Saturday, May 13, 2017

Frances Finds: Cheers Picnic Set

This post is brought to you by Cheers Picnic Set.

My second boy turned 5! Can you believe it? I can’t. I know moms always say, “Oh, where did the time go?” and I do say that, too, but I also want to add that with Iñigo especially, I feel that the time was too quick. I’ll explain more in another blog post because right now, I want to share this nifty little find: Cheers Picnic Set!

Get a basket for the home, the office, the car, the bakasyon, the everyday!

Cheers is a brand of paper towels for the kitchen and for parties. Cheers also has starch-based cutlery sets and trash bags. Yes, biodegradable!!! So if you want to throw a party at home or at work or in your kid’s school, or you just want your everyday needs at home be met with tools that are kinder to the environment, then cheers for Cheers!

Okay, so back to the point of this post—my particular mom find! It’s the new Cheers Picnic Set. It comes in a cute little coated paper picnic basket. The set includes table napkins, cutlery, and garbage bags. So thoughtful, diba? 

And biodegradable! So thoughtful talagal!

I picked up a Cheers Picnic Set for Iñigo’s little party here at home. We had cake, ice cream. Simple lang. That’s how we are. That’s our happiness! But my kids can still make a big mess so I like that I can put the Cheers Picnic Set basket right on the table to manage the mess but it will still look pretty sa pictures!

Love it! Sana lang I can tell what the color of the cutlery is kasi Iñigo’s favorite color is red and he’d have loved it if our biodegradable spoons and forks were red. But pink will have to do! Iñigo’s fine with pink because we told him it’s a diluted red hahaha

Fork for the cake? Check. Tissues for icing smears? Check. Trash bags for happily torn off gift wrapper? Check. 

So we had a little party for my darling boy, my kulot, my sweetheart, the most tender one, and my wee wittle Wiggle. I’ll tell you more about the party soon! Meanwhile, check out the Cheers Picnic Set and please wish my Iñigo a happy birthday!

Cheers is available at P60 SRP and is sold at SM, Puregold, Robinsons, and Metro supermarkets.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How the FERN-C kidz Mother's Day video made me realize my kids are not like other kids

This post is brought to you by FERN-C kidz.

It's Mother's Day this weekend and Facebook is full of heartmelting video tributes to mommies. I've spent not a few minutes wiping away my tears as I watched these videos. One of these videos is from FERN-C kidz. My Loyal Readers know my kids take FERN-C kidz vitamin C supplement so I liked their Facebook page. That means their updates come up on my feed. That's how I saw this video:

Awww, diba??? So my kids saw me crying while I was watching it and so they watched it with me and I was feeling all tender and thinking, "I'll ask them nga if they think I'm a good mama."

My voice breaking, I asked, "Vito, Iñigo, do you think I'm a good mama?"

Iñigo said, "Well, when you get mad at us, you're not a good mama."

Vito said, "Yes. Peppa Pig's mama never gets mad at her and George even when they make a big mess."

Lokong mga bata, kasing honest ko!

Now before you think my heart broke into a thousand pieces, it didn't. In fact, we giggled when they said that! My kids and I are extremely honest with each other. We talk a lot about our thoughts and feelings, and I tell them all the time that they must always be honest with me. I'm frank and honest myself. I expect no less from my own offspring! When they're mad at me, they tell me. When I make a mistake, which is often, I apologize. They're quick to say sorry, too. We're really an emotionally open bunch!

It's not easy to be a working mama. Because we have no household help (the cleaning lady that came in thrice a week quit because of her alta presyon), I'm so exhausted all the time. So I'm on a short fuse when the work and the chores pile up, when I haven't slept for days, when I haven't showered, when I haven't eaten a proper meal. I admit I yell. That mom in the FERN-C kidz video, si Mommy Iggy, sobra akong relate when she said, "Minsan talaga bigla ka na lang magbu-burst, eh, na parang, 'Can you give me like five minutes?'" Story of my life. I'm always saying that! "Give me a minute so I can just finish this. Five minutes and I'll be there. Just please one minute of complete silence naman diyan at bingi na ako sa ingay niyo grabe!"

The kids don't like it when I yell. I don't like it either. But sometimes I just can't help it anymore. I'm too overwhelmed! But we talk about it. I apologize for yelling. They apologize for making a mess/punching each other/whining about the food. And then we hug and kiss and the world is all right.

I may not be the ideal mom (what is that anyway?) but I still think that I'm a good mama anyway. I love it that my kids feel safe enough to always tell me what they feel—even when it's not the feelings I'd like to hear hahaha. I'm raising boys who aren't afraid of their emotions, who trust their mother to love them through the ugly issues, and who are as unflinchingly honest about their truth.

And anyway, my kids weren't finished yet. Vito said, "But you're a good mama, Mama. I love you so much, Mama, because you're always taking care of us. That's why you're tired. So sleep na!"

And Iñigo said, "Yes, you're a good mama sometimes. Okay, okay, all the time!"

And Piero said, "Mama, wuv you!"

It's not always easy to give my best and to do my best for my kids, but they just proved to me through this always honest talk that I may be doing something right after all. But, okay, maybe a little part of me wished they just said I was perfect! These kids. They're not like other kids. They're just like me! Sobrang honest!

May you have the same honest love and communication between you and your kids, mommies! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Frances Finds: Simply Modular "Assemble-It-Yourself" Furniture

Hi mommies! I'm here to tell you about my exciting new find—Simply Modular furniture! 

Since rearranging the furniture a couple of years ago, my husband Vince and I have hatched plans to do something about the blank wall behind the TV. Sun-burst mirrors. A collection of framed art prints. Built-in shelves so we can move out the books in the boys' room, which used to be our home office in our before-kids life. A wall of cabinets for extra storage and to hide the TV. We always planned our plans whenever we watched TV (so that was every day haha) because look at it:

Soooo saaaaaad! How could we have lived like that?!? (Hehe, so melodramatic.) Well, we had to live with that because we just couldn't find the energy to have carpenters come in and build shelves and cabinets for us. We live in a condo and there's so much red tape and fees just to have people come over to OUR house and fix OUR house, services that WE hired and paid for using OUR money. I mean, seriously, with the way condo management polices what we do in OUR homes, you'd think THEY own the place! So even if we want to do stuff like a simple cabinet installation, a paint job, or an entire home renovation, we get defeated.

And then Simply Modular sent us an email and told us to check them out.

Simply Modular Furniture System was designed by and for megacities. Yes, Simply Modular is from Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. Now it's in Manila! It's basically panels that snap together so you can assemble them any which way you like to create shelves, cabinets, closets, tables, desks, cribs, beds—whatever you like! 

I liked Simply Modular because we can design the specific furniture we needed, and then as our needs change, we can reassemble the panels to create new furniture. Amazing! Vince liked it for the same reason plus the fact that every Simply Modular piece is made of high quality ABS plastic. So it's basically LEGO! That also means they're waterproof, termite-proof, and rust-proof! And, unlike IKEA (which almost destroyed our marriage hahaha when we built our kids' bed), Simply Modular is so easy to assemble! Look!

So we agreed to have a starter kit sent our way. As soon as we saw the panels, we liked them so much, we bought more! Good thing there's a wonderfully made website to shop at:

Okay, big con for me was that the website (at the time I shopped) did NOT accept credit cards or PayPal. As a longtime online seller and shopper, I know that a basic requirement of any online shop is to offer easy online payment options. I almost quit at this point because this means I have to shop at the store. My longtime readers know I hate shopping at malls! But since Vince had his heart set on Simply Modular and because I love him so very much, we made the looooong trip all the way to SMDC M Place in Panay Ave., Quezon City, to shop for the pieces we needed.

Ideas: shelves, TV console, cabinets.
Ideas: Desk, side tables.
So many colors! We picked white, orange, blue and green. I'm still dreaming of that pink, though!

After our shopping trip, we were super excited to build! Simply Modular, being flat panels made of plastic, comes in tidy boxes that are easy to transport. They're not that heavy, too.
Bottom panels have attachable legs.
The sets can hold weights up to 200 kilos so your kids can sit and lie down on them.
No need for screws or pegs. Just click the panels together!

And here are the finished shelves!

Sooo happy!!! We love our Simply Modular shelves! The entire thing cost us about P15,000. (And it was so easy to assemble, it didn't cost us our marriage, too!) That's actually affordable because these shelves will last forever. And I can reinvent them into another piece of furniture, too! Like what my kids did with the extra panels:
They made a stage for their puppet shows!

The first store is at G/F SMDC M Place, Panay Avenue, Quezon City, just beside ABS-CBN. I'm glad to report that more branches are opening this year at SMDC malls below SMDC condos. Hooray! There's an SMDC mall near us! I'm thinking of replacing the TV console with Simply Modular shelves and cabinets, too, because the darkness of the wood doesn't look so nice against all those happy colors. I'm also planning to make my laundry room pretty and efficient so I really want to shop at Simply Modular again!