Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Nesting Instinct" - Our First Dibs on Preparing for our Baby and a Quick Aprica Air Ria and Quinny Zapp Xtra Stroller Reviews.

That Nesting Instinct During Pregnancy- Reorganizing the closets, alphabetizing the spice rack, and thwarting dust-bunny breeding efforts under the bed? Welcome to a pre-labor ritual that helps get your home ready for the baby, and helps you pass the time.

I am no clean rat. I figured out a long time ago that I can't seem to work on an uberly organize space. People are amazed on how I can find things on a space only I can move into. (haha) But now that I'm having a baby (GIRL!) the mommy side of me wants to tidy everything up and make it baby proof. And of course, preparation doesn't only includes the "nest" but also all the other things that my "baby bird" needs. I signed up in tons of mommy sites, and followed mommy and baby stores on facebook and instagram. I also have been religiously updating my "What To Expect Pregnancy Journal and Organizer", (which I recommend to all moms to be out there. :p It will make you more prepared and even more excited!) This journal also became my go to checklist as to what items to buy in preparation for the baby. Now, that's my favorite part- SHOPPING!

The checklist includes categories such as baby's wardrobe, baby's linens, baby's grooming needs, medicine cabinet. feeding supplies, things for when the baby is older (high chair, foldable seat etc), nursery gear and outing gear.

We already started to buy some everyday clothes that are (and still!) on sale at Mothercare (My new favorite store!) I couldn't resist buying cute onesies that I can already imagine my baby wearing. :)) EEkkkk! everything is soo cute. While window shopping J and I  were amazed by how baby things transform through the years.

Feeding bottles have different types now (Anti colic, anti bacterial etc)

cloth diapers have cute prints already

 and cribs, carriers and strollers have amazingly cool features.

For our first big baby purchase, we started to scout for the perfect stroller. Like most things, we not only like an eye catching one but a comfortable and sturdy one as well. Our choices include brands like Maclaren, Inglesina, Quinny and Aprica. We narrowed it down to two brands (Quinny and Aprica) after much research and lots of window shopping.

Zapp Xtra (retails at 24,999Php) is one of Quinny's model that can be use for newborn till 3 years old. We like how sturdy it is and how easy you can manoeuvre it. It also has a removable seat that you can change to forward or rear facing depending on what you and your baby needs. The downside is that you need to remove the seat before you can fold the wheels. Not practical if you are alone with your baby.  We also noticed that it's not padded enough for a newborn and can barely fit in the trunk of our Ford Focus considering that we have the hatchback type.

So we decided to purchase the new model of Aprica stroller- the Aprica Air Ria. We like how it only weighs 4.8 kg, light enough to carry with one arm. It has a 53cm high seat making the baby away from the heat and dusts of the ground and closer to us. We also like the full range hood and the breathair cushion.  It looks and feels so comfy for our baby, not to mention that it is also vibration free meaning that our baby wont feel any stress even if we push the stroller  along a rough surface. Plus points for the reversible handle and durable frame. But what we really love is that it can be opened and closed with just one hand and stands on its own even when it is folded. It comes in 4 colors: green, purple, red and black. For our baby girl, we chose purple-elegant and girly at the same time :)

It is a stroller fully loaded with features! :) 

This retails for 23,999Php but we got 10percent off because of my baby company "Mom Card" (which I got so kilig when I applied for it. Wee! my first mommy card :p haha). A bit pricey but definitely a good investment. We are such happy customers and we can't wait for our baby girl to ride on it. :)

One big purchase done, crib, carrier, car seat and more bottles to go.  We are already scavenging bazaars and sales for these items. So speaking of sale, if you ike discounted quality items (who doesnt?) like us, LJS Warehouse will be having their sale on Nov 7 till Nov 10. Aprica, Avent and Goody products along with other participating brands will be on sale (some even up to 70 percent off!)

We are  hoping to see (and purchase) the Aprica carrier and car seat that we like, bottles and some baby clothes- all for less! 

So see you there!

one OC moma,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

20 weeks update

Countdown to the baby makes me and J so excited. We really can't wait to see our little darling. My bump is finally showing and doesn't look like I just had a big dinner :) Weee! 4 more months :)

How far along? 20 weeks
How big is baby? about 6 1/2 inches

Total weight gain/loss:  8-9 pounds

Maternity clothes? I didnt buy any. Trying to fit on some of my stretchy pants and leggings

Sleep:  I have dreams almost everyday and I wake up at the middle of my sleep around 2-4 am

Best moment this week:  Feeling the baby kick in my hand

  Continous kick at night and early in the morning

Food cravings:  Veggies with lots of sauce

Food Aversions: none

Gender:  Can't wait to find out this weekend.

Labor Signs:  None

Pregnancy Symptoms:  Few dizzy spells whenever I change positions.  Few heartburns also

Belly Button in or out? About to make it's way out

What I miss: coffee and wearing jeans

What I am looking forward to: knowing if the bay is a boy or a girl

Upcoming appointments/events:  OBGYN checkup for the gender!

Milestones: looking pregnant! :)

We attended the Mom's on the floor event last weekend at Rockwell Manansala sponsored by Mommy Mundo. It was actually very informative for a 2 hour talk and Yoga session. We actually signed up for a birthing class for January with Ms. Rome Kanapi which is one of the speakers of the event. So excited to know the gender so that I can start shopping for cutesy cutesy clothes already. Started to buy one set just because the linen feels so soft! :) Haayy! Such a happy feeling :)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lovely Bump ahead

Last week, we got our prayer answered. finally! :) praying that we can finally hold this baby after 7 more months and hear his/her heartbeat this Saturday. 

wohoo! can't wait :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

In Pursuit of Happiness

"One study showed that all over the world, when asked what they want most from life- and what they want most for their children- people answered they want happiness"  - gretchen rubin :)

My current inspiration, and project in time for my quarter life. Not that im not happy. It's just that I wanna make the most out of this journey. I know there are things there that I rarely notice. 

Wish me luck in this pursuit for I know that the very smallestof changes can make te biggest difference :)

Happy Sunday :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Japanese Fever: Wrong Ramen and Nihon Bashitei

Jhopet and I admitted way before we got married that we dont have much in common. Well, except for the fact that we both love good food. Maybe the only difference is our choices over the quantity of food and the quantity of calories. Thank heavens for My Fitness Pal for helping me track those calories. Hope I can religously log-in again as I gained lots of pounds now that I have mandatory eating rule with the husband which I secretly like.

We've been resto-hopping for the past year since Jhops transfered here in BGC. The area is becoming a gastronomic haven with new and innovative food establishments here and there, trying to come up with exciting ways to prepare and present food to food lovers and enthusiasts (sige na nga, pati narin "instagrammer's") out there. Because we (ok, I am) sentimental like that, we try to document all our food dates as much as we can. I'm slowly printing each of the pictures making scrapbooks for our future kids to see (and laugh at :p). Beyond that, I feel that these small food dates become our de-stressing from the daily routines of our life. We get to share (more) stories while eating and along the way. It also became somewhat a habit to for us to find unique restos for us to enjoy.

For the month of April, we visited two Japanese restos, both with promising menus.

Wrong Ramen located at the back of my new school in Burgos Circle, caters to  Ramen lovers who are looking for a deviation from the ordinary Ramen flavors. The place is full of of quirky decorations and has this modern vibe with it's black walls and framed pictures. Long tables are usually divided into three using wooden plank dividers to easily accomodate big groups. Though the place is a bit small and "dark". I think that's the vibe they are trying to achieve- a somewhat "pub" feel.


The Tantanmen Ramen was a burst of flavors. Once it's inside your mouth, the different textures of included play a mix that appears to your senses. Lovely taste. But a bit overwhelming after 6 spoonfuls. Goodthing we shared the big bowl. :)

Everything seems to be so good with cheese for me so this tonkatsu is surely a winner.

One downside of this place is that they dont have rice. As an alternative, we ordered fried tofu instead. Ordinary tasting but it served it's purpose.

For dessert, we ordered mochiko ice cream. The mochi was too frozen that time so we didn't get to appreciate so much.

All in all, Wrong Ramen, is a place worth the first try.  Prices are a bit steep though. As for us, I think we'll try another restaurant first before eating here again.

The second Japanese restaurant that we visited is Nihon Bashitei
located along Pasay Road, Makati just beside Dusit Thani and Glorietta. The place looks "old" in terms of facilities but we were soooo happy with the food that this place already became our favorite! 

Since it was lunch time, they have this set menus for only 350php. I fell in love with the colors of this dish and even more in love with the taste.

The set menu also comes with this- salmon! Ang sarap promise! so fresh. The steamed salmon tasted just so right as is, as no artificial flavoring was added.

Jhops ordered their sushi combo that was plated so beautifully in this wooden plank. This costs 350 php also, a steal for a plate this big. Tasted soo good too.

They have small rooms with low Japanese tables to
complete the Jap experience.

We really enjoyed out lunch date here :) I think the place just needed some cleaning and renovation but the food justifies the place. The food is so delicious and we are really coming for
more. :) Worth every single penny :)

We visited quite a few more restos after this for the whole month of May and June :) sharing some of them here soon, too :)

Any more Japanese restos that you can recommend? I would love to read all about them so just drop me a message below :) 

enjoy your weekend :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Favorite Preschool Activities

What I learned from taking up FLCD (Family Life and Child Development) is that learning should come in forms of experiences-meaningful experiences that make the lesson stick to the children, not just for one day but for a life time. After all, you need your ABC's and 123's all your life, right? :)

I can't remember the moment that I learned how to read and write during my preschool days. What I do remember is how I learned about the color yellow. You see, my teacher asked us to bring a yellow fruit for Show and Tell. My mom wanted me to bring something different so she let me bring a "chesa" fruit straight from my lolo's tree. It's a small yellow fruit that tastes like "papaya" which is too slimy for me. As it turned out, we were supposed to eat the fruit that we brought in school. I sat there, jealous of my classmates who were eating mangoes and bananas. So much for bringing something different. hehehe At least, I really did learn about the color yellow :p And I can still picture that classroom moment until now.

So as I started teaching, I try to make each and every activity as experiential as possible. As hands-on, as fun and as interesting as that of Dora and all the other cartoons out there.
Si Dora may Boots, ako anong meron ako para maging interesado ang mga bata sa akin?

So this post is just a roundup of my favorite preschool activities that I think my students enjoyed. Some of which, I had fun doing as much if not more than they did. :)

I got some of these ideas in Pinterest. I am addicted to that site and so thankful to the hardworking and generous teachers around the world who shared their activities and even their printables. Seryoso, para akong batang in awe, everytime I see super nice teaching blogs. Ang effort lang nila!  To think that some of them are moms already. I hope I can also juggle work and being a mom in the future. :)

From now on, I'll try to document all my classroom activities so that somehow, I can give back to the teachers aroud the world. Much like giving world peace. haha! :)

So here they are, my favorite preschool activities (in random order)

1. We made crafts using the shape of the letter and called it "Alpha-friends" :) We used foam sheets, googly eyes and cotton for this letter R-abbit craft. I'll share with you all the crafts for the whole alphabet in a different post, SOON :)

2. During Nutririon Week, we made (and ate) fruit salad in class...

3 ... and used cut-out  real life vegetables to make these fabulous veggie prints. My favorite is the cabbage, which when cut near the stalk, makes flower-like patterns.

 4. K for K-ite :) Our kites were made of Japanese paper, straws, and painted ribbon pasta (my favorite! :))

 5. We pretended that we were cooking alphabet soup and spelled our names using bottle caps "macaroni" :)

 6. "Painted" and enjoyed these marshmallows using food coloring. We learned about "feelings" too :)

7. Printed out this Paper City from one creative daddy's blog ( Yes, you read it right, the blog belongs to a daddy who made this printable for his son to play with.  It comes with a Nativity set, Paris set and even a Sydney Opera House set :) Now, that's one creative daddy. :)

8. Learned about all the vitamins and minerals that we can get from eating a banana. We also did a little experiment where we wrote our names using toothpick in an unpeeled banana. We left it inside the classroom when we went out for outdoor play. Our names became clearer when we came back. I love their faces when they saw their bananas. (Teacher!!! may magic! :)

9. Of course, we read the "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" book when we reviewed the alphabet. :) 
Look at our Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom Tree made out of tissue rolls and foam sheets leaves and letters :) 

10.  Can you guess what farm animals are these? Made them using our handprints, stamped in different positions. :)

11. More farm animal craft. This time, we made a chicken craft using a cut-out of our handprints, some paper plates and construction paper. :)

12. Recycled our old boxes and CD's by making these oh so adorable robots :)

13. W day is w-ater fun day! I attached laminated w-word-picture at the bottom of some rubber duckies for the kids to be familiar with them while they play. 

14. And lastly, made cute necklaces out of these painted pasta noodles while practicing our fine motor skills and patterns. :)

Sp that's about it. I hope that someday, my students remember not just these activities but also the fun and the learning that we had while doing it :)

Cheers to loving what you do and doing what you love!

Can you share some of your favorite activities too? Leave the links below and I'll be happy to visit them. :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thankful Tuesday: Salamat "Manos"

The first week of April went by soo fast. That week was the first week of me being a full time housewife (haha) which I don't think I mind so much now. Ok, sometimes, I still cringe when I think about it. :p I got bored at times but this was the first time after 3 months of living together, that I actually got to take care of Jhopet (a little :p).

It's really been a scary rollercoaster ride, this marriage thing. I have no idea how to do simple chores let alone be responsible for a whole household. Eh kasi hindi ko pa naman natry gumawa ng gawaing bahay, consistently dati. Blame it to my parents who never really forced us to do chores at home. (joke lang!, I blame my lazy and prinsesa self for it) So, this needs a lot of practice for me and patience for Jhopet when I fail to do things properly.  All of which we kinda do in baby steps (hehehe)

If I were to choose one thing that I enjoy doing at home, I would definitely choose- cooking. I love how all my senses work together when I cook. Colors popping out of the plates, aroma all over the house and all those rich tastes in my mouth as I sample each of them. Cooking is really much like a preschool activity, definitely targets lots of skills :)

                                                   Look at all those colors on my salad :)

                  After substituting ingredients, the tonkatsu sauce tasted pretty much ok :)

This eggplant omelette reminded me so much of lolo's cooking at home.

Perfected the heart-shape egg this week too! :)

Of course, after all the cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning the house (ehem, para akong nagthreadmill sa pagpopolish ng floor :p), my hands neeeded some extra love. At shempre nagfifeeling akong madami akong hinugasan na plato. :p

 I turned to trusty Mr. Google and searched for a new nail salon in Bonifacio Global City. After few more clicks, I stumbled upon this place called "Manos" which is the spanish term for hands. I was attracted by the pretty nail arts on their site and how they use organic products on their spa services. I also love the fact that they train women from Gawad Kalinga as their attendants. Helping them out for regular income. They also feature some of them on their website, giving enough recognition to the people who really keep the shop open and running. Dun palang plus points na sila sa akin.

So, Jhops and I decided to check the place out the next day (Ok, I kinda forced him to check it out with me because I know he'll love some pamper time too. :)) We were welcomed by a friendly attendant at the front desk. She smilingly gave her suggestions as to what treatment and nail polish brands we should get. At nakatagal sya sa kakulitan ko. That's another plus points. :p

I love the welcome area where clients can also order drinks and cocktails while having their mani-pedi.

I finally decided to have a Manos Classic Manicure (200 php) which according to their site is  
like a classic LBD, a little luxury never goes out of style soak • clean • express massage • polish or buff 

and got Manos Signature Spa with Pedicure (440 php) a crisp and clean mixture, infusing skin with antioxidants and anti-aging agents, that leaves you feeling more refreshed.  It uses green tea • lemongrass

Jhops had his Awakening Spa (440 Php) the spicy mints and sharp coffee create a combination that cools down tired muscles and stimulates blood circulation for an invigorating spa experience. Uses eucalyptus • peppermint • barako coffe  

Further inside, the place screams love for nature with wooden and natural pieces adorning the salon. I chose to sit in the coach area because it looks so cozy and girly which is kinda my default choice.

The attendants were all very careful during the process and were all accommodating, even laughing at Jhopet's out of this world jokes. We really had a relaxing morning, exchanging stories while listening to the slow music as we had our treatments.

I was really excited to try the nail dryer. Sorry na at first timer. It really did make a big difference as I noticed that there were no bubbles on my newly painted nails when they dried up.

I love this place and my hands and feet love it too :) With the warm cozy interiors and excellent service (and all the other plus points :p) this is definitely an added item to my "Happy Place" list.
Go check the place out too, if you need some quality pamper time. :)

MANOS Nail Lounge
Unit 2-I Crescent Park Residences, 30th St. Cor. 2nd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig 1634Tels. (02) 478-4057 and  (0917)315-6627