I've been working from home for almost two years now, but the WAHM (work at home mom) part, I've only been doing that for 4 months tomorrow - oh my God, she's turning 4 months tomorrow!

So my laptop crashed a while back and I haven't been able to blog since. I got the hard drive replaced, and thank goodness some of my files were backed up. I wanted to blog about Caramoan this week, but I don't know if I have the energy to hunt up my external hard drive and try to find my Caramoan pictures. Haha!

So for now, I'm going to settle with using some good old stock photo from Pixabay. (If you want free, high quality images, Pixabay's a good site.)

work from home

The Perks & Pitfalls of Being a WAHM

The work at home life isn't something I've been doing for very long yet (well, okay, for some people, "almost 2 years" is quite a while already). It has its advantages and disadvantages, but it's not something I'm willing to give up any time soon.

So what are the yays and nays of working from home?

Perks

1. No traffic. Yes! And with the traffic situation out there these days? How can anyone not love working from home? When I didn't have Sofi yet, getting from bed to work was just a matter of 10 steps - yes, in my PJs. Haha! Now that Sofi is here, the routine isn't all that complicated either.

2. No expenses needed for corporate clothes. Sure, it's nice to dress up every now and then, but I love being able to wear shorts and a t-shirt whenever I feel like it. I can work while barefoot and no one would care. I can wear a tutu and no one would bat an eyelesh. When I'm feeling sick, I can wear my PJs. Oh, the possibilities are endless.

3. I don't have to spend money on gas or fare. I don't think I need to elaborate.

4. I can work from my desk, our living room, in the kitchen, on the dining table, or at my parents' house which is just a few streets away from where I live. I dare not go to Starbucks for work (or any cafe for that matter), because I'm a cheapskate like that.

5. And the best perk of all ever since I became a WAHM? I get to work for a living and closely watch my daughter grow at the same time. I've always wanted to be a hands-on mom, but at the same time, I love being able to contribute to our many expenses at home. Being a WAHM means I get to have both.

Pitfalls

1. I have no benefits, no vacation or sick leaves, nothing. So when I'm sick, or Sofi's sick, or The Memet's sick and I have to be at the hospital or the clinic and I can't get work done, I don't get paid. Last month, The Memet was confined at the hospital for roughly 3 days. That would've meant 3 days of no pay, but I brought my laptop and pocket wifi (I have a pocket wifi for backup / emergencies) and was able to work a few hours each day.

2. It's hard. Well, it was probably easier when I wasn't a mom yet. But when Sofi came, there were times when I wanted to quit working. We have a housekeeper who comes in during the day, but we don't have a nanny. I'm sure my life would probably be easier if we had a nanny, but I like being able to maintain our privacy at home - just us and no one else. There are days when Sofi's well-behaved and she'd just nap with no fuss right after feeding. During those days, I cram in all the work I can. But then there are days when I can barely get anything done because she's being fussy. Sometimes, I don't even get to take a bath. Eew, I know.


I only listed 2 pitfalls vs. the 5 perks, but overall, I'd say being a WAHM requires a lot of skill to be able to balance everything. I'm not saying I've got it all figured out. There are days when I feel rather productive while being a great mom. Then there are days when I feel like giving up work. But I'm confident that as time goes by, I'll get a better handle on things. Then maybe I won't feel so haggard all the time. Haha!

Motherhood is a joy and a privilege, and I'm glad I'm able to work and and contribute as well. The Memet is a good provider, but having my own income allows me to buy the things I want for myself and for Sofi, and it lets me buy The Memet gifts every now and then - aside from allowing me to pay part of our monthly bills. :)


Discovery Primea

In late March this year, The Memet and I decided to try out the new Discovery hotel in Makati: Discovery Primea. In reality, we really wanted to go back to Discovery Shores in Boracay but we just didn't have the budget for it. So we booked an overnight stay at Discover Primea instead. No plane tickets needed! Haha!

Discovery Primea is situated along Ayala Ave., right across from Glorietta. The entrance on the Ayala side is for foot traffic only. Vehicles all have to go to the back to park. I didn't get a chance to take a peek at their parking area because we went for their valet service. Guess what: Every time the valet guy comes back with your car, they leave a pack of wet wipes for you. Hehe! It's a small thing, but Discovery's like that.

Anyway, I booked our room through Agoda so check-in was a breeze. The folks at the front desk were very nice and friendly - I mean, it's Discovery. That's a given.

In true Discovery fashion, we had welcome snacks waiting for us inside our room.

Discovery Primea

Even the display on the TV was personalized!

Discovery Primea

The room itself was a bit small, but well-appointed.

Discovery Primea

The mini bar was by the door and amply stocked. Not that we ever really get anything from the mini bar. We're cheapskates like that. Haha! But the coffee and tea were free, so yay!

Discovery Primea

Discovery Primea

Discovery Primea

The room had a small walk-in closet where the door to the bathroom was also located.

Discovery Primea

Discovery Primea
Roberto Cavalli!!!
I rarely ever use the toiletries in hotel bathrooms, but Discovery hotels' toiletries have got to be an exception. I loved the ones we were given at Discovery Shores, and the ones at Discovery Primea were just as lovable. I mean, Roberto Cavalli!

The bathroom wasn't huge, but it had sufficient room to move around. Plus, it had a bathtub. Hehe!

Discovery Primea

Because Discovery Primea is located in a business district, it was also only apt that the room had a desk for people who are visiting on business.

Discovery Primea

Now for the reason we booked with Discovery Primea:

Discovery Primea

Yes. The pool. Haha!

We were expecting the pool to be at the roof deck, because the view in the picture on the website was just stunning. But it's not on the roof deck. Can you guess where it's located?

It's on the frickin' 3rd floor. With that view, who would've guessed?! Haha!

There were lots of people in the pool on the afternoon we arrived, so we got up early the next day. We were so early that they were still cleaning the pool when we got there.

Discovery Primea

After swimming, I took a long dip in our bathtub upstairs then we got ready for breakfast.

I was so hungry and the food was so good that we were practically done by the time I remembered to take a picture. Sorry. Hahaha!

Discovery Primea

Now, you don't even need to ask me if I was happy with our stay. With Discovery, it's a given. I just wish we stayed a couple days more. Their bed was so comfy (as always)!

Discovery Primea

That's my happy face up there. Thank you, Discovery Primea!

Our next stop: Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay. We just gotta find some time for a quick getaway. Hehe! ♥

Read about our Discovery Shores getaway here: Thoroughly Spoiled By Discovery Shores
One random day earlier this year, The Memet and I decided to go on a spontaneous road trip around Rizal. When we say road trip, it usually involves part of the Sierra Madre. And that was where we went.


But because we've already driven through there several times, we decided to try a different path. 

We took a left somewhere that was headed into the mountains and headed for Infanta, Quezon. With only GPS to guide us, we found ourselves driving through winding roads high up in the mountains with rain and fog to keep us company.


Around lunch time, we found an unexpected eatery on the side of the road: Jariel's Peak. It looked like it was famous among bikers, so we stopped and decided to peruse their menu.



We wanted to try something new, but the Rabbit-silog just sounded wrong. Poor bunny rabbit! So we tried the Tupa-silog instead. We were in unfamiliar territory (and we didn't know where the bathroom stops were, if there were any), so we just bought one to share. You know, to be on the safe side. Hehe!


The Tupa-silog looked more like adobo to me. Plus the rice was plain, instead of sinangag (fried). I mean, "silog" stands for sinangag and itlog (egg), right?

The egg didn't cook all the way through even though it was on a hot plate, because even though there were no electric fans or an a/c around, we were freezing. Not sure if the temperature's like that all year round (highly unlikely), but it sure was cold up there in early February.

I'd say overall, the meal was okay at best. Probably a bit expensive for what we got, but then there wasn't really a lot of choice around the area.

After our quick meal, we drove on only to find out that the road to Infanta, Quezon stopped abruptly at a broken bridge. We drove back and asked around and found out that the bridge collapsed during one of the last few typhoons in 2015. The only other way we could get to Infanta was through Famy, and that was a long drive we just didn't have time for anymore.

So we came back the way we came. Well, not really. Because on a heartbeat, we decided to go down another rough road and check out where it would lead us - yes, we're adventurous like that. Haha!


The side road we took was only partially done, so we spent a good 10-15 minutes crawling through extremely rough road. Haha! Oh, but the view! There was a clearing that gave us a beautiful view of the windmills down in Pililla!

We've never seen the Pililla windmills before, so it was quite a pleasant surprise.


We decided to drive towards the windmills, and it was such a fun drive. We had to go through some rice fields and more unpaved roads.



Before long, we were back in civilization and the windmills were fast approaching.


When we finally got to the wind farm, we realized one thing: the windmills looked more majestic from afar.



They were unlike the windmills in Ilocos. Those were neatly lined up on the beach, so they made quite an impact even up close, plus of course, the ocean just paints a beautiful backdrop.

But the Pililla windmills were seemingly randomly scattered on the mountains and it was hard to see all of them up close.

So yes, they looked more beautiful when admired from afar.

No harm done anyway, because we didn't have to pay an entrance fee. We just gave a couple twenties for donation.

After that, we decided to drive back home. We didn't get off our car at the wind farm, but all in all, our spontaneous road trip was a whole lot of fun. No itinerary, no timeline, no plans whatsoever... It was just the two of us on a pleasant day, enjoying a good road trip. ♥
Hotel H2O

Every December, The Memet and I go on a staycation on the 24th. Just the two of us.

Last December (yes, this post is very, very late), we stayed in Hotel H2O in Manila. I initially wanted to stay at the Sofitel since we were scheduled for a lunch buffet there anyway, but well, the budget wouldn't allow it. Maybe next time.

So after a very filling lunch at the Spiral in Sofitel, we headed to Hotel H2O and checked in.

Check-in was a bit confusing because the front desk was tucked away on a different floor. The confusion might've also been because of the huge crowd that was there at the time. I mean, after all, it was the 24th of December.

The people were friendly enough though, and we were inside our room before long.

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

The room was spacious enough for two with a beautiful view of the ocean. However, it had a distinct smell to it. It's pretty hard to describe because up to now, I just can't put my finger on it. My guess is that the room is facing the sweltering afternoon sun, and the heat has reacted with either the glass or the furniture inside, thus the smell. I remember smelling it again at a dental clinic in Antipolo when they had their blinds drawn to protect everyone inside from the hot afternoon sun.

Oh, plus the a/c wasn't working properly. It just couldn't cool down the room sufficiently.

I thought I could take the smell and the warmth, so we took a nap. But when we woke up from our nap, my head was throbbing and the smell seemed more intense to me. So I called front desk and requested that they do something about it.

Someone came and tried to fix the a/c and the smell, but didn't really change anything. So early evening that day, we were transferred to a different room on the other wing of the hotel. I was a bit sad about the room transfer because our first room had a big jacuzzi in the bathroom.

Hotel H2O


The new room still had a view of the ocean, but you could also see SM Mall of Asia and Sofitel.


Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

And the bathroom wasn't so bad. It was a whole lot bigger, plus, it had a bathtub. Hehe! Oh, and the a/c was working and it didn't have a smell.

The morning view was quite stunning too.

Hotel H2O

Before breakfast was over, we headed down to the restaurant and had our free breakfast. It wasn't bad, but I won't say it was the best. It was just the standard breakfast fare.

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O

Overall, I'd say our stay at Hotel H2O was okay. Sure, there was the incident with the first room that we got, but they were gracious in how they dealt with it. We got the attention and assistance that we needed despite it being December 24th.

Next time though, I'd probably book us somewhere a bit more quiet. I wasn't all that thrilled about the crowd - I mean, hello, Manila Ocean Park. Haha!
I've been away for more than a month now, and I thought I owed it to you guys to explain why.


If you're following me on Instagram or if you've been to my Facebook page, then you already know why. But for those of you who connect with me solely through this blog, the reason is this:

I am now a mother of a beautiful, healthy bouncing baby girl.



Surprised? Yeah, me too.

Her name's Diana Sofia. And I just recently started a blog solely for her: www.deardianasofia.blogspot.com/

The Memet and I have been at it (parenthood) for close to 2 months now. I'm still working, so between work and the baby, I haven't really had much time for anything else - yes, even myself. Apparently, I still have enough time to break down every now and then. The stress for new moms who had no time to prepare can be overwhelming sometimes. I also found myself rather envious of regular employees who have the privilege of going on maternity leave during their babies' first two months.

Adjustment was a huge challenge to say the least. Actually, it still is.

But Sofi can clearly see now, and those times she looks at me and gives me her gummy smile, they remind me that motherhood is beyond special. All those years, we waited to have a baby, and now that she's here, well, I'm often at a loss for words.

Obviously, you'll be seeing more mommy posts moving forward - if I even get a chance to post anything. It might be a while before we start seriously traveling again, but I'm sure we'll find other ways to keep ourselves entertained.

I still have a few travel blog posts that I owe you guys, and I'll get to work on them when I can.

To those of you who visit my blog because of my travel and food posts, I hope you still visit every now and then even when there are baby stuff popping up here and there. Hehe! ♥
Pinto Art Museum

It was an unassuming afternoon when I dragged my parents to Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo late last year.

I've always wanted to visit Pinto Art Museum, but I hardly ever had anyone to accompany me. So when my parents had some time to spare, I jumped at the chance and drove us to Antipolo like a madwoman - well, no, not really. Haha!

Pinto Art Museum is located in an almost hidden subdivision opposite the street from Ynares Sports Center. If you're driving up from Ortigas, just slow down and start asking the tricycle drivers for Grand Heights Subdivision as soon as you're across the street from Ynares Sports Center. The last time I was there, there was a small signage outside the street that led to the subdivision, so if you weren't really looking, you probably won't really notice it.

They don't have a parking lot, but the subdivision allows visitors to park along the street. There aren't many houses near Pinto Art Museum, nor are there many people loitering the streets, but it's still best to ensure you don't leave anything valuable inside your vehicles.

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum is not the usual kind of museum that houses all its art in one building. It's a huge property with different kinds of art located in many different buildings. There are stairs, a lot of outdoor walking involved, and no air conditioning so make sure you wear comfortable clothes and even more comfortable footwear. If you're the kind that's always getting bitten by bugs, be sure to bring a bug repellent.

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum houses a widely eclectic collection of art. I can't really describe them all - there are quite a lot, after all - so I'll let the photos do the talking. I picked out some of my favorite pictures from our visit.

Sculptures


Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum


Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Paintings

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Tired from Walking?

Like I mentioned earlier, a visit to Pinto Art Museum involves a lot of walking. But fret not. There are plenty of corners where you can rest your tired feet. And they're very pretty little nooks - some aren't so little though. Hehe!

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum

Pinto Art Museum
I'm not sure if you can sit here. There's no "Please do not sit" sign anywhere though. Hehe!

Pinto Art Museum

I took so many other photos, but I don't want to bombard you with all of them. I would suggest that you go and visit Pinto Art Museum and take lots of pretty photos so you'll have pictures that your friends will envy. Better yet, bring your friends or family with you so you can bond over the art and take lots of fun photos. 

Pinto Art Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00am to 6:00pm. They charge entrance fees per head, but the fee isn't expensive at all.

Regular Ticket - P180
Senior Citizens & PWDs (Pls bring your valid IDs) - P150
Children and Students with School IDs - P100

They allow photoshoots (the sort that involves professional photographers, hehe) and events. Please call them to ask about their rates and/or for reservations.




________________________
Pinto Art Museum
(632) 697 1015
Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights Subd.
Antipolo City