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.
I’ve been using talc-free powder ever since Yuri was a baby.
In fact, I don’t remember the last time I bought normal talc powder. I refuse to use it mainly because of the health risks that it poses. There is just no way I’m going to gamble. No thanks, I’d rather have peace of mind, thank you!
Over the years (Yuri is five now!), I have used a variety of non-talc powders and particularly favoured rice powder; however, they are not exactly easy to find, especially here in Davao City. Would you believe that just a few weeks ago, I was stressing over this because I’m already almost out of supply and I can’t find rice powder anywhere? I know it’s such a mundane thing to get stressed about, but if you’re also a mother, you would know just how important powder is in our kid’s daily lives. So running out of rice powder is a bit of a tough time.
Well, that was before I discovered that one of my favourite baby brands, Belo Baby, now includes talc-free powder in their awesome line of products!
What a relief! You see, Belo Baby is not a foreign brand in our household. I have used a lot of their products: from soap to lotion to cologne. Even though Yuri is technically not a baby anymore (or so he insists!), I am still fond of using Belo Baby products because they smell nice — the scent does not attack my perpetual allergic rhinitis-ridden nose hehe — and are gentle enough to use on tender skin. Most importantly, they do the job they’re supposed to do!
So when Belo Baby contacted me to try out their new Talc-Free Powder just when I was running out of powder, I felt like it was an answered prayer. Of course I said yes! And now I will tell you why you should try it, too, whether you’re already using talc-free powder or not.
Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder is a gentle powder that’s made with zero talc and provides all-natural protection from diaper rash. It is made from certified natural and finely milled rice and maize that absorb moisture to keep baby’s skin soft, fresh and dry. It is also carefully formulated without talc, gluten, phthalates, parabens, dyes, and most common allergens, which I love because I’m careful to avoid all of these harsh ingredients.
#BeloBaby, after all, is rafted with care for the most delicate skin, for the most meticulous moms. Unsurprisingly, Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder is the only powder Baby Scarlet Snow trusts!
And we all know children don’t really outgrow powder, so aside from diaper rash, you and your entire family can absolutely use Belo Baby to suit any purpose!
The first thing that came to my mind when I received the Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder was its pretty packaging! I absolutely loved how it looked like, but just when I thought there’s no way it could get better, I opened the container and saw the cutest soft puff. Our old brand doesn’t have a puff, and talc-free powder tends to spill over due to its lightness, so being able to use it with a puff is a brilliant idea!
Yuri and I immediately used it, and I am pleased to report that it comes with a pleasant scent that is not overpowering, just refreshing.
Not our most glamorous picture, but that’s how we really look at home haha
And speaking of refreshing, it does the job of freshening up my super active 5-year old easily! I use it on Yuri every afternoon after his daily bikes and playing…
I also used it when we went out of town yesterday to go swimming…
And I use it every time we go out so Yuri — and I — smell fresh and sweet!
I like that I don’t have to use up a lot of powder; a dab here and there is enough. I don’t know why, but I don’t like putting a lot of product on the skin. I find that with really effective products, such as this one, there is no need to slather much.
Then again, you can play with more powder if you want to because it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients! After days of using it, I didn’t notice any adverse effect on Yuri’s skin. I’m totally buying this again and again!
If you’re not using talc-free powder, you should switch because:
There’s a lot of health risks involved when using talc, including cancer.
Talc is easily inhaled and may cause respiratory issues and lung irritation.
Common side effects of talc powder use include vomiting and low blood pressure.
As indicated by the American Cancer Society, it is not clear if products containing talc does increase cancer risk. Studies have had mixed results, although there is some suggestion of a possible increase in ovarian cancer risk. As long as there is mixed information, I’ll err on the side of caution.
If you’re already using talc-free powder, you should switch to Belo Baby because:
It is meticulously made by a leading baby product brand with excellent track record.
It is widely available in all leading supermarkets and department stores nationwide.
It is all-natural with zero harmful chemicals.
It comes with a puff that makes it easier to apply the powder and, at the same time, prevents you from using too much of the product.
It is hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested.
The packaging just looks super cute!
It’s Giveaway Time!
Belo Baby and I are giving Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder gift packs to three lucky readers! Each gift pack is worth at least P659.25, shipping is on us. I think this is perfect because the school year is about to start. Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below — easy as pie!
It’s very easy to please me. Just give me yummy + pretty and I’m one happy girl! Yolks Flower Cafe + Cupcakery is one of the newer restaurants in the city, and I’ve heard all about it on social media. Flowers and cakes? Count me in! I was finally able to try it during the holidays last December, and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint.
Unfortunately, and please forgive me, I wasn’t able to take a picture of their menu. But what we ordered was the Christmas Set Bundle for P1,395. It had two pizzas, two pasta dishes, chicken, fried dumplings, and drinks.
(You can see prices of their individual dishes in their Facebook page.)
Okay, who am I kidding. It’s always shopping season in my household! But in fairness to me (in fairness to me talaga), I’ve been able to cut back on my shopping expenses. I’m not panic buying each time I find myself in the grocery anymore hahaha. I have only shopped online a couple of times for the past two months I think (and those were necessities. Yuri outgrew all of his shoes!), and they never exceeded my set budget. Also, I haven’t ordered anything beauty or skin-related for the longest time. Yay!
Aside from the fact that I need to save money because it’s almost Christmas, I need to allocate money for gasoline for the first time in my life. Gah! Good thing gasoline prices are not as high as they were before. More importantly, Job and I had the money talk (again). Job is one of the stingiest most frugal person I know, and I am inspired by him. He doesn’t buy anything he doesn’t need so he was able to save a big part of his income. Also, he doesn’t have short-term goals. He has long-term goals and he’d rather save now and enjoy later. To be honest? I’m pressured! I barely have any savings because I spent it on buying Ingrid so I really need to replenish my savings.
Anyway, speaking of shopping and saving, did you know that you can do both? I mean, we cannot not shop during Christmas season (hello, fellow ninangs and titas!). So aside from looking for discounts and coupons and going after sales, I also use ShopBack. I’ve already talked about ShopBack in the past, but I’ll give you 3 reasons why I love it.
1. Almost all of the online shops I frequent are ShopBack partners.
Lazada, Zalora, Bench, and Althea are only some of the online shops I frequent, and I was so ecstatic to learn that they’re all ShopBack partners! Althea, in particular, is such a godsend. I’ve gushed over Althea a couple of times here in my blog and it’s one of my most favourite online shopping sites ever. (April loot, September loot) I share my Althea addiction with my workmate, Lenz! As if I needed to find yet another reason to love Althea, I can also earn money just by shopping on it, through ShopBack!
(Psst, if you want to sign up for Althea, please use my referral link to receive a total of P350 discount *wink*)
2. Earnings are not meagre! They’re actually bigger than what I initially expected!
Honestly? When I first learned about ShopBack (I think that was January this year when I was contacted for a collaboration), I thought I would be earning just a couple of pesos each transaction. Nothing sizeable or significant (like earnings on ad clicks lol). But I was surprised to know I could earn a hundred pesos or even more in just one 1000-peso transaction! So imagine how much you can earn in a 5000-peso transaction! I’m not kidding; I have already withdrawn my past earnings, which I earned from just shopping.
3. Withdrawing my earnings is super easy and fast.
And speaking of withdrawing your earnings, it just takes a few clicks to do it! I put in my bank details and withdrew my earnings. I actually expected to receive it in 2 weeks, but to my surprise, I received the money within just a couple of days. Details are hazy now but I think it was around 2-3 days. And the best part? No fees and deductions. I received my earnings in full!
4. They gave me a tablet!
Okay, this last reason is personal. Any ShopBack user will experience reasons 1 to 2 (promise), but I was one of the lucky people who won their recent Win A Wish Blogging Contest. My winning entry is about the things I need as a newbie real estate broker. The prize? Anything I want that is worth P10,000. Not bad, not bad at all! I was torn between a new tablet and my own convection oven. You see, my mum’s tablet got broken and she needed a new one. Since I wanted to make her happy (chos!), I decided to wish for a tablet instead and gave it to her. Here’s the tablet from ShopBack!
Thank you so much ShopBack! Indeed, the tablet has been of great use in our real estate business.
Do you use ShopBack? If you’re thinking of signing up (and you should!), please do me a little favour and use this link!
I’ve been lurking around BeautyMNL since, I don’t know, last year?
But for some reason, I’ve never made an order there because I gravitate toward Korean products and I get my K-beauty fix from Althea — Korean products are much much cheaper there.
This time, though, I was in dire need of micellar water (regular toner is too strong for my skin) as well as some cheap but good dry shampoo (because sometimes, honestly? I don’t have to time to shower before taking Yuri to school). There’s dry shampoo on Althea but no micellar water so I thought of checking out BeautyMNL.
Love at first delivery: I am so loving the packaging — it’s ziplock!
I was originally planning on getting the Japanese brand, Biore, but then I discovered the my fave (next to e.l.f.) drugstore brand Maybelline has cheaper micellar water. I wanted to try both but decided to go with Maybelline for now.
Of course, I also bought dry shampoo for days I just can’t shower before going out. Here’s my BeautyMNL loot – with the reviews I left on the website for each of them. Continue Reading
Yuri has a history of not getting decent haircuts because he screams bloody murder each time he gets one.
So I tend to avoid pricey kiddie salons because I wouldn’t want to pay hundreds for a botched haircut. I don’t know; I kept imagining Yuri punching the barber and running out of the salon with only one side of his hair shaved.
But a few weeks ago, I decided that it’s high time for him to get a proper haircut at a proper salon (at age 4!). I may or may not have bribed him with an hour at the playroom. I chose Fun Cuts Just for Tots at SM Lanang Premier because it’s near Eye Level. Also, I’ve passed it a number of times and think it’s clean and hygienic.
I prepared for the worst (and was ready to throw money down the drain), but surprisingly, Yuri was really well-behaved. He just sat through the entire thing! I attribute it to the cool seats, the TV screens, and the skilled barber. I belatedly realised though that I should’ve had Yuri’s hair cut even shorter. I didn’t know his hair grew that fast.
Another pleasant surprise? The kiddie haircut didn’t cost me a limb! It was just P220 per cut.
I remember blogging about Korean dramas and Korean stars in my old college blog (nope, no link haha). I’ve always loved Korean food too though, for the life of me, I cannot memorise the names of the dishes. But recently, I became obsessed with Korean skincare products and makeup.
So for me, it just makes a lot of sense to order directly from Korea (via Althea, of course!). For starters, not all of the products are locally available here. Also, prices are much, much cheaper, not to mention you can earn referral points and rebates!
Without much ado, here’s the latest loot I received from Althea a month ago:
Pink packages make my heart sing!
I ordered during their Birthday Special and received…
A celebration in a box! (Plus the products in their bubble wrapped glory)
Here they are! (But not everything is mine – all the lippies are for my colleagues, Sarah and Jona)
Giddy, giddy, giddy! Sorry, no time to put on makeup – must open the package asap!
And here are the products inside the lovely pink box:
Frankly, rats are not much of a problem at our home. Now, cockroaches, that’s another story! However, lately we’ve been noticing a couple of brown mice scurrying outside our house at night. They don’t go inside our home but they’ve left “nasties” outside.
Fortunately, I received the entire line of Pest Off’s rodent control products. Here they are!
Rodent Control Products
A. Pest Off Ready-to-Use Cereal Bait
Pest Off!’s Ready-to-Use Cereal Bait contains 2nd generation Brodifacoum. It takes only a SINGLE feed to work.
1. Ready to Use Cereal Bait (50 grams) – P44.75
2. Ready to Use Cereal Bait (100 grams) – P69.25
I’m actually on a diet but last Saturday, I just had to have a cheat day.
(I am not even losing weight yet and I already had a cheat day. Something’s not right lol!)
Anyway, the reason behind the obligatory cheat day was a pre-planned lunch date with my work colleagues. I would say we felt like catching up but, really, we were just craving for cheesecake. Yummy, creamy, delicious cheesecake. Yikes!
Photo grabbed from Jona
Two things to notice: first, Yuri’s photobombing face, and second, my round face. Ugh.
Because we wanted cheesecake, it was obvious that we would go for Tiny Kitchen. And here’s what we ordered:
A month ago, we surprised our “super-friend” with a baby shower.
We originally wanted to book a hotel room for it, but the rates were too high (at least for me because I volunteered to shoulder half of the rate hehe). Because I was the self-proclaimed gala organiser of our group, I tried to look for cheaper options. I tried searching for cheaper hotels but either they lacked a swimming pool or the rooms were too tiny.
Until I decided to look for a condominium unit through AirBNB.
I have had an account with AirBNB for I think 3 years now, but I’ve never used it. But when I tried to look for condo units in our city (Davao City), I was surprised at how many choices there were for all budget ranges. I immediately spotted several ads that fit my budget and, at the same time, were pretty enough for a baby shower.
I booked a 2-bedroom condo unit at Camella Northpoint for, guess what, just P2,500 a night! Continue Reading
A little more than a month ago, just before June started, we had our huling hurit sa taginit in Banana Beach, Tagum City.
We were there on a daytour but we made the most out of it because summer was almost over! Wow, I do miss summer a bit. While I’m enjoying the rainy season now, I miss the carefree days of the past season.
Anyway, I digress. One of the most popular beach resorts in Davao Region (aside from the numerous resorts in Samal Island – which, by the way, is not under the jurisdiction of Davao City) is Banana Beach. I’m not 100% sure but I heard it is owned and/or managed by the same owner as Eden Nature Park. I’ve always been intrigued about Banana Beach but never found the time to go there, so this was a great opportunity.
I’ll show you Banana Beach through a photo story!
Banana Beach has a tourist center where the visitors gather and lounge while the staff checks or makes their reservations. They have bananas free for everyone (at least, until the last piece is taken) and the lounge area is comfortable enough.
A new restaurant has opened just 5 minutes away from home!
Technically, it’s not new-new because it’s been there for just over a year now, but it’s still an awesome new addition to our “small-town-feels” barangay. I love where I live (the highlands of Cabantian, Davao City!), but I must admit that the lack of good dining options (that is not Dexter’s or Santino’s Pizza or short order food counters) can be depressing sometimes. So when I saw Rustic Kitchen, I knew I should try it!
We were finally able to try their dishes a month ago, during Mother’s Day.
I wanted my future house to be all white and minimalist, with clean lines and natural light coming in. I was conflicted when I entered Rustic Kitchen. I want a country-style cabin, too! Perhaps I should reserve the latter for a vacation house in the province. #librelangmangarap #becausewhynotchocnut
This summer was just so hot. I know I shouldn’t be complaining as I live in a pretty comfortable house with access to air-conditioning, but during this summer, we had long brownouts almost everyday so we always experienced unbearable heat.
We had no time to organise a trip to Baguio or Tagaytay so we went local. Here in Davao Region, we also have a summer capital. It’s the small town of Maragusan, which is surrounded by mountains. Bukidnon is also a known summer destination, as well as Buda, but we’ve never been to Maragusan before and we were curious.
Anyway, we were desperate to cool down haha so we went there. It’s a three-hour trip from Davao City. There are several tourist attractions in the town and we were able to go to four. Here’s a mini photo-story of our trip! Continue Reading
I still get random cravings for Red Corner’s Pacman burger and TK’s red velvet cheesecake.
Which is quite unfortunate because I’m trying, trying, to lose weight. 🙁
Well, anyway, for those of you who can afford to eat burgers and cheesecakes without worrying about their figures (let’s switch lives? no? okay), especially if you’re planning to grace Davao City with your presence, you need to visit both Red Corner and Tiny Kitchen.
Ready for food trippin’!
Red Corner Burger Cafe
Red Corner is a small ~ actually it’s tiny ~boxing-themed burger place in downtown Davao. If you’re not careful, you can easily miss it. But it’s worth the trip.
Via Trip Advisor
The place is not the only thing that is boxing-themed; their burgers are, too. I don’t know a lot about boxing — heck I don’t even always watch Manny’s fights — so let’s leave that detail out shall we lol. Let’s talk about the food instead.
Sarah and Jona, my work colleagues, including Sarah’s hubby, Xandy, have already been there before and they recommended two burgers to me: Pacman and El Terible. Since I am only one person and can eat just one burger at a time (Yuri was there but cannot eat an entire burger on his own), I opted to buy a Pacman for dine in and order an El Terible, to go. Continue Reading
I know it’s still May and not yet officially school season, but we already started our “schooling” because we’re not depending on the school year anyway. If you’re interested, here’s our current schooling setup.
We were set on enrolling Yuri, who turned 4 a couple of months ago, in a “formal” school this school year. However, when I weighed the options, I was convinced it wasn’t our best option now. Before I tell you why, here were my requirements.
Anatomy of a Good Preschool (for me)
All of us are working. While I am working from home, my job entails following regular office hours. Because of the nature of my job, we need to find a school that is just within our area.
Location has to be good. It shouldn’t face the highway directly, and strangers shouldn’t be able to access the kids.
Given that I would need to work while waiting for Yuri, there needs to be a good waiting area conducive for work AKA quiet and comfortable.
We tried to go on a school-hunting but none of the schools within our area fit our standards. Better schools are farther away, and I am not willing to commute that far every single work day. I also can’t afford to be unavailable for a couple of hours each day to my team members.
Nuh uh. *shakes head vigorously*
So here was my new plan:
Homeschool (we haven’t officially begun as we are still in transition period — I don’t want to overwhelm the boy)
Enrol him in an enrichment school (choices were Kumon and Eye Level)
Let’s not talk about homeschooling today lol. Honestly? I haven’t laid out a concrete plan yet! So let’s just talk about the enrichment school part of the plan.
Why enrichment school? It’s not as demanding (time-wise) as regular school, but, based on my experience, is effective in driving important concepts to a child. Also, learning is personalised and according to each child’s pace — no one is pressured to keep up with the pace of the others. Finally, I want another person of authority teaching Yuri.
Both Kumon and Eye Level offer English and Math classes. Math sounds really interesting, but we are prioritising English first because Yuri doesn’t know how to write and read yet. There are also some abstract concepts (read: positions) that he can’t grasp yet. And it’s overwhelming to enrol him in two subjects. Math can come later.