unboxing Christmas gifts

5-Year Old Tuz Unboxes His Christmas Gifts [Christmas in the eyes of a Child]

This is the first Christmas that we’re giving Tuz Christmas gifts. In the past years, we would just spend Christmas at a hotel resort, party, feast, and be merry as a family with no gifts! Now that he’s five years old, we thought that he would be able to appreciate receiving gifts from Santa, just like it was the first time for us to give him birthday gifts when he turned 5 last November.

The idea for what gifts to give him (they were mostly toys for unstructured learning) came from a lawyer I spoke with last month. We were having an affidavit done to process Tuz’s last name and for Mahal to formally acknowledge him and use his last name (long story short, I had Tuz when I was still married to my ex so to avoid problems, his last name on his birth certificate is my last name and he has no middle name). I’ve been annulled for two years already (declared null & void ab initio – meaning the marriage never really happened in the first place and that I’ve always been single) so it’s just about time for us to start processing his paternity. Anyway, in the middle of chit-chatting with this lawyer, she suggested that we buy unstructured toys for Tuz… toys that help him solve problems on his own… He already has some of these toys at home but I bought some more as part of his independent homeschooling program. 

Here’s Tuz getting excited about Santa delivering his gifts and him finally opening them! I hope you enjoy the vid! Christmas is really for the kids!

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New Year Charcuterie Boards

New Year’s DIY Charcuterie Table Design

As I’ve mentioned on my Christmas blog post, we’ve always celebrated the holiday season at a nice hotel resort in the city. That’s where I would usually see wonderful buffet table settings including charcuterie board offerings. So I said to myself, why don’t I try to recreate that here at home and have that nice hotel resort buffet feel? Perhaps, I can already use some materials we already have here inside the house, and the rest, I can buy at the store? So that’s what I did! 

I just want to document here the layouts I’ve made. The idea came to me right after Christmas. I didn’t want to order any more food from Food Panda. We also didn’t want to cook. But I love to decorate and arrange things so having charcuterie boards on the table sounds perfect for what I didn’t want! Lol! So if you’ll check my Christmas blog post, there really is a huge difference in terms of the look of our buffet table. The two table settings we had last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were nothing compared to how pretty our New Year’s Eve and New Year’s table settings were. I didn’t know I could do such an instagrammable and Pinterest-worthy charcuterie table decor. What do you think? Is it just me? Or aren’t these charcuterie table settings so pretty? 

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New Year's eve

My Little New Year’s Eve Diary

When I think about what 2020 has been for us, I have nothing but prayer of thanks. 

Though this pandemic did affect some aspects of our business, we were able to pivot, adjust, and not only survive but thrive. Truth is, in the 3 years that we’ve lived in Cagayan de Oro, 2020 has been our most successful year. And for that, THANK YOU, GOD! 

A huge part is because living and working from home is not new to us. We’ve always been the introverted type and my work has always been online, so it didn’t really change our routine much. And because most of the world turned online, business has never been better.  It also helped that we got out of our tiny pad. Since travel was restricted, our original plan of living somewhere half the time and living in the tiny pad the other half of the time was no longer possible. I needed space to breathe and just be and I’m so happy we got to experience living in a cozy house here in Cagayan de Oro City. Before the year approached its end, we even got to host online and overnight parties

But don’t get me wrong… There were dark days, yes. Days when I felt like the world was going to end as if we’re entering the era of zombie apocalypse…

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Christmas

Unexpected Christmas Wishes Coming True

It’s true what they say… when you least expect it, that’s when the magic happens. For the most part of the year, and the last 3 years before that, I thought we will have the same Christmas as before — we used to live in a tiny pad, so decorating our home for Christmas was not an option then. Instead, we’d go to a hotel resort here in Cagayan de Oro City and spend an overnight stay for both Christmas and New Year. Although on our first Christmas here in 2017, we celebrated it at our farm with our people. I’ve still yet to blog and vlog about those amazing hotel resort stays we did but I really plan to (next year, hopefully, as throwback features). Oh wait, I did blog about our Seda Centrio New Year Stay.  

Well, this year, (in a way, thanks to this pandemic — we got to transfer to a cozy house — looking at the silver lining here), my long overdue wish of spending Christmas in a beautiful, cozy home I personally decorated, hosting a party if possible, and just chilling and pigging out over a simple Noche Buena feast in our pajamas — finally came true!!! I’m so happy, I really can’t stop expressing it! I’ve been saying it on my social media posts and even offline to Mahal. I’m just really so happy. Hallelujah! 

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Apple Tree Hotel and Resort

Apple Tree Hotel and Resort, Cagayan de Oro City: Tuz’s 5th Birthday Hoopla

Ever since Tuz was born, we’ve always celebrated it by traveling to the beach or a nice hotel resort, just us three. I do plan to make a blog post and/or vlog of his past birthday celebrations so watch out for those soon… 

Just a little flashback on his past nativity celebrations:

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gratitude

A Little Thanksgiving Post

Year 2020 started with me getting sick with an unknown sickness (doctors couldn’t figure out why my white blood cell count was high at that time —- sometimes I wonder if that was Covid even when Covid hasn’t been announced to the world yet since we spent New Year’s partying at NHotel with Chinese nationals). I thought it was dengue but I tested negative for both kinds of tests I did. I planned to redo my bloodwork but then the pandemic happened, I got scared of going to the hospital and we got busier pivoting our business strategy.

The year is about to end and we have been quaranting at home for the most part, continuously praying that we stay safe from Covid especially now that we just found out someone close to us recently tested positive for the dreaded disease. (Covid became more real for us!) Nevertheless, there’s still so much to thank God for…

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Halloween

How to Celebrate Major Holidays During a Pandemic: Halloween Feature + a Guide

In case I haven’t said it enough, Halloween is my most favorite time of the year! So we celebrated it in a major way the past month. Maybe because I feel like I’m still a Wiccan at heart (I used to cast spells, call out spirit guides, and share my experiences in my old Wiccan blog), but more importantly, for some reason, I turn into a child-like nymph whenever Halloween is around the corner! Teehee. Suffice it to say that I’d like to celebrate it for as long as I can, even after it’s over. Haha! So this blog post here is my last attempt to still hold on to it. After I publish this, my next blog posts will be about other aspects of my life like Tuz’s exciting 5th birthday, our everyday life, travels, Christmas, etc.

Before the pandemic, and as far as I can remember, during Halloween, I used to go out, attend costume parties, and even host events during Halloween. It’s the most magical time of the year for me and doing those things really made me happy! I know it’s hard now that we are living in this new normal but it is still possible. I made it possible, and I will continue to make it possible. Haha! Watch my Halloween vlog below:

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mother

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day in This Time of Pandemic? [4 Tips]

I think this is the hardest time in recent history for all kinds of moms out there —>  for moms who are forced to be at home with their children 24/7, especially school-aged ones; moms who are forced to be away from their grown-up children because of the quarantines and lockdowns; moms who are pregnant and about to give birth and are scared of finding themselves giving birth in overcrowded hospitals; moms with babies, with sickly children, with big kids, with teenagers… basically all kinds of moms.

The pandemic has placed us all in situations that are new to many of us, and for this reason, I salute all moms out there. There is a saying that goes “I can imagine no heroism greater than motherhood.” by Lance Conrad, The Price of Creation, and I do think it’s true.

Just the other day, Mahal jokingly asked me: “So, where to this Mother’s Day?” I just laughed! Of course, there is no other place to go but to stay home. Whether you celebrate Mother’s Day in the kitchen, in the bedroom, the living room, the bathroom (LOL)… staying home is still the safest place to be in this time of the pandemic. Though some quarantines have been eased in some parts of the country (like in Cagayan de Oro City, some malls have already opened, to the dismay of many residents), it still feels unsafe to do any kind of celebration outside. So we must stay at home. What can we do to celebrate this special day? I have listed a few things I would love to do as I celebrate my special day as a mother. Feel free to add more as you see fit in your situation.

Here goes…

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Horizon

Updates in the Midst of Covid-19: My Health, Tuscany Highlands, Training Workshops CDO, BuQid, Travels and Celebrations

This is probably the longest I haven’t blogged. It’s been so long that I have to read what I wrote last time coz I don’t remember anymore, lol. And it made me cringe a bit that my last post before this was about my health and my suspicion of having Dengue which happened before all this Novel Corona Virus, now called Covid-19, started hitting the news.

Anyway, as an OC person, I want to have some semblance of chronology about what has been happening to me the past several months so this long overdue blog update might be a bit long. Just bear with me. I’ll try to only give you the summaries and I’ll just write more about them, one topic at a time, on my next blog posts. For now, here are the abridged versions:
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SnR Members' Treat 2019

S&R Members’ Treat 2019 and Online Giveaway

On Sept. 9, I received an invitation from Ms. Maria Irene Aserios of Mindanaoan.com to attend the S&R Members’ Treat Bloggers’ Meet which was held last Sept. 14, 2019, at 9AM Philippine time. I was excited! I’ve been a member since 2002 when I was still living in Quezon City and the last time we visited their branch here in Cagayan de Oro was when we bought that big hospital toy for Tuz. I was excited to come back and know the exciting updates about our favorite warehouse membership shopping club! Continue reading

Christmas Giveaway

TUSCANY HIGHLANDS MUSIGA AND MUSHROOM POLVORON 2ND ANNIVERSARY and EARLY CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!!! 

Hello September!

At last, the Ber months are here — my favorite last few months of the year because it means that Christmas is just around the corner, Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas in Our Hearts has started playing in the radio again, and of course, my most favorite holiday, Halloween, is happening before all the pre-Christmas and New Year hullabaloo! In short, I’m just in a very festive mood! Weeeee!!!

A huge part of this joy I’m feeling right now is the realization that I really am blessed despite all the seemingly stressful dramas I indulge myself in from time to time (lol). I am officially and legally single, I am loved, I have my babies with me, we are healthy, Mahal and I are growing our businesses and life together, and it’s all great!

And because of these blessings and the overwhelming gratitude I am feeling towards God and our life in general, I am also inspired to give back. We don’t have many material things as we have been living sort of a semi-minimalist lifestyle since I exchanged my big Alabang townhouse lifestyle to tiny pad living in Cagayan de Oro City, but we can definitely give some things to people, albeit strangers, we consider important to us, and these “some things” are no other than our farm products, for our precious target market, the very people we would like to keep serving through our organic mushroom food product offerings.

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