A Granting Genie in the Adult Realm

Adulting is hard, specially when financial obligations and responsibilities constantly slaps you every 15th and 30th of the month. Yes, you can always accept gifts but sometimes, gifts are a bit of a burden, too. Well, sometimes, I turn gifts into cash by selling it online or on a garage sale, but it always take time, effort and the reality is, it’s hard to turn unwanted gifts into cash when you lack luck.

ge·nie
ˈjēnē/
noun
  1. a spirit of Arabian folklore, as traditionally depicted imprisoned within a bottle or oil lamp, and capable of granting wishes when summoned. – Google

Once I fancy to have an enchanted item that could magically turn into something I need the most – basically to save the day! In my toddlers’ language, it would be like the wandering latina girl’s backpack, some famous clubhouse’s mouseketool; or if you’re a fan of classic stories, you’ll appreciate an oil lamp rubbed thrice; or Ginie Gives if you can relate to a local fast food web-serye.

One can dream, right? But did you know that this enchanted item also exist in the adults’ world? Believe it or not, it is! And we very well knew it on its more popular name, the Sodexo Gift Certificates!

Sodexo Gift Certificate is a Shapeshifter.

Several times over, I had learned the wonderful convenience of having Sodexo Gift Certificates just in the nick of time! And below I’ll share to you my top rewarding experiences whenever I use this shapeshifting gift in the adult world!

It can turn to scrumptious gastronomical discoveries – With more than a hundred participating food & beverage restaurants, having Sodexo Gift Certificates could surely fire your bravery to try a new cuisine and discover a new set of palette. Since Sodexo Gift Certificates are as good as cash, it can be used alongside with your regular discount cards like HappyPlus or Bistro Card, and can usually be paid even for limited time offer deals. From the comforting food of best friend Jollibee to Tong Yang cravings to your Vikings appetite! Everyone can be satisfied with a burp with Sodexo GC!

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Sodexo Premium Pass – Ang Gift Certificate ng Bayan!

It can give the most relaxing treat I deserve – I sometimes discover new spa and massage destinations via my Sodexo Gift Certificates. What’s more, it can also be used as payment for hotel staycations – Dakak, Microtel, Subic Bay Yatch Club, and Holiday Inn  for some!

It can open the doors to more road trip adventures – Aside from using it on almost every food and restaurant establishments along the way, Sodexo Gift Certificate can also make sure that you’ll get to your destinations as it can be used on Shell Gas Stations as well. So fasten your seatbelt, gas up and fill your soul with the goodness that traveling can do!

Sodexo Gift Certificate can save the day!

It can make ends meet. – At the end of the day, people just wanted to get by. And during these times of economical crisis and recessions, you can really be a friend in need if you consider giving friends and family Sodexo GC as gifts on their special occasions or just because you remember them.  Read about how you can make hassle-free gifts here.

The best news about this shapeshifting item beside from the fact that it’s so flexible and convenient to use, is that, Sodexo GCs have always been and forever will be valid, and that revalidation and replacement of Sodexo GC’s are free of charge once the validity date is reached. Check out the list of Sodexo Merchants here. 

I sometimes get Sodexo GC as a gift from my relatives, friends and as a token whenever I attend events; and I always keep my non-expiring Sodexo GCs in the back pocket of my planner as an emergency fund.

Sodexo Gift Certificates sustains us especially when my checks are in late-clearing or payments were delayed; and as a freelance designer, these kinds of incidents usually happen more than occasionally, so I always make sure that before heading out, my Sodexo GCs are inside the bag.

As a practical mom, I usually opt to use our Sodexo GC as an emergency fund for grocery items and medicines. Sodexo can be used as a cash payment for almost all the leading supermarket and pharmacy nationwide!

Sodexo GC can really save the day as it can be used to sustain one’s life – from grocery items to curb hunger to paying medicines to heal the sick.

From creating hot meals on a stormy night, to be able to buy the medicine for the sick, to just filling up the tab when I ran out of cash, Sodexo GC got my back and those were surely the most rewarding experiences my family and I had!

Thinking of gifting someone? Give Sodexo Gift Certificate! It’s like giving a them a portable genie that could grant wishes to save the day!

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#gerilenmbf: Saving Earth by Saving Pennies

With great power comes great responsibility, but no, we don’t need the ability to fly or become invincible. Sometimes, we just need to more sensitive in our surroundings and financial status.

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Global warming is real. The ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating while fruitless dry deserts are growing vast fast. .  The trees and sources of vegetation are getting fewer. What’s more? Wild fires are rampant, making vegetation and livable land barren and inhabitable.

The sea level is constantly rising; eating up shores and small islands along its way. The field of plants became factory plants; people are eating fake food – processed and instant.  The concrete jungle expands and reclaim areas not meant to be inhabited shooing away animals in the process and they are dying, heck, some are already extinct – Philippine Rhinoceros, Warty Pigs, Dwarf Bufallos, and Stegodon, to name a few.

Now that I am a mom of two, I refuse to cry in worry on the corner and die. Not without a fight! I want to fight back and save our Mother Earth by believing that just like how a small yet constant ripple could make a huge wave, how a domino with a push of a determined mommy finger can move hundreds, thousands of dominos in line, I, as a self-proclaimed environmentalist is still hoping for the best for our dearest Mother Earth.

 

When self-employment is not your choice. Ever since I graduated and passed the board, I was forced to be to a freelance designer. Well, having my post-heart surgery in my medical record and a lifetime blood disorder hinders me from entering the corporate life. It is a blessing in disguise for me as I can work while tending the house and rearing the kids. I also am grateful for having friendly (repeated clients) bosses, both foreigners and Filipinos.

 

But, freelancing can also be translated to isang kahig, isang tuka (one scratch, one peck) and I used to be a rich for a day and a beggar for the next six days. We have to adjust our lifestyles now that I am raising two kids of my own. Hence, I need to be smarter when it comes to our finances so I could stretch the peso bill as much as possible and make ends meet.

Sometimes, one plus one is one. I will never be a mathematician because I believe that one plus one is sometimes one – from finding lifetime love to fulfilling my mission to leave good footprints on Earth. No, I don’t need fame, and I apparently don’t have the money but I definitely have the perseverance to save Earth by saving pennies.

The air quality index in the metro is higher than the maximum safe level of total suspended particulates when measured in micrograms per normal cubic meter. How can children of my children enjoy life and appreciate nature when they go fishing and caught fishes with plastic microbeads on its digestive track? Will it still be possible to watch the beautiful sunset across the sea without the breeze of smog? How can they experience bathing in the rain when it’s already full of acid?

Answers to these questions are negatory, especially now that instead of picking fruits fresh from the tree, people are conditioned by big companies to microwave processed food claiming to contain real fruit extracts and bits.

No to Damsels in Distress. Superheroes are a blockbuster hit in the cinemas – subconsciously, we are longing for a powerful force to turn things around for the better without lifting a finger, but to be a woman in a field dominated by men, I learned to refuse to just look and see what happen. I have the capacity to analyze, to create and to make a difference, why just let it go to waste?

Saving Earth by Saving Pennies.

A Ripple Can Turn to Waves.

As for our household, we take advantage of the fact that they love superheroes & characters that makes a difference in spite of the mediocrity amongst them and using these references, Gerilen and jer sons are saving Planet Earth one penny at a time!

You don’t have to do grand things to end up with grand results. By simply incorporating good habits in our daily routine, we can surely make a difference. Here are some of our habits in saving Earth by saving pennies!

Segregate

Just like the process of segregation, it’s simply putting the same things in one place. In our household, we segregate everything as much as possible. Discarded papers are placed in a box to be used as scratch for manual computations. These are also where I make Kulayot practice his writing, after both sides are used, they are now piled as papers for pasting receipts for our BIR submission. We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

Recycle

Fruit seeds, veggie peels and other biodegradable that stray cats can’t digest (because we can’t afford to have pets yet, hence, feeding the strays) go straight to the plastic bucket that used to hold crispy fried chicken. Every day, the hubby take these out to be placed in our crude compose pit (a broken plastic basin – free organic fertilizers in the making.

15665935_1502245799788775_4028404500476329898_nFrom holding fried chicken, to white paint and now to biodegradable waste, we are happy to recycle this sturdy piece of plastic.15672550_1502245649788790_7038131936983427840_nOur crude compose pit with recycled ground coffee and fruit peels.

Did you know? According to Google: Different kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years. It can even take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade! That’s a long time for even the smallest bottle.

Wine bottles become water jugs; plastic water bottles become mobile comfort for little gents nature call during traffic, we also use plastic bottle bottles as improvised trap for pests like roaches – simply spreading peanut butter inside makes an overnight success it could give you goose bumps.

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From time to time, we ask for free coffee grounds from our favourite albeit overpriced coffee shop and reuse them in our compose pit. We also use discarded banana-q sticks and plastic forks as our garden piko (pick mattock), plastic spoon as shovel when transferring seedlings to our tetra pack pots.

My babies didn’t get the chance to experience cloth diapers, so to make up for that, we use soiled (pee only) diaper gel as water retention in our garden to reduce our waste contribution and to less our water consumption in watering the plants. We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

Upcycle

Creativity is intelligence having Fun.

Plastic bottles can be upcycled as glitter bottles to settle toddlers during roadtrips. Instead of buying number stickers for Kulayot’s numbering of notebooks and books, the husband just cut out numbers from our wall calendar!

cocobank

We also use coconut husk as authentic coin bank – teaching them to be financially wise and environmentally friendly at the same time? Win -win! We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

Reduce

Instead of using plastic bags, we bring our own ecobags. What’s more? After reusing empty bottles as our mobile cr, we drain its content and with the rest of other discarded bottles, cut them in half. I’m a cheapskate and instead of buying fancy pots, I’m happy to say that we are reusing plastic bottles as plant pots, letting them hold life while they wait 450 years to disintegrate. It gives me the feels. Bittersweet.

Not just plastic bottles, we also updated our recycling program and gave tetra packs another reason to exist! Now, life is better for them than rot in a dumpster, or worse, clog the rainwater drainage or end up in the bottom of the ocean choking fishes and destroying coral reefs – the possibilities are endless and terrible. We save pennies and we save Mother Earth!

There is no worse than Snicket’s attempt to retell the tales of the Baudelaire orphans, and still Violet, Klaus and Sunny make the best out of the resources they have (like serving Puttanesca sauce out of garlic, anchovies, tomatoes and pitted olives)  while doing their best in all their infamous unfortunate circumstances (but Count Olaf is insisting for roast beef). So with hope in our hearts, we’ll wait to see our ripple oscillate, became a wave and make a difference, too.

I do not know why superheroes wear their underwear on the outside but not all heroes wear capes and are able to fly, sometimes they just save pennies and save Mother Earth!

I am trying to save Gaia, ironically imagining myself like one of Rick’s half-bloods one candy wrapper in my pocket, one foodless plate on my table and a close tap while brushing my choppers at a time. Of course it’s not enough. My only consolation is that, my kids as early as now are aware of their responsibilities in keeping our planet livable and at least, while trying to save Earth, we surely are saving pennies!

#gerilenmbf: Kids and coins

The husband (boyfriend back then) climbed the coconut tree inside their garden. Picked coconuts from the tree. The smallest of the fruit he gently opened on top, removed its coconut milk and leave it for three months beside its tree. The red ants feasted on the coconut fruit for quite sometimes. Finally, when not a single ant visits the fruit, he picked up the hollowed husk and smoothen it with sandpaper. He gave it to me as a gift.

cocobank

Save or Spend

We named our coin bank Coco, and he’s been a family member even before we settle down. I used to put bills and collected Php 11,000.00 at the end of the year!

One of the things we want to impart to our children is the habit of saving.

Now that we have kids, we make it more enjoyable by letting them feed Coco, by allowing them to insert coins while counting numbers and also constant reminding them that coins are not human food.

Up until today, we are feeding Coco coins. Once Coco is full, we gently opened its skull with a hammer and exchange it bills to help make coins circulate to the market faster. We have opened it more than once and glued it again and again so we could just feed it up again with coins.

Aside from incorporating the importance of saving, we also try to help Kulayot think things thru, whether to buy it or not. Once there was a time, when he has good scores in school and as a reward he really wanted to buy a gummy bear at a local 24/7 convenient store. He was determined to only buy one piece. He did. We only bought a piece of gummy bear for Php12.00! He thanked me for letting him eat a gummy bear and the change go straight down Coco’s throat.

The thing is, aside from constantly saving the coins for Coco, we also talk him through whether he should spend or save instead. Like I said, instead of buying three or two, he’s determined to only buy a piece so he could have some change for Coco. Also, instead of having each of everything, during our grocery shopping, I only let him have one. He will scan the aisle and before checking out the counter, he will only pick one. I fancy watching him decide between a fish-shaped biscuit covered in chocolate or the chocolate cookie with vanilla cream filling. He’s very comical with his arms across his torso and a finger tapping his chin while making decision! What fun!

Need vs. Want

Needs are things you cannot live without, and for humans its food, shelter and clothes.

Wants are things that are nice to have, toys, sweets and live-streaming of favourite videos.

One of my usual topic with Kulayot are the things he wanted to get and the things he needed to buy. Whenever we are shopping for his school supply, I let him choose the color of his pencil case, the design of his socks, the color of his rubber shoes and as we go along the way, and surely he will see albeit educational, toys that aren’t in our budget.

This is where we discuss things – and if you know Kulayot, he can surely explain and justify himself and to be fair, we compromise and meet halfway. For instance, when he wants the breakfast set kitchen toy worth Php2,000.00 and my budget for him is like a hundred bucks only. I let him looked at it, see the details and then, persuade him to check out the sale. There’s this three different toys for Php100.00 including a pencil case! I told him that with this deal, we will buy what we need, the pencil case, and he could buy a new toy too. Win-win!

In saving, it doesn’t have to be a huge amount every time, sometimes a peso or a centavo every now and then can help them make inserting coins to the Cocobank a habit. It will help them automatically put coins to the bank whenever there’s one lying around the house instead of going outside to buy sweets and junkfood at the sari-sari store.

It helps me to budget things more successfully when I make him understand the difference between his needs versus the things that he only wants. I also emphasize that the toys he likes now will not be the toys he’ll like later or after a week, but when we buy the things that he really needs, he will use it fully and hence will make sulit of the price tag. Yes, I explain these things to my 5 year old kindergarten.

Why Why Why

Whenever we finally reach Coco’s rim full of coins. We open it and let Kulayot help decide where to put his money. In our discussion, we try to help him understand that it’s important to make his purchase a purposeful one. We do let him play in ballpits as a reward for when he has good grades, but do we really need to go on an excursion to a nearby fair when he needs a new pair of black shoes for Sunday? Instead of buying sugar-loaded donuts, he usually request his favourite fruits – watermelon, apples, oranges and cherries!

I also try to put sense in his purchase; once, when he’s with his lolo, he asked for a round cake with eight cherries encircling the top. The cake was worth Php600.00! He only managed to eat the cherries and leave the cake for us to gulp down with coffee. To not make this mistake again, I now buy cherries in bottles! There are about 30-35 pieces of cherries for about Php250.00 only and I won’t help him swallow the entire bottle in one sitting as well, I give it as a reward right after he finished his plate of rice, vegetables and meat. He chew more consciously whenever he think about the cherry on top!

Financial Journey as a Family

Living would be more manageable financially if all members of the family – daddy, mommy and children – will participate in consciously tracking the expenses and consistently balancing the distribution of their resources prioritizing important matters for the benefit of all, like securing the utility bills first before planning a vacation, or for when it’s better to just stay home and eat home cooked meals instead of dining out. These little discussions for little things can influence their financial analysis in the future.

Children setting their minds to responsibly save for the future will ease up burden of parents in their old age. They will certainly become committed adults and hence will not only invest money smartly, but also their time and talent to things that have more positive results and higher potentials to their future.

#gerilenmbf: For the Girly Girls but One of the Boys

Wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), that is how I dress up for my highly hazardous work environment – the construction site. A shirt with caution vest, denim pants with hardhat and steeltoe to protect myself from electrocution, falling debris and puncturing from tie wires and steel rods protruding everywhere. Mind you, my hardhat saved me from having a concussion for a hundred of times and laborers that saw me every time always have this snide remark “Buti na lang may hardhat ka, Ma’am.” (Good thing you’re wearing a hardhat, Madam.)

Covering yourself for protection is good but inspecting the site under the scorching heat of the sun is not so good – at least for the reputation of the girly girl in me. I don’t feel very feminine with hair sticking on the sides of my face and shirt wet from sweat and accumulating stain from either mud because its raining or dust because its hot.

A clip of concrete pouring a steel deck – see the protruding tie wires?

One time, the hubby and I went on a series of site inspections around Quezon City. We geared up – backpack, hardhat, stiletto kidding, it’s steel toe. Our pants were of dust, cement and mud. Our kili kili (armpits) sweating off, we both hate the inconvenience we call umbrella, the freaky sunscreen is a hot thick film sticky on skin and our hair is glued to our faces, plus the hard hat gives a nice touch of crown. Imagine the horror on my face when we got a call summoning us for an emergency meeting on one of our client’s offices in Ayala.

Of course we went through.

22330813_1905548669458484_292873665_nTypical FOTD on site.

Thank goodness I’m not the only one with the driver’s license. I tried finger-combing my hair, I even attempted to at least put some brows on when the red light’s on and swipe color on my lips. Brush the oil stain from my lower pants, white paint stain on my backside shirt and patches of dried out mud from my hardhat and steel toe using wet wipes.

I gave up.

22359506_1905548072791877_374907214_nAfter work glow vs. After pampering glow

We entered the room just like so and guess what? As expected, all of the people inside wears formal. Mga ateng (female) architects wore dresses, & cat walking on their wedges. I vividly remember a junior architect in a tuxedo complete with a black bow, parang magpoprom lang (like attending a high school junior-senior prom). ‘Di ko na tinignan kung nakafalsies sila kasi maiingit lang ako! (I didn’t bother to check if they’re wearing false eyelashes, I will just get envious!)

Well, actually may isang nakafalsies! (I caught one wearing false eyelashes!) I can only imagine wearing makeup at bumilad sa araw (and bask in the sun).

It’s understandable, how I look. Until I mentally compared myself to the woman who opened the door for us; a woman wearing a corporate dress tiptoeing on her stiletto, leaving a whiz of gentle perfume on her path. An office secretary in her turf – structured curls of hair, perfectly winged eyes, full-on brows with gleaming smile of matte red lips. My head wondered if it’s transfer-proof until I died a little.

That’s why I love dressing up whenever the event asked for it and when I got enough time to pull it through because toddlers and deadlines aren’t always on the same Cartesian plane of time. You choose your battles, either bathed & fed kids and deadlines reached looking like a beggar, or looking gorgeous with untidy home, hungry kids and utility bills unpaid! Okay, that’s over-escalating things but when you have minor beta-thalassemia aka defective hemoglobin, you don’t have enough muscles to check all the things for Today’s To-Do List.

Like I said, sometimes, toddlers and deadlines aren’t always on the same Cartesian plane of time – unless the universe aligned to make you shine; the toddlers are asleep so I can have extra time to think about the clothes I’ll wear or put on decent makeup or an extended family member drop by to look at the kids while I do me.

Rare occasions where I don’t stay long that much on site that I can still wear the same top to my evening affair without the smell. From construction site inspection to blog event transformation.

Science has proved it. The brain chemistry behind the interest of people in personal appearance, like intense passion for clothes and the likes, like falsies, makeup and perfumes are highly because its pleasing and humans very much like to see beautiful things that vibrates pleasing aura.

Personal appearance alter your approach and interaction with the world.

We know our clothes affect other people’s impressions of us, but what’s more important to know is that what we wear affects us too, so the mud on my shirt and the oil stain on my pants really has something to do with my internal pulling of hair and crying on the corner.

The secretary who opened the door for us lead us to the conference room. It just made me sigh with relieve that she’s friendly and accommodating. What’s more? We won’t be staring at her the entire time nor the junior architects like prom dates waiting for the sweet music to start while beating myself up in the process, because we are meeting with their superior. Their superior.

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My saving grace? We were introduced as the project-in-charge and hence, our outfit. The senior architect reclaimed my dignity albeit the greasy-sweaty look. Her, carefully taking notes of what I’m discussing sort of made my self-esteem higher. I may be a construction worker per se, but I’m the head engineer in the group and it’s crucial that they listen to me.

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Clothes are one of human’s basic need, but in our modern times, clothing has been raised to a higher standard we call Fashion so if you’re a girl who loves to dress up, go you! Your girly girl closet isn’t frivolous, its just that it contains a myriad of channels to heightened up your game.

And as for me, well, I may not always have my brows on-fleek, sometimes my katamaran (one of minor beta thalassemia symptom is fatigue) attacks, and I’m no exception to smell like a construction worker after a day in the field but I got a head on top of my shoulders. That’s more important-er (engineers aren’t suppose to be good in English).

Clothes will boost our confidence in facing the world when its stain-free and newly looking, good thing there’s Elextrolux Ultimate Care Washing Machine with FashionCare technology!

With Electrolux Ultimate Care you can “Buy now, wear forever!”

The unique Electrolux UltraMix Technology guarantees your favorite clothes (in my case, my construction site clothes) to look newer for longer! No matter what lifestyle you’re in, Electrolux’ Innovative Vapour Refresh program – a quick cycle designed to refresh delicates without using detergent, will get your clothes wrinkle-free with less ironing hassle. That’s hitting two birds in one stone! It refreshes your clothes, leaving them smelling fresh and looking like new. No more smelly clothes! And the Woolmark certified cycle will fit all kinds of clothes even the precious woollens! Now we don’t have to hand-wash special types of clothing like fishnet, wool and cashmere.

With Electrolux FashionCare you Wash. Wear. Repeat!

This feat is important for my school kid because so far, he only got a pair of uniform that I hand wash because I’m afraid that my washing machine will ruin the delicate fabric and for my construction uniform PPE, I had to hand wash after having the long strong cycle because the washing machine isn’t strong enough to remove stubborn stain, too.

230131_224651647548203_2383883_nThe roses in the family. My sister Beth, yours truly and our Mother E. We love wearing fishnet for skirts, wool for scarves and cashmere for turtlenecks.

Electrolux FashionCare will remove the worry of frequent washing leading to faded colors that includes white! Unique Electrolux UltraMix™ Technology delivers an exceptional deep clean even at 30°C, keeping clothes vibrant and newer for longer – perfect for my everyday uniform/construction clothes. It also allows water to be pre-mixed with the detergent and activated even in cold water, ensuring a deep yet gentle clean – perfect for my school kid’s uniform, and delicate fabrics like fishnet, lacy dresses and silk.

22345115_1906415736038444_632490685_o (1)The Jersons love vibrant colored polo and long sleeves on Sundays. With Electrolux Ultimate Care Front Load, I can save muscle for more important things on my Today’s To-Do List and that’s to devout my time to these boys!

Segregate correctly and wash pieces of same shade of color and type of clothing with the right machine like the Electrolux Ultimate Care Front Load, which has features that help clothes stay vibrant. The unique Electrolux UltraMix Technology helps care for your favourite delicate clothes and everyday work/school clothes at the same time!

There is no perfect to explain the phenomenon that is Electroluc UltraMix Technology other than the Style Icon, Fashion Designer Rajo Laurel!

Rajo Laurel is the first-ever Electrolux FashionCare Ambassador!

  • Load Sensor™ Automation -Electrolux Load Sensor™ automatically senses load weight, determines optimal washing time, water and detergent while guaranteeing maximum energy efficiency. Just like how the elevator door won’t close when it’s overloaded. This smart machine won’t start the cycle when it’s too heavy. This feat will keep the clothes protected from tearing up and saving it’s life, too.
  • Energy Efficiency – Electrolux EcoInverter reduces energy consumption by 75%* while guaranteeing long lasting performance and silent operation. Advancing in technology doesn’t necessarily mean harming our environment, Electrolux UltimateCare Washing Machine is a proof to that.
  • 99.9% Allergen Free – Electrolux Vapour Care reduces allergens by up to 99.9% even at 40°C while taking care of your family’s well-being. Perfect for baby’s sensitive skin and patients suffering from skin asthma.

22343527_1709842015707005_913118082_oMy best power dressing look.

I still wear my PPE; that’s a standard protocol in the field of my choosing, but I have more appreciation of my profession now. I help in civilizing humanity, I volunteer in designing public maternity facilities, I’m in the middle of conceptualizing a sphere house – which will float when it floods and will roll during earthquake. In the end, it is one of our main source of bread and hence, I must be thankful that I am able to wear my PPE.

electrolux gerifiedphElectrolux FashionCare Front Load Washing Machine

With Electrolux FashionCare I can use my muscle to take care of my loved ones because I know it will take good care of our clothes – removing stains and making it newer for longer!

I still love adoring girls in their carefully articulated outfits, I try to recreate the look when I’m up for it too, but for now, I’m excited for this latest technology innovation in washing the laundry; it has come to a full new height and now that it could take care of my family’s well-being with 99.9% Allergen Free, our everyday work and school clothes, our special clothes with Innovative Vapour Refresh program, and the environment, too with Energy Efficiency Feat!

I’m a proud girly girl but one of the boys and just like me, Electrolux FashionCare has the tough muscle for stain but a soft heart for my delicate fabric!

Discover the world of Electrolux Fashion Care at bit.ly/ElectroluxFashionCare

#gerilenmbf: On Spending Less for Happiness

Back in college, my ex-boyfriend (husband and dad to my 2 gentlemen) & I decided to start growing 45 day commercial chickens in their backyard in Baguio. We invested Php50.00 per chick and the feed includes rejected milled rice and ground corn. He fed them and religiously put them in our DIY incubator in between his self-review. Needless to say, we graduated, and three days later, he passed the board.

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No night life for us, we either are studying or tending our chicks.

The star of our celebration? Different putahe (serving) of freshly butchered chicken left from the pack. Most of the chickens were sold to pay for our tuition fee and graduation rites.

Before that, we celebrated monthsaries eating a tuhog (stick) of qwek-qwek Php10.00 for 5 pieces each at the end of Harrison Road, right after holding hands while walking down Session Road. Why stare on a big screen when you can sit on a bench inside Burnham Park and watch tourists oar their boats. We tried eating lunch inside the wet market where viand and rice is for only Php25.00, you can even ask for a second serving of mini bowl of free soup broth.

I personally bring packed lunch and empty bottle most of the time, and what I get from the cafeteria are free use of utensils, table napkin and water from the fountain. I even went on selling homemade yema, and carrying different category brochures of beauty products, and offering boxes of  chocolate with stevia and coffee with agaricus mushroom from networking companies to even to my professors. I want to work as a crew on a fastfood chain but my dad won’t allow it because of my health. We are living well but I just like the high that comes in knowing you are earning your own money.

And guess what? Instead of receiving flowers and chocolates, I regularly received seasonal freshly harvest veggies like pechay, tomatoes, cucumbers and a sack of brown rice, the one he can carry from his terminal to my jeep’s terminal, during our anniversaries.

I also received freshly picked antorium and roses with thorns from their garden. I even received a real snail-shell seashell in crude key chain made of rolled tie wire. We lasted five years before tying up the knot. We still are just like that.

28800_124479857583261_1723712_n.jpgMy wedding bouquet. Initially, we wanted to get wild sunflowers from the field but then a storm hindered us from doing so. Yellow gerbera for replacement in our wedding theme of sunflower yellow and snail-shell brown.

Cheapskate. I am proud that I’m a cheapskate but that doesn’t mean I don’t let myself indulge from time to time. I simply do not find extravagant happiness in wearing branded clothes or donning expensive bags, jewelleries and the like.

Practicality. I fancy ecobags I get from blog events and use it full-use. This is also one of my simple ways in saving Mother Earth from plastic accumulation, by reusing and recycling materials. And now that I’m a mom, I won’t buy shoes until the one I’m using is already torn and beyond repair. He also has this trait when it comes to his leather wallet, belts and denim pants. It saves us space, too, and hence, we can breathe more.

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DIYs. As much as we can, we DIY things. Our first project was our DIY cabinet. He also created a DIY table for me and I vividly remember my very pregnant-self sprinkling water to my husband’s newly laid concrete hollow blocks for our DIY breakfast nook/wine bar in the kitchen. If we can create it, and we have time to make it, we’ll do it. Albeit the hard work and effort, DIY is fun quality time. It also make our things, furniture and fixtures, sentimental and valuable.

What all these has done to us? Financially, it is helping us save money. We helped in assisting his sisters school needs, improvement and renovation in their house, repair and maintenance in our car. And now, we are in the middle of constructing our two storey with a mini deck on a deck.

“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.” —Richard Holloway

Minimalism. We are trying to adopt to learn to live in bare. To remove the excess and basically just focus on what we really need. We try not to get attached to trivial things and we are trying our best to:

Resist impulse buying. We try to sit down and talk about what we need to buy, do we really need to buy it, how can we afford it and how long will it last us or the benefits will get from it. To resist the temptation to buy impulsively, I try to canvass the things we need to purchase online or in store, without bringing the budget for it because sales personnel have very convincing and persuading powers. Pending the purchase is better than impulse purchasing something and regret it later.

Bring a cheapskate with you. Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. When it comes to purchasing, you should choose your “teammate” wisely. Lifestyle of others and your conversations with them will greatly affect and influence your personal desires and decisions. Never let yourself overspend just to keep up with your barkada. Besides, if they are your real friends, money and material things should be hold last on the list because they should prioritize quality time spent together instead.

List down you finances. I learned this from my mom. Thru writing down a list, she’ll be able to come up with the right budget for each aspect and how the budget will be subdivided to ingredients for example for a particular dish, or on paying bills in time to avoid penalty and to basically keep the ends meet. Thru her list, she can easily navigate her spending to create a monthly expenditure and hence, it is easier to keep record of income, past expenses and expected future purchases. By creating a realistic spending sheet, you can adjust to meet financial goals without hurting your budget and compromise your basic needs.

Keep kids in control. My mom let my brother wail to his heart content until he got tired and walked away from the toy shop. My mother-in-law did that to my husband’s brother. And guess what? I did just that to Kulayot not so long ago. Children are one of top target of marketing strategies and after that incident with Kulayot, I tried to explain to him that it is not included in our budget and that if he really wanted to get that particular toy, he needs to sacrificekeep putting coins in his cocobank instead of buying sweets to save enough money so we could go back and get it.

What I am learning about living a simple minimalistic life is that it is the opposite of what the majority is running after – everything! Being simple calls out to people who doesn’t want anxiety in possessing a lot of material items. It encourages you to slow down, possess less but enjoy more for longer. As a family, we indulge in our heart’s desires from time to time, but instead of putting it on material things, we try to invest our money to experiences and quality time. Life is short, live well.

Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa brings you to London

Sometimes, I daydream of licking a melting gelato while throwing bread crumbs to the bevy. Smell the authentic espresso of the west in the morning, and end the day with a rare medium steak and a glass half full of Cabernet Sauvignon.

But Alas! I’m only making ends meet and I’m having a hard time to save up, and filing for a European visa is not on the priority list as of the moment. If you’re having a hard time saving up for that European trip like me, c’est la vie!

Or should I say, say no more!

Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa can bring us to the Big Ben! Read more to learn how we can finally cross the London Bridge – for real this time! Continue reading “Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa brings you to London”

#GerifiedPH: Disney Absolute-ly!

Did you know? Blood is thicker than water, but blood is 79% water!

Imagine yourself slowly releasing your breath, reaching for a hand… preparing yourselves to dance. The music started, you waltzed your way  in the tune of “Once Upon a Dream”.

I know you,
I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you,
The gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
Yet I know its true
That visions are seldom all they seem
But if i know you
I know what you’ll do
You’ll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream…
*
Once upon a time, in a land faraway, a maiden with hair as black as ebony, lips as red as the rose and skin as white as snow walk into the spring, carrying an empty pot, followed by chirping birds, squeaking squirrels and galloping deers.

She scoop water up her hand and jug down the cold liquid, quenching her thirst from the summer heat before filling up her vessel to return back to the gnomes. Refreshed and invigorated, she carry her pail full of water back home.

And they lived healthily ever after.

*

Well, we do not do that anymore, not everyday, not in most places. When it’s hot and humid, or simply when we feel thirsty, what do we look for? We don’t usually fetch for water.

Unfortunately, water is the last of our choices because we reach and subconsciously choose cold soda or sugary crushed ice – and bottomless, at that. This behavior is adopted easily by no other than our kids and toddlers!

No kidding! The rate of soda consumption among kids continues to increase resulting to premature obesity. A child’s body constantly needs a supply of water to ensure that the body is able to carry out all of the functions to allow learning, growth and ability for various physical activities.

Did you know? Water is a nutrient for every cell in the body.

When our kids do not drink enough water, they may experience mild dehydration which in return can cause them to feel fatigued, easily irritated and hence will left them without any energy. How to know if your kids are dehydrated? Symptoms include dry lips and lack of urine.

18718328_1744382088908477_217738397_nTap here and see why parents should encourage kids to drink more water.

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Bento By Kat

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#AbsoluteDisney event was held last May 24 at the Happy Garden Cafe in Makati. The event started with a scrumptious buffet followed by a Bento Workshop hosted by Ms. Kat and Ms. Trisha of Bento by Kat.

Did you know? Small sips of water throughout the day is the smartest way to keep well hydrated. Keeping the bottle near will mentally remind you to reach for it.

Bento means lunch box in Japanese and it is proven be to a smart-creative way to incorporate and sneak in healthy vegetables and fruits in kids diet, especially picky eaters.

Ms. Kat discussed the techniques to keep the Bento interesting, fun and always fresh! Bento lunch box must have a balance of go, glow and grow food. It should be placed neatly and tightly secured.

Did you know? Water is keeping us alive, it can pull blood up narrow vessels in the body, often against the force of gravity. #AbsolutelyAmazing

We should also use leftovers from our carvings and stampings, and finally, we should opt for natural food colorings, like turmeric for yellow and spirulina for green. To keep the ideas coming, we could also create a Bento Diaries that can also serve as our guide.

18582069_1411639268879329_7024825389379375256_n.jpgMy Bento box kit includes a mini scissor, twisters, a spaghetti stick, spatula and some cutters, punchers, a plastic wrapper and a chopping board.

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My Bento Mickey Mouse – not bad for a first-timer. 😛

Brought this home with one of Mickey’s ears out of place (because I dropped by on a construction site to inspect first – in my dress and heels – before heading back home), but Clyde still loved, enjoyed and ate everything – even the small trees and sweet-not-spicy peppers.

The Heart of the Filipino

What’s more? Aside from the overflowing buffet and impromptu workshop, friends from Philippine Airlines held the Best Bento Box Contest and a random raffle prize winners!

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Best Bento Box winner of PAL Flight Manila-Cebu-Manila for 3pax

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Raffle Winner of PAL Flight Clark-Caticlan-Clark for 3 pax.

Congratulations Mommies!

More about PAL’s Latest Clark Operation and latest promotions here.

Healthily Ever After

Aside from inspiring imagination and encouraging children to dream, Disney is committed in educating the youth to adopt a healthy lifestyle. One of its healthy commitment focuses on keeping kids hydrated. Absolute Distilled Drinking Water, in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company Philippines, promotes a “healthily ever after” for kids in their latest hydration campaign and launch of their newest Absolute Disney 250ml SKU.

Did you know? 85% of the brain is water!

18788271_1748166668530019_1698025015_nDecorating the bottles with their favorite Disney characters is an innovative approach, an effort to change children’s perspective on drinking water for proper hydration.

Miniaturizing the bottles to 250 ml makes it more appealing even to tiny little toddlers with tiny little arms, like Dave.

It sure is a fun way to build excitement for kids to adopt healthy drinking habit by choosing water over sugary drinks.

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Touch to see Disney magic.

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For only Php9.00 SRP per bottle, treat your kids to something pure and wonderful! Surprise them with these cool #AbsoluteDisney 250ml kiddie bottles and start them young in making drinking water a habit.

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Collect all six (6) bottle designs now –  Cars’ Lighting McQueen, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Aurora of Beauty and the Beast, father and son tandem Marlin and Nemo, Belle of Sleeping Beauty & Snow White and Frozen sisters, Anna & Elsa!

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Saving Earth

One of the lessons I learned from Finding Nemo is that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone…

With that being said, sustaining a comfortable and healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to ironically destroy our planet. Aside from teaching kids good drinking water habit with Absolute Disney bottles. You could also help them save Mother Earth with these fun DIY activities!

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1 Financial savvy Mickey – cut a small portion of the bottle to make a slit enough for coins to get through.

2 Elsa’s Glitter Bottle – Mix the glitter glue and hot water with the whisk in a container. Then stir in some extra glitter. Let the water come to room temperature, pour the mixture into the empty water bottle and seal the lid on.

succelent.jpgPhoto from Google

3 Green Thumb Snow White – Cut the neck part of the bottle. Poke holes at the bottom, fill with soil and place a plant or a succulent. Water.

4 Aurora’s Storage Trick – The neck part of the bottle that was cut to use in no. 3 can be use as an opening to food items in pouches. Just insert the opening in the bottle, snugly place the plastic on the mouth and cover.

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5 Belle’s flower – Dissolve a paracetamol tablet in a glass of water. Fill the empty #AbsoluteDisney bottle with the solution. Cut flowers and place them inside the bottle.

6 Elsa’s Frozen Pot – Put pebbles inside the bottle and add faux flowers.

7 Nemo’s Treasure Tank – Remove bottle’s top part. Place crayons or whatever treasure that fits inside and cover it with another bottom.

18870907_1749568081723211_2101342214_n.jpgSecured with tape, this will be perfect as baby’s travel buddy and snack – a rattle while getting there, macaroni soup when you get there. Ha!

8 Lightning McQueen’s Telephone to Route 66 – Empty two #AbsoluteDisney bottles. Cut the neck area. Thread one end of string through the bottom of each bottle. Place a paperclip in the bottom of each bottle and tie the loose end of the string around it, this will keep the string from slipping through. Call Mater.

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Absolute tips on how to prepare for a fuzz free kiddie party

***

Once upon a night,
I dreamed we’d be together
In love forever.
Once upon a night,
I was wishing for a never,
A never ending.
Once upon a night
Once upon a time
Once upon a wish
Once upon a dream.
Now, take a bow, catch your breath, and reach for that #DisneyAbsolute bottle! Because just like how water is universal, this drink is for adults, too! Pure water. Pure Love.
***
Visit Absolute Distilled Drinking Water