Mustela Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in New Beginnings's Mustela Giveaway. It's wonderful to have 'met' a lot of new friends through this contest.

Congratulations to Kristine Go and Cecile Ong for winning P2,500 worth of Mustela products! We shall be contacting you separately on how you can claim your prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Until the next contest...God bless, everyone!


Starbucks Drive-Thru

The first Starbucks drive-thru in the Philippines opened 2 years ago at the Bonifacio Global City. I have been eyeing it for so long but never really got the chance to try it.

One morning, about two months ago, i was happily driving by the area and thought of checking it out. If you're coming from Serendra/Market Market going towards the Buendia flyover, you'd only get one chance to turn right to get to the drive-thru and that's it. I missed that and turned right at the next corner...long story short, i got pulled over by a cop for going through a one-way street.  So after my long discussion (read: super makaawa) with the cop, i was finally on my way to fullfill my starbucks cravings once again.

It looks very much like a regular fast food drive-thru. There is a menu board and an LCD screen with speakers where you give your order.
You drive along further and are greeted by cheerful Starbucks baristas who hand over the drink to you. I'm not sure why but they prepared the drink really really fast! It was already ready by the time i reached the window and i'm pretty sure i wasn't driving 5 kph.
I happily drove away contented with my tall Chai Tea Latte (non-fat, extra-hot, extra-pump). It's my comfort drink forever!


Are You Ready For Your Date?

When was the last time you went out on a date........with your kids?

Before I got married, I have read so many books saying couples tend to forget each other once the children are born.  The focus would normally shift from the spouse to the children and the schedule would usually revolve around them.  With that, Dens and I promised to have a date night every Friday to also make sure we have time for ourselves.
Last Saturday, i learned something new from our New Beginnings talk with Coach Pia. You will also need to schedule date nights with each of your child. Just like your spouse, you're together most of the time at home but the bonding is also different when you go out on dates and experience new things together.
Then I remembered seeing some parent-child date pictures on Facebook from my good friends Jackson and Ann.  Their date nights are particularly special because they have 7 kids! Imagine that! Joshua (11), Jericho (10), Ariana(9), Jacob (7), Jonah (6), Andrea (16 months), Angela (1 month). I truly admire how they have raised very behaved and well-mannered kids. Ann stays home to take care of the kids and tutor all of them. You would think their home would be chaotic but it's amazingly not. Both of them have done a wonderful job raising confident and happy kids.
I decided to interview Jack and get a dad's perspective on how he manages to let each child feel unique and loved.
How do you manage to provide individual attention to all 7 kids?
[Jackson] I make sure we have simple bonding moments after their school activities. Joshua has guitar and math classes, Jericho has student council meetings, and Ariana has piano classes every Saturday morning. I would pick them up and it would be a good opportunity to spend time with them.
Jacob and Jonah usually spend time with me a home, playing and enjoying games. Our favorite right now is working on our Lego collections and our "Tickle Time".  For Andrea and Angela, I make sure to provide time to bring them and Ann for a stroll during Sundays. 
I remember seeing pictures of your dates with your children, why did you think of having this?

[Jackson] Presence matters. What I have learned is that ordinary moments may become the biggest treasured memory for our children. Having one-on-one dates with our kids provide them our full attention which they so desire. This gives them a sense of security that they are important no matter what their place in the family. They know that you care for them and love spending time with them individually. 

Date with Joshua
Love for them is spelled as "Quality Time" and you cannot do that with all of them at the same time! It is during these one-on-one dates that we can fully understand their personalities, behaviors, and even their secrets.

As a father, you get to instill the right values in them. You get to talk about faith and help them have strong convictions when they grow older. You get to really know them and allow them to also get to know who their dad is.  But most of all, to plant in each one of them a strong family identity built around Christ. I want my sons to know they can approach me anytime they want, with full access and no inhibitions. I want my daughters to know that her first love is daddy, and that the word "I Love You" is spoken every time at home.

Besides getting to know them more, what other benefits do you see in spending individual time with each child?

Date with Jericho

[Jackson] Wow, the benefits are life changing! You begin to better understand the call for fatherhood.  I want to build a legacy based on my faith in God and His instructions.  Our kids will grow in confidence and in love. That will be their guide as they grow older. You put the matter of self-worth in its proper perspective - that is, Christ's great love for our sons and daughters. 

Doesn’t the other child feel jealous when it’s the turn of his/her siblings?

[Jackson] There are sibling rivalries once in awhile.  But as long as we explain that everyone gets a chance to be with daddy, everything turns out to be okay, I guess (hahaha).  Ann is doing a great job educating them about time sharing.  They get to do fun things while their brother or sister spends time with me. 

Any other tips on giving attention to kids?

[Jackson] Share A Hobby! We love Lego's! And this is where we get to spend time together.  We also use it as a teaching tool for kids!

Thank you, Jack, for sharing your fatherhood experiences. 

I personally like what Jack shared about self-worth. I find this especially true when dads go on dates with the little girls. By the time our daughters grows up, she will already know how a lady should be treated on a date because her dad has set the benchmark. She will have more self worth and not be attracted to guys who disrespect her. Sometimes, uncles or grandfathers can also step in as the father-figure when the father is not present. (Think Rory of Gilmore Girls).

Here are some additional tips i have learned from our New Beginnings talk with Coach Pia:
  • It should be one-on-one. This means that either Mom with child or Dad with child. If both parents go, the tendency is for the parents to talk most of the time so the value of the date with the child is diminished.
  • Let the child make the agenda for the date.  Ask them what they want to do and where they wan to go.
  • Start your dates when the child knows how to communicate already. This is usually around 1.5 to 2.5 years old.
  • Don't use the dates as a bargaining tool for discipline. Some parents might say 'If you do not do your homework, we will not go out on the date!'. The child has to know that this is something that you personally look forward to and are not just doing it for them. It's better to say 'Please finish your assignments already. Mommy will be so sad if we can't go out on our date tonight'.
  • Label It! Let the child know that this is a 'date'. If you don't tell them, they might not recognize that it's a date with them.
  • Finally, thank them for the date when you get home! You can say 'You know I really had fun tonight.  Thank you for going out on a date with Mommy'.
So what are we waiting for? Start scheduling your week and planning your dates with your children. I know it takes some effort to consistently do it but i can assure you that it's tremendously rewarding.

Happy Dating!






What Is Your Faith Story?

A couple of weeks ago, i received a text from our Pastor's wife with the following verse:

Exodus 13:8
"On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt."

I opened my Bible to get a better background of that verse. It was Moses speaking to the Israelites and reminding them to tell of God's faithfulness to their children - specifically during the time God lead them out of Egypt and into the promise land.  The Israelites witnessed countless miracles during the exodus, the most famous of which was crossing the Red Sea.   

What about you? What is your faith story?

I will never forget how God has healed me emotionally after we lost He blessed us with two beautiful children after being told that i may never conceive He has always given me peace that transcends all understanding throughout these tough times.

I will never forget. And i will share these stories with my children and let them know that they are a product of God's goodness and grace. I don't deserve it but God loves me beyond my wildest comprehension. How awesome is He?

Think of all the times God has amazingly touched your lives.  Share your faith stories with your chidren. Strengthen their faith and remind them how much God loves them too! Make that your legacy.

Deuteronomy 7:9
"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."


Our Little Matador: A UN Day Costume

Ole! Yaya Jovy did it again! Remember Troy's UN Day costume last year (If you don't, click here)? Well, his costume this year is once again designed and created by non-other than our resident costume-maker, Yaya Jovy.

Our first hurdle was the plain white long sleeves. Troy didn't have any! I was ready to purchase one already but Jovy had a better idea - she used Troy's white sweatshirt that had a design in front and topped it over with a white sleeveless inner shirt (sando)...and viola!

Next, we were able to borrow a formal black vest from Auntie JoKoo's nephew. Taped some gold foil trimmings on it to make it more 'Matador-ish'. Then we got some red crepe paper for the bow-tie ribbon and used red felt paper for the belt.

Finally, the's beautifully done using old paper bags and an old black t-shirt. Jovy is just really talented.
We're almost done...except that how can a matador fight bulls without his red cloth? Enter Auntie Chiqui's red shawl...we just made it a little smaller and pinned it on Troy's pants so that he doesn't lose it.

Presenting...our little matador from Spain!

Happy United Nations Day! Toro!!!

Blog Update: I just found out Troy won Little Mister UN again this year! Woo hoo! Back-to-back winner! Congratulations to my little matador and his costume designer :) Great job!


Contest: Win Mustela Products!

The contest winners have arleady been announced. Thank you for everyone who joined!

Isn't this exciting? You can win your own Mustela stash! I have my own favorite stash as I’ve shared in my blog posts here, here, and here. Now you can have your own set too!

Mustela has partnered with New Beginnings to bring two happy winners their own Mustela stash!

A lot of your have probably heard about New Beginnings and have been wondering what it’s all about. New Beginnings is a community of progressive mums – these are mums who are open to the non-traditional ways of raising their children and are always on the lookout for progressive brands and products.

Mustela is one of these progressive products because it provides natural skin care options for the whole family. Mustela and my family have a ‘love-at-first-use’ relationship. Mustela has helped clear my daughter’s skin rashes and helped us through sleepless nights of ‘kabag’. Read my previous blog posts if you haven’t yet. What’s even more wonderful is that Mustela products has no Parabens, Phthalate, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol, and essential oils. It is Hypoallergenique which is perfect for your little one’s sensitive skin.

Now for the super good news. You can now win your own Mustela stash!

Two (2) winners will each receive P2,500 worth of products from Mustela, which can be claimed as a one-time purchase only.  The winner can claim the prize from Mustela, Shangri-la Mall Plaza (no delivery).

Just log in to your facebook account through rafflecopter below and follow the steps. Its really super easy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest will run from October 11 to October 25. Winners will be contacted and announced on this blog.

As a bonus to expectant mums. Mustela is a partner of New Beginnings in the Belly Buddies program.  Buyers of Frisomum get a P1,000 gift voucher from Mustela when they buy Frisomum and refer 3 other friends to buy Frisomum.


Mustela Products I Love! (Prelude to a Contest)

As promised in my previous blog post about Mustela, I would like to share with you the different products that I am currently using on my kids and how I use them.

This is a soap-free cleansing gel. that gently cleanses hair and body without stinging the eyes. Dawn has been using this since she 'graduated' from the Stelatopia line over a year ago.  Excellent cleanser for the kids that leaves them smelling like a baby!

Hydra Bebe Body Lotion
I loooove the Hydra Bebe Body Lotion! Our familiy is addicted! Even my husband uses this once in a while. He just feels guilty when he does because he knows i got those for the kids.
Stelatopia - Cleansing Cream
The Stelatopia line is perfect for those with dry skin with an atopic tendency. I started using this cleanser when Dawn developed rashes when she was just 4 months old (read about that here).  Now that Dawn's skin has completely healed, i have switched her to the regular Mustela cleaser and it has been working just fine.

Once in a while i will still switch her back to the Stelatopia cleanser whenever i feel her skin is starting to get a little bit drier or when we travel to cooler places.

Stelatopia - Emollient Cream
Together with the Stelatopia Cleansing Cream, we have used the Emollient Cream on Dawn. We have now moved her to the Hydra Bebe Body Lotion since her rashes never came back anymore.

On the other hand, i noticed recently that Troy has patches of really dry skin on his knees and feet. So i started using the remaining Stelatopia cream on him and have already seen drastic improvement in just a few days.
Stelatria - Purifying Recovery Cream
Every mom should have this!  No kidding - it is a natural first-aid cream for the kids. It repairs and soothes the skin. I use it when the kids get insect bites and i noticed that it helps make the swelling go down. I practically use it on every area that looks red.  It's my first go-to instead of reaching for the ointment or cream that possibly has steriods.
Soothing Comfort balm (moisturizing chest rub)
This balm contains shea butter, honey, linden, and chamomile extracts that comforts and soothes the child to give him a good night's rest. I rub it on my kids' chest and back when they have cough and colds - before going to sleep.

I have another funny discovery.  One night, Dawn woke up with a really bad tummy ache ('kabag') and wouldn't stop crying. I knew that my mom used to put White Flower on our tummies when we were younger. Other parents use Mansanilya. I didn't have any of those on hand that night. So i got the Soothing Comfort balm which was really meant as a chest rub, and decided to try it on my daughter's tummy.  She stopped crying as soon as i started massaging the balm on her tummy! I was amazed. It happened again a few weeks later and the balm worked like magic.

Afterwards, i decided to see if there was really any truth to this discovery or if Dawn just enjoyed the tummy massage. As soon as i looked up the word 'Mansanilya' online, it is the Filipino word for Chamomile - which is one of the ingredients of the Soothing Comfort balm. It really removes gas on tummies!  Hurray! Isn't that amazing? By having the Soothing Comfort balm on hand, you not only have something to soothe their cough and colds, but also something to aid their tummy aches too!
Mineral Cream very high sun protection SPF +
Perfect for the whole family's sun protection! This product is specifically designed to also cater to allergy-prone skin.

Now for the super good news! Mustela has partnered with New Beginnings to grant BwT readers their own Mustela dream stash! Watch out for the next post on how to win.


NOTE: The contest is now open - click

*pictures taken from,


65 Days with Tyler

I have never loved someone i've only met for 2 months so much. 

I guess that's the miracle of being a mom.

In 2006, we became parents to a little baby with a big testimony for the Lord. You know how people who go through hard times always say 'I hope i'd wake up from this bad dream'? Well, that's truly how i felt. Cliche as it may be, each day with Tyler in the hospital was another day of denial for me. I kept on wishing it was just a terrible dream that i will soon wake up from. I dreaded every call from the nurses in the NICU and every text from our pediatrician. The Lord took Tyler back after 65 days. It was the most heartbreaking day of my life.

But my story doesn't end there. 6 years later, i am sitting in our bedroom watching our two wonderful kids playing with each other and laughing non-stop. God truly restores. Our family is a testament of God's faithfulness. I may not understand all His plans for me...but I trust His heart.

Happy 6th Birthday in heaven, Anak. Until we meet again...we love you always and forever.

Read about Tyler's life here -

Tyler's 5th Birthday -


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