How To Ring Your Phone Using Google

Remember way back when I wrote about Bunny hiding my phone? We searched for more than an hour for it before E had the brilliant idea of ringing my phone using Google! Even if it was on silent mode it rang in full volume!

This hack is extremely useful especially if you can’t remember where you last placed it or like me your little one hid it.

It is super simple!

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You just need to login to your google account and go to android manager (not sure if this will work for ios though). Your mobile numbers will be connected to it and you can automatically see the location if it was turned on when you left it. If not that is still okay you can just select the ring option.

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If in case you have two mobiles connected to your phone you can select first which one to ring

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When you choose ring your phone will ring even if it is in silent mode aiding you to determine where it is.

Hope this helps!

The Lolas Day Out

My mom and mamang are big fans of Eat Bulaga. As long as I can remember as a kid we always watch Eat Bulaga. Even if there were other shows aired to rival EB we are hard core Dabarkads. This is why I knew I had to do everything that I can to treat them to a day out at Broadway Centrum.

Dabarkads Photo from Eat Bulaga FB Page

Dabarkads Photo from Eat Bulaga FB Page

I’ve been to Eat Bulaga before to monitor for a brand we handled so I knew that I can score passes. I asked a dear friend of mine if she can help me out and she did! Thanks to Sol, the dear friend I mentioned, we got invites to watch Eat Bulaga today.

A week before this day I already told my mom, aunt, and mamang. Unfortunately my aunt can’t come so it was just the three of us (super sayyaaang but oh well).

The Road To Broadway Centrum

We left around 7.30AM and my mamang was super excited. Intense na excitement, she started talking about Alden while we were just in the van to MOA. She said that her neighbors are so happy for her and that she wants to kiss Alden and photo sana (ooops sorry mang already had a photo with Alden way way back when he was just a Cosmo Hunk).

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I thought it will stop once we went down to grab our breakfast. Nooooo, it continued until we got into our Grab Car.

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She now went on to update us about the latest deets she has about Maine and Alden. I think she can be a president na for an AlDub chapter, no joke!

Hello Eat Bulaga

After our 45 minute ride to Broadway from MOA we went up the studio and secured seats near the upper stage.

This was the time I used my previous knowledge on locating the best seats for my mom and mamang. I knew that they would want to seat at the center part but I advised them to seat at the right most part of the center aisle. You see this was the place where most hosts pass by on the way up the center stage aaaand we won’t be bothered by the swinging cameras and make shift couch.

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This proved to be a good decision because my mom and mamang got to hold and shake Alden’s hand! No joke!

Screengrab by my brother

Screengrab by my brother

They got to shake hands with Tito Sen, Allan, Vic, and talk to Pauleen, Pia, and Patring too!

My mamang was suuuper happy! She can’t stop talking about the fact that she held Alden’s hand (until the time we got home that was all that she can talk about) and that she got to shake hands with the Dabarkads and even have a photo with Tito Sen!

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A great day indeed that we wrapped up with a heavy meal over at Shakey’s. Even while we were eating all she can talk about was Alden!

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Although Broadway is far I knew that it was worth the travel just to see my mom and mamang happy.

And So It Begins

We have been together, E and I, for almost 8 years. 8 long years filled with laughter, tears, travels, fights, and moments. If you ask any of my closest friends he does not fit the bill of what I usually like in a guy. Back then I always had a thing for chinitos, fair skinned ones who are also taller than me. E on the other hand had puppy eyes, a tad bit moreno and just a few inches taller than me.

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But I guess God wanted me to have him because he would complement my extrovert personality, he would teach me how to listen, he knows how to defend himself from my always win side, he would know how to comfort me at times when I doubt myself, and he would encourage me to pursue my passions instead of just settling for the safe and ordinary. You can say that he is my lobster but really he is my Chandler and I his Monica. 

From Buzzfeed

From Buzzfeed

We are not the perfect couple, because really there is no such thing. We fought with each other tons of times, but we also fought for each other which I think is more important. Although we fight, mostly because I hate losing and he likes to debate with my thoughts, we still resolve things (which sometimes lead to laughter or tears or both). He has been my rock and I his cheerleader. He has understood my moodiness, especially when I cried over silly things such as no pandesal or buns (when I was preggo) and when I saw my battle scars after giving birth (my stretch marks).

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This post will turn into a novel if I talk about every single memory that we have, so I won’t devulge much. The fact is like any other couples we had our series of up and downs but we decided to stay with each other, to work on what we need to work on, and to be with each other’s side no matter what.

This year will be a big one for us, since we decided to finally push forth with our wedding. We didn’t really plan on having Bunny, but I think God’s plan is that we have her first and have our wedding after. Timing wise that is his plan, his perfect plan for our dreams.

He already asked me to be his wife a few years back I just never really updated my status on Facebook because people will make such a big deal about it. I did tell my closest friends.

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Now roughly around 3 yrs after he asked me, we are fixing details for our big day. A little too much for me to handle while working and looking after Alex and finishing my Digital Marketing Specialization, which is why we got a wedding planner to help us out. A little expensive but not extravagant like most. We just want a simple one, with just the most important people in our lives.

Main reason why we didn’t want a big wedding is because I’m cost efficient (a.k.a kuripot) , spending sooo much on one day is not ideal, we can invest instead the money for retirement and Alex’s future.

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The most important thing I realized while planning is the fact that E confessed that the main reason he is doing this was for me. He knew how important it was for me and he wanted to make me happy. Super excited for this!

Back to Work

Last Monday was my first day back to work. I thought that I was going to be a mess at the office, surprisingly I wasn’t. I think this is because I love what I do and I availed of the afternoon nursing mom schedule that allows me to go home an hour earlier than my schedule (so I get to go home at 4:30 pm everyday because I go to work at 8:30 AM).

The first day was actually a breeze but it was my little bunny who struggled. She cried a lot the whole time I was away and wouldn’t take the bottle. They had to squeeze the milk out of the bottle just for her to feed. 🙁 No after five days she is slowly learning to latch but she still waits for me to come home and feed.

I know that we will soon get there and that she will learn to latch soon. I still give her breastmilk and my tandem to help keep my supply up is moringana and the yummy mommy treats!

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I was afraid that once I go back to work my milk supply for bunny will go down, but it actually increased after 4 days of eating the lactation treats. So my plan is to always have a stash at work to keep my supply up because I plan to breastfeed bunny until I can. To help me also store my milk properly and safely after each pump I use Honeysuckle’s milk bags. I tried the first year’s milk bags and I feel it is not as sturdy as the milk bags of Honeysuckle.

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I usually go home with 2-4 bags, depending on the time I get to the office and if I have a meeting. My usual output is anywhere between 11-13 oz while I’m away from Bunny. The way I store the bags is that I freeze the ice packs I got from babymama (the anti-bacterial ones) and stash the milk first at the office ref. When it is time for me to go home, I use an insulated lunch bag and put the frozen ice packs + milk bags. So far, it has helped keep my stash super cold even if I had to attend a meeting. It was able to keep my milk stash cold for almost 6 hours!

Again, my aim is to breastfeed her as much as I can, it is hard especially I am working. But I think all it needs is dedication from my end + lactation treats + storage milk bags and I will be able to do it! I just think that everything I do is for her.

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Returning to Work

I will soon go back to the office. This fact saddens me because I want to stay at home and take care of bunny. However, I know that I really have to go back to work so we can start saving up for her future. To be honest, I have considered being a WAHM, a work at home mom. I know that it is possible because I have been doing it since January, but for now I will try working full time first.

Look ma, I can lift my head up on my own!

Look ma, I can lift my head up on my own!

One of my worries in returning to a full-time job is missing special moments of bunny. Her first word, first time she crawls, first time of everything. Perhaps this is the reason why I have been taking lots of photos of bunny and lots of videos as well. I even told E that I want to purchase an extra camera or tablet for my godmother who will take care of bunny. To this he said that we can buy an extra tablet.

Bunny discovering her hands!

Bunny discovering her hands!

I’m even afraid that she will not recognize me when I get home, to this E just told me that bunny knows who I am and shouldn’t worry that much about it.

I know to some it may sound selfish, but I also want to go back to work for myself. Not because I don’t want to be with bunny, but because I want to be happy as I pursue my passion and have my family with me as I do so. If in the case that I will find it hard to not be with bunny 24/7, I will try to talk to my superiors and see if it is possible for me to work at home for a few days and be at the office some days. If not, I probably will consider being a full time WAHM. I mean, who can resist the urge to be with this cutie everyday?

all smiles for momma

all smiles for momma

Breastfeeding Working Momma

Only a few days left and I will have to go back to work. Before I gave birth to my little bunny I’ve always thought that it will be easy for me to go back to the office. Back then I was pretty sure that I’ll be super bored and will crave going back to the office after just a month. I was wrong. I found myself crying a few nights ago dreading the thought of leaving her and working.

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E and I talked about our options. He said that he can work for us but he will need to go overtime every day. I told him no, I will go back to work. My decision to go back to work is because I want to be a good example to my little bunny. I am not saying that stay at home moms don’t give a good example to their babies, they do too in showing that family is important. In my end, the reason why I think that going back to work is a good example for her is because I will show her that a woman can go for her dreams and have it all. A family life and a successful career. Aside from this, I want to help provide a better future for her. We are still thinking which educational fund we will get for her, but we will decide soon. Getting one earlier is better than later.

Preparing for Work

A few days ago I checked my email, and I have 1400+ unread emails! 1400!!!I am not even sure how I got 1400+ emails. Well perhaps that’s because I normally receive 100 emails per day, must be also a “perk” of being recently promoted. I have been slowly sifting through all of my emails. Ah, but it still keeps coming! I already asked my juniors to help catch me up by sending me updates about the brands that they are handling.

Breastfeeding Bunny

With my breast pump and nursing pads ready, I am determined to keep my little bunny exclusively breastfed for at least 6 months. I am almost at the mid point of my goal, since I will go back 2 days short of her third month.

This has become a priority of mine because I know that exclusively breast feeding her is good for her health. To date the only time we bring her to her pedia is for her vaccine shots. Even if her grandparents are sick, she never caught on to what they have. Ah liquid gold!

I know that it is difficult but I know that it can be done. Two weeks before I return to work I will start storing breast milk. Breast milk can last up to 8 months if stored and frozen properly (do note that you must only freeze freshly expressed breast milk). That is why starting next week I will collect and freeze! Bunny doesn’t feed at night since she started sleeping for 8-10 hours straight. Sometimes she still does, but more often than not I wake up with engorged breasts (ouch!).

In another post I will share my journey to have bunny exclusively breastfed, ah it was a bit hard at first but we made it!

Pampered Mom

A few weeks ago, I asked E if I can go out for awhile. For a break, to get my hair cut and my nails done. Of course I know that he will say no, not because he didn’t want me to get my break but because he still can’t handle bunny. He is a very hands on dad, but he’s a dad. He panics when she cries, which I think is normal.

Today, I tried it again. I asked him if I can have a 2 hour break to get my hair cut, my nails done, and my feet pampered. He said YES! So for the very first time, I went away by myself without bunny and E. This is a very unforgettable moment for me because the last time I had a legit alone time was weeks before my due date.

Did I feel guilty for leaving bunny and e? Yes, but I didn’t feel that bad after. You see I realized that I do need this. I need a time for myself, and only for myself. Not because I don’t love them, but because I love myself. Being a mom and e’s partner in crime does not give me an excuse to stop taking care of myself. I actually need to take better care of myself. I need to feel good about myself because I am still the same old me who loves getting massages and mani-pedis.

When I got home, I asked e how their first alone time was. He said it was okay, but at one point he didn’t know what else to do. That was when he realized that bunny was hungry. Unfortunately bunny didn’t like formula milk anymore, and my breastpump was broken so we had no milk stash yet. Great thing was I got home just a few minuted after bunny cried, so we immediately had our breastfeeding session.

A tip to all of the moms out there: No matter how busy you are, always have time for yourself. Set aside an hour or two a day just to do something that you love. Believe me, you deserve it!

Freelance Writing

I have been in maternity leave since December 2014. Since I am leave, I do not receive any compensation from my company. I guess this is the norm here in the Philippines. Since I didn’t have any salary, E and I agreed that I can only resume with my online shopping for bunny when I get back to work or when I get writing gigs.

At the back of my mind I knew that I will do everything that I can to get gigs, but because I had a c-section I gave myself the whole of December to rest.

Spending time with my little bunny and E

Come January I started looking for freelance jobs through:

  • Elance
  • Odesk
  • Freelancer
  • Craigslist

To be honest, it is hard to secure a writing gig, especially in Elance, Odesk, and Freelancer. I have yet to secure a job from the three sites, but I am not quitting. I just submit applications one after the other. I still have hope that I will get a job after some time.

Fortunately for me, I was able to secure a gig through Craigslist! So far, I have been working with a site owner on and off. He will ask me to re-write things and I will get paid in USD. I have maintained a good working relationship with him, of course I want him to continue throwing short term writing gigs at me. Aside from that,I am also now working with a content provider to write different types of articles. I have checked out the profile of this person, and he seems legit.

Photo from http://www.mywritingblog.com/2014/10/guest-post-writing-tense.html

Photo from http://www.mywritingblog.com/2014/10/guest-post-writing-tense.html

There are risks in getting jobs from craigslist. I have experienced this first hand! I was promised 100USD for 35 articles. At first, it seemed legit, she said that her name was Amanda Palmer. I submitted my daily tasks and even revised some because it was part of what we had agreed upon. However, when I sent my invoice to her she never replied to me anymore. I felt so bad after, guilty as well. I shared this with E and he said to just let it go and just be careful next time.

I can stay at home and be a freelance writer, I have discussed this with E. In my mind I wanted to be with our little bunny as much as I can. However I knew that I would have to go back in the office, because I wanted to be a good role model for bunny. I want to show her that she can do anything that she wants. This does not mean though that I will stop taking on freelance work, I will time to time. The money I will earn will be used to buy more stocks or more clothes/toys for bunny.

Oh, and yes. Because I earned extra cash from freelancing we were able to buy bunny toys and clothes. Of course E eventually asked me to not buy too much, but it is super hard not to spoil my little bunny.

Bunny’s Rocker

Super colorful things for bunny’s crib!

Financial Independence for You and Your Family

I have been working for more than 4 years and for most of it I wasn’t able to save as much as I can. I do not regret it though because I spent most of my hard earned money traveling as much as I can. I will likely continue traveling again once my little girl is big enough to travel with her dad and I. However, traveling will not take the front seat now, it will be limited now since my aim is to build our wealth. I do not aim for my little unit to be super rich. I just want us to have financial independence.

Photo from http://teensgotcents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/iStock_000018645830_Small.jpg

I honestly don’t want to be stuck working on an 8-5 job for 20 years knowing that I can save and invest. I am no expert when it comes to finance but I want to learn as much as I can about it. So when I found out that I was pregnant I read as much as I can and below are my steps on gaining financial independence:

  1. Open a bank account
  2. Every pay day save first before spending (at least 20-30%)
  3. Get insurance
  4. Start investing in the stock market
  5. Open a Unit Investment Trust Fund

So far I have 1-4 done on my list after a year, but the road to choosing which insurance policy I will get and opening my account in COL Financial took me over 9 months (same as the length of my pregnancy).

For my insurance policy I considered many factors and ended up shortlisting two companies: PruLife UK and Sun Life. I then asked for quotations from both companies to compare the difference. Took me almost three months before I finally decided to go with Sun Life.

Perhaps you are wondering why I got an insurance plan first before investing in the stock market. It is pretty simple. I want to get protected first before I invest, meaning  should I get sick or die at least I will leave E and my little one something. Also, from my observations I realized that people often lose their money due to sudden sickness or death.

After getting an insurance plan my next step was to start investing in the stock market. I know that a lot of people are afraid of putting their money in the stock market, but see I used the term invest. Meaning I don’t plan to do active trading, I will invest my money there for a long time.

Investing in the stock market is easy, you just have to open an account in COL Financial and start buying stocks. It is the part of choosing which stocks to invest in that I encountered a bit of difficulty. I am not a risk taker so I need to know as much as I can before I invest my money.

Fortunately Brother Bo has the TRC or the Truly Rich Club! I signed up for it and it gives me the information that I need to know which stocks to buy. At long last I am not at a loss on which stocks to buy and when to sell it. Aside from this, I get daily messages which are very encouraging and enlightening!

Image from http://i61.tinypic.com/2vhzynb.jpg

Now in my list, I still have unit investment trust funds. But I will revise that list putting my little one in as well:

  1. Open a bank account
  2. Every pay day save first before spending (at least 20-30%)
  3. Get insurance
  4. Start investing in the stock market
  5. Open bank account for Alex
  6. Open a Unit Investment Trust Fund – under Alex’s name

The goal is to open Alex’s bank account when I get back to the office and also link it to a UITF. This money will be used for her future (college funds).

I encourage all working moms out there to also strive for financial independence. Do it one step at a time and perhaps soon you can stay at home and let your money do the work for you. Just Save-Insure-Invest!