Haakaa Silicone Pump Review

Friday, October 05, 2018

I have to be honest, one thing I didn't look forward to (having a baby) is breastfeeding because your body is not your own.  It entails a LOT of sacrifice and effort too.  But don't get me wrong, I still decided on breastfeeding my newborn, there was no question on that.  I just told myself that I'll do it for as long as I can, no pressure.

In the recent years, there have been so much innovation when it comes to breastfeeding.  I have seen this Haakaa silicone pump in my social media feeds and I have heard great stories from friends who swear by it.  So when I learned I was having a new baby, there was no question in my mind of using one.

I brought it with me to the hospital when I gave birth, but wasn't able to use it then.  I honestly, didn't know how.  I remember using it within a week of giving birth, and was quite disappointed with the output.  I then realized that I just gave birth and so my milk hasn't come in yet. I knew I had to be patient.

As the weeks progressed, I would try and use it - it was very satisfying seeing the milk output.  I would remember before my pedia suggested that I use an electric pump (on the other boob) while feeding the baby.  It was such an unimaginable act because it entailed a lot of acrobatics, I didn't bother with it anymore.  But I do remember thinking, that the leak from the other boob (while feeding on the other) was wasted.  I guess that was how it was, the breast pads that catch the leaks are just thrown out.

The other day - this was the output.

Yesterday - this was the output.

I was so amazed!  It was such an incredible feeling seeing all this saved milk - and all without much acrobatics and effort!  I swear, this Haakaa pump is such a wonderful invention.  It takes getting used to but when you get the hang of it, it's addicting seeing the results!  The best part of it is that, you won't need anything else actually - just the Haakaa silicone pump itself and let the natural suction do its job and voila!  I just need to say it again - WHAT A WONDERFUL INVENTION!  My mom was surprised that this was an actual pump!  She was used to seeing me with all those contraptions.  With Haakaa, I don't need to use a manual pump as a short-cut, this is the REAL manual pump!  It's lightweight, sturdy, made of silicone and is very easy to clean!  I love love the bottom suction as it eliminates accidental spills (I've had my share of breast milk spills and I know the heartbreak of seeing it on the floor).

So thankful to have this product available locally.  Haakaa is exclusively distributed by Quirks Marketing and is available online from Milk & Honey Online Baby Store.  It comes in two (2) sizes, the 100ml and the 150ml.  I suggest you get the bigger of the two.  It's BPA free, made of quality food grade silicone, super easy to use (it becomes hands free!  But of course, as the Haakaa fills up with breastmilk, you'll need to hold it lightly), it's really easy to clean too and portable!!

To the mom and family from New Zealand who made this Haakaa silicone pump (they have this product patented) you have my heartfelt gratitude on your wonderful product!

It's such a wonderful gift to give and receive.
It's available online from Milk and Honey Philippines - an online baby store.
*Lid and Flower stopper are sold separately. They also offer sets in case you're interested.

Just a tip, there are quite a number of imitation of the Haakaa pump.  I suggest you buy this, the ORIGINAL and it's patented!

Haakaa is packaged so nicely, take a look:

Star Margarine: Dino-rrefic Story Book!

Monday, September 24, 2018

I am a Star Margarine kid.  I grew up with Star Margarine on my bread and on my rice.  I would remember asking my mom to buy Star Margarine so I would never run out of Star Rice every meal time.  Hahaha!

I'm glad now, I can share this love of Star Margarine with Kailee!  She loves the Caramel flavor of Star Margarine - and honestly, I also do!  We were both amazed on how good it was.  So, every morning - Kailee would have bread with Star Margarine Caramel for breakfast.  There was a time that I scrambled and looked for a supermarket that sold it, as the supermarkets nearby didn't have it.  I remember buying 6 pieces just to make sure that we won't run out!  Hahaha..

Kailee in her *gadget phase* she would almost always ask to borrow the iPad or my phone.  I most of the time decline because I feel that the content of what they are watching/doing are blech.  When school started, she would ask for my laptop because she wanted to read.  She would go to this certain site and pick a book to read.

I'm so glad that Star Margarine has an interactive website that features an interactive story book!  We tried one adventure together and she enjoyed it very much.  It's nice because you can do it together and bond over the adventures.  It's quite cute because it involves uploading your own images on the site - makes it personal.  And the kids enjoy seeing themselves on screen!  Hahaha

You guys can join in the fun!  Just log into www.starmargarine.com and voila!!

Try it and I'm sure you and your kids will have fun!  Think of it as a bonding moment between you and your kids.  It's gadget time with something good coming out of it - spending quality time and learning.  

What are you waiting for??

Refreshing Strawberry Cake from Strawberries & Cream PH

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Strawberries are my FAVORITE fruit in the whole wide world.  Every where I go, it's strawberries that I look for.  That's why I was so excited to see my friend Mira's venture into this tin cakes thingy!  I just had to contain my excitement and wait till I finished my *ge-lai* to order.

One Sunday I was pleasantly surprised that this bronze-y tin can arrived.

The aroma of the strawberries were heavenly, I wanted to dig in immediately - but first, I needed to take pictures.  They use FRESH strawberries for their cakes and that tells you something - quality!  I knew I had to take a bite.  I was honestly thinking if there was a technique of some sort on how to take the first bite - how to make that first scoop, but then - there was really no one way - so I simply let my spoon dig in.

And I scooped again.  And again.  And again.

 It's really light, just the right amount of sweet, the cream is a perfect balance to the soft chiffon and fresh strawberries.  I really liked the soft chiffon, I really did and it was perfect and dainty and so feminine.  I don't know - but I found it quite elegant.  I'm weird that way.

If you like something refreshing then this is for you.  Order now!
Facebook Page - Strawberries and Cream PH

Yaya Diaries: Faustina Aloro Part 1 - Red Flags that we choose to ignore

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

One of the things I REALLY REALLY dislike is poor listening skills.  I was taught to listen carefully, all throughout my schooling life and life on this earth - I was taught to LISTEN.

And so when people around me don't listen - well, I get a bit irritated.  I get more agitated when it is I that is giving instructions and I have to repeat it more than two times.  It really gets to me, as in really gets to me.

Last week, I found myself with just one helper in the house - Yaya B.  By some sort of grace, I was sent one by a recruiter.  Yes, it was a risk - but I was desperate, so I took her in.  There have been red flags while I was interviewing her - but as you know, when one is desperate - one is willing to forego those red flags.

Red Flag #1
When I asked the helper, how many employers she has had in her lifetime of work.  One would immediately answer, because I feel that you will remember all of them, right?  Well, she fell silent, and it was an awkward silence - and so the recruiter answered for her.  I told the recruiter not to asnwer because the question was directed to the helper.  And guess what, she couldn't answer.  She answered me with *Yung huling pinasukan ko, 1 year po ako doon*.  Since I was desperate, well, I let it go and just shook my head.

Red Flag #2 - 
She doesn't smile nor talk.  Most of us dislike talkative helpers, right?  Well - it's quite obvious that we don't like talkative ones for fear of divulging sensitive information to strangers in the future.  I remember hearing stories that their helpers would volunteer information to other helpers.  I do understand that they may do that innocently, but some do it as a form of boasting what they have to others.  But this helper, well - I was glad that she's the quiet type - it's just that she doesn't smile.  It seems like it's so hard for her to smile.  When her recruiter told her to always greet me with *Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening* I told them both that I didn't need to hear any of those.  What is important to me is to SMILE or just a pleasant expression.  But you see for next few days - her expression is always blank, and she will either just stare at you or look far away from you.  I didn't mind this.  Yaya B observed that the new helper is just well - serious.  Yaya B said she works well naman daw.  But honestly, it's really too early to tell.  My Panget found it strange - he said that there might be something off with this new helper, I just told him - we need to wait and see, give her a chance.

Red Flag #3
When she moves a bit slower than the usual.  I am very particular with mabilis kumilos.   I am big myself, but that doesn't give me the right to move slower than others.  Whenever I get home and have stuff in the trunk of the car, I would honk the car's horn to signify that there are things that needed to be brought down from the car.  So I told the new helper this.  For the next day or two, it was still Yaya B who would come out of the house to get the stuff.  I told her that she needed to stop as the responsibility is now the new helper's.  I would notice that Yaya B would always repeat the same instruction to the new helper and I would also remind the new helper of this.  On more than three occasions, I would sit and wait in the car to see how long it would take her to come out.  It took her more than 3 minutes to come out.  And reluctantly come out she did with a frown on her face.  I was already getting impatient, but what was I to do right?  So, I reminded her again on this.  She seemed to be irritated to come out and get the stuff.  I would think that after reminding her, she would improve right?  Well, it's still the same.  Slow and with a frown (naka kunot yung noo) and if I am lucky, just a blank stare.

Red Flag #4
Poor listening skills.  One thing I really really REALLY dislike is poor listening skills.  So yesterday, she was filling the pitcher for cold water.  I saw that she was using the very slow water dispenser to fill up 2 liters of water.  I then suggested to use the pump in the helper's area instead - it's faster (and it's what I do).  As she was walking to the room, I suddenly asked *Twing kelan mo ba nililinisan yung pichel?* She just proceeded to walk, not hearing me - I had to call her attention and asked again.  And do you know what her reply was? *Eh malinis pa naman eh*  Damn, I wasn't asking if it was clean, I was asking WHEN she cleans it.  So I asked her again telling her *Makinig ka sa tanong ha, twing kelan mo nililinisan yang pichel?*  She doesn't answer but proceeds to walk towards the sink with the intention of washing the pitcher.  I had to stop her and then said *Hindi ko naman pinapahugas sayo, tinatanong ko lang TWING KELAN MO NILILINISAN YUNG PICHEL?*  She then replied with *ISANG BESES, ISANG ARAW - TWING UMAGA AT GABI*  I almost fell on the floor with her answer.  In English, her reply was *I wash it once a day, every morning and evening* That's NOT once a day, that's TWICE a day!  I then told her, to listen to my question and to answer correctly.  I don't like it when they answer basta lang may masagot, I need them to listen and answer correctly - diba?

I think there are incidents that happen every day, but I choose to just let them go.  My Panget said to ask the recruiter for a replacement already, since it's not worth the stress I am feeling.  On my part, well - I am hoping that she will somehow improve as the days pass.  But I swear, it's really getting to my nerves.

A week before I gave birth, when I got home - I noticed that when I entered the house, she was hurriedly walking towards the dirty kitchen.  She looked disheveled and in a rush, so I wondered why.  As I was walking towards the dining room, she was in a hurry taking out plates and utensils.  And when I reached the dining area, I only saw that it was my Panget's plate that was set, I was confused.  She then entered behind me uttering *Akala ko po kasi si Sir lang ang kakain dito* I then uttered *Wag mo sabihin na walang pananghalian* It was Yaya B who answered that she cooked everything and left word to re-heat it for lunch.  So that meant, either this new helper FORGOT or didn't notice the time.  Everyday, Connor and I eat lunch at home, with the exception of Thursday - but that was it, every Thursdays - but that day it was - Monday.  I swear, I was at a loss for words and reasoning why she did what she did.  As much as I wanted to ask more questions and pry, I chose not to anymore.  To be honest, I was really irritated - but I had to keep my cool.  My Panget was just smiling and laughing.

Today she's been with us for a month and 19 days.  The past 50 days have been a test of patience, there were days that I chose to keep silent.  My other helpers and my mom have kept their silence since I was am still recovering.

BTW, this helper's name is Faustina M. Aloro.  She's from Northern Samar.  She has an old FB account and she smiles in her profile picture.  Go figure.

There is a Part 2 to this story, because I just let her go.


AEROBLU Footwear Review + GIVEAWAY!!

Monday, September 10, 2018

It was only in the last decade that I realized how important footwear was.  I used to value more what a footwear looks on my feet compared to how it feels when I wear it.  It was always tiis ganda when it came to footwear for me.  But then as I became older, it was comfort over fashion.  But it was tough - as most of the time, fashion and comfort don't go well together - meaning, not all comfortable shoes are pretty on the feet therefore it won't go well with the over-all look.  I'm quite happy that in the recent years - comfort and fashion have somehow come together to give us, the best of both worlds.

For the last nine months, I have found it quite difficult to find the right kind of footwear.  Being pregnant added a bit more weight on the feet, ang hirap pa.  Yung usual na shoes na gamit ko, hindi ma umuubra!  Napapagod ako ng madalas, sumasakit yung tuhod and yung lower back ko.  Umabot na sa point na I would go buy insoles, just so lumambot yung tinatapakan ko sa shoes!  Hassle kasi when I went out of the country, napapagod akong madalas - I would stop often para magpahinga.  But I must say, nowadays - footwear has evolved for the better, catering to needs that once were ignored.  Swerte nga mga preggies ngayon kasi there are choices.  Hindi na kelangan mamahalin na footwear ang bibilhin for comfort, may choices na.

I was introduced to Aeroblu Footwear recently and I must say, super perfect yung timing.  I just gave birth and mejo hirap pang gumalaw.  Alam mo na, major major operation pala what I went through!  I needed to wear something comfortable on my feet lalo na to calm the new baby.  I know - it's super babaw, but believe me - Aeroblu Footwear was such a blessing on my feet and on my lower back.  Kami kasi sa house, we go barefoot sa second floor.  At least that way, yung germs sa labas hanggang sa baba nalang (mala Korean novela-ish noh?)  So super thankful ako when I got the #AeroBluPH footwear, bago pa siya - I can wear it since hindi pa siya na expose sa dirt outside.  Super perfect timing kasi at least habang I calm the baby, less pressure on my feet and lower back.  O, diba?!  Nabawasan yung sakit sakit ko sa katawan.  Haha!!

Parang magic na meant to be when I received my Aeroblu Footwear, I immediately tried it on and I must say ramdam mo kaagad na nawala yung discomfort sa feet and lower back!  Ang lambot yung soles niya, I kept on trying to step on it para ma-check ko if malambot talaga - and seriously, malabot siya.  It gave me such a relief na di ko na tinanggal - plus, I did not dread anymore walking to calm my baby lalo na sa gabi - and I'm sure kahit sinong babae who has kids would know, these babies of ours like to be carried, buhat forever diba - extra weight on the knees, feet and soles.  I have been using them everyday (and night!) , promise - masarap talaga siya sa feet.  I swear it's a relief wearing them as opposed to being naka-paa!  Sana pala I knew of this brand while I was pregnant.  Laking comfort siguro.  And I suspect, mas maraming nagawang lakwatsa!  Hahaha...

Aeroblu Footwear is made of Polyurethane.  It's really light, comfortable and judging by the looks of it - tough!  They're also weather resistant and is slip proof (especially for this rainy season) perfect for pregnant mothers, mothers who just gave birth and women in general.  There so many stylish designs to choose from too!  What else would you ask for that has #TibatAtStyle!

I would definitely recommend #AeroBluPH to friends and family.  They're really comfortable, stylish and most of all affordable!  You can purchase Aeroblu Footwear at SM Supermarket, Hypermarket, Savemore, Robinsons, Waltermart, Baguio Country Mart and online at Lazada and Shopee!  You may also visit their official Facebook Page - AeroBlu Philippines - https://www.facebook.com/AerobluPH/.  


The good folks over at #AeroBluPH is giving away - not 1, not 2, not 3 but 10 (ten) pairs of AeroBlu Footwear to my readers!  Yes, you read that right - an #AeroBluPH Giveaway!!  Woohoo!  I will be choosing ten (10) winners randomly.  Joining is easy and the good news is - it's NATIONWIDE!  It's open to any address in the Philippines!  Mechanics are quite simple so make sure to follow them:
c)  Share my FB post on your walls and tag three (3) of your friends!  
**You MUST be in the Philippines because I will be asking for a review of the footwear in any platform in social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blog etc.) after a week of receiving the footwear

I will announce the winners in 15 days.
(September 25 - Tuesday!)
So hurry and join NOW!

honestbee for Moms & Babies - LIFESAVER!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Oh gosh, been on gelai and that means - NOT GOING OUT AT ALL.

But you know, life goes on.
Needs have to be met.
Things need to be bought.

I am soooo thankful and GRATEFUL for honestbee as it helped me with things that I needed while on maternity house arrest (gelai).  I am able to buy what I need and what the baby needs, all with just taps on my phone.  So convenient, right?  WONDERFUL!  I can't be more thankful now more than ever - caring for a newborn + bigger kids' logistics + needs at home, well - it's a nightmare.

The solution - honestbee to the rescue!!

honestbee is the perfect app for moms wanting the best for their babies

Moms always want to provide the best for their babies. They nourish them with the best food, use the safest products, and dress them in stylish and comfortable clothes. But sometimes being supermom isn’t always possible. 

Braving the traffic, looking for parking, and lining up in the supermarket are only some of the hassles moms have to go through.  It’s a good thing technology now makes being supermom easier to achieve  with instant access to almost anything with just a few taps on our smartphones.

honestbee, Asia’s leading online concierge and delivery service, brings a whole lot of convenience through its all-in-one application which provides mothers access to the best products for her and her baby. There’s a special category in the app called Babies and Maternity which gathers all their partner merchants who offer high quality products for moms and babies.

One such merchant is Tiny Buds,  offering baby essentials that are natural to the tiniest drop. From having baby nasal cleaners, organic baby wipes to baby fabric softener sets, they take precaution and innovation to deliver baby products that new moms fall in love with.  “We are very thoughtful about millennial moms and how our products can be made available to them in the fastest and most convenient way possible. That’s why we partnered with honestbee, so we can  make sure that moms receive their Tiny Buds orders when they need them,” said Lorina Tan, Business Unit Head for Baby Care of Tiny Buds.

For wholesome sweets for moms and kids there’s Karabella, producing ice cream made with fresh carabao's milk and other locally sourced ingredients that are all 100% natural. “Working with honestbee has been really great so far because we know that our online reach is growing through the company's efforts. It is the perfect online platform to hold our products because our ice creams have been arriving at the doorsteps of our customers at pristine condition,” said Erika Wong, co-founder of Karabella.

Other merchants perfect for moms include Mustela, Parenting Emporium, Nature to Nurture, Baby Bjorn, Richell for Babies, Milking Bombs, Milkin' Mommies, Love To Dream, Mamas & Papas, Mother's Touch, Nosh, Mistine and Biolan. honestbee is constantly working towards partnerships with more and more trusted merchants to provide quality items that can be delivered at the comfort of your very own home.

Download the honestbee app for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and sign up for an account now. Visit
https://www.honestbee.ph/en/groceries/stores/traits/babies-maternity  for more information on the  Babies and Maternities section.

Full Circle's Naturally Derived ALL PURPOSE CLEANER

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Cleaning my Macbook's keyboard is a pain.  Why?  Because it's WHITE!  The macbook that I have is actually the black macbook - it's the old version, circa 2008 I think or prior - this was a hand me down from my Panget and I love it to bits.  Unfortunately, the original black keyboard - the letter T specifically was broken aside from the track pad.  I was very lucky to have it replaced for free by iStudio's Larry Ang.  I even wrote about it.  

So you see, my keyboard is now white.  And as with ALL whites - they easily get dirtied.  I would always disinfect using alcohol BUT the discoloration was still there.  I can just imagine the germs that are on my keyboard.  Despite the discoloration, well I thought to myself - since I alcohol the keyboard twice a week, it's relatively clean enough.  

But I still got bothered with the discoloration.  The white keyboard became an off-white keyboard.  I then tried using a sponge with alcohol - it still didn't work.  Water + sponge didn't work too.  So I was resigned to the fact that my white keyboard will never be really white.

More than a month ago, I was sent this Full Circle Naturally Derived ALL PURPOSE CLEANER.  I honestly wondered how to test the product.  Then a lightbulb moment came - try using it on my macbook's keyboard.  I mean, that would really be a TEST to make.

Look at the space bar of my keyboard - it has become WHITE again!  I was amazed.  You can immediately see the difference with the color of the space bar and the other letters on the keyboard.  Having seen the immediate results, I made sure to clean the whole keyboard using Full Circle's Naturally Derived All Purpose Cleaner!

Amazing right?

I also tried to cleaning off pencil marks on the wall of the kids room.  Connor's in a phase where he likes to write on the walls using pencil.  Well, we tried erasing them, but it was hard.  Tried using alcohol, but it only whitened the paint but the pencil mark was still there.  And then finally, I had a brilliant idea to try this product.

See for yourself:

The best thing about this product is that it doesn't contain harsh chemicals.  The ingredients are water, plant-based surfactants and other naturally derived ingredients imported from the US.  

No bleach.
No dyes.
No phosphates.
No parabens.
No unnecessary chemicals.

This is one amazing product.

You may buy this online via their Facebook Page - FULL CIRCLE PH or their main website at:

Castile Soaps Workshop by Islas Aromatics + So True Naturals

Monday, September 03, 2018

I have long been fascinated with making my own soap using natural ingredients.  I'm so happy that Islas Aromatics (the best source of your raw materials and ingredients) together with the So True Natural (Mia L. - one of the pioneer soap makers I know!) will have a work shop to share their know how on soap making!

And it's happening on September 20, 2018 (Thursday) from 10am to 2pm in Valle Verde 3, Pasig City!  This is a wonderful opportunity to learn hands on with these two experts!  Workshop Fee is P8,500 see below what's in store for attendees!

Hurry and sign up as slots are getting filled up fast!

Toy Kingdom's TOY EXPO 2018!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Amazing Toy Kingdom Toy Expo 2018

          It’s the biggest toy event of the year as Toy Kingdom brings together the most amazing selection of toys in this year’s Toy Expo 2018 on August 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

         Get the chance to have a first look at the newest toys in the market, retail prices, and kick start your Christmas shopping early. You can enjoy great deals of discounts and exclusive promos for the duration of the expo.

      Toy Kingdom also joins in SM’s  60th Anniversary celebrations by treating  kids to 60 exclusive Meet and Greet sessions with their favorite characters like My Little Pony, Play-doh, Hatchimals, Hello Kitty, Shopkins, Littlest Petshop, Paw Patrol, Superwing and many more.

      There are also fun booths with games, themed areas with life sized character statues and exciting activities where kids can explore and play with their family and friends.
       Give your kids the perfect weekend treat and check out Toy Kingdom’s Toy Expo 2018 on August 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City. Event is open from 10am to 10pm, admission is FREE.

For more updates follow ToyKingdomPH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bento Workshop with Yumbox!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

When I was a kid, my mom would stress about me not eating during lunch.  I always came home with my lunch food INTACT.  She would often wonder why that was and I couldn't answer her straight why I didn't touch my food.  She even went as far as preparing me a plate, with spoon and fork in an envelope.  To be honest, I wasn't hungry - and I was enjoying watching people around me eat that I forgot to eat.  As I grew older, the problem subsided - I had friends to eat with so it was not an issue anymore.  Now that I am a mother, I understood how frustrating it was for my mom.  My only guess is, all moms need to go through the stress and worry of their kids not eating enough in school.

When Kailee started school in Eduplay, I was worried that I'd have the same problem.  Luckily, I didn't - she would enjoy having her snacks with friends.  When she started big school, it wasn't much of a problem - in fact, she enjoyed showing off her Yumbox to friends.  She would come home and tell me that some of the mommies of her friends would ask her where she got her Yumbox!  Haha..

A few Saturdays ago, I was humbled to be invited to join the first ever Bento workshop hosted by Yumbox distributor - BrightBrands Inc.  The workshop was done by Kat Maderazo aka bentobykat, my kids and I enjoyed it as it was the first time for us three doing it together.  I wasn't able to take pictures while assembling the bento, as I was too engrossed helping out my children.  How I wish I had a Yaya photographer along, hahaha!

Kat was very helpful and cheery, she went around checking on us if we needed help.  I am not creative, so you can just imagine my alpaca, felt lucky that Kat was able to salvage it!  Hahaha...

I think I was too engrossed with making the bento that I wasn't able to take pictures - well, just some - as in a FEW!  HAHA..  But here are the finished products made by me and the kids.  Pink is Kailee's while the blue is Connor's.  I won't make you choose which is better - they put effort into this - I mean, I put a LOT of effort into this.  Hahaha!!

It's true that they say, there are no two bentos that are alike!  Hahaha..  Well, in my case that is!  Haha..

For Yumbox's current collection, these are the colors that are available for the Yumbox Panino:

Visit THIS LINK for a complete catalogue of Brightbrands' products and how to get yourself a Yumbox!