Monday Musings | On Barbaric Shoppers

Warning: Angry Mom

So. This is the second time this has happened to me. That I opened a beauty product I had bought, only to find out that someone had already pawed through it.

The first was a Maybelline compact from the Robinsons Metro East supermarket. That one was still in its box, although unsealed. All the other boxes were ratty, and I chose the least mangled. Lot of good that did me.

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Yep, they really dug into it good.

This second one (a Human Nature balm) was bought at the Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall supermarket (yes, again, I am hopelessly forgetful). It was unsealed — but so were all of them.

In the wise words of Husbando — ‘Tingnan mo muna kasi.’ Thanks for being disgusting heathens, fellow shoppers.

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On My Long Hiatus From Blogging and Return to It

It’s been too long since I last posted anything here.

That’s kinda how it is when you let yourself get steamrolled by real life.

I miss blogging, though, and am looking forward to being more mindful of this real life I have as wife, mother, and my own person — mindful enough to write about it.

Hopefully, I’ll be more consistent about it, as well. Maybe, I’ll even have some of you accompanying me as I resume this journey. 💐

Lost and Found

It’s every parent’s and child’s worst nightmare — losing each other in a large, crowded place like the mall. And my son and I lived through it last week, no worse off than some tears and achy legs. We were lucky.

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When Vitto said he needed to pee, I thought it would be a good time to help him gain a bit more independence. So, I told him to go ahead and wait for me outside the restroom once he was done, while I made a quick detour to grab his pants that we had brought for alteration. Upon reaching our designated meeting spot, he was nowhere in sight.

Surely he was done by then, I thought. I tried calling to him through the open door of the men’s restroom. I walked around, hoping to catch sight of his bright green shirt. The minutes stretched into a long, sweaty, and agonizing eternity, as I asked guards and Customer Service for help.

I thought I had done the unthinkable — lost my son through my own carelessness and my naivety about his 10-year-old abilities. My shock and disbelief didn’t even allow me the deserved humiliation of tears.

We eventually ran into each other, Vitto crying in relief as soon as he saw me. Our story ended happily — fortunately for us.

Older kids may have the privilege of using mobile phones, but with younger ones like ours, here are some things that on hindsight could’ve have helped us — and prevent this from happening again or to any other family:

  1. Take a picture of your child that day. Remind them at the beginning of every trip, as well, to remember what you look like and what you were wearing.
  2. Make sure your kids know their own names and ages, as well yours (or your name, at the very least).
  3. Give instructions slowly and clearly, and make sure your child understands.
  4. Remind your kids that they are never to leave a designated meeting spot, no matter the reason.
  5. Tell them that should any emergency arise, they are to approach any security guard or go to the Customer Service kiosk for help.

Talking with friends, I realized that many of us (yes, that includes me) had our own stories of getting lost when we were young. And while this is surely part of one’s childhood, as a parent now myself, this is one learning experience I would prefer never to happen at all. ♥

Bye-bye nappies…

Here are some things we learned about handling bedwetting as our firstborn transitioned out of his nighttime nappies:

  • Nagging or scolding doesn’t help. A hug and gentle words worked much better in helping him ditch nappies for good.
  • No drinking at least an hour before bedtime. Having him go to the toilet just before also helped.
  • An old towel or sheet to cover the soiled portion of the bed is a quick (temporary) fix that allowed him to return to sleep quickly and with minimum disruption. (If your child won’t mind, you can also place a sheet of plastic or some other waterproof covering underneath the bed sheet.)

Mommy Must-haves: Going ‘BigSkinny’ – A review of their leather Panther clutch

1⃣ My BigSkinny leather Panther clutch in Coral Pink in its packaging

Five stars for arriving a mere 24 hours after I ordered it! (I live in Cainta.) Kudos to BigSkinny and LBC! Also, I had contacted the BigSkinny.PH site twice prior to ordering to ask about available stocks, and Dianne (their wallet specialist on chat duty) was very helpful.

Opening my package was a real treat, too! There is nothing quite like the feel and SMELL of real leather! (BigSkinny’s leather line is made from top-grain cowhide.)

2⃣ BigSkinny EMPTY v Guess FULL
3⃣ BigSkinny FULL v Guess EMPTY

I had built up quite the level of expectation for my BigSkinny clutch after reading so many rave reviews on the brand and its products, as well as hearing my husband’s (repeated) personal endorsement of it. (Husband is the proud and happy owner of a black BigSkinny multi bi-fold.) While my wallet conversion experience did not quite match the near-miraculous slim-down achieved by dozens of other satisfied customers* (and I did end up missing my old wallet’s extra compartments and card slots), ultimately, BigSkinny delivered on its promise of a slimmer, lighter wallet — that resulted in a slimmer and lighter bag for me! (Yay!) In fact, by my estimation, my regular go-to bag lost about a third of its bulk after I changed wallets! This ‘enabled’ me (ehem) to stuff even more things into my bag! (Poor bag, and poor shoulder carrying the bag!)

*(I think this is because my old wallet had a clutch design, too, as opposed to others having a tri-fold/checkbook-type wallet or something similar.)

4⃣ A better look at BigSkinny FULL v Guess EMPTY
5⃣ My old wallet’s extra zippered compartment

THE PROs

BigSkinny’s Panther clutch is super thin and super light, but roomy enough to hold all of your bills, coins, cards, receipts, and even your cellphone! This is a HUGE deal for moms sprinting between home, her kids’ school/s, the grocery, the bank, and back on a daily basis! You can even choose to ditch your bag completely because with the Panther clutch — which also comes with a short, detachable strap that turns it into a wristlet — you have all of your essentials literally on hand (well, on your wrist).

It comes in several bright colors, as well as your more standard black and brown, which makes it a fashionable (and functional!) accessory for casual or formal occasions. You can also choose between its patented super-thin nylon micro-fiber clutches (which the company boasts are water-resistant and machine-washable — something worth paying for if you’ve got small kids!), or a leather hybrid version like the one I bought.

THE CONs

Some things I want to point out from my personal experience:

My old wallet was thicker and bigger than the BigSkinny, BUT its size and stiff material and construction also allowed me to fit my mobile plus a mini stylus in it comfortably and without fear of the coins in the inner zippered compartment constantly activating the phone’s lockscreen (stays locked but constantly consuming battery).

Also, my old wallet had two card slots more than BigSkinny, which helped me find my cards more easily because there were fewer cards in each slot, and I could keep my ATM cards in separate slots. (I like putting my ATM cards in individual pockets because I want to avoid scratching their magnetic strips any more than they have to be.)

And, as I already mentioned, I did end up missing the extra zippered compartment my old wallet had because that’s where I used to keep the key to my mobile’s sim card slot, a tiny pill or two of my emergency meds, and a ‘lucky’ commemorative coin I found. I didn’t want to put them in the BigSkinny’s inner zippered pocket because the key and the pills might be smooshed by the coins, and I might end up accidentally using that commemorative coin (haha); they might accidentally fall out of the larger main compartments when I open the clutch.

(The BigSkinny clutch is also a bit lopsided on two corners because of the stitching, but my husband said it was just me obsessing; I don’t notice it at all anymore.)


THE LOWDOWN:

  • Overall Satisfaction? TOTAL.
  • Value for Money? 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5
  • Will I order from BigSkinny again? YES.
  • My BigSkinny Wish List:
    • More designs/colors, especially in leather
    • An extra compartment/pocket or two (I think the light and soft material will offset any slight increase in weight and/or size.)

Check out the BigSkinnyPH site today!

Breastfeeding in a ‘Snap’: Autumnz tank tops and thermal breast relief pads

As expected, the Autumnz nursing tank tops I bought from Mamabella were pretty nifty (see my previous post on my Mamabella orders). Breastfeeding Little One was as easy as 1-2-3. Plop LO in my lap or on our nursing pillow, drop down the clip nursing opening to feed, and clip it back up once we were done.

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I love the colors they came in — black, white (a little sheer so it’s better for layering), periwinkle blue, brown, burgundy, orange, and fuschia — solid colors in basic shades that make dressing up a no-brainer. You can wear them with shorts or jeans, at home or when going out, even under a fitted jacket for work. The flared shape also helps hide post-partum tummies-in-progress, and the removable pads provide effective protection against leaks.

However, these were the exact same thing I didn’t like so much about the tops. They moved around a bit when I lay down or leaned forward, which resulted in a few accidental leaks — not pretty when in company or out in public. (Maybe I bought the wrong size?)

Still, it’s not something a little mindfulness on one’s part won’t fix, so I give the Autumnz nursing tank tops a 4 out of 5 pacis (pacifiers) for ease of use, versatility, style, and effectiveness.

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Meanwhile, the Autumnz Breast Relief Thermo Pads were very easy to warm in the microwave (I would suggest only 10secs at 100% power), providing a quick solution to slow milk flow or clogged ducts. (You can also use them cold, much like First Aid hot and cold packs.)

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The product write-up also promised that its design (an open-ring shape with the inner part cut at regular intervals in order to allow the ring to expand) would fit most breast sizes, but even though I’m far from being an extreme cup size, I found it difficult to position the rings effectively. Holding them in place proved uncomfortable after a while.

Still, they’re very easy to clean and much better than warm towels (IMHO), which can be rather messy. And, I hate getting wet when I’m not in the bath.

So, I give the Autumnz Reusable Breast Relief Thermo Pads 3 out of 5 pacis for ease of use and effectiveness. If the design could be improved such that they could stay in place with minimal effort (a big deal when you have a screaming baby waiting to nurse), I would easily give it 5 out of 5.

Breastfeeding in a ‘Snap’

Yesterday, my nursingwear supplier and mommy pal Mamabella dropped by for a home fitting and delivery of the nursing bras, tank tops, and breast relief thermo pads I ordered. Determined as I am to recover my breastfeeding experience (which was an excruciating and traumatic failure with my firstborn) and nurse at least till Little One is 6 months old, I am so excited to use them!

I LOVE the Emma-Jane (UK) bras that she stocks, and this is already the second batch I’ve ordered. The quality is very good, there’s a variety of styles and designs to choose from, the pricing is competitive with those available in Mothercare (for example), and the sizing is just right for my rather ample bosom.

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Emma-Jane seamless maternity/nursing bra in nude

Now, what I’m really pumped up about wearing (pun intended, ha ha) are the Autumnz Adele-style nursing tank tops, which have “a built-in shelf bra, removable pads, clip nursing opening, and adjustable straps”. For only Php750 each, you get both a bra and a top. They really are a steal!

At home, you can opt to remove the pads for a more relaxed fit. When wearing them to go out, you can wear them as they are, layered under a loose shirt, or underneath a light sweater.

Watch out for my review of the Autumnz Adele nursing tank tops, as well as the Autumnz Reusable Breast Relief Thermo Pads, when this post is updated.