Friday, September 29, 2017

Total Mom Makeover with The It Mom

Watch out now! Who is this sexy mama?!

This hot mama is an upgraded version of @LovelyLysa, compliments of The It Mom and Total Mom Makeover!
Wow, what an experience! It was such a treat to be one of 12 moms chosen to be part of season two of Total Mom Makeover!


Although my makeover happened a few weeks ago, my episode aired last night as the season premiere of season two! Check it out here:

Here is my reaction video viewing party with my two sons, featuring a cameo from sis-in-law Maria and hubby DonDon.

I love, love, love how the makeover video turned out. I absolutely love how it captures the essence of my daily routine. It shows the intimate quality time I share with my family, as well as the hectic days at work. It highlights my personality and allows me to share why this makeover was important to me. Not to mention, my boys were so excited to see themselves in the video!

How did I get to be a part of Total Mom Makeover?

Earlier this year, my friend Lora from received a Total Mom Makeover and was featured in season one. When the applications came out for season two, she encouraged me to apply. So, if you know me, I'm always down to take a chance to try something exciting so I completed my application and sent it off. In a short few weeks, I found out I was chosen to be part of the cast of season two in Las Vegas. I was excited, but nervous at the same time!

What was the makeover day like?

The day started off at Celebrity Cars in Las Vegas for breakfast and pre-makeover interviews and photos.

Next stop was the Las Vegas Hair Lab for hair, nails, makeup, and outfits!

Finally, back to Celebrity Cars Las Vegas for post-makeover photos, video, and interviews.
fellow makeover mom, Melanie of 
car turntable turned mom makeover display, manually turned due to technical difficulties 

The 12 hour day was totally worth it. From the beauty tips and swag, to the "celebrity" feel with "lights, camera, action", and the new friends I made that day, Total Mom Makeover was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I hope more moms can experience.

Busy moms are often so preoccupied with taking care of others, that they forget to take care of themselves. This experience was a reminder for me to take time out for me regularly: get my nails done, go shopping by myself, wear something bright to lift my spirits, and to remind myself that I can only help others if I take care of myself first.

Want this look?

Statement Necklace: KATE SPADE

A Big Thank You To...

Dream Team: Daisy Teh, Charlene Hafey, Cherrie Luzon, Karen Flor, Sophadavy Hun, Kay Castro, Las Vegas Hair Lab inside The Body Spa

Production Team: Ryan Hafey, George Teh, Aileen Orticio, Gabe Klein PC/VC: Hafey Digital + Oak Fotography + Specture Media

A very special thank you to the Total Mom Makeover sponsors:

Look at my haul!

for your chance to have the Total Mom Makeover you deserve!

Follow Total Mom Makeover:


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Win a Signed Copy - Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities

My son DJ had a fun time reviewing the book Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities!

The fidget spinner trend has invaded our lives and our boys are just nuts over these things! DJ has even tried to make his own fidget spinners with cardboard and toothpicks!

The chapters in Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities are quick and simple. They cover some of the history of fidget spinners, the different types of fidget spinners, different tricks and games you can do on the fidget spinner, and even a workbook to track your fidget spinner trick progress!

The photos are fun and the book is very engaging! It was hard to pull the book away from DJ for a few minutes to write this review.

The chapter on the tricks and games is divided into different levels: beginner, intermediate, Advanced, and "uber advanced"! DJ said the "uber advanced" chapter is "super hard". 

My son DJ really liked reading about the history of fidget spinners. They have been around MUCH longer than we realized! He also likes the workbook at the end of the book where he has started to track the tricks he's mastered.

DJ gives the book two thumbs up! I know your fidget spinner fanatics will too!

If you take a short video of you or your kiddos trying out a trick or two from the book and post it online (Youtube, Insta, Titter, FB, your choice) with the hashtag #FidgetSpinnerBookChallenge, you will have a chance to win a signed copy of the book (compliments of Pro Fidgeter David King) and a fidget spinner as well!
Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities can be found on

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Fun with Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks and Activities in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Passion Project: The Filipino American Woman

Although I was born in the United States, I too lived the immigrant experience.

I grew up in a Filipino speaking home where Filipino was my first language, which eventually labeled me as an English Language Learner as I entered elementary school.

In pre-school, my classmates furled their curious brows and sniffed at my sinigang in my thermos and the adobo and rice in my Tupperware.

I had the stereotypical Filipino nurse mom and military, then post office working Filipino dad.

I aspired to be a broadcast journalist as a child because the only Asian woman I saw on TV was Connie Chung. She was pretty and smart. I wanted to be like her.

I can recall my first experience of being discriminated against shopping for clothes as a 5th grader. I was told my the store's employee, "If you can't afford it, don't touch it." I was so horrified, I never walked in front of that store again in future visits to that mall.

When entering a room, I have always, even now, scan the room hoping to find others who look like me, to validate my presence, to find my comfort zone, to find familiarity. Just like my Filipino students, they find comfort in being able to speak Filipino with me, being able to access services in their first language validates their concerns and their questions, and the affection they show in calling me "ate" creates familiarity of family and connectedness that comes from the Filipino concept of "bayanihan".

When members of the San Diego Filipino Blogger Network were invited to be a part of The Filipino American Woman project, I wanted to be involved to share my story. I wanted to share the bits and pieces of my story that parallels with so many other Filipino American women around the county.
The Filipino American Woman Mission Statement
The first step to building our community is by creating awareness. The approach we are taking to create awareness amongst our sisters is through storytelling. We believe that storytelling is the most powerful and effective way of connecting with each other. In understanding our similarities and differences, we strive to find a common ground of community, support and collaboration. Stories connect. And when we’re connected, we’re empowered to embrace the beauty that’s within ourselves and with each other.

It was a great honor to be the second interview for the The Filipino American Woman project. The hour spent chatting with TFAW founder Jen Amos went by very quickly. Jen's passion project has gained speed over the past few months with over a dozen interviews already documented on Facebook live. 

Check out my TFAW interview here:

I look forward to each TFAW interview as they go live on Facebook. So far, TFAW has featured educators, business owners, community advocates, fitness enthusiasts, motivational speakers, recent college graduates, multi-media professionals, television personalities, and more! I am excited to see the growth of this project and to learn from the all the women who grace the TFAW audience with their stories. 

How can YOU get involved?
Contact TFAW Founder Jen Amos at


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Parental Control App: Google Family Link for Android

There is lots of chatter online about technology use for youngsters. Appropriate content, time limits on use, and suggestions for apps and websites helpful for kids are topics that come across my social media feeds often.

A concern I've had since my kids have been using their iPads is being able to control the content they see, as well as controlling the amount of time they spend on their devices. 

I've tried a few of the parental control apps available. None of them really did what I wanted it to do, the set up was too complicated, or the monthly fees for use were just too expensive.

In my last attempt to research parental control apps, I discovered Google had created it's own parental control app called Family Link which was released earlier in early 2017. Unfortunately, it only works with Android devices so only I'm only able to use the Family Link controls on my one son's Android phone, and not on both my my kids' his iPads.

How to Set Up Google Family Link
  • To use Google's Family Link, a parent must have a Google account. 
  • Download the Android Family Link App on the child's device, as well as the parent device.
  • Create a Google Account for your child through the Family Link App. If your child already has a Google account, you will have to create a new one. 
  • Follow the prompts for the initial set up. It's very easy to follow.

What Can You Control with the Family Link App?
  • Screen Time - Control daily time limits and bed time. Once the time limit has been reached or bed time arrives,  the device will lock. Parents can unlock on the child's device with a code created on the app on the parent phone or the parent can unlock the device from their own phone. When the device is locked, their child's phone will still be able to make outgoing calls  to anyone and receive incoming calls from anyone. 
  • Google Play downloads - There are different settings on the extent to which parents will allow their child to download apps, as well as the content of the apps you will allow.

  • Websites on Chrome - Parents have the options to control which websites the child will have access to.  
  • Filters on Google Search - This enables the Google "Safe Search" option to filter sensitive content
  • Android Apps - Parents can block certain apps that come "stock" with the phone. Parents can also see the minutes spent on each app per week and per month.

  • Location - This options allows the Family Link App to track the child's location.
There are a few things that I would add to make the app even more helpful:
  • Ability to see a log of websites visited on the app. Parents will need to view the "history" on Chrome itself on your child's phone.
  • Limit incoming and outgoing calls to phone numbers approved by the parent. 
  • Password to access the Family Link App on the parent phone to avoid the child hacking the parents phone to change the settings. Yes, my son had tried.
  • App activity should list the minutes for the day, not only the week and month.
This has been the most user-friendly parental control app I've tried. I like that it automatically synced with the other Google apps and works well with the Android operating system. It has worked really well for me so far. When my son is acting up and needs a consequence, I'll lock his phone. When he downloads apps, I get a notification on my phone for approval. When he's has his phone, I can track which apps he's been using and how long he's spent on each one. 

I just hope Apple will take what Google has created and make something similar, if not better, to work with Apple devices.

For more information on the Google Family Link App, visit


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