Mama Loves

These are the places, food, people, things that I love. A collection of places, books, services that made my heart swell in happiness.

I have a new vice and I am sorry…

I have something to confess.

I haven’t been passionate about anything lately. Not my writing – although it has somehow sparked some new fire especially since I have been getting some pats on the back from some people who were “inspired” by this blog. I haven’t read a book in a while. That seemed impossible with a toddler who will surely fill up every waking time (not complaining though). The short stint in calligraphy lessons bored me.

Somehow, my inner “creative” self was hungry for something to be occupied with aside from the daily grind of life.

Then, the universe conspired.

Someone introduced me to something that is now keeping me awake at night and even haunting me in my dreams. Haha!

I am talking about my new vice…

*fidgets*

It is pretty messed up, I know, but I am so in love with this new thing in my life, and I cannot stop talking, thinking and researching about it. When I talk about my new addiction to the husband and to some of my friends, I feel like I sound like a cult member. Like nothing is ever wrong with it. 

I know that sounds crazy, but tell you what, I don’t care because this gives me the high that I have not had for a long time.

So what is this new vice of mine?

Hmmm…

Oh dear! I got into this whole essential oil craze.

 

Yup, I am going full gung-ho on being an #oilbularyo and starting to go natural for my growing family’s health and wellness.

You see, alternative medicine is not something new to me. I grew up in a really small town (smallest in Negros Occidental if I am not mistaken) – it was more of a barrio than a town actually.

When I was younger, our fevers were treated with plants like kasla, our burns with aloe vera, our wounds with malunggay extract or guava leaves. We didn’t go immediately to the doctor for simple fevers, we went to our ol’ reliable manghihilot and they fix us.

Did it work?

I suppose so. I am alive, am I not? Hehe.

Don’t get me wrong. My parents were not pabaya or what-not. We were also complete with our immunizations and all that shiz but for these minor illnesses, we weren’t rushed to the hospital. That was not uso where we used to live.

So exploring alternative medicine was not really a problem for me. But how did I get started on EOs? How did my #oilbularyo journey start?

Young Living Essential Oils

Well… this is funny. I was looking for some solution for my Eggy’s snoring. I feel that his labored breathing is already affecting his sleep (he has a broken nasal bone on one side of his nose) because the snores are already very throaty and he would sometimes wake up from his own orchestra (lol).

That was the main reason. Haha. I didn’t want to buy a CPAP machine (we were already considering this) because it seemed so constricting and it was expensive. I just felt that it was not really good value for money.

But his snores weren’t getting any better.

We were already toying around with the idea of getting a CPAP machine when I kept on seeing posts from at least three friends from my Facebook newsfeed about how they are shifting to a more natural lifestyle and promoting health and wellness of their family through essential oils.

One friend claimed that it was helping her family battle allergic rhinitis while the other one just talked about having a good night sleep (and less snoring!)

I inquired from my friend, K, and I was introduced to this whole new world of essential oils. While there are no approved therapeutic claims, reading the testimonies from many people who use it was just overwhelming. 

I then started reading about how aromatherapy can promote good sleep and how you can shift your common household staples with all-natural products and getting rid of all the chemicals. This ranges from face serums to bug sprays to diaper creams. Ha! The list continues.

So after three long months, I decided I would invest in a Young Living Premium Starter Kit. It was not cheap, admittedly yes, but my cost-benefit analysis was pointing its green flags on me.

My new addiction - essential oils

Now, three weeks after, I have never regretted my decision because Eggy sleeps well and Santi sleeps better. The best thing is for me, of course, since there is no more Santi who wakes up in the middle of the night because of his dada’s snores. Lol.

To this day, I just can’t stop. We diffuse with our favorite Lav + Frank combo every night for better sleep. Eggy rolls on his breathe protocol [RC & Thieves or RC & Valor on the bottoms of his feet] and Santi and I our sleep protocol [Lavender on the bottoms of our feet]. Everybody happy.

Breathe and Sleep Blend

I am just at Square 1 of my essential oils journey and I cannot wait to blend, blend, blend and share this amazing experience. 

Hit me up if you want to learn more about YL’s essential oils. I can add you up to our group so you can see the many great testimonies of different people who have been touched by the wonders of this ancient form of healing. If you are looking for a natural way to support your family’s health and wellness, who knows, this can work for you, too!

By the way, momma, I am just sharing this new addiction of mine. It took me three long months before I decided to purchase my starter kit because, truth be told, it comes with a not-so-cheap price tag. Please do your research as well so you can take that next best step for your family. In my case, when I was doing my own, I loved that Young Living has been there for quite some time and the community in the Philippines receives great support (that is also one of the most important things for me). This product is not intended to diagnose or cure any disease. Please do your own research and see for yourself. It took me a lot to dive into this but I am happy I did. Hit me up if you have any questions. 🙂 

 

Awesome Photographers in Bacolod City

I am seldom home so I barely know who’s who in Bacolod City in terms of event suppliers, photographers and the like.

However, I think this is something that is more of a blessing to me than a curse because I get to discover  new names such as awesome photographers who are still below the radar but are so daaamn good!

Last week, my sisters and I planned a surprise party for my parents for the many blessings we are receiving – Edzel’s successful heart operation in January (still have not written about this), Tin (my sister) and her pregnancy, Mama’s birthday in February, Papa’s birthday and my birthday in April, and of course, Santi’s birthday in May.

Because my schedule for the party was already too tight, I did not want to spend too much time researching and negotiating with photographers I do not know.

Since I was running out of options, I contacted Ellaine directly, the other half of Maclaine Lights and Shadows>>.

I met Ellaine in 2015 when we were looking for a photographer for my sister’s wedding. She was recommended to me by my best friend whose family owned one of the top wedding planning companies in Bacolod, Personal Touches>>.

I had my utmost confidence with how Maclaine chronicled my sister’s special day. They were able to showcase the amazing love story of my sister and her fiancé- from the pre-nuptial sessions to the wedding day (which I was, unfortunately, not a part of because of my pregnancy condition but that is another story for some other time).

Check out the photos below and let these speak of their craft 🙂

Anyway, I asked Ellaine if they photograph kiddie parties and when she said yes, I was elated. However, she was not  available on the day of the surprise party (boo-huhuhu!). To my surprise, she referred me to Anne Acaso of Sunny Side Up Photography>>.

I browsed Anne’s Facebook Page and was pretty impressed. Our party was so simple though (no elaborate decorations and mostly DIY stuff by me and my sisters) so I never really expected that the photos would come out fabulous. But it did and I am one happy customer.

I feel so lucky to have met Ellaine and Anne and I am sure that I will be getting them again if I will need someone who can artistically capture the special moment of our Bacolodian happenings. I only wish I can fly them to Manila, too. Hehe.

Hope you get them in your next party, loves x

My Favorite Dishwashing Liquid

When you are a first-time mom, you crack your head to look for the best products in the market for your baby. One thing I have noticed is that baby products are ridiculously expensive and they usually take a huge dent in your monthly budget.

When my maternity leave ended, we had to train Santi to take my breastmilk through the bottle. This meant twice the effort – I had bottles for breastmilk storage and nursing bottles for Santi.

Because he is a such a huge eater, we always had bottles to wash and those more popular brands of baby bottle cleanser are washed down the drain (literally) in just a few days. Baby bottle cleansers would usually cost more than P200 bucks and you would spend thousands in just a month.

It was a good thing to stumble upon this amazing product from Cusina. This all-natural, antibacterial dishwashing liquid works as wonderfully as it looks. It comes in three variants: Ginger Yuzu Peel, Lemongrass Citrus and Grapefruit Lemon Zest. I always buy all three because I cannot pick favorites as they are all awesome.

I used to hoard them in baby expos because I usually just order them online. However, they are now available in SM so I really do not need to hoard anymore! 🙂

I highly recommend this product (and this is not a sponsored post, lol) <3

Check out instagram.com/cusinahome to know more about their product.

Maternity Photo Shoot – Yellow Sun Studio

Getting pregnant has been one of the scariest and most exciting times in our (mine and Eggy’s) lives. Because we had a repro-immuno disorder to battle (more on this here>>), we treat every day as a blessing.

On the last stretch of my pregnancy at around 33 weeks, I was able to convince my husband to have a maternity photo shoot. I told him that this could be my only chance to be pregnant (ever!) and I would want to capture and chronicle this milestone in my life. Of course, he has no choice but to agree. Haha.

I checked different photo studios and found most to be a little on the high side. Because of our many treatment expenses, it was important for us to be really practical on the things we spend on. Good thing, my brother-in-law introduced us to The Yellow Sun Studio in Quezon City. They are located at Room 301, Topaz Building, 99-101 Kamias Road, Quezon City, Philippines.

The rates of The Yellow Sun Studio are reasonable compared to more popular photo studios at malls. We got the most affordable package at PHP3,500, which included 15 best high resolution photos saved in a CD, 15 pcs 4R prints , 1pc Art Frame 9×12 and up to 1 hour 30 mins Photo Session. We ended up getting 17 photos and added PHP90 for each additional photo on top of the 15 photos included in the package.

I brought some color-coordinated attire for me and the husband but they also provide the bandeaus and the flowy cloths for the different setup.

Yellow Sun Studio

Here’s what our photo shoot looked like —

If you are interested, visit their website at http://www.theyellowsunstudio.com or call them via 806-5695 or 0939-9359786.

Cheers!

 

Personalized Dog Tags

 

Last week, we added a new family member and Edzel and I are new pawrents (again) to an awesomely fluffy American Akita who we called Akito (we ain’t that witty, sorry!)

Akita Philippines

We wanted Sachi to have a companion when we leave her for work so we are crossing our fingers that she and Akito will soon become really good friends. At first, Sachi was fighting Akito like crazy, probably because her status as the ‘only child’ in the house is being threatened but they have seemingly grown fond of each other as of late.

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Our obedient kids.

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They can now eat together in peace.

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And even chill beside each other, awww <3

Anyway, enough about them because this post is really a review of this cute little dog accessory that I have been looking for –

I have long been wanting to buy Sachi a dog tag. A friend told me I can get it them at an online shop called Paws N’ Fins. I immediately checked out their Instagram page and saw these lovely cuties –

There are a lot of designs to choose from and you can have both sides engraved. I ordered for Sachi and Akito and this is how the tags look –

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Akita Philippines

You can put your contact details at the back of the tag.

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Sooo pretty <3

 

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Our manly ‘little’ big pup, Akito.

I am completely satisfied with the product and the tags are ‘prettier’ compared to the photos. Also, it is impressive because the owner is very accommodating and I got my order in three days (less had there been no typhoon).

So if you are looking for some cute gift for your furry babies, go get them their personalized tag today! If you want to check out their prices, go check out Paws N’ Fins through following channels.

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Happy shopping!

How Uber Saved Me Time and Money

Going back to work means braving the horrendous traffic of Manila. One of the primary factors I considered when I was choosing a company I’d join was the office location. I could and would not want to go beyond Taguig. Living in the South, it seems too draining to travel all the way to Quezon City during rush hour

*shudders*

I was more than relieved to know that my new company is just several kilometers away from my old office. Familiarity is always welcome. During my first week, I brought my car but parking at BGC is terrible that the husband decided to drive me to the office instead every morning.

*chicken dance*

Our concession was that I have to commute to Resorts World so that it is easier for us to go home and he doesn’t have to waste time going back to BGC with all the traffic. Of course, I agreed. I was more than happy that I didn’t need to drive and we get to save plus spend some time together before and after work. 

The trouble with this arrangement was  that it was sooo hard for me to get a cab from BGC to Resorts World. There was no buses or other means of commute either. Pahirapan talaga! I tried GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi but there were not much cabs available and I would usually wait for at least 30 minutes before I can board one. 

And then I tried Uber. 

I have heard of this service since last year but at the bell curve of the Diffusion of Innovation theory, I am laggard. So it was only now, after a year and much raves from my colleagues and from my friends, that I jumped into the bandwagon (it was also more out of desperation).

Last Monday, after too many failed attempts from Grab and EasyTaxi, i desperately signed in to Uber. To my surprise, the service was no-frills, wasy and very convenient. The car arrived in less than 5 minutes. What surprised me the most was that it was cheaper than getting a normal cab, even wayyyy more affordable than paying for Grab and EasyTaxi’s fare with top-up rates!

During my first commute, I paid around PHP200 for a Grab service from BGC to Resorts World. Compare this to how much I paid for my Uber service today!

 

 

I saved around Php80, drivers were polite and the fare was charged directly to my EastWest credit card. Cars looked fab and the service was really reflective of their vision – giving the customers the experience of “like having your own personal driver.”

For my first drive, I used the promo code from my friend, Joei of Joei & Me and got a Php100 discount coupon! I ended up paying around Php30 only!

I am gushing because Uber is such a superb service and if you have been following my blog, you’d know that I post about products and services that I have personally tried, used, and loved.

On a side note, the marketer in me has been trying to assess the situation. I really wonder if they (Uber drivers) earn from this service because it would be too bad if they aren’t and this service will be terminated. At the same time, I also feel bad for the “normal” cab drivers. I would presume that they do not earn as much anymore with these new competing services.

But who can blame us, really? 

I am sure all of us have our share of horror taxi-driver-stories where we were charged higher or kinontrata or were simply refused. Oh well. The wheels have turned. Welcome to the era of customer revenge.

Obviously, this is the beauty of these innovations that confront the norms and provide a better way: they are always beneficial to customers. This occurence can be an eye-opener to taxi operators and drivers to improve on their services, lest everyone would now be taking Uber or similar services.

So… Just felt that I should share this awesome experience. If you’d like to try Uber (because you haven’t yet and are a laggard like me, haha), you can enter my promo code to avail of a discount (and you send me a discount as well) : loud205ue. Go and try it sometime!

Uber awesome, don’t you think? How about you, loves? Share your Uber story!

Cheers.

x

Balot Sign

Need Wedding Suppliers?

Weddings

Hmmm… wedding season is finally here and it is the perfect time to plan yours! Most couples choose the dates February – June for their wedding because the sun is up (well, except for June maybe) so you can cross out one headache on your list – the chances of rain ruining your little party.

Most couples would take around one year to plan their wedding. In my case, three years ago, I got engaged in September and we tied the knot by June the following year. In hindsight, there are many things that I would have wanted to improve, little details that I could have pored on but then, it was crazy fun so it’s hard to mull over the little things.

My wedding was as beautiful as it was because of my suppliers (I will go through each of them in a while). Your suppliers can make or break your special day so take time to research and remember,  choose wisely.

I have mentioned one too many times in this blog that I only write about the brands and people that I trust and I just would like to endorse this wonderful woman who makes a lot of weddings in Bacolod as wonderful as she is – meet Mom Ellen of Personal Touches. If my wedding took place in my hometown, she would have run the show.

I just want to show you how she crafts her weddings in such a personal way all you brides would want to run to her! These are some of the photos of the wedding of one of my BFFs last September. Let the pictures do the talking.

And some other weddings that just exemplified the true meaning of a ‘personal touch’

Go check out Mom Ellen and her booth at the Weddings around the World at Robinsons Place Bacolod until May 10 or visit her Facebook page here>>

PS. If you like her, you would also loooove her son who takes amaaaayyyziiinnnnggg videos! Visit Grilled Cheese Studios here>>

—– xx —–

So now, just taking a little time to thank my suppliers and hopefully, you’d get them in your BIG DAY!

My ever-reliable coordinator turned achi Chris of Planners Plus,

the now-super-popular Atom Ungson for our emcee (haha!),

Atom Ungson

our brilliant photographer Bogs Ignacio <see my photos here>>,

Corporate Junkie 9

my videographer of course, Jason Magbanua>>

Kuya Pao of Grilled Cheese Studios for my Save-The-Date video>>

my very simple gown perfectly executed by Czarina Villa>>,

Wedding Gown

this was the designed that I wanted and was made perfect by Cherry Blossoms Cakes

Wedding Cake

 

scrumptious food, mobile bar (kept everyone happy) and my sunset venue setup by KbyCunanan,

KbyCunanan

and the highlight of it all, our one-of-a-kind reggae band, Roots of Nature (now they call themselves 3rd Nature) — who everybody just loved so much that we finished partying at 3am! Hahaha!

3rd Nature

I think the husband enjoyed like everyone did 😉

Edzel

Bogs Ignacio – Wedding Photographer

This blog has never been about sponsored posts. I talk about my good and bad experiences here and the people, products and places that I feature are the ones that I have really connected with.

Last Friday, one of my best friends, Aby got hitched with another friend, Vince. It was a very lovely wedding with Aby poring on every detail to make things as perfect as they can be.

Today, I saw this photo from their photographer who was also my wedding photographer years back. I am just in awe of the talent of this amazing, down-to-earth man.

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When I see wedding photos, I always reminisce about the day I had my own wedding. Most of my decisions have been really great (hehe, let’s not talk about the ones I have made palpak with)  but if there is one supplier I would endorse to all those who are wanting to get married, it is to work with Mr. Bogs Ignacio for their wedding. <3

I suuuper love Bogs! He is super easy to work with. He will coach you with the poses and is never intimidating.

Here are some of our own shots during our prenup shoot 3 years ago at Lakeshore Pampanga.

This man can really work magic! Check out all his other works below and enjoy! 🙂

Bogs Ignacio Photography

Email: bogsignacio@gmail.com

Mobile Number: +632 9258051887, +632 9179507059, +632 922 5388719

Accolades:

Master of WPPI – USA
Master Wedding Photographer -MWP WPPP
3 Time Photographer of the Year – WPPP ; Bridal de Manila

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