures that I didn’t end up buying but am planning to: the insulated food jar (they only come in pink as of now) – way cheaper at around P500 (I don’t remember clearly) and wooden toys for my boy. I think I also need a digital weighing scale!

I go cray-cray for stainless steel! And it’s insulated! I really don’t remember the exact price, but it’s around P500, which is a lot cheaper than the popular brands’ P1-P2k.

Just like Miniso, I can say that the items being sold at Mumuso are well-made, too. I did notice that while Miniso (actually, Japanese stores in general) go for vibrant hues, Mumuso goes for subtle. When I saw the pastel-colored hairbrushes at Mumuso, I immediately regretted buying a hairbrush at Miniso! While I liked the color of the one I bought, I loved the muted hues of the ones available at Mumuso.

The selection of stationery was wider in Miniso than in Mumuso. I didn’t even notice pens in the latter. However, I was more impressed with the toys in Mumuso. Cheap, too! For household items, I loved that there’s glassware in Mumuso, a lot of it actually. Another thing that caught my eye was the first aid kit. It’s empty, but it has compartments inside that are very useful. 

The area where Mumuso is clearly the winner is skin care. Korean beauty at its finest, and they’re a lot more affordable than the usual brands! I think I saw sunscreens at just P149. I even spotted several dupes of more popular brands. For example, right when I was about to pay, I spotted these by the counter. I did a double-take because they almost looked exactly like my Etude House hyaluronic acid cleanser (P149 vs P248):

You can see the Etude House version here.

I held back from buying because I still have unopened products from my latest Althea order, but I’ll surely check them out next time.

And, look, actual price tags! Even Daiso doesn’t have them! You don’t have to assume the price or pester a store attendant for it haha!

I only went there to choose an additional gift for Yuri’s friend and the daughter of our neighbors, who celebrated her birthday last Saturday. I wasn’t planning on buying anything else since I already bought a few stuff from Miniso, but I just had to buy these two items:

I love that they your stuff into eco bags!

This canister contains 150 wet wipes, and it only costs P99! Admittedly, the quality is not as good as my usual brands (e.g. Sanicare, Giggles, Pigeon), but it’s passable. It’s very sulit for me because I use wipes maybe a million times in a day!

I wasn’t planning on buying fragrance, but I caught sight of the bottles and they were so pretty! I like this one because the scent is not overpowering; it’s just fresh.

I don’t have a picture of the gift we gave to Yuri’s friend but she loved it. Unfortunately, it got stolen agad when she used it while they went shopping at another mall. Sayang! 🙁

Have you tried shopping at Mumuso?

Lifestyle

Lazy Saturday

It’s 1 pm and I still haven’t showered! Shhh!

It is actually quite a hot day today in Davao City, so we sought refuge in our home office and let the air conditioner do its job. I’m relishing the moment because I cannot remember the last time I had a Saturday this lazy. Usually, on Saturdays, I do real estate work or attend events or do chores or go to appointments. Today, save for a birthday party this evening, I have nothing scheduled! Hallelujah!

Yuri and I ended up on the floor of our home office over scattered books. See, his books had to go inside a storage container when we re-arranged the furniture last month. Since I have nothing to do this morning, I planned to restore the books to their proper places. However, Yuri had a different plan…

I just let him get all the books he wanted and read them on the floor while I mentally re-scheduled the task for another day.

I also let him feed and play with our “adopted” cat. It was just a kitten who frequented our house for food and shelter. When we started actively feeding her and taking care of her, she decided to stay. She grows bigger each day and, in return, she gets rid of the roaches and rats. She keeps our kitchen clean and better-smelling, too, because all the scraps that should have gone to the trash goes to her hehe.

Yeah, don’t be fooled. That’s just her post-breakfast snack.

Later, we’ll eat lunch (tinolang native chicken), shower (please lang haha), and attend the birthday party of our neighbor’s daughter (also Yuri’s friend). I hope you’re having a relaxing Saturday, too!

Events Lifestyle

Kadayawan, Succulents, and the Long Weekend

Hey guys, how was your long weekend?

I’m quite fortunate because I live in Davao City and Ninoy Aquino Day fell right after the Kadayawan holiday, making our local holiday 4 days long! I didn’t get a 4-day weekend though because I worked last Friday (I had my holiday last Thursday instead because I need to make our weekly newsletter every Friday). But it was still great because no school = more time to rest!

Dress worn as shirt from an online store, Forever 21 denim shorts, Toms, Coach (I am aware that I need to lose a LOT of weight lololol)

I wasn’t able to take part in any festivities because it’s been a busy weekend. My entire Saturday was spent doing real estate broker duties, while Sunday was for school-mom duties. It’s the General Assembly at Yuri’s school and we did groceries after. I also spent some time training our new helper (Lord, thank you!).

But I was able to go visit SM Ecoland’s yearly Agricultural Trade Fair and see a lot of nice flora. As mentioned in my last post, I was also able to fit in going to Miniso and did a little shopping! Honestly, I don’t have a green thumb so I just wen along while my mother looked for succulents (her new “project”) and my older brother looked for bonsai stuff. However, I came to appreciate just how pretty succulents are! Look at these:

I’m sure they’ve been gaining popularity because more people are living in apartments and condominiums and even houses without a lot of space for a garden. With succulents, space and soil is not a problem. You don’t even need to water them often! I don’t have budget for plants (as I’m in tipid and ipon mode) but I’ll probably get succulents if gardening ever appeals to me.

I wanted to get a lemon tree for myself but I’m afraid I’d just kill it

Also, I found a little free time last Sunday and changed my header again teehee. How do you like it? I wasn’t actually planning on changing my header. However, while browsing the internet, I found this cute, free (with attribution) watercolor vector of a boy jumping on a trampoline. Yuri plays on the trampoline (our neighbor’s, hehe) virtually everyday so it fits him! He’s a very active boy and afternoons are filled with play and ~mess~ so I think it just fits my blog to a T. What do you think?

Messy Haul Shopping

Shopping at Miniso: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Good news: A Miniso branch is finally open here in Davao City!

Bad news: It is located in SM City Davao in Ecoland, which is about an hour away in smooth traffic. Boo!

You see, I live in the north while SM City is located in the south. It didn’t stop me from going, though. Well, actually, it helped a lot that it’s Kadayawan week (Happy Kadayawan!) and plants on sale are on display again at SM Ecoland. I’m no green thumb, but my brother and mom are, so I tagged along with them when they went to buy plants. Of course, you already know what my ulterior motive was! 😀

I made an immediate beeline to Miniso. To be honest, I was a little disappointed that it was way smaller than Daiso, Japan Home Centre. I think the size of the store is comparable to Free Life at Gaisano Mall. However, I didn’t come all the way to the south for nothing! To be fair, there were items that weren’t available in Daiso and JHC, such as powerbanks and LED lights and bluetooth speakers. Here are some of the things I saw that day in Miniso (click on each thumbnail to enlarge):

I ended up not buying a lot of things because 1.) I was am on a budget, and 2.) I didn’t really find anything that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Here are the things that I did end up buying: Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Sunday at the Laundromat!

I was a laundromat virgin until last Sunday lol!

To be honest, I don’t remember the last time I laundered my clothes. Ever since I got pregnant in 2011, I have used the services of nearby laundry shops. There’s just too much on my plate already, and if I could outsource a task without burning a hole in my pocket, I would.

When I gave birth, I hand-washed Yuri’s clothes myself (except for the times we had a yayey), but I still used the neighborhood laundry shop for the rest. A couple laundromats opened nearby around last year and I wanted to try them (I was so curious about self-service laundries haha) but I wasn’t too fond of the location. They were side by side so the location is pretty much the same. Both are located right by the highway where jeepneys and tricycles pass by (read: dusty) and parking is difficult.

But when a new laundromat opened last weekend that was a lot nearer, I had to give it a try. Apart from curiosity, it was also necessity that “forced” me to try it because I didn’t get to wash Yuri’s uniforms on Saturday (I was able to go home at already 10 pm) and by Sunday, when I was about to do it, I realized I ran out of laundry detergent! So I had no choice but to try the laundromat hehe.

I wasn’t able to avail of their free wash promo because they had it on Saturday, while I was able to visit on Sunday

I took my sister with me because she also had uniforms she needed to wash. We went there at around 11 am on Sunday morning, even when it was hot, because I think there would be nobody else around. And I was right! I just think it’s more comfortable to have the place to yourself. Continue Reading

Kindergarten Lifestyle School

School Fiesta and Intramurals Week – TGIF!

I thought exam week was busy. I couldn’t wait for exam week to be over so that I could finally catch a break.

I was so naive. 

This week was ten times busier than exam week! Last week, we only had to study for the exams, and their schedule, which was 4 days/1 subject per day, was very manageable. I even liked their time, 9:30 am, which I thought was a perfect fit for my work hours.

My hatid-sundo OOTD: my favorite striped shirt, River Island denim jeans (because shorts are not allowed), and Toms.

Yuri’s school is celebrating its Fiesta and Intramurals this week, and I think it’s safe to say I’ve been exhausted since Monday! Yuri is actually enrolled in the afternoon class, but since this week called for various celebrations, they needed to be in school at 7:30 am. Waking up early is not the problem, especially for me because I wake up at 5:30 everyday. The problem is that it throws us off our usual routines — both Yuri and I thrive on routine so it was truly a challenge.

Had to be very quick in preparing Yuri’s baon, for starters! In this lunch box: Mini Oreos, Milkana cheese, yema cake, and a banana

But it was a fun week, and I’m glad I was there. I’m still feeling bitter hehe about their Nutrition Month culmination. Growing up, we just had a simple program, went back to our classrooms after, and had regular class. This time, I didn’t know they had events and activities planned, and I wasn’t there at all while the other mommies were! After that, I made sure I’ll be present in all events.

The Flower Boy

Yuri was given his first ever school responsibility last Tuesday, a day before the school’s Fiesta mass. When I arrived to fetch him, I was informed that Yuri, along with another boy and two girls in his class, will be bringing flowers to the mass. I thought everyone in Kindergarten was required to bring flowers, but they just chose representatives per grade level.

Of course, palengke is the answer! We didn’t buy right after leaving school because I felt it was still too early, so we went home first and took a nap. Well, Yuri did. He didn’t wake up until around 4:45 pm and we still had to go to the neighborhood kiddie barbershop for an overdue haircut. Continue Reading

Messy Wins WAHM Diaries

A Much Enjoyed Mom’s Day Out, Thanks to Sun Life!

My Saturday morning was hectic. I was due to attend an event — Sun Life’s Mom’s Day Out — right after lunch so all the chores I needed to do needed to be done in the morning. And you know what a school-mom’s Saturday looks like! Laundry, catching up on cleaning, preparing for the weekend… actually scratch that, preparing for the new week ahead! I was so busy Saturday morning that I strained my back.

This mommy got pampered!

Even though my day was full, I knew I wouldn’t miss this event simply because this is an event by a company I truly believe in. Last year, I got myself a VUL (I wrote about my Sun Life VUL recently), and when Job goes home, he’s planning to get one, too. Despite the hectic schedule and the strained back, I think Sun Life’s Mom’s Day Out couldn’t have been scheduled at a better date. I love how I was able to just kick my heels, relax, and de-stress during that day!

Didn’t get the chance to have my OOTD picture taken, but I wore a navy blue cardi (from the dept store), a printed navy blue H&M dress (from my friend, Tine), and Toms shoes

Yuri, with his lolo and lola, dropped me off. No kids allowed! Hehe. He had a fun date with the grandparents

The event was held at Park Inn. I arrived at the venue earlier than the others because it is quite near my home, so I was able to observe. Here are some pictures!

We were treated to a dry massage care of the lovely massage therapists of Elysia. It was just exactly what my sore back needed! We ooh-ed and aah-ed to every knead and I personally felt the stress and pressure of the past week evaporate.

With my newfound friend, Angel!

And just when we thought the pampering sesh was done, it was time to eat! The spread prepared for us was not only pretty but also mouth-watering. I love how dainty — and healthy — the dishes were. I couldn’t pick a favorite because everything tasted good!

My plate!

The Balanced Motherhood

When cocktail time was over, we went back to our seats to prepare for the meat of the event: the talk. First speaker was psychologist, Family Life specialist, and author Michele Alignay

Listening to her speak was a delight! She talked about balanced motherhood and how we, as mothers, should value ourselves and put self-care on top of our priority lists. Because there is nothing to give if we are not full in the first place!

Michele Alignay

The concept may sound foreign, especially if you were raised thinking that mothers are to be completely selfless and self-denying. But here’s a statement that resounded strongly to me:

Self-care is my responsibility and my kid/s will thank me someday for taking care of myself. – Michele Alignay

And isn’t that true? Here are more of my takeaways from Michele’s talk that must be shared:

If you feel like your life needs more balance (or, to be more correct, harmony), you need to re-balance, which entails these three things: perception + emotion + action.

PERCEPTION

  1. Affirm your goodness
  2. Release control of things beyond you
  3. Saying “no” is okay
  4. Feeling happy and satisfied is normal
  5. Relinquish some tasks that stress you

EMOTIONS

  1. During emotional highs: pause
  2. Ditch the guilt
  3. Choose to love more (or love from a distance)
  4. Be silly with the kids
  5. Make your marriage matter

ACTIONS

  1. Choose to rest or sleep (over cleaning up)
  2. Give yourself an extra 10-minute shower
  3. Put a little color in your face
  4. Find a spot to reflect
  5. Find a daily physical activity

The goal of self-care is to live a balanced life. And a well-balanced mom has more to give! – Michele Alignay

Preparing the way for our kids’ education

To be honest, I thought that having the VUL was enough. It is one of the best financial decisions I have made; however, I admit that I haven’t really given enough thought to Yuri’s education. Job actually talks about Yuri’s college education from time to time, but I thought it was too early to plan.

Mylene Almonte

Well, our second speaker, Sun Life Mindanao’s cluster head Mylene Almonte, proved my presumptions wrong. If there’s a perfect time to start preparing for our son’s (or children’s, who knows?) college education, it is right now. She explained to us the rising cost of college tuition fees and even gave sample projections for the next 10, 15, 20 years. By the time Yuri goes to college, the costs of education are very likely to be astronomical! So dilly-dallying is not an option.

It’s a good thing Sun Life offers an efficient but “friendly” plan, a My Future Fundto help us parents prepare for the future. Here’s what to do:

  1. Set the goal (target date)
  2. Choose the MFF that matures closest to the goal
  3. Pair MFF with a variable life insurance program that suits the budget

It’s efficient because it promises the benefits of good returns beating the inflation rate and professional management. Perfect for mothers like me who don’t have all the time in the world to study the stock market and manage their own portfolios. And it’s friendly because the fund is liquid and you get to decide your target date. I will update you once we get this policy!

Sun Life love!


I truly learned a lot from that afternoon! I gained (pun unintended) friends, insights, and time for myself. I came out of the event refreshed and with a renewed sense of purpose as a parent, as a partner, and as a woman! Thank you so much, Sun Life Financial!

PS: I’m sure you’ve seen Sun Shorts videos on Facebook! If you’re a mom like me, you absolutely need to watch this video to tug on your heartstrings.

Kindergarten School

Going Frugal: Making Worksheets Without Spending Too Much

It’s examination week… again!

It was also examination week the other week (when we stayed at Go Hotels Lanang), but that time, we were studying for their first monthly exams. Now, we’re I’m busy again preparing for another week of examinations — their first periodic exams this time.

And for me, exam week means printing worksheet after worksheet after worksheet. At the moment, I just finished printing more than 25 pages of worksheets and mock exams. It sounds like a lot of work for the child, but really it’s not. There’s just many pages involved when you take big fonts, generous writing spaces, and attractive pictures into consideration.

(Whenever I make worksheets, I feel a renewed respect for my mother, who had to write everything by hand and use carbon paper to duplicate sheets. God bless the day we finally bought a typewriter, but it wasn’t the most convenient thing to use when making mock exams…)

I didn’t actually realise the amount of printing it takes to raise a kindergartener. It’s only July now, but I think I’ve already used up a hundred sheets of paper. And if you’re on a budget and trying to be frugal, it’s a lot! So how do I save on worksheets and mock exams? Here are the things I do that can hopefully be of help to you.

1. Recycle paper.

Remember those forms that you were never able to fill in or those price lists you requested or fliers you kept but never looked at? Yep, use those! Honestly, I haven’t used a single sheet of new paper yet. All I’ve ever used were used papers, scratch papers, and print-outs with errors or lopsided photocopies. If you have them at home, don’t throw them out! Simply use the clean side of the paper.

You can see on the wrong side of the page that it’s been used before for village transactions.

In my case, I spent one Saturday afternoon (just an hour, really) in our family home office. I’m quite lucky because my mother never throws out things. I dug through all the used papers that she kept in a pile and gathered those that I can reuse. Voila, I now have a ream of scratch papers to use!

I use these drawers (around P450 for 2 drawers at National Bookstore) to store printing paper

Scratch paper kingdom inside

If you don’t have access to this much scratch paper, try asking your neighbours or nearby offices. I’m sure you’ll encounter someone happy to unload his “trash” to someone else!

2. Use dry-erase markers and a thin plastic envelope.

Continue Reading

Hotel Places

Staying at Go Hotels Lanang in Davao

So let me get this straight. The chain of Go Hotels is no luxury hotel — it is a budget hotel that caters to travellers looking for cheap but clean accommodations. I actually book Go Hotels whenever I travel because while the room rates are very affordable, the rooms are clean, the amenities are complete (at least the basics!), and I never had bad experience with regard to customer service.

Image via expedia.com.ph

Yes, I am a cheapskate who appreciates nice things and good service lololol.

Anyway, when I found out sometime last year that they were (finally) opening a branch here in Davao, I was excited. At long last! Then randomly, I stumbled upon a post of a Facebook friend stating how she was able to book a room for just P88/night as part of their opening promo. That’s no typo – it was really just P88/night! And I couldn’t say no to a good bargain. I know Go Hotels Lanang is just 10-15 minutes away from home but hey, that’s still several days and nights of not having to clean, wash dishes, etc!

I forgot how much I paid but I think I paid less than P1,000 for two rooms x 8 nights in total. Winner?

My first stay was last month, just after my birthday and before school started. It was intended to be a mindless staycation, and it was! Yuri, my sister, and I just lounged around, watching horror movies and MasterChef hehe. Of course, I had to work (in bed, though).

My second stay was just last week, which also happened to be Yuri’s exam week! They were having their first monthly exam, so we had to study during our stay. It helped that the place was conducive for studying and really near restaurants and mini-groceries. Because what child does not need to eat while studying?

Let me show you around the budget hotel room:

I forgot to take pictures of the toilet and the shower. They’re passable though; both are clean and the bathroom comes with hot and cold shower + hold and cold rain shower.

Extremely cheap promo rate aside, I really liked my stay in Go Hotels Davao because of the service, amenities, and convenience. It’s nothing like your standard luxury hotel, of course, but for those who are looking for budget accommodations or even for those who just want a staycation without breaking the bank (like me!), Go Hotels is certainly a good option to consider.

Kindergarten Messy Haul School Shopping

Going Frugal: Yuri’s Kindergarten School Supplies!

I know, how late right? We’re now already preparing for our first monthly exams next week (gasp!) and I’m still writing about school supplies. Why not haha!

Okay, seriously, I had photos of Yuri’s stuff all along. I took pictures of his supplies when I was preparing them before the first day of school and stored them in my computer… and promptly forgot all about them. Since I already have pictures, sayang naman if I don’t write about them so here they go! Yuri’s school supplies for kindergarten!

Despite all the excitement and the build-up, we didn’t really buy a lot of things for this school year. It’s mainly because we received free things from friends as birthday gifts (yes, we were ecstatic to receive school supplies as birthday gifts lol!) and from blog sponsors as well (thank you so much, National Bookstore!).

And then for the things we ended up buying, I made sure to get the practical options. As elders say, Yuri is, um, all boy, and can sometimes be a little rough with his things. While I was keen on getting high-quality stuff, I also had to consider cheaper options in case they need to be replaced before second quarter even starts. ‘Wag naman sana! Anyway, here you go!

Necessities

All-white closet basics

All of Yuri’s underclothes I bought from the department store. Save from the black and white socks, everything came from Gaisano Mall’s back-to-school sale. I don’t remember well, but I think the undershirts, briefs, and face towels were more or less P15-P25 apiece. In fairness, they’re quite good! Especially the towels — they’re still super soft even after being washed so many times. The Burlington socks (3 pairs) were around P200. The black and white socks, which are unbranded, were bought from SM’s sale just before school started. A pack with 4 pairs of socks was only around P150! I wish I only bought those because they’re a lot softer and tougher than the Burlingtons. I believe you can find them in SM department stores.

(Just goes to show how branded is not always better!)

Academic supplies

These were also bought from Gaisano Mall’s back-to-school sale (they were a lot cheaper than regular price) save for the box of Mongol pencils and fasteners, which were from National Bookstore.

More supplies

There are a few “free things” in this picture. The plastic envelope is not really free, but we had that since Eye Level days to store Yuri’s workbooks. The workbooks eventually outgrew the plastic envelope so I just hid it in my home office. The Transformers pencil case is a gift to Yuri from one of his village friends, the Westscott Wild Ones scissors are given by National Bookstore, while the Crayola glue was part of the Crayola kit I got for free when I bought Enfagrow milk from Lazada last year. Yup, Yuri got an entire bunch of Crayola stuff as freebie for a box of milk – best purchase ever!

For Yuri’s hygiene kit

Hygiene kit

Continue Reading

Parenting School

A Month of Kindergarten: Discoveries, Adjustments, and Baon Ideas (Help!)

I still can’t believe it’s already the second half of the year. Konti nalang, -ber months na! Christmas na! Hahaha super advanced.

I also can’t believe we’ve been going to regular school for nearly a month now. I thought it would be harder, but really, I think we’re coping just fine. Yuri is still in love with going to school (so far!) and I adapted quite easily. A big reason, I think, is the lack of homework. When we get home, all we need to do is rest and recharge. I hope it goes this smoothly the rest of the school year!

Stuck in traffic! Dili unta ma-late! 💪🏻

A post shared by Marie Angeli Laxa (@marie_angeli) on

Kindergarten is actually very new to me because I didn’t go to kindergarten myself. There are things that surprise me. For example, last Friday, the children attended a seminar with the guidance counsellor. I was pleasantly surprised because the seminar was meaty, and Yuri learned a lot e.g. bad touch vs. good touch and how to act around strangers and people they don’t know.

Good touch!

Our System

Continue Reading

Personal

Piano Lessons and the No-Go Signal

Job and I differ in so many ways. One of the ways we differ is our interests. He’s a very active guy, loves to tinker with things, and loves sports. There are four sports he’s good in: swimming, soccer, baseball, and track and field.

On the other hand, the only sport I’ve ever competed in was Scrabble.

Kainis, ‘no? On top of that, I don’t know how to swim and ride a bike! I’m glad I know how to drive now — at least there’s something I know how to do.

Aside from that, I don’t know how to play musical instruments either. There was not much opportunity for me when I was a child because my parents prioritised education over everything else. Lessons were also expensive and my parents didn’t want to spend their money on that.

Just to make it clear, I don’t feel any resentment over it. I did learn how to write and got to read tons of books because I had all the time in the world. However, I do want Yuri to grow up playing sports, maybe even knowing martial arts, and playing musical instruments. In fact, over the summer vacation, I asked Yuri what he wanted to learn, and he said piano and violin. I kept that in mind and shared it with Job although there weren’t concrete plans made.

The Piano Lesson Promo

I didn’t think about it at all until last Friday. When I went to school to fetch Yuri, there was a lady outside the gate distributing leaflets for what was obviously a music/performance school and I just had to ask for one. I asked her where it was located, and she told me it’s just beside Yuri’s school. OMG!

I studied the leaflet while waiting for Yuri. They’re having a 50% discount promo, and it sounded like a really good deal to me.

Job is off from work on Fridays so I quickly snapped photos of the leaflet and sent it to him and waited for his go-signal. Meanwhile, I was already imagining Yuri as the next piano prodigy.

A go-signal from him is very important to me. This is not just because he’s paying for it or he’s his son’s father. I am a very impulsive person. Making big decisions on the spot is not foreign to me. On the other hand, Job likes to think things through. He never jumps into something without careful calculation, so more often than not, whatever new venture he’s entering, he’s already 101% prepared for it.

A simple decision (like piano lessons!) for me can be made in a split-second; for him, it takes weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years. Now you see why I need his go-signal; I can’t be trusted with myself! I also like to believe that God’s wisdom is better coursed through Job’s method of making decisions. With my style, sometimes I even forget to seek God’s wisdom.

The No-Go Signal

I was already super excited for Yuri to begin his piano lessons (or violin lessons, whichever was preferable). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the coveted go-signal from his dad. I was disappointed, but I understood the decision. I was especially appreciative of the fact that Job explained his reasons. According to him, Continue Reading

Kindergarten School

6 Reasons Why I’m Loving Yuri’s Big School

It’s no secret that Yuri’s current school now was not our top choice when we were initially school-hunting. I didn’t really not like this school — it’s just that I wanted to try something new because almost ten years of my life was spent inside this very campus.

Then again, life rarely goes according to plan, and we found ourselves enrolling in the very school that I voted against! We had to consider the logistics and the practicality of doing so — it’s just the most ideal choice at the moment considering those factors. Buuut after a couple of weeks of going to school and parent orientations, one being the first PTA meeting for this school year, I think I’m realising the merits of the decision.

Going to my first PTA meeting, wet uncombed hair and all

1. No heavy bags for the kids

I recently read in Mommy Fleur‘s blog how her daughter has to deal with a heavy school bag every day. I remember doing the same as a child; all my books (an average of 5-7) stuffed into my backpack together with my notebooks (8-10), pencil case, and other school stuff. And we haven’t included the baon yet.

I was pleased to find out that I didn’t need to buy Yuri a huge bag for school. The young children at school, from preschool/kindergarten to 2nd grade, all have lockers where they keep their books and notebooks. I’m not sure about the graders, but for senior kinder, they also have cubbies inside the classroom where all their stuff — art materials, toiletries, extra clothes — are hidden.

We’re only required to bring home the kids’ books and notebooks every weekend, so for the rest of the week, they don’t have to bring anything save for pencils, some supplies, and their baon. 

Yuri’s bag just holds his handbook, pencil case, a supply case (crayons, glue, etc.), wipes, towel, and a sanitizer. It looks big but it’s actually super light. 

(In fact, during the PTA meeting last Saturday, the teachers reminded the parents not to let their kids use huge stroller bags anymore because they didn’t need to!)

2. Little homework (so far…)

Continue Reading