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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thank you, 2013!


As the year, 2013, is down to its last hours, all I can think and say to sum up my year is gratitude.

This has been the fastest year in my 28 years of existence.
I have been a fiancée, a bride, a wife, a preggy, and a mother in just one year.

Last December 2012, I would say was a lonely celebration. I was celebrating by myself because my siblings were with their families at the time. My dad was drinking outside, while my Mom and I were waiting till midnight. I remembered I still dressed up, and put on my make up just to make myself busy. Though that was the case, I did not complain. Why would I? I didn’t have any reason to complain. I was very blessed.
This year came in with the news that I was pregnant, yes, I admit I was surprised, SHOCKED with FEAR. I feared a lot of things. I feared that my parents wouldn’t understand, that people would judge me, that I would lose the job I had which is my passion for teaching, but most of all, I feared that I will not be a good parent.

While pregnant, my fiancée and I was preparing for our wedding. A wedding we wanted to happen December 2013, but God wanted us to be married earlier I guess. So we push through with May 18, 2013. The number and date meant a lot to us, we wanted to be married May 8, but it was a weekday and we wanted everyone we love to be present so we chose the latter, still having the number 8 in it. 18 was a very sentimental number for us. Even more now, because it is meant to make us remember our promise to infinity. During the wedding preparations, I was a happy bride to be and a mother to be. I was so excited with all that was happening but was preparing myself for what will happen. I had my family, friends, and especially my husband to support and guide through all my wedding jitters and hormonal imbalance.

Our wedding was the perfect wedding. I knew some things will not work out as planned, but I didn’t care. I trusted that our entourage, family, friends, and people who love us will not let anything trouble us in our wedding day.  During that day, I let go and enjoyed. Till now I get teary eyed watching our same day edit and the reminiscing walk-down-the-aisle moment.
It was a decision to love, a decision I will never regret.

Then August 21 came. After dancing to Harlem Shake, singing “you are my clarity, why are you my tragedy” (pardon me, I don’t know the title) I gave birth to my source of joy. A baby boy that makes me want to live my life and be a better person. He has made me stronger ( After all the labor pains, I know I can handle any pain now) physically, emotionally and spiritually. He has made me realize I can love this much. He also made me realize that I am not a bad person after all, that I can learn to not be lazy, to sacrifice my wants for his needs, that I can be happy with just him, and his dad. He made me realize how simple life should be. 

HE MADE ME HAPPY WITH JUST THE LITTLE THINGS.

Enzo and Ethel have been the greatest highlights of my year. I am no longer my own, but my family’s.  I am better because of them. I grow and learn because of all the things they have taught me. I am ready to take on another year. I have had my losses in 2013, lost friends, money, even the job I love because of all the things I have gained. But I do not regret, neither do I complain. If having them around means losing those things again, I would definitely say yes again in a heartbeat.


I am grateful. This year has been a blessing. I am amazed at how I could literally feel God’s hands guiding me to what is meant to happen in my life.  So let me say my thanks to everyone, old and new, who decided to stay not only in my life but ours. Thank you, because of you, our year has been a lot easier to carry. Because of you, we are better people. We feel loved and we love. Thank you and cheers to another year together!







Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tips on Christmas Shopping for Kids

Christmas season is truly made for children. It's the time of the year where they get to dress up, give gifts, receive gifts, see their cousins and other relatives, go some place they've never been, and just be happy. Christmas, however, for adults is a different story. It's the time of the year when Mom's especially get busy buying gifts for everyone, shopping for kid's Christmas clothes, prepping for Noche Buena and Media Noche and making sure the house is clean for reunions and all that.

So, as a first time mom, I got somewhat busy with some of those things I mentioned. One of which was buying gifts. This year, as a new family, my husband and I decided will only spend gifts to children and not our adult friends anymore. It was because as a starting family, we needed to save a little money but didnt want to not be able to give gifts this season. It was not as easy as we had so many nieces, nephews, and inaanak. Though it was hard, I'd say I enjoy shopping for others and giving gifts that I think they would enjoy.

So here are some tips on Christmas shopping and some gifts that are fun and educational at the same time.

TIP #1: Make a list of everyone. 
This is a MUST. It makes the whole chaotic christmas shopping a little less chaotic. With the list on hand, you have a pretty good idea of how many gifts you need to buy for girls and boys. It's also best that you write down their ages so you're gifts would be appropriate. Have you ever had that experience wherein you're gift is no longer useful to someone. It is in some way shameful because obviously you don't know the kid and it's also a waste of money.

TIP #2. Think ahead of time
After writing your list, its important that you think ahead of shopping. What I mean here is to plan the gifts you want to buy. This makes it easier for you to navigate the malls for stuff you would need. It will also prevent you from implusively buying the first thing you see in the stores. I am the type of person who would give a thought to a gift, because it feels like I know the person very well and that I want the gift to be meaningful. Also, it's very important for me that the gift will suit the receiver and that he or she will be happy receiving it.

TIP #3. Start early.
If you already have a list, and an idea of gifts you would like to give then start shopping earlier than usual. You can start shopping as soon as the BER months are in. It will give you enough time to think about the gift, plan your budget and spend more time doing other important things when Christmas season comes.

TIP #4: Look for on sale items.
Its not bad manners to buy on sale items as gifts as long as it's appropriate and in my opinion useful. I'm not a fan of gifts that are only for display especially if you're going to give it to kids. What is more important is the function and if the gift will last. There are so many items like that such as puzzles, DIY stuff, and writing materials. Gifts need not be too expensive but it should serve a purpose.

TIP #5. Focus on your list.
Yes, its very easy to get distracted and stray away from the budget while in the malls. So being focus and finishing your list first will give you more time to stroll in the mall and enjoy yourself.

TIP #6. Enjoy the experience.
Any situation is enjoyed becomes a memory worth treasuring. The fulfillment we see everytime a kid opens his or her gift is the true essence of Christmas. So whether you have a big budget or not, always enjoy gift giving and Christmas shopping.

So, there you go, my six tips on shopping this season! Enjoy and have a blessed Christmas season!:)

Friday, December 20, 2013

My son's first LOL

Yesterday, December 19, 2013, was my baby's first laugh out loud. We are blessed to get it on video. Here's some priceless moment of my son. Hope you'll laugh as hard as he did!:) 

My Make Up Story

The only thing between you and success, is yourself.

A note to self, I learned just recently and has been a year end lesson for me. This has something to do with my aspiration as a Make up Artist. I’ve always wanted to be one since I had my Basic personal make up workshop with Cielo Frontreras last 2011. I did make ups of my friends and would want to do more but was always doubting myself.

It was only last November, when a friend of mine invited me to come to her Wedding gig. It was my first time to do make up for 4 girls, (3 being part of the entourage and the aunt of the groom), 2 boys which are also part of the entourage, and 3 cute little flower girls. I tell you, I was exhausted. My back was aching and I was also a bit hungry. But it was a good pain, (well, aside from my labor pains of course) It was good because I felt it was the push I needed to make my dream happen. I’ve been putting it off because I was underestimating myself that I could not do it. I was always thinking of what other people would say or think about me.

So, when I had the chance to join a workshop for aspiring Make Up artists, I took a chance on my dreams. I really did have fun and learned a lot. I appreciated the wonders of a person’s face and how make up can enhance it. I was awed by how make up can truly make a difference in someone’s face and confidence. The workshop I attended was one of the most meaningful four days of my life. 

I actually am not the type of person that would post everything on facebook. I feel a little uncomfortable posting everything that I do or wishes to do, being a make up artist as well. At first, I did not want to post the pictures I did with my model friend for the first day of the workshop, but thankfully she said that she’ll post it. So I agreed, to tell you honestly I was a little bit shy to post it for all to judge. Luckily, she posted the pictures and I got good feedbacks. The second day was even more amazing, I had people complimenting my makeup on her. I even surprised myself cause it was really good. Then I posted everything and made an FB page for our assignment. Thank you for my friend who helped me overcome my “hiya”, her posting the pictures lifted my confidence a bit more. 

The last day was mixed emotions, I was a little sad but relieved as well because I finished the course, in flying colors, mind you! Yes, ehem! I aced my exam and was the only person who aced it. EHEM again! J I was so happy and felt, “hey, maybe I could really do this!”
After the workshop, I got 3 make up gigs. 1 volunteer work for a choir makeup, 1 rock band on the way (hoping to be their official MUA) and more confidence on me.  There’s still a lot of work needed to be done, but hey at least I am moving forward.

To all those who helped me, Thank you!
For my friend who invited me to that first gig,
To a friend, who have always been willing to be my victim/model
To a friend, who promises that I’ll be her official MUA from now on, after one gig
To my mentors and inspirations,
To my past and future clients,
To my husband, who’s very supportive in my craft
To myself (my stronger self) for making me take the plunge and chase my dream
THANK YOU!

Monday, December 16, 2013

My First Failure as a Mom

Right from the start of my pregnancy, I wanted to be able to breastfeed. As I've said in my previous blogs, I wanted to breastfeed because of its so many advantages and benefits not only for my baby but for myself as well. I even attended a seminar on breastfeeding because that is how much I was determined to breastfeed.

But I failed.

I admit that when my son turned one month, I started giving him formula already. It was half hearted. At the back of my mind, I was hesitant to do it. I did not want to give up breastfeeding but I had to.I had no problem with milk supply, (one of the reasons why I was half hearted to stop) but was suffering from plugged ducts and blisters. It was too painful.  I was even at the point of rejecting my baby because of too much pain. They said breastfeeding did not have to be painful so I knew that something isn't right with what  me and my baby were doing. I tried, I would say I really tried. I read everything I could put my hands on about breastfeeding, tried all sorts of solutions, but nothing seem to work. The pain was getting worse and worse. 

That one morning I decided to give my son formula, is the day that I failed him. I felt guilty, knowing that he would have been better with breast milk. I was guilty because it would mean a huge part of our budget would go to buying milk. But more than guilt, I felt weak. I felt I was not strong enough to endure the pain for my child. 

I felt like a failure. It was as if I could not take the inconveniences or pain of what could have brought more benefit for my son, and that I was not worthy to be called Mom.

Then, after feeling like a big fat failure, I came across an article online (which I couldn't find now) that talked about giving up on breastfeeding and that mothers who formula feed their children are not bad parents. Whew! I knew that parents who formula fed aren't bad parents, but that was what I felt about me. The article validated my feeling of guilt but also affirmed what I have done for my kid for 1 month. What truly caught my attention in that article is that every mother who breastfed or breastfeed their children are a success. Regardless of how short or long it is as long as one breastfeeds is an achievement. It said that mothers should not be too hard on themselves, what with all the responsibilities they have. I realized its indeed true, I had my reason for giving up on breastfeeding but it does not make me a bad parent. Being a parent is more than just breastfeeding.


Though, I still feel a little disappointed for not having breastfeed my son, I promise that if blessed with another child, I would be more prepared and ready to breastfeed. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mom 'n FAB: My FREE Benefit Tips and Tricks Workshop with Ms. Julia Arenas of www.blessmybag.com

December 4, 2013

I think I'M IN LOVE. Yes, you read it right. I'm in love with BEnefit cosmetics. In my previous post, I told you about a free make up workshop of Benefit Cosmetics that is scheduled in Edsa Shangrila. The event was transferred to Greenbelt 5 instead. It was so nice of Benefit's staff to inform me of the changes with all the possible ways they can. Through text message, private message in FB and through email. Luckily, Greenbelt's nearer to where I was staying so it gave me more reason to come. And because I was excited and nervous at the same time, I came in early because the first batch of workshop participants were still there. So what I did was stroll the mall first to pass time. Sadly, when I came back the second batch of participants were already seated. The store was a little small so I had to stay on the sides of the store while standing. I thought the workshop already started as one lady was already asking Ms. Arenas a lot of question. Then, my luck turned, I was given a seat by the staff in the front and had one of the best seats in the workshop. I could clearly see and hear as Ms. Arenas was talking.
The workshop started by Ms. Julia Arenas introducing herself. She studied in Make Up Forever in Singapore which is a sister company of benefit by the way and has been doing make up for TVC, and other events for more than 1 year. She's relatively new in the industry but has gained a lot of followers through her blogsite.

The workshop revolved around the "How to look your best at everything" makeup kit. This was mainly used in the entire workshop and created a day to evening look.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:
1. Ms. Arenas speaks really well and is not intimidating. In a way, she's very relatable and as if she's just a friend teaching make up to me.
2. She's very generous in giving information and tips as well as tricks in doing make up.
3. She encourages questions and answers them comprehensively.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE WORKSHOP:
1. Its important to test base make ups before buying them. She advised taking make ups to a road test before making a purchase to ensure compatibility with the skin.
2. For a natural look, especially in the evening, apply foundation just on the center of the face.
3. Primers enhances the staying power of make ups so apply it on the areas where you want your make up to stay on longer.
4. For concealers, start applying under the eyebags then work your way up to avoid puffiness on the eyes. It is also advisable to apply on the corners of the nose and lips because these are where age spots usually occurs.
5. Contouring would start where the ears meet the face and should end on the area aligned from the outer corner of the eyes. (I really have a hard time explaining the specific area, but I hope you get it.) Also, use single strokes pointing the brush away from the face.

Those where most of the things I learned while some of her talks were already discussed to me during my personal make up workshop.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE WORKSHOP:
To be honest, I enjoyed the talk given by Ms. Julia and I learned a lot especially o how to use their products to my advantage. There's just one thing I didn't like which was that I was told through text message that there will be freebies after the workshop. I really anticipated that but it turned out that you need to purchase first before you can actually get a freebie. I think that's just false advertisement. It would have been better if they stated that there will be a freebie for a purchase of anything. Its not nice to give participants false hopes, right.

But generally, I enjoyed the workshop. And what really surprised me was that a lot of the participants were a lot older than me, I'm 28 years old btw. It was so cool to see them so interested with make ups and asking questions about it. I'd definitely watch out for more workshops and promotions from Benefit.




Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My first FREE Make up Workshop

YES, it's FREE and its my first time to attend a Make up Workshop sponsored by a make up brand. Luckily, I follow BLESSMYBAG's blog and found a free make up workshop by BENEFIT Philippines. Can you believe it, BENEFIT!!! BENEFIT!!! BENEFIT!!!

I just recently found out that cosmetic brands actually give free make up workshop or some tips and tricks workshop using their brand. So, I'm maximizing that opportunity now! I'm sooo excited. I am looking forward to an hour of make up and benefit cosmetics.

Tomorrow's gonna be an amazing day for sure!:)

For Blog or Money

You probably have heard this title in TV5's teleserye FOR LOVE OR MONEY which features Derek Ramsay, Alice Dicson and other celebrities of the station. If you're looking to read something about them and their teleserye, you came to the wrong blog site.

I only adapted the title to a realization I had after reading Project Vanity's blog last Monday, if I'm not mistaken. It was entitled "The Pressure to be Cool". She wrote about her blogging struggles and how she anted to write more about what matters to her than what social media dictates as important. Liz Lanuzo of Project Vanity is a well-known blogger, but I only discovered her recently. She write product reviews really well and I sense her sincerity in all her articles.

I wanted to become known blogger as well, didn't really want to be famous though like other bloggers out there. I just wanted people to read my blogs, ask me questions about anything, or in short just to matter and feel that my insights and opinions are worth reading. Then, I got caught up wanting to write to get products, to earn money, for stats sake and then blogging became an obligation. I was in the impression that blogs that matter are blogs that offer product reviews, movie reviews,  those that would advertise. I wanted to be that blogger.

Doing this new blog, I started writing what meant more to me, where I think I'm good at. And that is on writing my reflections, my realizations, my philosophies in life. Of course, I still want to be noticed but not to the point that I would use my site just for the sake of earning or getting free stuff. I was affirmed more when I read Liz's article on the Pressure of being Cool. Bloggers all have their reason for writing and publishing their works. If I may include myself, as a Blogger, we are motivated by something within us. This motivation differs from each one, some to pour their hearts out, some to express their religion, some just to teach, some to offer help to and some just for the simple reason of love for writing. Right now, I am at the point where I just want to write important things about my life. To be able to also have an outlet where I can write and not be judged. A place where I can share my triumphs and struggles as a mom, and a place where my family and son could go back to and reminisce the beginnings of his life.

This is the reason why I love writing, and now with technology I love it even more. The possibility that my thoughts will exist even as I grow old or even die, ( or just as blogspot is still working) is inspiring. I can be able to leave something in the future. May it be read by others or just by myself.

So, I challenge every blogger, what motivates you to write? For blog or money?

P.S. Thanks to Ms. Liz Lanuzo for the inspiration. To get inspired visit her site in www.projectvanity.com.

Enjoy, and there you go!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Last of November and First Day of December

Hello, everyone! The month's bringing in the cold weather and everywhere is starting to look like Christmas. 

BUT, I can't be fooled and I need to get serious... on my workout, that is!
So how was my last day of November? 

My family and I decided to spend a mini-vacation in Hidden Sanctuary Hotel and Resort Marilao, Bulacan. It was a spontaneous outing but was truly worth it. And because it was my last day to pig out, I literally did!
I ate a lot, a lot means for me JUNK FOODS!!! I'm not really a good eater but I like to eat chocolates, chips, soda, and everything sweet. But the challenge is still on my mind. I did some laps in the pool but found out I really need to also do some serious cardio exercise because just after one lap I was out of breath. 

I wasn't able to do my weigh in though and decided to took a picture instead yesterday. It was a struggle for me to do my first day yesterday as I was so tired from the vacation and wanted to just lay around and postponed the workout. I thought, nobody will know and I'll just cheat myself into it. Just as I was to procrastinate, motivation strikes.

Here's my motivation: 

My Little Boy, Enzo!
I want to be able to run after him when he's able to walk and play around. 

With that, I easliy finished my workout. It became a lot easier because Ethel was there to guide me thru the workout. Here's what I did yesterday:

Day 1: 
15 sit ups
10 crunches
5 leg raises
10s planks
DONE!

Today's another challenge!!!:) 
There you go, High five!!!

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