Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On being a mom

I was not one of those little girls who enjoyed playing "house" nor was i one of those girls who always dreamed about their wedding and prince charming. I was already 35 when i got married. Too set in my ways and having kids was the furthest in my mind. I wanted to focus on my career and also enjoy at least a few months or even a year of honeymoon with hubby before getting pregnant. But life had other plans.

I got married in September 2010. Became a mom in to N in 2011 and to A last year. In two short years, my life has been turned upside down by two adorable angels.

I now enjoy mornings. I used to wake up late on weekends, but now i get to enjoy getting up at 6am. It is now become my Me and A time. Since i exclusively nurse A, I find that early mornings are the perfect time to cuddle and spend quality time with the bunso (before kuya wakes up and gets all possessive).

Early mornings also has become my alone time - my "me time". It gave me time to collect my thoughts, go through my emails, and my daily reads.

Late afternoons and early evenings are also reserved for my kids. Since I am at work 8 hours a day, the only time i get to spend with the kids are at night. Night time baths/showers are my bonding time with N and he knows it. He doesn't want anyone to give him a bath if I am around.

My life now revolves around them. The most i could go out and spend time with friends is around 4-5 hours but I check up on my kids every so often. I did not even want to go out for the first 6 months after i gave birth to A. Dinner dates have to be over in 3 hours. Longer "gimiks" would mean that i would need to pack my pump and ice chest. When shopping for clothes, i always have to look for nursing friendly tops which means limited choices.

I now want to have a project that would keep me near them. I recently made a hard choice of not accepting work since it would mean that i would be away for 8 months.

Having kids means having to make sacrifices and make some hard choices, but hearing their laughter, seeing their faces means that it is all worth it.


Much has been said about the recent incident involving the suicide of the UP Manila Student. There is no easy answer on why a person takes his might be a combination of events leading to one single event that triggers the decision. The answer is not easy as one, two, three or a + b = c. Let us leave that to the experts.

Much has been said about the STFAP. It might be flawed and tedious to accomplish but many have benefited from this socialized tuition fee. In my time, there were 9 brackets instead of 5. If memory serves me right brackets 1-4 are entitled to free tuition, fees and allowance, bracket 5 scholars pays only for school fees, while 6 to 8 have discount on their tuition fees and only bracket 9s pay the full tuition fee.

Being a beneficiary of the STFAP, i know about the long process and numerous documents that one has to accomplish and submit in order to avail of the program. Looking back, it must have been a nightmare not only to the students and parents but also the UP system to track and validate the applications. I am sure, even with today's technology, validation and tracking of all applicants and correctly assigning brackets are just as hard.

While reform of the program is needed, we must also need to asses the state U's ability to implement. Are there enough resources (personnel, budget, technology, etc)? Are there check and balances in place? How fast can it be reformed and implemented? How will it benefit the most number of qualified individuals? Have we, as alumni, done our part to give back to the University that helped shaped us to what we are now?

Monday, March 18, 2013

March BDJ box vs March Glamour box

As someone who is into metrics, I cannot help but compare the two boxes.

1) Value for Money - BDJ box with and ROI of 4.4

BDJ Box (Exclusive Loreal Products) @480/month

  1. Full size shampoo - 180ml/110 php
  2. Full sized conditioner - 180ml/119 php
  3. Full sized UV perfect sunscreen - 30ml/545 php
  4. Full sized lip tint - 6ml/595 php
  5. Nail art stickers - 395 php
  6. Sample size (5ml) BB cream - full size 30ml/595. Sample size should be around 99 php
  7. Sample size (5ml) youth code cream - full size 30ml/1495 php. Sample size should cost around 249
Total sample box product cost: around 2112 php
ROI - 4.4

Glamourbox @595/month
  1. Full size Eye of Horus eye pencil - 1.2g / 960 php
  2. Sample size (5ml) Pevonia Gentle exfoliating cleanser - full size 150ml / 2,950 php. Sample size should cost around 98php
  3. 2 sample size (50ml) Avon Skin So Soft Glutathione Hand and Body Lotion - full size 250ml / 350 php. 2 samples would probably cost around 140 php
  4. 4 sample sachets of Heynature BB creams - full size 40g / 1,300 php. 4 samples would cost around 130 php
  5. 1 sample sachet of Heynature aqua brigthening gel - full size 80g / 1,750 php. Sample size would cost around 22 php.
  6. Sample size (1.5ml) YSL saharianne perfume - full size 75ml / 4,300 php. Sample size would cost around 86 php
  7. Sample size (1.5ml) Ralph Lauren Pony 3 perfume - full size 100ml / 4, 300 php. Sample size would cost around 65 php
Total sample box cost: 1501 php
ROI - 2.5

2) Box Usage - BDJ box (used 4 out of 7 products on the first few days)

I recieved the BDJ box on the 4th and immediately got to sample 4 out of the 7 products (shampoo, conditioner, sun screen and liptint). I was on a lookout for a new liptint and I was pleasantly surprised to get one in this month's box. I am very happy with the liptint since i was afraid that the light pink shade will not go well with my complexion. The tint lightly covered and blended with my natural lipcolor and i ended up with a no makeup look.

The glamourbox was delivered today, and based on my initial impression, i will only use 2 to 3 of the products in the succeeding weeks. Most excited about the eye pencil as i want to try using makeup more often.

Will review the products in the succeeding post (if i have the time)

3) Service - BDJ box

Although both boxes announce their boxes are being shipped. BDJ goes the extra mile by sending out emails to each of their subscribers. Last month's box also came with a bonus and had a hand written note. Now that is what i call attention to details.

4) Beauty Events

So far, BDJ box has created events for their subscribers. The Shishedo event last February and the beauty social this month at SM MOA. I have yet to hear one from Glamourbox

The BDJ april box is sold out. Glamourbox is still set to open subscription for April.

BDJ box:

Unboxing the March Glamour box

My glamourbox subscription arrived today. Compared to the March BDJ box, this one seemed lighter and not fulled to the brim. Bracing myself for a disappointment, i gingerly opened the box...Here's what inside:

1) Full sized Eye of Horus Natural Smokey Eye Pencil (full size 1.2g/Php 960)

Image c/o Glamourbox
 2) Sample size (5ml) Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser (full size 150ml/Php 2,950)
Image c/o
3) 2 sample size (50ml each) Avon Skin So Soft Glutathione Whitening Renewal hand and body lotion (Full size 250ml/Php 350)

4) 4 sample sachets HeyNature BB Creams (full size 40g/Php 1,300) and 1 sample sachet Heynature Aqua Brightening gel (full size 80g/1,750)

Images c/o

5) 1 sample size (1.5 ml) Yves Saint Laurent Saharienne (full size 75ml/Php 4,300) and 1 sample size (1.5ml) Ralph Lauren Big Pony 3 Perfumes (full size 100ml/Php 4,300)

Saharienne Yves Saint Laurent for women
Images c/o

Ralph Lauren Big Pony 3 for Women Ralph Lauren for women

Of all the samples, i am most excited about the eye pencil. I might use it or might even give it out as a present to my sister.  I like the scent of the YSL perfume (citrusy) but might not purchase on in the near future. I will use the avon lotion when i go out of town in May, but this will not make me change the one I am currently using (st. ives).

I might or might not subscribe to next month's box (depends if i get a slot) but i do hope they will improve the contents of the next box. The November box was great but so the last three boxes were kinda disappointing.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Camay Bodywash

“A good fragrance is really a powerful cocktail of memories and emotion.”
― Jeffrey Stepakoff, The Orchard: A Novel

I love using body washes as its scent last longer than that of bar soap. My hubby loves the smell of cinnamon / vanilla and other fresh scent so i am always on a look out for these types of fragrances.

Camay is an old brand. I remember the ads in the 80s and 90s which feature models / celebrities with beautiful skin (was Kris Aquino once a camay girl?) What i remember most about the brand is its iconic pink bar and the sweet fragrance.

I really don't know when camay disappeared from the stores but the last time I used it was when my sister gave me a bottle of the body wash when she came home from the UAE. I liked the body wash since the scent lasted the whole day (i need not use a perfume). Sadly, it was not available here.

Early this year, the brand was re-launched and marketed catch the attention of the new generation who are very particular about skin care and always on the look out for a product that is value for money. It launched three scents (in bar and body wash) aimed to cater to the different set of today's women. There's Romantique Rose (Floral and Feminine), Dynamic Grapefruit (Fresh and citrusy) and Creme Vanilla (vanilla with creamy coconut)

I have tried the Creme Vanilla scent and loving it. To maximize the scent, i tend to layer fragrances (body wash, lotion) and on occasion perfume or cologne. My hubby loves the smell. I am now alternating camay with Dove and Bath and body works bodywash depending on my mood for the day. For less than 100php of a full sized bodywash, it is worth it.

official camay ad

Thursday, March 14, 2013

destiny vs sky

My family and I are destiny cable subscribers for the past 8 months and so far we are quite happy with the program offering. At first I really wanted to subscribe to Sky cable (i want ANC, Cinema one and Lifestyle channel) but destiny was the only cable (provider) being offered by my building admin, so we have no choice but to subscribe to destiny. For 500/month with free installation, it was a good deal.

About a few months ago, the cable company was merged with Sky cable and i was happy thinking that it would mean destiny carrying the three shows that i want from Sky. But it was not meant to be. Only DZMM and AXN were added to the channel line up of destiny.

I checked with the admin today and it seems that as part of the merge, they are now offering /carrying Sky cable and Destiny. So the homeowners now have a choice. I asked for the program line up and package for Sky to compare it with my current cable provider. Here is my verdict:

For now, the better deal is Destiny. At 500/month, I get my son's fave channel (disney jr), TLC, discovery, bio, history, BE TV and a whole other programs. I cannot get disney jr., bio and history on sky's 400/month plan (I do get to have cinema one though). Disney jr. is part of their higher plan which i belive is 1k/month. And so, for now, i will stay with Destiny (with Disney Jr. being top priority).

March bdj box

I was looking forward to mid month as it equates to mid-month pay (yehey!) but it also means that my two beauty box samples will be delivered.

I was expecting the March box to be delivered on the 16th, just like last month but i was pleasantly surprised to have it today.

This month, BDJ is exclusively carrying L'oreal products. Its box is themed "Summer Glam" , with seven (7) products to try. Here's what's inside (the box):

1) 1 full sized Fall Repair Hair shampoo (srp 110 php)
2) 1 full sized Fall Repair Hair conditioner (srp 11 9php)
3) 1 full sized UV Perfect Longlasting UV Protector (srp 545php/30ml)
4) 1 full sized Shine Caresse Lip tint (srp 595/6ml)
5) Sample size of Youth Code Pre-Essence (srp for full size 1495php)
6) Sample size of UV perfect BB Max (srp for full size 595php/30ml)
7) Color Riche Les Nair Art - Nail art sticker (srp 395)

As like last month's box, BDJ is truly value for money. I am getting over 1k worth of product for a monthly subscription of less than 500. Which means that i am getting more than 100% return on investment right? Very happy with the box as every item will be used soon.

I will try out all the items except for the nail art sticker which i think i will give to my SIL or A's yaya. Excited to try out the Hair Fall Repail shampoo and conditioner. Experienced heavy hair fall after giving birth to A last July.

I am looking for a very light lip color for the summer so i will be trying out the lip tint. I just hope that it would complement my skin tone. Will use the UV protect cream which i will alternate with my current moisturizer. 

Can't wait to try them all out.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Happiness is waking up in the morning in the arms of two sweet angels. I co-sleep with my kids and i find it easier to nurse when they (now only nursing my 7month old) are just within arms reach. It feels great to be a mom.

My heart skips a beat when ever I see the smile on A's face everytime i nurse her. Feeding time equals bonding time and now that A is trying solid food (she's eating two to three times a day), i tend to miss her constant need to nurse. I miss the every three hour feeding session.

Happiness is hearing my children laugh. They laugh at the simpliest things... A sound of a squeaky toy, tickles, butterfly kisses and even a picture or an app on ipad. I have learned to appreciate simple things just being with them.

Happiness is spending even just one hour of me time or alone time with hubby. This once a week breakfast or dessert date to mcdo or starbucks gives us a chance to catch up and act as if we were newly weds.

Happiness is getting that 10minutes of extra sleeptime during weekdays and getting to work on time. Happiness also means getting home early and having time to bath, eat with and put the kids to bed.

Happinesss is drinking iced cold coke on a hot day. Or eating chocochip cookies while reading or opening a bag of chips and getting ready to watch my series. It can also be the smell of freshly baked bread, cake or cookie.

Shopping and eating out can also make me happy. But It seems that as i get older, it is the simplest things that bring the smile to my face. What's your happiness?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Being thankful

Early this year, i had to turn down a job offer that would have sent me to work abroad for the next 8 months. Although very promising for me and my career, i had to say no as i did not want to leave my then four month old baby. She was exclusively nursing and although i could bring her (and my son) on my assignment, I would also need to bring or hire a nanny.

Sometimes things don't turn out to be the way you planned it, but there are always things to be thankful for:
  • being able to spend more time with my babies
  • being able to exclusively nurse my youngest (for the first six months)
  • being home early to give them their bath and put them to sleep
  • my babies are healthy - my stock of baby meds rarely gets used
  • take trainings that woule help me in my career
  • learn from a new manager
  • have simple dates with hubby (mcdo breakfast on sunday or starbucks)
  • meet new people
I might not have that job assignment abroad, but i am very thankful that my current assignment lets me spend time with my babies (hey, i don't even have to bring the pump to the office).

BDJ and Glamour box

The beauty sample box craze is in town and I am riding on this wave. I first learned about it through a blog i follow and although I did not immediately subscribe to the boxes, i was curious on its offering.

BDJ  and Glamour box are beauty sample boxes. For a monthly subscription, they offer to deliver right to your door steps 5 to 6 products for you to sample. In some cases, these boxes even have a full size products and you feel that you just hit the jackpot. But sometimes, you get boxes where you feel that you have no need for the product and you just end up giving it away. It's like taking a monthly gamble, you will never know what you will end up getting or you can look at it in another way - it's like getting a present every month.

I have subscribed last month and so far I am happy with what i got (BDJ with a slight win over Glamour box with the former offering exclusive shishedo products and a full sized celeteque product for their quarterly subscribers). I have subscribe again to these two boxes this month and am hoping that i would be having a wide smile on my face by this time next week.

Full review of the boxes soon.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Time to shop

The last major shopping spree that i had was July last year and it wasn't even for me, it was for my kids. As i get older and bigger (i still need to lose 10-15 lbs from my back-to-back pregancies) i need to have an overhaul of my clothes. It has been 7 months since i gave birth to A, and i am still wearing my preggy pants.

When ever i open my cabinet, it seems that there's nothing to wear other than nursing shirts (that's 2 years old), i can't even fit into my old clothes anymore (from xs/s to m/l). So in line with my new beginings strategy this year, here are the list of what i want:

  • 1 wrap dress
  • 3 pairs of slacks/dress pants
  • 3-4 blouses that could be used while nursing
  • a pair or two of flats
  • a nice necklace/accessory that would go well with just about anything
  • a pair of nice jeans
  • make up (lipstick, blush and powder)
  • Ergo baby carrier - i have several carriers but i still want this one as it can carry either A or N and my hubby can also use this.
  • A nice bag that could double as A's diaper bag
  • Enough money to buy all the stuff i want
  • Time to shop

Thursday, March 07, 2013

booked and purchased

I am so looking forward to the one week vacay in May. This will be the first time in six years that all siblings will be under one roof. The last time that we were all together was in 2007 for my sister's wedding. 6 years, 5 weddings later and x kids, we will have our reunion.

Inshallah, all goes well.

Monday, March 04, 2013

It's time

After three years, i believe it is time to get back into the game and blog about my favorite things, experiences and what ever catches my fancy.
I have been meaning to go back to blogging but life (and kids) got in the way. I am now a full pledged working mom to two wonderful and super kulit kids.

So what's in store for me? I made a pledge that this will be a year for trying out new things. Being a wife and a mom to two adorable (and kulit) kids does not mean that i should miss out on the stuff that i used to love nor should it mean that i should stop from seeking out new things to experience.

I have been on a career "break" since november and my hubby suggested that since i have time on my hands (i.e. job not too stressful), i might as well return to blogging. Let's see if i could keep this blogging thing up (and have an update at least once a week).

Well, here goes nothing...


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