Archives for April 2014

Because I’m Happy… (or rather, I WANT to be happy)

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

I can’t stop humming that song of Pharrell Williams. It has such a nice melody that everyone can actually sing the song.

But who among you can honestly sing this song and really mean it? “Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.” “Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.” I know of a lot of people who wake up every morning and just drag their feet to get to work. I also know of a lot of people who are caught in the web of “routine” that life’s meaning is lost. Honestly, I think not a single person should live like this. This is not right. This is unhealthy. This is not cool.

I, too, was stuck in a rut years ago, but I made the conscious decision to find bliss — find the things that make me happy. God said that we should use our talents and I wondered how much of an impact using my talents would be. I wondered if it was worth the effort, or if I was just dreaming that I could achieve a better, happier life. I wondered if I had what it took to make my dreams real or opportunities and chances like these are really just meant for a few people. I had thoughts like these when I was in my mid-twenties.

What I did was I just grabbed the opportunities that came my way and just made things happen. A lot of opportunities came in though especially when I became a mother. It was surprising though since this was the time when I actually said that I wanted more time for my family. With these, I had to balance the time that I have for different roles that I play.

I’m a workaholic (though I don’t admit that I am), but I know that this is what makes me happy. I’m happy juggling several things on my plate (in may case, it’s a huge tray.. lol!). I’m happy spending time with my baby (although sometimes for just a few hours a day). I’m happy that my husband lets me dabble in different things, until I find the right mix of businesses. I’m happy that I have a supportive family. I’m happy that I have great business partners who bring in great ideas into the business and have the same values as I have. I’m happy that I my faith and that I can turn to Him anytime.

I told my friend about being happy and when you’re happy with yourself, you exude that happiness and it makes your husband and family happy. It makes the community happy as well since you’re inspired to motivate them to feel happy, too. It’s so funny that happy is such a simple word, and yet so hard to achieve.

So how about you? What are you happy about? What will make you happy?

If you still don’t know what it is that will make you smile, I suggest that you join this weekend getaway called the LIFE-BLISS weekend. Martine, one of my friends/business partners, has been telling me about this wish of hers to have something like this in the future. I’m so happy for her that she finally announced this and made it happen!
Life Bliss Weekend Poster 2014

The Life-Bliss weekend will be an overnight, countryside retreat aimed at helping women foster the spirit of exuberance in their lives. It is designed to empower women to live lives according to their unique mission and purpose. It is sufficiently packed with introspective and eye-opening activities, creative projects, as well as interactive games that facilitate group dynamics personal learning.

The LIFE-BLISS WEEKEND is a purposeful “me time” break for extraordinary women who need to reconnect with themselves, recollect their thoughts around their life’s mission, and simply bond with fellow journeying women.

This is for ALL WOMEN who want to —

• conquer their fears,
• banish their limits — financial, emotional, physical, career, even hobbies,
• awaken their passions and turn them to strengths,
• make strategic goals towards fulfilling their life, business and personal dreams,
• express their “best life story” in a way that inspires others.

casa luminaria main view

casa luminaria lunch

casa luminaria living area

casa luminaria dining room 2

casa luminaria cottage bituin

Participants can expect to return home with a firm personal mission a robust plan of action, and commitments to sustain their exuberant disposition as well as a community of like-minded women and friends whom they can connect with through the MakeitBlissful.com community.

Registration includes overnight accommodation and meals at Casa Luminaria, a private countryside estate surrounded by inspiring & lush gardens, a swimming pool, peaceful grounds and restful villas; Life-Bliss & Mission activations, conducted by life vision experts, The Exuberant You Consultancy; Personalized strategy sessions with our team of experts in purposeful living with precision and planning; A “crafternoon” designed to inspire and invigorate you to express your bliss visually; Ample down-time for creative pursuits and relaxation.

The Life-Bliss Weekend is a joint event by MakeitBlissful.com and The Exuberant You Consultancy. Registration fee for early birds is Php6,595.00 until May 8 only. Regular rate is Php6,800. To register and make payments, please log on to www.makeitblissful.com/workshops

ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS

About Martine de Luna – Event Organizer & Chief Blissmaker
Martine de Luna is the Founder of MakeitBlissful.com, an online community and inspiration e-zine dedicated to the art of purposeful, meaningful living, working and creating. As digital strategist specializing in women, Martine leverages online platforms to help women create freedom-based lifestyles that play towards their core values, beliefs and intentions. Through her work online, Martine has built and branded several lifestyle blogs in the Philippines and abroad for women entrepreneurs, creatives and fellow “blissmakers.” All the while, she has been running her award-winning women’s blog MakeitBlissful.com, which now has an international roster of writers. Martine’s most recent venture is Manila Coworking, a coworking facility operating within Southeast Asia’s only craft beverage incubator.

About Apa Alviar — Certified Human Resources Facilitator, Director of The Exuberant You Consultancy
Apa Alviar is the founder and Director of The Exuberant You Consultancy, a company that crafts custom-made Personality Enrichment Programs (PEPs) to help participants, in whatever age and status in life, discover the true gifts that they are to their organization, colleagues, family, and peers. Apa inspires individuals and teams discover – and experience – their passion. A graduate of BS Psychology (cum laude) from St. Louis University, Apa has gained over 20 years’ experience in the fields of Customer Service, Human Resources, Marketing, and Corporate Affairs from the academe, airline, financial, and minerals resources industries. From his humble beginnings to becoming part of the ManCom of multinational organizations, Apa now sits on the board of the only wish granting foundation in the Philippines, is a consultant for church-based and family-owned organizations, an avid writer for online and print publications, and an internationally certified facilitator.

So hope you can register and join the Life-Bliss weekend!

Love Life More

I had a heart-to-heart talk with a friend today. She loves her family so much that she gives up everything for them, even time for herself. She says that it’s innate that she always thinks of them. Even when she’s out, she checks on them OFTEN (when I was with her, I think she called her house around twice every hour). There’s nothing wrong about loving your family and giving them everything — your heart, your soul, your entire being. The thing is though, there will come a point when you stop and think and utter, “How about me? Don’t I deserve to be happy, too?”

Being overly caught up in things that you like doing and love doing for others, sometimes makes you feel lost. You get so engrossed that you forget to set aside time for yourself. I recently read an article in MakeitBlissful.com by my dear friend, Martine, and the title of the article was I’m a Busy-holic! How about you? I’m actually guilty of being overly “Busy”. I’m a busy-holic, too!

But a few days ago, I made a promise as a Sangobion Brand Believe to love myself more and I took the challenge of trying to simplify my life a little bit. I tried to slow down a little. This is what happened…

I’m proud to say that by being a little less “busy” (yes, I am a workaholic), I got to spend more time with my daughter.

I got to spend time with this little cutie!

I got to spend time with this little cutie!

Make time for yourself, ladies. What is it that you want to do? What are the things that you want for yourself? Do you want to go to the mall at least once a week and go window shopping? Do you want to go to the gym at least three times a week after acquiring all that energy from taking Sangobion? Do you want to pamper yourself with a massage and a manicure/pedicure at least once a month? Do you want that hour for you and your baby to bond everyday without any distractions?

You can do it ladies! What you can do is write it down and create your own lifelist. If you blog about it, you can link it up to the Lifelist tab that I have in this blog. Let’s share lists!

You have to learn to love yourself more. Love life more!

How to Create a Business Plan and other Realizations this Easter

Hope you had a great day last Sunday! I love Easter. That day was basically a day for resting and contemplating on a lot of stuff, including my businesses. The celebration of Christ’s resurrection has made me think of resetting and making adjustments in certain portions of my life. Whether Catholic or not, there will come a point in your life when you want to make these adjustments. My article yesterday was about resetting portions and certain aspects of my life and it focused on the “physical changes” that I want for myself. Today, I will focus on making adjustments in business.

Whether still on the planning stage or already in the stage of expansion, there is always that need to step back and view the business from afar. By stepping back, you get to see the bigger picture.

The problem with sole proprietorship, start up businesses and businesses that are ran from home, oftentimes, it’s just one person working on different tasks. Or if it’s being worked on by a group, each one focuses on the task that is given to him or to her. No one really looks at the bigger picture and decides or tells the others if they are going toward the right direction. With this, there should be a time when everyone should take a step back and see if the business is really going towards the direction that they set for it.

This is exactly also why business plans are needed.

A business plan is a documentation that guides everyone so that they can make certain decisions on their own. Believe me, I have had a lot of experiences with different entities (being a part of some or just observing from a distance) and I have learned from a lot of these. Failures arise if the plan is not clear in your mind or if members make decisions that are not aligned with the organization’s plans and direction.

For those who want to learn how to create a business plan, please do sign up for the Mastermind Session for this coming weekend. It will be held on April 26 from 11:00 am to 2:30pm at Mothercare Active Fun. I will be the facilitator for this mastermind class, so I really hope that you could join me. We will discuss how to create a business plan for your business. You can also ask me about business strategies and I will share you tips on how to analyze and make sound business decisions.

Mastermind Session 3: How to Create a Business Plan

Mastermind Session 3: How to Create a Business Plan

Okay, so looking at the businesses that I am involved in, I think I personally need to clean up my act or suggest new process improvements. A new tip for others in looking for that perfect business or for the perfect mix of the businesses that you want to be involved in is that you need to be sure that it is in line with your long terms goals or your personal brand. For me, I thought of cleaning up and letting go of certain businesses since these aren’t aligned anymore with the direction that I want for my personal brand. It may be hard to let go of something that you love, but sometimes, you need to let go or focus on things that will help you achieve your long term goals.

Or sometimes, the vision that you set for your business doesn’t suddenly seem right anymore. This then requires a change in strategy. It’s not wrong to suddenly change your mind. We’re human beings so we have the freedom to change and make our own decisions. Just know that there are certain “effects” to these changes. Obviously for every cause there will have to be an effect. The effect may be something positive or negative. You just need to weigh all of these things and see what you’ll be happy with and what is more in line with what you want.

There are a lot of things that we need to talk about when it comes to business. If you have some topics in mind that you want me to discuss, please feel to comment below 🙂 I’d love to share my thoughts on these things (because honestly, right now, I have a gazillion things that I want to talk to you about). Just ask away!

For the other tips and realizations in creating a business, look for people who have the skills but also the same compassion (pagmamalasakit) that you have for the business idea or concept. Question the commitment of people who have the “can’t do” attitude rather than the “can do” attitude. I’ve worked with people like these before and these are people who are afraid of changes & improvements and are very close-minded. In a fast paced world like this, you need people who look for solutions rather than those who bring up “concerns” when faced with challenges. You need people who think outside of the box!

Are you stuck with a team who’s keeping the business from achieving its fullest potential? Share your thoughts below. What did you do? I’ve love to hear about it.

Reset your Life — Go all Natural!

After Easter and after doing some contemplating, I thought about my life and how I wanted to really reset it and try to start clean and fresh. There are so many aspects of my life that I want to clean and start fresh with — my body (I want to get back in shape), my home (it’s so messy so I want to organize it), my finances (Just some process tweaking for more efficient results), my soul (I want to pray more and talk to Him more), my business (same as my finances, I need some process improvements), etc.

I started with changes for my body. Last week, I tried to modify certain things in my life so that I feel healthier and full of life and vigor. Last week, I went on this program where I followed a nutritional plan with meal replacements and vitamins. It was a 5 day reset program. It was a nutritional program where I still got the complete vitamins and nutrients that I needed for the day. I lost 4 pounds last week going through this program. This is the first time I tried this program and I think I will continue with it and do a complete reset again next month. What I like about it is that it’s not expensive and it’s really sustainable. For more information about this, just leave a message below. I actually plan to create a women’s accountability group where we will all go through this and be accountable for one another. I’m discussing this with fellow bloggers. You’ll here about this soon, so please do leave a comment when you plan to join us in this 🙂

Another thing, that I tried last week was the new range of Godiva Natural Skin Care Products. I actually started using the product almost a month ago, but I really wanted to use all the products first before writing about it. I started using the body lotion first.

Godiva 4

I loved the scent! It was the first thing that I noticed. I really love how it smelled. The lotion was light, too, so it didn’t give me that icky feeling that I usually get from lotions (especially now that it’s summer). I really didn’t notice any change in my skin tone. I guess it was because I’m already fair.

Godiva 1

I also noticed the same thing with using the deodorant and the soap. What I love about the soap is that it looked really pure, with no added chemicals. Do you know that yellow translucent color that you get when you create soap (we had a soap making session in High School) — the one that you get when you make soap in its purest form (no added chemicals, etc.)? That’s how the bar of Godiva soap looked like.

As for the facial wash, toner and cream, I tried it for thirty days. I didn’t get any allergies and I think it was great. I guess it’s because Godiva Natural skincare uses only purified licorice extract (Glycyrrhiza glabra) with the highest glabridin content. Glabridin whitens the skin by stopping the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin. I’m so sorry that I didn’t get to take before pics and only after pics. I really have a lot of dark spots in my skin, so I was pleasantly suprised when only a few remain to be evident after using the Godiva Natural Skin Care products.

#slefie #nofilter

#slefie #nofilter

The LicoWhite Whitening Facial Wash sells for just Php 85.00 in the market. The Godiva LicoWhite Whitening Toner is at Php 89.00, and the Godiva LicoWhite Whitening Facial Cream is at Php 120.00.

Godiva 2

Godiva 3

What else? Oh, I want to get that massage that I have been wanting to get for the longest time. I will schedule that already and book it in my calendar so there’s no turning back (those who attended our talk on Time Management will know what I’m talking about 😉 *winks*). I will also schedule a waxing treatment and I’m thinking of fixing the layers of my hair.

Those are my plans to reset my “body” starting this month of April! How about you? Any plans of “resetting” any aspect of your life? Sharing you more about these plans during the next month!

PS. I can’t believe April is about to end! That’s 1/3 of the year gone just like that!

Love lots!

Learning about Art and Money (For Kids 6 to 12 years old)

I came from a meeting with Ann from Gymboree yesterday and we were talking of how crucial it was to teach children during the first months of their lives, even before they turn 1. We have tried to teach Zeeka a lot of stuff from the time that she was three months old. I think we’ve done our job in terms of socializing her and introducing her to the world. At 1, she already understands a lot of things and I know she does even if she still can’t speak clearly. She know what books (“bu”) are and that airplanes fly (Mommy makes a lot of paper airplanes!). She knows what kisses are and what “dance” means. She knows what apples are and the her favorite fruit is really a toss up between grapes and apples.

Here’s dada teaching Zeeka!

I know that Ej and I will continuously strive to teach her everything that we can teach her. Even if she goes to school and learns from the world around, we will be there to guide her. We will also continuously expose her and join her in different workshops and activities. Ej calls me a “Stage Mom” because I try to expose Zeeka and join her in different activities. At the back of my head, it’s really because I want her to enjoy life, experience everything that she can and later on in life decide what she wants to do.

I’m happy that I have Manila Workshops to present workshpop options for parents to further expose their children to different things, like Art and Finances/Money. This April, we have two workshops that will be interesting and definitely enjoyable for children ages 7 to 12 (6yos and 13yos are allowed) years old!

FREE ART WORKSHOP
FREE ART WORKSHOP

This workshop is brought to you by Faber-Castell Philippines and Memory Crafters.

To sign up, kindly click on this link: REGISTER HERE

MONEY SMART KIDS RERUN

Money Smart Kids

Money Smart Kids

This is brought to you by Manila Workshops, Mothercare Philippines and Ready to be Rich.

To sign up, kindly click on this link: REGISTER FOR THE MONEY SMART KIDS

These are great opportunities for your 6-13 year old to learn more about art and money!

Are there other things that you want to teach your children? What other workshops would you want us to have for your children? Please leave a comment below.

Memory Crafters and Memory Crafters Junior: Crafting for the Non-Crafters

I have always wanted to be more artsy and craftsy. I actually know how to sew by hand, to do cross stitch, to do embroidery and knit, but I only know the basics. I am very amazed at those who can really and I mean “REALLY” do it and create things with these skills. I also love scrapbooking. I started scrapbooking even before I met my husband. One of the gifts that I gave him before was a scrapbook of all our pictures.

Scrapbooks that I made

Scrapbooks that I made

2014-03-07 11.56.14

I love the idea of creating cutesy art pieces using craft materials, but i’m afraid that I’m not that artistic. I’ve seen the work of my friends, and you’d be amazed at how artistic they can be. Even my sister is far more creative than I am and she’s techy-er, too. But, I do realize the importance of including creativity into our lives. I think it makes us happier people! 🙂

As a mom, taking care of the children, doing errands for the house and work can get to you. You can do activities that help you relax and I’ve noticed that arts and crafts activities help me relax. These activities can even be a shared activity with your children. You can do arts and crafts projects together.

How Memory Crafters Started

My sister and I have fun organizing parties and creating concepts and making these concepts come to life. Memory Crafters started as an events coordination business, where we help you think of unique themes for your children and find ways to execute them through the help of suppliers.

Memory Crafters Super Hero Party

Memory Crafters Super Hero Party

Memory Crafters Super Hero Party decorations

Memory Crafters Super Hero Party decorations

Miss Sunshine Party Dessert Buffet

Miss Sunshine Party Dessert Buffet

Memory Crafters Little Miss Sunshine Party

Memory Crafters Little Miss Sunshine Party

Memory Crafters Little Miss Sunshine Party decorations

Memory Crafters Little Miss Sunshine Party decorations

But we had to put a halt to this business model since parties are normally done on Saturdays, and I had workshops to run under Manila Workshops on Saturdays (especially). Both of us were busy during weekends. We could only count the Saturdays when we did not have anything to do. We then thought of another business model. We both loved the idea of doing something that would promote crating and creativity. We thought of the many subscription boxes that are in the market right now, all concentrating on beauty products (my sister is a blogger from ManilaShopaholic.com so she gets to notice all of these). We then thought why not concentrate on  creating boxes for arts and crafts.

Our market is actually individuals who are 9 years old up (and by “up” meaning even those who are retirees who are looking for something to do) who love crafting or those who want to get into crafting, but don’t know where to start (non-crafters like me!). Our instructions are written by our business partner who is a former pre-school teacher, so she really knows how to make it simple and very easy to understand. Our activities are thought of by her and by another partner who is an interior designer. Both of them create the activities that we include in our box.

Our April box: Unveiled!

Our April box: Unveiled!

We really think of the activities that we can include in the box and we really make it special for each one of you! We see that our measurement of success is when we see that each customer is contented and wow-ed by each of the box that we send. We are excited for the next boxes, which are supported by different brand partners. If you are a brand that would like to partner with us, please email us at founders(at)memorycrafters.com.ph.

So hurry and SUBSCRIBE NOW by clicking on this link: SUBSCRIBE HERE

MC May

And since a lot of moms are asking if they can order for their kids ages 2-8 years old, we will be launching Memory Crafters Junior this May.

MC Junior May

TO subscribe, please click on the image above.

What arts and crafts activity would you want us to have in our future boxes? Are there any themes you would like us to create activities for? What brands do you want to try out and use? Leave your comment below!

Missing You…

I just gobbled down three baluts in just a few minutes. I can’t believe I did that. I really really missed eating it. Balut is one of my favorite “snacks”. Unlike me, my husband can’t stand it. He always asks me “in shock” how I manage to eat duck fetus.

Balut-1024x678
*Image from http://www.philipabadicio.com/its-more-fun-in-pateros/

There are a lot of things that I miss aside from balut. I have listed the top 5 things that I miss doing or having:

Number 2: I miss indulging in sweets!

I miss indulging!

I miss indulging!

*Watch out for my write up on Twelve Cupcakes Philippines in ManilaReviews.com

It’s true that when you hit 30, your metabolism slows down. I notice now that it’s harder for me to lose those extra pounds. When I was in high school, I would eat one gallon of ice cream while reviewing for our finals and not gain a single pound. I grew up loving sugar in any form or in anything. We used to put white sugar on top or our spam. My hubby finds that weird, too. Well, well, well… I find ketchup on top of spam weird! Our love of sugar may be because my mom grew up in Bacolod and she grew up loving sugar and anything sweet. The thing is, even if I want to indulge in sweets at this point in my life, I can’t! Every time I eat sweets at night (or actually anytime of the day), I notice my arms bloat or bulk up or whatever it is you call it, the next day. Then, I feel awkward wearing sleeveless blouses!

Number 3: I miss using Stilettos!

Miss using Stilettos!

Miss using Stilettos!

Awwww, I miss wearing stilettos. I actually have more than a dozen stilettos here at home which I used to wear to work. In the bank, we were required to be in heels all the time, so I was pretty used to wearing it. I just started “not” wearing them when I found out that I was pregnant. Now that I just work from home, I don’t think I need them anymore (sob…sob). It would be funny if I wear them while working in our dining area.

Number 4: I miss the beach!

I miss the beach!

I miss the beach!

I know that we just came from Boracay last November, but I really miss going to the beach. There was a time when I would go twice a year to beaches. I would love to go to different beaches and bring my daughter. Summer is actually the perfect time to accomplish this, but I’m just too busy! 🙁

And lastly…

Number 5: I miss going to the spa and feel so refreshed and clean after!
I don’t remember the last time I had a massage. I know it was after giving birth, but I’m not sure what month. I love the feeling after a day in the spa where you have everything done — from waxing to a body scrub to a massage to manicure and pedicure.

Oh well, at least I have products that I can use at home that make me feel like I’ve been to a spa, such as this one:

Asian Secrets

Asian Secrets is my favorite body scrub. The first time I saw it, I was a bit skeptical since I wasn’t familiar with the brand. But I heard from my sister-in-law that the product was great, so I tried it. The texture was not as coarse as the usual sugar or salt scrub, but it wasn’t as fine as the body scrubs that we are normally used to seeing in the grocery. I actually love the texture since Asian Secrets body scrub makes me feel so clean and fresh after. I also love the way it smells.

So even if I don’t get to go to the spa, at least I have the Lulur Indonesian Whitening Body Scrub. Oh, for the whitening aspect, I can’t really say it worked for me because I actually i’m quite fair already, but I love how it smoothens my skin.

So there you have it! These are the things that I miss…

How about you? What do you miss?

 

 

How to Manage your Online Business and How to Handle Projects

This year is really exciting! I’m launching another online business together with 4 wonderful ladies (which includes my sister) and an advocacy that encourages people to achieve an active lifestyle. A lot of people ask me how do I do that — how do I get to manage and be part of all these exciting endeavors and still fulfill my obligations at home. So this Saturday, my husband and I have agreed to be the speakers for the topic How to Manage Projects for the Real Ways to be a WAHM (work-at-home-mom). Work-at-home-dads are also welcome to join (since hubby is speaking, too!) and even single people! Actually, anyone and everyone who wants to learn how to manage projects and how to manage an online business is free to join.

Here are the details of the workshop:

Real Ways to be a WAHM

Real Ways to be a WAHM

Speakers

Speakers

This is the first time again since 2010 when me and my husband will be speaking as a team, so we are really excited for this. The both of us with Joy have really prepared a great workshop for you so we really hope that you can come and join us!

It’s not too late to sign up! Please register using this form.

We would like to thank Insular life and Swish for being our sponsors for this event. We would also like to thank Skinny Minis Cheesecake shop for being snack sponsors.

We can’t wait to see you on Saturday! Sign up now 🙂