Monday, June 12, 2017

G-League National Champs 2017

Done with the 2017 PhilSwim National Long Course Swimming Championship!

We spent three days cheering for my fave son at the Trace Aquatic Sports Complex from June 2-4, 2017. It's my son's first time to qualify for a meet that had him swim the preliminaries in the morning and if the swimmers are in the top 8, they do a swim-off again late afternoon. It's a swim-off of the best swimmers in each category.
He was awarded the Top FINA Points Achiever for his age group. 
I don't really understand it that well, but my son says it is the swimming counterpart of being MVP.

Sorry na! This is another one of those posts that 's full of parental pride. 
Please indulge me. Paminsan-minsan lang.

R did not set out to win any award coming into this meet, we didn't even know such an award existed. We just always remind him of Colossians 3:23, to do his best in everything he does as a way to honor God. And how nicely he was rewarded for his efforts!

As a backgrounder for those not familiar, the National Champs is a culminating meet of all swimmers who participated and met the qualifying times for each of the 4 qualifying legs during the long course season. Because it's a national championship, he swam alongside the best swimmers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Look at their streamlined form. 
My son is the swimmer in lane 4

I saw this photo in my timeline a few weeks ago. My son's coach shared it as a FaceBook memory.
Seems like it was just taken yesterday, but this photos was taken in 2010. Parang his first year to join the team. Halata naman, di ba? Naka-rash guard pa sya. Hahaha!

A lot of things happened along the way...
Here he is after swimming the 50-meter breaststroke (2012)

I cannot help but be nostalgic. It's a sweet moment for me because it's always a reminder of how patience and persistence can transform someone. 

There are a lot of swimmers who won more medals than him, but being with him on his journey, it just makes every win sweeter.

In 2014, I first shared about how my husband and I tirelessly helped our son fight and overcome his feelings of self-doubt. At that time, R almost wanted to quit swimming, frustrated that he's always just in the middle of the rankings at every meet. You can read more about it here: 

He is still a work in progress, but his life is really a testament of how my son trusted and allowed God to work in his life. In 2016, I shared how my husband and I encouraged him using used biblical words her:

Even when he is winning golds already, he still has moments of self-doubt, and we still help him cope with it by continuously encouraging him and speaking words of life into him, reassuring him of who he is in Christ. We continuously let him know we believe in his abilities and all the possibilities that come with it. 

Anyway, enough of the senti talks, Let me share with you a photo journal of what happened during the 2017 Champs.

*     *     *

By the poolside from 7 in the morning for the prelims up to 7 in the evening for the finals. Look at the varying hues of the sky at different times of the day. You know my deep love for my son has kept me glued to my seat the entire time he was competing, kahit na ang init-init ha!

So proud of him! He placed gold for 50m freestyle for the prelims, and maintained it for the finals. But even if I'm so proud of him for achieving what he set out to do, I know everything is by God's grace. So thank you, God!
The winning touch in the 50-meter freestyle

I'm posting the video of his 50-meter freestyle swim, as well, because I want to be able to go back to this post in the future. I'm sure when he's all grown already, I will miss being a swim mom. At least I have videos of him swimming to look back to.

But there are also times when he is disappointed with himself because he had missed the top spot by a few milliseconds. We see the frustration in his face as he's forced to settle for a silver. It is a challenge how to teach him to move past the current setback and work harder for the next event.

We always remind him: {Proverbs 21:31}You can prepare the horse for the day of the battle, but only God gives victory.

This means there is no substitute for preparation. He has to to put in the long, hard hours of training if success is to be achieved. Success never just happens. As he does his part, we remind him to also pray fervently, asking the Lord to keep him healthy and injury-free. Human effort without the blessing of God leads to failure. 

5 medals won for the finals, excluding his wins during the prelims
At the end of the day, all of the events in our lives are directed by God's providence.
{Proverbs 16:33} We may throw the dice, but God determines how it will fall.

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Because we were away from home for 4 days during the finals, it was a challenge to continue serving nutritious food.

I'm always looking for ways to sneak in healthy, nutritious snacks when we’re on the go. While we try to stick to whole foods as much as possible, having ready-made foods are a must for those times when we’re either too busy (or, let’s face it, too tired) to prepare a nutritious snack or meal. And many standard, kid-friendly, ready-made snacks are typically packed with too much sugar, fake ingredients and chemical flavors.

One of the few products which we tried recently, and which R loves is the E-hydrate KIDS Protein On-The-Go in chocolate flavor.  So when he packed for the nationals by himself, he made sure to bring some with him.

Why we love E-hydrate KIDS Protein On-the-Go:
1. It is the  natural, premium protein drink mix with electrolytes made specifically for kids. 
2. It comes in a convenient, pre-portioned patented pouch which can be taken anywhere. Just add water, shake and go.
3. Helps with muscle recovery + hydrates the body + energizes.

E-hydrate KIDS Protein On-the-Go is available at all Healthy Options stores

*       *      *

Here's another photo that I took at then end of the meet while we were waiting for the awarding. We were both tired. Nakakapagod din umupo at manuod ng laban, really! It's so hot that it's physically draining. But seeing the wide smile that he can't take off from his face makes it all worth it!

May God continue to equip me with His grace as I help my kids be the amazing persons that God created them to be.

To know more about Healthy Options: 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

{Weekend Footnotes} Cricut + G-League Long Course Leg 4

When my kids were way younger, I remember I would plan art activities for us to do at home. I love to DIY, and so every opportunity that I have to share that love with my kids, you can be certain that's the route I'll take.

Last Saturday, my girls and I were invited by Mommy Mundo to attend one of their #MomSchool workshops. It was a crafty workshop which promised to share the joys of making beautiful things using the Cricut Machine.

We DIYd gift tags and designed our own drawstring bags with elements cut out using the Cricut Explore Air 2.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Roy & Biv

If someone gave you your dream designer bag, for FREE, I bet your heart will pound with excitement! Shempre naman, di ba?

But what if the bag is in the color that you least like? Medyo panira ano?

That's because color affects human behavior. Colors have meaning. They impart a tone and emotional impact. Wouldn't it be great to go to a store where you can shop according to your favorite colors?

The Roy & Biv concept store in Glorietta 2 is one such store. It's a visual feast!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Every year, when my kids ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I just say anything that they make with their own hands.

No. Wait. I first say obedience, I want their obedience. But since they are all teens already, I've shifted that request to self-discipline. I want them to practice self-discipline.

And then after that, I want a card. It’s true! That’s just really what I want! A handmade card with a heartfelt message.

For me, giving something handmade is always extra special simply because of the time spent making it and the thought process that went before creating something.

But there are times that my kids are insistent on giving me something material.

So if you’re one of those who still don’t know what to give your mom, here’s my round-up of thoughtful gifts that you can give your mom this Mother’s Day.

Basilur Tea
I enjoy drinking a cup of tea especially after a meal. I usually drink it accompanied by a little something sweet. Kunwari diet.:) hahaha!

I thoroughly enjoy each sip of my Basilur Tea because it really tastes so good, must be because the leaves are hand-picked from the highest quality green tea from Ceylon. 

100% Pure Ceylon green leaf tea,natural sunflower and cornflower and flavor bergamot (100g)

My Daughters' #TinyHandsKitchen

I love spending time with my girls. We're almost always together... shopping, eating, cooking.

I  cooking with them kase ang saya ng chikahan. It's where they update me with all their kwentos, and I'm talking about a lot of kwentos.

When we try out a recipe that's really good, they remind me to save it right away so they can also make it when they have their own family na daw. Go to #TinyHandsKitchen and you'll agree they are pretty impressive.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Of Sons and Daughters

Sons don't really talk much, ano?

Unlike my messages with my girls na full of chismis, my fave son is concise, "gonna shower na" - which is really his way of saying "I'm done training. Please pick me up."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Philam Vitality Active App

A few years ago, I was into running. I would run 3k every other day. Occasionally, on weekends I'd join a 10k race. My time wasn't that bad either. Sub-40 for 5k, 1 hour 30 minutes PR for 10k. Not bad, di ba?

running with our friends

Monday, April 17, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: What To Pack In Your Family's Travel First Aid Kit

I’ve got all our summer plans booked and organized.

Last week, I restocked my family's travel first-aid kit.

there's a link to a FREE PRINTABLE version of my packing list at the end of this post

My girls are on a short trip with their ah-ma (my husband's mom) for some bonding and shopping because girls really do bond as they shop, di ba? Hahaha!

While the husband and I will be accompanying our fave son as he competes in his first ever international competition later this month. As it is with boys, I'm sure our trip will be spent eating more than shopping. Which is fine with me, as I'm not much of a shopper anyway.

As with every trip, I make sure that I prepare all the essentials so I don't have to worry about the what-ifs. Any experienced traveler will tell you, things can and occasionally do go wrong on any trip, and taking a well-stocked first-aid kit is always a good idea.

My medicine kit has evolved and been refined over the years. For a long time, I carried a big box like container because most of the kids' medicine was in syrup form so ang dami kong dala na naka-bote pa. But thankfully, since I've got teenagers now, my current container is a slim flat one and we just have one kit shared by everyone.

I just used a thin plastic container I bought from SM Home in Megamall. 

I actually make one big first-aid kit that stays in the luggage and another small one that can fit our bags.

The small plastic containers I used below are actually just the plastic containers from USBs that I got from press kits. They are the perfect size for a few tablets, some betadine and alcohol swipes, and band-aids.

What I pack in my travel first aid kit

The basics

The amount to bring will depend on the size of your family and the dosage/frequency you have to take it.  For my own kit, I always bring medicines good to take for 3-4 days, or the duration of the trip whichever is shorter.

1. Fever/Pain: 
Paracetamol (Tempra or Biogesic)

2. Colds/Decongestants:
Neozep Forte

3. Pain killer:
Mefenamic acid 500mg

4. Diarhea:
Oral Rehydrations salts

5. Allergy medicine:
Cetirizine 10mg
Loratadine 10mg
Benadryl AH 25mg.

6. Betadine wipes, alcohol wipes, bandages, bandaids, gauze + tape

7. Eye drops:

8. antibiotic ointment/disinfectant:

9. eczema management:
coconut oil
Zenutrients Argan All Around

10. acid reflux management:
sodium bicarbonate tablets

Digital thermometer
Kool Fever

I have a son who I brought to the ER several times, thrice for wounds that needed to be sutured. I jsut found this one at Amazon and I bought it. It seems like a good thing to keep in handy. It cost about $8.50 for 4 sachets.

For travel, the only supplements I pack are vitamin C and Probiotics

For sports-related travel:

1. Sunblock. I make sure to use a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, meaning it offers protection against UVA and UVB. Read up on the difference here.

2.Insect Repellant
Zenutrients bug balm
Cycles stickers

3. Relief for muscle pain
Zenutrients Muscle Balm
ice gel packs

4. Ear Drops (Swimmer's Ear)
Synalar Otic

Ever since hitting the big 4-0, my body has started to ache a little bit here and there. I noticed that I needed a little more of gentle care. I have started bringing around my own care kit full of products that are tried and tested to make me feel better.
Zenutrients Muscle Oil in a roll-on dispenser goes in my everyday bag to soothe away tired muscles caused by lola-moments. Fine, rayuma and arthritis! Pangalanan na yan! hahaha! It's pain relief on-the-go. The Zenutrients Muscle Balm naman is a lifesaver whenever my swimmers complain of muscle ache after a tiring training set. It smells so good also because of the camphor that my kids naturally fall right asleep after I massage them.

Hopefully we won't need to use our first aid kit, but I’ve certainly found that the best approach to family travel is to be prepared.

Is there anything I’m missing here? What do you put in your medicine travel kit? DO SHARE!

I'm also sharing the PRINTABLE file of my Travel Packing List. All you need to do is to click on the downloadable link to my PDF file, and from there you can print it out.

Click HERE for a free downloadable version of my packing list 

And if you’re interested to know what I think are the essentials for when our teens travel without us, please check out my post on Teen Travel Essentials (For When They Travel Without Parents)


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Reminiscing About DIY Birthday Parties + The Little Whisk

Now that all my kids are teenagers, no one gets excited for birthday parties anymore.

I would ask them if they want me to throw them one, and sadly, they now all decline my offer.

I remember when they were all much younger, I would make intimate DIY birthday parties that would allow me to express my creativity. I would DIY galore!

The most fun I've had was when I hosted a crafternoon birthday party for B.
I had a craft table set-up. The girls all had their own craft kits bundled up in a cute feline princess box. I printed out the instructions for each craft and laid out some samples to inspire and guide them.

Some of the crafts they did that afternoon:

Ang cute di ba? And to think, most of the materials were just upcycled 
from ordinary household materials

You can read all about the crafternoon  party here:

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Another memorable one was when I threw a SPArty for J. All pof her friends were treated to an hour of foot soak and cleaning, foot massage and pedicure, too!

She just loved the experience of gathering all her good friends in one place 
and having lots of girly fun with them. 

We did a lot of DIY for this party also. We baked our own cupcakes. I designed the birthday banner and had it printed out. It's still with us up to this day. We take it out every year during B's birthday and hang it in our dining room. For me, it just makes the  banner more special because it has celebrated so many birthdays with us already.

*   *   *

But even if they have outgrown DIY birthday parties, they still request for me to bake something to give to their friends.

Carrot cupcakes are a fave, it's one of the most requested flavors by all three kids. They asked me to make it so many times already.

A Thomas the Train themed cupcake for when R was still in pre-school

Cookies of all kinds and flavors are also another favorite

Just last year, B requested for matcha cookies

There was also a year when J requested me to make cookie cups

That's it! I'm done reminiscing. Hahaha!

Last year, J requested for flamingo sugar cookies as birthday treats for her friends.

Decorating sugar cookies is not my area of expertise, and so I had to call in my friend, Maggie of The Little Whisk to help me out.

Maggie is a work-at-home mom of two boys. She started doing decorated sugar cookies as a hobby. When she was planning for her eldest son’s birthday five years ago, she was looking for cookie and cakepop suppliers for her Dr. Seuss theme but she couldn't find a supplier. That’s when she got interested in baking and decorating treats like cakepops and cookies. 
It started as a hobby and she would bake and design for friends and family. Until pretty soon, people she didn't even know would order from her. She is the best sugar cookie supplier out there. She's very easy to talk to, and you can really rest easy knowing that she always exceeds her clients' expectations.
My daughter was very happy with the The Little Whisk cookies she ordered from her. Just have a look at them.

The Little Whisk is a home-based supplier of decorated sugar cookies, cakepops and cupcakes for any event. It aims to make any event and every celebrant feel extra special through our treats. Our goal is to make events more special and to put a smile to anyone who receives and tastes the treats.
 The Little Whisk specializes in decorated sugar cookies. They create customize inspired and intricately-designed cookies depending on the customer’s preferences. The customers can either show a peg or tell the theme of the event and we will send over some sketch or design pegs.

Here are some of her works:

And I'm saving two of my most favorites for last...

Ang gaganda di ba? For more photos of Maggie's cookies, visit The Little Whisk on IG and FB.

To know more about The Little Whisk

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