Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tipid Alert: Landers Superstore Membership 50% off!

Ever since we moved back to the innards--not just the heart--of Pasig City, I have had to contend with a lot of changes and upheavals from the comforts that I enjoyed while living in Quezon City. Apart from the traffic, one such thing is having to say goodbye to my new old favorite supermarket located in Fisher Mall. 

See, grocery shopping is a spiritual experience to me. There is a calmness that comes with pushing a cart through different aisles and rows, quietly contemplating whether to get this or that jar of tomato sauce, to splurge or to save, and whether or not this is the day you deserve to buy a big can of Pringles for your single-handed enjoyment. 

Back to Pasig. We moved back here after two years of going back to QC, and it was a devastating moment when I realized that my beloved ShopWise Libis had closed down. I came upon the familiar site to see a wrecking crew at work, and I knew I had to move on, buckle up, and forlornly head to the nearest SM Save More or the next best thing, South Supermarket. But even after almost a year of attempting to forget and move on from the one thing that made sense in this zip code,  ShopWise Libis continues to haunt me, like an ex-boyfriend you never quite got over, or simply put, the one that got away. Because there is, in fact, a ShopWise in Cubao, but in today's traffic, who has the time and the energy to go there? 

They recently re-opened the space as "All Day SuperMarket" with an "All Home" to boot, and so I went the other night fully intending to take pictures and rave about how lovely it was that they have reinstated a grocery in that dear ol' space, but surprisingly, there was no magic. No zazazoo. 

Sure, All Day has amazing interiors. A pseudo-Whole Foods/Trader Joe's/Levelled-Up Rustan's if you will. They have a vintage red Ford truck right at the veggies section that serves no pertinent purpose. The grocery area smells new, looks new, feels new. However, it lacked something that ShopWise had effortlessly: the fact that Shopwise had EVERYTHING. It will never be the same. 

I realize that I may have spoken far too highly--and lengthily about a supermarket.  

Anyway, the whole reason I am writing this post is because I chanced upon a small opportunity to reclaim my love for grocery shopping therapy: the construction of a Landers Superstore along C-5, just minutes away from nearby Eastwood and Tiendesitas. Today, I finally stopped by a makeshift outpost they built with an attractive sign: MEMBERSHIP AT 50% OFF. And with that, I turned to the right, parked, and headed straight for the sign up sheet. 

The great thing about this is that it is the perfect time for cheapskates like myself to sign up and pay only P400.00 for a membership for an entire year, as opposed to the full price of P800.00! 

I took Una along with me and she turned on the charm, so the lady asked if I wanted to include her in the ID picture. Left with no choice, I took the shot with her and this is us, eager to please.

I will never be "just me" again, no?
I will never be "JUST ME" again, no? :P

Just fill up the form, get your picture taken, pay up and head out!  

Work Harder = Pang-Shopping

According to the registration people, Landers is set to open at the end of March (which I highly doubt because there is literally almost nothing yet erected as of this writing), so it'll be a waiting game until I can hop over to buy lots of things I don't really need--but in wholesale! Imagine the many times I will push my cart along aisles filled with big bags of chocolates that I won't buy, or thick American towels I will touch but snivel at, or the big bag of chips that I will desire but pretend to scoff at as I move along. The point is, I'm a woman who likes to have her options, and Landers might just be another one I can tick off my list--but at least I got there at 50% off! 

50% off at sign up is supposedly only until the end of January. Or the lady could just have been saying that for all I know. Basta Mars, punta na dun. 


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Meet My New Buddy: The UVi Buddy Sterilizer Review

Apart from having sleepless nights, dealing with spit-ups and tantrums, and the endless worrying, another constant in a mom’s life is this routine: milk-bottle-wash-steam-REPEAT. Whether you breastfeed and pump, or you formula-feed the baby, you have so many steps to check off your list before finally calling it a night. 

In my case, my toddler still uses her Tommee Tipee bottles for her fresh milk, and my newborn gets bottle-fed his liquid gold from time to time. This means I have bottles and pump parts to wash, steam and wipe almost twice a day. In as much as this routine is necessary, magpakatotoo tayo... it gets tiring and tedious sometimes. Plus, truth be told, does steaming or boiling the bottles assure you that the bacteria’s gone for good? And when you use that cloth to wipe them dry, are you assured that the cloth doesn’t just transfer germs and cloth fibers back to the bottle? Airdrying can also be questionable because let’s face it, germs are always in the air. Sidenote: it’s funny how the word “germs” always reminds me of the Safeguard commercials from our childhood, no? 

Anyway, a friend of mine was nice enough to lend me something she said would be a nice change of pace, and would give me peace of mind: a UV sterilizer! I gotta tell you, I’ve seen these things on my newsfeed and at mommy bazaars, but I’ve always been quite aloof about them due to the prices I’ve seen, ranging from 10,000 and up. For a wannabe “wais na misis”, that’s just not in my zone. So cut to this UV sterilizer I was talking about: it’s called the UVi Buddy Sterilizer and Dryer! Check it out! 
Ang cute, no?

Oha! As soon as I unboxed this, my daughter said “is that for me?”, only because of the window shaped liked a famous Mouseketeer we know. Let's take a look inside!
Excuse the accidental selfie. 

There are two racks for all your bottles, teats, and caps, or you can slide the top layer out and fit a big item inside. 

Since I don’t really know much about what the big “tah-dah” is on UV sterilization versus the old ways, I looked it up and found out that most medical establishments rely on "ultraviolet germicidal irradiation" as a disinfection method. UV light has been used to sterilize even drinking water. Of course, since this is technically alien technology to a relatively new mom like me, I had to do some more digging (otherwise known as just simply reading the pamphlet that went with the product) and here's what I found: 
  • It kills 99.99% of bacteria like E-coli, Salmonella  and Staph. Look at that percentage! As a mom, you can't help but like those odds. It wasn't too long ago when Una had to be hospitalized for almost five days because of vomiting, and the test results were inconclusive. It led me to think she incurred some kind of stomach virus, and eliminating bacteria from something as vital as her milk bottle could really do wonders for her well-being.
  • The UVi Buddy uses a single UV light bulb from Philips that has an estimated life span of 9,000 hours. That's a long time before I have to buy a replacement bulb! Allergic to dust and GASTOS!
  • It's got buttons! I actually enjoyed having to learn how to operate the UVi Buddy, only because it felt like I had my own little laboratory at home. My daughter also loves pressing the start button and in a way, it's an opportunity for me to teach her to care for her belongings.
  • More importantly--and sadly, my trusty steam sterilizer seems paltry compared to this--it has 4 modes or functions. You can set it on automatic, drying, sterilizing or disinfecting and safekeeping mode. More on that below! 
  • It's a time saver and a space saver too! Since it can fit up to 12 feeding bottles, I can easily do one round of sterilization each time and would no longer have the need for my bottle drying rack. I can also just use this buddy for storage so no need for my plastic bottle box either. (This means, more space for my funny pots from @the_pot_dealer!)

During our brief time with each other, I made sure I made the most out of the UVi Buddy. For the everyday items such as the milk bottles and pump parts, I used the Automatic mode, which basically takes 40 minutes. Now at first, that might seem like a long time compared to the 5-10 minutes on your steam sterilizer, but this is the basic breakdown: 30 minutes are spent drying the items, then the last 10 minutes are for the sterilization process. Only then will the light actually turn on, so don't fret (like me)! 
Spot the naked Barbie.

As I mentioned before, drying your bottles with a cloth or air drying can create bigger problems if dust particles or bacteria manage to latch on during the process. So it's great that with a press of the "Drying" button, you can have your bottles dried in 30 minutes, and not one minute spent on worrying! 

Here's the fun part: disinfecting. This, to me, is one of the UVi Buddy's great points, because you can put your baby's favorite teething toy or stuffed animal inside and in 5 minutes, you're sure 99.99% sure your baby isn't hugging or teething on a bacteria-laden item. 

The crazy part is you can even sterilize your cellphone here, and it won't implode at all. Of course, turn it off before you pop it in there so as not to cause anything you will regret. 

And lastly, you can keep your sterile items inside on safekeeping mode which basically means your bottles can hang out in there for an extra 2 hours on the clock just to stay cozy in a sterile environment. 

MotherPader's PROs and CONs LIST:

  • Price: If you're like me and you can't bring yourself to buy a sterilizer for 15k and up, this is selling for a friendlier price: 6,800 pesos only. I saw their ad on their Instagram account (@uvibuddyph) and saw that they had a discounted price of 6,120 during a promo, so for me, that's an attractive aspect.
  • I like that it lessens my zombie mode. I can literally wash the bottles, pop them in, press two buttons and sleep. I don't need to wait for the sterilizer to finish its job; this automatically shuts off, and when the baby  needs a bottle, I have plenty of dry, clean ones to use. 
  • It gives me that extra peace of mind, because I don't have to think of what moisture or dust or bacteria can do to the bottles and in essence, my baby's stomach. It's almost like I'm using a hospital-grade machine to care for my baby's feeding bottles and that puts me at ease. 
  • It's not heavy as you might think it is. It's lighter than my milk-drunk newborn! 
  • I thought it would take up more counter space but it doesn' lessened my need for extra clutter. 
  • Lastly, to be totally honest, ang lakas niya maka-soshal, momshie.
  • If you're the type who needs to feel the hot bottle in your hand to gain assurance that it's clean, this won't  do that for you. But take note, at least it won't give you a slight palm burn and steam facial when you open the lid!
  • If you are given the choice between a 2,000 peso steamer or a 1,000 boiling pot versus an almost 7,000 peso machine, you might think twice. Or thrice. But compared to the others, I mean, if you can afford it, I'd go for this one! Malaking tipid talaga.
  • The UV bulb will have to be changed. 
  • There might be a musty smell during the first few uses, I guess because of the metal inside but it went away after literally a couple uses. 

Overall, I'm happy I got to spend time with the UVi Buddy, even for just a short while. It's definitely on my list of things I can ask Santa for this Christmas (*husband*cough*) because I'm now a believer in investing in something competitively priced and ultimately, will help save you from more headaches in the future. 

Thumbs Up from Una!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New Mommy Wasteland: 9 Months & Beyond Boutique

When I was still single, I loved going to National Bookstore. I lovingly termed it as my wasteland, only because I could stay there for hours and look at both nothing and everything at the same time, want to take home so many things and never know which to finally get... those were the good ol' days. Should I take up painting? Do I really need a new Stabilo? Erasers with scents! 

Now that I am knee deep in motherhood, I have found myself magnetized towards anything baby and mommy-related. As I previously wrote about here, I always feel guilty about shopping for myself and now always weigh the pros and cons before buying clothes, whereas if I see anything good for the baby, it's almost always a done deal. 

Imagine the hardship I went through when I stepped inside my newfound Wasteland: 9 Months & Beyond. This mom & baby boutique is conveniently located along Malingap Street in the area that never goes out of style, Teacher's Village, QC.  

"Home is where the MOM is"

I went one Saturday morning with Una all because I wanted to see the items from their instagram account firsthand, plus maybe pick up a few odds and ends as well. I was elated to see owner Jelly Lagman-Victor in person at the store while she was doing a store check. I introduced myself since I am a member of her FB support group called "TBDM Mommy Club".

Let's do a quick review, shall we?

- Right smack in the middle of everything in Teacher's Village. That's a "pro". A "con" is it's on the 2nd floor but there is an elevator, which balances the fact that parking is a rarity in this area. This is not the boutique's fault, more of the village itself. 
-How to get there: From East Ave., turn right to V. Luna, left at Kalayaan Ave. then right again at Malingap St. You can find it at #22, right side. Kumpleto na yan ha. If all else fails, Waze is King.

- As soon as we stepped into the boutique, I felt drawn in by how cozy it felt. Granted the space is a bit tight but that doesn't matter because of the wall-to-wall displays of attractive items! 

-It's got a bit of that Pinterest x Industrial vibe. Lovely! 

-Big, big, BIG plus points: As soon as you step inside,  there's a nook where your little one can busy herself with little activities and pretend-play while you shop. 

Busy si Aling Una

This just nails it because you are reminded why you are here in the first place: it's a pretend shop within a shop. Inception!


Where do we begin? 
- If you want nursing and maternity clothes, they have it.  You want cute dresses for your daughter or son's OOTD, they have racks of it. (Shoutout to The Baby Depot Manila) 

- Organic is still IN, so you have plenty of choices if you're into that. All you Messy Bessy and Human Nature fans out there...they've got what you want here. 

Interesting sighting: organic toys. At syempre, hindi mawawala ang essential oil bottles, for all you Titas Of Manila. 

-When it comes to toys, they also have variety. There are educational ones, plushies, quiet books (which we all need), and my personal favorite: the DIY toys. Look at these papier mache dinosaur toys which you can paint! I bought one as a gift but it was promptly ambushed by Una as soon as we got home.

May Kabayo, Dinosaur, Alimango...
It kept her busy and entertained for quite a while, plus she got to use her creative juices. Double win!

- Interesting find: literal na lutu-lutuan! If you want to hang on to the lovely memories of your childhood and want nothing to do with these China-made plastic kitchen sets, go get your kid her own palayok and miniature kaldero! I think these are brilliant, and a well-thought of business item. Kudos to the creators!

- Babywearing! I have seen the local carrier brand called IMA: In My Arms and have longed for my own with the native hinabi fabric, but since I still have three different carriers in my possession, I can't afford to get another one just yet. Some say babywearing is on the decline, as compared to its boom during the last couple of years BUT for me, it is a practice that is truly worth advocating and kudos to IMA for still keeping that fire burning!
Look! A Star Wars print on a carrier!

-Wearable Kid Art: I had to take a picture of Bubba Doodles! 

If you want to keep a piece of your little one always close to your heart, you can turn their artwork into wearable art jewelry! From their footprint marks to their scribbles, you can turn these early Picasso-releases from your kid's creative eye into necklaces, pendants, keychains, or even Christmas ornaments. Another "why didn't I think of that first" idea! 

-Coco Haven: This is probably one rack I will go back for, only because I didn't have enough money at the time but since I have been hearing rave reviews about their products, I promise I will come back to buy some, starting with their baby shampoo. 

Some moms from my FB support group raved about the fact that their kid's head smells less like a batang araw when they use this, so I shall get my hands on one soon!

Overall, I would say that I am in awe of enterprises such as this that start from online selling and finally materialize into a brick and mortar shop. It's great that mompreneurs are multiplying, and that we bilmokomommies have somewhere to go to when we want to personally see items we just found online beforehand. 

It will be interesting to see how this store and its retailers will continue to thrive. In the meantime, I shall keep salivating over the nice little dresses, and the little toys, and the accessories and wraps and nursing covers and bibs....

Eh kaso mahal yung bill namin sa Meralco. LOL.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Cloth Diapering @ Lemonsprouts

Prior to giving birth, I decided to look more into cloth diapering (or "CDs",as online-savvy moms call them) and its pros and cons. Good thing there are many Facebook groups and friends who are committed to it so I had quite a few good leads. My friend Jill referred me to a free seminar that was happening in my 'hood so I found it opportune to attend the session by well-known Seamstress and local brand Cottonytail's owner Sheryl Pineda at this quaint cafe called Lemonsprouts

Conveniently located right along A. Rodriguez Ave. here in Pasig (literally 5 minutes away from my house), this cafe and store caters to families, mothers and kids who would love to have the chance to shop and dine at the same time. 

Naturally, being the newbie that I was, I felt a bit of apprehension as I pulled up to Lemonsprouts, but I was met by Seamstress as soon as I stepped inside. Here's a quick overview of the store area:

Cloth diapers on display

Cute prints on terno outfits for your kids

Cozy, homey, and industrial interiors make you want to stay & hang out!

wet bags

I have to admit, learning about cloth diapering is quite daunting for a first-timer. There are so many terms, types, and functions to keep track of. 

Confused? Understandable. But take the time to learn!

That was precisely the reason why I got turned off from the idea the first time. However, I was given a great introduction by way of actually being told the differences between certain types of CDs, and was even part of a quick DIY to make your own cloth diaper for your baby!

Using felt, velcro, and an insert to make a DIY version!

That being said, I think it's great that a cafe and store such as this now exists. I don't think I've seen a mommy-centric store and cafe combo before so kudos for the concept! Lemonsprouts is still gaining its ground and have since opened fully. I often pass by and can say that the facade might not be too noticeable due to the awning of the bank beside it, but if you take the time to check it out, you won't regret the experience! They serve home-style good food, delicious home-brewed iced tea, and of course, coffee! If you're headed this way, I would suggest a pass-by for some R&R. You won't really miss it; just Waze Mirea residences and you should be right up front. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Family Travel Tip: Morong, Bataan

When times are hard (mentally), breathers are imperative. In my case, I was feeling the strain of late nights, no sleep, breastfeeding woes, and lack of balance. I needed to be somewhere else, other than the four walls of our home. 

Husbands feel the strain of post-partum too, as they can bear the brunt of our mood swings. Maybe that was exactly why he made plans for us to go on a quick beach trip.

Our considerations:
  1. Convenience: travel time under 4 hours, near civilization, with showers
  2. Budget: low entrance fee (if any)
  3. Setting: Dapat nakaka-relax!

And that's how we wound up at Morong, Bataan!

Here's a quick video I made to tell you all about it!

Just 10 minutes past the main road leading to Zoobic Safari, and right after the last SBMA checkpoint gate and you're there! We're all for budget-friendly trips, and pricey ones too if we can manage, but for the in-betweens, this is the real sweet spot. 

Travel buffs, if you have any recos, post a comment below!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Swaddling Is My Savior

Just when you think you’ve nursed and lulled your baby to full-on milk drunkenness and it’s finally safe to set him down flat on his back, he jerks at the slightest motion and wakes up again.  This is a new mother’s nightmare. Forget about being able to go to the bathroom, grab a bite, nor sleep!

Personally, I have an active toddler to add to the mix. She brings the noise, so to speak, and makes REM moments for the baby impossible. So in my search for some God-given way to keep my sanity in such moments, I turned to an old friend I’ve kept far back in the drawer: the Swaddle. This has been done in hospitals manually with a wide blanket but companies and small business owners have come up with velcro and zipper-style ones. For those who don’t know yet, the whole point of swaddling is to mimic the tightness of the womb so that baby feels more secure and essentially, at home, despite the noise of the outside world.

I got one for Una before but ended up just storing it because she always threw a fit and managed to let herself loose from it. Such strength for a baby! This time, I wanted to give it another shot and found the right way to do it! (Based on personal experience, of course)

Step 1: Nurse the baby. Achieve milk-drunk state. Burp. Repeat if necessary. Give him time to pass out. 

Step 2: Set baby down on top of swaddle blanket/suit.

Step 3: Close it securely. This is very important. The whole point of swaddling is to make sure the baby feels the “closed-in” sensation. Just make sure the arms are tucked in a comfortable position and not awkwardly bent. 
Note: You can go with Step 2-3 first and then Step 1. Whichever works best.

Step 4: Gently set the baby down. You will notice that he feels like an actual “bundle”, and is easier to handle. As you lay him down, pray to the Old Gods and the New that all this hard work for the past 15 minutes pays off.



Of course, a dog will bark. A motorbike will drive by, and your toddler will scream out your name. You might have to redo everything but trust me, once you get it right, you’ll be a believer!

- I find the velcro version much more effective and less of an irritant for the baby. The zip up ones have zero success rate with us so far. 
- Swaddle Me is a fancy brand with cute designs but if you're on a tight budget, there are other options out there. I got this particular one on Lazada. Never mind the flowers. He's a dude; he'll get over it.
- The Miracle Blanket is also an item some moms are raving about, but I can't review it, simply 'coz I can't afford it!

Get yourself some quiet moments and swaddle away! You won't regret it. Right?

Battle Of The Bottle

We all know how bottle feeding can be such a big challenge for new moms as they transition from the breast to any BPA-free bottle. Babies sometimes choose not to take it as easily and can fuss and fight until they pass out from exhaustion. They fuss even more later on because, naturally, they’re hungry. Whether it’s expressed breast milk or formula in that bottle, still... #thestruggleisreal.

That’s why this particular post on Facebook caught my eye, and I would like to commend this young mom for her creativity and perseverance just to make sure her son gets his fill! 

If you know what monay feels like, then I’m sure you can probably understand why this beats any breast-to-bottle tip out there!

We’re introducing the bottle slowly to my newborn since I’m due to go back to work in a month. Thankfully, the monay has not been called upon yet, but who knows? Thanks for the tip, Mommy!

How’s your milk story going so far? Share your journey with me on the comments section below, and share the LOVE!