September 29, 2014

Catching up and Chikahan with College Friends

 Photo from Christine's camera

I was finally able to get together with some of my college friends yesterday! All of us are mostly based in Davao lang naman, but we never see each other - ever. Davao City might have a "small town" feel but I realize it's really huge because I rarely bump into my friends. The last time I saw them was March 2010!

Many say na para matuloy ang lakad, it should be unplanned. And I agree - it works, but only for people who are single. Diba? For moms like me, we need to know the schedule way abead of time so that we can plan around it. Or is it just me?

Knowing this, last month, my old roommate Hazel, and I gathered our Davao-based "superfriends" - JM,  Christine and George - for a long-overdue reunion. After postponements and various venue changes, we finally had a catching up and chikahan session yesterday.
Photo from Christine's camera

I suggested Annabelle's Cafe in Abreeza Mall for three reasons: first, it's inside a mall so we won't have to worry about possible rain, second, the place is really pretty, and third, there's a play area right inside the cafe. Perfect!
I'll be reviewing the place and the food in another post; today, I'll talk about realizations (silly and not silly) muna. Here they are:

1. I'm seriously getting fat again.

September 27, 2014

Organizing Tips and Tricks for the Home

I re-discovered this gem of an organizing post over at Buzzfeed. I say "re-discovered" because I already read this post in the past; I just stumbled upon it again just earlier. Here are my favorite tips that I'll probably be applying sooner or later!

7. Utilize Wall Space to Hang Utensils

8. Use a Deep Kitchen Drawer to Store Utensils Vertically

Use a Deep Kitchen Drawer to Store Utensils Vertically

23. Store Matching Sheets Inside of Their Pillowcases

33. Make a Pressing Surface to Replace Your Ironing Board

Make a Pressing Surface to Replace Your Ironing Board

36. Hang a Ladder from the Ceiling for Air Drying Clothes

Hang a Ladder from the Ceiling for Air Drying Clothes

46. Label Your Cords

Label Your Cords

49. Mark and Label Everything!

Mark and Label Everything!

*All photos are lifted from Buzzfeed; links to original sources are there.

There are dozens more of tips in the original post; if you want to learn more about those tips, just head over to the original Buzzfeed post

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September 26, 2014

On Shopping and Leisurely Spending

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Like any other warm-blooded woman,  I adore shopping. But I also write passionately about personal finance. Can I do both at the same time?

I don't see why not.
I have heard about spending diets where you shouldn't shop for a period of time; a fellow blogger, Edelweiss, does that. I am amazed at their willpower because I simply can't stop shopping.

You see, I have come to terms with myself that I will always like shopping. Blame that on reading Clueless books in 6th grade. For me, budgeting and saving will be futile if you feel you're being deprived. I think it will just cause burn out,  which leads to quitting.

Just like in a diet where you sometimes go on cheat days, I believe it's healthy to occasionally spend on ourselves, too.

September 24, 2014

My Friends are in Amazing Race, Duterte, and Other Stories


1. My Friends are in Amazing Race

During high school, I had two very close girlfriends: Zarah and Osang. Zarah and I were called "twins" because we looked alike daw (she's a lot prettier), while Osang and I were kindred spirits because we had a lot in common. We mostly grew apart, but I still consider them dear ones.

One thing I don't have in common with them, though, is that they are adventurous (while I'd rather stay home), so I really wasn't that surprised when I found out they got into the final teams competing in this year's Amazing Race:
Zarah and Osang, taken from Zarah's Facebook account

I don't watch a lot of TV, but I'll make sure I'll try to follow (follow talaga) Amazing Race. Woot! Go Zarah and Osang!

PS: They're the only team in the game not coming from Luzon! You can watch the trailer here.

2. Duterte for President

September 22, 2014

Why I Am Still Here and Still Blogging

My automatic answer would be this: to stay sane. Then I may laugh as if I'm kidding. Or maybe not.

Because now that I truly think about it, I realize that the reasons go deeper than what I assume. My blog is now 2 years old, very much like a toddler, yes, and I'm still in love with blogging.

Last year, during my first blog anniversary, I talked about the reasons why I blog. After another year, I still agree with those reasons wholeheartedly. But as things remained the same, a lot of things also changed. There are times when I didn't care about the numbers at all; there were (but fewer) times where I obsessed over SEO. There were all-time high traffic spikes and days when traffic would stall or worse, go lower and lower.

There were times I felt confident about my writing ability and there were times I thought I shouldn't be writing at all. And there were times when apart from the positive response I was used to (where the worse were just the insincere ones), I received personal attacks for speaking my mind.

As you may see, blogging is a volatile venture, and as a person who thrives in routine and familiar, I abhor volatile. So why am I still here?

September 20, 2014

Del Monte Kitchenomics Calls All Cooking Divas from Davao, Cebu, and Manila!

I grew up knowing Del Monte, and by extension, Kitchenomics. Even though I rarely cook (I mean, I can cook if I try, and I think I have the palate; I just don't like fire), I love eating.

I also like reading, so much that when I was young, when I ran out of reading material (no Internet!), I'd leaf through my mother's recipe books. Occasionally, my "reading list" would include recipe cards from Del Monte Kitchenomics!

(This - and Masterchef - explains why I know a lot about food and cooking.)
Now, I know there are hundreds more of you who are truly passionate about cooking, and I have great news for you! You see, Del Monte Kitchenomics will be hosting a grand event on October 12. This is a reunion of Del Monte Kitchenomics members to celebrate their 30th anniversary. It will be held simultaneously in Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

Isn't that great? On October 12, 180 moms from all over the country - 80 from Manila, 50 from Cebu, and another 50 from Davao - will gather to cook up a Del Monte storm. There will be cooking stations where 365 recipes will be prepared for the cooking divas. It will take place in Market! Market!, Gaisano Grand Mactan, and NCCC Mall. So join us!
The highlight of the event is a big cooking activity; however, there are several more fun activities that everyone is invited to take part in, so don't hesitate to come. Bring your family along! Freebies, prizes, and a chance to try a lot of fun family activities await!
To register for the Cooking Activity, send your FULL NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, and MOBILE NUMBER via email or text to Ann Quiogue - or 0915-8398582. Mention which leg you will be attending: Manila, Cebu, or Davao (I'll be here!).

I'll keep you posted about the event, so please check for updates. See you there!

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September 19, 2014

Passive Income: How to Earn While You're Sleeping

Passive Income
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To be honest, I only heard of the term, "passive income," a couple of years ago when I first started learning about money. Blame that on being raised by parents who believe money should not be publicly discussed and never receiving even a day of financial education at school!

But wait, doesn't my background sound familiar? Because if you're also a Filipino from a middle-class background and also got "traditional" education, you can probably relate. Right? Let's not fret, though, especially now that we understand how important financial education is!

So what's passive income?

This is basically a source of income that you don't have to consistently work hard for. In other words, this is income you get even when you're not doing anything.

Sounds great, right? Imagine not having to worry about your electricity bill because you know a source of passive income takes care of it. Work smarter, not harder, as they say!

It's not surprising to know that if you want to achieve a level of financial independence, what you need to establish is passive income.

How Different is it from Windfall?

Windfall is money you didn't expect. For example, it could be from an inheritance or a donation or a tax return. Both are not immediate products of working. The difference between a windfall and passive income, however, is that the latter comes regularly.

In other words, it's almost like a salary that you get without lifting a finger. However, unless you have millions in your account that you can freely use to invest, please take note that passive income usually doesn't come right away. It arrives after years of work and investment (remember delayed gratification?).

Common Sources of Passive Income

September 18, 2014

There's a Round Rainbow After the Rain!

Earlier today, around 11:30 am, our usual delivery of mineral water arrived. Then, the delivery men told us to look at the sky outside. It was my mother who first went outside as I was still busy working, then she went back inside to get her sunglasses, and then she immediately went back outside.

Yuri and his yaya followed, too. Curiosity was killing me, so I finished what I was doing and went outside. They pointed to the sky and I saw this:
Some say it was a halo; some say it's a circular rainbow. I like rainbow more because it is colorful. What do you think? Isn't it beautiful? God's works are truly awesome.

Let me tell you that the photo doesn't do justice to the actual view at all.

I don't know whether it's still there or not. All I know is that I won't go out anymore since it is hot (as opposed to yesterday's cold and dreary), and passers-by were wondering why I was in the middle of the street with a camera in hand, looking like this:
What can I say? The future's so bright I got to wear shades! Happy Thursday, everyone!

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September 17, 2014

Me, Myself, and Bags

I have a secret, illicit affair with bags. Secret because only a few people know about it, and illicit because I could not commit. Yes, I drool over bags but only behind the comfort of a screen.

I've never made a splurge yet.

If I am to choose between shoes and bags (clothes are, of course, necessary), I would choose bags because they are useful to me and I think they're a lot prettier. As a mom, I think I can live in my flat shoes and Crocs forever. Haha!

But bags? I couldn't have enough of them - well, virtually anyway. In fact, I'm kinda ashamed to admit that during the Accreditation seminar I attended last weekend, whenever things get boring, my eyes would wander over to my classmates' bags. We were only 14, but I spotted at least 2 LVs and a Tory Burch. My own seatmate's bag was a black Prada Tessuto Nylon & Saffiano tote bag.

Ugh, I am hopeless.

What's funny is that I always chicken out whenever I finally find a bag I like. Last time, I mentioned that I bought a new phone, but minutes before that, I was THISCLOSE to buying this pretty black Kate Spade bag:

For serious bag lovers, this is no big deal, but I'm only an admirer from afar hahaha. I really liked the bag, but as usual, back out na naman ako. In fairness, I was able to buy a phone at half the cost of the bag. #kuripot

Well, I can't keep myself from bag-hunting, though, and here are my other crushes:

September 15, 2014

I Got A New Title (and a phone, too!)

In 2010, I got the title, UP alumna; during the same year, I became a member of the workforce. It was 2012 when I got called "mother." I became a "blogger," too. Can you guess what my new title is?

Nope, you'll probably neveeeer guess. Even Job had no idea. Even I didn't have any idea until last Wednesday, too!

Ehem, as of yesterday, I'm officially a Real Estate Accredited Salesperson.
(Technically, I still need to complete my requirements and get my license from the PRC but you get the idea.)

Come March next year, God-willing, I may call myself a Real Estate Broker, too.

(After, ugh, 8-week reviews and an exam!)

This is so surreal because I don't have any background - or interest - in real estate at all!

But my mother has been wanting me to at least try for some years now. I don't have to do it full-time anyway naman daw. And she just told me about this seminar last Wednesday ha, so I was really shocked. I didn't have the heart to refuse her anymore since she's been requesting me to do it nang ilang beses na, and this might be the last of the seminars for accrediting salespersons.

New Perspective

September 13, 2014

Working from Home vs. Working at the Office

So yesterday, when I was finishing my report for the day (with a bowl of macaroni salad beside my laptop), I chanced upon this infographic that made me smile.

As in Cheshire cat's grin level.

Look at this tongue-in-cheek outline of a typical day of a homebased worker vs. an office-based worker:

Save for the masturbation part, it's funny, right? But don't get me wrong. My days are NOTHING like the one described above!

For starters, the life of a single homebased worker and the life of a WAHM or work-at-home mom are worlds apart. Despite my flexible schedule, I still find myself waking up at 6:30 - 7am because a certain unnamed toddler wakes up that time. Also, because of the nature of my job, I can't do my work in an hour. Instead, I work for 6-8 hours each day. But that's not bad at all because I earn more and I don't even have to leave the house.

Yet there are some things here that I can certainly relate to. I take a lot of time to eat, I eat lunch comfortably in bed (with my toddler - yes I know I'm a bad mother haha), and I get to be updated about blogs and the news via internet.

And, oh, I take a shower before my lunch break, too.

Let's just keep that a secret.

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September 12, 2014

Silly Yuri Stories: The Impromptu Shot

I think you'll agree with me when I say toddlers are truly a joy to be around. For me, it's because their innocent/naughty antics still pass off as funny and adorbs because of their cute faces!

Yuri is always fun to be around with because he's so bibo and talkative (he's kinda shy around strangers though). But out of all the funny moments we have with him, I think Wednesday tops it.
(Before I proceed, have you noticed the memes on Facebook? Yung about books, movies, memories, etc? I actually got tagged in a book meme, but I seriously haven't been reading books since I had Yuri. Bad! Anyway, I love the memes coz they remind me of what Facebook used to be like back in college, only before, we used to write the memes in notes!)
Okay, so much for that intermission. I know. Anyway, last Wednesday kasi, my mom stayed home to do Purok Leader duties. Free polio & measles vaccines were given, so she had the mutipurpose hall and facilities and food prepared. Her presence was also needed.

We really thought the vaccines given were for babies so I didn't pay much attention. Now, that morning, my mom wanted to bring Yuri along para wala lang, to play lang with the other kids and observe the nurses. My mom brought his records, too, just in case neighbors ask her what they should bring.

So yun na. As usual, Yuri was so excited to go out because he's quite the lakwatsero. Also, the multi-purpose hall is just beside the playground. I opted to stay home since I had work. Later that morning, I would receive a life-changing phone call. #chos

September 10, 2014

My Expo Mom 2014 Fun Finds

I try my best to be a wise shopper. If I pass by a clothing store sale, I can easily ignore it. Promise.

But I have two shopping weaknesses: food and kid's stuff. Biglang bumababa ang financial IQ ko jan. So when I received an email last week about Expo Mom coming to Davao, I knew I had to mentally prepare myself to practice restraint. Haha!

Looking back, it was a good thing that there weren't too many booths so it was not so overwhelming. Because of that, I was able to examine all products and decide 3x whether I absolutely needed to buy them or not. Which was not hard because I came with a checklist!

Yes, ako na ang prepared. Anyway, I promised to talk about my finds today so here they are:

1. Kiele Anti-Mosquito Cologne

Upon entering the expo, I made a beeline to Kiele's booth for two reasons. First, our last bottle of GIGA insect repellent is almost gone, and second, I'm curious to use a good-smelling repellent. Relate?
A bottle costs P199

Verdict: Woah I didn't know a mosquito repellent could smell this nice! And the scent lasts long ha; in fact, you can use it as an actual perfume. As for its mosquito repelling power, I'm glad to report that Yuri hasn't gotten bites since he used it last Sunday. I'm definitely buying this again!

2. Human Heart Nature Loot

September 9, 2014

Choose to be Good

I have a confession to make.

I regret writing all those negative posts about my yaya. Don't get me wrong; they are all true. And it did feel good to finally let the rants out from my system. But afterward, it's still me who has to deal with the negativity, and it's me who indelibly marked my blog with complaints that are better left in my private life.

And most of all, I failed to keep this blog positive (little pieces of happy? seriously, Maan?) and more importantly, God-glorifying.

I tried to uplift the situation by reminding myself that despite her many flaws and offenses, I am extremely blessed to have her as she does truly love my son like her own brother. To be honest, I don't know what I would have done without her. It occurred to me that I might not find another yaya who loves Yuri as much as she does.

But I guess it was too late; negativity has already prevailed.

I shared this with Job the other night. Actually, I kept the details a secret because he knows Honey's offenses, and if he knows I'm referring to her, he would surely take my side. As seeker of his advice, I wanted - needed - him to be neutral.

I told him about it as vaguely as possible. I mentioned that lately, I was being mean and it's disconcerting (for me) how easy it's becoming for me to speak ill of another person.

He wisely chose to not give me a sermon (he never does, actually). Instead, he told me this (translated to English from Filipino):

The truth is that we are given only two choices in life: the good and the bad. As Christians, we should always strive to do what's right in God's eyes, even if most of the time, it's the harder choice.

His words were very simple, but they hit my core. Yes, Job is right. I can only choose to either do good or do bad, and for God, I should strive to always choose good. Do good, speak good, even see good.

Then he gave me a Bible verse. I initially thought it would have to be a sermon or a warning. But I was wrong as Job's verse for me was no other than God's Promise of Restoration:

I know that context-wise, it was a promise meant for Israel, but heart-wise, I know God also has me in mind during that time. There was truly no verse more perfect than this one that God told Job to give me!

I felt so blessed with the promise that despite my many flaws and offenses (sound familiar?), I will be forgiven as I am loved.

Which reminds me to always choose forgiveness and love, too. Let's choose to do good.

PS: If I happen to have single readers out there, I pray that you find a Christian man who has a personal relationship with the Lord and is strong enough in faith to guide you spiritually. Amen?

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September 8, 2014

My Expo Mom 2014 Experience

I admit that I always get a little jealous whenever I read about events for moms and babies held in Manila. I do not live in Manila so obviously, this is a problem for me. That's why when I found out last week that Expo Mom's going to be in Davao City for the weekend, I knew I wouldn't miss it.

Of course, ako tong si "pasama," si I dragged Yuri and my sister to Abreeza. Here's what Yuri and I wore - super kaduper casual!
 Mango sweater, Old Navy shorts, SM Department Store sneakers, Fossil bag
Crib Couture shirt, forgot the brand of the shorts, Elle kicks

Yes, I am aware I look fat and lousy in that photo, but I like Yuri's expression so...

Anyway, upon arriving at the mall, we first spent around 30 minutes in National Bookstore. Of course. After finally paying for our purchase, we went na to Expo Mom bazaar.

The bazaar was actually quite sparse because there were not very many sellers there. However, any mom would surely end up buying several items because the lack in number made up for the quality of items. No, this is not sponsored. I just really like how the stores cater to the needs of modern moms: from healthy food to organic products for the body to learning materials!

September 6, 2014

A December Bride by Denise Hunter

Image from

This is a refreshing read if you want something short, light, and pleasantly romantic. What comes as a bonus is the Christmas setting, which we know is coming sooner than we think!

Layla O'Reilly, our heroine, is about to attend the wedding of the year: her cousin and ex-fiance's. To say she avoided it like plaque is an understatement. As luck would have it, Seth Murphy, her ex-fiance's bestfriend and just another person she has vowed to not have anything to do with, comes to her rescue - the same Seth who has also been secretly in love with her for years.

In a sudden twist of events, the civil date leads them to accidentally announce their own faux engagement! Failing to clarify their mistake, they are "forced" to act as if they were lovers soon to get married. You have to read the book to know the things they have to do to go through the fake engagement, and you have to read it to know how everything eventually falls into place!

There are several things I like about this book. First is how everything is written in a "wholesome" manner, which proves that a romantic story doesn't need to be about sex. Second, I really like Seth's character, which I find to be the most developed one. Finally, as a Christmas-junkie, I love the holiday sceneries Denise Hunter sets up as backdrop to the romantic scenes.

However, if you're looking for an intellectually-stimulating book, this may not be for you. Like what I said, it is a light read. If you don't want cliche romantic plots and characters (like Layla's scheming cousin), you might want to try something else. Finally, if you're looking for something more theologically-heavy, this may not help you as it only subtly touches the subject of faith.

Overall, if what you're looking for is a refreshing, romantic, and heartwarming experience that you can read in one sitting, A December Bride definitely is for you!

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers review program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions I have expressed are my own.

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September 5, 2014

Things I Wish My Yaya Would Stop Doing

So our yaya's here to stay, at least until the semester ends and until she's finally able to pay her debt in full. I explained last time that before, we decided to let her off the hook, but because of her "offenses," we decided to make her pay.

Unlike most of the comments I received, no we're not being too kind employers to let her stay. We just really don't have a choice for now.

And to be honest? I can see Honey's effort to improve herself. Who knows? It's not yet too late for her to change, diba?
Now, I always say that I'm very contented Honey as Yuri's yaya, Honey, and that's true. That's primarily because she really loves and adores Yuri as if he was her own brother. So I'm hoping she'd change the other flaws in her character.

Since it's possible that she'll be remaining with us until the end of the year or early next year, I want to make it as pleasant as possible. For that to happen, there are things I wish she'd stop doing. You must be wondering why I don't just go ahead and tell her. Simple. We tell her about these things many times but she doesn't really follow!

I wish she would stop:

September 4, 2014

Funny Kind of Weird!

Today, I have a random story! Uso pa ba ang Throwback Thursdays? Haha. If it is, or even if it's not, I have a throwback to share. It happened to me a long long time ago. Mga last Monday.

This photo is totally unrelated to the story, but here's Yuri showing off his "building."

You see, last week, Yuri and I were watching TV - bad momma moment I know. In my defense, the only local TV show that I follow was on: Pure Love. Please tell me you like that show, too. It's a guilty pleasure! Secret lang natin.

Anyway, we were watching TV when an advertisement of a popular milk for preschoolers came up. I really don't remember the brand as I don't bother remembering milk brands. But I jokingly asked Yuri, "Gusto mo yang milk?"

September 3, 2014

Kuripot Finds from Sunday

Aside from the "injury" Yuri had gotten (which has now totally healed by the way! Praise God!), my weekend was also a weekend of shopping.

Kuripot shopping that is!

To be honest, my priority last Sunday was to buy Yuri some new shorts and jeans. Kasi...

Tumaba sya!

Finally! Hahaha. Some of you may already know that Yuri has always been on the slim side, and though he grows taller, since I buy long clothes (to accommodate his lanky frame), he barely outgrows them. Some of his clothes he's worn since he wasn't even 1!

Now, a couple of weekends ago, I noticed that one of his jeans didn't fit him around the waist anymore. They used to be long pants, but Yuri now uses them as clam-diggers. This time, I the Velcro (in lieu of the zipper) can't stay closed!
But since the outfit looked cute, di ko na binihisan. Di naman halata.

September 1, 2014

Yuri's Booboo, Victoria Osteen, and Other Stories

Unlike many other girls I know, I really can't say I grew up a tomboy. I would be a disgrace to them if I call myself a tomboy. I don't even know how to play patintero!

I was the kind of child who preferred reading books, going to my friends' houses to "bond" and "talk." You can say that I was (and am) pretty much a sissy.

Which comes as a major disadvantage, I learned, if one becomes a mom to a toddler boy. That's my first story. Here it goes.

1. Yuri's Booboo

I already grew accustomed to my 2-year old's daily antics which came with regular bumps and falls. I've gotten over those already. What I may never get over, though, is blood and broken skin!
Especially when it's mere millimeters from the eyes! Lord, thank you!
They were playing on Friday afternoon in the living room when I heard a bump and a scream. Turns out Honey wasn't looking and Yuri hit the sharp corner of a cabinet. Poor boy! And he was so mabait that after crying a bit and nursing, he just went back to his happy self.

I actually placed a corner cushion there, but it was such an eyesore that we took it off again. Anyway, Yuri knows how to avoid it. How wrong was I? Right after the accident, I had Honey put it back again.

Lesson learned: an eyesore is better than a black eye!

2. Yaya Update: Honey's Still Here
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