Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The First Years Clean and Simple Sports Bottle Sippy Cup BPA Free

A friend gifted us with this one when my son turned one. Took us several months before I decided to use it but after using it and realizing how spillproof it is, I gave away or threw all my son's other sippy cups and bottles.

This is perfect for bringing our own water when we go out. I did put juice in it one time but either I didn't wash the bottle soon enough or the plastic really absorbs some of the flavor of the juice. Didn't have problem when I used this to give milk to my son.

It's really an effortless bottle to use. You just have to screw the cap in. Both parts are very washable. It looks cool. And like what I said earlier, it's very spillproof.

I was a little confused at first though, wondering how my child will get to his drink (because the nozzle seemed closed). I even started picking on the plastic thingie there till I got the brilliant realization that one has to suck/sip at the nozzle to be able to drink. Good thing my son has no problem doing that and so, he loves this bottle. I can just stow it in my bag with the exta clothes and diapers and not worry about spills and leaks.

Really, really great and highly recommended.

Read another review here and source of picture is here. I'm not sure though where it is available locally (because the one who gifted me with it has a husband who flies to different parts of the world) but do try the usual baby stuff stores (SM Baby & Company usually carry a lot of The First Years products). Also try friends/family going to Australia.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Answer and Win A Chance for a Weekend Family Date

Momcenter.com.ph is taking a survey of its members to help improve their site. So yes, you may have to register if you're not a member yet. But the survey does not require any other thing apart from that and it generally just asks what people (especially mothers) are interested in so that the site can improve its offerings.

There is a question there about whether or not members would like to be able to shop from their site so I wouldn't be surprised if soon, you can get organic baby products, funky preggy and nursing wear and the occassional custom tote bag or bangle from the site.

Oh and make sure you interact with the other members in the forums and HELP ME DECIDE portions of the site.

4th Urban Job Fair

The 4th Urban Job Fair will be held by VGCom at the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City on July 10 and 11, 2009. It is projected to be bigger than the one they held in SM Mega Trade Hall last April so those who are on the lookout for call center positions (as it's still the most lucrative, despite the recession), information technology vacancies and banking jobs as well as sales and maybe human resource should do well to be there with their resumes.

Companies who want to participate or sponsor, however, can contact Ms. Joanne Tamayo for proposals at the following:

Tel. No:706-1889, 706-1933 loc. 14
Fax No: 706-3147 loc. 12
mobile number: 0919-6007567
email: joanne_jmft07@yahoo.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Breastfeeding Club's Class and Playgroup

received in my e-mail

inviting you to breastfeeding club's 303 class and toddler playgroup...

Class will cover weaning, toddler breastfeeding, attachment parenting, pregnancy and
breastfeeding and much, much more. Plus there will be a toddler playgroup after
the class for your active toddlers. It would be great to see breastfed children
play with each other in a structured playgroup.

To register, please text your name, child's name & age to 09178822243. Breastfeeding club members are free.

date: june 27, 2009, saturday
time: 2-5 pm
venue: medela house, new manila, quezon city (very near magnolia ice cream house)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuna Pasta

500 gms cooked spaghetti
3 small cans of Century Tuna Solids in Vegetable Oil, drained
3 big cans of evaporated milk
1 whole garlic (crushed or chopped)
1 white onion, chopped
olive oil
1 small pack of Maggi Magic Sarap

1) Heat olive oil and saute garlic, then onion in it till a little brown.

2) Add the tuna and saute, till the tuna flakes also browns a little.

3) Add the milk, pepper and Maggi Magic Sarap. Simmer for 5 minutes, stir once in a while.

4) Season further to taste.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chocolate Extreme Ice Cream Cake by Dairy Queen

We had this yesterday and it was good. But to be honest, if it's a chocolate fix you want, this isn't something that's likely to come to mind readily. To think it's supposedly chocolate extreme!

Aside from the chocolate ice cream, it also has this layer of chocolate fudge (which reminds you of caramel fudge) and chocolate chips that give you crunch. But really, I prefer the choco chip blizzard with extra almonds for chocolate goodness and crunch fix.

It costs P745.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beef Salpicao with Broccoli

Got the recipe from here and just modified it some.

3/4 kilo beef tenderloin (cut into bite-sized pieces)
4 tbsp olive oil
at least 6 cloves of garlic (or more), crushed or chopped
1/4 tsp paprika
freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp liquid seasoning
1 tbsp butter

1) Marinate the beef in 3 tbsp olive oil, garlic, paprika and pepper overnight. Feel free to poke the beef pieces with a fork so that the garlic oil will be better absorbed.

2) Heat a pan and 1 tbsp olive oil till very hot.

3) Saute marinated beef in the pan without lowering heat.

4) Keep stirring beef until browned evenly.

5) Add the oyster sauce and liquid seasoning. Feel free to add more pepper too, if you like. Keep stirring.

6) A minute before removing from heat, add the broccoli florets.

7) Remove from heat and add the butter and stir till the butter melts. Serve hot.

* It's very important to cook everything in 10 minutes or less, to keep the beef tender

** Too much broccoli can overpower the taste of the garlic and beef

*** As of this writing, beef tenderloin costs P750/kilo (at least) so this is really expensive to be cooked regularly. Maybe beef pieces tenderized using a pressure cooker can be used as alternative

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lips Softening

I know two ways of making sure your lips stay soft and fairly smooth.

The first is to brush them using your toothbrush, at least once a day, after brushing your teeth. You don't have to rinse your brush before doing so. You can just incorporate it as part of your evening ritual to get rid of dead cells and leftover makeup.

The second is to use an old toothbrush. Put some petroleum jelly on your lips and let stay for at least thirty minutes. Then using your old brush, brush your lips to scrape off the dead skin cells that have been softened by the petroleum jelly. Wash your mouth after to get rid of the grease. Do this weekly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Maxims Hotel Newport City

Right now, both the Marriott and Maxims Hotel (the first all-suites hotel in the country) are still being built. This is part of Alliance Global's response to GMA's challenge to creating more jobs for the Filipino people.

Once it is built, Maxims Hotel will feature 170 Maxims suites, three villas and a presidential suite in four floors. The three villas will each have its own pool. And each room will be assigned its own butler. The lower floors of the hotel will house the Newport City Entertainment and Commercial Center.

The standard room at Maxims Hotel will be about 54 sq.m. and look like the following:

lounge area

separate toilet area from the shower area

separate bath

plush hotel robes and ironing equipment

Filipino-made furnishings and decor

luxuriously-made beds

with a pillow menu (with descriptions for each pillow)

and a 30-something inch flat-screen TV

and a mini bar, of course

They say that the corporate rate for this standard room will start at $350 while walk-in guests can enjoy it at $500 per night. Pretty steep, yes, but then again, Maxims Hotel will be a six-star hotel.

I guess this also means that people should start applying for membership cards to get discounts or other perks.

They projected both hotels to be finished this 2009 but only Marriott Hotel may be operational at the end of the year. Still, perfection shouldn't be hurried and the Newport City projects may signal the Renaissance of Manila as a travel destination and entertainment hub.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Other Ilog Maria Buys

Last Saturday, Ilog Maria still hasn't harvested its honey for the year. So its still mostly soaps and different royal jelly products that are on sale there.

Something else you can buy though are candles like the one below:

Also ask them for their moldable clay/wax for your little tots to play with. It's great for kiddies with very sensitive skin.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

33rd Pedia Talk Live

Mommy Academy is holding the 33rd pedia Talk Live this coming July 4 (Saturday) at Dusit Thani Grand Ballroom, Dusit Thani Manila, Makati City (8:00 am - 12:00 nn).

Register here and learn more about junking junk food, a father's parenting dilemmas and child stress.

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Meaningful Barkada Dates

One of the wiser things to do, when you're already married, is to align yourself with other married couples, preferably those that share similar values. If you have a peer group you go way back with, the better, because they probably know you and your partner well and they're more likely to also protect your marriage.

The Love Institute offers barkada packages for people like you. They offer a barkada package on parenting but am sure they can also easily accommodate groups to discuss things like affair-proofing marriages and marriage-spraklers.

This is also a great gift to your kids. Get other parents to shoulder the fees and get your child (and his/her peer group) to sit through a lecture on sex and dating, drugs, smoking and alcohol. At least they wouldn't be hearing about the horrors from you (and thus wouldn't be defensive) but you can discuss what they've learned and how they feel about what was discussed after.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Starting A Family - Lifeworks Series

Know about pregnancy myths and facts and basic tips of taking a newborn.

Learn about how to take care of yourself, and the fashion that best fits a new mother.

Learn tips on how to parent children 0-6 years old, practical tips for their health and nutrition and the basic rules on proper parenting.

Attend Working Mom's Starting A Family Seminar at Fully Booked Top Shelf, 5th level, Bonifacio High Street from 1:00 - 5:30 PM on June 28, 2009. Pre-registration is a must so click on the picture for details.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Educhild Symposia

Educhild is holding symposiums this coming June and August.

1) Family Visioning Workshop - Friday, June 27, 2008 6:00 TO 9:30 PM at the Dining Hall 1 and 2 of the University of Asia and the Pacific

2) First Steps Course - A Parenting Course for parents with children who are less than 7 years old, August 1, 2008 6:30 PM TO 9:30 PM at the University of Asia and the Pacific

Register now for slots!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Goldilocks Contest

Goldilocks is giving away laptops to the best blog posts on why they are Number One! Entries will be judged according to creativity, relevance to topic and emotional appeal. The prizes at stake include an ASUS F80Q latop (grand prize) and three HP mini laptops (consolation prize). Deadline of submission is up to July 15, 2009 only.

The catch... the contest is only open to Nuffnang members. The good thing though is that they aren't stopping anyone from joining Nuffnang! So submit your entries asap!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Casa Reyes Restaurant

Yes, they're related to Reyes Barbecue (maybe even Aristocrat, judging from the pictures in the restaurant and the peanut sauce). This one we ate in was located at SM Manila (am not sure where their other branches area).

The place was a little cramped. It was inviting and the menu selection can make your mouth drool. Certainly, one need not be able to afford Outer Banks rentals to eat here but I also think the offerings were a tad overpriced considering their portions.

The service was also very slow so definitely, do not eat here if you're in a hurry.

But the food tastes great. The fish escabeche (last picture) reminded me of crispy-fried fish balls. Absolutely loved the sauce.

They also offer a mean selection of desserts, one of the bestsellers being frozen brazo de mercedes (I don't know which is the ice cream part).

Would I eat here again? Sure... but I won't be itching to do so.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Manila Doctors on Breastfeeding

Manila Doctors Hospital describes itself as a breastfeeding-friendly hospital. Based on my friend's experience, here are what you can expect from the hospital in terms of breastfeeding:

~ they don't really make it a practice to have the baby latch on the Mom the minute it's delivered; my friend only got a cheek-to-cheek contact and since she had a C-section, the next time she touched her baby was when it was brought to the room at 4 PM (some 16 hours after the delivery)
~ they also don't bring the baby to the mother for breastfeeding in the interim, in case the mother cannot go visit the baby
~ the Nursery doesn't use feeding bottles
~ but they will give formula in a nursing cup (S-26)
~ they do encourage rooming-in as soon as possible
~ and they do try to avoid giving formula so you should get your pedia to order the rooming in asap (because they know that if the infant is newly-fed at the Nursery, it won't latch onto Mommy)
~ a NICU nurse delivers the baby and they are pretty well-versed on breastfeeding (at least the latching, positioning and that nipples are self-cleaning), so ask them for help
~ there is an extra P160 or so charge for the bassinet if you'll keep it in your room (plus, they encourage mommies to co-sleep with their babies to facilitate nursing)

All in all, it's still not much where breastfeeding is concerned because both mother and daughter have already lost precious time together. Asian Hospital is more breastfeeding-friendly, but Manila Doctors is better than Metropolitan Hospital.

I think a great deal also depends on your doctors so make sure you make your intentions known to them, as much as possible, as often as possible.

Arugaan Day Care

Arugaan Day Care is a ten-hour creche operated by Innes Fernandez, a staunch advocate of breastfeeding and going back to our Filipino roots of eating, learning and being a family. It was started with PIA before but is now moved to Nanay Innes' Marikina home.

I have only spent an afternoon there but from that short visit, here is what I know one can expect from this day care:
1) it accepts babies up to 3 years of age
2) the babies there eat nothing but breastmilk (their mother's expressed ones or from a wet nurse when needed) or organic food; all clients bring their own water though
3) food is served every two hours or so, so even the most finicky will not go hungry (especially since there will be other kids to compete and eat with)
4) the sala has been converted into one big activity area where the kids can play and learn
5) there are hammocks for those who want to sleep, but the kids are also not forced to sleep, and nobody quiets down just because someone is sleeping so that the kids will get used to the noise
6) kids can expect to sing a lot, and there are also activities like water play, learning the alphabet and arts and crafts
7) i believe the kids don't need guardians of their own but yayas usually come with the kids, so they also learn with the kids
8) the kids get to feed the chickens, plant vegetables and water it, etc. which basically teaches them to pitch in with the chores while also learning about nature and science
9) the place will not boast of expensive Fisher Price toys (and I don't think electronic toys are welcome, there isn't a TV) because it aims for the kids to learn from interacting with each other; there are some toys there to be shared among them

It's a very cozy place, much like a home really. Its yard is not that big, just enough for a small holding area for the chicken, a duhat tree, and some plants. There's an area (tiled with potty and urinal at the side for potty training) where inflatable pools or batyas are set up for water play. When not busy with her speaking engagements and advocacies, Nanay Innes herself initiates all the singing and dancing. Songs I used to sing from my old Sunday School classes came flooding back. It's really back to our Filipino roots with Nanay there.

And there are a lot of veggies I don't eat but Nanay Innes got me to love the puso ng saging bistek style that she served. They also only serve brown rice.

the play, activity area

the projects are displayed all over the creche

the place is also filled with paintings
made by Nanay Innes' hubby

the hammocks where the kids can sleep

This is perfect for those living in Marikina who want to be rest assured their kids are in good company and eating well while the parents are away. This is also an ideal place to have the child and yaya hang out, so parents can relax and not fear their child is being abused or neglected during the day.

I really highly recommend this Day Care. Nanay Innes is also all for "franchising" the day care, for those who want to put up their own under the same guiding principles and working vision. I don't think it's for income generation though, because Nanay Innes really charges cheap (but you better ask what their monthly rate now is).

Innes fernandez
#2 Starlight cor. Vista St., SSS Village, Marikina City
Email: arugaan@mozcom. com Tel: +632-4905452


Post script:
I was told that both child and yaya are entitled to four meals each day for the monthly rate. Most of the toys are pre-loved items by Nanay Innes' grandchild and though there are also fancy toys there, Nanay prefers reused and recycled items plus such ones that she can use along with the songs she teaches the kids. (She has these miniature animals she pulls out of a bag when singing a Tagalog animal song, she arranges plastic chairs when singing something about riding a jeepand someone does 'collect' the fare and such).

More enrollees at the creche would mean more kids having fun and learning from each other. More yayas will have fun too (they even like putting their names in their art projects, just like kids).

The Stork Studio

If you want a professional capture of your baby's precious moments, do consider The Stork Studio. They offer one of the more affordable packages and a choice to do the session in the studio or outdoors.

Check out their gallery for a feel of what they can offer. Pictures are also uploaded in their site for a year and they offer digital files buyout packages for photoshoots with them.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

RD on Weight Loss

Readers Digest Asia for the month of June does not say which of the different weight loss pills work best, but it does say a very important thing about weight loss (lifted verbatim): Calcium from dairy, as opposed to calcium supplied from a supplement or fortified food, has a much greater effect on weight- and body fat-loss (page 100).
This only means that it's really better to eat healthy, calcium-rich foods than rely on fortified bread, drinks and supplements for ones calcium needs.

The average adult requires 1000 mg of calcium each day, pregnant and breastfeeding women however need some extra 300 mg more.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Diet Pills and Children

Use of diet pills by teenagers is increasing, at least in the Western World. But our daughters are soon to follow. Already, little girls are already measuring their worth according to their looks (my niece keeps on asking her parents if she's fat) and these little girls will grow up into troubled teens looking for quick fixes and giving in to commercial pressure of what's good looking.

But there is something parents can do. Actually, at least two major things parents can do. The first is to cultivate a good relationship with the child, one where issues and concerns can readily be aired and discussed and where support, appreciation and guidance is consistently given. The next is to develop good eating habits and a generally healthy lifestyle in your kids. Getting them interested in outdoor activities and sports will make them appreciate the value of good food, and they may be less concerned of their looks since they're used to being sweaty and dirty. Plus, they at least have as much opportunity as possible to burn the excess calories they ingest from sweet cakes and fastfood.

No self-respecting physician will prescribe diet pills on a child or teener. But an insecure teener may be quite resourceful in getting their hands on some, and this may result in serious medical problems after. So stop the nightmare before it even begins, by loving your kids and loving them right.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Gr8 Lacto

Gr8 Lacto is a probiotic drink high in Bifidus one can buy at Clinica Manila (Mega Mall) or Radiance (call 4251508). At first a digestive aid, it has also proven helpful with one's reproductive system. A study has just been conducted about its benefits to menopausal women and a new one (its benefits on women with PCOS) will likely be pursued next.

It tastes like juice (some say like guyabano), nothing awful or distinct, which should make drinking it everyday fairly easy.

Since the results of the study aren't out yet, i'd still recommend it for those prone to UTI.

Rains in Asia

Asian airlines are bracing for continuation of rough weather everywhere (in Asia that is). If you check top Asia destinations and their weather forecasts online, you will see that it's generally cloudy or rainy everywhere. Low-pressure areas are just plaguing everyone so those who are thinking of escaping Manila's rains might want to think again. After all, even Davao is projected to experience scattered thunderstorms.

But if you are going out of the country, for a planned vacation or business trip, make sure you get adequate international travel insurance. The hassles it protects you from outweigh the minimal cost. And of course, be mindful of health advisories. Alerts for Swine Flu is still up all over the world.


Arranging Furnitures

With kids running around one's home, it is important to have as much space as possible. And to protect what needs to be protected, kids first, and possessions after.

Keep the bigger furnitures (like sofa sets and big drawers) close to the wall. Make sure that tv stands are also close to a wall so that kids wouldn't be running circles around them. Keep precious ceramic decor and fine china in display cabinets that are heavy and sturdy so that they won't be easily knocked down. Dividers and screens and walls sometimes limit space so maybe you can use furniture (like a futon or chest of drawers) as dividers instead. Decorative screens can beautify walls instead, when placed behind a sofa or low-level chairs. Remember, anything that can get knocked down WILL be knocked down by a child. And the priority really is to make sure they don't hurt themselves.

You may also rethink rugs and carpets, or use ones that are really plush and heavy so they won't easily cause slipping and stumbling accidents.

Childproofing one's home is easy and doable, so long as one is willing to make changes and adjust comfort levels.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Marinduque Hotsprings Resort - Review

Marinduque Hotsprings Resort is a great place to go to in Marinduque.

For one, everything about it is charming. Additions are being erected to provide more dressing rooms and cottages to clients. You can bring in your own food but they also have a restaurant with affordable fare. We only tried their pancit (P80) that was good for 4-5 people at least. The staff were very friendly and involved, very courteous and helpful.

The resort charges P50 for every guest, and P70 for night rates (which begins at 5:00 PM). It's open till 12 midnight.

The main pools (five of them) are filled with the hotsprings water through a fountain of rocks. We chose to frolic in one where the kiddie pool is only about 2.5 feet high (so my 1.5 year old child can stand by himself in it) while the adjoining pool is about 3.5-4 feet high. This is the one beyond the bamboo bridge and it felt private since we're the only ones using it at the time.

It was too late, however, when we found out that the water there hasn't been changed for three days and that the main pool near the restaurant was the one with fresh hotspring water. So when you go there and you're particular, ask them when the water was changed last. Still, since it's all natural/mineral hotspring water, I don't think people need be worried that much about germs and diseases. None of us got colds or anything. Plus, the freshly-filled pool was so hot (but only about a third of Maquinit Springs hot) that we couldn't dip our head in the water because we run out of oxygen. The kids, of course, couldn't handle the heat at all.

One of the pools can be rented for P1,000 for the whole day, with two small cottages for eating.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Decorative Sinks

If you're building your home right now and looking to add more character to it, may I suggest then that you consider other materials for bathroom sinks?
Sure, there are actually a great array of designs to choose from now, but maybe you can use traditional or everyday things as sinks instead.
I once saw huge actual clam shell sinks in a restaurant, complete with bamboo faucets. And though i'd rather not have everyone diving for those large shells, these things can at least be recreated. For ideas how, Google search is of much help.
Decorative plates and bowls can also be used as sinks. And those sturdy basins from a bygone era. You can even have clay pottery as sink instead of the more modern ceramic fire and glazed ones.

Such things will lend some added charm to your bathrooms and will be great talking points with your guests.

Gotti's Torante

I have already blogged about Gotti's before. I ate there again with friends last Friday and now I have pictures of the wonderful we had. This is really a restaurant that will make you forget to take your ephedra diet pills.

Gotii's really offers good food at an affordable price. For three single serve pastas (which we all got to taste because it's easily good for 2-3), one pizza, a pumpkin soup, a salad, mussels marinara and some iced teas, we only paid P1,500. Since there were seven of us, that's only about P200+ each person.

mussels marinara

pasta with basil

grilled chicken and pesto pasta


Monday, June 01, 2009

We Don't Need Milk

It's really hard to get it out of system, the thinking that we NEED milk. But the truth is, after hitting one year old and aside from breastmilk, kids/people do not really NEED milk anymore. Sp parents really shouldn't be worrying about what formula brand to use as diet supplement.

But we do NEED calcium. Fortunately, we can get calcium from fruits and vegetables. Onions actually have a lot of calcium in them, so using more for your dishes will not only supply you with more of the nutrients that you need, your food will also be more falvorful.

Moringa Olefeira is also very rich in calcium. If you're not up to eating tinola everyday, then just pop capsules everyday as multi-vitamin.

Does that mean we shouldn't buy milk anymore? Certainly, if we don't want to or do not have the money to do so. Nor should we forcing our kids to drink milk. But we should be fostering a love for the good food in our young, so we should serve more fruits and vegetables (in small portions and more frequent meals) to them. And we definitely should eat more fruits and begetables ourselves, to keep fit and have the energy to do all our tasks.
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