It was the unusual rainy day of January 1st, New Year’s Day, the warm coffee Mike and I ordered at Starbucks and the milk tea drinks that Kayla and Arielle were enjoying that pulled us all together to think of our one-word for 2015.  I’ve been thinking of mine since the last week of December 2014, but the words that came to mind didn’t feel “the one”.  I thought of SHARPEN. HONE.  FAMILY. EMBRACE.  Each had a special ring to it but they didn’t totally capture what I was feeling in my heart.

After we had all sat down around our table, I threw the question again, “So, what’s your one-word?”  Then, just like that, one by one, they said it.

Arielle:  Since it’s going to be my gap year, my one-word is ADVENTURE!

Kayla:  Sports and Art…SPARTS!

Mike:  Opportunities

I said to myself that maybe, my one-word should be EMBRACE.  To embrace Mike’s opportunities, Kayla’s interest in sparts, and Arielle’s adventure in her gap year.  But a better and more apt word came to mind.  It’s OPEN!  That’s it!  This 2015, I will be OPEN to opportunities that will come our way in terms of business ideas and means of living.  I will be OPEN to Kayla’s rekindling interest in sports, particularly golf, and her developing skills in art.  I will be OPEN to Arielle’s adventures while she’s on her gap year…her new discoveries and new experiences to prepare her for college!  Lastly, I will be OPEN to new connections that I will be making as I go through my 2015 journey.

http://www.beyondbooksandwalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_7712_zps0bca8f36.jpg

Since 2013, thinking of my one-word every start of the new year has been a yearly tradition for me and it’s been a powerful motivator.  It has helped me to stay focused when I get distracted or discouraged. 2013 was GROW, and 2014 was FAITH.  Last year, I also declared my INTENTION which was another great inspiration to have side by side with my one-word.

It just feels GREAT to have that one-word to guide me this year.  That one-word to remind me to be optimistic and keep the positivity. But a greater reminder for me would be the unchanging TRUTH that God has a plan for me and that whatever happens, I should live each day of the year trusting that all is part of God’s great plan and unique purpose for me.  Ultimately, I should be OPEN to God’s mysterious ways and handiwork in everything!

http://www.beyondbooksandwalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_7711_zps35abea4e.jpg

As I end this, here is a perfect prayer with my one-word for 2015:

God, I’m excited to see what You have planned for me this year. Whatever I face, I will not be intimidated. I will begin this year by seeing myself as You do — happy, healthy, and prosperous. Thank you for the gift of another year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Happy New Year, Happy New Beginning, everyone!  I would love to know what your one-word is for 2015 and why!


 

I recently shared with you how our summer went.  There was one other event I went to, which I wanted to make a separate post on.  I’m talking about my trip to Laguna to go to Balik Bukid Country Fair.  I’ve been wanting to check this out in the past but there was always a conflict in schedule.  Last May 11, I was able to go…finally!  And I was all by myself because that was the day the girls will be flying back to Manila from Bacolod from their marine camp.  I purposely stayed behind so I can go to this fair and Mike didn’t mind being the one to pick up the girls in Bacolod.  Let’s just say that it was a Mother’s Day treat for myself 🙂

I left Batangas City before 8:00 in the morning and got to Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate after about an hour (maybe even less).  It was on a Sunday and so, the trip was stress-free.  I really wanted to get there early so I can have more time to go around before the day gets too hot.  By noon, it really got too humid for me and so, I left for Alabang Town Center to meet up with Mike and the girls.

My refreshing drink!   Fresh buko juice!

My refreshing drink!
Fresh buko juice!

Although I knew beforehand that there will be vendors showcasing and selling their unique products which are mostly handmade, homemade, natural, healthful, and organic, I was excited to actually SEE them!  Just the idea of seeing something NEW got me so curious and it’s also been a long while that I went to a fair that’s not the usual bazaar I’ve gone to in a city setting. I’ve also heard about the farm, also in Sta. Elena, which could be an alternative venue to celebrate special occasions such as kids’ birthdays.

My stay at Balik Bukid may be brief but I was able to take some shots to share with you.  I refuse to do enhancements or edits because I wanted to also keep them pure and natural. Just the way I saw them 🙂

Before I share my photos, just a final note.  I’m glad I was able to make time to check out Balik Bukid this year.  Here are my take home notes from the Fair:

  • It’s good to know that we have unique fairs such as this, PROMOTING LOCAL PRODUCTS (or at least, LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS), mostly geared towards WELLNESS.  Though it still is a slow movement here in the Philippines, it’s a good start!
  • We really should SUPPORT our LOCAL VENDORS, PRODUCTS, SUPPLIERS, ESPECIALLY, FARMERS.
  • My ultimate wish is to have GREEN, NATURAL, ORGANIC, HEALTHFUL, NON-GMO PRODUCTS MORE READILY AVAILABLE IN GROCERIES!  To have MORE OPTIONS, VARIETIES, AND ACCESSIBLE SOURCES!
  • AWARENESS and EDUCATION is what we need to be able to make a successful campaign on switching to a more healthful lifestyle and making more healthful food choices for the entire FAMILY.
  • Families should SPEND MORE TIME OUTDOORS.
  • It was nice to see families on a banig (woven mat), a kid on a horse or kalesa, feeding animals, and children just playing their kind of fun with natural outdoor “toys”.
  • Children should SPEND LESS TIME ON GADGETS and ELECTRONICS, and MORE TIME to FEEL and BE in NATURE.  Parents should really be INTENTIONAL in their parenting nowadays to make sure that they give these opportunities to their children as a natural experience in their entire lifetime, and not just a snippet of their childhood.
  • Old school as it may sound, let’s GO BACK TO NATURE.

 

Now, for my no-filter, unedited photos!  I’ve chosen only some as there were too many!  I hope you’ll get to feel the vibe of the place!  It just felt relaxing for me to be in the midst of so many trees, surrounded by GREEN, and with farm animals and outdoor playground not too far away!

Though it was one hot summer day, the sun and everything around me was refreshing to the mind and senses and reminiscent of how I would spend my vacations in my childhood days.  It makes me so proud to be part of that generation! 🙂

I hope to experience THIS with my family more often.  The unhurried lifestyle.  The family bonding and real connection.  The outdoor.  The green.   The NATURAL.  Balik Bukid inspires and reminds me to take the earthy experience to my everyday life and put more of what’s pure and natural in my daily encounters and living.

How about you?  What do you think of the idea of spending more time outdoors and going back to nature?  Which do you prefer,  urban living or laid-back lifestyle in the countryside?

 


 

The materials included  in our kit plus brush pens (and Sharpies to be delivered to our home addresses since they didn't make it on time for the workshop)

The materials included
in our kit plus brush pens
(and Sharpies to be delivered to our home addresses since they didn’t make it on time for the workshop)

It’s been a very hectic first quarter of 2014 and month of March.  It’s the end of our 7th year in homeschooling which means wrapping up another schoolyear, doing portfolios, taking year-end tests, and still trying to catch up with our goals for the important subjects like Math and Science. Moving in chores have become more frequent and thus, more physically taxing. It’s also time to narrow down options for summer activities this April and May and choose those where schedules will flow smoothly and driving around town would be bearable in the summer heat!  Imagine all these taking place all at the same time, leaving me drained and wanting some kind of escape!

I really feel burnt out and all I can think of is V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!  Well, I still have to wait for a few more weeks till my family goes out of town for our yearly beach trip.  In the meantime, pausing a few minutes (or sometimes hours) to write down my note for the dayspending a few hours doing arts and crafts, meeting up with my so-called “playmates” on art dates, and learning a new craft are my survival tools, just to give me the frequent breaks I so need.  

Just last Sunday, March 30, Arielle and I, joined a workshop together.  It was called a Modern Calligraphy and Creative Lettering workshop by Alessandra Lanot of Life After Breakfast at The Burger Project in Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati, one of the restaurants owned by Alessa and her hubby.  Even if it was my second time to attend a calligraphy workshop, the first time with Ink Scribbler, I learned new techniques and additional info about calligraphy, which is the art of writing beautifully.  

To me, it was a quiet Sunday afternoon, perfect to unwind the crazy week that had just passed. Perfect to end the month of March.  Perfect to end the first quarter of the year.  Perfect to officially start April and summer.  And last but not the least, it was also a perfect bonding moment with Arielle, who looooves ink and paper! 

It was an afternoon of learning the proper way of using our calligraphy pens, of lines and swirls,  of up strokes and down strokes, and simply creating something beautiful with pen and ink.

Perfect way to spend my Sunday afternoon

Arielle working on her worksheet

I just love those flourishes!

Alessa doing a sample of
creative lettering

Arielle’s own version of
creative lettering!
What she wrote is so true!

Arielle (in her fave skirt she sewed herself!) and Alessa 🙂

 

How did the first three months of 2014 go by for you?  What’s your form of “escape” when life gets you really occupied?


My 2014 365 Notes Challenge Notebook (handmade by Arielle)

My 2014 365 Notes Challenge Notebook
(handmade by Arielle)

 

I don’t know what got into me but for this year, I am taking on a challenge.  The challenge is: To write a note each day of the year.  Words of inspiration or something that will serve as a personal reminder. Something POSITIVE daily.

Aside from coming up with my One Word for 2014 and my 2014 Declaration of Intention, I was bold enough to do My 365 Notes Challenge, as inspired by Cindy Cheung of www.missiecindz.com. I’m no graphic designer like her but when I saw a post in Instagram which led me to her own IG account, I was inspired!  I searched for her and her Pinterest board on her 2012 365 Notes Challenge was SIMPLY AWESOME! 

I couldn’t find a notebook to fit all 365 days of the year and one with pages that won’t make the ink bleed (but I had to settle with our supply of multi-purpose paper).  So, Arielle, who was with me in my search for THE notebook, seeing how frustrated I was, offered to make a handmade notebook for me, applying the bookbinding technique she had learned from before.  I couldn’t be more thankful!  And to complete the essentials for this challenge, I stocked up on black pens, asking for recommendations from our girls, who actually gave good ones! 

I’m now on Day 23 and so far, so good.  This challenge has allowed me:

  • To have some MORE quiet ME time.  
  • To pay attention to what’s going on around me.  
  • To be more reflective on words.  To be more introspective.  
  • To find more meaning in life, in general, or in the simplicities that life offer which I often ignore.  

Plus, I get to try to be more creative in terms of writing and taking photos. 

Here are my favorites, so far:

I love that I’m doing this!  My mind sometimes go blank but there is always something to write on a new page.

Just as each day has SOMETHING different to tell us, if we only listen and pay attention more. 


 

I was scribbling for three hours last Saturday.  No, not with an ordinary pen, but with a nib and ink! That’s because I joined a calligraphy workshop by Ink Scribbler at Kitchen’s Best in Bonifacio Global City. 

I arrived at the patisserie early since Mike had to do the rounds of dropping us girls off to our scheduled activities that afternoon (He was forced to think of what he could do while waiting for all of us to finish which literally took us the whole afternoon…from 1:30pm to 6:00 pm!)  I didn’t mind being an hour early for the workshop because I was really excited and have been looking forward to this Saturday.  My newfound “art friend”, Dette of Bananabellieboo, was going to be with me, and we were just together on an art date last Saturday! 

Upon entering our private room, Alexis Ventura of Ink Scribbler introduced herself and warmly welcomed me to the workshop.  As soon as I chose my seat and put down my things, I started to take photos of her little display table by the corner which showed her different kinds of nibs and ink. 

The workshop started promptly at 3:00 p.m. and like any other workshop, we all gave a brief introduction of ourselves. (Prior to this day, I did wonder who my “classmates” will be and if I was going to be the oldest or one of the oldest ones as always.  Alexis herself looked very young!  Well, she IS.  That was another story of inspiration to share with Arielle and Kayla.)

With our materials prepared and all laid out on the tables (worksheets neatly filed in a folder, a pencil, a nib holder, a bottle of black ink), our afternoon started with a very well-presented introduction of what calligraphy is (from the word’s etymology to the parts of a nib and how the nib works).  It smoothly proceeded to how to learn fancy calligraphy (as I would like to call it, and not the really formal, technical kind) with the use of pencil first then, using the nib pen.   

The afternoon went on with all us serious and yet having fun going through the motions and filling up each sheet of exercises.  No one even bothered to take a snack no matter how many times Alexis tried to invite us because we were all engrossed with what we were doing! 😀  We even jokingly said that we were holding our breaths when doing the exercises! Hahaha!

Here are samples of what I did (minus the ink blots and ink-less strokes!):

It felt like doing those
writing exercises
back in grade school!

Trying to write "Beyond Books and Walls" and tracing words cards

Trying to write “Beyond Books and Walls” and
tracing words on a card

Quite getting the hang of it!

Quite getting the hang of it!

My certificate :)

My certificate 🙂

It was a REALLY FUN WORKSHOP!!!

Arielle was, as expected, excited to hear from me after.  So, I showed her what I learned and she immediately tried her hand in using a nib pen.  She is a natural with pens! 

I still need A LOT of practice and I’m glad that I joined this workshop.  My January weekend workshops are enough to give me a boost for 2014 🙂  

On a final note, if you feel like your life is getting monotonous or becoming so predictable, here’s my advice:

As posted on my Instagram
(Day 19 of my 365 notes challenge…
Soon to post about it!)

 

And to our homeschooled girls, this is also living the example of being a lifelong learner 🙂


Start The Year Right

Let’s Start The Year Right!

 

Yes, life is back to normal in terms of routines and to-do’s.  Nowadays, I find myself very conscious of how I am transitioning from 2013 to 2014 and very aware of how things are slowly unfolding as each day of this new year passes by.  

I had carefully thought about my Intention, One-Word (Faith), and Verse for 2014.  I had declared it.  I had made a visual of it using watercolor (which happens to be one of my art pursuits).  I had taken a step further by specifically listing down the things I would want to have less of and do or practice more (this time in calligraphy, another art pursuit of mine).  And recently, I also had reflected on the different Faith areas in my life

Then, I somehow managed to schedule my first month of 2014, my Saturdays in particular, with activities that are really just for me.  Nothing to do with my being a wife or a homeschool mom…But TIME to do things I really want to do and wasn’t able to last year.  Talk about starting the year RIGHT! 

Last January 4, the first Saturday of the year, I joined Martine de Luna’s “Blog Your Best Year” Creative Blogging Workshop, which for me, was the perfect way to jumpstart my new year! Attending the workshop helped me refocus on my blog, which I felt was a bit neglected during the last two or three months of 2013.  Like in the other workshops I’ve joined, I met new bloggers and friends, and was partnered with Bituin Callanta of Quite Simple Bits for the exercises of the workshop, who happens to be doing something I’m really interested in (Simple Sustainable Living) and who was also a “teacher” in her previous job.  The workshop, the venue, the food, the people…everything was just RIGHT.

Blog Your Best Year Workshop...perfect time to take this!

Blog Your Best Year Workshop…
perfect time to take this!

Next calendar activity was January 11.  I had an art playdate with Bernadette Ramos of Bananabellieboo and Vanessa Salas of Shed Mom at Early Bird Breakfast Club.  It was my second art date with Dette and my first time to meet Van.  We all gelled instantly.  It was a casual meetup. No pressure.  Just pure fun and sharing of what we do and have, in a cozy restaurant, over good food and with good company 🙂 

Art Date with Dette and Van at Early Bird Breakfast Club

Art Date with Dette and Van at Early Bird Breakfast Club

Yin Yang Champorado made with Belgian choco!  A yummy twist of the traditional snack!

Yin Yang Champorado
made with Belgian choco!
A yummy twist of the traditional snack!

What I ended up doing, not at Early Bird Breakfast Club, but at home, after being inspired by Dette and Van :)

What I ended up doing,
not at Early Bird Breakfast Club,
but at home,
after being inspired and encouraged
by Dette and Van 🙂

It’s been only two weeks and things have been off to a good start.  I still have two weekends of January to go and I am definitely looking forward to two more workshops in my calendar.  One on calligraphy and the last is about WordPress.  

It feels really great to have started off the year this way.  I feel rejuvenated.  Energized.  More focused.  Maybe it’s because of what I’ve chosen as my Word for this year.  Maybe it’s my Intentions? Or maybe it’s because of making time for my Me Time.  Whatever it is, things are feeling just right! 

How’s your 2014 so far?

 


My 2014 Declaration of Intention

 

It’s been two weeks since we welcomed 2014 and I have been busy trying to catch up, move forward, go back to normalcy (whatever you call it) after all the Holiday rush and stress.  And yes, I can say that life is back to normal 🙂  Should I say “Whew!” or “Gulp?!!”  

This is where my Declaration of Intention, One-Word and Verse for 2014 serve their purpose. Because I know that every time a new year comes in, my life is given a new twist for the following reasons:

1.  We have the remaining two quarters to finish, which we will cover from January until March or April, at the most.

2.  But before that, trying to get back to our homeschooling groove in the first place is a struggle we inevitably deal with. With the busyness of the Christmas season, it really is difficult to homeschool on a regular basis and go back to our normal routine after all the merriment and celebrations.  That only means ending up being behind our intended targets for the different subjects. 

3.  It will soon be time to wrap up another school year.

4.  Then, we choose and plan the girls’ summer activities, which mean new logistics, new schedules, new routines, new learning objectives.

5.  We also usually have our family beach vacation during summer (usually in March or April where Holy Week falls), with my good friend who’s based in the U.S., which means travel and itinerary plans have to be done online via a long exchange of emails and WhatsApp messages. We’ve been doing this for three years in a row and it’s actually been really fun!  Everyone now looks forward to the next summer destination every time.

6.  And after being on a vacation mode and enjoying a brief break, I move into my “planning session” and seriously make plans for the next school year.  This is when I do the nitty-gritty of identifying our school year learning goals, scheduling, and listing down the scope per subject, per quarter…per child (I thank God that we only have two and I’m able to handle this duty quite diligently).  This really takes so much of my time, I feel I need another vacation after doing it!  That’s why, as much as possible, I carefully space my activities and duties during the one or two months of summer that we have so that I can still enjoy some respite before we officially start another year of homeschooling.

Then add these major, shall we say, milestones for us, this 2014:  

1.  We plan to move in to Pasig soon.  Well, as soon as we can.  Currently juggling homeschooling (working on our books and going to other classes and activities), back and forth trips to Manila, and house renovation on a weekly basis can really be quite exhausting and can majorly shake up one’s predictable routine or shall we say, one’s normal life.   My family and I find this new place of ours a blessing and with the girls moving up to high school and soon college, we do need to be closer to schools, or at least to other resources and options we can explore.  New house in a new city…a whole new lifestyle! 

2.  Arielle will be in her 4th Year High School next school year and we really need to sit down and start looking into her college plans, and take more concrete action steps.  Now this scares me, to be honest!  Kayla, on the other hand, is now also in her high school years and that calls for another approach and strategy when it comes to homeschooling and parenting. 

3.  I have to manage my time really well to still be able to manage the existing business we have and possibly, have a few others, which are all based back in my home province, Batangas.

4.  Since Mike will be based in Batangas because of the businesses to take care of, I have to make sure that partner and family relationships will continue to work and even blossom.

These are just the big chunks, if I were to describe them.  The daily chores and unexpected interruptions are not yet in the picture.

That’s why I really felt that there could be no better One-Word and Verse for me this year than FAITH.  I can only see and visualize up to a certain point and plan in the best of my abilities and knowledge.  How to execute plans, follow where the events will lead me, and accept how things turn out need FAITH, even if it is as tiny as a mustard seed, in order for me to believe that my dear God up there is in total control and everything in my life is going to be A-okay! 

How has your 2014 been with the One-Word or Verse that you have chosen? 

 


 

It’s almost New Year’s Eve and we will all soon be saying goodbye to 2013 and welcoming 2014!  A HAPPY NEW YEAR to my family and friends, near and far!  

Like what I’ve written in my last post, we’ve been doing a New Year’s tradition to prepare ourselves for the coming year.  Arielle and Kayla did their goal-setting this morning and it didn’t take long for them to write down what they want to achieve in 2014.  Their planners had pages dedicated on goals and those instantly served as prompts for them to put in writing what they intend to carry out.

I didn’t want to call mine “New Year’s Resolution” because it just didn’t give me THE motivation.  I came across another word which just feels so right for me and more personal. The word is INTENTION.  I also wasn’t planning on writing a long post on this simply because I was able to create something that I feel says it all. 

I so enjoyed doing this! 

2014 Intentions

Here’s my 2014 Declaration of Intention, which contains my:

One Word for 2014…FAITH

and my

Verse for 2014…Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).

My 2014 Declaration of Intention

My 2014 Declaration of Intention in watercolor

2014 Intention

More specific intentions of mine
as I tried out my calligraphy dip pen for the first time!

 

Have you thought about your 2014 Intention(s)?  How about your One Word or Verse for 2014?  Do share!  It’s the perfect time to start anew and be inspired to make things better this new year!

 


I can’t believe it.  It’s the last weekend of 2013 and in a few days, the whole world will be ushering in another year!  How was 2013 to you?  To be honest, I had a couple of bumps here and there in my relationships with my family and with myself, but overall, 2013 was a year of blessings and God’s faithful provision for our family.  We had more than what we needed, enjoyed so much of life, and was even able to share what we have with others. 

Now that 2014 will soon be here, my family and I will be doing the activity we’ve started doing in 2011.  Every January 1st (or during the 1st week of January), we all sit down with blank sheet of paper or page of our new planner/journal and coloured markers.  We then think, think, think about our goals for the coming year and put them in writing, mindmap, or some artistic doodle.  

To show you how we did it for 2012 and 2013, look here.  We all did mindmaps that allow us to see the big picture at one glance.  That makes it easier to keep each one of us motivated and to keep our eyes on our goals.  As an added challenge to myself, last year, I thought of my One Word for 2013 to keep me even more motivated and focused on the activities I was going to engage myself in for the year.  

In a few days, we’ll be doing the tradition again.  Arielle, Kayla, and I already have our 2014 planners, pens, and markers ready!  New Year, New Goals, New Plans!  What I’m also looking forward to, before we start making our goals for 2014, is looking back at what we’ve all written as our goals for 2013 and see how much we’ve actually completed or achieved!  Then after we have set, written, or drawn our goals, we offer all of them to God and pray that He blesses them.

For those of you with younger kids, doing a mindmap might not interest them yet and they might find it difficult or intimidating and end up being discouraged.  That wouldn’t be a good way to start a new year, right?  Here are some of my suggestions to help them set a “bigger goal” for themselves:

1.  Help them think of their One Word for 2014.  Something that is do-able for them.  Make that one word a verb or adjective.  My One Word for 2013 was Grow.  How about…Learn…Serve…Give…Listen.   Adjectives such as…Friendly…Obedient…Caring?

2.  Or you may prefer to prompt them with questions like “What was the favorite thing you did or made last year?” … “What was your most memorable experience?”  Then, follow it up with “What would you like to do this year?” … “What would you like to see, do, or learn?”  

For older kids, like tweens and teens,

1.  Doing a mindmap of their goals is a great way for them to map out their plans.

2.  Writing their top goal or top three goals and pinning it on their bedroom wall or cork board where it is highly visible would be a great encouragement.

Okay, this is not for 2014 but Arielle had already pinned down her ultimate dream in life and this is her target.  I do hope and pray that she hits the bull’s eye someday.  Who knows? 😉

3.   I saw these pins on Pinterest and these might tickle your tween or teen’s fancy more than a mindmap or a note of what they want to achieve this 2014.

2014 New Year's Resolution

2014 New Year

2014 New Year

2014 New Year

A mindmap, a list, a note, letter to himself or herself, or doodle.  It doesn’t really matter which style you would do.  What’s important is the exercise of goal-setting, probing of oneself, and doing a self-evaluation.  And remember…goals must be S-M-A-R-T (To find out what S-M-A-R-T means, click here)!

How are you welcoming and preparing yourself for 2014? 

 

 


 

WAHMdeful

Photo Source: THE WAHMderful Community for Work At Homemakers in Facebook

Last October 27, a Sunday, I spent my day in the company of mommies, daddies, WAHMies, WAHDies (Work At Home Daddies), kiddos, babies, singletons, mentors and speakers.  It’s because I signed up for the WAHMderful Weekend organized by Martine de Luna (of Dainty MomMartine de Luna, and WAHMderful Life), Ginger Arboleda (of Manila WorkshopsGinger Arboleda, and Manila Reviews) and Patricia  de Castro Cuyugan (of Mrs C’s Sugarcoated Life).  That day, we were all at Meeting Rooms 4 and 5 of the new SMX Convention Center of SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City (I will not forget its full-blast aircon that quite gave me shivers most of the day, and several trips to the ladies’ restroom :)).  

I don’t even know where to begin.  The event was just packed from the moment it started until it ended.  With keynote speakers:

WAHMderful Keynote Speakers (L to R): Ginger Arboleda, Martine de Luna, Yeng Remulla, Apa Alviar

WAHMderful Keynote Speakers (L to R): Ginger Arboleda, Martine de Luna, Yeng Remulla, Apa Alviar

 

it felt like I was enrolled in a short course on Life 101, Life Purpose and Management, and Business 101!    

  1. Apa Alviar gave a hearty talk on Life Purpose, The HEART of the WAHM;
  2. Ginger Arboleda shared her AHA moments on The ART of ‘Racket’;
  3. Yeng Remulla’s tips on HOW TO START UP was presented in a light and yet realistic manner;
  4. Martine de Luna’s concluding talk on FINDING BLISS and HAPPINESS in who we are and what we do was just apt.

 

The day’s program was a good intersperse of serious and fun. The games, raffling off of prizes, presentations, food breaks made the hours (all 8 hours of it!) pass by without me noticing it.  It was a day of learning, enjoying, eating (The catered lunch by Josiah’s Catering was delicious! So were the desserts by Ala Mode!), laughing, connecting, sharing, and bonding.  And with even brief entertainment segments, singing intermissions (by Marge Aberasturi of TheHappyWahm)!  I must not forget the generous giveaways and support of these sponsors: 

 

and co-presentors:

 

Photography was taken care of by MRLightworkz Photography.   Sitting Pretty was one of the raffle sponsors (I wanted that magnetic board!) and the books of Yeng Remulla and Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (hot off the press!) were raffled off, too.   There were also booths by Happy  Finds, Ala Mode, Pamper Me Pink, and Kookyloopy.   The event was simply an overload!!!

WAHMdeful Weekend  Keynote Speakers

WAHMdeful Weekend
Keynote Speakers

 

We were able to take a peek into the lives of WAHMies Marge Aberasturi, Patricia Cuyugan, Michelle Padrelanan of Beyond Silver and Gold, and Janice Lim of The Roller Coaster Ride.  They shared with us what they do and how a day was like for them, whom I all call SuperWAHMies 🙂  (Just ask them where they get their SuperWAHMie powers, aside from all having SuperSupportive Husbands.  I know Patricia Cuyugan gets hers from Maltesers 😉 )

We were also given the chance to huddle up with mentors of our choice, to ask questions and seek advice (but time wasn’t enough, if you ask me):

1.  Investment Options with Insular Life Financial Adviser

2.  Mompreneurship and Business Planning with Ginger Arboleda

3.  Virtual Assistance with Marge Aberasturi and Jennyfer Tan

4.  Time Management with Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag

5.  Graphic and Website Design with Jayme Gatbonton

 

Now moving on to the serious part, I will not enumerate each point given by the keynote speakers in their presentations. There are too many!  Let me just share with you my reflections after the event.

Apa gave quite a deeper probe of my heart after doing that exercise on coming up with my life purpose, my mission statement.  I liked the way he guided the exercise because I was able to zero in on words that make up MY mission:

TO TEACH, INFLUENCE, and COACH my CHILDREN to DISCOVER their UNIQUE DESIGN and PURPOSE as they LIVE EACH DAY of their lives. 

I thought I would be able to put somewhere in there the role of being the stereotype WAHM (working and earning at home) but my heart was really whispering that I am first and foremost, a mother.  A homeschooling mother.  A homeschool parent-teacher.  Like what Apa said, strip off all the titles one has (blogger, writer, president, virtual assistant, doctor…) and who am I at the core? After putting down my pen, I was just given that validation that I am where I am supposed to be. At the same time, it made me hopeful about the future.  Where could this lifestyle we have chosen (or wherever I am at this stage of my life now) bring us (or me) to next?  As for the WAHM side of me or my WAHM-related plans, the rest of the speakers spoke to me further.

Ginger’s AHA moments were all based on her experience and what struck me the most was her AHA moment #1:  Don’t grab opportunities.  MAKE THEM!  That was just encouraging and empowering!

When it was Yeng Remulla’s turn, I was entertained by his visual presentations and stories.  But what did I learn from him?  EVERYONE HAS WORTH. EVERYONE HAS IDEAS.  EVERYONE CAN START and DO SOMETHING!  With everyone’s unique capabilities, WORK then is something that one should ENJOY and is something PERSONAL.  I now see the connection of this to Apa’s point, where one’s work should be motivated by one’s core values and not merely as a means to make ends meet (today’s sad reality for many).  The question to really ask is: Where is my best work F.I.T. (Fulfillment — enjoyment, Income — We have to earn and pay the bills, let’s be realistic), Talent — What do I do best)?  Wherever these three merge, that would be the answer.

To end the day, Martine capped it off with a simple yet inspiring reminder that our core, our being, and our work must be a union of who we really are, our God-given talents, strengths, and resources where we must put all of these into good use not only for ourselves but for the community and for others.  If we live by this, then, I believe that happiness won’t be far behind.

As my final note, whatever you decide on being AND doing, read the message on my teabag that day 🙂

My teabag message that WAHMderful Weekend :)

My teabag message that
WAHMderful Weekend 🙂

Yes, your decisions and choices have an impact on the people around you.  Let your decisions and choices make a significant, positive difference, no matter how small they are.

So much wisdom gained and fun experienced that day where I must say that I had a WAHMderful Weekend! 🙂