Author Archives: Ethel Merioles

About Ethel Merioles

Ethel Merioles would like to learn Mandarin, Italian and French someday, mostly because she dreams of ordering her favorite dishes straight from the source one day. Follow her inanities on Twitter and on Google+.


Unique Ways to See the United States

Summer is almost here and with it the desire to get away for a vacation. Skip the usual road trip this year and book a journey on a railroad train for your next adventure. Rail travel gives you a new look at the country, eliminates stress, and provides a luxurious experience for your time off.


What Types Of Train Trips Can You Take?

The common form of train travel is the direct route to your destination and back. Instead of being focused on the road and missing the sights, it gives you the opportunity to take in the scenery as you go by. Many states also have smaller routes within the borders, such as hotel and train ride packages South Florida. Several of these excursions are themed and provide a meal and activity on a one or two day trip.

Why Should You Travel by Train?

The first advantage of rail travel is that it is very inexpensive. Saving money getting to your destination allows you to have more money to spend when you get there. Train seats are larger and comfier with far more leg room to stretch. Train stations are typically located downtown of major cities getting you to your final destination quicker. And rail travel is far more ecologically friendly, making the planet you are enjoying as you pass by cleaner for future generations. Booking trips months in the future is unnecessary when you go by train. In some instances, you can buy a ticket at the station on the day of your trip.

Perks of Rail Travel

There are many things a traveler should indulge in while he or she rides the rails in style. Make sure to grab a meal in the dining car and get to know other passengers over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Adult riders can kick back and take it easy while getting a drink in the bar car. You can book a roomette or bedroom to get a good night sleep while on your way. Several trains have dome cars to allow you to get a better look at the scenery around you.

Summer is nearly here and now is the time to make those big vacation plans. Add a special twist to your itinerary this year and book a trip on a train. Whether it’s to get where you want to go or just to get away, it’ll be an experience that you will treasure for a long time.


Three Ways to Help the Aging Process

The fact of the matter is that everybody ages, but there are ways to help you look and feel younger. Medical advancements have made it easier than ever to slow down the appearance of aging. There are also things you can do yourself to give your body more energy. Trying one of these methods can help you feel your very best.


Hair loss surgery

Most people will experience hair loss as they age. Some people may even go bald by their late twenties. While this is a natural part of the aging process, no one wants to lose his or her hair. If you’re experiencing hair loss, you might want to consider an experienced hair transplant Atlanta company. This is different from hair plugs, which were popular thirty years ago. This is a more modern technique that appears much more naturally than hair plugs did. There are a few options when it comes to hair loss surgery, so speak to a medical professional to find the right option for you.


Exercise may not sound like the most exciting way to feel younger, but staying in shape could potentially add years to your life. Working out doesn’t mean you have to lift weights followed by a fast-paced run. It can be as simple as a leisurely walk around your neighborhood each day. Motivating yourself is often the most difficult part when it comes to exercise, so try finding a fitness group to join, or ask some of your family or friends to help hold you accountable. Don’t be alarmed if within just a few weeks you notice you feel better and have more energy.

Wrinkle prevention

Fine lines and wrinkles eventually happen to everyone. While there is no way of completely preventing this process, there are ways to reduce their appearance. Injectables have become increasingly more popular and accessible. This is a treatment where a medical professional injects a drug into areas of the face where wrinkles are prominent. This can help to minimize their appearance and slow down the formation of more. If this option doesn’t sound right for you, consider investing in reputable wrinkle cream. Most beauty stores can help steer you in the right direction to find one that works best for you. While the aging process can’t be stopped, trying out the above methods could help slow it down. You should never feel embarrassed about getting older though. It is a completely natural process, and the best way to deal with it is by aging gracefully.

Spring flowers

Benefits of Golfing

In the US and most parts of the world, spring is here and you are looking for an excuse to get out of the house to do something fun. What activity is there that allows you to enjoy the warm sun, spend quality time with your friends and get a little exercise? It’s time to book those lessons and learn to golf. Golfing is a sport that can help you relax and make your summer a little brighter. Here are a few reasons to get started.

Spring flowers

How Does Someone Start Golfing?

If you have never golfed before, you should start by purchasing a set of clubs and golf balls. Gold clubs are built specifically to a player’s height and choice of dominant hand. You will only need a handful of clubs to learn how to golf. A golf professional can help a golfer determine which are the best to start with and can set you up with a bag, balls, tees and gloves to go with them. Once you have your equipment, the next step is to schedule lessons at a local course. It is important to work with a paid instructor who can teach you proper technique instead of learning from friends or a spouse. Before you head out for nine or eighteen holes, you can head to the driving range to test out your ability until you are confident that you can play a full game. Once you have a hang of the sport, you can give set up a Pensacola tee times. Then you can hit the course with your family and friends and have fun.

Why Should You Learn to Golf?

Aside from the fact it is fun, there are many other reasons to learn to golf. Being outside for a large length of time gives you Vitamin D from the sun. The green grass and vegetation can reduce stress. Unlike other sports, golf gives you time to socialize with others as you play. Walking eighteen holes of a very large course instead of using a golf cart burns calories and attributes to weight loss and carrying a bag or pulling it along with you builds muscles. Concentrating on aiming the ball in the right spot and trying to get the lowest score improves brain function while trying to track the little ball improves a golfer’s vision. Taking such a long walk and getting exercise in the warm sun also can give you a better night’s sleep.

Three Ways to Address the Multi-Faceted Woman

This March, we’re dedicating a post about women.

As smooth as baby

Women are such multifaceted creatures. They are wives, mothers, daughters, businesswomen and so much more. This is why it’s such a terrible idea to solely address the spiritual side of a woman when you’re the women’s ministry leader. You’ll want to become intentional about covering the multi-faceted needs of a woman. While you can’t sit down to do counseling sessions with every single woman in your congregation, there are ways you can address the needs of each woman’s heart. Consider these three ways to get started.

1. Relationships

Whether it’s the relationship with a spouse, friend or a child, women are closely connected to their relationships in a way that men are not. Women are naturally relational beings. They attach so much of their identity to who they are as wives, moms and sisters. It can be difficult for a woman to thrive when she feels like her relationships are in disarray. Consider creating a christian women workshop for each of the relationships a woman navigates. It’s good to cover how a woman can honor her relationships, yet keep them in perspective to who she is in Christ.

2. Purpose

Many women assume that their purpose is closely tied to their relationships with others. They also believe that a purpose is one assignment that never changes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If that were the case, women would stop having a purpose when their children become independent adults. A woman’s purpose is ever-evolving and developing. This is why it’s important to recognize the ebbs and flows. Host workshops that help women to identify their purpose through the changing seasons of life. As they become more clear about what they’re supposed to do throughout various seasons, they can lead more purpose-driven lives. When a woman is clear about her purpose, it’s easier for her to pursue it. When a woman begins to run on a mission, she’s unstoppable.

3. Spiritual Development

Spiritual development is essential. When a woman becomes a Christian, she’s considered a baby in the faith. However, a woman shouldn’t remain a baby in the faith. She should mature and develop in her relationship with Christ. Within the women’s ministry, find different ways to encourage a woman to mature in her spiritual development in Christ.

Chocolate bouquet valentines

Picking the Perfect Anniversary Gift

Are you the kind of person that plans out your anniversary months in advance? Have you been guilty of waiting until the last minute to pick up your significant other an anniversary gift? Whether it’s 2 months or 2 days from your anniversary, these are the perfect gifts to make your honey say those 3 special words.

Chocolate bouquet valentines

Spoil Their Sweet Tooth

There’s nothing better than satisfying your sweetheart’s sweet tooth. Get them chocolate candy bouquets. Chocolate makes for a much better gift than flowers. Take them to an old fashioned ice cream parlor to get their favorite flavor of ice cream. Bake a homemade cake together from scratch to celebrate the occasion. If you want to make your sugary gift more personal, ordered customized candy hearts with your names and faces on them.

Craft a Homemade Gift

The most meaningful gifts are the ones that you make yourself. Print out pictures of all the activities you did in the past year and put them in a scrapbook. Write a poem describing all the reasons you love your sweetheart and paste it on a big red heart. Make a list of inside jokes you made together in the past year and compete in a scavenger hunt to find items that relate to the jokes.

Take Them On a Day Trip

Making new memories is a great way to celebrate and add to the history of your relationship. Take them on a day trip to a part of your town that you’ve never been to. If you have the whole day, travel to a nearby city or even a neighboring state. If you have a more limited timeframe, try an activity you’ve never done before like bungee jumping or go-karting. If you’re not an adrenaline junkie, treat yourselves to a spa treatment that you’ve never done before.

Your loved one deserves the best gift for being the most special person in your life. However, no matter which gift you give them, they will love it because it’s coming from you.

Leiana Organic Napkins

Happy Days Valentines Box – My Top Five

Super Late Post! A lot of things have happened since my first ever Happy Days Club TV appearance– my baby accidentally fell off the bed :( , workload increased for the next few days, and all the stress piled up until I woke up one early morning with gastroenteritis. It was terrible. I’ve always been curious about what it felt like to have diarrhea, but I don’t think I would want to discover it the hard way. I was still sick the following day, but I knew nobody would be able to work on the stuff I need to finish in the office, so against my doctor’s advice I went back to work the next morning. I was pretty sure I was still dehydrated because I screwed up at work the entire week. (So please, if your doctor told you to rest, rest!) It was such a super stressful month!

Now that the stressful month is over, here’s hoping March gives me fun, happy vibes for four weeks! But first, let me share with you this long overdue post. Happy Days Club was generous enough to send me a box filled with goodies back in February. It arrived about a week after my Happy Days Club TV gig–and a week before my period–so I was over the moon.

Valentines Box

There were lots of goodies that were sent to me, but on this post I’m sharing my top 5 favorites. If you’re interested, I made a quick post about the entire contents of the box in my IG here.

Leiana Organic Napkins

1. Leiana House of Beauty’s Organic Fresh Lady Bamboo Charcoal Anion Herbal Sanitary Pad – a mouthful to say, but each napkin is super thin (possibly the thinnest I’ve ever seen and used! The herbal scent for me was a little overpowering. I guess it takes a little getting used to, but I think it’s fine. I mean, the pad is super thin and absorbent–I don’t mind a little herbal scent down there if it means worry-free periods every month!

Aislin Ph Earrings

2. Aislin PH handmade earrings – Super intricately made, I love it! This pair looks like really cute statement pieces, though, so it makes me nervous. I mean, I love them, I just don’t know how to dress to match! I might probably throw on the oversized embroidered tunic my mom bought for me from Mexico.

Con Scents Scented Candle Rose

3. I luuurve rose scents, so this is hands down a shoo-in. Con Scents Me Time Candle - As soon as you open the can, sweet rose wafts through the air, lifting my senses. I don’t need (nor plan) to light it up. I want to just take a whiff of the scent forever!

Himalaya Herbals Facial Wash

4. Himalaya Herbals Oil Control Facial Wash - I got a pair of these babies, one for me and probably one for my hubby. He prefers using his own bar of soap though, so weeee this means more goodies for me. This facial wash has a very mild lemon scent, that it almost smells like it’s meant for men. I don’t know how to explain the scent, other than it’s not citrusy at all, very mild, clean and almost musky. Or maybe it’s just me. What I love about this facial wash is that it does’t completely strip my face of moisture. I always end up having a clean face with no breakouts whatsoever.

The Flower Pot Fem Bar

5. Last, but definitely not the least on this list: Leiana House of Beauty’s The Flower Pot Fem Bar. The packaging might need a bit of work, since it was incredibly difficult for me to read all the fine print on the back of the soap. Once unwrapped, the soap showed off an embossed five-petal flower, and a nice herbal scent (like woody, citrusy herbs). I like this bar’s scent–it reminds me of Mukti Botanicals’ facial wash. Mukti is an Australian brand of organic skin care line, and I’ve tried some of its products several years ago. I enjoyed that brand, although I cannot afford it now. Whenever I use this bar, it brings back great memories of that time I was thinner and younger (haha!) I love how it cleans, and it’s versatile enough to use on my body. It’s a little too soft, though.

Final Love Notes

The Valentines Box from Happy Days Club is terrific! Aside from these five products, I also got goodies from Dermcare, CocoLine, Nyogi, Softex Hello Kitty and Ladouce–items I already got from previous boxes. I love that I get local brands to try. It’s terrific. I learn about local products, I discover how awesome and world-class they are, and I help ladies handle their periods better. Love it! Thanks so much, Happy Days Club!


Preparing for a Life On The Stage

What does it take to put together a great performance, and to make a career of it? The honest answer is that it takes a lot. Making a career out of performing music and characters in front of live audiences isn’t an easy path; it takes years of training, along with hard work and dedication, plus a lot of originality and creativity. A quick glance at a listing of the shows offered in the New York city cabaret scene shows how varied and original the shows offered are. Despite all the hard work (and heartbreak) that is involved in having a career of live performance, the fact is that the passion involved is what keeps those amazing performers going. It’a also what keeps audiences coming back for more, and more.


Honing Those Stage Skills

People who choose to dedicate themselves to a life on the stage (along with film and television work) must study long and hard in order to have the needed skills. Voice training is an absolute must for people who want to enjoy a long stage career. A great vocal coach will form a bond with a dedicated student who really wants to develop the range and resonance of their voice. There are techniques that can be learned with vocal training classes and these techniques will help an actor or singer use their voice more fully and freely, in a way that is healthy. Once an actor/singer starts to work regularly, their technique is the factor that will carry them through and keep their voice strong and supple. Most actors who have had long careers credit their voice and acting coaches with giving them the skills that carried them through. Performing onstage in front of on audience is an exciting thing to do. No, this isn’t an easy career path to take, but it’s one that can be incredibly gratifying for those who succeed at it.

Starting Strong

Once you believe you have the right skills and techniques you need to begin looking for gigs, get ready to distribute your head shots. Look for an affordable studio that can offer you the head shots you would need to give out during auditions. Make time to practice as much as you can before booking auditions within your area, as well!

Good luck!

Smart Babies Fitted Diapers

My Cloth Diaper Collection: Shell Review

What a busy December! It’s been a while since my last blog post here. I’ve gone on some more online shopping mostly for my LO! It’s her 8th month of life today, and to celebrate I’m finally publishing what I’ve been trying to post for ages: MY CLOTH DIAPER COLLECTION!

Pile of Cloth Diapers and Baby Stuff

I’ve been obsessed with cloth diapers ever since my first trimester, and I started building my stash sometime during my 2nd. I’m just the curious type who likes to try different brands, what can I say. Here’s my rundown of the different cloth diapers my little one has been using on a regular basis–I’m including a bit of feedback for those interested in these brands.

Smart Babies Fitted Diapers

Smart Babies Fitted Diapers

Smart Babies fitted diapers (Sale price php330 for 6 pieces)


  • Water just passes through it when I first tested.
  • Very flimsy gauze material.
  • Velcro curl up and has sharp edges.


  • Side gussets rock! And there’s thin sponge-y middle core.
  • Makes adding lampin or soakers easy.

Cat in the Hat Naughty Baby Naughty Baby Microfleece Inner

Naughty Baby pocket diapers (php580 for 3 sets)


  • Two of the three diapers have pilling issues. The microsuede inner has bee pilling since the first day we actually washed them.


  • SCORED THESE WITH HEMP INSERTS! By default, these PUL diapers usually come with microfiber inserts (but since finding out that microfiber can have absorbency issues overtime, I wasn’t too keen on getting them). The Shopee seller I got these from was nice enough to let me get her 3-layer hemp inserts (far superior absorbency) for them!!!
  • Love, love, love the neutral prints, including the Cat in the Hat one.

BumGenius Flip (php500 for 1 piece)


  • None


  • Easy to use– just put your soaker/lampin inside the cover and snap the buttons.
  • Super light weight and quick-drying!

BumGenius pocket diaper (php750 for 1 set)


  • Stuffing it can be a little difficult.
  • Probably not a good choice for daytime since the fabric feels like it’s non-breathable.
  • Elastics can be a little tight around my chunky LO


  • Easy to use– just put your soaker/lampin inside the pocket and snap the buttons.
  • Quick-drying
  • The inner fabric is pretty sturdy. No pilling!
  • Comes with microfiber inserts with snaps so you can adjust the length according to fit.

Squishy Darling Fitted

Squishy Darling fitted diaper (php2000 for 3 sets)


  • Can get a little worn over time.
  • Soakers did not come with snaps even though the actual shells had them for the soakers to snap onto! I had to attach the male snaps on my own.


  • The bamboo cotton fabric was soooo soft for the first 5 months of use!
  • Super absorbent presko nappies

Quigle Bum pocket diaper (php160 for 1 shell)


  • Inner fabric is super pilly after just several washes.
  • No free insert


  • It’s PUL.

Tiny Bum pocket diaper (php 230 for 1 set)


  • The unusual snap design can be tricky.


  • Came with an absorbent cotton fleece and cotton terry trifold.
  • Not as pilly, so the microsuede can be used to maintain LO’s dryness.
  • Nice trim fit.
  • PUL works.

Alva pocket diaper (php120 for 1 shell only)


  • A little too expensive for something with no free microfiber insert.
  • No free insert.


  • Microsuede inner is super pilly! Probably the piliest of all the five pilly PULs I got.

**So after some time, my baby grew bigger and heavier in my tummy and I got more into cloth diapers. I joined FB groups, did a few research and decided to jump on the WAHM-made fitteds bandwagon.**

Rock Baby Pocket with Moimoln outer and SSCV inner

Rock Baby Pocket with Moimoln outer and SSCV inner

RockBaby hybrid fitted (php520 for 1 shell only)


  • Customer service is a little atrocious, since when I found out my address was not written correctly on the packing slip, I raised the issue with the owner who claimed she wrote it correctly. I had to fix it on my own by calling the courier’s customer service.
  • When I did receive my order, actual rabid fans attacked me, with a few berating me and telling me if I got my parcel anyway I shouldn’t be complaining.


  • The “super soft cotton velour” wasn’t that soft at the beginning but surprisingly grew softer over time.
  • Roomy pocket lets me stuff more abrobent (and thicker) inserts.

RockBaby pocket diaper (php650 for 1 set)


  • I got the wrong print. I should have known better than to trust this seller (SHAME ON ME!)


  • It’s PUL.
  • Cotton velour inner doesn’t pill.
  • Nice print nonetheless.
  • Came with a bulky trifold and a booster with an hourglass shape–both work great, but can make the nappy look bulky.
Butt Talks Pocket HF

Butt Talks Pocket HF

Butt Talks hybrid fitted pocket (php1100 for 1 piece)


  • The fit around the waist could be better.


  • Super pretty print! I <3 the mint green color and the aquatic design.
  • Thin, sturdy material
  • Quicky-drying!
  • Really nice around my LO’s thighs.

Butt Talks Hybrid Fitted

Butt Talks hybrid fitted (with upgraded snap-on soakers – php1140 for 1 piece)


  • The fit around the waist could be better.


  • Print is prettier in person! Just a bunch of circles in rainbow colors.
  • The upgraded soaker comes with a waterproof backing!

Little Emily hybrid fitteds (php840 for 2 pieces)


  • Not as absorbent as I hoped.
  • Runs a little too small.
  • Microfiber top burns quickly when we ironed the soaker.


  • Quick and easy purchase online (I used PayPal).

Weehugs hybrid fitteds (on sale php500 for 3 pieces)


  • Runs a little small.
  • Waist flaps curl. Bamboo cotton velour can be too flimsy.


  • Quick and easy purchase online (Seller is easy to talk to).
  • Bamboo cotton velour is super soft!
  • Comes with snap-on soaker and AWJ-topped booster!
Nip Nappies Poche and Bed Pad in Peter Pan Prints

Nip Nappies Poche and Bed Pad in Peter Pan Prints

NipNappies Poche hybrid fitted (php500 for 1 piece)


  • Runs a little big.
  • Comes with a soaker and a booster, both of which are too thick.


  • I scored a nice Peter Pan print! <3
  • Pink AWJ inner rocks.
  • Shell dries quickly.
Cottonytail Zonkeys in Rainbow Twist and Rapunzel Prints

Cottonytail Zonkeys in Rainbow Twist and Rapunzel Prints

Cottonytail Zonkeys (php6200 for 4 pieces)


  • Can be a little too expensive.
  • Customer service is a little slow. (I still have to get one replaced, hope to have this done soon.)
  • Snap-on soakers get a little stiff over time.


  • Super nice prints.
  • Fabrics feel luxurious.

Grovia KiwiPie (php1500 for 1 piece)


  • A little expensive, since this item was a replacement for the defective (read: old stock) Charlie Banana pocket diaper sent to me.
  • Fabric gets a little stiff.


  • Fabric gets more absorbent over time.
  • Nice elastics don’t leave marks on my LO.
  • Snaps are hidden at the back so they don’t come into contact with LO.

Ahkiko and Antings Diaper

Ahkiko’s hybrid fitted pocket (php580 for 1 shell)


  • Cheapest looking AWJ among all AWJ HFs in my LO’s stash.
  • A little slim in the crotch area, so stuffing with inserts is bulky.


  • I got it for its cute panda print. <3
OTB: Twinkie Tush Fusion in Ivy Print

OTB: Twinkie Tush Fusion in Ivy Print

Twinkie Tush Fusion hybrid fitteds (php4750 for 3 pieces)

On Shopee there’s a mommy who had been destashing her own collection. Most of the stuff she had been selling were imported brands, so I indulged one night and tried to score the stuff I had been eyeing for months! Original price is at php2000 per brand new diaper, so when she gave out discounts I went and finally gave in.


  • Old stock- elastics might give out soon.
  • Not as absorbent as I like.


  • Super soft outer and can seem to fit small adults at biggest setting!
  • Less bulky compared with other HFs.
  • I fell in love with the fit, print, material and bum placement. So squishy!
  • Can fit boosters.

Second-hand diapers

Scored these at VGUC rating (50% of original price) and the destashing mom claimed her daughter didn’t use these frequently as they had a large stash in rotation.

Lily and Luna Diaper

Lily & Luna Cloth Diapers (php1,000 for diaper with raglan tee; php750 for diaper set only)

I’ve got no knowledge of how this brand’s diapers hold up over time, but the mom mentioned that the boosters and soakers had been upgraded, and the diaper with terno came with hidden windpro.


  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Extra female snap on flap – this feature is so unique!
  • Super cute yet durable performance pique outer (The elephant print is so colorful!)


  • The velour inner isn’t too fluffy anymore.
  • I still find it a bit too expensive for pre-loved.

The diaper with matching raglan tee had a thicker inner. Plus the size runs a little smallers. even though the raglan is meant for 2-year-olds, it’s just loose enough to fit my 10-month-old.

Tiny Tush Fusion with Minky outer (php900)

I figured this brand had a gorgeous fit, so I assumed the minky version would be no different. Very expensive for a second-hand item.


  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Trim fit
  • Cute print!


  • The minky outer, velour inner and soakers aren’t too fluffy anymore.
  • I still find it a bit too expensive for pre-loved.

Prize I won: Wee & Twee HF (free)

I got this at a recent giveaway, and the diaper sent to me features a thick cotton outer that ran a little smaller than CTs. Preordering the same print diapers will set you back a bit.


  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Fluffy velour inner
  • Outer hasn’t pilled so far.


  • Premium soakers (stealth core) work best with proper fit.
  • Not too keen on gray and mint outer.

Final thoughts?

Baby in CT zonkey

Who knew raising a kid could be incredibly expensive, from the pregnancy snacking to hospital delivery fees to tuition, etc. There are just so many things to take into consideration when making purchases.

I’m still happy with my collection of 40 nappies, though. And love that it’s expanding (even though I’ve already spent Php22,370 including shipping fees)! I hardly use the Smart Babies ones, so I’ll most likely give those away. I get to use all 30 nappies in 2-3 days. :)

So far the fit of most of the nappies in my regular rotation are decent, and I hardly see any thigh marking issues compared to disposables, so I’ll totally use these until my baby hits 2 or when she’s potty trained.

For now though, I’ll stay way from getting anything until I get all my debts paid (and my collection organized!) Someone already reminded me:



Note to self, though: Watch for stockings from (much coveted) Butt-oms Up!, SnuggleBunZ and Sean & Shawn. :) I’m super curious how awesome their nappies will perform. Among the four brands, Butt-oms Up! and S&S sell diaper sets for around 600, while SBZ and BB cost at least 1,000 apiece. I need to start saving for those!

Stay tuned for my next take on the inserts, soakers and bed pads. :)

UPDATE 3/29/19
I could not resist the Nip Nappies sale so I got myself two cute cotton HFs and order two SBZ ones. Curious to try the side-snapped ones, although my LO might already be potty trained by 2 years old (just a little more than one year left.)