Rural Dame on Instagram... and More!

Rural Dame is finally on Instagram!

This is so I can share mini posts and reviews since I am often too busy to create long posts for the blog.

We are also on Facebook and Twitter. Come follow! :)

Google Adsense: My First Ever Payout

It's been over a month since my last post and I admit, I really miss blogging. But as usual, I do not have the luxury of time to do stuff online because I am still the main caregiver of my son. In fact, I have become busier than ever because we moved house and we are expected to do almost everything for ourselves. Totally different from the previous house wherein we can eat without cooking, we have clean clothes without doing the laundry, we have fresh foods, vegetables and fish without going to the market, etc. But miracles do happen. LOL! Well, my inspiration to write this post reached the highest level, so high that I can't sleep without posting. :D

The inspiration I am referring to is the recent Google Adsense payout. Yes, it's the first for me after so many years of blogging. :D It's feels fulfilling to be finally earning from the things you worked hard for. naks!

What I Like... and Dislike About Being a Hands-on Mama

It's been four months since I gave birth to my darling son and so far I'm surviving. LOL! Motherhood is such a lovely experience especially when your child makes eye-to-eye contact with you or clings to you and would never let you go. But honestly, it's not a walk in the park thing. While there are lots of wonderful things being a hands-on (and yayaless) mama gives, there are also some things I dislike about it. Here they are:

1. Lack of sleep
Like most mothers, I find the first couple of months difficult. Aside from having to deal with my CS pain and recovery, I also kept on waking up to feed my child (breastfeeding mama here!), make sure that he is not cold or overheating, check for soiled diaper, and often, to check if he is still breathing (yes, I'm one paranoid mama). Lucky if I can get a three-hour uninterrupted sleep but that is not the case usually. Thankfully, now that my son is a bit older, he no longer needs to be fed every hour or so. Additionally, the number of times he poop has now decreased to once or twice a day from around five times a day when he was younger.

2. Lack of or less me-time
When you become a mom, the concept of "me" seems to disappear instantly. Almost everything you do is dependent on your child's needs, schedule, likes, etc. For moms like me who doesn't have a helper, it is already a luxury if you can enjoy a 15-minute bath time and surely it is hard to find time for a waxing session, bonding with your girlfriends or other activities you used to do before the baby. And now that my son is already four months old, there is nothing in the world that he wants but to be with me, to latch, to see me, hear my voice and maybe even just to smell me. If there is no trace of my presence around, he becomes fussy and will eventually cry. My husband suggested that we get someone to help me take care of him so that I will have time for myself but I think I am not yet ready for him to develop strong attachment to people other than myself, my husband and our families. :D Anyway, this phase won't last long (maybe just five years or so) so I'm willing to sacrifice. I know I can get as much me-time as I want when he is already of school age.

3. Can't leave the house immediately
Mothers are emotional human beings particularly when it comes to their children. Being away, be it for an hour or a day, can be a real struggle and that makes leaving the house difficult. Additionally, it is motherly instinct to ensure that everything is in order before leaving - sterilize feeding bottles, prepare milk, give bath, feed, etc. So when I need to leave the house by 9 am, I should be awake not later than 6:00 am to give me enough time to do all the things that I need to do.

Motherhood is not just about dislikes though. The likes actually outweigh the dislikes in my case.

Althea Korea Haul

Previously, I talked about my shopping experience with Althea Korea. This time, I will be blogging about my haul. My Php 1509 got me the following items:

  • Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel - ₱245 ₱180
  • NellaAura B.B Foundation - ₱720 ₱270
  • W-Lab Sebum Out - ₱560 ₱280 
  • Etude House Baking Powder Pore Cleansing Foam - ₱390 ₱270
  • Elizavecca Skin Liar Primer - ₱1,000 ₱280
  • The Face Shop Bamboo Soothing Gel - ₱348 ₱270
  • Etude House Drawing Eye Brow - ₱178 ₱160
  • Elizavecca Black Head solution 3-Step Nose Pack - ₱140 ₱60

As you can see, the items I got are all on sale and I love it! The total cost of the items should be Php 1770 but since I used the Php 150 discount/points I got by subscribing to their newsletter, Php 61 discount of new arrival items and another Php 50 due to the coupon code I used, the amount due was reduced to Php 1509. And since my purchase exceeded Php 1500, shipping fee is waived.

Althea Korea Shopping Experience

It's been three months since I gave birth to my son and being a hands-on, still "yaya-less" mama, I have been out of the house twice or thrice only - either to shop for the most basic needs or process some documents like my SSS Maternity benefit. I haven't had the chance to do my usual "check check" of items like beauty and skin care products, shoes, clothes and household stuff since each time I go to the mall, I always hurry back home to be with my bundle of joy.

So what's a busy mom who needs her beauty supplies got to do? Online shopping! I was supposed to shop from a local vendor but for some reason, their system will not accept my credit card number and I didn't have paypal funds that time so I went to look for other sites. I chanced upon Althea Korea and upon checking, I learned that they offer a wide range of Korean products at a lesser price.

Filling my virtual shopping bag is fun but confusing since I'm only familiar with a few Korean brands. Reading product reviews helped a lot though.

When purchasing, one needs to have an account with them. Creating an account is very easy. You just have to fill out the form below and submit. Also, if you subscribe to their newsletter, you will be given Php 150 points which you can use when purchasing.

Once you are sure of the product you want to buy, all you have to do is simply click the "BUY" button on the right side of the screen as shown below. When you are done choosing the products and ready to pay, you just have to click the "CHECKOUT" button on the right side of the screen. If you have a discount/coupon code, you need to enter it before checking out. You will also need to decide whether or not to use all your points (Php 150) for this purchase. As for me, I decided to use all as I'm not sure when I will be purchasing again and the remaining points, should I not use all, might be considered expired by then.

SSS Maternity Benefit for Separated (from Employers) Members

During the early stages of my pregnancy, I thought of leaving my work in a BPO company to focus on my pregnancy but I was hindered by a misconception that I can only avail of the SSS Maternity benefit when I'm employed. However, upon reading some forums, I learned that every pregnant member, whether employed or not, is entitled to avail of the maternity benefit. So after careful consideration, I handed my resignation letter to the company's HR officer and a month after, I bade good bye to the company after almost nine years of love-hate relationship.

Separated members shouldn't have hard time processing their SSS Maternity benefit if the HR officer is well-informed regarding this matter or if their is enough information available online. In my case, the HR officer from my former company haven't experienced a case similar to mine and the SSS employee in-charge of receiving the documents is not clear with his instructions regarding the requirements, so it took me a little longer to finish processing. But I wouldn't rant about that since the purpose of this post is to share information to other members whose situation is similar to mine.

So here are the requirements/documents separated SSS members need to submit in order to be granted the SSS Maternity benefit:

Hello from the Other Side!

It's been a while since my last post and you probably know why - motherhood! If I've said this before, let me say this again, "It's the most exhausting activity I've ever took." It entails lots of sleepless nights, changing of soiled diapers, feedings, carrying a 13-pound baby and a lot more motherly duties. When you become a mother, you start doing some things you haven't done before and stop doing (at least temporarily) some things you used to do before.

No, I am not saying goodbye to this blog. This is too precious for me to abandon. This post is simply meant to let you know that I'm still alive but is too busy to write relevant articles to be posted. I cannot even work on my tasks for three straight hours. I have to squeeze in breastfeeding or changing soiled diaper in between. Truly a big chunk of my time is spent on motherhood - especially that I did not hire a helper for my son. It is indeed a 24/7 job, no rest days or vacation leaves. But I am not complaining. Seeing my son smile each time he sees me is more than enough to pay off my effort. And I am thankful for the opportunity to earn while at home to be the primary person to care for my son.

Here's hoping I can find a way to update this blog regularly (even if not as often as before) but if if not, I'm sure you will understand that I am having a time of my life with my 2-month old. 

Review: Disney Manual Breast Pump

Having been exposed to breastfeeding moms (co-workers) even before getting married, I have learned about the benefits of breast milk and how amazing a woman's body can be for being able to nourish her child with what s/he needs. From then on, I already made the decision to breastfeed my own child when the time comes. So when I learned about my pregnancy, breastfeeding is one of the topics I often read. I even attended a breastfeeding seminar initiated by breastfeeding advocates here in Iloilo. I also read about breast milk expression, breast pumps and other related topics.

I have been thinking of buying an electric breast pump but since I wasn't sure if I will be able to produce milk in the first place, I decided to go for manual pump first since it isn't as costly. A few weeks before giving birth, I bought this Disney Manual Breast pump at SM City Iloilo.

My breast milk came four days post partum. And since my baby wasn't with me during the first week of his life (left at the hospital due to infection), my breast pump came in handy. During the first session, I was able to express very small amount of breast milk, just a few drops in fact. Imagine, yielding only just a few drops of breast milk after pumping for around 10 minutes?! It was indeed frustrating! I almost give up but then, knowing the importance of colostrum to a baby encouraged me to continue.

My Labor Story

It's been a little over a month since I gave birth and obviously, I got my hands full with everything motherhood related thus explains the scarcity of my posts. But to celebrate our little duck's first month, I am sharing to you my labor story.

It all started on the 25th of April, I was 39 weeks and 4 days (based on my first ultrasound) back then. I went in for my regular prenatal check up. As per my OB, I was only 1cm dilated (been 1cm dilated since my last week's check up). My OB advised that I be admitted on the same day for I'm already overdue based on my last ultrasound (EDD is April 18). Besides, she won't be around on the next few days so she wanted that I give birth before she leave. I know I could have resisted and instead wait for labor to come naturally but since I already wanted to give birth and I never wanted other doctos to handle me, I agreed.

After my check up, I went home and got ready. We left the house at around 5 PM and arrived at the hospital past six in the evening. We could have arrived earlier if it weren't for traffic congestion caused by road repairs.

At the emergency room, I gave the ER personnel the letter with instruction from my OB. I was attended to by the ER nurse and I couldn't recall the number of times I was asked the same set of questions such as the first day of my last menstrual period (LMP), allergy triggers, past pregnancies/miscarriages, etc. I think every resident OB and interns asked every patient the same questions. I wonder why this is so. I think they could have shared the info to each other so that they never have to ask the patient the same questions again and again.

After changing into my hospital gown, blood extraction for my labs and monitoring of fetal heart rate, I was wheeled into the OB ward. The OB ward of IDH is air-condiioned with one sink and CR that can accommodate six patients at a time. When we got there, there were just two other patients so there are spare beds for our "bantays" to sleep in.

At around 10PM, I was wheeled into the labor room for the non-stress test. After the test, IV fluid infused with oxytocin (for induction) was attached to me. Despite the oxytocin, I felt nothing. Still no sign of labor whatsoever. FHR and vital signs were monitored regularly.

Quote of the Month: May

Yes, this is so true. I may have “mothered” some of my nephews but bearing my own child is a different thing entirely. With my son, I get to experience the highs and lows of pregnancy - the joys of hearing my son's heartbeat for the first time, the kicks and movements especially during the last trimester, the anticipation, the labor pain (ended up having C-Section), the sadness and fear when told he is to be left at the hospital for a few more days and the overwhelming happiness of finally taking him home after a few days of limited interaction. The experience is one for the books and my heart is filled with gratitude for this opportunity.

Computer Desk Inspiration

It's been weeks since my resignation and so far I'm loving my new life working from home, doing wife duties and rest in betweens. Before my resignation, I already thought of getting a more comfortable desk and chair for my workstation but since I am about to give birth, I postponed the purchase to reserve all the extra money we have for any unexpected expenses during childbirth.

I plan to buy once the baby is out and settled at home. His needs are our top priority and for now, I just satisfy myself by looking around for inspirations.
This one from Amazon is just perfect, exactly what I want for myself.

Pre-delivery Wish List

Time flies so fast especially when you are having fun, however, when you are waiting for something, or someone, it isn't unusual for you to want to fast forward for that moment to arrive.

Our most awaited month has finally come and any day from now, our little boy will be completing our little family. Waiting brings about a mix of emotion and I already imagine myself holding my precious boy. To divert my mind from all the waiting woes, I just keep it busy by blogging, blog-hopping, bonding with my family and... shopping! While the basic needs are already complete and packed, there are some stuff I want need to get to make motherhood easier and more enjoyable and convenient.

Ring sling carrier
As a family who loves to go out from time to time, we would surely need this to carry our boy around. Aside from that, I think I can also benefit from this on a daily basis since we do not plan on getting someone to help me care for our baby. I will be the one to care for him in addition to working in front of the computer and doing some household chores so this carrier will hopefully enable me to do those without leaving him all by himself in the crib.
Nursing cover
I may be determined to breastfeed my child but I am still not comfortable to breastfeed in public without any cover. Of course, I can use a swaddle to cover us but if I can get a nursing cover, then why not?

Breast pump
Another breastfeeding weapon! I prefer a manual pump over an electric one since I will be with my child most of the time and the purchase of an expensive electric breast pump may not be necessary. I may only use this pump when leaving the house without him.
Breastfeeding accessories
This includes nipple shield, nursing pads, milk storage bags and other stuff to make breastfeeding possible and convenient for me.

Exploring Harbour City Dimsum House

Aside from Korean restaurants, another Asian gastronomic spot common in Iloilo City is that of the Chinese. Well, it isn't unusual since there are a lot of Chinoys who are permanently residing in the city since many many years ago.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I "explored" Harbour City Dimsum House in SM City Iloilo. We've been meaning to try the said resto since its opening however, it is always crowded and this pregnant woman didn't have the patience to wait for a few minutes. However, two weeks ago, we went to the resto around 30 minutes before lunch time hence we were accommodated immediately since there are a few unoccupied tables.

Initially, we ordered dimsum experience, beef sate regular and beef steak rice.

The beef steak rice (Php 69) was served immediately as it was readily available from their food cart. I love that the beef is tender amd the taste is just right - not bland and not too salty. Even the husband who is not a big fan of beef and pork loved it so it is definitely good.

Quote of the Month: April

The waiting game is coming to an end. Oh well, less than a month to go actually since I just turned 36 weeks last Thursday. Less than a month! He will be with us in a matter of weeks and I couldn’t be more excited. I’d like to believe that I’m ready for everything but as a first timer, nothing can really prepare me for everything.

Our bags are packed, documents ready and I have started exercising every morning which I hope is enough to strengthen my body for that one big push. I really hope everything will turn out as I hope for.

Please say a little prayer for me and my baby as we await the big day. Thank you!

10 Things March

I couldn't be more glad for this month to be over soon because April is an exciting month for us. As you all know, our little one is expected to join us around the end of the month. Also, my life as a work-at-home mama begins so I have been preparing myself for it. You can tell it through the articles and blog posts I've been reading this past few days.

1. 4 Major Career Moves You Should Make Before You're 30

I haven’t baked anything for the past couple of months and I’m planning to do so in the coming days. Here’s the recipe I want to try next...

2. Easy One Pot Fudge Brownies

And of course, the rest is about pregnancy and parenting in general.

3. This Woman Applied A Full Face Of Makeup While In Labor

4. Unboxing the Philippine General Hospital Charity Ward, Part I: The OB Admitting Section and Delivery Room

5. The Birth Story of Orion David

6. My Breastfeeding Journey

7. 5 Things Breastfeeding Advocates Should Never Do

8. The Benefits of Babywearing

9. Neglectful Parenting | A Newly Accepted Form of Parenting?

10. We Are That Family

Getting There!

Yesterday marked the last day of my work with the company I have been with for the last eight years (almost nine years). Technically, my resignation is effective on March 31 but since I have company leave credits left, I decided to use them on days preceding the day of my resignation to advance my rest period.

Also, I'm turning 35 weeks tomorrow and two or three more weeks from now, it is already safe to pop out our baby boy. So yes, I am almost there! Close to getting the life I want - bear a child before I turn 30, become a work-at-home mama and have more time for my husband while still having time for myself and the things that I love to do.

Now, with more free time and less pressure from an office setting, I can focus on my preparations for the "big day" and beyond. With this, I commit myself to take morning walks at least 30 minutes everyday and maybe join my husband when he go jogging in the afternoon. I also need to get our hospital bag ready before the month ends so I'll have one less thing to worry about.

Additionally, I have been trying to write and schedule as much blog posts as I can for I know I may not have much time to blog when the baby comes.

For now, I am enjoying the "slowness" of my life. I am enjoying the remaining "just us" (me and the husband) days.

And while at it, let me share to you a video of my active baby and some photos I took using the camera of my phone during my walks.

How to Clean A Suede Footbed

My footwear may not be Birkenstock but at least it has suede footbed which I really love. This sandal from CLN provides great comfort to my arthritic, plantar fasciitis feet. I bought it when I was only a month pregnant for I know my feet will be working harder than before in the succeeding months because of the weight I will be gaining as my pregnancy progresses. I have been using it almost everyday to work and even during pre-natal check ups, strolling around and every possible situation. Seven months later, the pair is still as comfortable as ever however, it has become dirty and started to smell. Ewwww!

I wanted to ditch it for good but since I love it and it costed me over a thousand pesos (for me, anything over Php 1000 should be worn until it's worn out), I started searching for ways to address the issue. My husband suggested that I buy something to eliminate the smell but I know I want more than that. :D I want to eliminate the dirt as well!

Instead of buying a cleaning agent I might use only once or twice, I decided to use something that is readily-available in the kitchen - and it's no other than baking soda. It's safe, cheap and definitely effective!

My Love-hate Relationship with Candy Crush

...and the lessons I learned from the game.

When this game first came out, I didn’t really pay attention to it thinking it is just one of those games I’ll be playing for a little while and abandon it out of boredom caused by lack of update or requires other players’ gift or help to move on to the next level. Even after seeing my friends go crazy over it, still, I didn’t bother to even just take a peak as it wasn’t that appealing to me until I heard my co-workers talked about it like it’s the most entertaining game ever. And they aren’t even gamers! It intrigued the curious cat in me thus I tried playing, telling myself that I will only play the first few levels just to find out how this game works.

Fast forward to 2016, I am still playing and currently at level 1400+.

My relationship with this game is not an easy one. LOL! There are times when I want to quit playing either because I can’t survive a hard level or I want to get rid of the addiction, with the former being the most well-founded reason. However, this “sugar addiction” in me prevails so the game remains.

So what warrants this post? If you think that I am running out of topics to post, then you are partly right. LOL! Kidding aside, I just want to share some insights I learned after years of playing this game. This game taught me to:

Going Japanese at Mr. Misono Atria Park District Iloilo

One fine work day, a stressed husband asked if we can go out and go somewhere we can chill and relax. Since it’s was holday (EDSA Anniversary) and the company is not stringent with attendance during special holidays, I decided to take a half day off and be with him wherever he wants to go.

We went to Atria in San Rafael, Mandurriao as it isn’t usually crowded as compared to malls during a holiday. We scout the vicinity for restaurants we haven’t tried before and we ended up at Mr. Misono. What we initially planned to have “light snacks” and just chill turned into a food trip that resulted into a bill that costed us as much as what we usually pay for lunch or dinner. No, the foods aren’t that expensive but they are so good we ended up ordering more.

Initially, we ordered Judoka burger, California Maki and miso soup. We devoured them so fast that my husband decided that we order one more burger. We added M.E. burger and later on malted milk for dessert.

The Judoka burger (Php 144) and M.E. burger (Php 125) are almost the same except that the former has breaded onions. Patties of both burgers are crispy.


Remember the big decision I talked about in this post?

Well, I finally did it! I already handed my resignation letter to our HR officer. Yes, after almost nine years with the company, I will be leaving its arms soon. Back then, it was a hard decision to make especially upon learning that I am pregnant because I know, having a kid nowadays can be very costly. Additionally, I want to earn and save as much as I can to secure his future. However, as my due date is getting near, the thought of getting back to work and leaving him at home made me realize that this is not the set up I want for us.

First and foremost, I want to exclusively breastfeed him for at least three years. I want to be around during every milestone and teach him values I want him to have. I want to be the one to prepare his foods and use cloth diaper on him. I want to be with him every step of the way and I know it would be impossible if I go back to work after my two-month (or 100 days when the bill is passed into law) maternity leave. Also, I' afraid I may no longer work as efficiently as before due to lack of sleep when the baby decides to go on a night shift and that would definitely affect my performance at work.

So after careful consideration and months of "thinking" along with my husband's support, I finally handed my "freedom letter". While I may no longer have a stable income in the days to come, it is liberating to know that I am no longer tied to my responsibilities in the office. I can work during my free time (blogging and some part time online jobs) and be with our son all the time. I just have to practice my money management skill this time. :D

Effective date of my resignation is at the end of this month and I can't wait to enjoy my free time, my me-time, before the arrival of our little one.

Saturday Dinner at Hukad sa Golden Cowrie, SM City Iloilo

Change is inevitable.

If you’ve never been to Iloilo for a couple of years or so, you might not have seen how progressive it has become. New business establishments are sprouting everywhere and the existing ones have been renovated to cater to the growing needs of the people. One of those establishments that has just gotten a facelift, or at least an expansion, is the SM City Iloilo in Mandurriao.

The expansion gave way to various shops, service centers and restaurants including Hukad sa Golden Cowrie. Hukad, which originated in Cebu, offers all time Filipino favorites such as lechon kawali, kare kare and adobong pusit along with many Visayan menus.

The other week, we tried their chicken pandan, ngo hiong and bulalo soup.

Chicken pandan (Php 146), deep fried marinated chicken wrapped in pandan leaves.

Quote of the Month: March

I couldn't find any better quote to describe my current situation now than the one above. Eversince I became pregnant, my tummy has been growing rounder and my body wider and weirder. Weird in a sense that, I find myself disliking the foods I used to love before and craving for foods (hello chocolates and grilled pork) I can do without pre-pregnancy. Weird in a sense that I have been suffering from constipation whereas I used to have very regular bowel schedule. And weird in a sense that a little human being with a beating heart is doing somersault inside me.

And like other expecting parents, I and my husband often talk about how our baby will look like and what his characteristics will be. Will he inherit my big eyes? Will he grow up an artist like his father? These are just some of the questions we often ask ourselves and I'm glad that we will get answers in a matter of time. Just a couple of months actually. 

Right now, my heart is filled with everything. Fear, not of labor pain but of the possibilities such as preterm labor, overdue, meconium infection and most of all, C-section. But more than the negative thoughts I need to brush aside, I am more excited and eager to push him out of my womb so I can have him in my arms. I'm pretty sure I’d be emotional when the time comes.

But for the next few weeks, I’ll just wait and continue to grow rounder, wider and weirder while wondering who he’ll turn out to be.

10 Things February

This month, I am starting a new series called "10 Things" in which I will be listing articles, blog posts or any site I find helpful, entertaining or anything that caught my fancy.

Since I am into improving my blog’s stats and eventually earning potentials, majority in the list for this month is about blogging.

1. Etsy
This is the Etsy shop where I got my current blog template. I love that all the features listed in the sales page are fully functional. The purchase comes with complete documentation and if the help provided by the document is not enough, you can always contact the developer. The support is impressive, unlike the other developer whom I got the other template from.

I find this post enlightening and reminds me to never settle for anything less.

In this post, Meg (the blogger) mentioned a few sites where one can find sponsored partnerships, ads and affiliate marketing.

As the title implies… this is a great reminder for bloggers so they will be able to improve their online presence (and manners!). 

I know I may never earn as much as she does but even just 1/10 of it is enough for me. LOL!

Number one reason is sooo me. The rest, I can relate too!

Priorities and Decisions

Starting a family, particularly bearing a child, is a very important decision to make. You cannot just randomly decide that you want to settle down and bear a child right away. You have to consider lots of things, commitment and finances among others. In addition to love, family life needs a strong commitment from you and your partner for it is what holds the relationship together. Love is more likely to jump out of the window when one of you is not committed to make it work. Yes, it is also likely to jump out of the window when hunger knocks the door. LOL!

Kidding aside, you (if you are a regular reader) are probably already aware that this year is a BIG one for my little family since I and my husband will be welcoming our little bundle of joy in two months time. Since the time we learned about this pregnancy, there were lots of decisions made - the doctor to handle me, hospital to give birth to, foods and even the places we go to. Everything we plan to do, we always think twice. We always think of the consequences if we do this or we do that. Will it be good for the baby? Can it cause problems to my pregnancy? Should we buy this baby stuff even if there is a cheaper alternative?

With a baby coming, we really need to set our priorities straight (not that we haven’t set any priority pre-pregnancy) to ensure that we are able to give him the care and attention he deserves. Right now, I am in the middle, rather, towards the end of making an important decision that will greatly affect our lives. Before married life, it could have been a hard decision to make but with this bulging tummy, the pros definitely outweigh the cons now. I still can’t divulge now what I am trying to say or what the decision is about since it hasn’t happened yet but I will when the right time comes.

Korean Restaurants in Iloilo

Earlier this week, I, my husband and some friends enjoyed a Korean buffet dinner in one of the many Korean restaurants in the city. The day after that, pictures of a friend eating in another Korean restaurant appeared in my Facebook timeline. I then thought of other Korean restaurants I have been to before as well as the ones I haven’t been to. I realized that, indeed, the city has a lot to offer for this nationality when it comes to food destinations. Hence, the idea to list down these Korean restaurants is born.

Here, I am sharing this information not just for the Koreans by blood, but also Koreans by heart as well as those who just want to have their kimchi and galbi cravings satisfied.

This is the first Korean restaurant I’ve been to. It is located in Times Square Building across University of San Agustin. I love the ambiance of this restaurant as it is located along the Iloilo River, as the name implies. From the glass window, you can see the growing mangroves on the other side of the river bank, the Jalandoni bridge and of course, the river itself.

While I like this restaurant in terms of location and ambiance, I cannot say much about the food because we didn’t actually ordered Korean food. We ordered Japanese food in a Korean restaurant. LOL! Yeah we’re weird like that. I was craving for sushi that time thus explains it. But I think their food is okay based on the people coming to eat.

Don Galbi Restaurant
This is the second Korean restaurant in the city I’ve been to. It is located in Ledesco Village in La Paz, which for me is quite inconvenient to visit. But then, it is just beside the Korean salon a friend is raving about so one can just simply hop next door to have his or her Korean fix after having the mane fixed.

I love the setting of this resto for it is very Korean starting from leaving the footwear at the door to using Korean tables (table with short legs) with the customers sitting on the floor.  I love their galbi and they do not scrimp when it comes to side dishes. Service is fast too!

This is the third and recent Korean restaurant I’ve been to. It is located in Doña Aurora Subdivision near University of San Agustin. The area is small and can accommodate I think only around 25 to 30 people at a time. Also, since the area is small, they have few manpower too. I think there is only one or two servers thus the delay in delivering foods especially when they are running a promo like the Php 249 buffet we recently availed.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Pregnant Women

Love is not measured by material things alone. There can be so many ways to show a woman how much you love her aside from showering her with material gifts. More often, a woman would be content with attention and time spent with them but at some point, giving them something tangible is in order. Consider, for example, a pregnant woman who is having a hard time with her pregnancy. The mood swings and physical changes can affect every pregnant woman so why not do something to at least alleviate the negative effects they are feeling?

Since Valentine’s Day is just a few days away, give that woman in your life with something they’d be thankful for. Here are some gift ideas for your pregnant wife, sister or friend...

Pregnancy Pillow
Aside from fluctuating hormones, back pains and other discomforts make sleeping a struggle. And being pressured to get enough sleep for the sake of the baby makes it all frustrating. A lot of women suffering from pregnancy insomnia claim to find relief by using pregnancy pillows.

Pregnancy Band/Belt
Pregnant belly can get heavy starting from the end of second trimester until giving birth. Thus sleeping and moving around can be very difficult. This problem can be remedied by pregnancy bands and belts such as below.

12 Weeks To Go!

28 down, 12 more weeks to go! It’s amazing that my pregnancy has gotten this far without blunders and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. Now, my third and final trimester has started. I have started gathering the necessary baby stuff as early as 15 weeks of gestation but I have not started packing yet. My folks suggested that I should be ready by now though of course we want that I deliver full term.

Pants, onesie and bib set from our friends

Like any first timers, I can’t help but feel excited yet afraid at the same time. Afraid not of the pain caused by labor or birthing but afraid that something may go wrong - that I may not be able to do NSD or my baby will have to stay at the hospital longer or if I cannot breastfeed. Good thing, the husband has been so supportive and he keeps on motivating me that I can do it. Indeed, it is important to have a strong support system during pregnancy for it strengthens you physically and emotionally.

Corn Muffin Recipe

Corn muffin has become one of my favorite baked goodies ever since I first tasted it at a restaurant many many years ago. But I don’t remember my folks making it at home because of the scarcity of the ingredients particularly the cornmeal. Thankfully, Iloilo has been improving in terms of economy therefore giving ways for businesses to open including a few baking supply stores.

Cornmeal, and other baking ingredients and tools, can be bought at Chefs and Bakers located in Mandurriao, Iloilo. For less than Php 100, a pack can yield at least 100 pieces of medium-sized corn muffin.

Here's the dry ingredients.

Dry ingredients added into butter and sugar mixture.

Something New: Milea Rewards and Loyalty Program

Don’t you love it when the product you use offers rewards and loyalty program?

Just the other day, I received an email from Milea Bath and Body about their recently launched Rewards and Loyalty Program. This is such a good news for me since I and my husband have been using Milea organic shampoo for almost a year already. The program offers customers one point for every Php 1 spent for their products. Aside from that, they will also give 10 points for opening a store account and another 50 points for new referral that successfully completes a purchase for the first-time.

With this program, I’m pretty sure my next purchase will be more rewarding. I get to care for my hair the natural way plus I will be getting points I can redeem later on for discounts.

Want to start earning now? Create an account with them for your instant 10 points and additional Php 200 discount off your first order. Check out this link for more info.

Passbook Savings Account For Less!

Last week’s post about my 24-payday money challenge, I mentioned that I opened a passbook savings account with PSBank. Today. I will be talking about it here.

Gone are the days when you can only open a passbook savings account with at least Php 20,000 to Php 25,000. Nowadays, opening a passbook account is made easy because people can now open an account with Php 5,000. Yes, you read it right! Passbook account for Php 5,000.

All you have to do is go to the nearest branch, proceed to “New Accounts” teller and express your intention of opening account.

Product Features
Maintaining Balance PhP5,000
Daily Balance to Earn PhP5,000
Evidence of Deposit Passbook
Interest Rate 0.5000%
Interest Crediting Monthly
Service Fee PhP300 if account falls below required Average Daily Balance (ADB)

  • Ready availability of funds
  • Easy tracking of transactions through the passbook
  • Deposit earns interest
  • Additional column in the passbook lets you write down details on every transaction
  • Enroll in PSBank Online and PSBank Mobile, the Bank's secure and convenient electronic banking facilities, to be able to check your account balances and perform other banking transactions anytime, anywhere.

24-Payday Money Challenge

Last year, the 52-week money challenge made waves among people, especially young professionals, who aim to become financially stable. As one of those who want to become financially stable, I aspire to follow their lead, however, I find the 52-week money challenge a bit tedious. I'm afraid I may not be able to keep track of my progress and in turn might make me quit the challenge.

But determined to achieve something for the year 2015 in terms of my finances, I decided to create my own version of the challenge and that is when I came up with my 24-payday money challenge. In this scheme, I base the amount of money I need to save to my net income for that particular pay day. I started with 1% for January, 2% for February and so on…

Here’s the table for sample computation:

24-Payday Money Challenge Sample Computation

% of Savings
Net Income
Amount to be Saved
January 15 1% Php 10,000 Php 100
January 31 1% Php 10,000 Php 100
February 15 2% Php 10,000 Php 200
February 29 2% Php 10,000 Php 200
March 15 3% Php 10,000 Php 300
March 31 3% Php 10,000 Php 300
April 15 4% Php 10,000 Php 400
April 30 4% Php 10,000 Php 400
May 15 5% Php 10,000 Php 500
May 31 5% Php 10,000 Php 500
June 15 6% Php 10,000 Php 600
June 30 6% Php 10,000 Php 600
July 15 7% Php 12,000 Php 840
July 31 7% Php 12,000 Php 840
August 15 8% Php 12,000 Php 960
August 31 8% Php 12,000 Php 960
September 15 9% Php 12,000 Php 1080
September 30 9% Php 12,000 Php 1080
October 1 10% Php 12,000 Php 1200
October 31 10% Php 12,000 Php 1200
November 1 11% Php 12,000 Php 1320
November 30 11% Php 12,000 Php 1320
December 1 12% Php 12,000 Php 1440
December 31 12% Php 12,000 Php 1440
Savings for 2015
Php 17880

No-bake Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

No-bake oreo cheesecake is one of the recipes I always wanted to try. However, the brand of cream cheese available in my area is often limited to expensive ones so I felt like there is no room for mistake. LOL! Thankfully, there’s a branch of Chefs and Bakers in the city and they are selling cream cheese that is a bit cheaper compared to the ones sold in malls so it can be less frustrating when something goes wrong.

You can make Oreo crumbs by using a rolling pin, blender or food processor. In my case, since I do not own a food processor and was too lazy to wash the blender after use, I opted to use a rolling pin. First, I removed the filling and break the cookies into pieces. Then placed them inside a clean plastic and roll the pin over the plastic.

Cloth Diapering Journey: Where I Got my Stash

Even before getting pregnant, I have always wanted to provide my future kids the best care I can possibly offer. And since I learned about this pregnancy, I have been searching high and low for tips on how to care for a child in modern times. One of the practices that is becoming popular among modern moms is the use of cloth diapers. No, not the same “lampin” popular during the time of our parents and grandparents but the modern ones tailored like a disposable diaper but washable.

I first learned about cloth diapers from my co-workers who resorted to these. Some of them gave up on using this for some reason while some continue to do so until their kids are potty trained. As for me and my husband, we decided to try this practice firstly because, we care about the environment. We, particularly the husband, have been trying to minimize our waste and avoid activities that could contribute to the destruction of earth and distract the natural order of things so this cloth diaper project is definitely a yes for us.

This cloth diapering system, however, is no joke. It has lots of parts to familiarize and involves washing and preparing as opposed to disposable diapers in which you just have to grab a pack from the grocery and throw them away once soiled. Additionally, with cloth diapers, you need a bit of cash to invest for a number of pieces your child needs. Thankfully, cheaper brands are now available and acquiring them is no longer as hard as before since there are lots of local sellers.

I already purchased 12 pieces from two different sellers and as per advised by other moms from a forum, I got three pieces for each kind/brand to find out which one will best suit my baby. I know my stash may not be enough for a newborn but I’m hesitant to buy more without trying first. And besides, I intend to use disposables for the first two weeks of our son as babies that young may not have established their bowel schedule yet and may use as much as eight diapers daily. Clearly, 12 pieces of cloth diaper is not enough.

Anyway, I am sharing to you the items I got and where I got them.

The above picture shows the first stash I bought. I got them from They are having a Christmas sale that time so I grabbed these few pieces only as these are the only designs/types left. Besides, we were not aware of the baby's gender that time so I made sure to get gender-neutral designs.

Black Sambo Recipe

Ever since I tasted it for the first time, I have always wanted to try making my own but that didn’t happen because I wasn’t confident of my cooking skills back then. But now that I am married to a man who is also a foodie like me, I am becoming more “adventurous” when it comes to cooking because of his encouragement and also, he eats everything up regardless of the taste. LOL!

For more than a year of being a married woman, I managed to try cooking a few dishes and desserts and the first one is this black sambo. However, I only managed to blog about this now since I always fail to take pictures to go with the post.

There are lots of recipes from the internet and I got mine from My first attempt was a disaster because I added the second layer too soon (two hours waiting time) so my black sambo became chocolate marble (based on my husband) because the second layer mixed with my first layer which I thought is already formed. Anyway, my succeeding attempts have been successful, thankfully. I have tried this recipe many times already and our families love it that they would sometimes ask us to bring some during family gatherings.

New Year, New Look!

As what I mentioned on my previous post, I hoped to change the look of this blog before the year ends and thankfully, I am able to do that. There might be some finishing touches to be done but at least I am done with most of the major stuff.

2016 is definitely an exciting year for me and my little family as we have big things ahead of us, especially for me and my husband. First of course is the birth of our little one! He/she is expected to be in our arms last week of April and we have started to prepare for that day. I have started to buy important stuff for the baby and thankfully, I don’t need to buy much since I have cousins whose children are older than mine so we expect a great volume of hand-me-downs from them. Big savings for a practical mom like me. Besides, I don’t mind letting my child wear second-hand items because I am sure the stuff we will be getting still look new since they are just slightly used.

My routine will definitely change as well. I am preparing myself for many sleepless nights, or at least, a couple of hours “nap” every night. I know becoming responsible parents takes a lot of adjusting but I’m sure we can get through it as we have been waiting for this moment to come.

As for this blog, this could take a back seat for a while but I will never abandon this as this has been a part of my life for years. This may not be as popular or great as other blogs in the same niche but I worked hard to get to this and I just couldn’t throw this away just like that. I aim to publish once or twice a month but I will try to do more when I have time. Actually, I think there will be a lot of things to talk about since I will have additional topics to talk about. I just have to learn to manage my time by then.

So… there! I think this is it for now. Wishing you all a prosperous 2016!