Babypalooza 2015

FlyerApr2015 Babypalooza Bazaar is back! :) For first-time parents looking for cool, unique baby clothes that is affordable; aunties and uncles as well as godparents looking for something to give to nephews, nieces and godkids, this event is for you. Babypalooza offers brand new and pre-loved products for babies, young kids and for pregnant moms, too. Babypalooza bazaar philippines (1)babypalooza bazaar preloved baby stuff philippines This April 25, head on over to Walter Hogan Conference Center, Ateneo de Manila, Quezon City between 10AM to 7PM and enjoy a comfortable shopping experience at an air-conditioned selling hall. You may bring your kids as there is the Vivre Fort play area provided for them (in case they get bored roaming around) and an area for breastfeeding, diaper changing and other baby-related what-nots is provided. This makes shopping experience more convenient for the whole family. You may pre-register for the event here. Babypalooza Bazaar kids Entrance is FREE and while supplies last, you may look forward to freebies from the sponsors: Huggies diapers, Shinagawa products, Lactacyd and Guard Insect Repellant.

And that’s not all. You can also get a chance to win a prize from the Rewards Corner for a minimum total spend of Php1,000.00. :D

Complete Event details:

Babypalooza Bazaar

Date: April 25, 2015
Time: 10 am to 7 pm
Place: Walter Hogan Conference Center, Ateneo de Manila University, QC (see here for directions)Free entrance and parking

Sign up for the Mommy Minder service and a message will be sent to you via SMS and/or email to remind you of the event. :)

Follow Babypalooza Bazaar on Facebook to join giveaways and see event updates.

For inquiries:

Mobile Number: 0917 609 14 72 / 0917 814 8447
Email Address: babypalooza.info@gmail.com

See you there! :)

Prepping for the New Residence…

I have been wanting to blog for the past few days but it has been a pretty hectic past few weeks to be exact. We had visitors at work, testing for a new process to be implemented, issues that needed to be resolved ASAP and all that. To say that it was crazy would probably an understatement. Well, that is if I include the fact that I had been busy outside work as well.

Today is already the 19th of the month on this side of the world. Technically, today is the last day of my stay in this apartment – the place where I have called my home for the last 5 years. And yes, I am sentimental about leaving this place. Though, like I have probably said in a previous post, I have plans of moving out of here. But not as abrupt as what has happened. Anyway, this place has been my comfort zone. I was able to come up with plans for my future, this place saw my joys and my tears and the walls have probably heard my frustrations, fears, questions and other what-nots that I usually blurt out loud when I am alone. LOL!

So, going back, apart from a busy work schedule at work, I have been sending emails and calling the contact persons of the new place that I would be moving to. Yes, I have made a decision already among the two options that I posted last time and I have been ironing out the contract with the owner via email since she lives abroad and it is her nephew who does the legwork here, apart from the contract and the decision making. We were able to come up with an agreement and I am okay with the stipulations stated in the contract, so now, I am just waiting on when I could read the final one and sign it. Then pay the advanced payment, deposits and hand over the post-dated checks.

Speaking of which, it seems that a lot of places for rent now do require post-dated checks. I have never cared in opening one before since I am good with my savings account (I could use it as a debit card so it makes my shopping easier) and I have my credit card in case of emergencies. I guess everyone is looking for a guarantee that the rent will be paid on time and all that. So, last Friday, I went to the bank, opened a checking account but then I forgot to bring one of the requirements (forgetful me these days since I have a lot of stuff in my head lately – yeah, excuses, fine! LOL) but then the lady had one booklet reserved in my name for pick up on Monday as soon as I hand over the last requirement that I needed to submit. There was not much hassle – apart from filling out forms – with the transaction but it still took me about 50 minutes before I was given my new account number. Include there the waiting time, so processing time was about half an hour. Not bad.

Backtracking a bit further, last Thursday, I went to my current building administrator’s office to ask about extending my stay for probably until the end of the month. I was told that starting Monday, the 20th, I will be charged by the day until the day that I move out. They will no longer extend my contract and they are not budging about it, too. Fine. Business policy, blah blah blah. I told the nice lady that I will be back next week to give them the date that I will pull out from the apartment so I can get a gate pass to bring my stuff out. Good thing is, I can have my daily charges deducted from the deposit that I have with them. I just hope that there will be a little something left that I can take after all is taken care of. I need to get a few new stuff for my new place, you know.

All activities related to my move is done before I go to work. And with the summer heat (oh Lord, the heat), by the time I get to the office, I am already feeling drained. And by the time I get home, instead of starting to pack my stuff, I am already totally beat that all I could do is to sit and stare at the ceiling or the television but not necessarily understanding what I’m watching until I am able to pull myself off the couch to clean up a bit and hit the sack.

And with that, I haven’t gone home to the mountain city this weekend as I need to start packing and get a few other things done. I went to my internet service provider first to request for a disconnection since I am moving, bought a few stuff I need for packing, got myself a cup of coffee, came home, cooked dinner and ate before I started sorting out my things. I have been opening boxes within boxes within boxes and thought to myself “what have I been trying to do with all these stuff?”. LOL! I had old receipts, going as far as five years back, letters that have not been opened, lots and lots and lots of paperbags (where did they all come from?) and I found a box that contained my beads (there was a time that I hoarded beads thinking that I would make jewelry and sell it online.. Pffft, never happened).

One other interesting thing I’ve found were the receipts of the baby clothes that I have been buying online. I started online shopping way back before I had little Z. I used to shop online because it gives a wider variety to choose from in terms of design and I have found a lot of baby items that I haven’t seen in the malls those times. The receipts were dated back 2012. LOL! So I took my laptop and tried to check Zalora, see if they have new items that would be good for my little Z and I have found a broad range of baby clothing at ZALORA’s Marketplace. Click here to see their collection. I bookmarked the page so I can get back to it easily once I have settled in the new place. I think it is about time that I try checking out online shops for good and reasonably priced items again.

Anyway, here is how my living room looks like at the moment.

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I am not yet halfway done. :( How in the world do you pack anyway? Last time I did this was about 6 years ago and I seem to have forgotten how it is done. I am not really the most organized person in the world but I try to get my things organized and I have started labeling the boxes as well but I keep getting distracted with the things that I have been rediscovering. Hopefully I will be able to get all these things sorted out by tomorrow. I am targeting to pull out by next weekend, as long as we can get the contract finalized so I can affix my signature. Not having the contract yet is making me quite anxious already.

Okay, I think I’ll end up here for now. It’s almost 4 in the morning and I need to get a few hours of good sleep before I continue with the clean up and packing again. I still need to get my laundry done, too.

One last thing: any tips on how to pack? I am sorely in need of help here…

 

Crib Hunting…

It’s been almost a month since I received the letter from the apartment building administrator. That means that I only have about 5 days or less before my contract ends. And if my contract ends, that means I will be homeless if I still don’t have a place to move to.

A month is really not enough to find a suitable place to live in in the big metro. You have a lot of things to consider: environment, flood-free area, residential feel (for me, that is), security, convenience and comfort. I mean, you don’t want to live in a place that is too noisy or gets flooded with just a small drizzle or a place where you always worry and install multiple lock mechanisms because you fear that you will get back home with all of your stuff taken, now, do you?

For the past 5 years, I have felt very secure in my current apartment. While it may be small (tiny, even), I don’t worry that my neighbors would rob me of my stuff (since they have a lot more expensive stuff than I do in the first place). The location is relatively quiet and has that residential feel even if just a few feet away are all commercial buildings. It is also very convenient since there’s a grocery nearby, 24/7 convenience stores, drug store, banks, massage spas, laundry shops, and other what-nots, and they are all within walking distance. The malls are also a few minutes walk away from here (about 10-20 minutes, depending on how fast you walk).

And since I am no longer wanted as a tenant (huhu me), I have tried my best to find the next best place to live in for the next year or so. I scoured the internet for apartments for lease, walked around the neighborhood to check for unit vacancies and I asked friends and colleagues if they knew of a unit for lease. I was already losing hope and planning to beg the building administrator to extend my contract and not throw me out (not literally, but you get what I mean). Until last week, I found some glimmer of hope in my current situation.

I am not going to name the places for my own security so I will be labeling them as Unit A and Unit B. Last Monday at dawn, when I just arrived from the mountain city, I browsed the cyberspace, hoping I will find something. And lo and behold, I did. Not only one, but two options that I am now considering. I called both numbers, scheduled for viewing, viewed the units, and now, I am in a small dilemma because I cannot decide which one would be better though I am already leaning towards Unit B.

So, Unit A is actually just around the block from where I am currently staying at. It is a 1-bedroom loft type unit, 38 square meters. Bedroom and toilet and bath are located at the loft, kitchen area by the entrance and quite a spacious living space for myself. Amenities include use of swimming pool (and they have a nice looking pool as well), kids playground (though I haven’t had the chance to check) and I am not sure of the others. The place is convenient, comfortable, secured, and the location in general is quite lively and warm. I have a few contentions though: given that it is loft type, I find the space having quite low-ceiling (since I really cannot install a ceiling fan if I want to) so it is a bit warm (especially now since it is already summer), the windows are facing the other building and while it may be cool some days, the fact that there’s a building blocking the air flow is not as appealing to me as it seems to others. Also, the biggest contention I have is the laundry area. Or lack thereof. There’s no provision for laundry area. And I am not planning on sending my clothes to laundry every single time. There’s a reason why I bought my washing machine years ago.

Option 2 is Unit B. The location is about a couple of minutes away from here. So technically, I am going back to the general area of where I have lived before I moved here. Unit B is actually large. It is a 46-square meter 1-bedroom flat with very spacious living area and bedroom. Kitchen area is a lot larger than Unit A and it has a provision for laundry area. Windows are facing air space so there’s no building blocking the air flow. The unit is airy, bright and with high ceilings, making the place a lot cooler. Amenities include use of swimming pool as well (though I think their pool is smaller than that of Unit A’s area) and I think they have a kid’s playground, too (though again, I was not able to check it out). The location is relatively quiet (once you’re within the gated area, that is), it is beside a school, there are banks across the street as well and some other shops. I just find the area in general a bit boring compared to the area of Unit A. A few contentions though very minor are some repairs that the unit owner needs to fix before I move in. And I am a bit worried about the elevator malfunctioning since the unit is located at the 7th floor. Hopefully I don’t have to climb the stairs if that happens. :P

Price-wise, both are within my budget limit, just having Php 1K difference and that includes association dues already. Both areas are in a flood-free area so that takes the worry of getting flooded once it rains. Both locations are convenient and relatively near my work location, too, so that’s good. And I found out that both areas are under the same development firm. :P

Up until this afternoon, I was quite having conflicts with which I would pursue. Now that I have written it all down, I think I already have a winner. Having a larger space will also give my little Z more space to play whenever I bring him to the big metro. :) And since it is flat, we don’t have to worry about him falling down the stairs (and Z just loves climbing stairs now). But the greatest deal breaker for me is the laundry area. I may not do my laundry often but this is something that I really need since I need to save on laundry expenses. And of course, I made the decision with Z in mind. What will be more comfortable and safer for him?

I am just waiting for a sample contract now so I can review the terms and conditions as well so I can ask a few questions if I need clarifications. I will be requesting one from Unit A as well for comparison. Since I haven’t finalized anything just yet, I’d still like to keep my options open. Just for back up, in case.

So within this week, on top of a busy work schedule, I have to go to my building administrator’s office to ask for extension (probably until the end of the month or so) since I am still finalizing the contracts of the new place. Go to my internet provider’s office to request for relocation of connection (or to inquire how the process will be since I still have to coordinate with the new place’s administrator), start packing (ohwemghee! where do I start??), find friends to help out with the move, oh and I am going to need to probably hire someone to move my things to the new place (aka, manong jeepney driver, magkano arkila mula dito hanggang dun? LOL!).

This activity actually brings me back to the last time I moved from one place to the other. It is almost the same situation but that last one was more brutal. I would still want to bash the landlord in the head, if only I could. But that will be for another time.

For now, I’ll take this one step at a time. Find a place – check, make a decision where – on going and hopefully I get to finalize everything this week. Well, I have to finalize everything this week. I have to treat this new place as something transitional. Maybe stay for a year or two while trying to find (and saving up) something more permanent. I no longer want the hassle of moving from one place to another every few years. I’d like to settle down now.

Yeah, I am indeed getting old. :P

More on the crib-hunting-moving-to-a-new-place saga soon. Wish me luck! :D

 

 

 

10 Years of Big Metro Living

Trust me, if I could come up with a better title than that, I would. But it seems that I’m a little out of sorts today – probably due to lack of sleep – so I’ll stick with that for now. :-P

Last Friday, April 3rd, marked my tenth year of living in the big metro. I have never imagined staying here this long when I started. When I decided to leave the cool mountain city that is Baguio ten years ago, I was a naive, idealistic girl who just wanted to experience the freedom of being independent. My goal was to only work here for five years to save up for a car and if lucky, some extra to probably invest in something. So with a duffle bag, my backpack and a box of small kitchen utensils and supplies to start me off, I explored the world of the unknown. Well, for me, that is.

Fast forward to ten years later and here I am, still car-less and about to be thrown out of my apartment building (exaggeration intended). But I was able to buy a small property in Baguio, fully paid and transferred to my name in three years’ time. Now, I need  funds to get a plan for the house and more funds for the actual construction to be done. That will be for another time though.

Do I still plan to go back to the mountain city? Well, I go home every weekend now so it is still home but the big metro has been home for the past ten years as well. Living here has taught me quite a few things and believe me, I am still learning. (Ten years of living here and I still don’t know how to commute on my own going to Divisoria!)

Just a few things I learned over the past ten years:
1) Convenience is everywhere but you have to spend extra. When I started out, I handwash my own clothes, cook my food, walk a few blocks to ride the bus to get to work (even if it was hot). As you get more comfortable with how much you earn, you tend to spend a little for convenience because you justify that you deserve it. Until it evolves to paying more for convenience – sending laundry to laundromats, eating out, taking a cab instead of walking. I am still learning the lesson here: too much convenience makes one lazy and poor. 😁

2) Malls are everywhere and serve as landmarks. Tell me to go somewhere outside the route of EDSA and I am lost. But if you tell me a mall is nearby where I am supposed to go to, I am pretty sure I can find it. 😁 And I learned that malls are great hangout places because you get free airconditioning. Why spend so much on electricity when you can go to the mall to cool off? LOL!

3) As long as you’re along EDSA, you will never get lost. 😁 Well, I didn’t lose my way all those times when I was still looking for a job in the big metro. As my Dad instructed me, just follow EDSA. And that’s what I did. 😁

4) Suitable living spaces at affordable prices are very hard to find. Take it from someone who has had 5 different addresses for the last ten years. You want comfortable, spacious, quiet, safe areas? Well, prepare to pay premium to get all that.

5) Asking directions from building guards barely help you since half the time, they wouldn’t know where you are going. Sometimes, it is better to ask the sidewalk vendors (if there are) but you have take risks by doing that. But more often than not, they will be able to give you the directions you badly need.

6) You have to pay exact taxi fare or ask for your change after you pay else, say goodbye to it. Growing up in Baguio where taxi drivers give you exact change (they give you change even if it is only fifty centavos), I really find it irritating that taxi drivers here suddenly forget their math when it is time to pay the fare. And when you ask for it, majority of them are even grumpy. Geez!

On a more serious note, the biggest struggle that I am learning now is all about finances. It is so easy to spend impulsively in the big metro because of all the variety of stuff the place offers not realizing that, at the end of the day, you have already spent more than what you should have. Well, now that I have a son to think of, I think I am already starting to curb my impulsive spending. (I hope!)

Did I mention any of my neighbors? No? For the five places I’ve lived in, I have never learned the names of my neighbors. Not single one of them. Apart from the fact that I rarely see them, I myself am wondering why. Hmmm…

Anyway, last Friday, I didn’t celebrate my 10 years of big metro living. Rather, I was at home in the mountain city, sleeping half the day away. Lol! How do you celebrate that anyway?!

Do I plan to stay here for another ten years? I really don’t know, to be honest. But I can see myself living here for a long time. I guess this is something that I have to think long and hard about especially since I have a kid to consider now. We’ll see how that pans out. For now, a new place to live in is the priority. I’ll be checking two places this week. Hopefully, one of them will be my new residence for another year or so. Crossing my fingers and cheers to me for surviving ten years of big metro living. 😁

Self-Motivation…

Lately, I have been sharing and liking a lot of inspirational quotes in my Facebook account. I guess it is a way to motivate myself out of my restless mood. Here are a few of those quotes: image image image image image image From the looks of it, I have really been feeling down and out of sorts lately. I guess I can chalk it up to stress, maybe? I don’t know. Probably this Momma is now in need of a little time for herself to regroup and come up with a new plan.

The long hours at work, the stress brought upon by searching for a new place in such a short time, the long commutes during weekends, not being able to see my son every single day, the feeling of being lonely sometimes, the loads of household chores that needs to get done but are never done anyway and the million other things that I want to do but can never do due to a million different reasons are taking its toll on me.

I am tired. Bone-weary tired and sometimes things are just becoming routinary, like I no longer know why I do things but I just know that I have to do them. While I know that things happen for a reason and all that, I just sometimes think if the roller coaster ride will ever stop. Will I ever get back to just having a smooth ride where everything just flows? No sudden drops after steep uphill climbs but rather just a steady uphill and downhill roads. No more sudden twists and turns and drops.

*Sigh* I guess I will just continue trying to push myself further until I get past whatever blues I am in.

Time to Move On…

My day today started good. Even if I had to get out of bed earlier than usual, I was not grumpy about it. In fact, I was quite excited because I was looking forward to spending lunch with a couple of friends that I don’t get to see as often as I like. Well, we don’t get to see much of each other because of our own busy schedules.

An hour and a half of lunch with these two started my day good.

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I didn’t even mind the traffic so much from Makati going to Ortigas after our lunch date (and I am usually not so patient about it).

My good mood didn’t last long though. I still have not received any referrals for a nanny for my son (even for just one month), we had a quite heated discussion at work that threw us off the loop (another “work around” process – can’t divulge anything more than that), and given that I quite lost my focus, I decided to come home early so I can fix my stuff and prepare things for the weekend again. And I thought I was only going to think about getting the laundry done.

When I arrived home about a couple of hours ago, the building guard handed me a letter. I was expecting a note for my lease renewal and it was about time that it arrived since my lease will expire exactly a month from now. And while the guard was handing me the note, he said, “hindi po ibig sabihin nyan na pinapaalis namin kayo. May vacancy po sa kabilang building.” (This doesn’t mean that we’re kicking you out. There is a vacancy in the other building.)

Since I just wanted to get to my apartment and relax for a while, his statement got me confused. So I opened the letter while climbing up the stairs to my unit at the 5th floor (yes, I climb 5 floors everyday). Imagine my surprise and dismay when the note was not for my renewal of lease. Rather, it states:

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“Why?!?” was the first thing that came to mind. It doesn’t say anythjing else. No reason, no nothing. They just don’t want to renew my contract. Is that even legal? Heck, I don’t know. I am going to call the office tomorrow to get more details about this. I am not the only one who got this kind of note, I think. The guard still has abnout a couple of letters to hand out, if the letters he was holding earlier contains the same message.

I have been living here for the past 5 years. I have accummulated a lot of things over the years as well. And my shoebox apartment may be tiny, it has been home for the last 5 years. Now I only have one month (ONE MONTH!!!!) to find another place. That is so going to be a challenge since I have been working long hours during the weekdays and I am not in the big metro on weekends. Now I have to squeeze in “find an apartment” in my uber busy schedule. Huhuhu!

I have even come to love this place. Relatively quiet area with a residential feel, we don’t get flooded during rainy days, area is technically walking distance to the malls. What more can I ask for?

Now I have to find a new place to live. I might try to check out the vacant apartment in the other building a block away from here but I think I will check out other places, too. Maybe this is some sort of a transition phase that I need to go through (good luck budget plan). Probably it is about time to find a better and bigger place so my son will have more room to play.

Anyone knows any apartments for rent within Pasig/Mandaluyong area that is reasonably priced for a single, working mom? (Parts that don’t get flooded and not far from EDSA, I hope). *Sigh*

I hope nothing adds to my list of things to worry about. For now though, I think it is a good time to have a drink.

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First Time Parents: What to Know Before Giving Birth

Planning to have a baby but don’t know what to expect when the time comes to meet your little one? First time expecting Mom wondering what will happen and how you will know that you are about to give birth?

Check out Manila Workshops’ First Time Parents series of workshops – What to Know Before Giving Birth

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It is going to be a  half day session on March 28, 2015 which will include the following topics:

  • What to expect during visits to your OB-GYN
  • Pain management
  • Pregnancy nutrition

Here are the details:

Date:    March 28th, 2015
Time:   1PM-5PM
Venue: Best for Families Inc. Headquarters, #29 1st Street, New Manila, Quezon City
Please use referral code ZALAFTPWGB_1 when you register.

Learning Fee:

Regular Rate:   Php 350.00
Couple’s Rate:  Php 600.00

Get to know our speakers:

Dra. Patricia Malay Kho studied Medicine and underwent Residency Training in UP College of Medicine-Philippine General Hospital.  She is an Obstetrician Gynecologist with Subspecialty Training in OB Gyne Infectious Diseases.  She is also an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant.  She is affiliated with Makati Medical Center and St Luke’s Global.  She has two children, and both were breastfed.

Ms. Cecile Bayaga is a registered nutritionist-dietitian and a full-time faculty at the College of Home Economics, University of the Philippines-Diliman. She has been teaching Principles of Nutrition, Nutrition for the Lifecycle, and Medical Nutrition Therapy for the past 12 years. She has published scientific articles on glycemic index, essential fatty acids for brain development, and clinical nutrition. In 2005, the Nutritionists-Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines awarded her as The Most Promising Nutritionist-Dietitian. She is happily married for the 9 years and a mother to their son, Gabby.