Showing posts with label supplier's review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label supplier's review. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Storage solutions for breastmilk

When I reviewed my blog's page views, the most visited entries were not the ones where I bled my heart out and shared my soul. Nope, no consolation for all that carnage. It was my posts about tips and reviews and everything practical that garnered the highest visits. So... In the guise of helping out fellow breastfeeding moms in their quest for wise storage solutions for their breastmilk, I am writing this post to increase my blog hits. (Kidding. Or not.) 

Here's a list of my own storage solutions that I thought could help out other breastfeeding mamas:

1. Invest in reusable storage cups and bottles.

When I had Zohan, my mother bought a lot of stuff for the baby, the Avent Via storage cups included. I used them for storage of breastmilk the whole time that Zohan was nursing. They were practical because they were sturdy, transparent, and definitely reusable. To put labels on the expressed milk, I just wrote through a micropore with pentel pen and then stick them to the cups. I could easily peel the label off when washing the cups.

Now that I have Khaleid, the Avent Via storage cups are making a comeback. I'm using these cups for storing milk that are intended to be consumed at home within 5 days from collection.


For a more organized appearance, you can stack them in twos and place them in small baskets that are available in different storage stores. I got these white baskets from Japan Home Centre for a very cheap price. 


In addition to my Avent cups, I also ordered these Autumnz storage bottles from Mamabella

Image from Mamabella's Facebook Page

I love that the bottles fit my Ameda Purely Yours breast pump, such that I can express milk directly to the storage bottles and put them right away in the refrigerator. 

I am anticipating that these Autumnz storage bottles will be a great help when I express milk in the office. (I only have almost two weeks left of my maternity leave.) Since the milk can be expressed directly to the storage bottle, I can do away with the collection bottle (which I used to tediously wash and pat dry after each session when I expressed milk for Zohan).

2. For the storage of milk expressed outside the house, use disposable plastic storage bags.

The reusable cups and bottles are practical, but they are quite bulky. So, everytime I go out or when we go home to the province, I just bring with me disposable storage bags. These plastic bags are a little pricey though, so if you're matipid like me, make sure to canvass for the cheapest brand. I've tried a lot - Ainon, Precious Moments, Spectra, and Orange and Peaches. They are all relatively cheaper compared  with other brands.

3. Position the plastic bags horizontally in the freezer, instead of vertically. 

I used to store milk in bags standing horizontally, since that was the only way it could accommodate 5-8 ounces of milk. But notice how bulky and disorganized they could get. It also used up a lot of space that the fridge no longer had room for our ulam.


I discovered that storing only 2-3 ounces per bag and filling it out vertically will make a more practical way of storing inside our fridge. 


Just stack them up!

4. Divide the collected milk into volumes of one feeding and store them into separate bags/bottles.

Once a person has gone through the hassle of expressing breastmilk at least once in their life, they are likely to realize that the adage "no crying over spilled milk" really makes no sense. Every single drop of milk is too valuable, you wouldn't want to waste it.

So, to ensure that there will be no spilling or throwing away of expired milk, I store milk in their containers per volume of a single feeding. As a result, it is easier to transfer milk to the feeding bottle (I can just empty the entire bag!). More importantly,  since it's good for one feeding, there are usually no left-overs that get stale.

However, there's a downside to this tip. If one feeding, let's say consisting of 2 ounces, is stored in one bag, it will be impractical and expensive since each bag will not be utilized to its full capacity of storing up to 12 ounces. Even if a reusable cup/bottle is used instead of a disposable plastic bag, it will take up so much space in the refrigerator.

So, mommies, just take this tip based on what you're not willing to discard - breastmilk, money, or space.

5. For expressing milk in the office, invest in a compact and practical storage bag.

I used to carry bags upon bags of pumping paraphernalia when I expressed milk for Zohan. I also carried a small cooler for the ice packs and collected breastmilk. You could imagine how bulky and heavy it was! (You can read about it here.)

Now, I am so glad to have found a small bag that can carry it all. It's so compact it looks like I'm just carrying my baon. Meet my Posh Autumnz Storage Bag (also available at Mamabella):



It's actually a bi-level bag. The top can be used to store breast pump, micropore, and pentel pen. The bottom portion can accommodate all ten Autumnz storage bottles, but if you want to make room for the ice packs, you can store at least six bottles. Both top and bottom are insulated so you don't have to worry that the milk will not be cold enough.





6. Collect milk for short-term and long-term storage.

I am lucky that my milk's supply is more than Khaleid's demand. Since there seems to be an abundance of milk, my first morning collection are intended for long term storage. I place them in plastic storage bags to be frozen and stored up to three months. For the rest of the day, the milk that will be collected are for short-term storage. They are placed in the disposable cups for immediate consumption (meaning within the next five days). 

This system gives me enough assurance that even if my supply dwindles, or when I cannot express milk religiously, Khaleid will still have the frozen milk to consume while I work on increasing my supply.

There you go. I hope I was able to share something practical to the mommies out there. If you have other tips that you swear by, do hit the comments button. After all, they said it takes a village to raise a child, so let's be part of each other's village.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baby Shower for Khaleid

"Surrounded by friends who are more like family, I can see that you are already well-loved.." 

That's lifted from one of the messages of our friends to our second son Khaleid on the occasion of the baby shower they threw for us last Saturday. The message struck a chord - I was deeply touched by their gesture, and also very overwhelmed with the thought that my friends love my family like theirs.


Truth be told, I knew my friends were planning a baby shower for our second baby. It had been a sort of tradition amongst us, despite what I read somewhere that there should only be one baby shower in a mom's life. (Check out my post about the baby shower they threw when I was pregnant with Zohan - here and here - and when Boinks was pregnant with Kloud - here.) But despite the knowledge that they were brewing something for the Cristobals for the second time, I was still in awe because they never seem to run out of amazing party ideas.

The baby shower was held last Saturday at Sophie's Mom. (Our first time at Sophie's Mom here.) We were joined by our friends from lawschool and my good friends from my last lawfirm. 


Our first activity was to eat - haha! We were served with pasta and quiche (I had to google that!). 


My friends said the food was good but I wasn't really hungry at that time. Plus, I was excited for the rest of the activities, so I wasn't really paying attention to my food.

Then the girls played a game of drawing the most pretty buntis. The one drawing was blindfolded while the other team member did the coaching. Vanec and Kat emerged as winners. (Both got engaged recently, so congratulations!)


And my favorite - the gift giving part! You know what touched me the most? They knew it could be difficult to introduce a new baby to Kuya Zohan, so they also bought a little something for our panganay. Zohan was happy, of course! I guess he wasn't expecting it because the night before, I thoroughly explained to him that the gifts we would be receiving at the party would be for his baby brother. (Oo, assuming talaga ako na may gifts!) So the entire time, he happily played with his own gifts!
See? He couldn't be bothered!

Anyway, here are the photos of the gifts for baby Khaleid. 



Photo taken from my iphone. Not part of the official photos.
Thank you guys!!!! I loved them all and I'm sure Khaleid will love them, too. I will make sure all these items will be put to good use.

After the gift-giving, we were served with coffee and cupcakes. I particularly loved the red velvet cupcake; it goes very well with dark coffee. You should try it! 

Photo taken from my iphone. Not part of the official photos.

Then we had the final game - which was to write the most number of items in a given category. (For instance, name the items that could be found in mommy's hospital bag, or name the vaccines for babies.) Since most of my friends are still single, each group had a "mommy" to act as the leader. 

They also wrote a little note for Khaleid about what's in and what's happening around us at the moment he's about to be born. (i.e, Vhong Navarro was beaten up, Kat Rances got engaged, the weather was unusually cold, etc.) It would be an interesting read when he grows old.

They also prepared a little give-away which was themed "old candies". Remember Haw-haw? Ahh, the memories. (Zohan and I had been munching on them for several days after the party.)

Photo taken from my iphone. Not part of the official photos.
We then wrapped things up with a little speech from me and my husband. And of course, a good photo, as souvenir. 

My son - in full character!!

I am really grateful for having these crazy bunch as my friends. We've been friends for almost ten years now and I know my family can count on them for anything. They were there when Kristan and I became an item (much to their surprise!). They were there when we broke up; reconciled; gotten married; and had our first born. They're here now as we welcome a new addition to the family. Thank you for everything, dear friends. Sabi nga ni Kristan, "Sana wag kayong magsawa, kasi wala pa kaming anak na babae." #pataytayojan

*Sophie's Mom is located at Corner Santol and Aranga Streets in San Antonio Village, Makati City. It's a good place to host small and intimate affairs. You may contact the owner through their Facebook Page here.

*Our official photographer is Charades and Parades. They are very competent and affordable! Visit their Facebook Page here for details.




Thursday, January 9, 2014

I turned thirty!

So many things to document, so little time! Blame it on the Holiday season, the never-ending list of things to accomplish at the office, the preparation (the lack thereof is more apt!) for my delivery, and my half-month stint as a stay-at-home mom (with no help!), that I never had the time to sit down and blog. 

Now, that was very unfortunate because I turned thirty last December 22!!!! 

I wanted to have something to look back to many years from now that would remind me how our little family celebrated it, so I tried to squeeze this post in.

It was a very simple celebration - but it was the happiest! My husband booked an overnight stay for us at Taal Vista many months ago because he knew I just wanted to be with him and Zohan on my special day. 

We left Manila on the 21st, at around lunch time. After the smooth drive to the South, we made a quick stop at Gerry's in Tagaytay for a late lunch. 


Then off we went to Taal Vista! It was our first time there and I couldn't be more thrilled. I remembered passing by Taal Vista whenever I would go home to the province, and I would always glance at it dreamily, with the thought bubble, "One day.." Well, that day happened when I turned thirty - with no less than two of the most important persons in my life!

Upon arriving in our hotel room, we rested for a while and I basked in the happiness of it all. (Pardon the frivolity, I'm appreciative like that!)



I know! I looked like a whale here, in all my pregnant glory. But my husband - you could not trust him to take flattering photos. 

Look who was getting all comfortable!
Then I dragged my husband outside to take some photos, for posterity's sake.




We decided to celebrate on that day (the 21st), so we went to Bag of Beans for an early dinner. We've never been to that restaurant before. The place was surprisingly spacious and cozy on the inside. My food was great; I had their breakfast sampler which I shared with Zohan.The litte bugoy loved the pancakes. 


And as you could depict from the face of my poor husband, he wasn't satisfied with his food. Haha.


After dinner, we brought Zohan to Sky Ranch. I was ecstatic when I saw Thomas the Train, one of Zohan's favorite cartoons. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to made him try it. He was also fascinated with the horses, but he said he would just observe them because he was afraid to take a ride. 

We then went back to our room and relaxed the entire night. I had a loooong, warm, and uninterrupted bath while Zohan was busy watching TV, so there was no one banging my door every few minutes. (Try having  just one kid and you'd put uninterrupted bath on the top of the list entitled luxury.)

We woke up late the following day. I had a very stressful and busy week at work the days before my birthday; so that was a much deserved oversleep.

Then we had buffet breakfast (in our pantulog clothes, no less!). We took some photos again while Zohan played at the vast surrounding. 


STOLEN SHOT!!!
AGAIN - not a very flattering photo of the buntis celebrant on the day of her 30th Birthday! But what the heck -- I was VERY HAPPY!!!!!
So, how did turning thirty make me feel? Genuinely happy. I had always considered thirty to be a great year - like life has begun for you but there's still so much marvelous things that have yet to unfold? That's exactly how I felt.

I had met the love of my life, married him, and now we're about to have two kids. I always knew I'd be married by thirty; I wanted to start my family life early because I wanted happiness to begin early.

My dream of becoming a lawyer came true before I turned thirty. And now, I'm trying to establish a career as an in-house lawyer in one of the biggest banking institutions in the country. That may come off a little surprising because I always sucked at math - but I do litigation anyway, and appearing in courts was what I always wanted. 

I had been teaching law students for more than four years now, which was never my dream but it was a very welcome achievement.

At thirty, I am heavily mortgaged but happily so. There is a silver lining at the end of the tunnel that we live in a place we can one day call our own. 

But of course, there are still things that I wasn't able to accomplish - like buy and drive my own car before turning thirty. (I always get pregnant whenever I plan to enroll in a driving school, what can I do?!) I also wasn't able make my mom stay in the Philippines for good, give her a new house or renovate the old one. And there were sad things that happened, too - like I lost my lolo, my lola got Alzheimer's and became bedridden. But who has the perfect life anyway? I am grateful to take the good with the bad and look at the glass half-full than half-empty.

Thirty is a good year. I feel so glad to be thirty - I'm more mature, more confident, and definitely happier than the younger version of myself. Maybe with more flabs, but flabs is good. It signifies that life has been awesome but there's still a lot to work out on. 

Happy Birthday to me! Thank you Mahal for a wonderful celebration. Thank you Zohan for making me smile. Thank you Lord for a wonderful life.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The perfect Vintage Romantic Wedding!

After almost half a year, finally, here's a blog entry about the best wedding I've ever attended in my lifetime! 

My cousin Rodney and his now-wife Dutch ruined all the other weddings for me, with their vintage romantic wedding held at Chapel on the Hill on the 15th of May 2013. 

I mentioned it in passing here, but since I wanted to do justice to the event, I opted to wait for some of the official photos before I came up with a blog entry. 

It was Zohan's first time to be part of a wedding entourage, so it was also momentous for me. He was one of the ring bearers, which the couple artistically coined as "Ring Security." They imprinted it at the back of the little boys' costumes. Cute!


As expected, the silly boy refused to walk on his own. I had to carry him, which earned me a double appearance since I was also one of the bridesmaids.


During the mass, Zohan roamed around and bugged everyone. Hence, not even halfway to the occasion and his cute costume already looked lousy!


 Now, here are some of the details of the wedding:

The bridal gown was designed by Dutch. The fabrics were chosen by her, (she got it from Dubai, where they were based), dyed it to get her preferred hue, then searched for a good couturier to execute her ideas.  Her efforts obviously paid off.


 
The photo of the bride and her mom was one of my favorites. Like Nanay, the bride's mother also worked abroad during her children's growing up years. This made Dutch and I certified lola's girls.

Look at the lovely back details of her gown. Very intricate and pretty. And only a svelte figure could pull off such a lovely  gown. 


Rodney's suit was by Zara Men. He looked so dashing in the photo below. 


The gowns of the bridesmaids were locally made - in Taal, Batangas. But the fabrics were also bought by the couple from Dubai and the designs were all Dutch's idea.  Very Grecian goddess!



I liked the flower girls' gowns best! The couple bought it from H & M, but had it altered in Taal to fit the little kids. Huge flowers were added on the waist, which matched perfectly with the head dresses. 

Another quirky idea from the artistic couple was the wooden banner which read "Here comes the Bride!" The little girls were holding the banner when they walked down the aisle. So cute!


The rest of the flower girls carried flower pails, which were DIY-ed. You could find the instruction how to do it on their wedding website.

Photo taken from the Dutch and Rodney's wedding website


I also fell in love with the lovely shoes uniformly worn by the little girls. It made me wish for a baby girl for our third baby! Look at the sample below.
Daisha and Zohan

The invitations were designed by the couple. 


The wedding giveaways were also DIY-ed. The lovely jars were from Ikea, which were filled with coffee beans. It signified our family's love for coffee, Batangas kapeng barako to be exact. The beans were brought from our local store.


The reception was equally lovely. It was held at Hill Creek Gardens in Tagaytay. And true to the vintage romantic theme, we were transported back in time with the set-up.


The guests were greeted with huge chairs and other vintage trinklets that were perfect backdrops for pictures.
The usual message boards were ditched for this very clever message pin-ups.

The catering and reception set-up were by K. by Cunanan. The table setting definitely evinced romance. Too bad though that I wasn't able to savor the food because I was too busy running after the little boy. 


Meanwhile, our silly ring security changed his outfit during the reception because he was no longer comfortable with his long sleeves. Haha. 




The wedding was more than lovely!  

Congratulations Dutch and Rodney! Now, off to the next chapter of your lives. I can't wait for your little one to arrive. :)


*For the details of their wedding, you can visit their wedding website.
Their pre-nup photo session was featured by BridalBook. You can read about it here. 
Credits to Red Stilettos for the official photos.  

Here's a rundown of their wedding suppliers:
Church - Chapel on the Hill 
Reception & wedding preps- Hill Creek Gardens 
Catering & styling - K by Cunanan 
Wedding coordination - Supernatural Management 
Photographer - Red Stilettos Photography 
Videographer - Stephen Wedding Film 
Invitation & give aways - DIY
Flowers - Serge Igonia



















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