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Thursday, August 27, 2015

BOOK HAUL DURING THE BOOKS FOR LESS WAREHOUSE SALE 2015

I have to admit that, I am, in no way, a bookworm. I tried, but I just can't. I know that there are so many things to learn from books but I guess reading books is just not really my hobby, I wish it is. But it's not too late for me yet! :)

For this reason, when I saw that Nate is showing a lot of interest in books, I promised myself that I will feed that interest. I will buy and read him books for him everyday . I have been desperately wanting to be able to go on a book sale to buy books for him and I was sooo happy that time has finally came!

Busy folks looking for books :)
When I heard about the Books for Less warehouse sale, I was 110% persuaded to go to buy books for Nate. So I started courting Dane to come with us and he did. lol. We had to take Nate with us 'coz I'm breastfeeding him and after going to the warehouse, we still had to go to a "bayanihan" in our church in Pasig City so Dane can help.

The warehouse is located in Pasig, it took us about an hour and a half to arrive at the warehouse. When there, we saw too many people in the warehouse checking for books as well. All the books were priced at 20PHP, it's like heaven to all book-lovers!

So we started looking for books that we like and thankfully, Nate was very cooperative! He was enjoying the books himself. :) He's like "BOHK! BOHK!" when we were there! haha. I think it took us 30 minutes to look for book and Dane and I decided to stop and pay for what we got.

Bookay-Ukay!!!!
We had a total of 21 books and they all just cost me 400 pesos. Most of the books were for Nate, Dane got 3 for himself and I didn't get any for myself because, again, I don't want that book just sitting there, I might not finish reading it - I'd rather buy for Nate 'coz I'm sure he'll read them. I was just so enticed on getting more for Nate! lol!

I felt so happy and accomplished after leaving the warehouse. I was so excited for Nate to read the books! All our efforts were paid off, clearly, you can't buy 18 children's book at the store for just Php 400! I hope next year, they'll have a book sale again, I'd be very happy to buy books for my son again!

Most of the books were defective but have perfectly wonderful pages. Hence, we don't judge the books by their cover, right? lol!

Books for Less warehouse sale runs from August 1-31, 2015. If you are planning on going, go! :) There are still many books available! Although I hoped I was able to go there on the first day they opened the warehouse, maybe I should've gotten more wonderful books for my son, but still the books that I got are perfect!

Here are Nate's new books @ 20 php each:
Lucky finds :)
Nate loves them all (all efforts are paid off!)


Monday, August 24, 2015

4 FUNNY THINGS THAT BLOGGERS CAN RELATE :)

I started blogging in 2011 but didn't seriously blogged 'til October last year. And when I say seriously blogged, I mean actively posting article posts on my blog, actively participating in different blogger communities, etc.

Compared before, I now blog at least once or twice a week. It's funny because I never thought that I would ever blog this often. So, I hope for more blogging years for me. :)

Since I started blogging last year, I notice that blogging has made many changes in my life. Here are some of the funny ones, and I hope I'm not the only one doing this, lol!

1. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, FORGET THE CAMERA!!!
Some bloggers use digital cameras, some use their smartphones and we all can agree that camera is very important in blogging. In fact, now, I always make sure I have a camera to handy in almost everywhere I go, hahaha! "Kalimutan na ang lahat, wag lang ang camera!!!"Although, I am certainly not limiting this to bloggers alone because many selfie people are doing this too. Camera is just very essential that when you think of going out, you think about a camera first!
Source: Pinterest
2. KEENLY OBSERVANT
When going to a resto, or a playhouse, or any business establishment, there's a sudden feel of being a detective or investigator, whatsoever, lol! You observe everything from the ceiling, to the floor, to your spoon, fork and plate, to how the staff treat you (from the guard, to the cashier, to the server! haha). Well, you can't take that away from  a blogger, it's just that sometimes, I find myself busy staring all over the place! lol.
Source: 2.bp.blogspot.com
3. PENDING TOPICS
Well, I don't know if everyone would agree but there's this idea that's just sitting on my mind for weeks or even months that's still not published on my blog. Raise your hands if you're with me!!! It could be a product review, a thought about something, a restaurant review or anything that's just sitting there waiting for you to write it down (dude, when are you ever gonna publish me? haha).
Source: Tumblr
4. THINKING ABOUT YOUR BLOG WHEREVER YOU GO
When blogging has become an addiction, I think it's an addiction in a very nice way! It's a funny and wonderful feeling knowing that wherever you go now, you are more determined to remember the details of it, capture wonderful moments so you can share it on your blog later on. While busy doing something, there's that light bulb that suddenly pops up your head saying "oh, you should be blogging this!". And I think it's good because we're more into documenting our life events in order to read, enjoy and look back in the future.

Source: Giphy.com

There's also an anxiety regarding the uptime of your blog, as I've seen many of my blogger friends panicking when they saw their blogs frequently offline, as a consequence of using a cheap web host. That's why I recommend people to use either blogspot (free and reliable) or a reputable shared host like A2 Hosting, if you're taking the self-hosted route. This will save you from lots of hassles in the long run.

I really learned so many things because of blogging that it has become a part of my life. Before, I thought blogging was about bragging what you have - but I was completely wrong! It's about sharing your experiences for others who might need it one day. Blogging is about creating a wonderful community or virtual friends showing support on each others' blogs - helping each other up and not tearing each other down.



So, what did I miss? 
What is blogging to you? 
I'd like to know about your blogging-related experiences. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I finally bought a Domain

Well, I know I should've done this since day 1 of promoting my site, but I didn't because I didn't realize it was important.

Back in 2011 when I started blogging, it was just for personal reasons and I didn't really have any readers - well, I don't know if I already have readers now, lol, but now, I have more communities and I share my blog post often.

Thanks to sis Maye of Momaye.com for encouraging me to buy a domain, yesterday, I finally did. And I'm just too excited not to share this here! haha.


Cheers for more blogging fun for me! Compared to when I started, blogging has now become my source of information on some events, promotions and news. And honestly, I don't feel like stopping anytime soon! :)

I'm happy for the very little improvements I am getting as I continue to learn more about blogging. Being able to finally buy a domain seems like an achievement for me and I'm so happy that I don't see the "blogspot" on my URL anymore! lol.

I am a work in progress. ♥

Monday, August 10, 2015

Visit to Villa Escudero

Last month, Dane, Nate and I were able to visit Villa Escudero with our friends CheVy (Ritche & Ivy, hehe). It was a quick day tour but we had a great time, however, we all wished we could've stayed longer.

Villa Escudero is one of the many famous attractions in the Philippines, it is located 10 kilometers south of the city of San Pablo, Laguna on the border with Quezon province. It's about 2.5 hrs away from Metro Manila.

Villa Escudero was founded in the 1880s by Don Placido Escudero and his wife Dona Claudia Marasigan. Originally planted to sugarcane, the crop was converted to coconut by their son Don Arsenio Escudero in the early 1900s. A pioneering agro-industrialist, he built the country's first working hydroelectric plant to supply his dessicated coconut factory and Villa Escudero, where he and his wife Dona Rosario Adap built in 1929. Their children opened the estate to the public in 1981. From then on, the resort started to become one of the tourist destinations here in the PH. (source: Villa Escudero)

On our way to Villa Escudero 
We were supposed to meet CheVy at the airport in the morning since they came straight from Davao City but, we were stuck in the famous EDSA traffic and ended up having them wait for us instead. We arrived in Villa Escudero at around 12nn (which is very late for a day tour since day tour starts at 8am), and went straight to the man-made falls for our lunch. You'd have to ride on a wagon pulled by a carabao (which, by the way, has 3 employees in it, 1 drives, 1 sings and the other one plays the guitar) to get to the waterfalls restaurant.

Carabao cart ride going to the waterfalls restaurant
We were all very excited to see the waterfalls, not only because we were starving already from the long ride but the waterfalls restaurant seems to be very famous so we wanted to be able to experience it already, haha.

In the buffet table, many Filipino dishes were served for our empty tummies. I can't name the foods served anymore but they were mostly the foods served in a Filipino karenderya. There were no spoon and fork to use but we were given chopsticks (well, we ate with bare hands instead!). I wasn't very full, I don't know if it was just me but I felt that the foods were "nakakaumay". I am a type of person who eats A LOT in order to be full but at that time, (I can still clearly remember, lol) di talaga ako masyadong nabusog!

Buffet table at the resto
After eating, we took the time taking pictures by the waterfalls. I think it was Nate that enjoyed the falls a lot! He would almost not leave and would cry if we put him back to the table! haha. Nate loves water so there's no surprise that he loves this place too! Here's a proof:

Having fun at the waterfalls restaurant
After lunch and photo opp, we went up to see the beautiful lake. I was wanting to go bamboo rafting but later was told that we're not allowed to take the babies with us so we had no choice but to stay and just take some pictures of the lake. I think bamboo rafting is really cool (but, well, there's nothing we can do since we can't leave Nate behind), maybe next time when we can have the opportunity to go back here :).

Bamboo rafts and the quiet lake at 30 feet
can't go rafting so we had our pictures taken instead! lol
CheVy didn't go bamboo rafting either so we just went and stayed at the pool where Dane, Nate and I decided to go swimming. And guess who loved the pool so much? Haha. Of course, it was my Nate again! lol.

CheVy just took photos, chatted and rested beside the pool while we were swimming. We stayed there 'til we decided to go home. It was a quick stay but we still enjoyed it. The place is very calm and quite (of course too far from the very noisy and polluted Metro) and it really takes you back to the old Filipino setting.

Nate and mama at the pool
Nate having so much fun at the pool
Upon going home, we passed by a different route. We were again serenaded by the employees, they sang some folk songs like the "paru-parong bukid", "sa libis ng nayon", etc. We passed by the houses of the employees and we learned that the family of the employees there were given a land where they can build their houses and in return, one of the members of the family will work in Villa Escudero, I think it's a very fair condition. In that village, smoking, gambling and drinking alcohols are prohibit. I think it's good, it's a very quite place with disciplined neighbors and very safe village. We stopped by a catholic church where some of the guests went inside and prayed then head back to the entrance.

Things that we missed during this tour were the museum (because, unfortunately, 7 years old and below, not allowed to get inside and CheVy didn't go inside the museum either), and the bamboo rafting.

I think we only stayed there for about 4 - 4.5 hours which is quite a short time for the day tour but it was still a good experience. In Villa Escudero, you get a glimpse of the traditional Filipino life and setting. And if you're fortunate enough to visit the place on a weekend or holiday, you'll experience the cultural show that starts from 2pm to 3:15pm at the Pavilion Hall. However, when we were there, we saw their practice for the weekend's performance (at least, lol).

Pavilion Hall (this is where they have the cultural shows)
Things I like during this tour:
1. The serenity of the place, even though they opened it for public, they're still able to keep the place calm and peaceful.

2. The employees' uniforms! Love it, just love it. It's definitely Filipino!

3. The place - I'm saying this for the nth time, the place keeps your spirit at peace.

4. The carabao cart, I can no longer remember the last time we rode a carabao cart (smaller ones we used when harvesting coconut), but I'm certain that back when I was Elementary, so while we were on the cart, my memories took me back to my childhood days.

5. Clean restrooms

Things the management can consider to better assist their customers:
1.  If they have chopsticks, they better have spoon and fork. OK, I know this can be for the Korean tourists because we've seen many when we were there but, although we know how to eat using chopsticks, if it's not what we're used to, we'll not like using it so since it's a Filipino setting, I think they can either just completely remove the chopsticks and have us eat with bare hands or add spoon and fork.

2. I wish they have  a "short time" rate for those who couldn't be there at around 8am for their day tour. Their pricing is quite high, but I think that's reasonable for those who can completely roam around the place. How about those who arrived at noon and those who can't get inside the museum or go bamboo rafting like us, I hope they have a way to somehow cut their rates (I don't know, just saying), hehe.

Powerplant
RATES AND ATTRACTIONS:

Since we got the day tour rate, here's what we had:

Mon-Thu:
P1,250 - adults
P625 - Children below 4feet

Fri-Sun:
P1,400 adults
P700 Children below 4feet
8am to 5pm

We got there buy renting a van, we got it for Php 4,000 pesos. It's a lot cheaper if you go in large groups since you'll have to pay less on the van. There are rates offered in MetroDeal from time to time with vans all ready to just pick you up from Metro Manila. During this visit, didn't get an offer from MetroDeal, the van was Ivy's contact.

Other Attractions and Amenities you can do are:
*Museum
*Philippine Experience Show
*Bamboo Rafts
*Sports & Recreational Facilities
*Birdwatching
*Observe how coconut is harvested

Overall, we had fun, it was an awesome experience still but I think their prices are really high and that Villa Escudero is a bit overrated. The waterfalls restaurant was not we were expecting, I think our expectations were a bit too high because of the popularity of it and when you see that it was not what you were expecting, you get a little disappointed at some point. Also, the restaurant is a bit dangerous and slippery due to the algae, one tourist slipped and hit her b*tt big time, I know she felt so embarrassed and I felt really sorry for her. Nevertheless, again, we still had a great time and I am very happy to finally be able to visit and experience Villa Escudero.

AND BECAUSE WE HAD SO MANY PHOTOS, HERE'S MORE :)

Food and drinks served at the pavillion
The carabao carts (there are too many of these!)
Two of the employees singing for us
The coconut plantation visible at the back
Water fountain in front of the Pavilion
Halo-halo by the pool? Why not! 
The view of the lake just near the pool
vicinity map
World war 2 aircraft
Pool is ♥
Restroom beside the pool

left: hallway to the waterfalls restaurant
Guests enjoying their lunch with their feet dipped in the cool waters!
view during the carabao cart ride
Thank you CheVy for this wonderful time together, 'til next time! ♥

For more information, visit their website at www.villaescudero.com.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Extended Breastfeeding and 7 Reasons Why I Choose Do So

In celebration of the world breastfeeding week, I decided to talk about my experience in breastfeeding. I have been exclusively breastfeeding Nate since Day 1 because I knew that's what I always wanted to do. I grew up imagining what people call "bond" between a mother and a child feels like so I knew I always wanted to breastfeed my child.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that those who don't breastfeed are not good moms, we're all different individual parents and we have our own decisions on what's best for our child. I just want to share my own personal experience on breastfeeding.


EXTENDED BREASTFEEDING:
Nursing beyond 1 year is called "extended breastfeeding". Honestly, I don't even know there's a term such as this before I had a child! Here in the PH, it's mostly normal for breastfeeding mothers to breastfeed their children 'til they turn 2 (or beyond) but in some western societies, extended breastfeeding may seem like an unusual thing to do, specially societies with strong emphasis on independence and self-sufficiency. Thankfully, I don't see judgmental looks when I breastfeed in public (or maybe I just didn't notice? lol).

Breastfeeding mothers are advised to exclusively breastfeed their children for at least 6 months old. But breastfeeding wasn't as easy as I thought. Breastfeeding can be very difficult for working mothers, I myself, even though I'm a WAHM, still has so many challenges when it comes to breastfeeding and quite frankly, almost gave up, I was almost to a point of suddenly weaning my son.

Breastfeeding doesn't only have PROs, it has CONs sometimes too just like not being able to leave the house without taking your child with you, worrying that your child may not be getting the right amount of nutrients from your milk, and feeling has that he's lean and not as ridiculously cute and chubby like other kids. As a WAHM, I experienced so many ups and downs on breastfeeding my son. So it really needs to be weighed as to which suits you and your child the most.

Last month, I was very persistent on getting a formula for Nate already and mix feeding him with formula and breast milk. However, it didn't work out, Nate won't drink any milk AT ALL! When he starts tasting the milk, he'd almost throw up so I'm not sure what's going on. I've tried quite a few brands already but all to no avail. So what I did was, I tried pumping my milk, put it on a glass and had him sip it - to my surprise, he had the exact same reaction, he almost vomit my breast milk. So, I'm not sure why that is, I've yet to ask his pedia about it but we're scheduling another appointment for that. In the mean time, I've decided to just continue breastfeeding him.

breast feeding Nate at 3 months old

For breastfeeding mothers like me who feels that breastfeeding is becoming more and more challenging, here are a few more reasons to keep going: 

1. Extended breastfeeding is good for mothers. Breast milk is said to be always best for babies. But breast milk aren't just best for babies, it's also good for mothers. According to research, breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in women.

2. Breast milk continues to provide nutrition. Our child starts getting vitamins and minerals from the food they eat, but it's good to remember that breast milk still has calories, valuable immunities, vitamins, and enzymes for your child.

3. Boost your toddler's immune system. It's been said that toddlers and babies who breastfeed are less likely to get sick because of Colostrum that can only be found in breast milk. Colostrum helps strengthen a child's immunity.

4. The mother and child bond. This is one of the reasons why I want to continue breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the chance for the mother and child to connect.

5. It gives mothers a time to rest. When you are too busy, breastfeeding can be a way for you to rest (or take a nap - happens to me all the time! lol) from whatever you are doing. :)

6. Less hassle during travels. This is oneother advantage that I like the most, feeding your child can be as easy as 1, 2, 3 when travelling and breastfeeding.

7. It's affordable. I'm not being thrifty but I have to admit that breastfeeding can really cut costs. But now, if only my son would drink the milk we bought him, I am ready to formula and breast milk feed him.

Again, I would like to reiterate that I have nothing against formula feeding, In fact I want to formula feed Nate now, it's just that he won't drink it. So instead worrying that he's not drinking his milk, I focused on the advantages of breastfeeding my son with great hopes that in time, he will be ready to drink formulas.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Rebisco Vita Cubes: Not Your Ordinary Candy & #VitaCubesFunDay

NOT YOUR KID'S ORDINARY CANDY
Vita Cubes is a yummy fruit-flavored jelly candy, high in vitamins and minerals. It's a candy with lesser guilt and more vitamins for our little ones. Although, we were advised to have our kids still take these candies with moderation. Nate had a few taste of it when we arrived home and I think he liked it! I tasted it myself and it tastes good, it's soft and chewy but not the very sticky chewy type.


Vita Cubes comes in 2 pack sizes, one with 5 different flavors (Strawberry, Apple, Grape, Orange & Mango) per pack and one individually wrapped jelly candy.

Vita Cubes is packed with vitamins and minerals like:
Vitamin B Complex (B1, B2, B3, B9)  that help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center).

Lysine which is important for proper growth, and it plays an essential role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping lower cholesterol. (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

Vita Cubes box with 10 packs
Vita Cubes singles
Vitamin C which is of course important for immunity.

and Zinc which is  needed for the body's defensive (immune) system to properly work.

Vitacubes is now made available in all leading supermarkets and drugstores nationwide and (and selected sari-sari stores).

Vita Cubes comes in a box of 10 and a single pack of 20 individually wrapped candies

Last Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, the Mommy Bloggers Philippines had an amazing time at Fun Ranch - Ortigas for the press release of Rebisco's Vita Cubes.


First I'd like to give credits to the facilitator of the Vita Cubes Fun Day event, it was fun and exciting, I'm sure most of has had a blast. I came in an hour late but still enjoyed the program. After our worship service, Nate and I went straight to Fun Ranch to be able to attend.


I was all smiles when I arrived, I see so many members of the Mommy Bloggers Philippines (MBP) in there. Although I don't know most of them, I know at one point, we've already had an encounter online through the Comment Exchange.

I see so many familiar faces, I was like: "I think this is the mom from the blog (title)... I guess that's how bloggers get to know each other. lol. But thankfully, I met another mommy blogger, Jeniffer of Vyjaera and had a fun chat with her during the entire program with her daughter Cassey who just turned 2 and also met the first 2 mommy bloggers I knew back in January, Anna of MyWorldMommyAnna and Ma. Christeena of A WAHMwrites.



MBP moms waiting in line (and kids enjoying their food)
mom and child game
yummmm
Going back to the program, the kids and the moms enjoyed all the games and raffles (congratulations to the winner). No, I didn't win any of the raffles, I have no luck when it comes to raffles. haha. I didn't have the chance to physically join the games because first, Nate was sleeping and second, Nate was still very young to participate but I was very happy watching the games and the magic shows.
 
Vita Cubes staff  (white)

We were informed about Vita Cubes and what vitamins and minerals our kids can get out of it. There were some series of Q&A about the product, and where we can purchase it.

with Nate and Cassey
Thanks to Mommy Bloggers PH for inviting us to this wonderful event. I'm sure happy Nate and I were able to attend and thanks to Rebisco also for hosting this mom-child activities and for introducing Vita Cubes to us. Also, thanks to the freebies we're able to take home, Dane loved the candy much more than we do! lol.

I was not expecting this GC, but thanks a lot! :)
Vitacubes in a box

Nate and I's photo souvenir :)
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