Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Five-Minute Journal

I've always loved writing.✍️ Not creative writing but writing to express my thoughts, feelings, and experiences using paper and ink (or my laptop or phone in this digital age).  I was among the few who enjoyed composition classes in grade school where we were asked to write anything that's within the assigned formal and informal themes.  I was also the first among my peers to have my own diary that even had a lock and a key, and I remember getting kilig every time I would write on it.

When I was a teenager, I put my love of writing into good use when someone gave me a book whose pages had a small space at the bottom.  That space was where you would write the blessing that you received that day, and after a while I realized the small space was never enough for me.  I just thought I had lots of blessings each day!😁 I still remember some of the things I wrote there: Received a call from daddy (who was working abroad); I did well during the class recitation; my Sim got promoted (I used to play The Sims on PC, hehe), et cetera. Even when that book already ran out of pages, I still continued counting and logging my daily blessings on a regular notebook just because. Was it out of habit? Or because it made me happy? I don't know.  I also don't remember when and why I stopped.πŸ€”  All I know is that I had never seriously done it again after college. I tried to revive it after Rolly and I got married, but we did it for only a couple of months. I guess the responsibilities of family life and parenthood have taken up all of our time.

This Christmas, I was thrilled to receive a very special present which literally made me shriek (happily) when I saw it on my office desk.😍 It is called The Five-Minute Journal which, according to its creators Alex Ikonn and Uj Ramdas, is the simplest, most effective thing one can do every day to be happier.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Best of 2017

It has been another great twelve months, and just before 2017 ends, I can’t help but recount God’s best for me this year. As always, He has showered me and my loved ones with too many blessings that I’ve already lost count, but here below are those that instantly came to mind.  In chronological order:

  • Australia.  Thanks to my amazing job that brings me to places! It was April of this year when we had our company trip to Sydney, and it was a wonderful experience.🐨

my teammates turned friends turned family ❤️

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Our 6th Merry Little Christmas

Ho ho ho!πŸŽ…πŸ»
Wishing you a holly jolly Christmas
from our family of three πŸ‘ͺ
and the lolos and lolas! πŸ‘΄πŸ»πŸ‘΅πŸ»

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Lia's First Time at the Zoo 🦁

Last Tuesday, December 19, was a holiday in Alabang where hubby works. We thought it would be a wonderful chance for some quality family time so I filed for a leave, too.😊 Since Lia is fond of identifying animals (and the sound they make) and she always sings "I'm going to the zoo, zoo, zoo" from her nursery rhyme, picking a place to visit was easy.  We went to Manila Zoo!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

TTC, Sweeter The Second Time Around ❣️

Do you remember this video?

Well, we already got her to say YES!πŸ˜„ Hehe. But kidding aside, now that Lia is a quarter away from turning 3, Rolly and I are ready for baby number 2! Yippee! We have actually been open to baby dumpling since 3 months ago, but God hasn't given the go-signal yet.  Bakit kaya? Hmm. Maybe He wants us to be better prepared? Or maybe He's still preparing Lia, too?  Whatever the reason is, we trust God's perfect timing.  For now, we're just happily waiting.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rolly and Joycee in Bali

If February is the Love Month for most people, for hubby and I, it's November. And before November ends, let me post this shout out on the blog --- happy 5th anniversary, my love! πŸ’—

For our 5th year, the anniversary getaway was in Bali, Indonesia, also known as the Land of the Gods (and rightfully so). We needed to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Manila and we both wanted some slow-paced days where it's serene and quiet.  Neither of us is a beach person, so we went instead to the mountains and the cultural heart of Bali --- Ubud.

Let me start with my favorite part of our short trip, our stay at the Royal Kirana within the Royal Pita Maha Relaxation Resort. The place was sooooo beautiful, the pictures just couldn't do it justice!😍The moment we got there, I already felt recharged! Hehe.

The lobby itself exudes tranquility πŸ’“

Monday, October 30, 2017

My Very Own Princess Poppy

If there's one recent animated movie that I really liked, it's gotta be TROLLS because of Princess Poppy❣️ She's always happy, affectionate, optimistic, cute, talented, kind, and energetic, and I can kinda relate to her, hehe. I'm too old for a troll doll, so I just made my real-life Princess Poppy this Halloween... LIA!😁

Tea party with the unicorn at EDSA Shangri-la's Enchanted Garden Halloween Party πŸ˜Š

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Secrets to a Long Lasting Relationship πŸ’“

“I want to hold your hand when we’re 80 and say that we made it.”

These days, a lot of people are cynical about love, how it is quite a task to stay together forever. Well I’m not.😊 While my husband and I have been married for only 5 years, not spending ‘ever after’ together has not crossed my mind, even for just one second. I feel very much sure and secure about us, there’s no crack for any doubt to seep through. We are no relationship experts, we’re only enjoying our marriage one day at a time. But just the same, let me share with you our not-so-secret ‘secrets’ to a relationship that sees a lifetime.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Halloween Happenings 2017

It's 24 days before All Hallows' Eve, and it's the perfect time to go Halloween party-hunting! πŸ‘» Do you already know where you're bringing the little tot? Read on to get ideas. πŸ˜‰

Enter the ancient world of myths and legends and discover the tales of mythical creatures and supernatural beings as they come to life this Halloween

Where: Isla Grand Ballroom, Edsa Shangri-La, Mandaluyong
When: October 29 (Sun), 1pm
Price: P2,200/person
Activities: Plated lunch and dessert buffet, loot bags, and entertainment. For more details, contact +632-633-8888 ext. 2895, or visit Edsa Shangri-La's Facebook page.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Superman is 35! πŸŽ‚

Today, my very own Superman is celebrating his 35th birthday, yaaaay! Happy birthday, hubby! πŸ’—

Why is he Superman for me? Because he has amazing superpowers!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Smart Parenting Awards Belo Baby

Last Saturday, 23rd of September, was quite a milestone for the Belo Baby brand as it received a very special recognition from Smart Parenting, the "Smart Mom-Approved Award."

The award was given during Smart Parenting's Mom Workshop, and the recognition was received by Belo Baby's mombassadors Patty Laurel, Kelly Misa, and Nicole Hernandez.

Lovely mamas! :)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Toddler Snack Ideas

Are you like me who’s running out of snack ideas for the little one? πŸ€” Weekly, I write down a meal plan for the next seven days and it’s not easy! Good thing there’s Mr. Google to help me out. Below is a list of chows, the first several ones are those that Lia loves and always looks for when it’s merienda time. πŸ‘

(Warning for the sticklers though, I am not extremely fussy when it comes to what my daughter eats. We try to be healthy but I let her enjoy food as much as I do, and both of us have a sweet tooth. 🍰 Don't shoot me, please.)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Dream Number 2

At every turn, I find myself in awe of the many times God has answered our family's prayers and helped us make our dreams come true.  Yesterday was another one in a string of His countless blessings, and it had something to do with Dream Number 2.

Dream Number 2, as my husband and I call it, is our dream of a big enough house for a growing family, and the dream was only planted in our hearts two years ago after we had Lia.  Rolly and I have always been simple people.  We were satisfied with our sweet little home, a property my husband acquired when he was only 23 and we hadn't even met.  It's a nice house within a peaceful community, perfect for newlyweds or even a family of 3 to 4.  But things change once you have kids, I think. You begin to dream bigger and envision better things.  When Rolly and I realized that we were wishing for Dream Number 2, we had started to pray for it every day.  We even wrote it in our Novena to God's Love, a booklet where you're encouraged to list down dreams you claim in Jesus' name. πŸ™

Monday, August 28, 2017

Like A Girl

What does the phrase "like a girl" mean to you?  Does it imply being weak and wimpy?  Does being maarte or needy or helpless come to mind?  I had never really given this any thought before I saw this #LikeAGirl video of P&G that went viral a few years back.

It's beautiful, noh? Really, when did being like a girl become an insult? Girls are strong and able and smart and are definitely equal to their boy counterparts.  Girls may not be as big and brawny physically as most boys, but this does not mean they are not as tough.  Even the tiniest and sweetest ones can surprise you!  Just watch this recent Belo Baby ad and you'll see. :)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Let Them Be Little... and Clingy.

Before I had a baby, I would often hear exhausted mommy friends complaining about how their little ones can be so clingy. How the child would refuse to let mommy out of his or her sight, wanting to stay close to her even when the mom needs to go to the toilet.  I never had this situation with Lia during the first two years of her life when she clearly preferred her daddy, but right after she turned two... BOOM! There's never a day when you don't hear her say, "Mommy lang!!!"

So, how clingy can my gooey little glue get? It's different everyday, but I think Lia is far from the extremely sticky side, but sticky nonetheless.  Here's a rundown of our daily scenarios:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lia's First Commercial

My baby Lia's first ever commercial is out! Have you seen the new Belo Baby Talc-free Powder video material? SHE'S THERE!  But I'm very sure you didn't notice her, but SHE'S THERE! Hahaha! Here, let me help you find her. =D  Pause at frame 00:45! Make sure to pause it at the right millisecond, lest you will miss my Lia! =D

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Before hubby and I had a baby, I always looked forward to attending friends' weddings. But now that we have Lia, things have changed! Now I'm always on the lookout for children's parties, with games and prizes and shows and mascots! =D I get excited whenever a friend's kid is throwing a party because I know my very active and sociable toddler will have a great time. Imagine my joy when I heard that SM Supermarket and Savemore were doing a roadshow of kiddie parties where everyone's invited and admission is free? Yahoooooo! :) It's called SM Kids' City, the biggest kiddie party SM Markets has ever thrown. The launch event happened at SM Southmall a couple of weekends ago, July 29, and guess what, Lia and I were there! ;)

Hello hello from me and my baby! :)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Daddy is Home

Before I was a wife and mom, I was first a daughter. A daughter to two wonderful people I was so blessed to have been assigned to, my mom and my dad.

The Parentals :)

I led a simple, middle-class life growing up in the province.  My mom has been a government employee ever since I can remember, and my dad, an engineer.  Half of my life, daddy was not with us as he worked out of the country where the grass, many people say, is greener. Though this was the case, I never felt incomplete because I was never, ever short of affection from my parents, even from overseas. :) Because of them, including my mabait na kuya, I grew up happy and grateful and in love with life.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Self-care Soothes The Soul

And for me today, self-care is taking a day off from work! :)

Sometimes, no matter how passionate and zealous we are about something, be it our motherhood or business or career, we just simply need to take a breather. We are humans --- not robots --- and our energy no matter how high, is finite. Admit it. There are days when you just feel like you want to stop doing and just be, di ba? I've been feeling that these past few days. I thought I needed some space from my daily routine and several times, I caught myself wishing to sleep just a little longer in the morning. Good thing, my calendar said there's no meeting or anything super duper kaduper urgent today in the office, so I filed for a VL. Yehey! This is self-care! :) I listened to myself before I even get to the point of no return --- burnout.
So how did I spend my midweek day-off?  Wala lang naman. And that's actually the point! =P

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mom's Day Out

The past week was tough. It was a roller coaster ride mentally, physically, and emotionally. That's why when I was invited to the "Mom's Day Out" of Sun Life Philippines, I knew I had to go. The invite said the event would take me away from hubby and baby for almost 5 hours (?!#4@!), but my head told me I needed this time off, so I went.  The event took place at the new I'M Hotel in Makati.

The afternoon started with a talk by Michelle Alignay, a registered Guidance Counselor and Parenting, Relationship, and Family Life Specialist.  She primarily discussed about the importance of self-care.  As mothers, sometimes we tend to be headless chickens, juggling the needs of our family and work and many other things, that we forget to take care of our own well-being.  She emphasized how important 'me-time' is, and why we should not feel guilty about it.  We need to take care of ourselves so that ultimately, we have more of ourselves to give to our family.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Teaching Toddlers to Pray

As parents, we are the first ones to teach our children many things --- how to walk, how to talk, how to eat properly, how to dress up, how to tie their shoelaces... this list never ends.  But is teaching them how to pray part of your 'lesson plan'?  In ours, it is. :)

It's never too early to begin teaching our kids to pray.  In fact, teaching them while they are toddlers is easiest because it is at this age that children believe everything they are told.  Even if daddy says he's Superman, the little one will believe him wholeheartedly. In our home, my husband and I are making the most out of this natural faith by teaching our little Lia that there's SOMEONE up there whom she can talk to.  Before every meal, she prays and says 'thank you' for her food.  Before we sleep, she prays with mommy and daddy to say 'thank you' for the day.  She even imitates us and closes her eyes habang nakatawa at sumisilip to see if our eyes are closed, too, hehe.  Of course, she doesn't fully understand the concept of praying yet and that's okay. She'll get there as she grows older and smarter. :)

So how do we teach our toddlers to pray?  Let me share our own simple ways:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mom-Approved Shows for Toddlers

The first five years of a child's life, the formative years, are fundamentally important because it's in these years that basic learning and development take place.  Everything we expose our child to, no matter how small and harmless it may seem, may have a big impact on how our little one turns out to be.

My husband and I can't always be with our Lia all the time because of work, that's why we make it a point to tell our two wonderful helpers at home how we want them to act and talk when they are around our baby, and why. At two, Lia easily picks up things she hears and sees, and we don't want her to imitate things that are not good. We also choose the videos she is allowed to watch, albeit for a very short and supervised screen time. You'll be surprised at how some popular children's programs can be, in reality, not suitable for kids as they show bad manners that the kids might copy (e.g. disrespectful behavior towards the parents, throwing tantrums when the characters don't get what they want, etc.).  This even prompted me to post a question in an online mommy community forum that I'm part of.  I asked, what TV shows or Youtube channels do you approve of for your toddlers and why? A lot of titles came up, and the list below made the top ten.

1.   Mother Goose Club

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I am only two and I don't understand many things in this world yet, but one thing is extremely clear to me: you love me very very very much and I have felt it from the minute I was born.πŸ’– Thank you, daddy, for all your care and sacrifices to make me and mommy well and happy. Thank you for holding me when I cry, for putting me to sleep every night, and for singing and dancing and playing with me every day, even when you're already tired and sleepy.πŸ˜ͺ 

You and me today :)

Papa Jesus must love me so much because He gave me a dad who is kind and selfless and wonderful, I know I can't find a better daddy no matter where I look, no matter how big I get. I love you, daddy.😘 You are my piece of heaven on earth, my favorite person forever. Happy father's day, Daddy! πŸ‘ΆπŸ»


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Making Brushing Fun for Our Little Ones

Caring for our child's teeth and gums is very important to ensure that they won't have tooth decay and their breath will stay as fresh as a baby's.  But no matter what stories we try to tell them about cavities, it's not always easy to get them to brush, especially with a toddler like my Lia.  It was easier when she was much younger, but now that she's two and is easily distracted, brushing her pearly whites is somewhat a chore.  

Buy hey, I am not one to just give up when she doesn't want to brush her teeth!  So how do I get her to do it? We make it FUUUUN! :)

  • We sing songs.  Lia loves singing and dancing, and I tell you, there was never any brushing session with her that didn't involve a song! Most times, we even watch brushing videos while singing, and her two favorites are below.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Belo Baby Talc-Free Powder

I grew up using baby powder. My mom used it on me when I was a baby, and I had been using it until my teenage years, on my face, neck, dibdib, braso, and kilikili! :) Because it’s almost always hot in the Philippines, I couldn’t leave the house without it, and in high school, my friends and I would even put loose powder in the folds of our hanky for use when it’s time to freshen up.

However, word has gotten around recently about the potential negative effects of talc powder ---its link to the big C and the harm it may cause to the lungs when inhaled, especially by babies. Though there’s no conclusive evidence that proves this to be true (hey, I grew up okay naman despite my talcum use), as a mommy, I feel uneasy. Let’s put it this way: in anything and everything that concerns my little Lia, I am more cautious and wary and OC. Better safe than sorry!

It’s a good thing that now, there’s the new Belo Baby Talc-free Powder! I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about harmful powder ingredients touching my baby as it’s carefully formulated without talc, gluten, phthalates, parabens, dyes, and most common allergens. The powder is all-natural, and it’s made from finely milled rice and maize that absorb moisture, keeping baby’s skin soft, fresh, and dry. 

Belo Baby Talc-free Powder is available in supermarkets and department stores for P219.75 :)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Lia's First Moving Up Day

Last month, April 1st, our little Lia experienced her first "Moving Up Day," and she got this Kindermusik certificate plus a musical note "medal," hehe. :)  It was a proud moment for hubby and me, especially after we had a little chat with her teacher and school directress, teacher Marah.

According to teacher Marah, she seriously thinks that our daughter is relatively "gifted" and "advanced."  Her participation in class and the way she handled herself with the other kids were evidence to that.  My heart skipped a bit when I heard these things!  I realized, ganito pala maging parent.  You're beaming with pride with every accomplishment your child achieves, no matter how small.  Imagine, this is not even real school yet and my heart was already bursting at the seams!

To my dear little lady, thank you for making daddy and mommy proud! We're happy that you enjoyed your first sem at school, with praises from your teacher even, and we congratulate you for that. :) As for me and for your dad, as long as you're having fun, then we're having fun! No pressure at all, just continue your love for books and letters and numbers and songs and dances like how you do now, and you'll be fine. Love you, smart girl! *kisses*

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lia Turns Two

Today, our little Lia turns two, and it makes me go happily senti.  She used to be so tiny and helpless; now, she's very active and tall and strong! :) How time flies. Thank You Lord for this very precious gift.  Words can't say how much we love her.

Hmm, how do I describe my two-year old Lia?  One word immediately comes to mind - madaldal! :) We could say her language skills are relatively advanced.  Her vocabulary is wide for her age, the words she says and understands are too many to count. She can already say phrases to convey what she wants, like "Drink milk, mommy," "Carry, daddy," or "Watch TV."  She can recite and read the full alphabet and numbers 1 to 20, she can tell you the days of the week and months in a year, she can also recite (but not read) time. She knows colors and shapes, too! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Eggciting Easter Events 2017

Hi everyone!  We've got 3 weeks and a few days to go before Easter Sunday and I'm sure that by now, many moms are already on the lookout for eggciting Easter egg hunts for their kiddos. As for me and Lia, we already know where we will go (hihi, the mommy is more excited)! If you don't have plans yet, maybe this list could help you. :)

Where: Acacia Hotel, Alabang
When: April 16, 11am to 2pm
Price: P1,100/head. 
Activities: Buffet brunch, exciting activities, games, entertainment, egg hunting, and loot bags.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Children's Vitamins

Do our little ones need vitamins? Well, the answer would depend on the state of your baby’s health and his/her pedia. Some doctors say vitamins are not necessary if the baby is perfectly well and/or is exclusively breastfed, while others prescribe supplements as a default. Regardless of what your take on this may be, I am listing down below the most commonly used and prescribed vitamins for children. :)  In no particular order:

Cherifer.  Comes in oral drops and syrup. With Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) and is rich in nucleic acids essential for the stimulation of growth. Contains Vitamin A for improved vision as well as Taurine for optimum brain-development. Has 150% RDA of Vitamin C for increased resistance against infection.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Price Survey of XL Diapers

One of the many things motherhood has taught me is how to be frugal. :) Ever since mommy-hood hit in 2015, it has been my practice to do regular price surveys of Lia's daily essentials, and diapers are on top of this list.  It was October of that year when I last posted a price survey on nappies, and it was all about medium-sized diapers then.  Today, let's do XL because Lia's "choco-butt" no longer fits small, medium, or large. =D

Date of Price Survey: March 03, 2017
Where: SM Supermarket, Southmall

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Another Story, A Dreamy Resto in the South of the Metro

The love month is here! And though Rolly and I always say we don't need Valentine's Day to celebrate love, we join the mushy fun anyway, hehe. We usually spend Valentine's several days in advance to avoid the Valentine congestion on the road and in restaurants.  This year, we found ourselves at Evia Lifestyle Center and there, we discovered Another Story, a dreamy restaurant and cafe that instantly captured my heart!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Household Budget Management

I have been asked a number of times how Rolly and I deal with our household finances. I know that for some couples, budget management can be a serious issue, and no matter how bad it may sound, money could be a frequent root of arguments. Luckily for Rolly and I, it has never been a problem. We already agreed on this subject even before getting married, and it helped that the arrangement we wanted was the same arrangement both our own parents employ --- the wife is the Chief Finance Officer. *wink*

Friday, February 3, 2017

Grand Baby Fair 2017

If there’s one weekend when you could expect hundreds of moms and dads at a single location, it’s at the annual Grand Baby Fair of Baby Company! This year is Year 7, and it was held at the Megatrade Hall in SM Megamall last week, January 27-29.

This year, Baby Company took us to the skies with its theme around the world air-travel. All booths were dressed up as different places from Asia, America, and Europe. For my favorite brand, Belo Baby, the chosen city was Paris, and it was just so fitting! The setup was so posh and chic, you’d feel like you’re really in a French cafΓ© sipping coffee and eating crΓ¨me brulee while looking at the Eiffel Tower. Hehe.

Bonjour! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers

"There is no greater warrior than a mother protecting her child."
- N.K. Jemisin


These are just some words that could describe a typical mommy.  And I fully agree, being a mom myself.  I know I will do anything to keep my child happy and healthy, to shield her from harm, to spare her from pain of whatever form.  But no matter how good a warrior I try to be, sometimes unpleasant things still happen, like cough and colds, fever, and flu! :(  I remember one time when Lia got sick because of a bacterial infection. She was weak and unhappy, and I felt so sad because I couldn't do anything about it. :(

But what if we can at least do something to prevent common infections from happening? 80% of infections are actually transmitted by hands, and explains how:
  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
  • Germs from unclean hands can get into food and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unclean hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.

You see, keeping our hands and our children's hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.  It's best if we could always wash our hands, but having a good hand sanitizer in easy reach even when we're out and about is just as important.

The good news is, there's the new Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers that effectively kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria!  Yippee! :)

The Joys of Instagram! :)

© Mommy Joys | Marriage, Motherhood, Life.. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.