Thursday, August 24, 2017

5 Car Buying Tips

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

5 Car Buying Tips

If you are planning to get a car, whether brand new or secondhand, careful planning is very much needed. We want to get the most out of our hard-earned money and as much as possible, get a good deal. With the rising trend with the Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) here in the Philippines, many people are encouraged to get a brand new car for business used. So, whether you are planning to get one for business or personal use, these five tips will help you get started.

1. How much is your budget?

The first thing you need to consider before making (any) purchase is of course how much money you have. You need to check your wallet considering the maintenance and insurance fees outside of your basic needs.

2. Cash or loan?

If you opted for a cash, you would want not to over exceed your allotted resources. Usually, you can get discounts on a cash basis. If you want to get a car loan, you need to consider the bank or lending companies you would want to borrow money. Try to compare the terms and interest rates and decide from there.

3. New or used?

With brand new cars, you can get the most updated features in the market brought by technological advancement. On the other hand, secondhand cars are way cheaper than brand new cars. But you need to be careful not to end up buying a lemon and spend more in repairs than the actual cost. It is best to bring a mechanic friend and do some test drive before making a deal.

4. Does it suit you?

Do you have a big family? You need to tailor-fit the car for your needs. We want a car that will be comfortable and can accommodate the size of our family. Choose the best model that suits your personality. Check also the accessories included.

5. Research for Reviews

Find honest reviews of those people who have actual experience of the vehicle, new or used. At, you can get information that you need before buying. I find checking reviews really helpful before considering buying. At least you would know what to expect with what you are getting. Make sure you have enough knowledge on the car you are eyeing on, so you'll not be easily persuaded by sales people. Doing research can also help you know the competitive pricing of different dealers and get the best deal.

So there, I hope you learn something from this. Remember to make a wise choice before buying. All the best!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Homeschool End of Year: Letter to Our Son

As part of Gabi's year end Oral Portfolio Review, we were advised to give him a Character Award and a letter. We decided to give him a Certificate for Never Giving Up even when things got difficult. His Dad, the Principal awarded it to him after his Oral Presentation and read his touching letter to him.

Homeschool End of Year

Here's the letter we made for Gabi:

Dear Gab,

First of all, I want you to know your brother, mom, and I love you very much and we could not be prouder of you. We are not perfect parents, but we have done our best to help you make your way through these difficult growing-up years and prepare for the future.

There is so much I wish to share with you! I want you to understand the rough years I spent with no faith before I surrendered my life to Christ and found the truth I was seeking. Only until God opens our spiritual eyes that we will see that He is at work even when we were still spiritually dead. 

Always remember that God loves you, no matter what. Stay true to yourself and always love and serve Him. We, in the best of our ability, had taught you the difference between right and wrong. Never lose touch with your values; they define who you are.

When faced with adversities and criticisms (main reason why we are homeschooling you to prepare you for the real world) always find your identity in Christ not with what they say you are.

Joy comes from putting Christ first, acknowledge Him in all things.

With all love,


#    #    #

Dear Son,

Let me first congratulate you for completing another year! You've done a fantastic job! Each year is different, but you are showing improvements each year.

I want to let you know that I am blessed because I have a son like you. Even though Mom loses temper most of the time, you did not give up. Even though Mom most of the time transforms into a monster, you still want to homeschooI. You even requested to be homeschooled until college. Even though we do not have a lot, you are able to adjust and our hears well with gratitude to God for your life. Truly, you are someone we do not deserve. We have many ups and downs but we were able to surpass them by God's grace.

I want to thank you for being flexible with the changes in our curriculum at the start of our year. I've seen how you thrive with the new method that we are using and I am looking forward to more books to read and new discoveries together. Whatever path God leads us on this journey, we are in this together and He is in control.

Always remember that you are a child of God, a gift to your parents, you are valuable because God made you. Your strengths lie on who you are, not in who you will become.  May you continue to glorify God in your life. We love you so dearly. Once again, congratulations!



We are thankful to God for finishing another year. It is only by His grace that we were able to do it. To Him be all the glory and honor in this journey!

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Our Journey to Charlotte Mason Education

Our Journey to Charlotte Mason Education

I came to know Charlotte Mason Education when a dear friend shared with me this video of Sonya Schaffer about Five Flavors of Homeschooling, way back 2015. We've been homeschooling for about two years then and has been using the traditional method with a few unit studies. I realized, there are other styles or methods of homeschooling that can be used and utilized aside from the one we grew up with. That's the beauty of homeschooling, you can customize education. After watching the video and doing the test, CM Method resonates to me and I say to myself, I want that. It will be a good fit for our family.

Not long, I started checking google for resources and to my surprise, there are actually a lot of CM resources available and It was overwhelming. My friend pointed me to AmblesideOnline. However, I find it intimidating. Instead, I started exploring Simply Charlotte Mason by Sonya Schaffer also. I found very helpful step by step instructions on how to apply this method in different subjects. I was not able to fully embrace it during this time because I don't have the necessary books. With SCM, you need to purchase the books and it was disheartening because these books are not available locally.

Since I really wanted to apply CM in our homeschooling, I started with some of the riches: picture study, composer study, copywork and nature study. Though, I'm still using the traditional approach in our major subjects.

Fast forward, it was only last December 2016 that we finally embraced the method. I got so tired of our usual homeschool routine. There are instances that I am forcing my child to answer certain test and would end up doing it the entire day, wasting both our time and efforts. I knew he is not enjoying it, and I too. This got me burned-out as well. I realized we are just bringing school at home, sad to say. It dawned on me only then that this is not how homeschooling should be, there's more to it and I need to get out of the box. 

"The Charlotte Mason method uses living books with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity, narration instead of comprehension exercises or composition, copywork for handwriting, spelling and grammar modeling, nature observation as the primary means of early science, and literature, poetry, art and music to give children's minds beautiful ideas to feed on." ~ AmblesideOnline

Another friend of mine recently homeschooled her child using Charlotte Mason Method and AmblesideOnline Curriculum. She really put her heart to learn the method and the curriculum. So, I was encouraged to venture into it and I was determined this time to take our homeschooling to another level.

AO is a FREE Christian CM curriculum created by Moms who have seen firsthand what the method has done for their own children and homeschool experience. I'm grateful to these people who have put a lot of effort in coming up with this rich curriculum for free. I started easing 1-2 subjects and slowly doing the entire AO Year 1 Curriculum. We are now wrapping-up our Year 1 and I'm blessed to have a friend who is my go-to person for questions. She selflessly shared her knowledge to me as well as resources. 

I'm also thankful that nowadays, there are different support groups in facebook for those wanting to implement CM. I learned a lot from different Moms from AmblesideOnline group. I also joined the newly created local CM group, Charlotte Mason PH headed by Gina Guerrero-Roldan of Our Living, Learning

I am still learning this method by reading Miss Mason's six-volume book series (I'm not even finished with the first volume, haha!) and at the same time, I listen to A Delectable Education podcast. I also attended one of Gina's talk on CM Education which I will share on my next blog.

There is a lot to learn about Miss Mason's principles but the more I discover it, the more I'm loving it. I can see how I and my child benefited from this and there's no turning back. We are happy to make this big switch.

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Gael Talks Version 2


Here's another ramblings from my 3yo, second born. In case you missed the first version, you can read it here.

Gael: (Holding Mickey Mouse stuffed toy) Mickey Mouse doesn't have hair?
Dad: Yeah.
Gael: Ninong Rolly doesn't have hair?
Dad: 😂😂😂
Dad explained that he (Ninong Rolly) actually have short hair. So yesterday...
Mom: (Seeing Gael stretching the pony tail) Gael, No. I'm using that to tie my hair.
Gael: I'll tie my hair.
Mom: You have short hair.
Gael: Like Ninong Rolly, short hair?
Mom: Yeah.


Gael: Mommy Dede
Mom: Kuya, can you buy him Milo kay Kuya Boyet? He doesn't have dede.
Gael: Jesus, give money and I pray.
Mom: 😇😇😇


Mom: (Upon hearing the baby from the other house crying) Oh, the baby is crying.
Gael: Because he does not obey?
Mom: 😱😱😱


Gael: Oh, the fan is here?
Mom: Yeah, it's broken.
Gael: It go down?
Mom: Yeah, you bumped it.
Gael: We'll buy electric fan?
Mom: Oh no, we don't have money.
Gael: I pray.
Mom: OK, you pray.
Gael: (Bowed his head, clasp his hands and prayed)

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