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Preschooling 101: 3 Dilemmas of a Working Mom Answered

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
For newbie moms with preschoolers like me, the coming of an academic year is an enormous slice of cake to partake. It employs a huge amount of decision making skills. A few good weeks before the school year starts, it's good to ask questions about your child's education. To help you moms, I answered 3 common questions that you might or should be asking by now and how I am learning to manage or deal with them.

1) Where should I enroll my kid?

I personally find this task a very tedious one. Several months ago, I was insisting on sending my child, Nathan, to a nearby Catholic school. Unfortunately, when I inquired, the summation of annual fees amounts to a whooping P 70, 000, transportation fee excluded. I am quite familiar that the school had really high cost of tuition fees but I never expected it to be that expensive-- it's the same cost as my medical education. Gaaah! So when I sat down with my husband, he admitted honestly that we cannot yet push through with our previous plan of enrolling Nathan at the said school. I felt a bit defeated but then I had to meet waterloo. After all, I am still not earning any penny for next 12 or more months.

So what's the whole point of this whole story telling? 

Selecting a preschool is like battling with your own values. Many meticulous mommies like me would surely want their kids enrolled in a well-known or long since been established and competitive schools. It is really imperative for you moms, specially first-timers, to evaluate practical issues that are related to your family's needs. Are you after sending your child to public or private schools? If you choose a private one, would you want it to be parochial or independent? Or would you rather have your kid home-schooled? The decision is all up to you and surely your preference would be somehow clouded by your own experiences and standards.

As for me, I choose proximity and consider my household's capacity to pay for now while not compromising quality, of course.

2) How do I make my child school-ready?

I hope many teachers like me would agree that preschool readiness is about being socially and emotionally ready. The first day of school will be quite a scene for your child so you wouldn't want them overwhelmed with feelings of fear and anxiety. You have to make sure your child's prepared. 

Knowing when to let your child start schooling matters. Nathan is already turning 5 this coming October and he's only about to enter school this June. The teacher told me that my child's a bit late at starting school of which I'm guilty. Because of this, hubby and I decided to enroll Nathan in a summer readiness program. It has been a week since he entered and I'm happy to see how much information he has gained since day 1. Not only they were taught basics of writing, counting and coloring but also skills like , following instructions, grooming and communicating with peers. For working parents like us, I say is really helpful.

One thing you can also do to prepare your little one is to reassure him/her that school will be fine. Constantly remind them on how you want them to behave in school but make sure you don't put much expectations on them. Remember, these preschoolers are quite meek at heart. Just make them feel excited for that much-awaited first day.

 Nathan's worksheets

3) What if I'm a working mom, who can help me supervise my child's education?

Clearly this last question is one of the toughest. Finding someone you could entrust your child's studies, especially if both you and your partner are working, is a really handful. 
At home, you can always take turns with your husband in assisting your child with his/her homeworks or doing reviews for exercises and quizzes. It pays to seek help from your child grandparents when it comes to baby-sitting and teaching your little one at home since most of them have been through those times when you were little. If all else fails, you can always find help in a tutor for your kid. This will ensure that his day of learning is maximized and he/she just doesn't go around just playing at the end of the day.

Off to school: Nathan's Day 1 and 2 at his Summer Readiness Program

Although brief, I hope this was of a little help to you, especially for first-time moms with preschoolers. If you have any suggestions on how I can also improve my preparation for Nathan's first day in class, please feel free to comment below.

PAC Philippines 2014 Contemporary Make-up Competition + a Giveaway [Closed]!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Hello dearies! It's been almost 2 weeks since I last posted something on the blog. The last few days had been really crazy as we had our 2-day orientation on our upcoming post-grad internship at the Philippine General Hospital (will do blog about that soon) which will be starting this 1st of May plus accomplishing some requirements in between.

Anyway, let's go back to business.

I recently visited Professional Artist Cosmetics (PAC) Philippines office in Makati and learned that they will be holding a make-up competition for Filipino make-up artists. PAC by Martha Tilaar, a cosmetic brand from Indonesia, is one of the luxurious brands that the Martha Tilaar Group boasts. It is the pioneer of professional Asian make-up envisioning itself to fulfilling the needs of make-up artists for color, quality & application. This year, PAC Philippines tied up with Cosmetologie and Philippine International Cosmetologists Association (PICA) to organize yet another search for home-grown professional make-up artists. 

The competition is open to all make-up artists without brand affiliation, ages 18 and above. Interested make-up artists must submit the following requirements sealed in a brown envelope:

1) A completed application form (available in all PAC outlets nationwide and on their Facebook page); and

2) Two (2) full page A4 photo of a bridal and avant garde look with a short description of the theme, inspiration and medium used

The entries may be sent personally or couriered to the PAC Head Office located at the ground floor of TAO Corporate Center 2291 Chino Roces Extension, Makati City OR  dropped off in any PAC outlet in Metro Manila on or before May 15, 2014. Only one (1) entry per make-up artist will be accepted. Strictly no editing, tampering or enhancing photos through photoshop.

Twenty (20) qualifiers will be chosen amongst all entrants and will attend an exclusive make-up training and workshop on May 26, 2014 with Yuan Sng, an internationally renowned make-up artist from Singapore and a guest judge on Asia’s Next Top Model.

The qualifiers will finally showcase their skills on May 27, 2014 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, wherein only three (3) will be chosen to be part of the PAC Philippine Team. And what are at stake for these lucky winners? Oh! Just a PAC make-up worth P26,000 and all-expense paid trip to Jakarta, Indonesia to compete in the International Make-Up Competition as official PAC Philippine Representative to compete against all the best make-up artist in Asia. That awesome! 

So for all you make-up junkie, if you think you have what it takes to represent our country, now is your time to shine. Start sending your entries now!

And to help our friends from PAC Philippines to disseminate the info, please help me share about the upcoming 2014 Contemporary Make-up Competition to your friends and you might just win for yourself a PAC lipstick pouch + Free Make-Over worth P 1500 each. I'll be giving away two (2) GCs to one (1) very lucky winner. 

The gift certificates are redeemable at the following PAC counters nationwide:  

All you need to do is join through the Rafflecopter app below. You know the drill!

Contest ends on May 14, 2014. I will announce the name of the winner on my twitter account and through a post so make sure to check my blog from time to time. I will ship the prize free of charge.

Share away!

A Touch of Beijing: My First of Summer 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Summer has definitely started and my clock just started ticking. So to get the ball rolling, I started it with a perfect staycation in the bustling metro.

Since everybody knows I'm an online contest junkie, I joined a great deal of online contests and giveaways just before our clerkship ended and lucky to have won a free overnight accommodation and breakfast for two (2) in one of the 12 biggest and luxurious hotels in the metro. The said contest was sponsored by none other than, Philstar.com and Agoda.com. 

What's formerly called New World Renaissance Hotel is now refurbished to become the New World Hotel Makati. The hotel is strategically situated within the upscale Ayala area. So if you're the shopaholic type of person, you'll probably enjoy most of your stay since it's quite near a lot of malls like The Landmark, Glorietta and Greenbelt.

The parking area was located at the basement area. Even if there were ongoing wedding celebrations during our stay, we never had a problem finding an accessible parking space at that time. I only hoped the elevator from the basement parking opens up directly to the main hotel lobby so you don't need to go out the hotel first before coming in the hotel entrance. 

Upon entry to the main hotel lobby, we were welcomed by really polite attendants. I even heard one speak Mandarin to a Chinese guest at the lobby. Check-in was organized. Within a few minutes, we were on our short elevator ride to our room at 11th floor.

We stayed in a superior room with a queen-sized bed. There's a single couch, an arm chair and a small living room table. The cable LCD TV was mounted nearside the dressser. It would, however, be a little nice if it was not diagonal to the bed. The room was equipped with a small refrigerator, telephone, iron and ironing board and a safe for valuable things you might want to keep when you leave your room premises. It also has a mini-bar with sampler sizes of some liquors and tea and coffee maker. The air-conditioning is perfectly cool. The control for the air conditioning, lamps and sound is set in a single remote found at bedside. Sadly, the radio isn't working where we stayed. 

For those who might be asking and because I've read a lot of bad reviews re: their internet provision on foursquare when I checked-in, the wifi service is working perfectly well when we stayed there.

Each bathroom is equipped with a bath tub, shower, hairdryer and of course-- 'selfie' mirrors. There's actually a lot of them inside the room.

What I also liked about the hotel bathroom are the toiletries that smelled really good. There's only been very few hotels I visited where I used their toiletries. 

The hotel was pretty much provided with facilities you need for a much needed recreation. The fitness center is located at the 3rd floor and is open 24 hours. It's furnished with weights, aerobics, steam and sauna rooms, private massage rooms, lockers and shower rooms. I've completely forgotten to take good pictures of the steam and sauna rooms, my bad.

The splash pool bar is located at the 4th floor and is open from 7 am to 7 pm on weekends. They have created a poolside bar offering light snacks and thirst quenchers. The pool is atop the fitness center and there's a nice passageway between the two without having to enter the hotel premises.

The hotel also houses the Marahai spa at the 3rd floor which offers massage, facial and body treatments. This is open from 10 am to 1 am daily.

Food will never be a problem for staycationers like me. The hotel has 4 dining rooms to chose from. Jasmine restaurant at the 2nd floor offers a wide array of Cantonese cuisine and dimsums to choose from. The Lounge and the Bar Rouge at the lobby serves cocktails and light snacks. Of course, you wouldn't want to miss the breakfast/lunch/dinner buffet at Cafe 1228 where they served Asian and Continental food everyday.

We had our buffet breakfast at Cafe 1228. I love the modern ambiance of the dining area. We were ushered to our own table by the windows upon entry. They served us with coffee and tea--in a pot! So you can have your own cup repeatedly filled if you want. But you can also serve yourself juice or puree of your choice from their drinks station.

Below are photos of the food stations. I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures, then, because I busied myself with binge-eating. Haha.

 My first stop will always be dimsum.
Turning Japanese-ah!
Crispy bacons is a must-try!
They serve this everyday. Feels like Christmas!

Bread and cheese are the perfect pair!

Pimp your own pancake/waffle.

You can always choose healthy.

And here are my plates.

That, folks, concludes our short and sweet stay at New World Hotel Makati-- my first R&R for Summer 2014.

New World Hotel Makati
Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, 
Ayala Center, Makati