Browsing Tag

Christmas

Lifestyle Personal

My One Word for 2021: Intentional

Intentional

I’m a huge fan of Christmas celebrations (my love language is gifting), and I enjoy how our homeschool lessons are centered on the birth of Jesus. But looking forward to the new year is another reason why I love the Christmas holidays! I know New Year’s Resolutions are overrated and you can simply start a new habit (or stop a bad one) any day of the year, but the first day of the new year is just so symbolic. The new year is a great opportunity for a reset, right?

A cold new year to you all!

I also look forward to my year-end/year-starter traditions such as breaking open the piggy banks with Yuri, my financial planning session with Job, and coming up with a One Word for the Year. Instead of separate resolutions, I take time to think of a word that embodies how I would like to picture the incoming year. It’s a personal tradition that I’ve been doing since 2016!

(Here are my One Words for 20162017, 2018, and 2019 – I don’t think I was able to come up with one for 2020.)

After much thinking, I decided that my One Word for 2021 is Intentional.

There are a few major goals I would like to accomplish, so I would like to begin the year intentionally rather than just going with the flow. For example, even though I’ve been in charge of budgeting our income and expenses ever since, this year, I drew a 12-month financial forecast with clearer goals in mind.

But finance is just one of the aspects of living that I would like to approach more intentionally.

During the mid part of 2020, I started getting interested in minimalism. And I don’t mean the ~aesthetic~ kind of minimalism (my house does not look anything like the “minimalist” Pinterest interior boards). Instead, I started to desire less and appreciate what I already have.

I had our cable connection disconnected and opted for Netflix (which costs less and has more shows) and YouTube (free). I also had my postpaid plan disconnected even though I was eligible for another new device. I don’t need a new phone, and since I was mainly at home, I no longer needed the mobile data allowance. I switched to a prepaid sim and never looked back!

Another thing I did to minimize was to not buy a new planner… for the first time. This was a significant change for me because I used to be a big planner junkie and easily spent thousands per year for planner and accessories. This year, I decided to use digital planners on my devices — not only free but also more convenient and efficient (for me).

I was so into minimizing that I actually had trouble thinking of a gift for myself whenever someone asked me what I would like for Christmas!

I did ask for food… like the Aromacology coffee our neighbor gave us!

I think I’m rambling here and going beyond the point, and there are still more things I would like to talk about regarding minimizing, so I’ll write another post about it next time!

What I want to say is that I would really love to approach things and the important aspects of my life more intentionally. I would love to be more intentional about my quiet time with God, my health, my family, my work, our finances, homeschooling, friendships, interests, and more. This is how I picture the year that I would like to have in 2021.

I was elated because, the other day, my devotional was about God being an intentional God with a purpose and a specific plan for each one of us. It said that because God does not approach life randomly, neither should we. I think the devotional confirmed my One Word for 2021 wonderfully. 😊

Cheers to an intentional, purposeful year ahead!

Christmas Events

Christmas and New Year 2020 in Photos

It’s currently the second of January 2021, and I’m taking advantage of the downtime before school resumes on Monday. I was actually able to finish 2 K-dramas during the Christmas vacation — Sweet Home and The Guest (all horror series, I know) — so I think it was a vacation well-spent haha!

Anyway, belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I was supposed to write at least 2 blogs back last month, but December happened and it just got super busy. I wasn’t expecting that Christmas in the year of the quarantine would be busy, but here we are. Just to clarify, my schedule was busy not because there were a lot of events (there were none), but I was trying to finish all homeschool and work tasks before the vacation. There was also some shopping to be done for Noche Buena and Media Noche as well as gifts for neighbors and family members.

Christmas and New Year this year was admittedly different from others because, aside from the lack of holiday events, we were not able to spend it with our loved ones. Both Job and my brother did not get to go home this year because of the pandemic so it was only the 4 of us at home who celebrated Christmas and New Year. Still, we are blessed to be complete and healthy so we’re happy!

Celebrating Christmas with my 8-year old who’s nearly 9!

Small Noche Buena spread enough for 4

I wasn’t able to take photos while we were opening gifts, but I gave these 2 K-Pop albums of their choice. A Blackpink album for my sister and the BTS Map of the Soul 7 for Yuri (I bought these albums in advance; hindi pa narelease ang BTS Be)

We had Christmas Day brunch at home with my cousin, Kuya Jason Olalia, and his family

On Christmas weekend, we did our yearly tradition of counting Yuri’s ipon (which is actually my Invisible-50 Challenge since he did not receive any allowance this year hahaha)

Happy New Year! This was our small Media Noche spread

I had to highlight this dish, which was the only dish we did not cook. We ordered this Chicken Biryani from a neighbor. Yum!

Celebrating Christmas and New Year as a family — virtually!

Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let’s look forward to a great year ahead!

Personal School

Earthquakes and Christmas Breaks

I suddenly have some free time to blog because Yuri’s school just (at 8pm) cancelled classes this week and declared tomorrow to be the first day of their Christmas break.

Eh yesterday was the first day of their 3rd quarter exams (class last Monday was cancelled because of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake last Sunday) and tomorrow’s supposedly the second day. Kaya bloody ang pagre-review namin ni Yuri because their subjects for tomorrow’s exam are Math, Filipino, and Mother Tongue. Okay lang yung Math; it’s the 2 other subjects that are bloody hehe. 

Yuri was already set to sleep when I received a lot of messages from fellow parents. I wasn’t checking Facebook (where the school makes announcements on its page) so I was really surprised to learn that the exams — and the Christmas party — will be postponed to January.

At first, I was upset. We spent the whole afternoon studying na eh, nasayang lang. But now that I think about it, since the strong (strooong) earthquake last Sunday, there have been numerous aftershocks felt. Not to mention no one can predict earthquakes. So cancelling classes altogether seems to be the best decision to make for the children’s safety.

Not to mention having Christmas parties seems to be in bad taste given the lives lost and the properties damaged  in Davao del Sur because of the earthquake.

Yun lang, tapos na akong magbalot ng gifts ni Yuri hahaha. And we’ve been looking forward to attending our respective Christmas parties (students inside school and parents outside school lol). Oh well, I guess they’ll have to wait until January!

(Good thing I didn’t make my gifts for my fellow parents yet. Yan pala ang advantage of homemade gifts hehe.)

Now, about the earthquakes…

Continue Reading

Mixed Mess

6 Things That Are Keeping Me Busy This Christmas Season!

Wooh busy, busy, busy! I’m feeling super guilty that I haven’t been updating my blog as often as I should, but then again it’s Christmas time. No one is not busy!

I mean, Christmas season has always been busy. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the hectic schedule that having a school-aged child brings. Events here, tasks there, preparation every-friggin-where. I could only imagine how busy moms of multiple children are. Gah! I’m just thankful I am healthy and able to do all these things! These are what’s keeping me busy this Christmas season… and I’m sure there’s still more to come!

1. Paskuhan 2017 (Yuri’s school’s Christmas show)

Christmas season means Paskuhan season for Yuri’s (and my old) school! It’s a pretty big deal, especially to the teachers and the junior high school students. It should be a big deal to the younger pupils as well, but you know how unpredictable little kids can be (special shoutout to Yuri’s class lol!). They spend weeks preparing for their presentations, and that includes the kindergarteners. For the senior kinder class, they did a nativity show, and Yuri was Joseph!

I stole this shot when I went inside Yuri’s classroom to drop him off lol

My little Joseph’s costume!

And the costumes! I’m very thankful we have a neighbor who sews (she was a seamstress when she was younger but is now retired). It was a pretty smooth process for us, and I love the outcome of Yuri’s costume. We (the parents haha) think the SK class’s show was very cute, but of course, there were a lot of clumsiness on stage. Still adorbs!

Practicing their blocking before the show started. That’s their teacher and TA/tita (teacher’s assistant)

2. Auntie’s visit

My auntie (Papa’s older sister) hails from Masbate (which is also my birthplace) and came to Davao to visit. Of course, we toured her around.

My Papa and auntie. Spot the photobomber!

We didn’t go far from Davao City since we have two senior citizens in tow, but it was still fun.

3. Yuri’s exams

The thing with 3rd quarter is that the exams are very narrowly spaced. See, Yuri has two major exams each quarter: a monthly exam and a periodic exam. There are supposed to be 3 or more weeks in between the two exams, but because of the nature of 3rd quarter (it’s in between the sem break and the Christmas break), the kids only get less than 2 weeks in between exams.

Only one of the few “dates to remember” from the last couple of weeks

And on top of that, there’s the Paskuhan in between, which means there wasn’t a lot of classroom teaching that happened due to rehearsals. So we literally just studied for the monthly exam and now we’re studying for the periodic exam!

4. Mama’s and my sister’s birthdays

There’s exactly 1 week between my mother’s and my sister’s birthdays. Enough said!

5. Work events and obligations

It’s not just Christmas season but also year-end season. For worker ants like me, that means chasing deadlines and working twice as hard to make sure everything is wrapped up nicely before the year ends. That usually also means having more clients than usual (thank you Lord) and therefore, more tasks.

I just recovered from illness here so please excuse the eye bags!

For real estate, that means having 2-3 Christmas parties in a week (one party per developer). We’re only going to 3-4 parties this year to save sanity!

6. Christmas shopping!

And finally, Christmas shopping! Because who doesn’t get stressed shopping for Christmas? Just thinking about it makes me feel tired. Last year, I was already halfway done with Christmas shopping by November. That’s how organised I was last year (to be fair, Yuri was not going to school last year). For this year, it’s already the 10th of December and I haven’t bought anything yet! Help!

How is your Christmas schedule? Kaya pa? 😀

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

Mixed Mess

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Messy Christmas!

I still can’t believe there’s only a little over 10 days before Christmas.

Half of me thinks it’s too soon (wasn’t it just yesterday when I was preparing for Christmas 2015???), while the other half of me couldn’t believe it is still December 12. My calendar is almost full!


Just last Saturday, I spent my day in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato. It’s just 3 hours away from Davao City so I didn’t spend the night there. I came there for two events – my dear friend JM’s daughter’s Dedication Day and my cousin Kuya Jason’s pamanhikan. It was just sheer coincidence that both of these important events were scheduled on the same day and took place in the same city!

Off to Kidapawan City 😎

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

15390906_10209771513537982_3194266968871783175_n

It’s the Dedication Day of my second goddaughter (and third godchild), Mia! She’s sooo purdy I can’t even. Hope you enjoy Ninang’s gifts!

Welcome to the family, Yvonne! 👯

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

Kuya Jason and his fiancee, Yvonne, are actually set to be married on the 22nd, so this pamanhikan was just for formality. More relatives will be arriving in the coming weeks so it will be a lot busier!

And during the day that I happened to be out of town, I got called twice by couriers, informing me of the delivery of two different packages. I’ve been receiving packages almost every day. That’s how my Christmas seasons always look like lol.


Because I was out the entire day last Saturday, I made sure to finish all the Christmas gift wrapping the night before. I also had to make a mad dash to buy a gift for my baby in the Mommy Bloggers Philippines gift swap, have it wrapped (I ended up buying a Christmas-themed box to make the LBC staff’s life easier), and then have it shipped. I actually already bought a gift earlier last week but I had a last minute change of mind. Continue Reading

Davao Events Messy Haul Shopping

My Finds from the Christmas Bazaar 2016

Chino's Deli

I admit that I had much more fun browsing the items on sale during last year.

I would say that the products sold by the booths last year were much more interesting than the ones on display this year, but maybe that’s just me and my hobbies speaking. You see, while I love dressing up, I don’t really get excited about hangers and piles of clothes. And shoes. And bags. And makeup. Don’t get me wrong; I love all of those things just as much as the next girl, but come on, I see all of those in malls and online stores everyday.

When I visit bazaars, I expect to discover unique knick-knacks, browse hobby stores and stores that offer products we don’t often see in malls and boutiques, sample locally made food products… So I was quite disappointed with this year’s bazaar’s lack of those things.

I found myself missing the craft, artsy, hobby, party, local organic food stalls from last year. Where were my handcrafted soap, planners and diaries and colouring books, locally made chocolates, and calligraphy stuff? Oh well.

However, I did not come home empty-handed. Okay, I almost never come home empty-handed from whatever, but yeah, you get the point. I did find stuff that sparked my interest and even discovered things that I’ll surely buy again (totally saving those business cards, guys!). Here are my finds from the Christmas Bazaar 2016. Continue Reading

Christmas Events

Highlights of Our Christmas 2015

How was your Christmas?

I have come into terms with the fact that I won’t be able to blog properly until everything goes back to normal (hopefully during the first week of January!), but I found just enough time to squeeze in an update post. Here are the highlights of our Christmas, 2015!

Christmas Eve started with me meeting my SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) Team PH friends — in other words, my work friends. We met for lunch where we, ten tenen tenen, exchanged gifts! We had lunch at Cafe Teresita near GMA Shrine Hills, which is owned by the owner of Jive Highland Resort. Why we ate there? It’s a long story! I’ll tell you about it in a post especially devoted to the one about our trip to Buda. Abangan!

IMG_20151224_123959 IMG_20151224_125926

I got this oh-so-wonderful gift from Julie, our colleague from La Carlota, Negros Occidental:

A beginner's calligraphy set + a couple of brush pens!

A beginner’s calligraphy set + a couple of brush pens!

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.

IMG_20151217_190006

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).

IMG_20151217_190749 IMG_20151215_203950_1_001_COVER

Continue Reading

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!

12363995_10208158909353485_1925969255_o

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

Continue Reading

Homeschooling Messy Weekends Real Estate Broker Diaries

Busy, Messy Weekend!

Lovely Monday everyone! How was your weekend?

Mine was uneventful but was filled with little bits of busy-bee-ness. It was overall a very fun and productive weekend and I was able to do a lot of things (except watch last Saturday’s Kalyeserye episode — I was able to catch a replay of it yesterday, though; kilig!) Here are the little pieces of fun and work from the weekend:

Site Visit

I work remotely for an Australian company on weekdays; I’m a real estate broker on weekends. This particular weekend, we had a couple of clients that we took on a site visit (aka tripping in local lingo). The projects we showed were located on the other side of the city so we had a pretty long trip.

IMG_20151121_112231 IMG_20151121_112157

My buntot (tail) tagged along with us:

IMG_20151121_104554

Christmas Decorations

We (read: my mum and our helper) started putting up decorations last week. They then put up Christmas lights around the house last Friday night.

IMG_20151121_180456

On a side note, can you believe it’s almost Christmas again? Time flies so fast it’s almost scary! Ahh!

Continue Reading