Mommy favorites: the solid food edition

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I guess it’s safe to say that Stella doesn’t like carrots

We started feeding Stella solid food as soon as she turned six months. It’s exciting to see her get a taste of something other than milk, and it’s a joy to discover what food she likes and doesn’t like. So far, she loves squash, pears, prunes, bananas, peas, sweet potato, and cauliflower. She doesn’t care for carrots and brocolli. I don’t too, so I can’t say I blame her. Here are some of the things that have made this feeding journey easier for us.

1. Whole + Natural Baby Food Book

This beautiful book is a comprehensive guide to feeding babies up to one year. The book, written by Filipino moms, uses local ingredients and gives a step by step guide to preparing solid food for babies. The book is filled with recipes and beautiful photos and it’s perfect reference book for first time moms like me. I suspect even non first time moms will find this useful for their own children. I’ve tried many of the recipes already and most of them has been a hit with Stella! I even tasted them myself and the food is delicious. As it’s independently published, this book isn’t out in the bookstores yet. Try emailing wholenaturalbabyfood@gmail.com to purchase your own copy.

2. Munchkin suction bowls

The suction feature comes so handy when your baby is like mine, always grabbing things or knocking them over.

3. Chicco spoon
I’ve used other spoons before and this is my favorite. The spoon isn’t so hollow, unlike other spoons, which makes it easier for Stella to take the purees we give. It’s also made of silicon, which makes it soft on Stella’s gums. Love this and I’m so glad we switched to this.

4. OXO Storage container set
These are leak proof, watertight, and air tight and they have measurements to make portioning a breeze. We make Stella’s food in batches ( because who has time to cook baby food every single day?) and we store the food in these containers. We just pop them in the refrigerator and take them out for the next meal.

5. Ecomom sterilizer
I cannot rave about this sterilizer enough. It cleans all of Stella’s bottles, spoons, bowls, toys (even our cellphones!) and its drier feature saves us from the time consuming task of drying all her stuff one by one. Everything just feels so clean after a cycle in the Ecomom. We use it as storage too. I love multi purpose appliances!

6. Mamas and Papas baby bud booster seat
I was initially hesitant about getting a snug chair but this one has cast aside all my doubts. The chair feels safe when tied to a chair and though the fit is snug, Stella seems comfortable enough. It’s easy to clean, too. The removable activity tray that comes with it has also been a useful and most welcome distraction for Stella.

Where to buy children’s books on Instagram

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I’m only just now beginning to see the joy in reading and collecting children’s books. There is so much artistry that goes into making a really good children’s book that I never quite appreciated before, from the carefully crafted words to the matching illustrations. Kids are a really discerning audience. How do you make something engaging and still make it relatable to a preschooler? How do you even captivate the imagination of a 3 year old when most of them can’t stay still long enough to have their pajamas put on?

I’ve managed to get a hold of some really nice books for Stella. Some I’ve bought in bookstores, some are gifts, and some I’ve bought online from Instagram sellers.

Here are some of the book sellers on Instagram that I follow. They have a nice, well-curated selection of children’s books that I always check out.

1. Sunnypages
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2. Ben.and.lily.
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3. Beluga Dreams
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September favorites

1. My Amazing Blow Dry Secret

I am the ultimate consumer and I love products with outrageous claims. Some favorites: “Dramatically Different Moisturizing lotion,” “Hope in a jar,” “Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow” and “Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Rejuvenating cream.” Take note, dramatically different. Not just “different” or “somewhat different.” Dramatically different. And not just “night rejuvenating cream,” but THE “ultimate miracle worker night rejuvenating cream.” My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Quick Dry Shake n Spray, I’m happy to discover, is no different. Amazing ba talaga? Well, in a word, yes. The product promised to cut my blow drying time in half. That is no easy feat, considering I have long, thick, wavy hair, which isn’t code for “healthy” so much as “annoying” or “unmanageable.” Not that I blow dry my hair every day, but on the times I do, this product did manage to speed up the entire process. Yey for products that deliver on their promise! The only downside is that it doesn’t leave my hair with that nice, fresh scent. Unlike my trusty Vitress Hair Protect serum . It’s quite pricey too, again unlike Vitress which retails for less than 30 bucks.

2. The Wet Brush
I am, shamelessly if I might say, so easily swayed by advertisements, cute names (see example above), and I believe everything that advertisements tell me. Whiter teeth in 7 days? Yes please! Lose 10 pounds in 1 month? Where do I sign up? I’m naturally curious and I am horribly gullible. Doesn’t always make for the best combination. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. The Wet Brush is supposedly “Kendall Jenner’s favorite brush.” Yes, that’s exactly how they advertised it. I’m not a fan of the Jenners, per se, but if something is some celebrity’s favorite, well, then there goes all my sensibility out the window. It’s Kendall Jenner’s favorite brush! It makes her hair beautiful, and if she’s beautiful enough to have the most liked photo on Instagram EVER, well, the girl must know what she is talking about.

In all fairness to the product, The Wet Brush is truly the softest brush I’ve ever used. It does detangle my hair and it can be used for either wet hair or dry hair. I use it for both, although I enjoy it more when I use it while my hair is wet. I plan to give this to friends for Christmas. I imagine thrusting this into their hands and saying “This is Kendall Jenner’s favorite! And it will be yours too!”

3. K-Palette Lasting Two Way Eyebrow Pencil
Doing my eyebrows is my favorite thing to do in the morning. I don’t always get it right. Some days it’s acceptable, some days the right brow looks better than the left. Some days both brows are a mess. But I enjoy doing it just because I don’t know exactly how it will turn out. This product has given me more “good days” than bad days. It’s easy to use too. I just line my brows with the pencil, fill it up using the eyebrow, and I’m done. I think it’s safe to say that this little thing shall remain in my kikay kit for the time being.

 

4. Bad Bird Umami Fried Chicken
This was a discovery Jaime and I made on a casual Saturday afternoon date at Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall. I wasn’t actually sure if umami was safe for pregnant women, so While waiting in line, I had to Google “umami safe for pregnant women.” Before my pathetic 3G internet worked, we were up next and I decided, fuck it, bahala na. So I went ahead and got this umami fried chicken with 2 pcs sweet potato waffles with miso butter and maple syrup. Susmio ang sarap. No regrets whatsoever. Jaime got the Dirty Plate, which consisted of the fried chicken, fried rice with bacon and chicken liver, and kimchi. Delicious as well.

And if you’re wondering if umami is indeed safe for pregnant women, yes, it’s generally safe for pregnant women and children. Ha!

5. Akemi Suprelle Ultra Quilt duvet
I have searched high and low for a duvet that isn’t too heavy, too expensive, too thick, etc. We would love to have goose down feather duvets, but alas, no tengo dinero. The ones I previously purchased were too thick that we ended up sweating, even with airconditioning on. The one “feathery” duvet we had was hand me down, and it was so worn out that we literally had to sweep feathers around the bed every morning. Not fun. Akemi’s Suprelle Ultra Quilt comforter is the best duvet I’ve ever had. Really soft but provides just the right amount of warmth. It was warm when you want to be warm, and cold when you feel like being cold. Yes to technology! And if that doesn’t make sense to you, you will have to get one and see for yourself.

Gourmand Market

When we were in London for our honeymoon, Jaime and I wanted to check out their famous Borough Market, but we never got the chance to. So when I heard that the 3rd run of the Gourmand Market, which was supposedly inspired by London’s Borough Market, was going to be held in BGC on the same weekend we were in town, we figured, why not?! So off we went.

The place looked something out of a Pinterest dream board. Chic, stylized food booths, cutesy little handpainted wooden signs, picnic tables, chalkboard menus, all that stuff.

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We spent the days of our weekend gorging on glorious food. Here are our favorites for future reference (Left to Right)

HHome by Good Earth Asado Pork Floss – asado siopao with sesame dressing and pork floss on top

Phatboy’s Ice Cream Sandwich – I got the mint ice cream, sandwiched by giant Chocolate Chip cookie on one side, and a dark chocolate chip cookie on the other. Topped with m&ms and chocolate chips. Heaven.

Gourmet Garage’s Crackling Bagnet wrap – wasn’t able to take a photo of the actual wrap, but it looks and tastes as good as that bagnet right over there.

El Jefe’s tortilla chips, with cheese dip, and salsa and everything good in life on it.

Gourmet Corner’s lamb curry – my husband is a fan of lamb, and curry, so unsurprisingly he went straight for this first..

Not in the photos are: Gourmet Corner’s mushroom truffle cannelloni, which to me was the star of our entire Gourmand Market experience, and Empanada Mas original chicken, original pork, and chorizo empanadas, bite sized goodies cooked to perfection.

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We also tried their drinks. My absolute favorite was Stellina’s Lemonade. Guzzled their old fashioned lemonade and cranberry lemonade the whole weekend. Super refreshing, with just the right mix of sweetness and tanginess, and for only 40 bucks for a 400mL bottle, not bad at all! Jaime tried the Standford & Shaw old fashioned ginger ale.

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We loved Gourmand Market so much we took home Delimondo’s Corned Beef and sausage, and Chorizo Cebu’s chorizo longganisa. Breakfast for the entire week is solved!

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We asked ourselves what we would serve if we had been part of it. Jaime would whip up curries, wrapped in pita bread, and I would probably just serve taho, in different varieties. It rained a lot during the weekend, and good old fashioned taho would have been a nice distraction.