I now have a yaya, and things have been a bit less stressful these days. Thank you, Ate Niks, for helping us out. As moms, we need to admit that at certain times in our lives, we actually need help (whether it be from your husband, parents, from helpers, etc.).

Speaking of help, since I know have extra time, I’ve been doing a lot of vlogging and research for my blog. Yup! Having a blog is no easy task. We don’t just take fancy pictures of the products that we have. We actually test them out and stand as guinea pigs no matter how grave the consequences are. I remember having severe rashes years ago when I tried out a lotion brand for the first time. I had rashes all over my legs. That time, I wasn’t too careful yet.

Now, I make it a point to test products on a small section of my skin before using them. I am extra careful now, especially for the things that I use for my daughter.

I now love products that are particularly made for sensitive skin, so it saves me the time to go through the plethora of products in the market. Recently, I discovered Nimble Babies, which is now in the Philippines (@nimblebabies.ph). Nimble is actually a brand from the UK and their products are all made to be child-safe and friendly.

These are the three products that I’ve tried from Nimble Babies Philippines:

Nimble Sticky Stopper Antibacterial Toy & Surface Cleaner

As mentioned in my video, I use it to clean Zeeka’s iPad case. Also, I use it to clean the dining table. You’ll never know when your kids pick up food that fall of from their plates. No matter how frequent you tell them to not to eat things that fall of from plates, they don’t listen.

Nimble Sticky Stopper removes sticky and greasy residue from food, chocolate, fruit juices, milk, etc. It also kills 99.9% of germs without using bleach. Bleach is such a strong chemical that is usually the dilution of sodium hypochlorite.

The Nimble Sticky Stopper from Nimble Babies Philippines uses lactic acid, a natural disinfectant derived from fermenting sugar. This is why it is safe for kids and you can use it to clean potties, high chairs, play mats, bibs, etc. It’s also fragrance-free so even if you use it on the dinner table, it’s fine. Some cleaner’s scent go against the aroma of food.

Nimble Milk Buster Baby Bottle Cleaner

Nimble Milk Buster from Nimble Babies Philippines makes cloudy and smelly plastic tumblers a thing of the past. It removes milk fat and proteins from containers making them free from cloudiness and nasty odour.

Usually, the liquid soap that we use for cleaning plates, etc. are mostly designed to wash away food grease and oil. This Nimble Milk Buster is especially formulated to take away milk fat and proteins from plastic.

Nimble Milk Buster does not contain chemical nasties like sulphates, dyes, enzymes, and chemical fragrances that can potentially cause irritation.
Because it’s safe to use, I use it to clean Zeeka’s plates, utensils, cups, etc. I personally use it to clean my coffee cup, whenever I have my latte. You can use it following these three easy steps:

  1. Add a bit of water into the container/tumbler.
  2. Spray Nimble Milk Buster 2 times.
  3. Brush, rinse and relax.

Nimble Laundry Lover Non-Bio Detergent

And last but not the least, check out the Nimble Laundry Lover. I use it to remove food and pee stains from Zeeka’s clothes. It’s safe for our sensitive skin, because it is made from 88% naturally-derived ingredients. It has a lovely light powdery fragrance with no allergens. Zeeka and I are prone to have allergies when we use strong and harmful detergents. With this, we didn’t experience any allergies. To make it skin friendly, it’s free from irritating enzymes, optical brighteners & dyes.

Just one capful will go a long way. They say that it can last up to 25 washes. I’ll try to finish one container and I’ll let you know. This can be used for both hand or machine wash.

Even if it’s gentle on the skin, it’s tough on stains! It removes stains like chocolate, tomato sauce, baby food, fruit juices, grass, mud, and more. It also takes care of the color of your clothes and doesn’t damage clothing.

So that’s it, peeps! Do check out Nimble Babies Philippines products.

Facebook: Nimble Babies Philippines

Instagram: @NimbleBabies.ph

I sound so crazy saying that. You might be wondering, who actually promises to be better at one’s profession or one’s job even.

Well, that’s the entire point. Only a few of us commit to be better at what we do.

When creating goals for this year, most of us write down financial goals, weight loss goals, travel goals, etc. Hardly do we take the time out to create action steps on how we might better our freelancing profession, how we run a company or a business or even how we work in the office. We only think about improving our profession, business or career when the going gets tough, when ratings are involved or when we’re trying to get a promotion.

I think this year is the year that we push ourselves into COMMITTING to do better in what we do. Since I’m a freelancer / entrepreneur, I commit to be better at both these things. I have listed down things that I will commit to.

I will commit to seeing my worth.

Last year, I have been scared of losing. I have been scared of losing a lot of deals with clients, losing relationships and losing opportunities. I agreed to some projects that have lowered my worth as a freelancer. This year, I commit to being braver, to seeing my strengths and to valuing myself. I commit to dealing with people who see the value that I can give them. I will constantly remind myself that I am worth every penny, because I deliver great value.

My Team: #TeamTaxumo

I will commit to deliver exceptional work.

I will commit to not only deliver projects ask of me, but deliver exceptional work. I will help my client with their objectives and contribute ideas and more than the scope of work given to me. I will continue to provide more value to brands that I trust and love.

I will commit to tracking my finances better.

I will commit to logging my income and expenses dutifully. I will commit to continuously using frequently-used-apps like PayPal, Taxumo, GCASH and UnionBank Mobile Banking and to use my not-so-frequently used apps like Wally, 52 Weeks and other apps that I have downloaded an paid for. I know that these will help me, but lazy me takes over! Haha! So I will commit to fixing my finances better this 2019.

I will commit to writing, blogging and vlogging more consistently.

I commit to creating better content — content that is from the heart and more purposeful. I promise that I will b/vlog about the things that my readers will be interested in and that they will learn from. I promise to be consistent, too. I will not let the week pass without creating content.

I promise to learn more about “other” things this year.

I usually come across things that I use for my craft, but I know that I need to learn or at least read about other things that are not related to what I do. I commit to read more, listen to people, meet new people and create new relationships with people. I commit to widening my network, since I know that this is how I’ll be able to learn more.

That’s about it. These are the things that I commit to as a freelancer.

How about you? Let’s start an accountability thread. Tell me about what you COMMIT to as a freelancer, entrepreneur, employee, profesional, parent, etc. I’d love to hear about it!

This year, as I promised to share more about my own personal thoughts, I’ll be sharing some intimate stuff today. I’ll be sharing with you the story of a part of my life where my insecurities run deep.

Let’s talk about beauty, what true beauty is and how my definition of beauty has evolved. Long post ahead! 😀

My Insecurities…

I was 3 🙂

We all give love, and want to be (liked or) loved, too. With this, since (they say) first impressions last, we want to look our best at any given time.

Early in life, my mom taught me that I needed to look good. As compared to my daughter now and how she is, I was the opposite. I hated wearing dresses. I was quite and shy. I loved running around, too. I was always the tallest in my class, and the biggest. These pictures that I’m sharing now was me when I was 3. Can you imagine? I looked more like a 6 year old girl.

Aside from my weight though, I looked very clean. I had an apple cut hair cut with neatly combed bangs. I had nice skin, because of how my parents and yaya took good care of me. When I was little, I remember my mom telling me not to run around too much, because I might trip and hurt myself. She said that scars last a long time, and it wouldn’t look good on my fair skinned legs.

When I was in grade school, I was a chubby kid. I always felt conscious about not being as slim as my classmates. I would compensate by studying hard to get good grades. Even when I lost a lot of weight on my way to high school (dropped from around 130 lbs to 107 lbs), I still felt heavy and big. I always wore a jacket because I was so conscious of showing my arms. Do you know that I only got over that when I was 25 years old? Haha! Talk about having major body issues.

Started losing weight when I was in Grade 6, so I was slimmer when I graduated 7th grade.
First year High School

I really did have issues with the way I looked. It’s not because I’m vain or anything like that, but it’s about my eternal lack of confidence. Up until now, people don’t know this, but I still get VERY self-conscious. Sometimes, when I go to events, I feel awkward. I don’t know why I still have voices in my head that tell me that I’m not good enough or that I shouldn’t be here because I’m not worthy.

2009 – Our wedding 🙂

My ever so patient husband would tell me that I’m crazy and weird to think that way about my body. He always assures me that I’m fine.

How I try to stop these thoughts …

I love observing other people — how they react to certain situations, how they cope, how they think, etc. In this journey of mine, what I’ve realized is that people don’t really care so much about the way you look. What matters more to them is who you are as a person — are you reliable? are you trustworthy? do you have integrity? are you honest and kind? are you caring?

I’ve seen movies, films, advertisements, etc. that constantly show us what our standard of beauty should be. They define the standards on what being physically beautiful is.

I was in my late 20s that I realized that people are too busy to care about the way you look. I then consciously made an effort to stop listening to the voices in my head, and committed to to the opposite of what the voice would say. I would wear anything that I wanted to wear. I would eat anything that I wanted to eat. I felt free.

What happened when I stopped listening to the voices in my head…

I started loving myself. I started to see my strengths, utilized these abilities and started to shine! I started seeing problems around me that I wanted to solve. I slowly saw things that I could do, and that eventually led me to find my purpose in life.

This was when my own interpretation of true beauty changed.

About my friend, Cat…

My friend Cat Arambulo-Antonio is the country’s representative for the MASJ Squad (MERZ Aesthetics Serendipity Journey) campaign. She’ll be sharing her journey alongside 10 women from other countries in Asia Pacific to redefine self-care and see it as something that is deeper: Self-love. I attended the launch, and Cat’s words (and the entire campaign) reminded me of my own journey.

“When you look good physically, you will feel much greater inside,”

Cat Arambulo – Antonio
Know more about Cat here: https://myserendipityjourney.com/meet_the_squad/cat-arambulo-antonio/

I, personally, was moved by this campaign about true beauty. Wanting to look good shouldn’t be looked down upon. If we feel good about ourselves and if we love ourselves, then we get to “see” other people. Oftentimes, what happens is, we divert our attention now from ourselves to other people — we focus on taking care and loving others, solving society’s problems and adding value to the world.

On Merz Aesthetics…

(L-R) Merz Asia Pacific Regional Commercial Director Conway Rappa, Merz Philippines Marketing Manager Judith Albano-Cantada, Cat Arambulo-Atonio, Merz Asia Pacific Regional Marketing Communications Manager
Kris Leong, and Merz Philippines Country Manager Jorge Libanan

Merz Aesthetics has been a driver of innovation in the field of aesthetic medicing since one of the first anti-wrinkle moisturizing creams was launched in 1953. They are a global, family-owned aesthetics and neurotoxin company backed by 110 years of trust and commitment.

“I definitely trust the treatments that Merz offers not only because it really works, but it has contributed to building my self-assurance,” says Cat.

I’ve looked at their products and services, and I’m really interested now to try out their services. Cat has been telling me about the wonders of Ultherapy and how it made her face look more elongated.

For more information on the Merz Aesthetics Serendipity Journey, you may visit https://www.myserendipityjourney.com and Like and Follow My Serendipity Journey on Facebook and Instagram. Also, visit www.merzaesthetics.com.

Yours truly with Cat Arambulo – Antonio and Sam Lewis.

When we talk about beauty, it’s really not just about what the human eye can see. It’s also about confidence, charisma and character. Life is not about getting people to like you, but it’s about loving yourself. It’s about wanting to be a better you everyday, so you can be of service to others.

Thanks, Cat and Merz Aesthetics for inspiring me to be a better version of myself again this year! Congratulations on this campaign, and may it inspire more women to love themselves!

Everyone agrees that the internet is an awesome place. It has become a vital part of our everyday lives.

But like everything else, the internet also has a dark side. And this is why we parents must always remain vigilant. We must maintain some sort of parental control to what our kids access.

Project Nightfall captures this problem perfectly in this 2-minute video:

There have been many reports of cybercrimes reported all around the globe each year. The most vulnerable to these are children and teens.

According to Stay Safe Online, the biggest threats facing children and teens online include video streaming sites and online video games.

In fact, an extremely popular kid’s game received flak from parents everywhere because of one father’s shocking discovery.

Father of 2 boys Iain Morrison can prove this is true. He found out that his kids were being contacted by pedophiles through an online game.

Project Nightfall also talks about the lack of filter in Youtube’s algorithm in this controversial video: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectNightfall/videos/952482224961083/

DQ Institute says the average Filipino child spends about 34 hours a week on digital screens. This result is two hours higher than the global average.

Because of this, Filipino kids aged 8 to 12 years old are more exposed to unhealthy habits of digital usage. It also makes them more vulnerable to cyber attacks. These include cyberbullying and inappropriate sexual behaviors.

This is why it’s important for us parents and guardians to exercise parental control on gadget use and how our kids consume data.

“It may not be enough to just teach kids about whom to talk to, safety in and out of the home, what to read or watch on TV; parents should also guide their kids when it comes to their online experience” 

Martha Sazon, Globe Telecom’s Senior Vice President and Head of Broadband Business

Globe Telecoms recently launched #Rated PC (Parental Control), an advocacy campaign encouraging Globe at Home Postpaid subscribers, parents and guardians to emphasize the importance of parental supervision in children’s internet use.

#Rated PC aims to educate parents and guardians on how kids can maximize the use of gadgets and the internet. The advocacy also aims to cut the risks and dangers kids get exposed to in the online world.

Here are some of their tips to help protect kids from online threats:

Limit Screen Time

It’s important to limit the screen time for kids especially the younger ones. Check out this quick guide from CiPHR.

For older kids who need to do school work, limiting screen time also helps them manage it efficiently. It also helps to put computers and laptops in an area where you can see them.

Protect Identity and Security

Your kids must learn that “stranger danger” also applies in the online world as well.

Tell them the importance of protecting their identity and privacy. And always remind them to keep personal information safe from strangers they meet online.

Check Sources

The internet can also be a platform for fake news and other misleading information.

Teach children to check sources and go to credible sites for news. From time to time, kids should be reminded that not everything they see or read online is true.

Online responsibility

It is important for your kids to learn the value of their words and actions both online and offline.

They need to be responsible for the comments they leave on other people’s posts. Words can have a significant effect on other people even if it’s just online.

So make sure your kids practice respect. Inappropriate or vulgar words, profanities, body shaming, and name calling shouldn’t be tolerated.

Activate parental control

There are several options for parents when it comes to activating parental control in home devices.

One way to go is to enable parental control settings on your computer. Here’s a guide for setting up parental controls for Windows users.  Here’s how you can turn it on in your Mac devices.  

There are also tons of apps that let you control screen time and other content in your mobile phones and devices. Here’s an awesome list of the best parental control apps from Tom’s Guide.

Internet service providers usually bundle parental control features for their online service.  One example is the TP-Link Device bundled especially for Globe At Home Postpaid subscribers.

It allows parents to easily set up controls for internet access. These features can protect kids from various online threats and safeguard their network from unwanted content.

It can also restrict or block access to unsuitable sites, deploy anti-virus software, manage all connected devices, and even enhance WiFi signal inside the home.

As parents, we know how scary the world can get. And we all want to protect our kids from all threats, seen and unseen.

That’s why it’s necessary for us to exercise paternal control with the information they can access. Because innocence, once lost, will be gone forever.

Protect your home from virtual threats today. For more information about Secure WiFi Bundle and other products and services by Globe At Home, visit https://www.globe.com.ph/broadband.html.

Our office is always quite a lovely and chaotic place to be in. Even though we (Taxumo) deal with one of the most tedious and complicated processes in a business or a freelancer’s life, our team still remains joyous and positive about this reality. We still have our daily banters and laughs. One of the things that we talked about recently was to urge one of us, Kuya Jojo, to be an influencer. And I really think that he could be one!

Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

Since we’re talking about influencers, I’d love to share my opinion on such a term.

I think that each one of us has the ability to “influence” another individual. Hey, I could influence my husband right this instant, but probably not when it comes to exercising… haha! The thing about influencing is that WE could ALL possibly do it given we have these things.

  1. Right audience: When I say the RIGHT audience, it means that the person has a receptive audience who trusts him/her. As you know, trust is built over time, and trusting a person stems from a previously established relationship or at least from borrowed trust from another person or entity (example: referred by another trusted friend, or they have mutual friends, etc.).
  2. Right message: RIGHT message means content that triggers a response from the audience, and this may be because it’s a shared, relatable experience. It may be something also that appeals to the emotion of the chosen audience.
  3. Right timing: If you want to get people to buy a cold drink, the perfect time will be on a hot day. If you want to get people to go to the gym, the perfect time to tell them will probably be after the holidays. Timing is very important in convincing people to do a certain action.
  4. Right “messenger”: Which I will expound on more below!

Now looking at people whom we consider influencers, you’ll notice that what differentiates any Tom, Dick and Harry from them is just basically the scale of their influence. But don’t mistake the scale of influence with the number of followers. One may have a massive amount of followers and yet, still have a minimal scale of influence.

The thing though about Influencer Marketing is that only a few get to see its benefits. And as a marketer, it’s mostly because of the lack of tracking of metrics and key performance indicators. Understandably so, we can’t tell the influencer to wear a shoe that she endorses and give a code to everyone who compliments her shoe. That would just be a bit too forced! But we all still try our best (brands, agencies, influencers) to work towards understanding how influencer marketing can work for all of us.

In this journey of understanding the world of influencers, many have become disappointed and disheartened.

My personal belief is that a lot of confusion stems from the fact that the term “influencers” itself is a bit unclear and confusing for many (since we always think it’s the number of followers). A lot of the content creators who strive to be “influencers” end up disheartened when they don’t easily get to their target number of people. A lot of brands and agencies are also disappointed because the influencer-strategy that they implemented didn’t result to achieving their target objectives.

Instead of striving to be Influencers, strive to be Thought Leaders. The reason why I like this term is that it involves not only gaining a number of followers, but going to the extent of being an authority or an expert in a certain field. People will naturally will flock to you because of what you know and the value that you can give them. With the exchange of values, a true relationship is built.

I also like this the term thought leaders, because it feels like these people are thought of to be partners of the brands who commission them. These people think of ways on how to improve the industry, improve the lives of their followers — basically, they truly and genuinely care.

Maybe the change of terminology will help, or maybe it won’t. These things actually make the world of marketing and advertising such a fun industry, don’t you think? 🙂

Hope I influenced you today. 🙂