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“Don't say maybe if you want to say NO.” - Paulo Coelho


The dreaded word NO. What's in this two letter word that people find it hard to say. The word NO is the hardest word that a person can say because this word is connected to fear of rejection, fear of being labeled as selfish and fear of creating conflict.
To avoid these fears you concocted in your mind it is easier then to just say YES. YES is another short letter word which connotes positivity. When does a YES become a deterrent to a person's emotional growth? It is when saying YES means you are not being true to your self on what you really feel or believe in and it does not resonate with the values you held in high esteem.

Do you oftentimes hear your self apologizing again and again even if there is nothing to apologize with? Take this instance, you are to meet your friend for lunch, but you arrived 10 minutes late. You are embarrassed that your friend has to wait for 10 minutes for you so you apologized and say " I'm late because I was caught in traffic". That's all right because your friend deserves an explanation why you're tardy for the lunch date but if you keep on apologizing the whole time you're eating then there is something wrong with that. It is not a simple regret of being late for your lunch date but this is more of fear of not pleasing your friend, fear of being rejected, fear of feeling selfish because you didn't arrive earlier than scheduled.

It's the same with not being able to say NO but saying YES instead. You are a people pleaser, you want to be agreeable to anything that they say so as not to have a conflict with them. Why is this so? The answer is you are afraid of rejection. You are afraid to hurt their feelings. You are afraid to disappoint them. You are afraid that they will think you're selfish. But wait, how about, what you are feeling?

When somebody, asks for anything from us, most of the time our answer is YES. We want to be agreeable because we don't want to create conflict and it is in our nature to want to be likeable by everybody.

This stems from the fear of rejection. We cannot stand being rejected, whether this is verbalized or not. In our mind, we don't want others to think less of us. Thus, it is easier for us to be agreeable to anything other people say even though we resent it or we are not comfortable with it.

How then can we say NO?

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

If you want to say NO, plain and simple say NO. Don't coat it with other words like maybe. Be firm about it but not rude. Say NO and explain your reason/s for saying NO with no frills. If you are not comfortable with what is being said to you then you should say NO. How many times replying with a firm NO can protect you from abuse. If somebody is hurting you physically say NO by walking away from that person, from the relationship or from the situation.

VALUE YOUR SELF WORTH

Many of us have lived with the lie that we should live our lives according to the approval of other people. That is not true. We are our own person, nobody owns us. Nobody can dictate to us what to do, what to think, what to say. We are in full control of our life and answerable to our own actions. Your self worth is not dependent on how much or what you can give to others.

If we continue to live dictated by the approval of other people, we can never be free. We will be forever shackled to the dictates of the society. Nobody is perfect and if we commit mistakes because of our actions and decisions then we will rise above it and learn from it. That is what living our life is all about.

ACCEPTANCE THAT NOT EVERYBODY WILL AGREE WITH YOU

Saying NO may make you unpopular with the majority but you should bear in mind that it is better to say NO now than feeling regretful afterward. When we say NO to something you don't want to do or agree on, the other party may not understand you now and may feel resentful towards you but if he is a man/woman of reason, then later, on they will understand you and respect you for what you believe in or stand for. A NO is not acceptable especially if it will cost you your happiness.

Power of Saying No in Midlife

As a member of the Midlife women society, we too are pressured to say YES all the time. YES, that at midlife all goes downhill from here. This is farthest from the truth, in fact at midlife, we become more self-confident because we had gone through all good and bad times and we come to realize there is more life to live.

YES, that at midlife, we lead mediocre lives. Another myth, at midlife, this is the best time of our life to reinvent our self and fulfill our long lost dream that has to take a backseat because of economic or personal reasons. It is the right time to learn new skills or resurrect older passions. If you don't do it now, it would be too late.

So for us, midlife women, say NO to the wrong beliefs tied to the midlife stage. NO to the myths that prevent us from moving forward and living the best time of our life.

“It's only by saying NO that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” - Steve Jobs

If you learned something from this post, you can like and share it. If you want to be notified once a new blog is up, hit subscribe found at the top of this post.

Middle life is beautiful.


Till next time. God bless.



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"Work-life balance is not a reality. You need to strive for work-life integration or work-life blend. My family is most important, but my job is also an important part of who I am and I want my kids to appreciate that." - Overheard at She Runs It Working Mother of the Year Awards




I need to work John's salary is not enough to provide for our family.

My Boss didn't approve my leave advise, he said I already incurred so many leaves and it's just a quarter of the year.

It's Jena's recital, David wanted me to attend because they have a sales meeting, but I said you should be the one to attend, we have a quarterly meeting as well.

Kate, this is Rina, please tell Boss, I can't go to work now, my baby is sick.

Sweetheart, Mommy has to go to the office now, I'll be home soon, I bring you something, don't cry (Mommy & baby cries together).

Lisa, do you have any job openings in your company, I need a job, any job. I need to find work, I don't have a husband and I need to provide for my son.

Marie, do you think anybody would still hire me? I am in my 50s now, but I can still work, I want to have something for myself. I want to save for my old age too.

Sounds familiar? Anybody on the same boat?

I know a lot of women can identify with it. Tons of tons of women are either working or looking for a job so they could provide for their family. Gone were the days when women are content to stay at home to wholly take care of family and home while depending solely on the income of their husbands. A majority of the women populace is on the mindset that a woman's role is not only to keep house for the husband and the children, but to provide for the financial needs of the family as well.

Mommies took it a notch higher, they not only want to work to provide for the family, but they want to look after their kids personally while working. Is there something nobler than that?

How can a Mother do that? Does she have the power to leap tall buildings in a single bound like Superman? Does she have the superpowers of our favorite superheroes? Nah! Moms are loving creatures who will do all in their power to protect their children and family and to give the best the world can offer their family. Mommies always see to the best interest of her brood foregoing even her own needs and even ambition.

So how can an ordinary Momma work and still take care of her kids? The answer is home based jobs.

Home-based workers as defined by Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Wiego are a) own-account workers and contributing family workers helping the own-account workers, involved in the production of goods and services in their own homes, for the market and b) workers carrying out work in their homes for remuneration resulting in a product or service as specified by the employer (s), irrespective of who provide the equipment, materials or other inputs used, and those contributing family workers helping such workers.

In the Philippines, a young Mom took it upon herself to help other Mothers to have a job while staying at home to be able to take care of their children. Maria Korina Bertulfo is a young Momma who has a full-time job, but the balancing of having a job and a child finally took its toll on her. She tried working from home by applying for online jobs and successfully had one. She had achieved the balance, she needed in her life which is to be able to provide for her family without leaving her child behind. Not only that she is earning in dollars without leaving the country to work abroad. Talk about hitting two birds (3?) with one stone. All that has been possible by taking the risk of working from home.

Maria did not stop there, she has an advocacy. Her advocacy is to help other  Mommies to have a home-based job too. She formed a group on Facebook the Filipina Homebased Moms (FH Moms). FH Moms is the first and biggest parenting freelancing group for Filipino or Pinay moms in the Philippines. To date, it has more than 100,000 members. This community is dedicated to helping all Filipino Moms who want to work from home. It caters also to the needs of the freelance working Filipino Moms.

What makes FH Moms community unique is that it is not just a melting pot for Filipino moms who are looking for home-based jobs, but this community is actually a training ground for would-be freelancers, active freelancers and even moms with a corporate job. There is no discrimination here, mommas who do not have any work experience at all are encouraged to join the group and learn the ropes of freelancing. Without shelling out a single centavo, any woman who has the guts and perseverance to have an online work can indeed land an online job. There is no age requirement nor specific educational attainment is required. In fact, the only requirement is that you are a Mother who wants to provide for her family without leaving home. What is the basic skill required? The basic skill required is the diligence in reading all the posts on the FH Moms' home page on Facebook. You can self study everything and if you have questions the whole community of the FH Moms is there to help you. Everything you need to have an online job is at the tips of your fingers.

Even the Philippine government recognizes the need of Filipino workers to be able to work at home like their foreign counterparts all over the world. Last December 20, 2018, President Rodolfo Duterte, signed the Telecommuting Act, but released to the public last January 10, 2019. The Telecommuting Act or Republic Act No. 11165 is institutionalized as an alternative work arrangement for employees in the private sector. This law allows employees in the private sector to work from home.

So to all Mommas out there, it is possible to have a job and at the same time to be with your kids. Be a work-at-home mom. You can have a job like other women with corporate careers the big differences are: A mom with a corporate job has to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare herself and family for work and school. She spends a lot of time commuting to and fro from work. She has the daily battles of traffic to contend with. She has to spend on money fare and even clothes for work. She may not be able to attend all her children's activities in school or witness first hand the milestones in her baby's life. When her child gets sick, she has trouble asking for leave at work and so many other things that make a mom's life harder to bear.

I am a mom in my 50s with a corporate job but I too applied for an online job. Why? You may ask.

It is because I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to challenge myself and do things I haven't done before. I want to explore the other half of life. I don't want to live in a box, dictated on what to do, what to think, and how to act as considered a norm of society. This does not mean that I will throw caution into the wind, but I want to act on my dreams too. At present, aside from keeping my day job, which is something I really have a passion for, I also created a blog Middle Life is Beautiful. It is about my journey to the midlife stage. Through Maria Korina Bertulfo's community, I was able to land my first online job as a Social Media Marketer. This job is far from different from my work as Cost Accountant. My blog and what I have learned from FH Moms has prepared me for this job. I am paid in dollars, something which I did not expect to happen because I am here in the Philippines. My online job has paved the way for me to earn in dollars even without leaving the country. I was an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) before and I knew firsthand the hardships a mother experienced while working abroad. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I did it solely for my children.

"People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them." - Paulo Coelho

To all midlife women, trust me when I say, you can reinvent yourself at 50 and have a flourishing career with your family beside you.

Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time. God bless.




















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"What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight in its victories and defeats." - Paulo Coelho


Geez...so much had happened in the year 2018 and in just a few days the year that was will be over. We herald the coming of 2019 with a big bang! Today is a great day to sit back, take a break from what we are doing, pause for a while and reflect on the year 2018. It would be much better if you journalize it so you can read it later on and have a better look of what happened or didn't happened in your life this year. I have a to-do list which you can simply follow and serve as a guide on how you fared well this year.

Get a new notebook

It would be better if you can get a stenotype of a notebook, which you can easily flip the pages upwards.

List down your achievements for the year

You can break this down by making a list of simple achievements and a list of grand achievements. Why do you need to do that? Most people have the notion that success means having a new car, a new house or a promotion at work. They don't consider the small things like let's say learning a new hobby or skill as an achievement. If you don't consider the simplest things which you haven't done or received before as an achievement for you, you end up thinking nothing new or big has happened in my life.

List down the places you've been to for the year

You can list these down by categories. Create several columns and label it by country, local place and restaurant. Add to the list if you have other places in mind. Write down even the hole in the wall you've been too, it makes up for great eating adventures too. The late Anthony Bourdain has been known to travel to extraordinary places and hole in the wall around the world to sample a variety of local cuisines.

List down the events you have attended on for the year
The events include the socials or celebrations you've been invited to. No celebration is too modest to be considered trivial. No matter how humble a celebration or a social is, we take time to dress for it. So consider it worth listing down.

List down the new people you met this year

I hear from other people that they don't have plenty of friends or they know a few people. If you make a list of people you have newly met, (either at work or in your neighborhood), people you have talked with over the phone ( they might be suppliers or customers) or people you have connected with,  in your social media, you'd be surprised how many people you had known in the course of one year!

"Next time you have the opportunity to connect with people, do it. Share a moment together, offer a thought, lend them your ear." - Richard Branson

After writing down your list, you'll be amazed by how many pages you had to leaf over. Don't overthink or weigh too much if what you had in mind really counts. Just take it easy and jot down what comes first in your mind. This is not a test, where there is a right or wrong answer. This activity is to give you a fresh eye view of what transpired this whole year for you. This simple exercise is a tool to show you how productive you are for the 12 months of 2018. Congratulate yourself because you had come a long way, you were able to hurdle the challenges you met, triumphed over the hardships and obstacles and become a better person.

What happened in 2018 should not be left to levitate in space but these should serve as a guide on how we can conquer 2019. Indeed, we enjoyed a good fight in 2018, the fight to better our self, the fight to conquer our fears, the fight to come out of our comfort zone, the fight to reach for our dreams. We can not depend on others to make our dreams come true for that would be simply daydreaming. Dream and go work out there to make your dreams come true.

Happy New Year everybody and welcome 2019!

Image from Pexels

Middle Life is Beautiful.

Till next time. God bless.



*Video from Pexels






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Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us. - David Cameron


*Christmas video #4

It will soon be Christmas day! People are milling in the department stores to buy clothes, shoes, gifts for family and friends. Everywhere you'd see people with paper bags on both hands filled with their Christmas shopping. Christmas carols can be heard everywhere, either they are played over the radio or children and adults singing carols outside our houses at night. Christmas trees filled with Christmas trimmings are prominently displayed in houses. Christmas lanterns add up to the brightness of the Christmas nights. One can feel the Christmas spirit in the air.

Is everybody really happy as we celebrate this Christmas season? What about in countries where there is a war going on? How about the people who are martyred for their Christian beliefs? How about the people languishing in prisons? How about the men and women who have to work in foreign lands to support their families and make their Christmas happy by being able to buy that new shoes or watch? How about the children and their families dying because of famine in Africa? How about the street children who hounds the streets begging for money for food? How about those street children begging for money to buy rugby to feel temporary euphoria? How about the people in mental institutions battling their inner demons? How about the drug addicts sheltered in rehabilitation clinics or centers? How about people with a member of a family fighting to live despite of a terminal illness?

These musings could entirely change our perspective about the celebration of Christmas. Christmas is the birth of the baby Jesus. He was born in a stable not even in a simple house. Jesus was born in extreme poverty and did not even experience the simplest kind of living.

Christmas time is not only the time for revelry and merrymaking. Christmas is the time to be grateful for the blessings we receive everyday. Be thankful if you have a job, for there are many who remains unemployed. Be thankful for the food on your table, many mouths go hungry for there is nothing for them to eat. Be thankful for the clothes and shoes you wear for many do not even have slippers to protect their feet. Be thankful for your family for there are people who are all alone in this world. Your families are the ones who will remain constant in your life. Be thankful for the gift of life for this is the greatest blessing we received from above. The fact that we wake up to a new day each morning is the greatest miracle of all.


So this Christmas let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is being with your family and loved ones. It is sharing and caring for one another. It is forgiving and letting go of whatever pains and heartaches, we bear in our hearts. We will not be able to move forward if we will remain shackled to our past.

This Christmas let us be merry but let us not forget to give thanks to the Lord. Merry Christmas everyone!


The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of the spirit of generosity and of the spirit of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world's busy life and we become more interested in people than in things. - Thomas S Monson
If you learned something from this post, you can like and share it. If you want to be notified once a new blog is up, hit subscribe found at the top of this post.

Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time. God bless.


*Image from PEXELS







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*Christmas video#3

Christmas lantern up? ..check.

Christmas tree up?...check.

Christmas lights up?...check.

Mistletoe up?...check.

So what else is missing? uhhmm...

Christmas shopping list?...uncheck!

Well, the most important of all is the Christmas shopping to complete our Christmas holidays! This is the most awaited activity during this season. We have all kind of reasons to splurge, fill our shopping bags and empty our pockets during this time of the year! But wait, we don't really have to empty our pockets and went through all kind of stress during this season, you just have to follow these tips guaranteed to make your Christmas holidays joyous, organized and budget conscious.

Plan the day of your shopping 

You can make your shopping date a bonding time with the family. Going shopping with the whole family would be lots of fun so it is important to choose a date where each member would be free for the day. It's a great way to have a personal time with your family, it's like going on a trip but this time it's a trip to the shopping stores. So mark that special date on the calendar!



Set up a budget

A budget is important when going on a shopping spree. Set up a specific amount for Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother, Baby, gifts for family and friends. If you have a budget plan then you can prepare the amount you'll need for all your shopping expenses. Setting up a shopping budget would also deter you from using your credit cards because  you have already allotted a portion of your income for your shopping needs. Stick to that budget girl!



Prepare a list of your shopping items

This is a family shopping date so list your shopping needs per member of your family and per person you would like to send or give a Christmas gift. Decide on what sort of gift matches the person on your list. Since you had set up a budget, list items which you estimated to fit the allotted budget for a person. Mommies, you need to exercise discipline and do not be tempted to go overboard your budget!



Dress comfortably on your shopping date

This is a whole day shopping spree so dress comfortably. Wear flat shoes or slip on and loose, comfortable clothes. If you want to look good and stylish while shopping. wear something that looks put together and this translates to casual but smart clothes. There is something about dressing smartly that help us exude more confidence and feel more outgoing while Christmas shopping.



Christmas is for family. It is giving, receiving and doing things in the company of each other. Christmas is a time for joy and laughter. Simple things like going on shopping with your family with whatever budget you have is secondary only to the happiness gained in the company of our loved ones.

How do you plan your Christmas shopping? Care to add to the list above?

If you learned something from this post, you can like and share it. If you want to be notified once a new blog is up, hit subscribe found at the top of this post.

Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time. God bless


*Photos from Pexels










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Image from Pexels
Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy. - Edwin Osgood Grover
 *Christmas Video #2 included
What's so special about Christmas that we wait for it whole year round and when it finally comes there is that something surreal and magical that we can't exactly explain?

Christmas as we all know is the time of the birth of the baby Jesus Christ. That is one of the main reason that Christmas time is special. We celebrate the birth of Christ and this brings hope and joy in our hearts.

There is also one other person that is always associated with Christmas and this is our dear Santa Claus. You probably can't help yourself and belt out "You better watch out, you better not cry. Better not pout, I'm telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town". And indeed Santa Claus is coming to town! Every young boy and girl has their Christmas list of their Christmas wishes in their tiny hands.

Image from Pexels


Who is Santa Claus? The Real Santa Claus. Santa Claus or St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the 4th century in Myra in Asia Minor, now known as the country Turkey. He came from a wealthy family but his parents died when he was young. He used all his inheritance in helping the poor, the needy and the suffering. Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Bishop Nicholas, suffered for his faith. He was imprisoned and later on was released. He died December 6 A.D. and people from all walks of life, recalled his kindness, generosity and love for the poor and needy people. From, thereon, December 6 was known as St. Nicholas day.



There is another persona, Santa Claus is known for and is more popular with people of all ages. This is Santa Claus from North Pole. Santa Claus together with Mrs. Claus, live in North Pole where they make toys to be delivered to children on Christmas eve. With the help of Santa's 8 reindeers, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzer, Santa pulls a sleigh through the night to be able to make it in time on Christmas eve and deliver all the gifts for the kids.

Creative Common license John Santa at North Pole, Some Rights Reserved, taken on November 27, 2010 https://www.flickr.com/photos/puzzler4879/5230953775/in/photolist
Kids would try to keep wide awake to catch who the real Santa is! Their older siblings would spoil all the fun and blurt out that Daddy and Mommy are the real Santas. But to this day and age, people keep to this tradition world wide, children of all ages would troop to the Christmas tree on Christmas eve and peek at the bottom of the tree to see their gifts. So excited to see if Santa had brought the gift they wished, for they had been good or tried to be good whole year round. The joy in the children's eyes as they tore the gift wrappers and keep agog is just priceless. It warms the hearts of the adults because we had been young kids too, we were like them, cannot keep to our seats, jumping and shouting with happiness as we unwrapped our gifts. We say, thanks Mommy, thanks Daddy, thanks Santa.

But there is the other side of the fence, not all kids are happy and busy with their gifts. There are kids, who have no new clothes to wear, no shoes or slippers on their feet, either they're sleeping off the night curled on some dirty cold streets or going from one person to another with their palms stretched out asking for some coins. These kids are living on the streets and Christmas eve is just another ordinary day to them, another day of climbing jeeps and buses to ask for alms. They have with them envelopes either tattered or new where people can insert their coins. They rode on the jeeps and buses, singing their own Christmas carols. The world is not fair and this is the ugly truth, not all children are safe, warm and with their bellies full on Christmas day.

This brings us to introspection, dwell on what is the true meaning of Christmas. It is giving and sharing. It is the extension of compassion to our less needy brothers and sisters. While, it is true we cannot help each and every street children because these can only be done through concerted efforts of the government, community and society, as an individual, we can do something. 

Action is needed.

I know giving of alms is frowned about because it is tolerating these kids to stay on the streets but what can we do to completely eradicate poverty. We cannot. But we can help these kids, maybe it is only a temporary thing but these kids have the right to not be still and jump and shout for joy as they open their Christmas gifts. Let us open our hearts and pockets to them. I know it is not permanent but can't they be happy even for a day. 

The true meaning of Christmas is the spirit of St. Nicholas, who shared his wealth to the people who are poor, needy and suffering.

Let's sing Merry Christmas and a happy holiday... and may the spirit of Christmas be always in our heart. - Christmas in our Heart by Jose Mari Chan 
If you had learned something from this post, you can like and share it or share your thoughts. If you want to be notified once a new blog is up, hit subscribe found at the top of this post.

Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time. God bless.






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Image use for this design is from Pexels
*Christmas video included
The morning air is turning cold, Christmas carols are being played, Christmas lanterns are being sold along the roads and in the stores...indeed, Christmas is in the air!

It is again the time of the year where you scoured all thrift stores for gifts for family and friends. You have your own Santa list of "who's naughty and nice" and you are up to your elbows what to give, what to buy and even how to wrapped it. Alas, it seems the house is not yet ready for the festivities because there are lot of things to do and fix before we can set up our Christmas trees and lanterns. Here are some tips to set the stage and prepare our homes for the holidays. Through these tips, you will feel less overwhelmed and enjoy the Christmas festivities more.

Declutter your house

  • Rummage through your closets and remove all clothes that you are not using anymore. Instead of letting the moths feast their way through your clothes fill up a large thrash bag with all the clothes you no longer need and give it away to charity or if you want to be enterprising, you can have a garage sale and sell all your used items for a meager amount.
  • Schedule the general cleaning of your house for 1 whole weekend. Start from the bedrooms, then towards the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom and finally in your yard. Always keep on hand a large thrash bag so you can stack all the garbages & thrashes you find as you work your way in each room.
  • The following week you can allot this time for changing your bed linens, replacing floor mats and hand towels. You can hang new curtains or freshly laundered curtains on your windows. Now, your house looks and smells good, ready for the Christmas festivities.
Bring out your Christmas trimmings - It is time to spruce up your house with Christmas trappings and feel the Christmas spirit in the air.

  • Choose a good location for your Christmas tree. It is best to place it near a plug socket to avoid stepping on or trampling with the cord wires. Avoid overloading socket and risk of fire by using only 1 socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead in another extension lead.
  • Check your Christmas tree trimmings because most of those are still in good condition and you don't have to buy new ones.
  • In the Philippines, Christmas won't be complete without a Parol or Christmas lantern and a Belen or a tableau representing the scene at Nativity. These two are staple Filipino Christmas symbols. Have much fun putting up the Parol and check if the light bulb is still working. If it is not, buy a led light bulb because leds emit more lumens per watt than incandescent light bulbs. Your Belen will stand up more if illuminated with led fairy lights. Fairy lights are super small but incredibly bright and are just perfect for your Belen miniature. 
Parol symbolizes the star that guided the 3 magis to the baby Jesus:; Image from Clipart Library

Belen a tableau representing the scene of Nativity or birth of Jesus Christ; Image from Clipart Library

Plan your Christmas Dinner 

You may not want to cook and opt to have it catered or order your food from your favorite diner. Whatever you decide make sure you prepare the right amount of food for the number of people who will share it with you and your family. This way, no food will be wasted and if there are leftovers be sure to transfer it in a dry. airtight and leak proof container. Refrigerate leftover food within 2 days only. Bacteria can't grow at freezer temperature but although it is generally safe while frozen it is best to consume it in a reasonable length of time to maintain its best quality.

In the Philipines, Christmas is a long celebration. It usually starts on the onset of the "ber" months (September) and ends on the first Sunday of January which is the Feast of the Epiphany or the Feast of the 3 kings. One of the religious traditions of the Filipinos during Christmas is to attend the 9 early novena masses from December 16 until Christmas eve. The 9 early masses are called Simbang Gabi which literally translates Mass at Night. Filipino families would attend these mass which usually starts at 4 to 5 in the wee mornings. We lift up our special prayer petitions and we firmly believe it will be answered on Christmas eve. After the Simbang Gabi, families would troop to the nearby food stalls outside the church where several Filipino food delicacies are being sold. The most popular is the puto bumbong. Puto Bumbong is a purple colored sticky rice cake flavored with brown sugar, margarine or butter and freshly grated coconut meat. Most of the time this is eaten with hot steaming salabat or ginger tea. On Christmas eve, all members of a Filipino family would gather together, attend the mass and right after, partake of a feast which is popularly known to us, as Noche Buena. Common Filipino staples during this feast are queso de bola, sweet ham, lechon or roasted pig, pancit, spaghetti, fruit salad for dessert, hot chocolate and more food that we can think of to cook on this special day. It is a time for bonding with family and friends and even time to forgive or reconcile with family members whom we haven't speak with for a long time. It is also a time of missing loved ones who are no longer with us. 


Puto bumbong best paired with salabat or ginger tea; Image from Dreamtime
Christmas time all over the world is a season of  sharing, loving and giving. Advance happy Christmas everybody!


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Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time. God bless.




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Photographs and memories...are all I have to remember you. - Jim Croce

Photo grab from FB Page of Sta. Catalina College Elem Class Batch 1979
One by one men & women troop to room 1218 and as the sun sets the room was filled by gentlemen & ladies greeting each other with hugs & buzz on the cheek. I spent that evening with more than 20 other people whom I haven't seen in the last 40 years. Not that it matter at all.

It has been four decades since most of us saw each other, my elementary classmates. As each approached one another, we reintroduced ourselves. Some have met each other before, through get together that had been organized to welcome classmates who came from other countries. Most of these classmates would initiate the small gatherings to bring together our childhood classmates and friends.

The night was spent reminiscing about our childhood past. Pranks played about with other classmates, childhood games we engaged in, infantile agonies we experienced when unable to prepare our assignments or give the correct answer during recitations, recall our first day in school, get all so mushy remembering first crushes and even feel the shame  all over again the first time you embarrassed yourself in front of the class. 

These childhood memories are best remembered with mixture emotions of joy, happiness, longing and even embarrassment. Our childhood brings forth strong emotions thus it draws strong memories too.

One of the most treasured keepsakes we hold dear to our hearts are our childhood memories. Remembering them, somehow brings a smile and stirs a soft spot in our sometimes jaded heart. Childhood memories somehow stick a lifetime in our hearts.

We spent the night talking about our personal histories, our families, our works, even about problems and personal tragedies. It was like talking to a dear old friend as if the great divide of forty years did not separate us or even exist.

That special night holds a sacred bond amongst childhood friends. One realizes that what reinforces this bond is the innocense of our youth. 

We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. - Unknown

Have you reconnected with your childhood friends? It's a wonderful feeling to revisit our younger selves.

 If you had learned something from this post, you can like and share it or share your thoughts. If you want to be notified once a new blog is up, hit subscribe found at the top of this post.

Middle life is beautiful.
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The face you have at age 25 is the face God gave you, but the face you have after 50 is the face you earned. - Cindy Crawford
A wrinkle here and there is something we aging women should not be ashamed of or be embarrassed about. It is true that our wrinkles is the symbol of our adventures in life. As an aging adult, I am a proponent of aging gracefully. To age gracefully is to feel good about yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. A part of aging gracefully is to take care of yourself physically by keeping yourself physically fit and taking care of our skin. To maintain a skin care routine is a must to keep our skin soft and supple even in our 50s. 5 -10 minutes is enough to devote to your skin care before you retire for the night. These few minutes you give to yourself is not being narcissistic, it is a simple way of giving importance to yourself also.

Do not be guilty if you want to improve the physical aspect of your being. Aging doesn't mean looking tired and haggard. Aging is living the best years of your life.

A few weeks ago, I received a free sample of several skin and hair care items from SampleRoom. One of those items is the Pond's Age Miracle Wrinkle Corrector. I used it for 2 weeks and here is my review of this product.

Product Name: Pond's Age Miracle Wrinkle Corrector

Price:                   Php 99.00




Benefits:


  • The most advanced technology from Pond's
  • RP-C 24 Recovery complex releases retinol which works nonstop to help reduce wrinkle appearance.
  • It has SPF 18 PA++ which gives daily protection against UV rays.
How to Use:

  • Apply a small amount all over the face and along the neck.
  • Do not stay too long under the sun even if using a sunscreen product.
  • In case of any irritation, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.
Before Use:

  • The jar looks classy and elegant.
  • The cream has a thick consistency.
  • It has a gentle odor not over powering.
  • It has a subtle pink color.
During Use:

  • The cream though thick does not feel heavy on the skin.
  • It is not greasy but since my skin is very oily, I apply baby powder on my face after 2 hours from applying this cream to eliminate oiliness.
  • There's no stinging on the face even on the first few days of using this cream.
  • I really like the smell of this cream.
After Use:

  • After the first week of using Pond's Age Miracle Wrinkle Corrector, I did not saw any visible signs that my wrinkles had reduced in appearance.
  • After 2 days use, I could feel that my face has become soft and smooth to touch.
  • It took 2 weeks before I saw visible signs that my wrinkle reduced a bit along my crow lines. Maybe it will take at least 1 whole month before I can spot a remarkable reduce in wrinkle appearance.
Final Verdict:

I like the packaging, the smell, however it is my opinion it would take several weeks before you can visibly see a significant reduction of wrinkles. If you want a softer, smoother skin in just few days then use Pond's Age Miracle Wrinkle Corrector.

Recommendation:


In a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest, I  recommend it and rate it  4 stars. 


Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


To embrace our age does not mean to look old, it is more of acceptance that indeed we had aged. It is in living your life gracefully by being beautiful inside and outside.



If you had tried this product, care to share with the rest your experience with it? Just leave your comments below.

Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time, God bless.










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God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers. - Rudyard Kipling

Image from Pexels

"Love, next year you'll be 22? Yes Mommy."

"DJ will turn 20, Ate will be 27 and Cham, this November will be, 25?"

"Uhmmm", was Love's simple reply.

"Looove, Mommy's getting old!"

"You sure are, Mommy!"

That was the gist of the conversation between my youngest daughter and I a few nights ago.

Hummph, I feel old!

How, I remember bringing my kids with me at work. At first, with Darl & Charm, I would bring them with me at work, during Saturdays. I' ll just packed in their bags their favorite toy & book and I can work just fine in the office. They are so well behaved, bringing them with me in the office poses no problem, although at that time, Darl and Charm, was barely, 4 and 2 years old respectively. Then, came Love and DJ, since their Ates (older sisters) were in school already, I would alternately bring them with me in the office.

I love my children very much but the love I give them is tempered with discipline. I do not spoil them by letting them have their way, so early on, in their young lives, they know how to conduct themselves in public. I have not experienced having my child threw a tantrum while in a store because I did not buy them a particular item they like. If they asked me if I can buy a certain toy, book or trinket for them, when I say, this is the money I have, let's buy another or I'll say, we'll buy it next time, they accept that. They may feel a bit sad but they won't cry buckets of tears to have their way.

I remember, secretly following, my two older girls, as they go caroling in Christmas time! They told me, they want to go caroling by themselves but I said I'll go with them but they were adamant not to bring me along. I conceded because I don't want to ruin their fun and I want them to experience, how to go caroling because I didn' t got the chance to do it when I was a kid. So there was I, sneaking behind cars and bushes, while I was following them. They stopped by a house and started singing their Christmas carol songs accompanied by their maracas and tambourine. It was nowhere a perfect rendition of the Christmas carol but it was music to my ears, I was so proud and happy for them. What I failed to do as a kid, my youngsters were fulfilling it for me. The owner of the house, went out and gave them some coins, to which this time, they chorused to a "thank you, thank you ang babait ninyo, thank you (thank you, thank you, you're so kind, thank you)! They managed to sing their Christmas carol to several homes more and the two were happily counting the money they received when I was found out!

Mommy! Why are you following us? I embraced my two girls and gave each a big kiss and so they forgot their impatience with me. With each of them holding my hand, we went home, chatting happily.

So this is what being 50 brings about. You feel suddenly old, you wonder how your kids are young adults now. Maybe, I was preocccupied with aging, going through menopause, wanting to reinvent myself, with wrinkles, greying hair, that I somehow safely frozen my kiddos in time. In my mind, they are still my babies, always clinging to Mommy. I would bring them all with me wherever I go. While in the mall, I would have Love and DJ each by my hand, while I let the 2 older girls walk ahead of us, so I can watch over the four of them and keep them safe.

Now, is a different story. My Darl and Charm are both working now. They have their schedules, even though we're staying in the same house, sometimes we don't see each other. When they're home, I'm at work or if I'm the one at home, the two are working. DJ, would be out with his friends, either to play basketball, Dota or with his classmates finishing a project or other school works. Love on the other hand, is the one I'm with constantly but sometimes, she too has to go on overnight with her classmates for their thesis. When I bade Charm, goodbye, as she drives off on Sunday evenings, I feel sad, I feel a bit lost, although I know, she'll be home the following week.

It's hard to be a Mommy. It's hard to let your children go. But such is the fate of all parents, you take care and rear your children and in their adult life  you have to accept they also have their own lives to live. Love is selfless, especially if you're a Mom or a Dad. Being a parent is timeless, there is no break, time out or retirement. There is no salary, bonus or retirement pay. To be a parent is to give your unconditional love to your children. Most of the time, it is heartbreaking to love your child because you know one day, you'll no longer be the number 1 person in their life.

If you love somebody, set them free. If they come back, they're yours; if they don't, they never were. - Richard Bach

To love and raise our children well are our ultimate goals as a parent. To see them living their dreams is our happiness.

I say a heartfelt prayer for each my children. For the Lord to bless and guide them in all their endeavors. Mommy, will always be here, with my arms open to embrace each of my child. And that is why, Motherhood never ends.





Do you felt a bit lost and lonely too as your children become adults? Care to share it? Just comment below.

 If you had learned something from this post, you can like and share it or share your thoughts. If you want to be notified once a new blog is up, hit subscribe found at the top of this post.

Middle life is beautiful.

Till next time. God bless.


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