Showing posts with label Sponsored Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sponsored Post. Show all posts

Monday, October 30, 2023

How to pay off your credit card and other useful tips

It's Halloween but you know what's scarier? My credit card bill. 

I'm about 5 digits in debt. It's actually not that bad but considering my history with credit cards (read: I Was a Credit Card-aholic But My Marriage Saved Me), I have really painstakingly made sure I always paid my bill in full. But I didn't have an income late last year and then this year wasn't good for me, mental health-wise, so I slipped and charged a lot of food orders on my card to buy some happiness. And so here we are - fat and in debt!

Again, it's not that bad, but with all the things I pay for, I still can't pay off the full amount every month. A friend told me to take out a loan with a smaller interest rate because our credit cards here in the Philippines charge an astronomical rate of 3% interest a month. I'm still considering it. 

I found this useful tool online called when I was looking for help on how to manage my credit card bill. And the Credit Card Payment Calculator told me if I'm very, very good and very, very disciplined, I'd be able to pay off my debt in 9 months. 

Nine months. Gosh. That's a long time. Not a whole year thankfully, but still a long time. I need to make more money so I can pay this credit card debt sooner!

To empower me with this daunting task, I asked my dear Loyal Readers for some credit card advice. I've collected them all into a list. Hopefully, if you're in the same boat as I am, you'd find these tips on how to pay off your credit card debt useful, too!

1. Acknowledge Your Debt Situation
Before diving into debt repayment strategies, understand your current financial situation. Whether it's due to unforeseen circumstances or a history of credit card misuse, recognizing your debt is the first step toward financial freedom.

2. Explore Debt Consolidation Options
Consider consolidating your credit card debt with a loan that offers a lower interest rate than your credit cards. This can help reduce your overall interest payments, making it easier to pay off your debt. Like what my friend advised, I should explore options for loans with lower interest rates in the Philippines.

3. Utilize Online Tools
Online tools like can be incredibly helpful. The Credit Card Payment Calculator, for example, can estimate how long it will take to pay off your debt with disciplined payments. Knowing your timeline can be motivating.

4. Set Clear Goals
Establish specific and realistic goals for paying off your credit card debt. Determine how much you can afford to pay each month, and create a timeline for becoming debt-free. Having clear objectives will keep you focused on your financial journey.

5. Cut Down on Credit Cards
Consider reducing the number of credit cards you hold to prevent further accumulation of debt. Having only two credit cards is a manageable approach, ensuring you can handle your expenses without relying on multiple cards.

6. Choose Fee-Free Credit Cards:
Opt for credit cards that don't charge annual fees or waive these fees if you meet certain monthly payment criteria. Saving on annual fees can help you allocate more funds towards debt repayment.

7. Negotiate with Your Bank
If you've been a responsible cardholder, contact your bank to negotiate annual fee waivers or lower interest rates. Banks often reward loyal and responsible customers.

8. Leverage Reward Programs
Use credit cards that offer rewards for your spending. Accumulating rewards can provide some financial relief or extra perks while you work on paying off your debt.

9. Create a Budget
Establish a monthly budget that covers essential expenses such as groceries, utilities, and phone bills. Stick to your budget to ensure you have enough funds for debt repayment.

10. Pay More Than the Minimum
Always pay more than the minimum amount due on your credit card bills. Paying only the minimum prolongs your debt repayment and increases the interest you owe.

11. Opt for Interest-Free Installments
When making significant purchases like appliances, choose installment plans with zero interest. This way, you can spread the cost without incurring additional charges.

12. Prioritize Debt Repayment
If you have multiple credit card debts, prioritize paying off the one with the smallest balance or the highest interest rate. Focus your efforts on one card at a time.

My goal for 2024 is to wipe out my credit card debt. I've stopped using that card and I plan to pay more than the minimum. Hopefully, that would lessen the time estimated it would take for me to be debt-free. Their Family Budget Calculator can also help me with managing my finances, and soon maybe I can start saving again (their Savings Calculator is cool, too).

Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Tuition fees are going up. Good luck to our budget!

I went back to the corporate world this year after 10 years as a freelancer/business owner and I got asked a couple of times if I got tired of the hustle culture. Partly yes, but mostly because I have 3 kids to educate and tuition is crazy expensive and needs to be paid quarterly. Unfortunately, when you’re a freelancer, the income is erratic. Sometimes, it pours when it rains. Most of the time, it’s dry season. And that's the real reason I got a regular job with a regular income. It allows me to create a budget for their education. 

I wrote an article for Wyeth ParenTeam, 5 Steps to Save for Your Child's College Tuition. It has an equation there that predicts tuition years and years from now. It’s all estimates but you get a good idea of how much you’re going to suffer and for how long hahahaaa huhuhu.

The equation goes: Current tuition multiplied by 1 plus Interest [P x (1+I)] raised to number of years (N).

In my article, the financial expert I interviewed said, “On your phone, just type 300,000 x 1.10 then press the equal sign 8 times. We have just projected that if tuition fees increase by 10% a year for 8 years, then Php 300,000 today will be around Php 644,000 in 8 years, or around Php 778,000 in 10 years.”

That's where I spent 4.5 years of my life, the College of Arts & Letters

Boy. Almost a million pesos for one year in college. A short-term financial solution is to get a loan. My mother got tuition loans from her job all the time so she could send our eldest brother to school. My and my younger brother’s education was free (thank you, Philippine taxpayers!) while my younger sister’s education wasn’t that expensive either. All our college was subsidized because we went to that state university in Diliman (thank you again, Philippine taxpayers!) so Mama didn’t have to borrow so much anymore.

Some schools accept credit card payments but that’s something I want to stay away from because I was a credit card-aholic (but my marriage saved me). Plus, credit card interest rates are jumping this March! College tuition is just too big an amount to put on a card.

I’m not going to think of college because we already have a college fund for them (that’s another solution: invest in a mutual fund or an insurance policy with regular endowment payouts!). Also, I’m hoping my boys go to my alma mater and be a scholar like me.

So let’s just compute for high school since my kids are 12, 10, and 8. Let’s do my eldest son’s tuition. So his Grade 6 tuition now is Php 150,000. So if tuition increases by 10%, I’ll need to pay Php 165,000 for 7th grade. That means my tuition budget is Php 13,750 a month for a year. Doable!

But then I have 2 more kids. That means Php 495,000 a year. That’s okay. I just need to set aside Php 41,250 every month. Thanks to my new job, this is still doable.

Now my kids go to a school near our place so we don’t spend a lot of money on the school run. Not a lot of time on the road either. It’s a big deal because they used to go to another school just 5 kms away and the school bus service cost me an additional Php 9,000 a month (or Php 90,000 a school year). Plus an hour and 2 hours in traffic, morning and afternoon respectively. Transferring to a nearer school made such a huge difference in time and money saved!

But then here comes the crazy part: We’re thinking of sending our boys to that boys’ school in Katipunan. We have our reasons although they pale after I tell you this: That school is almost 12 kilometers away from our home and difficult to get to because traffic to and fro is hellish. Since my husband also has a full-time job, he won’t be able to do the school run (he can do this now because our current school is very near).

So if the boys go to that boys’ school, we’ll have to get them a bus service. I asked my friend who lives near me how much she pays for her son’s bus service from our city to that school. A whopping Php 10,000 a month! That’s Php 100,000 x 3 = Php 300,000 a year just on the school service!

I don’t think I can afford Php 495,000 tuition + books + uniforms + baon + Php 300,000 bus service, mommies. It's just illogical. 

So we were prepared enough to save for college but I don’t know if we can even get them there because grade school and high school are so damn pricey! 

Lots of thinking to do.

*Photo by Kat Fernandez on Unsplash

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Calculating what I need to save for emergencies, college, and retirement!

We're done with homeschooling this 2023. We had to choose homeschooling during the pandemic but now that the boys are vaccinated and the world seems safer (fingers crossed!), we're going to send all of them to a brick-and-mortar school again. Meet new people, learn different world views, learn to navigate society. It's very exciting!

Of course, homeschooling is much more affordable than school-school. That's why I went back to the corporate world so we can pay the tuition and save money for college.

I've been doing a ton of calculations recently because a good education in the Philippines is so expensive. 

Well, it doesn't have to be. I'm proud to say that half of my education was spent in public schools (thank you, Filipino taxpayer!). And I just want to put this out there: many people I know who studied in exclusive private schools have atrocious grammar. My fellow public school classmates? Never made a grammar mistake. It's not the school. It's the student. I'll leave it at that.

So why am I intent on giving my kids a private school education? For the connections? The prestige? The hope that going to an international school will give them a foot in the door to a life out of here? Sigh. I'm still figuring it out. 

Anyway, I've been playing around with these tools on They have a calculator for savings goals, college savings, and retirement planning. You can change the currency. The site says that the calculation for figuring compound savings is the same almost everywhere, especially as their calculators allow different compounding frequencies. 

So I tried them out. They look like this:

I want to save 500K just for, well, nothing. I just want it there. For emergencies like medical (I had to have surgery last year, remember?) or deaths (both my parents' deaths were a surprise expense). The saving goals calculator says I need to set aside just 8K a month. Doable!

Hehe sorry, this college calculator is empty. I can't show you my figures! But I also realized I didn't have enough information like the annual school costs inflation rate and the tuition fees of the colleges I hope my kids will go to. Well, I want my kids to go to just my alma mater, UP Diliman. And since it's a state university, it's very cheap! 

We actually have insurance policies for their education. So college is pretty much in the bag! 

We're also already setting aside money for retirement via insurance policies. But I still wanted to try out their retirement calculator. I made a mistake and wrote 3% as our inflation rate. But actually, it's...
Good luck, Pilipinas!!!

Anyway, if you're in the mood for figuring out the future, check out! It's helped sober me up haha Boy, I should stop buying books and ordering food! There's a lot of money we need to save!

Friday, February 10, 2023

Frances Finds: A game on managing a grocery store!

I've been using our grocery trips as part of our homeschool lesson. It's math, home economics, social studies, and health! Plus, I think they're old enough to learn how to feed themselves. And they should know about the prices of the food they eat and so they'll not waste food. So to make it more fun, we've made grocery shopping a game! Like I'd tell them "Here's your budget. You have 30 minutes. Go!" They love it!

With all the skyrocketing prices on just about everything, however, let me tell ya that it's not been fun to go grocery shopping lately. Having to see my kids' faces when they go, "These cookies are more expensive than those cookies if you compare them by weight!" is just sad. But it's also gratifying when they go, "Let's buy this brand of fresh milk, Mama. They all taste the same anyway!"

Teaching kids about life. What an experience!

So when my boys saw me playing a game called Tap Supermarket, they were intrigued. "Are you doing the groceries, Mama?"

"Nope. I'm managing the supermarket!"

And that's how my boys took over my game and learned about supply and demand, customer service, replenishing stocks, making money, and figuring out what to do with that money! 

Check it out:

So this is basically what it looks like. You have a supermarket and you have 1K and half the store stocked to start.

It's super simple. You need to make sure the shelves are stocked well and the lines at the cashier moving. But it may be simple but it gets really complicated!

You have lots of customers coming in, they're emptying your shelves, demand for new products is going up, and you're understaffed --- ahhhhh!!!

My kids LOVE it! 

Depending on your attitude, it's either so exciting or stressful haha

There are lots of other games on this online games site if Tap Supermarket proves to be too exciting for you. It's a money and finance site and they use fun games to make money and finance more fun and not so intimidating. I was quite impressed with my kids' mental math skills!

Here are a couple more games we like to play:

LEGO City Adventures Build & Protect teaches the kids about running a city by collecting taxes! They don't understand why we need to pay taxes and I always say, "Well, the streetlights need electricity, the roads need to be maintained, the garbage needs to be collected. We pay for those with our taxes." This game illustrates that practicality well.

Mahjong Solitaire is a great memory and matching game. Plus, the mahjong tiles show famous landmarks all over the world, like the Eiffel Tower, the Hollywood sign, Mt Fuji, Merlion, Stonehenge... and I'm ashamed to admit I don't recognize the others!!! 

Anyway, if you aren't doing anything this weekend or you'd like your kids to play online games that will teach them about math and money, check out! Happy weekend of fun and learning, mamas! 

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Can I afford a new car?

Did you know our car is as old as my eldest son? He's 12 this year and so we've had our Zoom-Zoom (that's what we named our little Mazda 2) for a dozen years! Since we live within 5 kilometers of everything we need, our mileage is pretty low. Even before the pandemic, my husband and I have been working from home and we only used the car on weekends, when the family needed to go out. And then the last 3 years happened when the whole world stayed home.  

So Zoom-Zoom runs perfectly well, is still shiny, and has new tires. It's still practically perfect!

And yet my husband says it's time to buy a new car. In this economy? With the skyrocketing gas prices? In a pandemic when we're all working and studying from home anyway? Yes. Because our boys will be teenagers soon and (1) they won't fit in our little car and (2) they're going to need a car for all the busy activities of teenage life.

Naturally, the car that we're buying next will be an electric car. I'd like to say we're woke (yes, let's save the planet) but the real reason is cost. The electricity used to charge an electric car is cheaper than the cost for gasoline. And, yes, let's save the planet!

Even Bloomberg says that 2022 is the year to buy an electric car. While an EV is still not the most popular kind of vehicle that drives down our roads, with the rising gas prices and climate change, if we must buy a car, the car to buy should be electric because that's the future. Plus, Bloomberg points out that "The average length of time drivers hold onto new vehicles is 6 years [it's not 12???]. So if you're buying a new vehicle in 2022, you should be thinking about the market for used cars in 2028 or later."

So my husband and I were looking at According to Tatler, these electric vehicles (EVs) are available here:

Nissan Leaf - Php 2.8 million
BYD E6 - Php 4.2 million
Porsche Taycan - Php 4.3 million
Lexus RX 450h - Php 5.4 million
Jaguar I-Pace - Php 7.6 million


Let me just say that when we bought Zoom-Zoom in 2010, we did not even breach the 1 million mark and were able to pay in cash. But with those prices mentioned above, how we can afford a new EV on top of all our current living expenses? The kids' tuition alone is daunting. And here we are thinking of adding a car loan to our expenditures!

Luckily I found an online tool that gives me an idea of how we can pay for a new car:

The calculator works with just about any scenario, whether it's a new or used car, whether you trade in or not, etc. I like the site because the calculator makes everything instant. I can quickly see the amount I need to pay for monthly installments. For example, if I choose to get the Nissan Leaf, it will look like this:

Actually, I'm not sure about all those figures yet. I need to check with the bank on what the correct rates are. But let's just say those are the numbers and I can confidently say that I can't afford a new car this year hahahahaha

Good heavens. So thank you, Car Payment Calculator, for letting me know this sobering fact right now. 

Still, if ever we do buy a new car, it will definitely be electric!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

I found a body fat percentage calculator!

New year, new health goals! First, I just want to say I am grateful that it's two years into the pandemic and we're healthy. I can't ever take that for granted. But I really shouldn't stop there. I need to get fit, too. I've gained weight in quarantine. It's just so good to eat! I never seemed to be able to eat well before, with me always running to and fro, stuck in traffic, and all a busy mama does. So for the past year or so, I've really been enjoying my meals... and my clothes have gotten tighter! 

The thing is my weight and BMI are still kinda okay so I got complacent. Then I read that what matters is body fat percentage. You can be heavy but if it's all dense bones and strong muscles, that's okay. But if you're skinny but you have no muscle and it's all just fat, then you're fat. Skinny fat. That's why it's important to know your body fat percentage. And I found a body fat percentage calculator!

So I'm 5 feet 3.5 inches tall (I rounded up hehe) and my weight is 135 lbs. So my body fat is 30.5%. That's a lot. As my results show, I am carrying around 41 lbs of body fat. FORTY-ONE POUNDS OF FAT! 

While the body fat percentage calculator said that's "acceptable", I was alarmed to know there's a child's weight in fat on me. 

At 30%+ body fat, I'm definitely bordering on obese. I don't look fat but I'm getting there, and fast! I really should lessen my food intake and exercise more. Wish me luck! 

P.S. By the way, as we are on the topic of food, my kids have discovered some food games online. They're quite fun! I've taken to playing them myself. Check out this burger-building game my son Iñigo liked a lot:

And here's another one. I personally like this because I love Tetris-type games and this one is great because it's made of chocolate blocks!

(Thanks, Iñigo, for making videos of the games you played on your YouTube channel!)

My kids love this culinary games site a lot because there are soooo many games to play and they learn a few things about cooking and the restaurant business. I also like it because instead of me eating food, I can just play with food now! That body fat percentage calculator really woke me up from my food coma. Try it, too! Then tell me your body fat percentage in the comments haha 

Monday, October 18, 2021

My hobby: Solitaire card games! (plus a confession)

Let's get the confession out of the way: I play online games while I'm working! Yes, and it's okay. Much of my work as operations manager of a communications agency based abroad is waiting for submissions to come in from our writers and artists. So when I approve copy and wait for the artist to lay it out, I switch to the tab where Solitaire is on and I play a few card games. 

It's better than toxic Facebook, believe me! Social media reels you in and you go up the heaven of cute corgis and kittens or down the hell hole of news and negative comments, and then you're too distracted to go back to work. So I've gone back to my childhood hobby of playing cards, but this time online.

I actually still have a deck of cards on my bedside table and I play solitaire sometimes on the bed as I chat with my husband. If he's reading or working and can't talk, I sing the Carpenters' song, "Solitaire" while I play. It's one of my favorite sad songs. 

Solitaire is a game my grandparents taught me to pass away afternoons, listening to radio dramas. My Lola said you can ask the cards a yes-no question and if you win the game, then it's a yes. So that's another confession. I ask the cards stuff!

So anyway, let me tell you about my new find, It has dozens of free solitaire games like Klondike, FreeCell, Spider, gin rummy, crazy eights, hearts, and more. Like a LOT more. But I usually just play solitaire because it's my favorite. It calms my mind and helps me focus. Makes me better at remembering deadlines and editing work. So it really is a good way to while away the time when I'm waiting for work to come in.  

What doesn't calm my mind is another game on the site called Zuma Ball Shooters and oh my goodness it drives me crazy! It's only 10 levels and I'm on Level 8 and I just can't get past that level! The goal of the game is to line up 3 balls of the same kind which will make all those balls disappear. I'm supposed to shoot out all the balls before they get to the end. It's so maddening!!! 

I don't dislike it. In fact, I play it every day because I just really want to get to Level 10! But I definitely don't play this game when I'm working. It doesn't relax me. It brings out all my killer instincts and I just want to blast those balls to kingdom come!!!

So let me reiterate that I don't play Zuma Ball while I work. Instead, when I'm not playing solitaire, I play this: Candy House. It's like Candy Crush but slower and more mellow. So again, makes me feel calm. which is great when I'm working.

There are dozens more games at Sometimes I let my kids play the games, too. For school! Patterns are part of math, you know! I highly recommend these games for your kids as a fun way to recognize patterns. 

And that's my little secret! And my new online find. Try, too! Happy Monday and I hope you have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Allergic to citrus fruits? Here's where to get your Vitamin C

If you're allergic to oranges, pineapples, and other citrus fruits, you may think, "That's it, we'll have to take supplements now and forever," take heart. You can still get your daily dose of Vitamin C from a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables. It's not a vitamin exclusive to citrus fruits at all.

Two of my kids are allergic to oranges. Their lips get red and puffy. I'm allergic, too. My tongue gets itchy and sometimes I want to scratch out my throat. Most of the time, the allergy manifests as an upset stomach. So oranges and orange juice aren't always on my grocery list (but it finds its way there when my husband and middle boy remind me that they're not allergic haha).

So for us citrus-allergic folk, is it Vitamin C supplements from now on? I know this is a concern of yours because ever since the pandemic started, my blog post on Vitamin C has consistently ranked on my Top 5 posts and I regularly get questions about Vitamin C supplements for kids. Mommies, you don't have to resort to that. First, any supplement for children should be prescribed by your child's pediatrician. 

Second, you'll be happy to know that vitamins and minerals are best absorbed and used by our bodies when they come from food.

Third, you can get good sources of Vitamin C from your local supermarket! Add these to your grocery list (I included citrus fruits anyway!):

  • banana
  • cantaloupe or melon
  • grape
  • grapefruit
  • guava
  • kiwi
  • lemon
  • lychee
  • mango
  • orange
  • papaya
  • pomelo
  • pineapple
  • strawberry

  • bell pepper
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • chili pepper
  • kale
  • parsley
  • potato
  • spinach
  • sweet potato (camote)
  • thyme
  • tomato
As you can see, lots of local Pinoy fruits and vegetables are great sources of Vitamin C. I'm grateful that our supermarkets also stock up on many other fruits and veggies grown abroad. It's really easy to get your daily dose of Vitamin C!

Yes, it has to be a daily dose because our bodies don't store the vitamin. And we need it to protect our cells from damage, help heal wounds and infections faster, and keep our skin and bones strong and healthy. 

When I'm cooking meat dishes and don't have fruits and veggies at the table (it happens!), I just make sure I drink Welch's 100% Grape Juice. Because it's not citrus, no allergic reactions from me. Happy mouth and tummy, happy and healthy body! 

That's another thing I'm GRAPE-ful for: One bottle of Welch's 100% Grape Juice can meet my Vitamin C needs for the day. Plus it's full of antioxidants and with no added sugar, no preservatives, and no artificial color and flavors. Just Real Grape Goodness!

A year and a half into the pandemic, I'm so grateful my family has been spared so far from COVID-19. To be honest, last summer, I got a bit sad about being stuck indoors for who-knows-'til-when and kinda ate and ate my way through my depression. So I gained weight! Yikes! But last week, I realized it's exactly one month before my 45th birthday and I want to get healthy for that big day. So I started exercising, I'm still trying to eat less hehe, and I've replaced my soda with just water and Welch's 100% Grape Juice.

Being alive is a great thing and being healthy is a blessing we can't take for granted anymore, especially in these times. So wish me luck as I get on track again to good health with a proper diet and fitness regimen and Welch's 100% Grape Juice!

*This post is brought to you by Welch's. Welch's 100% Grape Juice, Juice Cocktails, Sparkling Juices, and Fruit Snacks are available in all leading supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores. You can have your favorite health drink delivered right to your doorstep! Visit the Ace Food Service website, or place your order in the following online groceries: Metro Mart, Lazmart, and Waltermart.

*Reference: NHS

*images by @allecgomes (grapes, papaya, strawberry), @mockupgraphics (broccoli, cabbage, chili pepper, parsley, tomato), @dainisgraveris (melon), @deonblack (banana), @ikredenets (bell peppers), @alexgruber (kiwi)

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!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

My fun mom find! Free educational online games for the kids (and me!)

It's summer for us! We are lazy bums right now, just really enjoying the no-school days until we have to hit the books again in August. That doesn't mean I'm letting the kids' brains go too idle. I kinda tricked them into playing online games at It's a site I found a couple of months ago and it has hundreds of games - many of them educational! - and you can play them all for FREE!!!

So just a brief description of It's really a simple place where hundreds of online games are listed and you simply choose to play the ones you like. It's easy to navigate because the games are in categories. There are arcade classics like Tetris, Pac-Man, space games, and the like. There are simulation games for your kids who want to imagine how to run a restaurant or fly a plane. There are war games, shooter games, sports games... There's a lot so if you're looking for online entertainment that's FREE, I highly recommend!

So now that I've told you about the site, let me tell you about the games I'm playing. Yes, I play, too! And of course I started with this classic, which I used to play perfectly on my old phone: Snake!

It's called Neon Snake here and it sure is a lot prettier than the black pixels on my old Nokia. Sound effects are better, too. But aside from those, it's still pretty much the same old Snake.

Another classic is Tetris! Here it's called Super Tetris and I love it! Tetris has always been my favorite game. I like pattern games. But this game's blocks are all glowy and the music is so relaxing. I play this one on my phone all the time!

Okay, as a homeschooling mom, what I found really fantabulous about is the number of educational games for kids. This site lets me meet two important goals: I want my kids to have fun learning, and I want them to do something educational while I go take a nap hahaha

Here are just a few games you can let your kids play. No-guilt involved because your kids will be learning as they play: 

Logic games

Math games

Music games

I even used some of these games when we were homeschooling and I had to meet a work deadline. Everyone's happy!

There you go! My happy #momfind! Try out, too!