Mommy Lace: Mommy Blogger|Philippines
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Summer in July Giveaway

Can you really enjoy summer during the rainy season? If you ask mothers like me, of course you can! In fact, doble pa ang enjoyment because of all the savings you can make. Seasoned travelers know how prices of hotel accommodations and resorts drop post summer. For families with small kids, an out of season getaway means less crowd and more space to enjoy.

In this post, I am sharing some budget finds which you have the chance to win and enjoy for your own “summer in July” experience.


Me and my son Ashton on a frugal weekend staycation

Affordable Swimwear: Pink Belter

I only buy swimwear once a year and most of them I purchase online. Why? Because they are cheaper and I find swimwear from the department store not just pricey but limited in terms of style. For a mommy like me, I look for a swimwear that’s attractive, classy, but will allow me to run after my son without any malfunction.


My cover-up and swimwear from Pink Belter looks very classy for its price

Pink Belter offers these kinds of swimwear, not just for moms but for many kinds of ladies who like to enjoy swimwear like bikinis, bandeaus, one piece suits, and versatile cover ups that you can use for other occasions. I discovered them on Instagram, placed an order for this P850 two piece Antonette bikini and it arrived a couple of days right on time for our weekend. If you want to see for yourself, you can visit Pink Belter stores at Exhibit Area, Greenhills Shopping Center, Slimmetry 2/F Fashion Village at Tiendesitas and The Good Find, 2/F Cash & Carry Mall in Makati City.

The quality of Pink Belter’s fabric is very good for its affordable price. The thickness is decent so you don’t need to worry of feeling exposed in wet or dry situations. For the bikini I purchased, Antonette bikini – the fabric hugs the body in the right places, you don’t need to worry about the top or bottom slipping off. Note that it comes in free size yet feels like it’s a custom fit.

WIN a Pink Belter Swimsuit

I like this swimsuit brand so much that I would like to share my Pink Belter experience to one lucky reader of Mommy Lace. Here’s how to WIN, just visit Pink Belter on Instagram, follow them and tell me which swimsuit you like and why via comments below. Please put PINK BELTER as the subject of your comment because there’s another giveaway below. Deadline of entries is already this Sunday, July 31.

*Note I cannot guarantee that I can get you the swimsuit of your choice, this would be based on what’s available.

Naturally Healthy Skin with Cocoline Naturals

On the same weekend getaway with my son, I treated myself to a new brand and line of all-natural products. I discovered Cocoline Naturals while shopping for my son’s vitamins at Watson’s. I am a new fan of organic and natural products but most of what I use I have to order online – until I discovered this brand, Cocoline which is easily accessible and available in many department stores and supermarket nationwide.

Since it’s my first time to try it, I got the smaller versions of the following:

Cocoline Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Bar Soap 75g
Cocoline Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice  Body wash 90ml
Cocoline Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Body lotion 90ml

I really planned to use the body wash and lotion right after swimming. Chlorine can be very drying and harsh to the skin, using natural & nourishing products thereafter is better than using ordinary soaps. Coconut is naturally moisturizing and has antibacterial, moisturizing, and anti-fungal properties.

Cocoline Naturals Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Body Wash

It’s difficult to choose between the bar soap and the body wash, but since I wanted to treat myself to a long peaceful bath – I chose the body wash. Note that you will need a puff or bath sponge to use the body wash otherwise, you will use more than you need. I use two coin sized body wash, squeezed on the puff and then I press it before application.

The body wash has a gentle scent of coconut oil and vanilla (but is actually licorice). Ang sarap gamitin because it will remind you of expensive coconut based spa treatments. The product is very soft and gentle on the skin and creates a good amount of lather. I really enjoyed bathing with Cocoline, it’s affordable too so it’s something I can enjoy not just on weekends but everyday.

Washing off the body wash is easy, the lather or foam slides off the body right away. I use tabo (water dipper) and lukewarm water. The skin feels soft and moisturized even after drying off with a towel. I appreciate that my skin did not feel dry after that long bath, I thought twice if I still have to apply lotion but of course I did, I am excited to try their lotion too.

Cocoline Naturals Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Body Lotion

Right after bathing is the best time to use Cocoline’s natural body lotion. This is my NEW favorite body lotion, it is all natural, has coconut oil, and it smells like virgin coconut oil! The lotion is thick but easily spreads onto the skin. It smells very good, you feel like you just got a massage on the beach or walked right out of a spa. Ang bango talaga, I really like the natural scent of real coconut oil.

I only applied it once for the entire day, my skin did not feel dry so I think it was absorbed nicely. But because I like the smell, I have the idea of bringing this small lotion in my bag and apply it on my hands from time to time so I smell like vacation every time :)

Cocoline also has a Triple Whitening line with Papaya + Kojic + Vitamin C.

Cocoline Naturals Giveaway

Obviously, I enjoyed using Cocoline Naturals so much and I wish I can share and pass the lotion to all of you. For this giveaway, I am giving 3 lucky readers of Mommy Lace a chance to win 1 set of Cocoline products each, yehey! Note I am giving the bigger versions, 190ml for the body wash and lotion, 135 grams for the beauty bar.

To get the chance to win 1 of the 3 Cocoline sets, just comment below why you want to try Cocoline Naturals (also based on the above review).


I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I look forward to receiving your entry. Good luck Mommy!

#SnReveryday: Big Discounts on Items with Damaged Packaging

Are you serious about saving money when grocery shopping? Then try visiting any S&R Membership Club Shopping store and look for their “damaged goods” section.


My mom checking out “damaged” goods at S&R

Here you can get up to 50% discount and buy the items half price, only because their packaging is damaged. On a recent visit to S&R Shopping Imus branch, I was able to score huge discounts on imported tissue paper, assorted snacks, and kitchenware. Some of the items I bought will be for gifting (because Christmas shopping in July saves money).


Items with damaged packaging have the orange S&R price tag

S&R is the only known store to me that offers these generous discounts on damaged goods. They also have discounted furniture, baskets, etc., all because of minor scratches, misplaced labels, damaged cartons, and the like. There’s also a coffee machine that had a Php 2,000 off just because the carton is dented. What a bargain!

This is just one of the many reasons why many families like shopping at S&R.

Big Discounts on S&R Clothing & Style

For this month, July – ladies of all shapes, sizes, and age will also enjoy the huge discounts and sales on garments:

Girls Formal Dress | Buy 1 Take 1 P549

That one formal dress for your little girl. Choose among the classy and classic styles that will never go out of trend. This will allow your little ones to re-use the dress in any occasion. Since it’s on a buy 1 take 1 deal, one dress will only cost P274.5


Girls Top & Leggings | Buy 1 Take 1 P399

Comfy casual that kids can wear in and out of the house. One pair will only cost P199 each on this buy 1 take 1 deal, and already includes both blouse and leggings.


Boys & Girls Socks 9 pairs for only P579.95

The material has the right thickness and is also very soft for a comfortable fit, especially for kids. The designs are also unique and unlike the ordinary socks we see at the department store. Each pair of socks will cost P64.43 each in this deal.

Ladies Knit Tops P299.95 each

Mommies will like these chic & classy tops in solid colors. I personally like buying few clothes but quality ones – these tops pass the test plus they are within budget. My technique is to buy white most of the time. White is flexible and can easily be adjusted to fit any occasion. The cut-out detail of these tops make it look more expensive than it really is which is a huge bonus.

New League Ladies Polo Shirt | Buy 1 Take 1 P599.95


Collared polo shirts are also a good to have item in your closet. Ladies polo shirts are easy to wear, whether with your classic pants, shorts, or skirts. Aside from the garment’s quality, the shirt design look very classy and chic for a very low price of about just P300 for each.

Bread, Pastries, & Snacks on Sale

There’s always something new to discover at S&R everyday. As for me, I was amazed with this pretty & almost magical pastry box that is on sale.

Poppies Petits Fours Buy 1 Take 1 P899.95

This box contains everything from chocolate eclairs, cream puffs, macarons, and truffles. We are celebrating birthdays at home and this buy 1 take 1 offer on Petits Fours is best for celebrations and all kinds of entertaining family or friends.

Twinkies | Buy 1 Take 1 P499.95

Twinkies are a popular snack in the US and in the Philippines, you can find them at S&R at a good price too.

During my visit, the variety of US loaves were on Buy 1 Take 1 offer too. I make sure to buy something for my son’s baon and surprise him with any of S&R’s baked goodies. His favorite are the SnR blueberry muffins.

Special Offer on SnR Pizza

Maybe this is the best time to treat yourself and family to S&R’s famous giant and American style pizza. Until the end of July, you can avail and buy 2 whole pizzas for the price of just one.

Buy 2 Whole S&R New York Style Pizzas for only P999

Wow! Swerte naman mga may birthday ng July. Or maybe you want to celebrate something else, then don’t forget about this limited offer that everyone will love to eat and remember.

Have you been to S&R lately? I just renewed my S&R membership card and sulit na sulit na agad on this visit. It’s good to remember the saying “buy the best that you can afford” and most of the time, I find them at SnR.

Happy shopping, Mommy!

How to Increase Your Income to Start Investing

Last month, I set a money challenge for myself and that is to save and invest for a trip to Australia. It is my first time to save for something specific. Many of us moms know how to save and be frugal in general but like me, choose not to have any specific goal.

Part of my challenge is to use an app called Wally and already, I have listed down every expense that I pay for: for myself, work, social, and family. Nagulat ako sa dami ng gastos. Last month, my expense almost matched the money I made. Wala na halos natira. Based on the app, 63% of these expenses are made for my family and 37% are personal or pang-sarili lang.


It’s easy to be discouraged by this situation especially when you know that you work hard, you are frugal, and you already limit your expenses. Still, your income is not enough. Remember, I need to save more or less Php 100,000 to travel to Australia with my son. Huwag nalang kaya at baka wala na akong pang tuition next year? Then I reread my previous blog post and felt my determination then to show everyone I can and I will.

Speaking with a Financial Advisor

Kendrick Chua, Sun Life Financial Advisor is teaching me what the Index fund is all about. He uses a newspaper to illustrate what companies are included in this fund. (I posted below his contact details).

The last time I met my financial advisor was December last year or should I say, only when I have extra money to invest. This happens rarely nowadays but that said, I guess it was time to receive money advice again. Like an old friend, I updated my financial advisor on my current situation plus the ultimate question: how can I save Php 100,000?

My target travel date is March 2017, he said that I have more or less six (6) months to make this happen. Here is his advice: I need to save and invest Php 10,000 every month for six months to reach my goal. Wow! P10,000, paano? Here are some ideas I came up with and have started doing.

Some ideas to increase your income (so you can start investing)

1. Sell your stuffalam ko na yan, pero kailan mo huling ginawa? Me – two years ago. Stuff easily accumulates in the house, most of them we don’t really need. I started taking photos of all the things I want to sell and posted them on Facebook for friends, neighbors, and colleagues to look at. Virtual garage sale!

Result: I keep all the money I made from selling unwanted and extra stuff. Now I have budget for the sari-sari store. Based on the Wally app, madalas akong bumili ng mga gulay at iba pang ingredients dito. Now that I use extra income to buy vegetables, etc. it is one less expense to deduct from my main source of income.

2. Upsell your skills – if you are a work-at-home mom like me, chances are you have other skills up your sleeves. For example, aside from writing you also know how to manage social media pages or even setup simple websites. To achieve my goal, I started offering other services to the people I work with. Maybe I can even look to apply for other part time online jobs!

If you are a working mom in an office setting, do explore other areas of the business operations where you might have the opportunity to help or add value. Also check if there are job openings within the same company that offer a higher pay. Do communicate your intent (and your goal) with your employer to give them the opportunity to help.

3. Know your value – it’s not enough to take on additional jobs, the jobs you take must be worth your time and effort. I read a similar advice from a fellow mom, published on Brighter Life. There are many potential part-time jobs but sometimes the pay is not substantial. Or, if you are already in this situation – don’t be afraid to negotiate a raise especially if you have established a good working relationship with your client. Sabi nga nila, hindi mo malalaman kung hindi ka magtatanong.

Tip: Use the Wally app to track your work-related expenses i.e. transportation, food, childcare (when you hire someone to look after your children), etc. to find out how much you really earn.

Changing our Money Mindset

Personal finance expert Aya Laraya once said that “mindset greatly influences behavior”. Before I set this challenge for myself, my mindset was that I am happy, I eat three times a day, I am okay and I do not need to change anything because I already know.

However, one month into the challenge, I realized I knew nothing about where my hard earned money was going (expenses) and how tight my income really was.

Let us change our mindset to believe that we can do more if we want to. It is not bad to be contented with what we have but it is not bad to dream of a better life either. Instead of dwelling about limitations like time, the new sacrifices we need to endure, and imagining the extra work we need to do to achieve our goals – let’s focus on the wonderful idea of having money for life.

Contact details of Kendrick Chua (Registered Financial Planner)
kendrick.c.chua(at)gmail.com
0917 521 2482

Do you have any more tips and advice on increasing income or reducing expenses? Please share them by posting a comment below.

How to Enjoy French Cuisine at Sofitel Spiral

When someone asks me if I enjoy French cuisine, I never know what to answer simply because I don’t know. Strange that many of us have been to and have enjoyed the famous Spiral of Sofitel Plaza Manila (a French brand hotel) but never tried their French cuisine. Ang hirap kasi tiisin ng Japanese section.

WATCH: French National Day Specials at Sofitel Philippine Plaza

But this month, my husband and I discovered that Sofitel is offering French National Day Specials for the whole month of July. We agreed to ignore other sections of Spiral and focus on the French Atelier, this is located beside the cheese room.

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The French atelier is a main stay at Spiral but the following French dishes are not. Because it’s French National Day, we can enjoy unlimited escargot, macarons, and more. Look for the French Day Specials label in the buffet selection, or take this blog with you para sulit ang French date sa Spiral. Look for these for a limited time only French dishes:


Duck Confit with Lentilles


Chicken Supreme in Foie Gras Sauce, Trompette Mushrooms

Escargot A La Bourguignonne


Beef Tartare

Of all the French specials, my favorites are the escargot – a French version of our native kuhol dishes, and the duck confit with lentilles which is very tender, light, but flavorful. I enjoyed these dishes with couscous salad, couscous is a type of grain similar to rice.

The macarons are also part of the French National Day Specials. These are not usually included in Spiral’s dessert selection. For dessert I ate all macarons that I could, ang sarap kasi lalo na with Spiral’s cafe latte.



For the French month, Sofitel Philippine Plaza flew in French cheesemaster Colin Chandras who brought with him 210 types of French cheese available at Spiral’s L’epicerie
aka cheese room. There is always a cheese expert to help you choose the best type of cheese to suit your taste. I like the hard cheese types because of their sharp flavor. If you are not fond of drinking wine, cheese is also good with coffee. I-try niyo minsan and it will remind you of snacking on Queso de Bola at Christmas.

And that’s our latest French date experience at Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Spiral. Do you know they also have birthday promos and other offers? Check out the Spiral website to learn more and to make your reservation.

Enjoy your date Mommy & Daddy!

Starbucks Mocha Ribbon Chip with Cookie Straw

Have you ever drank from a cookie straw? A cookie straw is a cookie that acts like a straw and a straw that you can eat. Starbucks Philippines finally brings this food novelty closer to Starbucks lovers but only until July 11.


Starbucks Mocha Ribbon Chip official photo

It was first offered on the 4th of July and luckily, I got to experience it too with one of my best friends before it’s gone. Syempre excited din kami to know what this cookie straw is all about. First, this is how you get your Mocha Ribbon Chip. You will unwrap and stick the cookie straw into the frappe on your own.


Photo of our actual Starbucks Mocha Ribbon Chip with cookie straw
Price of Starbucks Mocha Ribbon Chip w/ Cookie Straw Tall – ₱ 185, Grande ₱195, Venti– ₱ 205

We enjoyed this part and just like our college days, we giggly unwrapped the cookie straw and carefully! Otherwise, it might break and the story is over. Later on we realize that the wafer is thick on the sides and will not easily break. The drink is Starbuck’s signature Coffee Frappuccino made more exciting with java chips to add a chocolatey crunch. It is also lined with a special Mocha sauce, finished with Chocolate whipped cream, aromatic Turkish coffee grind and of course, a cookie straw.

We enjoyed our Starbucks cookie straw experience with the new Purple Yam Cheesecake (finally, dahil lagi itong sold out) and my favorite Three Mushroom and Emmental Cheese on Vegan Roll.  If you are wondering if the straw really works, it does!

The barista will also provide plastic straws but now that I experienced the cookie straw – skip grabbing the plastic one and just use the more fun & edible version. The cookie straw will not break or turn soft, it has thick chocolate inside which makes it delicious (tastes like the bottom of your favorite Cornetto iceream cone).

It was a very novel experience for us and I am sure it would be the same for other Starbucks fans. Parang bumalik kami bigla sa college days namin when we enjoyed simple joys like this. Remember, this is only until July 11! The good news is that the cookie straw can be bought separately starting July 11.

Have a fun Starbucks Cookie Straw Experience!

 

First 5K at Robinsons Supermarket Wellness Buddy Run

Have you ever wondered if you can run your first 5k? I always did and I worried about not finishing the race, being the last in the race, running out of breath, passing out, and other embarrassing scenarios. These worrisome thoughts are common even for a relatively fit person like me.

Just this weekend, I challenged & pushed myself to run my first ever 5k at the 9th Robinsons Supermarket’s Fit and Fun Wellness Buddy Run. Since it is a buddy run, it was mandatory to bring a “buddy” like a friend or family. I am so happy that my husband who is not really into physical activities agreed to be my buddy.  The annual run hosted by the country’s largest health & wellness supermarket chain is famous for rewarding all fun run finishers with a bag full of grocery from Robinsons Supermarket and its wellness partners.

I used this to hook my husband into joining especially that the registration fee is just P1,400 per pair and each runner will receive groceries that are far worth more than the joining fee. Based on my experience, here are some tips if you plan to join next year’s fun run.

How to Prepare for Robinsons Supermarket Fit & Fun Wellness Run

1. Eat a fair amount of carbs the night before the race – I ate a plate of spaghetti and two pieces of bread for dinner

2. Get your gears ready ahead of time – fun runs happen very early. In Robinsons case, we had to leave our house at 3AM to reach BGC at 4AM when singlets will be distributed. So the night before, I laid out my running outfit, running shoes, towel, and belt bag.

3. Eat a light breakfast 2-3 hours before the race – I prepared a nutritious smoothie of banana, apple, lettuce, and malunggay to power my run. I drank it right before leaving the house. The timing is just right for digestion.

4. Join the warm-up and warm-up properly to avoid injury – some people are shy to join the warm-up exercises and think they don’t need this. However and based on my experience with strength training, warming up exercises & stretching are IMPORTANT to get your heart up to the right rate and avoid injuries. During the run, I joined Coach Jim & Toni Saret’s meta warm  ups that lasted for about 5 minutes only.

Robinsons Fit & Fun Buddy Run Experience

Reaching fitness goals proved to be twice the fun with a partner. I can say that the run is one of the happiest days of my life! It showed me how my fitness level improved overtime (i.e. power, endurance, and strength) and I never imagined I will run a race with no less than my husband.

It really helped that the vibe of the wellness run was family friendly and focused less on personal records but on togetherness, friendship, wellness, and enjoyment. The worries I previously had all disappeared and I enjoyed a rare moment inside BGC where people like us can freely run in the usually busy streets.

Robinsons #ILoveWellness Loot Bag for Runners

Upon reaching the finish line, runners were directed to line up & claim the Robinsons Supermarket loot bags. All registered runners who finished the race with their buddy received this huge & heavy grocery bag. One for each partners.

After receiving the loot bags, runners enjoyed the closing program where top finishers were awarded with generous prizes like 3D/2N trip to El Nido and Bali, Indonesia. The program was enough to entertain all of us while cooling down.

This run is truly memorable for me and is significant to my fitness journey. I wish to join again next year and train hard for my first 10k run. To learn more about other wellness activities, like www.facebook.com/RobinsonsSupermarketOfficial and the #ILoveWellness hashtag on social media.

Stay fit & healthy Mommy & Daddy!