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Life

Life-learned lessons, relationships, marriage, faith, lifestyle, and everything else in between.

Filtering by Tag: mom blogger

Time Capsuling - A Fun Way to Set Up New Year Hopes

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

Write down your hopes (not goals or resolutions) for 4 aspect of your life, put it away, and read it 1 year after. Free hand-lettered printable included.

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On Losing Sleep & Chasing Dreams

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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" I lost sleep so I wouldn't have to lose my dream" - Group 1 Crew

I love this quote above by Group 1 Crew that talks about how this rapper spent sleepless nights working on a beat machine when he was younger, to create music and make his dreams come true.

I am not a rapper but I find this line to be so relatable.

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I originally wanted to start an e-commerce business so I don't have to rely on this blog to make an extra income. Plus, I was just so tired of the pretentious nature of the 'influencer industry', so I wanted to lay low and just blog for fun, not for money.

But then God kept on opening doors for me and my blog, and in the last couple of months, I have been blessed with opportunities and partnerships that have given me access to get free food, free tickets, and some extra money.

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So I embraced it. Doing my best to maintain the quality of my contents, without selling stuff to you guys all the time. Do it in a tasteful way, and yada yada yada. And this is time-consuming!

Now I have invested all of my money to building my store, so I have to do all that I can to make money from it! And so came the stress to do photoshoots, marketing, packaging, pop up shops, etc.

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To cut cost, I've decided to do my own photoshoots, even though I am not a professional photographer. I don't have a fancy DSLR so I have to rent one every once in a while and invite friends to support and model my stuff.

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This chick you see in the pic above is Emonne Markland. She is an author, a speaker, a TV producer, and most of all she is a mother and a wife. We met through instagram. She invited me to her Leave Your Beauty Mark coffee connect last year and she's been very supportive ever since! I find that genuine love to be rare, and I am grateful to have people like her in my life.

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It's not easy to maintain my relationships with people though (my family included). I get so busy all the time, my mind gets so occupied with my to-do lists that I can't even think about what I'm cooking for dinner or saying hi to a friend I haven't seen in a while.

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See the photo above? I woke up like that. Like a junkie with bags under my eyes lol. What can I do, I only got 4 hours of sleep!

But why do I do this, really. Are we struggling that bad financially? Can't I just get a 'normal job'?

Well the answer to both questions is NO, my friends. My family isn't going through a financial crisis, although J's surgery back in July was a big hit for us. I just really, really want to contribute to the household income with whatever I can do. I just like to hustle. It's just in me. And if doing what I love can bring us some extra money, why not?

And a 'normal job'? No way. I do not want to be chained to a portioned vacation days. I want to be there for J whenever I want and can although I feel like I haven't done it well enough after being a 'stay-at-home mom' for 3 years now.

Because while most people work from 9 to 5. Moms work from wake to sleep. 

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I believe this chaos is only for a season, though. I believe that I will eventually learn to manage my time better, to let go of some projects that are too time consuming, and to put my family first.

Because like this candle says in the pic above : "Light your home, light the world".

It all starts from home. And whatever I'm chasing won't be any good if I don't put my family first. Hmm...

 

*Item details : Starling Project Vanilla Hemlock Candle | Mozdeb Pretty Thoughts Journal & #Momstruggle Bag 

*behind the scene photos by Vanessa Espinoza, who was also modelling for me. 

First Day of School Jitters

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I can't believe we're entering this stage this fall! This taking-your-kid-to-school stage. You might not understand how big of a deal this is, but I've been staying with J full time since day 1! I don't take him to daycare, no mothers day out program, nothing like that, although I do go to events or work-related occasions without him (that's when I rely on my husband, my mom whenever she's around, and my trusted group of babysitters to watch him). So to not have him around from 9 to 2 pm twice a week is a huge deal for me. I try not to get mellow but sometimes I do.  

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To be honest, we still haven't got our lives together. He still isn't potty-trained yet. I work at home all the time. I can go on and on about everything that is going 'wrong' with us. And I used to beat myself up for it. When I say 'used to' I mean two days ago haha..For real though.

 

But okay, we don't have to have it all together yet to move on to the new season right? I'm not making excuses or justifying any slacking of in my parenting. I'm just being realistic and acknowledging my weaknesses. So far all the prep I've done includes buying him a sleeping mat for school (they take naps at school), finding out his favorite snacks and lunches so I can just pack those before he goes to school, and telling him about the potty and how it's not scary. I also try to encourage him to doodle and greet people and use more words.

 

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I try not to pressure him though. We'll take it one day at a time. Surrender it all to God.

 

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I will do my best to get him ready for the world, to be by his side no matter what, and to hopefully work less when he's around. Oh and pray more! Gosh I need wisdom! Anyways, the first day of school is coming in a few weeks (along with his 3rd birthday), keep us in your prayers, friends! :)

 

The sneakers are Adidas NEO Advantage Clean | The Journal is my original design available on etsy

What I Learned from J's Recent Surgery

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

When I first became a mom, I didn't want to believe when people told me that no matter how careful you are in taking care of your kid, no matter how thick you bubble-wrap them, accidents happen. Because that's just how life is. Bad or unfortunate events happen in life. Well, an unfortunate event happened to J back in January. I was trying to get my New Year's resolution going by working out at the gym in my apartment complex, and I brought J with me. Why did I bring him? Because I brought him last year, when I was training for a 5K run, and he did fine. He enjoyed watching the cartoons there, he would play with his toys, I mean it wasn't a problem at all.

But this year...It's a different story. Why? Because he's almost 3. He was more curious about equipments around him, and he ended up sticking his left fingers under the treadmill I was running on. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Blood was splashing everywhere.

So that brought us to last Wednesday, when he had a plastic surgery that will enable him to extend his fingers again. Because they got burned really badly.

Instead of throwing a pity party, whining and complaining, I have decided to jot down what I've learned from the incident :

  1. You don't have to bring toys to the hospital. They have tons. (Especially Children's Medical Center!)

2. Your spouse might be as stressed out or as anxious as you are. So try your best to not cause drama. Keep calm. 

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3. When eating at the hospital cafeteria, don't go for the Asian selection. Always go for the popular, Western selection. 

4. Nobody can replace you, mom. Not even dad. Not even the kindest nurses. So please, be there for your kiddo. He's prolly scared and confused.

5. What you do today might and will affect your kid(s) tomorrow (or years after), not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. 

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So please, do your best to put their wellbeing first. And when accidents happen, have grace for yourself and others. And have faith! Things will get better :)

Have an awesome weekend y'all!

Celebrating the Superhero

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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When I was single, just like most of people, I thought choosing a husband involved a lot of loving feeling and romance. But thank God I realized early on, that in selecting the right one for me, I needed to USE MY BRAIN in order to determine whether or not he would be the right partner for me to do life with. Because really, at the end of the day, that's what marriage is about, doing life together, growing together, and raising a family together. Loving feeling comes and goes, but values, good principles, belief, and faith will stay. Today, with all of my heart I can say that I thankfully had chosen the right partner to do life with.

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He's a great friend, he keeps me on my toes, always truthful, and very loving (even more loving than me, I really need to improve in this area!). He is a great cook, very smart with money, a great planner, and thankfully, he is a great dad.

The kind of man I would want my son to look up to. Strong in his faith, very careful with his choices, not afraid of challenges, yet goofy and vulnerable at the same time. He's not afraid to show his feelings and cry, you know. That's rare to find.

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I know J can see that too through his 3-year-old mind and soul. That's why he lights up everytime his sees his dad. And I honestly think that's why J is into books and numbers (because, that surely didn't come from me lol).

I'm so blessed to have him as our superhero. He is not perfect, but I know that his heart is in the right place, and that is good enough to make any dad a superhero.

So at 10 days before Father's Day, we celebrate you, Mr.Man. Happy Father's Day!

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We got a help from Customink to create this t-shirt on their  Design Lab. Scanned J's handprints and uploaded them on the web, before placing the order and receiving it in just 3 days with their super rush delivery. Thank you Customink :) 

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T-Shirt-Making, Butterfly-watching - Latest VLOGS

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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If you've followed this blog for more than a couple of months or if you follow me on  social media, you might be aware of the fact that I have started a youtube channel since the beginning of this year. It's something I've always wanted to explore, and I'm grateful that I took the big step to make it happen. I don't really talk in my videos because I still feel weird doing it, but I would definitely start 'talking' on my upcoming videos, especially the 'travel' ones :) Anyways, for now, here are some of my latest videos!

https://youtu.be/D1bQOu59HXw

https://youtu.be/4b-gttt73dQ

Feel free to like and share them, and most importantly, don't forget to subscribe :)

Why Mommy-dates Are Vital for Our Survival

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

No matter how 'fun' and 'okay' my motherhood life might seem on social media (hashtag it #momlife hayyy ;) ), I am gonna be real honest with you and tell you this : I face real challenges that other moms face and there are days when I just snap and lose my patience. I remember crying in the restroom because I had J's poop all over my shirt last year. Sometimes we feel helpless and just overwhelmed, no matter how many kids we have and however young or old they are.

At those moments, we tend to think that we are the only one going through this, while the other moms have it all together. But let me tell you this : we ALL have those days in our walks as mothers and wives. So why go through it alone when you can have your fellow mommy-friends supporting you and cheering for you?

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That's why I think having a community of moms who uphold the kind of values you uphold is very important. We bring our kids to playdates so they can socialize and learn to interact with other kids, why don't we go on mommy-dates ourselves?

I'm so grateful for my friend and neighbor, Roselle, who has been able to pick me up and go on little playdate slash mommy-dates with me on almost every Tuesday. We've been to local libraries, Dallas Arboretum, and recently, a Midwestern-based restaurant that specializes in ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard, Culver's.

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Started back in 1984, Culver's has now grown to over 550 restaurants, including in the DFW metroplex. We went to the one in The Colony, which was just opened back in September of 2015. And of course, we brought our kiddos with us.

Roselle decided to try the Beef Pot Roast sandwich (left) with some BBQ sauce on top, and I tried the ButterBurger Cheese. Yum!!

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I like the fact that their ButterBurger is cooked-to-order and the patties are NOT frozen, seared to perfection, so you get that crust when you bite into it. Check them out on instagram to see more of their delicious burgers, sammiches, and more. 

Over the delicious lunch, Roselle and I talked about everything from parenting, Disney movies, to Beyonce! I love that when you carpool and go out for lunch with your fellow moms and their kid(s), you get to see how they deal with their kids, how they overcome challenges you might be facing or have yet to face. And be real, you know.

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For dessert, I tried the Frozen Custard made with cold-pressed vanilla and fine dairy. This one's the Chocolate Chip Cookie Concrete Mixer. I added some brownie bits too!

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Roselle tried the flavor of the day which was Cherry Cheesecake and she said it was super yummy!!

We ended the afternoon by taking photos (and being photobombed by our sons) and taking a long ride home together.

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Wherever you are in your journey of motherhood, don't ever feel like you are alone. Find a good friend and hold on to them. Support them and cheer for them, because we are better together.

Juggling for Balance

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

"Huh?," you might wonder, "How do you balance when you're juggling?" When we hear the word 'balance', we'd usually picture somebody with yoga pants on, standing with one foot on the ground and with both palms of their hands touching (Namaste!). Or, some of us might picture a scale with equal amount of weight on both sides. Well, these depictions are not wrong. In fact, if you google the word 'balance', these images would most likely to come up on the search result.

The word balance is often associated with an act of holding more than one thing at a time to maintain that peace...that quietness...and therefore that balance.

But when it comes to work and life, can balance really be achieved that way? By doing many things, if not everything, all at once a.k.a multi-tasking?

In an infograph by Social Caffeine that I posted a while ago, researches have shown that 40% of productivity is reduced when a person multi-tasks. Why? Because when you multi-task, you are open to more distractions! A lot of people said that women are great multi-taskers, because we can have so many 'tabs' opened in our brains at the same time. But is it really effective to try to do everything at once?

Experts have found that most people like to multi-task because it serves them emotionally. Meaning, it makes work more entertaining, like when you do your homework while binge-watching your favorite TV series or getting your presentation ready for tomorrow while spoon-feeding your baby. It sounds cool, because you are pleasing everybody and every one of your senses, but the problem is, with multi-tasking, errors are often inevitable. Ooh, you don't want that my friend. Having your clients complain about your work, risking your credibility and all? Uh uh, that's not what I call balance at all.

 

So what do we do?

 

SERIAL-TASKING

Maybe, we have all mistaken multi-tasking with what experts call "serial-tasking", which means getting a task done effectively before rapidly switching to another task. Realize that the keywords here are effectively and rapidly. So you focus on doing whatever you have to do at this hour, and when it's done, quickly move on to the next thing you have to do. Yes, kinda like juggling.

 

When it comes to keeping it balance between work and life with your family, being present is certainly crucial. Otherwise, it's not balanced at all! And multi-tasking will only mess it up. I have tried to do my work (articles, translations, etc) at home while my kiddo was around, or bringing him to meetings, and I tell ya, it's not a win-win solution. When he was a newborn, yes it was probably okay, but now that he's 2? No, no. I gotta be present both when I am playing with him, and when I'm writing or in a meeting. I can't do both at the same time! They have to take turns. Like balls that are flying in the air, waiting to fall back into a juggler's hand, one by one.

 

Scheduling

A juggler does not try to hold or toss 3 (or more) balls at the same time. Instead, he works with one ball at a time, tossing the others to the sky while keeping his rhythm going and somehow achieving balance in that seemingly chaotic dynamic. He has a gameplan and a schedule that he's mastered, so he knows which ball to work with now, which ball to worry about later, and which ball to catch next. Know what to do and when to do it - that's the key.

 

It definitely takes more discipline and self-control to juggle, but trust me it's actually more efficient! With blogging, I always schedule to do it at night. So I can finish an article/post in just 1.5 to 2 hours, distraction-free, while during the day, J has my undivided attention. I also try to only do my instagram posts in the morning (when we're driving to Mr. Man's work) or when J takes a nap in the afternoon. And! I try to take most of my photos when Mr. Man is at home.

 

For meetings, since we don't want to hire babysitters yet (at least until J can speak more fluently) the gameplan is to pick lunch time if the person I'm meeting with could meet up somewhere that is no further than 15 min-drive from Mr.Man's office. Why? So that he could take J out for lunch. Therefore I could have a decent meeting without worrying about chasing a toddler around. My other option is to do it in the afternoon at 4.30 p.m. (anywhere, it could be downtown or anywhere), so Mr. Man can take J out for an early dinner or afternoon snack while I'm having my meeting. With this though, he would have to come to work a little bit early so he could leave early. Since the meetings have usually been scheduled and planned ahead, it's not a problem. And, I believe  as both J and my blog grow, we would continue to find new gameplans to make this work without sacrificing neither of us.  

Living in the Moment

Now that I've achieved the 'work' part of the balance, the only way I could get the 'life' part balanced is by living in the moment. When I'm out with my fam, even if I do take photos, I'd post them way later, when whatever fun or engaging thing we're doing is over. I do this so our family won't have those moments where I'm busy editing photos on instagram while Mr. Man and J are enjoying the food at a restaurant. That's not balance at all, right? They are my life, after all.

 

So friends, in our daily attempts to achieve the ultimate balance, let's all learn to prioritize, plan, live in the moment and juggle on!

Don't forget to click the following links to check out what other wonderful bloggers say about this matter :)

Cheers!