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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Win a Mayumi & Me Gift Box!

I'm happy always happy to meet blog readers and store customers.  I am even happier when I read that they are inspired to start their own blog or own store.  There are just so many good ideas and products that need to be shared with moms and having more mompreneurs to spread them to different markets can only be good.

Mayumi, Armi and me!
One such mom, Armi Shyr Baticados recently opened her online store Mayumi & Me.   Armi is the mom of 1 and a half year old sweet toddler Mayumi - the inspiration for her store.  Armi is a one-woman team who manages her operation in between nursing, playing and cuddling Mayumi - a sassy and smart little girl.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Finds: Lock & Lock

In July 2012, I was invited by Michelle of My Mom Friday to attend a blogger's event in the Lock & Lock Flagship store along Araneta Ave.   My shopping find for that event were the boroseal glass containers.  I usually bring my lunch to office.  We've given up our microwave at home but I still nuke my lunch at the office.  Placing them in the glass containers while microwaving my meals makes me feel that it is healthier than nuking my food in plastic.  Plus, it makes cleaning a lot easier especially since my meals are tomato-based pasta or viands.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Breastfeeding a Preemie: Stories from Michelle and Neva

I often see posts from mothers with preemie babies asking for milk at the Human Milk for Human Babies - The Philippines page.  I also hear a lot of stories about how a mom wasn't able to successfully breastfeed her baby because she gave birth prematurely.  I have 2 friends who recently gave birth to preemie babies but were able to successfully breastfeed them, despite additional challenges they had to face.  I am sharing their stories in hopes of encouraging moms with preemie babies to persevere and breastfeed their babies.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy 11-month E! A Pre-birthday Shoot

Can you believe it?! Just 1 more month and my baby boy will be a toddler!!

For his 1st birthday, our theme is carnival/circus.  So, for his 11-month day shoot, Stan and I decided to have a "pre-birthday" shoot so we can have a photo to use for his birthday.  For this shoot, the only thing I did was look for a cake design and order.  We ordered the cake from Quintbelles owned by Val of Woombie and her sister, Elaine.  I just asked Elaine to make the cake soft icing instead of the usual fondant so that E won't have a difficult time getting to the cake ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas Finds: Sugar and Spice Gingerbread House/Man Kits

Last year, one of the activities that got N really excited for the holiday season was the gingerbread decorating class at Manila Peninsula.  I found it quite expensive! It was P1,535 nett for a child plus P614 nett for an accompanying adult.  However, since I was pregnant with E that time and didn't have the energy to look for alternatives, I closed my eyes and booked N and Stan.

This year, I checked out the prices for the Manila Pen class again and prices have increased!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christmas Finds: Mothering Earthlings

Shopping for Christmas is always a challenge.  I shop not only for my own list but for Stan's as well.  So I keep an excel file (which I started back in 2008) to note the gifts we had previously given to our wedding sponsors, godchildren, friends, suppliers, etc. etc.  I do enjoy looking for unique items to give and keep a record of them for future reference. For this series of posts, I will attempt to share with you my finds for Christmas 2012.

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As brand ambassadors (naks!), N and E have been recipients of snazzy and funky items from Mothering Earthlings.  The ME Alpha Mama  - Rone Valles Guerrero makes it a point to choose only the very best Filipino brands to be included in her store.  Her brands have been increasing, which makes shopping a joy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Giveaway from the Babypalooza Team

I previously posted about the Babypalooza Bazaar scheduled on 30 November 2012.  You can read more details about the bazaar below:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Press Release: Havaianas for Operation Smile (Design A Smile)

N loves arts and crafts!  Every afternoon, she bugs her yaya to help her make cards, drawings, etc. When I get home from work, I always find her handmade items inserted in my laptop, with her waiting expectantly for me to read them.  Hence, this activity during the Mommy Mundo Bazaar on 24 - 25 November 2012 at the Rockwell Tent got N excited.

The Mommy Mundo and Havaianas team are helping out Operation Smile - which is a non-profit group who operates on kids with cleft palates.  The project is called Design a Smile which is a series of one-day contests for 5-12 year old kids who will be asked to answer the question "What will you do to make other people smile" through a drawing.   What makes this exciting is that the winning entry will be made into actual flip flops with the proceeds from the sale going to the surgeries.   For more details, please refer to the Press Release below.  N will definitely be joining!

Friday, November 16, 2012

DepEd bans milk giveaways in schools!

Finally, 5 years the issuance of the Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing the Milk Code and 3 years after the passage of the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion, DepEd has put in action the requirements under this law.  On 23 October 2012 (my birthday - yay!), the Department of Education issued Department Order No. 80, series of 2012, entitled "Strengthening the Integration of Breastfeeding Education in the Curriculum, Setting Up and Sustaining the Operation of Lactation Stations in Schools and Compliance with Executive Order No. 51.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Introducing Mommy Mundo SoMoms

During the early days of N, the internet was my best friend.  I was always chatting with friends especially about breastfeeding and newborn care.   I also didn't work for the first 6 months of N's life and found that I had too much time on my hands.  I was micromanaging our household and bugging S to death.  I decided to bring in nursing bras because I noticed that there were very limited options locally available.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Unplugging the Plugs

I am prone to plugged ducts - particularly my left breast.  More so because I am a pumping mama and I pump about 4x per day.  Not more than one breastfeeding expert (Lita Nery, Nanay Ines, etc. etc) has told me that pumping makes me more prone to plugged ducts because a breastpump is not as efficient and effective as a baby in draining out milk.  However, I never learned the art of hand expression and I work outside the home Monday to Friday.  So to keep my babies well-fed, I rely on my pump.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why I don't buy Nestle Fresh Milk

Whenever moms ask me what fresh milk to give their toddlers, I always say any milk except Nestle.  Our family has started supporting the Nestle boycott and I will be blogging about this.  But for now, if you want to learn more about the Nestle Boycott, read this page.

I received an email today from one of my clients.  This is a personal and first hand account and not something passed through email.  Here's what she has to say:

After consuming the contents of 1 of the cartons, our yaya was surprised that the carton was still a bit heavy. She shook the carton & there was still something inside. Upon opening, we discovered a large foreign object inside. It was white, as wide and as long as the carton and about 3 inches tall, as you can see in the picture below. Upon close inspection, we still were not sure what it was. Seemed like it was plastic, paper, tissue & curdled milk all mushed into 1 piece. It started to grow moulds & smell "sour" after a few hours.

We called the Nestle Philippines customer service, who did not offer any more answers. They just noted the lot number and said a representative will pick it up and subject it to a lab test. The result, they promised, will be out in 4-6 weeks! If it is poisonous, I said, my kids will be in the hospital much sooner than that!

We are still waiting for the lab result but my kids are all fine. For our peace of mind, we still want to know what it is and if it poses a short or long-term harm on my kids. Like any parent, it's natural to be paranoid. Better safe than sorry.

If you drink Nestle fresh milk, please check the lot number. If it falls under the same batch as this one (pictured below) cut open the carton first & inspect before drinking. Won't hurt to be extra careful!


Think twice before buying!
What is this?!!
If you use Nestle milk, check the batch number of your box!
So think twice before you choose Nestle!


Update 13 November 2012:


Here's an update from A, the consumer affected in the story:

When Mrs. A first called the customer service hotline, the representatives did not know how to address her concerns.  She was quite frustrated because all she wanted for Nestle to do was as soon as the foreign material is brought to the lab, someone contacts her and tells her what it is.  This eliminates her concerns of food poisoning, lead poisoning or any form of long-term poisoning to her kids.  The customer service hotline people were more concerned in following protocol than listening to her concern.  As parents, we know how it feels to worry about our kids, especially knowing something may be wrong but not being able to pin point what it exactly is. 

On 12 November 2012, Nestle's Customer Rep (let's call him Mr. Rep) called Mrs. A again.  He explained that the foreign object was curdled milk.  Mr. Rep stated that he checked with their plant in New Zealand and there was no issue with that batch.  Next, he checked the packaging plant and there was also no issue.  Finally, he checked with their quality assurance and stated that there was also no issues on that end.

Mr. Rep claimed that sometimes retailers do not follow their suggested display procedure.  He stated that there are only xx cartons that should be stacked up on display.  If the retailer stacked more than xx number of cartons, the quality of milk is affected. 

Mrs. A doubts this.  And so do I.  How can the quality of milk be affected by the number of cartons stacked?  The milk box is sealed, tight as a drum.  Mrs. A also stated that the milk was only opened the day before consumption and was tightly sealed using Nestle's flip top seal.  The milk was fully consumed the day after opening because the rest of the liquid milk was not spoiled or did not smell sour.  Apparently, Mr. Rep explained that even pasteurized milk can separate and a portion may curdle but the rest of the milk still stays fresh.  Mrs. A still does not understand how this can be a possibility ???

As I explained to Mrs. A, Nestle will do everything to protect itself and will shift the blame to the retailer or consumer.  Mr. Rep also explained to Mrs. A that if the flip top is not sealed properly and water enters the box, it may also cause curdling. But how can the curdled milk become so big.. about 1/4 of the entire milk box volume. Still an unsolved and disturbing mystery.

Tsk, tsk, tsk Nestle!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Why I love Mamaway (an event and a giveaway)

Ninang with E in his Like shirt
I have been a customer of Mamaway since 2008, when they first came to the Philippines.   They have recently opened their retail store in New Manila, Quezon City and another store is in the pipeline.   One of the owners, Jonie, has become more than a business colleague and is actually the godmother of E.

nursing in my Mamaway dresses
What I like about Mamaway is that the owners truly want to help you successfully breastfeed and they do this by supporting various classes and breastfeeding events.  In fact, if you have breastfeeding concerns, Jonie will go out of her way to refer you to the right support person or group who can help you succeed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How was your Halloween 2012?

For the first time in many years, we spent Undas in Metro Manila.  S is from Cebu and I'm from Davao.  So we used to go home to either city for this long holiday.  However, N's school had make-up classes up to the week of Undas and S had bookings so we decided to have a stay-cation and catch up with the organizing, cleaning of our house during the long weekend.  

Trick or treating at our condo

Monday, November 5, 2012

Does it have to be a contest?

On the top of last week's news was about a Texas mom who donated more than 86 gallons of breastmilk to a milk bank.   Definitely admirable!  Moms with excess milk who donate are blessings to milk banks and babies whose moms cannot make enough milk or are sick.

However, publicity about these donations and excess milk donors sometimes have adverse consequences.  For instance, my friend Mec shared that at the height of Sendong, she wanted to donate milk and felt bad that she couldn't.  She was with her nursling 24/7 and didn't see the need to pump.  She eventually found peace with her ability to produce just enough for her nursling and writes about it here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Bazaar and a Sophie the Giraffe Giveaway!

Mom targeted bazaars excite me!  As a shopper I prefer to attend bazaars that have products specifically for moms.  We know how limited shopping time moms get so I really want to maximize whatever bazaar visit I make.  Coming up this November is one such bazaar - Babypalooza Bazaar scheduled on 30 November 2012.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Hearty Southern Vegetarian Dinner

We have been having our regular vegetable delivery from Shino who 
delivers to Pasay every week (Friday).  What I like about him is his flexibility with the basket contents.  I just get the 4.5 kg basket which lasts us 1.5 weeks. I also get a 500ml bottle of fresh cow's milk.  You can tweak the amount of vegetables included to suit your family's weekly menu. During my first few orders, I over-ordered the okra so I had to look for some recipes so the okras won't go to waste. Stan was not exactly a fan of okra so the dish had to be tempered with something palatable to him. A quick google search for okra led me to several recipes. But it was this Okra and Tomato Soup recipe by Diana Rattray that caught my eye:
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