Friday, June 09, 2017

Shopping for wallets

Back to school this week! It's the busiest time of the year (okay, the busiest one after Christmas) and just when I'm getting into the rhythm of things, I broke my foot. Literally. I'm stuck at home with my right foot swollen and throbbing. Yesterday, my two younger kids were intent on killing each other (no joke) and I ran to them to separate the critters before tragedy ensues, and in my haste, I ran into the bed post. I think my scream was heard all over our building.

So now I have a broken toe. Apparently, it's a very common injury and nothing to worry about as long as I don't use that foot. So no walking! Never mind that I have kids to settle into school and my husband is a bit annoyed at the inconvenience of a wife with a broken toe. So I'm hobbling about, in pain but not entirely in misery.

For one thing, I'm finally forced to slow down. Literally. I can't go to work. I can't go to the school. I can't do housework. I can't line up at the bank (kumusta ang mga readers ko na may BPI accounts???). So what have I been up to? I've been napping! Wow, it's soooo good to sleep. I've been watching sappy shows on Netflix and crying deliciously. I haven't brushed my hair (and my teeth hehe). I'm just eating chocolate-covered raisins while I watch TV. Oh, and while I shop online!!!

I've been needing new things, you see. New undies, new clothes, new wallet. My wallet is disintegrating. But busy working mama me syempre, I buy stuff for my kids first. But now, with nothing to do, I logged into my Zalora account (always a dangerous thing) and shopped for wallets.

I CAN'T DECIDE! Help me!

Okay, so I'm on a budget (because #workingmama) but I did find nice wallets anyway for less than P700! Hindi nga lang ako makapili because I want them all. Paktay. Check 'em out:

This is the Keisha wallet from My Everyday Fashion. Two reasons I love it: It's orange and it looks like an Hermes bag hahahahaha. Oh, oh! Third reason: It's just P699!

Here's an even cheaper orange wallet from Cava Bags. It's the Saffiano, yes, in Saffiano-like leather, which is a texture I love. I like that their logo is V, too. I love two guys whose names start with V, you see!
The pink Saffiano wallet from Cava Bags is pretty, too. Which one should I get? Pink or orange? Both are my favorite colors! It's just P599!

Now, I also want to get a gray wallet to match my Tod's D Bag. (I still get gooey inside saying that. I own a Tod's D Bag after wanting it for years!) This Emma Wallet from My Everyday Fashion is a nice and mega affordable choice at just P399. Super mura!
Another gray find is this Emily wallet from My Everyday Fashion again. It's really cheap at P349. I like that it has sooo many slots for cards.

Which one? Which one? Help me pick one!

P.S. Now, I don't need coin purses but when I saw these Pink Tequila coin purses, they made me so happy. However, I'm not buying any of these because... I dunno, because I'm 40? Ugh. I'm having a mid-life crisis where I don't know what's appropriate for my age. On one hand, I've always believed that as long as you can afford it, you should wear and buy whatever makes you happy. And yet, now that I'm matrona age, I don't know if that still applies if what makes you happy are the cutest things like these! Maybe because they're vintage-themed, I can get away with it? What do you think?

TV, P359. Because I actually know what this is. In my childhood, at midnight, the TV hangs haha. It stays colorful like this until early morning, which makes the colored bars give way to the national anthem, a prayer, a TV station manifesto, and then entertainment!

Cassette tape, P359. Because I had mixed tapes! I got one from a guy who liked me but that I didn't like but I kept his tape because I liked the music he curated for me. I made lots of mix tapes, too, waiting for the radio to play my favorite songs and getting really upset if the DJ is still talking when the song starts or when it hasn't ended! And I also like it because I'm a writer and I used to do interviews with all these tapes! I have a stack somewhere of tapes with celebrities' secrets on them. Now I have a sophisticated recording machine, but I still prefer the old recorders that used cassettes.

Brick game, P359. Because I'm really really REALLY good at Tetris. Like crazy good.

Cupcake, P369. Okay, cupcakes aren't vintage but this makes me happy because when I was a kid, I collected and traded stationery and one of my favorites was a scented pad of cupcake designs. I loved that!

Pink bottle, P359. Well, this isn't vintage-themed anymore but because I'm a mom of boys and my foot is throbbing in pain now because of said boys, this one made me gleeful. Heehee.

Okay, will mull over the items I put in my basket. Then if my foot is better tomorrow, I'll buy buy buy!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Don't waste time when the kids are at school

Today is the first day of school! So just a quick blog post for my fellow working mamas before I dash off. As a work-at-home parent, some of the only time I have to myself will be found in the times my kids are at school. So you can bet I'm so excited that the school year is here! The summer's been a bit crazy because my family's schedule changed every day. I feel lots guilty because I couldn't focus on work and I couldn't focus on family. It was easier when the kids were at school because I could work and play when they're away!

Lots of moms ask me how I can juggle work and family. You know, it's really important that you find someone or something to take care of the kids. That's the real secret. From a dependable yaya or your in-laws to hours spent in school and extracurricular activities, these help a mom be more than a mom. Don't feel guilty about this, working mamas! 

I always look forward to the hours my kids are somewhere I know they'll be safe and have fun, too, because that means I have time for me. But that doesn't mean I pop open the champagne and go shopping. I wish! Instead, I use that precious time to take care of things I couldn't when the kids are around. Here's what I take care of when the kids are at school:

1. I take care of work.
I have a lot of work but the kids will always come first so I squeeze work in the hours when the kids aren't there. That'll be early morning, when they're in school, and/or when they're asleep. (So when do I sleep???) 

Work doesn't mean just my writing and editing projects. It also means taking care of the paperwork of my business. It also means doing chores and errands for home management. My husband is the one in charge of managing our money, and he needs to focus when he's doing the books. Impossible when the kids are around! But when the kids are at school, that's usually the time he takes out the whiteboard and Excel sheets and go over them with me. 

Managing money is something that makes me uncomfortable, but it needs to be done especially when you're running a household! Making small investments here and paying debt there will make our future a lot brighter. I hate that it's my husband who does this so well. I'm not financially illiterate but I'm not great at money management either. But I'm learning this year! I'm trying out free budgeting software like Quickbooks, for example, to help me me get organized. 

2. I take care of the house.
Of course, when the kids aren’t at home, this is a great chance to get some of their mess cleared up. Having kids is never an easy job. When they’re very young, chaos and carnage will follow in their wake. This results in a lot of work which needs to be done to keep the house clean and safe for them. This summer, my husband and I have had to do tidying up each day when the boys were asleep, which meant we couldn't sleep! Now that school's back, we can tidy up during the day and actually get to sleep at night!!!

3. I take care of my brain.
A lot of parents put their life on hold when they have kids. Even working mama me had to scale back on projects. But now that the boys are in school, my husband and I have started thinking of going back to the corporate world because of very expensive tuition fees (sob! sob!). Unfortunately, because we've both been out of the workforce for so long, this can make it very hard to pick up the pieces and get back to work!

To avoid this situation, I've found that networking helps a lot—whether it's reactivating old industry contacts or creating new ones in new fields. I've also started signing up for free courses which suit what I imagine my future career could be. Some people I know actually plunk down money to get a new degree or even an MA. Since I studied in a special sciences school—what a surprise, right?—I've seen some of my former classmates say on Facebook that getting a masters of science in engineering management and other science- and math-related fields helped launch their careers abroad.

I have no plans on going abroad (yet) but I firmly believe in continual learning, especially since my industry, print publishing, is dying (if not dead already). Since I'm a working mommy, all the time I can afford is for online classes, too. Right now, I'm looking at digital marketing, digital content creation, and digital public relations. But I've also been looking at journalism courses that deal especially with the internet. It's the age of fake news and I want to be equipped to fight it. 

4. I take care of my relationships.
When the boys are at school, it's easier to be married. It's easier to be a friend. Tough fact but true. Those precious hours I'm free from being a mommy means I can see my friends for lunch. My husband and I also use the time we spend in traffic picking up the kids from school as our time to talk without getting interrupted a thousand times by little voices. This summer, we were constantly surrounded by kids and constantly immersed in childcare that we hardly talked—you know, the meaningful kind. So I'm really looking forward to the school year because I want to have a marriage again!

5. I take care of me.
I know everyone says "me" should be on top of the list. You can't pour from an empty cup! I agree but my kids are small and these exhausting years go by so fast so I don't mind prioritizing them. My "me time" isn't even elaborate. A hot shower long enough for me to exfoliate dull skin and condition my dead hair is a treat. Applying nail polish while I wait for my coffee to cool makes me happy. Reading lovely articles from my favorite magazines like Vanity Fair is always a joy. Obviously, these rarely happen when the kids are around so this back-to-school school season is making me excited!

That's my list! What do you do when your kids are at school? 

*This post contains affiliate links. Image from Pexels

Monday, June 05, 2017

Back-to-school tips from Mommy Rochelle and me

Pasukan na bukas!!! I am so looking forward to my Vito and Iñigo going back to school. As I said in a previous post, I finished my shopping for school supplies at National Book Store. Some readers pointed out that I bought more stuff for myself than for my kids. That's because my sons' school provides nearly all of my kids' supplies. This is to ensure that all students have the exact same stuff and walang inggitan na mangyayari. Yes. Their school is very thorough—one of the many reasons I love their school! But I was still able to grab a few art and school supplies for our home because a working mama like me needs to stock up on those for projects and assignments!

Anyway, who says back-to-school is for kids only anway? I definitely can't wait for school to start (isang tulog na lang hooray!) because school gives our days a rhythm. As a working mom, I need that predictability. Now, many moms may think back-to-school means chaos, so I'm so grateful fellow mommy blogger Rochelle Rivera shared with me her tips for a more organized and more relaxed life. She should know because she has three kids in school, the eldest is in high school pa so she definitely is much wiser than me!

If you haven't seen this yet, here's a video summary of the stuff I got, which I blogged about na last week:

Pwede na ba akong maging vlogger? LOLs

Okay, this isn't a sponsored post. I just wanted to share my National Book Store videos and photos with my readers. Yes, photos! Please let me do this kasi sayang naman yung mga photos that the official photographer took of me!
Must say ang ganda ng ilaw sa NBS Glorietta.
With the convenient shopping cart—slim to fit the aisles but deep enough for your stuff!

And that's it! A quick blog post this Monday! Enjoy the week, mommies!