the unnatural mother

embracing mother-ing and all its glory – from wet diapers, spit-ups, tantrums to first smiles, hug-a-bugs and sweet cuddles

Online shopping anyone? June 22, 2012

I absolutely love online shopping! Why? Because it’s convenient, reasonable and I love the feeling of receiving a package in the mail ūüôā

But is there a right way to shop online?

Here are some tips:

  1. Choose a trustworthy supplier. I’ve been shopping online for 2 years now and my first concern naturally was “what if I don’t receive my package?”. Before you start ordering, you have to establish the site’s trustworthiness. For me, I look at the score. ¬†At ebay, its the number beside the seller name. I believe it signifies how many transactions or items the seller has sold. So if the number is 700, it means the seller has sold 700 items. And under the seller’s name there is a feedback score – 100% positive feedback means that all those who left feedback of the transaction gave a positive comment.
  2. Number of items being sold and presentation. Another source of online goods is Multiply.com. but multiply does not have a score. So how do you gauge if this is a legit site? I look at the number of items being sold, the comments and the look of the site. If there are a lot of items being sold, it might be a good indication of the site’s business. If a site only sells 10 items of varied interest then I don’t go ahead. Also, most online sellers invest on site appearance so if they have a personalized banner and it looks like there was a lot of work put into the site, I’d give it a try.
  3. On hand or preorder. Be careful and ask if the items are on hand or on a pre-order basis if it’s not already inidicated. On hand means it is available and ready to ship. Pre-order means it is not with the seller and they will still have to buy it from the supplier and then shipped to you. Normally, they would require a downpayemnt for the item. I haven’t tried pre-order and it doesn’t mean its a scam. It’s just that most of the items I buy are needed soon so I don’t have time to wait. Waiting is usually anywhere from 2-5 weeks.
  4. Contact the seller for availability. Though the items would be categorized on hand, not all suppliers are diligent enough to update their site every time there is a sale. Almost all sellers have their mobiles indicated somewhere, text them for availability.
  5. Location and delivery. It would be good to know, but not necessary, where the seller and the item is actually coming from. You will have a gauge of how long and how much the delivery will be. Some delivery companies are Xend, JRS express, Air21. Within Metro Manila, you can get the package the day after they are shipped. So from the time you pay, it might take 2-3 days depending on the seller. I once had to wait for 3 weeks and I got really mad and told the seller. She gave me an extra toy for consolation but I never ordered from her again. Some delivery companies offer insurance for an extra charge in case the package gets lost. Thankfully, this has never happened to me.
  6. Payment. Most sellers take payment via bank deposit. This is where the trust issue comes in. Once you’ve given the payment, you just have to trust that the seller will send the package. I have not been scammed in my 2 years of online shopping. You do have to note extra charges. BDO charges Php 50 regional fee if you are depositing to an account residing in another region (e.g. paying in Metro Manila and the account is in the province). Other sellers accept Gcash or Paypal. If with Paypal, sellers require you to shoulder an additional 3% fee, if I’m not mistaken, of the total amount.

So those are my learnings from my online shopping escapades.

Here are my favorite online sellers:

quack_oink¬† (ebay and multiply) sells cheap Avent products – the cheapest according to my research. They are from Iloilo but is very efficient and easy to transact with. Delivery charge is higher than usual because it’s coming from Iloilo. I usually get my package the next day if I pay in the morning.

  • Avent nipples P250
  • Avent 40z bottle to cup trainer kit (with rabbit design) P400
  • Avent 90z cloudy 2pk P700

Choochoobaby (facebook, multiply and  ebay) sells everything Рclothes, toys, furniture Рfor baby and kids. Kathleen Tanyen is from Davao and she owns several stores and markets her products online as well. She has new items almost every month. Also sells Babyland diapers wholesale Рbest deal as far as I know.

The Kiddie Closet (multiply and facebook) sells kids and baby clothes and accessories. Easy to transact with.

The Spoiled Girl (facebook and multiply)  sells kids and baby clothes and accessories. Has both onhand and pre-order items.

Mamaway    (multiply and facebook) is the official distributor of Mamaway nursing wear. Sells Lansinoh Breastmilk bag (25pcs) for Php 350 and Honeysuckle Milk bags (50pcs) for Php 650. Has a shop  at Greenhills Town Center, 2 Granada Street, New Manila QC

Mama Baby Love   (multiply) sells  different brands of nursing wear (bra and clothes), has the widest selection of breastmilk bags and accessories, baby carriers and a lot more items for moms and babies.

Hope you have as much fun shopping as I do!

 

Food: Marks & Spencer Extremely Chocolatey Orange Biscuit June 13, 2012

Filed under: Food — reeseyenko @ 8:32 pm
Tags: , ,

I’ve always loved Chocolate Orange! I remember my first experience with it… way back when I was a kid my godmother from the States gave us this Toblerone Ball. When I opened it, it was shaped like an orange but there were already slices around the ball. The instructions were to hit it on a hard surface before opening so that it separate into slices. Cool idea but the taste… the taste was WOW! Chocolatey smoothness with the tartness of orange – yum!

Then Starbucks came up with Orange Mocha Chip Frappuccinno. I can’t remember if I were already in college back then or graduation from high school but we loved it sooo much and I think I completely lost interest when Starbucks discontinued it. I was willing to settle for Cafe Valencia but they discontinued it too. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

From then on, I’ve been on the lookout for anything Chocolate Orange. And when I saw this at Marks & Spencer yesterday, I just had to have it. They have 2 other variants – Triple chocolate and Dark chocolate, if I’m not mistaken, but no orange in them.

Marks & Spencer Extremely Chocolatey Orange Biscuits for Php245

It contains 8 biscuits.

Looooovvveee it…weeeeeee ‚ô•

 

Preparing Food for Baby June 12, 2012

I love the fact that my mom has every type of cooking apparatus. I can always borrow it whenever I need it. And in this case, it makes  baby food preparation a breeze.

I’ve made baby food for my 2nd child. I learned the basics from the internet and some cookbooks and I think I was quite successful with the ¬†first foods and the simple combination foods.

First foods are easiest to make because they are comprised of only one ingredient and is either steamed, roasted or baked. Never boil fruits or vegetables as most of the nutrients end up in the water.

My first foods list is as follows (in no particular order):

  • Brown rice
  • Banana
  • Carrots
  • Potato
  • Apple
  • Pear

This is how you prepare it by steaming:

Steam vegetables in a steaming basket in a pot. Put just enough clean water so that it doesn’t touch the vegetable. Close the lid. Turn the fire to medium heat. Steam until tender.

Asses tenderness by poking it with a fork. It should go through without resistance

Once tender, remove from heat and peel.

I always use a mini chopper because it is what we have at home. I think it is a good investment because we use it for a lot of our cooking too.

Chop vegetable to manageable portions and put in mini chopper or blender.

This is how it should look like. Add distilled water to achieve a smooth texture.

Transfer to a suitable container. Food should be good in refrigerator for 3 days and 2 weeks in freezer.

I prefer glass containers since it is more sanitary and earth-friendly. With the influx of glass leak-proof containers in the market, you have a number of sizes and shapes to choose from. This is the smallest one costing about Php 215 on sale.

I hope this is helpful for anyone out there!

 

Favorites: I’m loving this Peppermint June 11, 2012

It’s not the candy or the chocolate or whatever food that has this flavor. I never liked it on my chocolate and I heard it decreases breastmilk so good for me ūüôā So what ¬†am I talking about?

It’s a clothing brand that is actually soooo cute and affordable! I first spotted this while I was doing our gift registry for my daughter’s baptism. The salesman offered it to me as an option and I just kept spotting one beautiful dress after the other.

Peppermint a clothing brand for children and pre-teens and now they have a line for toddlers starting at 1 year old. I’ve only seen the girls wear but they do have for boys. From what I’ve seen, it has that same feel of Gingersnaps when it comes to design but more elegant rather than casual. The good thing about this is that it is Philippine made so more work for Filipinos – yey!

Off white tiered Peppermint dress with floral applique. Only Php 599.75

The detail is so dainty and elegant.

Boutiques are in ATC , Glorietta 3 Kids zone and SM Megamall 5th level. I do wish they had one in Trinoma. They are, however, in most SM Department stores.  Check out their facebook page for more information.

This is going to be on my top list of favorite children’s clothes brands together with Mothercare, Periwinkle and Gingersnaps.

 

The battle of bottles June 3, 2012

So many bottle choices out there! There’s Dr. Brown’s, Pigeon, Evenflo, Tommee Tippee, Avent, Chicco, Medela, Playtex and the list goes on and on… and these are just the most common ones sold in the Philippines! So what do I use?

I’ve been using Avent since my first child. Back then in 2006, the bottles were BPA-full. Yes, “full” as the BPA-free bottles were not yet available. The upside of those bottles were that they never leaked and they were clear as glass. However, the plastic seems brittle and after one child using for at least a year it looks like it’s been through hell – little cracks form at the bottom corners where the plastic rounds up. ¬†For my second child, I went back to my trusty Avent but used the cloudy white BPA-free bottles. It’s BPA-free and it’s not as brittle as the original one. The downside is that it leaks occasionally. The trick is to secure the ring to the bottle first instead of the ring to the teat/white ring part when you close the bottle. I’ve discovered that it does not leak in this manner. Also, do not over-tighten when closing the bottle. When you turn it to close, stop when its secure already. Over-tightening it tends to make it leak as well.

Right way – bottle and ring. Proven lessens chances of leaking

Wrong way – ring with white ring and teat. From experience, bottle tends to leak more.

Later on, when my 2nd child was about 1 year old and still drinking from the bottle, I got bored with Avent’s lack of design and decided to try the wide-neck Chicco. I was attracted to the cute design actually and seeing that it was wide-neck also, I thought maybe the teats maybe interchanged. And voila! they do fit each other and does not leak! Nice!

Avent teat with Chicco bottle

The bottle is slender and baby can actually hold it in one hand only.

slender Chicco bottle

The Chicco big bottle is sold with a variable flow teat that is either silicone or rubber so be sure to check which one you’re buying. The downside is that this is only available in the department stores. I haven’t seen it from online suppliers here or abroad. (I wonder why). So it is a bit pricey – around P599 (if i remember correctly) – compared to Avent which can be bought for P600-700 for a 2-pack on ebay.ph.

On another note, I’d like to try glass bottles. They are more sanitary and the breastmilk nutrients do not stick to glass. I actually have 4 bottles but I only use it for storing breastmilk and even then, it’s prone to leaking when I use it during pumping. It seems that when there’s milk on the part that connects to the bottle, the milk attracts each other and flows out. In the department stores, I ‘ve seen Pigeon and Evenflo sell glass bottles. Why not try it? 2 reasons – 1) they are not wide-neck and thus, it may interfere with baby’s breastfeeding (but since, she’s already 6 months, maybe this is not too much of a concern; 2) using glass bottles need extra care for obvious reasons.

 

Colors! Colors! Colors! June 2, 2012

This made my day!

a box of monaco threads plus two cannon

I bought more than a dozen Monaco threads and apparently, they give discounts aside from the regular cheap price. Imagine, a dozen for only Php 330! That’s Php 27.50 a piece!

What are all these for? I’m stocking up on Christmas colors hence, the 3 balls of Red, 1 orange and 2 green. The blue and white is for my son’s big school beanie project. The black is an order from my MIL. And the rest, I’d like to have around ūüôā

Bought ¬†at Johanna’s Threadmart, Visayas Avenue, QC.