December 29, 2014

Christmas Luncheon with Friends at Belito's Vineyard

Did I really write "Christmas Luncheon"? My friends would surely laugh at the term, but the old lady in me is pleased haha. So let me call it that, and besides, it's not as if I could call it a “party," and “get-together" is too generic a term. Riiight?
Photo by Christine Mata

So thank you for reading that totally pointless opening banter hee hee. Anyway, today, I'll tell you about this Christmas luncheon (stop trying to make luncheon happen) with my friends at this new discovery called Belito's Vineyard.

We had other options including Sea Green and Gogi Gui, but the night before our date, I suddenly craved for paella. Which, in hindsight, was weird since I am not a fan of paella. Still, I searched for the best paella in town. Tiny Kitchen wasn't an option since we didn't see it as toddler-friendly, but I stumbled upon a review of Belito's Vineyard.

No one among us was familiar with the place, but the photos of the food and the ambiance were effective enough in enticing my friends. Aha, paella, here I come!

Before I talk about the place, let me force upon show you adorable photos of us (Warning: Photo overload):
Photos above by Christine Mata

December 27, 2014

Photo Story: What Christmas 2014 Was Like

Hello! How are you guys? I can't believe it's already the weekend after Christmas. Wasn't it just yesterday when we were scrambling for gifts for family and friends? Now, it's nearing New Year's Eve and we're gonna say goodbye to 2014! I'm not yet ready!

So, because I'm still in a Christmas mood (itis still Christmas, right?), as usual, in tradition of documenting my Christmases with Yuri (hopefully soon with Job!), here are photos to show how I spent my Christmas. I hope you could tell me about yours, too!

Christmas Decorations

December 26, 2014

How Cervical Mucus Helps you Conceive

Most people know I didn't have a planned pregnancy. However, you might not know that I was certain I was going to be pregnant during that time. That was because I had a very regular period (I still have, actually) and knew that I was fertile and ovulating.

I know many other women who have been trying to conceive. On the contrary, there are also many women who get pregnant unplanned. Save for those who have genuine reproductive issues, I think it all boils down to awareness of your body and your ovulation cycle.

Tracking ovulation is one of the number steps you can do in order to get pregnant fast. Being able to know when you ovulate means knowing when to baby dance as well to increase your odds of conceiving.

There are many ways to track your ovulation; one of these is by checking your cervical mucus. If you are into checking your cervical mucus, you know that the cervical mucus change from time to time. Its colors could vary from light brown to light pink to white to clear white.

Our friends at say that we should be looking for an egg white cervical mucus to determine ovulation. This kind of mucus is very clear and stretchy; it is designed that way to help the sperm reach the egg faster. So when you see that egg white cervical mucus, it most probably means that you are ovulating and you may want to make sure not to miss that opportunity for the sperm to catch the egg for more chances of conceiving.

For now, even if I am not trying to conceive, I still use an app to track my period so that I'm always prepared. If you are TTC (trying to conceive), have you tried tracking your ovulation? How do you do it? If not, why?

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December 24, 2014

Christmas Rush

Hello friends and readers! Merry Christmas!

I'm taking a rest from all the Christmas preps that kept me busy from sun up. Man, am I so tired. After preparing food, I scrubbed the kitchen clean (at least I think it's finally clean!) and cleaned the rest of the house. All those calories I burned from general cleaning would be back later anyway. Then I figured to drop in and write a quick blog post to, well, chat and wish you well. Let me tell you about my day yesterday.

I've experienced Christmas rush yesterday. I've always avoided going out so close to Christmas, but I had two appointments yesterday. I took Yuri and my sister with me to brave the traffic.

 Taken at the restaurant where we would be eating later

First, there was no taxi available anywhere (#nocarproblems). So we walked from our village to a neighboring village where jeepneys are available to take our chances. Fortunately, a taxi passed by with a passenger, and we made a signal for the driver to come back. Buti nalang he did come back for us when he passed by many other waiting passengers. Thank you Lord!

But the traffic was worse. Actually, I would choose getting stuck in traffic than getting stuck in the road with no taxi, but you get the point. Anyway, the ride to the mall that would normally take us 15-20 minutes took us an hour. I'm sorry, Manila friends, but I'm just not used to traffic jams. But, surprise, surprise, the taxi fare only cost less than P10 more than the usual!

December 22, 2014

Finding Closure and Moving On

I was supposed to write a post about our Christmas get-together with some of my college bestfriends, but I got home late last night from the village party and got into a petty fight with someone.

So I decide to write a closure-post to conclude my previous one.

Last Friday, I wrote about our ex-yaya who shall not be named. I really hope that will be the last time I have to mention her here. She really doesn't deserve the space.

Majority of the comments said I should file a report once and for all. We're looking into it and just waiting for stronger evidence of rumor-mongering (since she was already warned by the police a couple of months ago).

Some comments said I should block her and, to put it into Filipino, wag nang pumatol. As I mentioned in the post, we already blocked her. I know the best thing to do is to ignore her, but honestly, it's hard to do that when she's just a few houses away.

To make it worse, I suspect that a couple of neighbors, one of whom I mentioned in my previous post, are feeding her with more lies. So we're waiting for someone to come up to prove it.

But here's what God made me realize:

Sooner or later, the people who believe their stories will realize the truth from the lies.

And I think that I should do this:

December 19, 2014

What Would You Do When Your Ex-Yaya Attacks You?

I was hesitant to write this post a week before Christmas but I just need to let my feelings out.

I'm so mad I'm shaking.

Despite everything she did to us, I never expected her to have the gall to insult us and personally attack us. I thought now that the ex-yaya is gone from our house, we will finally have peace and quiet. But because she's just living a few houses away from us, she's still messing with us!

Okay, before you imagine a physical tulakan and hilahan ng buhok, no, that's not what happened. After everything that happened, I doubt we will go within 5 feet away from her.

(Warning: Long post. Also, please understand if my grammar is flawed. I'm stressed haha. Correct me na lang.)

Here's what happened. We were back from carolling, which the village association does for the prizes for the Christmas party, when I saw my sister in tears at her laptop.

I saw that she was exchanging private messages with the ex-yaya who shall not be named. I quickly saw the latter cursing my 13-year old sister.

Why? Because she got angry when my sister said "LOL."

Don't believe me? Here are screenshots of the first exchange:
Sister: Di ko nga alam saan yun LOL
Ex-yaya: Hoy Coco, ang bata mo pa, wag mo akong ma-LOL LOL
Sister: Ano bang ibig sabihin ng LOL?
Ex-yaya: Matuto ka ng good manners, tumahimik ka.
Sister: ...
Ex-yaya: Ang yabang mo!Porket dati ina-under nyo lang ako, ini-easy easy nyo lang ako
Sister: Lumabas na ang totoo mong ugali, palakpakan.
Ex-yaya: Ah ganun? Sino lang ang totoong (sorry I don't understand nigas). Baka kayo! Sabi ng mga kapitbahay wala daw nagtatagal sa inyo dahil sa ugali nyo. Ikaw ang yabang2 mo na ang bata mo pa.

FACT: She was our only regular helper. She was lying.

(More after the jump.)

December 18, 2014

Christmas Gift Idea: Hot Rod City Playmat

I know Christmas is only days away, but I'm sure some of you are still shopping for gifts. Am I right or am I right?   
If you're looking for a gift for a young boy in particular (any age!), my suggestion is the Hot Rod playmat. You can also buy it for a little girl who loves cars!

Basically, it's a mat designed with a terrain and tracks. That's right; it's designed to be run over by cars and trucks which are, safe to say, are the obsessions of many little boys.

I got mine when I won a Cudsly gift certificate giveaway on Manila Fashion Observer. I contemplated on buying a Kiddie Sofa (which was what I really wanted to buy pre-winning) but decided it would be too bulky to ship and may be left unused because as a mobile little person, Yuri likes carrying his chair around.

So I decided to buy something that fuels the vehicle obsession. I did not, however, want to buy another truck during that time. Then, I stumbled upon the Hot Rod City Playmat.

December 16, 2014

Trying Out Sunburst Fried Chicken at Abreeza

Yesterday, I took a quick look at my blog drafts folder (which contains photos, not actual drafts - who else does that?) and challenged myself to post all of them before the year ends.

So let's begin with another restaurant post, this time, featuring Sunburst Fried Chicken, Abreeza.
I have only one memory of eating Sunburst chicken, and that was when I was still working in the office. Our boss arrived from Manila, wanting to try Sunburst again. So she went to a branch in downtown Davao and brought back a box of yummy chicken for our midnight lunch (nighshift life).

And after 4 years, I was finally able to try Sunburst again a couple of weeks ago!

We were in Abreeza, looking for somewhere to eat, when we spotted a banner saying that Sunburst Fried Chicken had just opened, and since the elders love it, we decided to eat lunch there.
Here are some photos of the place:

December 15, 2014

Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Everyone

Because Christmas is not just for kids, right?

I love looking for Christmas gifts (or any kind of gifts for that matter) for children. In fact, I have written about them twice: gifts for babies and toddlers and gifts for older toddlers and preschoolers. And I plan to write another list. Addict lang?

But we can't ignore the fact that there are also non-little people that we have to gift, diba? I came up with ideas that will hopefully address everyone's needs.


Okay, it's always important to spend time with people who are important to us, but I'm talking about a wrappable gift here. After all, we should be giving people our time every day of the year, right?
Photo from Charles Goodies

As noble as the other interpretation is, I'm actually talking about a watch. I'm taking based on experience. Though I don't wear a watch myself, everyone close to me loves them. They have different preferences, too, which I think reflect their personalities. Job, for example, loves watches that show military time. If I have to give a material gift, watches are on top of my list.


December 12, 2014

Finance Friday: How Will You Spend Your Christmas Bonus?

It's December once again! For most of us, that means Chrismas is near. For many of us who belong to the employed sector, that also means more moolah!

This is the time of the year when many of us receive Christmas bonuses and 13th month pays. Unfortunately, since I am technically a freelancer, I don't receive these kinds of benefits. What I do is work double-time (since I am in charge of my time) so that I will have extra money for Christmas.

Last year (woah time flies!), I talked about suggestions on how to use the 13th month pay. It's an awesome post so please read it haha!

But what about the Christmas Bonus?

If you read my post about using the 13th month pay, I suggested that we donate 10% of it to charity. That's because I consider this regular income. It means that it's something expected so we can include it in a regular budget.

However, the Christmas bonus is not considered regular income because first, it is not always certain, and second, we may not know how much it is or when we will receive it. So I have a different view about it.

December 10, 2014

Lunch at Bistro Selera

Bistro Selera
My sister celebrated her birthday last Sunday and we made a reservation for lunch at Yakimix. We didn't go to Abreeza right away, though, because we had a couple of errands to do at SM Lanang.

However, after staying in SM for a while, we decided na nakakatamad na to have to go to Abreeza to eat (then back again to SM for groceries). So we cancelled our reservation at Yakimix and decided to just eat at Vikings.

However ulit, when we went to Vikings (it was just around 10), there were already several people in line. We asked the staff if there's an available table, and he said wala na. Everyone without a reservation is waitlisted and for a table pa talaga outside.

No thanks!

So we went to look for another restaurant since my sister and I were already hungry (#boa). Long story short, we decided to try Bistro Selera.

Since we were there early, they were actually still closed when we got there. The waiter immediately flipped the Closed sign upon noticing us though!

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December 9, 2014


It seems like I always find myself writing about one typhoon per year.

2012, I wrote about Pablo. It was a very nerve-wracking moment for me because it hit Mindanao. I recall we had our share of storm here but the worst part of the experience was when I wasn't able to reach Job for, I think, 2 days. I was so afraid! It turns out they lost electricity and he just couldn't get his phone charged. He was also living in a different post of Surigao during that time and experienced going to an evacuation center because he was staying in a house near the coast (for work).

2013, there was Yolanda, a name that would forever live in infamy. I remember that we experienced stormy weather although it wasn't anywhere near what Visayas experienced. Until today, affected people still need help, and then another typhoon came along.

2014, we have Ruby. With an international name like Hagupit, one can't help but feel afraid. But God is good. First, I believe every province that is bound to be affected is prepared for the typhoon. Second, it had consistently weakened and lowered in level.

Job, who lives in Surigao (del Sur), the province that almost every storm inevitably hits first, told me they already packed their things and were ready to go to a little farm that they have, located in a higher area. However, nothing but sunny weather greeted them. The same happened here in Davao City. Not once did it rain and not once did the temperature even drop. Praise God!
Sadly, I can't say the same for Visayas. Unlike here, many properties have been damaged. It's heartbreaking to see houses built by recovering Yolanda survivors torn apart by another storm. There are still casualties, a few as reported but still casualties nonetheless. But I dare to say that the preparedness of provinces this year prevented what could have been a higher number.

The typhoon is currently in Luzon now and we're still praying that it wouldn't do so much damage. To friends in Metro Manila and Luzon, keep safe!

Now it is easy to say that if God can answer prayers and control the storms, why was Yolanda's case different? Why did thousands of people have to die in its wake?

Frankly, I don't know why. My limited understanding couldn't answer that; only God can. All I know is that he's sovereign and knows what he's doing. However, I can say that we learned so much from last year's tragedy and have come a long way in terms of understanding storms and preparing for them. For all its worth, I think this counts.

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December 8, 2014

Top 5 Gifts for Older Toddlers

I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping! I only need to buy gifts for a few more people and I'm good to go. What about you?

In my case, around 70% of the gifts I bought this year is for, well, Yuri. That's the same as the past two Christmases! I can't help it; buying Christmas gifts for a little child is so much fun!

This year, Yuri is in a stage between toddlerhood and preschool. He's 32 months (last Christmas, he was 20 months), and while the interests are basically the same (trucks!), our goals are now very different. For starters, we're aiming to start homeschooling next year so that's a common theme behind my gifts!

(For gifts for younger toddlers/babies, here's my list from last year.)

If you want to know what I consider to be the best gifts for children too old to be called toddlers and too young to be preschoolers, I'll show you some things on my wishlist:


If you're kinda lost on what cool gift to give, I suggest you buy something that a child can build with. They're a surefire gift because they promote STEM learning and a child could never have too many of them.
wooden blocks for toddlers philippines
It doesn't have to be Legos or Mega Bloks (although these choices are superb!). You can buy cheaper but still very great alternatives like wooden blocks, bristle blocks, pipes, and gears.
alternatives to lego

Batatt bristle blocks (P799) 

Just make sure that the pieces are easy to connect and disconnect!


December 6, 2014

What You Were Like When You Were 32 Months

I began this blog a little over 2 years ago mainly to document my life as a mother, my life with Yuri. I imagine that in the future, he can read this blog and say, Oh that's what I used to do! Or What? My mother did what?!

But I realize it's been a long time since I really wrote about him. I think the last time I fully devoted a post to just talking about Yuri was during his second birthday. He's 32 months old now!

I miss writing about my little boy so I'll be doing it now.

The Little Big Boy
At 32 months, I feel grateful to be yaya-less. Why? I am able to see all of his single accomplishments. Yes, I have always been a WAHM but Yuri was not under my direct care when I work so even though I witnessed all the major milestones, there were little victories that I didn't get to see.

At 32 months, sometimes, when we're alone in the house, I feel like I'm with an older boy, not a toddler. Apart from the continuous explosion of words, the personality is becoming much clearer: perfectionism that needs taming, patience that needs a lot of improvement, obedience that needs to be more consistent, and an overprotective spirit that will benefit his lady someday.

I have no problems with sharing yet. He shares his toys even when the playmate sometimes just grabs a toy from him. No fits, no tantrums. He does forlorn for a moment but when I tell him to just play with another toy, he does happily. At home, even when it's the last bite of his favorite food, he would gladly give it to any of us! (We're not heartless enough to actually eat it haha.)
And I also see a toddler with a genuine love for learning (doesn't every child?), a child who just doesn't stop moving, and a little boy whose passion for trucks doesn't wane.

Stuck with Trucks

December 5, 2014

First Look at Certified Positive Daily Interact Planner

I thought my Certified Positive planner for 2014 was the best.

Until my new Certified Positive planner for 2015 arrived.
Certified Positive Daily Interact Planner
It wasn't as if the 2014 version of the planner left a lot of room for improvement. On the contrary, I thought it was perfect! In fact, when I was awaiting the arrival of the new planner, I imagined it would be difficult for the Certified Positive team to "upgrade" what would basically be the same planner with the same content. So I prepared to received a planner that, at best, would be equal to last year's.

Well, I was wrong!

December 3, 2014

November Fun Finds

I haven't written a monthly shopping find post since forever! Unfortunately, much to Job's dismay haha, it's not because I stopped shopping. I still do but have been too busy to gather my finds together, take photos, and write a decent post. You know.

But last Monday, I took a day off from work to run some errands downtown with Yuri, and I also took advantage of the downtime to take photos. So what had I been buying last month? Here they are:


A. Off-Price Show

I talked about going to the Off-Price Show weeks ago and wrote a post containing my finds and their prices. Here's my favorite find of that day:
Aside from this, I also bought more tops for me and several shirts and a pair of board shorts for Yuri. For more items, head on to this blog post!

B. And more

I also bought a dress and a shirt from, guess where? SM's grocery! I just passed the clothing area and spotted these:
Peach boyfriend shirt at P299 (photo from JM)
Wrap dress at also P299

Okay na diba? I especially love the wrap dress!


December 2, 2014

Attipas Shoes: A Review

I am fortunate enough to have received a pair of Attipas shoes to review, which arrived last week.
But let's talk about shoes first. I love kid's shoes. Because I have a boy, I think the best way to be "fashionable" is to invest in many good pairs of shoes (since we can't dress up everyday!). That's why Yuri, at a tender age of 2, has more shoes than me.

However, we have two problems. First, he's outgrown many of them. Second, when he likes the feel of one shoe, he won't wear another pair.

Luckily, Attipas is comfortable enough for him to live in.
Attipas shoes are functional baby/toddler shoes that look like a cross between shoes and socks. The upper part are super soft socks while the soles are durable but flexible rubber.

I believe these are the best kind of shoes for little humans who are only learning how to walk or are new to walking. They are very comfortable and light!

December 1, 2014

Christmas Gifts: What about Jesus?

I have a million drafts that are waiting to be published - hopefully before the end of the year. I also have a million blog ideas that are still on my head, waiting to be written. Most of them are about Christmas.

Ah, Christmas.

I will never get tired of saying that it's my favorite time of the year. And why not? It's the time of giving, receiving, eating, getting together, singing songs.

I especially love buying people gifts. Ever since I started earning my own money, I learned the pleasure of hunting for the perfect gift, the anticipation of giving, and the look of surprise on your recipient's face. In fact, I have a Christmas list that reminds me which gifts I still need to finalize and buy. I have already went through my Christmas fund buying them!

But I realized that my list was nowhere near complete. It was missing the most important thing.


As a Christian, I'm very ashamed to say that. It's more embarrassing because I have been asking for a lot of things but it didn't occur to me that I should be the one giving Jesus a gift!

Sure, I know Christmas is about Jesus and how he was born to save us from sin. But will these thoughts remain thoughts? Have I ever done anything concrete for Jesus? Have I ever given him a true Christmas gift?

What about you?
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