Winter Wear and Where 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I am trying to post this article as fast as possible just because I know a lot of moms are scheduled to leave the country for snow-laden ones with their babies within the next few days and weeks. (Have in mind that I am talking specifically about babes 11 months and below, or those who aren’t walking or running around too much yet and still have to be carried most of the time.) Actually, even if there isn’t any snow, these moms are going to have to be in very low temp countries, sometimes even negative and rather windy, that it doesn’t matter whether there is snow or not. It’s just gonna be plain freezing and a mom’s got to be ready for that! I mean hello, to prepare for oneself alone can be a pain, what more if you are lugging ze bebe around?!?!! Hah! So get ready ’cause here are some of the things I learned from being in winter wonder-Japan!

The Base

Wear: Layering is key and base will be best if it is thermal wear.

Where: Most efficient ones I’ve got would be the Heat Tech line from Uniqlo and the good news is that they have for babies, too! (Uniqlo shops are everywhere- Eastwood has, as well as SM Aura, MOA…)

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When I was in Japan, one heat tech shirt was enough, topped with knit and wool tops. I think when temperature goes lower you can experiment with using several of those thin heat tech shirts for warmth. I love their heat tech line because it has the advantage of not looking like a balloon even as I wear them in very thick layers. Anyway the suggestion goes for whatever you use for your/their bottoms, too!

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Here’s a tip for women who are a bit petite on the top or with the torso area: BUY FROM THE KIDS SECTION! All of us, my mother in law, my sister in law, and I, got this from the kids section of Uniqlo in sizes 140/150. They are kind short for an adult’s arms, but generally effective in giving off warmth for the most part of your upper body.

Wear: For the nursing mama: A SANDO or TANK TOP!!! My gosh I wasn’t able to do this but do wear one underneath the heat tech base so when you have to lift up your shirt when nursing, your back and tummy do not remain exposed to the winter cold!!!!

The Add-Ons (Bonnets, Gloves, Tights)

Wear: Bonnets are good, of course. Thought if you are only to get one, go for the thick type and is able to cover the ears. Then a pair of gloves! These are especially useful when you plan to be out most of the time.

Where: If you also have at least one day to shop around for proper wear, do buy your (yours and baby’s!) winter bonnet in the place you’re going to as you may have it cheaper where they are really prepared for four different seasons. Or you can also check out Posh Dollies who might even be able to custom make for your baby! I got his monster beanie from them!!!

The same thing goes for the gloves. For babies with really small hands, I think it is more likely you’ll see one that fits over the place you are going than in the Philippines. I had my sister get me some all the way in Taiwan as I cannot find even just a pair over here. Anyway thick wool socks will do if you can’t find good ones right away.

Wear and Where: Heat tech tights are also available for adults and I think there are available heat tech leggings for children but I could not find any that would fit my 11-month old baby. So the next best thing was to put on his Happy Socks PH tights under his corduroy pants, plus a pair of socks to keep feet warm.

To Top it Off

Wear: Of course we’ve got coats and sweaters and knits underneath them, which is still a layer on top of the thermals. Just do the same for baby. A knit or wool sweater or jacket on top of his thermals, and a coat in winter materials/make for the top most layer. The cords (corduroy pants) were also very comfy and warm for his bottoms.

Where: Check out Sfera or Old Navy for such things (Sfera is in SM Makati, and there is Old Navy in several places: Fairview Terraces Mall, Megamall, Bonifacio High Street) and do decide number of pieces according to your length of stay and activities. For us, one coat and one sweater would have been enough. We only stayed for 5 days. (Needless to say I needed several base shirts and bottoms to change with everyday.)

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Wear: Boots with warm and fuzzy fur lining or high cut shoes. If you don’t have them just make sure you have a blanket- fleece or down material, covering his feet.

Babywearing Gear

Wear and Where: For walking around, you might want jackets such as my Mamaway 3-in-1 Maternity Jacket (they have a shop in the Shangrila Edsa Mall or follow them on their their FB account in the Philippines which you will reach if you click over their brand) that has extensions to incorporate baby wearing. Philip was snug as a bug in my orange down filled jacket!!! Very very useful and warm, and lessens the need to layer the baby underneath. (Best of both worlds- mama and baby can also use body heat!!!)

Wear and Where: The other thing is to put an attachable cover to your baby wearing device. The one I got from the States is pretty universal, clippable onto an Ergo or an i-Angel or any of the similar type of carrier. I am not very sure if they would have this device over here.

Wear and Where: My Halo Micro-Fleece Sleepsack also helped because it was like blanket with which I can zip him inside. Other types I saw while walking around Japan were the down blankets that look like mini sleeping bags. The babies wore them while in their strollers. Check out Mothercare as they might have some!

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Wear: Windbreakers and not only thick coats. Sometimes the wind makes a rather good and breezy weather worse than a snowy day! So do have a coat with a hood to break wind from hitting the poor little boy’s face. If baby is in a stroller, a blanket to stop the wind from coming through should be fine. If wearing baby, do cover his neck and face as you walk. It is good enough that he faces you as you stroll so his face will not catch the wave of the wind.

Where: For hoodies do check out same shops mentioned above: Old Navy, Sfera, and try Mothercare, as well.

Moisturize

Wear: Thick creams and ointments and balms for body and face and lips. Both mama and bebe!!!

Where: Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is good as an all around dryness-buster, and for balms- specially for the lips (Philip got a wind burn!) I used Cutieverse’s Hurraw Organic Lip Balm. My advise though is to check these products for possible irritants or allergens specific to your baby. Better to ask your pedia first before buying. Ask if pedia also has a recommendation for baby’s skin care!

(Moms, do not forget to click on linked brands for more info about their stores, online shopping, delivery, etcetera!)

 

 

Remembering Out of Love

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I was just talking to my friend in Japan who is now five months pregnant. She’s been through a lot before this pregnancy and was telling me all about her journey with the Lord during those turbulent months in her life. She said that through it all, the Lord reminded her about the verse in Isaiah which says

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

Isaiah 49:5

As a nursing mom, some verses in the Bible take on a whole different meaning for me such as this one. One of my earliest realizations about breastfeeding is that it is an emotional thing. Ever wondered about why mothers never get any decent sleep anymore after the first child, while fathers can sleep through it all the rest of the time? A lot of it has to do with their food. The mothers have the food, in their breasts, and when you know someone is dependent on you like that, you surely will wake up no matter what.

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But the thing is you don’t just wake up because you have to but because you love and care for that little person who depends on you. For me, nursing has to be done with love. Without it, the mom will only be miserable in doing so. I’ve actually heard of some moms who choose not to nurse for the reason that they just don’t want to be bothered at all.

And so there I realized that when God chose the figure of a nursing mom who has forgotten the nursing child, who has had no compassion for her son, He was actually saying that He does not forget not because He just has to but because He loves us. That He remembers not because He needs to remember us but He remembers out of great love.

Oh I just love the way of righteousness with God not as a way of proving He’s right and we’re wrong, but of great love that is able to change and save the world.

To the Husbands

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My husband and I are not big on gift-giving. When we do it, we are almost always very practical. He once gave me a desk set, because he didn’t like it that I am hunched over for hours whenever I do school work. He would also give me books in the past because I love reading and they were great for my course. I also don’t seem to get him anything “romantic” but always something useful for his job like clothes- polos and cardigans for office hours and services.

So on Christmas, it is always a dilemma what to give each other and I told him, to end the problem we can just decide on saving up the budget for future trips. Anyway, this is really something I am willing to spend on and would love to have instead of a nice ring, necklace, etcetera.

Yet this year my husband decides to be different. I am not sure when I said it but I did mention liking a certain watch that I an hesitant to get for myself since it is a bit pricey. I’ve often thought about just biting the bullet but me thinks: “That budget would already make a great makeover for the home.” And so I would always end up deciding against it.

One day when we were walking around the mall I saw the store and since Joseph went to the car to get something I went inside to fit and see how the watch looks against my small wrist. Needless to say it looked as amazing as it was in my imagination, hehe. After asking about the price range I thought I’d tell my husband to take a look at them and maybe we can get him one since he’s been thinking of trying out watches himself, too.

So husband gets back and we do last minute errands and I finally take him to the store. After fitting a few pieces here and there, we walk over to the grand Christmas display of the mall because he says they are beautiful. I thought it was a bit odd but I followed him anyway. Right in front of it he complimented the materials used and I agreed, after which he handed me a Christmas paper bag with a gift inside for me. I was laughing at how cheesy he was but grew serious upon realizing what it contained inside. Joseph got the desire of my heart. It was the watch I was eyeing from the store. 

It’s been days since that happened, but I am still living on the thrill of the moment. (He gave it ahead of time because he thought I’d want to wear it in Japan.) Kilig na kilig pa din ako, and whenever I see or wear the watch I become as soft and tender as a jello. I’ve been trying to understand what was it about the watch and the gesture that truly melted my heart. Honestly if this happened way before, perhaps 2 or 3 years into the marriage, I’d be like, “Sayang naman! Sana we saved it for a trip or something.” But right now, in this season of our lives, it is perfect. And it gave me an insight on the purpose of lavish acts and gifts…

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I was actually making parinig that maybe we can just give this Dyson Vacuum cleaner as a gift to one another this Christmas. It is worth about P40,000. So I was considering to give half while he gives the other half. It would have made me happy if he agreed, after all it would cost more for him to get this than the watch, but hit wouldn’t have communicated the same and rather important, timely, message. And that, to me, is priceless!

After having had Philip, I’ve received numerous gifts that were all either for him or related to motherhood. While another gift as such would have been appreciated and rather practical to receive from Joseph, I realized that receiving something that was solely for me, independent of me being a mother and of even being a wife, communicates this powerful sentiment: “Way before you were my wife and a mother, I appreciated and loved you for you. And I still feel the same until today.” Separate from my two very important and fulfilling roles, Joseph’s gift says that he loves me for me.

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It’s been quite some time since we last had a photo of just the two of us. Lately it is always with Philip- the star of almost all our photographs, of course. It is easy to get lost in the mom and dad roles, so husbands, easily rekindle the man and wife flame by simply giving your wife not the gift she needs as a mom and home maker, but something she truly desires.

And so from the experience here is what I learned. Husbands, buy your wives gifts they desire that are not in any way related to their roles at home or to their children. It doesn’t have to be pricey, but perhaps something valuable or not as easy to get would be perfect. Because along with the difficulty or the cost comes the message that “For you, regardless of all you’ve done for our children and our home, I will.” To me, it felt like my husband treasures me so much that something that hurts his own budget a bit is worth it. And along with it I felt renewed not as a mom but as his lover and inspiration all over again. And as a by-effect, your reinvigorated wife will be extra happy to serve as the beauty and glory we are really created for in marriage. :)

BDJ Planner 2015 : Dance!

Monday, December 15, 2014

It’s a time for planners once again!!! And our yearly fave, the Belle De Jour planner is back in exclusive gray leather!

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“The journey in between what you once were, and who you are becoming is where the dance of life takes place” – Barbara De Angelis

Keep yourself inspired all throughout the year with the 9th Edition of the Belle de Jour Power Planner!Wefilled this planner with tons of positivity, empowering thoughts, and fun tips that will help you achieve the life of your dreams.

Aside from the annual features that the BDJ Planner provides, we’ve added more pages that will help you find your “ikigai”.  This year, we’re introducing a concept in relation to Live Life to the Fullest – it’s finding your reason or motivation to get up every morning, enjoying life with a deep sense of purpose.

Use this planner as a tool to help you break things down and tackle things oneday at a time. Don’t forget to take a breather and look at how far you’ve come, appreciate where you already are, and envision how far each action and accomplished task will take you.

For the girl who achieves her goals, makes a difference in her community, and does everything in great style.

At PHP680., this planner is packed with over Php 40,000 worth of coupons, has 192 full-color pages and a matte-laminated hard cover, expandable back-pocket (which I love! for keeping things the basurera in me is able to accumulate along the way of one year…hahahaha), AND tickers to mark special dates!

But because we are all “different folks, with different strokes,” worry not because there are other themed planners you can get for your own personality over here ilovebdj.com.

And for a lucky bella, we a are giving away the BDJ 2015 planner and all you have to do is answer this question for a chance to win!

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or…

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The second question is actually an on-going campaign called the #BDJHappyDance, wherein people share the achievements that bring them to a happy dance, indeed, for this year!

For your answers please send them over to mich@ilovebdj.com and then tweet/IG/FB about it using official hashtag #PerksofaBella, while tagging BDJ on FB (Belle De Jour Power Planner) and Twitter or Instagram (@bdjbuzz). In a week’s time you (on Monday again) will hear from Mich (through email!) if you were chosen as the winner of this contest! Wahhh, so edited to read your entries! I actually picked these two questions because I am excited to ponder about them as well. :) Will definitely show you my thoughts once I’ve neatly jotted them down. As always, I have a feeling that 2014 has been a great year, surpassing that which I have imagined, and so I am looking forward to another year of God’s wonderful surprises!

 

Words for 2014: Collaboration and BLISS

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Whenever the year ends, we do a traditional asking of questions ’round a table of guests regarding their “highlights” or “grateful for” lists for this year, and another on their “faith goals” or “what you’re believing for” for the next. The goal of this exercise is to highlight God’s faithfulness in our lives every year. (For an example click this.)

However this year I am deciding to ask a brand new question along with the old ones. As a committed learner, I’d like to invite friends and also my dear readers to ponder on this instead:

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It never occurred to me that there are 365 days in a year and it is almost impossible to let all of those days pass without learning even one small thing! And so for starters I would like to say that for me, it was all about the concept of…

C O L L A B O R A T I O N.

When I began blogging it was only merely to record the MASL’s of the mountains I would climb. Also so not to forget my fleeting days here on earth. Nevertheless this domain has brought me to a whole new world both virtually and tangibly. When I thought my blog can hide me behind those virtual walls forever, I was mistaken as it forced me out to look for help some place else. This event led me to Martine de Luna, actually, who is now my blog coach and more importantly, a good friend.

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These photos are from last the #Blissmakerie2014 merienda at Scarsdale on Shaw Boulevard, where Martine gathered the people she’s coached and worked and made a blissful life with for 2014! So honored to be a part of this group. Thank you so much Martine!!!

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The women in this photo I have all met or became friends with just because of blogging. I can’t believe how simply writing has brought me so much blessings in the form of these women!!!

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Kat San Juan is the one right beside me, the talented woman behind The Daykeeper.

I also met her and found out about her just because of collaborative events!

My #blissbox fr the #Blissmakerie2014 this afternoon. Tap for brands! #hurrawPH #jeanperryPH #philosophyPH

A photo posted by Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio (@ricaperalejo.ph) on

My Bliss Box- which is really a box of some of Martine’s favorite things! For more photos of the event, and the accounts of the generous sponsors and suppliers, do check out everything under the official hashtag: #Blissmakerie2014!

Martine was one of those people whom I asked for books to read about blogging and she told me to get Blog INC. In that book I learned that bloggers are not hide behind their virtual persons and homes but go out for collaborations. This was what made me say yes to Baby and Breakfast when we came up with Mom-Me Time 2014. Neither of us knew it was going to be such a hit, and that moment really opened my eyes and my heart to the goodness that collaborations can bring!

Lately I’ve been reading about the Stories behind the Best-Loved Christmas Songs by Ace Collins (blogging about them over here) and I realized that collaborations have been happening for centuries, and have actually produced some of the most heartwarming and unforgettable tunes we have ever heard of! I repeat, good things come out of collaborations. And this year I am really grateful to Martine for opening that concept to me, being a champion of collaborations herself.

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All photos in this post (except embedded IG posts) were taken and shared by the beautiful Patty Laurel.

Thanks for being the best looking photographer in the house, hahaha! 

In fact, Martine’s blog MAKE IT BLISSFUL, is a personal lifestyle blog that is mainly powered by her but she chooses to maintain as a sum of all collaborative effort. Funny that her definition of BLISS-finding is found in one’s uniqueness, and yet she doesn’t push forth the idea of lonesomeness or isolation. If anything, for Martine life is about celebrating one’s “you-nique” person and always encouraging that person to bring her little something to the table where we can all eat together. Thanks Martine, for helping us see that great and wonderful and beautiful things are more blissfully done with one another.

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Martine in the company of her co-bliss-makers…

So really, I am barely scratching the surface of the big word I have learned for 2014. There is a whole new year to take on to find the rest of this word’s meaning and I thank the Lord that I have Martine on my side as I do it. You are really one of the highlights of my 2015!!! Philip and I love you!!!

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