Posts in “Summer”

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.


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?


Summertime at Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston

Friday, August 17, 2018

This post is sponsored by Schlitterbahn Waterpark  Galveston.

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We had so much fun at Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston, which was our first waterpark experience as a family! Schlitterbahn is a perfect place for families since it has many different rides for kids of all ages, lots of areas for kids to play and swim, friendly and attentive lifeguards, and allows families to bring their own food and drinks. There are three parts of Schlitterbahn waterpark: Surfenburg, Blastenhoff and Wasserfest (check out the map here). We explored each of the parts and had so much fun in each area!.

We went to Surfenburg first, where we went straight to the kids play area called “Tiki Tikes”. The kids loved Tiki Tikes because it has two kid-sized water slides that the kids slid down over and over again. It also has a shaded lounge area nearby where we could relax and watch the kids. Then we went on our first ride as a family, which was the “Wolfpack”. This was the most exciting ride we went on as a family. Up to 4 people can ride on one raft, which was perfect for my husband, two boys, and me. The Wolfpack starts high up in the air, and you can see whole waterpark as you get in the rafts. We twisted and turned down this fast-flowing, curving slide on a giant pink tube! It was pretty awesome!! I screamed a lot! I really recommend this ride for families with kids I think this was my favorite ride!

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Here’s the view from the top taken by Brent.

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Brent tried the Cliffhanger for couple of times. He said it was really fun! But that is something I couldn’t do!

There are many other good rides that we enjoyed such as the Dragon Blaster, Thunder Tub, and Loopy Luge. If you are looking for something relaxing that turns exciting, try the Kristal River. This is a lazy river that connects to the Whitewater River and Torrent River, and lets you enjoy floating throughout the entire waterpark. One of the most fun parts of the river is when it meets Torrent River. Here there is a giant wave that pushes you through a narrow part of the river over and over. We went back on the river several times since we enjoyed these giant waves so much. It was so much fun!

An indoor waterpark is available in the Waserfest area. This is a nice, shaded play area for the kids. They enjoyed climbing onto the ship and sliding down the slides. It was good thing my mom came along to watch the kids so Brent and I had a chance to try some of the adult rides. We went on the Faust and Furious, which was definitely the scariest ride I went on! Brent went on the Rohr! and loved the steep drop-off of that slide. Later we brought the kids on the Guada Loopy, which was an exhilarating ride on a two-person raft from 40 feet up in the air down a twisty, dimly lit tunnel.

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While the rides were a blast, there were a lot of other things we liked about Schlitterbahn. The parking is free and close-by. There are many places to buy food,but Schlitterbahn also lets you bring your own food, and even to bring your own ice chest (as long as there is no glass containers or alcohol). There are many tables and benches around the park, and even lounge chairs along the water so you can relax and see your kids at the same time while they’re playing. Private cottages and luxury loungers are available as well.The lifeguards and other staff were very friendly, and I always felt like my kids were safe because there were so many attentive lifeguards.

One tip is to consider going on the weekdays. We went on a Tuesday and it was not too crowded, especially in the morning. We didn’t even have to wait in line the first hour! Also, you might want to check the weather before going, because if it begins to thunder and lightning, the rides will be stopped and everyone will have to get out of the water.

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I think this was the coolest summer experience we had this year! Schlitterbahn is such a fun place for families with amazing rides, kid-friendly play areas, and a friendly staff. If you live in Houston or happened to visit, you can purchase ticket online or buy season pass to continue the fun throughout the summer.

What rides do you enjoy at Schlitterbahn waterpark?


Chalk Shape Hop with Dial Complete® 2 in 1

Sunday, June 10, 2018

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Dial2in1 #DialCompletesUs #2in1 #CollectiveBias

chalk shape hop dial 2in1 hello island mama

My boys and I love being outdoors when the weather is warm here in Houston. If you are following my Instagram stories, you’ll see that we recently moved to a new home with a nice front yard to play in. One of the outdoor activities we love to do together is play “Chalk Shape Hop”. This is great activity for kids to learn about different shapes. I’m partnering today with Dial®, America’s beloved soap brand of 70 years. Dial® has recently released a new line-up, Dial Complete® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Beauty Bar and Dial Complete® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash. I’m partnering with Dial® to share a fun, messy, yet educational chalk activity that you can try with your kids this summer! This chalk shape hop is a hit with my boys and I hope it will be a hit with your kids, too!


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STEP 1 You can use different colors of chalk to make this activity fun. Start by outlining all the shapes you’d like for your kids to learn. I drew a circle, star, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, and crescent. I drew all the shapes close together so my boys could easily hop from one to another.


STEP 2 Here’s the fun and messy part that my boys love. I let them help me color the inside of each shape.

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LET THE FUN BEGIN! I ask them to stand on a specific shape. Then I call out a shape and they hop from shape to shape as fast as they can until they get to the correct one! It’s a simple game, but my kids love it! If you have bilingual kids like I do, this is also a great way for them to learn shape and color words in both English and another language.


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My boys love to have snack time after playing. I trust Dial Complete® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash to clean off all the bacteria they came into contact with playing outside. It gives me peace of mind to know my  kid’s hands are clean after such messy activities. We’ve actually used Dial® foaming hand wash for many years, as my husband likes how easy it is for the kids to lather up and rinse off. I love that it’s formulated to keep hands moisturized and clean with its antibacterial formula, even after repeated hand washing. It comes in three variants: Manuka Honey, Pearl Essence, and Rose Oil. I personally like Pearl Essence. The scent is calming and feels extra good on the skin!

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I purchased mine from Target, but Dial® is available in all retailers near you. There’s several ongoing coupons that you can use while supplies last:

    • Buy the Dial® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash and receive $0.75 off
    • Buy the 3 pack of Dial® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Beauty Bars and get $0.75 off
    • Buy the 6 pack of Dial® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Beauty Bars and get $1.00 off

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Bacteria can’t be avoided, but we can arm ourselves with proper products to rinse them away. When it comes to our family, our kids’health is our number one priority. With NEW Dial® 2 in 1, messy activities are worry-free!

What’s your kid’s favorite outdoor activity this summer?



Family Beach Day in Galveston Island

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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

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When Brent and I found out we were moving to Galveston Island last year, we kept thinking how fun it would be to go to the beach often. Living close to the beach, we looked forward to time on the sand and water with the kids. We are beach lovers, as I come from the islands of the Philippines (you can see here how beautiful the beaches are where I was raised), while Brent lived in Thailand for a few years teaching kids. That is why whenever the weather gets warmer, we often hang out as a family at beach in Galveston!

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When we went to the beach over Easter weekend, it was like our mini getaway. Galveston Island has gotten a lot of tourists ever since the weather hit the 70s a few weeks ago, so it made us feel like we were on vacation too. We enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and the warm sunshine. Thankfully, our two eldest sons are really close friends. They enjoy the sand, sticks, and running back and forth from the little waves that reach the sand. The boys were also excited about their first kite flying experience with the kite they got as a gift from Grandma.

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Our youngest son is now able to sit on his own and entertain himself with baby toys, so Brent and I enjoyed some quiet and relaxation with snacks. Being the parent to three very active boys, can take a lot of energy. Our two oldest boys love to round around on the beach, like to be chased around, play with balls, and play with sticks (aka sword fighting), so we need to keep up. 😉  Even when we’re not at the beach, that is our everyday life with the boys at home..

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 I admire how Brent really puts in the effort to play with our boys, even when he has had stressful days at work. He needs the energy to play and enjoy time with the boys, so having a snack like Creminelli Fine Meats™  helps him refuel and keep the fun going with our three active boys.

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Since I’m still breastfeeding my little man, protein snacks are a convenient source of protein to satisfy my hunger and keep my energy up. My husband and I really enjoyed the taste of the Prosciutto & Aged Mozzarella and Casalingo, Gouda & Dried Cherries snack trays. Our two older sons loved it too! family beach day Galveston Island 2 (11) family beach day Galveston Island 2 (16)

They are available in a variety of trays at Target or Starbucks. They are the perfect quick and easy on-the-go protein snacks for adventures like the beach, hiking, and wherever else life takes you! Take a look and discover other fun adventures of Creminelli’s on their Instagram. family beach day Galveston Island 2 (4)

Speaking of adventures, this was my baby’s first time playing in the sand. It was so cute to look at the curiosity on his face trying to figure out what all the sand around him was. And yes, he wanted to eat it all… 😉

I hope you all had a lovely Easter! How did you spend your Easter weekend? Any fun adventures? I’d love to hear them!




My Summer Maternity Shoot

Friday, July 21, 2017


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First of all, I want to thank my husband, Brent for taking these images. I think he’s now accepting that his life married to me involves pictures and photoshoots. 😉 It’s good to have someone to take pictures of you outside. It allows you to have different backgrounds, but if you like the indoors, and the husband is not available, check out my post: “Taking photos of your own baby bump.” I have some tips there on how I take pictures of myself inside, using a tripod.
As I turned 36 weeks pregnant, I feel that I’m getting close to the finale! Things have been busy preparing for my new son’s arrival. We’ve been washing new clothes that we received from my baby shower, preparing a bassinet, and washing breast pump bottles and extra bottles (so Brent can also feed the baby so I can sleep). I also started to prepare a hospital bag and started to put the things I need for my little one and myself. I’d love to hear what you need in a hospital bag. I feel like I’m missing something!


Similar Maxi Dress / Similar summer hat


You can pair this outfit with ethnic sandals like these  / Similar wooden hoop earrings





How to Achieve a Fresh Makeup Look

Thursday, July 13, 2017

This shop/post has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company; all opinions are mine alone. #ColorMeHydrated #CollectiveBias

How to achieve fresh makeup HERO

I have a fun and fresh-looking makeup tutorial today a look for a clean summer look. I’m sharing my favorite makeup techniques and tips to achieve glowing skin, and to keep you feeling fresh and hydrated. Summer in Texas is getting seriously hot, so I have to keep myself well-hydrated. I make sure to drink plenty of fluids for my skin and body. I was inspired to create this fresh makeup look by vitaminwater, which I found at Target. Drinking a refreshing bottle helps keep me hydrated. It tastes great and is perfect for busy lifestyles like mine. Staying hydrated is one of the most important ways to get glowing skin and to achieve a fresh makeup look. Scroll down for a step-by-step tutorial on how to create this look!

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How to achieve fresh makeup look

1 ) After washing your face and moisturizing, use a tinted moisturizer and apply to your face with your fingers.

2 ) I opt for liquid concealer to even out the dark circles and red spots around my nose. Use a dampened sponge to even out and blend the application well.

3 ) To fill in the brows, use a retractable brow pencil and a brow brush. Blur the edges and lines.

4) Use less powder on specific areas, like under the eyes and around the nose (if you have oily skin in this area), to set the concealer. I like to keep the other areas of my face free from powder so that it looks natural, healthy, and radiant.

5 ) I love using a liquid type of blush. Pat it down on your cheeks, using your fingers to blend. You may also use a cream blush or even lipstick with a creamy texture.

6 ) For this look I prefer a simple style without eyeshadow. This allows you to pat powder on your eyelids for a clean look and matte finish.

7 ) Curl lashes to the side and immediately apply mascara to lock the curls. Do the same for the other eye.

8 ) Apply your favorite lipstick. I’m using pink tone for this look, which is inspired by kiwi-strawberry vitaminwater.

9 ) Finally, use a bronzer to dust around your face and neck.


Makeup tip: Use a spray bottle of water or facial mist spray on a rounded highlighter blush before applying highlighter powder. This makes it stand better, but keeps it looking natural (not flaky or powdery) on the skin. I love using this technique for myself and for my makeup clients.

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Highlight upper cheekbones, bridge of the nose, chin area and tear ducts using a small brush or your pinky finger.

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How to achieve fresh makeup look vitaminwater instore

Have you tried “Shelf-Selfie”?  I did! Get 15% off when you buy vitaminwater, by simply following the instructions below:

1) Visit your local Target.

2) Snap a Shelf-Selfie (selfie in front of the vitaminwater shelf).

3) Text your image to 89000 to receive the hidden Cartwheel offer link for 15% off a 20 oz bottle of vitaminwater.

That’s it! Easy and simple

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vitaminwater offers a great variety of flavors. Check out other inspiring posts on how vitaminwater fits their lifestyles for the summer.

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How do you keep yourself looking fresh and hydrated from the inside out?

Pinterest how to achieve fresh makeup look


Baby Bump Style: Blue & White Summer Stripe Finds

Friday, June 30, 2017


Summer stripes like blue and white, are often my favorites to wear this time of season. I’ve been wearing stripes recently on my tops and dresses, which I like to pair with comfy sneakers or sandals. They help to keep me more comfortable in my pregnancy. You can also style these kinds of stripes in wearing wedges if you’re into dressing up especially in date night or weekend style. I wanted to share some of the blue and white summer stripes that caught my attention. They are more of a casual style and will make your outfit look comfy and cool this summer.

1 Ruffled seesucker stripe shorts  (On SALE!)

2 Off-Shoulder ¾ Sleeve Stripe Peasant Top

3 Off Shoulder Shift Dress (On SALE)

4 Blue Stripe Linen Pant  (ON SALE)

5 Shirt Dress

6 Maternity Striped Sheath Dress (BUY 1, GET 2ND 50% OFF)

7 Fitted Jersey Maxi Skirt (ON SALE!)

8 Striped Linen-Blend Shorts


I’m wearing my DIY Sling Sandals but here’s something similar. stripes-baby-bump-style-2



Have a great weekend friends!



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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