Raising Happy Homes

Oh, it's February and Valentine's sale is crowding people in malls trying to choose the ...

50 First Questions: A Valentine's Day Game For Couples


Oh, it's February and Valentine's sale is crowding people in malls trying to choose the perfect gift for their loved ones. The flower business is at its busiest season now and fancy restaurants, too. We all (well, not all of us actually) step up our game during Valentine's day trying to show how much someone means to us when, in fact, we can do it every day and any time of the year.

Yes, I know what you're thinking that I'm such a killjoy and grumpy housewife (please don't roll your eyes =) ) but cooking up a surprise on Valentine's day won't be a HUGE surprise anymore since almost everyone is doing it and you're partner is most likely anticipating it. Where's the fun in it, right? Why not make it on a least expected day? That's the SURPRISE!


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If you're like me who never makes such a big fuss on Valentine's day, you can try this fun Valentine's Day game (well, this is sort of like a wedding game). I and my husband had fun answering these questions and it's a good way to bring back those memories and check how well you really knew each other. You can assign points per question and the one who gets the most points gets to bully, er, rather, will choose a consequence for the losing partner. =)  (Be creatively naughty in choosing the consequences *winks*)


This is a fun way to spend Valentine's day with your partner over iced tea and popcorn before binge-watching your favorite Netflix series. Heck, why not? I wouldn't trade this over an expensive fancy resto date or a bouquet of roses which dies out after a day or two. But we have different preferences and I get it. =)

Either you're celebrating your Valentine's day at home or at some fancy place, you may download and print out this "50 First Questions Valentine's Day Game" to brighten up the mood and making it more memorable. Have fun answering these questions!

Here are some of the questions:

1. When and where did you first met?
2. What is your spouse's most attractive body part?
3. Where was your first date?
4. When dating, should couples split the bill or should it be shouldered by men?
5. Movie dates or candlelight dinner?
6. What is your favorite comfort food?
7. What was the first movie you’ve watched together as a couple?
8. What is your most memorable gift to her?
9. Who eats a lot?
10. Who cries first?
11. Who says sorry first?
12. Who forgives quickly?
13. Who gets mad easily?
13. Who laughs louder
14. Who snores louder?
15. What is your most favorite movie genre?

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THE COMPLETE QUESTIONNAIRE

Need a Valentine's Day gift idea? Check these out.


Life has always its sneaky little ways to derail you from reaching your destination. Even the hi...

The Most Powerful Thing That's Stopping You From Pursuing Your Goals


Life has always its sneaky little ways to derail you from reaching your destination. Even the highest achiever on this planet had also some setbacks, fears, and hurdles to overcome before they reached the sweetest spot.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.)

When you're a mom, it's easy to run through a list of excuses that keeps us from achieving our goals - be it a new side hustle online, a home business, a healthier lifestyle or a new skill. You may have used one or two of the excuses below:

"I still have little ones who need my undivided attention" 

 "My plate is already full just being a mom"

"I' haven't figured out yet how to deal all these big responsibilities"

"Being a mom is freaking hard!"


We can talk and rant the whole day on how our mommy obligations are pulling us away from our end goals, and since we're MOM, the world would find our excuses acceptable.

Choosing the easiest way out is tempting. The world would never condemn a mom if she failed to grow a small business on her own or missed to land a part-time job to bring in additional cash. After all, she is expected to maintain a clutter-free house and raise kids to become responsible adults. 

It's all about the house and kids, you see!


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But through the changing times, moms become more than "JUST A MOM"! Moms are liberated from the traditional domestic roles and are now active in shaping the modern society. It has produced moms who take bold corporate jobs, innovative entrepreneurship, and meaningful advocacies.

Moms become frontrunners of success. Gone are the days when she hides behind those greasy pans and shabby apron. Gone are the times when she's only seen as a housekeeper. At least, that's what I believe so.

What's Stopping Moms From Pursuing Their Goals?

Moms are now more empowered to pursue goals and chase their dream life.

But the road to the finish line is definitely not all sunshine and daisies. It'll take a brave heart and a strong mind to get there. Most of us back off when faced with hurdles. We sometimes let those dreams sit at the back burner, for God knows until when.

Yeah, you can always blame the kids - their needy state, adorable smile and your selfless love for them. These made you choose them over your hairy and audacious goals which, by the way, would not just personally benefit you, but your whole family as well.

Is it them to blame? Hate to break it, but it's you.

It is your mind that is stopping you from doing what you want and ought to do. The very same thing which, if used to your advantage, can take you to greater possibilities. The very same thing which can sail you towards your destination if you feed it with positivity, discipline, and courage.

I'm always amazed at how powerful our minds can be.

Feeding your mind with positivity and conditioning it to think rationally, would make it work to your advantage. Successful people and brilliant thinkers have long practiced conditioning their minds to withstand whatever adversities that may come along the way.

When you feed your MIND with MOM GUILT (I am too selfish to work on my goals while I still have little ones...), FEAR (I've never been into anything for years aside from being a stay-at-home-mom...) and DOUBT (I think the pressure will kill me...) it would definitely yield to a weaker foothold.

These all results in moms putting their dreams on hold OR giving up without hustling hard enough. And when you feel that you are tethered - frustrations, depression, and other emotional turmoil creep in which affect your relationship with your spouse and children.

How to Motivate Yourself?

So instead of pulling away from your lifelong goals and starting to question your self-worth, you need to determine instead your deep WHY.

Why are you determined to pursue these goals?

Why are you doing it?

Why it's so damn important to have it in your life?

A German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "He who has a why can endure any how". When you finally find your WHY, you will find the courage to take risks to keep moving forward, stay motivated when things go rough, and move to a challenging and rewarding phase of your life.When you feel like giving up, tap your inner self.  Find wisdom in silence. Close your eyes and draw in your mind your current life. Then from there, visualize the life that'll make you happy and, finally, determine your WHY.

It's unfair to always put the blame on our kids or our state of being a mom. We shouldn't let our motherhood journey stop us from growing and chasing great dreams. Dreams remind us to seek what lies ahead. We are humans! We're supposed to find the joy in life and not merely live to survive.

You can start off little. If your kids are still too young for you to go back to work, look for a part-time job online or run a home business which won't require you to clock in at a specific time. In my case, I struggled hard gaining back my self-esteem when I had my kids. I love them with all my heart but it seems like I can't be a better version of me if I can't even love myself. So, I started writing short essays on a notebook and eventually gave birth to this blog to channel my creativity (AHEM *coughs* *coughs*).

Slowly I regain my confidence through my writing knowing that I can be MORE (someone that my kids can be proud of).

This may not come easy on some of us (honestly, it also took me quite longer to redeem myself and find the course of my life) but when you realize that those little eyes are watching you, giving up isn't an option. Show them how sweet it is to triumph despite personal battle. Show them remarkable traits to follow suit when they come of age. Make them proud. Go for it, Mama!


Do you have other tips to share to our fellow moms? How about your own story of triumph? Spread the positivity by sharing it with us.

Do you ever wonder how other moms get so much done in a day while keeping an organized home? It ...

9 Simple Secrets To Becoming An Organized Mom


Do you ever wonder how other moms get so much done in a day while keeping an organized home? It seems like 24 hours a day is fairly not enough for most of us.

I wondered, too. With a 2 and 5-year-old in our little house, it's usually impossible to keep it chaos-free, at least most of the time. An organized home actually sets the tone of our mood for the day. Oh yes, I bet you'd agree with that.

When I see dishes piling up in the kitchen sink, I get cranky like my worst day has just started. Same goes when I see toys scattered all around the floor. Tripping over them makes it even worse. Do you also get that feeling?

But with these simple organizing habits (which we all could learn one habit at a time), we can always have an organized home while saving few of our precious hours which could be spent on other important tasks. Would you rather spend 10 seconds everyday wiping your kitchen countertop or spend 10-20 minutes a week scrubbing dry and nasty gunk that had build up on the countertop?

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Once we build these habits, cleaning our house would no longer be a dreaded task to put off on our to-do list. Well, I'm not the super organized type of mom but it's always nice to learn few tricks every now and then to keep our mommy life less stressful.

Ready?


Here are the simple habits that every mom (including me) should acquire to have an organized home and save few extra hours of the day. (Like most of you, I'm still learning to be consistent on doing some of these habits--some may have already been wired to my brain while some needs a little more effort).

1. Wake up earlier than the rest of your household. If you want to get more things done within 24 hours, you should start by rising up earlier than the rest. Starting your day when your kids are up, makes it almost impossible for you to get important things done at your desired pace. Stop beating the clock by rising up earlier and checking off the must do's first thing off in the morning.

2. Make your bed the moment your feet hit the ground. Our bedroom gives us that peace of mind and assurance that there's always that one place in the house where we can curl up and rest when we're burned out for the day. But if you walk into a messy bed, this sends off negative vibes. Start your day by accomplishing this simple task to kick you in productive mode.

3. Pick up as you go. When you walk around the house and see something that is not in their proper place, pick it up and put it where it should belong. You'd see that you're already tidying up the place. This is very applicable to toys being everywhere. Pick them up as you walk around the house and place them in the toy storage.

4. Have a clutter-free dining table. Put away your bills and don't dump it on the table. If you're done using spreads, place it back to the pantry cabinet or you can have a storage holder for spreads for an easy grab right on the table. When keeping a habit of a clutter-free dining table, it makes our meal so indulging. But when you see it dumped with all kinds of stuff from bills, kid's toys to condiments, it's definitely uninviting. And we all know that best stories are shared over on the dining table and that the family who eats together, bonds forever. =)

5. Keep your floor clean. Don't wait for your weekly cleaning schedule to clean your floor. If you see some crumbs or visible dirt on your floor, sweep it up. If you see a little stain on it, grab your mop and don't let that stain sit there until your next scheduled cleaning day or it'll dry up and make it even hard to remove which again cost us few extra minutes/hours.

6. Do little things which you can do in 10-20 seconds. Cleaning the bathroom floor takes too much time especially if the stain has dried up. To save few hours from your cleaning time, rinse your bathroom floor every after using it so the soap residue won't build up which becomes nasty to remove. Another thing as well, spray your shower with shower spray instead of scrubbing it weekly,

7. Check and sort out mails regularly. Don't let those mails and important bills pile up on your mailing box. Make a time to pop in and check it every other night and unload, if there is, to avoid missing dues. And don't let it sit on your countertop. Place it on your bills tray and categorized it to its importance if it's urgent and important or urgent but not important and so on.

8. Put away the toys. Although, I've taught my kids to practice keeping away their toys after playing, it is still inevitable to see a piece or two scattered in corners. To avoid spending minutes just searching their favorite missing toy, make it a habit of putting away toys you see lying somewhere on the floor. These also keep the floor uncluttered instead of waiting for your kids' toys to turn the house upside down.

9. Make a daily to-do list to organize and prioritize your daily task. This one is the heart of any daily organization tricks. Make it a habit of making a daily to-do list to get important things done. When you put your task on a list, it's more likely that you'll accomplish it rather than trusting your brain to remember all the things you need to do. It also sets your organizing mode on when seeing your task listed to its urgency and importance.

Yes, motherhood is indeed hard. We are always expected to juggle everything from raising happy homes, keeping an organized house to taking care of ourselves. It's overwhelming. But if you let yourself be open to learning, then mommy life could be less stressful by checking off one task at a time.

Remember, that it takes firm resolution and persistence to build these small habits and I won't recommend you trying to acquire all these at once. Instead, make baby steps and practice one habit at a time. It's easier to acquire it this way while not being too hard on yourself.

Do you already have some organizing habits and tricks that made your daily routine a breeze? Share it with us down below.

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Hey, how was your New Year? Have you already set out your goals for this year?   Well, we all sh...

Start Your Year Right By Building Habits Using These 6 Proven Techniques


Hey, how was your New Year? Have you already set out your goals for this year? Well, we all should. If you want to see changes in your life and head on right to a life you've really been dreaming of, then it's time to take action and live every day with a purpose starting with building new good habits.

(This post may contain affiliate links with no additional cost at your end. See our full disclosure here.)

I have been through a lot of mistakes that I firmly resolve to see progress and changes in my life this year. And the best way to start that change is to build new habits that will eventually transform us into the person we want to be.

Good habits ideally lead to good outcomes while bad habits lead to bad ones. Parents would often remind their children with this. So which one are you going to choose?

According to Tony Schwartz in his book "Be Excellent At Anything", 95% of those who lose weight on a diet regain it. Worst is, a good percentage gain back MORE than they originally lost. He also said that 25% of people abandon their New Year's resolutions after one week and 60% do so within six months (Yikes!). And guess what? The average person makes the same New Year's resolutions 10 separate times without success (hah, that sounded just like me before!).

Those numbers are pretty disheartening. It's right to conclude then that change is definitely not an easy feat. Do you agree?

But don't fret out, friends. High achievers have shared their secret in winning at life through countless personal development books, blogs, podcasts and more which are mostly accessible online (talking about the power of the internet). The secret to change is actually acquiring new habits.

If we can master these habits through the years, we really can change the course of our lives and live a life we want. We need to be intentional about breaking away with the bad habits to acquire the good ones because these small habits don't change on their own. If they did, then everyone is crushing goals after goals, year after year which is insanely amazing.

If you aren't intentional about changing on the first place, then you'll just slip back into the same pattern over again without any significant progress in life.



6 Techniques For Building New Habits

Since I am very intentional to live my lifelong goal with these small habits, I did some digging with successful bloggers, personal development podcasts, and high achiever personalities on what makes them highly effective and successful. And it all boils down to what most people have slipped through every single day which is building good new habits.

How do we acquire new habits? Here I've listed six techniques to get you started.

1. You need to do life planning. Envision the future you want. This is where goal setting comes in. Having goals written down would build new habits that will help us achieve that end goal.

2. Decide that you're going to behave a certain way 100% of the time without any exception. If you want to get up an hour earlier in the morning, then discipline yourself to get out of bed on time without pressing the snooze button every single morning.

3. Create a trigger action. If you want a habit to plan out your day after you wake up, you can tie it to an activity that will remind you to do so like sitting on your favorite chair with a cup of coffee. Place your planner and pen on a stand next to your chair so your brain will automatically remind you that it's time to make your to-do list once you sit on that chair.

4. Track your progress. Just like setting goals, you also need to track how have you been practicing these habits. What I do with mine is that I write my habits on a booklet on a daily calendar and check it off once the task is complete to see my progress. But you can so with available apps online.

5. Establish accountability. Tell others about the habit you're trying to build. Tell your spouse, children or friends about your intention of waking up at 4 AM and now that someone is watching you over practicing these habits, you'll have someone gently reminding you and giving you off that leverage to move to the right decision.

6. Create a mantra. I always believe that affirmation starts before change. So, tell yourself that " I want to wake up the next morning at 4 AM and be productive". Say it over and over to condition yourself.


Once our brain is wired with these habits, we begin to perform those habits on autopilot which mean that we no longer have to use mental energy to perform the task, which leaves our brain with extra energy to focus on getting other things done.

I used to get frustrated with myself because it seems like I would start my day right but at the end of it, my energy winds down. So I started writing down couple of morning and evening habits that I want to acquire eventually.

My day would start by drinking a glass of water. My body and brain seemed to work on its own that I automatically head off to the kitchen to drink water even if I'm not fully awake. And just recently, I included waking at 4 AM as my new habit and write at least 500 words while the entire house is quite. 

These habits just give me more willpower and energy to use towards other things. I noticed that I've never been this productive and happier in my life. Oh well, like what most of us would say, I wish I have known these few years back so I have started earlier and be reaping the fruits now. But nonetheless, I'm getting tremendous effects by acquiring good habits.

Now that we all know how to build new habits, it is very important to choose well and build our lives around the right kind of habits that will lead us to a positive, healthy lifestyles and finally to that lifelong goal.

What habits are you planning to acquire? Or do you have a habit that you want to share so others would learn from it? Share us your story down below.




Oh, boy! Time is winding down and we're just a few days away before 2016 closes upon us. An...

Forget New Year's Resolutions and Start Setting Goals Effectively


Oh, boy! Time is winding down and we're just a few days away before 2016 closes upon us. And this season is also the perfect time to set new goals to crush 2017 and make it our best year ever.

Well, honestly, I am not a good goal setter and I stopped believing in making New Year's resolutions since it hasn't worked for me for several years. Yeah, that stuff stinks, for me! And that would perhaps explain why it seems like I've done so many things, yet, I'm not even an inch closer to my "life goals". Do you also get that feeling?

But when I started blogging (early this year), I'm noticing that I became a fan of setting daily and weekly goals and believe me, checking off that box on my to-do list is totally satisfying. Blogging has definitely transformed me. If you've read this, I wrote a bit about how blogging has charged me up with positive vibes. It's like all the positive energy is eating me up whole! =)

Most of us would think (hah! including me) that it's easy to set goals. And what's worst is that we make almost the same goals year after year in hopes of getting different results. But high achievers (they're the serious goal setters) don't just set goals--they set c o n c r e t e goals and pursue it!


Why do we need to set goals?

There are actually tons of answers to this question but I guess, the most sensible one is that we don't own our lives--we only got one shot at it. Time is not on our side to waste precious hours on something that won't make you live a life you really want. Setting goals makes our life in motion towards that path that we hope to take down the road.

If you want to retire early, set goals and actionable steps that will help you achieve an early and happy retirement.

If you want to travel the world with your family, then do things that will make that big dream happen.

If you want to lose weight, put up a concrete action plan to trim down.

Wasted time is definitely a wasted opportunity. I've learned it the hard way and now I have lessons to take with me to start fresh. I'm so glad I've stumbled on Michael Hyatt's blog (you should definitely check out his podcasts if you're into personal development. An author of numerous best-selling books, former CEO and now a life coach. He's the man!). And just recently, I've attended one of his webinars on how to set goals effectively and take control of 2017. Guess what, I'm all pumped up now that I've learned how to do it efficiently.

It was an inspiring one and truly an eye-opener especially for those like me who never have a success in setting and crushing yearly goals. Indeed, we may not be able to control everything in our life, but we have the power to make those controllable factors work for us. We just need a strategy to get into it.  So, I'm sharing what I've learned and together let's make 2017 our best year ever!



How To Effectively Set Goals For The New Year?


1. Assess your current year. Before you effectively lay out concrete goals for next year, it's also appropriate to assess your current year. You can start by listing your wins/accomplishments and what made you achieve those. This will enable you to build a system that is "quit-proof" since it has already proven to work basing on your specific accomplished goal.

You also need to write down your setbacks or what didn't work and how would you like to approach it instead this time. These failures are your motivation to work harder and smarter to achieve your goals. If it failed the first time, tweak it and relaunch. Remember, if it hasn't worked out yet, then it's not yet the end.

2. Visualize your lifelong dream.  What's your end goal? What is that one thing that you really want and be deeply disappointed not to have/achieve? What matters most to you? Dig deeper and once you determine that lifelong dream, then write it down. Goals are easier to set this way when you really know what you are pursuing.

For a stay-at-home-mom like me who lives on a paycheck-to-paycheck scheme, a vision could be something like "to be financially independent". Pretty broad, eh? So, we break it down into actionable goals to achieve that lifelong goal.

3. Set concrete goals. This is the part where most of us do it wrong. The first key point to remember is that our goals need to address all major aspect of life and not just one. We need to determine our priorities. You can come up with categories like this:

  • Family 
  • Health 
  • Spiritual 
  • Personal Development 
  • Finances 
  • Career 
  • Recreation

But for me, I'd like to work on my top 5 priorities first for 2017. Keeping a longer list will pull your focus to various channels. Instead, focus on pursuing 3-5 goals per year and never chase it all at once. Instead, work on a goal or two per quarter. Don't be too hard on yourself!

Now you have mapped out your top priorities, you need to set strong goals that are related to your listed priorities.

How should I state my goals?

1. Strong goals must be written down. Research shows that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down since it gives you clarity on what you are pursuing.

2.  Strong goals should be specific. Going back to that lifelong goal example of being "financially independent", normally we would come up with a goal like "increase business' revenue". Eeek, wrong! Strong goals should be specific. So instead, go for "line up 5 clients for consultation". The second one is specific and more actionable. The same goes if you just write "lose weight" as your new year goal. Instead, make it "lose 40 pounds by the end of the year". See the difference?

3. Strong goals must be measurable. According to a study published by Harvard Business Review, the most significant motivation for us to reach those goals is seeing the progress. But how will you track your progress if you can't measure it? You simply can't manage what you can't measure. Use percentage (%) or numbers to measure your goal. Say, "save up a total of $600 by March".

4. Strong goals have deadlines. Yes, they do! Setting up deadlines to our goals signals urgency which helps us prioritize our daily tasks. Here's a better view on how you should write goals effectively.




4. Measure your progress. Sad to say, but I'm not consistent on this part. Do you get that feeling when you seem to be always busy thinking that you're moving forward but in reality, you're still going nowhere? I feel you. 

For us to be able to track down our progress, our written goal should be posted somewhere that we can visibly see throughout the day. This will remind us how close are we reaching those goals. I have mine on a calendar editorial board right in front of my home/office desk and in my planner's cover. And I'm planning to post them as well on the fridge's door. Keep them visible! 

If you're aiming for an increase in revenue in your business, track down the numbers monthly. With my blog, I recently keep a Google spreadsheet to track down all the numbers to determine my blog's growth. Or if you want the old school style, you can do so on a notebook. Keep a handy dandy notebook with your goals and your weekly/monthly progress until you reach 'em. Checking off that box on your list gives off that satisfying feeling. Promise! You should try doing it even on your daily to-do checklist.

As a recap, to effectively set your new year's goals, you should:

Assess current year
Visualize your lifelong dream
Set concrete goals basing on your priorities
Measure your progress

In life, there are indeed factors that we can't control but here's the good news--- there are also things that you can control! Draw strength from these controllable factors and get a life you really want. If you're afraid to do it, then do it scared! Take a leap of faith and make it a habit to pursue that dream life. Remember: "Everything you want is on the other side of the fear. So do it instead!"

Now that you (and I know how) to effectively set goals, I do hope we can all claim 2017 to be our best year ever. See you at the top my friends!


CLICK HERE FOR FREE GOAL SETTING WORKBOOK



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I've heard a lot of my friends are also having the same problem--when their wives deny to have sex with them. So I want to bring this up for all couples out there. Can wives deny their husbands' sex request?

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In this world now where negativity is easily spread through the power of social media channels, it's hard not to get drawn and drowned by it. (Gimme high five if you'd agree!)

And what hurts most is that instead of being connected through these cyber friendships, it slowly is ripping us apart. Pretty true especially to parents who hangs out online in hope of getting a pat on the back with fellow moms/dads. But in return, some of us gets nasty and humiliating comments instead.

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If you're still stuck thinking about what to give for Christmas and juggling on other to-dos for the holidays, then here are some pretty helpful gift-wrapping organizing ideas for you to check out.

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I'm not the crafty type of mom. I didn't even try until recently.

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