Let Your Outfit Do the Roaring

Lookbook

Animal prints became a trend, now they’re back & they’ll keep coming back! Not because they’ll do the talking… they’ll do the roaring. Straight to the point, style on point. Match them with your basics & they’ll do the roaring. Why ‘meow’ when you can ROAR?

GET THE LOOK

Shirt | Zara

Skirt | Zara

Boots | H&M

For more looks, see you on my socials!

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.

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!

What’s in the Bag | Baby Essentials List x Hospital Bag List

Motherhood

It’s the wedding & baby season! Among the people I know, at least. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage! As the rhyme goes. So I bet babies will be popping here & there soon. During my 7th month, I’ve started preparing for things we needed before our baby’s debut. This was very exciting but quite overwhelming because of everything that was going on with pregnancy. Plus, not to mention the gazillion things in the market that say you “need” this & that for your baby. Well, as a mother who wants the best for our child, this may be tempting. Take note that even the basic things are already a handful! So take it easy, Momma.


Shout out to the Wonderwomoms who helped me come up with this list during the time I needed help- Cielo Villegas, Francis Teves, Charlyn Caranzo, Shine Ramirez & Leiz Cagampang.

And to EVERYONE who gave gifts & helped us with the baby essentials, THANK YOU.


PASSING ON THE LIST TO THE FUTURE MOTHERS OUT THERE.

ENJOY SHOPPING!

Please take note that these things are mostly basic, you may customize according to your baby’s/ babies’ needs or what you want. Motherhood or parenting is unique, it’s yours & very personal so WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU. I’ve indicated “optional” items that I find to be very useful. The items that have numbers beside them indicate the LEAST you will need, feel free to add according to your preference. Also, there are some photos of a few items on the list, captions include recommendations & tips. Locations stated are particularly in Cebu, Philippines.


BABY ESSENTIALS LIST

BABY GEAR

  • Carrier
  • Stroller (Maclaren Quest  | Recommended by one of our Godparents & a lot of Mommies agreed. Could be used by your child up to 5 years old or depending on his/ her growth. Here’s a link of the product for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnjNcAjgXX8)
  • Car Seat

DIAPERING

  • Diapers(Huggies | MamyPoko  | Got our supply at Baby Company)
  • Wipes(Sanicare/ Giggles  | You may get supplies from drugstores, supermarkets &/or Baby Company)
  • Diaper Rash Cream(Desitin | You may get your supply at Mercury Drug but they usually run out fast. If you have relatives from the US, they may bring you some or send them over. You may also try checking out other brands in the market)
  • Changing Pad
  • Diaper Bag(One with a lot of compartments are recommended, most diaper bags include a changing pad. Any bag that’s comfortable for you will do)

BATH | GROOMING

  • Baby Wash & Shampoo(Nuskin Epoch Baby Hibiscus Baby Shampoo and Body Wash  |  You may get the supply from me, just let me know if you’re interested)
  • Baby Lotion(Mustela/ Aveeno  | Use only as needed or when you notice Baby’s skin is dry)
  • Wash Cloths(6)
  • Bath Towel(3)
  • Small Towels/ Cloths for wiping/ Lampin(7)
  • Tub
  • Bath Seat/ Support Net(Optional but very helpful)
  • Bath Toys(Optional)
  • Cotton Swab/ Ear Buds
  • Cotton Balls
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Nail cutter/ Nail Scissors
  • Soft Hair Brush(There’s a set of Health & Grooming Kit for babies found at the Baby’s section in a department store, you may get one. Got ours at Baby Company)

FEEDING

  • BreastPump (Manual/ Electric whichever is your preference)
  • Storage for breast milk
  • Bottles & Utensils Container
  • Nursing Bib(2)
  • Nursing Pillow(Optional)
  • Nursing Pillow Cover(Extra/ Optional  |  Should you choose to have or use a nursing pillow, having an extra cover is needed to change it whenever the other one needs to be replaced for hygiene purposes)
  • Bottles(5  | Philips Avent Bottles)
  • Sterilizer(Avent 2-in-1 Sterilizer which works for us)
  • Sterilizing Tong
  • Pacifier(2)
  • Bibs(6)
  • Those using Formula- Formula Milk, Milk Container
  • Not until Baby can eat- Baby Utensils, Baby Food Containers/ Snack Bags, Blender/ Food Processor (Optional)

CLOTHING

  • Onesies(6 | Lessen 0-3 Months size as babies will outgrow them really fast)
  • Socks(6)
  • Mittens(6)
  • Swaddle(3  | Especially when you already have receiving/ muslin blankets which serve the same purpose)
  • Receiving/ Muslin Blanket(3)
  • Booties(3 | Considering you already have socks)
  • Burp Cloths(Optional  | Not necessary when you already have a lot of cloths for wiping or lampin)
  • Hats (3)
  • Shoes(1  | Optional)

HEALTH | SAFETY

  • Saline Drops
  • Thermometer

BEDDING

For Co-Sleeping
  • Waterproof sheets(2)
  • Blankets(3)
  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase(Extra)
  • Bolsters (2)
  • Bolster Cases(Extra)
  • Baby Surround Co- sleeper/ Portaged (Optional  | Not necessary when you already have bolsters to protect the baby however, whichever is your preference)
For Crib
  • Crib
  • Mattress
  • Mattress Sheets (Extra)
  • Waterproof sheets (2)
  • Blankets (2)
  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase (Extra)
  • Bolsters (2)
  • Bolster Cases (Extra)

WASHING

  • Detergent for Clothes(Cycles | Available at the supermarket, Baby’s section in a department store & Baby Company)
  • Baby Hangers
  • Hanger with clips
  • Liquid Soap for Baby’s Utensils (Cradle  |  Available at the supermarket, baby’s section in a department store & Baby Company)
  • Bottle cleaning brush
  • Bottles & utensils container
  • Scrubbing foam with container
  • Basin

MOM

  • Maternity Bra (Got affordable ones at the SM Department Store, brand is Lady Grace)
  • Washable Breast Pads (2)
  • Waist Support (To be used during pregnancy, usually at the 5th month onwards)
  • Postpartum Girdle/ Binder (Got affordable ones at the SM Department Store, brand is Lady Grace)
  • Nipple Cream (Medela  | You may get your supply at the Rustans Baby section)
  • Stretch Marks Cream/ Lotion (Nu Skin Bao Bab | You may get the supply from me, just let me know if you’re interested)
  • Alcohol (Biogenic or any that’s 40% alcohol solution)

Here are some photos of a few items on the list, as mentioned above.

HOSPITAL BAG LIST

Prepare for about 3 days

BABY

  • Diapers
  • Clothing (Onesies, Hats, Mittens, Socks, Booties)
  • Receiving Blankets / Muslin Blankets/ Swaddle
  • Baby Wipes
  • Bath Essentials (Towels, Wash cloths, Baby wash, Lotion)
  • Nursing Pillow
  • Infant formula (Optional  | Just incase you aren’t able to produce milk right away)
  • Milk bottles (Optional)

MOM

  • Sanitary Pads
  • Betadine Feminine Wash
  • Clothes (Preferably tops with buttons or loose tops for breastfeeding to be convenient  I  Prepare comfortable going- home clothes  I  Prepare a duster dress for labour & delivery)
  • Hairties
  • Makeup (Optional)
  • Slippers
  • Towel
  • Pillow (Extra/ Optional)
  • Pen
  • Underwear (High-waist & take note that once the baby is out, you’ll still look like 5 -6 months pregnant so consider this for the size)
  • Toiletries
  • Valid ID
  • Insurance Card
  • Robe
  • Socks
  • Nursing Bra
  • Breast Pads
  • Nipple Cream
  • Blanket (Extra)
  • Nursing Bib
  • Toilet paper
  • Alcohol
  • Laundry Bag/ Plastic

DAD

  • Clothes
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks/ Food
  • Cash/ Wallet
  • Identification Papers/ Important Documents

OTHERS

  • Phone
  • Charger
  • Camera (Optional)

Should you have questions about this, please feel free to leave a comment or message me. Will be my pleasure to be of help.

Confessions of a Pregnant Mom at Week 38

Motherhood

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

 


 

Preggy Momma Confession coming right up!

38 in 2 days & I found myself confused in prayer. Have you ever been confused what exact words to say to God or ask of Him?

I think any mom would agree that the last weeks of pregnancy are… what right & fitting words would describe them, right?

I want to pop, like NOW! The stretching & struggle are just so real that even the thought of labour & delivery pains are gone. You just want your baby out & finally see him/ her, her in my case. I couldn’t even think of the “stress” they say, that’s coming. I just want to wrap my arms around her & see her with my very eyes.

But as I was praying, something hit me. This child is ultimately His. He has numbered her days, have great plans for her & all the beautiful promises of God are set. That even if I reaaaaaaally want to give birth NOW, HIS PLANS won’t change. And His ways are higher than mine.


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9 2

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


 

And right there & then my prayer changed to “Lord, if not NOW, then whenever it may happen, would you give me the strength to endure the struggle that comes with this blessing.” I thought, if enduring is the way for the will of my Father to be realised, then yes, ok. Because really, it’s for my own good, it’s for our baby’s best.

 


For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.  Corinthians 1:20


 

AND THEN I REMEMBER WHAT JESUS DID ON THE CROSS.

At that time He was probably saying, Father God, if me enduring the cross for your will & purpose to prevail, would be the only way for the world to be saved, then yes, ok.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM HE ENDURED THE CROSS, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

For the JOY SET BEFORE ME… I WILL ENDURE.

 


 

Sometimes we get stuck on what we want or what we think we know is best for us… stuck in our small minds & not seeking the One who sees the big picture. Then we rush into praying for something that’s “just”. He says in His word to SEEK HIM FIRST & all these things shall be added to us. I’ve always believed that in the process of seeking Him, He’ll reveal Himself, His will & purpose for you resulting for you to want what He wants because again, His ways are higher, He knows what’s best for you. ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU already means, that.

Would you take time to ask God what He wants because really, if you pray for what you just want… He won’t change nor His plans or promises, just because you prayed.

Let your prayer seek His will.

He is God. Unchanging. But have the confidence because… He is God. All- knowing. He is God. He loves you. He will not withhold what’s best for His children. He makes all things beautiful in His time, always.

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11


Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart… Jeremiah 1:5

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We’ve come this far, see you soon baby love!

 

A Baby Shower to Remember x Tips on Planning a DIY Baby Shower

Motherhood

We just had our Baby Shower & I’d like to share a few tips on planning/ organising one.

But before sharing with you tips on planning a DIY Baby Shower, I would like to express the gratitude my husband & I have for making our Baby Shower one that’s to remember.


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We have been praying for our Baby Shower… since the beginning of our journey, we have seen God’s mighty hand move & our shower was no exception. I remember praying for God’s presence to be evident & that His glory would be made known through the celebration. I mean, those who know our story & my personal story would know why this was our prayer & why I am very passionate about marriage, family, parenting & motherhood. Sounds like a cliché or as what I’ve expressed during the shower, “being OA?”. I’m sorry, not sorry. This is simply the truth, God is gracious, loving, faithful & kind. So, I will boast about who He is & how he’s been moving in our lives. This was & is a big deal because EVERYTHING we were, are & will be experiencing, in this case a celebration of life, are all because of His Divine intervention, work & sovereignty.

 

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

Our Baby Shower, a day full of His love. We felt it deep. All love languages ticked.

 

First, ALL GLORY TO GOD. We thank the Lord for this great blessing. Having a baby was a dream & a prayer request. We specifically prayed to be pregnant after our 1st anniversary & that’s exactly what happened. A dream come true & an answered prayer!

 

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Prayer Warriors in Action

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

Next, I want to honour my husband & just express how great He has been during this journey. WE were both pregnant, if you know what I mean. Love, you have been nothing short of amazing!

 

Thank you to my dear sister, Gale, for organizing the baby shower, most of all, supporting us all the way, in any way.

Gale

Grateful for everybody who helped out & made the shower, extra extra special.

Primrose- Styling & Giveaways

Check out Rose Letters Cebu on Facebook for your event styling, invitation graphic layout needs & more

Primrose

 Dee- Documentation & Photo Editing

Check out Cinderella Photography on Facebook for your photography needs

 Hannah– Invitation layout & Documentation

You may message Hannah Mariel Jabines on Facebook for your graphic layout & event documentation needs

Hannah & Dee

Lenie, for assisting

Carmina, for hosting

Jesse, for taking care of registration

And to EVERYBODY who came, made time, gave gifts & helped us with the baby essentials & even those who weren’t able to come but showed some LOVE in any way, sending gifts, messages & prayers during this season. FAMILY & FRIENDS, we will be forever GRATEFUL. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives, you’ll always be part of ours. We are truly humbled by the overwhelming support. WE SPEAK A BLESSING TO YOUR LIVES a gazillion folds, IN HIS NAME, as you’ve blessed us tremendously.

Merced Family1

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Citichurch

Citichurch1

ALL BY HIS GRACE

Sharing with you some snippets of the Baby Shower

So, here it is!

Tips on Planning a DIY Baby Shower:

Set a Date & Time

First thing’s first! Set a date & time. Try answering the basic questions when planning a Baby Shower or any event for that matter-  WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW. First thing’s first- WHAT & WHEN. What? A Baby Shower, in this case. When? Baby Showers are usually done on the 7th month of the Mom’s pregnancy. Communicate with the Mom- to- be some time in the 6th month when would be the best time, so that you have ample time to prepare.

Finalize Guest List

Answer WHO. Who are the ones who have been part of your journey? To the Mom, do not feel obligated to invite everybody, just because… You would know who were the ones who’ve made an impact in your journey. And this principle I keep in mind- You do not need a title nor an invitation to care for people. There will be people who will care or have shown care despite not having a title in your life or an invitation to gatherings like these. It’s your choice to invite them or simply appreciate them some other way. The right people will always stay. Communicate with Mom- to- be on the guest list before inviting.

Have a Gift Registry

Having a Gift Registry makes it very convenient for the Parents to- be & the guests. This would ensure parents are able to use the items for their baby in a way they plan to use them. And it would be easy for guests to choose their gift because they’ve been already sorted out. The first time I joined a Baby Shower, I was so clueless of what a baby would need. Thankfully, the celebrant had a registry. Totally saved me! As the planner, you may ask for the registry details from the Mom- to- be.

Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme is OPTIONAL. Nowadays, this has become popular for parties. How you come up with the theme depends on you, mainly the gender of the child. Some plan to do a gender reveal on the shower so most of the time, a baby shower like this becomes an all white party. Here are some probable factors for you to be able to come up with a theme:

*Baby’s Name

*Season the Mom is due

*Place Baby was conceived

And so much more! Be creative. Don’t forget to consult with the Mom- to- be. But like I said, this is just optional. A simple & memorable gathering is more than enough.

Make an Invite

Once you’ve established, date, time, event & theme. You may start inviting. Fortunately, inviting people has become very convenient due to social media. You can choose to give out invitations &/ or simply make an event on facebook. Announce when, time & gift registry. You may also include an “attire” based on your theme. How about WHERE? I would suggest answering that once you get a headcount. It’s best to have planned a month before the date to give time for people to adjust their schedules & make a confirmation. Announce the details as well as a deadline when each could possibly confirm so that you can set the venue. While you’re waiting for everybody’s confirmation, you may do some ocular visits & make calls to inquire. However, if you choose to give out hard copies of the invitation, you might need to finalize venue already.

Baby Shower Invite

Layout by Hannah Mariel Jabines

Book the Venue & order Food ahead

So you’ve got the headcount, now’s the time you book the venue or you may pencil book in advance. Make sure venue is suitable for the shower, consider number of guests coming & food is appropriate for the shower.

Make a Program

Have about 2-3 games & consider time for eating, gift giving & messages. The whole duration of the shower should be about 2-3 hours only. If you have a lot of guests, lessen the games & give more time for messages because even if you say “keep it short”, it won’t be. I personally would rather give the guests time to say or share something than games. They deserve the time considering their support, efforts & love. But customize & personalize all you want, it’s your shower!

Make Registration something for keeps

This is another thing that’s optional. However, this would be something you could give as a remembrance of the milestone to the parents- to-be. So if you are able to stretch yourself in making this happen, it would be great!

Make updates at event page from time to time

Make or announce updates from time to time to make it interesting. Other than important details, you may post trivia’s, post maternity photos or make a countdown. Here were a few sample postings in our shower.

Delegate tasks

Make sure you delegate tasks especially on the day. After all, you get by with a little help from your friends! Here are some areas you might need delegation with- registration, documentation, host/ game master, styling, music, food & beverage & etc. Depending on the details/ ayour

Have Fun

Most of all, have fun in doing all of these things (considering that you’re close with the parents- to- be) knowing that you are blessed to be blessing the couple in their milestone.


 

Here’s hoping you have a memorable & meaningful baby shower! Hope this helps. Enjoy your journey!

Maternity Shoot x Pregnancy Diaries

Motherhood

 

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“Your story is not just your story. It is for others to learn and know. And one day you will share these experiences to others- mothers, single ladies and many more. I just feel that this season of yours is going to make you a better person for His glory. I sense the unfolding of greatness, the unveiling of His love and the showering of joy. The Lord is not done with you yet.”


This was my sister’s message in the middle of my 1st trimester. These words were the beginning of a realization for me & I truly thank God for people like my sister who continuously remind me that the life I live is His.

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This inspired me to share about what I experienced & felt during the first few months of my pregnancy. Which means the experiences & feelings each mother goes through  are different. I say “mother” because pregnancy is already part of “motherhood”, in fact, it is the beginning of it. If you’re somebody who’s expecting or who’s praying to have a baby, I hope this gives you an idea what happens during pregnancy & that you’ll be able to prepare for it.

Oh the joys of breaking the news that you’re pregnant! The day has finally come when your prayers have been answered, the future looks bright as you start pinning adorable baby outfits, maternity fashion, checking out lists of what you’ll need when the baby is out, thinking of booking a photographer for your maternity & baby shoot, planning for a baby shower & the list goes on. All of these are great & they’re a beautiful side to  pregnancy but the hard or challenging reality will get to you as pregnancy progresses. Mothers or every parent will agree that those mentioned are just tiny bits, parts or the sweet little things to motherhood or parenting.

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The first few weeks of my pregnancy were difficult. Although I hear some pregnancies are flawless, mine was one of the usual cases. Usually during the 1st trimester pregnant women experience morning sickness, excessive vomiting, swollen breasts, weird cravings at the same time distaste for some food while appetite increases, amplified urine movement, nausea, heartburn, acne breakouts, mood swings, skin discoloration, are more susceptible to illness & so much more. Some experience these for months & some even during the whole duration of the pregnancy. (If you’re a guy reading this & you’re expecting, take notes! You’re wife isn’t overreacting, these things happen!)

For me this meant, stopping work, ministry & all other activities I had in a snap! I remember my husband telling me one time that his head was aching because he wasn’t able to drink coffee, I tell him, “Just imagine how I feel?”. For a coffee lover who drinks about 3 cups a day & letting go of that in an instant, not to mention everything else my body goes through, the struggle was very real. And that’s just one. Being pregnant means sacrifice. This is just the beginning.


Shout out to EVERY MOM! You are beautiful, strong & truly Wonderwoman! I hear new moms say, “Dear Mom, I get you now”. I have only been given the starter if this was a full set course meal yet I feel you. And I just want to say THANK YOU. You are amazing!

During this time (1st trimester) we found out I had hemorrhage, which had me stay at home for a month & a half. I was usually in bed & these were the times I kept crying & I honestly tell my husband & myself “I’m tired already”. As if giving up was an option. Of course not! I often hear people say, “the baby is worth it” or “it will be worth it”. No doubt but for usual cases or even crucial cases wherein bed rest is a requirement for 9 months & the struggle is very real, I realized this… Like any other thing that we say is worth it, like marriage or whatever matters to you for the world & in this case, the baby… ________________ (whatever it is) is not enough reason to stay strong… Jesus will always be the answer, the reason. I don’t know how I’d reach this point without Jesus.

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Jesus… keeping me strong, giving me a hardworking & patient husband who was & is with me through the whole process, giving me family & friends who would communicate, encourage, visit, cook, bring food, pray with me & show any kind of support. Jesus made all of these things happen. And these things gave me so much comfort & joy during this phase.


If you’re one of those who did those things mentioned above, THANK YOU from the bottom of  my heart. You have no idea how much you’ve brought a great impact during my pregnancy. You know who you are. Your names will forever be carved in my heart.

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During the 2nd trimester, the hemorrhage healed. Answered prayer! This time, I am able to go out, however, because of everything else that comes with pregnancy; I had to stay at home more often. My husband & I had the mindset of, “it’s better to be safe than sorry”. Like I said, pregnant women are more susceptible to diseases. We don’t want to risk it. Also during this time, my appetite was waaaaay better, as what most would say, the 2nd trimester is the best time. Naturally, I gained weight & there’s no shame in that. Pregnant women have to gain for their baby’s health. So when people comment about how much you’ve gained, have the confidence that what goes on in your body is no joke & if that meant being chubby or fat even, you wouldn’t have it any other way for your baby’s sake. Giiiiiiirl, YOU’RE BODY IS THE TRUE WONDERLAND. Especially during this time when you’ll be able to feel the kicks, pokes & even turns! How amazing is your body, His creation.

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Pregnancy hormones kick in & I had times when I’d look to the future, would feel very emotional because the realities of motherhood or parenting would sink in. The beauty & the struggle in one scenario made me pray for God to give me a MOTHER’S HEART. An intentional loving mother who will be able to give what’s best for my child in the way GOD wants her (YES IT’S A GIRL) to be raised. Not just me but for my husband & I to be purposeful parents. As one of the mothers I know would put it, #MomOnaMission. Yes we are, yes I am. Being a parent has always been a prayer & a dream. And I do not take lightly the grace that’s been given to my husband & I. #ParentwithaPurpose. We have  this in mind, we are the keepers of the next generation, which are the world changers. A vessel for His glory to be made known in the generations to come.


We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, HIs power & the wonders He has done… so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, & they in turn would tell their children. Psalm 78:4 & 6

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Writing this as we enter the 3rd or last trimester. Physically, baby’s movements are really felt, the struggle of the weight is getting more challenging everyday, stretch marks are in & skin has been very itchy due to the continuous stretch. I also don’t mind, although I plan to let them go when baby is out. I don’t mind if this is the way my body is responding to the stretch to make room for the baby inside. These marks are beautiful marks. Truly there is growth in stretching. Very true in life. As baby grows & tummy stretches, it is not only the physical that’s doing all the action. Body, soul, mind, heart & spirit are being stretched & are grown, by His grace. And I’m really grateful for that.

This is it! Another season of experiencing Jesus. A few more weeks & we’ll be able to hold baby in our arms. Nothing but expectant hearts knowing He holds the future & that His promises are yes & amen.

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Last Christmas, our families went on a beach getaway at Club Serena, Moalboal. We took the chance to have our maternity shoot. And the 2nd setting was when we had our advance anniversary celebration at Kandaya Resort, Daanbantayan, since I am due on the same month as our wedding. By that time, baby would still be a few days or weeks old & we’re not certain we can go out to for a celebration. Nonetheless, reaching 2 years with a baby in our home would be the best gift, the best celebration yet. All glory to God. DIY photos by my dear hubby, sharing them as inspirations for your shoot too! Both locations are in Cebu, Philippines.


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Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

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Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. Proverbs 29:17

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These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deutoronomy 6:6-9

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 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

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Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3