March 28, 2013

I Want to be Part of Sample Room's Blogger Circle!

because of five huge reasons:

1. I am impressed with the quality of Sample Room's service.

I have only been able to order twice from Sample Room. That's not a substantial number, but I can attest that both experiences were pleasant. I did not encounter any difficulty in ordering samples because of these reasons:

a. Sample Room's website is easy to navigate. (And cute, too!) It doesn't take a genius to figure out where the samples are, how many are still available, and how you can avail of them. Also, it's not really difficult to know where to write reviews and how to submit them. No sweat!

b. The Sample Room team is easily reachable via social media. They have active accounts on Facebook, Twitter (even Instagram). Because of this, you can easily air out your concerns and receive an answer soon.

c. Samples come from reputable companies and almost all of them are full-sized! They offer free samples from companies like Celeteque, Nivea, Kiehl's, and Shiseido. Isn't that cool?

Sample Room, Celeteque, C-Lium, Moringga, Papaya Soap, Leyende
These are the products I have gotten so far from Sample Room. Almost all of them are full-sized!

2. I want to take blogging to the next level.

I'm starting to get very serious in blogging, and I want to get to know other bloggers, too, for educational and  inspirational purposes. This is why I join blogger groups like BC Bloggers. Seeing Sample Room's call for a Blogger Circle sounds very appealing because I'm sure I'll get to know even more bloggers. Also, I know it is a great venue to expose my humble blog to more people. It's a win-win situation. :-)

3. I write well.

This isn't bragging. I am a writer and editor by profession, so it is a requirement for me to write well. I plan my blog posts in advance and am careful to write them in a way that is fitting for a casual, personal blog. I do not promise zero grammatical mistakes (only because that would be boring to read), but I promise meaningful blog posts and not just plain blabber. So pick me!

4. I'm not a beauty blogger.

I'm not sure, but I have this feeling that almost every blogger who wants to be part of the coveted Blogger Circle are beauty bloggers mainly because Sample Room mostly offers beauty products. While I am in love with their selection of products, I do notice that there are some categories of products that don't necessarily fall under beauty, like health and lifestyle. I like beauty products, but I'm also interested in other products.

As a blogger who blogs about home and lifestyle and as a consumer interested in health and lifestyle products, I'm pretty sure I can offer a different perspective.

PS: I also have an ulterior motive. I want to be the first to know if ever they decide to offer baby products!

5. Seriously, who doesn't want exclusive stuff and activities?

This is the most self-serving among all my reasons. I mean, let's be honest! If you have a chance to join an exclusive group with exclusive dibs on products and freebies, won't you jump at that chance? I'm sure I won't! Sample Room's Blogger Circle offers these perks:

a. Free samples from time to time
b. Be the first to know about up and coming launches (baby products!) #fingerscrossed
c. Exclusive activities and discussions
d. Special gift!
e. A feature in the Blogger Circle page

Who's crazy enough to pass on these great opportunities? Again, I'm not!

To sum it up, I want to be part of the Sample Room's Blogger Circle because I love the company and I would love to be exclusively connected to it. I also know that I am a good blogger and that I can offer a fresh new perspective on the products. I really hope they pick me! :-)

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Celeteque and C-Lium from Sample Room

Warning: This post can contain TMI for you. (TMI = Too Much Information)

I have a secret to tell you.

I am constipated.

This began after I gave birth to Y. Unlike other women, I never had a problem with constipation during pregnancy. In fact, what I suffered from was constant LBM. However, most of the time, my bowel movements were regular and stress-free.

I didn't have bowel problems right after giving birth. It started to happen about a month after. I didn't know why; I suddenly had so much trouble releasing what I needed to release! (I warned you this is TMI!)

As a result, I developed hemorrhoids.

Anyway, I asked my doctor for prescription drugs. I forgot the brand, but it was expensive. It costs 60 per piece and you're required to use one a few times a day as needed. Needless to say, I only bought two and was only able to use one.

Frankly, the hemorrhoids reduced because of a healthy diet and increased water intake.

But I noticed that I was still constipated. I move bowels regularly but not as often as I was used to before pregnancy. Despite the healthy diet and good water intake, my bowel movement still needs work. So I started searching for fiber supplements that can help me with my problem.

Lo and behold, I saw Sample Room's Facebook update:

Excuse me, is this real? Are they actually offering C-Lium fibre samples for free?

I did not try to resist any longer and immediately headed to Sample Room's website. And there they are, C-Lium fibre samples. And they were not only offering one kind but two! We can actually get free samples of both C-Lium capsules and husks (the kind mixed with liquid). I just had to get both.

Oh, and I also had to get something from my mom.They also had samples of Nivea SUN Protect & Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist and Céleteque Back Acne Spray. Unfortunately, ubos na lahat ng samples! Gaaah! But luckily, they restocked samples of Céleteque Advanced Anti Aging (Anti Wrinkle Ultra Hydrating Cleansing Oil). Yipee! I'm sure my mom would love it.

By the way, what's great about Sample Room is that their samples are usually full-sized! And you get to try them for free! :D

You see, I have already used Sample Room's services before (see my beauty loot here!), so I didn't have any problem ordering the second time. I just used Paypal to pay for shipping and then twiddled my thumbs waiting for the samples.

And they finally arrived yesterday! Woot! This calls for a celebration. Of course, I immediately took a photo and uploaded it on Twitter:

My mom immediately took possession of the Celeteque cleansing oil (which comes in a 100-ml bottle!), while the Celeteque sachet (another freebie!) suspiciously went missing. Is it in the parents' bedroom? Is it with my son's yaya? Hmmm...

But I focused on my treasure - the C-Lium samples. Teehee. I looked for a container and only came up with my son's old Pigeon wipes container. This will do:

You can see that I already consumed 5 of the capsules (you need to take 10 per day). And here are the rest of the samples inside:

Mom: Ang daming samples pala!
Me: That's how Sample Room works!

I'm really so kilig. I can't wait to see the results! I'm planning to take C-Lium kasi as a daily supplement. And it doesn't hurt that it's purely natural! It's entirely made up of psyllium husks without any chemicals or preservatives. Completely safe for breastfeeding moms like me. :-)
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March 27, 2013

Yuri Turns 1: The Sneak Peek

I'm supposed to blog about Y's first birthday party last night, but I can't write properly. I'm soooo tired! I really need to rest, but I also need to work. Ayayay.

The party was supposed to start at 4:30pm, but well, the guests started pouring in at 6:30. We Filipinos seriously need to change that concept of Filipino time. Y was getting cranky already. As a result, the little boy didn't get to enjoy his party as much because his bedtime is 8pm. Poor little boy. I also couldn't go to sleep with Y since I have to entertain the guests pa. Kaya I told his yaya to sleep with him in our bedroom. So sad.

At 11pm, the last of our guests went home, and we began clearing up the mess. I told my mother I was feeling guilty because it's Y's birthday, and yet I wasn't able to pay attention to him the whole day. Thirty minutes later, Y and his yaya went downstairs because he woke up. I took the remaining of the night as a chance to make up to Y.

So we bonded and opened gifts until early morning. We didn't get to sleep until 2am. Then, Y woke up at around 6:30. Gosh I'm so sleepy. And my body hasn't still recovered from all that work yesterday. So forgive me if all I can show you by now is this collage:

I'll blog about it tomorrow. I'll just finish working first and then I'll try to rest (if I can).

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March 25, 2013

Birthday Preparations - Progress Checklist

Y's birthday is tomorrow na! Aaack! I feel as if there are still a million things we need to do. Ang hirap pala magprepare ng party when you're working full-time. Worse, last minute na ang decision for the party.

Pero kaya to. Gora!

Anyway, so far, we have already done these:

Printed tarpaulin

It's gonna be an old-style house party, with homemade food and the ever-present tarpaulin. I just made the design a couple of hours last Friday, and it got printed in the shop the next day. Whew! By the way, here's the design:
Pardon the rough edges; as aforementioned, I just did it hurriedly in a couple of hours! #sweat
Bought wall stickers and decorations

My mom took care of this in their trip to Uyanguren. I guess she got carried away because now, we have a looot of wall stickers and decors. She also found this cute Mickey Mouse coin bank that's shaped like a "1." We will use that as centerpiece.

Bought ingredients for the dishes

We actually did this last week in SM. Kaso, when we went to Gaisano Mall last Saturday, we found out that groceries there are a lot cheaper than in SM. There are a lot of promos pa. Huhuhu. Next time, diretso na GMall punta namin.

Washed Y's "party" clothes

This is actually funny because the elders decided to buy a Mickey Mouse shirt for Y. They also did it in Gaisano Mall last Friday. Kaso they were not very familiar with the department store. The salesladies kept pointing them to one section of the Baby Department where all the clothes are priced 1k! Sabi ko wag yun kaya they looked for other options and ended up buying a toddler's shirt. Konti na lang, kasya na sa sister ko. Hahaha!

So when we went back to GMall on Saturday, I told them where I usually buy Y's clothes. There, we immediately saw cheap but orig Mickey Mouse shirts. We bought two, so now Y has already three Mickey Mouse clothing. All's well that ends well, I guess!

By the way, we only bought thin, sleeveless shirts for Y. In other words, sando. I didn't want to buy anything fancy for him because I want him to be as comfy as possible. Also, it's summertime and hindi naman centralized-aircon bahay namin. :P

Ordered cake (to be picked up tomorrow)

I had a lot of aberya regarding Y's cake. My first choice was a schoolmate of mine back in high school. She's just starting a baking business and her price is very reasonable. However, she backed out because she's to go out of the country on the date when we'll be needing the cake. Based on Instagram photos, she's already in Australia now. :P

I had a lot of other second choices of local bakeshops, like Sugar Munch and Joniel's. While the prices for ordinary cakes are affordable, their prices for customized cakes are too high for me! I want to save as much as I can on this party. I also avoided other bakeshops who only bake fondant cakes. Meh. I don't like fondant. Also, how can a 1-year old eat fondant?

My supposed final choice was either Goldilocks or Red Ribbon. I was okay with the prices and resigned to having a commercial cake for Y's birthday.

That was until we found a little bakeshop tuck near our place. They have a catalogue, and they have a Mickey Mouse cake! We bought a small slice of cake, found it to be good, and made an order the next day. Yay!

Rented tables and chairs

We also took care of this last Saturday. This includes the balloons na din. I didn't order a lot of balloons - just six - because I didn't want those things popping up and scaring Y.

Bought ingredients and materials for cupcake

I also wanted cupcakes badly, but given the prices, I decided not to have them anymore. I mean, how can something so little cost so much? Kayo bakeshops ha! You see, we're not really used to ordering baked goods because my mom bakes amazingly. But I understand that she can't bake for Y due to her busy schedule.

However, there was suddenly a change of heart last week. My mom suddenly mentioned to me that she will bake cupcakes for the party! Using her famous moist cake recipe! Yay!!!

Created cupcake stand

You read that right. We just made our own cupcake stand. We tried to look for these things over the internet and in baking equipment shops, but somehow, I just couldn't pull out P500 to pay for one. You see, we're not the type of people who host parties often. If I buy one, I wouldn't know when or if we'd be able to use it again. So thanks to my crafty mother, we made one that doesn't cost a single cent. ;-)

On the other hand, these are the things that we have yet to do:

Pick up cake (of course)
Buy one more dish
Cut up cupcake toppers
Cut up dish labels
Prepare "guestbook"
Clean the house
✘ Decorate the house
Cook (of course)
Bake cupcakes
Make cupcake frosting

As you can see, there are figuratively a million things we still need to do. But we need to work first! Did I mention the party's tomorrow? Aaahh! How I wish these things can take care of themselves already!

Wish me luck!
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March 22, 2013

Guest Post: The Significance of Finance

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The term finance is very important for a flourishing economy. It holds a great importance in the lives of individuals and business corporations. By finance, we mean to manage the funds in an economy. It involves the concept of lending and borrowing. These days, the process of lending and borrowing is also done through banks. What people do is that they deposit their money in the banks, who lend money to the other people by charging some interest for earning profits.

Importance of Finance:

  • Finance plays a very important role in corporations and organizations. Corporate finance deals with the decision making of the firms regarding the sale and purchase of assets and also aids them in investment decisions as well. Corporate finance helps in getting to know about the risks which a firm may face while investing in some specific products.

Shareholder’s dividends and equity funds are also managed with the help of corporate finance as well. Firms make their short and long term decisions with the help of corporate financing. It also helps in dealing with the taxes which an organization has to pay during its working position.

  • Business finance is regarded as the backbone of a business. A business cannot run without financing. Finance is always required in spite of the fact that your business is small, medium or is larger in size. Finance is required for establishing a product, and is required in its promotion as well. A good amount of finance is required by a firm to maintain its name in the market.

Finance is also required when a firm feels the need of expanding its business.

  • The finance department of a company deals with the entire financial requirements of a company. The financial department of the firm manages the balance sheet of the company, thus ensuring that sufficient funds are available in a firm to maintain its reputation in the market.

A financial department maintains the returns on assets and liabilities and also takes care of the profit level of the firm. The entire information regarding the working of a firm is provided to the managers by the financial department so that they can use the information for decision making. Final accounts of a firm are prepared by the financial department so that it can be presented in the annual meeting of the company.

  • Personal financing is a form of financing in which you plan for long term financial stability. This is a kind of budgeting which is planned by those people who plan to remain financially stable after their retirement. For a good planning, you need to know what you actually desire to have in your future, and where you want to live. If you know exactly what you want to do after you get retired, then you can do a very good personal budgeting.

Saving is a very important part of personal financing. Saving helps you to invest in the right places in order to secure your future.

  • Financing is very important for the economic situation of a country as well. It helps to maintain the standard of a developed country and for underdeveloped countries; it helps to plan basic economic tools for development.

  •  Personal financing depends largely on the economic stability of a country. If the conditions are bad, then people will save more in order to achieve a secured future.

Short term finance is another form of financing. Finance plays a very important role in business banking, as it is an important tool which is used for the decision makings of the firms.

About the Author
I am an avid blogger interested in writing articles on finance, home improvement, SEO, health etc.

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Guest Post: Fashion Tips That Are Worth Checking Out!

Busy adults often forget about fashion as they concentrate on their careers. But that's alright! You can become fashionable at any age. The following article will provide you with tips to make you look better. Read on for some great tips!

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Before you spend money on extras, make sure you have the essentials covered. Purchase pieces that can work with each other and are timeless. You can easily update a simple black pencil skirt with tops and jackets yearly.

If you insist upon tucking your shirt inside your pants at all times, make sure you complement that look with a nice belt. If belts are not to your liking, try wearing a pair of suspenders. Match either your suspenders or belt with your shoes.

For boots and sandals, go with wedged heels. Wedges can make you look taller and therefore slimmer. When purchasing wedged heels, however, it is important you do not them too thick, as you may not even be able to walk in them!

A great looking purse can complement your outfit, but make sure it goes with whatever other bag you are carrying. If you carry a briefcase, it should look good with your handbag. Also, make sure you don't carry two different kinds of bags.

Keep yourself informed on the latest and hottest fashion trends by subscribing to a fashion magazine. They provide photos of what is trendy at the moment, and you will also be able to use the ideas to develop your own style.

Pay attention to the fabrics your outfits are made of. Look on the tag, it should list the materials used in making the garment. Your perfect fit might not be right after a couple of washes if you don't find the right material. There is no reason to invest in inferior clothing!

If you're carrying extra weight in your belly, avoid fitted clothing. Clingy, too-tight fabrics will only highlight the areas you wish to minimize. Wear loose clothes instead that will make your figure look better.

If you have frizzy hair, avoid rubbing it to dry with a towel. This can stretch and damage wet hair, encouraging frizz. Rather, just wrap your hair and squeeze to take the water out. When you are satisfied with the results, unwrap it and brush the hair with a comb.

If you desire to have fuller lips, there are ways to get it without going the cosmetic surgery route. Use a bright lipstick or a shiny gloss. The reflection of the light shade will increase the fullness of your lips. Do not use dark lipstick because it thins your lips out.

Extend the life of your favorite fashion items by laundering them with care. The care label is the place to look for adding longevity to your wardrobe. Follow all the instructions to ensure your apparel stays looking its best.

Add color to your hair if you want to have a vibrant look during the summer. However, your hair needs to be healthy so that the color doesn't fade too fast. Be sure that you use a high-quality hair conditioner to protect your hair when you color it.

Subscribing to a good fashion newsletter can help you stay up to date regarding current trends as well. Doing this well ensure you are ready for every season before it hits, and will be ahead of your friends on the fashion trends.

Once you have made it through this article, you should have all the key ideas to getting the elegant look that you want. Do not allow other areas of your life prevent you from looking and feeling your best.

About the Author
The Author is a fashion technologist specializing in denim fashion.
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This Week's Shopping Finds

I know I'm not supposed to waste money beginning this year, but I believe a grouchy saver is a bad saver. This is because a grouchy saver dreads the day his salary comes! Why? Because he thinks nothing good comes out of it. He becomes miserable. This is why I make it a point to also make "happy" purchases that won't burn a hole in my pocket.

I haven't bought any "wants" for this month, so to avoid feeling grouchy and deprived, I decided to shop a little this week. This is a good idea for me: allot one spending week for each month. It's just like diet cheat days! However, I'm careful that the spending doesn't exceed my budget. :-)

Enough about the talk, let's get to the actual work! Take a look at these cheap but cute finds I scored this week:

Hey Mickey!
Well, this is not an actual purchase I made. It's actually my younger sister's gift to Y, which we will be using in his upcoming birthday. (Next Tuesday! Gaaaah!) We bought it from Toy Kingdom, which had an Araw ng Dabaw sale where a lot of toys were on 50% off. This Mickey is included in the sale. It originally costs around P650, but we got it for just P300. :-)

It looks like a simple plush toy, but it isn't. What is it exactly? Abangan! :D

Moonwalk Harness as seen here
You have seen the Moonwalk Harness in my previous post. You see, Y isn't walking independently yet. I know he already has the ability to walk, but somehow he's still afraid to walk on his own. Also, he hates being in the stroller. So this harness is perfect in helping him practice walking! In addition, I don't have to carry him around. Whew!

Unfortunately, the harness is not on sale. I bought this for P399. It would have been better if it's also 50% off! #abuso

Tons of headbands! (Everything's new except for the three in the middle.)
Here's another loot for me and my sister! My mom and dad were in Uyanguren yesterday (that's Davao's Divisoria!), looking for Mickey Mouse decorations for Y's birthday. They chanced upon a store that sells headbands for cheap! If you're a long-time reader of my blog, you might have seen some OOTD posts of my sister. If you're observant enough, you will see that she wears ribbon headbands all the time!

Here are some OOTD posts: Take note of the ribbon/flower headbands.

Imagine my sister's glee when the 'rents brought these kikay accessories home! They also bought three for me. Thank yer! By the way, these goodies only costs P5 - P25 each. ;-)

Iiiieeee *blush*
Finally, something for me! As I defensively mentioned above, I believe a grouchy saver is a bad saver. I don't have to be a miser. Budgeting money doesn't mean leaving nothing for yourself. In fact, when you budget your money, you also need (IMO) to allot something for yourself. This is what I call "Happiness Expenses."

Don't get me wrong; I just leave a certain 3-figure amount for my Happiness Expenses! :D

Anyway, last week, I was browsing my Instagram feed when I came upon a photo by prelovedbyazel. She posted this photo of a cute pair of sandals from Zara! The photo itself piqued my curiosity, but what's better is it's not preloved! You see, I have no problem buying preloved clothes, but somehow, I'm not very comfy with the idea of preloved shoes. Nice to know it's brand new!

Plus, it only cost me around P450. (Price of the shoes + shipping fee + Western Union fee). Isn't it a great deal? It arrived yesterday, and they're so pretty! I can't wait to wear them!
New sandals!
What about you? What are your most recent cheap "happy" finds? :-)

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March 20, 2013

Moonwalk Sunday

It's been ages since I've been out on a Sunday! Blame it on how my parents are often out of town these days (they'll be in Samal this Sunday!). You know how I look forward to Sundays! First, it's church time. Second, it's my self-imposed only dayoff of the week. Third, I just love family days! Fourth, I also love shopping malling. Good thing we were able to go out last Sunday!

This is a late post, I know.

But first, OOTD! :-)

The little boy lounges in the couch; he isn't wearing socks or shoes yet!

Tuxedo romper: Doomagic
(He actually wore this during his baptism.)
Trying to walk outside the house
Dress: SM Department Store
(I saw this exact same dress in for half the price! Not fair! :D)
Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: Parisian
After church, we went to Abreeza, which is just across the street. Why, you might ask? Well, they have a great grocery deal there. One pack of generic oats comes with one pack of Milo, for free! For both oats and Milo, you only get to pay around P50.

Segue: We are greedy Milo drinkers. We use up one pack after the other, so this buy one-take one deal is superb! Suffice to say, we hoarded. Teehee.

But before entering the mall, we "touristed" up when we saw these attractions outside:

A playground from Allegro's icecream. One cone of icecream allows you to use the slide for 5 minutes. We just took photos.
We also found this cute DAVAO display on the grounds. Of course, we had to take pictures.
I think they're just for the Araw ng Dabaw celebrations last week, but I hope they don't take it down! :-)
The elders and the baby stayed in the shade of course. That's Gonuts Donuts and Breadtalk behind.
After hoarding our oats and Milo packs, we went to SM Lanang Premier (duh). We were just walking along the aisles of the baby department store when a saleslady enticed us to buy this:

A Moonwalk harness!
We bought it immediately because when the saleslady tried Y in it, he walked and ran like mad. He liked it! Also, I love that I don't have to stoop down whenever I have to assist him walking. Plus it's so comfortable for Y because it's almost purely cloth. No hard contraptions except for the plastic snaps, which don't really come into contact with the bebe.

Y doesn't like to be seated in the stroller, and when we force him in, it usually results to tantrums and bad moods. But we let him walk whole day, via the Moonwalk harness, and he stayed happy! Happy baby = happy mommy. Whew!

Aside from the Moonwalk harness, we also have a couple of other great finds, which I will write about in the next days. :-)
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March 18, 2013

The Day of Reunions

I talk to my dearest college friends, Teena and George, almost everyday. But that's via Skype (and Line) because we don't see each other. You see, we live quite far from each other.

George and I used to be officemates, but then I resigned and began working at home a year ago. Residence-speaking, George lives in the south while I in the north.

On the other hand, Teena and I used to be neighbors. She used to rent a house in our subdivision and we would see each other regularly. That was almost a year ago, too. But she moved to Vietnam when her employer decided to do business there.

But Teena went home late last month, which means only one thing: reunion! Due to unforeseen delays and postponements, we only got to see each other last Friday, where we went to Abreeza!

First, OOTD! :-)
This was actually taken at the Family Lounge (more of this laterzz)
Heart-print romper: Forever 21
Shoes: forever Parisian
 Sheer maroon jacket/cardigan: My mom's

That jacket is an authentic vintage. My mom had it when she was in college, which was 30 years ago. She passed it over to me last year (which didn't fit at first because I was too fat!). Cool no?
We decided to eat at Shakey's because I was bringing Y and our yaya with me. :-)
Clockwise: Teena and George as Instagrammers, the stickers in the planner (my belated birthday gift to Teena), pizza (the only food I took a photo of), surprised Teena (teehee), me and Teena, and Teena and George

Unfortunately, I still look pregnant next to Teena. Hahaha!
Because it's my sister's last day of exams, she and our parents went to Shakeys, too. It was fun! After eating, I told our yaya to go with them, while we continued our chikahan in the Family Lounge. On the way there, we found this cool exhibit from D' Bone Collector Museum. 
Clockwise: The exhibit tarpaulin, me and Y looking at the other camera, George, me, and Y beside a  dolphin (?), me and an engrossed Y, Y, me, and Teena (happy family!), me, Y, and George
We proceeded to the Family Lounge. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw these people inside: my high school barkada! It's a reunion day after all! 
Osang, Noel, Zarah, Y, and me :-)
Photo from Osang's Instagram
These girls look so glamorous now! Of course, you too, Noel. Teehee. But what I'm referring to are their outfits, particularly their shoes! Unfortunately, Y was already acting up that time (it was time for his afternoon nap), so I wasn't able to take a photo of their shoes. Thank goodness for Instagram! I just grabbed another photo from Osang's account:

Don't these heels look divine? They're from Janilyn. Hmm, I wonder when I can wear high heels again. :-)
Before the day ended, my original reunion-mates and I just had to take outfit shots. Pardon our vanity; it's not everyday we see each other! Also, it's not everyday I'm outside the house! Teehee.

On Teena:
Jacket: Bazaar
Blouse: Bazaar
Jeggings: Saigon Square
Shades: Gucci

On George:
Dress: From Zamboanga City
(Left to right)
Teena's bag: Monte Blanc
George's bag: From UK! (If you know what I mean ;))
My bag: Fossil

Teena's shoes: Night Market HCMC
George's shoes: Celine

Now you know that among my high school friends and college friends, I have the ugliest feet. No kidding! Hahaha!

It was a fun day. We were meant to discuss a lot of things, such as business, but we spent lunch away laughing over mundane things. Another time, girls! :-)

*All the photos with watermarks are mine (most are taken by George). Those without watermarks are grabbed from my friends' cameras, smartphones, etc.
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March 14, 2013

Ayala Abreeza Breastfeeding Room

It just occurred to me that I took photos of Abreeza's breastfeeding room the other week. In tradition of my breastfeeding room posts (I have SM Lanang Premier and SM Cebu), let's review Abreeza's this time. :-)

Months ago, I used to pay P20 to use Abreeza's breastfeeding room, which is located inside the Family Lounge. It was okay because the lounge was really spacious and comfortable. However, what if you don't really need to use the entire lounge? What if you only need to breastfeed for 15 minutes?

The good news is that they didn't ask me to pay when I breastfed last time I was there. I didn't have to go through my bag just to look for a bill that's potentially dirty. I hate that!

I didn't get to take a photo of the Family Lounge, but here's one from

The front area of the lounge
Anyway, the breastfeeding area has two cubicles (unlike SM's which is a big room where mommies can talk!). It's like a roomy comfort room with furniture. Also, I forgot to take a photo of the area outside the cubicle, so you'll only get to see the inside of the cubicle. Apologies, apologies.

Here are what you will see inside the cubicle:

The chair where you can sink into after a long day of shopping. Aaah.
Circles on your throw pillows
Unless you're carrying a phone or any device with you, this is the only view you'll get. Aside from your baby, of course.
And yes, in one of the cubicles, there's a table provided for your things. The only cubicle (as I remember it) doesn't have a table.
Moi et le bébé
Well, I guess that's it. It's only a cubicle, so there's not much to see. Which is actually a good thing if you're trying to put your baby to sleep (or if you're trying to sleep!). The couch is really comfortable and provides enough room for you and your baby. Also, the lights are dim, so even if you're not trying to sleep, you will really get drowsy.

What I don't understand is the loud music coming from the lounge itself. Oh well.

Summary: If you want to relax, sleep, and put your baby to sleep, Abreeza's breastfeeding cubicles are ideal. However, don't expect to get any interaction here because you are technically isolated. If you want interaction with other breastfeeding mommas, then SM's breastfeeding rooms would work for you. :-)

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March 11, 2013

The Tale of Three Yuri's

I find it annoying when people insist on calling my son his second name because his first name, Yuri, is feminine. The first time I heard this, I was like, woah? In what world?

After doing a bit of research, I found out that Yuri is a name of a certain genre Japanese animes. My research didn't went far (got scared of Google images!), but I think it pertains to female-female romance. In short, when I say Yuri, they imagine this:
The most conservative image I can find
WARNING: If you're with children or if you're in the workplace, please don't search for "Yuri anime" images in Google. I did it and that was a terrible mistake.

On the other hand, I do get to meet a lot of sensible people and understand that Yuri is, indeed, a boy's name. Most of them know that it's a Russian name because of Yuri Gagarin, a popular cosmonaut:
According to Wikipedia, he's the first person to journey in outer space. Isn't that incredible? He did it back in 1961. Thank goodness a lot of people still know and remember their Science lessons! These people have no problem referring to my son's real name because they do it and remember a particular person who is famous in Russian space exploration history. Nice!

And still, a few people get to be deviant and think of yet another famous Yuri in history, or more accurately, Philippine television history. Don't underestimate these people because my OB-Gyn is among them. To them,  Yuri is simply John Lloyd Cruz:
Do you still remember the popular telenovela way back, Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay? I used to love that show because all of the names are Russian: Helena, Andrei (which is my older brother's name, by the way),  Borris, Ivan, Dimitri - that's all I remember. Don't you just love foreign-sounding names?

To be honest, a year ago, John Lloyd's face came to mind when I decided on the name, Yuri. In the future, when my son becomes a teenager and asks me about his name, I will not tell him about Yuri Gagarin. I will tell him that I named him after a telenovela character just to bug him out. Hahaha!

But I won't tell him about yuri animes. Never!
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