Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bag Crush Dairies : Yves Saint Laurent Cabas Chyc


Urban Dictionary defines a bag hag as a female who owns too many hand bags/purses/totes etc.  Not that I am a bag hag, but ladies out there you sure do agree with me when I say "A girl can't have too many bags".

Now having said that I am currently eyeing on this beauty.  But I got one big problem, I don't know how to properly pronounce the name of the bag. Hindi ako soshal!!! LOL!!! 

But no, I am not  to be swayed, what's Google for. 

Now ladies repeat after me. Eve - Saint - Lor - rong

Yves Saint Laurent Cabas Chyc is definitely a beauty.  With its classic, elegant design with a modern twist, it just spells out chic and can be worn on many different occasions by women of different age brackets.

If i were to invest in a handbag, it would definitely be this beauty.
it simply exudes class...

chic and trendy too...

and it comes in different colors
Now excuse me as I go get and feed a piggy for this.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Plan a girlfriend getaway

I consider myself blessed. I have the best husband in the entire known universe.  He is handsome (of course I married him *wink *wink *wink), he adores me and the little one; he changes my son’s nappies.  He even washes my dirty laundry and tries his best to whip up a well…uhmmm edible dinner.
But no matter how ideal a husband he is, he will never be a girlfriend.  No matter how hard he tries to understand what PMS is, you will always see trace of wrinkled forehead.  And no matter how patient he is as a shopping companion, he can never share my joys of finally finding the perfect black pants.
The truth is: Girlfriends need girlfriends.
When we get together with our girlfriends we love the most, the girlfriends who became a shoulder to lean on during our first heartache, the girlfriends who taught us to laugh our hearts out and the girlfriends who spent hours with us analyzing why he did not call or text, we become energized and empowered.
But our busy lives have taken a toll on us.  Between hectic work schedules and other commitments, we seldom get together with our girlfriends. Now that researchers have linked good health with good friends what better way to take care of ourselves than take off with our girlfriends.  The solution “Girlfriend Getaway”!
girlfriend getaway to Bintan Indonesia with Joy
A Girlfriend's Getaway Weekend is based on the idea that women need time to reconnect with themselves and escape the daily grind of work, family, and city stress.  It is a short vacation where husbands, boyfriends, children, and the like are not included.
So here are some of the preparations I have come up with for usto get the most out of our next girlfriend getaway:
1.       Tell yourself you deserve it. Now repeat after me, “I am worth it!”  Then list all the good benefits you will get from the getaway
a.      Naps that will restore my energy
b.      Relaxing massage that will ease my tense muscles
c.       Laugh a lot that will restore my zest
d.      Strengthened friendship
e.      And most especially at the end of the trip, a rejuvenated and happy wife, mother and employee.  Do I need to list the benefits of a keeping mommy happy?

2.       Decide the date ahead of time.  When we are young, free and single, we can take the next flight to Bangkok, or catch the last coach ride to KL, but with new responsibilities and mommy duties, gone are those days of carefree jet setting.  We have to plan ahead of time when we are going to frolic in the sun with the girls.

3.       Sum up a budget.  Diapers, milk formula, baby food, etc…with this added items in our grocery list, we really have to work up a budget and stick with it so that we do not feel guilty spending our hard earned money sans the hubby and the baby.  Be upfront of how much you each can spend and pick up the amount that works for all of you.

4.       Prep your family.  You won’t have fun if you are worried with the stuff at home.  And you would be a “pain-in-the-neck” companion if all you do is worry about home.  So do the core chores ahead of time.  Go and fill the pantry with groceries.  Better yet, make a couple of freezer meals that hubby can easily pop into the microwave while you are away.  Post need to know info in “a cannot” miss spot like the fridge door.  Include important phone numbers like your doctor, the kids’ school and the hotel you are staying (but let hubby know that he must only call if it is an emergency).

5.       Now go and have fun!   

How about you mommies and all you ladies out there, when is your next girlfriend getaway?  Mine would be no date yet. But I have discussed this with the hubby and he is agreeable with the idea of a girlfriend getaway after enumerating to him the benefits.  But I’m holding mine till LO would be over a year.   
 Yup still a long way off… But in the meantime, allow me to reminisce and relive the relaxing and rejuvenating girlfriend getaway I have had with one of my girlfriends at Bintan Angsana Resort with these pictures.
waiting for the ferry @ Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. 
Making last minute arrangements...
Angsana Resort

our room for the weekend

frolic in the sun and sand

glorious sunrise

A getaway would not ge complete without the food trip!!!

a picture perfect pose here....

And of course!!!

homeward bound.....rejuvenated and refreshed

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How to get a Philippine Passport for your baby


Of the many things in common I have with the hubby, one of which is being adventurous.  For as short as one year, we have had our fair share of adventures.
 We have cycled around Singapore’s Pulau Ubin, savored organic vegetables at Malaysia’s Cameroon Highlands while having a taste of the savory Boh Tea, frolicked with the sand and sun at Indonesia’s Bintan Island Resorts, discovered one of Singapore’s Southern Islands,  explored the historical Malacca, discovered bustling and vibrant Kuala Lumpur, had a relaxing staycation at Furama Hotel Singapore and enjoyed the Rock and Roll vibe of five star Hard Rock Hotel.
 So when I was pregnant with LO, the hubby and I have made a resolution that having a baby would not hinder us from being wanderlust, after all it is already in our system, being “la-ag” (Visayan term for wanderlust) .
So now we are enlisting LO into our adventures.  As early as now, we want him to catch the travel bug.  A prerequisite for him to catch the bug is to have a passport.  Infants as young as one month can already acquire a passport.  Maybe even younger as long as you can bring them to DFA office for an appearance, they would be issued a passport. 
Here’s how we do it.
1.       Prepare all the necessary documents. 
a.      Personal appearance of the minor applicant (for minors below one year old, no confirmed appointment is needed).  
b.      Personal appearance of either parent (if minor is a legitimate child) / of mother (if minor is an illegitimate child)
c.       Original Birth Certificate of minor in Security Paper issued by NSO or Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar and duly authenticated by NSO. 
The latter is what we used since LO’s birth certificate in security paper is not yet issued since it is still unconverted. Don’t forget to bring along with you the receipt issued by NSO.
d.      Certificate of marriage, NSO certified (original copy)
e.      Passports of parents (original and photocopy)
f.        Application fee of P1200 (expedite).  For regular processing application fee of P950 applies.
2.      Go to your nearest DFA office.
 In our case, we went to Cebu Regional Office located at 4th Level Pacific Mall-Metro Mandaue, UN Ave. cor. MC Briones St., Brgy. Estancia Mandaue City.  For a complete listing of regional office you may refer to this link.
3.      Accomplished passport application form. This form can be downloaded at the DFA website or this is given by the guard manning the gates at DFA office.
4.      You just inform the person in charge that you have a baby below one year old and they will direct you to the courtesy lane.
5.      When you get to the courtesy lane, you will be directed in the steps you have to take
a.      Submit the documents
b.      Pay for the passport fee
c.       Have your baby’s picture taken (This was the challenging part for us J)
d.      Passport delivery service (LBC courier)
Some Tips on the things we have learned especially with those processing for their infants:
1.      If you are not from Cebu, in our case we come from Dumaguete, it is best to take a plane to Cebu early in the morning, so when you arrive, you can directly go to the DFA office.
2.      Even if the whole passport processing can be accomplished in an hour’s time, it would be best to book overnight in a hotel to ensure that baby is not so stressed of the whole process. You can fly back to Dumaguete early in the morning after both parents and baby have rested and have a nice dinner and stroll at Ayala. J  We booked at Allure Suites in Mandaue.
3.      Make sure to bring some toys (e.g. rattles) or be prepared to make funny faces to make sure, LO is showing his passport perfect picture.  They require that your baby’s eyes are wide open in his passport picture.  We fail on this, LO was wailing when his passport was taken.  No toothless grins but at least his eyes are wide open.
4.      Avail of the LBC courier service located inside the DFA office especially if it requires that you travel long distance to get to the nearest DFA office.  For as little as P120, your baby’s passport will be delivered at your doorstep.
5.      Make sure that you get your passport way before your scheduled travel dates.  Even though the website says that express delivery is 7 to 10 working days, but for regional office, in our case in Cebu DFA, it takes 15 working days for it to be released.  Add the 2 to 3 days lead time for the courier service.  We had his passport application on 5th April, but the expected released date is 29th April.  So another 2 to 3 days of courier, so probably we will be receiving it 2nd or 3rd May.
So we are now waiting for LO’s passport before he is officially enlisted to our travel adventures.
So what are you waiting for mommies, add it to your child’s milestone, a passport of his own so he is ready for international travel at a moment’s notice.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Foodie Friday: Ikea Meatballs

Ikea is a Dutch company of Swedish origin.  They are known to design and sell ready to assemble furniture (beds, desks, cabinets, chairs) and home accessories.  I love IKEA.   I usually visit their store in Alexandra road when I used to live in Outram Park just to pass time.  I could spend hours at IKEA and just pass time just imagining how all those cute home accessories and easy to assemble but very functional furniture would fit in my dream home.  And I know those who have visited any IKEA store would agree with me.
Aside from the furnitures, IKEA has been known for their Swedish dishes around the world, especially the Swedish meatballs.  I have heard great reviews and much praises given to it.  So one fine day, hubby and I trooped to IKEA Singapore Alexandra Store. 

This time we visited IKEA not for the home accessories, but for one thing only - IKEA meatballs…  And boy it did not disappoint.  Well it was a pretty standard meatball, but for me what added oomph were the sauce and the lingonberry jam.  I feel the lingonberry jam is a must have add-on, without it would not taste very Swedish at allJ.

And since the nearest IKEA store from where I live is still very far, I have turned to google to find the IKEA meatball recipe.  So might as well prepare my own in batches.

 And yes I did find the recipe which I am sharing with you.  Unfortunately I haven’t tried it yet.  But will be trying very soon.  But since lingonberry jam is my must have add-on, I guess I still have to visit my nearest IKEA store.


Maybe for those who are living in countries where there is still no IKEA store, strawberry jam would be a good substitute.  What do you think?  I will let you know once I tried it.  Promise!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Singapore Memory Project


I have always kept a daily Journal in my laptop and even at work I have a copy of that.  When I become giddy and excited of something and I just can’t tell anyone about it yet, I write it in my journal.  If I want to vent out my frustration, again I write it in my journal.  Writing has a therapeutic effect on me.  Back in 2008 I started writing my thoughts online.  I first started out with Yahoo 360 (if my memory serves me right).  And then I discovered blogger.  I wrote a few entries here and there.  Sadly, my blog was only updated when inspiration hits me. 

I blog mainly for fun... I blog to express myself…I blog because as a frustrated writer, I want to pick up on my writing skills… So there, the reasons I blogged…
But one day, I received a comment in my blog.  I was very happy.  Imagine someone is actually paying attention to what I have to say. I don’t have a brag worthy readership and the comments left in my blog can only be counted with my fingers. Perhaps my only devoted follower is my husband.  So I guess another reason why I blog -- I get happy when someone actually times time to read what I have to say.  It's just like when you talk and someone listens, you get happy right.  Same with blogging I guess, you write, someone reads is equal  too a happy blogger.
So I am quite honored, when I received another comment in one of my entries, an invitation by National Library Board of Singapore to pledge some entries of my blogs to the Singapore Memory project as part of their efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channel.  How cool can that be?  J

I have already filled out the online form stating my interest to pledge my blog.  They say they will get back to me in email.  Probably in two months’ time, my pledged entries will probably appear in Singapore Memory portal’s blog webpage.  Well I guess all the more reason why I should take my blog seriously.
All the best to me!
How about you, any milestones in your blogging career? hahaha I like the sound of it. Blogging career…

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Breastfeeding Woes

The minute I knew I was pregnant with our dear little one, I was resolved to feed him his mother's milk.  That is for the first 6 months of his life and if my powers can make it up to two years.

But life has a way of twisting things.  Miguel came out 12 weeks early if we base on my gestation, but his doctor according to measurements which I have forgotten the term already says he is 10 weeks early.  So in short, my son was born a preemie.  He spent the first 16 days of his life in intensive care unit.  And another 30 days in the hospital under close medical supervision.  It took 2 days before I was able to see my little boy and spend few precious minutes with him.  And those short 5 minutes was spent just watching him and touching him with my index finger. I never get to cuddle him like most of the mothers do after they gave birth.  I was already discharged but my son had to stay behind.   Yes, he is inside an incubator, hands and feet very tiny, with all those "ugly" apparatus attached to him.

My dreams of breastfeeding him was then put to the backseat.  Though it was crucial that he is fed and nourished with mother's milk, but he is too fragile to be breastfeed.  I pumped milk.  For the next 3 to 4 days, I pumped but nothing came out.  It made me so frustrated. I cried and cried.  If only I could have a letdown similar to the amout of tears I shed.

Good thing, a friend who recently gave birth was able to give us some of her milk.  It lasted until I was able to gather colostrum. For the next 40 days since birth, he was fed my milk through OJT.  It is a tube that is inserted inside his esophagus through his mouth down to his stomach.  Later on, when they taught him nutritive sucking, they replaced it with NJT.  This time the tube is inserted in his nose.  My heart bleeds everytime I remember my son in that condition.

So for forty days and forty nights (Para lang story of Noah's Ark :D) I expressed milk through a handheld electric breast pump. It was not without challenges.  There were times when I wanted to give up because there are times when I express milk that instead of milk flowing, blood came out.  Again another crying episodes for me.  But thinking that the best food to give my preemie baby is mother's milk, I did not give up.  Eventually the bleeding stopped. 

It's been almost three months now, and I continue to express milk to feed my baby.  I guess because of his size as compared to the size of my breast he had difficulty latching.  And maybe because he is so used of using his cute little bottles for feeding, that he is already confused.  He happily thinks my breasts as "recliner sofas". He comfortably rests his head there and sleep oh so soundly with an adorable smile across his face.  And if I force him to latch, he will wail and wail and wail, to the point of holding his breath.  Well its a frustration for me.  But I will take comfort in the fact, that though he is not nursing directly from me, he still get to have the best milk in the world, his mother's milk.

I dont know how long I would last.  It's challenging really.  It's like combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding.  Breast soreness and the all the what nots that comes with breastfeeding combine it with all the bottle cleaning and sterisiling.  Not an easy feat for me.  But I want to hang on, I will do my best to hang on.  As long as I will still have milk supply, I will continue to feed my son his mother's milk, even if he has to drink it "Take Out" and not "Dine In"

How about you mommies out there, any breastfeeding woes and challenges you have encountered thus far?  Would love to hear from you.


Monday, April 8, 2013

On taking my blog seriously...

I know that having a baby means sleepless nights.  I have mentally prepared myself for that.  But the exhaustion is slowly taking its toll.  I want to sleep!!!  But little one dictates otherwise.
So what hubby and I do is to do “block” sleeping.  One sleeps for a particular “block” of hours while the other is primarily responsible to attend to LO wants on demand.  We have arranged my block waking hours to be 1 AM to 4 AM.  There are times when all those times are dedicated solely to LO wants during nights when he is exceptionally fussy.  Other times, he is quiet and “cooperative”, so I can have the time to pump milk and some extra time to catch up on my blogging. 
I know, I know, I already promised myself nth number of times to take this blog seriously but each attempt is a fail.  Hopefully, with my commitment of my block hours and of course for the love of Miguel so I can attend to his needs on demand, I could sneak in a few minutes to update the blogosphere of  the happenings of my mundane life but exciting life (Now that’s irony at its finest *wink *wink).
Well, I do really wish I could blog and post more often.  But as they say, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.  Consistency is the key.  Oh well, all the best to me!!!

Mommy bloggers, how do you manage it?  Any tips on time management would truly be appreciated.

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