Yay for another blogger award nomination!

jenv t corres wall nominated for blogger recognition award

This time, I have That Med Kid to thank for nominating me. A med student (hence the name of her blog), That Med Kid has a self-published book entitled “The Danger of Not Trying.” She created the book using Microsoft Word. She donated all the profits to Rejoice Foundation, an HIV foundation located in Northern Thailand. The foundation inspired her to take Medicine.

…Because genuine happiness doesn’t come from a scripted truth. ~That Med Kid

How Jenv T Corre’s Wall started

Something happened in the office; I learned that my subordinates have been talking me behind my back for quite a while. They said nasty things about me and our other colleagues. I discovered it unintentionally. My heart was broken so bad that I need to have an outlet otherwise I’ll burst into God knows what.

That even led me to write about millennials (and a series of Facebook updates that shows how immature I am). I even had a disclaimer that the post was fueled by angst. No regrets. Haha.

Back then, however, I always wanted to start a blog—a blog that I would take seriously. I started some blogs from 2011 to 2015, but none of them received the attention they deserved. Some blogs didn’t even have a single post in them. Oops…

I thought: If I am going to put my name on that blog would I take it seriously? You know the answer. I cannot afford to abandon this blog because I might not be able to use the same blog name in the future when I decided to blog again should I devoured into oblivion once more.

Okay, I suck at naming a blog. At work, we usually create WordPress and Blogspot blogs for each of our clients, but the blog naming task is given to someone else. 😆

I just included the word ‘Wall’ because this blog will be my fortress, my sanctuary, my reality. Jenv T Corre’s Wall is my online hub where I can say all the things I long to say, share and overshare.

Advice for new bloggers

My blog is not perfect—far from it actually. However, I learned a thing or two about blogging that I want to share with all of you. Pardon if these are too technical.

  • Test the waters first

Are you sure that blogging is for you? Have you heard of the story about this girl who wants to have a puppy? Her parents are very hesitant to give in to her wish because of the weight of responsibility involved. What they did was they buy the girl a leash and let her pretend to walk the dog every morning. If she could do this for a month without fail, they will buy her a puppy. She gave up on the third day.

I guess you haven’t heard of it because I just made it up. 😉 But you get it, right? If blogging is for you, you won’t give up on the third post. So don’t buy any hosting plan yet. Check the free plan first, write a few posts and observe it for a couple of months. If you are able to write consistently and the traction is good, then you are good to go. If you are struggling what to write about and what to write about next, you should have done the next one.

  • Choose a niche and sub-niche

A plethora of mommy blogs proliferate the blogosphere, so why another mommy blog? Everyday hundreds to thousands of new blog are created, how will I stand out? These two questions bugged me when I finally decided to blog again. The third question was: Should I care? Hehe.

So what if there are millions of mommy bloggers out there? I can still choose to be one and more. This is where the sub-niche comes into play. I asked myself: What is that one thing that I know about that’s also share-worthy? Aside from being a wife and mom, I grew up in Antipolo. I know the place by heart. And there are no bloggers from Antipolo that I am aware of. So there is my sub-niche people.

  • Familiarize yourself with the platform

I already mentioned WordPress and Blogspot. While I cannot tell you which is better, I can suggest you go over the dashboard and explore each feature and layout. Remove the lorem ipsums and this is a text widgets.

You created a blog—own it! And one way of doing so is writing from the heart.

  • Always write from the heart

You can never go wrong with writing if you write from the heart. Pour your soul into it. Need I say more about this?

My Blogger Recognition Award nominees

Basically Tesha

Urban Suburban Mommy

Kyle’s Fun Adventures

Pocketful of Pebbles

Tia The Le

Meh Mom Blog

Hopeless Mom*Antics

Mum’s Life Blog

Mommy of 5 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Just Another Mummy Blog

Foolproof Musings of a Weirdie

Practical Much Sense

Melissa’s Nest

Little Green Lives

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Rules of accepting the nomination

Like other blogger-to-blogger awards, there are some rules to follow.

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. Provide a link to his or her blog post.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Provide a brief story on how your blog started.
  4. Give pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select up to 15 other bloggers you want to nominate for this award.
  6. Let them know that you have nominated them.
  7. Provide a link to your own post.

Organic is one word that is thrown around too much lately, and I can understand why.

Moms are after products with ingredients that are mild, safe and gentle for our kids’ delicate skin.

Did you know that the baby’s skin is paper-thin, making it sensitive to just about everything it comes in contact with?

Yes, that includes the clothes they are wearing.

While the skin may get thicker in no time, it is best to use laundry detergent that is gentle enough so the clothes they wear won’t irritate their sensitive skin. Here’s a brand new brand in the market that promises just that—Tiny Buds.

I was able to get my Tiny Buds Laundry Powder and Fabric Softener samples about four weeks ago from #SampleRoomPH.

[I can’t really remember the date. I supposed to receive the package two days after placing the order, but there was a delay in shipment. I received a text message that the delivery personnel cannot locate my office address. That’s pretty unusual since I use my office address in Marikina and other delivery men did not find any difficulty locating the only pink building in the area. Oh well.]

I’m glad that I tested the products. I used them after a week of receiving the goodies. The laundry powder and fabric conditioner combo is enough to wash up to three loads.

Here’s the lowdown of our Tiny Buds use.

Insanely creative packaging

tiny buds laundry powder and fabric conditioner review

Pardon my use of the word ‘insanely,’ but I can’t find any words to describe how good-looking the packaging is. Totally eye-candy! I love the overall concept; it did not deviate from Tiny Bud’s organic mantra since all are natural-looking.

The sheep looks so cuddly in the same way I want to cuddle my kids’ clothes after washing them with these two products. The clothes are so soft; I even thought at first that the fabcon is unnecessary (but I used it anyway). 😆

For brevity, I will use the word fabcon, a portmanteau of fabric and conditioner, from this point forward. I like the way I say it and the way it sounds. Haha. #meh

Very mild scent

tiny buds laundry powder for babies

The coarse-textured laundry powder has a very, very mild scent. One thing I noticed while washing is the subtle scent won’t last that long. After just one rinse, the scent is g-o-n-e. That’s why you need to use the fabric conditioner: to prolong the scent.

Speaking of which, the smell of the fabcon is stronger but not overpowering, unlike the commercially available ones. It smells like baby powder. And, I like the smell of the fabcon better than that of the laundry powder too.

I thought that the scent would disappear in no time, like other fabcons I’ve tried before. But, get this, the clothes smell the same after folding and putting them in the closet for a week. That’s the fabcon working overtime, which is good.

When it comes to its texture, it’s more on the gelatinous side. It’s very thick! I needed to mix the fabcon with the water thoroughly so it’d incorporate well before submerging my daughters’ clothes.

Cleans like others

tiny buds fabric conditioner for babies

There is nothing special with how Tiny Buds clean the clothes. One thing I observed, though, since the products are organic, is the clothes are not that ‘soapy’ while washing them. One to two rounds of rinsing is enough. It’s one way to conserve water, right?

I’ve tried other natural products before, and true to all natural laundry products, they are not that bubbly. Tiny Buds’ laundry powder is like that too.

Did you know that the bubblier the detergent, the more chemicals the detergent contains?

Have you tried scooping the foam buildup before? Place it on any surface. As it dries out, you will notice white residues. Yup, these are the chemical residues combined with dirt and debris on your clothes.

The amount of white residues for Tiny Buds detergent is very minimal. I am expecting this though since it contains natural ingredients. I scooped the foam for experimentation purposes only. 😉

My verdict

Will I use Tiny Buds again? Yes, but I am more lenient with buying the fabcon; the laundry detergent, not so.

RATING: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Where to buy Tiny Buds laundry powder and fabric softener for babies

Website: http://tinybudsbaby.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tinybuds/

Lazada official store: https://www.lazada.com.ph/tiny-buds/

Shoppee official shop: https://shopee.ph/tinybudsbaby

[This is a sponsored post. I obtain the samples free of charge.]

 

I have a confession to make—I envy those bloggers awarded with a Liebster. The long wait (not that long, though) is over because Jenv T Corre’s Wall is endowed with a Liebster award nomination. Yay!

liebster award for jenv t corre's wall

I have Safia Begum of Imagine Forest to thank for the nomination.

Created in the summer of 2015, Imagine Forest, which has colorful graphics, by the way, aims to improve children’s writing skills. How will the blog do this? The answer is simple: by changing the children’s (and parents’) mindset about writing! Its motto is to inspire, learn and write.

Children needed guidance in writing. ~Safia Begum, Imagine Forest

On the blog are an ultimate collection of inspirational creative writing resources for kids. Activities, lessons, writing prompts and worksheets included!

One of my favorite blogs

Onto my favorite blog: Spell Saab by Saab Magalona-Bacarro. She is one of the daughters of OPM legend, Francis Magalona. She’s been blogging for 14 years now. Yup, you read that right—14 years! I learned a lot about blogging from her.

She blogged about her wedding with Jim Bacarro. Her wedding vow is always voted as one of the most original vows. She said, “You are a rare breed of Pokemon, and I caught you right when you evolved into your final form.

You are the man my dad would’ve wanted for his baby girl. There’s no doubt in my heart that he is happy to be giving me away to you today. I think my dream about you was some sort of sign. But I would’ve been afraid to act on it alone. Whatever force it was that nudged you towards me the next day, I’m ever so grateful for it.

Every day I’m thankful that we fell in love at the right time. Three years ago, I danced with you once upon a dream. Now I dance with you every night. And today I’m marrying my dream. Tonight, I’m finally gonna get to dance with my husband. I love you so much.”

And, she’s pregnant with twins.

Random facts about Jennevie and Jenv T Corre’s Wall

Now for the random facts about me and my blog.

  1. I currently work as a Content Writer and Researcher as well as a Corporate Blogger
  2. I used to work as an Academic Writer before becoming an SEO Article Writer
  3. I married Jun, my husband, on June 8, 2012, after living together for 3 years
  4. I have two daughters namely Sasha and Adele, both were born via C-section
  5. I stopped drinking coffee when I was 12 years old; I started drinking coffee again in August last year
  6. Jenv T Corre’s Wall was created in March 2017
  7. Having started several blogs before, I decided to create a blog with my name as the blog name, so I can take blogging more seriously this time
  8. I think I suck at motherhood/parenting so Jenv T Corre’s Wall is my way of documenting my journey as a mom and wife primarily
  9. I am into watching Korean dramas and movies; Full House, starring Song Hye-kyo and Rain, is my favorite
  10. My favorite number is 8 because it represents infinity 😀

Did you know that ‘liebster‘ is a German term that literally means ‘dearest’?

Questions from Imagine Forest

To accept the Liebster award, Safia asked me the following questions.

What is your favourite children’s book?

My favorite children’s book is Ibong Adarna. It’s a Filipino folk story about a magical bird—Ibong Adarna—that can heal any sickness upon hearing its [singing] voice.

What is your favourite children’s book character?

From reading the book, I always wished that I can be an Ibong Adarna too not because of its voice (I can’t sing) but because of how it looks. The bird is always depicted as a colorful bird.

What inspires you to write your posts and how do you deal with writer’s block?

My kids are the source of my inspiration. I also draw inspiration from my yearning to contribute to the mommy blogging world.

When it comes to dealing with writer’s block, I believe that the struggle is so real. True for all bloggers I know. Writer’s block looming in the corner, I always go back to inspiration #1, and I’m all set.

What was the best advice you ever received?

It’s not an advice given to me outrightly but a quote I read on the Internet. Drew Barrymore once said, “When I lay my head on the pillow at night I can say I was a decent person today. That’s when I feel beautiful.”

I live by this; it talks to me wanting to be the most humane I can be.

What made you start blogging? Where do you see yourself in a year from now?

I’m a corporate blogger for almost 10 years now. I regret that I didn’t take my previous blogs seriously; I should be earning thousands of dollars by now. Kidding. I created one in 2011 but totally forgot about it after a few posts. So here’s me upping my blogging game through creating a personal blog within a niche that is truly me.

A year from now, I’d still be blogging for sure.

Can you give one tip to other bloggers?

Always write from the heart. Through words, you can be a blessing to other people. Inspire others with your message.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Invisibility! [Or, have an invisibility cloak at the very least.] I’ve always been awkward, and for those moments that I need to vanish instantly, I can definitely use this superpower.

My nominees

I have picked nominees from the blogs I am following. Most of these blogs are mommy blogs since their ideals resonate with me. Follow these awesome blogs too.

Mommy Moo by Monique (blogging since January 2017)
Jac Rumusud Oebanda by Jac Rumusud Oebanda (blogging since August 2017)
The Peso-Pinching Pinay by E.S. Villamor (blogging since September 2017)
I Just Wanna Finish My by Bee (blogging since July 2017)
The Unfiltered Momma by Haley (blogging since August 2017)
The Darling Mama by Stephanie (blogging since April 2017)
Mrs Mama Kate by Kate (blogging since February 2017)
Mediocre Mom Blog by Danielle (blogging since August 2017)
Not a Cool Mom Blog by Fallon (blogging since June 2017)
This Mom Blogs by by Laura (blogging since August 2017)

Questions for my nominees

  1. What’s an ideal day for you?
  2. What is your perk-me-up go-to snack?
  3. What is your life song and why did you choose that song?
  4. What is that one thing that you always brag about?
  5. Where do broken hearts go?
  6. What is your blogging principle?
  7. Have you experienced an ethical dilemma in your life? How did you deal with it?
  8. If you will die tomorrow, why not today?
  9. What is your greatest fear ever?
  10. How do you want people to remember you after you die?
  11. If you can travel back in time, what period would you want to be? Why?

If you’ve been nominated for a Liebster award, visit The Global Aussie website to know more about the rules and steps and select official 2017 Liebster awards image to display on your blog. Leave a comment below so I’ll know that you’ve accepted my nomination.

I’m looking forward to reading your posts. Cheers!

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About the Liebster Awards

An ever-evolving way to acknowledge up and coming bloggers, the Liebster awards are a great opportunity for new bloggers out there. The awards aim to promote the new blogs and garner more readers, connect with other bloggers and support the blogging community.

Furthermore, it was originally given to blogs with 2,000 readers and up. Nowadays, blogs with 200 readers or less may receive a nomination. If you have been nominated, please follow these rules.

Steps

  1. Thank the person who nominated you. Mention the blogger and blog’s name. Link back to his/her blog. Introduce the blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog as a widget or an image within the post. [I use mine as the featured image.]
  3. Name your favorite blog. Write between 150 and 300 words about it. Put links on the texts.
  4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. [Optional]
  5. Nominate between 5 and 11 blogs that you feel deserve the same award, with less than 200 followers.
  6. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  7. List the rules on your post so your nominees are guided.
  8. Inform the people/blog owners that they have been nominated for the Liebster award. Provide a link to your post.

I saw the lists of Bible verses online. These are great reminders for husbands and wives to live a married life with God at the center.

Let’s think of the verses below as tips on how men can become the best husbands to their wives and how wives can be the best versions of themselves for their husbands.How to have a God-centered relationship

How to have a God-centered relationship

Husbands, love your wives

Married men must conform to certain guidelines. These are the things that husbands must keep in mind.

1 Don’t shout at your wife when you are talking. It really hurts her. (Prov 15v1)

2 Do not speak evil of her to anyone. Your wife will become who you call her. (Gen 2v19)

3 Do not share her love or affection with another woman. It is called adultery. (Matt 5v28)

4 Never compare your wife to another woman. If the other woman was good for you, God would have given her to you. (2 Cor 10v12)

5 Don’t ever allow her to beg you for sex. She owns your body just as you own her body. (1 Cor 7v5)

6 Be gentle and accommodating. She has sacrificed so much to be with you. It hurts her deeply when you are harsh and irritating. Be tender. (Eph 4v2)

7 Hide nothing from her. You are now one, and she’s your helpmeet. Let there be no secret you are keeping from her. (Gen 2v25)

8 Do not make a negative comment about her body. She risked her life and beauty to carry your babies. She is a living soul, not just flesh and blood. (Eph 5v29)

9 Do not let her body determine her worth. Cherish and appreciate her even till old age. (Eph 5v29)

10 Never shout at her in public and in private. If you have an issue to sort with her, do it in the privacy of your room. (Matt 1v19)

11 Thank and appreciate her for taking good care of you, the kids and the house. It is a great sacrifice she is making. (1 The 5v18)

12 All women cannot cook the same way; appreciate your wife’s food. It is not easy to cook three meals a day, 365 days a year for several years. (Pro 31v14)

13 Never place your siblings before her. She is your wife. She is one with you. She must come before your family. (Gen 2v24)

14 Invest seriously in her spiritual growth. Buy books, tapes and any material that will edify her and strengthen her walk with God. That’s the best thing you can do for her. (Eph 5v26)

15 Spend time with her to do Bible study and pray. (James 5v16)

16 Make time to play with her and enjoy her company. Remember when you are dead, she’s gonna be by your grave, but your friends may be too busy to attend your funeral. (Ecc 9v9)

17 Never use money to manipulate or control her. All your money belongs to her. She is a joint heir with you of the grace of God. (1 Pet 3v7)

18 Do not expose her weakness. You will be exposing yourself too. Be a shield around her. (Eph 5v30)

19 Honor her parents and be kind to her siblings. (SoS 8v2)

20 Never cease to tell her how much you love her all the days of her life. Women are never tired of hearing that. (Eph 5v25)

21 Grow to be like Christian. That’s the only way you can be a good and godly husband. (Rom 8v29)

22 Don’t look at other girls the way you would look at your wife. (Mal 2v14-15)

23 Jealousy is unacceptable. Have faith in your wife. (SoS 8v6-7)

24 Make your wife happy. (Deut 24v5)

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Wives, keep your husband

Every wife should read these Bible verses. Let these be our guide on how we should treat our husbands.

tattoos-health-peace

1 Never raise your voice for any reason to your husband. It’s a sign of disrespect. (Prov 15v1)

2 Don’t expose your husband’s weaknesses to your family and friends. It will bounce back at you. You are each other’s keeper. (Eph 5v12)

3 Never use attitudes and moods to communicate to your husband, you never know how your husband will interpret them. Defensive women don’t have a happy home. (Prov 15v13)

4 Never compare your husband to other men, you’ve no idea what their life is all about. If you attack his ego, his love for you will diminish. (Eph 5v22-23)

5 Never ill-treat your husband’s friends because you don’t like them. The person who’s supposed to get rid of them is your husband. (Prov 11v22)

6 Never forget that your husband married you, not your maid or anyone else. Do your duties. (Gen 2v24)

7 Never assign anyone to give attention to your husband, people may do everything else but your husband is your own responsibility. (Eph 5v33)

8 Never blame your husband if he comes back home empty handed. Rather encourage him. (Deut 3v28)

9 Never be a wasteful wife, your husband’s sweat is too precious to be wasted. (1 Tim 6v6-10)

10 Never pretend to be sick for the purpose of denying your husband sex. You must give it to him how he wants it. Sex is very important to men if you keep denying him, it is a matter of time before another woman takes over that duty. No man can withstand sex starvation for too long. (SoS 7v12)

11 Never compare your husband to your one-time sex mate in the bedroom or an ex-lover. Your home may never recover from it if you do. (SoS 5v9)

12 Never answer for your husband in public opinion polls, let him handle what is directed to him although he may answer for you in public opinion polls. (Prov 31v23)

13 Never shout or challenge your husband in front of children. Wise women don’t do that. (Eph 4v31)

14 Don’t forget to check the smartness of your husband before he checks out. (Prov 12v4)

15 Never allow your friends to be too close to your husband. (Mark 10v9)

16 Never be in a hurry in the bathroom and on the dressing table. Out there your husband is always surrounded by women who took their time on their looks. (1 Sam 25v3)

17 Your parents or family or friends do not have the final say in your marriage. Don’t waste your time looking up to them for a final word. You must leave if you want to cleave. (Luke 21v16)

18 Never base your love on monetary things. Will you still submit to him even if you earn more money than him? (Eph 5v22-23)

19 Don’t forget that husbands want attention and good listeners, never be too busy for him. Good communication is the bedrock of every happy home. (Gal 6v9)

20 If your idea worked better than his, never compare yourself to him. It’s always teamwork. (Gal 6v10)

21 Don’t be too judgemental to your husband. No man wants a nagging wife. (Eph 4v29)

22 A lazy wife is a careless wife. She doesn’t even know that her body needs a bath. (Prov 24v27) (Prov 20v13)

23 Does your husband like a kind of cooked food? Try to change your cooking. No man jokes with food. (Prov 31v14)

24 Never be too demanding to your husband. Enjoy every moment; resource as it comes. (Luke 11v3)

25 Make a glass of water the very first welcome to your husband and everyone entering your home. Sweetness of attitude is true beauty. (Prov 31v11)

26 Don’t associate with women who have a wrong mental attitude about marriage. (Prov 22v14)

27 Your marriage is as valuable to you as the value that you give it. Recklessness is unacceptable. (Heb 13v4)

28 Fruit of the womb is a blessing from the Lord, love your children and teach them well. (Prov 22v6)

29 You are never too old to influence your home. Never reduce your care for your family for any reason. (Prov 31v28)

30 A prayerful wife is a better-equipped wife. Pray always for your husband and family. (1 Thess 5v17)

31 Go where your husband takes you. (Jer 31v24)

32 Don’t deny your husband of his desire to have kids. (Gen 1v27-28)

33 Be faithful to your husband. A cheating wife is a disgrace. (Prov 3v4)

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A husband and wife prayer

I saw this prayer online as well. It’s a daily prayer for married couples. It’s best to hold each other’s hands as you recite the prayer together.

god-centered relationship

O God, we want to live our life together with you and always to continue it with you.

Help us never to hurt and never to grieve each other. Help us to share all our works, all our hopes, all our dreams, all our successes, all our failures, all our joys and all our sorrows. Help us to have no secrets from each other so that we may be truly one.

Keep us always true to each other, and grant that all the years ahead may draw us ever closer to each other. Grant that nothing may ever come between us and nothing may ever make us ever drift apart.

And as we live with each other, help us to live with you, so that our love may grow perfect in your love, for you are the God whose name is love. This we ask for your love’s sake.

Amen.

Sasha, my elder daughter, asked me to download the video. She learned about the video through a classroom activity, but I have no idea what it is. Out of frustration, she showed me the other kids in our neighborhood doing the Baby Shark dance. 😆

To answer the question above, here is the viral video.

Apparently, the tune is fun and upbeat, the lyrics are simple and easy to remember, and the steps are so easy even Adele can do them. The dance is infectious!

Aside from being a good way to keep our kids occupied while we are doing household chores! 😛

Based on its video description on YouTube,

Let’s try making sharks using hands and arms!
Use your fingers to make little Baby Shark!
Open your hands to make Mommy Shark!
Spread your arms wide to make Daddy Shark!
Let’s not forget Grandma and Grandpa Shark!
Doo doo doo doo doo doo!

And the Baby Shark lyrics go like this,

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Baby shark!

Mommy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Mommy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Mommy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Mommy shark!

Daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Daddy shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Daddy shark!

Grandma shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Grandma shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Grandma shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Grandma shark!

Grandpa shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Grandpa shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Grandpa shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Grandpa shark!

Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Let’s go hunt!

Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Run away!

Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
Safe at last!

It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo.
It’s the end!

The said video inspires the #BabySharkChallenge. The challenge, which started in August, is basically a cover video of Baby Shark.

According to its creators, no intentional marketing is spearheaded for the series as well as the challenge, but it went viral nonetheless thanks to the support of celebrities.

Its fame is attributed to Amanda Cerny, a model and Internet sensation, who took the challenge and performed the dance on Indonesia’s Tonight Show as well as other Korean celebrities like Girls’ Generation, Red Velvet and Blank Pink who performed the song on TV and at their concerts.

Who created Baby Shark anyway?

pinkfong mascot

Produced by SmartStudy which introduced the educational brand Pinkfong (with a cute pink fox mascot of its own), Baby Shark is an action song that aims to “help children develop fine motor skills” while having fun.

Pinkfong, a Seoul-based startup with offices in Shanghai and Los Angeles, was established to develop animated content that provides fun learning experiences to children worldwide.

The Baby Shark series was launched in the last quarter of 2015 and started going viral by July 2017. The actual Baby Shark video (shown above) was released online on June 17, 2017.

If you want to hear all twenty Pinkfong Animal Songs, head over to iTunes.

The Baby Shark stats

As of October 4, the video has already garnered 343 million YouTube views. The Baby Shark series have a combined view of 800 million, 80% of which comes from the international audience.

YouTube channel subscriptions also skyrocket, with 30% increase from the previous year due to the Baby Shark’s popularity.

The mobile app version is among the top 3 most downloaded apps in the family apps category.

The videos included in the series are very famous in South Korea. It is even dubbed as the “next best thing” after Psy’s Gangnam Style.

Other countries the video is sweeping are Indonesia (where authority figures, police offices in complete uniform, are doing the challenge), Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangladesh.

And now, the Philippines! Marian Rivera and the girls of ‘Super Ma’am’ has a cute video of them doing the Baby Shark.

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Baby Shark has an alternative video called Monkey Bananas. Yup, you guessed it right. It stars our banana-eating friends. You can watch the video below. Instead of “doo doo doo doo doo doo,” replace it with “ba na na na na.”

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What do you think of the Baby Shark song? Are you going to do the #BabySharkChallenge?

During lull periods, I answer paid online surveys.

When I say lull periods, I mean:

  • while I was waiting in line at the terminal and during the travel especially when it’s traffic,
  • when I arrived earlier to work and leave really late without rendering OT work,
  • after watching K-drama on my laptop and before going to sleep, and
  • before and after doing household chores.

Basically, those times when I really do nothing but mull over things. I am just making good use of my time since a survey takes up to 20 minutes most of the time. It’s possible because you may answer an online survey using mobile devices. The majority of the survey sites are available on Android and iOS.

Compensation varies from platform to platform, usually from 5 to 7,000 points. You cannot expect to earn a full month’s salary for answering online surveys, but what you’ll earn is enough to buy a shirt or cell phone accessory. A plus!

Why answering surveys?

Local companies are tapping the services of research firms to pool average consumers as research panels.

1) It feels good to contribute

Answering an online survey for money is all about voicing out your opinion. The majority of the surveys I answered are about trying new concepts from well-known FMCG brands in the Philippines. It makes me happy just to speak your mind about these new concepts.

2) It is a community

You’d be surprised to learn how many Filipinos are into online surveys. And yes, I mean a lot of us. I initially thought that this money making opportunity is only available to US and UK citizens because when I tried joining some sites ten years ago, most of the sites only accept US consumers. Or, if they do allow non-US citizens, the surveys are very, very limited.

3) It is a good way to kill time

Would you rather play a game on your laptop or phone that cannot earn you anything but swollen eyes and thumb? Hehe. Really, if you want to earn extra income, you should answer surveys. Highly recommended for students and stay-at-home moms and dads.

4) It requires no investment

Before, there are freemium and paid survey platforms wherein you need to pay a minimal amount to receive more survey invites. These platforms are totally unheard of (or is it just me?). And now, all you need is a smartphone since the sites and apps work on both Android and iOS phones.

5) It is a source of extra income

Earning extra money is the main reason why I joined the sites. ‘Nuff said!

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I am a member to three survey platforms namely Toluna, Global Test Market and The Panel Station.

Toluna

answer online surveys to make money toluna

Toluna is by far the best online survey platform for me. It’s also the most interactive. For example, members may receive points when you create content, typically polls and quizzes. That’s one way of escalating your points, aside from answering surveys themselves. There are also monthly sweepstakes and Gifties or gifts that can become real.

I already received three payments from this one thru PayPal. Yes, you will need a PayPal account.

Other ways to redeem rewards:

Mobile top-up, galleon.ph e-voucher  and Sodexo premium pass

Payment proof

Global Test Market

answer online survey to make money global test market

Global Test Market is one of the oldest operating online surveys, as it claims. [Although, I think it recently opened in the Philippines.] The site is a survey-only site. Even its profile surveys can accumulate you points redeemable once you reach the threshold. One good thing about this site is you can choose to donate your earnings to UNICEF.

I received a payment from this site twice.

Other ways to redeem rewards:

Amazon.com  and Microsoft

Payment proof

The Panel Station

answer online survey to make money the panel station

The Panel Station is a survey site in Filipino. You also earn points by completing profile surveys then, the consumer surveys. Of all the three, this site offers the least number of points per survey. And, the availability of the surveys is sporadic.

I never received a payment from The Panel Station since I have yet to reach the threshold to qualify for a PayPal withdrawal. Almost there; just one more survey. *wink*

Other ways to redeem rewards:

Flipkart.com, Amazon.com, Lazada, Souq.com, Rakuten, Coles, RedCross, etc.

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Caveats here, so please read.

When joining a survey site, you need to provide personal and demographic information through online survey forms. The number and frequency of survey you will receive will depend on how complete your profile was.

  • TIP: Read the privacy policy of the site before joining the survey to ensure that it will not share your information with third-party sources.

When attempting a survey, you will encounter pre-qualifying questions to determine if the survey is for you or not. You will be opted out of the survey at times.

  • TIP: Answer the questions honestly. There is always a survey with the right fit.

When answering a survey, you may experience being halted while mid-survey. It means two things: 1) you are answering the survey too quick and 2) you failed to give a correct answer to test questions found in the survey itself.

  • TIP: Read and understand all the questions thoroughly so you can give the best answer.

When redeeming points, you may have to wait to up to four weeks to have the amount credited to your account. But it’s better than nothing at all, right?

  • TIP: Be patient and spend your earnings wisely.

It goes to show that these platforms have pros and cons. Nonetheless, you can still earn a good amount of money while killing time.

[Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and I will be compensated when you click or join the site using that link.]

Inspiration is a fickle thing.

Admittedly, I feel so demotivated at times. Every mom feels that way one time or another, and for so many reasons.

To make you feel marvelous about yourself and life in general, I am sharing with you three of my most favorite videos. These vids never fail to kick some inspiration back into my life whenever I’m running out of it.

Please don’t watch this vid on YouTube or the surprise will be preempted. Just watch it below.

The video made me realize how important my role is. I cried the first time I watched this video, and I still do whenever I look at it.

The challenge of raising kids that are the champions of their own life is hard enough. The video is one good way to teach diligence to our children, that all your hard work will pay off in the end.

Love comes in the most unexpected places, in all forms, shapes and sizes. We need to recognize that fact.

I hope you enjoyed the videos!

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Do you have any inspirational videos to share? Please leave the link in the comment section below. TIA I will watch it/them. Promise!

When I shop online, I always sort the items based on prices, low to high, and just choose the clothes that fit my budget. If there’s a free shipping option, I check the box too so the results will display the low-priced items first that can be shipped free of charge anywhere in the world. #shoppinghack

According to Pete Dunn, a multi-awarded financial planner, we should only be spending 5% of the take-home pay on clothing. That means, the more you earn, the higher the amount you can allot for shopping for your kids’ clothes.

How much have you spent the last time you shop? If you are spending more than that percentage, then these practical dress-for-less tips are for you, moms.

1) Shop with cash.

Avoid using your credit cards in buying clothes and shoes for your kids. If you really want that cute-looking boots for your tot then, you have to save money for it. Better yet, don’t bring your cards with you when shopping.

Don’t get me wrong. Credit cards are good only when you know how to use them. For instance, some credit cards offer specialist rewards (cashback cards) if you pay for certain brands of goods and services. Be careful though because the interest rates applied to reward cards are higher than the average.

2) Buy from discount stores.

Thrift stores often have their lines of stylish bargains. While these stores offer deep discounts, be careful not to load up your shopping cart though because this will only defeat the purpose.

Go to your friendly ukay-ukays that sell kids’ apparel and shoes. Facebook also hosts a lot of pages that sell mall pull-outs and branded overruns where you can buy from at marked down prices.

3) Find great deals online.

Fashion e-stores are aplenty. Sign up for newsletters to receive coupons and avail discounts. Signing up also keeps shoppers like you abreast of the latest deals including inventory and clearance sales.

Some baby clothes shopping websites you can check are Kids Company, Shopaholic for Kids and Honeycomb Children’s Clothing. If you have a brand in mind, google first to know if it has an online store and do your shopping there.

4) Shop out of season.

Don’t look for new arrivals. Instead, find inventory sales. It is like buying in advance and maximizing every peso in the process.

If possible, buy swimwear from September to December instead of February to May when the prices skyrocket. This is one shopping hack that saves me lots of money. Just make sure that the clothes will still fit after three or so months.

5) Avoid fashion trends.

Budget-conscious moms should stay away from trends. Instead, buy quality pieces that help build your kid’s wardrobe.

Choices are important and so is comfort.

6) Buy the basics first.

When purchasing the basics, go for generic brands. [Divisoria, anyone?] Buy their tees and bottoms at the cheapest store but, of course, without sacrificing the quality of the clothes.

For girls, the essentials are dresses, collared tops, knitted cardigans, mary janes and hair bows. For boys, these include knitted sweaters, shorts, collared tops and buckled shoes.

7) Make a baby clothes shopping list.

List all the items that you need to buy. Try to look for the best rates before buying an item.

If possible, bring your kids when shopping clothes for them unless you are 100% confident of your sizing skills.

8) Think in palettes.

As you build the tot’s wardrobe, you should only be buying a clothing item that matches at least four items they already own. I do this all the time so I can have more options for mixing and matching. 😉

Infuse color trends like socks and hankies as well as accessories particularly for the girls.

9) Check the labels.

New clothes often include care instructions. If it says dry clean only, you will keep paying for it every time your kids use it. Not worth it, so stick to items that are machine-washable.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Don’t skip this step so you can prolong the life of the clothes. Yup, even clothes have a life expectancy. That’s between two and three years with normal wear and tear.

10) Avoid sales.

If it is an inventory or clearance sale then, you may consider it provided that you buy only the kids clothing you need and the kids will actually use. A 40% off is not necessarily a good deal if your daughter can only use it once or twice a year.

Borrow instead if your daughter will only use the clothes just once.

BONUS: Sell clothes.

That your kids no longer wear, that is. Go over their closet at least once a year. If your son hasn’t worn the shirt for more than a year, it is good for selling.

Use the profits in buying wardrobe-worthy clothes and shoes and other everyday wear.

Saving money even when buying clothes is possible. You just have to start somewhere. The tips above are so practical you need not sacrifice looking comfortably fabulous for less.

[The post includes a sponsored link wherein I will be compensated if you signup or buy through that link.]

 

During the summertime, it’s always a toss between Tagaytay City and Baguio City. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but for some reasons, Tagaytay City seemed to be the favorite of the Manileños. Tagaytay City is only two hours of drive away from Metro Manila, and the fare is usually less than a hundred pesos (it depends on where you live exactly). These are just two reasons though; the others are listed below.

Things to do in Tagaytay

Fun happening

Did you know that one of the tallest ferris wheels in the Philippines is found in Tagaytay? Indeed, you’ll never run out of fun things to do in the area. In fact, you can hop from Tagaytay Picnic Grove to Sky Ranch Theme Park to People’s Park in the Sky to Paradizoo and so much more. Also, souvenir shops surround the area where you can get local delis and treats to take home to your family and friends. Shopping for pasalubongs (take-home treats) alone is surely an enjoyable activity.

wilson's place bed and breakfast tagaytay
In 2015, me, hubby, Sasha and my parents went to Tagaytay City for a two-day, one-night vacation for less than Php5,000 meals included. It’s a treat from my company. We stayed at Wilson’s Place, a bed and breakfast in Maglabe Drive. The owners are also the creative people behind Balai Indang and Yoki’s Farm. The place is really Instagram-worthy!

Natural high

Aside from Picnic Grove, which has its own eco-trail, there are other nature-oriented places to visit in Tagaytay. You can literally get high with cable rides and zip lines to witness the lush greeneries on hills and mountains other than overlooking Taal Volcano, of course. You may also visit Nurture Spa Village for a more relaxing getaway and Gratchi’s Getaway Farm Resort where you can interact with the animals although it is advisable to stay there longer to make the most of the experience. Also, don’t miss the Filipino-Japanese Friendship Garden, a small, simple garden where you can relax after a tiring day at the park or zoo.

puzzle mansion tagaytay city
Wilson’s Place is at the center of Puzzle Mansion, Paradizoo and Sky Ranch. Our first stop is Puzzle Mansion, a museum that houses a large collection of jigsaw puzzles. It’s the biggest in the world hence the Guinness logo at its facade. And of course, Sasha chose to have her picture beside the Hello Kitty puzzle.

Spiritual journey

Tagaytay City is a home to the 50-foot image of Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria. Tierra de Maria is also called HOME or Haven of Meditation and Enrichment. Tourists can also visit convents, seminaries, chapels and churches such as Pink Sister’s Convent, Divine Word Seminary, Canossa House of Spirituality, Daughters of Charity, Dominican House of Prayer, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church, Betania Retreat House, etc. Tagaytay City is actually the go-to place for patrons especially for visita iglesia during the Lenten season.

paradizoo tagaytay city
We went to Paradizoo afterward. I forgot the name of the cow, but it’s a five-legged cow—one of the main attractions at the zoo. We were able to watch the parade of animals, all dressed in quirky yet colorful costumes. I enjoyed the garden too.

Gastronomic experience

Tagaytay is a food haven as well. There’s One Destination, which is a strip of impressive cafés, bars and restaurants such as Yellow Cab, Pancake House, Henlin, etc. Then there are the truly Tagaytay eateries like Alamat, Mushroom Burger, Antonio’s and Loumar’s Café. To combat the chill, you can always go to Mahogany Market to eat their famous bulalo (beef marrow stew). Locally grown fruits and vegetables are also sold here.

True to its promise, Tagaytay City is really a place where you can ‘Dine, Stay, Play and Pray.’ You can do all these while marveling at the exquisiteness of Taal Volcano and enjoying refreshing splashes of air on your skin. There’s nothing completely wrong with Baguio City, but whenever you need to hide off to other places beyond the city limits immediately, Tagaytay City presents itself as the most accessible choice. Why not? Tagaytay has so much to offer and, a day is not enough to explore the place!

Warning: If you are a parent, your mindset about vacationing is about to change.

Some people are hesitant to go on a vacation because of the lack of time, money or both. Understandably, if you have four members in the family, that means longer planning and heftier budget. A vacation costs real money, but it shouldn’t be seen as a luxury splurge that you may feel guilty about after spending.

Don’t think that way because it could mean an investment in your kid’s character and future too. And no, we are not talking about educational trips here because those are required by the schools but real family vacations.

A 2015 study conducted by the Family Holiday Association, a national charity in the UK, claims that family vacations have long-term benefits. Put simply, family vacations may lead to a lifetime of happiness. The facts include:

  • About 49% of the respondents claim that their happiest memory happened during a family vacation
  • About 1/3 vividly remembers family vacations that occurred during their childhood
  • About 1/4 brings up these memories to get through tough times

The act of taking pictures alone is a happy activity for as long as it’s not intrusive. It boosts engagement and enjoyment; it’s immersive hence your kids can be in the moment.

I couldn’t agree more. I always go back to Batangas where we usually spend our annual summer outing. [Not ours really, but my mother’s company.] Every year, I look forward to April or May because it means I can get to linger on the sun and sand with my brothers and sister. Looking back, I was at my happiest back then. And every time we talk about it, we can’t help but giggle. ❤ ❤ ❤

Really, a family vacation is all you need for a change of environment. What a great excuse to plan your family getaway as early as N-O-W! And hey, the Philippines is a tropical country with hundreds to thousands of destinations just waiting to be explored (aside from being the Selfie Capital of the World)!

Importance of family vacations

1) Family vacations provide experience

Toys are good. But I guess you’ve also experienced buying an expensive toy for your kid only to find out that she is already bored playing with it after just a week.

Use the money as a travel fund instead. Although all of you would be at the place for a few days, the memories created will have a lasting impact on your children. They will value the experience because it’s a time well-spent with you, the parents, and other loved ones, the siblings.

Again, giving them toys to play with is okay. However, toys, as well as gadgets and screens, are divisive; they can put distance between you and your kids. On the other hand, traveling is an opportunity to bond, bringing all the family members closer together.

2) Family vacations benefit brain development

Playing the same games over and over at home may not necessarily lead to advancements in brain development unlike traveling to new places. Whether you explore a heritage town or natural habitat, the child’s inherently inquisitive mind is activated.

According to Dr. Margot Sunderland, a child psychologist, new experiences brought by traveling to unfamiliar places bring maturation in the frontal lobes of the brain. This part is responsible for cognitive functioning as well as social intelligence. Your child will learn to discern certain things and mingle with people at the same time.

You too may learn new things that is otherwise not possible if you confine yourself at home doing chores.

3) Family vacations support emotional well-being

We, parents, take on vacation when we feel overwhelmed by our work. Did you know that what you are feeling at that time is the same exact way your kids feel?

Kids, like their parents, need to de-stress as well. A study showed that 79% of children aged between 8 and 14 years old experience stress on a daily basis. However, kids feel no anxiety when their parents spend time with them. That’s according to 77% of the kids surveyed by the same study.

Interestingly, any place of interest outside your home is almost always deemed as a less-stressed environment. Interactions and moments that emerge from going to a particular place result to healthy relationships aside from feeling rejuvenated.

The less stressful the environment, the better the quality of the relationships. While at it, after the vacation, people tend to avoid, alter, accept and adapt to things that are stressing them back home much better than before they had the vacation.

4) Family vacations provide an escape

From all the hustle and bustle of the daily life, that is. Parents and kids, especially school-aged kids, are occupied by a lot of things. A time away from home and all those clutter and noise puts the daily routine aside in exchange of new experiences.

It’s a change of pace as well as a different kind of mind space. For at least once a year, there’s a shift in focus among all household members, sharing discoveries to one another. With this, a vacation is a good thing as you momentarily shift away from own schedules and deadlines.

Since it is meant to have fun minus the worries, you and your family can create fond memories that all of you can cherish. Years from now, your kids will relive those memories and will do so with a smile on their faces.

5) Family vacations lead to empowerment

Definitely a win-win situation for you and your kids, departing from the stresses of the daily grind can also make you feel better about your parenting skills. For your children, they will feel more loved and empowered.

When vacationing with kids, play is inevitable. Kids are experts at plays, and allowing them to take the lead can ultimately result in the development of creative thinking skills.

Overall, family vacations are healthy. So don’t hesitate to do them. And don’t proscrastinate. It doesn’t have to be grand. A trip down the corner store as a family will do. It’s a well-earned break from your daily routine. You may be making a sacrifice today, but it will definitely pay huge dividends and great rewards in the future. And while on vacation, make the most out of it.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

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