Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pursue Your Passions Without Going Broke

Wow. What a title, right? For me, it hit me hard because I've always been the dream chaser- do whatever it takes to get it, even if it meant risking it all. Like how I played "the game of life" in 2010 when we uprooted and moved to Palawan to live in paradise.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Security Bank to share this very topic with an intimate group of media influencers and bloggers. I was brutally honest in sharing what I went through when I didn't have a financial back up plan for my dream project. To make the looong story short: FAILURE isn't a word I fear anymore because I've been there and done that. In fact, I thank my husband and myself for failing on that dream because it placed things in perspective and taught us life-long lessons needed for us to rise. Just like a Phoenix, we feel like we have begun entirely new lives within this lifetime.

Obviously, we are now wiser beyond our years. And grateful that we can start over because in truth, we never stop dreaming and creating our realities. So, we have new goals and visions to manifest. It makes it more exciting because we currently have the knowledge and tools that we didn't have in the previous years to make it through.

Security Bank came in my life at the right moment, now that my husband and I are seriously thinking about investing for our children's future. We can no longer be selfish about living "our dreams" alone. We have to also be realistic on HOW to achieve those without suffering. As parents, we are fully responsible for the welfare of our children.

In the workshop, not only did I share my story, I also learned the true value of investing for myself and my family. This is something I have always been interested in but too scared or shy to really learn since any topic that discusses money can be quite sensitive. The Security Bank officers during the day made sure to answer all our inquiries on UITF or Unit Investment Trust Funds where we can choose to invest in the manner of our personality. I am a natural risk taker but believe it or not, when it comes to money that I have earned or want to invest in, it seems that I want to play it safe which makes me a conservative to moderate (surprisingly, not an aggressive) investor. You can learn more about UITF and how you can start investing now for as little as Php10,000 here. 

What I loved most about Security Bank is the hassle-free personalized banking service called "Switch Kit" wherein a dedicated sales associate will open an account for you in the comforts of your own home! There was a document that I needed to sign for me to open my UITF and true enough, like top service, a representative came to my house for this breastfeeding- work-at-home mother. (Yes, I was really nursing my 2-year old to sleep at the time of her visit!).

For more information visit to know more about Security Bank's products and services.

Monica Manifests: The Shift

In the recent months, I felt an intense pull of energy to STAY put and not travel. (very different from my last year of non-stop travel with the family thus prompting me to launch My Little Globetrotters). I quit traveling (for now) and stopped going to many of the social events I was invited to, took a pause on blogging and even take digital detox days to truly BE with my children. What happened next was an abundance of time and energy to do the things that I really wanted to do but didn't have the time for because of all the excuses I kept telling myself. I used the sudden freedom to recalibrate and think things through. Have my goals and dreams changed? Where do I spend a bulk of my time and energy on? Does it add up? Am I truly investing in the right path to get to where I need to be?

So, I have switched my old Instagram name from @dharmadreamsbig to @MonicaManifests and also use the same name now for Facebook. The old name didn't feel right anymore and it helps to be aligned with your current desires. I've also been doing a lot making with my hands. I needed alchemy in my life, where I can make things from scratch and then come out with a completely new product that can be of good use like art therapy, cold processed soaps (thanks to soap mentor extraordinaire, @AnaGutch of @bodyfoodallnatural on IG), healing balms and salves. During the new moon week, I planted new seeds of herbs and veggies on my garden patch. I've also been meditating and praying more. For someone who is in another cross-road in life, I simply asked for guidance. 

The Universe listened to my thoughts and intentions and brought upon me changes that needed to unfold for myself. The invites from potential work clients also started to shift-- from those that do not align with my personal values, to those that actually do! I have been invited to speak on my personal life pursuits and help inspire others -- which IS my dharma or purpose. (By the way, I still have to change my blog name, too!)

In connection with my new changes, I have collaborated with @nabalo on Instagram who is giving away her glorious gem of an e-book "Manifest With The Moon: Your Workbook for Lunar Phase Manifestation" to my followers. Read mechanics on my Instagram page @MonicaManifests and join me in manifesting new dreams!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Motherhood Journey (So Far)

Most people think that we choose our children, when and how they will journey with us in our lives. On the contrary, it is they who choose us. Yes, you read that right. If you believe that we are spiritual beings, much more than our physical bodies in our earthly existence, then you will understand this concept. I learned it from my mentors at my son's Waldorf Schools here in the Philippines (he has been to 3 different ones to date!).

To give you a fresh perspective of where I am coming from, here is an excerpt from the book Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer which I highly recommend for all parents. (Prepare some tissue, I always get weepy reading this!)

Birthday Story 

By Susan Bruck
Song:The stars are watching when for a birth,A little child comes down to earth.Her angel leads her both day and night,To fill her heart with love and light. 
Once, not so very long ago, way up in the heavens, there lived a star child.  She lived there with the other star children, who were her friends, and together they would visit the sun, the moon and the planets.  She had a special angel who watched over her always.  She was very happy up there in the stars.  One night, as she was sitting all snuggled up with her angel and they were looking out at the thousands of sparkling stars, the star child saw something that she had not seen before.  It was a planet, and it was blue and green and most lovely to behold. 
“What is that place?” she asked her angel.  
“That is the planet earth,” the angel replied.  “Come, I will show you.”
And together they went to visit the earth.  When they got there, they saw great oceans and mountains.  They saw forests and winding rivers.  They saw birds flying in the sky and animals walking on the face of the earth.  The earth was so beautiful.  There were flowers blooming everywhere, and the baby birds were hatching out of their eggs while their mothers and fathers sang joyous songs.  They saw many children running and laughing in the meadows, splashing in puddles and gathering dandelions and violets that they put in each others’ hair. 
The star child and the angel continued their journey and soon they came to a large city next to a big lake.  Here there were many people working and playing.  Among them the star child saw a kind man and a loving woman, and she felt something stir within her. 
“I would like to come here,” said the star child. 
“And so you shall,” said the angel, “But first you must rest.  While you rest, I will weave you a garment, for when you leave here, you must leave your heavenly garments behind.” 
Song:  Sleep my little star child,            Sleep the long night through,            While you sleep I will weave a             Garment of light for you. 
And so the child slept for many days and weeks and months.  When she woke up, the angel said, “Now it is time.  Put on the garment I have made for you.”The child put the garment on.  The angel led her to a bridge made of all the colors of the rainbow. 
The angel said, “Take courage.”And the child walked across the bridge. 
Song: In heaven shines a golden star,
An angel brought me from afar,From heaven high unto the earth,And brought me to my house of birth. 
And soon the child saw once more the kind man and the loving woman, and the woman held the child close to her heart.  The child looked into the loving faces of her father and mother, and heard them say, “We shall call her Grace, and she is the best gift of all.Song:Welcome, welcome lovely day,With flowers bright and sunshine gay,And painted birds who sing their songs,And make me kind and good and strong.And so, dear children, Grace came to join us on this earth, and we are so glad you are here.
If you understand the story, you will grasp that our children are heavenly beings that incarnated to (re)learn lessons and also teach us what we need to learn in this lifetime ourselves. If you believe in karma, then you're probably nodding your head.

You see, when I was pregnant with my first child, I was already searching for my truth, a parenting path that would go "beyond the norm" as I have questioned conventional lifestyle practices that didn't seem to fit my personal values. Looking back at how my choices have been, the data clearly shows an alternative route-- From my birth choices (c-section to home water birth!), to extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, opting for a Waldorf school, becoming a yoga teacher... even when we uprooted to live in Palawan for 2 that certainly took guts for me and my husband because many opposed us. People will always resist the unknown. But I have learned to stand for my quest for truth and embrace constant change.. because these changes, although uncomfortable, help you grow and evolve. Interestingly, a sense of rhythm also balances and grounds - a lesson my dear son brings to our lives today.

So, I thank my children for they have truly brought out the very best of me. Without them coming into my life, I would have made very different decisions and would certainly be a lesser version of me.

To my children - I know this love so well, it has indeed surpassed the bounds of time and space and will go on through eternity. Thank you again and again for choosing me to become your mother. I am honored and will rise up to the challenge of helping you both realize your life's mysteries. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ilog Maria Propolis Tooth Powder Review

New in my arsenal of natural products is the Propolis Tooth Powder from Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farm. I've stopped using conventional toothpaste for many years knowing that many of the ingredients used are neurotoxic. You read that right. Ingredients like flouride, saccharine and sodium laurate sulfate are bad for your brain and are cancerous. Even in small increments, everything we take do add up and may do us harm. Good thing there are more local products that actually care about your health (and not just make money out of consumers!).

I do make my own homemade toothpaste with baking powder and pure essential oils but I have to admit, it tastes nasty. And since the paste I make is usually in a ceramic jar, it isn't very travel friendly either. This pot from Ilog Maria is handy enough for travel and yes, tastes way better than what I make at home :P

Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farm
Silang, Cavite

Monday, February 22, 2016

How To Make Your Own Coconut Milk and VCO

Non-dairy milk is in huge demand these days after learning about the awful pesticides, hormones and antibiotics found in dairy milk! Read Dr. Hyman's 6 reasons why you should avoid dairy at all cost here

With that being said, I've gone the extra mile by making my own coconut milk at home for my kids to drink. It's really easy and very cheap to make! You can purchase mature coconut strips or gata from your local market in the Philippines for only 30 pesos (less than a dollar!) per bag.

On our first attempt, we tried doing it on my Hurom juicer but after about 25 minutes it stopped working. I doubt it is meant to juice grated coconut so we had to switch to manual hand labor instead!

You will need:

1 bag of grated coconut
Cheese cloth or katcha or I used my daughter's clean lampin /cloth
Hot water
A bowl to catch the milk

After boiling water, place the grated coconut inside the cloth and make a pouch and start to milk it. Warning: this is scalding hot so wait awhile before you start milking the bag!

Viola! Here's your freshly pressed coconut milk which your kids will loooove! No sweetener needed :) 

Now, if you wanted to make VCO (virgin coconut oil) you would do the same thing except wait for the oil to settle in the middle layer after a day then find a way to extract it. I made the mistake of using this container because it is very hard to skim the top layer. 

 So, I had to transfer to a bowl and then refrigerate. The oil will harden and then you will have to remelt.

I must tell you how awesome the VCO home production of my good friend, Ana (of Body Food All Natural) is in her home! You may follow her on Instagram @anagutch for inspirations like this!


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