Mini Melissa

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October was one crazy, hectic month! I did not realize the last quarter of the year would be this busy. And rightfully so as all prepare for the holidays and a brand new year. But before we turn over the 2014 styles to newer ones, let me make my following posts to be about updates you might care about!

Mini Melissa Takes A Whimsical Step Forward

Fashion forward little girls have their moms to thank for introducing them to one darling of a label: Mini Melissa by Melissa. A whimsical line of comfortably stylish footwear for girls one to five years of age, Mini Melissa has quickly become a favorite among the celebrity toddler set. Suri Cruise, daughter of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise; Blue Ivy, Beyonce and JayZ’s bundle of joy; and Harper Seven of the Beckhams have all been seen out and about, traveling in style and comfort in their Mini Melissas.

Introduced in 2010, Mini Melissa shares the same design philosophy as its mommy brand, Melissa. Every pair of Mini Melissa exudes an unforgettably contemporary vibe. More importantly, they are practical to use and comfortable to wear, taking into consideration the fragility and sensitivity of tiny feet. Whether you’re strolling around the park or traveling to a holiday destination, your daughter is sure to step out in comfort and style.

Mini Melissa was born from the brand Melissa’s desire to give the same kind of fashion, style, and comfort to little girls as their moms enjoy. When it came out four years ago, fashionista moms were just overjoyed. They were so happy that there was a brand for little girls which was witty, irreverent, and exuberant. Mini Melissa hopes to make the
same kind of impact among moms here in the Philippines.


Some of the featured designs include the Mini Melissa Bear. Giving tiny, little feet a tight hug, Mini Melissa Bear features a heartshaped nose, little ears, and a protruding tail. A bunny face with long ears, mustache, and a cute tail on the back makes Mini Melissa Rabbit so adorable. Plus, it comes in four pastel colors with its insoles imprinted with


Mini Melissa also collaborated with British designer Vivienne Westwood to come out with works evoking the charm and sweetness of childhood. The Mini Melissa Bow puts the spotlight on the little girl’s favorite accessory with color blocking and matte effect.

These adorable flats come in five different colors in an array of sizes. There is also the Mini Furadinha with a cute fruit applique for a touch of whimsy and a velcro strap for ease and safety.


By combining the sweet elements of childhood with the latest in footwear safety and construction, Mini Melissa will have your little ones trotting the globe, traveling in comfort and style, and creating quite a stir along the way!

Here are the designs coming out this year! Go to any Geleia store and get a pair for your little girl now!

October in store by October 23

31375 Mini Furadinha IV – P1,999
31426 Mini Ultra Minnie – P2,250
31529 Mini Melissa Bear – P2,250
31297 Mini Melissa Bow – P1,999
31363 Mini Melissa Rabbit – P2,250
31457 Mini Melissa Easter – P2,250
31370 Mini Melissa Aranha V – P1,999
30901 Mini Melissa Cat – P2,250

November Release

31516 Mini Aranha VII – P1,999
31510 Mini Campana Zigzag – P2,250
31518 Mini Furadinha V – P1,999

December Release

31465 Mini Ballet – P2,250
31525 First Mini Melissa – P1,999


Mini Melissa Shoes are available at Geleia (ATC, TriNoma, Mall of Asia, Shangri-la, SM Aura, Greenbelt 5, Magnolia, Megamall), Rustans (Makati, Shangri-la, Alabang Town Center), Mothercare (Greenbelt 5, Glorietta 4, BGC Active Fun, Magnolia, Shangri-la, Eastwood, TriNoma), Flatshop (Eastwood and Greenhills), Selected Shoe Salon stores, Shoe Thing (Highstreet, Greenbelt 5, TriNoma, Eastwood, Lucky Chinatown)

Mom-Me Time 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Where do I begin? Well, I guess from the very beginning.

I only heard about Baby and Breakfast through my friend (and official Philip Bo photographer, haha), Jamie Espadilla. I’ve heard about Bride and Breakfast, but I was not aware there existed a baby out of the successful first blog! I clicked to see their website only when they featured my maternity session, and truly I was blessed with their words. When they featured us again for Philip’s newborn session, I was beginning to have the habit of clicking on their stories, as well as checking out the people behind them. So one can say I was really thrilled to meet the woman behind it all, Janna Mendoza-Simpao, at some event earlier this year.

TON_0569 Janna and her killer legs. And the wind beneath her wings right behind her, Mr.Ian Simpao himself!

After which she called to ask how I felt about collaborating with them, “I’ve got Babyland as our partner and they have the space. What do you think is the most pressing need of mothers today?” I told her to give me a week and I will think of something. Yet, even before the idea crystallized I somehow knew that whatever we came up with, mothers are to be valued and appreciated on that day. Thankfully, Baby and Breakfast had the exact same thing in mind. :)


So like what Janna said in her post about Mom-Me Time 2014, the thing I think that moms most need these days is a reminder of what they most often forget, which is themselves!


We were all supposed to leave our kids at home, but these nursing moms are an exception to the rule. 

When I saw these babes I immediately missed mine, who was left in my sister’s house about 5 minutes away.

This was such a memorable day in my life as this was also the same day my firstborn first said “ma-ma.” Poor boy kept looking for me that led him to utter the sweetest syllables I will ever hear in my life!

What a fitting crowd to have as our first, too, as many of these moms, although very efficient mothers and rather selfless, were also in themselves great examples of how to nurture passions and personality that are quite independent of mothering. I guess that goes to show that being other-oriented does not necessarily mean one is being forgetful of oneself!


There are so many stories to tell about one event but for me, here are what I consider to be my personal highlights.

The Survey of “Mommy Pegs”

A quick scan of the people in the room and you will understand what I mean by this. As a young mom, I am constantly on the look out for moms who are way ahead of me and note the best of their qualities to see if they are apt to translate in my very own life. While I have values and parenting style as my highest regard, what comes to a close second is the mom’s care for the person God created her to be. I am a firm believer that in life there are no accidents; there is a reason why a child has a  ______  (fill in the blank: interior designer? stylist? fashionista? artist? crafter? teacher? mountain hiker?) for a mother. Because your unique passion and personality adds flavor to the breeding of a unique set of children, a set that will be like no other, in the world!

flower crown

Personally, I thought it was also a fantastic cross over between bloggers and celebrities! I was so happy to connect my friends from different worlds: blogging world, ministry, and the entertainment industry!

  The Nourishing Talk

Janna and I could not think of anybody else who can speak to us about staying fit and gorgeous (as well as sane and sober!) while being a dozen other things at the same time: a wife, a mother (of 5!!!), editor in chief, columnist, blogger, triathlete- oh really we prayed, because it could ONLY be Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and no other!


Click this for Mommy Maricel’s own blog about Mom-Me Time 2014!

Oh the talk was amazing, all right. She spoke out of overflow, right from her very heart, her very experience, and it was meaningful for all. Some moms in the room even admitted to getting teary-eyed!


This did not come as a surprise to me though since Ate Maricel is my mentor. I’ve been a privileged receptor of her wisdom way before I became a mom myself. And aside from being one of the wisest people I know, she is just such a role model in never letting anything get in the way of living the best life at all times. Above all, she is an admirable woman of faith, whose Source of strength is God and God alone!

The Natural Connection

One of my qualms getting into this was how to invite people. A big consideration when making parties would be the guest list. If you barely know anyone and don’t know who’s going, the chances are slim for a guest to go. But a lovely thing happened on that day, to see moms not only hanging out with people they already knew beforehand, but also connect with those they’ve never met ever. In the words of the gorgeous Rissa Manaquil, “The invisible bond moms have with one another is amazing!” And I totally agree!


My Idea Coming to Life

People who are very close to me know that I have a thousand and one ideas all the time. (Of course I am exaggerating, but you get the picture, right?) Many tease me that if only I had done them all, I’d be a billionaire by now. And so I’ve long known that I need someone to make my dreams come to life. As much as I am fond of putting big things together in my head, I can’t get around to actually doing them and for this I just wanna thank Janna and Ian for taking my thoughts one step further.

AA2_9497This is an amazing interpretation of power and femininity. Kudos to Baby and Breakfast for the concept, and for the talents that brought this to life (from invites to actual styling!!!): Gideon Hermosa, K by Cunanan, Lovelots Cakes, The Delightful Miss Joyce, Botafogo Event Rentals, Marla Darwin, Ceva Designs!


They have everything covered in the blog post, but let me just say this: I am so blessed by the team’s efforts to make Mom-Me Time 2014 so special- by the impeccable styling, the generosity of time, talents, and products of all our suppliers and sponsors, which all together created a spirit of celebration for all the amazing women that we wanted to honor on that lovely Wednesday!


I started the day by wearing heels, but after 3.5 hours (thanks to Stella Pastores for actually counting that for me, haha!),  I succumbed to wearing the flats I received that day from Yosi Samra Philippines!

When the event was over and I was about to go home, I told Janna that it felt like my wedding day all over again. Truly, working on something special with different kinds of people and receiving so much help, and basically doing things (beautiful things!) together, make me a very grateful and sentimental person.

My love to you both Janna and Ian, and Marian (who was so stressed by endless text messages)- my Baby and Breakfast Family. Thank you for the privilege of being able to work with you.

Babyland, God used you greatly to help me express another side of me. I look forward to many more projects together.

To all our suppliers (there above) and sponsors (please click this link for our media kit: Mom-Me 2014 Media Kit for all contact details), may your generosity make its way back to you a hundredfold! (Sponsors: Babiators / Beansprout / Boba / Boon / Brolly Sheets / Cradle Natural / Cycles Baby / Cycles Sensitive / Dr. Brown’s / Elin / Fruit Magic / Give into the Glitter / Huggies / Jamie & Baby Lifestyle Photography / JoomaJam / Kameraman / L’Indochine / Lulu DK / Mamas & Papas / Meeno / Melawares / Messy Bessy / Minui / NiQUA / Okiedog / RuMe / Shoo! Anti Mosquito / SnapperDoodles / So Young / Stabilo / Tonga / Urban Ashram Manila / Yosi Samra)

And to the moms who came that afternoon to share the gift of who you are, thank you and it really is my pleasure to be able to learn more about the Me in every Mom-Me. :)


For more personal, instant photos, click on the official hashtag: #mommetime2014 and our official photos from  Happy Folks Studio are already up on their site over here: Mom-Me Time 2014 by Happy Folks Studio



Because this event was so loved by our mommy guests, Janna and I decided to do another version for all the other moms out there who have expressed their interest! When she gets back from her trip, we will be sitting down to discuss when and where and how, but stay tuned for an amazing Mom-Me Time for more of our unique and hardworking mommies out there. :)

See some of our moms who already blogged about us!

Make It Blissful by Martine de Luna

From Stilettos to Ballet Flats by Stella Pastores

Moomy Musings by Glaiza

Topaz Mommy by Frances

Snap.Play.Love by Daniel Bato

When in Manila entry by Daniel, as well!



help me

Friday, October 24, 2014

If you haven’t read my post on this whole overnight in KL thing, you may refer to this. But the short of it is that because of some passport mishap, my 9-month-old baby and I actually flew to KL without his dad and went back the following day all by ourselves, as well.

We actually could have decided against flying in the first place, being unsure of what may happen regarding my husband’s passport, whether he could follow or not. But we both thought that we can just fly anyway with the hopes of him if finding favor enabling him to follow us later at night. But alas, nothing can be done and when we realized that I immediately knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task.

To go there , even with the help of friends, can be quite tiring. My baby is 9 months old and is still nursing. He nurses for food and for comfort. He can pull up to stand but cannot do it on his own yet. He obviously can’t walk yet. So just imagine that it would be entirely upon his mother to provide milk and physical support at all times. Not to mention that he’s grown to be more active- learning acrobatic skills, back bending and all on the floor, in my arms, in the tub- you get the picture. His voice had picked up volume and he has more syllables to share these days, so I can hardly keep him quiet. Then there’s his supplements- to take with every meal. And oh, the meals! I must not skip any because he needs to gain weight. And so I mustn’t, too, so milk supply stays strong. Whoever said a mom’s got nothing to do?

So when the doors of the plane were closing without seeing any Joseph on my side, I wanted to cry. I wanted to yell, “STOP!!!” And then jump out to run to my husband. Of all people he also knows how terrified I am of strong turbulence. This only came about since I had Philip, not because I fear to die but because I fear that I will not be strong enough to save my son if anything happens. Oh the mind of a mother, really.

But there was so much grace. Amidst all these thoughts and the reality of my physical challenges within our unfortunate situation, I received so much help!

I did not have to carry so much as our friends who were flying with us helped us with all the bags. The flight attendant also was attentive to my needs- she buckled my carrier and fastened my seatbelt when I was having a hard time.

Philip was also unusually calm and quiet- the moment we took off he fell asleep at my breast and remained so for the next 2 hours. When he woke up he was so happy and so easy to please. Before we know it we were already landing in KL. (The ride was also not bumpy at all!)

Then when we got to KL, the boy was still very easy to manage and our bags were all claimed and loaded by our friends. And when we got to the hotel, so many of our other friends asked if we needed help. I actually had a problem of who to say yes and no to! :)

We were starving when we landed, though. But first things first was to check-in the hotel. After doing so, we bumped into Pastor Paolo and Jenn Punzalan and they volunteered to take us to the next door mall for dinner. I gladly said yes as it will help me greatly to feed Philip, while also feeding myself.

When we got to the food court I realized they would not accept credit cards. But I had no time in between to change my dollars, so the Punzalans offered to take care of our dinner. It was a good one. I ate yellow Laksa and Philip had rice with soup. (Tip: If you will only stay for a day in KL, EAT LAKSA.)

Then before dinner was over my mother in law and father in law came to relieve me of my mama duties and even bought dessert for me. The Punzalans took off, while Nana and Tata took over. They brought us back to the hotel where my mother in law watched over Philip as I was talking to Joseph about our situation over the internet.

Alas, nothing can be done and the decision is to fly back home the very next day. I mean how could I not when my boy’s been jumping up and down at he mere sight of his father???

That night, my mother in law slept with us to keep us company. I was dead tired from all the walking but I still couldn’t sleep well thinking of how much I miss Joseph and how I wanted to him to be with me.


The next day we woke and I got us dressed for breakfast, after which we attended at least the first day of our conference. At breakfast, friends passed Philip around to help us both get sufficient meals. Oh I am just so glad our church is like family. No shortage of hands to help at all times!

Right after the morning sessions I had to quickly eat lunch with Philip. That was, again, done with the help of my in laws. They offered every hand and all fingers and toes at my disposal! I gladly took them all and left Philip with them after eating as I rushed upstairs so I could pack and leave for the airport soon as we can. At around 2:30PM, Philip and I were in a cab with Nana and Tata. They brought us to the airport.


My in-laws did not leave until 5:00PM, when I decided to move towards our gate. Before that, they bought me coffee, held Philip while I checked in, and played with him before boarding time. It was really only when we were at the gate that Philip and I were completely left alone. And I realized that I could have been more tired and stressed and upset about the situation had it not been for the generosity of these people who helped us.


Then I realized that this is how the Lord is with us. He freely gives without asking for any payment. Or maybe some others think it is payment, that the only thing He would ask from us to be in a relationship with Him. To love Him above all and trust Him above all.

And not only does He not ask for payment but He wants you to humbly tell Him, “I’m in need. Help me. Take my burdens and give me rest.” He’d rather that than, “I can do everything. Don’t mind me. I can be good and when I am already good then I will deserve Your love.”

My husband said that there was a supernatural grace on me the whole time we were going through this ordeal. He kept saying I was unbelievable and he was so grateful to me and proud of me. I told him though, that it really felt like nothing. It wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be and I attribute that to the grace these different people have extended to me.

That is how God changes us, I guess. We become more graceful and become more of who we are supposed to be as we tell Him we can’t do it on our own and embrace the transforming power of His love. His grace really changes everything.

Whew, what a story to tell. Which I wouldn’t be able to say had I been too proud to admit my weaknesses and need. If I had shown everyone I was strong and able and mighty then I would have had to carry all my bags while Philip was strapped onto me, buckle the carrier, fasten my own seat belts, pay for my dinner (or worse, skip dinner!), miss dessert, pay for our cab ride, produce money at the airport, and hold Philip all the time. But none of those simply because I swallowed my pride and said, “Help me.”


valid, visible, and the right passport

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MIA for the past few days due to unexpected turn of events!

I was set to fly to Kuala Lumpur together with hubby and baby for a 4-day conference together with other leaders from our movement all around Asia. But when we got to our counter for check-in last Monday, we were stumped to have been told that my husband’s passport is no longer permitted to fly being a few days shy of 6 months validity.

Making sure he has everything in the bag. ✈️

A photo posted by Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio (@ricaperalejobonifacio) on

We were so ready!!! Or so we thought. 

We’ve never experienced this before so we really didn’t know what to do. So we called people for different suggestions, while also deciding whether I should take the flight together with our 9-month-old baby Philip even if it means flying without his daddy. The short of it is that we flew anyway (a decision influenced also by the fact that we were flying with some of our friends and they could help me and Philip), with the hope of Joe being able to work it out in Manila, doing everything that he can so he can fly to follow us later in the night.

Alas, there was nothing that can be done! All efforts told him the best would be picking up a new passport via expedited process, earliest, on Friday. And that would be totally useless of course, since the conference we are attending ends on Thursday! </3

In the process I have learned so much that I would be sharing on a separate blog post, among others like: how much I can miss my husband and how it breaks my heart that Philip would be jumping up and down at the sight of his dad on the screen during a video call. And so this ultimately led me to the decision that it is best to go home the very next day.

And while I am still laughing in disbelief at what just happened to us- overnight in KL, riding planes without a husband and a father for Philip, walking through terminals and tarmacs weight-heavy back and front (bag was never measured but we can be sure Philip is at least 18lbs.), let me just take this opportunity to make a few reminders about your passports!


They are very strict around Asia now, they say. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months if you want to be able to fly. Counters do not receive you even if they technically can because they might get penalized if immigration in the receiving country sends you back. Your next best hope is that no one notices- but that’s a roulette because you never really know!

Check while you have time because once you’ve got all arrangements made already, a problem like this means you cannot be sure about an expedited process shorter than 4 days. Sayang ang reservations!!!

DFA gives extension stamps though. Unfortunately, that does not apply to tourists but only to OFWs and those traveling for medical emergencies.



My husband was supposed to go to Lima, Peru but the night he was packing for the trip he could not find his passport anywhere. He had gone back to his office two times at 3 in the morning just to see if it was there, though deep down inside of his crazy mind he knew that it was just around his bedroom. He remembers hiding it somewhere but he hid it so well he is now unable to find it.


So please, if you wanna hide things, do tell someone especially if it is as crucial as your passport. You don’t want to be so effective and efficient to your own detriment.


I was ALSO to board a KL flight with the same airline. It was a Friday night when traffic was, as always, terrible in Manila. I get to the counter and confidently took out my passport with my husband’s photo on it. In my head, “You gotta be kidding me.” But fate was not kidding, alright. It was really my husband’s passport while mine was left right in the safety of our home.

So to newly married couples: CHECK PASSPORT IF IT IS, INDEED, YOURS. I know we are supposed to be “as one” as husband and wife but passports remain separate. Believe me, they won’t accept that “one flesh” logic at the counter so bring the one with your picture on it.

My husband says that we are still praying that the legal policies will someday reflect our theological positions. But until then we have to succumb to the system. So folks, make sure you have a valid passport, a visible passport, and the right passport way ahead of time! I have learned my lesson- too much laksa missed in this lifetime is just not worth it.

Have a great Thursday!



It is SIDS Awareness Month once again and we are back with another promo and good reminders!

Here is a guest blog by our friends from HALO Sleepsack!

If you knew that SIDS, suffocation, and sleep-related accidents are the No. 1 causes of infant deaths, how would you put your baby to sleep?

About SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected death of an infant less than 1 year of age.  SIDS is the leading cause of death for otherwise healthy babies, and comes without warning.  It is closely related to other accidents during sleep, like suffocation or strangulation due to loose bedding, and the like.

While the actual causes of SIDS are still unknown, researchers have found a high correlation between an infant’s sleeping environment and the risks of SIDS.  Here are 8 things you should remember to keep your baby safe while sleeping:

1. Back is best. Always place your baby to sleep on his back, regardless if it’s naptime or bedtime.

1.  Back is Best2. Create a safe sleeping area. Use a crib that meets current safety standards.  The crib should have a firm mattress and a tight-fitting sheet, with nothing inside except your baby.

2. Safe Sleep Area3. Remove all loose bedding. Remove all loose blankets, comforters, soft toys, and crib bumpers.  These items can block the flow of fresh air to your baby and cause carbon dioxide re-breathing, which is a leading risk factor for SIDS.

3. No loose blankets

4. Use a safety-certified wearable blanket or SleepSack. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of wearable blankets because they eliminate the risk of babies accidentally suffocating or strangulating with loose blankets.  Since wearable blankets are safety products, it is important that you choose a brand that has safety certifications and is trusted by the medical community.

4.  Halo - No. 1 Choice of Hospitals

5. Happy babies sleep alone. Co-sleep in the same room, not on the same bed. Experts do not recommend sharing the same sleep surface with your baby in order to avoid accidental death from overlaying, suffocation from adult beddings, and other accidents.

5. Happy Babies Sleep Alone

6. Breastfeed, when possible. Apart from its other known benefits, breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.

6. Breastfeed

7. Do not let your baby overheat. Make sure to use clothing made with breathable fabric to prevent overheating.  In warm climates, wearing a SleepSack made in 100% cotton over light clothing is often enough to keep babies cozy warm and sleeping soundly through the night.

7.  No overheating

8. No Smoking around your baby. Don’t smoke while pregnant, and never allow anyone to smoke near your baby.

8. No Smoking

Share these important safe sleep tips to everyone who cares for your baby, or anyone who has a baby! Education is key to keeping our babies safe!  #SafeSleepPh

Get 15% off and Give the Gift of Safe Sleep!

Get 15% discount by typing “PhilipBo” under “Promo Code” when you purchase at from now until Nov 15, 2014.

With sizes for newborns up to 2 years old, Halo makes a unique and practical gift for baby showers, baptisms, birthdays, and the holidays.  You can never go wrong with the gift of safe sleep! 

Follow Halo on and Instagram @halophilippines to learn more about #TheSaferWayToSleep !

 Rica’s Note About Content:

To fully disclose everything, I personally do not practice “back is best” sleeping and we also co-sleep in one and the same bed.

But I do highly recommend being watchful if your baby sleeps on his tummy (Philip loves this position and sleeps heavenly so), make sure not to leave him for long in that position, especially in his first few weeks of life and also never alone. If baby is still too small, he might not be able to lift himself up right away in case he is feeling suffocated.

About co-sleeping- I am a light sleeper, and for that and some other reasons it seems that co-sleeping in one bed works for us. I do not really agree that this is bad for all families, but perhaps it is best to assess if it will really put your baby in danger. :)

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