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A look back at 2019 + Family Update

Monday, December 30, 2019

window activity

It’s time to make my youngest son’s silhouette painting. see tutorial here

we did a mini spring photoshoot theme. we also invited some of our friends to join in.

peeka-boo!

skateboard after work

Easter egg hunt. My youngest son’s first time to do Easter egg hunting.

This was the activity we do in Easter Sunday. We also read a children’s Bible.

toddler walk

We love outdoor

This 2019, we moved to our own first house! Thanks to God <3

Swimming lesson last summer

Backyard is more fun if it is muddy 😉

more backyard fun!

and more… with my sampayan 😉

they love this pool i saw in amazon. You can find it here

breastfeeding journey with my youngest son. It was the longest journey so it was really hard to say goodbye.

eldest son turned 5. check his birthday photos here

and then my second son turned 4. He loves green Ninjago…

and lastly my youngest son turned 2. He loves Daniel Tiger so his birthday theme is all about Daniel and his friends. Hopefully. I could create a blog post about the theme this year. There were DIYs like birthday mask, cupcake toppers and more.

And yes, one of their stuffed animal toys also had a birthday….welcome to my life, y’all.

Legotime

I was excited to go back in oil painting. I did this floral for my mom-in-law. I never painted flowers before so it’s challenging and fun at the same time.

Happy4th

We are the parents. Normal vs Halloween Mode. Also, my husband just launched his first Youtube channel called Parentpsych to share some tips and advice as child psychologist. Please please subscribe and share his videos <3

Halloween photos here

learning the letter S

My second son being “quiet”. His Kuya started his Kindergarten in Fall so it was quite different here everyday. BUT this second semester, Brent and I decided to homeschool our kindergarten (Please pray for us… and my patience 😉 ) We love the school and the people there but we think that 7-8 hours is way too long for 5 years old. What happened to half day?

another painting I did this 2019. It’s for my children’s playroom makeover. See the final work here 

I know, i know, I’m getting too old. Needlepointing for my children’s Christmas stockings. If you see a lady needlepointing inside the car, in the parking area, school, playground, clinic, that’s me.

Merry Christmas to all of you! See you next year!

“When He tells you what His plans are, trust Him and walk closely with Him. Don’t let the busyness of your present activity keep you from experiencing all that God has in store for you”

CATEGORY Family
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Gifts For Him

Friday, December 6, 2019

It’s another year of gift giving this Christmas! Have you started shopping for presents yet? Or maybe a list of gift ideas for your loved ones such as the men in your life? Men can be hard to shop for and if you’re feeling the same, you are not alone 🙂 I asked my husband, Brent, to share his wish list, for lack of a better term. He really likes quality above everything else and rarely buys impulsively.  If you know someone like him who shares the same principle, check out the list for quality gifts for the men in your life.

 

  1. Bullet Grid Journal

Journaling is probably more of a woman’s thing but it doesn’t mean guys won’t enjoy it, too. My husband tracks his goals using his bullet journal. He enjoys making his own schedule and goals in different charts/columns. It’s not only for journaling but it can also be used for doodling and drawing. A perfect way to start 2020!

2. Qalo Silicone Wedding Ring

If your man is active, likes to swim, works out and prefers not to wear his ring on his finger, I recommend to get a durable silicone ring. Both of us have one and we love it so much! It’s comfortable to wear without the worry of losing or scratching it.

3. Klean Kanteen insulated tumbler 

Whether he’s a coffee lover, tea lover, or just hydrates eight times a day, this reusable tumbler is a good one to carry! It’s totally insulated and will keep your drinks fresh all day long. 

4. Hammock

Laying in a  hammock might be one of the best forms of relaxation ever. This hammock comes with plenty of colors to choose from. It can be used for two  and perfect for tall people as well. 

5. adidas Hat

If your man is a hat lover, better check out this hat collection from adidas. Whether for sports, hiking, or  just city strolling, it’s the hat to wear without sacrificing style. I own one from their women’s collection and it fits perfectly and comfortably.

6. adidas training top

A lightweight top for men even when they’re not super athletic. It can be worn for workouts, strolling, or while running errands. It’s made from moisture-wicking fabric that’s comfortable and drying even on extra busy days.

women’s hoodie sweatshirt

I hope this list can help you and make your gift searching easy. Let’s face it! Shopping for men can be a real challenge. 

  How about you? What are your gift ideas for the men (husband, father, brother, etc) in your life?

 

In partnership with adidas. Thanks for supporting the brands that make my blog possible.

 

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Family Halloween Costume: The Hobbit

Friday, November 1, 2019

This year my husband was the one in charge to pick what theme we’ll do for Halloween since I chose the costume from last year . He was always keen to do The Hobbit since he wants to be Gandalf (Hello Lord of the Rings fans!). It was such a fun, messy, and challenging experience to prepare our costumes. I tried my best not to spend for the materials as much as possible. I mainly had to buy the wig and ears since I don’t know how to make them from scratch.

Here are some behind-the-scene images I took from weeks of preparation. I hope you enjoy, get inspired, and learn something from it! 🙂

I’m thankful that there was a week when my mother-in-law was in town so she taught me how to sew the kids’ cloak and Gandalf costumes. I found all the fabrics in a thrift store. The cloak is  mostly made from window curtains.

DIY Gandalf costumes using an old bed sheet.

DIY Gandalf Hat. I used cereal boxes and wrapped an old pillowcase with a different fabric.

Testing the Gandalf hat.

My husband loves Halloween…

Gandalf Beard. It was made of wool which means it can be pretty messy….it shredded a lot, so beware.😉

Brent told me to use my hairspray to lessen the shredding. I used a mix of water and Elmer’s glue instead. I don’t want to use my nice hairspray you know? 😉

For the hobbit feet, I used their own shoes to mold to create the hobbit feet. These are made of paper and I finished it with a brush of  mixed water and Elmer’s glue.

Fun part! Painting! To add some hair, I used black threads and trimmed it into small pieces.

Our friend Clint of @boyd.woodshop helped us create these cool wooden swords for our kids!

The cute vest was from old button shirts.

The only DIY for myself is the headpiece of Galadriel.

My husband told me that I’m the dark elf version, so I did my makeup in a lighter way 😉 My dress was given by Susan from our church. I found the shawl in thrift store and used an accessory that came from my wedding dress. Thanks to Photoshop for my colored eyes 😉

So thankful for thrift stores! There are many things that I found that made these Halloween costumes less expensive, yet creative. 

 

These are the links if you’d like to see where we found these items:

Elf ears

Galadriel Wig

Light Ball for Gandalf Staff

 

Happy Halloween! Stay warm in this cold weather!

 

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Birthday party at Schlitterbahn Galveston

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Photographed by Drew

When your kid’s birthday is during the hottest season, hanging out in the water is the most ideal way to enjoy the party. My family and I are excited to be back at Schlitterbahn again since we had such a fun time last year! This summer we had the chance to enjoy our day at the waterpark with some of our friends as we celebrated our youngest son’s second birthday.  I partnered with Schlitterbahn on today’s post to share our experience and show how exciting it is to celebrate a birthday at Schlitterbahn!  

Although “exciting” and “wonderful” are the first words that come to mind when thinking of a birthday at Schlitterbahn, another good word is “convenient.” The birthday package at Schlitterbahn made the whole day easy and stress free. We loved that everything we needed was ready when we arrived, including a private cabana and everything needed for the party. Right in front of our cabana was Tiki Tikes, a wonderful play area for kids with slides, shallow wading water, and lifeguards. It was super convenient for myself and my friends, as we had several toddlers in the group, and could easily keep an eye on them as we chit-chatted in the shade. The lifeguards were very  attentive and made us parents feel safe. 

The slightly older kids in our group (ages4-6) enjoyed water slides, the lazy river, and the Whitewater river, where they loved riding down the rapids on floats (which are freely provided by the waterpark). Although my 2-year-old was too young to ride on the bigger rides we kept coming back to –  like the “Wolfpack” and “Thunder Tub” – it was okay, since he could play with the other small children on the Tiki Tikes play area while our friends kept an eye on him. We traded off watching the youngest kids frequently during the day, which worked great: while one couple relaxed in the shade for a bit, other parents and older kids went and rode the amazing rides scattered throughout the park.

Our view from the cabana. So relaxing!

I personally love the Wolfpack (I call it the pink ride haha). It’s such an exciting and fun ride for the whole family! And the view of the park from the top is beautiful. The park was not overly crowded, either. Perhaps that is because we went on a Monday. Both times we have come to Schlitterbahn it has been on weekdays, and we have never felt that there were too many people there. Pro tip: Come right when the park opens at 10, and there will be almost no lines at all for the first hour!

My friends Brittany and Karla, both moms of all boys! There were so many boys that day, all very loud and active 😉

Birthday parties aren’t complete without sweet treats…right!? 😉 Guys, this was my first time to try Dippin Dots ice cream, and it was the best! After being outdoors all day, a cup of ice-cold Dippin Dots was a great way to refresh and re-energize.! For those of you who have never had them, Dippin Dots are tiny, frozen beads of ice cream, yogurt, and flavored ice. Kids grabbed flavors like “Rainbow Ice”, “Banana Split” (my favorite; yes I kept eating it out of my kid’s cup haha) and “Cookies ‘n Cream”. There were several Dippin Dots kiosks around the waterpark which were easy to spot. 

Aside from ice cream, our birthday package also include waterproof tattoos. All the kids were thrilled about and these, and enjoyed picking the designs they liked! The kiosk is located in the gift and shopping area of Schlitterbahn.

We don’t give our boys sweets too often, and certainly not a giant cupcakes full of frosting, but hey – it’s your birthday 😉 Happy birthday to my sweet 2 year old son!

It was so nice to have a birthday party that all ages loved, that was stress-free and super convenient, and that was both exciting and relaxing depending on if we were riding thrilling rides or relaxing in the shade with ice cream! This trip only confirmed that Schlitterbahn is the perfect destination for all ages. It is family-friendly and great for kids from toddlers to teenagers. Check out all the attractions and rides here, and reserve a spot for your next  birthday party at Schlitterbahn! 

Photographed by Drew

 

In partnership with Schlitterbahn Galveston. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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5 days of fun school lunches for kids

Saturday, August 10, 2019

This post is sponsored by adidas. All my opinions are my own.

We have a child who is entering kindergarten this month! With all the busyness before the first day of school, wearing comfy tops like this one to do some errands or cooking in the kitchen certainly helps me in more ways than one. For today’s post, I’d like to share these five school lunches for kids with a twist of fun and creativity! If you’ve been a reader of my blog or been following me on my Instagram stories, you know that I love art and design and I sometimes share some creative lunches for my kids since I’m a stay-at-home mom. I thought why not apply my art background on food so my son will get more excited to eat them. 

Thankfully, my kids are good eaters. It takes practice, lots of patience, and training to turn our kids to one. Credit goes to my husband who has a background in Child Psychology 😉 Anyway, scroll down and enjoy these five days of fun and homemade school lunch for your kids!

Lunch: Cheese Sandwich with Pepperoni 
Theme: School bus

When my kids think of school, one of the first things that comes to mind is a school bus! Here’s how to make an edible school bus: grab a knife and trim the top left and side of two sliced of bread to create a curve. Make three small square holes in the front as bus windows. I added a few pepperoni as wheels and a stop sign that says ‘K” for kindergarten. I threw some steamed broccoli, almonds, raisins, and cherry plums for a fruity treat.

Lunch: Avocado Cheese Quesidilla
Theme: Fish

Tortilla is a hit at home especially for my kids. I grabbed a fresh tortilla in the grocery to make this easy and healthy avocado cheese quesadilla. After I made them, on the same iron skillet pan, I fried corn and black beans with oil, some cumin, and paprika for a few minutes. The other side is sweet pepper (as fish skin), more avocados, and fresh mangoes.

Lunch: Mini Bagel Pizza
Theme: Owl

One of the easiest lunch that I actually give to my kids is pizza bagel. The best part of it is that my kids can join and help create their own. You can make these bunch and freeze it for later after you baked them. I think this will be my eldest son’s on-the-go lunch!

 

Food: Pasta Salad
Theme: Writing K for Kindergarten

Another easy and healthy lunch idea is pasta salad. I know, I know.. salad for kids? Well, the good side of pasta salad is that you can experiment with ingredients — olives, cube cheese, zucchini, cherry tomatoes. For protein, we usually use marinade chicken but this time, summer sausage as it’s easy to chop and add on the salad. The adorable cheese pencil I got from Pinterest! You can add apple sauce and some crackers as side dish.

Lunch Idea: Koren Beef with Rice
Theme: Bear

This 30-minute korean beef that I found in Pinterest is one of the meals that my family loves. You can throw some veggies like broccoli, carrots, green onions, and red peppers. Since I’m from the Philippines and my husband spent some time living in Asia, we love having rice at least once or twice a week! And yes, we love leftovers so it doesn’t go to waste! Any left is what I will pack for my son’s lunch.

I hope this post inspires you to create your son’s lunch with a twist. Whether you want a creative lunch or just a simple one, the important thing is the effort you make for your little one(s) and that it comes from the heart <3

adidas kid’s shirt (similar one)

blue tank top

Feel free to share with other moms. Happy weekend!

 

CATEGORY DIY, Family, Food
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How I Fit Three Boys in One Room + Closet Organization

Sunday, June 30, 2019

 

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how three boys one room closet organization (1)

When we found out that our third son was another boy, we knew that all of our three boys would share one bedroom. We want them to grow up together in one room so that they would be close and learn to share (even though 3 boys in one room can get crazy at times 😉 As they’ve grown up they’ve become very close and are always playing and laughing. We’re so glad they’re building strong relationships and making great memories!

If you have noticed on my Instagram, we have finally moved into our new house, which is the first house we have ever bought! Praise to God! When we moved in we were excited for the boys to start rooming together consistently. But the boys room aren’t very big,  so I had to make sure that the furniture would not make the room look cluttered or too crowded. My first thought was to maximize their new bedroom space by using bunk bed. After some looking, we found this perfect  Metal Twin-Twin  Bunk Bed from Bel Furniture in Houston. It’s sturdy, stylish, and space-saving, and I really enjoyed decorating the room with it.  I added some matching some wooden decor so make a boyish, warm-feeling room.  

how three boys one room closet organization (4)

Thanks to the space-saving bunk bed, there’s plenty of room for our youngest son’s toddler bed. But this is just temporary – one thing I love about the bunk bed is that there is plenty of space for a trundle bed in the future for our little one. Then there will be even more space in the room for dressers, desks, or whatever else the boys need.

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For their closet organization, I used two metal frames with wire mesh drawers on either side of the closet. This gave us plenty of storage for all 3 boys’ shirts, shorts, pants, etc. 

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The kids really love their new bed! After getting everything set up I decided to add a small book shelf for each boy so that they each have a separate space to read their books when they get too crazy during the day 😉 

Thank you for Bel Furniture for helping us to maximize the kids’ bedroom! You can find the bunk bed we have here. It’s on sale!

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Celebrate Mother’s Day the Simple Way

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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.

adidas mothers day helloislandmama 2

adidas mothers day helloislandmama 6

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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Turning 5 at Pump It Up

Monday, April 22, 2019

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turning five pump it up webster 3

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My son recently celebrated his 5th birthday at Pump It Up of Webster. I’m so thankful that I was able to organize everything and that the kids’ actually enjoyed the party! Let’s face it. Entertaining kids is a challenge these days. With all the gadgets around, it’s quite hard to find an activity that they would really enjoy.

My son was so happy to celebrate with his friends from our church. They definitely loved climbing and sliding down the huge inflatable slides. I didn’t need to worry at all about everyone’s safety. Pump It Up’s friendly staff were always present to supervise the area and attend to the kids whenever they needed help with something.

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What I love about Pump It Up though, is that they’re really clean and organized. As mothers, we don’t want our kids playing in areas with questionable sanitation. So this was a huge plus for me! This is one of the first things I’ve noticed in their facility. They keep the play areas really clean!

They also helped me with the e-vites including sending a reminder to my guests before the actual party. This really took a load off my plate and allowed me to attend to other things. It’s always nice to have a little helping hand when setting everything up is getting overwhelming. The part I super loved about all this is, I don’t have to clean up after the party! Parties are fun but the clean up after is a feat. My family and I can just have a good time without worrying about the mess we need to clean up after. It’s like having your cake and eating it too! 🙂

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turning five pump it up webster
Since my son is into Ninjago lego 😉 He also requested for Lego cupcakes just like I did for his brother last year. “Lego Birthday Theme”. It’s easy to make and you can buy ready made fondant in grocery stores. Use a small icing stainless tip to create small rounded shapes for the brick Lego effect.

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To complete the party favors, Bitsy’s sent these delicious and healthy snacks for the kids!

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If you’re thinking of a kids’ party that even the adults will enjoy, I highly recommend Pump It Up. It’s simple, stress-free, and private. The Glow in the Dark, Balloon Drop and Bubble Experience are just so much fun that you surely would want you and your kids to experience. The reservations are quick and you can choose from different packages for all party sizes. You can browse their packages and play areas here. Book a date through their online calendar and you’re good to go!

Thank you to Pump It Up of Webster for this fun and cool birthday party! You made my family and friends super happy!

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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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