Tag Archives: somoms

The #BetterMe Sessions: Better Relationships with Household Helpers

I have been trying to write this post for weeks but the mojo for it was hard to come by. Well, there’s no better time to write about it than now. I am, once again, household help-free. Our 4-year yaya went on vacation last Christmas and didn’t come back. Don’t freak. I am not upset by that fact. I am no stranger to a yaya-free environment. But this incident got me thinking back to the session we had with Coach Pia of The One Core on having better relationships with household helpers. It was a long morning, but I wanted to share with you guys the points that I took home with me, and hope that these will help you in your domestic dramas (don’t we all have them).

Wants vs. Needs

Coach Pia first had us make a list of characteristics of our ideal home. We had similar lists – organized, safe, environmental, etc. We were then asked to list down the tasks involved in making this list happen, which area of the house needed the work, the specific tasks involved to do it and importantly, WHO was in charge. With this we then determined which characteristics were “Wants” versus “Needs” and if the person involved in doing this work felt it was a “Want” or a “Need” as well.

In my own home, one of my needs was to a spotless and organized kitchen. To my helper, this was not a need. It was not even a want. We had constant disagreements and I felt I was endlessly reminding her of how I wanted the kitchen to be kept. To me it was important; to her I was being OA. What could’ve worked was for me to explain why this was a need for me, for her to understand the reasons behind my nitpicking and to communicate how important it was to me.

This is not just for your household helpers, but for the rest of the family as well. It works both ways too. As mothers who run the house, we sometimes feel we have a say on what goes for EVERYTHING and fail to see that the other members of the family have needs as well. So if the husband asks for a bike rack, doesn’t want it, but NEEDS it, then by jove, let’s try and make that happen. Being able to meet and compromise on everybody’s wants and needs is the first step to a harmonious household.

Willingness vs. Ability

When it comes to household helpers, there are varying degrees of willingness and ability we have to live with. We also have to figure out what levels we ourselves can live with. Check if your helper is:

  • Willing and able
  • Willing but not able
  • Not willing but able
  • Not willing and not able

I think I’ve encountered kasambahay in all these levels of willingness and ability. Sad to say, most of my friends who have trouble with their household employees have people who fall under the “not willing and not able” category. For me, I am quite content with “willing but not able” because then you can train them how to handle things in your household. I will never have anyone who is “not willing but able” stay with me because from my experience, they are smart-ass, eye-rolling, complaining, sass-mouthing people who will leave you at the drop of a hat with no consideration at all.

So once you’ve assessed your helper, assess the tasks that need to be accomplished in your household. Are these tasks well within the scope of her willingness and ability? Maybe you’re asking and expecting too much.

Go back to the values.

In line with needs, wants, willingness and ability, it’s very important to explain the core values of the family to our helpers. If you are a working, breastfeeding mom, for example, simple directions about the storage and handling of milk sometimes will not suffice. I have heard many moms literally cry over spilled and wasted milk. But, if you explain the benefits, the care and the effort you put into expressing milk, then she might be able to understand why she should thaw with care, check for spoilage, not throw leftover milk, and so forth. That is, if she is WILLING and ABLE.

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It was a really fruitful morning, and we were fortunate to have the session, thanks to the wonderful people of Marca Piña Cheeseballs, Tonkita by Arix and Gustare Kitchen as the venue. We took home some very useful household cleaning implements from Tonkita (homemaker’s goody bag dream items, hear hear). I really like this two-well bucket. #homemakerjoys

The food at Gustare Kitchen was so yummy! I especially liked this squid ink sotanghon, which reminded me of my lola’s recipe. They also have packed meals ready for takeout. Perfect for condo-dwellers, small families and people who just need a break from cooking.

We also learned about Marca Piña Cheeseball (which was the perfect companion to grapes and made an awesome snack during the session). We had this session right before Christmas last year, so the timing was perfect. Who doesn’t get giddy over cheeseballs during Christmas season?

I think all of us went home that day with a bit of wisdom on how to handle our household. I hope there will less domestic drama for all of us this year!

Thank you Coach Pia! Looking forward to the next #BetterMe session!

 

Makeup 101 by BYS Cosmetics

BYS Cosmetics is an Australian brand that I only heard of when I saw Michelle post a picture of some of their products on Instagram. After that I started to notice their counters in SM department stores and in Watson’s, but never had time to stop and check out the products. So when I was sent this:

I was soooo excited. It just wasn’t a day of makeup, it was a day of makeup with the SoMoms! Guaranteed fun.

I got there late, because this is my motto in life:

I’m kidding. I’m just really not a morning person.

I did not follow instructions and came with my makeup already in place, so I chose to just sit in, enjoy the BYS products and be usisera to the SoMoms and their Makeup 101 session.

They had these makeup stations with a bunch of BYS goodies to try.

So early in the morning, and already so eager to learn. #notamorningperson

Fleur and Jen were my seatmates. I loved the subtle bronze eye that Jen did on her monolids.

Daytime, everyday looks all around.

BYS stands for “Be Yourself”. It’s a brand that originates from Australia, where it gained popularity within a few years from its introduction and is making its way into the ranks in other countries as well. Japan is one of its biggest markets, which is highly encouraging, since it has one of the most stringent cosmetic quality control systems in the world. They are super affordable and cater to a wide market of beauty enthusiasts.

The one product that I am most curious about is their primer.

It’s got Vitamin E and Chamomile Extract, is supposed to moisturize and prime at the same time. Must get that.

I wasn’t able to take a picture of their brow pencil in Blonde, and their retractable lip liners in the nude colors that I liked. I was too excited. I must make my way to a BYS counter soon and get a couple of those.

Onsite, they also had a couple of their eyeshadow palettes, cream eyeshadows, eyeliners, mascara, lipgloss, lipsticks and some blushes for us to try. BYS has over a thousand products in their lineup, including a mineral makeup line, so what we had in our vanity was not even a fourth of what they had to offer.

Even Berry had so much fun.

It was also at the BYS event that I met these two ladies for the first time.

I’ve regularly checked Shen‘s blog for product updates. It was about time Patty and I met, considering the hours we spent chatting online about anything and everything!

We walked away with this awesome lootbag full of BYS beauty products.

Thank you BYS for a super fun morning of beauty!

Check out BYS Cosmetics at Watson’s and at SM Department Stores.

The SoMoms Say “Sige Sa Mantsa!” (Plus a Giveaway from Breeze!)

It’s soooooo hot. So hot that there are days that I don’t want to move for fear that all my energy will be sucked right out of me. I am equally scared of heatstroke and summer electric bills, so sometimes Basti is running naked around the house in nothing but a diaper.

The first of the #SoMoms summer #sessions was a welcome escape from the urban heat. The wonderful marketing team of Breeze Philippines sponsored us for a day in Nuvali. It was a pleasant, early drive to Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where the #SoMoms and some invited bloggers were gathered for some fun activities for the kids, outdoor time, swimming and catching up with the others. It was a #SigeLangNgSige Day!

Teacher Anna and Teacher Kara of My Masterpiece Movement led a yoga session for the kids that didn’t stop the moms from joining too!

Basti got the be the bright, cheery and super enthusiastic Mr. Sun.

He was so very ecstatic. #hindihalata

The kids went totally nuts over the painting session. Teacher Kara laid out a plastic sheet, dribbled some paint over it and let the kids go crazy! Paint was everywhere! Kids were stained from head to toe, shirts, shorts, socks and everything in between!

We all helped to lay a sheet of paper over the painting afterwards and this was the result.

It became the base for our #SigeMoms and #SigeKids declarations! I think Basti and I will copy this at home. It’s going to be tons of fun making our own messy masterpiece.

Here we all are! (Yes, we have a SoDad!)

From L-r: Marc of The Fatherland, Me, Teacher Anna, Jackie of Go Jackie Go!, Belle of Cruisin’ Mommyhood, Janice of Mommy Mundo, Candy of The Corporate Housewife Mom, Patty of Non Stop Babble, Tin of Manila Fashion Observer, Christine of Mommy Journey, Jenny of My Mommyology, Kris of OC Mom In Manila, Cai of Apples and Dumplings, Teacher Kara.

 

We couldn’t leave without taking a dip in the pool. The water was irresistible!

The day was all about letting go and just letting the kids have fun. Breeze Philippines’ new campaign “Sige Lang Sa Mantsa” was the perfect collaborative theme for our day’s activities. Having fun can get messy and sometimes being messy is the fun itself!

We ended the day by declaring our Sige Sa Mantsa statements.

This is something I have to remind myself everyday. Even though I am pretty lax compared to others I’ve met when it comes to mess, I do sometimes wince when Basti turns his shirt into a paper towel. I don’t want to be that mom anymore!

We all walked away with a gift pack filled with goodies from Breeze.

The good news is, I’ve got two more of these Breeze gift packs to give away! Two of the blog’s readers will get to say #SigeSaMantsa too! Please join via Rafflecopter below. Entries will be accepted till next Monday, April 22, 11:59pm. The contest is open to all readers nationwide. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Introducing the Mommy Mundo SoMoms! (Giveaway Alert!)

I’ve been blogging since 2002. I’ve got 10 years of blogposts lying around LiveJournal, Blogspot and the soon-to-be-deleted Multiply, and it’s a hodgepodge of shopping finds, angst, sharing of experiences and mind-dumping, sprinkled with a lot of fun and some bad decisions.

Now, as a wife and mother, this blog has grown to more than just a sounding board (or whining board as some of my earlier blogposts reveal) to being a platform for advocacies, a way to connect to other parents, and in some cases, as a business. Writing has always been my language, and blogging became a natural extension of my real-life loquacious self. More mothers on the internet made social media the new “neighborhood playground”, and it was through Facebook, Twitter and blogger events that I met a lot of fellow blogging moms who became colleagues and friends.

An organization that has provided me with a lot of opportunities for myself, the blog, and Basti (hee hee) is Mommy Mundo. Through them I met a lot of brands that wanted to partner up and support my tiny corner of the website, and I’ve enjoyed writing and sharing about these brands and products that I believe in. I always look forward to something Mommy Mundo organizes – it’s not just an opportunity to learn and to share, but to meet up with these moms I have conversations with over Twitter and have come to call as friends. And with that, Mommy Mundo SoMoms was formed!

SoMoms stand for Social Media Moms, composed of a founding group of twelve blogging moms who are all different in personalities, advocacies and blogging goals. But one thing I love about all of these ladies is how fun they are, and how their blogs reflect their personalities and interests. Here are the SoMoms!

Mommy Mundo SoMoms

 

Neva of Manila Mommy, Michelle of My Mom Friday, Jenny of Chronicles of A Nursing Mom, Tin of the Manila Fashion Observer, me, Janice of My Mundo (and Mommy Mundo’s head mommy), Cai of Apples & Dumplings, Jenny of My Mommyology, Jen of Jen and the 3 Boys, Jackie of Go! Jackie Go, Fleur of Mommy Fleur and Kris of OC Mom In Manila.

The Mommy Mundo SoMoms have lots of things in store for everyone in the coming months! To start off, we’ll be at the Mommy Mundo Bazaar this November 24-25, and you can come to our booth to sit, chat, chika or ask anything about our blogs. We’ve got you covered from breastfeeding, babywearing, recipes, shopping finds, fashion and beauty, health, mompreneurship, parenting and lots lots more. We’d love to to meet you!

The Mommy Mundo Bazaar will be on November 24-25 at the Rockwell Tent.

The new Mommy Mundo 24/7 Planner 2-13 will also be launched at the Mommy Mundo Bazaar.

If you didn’t get one last year, you should see it! It’s got all the stuff that mothers need to organize their day-to-day lives, with spaces for each family’s members’ schedule, a menu planner, grocery list, household staff information, health records, money matters and party planning. It’s also got spaces for our own personal goals and tidbits of inspiration that will help remind you of what being a mom is about inspite of all the things about motherhood that make you want to scream. Hehe.

Each SoMom is hosting a giveaway for this Mommy Mundo prize set:

  • One (1) Mommy Mundo Privilege Passport (worth P175)
  • One (1) Mom 24/7 Planner (worth P395)
  • Entrance to the Mommy Mundo Bazaar
  • The Mommy Mundo shopping bag (worth P30).

Some notes:

  • The prizes are transferable. If you already have a Mommy Mundo Privilege Passport, you can pass it on to a friend or whoever you want!
  • The prizes must be claimed at the Mommy Mundo Bazaar. You will forfeit your prize if you don’t show up.
  • The winner will be announced on November 22.
  • Join through Rafflecopter below!

Good luck and I hope to see you at the Mommy Mundo Bazaar!

Know more about Mommy Mundo SoMoms:
www.mommymundo.com/somoms
Interested parties may contact us at somoms@mommymundo.com. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join the other SoMom giveaways on their blogs!

Jen and the Three Boys: http://jencc.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-i-blog.html
Go! Jackie Go: http://gojackiego.com/2012/11/giveaway-launch-of-somoms-at-the-mommy-mundo-bazaar-2012/
Manila Mommy: http://manilamommy.com/2012/11/mommy-mundo-bazaar-2012
Apples and Dumplings: http://www.applesanddumplings.com/2012/11/mommy-mundo-somoms-giveaway.html
My Mommyology: http://mymommyology.com/2012/11/14/meet-the-mom-behind-my-mommyology-now-a-part-of-mommy-mundos-somo
Mommy Fleur: http://mommyfleur.blogspot.com/2012/11/introducing-mommy-mundo-somoms-with.html
Manila Fashion Observer: http://www.manilafashionobserver.com/2012/11/meet-somoms-giveaway.html
Chronicles of A Nursing Mom: http://www.chroniclesofanursingmom.com/2012/11/introducing-mommy-mundo-somoms.html
OC Mom In Manila: http://ocmominmanila.com/2012/11/the-mommy-mundo-somoms-and-a-giveaway/