Posts in “Lifestyle”

Simple Self-Care Ideas For Busy Moms

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishInNoTime #SnackWithPurpose #CollectiveBias


I’m finally waking up to the fact that I will have another baby in the next few months in addition to my 2 active toddler boys. I’ve been starting to think and ask myself, do I have even have time to change my pajamas, get a good amount of sleep, or even to finish my food? I think probably not in the first few weeks or even months. My stay-at-home mom lifestyle is getting busier and busier as my kids grow and as my baby bump grows as well. But I noticed that whenever I take even a small amount of time for myself during the busy day, my stress and most especially my grumpiness are reduced 😉 I feel happier, more positive,  and even more confident. Do I need to feel guilty if I take some time to myself just for a short moment? I honestly can say no. For me, I take care of myself not only for my own benefit, but also for my kids and most especially for my marriage – because my kids and husband see a happy mom and wife. Today, I wanted to share some simple self-care ideas for busy moms which are easy, but which can make a strong difference mentally and physically.


Make To-Do List

Making a to-do list is my favorite thing to do even before I got married and had kids. As a busy mom, this helps me to see what the tasks are for the day. It’s a good feeling to be prepared and organized, especially when your days with the kids are hectic – and it saves time too!


Stay Connected

Even though it’s been 6 years now that I’m living in America since coming from Philippines, I love to get connected with my friends abroad. It’s a good thing that communication is convenient now because of internet and social media. I love how I am able to chat with my friends and update them on my personal life, and most specially to speak my native language. I have also found some wonderful friends here in Houston who I love to connect with by going for a ladies night out, a playdate with our kids, or even planning an outing to the thrift store with other moms.



Easy and Healthy Food

Breakfast is a big deal for me now that I have children to take care of for the whole day. Now that my days are getting busier and busier since I’m pregnant, I’m trying to make an easy yet healthy breakfast that fits my busy life. I found these on-the-go smoothies from Odwalla when I stopped by Randalls. They’re perfect for breakfast and offer great  nutrition for my body, with the added benefit of having no sugar added! They also offer wide variety of 100% juices and smoothies, protein, and almond milk shakes.


Do Some Hobby

I feel thankful that my kids are napping well in the afternoon. This is the time I like to paint, create fun DIYs, browse magazines or art books, and even blog, which I love to do now as a stay-at-home mom. I find it peaceful and relaxing when I engage in the hobbies I used to do before becoming a mother. These activities balance my busy life of motherhood.



Listening To Music

Whether at home, driving, or strolling with the kids, music can make you feel good and change your mood. I like to listen to Christian songs or other feel-good music like reggae while I’m doing some work or a hobby, because it relaxes my mind as well as my body. Any feel good music you like to listen to?




By the way, You can save $1 on your next purchase of in-store fresh cut fruit when you buy any TWO (2) Odwalla 15.2 fl. oz. (You’ll receive a print out coupon at the register.). Offer ends 6/27/17. simple-self-care-ideas-busy-moms-odwalla-instore


Any other simple self-care practices you like to do for yourself?

Don’t forget to check Odwalla’s Facebook page to know more about their healthy and on-the-go products.



Easy Steps To Feel Confident

Monday, April 24, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyRadiantLook #CollectiveBias

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As Spring has begun, I’ve been enjoying the sunny weather every day. I’ve been loving spending time with my kids, whether it’s indoor or outdoor.  But being a stay-at-home mom, I also love taking a few minutes in the bathroom for myself to freshen up, do something to make me feel good, and get ready for a busy  day with my kids. For today’s post, I’m excited to team up with Colgate® and their new Colgate® Optic White® RADIANT™ Toothpaste as part of my everyday routine to bring out confidence at the start of each day. I always believe that the best accessory is a smile that can create a great impact not only for ourselves but also for others – including our kids. It can lead to positive thinking and can cheer up an otherwise dull day. Here are some easy steps you can try to get some confidence!


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Before I start putting makeup on, I always make sure that I have clean teeth for a great smile on my face. I recently discovered Colgate® Optic White® RADIANT™ Toothpaste, a new product in Kroger which helps to boost my confidence every day. The best part is that it is safe to use to whiten inside and out. I love to smile (and most especially to laugh) with my kids, especially when taking selfies with them 😉 I think confidence starts from a great smile with white teeth!



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Simple makeup can make big difference throughout the day, whether you want to focus on brows, covering your dark circles or trying a new lip color. Makeup surely brings out some confidence. As a mom with small kids, I like to do a simple application  focusing on areas I like to enhance for me to feel awake and confident. After I wash my face and moisturize, I like to use eyebrow pencil, liquid concealer to cover dark circles,  mascara, a highlighter, blush, and swipe on some lip color. I like coral tone this Spring!  



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Creating a simple hairstyle is also a perfect way to add a cheerful look for Springtime, whether it’s a bun, braid or if you just want to have your hair up. I either do a side braid or half braid if I want my hair to look “pretty” and to match my look for a day.


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I love to wear lighter-colored outfits during Springtime. I think choosing a happy color and good style will make you feel great this season. It makes me smile  and feel inspired when I see fellow mothers who take time for themselves to dress up, even if it’s  just a simple style. Any mothers here who feel the same?



It’s hard for me to accessorize jewelry during Winter since I’m covered with a heavy jacket and too many layers (I don’t miss that season..)  But it’s Spring now and I’m happy to finally get to use my jewelry to match my Spring outfits! I like to keep it simple and wear either a necklace or earrings just to add a bit of style to my outfit.
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Don’t forget to check Colgate®’s page to learn about this new product to achieve radiant white teeth.

Any other beauty/ style routine or steps that you like to share to feel beautiful for Spring?


Cute Organizer Planner 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


This coming weekend, we’re going to be welcoming the year 2017! Do you like to have a cute organizer planner for 2017? Do you like organizing your day and life with planners? I sure do! Traditional planners are effective for me to have throughout the year as I use them for: scheduling, planning, writing inspiring verses, making to-do lists, and to write out thoughts (like about motherhood). My husband has installed a planner and to-do list apps on my phone many times, but I could never get into using them. I’m still more on the traditional side where I prefer to write and turn pages. 😉 Over the past few days, I have been searching for a good planner to use for next year. I wanted thought to share some of the ones that caught my eye.

  1. Hidden Greenery Planner
  2. Kate Spade Pink Diary
  3. Floral Life Planner (sold out, but you may try their other planner)
  4. 2017 Crosshatch Planner
  5. Anthropologie Chambray 2017 Planner
  6. Floral WaterColor Planner With Scripture
  7. Anthropologie Bonheur 2017 Planner


Which one caught your eye? I think I like #7, simple and classy 🙂


Simple Bathroom Makeover + Makeup Organizing

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I finally had the time to organize our bathroom last week, since we moved back to Houston and got our own apartment. If you follow me on Snapchat and on Instagram, you might have seen how I used window curtains for exterior shower curtains. I love how it turned out! It looks great and adds beauty to the bathroom. Another nice touch was adding some plants to make the bathroom feel relaxing and calm. I also love these wooden containers from my mom, made in my hometown in the Philippines. These kinds of containers will be on my shopping list the next time I go back there. They are so beautiful and well-made!


I love this round, wood container which I use for cotton balls bathroom-makeover-makeup-organizing-5


A wooden coaster for my rings, so I don’t misplace them.


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My husband loves how this curtain turned out too. It will also help during the cold season, keeping the cool air from getting into the shower. One issue that I encountered was finding longer shower curtains for the inside. Most stores only offered standard sizes, which were too short for our shower. However, I was able to come up with my own solution. I hand-sewed a piece of another shower curtain onto the existing one. This extended the length to help keep water from splashing outside. Our shower has two rods for holding shower curtains: one for the outside, and one for the inside. I moved the inside rod holding the clear shower curtain higher up, so that it wouldn’t be visible.  This helped make it look more aesthetically pleasing on the outside. You can see the changes in the before and after pics below.


Here are similar items you might like to check out for your bathroom. 🙂

Window Curtain

Shower Curtain Rod

Soft Bathroom Rug

Fern Plants In Burlap Planters

3- Opening Rope Collage Frame

Oval Wood Tray With Copper Handle

Palm Tifton Canister

Cactus Mercury Glass Jar With Rope Trim

Wood Placemat

Wood Coaster

Any tips on how you organize your bathroom simply and make it beautiful?


An Emergency Diaper Kit For The Car

Monday, September 12, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SuperAbsorbent #CollectiveBias


As the mother of a toddler and an infant, I’ve learned to be ready with what I need to bring for my kids in our diaper bag. This includes items to pack for feeding, diapering, and extra clothing. But of course, there are days that I feel sleep deprived and forgetful; on other days, there are unexpected outdoor activities or restaurant visits.  No matter how well I’ve prepared, I sometimes forget to bring things like extra diapers. Today, I’m excited to team up with Huggies and Costco  to show you a step-by-step on how I packed an emergency diaper kit for my car. This is a life-saver and is super helpful for parents like me! Here’s how I created mine – it only takes 2 steps!

emergency-diaper-kit-for-the-car-6 1. Use a container that has a few inserts to help with organizing. This is an affordable bathroom shower container I used to organize the stuff I need for the car. It has a handle that is easy to carry if I need to move it around.


2. Pack what your child needs. As a mom of a toddler and infant, here are the things I put in my emergency diaper kit for my car:


  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Ready-to-go Bag
  • Extra Bag
  • Extra Clothes
  • Bib
  • Snacks (these get eaten very quickly!)
  • Toy and a book
  • Plastic Bags
  • Diaper Cream
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Moisturizer
  • Teething Toy

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Parent tip: Have a ready-to-go diaper bag in the emergency diaper kit which can be easily taken with you when needed. Fill it with only the basic things you need: a diaper, wipes inside a small ziplock, and a grocery bag for dirty diapers or clothes. You can also use a large ziplock as the bag to carry everything in.


My eldest son, who is two years old, knows how to use the potty now, so I pack extra briefs and bottoms. However, we still have him wear diapers during bedtime and long drives since he can fall asleep in his carseat. So having extra diapers inside the car is a must! Our youngest son, who just turned one year old, is wearing a size 5 diaper! I know, what a big boy! He has been much more active since he started to crawl, walk, and climb. I love how Huggies Little Movers Plus diapers (Size 5) absorb so well, protecting my son from any leaking. I used to use  a different diaper brand in size 6 for him for bedtime since he often leaks at night. However, since using Little Movers Plus diapers in size 5, I have not had to wake up and change his diaper due to leaking. The Huggies Little Movers Plus diaper also has comfortable grip straps, a perfect fit for on-the-go movers like him. These Plus diapers are only available at Costco.



Make sure to check out these discounts with free shipping below.

Little Snugglers Plus (Sizes 1 & 2) – regularly $37.49, $31.49 after $6 discount and free shipping. (Offer valid 9/1 to 9/25)

Little Movers Plus (Size 3, 4, 5, & 6) – regularly $42.99, $36.99 after $6 discount and free shipping (Offer valid 9/1 to 9/25)

Also, Little Snugglers Plus diapers are now available in size Newborn starting at $29.99. You may purchase them in select warehouses and online at




Are there any items you always forget to pack for your child that you need inside your car?



Living Room Ideas to Inspire You

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Living room ideas for your home. Get inspiration on how to decorate your own space.


Interior decorating is something I would love to learn more about, especially choosing the right color palette for furnitures and accessories. I always like the feeling of entering a living room that is inviting, clean-looking, and functional. Brent and I just moved into our apartment here in Houston, so I’ve been looking for inspiration on how to decorate it. We’re looking for the right kind of furniture and style to use for our space, while being kid-friendly. We are planning to furnish our space little by little, to accommodate our time and budget. However, this compilation of ideas is helping us think, plan and get creative with the type of atmosphere we want for our home. Here are some living room design ideas I’ve been inspired by, to browse. Enjoy!


Photo Source

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Add with Boho Pillows


Teepee Tent for the kids! Photo Source


Black and White Modern Style + Plants


Live like in Villa


I think Brent would love that door!


Beach life feel. I think this is one of my favorites even it’s not actually a living room (but a master bedroom).


Country Style


Another beach life feel

What kind of style or vibe would you like for your living room? Minimalist, tropical, country, shabby chic? Comment and let me know. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas.!


Embracing Summer With Kids

Sunday, August 21, 2016

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Summer is almost over! We’ve been experiencing rain these past few days. Before I know it, it will be cold again! Even though summers in Texas are hot, we embrace them. We try to do some fun activities outside the house, to entertain my two little munchkins. Especially if we don’t have playdates with other moms and kids, these are a must. I wanted to share the simple ways we enjoy summer, without needing to drive.



I always try to bring my kids outside after breakfast to see the morning sunshine. Whether walking around the neighborhood, playing on the grass, going for a stroll, or biking I want them to go outdoors. I think it is healthy for them to go out at least twice a day to get fresh air and see nature. It is not quite as hot before 10AM, so that’s the perfect time to enjoy the morning sunshine with kids.


My kids love to play in the water and get wet! Aside from bringing them to splash pads, I usually let them swim and play in the front yard before their afternoon nap. It’s a win-win because they have fun and can use up all their energy. This causes them to sleep longer (Mama’s Goal!). We used  this pool and put in under a tree for some shade. This pool is affordable and durable. It’s been almost 2 years now since we bought it, and it still looks great. You can also put something like this  Little Tikes First Slide to make this activity more fun!


Since I became a parent, I was surprised at how nature offers a lot of entertaining toys for my two kids. They love picking up rocks, acorns, small branches, and are curious about the ants etc. Recently, their favorite activity, especially my toddler’s, has been digging holes. We have been reading a book called Sam and Dave Dig a Hole,and it’s funny to hear from my eldest son about how he wants to find the diamond underground… Well good luck, kid.

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similar One-piece Swimsuit

Any favorite outdoor summer activities with your kid/s that you will miss this coming cold season?


Feels Like Home: Moving Back to Houston

Monday, August 15, 2016

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Houston is the first place I lived when I moved to the United States. It was where I met new friends, and learned how to drive, not to be shy, and say, “Hi” to people passing by on the street. I made some improvements with my English too. For example, instead of saying, “Turn off the lights” I used to say “Brent, can you close the lights?” He would tease me and reply with, “It’s not a window.” Houston has been a big part of my adjustment with culture, language and style of living. When it came to culture shock, I had so many different experiences with it. I was shocked by things like the large food servings, big fast food drink cups, unlimited refills, etc. I saw other things that amazed me as well, things which are not a big deal for others, like the garbage disposal! I also remember my first year in Houston, I tried to make friends with our neighbors. I knocked on their door and the couple that lived there were so confused when I handed them some dessert. I don’t know if it’s uncommon in the U.S., but in the Philippines it’s common to bring food over to someone who has just moved into the neighborhood. It’s a friendly gesture and way of welcoming them. 


A couple weeks ago, we came down to Houston to check out possible places to live, and I’m so thankful that we found one that we like! Brent and I are SO excited that we are finally moving back there in the next few weeks. Due to Brent’s grad school, internship, and post-doctoral fellowship, we have been moving a lot! We’ve gone from Houston to LA, to Dallas, and now back to Houston again. I think we’re experts with packing our stuff now. 😉 Going back to Houston and having our own place to live with our children, are one of the things that we have been praying about for the past year. Now, God has answered those prayers!


Here are a few photos I snapped during our trip. We just celebrated our 5th year anniversary! I praise God for teaching us a lot of life lessons concerning love, understanding, and patience. What we’ve learned has helped make our relationship stronger, with unity and hope as a married couple.




I found this J.Crew dress and Talbots handbag in thrift store. But here are other design items to buy for DRESS and HANDBAG 🙂


5 years of marriage!


P.S. Hello Houston makeup clients, Em Smith makeup artistry is back! For bookings or inquiries, contact me 🙂


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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