What to Wear | Winter in Taiwan

Travel

Before we travel, we do a lot of research, right? One of the things I look into is what to wear. Not just because of fashion (but yes, that’s included Haha) but because I want to be comfortable, especially when I’m going to a place where the weather is different from where I come from. More importantly, I’m a mom, having a baby is a handful & I need all the comfort I can get in the other areas of traveling.

Went to Taiwan last month & it’s currently winter there which runs from December to February with temperatures moving around 10ºC- 25ºC. This is considerably mild based on North American or European standards. December is the driest month with average weather between 13ºC to 18ºC average. January, the coldest month between 13°C to 16°C average t& February, between 10°C to 25°C.

As stated on my previous blog, reminding you again that “WINTER” weather varies. It varies in different countries, cities, date & even the time in a day. So before you go on your trip, make sure to check the weather forecast. Another factor I noticed is where you come from, I come from a tropical country so I’m not used to temperatures dropping to 20 & so on, so what I wear may differ from somebody who’s used to temperatures dropping to 0.

With this, I pass on a few photos & recommendations on what to wear during Winter in Taiwan.

2 layers are enough, sometimes even one when it’s sunny.

Bring a scarf just in case temperature drops & a beanie or knit band would be helpful in case it gets windy.

A hat or an umbrella might come handy should it rain or if the sun gets quite harsh.

I guess that’s really all you need to know! Unless you’re going to the mountains or some areas in Taiwan where it requires more layers. But basically, this is it. Should you have any questions about this, would gladly help out. Leave a comment here &/or see you on my socials!

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Taiwan Winter Baby Packing List

Travel

We just got back from Taiwan & will be sharing a few things from our trip! It’s our first out of the country travel with our baby so im excited to share this first- what to bring when traveling with an infant/ toddler during Winter in Taiwan.

Before I go on with the list allow me to remind you that“WINTER” weather varies. It varies in different countries, cities, date & even the time in a day. So before you go on your trip, make sure to check the weather forecast.

Winter in Taiwan

Based on research, winter in Taiwan runs from December to February with an average weather between 10ºC- 25ºC. This is considerably mild based on North American or European standards. December is the driest month with average weather between 13ºC to 18ºC average. January, the coldest month between 13°C to 16°C average t& February, between 10°C to 25°C.

Nonetheless we had to prepare because we come from a tropical country, really not used to weather below 25°C, which is also another factor. And again, it’s our first time with our baby. Better safe than sorry!

Here were the things we brought that we were able to use for our baby to counter winter weather in Taiwan.

1. Beanie/ Turban

2. Tights

3. Sweater

4. Thick Socks

5. Fleece Leggings

6. Down Jacket

These were the things we brought that we weren’t able to use.

1. Fleece Gloves/ Mittens

2. Foot Muff

3. Fleece Blanket

4. Boots

5. Scarf

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Zhong She Guan Flower Market | Taichung | Taiwan

Thankfully when we got there, it was sunny so we didn’t need to use some of the things we brought. If it were raining & windy, I bet we would’ve used everything on the list, so we’d bring everything anyway. When it comes to traveling with a baby, I guess it’s better to be over prepared than the latter. Should you have any questions about this, would gladly help out. Leave a comment here &/or see you on my socials!

Mom Confessions: What You Don’t See

Motherhood

7 months & counting since our baby was born & what a journey it has been, is & will be. I’m still very near the starting line & what a whirlwind of emotions this journey has taken me. Don’t get me wrong, BEYOND BLESSED & GRATEFUL to be a mother but I guess that doesn’t disqualify me from feeling down on some days. After all, I am human, still. My heart has been bugging me to write about this blog & it has been a tug of war to publish it or not. My biggest reservation is probably being judged however my push is for fellow moms who feel the same way but are silenced with the same reasons. It gives me confidence to share these things knowing I am not alone, we’re actually a neighborhood (motherhood,gets?) haha. And the most important reason revealed at the latter part of this blog. With that, I hope these confessions will also do the same to fellow moms & shed light to those who aren’t.

I guess this uneasy feeling started when people started complementing me. Not that I don’t appreciate them. It’s just that every time someone does, I think to myself… “if you could only see what I do, if you only know”, #honestmotherhood. 

So here it goes, this Momma confesses that…

Confession 1 | My baby irritates me

Starting with probably the hardest one to admit. Yes, that cute, angelic little human you see irritates me & only moms will get that 100%. (I feel the judgement now) Of course it’s not her fault & technically it’s not her, it’s what she does. It irritates me when I don’t know what to do whenever she cries. And the things you do to stop those tears right?! This doesn’t only happen in 1 or 2 days, it happens every single day so imagine the energy that’s being released 24/7. You have no idea (only moms do) the amount of work that goes through in a day in raising a child & although it gives indescribable joy, it also gives stress. Just being honest here. Which leads me to confession 2.

Confession 2 | I ask for a breather 

You take a break from motherhood?! No mom does really. I remember the time when I asked my husband to give me a break & get a massage. Horray! But I felt quite uneasy, my body was there but my mind to my baby. Kept the phone close to me so that should anything happen, I’d stop the session & go home. True enough, just before it ended I was on my way back. I ask for this because I can’t be effective when I don’t. And if I don’t rest once in a while, the chances of me getting sick is very high. I can’t nurse my baby while nursing my sick self. A healthy mother means a healthy baby & vice versa.

Confession 3 | I take time to beautify 

You still have time to do that, how about your baby? I thought you’re busy with her? How vain?! Aren’t you being selfish when you think of yourself when mothering? I thankfully have a husband who co-parents. I get a lot of people saying “Mura kag wala nanganak, Tar” (You don’t look like you’ve given birth,Tar), “Nagkabata mn ka Tar oi!” (Looking young, Tar). Flattering, but I must confess, A for effort! And I take the effort because it honestly keeps me sane. Again, only moms will completely understand that. I don’t have to explain myself but hey, it doesn’t mean I’m selfish when I think about my well being when I mother my child. 

Confession 4 | I don’t have it all together 

Doesn’t mean I post nice shots of me & my daughter, I have it all together. So many things happen behind the scenes. Doesn’t mean I’m faking it either. I’m just artsy that way. Haha! But contrary to my feed, I don’t have it all together. In fact nobody is perfect & no mother gets an A. There are countless times already when I forget to bring something that my baby needs whenever we go out. And many times I just have to wing it. But not having it all together doesn’t make me less of a mother. It makes me better every time & over time. 

Confession 5 | The FOMO is real 

FOMO: Fear of missing out. No place I’d rather be but… it doesn’t mean I don’t get affected when I am not able to do some things anymore because I have to prioritize my baby. Many instances when I had to turn down opportunities & I confess it affects me. One time I had a conversation with my husband on attending events & after weighing things, we decided I can’t due to some factors that might affect our baby in a negative way. I cried & told him “I completely understand but just allow me to cry”. 


REFLECTION

I mentioned earlier how this flow of emotions started. I felt uneasy because of what was mentioned but more importantly because I was thinking if the compliments meant that people didn’t see the struggle & only saw what was wonderful, that they only saw me but not Jesus who brought me here. Who is my constant giver of abounding grace that I am able to look the way I am. Truly I say, ONLY BY HIS GRACE.

“Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

Before publishing this I gave time for myself to process these confessions. To allow God to work on me, on my heart. As my child runs to me, I run to my Abba Father. 

God says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

I could still remember specifically praying to God to prepare my heart for motherhood when I was pregnant. There really is struggle in transition. And truth is, nobody will ever be prepared for this role, nobody is exempted from the struggel, whatever they may be to every mother. It’s a JOURNEY of dying to self, it is not a title, it is a CALLING & we mothers have a specific PURPOSE for this and that’s WHAT YOU DON’T SEE. Like what my friend Carmina says, “God strengthens us to do our calling but at the same time it requires a certain level of participation to carry out His purpose. And choosing to participate can also take it’s toll on us yet we choose it everyday.”

Again, it may seem like a fairytale especially when I’m being creative on my feed but just so you know, I don’t have it all together & it is only through Him that I am able to mother my baby, be a wife to my husband & etc. We are all a work in progress.

“And God is able to make grace abound in you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

 I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.

 

I prayed for this. We prayed for this & wow. He gave us the desire of our hearts to have a baby. Truly, there is responsibility to every concept you fall in love with or that with power comes great responsibility. It’s beautiful how this has brought me to a deeper understanding of who God is. He constantly reminds me that He makes all things beautiful in His time. And TODAY IS BEAUTIFUL. I am living yesterday’s He-makes-all-things-beautiful- in- His- time. His promises are already yes & amen. But He doesn’t give the blessings one time big time. As parents we check if our babies are ready to receive what we have for them, right? Same is true with our heavenly Father, He checks if we’re ready to receive what He His in store for us, time & time again, from glory to glory.

To every mom who is going through the struggle,

Remember the time when you were praying for the things you have now… or you are now. He who promised is faithful. He is just working through your heart. He can’t give what you desire, may it be something tangible or not,  if you’re not ready for the blessing, if your heart isn’t. He’s the only one who knows when you’re heart is right to receive. Always workout to have a good heart. A heart where He alone resides & watch how He’ll bless you. You are definitely not alone. Cheer up because we’re too blessed to be stressed!

He makes all things beautiful in His time. Ecclesiastes 3:11

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For more updates & blogs or questions, visit my Instagram & Facebook page, @travelwithtaraph. See you there!

Outdoors with your Baby Bag Add-ons

Motherhood

A few months & been learning quite a lot of things about parenting & motherhood. Grateful to people, especially to mommies who have been helping me out & my mom blogs are simply to show appreciation & to give back to the motherhood community. So allow me to tell you some of those learnings here. We’ve gone to a couple of  getaways enough to share a few things that have been a mighty help to us when going outdoors with our pocket full of sunshine!

Besides what’s inside the mommy/ diaper bag- wet wipes, alcohol & extra clothes, to name a few, here are some add-ons that works magic for babies. Happy baby, happy mommy!

Insect Repellent

We love to go out with our babies! Right? Especially after so many months of staying at home to protect our baby from anything that’s or could be harmful to them. Crashing out mosquitoes from the worry list with an insect repellent. We put citronella scented patches/ stickers to our baby’s clothes.

Sun Block

They’re not only for when you’re going to the beach. Anytime there’s sun exposure, make sure to apply some to protect your baby’s skin. 

Hat

You’re outdoors so a hat would really help protect your baby from the harmful effects of the sun. Also, incase it rains, your baby’s covered too! 

Fan

Electric or manual, your choice. We have both just in case. Especially here in the Philippines where weather is tropical, it tends to be hot & humid so imagine what a fan can do! 

Toy & Surface Cleaner Spray

We were quite challenged whenever our baby’s toy falls all of a sudden or when we ask for a high chair in restaurants & they’re quite dirty. Recently bought a spray & brought it with us whenever we go out & wow.  I was having a lot of fun with it. A Momma’s simple joys! 

Again, these are just a few add-ons, nonetheless a great help. Surely as a parent you should be extra careful despite having these little helpers. Buuuuuttttt, remember it’s also good for babies to get SOME for immunity. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment or message me. See you on my socials, Facebook & Instagram, @travelwithtaraph.

My Skin Care 101

Lifestyle

It’s about 7 months since I’ve given birth & although life will never be the same again, I’m slowly going back to some of the things I used to do before our baby happened. Haha! One of those is skin care. Not only sharing with you my skin care regimen & the products I’ve been using but more importantly my views on the matter, thus, “my” skincare 101. Putting emphasis on that too because we may have different perspectives & wanna make sure we’re clear on that.

Starting with some principles I believe when it comes to skin care.

LESS IS MORE

I have always believed not to overdo skin care unless one’s skin has a very special requirement. Every skin is unique, we are all unique for that matter! And if you have normal skin, my suggestion would always be “less is more”. Less doesn’t mean “lacking”, it simply means just the right products for whatever requirement your skin needs.

AS YOU AGE | YOUR SKIN AGE

…and the usual skincare regimen you’ve always had needs to level up as time goes by. Although I’ve always believed that “less is more”, truth is, skin age. So you’d have to change or add to your skin care overtime. As you age, the higher the requirement for products to work double time in maintaining that youthful glow!

GOOD PRODUCTS MAY COST

You cannot cheapen skincare. You will have to spend for good products. I am not saying you buy the most expensive products. “Value for money”, is relative. As what they say, “cheap is expensive”. Make sure the products you’re using are worth the money you’re paying for or else you’ll be spending more with what you’re using because it’s causing you no good. Repairing may cause & cost you more!

WHAT WORKS FOR ME MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU

When people say…

“What products are you using? Whatever you use it’s ok, you’ve always had good skin, Tar.”

Thank God for genes but what if I’ve not been using good products, don’t you think they would affect my “good skin” in a negative way? Believe me I’ve tried products that caused pimples. I’ve explored different products to get to where I am with my skin now. So I give credit to the products I’ve been using. Most of them, if not all are NuSkin. Been very happy with them since 2014. But then again, we have different skin types so what works for me may not work for you. This is precisely why I’m not only sharing the products I’m using but also my views. When I was encouraged to blog about my skin care regimen, I really thought about this. I wouldn’t want people to get back to blame me should anything negative happens (Disclaimer). If you’re happy with what you’re using now, good! As time progresses, you can work around the brand you’re using or you could explore & switch. Up to you, really!

WHAT YOU FEED YOURSELF MATTERS

This is one very important factor when it comes to skin care. Having a healthy & glowing skin doesn’t happen overnight. You have to consider food & water intake. Eat & drink healthy, look healthy. Goes without saying that if you don’t, it’ll surely affect your skin no matter what you put on your face.

REST IS HOLY

Wanna look like an angel? Haha! Like that’s possible. Kidding aside, You’ve got to REST! Again, all factors are to be considered, product, food & rest. Resting/ sleeping will do you wonders that any cream or food can’t do. Plus! This won’t only affect your skin, it’ll affect your health. Don’t cheat yourself. Rest. Yes, this is a sign!

So here it is! My Skin care Regimen

Basically, Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize or CTM.

DAILY ON FACE

  • Cleanse | Nu Skin 180 Face Wash
  • Tone | Nu Skin PH Balance Mattefying Toner (Combination to oily)
  • Moisturise | Nu Skin Enhancer

OTHERS

  • Masking | Not very particular with the brand. Open to different kinds of face masks. Haven’t tried any that irritated my skin too. (Once or twice a week)
  • Facial Spa | Nu Skin Galvanic Spa (Once a month)
  • Mud Mask | Epoch Glacial Marine Mud (Once a month)
  • Nu Skin Napca Moisture Mist- I bring this moisturiser mist when I go out to give my skin a little lift from time to time. Also use this as a setting spray whenever I put on makeup.
  • Nu Colour Advanced Tinted Moisturiser- I’ve recently started using this tinted moisturiser when going out. I’d like to keep it as natural as possible.

PREGNANCY/ POSTPARTUM ADD- ONS

I added a few products to counter the changes that happened to my skin during pregnancy, particularly addressing skin discolouration in armpits & stretch marks.

  • Epoch Baobab Body Butter
  • Epoch Polishing Bar Soap
  • Bio Oil

As what I’ve mentioned, skin ages so I’ll probably change products  in a year or two. For now, this is it! If you have any questions message me here or on instagram &/ or facebook @travelwithtaraph. Or simply follow me for updates & blogs, see you there!

Ways to Wear Your Vest

Lookbook

Wondering how to sport your good ol’ vest? This one’s for you! Vests are one of my wardrobe staples & I love them because they’re very versatile & they easily step up my style. Whether it’s for a formal event or a simple coffee date, your vest has got you covered! 

Without further ado, here are 5 ways to wear your vest! 

WEAR THEM WITH SHORTS

Here’s a way to wear them for a casual look. 

GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Earrings | Forever 21
Shirt | H&M
Shorts | Uniqlo
Sneakers | Cole Haan
Bag | Longchamp

WEAR THEM WITH A SKIRT

Here’s a way to wear them for work.


GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Longsleeves | H&M
Skirt | H&M
Shoes | Unknown Brand
Bag | Givenchy

WEAR THEM WITH PANTS

Here’s a way to wear them for parties or events. 


GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Earrings | SM Woman
Top | Forever 21
Pants | Forever 21
Shoes | Unknown Brand
Purse | H&M

WEAR THEM WITH A DRESS

Here’s a way to wear them for a chic look.

GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Earrings | Forever 21
Dress | H&M
Boots | H&M

WEAR THEM AS IS

Here’s a way to wear them for for your date.

GET THE LOOK

Vest | Superfinds 
Shoes | Unknown Brand
Bag | Louis Vuitton

There you go! So don’t underestimate what your vest can do for you! Those are just 5 ways, surely there’s more. 

For fashion inspos, follow me on Facebook & Instagram, @travelwithtaraph. See you there! 

7 Ways to Avoid Baby Blues

Motherhood

Baby Blues otherwise known as Postpartum Depression, is there such a thing? Is it even true? Maybe they’re just a feeling? How come mothers get that after having been given a beautiful baby? 

So many things happen to moms, especially to new ones, that it’s almost impossible not to have baby blues. Whatever a mom goes through isn’t just a feeling nor are they made up. The struggle is real & this does happen. Reasons may vary but there are common ones & I believe all moms go through this in different levels.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION DEFINED

The dictionary defines it to be a depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. According to research some of the symptoms are sadness, crying a lot for no reason, not being able to bond with your baby, less interest in things, memory loss & less focused.

You think you have it? 

Before proceeding with this blog, please know that I am not a professional. I am not able to treat you. I am simply sharing my thoughts & experiences on the matter. It is best to go to a doctor for treatment if you think you need to. 

Here are some of the ways to avoid Baby Blues: 

1 | PREPARE FOR IT

During pregnancy, i’ve already been hearing about baby blues/ postpartum depression. Heard a few stories about it & had an idea what was coming so I tried preparing for it. You could say nobody’s ever ready. Agree! But you’d rather do something proactive right? One thing I did was buying nice sleep wear or clothes for home knowing I’d be at home most of the time. Looking nice even when you’re at home contributes to positive energy. And no it isn’t shallow nor selfish trying to improve yourself physically & all aspects for that matter. 

2 | FIND A DIVERSION 

I completely understand that your hands are full with your baby but you still need a diversion to keep your sanity. Some of the diversions I have are watching movies while breastfeeding, singing my heart out to karaoke at home, doing online business, obviously blogging & etc. Do what works for you!

3 | CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES

Once your baby is out, there are soooooo many things that are beyond your control. So why stress yourself about these things? When it’s messy, let it be! Your baby is just being a baby so don’t sweat the small stuff or what’s obvious.

4 | GO OUT

I’m not saying you go out right away. Your baby is still the priority. You’ll most probably be at home for the first few weeks/ months to protect your baby from getting sick but when the time comes that you’re able to, go out! Get some fresh air! Also, my husband & I are have a pretty strong opinion on bringing babies too early at the mall. It’s really a no-no for us. Why? Too many people carry viruses & that’s just circulating in the air. I’m sure you know very well that your baby’s immune system is still developing. If you take our advice, (I really don’t want to force our perspective on the matter so I’m expressing this as sensitive as possible) earliest time to bring them to the mall would probably be at month 3 onwards when your baby has quite a good number of vaccinations. Also, as much as possible go only on days &/or times when it isn’t too crowded. We all know weekends are packed! 

5 | DRESS UP

… even when you’re at home. It will get messy but make the effort to dress up, still. Making the effort means you care & caring will keep you going! And it does make you feel good when you look good. Tell me I’m not the only one who feels the same way. Mommas! Your baby & family requires your sanity so do that!

6 | CALL A FRIEND

Where maaah girl friends at?! Call them! You’d be surprised to know that the feelings are mutual & that you’re not alone in this journey. You also don’t wait for your gal pals to call you. They’re your friends for a reason & most of the time, they can’t spell it out for you. When you need help, ask for it. When you need to express your feelings, talk to your husband or to your most trusted besties. Buttttttt make sure to express yourself to people you could trust or those who won’t judge you especially that when you do, you’re being vulnerable. 

7 | PRAY

Call a friend? Yes. But there are things that you can’t express to people. Call on Jesus. In fact, call on Him first. Going back to the first way, praying was one of the things I did to prepare myself with what was coming. Running to Him takes off a heavy load of emotions. Never keep them to yourself. And instead of talking to yourself, talk to God.


Those are my two cents on the matter. If you’re someone reading this who knows a mom, be sensitive & if possible, help out. And if you’re a mom reading this, YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK. YOU GOT THIS BEAUTIFUL!

 

10 Swimming Essentials for your Baby

Motherhood

A few weeks ago, we took our 5 month old baby to her first swimming experience. Of course we were very hesitant, had our reservations & questions… but after a lot of research & after asking a few moms about their experience, we decided to give it a go. Sharing a list on what we’ve packed that made it a wonderful first for our baby & the whole family too!

1. Swimwear- Of course! This goes without saying. Your baby will definitely need his trunks or her swimsuit for swimming.

2. Towel- Another basic thing to bring when swimming. Hooded towels are very convenient! You may also have a robe, it basically has the same function.

3. Floater- With so many floaters in the market, make sure you get the right floater for your baby depending on his/ her age.

4. Swim Diapers- Yes! There’s a different one for swimming. And take note, these are not substitute for your baby’s regular diapers. They are not absorbent, they do not contain urine or your baby’s poo. So why use them? It’s purpose is to contain solid waste only. You wouldn’t also want to use the regular ones that are absorbent because stored urine especially for a long time will definitely cause infection. There are disposable & washable swim diapers. Whichever works for you. We used Huggies Little Swimmers disposable diapers.

5. Sun Hat- Whether it’s sunny or raining, your baby will need protection from either. It’s best to have one! Getting sick is a no no!

6. Sunscreen- Just like you, your baby will need protection from the sun. Get the one that’s for ‘babies’, not for ‘kids’ because care different ones. We used Mustela Very High Sun Protection Lotion with SPF50.

7. Toys- Babies have a short attention span. Ready your energy, songs aaaaand some toys!

8. Food- Your baby might get hungry with all the playing, make sure their food (milk/ solid food) is ready! And bring a cover when you’re breastfeeding, I am so I did.

9. Baby Lotion/ Cream- As prescribed by the Paediatrician, use only baby lotion/ cream as needed. If you feel your baby’s skin needs to be moisturised after exposure to the sun or pool water, you will need lotion! There are ‘cooling’ ones that give baby a good feel especially that skin tends to be hot after long hours of exposure to the sun. Used Mustela Nourishing Cream with Cold Cream.

10. Small Bag- Because there’s a big bag where you put EVERYTHING, you should have a small bag where you place everything that’s on the list. This is the bag you carry around & where it’s easy to get what you need for your baby when swimming. Best if it’s water resistant.

These are just a few important things when going on a beach getaway, of course there’s a lot more in the Mommy Bag. That’s for sure! I mean, the diaper bag is as important. Should you have any questions about this or our experience please hit me up. Hope this helps & you have a blast on your trip!

7 Things to Remember while Trying to Lose Weight after Pregnancy

Motherhood

You just had a baby! Congratulations! The first few weeks will be crazy but don’t you worry, it’ll get better. Yes that means long hours of sleep for you! Now, as you adjust to having your baby you will eventually have the time to look at yourself in the mirror & miss your pre- pregnancy body. Yes? About 5 months & I’ve reached my goal to getting back, not really in shape but, at least to my pre- preggo weight. From 70Kilos, I’m back to 52. Horray! I say not really in shape’ because I have to work on my belly (mom bod) but still, this is a victory for me & I want to share something to the motherhood community. Here are 7 things you ought to remember while trying to lose weight after giving birth.

1. It will take time

It took 9 months for your belly to expand, definitely it’ll take time going back to its glory. So don’t despair, take it easy. I know you hear this a lot but I guess it’s great to be reminded.

2. Breastfeeding makes a difference but it doesn’t take all the credit

According to research you burn a lot of calories while breastfeeding. Wow! But it wouldn’t really make a difference if you’re eating more than what you’re burning. Right? So easy on the sweets, darling! What if you’re formula feeding? Well since you are, 1, somebody can probably subtitute you for 1 session of feeding while you work out, 2 did you hear that your appetite increases when you breastfeed? So if you aren’t, that could be your takeaway. I mean, just try to look at the bright side & start doing something. It’s not easy, believe me I know but small steps are still steps! Baby steps!

3. Your baby is the priority, still

Although you want to lose weight, your baby is still the priority. If your means of trying to lose weight will sacrifice your role in mothering your baby, forget it. Motherhood isn’t for the faint of heart! You have to be physically strong for your baby, more so emotionally. You can’t feel sorry for yourself for having that body. Let me remind you that you have just given birth, what more could you ask for?! (Haha! But I get you, Momma! )You have been given a miracle working body & that is priceless. Slowly but surely. Do something that’s feasible for you especially for your baby. There is always a way, always.

4. If there is a will, there is a way. It’s not a cliche

Although I’ve made it very clear in point number 3 that your baby is the priority, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways for yourself without sacrificing your baby’s welfare. There is always a way! Walk, do some squats or dance while carrying your baby for some physical activity. Choose healthy alternatives for your food. I understand you will need a break so don’t feel guilty when you want a cake but also, don’t lose yourself to stress eating. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see in my stories that I EAT. I do 2 cheat days in a week. You can do what works for you! Again, there is always a way!

5. Do it at your own pace

Never compare yourself to others. Some may lose weight faster or slow & that’s ok. Celebrate with those who’ve reached their goals! I remember a few weeks after giving birth I asked a friend if I would still lose weight, how long it’ll take… she encouraged me, showed me her pictures then & now. And I got encouraged! Nothing is impossible, I can do this! I told myself. Rather than comparing yourself with others, rejoice with them because somebody took one for the team! And get that positive vibe from them knowing that you’re on you’re way too as they’ve reached their goals. No judgement here dear! Go back to point 3. As long as you’re making progress, do it at your own pace & your way. Remember that we have different bodies, schedules, situations & etc. Slow & steady, you got this, Momma!

6. Surround yourself with Good Company

It gave me so much comfort knowing that I am not alone in this journey. That I am not alone in feeling that looking good isn’t shallow & everything else of course. Haha. All the Moms would probably agree. These are the people who will encourage, support you & if need be, they’ll give you tough love. Love, still, because there’s a difference between alpha moms forwardly correcting you to ones that’ll correct you or should I say, guide you in love. Surround yourself with positive vibes all the way! And pass it on by being a light to other moms who need it too!

7. Don’t torture yourself in the whole process

It’s called a process for a reason. Grow through what you go through. Follow a diet &/or workout plan but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy eating your chocolate cake. You need happy hormones you know! As what I’ve mentioned, I do cheat days on weekends, well, that’s just me. Go ahead with what’s doable for you. Again, point 5, do it at your own pace.


Nonetheless you have been & are amazing! Loving your home(body) means taking care of it. Being healthy, body soul, mind & spirit is very important. A healthy you is a happy you. And a healthy you means so much to your family. Remember that. God bless you Momma!

Top 10 Places to Visit in Paris

Travel

Bonjour!

Off to Paris to fulfil your Parisian dream? What if you’re only staying for a couple of days? But also, you’d want to savor every bit of it? Like any good thing, don’t rush! Just come back some other time & make more memories. Narrowing it down for you. Here are a few places you wouldn’t want to miss!

1. Tour Eiffel

The iconic Tour Eiffel or Eiffel Tower (cried when I saw it), the confirmation you’ve reached your dream destination, a known symbol of Paris. Even Hitler had his photo taken with it! Although a lot say that when you get there, “it’s just a tower”, there’s more to it than meets the eye once you get to know its story.

Let’s time travel for a while. (But if you don’t really care or you’re convinced even without knowing about its history, just skip this part. Ha!)

Once upon a time in 1889, Paris hosted a Worlds Fair to celebrate 100 years of the French Revolution. Among 100 aspiring artists who were competing to build a monument in central Paris, Champ de Mars, the project was granted to Eiffel et Compagnie owned by Architect Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, thus its name “Tour Eiffel” or Eiffel Tower. He also had a secret apartment all to himself at the very top at that time. But, you’d be surprised to know that this wasn’t his idea. It was engineer Maurice Koechlin, one of his employees who had the brains for the famous tower. It was completed in March 31, 1889, the making in two years, two months, and five days. Some time that year, Le Figaro, the French newspaper had their printing press at the tower.

The Eiffel Tower became the tallest structure in the world in 1889, standing 1,000 feet high made up of wrought iron. Until New York City’s Chrysler Building was built in 1930, then it wasn’t anymore. Paris was competitive. In 1957, a 65feet antenna was added to the tower, making it taller than the Chrysler Building. But then again, that didn’t match the Empire State Buliding so Eiffel had to stop at some point.

Years later, if it wasn’t made into a radiotelegraph station, the tower would’ve been scrapped. Also, during World War I, the tower was used to interrupt enemy radio communications & messages would be sent out from the top to direct the French troops to the front line. Although most of the French hated it when it was built, through the years Eiffel Tower has contributed to a lot of historic events & scientific discoveries. One of the interesting things about the tower was that in the late 1920s, it was used as a billboard for Citroën automobiles. No other brand has ever used the Eiffel Tower as an advertising medium.

What is its color? The Eiffel Tower was painted in yellow then red then brown. It is painted every 7 years for its maintenance. It is lit every night from sunset to 1am, 2am in summer. It also glistens every 5 minutes in every hour from the time it is lit. You wouldn’t want to miss this! Be part of the 7 million who visit the most visited monument in the world.

Tip | A toast of champagne at the top for celebrating would be lovely! And oh! The best place to see the lights & where you have your photos taken is from Place du Trocadéro. Experiencing it on top is another wonderful experience.

2. Place du Trocadéro

Now, it’s impossible to miss the best place to get a photo with the Eiffel Tower as the background! You’ve got to get to Place du Trocadéro. As mentioned, even Hitler took his photo there on June 23,1940. This place was named in honor of the Battle of Trocadero when the French, headed by Duc d’ Angoulême, captured Isla del Trocadero in Spain. He is the son of the King of France, Charles X. Here you will find Palais de Chaillot which houses the Musée national de la Marine,  Musée de l’Homme, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Musée National des Monuments Français & the Théâtre National de Chaillot.

Around the area are stalls selling crepes, coffee, sandwiches & more. Take your time at the area, eat al fresco & enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower.

3. Champ de Mars

On the opposite end of Place du Trocadéro right across the Eiffel Tower is Champ de Mars. This is another beautiful place to take a photo with Tour Eiffel, stroll &/ or have a picnic. Champ de Mars means “Field of Mars”, named after Campus Martius in Rome. Giving tribute to the Roman god of war in Latin. A part of the James Bond film, A View to Kill, by Roger Moore was filmed here in 1985. Also, come 2024 Summer Olympics that will be held in Paris, Champ de Mars will be used to hold one of the sporting events.

4. La Siene

La Siene or Siene River is a famous river in Paris with a stretch of 777 Kilometers. With this, there are 37 bridges all over Paris and more outside the city. Some of the well- known bridges are Pont Alexandre III where you see four gilt-bronze statues of Fames & Nymphs of the Neva reliefin in the middle. Have you seen the film Me Before You starred by Emilia Clarke & Fin Claflin? Pont Alexandre III is where we see Louisa (Emilia Clarke) crossing towards the end of the film. Another famous bridge is Pont Neuf, the oldest standing bridge across river Siene in Paris which dates back to 1607. This is where the couples place their love locks. You may book a tour where you can ride a boat, cruising around La Siene.

5. Louvre

First of all, if you want to make it worth your time aaaand money, make sure you make time to visit the Louvre for one whole day. It is after all the world’s largest art museum! It has an area of 72,735 square meters exhibiting approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century.

The Louvre or Musée du Louvre is a historic monument in Paris which is divided into eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities, Near Eastern Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, Paintings, Prints & Drawings. With a lot of things going on, make sure to choose top things to see like the Mona Lisa, before wandering.

In the late 12th century, the Louvre was originally built as a fortress under Philip II. In 1546 it was converted into the main residence of the French Kings by Francis I. However in 1682, King Louis XIV moved to live in the Palace of Versailles making Louvre as a place for the royal collection from 1692 & collections of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. It was during the French Revolution, where the Louvre was decreed to be a museum which opened on August 10, 1793. Since then items increased under the reigns of Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the second French Empire.

It is the world’s most visited art museum having about 8.1 million visitors annually so make sure to buy tickets ahead & be early for a head start!

Tip | Make sure to visit Angelina for lunch or a quick bite while you’re there!

6. Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe Paris is a triumphal arch honoring those who fought for France particularly wars led by Napoleon Bonaparte. Here you will see engraved names of the generals who fought for the said wars. This famous arch was built between 1806 to 1836. Here lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where the Memorial Flame burns. This have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a celebrated patriotic site. Since November 1923 when the flame was ignited for the first time, it has been done daily at 6:30pm.

This majestic arch stands 49.5 m (162 ft) tall, 45 m (150 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep which is hard to miss when you’re at Champs-Élysées.

Champs-Élysées

Shopping, strolling or simply having an espresso by the streets. Champs Elysees has got to be part of your itinerary in Paris. This avenue stretches 2 Kilometers from Place de la Concorde till Arc de Triomphe & is one of the famous streets in the world. Here you will see restaurants, cafes & top brands like Hermes & Cartier. If you’re a tourist & would want to make most of your time, Champs could be last on your list since shops close late & are open on Sundays which isn’t common in France. And if you’re into sports, particularly a cyclist, no doubt this will be on your list since this is where the famous Tour de France race start.

Tip | Make sure to visit Ladurée & have a heavenly bite of their famous macarons while strolling around Champs-Élysées.

7. Palais Garnier

The Phantom of the Opera is hhhhhheeeeere! Among other things, Palais Garnier is famous for the setting of the movie, The Phantom of the Opera starred by Gerard Buttler, Emmy Rossum & Patrick Wilson. This opera house has the capacity of 1,979, built from 1861 to 1875 which is the most renowned opera house in the world. Its name comes from its  architect, Charles Garnier. This place is every ballerina’s dream. The Opera House is now mainly used for ballet.

8. Notre- Dame Cathedral

Notre- Dame Cathedral or Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval catholic cathedral which has a magnificent French Gothic Architecture. One of its distinguishing designs is having gargoyles, not just a few but about 102 of them. Why? They look so scary & they’re in a church! Well, it has been believed that they scare off evil & practically divert rainwater. Other interesting things about Notre-Dame, here you’ll find some important relics, including the claimed crown of thorns, a piece of the true cross, and one of the holy nails. Also, this got more popular because of the animated movie by Disney, Hunchback of Notre Dame.

9. Montmarte

Montmarte, aaaaah, the life of old Paris. Here lies at its peak the famed Sacré- Cœur Basilica. It is also known for its artistic history as many artists lived or worked here like Pablo Picasso & Vincent Van Gogh. Several films have been shot here as well like Moulin Rouge & Beauty & the Beast.

10. Palace of Versailles

In the Île-de-France region of France, 20 kilometers from the French capital, lies the Palace of Versailles, Château de Versailles, or simply Versailles. Its history dates back in the 11th century when it started out as a small village, today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris & a very famous tourist attraction.

In 1682 during the reign of King Louis XIV, Versailles was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France until the royal family returned to the capital in 1789. This happened within three months after the French Revolution begun.

The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versallies having 357 mirrors is a tribute to the political, economic and artistic success of France where paintings depict the successes of King Louis XIV during his reign.

I wonder how long the palace was built when every part & corner is a work of art.


I stop here. There are a LOT more places to wander in Paris which also depends on your priorities or preference. Hope this helps & may you make your Parisian dreams come true.

Au revoir!