Hello, dolls! Hello, 2021! The first week of the new year was pretty heavy for most of us with everything going on but I hope you are still able to find little joys that could turn life around positively for you. The holidays may be over, but I know a lot of us are still dealing with the heaviness of every meal that we ate between Christmas shopping and embracing the New Year.
If you are like me who goes through phases of physical guilt, self-loathing, and a promising diet plan that will only last a month (tops), then your head is probably spinning now too. My body is experiencing some grown-up changes now that I am 30. I get it, 30 is not old but definitely I definitely do not function like when I was 18. Dealing with cheat days and especially overeating during the holidays used to be unbearable but with my healthy helpers, I am able to get some quick relief whenever I need it.
Hello, dolls! Hello, Christmas season! 2020 may have changed a lot of things for us but I am glad to see the Christmas spirit stronger more than anything else. Seeing the rising number of positive cases go up again is alarming. As much as I would love to spend time with some of our close friends here in Baltimore, I know the smartest thing to do right now is to lay low and wait until things get a little better in the “outside world” again. I am in full precautionary mode again because in the past 8 months, some people close to my heart got the virus and had their lives altered so drastically. I felt so helpless knowing I cannot do much aside from letting them know how much I care about them through text message.
The holidays are around the corner and I know one of the ways we can feel normal is through Christmas presents. Now that we are staying home more than ever, here are some gift ideas that will surely help calm our minds and remind us that it’s okay to relax and enjoy the little things.
Hello, dolls! Hello, beautiful fall! <3 October is the month when I start feeling the craziness (and excitement) of the Holidays. As soon as A’s birthday rolls in, I get into this celebratory mood which turns out to be a lot of weekend activities and trips until we are ready to kiss the year goodbye. We’ve been very busy enjoying this beautiful season and I can’t wait to share all our adventures here…someday 😛
Anyway, one of the things I look forward to every weekend is to dress up my kids. I love planning our outfits and I am extra happy when our OOTDs compliment each other. Fall is the perfect time to explore the style you want to go for when dressing up your kids as there are so many inspirations everywhere — especially on social media!
Hello, dolls! hello, fall!! <3 Aaaah don’t you just love the crisp weather that greets your face when you walk out the door? The beautiful leaves starting to turn to orange/brown and the positive aura the people around you exude because it is finally, fall. I loved fall even more when I became a Mom. The fun activities we get to do and the joy of planning their outfits is just enough to make my Mama heart full the entire season.
For some reason, this cuddle weather makes me want to relax at home more. I am always on the go during summer because I feel like the season is not long enough for us to enjoy the outdoors so our weeks are filled with activities almost everyday. Once the weather starts getting a little cool, I am more drawn to relaxing which means I can also plan some “me time” throughout the week — and what better way to welcome fall than to enjoy my Therabox beauty subscription box?
Hello, dolls! Hello, NFL Season! As much as I want to say I am very excited to see the Ravens play again, I can’t help but feel indifferent about my husband planning life around the games again — I say this with love but we are not going to tell him that 😛 Now that Little A is bigger, game days seem to be more relaxing for us. I love seeing my boys in the basement hanging out together whether Little A is busy playing with legos or jump up and down as he yells “Ravens” when someone scores a touchdown.
It’s the simple moments like this that make me more motivated to stay safe and healthy for our kids. I know one day, Little A will say “Dad, remember when this happened during the game?”.
Hello, dolls! Hello, labor day weekend <3 After a very hectic week, I am so glad to be out of town and safely spend the long weekend with family. I’ve been really busy as a working Mom this week and felt guilty for not being present as much as I wanted to for the kids. After four months, I am back to working in-person and not just behind my computer so I feel like I am back in college again navigating my way around the campus. Little A went back to school and I still can’t believe he is now in Pre-K 4! So many changes to our quarantine routine this week but I am so glad to have more normality around the house.
One of my favorite “tasks” this week was redecorating Baby C’s reading nook. I am having so much fun making her room look pretty (shopping the main reason of course lol). When we had her closet remodeled earlier this year and saw this little corner, I knew instantly that it would be a reading nook. My main goal was to transform this space into a more relaxing and book friendly hangout spot for my girl, and I am very satisfied with the outcome.
Hello,dolls!! Hello, summer heat! I know it’s challenging to fully enjoy summer this year with everything going on but I hope there are more positive experiences in your life to look back to from this season. I would be lying if I said I wake up every morning with the confidence I had four months ago. I feel like as we get closer to the new school year and holidays, my anxiety gets heavier. With the uncertainty ahead of us, it’s hard to not feel worried about the upcoming changes in our lives. One of the biggest things that breaks my heart is the thought of not seeing our family for a very long time — cousins from New York, my siblings and my Dad in Manila, and friends that we love as family. This brings me back to all the parties I hosted over the years when everyone was able to attend. I had to cancel two parties I planned this year because of covid and though the kids don’t realize it yet, I feel bad that they don’t get to physically experience the love that a lot of people share with them.
It wasn’t easy deciding to cancel Baby C’s first birthday party. For weeks I would follow the news about coronavirus and hope that there is a way for me to gather everyone that we love and celebrate my girl. After two months of feeling concerned about the safety of our loved ones, I knew that hosting a party right now is not the best thing to do.
I am the kind of Mom who loves to plan everything ahead of time. I write down every idea and see where my mind takes me. I wanted something different for our loved ones to enjoy in the summer, so I thought what better way to celebrate a birthday in Baltimore than to have Maryland crabs?
Planning a crab-themed or nautical birthday party? I am attaching links to products that will make it easy for you!
Hello, dolls!! Hello, weekend! <3 The best part of my week was going to Nordstrom for their anniversary sale. One of the perks of being a card member is the early access to the awesome Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. A and I have been in the influencer level for the past 3 (or 4?) years now and I am very very happy with all the little “gifts” that come with the status.
The public sale for Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale is on August 19th and I know there are a lot of you who are wondering if it’s even worth waiting for. I honestly think that it is because their anniversary sale is just insanely good! Most of the items are discounted at at least 50% off and for Moms like me, this is a great way to stock up on clothes for the kids! Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s sale. 90% of the items below are already in our closet so I can attest to the quality and style.
Hello, dolls! Hello, July! Beach season is here and here I am looking at every possible place I can take my family BUT too scared to push through with anything due to safety reasons. Two weeks ago we went to New Jersey to spend time with my in-laws and it felt really great to be out of state again! Not to mention see the kids spend time with their grandparents and auntie after so long. So I’ve decided to keep myself busy with a big project to keep my mind off escaping. However, the exhaustion is making me miss going away even more. I like to reward myself (and now my family) a little getaway whenever I work on something big like this but there are so many concerns right now.
So if you are like me who prefers to stay out of the crowd and relax at home, here’s an easy recipe for you to try! A’s Cheddar and Jalapeno Chicken Burgers — so easy to make and almost guilt-free! 😛
Hello, dolls!! Hello, June! One of the things that devastated me during this pandemic is Baby C’s birthday party getting “rescheduled until further notice”. Look, there are plenty of big issues that we are facing now but as a Mom, this my story today. When I found out I was having a girl, I knew what theme her birthday was going to be. It was easy to plan because I had a clear vision. I jotted down every idea and collected anything that could make the party successful. Just like everyone else, when each country announced the lock down, I thought it was only going to last two weeks. or a month tops. As we learned more about the virus, I started feeling nervous for all the things that “might not happen” — Little A not going back to school, our trips, and Baby C’s first birthday.
There are many things that we adapted to since the first day of quarantine that we love doing now. I still can’t help but feel a bit of longing for the things that I wish we can do. One of many is having our friends and family around when celebrating special moments. Every week I would read articles about the virus and intently listened to the Governor’s announcements wondering when I can send Baby C’s birthday invitations. When April rolled around and there was no clear sky in sight, I knew had to hold off on the invitation and wait for the right time.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, June! So my greatest fear during this lock down has happened, I am starting to feel like this is normal. This life where my sole responsibility each day is to make sure we are okay, no servicing other people but us. Waking up to my kids fully energized hoping a cup of coffee would magically appear in front of me to get me off my bed. “It’s another day” I like to say — another day of never missing another moment with my children. So this is what it feels like, to fully submit myself to Motherhood and be home all day.
When I found out I was pregnant with Little A, I shopped for books I could read to him. I had no idea which ones to look for but somehow I bought The Little Prince because the title seemed fitting. A and I did not have an idea what kind of parents we were going to be, but we knew we wanted our children to grow up loving books just as much as we do.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, Mother’s Day weekend! <3 May is blooming beautifully like the flowers as we are starting to see some normal changes. Things are not going to be the way it used to be, and it’s okay. I have learned to accept this new reality after 8 weeks of being trained to take a step back from my aggressive go-getter self to a more conscious individual. When this is all over, I know that the stronger and better version of me is going to be ready to face the world again.
One of the things I realized as a Mom is the pressure Moms go through on a daily basis. I hate seeing Mom-shamers on social media because I know that everyone’s situation is different, I have come to fully understand this after having my second baby. Little A and Baby C might have similarities when it comes to their physique and some tiny details but the way Baby C’s growing habits are very different from Little A. I guess where I am going to is, A and I have to adapt to Baby C’s system so our parenting style is contrasting. Same parents and lifestyle, different kid and behavior.
Hello, dolls! Hello, #QuarantineLife! Does anyone else feel like this lockdown is starting to feel like our new normal now? Like going back to how life was before this virus is a far reach since there will be many changes. I have so many questions in my head that I dread because I know things will transition differently after this. As humans, we are trained to adapt, and though I know we are going to be okay, it just makes me sad to think our lives before mid-March of 2020 is going to be a thing of the past.
Just like everyone else, our kitchen has become the busiest room in our house during this quarantine. We’ve been cooking and baking a lot which makes me feel like I’ve gained at least 20 pounds. But hey! Who is counting at this point?
Hello, dolls! Hello, April! We all survived March, I think we all deserve a pat on the back. The past month seems like a blur to me. It’s astonishing how things have turned out because of COVID-19 for the entire world. Months ago, I would always look forward to getting an extra day off from work so I can pick up Little A from school. Now, we are still unsure if he will be able to go back to school anytime soon.
Baby C is turning one next month and I know we are not going to be able to throw a party for her. I have decided to postpone it since I know things are not going to be easy for most of our friends and families once this COVID19 situation is all over. Luckily, I am kind of a pro when it comes to simple celebrations at home so I know we can make it scrapbook worthy for her still.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, Easter weekend! Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. One of the many things that gives me hope in the midst of this crisis is the assurance that God is with me through all this. A few years back I read this passage that said “God does not give us problems we cannot handle” and one of my favorites of all “challenges are blessings in disguise”. When I took to heart what those meant, it gave me a sense of relief knowing that I have God with me who is much stronger than any problem that would come my way.
Hello, dolls! Hello, warriors!! Challenging, hard, and unbelievable — these are some words that come to mind when I think of our current situation now. Who would have thought we will be going through a pandemic like this? Something that could affect everyone in the world so rapidly. I am not here to repeat everything that we’ve been seeing on the news about COVID-19, but merely reminding everyone that we as humans will always be stronger if we just do things right — don’t panic!
Having two lovely kids that I would do anything for, you might think my anxiety level is through the roof. In some ways, I am concerned about facing our temporary reality. If it was just me trying to adjust to this lifestyle, I would be okay — but I have kids, and they don’t understand any of this. My toddler does not understand why we don’t go out on weekends to go about our leisurely activities. When we do go out, only to buy what we need for the week, I am extra careful with everything he touches — and he can’t understand why I have this look of horror whenever he does it.
I had to alter our routine especially since Little A is out of school (which means I have to be his teacher for a while — but this story is for a later time 😛 ). Every day is a different story and just like everyone else, I can only hope we can get out of this dark hole soon. We are all trying to combat this virus in our own ways, and for that, we are all warriors.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, leap day! <3 How are you planning to make this extra day meaningful? I feel extra inspired because leap day is going to fall on a Saturday — my favorite day of the week because I get to wake up and know I do not have to think about work at all! I look forward to spending time with the kids and I plan to go on an adventure with them. Little A is growing up to be really appreciative of everything that we do with him and for him, it is truly rewarding to put my kid’s happiness first!
Before A and I got caught up in parenthood, planning our weekly adventures was easy. We just wanted to eat good food. We could go anywhere and not think about highchairs or if we can bring our stroller in, or if they have anything on the menu that is friendly enough for Little A, most importantly if we can have a peaceful meal.
Hello, dolls!! Hello, February! <3 Oh January, what have you done? The past month was definitely challenging, but I survived! Challenges are good because they help us grow so I can’t say January was that horrible for me. In terms of all the happenings in different parts of the world that broke our hearts, I can only wish that the people affected will find the healing that they need.
One of the best ways to stay positive is to focus on the love that surrounds my life. There’s so much clutter in my head but whenever I realize all the opportunities I have in front of me, I get this sense of relief and gratification with where I am now. The possibilities are endless because I have all the inspiration and support that I need.
Hello, dolls! Hello, 2020!! Can you believe it?! It’s the New Year and for the first time in a long time, I feel refreshed about starting over. For the past couple of years I would always say things are so good I don’t think I want to change anything. This time, I am ready to take on new challenges and be open to every opportunity that will come my way.
Being a Mom during the holidays is like running a marathon. I feel like I haven’t stopped running since Thanksgiving. From packing for our family’s trip to Asia for two weeks, then coming back two days before Baby A’s Christmas party in school — which was five days before Christmas! I knew my schedule was going to be hectic as soon as we landed in New York! I only had our naked tree up until the 18th so I spent my days splitting my time unpacking 7 suitcases, decorating our house, Christmas shopping, and be a Mom to Little A and baby C! Just typing all these made me exhausted already lol.
So I am ready to start over but not the kind that makes me want to erase everything. I just want to…grow. The difference between starting over to restart and starting over to grow is the outcome we want to see. Restarting means (almost) completely changing things, whereas growing is to encourage change by letting go to make room for new ones. As happy as I am now with my familial situation, I know for a fact it’s time for me to grow as an individual — and 2020 is the year for it.