REPOSTING: Cranky Mommy: Why Setting Routines Helps Your Mental Health By Trisha Bautista of MomCenter.com.ph

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 MomCenter.com.ph

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!

SOURCE.

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.

SOURCE.

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.

SOURCE.


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.

SOURCE.


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.

SOURCE.


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 MomCenter.com.ph

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

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.

SOURCE.

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.

SOURCE.


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.

SOURCE.


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.

SOURCE.


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.

SOURCE.


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.

SOURCE.

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

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Fun Weekend with HIghschool Friends! ♥
2. Friends for yearsssss
3. New ebooks
4. Freshly Brewed Coffee by the Husband
5. Early Christmas Gifts
6. Hearing Mass
7. Kids
8. Hugs and Kisses
9. Christmas Parties soon!
10. Family ♥♥♥

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

Family Getaway for 2017 Summer: Our Home for the Next Few Days in Panglao Island, Bohol

After a couple of hours on the plane, land trip, we finally found our home for the next few days.

So this is basically our living room...


Gorgeous, right?


The Husband is obviously excited for staying in this nice place!


And look at our view from the house.


Yes, definitely gorgeous!

When is God Glorified in us?


Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Walking the Wire by ImagineDragons ♥

LOVE this song!

ENJOY peeps!


Have a great Sunday, you all! (*wink*)

REPOSTING: Secrets of Parents Who are Raising Happy and Successful Kids by Nina Malanay

Secrets of Parents Who are Raising Happy and Successful Kids by Nina Malanay

he moment we become parents, our lives dramatically change. From birth, we make sure that our kids will have the best life possible — to have limitless opportunities, to be able to follow their dreams, and to be happy and successful, more than anything else.

And for good reason, because various studies have shown that being happy gives a substantial advantage in life. Generally, children who had positive experiences in childhood are more likely to grow up as successful adults. They hold more prestigious jobs, earn higher salaries and are more satisfied with their relationships. And what parent would not want that for their children?

So how can parents give their kids a nurturing environment where they can feel loved, emotionally-secure, and free to explore and have fun? We’ll let you in on the secrets of parents who are raising happy and successful kids.

1. They are happy themselves.

Happy parents are more likely to have happy children. Extensive research has linked parental depression as a likely cause of behavioral problems in kids. It also makes parenting less effective. And while you can’t control your child’s happiness, you can be responsible for yours. Embrace positivity and strive to maintain an optimistic outlook. One of the best things you can do for your child’s well-being is to attend to your own. Create time for yourself and do things that make YOU happy. Your children want you to be happy, just as much as you want them to be happy.

2. They build a meaningful relationship with their kids.


“A connected childhood is the key to happiness,” says Dr. Edward Hallowell, a child psychiatrist and the author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness. When children feel connected, they feel loved, understood, wanted and acknowledged, providing them with a “safe base” to explore the world. Feelings of connectedness promote your child’s emotional well-being that can result in long-term benefits, including healthier relationships and greater academic achievement. So hold your baby often, respond to his needs with empathy, read, play and eat together, go out on one-on-one dates and nurture a deep, connected relationship with your child. Remember that it’s not enough to feel a deep love for your child; they must feel it too.

3. They provide opportunities for their child to form connections with others as well.


Parents who have happy and successful kids also encourage their children to form meaningful connections with others. This not only builds essential people skills; research shows that it also makes them happier and more successful adults. Socially-competent children who could forge meaningful friendships, be helpful to others, recognize and regulate their feelings, and resolve conflicts on their own, are more likely to be successful in their respective careers and have rewarding relationships.

4. They praise effort, not natural ability or performance.


Parents who offer praise for their children’s effort and hard work instead of the achievement itself have children who actually enjoy the challenging activities they engage in, and consequently, achieve more. When we praise children for the effort, the creativity, or the persistence that goes into achieving, they develop a growth mindset – a thinking that they want to keep trying more and engage in an activity more, not because they want to achieve more per se, but because they want to learn and grow more. Praising specific traits can distract a child as he focuses more trying to hold himself up to that standard. They tend to withdraw or hesitate to take on more challenging tasks and become concerned about what people will think and feel toward them of them if they fail.

5. They allow their kids to make mistakes and fail.


Many parents make the mistake of doing too much for their kids. While it can be difficult to watch our kids struggle, they will not learn unless we allow them to make mistakes and risk failure. The challenge, then, for parents is to stand back and provide ample opportunities to learn new skills, and if need be, to make mistakes along the way. Only then can they develop a can-do attitude that allows them to approach future challenges with positivity and enthusiasm which are important to having a happy life.

6. They hold high expectations for their kids.

Parents who set high expectations of their children have children who are more likely to achieve more and attain more in life. Called the Pygmalion Effect, the expectations one person has of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Kids usually want to please their parents and try to live up to their parents’ expectations. If parents set a high bar for behavior and achievement, and provide a loving and supportive environment, children will strive to reach for that standard. On the contrary, if the parents don’t set a standard for their children, their kids will not be motivated, nor find a reason to strive and achieve.

7. They allow their kids to play and explore.

Kids today spend less time engaging in active play. In fact, researchers believe that the less time kids spend engaging in unstructured play is partly the responsible for slowing children’s cognitive and emotional development. Studies have proven time and again that unstructured play promotes physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development. It helps children learn how to communicate, cooperate, negotiate, resolve conflicts and regulate their feelings and behavior – skills that are necessary as they navigate the world.

8. They expect their kids to do chores.

Parents who make their children take part in doing chores raise children who realize and value the work needed to be done as part of everyday life. They become independent, learn how to collaborate with others, and develop strong work ethics. They become aware of and take pride in their contribution to the home, which in turn, develops self-esteem and builds confidence.

9. They prioritize their marriage over their children.


It may seem counter intuitive, but parents who prioritize their marriage over their children raise kids who are emotionally secure. Emotionally secure kids are more able to explore the world and try out new things, and thus, have more chances to achieve more. Having a happy and fulfilling marriage makes better parents – positive emotions like love, security and happiness, and the support from our partner – can make us warmer and more responsive as a parent. Kids can also pick up on these positive emotions and examples, and these become the standard upon which they will hold their future relationships against.

For most parents, raising happy and successful children is the greatest affirmation of parenting success. As parents, we have the opportunity to lay the groundwork, teach the right mindset and equip our kids with the tools for success so they can grow up to be happy, successful kids who will turn out to be solid, well-adjusted adults.


SOURCE.

Family Getaway for 2017 Summer: On our Way to Bohol!

Wow after a full year of planning and dreaming of Bohol's beautiful beach, we were finally on our way.


And what's the best in this trip? We were ALMOST COMPLETE! Woot!


I was so happy to see my Mom and siblings!

We got a not-so-early flight of 10AM since we are staying in Bohol for a couple of days anyway. Glad that traffic was still ok for a Sunday on our way to the airport.


And yes, we had an uneventful check in. Praise God!


And finally, we are here!!!


And the view, wow, we were looking forward to this for months and we were right, it was worth it!

More stories and photos soon!

Guess Where?

Guess what will be my next posts in the next few days...


Perfect sunset, white sands, crystal clear water. One of the best beaches in the Philippines....

BOHOL!!! (*wink*) (*wink*)

Watch out for my next posts about our BOHOL getaway with the entire family!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Long Weekends and Long Breaks ♥♥♥
2. Online (Window) Shopping
3. Easier Shopping for Christmas Gifts this Year!
4. Friends
5. Family Bonding over the Long Breaks
6. Loooong Naps
7. Movie Nights
8. Football Drills and Games
9. Christmas is just around the corner! Woot!
10. Christmas Parties sooooon!

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

October 2017 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Book 2: Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- How to Love by Katie Catugno
- God Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DiBartolo
Currently Reading: You are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- The 100 Series in Netflix
- Miss Congeniality Part 2
- Thor :)

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- My brother's Birthday!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- Thank you dear God for keeping us healthy this month!

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Went to Boracay to celebrate my brother's birthday
- Met up with my YFC Campus Based friend Thea
- Went to Sta. Rosa Laguna for a quick weekend getaway with our Friends from CFC

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Annabel's to celebrate an Aunt's 90th Birthday
- S&R Pizza and Chicken, LZM's Bangus and Bulalo and Mama Lou's Pasta. YUM!
- SaladStop!

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- I've been shopping online for Christmas gifts ♥♥♥

What have you learned this month?
-

What Saying NO Means...


Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Stay ft. Maty Noyes by KYGO

Have a blessed Sunday peeps! (*wink*)

REPOSTING: 7 Dangerous Additives to Avoid When Buying Food For Your Family by Trisha Bautista

Here's a very nice I came across from MomCenter.com.ph about food that we need to avoid...

7 Dangerous Additives to Avoid When Buying Food For Your Family by Trisha Bautista

When buying food for your family, it never hurts to be too choosy—especially when it involves chemicals and toxins that could potentially be entering your body through the food. Although many different food options are now available in the market, that also means more harmful ingredients you and your children could be eating unaware. When buying groceries, watch out for these ingredients that will do you more harm than good.

1. Artificial sweeteners

What it is: Aspartame, a chemical that creates an artificially sweet flavor

Where it’s usually found: Equal and Splenda, as well as in diet sodas, desserts, jello, gum (anything labelled “sugar free”), baking goods, cereal, powdered drinks, even vitamins and toothpaste!

Why you should avoid it: Aspartame in itself is harmful, but also contains other harmful chemicals like Formaldehyde, and aspartic acid. So many studies have found Aspartame to be linked to diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, hypoglycemia, dementia, and much more.

Alternatives: Although it hasn’t been banned, many scientists say there’s enough evidence to prove that its use should be banned. Stick instead to more natural and less-processed sugars like cane sugar, coconut sugar, and other sweeteners like honey and stevia.

2. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate

What it is: An amino acid used as a flavor enhancer.

Where it’s usually found: MSG is commonly used as an additive to enhance flavor, mostly found in fast food restaurants, instant noodles, crackers, canned soup, and more.

Why you should avoid it: Even when we were growing up, this artificial seasoning was already getting a lot of bad rap. MSG has been linked to depression, eye damage, headaches, and obesity, because something in its chemical make-up suppresses our “full” gauge, making us eat much more than we actually need to.

Alternatives: Unprocessed salts, pepper, and herbs make for great flavoring for your dishes. A simple combo of salt, pepper, and rosemary can go a long way to season your proteins.

3. Trans Fat

What it is: A manufactured oil formed through hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Where it’s usually found: Deep fried food, creamer, baked goods, junk food

Why you should avoid it: According to the Mayo Clinic, trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat because it raises your “bad” cholesterol levels while lowering your “good” cholesterol levels. This means an increased risk of heart attacks, heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.

4. Sodium Nitrate

What it is: A kind of preservative used for meats. In higher doses, it’s used to kill pests and rodents

Where it’s usually found: Red canned meats like corned beef, beef jerky, and luncheon meat.

Why you should avoid it: It’s used to prevent bacteria from growing in food (hence the use in preservatives), but because of this, it can cause adverse effects. Studies have found that it causes cancer, and is said to cause damage to your blood vessels, clogging your arteries and leading to heart disease.

5. Sodium Sulfite

What it is: A kind of salt used as a preservative and to help prevent fruit discoloration

Where it’s usually found: Dried fruits and wines, preserved potato products like fries and hashbrowns

Why you should avoid it: Sodium sulfite can cause headaches, or in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock. Other severe symptoms can include a narrowing of the airways and difficulty breathing.

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup

What it is: A very refined artificial sweetener

Where it’s usually found: In almost all processed foods, especially juices, sodas, canned fruits and vegetables, yogurt, salad dressings, etc.

Why you should avoid it: Some studies have shown that the hormone responsible for telling your brain that you’re full, causing you to eat more, potentially gaining weight and towards obesity.

7. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and BHT (E320)

What it is: Antioxidant preservatives used.

Where it’s usually found: In cereals, potato chips and chewing gum to keep them from going rancid

Why you should avoid it: Although scientists are divided on whether or not this is safe for humans (the US Food and Drug Administration deems it “generally safe,” while the National Institutes of Health says it has some links to cancer), many prefer to avoid it as much as possible.

SOURCE.

Genki Sushi Manila

Finally! Our favorite restaurant in Tokyo is now opened in Manila! Woot, woot!

So when one of our kiddos had her birthday a couple of months ago, we (or should I say she) decided to have dinner at her favorite Genki Sushi.

Our first time!


So how did we find the food and the experience?

Well, we realized that there is nothing more special in having sushi in Tokyo but it was good to know that we can have it here in our home town too if we'd like. The food was just ok. We didn't know why but maybe because there are more good Japanese restaurants around the metro so what they have is nothing special.

We loved that the chairs were facing each other though and the place was bigger and more spacious than the one in Tokyo.

I would still recommend it to all of you especially if you have a family who loooves sushi so much! (*wink*)

Genki Sushi is located at the 2nd Level, Ayala Malls The 30th in 30 Meralco Avenue, Pasig, Metro Manila.



Our Yummy Dinner at Yayoi

One weekend after a movie, we decided to have dinner at the newly opened Japanese restaurant in SM Megamall called Yayoi.


We had a bit of an experience by ordering through these tablets.


Cool, right? It made us miss Japan even more! And the food...


Everything was really good!



My kids who loooove Japanese food so, so much had the time of their lives in Yayoi. I highly recommend that you try it too! (*wink*)

Yayoi is located at 3rd level, Mega B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. It is open from 10AM to 9:30PM. For reservations, you can call them at +63 2 634 4865.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Relaxing and fun weekend
2. Reunion with Relatives
3. 90th Birthday of an Aunt
4. Parish Involvement
5. New ebooks
6. Kids love reading these days!
7. Long weekends coming soon
8. Sem BREAK!
9. Photos and Great Memories
10. Soccer Games and Goals ♥♥♥

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

A Quick Dinner Date with Friends

We had another dinner with friends at Xi Tian Di a couple of months ago. Yes it was a group date!


Food was superb. We had quite a number of laughs. It was a great night with friends!


...and Hubby of course!


Looking forward to more group dates soon! (*wink*)(*wink*)


Love People...


Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: High Hopes

REPOSTING: Creating a Bucket List That Matters By: Reese Fernandez Ruiz

This is a very nice article about bucket lists and making your life meaningful. So timely since I'm thinking of ways on how to live my life to the fullest (not in traveling nor getting the perfect career but by making it meaningful).

Read on and let me know what you think!

Creating a Bucket List That Matters By: Reese Fernandez Ruiz

Here is what my bucket list looks like:

- Went up the Eiffel tower – check
- Spoke at the Sydney Opera House in front of Australia’s young leaders – check
- Traveled (almost) around the world without spending – check
- Met with world leaders and awesome people – check
- Ate Desmond Tutu’s birthday cake (yup) – check
- Married the man of my dreams and prayers – check

MY LIFE LOOKS LIKE A TICKED OFF BUCKET LIST. BUT….

I could think of so many more things that I have done before reaching the age of 30 (and one of my favorites is marrying the man of my dreams & prayers!).

The truth is, life is not comprised of just trophies, certificates, countries, courses, adventures, and awards. It is also full of moments of anxiety, self-doubt, failure, and missteps. In fact, the things that really build character are the hard things, not the ones that make you giddy inside.

So whenever younger people ask me about all my achievements (and by “achievements”, some usually refer to the awards, media exposure, etc.) and ask how they could achieve them too, I always feel uncomfortable.

One, because I don’t think the awards, media exposure, or number of passports (or stamps on them) are the goals. The goals should be bigger, inclusive, and based on faith and hope for a better future for everyone. If the awards themselves become the end goals, that would be dangerous and misguided – and such a waste of time and talent. And trust me, they are not good enough as anchors. They crumble when things get tough.

And two, I don’t think that my life is a success story already told and that it could be measured based on media mileage or awards. Those are not the real achievements (they are great pats on the back though and are definitely appreciated). Behind all the glitz and glamour, I consider my real achievements to be the moments of survival, belief, hope, faith, and love in spite and despite of all the anxiety, self-doubt, failure, and missteps.

So instead of creating just a bucket list of things-to-do and places-to-go (I also have those!), I also wrote another that is more meaningful and will remind me of the more important things in life. Hopefully, for those who feel in a hurry to “achieve” and measure their achievements through external rewards, this list could help you build your own bucket list that matters:

- Tell the people you love that you love them, all the time. It may be awkward at first for some people, but you’ll remember these moments the most (my status: YES! all the time!)
- Tell your biggest failure story and share its lessons
- Forgive the people you blame for some difficult times in your life
- Lose an award, nomination, or something that you really want, with grace and genuine happiness for others
- Listen to constructive personal feedback without being defensive or listening only to respond
- And finally (but really, the list goes on), find a community that you could love and stick to – it could be a church group, organization, cooperative, artist hub, group of like-minded people, etc. and constantly think of ways to provide value to them. Serving others is one of the best ways to find your calling and passion.

When you measure your life and achievements through more meaningful metrics, all the awards, media exposure, travels, and other things that may come your way (and they will come because the world needs and loves people with passion and purpose), will be nice-to-have. But you’ll find that nothing beats the moments of survival, belief, hope, faith, and love in spite and despite of all the anxiety, self-doubt, failure, and missteps.


SOURCE.

Look What the Kiddos Got for their Birthday?

The complete set of Harry Potter booksssssssss! Woot! Woot!


And the funny thing is, I'm the one who felt over the moon. LOL!

So, yes my future "Potterheads" are waiting for a long school break and then their off to their Hogwarts experience. (*wink*)(*wink*)

A Group Date with Great Friends. ♥

A perfect place for a group date at 1 in the morning. (*grin*)

This is Tomatito at BGC in Taguig.


Here's the highlight of our group date. (*grin*)


This dessert was so, so, so good!


A night of catching up with friends, good food, wonderful desserts, I couldn't ask for a more perfect group date! ♥♥♥