Mom-Finds: Wonder and Amusing Grace

Last Friday of the month: Shopping / Books

Don't judge a book by it's cover.  Literally, and figuratively. These books here will prove that. But why am I reading? I've never been a voracious reader (and that's my loss). I rarely buy novels, or anything thicker that an inch, heehee! Seriously, you can't talk to me about books, authors, or popular novels, bios, business and philosophy books.  But I have my moments. Recently, I had two!

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Fun Friday: Muzip Earphones GIVEAWAY

Third Friday of the month:  Recreation / Raffle

We just celebrated Chinese New Year yesterday, and I want to start the year of the Wooden Sheep with a treat. I'm hosting a giveaway courtesy of MUZIP earphones from Japan! First of all, let me tell you that I was not able to use the earphones long enough because the boy and the girl were already fighting over it the moment I showed them my gift.  Read more and see what I have in store for you. It's pretty cool!

"MUZIP Zipper Earphones is a leading brand of personal audio accessories from Japan.
MUZIP earphones boast of high quality in-ear speakers with advanced noise-reduction technology for today’s discerning music aficionado and video gaming enthusiasts."

SRP : PhP 2,699  (Introductory price = P1,999)

It's really cute and very cool! My girl got first dibs and claimed it as hers. We got this bright blue MUZIP earphones from the local distributor. After opening the pack, we chose the right size of ear bud for her. MUZIP conveniently comes with 4 different ear bud sizes. It also came with a plastic clip, but it broke as soon as we tried to attach it.  Well, it didn't really matter coz it's just an extra add-on feature that we can do without.

My husband and kids are the ones who often use earphones when using their gadgets, whether we're at home or traveling.  They each have basic earphones, which came free with when we bought our phones and tablets. It especially comes in handy when they use their gadgets all at the same time. I dread the noise pollution in our room every night once they start playing their videos, games, or shows!

MUZIP earphones feature the best of Japanese ingenuity with it's simple yet functional design.

What we like about MUZIP: 
  • Patented zipper-type cord design makes it tangle-free, easy to use and store
  • Zipper head slides smoothly, quick and easy to lengthen or shorten the slack of the cord
  • Light and durable, made with high-grade plastic and military grade fibers running through the cord
  • Superior sound quality in-ear speakers with noise isolation, professional quality, and great for gamers like my kids
  • Built-in microphone allows clear and static-free phone conversations and quality voice recording
  • Comfort-fitting angled ear bud shape
  • 4 sizes of in-ear buds -- fits kids and adults
  • Compatible with almost all types of smartphones and tablets like iPhone, iPad, Samsung - with 3.5 mm media jack 
  • Comes in 9 fun colors: Pastel Green, Emerald Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink, Blue, Paste Blue, Red

So here's how they use the MUZIP earphones -- for iPad or laptop. Nakikihiram na lang si kuya minsan from the girl since it's officially hers na. When using earphones, just be sure to have clean ears before you put them on! Good thing, our MUZIP has 4 pairs of removable ear buds. =)

Available at selected ePhone branches: SM Megamall Cyberzone, Market Market - 4/F Unit 417, SM Fairview-3/F, SM San Lazaro-3/F, Ayala Town Centre-3/F Activity Centre
Buy online at www.lazada.com.ph/muzip
Or you can also order from their Facebook Page:  MUZIP Earphones on Facebook.

Now, here's the fun part.  Time for...

MUZIPxMomFriday Giveaway!

For instant entries, be sure to Like MUZIP on FB here,
My Mom-Friday here and on Instagram.
Then simply follow the steps in Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  1. Follow the simple steps via Rafflecopter.
  2. Earn bonus entries if you do the extra steps, like sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  3. Two (2) winners will be drawn the week after raffle closes.
  4. Names will posted in this blog and will be notified thru email.
  5. Winners are given ten (10) days to reply from date of email notification. If no reply or acknowledgement, another winner/s will be drawn.
  6. Colors of the prizes may be different from what is pictured here.
  7. MUZIP Philippines will ship prize to winners anywhere in the Philippines.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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Homeschool Conversations: Third Quarter Storm

The rest of the conventional schools are into their last quarter of the school year.  I feel the pressure. Too much, actually.  We are just into our 3rd quarter, and ending Q2 for a few subjects.  The schedule of portfolio presentation should be this week, but there's nothing to present yet. We are so lagging behind and it's really affecting our motivation and morale.  My boy knows we will extend until summer to finish our school year. This will be our first "working" summer.

Quote from Ron Clark

Many of my friends ask me about how we are doing with homeschooling.  My answer is always the same -- it's difficult and we're behind schedule. A lot of them see my updates on Instagram and here on the blog, but I don't have much to say coz I don't want to rant and be negative about it here.  At the moment, this is where we're at.

I know in my heart that this set-up is for the best interest of my son, for now. But there will always be doubts, especially since I cannot say I am an effective parent-teacher. J is a better teacher! He has more patience and better teaching skills. Kung pwede lang nga siya ang mag homeschool, ok with him, and I work. Actually, the problem is with me. I admit, it's tough. I'm "sabog", too distracted and not organized. That's why I can't see a long term set-up for this yet. I'll carry on as long as I can, for the boy.

But we have moments. Good ones. My boy is interest-driven.  He's very focused on Science, on computer programming, reading (surprisingly), swimming, arts.

Boy:  You know, I have a classmate in swim class. She's a little girl.  
Me:   That's nice! 
Boy:  I like swimming.  Butterfly is hard.  I have a hard time breathing.
Me:   Me too, that's my least favorite stroke.  But just practice to improve.  After swimming, what's your next P.E. activity?
Boy:  I want to try badminton.
Me:   Ok, let's find a schedule for you.

He's also a social person. He likes to make friends. Unfortunately, we still need to find a group or a class where we can regularly join and help him find new friends.  One time, he told me he's afraid he won't have friends and won't meet anyone.  

Boy:  Daddy said he has few friends, but they are real friends.
Me:   I also don't have that many friends.  
Boy:  But he said you have more.  I want to have many friends. My friends from school are not here anymore. That's why I want to go to another country.  What if I don't meet anyone? (Teary-eyed)
Me:   For sure you'll meet friends as you get older. You're just in grade 5... don't worry.  I found my true friends when I was in high school.  That's why we'll look for classes you can join, okay? 
(At this point, I didn't know what to say anymore. We just continued with the lesson.)

I'm thankful that our academic consultant is very supportive despite our delays. She knows his challenges and pace, so she allowed us to combine our reporting for Q2 and Q3. I also joined an FB group for homeschoolers to get inspiration and ideas on how other parents do it. I realized I'm not as passionate as them, and there lies the problem. I'm taking this one day at a time. We are also keeping our options open. The boy knows we'll be studying until April. That's my line every time he's taking too long in doing his tasks. Who would want to have "no summer vacation", diba? I want my vacation too!

Sometimes, I still wonder how other long-time homeschooling parents do it. Multiple levels at that! Ako parang 3 kids na rin ang tinuturuan ko with my boy! :p

This is also a major reason why I don't blog as often as I want to. I'm tired. I'd rather sleep and chat with friends at night, than sit and write and eventually have a headache kasi lumalabo na ang mata ko, heehee. It's exhausting, but I see that he's happy.  I really need to get my act together, for his sake! Pray for me! =)

My boy is techie, and one recent article that inspired me is this: 

I was hesitant to share about our homeschooling journey coz it might discourage families out there who are considering this. But each family has a different experience and ours is just a tiny peek of it. Please consider and learn more about it, coz it's a wonderful option for your children's education and many families around the world can attest to that. Yes, it's not for everyone, but don't shoot it down.

If you want to learn more about homeschooling, I'm attending this parent conference this March. Check it out and register here if you are interested.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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Family Friday: Diet and Food Intolerance Testing

Second Friday of the month:  Family  / Health / Nutrition

“What is food to one man may be fierce poison to another.” - Titus Lucretius Carus

That quote was from the presentation during the Hi-Precision Diagnostics luncheon which I attended recently. There, I discovered I'm intolerant to many types of food that I regularly consume, thanks to the Food Intolerance Test I took last month. Time for some major adjustments in my food choices.  It's not gonna be easy. So, what is this test all about?

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Beyond Pan Fried Rice: O'Rice Korean Restaurant in BGC

Beef Stew, Bulgogi, Kimchi, Pajeon -- these are just some of our usual orders when dining in Korean restaurants. Among Asian cuisines, my family often goes for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. There aren't too many Korean restaurants we frequent, so I'm really glad we discovered the recently opened O'Rice and were able to try new exciting dishes.

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Foodie Friday: Crisp, Chewy Cookies and Pastries

First Friday of the month: Foodie Finds / Snacks

I think I'm a snack binger, if there's such a thing.  I love to nibble and munch on something at different times of the day -- before or after meals, and before going to bed. I know, I know... I need to break that habit, especially now that I've learned about my food intolerances (more on that very soon). For today, I'm sharing some goodies I received recently, which left me craving for more. I thoroughly enjoyed them as snacks, and even for breakfast with coffee or tea!

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Download and Play Disney Games with Smart

I grew up with Walt Disney's lovable characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, watching classic princess movies from Cinderella to The Little Mermaid. Before, we eagerly wait for the movies and CDs, books and toys to experience our favorite Disney characters in our homes. With the digital age, my generation can now join our kids as the internet brings in more ways to enjoy our favorite Disney characters in just a click of a button.

The bigger news is that Smart Communications has partnered with The Walt Disney Company to bring us unprecedented access to Disney’s digital entertainment content!

Exciting diba?! My kids (and husband) will love this!

Here are some of our favorites, among many other Disney characters and heroes. Naka-pila na for sure yung games that the kids would want to download on their gadgets.

Marvel heroes
Anna and Elsa from Frozen

It's very easy to purchase and download Disney games via GameX.
  1. Sign up here: http://smart.com.ph/disney and follow the easy steps.
  2. Once your account has been verified, you can now begin to purchase via GameX.
  3. Start downloading your favorite Disney games and in-app items.
  4. Pay using your Smart Prepaid load or charge it to your Smart Postpaid account (no credit card needed).

Grabbed from GameX site

I think it's really cool that online innovations like this from Smart are just a click away! That's truly #SmartInternetForAll.

Expect more Disney content like e-books, wallpapers, and other activities in the coming weeks, all at affordable rates, so sign up nowSmart-Disney homepage: http://smart.com.ph/disney

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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Mom-Finds Beauty Round-Up: Happy Skin, L'Oreal Revitalift, Zenutrients

Last Friday of the month: Shopping / Beauty and Personal Care

I usually have a hard time writing about beauty products coz wala akong masyadong masabi. And I don't do reviews either. In fact, if you notice from my blog posts, I avoid using the term "review" because in my previous line of work, a real review calls for a more thorough and in-depth analysis, even going technical, about a product or service. Presentation is more objective, and goes beyond usage or description. I prefer to write a feature story based on personal experience, with highlights on the subject. Hence, this round-up of beauty products based on my positive experience after regularly using them over the past month.

I'm really pleased with my finds during the holiday season, even if they're not so new anymore. First, I thought I need to show a demo or a before-and-after shot. But it was very challenging to take a selfie from a digicam, hahaha... so yan lang decent "beauty" shot ko pang "model" for today's beauty finds for face and hair.

I included my MAC Matte Taupe lipstick -- the one with the brownish shade on my hand, just for comparison to my next item below. It's a classic (old) shade. Mac's Taupe has been my all-time favorite neutral shade since the 90s (nung usong-uso ang brown shades). I used up several tubes over the years and I just got tired of it one day. I got that fresh tube very recently, and now, I'm reunited with my first matte love.  Go try it out and you might like Taupe too!

Happy Skin SHUT UP & KISS ME Moisturizing Lippie  - Honeymoon Glow shade

This local brand was launched last year and I've been hearing positive feedback about their products from friends. I've been meaning to buy this lipstick shade since it was introduced but never seem to have the chance to get one from the store.  Cosmetics are at the bottom of my shopping list kasi, so you know I really like and use the products if I share them here, coz they're not that many. 

Thanks to the holiday season, I received not just 1, but 2 sticks of Honeymoon Glow from friends as gifts. I loved it the first time I swiped it on my lips. Happy mama with Happy Skin lippie. =)

I like the shade coz it's a natural earthy pink that complements my skin tone. It's good for everyday use -- long-lasting and non-drying.

"This lip-loving moisture stick is loaded with Shea Butter and Collagen.  High-pigmented and moisture-packed, it glides on smooth and leaves a rich, creamy finish."
SRP :  PhP 499

L'Oreal REVITALIFT LASER X3 - Night Cream Mask

This Revitalift night cream came at the right time. I was really looking for a good evening moisturizer since my skin is on a very dry phase with visible lines all over! Thankfully, L'Oreal Philippines sent me this jar and I was able to try this rich, velvety smooth anti-aging night cream-mask. Revitalift Laser X3 has a thick and creamy texture with a matte finish. 

After cleansing, I apply this nightly all over face and neck. I think I was over eager and used too much on my face the first few nights coz I had minor skin peeling on a few spots around my face, heehee. But no break-outs, no rashes. I just didn't like the scent. As the weeks went by, I did notice improvement on my skin: tighter skin, reduced fine lines around the eyes and forehead.  Na-hiyang ako. =)

What's good about this night cream-mask?
  • Corrects lines with fragmented hyaluronic acid that deeply penetrates the skin to repair and reduce appearance of wrinkles
  • Re-texturizes skin surface with LHA (Beta-Lipohydroxy Acid) by gentle exfoliation for a smooth and even skin tone
  • Reconstitutes skin with 3% Pro-Xylane - "a powerful anti-aging molecule that stimulate and strengthen skin fiber"
SRP :  PhP 1,499.00 / 50ml jar

ZENUTRIENTS Super Smoothing Argan & Chamomile - Shampoo and Conditioner

I alternate different brands of shampoo and conditioner over several months. My hair tends to dry easily and I continue to experience hair fall, lots of it.  One of the brands I buy is Zenutrients -- their Gugo variant to be specific. Their newest line is the Argan & Chamomile and I received this shampoo and conditioner set, together with their wonderful all-around skin salve.

Good news: My hair loves this Argan & Chamomile hair care set even better. I will still alternate with the Gugo set as a clarifying shampoo. =)

I've tried other hair care brands with argan oil and I like what it does for my hair. This variant from Zenutrients has the same benefits-- it's nourishing, moisturizing, and feels smoother on my hair during and after use.  It has a mild eucalyptus scent which I love too. It also contains natural ingredients and is eco-friendly (that's why it's not bubbly as most shampoos). The shampoo is runny (malabnaw) so I just have to be more careful when I pour to avoid spills.

If you get the chance to try any of these products, let me know what you think.
Care to share your recent beauty finds?

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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F1 Hotel Manila Family Staycation + Pre-Valentine Blowout!

Excuse the shameless first photo. I rarely have my solo taken and this is one of the rare times I obliged because I really like this outdoor lounge (or is it a daybed?).  This was at the pool side of F1 Hotel where my friends and I stayed last weekend.  When F1 Hotel invited our families for an overnight stay, we took advantage of the long break during the Papal visit and it proved to be so much fun for the whole family.

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Fun Friday: Quick Trip to Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan

I enjoy going to museums, maybe even more than my kids coz I like learning about history, which has fascinated me since I was a student. My boy is now a fifth grader and we are currently studying Philippines history as part of his social studies subject. One important aspect of our history is the Katipunan, and luckily, the only museum dedicated to that topic is in our home city of San Juan.

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Family Weekend Destinations and Staycations

Metro Manila will enjoy a long weekend starting tomorrow until Monday, in the event of the Papal Visit. It is truly an honor for the Philippines to have Pope Francis and for sure, millions will join the celebration and the mass to be held in Manila and in Palo, Leyte.  For most of us observers and non-participating section of the population, it's a good opportunity to travel or plan a getaway with the family.

If you can go abroad, why not? But a leisurely road trip would be just as pleasurable. I have compiled some local destinations that we've been to that I know the whole family would enjoy. You might want to check them out and plan a quick trip during this long break.

Click on the names of the places to get full details and locations.


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Family Friday: Cherished Holiday Gatherings

Second Friday of the month:  Friendship / Family

I love the holiday season.  I think all of us do, even if it's also quite stressful. Christmas is our favorite time of the year because of the festive mood, and bonus of having a cooler weather. It's when family members near and far come together, old and new friends wine and dine, children are showered with loads of presents, and a time for more generosity and thanksgiving.

With my oldest and best-est friends -- together since 1988!

We've only been into the first week of the new year, which means I still have a holiday hangover, heeheehee...it's just so hard getting out of bed when the weather is still chilly, and erasing the Christmas mood while our tree is still up (yes, until Chinese New Year)! Maybe next week I'll be back to "normal". Maybe. =)

Blogging mamas... real friends online and offline

Anyhoo, since I'm just easing back into blogging, I just wanted to share this short post on memorable moments with friends and loved ones over the holidays.

With our friends and family, it's all about spontaneity and simple get-togethers. No frills. It's really what I treasure most during this time of the year -- enjoying the company of people near and dear to me, reconnecting with old friends, or having a rare chance to get together with those who live across the seas.
With my balik-bayan cousins

With J's friends and our growing families 

Who had the most fun during the break?  These four kids!

I think this last holiday break was the busiest and most fun for them, having spent more time together playing, going on outdoor adventures, having a sleep-over, and trying new things -- like doing a song and dance number during our new year's eve dinner! That's something to look forward to, hopefully every year na!

How about you, what are your cherished moments during the recent holidays? =)

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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(Comments with links will automatically be flagged by Disqus.)

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