20 December 2017

Mommy Mundo's Mom 24/7 Planner 2018

The coming year will be so much more exciting for this queen mama as I face the new season of motherhood - raising a tweenager and a baby! Yup, after 9 years of being a mom to an only child, I'll be multiplying my heart, soul and time into its superlatives so I can give equal attention to my two girls. I can't wait to experience all its highs and lows that will surely make me a better person. But as a military wife who has to manage our family time well just so my husband can still be included when he is not on duty, I got to have plans A to Z.

I'm so glad that Mommy Mundo never failed to gift me their much-loved Mom 24/7 planner! The latest edition has three modern and awesome designs that match the kind of mom that you are or at least hope to be. Each design has a name - Aria, Cadence and Erin. I chose Erin not only because I fancy its gold, mint and navy strokes but because it was specifically designed for mamas who strive for peace and mindfulness in their daily lives. Because a mindful mom gets the job done lovingly well.

Take a look at what's inside the planner!

18 December 2017

Make Your Holidays Simple and Sweet with Whatta Tops Krismas Delight Box

Before I gave birth a week ago, I was almost sure of my decision of not giving anyone presents this coming Christmas. Budget and time were too tight for such. It all went to shopping for the new baby's stuff. Lo and behold! The gods of food (also gods of happiness, methinks) heard my silent plea - I was sent with boxes and boxes of sweet treats from Lemon Square! With my grateful heart, I made a mental note of who to give those to. My first in the list - the doctors, nurses and interns in the hospital where I gave birth.

In the box of my simple and sweet token of thank you were the usual #baonserye favorites - Cheesecake, assorted cupcakes and Whatta Tops. What made it a bit extra special was the Whatta Tops Krismas Delight box! 

It's a red Christmassy box with six pieces of limited edition Whatta Tops flavors - Mango and Tsokolate Espesyal.

My husband and I gave both flavors a taste test and according to my sweettooth guy, he found the mango flavor interesting. What's also interesting is its price! It's just 50 pesos, my dear fellow queens. Hindi pa hard-to-find 'cause it's readily available in supermarkets. So instead of candles, mugs or cheap home decors (lol) that become kalat eventually, why not try giving these away. Mura na, nakaka-happy pa! You can still make habol later for your last minute Christmas shopping. Gorabelles na!

This post is sponsored by Lemon Square but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

28 November 2017

My Husband's Tips on Buying Used Cars

It was in 2012 when my husband R bought our first family car, a pre-loved Toyota Vios. Sophia wasn't aware how important it was for us but I felt that she was happy that we didn't have to commute when we travel out of town. We rode in it during our frequent visit to Zambales, where R was assigned then. It also reached Baguio, Pangasinan and the entirety of Metro Manila. That gray Vios with fantastic sound system (kudos to my husband) served us well. We then sold it in 2016 when we acquired a brand-new Toyota Innova. 

R may not be a car expert, an enthusiast even, but when it comes to its practicalities, he got these tips for should you want to buy used cars in the future. 

Research the seller's credibility. This is very important as some used cars sold were previously stolen. I'm sure you don't want to end up in jail just because you bought a car. 
As much as possible, choose cars with low mileage. High mileage means the car has been used too often, which makes it more prone to defects eventually. 
Inspect the car thoroughly, best to bring along a trusted car mechanic. When we bought our Vios, one of my husband's staff, who knows car engines more than he does came with us.  
Check the car's history. Ask for the warranty booklet and previous accidents. 
In the event that you fell in-love with a specific car that didn't pass the above criteria, prepare a larger amount of money. You will surely be using it for purchasing some parts that needed replacement.

If you need further reading on cars and its what-nots, Cars.com is an awesome resource!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cars.com but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

23 November 2017

The Truth About Baby Showers

When I was pregnant with Sophia, I threw myself a simple baby shower at home with a little help from a friend. Being young with no enough knowledge on proper etiquette and all, I did that for the gifts, apparently. As how we know it, "gifts are central to showers." That's the main reason why there is such to begin with.

My baby shower cake nine years ago
At the onset of my current pregnancy, I thought about it and discussed it with my husband. He said that no one will come to our baby shower anymore (should we have one) since most of the friends who attended the first are no longer in our circle. Even if it hurt me big time, I agreed with him. Sometimes, for one to finally accept the truth, it has to hurt first. I have moved on easily, though and gotten over it already. For me, growing up means losing some friends in the process.

27 October 2017

Our Relationship Secrets: Revealed!

My husband and I were highschool classmates. No - we were never sweethearts. We didn't dance in our prom night, he didn't carry my heavy bag and books, he didn't look my way. Worst, we didn't even talk! There was one incident that I wanted to initiate a conversation, though. It was my chance, I had a slight crush on him when I was 14 eh. We were in the same jeepney on the way to school. Gahd, imagine my kilig when I saw him na sumabit bigla. You know, I wanted to hold his book for him kasi nga nakasabit siya then eventually when he's finally seated, we would talk and ililibre niya ako ng pamasahe but well, nag-123 pala siya that day so sorry, no cute puppy love story to tell, hahaha! But if you seriously want to know how we got to be where we are now, here's our funny, worthy of an MMK episode love story entitled - When Rhambo Met Bebeng.

Hello, this is us. Photo taken by our little girl, our #1 fan.

I love going back to how we began. In fact, I shared that with his mom and our daughter Sophia. Our girl was laughing the whole time I was telling our story. She loves it and gets kilig kasi when her father and I are being sweet to each other. Sinusulit ko na rin hanggat hindi pa siya grossed-out sa amin, hihi. Telling her how I met her father is important for us since we really pray that she will also have a happy marriage and family in the future. And in case she'll ask for tips and advice, we got these SECRETS TO A LONG-LASTING RELATIONSHIP that I will be sharing with you, too.

25 October 2017

How We Finally Got Pregnant After 9 Years

That's a tough title to prove, I know. Also, I can just give a one-liner boompakganern to support it but I'm feeling a little chatty today (uhm, like I always do, by the way) soooo here it goes...

A revelation that some of you might not know yet - Sophia is a love child. I mean, every child must be made out of love but you call those that way when you got them out of wedlock. It was the holidays in 2007 when my ex-boyfriend (now the husband) R and I were left in their house. We were young, wild and free. Haha. OK, to stick to this blog's wholesome, God-centered, and family-oriented image, we were so in-love... that the minute I laid my eyes on him that one cold holiday evening with just the two of us, I saw him as the corny dad joker of my children. And the rest, as they say, was history.

Fast forward to 2012, my daughter Sophia was about to turn 4 when I felt an excruciating pain in my lower right abdomen. I'll save all the space here for happy thoughts so kindly click this link to know what happened - I got an ectopic pregnancy. We may be already married that time but that unborn baby could have been another love child. We didn't plan for that 6-week baby blood; we were fine with having one kid. After all, we knew our finances aren't fit for more. And that an active preschooler has made me not to wish for another of her kind, hahaha!

But as how God knows me well (a hard-headed child of His who loves surprises), He gave me this rainbow baby - the gift to welcome the new season of our lives. Up to this very day (I'm approaching my 31st week as of this post), I am still in awe. After 9 long years, I am now carrying a tiny human being, who's been a blessing to us ever since we knew about her. I may have quit my job for her but we still carry on as God promised us that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. My marriage with R is so much better, too; it's even at its best. Most of all, my dear darling Sophia will never be alone anymore. 

27 September 2017

Currently | 04

Whew! Finally got to find time to update this loving blog. It's not that I'm too busy or that I'm taking this space for granted but sometimes, having a smartphone can kill a blogger's blogging mojo. Just like most social media enthusiasts, I'm into sharing snippets of my day on Instagram Stories and I interact more on my Facebook. I like that I can see the faces behind the comments on my posts. With here kasi, there's the anonymous option. Minsan kahit gusto mong chumika, nakakawalang gana if they don't want their identity to be known. Malay ko ba kung bad person na yung ka-chikahan ko 'di ba? On my Facebook that now has 57,000 plus followers, when there's a comment that won't do good for the community, I delete it. Mga nagmumura, mga halatang naghahanap ng away or yung spammer (haha). I have banned several people na rin because of going beyond what is proper. That's what social media management should be naman, right? As a blogger, it's my responsibility to share and make sure that we use these platforms responsibly. 

Anyway, speaking of blogging, I am sincerely hoping that the old school days of blogging will be back. Yung tipong bloggers just blog to bleed thoughts; to reach and inspire people. Nakaka-sad kasi to read blogs that are purely commercial na. Nakakatamad na tuloy magbasa. there's nothing wrong with monetizing blogs naman because I certainly do that, too but most blogs these days kasi (especially yung mga bago) write the same things na. So for my blog, as a promise to you and myself na rin, I won't change into that kind. After all, I have gone through a lot of rebranding already, haha! 

So to bring that old school blogging vibes back, here's my 4th installment of CURRENTLY.

08 September 2017

A New Season

It's been six months since I last wrote here. Not proud of it but it surely gave me the blogger's rest that I deserve and surprisingly, taught me a few lessons, too. 

You see, I went back to work on March; coincidentally started on International Women's Day. After five years of being a stay-at-home mom that shifted to mompreneurhood to working at home as a Social Media Manager, I wore my best working mom hat again as a Marketing Manager of a group of companies. I accepted the challenges and won it over - from the daily commute to office politics to unapproved proposals. What I dreaded most was missing my daughter, Sophia every minute that I was not home with her.


My usual day starts at four in the morning - cooking and preparing our baon, having some quick but hearty breakfast and helping my little lady dress up for school. By the time she leaves at 5:30, my exhaustion is starting to creep in into my nerves. But instead of slowing down or going back to sleep like I used to, I'd wash the dishes, tidy up the house then prepare for work. The office is relatively near home but I still travel for an hour. Initially, I get Uber but it leaves a painful scar on my budget so I decided to simply become a warrior and brave all unpleasantness that riding jeepneys give.

One of the companies.

Before I started on March 8th, I bought a cellphone for Sophia. It's the most basic - just for calls and texts. I call her when I know she's already home from school. Sometimes, my mom accompanies her. Once in a while, my mother-in-law visits her and waits with her until I come home. But sadly, most of the time, she opens the gate on her own and would be greeted by no one but our pet cats. It was the most heartbreaking moment. There was even an instance that the landlord locked the gate without notifying us. Imagine how I panicked! My daughter ended up waiting for my brother-in-law in her bus driver's carwash shop. 

Back then, we go with the flow. The inevitable happened - my #baonserye posts went down the drain eventually and I found myself overstaying at the office once a week due to heavy workload. Sophia and I only had a few minutes before bedtime, sometimes none, to talk about how our day went. And though my husband, R fully supports me, I felt a disconnection. When he's home during weekends, I'm too tired to fully become the wife that I want myself to be. Yes, we had extra money to go to the mall, watch movies and eat out but it's nothing compared to the simple things we enjoy doing together - like walking the dog, visiting our moms or dining at our favorite pares place. 

I may not have financial woes for having money of my own but deep inside me, I knew there was something wrong.

01 March 2017

Live Simply with Kees

It was in 2015 when I decided to give this blog the clean and simple look that it has today. Gone are the bright pink touch and frills that it used to have. It was my little way of telling my readers that the blogger they've known for years have experienced changes in her life. And that I wanted them to also feel those changes here in my virtual home. I realized that the more time I invest on simpler thoughts and joys, the happier I get. Isn't that delightful enough to always choose to walk on that path?

Sure, I have grand dreams for my family, especially for my only girl Sophia but I still find life easier to live each day whenever I choose to live it simply - from keeping my circle of friends small to not going to all events I'm invited to. It's not that I'm applying Marie Kondo's organizing techniques into our lives (it can never be suited for our set-up anyway) but I truly enjoy the things that truly matter now because of this change. 

In fact, it reached my choice of clothes and shoes and accessories. You can check this Pinterest board to see what I mean. I am slowly completing my wardrobe of the basics. That's why I'm always on the lookout for local stores that sell whatever is in my *uniform*. And I'm just so glad I found one on Instagram - Kees!

27 February 2017

Really, Tupperware has Hello Kitty?!

That was actually my husband R's reaction. He didn't know that Tupperware, the brand he knew only as food containers when we were kids, now has other products. He's lucky he has a blogger wife to inform him of these changes, no? Hehe. 

Anyway, apologies for the super short notice my fellow Hello Kitty fanatics but you guys have to look for a Tupperware branch near you immediately! Like after you finish reading this post. 'Cause this paw-retty kitty has a lot of cute items to offer her millions of followers here in the country! 

Few weeks ago, Tupperware Brands Philippines sent us a box of Hello Kitty goodies. 

18 February 2017

Shopping and Saving

As a geographically single parent, my military husband allows me to manage our finances - from the major payables down to the petty expenses. While some wives would say I'm lucky that my husband trusts me, I have to honestly tell you that it's not that easy. 

Of course, this woman is just like most of you: Shopping brings me joy. But since we basically depend on a regular single income, buying the not so necessary is automatically scratched from the list. I earn from gigs (freelance online job, homebased biz and this blog), alright but it’s still not enough to cover all that we need, which includes little things that still matter (i.e., new pair of everyday shoes).

21 January 2017

No-Bake Cookies and Cream Cake

With Valentine's Day nearing, it's quite a given that pastry stores, even chocolatiers will take advantage of the needs of their customers. Aww-worthy gifts for their loved ones, that is! But what if you actually have not allotted a budget for it? Well, you might probably decide unleashing your inner Martha Stewart, right? But then, what if you got no tools to back you up? You only got a few spoons and bowls and a brand new refrigerator (from last Christmas or perhaps, a wedding present from one of your wedding godparents, lol). 

Fret no more, royalties! MoneyMax.ph sent me this awesome infographic on how to make a No-Bake Cookies and Cream Cake under Php200. 

09 January 2017

One Word, One Year: 2017

I have shared in this post how 2016 was like for our small family. Thinking about the massive amount of merriment and mayhem that happened then, my one word last year pretty described how the previous events took place. Whenever I have to make a decision - be it great or minor - I have always gone back to my whys, my purpose. And for that, I was so glad I chose that word no matter how common it is, no matter how related it is to Justin Bieber, lol. 

For this year, it took me a few words before I arrived to one. I thought of "now", "kindness", "focus" and "accept". All these have strong impact to me as 2017 began. It was only when my husband finally left home to go back to work that I realized what I would love my one word to be. 

And that is, HUMILITY.

04 January 2017

The Year That Has Been

Where were we on the last day of 2016? 

Just a quick backgrounder, a confession that none of our families, except my selfie queen sister, and friends knew - my husband R and I had a serious fight. We were not talking days after Christmas until a few minutes before the year ended. Sophia knew. Some kids would have complained about how miserable to have spent the holidays with cold-hearted parents and most probably took sides already. But my girl - she was the voice of reason, our sunshine that kept us warm and melted the ice that enveloped our home. 

Back to the question - oh, our family of contradicting characters and mood swings spent it in a non-extravagant but meaningful way! We had dinner at a 24-hour KFC along Marcos Highway then went to Marikina River Park for fair rides and games. Our little miss adventurer had fun even with that one scary ride (that made me repent my sins over and over lol). But R and I? We were still ignoring each other. He still ignored me even if I was actually trying to impress him when I shot targets consecutively in exchange of cheap toys and candies. What a snob, that guy, haha. Then we drove up to Antipolo for fireworks sighting but went home disappointed. Drizzles and smog, that's why. It was so polluted down here that night; we didn't see anything! 

Anyway, up to this very moment, no apologies were made. But I guess, the evening I hugged him while he was sleeping gave it away that whoever was at fault, I didn't care anymore. All I ever thought was how I longed for that hug and that I just cannot let the next day happen without us being our old selves again. So there. And of course, don't forget - having sex after a fight is always the best idea.