REPOSTING: Cranky Mommy: Why Setting Routines Helps Your Mental Health By Trisha Bautista of

Mommies, or should I call you, cranky Mommies?

Here is a nice read to make us sane after all the chaos and clutter in our lives! (*wink*)

Cranky Mommy: Why Setting Routines Helps Your Mental Health By Trisha Bautista of

Ever find yourself extra tired at the end of the day, grumpy, irritable, and prone to doing or saying things you later on regret? Or how about successfully following your diet plan in the morning, only to cave and snack later that night?

You might be suffering from decision fatigue. According to a new study on mental discipline by scientists at Florida State University, our brains have a limited amount of mental energy that we quickly use up with every decision we have to make, which also relates to our ability to exert self-control.

That means willpower is like a muscle—the more we use it, the more it gets exhausted. In fact, as we use up our store of willpower for the day, we humans tend to give up going through the mental process required for making informed decisions and end up being more reckless.

If you want to avoid being mentally tired and cranky and making choices you’ll regret later, consider setting a daily routine that will help you minimize the mental energy you could be saving for big decisions. Start with these tweaks:

1. Plan your menu in advance—and stick to it.

Instead of wondering what you’re going to feed your family tomorrow and cramming in a grocery trip after work and chores, plan your family’s meals at least three days in advance. Set aside a special menu-planning time for yourself, to properly map out the meals you’ll need for the week ahead.

2. Keep a tally of your fridge’s contents.

Start out the week (or whenever grocery day is) by making an inventory of the supplies you have. Tack the list of stuff up on your refrigerator, and cross out the items as they get used. When it’s time to go grocery shopping, you’ll know what you have or don’t have at a glance and won’t have to stand at the supermarket wondering what supplies you were supposed to get.

3. Give yourself a “uniform.”

How many of us spend so many extra minutes (and brain energy) choosing and re-choosing outfits to wear for the day? To save your mental energy, consider adapting a kind of uniform for yourself. Think all-black-everyday, or the go-to combo like nice jeans and a button down daily, or shift dresses for every day of the week. Classic cuts and silhouettes are always reliable, especially when your clothes come in one color palette!

4. Give yourself a schedule and stick to it.

The most stressful days are often those that involve waking up too late, not having enough time to do what you planned to, and traffic, of course. It also often leaves you harried as you end up having to choose what things to prioritize and what to postpone for later. Save yourself the mental stress by setting a schedule for your day (with your wake up time to the horrendous traffic time factored in) the night before, and actually following it—don’t forget to set your alarm!


These are so, so helpful for me especially items 1, 2, and 3. I totally agree with these items!

Family Getaway for 2017 Summer: Cathedral of San Jose in Tagbilaran City, Bohol

We were so blessed that our city tour was on a Sunday and the best part was, we were able to find time to hear mass and spend the Palm Sunday at the Cathedral of San Jose.

The Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Worker, the main seat of the Catholic faith in Bohol, sprawls on a wide area facing Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, the principal street of Tagbilaran City. Located in the central part of the city, the church has a picturesque setting. In front of it is the City plaza, famed for its flocks of doves and a haven for those who yearn to be alone to meditate, or to rest and relax, or to enjoy a tete-a-tete.

Across the street from the plaza looms the massive, imposing provincial capitol, a stone-built edifice that has been the seat of Bohol’s civil government since Spanish times. At the back of the Cathedral, built on a promontory is a 3-storey rectory, a modern initiative of parish priest Msgr. Cirilo Darunday, sitting astride the old convento which has long been converted into a Palacio de Obispado. Both old and new convents stand on a cliff overlooking Tagbilaran’s scenic bay, where across a shallow sea of about a mile wide, can be seen nestled beneath the hills of the town of Dauis, the beautiful , famed church of Our Lady of the Assumption, whose church bells can be heard across the sea on quiet days. SOURCE.

The Tagbilaran Cathedral appears imposing outside, and is wide and roomy inside. It has a Neo-Romanesque fa├žade with corbelled arches underneath the cornice. There is a porch before the main entrance. The statue of Saint Joseph, patron saint of Bohol, stands in front where once the atrial cross stood.

Both the interior and exterior of the church of Spanish times have been greatly renovated. Despite frequent renovations to meet modern-day requirements, some historic pieces still remain. The side altars are of the 18th century baroque style. The main or center altar, simply but elegantly decorated with ornate gold designs depicting symbols of Old Testament times, is in the 19th century Neoclassical style. SOURCE.

The image of Saint Joseph the Worker that occupies the center of the main altar is apparently of 18th century vintage .The image of San Roque (St. Roch), the secondary patron placed on the left, is dated 1848, while that of St. Vincent Ferrer on the left is marked 1861. On the main altar’s second storey, immediately above St. Joseph’s throne, is the image of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes ( Our Lady of Lourdes) said to be donated in 1895 by Dona Maria de Bourbon of the Royal House of Spain. This image was installed with great pomp in Tagbilaran in February 19, 1895. SOURCE.

It was indeed a blessed day for us! A beautiful mass in a beautiful Church welcomed us in Bohol. ♥♥♥

Family Getaway for 2017 Summer: The Blood Compact Shrine ♥

Our next stop is the famous Blood Compact Shrine. The kids had a little taste of history through this place...

Bohol Blood Compact Site is located in Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. This particular site was made in honor of a very important event in the Philippine history done between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol.

This Sikatuna-Legaspi blood compact is considered as the First Treaty of Friendship between two different races, religions, cultures and civilizations. It was a treaty of friendship based on respect and equality. This event is commonly known as “Sandugo”.

The Bohol Blood Compactsculpture was made by the National Artist, Napoleon Abueva, a Boholano himself. It is placed on an open and raised dais portraying five (5) life-sized images of men gathered around a table with Legazpi and Sikatuna supposedly making a toast. Standing on the dais, visitors are treated to a good view of the Bohol Sea and the contour of that particular side of the island of Bohol.

Fronting a public school of Barangay Bool, the site is easily accessible since it is along the national road. Many shops offering souvenir and gift items are along the road and across it.

How to get there?

The place is just a short tricycle or cab ride from the city of Tagbilaran since Barangay Bool is still a part of the city. Buses or vans are available from the Dao Terminal. Rides to and from the place does not pose a problem since the site is located along the Carlos P. Garcia circumferential road where many transportations are available. Hotel guests and those on tour can request to drop by the Blood Compact site. Some hotels though have included it in their itineraries.


Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Loooong Weekend. WOOT!
2. Podcasts ♥
3. Bonding with the Family
4. Minimalism and Simplicity
5. Family Days
6. The Husband who Drives me Everywhere!
7. Christmas Shopping! ♥♥♥
8. Capsule Wardrobe (I'm getting there!)
9. Second Hand Loots from the Sister
10. New eBooks

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Family Getaway for 2017 Summer: Man-made Mahogany Forest

Our next stop after Chocolate hills was the Man made mahogany forest. We stopped by this beautiful forest and we were all mesmerized.

The Bohol Forest is a man-made mahogany forest stretching in a two-kilometer stretch of densely planted Mahogany trees located in the border of Loboc and Bilar towns. Before and after this man-made forest are the naturally grown forests of Loboc and Bilar which are thick with a kaleidoscope of green foliage, different species of trees and giant ferns lining the road.

The man-made forest stands out because of the uniformity in height of the big trees, the spread of its branches, thickness and design of leaves. Seedlings abound around the older trees. Trunks, some thick and others just a few months old, grow resplendently straight up towards the sky which is obscured by the branches and the thick leaves.


When you enter the forest, one will feel the abrupt change in temperature, especially during summer or hot season. It is hot outside the forested area, but once under the overhanging trees, one is refreshed by the cool breeze. This mountain area seldom sees the sun shine and most often than not, it rains here. Local folks attribute these to the presence of the dense forest.

The Loboc-Bilar man-made forest plays host to many visitors, locals and foreigners alike who take time to view it from the road and take pictures. The Metro Manila filmmakers often use the forest as a backdrop for some of their action films. Other groups go hiking thru the woods and up the mountain. Mountain bikers often use the wide asphalt road that traverse the forest aside from the day-to-day buses and public transport that ply between the towns.


This rainforest is about 20 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. Plying the interior road from the capital, one passes the town of Loboc and what the Boholanos call the “tina-i sa manok” (chicken’s intestines) which refers to the winding road up the mountain of Loboc going towards Bilar.

Leaving the populated barrios behind, the road up the mountain is steep and on one side, a deep ravine which are all densely forested. The steep and winding road plus the ravine does not hinder the local drivers. They maneuver the road with the agility and speed of experts; a feat acquired thru constant practice.


Can you see the happy faces of these kids who are enjoying God's wonderful blessings? (*wink*)(*wink*)(*wink*)

If you Buy Stuff...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: By your Side by Jonas Blue ft. RAYE

Feel like dancing today? Let's do it!!!

Have a perfect Sunday, everyone! (*wink*)

REPOSTING: Self-Knowledge: Key to Success in Both Work and Motherhood By: Paula Cabrera of

Self-Knowledge: Key to Success in Both Work and Motherhood By: Paula Cabrera of

I remember one of my very best friends told me that I can be very competitive – with myself. I asked her what she meant by that, and she explained that I see myself as my own competitor, which is what drives me to do better, be better, work harder, but at the same time, I should learn a thing or two from competing with others. I never realized how true this was until she put it into words. This realization got me thinking about my personality, my general disposition in life, and in the process, I learned how this self-knowledge is a key to success – in whatever aspect of life.

As I became more observant of how I deal with different situations, I got to know my own strengths and weaknesses. I’m generally composed and I’m not a worrier, and when I started working, I discovered how my patience and love for reading and continuous learning come in handy with the profession I have chosen. On the other hand, the soft-spoken girl in me became a challenge I needed to work on in order for me to do my job properly. I vividly remember when I appeared in Court and was asked if I really were a lawyer. This was the one time that looking young was not really a compliment. Also, the fact that I compete with myself (and only myself) could work as a disadvantage in my profession, wherein opposing counsels strategize to your disadvantage.

Soon enough, I made a pact with myself to use my strengths and weaknesses as building blocks for me to be an effective and efficient lawyer, which is a daily challenge for me, intertwined with my goal of being an effective and efficient parent.

Before I gave birth to my daughter, I was actually confident that I would be able to take care of my baby, soothe her when she cries, and attend to her needs with ease. I’m a patient and positive person and I easily adapt to change. The only big issue for me then was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get enough sleep. Imagine, that was my biggest concern. But then, I gave birth six weeks too early, with a low platelet count, to a baby who also had a low platelet count and who had to stay in the NICU for nine days. I tried to stay positive and composed, as I normally would be, but inside, I was a mess. Every time I went in the NICU to breastfeed my tiny baby, I cried. I wouldn’t have known how to keep myself together if my (even more patient and composed) husband, loving and supportive parents and brother, in-laws, my grandmother, my cousins, and the rest of the family weren’t there to remind me of my strength. I convinced myself that when we get home, all my worries will go away.

I also learned that as a mom, my patience is challenged. No matter how patient I am, it’s still difficult to make a two-year old understand that when she cries, I don’t automatically know what she wants or needs and I can’t fix it with a snap.

I further discovered that as a mom, I make an effort to be creative and I actually enjoy it. I was never an artsy person and I couldn’t draw/paint/sing to save my own life, but being a mom has made me understand that arts and crafts don’t have to be Monet’s or Van Gogh’s, and I don’t need (but still wish I have) the voice of Lea Salonga to happily sing songs with my daughter. Me doing DIY stuff seemed impossible then, but now, I have discovered that my eagerness to learn helps me in my tasks as a mom.

I also learned that the multi-tasker in me can be both an advantage and disadvantage in my adventures (and misadventures) as a working mom. I can work on several tasks when the need arises, but then, there are times when my playful toddler comments, “Mom, you’re always working,” and I know that I have to drop everything else for a while to ensure that she doesn’t feel that she’s the least of my priorities.

The determination to discover who we are and the courage to accept the same are tools that ought to help in us succeed in our careers and in motherhood. The first step is to know our strengths and weaknesses, our perspective on different matters, and our beliefs and non-negotiables. The next is to use these as guidance in our decision-making, building blocks of the persons we want to be, and fuel to persevere for our daily and long-term goals.

It’s been said that “a man who does not know himself defeats himself.” I believe this to be true. How do you improve if you don’t know your weaknesses? How do you become confident if you don’t know your strengths? Ultimately, we owe it to ourselves to embark on the journey of self-discovery.

I personally believe that there is no finality or dead end for one’s character. I believe that it could be continuously changing; for the better or for the worse is a choice we make. Hence, I also believe in the importance of knowing our selves as this self-knowledge aids us in how we decide to act in different situations. Once we understand who, what, and how we are, we are able to create a path and direction towards who, what, and how we want to be as women, as wives, as moms – whether working or stay-at-home, and as whatever role we decide to take on.


Family Getaway for 2017 Summer: Checking Out the Famous Chocolate Hills in Bohol

This is by far our favorite in Bohol, the Chocolate Hills. This photo proves it all...

Yes, we already checked this out last 2002 and after 15 years, we are back! (*grin*)

The famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol are not only two but more than 1,268 cone-shaped hills – a very strange geological formation that has baffled a lot of geologists. The hills are spread over an area of 50 square kilometers or more and vary in size from 30 meters to 120 meters in height.

The Chocolate Hills appear to be seemingly endless when viewed atop the hill in Carmen town. The viewing deck there gives you a 360° view of the hills “as far as the eyes can see”. It is more majestic when viewed from a plane – them appearing to be thousands of mole hills dotting out from verdant surroundings.


What’s unique with these limestone chocolate hills is that they are only covered in grass and the cone shape is more or less common to all although differing in size. The hills look chocolaty only during dry season when the grass withers and turns into brown and looks like giant chocolate kisses.

Grass species found to thrive on the hills are Imperata cylindrical and Saccharum spontaneum and several Compositae and ferns. Trees grow on the base of the hills and are lush and verdant rings around the almost bare cone-shaped hills resulting in its awesome natural beauty.


Considered sometimes as the “Eight Wonder of the World”, the Chocolate Hills has been declared as the country’s 3rd National Geological Monument by the National Committee on Geological Sciences on June 18, 1988 in recognition of its special characteristics, scientific importance, uniqueness, and high scenic value; and as such is among the country’s protected areas.

Proclamation No. 1037 was signed to this effect on July 1, 1997 declaring the hills as a natural monument and that they are now covered under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as the lead implementing agency for its protection.


How to Get There

Buses bound for Carmen town or Sagbayan are available at the Dao Terminal in Tagbilaran City. Just ask the bus drivers to drop you off at the junctions leading to the resorts. In Carmen town, the road leading to the resort from the junction is only a 10-minute walk along a winding uphill road.

Vans are the most common means of transportation though, especially when traveling with a group. Aside from convenience and comfort, visitors can visit more places in a short span of time. Waiting for buses or public rides is time consuming. SOURCE.

Definitely one of the best spot in Bohol. I highly recommend that you visit!

Family Getaway for 2017 Summer: The Philippine Tarsier in Bohol

Guess where's our first stop in our island hopping in Bohol during our family getaway...

Yes, these kids finally met the famous, Philippine Tarsier!

The Philippine tarsier, (Tarsius syrichta or Carlito syrichta) is very peculiar small animal. In fact it is one of the smallest known primates, no larger than a adult men's hand. Mostly active at night, it lives on a diet of insects. Folk traditions sometimes has it that tarsiers eat charcoal, but actually they retrieve the insects from (sometimes burned) wood. It can be found in the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol, and Mindanao in the Philippines.

If no action is taken, the tarsier might not survive. Although it is a protected species, and the practice of catching them and then selling them as stuffed tarsiers to tourists has stopped, the species is still threatened by the destruction of his natural forest habitat. Many years of both legal and illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture have greatly reduced these forests, and reduced the tarsier population to a dangerously small size. If no action is taken now, the Philippine tarsier can soon be added to the list of extinct species.


The animal can also leap even up to 10 feet and agilely maneuver itself from tree to tree. This ability may be due to the fact that they have extra-long tarsal bones which form their ankles and enable them to leap so high. The tarsiers name was derived from the word ‘tarsal’.

Tarsiers are nocturnal creatures, like the owls – sleeping during daytime yet very active at night. They hide in hollows close to the ground; hunts and feeds mainly on fruits and insects such as cockroaches, crickets, and sometimes small lizards. Local folks believe they eat charcoal but in fact they only get the maggots or insects inside burnt wood or to get some salt.

This particular animal’s cry is a loud piercing single note. When they gather, they have a chirping, locust-like sound, and when contented emits a soft sweet birdlike twill. They live in groups, more than just one male and female.


Definitely one of the interesting places the kids found in Bohol. ♥♥♥