Monday, July 28, 2014

Serene Sunday Menu: Asparagus With A Bit of Butter

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

Yesterday, I did some browsing and stumbled upon a post in which the writer wrote that she's happily married, no apology. I liked that article very much, but unfortunately I can't find it again so regretfully I cannot share it here with you, Friends. :(

I googled "happily single" and came up with 105,000,000 results.
I googled "happily married" and came up with 43,500,000 results.

And most of them are "how to" articles. Hmmmm... it seems in Google world there are more advise readily available on how to be happily single compared to how to be happily married. Still, I agree with the aforementioned writer. We don't need to apologize for being happy. In any state of life.

Several years ago, I could honestly and proudly announce that I was happily single, with no apology. Now, I can honestly and proudly announce that I am happily married, with no apology.

I am so thankful that God has been so kind and has been sending me gifts, one by one, everyday, sent in pretty package of love, happiness and faith, wrapped with ray of sunshine (or rain) every morning when I wake up. He has been granting me with all those, in every state He happened to place me in this life. As a child. As a daughter and as a sister. As a teenager. As a college student living alone in a foreign country. As a single woman. As a wife. As a mother.

As a single woman, I didn't need to apologize that:
  • I could spend the weekend partying then crawl under the blanket and read novels and order pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I want to.
  • I was free to travel and not worrying about having someone to take care of my children.
  • I didn't have to fight with my husband and how he always leave the toilet seat opened, since I had no husband.
  • I could live a life very much customized just for me because I don't need to compromise with anyone. Hey, I lived alone, so I can garnish all my apartment in pinks and ruffles if I wanted to!
  • I often skip weddings and family gatherings because I always got asked "When will be your turn?"

With all the ups and downs, all the loneliness and fending for yourself, all the worries and fears about the future, I was happy being single.

Yes, there is such thing as being happily single. So, if you're single, enjoy, be happy. Because it is a happy stage of life. No apology.

Now, I also don't need to apologize that I am married, and I am happy. I don't need to apologize that:
  • I have someone to hold me every night and tell me I'm beautiful even when my hair is toussled and my face is greasy.
  • I have someone who says to me over and over when I've had a hard day at work: "Don't worry, Honey. You can stop working anytime you want to. I will take care of us."
  • I have less time to hang out because my priority has shifted and I have a baby and a grown up man who demand a lot of my time and attention.
  • I'm less fun and wild and free and more boring because, well, somehow playing hide-and-seek with a toddler has become more appealing to me than hanging out at the hippest trendy bar in town.
  • Sometimes my Mom said I'm moodier now compared to my single years, because now my mood also got influenced by another person: my husband, and he doesn't have naturally sunny disposition like me!
With all the ups and downs, all the fights and compromises, all the heartaches and complexities, I am happy being married.

Yes, there is such thing as being happily married, no matter what the pop culture dictates. So, if you're married, enjoy, be happy. Because it is a happy stage of life. And if you think I'm not qualified enough to say that, because I've only been married for two years, well, my parents have been married for forty seven years, and they are still happily married. No apology.

Don't succumb into what the pop culture told you. There are different stages of life and each of them has their own beauty and joy. Even in the dark stage called a divorce. Of course we should not aim for a divorce, but even a friend of mine who got divorced is much more happier now than when she was married. Another friend who got divorced several years ago is now happily married again and moved to another country to be with her new husband.

Everyone has their burdens and joy. Let us write our life story in neat pencil, and let God edit it with an eraser and a pen, colors, stickers, and pictures, to make it even more beautiful. Be happy with no apology.

So this my life in the office, which doesn't look much different than my single years...

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

And this is my life now as a happily married wife and mother of a toddler. These pictures were taken on a lazy Sunday some time ago.

My little token of love and wifey duty: stocked up Hubby's personal care supplies.

Well, these men's toiletries and bath products would have never made it into my grocery list in the past, but now they do! Hubby admitted that he has become so spoiled now, he never has to think about what to eat for dinner or run out of soap, because I take care of all those! It's quite odd how doing little things like these can make a woman feels so wifey-ish. ^__^

We spent the day playing with our little son and had a lot of laughs.

There is a toddler in the house now. My social medias are full with picture of my boy, and just like every proud Moms in the world, I just think he's super adorable. And I was not the type who were naturally love children! When it comes to one's own children, who can be objective? Haha!

It was a good, lazy, sunny day in the neighborhood.

Now a good Sunday for me is hanging out in my night gown all day, enjoying a nice sunny day in the neighborhood from the balcony. Sometimes taking a stroll around the neighborhood with my husband and my son. So simple. So serene.

Going to Sunday mass with Hubby.

Thanks to Hubby, I go to Mass much more regularly now! It feels good to worship together with family.

How your life have changed after getting married?

Monday, July 21, 2014

She Works Hard For The Money

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

"She picks out a field to purchase;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard."
(Proverb 31:16)

Today, let’s talk about cold, hard, cash. Money, honey.

Many years ago, when I was a freshman in college, I read this book by Robert Kiyosaki titled Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I didn’t buy it, I just read it at the bookstore. There are so many self improvement books out there, I don’t buy any of them if I’m not really 100% that it would be a worthy investment. Flipping through the pages, I found myself nodding my head over and over in agreement with what they author said. Many points he expressed, I found to be what my parents taught me in the dinner table over the years when I grew up.  My father has his own business, so he deals with managing cash flow on daily basis.

One thing I have practiced on consistent basis since I was very little. You work hard for the money. So make the money works hard for you.

As a little girl, I saved my money in the bank and I learned that my little saving generated a little bit of interest 24/7. My money was making more money for me even when I was sleeping! Isn’t that awesome!

Then after graduating college and having my own income, I started to ask my money to work even harder for me, because I have worked hard to earn them. Also, investing is the only weapon one has against that “monster” called inflation.

What is inflation? Let’s put it this way. A dollar now will not worth a dollar ten years from now. A dollar ten years ago, doesn’t worth a dollar today. It means you could buy a burger with a dollar several years ago. But you cannot get the same burger now with a dollar. If you plan to save US 10,000 for your childen’s education 10 years from now, you cannot save just US 10,000. Because 10 years from now, what costs US 10,000 now might have doubled to US 20,000. So you might have succeeded in your goal of saving US 10,000, but you won’t reach your goal to finance your child’s education.

That’s the cold hard truth.

The only way to make your money works for you, even when you’re sleeping, and beats inflation, is investing.

I thought I would share with you what I have done and seemed to work very well for me for more than 10 years and now also works well for my family. I’m not an expert, but these tips have been proven work very well for my parents – for almost 50 years - and myself.

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

Don’t Put All Your Money In The Bank

You will get interest, yes, but it cannot beat inflation, especially with tax. If you happen to be fortunate enough to be loaded with cash, just calculate whatever amount you would need per month – including bills, groceries, tuition, doctor, insurance, mortgage, rent, whatever – times six, in your saving account. That’s your piece of mind, knowing that you can survive for six months just from your saving if anything happens. I do with only three months of living expenses in the bank. The rest you should invest.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

I’ve heard many horror stories of people who lost everything and all their life saving in chasing the golden dream. They got caught up in dream investment that promise a truckful load of gold. Well, my Friends. If it sounds too good to be true, most likely it’s not true. If getting rich is so easy, we won’t have any poor in the world. There is no shortcut in getting rich. Greed is the perfect road to doom.

Don’t put all your money in just a single investment, whether a very promising stock, insurance, or business. Spread them to two or three different things. That’s why I think mutual fund is perfect for novice investors. They generate enough return in the long run to beat inflation, they don’t depend on just one single stock, and they’re very low maintenance. That means if you lose your money in one investment, the other investment(s) can cover or minimize your loss.

Gold Rush!

The price of gold, over the years, never goes down. If you are conventional, on the edge of retirement, or will need money in the next year of two – either to buy a house, to travel, etc. – just buy some gold. Not gold jewelry, mind you, because you will pay a lot for the craftsmanship. Buy gold coins. They don’t generate as much return as stock or even mutual fund, but they usually beats inflation and they are extremely liquid. You basically can sell them anytime. Gold can guard the value of your money. 

Do you know that our Moslem friends also knew this? In their Holy Qoran, it was quoted that you will need 200 grams of gold to be able to afford the hajj pilgrimage. The amount of money needed for hajj pilgrimage is much more expensive now that it was 500 years ago. But even today, you still only need 200 grams of gold, because the price of the gold always match the value of the money needed.

Buy from reputable seller who has been around for at least ten years, to minimize the risk of buying counterfeit gold. If you are not an expert, it’s quite difficult to differentiate counterfeit from the real thing. Also, make sure that the seller is willing to buy back his own gold. If the seller refuse to buy back his own merchandise, well, then you can be sure that the goods are not good!

Invest Your Spare Money

Some people insist that they have nothing left to invest. Well, I personally don’t believe it. Most people can spend US 50 on new shoes, theater tickets, or a lavish dinner, but cannot find the same amount in their wallet to invest? Come on. It’s not “I cannot” but more “I can, but I choose not to”.

Well, then, what about that yearly bonus? The birthday money you receive from your auntie, your parents, your child, your spouse? The extra money you receive from your blog? If you are in sales and you sell more one month, don’t just go out and celebrate. Take some of the excess money you receive and invest it. That way, you won’t disturb your monthly spending cycle. You can always save for that trip to Rome from your monthly income. Live with your main income, invest your extra income.

Friends, if you have not, I urge you to start investing right now. Either in business, in mutual fund, in property, whatever. Even the Proverb 31 woman invested in buying a field and making a vineyard.

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

stylish mom, fashionista mom, what i wore to work, working mom, career woman

If you are a regular reader of my blog, your might notice that my week recap has been missing for these last couple of weeks. The reason is quite simple: life got in the way of blogging. However, I still deem it important to write some highlights here and there, since my blog is also a sort of family journal and scrapbook. My highlight of June is that my son Michael can now talk on the phone! Well, he doesn't really talk, just makes some words here and there, but he could listen and understand what his Daddy or grandparents were talking over the phone, and it's such a nice way to communicate with him when his Daddy and Mommy are away at the office! It's simply delightful to listen to his funny little voice saying "Hewwwooo.... Mommy? Hahaha..." So cute! I'm guilty as charge as thinking every little accomplishment or progress of Michael as cute! Here are pictures of him talking to his grandma, or my mom in law.

I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:



Monday, July 14, 2014

Parsley, Paisley N Frugal Children's Toys

Hello, Friends!

I found these pictures from when I was 32 weeks pregnant and I thought it's worthy to share, especially for pregnant ladies out there who are looking for inspiration on maternity wear! I have to say that this long vest and pleated black skirt are the most versatile pieces in my maternity wardrobe. Actually the skirt is not maternity wear, but the elastic waistband stretched over my belly up until before my C-section and it was very comfortable to wear. The long vest cleverly disguise the shape of my body during the later months. Not that I'm ashamed of my body shape during pregnancy, don't get me wrong. However, I personally think it's vulgar and not very tasteful when the whole world is able to see every curve and nook and everything else of my body, pregnant or not. So, the vest is a nice layer for that purpose. Good investment.

The paisley yellow and green top is not a maternity shirt either. Fortunately most of my tops are shapely but loose enough to carry me through the whole pregnancy, so I didn't need to shop for special maternity clothes. Besides, I naturally have small frame, my belly just started to become noticeable after the sixth month.

When Michael was a tiny baby, I researched over the internet on toys and what toys to bring in the diaper bags. I watched YouTube videos and I read blogs. I planned to use the gift voucher I received to buy nice toys for Michael. Not many toys, but good quality toys that he can be creative with and will last for quite a while. Little did I knew back then that not every child loves conventional toys.

Michael loves to play, but he doesn't care for toys. He just use anything and everything that he can find around the house, around the restaurant, the park, anywhere, to play. Look at these pictures...

He was playing with a plastic spoon.

A coworker let me borrow this toy from her, since her daughter no longer cares to play with it. When Michael is bored with it, the toy will go to other coworker mom with toddler.

Michael loves rummaging around Mommy's bag. Or Mommy's groceries. Whatever that he can rummage around. It keeps him occupied for quite a while, so it's convenient for Mommy to take a shower, prepare dinner and get ready while he was doing his digging and researching.

Michael loves cars. And I mean real cars. My parents bought him Hot Wheels, and he played with them for about five minutes, then asked to sit inside of his Daddy's CRV, as usual.

Playing peek-a-boo with Mommy's lunch container is always a fun activity for both of us. My food container got drool all over, but as long as he's happy, let it be.

Sometimes it is tempting to buy him gifts like what any other parents do, but we also know that is foolish. Every child is different and Michael happens to not be interested in conventional toys. We even brought him to a toystore and let him pick his own toy, and he didn't want anything! Well, I guess we'll just consider ourselves lucky that our home is not invaded by mountains of toys! We consider that a blessing. Well, I guess. Though some friends jokingly accused me of being too thrifty to buy him good toys, but what can I do? He just doesn't want them!

I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies:



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