When Vanity Strikes: Service Awards Banquet

I’m actually turning 10 years with the company on December 27. However, given that my 10th year is within the calendar year, I have been included in the more than 100 awardees for this year within the company. The awardees were the ones who have rendered 2, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years within the company. But that is not what I wanted to talk about.

For every event that I am invited to that requires me to dress up, I need to allot about 2 months to find the right dress. Yep, you read it right – 2 months, at least. That’s how I’ve done it the previous years. And every single time, I end up getting a dress from Karimadon. So, this year, instead of searching all the shops within all the malls, I went straight to Karimadon to find a dress. I’m not going to pose all the dresses I’ve tried (yep, I tried several😛 ) but the winning dress was this (there does my budget):

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Good thing that I didn’t need to buy new shoes since I still have one decent shoes that I could use which was only used twice since it was bought – it was bought for a wedding and it was reused for a company party.😀

I didn’t have time for a mani-pedi session so it was a DIY for me. It was not perfect but it was presentable.:)

bronze platinum but looks more silvery than expected

bronze platinum but looks more silvery than expected

I got the dress, I got the shoes, next big thing would be hair and make up. I have absolutely no idea how to wear make up for big events. For day-to-day make up, I can wing it, but for a big one, I need professional help.

Oh and did I mention that I am a crammer? Yep, I searched for hair and make up artist when I saw my friend post in one Facebook group looking for one about a week and a half from the day of event. I got several referrals when I posted in FB as well and finally decided to hire Sai Montes Makeup Artistry – referred by Mommy Pehpot.:) Thank you, Mommy!

Unfortunately, Sai was indisposed so she sent her Senior Makeup Artist to do our hair and make up for the event. By the way, my +1 was my bestfriend.:)

Anyway, let me just post a few photos (from the hundreds of photos in my phone) and be the judge. These are low-res version of the actual photos so expect a lower quality. I can’t post the actual photos here because it will eat up a lot of space.😛

Dress: Karimadon Shoes: Charles and Keith Earrings: gift from a friend It took that many hairpins to do my side bun :D

Dress: Karimadon; Shoes: Charles and Keith; Earrings: gift from a friend; It took that many hairpins to do my side bun😀; Not in photo: Necklace: Istorya (won from a blog giveaway😀 )

The before photo.. No decent sleep for two days

The before photo.. No decent sleep for two days

Undecided on what to do with the hair so curls first...

Undecided on what to do with the hair so curls first…

Make up session on-going

Make up session on-going

There goes the curls :)

There goes the curls:)

The side bun was a last minute decision since I didn’t really know what kind of hairstyle I wanted. I was so used to having my hair down for majority of the events I’ve attended and I wanted to have something different for this event. I didn’t know what kind of updo I wanted so I ended up choosing a side bun so it would be quickly done. Since Charm forgot to bring her hairspray, I was a bit worried that the hair style would go limp after an hour. It was a good thing too that there is a drug store relatively near my place so I had to let my nanny and my son take a walk and buy one. Thankfully, the store had one available.

Initial look... Love how my eye color popped :)

Initial look… Love how my eye color popped:)

RB's make up session

RB’s make up session

Expressive eyes :)

Expressive eyes:)

Curls...

Curls…

#mirrorselfie

#mirrorselfie final look

with Charm, our hair and make up artist for the day

with Charm, our hair and make up artist for the day

My son took his nap when we started with the hair and make up session so when he woke up after about two hours, he didn’t recognize me and didn’t want me near him. He actually turned his back on me and didn’t want to face me back.😀

"Mommy? No, you're not Mommy!!" LOL!

“Mommy? No, you’re not Mommy!!” LOL!

Final look...

Final look…

On the way to the event...

On the way to the event…

:)

:)

Side look :P

Side look😛

#selfiewhenpretty

#selfiewhenpretty #realbrowneyes

It was my first time to wear false eyelashes (seriously!) and it feels really weird. I was just happy when I got home and took it off.

The venue was at the Grand Ballroom of Shangri-la The Fort. The place is just grand. The carpets are so soft, the ceilings were thoughtfully designed, the chandelier is really pretty. The wall design is really a conversation piece. From what I heard, the pieces were hand sewn by 70 people and was completed in a year. The food served was superb as well. And no, I didn’t take photos of the food because I kind of crammed them all up in my plate and it didn’t look good for a photo. But really, the food was heavenly. This is what I loved the most:

when in a grown up event, drink wine :)

when in a grown up event, drink wine:)

Here are a few photos of the place. I didn’t take much photos of the venue. It would be best experienced, really.

See that thing behind me? That is such a gorgeous chandelier

See that thing behind me? That is such a gorgeous chandelier

Sitting area outside the ballroom

Sitting area outside the ballroom

the mandatory bathroom selfie :)

the mandatory bathroom selfie:)

those art pieces...

those art pieces…

I’m a typical shirt, jeans and sneakers type of gal. But sometimes, dressing up to the nines really feels good. Who would have thought that I could look pretty when dressed up? LOL!

Here’s my favorite look, though. When I took off all those hair pins and let my hair down literally (such relief but not as much relief as taking off your killer shoes after 9 hours of wearing it). That woke-up-like-this hair kind of look. Love it. I wish I could have hair like this everyday until I want my straight hair back.😛

At the end of the day...

At the end of the day…

That’s the last photo of me that I will be posting. Pardon the vanity. This only happens once in a blue moon. Now I need another event when I could wear that dress (or the other dresses I have in my closet that had been worn only once since it was bought).😛

 

***Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post.***

 

Ouch! My Back…

My neck… My legs… My arms…

As much as I don’t want to, I had to go on sick leave today because I can hardly get out of bed this morning. And when I was able to, it felt like my arms were going to fall off. My body hurts all over from carrying Z over the weekend. Z can already walk. When he’s inside the house, he doesn’t want to be carried at all. But once we step outside, a few steps out of the building and he will hold up his arms asking to be carried. And if you don’t carry him, he would sit on the ground and will refuse to stand up until you give in and carry him. Last month, what I did was take a few steps ahead of him and then wait for him to get up and walk/run to catch up then he will hold my hand and start walking again. This time around, taking a few steps ahead of him no longer works. He would remain seated on the ground or, worse, he would lie down on the ground and ignore me even if I walk further away. Sometimes he would even cry.

This weekend, since it was just the two of us who went out, I had to carry the bag and him at the same time. I still babywear him so I can get my hands free but carrying a bag with his things plus all 14-kilos of him, it did put a strain on my whole body. Yesterday, while at the mall and he didn’t want to walk again, I almost lost it. My back was hurting real bad and I was tired and all I wanted to do was sit down but Z didn’t want to walk and decided that the mall ground was a good bed. Yes, my friends, my son lied down on the ground not caring about the people passing by. It was really frustrating but I couldn’t do anything but carry him while scolding him.

For two straight days, all I did was carry my son for the majority of the time that we were out. And for two straight days, I was speaking to my son telling him that he has to walk because he already knows how to and at the same time, I was telling myself that there will come a time when he will no longer want to be carried so at least just enjoy the moment. And then another thought comes into mind that says, how do you enjoy the moment when your back is already killing you and your arms are about to fall off and you already feel like you’re going to break in two?

Anyway, I am so in need of a massage. I mean real massage. Not those mediocre ones that think they are giving a massage when in fact, they are just adding pain to my already suffering body. I have tried a few massage spas already and for some reason, I always go back to Wensha (the branch in Pasay). They have masseuses there that have “heavy” hands. You know, those that don’t necessarily need to put their whole weight on your back just to give you the hard massage that you ask for. LOL! I have tried other spas that, at first, have good service but after a while, the quality dwindles down. I haven’t tried home service yet, though. I think that would be a better option, don’t you think?

My body doesn’t hurt as much as it did this morning and my arms still feel like they’re attached to my body so I guess I am still good. But really, I need to schedule a massage session sometime in the near future. Anyone care to sponsor it?😛

 

When The Nanny Is Away…

I just realized that it’s already 1AM this side of the world. And I am still sweating like it’s lunch time. I really can’t bear this kind of heat and can’t wait for summer to end, just so it would cool down a bit.

Anyway, the heat isn’t what my post is all about. For the first time since my son arrived here in the big metro, his nanny took her day off, days off rather.:) She left before noon to visit and stay overnight with a relative nearby. It was okay with me. Given the work she’s been doing – she’s doing great, by the way – she deserves a couple days off. When she started, I actually told her that half of Saturday and whole of Sunday is hers to do as she wishes. But since she doesn’t really go out, Z and I bring her with us during weekends.

So this is the first weekend that it will be just Zaine and I. Since I haven’t really made plans on what we will be doing for the day, I decided to go visit a friend at the Summer Komikon event before going to another event elsewhere.

I wasn’t able to get photos at the Summer Komikon since Z just wanted to be carried and there were a lot of people at the hall. From what I saw, there were a lot of exhibitors as well. It was my first time to attend such event so I really didn’t know what to expect. Hopefully, I will be able to roam around the next time. I was not even able to get a photo of my friend’s booth. Sheesh!

Summer Komikon crowd

Summer Komikon crowd

After a few minutes of small talk inside and several more minutes waiting for a cab, we went to Boni Highstreet for the Mothercare event. During the talk, the baby in front of us seemed to be fascinated by Z and Z didn’t disappoint. He actually made the baby girl laugh and giggle by doing his own antics. LOL! I didn’t know where he got that from. Really. A few minutes after, while I try to listen and watch the demos, I was also following Z who decided that he wanted to roam around the store. A sales crew carried him and he charmed her as well. Too bad I was not able to take photos of Z’s antics during the event. My son is indeed a charmer.:)

After the event, since Z didn’t finish his lunch (he only took a few spoonful of his food), I decided to try IHop. Yes, it was my first time to try IHop. I know. I never really had the opportunity to do so before until the fad of the place died down when it first opened a few years ago until I forgot all about it.

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Mum & Son Date❤

while waiting for the food to arrive

while waiting for the food to arrive

Since they had Spaghetti Bolognese, I ordered it for Zaine. He loves a good pasta dish, that kid. He was able to almost finish  whole serving of it (there was only about two forkful of pasta left).

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

I got myself the Strawberry Banana Pancake. I can’t say it was really great. The pancakes were fluffy and soft but the strawberry preserve was too sour for my taste.

Strawberry Banana Pancake

Strawberry Banana Pancake

IHop’s service crew is great, though. From what I have experienced, they have really good service.

After eating, Z still didn’t want to walk so I carried him and we strolled through Highstreet. There were several events going on as well. There was the Thailand event which will be until tomorrow, there was also a photography event (I think, some sort of a seminar/workshop), there was ROX’s Outdoor festival. I think there were a couple more but I never really paid attention to all of them.

We checked out the ROX’s event at the ampitheater so we can also sit down for a few minutes to rest. Z walked a few steps before deciding to sit on the ground and watch the spotlights by the stage.😀

 

Light watching :D

Light watching😀

My date with the little boy was nowhere near extravagant but spending the whole afternoon with him (even if I have to carry him majority of the time) was definitely worth it. I seriously forgot all about my body pains this afternoon. (It’s just now that I can feel my back and neck and arms really hurt, hahaha!).

Since Z was really full, we came home and he took his evening bath before calling my Mom through Skype. (It’s a weekend routine). Z is now fast asleep after a very tiring day. Well, I guess that means I have to go sleep now, too.

Tomorrow, err well, today, is Sunday. We’ll be attending church in the morning. Hmmm, what to do in the afternoon? Go somewhere or come home and play in the pool? That is to be seen. It will just be me and Zaine tomorrow again but his nanny is due to come back tomorrow afternoon so I might as well make sure that tomorrow will be well spent with the little boy.:)

Alright, my readers, good night to y’all! As what Scarlett O’hara said “Tomorrow is another day!”

Cleaning Essentials by Baby & Me

***Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post***

I just saw this event yesterday while browsing through Instagram. Since I haven’t really planned anything for this weekend, I decided to register and join the session.

while waiting for the event to start

while waiting for the event to start

So, the topic was about Cleaning Essentials. Do you remember that trending news about sippy cups/training cups and the likes that were accumulating molds when they opened the lids? That’s where this talk came about.

Especially for first time Moms, we are all obsessed about making sure that all our baby’s things are clean, sometimes, even cleaner than clean. From baby bottles, toys, clothes, even the surfaces that our babies will hold.

So what do we do? We sterilize. When we say sterilize, we often associate this to baby bottles and other feeding paraphernalia. And that is true. Over the years, process of sterilization has evolved as well. From the traditional way of boiling the feeding gears, we now have the steam sterilizers which is what’s commonly sold in the market now. However, to ensure that baby’s feeding things are really sterilized, they need to be air dryed as well. And we normally wipe out the excess water from the bottles or just let it be until it gets dried. But are we sure then that we were able to really, fully sterilize our babies’ things?

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During the talk, the first product that was presented was the Ecomom sterilizer. It uses “UV-C of the UV rays to sterilize”. I watched the demo of the product and it was fun to watch.:) It sterilizes just like the way a steam sterilizer does but at the same time, it also dries out the excess moisture from the bottles and other feeding gears, taking out the need to wipe it down with cloth or air dry it out in the open. You can check Ecomom’s website here for further details regarding this item. All I can say is, this product is perfect for those that has very sensitive babies or someone with gastro issues.

Did you know that the owner of Cycles is a Filipino? I didn’t know that. From what I learned earlier, the owner’s kids have very sensitive skin and whenever they come home from overseas, they bring home lots of all-natural, organic items to be used by their kids. Given that, they have conceptualized Cycle’s products so that there won’t be any need to source elsewhere.

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Prior to giving birth to Z, a few things that I bought as part of my preparation into motherhood and the arrival of a baby is baby detergent and bottle cleaners (even if I was already decided that I will be breastfeeding my son for the first few months). I got Cycles laundry detergent and Cradle bottle cleaner. I think we’ve used them for quite some time as well. And I can say that these products are good. Even now that Z is already 2.5 years old, I still use Cradle for his bottles and Cycles citronella patches. I also use Cradle toy and surface cleaner. I love this product because it is so easy to use. For more information about Cycles and Cradle, you may visit their website here and here.

While I am way past being paranoid all the time when it comes to my son, listening to the talks given during this event makes a good reminder that while our kids grow and give them more freedom to explore, we still need to ensure that their things are always clean, especially the ones they use for feeding.

Apart from learning good stuff, I got to take home a few stuff, too.:)

loot! thanks MothercarePH :)

loot! thanks MothercarePH:)

 

The Nivea Sale

Nivea stash for several months :)

Nivea stash for several months:)

It’s that time of year again. The Nivea sale came in a bit early this year (It was May 1-3 last year, if I’m not mistaken). I was not totally prepared so I only got a few. Last year, I was not able to get the bar soap because it was already out of stock all over when I decided to join in the fun of hoarding.:)

This year, I was able to get the bar soap. I guess my stash will last until end of the year (I hope!). I only got a couple bottles of lotion for me. My priority actually was to get the Nivea  Baby products for Z. I really like their baby products because the smell lasts long and my son’s skin does not dry, unlike other baby wash brands. Their baby lotion is also not sticky but it keeps my son’s skin moisturized. It is really a treat! Nivea Baby are selling like hotcakes! It was really hard getting my hands on the products I need but I was lucky last night when I went to the grocery because they were just opening a few boxes of the baby shampoo. I was able to get 5 bottles and a couple bottles of baby lotion as well. They ran out of the baby bath and the powder and I was not able to find it in the shops near my office. So glad that a friend was able to find stocks for the baby wash elsewhere and decided to give it as a gift for Z. Weeee!😀

It was published that the sale will be for all Nivea products nationwide but I am disappointed at some stores because they only tagged selected items for sale. Like Mercury Drug for example. Their Nivea Baby products are not part of the sale that they have. Even SM Megamall supermarket, when I asked them a couple of days ago, not all Nivea products are on sale. I hope they rectify this soon, though.

Anyway, what are you waiting for? The Nivea Big Sale is until April 18.  There’s still 2 days (3 days if you count today) before the sale ends. Go to your nearest grocery, supermarket, drug store, or wherever and get your stash as well.:) I am hoping to be able to add a few more myself.

***Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. ***

 

 

Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!

snapshot from Accuweather.com

snapshot from Accuweather.com

It’s already 1:19AM in this side of the world but really, this heat is unforgiving. It’s 30 degrees Celcius with a real feel of 37 degrees. And it is even forecasted to go higher at 43 degrees within the day. Even my floor feels warm, as if the heat is coming from underneath.  Seriously, who can tolerate this heat?

Even at work, it seems that the airconditioning has been working overtime as well. A/C temperatures have been standardized but it seems that it needs to go a notch lower just to keep the temperature at a comfortable level. And while it feels comfortable to be inside, once you go out, the heat envelops you even before you step out of the building. The heat is draining and it is giving me a head ache. I’ve been having headaches for the past few days now because of this heat. Maybe because I am getting dehydrated and yet I keep forgetting to drink water.

It’s actually a wonder how my son is still able to sleep through this very warm weather. Even in the afternoon, I wonder how he is still able to take his nap. One thing I ensure though is that he has lots of liquid intake. As of now, he only drinks water and milk. Every 15 minutes, we let him drink water. Just to keep him hydrated. I also instructed his nanny to not go out of the compound in the afternoon because of this heat. They can go down by the pool side, though, the area is shaded and it is breezy. Given that my windows are facing west, it gets really warm in here in the afternoon so it would be best if they go to the pool side to cool down as well as to interact with the other kids. So far, it is working.

Buying an A/C unit is very, very tempting. Seriously. But looking my size of my room, and the fact that the windows are facing west, and given the heat that we are experiencing now, I think my electric bill would really skyrocket – way above my budget. And yet again, I have to think of the little boy’s comfort, too. He’s already having a hard time sleeping through the night because of this freaking heat and that thought alone makes me lean towards getting that A/C unit urgently.

I need to check on my finances and make some adjustments in my budget if I really decide on this. For now, this is the only solution that I could think of to ensure Z’s comfort and to help him get through this awfully, abnormally, warm weather. Or maybe buying another fan will do in the meantime. And while I contemplate more on that, I have to get back to giving the little boy a sponge bath to keep him comfortable while he sleeps.

Therapy Wednesdays…

Since Z arrived in the big metro last February, he has been scheduled for a weekly session for physical therapy. He needs this to help him develop his gross motor skills such as walking, running, crawling, etc. While Z is already walking, he still needs to have his core muscles strengthened for him to have better balance.

So every Wednesday, this sleepless Momma needs to wake up early to bring the little boy to his weekly classes, as what I call it. His therapy session is done through play and I really like the play gym that MedMom has. They really have a great facility, I would say, given my limited knowledge of therapy centers for babies and toddlers, that is. But really, their facility is great.😛

While waiting for his session to start...

While waiting for his session to start…

Z’s teacher is quite petite and sometimes Z would topple her if she’s not on her guard.😀 Z is quite strong given his condition and it has amazed a lot of people as well. During therapy, Z is being worked on his core muscles including posture. The exercises being done are mostly stretching and turning sideways (it was found out that Z can turn from his waist to one side but not much on the other), reaching above his head (so his back will straighten), walking up on elevated planks or on the slide, and lately, Z was put on a swing. His biggest accomplishment so far – standing up on a swing. Yipee!

Stretching... still good, not too uncomfortable just yet...

Stretching… still good, not too uncomfortable just yet…

PT Achievement: standing up on a swing :D

PT Achievement: standing up on a swing😀

Z had hated the swing when he first tried it as part of his occupational therapy back in Baguio. My sister sent a video of Z crying and just wanting the swing to stop. I think it had something to do with the motion though I really forgot the full explanation. Now, Z loves it. He would ignore the rest of his activities when he sees the swing is set up.😛

trying to get up on the swing

trying to get up on the swing

In the short time that Z has been on physical therapy, his progress is actually amazing. He’s already starting to walk a lot better (not so much with his shoulders hunched up), his feet are not that apart when he takes steps, he can now squat as well when he’s going through his toy box, he can stand up on his own and he no longer depends on momentum when he walks (not like when he was learning how to walk). He can even run better now. He still gets outbalanced more often than not but it won’t be long when he will really run as he should be. Z still has a long way to go but he is on the right track.

Now, we’re still trying to wait for a schedule to open in MedMom for occupational therapy at the same time, I am trying to find another therapy center for this in case there won’t be an available slot soon. I am hoping that there will be a slot for him though so at least his PT and OT will really complement each other since the teachers at the facility already knows Z and are familiar with his case. Crossing my fingers on that.:)