Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy Holidays

It's 4 days before 2016 ends!

OMG! Sobrang bilis lang ng panahon grabe!

I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas!

Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Keep Cool and Fresh this Christmas with The new Sharp J- Tech Inverter

Christmas is just around the corner and with it are the parties and gatherings you'd probably host or attend. And with every Filipino Christmas party tradition, good food and drinks never fail to make their appearance. But sometimes, the abundance of holiday favorites becomes a dilemma before and even after every party or shindig. I could surely vouch on that since we have a very minimal food storage. During Jami's Birthday party where we had a couple of guests, we never thought that the amount of food we planned doesn't fit to our storage specially those that requires to be refrigerated.

It might be something often overlooked because of all the excitement during these events, but behind the merry celebration, a conscious homemaker will always have these two concerns in mind: the food storage and the potential leftovers.

During the most hectic party, what you need is a reliable and efficient assistant. The new SHARP J TECH INVERTER 2-DOOR REFRIGERATOR [SJ-FTS09AVS- SL, SJ-FTS09AVS - SL] with its unique features and functions, ensures you of a bright, merry and worry- free Christmas. It is equipped with a spacious two-way fresh room that when closed serves as a chiller that rapidly cools the compartment for perfectly chilled drinks. It is also complete with adjustable freezer shelves for maximum storage, big door pockets to accommodate tall and large bottles, tempered glass shelves strong enough to hold up to 100kg worth of items, and a large vegetable compartment for all your fresh ingredients.



The Sharp J-Tech Inverter 2-Door Refrigerator also has a built-in premium Ag+Cu Nano deodorizer that effectively supresses and eliminates strong lingering odors inside the fridge-preserving the taste, fresheness, and flavor of all dishes or food stored.

Also powered by the engineering of the J- Tech Inverter, it has a 32-step rotation compressor speed that gives a fast, even , and optimum cooling performance, ensuring that you and your guets only drink the coolest and the most refreshing beverages. The balanced and consistent cooling temperature also helps retain the crispness and freshness of any food item stored for later use.

Moreover, the new refrigerator series is further enhanced by the unique Extra Eco Mode button which allows the fridge to adjust to the most appropriate cooling temperature whenever there are less items inside.  Without the excessive work of producing unused and unnecessary cool air, and in using LED lighting, it can save up to 46% on energy - truly affirming the efficient, durable, and masterful design system only Japan Technology can bring. Then also with the 7 Shields Protections, it is sure to withstand any hazards like instability, vibration, and fire.

With the Sharp J-Tech 2-Door Refrigerator, you'll never fret next time you hold a party. Watch as it transforms your typical Christmas party stress into a merry and hassle-free moment from the time you purchase your ingredients up until it it's time to clean-up and store any leftovers.


Know more about this new refrigerator series by going to any authorized Sharp dealers near you. You can also visit Sharp's official website www.sharp.ph, Shap Philippines on Facebook, and @sharp.ph on Instagram for more information.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Some Plans failed 2016

2016 has 19 days left.

Wait what??

19 days??

Oh men! Time flies really fast. It's as if my mind is still in July when I was planning how to build our Emergency Fund. Well, thinking about it now makes me a little sad but then, I know that the change of priorities was a greater idea.

If you haven't read about my plan on building a small amount of fund to start with, I wrote about it in August. I actually read it again before I started this entry and I realized, what a great plan I had in mind. Unfortunately, the execution of the plan was the real challenge.

So what has changed? 

 Back in September, I thought about buying a gas range. My baking business was growing day by day that I am having a hard time accommodating orders that are coming. I have my maximum of 12 pieces Yema Cakes that I could bake from 7am-11am. Some days requires 24 pieces of Yema cake and as much as I want to commit, I was really having a hard time. My full time job got affected somehow and I have to even choose which is which. Of course I wouldn't want to quit my day job only because I am happy with it. But then, baking is where my heart is so I know I wouldn't want to give up on it too. The next option I have in mind was to buy a much bigger oven. I was using a Hanabishi 30L Convection Oven and that could only accommodate 6pcs of llanera. I was aiming to bake 12pcs in a batch to cut the time required for baking.

Decision. 

Finally, I have decided to buy a White WestingHouse Gas Range with 62L oven. I was so glad with the purchase although I was hoping it could accommodate one whole batch of Yema Cake. It wasn't but then it really helped with my baking. I was able to cut the labor time for making the cake with the help of my convection oven. With this new endeavor, I failed to save for my emergency fund further as I have to borrow money to make this happen. I also bought a stand mixer to go with the new oven since my hand mixer cannot keep up with the orders.

Failing to Think Ahead. 

Rather than using all of my savings to make this purchase, I decided to borrow money from a friend which ended up making my budget tighter. Because of this, I was so afraid to compute my weekly budget because I know it will surely go to negative and will only stress myself more. The first few months of having this new gas range helped me cope up with the bills and expenses. I knew I made the right decision. Although I invested money for my business without enough fund, I knew it was okay until sad events happened. Nanay had to be confined in the hospital making it hard for us to bake and deliver cakes as no one will look after Jami. I also let relatives to borrow money that ending up me having to shoulder some of the installment at some point. That took a toll on our expenses that I felt it will be really hard for me to come back up. I was paying for my own loan while paying for someone else too.


How Could I let this Happen?

I was blaming myself all the time although I couldn't say I had a depression. It was far from that and I am thankful I had my own family to stand on me on these events. I also had friends whom I could vent out too when it was too much to handle. I was thinking negatively that it will be really hard for me to go back on track. I knew how it felt having debts but I let it happen again. Jami's birthday came and that I had nothing. It was so sad that I had to incur more debts just to cover up the losses I had in the process.

Turning Point.

When Nanay recovered, I had the chance to start selling cakes again. Our 13th month pay came and I used it all to cover most of them. I know I don't need a new phone, a camera, new clothes or shoes. I know these things could wait. I could say I can finally see the light. I am 98% clear with debts and I could budget our money even more. I am now trying my best to plan our meals ahead of time to save more money than buying ready cooked meals or even fast food. With home cooked meals, I could save 100 pesos daily since I no longer have to buy food while in the office. I started listing down all of my expenses again and trying my best to separate my sideline's money to my personal money to avoid it being spent unnecessarily.

What Now?

Jami's about to go to school next year so I have to make sure I have funds for that. I don't want to incur any more debts. I am starting over with my financial journey in building the fund with a new strategy and I am hoping I could see it work in the coming days. Daryl also had the chance to undergo a training in Naia T3 and I was crossing my finger that we could hear a positive feedback after the holidays. Speaking of the holidays, goodies are so in demand so I am expecting a higher amount of orders in the coming weeks. With the new strategy that I am talking about, instead of taking off 20-30% to savings, I would lower it to 10% for now until I could fully recover. I have then decided to get all my baking profits into savings automatically which allow us a higher chance of saving more. With that, I'll be able to see the savings growing higher than usual. I am praying this could be done according to my plan before the year ends - or so I say, 2 weeks from now. =) Am I happy? Yes! Happier than ever. Thank God for all the struggles, I am standing up tall and proud this time. =)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jami at 3 years old

As a tribute to my baby boy for his 3rd birthday, I will be writing things about him so when this memories passed, I could read them all again. At this time, I could say that Jami was a pro communication wise. He talks a lot and can communicate the things that he likes or not.

He was also very active and would climb chairs to get the stuff that catches his interest. Although I let him be, I always remind him that he might fall or slip while still monitoring him. Once I was still sleeping, he woke up ahead of me. I smelled the scent of a manzanilla, I thought Nanay used it. Yun pala, he placed 90% of it on his hand and spilled it on our bed sheet.

There was also a time when he again, woke up before Daryl and I, I woke up and saw him holding my eyebrow pencil na kabibili ko lang, the caps are taken off. I panicked kasi baka naputol na yung pencil and yes, true enough. He left me with just a tiny bit of it. Not to mention the lipstick he used to write on our bed cushion.

I couldn't forget the day when I was taking a bath and Nanay was busy helping me out with the packaging of my Yema cakes that's due to be delivered the same day, he was watching TV while playing with the eco bag that he got somewhere. The next thing I heard was a loud bump and cry from him na para bang sobrang sakit ng nangyari sa kanya. I finished off immediately and ran to him. Nanay was holding him already while he was crying. I asked what happened and we can only assume that he put the eco bag on his head while he was on top of our cleopatra chair. When he was trying to take them off, he fell from the cleopatra dahil wala na nga syang makita due to eco bag covering his eyes. It was a very loud bump for me but he didn't get boo boo except when I saw blood inside his mouth. I panicked as I was worried na baka naputol yung teeth or something like that. I was relived to see that he had a wound on the left side of his mouth. He might have bitten that part when he fell.

Jami says a lot of things that surprises us everyday. Sometimes, I feel guilty that I underestimate his capability to understand my explanation then will be surprised that he knew better. So as much as possible, when he asks questions which I might add, often, I am trying my best to answer. He usually asks "Mommy, anong gagawa ni (who/what)?" Mommy, bakit hindi aandar yung isang gulong (of an 18 wheeler truck)". Paulit- ulit yan until I give an answer. I remember my elder brother and sisters stories, I knew now where Jami get that trait from. hahah! I remember a recent conversation he had with Nanay while watching a telenovela.

(While the actress was wearing only two piece)

Jami: Ganyan si Mommy eh!
Nanay: Ah talaga? Oh tapos?
Jami: Tapos... tinanggal nya yung (cupped his own breast referring to bra)
Nanay: Oh pagkatapos?
Jami: Tapos.. Si daddy..
Nanay: (got curious sa kung anong ginawa ni Daddy) Oh! Anong ginawa ni Daddy?
Jami: Secret!

Then they both laughed. I and Daryl even laughed when Nanay told me that conversation. Ang akala tuloy ni Nanay, we were having loving loving in front of Jami. Sabi ko, we never did that in front of him! Maybe he sees me changing from work clothes to my sleep wear or whenever we bath together. Hahaha! I can't believe he said that. Ever since I realized he's being observant and vocal on whatever he sees, I make sure he's not around when I change my clothes. Baka maikwento pa ako nito sa kapitbahay eh! Lol =D

At 3 years old, I haven't trained Jami to go potty training. I was able to teach him to pee in our bathroom but the poo part is another story. I know I have to do something about it soon before he goes to school.

I was thinking of sending Jami to school next year. He's 3 now so just before he goes 4 years old in October next year, I want him to start going to Nursery by June. That's so he could go to Kinder before he turns 5 then 1st grade when he's 6 years old. I was sick worry about the proper age to start schooling when I realized that I was suppose to be a teacher if I got the chance to finish my college so I reached out to my colleagues to consult. I am 100% sure now that I'll enroll him to a Nursery school next year and hoping we'll get a good start. I know we do! Jami's very sociable and sweet. =)

His eating habit has changed. I know I posted here in the blog that I was struggling to make him eat table food. After some time, he's now making a progress and is very well eating. I just have to make a step forward by making sure that he eats snacks in the afternoon and have our lunch prepared before he gets hungry. Although he eats really slow, I am still happy with the progress that he's making and hopefully make him eat more in the coming days. The sad part is, I am still getting some side comments that Jami is slim. Yes he is. How could he not? His daddy was his same type., Ang lakas kumain but never naging mataba. I know both of them have the same body type so I kept on explaining to them that he can never be as chubby as I am when I was kid. Just as like an old saying "Don't judge the book by its cover", Jami was really heavy kapag binuhat. As in really heavy, plus he's not sickly. He doesn't get colds and cough easily or even fever. I think that the flu vaccine we took in the office was a really big help as it gave a boost to his immune system so we'll definitely get one again next year.

Jami was a very active baby. There were times pa yan when he doesn't want to listen with everything that I am telling him specially if he was doing something na hindi pwede. Naku! Grabe lang, but as much as possible I am trying to lessen the "No". There were times when he insists on helping me make the sauce for Yema cake, I would have to make him help me by pouring either batter or flour  in to my pan. That gives him a satisfaction of him helping me out although it makes my production to slow down since I have to monitor him. Anyway, I know it was a great experience for him so I always let him be. =)


I can keep on going on with Jami's little antics but I limited it to these. I know I'll have many of these in the coming days and I sure enjoy every minute of it. Although there were days when he's being very annoying, (lol) I know I won't miss it for the world. I am really hoping that the progress we are making will continue for the better and praying that God will lead us to the right way of bringing up Jami.. with lots of love from Mommy and Daddy!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Friso Four : A Combintation of Nature and Science

Being a millennial mom opens up a lot of opportunities. Information is now available online through blogs, forums, etc. Montessori, and other progressive schools are now everywhere competing with the tradional schools that most parents attended. Now, every parent has more choices to pick through to better decide the path for their child's future.

ice cream anyone?

Now that Jami is 3 years old, he became more physically, mentally and socially active. Although I could see that he's very independent, I still worry that he might get hurt in the process of learning new stuff. He's very insistent on buying his stuff for school like his bag, shoes, pen and papers, crayons and umbrella and - yes an umbrella, too. Instead of saying that he can't go to school yet, I try my best to use a positive phrase like saying "Yes, we'll go to school next year now that you're already three." I am not sure if he understands but at least I explained it in a way that he won't feel disregarded.

Now that schooling becomes a topic more often, I am now trying my best to understand the K-12 program, progressive, Montessori, traditional school, nursery, kinder and preparatory. Honestly, they are confusing but I know I'll get there.

One morning in Baler, Aurora
As physically active as he can get, he would always stand up on chairs, get on the tables, get his small stool on top of another chair and would sit down, I try to say "No" but I'm reminded that he is  trying to learn new stuff that surely would be more beneficial to him in the future. I was once a child who was curious of everything and I remember how it felt, the need to do the things that are "fun" or "interesting". Instead, of simply saying "no", I'll hear myself saying "Careful, you might fall" or just basically let him do it and watch him closely to make sure that accidents won't happen. I can only spend time with him after work or on weekends so I make sure that when he grows up, he would remember me as his Mommy who is very supportive of whatever he does.



In line with my never ending worry, which is, if I may add a natural response of any mother, I worry that Jami will be vulnerable in the process of development (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially), I am also on the lookout for a milk that has a natural nutrients.

Friso Four takes the best combination of nature and science. From its farms, cows are nurtured with extra care to get quality milk. It uses LockNutri technology, which preserves the natural nutrient of milk without over-heating, making it easy to digest for delicate tummies. This makes sure that kids drink milk that's easy on their tummies so kids would get all the nutrient that are useful to their demanding growth. Friso Four was truly made by nature and made better with Science, giving my child the right building blocks to have a strong inside allowing him to take on every experience.




Find Friso Four at selected Mercury Drugstores in GMA, Luzon, and Cebu.Visit them on FB at https://www.facebook.com/FrisoPhilippines/ and their website https://friso.com.ph.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jami's 3rd Birthday Party

Now I believe that time flies really fast! I can't believe that Jami turned 3 last month! Parang kailan lang he was a tiny little baby who only sleeps, drink milk and poop! Tapos ngayon, sobrang daldal na! Next thing I'll know, he'll go to school na!! Hayy.. I feel old. =(

This year, I planned only to celebrate his birthday at home. I wanted him to experience having guests for his birthday. I know he appreciates his birthday even more. I felt that he's starting to feel the importance of this special day in our lives. For the last two years kasi, parang he doesn't care pa talaga and doesn't understand everything that's going on. Having that said, I appreciate his reactions even more and the happiness that it brings when he blows the candle on his cake. =)

Weeks before his birthday, I really didn't know what to prepare. Ewan ko ba! It's as if my mind isn't working until the day of his birthday when I was cramming to prepare for everything. Lol! I filed a leave from work on a friday before his birthday (fell on a Sunday) so I could still run to the grocery. I contacted his Lola to cook one menu, pancit, broiled chicken and Lumpiang Shanghai then she added a biko as well. It turned out na ang dami nya din palang handa. I cooked spaghetti for him and baked a cake for his birthday. I wasn't really planning to buy a cake since I know I could make one. Yun nga lang, since I wasn't that confident in making a fondant cake yet, nagkulang ako sa ingredients. Lol! Hahaha! I wasn't decided until last minute that I'll make him a Moist Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache covered with Marshmallow fondant. So sayang because I didnt realize wala na pala akong cocoa to make one! hahahah. Good thing, I was able to make a 6x3 Round Yema Cake which we distributed to our guests. I invited some of my officemates lang so mga wala na silang arte sa cake. hahaha! I also bought a cake decoration that I could add. I was aiming for a pirate theme for him initially then later on realize that he loves Lion Guard in Disney Channel. Lol!


It was really funny though na wala man lang kaming maayos na photo during his birthday celebration. While we were singing a song for him before he blew his cake, I was watching him closely because I don't want to miss that for the world! We actually sang two times and re-light the candle so he could blow again because he likes it! hehehe. Pagbigyan, birthday nya eh.


We just had a chatful afternoon with my officemates. That day was really tiring! But definitely worth it. I was really glad that Jami's birthday fell on a weekend so we were able to celebrate it on that special day. And just like that, it was a very simple birthday celebration but we really loved it. I am looking forward for more birthdays at home until he's seven where we'll probably celebrate somewhere special too. =)


Dear Baby,

You were so happy having some guests that day (yung mga anak ng mga kumare ko sa office). You even talk to some of my officemates about what's in their teeth (braces) "Ano yan sa teeth mo?" you said. Haha! and I responded, "magiging zombie yan, Anak!" Just to bully my officemates. Hahah! But that's bad, we don't want bullying okay? I was just kidding and my officemates and I have an understanding of that. =D You played the whole day, you ate spaghetti and biko. I was a little worried that you became restless because we have some guests that we barely fit in the house but you behaved well. The only problem was, you don't want to share your toy to Anthony. But that's fine. I talked to you and you started sharing your toys to him. I like it that way. We briefed you that there were kids coming and you have to share toys. You forgot for a moment but you complied. You were really a 3 year old baby! Almost baby no more, Anak! But.. You are my forever baby boy.

You turned 3 that day and I was the happiest Mommy on earth. I grew up celebrating birthdays like this.. at home. No fancy gifts, no clowns, few guests minsan wala pa, there were times na wala talagang handa but it didn't make me a less of a person at all. I want you to stay humble with whatever that you have in life. I am really glad that you are growing up as a smart, lovable, and happy baby! I could not ask for more, Anak. All I want you to become is a healthy, smart, down to earth, hardworking, God-fearing man. Although I still want to cherish these days where all you know is that you love Mommy and Daddy, I won't hinder you when you wish to grow up. Just make sure that you'll take it a step at a time. I love you Jami and I want you to know that you are Mommy and Daddy's greatest blessing of all.

Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY FOREVER BABY BOY! Mommy and Daddy love you sooo much! Mwuah.

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kids Care Plus+ Review

I have always been in the look out of what's best for Jami without forgetting that we are on a budget. Like any other Moms, I want my baby to smell really good despite the weather that we have. You sure know how bipolar our weather becomes most of the time. One minute it's very humid, the next it's a little colder. Sino nga ba naman ang hindi mag aamoy maasim with the kind of weather? Given that Jami is a very active baby, not to mention that he perspire a lot, I expect that finding a shampoo that will give him a long lasting fragrance will be a real challenge for us.

Well, I worry no more..

Long time ago.. Haha! I mean a month or so ago, we received a package from Tupperware Brands to try their Kids Plus+ line. I know from the past that Tupperware Brand was for kitchen equipment but I was surprise that they have a kids line. It was a kids care package including Shampoo, Bath, Lotion, Powder and Cologne. I was really happy to receive one since I could get to try another product, not to mention the generosity that the company had extended to me. =)

I decided to try the Kids Plus+ since it was more applicable to Jami. I had the Baby Care Plus given to a friend who has less than a year old baby. I just asked her to give me a feedback after her trial as well.

It was the shampoo and the Bath that I was so eager to use. I want to know how it long it would last and if I will like it in general. I was a bit surprise with the scent. It was fruity, I actually hesitated at first use since I am really not a fan of anything fruit smelling. Hindi ko talaga gusto yung mga sweet smelling scent and that's the reason I don't use perfume or cologne to myself often. The Kids Plus+ product are of the same smell, I noticed.



I waited for the full day to check if the fragrance would easily ran off after the whole afternoon of playtime. I didn't get the chance to monitor it on the first day since I have to go to work and that I would come home when Jami is almost asleep. One thing I realized is that I loved the smell of his hair. It was somehow sweet but it was the "sweet na mabango". Not overpowering for me so I kept on using it for a week.

source

From their site:

Gently cleanses and conditions kid's sensitive skin and hair. With Plantapon Skin Cleanser that gently removes dirt and cleans kid's skin and hair while keeping it soft, smooth, and moisturized. With a mild pH-balanced formula that won't irritate kid's skin and a fun fruity scent that kids enjoy. Dermatologist-tested. Hypoallergenic.

Kids Plus+ Bath is available in 100 ml, 200 ml, and 300 ml

source
 From their site:


Gently cleanses and conditions kid's sensitive hair and scalp. With Puricare and Cetiol Conditioners that deposit a film-like protective layer over hair while moisturizing kid's hair and scalp. Prevents dryness and leaves hair feeling soft,silky and freshly fragrant. With a mild pH-balanced formula that won't irritate kid's skin and a fun, fruity scent that kids enjoy. Dermatologist-tested. Hypoallergenic.

Kids Plus+ Shampoo is available in 3 sizes: 100 ml, 200 ml, and 300 ml

The shampoo and bath was really foamy even if you only use a small amount. I liked it though since we could get to play with bubbles while taking a bath together. There were times I would make bubbles which makes him really happy. Talk about additional bonding which I really love since I could only spend so much time in the morning with him before going to work. =)

I also started using the Kids Plus Powder and Cologne. I really like the cologne I even use it for myself! Hahah! As you already know, I am not a fan of colognes or perfumes because it makes me feel dizzy when traveling (weird!) except this one. Before I leave for work, I put an ample amount on my palm for Jami and get another for mine. The fruity flavor of it is just enough for me and that's the reason why I liked it on me as well. After a while, I could still smell the cologne on my hands even after 5 hours. =)

The Baby bath supply ran out pretty fast because I used some on myself as well during those time that we missed to buy our soap in the grocery. Hehe! I tried looking up online to check if there's a site where I could just buy them but yeah, you could contact a Tupperware Dealer to get one. I was just really lucky that they have an office near us! yey!!! =) Oh by the way, I just checked their brochure online and their Kids Care Plus are on sale. Buy any 2 for Php259. =D


I recommend the Baby Care Plus and Kids Plus products! I can't wait to buy Jami's supply this weekend. =) I am looking forward to use the Mom Care Products (those in pink boxes) starting this weekend.

Thank you so much Tupperware Brands and Kids Plus!

For more information, go to their site at http://www.tupperwarebrands.ph/index 
where you could find more about the other line of products they carry, online brochures and the nearest dealer in your area.

Monday, November 7, 2016

I am Back!

Hello everyone, I seemed to find my blogging spirit back so here I am, trying to write again. I so missed blogging bigla since I had some life changing experience in the past few months and I felt the need to document them again. :) Oh! The joy of writing them down and reading them later when you have overcome all those problems. What more if it's a good experience pa diba?

Anyhow,  I am due to write couple of sponsored posts that are long over due. Sobrang wala akong time and that I have no phone at the moment kaya lalong wala akong ma ishare na photos. haha! Hopefully, I could get one. Hindi naman expensive but at least helpful in so many ways.

At this point, I am busy with small baking business, full time job, parenting, and being a partner. There were changes that happened like Daryl undergoing an unpaid training in Naia Terminal 3. Although it was unpaid, I told him to go for it since it may give him a better chance in finding his career in line with his diploma. I can see he was really happy with it so I am giving my full support. I am praying that sooner, it'll give us a positive feedback. =)

I also bought a gas range that I am using for baking stuff. We took a break  from making brownies and yema cake because we ran out of capital. Nanay had to be confined due to her diabetes weeks ago so we have to cover a little of her expenses for that too. I also made decisions that made me suffer monetarily. I guess being overly helpful can cost us too so we have to be careful on that.

Jami celebrated his 3rd birthday at home with some of my friends and family. I was really glad though it was really simple. I made him his birthday cake which was supposed to be two cakes (one was a yema cake which was my friends request and a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache covered with Marshmallow Fondant). Yun nga lang, the night before his birthday, I realized wala pala akong cocoa so I wasn't able to make his second cake. =( Di bale, I was hoping I could make one in one of these weekends that's left in 2016. Jami loves blowing candles on a cake so I guess, it'll be just another reason to make one. =)

I also failed the financial goal that I have set up this year. Remember I was telling you about how I am planning to build our emergency fund? I was hoping to build Php50,000 to begin with since that's the amount that I could only save this year. I was torn between saving the money or investing it in our small business. I havr to buy new an additional oven since my electric oven can no longer accommodate the amount of orders that were coming our way.  Later on, I have decided to take a loan to buy a new gas range and a stand mixer. :) I'll tell you more about it soon. =) At the moment, I am still paying the loans although I only have 3 installment left to pay for the year! Halfway of December, I am almost debt free again . =)

Well, that's somehow a brief summary and the highlight of the past few months. I would have to post Jami's 3rd birthday in a separate post of course since that always have a special place in this blog. =)

I ssooo missed blogging so hang tight and let's get started again! ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Financial Literacy: Emergency Fund


One of my goals this year was to build our emergency fund. Nice! But I failed to make it clear on HOW I’ll achieve it. So I revised my financial goals and managed our money even more. I am still new with this so there were times that Budgeting our Money was a little challenging. I never budget my salary ever since so this was a step ahead, I think. Anyhow, as I have a clearer goals this time (started June 2016 only), I am looking after the day that I would say, “Finally! Goal’s achieved”. I only have 4 months left before the end of the year and I am still on track. Yey! Although when I think about the start of year 2016, I hope I made this choice sooner than later but then, it’s never too late to start. =)

The first step in achieving financial freedom is to make sure that you have enough emergency fund to cover your expenses or immediate medical attention for any members of the family. In my case, I have Daryl and Jami to look out to. Aside from that, we have only one income source so I have to make sure we have money kept to cover us when the bread winner got sick and can’t go to work. 

What is an Emergency Fund?

From the word itself, it's the fund that you'll use in cases of Emergency - Health Emergency, Calamities, Sudden loss of Job etc. It is also suggested that you'll have 3-6 months’ worth of your expenses to make sure that you are able to sustain your immediate needs until you're back on your feet. Three to Six months is enough to recover from these emergencies without dipping into debts. However, I was thinking that saving Php20, 000 is really hard given all the expenses that are lining up, what more with Php50, 000 or even Php100, 000 for the suggested amount of your Emergency fund?

photo source: google


After a friend of mine discussed how she's going to save Php100, 000 until the end of the year, I got so inspired with her thinking and how frugal she was. So I made my own calculations and analyze our current state until I realized that yes! I could make it too.

So how did I plan to build the fund?

To start off, I want to have at least 3 months’ worth of fund since I will be too late to complete it to six months until the end of the year. According to my evaluation, I should have Php48, 000 to achieve my target of 3 months. Wow! I felt overwhelmed. I didn't know that our expenses are this big in couple of months’ time but it didn't stop me from looking for possible ways to achieve my goal. I have later on decided to make it Php50, 000 to close down the amount.

The question is how are we able to achieve the goal with a one income household?

Savings 

I honestly don't know how much money I was saving. I re-organized my income and found that I am putting 10.55% of my monthly salary in coop only to get the money saved and spend later in the year. I am using it for short goals like travel fund, or uses it for shopping for clothes, shoes etc. I also deposit 0.59% to Jami's savings account which I originally planned to be our Emergency fund however, it will take 36 months to achieve the Php50k goal so I have to revise it and come up with a realistic plan. With all these money, I have decided to put 20% of my monthly take home to savings. I still placed all of them in coop so it could earn a higher dividend compared to ATM accounts. As of this writing, the dividend that my shares earned is almost Php200/share in just 2 months! I am so happy with the result. That was just for one cooperative that I joined. The other one earned a smaller dividend because it was just starting although it earned close to Php200 in 4 months. Having these only completes 45.6% of my total money goal without the dividend the shares will earn at the end of the year.

Incentives 

I was really lucky that came 2015, our office started to give out incentives to its employees on our region. I am getting approximately 28% of my monthly salary every quarter and it is fully dedicated in building our emergency fund. I can't spend any more money without making sure that the fund is complete. The amount I’ll place will be 20% of my total goal.

Jami’s Passbook 

Instead of a Php500 deposit that I originally thought of, I decided to place half of the amount to cooperative to earn instead of making this small money sleep in the bank. Php300 is being placed as an additional share then Php200 will remain kept until it’s huge enough to be placed in the bank. The Php200 being kept will accumulate to Php2, 300 until December which will be the 4.6% of the goal. At this time, I have a single digit amount placed into the account which was the 13.4% of the goal. Back in June, I owe an amount to Jami’s passbook which I am looking forward to return and be added on our fund. It has a spot on the budget I created for the year so by December 2016, I’ll be able to return the money back that will make the 5%. Totally, Jami’s passbook will contribute 23%.

Adding them all up will make 88.6% of my goal meaning, I am short of 11.4% that I am still looking forward to complete by the end of the year. What I want was to complete the fund without touching my 13th month pay as it will be allocated to holidays and another goal. I am positive that I will be able to create another source of income to complete all these in a matter of 4 months. =) As of this writing, I am at 35.97% out of 100% of my goal in just 2 months! Yey.. I am happy and I am not losing my focus! While thinking about the shortage, I am trying to improve on these two below;

Additional Income

One of the best decision I made this year was to buy an electric oven. I am now using it for additional income although I was looking for an upgrade since the orders could be a little more overwhelming for the size of my unit. Whenever possible, I put the profit back to my capital. I can't guarantee a huge amount of profit to be placed thru to our fund yet since I have a very small capital and I am looking forward to grow it even more. Once I reach a target goal for our capital, I’ll have earnings/profits to our savings or leisure.
 
Budget

Sticking to the budget is really important although I had trouble last month because it was our 10th year anniversary. I failed to allocate a budget for it simply because we have other more important things to do. I was just really glad that an opportunity knocked and Daryl had the chance to earn a day before and that was the money we used to celebrate. We even made sure that we won't go overboard our budget. We went to Manila Zoo and ate in a fast food to complete the night.

I don't want to say na perfect na ako financially, all of these are just based on my own experience and the situation that we are in as a family. I also just have a mindset and a goal that I want to achieve. There are times that I still wish to go shopping, buy new clothes, shoes, phones or camera but then, I realize we don't even have money to survive if I suddenly lose my job, why would I need a new dress or shoes? Now my goal was to continue everything until the end of the year. When 2017 starts, I could say I am even closer to my dream. =)

Monday, July 25, 2016

10 Years of Being Together and I Feel The Same Love

It has been 10 years since I met Daryl and it felt so good to realize that all those times weren't mostly what we planned but still we made it this far.

Our Dalaga and Binata Days

It was in 2006 when we first met. Uso pa dati ang mga text mates when phone companies released their unlimited texts promos. Naabutan ko pa non yung Php25 unlimited texts for 2 days. Sulit na sulit grabe so most of my classmates and friends would have text clan. This was where I met Daryl. I just had a second handed phone from Kuya and a globe prepaid sim. Originally, ayaw ko ng Globe because almost all of my classmates used Smart Sim. A childhood friend introduced me to her clan that she's a member of and asked me to join too. I later on realized na ang daming nag tetext sa akin na anonymous numbers 'welcoming' me to their clan. Since I was so new to these, I deleted all text messages where in fact I have to reply and say Hi to everybody (Group Message). I asked my childhood friend to send me the phone numbers of the members so I could send a text to them. While scanning through, I saw one named 'Earl". Natuwa talaga ako sa name because for me, it sounded cute. Right after that was Daryl's name and number. I texted all of them with a 'Hi,' including Daryl's number.

I had then some 'text mates' after. Some of them were from provinces of Cavite, Nueva Ecija etc. Yung tipong ang lalayo talaga ng location. It tooked 3 days before Daryl replied to me with a "Hi, Nasl please." meaning Name, Age, Sex, Location which was a normal question back then. Of course I replied to him and that's the start our journey. =) Thinking about it, we didn't expect things to be this long. Meeting each other on texts messages felt that it wasn't something serious but it was technically.



Although I can't say that the journey we had was a smooth sailing, we tried our best to be strong. I remembered having an agreement that no one should ask for a break up when our fight is uncontrollable. "Break na tayo" is something that we decided not to use at all when things don't go our way.

I am so proud with what we have become. Yes, we are not married yet and hoping we could accomplish this soon. Alam ko naman that he wants our marriage to be funded by him and not anyone else, and that's what I want too. I am praying that God will bless us more so we could be as one soon. =)


To Babe:

I love you babe and I am sorry for being so stubborn, the tendency to nag you every day and the super Mommy that's me. I know you understand and that we are two strong people playing the man in the house alternately. I can't thank God enough for you and Jami. You are both one of the best people that I have met. I am always praying for your success and your future. I will always be right here supporting and helping you the best way I can. Again, Happy Anniversary and may God bless us with more healthy years together.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How I Budget our Money

When 2016 started, I was looking forward to be able to save more. I was planning to build our emergency fund so I could tick that off of our goals and proceed to the next priority. I haven't been this organize in my entire life in terms of finances and I never ever budget my salary back then. I spend my salary and would come up to the last thousand more than a week before my next salary. I lived paycheck to paycheck and would even come up short two days before the next salary. I have been a good spender really and that's one of the things that I regret. I started working in 2008 and never had the chance to save even a thousand. Could you imagine that?

Anyway, last month as I turned 26, I realized a lot of things in terms of finances. I have been reading financial books since last year and wasn't able to apply it in reality. I almost give up until I realized the culprit on why I wasn't able to save - I failed to budget our money. I was wondering why I can't build our fund faster (my plan was to put Php1000 per month only!). Anyhow, after kong matauhan, I was so inspired in building the fund and even having a target up until the end of the year to complete at least 3 months worth (ideally 6 months worth of salary). Since hindi ko na mahahabol pa to the end of this year the ideal amount, I would take just the half for a starter.

So how do I budget our money?

source
I am using the technique that I read in one of the books that I bought. It was the Kaya mo Pinoy! 12 Steps to Build Wealth on Any Income by Alvin TabaƱag. He has shown a very simple way in budgeting an income which works for me so far. I have been using it for almost 2 months and the outcome is so far positive. Believe me, I bought and read the book last year but it was just now that I used it to my advantage. Now here's how I do it.

Budget should be divided into sections that is important to you and your family.

Section I. Active Income

According to the book, this is where I'll put my Salary. Any money that I received that requires my effort will be placed in here. I also include here the amount that I earn from baking. Passive Income should also have it's own section but since I don't have one, I skipped that part.

Section II. Savings 

I always remember the saying Income - Savings = Expenses and this is what I am doing at the moment. Before I proceed with the bills, I have savings to deduct from my salary to make sure that I get it to safety before digging into other things. At the moment, I am saving 20% of my salary which I am quite happy. In September, I am increasing it to 25% to achieve the goal I have set for Emergency Fund. By next year, I hope I could increase it to 30% and so on to achieve my goals sooner.

Section III. House Expenses

This is where our monthly rent goes along with electricity and water bill plus our drinking water. Our drinking water was the same water we use to make Jami's milk so I really have to allot some amount for it.

Section IV. Consumer Loan

One of the next important thing for me was to pay off my loans and money owe from friends and relatives. I listed down all of them and paid them one by one in order where I could delay some of them like those from a friend that I asked to pay a little later or made it installment so I could pay more than one every 2 weeks. I started this technique on 3rd week of June and looking forward to complete all of them by September. One of the things that I learned from financial books was to pay your debt so you could sleep comfortably at night and free up the money you're using to pay for savings eventually. Having a budget allows me to figure out how much money I have to allocate in paying our debts. I am so happy to see the amount going down as the weeks go by. I also keep track of them to make sure that I won't left something behind.

Section V. Other General Expenses

I have my last section tagged as General Expenses but it is divisible by a lot of other things. I kept them in a single section since these are the things that I could cut down on in case our budget is tight. I am just so happy that at some point or two there were unexpected money that Daryl could shell out too to cover for some necessities.

Groceries - I only buy those that we need the most and can be used for the next 2 weeks. I buy my detergent and fabric conditioner etc. in the mall and get fresh produce in the local supermarket. I prefer to buy them on the same day that I'll cook them rather than buying them ahead of time. I also bring pack lunch in the office so I won't have to spend more.

Transportation - I am lucky that Daryl's Mom shoulders the cost of gas for their car so I can get to work. I only have to spend Php7 for jeepney from Pasay to Magallanes. I also allot money for our tollgate.

Work Allowance - This is for some money I use in buying snacks in the office.

Entertainment - Last month until August, I placed our entertainment budget on hold to give way in paying some debts. Our entertainment fund goes to our dining out, movies, going out, travel etc. I am looking forward to get them back up in August for some fun time. :)

Unexpected Expenses - More often than not, there were times that an unexpected expense comes up so I make sure to protect the budget by allocating some amount into it as well.

Babe's Budget - I am allocating a budget for Daryl that he could use in looking for a job. Since we're having trouble with time management (he's in charge of baby sitting), he can't spend his whole day of weekdays applying for a job because I go to work and no one else would look after Jami. 

I am using an excel sheet to keep track of my budget and print it out during paydays so I could tick off those that are paid. From time to time, I am updating the budget according to our situation but I always make sure that I follow these sections accordingly. I have yet to learn so many things about budgeting and one of them was the shortage I had two weeks ago. My budget says I was short of this amount. Instead of me adjusting the budget to make it zero or positive, I kept it on negative thinking that I'll be able to create another cash flow to cover it. But I didn't so I struggle on that for a bit. Moving forward, I make sure that if the budget says negative, I have to make sure that I'll adjust those that are listed down to make it Zero or even positive or we have to work double time to increase our cash flow.

I hope that this will be beneficial for you too as it was to me. I am keeping this until forever as it's very important to budget the money that we worked hard for. =)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Our Boracay Trip 2016



Our short stay in Boracay was all about rest. Lol! Since we arrived around 4pm in our Hotel, our main goal was to take a good rest (physically, mentally, emotionally etc) since we all have a very short sleep the night before. 


I would have to consider that Jami felt so tired as well so I opted to stay in our hotel for almost half of our time there. I will blog about Royal Park Beach Resort in a separate post for sure. 


We arrived late in the afternoon on our first day since our flight was behind the schedule for one hour. Our transfer was great (except for the van) so I got no problem with that. I made an itinerary for the entire duration of our stay but failed to follow it through since it was scorching hot and that Jami wasn’t really fond of beaches and the sand. Since our hotel is situated in Station 1, we have to walk our way going to Station 2 for 5-10 minutes to look for a restaurant for our lunch or dinner. 



Although we had the chance to try the hotel’s menu, I wasn’t really happy with their Sinigang kasi hindi malambot yung meat. Yun pa naman ang pinaka ayaw ko sa lahat. Lol!

We ate in several restaurants in Station 2 although I forgot their names! I think one of them was in Hapag? We also tried one near D’ Mall pero nakalimutan ko talaga ang name ng resto. Lol! So next time, I would really have to blog about them at least 1 week after no?! Hehehe. It’s just now that I had the time to do so. Anyhow, what I can tell is, ang mahal talaga ng food in Boracay. For two person with a minimum of 1 main course with 3 cup of rice, you’ll spend Php500-700 for it. So expensive! Well yes, I always try my best to cook food at home so alam ko kung magkano ang prices ng ingredients sa palengke. Hahahah! Well, I would have to accept that traveling costs money so you really have to make sure meron kang enough on your pocket. With that, we won’t travel for the next couple of months. Probably next year na lang ulit if our finances allowed :D

Anyway, our stay was filled with happiness in dipping into the sea specially in the early morning and the late afternoon to avoid the dangerous heat of the sun. 


Jami loved the sea later on since the waves weren’t that strong compared to previous beaches we’ve been too. We stayed indoors and enjoyed each other’s company. 


I am so glad that we had this chance to at least relax and have a family bonding. I am looking forward to more of these (in a year’s time). I am really glad that our experience wasn’t as stressful as I thought. With a toddler in tow, Boracay is definitely a place to be. 

 You know, I realized that we don't have so may pictures when we were there. Honestly, sobrang lazy ako mag take ng picture because I have to mind Jami and our things. I am also in charge on our transfer and where to eat so I really don't have the energy to take pictures anymore. Wala pa naman akong talent in photography so I can't take kahit snapshot lang na maayos. Lol! Add in the fact that phones camera wasn't that good either. =( But then, I know these memories were captured by the best camera and film in the world - my eyes, mind and heart. Lol! ;P