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    A big sale is about to happen in S&R

    Something exciting is brewing at S&R Membership Shopping!

    Being part of S&R Membership Shopping has a lot of perks: access to items that are not usually available in regular groceries, lower prices on certain brands, and of course, their super sales! I’ve only been a member for half a year and have not experienced a super sale, but I heard something exciting is brewing for members!

    A big sale is about to happen in S&R

    Sponsored Post

    If you aren’t a member yet, NOW is the time to purchase a membership card at S&R Membership Shopping. You CANNOT miss what’s about to happen soon so go to the nearest S&R branch and get your card.

    In case you don’t know, here are the S&R branches around the Philippines:

    S&R Bonifacio Global City
    32nd St., 5th Ave. Bonifacio Global City,
    1634 Taguig City

    S&R Shaw
    514 Shaw Boulevard,
    Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila

    S&R Congressional
    30 Congressional Avenue, Ramon Magsaysay,
    Bago Bantay, Quezon City

    S&R Aseana-Baclaran
    Bradco Avenue, Aseana Business Park, Blvd 2000,
    Baclaran, Paranaque

    S&R Alabang
    West Gate Development, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang-Zapote Rd
    Alabang, Muntinlupa City

    S&R Nuvali
    Lot 1 Blk. 13 Solenad 3 Nuvali,
    Brgy. Sto. Domingo Sta. Rosa, Laguna

    S&R Imus
    Barangay Anabu 1-D,
    Aguinaldo Highway, Imus Cavite

    S&R Cebu
    Ouano Avenue cor. E.O. Perez St.
    Subangdaku, Mandaue City, Cebu

    S&R Pampanga
    Jose Abad Santos Ave.
    San Fernando City, Pampanga

    S&R Davao
    McArthur Highway cor J Rodriguez St.,
    Talomo Ave., Brgy Ma-a, Davao City

    S&R Cagayan de Oro (NEW!!!)
    Zone 5 Brgy. Bulua,
    Butuan, CDO, Iligan Highway, Cagayan de Oro City

    FYI, you can use your S&R card in any branch. Convenient, diba? You can learn more about membership here.

    Some families avoid traveling because it's costly. But, with these 3 budget family travel tips, you can bring the whole gang without breaking the bank!

    3 Budget Family Travel Tips (Because it’s more fun to travel as a family!)

    Some families avoid traveling because it's costly. But, with these 3 budget family travel tips, you can bring the whole gang without breaking the bank!

    We love to travel as a family. My husband and I believe that learning shouldn’t be confined to the classroom—so we try our best to schedule trips with the minis on weekends or when there are long school breaks.

    We treat our family trips as opportunities to not just bond, but also to teach the minis things they don’t usually tackle in the classroom. We want them to be street smart, too!

    “Another trip?  Ang gastos niyo!” We often hear this statement when people find out that we went on another family trip. But the truth is you don’t have to spend too much on these trips! Here are some of our budget family travel trips that we learned after years of traveling together:

    Budget Family Travel Tips: Traveling Without Breaking the Bank

    TIP 1: Watch out for seat sales – or explore other, much cheaper, travel means.

    I’m not so big on seat sales because my husband has a weird work schedule. Since seat sales have set travel periods, I can’t book right away because my husband needs to have his leave approved…and that’s usually a long process in their bureau. However, if you can, then book tickets during seat sales to get a really good deal on plane tickets!

    Since airline seat sales are impossible for our set up, we’ve explored other means of travel that will save us big bucks. For instance, to save money on our last-minute trip to Boracay, we tried taking a round trip ship ride to Caticlan and back to Manila instead of booking plane tickets. That’s around P16,000 for four adults and two kids – which is about the same amount of just two round trip Manila-Caticlan plane tickets. We saved over half on our travel costs!

    Some would say taking an 8-hour ship ride can be super boring for the kids. But when we tried it, it actually wasn’t bad at all. We were served delicious meals while on board and the minis got to enjoy live music while having snacks and drinks on the deck.

    TIP 2: Look for hotel deals from apps like Traveloka.

    Our family is crazy for hotels. If we can’t go on out of town trips, we usually book staycations within the city.

    Again, people would think we’re magastos. Our secret? We book a hotel through Traveloka. They have huge discounts on hotels (and also flights!) so it’s a great place to scout for hotels if you’re going out-of-the-country, out-of-town, or just feel like taking a staycation. You don’t have to worry about credit card payments when you use the app because they have lots of other payment options, like through Dragonpay or via your bank’s online payment system.

    But the best thing about Traveloka? What you see on their website or app, is what you’ll pay for – no hidden charges! (This is a biggie for me because I want to know how much our trips will really cost us.)

    TIP 3: Prepare an itinerary and scout for discounts.

    Since we travel with two little kids, I want to have a set itinerary when we travel. I don’t like going on a trip without a plan because it’s such a hassle to lug around two little ones because you have no idea what activity you’re going to do.

    Before we go on trips, I research online so I can prepare an itinerary that best suits our family. We enjoy laidback trips so I try not to put too many activities within a day.

    Once we have an itinerary, I do another research on the places we want to visit or activities we want to try. Sometimes, these tourist attractions offer discount coupons. I watch out for those so I can buy these coupons for our trip.

    You see, there are A LOT of ways you can travel as a family without breaking the bank. Try these tips on your next family trip!

    How do you prepare yourself for shifting from a full-time job to freelancing?

    Ask Mom On Duty: “How do I prepare for full-time freelancing?”

    How do you prepare yourself for shifting from a full-time job to freelancing?

    A couple of weeks ago, I conducted a survey among moms on what their biggest challenge is when it comes to the idea of working from home or freelancing. One issue that stood out is:

    I work full-time, but I want to shift to working from home or freelancing. How do I prepare for the big jump?

    I totally, totally understand. The idea of shifting from a job that gives you stable income to one that is less stable is scary as hell. I was at the exact same spot in 2011 when I had to choose between getting a 8-5 job or staying at home with our then infant, Kelly.

    Note that I was already freelancing by 2011 (I started in 2008), but the option of working full-time came up because we were having a child. Like all parents I know, we all want to earn enough to give our child the best. So yes, I understand where your hesitation is coming from.

    Questions like these popped up:

    • How unstable is ‘unstable’?
    • Will the income be enough?
    • What will I do if I don’t get projects?
    • Where do I begin?!?!?!

    And as you all know, despite my (mostly money-related) fears about freelancing, I went for it. And five years later, I’m still rocking it!

    Anyway. Back to the issue at hand – how can you prepare for the shift? When it comes to shifting from a full-time job to freelancing, the main issue really is the finances. To be able to prepare for the shift, you’ll have to start with a financial check:

    1. Do you have an emergency fund? This is super important especially when you finally decide to be a freelancer (or entrepreneur). It’s recommended to have around $1000 (PHP 45,000) in your emergency fund, but if you ask me, I’d advise you to prepare six months (or a year!) worth of your expenses. Why do I say this? When you start freelancing, expect that the income will be unstable at first. You are still finding your groove and exploring your options so it’s normal to be getting short-term or hourly contracts during this time. This is why it’s helpful to have an emergency fund to withdraw money from when you’re short. [Important: The Emergency Fund is NOT for out-of-the-blue spending! Make sure you only use it to pay for essentials when you really don’t have money.]
    2. Are you ready to tighten your belt? As I mentioned above, the beginning of your freelancing career may be a bit rough. Be ready to create a budget and have the self-control to stick with it. I’m going to say that again, have the self-control to stick to your budget!

    Aside from your finances, it’s also important to know that you’re ready to take on the challenges of being a work at home parent. For most of my readers who are moms, this includes working while taking care of the kids and managing the household:

    1. Do you have a chore system at home? We do and believe me, this will keep you sane throughout your freelancing journey. I have a schedule for everything – laundry, cooking (in batches), cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. Having a certain chore scheduled for each day will help you heaps in keeping overwhelm at bay!
    2. Is the whole family in it? I wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for my family. My biggest supporter is my husband, who helps in the house and shares parenting responsibilities with me despite having a full-time job. Now that the minis are older, they also help with little tasks at home like sweeping and mopping the floor, putting away clutter, and sorting the laundry.
    3. Can you control yourself? I already mentioned self-control above when it comes to sticking to your budget, but this also applies to other things. When you work from home (or from anywhere – like the beach – my fave!), it can be tempting to just slack off and let everything slip through the cracks. Do. Not. Let. That. Happen. When you start freelancing, you won’t have a manager to keep you in check. You’ll be working on your own so it’s your duty to keep yourself on track. I think this is where most people who tried to freelance failed. That’s why when someone asks about freelancing, I always remind them that it’s not for everyone…which brings us back to all the points I just mentioned above.
    How can you prepare for the big jump to full-time freelancing?
    • Get your finances in order.
    • Get your work and home systems in order.
    • Get yourself in order.
    Mom On Duty Tip:

    Before taking the leap to freelancing or entrepreneurship, my advice is to test the waters first before diving into it. Keep your full-time job, but at the same time, start working on part-time freelance gigs. This way, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the work is like and how much money comes in. If you think you’ll be able to earn more (and live more) when you freelance, then you can jump right in.

    Moreover, taking part-time freelance gigs while working full-time is an awesome way to build on your emergency fund! Win-win!

    Do you have questions about freelancing or creating a home based business? Shoot me an e-mail at!

    If you're a SAHM looking for a side hustle, here are 16 ideas you can try!

    16 Freelance Services Stay-At-Home Moms Can Offer

    If you're a SAHM looking for a side hustle, here are 16 ideas you can try!

    Are you a working mom wanting to quit your day job so you can spend more time with your family? Or maybe you’re already a stay-at-home mom (high five!) who wants a side hustle so you can add extra income to your family’s budget?

    If you have the skill set, I say go for it! Turn your skills and passion into a profitable business! There’s nothing wrong to want to have more time for your family. There’s nothing wrong to want to earn extra income. There’s nothing wrong to want to do things outside of being a mom and wife.

    I wanted all these things and just going for it made me a happier mommy! I got to turn my skills into a profitable business, take control of my time, and earn for my family–without leaving our home, or sacrificing time for my children. And you can do it too!

    Now, I’m not talking about answering surveys for pennies. I’m talking about a real business that makes real money.

    I earn money as a freelance writer and social media manager. I’ve always loved writing and interacting with people with the same interests, which is why I chose these two services when I started my online business.

    Would you like to do the same thing? Here are 16 services you can offer as a stay-at-home mom:

    1. Writing

    Do you have a way with words? Then give freelance writing a shot! I landed my very first freelance gig in 2008 as a freelance writer for an e-commerce website where I wrote product descriptions for the client. I’ve always loved writing–mostly about my travel adventures–so I knew this is something I can do for a living.

    Some websites you can check for writing gigs are:

    Sometimes, big websites look for writers too. Watch your favorite websites closely for announcements so you can send over your application as soon as there’s an opening!

    2. Social Media Management

    Another growing need in the business community is for a Social Media Manager. Social media has become a key player in boosting a business’ presence online, but it can eat up a lot of time. Most businesses, therefore, hire someone who can manage their social media accounts for them. Tasks include creating engaging posts, scheduling posts and replying to queries.

    Having knowledge about Insights and social media marketing is a plus if you want to get into this profession. I highly recommend reserving a seat in the online classes offered by Sandi Krakowski and Melyssa Griffin.

    3. Virtual Assistance

    If there’s one thing business owners want, it’s more time. More time to create new products, more time to network, more time for actually living. Hence, the birth of virtual assistance services. Virtual assistants run the back-office work for clients so clients can have time working on more important tasks. Tasks that will most likely be assigned once you’re hired as a VA are calendar management, answering emails/calls, and preparing travel itineraries among many others.

    4. Graphic Design

    Are you the bomb when it comes with design? You might want to try applying as a freelance graphic designer for companies and entrepreneurs who need help with their logo design, brochure, or business card. One place where I see awesome designers is in Fiverr.

    Better yet, set up your own website where you can showcase your portfolio! The perfect example here is Fancy Girl Designs, who has helped numerous bloggers realize their blog brand vision.

    5. Photography

    If you have an eye for capturing moments or products, then freelance photography is perfect for you! Of course, unless you have your own studio at home, expect that you’ll need to work outside of the home. If that’s fine with you, then go try it!

    6. Real Estate

    I am not very good when it comes to sales, but if you are awesome at sales and are familiar with the real estate market, this is a very promising industry you can enter as a freelancer. Some moms work as agents, while others earn by managing their very own rental property.

    7. Coaching

    Are you an expert at something? Do you have a knack for encouraging people and motivating them so they’d find the right path for them either in their personal life or in their career? Then you can try offering coaching services. One known coaching service provider here in the Philippines is Make It Blissful, who helps women entrepreneurs and bloggers find bliss in their lives by practicing intentional living.

    8. Website/Blog Management

    Not all of us are techies – and that’s okay! However, if you know your way around codes and such, why not offer your help to those who need it? Just like Jennyfer Tan of The Techie Mom, who offers blog migration and website optimization services. Believe me, there’s a HUGE market out there looking for techie people who can help them out with their websites!

    9. Hosting Workshops

    If you have a wide network of experts in different fields, why not use that network and start offering workshops to those who want to learn certain skills? Ginger Arboleda, the General Manager of Manila Workshops, together with her team created an avenue for people who want to learn and aspire towards their career and personal goals.

    10. Tutoring

    My own mom is the perfect example for this. A teacher by profession, my mom started offering tutorial services as a side job. She would visit her students in their homes, or her students would go to our own home. If you are great with kids, this is something you should definitely try!

    11. Bookkeeping

    If you are an accountant by profession who’d like more control over your time, you should think about offering bookkeeping services to both foreign and local clients. I, for one, have hired two moms to do my bookkeeping for me. There are A LOT of local entrepreneurs who are seeking this service, fyi!

    12. Selling Crafts

    Are you good with crafting? I’m not! (LOL) But if you are, you might want to turn your hobby into a business, just like Marge Aberasturi of Crafted Crafts who turned her love for crocheting into a booming business. Have you seen her work? Just amazing.

    13. V-logging

    V-logging or ‘Video Blogging’ is, believe it or not, another way to earn money from home. There are numerous companies out there who are on the lookout for talents who can v-log for them. I saw in one freelancing forum a mom who earns by recording herself unbox toys. *dream job*

    14. Write Your Own Ebook

    Do you specialize on a certain topic? Share your knowledge about something you’re an expert on by writing about it and selling it as an e-book, just like what Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag does! She sells her books and programs about hands-on-parenting through her website.

    15. Online Teaching

    If you have experience in teaching, let me tell you that it is POSSIBLE to continue your work at home! With online schools like 51Talk, you can build your online teaching career from the comfort of your home. Isn’t that just brilliant?!

    16. Food Services

    Love to cook or bake? Turn your skill in the kitchen into a profitable business like Denise Rayala of Bebeng’s Kitchen. When Denise started her business, she sold her goods online. She then moved to selling her products in bazaars and later on went into consignment.

    Lazada Philippines Review

    Lazada Delivers a Damaged Item – And they KNEW it was damaged

    After weeks of searching for two bar stools for our condo, we finally decided to order from Lazada Philippines. They’re the only shop that carries the design we’re looking for and we want to have stools for our dining area already so we had no choice.

    I love Lazada Philippines – for their items like Ikea organizers – but I refrain from buying items over P3,000 from them because of the horror stories I’ve read online. But, since they have the stools we’ve been looking for and we needed those ASAP, we clicked ‘Buy’ with closed eyes.

    Lazada Philippines Review

    The day came – our much awaited dining area stools arrived. We assembled the first of the two stools and were very happy because it looks perfect with our dining area.

    Then, we opened the next box. The first part we took out was the cylinder stand. We saw a few scratches, but we shrugged it off because we don’t want to go through the hassle of returning the products. So, what’s a few scratches, right? The other parts of the stool came out – the seat, the stand, then the ring.

    To our horror, the ring was broken into three.

    Lazada Philippines delivers damaged item to us.

    I immediately called the delivery guy, but he didn’t answer.

    I called Lazada Philippines via their hotline (02) 795-8900. My call was immediately answered (a big improvement after my first experience) and I was given two options: Replace or Refund.

    What to do if Lazada delivers a damaged item

    If you wish to have your item replaced or would rather get a refund, you need to re-package the item to its original packaging. Everything must be placed back in: all parts of the item, receipts, info sheets, etc. Head to then go to My Orders (under My Account). The delivery status must be marked Completed for you to request replacement or refund. This is usually updated 24 hours after your item has been delivered.

    You will need to request for Refund or Replacement via the website, print it out, then attach the print-out to your package. Bring it to the nearest LBC store so they can ship it back to Lazada for evaluation. Item returns are FREE so you shouldn’t be charged anything for this.

    We decided not to return our items or get a refund because we didn’t want to go through disassembling the tools, repackaging them, and bringing the package to LBC. Time-wise, this is not possible for us because our schedules are booked from 5 AM to 5 PM – no kidding. Also, the item has been fully paid so we were scared that if we returned it, it might not come back. I’ve read lots of complaints about this so it really happens!

    So yes, we’re keeping the item…even if it’s damaged. We’ll just have to have it repaired. Our only concern is, we believe Lazada knew the item is damaged and still packed it and delivered it to us. Why? Because our item came with a report pasted on the box about the item being damaged.

    Lazada Philippines knew the item was damaged, yet they still delivered it to us

    You see, our two stools came in two separate boxes, placed in one bigger box. There were no notes whatsoever in the big box, so we didn’t see the report right away. The report was pasted on one of the smaller boxes, which you will only see when you pry open the bigger box. It states:

    Lazada Philippines in an online shopping portal that houses appliances, furniture, gadgets, and the like.

    It looks like the item has been delivered to someone else then returned to Lazada because of damages on June 7, 2016. Despite this, Lazada still delivered the item to us. Quality control = ZERO points.

    I appreciate that they have return-and-exchange and refund options in place. However, aside from it being a huge hassle, it’s also a bit scary to return the items especially if there are a lot of complaints about returns/refunds not pushing through after so long.

    However, it’s unacceptable that they delivered a damaged item even if they already know that it’s damaged. The report pasted on the box is very clear, so I don’t understand why they’d send it to a new buyer.

    Will I buy from Lazada Philippines again?

    Smaller items, yes. But expensive ones like the stools we got? Never again!