Basti’s Big Boy Cup Contest {A Philips Avent Trusted Moms Giveaway!}

As an exclusively, directly, breastfed baby, Basti went from boob to baso. Not without the thrills and spills of course. He didn’t really take to those spout cups very well, maybe because he was not used to sucking on anything other than human milk containers.

When I saw this new product from Philips Avent, it made me so annoyed. Only because I was miffed that it didn’t exist at the time when Basti would have loved it the most.

This is the Philips Avent Natural Cup. Notice anything? No spouts, no teats, nothing! It’s recommended for use from 12 months onwards, that age when our babies love copying the way we do things. With the Philips Avent Natural Cup, your little person will drink from any part of the rim, just like the big people. The edge is lip-activated!! No spills! I’m totally geeking out on this.

Even though Basti is already three and totally capable of drinking from a regular glass, he’s also at that age when throwing gives him the thrill of his life. The Natural Cup is totally my best friend right now. It comes with a cover, so we bring it out with us as well. The Philips Avent Natural Cup is now available wherever Philips Avent products are sold for PhP899.75.

BUT! Get a chance to win one for your child right here! I’ve got three Philips Avent Natural Cups to give away to three readers. Please enter through Rafflecopter below.

Mechanics:

  1. All entries will be recorded and drawn via Rafflecopter.
  2. The contest will run from May 25, 2013 to June 5, 2013. Entries will be accepted until 11:59pm of June 5, 2013. Winners will be drawn and announced within 3 days from the end of entry submission.
  3. The contest is open NATIONWIDE.
  4. Entries may be gained from “liking” the Philips Avent Philippines Facebook page, sharing this contest on social media and commenting below.

Good luck!

Enter the Philips Avent contest by clicking here!

 

Curses! Foiled Again! {The Glorietta Midnight Madness Challenge!}

As an avid fan of The Amazing Race, you cannot tell me that we’re going to have a racing challenge and expect me to noo-nee-noo through it all. NO. I am going to take it pretty damn seriously.

And so, when the SoMoms were called upon to take the Ayala Malls Glorietta Back-To-School Challenge, I went back to the year 2005 and put on my uniform of that era: one of my Threadless tees (that thankfully still fit, albeit a little snug around the tummy), jeans, and sneakers (thank you Feiyue!). All the more to outrun you with, you scrappers!

Friends pa kami dito.

Top: Marc/TheFatherland; Jenny/My Mommyology; Kris/OCMomInManila; Patty/Nonstopbabble. Bottom: Me; Jackie/Go! Jackie Go; Tin/Manila Fashion Observer; Cai/Apples&Dumplings

So we were tasked to visit a few participating stores around Glorietta, snap up some back-to-school bargains and get back in time to prepare a themed presentation. Points were given for originality, ability to keep within budget, the theme, relevance and presentation. The prize at hand: a Hello Kitty mp3 set that would be such a cool thing for me for Basti to have.

The teams:

Ready…

Set…

Go!!!!!

We had to go around Glorietta, post on Twitter and Instagram, go to participating stores, shop, make sure we were on budget, and rush back! Exercise galore! There were so many good deals!! Majorly marked down tops at Gingersnaps and Kamiseta, a Baby Couture bag at half-price, sensible flats at Janylin for 399, etcetera, etcetera, ubos pera!

Serious kami ni Jackie. We even did change costume and everything! Along with Patty and Marc, we were in the running for first place.

And the winners are…. PATTY and MARC???? PFFFFFFT.

Haha! Kidding! Congratulations to our new SoMom and the first ever SoDad! You deserve it! They won because they kept within budget and had a wide variety of cool yet affordable things.

Thank you to Baby Couture, Basics for Kids, Big and Small, Gingersnaps, Janylin, Just G, Kamiseta, Mayoral, Papemelroti, Payless and Pinkbox for being so patient with us.

This race was in preparation for Glorietta’s Midnight Madness happening this weekend! On May 31 to June 1, stores will be open till 12 midnight, with huge, huge discounts of up to 70% off! On June 2, the stores will be open till 9PM. It’s the perfect time to go shopping for your back to school items!

 

Thank you again Ayala Malls! It was really fun.

How I Fund My Makeup Addiction: Online Jobs!

You know that saying, “If there’s a will, there’s a way?” Online work is the perfect example of that. Not too many people are aware that I actually work on other things aside from this blog, and make a pretty decent living out of it, too. There’s also a part of me that can’t let go of making even just a little bit of money on my own. I was just too used to the affirmation and satisfaction of getting paid for a job well-done.

I found online work to be perfect for me because:

  1. I could choose when to work and what to work on,
  2. If I get bored with something, I have the freedom to choose something else,
  3. No extra expenses. I spend all my time in front of the computer anyway, so why not earn while doing that as well?,
  4. The work is relatively easy. Any mother will tell you extra stress is not welcome in life.

And so, I just wanted to share with you guys how I earn extra money at home. Note that there are many many ways to earn from home, and these are just the few things that I like doing.

1. Rarejob

Rarejob is an online English-tutoring service that caters to Japanese citizens who reside in Japan. Since the time difference isn’t that huge, the work hours are doable (no graveyard shifts!) and best of all, flexible. You’re the one who sets your teaching schedule, the number of classes you want to teach each week and adjust as life dictates it. Sometimes I’m able to teach every afternoon, everyday. Sometimes I only teach one class a week! They are perfectly legit, very professional, and the support given to the tutors is wonderful.

Requirements:

  • College graduate of school in Rarejob’s list of accepted universities
  • Fluent English speaker with minimal accent
  • Previous teaching experience is a plus, but not required
  • Broadband connection and Skype account.

All my teaching experiences have been quite enjoyable so far. The age range of my students is from 7 to 65, and I’ve learned a lot from teaching as well. To apply to become a Rarejob tutor, visit their website for applicants here.

2. Writing

I actually don’t do this much anymore, but I just wanted to share. There are a lot of websites in the world, and these websites need content. There are also specialized jobs that needs specialized knowledge. I started to explore content writing while I was pregnant with Basti upon the suggestion of my cousin. I was bored out of my mind and looking for something to do. I was able to get my first clients through Freelancer.Com. My style was, I would get just a couple of clients who could give me work on a regular basis and then take the negotiations out of the website. My account is dormant now. I think some people would prefer to stay active in their accounts and build their profiles on these contractor sites so they could get high ratings and better offers. That would be good to do, especially if you are looking at finding work on these sites on a long-term basis. Recently, I also did a few writing projects for an independent virtual assistance firm referred to me by a friend. Pay for these projects can vary, depending on the work required. It can be as low as $2/article, but it can also go to $15. Again, this would depend on your own working style. Some writers like getting jobs by the bulk, projects of 10-20 articles at $2-$5/article, while some prefer the projects that require some research and longer work, but do pay higher by the hour. Sometimes you will get that dream project of a very good rate on a range of topics that you can write in your sleep.

3. Transcription

This is one “racket” that I just recently got into. I wanted to save my writing mojo for this blog, so  I wanted to do something else that didn’t require the same juice. I recently signed up for another contractor site called oDesk.Com, where I was recruited by an Australian firm that contracts transcribers from the Philippines. It’s quite fun – you listen, you type, you submit, you get paid. Along the way, you get to learn about topics you would never otherwise think about. One misconception I had about transcription is that is was all about medical or legal stuff. Not true! I’ve recently listened to stuff about gillnet fishing, chocolate, teaching for the hearing impaired, and engine maintenance. It can be quite interesting! Outside of oDesk, I was also given an opportunity to do subtitling for movies for a local firm that specializes in audio production. So I’ll be basically watching movies and typing up the dialogue. That’s not work to me, because I LOVE MOVIES. Transcription projects start off anywhere from $7-$15 per audio hour, while there are some projects that pay by line.

4. Social Media Management 

Social media marketing is a relatively new arena. My first taste of it was handling the customer service Twitter account of a telecommunications firm. Some of you may have actually sent me a tweet complaining about your connection. I promise I didn’t take it personally. 😉 Other than “Twitter-jockeying”, there’s also management of Facebook pages. Facebook community management is also relatively new, but quite important! It seems when you have a business these days, having a Facebook page is as imperative as having a phone number. It can get busy – messages, wall posts, complaints – and they need someone to monitor it regularly and respond promptly. The opportunities that came to me to manage Twitter and Facebook accounts came from personal contacts, but you can find postings for these kinds of jobs online as well.

 

Even though this kind of work is not really the focus of my time, I find it a good diversion and a painless, stress-free way to get a little extra money at home. I am not the model of an online worker. I’m not vigilant about building up my profile and I don’t mind if negotiations are taken off the site. This is not a good practice because to be offered jobs, it’s better if everything you do is recorded on your profile so that clients will see how much work you’ve done and be confident about your reliability. For those who want to make it their career (and I know some people who really make a substantial living out of working from these sites), you stay active, build up your profile, get feedback, take in more clients and soon enough you will build a good reputation that will consequently result in a higher rate. You can actually command a per hour or per project rate. It can be rewarding, career-wise and money-wise.

So there, I just wanted to share. I know some moms out there are looking for ways to earn while at home. Whether it be out of necessity, or out of boredom, know that there are opportunities lurking in corners. All you have to do is look for them!

Happy hunting!

Not-So-Guilty Pleasures at Taste Central

I have a confession: I am an online shop-a-holic.  Not surprising, actually, considering my Ethernet cable is practically intravenously fed into my arm at this point. It’s really easy to get hooked. How else can I explain the rush of sitting in front of your computer at 4am, dressed to the nines in pajamas and a clay mask, and checking out Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blushes at the same time? It’s grubby and glamour existing in the same pocket of area in the universe. When does that happen without colossal fail?

When Taste Central broke into the online shopping scene, I thought, “Okay, another online buying site.” What, with all the online stores already existing, it certainly wasn’t anything new, at least to me. But I was proven wrong.

Taste Central is the retail partner of a premier group buying site, Deal Grocer. Deal Grocer is known for their lineup of awesome deals from well-chosen vendors. Honestly, it’s the one group buying site that doesn’t cast a shadow of doubt on my mind. Given that, Taste Central proves to follow suit with their roster of well-curated brands and products. I didn’t hesitate when the SoMoms were given the chance to try out their service.

Naturally, where would I look first? Makeup of course. I could not resist these awesome deals on shu uemura sets. I bought these two:

I also got Basti a little something-something:

The whole online shopping process was painless, with a flat rate of 100 pesos for shipping. The box came promptly the next day, wrapped perfectly and securely in a Taste Central box. Even the receipt was properly presented. It’s in the little things, really.

And here’s our stuff! Yey!

Taste Central comes up with new stuff all the time, so it’s great to check it every week. The range of products is pretty neat.

Yummy food selections, including stuff from Trader Joe’s. I have a feeling the most-Instagrammed product of all time, Cookie Butter, is not far behind.

TJ’s Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa. TJ’s Cinnamon Sugar Grinder, TJ’s Red Quinoa, Sabatino & Co. White Truffle Cream, Godiva chocolates, unique Kit Kat flavors from Japan, Vosges Mo’s Milk Bar with Smoked Bacon

Cool stuff for the house.

Eames placemats with matching coasters, the Bang & Olufsen phone for those who want to go all Devil Wears Prada, Heima Skala House Lamp, DwellStudio duvet set, Bang & Olufsen earphones, and a cute set of drawers I want for Basti from Costa del Sul.

And of course, more beauty stuff. They carry one of my favorite brands, Tarte. Here’s hoping they bring in more Tarte products. Fans of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blush, raise your hands!

Tarte’s Lipsurgence Tint, Chantecaille loose powder (which has achieved HG status among some beauty junkies), Philosophy Purity cleanser (excellent with the Clarisonic), Tarte cheek stain, Tarte Prime, Shine and Define kit (sold out dammit), and Chanel nail polish

Overall, it was a pretty pleasant shopping experience. They’ve made a customer out of me.

Thank you for the shopping spree Taste Central! Have a look and see for yourself. But prepare, (if I may borrow a line from Taste Central’s website), “Hold your breath… Amazing coming your way.”

http://tastecentral.com/

 

My Mother’s Day at Ayala Malls

The SoMoms paired up with Ayala Malls last week for a Mother’s Day treat and celebration that I truly enjoyed. I’ve been feeling off lately, a little out of my wits and running low on blogging mojo. The #MomsPerfectDay treat was the perfect pick-me-up for this tired, ragged and stressed-filled person that is Mom.

Our Ayala Mall Mother’s Day experience started a few days before Mother’s Day. Ayala Malls were ever so nice to treat us to a day at the mall, and OC Mom Kris and I chose TriNoMa for our #MomsPerfectDay treat. We started the day with lunch at Wee Nam Kee.

photo from ocmominmanila’s instagram

My first time. Canyoubilibit. I really liked it. Basti did too! I’ve been dreaming of these cereal prawns since that day. Must go back soon! Thank you Wee Nam Kee Trinoma for the awesome food and wonderful service.

Full of white chicken and prawn, we searched TriNoMa for our Mother’s Day outfits. I found several outfits I liked, but decided on this one from Mango.

This is actually a dress, as proven by the Mango sales assistant in the store wearing what seemed like an XXXXXXXXS version of this. So I wore it as a top. Judge me.

I have been malevolently planning to ensnare Kris into my makeup madness. A trip to MAC did just that. I only bought two things, while Kris bought, like, twenty. Heehee!

My MAC loot. I got Pro Longwear Concealer which is an awesome product. You only need a tiny bit, it doesn’t crease and it lasts forever. I also bought a kohl pencil in Feline. This is a classic I’ve been wanting for lining my waterline.

Kris’ loot. I’m so proud of her, haha! She was only aiming to buy a concealer and setting powder but ended up with those PLUS primer, eyeshadow, foundation and my favorite MAC brush ever, the 217.

photo from ocmominmanila’s instagram

On Mother’s Day itself, I invited my mom to celebrate  with us at Greenbelt 5.

There was an awesome high tea spread by Bizu. It was nice to hang out there, eating yummy pastries, while listening to a keyboard and violin duo in the background. Shoppers were coming and going, enjoying a nice treat in between malling and shopping. Anyone who had a receipt from a purchase of at PhP2,000.00 at Ayala Malls was welcome to stop by and hangout. Moms were also treated to an express manipedi right at the site! We were all in very high spirits. Who wouldn’t be?

Clockwise, from top: Bizu’s Mother’s Day spread; Manila Mommy Neva and her beautiful family; gorgeous moms Go Jackie Go, and Manila Fashion Observer’s Tin.

Basti really enjoyed the butterfly garden that they set up in the mall itself. He was a bit scared to touch the butterflies, unlike these brave SoKids right here. Sorry Basti. My fault, I know. (I don’t like bugs)

We went for store visits at Lancôme Philippines and Kiehl’s. I was drooling over their skin care products.

Thank you so much for these wonderful Mother’s Day gifts! I lost my bottle of Miracle in a flood, and I’ve been wanting to try this cleanser. I love these!

Gingersnaps was the clothing sponsor of the SoKids. Just look at their cute outfits! I dressed up Basti’s checked shirt and jeans from Gingersnaps with a bowtie, his Feiyue hightops and his ever-present hat.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future blogging scene.

It was really fun but it was really tiring. By the end of the day, Basti and I were weak from the heat and the excitement,  so we just took a long shower, jumped into bed, and cuddled the night away.

Sounds like the perfect Mother’s Day to me.

Thank you Ayala Malls!

Ten Minutes of Bliss with Glade Sensations

I don’t know about you, but since I became a mother, bathroom privacy is so precious to me that I would pay for it. It ranks right up there with “Things I Will Give My Teeth For” such as sleep, a day off without thinking of the kid, and a house that always stays clean and neat.

But the reality is, I only get ten minutes in the bathroom before a little creature comes sneaking in, his little shadow hovering silently and stealthily beyond the shower curtain. Basti is very Norman Bates, I tell you. I’m sure y’all can relate, whether your kid’s method is like Basti’s sneaky, creepy style, or a banging, screaming toddler demanding you get her a juice box at-this-very-freaking-moment-and-you’re-panicking-because-you-got-startled-and-soap-got-into-your-eyes. It’s a mother’s life.

Hence, anything that can make my ten minutes of peace just a little bit more pleasant is welcome to me. Don’t you wish your bathroom was more like a hotel or a spa? I can’t change the way my bathroom looks, or sounds (anyone who has stumbled into one too many squeaky bath toys KNOWS this), but I can certainly change the way it smells. Scent is very powerful to me. It’s changes my mood, makes my life just a tad more pleasant, and sometimes makes me forget I have a migraine.

I was very pleased to get this Glade Sensations gift pack. I like things that make spaces smell good.

It had the Glade Sensations Bathroom pack in Lavender. Lavender is my favorite, favorite scent of all time.

The refills look like this. The scents come in Lavender, Ocean Escape, Lemon, I Love You (so curious about that. I’ll open it next!), Jasmine, Morning Freshness, and Fruit Nectar.

You could also just buy the refill and use it as is. It stands up just like this. This refill pack is compatible with the other Glad Sensations holders. I think I’ll put one in the car.

The Glade Sensations bathroom holder can be stuck on a wall, or you don’t like doing that, it stands up on its own. That’s what I did.

It’s been in my bathroom for a week now, and I like it so far! The smell isn’t so overwhelming, at least for the Lavender. I’ll try the other scents and update on Twitter and Instagram. The scent is supposed to last for as long as 60 days, which is awesome. If I can’t go to a spa then at least my bathroom smells like one, yes?

Thank you Glade for letting me try out Glade Sensations! Watch out for this product in your favorite supermarkets and stores and try it out for yourself! Tell us what you think on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GladeSensations.

 

 

 

Dinner With Madam

So my husband had an exhibit that opened last April 11.

It was a huge success and the response to his work was overwhelming, encouraging and humbling. I was so proud of The Painter.

At the exhibit we met Fr. Matthew, an art enthusiast who has been trying to track Orley down in the last 4 years. They finally met.

We had a great conversation and he invited us to have dinner soon after the exhibit. He said, “Madam” might join us. I didn’t think anything of it and looked forward to a nice evening. Little did we know we were going to have dinner with an icon.

The quotable quote of the night: “It’s very hard to be hated. But it’s even harder to be envied.”

She gave Orley this plate with a print of her portrait by Claudio Bravo.

Whatever your politics may be, it doesn’t change the fact that Mrs. Marcos is a compelling, charismatic, warm and gracious lady. I have respect for her and the way she values art. Support for the arts in this country has never been the same since her time. I will always admire her for that.

Thank you for the unforgettable evening, Madam. I do hope we meet again someday.

Catch the tail-end of “Into The Light” featuring paintings by Romulo Galicano and Orley Ypon at the Altro Mondo Gallery. The gallery is located in Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati. Exhibit runs till May 10, 2013.

The Painter Wins “Best In Show” at the Art Renewal Center Salon 2013!

I am so happy to share that The Painter won a painting competition again! I’ve already shared this on Facebook and Twitter, but I am still so very much on a high that I really just have blog about it. Bear with me. I’m so so proud of my husband I would rent out a billboard on EDSA to shout it out if I could.

The competition is the same one I blogged about last year, which is the annual Art Renewal Center Salon International. Last year, he won first place in the Figurative Category for this painting:

“Resurrection”. Oil on canvas. Private collection.

This year, he entered this painting:

“Interregnum”, oil on canvas. Private collection.

Out of 850 artists and thousands of work submitted, “Interregnum” was awarded Best In Show. BEST IN SHOW. When I read the email I couldn’t stop squealing!!

This same painting was entered into the Borobodur Auction in Singapore earlier this year, and did very well considering it was Orley’s first time to participate. I think this win is so well-deserved as I saw first-hand what it took to create it. If I didn’t know any better, I would say it is my husband’s blood on that painting instead of paint.

I am so proud of you Orley!

To know more about the Art Renewal Center and this year’s winners, check it out on their website here: http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/salon_winners.php?contest=2012-2013%20Salon&page=Main

Make Your Own Havaianas 2013

The SoMoms never go out at night. NEVER. We’re all tired by 10pm. BUT. No one could resist the invitation to come to the media launch of Make Your Own Havaianas 2013! So there we were, kids and husbands NOT in tow, and took part in one of the most anticipated events of the year by Havaianas fans!

I attended the very first MYOH (sadly that pair is long gone), and was so overwhelmed at how HUGE and exciting MYOH has grown to be. This is the 8th year of Make Your Own Havaianas and the atmosphere was so electrified.

MYOH wouldn’t be complete with the flipflop wheel.

It was fun choosing our pairs while enjoying the event. I may be overly giddy about it, but it’s really been a while since I’ve been out on a real, certified, NIGHT out. Grab the vodka-laced jar!!!

I really wanted to come because I wanted a the Make Your Own Havaianas 2013 commemorative pair by designer Dan Matutina. I have been admiring his work for a while now, and was so excited to see some home-grown art on Havaianas.

The Havaianas assemblers are always so fun and chipper. I think 15 years ago, I would’ve loved to be part of this team. The pins this year are so cute! I got these. There’s also owl, alien, robot, starts, crystals, heart, wings, bows, bicycles – something to cater to anyone’s choice of bling.

I got a Dan Matutina pair for me, and a blue pair for The Painter. I put a little sun in there to make him smile.

New Havaianas always make me smile.

Make Your Own Havaianas 2013 opens to the public tomorrow, May 2, and will run through May 5 at the Rockwell Tent. Grab your pair!

See you again next year!

Three Years and We’re Still Good (A Philips Avent Trusted Mom Post)

Basti had a birthday last Sunday.

I can’t believe it’s been three years. Three seemingly long years that went by in a blink. Breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping is turning into lots of talking, some tantrums, a looming first day of school, and *sigh* weaning. I wrote about it with much emotion a few posts back, and every time I read it, my eyes still well up.

This blog has been growing a lot with Basti, and is not only a chronicle of how he’s grown and changed, but how his presence in my life has also molded me into the mother that I am today. He is a wonderful child overflowing with so much personality, and I can’t believe I have the honor of being his mother.

Truth is, if you met me about 15 years ago, you wouldn’t leave a child alone with me for five seconds. No one would say, “Oh ask Eliza, she would know” if the topic would be about kids. I was a petulant 20-something person who thought way too much about petty little things. You think you know how to roll your eyes? I invented it. But that’s the thing about motherhood; it pushes your heart outside yourself and becomes this tiny little creature whose world is you. In motherhood I found a voice, and in it I also found my causes. Breastfeeding and babywearing were two things that changed my life, and I will fight, share and spread the word about these two advocacies till the day I die. That wouldn’t happen if Basti didn’t come into my life and taught me how to be the mother that I am. He teaches me everyday.

I was talking to a friend one time about how I feel so blessed that Basti is a smart, curious, quirky, interesting little boy who hardly gives anyone any trouble. Seriously, he is one of the most manageable kids I know, and I’m not just saying that as his mother. And my friend quizzically looked at me and said, “Why do you sound so bewildered? You are such a wonderful mother.” That moved me to tears. Somehow, even when we’re I’m trying my very best, I always have a feeling I’m failing. And to hear that from someone meant the world to me.

I am humbled when I get email from fellow mothers about how this blog has helped them at one point or the other. All I wanted in the beginning was to share. The thought that there are people out there who actually respect what I have to say makes me happy, giddy, scared, and freaked out all at the same time. I’m no Mother of the Year. I have my moments of desperation, of exasperation, and of total exhaustion. But here we are, three years and running, Basti is healthy and happy, and life is good. I must be doing something right.

_____________

Thank you Philips Avent for choosing PaintersWife.Com as a partner for the Philips Avent Trusted Mom campaign. Our relationship with Avent started with Basti starting solids, and we’ve been appreciating and using their products since. I am excited to share the honor with other moms (and dad!) and looking forward to all the things that they have in store for you guys.

To know more about Philips Avent and their upcoming releases, click on the image below!