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Lifestyle School

Messy Life Lately: Moving Up and House Renovation

OMG, I thought I would be able to blog once final examinations are done. Well, Yuri has had his final examinations done for more than two weeks now (the last day of their exams was last March 2nd pa), but I barely blogged. I didn’t know I would be even busier after final examinations!

I’m such a noob school-mom. I had no idea there would be so much to do after the final exams and before their Moving Up ceremony. Costumes, rehearsals, schedules… I was not prepared at all!

For starters, the PM kids (us) had to adjust their body clock again because they had to go to school in the morning to be with the AM kids. And because they only had a total of 8 days to prepare for their Moving Up (and we are talking about 5-7 year olds here), for the final week of rehearsals, they were expected to be in school for the whole day. It was a major adjustment for us since we’ve never had to stay in school for more than 4-5 hours.

I appreciate that they didn’t make the kids wear intricate costumes (part of the school policy), so at least there’s less hassle on our part as parents. However, no matter how practical, we still had to buy costumes and their Moving Up attire.

Moving Up

But finally it’s done! Yuri’s class had their Moving Up ceremony last Thursday, March 15th. I’ll be a bit cheeky here and mention that there was a bit of drama that happened to us at school, but that was already resolved — all’s well that ends well. Special mention to my friends, George and Yankee, to whom I vented. Thank you for listening!

The ceremony itself was bittersweet. It was so much fun watching the kids sing, dance, and perform. It was truly a culmination in every sense of the word, and we were filled with pride watching how much our children improved. Of course, it was doubly fun witnessing the ceremony with my co-parents who also became my friends.

I’ll stop here because Yuri’s Moving Up deserves a different post, but I’ll show you some pictures!

These kids were the first group of students to use the school’s newly-built auditorium

Grabbed from the school’s official FB page

Grabbed from the school’s official FB page

With my pretty co-parents 🙂


But more than the preparations for Moving Up, the thing that’s been bringing me a lot of hassle is this:

This used to be the back part of our house. It had housed our washing machine and the clothesline. We don’t do our laundry at home anymore — in fact, our clothesline was barely used and our washing machine had been unused for the past 2-3 years. So we decided to take the wall down and convert the unused space into a new, more spacious kitchen. It’s exciting but when there’s a renovation taking place inside your own house, it’s very stressful because it’s messy, it’s dirty, it’s dusty… Lahat na!

In fact, because our current kitchen is virtually covered in cement dust (cleaning is futile because once they start working again, it’s going to be covered in dust again), we’re relying on food delivery 75% of the time. And because it is so uninspiring to stay in the kitchen, I have stopped making healthy food. I’m back to eating carbs (because you can’t make me wash veggies and make salads in this condition) so I’m just carefully watching my portions na lang.

I can’t wait for this renovation to be over!

On the brighter side of things, I can now finally say that it is officially SUMMER VACATION! We’re gonna be busy, busy, busy, but the nice kind of busy. My planner is going to be full… I can’t wait regretting enrolling Yuri in different summer classes and complaining about hectic schedules! 😅

School Summer

Hello March, Hello Summer!

Raise your hands with me if you also can’t believe it’s already March!

Wasn’t it just yesterday when Yuri was starting kindergarten? I still vividly recall how frazzled I was during the first day (I ironed everything…down to Yuri’s socks — now I know better!), how I looked forward to the orientation and the first PTA meetings, how we made friends in class… Of course, it wasn’t that long ago, only 9 months ago, but you know what I mean!

In fact, just earlier this morning, I went to the school’s PTA General Assembly, the second for this year (the first one took place in July). As usual, I got out of the general assembly feeling more stressed than usual (loooong story), but it’s okay. I’m just rejoicing because Yuri’s final exams are finally over!

Yes, they had their final exams last week. Ang aga, ‘no? I am not complaining at all! It’s been terribly busy for the past two weeks, with all the work + real estate commitments and studying with Yuri for his finals. I’m so glad it’s over. Tomorrow, they’re going to start rehearsing na for their Moving Up ceremony. We’re still going to school but at least, no more stress na (at least for this aspect).

While I love taking Yuri to school, I’m looking forward to summer break when I don’t have to dress up and get out of the house. I can almost taaaste it. On the other hand, I want Yuri’s summer break to be productive, and we’re already starting to plan for it. Here are some of our plans:

1. Swim School

I’m waiting for Red Cross Davao to make their announcement regarding this year’s summer swimming lesson schedule. We missed last year’s so now I’ll make sure to enrol Yuri in their program as early as possible.

2. Jollibee Mini Managers Camp or McDonald’s Kiddie Crew

Isa lang, not both! I’ve heard good things about either two. I like McDo because the nearest location to our house is more convenient. However, I think Yuri prefers Jollibee because he likes the uniform better. Whichever works, honestly.

Apart from this two, I’m also thinking of enrolling Yuri to a music school. Yes, I’m still not over this ambition! However, while I want our summer break to be productive, I don’t want it to be hectic. Still, if I can find a sweet spot in between to achieve a balanced schedule, I might as well take it (with Job’s consent, of course, since he already vetoed last year LOL).

What are your plans for summer?

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?

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

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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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.

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?

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?

Health and Fitness

Road to Fitness: My Collection of Healthy Snacks

I was meaning to blog three times a week.

Hahahahaha as if.

I mean, I’m still aspiring to blog a lot more often than once a week (if lucky). However, life does get in the way and even though there is so much to tell, it’s hard for me to find the time to tell it. But I’m trying my best to make time.

One of the reasons why I blog is to keep myself accountable. Blogging has kept me accountable for the way I parent, handle my relationships, even how I manage money. There is something else, though, that I must be held accountable for: my health and fitness.

A few weeks ago, I officially started my diet. I’ve been trying my best to stick to it (although there were a handful of occasions where I didn’t have any choice but to eat what was available). However, the hardest thing — for me — is managing my snacking habit. I’m a serial snacker! I know what’s best is to completely remove snacking from my daily diet, but a snack or two gets me through the long afternoons.

My solution for now? Get a box just for me and fill it with healthy snacks. I want to show what’s inside my “healthy” box!

Disclaimer: I don’t intend to eat them all at once ha! Some of them I’ve had for a month na. I eat a small amount at a time of whatever I fancy, which works well because almost all of them come in resealable packs.

Different kinds of trail mix and fruit snacks which I bought from Gaisano Mall (price per pack is approximately P130-P170)

Peanut butter and dark chocolate bliss balls from Take Root (P130 each)

Valor sugar-free chocolate (P150)

Sugar-free chocolates (left) and coconut sugar-covered cacao nibs (right) which I bought at Citymall in Tagum City (P75 for the chocolates, P175 for the cacao nibs)

Mango-banana and guava-banana fruit crisps from Oh So Healthy (P95 each)

I wasn’t able to take a picture of my actual box, but it’s just your regular transparent plastic box. I bought mine from Japan Home Centre for P95, if I remember it correctly. I also chucked in a small box of McVities lite digestives for whenever I’m feeling hungry and can’t be satiated by anything sugar-free lol. It’s not healthy (at least I’m honest haha) but I think it’s better than white bread — which I can easily eat a lot of.

Oh, I also have these. Like the sugar-free chocolate and cacao nibs, I also bought this at Citymall in Tagum but from a different booth. I think it was called Go Lokal? These are not snacks but were really yummy hehe.

Mushroom Tempura (P150) and veggie noodles (P175)

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Lifestyle Messy Haul Shopping

What I Bought From the S&R Members’ Treat 2017

I finished work early today so I was able to fit in some S&R shopping before it was time to fetch Yuri from school. We were planning to go tomorrow pa but then I remembered Yuri has an appointment with our dentist tomorrow, so we tried to pass by S&R to see whether the queue outside the entrance was manageable…

Lo and behold there was no queue! I was expecting the same queue I experienced during last year’s Members’ Treat so I was pleasantly surprised. Then again we were there early afternoon on the third day of the sale (Friday) so either the shoppers were already done shopping or haven’t arrived yet. There were no long queues inside the warehouse either!

Unlike last year, I wasn’t able to take photos of the goods on sale this year because I was in a hurry as I needed to be back at Yuri’s school by 3:30 pm. Also, unlike last year when I was with friends, this time my parents tagged along and I gladly accepted the company for the #seniorcitizen benefits lol.

I was able to read comments of some people saying that the sale this year is not as extensive as the past years’. I actually do not mind at all because I’m coming into the store with no specific thing I need to buy naman. I’m not there to hoard or panic-buy either. My mindset is that I’ll just buy whatever practical find catches my eye. And speaking of things that catch my eye, here are the stuff I bought!

Giant bag of chocolates – P500

Beside a bag of KitKats for reference

E.Wedel chocolates, Buy 1 Take 1 for P99 (This is originally 6 pieces; Yuri already ate the other one) I forgot I went back and added 3 more pairs of milk chocolate. The milk chocolate variant tastes better than the caramel white choc one, in my opinion.

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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?


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