Thursday, October 18, 2018

Franny Mommy Favorites : Orange and Peach Philippines

When I got married 8 years ago, I was one of the lucky few who didn't had to worry much about running my own household. It's because I was first asked to move in with my in laws for the first 5 months of our married life and there it was easy breezy for me. I literally would wake up in the morning with a wide breakfast spread lovingly made by Manang on the table, I'd go to work while being driven by Kuya M and after a long busy day at work, I'd go back to my in laws' house with dinner waiting for me. The only thing that Paul and I had to worry then were our basic toiletries. After 5 months, we gave in to my mom's request and moved in to my family. It was even much more easier for me as I didn't had to adjust at all. It was simply going back to the house where I grew up in before I became Mrs. Ang. Likewise, Mommy and Papa had everything ready where we had our reliable helpers to do our laundry, cook our meals and so on.

The harsh realities of being married and having to be independent set in when we moved abroad. I'd say, Paul is truly an amazing husband as he helped me with the household chores but I guess it was then that I was forced to make big decisions on my own. Decisions like what type of rice to buy, how often should we stock up on our frozen meats and seafood, what are the necessary cleaning products. We weren't prepared for those and we pretty much learned as we went along. I realized that when it comes to shopping for household items, I would go for the brands that I am familiar with. These are pretty much the ones that Mommy would buy so it was a no-brainer for me that those are the good ones or at least the one that were tried and tested already. Later on, I'd learn to try other brands and would discover one or two that I like over the one that Mom would normally buy here in Manila.

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Things changed when I became a Mom. Somehow, I started to become more picky and careful when choosing the things that will be used by my twins. Clothes, perhaps I am still more lenient but when it comes to their personal care then I would really take the time out to do my research, ask fellow moms or follow my gut feel. Luckily, the choices are limitless and there are a lot of information out there to guide new moms like me.

A few months ago, I received a packaged from a local brand called Orange and Peach. They started out with breastmilk bags (and are quite known locally as well for it) and later expanded their portfolio to giant cotton balls, milk saver pumps and nasal cleaner. The reason why it took me this long to talk about them is because I really tried and used all the products sent to me and being quite meticulous over items for my baby, only a handful of brands really made the cut thus you're seeing it here on my blog.

I would say, it was love at first try with Orange and Peach. The first product that I use were their Giant Cotton Balls. The truth is, I got twins and just like all moms out there, I only have 24 hours in a day. That said, efficiency is very important to me. Back when my twins were smaller, they would poop and peep round the clock at an average of perhaps 6-7 times a day. If you break it down in a day, that's means I'd spent half of my entire day just changing diapers for the two of them. Pee is fine but I get a bit stressed out when it comes to poop. I really have to clean them thoroughly but I have to do it quick. Often times, I'd end up with a really fussy, crying baby if I take my sweet time in wiping their bottoms just to ensure that I've covered everything. When I tried Orange and Peach's Giant Cotton Balls, I was so happy! I covered a bit "surface area" with just one swipe. Not only is it more cost efficient as I didn't had to use up a lot per change, it gets the job done faster too.

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The next product that I tested was the Milk Saver Pump. Breastfeeding for two can really drive you nuts and every drop of milk is really precious. So, one day, while I was nursing L and J was fast asleep, I tried the Milk Saver Pump on the other side and I was so surprised at the amount of milk it managed to "catch" in just 15 minutes. I was so shocked as I didn't even had to lift a finger to let the milk flow out. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Shopping made easy with Honestbee Philippines

I never knew that the time could come that I'd actually find online shopping to not only be therapeutic but totally convenient too. Back then, people who online shop would just end up with clothes, shoes, accessories and baked goodies. Today, you can shop for anything and almost everything with just a few clicks here and there. Now I get why first time or new moms like me totally adore online shopping. With a little baby (or babies, in my case) in the house, it's pretty impossible to go out and do your errands but life at home goes on so we need to eat and restock our pantry no matter what.

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Luckily, I learned about Honestbee Philippines. I first heard about this when I was residing in the Lion City as I had colleagues who would buy their monthly snack stash using Honestbee's delivery service. As for me, our condo unit then was located just 2 blocks away from two major supermarkets and my office was sandwiched between 3 groceries so I never really found the need to do online shopping then. After all, a little walking exercise is always a good thing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Franny Mommy : My i-Angel Magic 7 Story

"How do you do it?"

This has been a common question that Paul and I would get whenever people learn that we got twins. Honestly...I really do not know how to properly answer this question as I feel that we are just like any other parents out there. From the day our twins were born, we just took on our roles as Mommy and Daddy in the best way we can and know how. Somehow, for me, I took cues from my own parents whom I believe have done an amazing job in raising us. During my first few months as J and L's Mommy, I would sometimes ask myself "how would Mommy have done this?"

I also got to admit that I've Googled and YouTubed a lot on topics and things that I never thought I'd ever search for. Things like how to get the perfect latch, how to burp a baby, how to make a baby stop crying and more. The Internet has been my best friend and somehow answers from real parents kept me sane as I realized that we are all on the same big boat. As my twins grew bigger, Paul and I relied on several things to make things easier for us. One is to invest on good  baby carriers. As I've said before, helpers and nannies come and go. I've had my share of "one day I got a nanny, the next day I don't." Gone are the days wherein you are assured of their loyalty. In fact, we recently celebrated the 1st yr anniversary of one of our house helps and it really was something worth celebrating for given that most helpers and nannies would stay for 6 months max. I really do hope she'd stay on for the next 4 years or so.

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I learned that I can't let my life stop just because I have no helping hand. Don't get me wrong. My two nannies (Yaya M and Yaya C) are both amazing and I thank God for them. They've truly been a blessing not only to me but to my twins too. However, I am more prepared now should they decide to move on. I always have to remind myself that there will come a time where it will just be me, Paul and our twins. I want my twins to grow up self-reliant and independent. You see, I never grew up with a nanny and I felt that this was one big factor why I am really close to my parents and to my sister. Somehow, it has always been the four of us forever and ever.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Franny Mommy : Bedtime story with #MyStarKidAdventure

At this age, my twins are more receptive towards routine. Day in and out, we have established certain routines in order for them to have better sleep patterns. I guess, this is also one thing that we made sure to have as taking care of twins is no walk in the park if you're not organized or have not done any routine to get them accustomed to their daily schedules.

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Bedtime for my twins is something we have first established as soon as they were born. It begins late in the afternoon where we give them a quick warm bath. They love this so much as it makes them feel relaxed and refreshed instantly. There are days when we're out till late so to make up for this, I'd always clean them up thoroughly as my twins have someone took on my OC nature and do not like feeling sticky, warm or icky. Following this, they would brush their teeth. This is something we've recently introduced as they have lots of teeth now and are eating more solids then before. Luckily, it's not hard to get them to brush their teeth. No struggling at the moment. *phew*

Monday, September 24, 2018

Challenge Accepted : Max's Spicy Fried Chicken

Perhaps, 10 years ago, I'd never, in my wildest dreams, would ever take a challenge like this. I've always shy away from anything with a littlest hint of chili on my food so what was I thinking saying yes to Max's offer to take on the challenge to try the new Spicy Chicken?

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Well, living in the Lion City has changed me. It has trained my palette so well that I can now take on spicy food with ease. Chili Padi? Laksa? Chili Crab? Pfft... easy peasy! Kidding aside, I simply just miss having that spicy kick in my meal once in a while so when I heard about Max's coming out with a spicy version of their award-winning, daydream-inducing Fried Chicken, I was so game!

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Running up until the 15th of October, you can avail of the Spicy Chicken Platter for only Php.1399. This comes with 8 pcs of Chicken (all leg and thigh portion, mind you!), a generous serving of plain rice, soup of your choice and for dessert, you can have either the Caramel Bar Ice Cream or the Buko Pandan. I'll tell you more about this in a separate blog review very soon. :)

Meanwhile, here's a short video that I've created to show you how the challenge went. Happy viewing!

...and in true "vlogger" fashion, I'll end this by saying: Thank you for watching! Don't forget to subscribe. Hahahaha!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Franny Mommy : On Baby-Proofing with Warble, Shangri-la Plaza

I can't believe that my twins are about to turn a year old in a month's time. They've literally went from being newborns to curious toddlers in just a snap of a finger. WOW. I just can't help but feel so amazed as I watch them grow. I think one of the most memorable moment for me was when they learned how to crawl without any assistance. It started with small, wobbly careful steps to crazy rapid speed at present. We literally always have to be on alert level as there's no telling where they'd be crawling or cruising towards to. More often than not, my twins love going towards my direction. For instance, when I'm sitting at the corner of the bed, they'd both crawl towards me so fast as if they're racing against each other. Babies being babies though, they still haven't grasp the concept of pain, falling or fear. There are no breaks when they crawl and L, for instance, has had her first fall from the bed a few months ago. Luckily, Paul was sleeping on the mat underneath and was able to catch her.

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Speaking of mats, I really do give a lot of importance to baby-proofing not only our room but our house. Babies, no matter how big they are, are still very fragile. My mom would always remind me to take extra careful of their head as it's still very delicate. There are a lot of playmats in the market but one thing that I learned is that not all playmats are created equally. Some are made so thin that it's not capable of supporting or protecting your baby's head or body. We used to have this really thin rolled up mat that we got from a bazaar and Jacob accidentally fell flat on that. I really head a loud thud and that really made my heart stop for a bit. He cried so loud and I was so scared that he might get an concussion. Luckily, his chubby cheeks (bless them haha) broke the fall so all we had to do was to apply ice pack and he was okay after a little while.

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Paul and I recently visited the newly opened Warble Store at Shangri-la Plaza and we were allowed to test the mats there. My twins totally enjoyed it! It was such a fun play time for them as they got to crawl and cruise around without us pulling them back or catching them every so often. Warble Store is the official distributor of Fold Away Mats and one thing that I noticed is the thickness of the mats. I was told that it passed the egg drop test which I guess is one way to measure if it's safe enough for babies should they fall.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Best of Boracay at Hole in the Wall here in Manila!

The beautiful island of Boracay will always have a special place in my heart. It's there where I had my first sunburn and literally looked like a lobster for weeks, it's also there were I learned to love the beach life and continued to yearn for it on a yearly basis, lastly, Boracay was also where Paul and I spent the last leg of our 3-part honeymoon at.

Related post: 10 fun things you can do in Boracay

So, when our government suddenly woke up one morning and decided that "hey, today sounds like a good day to shut down the island." My heart broke and cried together with everyone, who in one way or another, called Boracay their...home. Such was the case of our dear friends N and O. They were our "neighbors" back when Paul and I were doing our mini food business at Mercato Central. We always look forward to chatting with them on a weekly basis and their sunshiney personality would always make a bad sales day much much brighter. Plus, I just love treating myself to their delicious mochi ice cream. Anyway, they ran a number of restaurants in the island and due to this very sudden closure, they sadly had to put all their businesses on hold.

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One reason why I love the F&B world here in the Philippines is because of this -- people helping one another. In order to help N and O as well as their employees make good of the sudden closure, Hole in the Wall gave them the opportunity to do a pop-up of 4 restaurant concepts namely: Fat Rice, Spice Bird, Poketo and Coco Mama. This is actually good news for Manila folks like myself as I get to enjoy the best dishes from Boracay without having to book a plane ticket.

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