Monday, December 31, 2018

Finally got to shop at Shopwise - thanks to honestbee!

Happy New Year, mamas! My goal is to blog 3 times a week this 2019 and Mondays is when I plan to share my mom life - mom finds, mom thoughts, home tips, motherhood madness, family trips, mga ganyan. For today, I wanted to quickly share that I finally got to shop at Shopwise because of honestbee!

I've been doing my grocery shopping through honestbee for a few months now. It's mas matipid for me actually kasi hindi ko kasama ang mga bata. They're always putting stuff in the cart! And then they'll ask for a snack after we do the grocery. And then there's parking and traffic... Laking ginhawa talaga ng honestbee sa buhay ko!

So I highly recommend it, mamas. If you haven't tried honestbee yet, it's really super simple. Just create an account online or through the app, and you can have your groceries delivered straight to your doorstep! 

Anyway, since this lovely gray weather also made me super lazy this holiday season, I realized yesterday na wala na kaming pagkain haha So I logged in sa honestbee and was just about to order my groceries from my usual supermarket (the one I always buy from in real life haha) when I realized belatedly that I can shop from anywhere. I don't know why ngayon ko lang na-realze ito!

So I've always wanted to shop at Shopwise. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law shop there and I've always been curious about the wide selection of groceries, clothes, toys, and home essentials that they talk about. But since there's no Shopwise near me, I haven't been able to. But now, because of honestbee, I can. And so I did!

I found brands that aren't available from my usual store, like Papa Alfredo, Sunharvest, SnapMax and Southdale Farm, and Eggo Waffles, too—I've never tasted Eggo Waffles before but because of Netflix's Stranger Things, I've been very very curious!  

So I put all these new goodies in my virtual cart, checked out, chose the delivery time I prefer, and then my Shopwise groceries appeared on my doorstep! Tadaaaa! By the way, look at these fruits for New Year—these seedless grapes are huge! And so delicious! Great fruits selections at Shopwise!

My kids are soooo happy we have food again. Ya. My kids eat all the time. I feel like I just did the grocery and then the next thing I know, ubos na pagkain namin! Grabe! Thank goodness there's honestbee to save me from this motherhood madness!

Download the honestbee app for free on Apple App Store or Google Play Store and sign up for an account now. For more information, visit

Friday, December 14, 2018

A bottle of Welch's sparkling grape juice for fancy family fun!

Hello, mamas! I am halfway through my gift list this Christmas and I'm giving every family I love a bottle of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice! Why? Well, three reasons: one fun yet wholesome, one just practical, and the other almost embarrassingly religious haha.

First, I'm a mommy and I like to have fun, too, when my family celebrates happy occasions like birthdays, good grades, and the holidays. So what better time to break out a bottle of bubbly? It's the best time for bubbles! But alcohol is not an option for my three little kiddos. So we were delighted when a few years ago, we discovered Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice. It's basically juice with bubbles. No alcohol!

My second reason Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice is a great gift to give to families other than so the kids can drink, too? Well, not everyone likes wine. Pinoys especially are not a wine-drinking country. According to my husband who researched this for an ad campaign when he was still an ad man, we Pinoys drink gin and brandy. We don't drink wine. Soooo why do we keep giving bottles of wine on Christmas??? Now, since I'm not a fan of any kind of alcohol myself, I shouldn't give gifts that might encourage any kind of fondness for the bottle. So Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice to the rescue! It looks like a bottle of champagne, it's fun like a bottle of bubbles, but it has no alcohol!

Last and basically the biggest reason I'm giving my family bottles of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice is, well, we're Born Again Christians. And not just any Born Again denomination—we're Baptists, the most fundamentalist of them all. We've been told over and over again that wine is the drink of the devil so my family's pretty much spiritually allergic to any kind of alcohol. It's so crazy, this avoidance of spirits, that my husband was incredulous when I said we can't have any alcohol at our wedding because the Born Agains might walk out hahaha! Vince protested, "Even Jesus had wine at the Last Supper!" So at our wedding, Vince had to whisper to our other guests that they can secretly order at the bar so as not to offend my deeply religious family. But this Christmas, I'm going to prank my family by giving them Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice because it looks like wine but it isn't! It's just wholesome fun in a bottle!

So, dearest mamas who want to have more fun in your parties but don't want anyone to get drunk and make a mess out of your beautiful homes, here's my advice: Get bottles of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juices. Made of the freshest Concord and Niagara grapes, they're available in effervescent white and grape flavors. I love them! Even my husband, who used to adore alcohol, is now a convert (to Welch's non-alcoholic drinks, not to Born Again Christianity ahahaha).

My son IƱigo is especially fond of this bubbly juice. He thinks it's a fun drink, and he loves that it's better than the cola he's not really allowed to drink because that's full of sugar. Welch's Sparkling Juices are just 100% natural grape juice. With bubbles!!!

You know what, bubbles and sparkles just add so much joy to any party. You can serve and/or bring this as a gift anytime of the year. Everyone's going to enjoy it—young and adults alike. And, at only P235 a bottle, it's so affordable, even if it looks so fancy. Welch's Sparkling White Grape Juice and Welch's Sparkling Red Grape Juice are available at all leading grocery shops and supermarkets. Grab all the bottles of sparkles you can find and have a bubbly but healthy holiday season!

Share your experience with Welch’s Sparkling Juices on the Welch's Ph Facebook page. Follow the Welch's Ph Instagram account and #ShareWhatsGood at every happy celebration!

*This post is brought to you by Welch's Sparkling Juices.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I love my new Electrolux Nutri-Fresh Inverter ref! Here's my review!

New baby in the house! It's so sleek and chic!

I have a new ref!!! It's my favorite new baby and I'm going to do a little review of my fabulous Electrolux ETB4602AA Nutri-Fresh Inverter refrigerator today and another post next month on how I organize my ref shelves.

For today, let's do a review! I've had my new ref for about a month now so I can do a good review. I really waited to check all its features, and if the food really stays fresh longer, and if it's a good fit to my lifestyle as a working mom of three little boys. Here’s what I found:
Such a big freezer!

What I love

1. It's so compact and yet so big!
It occupies about the same space as my previous ref but it can hold double the stuff! I can't understand the math of it! I have so much space now, I don't know what to do with it. The freezer is huge! I used to tell my husband and kids when we do the grocery, "Choose: more ice cream or meat for real food?" Because if I buy a tub of ice cream, I can fit just a week's worth of meat for cooking. Now, we can have up to 3 tubs on top of that meat!

I can't stress enough how space is such a big deal for me. I have three growing boys who can't seem to stop eating so I must always have food in the house. So I needed a big ref. The problem is I live in a condo so I can't get a ref bigger than the space allotted to it by my small kitchen. I just really accepted that this is my fate—to do weekly groceries because my ref is small. But more trips actually makes grocery shopping cost more—on the wallet and on my time. But with my new ref, I have all this space so I can really stock up, saving me lots of time and trouble. If you're a busy working mama like me, that's the best news of all!

With my new Electrolux Nutri-Fresh Inverter ref, I have soooo much space inside even though the outside is essentially still the same size! I didn't need to renovate my kitchen because I didn't need to give up more kitchen space for this ref. I super love it! So if you're a mom like me who has a small house but a big family, this is the ref for you!

Clear glass spill-proof shelves make everything visible. Good-bye, forgotten leftovers!
Adjustable shelves and clips for opened bags of food.

2. It literally keeps everything fresh longer.

It's not called Nutri-Fresh for nothing. I actually didn't really put much stock on this feature. "All refs cool food," I said. And as a busy mama who sometimes runs out of time to cook, there have been many sad instances when my fruit and veggies dry up or rot in the crisper. Not anymore! My fruit and veggies really do stay crisp far far longer than before (vs my previous ref) and they look and taste like I just bought them even after a week. No kidding!

Now I also have a pet rabbit who loves her green leafy veggies. Before my Electrolux ref, I literally had to give her more than her allotted ration of veggies because the leaves wilted fast. Now, because my veggies are fresher longer, I can feed our bunny more healthily! Hooray!

3. The temperature is even throughout the ref.

My previous ref kept everything cold alright. So cold, they froze. No matter how much we tinkered with the controls, some shelves had frozen food, some shelves got warm and the food stored there went bad. With my Electrolux Nutri-Fresh Inverter ref, the temperature on each shelf is constantly cool because of the 360 Air Cool feature. The air is circulated properly so no shelf gets too cold or too warm. I love it!

Check out this link so you can be impressed with all the superior technical features of the Electrolux ETB4602AA Nutri-Fresh Inverter ref!

It's so high-tech, mamas! I was sobrang nagulat! Hindi fake reaction yan!

It's safe to say I'm sooo in love with my new ref! When my old ref conked out a few months ago, I didn't know which brand to get as a replacement. I asked my friends and they recommended this and that. Finally, I decided I wanted to check out Electrolux, pretty much because almost all my appliances are Electrolux. Plus, I grew up with the brand. And when I tried other brands, I just got disappointed (for example, the previous ref).

Now household appliances are not cheap. So when they don't perform well or they don't make my life easier, then I just wasted a lot of money. For me, Electrolux has made my life consistently better. Always worth every centavo! So we got an Electrolux ETB4602AA Nutri-Fresh Inverter refrigerator and I'm soooo glad we did!

Even the baby approves! Good job, Electrolux!

If you're shopping for a new ref now that you have your bonus (congrats! Freelance me misses that!), Electrolux has amazing Holi-deals! You can get up to 25% discounts and/or freebies with each purchase. That's my public service announcement, mamas. I don't get any commissions—I just really want you all to have an Electrolux home like me!!!

Check the Holi-deals Sale here:
Washing Machines and Dryers (Mine is a front-load washer/dryer and it has made me enjoy laundry so much - Electrolux Ultramix Time Manager Washing Machine review)
Stoves, Ovens and Range Hoods (I have a range hood and it really sucks up the cooking smells. Very powerful!)
Vacuum Cleaners and Air Conditioner (My vacuum is the silent one—Electrolux UltraSilencer Green—click that link because there are cute videos! I plan to replace all my A/Cs next.)

Happy shopping!!!

Monday, December 10, 2018

I don't know 'bout you but I'm feelin' 42!

We're happy, free, confused, 
and lonely in the best way
It's miserable and magical 
Oh yeah...

I hope Taylor Swift doesn't sue me for using her lyrics to describe how nice and strange my first month as a 42-year-old woman is. She may think 22 is miserable and magical, but 42 is just the same. I think every age is, come to think of it.

I can't speak for every 42-year-old woman out there but my misery comes from being an exhausted mother and working endlessly for money that goes straight to your kids' school and tummies. What is this drudgery haha

But I can't really think about the misery because it's such a happy time, too, and oh so magical! With three wonderful children, all of us so healthy and strong, eating 3 or more meals a day, cocooned in a comfortable home with Netflix, toys, books, food, hot water running from the taps, clothes on our back, heavenly beds to sleep in, and surrounded every single day with hugs, kisses and laughter, how can I complain? I'm in such a good place. Thank You, God!

As for freedom, well, despite the encroaching decay that comes with age, I have never felt more confident of my beauty and my body because I'm finally free from insecurity and obsession with image. It comes from 4 decades of getting to know my body and finally becoming friends with it. Much of that acceptance and awe comes from me finding out it has super powers after pregnancies and births and the ability to still make my family's life amazing despite 0 hours of sleep. Sure my belly is large and soft, my eyes are showing years of tears and joy and hard work, my neck is starting to fold into itself, my hands are wrinkled with household chores, but now I see these as marks of a life well lived and loved. To be finally free to LOVE ME is a gift!

And yes, there's confusion still. But only because we live in such strange times where people I used to admire turned out to be supporters of evil and untruths. Also, I'm only 42 but I don't really know what the future holds in terms of my career so I don't know what dreams to dream anymore. The world is changing so fast, I don't know what my place is in it. I'm just living one day at a time and hoping that work that I love and will love me will come my way this new year. And of course, as a mother and a wife, I never really know what I'm doing. I know I'm supposed to just love them, but love isn't easy and I'm forever questioning myself if this is a loving response or not. Tough, being a mom and wife!

As for lonely... I guess every parent feels lonely. Maybe not all the time, but some of the time. I wish there were family and friends to help me out in this life, but everyone's so busy. Even me. So even if they have the time, I don't. And that's okay. I've learned to fold into my books, enjoy my own company, and pray. Yes, pray. God's the only one around all the time. Also, the only one who cares for me and my own every second of forever. Everyone disappoints, sooner or later. So the sooner you put yourself in God's hands, the sooner you understand that it's okay for the world to come up short because your joy and peace lie in eternity anyway.

I hope you all have a relationship with God, mamas, if you also sometimes feel sad and lonely. And happy! God isn't here just for the bad times. He's there all the time. We just need to remember that and appreciate it!

So I'm 42! It's off to a great start, despite it being absolutely ordinary. I love my normal and ordinary life. I've come to appreciate how normal is safe and comfortable. As long as my boys are healthy and safe, I'm healthy and safe, food is on the table, and a roof is over our heads, what more do I need?

Well, a dog. I want a dog more than anything. A fluffy tri-color corgi with a big head and big paws to be specific. But that's for another birthday maybe many years from now if we ever get to own a house with a yard. Till then, and even if that puppy never ever becomes mine, I'm happy with all that I have—the good, the bad, everything. It's a wonderful life and I am oh so grateful!

Friday, December 07, 2018

This is how busy moms can increase their income

Since I work from home, I get questions from the stay-at-home and work-at-home mommies in my blog community about how to make extra money. This is a question I also ask my other mommy friends because we all want to either contribute to the household income or allot a budget for things we or our family wants. But since we're all already so busy, how can we find the time to make that extra money?

A good solution is to make money from what you're already busy with! If you drive your kids to school and back, think about carpooling. If you're tutoring your kids, ask your neighbors if their kids need help with their school work, too. If you like baking, bake extra and sell them. If you like knitting while watching Netflix, then sell some of your knitting. You get the drift.

Here are a few ways that can help you make more money in 2019!

I blog and teach others how to earn money through their blog! Who wants me to do my workshops again?

Become a mommy blogger/vlogger
Blogging is one of the best activities that moms can use to increase their income. This is because it can be completed from home and in their spare time which means it doesn't interfere with their work or other responsibilities. 

Moms also have a ready-made subject to blog about—your life as a mommy! Believe me, people want to know what your life is like because we're all looking for a kindred soul. Plus, if you're actually good at this motherhood thing (I'm not haha), there are so many other people with kids out there that can benefit from your perspective and experience. 

If you don't want to blog about your kids, then you can still blog about healthy meals, everyday baon of your kids, tips on how to make household chores easier, arts and crafts projects you and your kids do, reviews of family-friendly restaurants and resorts, tips on traveling with kids, product reviews of household items and grocery finds, and the very lucrative activity of unboxing toys.

Of course, for blogging to pay off, you need to ensure that you monetize your efforts. One way to do this is to host sponsored articles on your site. This is when a brand pays you to review their product or talk about their campaign. You'll need a sizeable following for a brand to work with you, though, so you'll need to create great content and push your posts everywhere so that you can build a following. 

Another way I earn money is accepting guest posts. These particularly require low effort as these usually come fully written and all I need to do is post them (although I edit them first so that it has the same tone as my blog).

Sell online 
Of course, there are plenty of other options for moms who want to make money, like the ones you will find in this article on how to make a million dollars fast. One in particular that may suit moms well is buying items in bulk or at a low price and then reselling them online. I know a lot of people who do this! They buy stuff from Divisoria and sell them on Shopee! I used to sell on eBay. Preloved clothes, beauty products, and unused bags and shoes. I made a lot of shopping money!

If you're an artist or a crafter, a weaver, a knitter—basically, if you make things, you're so lucky that the internet has made it possible for you to sell your creations without you having to set up a brick-and-mortar shop. Remember to research into the different selling platforms that are available as well as what charges using these will incur. Otherwise, it can be tough to maximize the revenue you will be making from online selling. 

Tap into passive income streams 
Lastly, for busy moms, a passive income stream may be the way to go. This is because they take a lot less effort than active methods like blogging and reselling, but can also generate a decent additional income to add to the family budget. An example of a passive income would be utilizing items you already have, like your car for Grab, an extra room in your house for bedspacers, or if you're lucky enough to have extra properties, put them on Airbnb!

Another great thing about passive income is that you can capitalize on particular experience or interest that you have or use activities that you especially like to do, and leverage these into a profit-making enterprise. For example, moms that have experience living with a particular medical condition, or have kids with a condition, or had a life-altering experience may choose to become life coaches, make helpful videos and just ask people to subscribe to view. They can write an autobiographical or self-help book or e-books and sell those on their websites. Meanwhile, moms who enjoy creative pursuits may teach themselves to use digital design programs and create downloadable printables that can be sold over and over again. 

When it is your responsibility to look after the kids and ensure they have everything they need, money is never far from your mind. That is why many mothers look for ways to add to their income. But more than money, we also want to do something that fulfills us, makes us feel we have a life outside our kids, and is a meaningful exercise. I hope that we all find the enterprise that can add joy to our daily life... and make us rich, too!!!

* This is a guest post, which I heavily edited and so I almost wrote it myself haha. To place a guest post, email for my rates.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Peek inside my 2019 Essentials blog planner from BDJ

Hello, fellow mama bloggers! I'm showing you what's inside my blog planner for 2019. Yes, a planner exclusively for blogging! Because I'm a blogger—and a professional blogger at that so I really ought to take blogging seriously next year. I'm hoping a planner will keep me on top of things. Here's a peek!

The rabbit in the lower right corner is my stamp. Essentials Planner covers don't have rabbit holes. 

For my blog planner, I chose the Essentials planner from the BDJ Power Planner roster. I like it because it's a super flexible format. There are pages for the months and weeks, but the weekly spreads are just dotted so I can bullet journal my weeks.

The Essentials planner is super minimalist. It doesn't even have a personal information page. That's why I've been a bujo planner for a few years now. I want to customize my planner and design every spread the way I feel that week. Some days I feel like drawing and doodling. Some months I'm too busy and I need all the space of my pages to write down my To Do list.

One thing I don't like is daily inspiration. Okay, sometimes I like inspirational quotes, like maybe once in a blue moon. I resent being "inspired" every day, if ya know what I mean. I'm already too busy with work and motherhood. Please don't tell me to "design a life I love" like my life now isn't enough!

But I did concede to posting these two encouragement cards. Because I really ought to be more passionate about my blogging in 2019 and I should never stop believing in myself. But that's all the scolding I'll allow in 2019 haha

Here are the annual and monthly calendars. I plan to blog MWF next year, hence the lines on said days. I'll put the blog posts under the lines. Events, meetings, etc go above the lines. On the notes section is my list of "must blog" topics. That just means sponsored posts! The press kits list is the stuff I regularly receive. I always forget to post them on Instagram or Facebook! Sorry, PR agencies. Hopefully, listing down the PR kits you send me will remind me to talk about them this 2019!

Wish me luck with this MWF schedule! I've been meaning to follow it for 3 years now and it's not been happening!

Here's my first week in January! Monthly goals is listed here. That will mostly be me aiming for higher stats, more followers, more sponsors. Battle plan will be maybe advertising my blog and social media accounts on FB and IG, doing giveaways, sending proposals, etc.

You can see that my MWF blog schedule has a theme! Yes! On Mondays, I plan to talk about motherhood, marriage, home finds, recipes, household chores, family holidays, etc. On Wednesdays, I'm going to do beauty reviews, share my beauty regimen, maybe do fitness updates (if I finally exercise this 2019 haha). On Fridays, I'll talk about the working mom life, shopping finds to make our work easier, career tips, blogging tips.

Under each blog post, you can see I put circles to check. These are to remind me to promote on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Then the empty space under is for blogging ideas, doodles. Also, if I have a campaign from a blog sponsor, this is the space where I put down the details (agency contact, duration of campaign, fee, deliverables) so I won't forget.

For the last two weeks of January, I left it mostly blank. I figured I should wait to see if those previous layouts will work. If they do, I'll continue using them.

As you can see, the Essentials planner has dotted weekly spreads that allow you so much flexibility. I really like it! The rest of the planner looks like this—just dotted weekly spreads encouraging creativity or simplicity or... productivity, which is what planners are supposed to do really!

By the way, the big spots design is mine. It's just washi tape. For February, I'm thinking of going more colorful. I always go pink on February. And I always go flowery in summer. My June-September are usually no design at all. I'm just too busy! Around October, I start decorating my planner again with stickers, doodles, and washi tape. My spreads are never gorgeous like the ones on Instagram's #bujospreads but I aspire to be that talented.

The last few pages of the Essentials planner are plain dotted pages for notes and whatever you like. This is what's in mine: Check out my income tracker! I've always had something like this in all my planners. I actually don't necessarily need this because I have Taxumo which tracks my income and expenses online. But I like having this table in my blog planner so I won't need to go online to check how I'm doing or who needs to pay, etc.

Aaaand my 2019 blogging goals are at the back! Ya, maybe the Essentials planner should have a few of these plain dotted pages at the start of the book so I can do goals, bucket list, and personal information there. That not being the case, I put them all in the back. It's okay, I think. What do you think?

So there you have it! My 2019 blog planner! I hope it helps me become super successful next year! Do you have one like this, too? What does yours look like and what do you suggest I should include in mine?

*The 2019 Essentials Planner is available at all leading bookstores and from the Belle de Jour Power Planner online shop [click here to buy]. It's just P300! So affordable! I LOVE IT! But if you want a planner with more flair, color and inspiration, BDJ has a lot to offer. Yes! There's not just different kinds of planners, there are journals, stickers, stamp sets, and calendars, too. Click here to shop.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Check out Kids Ink for books, toys, crafts, party supplies, and workshops!

My kids and I have a new favorite hangout: Kids Ink! It's a clean, well lighted place in new mall One Bonifacio High Street at BGC.

It has nearly everything a kid would ever want, but carefully curated. Only smart games and toys, for example. Legos, puzzles, board games for toys.

Books are arranged by age so it's easier for parents and kids to browse through shelves that cater to their age level. Although of course, you and your child can always check out the other shelves.

The books are also either literary prize winners, educational, or are so beautifully bound and illustrated, they are a treasure to look at.

I love the workshop area they set up by the huge sunny windows. I imagined myself giving my own workshops there. Did I ever tell you I used to teach creative writing summer classes to kids 20 years ago??? Seeing my kids enjoy the slime-making workshop at Kids Ink made me want to teach kids again. I'm excited to find out what workshops Kids Ink has lined up for 2019!

Kids Ink is on the 2/F of One Bonifacio High Street, BGC. This slip of a mall has three entrances: across Mind Museum on 3rd Ave, across Ascott on 28th St., and across Shangri-la at The Fort on 5th St. It's also beside Noteworthy so moms and dads who love paper and journaling like I do will love to browse there! Bring the whole family! I did!

PROMO ALERT!!! From now till December 31, 2018, get a FREE Lego Creator Holiday Train with every single receipt purchase of P1,499 on any Lego sets.

For more news and promos, follow on Instagram, and like Kids.Inkph on Facebook.

*This post was brought to you by Kids Ink.