July 31, 2014

BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking - Free for a Limited Time!

I wasn't completely breastfed by my own mother mainly because of the lack of information available during their time. While Yuri and I are still happily breastfeeding at 28 months now, I only breastfed for less than three months. Like my mother, I know there are still many mothers today who lack the information about breastfeeding.

Knowing that my mother could've breastfed me properly had there been information available during her time makes me very thankful for the vast resources that are at my grasp. I admit that part of the success of my breastfeeding journey is the acceptance and encouragement of my partner and my family. But when it came to extended breastfeeding, they were not so welcoming, only tolerant.

But I kept breastfeeding, and that's because of the books and articles that I was able to read about the virtues of extended breastfeeding. I don't know these women, but their words kept me going!

One of the great breastfeeding resources you can get your hands on is this book called BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking. It is written by a Filipina author! I have been meaning to buy this book but haven't found the time yet. But I know I, as well as a lot of mothers, will benefit from reading it. This is why I'm happy to announce this great news:

Free Download of Breastfeeding Book in Support of World Breastfeeding Week 2014

July 30, 2014

State of the Toddler Address!

A year ago, I wrote State of the Baby Address which was published the exact date the President gave his SONA. I can't believe that was already 1 year ago! Time flew too quickly!

This year I was not as prepared. I did try to prepare but it slipped my mind. So now, days after the real SONA, let me give you SOTA or State of the Toddler Address where I unabashedly brag about my kid in the guise of "reporting."

Here it goes. Don't say I didn't warn you!
- Yuri is still breastfeeding.

2 years and 4 months later, we're still at it. Sometimes I want to wean him off and sometimes I don't.
- He's showing a deeper love for books.

July 29, 2014

Confessions of a Recluse Blogger

I've been turning down event invites left and right.

What a haughty thing to say, right? The truth is that I do get flattered that I get invitations because I'm a solo blogger who doesn't belong to any physical organization. Thus, even if I'm not a "social" blogger or an "events" blogger, whenever I do get invited, I try to honor it.

But lately, I've been turning down invitations. It's easier to say that I'm just feeling lazy, but honestly, I jump at the chance to get out of the house and try to doll up for a change! So what are my reasons?

July 28, 2014

Breastfeeding Uncovered in Davao City

Image from Wikipedia

I believe in breastfeeding, plain and simple. I hate antagonizing moms who formula-feed, mainly because I'm not in their shoes, but I'm really very very thankful that I am able to breastfeed my son. Yuri's already 2 years and 4 months now, but we're still breastfeeding! He's addicted to it; he just can't stop hehe.

(You can read my post about extended breastfeeding here.)

I've seen the benefits, too. More than the monetary savings, I think I attribute Yuri's good social and communicative skills to breastfeeding. Of course, that's just one aspect of it, but I'd like to think the close contact between us helps!

All obstacles removed, I really hope all mothers should breastfeed. What better way to celebrate the Breastfeeding Month of August then to come together as a community to listen and learn from the Breastfeeding Guru, Dr Jack Newman, himself?


Date: August 11, 2014

Time: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Venue: SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City

Speaker: Dr. Jack Newman

July 25, 2014

Finance Friday: Your First Investment

Just a few days ago, a friend of mine asked for my help. She wanted (still wants) me to manage her finances.


Who would have thought I'd ever be some informal financial adviser of sorts? The way I described it makes it obvious that I'm not taking myself seriously. And that is kinda true because, hello, I don't have certificates under my belt!

But the calling to help other people fix the financial aspect of their lives? I'm taking it very seriously.

This friend of mine, her financial life is not really in shambles. Let's just say she made a few wrong decisions along the way, and now it's time to right those wrongs. And I'm so excited! I can't deny the joy I feel to be part of someone's journey to financial freedom.

Carried Away

During that conversation, I wanted to give her a crash course of everything I came to know about personal finance! She already tithes, so I wanted to tell her about budgeting, emergency funds, investing. Oh I could go on and on!

But thank God for he kept me from getting carried away. He whispered, "Wait. Doesn't she need to go through the first step first?"

Oh yeah. I almost forgot.

Some People Never Look; They Just Jump

July 24, 2014

Kasalang Filipino 2014 in Davao

I've always been fascinated with weddings. I seriously don't know any girl who isn't! Like many girls, I spent some hours daydreaming on what my wedding dress would look like, where I would get married (a garden!), which of my friend would be there, and of course, what my groom would look like. I kinda know most of the answers already, but I'm still waiting for that day to come! :D

So when I found out that a big wedding expo would come to the city , you bet I was interested! You see, I recently found out that it's Davao City's turn to host the Kasalang Filipino expo, which will be this weekend (July 25-27) at Abreeza Mall. To learn more about this expo, please read the press release below:

Davao’s turn has come.

After General Santos, Angeles City, and Subic have shown what they have got to be in the list of most wanted wedding destinations in the Philippines, it is now Davao’s turn to amaze everyone and showcase its local wedding industry through the fourth leg of the nationwide wedding and tourism fair roadshow—Kasalang Filipino sa Davao 2014.

July 23, 2014

Fun & Frugal Finds from Summer (to Now!)

I love talking about the finds I have because usually, they come cheap. Well, not cheap-cheap, but I'm usually persistent - and patient - enough to look for the more affordable alternatives.

I try to do this every month but I didn't for the last months because I keep forgetting to do so! I even thought to postpone it but the photos are accumulating, so it's now or never.


Pitterpat Shoes
I was on the lookout for toddler sandals last summer. It's so hard to look for acceptable ones for boys because most had velcroes and cartoon characters - no no! I love Saltwater and Florsheim ones but I wanted to look for something cheaper.

Would you believe these sandals cost P150 and P350 only? True, they're not real leather, but Yuri won't be wearing them for a long time anyway!

Toddler Bike
Would you believe this was bought on my birthday? I didn't even get to buy something for myself! Haha! But it was okay because I had more fun choosing a toddler bike than choosing what to buy for myself. #youknowyoureamomwhen...

This toddler bike was a steal because aside from being made more solidly than others (this had more metal than plastic compared to others), it's also the cheapest at only around P900!

Crayola Toddler Crayons

July 21, 2014

School Blues 2: Still School Shopping

My 2-year old completed all 4 puzzles on his own a week ago! Yay!

Yes, I'm not over toddler school yet.

Before I go on, let me just say I'm really sad that I didn't get to see Team Kramer yesterday at Abreeza Mall. Yun na sana yun eh! Makikita ko na sana si #scarletdoll! But basing on the photos on Instagram, it's a good thing Yuri and I didn't go. Grabe ang crowd!

Okay, so much for the intermission. So I'm still thinking about toddler school. Why? Two reasons. First, it's fun. Second, if I'm not thinking about toddler school, I'm thinking about Titanic. Hindi na naman ako makagetover simply because I decided to watch it in its entirety again last Saturday. Even though I've seen it a thousand times already (exagg), it's still such an emotional torment for me! I just felt inspired to watch it again after answering this and now I'm suffering. But I have no regrets. *cue tears*

Anywaaaay, I'm rambling. Ang dami ko nang intermissions so let's get straight to the point. After writing about our "School Blues" 2 weeks ago, I received mixed responses. Most told me 3 years old is too early. But an old classmate of mine (Hi, Alyza, if you're reading!) said her daughter is only 1 year old but she's already thinking about school. So hindi ako nag-iisa haha! I think SAHMs and WAHMs understand my sentiments.

July 19, 2014

The Daily Quesadilla

People who know me know I don't cook. I can cook to save a life, but I prefer not to. It's not like I don't like being in the kitchen - I do! But why don't I like cooking?

You see, our stove used to be broken. It's very usable, but one needs to use matches to light it up. MATCHES! I'm pyrophobic (it's still a wonder how I managed to chain-smoke for 2 years in college) and I don't like being so close to fire. That's it, my only reason. #sissy

Until one day, it was finally repaired! Finally!

July 18, 2014

Finance Friday: Tips to Practice Delayed Gratification


You may understand "delayed gratification" and what it means, but do you practice it?

A couple of Fridays ago, we talked about this secret key to wealth that we call "delayed gratification." We found out how it works and why it should be your ultimate mindset if you want to achieve success in your life.

Let's admit it. Living this kind of lifestyle is easier than done. But another cliché that speaks truth is this: it always seems impossible until it's done. Oh yes, it's hard, but it's not impossible!

In fact, if you begin taking baby steps now, I'm sure your future self will thank you. And me. Haha! Kidding aside, if you're clueless and don't know where to begin, fret not because I'm about to give you practical and doable tips:

1. Create a budget and maintain it.

I firmly believe that writing down should be the first step in reforming your personal finances. This does not only tell you how you can save on your finances but also show you how much money you really have after taxes. The latter is important in keeping in mind how to live within your means.

For more information on budgeting, please click visit this post: Why You Need a Budget.

2. Know the difference between needs and wants.

This is a no-brainer. I'm sure this is self-explanatory. No, a pair of Raybans is not a need.

3. Stop acting on impulse!

July 16, 2014

Bits of Forgotten Sunshine!

I first got nominated for a Sunshine Award last year, when I got tagged by Donna. But I guess I'm really a sunshine-y person because three more ladies nominated me this year! Hahaha of course I'm kidding. Maybe.

Thanks to Aby of Swirls and Scribbles, Dewmaine of Momster Teacher, and Marie of Flower Duet!

Aby tagged me first way back in May, and then Dewmaine tagged me again. It wasn't until recently when Marie tagged me again when I remembered my utang post!

Anyway, because I've already done the process before, I won't anymore do the steps like post random facts about me, etc. You can just refer to my post last year; I've stayed the same naman eh hehe. One of the random facts about me was that I've had the same Smart number since 2007, and I still have that same number now! I just realized that I never change. I'm that steady.

So now, I'll only answer the three sets of questions the three beautiful ladies asked. Here they are:

Questions from Aby
  • Have you farted in a public place? Where and when was the recent incident?hihi

July 15, 2014

How to Make Your Own Cashew Milk

I love milk. All kinds of milk. Dairy milk (fresh or powdered), soy milk, almond milk.

My son loves milk, too. All kinds of milk I mentioned above, but his most favorite one remains to be breast milk. Hee hee

Enter cashew milk:

Pictured above are three bottles. I was able to make three full bottles of cashew milk; unfortunately, Yuri drank one up before I got the chance to take a photo!

Just to make it clear, we'll still gladly drink any forms of milk available. But ever since I read a blog post about homemade cashew milk way back last year, I've been itching to make one for myself Yuri. Unfortunately, it's hard to look for raw cashews in the city! All I can see are either salted cashews, roasted cashews, flavored cashews. So my project had to be placed on hold.

One day, though, my folks were at Victoria Plaza to buy some baking materials when they stumbled upon packets upon packets of, you guessed it, raw cashews! Yay!

July 14, 2014

Lunch at Banana Leaf Asian Restaurant

So yesterday, we found ourselves at SM Lanang Premier again. I know; we're such creatures of habit.

Anyway, after looking for volleyball shoes for my sister (any suggestions?) as well as new shoes for Yuri (he went another size up! again!), we got hungry and looked for a new place to eat.
Dear baby, you're so magastos.

Despite being in SM Lanang almost every week, we have barely tried all the restaurants. You see, we don't want to venture out from the aircon hehe (except for the Sky Garden). Aside from Vikings and Hukad, we have never really tried eating at restaurants at the Fountain Court.

But this particular Sunday was different. We needed to try out a different restaurant because the old folks were on a special diet. So we hopped from one restaurant to another. Unfortunately, none served dishes that they could eat!

We almost gave up and planned to go to Seagreen Cafe way across town when we came to Banana Leaf Asian Cafe. They have Hainanese Chicken! Yay!

July 12, 2014

QOTD: Questions my 2-year old Asks

I love toddlers more than I do babies because it's the time when they develop their personality. Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that I like Yuri now that he's a toddler than when he's a baby! I love him all the same, but I prefer the company of toddler Yuri. For starters, he asks many questions now. The questions can range from sensible to nonsense to downright funny.

Well, just writing the questions here, they might not appear as hilarious to you, but when the question came out of my 2-year old's mouth, with a squeaky voice and a curious expression and all, I was just ROFL!

Here are two of the questions I remember him asking lately:

One day, I was wearing a ratty Hello Kitty shirt at home. He took notice of the print while he was breastfeeding. He identified her eyes, nose, ears, etc. He also tried counting the flowers (operative word is "tried"). Then he asked me the question:

July 11, 2014

Green Eggs and Ham! And Red Rice!

And homemade oatmeal cookies. And fish. And native chicken. And lots of fruits and vegetables.

That's what I have been eating these past days. (Of course, except the green eggs and ham. But I'll get to the green eggs part later.)

I know I promised to make a followup post for Finance Friday today. You see, last week, I talked about the secret key to wealth. It is not my mostly read post so far, but it garnered some of the widest and meaningful reactions in social media. It is also one of my most widely shared posts. And that's great! This is because it means that a lot of us are becoming more aware (or more concerned) of our actions and how it can affect us in the long-term.

Then, I promised that this week, I will talk about the tips that one can use to utilize the power of that "secret key." But I've been churning out one heavy post after the other this week, and I can't manage the weight anymore! I really need to write something light muna!

Monday - School Blues
Wednesday - Priest vs. Single Mom
Thursday - Bad Influence

So, again, let's talk about something light for a change? What about our diet change? Hee hee.

Since the beginning of this month, we have begun eradicating processed foods from our diet. It is a hard change since we all have been using processed foods since, well, birth. What fueled it is my parents' 11-day diet plan. They consulted this clinic, had a complete body analysis, and received a specific diet plan good for 11 days. Of course, damay-damay na. And I'm so happy because my Balik-Alindog program was "naudlot" and I can finally continue it without the temptations around!

I'll talk about our specific diet changes in a future post (I need to compile more photos first). For now, here are some of the "major" changes we've done:

Any household with a toddler would know how important cookies are. Please tell me you're agreeing with me!

July 10, 2014

Bad Influence

"Tanga ka! Tanga ka!"

The words pierced my consciousness while I was in my momentum, working, yesterday afternoon. I know Yuri and his yaya were out on our yard with some kids from the neighborhood. Just like any other day. The only difference was that the peaceful playing and laughter was interrupted by a persistent --

"Tanga ka! Tanga ka! Tanga ka kasi"

The words were yelled by a 7-year old boy to a 4-year old girl, whom he previously hit. The girl cried when he hit her accidentally, and the boy, for some reason, thought the girl was just being stupid. And the words weren't yelled in a childish manner. The words sounded angry.

I waited for them (actually, for Yuri's yaya, since she was the grownup) to settle it, but the yelling still continued so I went outside.

Careful not to sound too angry, I chastised the boy. No I didn't ask him to apologize. I believe I'm not the one who should do that. What I wanted was for him to stop bullying the girl.

And then I saw my sweet 2-year old Yuri in between them, seemingly unaware of the fight he's in the middle of. But I know he's an impressionable child. All toddlers are. I prayed that he wouldn't copy the behavior he saw that afternoon.
Not during the fight

I've seen bad influence work in many lives including mine. But I wasn't prepared to see it happen so early in my toddler's life. More than that, I was really shocked to hear such hurtful words from such a young boy.

Is it true then? That today's society is raising meaner kids?

July 9, 2014

Priest vs. Single Mother: My Two Cents

It was yesterday when I saw the video showing a priest giving a sermon to a young, unwed mom in an angry and quite humiliating way. It was the lady's child's baptism.

You can see the video here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=792490147452349

I wanted to react right then and there. This is because aside from being a single mom myself, I also experienced a "milder" form of bullying from a Catholic church worker during my son's baptism, too. Never mind the fact that I'm not Catholic in the first place. It's a long story.

But I chose to give my 2 cents a day after (which is today) to prevent myself from reacting from indignation.

As a single mom, too, I can strongly sympathize with the lady. That doesn't mean I admire what she did.

July 7, 2014

School Blues

I admit, atat akong magschool si Yuri.

To be completely honest, my reason is not really to boost Yuri's development. That's because, bragging aside, I'm confident in his development. In several blog posts, I gave into mommy pride and talked about his superb language skills. Chos, superb talaga? Actually, hindi naman siguro. Talagang talkative lang ang bata and can communicate flawlessly (talking and listening) for a 2-year old boy.

And I'm happy that despite his walking delays, his motor skills are now great. Most importantly, he's now friendly (unlike before) and interacts with others really well.
So, no, my reason is not Yuri, although I'm certain schooling will do great things for him. To be really honest, it's for me. Perhaps so that I'll meet more people (more moms, actually) and hopefully be less lonely.

I want to homeschool Yuri, and I believe I can, yet the longing to regularly go out and meet new people outweighs it.

But I couldn't say it out loud for fear of being judged as selfish.

July 5, 2014

Little Pieces of Happy: My Blog, Version 2.0!

Hello hello!

Some of you might have noticed the changes that occured to my blog this week. Some of you might not have. The second group are those who were busy devouring my words and couldn't be bothered to look at the blog design.

Right. As if. Hahaha!
May 2014

Anyway, the change was supposed to happen all at once. You know, the usual scenario of the developer tweaking the codes in her computer, keeping everything private. But my current codes didn't download well, so she needed to tweak the design live. That explains why you might have noticed weird changes every now and then.

July 4, 2014

Finance Friday: The Secret Key to Wealth

So I guess many of us have already heard of the famous Marshmallow Test.

You know, the study conducted by Stanford University in the 1960s on 600 4-year old children. A child was given a marshmallow and was told that if she doesn't eat it right away, she'll have another one later.

Basically, the two options were these: one now or two later?
Image from Youtube

It sounds like a no-brainer, but to 4-year olds, that's tough. I mean, who wants to wait? But only 30% passed the test. Later in life, the researchers also discovered that this 30% are the more successful of the group. Interesting, right?

So what's the point I'm driving? Simple. The secret key to wealth is more than self-control; it's more than sheer will-power. The secret to wealth is this:

July 2, 2014

Please Bear with Us

My blog is currently under construction, so you might notice some weird changes here and there. My current codes didn't download well, so the developer has to do all the work live. Hopefully, it will be over this day.

In the meantime, please continue reading! :D

My 5 Blog Turn-Ons

I just learned from Rea's blog that yesterday was Social Media day. Oh wow, they have a day for everything now, don't they? I wonder when they'll make a Mom Bloggers' Day? Or is there?

I'm a regular user of social media. 6 years on Facebook, 4 years on Twitter, and a year and a half on Instagram. Often, I only open the websites to share links, chat, and look for something to read.

So I guess you can say that I'm not the ideal like-magnet user. I'm more of a blogger (didn't you notice?) and I broadcast my life here and interact people through it, making it my social media. With that in mind, let's talk about bloggers, er, blogging!

You see, I'm the kind of person who needs to read for hours before sleeping. I know it's a tasteless comparison, but I'm very Kris Aquino in that aspect.

I used to be able to read entire books in one sitting, but with my attention span now, I prefer to read blog posts. That is why it has become my habit to pocket maybe 5-15 blog posts per night.

When the usual blogs that I follow don't have updates, I turn to the TopBlogs site to look for new blogs. Despite my sched, I make time for it for fear of running out of reading material!

Once in a while, I discover blog gems that I end up subscribing to. These are the ones which I think should gain huge readership (and my loyalty hihi) simply because they have the following:

1. Correct Grammar

I admit that I am a Grammar Nazi but only in the right context. I won't hold it against you if you commit mistakes on social media, on spoken and/or casual conversations, or if aminado ka na hindi ka magaling sa English and prefer not to use it. After all, it's just a language.
Photo: imgfave.com

But I think blogs should be held to the same standards as publications because they are also widely read. Sadly, it is very rare to find bloggers who really know how to use the language.

July 1, 2014

The Steady Weekend That Was

The past weekend was, you guessed it, a steady one. The days were smoother for me mainly because bati na kami ni Job. Actually, we didn't fight (ako lang nagtampo) so it's more accurate to say because I already forgave him.

Not forgiving someone is like letting him (or her?) steal our joy, no? And our peace, too. If you don't forgive, you're the loser!
This is my current favorite photo of Yuri. Doesn't it look very peaceful? And really cute? #fishing

So again, the past weekend was a smooth-sailing one for me. I'll let the photos do the talking na. Hee hee.

Friday means sugar indulgence!

Our tita (a neighbor who's very close to our family) recently came back from a trip to the States. She got back bearing pasalubong of course. Ano pa nga ba. I didn't care for the cosmetics and bags. I made a beeline for this:
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