Australia Day 2020

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

How did you celebrate your Australia day?

For us, we got some time off and finally hit the beach again after 4 months.

Palm Beach

I missed going to the beach so much but we have to postpone due to the very hot and air summer this year. In fact, a lot of areas have suffered from bush fires but thankfully, it had rained a bit in the last few weeks.

Saturday morning, we went to our friend's house in Narrabeen first. We had sumptuous lunch cooked by a talented chef who was none other than the host himself. Too bad, I was too hungry and tempted that I forgot to take some pictures of the good food hehehe. It was a great time to catch up and the girls had a great time playing together, too. We just waited for sis M to arrive from work and then we left for the beach.

At their house while waiting for sis M

From their house, we went to Palm Beach by convoy. Palm Beach is one of my favorite beaches in North Coast Sydney. It's a long stretch though and the one we went to last weekend was a little bit rough for the kids. The last time we went (view the story here), we were at the peninsula and the waves were better. Nevertheless we all had fun especially Darla (because she wasn't present yet during our first visit hehehe).

The whole batch went to climb up the lighthouse but the children and a few of us preferred to stay at the beach. With a baby? NOPE hehehe.

The baby was more than okay to just stay at the beach and play with sand




Busy collecting sand :D

Soon after, everyone came back from their walking trip, ate some more food before finally swimming. Darla, as usual, did not show anxieties despite the strong waves pushing on our feet at the shore. She was born a natural ocean (and water in general) lover.



Darla, so ready for swimming

Our friends and family

More pictures of friends and family




We had so much fun. My brother and sister in law along with bro N, stayed over at their house for a sleepover. We, on the other hand, left at 7pm and the drive back was not easy with a fretful and tired Darla! Soon as we got home, we were both knocked out.

As a bonus, because Australia day fell on a Sunday, Monday was declared a public holiday too. We had a lazy morning just relaxing (well, I was studying CPA - not actually fun but...). In the afternoon, we went to Blacktown, Westpoint to buy school shoes for Demi and then went to Nurragingy park after.

As usual, I wanted to just stay in one place.

We set the picnic blanket on the grass beneath the shadows where Darla could watch the birds coming by.

Meanwhile, the girls walked around the park with their uncle and aunt.

The girls with their uncle and aunt

Finally, back to reality today! So glad and thankful for the leisure time with friends and family! Happy Australia Day everyone!
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How to Keep Track of Goals

Friday, January 24, 2020

I think I don't need to emphasize the importance of goals as a factor in anyone's success. Goals are like the heart and soul of your journey. Perhaps, it is second to motive and values, which are the core of your goals (these are the bases that define what you want to achieve in life) but without goals, your journey has no direction.

So it is equally important to keep track of goals. I made a template I want to share with you. Use this template for EACH ONE of your goals because each goal would have a different "why" or obstacles and deadlines.

For every goal, think carefully about your action plans and how long you have before you expect to achieve it. And then at the bottom, write down the expected date of achievement.

Download this goal tracker for your use.
You can print this in A4 or A5 (I prefer A5 as it's more compact and because my journal size is A5) and then review it everyday or every week. It should depend on the goal though. If your goal is long term, maybe checking once a month is sufficient.

This will serve as your map because let's face it, we do encounter a lot of distractions a long the way, such as rejections, failures, discouragement. These are just bumps on the way but if we have our tracker to go back too, we are constantly reminded of our WHY's and HOW's and of course, the PRIZE itself. These are the most important factors of our journey and when you focus on them, you'll reach your goals easier and faster!

Good luck to reaching your goals!


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Don't Crush Other People's Dreams

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Do you know about the story of the fox and the grapes?

One day, the fox was very hungry when he saw a bunch of grapes hanging high from the vines. He tried his very best to jump high but he just couldn't reach it.

Defeated, he walked away thinking to himself, "those grapes are not even ripe. They must be very sour."

Photo credits here

Why am I telling this? Well, I had a pretty bad experience this morning. At 3AM, my baby, Darla, was unusually restless. She woke me up multiple times but would go back to sleep right away. However, the 3rd time she woke me up, I couldn't go back to sleep.

I didn't want to waste my time trying to go back to sleep so I opened up my phone and do some work.

There was a lot of people asking help to be registered to the info session I posted a few days ago. So I went about and helped them. A few minutes later, I was receiving multiple notifications that this lady was spamming my Page with comments. 

It turns out that she was trying to sabotage my Page, bad-mouthing and deceiving the people who commented. I was curious as to why she was doing that so I looked at her profile to see if we know each other personally. We were not connected in any manner but I noticed that she was an entrepreneur herself.

Initially, I thought about answering back but I decided it was not worth confronting her negativity so I just banned her. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY - I told myself. Clearly, this lady just hated the fact that I was an entrepreneur too but I was taking a path not similar to hers.

I get that we have different dreams. This is my dream. I love what I do sharing who I am and inspiring others to see that if someone as SIMPLE as me could make this journey possible, then so much more for THEM who are more talented, outgoing, gifted, charismatic and all the other strengths they have.

I don't force people to join my journey because I understand that we are not all cut the same. I think we all just need to respect people's differences and preferences. Still, I am very grateful for the ones who support and join my journey and I want to give back something in return by inspiring them and helping them reach the same dreams as I do.

Thinking back to the story of the FOX and the GRAPES, I thought it might have been better if the lady who tried to sabotage me would just be like the FOX. Ironic? Let me explain.

The FOX left the grapes and probably chased something else within its reach.

Imagine, if the FOX stayed there, guarded the grapes and told every other animal who wanted the grapes that they were bad and sour.

The grapes would rot and no one would benefit. As for the fox? It would eventually not survive from hunger too.

In the end, everyone loses. Nobody wins.

So go and chase your dreams - and may you prosper in your journey. But one simple wish. Please don't crush other people's dreams just because it's different from yours.
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A Day Out With My Girls

Monday, January 13, 2020

I made a promise to my girls to take them out, just us 3 so that we could have a bonding time together so last Friday, I took a day off from work and took them out.

While we were away, Dad also took the baby out with him. I couldn't bring her with us because when she is with me, I have to give her 100% of my attention. She is very clingy. Not that it is bad but I have to connect with my older girls too.

First, I dressed them up into more feminine clothes as opposed to the casual pants and long top. I think they were very pretty!

On the train with my pretty girls

Our first stop was Daiso - it's a long time favorite shop with the kids and I remember, before the baby was born, as soon as we enter the shop, the 2 girls would race as fast as they could and return after they have found something to buy. This time around, they weren't so keen. Daisy went to the squishy section as usual but she wasn't as eager while Demi stayed next to me the whole time. I felt that they really have matured.

Finally, they picked their stuff - Daisy got a soft clay to put on her slime (this one thing would take some time for her to outgrow I think) while Demi bought a Ramune drink in strawberry flavor. It's a fizzy drink we haven't tried before and it actually tasted very nice!



We had the drink while we went to their favorite Waffle Store. I think it's been a couple of years since we last went here and I noticed that there were more stuff on their  menu. It just shows how long I have not spent quality time with them. :(



Then we noticed next to us, there was a photo booth of a beach background. We decided to prank Dad and took some photos to pretend that we went to the beach.

Yes, we had to squint our eyes to make it look real hehehe...
We walked around the shopping centre for a couple more hours before finally heading to the library.




It was a wonderful day indeed and I went back home with gifts for the baby sister!

This is the kind of days I look forward to and hopefully, one day, when my online business starts generating more income, I'd be able to work part time and have more of these. :)
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30 Things About Me

Sunday, January 12, 2020

After 8 years, I think it's about time to update 30 things about me. Not that much has changed but you can refer to old one here

This is a good exercise as well to look back at my life and reminisce and also a great way to encourage other people to share about themselves.

So what are the 30 things that people should know about me?
  1. My real name is Jennifer.
  2. When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be renamed "Ambrosia." At that time, there was a famous roast pig branded as "Ambrosia's Lechon" so you can tell that my brothers gave me a hard teasing about it.
  3. I am the 3rd to my parents' 5 children who were all named with a -FER at the end - Heliofer, Kristoffer, Jennifer, Juliefer, Johnfer. 
  4. I was an ugly duckling (though I never became the beautiful swan, at least I improved over the years hehe). Here's a secret though: there's still a hint of the ugly swan in me ;)
  5. When I was in Kindergarten, John Lloyd was my classmate - YUP, that's the one. The celebrity that a lot of girls drool over (I can share you how cute he looked like in our class picture hehehe.)
  6. Although he was my classmate, we never knew each other personally (but I know where his childhood home is *wink*)
  7. When I was a kid, I loved red and blue crayons and always made sure they're beside each other in the box. I placed pink at the farthest end. (Because red and blue were lovers and pink's trying to steal blue from red. Weird.) Then when I grew up, I undergo the PINK stage wherein all my stuff was in pink.
  8. When we were a lot younger, my brothers made my life hell! (they teased me til I cried and everybody got pissed of me because I cried loud).
  9. So I pestered my mom for a sister. After 10 years, the sister arrived who turned out to be an enemy as well during the early years (due to the age gap of course)
  10. I belong to a musically inclined family, my brothers play the guitars, drums, keyboards. The youngest brother learned drums very young while the sister has great voice and plays keyboards well.
  11. I'm the only one among the siblings who can't play an instrument even after an attempt to self-study keyboards.
  12. Me and my girl cousins formed a girl band though, aka Spice Girls (the imitation version hehe).
  13. Around 15, I loved Ghost Fighter aka Yuyu Hakusho. The only other anime I've become addicted to other than Princess Sara and Cedie.
  14. I have a best friend whom I've known since grade 1 and been a close friend from 1st year high school. She is still my best friend although we haven't spoken that much. I just love her so much but she doesn't know it!
  15. I never learned to commute or ride public transports until my first day in college. My brothers teased me to the ends of the earth about this, of course.
  16. I shifted beliefs when I was in college and have been convicted to it since then.
  17. I love music, arts and literature, but I ended up with a career for numbers.
  18. 2 of my weaknesses are: Travelling (so poor with directions) and socializing (I'm an extreme introvert) yet my first job forced me to travel to different parts of Manila  and deal with various people - auditing?
  19. I claimed to be "Sassy Girl" at 22 when I started to work - ask my hubby how and why hahaha.
  20. I love cats! I was never without one from when I was 7 until I was 27.
  21. The reason for having without cats, is my OC husband. I have met the OC husband from Friendster.
  22. His Frienster profile says he wanted to meet "My Sassy Girl" but when he met me, we had a series of "away-bati" (love-hate) relationship.
  23. We've been more than friends but less than lovers for 5 years in the internet world, before we finally met. He didn't meet me until he was sure I was in love haha.
  24. I have been there, done that, but was able to sprung back (huh?)
  25. I ceased to be the Sassy Girl or at least suppressed it when I gave birth to my first daughter. Not immediately after that, but gradually. ;)
  26. The first daughter inherited the sassy traits. The second daughter got the more sassy traits. The third one? Hmmm... you can imagine ;)
  27. People who don't know me assume I am uptight and serious - close friends know the sick sense of humour I have hahaha.
  28. I love to read. But I prefer books over newspapers. I tried to instill this love to my daughters before but now, I support whatever interests they have.
  29. I love my family, extended family, etc. I am not very showy about this but my affection could be really profound.
  30. I try to look strong for my family but deep inside, I am very emotional and soft. I have learned not to show tears over the years ;)
So there! It could be scary to reveal a part of yourself but I trust my friends and followers :)

Basically, it all boils down to 2 things: 

I am a living paradox and nobody knows me fully well except the One who created me and

My life is an open book, very few people would understand what's written on it. :)
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Screen Time Is One Of My Greatest Challenges In Parenting

Friday, January 3, 2020

DO YOU STRUGGLE KEEPING YOUR CHILDREN AWAY FROM GADGETS?



My answer is a BIG YES! I have to admit that introducing them to these technological devices is one my greatest regrets as a parent but not being able to control them is 100 times worse!

And I have a confession to make: Gadget is the name of my nanny. Mother of the year, yeah? And hands up, I am far from the perfect mother. But what can I do? They are most quiet with their gadgets. It makes me feel guilty nevertheless, so here I am trying to lessen them from using it.

How about if I made a list of things they could do instead?

I made a list of school holiday activities. I was pretty proud of it.

But you know what? It didn't work. I couldn’t commit my time and so sometimes they end up with their gadgets… again.

My list


But parents, let's not beat ourselves up

Screen time is difficult problem for us because we never had this problem back when we were young. I tried to look back at my childhood to remember how we managed to get by but times have changed since then and I hate to think that most of what we did are no longer applicable to our this generation.

Back then, after school, I would spend several hours outside playing with my friends while my mom goes about her chores and I would return for dinner unharmed. Nowadays, you can’t just let children go outside on their own without the risk of someone assaulting them.

Even watching TV could be a challenge now. Predators have found ways to reach our children in YouTube and social media, and there aren’t very many child friendly programmes anymore. Educational animes had been replaced by violent ones and family friendly TV shows were replaced with soap operas depicting broken families and secret love affairs as if they are now the “norms.”

Gadgets are not entirely bad, it is also a necessity

Technology does have advantages too, which is why totally banning them from it may create a problem down the road.

My eldest daughter had already made commissions from her digital artworks and I support her talent in it. My other daughter has an eye on photography and I also support that. Even Darla, surprisingly, has learnt her ABCs, colours and nursery rhymes partly because of TV and Cellphone.

Taking away their gadgets totally could hamper their talents and learning.

Thanks Nanny Gadget hehehe.

Control is the key

In saying that, I don't just leave my kids alone with their gadgets. I monitor the apps they use and in Darla's case, the videos she watch. I am wary of their time use as well. I try to limit their hours use everyday.

I remember one particular day though I was scolding my eldest daughter for extreme screen time - she reached 5 hours in a day!!! Later that day when I was more calm, she said her screen time wasn't all that bad as her friends' were usually 9 hours on their phones.

Hmmm... sorry my dear, it's not negotiable for me. My rule is 3 hours max in a day.

The scary effects of too much screen time

Our church also supports us in our feat. On one of our services, we tackled the problems raised by screen time. Studies have shown that too much reliance on gadgets is similar to an addiction in drugs.

In the early stages, children become restless without their gadgets and are very impatient. They expect instant rewards just like in the online games they get addicted to and get frustrated when they encounter struggles.

Full blown addiction are scarier though. Some children were shown as no longer wanting to leave their screens, not even to eat. On one video, a child was caught hitting his mom when she tried to reprimand him.

My children were appalled when they saw this and I was glad about their reaction. I wouldn't want for anyone's children to fall into this trap of too much screen time.


So back to our question again, how can we manage our children's screen time effectively?

One thing I discovered, while MY LIST didn't work out, asking your child to make her own list of other activities he or she would like to do work better.

My daughter Daisy started with her one yesterday and she only had 1 hour of gadget throughout the day. She didn't complain about being bored and was not cranky either.

Whenever she feels bored, she would look at her list and an idea pops up to her mind. Yesterday, she showed me a paper craft of French Fries in a box and I asked her to show me how she did it. Although I cringed a bit when she said she used my alcohol markers to color the paper, I was pretty proud of her creativity! In the end I shrugged off the alcohol marker. It's more than worth it.

My husband, on the other hand, takes them out more often. Because he doesn't go to work until 3pm, he can drive the kids at the mall where they could explore while he does groceries (yes, he's sweet!).

Bottom line is, I am not an expert on this parenting thing and I don't have the secret formula. I thought that by sharing this experience though, I'd be able to help a parent out there who share the same pains with me.

As a parent, do you share the same struggles and what are your ways to overcome these problems? I would love to hear your comments :)
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Why I Aim To Work Less And Spend More Time For My Children

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

To all the mommies/parents out there... sorry long post but hear me out.

My goal is spend more time with my children
To make impact on the lives of these 3 beautiful girls

I am sharing this article about a teacher's open letter why she left her profession.

It's a wake up call to me as a parent that most teachers are parents too and this is a good insight on the other side of the story.

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