Thursday, March 29, 2018

Pros & Cons of Returning to a Former Relationship

Marriage, or rather the failure of it, is quite the topic these days. Recently, a celebrity stylist introduced her child to the world and people were horrified—not because she had a baby while unmarried but because the father of her baby was still very much married. No one likes a homewrecker. Not ever and never ever. Also recently, it looks like divorce will finally be legal in our country. So there's a lot of talk on how that is good news and bad news.

I'm a great believer in marriage and that is why I never wanted to get married because it honestly is an institution meant for superhumans. Marriage is HARD. But I also believe that it's one of the most beautiful things about the human experience, and so I am glad I did get married. Even when being married is not easy.

That said, I will always support divorce as a civic right. As I said, marriage is for superhumans and I don't know any superhuman haha. Joking aside, even though I believe in marriage, I also believe that people should feel safe and secure. Anyone who feels threatened and abused in a marriage should have the option to leave it. A marriage should be a good thing so if it is a very harmful situation, a spouse should be legally allowed to leave for his or her (usually her) and the children's safety.

I'm glad that our divorce bill allows for a cooling-off period because I believe that a couple should work out their differences. (Except when there's abuse. Leave. Period!) Sometimes time apart helps a husband and wife realize what the problem is and they may forgive and try again.

What do you think, mamas? What do you think of the divorce bill? What will make you leave your husband? Will you forgive your husband if he had an affair?

Anyway, I'm publishing a guest post because I think it's relevant today (coincidentally, it's the season where we're all asked to forgive so...). Tell me what you think!

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The decision of whether or not to return to a former love can be a challenging one. At one point or another, everyone is likely to have weighed up the pros and cons in their mind of going back to a past flame. Well, in this article, we are going to weigh up some of the main ones. If you are currently going through this dilemma, hopefully, this article can go some way towards making this decision just a little bit clearer to you. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Reasons Not to Go Back



First of all, when you go back to an old relationship, it is very difficult to recapture the initial rush of excitement that you had in the first place. If you are planning to give your ex another chance, don’t dive straight back into a full-on relationship. Instead, you should meet up on a more casual basis to find out if what you once had is still there. Another reason not to go back is that you are doing it for the wrong reasons like because you are simply feeling lonely. Though going back to a past lover may provide a temporary fix, you are unlikely to get the long-term fulfillment that you are looking for.

If the reason that you broke up in the first place is that the other person hurt you in a major way, you need to be totally confident that they are not going to do the same thing all over again - something which is very difficult to achieve. After all, you don’t want to end up getting taken advantage of all over again. Finally, if you go back to a former relationship, you have no room to meet new people and perhaps grow and develop yourself.

Reasons to Return



There is a power in forgiveness, and if you are sure that you can move past what went wrong in the first place, you may find that this is the right path for you. Perhaps the other person has undergone some profound changes in their life after losing you. However, if you are the one who did wrong, it may be worth taking a look at Get Your Ex Back: Super System Program. There is always the danger that if you don’t give it a go, you may end up regretting it.

There is always a chance that you vow to do things better the second time around. You can learn from your past mistakes and establish a relationship which works better for the two of you. You may have both had the chance to grow and develop, and you are bringing these positive changes back into each other’s lives.

As you have probably gathered, the decision to bring a past lover back into your life is always going to be somewhat of a gamble. Ultimately, it is all up to you as to whether it is one that it worth taking or not.

*This post has affiliate links. Photo 1 and 2 from Pexels.com.

Friday, March 23, 2018

What's your #MeToo story, working mama?

Unless you've not been paying attention to the news, there is a bold and loud change happening in Hollywood and all over the world. It's the #MeToo movement, which is women very publicly sharing their stories of sexual harassment at the workplace. Famous women like Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Cara Delavigne and many more shared their stories and these definitely made headlines and magazine covers, propelling the movement and making that hashtag go viral.

People can't stop talking about it because most working women have a story to tell. And many from all ages, economic backgrounds, races, and industries did. The first few stories were enough to unleash a storm of other stories so silently endured because women were afraid and ashamed. Well, not anymore!

Read the story on TIME.com

I've been meaning to talk about the #MeToo movement here on the blog because this is a working mama blog, but because I've never actually experienced sexual harassment in any of my workplaces, I didn't think I could. Well, the recent awards shows in Hollywood was all about ending sexual harassment in all industries and the fact that this month is International Women's Month makes this as good a time as any! So please let me say something and I hope you can say something, too.

I've been very fortunate to have worked for female bosses nearly all my life. There have only been three times I had a male boss. One of them gave me a really romantic gift and I resigned soon after in horror. I don't want that kind of shit in my working life. My husband still teases me about the gift because even he thinks it's so romantic. Now, I acknowledge it was so easy to resign because the job didn't pay well and I didn't like the work anyway. I was young and didn't really care for anything so I got off easy.

Many women don't have it that easy. Many women can't walk away from a job because (a) it's their dream job and/or (b) they have mouths to feed and bills to pay. It's easier to take the abuse sometimes if you're convinced it's part of the package (i.e. the notorious casting couch) or if you're doing the job because people depended on you. It's also harder to say no to an abuser if he threatens you or your family. I know many girls who were forced in these situations. They are good girls, wonderful women.

That's why whenever I see condemning comments on these #MeToo news, I get really upset. You know, the ones that go, "Why didn't she just quit her job? No dream job is worth it! If she really hated it, why didn't she just leave? Why didn't she report it the first time it happened? I would NEVER do that! Women like that are nothing more than prostitutes."

Well, they all have a point and yet it's really not that simple. As for prostitution, let me just say that when I was in college taking up Creative Writing, an alumni talked to our class and we were so eager to listen to him. All he did was dash our dreams when he said, "If you write for anything else that isn't from your muse, if you write for money not for your art, if you accepted payment from a client, if you work anywhere that you don't like, if you even did something for your boss that isn't part of your job description, you just prostituted yourself."

Full disclosure: I write for money. I'm not ashamed of it, too. I'm pretty proud of the fact that practically every word I've published has given me a really nice life. Not all of us can write for free, ya know. Gotta feed the kids and send them to school. So prostitution is a strange word to use for working women although I know a lot of conservative men who think that any woman who works for money is little better than a whore. That's why a lot of men think they can harass women at work. They think no man is looking out for her, that she'd do anything for the money because she needs it, that she's game. And we women, we've been taught to smile, to accept it, to be flattered by it, and most importantly to never ever talk about it.

Well, no more!

I guess all I want to say is that sexual harassment and abuse of women is evil, and there is a special kind of evil when working women, especially working mothers, are subjected to it. There is immense power the abuser exercises over us when they know we really really want this job or that we really really need it because we have children. These predators prey not really on our bodies, but on our dreams, our hopes, and our need to provide for those we love. It's a sad story from the dawn of time and it's still a story we hear today.

And you know what else is evil? When we do succeed in our work but no one believes it's your talent and hard work that did it. They all think it's because of the sexual relationship—it's never rape or harassment to them because the woman "agreed" to the sex. So now the successful woman starts to wonder if what these people think is true: "Did I get the job because I was the most qualified for it or because I did that horrible thing? Did I get promoted because I brought in a lot of money to the company or because I did that horrible thing? Is my success real or is it all a fraud?" And now the dream, the hard work, the success—all that is tainted. What an evil thing to do to us!

I'm so glad that this #MeToo movement is rocking Hollywood right now. It's changing everyone not just in Hollywood or in the US, but all over the world. Many countries are now talking about the problem of sexual harassment at work and how to deal with it. The #MeToo movement is making women think we don't have to take sexual harassment. It's changing the way we think of men and women and the workplace, that these things aren't normal and part of the job, that these things are evil and must be stopped. It's making men think that they can't do this anymore because we women won't have it and we will talk about it, maybe even shame them, maybe even have them arrested. In fact, so many men (producer Harvey Weinstein, TV host Matt Lauer, actor Kevin Spacey, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, etc) have lost their jobs and their positions of power because of this movement. Good riddance!

I'm sad that all these stories are so horrifying but I'm glad they're all coming out. We need to talk about evil because silence is how it does its work best. Now that we have a voice, we need to trumpet out that we're not taking this anymore. What a wonderful time to be a working woman!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

How Your Appearance Has the Power to Affect Your Success

Hi mamas! I'm publishing a guest post because this is something I know all too well. We all know we have to dress for success. There was just one time that I got the job on sheer talent alone. That job is when I applied for a magazine position. It was a surprise interview and I went to meet with the publisher and editorial director wearing a tank top, ratty jeans, and completely makeup-free. I seriously didn't think I'd get the job since the publisher asked me how long ago was college. I was 29 at the time so that question wasn't to flatter me. But get the job I did.

Now to keep the job, I had to dress up. Meetings with advertisers, lunches with PR managers, photo shoots, celebrity interviews, TV guestings, and countless events. I had to look the part of a glamorous editor in chief. Thank goodness that part of my life is over because high heels are really painful to wear!

I interviewed Dr Aivee Teo and I still don't know why I dressed up when I'm not the celebrity.

And yet, as a blogger who earns from brand ambassadorships, I also learned that just because I work behind a screen doesn't mean I can neglect my appearance. I still remember when offers for brand ambassadorships fell drastically when my face exploded in pimples. A literally ugly and painful reminder that in this world, looks are a big deal. 

Anyway, check out this guest post about how your looks can affect your climb up the ladder of success. I think it's very helpful!

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Did you know that your look and your appearance affect your success? This might sound obvious, but do you know the exact reasons why it happens?

Everyone knows that successful entrepreneurs and business owners all ensure that their appearance is spot-on before they make a public appearance, but why exactly do they do this? There are many small things that add up and change the way we approach life, and in this article, we’re going to explain how your appearance is a powerful tool that can help you progress in life and further your career.

Your Appearance Inspires Confidence
Confidence is one of the biggest factors when it comes to running a successful business or building a thriving career. Confidence enables you to make decisions without doubting yourself, it helps you network with important industry figureheads and it also gives you more opportunities to develop yourself and grow your brand, be it a personal one or your business’s brand. There are many simple ways to boost your confidence using your appearance, but the most important one is to focus on comfort.

You don’t have to always wear a suit just to look good. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing formal clothes then why bother? You want to feel comfortable at all times, not like you’re being forced into wearing something just for the sake of your work. Instead of conforming to stereotypes, focus on your comfort. Wear what you want to work (of course, if you’re allowed to) as long as it empowers your ability to work hard.

Confidence isn’t something that naturally comes to you. It’s something that you need to get out there and grasp. Your appearance is something that you can easily change with a bit of styling, a new wardrobe and, most importantly, by improving your posture. Someone that is wearing an expensive suit but constantly slouching and looking down will always appear less confident than someone wearing a tracksuit at work who is always standing up straight and looking positive.

In short, your appearance has a huge effect on your confidence. Don’t neglect the importance of it and focus on the benefits it can offer you. It might be scary to inspire such a drastic change, but it’s important to get yourself out of your comfort zone so that you can embrace new changes in life and get used to the unknown.

Your Appearance Gives a Good First Impression
In the world of business, first impressions count. In fact, some relationships are going to be entirely defined by the first few moments you have with someone new. In business, there are too many people that want to make it big and sadly, the world isn’t big enough for all of them. As a result, you may find yourself struggling to find success. This is why it’s incredibly important to establish a good first impression, and this is where your appearance will come in handy.

Everything from the way you dress to the way you present yourself is going to have a profound effect on people you meet. If you’re well-dressed in a suit with a clean haircut and modest makeup, then you’re going to appear much more professional than someone who shows up in jeans and a hoodie. If you’re aiming to impress people, then it’s incredibly important that you analyze the situation you’re going to be in and dress appropriately. Is it a business meeting with big-name investors? Then you’ll want to dress smart and look the part. Is it just a casual meeting with colleagues? Then you might be able to get by with a casual look. It all depends on the situation you’re going to be in.

However, there are times when breaking the mould can create a bigger impact. For example, if you really don’t like wearing suits and dressing smart, then why bother? If you’re going to work with investors, then you don’t want to feel inferior or uncomfortable around them to a point that you’re dressing differently just to impress them. If you can’t stomach adapting to your environment and wearing a suit just to fit the mould that is expected of entrepreneurs, then you don’t need to. Make sure you’re comfortable no matter what you do to your appearance, otherwise you’ll lose your confidence and make an even worse first impression.


How to Improve Your Appearance For Success
So now that we’ve discussed two major points and talked about how your appearance can affect your success, we can move on to a few tips that will help you build your personal image and help you achieve success.

Focus on comfort. Comfort is the ultimate goal when it comes to dressing for success. You need to feel empowered in the clothing you wear, the accessories you adorn yourself with and the makeup you put on. You also need to focus on your hairstyle as well. From a lob haircut to a smart ponytail, focus on your entire appearance and not just your clothing. If you feel comfortable looking at yourself in the mirror, then you’ve completed the first step.

Adapt to the situation (within reason). Attending a fancy party with big-name investors in suits and dresses? Try and dress appropriately by wearing a suit, a modest dress or something along those lines. Showing up to work to give your employees a speech? Dress however you want and inspire confidence not with your expensive suit, but your general attitude and appearance.

Brands aren’t everything. You don’t need to focus on brands. They’re expensive, pointless and ultimately a waste of money. Focus on quality, comfort and fit.

Focus on the fit. Speaking of the fit, never wear anything that is too baggy or too tight for your body.

Hide your skin. And to add on to the previous point, make a habit of hiding your skin. Showing your arms is acceptable and showing a bit more skin when the weather is hot is fine, but don’t go overboard.

Don’t overdo your accessories or makeup. When it comes to going overboard, the easiest way to do this is with accessories and makeup. Stay modest with these. Choose accessories that are small enough to be noticed but don’t draw attention away from the rest of your appearance, and apply makeup that is subtle but still gets the job done.

No visible wrinkles. Make sure you iron your clothes to keep them fresh and free of wrinkles and creases. If you’re going to show up to a public event, then you don’t want to look like a ragtag mess.

Smile more. Lastly, make sure you smile. It will make you more approachable and help you feel more comfortable in your current situation.

Some Final Words
As you can see, your appearance has a huge effect on the way you’re perceived and the way you act. Confidence can be built from just your appearance alone, but you shouldn’t approach this blindly by trying to adapt to everyone around you. Building your confidence can also mean feeling comfortable in the clothes that you personally like, or the hairstyle that you feel is most practical for you. So whether you’re the type to wear jeans and a sweater to work or the type to wear a dry-cleaned suit, make sure you’re comfortable with your appearance to improve your chances of being successful.

*Photo from Pexels

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Frances Finds: Belo Baby Baby Wipes

Life with kids sure is messy. We just spent the last day of school eating cotton candy and chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. I almost said no to the cotton candy, mamas, because those airy confections make fingers and cheeks absolutely sticky, but hey, of course we had to celebrate so mama me gave in. Life with kids sure is messy naman na talaga so I just sometimes have to give in to the boys and let them have their fun and just always be on the lookout for anything and everything that can help me control the chaos!

The nicer photo is on Instagram @topazhorizonblog. I chose this pic for this post because
you can just see on the left side, in my bag, my mom find =)

So that's why I'm writing this blog post because last month, Belo Baby sent over a few packs of their new Baby Wipes and I love them. I'm really maarte with wet wipes for my kids because they have to be tough on stickiness and grime but gentle on my kids' skin—lalo na because I use wipes on their private parts also (well, for Piero's now, when I change his diaper). So I happily received my Belo Baby Baby Wipes packs and set out to try them out. Here's my review!

I love the signature apricot and turquoise colors of the Belo Baby brand. 

Mamas, I love them! Each pack is a pretty pink-and-blue affair with the face of the OG Belo Baby herself, Scarlet Snow, on it. Each pack contains 50 wet wipes that are nice and wet. I hate wet wipes that aren't wet! I also like that each wipe is thick. There are no harmful chemicals at all—no parabens, chlorine and petrochemicals. It doesn't even have alcohol or fragrance, which can irritate skin. What it does have is organic chamomile extract, organic aloe vera, and Vitamin E so that my baby boys' skin is moisturized. This is kinda a big deal for me because it is so very hard to keep little boys' skin soft! Also, because we have so many allergies, it's important to me that Belo Baby Baby Wipes is hypoallergenic and pH balanced so I can be sure that when I'm cleaning up cotton candy from my kids' faces and hands, I'm also pampering their skin.

The wipe is thick and soft. And holds a lot of moisture!

It sounds so luxe but one thing I also love about Belo Baby Baby Wipes is that each pack is just P69.75. Hindi masakit sa budget although I still get horrified when Iñigo has a booger-wiping spree and uses one big sheet for one small booger each. But ganyan talaga ang buhay with kids—chaos and mischief and mess but we can still be happy at the end of the day because the dirt and germs can be swept away with Belo Baby Wipes! Hooray!


You can get Belo Baby Baby Wipes from any leading supermarket and drugstore. Plus, get more info from Belobaby.ph and @belobabylove on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Try it out and tell me what you think!

*This post is brought to you by Belo Baby Baby Wipes.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Life advice from 6 women at the top of their game


Happy International Women's Month, mamas! I'm so excited to be living in this time when women everywhere are moving boldly to make the world a better place for women and children. And for men, too. For everyone! Feminists are so amazing. If it weren't for them, women won't be able to go to school, to vote, to work, to choose who they marry if they want to marry, to live on their own... Basically, if you're a woman who can leave your house and live a life you chose, then you have generations of feminists to thank! 

For hundreds of years, women didn’t get the credit they deserve. Today, the world is a very different place, and more and more ferocious females are blazing a trail and inspiring women, both young and old, to fulfil their potential and reach their goals. And if you're a mama who is feeling discouraged because work is hard or money is tight or the goal seems impossible to reach, I am here to tell you that the fact that you're still getting up every morning to try and try again is a most amazing thing. Bravo!

Here are words of inspiration from successful women but who went through great pain just to be at the top of their game:


Infographic design by Good Vibes

I'm so inspired really. I love that women are speaking out against evil and wrongdoing—from the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement where women are standing up against sexual harassment and abuse in the work place to the brave women that our government is persecuting all because they're doing their jobs well.

As a working mama, all I want to do is do my job and get paid for it. That's it. Let me do what I'm good at! I don't want to have to worry about getting raped. I don't want to worry about my job security being threatened just because I'm doing good work. Every day, millions of working women fear for their life just because they want to have a career, or they need to feed their family, or they're pursuing their dreams! But every day, we are also helping to change that. Let's never stop making this world better for ourselves and for our children. 

Happy International Women's Month again, mamas! 

Saturday, March 03, 2018

How my sweaty baby boys still smell sweet

I’m a mama of three little boys. Back when they were still tiny babies, I used to dread the day they start running around and getting all sweaty and dirty because I don’t like smelly kids! Well, at 7, 5 and 3 years old, my sons are well past that day. In fact, they spend all day running around, rolling on the floor, jumping about, and chasing each other and their classmates. They get sweaty and they get dirty but they don’t get smelly. Ever!

Kids need to be active (and sweaty) to be healthy. 

I like to think it’s genetics (I don’t have body odor) but since they're still kids, the reason simply is they don't have the factors that plague people prone to B.O. Puberty hormones, obesity, regularly eating spicy food, certain medical conditions like diabetes (bacteria like the sugar in their perspiration)—one or all these things can cause body odor. Sweat itself is just water so it doesn’t smell. But bacteria found on our skin just love our sweat and so the more bacteria you have, the smellier you get.

So the solution is really simple—Get rid of bacteria! Baths are important, of course. Fresh clothes at the ready when the boys get sweaty. And I also use antibacterial everything on my kids—their soap, their hand gel, pocket-sized spray bottles of alcohol. Since we can’t prevent sweat, I can just keep bacteria at bay. 

My little helpers also love doing the laundry.

I even use antibacterial laundry products! Diba I said my favorite household chore is doing the laundry? Well, ayan, my bacteria-aversion has made me choose products like Ariel AntiBac and Downy AntiBac. I like how it prevents 99% germs from making me and my boys smell yucky. No bacteria, no smell. I’m confident that even when my kids play all day, mabango pa rin sila pag-uwi nila sa bahay. Love it! 

P.S. I confess I tried the Parfum Collection lately and my whole family smells sooooo good!