August 2017 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (DNF)
- A Countess Below the Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
- The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
- [Oxenburg Princes] - 1.0 The  Prince who Loved Me by Karen Hawkins
- [Oxenburg Princes] - 2.0 The  Prince and I by Karen Hawkins
- Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
- For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
- Across a Starswept Sea by Diana Peterfreund (Almost DNF this book but good thing I did!)
- Dreamotology by Lucy Keating
- Currently Reading: You are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Leap Year
- Charlie's Angels
- Charlie's Angels Part 2
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Stranger Things Season 1. Hubby and I loved it! ♥♥♥

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- MIL's birthday!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- A couple of headaches / migraines

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Lots of movie nights and soccer games ♥
- Went to our friend Mike's 50th Birthday party!
- Went to Antipolo for Dinner at Padi's Point ♥

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Had lunch at Italliani's for MIL's birthday
- Padi's Point, Antipolo

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- Bought a Wrap Top for myself

What have you learned this month?

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Healthy and Living Life to the Fullest!
2. Some Positive Blood test Results. We'll get there!
3. Blogging and preserving memories
4. MAKING memories with Family ♥
5. Beautiful View while eating Dinner in Antipolo
6. Bonding over the long weekend
7. Movies
8. Helpful and great parenting articles
9. Gift of Family
10. God's L♥ve

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

2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Our 2016 New Year's Eve

After a whole special last day in 2016, we decided to eat our favorite food for our last 2016 dinner! (*grin*)

Yes, we had a Japanese dinner!

And look, it was a small restaurant in San Juan La Union but they have nice decorations...

And, we didn't have to wait for our food too long too!

The food was good and we were all so happy we chose to have our NYE dinner at this restaurant.

And now for the NYE, we watched fireworks by the beach!

It was B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.!

Aaah, it's time to say goodbye to 2016. We were so glad we were able to do it in La Union. (*wink*)

Root of Suffering

“According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them.” – Yuval Noah Harari


Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Comet Blue - Spaceship

Let us dance the day away, peeps!

Have a good one! (*wink*)

2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Our Last Day of 2016.

Our last day of 2016 was quite special because we spent it relaxing by the beach.

First, we had a great breakfast at Kahuna Resort. And then all day we spent it just hanging around the resort and having the time of our lives.

And of course it was a perfect day to SWIM!

What else can we do on the last day of the year?

Well, we watched a very beautiful sunset by the beach. It was PERFECT!

A perfect day, a beautiful sunset, and a wonderful family. What more can a Mama ask for?

Thank you Lord for all these blessings! ♥♥♥

REPOSTING: Article 12 Practical Ways to Raise a Child with Great Values By Nina Malanay

12 Practical Ways to Raise a Child with Great Values
By Nina Malanay from

There is nothing more that a parent wants than to see her children grow up to be kind, decent, compassionate human beings with a firm set of morals, ready to take on the world. Helping children to acquire values such as honesty, respect and gratitude is oftentimes considered by many to be just as, if not, more important than teaching math or reading skills because of the long-term impact the acquisition of positive (or negative) values has on our children. Every parent wants to instill the right values in their children – values that they will take with them well into adulthood and become the foundation of everything your child will come to believe and shape who they become.

However, this is often easier said than done. With today’s parents trying to keep up with the demands of work, marriage and the daily rigors of raising a family, it is very easy for outside influences like peer pressure, social media and the entertainment industry to have a greater effect on our children and define their sensibilities more than ever before.

The good news is that research shows that children who forge strong emotional bonds with their parents are better able to filter their world – their experiences, the opinion of their peers, and the choices they make – through the values their parents taught them. When supported by a good self-esteem and a warm, nurturing home life, children are more able to withstand the negative influences of society and acquire the values their parents are trying to instill in them.

The bad news is that teaching values, especially to young children, takes time and patience. It isn’t something you can teach by sitting with your child one afternoon or talk about during one of your family dinners. Teaching values is a dynamic process that develops over time and evolves as your child grows.

So at what age should parents start teaching values to their children?

It should begin as soon as your child becomes aware that his actions affect others, usually at around 18 months of age. Start by verbalizing basic principles and standards of behavior you expect from your child. Short, simple phrases like “No hurting” or “Sharing is good” communicates to your toddler the patterns of behavior that you hold important.

By the time children are 4 years old, most of them already know the basic values and have formed simple concepts of right and wrong – that lying is wrong, or that sharing is good. Often, because they already know values, they tend to just parrot back what parents and persons of authority want to hear. There appears to be a stark disagreement between what children know as values and what they do in real life. For example, children know that lying is bad, but they sometimes tell a lie to avoid getting in trouble with authority. Children know values; the problem lies in living by those values.

So what do parents need to do to make sure that children actually imbibe the values we want them to learn, instead of merely knowing them? Here are some practical ways to raise your child with the right values.

1. Model the values you want to see in your child.

Very simply, children learn values by observing what you do and by drawing conclusions about what you consider important in life. They learn from seeing how you interact with them and how you treat others. If you want them to acquire values like honesty, perseverance and compassion, then you need to show these qualities yourself. Likewise, be aware of what you are modeling. For example, if you teach your child that sports is all about teamwork and perseverance but your first question after a game is about who won, then you are sending the message that winning is more important than anything else. Regardless of what you purposefully teach them, your actions will always speak volumes about what you really value, and they will come to imbibe the same value system that you do.

2. Explicitly communicate the values you hold dear.

As parents, we need to spell out the values we believe in and explain why we consider it important. We need to continuously articulate our values to our kids and as we apply those values to our daily lives. Each action and decision becomes a reflection of the values we embrace. It may help to create a values statement for your family – a list of general principles and standards of behavior that are rooted in the family’s beliefs and values. Print this out or frame it and hang it in a visible area in your house to provide your family with a sense of what you stand for as a family.

3. Nurture your emotional relationship with your child.

Parents who prioritize their relationship with their child raise kids who are emotionally nurtured are more likely to respond compassionately to others. Because their love tank is full, they have more compassion to give, which is the foundation of values. Because they spend quality time together, kids have more opportunities to observe their parents live by the values they espouse.

4. Show that values help them achieve goals.

To make the teaching of values more relevant to your child, show him that having certain traits and behaving in a certain way will help him achieve his goal. Show him that being courteous and polite will make people like him or want to help him. Let him see that persevering in a task even if it is difficult will help him reap the rewards later on. Show him that cooperation and working together as a team gets things done faster. When children see how values help them in life, they are more likely to see the importance of learning them.

5. Praise your child when they exhibit good values.

When you observe your children doing something good, let them know you are pleased with their actions. Sincere praise goes a long way in affirming behaviors you want to reinforce. Point out specific actions and behaviors that your child does so they know exactly what behaviors they should keep doing. For young children, praise can be more effective when phrased as nouns instead of verbs. For example, instead of saying, “It was so nice of you when you helped your sister”, say, “You are such a helper! You helped your sister pack away the toys.” When our actions are viewed as a reflection of our character, we tend to internalize it as part of our identity, and over time, it can be a part of us.

6. Use daily experiences as teachable moments.

Teaching values may seem mostly theoretical, but the daily family experiences can provide you with an opportunity to teach about values and how they relate to everyday life. Use the day to day incidents as a spring board to initiate a conversation with your child. Talk about an incident you hear about in the news, or something you or your children did. Ask questions about the person’s motivation behind what he did (or didn’t do). Talk about consequences and alternate outcomes of each situation and use such incidents to reiterate the values you want to instill in your child.

7. Share your personal experiences

When we try to look back at our past experiences, we may think about some that taught us important values and life lessons. Share these stories with your child, especially those that show how you made good choices that were consistent with good values. Talk about a time when you returned a wallet instead of keeping the money for yourself, or the time when you worked really hard to achieve a goal. Reassure your child that sometimes, the decision to choose to do the right thing may seem more difficult but that staying true to the values you believe in builds character.

8. Hold your child accountable for her mistakes.

Our children may make mistakes and get into trouble once in a while. Avoid the temptation to rush in and fix the problem. Let her be accountable and accept the consequences of her actions. If you rescue your child every time she makes a mistake, she won’t learn to take responsibility for her actions. They need to know that bad choices result in unpleasant consequences.

9. Don’t let your child take the easy way out of difficult situations.

If your child commits to something, make him follow through on that. Encourage him to finish projects they start even when things become too hard, tiring or boring. Don’t allow them to quit. Instead encourage them to persevere despite the difficulty.

10. Monitor TV and Internet use.

Teaching values to young children can be a lot less complicated if there isn’t anything to be unlearned. Exposure to negative values in the media should be minimized, if not completely avoided. Computers and televisions should be placed in areas where you as parents can easily monitor and guide your children on the shows and websites they view. Make it a point to watch shows that promote positive values as a family. Co-viewing can be an effective way to filter what kind of values your kids are exposed to. If there is something that is not in line with your family values, bring it up with your kids and encourage a healthy discussion about it.

11. Use fables, virtue stories, and videos to teach values in a way that is fun and interesting to your child.

Choose books that promote positive values and spend some time reading these books to your child. There are also videos online that are geared towards developing and strengthening values. These videos are geared specifically for children and are aimed at promoting character formation among children. Just be sure to pre-screen any video or book you choose to show to your child so that you can also be prepared to explain the values and answer questions that they may have.

12. Be attuned to the value dilemmas that your child faces.

Every day, children are caught in a tight spot and are faced with dilemmas that challenge their moral integrity. As a parent, you need to be aware of these dilemmas and use them as opportunities to educate your child. Constantly reiterate to them the basic principle that if they act in accordance with the right values, good things will happen and if they stray away from the positive values taught to them, bad things will happen. Especially with younger children, emphasize the tangible consequences of the choices present in the dilemmas. For example, persevering in school work results in good grades, or being caught lying results in punishment or a loss of trust. Guide your child in making conscious, well-thought out decisions, because knowing how to handle these dilemmas is what develops our value system.

Raising a child with the right values may seem like a formidable task for modern parents. It can be disheartening and you may feel like your influence is so limited compared to the influence of the bigger world. Without a doubt, the outside influences we have to contend with are powerful and ever-present — in social media, the entertainment industry or even our immediate community. But as your child’s parents, you are in the best position to teach your child the right values – the very values this broken world needs more of.


2016 Roadtrip to La Union: A Cloudy yet Perfect Day for Swimming

Yes a few more days to go and we will be leaving La Union to go home so the kids wanted to make the most out of our days there. They wanted to make the most out of the beach! (*wink*)

SO even though the weather was a little bit cloudy and there were occassional rain showers, we still decided to swim!

Cloudy but perfect day for swimming...

The pool at Kahuna Resort was a little small but really inviting.

But I prefer to look at the beach...

...and those waves!

Perfect day, indeed!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Fun Long Weekend
2. Divi Shopping ♥
3. Movie Night
4. New eBooks
5. Another Long Weekend Coming Soon
6. Family
7. Soccer Drills and Games
8. Down Time
9. Decluttering
10. Freshly Brewed Coffee

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

2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Kahuna Resort & Spa

On our last few days in La Union, we decided to stay at Kahuna Resort & Spa.

We arrived early (before the 2pm check in time) so we explored the area first.

The resort was fully booked so they couldn't give our room yet. I wasn't surprised because it was almost New Year's Eve.

While waiting, they gave us welcome drinks! YUM!

It was a bit cloudy again but it's ok, we are enjoying the view anyway.

Will post more about our activities in the resort later. (*wink*)

For reservations and more info about Kahuna, here are the details...

Kahuna Hotel, Cafe and Restaurant
National Highway, Brgy. Urbiztondo
San Juan, La Union, Philippines
Mobile Nos. : +63.917.830.0363 and +63.998.855.2837
Email Address:

Live Minimally

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: It's Time by Imagine Dragons

REPOSTING: The Dangers of Comparison from

For all the Moms (and Dads too), this one is a nice read...

The Dangers of Comparison from

Why Your Social Media Envy May Be More Harmful Than You Think

Have you ever found yourself enviously scrolling over the feed of a friend, feeling sorry for yourself, and wishing that you either a) looked like her b) achieved as much as she did 3) had a family as perfect and happy as hers? 4) lived her life and not yours?


Don’t worry mama, you are not alone. You are one of the many women who beat themselves up daily over the pains of not doing, having, achieving, and being enough.

And who could blame us? We live in an age where we know way more about one another than any generation in history. To look over one’s fence and to wonder if the grass is truly greener on the other side has never been easier thanks to the numerous social media platforms we have at our fingertips.

We know the milestones, the mishaps, and the mundane details of the lives of people who might as well be strangers in our social media networks. We have commoditized our daily life choices–gramming, snapping, and sharing every moment of our lives hoping to get paid, or at the very least recognized for what we do. But all of this attention seeking, and in turn, social stalking often leads us to competing and thus comparing our lives to those of our peers. And that never feels good, does it?

Comparing ourselves to others does much more harm than we realize. Here are the dangers of comparison we may not know.

1. Comparison hurts yourself, and those you love. When we compare ourselves to others, we hurt ourselves by believing the lie that we are not enough. In our efforts to “keep up with the kardashians” often what happens is that we get stuck in an endless rat race that leaves us feeling empty, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled. Because the reality is that there will ALWAYS be someone prettier, richer, or smarter than ourselves, which means that there really is no finish line. And as this happens, we tend to feel dissatisfied with our own circumstances. We place the blame on our husbands, children, and even our parents, possibly making them feel as though they are “not enough” either. Here’s a classic example. A wife receives updates from her girlfriend about the numerous and expensive gifts that she receives from her husband. This wife’s envy leads her to fight with him, making him feel inadequate about what he earns. In her envy, she fails to consider the feelings of her innocent husband who may have been working hard to get a promotion to make her happy. The poor guy may have really just been a bystander in this disaster.

2. Alienating others.
Interestingly enough, comparison, even though it implies an attention directed towards others–tends to bring one’s energies inwards instead of outwards. Suddenly life becomes about “me, me, me” in order to keep up with “she, she, she”. When we are constantly comparing, our actions and thoughts then become increasingly self-centered….alienating those who may even want to kill to be in our shoes. Those parts of our lives what we feel are “not enough” may be the unanswered prayers of our neighbor…and our unhealthy fixation on what we are lacking. Example: “My children are driving me crazy! 3 children is one too many!”…a woman might accidentally say in front of her best friend who is struggling with infertility. Or, “Ugh, we need to postpone our trip to Japan this year, because of a conflict in my husband’s schedule”…a complaint she might share with someone who can barely afford a local vacation. Comparison drives us inward, alienating those around us.

3. Failing to recognize the blessings that surround you. When we focus on what we lack, we fail to recognize the blessings that surround us. We fail to recognize and appreciate the sweet yet simple gestures of love from our husbands, the funny antics of our children, our stable jobs, and the modest but cozy homes we have over our heads. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “comparison is the thief of joy.” When we compare ourselves to others, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to be grateful for all the good things we have going on in our lives, despite the challenges we are facing. We nitpick our our efforts, our achievements, and our loved ones only to end up unhappy.

So is it worth it? All that time we spend on our screens, watching the lives of others instead of living and enjoying our own?

Let’s strive to be more aware and discerning of our feelings, thoughts and emotions while we use social media. A solution may be to limit the time we spend on our screens, or to simply avoid profiles that provoke us completely. The good news for all of this is that our actions are within our control, and that it is just a matter of protecting ourselves from situations and habits that could lead us to harm…because the consequences of our actions could go beyond ourselves.


2016 Roadtrip to La Union: Our Breakfast at Jetsam and Floatsam Hostel

Another highlight of our stay in San Juan, La Union, our quick breakfast at Jetsam and Floatsam Hostel.

Good thing our hotel was located just a couple of walks from this hostel so we were able to take the opportunity to check out the place and try their breakfast too!

The coffee was not a big deal though, but this Makai bowl was so refreshing!

Just looking at that photo made me go hungry and crave for another bowl! YUM!

We just stayed for another couple of hours here. It was relaxing...

I'm so glad we tried this place! Check it out too!

Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel
12500 MacArthur Highway, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union, 2514, Philippines
T +63-9178021328

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

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

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*)