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Celebrate Mother’s Day the Simple Way

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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adidas mothers day helloislandmama 5 Being a mother is one of the most beautiful and blessed experiences that happened to me. Even though sometimes it’s hard emotionally, physically, and mentally, it’s a rewarding and fulfilling job. This year will be my fifth time celebrating Mother’s Day.

My husband and I believe that spending time outdoors is healthy for us. Having kids can be exhausting, so a little activity outside the house is a good way for us to recharge. We also believe that spending time with the family doesn’t always require splurging. Since we recently decided to purchase our own home (Thank you, Lord!), we have to watch how we spend.

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There are affordable, healthy, and fun ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. Here’s a little list to serve as inspiration for your and your family:

Picnic in the park or backyard

Being indoors is comfortable, but spending time in nature is just as important. There’s plenty of research that shows spending time outdoors is beneficial to our health. Take your family with you and enjoy the day, picnic style.

Make homemade breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and spending it with your family is always a good idea. It’s the time to bond and share before everyone gets busy. Gentlemen, surprise your wives or moms with a healthy homemade breakfast! It’s a great gesture to show how much you value and love them.

Relax on the beach/pool

I’m particularly fond of water. It relaxes and calms me in a way no aromatherapy can. When there’s a constant buzz coming from the streets and our phones, it can add a lot of stress and anxiety. Unwinding by the water is a good way to de-stress and to slow down.

Visit State Park

We’re very glad that we have many nature parks here in Houston. Our current favorite is Brazos Bend Park and Arman Bayou Park. It’s walkable, refreshing, and it’s family friendly. It also sparks my children’s curiosity and allows me to see things through the eyes of my children.

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Whenever we go outside, I try to keep my outfit simple and fuss-free. Running after children is never easy let alone three energetic boys! I make it a point to always wear something that I’m comfortable with and will allow me to play with my kids effortlessly.

My current favorite is this tee dress from adidas. It’s the perfect dress for me since I really don’t like stressing myself on what to wear in the morning. The dress goes perfectly with my sneaks! I said bye to heels a long time ago and sneaks are my forever go-to footwear. Running around is way easier and comfier!

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Mother’s Day without splurging. More often than not, it’s the thought that counts. I hope you have a good Mother’s Day and that you find the best way to celebrate them.

 

In partnership with adidas.

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Blogging tips when you have kids at home

Friday, March 29, 2019

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A lot of people wonder how I maintain a blog with three energetic kids. My Instagram is only a fraction of what I do every day. There are days when it’s easy (especially when the kids are napping!) but there are days that are extremely challenging. My kids are not always keen on taking a nap every day. All mothers can relate that we “borrow” time for ourselves when the kids are busy with other stuff – which is how I survived blogging all this time.

I’m going to share a few tips on how I’m able to balance motherhood and blogging to avoid getting overwhelmed. I hope this inspires others to keep creating despite our busy schedules!

Set a time for blogging.

Set a time to be online and stick to it. Being a mom blogger/influence demands a lot of time with my phone. With the countless e-mails and comments, it can get quite difficult. As much as possible, I allot time for online activity so it doesn’t take over my whole day. I try (sometimes haha ) to wake up early before the kids and/or do stuff during their naptime and quiet time. No matter how busy it is, I always make sure I have time for my family.

Get organized.

Use a planner, traditional or otherwise, to organize your schedule. I like doing some stuff the old-fashioned way, so pen and paper is still my go to organizer. This year, I started having a separate planner for personal activities and another for my online blogging duties.

Take a break.

I used to feel pressured about blogging that I felt I have to post at least twice a week. There’s a myriad of website online and staying afloat requires a lot of effort. The pressure ruins the focus and sometimes, the content feels unnatural and insincere. I learned that taking a break allows me to recharge and gather better ideas as opposed to forcing myself to come up with one. Taking a breather from it all is key to a healthy mind and body.

Write about what you love. 

Choose a topic that connects with your lifestyle. This way, it’s more authentic. It’s always nice to read about something that really comes from the heart. As a mom blogger, I enjoy content related to motherhood. However, I try not to involve my kids on my campaign all the time to set boundaries. My kids enjoy our shoot when it’s about arts, crafts, or activities that involves sports and eating :)

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My workstation is one of my favorite spots at home. It’s a place where I can create and explore. I’m very much into arts so I like dabbling on a few ideas every now and then. This is where I do all the planning, researching, and organizing. My desk is from Ameriwood Home Furniture. It’s the perfect size desk for my computer ko and a few of my favorite trinkets. I like the design especially the metal hairpin style legs that make it sturdy. It has a bottom drawer where I keep all my files and other office supplies.

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I hope a few of my tips helped! Are there any organizing hacks you’re currently doing?

I received this Landon desk as a free sample in exchange for an honest review.

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Do-It-Yourself Fun Chart For Kids and Mom

Monday, January 21, 2019

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Today, I like to share our to-do list chart for my eldest boys and for myself as a mom of three children. This chart  helps me especially my kids with our daily routine. My eldest boys are in pre-school and they are already in the stage where they can do things on their own and even in doing household chores from time to time (putting away clean silverware from dishwasher, making their bed etc.). Also, I decided to create this chart to remind them of other things they need to learn like leading the prayer and memorize Bible verses to name a few.

I believe that being responsible starts at home. They learn not only about cleaning or organizing but also they learn the value of doing things together as a family. I’ve mentioned before that my husband is a child psychologist. He said that charts are also a great way to teach our kids and make them excited to do activities. It also helps me because I don’t need to remind the kids time and again what needs to be done :)

 

You are free to do any style you want and to decorate  each chart. Here are the FREE printable icons that you can use for your chart. I hope this helps you and your kids enjoy do things at home.

 

Materials:

Magnetic sheet ( $2)

Metal Board with rope to hang (Walmart)

Construction paper

Magnetic Alphabets (optional)

Pom poms (optional)

Twine (optional

Laminate (optional)

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STEP 1 Print customized icons in 8.5 x 11 paper.

STEP 2 Cut and glue construction paper to add a pop of color. I designated color each of my kids.

STEP 3 If you can, laminate so it won’t get dirty easily. It makes the paper stable to hold as well. If you’ve noticed, I’ve included some blank rounds on the FREE printable file, this way, you can add your own drawing for your kid’s chart.

STEP 4 Cut magnetic sheet in small pieces that will fit the rounded icon.

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(no, this chart it’s not for this little fella :) )

I used a jute rope to create two columns. The left side that says “TO DO” are the icons that I want my kids to try to do. You can add other icons as you go along. I try to feature 4 to 6 icons and once they’re done, they can get 4 to 6 minute of screen time play (they love PBS Kids like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Wild Kratts) or anything that tickles their fancy in that moment. They are into marbles recently, so I also use that as rewards when they finish a task.

For this chart, I also have a space where it will remind myself and my children to read the Bible and lead a prayer during mealtime. I also included a verse for the month as well.

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So this is my chart as a mom of three kids. I’m a visual person and this chart helps me to track what I need to do on a daily basis. This is super easy and fun to do.  I don’t have the printable to-do list since each of us have different things that we want to accomplish on a day. Here are mine:

 

  • One on one with big bro
  • One on one with mid bro
  • One on one with little bro
  • 8 glasses of water (I’m so bad at this)
  • Hug husband (because I’m not a hugging person that’s why I include this on my to-do list)
  • Read Bible
  • Self-care (hobbies for myself like putting a simple makeup, needlepointing, painting etc.)
  • Walk and exercise (does chasing kids count?)

Once I’m done with all of my tasks, the phrase “good work” will appear. You can print the “good work” here (simply shaded the back using pencil and trace in as your guide. Fill in with marker). You can also use image if you’d like.

If you like this post, don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest. Also, let me know if you’ll be trying this chart! Tag me on Instagram @helloislandmama so I can see your work. Can’t wait!

 

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Summer Reading with Kids

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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Our backyard is one of my favorite spots at home. The kids not only enjoy playing but they also like it when we lay down our mat (we love our banig that’s made from the Philippines!) to hang out and read. We do this early in the morning to avoid the intense heat since we live in Texas. Brent and I teach our kids the importance of reading and books. It helps from brain development, creativity, to broadening their vocabulary. Books and activities refrain them from being too dependent on gadgets. Whenever my kids read, it also serves as my “break time” from all the noise in our household. It gives me time to recollect and recharge even for just a few minutes.

Our books are mostly given by families and friends while some we bought from Amazon. I also love buying books from consignment stores. I score some pretty good finds because most of the time they still look brand new. My kids and I love going to the library to look for new reads. This is also a good way of checking whether a book is worth buying or borrowing. I made a list of what books my youngest son likes when he was little in my previous post. You can find that here.

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I like to expose my kids in Tagalog books, too. This way they can recognize and learn Tagalog words easily.

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Reading and sharing stories at an early age can help your child become familiar with sounds, words, and language.

Here’s a list of books that what we currently enjoy now:

English Books

Amazing Animals (a nature adventure. One of our favorite books about animals. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Suki!)

The Curious Little Kitten

Little Bear’s Friend

My First Prayers and Psalms

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

Summer (my husband’s favorite summer childhood book)

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (My boys love everything in this book. Make sure when you read you read the part “What’s that!??”, make it sounds exciting 😉 )

Put Me In The Zoo

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Tagalog Books

Bahay Kubo

Halu-Halo Espesyal

Ang Arko ni Noah

Alphabeto sa Bayong

Hating Kapatid

Tagu-taguan (a counting book in Filipino)

Ako si Kaliwa, Ako si Kanan

Araw sa Palengke

I think it’s important to introduce books to kids at an early age. There are countless educational apps out there but nothing beats learning from books. It sparks curiosity and imagination that surely will benefit them as they grow up. Are there any books you and your kids like to read?

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Summer and new beginnings

Monday, June 25, 2018

 

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I feel like every year there’s a huge change in our family – from being pregnant to moving to a new home. But no, this time, we are not expecting another child. But also yes, because we’ve recently moved to a new home with our very own backyard! Since the birth of our eldest, we lived in an apartment with tenants down our floor. We always had to be careful and considerate with the noises coming from our home – and with kids, this is an extreme challenge. 4678608252085748593

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(Hammock from Eno)

Having a spacious backyard is the greatest thing because when you have active boys, it’s a good way for them to play and use their energy! My kids love playing with water especially when it’s raining. This reminds me of my childhood in The Philippines where we play in the rain and make paper boats that we would later use in small puddles of water.

Brent and I loved the idea of renting a house that we can relax in immediately after dinner. We sometimes walk or let the kids play with their scooters. Our hammock is the perfect place to relax and just be together with the shaded tree in our front yard. We decided to move to a new home since this is closer to our church and our kids’ other activities.

I can’t wait to make more memories here and the kids are also excited to make new friends including cats and squirrels! How about you?

What are you and your family are looking forward to this summer?

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Always Ready With Always® Radiant

Thursday, June 14, 2018

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks. always ready always radiant she speaks hello island mama 4

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For women, our monthly friend can be cause of a worry. It’s not just the cramps but also the feeling we get when we have them. Sometimes it’s a task to track them, too. Not everyone gets their period on the same date every month. Since I’m still breastfeeding with my youngest, I have yet to meet my monthly visitor. In this case, I always want to be ready and don’t want to be caught off guard when my period finally arrives. I bring a lot of stuff with me on a daily basis. My planner, nursing cover, and wipes are my absolute essentials and definitely won’t leave the house without. Along with this, I carry Always® Radiant pads with me wherever I go. They are individually and stylishly wrapped making it a breeze to carry in my purse. I even have one in my kids’ diaper bag and in our car just in case of emergency. This is a must for moms like me who doesn’t know when to expect their period.

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I’ve been using Always® Radiant ever since and haven’t encountered any discomfort. It allows me to move freely without the worry. I like that Always Radiant pads are up to 100% leak and odor free. It’s lightweight and absorbs 10x its weight because of FlexFoam™ and the best part is; you won’t even feel it’s there. It stays and sticks in place allowing me to move without being too conscious. For women who are always on the go, we need pads that don’t make us itch and stays no matter how busy our days get. As moms, the tasks we do every day can be a little overwhelming. It helps to wear a pad that is comfortable and extremely absorbent. It’s such good news that Always® Radiant added two more sizes based on women’s unique menstrual flow. Using the Size Selector Tool, it’s now easier for women to find a pad that works best with no added hassle.

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I’m just so happy to find a pad that fits my need and with 10 hours of protection. It’s effective and top quality at a very affordable price.  For more details on Always® Radiant pads, you can visit RadiantlyStylish.com. You can also find Always® Radiant on all Walmart branches.

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Little Baby Basics by Carter’s

Monday, May 28, 2018

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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One of the many dilemmas we face as mothers is choosing clothes for our babies. There are so many options and sometimes it can get a little overwhelming! I always opt for clothing that is comfortable for my kids, and made with fabrics that will not harm their skin. It’s no surprise that I was excited to come across Carter’s clothing. I started using their baby clothes with my eldest son, and have continued until now with my third son. Carter’s is a one-stop shop for all your baby needs, whether you need clothes for baby boys, baby girls, or gender neutral outfits.

Their bodysuits are the cutest and come in different designs and color. They use quality fabrics that do not irritate my babies’ skin at all. They have all kinds of baby clothes in a wide variety of sizes, from preemie to 24 months old. Each style caters to the different needs of our babies from onesies, pajamas, tops, and bottoms, to footwear such as sandals and shoes.

It’s always good to invest in quality, long-lasting basics for babies that are durable and will stand the test of time (and can be used later for new babies).. There’s a Little Baby Basics line with an array of pieces like swaddles, baby-proof bibs, hooded towels, easy outfit sets, and of course, the original bodysuit.

 

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My personal favorite is the original bodysuit that comes with snaps, making diaper changes a breeze. Dressing is easy too because of the expandable shoulders. The bodysuits are available in five packs on their website in various designs. Definitely a bargain! 

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If you prefer long sleeves for your baby or they’re easily cold, The Little Character Set is also available. It can be worn on days of travel or at night for a peaceful sleep for your baby. Carter’s iconic character art on the knees or toesies can also be spotted in this set, along with a short-sleeve option for your baby. Carter’s is gentle on my babies skin and provides the best kind of comfort.

 

Carter’s clothes are also a great present for expecting mothers. Their The Little Baby Basic bundles are perfect as a baby shower gift. This includes a one-piece, bibs, burp cloths, and blankets. Shopping for baby clothes can be tricky at times. Babies grow faster and can go from size 0 to 10 real quick. Just remember to always stick to the basics. Just like in women’s fashion, basics are the best kind of investment.

Find a Carter’s store near you. Carter’s offers up to 40% off through June 30 using this code: Online CART4342  in store: 066944

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What’s the one Carter’s essential you have for your baby’s first year?




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Sleeping tips for toddlers

Thursday, May 3, 2018
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“Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up”… sound familiar? ;)

Sleeping is not just elusive for adults but for kids too. Some have a hard time sleeping and parents are usually up with them. Having a good night’s sleep is essential for good health, mind, and body. It also helps proper brain development for babies and toddlers. My husband, a Child Psychologist, recommends apt sleep hours for kids. Our eldest kids, who are 4 and 2-years-old are already good sleepers. We are in the process of sleep training with our 8-month old baby and my husband helps me with this process. I know not all parents agree with this method but sleep training works for our family ever since our first son. I wanted to share a few things that helped our kids sleep better.

White Noise/Sound Machine

We started using a Sound Machine during our first-born. Babies are used to hearing a lot of noise in the womb and it maybe hard for them to sleep in a too-quiet nursery. This device cancels out unwanted noise from your home or neighborhood but provides calming sounds to help babies sleep better. Our eldest, however, stopped using a Sound Machine when he reached 2-years-old. My husband and I have grown quite fond of it. We don’t mind playing the calming sounds in the background.

Sleep with their favorite item

Remember the term ‘security blankets’? Kids love them and need them. Kids always cling to their favorite toy and most of the time, bringing it to bed helps them sleep better. It gives them a sense of security and calm making them sleep peacefully. As for my kids, they always sleep next to their favorite plush toys. My eldest likes his plush owl, our 2-year-old his frog plush, and our youngest his fox plush. The item varies depending on what your kid’s favorite new toy is. Bringing those to bed is a huge plus in helping them sleep soundly.

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Create a routine

Routines are good for kids because their bodies recognize the pattern reminding them that in a few hours it’s sleeping time. As for us, it’s dinner (eating healthy meal with veggies), playtime, cleaning up the toys, bath time, book reading, singing worship songs, and saying a prayer. I’ve discussed this thoroughly in a previous blog post here. Also, refrain from using gadgets of any sort at least an hour before bedtime.

Reading books

Reading books before bedtime is a good cooling down period. It signals the body that it’s time to sleep and helps calm the mind. I’ve mentioned a few of my baby’s favorite books in a separate entry here. For my two boys, their current favorite books are “You are special” (I highly recommend this book! The author Max Lucado is a Christian writer.), “Horton hatches the egg” , and “the biggest bear”.

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Daytime Routine

Sleeping in the afternoon (no later than 4PM) helps our kids sleep soundly at night. We noticed that putting them to bed tired makes them cranky and agitated. My youngest sleeps twice (morning and afternoon). I love to read books to our two eldest sons before naptime too. My husband reads them a story at night to bond more since he’s always at work during the day. Since we speak two languages at home, I expose them to Tagalog books like “Ako si kaliwa, ako si kanan”, “Filemon Mamon”, “araw sa palengke”.

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Do some activities

Let the kids be active in the afternoon so when they’re about to sleep no unused energy will keep them up. Most of the time kids fidget before sleeping because of the unspent energy they have in their little bodies. The best way to address that is to keep them active during the day.

These are just a few things to help sleeping be a breeze for my family and me. What routines or activities work for you and your kids?

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Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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