Simplifying.

KonMari.

Capsule wardrobes.

Bullet journaling.

These are three methods I’d like to explore further this year. Not because they’re the “hip” things nowadays, but because I want to simplify my life the best way I can–and I  need help. I feel like I’m drowning in to-do lists, as well as accumulating too many things that I will not use or wear (ever). I’ve got to start somewhere.

This week, I started my own bullet journal.  I don’t recall ever filling up an entire yearly planner, but I dare say that I’ve found something that really works for me and can actually sustain. A bullet journal is extremely easy to customize according to your own needs, and is perfect for people like me who have countless notes and to-do lists that wind up on post-its and pieces of scratch paper that eventually get lost or thrown away.

I’ve written on approximately seven pages of my bullet journal so far. Baby steps.

A Fresh Start

Like most people, I am most full of hope at the beginning of a new year.

It’s been a busy last few days, but this evening, I finally opened up WordPress and began to list down my resolutions for the next 12 months–complete with concrete steps on how to achieve them. Maybe I just had a good weekend, but I am brimming with optimism that I can improve myself this 2017 and actually attain my personal goals.

While I initially thought that I would be more likely to meet these resolutions if I posted them on my blog, I quickly realized that I would rather keep my resolutions offline this year. No offense to you, my non-existent reader.

Just remember this: No matter how bad or good your 2016 was, He makes all things new.

Here’s to blessings and surprises in 2017!

Surprise!!!

I’M ALIVE!!!

So here I am. Again. I have to admit that I was tempted to start ANOTHER blog or, at the very least, delete the first few entries in a lame attempt to “start from scratch.” But then I realized that I might as well embrace my inconsistency, as I’m likely to put on another disappearing act at some point in the future. Hopefully, nothing as bad as an absence of almost two years.

So… a lot has happened since my last post in 2015. By a lot, I mean an additional child.

As of this moment, I am a momma to TWO. There’s the energetic, intelligent, talkative, and charming almost-three-year-old boy–and the beautiful, teething, drooling, crawling almost-seven-month-old baby girl.

I felt the need to revive this blog as many things are in store for our little family of four in the near future, and I really, really want to document and share them with you. Please stick around. I promise I will!

Missing in Action

I know what you’re probably thinking: Considering that I just started this blog a little over a month ago, a three-week absence from posting isn’t a good sign.

What’s my excuse?

Yaya is on vacation.

I finally found some downtime to type this post up (on my phone) because a little boy decided to nap on my belly and I’m currently stuck and am in need of distraction from the fact that I have to pee.

With yaya gone, that means I’m pretty much in charge of the little one 24/7. The exception is when the hubby arrives home from work and I all-too-eagerly hand the boy over to his daddy for a little bit while I do something important–like take a shower or lie down and play Candy Crush.

Unfortunately for me (and little M), I’ve been feeling under the weather lately and am very easily tired. This means that I’m not able to be as playful with the baby as I’d like. 😦

Thankfully, he’s been perfectly happy reading his books and “drawing” with his pens and scratch paper for the most part. When it isn’t raining outside, we’re in the garden blowing bubbles or looking for worms. We also did playtime with yogurt again, and have also had some sensorial time with water or bigas. More on that another time.

While I am enjoying the time with the little munchkin, I know I could make the experience better for both of us. I’d check Google or Pinterest, but to be honest, I’m too lazy. I have about a week and a half left and would really love some ideas on how else to keep the toddler busy at home (without resorting to plopping him in front of the TV).

Any suggestions?

Playtime with Yogurt

Baby M has been obsessed with yogurt for several months, having it for his snack everyday. Every. Single. Day. Sometimes, more than once a day. Unfortunately for me, he prefers Nestle Creamy Yogurt–the one that doesn’t come with any fruity bits or flavors to make it sweeter. 😛

The thing is, M has recently replaced yogurt with cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Say “cheese” about 130 times and that’s about the number of times the word comes out of his mouth on a daily basis. I am not exaggerating.

While I’m happy that he’s now found another source of calcium protein to add to his daily diet, this new obsession with cheese means that we had a huge tub of yogurt soon to expire in the refrigerator. So what’s a momma to do? Whip out the food coloring, of course!

This is an activity I’ve done with M once before–back when I put waaaay too much food coloring and he made an incredible (but adorable) mess of himself. I’ve since then learned to take it easy on the food coloring though, because it makes cleaning him up a lot easier!

A bit heavy-handed with the food coloring

A bit heavy-handed with the food coloring

Silly me brought out some paper today, thinking that he would want to paint with his hands like last time. But no, mommy  forgot that he is now going through a “pouring” phase. He sat patiently as I put the colorful tubs of yogurt in front of him. Then he looked at me and said, “spoon?” And so I gave him a spoon and he proceeded to transfer globs of yogurt from one container to another. Sometimes with the spoon, sometimes without.

Baby M, paint, and neglected sheets of paper

Baby M, paint, and neglected sheets of paper

While I do aim to search for a less wasteful recipe for edible paint to use in the future, I’m happy to report that this makeshift experiment was a huge hit. Not only did it expose the little boy to something different, but it kept him occupied for ONE ENTIRE HOUR!!! If that isn’t a true measure of success, I don’t know what is.

What comes next? A bath, of course!

What comes next? A bath, of course!

Items used:

  • Yogurt
  • Food coloring
  • Reusable plastic containers
  • A spoon (by request)
  • An old tablecloth
  • Puzzle mats underneath the tablecloth to make it less slippery

Items not used:

  • Paper

Reading List: My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife

Once upon a time, I used to consider myself quite the bookworm. Then one day, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy… and my reading list for the next year or so was comprised of books such as What to Expect in the First Year and What to Expect in the Toddler Years. Of course, I’m exaggerating. My reading list also comprised of cloth books, touch-and-feel books, and posts on my Facebook newsfeed.

Last week, I finally decided to get back into my old reading habits. Instead of heading to the bookstore, however, I opted to revisit my bookshelf. What did I pick out? Sara Horn’s My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife. I figured that with the birth of Mommy Minutes Manila, it seemed like an opportune time to review the role I play in our little family of three.
My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife

As you’ve probably guessed, My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife is about a wife and mother who considers herself a far cry from the practically perfect woman described in Proverbs 31. Referring to herself as “Martha 31”–a mix of the Proverbs 31 wife, Martha Stewart, and Martha in the Bible–the author then launched into a personal (and rather amusing) mission to become a better wife and mom. Martha 31’s little experiment covered everything from practicing being kinder to her husband to learning how to sew and vacuum. Was she successful at everything she tried? Of course not.

In a way, the book reminded me of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Both books focused on some form of experiment on self-improvement. While both experiments did not go smoothly, they were extremely entertaining and ended with many lessons for the author (and their readers) to learn from their journeys.

My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife reminded me a great deal about the importance of my duties as a wife and mommy. It’s so easy to be selfish and stress over what’s happening in my life, but I was reminded to constantly step back and keep in mind that how I feel and act greatly affects how my household feels and runs. I admit that I am often lazy and quick to lose my temper–and those that are two things that I really need to be more aware of.

The book reminded me of the bigger picture: putting God first and honoring him–through the way I love my husband, my child, and my work. One of my favorite lines from the author sums it up: “Instead of waking up each day and saying, ‘I need to prove I’m a great wife and mom,’ what if I just wake up and say, ‘God, help me be the wife and mom you want me to be today.”

Got Ants? Try the X-TERMINATOR!

I hate ants.

When we moved into our home a few years ago, we almost immediately found ourselves dealing with a major ant problem in our bedroom. We tried various things (like smashing them with our hands!), but the ants continued to multiply and insisted on ruining our lives.

After I gave birth, things got baaaaad. Did you know that ants like breastmilk?! It also didn’t help that the hubby and I found ourselves eating almost all our meals in our room since I was still recovering from my c-section delivery. So, the ant issue got even worse.

Then one day, a momma friend of mine suggested a number of products that might work. Lo and behold, we found exactly what we were looking for in a plainly packaged container labeled “X-Terminator.”

X-Terminator

My household and I love X-Terminator for several reasons:

  1. It gets the job done.
  2. It’s safe to use around babies, children, and pets! No chemicals added!
  3. The price isn’t bad at all.
  4. It doesn’t smell like anything. There’s no need to air out a room smelling of nasty insect killer spray.
  5. It’s really easy to use. Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle!

Although the packaging indicates that X-TERMINATOR completely eradicates cockroaches, termites, ants, mites, and wood borers, we’ve only tried the product out on ants. While I’m very curious to find out if it works on cockroaches, we have another very effective solution for that, which we call “the slipper method.” 

I bought our bottle of X-TERMINATOR at Sesou Nature Source for just P95. According to an email exchange with Seven Seas Multi-ventures, it is also available at SM Supermarkets, Cash & Carry, and South Supermarket.

Note: My review of this product originally appeared in”The Green Nest”– a now defunct blog that three momma friends and I tried putting up last year. Shoutout to Dalai Momma, Real Momma, and Moolah Momma! 🙂