Cantonese Food Happiness at Jasmine New World Hotel

If there’s one thing common to all SoMoms events, it’s our obvious love for food. Oh, we love to eat. Some more than others. (Yes, that’s me)

Patty issued out an invitation to the SoMoms with these keywords: dinner, Chinese food, Jasmine, New World Hotel. My answer: Yes, yes, pretty please, yes!

I had missed the first invitation to Jasmine a couple months back, and I was really looking forward to this night out with some of my favorite ladies.

This was our menu:

And these were the dishes for real.

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Top: Tropical Fruits, Golden Scallops, Waguy Beef Roll; Deep Fried Fish Fillet, Salted Egg Yolk, Steamed Egg White; Fried Rice, Diced Chicken, Chinese Sausage. Bottom: Four Treasure Soup with Conpoy; XO Prawns, Sotanghon in Claypot; Beef Short Ribs, Black Pepper  Sauce.

These are some of the menu items that make up the Jasmine New World Hotel Fine Cantonese Signature Sets. Headed by Chef Wong Kam On, this is a chance to have an authentic Cantonese dining experience.

Jasmine launched their signature set dishes a while back, and will feature them till August 2013. The set menus are good for a minimum of two people and feature some well-loved Cantonese dishes that are so familiar to us Pinoys, plus a few items here and there that aren’t that common and makes the meal a unique experience. The prices range from PhP750++ to PhP1,450++ per person.

They also have this lunchtime Eat-All-You-Can Dimsum thing for only PhP660.++!!! Oh one of these days I have to try that out. I looooooove dimsum.

Stuffed and happy.

The SoMoms with New World Hotel’s Nini Icban. (Thank you Nini!)

Thank you for having us for dinner Jasmine! It really was such a wonderful evening.

Dr. Jack Newman in Manila! {Giveaway Alert}

Some weeks ago, LATCH posted this on their Facebook page: “Breastfeeding rockstar is coming to Manila!” I can’t put it any better than that, really. Dr. Jack Newman truly is a breastfeeding rockstar. He is considered one of the top experts on breastfeeding, and I would always check on what he says about certain issues when asked or when I myself am wondering. What he says about breastfeeding, goes!

So here’s the deal. He’s coming to Manila on August 31 to have a symposium at The Medical City. Tickets are at PhP1,100.00 if you buy them now, and they’ll be PhP1,500.00 if you get them at the gate. There’s limited seating though, so I really suggest you buy your tickets now! Here’s the poster:

breastfeedingunocoveredblog

When I think about meeting him, I can’t help but tear up a little. I think about the coming symposium and all the doctors, nurses, medical professionals, breastfeeding advocates and moms who will hear him speak, and think about the thousands of lives that will be affected. (Whooooozaaaa. Naiiyak na naman ako!)

I am really excited and I hope this really makes a mark on the breastfeeding scene in the Philippines. This is LATCH’s main event for Breastfeeding Month, and we will have our training seminar for new breastfeeding peer counselors soon after. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to join the next LATCH breastfeeding peer counselor training session, attending Breastfeeding Uncovered is a pre-requisite.

It’s so important to me that lots of mothers benefit from this talk. And so, I want to treat two of the blog’s readers to a ticket. Time for a giveaway! Details are:

1. Open to all mothers, fathers, expecting moms and medical professionals who want to learn more about breastfeeding.

2. Open nationwide, but you will have to get the ticket from me yourself. This is a special event and tickets are limited, so I really want these tickets to go to two people who really want to go and can go. Please please, do not join if you are not available on August 31, 8am – 5pm for the symposium.

3. Contest will run from today until July 5.

4. If for some reason you win and can’t go, I will pick another winner from the entries.

How to win? Write me an email and send it to: giveaways@painterswife.com. In it, please let me know why you want to come to the symposium. I would love to hear about your breastfeeding journeys, your trials, your successes, your failures, whatever. Let’s make it all about breastfeeding – learning it, celebrating it, doing it and rediscovering it all over again.

I can’t wait to hear from you! Please please join!

 

To buy tickets to see Dr. Jack Newman in Manila, please log on to: http://breastfeedinguncovered.eventbrite.com/.

Adventures in Preschool: Basti’s First Week

So there I was, sitting on a kiddie-sized bench, with my legs almost to my chin, white-knuckled from clutching my bag in anxiety, while slow bullets of tension-laden sweat were dripping from my brow. Why? Because Basti was wailing behind closed classroom doors.

My heart wrenched with every cry and I wanted to cry myself. I wanted to barge in and tell Basti that I was right there but I knew that wasn’t going to be good for him. I kept waiting for the teacher to come and out and ask me to come in, but it didn’t happen.

So I waited. For an hour I heard him cry. Endlessly, painfully, despairingly, desperately cry.

And then after an hour, the doors opened and the kids came out. I was expecting a tear-stricken, red face led by an exasperated teacher. Instead, out comes a jolly, excited toddler who gives me a big hug and says, “Mama! I want to eat cookies!”

Huh?

So it turns out, all his crying was tearless. He did all the activities – ALL of them – painting, drawing, singing, reading a book, playing with dough, playing with toy animals – WHILE CRYING. With no tears.

Oh you little scrapper you.

Tomorrow will be better.

And as a result, my usual goofy passenger looked like this on the way home.

Serves you right, you little bug.

Juicing, Day 4

Right now, I hold my personal record for being the most unfit and heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life. It’s been a total downhill slide for me since I got pregnant. I used to run, play badminton, scuba dive, go to the gym, swim, etcetera, etcetera, but all that disappeared when I got pregnant. Even though everyone was saying I should get some form of exercise while on the way, I was too lazy. Breastfeeding helped in the early days. I lost a bit of weight, even if I had a voracious appetite. The thing is, when Basti’s feeding waned, my appetite didn’t.

Recent events have caused me to rethink my current lifestyle and I am painfully admitting that some changes are in order. Not just for looking good, but for Basti’s sake. He cannot have an unhealthy mommy; we have many years of adventures yet to come.

And so, I’ve taken up juicing. This is a thought I’ve been toying with for years now. “Toying” is the word to describe my efforts because I never really pushed through with it. Last week, I finally dug out a juicer my grandmother lent me many months ago and juiced beets, lettuce, cucumber, spinach, lemon, and apples. I posted it on my IG and called it my Chamba Juice. It tasted like a meadow.

It was such a messy experience so I buckled down and got a proper juicer from Rustan’s. I was going to get Hurom slow juicer, but it was out of stock, so I bought the Breville Juice Fountain Max instead:

photo courtesy of breville.com.ph

I’m pretty happy with it, the pulp is quite dry and it’s very efficient. My first juicing experience with the Breville is this glass that I call Salad In A Glass. It was carrots, apples, lettuce, and cucumbers.

I have my juice for breakfast and dinner everyday, and I only eat food for lunch. If I get hungry in between meals, I munch on fruits and almonds. It’s only Day 4, so let’s see what will happen to me in a month. I’m surprised I don’t feel as hungry and weak as I thought I would feel. I actually feel better in the morning and I’m beginning to sleep better at night. I’m hoping the changes to my skin and hair will manifest soon. Here’s hoping!

Next time I’ll share with you guys how I’m doing on the exercise side of things. Arrgh.

Driver-Mom Lifesavers: CDR King Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad

So, Basti started school yesterday. It’s still the adjustment period, so the class is still shortened to about an hour before going full schedule into 3 hours a day, which won’t happen till a couple of weeks from now. He was fine in the beginning, and I was happily making chika with my co-parents outside the classroom when I heard a child go, “Mamaaaaaaaaa!” And oh yes, it was mine.

But even with the shortened schedule, I already had an inkling of what my life will be like for the next 10 months. It will be an everyday trek and an everyday 3-hour wait for Basti. I already scouted the area for things I can do to spend the time: facials, mani-pedis, restaurants, supermarket, banks, gyms. But we’re talking 5 days a week here. I will eventually run out of things to do, not to mention how expensive it will be if that’s all I’ll do.

So hey, I thought, I could just spend the time blogging. I will pull a Samantha Sotto and use the time waiting to write. No, I’m not aiming to be the next great novelist. I just want to blog more, which is something I’ve been promising myself I’d do in the past few months. (A resolve which I am taking care of – do you guys notice I’ve been trying to post more often?) But here’s the dilemma – I am not a laptop user. Not only that, I am a Mac-only user. So, ibig sabihin kailangan Macbook Air pa talaga ang bibilin ko diba? #siraanngwallet

I do have an iPad, but I’m the type who can’t write without a keyboard. Well, a side trip to CDR King yesterday solved my problem.

O diba? Problem solved. Blogging continues. This is a Bluetooth keyboard and power bank in one. You can even charge your cellphone! Laptop ang effect! Win na win! This will do until I get megabucks to buy myself a Macbook Air. As to the matter of how long it will last, we shall see. For the cost, I’m willing to give it a chance.

Want one? The CDR King Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad at any CDR-King branch for PhP 1,880.00.

Nostalgia Time: Full Circle

Now allow me to tell you a story of me and my first “baby.”

Once upon a time, I had a little girl named Faith. This is her:

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Check out my firewire-connected vintage iPod, y’all. My desktop wallpaper is a poster of Alias, the TV show. I loved Alias so much back then that my username on PhilMUG is “freelancer”, which is one of Sydney Bristow’s codenames. People thought it was because I was a freelancer. Which I was. But that’s not the point.

After a couple of years, I got Layla and I sold Faith to my friend Monica. This is them turning over files to each other.

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Before you think I’m crazy, any die-hard Mac user will tell you going sentimental over their Apple products is perfectly normal. You’re the weird one if you don’t think so.

Since Faith I’ve had 2 more iBooks and 2 iMacs. This was the one I lost to Ondoy. Sigh.

New baby
My iMac now is a heaven-sent gift from my very wise choice of a Twitter name in 2006 that paid off in 2009. I’ll tell you that story in private if you’re curious because I heard that what happened for me to get that expected windfall is, apparently, not allowed anymore.

Years and years later, this arrives on my doorstep.

My baby came back home! Monica upgraded her Mac years ago but never sold Faith. The good friend she is, she thought it would be nice to just send her back to her original owner.

Thank you Monica for returning her. You and I will be the only ones who know the meaning of Faith coming back home to me. She’s old and practically useless, but she’ll always be my first baby. It’s good to have her back home.

Basti Loves: Funky Feiyue Shoes!

When I was living in China, I would see Feiyue shoes in the malls, but wasn’t really able to check them out. At that time, my awareness of sneaker brands was very limited, and I only knew of the few brands I came to know while growing up. A while back, I saw Feiyue pop-up store in Rockwell, and my interest in it started to grow. As kismet would have it, the SoMoms were invited by Feiyue to try out a pair from their collection. Basti was so excited when I told him we were going to get him some new kicks. He loves shoes!

Feiyue’s roots are in Shanghai, China. It was established as a brand in the 1920s and was well-known for its style and comfort. It was in 2006, when a group of sneaker freaks from France took over the brand, that Feiyue experienced a total style rebirth. Feiyue has got some awesome collaborations with other brands and artists. Celine, Shin Tanaka, LCP, Stereo Panda and Agnes B are some of the names that collaborated with Feiyue.

So off we went to their flagship store in San Juan to pick out a pair for Basti, and for me! Thanks to my size 9 feet, I was able to choose from a special box they had at the back. These were my top seven picks. Believe me, it was not easy! They’re all so cute.

Even Basti had a hard time choosing between these two super cute pairs.

In the end, I couldn’t resist being matchy-matchy with Basti. How often do I get to match with my little boy? Almost never!

He loves his Feiyue shoes so much, they made him smile. Those who know Basti know this is a rare occasion.

Sometimes he’ll even wear them around the house. He’s so proud of his shoes. These Feiyue sneakers are now Basti’s official pair for school. They are so comfy, I kid you not. He will have an awesome time playing in them.

The Feiyue concept store is at Sekai Center, Ortigas Ave., San Juan. It’s right by the gate of Northeast Greenhills, if you’re coming from Greenhills Shopping Center. It’s the building with BnT Mexican Kitchen. Which was yum, by the way. We had a snack there because picking the right pair made us hungry. #excuses

Thank you Feiyue! I guarantee we’ll be back for another pair!

Follow Feiyue on:

Facebook: Feiyue Philippines
Twitter: @FeiyuePhil
Instagram: @FeiyuePhilippines

 

The Way of the Cloth and Cup

I haven’t exactly been the “go-green” type. I would say that I am somewhere in the “trying” zone of the environmental awareness spectrum, with our reusable bags, and segregation of trash. But, I would have to admit that there are still many, many aspects of our lifestyle that could use some tweaking to be a little kinder to our planet.

Part of this effort was my decision to use cloth diapers on Basti when he was younger. We used Chino Pinos, along with a Thirsties Duo diaper cover for when he was home from birth till he was about 6 months old.

At that time, the cloth diapering movement was not that active yet, and I lost the drive when our one helper started to complain and the rains came. Now, at 3 years old and in the potty-training stage, I put Basti back on cloth at home. I recently purchased some Babyleaf trainers from Mama. Baby. Love., and a few from Cluebebe as well. Basti still uses his one and only next9 cloth diaper too. I just like the trainers to get him more used to the idea of underwear.

Top: next9; Bottom: Babyleaf, Cluebebe

I joined the Modern Cloth Nappying Pinays Facebook page last year, and was exposed to the world of cloth diapers and the fantastic practice of group buying. As moms, we always find a way to get what we want at the best prices possible, right? The prices are much lower than retail, the process is easier (you order, you pay, you wait. That’s it!), and you can buy things not available in local shops. It was through a group buy that I bought Basti’s Sunbaby trainers.

Oh how I wish the pocket diaper trend was alive and well when Basti was a baby! I think I would’ve made more of an effort to purely use cloth!

Another effort I’ve made is for myself.

NOTE: The rest of this post talks about reproductive health, specifically, menstrual period, and I understand if some are not comfortable discussing or reading about it. Consider yourself warned.

I’ve been a tampon user since I was a teenager. Having a very active lifestyle necessitated it. I also do not like the feeling of pads. They are so uncomfortable. I heard about menstrual cups back when I was still single from a friend of mine. It didn’t really register to me as an option because the whole concept seemed alien to me.

Menstrual cup, did you say? So what is it? This is it:

The idea? You use it to catch your flow. Yes you put it inside. How does it feel? Like nothing. So comfortable that I forget it’s there. No fuss, minimal mess, and there’s nothing to throw away. It’s reusable, and if used properly, can last you for years.

Not so bad right? You have to punch in the side for insertion.

I cannot say enough about how this invention has made my period irrelevant in how I plan my life. Having my period is now the lamest excuse I can think of for not doing something. Uh-oh, now if I tell someone I can’t go because “I have my period” they’ll know I just don’t want to go and I’m lying.

This one if from Lunette, and I bought it, again, from Mama.Baby.Love. Along with adopting the menstrual cup, I’ve also gotten rid of disposable pantyliners. I now use cloth pantyliners as well. For those who are not comfortable with “invasive” methods, Jenny also sells cloth menstrual pads at her store.

Interested in cloth diapering? Check out the Modern Cloth Nappying Pinays Facebook group page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mcnpinays/