Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Highlights of my 2013

Today is the last day of 2013 and I just want to look back at 13 of my best memories and moments from this year before we bid it goodbye...

My kids' birthdays
I'm sure you all know that planning my kids' parties is something I look forward to every year. From picking the theme to making all the DIY decorations. I'm so happy of how Miley's Hello Kitty party and Sabe's Monster Bash turned out. Can't wait for their birthdays in 2014!

DIY projects
I haven't been able to make as much DIY projects around the house as I wanted to this year. Probably because I got pregnant and spent most of the time just lying in bed sleeping all day hehe. But I'm so proud of myself for tackling the ones I did - especially painting the room and the striped ceiling of my daughter's bedroom! I also love how our updated garden set and wooden sunburst mirror turned out.

Bangkok trip
I'm so thankful that hubby and I were able to spend some quality time in Bangkok. And of course, the shopping wasn't too bad either. ;p

Learning to drive
Probably my greatest achievement this year was FINALLY learning how to drive! I mostly just drive Miley to and from school, or go to the grocery near our place. I'm still scared to venture out on my own in places I'm not familiar with, but it's still an accomplishment for me to finally have this piece of independence.

Fixing the guest room
After 10 years, I was finally able to furnish and decorate this room! But with baby #3 on the way, we're planning to turn this into a nursery.

Thank you so much for all the features and sponsored posts my blog has gotten this year! As well as the Smart Parenting article on Miley's Hello Kitty party and Miley appearing on Disney's Princess magazine. Hope for more of these in 2014! :)

Out of Town trips
I'm so thankful we were able to spend time with the family and bring the kids to such beautiful places around the country like Batangas, Baguio, and Cebu. Goal for next year are trips to Boracay and Palawan (hopefully!).

Real Living makeover
It was so unreal when my mom's house was chosen for Real Living magazine's monthly makeover! The end result was so beautiful, we still can't believe how lucky we got. Thank you Real Living for this gift!

I totally loved our family costume and can't wait for next year! Any suggestions? ;p

Weddings galore
I'm so happy for all our loved ones who got married this year, especially for making us a part of their special day by including us in the entourage.

First out of the country trip with the kids
This was another first for us - bringing the kids to Singapore and onboard an Asian Cruise (with stops in Thailand and Malaysia which I still have to blog about!). Although it was definitely challenging, the memories are really something we would treasure forever.

Miley starting school
A huge milestone for us this year was Miley starting preschool. From having trial classes, going to summer school, and finally experiencing sending her off to her first day... Each activity was so exciting for us, like attending the parent-teacher conferences, family day, getting her report card, etc. There were some tough times at first but she's grown so much since school started. Can you believe she was even chosen to lead the opening prayer at their Christmas program? I've never felt so nervous and proud in my life after she said all her lines like a pro in front of the entire audience! And she danced so well too in their class performance.
Next year, it will be Sabe's turn to start school and I honestly can't wait to see how he'll do. :)

Baby #3!
Of course, the biggest highlight of this year was me getting pregnant! We're so excited for this new addition to our family and can't wait to meet the little one already...

2013 has been so good to us, I'm hoping 2014 will be even better. With me and hubby celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary and with a new baby on the way, I think the new year is definitely looking good... :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Our other Christmas card

Here's another version of our 2013 Christmas card featuring the kids and my preggy belly! This is all just DIY, with hubby and I agreeing on the concept, hubby taking the pic and me doing the layout. As usual, it was so hard to get the kids to cooperate and this was the only good shot out of the bunch. If only you could see the behind the scenes action hehe! ;p

So which did you like better - this one or the other one? :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The many health benefits of Minola Coconut Oil

As a kid, going grocery shopping with my mom was such an adventure. I loved being in charge of the list and checking things off once they were in the cart. So when I finally had my own family and started going to the grocery myself, I remembered the brands my mom would buy and also get the same.

One of the items that’s been a household staple is Minola Cooking Oil, which is one of the leading brands of coconut oil in the Philippines for the past 50 years.

Hubby and I try to eat healthy as much as possible and making sure our cooking oil is good for us is a must since we use it in every meal. We’ve always been partial to coconut oil compared to other alternatives. But do you know exactly what are the advantages of using coconut oil?


Coconut Tree is considered the TREE of LIFE because of its countless benefits. Each part of the coconut tree has a use (http://www.pca.da.gov.ph/tol.html). If you’re from my generation, do you remember “Da Coconut Nut” song by Smokey Mountain haha? Like they said:

There are so many uses of the coconut tree
You can build a big house for the family
All you need is to find a coconut man
If he catch the tree, he gets the fruit free

Anyway, coconut oil is one of the “coco wonders” that most people are unaware of. Many people still regard coconut oil as unhealthy. This started during a black propaganda spread by the corn and soy oil industry in the 1970s. Since they said coconut oil was rich in saturated fat, many people veered away from it, thus the decline of the market share of coconut oil.

But in the early 2000s, people began to question the claims of the propaganda and re-investigated the benefits of coconut oil. Many benefits were discovered. Some of these benefits are hair care, skin care, cholesterol level maintenance, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, kidney failure, high blood pressure and diabetes among others.

One of the most notable advantages of coconut oil is its ability to fight viruses and bacteria. This immunity-boosting benefit and the other benefits mentioned earlier can be attributed to the presence of LAURIC in coconut oil.

Lauric oil is the same substance found in mother’s milk. It is a medium-chain fatty acid. Pure coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid. When lauric acid is present in the body, it is converted into monolaurin, a monoglyceride compound which exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. It acts by disrupting the lipid membranes in organisms like fungus, bacteria and viruses, thus destroying them.

What’s great about Minola Coconut Oil is that it is rich in LAURIC OIL that helps fight viruses and bacteria. Cooking with Minola Cooking Oil will also help boost your family’s immunity because it is “MINOLAURIC” or full of lauric oil.

As a mom running a household, I really want the best for my family. I want them to eat healthy and delicious dishes, all while staying within our budget. So I really love that with Minola, you can enjoy the benefits of coconut oil without spending a lot.

*sponsored post

Friday, December 27, 2013

I've been hit by the nesting bug!

The urge to clean and organize is known as nesting. Nesting during pregnancy is the over whelming desire to get your home ready for your new baby. The nesting instinct is strongest in the later weeks coming up on delivery. It is an old wives tale that once nesting urges begin, labor is about to come on. (source)

images from google.com

I've been so calm and collected this whole pregnancy, probably because this is baby #3 already. I feel like I already know what to expect and I have everything I need like the crib, stroller, baby clothes, toys, breastfeeding stuff, etc. Piece of cake...

But then about 2 weeks ago, I suddenly realized that I couldn't remember where I stored my favorite breastfeeding cover-up. This led to me search my entire closet for it and when I couldn't find it, I then moved to the attic to search through the old baby stuff in storage. Well, I never found it, but I then realized that I finally needed to fix the stuff for baby #3's arrival!

So there I was, going through box after box of baby things, looking for the newborn sizes, mittens, socks, receiving blankets, and anything else the baby might need. I'm in my final weeks of pregnancy so you can imagine the effort it was taking me to do this - heavy belly, aching back and all. I knew I shouldn't exert myself so much, but I just NEEDED to do it! I was lifting and opening boxes like a madwoman, separating the things I needed from the stuff I could already give away. I discovered so many things in storage I had already forgotten about and felt like I needed to organize and sort everything! I was in panic mode when I started to think about old baby things that were put away which I needed to bring down - are the crib's parts still complete? where was my breastfeeding pillow? what about that sleeper, rocker and car seat?! Aaargh, why was I just doing this now???!!!!

Even though I knew I could ask help from hubby or our yaya, I just wanted to do everything myself. I was so ready to spend the entire day in the attic but then common sense took over since I was already getting lightheaded and got scared I might suddenly go into labor hehe!

Well, it didn't stop there. I now also want to clean out everyone's closets and categorize everything. I'm a self-confessed hoarder but I now have a sudden urge to throw most of our stuff out. Oh, and did I mention I want to redecorate the house? (serious!)

Now that Christmas is over, our house has become even more filled with new toys and gifts! They're currently in the guest room which is supposed to be the nursery, but it's so messy right now I don't even know where to start. I honestly can't even sleep just thinking about the clutter and wanting to put everything in order before the baby comes. I mean, I haven't even fixed my hospital bag yet!

This nesting instinct is really hitting me hard and with everything I want to do, I wouldn't be surprised if I go into labor soon hehe. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our meet & greet with Hello Kitty!

Remember when I found out about the Sanrio town in SM North EDSA a few weeks ago and how they were having a meet & greet with Hello Kitty? Sadly, we weren't able to go there since it was so far away. And a friend was also able to check it out and said that there were so many people during the meet & greet, and I knew I didn't want to bring the kids or myself to really crowded places. But I guess good things come to those who wait because we found out that Hello Kitty was going to be in the newly opened SM City BF Paranaque, which was more accessible to us here in the south! Yey!!! ;p

The new SM BF Paranaque. Not many stores open yet though...

The meet & greet was at 4pm and we got there at about 3pm to make sure we would be able to get in. Luckily, I don't think many people knew about it since no one was there yet and there wasn't even a line at all! Yes! There was a purchase requirement of at least P200 worth of Hello Kitty merchandise from the SM Store, which entitles you to 1 seat for a child and 1 seat for a guardian. So off we went to do some shopping first, and I got Miley a Hello Kitty dress. :)

waiting for the show to start...

There weren't that much people yet when we got back at around quarter to 4, so I think the organizers were waiting for all the seats to be filled. We were waiting for quite a while that Miley fell asleep already! Finally Hello Kitty came out at 5pm!

there she is!
waving hello to everyone
she did 1 dance number before the meet & greet

Well, since I woke Miley up from her nap when the show started, she was sort of in a bad mood. So it was so hard to convince her to take a pic with Hello Kitty since she said she was so sleepy! Well, I wasn't about to give up and after coaxing and pleading with her, she agreed but I had to go with her daw.

Sungit Miley! She chose pa naman her outfit for the day ;p
I tried hiding behind Hello Kitty so she could have a solo shot. It kinda worked, but she still refused to smile!
Hello Kitty even gave her a hug but she just got mad after hahaha! ;p

Anyway, I'm still happy we got to meet Hello Kitty! Now Miley says she wants to meet Strawberry Shortcake and the Disney Princesses. Well, good thing we're watching Disney on Ice! I just hope she's in a better mood then haha! ;p

Monday, December 23, 2013

Shopping loot from the NOEL Bazaar

I was able to drop by the NOEL Bazaar held at the Filinvest Tent just this weekend. There were more stalls compared to the first installment held last October and a lot more people doing last minute Christmas shopping.

Here were the stuff I was able to buy:

There was a Gingersnaps stall where everything was on sale. Got this dress for P500, as well as some other clothes to be given as gifts.
character pillowcases - set of 2 for P150
I love kimonos and was able to find a stall selling all kinds of pretty prints. Here were the designs I got - 3 for P995

I had my eyes set on more stuff, but then hubby and I saw this stall selling cameras with huge discounts. This Nikon cam was on sale (50% off) for P5,490. The thing is, I was really looking for a digicam since I lost my Canon Ixus last month! :( It seemed like a good deal (it also came with a 4gb SD card) so I just went ahead and bought it. After that, it was time to go home hehe! ;p

Anyway, I still haven't finished wrapping all my gifts! So much to do, so little time! ;p

Friday, December 20, 2013

My DIY Maternity Shoot

For all my love of taking photos, I never had a maternity shoot done for any of my pregnancies. I guess I just didn't feel the need then, or wanted to just invest in having a pictorial done after I gave birth with the babies.

But with this pregnancy, I finally felt like I wanted to have one. Maybe it's the thought that this could probably be my last one (well, you never know down the road hehe...). And also because I think I look good this last trimester haha (thankfully, I haven't gained that much weight and no swelling/manas so far yey!). I guess I just want to document this time in my life while I'm in the middle of all this pregnancy glow. :)

I inquired on the rates of several photographers/studios and I guess it's obvious that they don't come cheap. The one I really wanted cost P8,500 but they were based really far away from us, so it was a extra P1,500 if I wanted to do the shoot near our place. P10k is definitely a lot of money, but you can justify it as being an investment just like your wedding photos right? But then I was thinking, for sure we were going to do another shoot with the baby after I gave birth. So that was another P10k down the line (I think even more for newborn shoots these days!)...

After thinking hard about it, I decided why not do a trial pictorial first on my own and see how it would turn out. My sister was taking up multi-media arts in school and had a DSLR camera so she could take my pics. I also knew the exact look I wanted so I just searched for pegs and poses I could copy online. Our village park was the perfect location since I wanted to do the shoot outdoors. I did my own hair & make-up, wore a dress I've had for ages (trivia: I also wore this dress in my pre-nup pictorial 5 years ago!), and just made my own floral crown too (DIY tutorial to follow soon).

Anyway, side kwento first. My sister was supposed to take my pics but we had a huge fight right before so I almost called the whole thing off. Good thing my mom was there and we had no choice but to just use my regular Lumix camera. I just showed her the pegs I wanted and told her to just snap away... bahala na si Batman!

Needless to say, the photos turned out GREAT! Considering my mom has no photography skills and has bad eyesight, she took really good shots! I just cropped and edited the pics using photoshop and couldn't be happier with the results. Especially when I think about all that money I've saved hehe. :)

Anyway, here's my favorite photos from my DIY shoot. What do you think? Para bang pang professional na? ;p

Thursday, December 19, 2013

NOEL Bazaar Swings South (Dec 19 - 22)

Catch the NOEL Bazaar starting today until Sunday at the Filinvest Tent, Alabang. Happy shopping! :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

We watched Barbie LIVE!

Yey, I'm so happy we were able to watch Barbie LIVE! at the MOA Arena. Thanks to the 50% off tickets from Metrodeal, we were able to score some pretty good seats at a steal.

Being a Barbie fan myself, I was also really excited to watch (I think even more than Miley haha!). Whenever the kids would watch Barbie movies, I would also sit with them and watch from beginning to end, singing the songs, and even dancing along! ;p

Miley in her Barbie outfit. So many other kids were dressed up like Barbie too or like princesses with their little tiaras. So cute!
Merchandise for sale. Those Mariposa wings cost P650! So expensive!

Anyway, the show was really entertaining and so much fun! I loved the stage and all the costumes too. They featured some of Barbie's most popular movies, including Miley's current favorite "Mariposa" and my favorite "The Princess & The Popstar".

It's Barbie and her friends!
a scene from Swan Lake
Barbie with her best friend Teresa
Mariposa and Princess Catania
loved the stage for this number
some of the characters would walk in the aisles, like Aunt Amelia of The Princess & The Popstar
It's Tori, rocking out in the concert!
the finale
good job Barbie!
the whole cast takes a bow

I'm so happy I was able to share this experience with my daughter. We're both still on a Barbie high, singing some of the new songs plus looking at the pictures and watching the videos I took. Now I can't wait to watch more shows like this with the kids. :)

at MOA after the show

Anyway, hope you're all having a great weekend! Can you believe Christmas is just 10 days away? :)


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