11.09.2016

Cheers to Life, Cheers to Everyday.

It was 10 years ago when God blessed us with our first child! It may have been uplanned but it was never unwanted! I was 20, my 3rd year college in UP Diliman and my first time to live in single roof as a wife to Perci. That was the first time I wore three hats at a time: a soon-to-be-mom, a student and a wife! I was really on the crossroads for nine long months of carrying Cassy in my womb while still taking up my exams in UP, while having to learn how to cook rice and egg for my husband for breakfast and learning how to to operate the washing machine for weekend laundry for the first time! Good thing I was able to graduate, took my masteral degree, pass the board exam and now working full time while being nanny to the kids everyday especially weekends! Those days,10 years ago and thereafter, were surely for the books!

And so it came to me, being a mom was no joke! It was never meant to be easy but it's surely worth every inch of it. It was pure bliss and joy that I have surpassed the six-feet-below-the-ground risk of giving birth!

Now our Unica Hija is finally 10! As we jokingly tell her, how time flies fastly, may "TEN-ager" na kami! This moment is surely one to cheer for!


Since Cassy has just reached a milestone this year on her 10th birthday, let me share our most memorable CHEER MOMENTS for Cassy!

1. Cheers to the blessing of a BEAUTIFUL MIND for Cassy!


What more can a parent ask if they've  got a daughter who consistently hands them over the FIRST HONOR GOLD MEDAL and trophies and awards every year since kindergarten? Cassy's every recognition day is STUNNER! She's school representative in English, Math, Science, Journalism, Filipino and apparently all subjects! If I am to count she has running total of close to a hundred medals since Kinder! Just last time, she was able to bag first place in the Science Quiz Bee against 54 students from 18 schools! Each time Cassy calls us after her contest, we can't help but get elated over her Good NEWS! Every time I would grab the nearest tissue and wipe all those TEARS OF JOY or can I now call it CHEERS of JOY? Cassy and her beautiful mind is indeed an everyday blessing to cheer for!

2. Cheers to the GIFT OF TALENT for Cassy!

Just as she was blessed with a beautiful mind, another worth cheering is her talent in performing arts. She can sing, dance, act and even draw like her Dad! This year during our church Anniversary month, Cassy became a SONG LEADER in one of our Sunday Worship Service. It was again, one for the books! I invited all Lolas and Lolos, all titas and titos to church and i even posted the performance videos on my Facebook page. I am one proud mom! Yeah, I can be her CHEERleader, No.1 Fan, "taga-bigay ng water and CHEERS tissue" after every performance.

3. Cheers to our ADVENTURES with the Family!
After our 10 years of marriage, we are now blessed with our #tatlongBibeh! Cassy, David and Paul. They are our towers of HOPE, our reasons to battle everyday work and our motivation to be the best person that we can be! Everyday they never fail to make us feel equaled of the sacrifices a parent gives to their children. We can only give them so much more! Our adventures speak of our quest to give them the very best!

If you want to change the world, go HOME and LOVE your family! That has been our mantra with the kids since then!

As long as we can afford, we go on out of town trips as a treat to our heaven-sent kids. This year, we pegged our #familyGoals to be #Luzon2016! We've gone to Baguio, Pampanga, Zambales, Rizal, Batangas, Bataan, Laguna, Cavite, Pangasinan... and this Christmas, we're sweeping the North from La Union to Benguet up to Ilocos and back to Isabela, Cagayan and Mountain Province back to Manila. We're going to have a ROAD TRIP, have some camping, take our selfies with the picturesque mountains and plains, swim the best beaches and have some picnic of course! We never fail to bring Cheers tissue by the way. It's the sturdiest we've got for table napkins so we really make sure we pack them along in our picnic basket! And oh! When we travel, we surely leave nothing but footprints on the site, so we make sure our CHEERS TRASH BAGS are in place!


CHEERS to more road trips and picnics and swimmings with Cassy, David and Pochi! Next years will be as exciting... #Visayas2017 #Mindanao2018 and #Asia2019! Cheers also to more cam-whoring and off-shoulder matchy matchy Sundays and everyday with MI UNICA HIJA Cassandra a.k.a Cassy!



 CHEERS TO LIFE, CHEERS TO EVERYDAY!

10.26.2016

Why I want an OPPO F1s

If there's anything I love most about OPPO  F1s is its capability to capture my every Selfie, Coupfie or Groupfie in the best angle possible! No wonder it's tagged as the SELFIE EXPERT! 

Imagine that 16 Mp front camera with that intelligent Beautify 4.0 app being able to capture those once in a lifetime moment in our lives! That is definitely a feast on my Facebook and Instagram Feeds! 

The selfie stick is my favorite friend for my single backpacking adventures! Now I have this SELFIE EXPERT OPPO F1s to capture my favorite profile pic with the Iron Giant of France- the Eiffel tower of Paris!

EXPECTATION vs REALITY memes are so real! I remember seeing a selfie at the Great Wall of China with gazillion of other tourists around! Cropping of selfie shots is surely a must! That 16Mp front camera enables high resolution selfie that makes cropping photos easy peasy! I remember lots of people queued to have a selfie in the Louvre Museum where the most expensive painting in the world- The Mona Lisa is being kept. Good thing that the 16Mp front camera of OPPO F1s enables cropping of photos without having pixelated Cover Photos in Facebook! That is so GENIUS!



And Oh! Did I say that Panorama shots are also an expertise of OPPO F1s! I remember having this entire street abounding non-expensive diamonds in Antwerp Belgium! Good thing this OPPO F1s has a SELFIE PANORAMA feature to make sure nothing's left behind your photobombing stint! It was truly feast of the eyes to have a panoramic selfie where Belgian chocolates, waffles and beer abounds- Belgium!



And oh! Our recent adventure in Kuala Lumpur is our first time to out of the country travel together! Couples taking selfies in the  Petronas Tower of Malaysia couldn't have been better with the OPPO F1s Selfie Expert in that ever reliable Selfie Stick!



Extending our 10th year celebration as husband and wife from Manila to Malaysia to Singapore! Hanggang milky way galaxy pa 'to kaya wag kang bibitaw! #crossYourHeart

So much for my selfie addiction! Apart from being a Selfie expert, I love that this phone is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. I have always loved walking trips on my travels... and admittedly, I tend to always drop my phone while I go gaga over a beautiful spot or event. It's good that Corning Gorilla Glass 4 in Oppo F1s are the toughest in the industry! It has passed rugged stress testing on real world jagged streets, sidewalks and parking lots! What a relief!


And oh! My favorite is OPPO F1s 0.22s Touch Access feature!  I love that an affordable phone such as OPPO F1s has a fingerprint activated app launch through 0.22s Touch Access! As I have to juggle between being a working mom,  I have personal e-mails, photos and files stored in my device. I even use it as as USB storage most of the times. It's good that fingerprint security is now available in OPPO F1s! Now I don't have to worry of my secured info being stolen each time I go for daily commute! That spells security version 2.0 for my sensitive files stored in the phone! 




8.27.2016

Change The Way You See Love

While psychologists say that taking selfies is some sort of disorder, I beg to disagree! In fact for me it is a logical way of keeping snapshots of yourself when you are at the peak of your emotions! Like when you’re so much in love! Who take selfies when they feel broken hearted anyways? For me it is a practical way of putting a digital signature of a place or moment that left a significant milestone in my life! It’s like digitally vandalizing “MEL was HERE!” in some places I love and telling the world my heart skipped a bit when I was here!  

Just when a picture paints a thousand words, this is how my every selfie paints a gazillion of LOVE!

On Architecture, Geography and Selfies!

My husband is a 3D designer and I am an Engineer, I know how much effort he puts in his designs much more so the effort in actually physically constructing it!  Built structures and geography have a special place in our heart!


From brick houses to castles preserved from time long before, it gives identity to a certain geography and immortalizes the artist who designed it! It is a masterpiece woven in the fabric of labor of love!

That 673-glass panes of the Louvre Museum that houses the most expensive painting in the world- The Mona Lisa... that succinctly shows what Labor of Love is!


That dome-like structure is marketplace in the morning and a display of awesome artworks on its ceiling by night! I love how its designer played with the ceiling as his own canvas of self-expression. It was a sight to see, so much deserving of a selfie!

That every smile in the selfie we take is a salute to the artist and the preserver of this geography. It is a token of appreciation well deserved by the one who crafted it! A selfie is an expression of love!


Who could have thought that a simple rusty radio transmitter will serve as an iconic place for wedding proposals or prenup shots? This masterpiece of Gustave Eiffel is the most recognizable structure in the world. It has been a subject of controversy drawing criticism from those who did not believe it was feasible! Amidst the controversy, this tower symbolizes the marriage of Engineering and Architecture which brings this tower closer to my heart as I am an Engineer and my husband is into Architecture! That perfect selfie with this Iron Giant may have taken a hundred shots to capture but this would surely go down my generations! 



When people put so much passion and devotion into his chosen craft, a simple painting or building or radio transmitter can radiate tremendous amount of love that can immortalize the maker long after he is gone! Architecture, geographies and selfies, this is love as I see it!

On Bikes, Trees and Selfies!

As we build skyscrapers and improve geographies along with our way of life, someone somehow is crying for mercy and begging for attention i.e. Mother Earth! When I see people making floating forests by the water, I feel the love for Mother Nature abounds. It's like telling the world you may run out of land to plant trees but yeah, Mother Earth is 75% water! We have no excuse for not taking care of Nature!


When I took this selfie of a floating forest by Holland, my smile goes to the benevolent hearts that made this possible. It took so much love to think beyond the box and plant a tree in water! I hope the love spreads elsewhere up to the Pacific where waters and nature abounds!


Now this is Bike-heaven! The owners of these bikes are all the kind souls who care to burn some calories and reduce the carbon footprint of mankind on Mother Earth! When we bike, we hit two birds with one stone! We show our love for our health and love for Nature as well. It’s like extending our lives and the life of someone who gives us oxygen to live. Biking is like engaging in mutual understanding relationship with nature!

Bikes, floating forests and selfies, this is love as I see it!

On my favorite Coup-fies and Group-fies!

Just as how my selfie-stick perfectly captures the love I feel for everything that gives me joy, how can it be more rewarding than a selfie taken together with the one dearest to my heart?

My favorite backdrop is a picture of smiles in the face of my husband and kids!



Our every smile captured by the magic selfie stick is like a time capsule that immortalizes the memories we’ve shared together. A testament of not just of a point in time but of a very long story behind our smiles in our selfies together!

With them is a different kind of selfie that makes my smile wider and makes my eyes spark brighter than ever!


While I take a lot of selfies with the places I love, these people are my favorite backdrop! They make me love my selfies a little more than necessary! They make every click of the selfie stick guiltless as we frame the best memories we care to share together!

Love is not being able to see that water fountain by the Louvre museum but by the genuine smile you see with the kids as you play with the sand and the waves.



Now I couldn't probably change the way I see love if not for my favorite coup-fie and coffe-mate for 20 years and counting!


This goes to you who makes my coup-fies sweeter for 20 years and counting...

"We may have shared the humblest beginning as husband and wife but God has been most gracious to lead us where we are right now. As we watch our kids grow each day, it’s always a great feeling to discover how lucky we are to have them in our lives. God’s timing is always perfect- never too early nor too late. The kids have now become our best friends more than anyone else.

Thank you for growing with me for 20 years, spending 14 of your precious years with me as my best friend with 10 of those as my husband. I feel so old contemplating at the numbers! Numbers may no longer matter as every day for us is anniversary. That every day I wake up next to you and still love the way you look while sleeping. That every day we rush our way to work and drive under terrible traffic but still manage to have a good laugh. That every spontaneous rendezvous. That every day I couldn’t imagine my life without you.

You have supported me throughout my career, ever-changing plans, and my crazy shenanigans that nobody else would put up with. You’re my rock, my secret weapon! Nothing beats our engineer-artist tandem in this world! Together we make each other better. I would not be here, continuing to chase dreams, if it weren’t for you.. The best part about me is you...

Thank you for continuing to sweep me off my feet and making my knees a little weak. Thank you for picking me up when I’ve fallen and making me laugh or laughing out loud after my crazy fall! That is why I love our perfectly imperfect marriage.

You and our kids are my world… Thank you for choosing me to go through this journey with you. We may not be used to celebrating our wedding anniversary but yeah, we've just finished10! Forever to go! I love you and I always look forward to growing old with you."



To more SELFIES and GROUP-FIES and COUP-FIES together my LOVE!

For as long as I have the chance to take a selfie with the places and people I care, I will never get tired.  A selfie is a remembrance of the past;  A scrapbook-worthy piece of art that would weave  the best pages on the timeline of our lives!

Just as how architecture, geography, bikes, trees, selfies and coup-fies changed the way I see love, Huawei P9 can “Change the Way You See Mobile Photography”. As I am self-confessed camwhore when it comes to mobile phone, I love how Huawei P9’s camera is co-engineered with Leica. Leica has a very good reputation when it comes to imaging! I know because being an Engineer, I have used Leica in our Total Stations and Laser Scanners.

What's great about this selfie-stick partner Huawei P9 is that it has dual lenses that produces high quality photos and allow users to take amazing monochrome, slo-mo, colored, light painting photos among others. Oh this is selfie and mobile photography heaven to all of us! Also just the best way to capture that RARE POKEMON just before it evolve! Huawei P9 is surely a LURE to self-confessed mobile phone coup-fie addict like ME! I just can't wait to take my next selfies, coup-fies and group-fies with Huawei P9!

8.01.2016

How Do I Make Worklife Easier

Dear Cassy,

You're growing up so fast!




 I can seem to see my little self in you. As you struggle towards excellence and continue to chase your dreams, I want you to live by this verse to make your work life easier some day!

"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to dodo it with thy might." (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

This has been a mantra that I chose to remind myself each time I feel that my tasks at work or at home becomes mundane. This fuels my passion for learning and in making things a little better that I first found it!

Do your best in everything that your hand finds you to do! If you become a mom, do all your might to be the best mom to your kids. If you become a wife, do all your might to be the best wife to your husband. Whether you become an Engineer like mommy or an Artist like Daddy, be the best Engineer or Artist that you can be. Whatever you choose to work into, do it with all your might and be a champion of your chosen path! That is the legacy that I want to pass on to you and to your small brothers...LIFE IS SHORT, LIVE YOUR DREAMS AND SHARE YOUR PASSION!

As I go through my everyday life as a mom to the three of you and wife to Daddy while working full time in the office during daytime, I was able to catch some inspiring thoughts I got all over my readings, jot it down in my journal and I now want to share to you. Worklife may look hard at first but this is how I make it easier. 

1. FOCUS ON BEING PRODUCTIVE INSTEAD OF BEING BUSY.
Eat the frog first! When you start your work day, start with the hardest task at hand. Create a list of your top 5 things to do and rank it by priority. Every end of the day, go back to your list and check what you have accomplished. Do the same routine everyday and you'll find yourself more productive and efficient at work. Don't worry about being successful but work towards being significant and success will follow!


2. LEARN SIX SIGMA and PRACTICE 5S!
Remove all kinds of wastes in your workflow. Avoid time wasters such as too many meetings and frequent phone calls. Work in your quality time zone and do things not because it's URGENT but because it's IMPORTANT! Commit yourself to quality and continuous improvement. 

Study shows that we waste approximately 1.5 hours everyday just looking for small things like ballpens, staplers or paper marker. Be 20% more efficient in your workplace by having an impeccably organized working area and practicing 5S!


3. BE A CHAMPION OF TIME MANAGEMENT. 
Why fit in when you're born to stand out? Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
Schedule your day and make every effort to meet it. The things that gets scheduled are the things that gets done! Do what you love and do it often. If you don't like something, change it. If you don't like your job, quit! If you don't have enough time, Stop Watching TV!


4. THE ONLY  WAY TO DO GREAT WORK IS TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO.
Choose work that is in harmony with your values. To love is to choose, but to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there. Set your goals and achieve it. Do not let SMALL MINDS convince you that your DREAM is too BIG!

5. DON'T TAKE GOOD HEALTH FOR GRANTED
So what is the use of earning lots of wealth if you lose your own health! Take 30-minute exercise daily. Drink 8 glasses of water and take your daily dose of Vitamins.  They are good stress relievers. Some may be too acidic but some produces wonders by transforming an acid into ALKALINE solution as it gets absorbed in the stomach. As you may be suffering from frequent acid reflux, oftentimes you just have to go with the one that's tried and tested... yung SUBOK NA! WORKLIFE AY EASY WITH FERN C!





6.  THERE IS A TIME FOR WORK AND A TIME FOR LOVE.
Daddy's favorite Walt Disney once said " A man should never neglect his family for business". Choose your life's  mate carefully. From this one decision will come ninety percent of all your happiness or misery. I have found great bliss knowing that every end of a busy day, I take the long drive home with Daddy and find it quite amusing how we never seem to lose interest on each other's stories for years and counting! Make time for love! Take family vacations whether you can afford them or not. The memories will be
priceless.Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, "Gee, if I'd only spent more time at the office."


7. AFTER YOU'VE WORKED HARD TO GET WHAT YOU WANT, TAKE TIME TO ENJOY IT!
Don't postpone JOY! At least once a year, watch the sunrise and go places where you've never been into. You don't stop playing because you're getting old. You get old because you stop playing. Smile, it costs nothing and is beyond price! Don't lose the ability to see the beauty in simple things because that is where you can find contentment.


Just like that of our favorite Kung Fu Panda lesson, there is no "secret ingredient" to make worklife easier, you just have to believe!

Life is short, LIVE YOUR DREAMS and SHARE YOUR PASSION!

Love,
Mommy

3.13.2016

Military Diet, Alternatives and Meals in between

3-Day Military Diet and 4-day Regular Meals.

Lost 8 kilos in 1 month. Done with some 1/2 Lemon on 2 liters of Water daily.

I have tabulated the Military Diet in orange colored table below for my reference. In the Philippines, cottage cheese is hard to find and tad bit expensive so I tried Greek Yogurt. Also based on collated information from various sites, in blue table are the alternatives to the food items in the military diet. 
 Computing how much it costed me for the regular 3-day military diet, it's roughly 390 Pesos in 3 days. ( Worth my single meal before (^_^)). Kilos of weight lost and $$$ of Savings too! I got even bigger savings and more motivation because I did Military Diet with Perci. (Monitoring our calorie counter is our new Bonding moment!) LOL!
We do Military Diet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On the 4-day break, that includes the weekend, we sometimes opt to eat rice because we eat together with the kids. 

Military diet is less than 1000 calories in a day. For better results, I have read that one may limit that calorie intake up to 1500 calories only. This is for a small-framed woman with little exercise. More like me except that I'm relatively larger-framed. :) I'll document some more if I have time! Cheers to a #healthier2016AndBeyond! 
  

1.15.2016

My Do More With Less Christmas Experience

Being a mom requires super powers and octopus hands! You can beat a juggler by the circus once you become a mom. While others speak of the “Thank God It’s Friday” cliché, moms think otherwise! Weekend is actually the perfect time to clean the bathroom, go get some grocery and finish that mountain of laundry while teaching the kids and washing dishes on the side. There was practically no time for many vacations or a longer than 10-minute coveted power nap. 

Sigh! 

That was my life way before I got some good buy from Electrolux...that Electrolux Automatic Washing Machine is one of the best invention ever and I can’t believe how long had I lived under a rock to finally break my inhibitions and finally purchase one in 2014. Oh! Actually, this is my gift for Honey the hubby! Since I gave birth to Paul, he had been the sweetest  and he volunteered to wash the clothes using our old simple wash and dryer washing machine. I know his struggle is real! Good God is gracious and He let us have this Electrolux Automatic Washing Machine to take the heavy burden of transferring wet clothes from the washer to the dryer!  That was one sigh of relief… now we can do more with the less 48 hours we have during weekends or holidays or any ordinary vacation leave!



Taking it on a Cost-Benefit Analysis perspective,  we have saved n-thousand manhours and n-kiloJoules of energy with this genius invention! So many hundred percent return of investment...and besides quality time for the quantity time we spend with our kids are priceless!( ^_^)

Now for doing more with the time we spend less on washing... we just had the busiest adventure-filled Christmas ever!

Last Christmas 2015 vacation was the sweetest! We have vowed to save much money to be able to pay for the condo that we have bought last November in preparation for Cassy's High School days. The budget is tight but we never want to spoil the long weekends of December 2015. 

We were able to bring the kids to six(6) new places (for them)  but spend less than our usual vacation budget while having super fun that was definitely insurmountable and memorable!

Now, I would like to share my #doMoreWithLess experience this Christmas Vacation... and how I intend to religiously apply my own tips in our next long weekends and vacations ever after...

#doMoreWithLess TIP #8. Plan your trip in advance. Know side trips to save gas and maximize the time. Know toll fees and probable entrance fees.

Last December 26, we went to Dinosaur Island Clark Land, Picnic grounds and Airforce Park at Clark, Pampanga. All at the same day!

The kids are ecstatic and they have had real experience with Jurassic World feel especially the dancing dinosaur performance by the end of Dinosaurs Island trail. Paul was the one who really enjoyed a lot for dinosaurs are closer to his heart because of his favorite Blue the Raptor toy!


#doMoreWithLess TIP #7: Go to affordable locations like parks where there are much cheaper but worthwhile activities on it.

Just right beside Clark Land-Dinosaur Island is the Picnic Grounds. It has a separate entrance fee that costs only 20 pesos per person. From then on, the kids enjoyed climbing some monkey bars and obstacle course, play at the slide and swing and run endlessly on the grass grounds. They have rented a bike for 50 pesos an hour where Paul got envious he wanted to drive his own bike but his short legs just can't reach the pedal! HAhaha!  They had so much fun while I rest on the side and watch them enjoy playing under the sun!


#doMoreWithLess TIP #6: Take advantage of your smartphone GPS during out of town trips.

After enjoying the morning full of activities at Clark Land, Dinosaur Island and Picnic Grounds, we were able to drive by Clark Air Force Park. Since we were unfamiliar of the place, we highly depend on our phone's GPS for directions. At times, network signal may be lost so it's best that you download offline maps with navigation functions. I have the "Navigate" app on my Android and it works perfectly well!

Voila, we spent the entire afternoon by the Air Force park , chillaxin' on the grass, I even had some power nap while the kids play at the free play ground and had some historical tour at the war planes and had some obligatory selfies and groufies on the side...( ^_^)!

No entrance fee for this park while you also burn some calorie so you can #doMoreWithLess!



#doMoreWithLess TIP #5: Take lots of photos and videos to document your adventure.

Ever since we started going out on road trips with the kids, we always make it a point to document our travels. We create 10-minute videos of our every rendezvous. When everything is over and you're way back home, all that's left are the memories and the photos and videos that reminds you how great your day that was! We save it on our external drive and play it along-side our movie marathon breaks.. then suddenly, the memories are alive and we're craving for more of these "atin-ang-mundo-i-dawn-zulueta-mo-ako" moments! hahaha!




#doMoreWithLess TIP #4: Buy Online Deals to save BIG time!

I have learned my lesson from a recent Avilon Zoo trip wherein I paid full for the Entrance Fee. That was like, P3600 down the drain. I resented when I learned that there was an online deal that can be bought half the price. From then on, I was wiser. I make sure, I get some online deal to have big bucks of savings! There are even deal sites that offer more discount if you pay cash on delivery. Since I vow not to get a Credit Card as long as I can, I always opt for cash-on-delivery deals so I get to save even more!

Our recent Mind Museum trip tickets were bought at 50% off.  #doMoreWithLess indeed!



It's complete with outdoor playground, indoor science experiments, exhibits and film showing that the kids really learned so much from. Double purpose too for they enjoyed while learning at the same time! I learned a lot as well because the exhibits cater not just kids but also kids at heart like us!
Truly #doMoreWithLess for us!



#doMoreWithLess TIP #3:  Always bring that picnic blanket whenever you travel with the kids!

Who knows? You might have the perfect side trip if time permits!

It was a holiday when we visited Mind Museum in BGC Taguig so traffic is lighter and we got the chance to drop by my Alma Mater at UP Diliman. We toured them around and finally had a picnic by the Track Oval. We had the perfect view of the sunset while munching over some snacks by Area2. We saved a lot instead of driving through a fast food chain and at the same time letting the kids smell the fresh air of UP and watch a sports practice by the oval which I think David and Paul get to enjoy a lot!

Save on snacks thru picnics while enjoying the breathe of healthy and fresh air outdoors! I never thought David would be so prepared and he's ready with his Badminton rackets and so they had some short smash tournament with Daddy! #doMoreWithLess indeed!


#doMoreWithLess TIP #2: Go by thrift food shops for dinner instead of fine dining on an instant Date!

It was the last Sunday of December and we've just had the last "Simbang Gabi" for the year. It was indeed worth the celebration for we have braved a blessed and fruitful year that was 2015. Same time we're too hungry and had no time for cooking back home. We decided to bring the kids to the Food Park by our place and Voila! instant dinner without the hassle of cooking while saving as well! The food is roughly 150 per head and the place is cozy for another mandatory selfie/groufie! (^_^).


#doMoreWithLess TIP #1: Spend holidays at your HOME SWEET HOME!

This is practically the most affordable #doMoreWithLess tip for a perfect bonding with the family.

We always end the year with honey's birthday on December 31. He's 31 this year and as usual, our Media Noche is his birthday celebration "handa" as well. It's also the first time ever that we're hosting both Christmas and New Year for the Abuel-Reveche family at our humble abode.

My tip for the Media Noche food is that don't buy it along with the Noche Buena grocery. Who knows if gracious people out there can give out Media Noche groceries as Christmas gifts! Hahaha!
This really happened to us. We had most of our Media Noche "handa" from the Christmas groceries given at the office, from friends and from our church (yes, our church gave out groceries to almost everyone! God is so Good!). We spend lesser on New Year than on our Christmas Noche Buena because of this. Truly #doMoreWithLess and #spendLess as well!

There's no other place like home when it comes to the perfect #doMoreWithLess bonding with the family! Nothing beats home-made meals and there's no better way to spend Christmas and every ordinary day than with the family!



Christmas 2015 is so memorable and full of adventures. It was only these days that we start getting to enjoy out of town trips. It's the perfect time when our youngest Paul is not that "baby" enough and we can already drag him in long road trips! This Christmas we surely #doMoreWithLess while having fun and not letting the budget suffer afterwards!

At the end of the day, Christmas is just a day or say one week of the 52-week calendar where we have to really practice this #doMoreWithLess mantra.



Fun and Frugality can meet if we intend it to be. Anyway, quality time with the kids need not be expensive nor extravagant.. this just have to be sincere, simple but really sweet! 'Til our next #doMoreWithLess adventure! (^_^) 

This blog post is in support to the #DoMoreWithLess advocacy led by Electrolux Philippines.

12.04.2015

Philippine Passport Application for the Kids

Lately I have been loving how we get to spend wonderful times with our kids during our out of town trips. It was more of a spontaneous road trip adventure rather than a fully-planned travel. One time, we woke up and decided to go to Avilon Zoo at Rodriguez, Rizal. All we had was our phone with GPS and our ATM cards. 

Another time, Cassy and David's field trip at school got some Failed Trip and out of frustration, we just decided to have some Tagaytay Take Two trip where we revisited Picnic Grove and Mushroom Burger and the Puzzle Mansion. It was another ATM and GPS only road-trip that we're on the books of our lovely rendezvous with my dear kids. 

Due to our recent rendezvous with the kids, we decided to finally get them a passport. We won't know when our next wanderlust would lead us but we would definitely want to share longer hours of bonding with the kids during travels so we are looking into..Hong Kong Disneyland or Legoland Malaysia or Universal Studios Singapore perhaps. 

It was quite serendipitous that my schedule was not chaotic these days that I had ample time taking care of the requirements and for the actual Passport Application as well. I have saved a lot in terms of processing plus more and more learnings on the way. Sharing herewith are my experiences and handy tips for passport application:
  1. Get appointment online. Take note of all the requirements and have your documents photocopied before going inside DFA. We got ours scheduled on Megamall. Photocopy inside is expensive and if you're not in luck, like us, the xerox machine is under maintenance so I have to go out and look for a Photocopy center. Gladly there are two Photocopy centers just nearby so I get to go back quite fastly. 
  2. You need to have different sets of  photocopied requirements per child. For mine, since I got three kids, I need three photocopies of my passport, ID and marriage certificate.
  3. There's a Saturday schedule at DFA-NCR East, that is SM Megamall but it is automatically upgraded to Express. Regular application fee is P950.00 and express fee is P 1200.00 each. You add P150 pesos per passport if you want it delivered to your preferred address.
  4. You'll be submitting the original NSO copy of the kid's birth certificate so be sure to have it photocopied for future reference. 
  5. I personally got the kids' birth certificate at NSO East Avenue so I saved a lot in processing. Regular rate is just P140.00  per child. You also need to get an NSO authenticated copy of your marriage certificate. Also, if it's not your first time to get an NSO copy of your or your kid's birth certificate, be sure to bring it and note on the BReN on the lower left corner of the document. This is almost beside the barcode on the bottom left of the document. This BReN would make your life easier as there is a dedicated lane for those who already have this BReN. I got my 3 kids' birth certificate in less than 30 mins same day processing. Happy mom on the time and cost savings :) By the way, I got mine on a November so it's not peak season as compared to pre-enrollment months so I guess it would take a bit longer than that of my 30-minute experience.
  6. If you're travelling with your kids, you won't need an Affidavit of Support and Consent to Travel. I have researched on this a lot before actually going there. I am a bit adamant that if I don't get to bring the duly notarized Affidavit of Support and Consent to Travel, we would have to go to square one again. Anyways, I have initially checked with the DFA website which states that this requirement is only for minors not travelling with their parents. The document review officer didn't ask for it as well when we went on our appointment date. Fortunately, we have successfully gone through the entire process without having to submit this Affidavit of Support and Consent to Travel. For those who would need there are downloadable templates online so no need to worry. Fill up the details and have it notarized and you're ok. :)
There you go, I'll add up when I remember some more. For now, I hope to finally lay my hands on the kids' passport and save it for our future adventures outside our Neverland.