Saturday, July 10, 2021

5 safety tips for a fun summer


Look at how cute baby Vito and baby Iñigo were in the pool! How I wish we could have a summer holiday. My kids and I have all of July to enjoy our school break. It's only a month because we're moving to a new homeschool provider that has an earlier back-to-school date than our previous one. So that's just 3 weeks of summer! 

To be honest, it's not a very exciting summer because it's not like we can go anywhere. There's still a pandemic out there. I'm already fully vaccinated but my husband isn't yet so until that happens, we'll stay home and stay safe. Still, summer means a break from school and plenty of time to just play and have fun. But it's been very hot and humid so we're basically doing nothing, just hanging out near the AC and fans. So bummer summer! 

I wish we lived somewhere cold right now. So this lazy Saturday I was looking at houses (Loyal Readers know I love looking at property listings!), particularly at houses in cold climates, and just look at this charming home I found while scrolling through Banff homes for sale (Banff is in Canada). You can almost feel the cool and crisp mountain breeze blowing out of these pictures!  

More photos of this listing here

Anyway, while I sweat here in sweltering Manila and dream of colder climes, I know many of you are roaring off to beaches and AirBnB's outside the city. I won't stop you but I truly hope you're fully vaccinated! Summer has always been a fun time but it also brings many dangers. Heat exhaustion, sunburn, sunstrokes, drowning. And now COVID! Here are a few safety reminders from Mommy Frances so you and your family can enjoy - not regret! - your summer 

1. Practice sun safety. 

Summer is hot. Obviously. So don't forget to protect yourself from the sun. Slather on the sunscreen. Don't stay out too long in the sun, especially from 10am to 3pm. Stay in the shade. Wear sunglasses and protective clothing. 

2. Always hydrate.

I read somewhere that thirst is a sign of dehydration. You're never supposed to get to a state of thirst. So drink those 8 glasses. Sip throughout the day, especially on a hot day. It's also important to drink the right liquids. For example, sugary, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages may be refreshing but they're actually dehydrating.

3. Have fun... but safely. 

Avoid strenuous activities in the hottest hours of the day. That means exercise during the early morning or late evening. If you're going swimming, make sure there's a lifeguard. If you're hiking on a mountain trail, be ready with the right gear. Remember to drink water!

4. Watch out for heat-caused conditions.

Prolonged exposure to sun and heat can cause dangerous conditions like dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. So pay attention to what your body's telling you. Look out for excessive sweating, thirstiness, high body temperature, rapid and shallow breathing, a feeling of confusion, nausea, headaches, and more. 

5. Don't forget there's a pandemic!

We're all fatigued from the warnings and reminders but it bears repeating especially if you're stepping out of the house. Please practice social distancing. Wear a mask properly. Avoid crowded places. Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Don't let your guard down! 


The kids and I actually want to go back to Baguio. Anywhere cool. Manila's just roasting these days. We may be stuck at home but I still have to make sure we're hydrated and not suffering from heat exhaustion (I am exhausted by the heat, though). For those of you who have plans to go out and have fun, stay safe!

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

The Beauty Bakery PH is serving some skin care goodies!


Got some goodies and I gotta say I love them! A few weeks ago, The Beauty Bakery PH sent me their curated beauty kits. Each kit contains specifically formulated products that work well with each other. You don't have to think about what goes with what because Beauty Bakery thought it up for you! 

Anti Acne Kit, Php 520
Combat pimples, acne, and breakouts caused by face masks. With their antibacterial protection and sebum-control properties, the products in this kit will not only help skin heal but will also prevent future breakouts.

No scent! Except for the facial wash, which smells like lemons.

Glow Skin Kit, Php 999
If you want that translucent glass skin glow, then this is the kit for you! The seaweed and botanical extracts in the products will help you achieve tighter pores and a porcelain skin texture that glows without skin peeling.

Has practically no fragrance, which is a big plus for me because I don't like heavily scented skin products. 

Healthy Skin Kit, Php 705
The Witch Hazel + Tea Tree Collection is a bestseller. I forgot that witch hazel is an amazing skincare product. I used it before (different brand) and my acne-prone skin totally calmed down. This kit promises antioxidant protection against free radicals and premature skin aging. Mid-40s me is game for that!

Smells lemony, which I associate with Pledge wood cleaner and polish.


I started using the products from the Healthy Skin Kit and the Glow Skin Kit. That's 6 full-sized products for just P1700. Pretty affordable! The Glow Skin Kit has the basic skincare products facial wash, toner, and serum while the Healthy Skin Kit has the moisturizer with SPF 30 and facial mist (I like face mists!) plus the scrub. The instructions said to use the scrub 3x a week but I only manually exfoliate once a week because I feel like more often than that and my middle-aged skin will be scrubbed raw. That's just me. Anyway, so far, so good! No allergic reactions and my skin is nice and plump, smooth and moisturized. Healthy and glowing indeed!

The Beauty Bakery PH skin kits and more are available in BeautyMNLShopee, and Lazada. Shop today at the 7.7 Sales for discounts!!!

*First photo grabbed from The Beauty Bakery PH's Instagram @beautybakeryph and Facebook The Beauty Bakery page. Follow and like them!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Review: "Homeschool Moms at the Feet of Jesus" by Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag

Our first year of homeschooling is finally done. It was most definitely not a walk in the park. I think we had some days when we yearned for "school school", you know, real school with real teachers who have real education degrees. That said, I'm happy to report that the kids enjoyed homeschooling more than I did. So that's a credit to me, right? Sigh. Let me tell you I may have made their homeschooling experience great but I truly had a hard time enjoying it. I'll tell you more about my conflicting feelings about homeschooling another day. For today, we'll do a book review of Homeschool Moms at the Feet of Jesus by Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag. 


Homeschool Moms at the Feet of Jesus is a 31-day devotional for homeschooling moms. If you're a dad, you'll appreciate it, too. In fact, since all of us are homeschooling anyway (hello, parents of online distance learning kids!), you will need this book. Every day for a month, you get a Bible verse, a little story of encouragement, questions to reflect on, a short prayer, and then a page of worksheet to write down your concerns and what you're grateful for. It's as simple as that!

The devotional is also part memoir since Teresa shares her own homeschooling journey in every entry. It's obvious that she is very happy with homeschooling (unlike me haha). Teresa is really an educator. Her job as a trainer, coach, and consultant is all about teaching so it's easy to see why homeschooling was the most natural decision for her. It was kinda sweet to see how excited she is about teaching her kids and how much joy she got out of that. I guess that's because she dedicated her homeschooling to God and relies on the Holy Spirit to give her wisdom and the right attitude, and she really is grateful for the privilege of being her kids' teacher. (Frances, take note!)



I got an advance copy of this book so I was able to go through a few days of devotions. Homeschool Moms at the Feet of Jesus is a book I'd have appreciated way back in August last year when we chose to homeschool because of the pandemic. It really addresses the fears and worries of a new homeschooling parent and it may have helped me adjust my attitude. 

Then again, I didn't actually fear homeschooling. I used to be a teacher and I have helped my kids with their homework for years. Many times I explained the lessons better than their teachers ever did. So my ability to teach them was not a worry. I'll talk about my struggle with homeschooling in another post! 

What's so good about this devotional is the emphasis on encouragement and the counting of blessings. Because there truly were many wonderful things that happened because I was my kids' teacher. I saw how they think and process information (okay, this is both a good and a bad thing!), I saw what made them bored and interested and so I was able to adjust the lessons. We had fun for many days! But most of all, homeschooling kept us safe from the pandemic. We're healthy, alive, and learning. That's the most important part. The simple exercise of writing down everything great that happened every school day does wonders. That's the habit this devotional wants us parents to cultivate.


Homeschool Moms at the Feet of Jesus by Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag is available for download on Amazon Kindle for only USD 2.99. From now till tomorrow, July 1, it's FREE! It's also free on Kindle Unlimited. Download your copy now.

*photos courtesy of Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag.


Look back on the blog entries every Wednesday of this June for my reviews of books written by Filipino mommies! Support mommies! Support literature! Support local! I'll try to do a review of a local author, a Filipino mom especially, every end of the month.