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Lifestyle WAHM Diaries

The Joys of Walking

A couple of years ago, I used to run daily.

Before you picture me in athletic gear and Nike running shoes with beads of sweat on my forehead, let me tell you that I just ran indoors. I did it for two reasons: first, I didn’t want to see “bad-vibe” neighbours (our lovely ex-yaya who propagated malicious rumours against us ‘round the village was still working for a neighbour back then) and second, I didn’t have athletic gear or running shoes. LOL!

But you know what? It still worked. I had quick (okay, relatively quicker) metabolism and strong legs. It wasn’t hard for me to lose weight then.

Until I stopped because of weak knees.

I was still breastfeeding heavily then so I attributed the knee pain to it, but running also contributed, so I just stopped. And then I grew fatter and fatter… /sob story

But recently, I noticed that my knees are no longer aching. It’s as if the knee pain didn’t exist at all. Because I’ve gotten a lot heavier and most of my clothes no longer fit me, I was motivated to exercise again. I couldn’t run again though, at least, not yet. I had to start with something easier, like walking.

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Messy Haul Shopping

Messy Haul: Some Fun and Frugal Finds from DCLA, Uyanguren

Hello, yes, it’s me, the blogger who churns out haul post after haul post… If it’s any consolation, these are not craft or planner or makeup finds. Well, at least not everything?

Kidding aside, as someone who loves shopping but hates spending a lot, I love cheap shopping destinations. You folks from Manila have Divisoria; we have Chinatown or Uyanguren. My favourite “mall” there is DCLA not only because it’s bigger than the other places but also because it’s cleaner.

A couple of weeks ago, my mum and I (and my tail, Yuri) went out on a Saturday morning to do bank errands. Deposit here, withdraw there, and get coin banks for Yuri and my sister who are both youth savers… Yuri was pretty ecstatic with his coin bank (he ditched his Mickey Mouse one for it) – too ecstatic that he gets almost every denomination from P1 to P20 from my wallet for his “savings.” Guess who doesn’t have coins and petty cash every single time? I swear, this is highway robbery. Continue Reading

Beauty Friends Lifestyle

Pampering and Chika Sesh at Nailaholics Abreeza

Nailaholics Abreeza

When you’re working 8 hours a day from Monday to Friday and have to attend another 8-hour seminar on both Saturday and Sunday, saying that a couple of hours of foot pampering is a welcome idea is an understatement.

Well, thanks to my friends, I was able to get a fab foot spa on Sunday night — a lovely downtime in between hectic weeks.

One of my close friends, JM, is getting married in a couple of weeks (woah!) and my friends, Hazel and George, and I planned a little pampering sesh for her. They’re organising their wedding while she’s working and studying so some footspa would surely relax her spirits. And it did!

It’s great that we had our foot spa (and mani-pedi) at Nailaholics Abreeza because we experienced not only a relaxing (and pretty!) atmosphere but also excellent service. Here are some pictures:

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Me and the bride-to-be!

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A wacky Hazel and me!

Nailaholics Abreeza

Can you spot my reflection?

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Messy Haul Planning Shopping

Messy Haul: More Pretty Craft Supplies from National Bookstore, Daiso and Gaisano Mall

I am supposed to spend zero on shopping for this month.

However, it turns out that a no-spend February would be impossible for me since there are a few real estate-related events scheduled for the month, a mini travel and out-of-town wedding, as well as a scheduled 2-day outing with work colleagues.

(Also, I was able to force myself to attend a CPD or Continuing Professional Development seminar last weekend — it’s a requirement for renewing your PRC license — and since I got zero rest day during that week, I sort of rewarded myself with cheap fun.)

Since I could not not shop this month, I figured to just let go of the no-spend concept just for now and save myself from all the stress and guilty feelings BUT try my hardest to:

1. Buy only stuff that I will use (no hoarding!)

2. Buy stuff on a budget (and follow the envelopes strictly!)

I’m glad to say I was able to follow both of my self-imposed rules. In fact, the only places I’ve visited recently are Gaisano Mall (where prices are cheaper compared to other malls like SM and Abreeza), Daiso, and *drum roll* DCLA in our local Chinatown!

But one thing at a time (read: must stop blabbing), so I’ll show you some of my finds from National Bookstore, Daiso and Gaisano Mall. I’m a newbie at creative planning and I have very little supplies — I’m still growing them — which is why I tend to look for stuff that I can use for the craft. And since I’m on a budget, I chose things that look nice but don’t burn a hole in my pocket at the same time. Here they are:

1. Chalkboard Wall Sticker – Weekly Planner

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Bought at: National Bookstore
Price: P59.00
Useful for: Reminders, routines, schedules, and tracking habits

Here’s how I use my chalkboard sticker:

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It couldn’t possibly fit everything I need to do on that day (that’s what my planner is for!), so I just wrote down the top priority of the day.

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2. Chipboard Embellishment Stickers

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Parenting Yurisms

There is a Sleepyhead in My Bed and It’s Not Me

I realise I still have a lot of blog backlog from last year (gee, where did my Christmas vacation go? I planned to spend that vacation writing…) but I just want to indulge in one more mindless (yet meaningful) post before I officially deal with the pile.

I have come into terms with the fact that Yuri, who will be turning 4 in a couple of months (ZOMG!), is a sleepyhead.

He started sleeping through the night near the end of his 3rd month as a wee infant. Before you envy me, let me assure you that before that fateful night, I barely slept at all. By the time he was 4 months old, we were almost always sleeping through the night and, save for those few nights when he would wake up and not return to sleep or when I discovered a new book I just couldn’t put down, I recaptured the elusive eight hours of sleep. More or less.

Let me digress for a bit. I have two favourite moments of the day. One is his afternoon nap and the other is his sleeptime. It’s during those times when I can focus on what I want to do (blog, write, do some calligraphy, update my planner). Of course, most of the time, when Yuri sleeps, I either watch TV, browse Facebook, or catch some Z’s myself hehe.

Anyway, as he gets older, I noticed that Yuri’s sleeping hours have become longer. For example, just the other day, he slept for twelve hours — and would have slept longer had I not woken him up. In my defence, it was already almost 9 am and the sunlight streaming through our bedroom window was too warm it wasn’t funny anymore.

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Messy Haul Planning Shopping

Messy Haul: Craft Supplies Haul from Daiso and Gaisano Mall

Craft Supplies Davao

Sooo… aside from getting into makeup (here’s my drugstore makeup haul!), I’m also getting into crafting now!

I’m not into all forms of crafting (yet), just creative planning since I’ve always used planners so I’m basically just levelling it up. And wadda you know? It can be very addictive!

As you may know, I operate on a limited budget so bargain finds are a must! I am not claiming to have an extensive smorgasbord of supplies — like what I said, I’m a beginner — and I don’t know the first thing about creative planning so basically I’m experimenting. Okay, more like groping in the dark. Haha! Seriously, though, the stuff I am about to show you are good enough for beginners like me but I’m sure crafting/creative planning experts know a lot more about the brands to buy and avoid.

Anyway, here we go! These are just some of the finds I added to my ~ hopefully ~ growing craft supplies. First up, my craft supplies haul from Daiso. I went into Daiso planning on just buying tissue and paper towels. I went out of the store with some craft supplies, a heart-shaped baking pan (not for crafting but too cute to pass up!) and, yeah, tissue and paper towels.

Craft Supplies Davao

1. Wooden stamps Continue Reading

Beauty Makeup Messy Haul Shopping

Messy Haul: This Novice Girl’s Drugstore Makeup Haul

Drugstore Makeup Haul

I finally got into makeup during the later part of 2015.

Not the entire thing, but you know, the basics. I’ve always been just the BB cream + lip balm + eyebrow pencil girl, and it served me well, but I noticed that I looked pale in pictures. That was the sole reason why I started mulling over full lip colour (good bye, sheer lip balm!).

As I’m a novice when it comes to the makeup game, I have no idea what colours would work for my face and skin tone. No way am I going to buy expensive makeup without experimenting first — that would be too risky for a clueless girl like me!

So I’m starting with cheap — as in cheap —  drugstore makeup, brands like e.l.f. and Maybelline. I already have a handful of lipsticks, but I wanted to experiment with matte lippies. Here’s my most recent drugstore makeup haul: Continue Reading

Online Shopping Shopping

Maximising My Savings With ShopBack!

If there's anything I love more than online shopping, it's BARGAIN online shopping. Now I'm able to maximise my savings using ShopBack, a cashback system!

It’s no secret that I’m an avid online shopper.

While I’m also striving to be financially independent, I can’t deny that I really love shopping. I like the satisfaction of scouring through the aisles (or bins — or browser tabs) and looking for sales, discounts, basically the best value for my money. So my favourite kind of shopping is, what else, bargain shopping!

Last Christmas, for example, maybe around 80% of my gifts was bought online, and maybe more than half of them was bought on sale. I even used my discount vouchers and blogger rewards. Nice, right? I bought my gifts from online shopping websites like eBayZalora, LazadaAliexpress, and Galleon. But I wanted to go beyond discounts and sales. This time, I tried the cash back system.

Yes! You can now avail of a cash back system online — thanks to ShopBack

ShopBack Philippines

It’s so easy. All you need to do is sign up and make an account, click on your preferred shopping website and shop using the redirected link, and wait for the cashback to be credited into your account. Here’s a step-by-step process: Continue Reading

Lifestyle Personal Planning

The Planner Dilemma

I am a little late to the planner game this year.

Scratch that: very late!

The truth is I wasn’t planning on buying a planner this year because my planner from last year is still good as new. This wasn’t the case during the previous years as I’ve been using planners since 2012. But because I barely used my 2015 planner, I thought that buying another planner this year would just be a waste of money.

Certified Positive Planner

This was my planner last year. I loved it but I was too busy to update it.

So what I did was buy a desktop calendar for the planning and a small leather notebook for my journaling. It  almost worked except that the calendar had too little space for all of my agenda and the notebook was a little bit cumbersome to use.

I guess it’s safe to say I’m covered for the year? 😁 #wahm #wahmlife #planner #journal #homeoffice

A photo posted by Marie Angeli Laxa (@maanlaxa) on

Leather (faux) notebook in deep pink in the lower left corner and my floral desktop calendar in the upper right corner

While I still love the pretty calendar and notebook to bits (the desktop calendar shall be a mainstay in my, well, desk while I converted my notebook into a devotional notebook, A Line A Day style), I later on admitted that I wanted a proper planner for 2016.

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Lifestyle Personal

My Word for 2016 and 6 Simple Resolutions

How was your first week of easing back into normalcy? I guess it’s safe to say we have all settled back into our regular routines and tasks?

Or maybe not. Haha!

During my short vacation (I haven’t had a paid vacation in four years! Thank you Lord!), I had time to think about what I really want to see and accomplish this year. I know a lot of other bloggers blog about their word for the year. I’ve wanted to do that, too, but had never found the time to sit and really think about it (because, again, as a freelancer, I used to have no paid leave at all). Now that I had time, I thought about 2016 and what it means to me.

And I realised that, based on the decisions and changes my family, my partner, and I made during the last part of 2015, 2016 should be a year of:

Commitment

2016 is my year of Commitment

1. A commitment to God and becoming a better Christian

2. A commitment to an even stronger relationship with Job despite the big changes looming in the horizon

3. A commitment to my family no matter what happens and a commitment to becoming a better mother to Yuri (preschool, here we come!)

4. A commitment to remain a person of integrity in the workplace, whether in Stay At Home Mum or in the real estate industry

5. A commitment to be more available for my dearest friends, old and new

6. And a commitment to taking care of myself in all aspects

Last year, there were a lot of things, a lot of transitions, and I’m sure there will be more changes coming this year but I am committed to keeping my faith, the most important people to me, and myself despite the changes. I think I have already spent the last couple of years changing, improving, excelling that what I want to do the most now is hold on to the basics of my being, the simple things that make me me.

This year, no matter how my life changes, I’m committed to keeping my core intact.

psalm 37:5

Via theversesproject.com

With God’s grace, I’m ready to face whatever life will throw my way.

Bring it on, 2016.

Lifestyle Personal

15 Decisions, Transitions and Adventures From 2015

2015 has been a  full  year for me.

There’s no such thing as an empty year I’m sure, but my 2015 has been filled with so many things, a few bad while everything else wonderful. I’ve been so busy throughout the year that I barely had time to write in my journal – – I say that regretfully.

I could go as far as saying that a lot more things happened this year than 2013 and 2014 combined. These are 15 handpicked highlights of my totally awesome year:

1. JANUARY: I weaned Yuri from breastfeeding. That was a tough decision to make but I felt like it was time. I felt guilty but had to remind myself that, hey, almost 3 years of breastfeeding ain’t bad at all.

2. FEBRUARY: I went back to “school” to become a real estate broker. That was a great decision; I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and and met wonderful people who are now my friends!

Me, third from the left

3. MARCH: I, together with my immediate family, my cousins, and some friends explored Benguet, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Manila, and Cavite for the first time. During the same trip, I volunteered to stay back in Vigan because of a nasty for poisoning and and got to explore the historic city on my own.

At Vigan

4. MARCH: I finally left my freelancing job (I had a dilemma about this nearing the end of 2014 because the new administrative changes no longer make the job worth it – – and I couldn’t even ask for an employment certificate since I am not “employed” after working with that group for 4 years).  Continue Reading

Friends Lifestyle Village Activities WAHM Diaries

Still Out of Breath From Pre-Christmas Week!

Jive Highland Resort

Wow I haven’t blogged in, like, forever!

Believe me when I say I haven’t had a single minute of “freedom” last week although it was certainly a blast! Even poor Yuri felt the exhaustion of the week as he slept until 9:30 this morning. And I had to wake him up because I was running out of laptop juice and my charger was left downstairs!

Here is how last week went:

Monday

Practice for our village carolling. We (village officers, youth officers + anyone who wants to join) always sing carols here in our neighbourhood to raise money for our annual Christmas party. We always look forward to joining because it’s so much fun! It’s even more fun this year because the youth officers this year are very kalog and the energy levels are sky-high.

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Some of the officers (little boy excluded) #teamRED

Tuesday

First day of carolling! I prepared and arranged the songs to be sung. Then Yuri and I rushed to a nearby department store to buy some gifts. We got home just in time to eat dinner and get ready to sing some Christmas songs and bring some Christmas cheer (chos).

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Christmas Friends Lifestyle Shopping

Mixed Mess: Christmas Rush, Pigging Out, and Official Catch Up Week

So I’m giving up on dieting this month.

Pigging Out

Even though money is kinda tight (I forgot to include my World Vision kids’ noche buena in my budget plan! Sorry guys that I sent it literally at the last minute!), thank God there is no shortage of food around here. Thank you Lord for the generous givers around us and for the occasional extra money to enjoy food!

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So even though I won’t be losing weight anytime this year (and may even gain s’more kilos – – even my puns are food – related gah), I’m just thankful the there’s always food on the table despite the sky-high medical expenses haha.

Christmas Rush

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Blogger Perks Homeschooling Parenting

Unboxing the October BuriBox

October Buribox

Busy, busy, busy!

(Then again, I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t busy. I’m sure you can relate!)

Right now, after a full week of work, I’m squeezing in some real estate duties (I’m a licensed broker *hint hint*), blogging duties (obviously), and a bit of mothering. I’m sure that last bit made me look like the worst mum in the world. Truth is I’m relishing Yuri’s newfound independence. He’s still clingy — a lot clingier than other kids his age, seemingly — but most of the time, he does fine on his own.

One of my frustrations as a mum, though, is the lack of time (and budget) to look for stuff that will keep him entertained other than the tablet. When I was still freelancing, I had all the time in the world to shop for supplies, but now that I have a full-time job to attend to, time is a luxury I sometimes can’t afford.

So when I heard about BuriBox from Janice’s blog, I couldn’t be more excited. What put a damper on my spirits, though, is learning that they didn’t deliver outside Metro Manila. But that was before. Last month, Janice offered a promo wherein you can receive a BuriBox and just pay for the shipping fee. Of course I grabbed the opportunity!

We received the October BuriBox and here’s what’s inside: Continue Reading