Saturday, February 18, 2017

Box All You Can Book Buffet at Scholastic A Very Merry Christmas Sale

We were always present in every Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale since 2014. We would always look forward to it because each book sale was unique and would have a lot of surprises to look forward to. Being an avid fan of children's story books that I've passed on to my kids makes it an event to remember.


There is always something special about every Scholastic Warehouse Book Sale due to Schematics, which means that in every book fair there are books being released that are not usually found elsewhere except in specific libraries around the world and there are always batches of new titles on sale.



Aside from the schematics, the recently launched BOX ALL YOU CAN BOOK BUFFET made it so worth it to visit the Scholastic A Very Merry Christmas Sale 2016. For only Php799.00, we were so delighted to place as many books as we could in Scholastic's official box. The following rules were observed.



Box All You Can Book Buffet became a craze since it started last summer. Imagine, for a small amount of money, many book worms had a chance to get new sets of books for a fraction of a price or more or less 90% off.

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When I asked Sir Jim, one of the accommodating staff members of Scholastic Asia PH, he told us that the Book Buffet was obviously a big hit and most of the clients came not just once but several times to avail the promo. There was no limit per person which made it more exciting for bargain hunters.






Despite having a lot of shoppers, the staff knew how to manage the crowd and the transaction per customer was quick and easy because more counters were ready to serve and accept payments. Stocks were replenished regularly for more choices.


By the way, we also got discounted paper back and hardbound novels but still we didn't spend that much because we got them and the two buffet boxes for less than Php3,000.00 instead of more or less Php17,000.00.







Those over a hundred books were used for our personal consumption and given as gifts and donations for the holidays and they got everyone covered. Many kids and young at heart became happy last Christmas. There was no substitute for the gift of reading and learning indeed.


We are looking forward to the next Scholastic Warehouse Book Fair and we will avail not just two but three to four Box All You Can Buffet Boxes. That will be a guilt-free type of hoarding. Do you agree? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

AAPM Musings: Mothers Teach by Example

While I was walking on my way home last Monday, the things that would transpire during the day played in my head. I would always do that. I wouldn't want to waste my time being unproductive. Sa pag-iisip pa lang nakakapagod na and I knew that my plan would surely change because being a full time mom taking care of a child with special needs entails a lot of hard work and unpredictable schedule. Walang araw na magkamukha. Laging iba. Laging unique. I accepted that fact and lived with it a long, long time ago. There were days that I would feel wasted because I had to juggle my tasks and wear different hats not one at a time but all at the same time. Kung minsan nakauumay pero kung iisipin ko, masuwerte pa rin ako.

Oo, masuwerte ako. I can see my kids closely. I can watch them grow and don't miss anything (except the things that they do whenever they are in school or whenever they are with their Paps). I am always ready to come to their aid when they need me. I am hands-on with them and that is something that money can't buy. It's priceless. I know that many women would like to be in my place. Mas mahirap maging hands-on and full time mom and wife. I am on duty 24/7 and in my case, if I may use the term, "Weewee lang ang pahinga.", kadalassan pati pag-weewee pahirapan pa. But I don't regret choosing this vocation. I fret not being in this situation. Sometimes I feel guilty when my patience is being tested and I don't extend it especially when I am physically and emotionally exhausted. I feel sad when I think that I don't give too much effort. Sometimes I am being too hard on myself because it's needed. But at the end of the day, there are things that remind me that I am doing my best even I feel that my best wasn't good enough.

When I was about to reach our home, I saw two pairs of mom and child sleeping on the foot bridge. They were homeless. They would beg just to survive. 'Yong isang nanay natutulog pa habang gising na ang baby niyang umiiyak. I empathized with their situation but at the back of my mind, I asked myself, "Bakit kaya ang unfair ng mundo? Why is it that some mothers lose hope and need to beg just to feed herself and her child?" Life is challenging or may be very difficult to some but for me, it's not an excuse to stop dreaming. It's not an excuse to stop working hard and find means to live and not to survive alone. I didn't give money that I would usually do. I handed them food. Nagkakataon naman na tuwing may food ako sa bag, kahit candy pa 'yan or bread, lagi akong may nakikitang namamalimos. Honestly, I felt guilty too. Why? Because I gave them fish and I didn't teach them to catch fish.

It's easy for me to say that difficulties should not be hindrances to stand up and keep moving forward. I experienced hunger, rejection, bullying, and all sorts of ugly situation when we were stripped off with material possessions. My mom, brother, and I endured hardships for more than five years. The mothers with their children that I saw might have different circumstances with ours but the difference was that my mom stood for us against all odds and she didn't lose hope when we lost everything after she and my dad separated more than a decade ago. We knew who our true friends were, those who would stick with us through thick and thin. We worked hard and stood the test of time. We didn't doubt with one another. Our faith kept us together. We chose the right path and fought our battles patiently and wisely. Those experiences were difficult to bear without the strength and love of my mother. Those strength and love are the things that I hold on to now that I am a mom.
I wish that all mothers should not give up despite the harsh realities of life. I hope and pray that someday, I will not see mothers and their children beg on streets. The mother is the light of the family. The attitude of the kids and their outlook in life depend on how they are raised by their mothers. I am so blessed to have a resilient mom. Oo, masuwetre ako. My mom taught me how to be a fighter and to keep moving forward. I have no right to whine on petty things. I can do anything, big or small, because my mom taught me by example.


I hope that someday the kids of those mothers that I've seen would not repeat history. I hope that in the future they will not beg on streets with their own children like what their moms do presently. Sayang ang pagkakataon. Maari namang gumawa ng paraan para mabuhay ng marangal at disente.


*Photo Credit: Pinterest

Thursday, February 2, 2017

My Chosen #OneWord for 2017

Last year, my chosen #OneWord was BALANCE. For this year, I choose FOCUS. Yes, focus. I really need it. I have so many ideas in my head, so many things that I want to accomplish, all because I want to improve myself and my family's situation as well.

Courtesy: PictureQuotes.com

Was I able to accomplish my chosen #OneWord last year? The answer is yes, but not yes. Ang gulo ko, 'di ba? I was able to balance everything last year pero nakulangan ako. I didn't extend my effort in doing those things that really matter. I just let the day pass na laging bitin ang mga nagawa ko. I felt that I wasn't doing my very best. I wasn't hard on myself but I felt that I should accomplish things much better than before. I should find time to try new things, read more books, see my friends, level up my business plan. I should have been more productive if I've committed myself more on helping my husband to provide for the family while enjoying the means of achieving it. Hindi 'yong puro finding happiness lang in doing what I love to do. I became focused in taking care of Bunso due to his special needs and training Kuya to be more independent and self-directed. Nakalimutan ko na kailangan din ako ni Loley in running Faithshoppe Philippines. Nakaligtaan ko rin na matutong magpahinga kahit 20-minute bath man lang sa gabi kapag tulog na ang mga bata. I became so focused in solving the problems of other people despite the fact that I had to solve my own too. I got T-I-R-E-D again like I would usually end up when the year was about to end and the fear of getting sick and having a sick member of the family prompted me to be extremely cautious. Although optimism helped, I should have been more flexible and persevering last year, focusing on my family's priorities rather others people's priorities.

In line with that feeling of exhaustion, I suddenly stopped blogging and hosting giveaways towards the end of the year. I stopped checking my emails thinking that I would decline invites again. I had pending product reviews and open ended collaborations. I felt so incompetent and irresponsible. I had writer's block. My brain was so drained. May mga ideas ako pero hindi ko siya ma-express ng mabuti. I would just sit in front of my laptop staring blankly whenever I had a chance to blog. I got tired of updating my social media accounts and wasted my time several times. "Magpapahinga muna ako. Baka sobrang stressed lang ako dahil sa kamu-multitasking", sabi ko sa sarili ko. 

Then on the second week of December, my best friend for three decades visited me and introduced me to her newest home-based business. She started selling high quality perfume testers, which prompted me to try and eventually became one of her partners. Mahilig kasi ako sa perfumes. What made me decide to join her aside from the good quality of the testers, sobrang affordable siya. Abot kaya sa bulsa ng lahat. Gusto namin lahat ng tao mayaman man o sakto lang maging mabango at makayang bumili ng designer perfumes.

A photo posted by SJ Valdez (@allaroundpinaymama) on

I also had a chance to talk to my friend and former co-worker in Xavier School who started selling a safe whitening fluoride toothpaste that I was interested to try for the longest time. After trying that and saw that it could really work, I became one of her partners and started selling it too.

A photo posted by SJ Valdez (@allaroundpinaymama) on

The joy of online selling among my friends became alive again and it made me feel so productive.  I had the chance to do what I enjoy and earn at the same time. Hindi man malaki pero nakatutulong din sa pamilya. All I had to do was to buy and sell. I just had to be creative in marketing the products through social media which I could do whenever Bunso was doing his "me time". I still didn't set aside crafting. Selling perfume testers and whitening fluoride toothpaste tubes just prompted me to slow down a bit in crafting. It was still there but I put less attention to it because of its demands that I couldn't meet due to taking care of my child with special needs. Despite of that, Mom was still the one running it and providing the majority of stocks in our outlets. I still help her with the inventory and delivery during my free time especially while Bunso was in school.

The tasks that I mentioned kept me in blogging hiatus for almost two months. Doing so made me realize that I still couldn't let go of blogging and crafting totally. I was surprised to know that my blog was still being visited. I still got invites from PR's. Our clients were looking for our printed products like shirts, key holders, fans, magnets that I wasn't able to create for months due to Bunso's condition. How could I resist his "lambing" and being clingy most of the time? Hindi siya habambuhay na magiging bata kaya I savor every moment whenever I'm with him.

As days passed, I got motivated to do my usual activities and thought of ways on how to do them again along with the new things that I included in my routines. It's going to be more challenging, I know, but I believe can be doable.


It just so happened that Bunso is getting more independent, even though slowly, but I know he is getting there. All I need to do is to focus, to find time and meaning in every small detail of my endeavors but still knowing that my priority is my family. I am going to be a little hard on myself this year. I need to stretch my efforts because it's a must. I am not going to be afraid to move from my comfort zone for me to spread my wings and find more opportunities. I am going to be more choosy in accepting work or collaborations, only those that are beneficial for my family and readers are allowed. My time is precious and I should use it wisely this time. It's never too late to begin again and be the best person that I can be. I have to FOCUS on what really matters.

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