31 December 2013

Let's end this year with a bang, here are my favorite royal posts for 2013!

There are far more important things to do than blogging, really. However, as a stay-at-home mom and Army wife, this keeps me sane. Not only did it keep me away from getting crazy with house chores, it also helped me realize the things I am actually capable of. You, my royal readers, made me feel I can become the better version of myself through Bebengisms. Your comments and support have given my blogging journey a whole new meaning. It was the last quarter of this year when I decided to minimize my giveaway and press release posts. It was in the middle of November when I preferred to only be attending blogger events if and only if it's of a brand I really, really like. I got busy this month and totally forgot that I have a blog to maintain. Despite those, intentionally and unintentionally big changes, you queens are still here -- reading my real and royal ramblings. Though I have to admit that I honestly worked hard for whatever status this blog has reached, it wouldn't be as what it is now if it weren't for you. To give back, I have the Royal Reader Giveaway. I asked my husband's help to choose who he thinks has the most royal message among all the entries. I'd be announcing who he chose tomorrow, the next day or the next next day. Promise, it would be announced on the January 2014's first week! 

For now, I'm giving you my favorite royal posts for 2013! Here it goes ---


The post is as long as the title. Hehe. I shared there most of the happy photos of our Baguio experience. LB has not met the My Little Pony girls yet when we went there but sh actually chose a colorful pony that resembles Rainbow Dash.

25 December 2013

A Mom's Life: 48/48

Three things before I start this post --- First, I'm not a stalker; though weirdly, constantly liking each of her post on Facebook and Instagram. Hihi. I'm a loyal reader of her mommy blog. I read her personal blog, the one she started before she became a mom to Jelly Bean, but there's just something about the mommy blog. Something real, something royal, something like you don't read from other passionate-bordering-to-pretentious-mom-blogs. If you're like me, I know you know what I meant by that. Lastly, I'm super scared for my blogger self. You see, she's an awesome writer. She got into the comfortable life she's enjoying right now because she's a writing genius. In fact, she's married to a writer, too. If a mediocre, regular, non-writing human being thinks I'm a good writer (because I can Ingliss myselp), uhm... not this time.
Yes, my dear royal readers, my last and Christmas special offering for A Mom's Life  features none other than the fab former editor-in-chief of OK! Philippines. I was actually nervous when I sent her my four-paragraph "proposal" to her email. This is an excerpt of what I wrote her: 
"So I thought that since Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday (when I publish my AML post), it has to be extra special. I have two moms in mind. It's a battle between Kate Middleton and Frances Sales. Well yeah, Kate's busy. I know you are, too. I assumed you're preggy so I know your hormones aren't that good to you lately. But I hope you could squeeze me in in your sched. :)" 
I was close to shutting down my cyber palace if she'd say no. Seriously. Haha! But guess what she said? This: 
"I'll do it! I don't think the Duchess can :) 
Thanks for even thinking of me for this, Denise!" 
I got really, really excited. I immediately copy-pasted her answers to my AML slum book when she replied. I made a mental note that I'd finish it before the holidays, but it sadly rested in my drafts folder. I'm sure you muthers feel that this quark of a space in the blogosphere has changed. It was not the same as it used to be. I'm uncertain about what I'm feeling towards this blog. Am I losing that thing they call as "blogging mojo"? Whatever it is, I'm glad that Topaz Mommy is here in Bebengisms! She's one of the mom bloggers I read when I need a boost. So there, what an introduction noh? Hehe. I'm sure you'll be amazed at how she answered my slum book-ish questions, sa "name" pa lang. Kaya here na!

NAME: Frances Amper Sales. No hyphen because my last name is Sales, not Amper-Sales.

AGE: I just turned 37!

CHILDREN, AGE: My beautiful boys Vito, 3, and Iñigo, 19 months. I'm also pregnant with my third child and we're having fun picking out boy names and girl names, but Vito has already christened his upcoming sibling with the strange name "Baby Chicken".

Queen B says: I looooove that I was one of the firsts who knew about her 3rd pregnancy. 

OCCUPATION: I'm a blogger, writer, and newspaper columnist. I occasionally edit, too, but I've been too busy with domestic life to take on more work.

FAVORITE OUTFIT: Comfy dresses that allow me to breastfeed paired with flats. I wouldn't exactly call this my favorite outfit. I'm a shirt-and-jeans and sleek dresses kinda girl. I love heels, too! But since becoming a mom, my style has changed.

21 December 2013

Have a Sweeter Christmas with Red Ribbon

OK, I'm not exaggerating, but Red Ribbon has been so existent in this blog (and my life)! Remember that I spent Valentine's Day husband-less? So instead of sulking in sorrow, I went out with LB and had merienda at the nearby RR store. On August, R, Sophia and I celebrated Ultimate Royal-a Day with some pancit and chocolate cake to kick-off one of the best months of every year, September. Yes, the cake was from Red Ribbon, too. The next month, I wrote about Sophia's birthday dinner and her colorful My Little Pony party at school. My Cyber Party Giveaway winners, which were announced days before LB's birthday each had half roll of RR's  triple chocolate cake and a pack of mamon. For Sophia's birthday dinner dessert, we had choco mousse. At her school party, she had Tiramisu Meltdown. Royal Domesticity loves Red Ribbon, obviously! ♥

Remembering these past posts about Red Ribbon made me miss their cakes. Huhuhu. And I'm here at a far-flung rural town where they don't have a store! Hmmm. Maybe I should ask Rhambo to drive for me and we'll buy one tomorrow at the nearest city. Because guess what? Red Ribbon is making this year's Christmas even sweeter with a chocolatier Black Forest Cake! Yum.

17 December 2013

I Love the New Coca-Cola Ad

I'm taking a break from my domestic queen duties because I believe that "all work and no blog makes this mama a very dumb girl". Hihi. 

Okay, let's get it on.

I'm sure many of you have seen this new funny family ad by Coca-Cola already. It's trending! It's been shared by many of my mom friends on Facebook. I clicked it, watched it for like more than three times and was smiling with tears at the last part of the vid. I super duper love the dad's reaction towards the end. It'll definitely be my R's reaction if I'd show him a pregnancy kit with a positive sign!

Yup, we want another of Sophia's kind. Maybe, three more? Ooh, that would be so chaotic to have four active, noisy, rowdy kids! But it'll be soooooo much fun, I'm very sure of that. Our house would be filled with love, sweetness and cuteness. I bet Rayala Dialogues will be loaded with stories if that happens. Oh well, perhaps God's plans are better than ours so we just have to wait for His timing. But Lord, I have a deadline po, can we like have kahit one more before I hit 30 next year? Please? Hihi. 

So yes, I love my daughter and I really, really, really want to have more... even if she's messy and whiny, even if I can't poop peacefully, even if my bag's too heavy with her cookie crumbs and complete cast of My Little Pony, even if making love with her father is like being a mistress to my own husband (always sneaking!), and even if I have to stay at home just so I know she is always safe.

Kudos to Santos Buenos Aires in making this new Coke ad. It's just so true for me; when parenting makes my nape ache, I drink Coke (or the local cheaper counterpart hehe).

*For Jeff Beer's article about the ad, click here.

12 December 2013

My Girl Kissed a Boy

Last year, when my preschooler started showing signs that she was liking this boy from her previous class, I found it too cute not to notice. I almost held a press conference for family and friends, in the intention of announcing that my daughter has entertained such an emotion at a very young age. In words of a shallow-minded egotistical individual that is me, I thought I'm a cool mom. I didn't want to be that conservative, square, dull parent that has mysterious wallflower kind of kids. I want my girl and I to be best chums. She shares her secrets with me and I'd be the most fun person to be with. Wait, uhm is there a camera rolling somewhere? No, that can't be real. That can't be me. In the truest state, I am corny, KJ (kill joy) and I can't allow my daughter to get hurt.

Today, which I'm sure I'd have more in the future, was something else.


After my daughter's class, right before I cook for dinner, we took some rest for a bit. We do that every day. We turn on TV, cuddle up closely and in between of trying to understand what's shown on the screen, we talk about how her day went. Lately, she'd ask what I've done while she was at school; but most of the time, it's all about her. She said they ate champorado and that she finished a bowl of it. It amused me that she told me she really didn't like it but she had to. Ha! I guess she now clearly understands she has to really obey some rules. She went back to intensely watch the show before Hi-5. Out of nowhere, after a little two minutes of peace and silence, she blurted out -- "Nay, I kiss N (name of the boy)!" 

10 December 2013

King & Queen: Year 3

His Caption: Throwback. I love you Denise Redrico Rayala! Happy anniversary beb! 
It's our 3rd wedding anniversary today, Cpt R and I. Sadly, he was not home. Yesterday, I was sick. No, I was sick since Saturday. My joints were aching, I felt terrible I easily cried. I might be PMS-ing. Whatever, we celebrated today our way. And what better way to do so but by posting photos on our social media accounts. I woke up really early than usual waiting for whatever paandar or pasabog he might have for me. Waley. 
Queen B: Tulog ka pa?
King R: May pinost ako sa FB. Hihi.
So that's what he posted! That's it? LOL. Okay, I appreciated it. Infer naman to my solja boy, it was something more than what he usually does. 'Cause he uses Facebook every day but he doesn't regularly post mundane what-nots. However, every time we have this "posting spree", I'm a bit competitive. Har har. So this is what I posted on my Instagram.

My caption: Mapa-sexy, drama, action o rom-com man; hindi maikakailang bagay tayo. Ahihi. #rhambeng
1) Sexy -- Sundutin Mo ang Booger Ko 
2) Drama -- Mahal Kita, Amoy Araw Ka Man 
3) Action -- Sumuko Ka Na, Kumander B 
4) Romantic-Comedy -- Love is Blind
Yup, our relationship, our marriage had experienced different scenarios like that of movie genres. I'm sure you and your husband had at some point, too. There are more actually, like heavy drama and X-rated (hihi), but these are what we call as box-office hits and are for general patronage. ;)

Since today is a very special day, I cooked Pork Pochero for dinner only because I have chorizo. I knooow, that's something else! LB and I went to the nearby market after school and bought pork, pechay, potato, saba and some wet market stuff. I made this extra special as I call this Pork Pochero with Love. Yes, that's a heart-shaped pechay. Sigh. My little kumare and I enjoyed our dinner, which I think would be more special had we spent it with our king. Anyway, he'll be home soon as he promised he'll watch LB's Christmas presentation next week. Yay! And then we'll spend the first part of the holidays at his post. You'll get updates on my IG (@bebengisms), so follow me! ♥♡♥

How about you, royalty? 
Have you celebrated your wedding anniversary without your husband?
How was it like? Share it with us in the comments! 

05 December 2013

Blogging, Losing and Gaining

Friends and family seem to be second-guessing my authenticity as a blogger. Perhaps, they're thinking if this blogger and the person in flesh are just one because it's not what they see in real life. Others have suddenly become distant because they thought you are not the same they thought you were.

This is a true story.

I have friends who I think are no longer my friends. I know nothing about them anymore, that's one of the many reasons. Also: we don't text, talk and see each other; not even occasionally. No communication at all. I tried to reach out to them more than I reply to my readers' comments but I didn't want to be the narrow-minded-bum-mom who would nag them for not spending time with me. So I didn't do it again. 

My life is here. No, not saying that this IS my life. Literally, you can read my latest daily mundane what-nots here - or at least a glimpse of it. So I thought that when I meet them, I have nothing to share with them and that I should be the one asking them instead. Right? Guess what? It was not the same as it used to be, where I get the most personal stories of their days. Maybe we're just growing up? Well, that's perfectly fine. There's no way but up. Sadly, we're all growing up apart. I felt like they're avoiding to share juicy details about themselves with me as if I'm a cheap showbiz tabloid columnist. Not funny, actually. I felt like I cannot be trusted anymore. 

Triste réalité: I'm gradually losing friends.

28 November 2013

I Don't Know How She Does It

I'm not going to tell you how I do it. 

I don't think I'm that great enough to give advice on how I do my mommy stuff on a daily basis. Though there are moms who tell me that they wish they're a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) like me and that they wonder how I budget my husband's salary; I still believe that what I do is nothing compared to moms who bring home the bacon. Well, as far as this society is concerned, I am no good if matched to them. No matter how I show people that my daughter behaved more when I chose to stay at home with her, there will still be some who'd say that modern moms should earn for the family. I'd love to earn, of course! But I just can't leave my daughter to just anyone anymore. That's why I think work-at-home moms (WAHMs) are the modern day heroes of this generation. They are present for their children and at the same time, can contribute to the family's financial stability. In fact, I know some WAHMs who are solo parents. Special creatures, they really are.

I wanted to be a WAHM, too, in the first few months of my SAHMhood but I guess it's not for every mom. I get sick when I do too much. Yes, even with Sangobion. I remember being so stressed in preparing Sophia's 4th birthday party at school that I got hospitalized and eventually undergone a major medical operation. From then on, I decided to take things slowly but surely. I'd rather enjoy the moment with my 5-year-old preschooler, who's growing up soooo fast I can't blink, than be a career-driven mom who's always stuck in traffic. Haha! Choz lang. Honestly, I miss working. Especially now that it's almost Christmas. I miss getting a salary, Christmas bonus and presents from colleagues. I miss being commended for a job well done. La-dee-da. 

27 November 2013

A Mom's Life: 44/48

It's not hot news for you my royal readers that I super salute solo moms; solo moms who are really good moms. Yup, I know some solo moms who aren't. Anyway, here's another work-at-home solo mom for this week's A Mom's Life.

NAME:  Ghezzi Santos

AGE: 29

CHILD, AGE:  Gale Avelin, 5

OCCUPATION: WAHSM. J Currently, I’m a freelance web all-rounder — I do SEO, make websites (html and CSS), graphic designs, write articles, and web research.  Sometimes I help with the family shoe manufacturing business and planned on putting up my own line of bridal shoes, but last year I decided to study another course so I have to set aside my plans. Next year, I will finish the computer course I took, so hopefully I can continue my plans, if not, I might take up another course.

FAVORITE OUTFIT: spandex shirt, jeans, flats, and ponytail

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: moisturizer, eyebrow liner, face powder, lip tint

HOBBIES: crafting, sewing, sketching designs, printing stickers, collecting cute stuff, reading craft blogs  

CURRENT READ/WATCH: Audrey Hepburn movies, ABS CBN primetime shows, Elegant Musings by Casey

FAVORITE DOMESTIC DUTY: mending torn clothes

The Captain Has Been Promoted to Domestic King

Few weeks earlier, I had the light that Sophia accidentally blew up in the bathroom upstairs repaired by a neighbor, who used to work as an electrician. Originally, I wanted to wait for my husband to come home and tell ask him to do the much-needed repair. I thought that it might not happen anyway. Ugh *rolls eyes*. He is not a handy daddy, unfortunately. It's a very sad fact for a damsel who's always in distress, like me. Well, to be fair, he painted our old home in 2009. Bad news though: he has problems with colors. Our house looked so Avril Lavigne kind of purple. So emo, so rockstar. It was supposed to be a little of lilac-ish but he was the one who bought the customized paint, as I was taking care of an infant then. So there. I just made do with what we already had - paired it with black, glass and stainless stuff to give the old apartment a modern vibe. 

That's one skill that any woman married to a man working away from home must acquire: Learning the art of make-shift.

I remember when we rented a shoebox of a house in Pasig and that I needed to put up curtains and that he was not around. I was silently cursing him in every pound of the hammer in my finger the nail. LOL.

My husband is the only boy and youngest in the brood of four. According to MIL, my late FIL never wanted him to touch any womanly domestic duties at home. He was designated as their errand boy. In fact, when the rebellious teenager R disappointed his folks, as a punishment, he was tasked to do the laundry. Well, FIL should have taught him to do more "dirty" work! Hehe. Seriously, I can't question him for not doing what most by-the-book dads do. His being a military officer doesn't really require him to do such things. So yes, I understand him.

 I'm a kikay handy mommy.
But hey! I love him to bits despite that and I will not end this post with wifely complaints. The previous paragraphs were just the prologue to what I wanted to tell you. I am actually a very lucky wife. My king came home for 4 days and though I was physically, emotionally and sexually (of course) prepared, the house wasn't. A pile of freshly-laundered clothes welcomed him at the couch. Dirty plates and glasses were smiling at him when he entered our kitchen.

Guess what?

I woke up one morning with folded clothes. Though not neatly done, it was still frikkin' folded!!! Wait, there's more. I turned on the light in my cute kitchen and saw newly-washed almost dripping plates! Hallelujah!!! He was lying at the couch like a boss in front of the TV when I saw all of those. I felt as if he was a lifeguard in Baywatch, looking so gorgeous and all. LOL. I gently hugged him, smelled him like a lola and showered him with kisses. Woohoo! My captain, oh captain is now a domestic king. Insert flowers, hearts, birds sweetly chirping, angels singing bonggelz-ly and sexbomb dancers doing some Jean Claude Van Damme epic splits here.

And so when we passed by Sesou's kiosk in Trinoma, I bought a bottle of Droplets of Nature dishwashing liquid. It's his current favorite sink buddy! My R, a stern and strict military officer, is a homebody domestic king. He really kept his promise that he told me 5 years  ago  he will be a blessing. Oh yes, he is! Naks.

What about your husband, my fellow dear queen? Can he make Martha Stewart look lazy?

25 November 2013

Royal Ramblings

10 days. Where have I been? 

If we're friends on Facebook, you most probably know where I am. I'm just there and on Instagram, too. This will start as sad my dear royal readers, but I do hope it will end in a happy note. So I hope you'd bear with my drama queen moments in a bit. OK, here it is.

Let me bleed with thoughts.

I love blogging, I really do! This is the only thing I have. As in, I don't have any "formal occupation" to put in when I fill out any form (like when King R and I bought new specs in Quiapo). Bebengisms gave boost to my slowly-going-down confidence when I quit my job last year. This cyber palace opened new experiences for me. I have been invited to events that I never thought had ever existed, I received items/services I know I won't personally spend on (like an Enjoy Philippines membership card and Revlite facial treatment by AIP) and most of all, I've met people -- mostly women -- who, may not be like me but are also blogging. The latter's the coolest, I guess. My being a SAHM won't make me meet intellectual, conversationalist kind of people every day. Well, conversationalist -- I can get that from cab drivers. Intellectual -- I rarely get that from the people I encounter. So yes, I officially love bloggers' events for that reason. 

20 November 2013

A Mom's Life: 43/48

I'm not sure about you, my dear readers, but I guess most mom bloggers in my circle know who my 43rd AML royalty is. She is ze Fancy Girl! She designed most of the well-read mom blogs here in the country. I have yet to set aside a budget but I'd soon have this cyber palace fancy-fied! I'm sure that with the help of her magic wand, errr -- mouse (?), she can turn this site from drab to fab. Meet the creative genius behind Fancy Girl Design Studio, Patrticia Alix-Villa.

NAME: Patricia Alix-Villa

AGE: 42

CHILDREN, AGE: Vito (8 1/2), Raoul (3 1/2)

OCCUPATION: Graphic and Web Designer, but I’m really a Psychologist by training :)

FAVORITE OUTFIT: My go-to outfit: a shirtdress with sandals, or jeans and a nice top with ballet flats or wedges. And pearls; I never go out without mypearls.

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: I never go out without these: SKII Facial Treatment Essence + Sunscreen SPF50+ Face Shop BB Cream. At my age, these are absolutely essential! :) My other essentials: MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder, NARS Orgasm blush, Maybelline Hypersharp Liner, ANASTASIA Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo, Crabtree & Evelyn Vanilla Creme Brûlée Lip Butter, Lancome Juicy Tubes lipgloss, Elizabeth Arden lipstick in Cranberry Cream.

15 November 2013

Bounty Fresh's Top Torikatsu: More Than Just a Katsu

I love food! Who doesn't? I mean, check Instagram using the hashtag #food and you'll see like 68M plus plus posts. So when our friends from Bounty Fresh sent me packs of their new product Top Torikatsu, I was really excited to cook it.

"Bounty Fresh, the award-winning makers of innovative, quality chicken products, has launched Top Torikatsu, the first and latest in a line of delicious heat-and-eat items made especially for young people with busy, active lifestyles who hardly have the time to prepare a good meal."

I've been buying chicken katsu at the supermarket long before I was introduced to this product so I basically know how it tastes and what to expect. But no, this one's different! It has two flavors, which you can actually see inside and taste eventually, when you take a bite -- classic (sweet tangy mayonnaise) and cheese & chives. While most of my fellow mom bloggers rooted for Cheese & Chives, I think that I prefer the taste of the Classic variant.

13 November 2013

A Mom's Life: 42/48

Yay! Another WAHM royalty in the palace, yo. And beat this, solo mom, too! Tell me, is she a superhero of some sort? She should be one of mom-vengers. Hahaha! I don't know much about her but there's one thing she already is that I'd like to be -- a mom of a kiddie model. Says my 42nd AML royalty --
"A lot of people have convinced me to let my son join the limelight, having stage mom friends whom I just also met online (multiply and Friendster era). Some started their kids' modelling career by submitting photos on magazines; my child didn't. He started by joining amateur fashion shows (in which we registered and paid) in 2011, then had his profile at an agency. Then we attended casting calls one after another. We tried auditioning for a year before hed had his big break. 2013 has been a blessed year for his career. 
So far, here are his projects:
SSS print ad, Mucosolvan print ad, two fashion shows for Ceelin Plus, Chiz Escudero campaign ad, Globe telecoms viral video, SM UN and Halloween print ad, 7-eleven print ad,  and Pagcor tv commercial."
Oh 'di ba, so bongga lang! LB has been in a billboard-sized tarp for her school's ad for almost a year already and until now, I still love looking at her candid sweet smile. Eh yung known brand and with talent fee pa kaya? So I'm sure this queen here is one proud momma.

NAME: Donna Donor

AGE: 36 (second debut, haha)

CHILD, AGE: Kib, 7yo

OCCUPATION: work from home mom (online teaching and events management, sometimes getting VA jobs on the side if there's any)

FAVORITE OUTFIT: shorts (para sexy pa rin kahit chubby, lol), cotton top (dahil ayaw ko na magplantsa, haha), slippers from Ipanema or ballet flats from SM. Footwear must be light on the feet because I drive.

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: Pretty When Pinched from Bench (easy application and right on the budget), colored lip balm from Human Heart Nature (flame tree color).

12 November 2013

Pray Without Ceasing

Two hours earlier, I was really really sleepy. Obviously, it changed. In between my yawns, I almost wanted to get pissed at my daughter who didn't show any signs of sleepiness. While she was putting herself to sleep, I scanned my Facebook and then my Instagram. 90% of posts in my newsfeed are about Yolanda. It woke me up -- literally and figuratively. Honestly, I didn't watch news, I didn't get too involved by posting updates on my social media accounts; and yes, I haven't donated anything. I must be a selfish witch, you can say that. But hey, I actually do not care about what other people will think of me for not getting involved, for not posting about #YolandaPH updates and for not donating. Why? Because I know that God sees what's in my heart. I am not worrying because I know He is in control.

I am sharing with you these thoughts because it is something that I'd like you to realize. I know that Yolanda's victims need clean water and warm food; and that my thoughts wouldn't be of great help. But let me tell you this my friend, Zamboanga recently suffered what man has done. It was not mother nature's rage. It was a man-made destruction, but they have survived and by God's grace, moved on. 

11 November 2013

What an eventful weekend!

My Samsung S3 Mini's battery was sick this past weekend; hence, lack of photos that serve as microblogs on my Instagram account. I bought a new battery earlier after doing some errands. The battery was so swollen kaya pala it's not working. A blogger with no camera in a bloggers' event is like a soldier in a battlefield without a gun. Yes, epic fail. I brought my point and shoot camera but guess what? Battery's low. Why?

Anyway, my mantra lately? I am too blessed to get stressed!

I'd be doing separate posts for each of the events I've been to but these are some snippets. I had my most-awaited hair makeover courtesy of Cynos Inside Hair Care. I love my ash blonde crowning glory. Really. As in, this is my #ggss moment. Hehe. Then I went to see TriNoma's Merry Musical Nights launch. Was I tired? A bit. But I didn't forget Sophia's bilin: donuts for pasalubong. I bought Krispy Kreme. She wolfed down one with sprinkles before we went to slumberland.

08 November 2013

Squeeze Your Creative Juice with Planet Slate's JuiceBox

My being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) means I need to be as creative as I could be in entertaining my little artist. It'd surely be impractical and costly to go out every weekend. And it's not in my mom-vocabulary to basically stay at home and do nothing (though I personally would choose that in a heartbeat). The great Pablo Picasso said: "Every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up." 

See, our children could be the future Picasso. The possible key to that success would be the parents' consistency in developing the child's gift of art. Like what I said, we rarely go out. Commuting is a big production number. But hello, we need to shop. We go to the supermarket for groceries, mall for clothes that would replace the old ones and bookstores for books (duh Queen B, did you really have to mention that? lol). That's just about it. We forget that there are other things that my daughter needs. Say, art materials? Oh, I do need some, too. Crafting is something I love doing to relax and just create. 

06 November 2013

A Mom's Life: 41/48

I can't believe that I'm almost done with this challenge; which means the year's about to end, too. Hello, 2014 very, very soon! Speaking of new hellos. My 41st AML will soon say hello to a baby boy. Altogether now, awwww. Naku muthers, if there's one person that I'm really inggit with, yan ay ang buntis. Hihi. Yuhh, my jowabelle and I are really doing our best to get pregnant real soon. I think I need some preggynspiration from my featured mom here, Aimee. She's one of those mom bloggers that I really read! She's not the type who does reviews or attends events all the time but her blog's contents are very readable. I guess it's her charm (and crystals? chos) that wooed me to always come back for more of her stories. So glad she answered my a la slumbook A Mom's Life questions.

NAME: Aimee Diego

AGE: Turning 34 this November :-)

CHILD, AGE: 4 year old Tala and a soon-to-be-born baby boy. We're keeping the name a secret for now.

OCCUPATION: Events Manager

FAVORITE OUTFIT: I'm a t-shirt and jeans/shorts kind of gal. Flat shoes all the way because sadly, I can never walk in heels.

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: I can't live without eyebrow products! I don't care if I have a bare face, but the eyebrows have to be groomed at all times because your brows frame your face. Yes kahit sa grocery lang ako pupunta, groomed parin brows ko.. hihi. My current fave is the K-Palette 24h Tattoo Eyebrow pen.

HOBBIES: Reading fiction, Biking, Blogging and blog-hopping, Instagramming (can that be counted as a hobby? haha), Playing with my 4 year old and once in a while indulging on simple DIY projects to keep my creative juices flowing.

04 November 2013

Please Forgive Me

For not blogging regularly, that is.

Like what I said on my The Captain's Treat for His Girls post, I felt sluggish these past few days. Actually, I still do. I've been minimizing my every move 'cause I easily get dizzy. My body's been acting up really crazy lately. I know you royalties understand. Don't worry, I would have a new giveaway up for you tomorrow to compensate for my shortcomings. Wow, may ganun. Oo muther dear, you and I have a relationship! I want to take care of you, my readers. I know the exact feeling of a reader who was ignored or treated not-so-nice by a blogger. Major turn-off! So I'm trying not to be that kind of blogger. I hope I'm doing good. Send me a message if you feel like I'm not ha. :)

01 November 2013

Remembering Papa

I was eight when my father died. I will never forget that I lied. They were busy preparing for Papa's hospitalization when I told my folks I was not feeling well so I would not go to school. I didn't expect that that absence from school would be the day we will lose the king of our kingdom. 

Honestly, I just cried because my sisters were crying. My mom was hysterical. The first thought that came to me: "paano na kami?"  He was our superhero. Come afternoon naps, when Mama was the fatter version of Queen Ravenna, Papa was our Thor – gwapo and strong. He protected us from whatever punishment we could have gotten from the jail warden. He worked nonstop to always give us what we needed. He brought me to school with our Lite Ace while my sisters commute. My last birthday in 1992, I had a classic mocha cake from Merced Bake Shop, lots of party food and a set of new clothes from Cabbage Patch Kids. New Year's of 1993, he woke me up to welcome the brand new year with the fam bam. He fed me grapes like I was Cleopatra. I was Papa's little Bebeng, I was his princess. But when he died, I knew my tears weren't because I won't see him every day anymore but because I knew this day will come. This day that I will miss him so much. 

30 October 2013

Extreme Couponing

Last night, while I was folding the freshly-laundered clothes, I watched Extreme Couponing on TLC Ch 62. I was amazed at this young man who shopped for around $600+ with his family and only paid 5 bucks! It was because of the discount coupons he got from the newspapers. 

My Beautiful Thai Boxer for Halloween 2013

Sophia and I were supposed to be at ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc's Super Trick or Treat Halloween event in Trinoma last Sunday, but didn't make it. So even if we really didn't have any Trick or Treatin' event this year, I still decided to dress her up.

I looked for that one unused costume she has. It's a Thai boxing shorts from one of her godmoms! I got one of her white sandos, tied it up at the back to look like a midriff tank top and scoured my ribbon box for her head a la Rambo. Since we don't have boxing gloves, I cut up an old cloth diaper (lampin) into two thick strips and rolled it up around her knuckles. Perfect. So Pacman. I was in my bestest theatrical convincing self so she'd wear it. I thought she would hate that she'd look like a boy and all. But no, she was so game and in character that I was trying not to laugh during picture-taking. See for yourself.

A Mom's Life: 40/48

This cyber palace was like 4 months old when I stumbled upon this fashion blog named LBD & ONESIES. I think it was a giveaway that led me to it. Believe me, I searched all the internet's "nooks and crannies" to find blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that held contests. I was an addict. That is so last year though. Anyway, this said fashion blog has the "elements" -- OOTDs, fashionable items as sponsors, etc. I'm not sure what exact post was that but there was a story about the blogger's son. Oh wow, this young fashionista has a son? Yeah, yeah. Hence, ONESIES! She is a student, too. No, not just a student-student. She is a Law student. Fast forward to today, I have this AML thing going on here and thought of her. She deserves to be applauded for what she is, right? I only have assumptions on what her motherhood state is, but her being young and strong and brave to raise a child while pursuing her dream career is something that all of us cannot do. You know, I know some moms who just stopped dreaming for themselves because they became moms. They settled for mediocrity because it's the easy way out. Oh, I know; to each her own. But my 40th mom begs to differ.  

NAME: Michelle Francoise "Mish" C. Rendon

AGE: 23

CHILD, AGE: Zack Aeden, 2

OCCUPATION: Law student, fashion and lifestyle blogger, mommy!

FAVORITE OUTFIT: Something laid back. Shorts or jeans, plain shirt, and sandals or flats.

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: Lipstick and mascara

HOBBIES: Reading and writing.

CURRENT READ/WATCH: Law books and codal hehe. I'm still trying to finish 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene before the semester gets busy.

FAVORITE DOMESTIC DUTY: Playing with Z and cleaning up after his mess. :)

28 October 2013

The Captain's Treat for His Girls

I can't believe that I have intentionally forgot to blog. Well, it's not that I'm beginning to lose my blogging mojo or I'm not feeling emotionally okay to write. A reader actually asked me why I wasn't blogging, she said I looked happy with all my IG posts so she wondered what went wrong. Uhm, is this a good excuse? I felt sluggish these past few days that even turning on the lappy was a daunting task. There. Like what I always post in my Facebook page whenever I'd get too busy to blog, follow me on Instagram! There are nice photos there; not very pro photography-wise but it's about me: food I cooked, my happy little artist, quotes I like and all things Bebeng. Yuhh, I check that first now more than my email. Haha! I told yah, I'll be flooding you with my Queenstagrams

That's the original Rhambo, my Christmas 2006 gift for him. ♥

25 October 2013

Nanaygosyante 2013: October

My daughter's birthday will not be as fab as it was if not for the colorful intricately designed birthday tutu outfit that she wore during her party at school. I was the happiest mom to see my birthday girl having a blast with her classmates and teachers. 

23 October 2013

A Mom's Life: 39/48

When LB and I went to the Baby and Family Expo Press Conference last October 24th (promise, will post about it the soonest), I finally met a mommy blogger whom I just have an online friendship with. She is the dusky beauty behind Nurse's Diary. I super admire her for being so cool and calm, despite bringing two toddlers with her! No nanny, no hubby and fully made-up. I just brought a precocious preschooler (the leader of the kaguluhan haha) and I was kinda hulas na. But Serene's one of those moms who can afford to wear heavy mascara without the trace of stress. She can even manage to smile while her youngest was screaming so happily. Royalties, meet my 39th AML.

NAME: Serene Shikukeza

AGE: 28

CHILD, AGE: Jolo Ryleigh, 3 y/o; Aleighna Jolie, 1yr and 9 mos

OCCUPATION: Nurse/SAHM soon to be mompreneur.

FAVORITE OUTFIT: baggy shirt and shorts :)

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: BB Cream, eyebrow pencil, mascara, blush on, lipstick

HOBBIES: Crafting, reading, playing online games, watching tv series

CURRENT READ/WATCH: watch: the suits (i'm addicted to the series), pretty little liars season 4, grey's anatomy season 9

FAVORITE DOMESTIC DUTY: Doing the laundry! I am maselan when it comes to our clothes.

The Road to a Beautiful Smile: One Dental Care's Dental Health Tips for Children

Last month, I finally had LB's teeth checked by a dentist. I know, I know -- it should be a yearly thing. I regretted that, don't worry. My procrastination and negligence led to LB's carious front tooth. I used to blame her nannies (who used to take care of her when I was still a corporate slave) for not doing their jobs. I used to blame her formula milk for having too much sugar. I used to blame my husband's genes for having chalky teeth. But yeah, what the heck, I am to blame! Thank God I'm now a full-time SAHM -- no more excuses. In fact, I'm blessed with time and yay, blog sponsors! I was mentally jumping up and down when I got a message from Dr. Rio Lico of One Dental Care saying that she's interested to work with ze cyber palace. 

17 October 2013

Are you a woman of substance?

You don't need to answer immediately. I'd love to know about that later, in the comments. Let me tell you a story first.

Few days earlier, I spent one beautiful weekend afternoon with two of my current favorite women in my life -- Martine and Louise. Yes, ze Dainty Mom and Mommy Practicality. I'm a loyal reader of these powerful blogs, so to say that I'm happy being offline friends with the authors is an understatement. The happiness didn't just stay inside me. It was seen, heard and felt that day. In fact, if you had passed by our table in Cibo, where we had our lunch, you can even smell it -- it smells like vagina. Hahaha! Okay, not literally. We were just sooo woman in what we were, were talking about and all that jazz that happened. Like what Louise said in her post about our Mademoiselles' Day Out, "What happened or talked about on that table, will stay there and will remain sacred to us three." 

I know it sounds intriguing. We actually just shared a little about ourselves with another. And being with Martine, my numero uno bloggy momspiration, and Louise, who has the strength I so admire, I have absorbed much-needed wisdom that could be a foundation for one to become a woman of substance. 

16 October 2013

A Mom's Life: 38/48

It just makes me sooo happy that my mommy blogging has been like a "family thing" already. First, my sister N would always be one of the followers to like a status or photos that I'd post on my Facebook page. Second, my MIL knew about what blogging is and how it can be really effective in terms of "campaigning a brand" (she now proudly uses Cetaphil ahem). Third, my cousin V, an origami artist, from the States made an origami especially for me. Lastly, my cousin Camille started her blog Lollies and Lipsticks because of my influence. Have you read her first post? Here! And for this week's AML, allow me to share with you a little something about the very young mom behind the blog Rikx Knows Best. Rikka is married to my cousin Nico (our dads are brothers) and they have a cute little girl named Nica (I wonder where they got the name LOL). So royal friends, give this fresh na fresh na mutherbelle a warm welcome!

NAME: Erica Joana Angela "Rikka" L. Redrico

AGE: 21 

CHILD, AGE: Nica Ricana Angelique Redrico, 2 years old 

OCCUPATION: Freelance writer 

FAVORITE OUTFIT: Sexy dark statement shirt, shorts or leggings, sneakers 

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: Benefit mascara and eyebrow kit, Naked palette, Etude house BB Cream, Matte lipstick and blush - on 

HOBBIES: Reading books, cooking and baking pastries, Biking, Watercolor painting and playing video games 

CURRENT READ/WATCH: HIMYM, Please be careful with my heart, Wattpad stories, Gravity Falls 

12 October 2013

The Kid President

I first learned about the adorable and smart 10-year-old Robby Novak when Thammie Sy posted one of his videos on her blog. It's entitled "An Open Letter to Moms from Kid President". Robby Novak, as from what I have Googled, is an American comedian, motivational speaker, TED speaker, and a YouTube sensation, interviewing Beyoncé, Andrew WK, Pen Ward, Rainn Wilson, Ban Ki-Moon, and others. 

10 October 2013

Sophia Turns Five: My Little Pony School Party

When I was Googling for parties with My Little Pony themes, almost all of the girls who had it were five-year-olds or older. It's undeniably a little lady's favorite. My little girl breathes ponies day in and day out. Instead of saying everybody, she'd say "every pony". She'd sleep with her ponies, plays with them whenever she can and sometimes tags them along when she poops. Haha! Yes, she is that hooked to the colorful gallopin' cuties. So even without asking her, I decided to make it as her school party's theme. As you will see in the photos, the ponies weren't that evident 'cause it's not easy to look for MLP merchandise here in the Philippines, so I played with colors of the ponies instead. 

Warning: I'll be flooding this post with photos from the event. I enjoyed being the photographer that I didn't have a photo with the celebrant. You know, something for posterity. Well, we had one; a family selfie inside the car. That'll do. Hehe. Anyway, if I had the means and money, I could have just ordered party paraphernalia here. But because we're a single-income family, I went DIY. Momma, I had a blast up to the littlest of details!

09 October 2013

Sophia Turned Five: Lunch at Home and Dinner at Red Ribbon

Two weeks and few days earlier, the Rayala kingdom was uber busy preparing for the princess' 5th birthday party which was held at her school. I will share with you the details of LB's colorful gallopin' gala of sweets and fun party on a separate post. If you wish to see it on Instagram, you may search it via this hashtag #LBTurnsFive. Yes, may sariling hashtag ang event ng bagets! In the meantime, allow me to make kwento the things that happened on her exact birth date. 

A Mom's Life: 37/48

I only have a few friends in highschool, because unlike most of you, my highschool life wasn't really that fun. But I'm not complaining! It was in highschool when I met the man I married and would spent Alzheimer days with. Hihi. Anywaaaay, it was also in highschool where I met this week's AML

My 37th AML mom was the all-around kind and cool girl-next-door happy bunny of our class. She never had failing grades and was really good in managing her time with her extracurricular activities. So it didn't surprise me that she is now a badass theater actress in The Big Apple. Want to know a bit more about this NYC-based theater actress momma? Read on.

04 October 2013

The Lipstick and A Grateful Woman

Whenever I stop working (read: depending on husband's salary), there's this little voice inside me always discouraging me to buy something for myself. I feel guilty. Reasons? One, it's not basically my money. Two, I'm "manipis" by nature. Three, I'd rather buy food, which we can share altogether. However, a girl is a girl with material needs. I know you know what I'm talking about. Say, how can we get to have presentable hair without going to the salon at least every 3 months? Or at least have a decent shampoo-conditioner combo at home. Honestly, I haven't treated my hair for some time now and made a mental note that I will when I have "extra" money. Extra means all bills are paid, the fridge has enough food and my little girl would have her occasional visit to Jollibee or McDo. 

As a SAHM, life is not all easy. But to be honest and fair, my husband's salary is enough. Thank you Philippine government. But just enough for all the payables and simple pleasures. That's why again, there's this little voice inside me pushing me to earn. Because I'm feeling materialistic. Ugh. Rhambo doesn't really tell me to go back to work but he didn't tell me to stop either. Haha! He just supported my decision to "be there" for our child. Thank youuuuu, baby. I love you! But during my flor contemplation moments (happens usually before I sleep or when I do my business haha), I will have this girl wants, which will all be shunned away when a person below 4 feet will knock on the door, saying "are you done 'Nay? I'm bored." 

What do I want to say here? 

03 October 2013

Rayala Dialogues: The Sorority Girls

Earlier at school, LB and I were in a serious talk because she hit my face! She was running around and getting messy. I told her before we left home that she can't do that before class. After class, pwede. That's how she got pneumonia kasi --- sweating like a pig then will go inside an airconditioned room. Of course, she got annoyed that I was telling her to stop and sit. Perhaps, she felt embarassed. Actually, I still don't know yet. I will ask her later when I pick her up. Anyway, I was really furious but still trying to keep my cool because I didn't want to make a scene. As I was talking to her, her classmates, all girls named Ar, Al and Sh, surrounded her. It was like her support system, they are actually her "bestfriends". She always mentions their names here at home. They were like a sorority bullying me. Hahaha! Chos.

Clockwise from left: LB, Sh, Ar and Al.

02 October 2013

Sangobion wants you to be an Iron Lady!

I just love that while I'm typing this, I can hear the squeaking sound of my old washing machine outside. Yup, I'm also doing the laundry while blogging. That's how a rock star momma roll! And later before 5pm, I shall be picking up my little girl from school, will cook dinner, wash dishes, clean up our mess, talk to the military husband over the phone, evening bath with my mini-me, story time, bedtime... And there, finally a real time for myself. It doesn't sound so bad and tiring, you know. I love what I'm doing and if I can only stretch the day into a few more hours so I could do more, I would. I need to recharge so I need to sleep. Speaking of sleep, few weeks ago, I was one of the mommy bloggers who got invited to attend the exclusive Sangobion media luncheon held at Makati Shangri-la.

A Mom's Life: 36/48

This week's A Mom's Life features one of my former colleagues at the TV network. IMHO, aside from the artistas I have seen, she has the most beautiful face ever. OK, no tomboy moment here ha, I'm just stating a fact! Haha! But guess what, she's more than just a beautiful face. Get to know her more through this "AML slum book".

NAME: Stephanie "Tara" Macaraeg-Alfafara 
(her names are from the movie, Return to Eden)

AGE: 29 

CHILD, AGE: Tiffany, 7 months 

OCCUPATION: Writer/Producer at ABS-CBN Global, Ltd. 

FAVORITE OUTFIT: classic polo/tee, washed-out jeans/shorts, flats, accessories and a nice bag 

MUST-HAVE BEAUTY COSMETIC: Moisturizer (ziaja), cream blush-on (mac) and lip balm (burt’s bees) 

HOBBIES: Reading, Watching Movies, Baking and Cooking 

CURRENT READ/WATCH: Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard, Got to Believe (yup, I watch teleseryes!) 

FAVORITE DOMESTIC DUTY: Cooking and taking care of my little one.

30 September 2013

10 Signs That It's Almost Christmas in the Philippines

Here in the Philippines, we still have November 1st and 2nd (or more famously known as Undas) to get busy with before we can officially declare Christmas. But typically Pinoy, it's the yuletide season for us once we hit the -Ber months. Well, for me, I start to actually feel, see and believe it when my husband's year-end bonus arrives, haha. Anyway, before someone else rolls her eyes with that statement, allow me to share you my list of satirical, funny, a bit scary but super spot on signs that it's almost Christmas in the Philippines! 

1. Cab drivers become more choosy than ever. "Dagdag na lang kayo ng bente, Ma'am", "tsk, tsk, ang layo yata nun", "trapik dun eh, metro ba?" and the endless taxi driver dramarama lines continue. Grabe 'di ba? Ay ako muther, I really make a scene 'pag salbahe ang manong driver. Even if I'm at the middle of EDSA 'pag pinaandaran ako ng ganyang emote, may I go down ako. I pretend, too that I'm talking to an MMDA officer on the phone. Minsan, si jowabelles kunwari. However, when I chance upon real nice ones, I make dagdag bente without him telling me.   
2. A platoon of Santa Claus figures displayed in the bangketa, along with parol and other holiday decors. See, even St. Nicholas loves to make tambay in the dusty streets of PI.  
3. Ninongs and Ninangs are practicing the art of deadma. This is my favorite. Sophia has 12 pairs of godparents but you know what? Gift-wise, I felt like we only get around 10 on her birthdays and during Christmas. Presence-wise naman (in person or online), 6 or 7. But we understand you, guys. Ganyan din naman kami sa inyo eh. Hehe.
4. Jacket-clad people, even in the afternoon! You know those glossy, cheap, jejemon and anghit-magnet ones? Such an eyesore, swear. And the color combination sometimes make me dizzy. Don't get caught wearing those please! I don't claim that I'm a fashion expert or something; I do have baduy moments, too. But making the breezy (but still sunny) weather as your excuse to wear a jacket in the noon is unacceptable. Unless you're sick or wearing one from the collection of Zalora's hip varsity jackets, I'll let you go on with your life peacefully. *winks*
5. The campaign for single-blessedness being with family (and fur babies) are getting stronger. Saying that having no partner means no problems or no expenses or whatsoever excuse. I don't want to elaborate anymore.
6. Wind burn. Chapped Lips. Dry skin. But I love my hair's texture as it gets colder. Hindi siya close to being afro. 
7. Hams galore: TVCs, print ads, radio jingle, etc. Get the finest cuts. Look for the net marks. 
8. Carolers who don't finish the song. Sad. Ay naku mga bagets, I will not give you my barya if you don't have that make-shift tambol and tambourine. I will not even open my door if you will just make palakpak ha. Everybody happy dapat ang peg!
9. Pick-pocketers / hold-uppers / snatchers / bad guys / evils / mumu / mga kaborkot na manong and manang are like mushrooms na nagsusulputan everywhere! Teh, sige na mayaman ka na ha. Pero don't wear naman the whole Karat World when you go to Araneta Center to witness the lightening ceremony of the giant Christmas Tree. Ingat lagi tayo! Maging mapagmatyag at mapanuri. 
10. Lastly, nagkakaubusan ng fruit cocktail, NESEL cream at spaghetti sows. Tapos lahat ng puntahan mong bahay pagdating ng pasko, may buko salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, at kung anik-anik na salad. Hanggang 2nd week ng January, may salad sa pridyider.
There you have it - My 10 SIGNS THAT IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS IN THE PHILIPPINES! If you have more in mind that you wish to share, type it down in the comments section. This will be one fun discussion on how we Pinoys celebrate Christmas. 85 days to go!

This post is brought to you by Zalora Philippines but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photo courtesy of  Pares, atbp.