June 29, 2013

4 Not-So-Typical Uses For Your Baby Monitor

I'm contemplating on buying a baby monitor. I used to think we didn't need it, but I guess that was the case when Y was still a newborn. However, today, it is a different case. The young one is now beginning to explore and even though I want to stick to Y like glue all the time, I can't.

The desire actually sparked when I first read this post. I realized that a baby monitor could actually be useful, especially when we're ready to move to a new house and Y is already a "full-blown" toddler. Kailangan mag-ipon! Hahaha!

Now, I just read an article about the other uses of baby monitors. I'm even more convinced! To know what these four "not-so-typical" uses are, please read the guest post below by fellow mom, Karen:

I loved my baby monitor when my boys were newborns. Then I didn't need to make sure I could hear them all night after they were sleeping through the night. But I am never one to sell anything before I make sure I cannot use it for something else. Let me tell you, I probably use my baby monitor more now than I every used to when my boys were babies! Here are my 5 not-so-typical favorite uses for our baby monitor.

1. Listening to my children. I love my relatives and friends to bring their kids over to play with our kiddos. But sometimes, those children are allowed to say some things that we don't want our kids saying. My solution? Put the baby monitor receiver in the playroom! I can go to my bedroom to "use the restroom" and make sure everyone is playing well and not being mean or rude. This way, I can even address language that isn't completely terrible later on after the friends leave and make sure my kids understand those are words we don't use in our home.

2. Sunbathing in peace. I did this all the time when I had one baby, but now, I like to still have a little alone time out in the backyard to soak in some rays in peace and quiet. My older son just lays down for rest time, but sometimes he gets an idea in his head that he can get up out of bed and play games if I am outside and busy. With the baby monitor, I can make sure he is at least resting quietly and not up and around when he should be laying down. Also, if anything happens to either child while I am outside, I can make sure I am able to go inside and help them immediately.

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
3. Washing machine notifier. Unless you have a new, ultra fancy washing machine, it probably does not have a beeper that sounds when it is finished like your dryer does. I have learned to find a way around that! I just put my baby monitor receiver next to the washing machine and turn it pretty loud, so when the washing machine is finished, my monitor goes noticeably silent. Nothing is nastier than a mildewed load of laundry sitting in your washing machine!

4. Burglar monitoring. This has been our most useful use for our baby monitor. Our monitor is actually through Allen home security, and it has a video feed that we can access 24/7 through any wireless device or smartphone. So even when we are not home, from anywhere in the world we can view our house and make sure everything inside is safe and sound. Even when we are home, we have our smartphone in hand and can always watch the video feed in the kid's playroom or bedrooms. Burglars know our house is armed and has video surveillance with our home security, so that is one extra level of protection to keep our house as safe as possible.

Get your baby monitor out of closet and start using it creatively around your house. Thanks so much for reading, and please comment below with your unconventional use for your baby monitor!

Author bio: Karen is a work from home mom of two busy boys who works hard to always be more healthy, safe, fun, and frugal!

Disclaimer: This is a paid guest post.

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June 27, 2013

Knocking On Your Kind Hearts

I'd like to think I have readers, and I'd like to think you have BIG hearts.

Don't worry, this is not about me.

Yesterday morning, I was browsing the net looking for something I could buy this coming sweldo day. I thought I deserved to buy myself something because I didn't buy anything at all last month, which was my birthday month. Suffice to say, I was feeling pretty materialistic.

Needless to say, I was already getting excited with the prospect of shopping this katapusan when I saw this post on Facebook:

I felt so selfish. I wanted unnecessary stuff for myself, when this little baby here needs my help.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Baby Rhory Mae Gallardo, born prematurely at only 29 weeks gestation. Can you imagine how little she is? That is the doctor's hand at the photo; she's smaller than the hand.

Worse, her mommy died during childbirth. (Update: My highschool classmate told me that she is related to the mom. Apparently, she died due to placenta previa.)

The warmth all newborn babies need upon birth only her incubator can provide. And yes, there's no one to breastfeed her directly. But little Baby Rhory Mae is fighting for her life.

Their family is knocking on your hearts, dear readers. Donations of baby clothes and diapers are welcome, but it is breastmilk that they need badly. 

I wanted so badly to pump my own breast milk and feed it to her. Unfortunately, my milk is no longer suitable for a newborn. Breast milk composition changes and my milk is now suitable for a 15-month old baby's needs, not a newborn baby's.

The least I could do is pack some of Y's old clothes. I know these are all a lot too big for Baby Rhory Mae, but I hope they could help to provide her some warmth.

Now, I'm calling out to you. This baby needs our help. If you live in Davao City and are breastfeeding a baby younger than 6 months old, your own breast milk could just be the very thing that will help Baby Rhory Mae survive. She needs breastmilk long-term, so please help me spread the word.

Of course, other donations are accepted. You can get in touch with me so that I can refer you to the people who can help. Just email me at maan.laxa@gmail.com.

Let's help give her a normal, happy life.

To Baby Rhory Mae, hang in there. We might not know you or your family personally, but we care a lot for you and we're doing all our best to help you.

PS: Here's an update about her condition: https://www.facebook.com/KarenleeMD/posts/10151634825728251

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June 25, 2013

Trail Mix Post (Random Stories Over the Weekend)

I love trail mix. One can buy them from groceries (think DingDong for cheap, local version haha), but I'm more fond of making my own so that it contains the things I love. Hmm, I haven't created one since college...

But that's beside the point. Hehe. I was supposed to write a Sunday post (as usual) and was already beginning uploading photos from my cellphone when I discovered several other photos that are also blog-worthy. So I decided to include them in this post once and for all, hence, the "trail mix" blog post. :-)


Off to church!

Gray dress: Meg
Gray flats: Solemates
(I need new flats in my liiife!)
Brown braided belt: From the closet
Brown "diaper" bag: Parisian

Shirt: Crib Couture
Shorts: Kidstyle
Sandals: Champion
After church, we went to SM Lanang Premier. It's been ages since I've last been there! Char, exagg haha. But seriously, I know the LEGO exhibit has been there for quite a while, but it's my first time to see it:

Lego Exhibit
My beloved SM Lanang Premier, Lego version
And those are Davao City's landmarks! I wasn't able to note them one by one, but I'm pretty sure that's the Davao (Philippine) Eagle up front and Pearl Farm Resort at the left.
There was also a Lego play area for kids! No one in our group was appropriately-aged (teehee), so we just watched by the sidelines.

By the way, isn't my sister's dress so cute? That's peek-a-boo, but we had the dress tailored to fit her so hindi na masyado malaki ang holes. They'll alter it again when she grows taller.
Meanwhile, I tried my luck doing this OOTD post. Ang hirap pala pag malaki ang tiyan hahaha

And then, we had lunch at, where else, Mandarin.

We were impatiently waiting for a high chair. One high chair was being used at another table, and guess what, mukhang kinder na yung bata! Kalurks!

Hahahaha, at ang bangs ni Y, winner!
While waiting for the order... I smiled while my sister goofed up!
I meant to take a photo of the cute hanging lanterns, but akala ata ni kuya waiter, sya pinicturan ko!

Random Days

I took this just this morning! We all woke up to a gloomy morning with strong rains and thunder. I love sunny days, but I've had enough of them in the summer! Ulan na naman please!

Of course, I wouldn't be saying that nung nag-ooffice pa ako. Haha!

It was also raining very hard in Surigao, J told me. Oo nag-uusap kami pag 5am #tanders.
This is Y's latest hobby: sumakay sa timba! That's what he does when he gets tired of running around the house. :D
Y wants to read, too! I didn't dare open the book, though. In fact, naka-plastic pa yan hanggang ngayon. Baka kasi punitin, sayang naman! Pang-library ko pa to, no!

By the way, this book is a birthday gift from Ninang George. Thanks much!
Last but not the least, Y can already feed himself! Yay to another milestone! Of course, it's not perfect. He aims well with the spoon pero ang tanong, may laman ba yung pagkain? Haha! So we need to help him pa. Good job, baby!

*Photos are grainy because they are all taken using my phone. I'm too lazy to charge my camera. Boo!

PS: The Shebusa Leather Bracelet giveaway is still ongoing! You can enter here:

And you can also avail of a 15% discount!

PPS: I reserve the right to delete comments that are totally random and unconnected to the post, unthoughtfully-written, hurtful, and insensitive.

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June 23, 2013

Shebusa: Personalized Genuine Leather Bracelets (Plus a Giveaway!)

Diamonds, they say, are a girl's bestfriend. I beg to differ. The sparkle might catch my eye, but it's still the feel and smell of real leather that earns my trust - all the time.

And, hey, doesn't leather give you that peace of mind, knowing that it's going to last a long time? You can even give them as "pamana" to your daughter and granddaughter. Why? Because leather gets better with age.

However, leather bags, shoes, and belts come with a hefty price. To be honest, sometimes they cost an arm and a leg.

This is where Shebusa bracelets come in. I recently discovered this French designer, Chris Marcilla, who makes beautiful personalized bracelets. They are made of - you guessed it - genuine luxury leather: ostrich, alligator, snakeskin, even beaver tail.

And I'm not lying when I say beautiful. Just take a look at few of my favorites below:
Blue Ostrich Leather Bracelet

Beige Beaver Leather Bracelet

Blue Buffalo-Toad Leather Bracelet

Black Stingray Leather Bracelet

Red Ostrich Leather Bracelet
Enchanting, aren't they?

All Shebusa bracelets are made to order. This means customers can choose the design, the plating and of course the skin with whatever color they want.

I know you can't wait to get your hands on these bracelets, ladies. Now, you have a chance to bring home one! Yay!

Shebusa is giving away one ostrich leatherbracelet (worth $130 up) to one very lucky lady (or guy!). This contest is open to anyone. To try your luck, please enter the raffle below:

Good luck!

By the way, the giveaway will run from June 23 to July 23.

The giveaway is open for anyone, without geographic limitation. Shebusa will send the bracelet directly to the winner wherever he or she lives. Transportation costs are covered by Shebusa.

PS: If you really can't wait to get your own Shebusa bracelet, then I urge you to visit their website and drool over the beautiful designs.

But wait, there's more! 

Davao Mommy readers can avail of a 15% discount! Just enter this code upon checkout: DAVAOM (valid until August 31, 2013).

What are you waiting for? Be classy and luxurious with Shebusa leather bracelets.

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June 20, 2013

5 Things I Learned from Rediscovering my College Blog

Today is Thursday, so let's do a meaningful and reflective throwback.

I kept blogs from the moment I gained unlimited access to internet. Read: DSL. I just had no chance of creating one during the days when I still bought dial-up cards.

Cue in: Dial-up background noise

Isn't it amazing how much has changed over the years? Then, I had to clench my fist anticipating a "Successfully Connected" dialogue box. Now, I can surf the internet on the comfort of my bed.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Like what I said earlier, I used to keep a lot of blogs before. They contained the thoughts of a single college girl, some reflective, some funny, many embarrassing.

I thought I deleted the blogs, but apparently, I did not. So it should not have come as a surprise when three weeks ago, George sent me the link of my last college blog.

Witticisms of a Naive Girl: My last post, apparently, was after graduation.

It was fun leafing through the entries, but believe it or not, I learned a few things from rediscovering my college self:

1. Singleness is not a curse; one should take advantage of it.

I didn't have a boyfriend in college. Not even one. I remained single while some of my friends went through boyfriends like they were tissue or something. I had my share of unrequited love, but looking back, I realize a lot of things would not have happened if I entered a relationship.

For example, I might not have been a Dean's Lister. Perhaps I might not have been able to enter a sorority. I might not have been able to have all those crazy drinking sprees. I would have missed out on a lot. On the contrary, I did not miss out on having a good relationship after all.

2. Dreams and goals do change.

Reading through my college blog, I encountered a post or two listing the things I wanted to have and achieve. Predictably, almost half of the list were Apple products, one would be a luxury car, and the last one would be a lucrative career in the corporate world.

Aiming for these things is not bad. However, for now, I find most of those things unappealing. If I were to create a list now, building relationships might top the list, followed by personal betterment, financial freedom, and acquisition of new and useful skills. I also want to create a Pinterest-worthy home (and maybe I haven't given up on that Macbook yet).

I'm not saying my current list is better, or that now, I'm wiser. Like what I said, dreams change, so we better be flexible.

3. Study hard, party harder - after graduation.

I admit that back in college, I was a heavy drinker and smoker. Had I been wiser, I would have spent my freetime studying rather than partying. The partying could wait for later. After all, it's more fun when you're earning.

On the other hand, I stopped all my vices cold turkey a few months after graduation. So maybe there's a reason for all that partying? Haha

4. Take as many photos as you can.

I love taking and looking at photos. This explains the photo-overload in my posts. Well, that's because photos tell stories more than words can ever do.

When I look at the photos I took in senior year, everything came back. My friends and classmates, my frat brods and soro sisters. Our class projects. Extra-curricular work. Sleepless nights. THESIS. So many feels. And I was feeling all those just because of a single photo with me holding a bottle of Sting in a post where I talked about pulling another all-nighter for thesis.

The face of a 19-year old single girl

And I want to experience the same rush of memories 5 years from now, when I re-read the entries of Davao Mommy blog.

5. Look back every now and then and remember things with a positive outlook.

What amused me the most were the posts where I talked about my college "crush." Well back then, it was an unrequited love affair.

I was kinda taken aback when I read a post describing him:

So you think you're emo?
I immediately opened my Skype window and told George, "OMG! Parang si J ang tinutukoy ko dito!"

Suffice to say, I'm pretty consistent without realizing it.

What's my point? Not all of our experiences are good. Like what I said above, I loved unrequitedly for some time. But instead of dwelling on the negative, try to find the blessing in the experience.

I can truly say that after all the ugly experiences with love, nakabawi naman ako. I ended up with someone who treats me like a princess and honestly, I can't imagine being with someone else.

Now, I'm getting mushy here. But my point is, everything happens for a reason. You might not be where you are now if not for the little things that happened. So don't be afraid to take a step back and examine your past. What are the patterns? Are they good or do you need to get out of them? How did you change? For better or for worse? What progress have you made so far?

Yes, may halaga din pala ang Throwback Thursdays.

PS: I wrote this post on my phone last night. If there are spelling and grammatical errors, please just tell me. And be kind.

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June 19, 2013

Changes again!

Hi! Some of you might have noticed the changes my site is undergoing. I'm sorry that you have to see the actual process. You see, I'm doing all the tweaks by myself, so it's a trial-and-error method to see what works and what doesn't. Also, I don't have a professional website design program (I don't even have Dreamweaver), so all the changes have to be done live. Brr.

Apparently, I'm in the mood for girly patterns (read: chevron) and I'd like to use more aquamarine in my blog. Of course, pink is still my dominant color. I can't imagine owning a blog that is un-pink. Also, I'm leaving the minimalist concept. I'd like to explore colors and patterns more.

Aside from the color scheme, I also changed my font scheme.

Lastly, I went more organized with the changes. Unlike before when I would just use colors that catch my eye, I went scientific and actually stuck to using similar hex codes strictly. I also consulted some websites for complementary colors. The works.

I forgot to take a screenshot of my blog before I made the changes, but thanks to Wayback Machine, I was able to see my old blog design:

Davao Mommy as of May 31, 2013

Of course, you wouldn't want to know what I did with my blog. Who am I kidding? Hahaha! I hope everything goes fine today so that I can create a proper post. :-)
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June 17, 2013

Last Sunday AKA Father's Day

Growing up, we never celebrated Mother's Day or Father's Day. They were just ordinary days for us. It only became different recently, where we tried to, at least, do something on those days. Maybe it's because my parents are getting older and my dad is nearing retirement age? I don't really know hehe.

On the other hand, it is fun to just go to the mall and try to see kung meron bang promos and what-nots. So after church, we went to Gaisano Mall. My mom was supposed to get a tablet that day, but after the bad customer service (where we waited for 3 hours! 3pm na hindi pa kami nakakapaglunch!), my mom demanded her money back. I won't name the store but let's just say we're not planning to buy anything from them after what happened.

We waited at a nearby coffee shop, Chicco di Caffe. Here's my partially-eaten  Sans Rival that was a tad too sweet.

Since it was already 3pm, all of the restaurants were already either full or were already serving merienda (haha no thanks!). We also didn't want to eat where we have to wait for an hour to get our food (gutom na!), so we had to eat at our no-fail restaurant: Mandarin.

The day before Father's Day:
Papa: San n'yo gustong kumain bukas?
Mama: Kahit saan 'wag lang sa Mandarin.

Hahaha mama, your wish is not the day's command! Good thing the food was served rather quickly. We ate to our heart's content! I was sooo hungry that I ate some of Y's noodle soup (I regularly feed him first before I eat). And I was sooo hungry that I didn't get to take any food photo! Oh never mind. :-)

After eating our hearts out, we took some photos at Gaisano Mall's rooftop garden, The Peak:

My sister wearing a plaid blue dress from my closet. Teehee.

Y wanted to jump into the water! No baby, this is not a swimming pool! (Which reminds me, he's never been into a pool pa!)
The Peak
Please remind me not to slouch next time. I look preggers! :D

Big smile! And, oh, I also need to pluck my brows. Kailan kaya ako magkaka-oras? Hehe
Happy Father's Day!
And hi, mama!

My current favorite sheer maroon cardigan, which is a hand-me-down from my mom.
Tube bubble dress: Mango
Bandage skirt: Gift from J
Shoes: Solemates, the only pair that allows me to run with a toddler

Tuxedo Rompers: Doomagic
Sandals: Champion
By the way, I was supposed to wear the bandage skirt the way it is normally worn. I wore the tube as top and wore the bandage skirt over it. However, when my mom saw me, she said mukha daw akong matrona. Kasi daw mukhang three layers ang tiyan ko. Huwat! Hahaha! Sige na nga!
That was already my second time at The Peak, but the first time I was there (which was over a year ago), there were only a few restaurants and coffee shops. Now, it has three levels of shops! And take note that this is on the roof top of the mall ha?

And what better way to cap the day off than with a box of pizza? Yum!

We got a box with two flavors: Aloha and Cheesy Bacon. By the time I remembered to take a photo, ubos na ang Cheesy Bacon!
Kaya lang, it was only when we were about to throw the box when we realized they forgot to give us sauce sachets. Sige na nga!

How about you? How was your Father's Day weekend?
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