Sunday, August 31, 2014

Easy-Peasy Gift in a Jar

I love giving gifts. I’ve been this way ever since I was young. I would always save my allowance, put them in the bank and withdraw them all for Christmas gift shopping. Studies show that giving makes a person happier. Anyway, here’s one gift I put together in no time for my best friend A’s birthday last June.

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I have a tray of these Ball mason jars in my craft closet so I thought I’d use one as a container for the gifts. I got 2 of the perfumed nail polishes from Revlon, one nail file from The Face Shop and a bunch of cotton balls as fillers under the nail polish.

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Tie a ribbon and place a tag and voila, you have a pretty gift!

You can put all sorts of things in these Ball mason jars. I love them. You can put candies, chocolates, makeup, school supplies, etc. You are only limited by your imagination!

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Great Bookstore Haul of the Season

We didn’t have much money growing up. My biological father left us when I was 5 years old so mom had to work hard in order to support my sister and I plus her siblings. I grew up with a nanny and my grandparents, more specifically, my grandfather. My grandfather was a war veteran and even at an old age, he didn’t want to quit working and serving his country. He worked as a teacher to the soldiers in the barracks. He had a measly salary but that did not stop him from enjoying one of the greatest loves his life – books.

That same love was passed on to me. Every payday, he would call up my grandmother and tell her to get ready (me included) because he was going home to pick us up and we would go to the mall. Back in the ‘80s, malls in Manila were still small. There were only few entertainment places but my grandfather and I were extremely happy with National Bookstore. We would spend hours there just looking and doing some quick reading. He would always buy me one book to take home. He didn’t scrimp on books. He said books were very important so I immersed myself in them.

Today, I am a housewife and mom and I am passing that same love to my son. We are on a very tight budget because for the past several months, just one thing after another keeps happening that requires a lot of money. I may scrimp on other areas of our lives but I will never scrimp on books and learning materials for my son.

Yesterday, we had an epic shopping trip going from one warehouse sale to another. We went to 2 different cities just so I could buy a ton of books for my son.  I will not hold you any longer. Here’s my haul.

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This haul is from the Books for Less Warehouse Sale where you can get books for as low as 10 pesos! I got all these plus mom got 5 for herself. Mom devours books as well. She and her dad love espionage and strategy books the best.

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This haul is from National Bookstore’s Warehouse Sale. The books were already discounted but the cashier discounted them another 50% off. Mom got 3 books for herself which were still plastic-wrapped.

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I still have a ton of books in my mini library to read so I passed and checked out other things to buy for myself. I got the recipe binder for 100 pesos. It was only 99.50 in my local National but they ran out.// The Hot Wheels stationery set is for my son when he gets bigger. //I have plans for these cutout felt. I got 4 of them.// I can never resist a good notebook especially at a bargain price of 30 pesos. //I got the ribbons because I am planning something major for every occasion that will come by.// I also got a few things for scrapbooking.

I think the books will last us until the next warehouse sale. Now that I discovered how wonderful these warehouse sales are, I’ll be keeping my money until the next one arrives.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

3 Toys to Keep Your Toddler Busy

My son has a lot of toys. I am not bragging. Period. I need the toys to keep him busy. I need them to keep my sanity! My son gets bored very easily. When he has a new toy, he tries to figure out what makes it tick and when he gets it, he moves on to the next one. I try to rotate his toys to keep him interested longer but it doesn’t work. We have, however, found a few toys that he loves to play with again and again. Here are some of them.

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This is the Stack and Roll Choo Choo set from Fisher Price. This was a gift from Mama C. My son is crazy and I mean crazy about trains so this set gets a lot of play time. It’s a learning toy so that’s good in my book. I do my chores while he plays with this set.

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This is the Count n Crunch Cookie Monster doll that I got for him as a pre-birthday gift. He absolutely adores this toy! At first he doesn’t like to feed Cookie Monster and just keeps the cookies to himself. Now that he is older (and wiser and kinder), he enjoys feeding Cookie Monster. He spends a lot of time playing with this and I use that time to check my emails.

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Finally, this animal train set from MegaBloks. Like I said, he adores trains and there’s one big train in this set. It also has a huge elephant. He likes elephants too but he likes playing with just the train alone. Sometimes he gets the animals but for now, he is still pretty excited with the train. He plays with this set in the afternoons and I can take that time to lie down and watch him play on the floor. He spends around 30-60 minutes playing with all the toys I mentioned here. If something keeps my son busy for 5 minutes then I’m happy with that. This set is a birthday gift from me too.

I got him a bunch of birthday gifts because we decided not to have a party. First birthdays are big in this country but I think he won’t be able to appreciate a huge, elaborate party yet so my husband and I decided to just give him gifts that he will appreciate and play with for a long time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hello Kitty Mugs

Ever since I started having chronic urticaria or hives, I’ve been having regular tea sessions to control my breakouts. Green tea is very good for people who are suffering from hives. Since I’ll be having tea every day, I decided to build a Hello Kitty mug collection. I have a small collection. Here are the ones that I currently use.

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This one is from my SIL. This is what made me decide to start collecting. I already had 2 other HK mugs when I received this for my birthday. I thought it was too much of a coincidence so I thought why not collect them?

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Sadly, this is long gone. It broke. I don’t know why…probably from over usage.

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I also have this HK London mug. My husband likes using this as well. The tea is from M&S. Really very calming. I feel relaxed whenever I drink this in the morning. I think you can also drink it at night to help you sleep. The crackers are also from M&S.

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This is the mug I use all day, every day. I like the cover but my son broke hello kitty. I still use it though. My cousin made a comment about HK being too fat in this photo. I bought it for the peacock costume.

I have a few more mugs in storage and I will be sharing them with you as I use them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Baby Skin Protection

We have tried many different products for our baby but there are just some that we buy again and again. There are brands that are just love at first use and some that are just a pain and waste of money. Here are 2 products that we are very happy with.

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My son is fascinated with ants. I have no idea why but every day he likes to look for ants and watch them work. Sometimes he can’t resist touching them so he ends up with a lot of bites.I use this anti-bug balm from Badger to stop the itching and to help the bites heal faster. It’s very effective. My husband and I use it too for insect bites. It has a minty feel. It smells nice too. My son knows that this is “medicine” so he doesn’t touch the area we put this on. This is organic. We still have a ton of this product left and I don’t think we will be buying soon as one tin will last us a long, long time.

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My son is not prone to diaper rash but we like applying diaper rash cream as prevention. We like the one from Mustela but it’s always out of stock at Rustan’s. I tried this product from MD Moms. It’s also very effective.

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It’s developed by pediatrician moms so that gives me peace of mind. It’s also much cheaper than Mustela but lasts just about the same time.

These are staples in our baby toiletries organizer. I will share more products soon.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rainbow Looming

It’s been a while since I made some Rainbow Loom projects. I found these photos of some of my creations and thought I’d share them with you. They’ve garnered quite a following on Pinterest.

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Hand Sanitizer holders that you can hook on your bag.

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I misunderstood an order so I ended up using this triple fishtail as a tie to hold my shopping bag.


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This is a bow clip that I will probably use as a gift embellishment.

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This was an order. So girly!

The following are my best ones. These are Corals of the Sea bracelets.

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Rock Candy bracelet:

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This was also an order:

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Wild flowers:

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I’ve been itching to use my loom board again but I just don’t have the time! Maybe in a few months or so, I can finally get back to my crafting.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Back to School Shopping: College Edition

School has been back here in the PH since June but I know most of you readers on the other side of the globe are going back to your schools and universities this September. So, I thought I’d share some of my cousin’s hauls before she went back to school.

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My cousin takes a lot after me. She just loves shopping. She likes fashion and beauty so it is no surprise that she got 3 pairs of shoes. The first two on top were on BOGO. The green one was on sale.

She also got some vitamins, nail polish and wet wipes from the drugstore. I think every time I go on a shopping trip with my cousin, she always needs to get some hair clips and ties.

A new candy bar just opened in the mall and she couldn’t resist. She already tasted the candy a few years back when I got her some from Singapore so she was really happy that we now have a branch in the nearby mall.

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School supplies are not a problem because she only needed a cute notebook and some pens. She got this cute Hello Kitty mug from Japan Home Center. Rainbow Loom was all the rage back then so she got some to make accessories for herself and to sell some.

What’s a shopping trip without me getting a few things for myself and my family?

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I got my son some wet wipes and shirts. Got a pack of shirts for my husband too. Our usual bottle cleaner was out of stock so I tried this one from Cradle. Big mistake. It’s too watery so it ran out fast. We also didn’t like the tutti fruiti smell. My husband said that it smells like Juicy Fruit Chewing gum.

I normally don’t buy other flip flops other than Havaianas or Ipanema but I couldn’t resist the bird print on this one. I also love the color plus I got it for half the original price. On the last photo are cord organizers from Daiso. I bring these when travelling.

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I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses to put in my purse. It usually gets squished so I needed something that I won’t feel bad about in case it gets broken. This one is from Daiso too and it says it has UV400 protection. I hope that’s right. If it is, then I just got a great deal!

The makeup kit is also from Daiso. This is the one I am currently using. All the other things are from Daiso too. The pink pouch is something I use when travelling. It’s great for liquid toiletries. I use the cute plastic envelope to store some documents in. Finally, I needed a “home” top because I keep changing clothes day in and day out. I tried this one. It’s a bad purchase as the fabric is itchy. I wear it inside out. It’s that or I get rid of it.

I guess that’s everything we got.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Two Cheap Products that are Super Useful

It seems that I have been blogging a lot about Daiso. I did several shopping trips back when it first opened and I found some really good stuff. I have been meaning to share them with you but I have been pretty busy lately as my son caught a stomach bug. Anyway, here’s one.

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This is marketed as a feminine pad pouch but I found many useful things for it. Aside from feminine pads, I can also put other knick knacks from my bag in here such as cute tissues, lip balm, keys, etc.

My main reason for buying it though was to use it as a pouch for Blue Ice.

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Blue Ice is a very useful product. I wish I had thought of inventing it. It’s basically just an ice pack which you can use over and over again. I keep one in the freezer for bumps and ouchies. My son is super active and bumps are pretty common in our house. I whip this out whenever he has a bump and he immediately stops crying. He likes holding it and putting it on his ouchies. I’m thinking of buying another one. It’s also super affordable at less than one hundred pesos.

I use Blue Ice when I get migraines. I also use it on my hives. It makes the redness and itchiness disappear. The wheals also heal faster.

If you’re a new mom, buy one or two of these and stock them in your freezer. They are so versatile and useful especially with active kids around. They are great for packing cold food too and lots of other stuff. You’ll never regret buying it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

So I like that song and also, I’ll be reviewing (mini reviewing, that is) 2 products today.

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I got this sample of Perricone MD Cold Plasma from Sephora. I can honestly say that it’s a great product even though I was only able to use it about 2 or 3 times. I brought this with me to our impromptu staycation. I love getting samples because they are very useful for travelling.

It’s basically an anti-aging product. I’m pretty sure it does what it says. Would I want another sample? Absolutely!

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This is another product I got from Sephora. This one is from Singapore. I super love this brush cleaner. It smells nice and works really well, better than MAC’s brush cleaner. I think it costs around 12 SGD. There’s only 1/4 of the product left in the bottle and I have been tempted many, many, many times to ask my SIL to buy a couple of bottles for me and bring them back the next time they go home. But, I think that would just be too much of a hassle for them so for now, I am just patiently waiting to go wherever there is a Sephora. By the way, has anyone used the brush cleaner from Laura Mercier? I read some good things about it but its out of stock here. If you have a good brush cleaner, I’d appreciate a shoutout in the comments below.


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Here’s the makeup I brought on our staycation.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Travel Essential

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Back when I didn’t have a baby yet, I would always go out from the hotel room all showered, hair fixed and with make up on to have breakfast. When the baby came, that was somewhat impossible to do. His needs come first before mine. I have curly hair and I needed something to look presentable in the morning when we would go down for breakfast.

I saw this lace headband at Daiso (not sponsored) and thought I’d give it a try. I usually don’t like elastic headbands because they give me a headache after a few hours. This one amazingly lasts the whole day on my head! It keeps my hair off my face (which is important when you have a fussing toddler) and makes me look presentable at breakfast. I wonder why I went on for so long without this simple trick….

So from now on, this headband is on my travel essential list.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Staycation Packing

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Back in June, we had an impromptu staycation in one of the hotels in the city. I had literally 2 hours to pack and get everything in order. With a toddler, that is somewhat hard to do but I was able to accomplish it thanks to some of my regular travel essentials.

First, I never go out without this pretty pink mesh shopping bag which I got from Daiso. It’s very handy when buying food and supplies from neighboring convenience stores and shops.

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I know there are free slippers in hotels but they’re too flimsy for me. After taking a shower, I like to dry my feet in a nice cozy pair of slippers. This pair is great. I also got it from Daiso. My only problem with this is the sole is made with cardboard.
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My husband likes wearing this too. He prefers it over the free slippers.

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It’s very helpful if you already have a plan in mind when packing essentials such as toiletries. You should also have bags and pouches ready for these things. The one on the bottom left is my trusted Clinique toiletries bag. It has traveled with me everywhere. I put my liquid and bath toiletries here. The one on top of it and the one on the right side came in a set. I put my lotion, moisturizer samples, etc. in the bigger pouch and my makeup brushes in the smaller pouch. As for the floral bag, I put our socks and other small clothing articles in it. All the other pouches are from Daiso.

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The purple pouch is a Whisper feminine pads freebie. I put our chargers in it. The one on the right holds brassieres and underwear. I super love this organizer. It’s a space saver and keeps my delicates from getting squished. I also have another underwear bag for my son’s diapers. The Harajuku Lovers pouch houses my makeup.

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I also brought my planner with me because I needed to get some planning done. I also brought this set of colored pens from Daiso. If I’m getting any work done on a staycation, might as well be in in style.

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I always bring socks because hotel rooms can be really cold. Plus, my son likes it to be really cold and I want my toes to remain nice and toasty. Cute socks are from Daiso.

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Finally, I always bring a bunch of zip locks. I couldn’t resist this cute set from Daiso. I put wet items in these zippered bags.

Of course I packed clothes and other stuff. If you want to know how I pack our travel bags, just browse the archives in my old blog and search for travel.

This is not a sponsored post from Daiso.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Make Laundry Time Quick, Easy and Pain-Free

How many of you hate doing the laundry? I know I do. It just takes a huge chunk of my time and zaps my energy. My husband used to do the laundry but I took over because he was taking forever to do it! He was also using too much water and that has affected our water bill a lot.

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We used to do the laundry just once a week. Then the baby came and we had to do it daily because we needed to change his clothes several times a day plus there were the burp cloths and sheets that needed to be changed. My husband and cousin took over until I was feeling better and was allowed to do the chores. I knew I needed a system because I had my hands full with a newborn. So today, here’s how I do my laundry.

First, I have two baskets – one for my husband and I and one for our son. I should also really buy another basket for our sheets but that’s for another day.

I only do one load of laundry a day, and that’s it. Sometimes I do two but that only happens when I’m pressed for time. I also group my laundry per day. For example, on Mondays I do my son’s laundry. Tuesdays, ours. Wednesdays, sheets, Thursdays, denims and so on. When I finish the rotation, I go back to the beginning.

I also group my laundry items in one basket.

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I like this soft basket from Daiso. It’s light and flexible. I keep my tub of laundry detergent in here (top photo) plus a few other things.

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This is my Little Twin Stars laundry bag which I use for delicate items. I also have a few laundry balls. These are all from Daiso. I like this system because it keeps things organized and the basket is easy to carry around the house.

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I don’t have a laundry room and I don’t have a dryer. I have a spinner which takes out the excess water from the wet clothes so that they won’t drip when I hang them. FYI for all you foreign readers, this is a normal way of doing the laundry here. Most people still actually do their laundry by hand so don’t be shocked.  =D

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I start the laundry then instead of waiting for it to finish, I go and get the dry clothes from the laundry line and fold them. If I have  some more time, I do other chores. I hate waiting so multitasking is my thing. I also cook rice or boil something before starting the laundry. This way, the rice will be cooked by the time the laundry finishes and I don’t need to go up and down the house. I finish several chores at once. Being occupied also takes my mind off the laundry.

Sometimes I do some crocheting while waiting. My apron has two deep pockets perfect for my yarn, crochet needle and a pair of scissors. I can finish about 3-5 granny squares in one laundry session.

My secret to doing the laundry pain-free is to do other things while it is going on. Instead of wallowing in “despair”, I make it enjoyable by accomplishing other things on my list. I hope these tips will help you make your laundry sessions better!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

That Not So Funny Conditioner

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This is part 2 of this review. You can read part 1 here

This conditioner has a lovely scent. I like orange scents. With the first couple of weeks of usage, I was pretty happy with it. Then my hair became all tangled. I have a hard time combing my hair even after using this. I also noticed a lot of hair fall. My hair has also become straighter. Aargh! You’d think I’d dump this but until now, I am still using it because it’s expensive even when I got it on sale. I’m on the last bits now and I can’t wait to go back to Dove.