10 ways to keep your marriage (and your husband) alive.

Me and the hubby.

Meet my husband Mike. We’ve been married for 10 years. And we’ve been friends for around 15. 131,400 hours is a lot of time to think about a lot of things and process a lot of feelings in a marriage. Love, anger, patience, frustration, boredom, euphoria, life and the number of ways to kill a person. I’m 88.2% joking, by the way.

I’m not going to lie about it. Marriage isn’t what I pictured it out to be. Giant bouquets of long stemmed tulips. Belgian chocolates in fancy boxes with red ribbons. Regular out of town trips to places like Switzerland or Africa. I mean, what can I say, I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to treat her like a sugar baby.

When we were little girls we were told about the grandiosity and the magical things about falling in love.  Nobody really ever told us that staying in love is a choice that we have to make every single hour of every single day.

To choose love, over anger. Because he keeps forgetting to clean the bathroom and throw out the trash.

To choose patience , over frustration. Because he always, always chooses to encode in MSWord instead of an Excel file.

To choose to talk (nicely), when you really want to get annulled and want to ship him back to his parents.

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is another thing. Getting married is easy. Staying married is a challenge.

Here are my top 10 relationship essentials to save your sanity, save your spouse, survive your marriage and choosing love above all else.

The love listicle.
  1. Space is sacred – While marriage may all be about choosing to be together, personal space is essential. Space A is literal space: your own corner in the house or your own space for your clothes or your own desk. Space B is figurative space: your me time, your personal downtime, your time away from the spouse. Create your own personal bubble.
  2. Food is always the answer – Also wine. Wine is the answer. When you feel the need to reconnect, go on a date night. Steak and wine dinner dates. Or McDo Cheeseburger and orange juice drive thru. Share and enjoy a meal together. Or a bottle of wine. Just the two of you. Just like before.
  3. Do household chores together – Share bathroom chores, split dishwashing duty, love the laundry. It’s all about equitable contribution.
  4. Support systems are key to sanity and success – Point A: It takes a village to raise children. Point B: Spend time with people who don’t need anything from you and who remind you of who you really are without all your many hats. Support systems are also known as family and friends and friends who you call family.
  5. Keep your money but share what you have – What’s Mike’s is 80% mine and what’s mine is mine. Haha. No seriously, bring what you can to the table but also save some for yourself. Save for a rainy day, or a fancy massage or that nice pair of shoes. Enjoy the fruits of your own labor. You deserve it.
  6. Compromise  – Marriage is all about the mutual acceptance of whatever, whenever. Agree to disagree. Give and take. Find the middle ground. Strike a balance. Compromise all the way.
  7. Feed the fantasies – I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to treat her like a sugar baby. Also, be Maria Ozawa (lights off, post partum version) or whatever tickles your fancy, sir, yes, sir.
  8. Talk then act. Say then show. Promise then prove. Now say it all again.
  9. Go to sleep – There’s a saying that goes don’t go to sleep angry. I beg to disagree. Sleep is important. The less sleep you have, the more likely you are to make a poor decision. So for the love of your spouse, go to sleep and talk about it the next day.
  10. EXTRA GRACE REQUIRED – Always extra grace. A little more extra grace. Add a bit more extra grace. Extra patience, extra understanding, extra respect, extra affection, extra trust, extra gratitude, extra romance. Extra grace required always.

It’s the little things that become the big things. When he opens the car door for you. When he lets you sit in the car while he puts the groceries in the trunk. When he orders extra rice even if  you say you don’t want extra rice. When he exchanges his grilled porkchop for your baked salmon because you said it tastes it better. When he silently suffers listening to your eclectic playlist of Boyzone, Nine Inch nails and meditation to the sounds of nature. When he sleeps with one pillow so you can sleep with four. When he turns on the car a full 15 minutes before you get in so you won’t complain about the heat. When he fixes your morning coffee because he knows you have a series of meetings. When he offers to put Salonpas on your back because he knows you had a long day. When he sits through the 36th re-run of John Wick because he knows it’s your favourite movie.

We forget the good things that we have going on for us because we think some higher form of happiness can be found somewhere else. When in reality, happiness is in the little things because the little things become the big things.

So here’s to my first husband Mike and the millions of husbands, spouses, partners out there. Cheers to you for staying alive and cheers to us for choosing to stay in love.

Community Involvement: Brigada Eskwela 2020.

Brigada Eskwela 2020.

Fun fact: I wanted to become a teacher when I was a kid. I grew up in an academically inclined family, my maternal grandparents were teachers in Masbate, my paternal grandmother was a college librarian, and P.E. teacher, my grandfather worked in the University of the Philippines Cebu College, and my dad was an aeronautical instructor and engineer. I remember receiving lesson planners when I was about 7. Ahahaha! 😂

I will always be thankful for my parents who worked very hard to give me and my sister the opportunity to study in schools that has made all the difference in our lives because of the quality of education, the classmates we have who have turned into friends who we also now consider family, and he overall experience that has shaped us into lean, mean, hustling machines. 😉

2014 Brigada Eskwela.

Today, I hope to pay it forward by grabbing the opportunity to help other children have a fantastic educational experience.

2016 Brigada Eskwela with Ayala Business Club.

I came across a Facebook post of a friend asking for help for public school elementary teachers requesting for donations for bondpapers to be used for printing student modules and decided to ask for help from my batchmates and officemates. I thought, if we reach 10 reams of bondpaper, that would be great! Less than two hours later, my friends came through and we were ate 30 reams! This morning I woke up to donations of more than 70 reams of bondpaper! Bless your kind hearts. 🥰 Amazing how collective effort can make a bigger difference!

Brigada Eskwela: School Painting at Taptap Elementary School.

The focus of of the first virtual Brigada Eskwela is the continued children’s education despite the pandemic we are experiencing. Since many students don’t have gadgets and don’t have access to internet connection, the schools will provide them printed Modules.

One module per student and per subject will be distributed each week and some modules contain 10 to 20 pages each.

Sample module.

One ream of short bondpaper (containing around 500 sheets) costs around 177 Philippine Pesos or around three (3) U.S. dollars.

We all know the government and the schools have budget allocations for these, but wouldn’t we rather actively participate than just sit back and watch? 😉 I’ve always been a believer that a little help goes a long way. I hope you share my sentiments of giving these in good faith and momentarily setting aside our pandemic-induced politicizing. Hahaha. Let’s pay it forward! 🙂

Your donations will be distributed to four (4) teachers from different schools in Cebu. Rest assured, your donations will be properly documented.

If you’re interested to become a Brigada Hero, you can send your donations through:

Bank                                      :               BPI (Savings)

Account Name                  :               Lizette Olitres

Account Number             :               2949206729

#BrigadaEskwela2020
#BondpaperMoParaSaModyulko

STC Batch 2001 Community Involvement. Donations at Olango island.

Self-care Stories: My kids’ favourite essential oils: Lemon and Eucalyptus.

Aromatherapy has become part of my family’s daily routine. The two essential oil must-haves in our home, and easily the kids favourites, are Lemon and Eucalyptus.

Essential oils must haves: Lemon and Eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus essential oil when diffused helps relieve respiratory ailments. When one of us feels the onset of stuffy and runny nose, eucalyptus is our go to oil to diffuser. Its properties are also know to help in clearing respiratory tract and stimulation bodily circulation. Its soothing minty aroma helps alleviate stress, irritability and tension at the end of a long day.

Eucalyptus for end-of-day happiness in a bottle!

Lemon is one of the best selling and most commonly used essential oils simply because of its happy aroma. This is my  favourite oil to diffuse in the morning to jumpstart a workday. I use it to help fight off of sleepiness, tiredness, anxiety and depression. There are studies that show that lemon helps with mood and stress regulation. Other uses of lemon essential oils are for skin care (they say it helps with acne!), relieves pain and helps with symptoms of colds.

Lemon to kick start a busy day!

I haven’t really tried ingesting essential oils and have only routinely used these with a diffuser. We likey the smell of diffused oils when you go inside a room. 🤗 YL has a line called Vitality that you might want to check out if you want your all-natural journey to go up a notch.😉

For more product info, head on over to www.youngliving.com

Movie Review: 365 days. What we need to teach ‘baby girls’ about men, money, sex and love.

Let me just get right down to it. After sitting right through ninety minutes of the movie, I just sat there in disbelief that I wasted precious minutes of my me time watching this poor excuse of an erotica film. Don’t get me wrong. I’m the kind of wife who shares porn sites with her husband who absolutely thinks his wife has the most undiscovered porn potential in the hole universe, but I digress. The point is, I have no qualms about erotica or rated R movies, as these are just deviations of artistic and poetic licenses.

I actually read through all books of Fifty Shades of Grey and actively voiced out my opinion on who should play Christian Grey (I was rooting for Alex Pettyfer to play him, by the way). And whilst conservative citizens lobbied that the franchise was romanticizing porn and BDSM, us non-traditionalists revelled in the idea of having our wildest fantasies play out on screen. Poor little small town girl gets swept off her feet by a rich handsome CEO who has psychological issues due to childhood trauma that emotionally cripples him thus sex to him is a psychological game. We get it, we get it. It is what it is: a form of entertainment. The basic foundation of the story plays around every girls basic fantasy: some rich guy falls madly in love with me, drives me in a helicopter, buys me a car, want me for my body but is fascinated with my mind and wants to marry me. You can sell these concepts to any girl any day, in any given form and one way or another, she will relate to it.

I’m not a professional film critic nor do I have the credentials of a screenwriter, but based on my humble, common consumer opinion, the power of art lies in successfully enabling your audience to relate to the message your trying to get across.

So given these precedents, let’s move on to the review of the lousiest movie I have seen during this enhanced community quarantine era. And because of most of us have been Netflixing our way out of this situation, I choose to believe that we have mutated into some sort of film connoisseurs, therefore, I declare the following statements valid and not open to discussion given the fact that I am a mother, a womens rights advocate, a film specialist (I’m running out of Netflix movies to watch honestly), but above all else, a girl who demands the highest level of respect in all ways possible.

Point 1: Unless you pull off a John Wick Mafia like storyline, then no. That don’t impress us much.

Point 2: Dear sweet Laura. You are very lost baby girl! Very lost and very wrong representation of females.

  • If you’re unhappy in a relationship, baby girl, walk away.
  • If somebody dictates what you wear, this is a red flag baby girl.
  • If somebody kidnaps you, scream, call for help, run, do what you can. Save yourself, baby girl.
  • If a stranger touches any part of your body without your consent, baby girl, say no. If someone forces you to have sex with him, baby girl, that’s called rape.
  • If somebody truly loves you, he won’t tie you up and force you to watch him get naked with some other girl. He’s sick in the head, baby girl. You deserve better.
  • If some guy isn’t open to letting your family know about him, leave him baby girl. Your family will always be a part of you.
  • There will be a time when we become blinded by material possessions, but remember this, baby girl, you can always buy these things for yourself through honest, hard work. People will try to buy your affections, but baby girl, please know that you cannot be bought. You are priceless.

To all the baby girls out there, please know your worth. You are so much more than an object of fantasies. Manipulation and abuse can easily be masked by the fanfare brought about by money, sex or even love. There’s so much more to love than sex. True, unadulterated love takes time. You cannot force someone to love you or force yourself to love someone in a specified time frame.

At the end of the day, us parents can only pray that we brought up our baby girls and baby boys to know the fine lines between lust and love and right and wrong and that we continue to teach them the correct answers if someone asks “Are you lost, baby girl?”

man and woman lying on bed
Photo by W R on Pexels.com

 

 

The Skin911 Consolacion Series: Microneedling.

A little backgrounder: Skin911 is one of the leading facial and slimming centers in the country offering affordable non-invasive cosmetic procedures such as laser hair removal, facials, whitening injectables, slimming treatments and so much more. 

These services, which are widely marketed as beauty treatments for the stars, the rich and famous and the affluent, are made accessible by the Skin911 franchise to people like you and me. We read about these in magazines and browse thru instagram posts but our budgets have no margins for facials that cost 2k per session. #truestory

With Skin911, these flights of fancy are aspirations no more. Self-love achieved. Within our budget. 😉

You’d think that after almost 10 months in operation for Skin911 Consolacion, I would have tried all our clinics services. But no no no, opening the clinic while 7 months pregnant, breastfeeding, maternity leave, going back to work, eldest son starting grade school, the prophesized 7-year-itch marriage drama; life has been one big, hectic, chaotic beautiful mess. And in recent weeks, I have come to realize that in the process of trying to juggle and keeping it all together for everything and everyone else, I have lost all sense of ME.

So here I am, in an act of resolution slash desperation to love myself a little bit more, starting my Skin911 Consolacion Blog Series.

Procedure: Dermapen or Microneedling. 

Microneedling is a dermaroller procedure that uses small needles to prick the skin. The purpose of treatment is to generate new collagen and skin tissue for smoother, firmer, more toned skin. Microneedling is mostly used on the face and may treat various scars, wrinkles, and large pores.

I have always had bad oily acne-prone skin. I have tried a lot of treatments, facials, ointments, creams, oral medication, you name it I’ve probably tried it. Microneedling or microdermabrasion is a non invasive procedure designed to rejuvenate collagen production aiming to give you younger, fresher, more refined looking skin.

First, the aesthetician gives a simple facial to clear your skin and applies a coat of anesthesia and leaves it on for 30 minutes. After this, a dermapen is used to mildly penetrate your skin. A dermapen is made up of tiny, sterile needles. This usually takes around 15-20 minutes and is absolutely pain-free, thanks to the topical anesthesia applied earlier. Post procedure, an ointment is applied and your skin will typically show signs of redness.

The second session has yielded far more visible results than the first. 24 hours post treatment, the skin on my cheeks have started to peel off and my acne spots have dried up. As advised by our trusted aestheticians, no make up, minimal sun and dust exposure in the next 72 hours after treatment.

Crossing my fingers for more positive results from my Microneedling treatments.

Skin911 Consolacion October promo for Microneedling 4+1 sessions for only Php5,000. For inquiries and appointments, send me a message or call us at (032) 423 4536.

Follow this blog for more #MarketingMama and Skin911 Consolacion updates. 🙂