2016 Roadtrip to La Union: The Kids' First Concert at Le Point Bar! Woot!

Yes you read that right. Our kids went on a concert in La Union. We all did!

And the best part? It was by the beach and it was FREE!

Cool huh? I couldn't believe that we would bring the kids to a concert this soon. HA! And look at these sleepy heads...

We all had so much fun! It was an experience we will never forget. ♥♥♥


Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Freshly brewed coffee every morning! ♥
2. Happy and Relaxing weekend
3. Bonding with Family
4. Playing soccer with the kids
5. New friends
6. Great articles for Parents
7. New ebooks
8. New Adventures soon!
9. Long weekends
10. Online (Window) Shopping

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

2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Dinner at Surf Shack

After a fun day of swimming, watching movies and just bumming around, we decided to have dinner at one of the famous restaurants in San Juan, La Union.

Good thing we were early and there were seats available for us.

And, here are our favorites during our dinner at Surf Shack...

These nachos and lemonade were really good!

But I like my burritos more!

The place is a bit small though and during peak hours it could get really jampacked. So I suggest to go early during meal times. (*wink*)

Surf Shack
238 National Highway, San Juan, La Union
San Juan, La Union 2513

Every Morning...


Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Not Today by Imagine Dragons

REPOSTING: Mamas and Me Time: How to Find Time for Yourself By Mariel Uyquiengco from MomCenter.com

Mamas and Me Time: How to Find Time for Yourself By Mariel Uyquiengco from MomCenter.com

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone. – Paul Tillich

In youth, most of us craved the company of friends, going out on all hours and filling our days with activities. Being alone was somehow always equated with being lonely, and alone time was not actively sought.

Being alone with our thoughts, however, is healthy and should be given priority no matter our age and personal circumstance. It’s called solitude. It allows us to unwind, to recharge, to discover ourselves and form our own thoughts without outside influence. More importantly, solitude re-energizes us, enabling us to give more of ourselves in what we do. As an effect, it boosts and enriches our relationships with others.

It is ironic then that it is when we become parents and much time is demanded of us that we suddenly see the value of alone time. Though it seems hard to come by, me time for moms should be actively given time in between changing diapers, preparing meals, and working in or out of the home.

Here are some ways to find some alone time.

Reserve and respect your daily alone time

Carve out your own daily alone time and respect it. Some wake up earlier than the rest of the household to pray, meditate, or have their first cup of coffee. Some wait for everyone to go to bed to relish the stillness of their home.

If you can manage it, squeezing in some me time in the middle of your busyness during the day can give you a much-needed break. Reserve at least one hour that absolutely no one is allowed to disturb you for you to do your thing: read, craft, watch a movie, etc.

Close the door

Moms are notorious for taking a shower or using the toilet with someone intently watching them – their little ones. So be it your bedroom, bathroom, or laundry room, close the door!

A 10-minute break can feel like a great deal when you’re in the midst of a busy day. Taking a catnap, reading a magazine, or drinking a steaming cup of tea by your lonesome is going to be awesome.

Run errands

Running errands is a form of me time for moms, especially on those days that everything seems to be going wrong. Some actually relish doing the mundane like lining up at the bank, wandering around the grocery aisles, or taking the car to the carwash.

If you want more me time on those errand days though, you can do everything quickly and squeeze in a few relaxed minutes in your favorite coffee shop. People-watching is therapeutic so you just need yourself and your cuppa.

Pamper yourself

Going to the salon on your own is a relaxing activity. You don’t need to chat with your friend over the loud buzzing of hair dryers. You don’t need to do anything, too, other than sit and be pampered.

Nail salons and spas are a good destination for moms in need of a good alone time. A manicure, pedicure, and a massage are the height of self-pampering.

Unplug yourself

It is important to note that when you decide to have your alone time, you really should be alone. Scrolling through your Facebook timeline and leaving comments here and there will not give you time to think and re-charge.

Unplug yourself from social media and leave your gadgets alone whether you are having your me-time at home or outside. Observe your surroundings and the people around you. Empty your mind, disengage, and enjoy your own company.

Parents who are busy attending to work, home, and kids will benefit much from having a dedicated alone time to unwind, recharge, and re-energize. Inside or outside the home, 10-minutes or 2 hours, any time spent with one’s own self is time well spent.


2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Tagpuan for Lunch

We've been loving the food trip that we were having in La Union and our next stop for lunch is - Tagpuan!

I've read good reviews about the food here and yes it is affordable too, so finally we were able to try it. And we were all so, so glad we did.

They have a couple of rice bowls and it was good. Not bad for the price.

I highly recommend that you try this place too!

Address: Urbiztondo Rd, San Juan, La Union, Philippines
Hours: 6PM–2AM
Phone: +63 956 661 7996

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Happy and Relaxing Weekend
2. Made Graham Balls with the kids ♥
3. Food Trip
4. Movie Night
5. Planning about Trips and New Adventures!
6. Blessings
7. Soccer Games with little kids ♥
8. Freshly Brewed Coffee
9. Blogging
10. Photos

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

2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Oh Sorry Kids, NO Swimming TODAY!

Awww, there were kids who weren't so happy...

Simply because the waves were too much and too big to swim. Too bad! But hey, the water was perfect for photo ops anyway.

And we had time to relax for the day.

Aren't these wonderful? The kids weren't able to swim but we had a relaxing day! I've been looking forward to this for months actually!

It was a blessing-in-disguise. ♥♥♥

So we just lounge around, ate (a lot!), talk and bond as we always do and enjoy this windy yet beautiful, beautiful day! (*wink*)(*wink*)

Worrying is USELESS.

“Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so. If we don’t know how to breathe, smile,and live every moment of our life deeply, we will never be able to help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness. The most important practice is aimlessness, not running after things, not grasping.” – Thich Nhat Hanh


Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Just be Happy by Benji Jackson

Here's another uplifting song for all of us today...

Here is the wonderful lyrics...
Sing a favorite song
and the world may sing along
We can brighten every day
With the things we do and say

Just be happy happy
Just be happy happy
La da da dee da dee da
La da da dee da dee day
Just be happy happy
Just be happy happy
La da da dee da dee da dee day

Clap your hands now and just be happy
Do a dance now and just be happy
Make a smile now and just be happy
Laugh a while now and just be happy

Let the music play
And your worries wash away
Such a simple way to see
how the world was meant to be

Just be happy happy
Just be happy happy
La da da dee da dee da
La da da dee da dee day
Just be happy happy
Just be happy happy
La da da dee da dee da dee day

Clap your hands now and just be happy
Do a dance now and just be happy
Make a smile now and just be happy
Laugh a while now and just be happy

Every chance along the way
Every moment through the day
Make a choice and hear your voice
Reach out and say
Okay, let’s play

Just be happy happy
Just be happy happy
La da da dee da dee da
La da da dee da dee day
Just be happy happy
Just be happy happy
La da da dee da dee da dee day, oh

Clap your hands now and just be happy
Do a dance now and just be happy
Make a smile now and just be happy
Laugh a while now and just be happy

Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

REPOSTING: Working Moms: Here are 5 Things You Can Do to #LoveMondays By: Trisha Bautista

Working Moms: Here are 5 Things You Can Do to #LoveMondays
By: Trisha Bautista

Come Sunday night, the weekend comes to a close and the sinking feeling that comes with Monday morning sets in. Weekends give us a glorious two-day break from the workweek. We finally get to spend time with our families, squeeze in some R&R, and if we’re lucky, get some uninterrupted sleep. But once Monday rolls around, I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like the weekend just flew by, and suddenly, it’s time for another long week of traffic, work, and time away from our kids.

We’re pretty sure the dislike for Mondays is common, but once you’re a mom (especially if you work away from your home), the arrival of Mondays can be even more dreaded!

A weekly dread of Mondays isn’t exactly healthy, so here are tips every mom will be able to apply to make Mondays less horrible, and more tolerable..

1. Cram anything that requires a lot of effort on Saturdays.

Easier said than done, but this is something I’ve found to make a big improvement. At the start of my working mom journey, I’d cram all sorts of things into one weekend, often busy with social events or family outings from Saturday morning up until late Sunday night. I’d end up feeling tired, cranky, and stressed once we’d get home. I decided to reserve Saturdays for anything that requires a lot of effort, planning, and traffic (ie trips to the mall, parties, nights out, etc.), to leave Sundays free for relaxing.

2. Reserve Sundays for quiet family time.

I started delegating everything potentially stressful to Saturdays, which left Sundays for quiet family time. Since our helpers are on day-off on Sundays, I prefer to not commit to any big social gatherings on Sundays. That doesn’t necessarily mean staying home—instead of having dinner out, have a lazy day and order in. Go for a family movie early in the day so you can wind down early on Sunday night. Or, head to the grandparents’ house. Don’t feel guilty about not committing to social gatherings if it will stress you out and deprive you of a chance to recharge for the week ahead.

3. Get an early start on Mondays.

Many moms will relate when I say Monday mornings feel so darn stressful. Somehow, Mondays seem more rushed and more hectic than any other weekday, usually because we’re still on weekend mode, trying to get into the groove of the work week. I found that sacrificing an hour of sleep by waking up earlier actually helped—it gives you time to have a “slow” morning. Spend some minutes snuggling in bed, have a slow breakfast and a morning cup of coffee. It will do wonders for your Monday mood!

4. Make Monday night a date night.

Motherhood made me see Fridays so differently—if before, it meant dinners, drinks, movie dates, and whatnot out, it now means I finally get to go home to see my family after a week at work. Move your Friday date night to Monday so you have something to look forward to at the end of the day. Get creative! Take turns planning a date with your hubby–it can be a dinner date out, or some Netflix and chill at home. Making Monday night into a special night to look forward to might actually make you #loveMondays.

5. Dress up extra nice on Mondays.

Whatever industry you’re in, and whatever style you have, make Monday your special arte day. We know being a mom often means dressing down, not having time to put on as much makeup as you used to. Start giving yourself a you day, and set it on Mondays to get a good start to the week. Wear your favorite, most flattering dress, or wear high heels instead of flats. Put more makeup on than usual, or ditch your usual monotone outfits and wear a pop of color. Pretty soon, you’ll be looking forward to Mondays!


2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Breakfast Time!

Guess where we had breakfast...

Yes, after reading a lot of good reviews (and seeing nice photos about their coffee), we can finally try El Union Coffee in San Juan, La Union. Woot!

There were only a few choices on the menu for the breakfast so I decided to have grilled cheese sandwich.

And, I'm glad I did because it was gooood! And so was their Cafe Latte...

Look at our happy faces...

The food and coffee were great! The prices were a little expensive though (Manila prices) so I won't go here everyday. Do check it out!

El Union Coffee

MacArthur Highway, Baranggay Urbiztondo,
San Juan, La Union
IG: @elunion
FB: /elunioncoffee

2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Visiting Ma-Cho Temple

Our next stop during our week stay in San Juan La Union was Ma-Cho Temple.

Constructed on September 11, 1975 through the initiative of then Tourism Minister Jose D. Aspiras and cooperation of the Chinese community, this majestic Taoist Temple is located on a hill 70 feet above sea level at Barangay II, San Fernando City, facing the China Sea. Here, people form all walks of life come and pray for change of luck from Ma Cho, a Chinese deity, whose eight inch wooden image surprisingly has a counterpart in the Roman Catholic faith known as the “Virgin of Caysasay” who is enshrined at the Basilica of Saint Martin in Taal, Batangas.

According to Chinese history, Ma Cho was born in 960 AD during the sung Dynasty. According to legend, she did not cry at all during her first month of infancy, thus, she was first named “Mo”, meaning keeping silent. Intelligent, gifted with a photographic memory and blessed with healing powers, she became a monk at the age of 10. Growing up in the fishing village of Meizhou in the province of Fu Jian, she actively participated in rescue operations for fishermen during typhoons. It is also believed that she can accurately predict the weather in upcoming days in the sea, earning for herself the titles “Dragon Girl”, “Goddess of the Sea” and “Queen of Heaven”. Dying at the young age of 27, it is believed by Chinese sailors and fishermen that her spirit, dressed in red, continues to save the lives of those who are in distress in the high seas. SOURCE.

The 1 hectare temple has similar sites in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries where there are Chinese communities. Devotees believe that Ma Cho and the Virgin of Caysasay are one and the same. Every September 21-26, devotees gather for the annual celebration of the image’s enshrinement for a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Saint Martin in Taal, Batangas. From there, the devotees, together with the image of Ma Cho, will travel back to San Fernando City, to be immediately followed by a procession around the City’s business district. Accompanied by the traditional Dragon Dance, it is then culminated by a cultural presentation. SOURCE.

Adorned with imported beautifully carved stone statues of the “Chinese 18 Saints” in different posses at the entrance wall, it takes pride of a courtyard made of bricks in a circular design. In the middle lies a pond adorned with water lilies and goldfish. Beside lies a small structure where one can burn offerings for the Gods. On the other side are statues of animals believed by the Chinese as good luck charms. The temple is also famous for its towering arch that gives a romantic view of the China Sea. Going inside the meditation room, one would notice its grand staircase and red kneelers. Only about 8 inch tall, it’s obviously dwarfed by its ornately carved, gold painted shrine, further made captivating by its decorative lights and encased in glass. Adorned with traditional Chinese head dress and richly colored robe, Ma Cho’s oriental eyes are closed while her hands are clasped together at her chest.SOURCE.

The kids were mesmerized I tell you! They loved the place so much. And it's perfect when it was time for the sun to set. ♥♥♥

I highly recommend that you visit this place when you are in the area!

Address: Ma-Cho Temple Driveway, San Fernando, La Union, Philippines
Phone: +63 72 242 2533
Year built: 1975
Built for: Mazuists, Catholics

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Happy and Relaxing Weekend
2. New Game in my Phone ♥♥♥
3. Blogging and Preserving Memories
4. Good Health of my Kiddos
5. Planning, planning, planning
6. Movie Nights (2 nights in a row. Woot!)
7. Grocery Shopping
8. Dinner and Coffee Date with the Hubby
9. Freshly Brewed Coffee
10. Blessings

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

2016 Roadtrip to La Union: On our Way to La Union!

A couple of months ago we decided to spend the rest of our Christmas holidays at the beach. We didn't want to go that far considering our budget but we wanted a clean beach, good food and not-so-expensive accomodations.

We decided to go on a roadtrip to La Union!

I expected an uber loooong drive, but hey, the highways were already fixed so basically it only took us not more than 6 hours on the road. Not bad!

It was a smooth ride (thank God!) but tiring. Good thing our accomodations are already ready when we arrived San Juan, La Union.

And look there was even a Christmas parade...

Cool, huh!?

The next day, we went straight to the beach! (of course!)

It was veeery windy but good thing we were still allowed to swim. Big Sigh!

More photos and stories tomorrow! (*wink*)