Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Watch this perfect wedding dance to Ed Sheeran's Perfect

I'm neck-deep in work for my job as beauty editor at L'Oréal, mamas! I have so much to blog about, I know, and I will. Lemme just meet my deadlines first!

So anyway, quick post before I run off again to write beauty articles. So when I write late at night,  I need music to help drown out the thick silence, which can get unnerving. I don't know why that happens to me when I work. The quiet never bothers me when I'm reading a book.

But anyway. So I listen to lots of songs but not from iTunes or Spotify. I usually search for a song my Uber driver recommended that day and then I let the auto play take over. This is how even though I am in my 40s, I am not stuck in the songs of my youth (which would be the 80s and 90s—which had the best songs!). That's why I still sing and dance to Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and why I'm so so so in love with Ed Sheeran.


My current favorite song is "Perfect." I didn't really like it when it first came out, especially the video because he was so friend-zoned it was painful. Of course there is a happy ending to the video (watch it below!) and it took me a few views before I decided I slowly fell in love with the song the way the girl in the video slowly fell in love with Ed.

Anyway, as I was watching that dance at the end, it dawned on me how it's the perfect song to dance to at a wedding. Right??? I'm sure I'm not the first one who thought this and true enough, a quick search produced a dozed wedding dances. Okay, don't even bother looking at those because I already did and they are awkward and painful to watch haha

But this one, mamas... This one is beautiful. Of all the videos of wedding dances to "Perfect," this is not the swankiest wedding, nor the most elegant, and I wish the camera was nicer, but this dance... Oh, it's so sweet.

I keep thinking of Vince when I heard the line, "We were just kids when we fell in love, not knowing what it was." That's so us. Well, I dunno about Vince. He always seemed so sure about me, about us. So I just followed his lead and I'm so glad I did. So glad I did.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How your career can make you a better mom

In my last post, I talked about how motherhood can help you contribute better to the workforce. I'm happy to say it works both ways, mamas! Your work and the skills you learn on the job will help you as a mommy, too. I should know! For example, my time as a preschool teacher taught me how to deal with kids while my years as an editor-in-chief managing a team on tight deadlines gave me the stamina to manage my household.

If you're afraid your career will make you a bad mama, don't believe it! Yes, a working mama's life can be challenging, but you mustn't let the challenges discourage you. Change how you view the struggle: You can grow not only professionally, but personally as well; you can build essential skills in the workplace that can be transferred to your home, and vice versa. Check out the many ways your work life can be good for your home life:

Management Skills
If you choose a management career, you will be able to transfer your skills to your home life. Project management training will encourage you to look at every plan from different angles, and consider multiple options. This will benefit your home life. You will get better at arranging vacations and childcare, and choosing the most economical ways of commuting to work, or getting your kids to school. 

In my case, I never get daunted by parties. While my kids' parties are tiny to begin with (which makes them sooo easy to plan), I've had years of practice as a magazine editor putting together photo shoots, ordering food for staff and crew, attending events, making small talk, making people at ease and even happy. 
Iñigo's 3rd birthday party was huge and a success—but won't do that again hehe

Health and Safety
If you get health and safety training at your workplace, or enroll for an online msn degree course, you will understand the importance of exercise and healthy lifestyle better. As a result, you can encourage your kids to exercise regularly and eat healthier. First aid training will help you deal with minor injuries at home, so you don’t have to visit the emergency department every time your child falls off the bike. 

For me, it was my work as a mom blogger that helped me be aware of proper food and nutrition at every age, what products are best for my kids's skin (that includes everything from allergenic skincare products to the best diapers like Pampers), vaccinations, and other safety concerns. Why? Because I had client brands who wanted me to write about these things and many times I had to research and there were also times these brands sent me pages upon pages of scientific data.

You won't believe all the research papers I read for this campaign!

Financial Planning
Working will also make you better at financial planning. You can transfer your skills to your household budget and manage your money better. Money management is an essential skill, but it is, unfortunately, not taught in mainstream education. This means that working moms are generally better at budgeting, planning for larger expenses, and staying out of financial troubles. You will be able to make your family budget go further if you pay attention to how your employer controls costs.

I became good at budgets when I was a managing editor. Even I was surprised at how adept I was at making sure we made a magazine within budget, that all bills and suppliers were paid on time, and that we still had a quality product—even on a budget! Sadly, I'm not as good with this financial planning when it comes to my household. I mean, I'm good but not super good. I like spoiling my kids, you see, so that can be a problem especially when I'm trying to stick to a budget but "Mama, can we eat Bonchon pleeeeeease?" unravels my resolve!

Time Management 
You will be forced to improve your work-life balance while looking after your family and going to your workplace. You will learn how to compare routes to your workplace and to your kids’ school, avoid traffic, and stick to appointments. While you might not have been good at keeping time while you were at home with your kids, now it will be something you need to do every day to keep your job. 

Am I right, mamas? Sometimes when people with no children talk about being busy, I sigh. In the immortal words of Iñigo Montoya from The Princess Bride...

I've been an underling and I've been a boss. I'm a businesswoman, too. I've worked for 48 hours straight but sleepless nights were easy when I didn't have kids. Let me tell ya—nothing compares to the busy-ness of a mama! But now I'm more efficient. My 24 hours is so precious that I've learned how to manage my time ruthlessly. What used to take me 14 hours to do, I can now squeeze into 6 hours. My focus is razor-sharp because I can't afford to waste time anymore. Motherhood has taught me the quickest, most efficient way to do things!

Managing Kids and Difficult Situations
When you work with people from different walks of life, you will gradually learn how to handle difficult colleagues and clients. This skill will come handy when your kids start, well, talking. My goodness, I thought I was such an amazing mother until my kids started learning how to talk and got sassy with me. Things like, "Because I said so!" just won't do it, mamas. Am I right? I had to draw on all my learned skills as a manager and negotiator to deal with my own children! I seriously can't imagine the teenage years.

While being a mother and having a job can be challenging, you need to look at the bright side. Some of your parenting and homemaking skills can be transferred to the world of employment, and vice versa. Make the best use of your skills and experience gained at home and in the workplace, and you can be a better mother and employee. Good luck to us all, working mamas! We got this!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Can becoming a mom actually help your career? Yes!

Being a mom and having a career are two things that are often pitted against each other. Mothers can't be good at work because they're distracted by their children. Working women can't be good mothers because they're not the ones raising their kids 24/7. Time and again, we working mamas have proven these accusations as false. Many businesses are founded by women (shout out to my friends who are all businesswomen!). Many businesses have senior officers who are women (check out this 2017 PDI article: More women executives in PH, Asia pacific, but...). Many of these career women are also mothers and I celebrate how women can enjoy more aspects of womanhood—of life!—and this is truly a sign of changing times.

The three reasons I work so hard.

I will admit that juggling motherhood and career and marriage and self-care is a huge struggle. And I will also say that when the need arises, family always comes first. That's a no-brainer. I work because I love it, I love making my own money, I love providing for my family, and I love using parts of my brain for something else that doesn't involve children. I like being more than a mommy. That said, when the kids are sick, I drop all work. When a job offer of P200,000 a month came up but it would mean working practically 24/7, I declined. You can always make money but when family needs you, family comes first. I think most working moms know this and do this.

But that doesn't make mommies bad workers. In my experience, I have more to bring to the table now because of all the things I know as a mom. I'm better at understanding how finances work, for example, now that I have to manage a household. I'm now more organized. I can make the best decisions in a snap (trained by kids whose needs are always urgent!).  

Becoming a mother can give your career a boost in many ways. Motherhood and career don’t have to be mutually exclusive. So if you’re thinking about work after having children, or are yet to have children and wonder how you can make it work, then this post is for you. Here are some of the ways that becoming a mom can give your career the boost that it might need.

You FINALLY take that leap of faith.
Many women put off doing what they really want because they don't think they can make it. But when children are in the picture, you start to think of being a good example. How can you teach your children to be true to themselves, to chase after their dreams, to pursue their passions, and be proud of their talents if you yourself aren't fulfilling your own purpose in life? If you've always wanted to be a teacher, do it now. If you've always wanted to bake cookies and sell them, do it now. Nothing is sadder for a child to see than a regretful parent who says, "I always wanted to do this-and-that but I couldn't because I had to work for you kids/scared I'd fail/I didn't want to be laughed at/etc." I know because my own parents said that and it is heart-wrenching to witness wasted lives, buried talents, and crushed dreams, especially if those were your parents'.

Be the role model you want your kids to have! If you fail, then try again. At least your kids see that you were brave enough to live your truth, tried to make it work, and got up again. I really do believe this because that's what my husband and I do all the time. Making our dreams come true requires a leap of faith, yes. It took me a while to take that leap, I'll admit, and I was scared all the time. I'm still scared. But many mom bosses (like many of my friends) decided to leave their old career behind and carve out a new one for themselves—and they inspired me! 

You’re motivated for real success.
If you weren’t too motivated by your career beforehand, then it is important to note that becoming a parent can really give you the motivation that you need. Nothing motivates you more than the little ones that you have at home that need to be fed and cared for. I was interviewed for an article in a parenting magazine a few years ago and one of the questions was, "What motivates you to work?" And I replied, "The bills. Do you realize how expensive it is to raise kids???" Haha but it's true. I can get really lazy, you know, but those bills need to be paid, those kids need to be fed, those kids need to go to school, wear clothes, get their vaccines. So I can't ever be lazy!

Money issues aside, you also become more focused and determined to be a success because you want your kids to be proud of you. My son, Vito, is so funny. He brought a magazine to school because my photo was in it (it was the Biogenic ad) and he told his classmates and their moms: "Look at my mama! She's a model!" I was half-embarrassed and half-proud. I loved it that he was so proud of me! It made me want to work harder, you know? I'm sure you know what I mean, mamas.

Your skills improve.
Like I mentioned earlier, motherhood forces you to learn a lot of new skills that you didn't have before. It teaches you creativity, patience, razor-sharp decision-making, people management, mastery of juggling schedules, and a whole lot more. Many moms actually realize that they could capitalize on these new skills. I know many women who embarked on businesses like home organization, house-cleaning, virtual assistance, events management, catering, tutoring, kiddie fashion, baby products. 

If you're a mom who quit work to be with your kids, or you've found yourself having plenty of time now that the kids are in school, you may want to attend workshops or enroll in courses that can equip you to launch that business you always wanted to do. If you're employed, you may consider a masters degree to improve your skills and employability. Doing an MSW online, for example, could open up your career options and make you able to apply for that promotion that you’ve always wanted to do. 

You're more powerful now, oh so much more powerful!
As a working mom, you have a lot of things to be thinking about. And becoming a mom will automatically make you better able to manage time, prioritize, and organize. So even if you go back to your previous career after having children, it can mean that you’re better able to do the job you were doing before. You’re likely to be a much more productive worker as you know you have only got a certain amount of time to get the work done in.

Becoming a mother can give your confidence a boost. You have done something amazing when you grew a baby and kept that baby alive and healthy, too! For many women it can help them to feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin. It happened to me and I wrote about my empowerment because I truly felt more alive and more powerful. Your motherhood can be just the catalyst that you need for a mighty change!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

What to pack for a last-minute holiday

It's Chinese New Year tomorrow! For many Fil-Chinese schools and businesses, that means it's a holiday so hello long weekend!

If you’ve decided to spend the weekend on a family getaway, then don't panic, mamas. While a long break sounds like a brilliant way to relax – nothing can beat the excitement of a last minute holiday, right? – it doesn’t mean that you can leave the success of your break to chance. You still need to pack efficiently. In fact, you need to be twice as efficient than you normally are during your holiday preps because a last minute plan doesn’t leave you much time to get ready. So what do you need to pack in your luggage to make it work for you and your family

Transitional clothes for both warm and cold kinds of weather
When you don’t have the time to study the weather, you need to prepare for cold and warm temperatures. Be reassured: it doesn’t mean that you should pour the entire contents of your wardrobe in your travel bag. 

Whether you're going to the beach or going on staycation in a posh hotel, make sure to bring midseason jackets for your family, as they’re ideal to keep you warm during a cool and windy day but they’re not too heavy so that you can still wear them when the sun is out. My husband always packs jackets for my kids (because I always forget, given our tropical climate). Why? Because when we go on long road trips, the car gets cold. When we book at a hotel, the A/C gets really freezing (even when I turn it off!). When we went to sunny Bohol and climbed the Chocolate Hills, guess what—it was windy and drizzly and chilly up there!

Just remember the onion skin layer concept. Pack clothes that you can layer on top of each other if you need to: T-shirt, light jumper, cardigan, etc. 
We left the hotel, it was hot and sunny. Thirty minutes later at Chocolate Hills, we were freezing!

The entertainment factor
It’s a holiday, however short it is. Consequently, it has to be fun! If you’ve still got enough time, make sure to book some tickets for local attractions and shows. Whenever we go to Tagaytay, for example, I really make kulit my husband to go to Tagaytay Sky Ranch and the zoo at Residence Inn. He hates those places haha but the kids love them! 

Additionally, make sure to pack a few toys to keep the kids occupied during the journey. While you don’t need to throw all their toys in a bag, you should have at least three different kinds of games such as a soft toy, a colouring book, and a board game, for example. I allow my boys to bring one toy each. More than the entertainment factor, their toy comforts them in a strange place. 
While boating in Burnham Park is something we won't do again, I'm glad we still got to do it!

Essential tech devices
Back in my day, there was no such thing as gadgets. Now we have a small bag just for it! We bring the iPad. It keeps the kids from running all over the airport or the hotel lobby when we're preoccupied with checking in. We bring a camera. We have chargers and wires and power banks. If we're traveling abroad, we bring a universal plug. 

One thing I really want is a smart suitcase that has an inbuilt GPS system. Have you seen those? This suitcase makes sure you'll never lose your luggage. Suitcases now are so hi-tech actually. They have built-in chargers, built-in child seats, and some bags even follow you around like a puppy. This last one I think is stupid because people will trip over that darned thing, diba??? Just look at it.

Looks cool, though.

Don’t forget a snack!
If your trip is going to last a few hours, you’d better pack some yummy snacks to keep you going. Best to pack your own chips and cookies, too, because those things are so expensive at tourist spots!  You can also make your own healthy snacks in a moment. Popcorn is universally loved and it's low in calories (unless you add tons of salt and butter).  Not a fan of popcorn? Try homemade power bars instead. They’re full of superfoods and don’t require any baking time, so they’re ready in no time. 

But we make sure to buy the local snacks, like ube halaya and strawberry jam from Baguio.

From appropriate clothes to something to eat on the way, it’s important to know what to pack when you’re in a hurry. Don’t let your last-minute holiday be ruined by poor packing and do enjoy the long weekend!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Here's how to have a simple wedding

There’s nothing wrong with having a big church wedding with 300 guests, a gorgeous designer gown, and a wedding reception that costs the same as the deposit on a family home if that’s what you want. I have been to many outrageous, elegant, outlandish, or crazy weddings that obviously cost a pretty penny (lotsa them!) and they are all as meaningful as a civil wedding at city hall (yes, been to a city hall wedding, too!).

Our wedding looked fancy but it really was a simple affair.

Now if you're one of those who prefer a simpler, more minimalistic wedding that is just as beautiful, but which won’t cost nearly as much, then here are some ideas to help you create the simple wedding of your dreams:

Trim the Guest List
The first step to having a simpler wedding is trimming down the guest list. You do not have to invite everyone you know to your wedding. Only inviting the people you truly care about is what matters in a truly important event such as your wedding.

But in our dear country where everyone knows everybody, how does one get away with that??? You don't. You'll have angry neighbors, resentful relatives that you don't even know, and enemies even who can't comprehend why they weren't there to scowl at your happiness. How do you trim the guest list then? Here's what I accidentally did: Vince and I scheduled our wedding on a weekday because April 18 was the anniversary of our first kiss. Vince didn't want to remember another date, so April 18 it was even if it was a Thursday. I invited 250 people but only 140 RSVP'd they'll come. Why? "Because we have work." Guys, you work every day; I get married once in a lifetime. If you can't take the day off, half the day off even to attend my wedding then #alamnathis. 

Another tip my friends shared is to do a destination wedding. Invite everyone in the world! But pay only for the trip of a select few. Inviting everyone means you care for them but only the ones who care for you will spare the time and expense to be there. 

Semi-joking aside, I really wish Filipinos didn't get so sensitive about invitations. Weddings are so personal. So only the people who you really want to be part of your happiness should be there as this is the best way to ensure that you have a truly meaningful wedding day.

Buy the Rings Online
It’s not a wedding without the rings, but if shopping for jewelry isn’t your thing and you don’t want to be pressured by an insistent salesperson into going over your budget when she shows you lots of shiny things and flattering you, you can shop in peace at a great wedding ring website (check out https://www.whiteflash.com/wedding-rings/tacori/). As my Loyal Readers know, I am a huge fan of online shopping. It helps me consider lots of choices within my budget without having to talk to a stranger. If there had been local jewelry brands that had online shops back in my day, I'd definitely have shopped online!

Vince's cute nephews (they're teenagers now)! We got our rings from a bridal fair—also a great place to find good deals. 

Buy Everything Online!
Since we're shopping for rings already, check out the rest of your wedding needs online. No need to spend for parking and gas and eating out. You have the entire world at your fingertips! You can buy your flowers, shoes, suits, gowns (check out styleaisle for fab gowns!), cake, and souvenirs from the comfort of your own home. The best part is you can save because you can compare prices and avail of discounts. Try it!

Limit the Dinner Choices
Okay, as a Pinoy, I firmly believe that you can make tipid on everything but never the food! Long after the day is done, you'll only have photos to remember the day, right? But your guests will remember the food. They won't remember your designer gown, your crystal goblets, your diamond-encrusted tiara, or the song of your first dance (although I do remember this one wedding where the newlyweds danced to "Maybe It's You." Maybe??? Everyone was giggling.). What they'll all remember for years to come is what you served them and if it was bad or good. 

I read somewhere that half your wedding budget should go to food. That sounds crazy but it's true. The longer your guest list, the bigger the food bill. It’s easy to spend a lot on food if you decide to offer a wide range of dishes and desserts, so what you do is limit the food choices. You don't need hundreds of different appetizers or a dozen cakes, right? Just a salad and few pika-pika, a meat course (with a choice of fish, meat or chicken maybe), some carbs like rice and pasta, and a couple of desserts, that's okay! As long as you ensure that there is at least one option for people with special dietary requirements such as vegans or allergy sufferers, then having a couple of simple options that are nice, but not too fancy is all you need.

We had a lovely sit-down dinner that our guests still talk about a decade after. Our cake was homemade by a friend.

While we’re on the subject of food, it’s much simpler to pay a little more and have the whole deal catered by a prefessional (try https://www.bitecatering.net/). Some things you can do yourself but when it comes to feeding a big group of people, get help. Many people think catering their own wedding, with the help of friends and family is the simpler option, but it is actually very stressful, so be mindful of that.

It’s pretty natural to want to have control over what is one of the biggest days of your life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t delegate, and you should if you want it to be as simple as possible. Hence the booming business that is called wedding organizers. They pretty much call the shots at the wedding so that the bride and groom can enjoy their day. However, their services are pretty expensive.

If your wedding is small and simple enough and you happen to have an amazing bunch of helpful friends, then you probably won't need a wedding organizer. The key is to work out what you want and then delegate specific tasks to friends and family. That way, you do have control over what your wedding will be like, without having total responsibility for making things happen.

In my case, I couldn't afford a wedding organizer. My photographer wanted me to hire one because he didn't want to bother me daw, but walang budget! So I just asked my sister to take care of the day itself. I wished I had asked more people to help out, though. I think my sister got stressed (love you, Jacqui!).

My dear friend Kate Torralba was the designer, stylist and wedding singer! 

Do It Yourself
Now, if you really want a simple affair, with as little interference from strangers as much as possible,  then you can make your wedding a charming, homemade affair. Taking the DIY approach to everything from invitations to flowers is actually pretty simple. Maybe you can create your own invitations and print them out at home versus navigating the millions of choices available at shops. If you have beautiful handwriting, you can address the envelopes yourself (I did!). If your mom has a lush garden, maybe she can create shabby chic bouquets for you and your entourage. Ask your friends what service they can give to you as a gift (just don't be an unreasonable, entitled and demanding bridezilla!). Your wedding can be even more memorable and meaningful if everyone who made it possible is someone who loves you.

Was your wedding a simple affair? What tips can you give couples looking to have a simple wedding of their own?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Checking in!

Hallooo halloooo! I know I've been away. Now that my kids are older and the first two boys are in big school and the youngest has weaned and can mostly be left to his own devices, I have found the most incredible and most wonderful amazing thing: I CAN READ BOOKS AGAIN!

I'm so happy!

That means I've neglected the blog, though. I've tried being more active on the Topaz Horizon Blog Facebook page and thanks so much for making it a fun community. I love how we can all chat together on Facebook.

So anyway! I didn't notice it but it seems I've really been enjoying the past year. Without me realizing it, I finally found time last year to shower for more than 5 minutes, to eat without rushing, to pee without the door open, to poop without panicking. I now have time to do my skin care morning and night (a huge reason for my improved skin condition, if I may say so myself!). I can even exercise a little! And in the last few months, I found that I even now have time to read! I read four of the Dark Tower novels in a month and I'm finishing the fifth—the conclusion of Stephen King's magnum opus! —this week. I am having a lovely time just drowning in words. It's been such a lovely reunion!

These are Books 3-7. Been in bed with my books! So happy!
Let me share some of my favorite quotes:

"Dead was the gift that kept on giving. Dead, like diamonds, was forever."

"In the Land of Memory, the time is always now."

"She understands how being afraid all the time makes one's friends more precious; how it makes every bite of every meal sweet; how it stretches time until every day seems to last forever, leading on to velvet night..."

"'If'... [is] the only word a thousand letters long."

"Head clear. Mouth shut. See much. Say little."

"Never whisper for the wind unless you want it to blow."

There's more. So much more! As you can see from the quotes above, the Dark Tower novels are not happy stories. I am grieving now actually and I haven't even finished it. So much death and horror! So much love and duty, too.

I was actually planning on NOT blogging this month. What time I find after family, work, and the chores, I want to spend with my nose in a novel. But I had promised myself to blog every Monday and Thursday so I have blog posts my Loyal Readers can comment on because I have my Commenter of the Month giveaway. Must not neglect that!

Speaking of skin care, I also just took photos of new skin care products you might like to try out this year (maybe I should give one of the sets away to my February Commenter of the Month!). I'm also finally finishing my birthday post—yes, my birthday was 2 months ago hehe but I haven't finished the post yet. Too many things to be thankful for! I also want to share with you my thoughts on the #MeToo movement and how we, as mothers, should be propelled by it to make sure we raise girls and boys who will be respectful of each other, not abusive. Things like that!

Anyway. I know there are tons of amazing, entertaining and gorgeous mommy blogs out there. So happy to see so many moms are sharing about their lives. (I'll tell you my favorite ones soon! Would you like that?) I just wanted to say that even though there are many other better mom blogs, you still stick around and that moves me. Thank you!

Okay, I'll come back tomorrow with a guest post on weddings. Because it's Valentine's Day and we should have a post about love! Meanwhile, I hope you all have a great day and a wonderful week doing what you love, whether it's watching your favorite Netflix show or reading your beloved books.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Why mommy blogs have a short life span (also how Kylie Jenner's pregnancy inspired me!)

Business mogul Kylie Jenner finally announced she gave birth to a baby girl, confirming pregnancy rumors. She said she wanted the whole experience to be private while she was going through it, and she apologized for keeping it private when she'd always been so public about her life.

While I don't think she should be sorry, I totally understand why she apologized to her fans. Yes, it's her life, her pregnancy, her decisions. Hindi naman kailangan lahat i-reveal. I feel like because she saw her older sisters so publicly pregnant and she witnessed all the hate with the love, it's so understandable that she'd keep her own pregnancy to herself. What do you think, mamas?

Kayo, how did you feel about your pregnancies? Super public every day ba ang updates?  Or immediate family lang ang may alam? Why was that so?

Me, my first two pregnancies talagang super share ako with everything. But my third one, hindi na masyado. By then kasi alam ko na that when you put yourself out there, maraming unwanted comments. Like, nagpost ka ng may hawak ka na Coke and someone will comment, "Mommy, linalason mo na yung baby mo." Or may photo ako na kasama yung first two kids ko and may magsasabi ng "Grabe you're pregnant every year do you even care about your carbon footprint?!" So nakakawalang gana mag-share, you know? In fact, that's one of the major reasons I turned my blog from a mommy journal documenting my motherhood journey and my kids' lives to a working mom's blog so I can talk about career and home, and my kids can have their privacy. Yes, all photos and stories shared now are with my boys' permission. And most of the time they say no. Kaya kung napansin niyo, parang naging beauty blog na ang Topaz Horizon haha

But if you notice other mom bloggers, they also evolve. Or kill their blogs entirely. From mom blogs, nagiging cooking blogs or DIY home stuff or kiddie arts and crafts ideas, or they evolve to brands selling products for moms, kids and the home (my dream!). Kasi when the kids start having a sense of social media and privacy, the moms will have then realized they can't just blog/IG about their kids anymore. There are security reasons to consider, too. I have never said where my kids go to school, for example, although people have guessed. Also, many schools discourage a social media presence for their students so paano na mga mom-and-me OOTDs??? So, if you're a mom blogger with babies, know that your blog has maybe 5 years. Unless you keep making babies and grabe na yun hahahahahaha

But anyway, balik sa topic of my third pregnancy. I want to acknowledge that I had many blog readers who also sent me messages asking why I wasn't so generous about sharing my third baby. They said they're so happy for me, they love my third baby also, that they're disappointed wala masyadong updates or pictures. So to you, I'm so sorry that I kept my Piero all to myself and yet thanks so much for the love!

Naaaaaaks, na-inspire talaga ako kay Kylie! Actually, I just recalled that time when I also didn't want to talk about my third baby but kinda had to because I had sponsors or because readers asked. So sobrang bilib ako kay Kylie because she put her foot down. She decided that in this special case, her sponsors, her family's reality show, and her fans didn't matter. Her privacy and her baby did. And in this age of super public motherhood, that's amazing. I am truly inspired!

Check out Kylie's pregnancy video:

What I loved:

Kendall telling Kylie to pose better.
1. I love it that the video doesn't allow ads or comments. As I type, it's already at 19,900,000+ views. In 10 hours! If she had allowed ads, she'd have earned a lot na. But she didn't allow it. RESPECT! 

Mama Kylie showing off her bump and her bling.
2. I loved how she's so sure and calm about everything. She's 20 years old, yes, but if you're 20 and have a business worth USD 420 million - your own business, not inherited or married to - then you are more mature than most 20-year-old kids. 

Kylie with her nieces and siblings.
3. I loved how her family is so supportive. Her mom, Kris Jenner, was absolutely certain Kylie would be the best mom ever. Kim K gently and humorously wanted to warn her about what will happen to her vagina (such a sisterly thing!). Khloe was excited she and Kylie were pregnant at the same time. Aww, makes me wish I was surrounded by pregnant family and friends when I was also preggy (I didn't because I got married late and had kids even later while my friends had kids in their late teens and early 20s). It just seems such a womanly tribal thing. I never had that!

With her friends at her baby shower.
4. I loved how she celebrated her pregnancy with her friends, with lots of food, with parties—she's just so obviously happy! And then when it mattered, she didn't reveal anything—we didn't see her giving birth, we just heard it. We still don't know her baby's name. And we never heard anything from her, her man, her family or her friends when she was pregnant—all 9 months of it and even on the day she gave birth. Nothing. I love how she's so in control of everything. 

Kylie and baby daddy Travis Scott at the doctor's clinic.
5. I loved all the hospital scenes haha The ultrasound, the heartbeat, the family all around her at her prenatal check-ups and when she gave birth (I didn't have that huhu). I seriously cried when I heard her baby's first cry. Brought me back to my own birthing and how giving birth trumps all experiences. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, comes close to that amazing experience. And I'm so lucky I got to go through it three times.

Congratulations, Kylie! You'll be an amazing mama! And a working mama, too!