It Started as such a Daring idea: Share A Christmas Project

When I started MommyWithAGoal, my main goal was to hopefully inspire others (especially mothers alike) with what I advocate the most, Self-Care. Little did I know that it is I who would be learning more from this motherhood community. From the usual everyday challenge of having things done while trying to be mindful of making a priority to give myself some time as well.

It’s truly a great feeling when you yourself feel whole from within, happy and grateful. You have this feeling of power within you to help more to others. This gave me an urge to do something I never thought I could pull off when SuperTyphoon Odette devastated my husbands hometown in Maasin City, Southern Leyte. As far as he can remember, this was the only time his province got hit this hard by a Typhoon and it was quite hard to comprehend that those you usually just see in news has happened to your neighbour’s homes.

It was also then that I realise how the government and media focus more on big cities in the country such as Cebu, Bohol, and Siargao (currently Philippines famous must-go-to island and Surfing Capital of the country) and some provinces like Southern Leyte that has been hit the same way, left unrecognised. I’m not trying to be political here as I know the government is also doing their best to provide as much as they can. A country full of islands and tons of places affected, I don’t even want to imagine how much stressful it was for those in-charge.

What I’m trying to highlight is how much a little of each can make a difference if we all of us had the urge to help. In situations like this, every small help that can be contributed matters. That’s when the daring idea started.

I knew I wanted to help yet don’t want to put our finances in jeopardy as well. Despite not knowing where to get funds, let alone know how to run a fundraising, I went on and did it anyway. haha. True enough, with the support of family, friends, and this motherhood community, every small contribution have truly lightened up hearts of many.

This project has really humbled every aspect of my whole being. From starting to ask old friends I knew from a very long time who I haven’t spoken in decades to reaching out to new friends I had acquaintance through Social Media. All this swallowing of ego and loading up my confidence just so a number of people could be reached with help and make their Christmas a better one despite having experienced this kind of calamity.

It took a lot of prayer and I’m so grateful to say that we’ve come up with around Php 45,000 in 4 days, just in time to prepare for Christmas. With this money came in also a donation of 100 steel roof to help those who lost their homes.

With this money, we’re able to provide 35 families with rice, canned goods and other pantry supplies that can aid them for a while and a simple Christmas feast of roasted chicken, chiffon cake, and soft drinks.

It is with great gratitude and humble gratefulness from the people who shared some of their blessings to make this happen. The financial donation really helped a lot.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I do not have enough knowledge on how fundraisings work and once the money was in, I was faced with another hurdle. The fact that the whole city was devastated, communication lines were put to halt, and even withdrawing money from banks caused a lot of difficulty.

My in-laws needed to go to a specific place in their town to have signal on their phone. We also need to reach them through overseas call (like the old days) instead of what we commonly and freely use nowadays as communication (viber, FB Messenger, or WhatsApp). That made us realise how helpful these technology had helped us make our lives easier yet we never appreciate. As the saying goes, “You’ll never realise the value of something until its gone”.

Withdrawing from ATM machines weren’t available. The only big supermarket in the city was closed and those SME’s doesn’t accept credit cards nor GCash. Add to that the rapidly thinning supply due to the large demand.

Queue at the bank

Doing errands also needed to be done only during daytime as electric poles were knocked down and news says that it would take over a month to put everything back to normal. Without lights, once the sun sets, it was difficult and dangerous going around especially with trees still blocking roads.

Luckily with the help of my in-laws doing the grind of hard work, everything was able to be pulled off smoothly. Queuing outside the bank in seemed to be an endless line under the scorching sun and hustling to get the items needed from the grocery despite not knowing if the money needed to pay could be withdrawn from the bank yet has been quite an experience. A great kudos to them for their help!

All donations has been given on the eve of Christmas just in time for the celebration.

Here’s a few photos of the recipients of Share A Christmas

As Christmas doesn’t end on Christmas Day alone, same as the hurdles these families would encounter in the days to come. Due to hardware supplies from hardware stores going out of stock, we have yet to give out the steel roof and other construction materials we can purchase with the excess donation left on hand. We could only hope to have this issue settled and finally provide the needed to those families in need.

Our goal is to have this done before the Twelfth day of Christmas, well known as the Epiphany or the Feast of the Three Kings. With that, a follow-up blog post would follow.

Again, a heart-full of gratefulness for the kind donation of the following people below who had helped made Share A Christmas Project possible:

Ms. Alison Setton and Family

Ms. Zoe Chu and Family

Ms. Christal Perez and Family

Ms. Marielle Hillenbrand and Family

Ms. Carmela Duque and Family

Ms. Princess Liwag and Family

Ms. Mary Anne Galang and Family

Ms. Sheryl Cantos and Family

Ms. Janice Hollander-Urbach and Family

Ms. Michelle Hon and Family

Ms. Tracy Jungwirth and Family

Ms. Minda Villa

Dra. Sheri Paola Lirio

Ms. Phola Amyll Lirio

Ms. Pauline Lirio-Panaligan and Family

Ms. Susan Canobas and Family

Mr. & Mrs Apolo & Mila Lirio and Family

Ms. Dawn Nicole Macandili

Ms. Nadine Baritua-Soriano and Family

Ms. Hanna Ortega and Family

Ms. Twinkle Roa and Family

Ms. Judy Aguilar and Family

Learnings for this project:

It only takes an initiative from someone to be able to help more. It doesn’t matter whether you don’t have the funds, people, or even tons of hurdles along the way. Helping can be done if you want to.

There’s so much good people in the world. Despite all the bad people we hear from the news and how scary the world could be, humanity still remains and the sense of community still is there.

Gratefulness should be mindfully done everyday. Calamities like a Supertyphoon that can devastate cities in a day should be an eye-opener to everyone and see how blessed they are to be living the life they are living in. We may all have problems in life and different circumstances but like any typhoon, we should keep in mind that those problems shall pass.

As 2021 comes to an end and we enter a New Year, I hope you get to read my other article, Self-Care during the Holidays, and be inspired to do some much needed Self-Care.

A Happy New Year to All!!!!

Great ways to Speed-up Cleaning before New Year

It’s the time of the year again! I’m not talking about Christmas and New Year’s coming but making sure our home is tidy. It’s not that our home hasn’t been cleaned the whole year but as someone who have lived her whole life in tropical countries where Spring Season doesn’t come, well, December is my “Spring Cleaning” month.

Same as everyone does when they do “Spring Cleaning”, all that accumulated junk comes out of its shell and assessed if it’s worth keeping or you decide that life would be better off without it. There’s one thing I want to point out during this mission though.

Do not regret seeing the things you've bought that wasn't able to serve its purpose. Simply feel grateful that you're able to purchase that thing  and accept that life must go on without it. No feelings of resentment so you get to avoid that negative energy in your life and instead accept much more abundance. 

As an avid planner, I know that the only solution to avoid getting overwhelmed is to plan. You’ve got a month to do this cleaning and holiday to celebrate as well. If you’re lucky, you’ll also have some birthday celebrations in between which can make things more exciting.

Oh! I almost got forgot to mention your biggest supporters of keeping your home clean “your kiddos” *wink* are at home the whole time for Christmas School Holidays! With all that, are you almost feeling tired already? Hope not!

This simple guide though can help you get your cleaning easier and make you achieve that tidy home you want before the clock strikes for a new year.

What you’ll need

An open-mind. When it comes do spring cleaning, you need to keep your emotions intact and be open to giving away/ donating things that you don’t need or throwing out away things that’s malfunctioning already and can’t serve its purpose yet you’ve been still holding on at your home. Emotional attachment to material things is common. So don’t fret too much, it takes practice on letting go.

Stick with your plan. When it comes to spring cleaning, it’s easy to get too excited wanting to finish your task. Try to resist this temptation and simply stick to your plan. ONLY do what you have planned to do for that day. This will keep you relaxed, happy and be able to savour your accomplishment for that day, and be motivated to keep going for the next day. This would avoid exhaustion, overwhelmed, and quitting on the task you’ve started.

Get the whole family involved. You may not be getting joyful reaction from your family members especially if you have teenagers but know that this is a rewarding task. As part of the family, nothing is more rewarding than feeling part of it. Yes, that means on fun times and hard times (cleaning/tidying up your home).

Tips to speed cleaning

Stop cleaning one room at a time. Do chores that are connected to each other at a time for the whole house. Perfect example of this are the following:

✨Wiping windows, mirrors then washing curtains(changing curtains), rugs

✨Dusting cupboards, cabinets, then clean floor

✨Wash laundry, dry, organise clothing cabinets. You can also include your linen cabinet when doing this

✨Check pantry and fridge for expired food, clean fridge and cupboard

✨Lastly, as a rule of thumb, whenever you go from one room to the other, bring along with you whatever items you need to return to its correct place. This saves you from going back and forth.

There you have it! I hope this simple tips helps you do your cleaning before the New Year comes! I’m now off to my own home cleaning!

A Blessed Christmas to all! Hope you get inspired with my last article on the Best Christmas gift a Parent can give their children.

The Best Christmas Gift Parents can give their children

First of all, I’d like to make it clear that the points highlighted in this article has been inspired from a Facebook video I’ve reposted years ago and just showed up again yesterday in my Memories. Don’t you just love sharing posts that you loved so much that you want to share to everyone you know online? Well, at least that’s the reason why I do it. Another is to inspire myself as well in the next few years. Seeing posts that inspired you at that moment in time can remind you to be inspired once more.

Anyways, you can watch the video here. It’s from a speaker named Dr. Justin Coulson, a parenting expert from Australia. The title of his talk was 3 Principles for Happier Families.

I couldn’t let this opportunity pass now to write something about it and to give more of my insights about this topic. Not only because I’m feeling the Holiday spirit as Christmas is only 12 days to go, but also because there’s no better time to spread awareness on these principles to parents like me than this season of giving love.

I’ve recently wrote an article about Christmas Tradition that you can do with your family as I really want to make it a point to highlight how important is to remember and know the true meaning of Christmas than just merely buy and give gifts.

Christmas time is truly a wonderful time. For most children, it is the most awaited time of the year! For parents though, well, let’s be honest…with everything getting expensive, those toys are getting more and more ridiculously outrageous as well.

Despite that, whether included on budget or not, we try our best to give them to our children. Well, hopefully you don’t get too carried away though and let your pockets have those deep holes after Christmas (if you know what I mean) *wink*

Here’s some really great gifts you can give your children no matter what age they are in and would truly be appreciated and remembered for the rest of their lives. What’s great about this is you don’t need to wait for Christmas to give them… you can give it as much as you want, any day of the year, without spending a single dollar!

Love

According to theconversation.com, Love is an emotion that keeps people bonded and committed to one another. Just by reading that meaning makes my heart giggle inside. Who doesn’t want to feel loved?!

Feeling loved and giving/showing love is one of the best thing you can give, and receive. Nothing beats that! And when you are in this cloud-nine feeling, doesn’t it make everything in your life feel great? Your stars seems to align everything that’s happening in your life and everything seems perfect!

Loving and showing your love to children can be somehow tricky though. Most parents think giving that toys and other material things is what their children would want them to give. Unfortunately, children may be young and not know much about life but they sure know one thing. That there’s no much more valuable in life than TIME. And that’s what they want from us as parents. Our time.

Just like in business, they say, time is money. Or with professionals who charge the services they do based on the time they spend on doing things. Our children knows that! Spending time with them is one of the best things you can give them.

Here are some simple yet valuable ideas on how you can spend QUALITY time with your family:

  • Spend time eating at least one meal a day together. Have a fun talk during meals.
  • Go for nature walks. Spending time away from civilisation is always fun. There’s no same thing you can see no matter how many times you pass by the same route. Nature has its own way of making things interestingly beautiful every time.
  • Read a book together. This month of December, we’re doing this Family Tradition of Reading the Book of Luke each night till Christmas. It’s not only about reading the Bible but commemorating the life of Jesus and making Christmas more meaningful.
  • Put away all gadgets. It’s not only the phones that keeps us distracted in spending quality time with our family. Many might argue that their phone is too important to them and there might be something like an emergency that might come up. The trick that I do is to leave it in another room where you can still hear it rings. It’s simply to assume that your smartphone is line your landline that you can’t simply move along with you around.
  • Meal made with love. Cook together as a family and enjoy laughter like no other! Not only do you create great memories but your children also learn some great math in there! All those fraction woes would surely be easy peasy for them!

Limits

True love comes with respect. We all are human and that means we have limitation in everything. Learning to say “no” and understanding the reason behind it is an important matter.

What’s great with children is they are first and foremost under you wing from the very start. They key is to slowly let them loose with trust with them knowing by heart their limits. And while children’s rights are important, we are still the ones in-charge of letting them understand the responsibilities that right entails.

Living with freedom is everyone’s need. What will make most enjoy more that freedom is if each one knows the limits they have on everything. Am I being too preachy?!

Okay, enough, let’s get to the good part again.😊

Laughter

When was the last time you spend genuine laughter with your family? We often associate laughter with happiness and when it comes to being happy, we associate to giving material things to be able to make others feel that way. That’s where we got everything all twisted.

Children simply wants the laughter. That means as simple as telling jokes, dancing like nobody’s watching, or simply making hilarious stories. Our children are the most fun and cool people on earth and ones who would let you see the goodness of life you often miss to see.

I hope this article help you realise how easy it is to give a gift to children this Christmas. I know some parents who get too stressed just to make sure they got the gift their children would want and appreciate. Why not start with these 3 key points and I’m sure no matter it is that you wrapped, you’ll have the most special smile and hug on Christmas day!

Amazing “Consciously-made” Gift Ideas this Christmas

This special time of giving has come yet-again! This Pandemic might not end as what all of us have hoped for but that doesn’t mean it stops us to celebrate and do what we always have been doing our entire lives, Christmas gifting!

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? If you’re still trying to figure out what to give, consider these “Consciously-made” products to make your gift extra special.

You won’t only make the recipient of your gift happy but in a way, you’ve either helped Mother-Earth, be an eye-opener to the importance of Self-Care, encouraged them to start a habit, or aided a local seller who have been having a hard time with their business this Pandemic.

So let’s get merry, start that Christmas shopping and make the most out of your every hard-worked dollar!

Healthy Lifestyle

Encourage the recipient of your gift to live Healthy without them even noticing as these sumptuous gifts are more enjoyable than you think it is!

The Source Bulk Food SG

What better way to promote healthy eating by giving healthy sweets instead. This store also offers ready made “Recipes-in-a-Jar” filled with healthy ingredients of course! Another great thing about this store is they promote zero-waste so you’ll have a peace of mind that your gift was helped Mother-Earth in a way as well.Choose from their well-thought Christmas Hampers that your family and friends would surely enjoy!

Visit them on their outlets at Great World City, Cluny Court, and their latest one at NorthShore Plaza. Visit their website: thesourcebulkfoods.com.sg to order online or visit their Instagram @thesourcesg to be updated on great deals!

Vitamin.sg

Make sure your friends and loved ones health is taken care of by gifting them supplements to support any nutrient deficiency they lack from the food they eat. There’s nothing more thoughtful than thinking ahead for their health. Why not make sure their gut is well taken care of by gifting them StaZen Probio-I, it is packed with 8 different strains combined with prebiotics designed for Asian consumers.

Snag a chance to get Free membership by watching to win* StaZen Probio-I if you answer the question at the end of Women’s Self-Care Series Episode 7 with Jaymie Wong where she shared more on Self-Care can help you on to be a Peaceful Parent.

Get FREE Membership as well when you order from website Vitamin.sg by using my code: MWAG2021; valid until 31 Dec 2021 only. Follow them on their Instagram @vitamin.sg for great deals!

HyggeB Bedding

Who says you need to spend a staycation at a luxury hotel just to sleep in lush sheets?

Promote better sleep for your friends and loved ones with these luxurious sheets that make every sleep a better one. Their 100% Bamboo Lyocell Beddings is temperature-regulating perfectly made to make sleeping better especially in tropical countries like Singapore. And before I forget to mention, their clean manufacturing process makes our sheets perfect for allergy sufferers too. Ideal for babies, especially since baby’s skin are more sensitive.

You can order from their website: Hyggeb.com to get your own luxurious sheets. Follow them on their Instagram @hyggebstore for great deals!

FreshwithSol

Hygiene is one integral part of Personal Self-Care. When it comes to products you use for your body, by mindful to choose those that is made of natural ingredients matters. Gift your friends, loved ones, and even yourself with this natural deodorant. By starting from as simple as a product that you use daily, the habit of choosing natural products for your body will come a long way.

Order now from their website: Freshwithsol.com and use Promo Code <MWAGxFWS10> to get 10% Discount. Follow them as well in Instagram @freshwithsol for latest update on their products.

Jomostudiosg

Another well-thought gifting-idea are these eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner from Jomostudiosg. Their products did not undergo animal testing, is non-toxic, and sulphate and paraben free! You can even re-use their packaging to grow plants!

Order now from their website: Jomostudio.sg and check-out their Instagram @jomostudiosg to know more about their other products.

Great Habits

Great Self-Care comes from constant practice of great habits. It is important to note that this doesn’t happen overnight. What great with this though is that you only need to start practicing one great habit and see benefits in different aspects in your life.

SelfmadeSundayPlanner

Do you know that you get better results and less stressed whenever you plan ahead? As a SAHM, I bet stereotypes would think I’m not doing anything but in reality my schedule gets too chaotic that my brain won’t be working properly if I don’t jot down my thoughts to free some space in my mind to work.

The simple and clean design of this planner helps makes me set my mindset that when I do planning, I mean business.Yes! Business to accomplish whatever errands I have whether it be for my business, MommyWithAGoal, chores, my daughters schedule, quality time with the hubs, or where to go for our family weekend.

Start making your 2022 an inspiring year for personal progress! Gift this and I’m sure they’ll love it too! Remember to use Promo Code < MWAG10> for a 10% discount when you order from their website: Self-madesunday.com. You won’t want to miss following their Instagram @selfmadesundayplanner for more inspiration.

The Chill Mom

There really isn’t a guidebook for parenting, much more for being a mother. Great advice from moms like Michelle Hon, who acknowledge the feeling of being overwhelmed instead of ignoring this feeling completely is what would really help moms in general (first-timer or not).

Getting advice from a practical perspective can truly help bring out that relax and confident mom in you. Let that feeling of loneliness, fear, and despair slowly be changed by life-proven solutions that you can try adapting to your family and let the magic work.

Grab a copy from her website: thechillmom.com and follow Michelle on her Instagram @thechillmom to learn more not only about parenting but business as a mom as well.

Sleep Baby Sleep: Sleep Supernanny’s 5 Simple Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep For You and Your Baby

Do you have a family member or friend who just have given birth? Or it may simply be someone you know who have been having a hard time finding their child’s sleeping pattern? This book would surely help! Sleep is one Self-Care that most people miss to acknowledge its importance not knowing it affects a lot of things in their life including their moods and concentration thinking.

Grab a book yourself for Christmas or as a gift and you surely won’t regret it! And if ever you feel that the books isn’t enough, reach out to Zoe Chu for some advice. You can catch up on her blog as well, Sleepsupernanny.com

Getting to Happy

There’s nothing more merry to celebrating the Holidays but by feeling inner happiness. Curated by Happiness Coach Shireena Shroff Manchharam, be inspired to live, think and be happier with these 31 cards you could reflect day by day.

Be intentional living your life. By being mindful, you’re set to find happiness in no time. What’s great is, without exerting much effort, this happiness can be reflected in many ways in your life as well. Your mood will become better, relationships smoother, and feel relaxed, cared of, and simply happy.

Follow them for more Happiness products in their website: gettingtohappy.sg and Instagram @gettingtohappysg as well.

Wellness Lifestyle

This is the aspect of Self-Care is the one that most of us know more about. It is more what the society has been feeding us and not that it is not important, but doing things in excess of what is needed can be harmful as well.

Products and material things that help us look and feel good is essential. It helps us build up the confidence in ourselves. Keeping the right mindset in-check and not to let the privilege of being able to buy valuable quality products must preserve personal happiness more than a show-off to others.

Lenicceyewear

Sunglasses has been part of ones fashion statement since forever. With the Pandemic still requiring us to wear masks whenever we go out, the best way to show our style is with the best sunnies we can get!

Lenicceyewear assures you maximise eye protection and comfort. Finding customised and quality eyewear with that perfect fit is the luxury you should be going for! This makes a perfect gift for you and your loved ones.

Check-out their website: Lenicc.com to make a customised sunglasses of your own! You can also follow them on their Instagram @lenicceyewear for more update on their eyewear.

Coco Veda

Another great Natural, Organic, Vegan and Cruelty-Free gifting idea this Christmas is sustainably handcraft skin-care products. You’d be surprised and in awe of the line of products that they’ve come up from pet care to cleaning range, they got you covered!

You can check-out their shop at Level 3, Takashimaya or website: Cocoveda.sg. Follow them on their Instagram: @cocovedaglobal for more update on their product line.

I hope this article help you do your Christmas Shopping responsibly this year! It’s not always about the how much you have to splurge but being conscious about the products you buy, counts as well!

You may want to start a new Christmas Tradition as well, CHECK THIS OUT!

A Blessed Christmas everyone!

***Photos of products has been grabbed from either website or Instagram accounts with proper consent.

Appreciate More this Christmas by starting this Beautiful Family Tradition

Do you have any Christmas Tradition you’ve been doing as a child, which you’ve adopted to your own family now? We do! One of them is the well-known, Simbang Gabi, or devotional nine-day series of Masses practiced by Filipino Catholics around the world do in anticipation of Christmas.

From what I remembered to be honest, despite being brought up in the Philippines, I’m not sure if I ever completed those nine-nights until I moved here in Singapore. Perhaps, the urge need of Spiritual guidance and praying to find a work here in Singapore have also led me to do it. I’m grateful to say that since 2010, I’ve never missed any of those nine-masses.

What used to be just me and the hubs queueing after mass to get some “magic-lugaw” as Father Angel† slowly became us wishing for a baby, then coming the next year with one in tow, then the following year with another one in my belly. 

With two daughters now looking up to me, I knew that I need to level-up more on opening their eyes and mind with the “true meaning of Christmas”. I personally don’t want to grow up looking forward to Christmas just because they get make a letter to Santa and receive gifts from almost everyone they knew.

My whole family now look forward to Christmas with a different perspective. I’m so proud of my two girls growing up not only looking forward to opening gifts but also those nine-nights they get to visit different churches around Singapore to hear Mass. Sadly, for the past two-years, we’ve been attending virtual masses. We’re really praying that this Pandemic would end soon.

I came across a few years ago in Pinterest this idea and decided to make it part of our Family Tradition as well. We started this tradition in 2019 and during that time, the girls were still 4 and 5 years old and honestly, not enjoying it. I felt like reading alone during those times but I still continued.

Now in our 3rd year, the girls are more enthusiastic about it already. And as they now are both great in reading, they even compete on who should be reading that day, which we often resolve on splitting into different stories of the day’s Gospel.

I’ve posted a few days ago in my Instagram stories my daughter reading the Bible just to share this tradition with others and also have a short clip as a memory for the future.Surprisingly, I’ve got a lot of messages asking more about and as more and more moms get curious about it, I decided to create a compilation of the Book of Luke that you and your family can use.

You can grab it by clicking on the photo below.

TAKEAWAY:

Doing Family Traditions is done to make a celebration more meaningful. As for Christmas, I hope this article help you and your family realise what’s more important during this season of holidays. This is also a great Spiritual Self-Care .

HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!