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My Christian Walk Personal

I Had a Long Night (AKA The Story of How My Money Got Stolen)

I feel deflated.

I don’t want to mope around, feeling sad over money because at the end of the day, it’s just that — money. Money that can be replaced, money that can be earned back.

But still, when I think about how I could’ve used that money, I can’t help but feel miserable. Had I known it will get stolen, sana ginamit ko nalang pang-spoil kay Yuri! 

Here’s what happened. I follow the 52-week challenge that we see all over the internet every January. I put my money in a nondescript coin bank because back then, I couldn’t find a decent ceramic coin bank. I just wrapped craft paper around it and printed out the guideline so each time I put money inside, I also crossed out the corresponding date. I didn’t necessarily follow the sequence either. Whenever I had extra money with me, I skipped the low amounts and went straight to the higher amounts. Because I kept track of what I put inside the coin bank, I know the exact amount of money that I had in it.  Continue Reading

Personal

3 New Things I’m Doing This Year

It’s so hot! Just a week ago, there wasn’t a single day with no rain. Right now, it’s too hot to function. Why?!

But rain or shine, we will push to blog hahaha so I’m writing right now in our hot living room. Anyway, I digress. The year is still young and this time is the best time to reflect, plan, and introspect. During my period of planning and introspection (which lasted for about a couple of hours lol), I realised that there are three exciting new things that I’m doing this year, and I would like to share them with you!

1. The 52-Week Challenge

Personal planner savings tracker insert

Did backbreaking work for this – everything is handwritten! I’m proud of it though.

I first heard of the 52-week challenge in 2015. Although I found it interesting, and although I was always planning to join, I never had the chance to do it. I always end up doing another thing or not saving money at all (which was the case last year).

Because I saved virtually nothing last year, I resolved to join this challenge and be serious about it. Right now, it’s only the third week and I’ve been using this cute container as my temporary coin bank, but it already feels good!

2. The Happiness Box

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My Christian Walk Personal

My One Word for 2017 and Some Updates!

Hey everyone! *furiously waves*

This is officially my first post for the year since my last one, the long one about 50 questions and answers (which you seriously need to try because I had so much fun answering it) was written just before the clock struck 12.

Anyway, hi! I subjected myself into an unplanned hiatus because, despite the long days without work (had a grand total of 5 non-working days this season yay!), I just didn’t have time to even check my blog, let alone write. Despite choosing not to go to a lot of Christmas parties, this was my busiest Christmas season yet because of all the guests and gatherings that we had. I had loads of fun but I was actually kinda thankful it’s over. We survived, lol!

Now that I have free time again, time to think and time to write, it’s time to get blogging again. And what else would be a more fitting first-of-the-year post than the One Word?

Everyone, my One Word for 2017:

It’s Push.

I was a bit hesitant to use this word because it is a very widely used slang word, which is sometimes used negatively (read: push mo yan teh said in sarcasm). I even considered using another word, but it’s just not the same. The word “push” just called out to me, and from the moment I thought about it, I knew it was my One Word for 2017.

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Personal

50 Important Questions and Answers as I Bid 2016 Farewell

It’s currently 11 pm where I am. I’m in the living room with Yuri soundly sleeping beside me, and we’re both huddled in blankets because it’s one cold night!

It’s a lot quieter tonight compared to last week, during Christmas eve, where we entertained over 30 guests – a colourful mix of relatives, friends, and neighbours – here at home. But while it was a fun celebration, this quieter one is a welcome change. Honestly, this is how I’d love to spend the last night of 2016: quiet, comfortable, and engaged in meaningful conversations with my loved ones.

Speaking of meaningful conversations, I saw this year-end post in Thought Catalog weeks ago and I just knew I had to answer the 50 questions as I bid 2016 good bye. Here we go.

1. What made you feel the most alive this year?

I’m not sure how to answer this question as the times I don’t feel alive are very rare. Probably the most memorable thing to happen to me this year is our family’s semi-reunion this Christmas. We don’t see our relatives often because they live in different parts of the country, so being with them is always special!

2. How did you surprise yourself in 2016?

For starters, I learned a lot of things this year! I got immersed in a couple of new hobbies: calligraphy/brush lettering and creative planning. I also learned how to drive! Although I don’t drive a lot (I still prefer to have my kuya drive me around haha), I wear my driver’s license like a badge of honour.

3. What did you do this year that you regret?

I regret not watching what I ate and not working out, like, almost at all. Now I’m suffering the consequences (read: nothing in my closet fits…)

4. What made you cry the hardest this year?

Job’s health scare, which, thankfully (as in thank you, thank you Lord) remained to be a health scare that must be forgotten and locked away.

5. Which friends have been there for you the most in 2016?

Everyone close to my heart has been there for me for most of 2016! My college barkada, Superfriends, George, JM, Hazel, and Christine, who are always present in my life despite the distance. And my workmates, the dream team, the bestest girls to work with like ever, Lenz, Jona, Sarah, Xeng, and Yankee (special mention: Julie and Macy!).

6. What are you most grateful for as this year draws to a close?

I am grateful for the people in my life. Job, Yuri, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbours, everyone. God put all of them in my life and made it a hundred times better.

7. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

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Mixed Mess Personal

Christmas 2016 as Told Through Pictures

Hi! I haven’t blogged in like forever! Today, Wednesday, is the first day this month that I didn’t have to do anything outside of work. My December is so busy, but busy is a good thing, so thank you Lord!

Let’s assume you’re interested in my life. I’ll tell you all about it. Through pictures. Because I’m too lazy to write a picture is worth a thousand words… Continue Reading

Personal

The Gift of 3 Lessons in the Season of Giving

I always say that Christmas is my ultimate favourite season of the year.

There’s something about this fact and the general feel of Christmas season that brings out the best in us. We become more thoughtful, more generous, more loving – traits that reflect and glorify Jesus Christ! Now, this is especially more personal to me because my love language is gifts (both receiving and giving). I don’t think this love language means materialism. On the contrary, I think gifting is a great way to exhibit generosity, thoughtfulness, and love!

So when the blogger group I belong to, Mommy Bloggers Philippines, announced a Christmas gift swap for this year, there was no question. I’m in! My “baby” wasn’t someone I personally knew, but it was really exciting reading her blog, trying to figure out what she would like, and then choosing a gift for her.

And then, there’s the thrill of receiving my very own gift, too! Just yesterday, I received this package, which came from my fellow mom blogger, Liz Aquino:

I remember getting all excited, thinking of all the possible things the package must contain. After tearing through what seemed like an eternity of wrapping paper, I finally uncovered this!

The Starbucks Mug truly came as a surprise for me because I am no coffee drinker but I sort of collect mugs. What’s surprising about it is that I don’t recall ever talking about my mini-collection. So thanks, Liz!

We have a cupboard full of nice mugs and specialty mugs, but these are the few most special ones for me:

Three Lessons from a Simple Gift Swap

But more than the lovely mug and it being a nice addition to my growing collection, I learned a lot of things from this blogger gift swap. Which is, basically, what should be the essence of any tradition! Here are the three lessons I learned in the season of gift-giving:

1. Sometimes, receiving is just as fulfilling as giving.

I love to think of myself as a giver. I like showering the people I love and care about with gifts as a reminder that they are in my thoughts. However, there is something fulfilling about receiving a gift from someone else, too. It feels wonderful to know that someone took their time and effort choosing a gift that they think you’ll appreciate!

2. There is something special about choosing a gift for someone you haven’t met yet.

Although we visit each other’s blogs through blog hops, Liz and I haven’t met yet. It actually feels kilig (lol) to imagine someone who doesn’t know you personally thinking day and night about what to give you. It’s especially challenging because they don’t really know what you like!

On the other hand, I also have my gift swap baby, Mel of Trying Hard MinimalistI haven’t met her yet and it was exciting to figure out what she would like! With the Mommy Bloggers Philippines gift swap, the limits my gift-choosing ability was surely tested, but it was a lot of fun going through the process!

3. At the end of the day, it is the thought that counts.

We all say that. It’s the thought that counts. Most of the time, it is spoken in an apologetic manner, as if apologising for a gift that is cheaper than expected or a gift that the receiver might not like. I beg to disagree. I think choosing a gift where it’s the thought that most counts is the most wonderful gift of all. If you give me a simple note, I’ll cherish it because I know you spent time on me. What a privilege. What a blessing!

And speaking of blessing…

About my Secret Santa, Liz

I think Liz’s gift accurately represents her personality. She is a big coffee drinker who usually has a cuppa with her when she blogs. She writes in her blog, Diaries of a Control-Freak Momtitled this way because she realised, when her son got confined in the hospital when he was just 3 weeks young, that no matter how much of a control-freak she is, she still has no control over a lot of things life throws our way. I relate to this because this blog is mainly about how I resign to the inevitably messy nature of life!

Her blog has documented her journey as a mother with a special-needs son for three years. Three years and she still doesn’t want to call herself a legit blogger! Thank you, Liz, for your thoughtful gift. To answer your question, I’m not a coffee drinker but I drink tea — and a lot of milk! (Thankfully, my lactose intolerance doesn’t bother me that much anymore lol.)

Merry Christmas, everyone! <3 

PS: Yes, I took a bazillion photos with my new mug. No shame.

PPS: A big thank you to all of the generous companies who sponsored the #MBPGiftSwap of #MommyBloggersPH! (And I’m seeing Yuri’s favourite Arla milk! I swear, I buy 2 litres of it every week!)

Contadina
Tupperware
Lorenzana Lorins Patis and Lorins Bagoong Alamang Guisado
myPhone watch
VillaDelConte chocolates
Arla
Poetry Magnets

Messy Wins Personal

Level-Up Adulting Part 1: Getting My Driver’s License

I honestly never thought I’d get both a driver’s license and an insurance policy at age 26.

I know 26 is not too young of an age to get both; in fact, I think 26 is on the older side of the spectrum to get a driver’s permit for the first time  hehe. I’ll explain.

Messy Success 1: How I Got My Driver’s License

First, I never planned to get a car this year, much less a driver’s license. I mean, I know one doesn’t necessarily have to own a car in order to get a driving permit, but for me, what’s the use of it when I won’t be using it anyway? It just didn’t make sense. But this year, I did not only get a car but also enrolled in a driving school, learned to drive, and successfully got a license.

I took a leave from work last Tuesday in order to process my permit at the LTO. I arrived there 10 minutes after 8 and the line was already loooong. So if you want to avoid the lines, go there early. Really early. Like before 7 early. LTO Davao is quite efficient, in my opinion, but there were really a lot of people before me (more than 60, I think?), so it still took a good hour before I was finally able to enter the examination room.  Continue Reading

Mixed Mess Personal

Messy Life Lately: Events, Dates, and a Surprise Car Blessing

I don’t know what it is about -ber months (I was gonna say winter but we’re not fooling anyone here…) that makes all people super duper busy. In my case, well, let’s just say the floor didn’t get swept in over a week. It’s icky. The laundry has been sitting inside the laundry bag for days now, begging to be put inside the closet. The house is just beyond messy.

I was that busy I wish I was kidding. Huhu. Then again, being busy means I’m alive and active and I have a healthy social life! Hurrah! So thank you Lord for keeping me busy. Here’s what kept me busy for the past week (okay, a week and a day) as told by Instagram photos.

Saturday: A Date With My Best Friend

Of coffee and playgrounds with @jorjietearjerky. Ah-ah love you like a love song baybeh 😂

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

Do you know how it feels to carry a burden in your heart without having someone you can tell it to? Though I also have matters that I keep to myself, most of the time, I don’t have trouble sharing (I’m a “sharer” though I prefer to call myself a “story-teller” hahaha). My best friend George is my complete opposite. She almost never shares what she’s going through and likes to keep her problems to herself. So I really cherish those moments when we get the chance to have a heart-to-heart talk. You know I love you. <3

Det det with the original Queen Bee. 🐝

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

We had coffee at Dayaw Coffee & Tea, a local coffee shop in SM Lanang Premier that serves coffee sourced from Mindanao plantations. I will write a review soon because OMG I loved my matcha frappe!

Sunday: Food Trip With The Fam-Bam

Sunday lunch with the fambam ❤️

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


Sunday we set a lunch date with my cousin, Kuya Jason, his fiancee, Matet, and supposedly with our other cousin, Ate Maricel, who was visiting from Cebu. However, Ate Maricel failed to make it so we just had lunch by ourselves. I suggested we ate lunch at Rekado, a restaurant that serves unique Filipino dishes. I was able to try their food last year but never had the chance to come back. I’m glad they all loved the food, especially my mum who’s the pickiest eater I know!

Xie Ping party!

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


We then had dessert at the most unlikely place: a dimsum place in Gaisano Mall called Dimsum Break. But this xie ping cum halo halo was the bomb!

Tuesday: Real Estate Event #1

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Parenting Personal

The Tale of Yuri’s First Sick Day

Oh thank God for sick leaves.

I’m blogging now because I found some time to do so because, well, I’m on leave and Yuri’s sleeping. Just a little segue before I continue. I miss this! I miss being able to write about the most mundane things. A few years back, I blogged almost everyday (that was when I had a yaya and a helper) – a luxury I can no longer afford these days. I’m lucky if I’m able to write twice a week. Sometimes, wala talaga. And I miss being able to let the words flow like no one’s reading!

It’s the second (and last) day of my sick leave actually but I’m not the one who’s sick. It’s Yuri. It’s kinda a big deal for me because, not counting his first days on earth (he swallowed his meconium in utero so he had to be confined in the NICU for a week), this is the first time he’s like seriously sick.

His fever began Tuesday afternoon, just a couple of hours after getting home from enrichment school (Eye Level). It was also the first time I was able to drive him to and from school so I thought it was my fault lol.

Yeah, for what it's worth? Achievement unlocked!

Yeah, for what it’s worth? Achievement unlocked!

Anyway, I let the fever run its course (while giving him paracetamol) and kept him hydrated because it’s what I usually do. However, by Wednesday morning, I had to take a leave from work because his fever rose to 38 degrees. But by Wednesday afternoon, his temperature was back to 36 degrees so we even took him with us when we went to the airport to fetch a relative.

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He was still eating Pepero then

But Yuri wasn’t his active self by evening. We had dinner at Bistro Selera, but he didn’t eat anything. He tried to eat a spoonful of rice and crispy pata (yasss) but he cried saying it was too painful to swallow. I took his temperature (yes I bring a digital thermometer with me…) and it was 37.6 degrees. I had to send another message to our office manager, asking for another day of leave because I knew I had to take him to the doctor na. Continue Reading

Health and Fitness Lifestyle Personal

A Literally Heavy Burden (The Start of A Fitness Journey)

I have a heavy burden… and it’s not metaphorical.

Just a segue before I begin. Last week, two of my closest friends separately unloaded their troubles on me. One is one of my oldest and bestest friends while the other is my work colleague. I’m not in the position to disclose their problems – and I don’t think I even have the right to talk about them – but being chosen to be their confidante is a privilege.

Open note to these two friends. To my work co-pilot, you are a smart & strong woman and I’m sure you are ready to face whatever life throws your way. But I’m happy you got the outcome you were hoping for. 🙂

To my dear friend: I’m here and you were never, are not, will not ever be a burden to me. I cannot in good conscience allow you to be miserable and I want you to find your happiness. I want you to find yourself , a bright future, a new hope in life. And hey, love, too! I love you and will always be your biggest fan.

But my friends’ dilemmas are not the “burden” that I’m referring to. No, not at all, I didn’t even feel the weight. There, I just gave you the clue. Weight. 

I have a heavy burden. It’s not metaphorical, and it weighs 63 kilos. Continue Reading

Personal

4 Goals I Must Accomplish Before the Year Ends

It’s weird.

knew it was just yesterday when I wrote about my word for the year and the things I want to accomplish. Well, at least it felt like yesterday. And now it’s already September! I haven’t lost a single pound yet! I haven’t added anything substantial to my personal savings! Unfair!

Can one consider better skin to be an accomplishment? What about being to watch 5 Korean dramas in the span of 2 months? No? Okay, homeschooling nalang. I’m proud to say that I am now the mother of a reading and writing 4-year old. A bit late compared to others, a bit early compared to some, but hey we’re not focused on comparing, are we!

I know I didn’t write down my resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I know it’s nowhere near New Year now (unless we’re talking about New Year – 2017), but I believe there’s still time to accomplish these goals:

1. Lose weight

Weight loss is a long-term struggle for me. Sometimes I diet and work out like a mad man, and on some days, all I want to do is stay in bed and binge on junk food. It takes a toll on my weight (and health) so now I’m determined to commit to a realistic but steady fitness routine. Help?

Fatso. Huhuhuhu

Fatso. Huhuhuhu

2. Save money

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Lifestyle Messy Weekends Personal Shopping

Shopping + Bonding on Kadayawan Weekend

A full week has passed since the actual Kadayawan Festival but I’ve been so incredibly busy that I haven’t gotten around to writing about it until today.

Thank goodness for public holidays!

(I’m having my public holiday today actually because I opted to work yesterday.)

Anyway, my Kadayawan weekend was full to the hilt! I thought you might be interested (lol) so I’ll share with you what I did last weekend.

1. Kadayawan Bazaar

My weekend officially began that Friday. August 19th was a city holiday (as well as the 22nd, a Monday), but we opted to work. We then let off steam that afternoon at the Kadayawan Bazaar because retail therapy, that’s why!

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Went with my sister...

Went with my sister…

And met with my workmates, Sarah and Jona

And met up with my workmates, Sarah and Jona

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My sister and I went home carrying quite a few shopping bags, most of which are food and clothes, but these are my most interesting finds:

Watermelon Cold Wax - I have yet to try this

Watermelon Cold Wax – I have yet to try this

Organic pure honey

Organic pure honey

 

 

 

 

 

And coco sugar from Hijo Plantation (Banana Beach Resort)

And coco sugar from Hijo Plantation (Banana Beach Resort)

Jona got this as a freebie for her purchase at a Korean cosmetics/ skincare shop. She gave it to me bwahaha!

Jona got this as a freebie for her purchase at a Korean cosmetics/ skincare shop. She then gave it to me bwahaha!

2. Sister’s volleyball clinic with the Alyssa Valdez

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Personal

A Joyful Mess is One

I didn’t even know my blog already turned 1 year old until I saw Facebook’s “On This Day” last Friday.

joyfulmess

I don’t know why the featured image is not showing; it’s just my header though. Teehee.

I had blogged many years before I started blogging here, in Joyful Mess dot com. I’ve had DavaoMommy.com since 2012 (?) — it’s still up now but I haven’t touched it in a year.

Davao Mommy was doing well, honestly, but I just felt a need to start all over again because of three reasons: Continue Reading

Mixed Mess Personal

26 Questions on my 26th Year

My gift to myself this year is a long weekend. 🙂

I spent my 26th birthday last Tuesday, June 7, and I took two days off from work (Monday and Tuesday). I was planning on spending the entire long weekend just lazing around, eating junk, and binge-watching Descendants of the Sun.

Well, I did achieve most of the three. I watched Descendants of the Sun from dawn of Saturday to Monday midnight — it’s my first time to watch because I never had the time before last week — and boy oh boy was I hooked. I love everything about it: the actors (Song Joong Ki, because of you, it’s as if the name Lee Min Ho doesn’t exist anymore in my world), the storyline, the amazing cinematography, even the OST. It’s such a pity that it only spanned 16 episodes like how dare you take us on a lovely ride and cut it short. 

Anyway, yeah, Joong Ki, it was really nice to meet you.

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It was nice to meet me too, right? Sorry Joong Ki but I’m taken…

Other than that, I wasn’t able to truly laze around because I suddenly had appointments and my colleague, Sarah, unexpectedly gave birth on Sunday. I then met my goddaughter on Monday! But it was still generally an awesome long weekend.

My goddaughter, Xandrah. Isn't she the prettiest?

My goddaughter, Xandrah. Isn’t she the prettiest?

I planned on doing a blog marathon but life happened, so I wasn’t able to publish anything last week. So here’s a belated birthday post. Because I’m not feeling sentimental (it’s only 10 am on a weekend, after all), I decided to do something fun — and outdated, lol! I got the inspiration from a Facebook On This Day entry, from a time when publishing memes and tagging your friends was all the rage.

Here are 26 Get To Know Me questions! 🙂 Continue Reading

Messy Wins OFW-Partner Personal

A Whole New, Err, Chapter

Riyadh OFW

This week flew by like a whirlwind for me.

We spent last Saturday in Madaum, in a well-known resort called Banana Beach (I’ll write about it sometime soon — I haven’t even written about my Maragusan trip more than a month ago boohoo). Sunday was a bit of shopping and ~some~ eating and a lot of KSA crash-coursing with Job.

Only very few people know this, but I’m sharing the news with you. Job is officially an OFW as of today. Well, he technically hasn’t started work yet, but he’s already there so. Anyway. He arrived in Riyadh last night, 10 pm our time/ 5 pm KSA time. I actually barraged Nilyn of Above Precious Rubies with questions last week lol as her husband works in Riyadh, too.  Thanks Nilyn, super!

As of this morning, he was still staying in a hotel, but now he’s on the road. I don’t have any pictures of him there yet because he still hasn’t found a stable internet connection, whether wi-fi or mobile data.

We’re both half-excited and half-anxious but he’s been looking forward to this for months now so it’s more of excitement. He left his decent-paying job here to accept a job offer in Riyadh and makipagsapalaran; we pray that he will flourish there not only as a worker but also as a person. But it was a long and hard journey, especially for him.

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