Stop Fretting and Doubting.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Inside the Lines (ft. Casso) by Mike Perry

REPOSTING: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Moms from

Here's another very nice article I came across the other day... Enjoy!

7 Habits of Highly Effective Moms from

The first version of the 7 habits of highly effective people that I read was the one for teens, written by Sean Covey’s son, Stephen. While I may not have been mature enough the absorb the entire book at the time, there were concepts that stuck with me until adulthood. As a woman juggling numerous roles as a wife, mother, editor, and entrepreneur, I am now constantly on the search for tools that will help me to be the best version of myself for the people I care about, and for the work that I do.

Here is how I believe I can apply the principles of Sean Covey for highly effective people on my life now as a mom.

1. Be Proactive

“We’re in charge. We choose the scripts by which to live our lives. Use this self-awareness to be proactive and take responsibility for your choices”

In this chapter, Covey makes the distinction between individuals who are reactive and those who are proactive. Reactive people have a passive stance on life. They believe that ultimately things happen to them and that there isn’t anything they can do about it. They believe the problem is out there, that they are victimized and out of control.

A reactive mom might say, “there’s nothing I can do about my inability to manage our household budget. I am bad with money, and that is just the way I am.”

A proactive mom might say, “I might be bad at managing money, but I can improve on this by getting advice from financial experts, reading books on financial literacy, and on using tools (apps, etc.) to help me with track expenses and create realistic budgets for our family.

A proactive mom will realize that while life is full of experiences with elements we cannot control, the way we will react to it is within our control. This is what Sean Covey calls “response-ability.”

“It is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than what happened to us in the first place.” -Stephen Covey

2. Begin with the end in mind.

“Start with a clear destination in mind. Covey says we can use our imagination to develop a vision of what we want to become and use our conscience to decide what values will guide us.”

“Habit 2 suggests that, in everything we do, we should begin with the end in mind. Start with a clear destination. That way, we can make sure the steps we’re taking are in the right direction.”

As moms, our days are full of household tasks, child care, work, and a seemingly endless list of errands. It would be easy for us to get overwhelmed, impatient, and desperate. But if at the beginning and at the end of each day, we remind ourselves about the kind of mothers we truly want to be, this will help us to deal with the small stresses we experience everyday, giving all that we do a higher purpose.

3. Put First Things First

“In order to manage ourselves effectively, we must put first things first. We must have the discipline to prioritize our day-to-day actions based on what is most important, not what is most urgent.”

As moms juggling many roles, our days may change on a regular basis. Thus it is so important for us to learn how to prioritize in such a way that we are not doing through our days responding to every single need the crops up.

Given, if we are the sole caregivers of our children, we cannot necessarily ask a baby to wait if she is hungry or her diapers need to be changed. But we can plan efficiently for the moments our hands are free–such as when our babies are sleeping, or when or when we know a trusted babysitter will be available. By being wise about our free time and knowing exactly what to do during those precious hours.

Covey goes further and provides a quadrant that makes distinctions about time, suggesting that we should dedicate our free time on two types of tasks: those that are 1) urgent and important, and 2) important but not urgent.

As moms, the needs of our children all under the items that are urgent and important, while planning one’s day, organizing our households, and other tasks of similar nature fall under the “important but not urgent” category.

4. Think Win-Win

“In order to establish effective interdependent relationships, we must commit to creating Win-Win situations that are mutually beneficial and satisfying to each party.”

Women are relational beings, and a huge aspect of our overall happiness is the status of our relationships, and Covey believes that in order to take care of them we should always try to strive towards creating mutually beneficial relationships.

We can apply this principle when we are speaking with our spouses, colleagues, household help, and even our children. The challenge here would be to be discerning about when to apply the principle of win-win to our children, because we are also meant to discipline our children…and often this may mean they do not understand that you have their best interests in mind when you reprimand them.

5. Seek first to understand, and then be understood.

“Before we can offer advice, suggest solutions, or effectively interact with another person in any way, we must seek to deeply understand them and their perspective through empathic listening.”

As women with good intentions, it is often difficult for us to hear a person out before offering advice. But we must remind ourselves that we cannot offer genuine help if we don’t know what the person really needs. As moms, this is just as crucial to all of our relationships, especially the most important ones–with our spouses and children.

6. Synergize.

“By understanding and valuing the differences in another person’s perspective, we have the opportunity to create synergy, which allows us to uncover new possibilities through openness and creativity.”

For moms, synergizing can simply mean teamwork. By working as a team, we are able to harness the different talents and perspectives of the different members of our household, and of our colleagues at work.

Synergizing teaches us, as moms, to value differences (because not all of our family members think the same way we do), encourage openness, and catalyze creativity when it comes to solving problems that affect our family.

7. Sharpen the saw.

“To be effective, we must devote the time to renewing ourselves physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. Continuous renewal allows us to synergistically increase our ability to practice each habit.”

Just because we are moms, it doesn’t mean that is all that we are. We cannot allow ourselves to become stagnant in our personal growth. While becoming a mother does make all these challenging in terms of finding the energy and time, becoming a mother also does give us an extra motivation to become excellent in every aspect of our lives–simply because we want to set a good example to our own children.


Quick Lunch Date with my Kiddo at UCC Clockwork

A couple of months ago I took an opportunity to go out on a date wih my kiddo. I've been craving for grilled cheese for quite sometime now so we decided to try UCC clockwork.

It's been months since I wanted to try UCC's grilled cheese so finally, I was able to!

We stayed for a couple of minutes just bonding and talking. And look at the photos that my kid took.

She has a future with photography, don't you think? (*grin*)

Me Time at Mary Grace Cafe

I had an opportunity to spend a quick me time a couple of months ago and I decided to have dinner at Mary Grace Cafe. I had this great pasta and hot chocolate (of course!).

I'm just disapointed that this one was not that good like I remember it. Too bad! Even the hot chocolate was not that special anymore.

Hmm, I wonder why!?

But I enjoyed my me time immensely and was able to catch up on my reading. ♥

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Happy Weekend!
2. Long Naps
3. Outdoor Activities
4. Family
5. Movie Nights
6. Freshly Brewed Coffee from Starbucks
7. Photos
8. Packages
9. Minimalism Articles ♥
10. New eBooks

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

This makes our Hearts Burst!

Thank you to our dear kids for this awesome letter! ♥♥♥

Nothing Should Own You...

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Feel Good

REPOSTING: Raising Compassionate Kids in a Modern World by Nina Malanay of

Here's another wonderful article for us parents...

Raising Compassionate Kids in a Modern World by Nina Malanay of

Raising compassionate children in this fast-paced, competitive, and indifferent world is by no means a small feat. In this age of entitlement when children are unconsciously led to believe that they are special and deserving of every privilege, it is easy for children to grow up selfish and narcissistic. It is becoming increasingly rare to see children who have the ability to look beyond oneself, think about others, and empathize with others.

But in a world with so much hatred and turmoil, where it is more convenient to look the other way and be apathetic to what is going on around us, it is more important now, more than ever, to raise children who are kind and compassionate.

Children have a natural, inborn capacity for compassion. But because their empathy must compete with limited impulse control and the egocentrism that all young children go through, combined with widely accepted messages of indifference and self-centeredness that society conveys to them, children are not likely to learn compassion on their own. This means that you, as parent, have to make an extra effort to instill this value in your child. Here are some ways to foster compassion among children in this crazy world.

Recognize kindness.

When you see your child doing small acts of kindness, call attention to it by saying something like, “That was very kind of you to share the cupcake you got from your classmate’s party with your brother.” Teach him to empathize by making him think about how the other person feels. Say something like, “How do you think it made your brother feel when you brought home a cupcake from school and he didn’t have any? How did sharing it with him make him feel?” Make your child realize that being kind to others makes other people happy, while bringing joy to oneself too.

Be careful not to praise your child too much though, especially for ordinary things that are actually expected of him like thanking the waiter who served your food, or the greeting the guard who opens the door for you. Overpraising can distract kids from thinking about others because it brings the attention back to themselves.

Live compassionately.

Kids see it all. Even if you think they are not paying attention, they easily catch what you do and say. Make sure your actions and behaviors are in line with what you are preaching. Your child’s ability to care about others must be cultivated in their early years and be a part of your day to day family life. It’s not enough that you distribute food packs to street children one day and ignore them the rest of the year. Kindness and compassion must be ingrained into their lives so it becomes part of their character. By living compassionately yourself, you are sending a powerful message to your children, a message of kindness and empathy that your children will internalize in their own lives.

Talk about compassion in action.

Children learn about compassion by seeing it in action, but when parents talk about acts of compassion purposefully, children get the message that it is a valued trait in the family. Search for examples of compassion in action as you watch TV or movies. Point out compassionate acts depicted in news articles, stories, in social media, or even in your day to day experiences. Take every opportunity to have a dialogue about instances where compassion was shown – or should have been shown. Doing so will affirm the importance of living compassionately and its impact on one’s experiences and on others.

Start with small compassionate acts and make kindness a habit.

It’s easy to feel that nothing we do will make a difference in this deeply troubled world. The key is to start small. Encourage acts of compassion in your family. Get a family pet for your children to care for – or better yet, adopt one that has been abused or neglected. Console a sibling who is upset. Practice good manners. Do not tolerate rude behavior (even if you think it’s cute when your 18-month old throws shoes at you). Share a sandwich with a classmate who forgot her baon. Ban name-calling. Encourage your child to play with your new neighbor who has no playmates. Let your child come with you when you visit a friend whose loved one just died. Hold on to the thought that “no kindness no matter how small goes unnoticed”.

Develop a helping mindset.

Compassion starts with empathy and a strong desire to help. In separate studies by Dr. David Schonfeld of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Dr. Michael Tomasello of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, both concluded that children are naturally inclined to be altruistic – the desire to help is innate. As parents, therefore, it is our job to nurture this altruistic nature of children so that it becomes a lifelong habit.

For most children, the habit of helping starts with doing chores at home. Kids should understand early on that helping out is expected of them simply because it is the right thing to do. As children grow older and become more attuned to the world around them, encourage them to help other people too. Encourage them to help your neighbor carry her stuff, or open the door for his teacher at school. Buy cookies or biscuits to keep in the car for them to give to street children. Take every opportunity to point out people in need and ask “How can we help?”

Monitor media.

Mainstream and social media are corrupted with violence, hatred and self-centeredness. Try as we may, it is simply not possible to filter everything out. It can, however, be a powerful tool for teaching compassion, so use it to your advantage. Watch TV with your kids and monitor the websites they visit on the Internet. If the characters on TV are hitting each other or calling each other names, point it out and talk about why it isn’t showing a good example of kindness and compassion. Children don’t just watch TV; they internalize it, so be aware of what values and attitudes they are acquiring.

Provide opportunities to practice compassion.

Some parents worry that introducing children to life’s harsh realities might be too upsetting for them. But the reverse is actually true. When children are made aware of others’ hardships, they come to appreciate what they have and develop feelings of pride about being able to help someone.

Compassion cannot be learned by simply talking about it, children need to see it in action.

They learn compassion when they experience giving without gaining anything in return, when they get a glimpse of what it’s like to be in the shoes of those who are in need, when they comfort someone who is suffering, when they are able to do something tangible to help alleviate the burden of others.

As a family, engage in activities that encourage compassion. Join fun-runs to support charity. Volunteer your time in charitable institutions like orphanages or homes for the aged. Hold a garage sale and use the proceeds to buy something for a family in need.

Having them experience compassion first-hand also allows them to see the impact of their action on those they are helping. They also get to experience the emotions associated with compassion such as caring, empathy, joy and satisfaction, which further reinforces the value.

Celebrate each person’s uniqueness.

Exposing children to the real world while they are still young opens up not only their world, but also their understanding of each person’s uniqueness and individuality. This gives them the tools they need to be comfortable around people who are different from them – people of different race and skin color, people of a different religion, children with special needs, and individuals with unconventional sexual orientation.

Cultivate a culture of acceptance, tolerance and love for all of God’s creations. When your child asks questions, for example, about why the child sitting across your table in the restaurant is in a wheelchair, don’t be dismissive or shush them out of fear that the child’s family can hear you and might be offended. Instead, answer her question honestly and encourage her to approach the child to say hi. Continuously nurturing this outlook will help them grow up with the mindset that celebrates people’s differences.

These are crazy times we are living in. As parents, it is easy to feel that our efforts to teach our child kindness and compassion are trumped each and every day by forces bigger than us – TV, social media and the world in general. But the fact that we live in these times, in this hostile and troubled world, is all the more reason for us to remain steadfast in the values we uphold – the values we want our children to live by, the values this broken world needs more of.

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” – L.R. Knost