.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sunday Picnic + DIY Star Margarine Fairy Bread!

It has been a school-home, study-play routine for the kids this past few weeks. We have been busy that we didn't get the chance to treat the kids out to have fun and loosen up a bit from the daily school hustle. So to break the monotony, I planned a fun and exciting activity for the kids over the weekend.


The History of Being a Productive Mom

According to an article I have read, we are one of the most productive generations that have ever lived. The amount of technology that has been developed over the past couple of decades has been astounding; we are able to live our lives with relative ease and for as little output as there has ever been. Yet, as Moms, we are craving more productivity, more stuff going on and we don’t seem to have figured out how to have gotten there already - even with the added extras that we have in the 21st century. How did people (especially women/mothers) in the last century get on without all that we had? Comparing days gone by with the goings-on of today may just surprise you… 

Hot Momma! Staying in Shape During Pregnancy


We all know by now that when we get pregnant, our bodies quickly get out of shape and it takes a long time to return to our former figure. So if it’s your first, then take heed! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Bundle Up! Keeping Kids Warm In Winter

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Here in the Philippines, we only have two seasons, the wet and the dry season. The dry season which is also called as summer, starts in late November and ends in May. The rainy seasons on the other hand starts in June and lasts till October. Other countries have four seasons namely- Spring,, Summer,
Fall (autumn) and, Winter. At this time, it's already the Winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, it started in December and lasts until February.  While the  Southern Hemisphere will have the Winter Season on June, July and August.

My kids would often ask me if we have snow here in the Philippines. For them, Winter is fun as what they see on TV and photos of their cousins in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Making snowmen, snowball fights and marveling over the beautiful icicles that have dripped from window ledges. But cold weather can also be dangerous, in children and vulnerable people, conditions like hypothermia are a real risk to their health (and it doesn’t have to be half as cold as you might think!) To keep your precious kids safe over the colder months, here are a few things to bear in mind.

Keep Your House Cozy

Keeping your house warm in winter and cool in summer is essential, but especially so when you have babies and kids. Their smaller bodies can’t regulate temperature as well meaning it’s easy for them to overheat (or lose too much heat). Invest in a couple of thermometers for your home to keep an eye on the temperature. An efficient heating system for the winter and air conditioning for the summer is extremely important in the home. Call out a gas engineer for heating and a residential A/C repair for air conditioning if either system isn’t performing as well as it should. On top of this, you can keep your home cozy by having plenty of blankets to wrap up on while you’re watching tv in the evenings, and making sure you’re using duvets with the correct tog rating on your kid's beds. Ideally, you should have two duvets. A lighter one for spring and summer use, and a thicker one for autumn and winter. 

Choose The Right Clothing

When it comes to clothing, it’s important to get it right. You want to keep your kids warm but without them overheating which will only make matters worse. Since kids are up and about more and running around more than adults, they can quickly warm up. For this reason, lots of thinner layers are better than a few very thick ones as you can adjust depending on what they are doing, or if the weather and temperature changes. On cold days a good thermal base layer will really help to keep the cold out, this could be thermal leggings and a long sleeve thermal top or vest. Regular clothes then go on top of this, but avoid fabrics like jeans or heavy cotton as if they get wet they’re not going to dry out easily. A jumper, light jacket and then a winter coat on top will keep them toasty, but the coat can be removed if you’re sat in the car or go inside at any point. Don’t forget thick socks and waterproof footwear, hats, gloves and scarves. 

Fuel Them With Snacks

When it’s cold, your body burns more calories to keep you warm. As soon as your child starts running out of calories, they will start to cool down. Having some snacks on hand when you’re out and about can help to keep them fuelled up and reduce grouchiness in general as well as keep them warm! If you know you’re going to be out of the house and it’s cold outside, you could pack some flasks of soup or hot chocolate which can help to warm them up. You can also buy ‘food flasks’ for things like pasta dishes- perfect if you’re out for the day but finding somewhere serving hot food will be tricky.

Get A Taste Of Baskin-Robbins’ Lucky Scoop


Good news Baskin-Robbins fanatics, in celebration of Chinese New Year, Baskin-Robbins, the world’s most loved ice cream brand, lets you try your luck to enjoy an extra junior scoop of your favorite flavor for free! Simply buy any of the participating Baskin-Robbins’ delicious treats and get a chance to crack open a fortune waffle for your free junior scoop. The Baskin-Robbins treats included in this promo are the Double Value Scoop, Sundae, Banana Royale, Banana Split and Milkshakes. This fun offer is ongoing from January 22, 2017 until February 5, 2017. Visit Baskin-Robbins shops at the Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Uptown Place Mall, and SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City; Greenbelt 5 and Glorietta 5 in Makati; Fairview Terraces, Trinoma Mall, SM North (Main Building and The Block) in Quezon City; SM Southmall in Las Pinas; Solenad in Sta Rosa, Laguna; SM Dasmariñas in Cavite; and SM Pampanga. For more information, log on to www.baskinrobbins.ph or check out their social media accounts: facebook.com/baskinrobbinsph, Twitter, and Instagram @baskinrobbinsph.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Life Lessons We Need To Know


There are so many valuable life lessons which we teach our kids, but sometimes they may not be the right ones. It’s hard to let them know how great it is to use our imaginations when we are sitting down in front of the television every day; how brilliant it is to meet up with friends when we would rather send a text or place a call; and how to budget money when we ourselves spend it on things that aren’t really necessary. 

There are lifestyle choices and changes that can be made in order to teach your children the things that they need to know. But there is one catch to executing them perfectly and helping them to grow up with these values - they need to be made before your children know any different… 

The elements are our friends

Wastefulness is one of the biggest crimes against nature that our generation commits. Keeping lights switched on in rooms we haven’t been in in over half an hour, staying in the shower for longer than we should because we can’t be bothered to get out and throwing out packets upon packets of food that we have allowed to go off (or simply not checked to see if are alright, instead judging the Use By date). So why don’t we try and curb those actions? Not only that, but how about we use the elements outside to help us? There are solar panels available in a variety of places online, such as Semper Solaris. These can not only be used to power the lights and appliances in your home (any excess energy that you don’t use and is stored in your batteries can then be sold back to the electricity grid at a discounted rate) but can also be used to heat up the hot water for your baths, showers and general day-to-day usage. 

Water of life

As well as using the sun to our benefit, consider how much rainfall there is where you live. It could be worth putting up a water butt to collect water which can be used for a variety of things to stop you using your hose and paying for the privilege. Paddling pools can be filled with it during the warmer months (make sure that it hasn’t had the chance to grow any algae on it; you may want to consider putting in some water conditioner), gardens can be watered with it and you could even put it to good use by cleaning your car. Get the children involved and make a science experiment out of it to keep them interested; a little logbook to note down how much rain has fallen each day could just win them the science fair prize - you never know! Ask them what else you could use the water for, and see how much you will be saving in money on your bills by putting it to good use. The lessons kids can learn from nature are ones that they’ll carry with them forever...

Friday, January 27, 2017

3 Ways To Make Time For Your Kids


As parents, we want to maximize the amount of time we spend with our children and minimize the amount of stress we have in our life. It can often feel like an impossible task when balancing our work, the home and financial pressures of modern life. So how do you make the most of every moment and give your children more quality attention whilst mastering the pitfalls of daily living?

Here are 3 ways to make more time for your kids:

Show Them The Ropes

At some point your children are going to grow up into adults and as silly as it sounds, installing the basic routines an adult needs to function in life is actually one of the most important things you can do. It doesn’t matter what age they are, even toddlers can learn great things from your daily routine.

Preparing your kids to be neat, tidy and organised is a simple way of including them in one of your biggest daily tasks. The housework. Make games out of tidying away. Asking your child to find all the blue toys or show you where the books live, is a really effective way of engaging them in a routine of putting things away. Asking them to help you carry the washing downstairs, even hanging out the washing with mummy can be fun. 

Older children are pretty handy with modern technology and computers. If they can master the latest tablet on the market then chances are they can work out how to switch a washing machine on. Do household chores together and use this time to chat about their lives. How school is going, how their friendships are. Work together.

Make Preparations and Reduce Your Financial Stress


Ensuring your home is running efficiently can reduce financial worry and make you a more relaxed parent to be around. Heating our homes accounts for 70% of our household bills. So looking at energy efficient replacement windows or improving your loft insulation can have a great impact on the quality time you spend with your family

Now You’re Cooking!


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner take up a lot of your day so include your children and make it fun. They don’t have to get involved in the actual cooking. Having a table or workspace set aside in your kitchen can be a great place for older children to do their homework or younger children to get creative whilst you are busy. It’s a brilliant time to chat to them about future plans or teach them songs or even to read. 

Teaching them to cook though is something you can do from an early age. These books from Nutrikids are a fun addition for young kids, to teach them about healthy eating and make the basic task of cooking a fun and educational part of their day.

Children crave attention from you so learn how to mix up your daily tasks and include them in the boring stuff as much as the fun stuff. You’ll probably find that doing the ironing flies past if you make a game of it and pushing a vacuum around is an easy job for little people that want to be just like mom! 

4 Things To Consider Before Having a Pet


We used to have dogs and cats as pet back in my younger years. Growing up with a pet is such a wonderful experience that I want my kids to have. Base on my experience, I'm sure that the bond they can make is immeasurable, and something that money can’t buy. 

But - and yes, there is a but - when you purchase your child an animal to look after, there is a certain responsibility that you yourself will have to undertake. Everything needs to be covered - the vets bills, the cleaning-out duties, the feeding times; if your child is not old enough to do it, forgets or simply refuses, the task falls into the hands of you, such as..

Cleaning

If you have a caged pet, then you won’t just have to clean it out - you will need to buy bedding materials, replace any leftover food and water, disinfect and keep the animal entertained whilst you are doing so; it’s recommended that you have a safe place to put them so that they don’t escape whilst you’re doing this. In some cases, you may have to clean the animal itself; it’s not just dogs and kid that need a bath when they get dirty.

If you are having an indoor pet such as a dog or a cat, be prepared for the toilet-training that comes with it. Dogs are worse than cats in the time it takes for them to realising where they need to go potty, and if you don’t have a wipe-down floor you should probably go for the best carpet shampooer you can get your hands on; it’ll be well worth the money instead of having to replace a whole carpet. 

Exercising

This is a great way for the family to get out and about by including a pet on your walk. This is mainly restricted to dogs, but people have been known to walk their cats, ferrets and even rabbits. It’s all dependent on how far you want to get on your journey whether you bring one of the last three mentioned animals with you, but again, if your children aren’t interested in giving your pet the exercise it needs and deserves then the responsibility lands on you. 

Feeding

Certain animals require certain foods at certain times of the day, and the costs can soon add up. If you can’t commit yourself to feeding an animal as well as your family, you should probably look at getting some sea-monkeys or just ditching the whole pet idea instead.

Bills

This isn’t just the vets bill when something goes wrong - try and stay one step ahead of paying out a huge chunk by investing in the right insurance for your pet. There are many companies out there who can offer competitive deals; you may not even miss the amount of money that is coming out of your account each month. Unless your child has an accessible trust fund which has been specifically made with the intent of spending on sick animals, there’s not much chance that they will have the money to cover any accidents. 

Ensure you are aware of all of the costs involved before making your decision - you’re caring for another life.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bills, Balances and Back-Payments: The Ins and Outs of Running Your Household's Finances

Running a household and looking after your family is never something that is particularly easy. The truth is, it’s very hard, and we all make mistakes. Managing money is difficult, and no one gets it right 100% of the time. But you can help to make sure that you get it right more often than not by doing some extra planning and learning more about financial management. It might seem like a pain to spend your time on things like this, but it could really pay off for you later on. Your family life could improve massively. Here are the ins and outs of running your household’s finances in the right way.

Know Every Financial Obligation and Put Them in a Database

First of all, you need to put everything in order. This is something that should be done before you start worrying about anything else. For a start, list all of your family’s financial obligations. This should include loan repayments, bills, regular expenses and basics such as food. Of course, there are always extra expenses that you don’t see coming. To make sure you have these factored into your financial plans, add an extra amount to each monthly financial plan. You should also put all of this into a database to make it even easier to understand.


Find Ways to Cut Back Without Making Big Sacrifices

Cutting back and spending less is important if you want to manage your household’s money in the right kind of way. It certainly can be done if you put your mind to it. Sure, having kids and keeping them satisfied is not cheap. But it’s always possible to find cheap ways to keep the kids entertained. You can’t buy your way to financial happiness, so find ways to have fun and bond as a family for free. For example, instead of going out, you could plan a movie night in front of the TV. And instead of staying in an expensive hotel, you can make your own fun while camping.

Learn About How to Manage Cash Flow

Cash flow is one of those things that everyone is aware of, but not many people really understand fully. When you don’t understand how to manage the flow of money coming in and going out of your family’s accounts, you will never get a proper grip on your overall finances. There are many ways to manage cash flow better, but they all start with learning. There are many online tutorials that can help you to achieve what you want to. Take the time out of your schedule to teach yourself about this subject.


Discover the Power of Buying in Bulk

Buying in bulk is something that all families should do if you ask me. When you are able to buy large amounts of the things you need, you can get a price that saves you a lot of money in the long-term. For example, if you eat a lot of pasta as a family, buy one of those huge sacks of dried pasta. This will last you for a long time, and over the course of a year, this will work out as being so much cheaper than buying a small pack of pasta each week. This applies to so many other things as well; not just food items. Look at the options and find ways to bulk up if you want to save cash.

Learn to Prioritise Debts Correctly

Most families have some form of debt to consider and think about. Many of them have multiples debt obligations that they’re juggling. Mortgages, personal loans, car loans, student debt and other types of debt can all pile up and seem insurmountable. But that doesn’t mean that the debt can’t be overcome. In fact, it definitely can. You just need to know how to prioritise your debts and pay them back in the right order. Cash advance loans and payday loans need to be paid back first because they’re short-term loans. But debts with longer terms can be left for longer.


Keep Re-Assessing Your Options and Looking for Cheaper Deals

Re-assessing your options is always important when it comes to managing your debts. You can’t stay on top of all the important things if you’re not aware of all your options. For example, when was the last time you compared internet service provider deals? There are often plenty of cheap deals that can save your family a bit of extra money. You just need to be prepared to look for them.

Jobs For All Caring Generations In The Family

Getting a job, whether you are a teen, a mom or a senior, is naturally about the money. But there’s more than the pay to find job satisfaction. There’s a sense of pride too! People who are naturally caring souls and who love to help others tend to prefer a career in social care and medical areas. But sometimes, you don’t have the time right now to build a new career. Sometimes, all you want is to help others in your spare time and make a little money. So, here are a few ideas for everyone in the family!

For The Stay-At-Home Mommy

Picture courtesy of Flickr
Moms who want to stay at home to take care of their children while still keeping actively involved in their career tend to prefer starting a freelance business. Freelancing allows you to choose when and where you work, which is the dream of every new mom: Finally, you can have time for the kids when they need you! Additionally, this should help to support the household budget as things are easier when both parents work. But what if you are looking for something to satisfy your caring side? Your freelance business could be focused on providing advice and counseling people, as a wedding planner for example. Or if you love animals, why not look at dog walking jobs in your town? There are plenty of families and elderly people who need a dog walker to keep their favorite pet active. 

For The Retired Senior Who Wants To Stay Active

If your parents have recently retired from their employment, they might have mentioned to you how empty their days seem to be. Most old adults find it difficult to cope with retirement, especially if they are still fit and active. Suddenly, the prospect of facing no deadline nor commitment can be daunting and can make them feel useless. If they still have a lot of energy to give and want their experience to continue to matter, you should talk to them about the option to become an elderly companion for seniors who need a hand. There are all sorts of assistance that your parents could provide to older adults, such as offering their services as a driver, helping with the house cleaning, or even being a personal companion for everyday life. This is a great opportunity for caring and compassionate individuals to feel useful and help someone who needs it. 


For The Responsible Teenager

A responsible babysitter
If your teenagers have a high sense of responsibility, such as helping you at home or loving to look after their young cousins or siblings, maybe it’s time to discuss with them the possibility of a babysitting job. Not only could this help your teen to earn some pocket money but this is also a great way of approaching the work market. After all, a job as a babysitter is the proof that someone is mature and responsible enough to be trusted with young children and babies! There are plenty of good books and tutorials online to help your teen understand better the tasks of a babysitter. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Revamp Your Bed and Reclaim Your Sleep Space

Expectant parents are often warned about the challenging months that are to follow; night feeds, colic, sleepless nights. What they aren’t told is what happens after the ‘baby’ years and that often, for parents, the sleep deprivation continues well into childhood. Just like in our case, my husband and I still co-sleep with our three kids.

Article Image: Google Images
Often a one-off event becomes a bad habit that’s hard to stop and parents can reach breaking point. Aside from the tension lack of sleep causes between spouses, a recent BBC News article claimed that sleep deprivation costs the UK 40 billion pounds a year with employees suffering for bad nights either phoning in sick or not working efficiently. 

This is sometimes easier said than done and parents are often too tired to tackle the problem leading to night after night of uncomfortable bed-sharing for the whole family. Sleep disturbances often start at around 2 or 3 when changes are happening in the child's life; Starting nursery, potty training, friendship issues or a move of house can all trigger something that causes a young child to become needy at night and family life to become fraught.

Often a room re-vamp can be a good start to getting a child out of the parents bed and back into their ‘big boy’ or ‘big girl’ room. A cot-bed with the side taken off may be big enough for a child up to the age of 6 but it doesn’t provide a very inspiring or comfortable sleep space for a growing.

Tidying, decluttering and adding a few new features to a child's bedroom can work wonders. A night light is a great way of providing comfort and a few rugs and throws can soften the edges of what may appear a frightening space child's mind during the nighttime hours.

The key piece is of course the bed. Choosing something comfortable, creative and safe can be a challenging and with an overwhelmingly large market to chose from it’s important to pick something that reflects a child's interests and imagination. Rocket ships, racing cars, princess castles - there is a lot of choice out there.

Cuckoolands collection of toddler beds are a good example of beds ideal for that in between age. Offering bright and colourful designs they bridge the gap between cot-bed and full sized single. Themed beds can offer a great day-time play space for a child and their friends and a secure place to dream at night.

With the transformation complete it’s important to introduce a new sleep routine alongside the aesthetic transformation. Less screen time before bed, calming pre-bedtime activities, a bath and soothing stories can all help to encourage a child to sleep happily and deeply in their own room, and hopefully stay their.

Sleep changes don’t happen overnight but by parents and child reclaiming their own sleep space everyone in the family will reap the benefits.

Learn It To Earn It! Using Your Vacation As A Learning Experience For The Kids



It might not be the first thing on your list of priorities, but getting your child a holiday experience that proves to be educational is an extremely beneficial experience for your little ones. And it’s unlikely that they will take too kindly to you “forcing” any type of learning on them, especially if they’re a little older! But, if you take them to a place where they don’t even realise that they are learning, then you’ve won the battle. The standard school system doesn’t really make learning fun, so what better way to get your kids to learn than by enjoying themselves! Here are some ideas and travel tips for giving your kids a worthwhile learning experience.

Go Native!

Learning about our native amerian ancestors is a vacation package like no other! While making s’mores, you can listen to a native tribe member tell stories about the constellations, and you can learn how to make a pot using the old method of pinch and coil, or make your own bracelet out of copper. There are resorts, like the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa that do guided nature tours of the Rio Grande. Orignally tailored to kids, these are so popular, that it is now open to adults too. Other activities can include watching tribal dancers perform, learning how to bake bread in a traditional hurana oven and there are even more physical activities like horseback riding. For a package that’s educational and fun, these ones are hard to beat!

Never The Twain Shall Meet!

Mark Twain is one of America’s most celebrated authors, so if your child in school is studying The Adventures Of Huckleberrry Finn, you can go to The Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Conneticut. Here is where Twain spent a portion of his adult life, writing some of his most notable works, like The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, and his house was one home to an early incarnation of the telephone. One of the best getaways in a lovely setting, Hartford has many educational attractions, such as the Hartford Public Library, which has over 500,000 holdings.

You Can-Yacht Be Serious! 

Going yachting is a serious activity for kids, and places like the Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda (which is part of the British Virgin Islands) teaches children how to be a sturdy sailor! There are basics courses that combine classroom sessions with hands-on experience on the side of the dock. There are other workshops such as beginners practice maneuvers, as well as learning how to anchor, understanding the waters and working with the winches. These are aimed at kids aged 7 and older, and once the skills have been learned by your trusty landlubber turned ship cap’n, you can all sail to one of the nearby cays, or go snorkeling. There are family vacation packages available which include lodging, outings, and meals.

If you really want to get your kids some educational time on vacation, these destinations will make them think that they didn’t learn a thing, but merely had a good time. In which case, mission accomplished!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Treat Yourself! 8 Tips To Add A Little Luxury To Your Everyday Life

We always see photos of celebrities stepping off private jets and wandering around wearing shoes and dresses that would cost the entirety of our monthly food budget. As a ‘normal’ non-celebrity person, that’s obviously a lifestyle that isn’t attainable for the rest of us. It is possible, however, to introduce a little luxury into your life without completely going crazy and breaking the bank. Here are 8 tips to help…

Your Style

1. Save for classic pieces

It’s very easy to go for disposable fashion – we tend to value quantity over quality, and it does feel good to have a new top every time you go out with your friends. But if you want to go for luxury, then it’s a much better idea to save your money for pieces that will last the long haul. Go for good quality materials, and natural rather than synthetic fabrics. Save up for classic makeups like lipsticks, mascaras, and blushes. You can also opt for permanent makeups like having lips or brows tattoo, and for thick and long eyelashes check out eyelash serum available online.

2. Splash out in the sales

The number one sales rule is that you shouldn’t spend money on something that you wouldn’t buy anyway. So make sure that you bookmark items that you want on more expensive high end websites, and wait for them to go down in price so that you can invest in them. Only buy things that will last the test of time, from reputable brands. It’s a good time to buy leather boots, good quality coats and new clothes for work. You could also get a good bargain for a summer dress to wear to a wedding in a winter sale.

3. Don’t over accessorize


One way to make your outfit look cheap is by wearing too many accessories. Coco Chanel said that before you leave the house, you should look in the mirror and take one thing off. Make sure that the jewellery you wear is all good quality – it doesn’t all have to be gold, silver and diamonds, but if you have costume jewellery that’s started to fade, put it in the bin or donate it.

Your Home

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4. Upgrade your bed

There’s nothing that feels more luxuriant than slipping between sheets with a high thread count at night, so why not upgrade your bed? The thread count means the number of vertical and horizontal threads in one square inch of fabric, so the higher the thread count, the softer and nicer the sheets will feel at night. Egyptian cotton has a reputation as the best quality cotton in the world, so you could also splash out on that. If you find that you get a sore neck and back after you get up in the morning, it’s probably time to go for a new pillow, or perhaps a new mattress topper. Finally, if you’re susceptible to skin rashes, why not go for hypoallergenic blankets and pillows?

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5. Splash out on your bathroom

If you’re a parent, then you’ll know that your bathroom is one of the only rooms in your house in which you can actually relax – even if you have your kids banging on the door and asking to be let in while you’re trying to wash your hair! It’s important that you make your bathroom as luxuriant as possible so you can enjoy the few minutes of blissful quiet and solitude. Go for high end toiletries and use plenty of body moisturizer after your shower. If you go for a fragranced one, then you can skip your perfume when you’re getting dressed. Go for new soft towels like Richard Haworth bath towels. Even if you might be spending more than you’re accustomed to spending on towels, they’ll be worth it when you step out of the shower. You could even go for a heated towel rail. Not only will they dry your towels quickly so they won’t end up smelling of damp, there’s no better feeling in the winter than wrapping yourself in a toasty warm towel. Finally, if you’re taking a bath or shower at night to relax, get a scented candle in lavender or sandalwood, to help you chill out and give you a good night’s sleep.

Your Lifestyle

6. Make sure that you stay fit and healthy

This will help you in all aspects of your life, as you can pass on good eating habits to your kids and make sure that they’re healthy in the future. Buy good quality organic fruit and vegetables, and go for ethical meat. It might all be a little more expensive but the quality will far surpass other food, and you’ll feel happy in the knowledge that you’ve given the animals you’re eating a better quality of life. You could also join a gym – splash out on a nice one so that you feel comfortable and happy going there and so you don’t waste your (probably exorbitant) membership fee!

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7. Spend time on yourself

One of the most luxuriant things you can ever do is spend time on yourself. The reason that celebrities and rich people look so good is that they have much more free time than the rest of us. They don’t have to worry about going to work every day, public transport, trying to find affordable childcare – and they have time to go to the gym every day and pay talented hair stylists and makeup artists to make them look flawless at all times. Of course, we don’t have the time or the spare money for that. But it is important that you try to take time for yourself. Focus on your hobbies and make sure that you don’t lose yourself after you have children. It’s important for your kids to see that you have your own life and interests. Ask your partner to look after your family for a day and take yourself off to an art gallery or bookshop.


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8. See your friends

Take time out from your family to see your friends and treat yourself with a nice dinner out or a few cocktails. It’s easy to lose touch with them as you get older and your schedules get more demanding, but the truth is that seeing your friends will help you stay sane in a crazy world.

Oh Canada! The Vacation Nation

Europeans are spoiled for choice when it comes to travelling. Apart from the UK and a few islands, the other countries are all joined together and allow for an amazing train or road-trip experience should wanderlust set in. There are a variety of different cultures, languages and places to explore with little regard needed to what they need to organize beforehand in terms of travel visas … mainly because not many places require one. 

In the USA, aka the ‘No Vacation Nation’, travel and holidays are often limited to other states. If you live in a cold state, you fly to a warmer one. If you live in a landlocked state, you go to one with a beach. If you live in a countrified state, you go to a city state - you get the drift. The culture of what literally lies above us (well, on a map at least) is one that isn’t too often thought about; Canada seems a bit too far away and a bit too cold and a bit too every-other-excuse-you-can-think-of. 

Quit the excuses. It’s time to fly (or drive!)

Bonjour!

In Europe you can get the French experience. It’s the same in Africa too, in some countries. But forget those - it’s also the case in parts of Canada like Montreal and Quebec, where French is the majority official language (56% for Montreal and a whopping 95% for Quebec). It was initially called New France. Most children in French-speaking regions of Canada are brought up to be bilingual. So get your taste of Europe by visiting Canada - it’s a small victory, but one to be embraced. Unlike the Europeans with France, you will need to get a travel visa - try official-canada-eta.com to get yourself covered


There’s A Moose Loose…

The wildlife in Canada is so varied that it’s mind-boggling how so many different animals exist there. If you venture up towards the Canadian islands of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, for example, you are more likely to see small creatures like the star-nosed mole or the northern flying squirrel, amazing mammals such as the beaver, coyote and the typical Canadian moose, and if you’re heading towards the ocean then seals and even humpback whales can be spotted - all brilliant animals to witness in the wild. 


All of the Lights

If you head to Canada, you are in with high chances of seeing the most amazing natural phenomenon on offer - the Aurora Borealis, the best light show around There are so many places across the country on offer to you as a viewing platform, spanning across all ten provinces; so wherever you are, there will always be the chance that you can bear witness to this brilliant display of light in the sky. It’s something that all of the family will enjoy; children will love seeing the bright flickers across the night sky and for adults, it’s a childhood fantasy come true. Plus, it’s free - and there is nothing better than a trip out for all the family that won’t cost you half a month’s salary to fund it.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Goodah!!! Opens Its 8th Store in Baclaran + A New Dish!



Goodah!!! a well-known solidly patronized all-Filipino food chain starting in the 80’s that popularized the food ensemble "silog", starts the new year with the opening of its 8th newest branch in Baclaran, last January 16, 2017. It's a perfect place for their “Open 25 Hours" and “Pagkaing Good for Every-All” concept because Baclaran is flocked by many people for the "tiangge" and the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

I attended the Grand Opening of its Baclaran branch together with my fellow Bloggers. I actually haven't eaten at any Goodah!!! branch before, so this was my first time and I was excited to taste their classic Filipino dish offering. The opening also coincides with another new and exciting dish that many Filipinos love. They will be offering their own Krispy take on a favorite Filipino classic dish, Kare-Kare!

We were served with this food set which is good for 4 people.
I also ordered Halo-Halo for dessert
The KKK or Krispy Kare-Kare uses ground peanuts to give that traditionally rich and earthy flavor to its kare-kare sauce. A large bowl is filled with cooked string beans, talong, pechay, and of course, puso ng saging because it wouldn’t be much of a kare-kare without it. A good amount of soft and juicy beef flank joins the dish. Sautéed shrimp paste gives kare-kare a different dimension to its play on flavors, which is very much like how this Filipino dish became a classic that everyone loves.

GoodAh!!!’s Krispy Kare-Kare is the centerpiece offering for GoodAh’s newest branch in Baclaran, Pasay City, and is available for just Php 299 a la carte or everyone can have it in a set meal for just Php 339
I love the classic Kare-Kare, but what GoodAh!!! adds to the table is what gives it the “K” in the KKK. The usually gamey ox tripe or what Filipinos usually “tuwalya” is tough to eat if not cooked properly— usually by slowly cooking it in a pot or by cooking it in a pressure cooker. What GoodAh!!! did was to fry the ox tripe to give it a crispy texture, which is a complementing contrast, especially to the soft flanks and rich sauce of kare-kare. It’s a real crispy twist on the classic dish!


The launch of this newest branch was graced with special guests along with GoodAh!!!’s top management heads. Included in their lineup of guests is GoodAh!!!’s brand ambassador and celebrity talk show host, Mr. Boy Abunda. 


Yesterday, I took Jaear, the kids and my in laws to have dinner at Goodah!!!, we were supposed to eat at their Las Pinas branch but we can't seem to find it so we ended up eating at Baclaran branch. 





We ordered their group meal which is good for 6 people which consists of; Bulalo, Fried Chicken, Pork BBQ and Garlic Kangkong. This meal comes with 6 cups of rice, a pitcher of iced tea and 6 pieces puto flan, and it only costs Php 699.00 only. Then we just ordered the Krispy Kare-kare a la carte. I personally liked the Pork BBQ and the Kangkong, it just tastes better with the alamang of the shrimp paste. But overall, the food was good and the price was reasonable. In fact, I look forward on tasting their other dishes.

GoodAh!!! continues to push culinary boundaries with this new and exciting twist on kare-kare, much like their recent, wildly popular food offerings:Crispy Pata and Bulalugaw. Indeed, GoodAh!!!  offers “Pagkaing Good for Every-All”. 

Watch out for more exciting dishes from GoodAh!!! by visiting their website at www.goodah.com.ph or their Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoodahPh.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Clean and Sweet-smelling Hands with Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers

Mommies could go crazy when it comes to the welfare of their children. But that’s only because, we want what’s best for them, as cliché as it may sound but it’s the reality, right? And, that is why; I tend to become overprotective of my children. However, I found out that being overprotective is not actually good at all times. Kids are kids, they need to play and explore and that includes getting their hands dirty and sometimes even bruised knees but what matters is that they are happy and learning which helps them become well rounded individuals. 

With that being said, I allow my 3 kids, Tristan, Athena and Brianna play, explore outdoors, have fun and just be kids. At the same time, I also let them understand the importance of their health and safety. Aside from teaching them to eat healthy to keep them away from diseases, I  taught them to be extra careful and also by teaching them basic safety precautions such as washing their hands properly especially after every play, before eating and after using the toilet, good thing they are very eager to learn. However, washing their hands is almost impossible to do most especially when we are outdoors, that’s why I see to it that I always bring an alcohol or a hand sanitizer with us. 

And, a couple of days ago, I posted on Instagram about my recent discovery—these fruity and baby chic Hand Sanitizers which is a new line of product from Belo Baby. If you still haven’t heard, Belo Baby is a product line targeting mothers and was introduced by Belo last April 2016. Its first product line includes Bath and Body products such as the Face and Body Lotion, Hair and Body Wash, Bar Soap and Colognes. 

When I first found out about this Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers, I never hesitated to use it to my kids. I was actually excited that when we got it I was the first one who tried it. We have been using these for almost a week now and here are things I love about it: 
  • It kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria. 
  • Carefully formulated without triclosan, parabens, benzalkonium, chloride, quats, glycols, chlorine, formaldehyde carriers, petrochemicals, and most common allergens. 
  • Hypoallergenic 
  • Dermatologist-tested 
  • With glycerin, that moisturizes and an ulta-mild that leaves skin fresh 

Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers are available in three fruity scents: 

  • Peach- smells powdery but a bit strong, however it’s not overpowering once sprayed on the hands. 
  • Green Apple- has a fresh after shower scent. 
  • Blueberry- smells sweet and yummy like candies. 
I love all its scent, but my favourite is the Blueberry. My kids also have their own personal favourites, Tristan likes the Green Apple, and Athena likes the Blueberry and Peach for Brianna. 

Overall, we love these Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers; we use it even we’re just at home. The kids are very fond of its fresh fruity scent while I am of course happy that it’s 100% safe for them because it doesn’t contain those harmful chemicals that can harm their delicate skin. This is definitely a must have item in the house. I’m planning to replace the alcohol from Tristan and Athena’s hygiene kit at school with these hand sanitizers. It’s going to be a sweet reminder for them to always keep their hands clean! 

Belo is trusted by many and most celebrities when it comes to cosmetics and beauty and I’m glad that they have extended their expertise in providing safe and quality products not just for babies but the whole family. 

Belo Baby products are indeed crafted with care for the most delicate skin, for the most meticulous moms. I highly recommend it! 

Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers cost Php49.75 each

To know more about the Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers and other Baby Belo products, visit their website at www.belobaby.ph. Follow them on FB: belobabylove, Twitter: @belobabylove, and IG: @belobabylove

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On School Trip Locations: Will It Be Worth The Money?

Are you proactive with your children’s education and plan ahead as much as possible? More frequently these days, it means saving to enable your kids to attend school trips, when the opportunity arises. The problem is that they can be so expensive, it can be very difficult to find the money for them to go on every single excursion that is offered. So how do you know which ones to send them on, and which ones to skip? Well, read on for a guide to the most popular international trip locations and what to expect from each. Which should make your choices a lot easier. 


France

France is a popular location for school trips from all over the world. But what are the benefits of such a trip? Well, for one depending on where your child is traveling from they may well get their first taste of long haul travel. Which is a worthwhile experience in itself. As it can trigger wanderlust for the rest of their lives!

Secondly, many schools chose to take their students to France to help them perfect the language by immersing them the culture. Of course, they also get to experience the famous cuisine and cultural aspects too. Which are two another two reasons why this may be a suitable trip to pay out for.


Italy

Italy is another popular school trip location. It is probably worth sending your kids on this one. This is because there are so many famous cities in Italy to visit, that will provide them with an educational experience. 

For example, the is Venice where they can learn all about defense in the middle ages, as well as the power and history of the Medici family.

Then there is Verona, perfect for students studying Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. They can even visit the balcony that is said to have inspired this tale of forlorn lovers. Where there is a statue of Juliet, herself situated.


However, these are not the only cities which hold education merit in Italy because Rome itself was said to be the cradle of the modern world. That means visiting Rome and experiencing the scale and splendor of sites like the amphitheater can bring history to life for many students. Instead of it being seen as a dry subject discussed in the pages of a book.

Lastly, the Italian lakes also provide a worthwhile school trip location, because of all the wonderful activities there are to do there. Surfing, sailing, and walking are all very popular around locations like Lake Garda. So you may find that your child school chooses to take them there for some healthy, active fun.


Iceland


Another frequently chosen location for a school trip is the beautiful country of Iceland. School trips to Iceland are often much looked forward to, and places can become very limited. This is because of the uniqueness of the things to see and be a part of, on such a trip.

Probably the most important of all of these is the Aurora Borealis, which is only able to be seen from a few places in the entire world. The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights is a wonderful phenomenon that makes green, blue and yellow lights dance across the sky. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many people so it would be an awful shame if you child had to miss out on this.

Of course, there are other fascinating things to do in Iceland on a school trip as well, such as visiting the Blue Lagoon. Or going on an organized trip into the snowy wilderness to look for animals like the Arctic Fox and Reindeer. 


Russia

Some education institutions choose to take their students on a trip to Russia. These are often met with mixed feeling. As Russia, while interesting to many, is known for its harsh living conditions.


Deciding whether this trip is worth the money or not, has a lot to do with how much interest you child is showing in this location. You also need to consider how vital it is for their education achievement. As well as how they will cope with cuisine for an extended period of time.


USA

Some students, especially those going to school in places that are near to the USA, get the chance to visit America on a school trip. Most kids will want to go on this trip, whether it is educationally relevant to what they are studying or not. That is because they will see it as a chance to have a lot of fun and experience the American Culture to which they are all familiar with through TV.

Of course, before you pay for such a trip, it is always a good idea to explain just how many days they will be spending at Disneyland, if any. As well as, how many days they will be spending touring around civil war sites and the like. This might end up being the deciding factor for them, and you, on whether it is worth paying our to go or not.


United Kingdom

Lastly, another very popular location for school trips and residentials is the United Kingdom. Of course, this has a lot to do with helping the kids learning to improve their English speaking skills, which is always a worthwhile thing to do. 

But the UK is also an interesting place to visit for the historical and cultural aspects as well. It has a rich history dating far back into the past, and in various UK locations, you can learn about these. Good places to do this include the castles along the Northumbrian coast and the Jorvik Center in York. Which demonstrate how the Viking Invaders lived when they reached England. 

Of course, the UK is divided into four countries: England, Northern Island, Scotland, and Wales. So each country provides its own educational experiences, as well as having its own unique identity, language, and culture to explore. Making the UK a generally good choice for a school trip. 

Tips to Up Your Laundry Game


Doing the laundry is one of the task I hate the most. That's why I end up just throwing everything into the washer and hoping for the best. And, if you're just like me, this bad habit can not only lead to a premature degradation of clothing but can also waste money and water.

So, if you want to truly do your laundry ‘properly’ there is a bit more to it than that.

If you are wondering whether your laundry technique could be improved upon, take a look at the following tips to up your laundry technique:

Soak Stains Straight Away

As soon as you get a stain on your clothing, you must take action. Once a stain has dried, it will be tough, if not impossible to get rid of it. 

The best way to deal with a fresh stain is to put it in a sink or bucket full of water, add a little detergent and leave it to soak until you’re ready to wash it.

If a stain is particularly stubborn (grass, red wine), you may also need to purchase a specific stain removal product to deal with the problem.

Install a Water Softener System

If you live in a hard water area, you might want to look into water softener systems because hard water can have a very detrimental impact on your washing machine, and as a result, your clothing. A water softener system may seem unnecessary, but when you consider that it can help extend the life of your laundry and your washing machine, you will start to see how quickly such a device will pay for itself.

The Right Way to Sort

We all know that we should separate lights, whites and darks, and delicates, but many of us don’t realise that’s not the whole story. If you also separate your laundry by washing temperature and type of fabric, you will see much better results regarding cleanliness and the lifespan of your clothing.

Leave Some Room

It can be tempting to cram every bit of laundry into the washer, so you can get it done in one load, save money and use less water, and this is a god goal. However, you do not want to take it too far because a washer that is overloaded will not be able to clean all your clothes as effectively as it should. You may also experience problems at the spinning stage too.

Aim to fill your washer until it is around 75 percent full, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Wash with Cold Water 


It is perfectly acceptable to save time, money and energy by washing with cold water, providing that they are only mildly soiled. This could save you up to 90 percent of the energy costs of doing the laundry.

Now that you know how to do the laundry properly, you’ll never have to worry about stained clothes, pink t-shirts or excessive energy costs again!