Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Happy at 31


I miss blogging. I've been keeping a diary since I was 13. I stopped when I was 20 when I got very busy with work and the boyfriend hehe (he's now my husband). When I married then moved to my husband's place, I burned my diaries. It took a lot of courage because they contain a collection of memories. (I suck at remembering something so I used to always write them down.) Burning them was like letting go of the old me as I step into another chapter of my life. And then J came along, my first born. Immediately writing became a luxury. Sometimes I try to write. Hence this blog was born. But most days I'd trade sleep over a new blog post. Sleep wins over sex even.

Fast forward to today, now with 2 kids. Our marriage isn't all sweet and we're still too poor to travel the whole country. My second child C was born sickly and this took a toll on our finances. Yet we managed and we survived. C is now off-meds (that's him in the photo) and is showing potential in singing, memory games, and puzzles.

Looking back, I learned that happiness comes to those who work for it. Well, perhaps a bit of luck could help. But if you sulk and do nothing, you aren't helping yourself. You go farther away from happiness. Happiness then is a choice. At 31, I give myself a pat on the back for living my choice. I chose happiness and have decided to work for it. ☺

Saturday, September 17, 2016

QB Collection Onbuhimo

Child worn: 3 years, 0 months old at 13 kg
Wearer: 5' 1", small frame at 45 kg

Brand: Quality Brand (QB) Collection
Type of Carrier: Onbuhimo or Onbu
Website: www.facebook.com/QBCollection
Size: Standard
Fabric Type: Handwoven / Wrap Conversion
Color: Light Purple
Suitable for a child below 2 years old and with good neck control
Type of Carries Done: Front, Back Carry 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
This QB Collection onbuhimo visited us weeks after we've tried the Lennylamb (LL) onbuhimo. It's best timing for me since my experience with another onbu brand is still fresh and I would then be able to compare our local brand onbu to an international brand onbu. 

What a coincidence this onbu is also purple! (The Lennylamb onbu we got to try was also purple). The fabric used is handwoven cotton from Baguio, Philippines. I owned a QB wrap before, so I'm already familiar with their fabric's texture. It is not as soft as Lennylamb's cotton. QB's fabric feels rough when compared to LL's. But the weave and design on this onbu is definitely Filipino. It is something so close to my heart because it is OUR own. Yet, I will be very honest in this review and will temporarily 'freeze' my biased heart for everything Philippine-made. :)

flat shot of the QB Collection onbu (hood attached)
the brand's logo and detail of the fabric's weave
It comes with a detachable hood and drool pads in the same fabric used on the carrier. Hood and drool pads can be attached through snaps. QB onbu straps are in black cotton (or canvas). So this isn't a full conversion. Lennylamb's buckle onbu straps were all in woven jacquard cotton fabric--a full conversion.
detail of stitching on the straps
I noticed QB does clean stitching on straps, hood, drool pads and panel. But I didn't like the webbings they used on the onbu.

webbings used on the QB onbu
PERFORMANCE
This onbuhimo is narrow for my 3-year-old son. (I am not sure if their onbus would be available later in toddler size.) But it has definitely supported my son's weight. With QB's onbu, my shoulders didn't hurt as quickly as it did on the LL onbu. I am guessing it is because of the padded cotton/canvas shoulder straps. They feel thicker than LL's (also) padded straps. I liked the U-shaped fabric on the bottom part of LL's onbu. This QB onbu does not have that. Both the QB and LL onbuhimo are easy to use or maneuver. The QB onbu's fabric feels thicker than Lennylamb's but it is still airy and breathable for our tropical climate.


Too narrow for my 3-year-old :(
This is a part of Cebu South Road Properties. If you bring a small child in this walkway, don't put him down.
The water on either side is already deep.



CONCLUSION
The QB Collection onbuhimo fares not very far from an international brand onbu we have previously reviewed. Personally, I would choose this one for its price and support. Though I wished its fabric is as soft as the Lennylamb onbu. I would not recommend it if you have a child over 2 years old, because it will be too narrow and short for your child. From previous inquiries with QB Collection, they do accept custom sizes for your carrier. But remember that an onbu has thinner straps than a SSC. If carrying a heavy child, a strap with generous padding is hallelujah to the wearer's shoulders. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

LennyLamb Northern Leaves Buckle Onbu Carrier

Toddler worn: 2 years 11 months old at 12 kg
Wearer: 5' 1", small frame at 45 kg

Brand: LennyLamb
Type of Carrier: Onbuhimo / Onbu
Website: www.facebook.com/lennylamb | en.lennylamb.com
Size: Standard
Blend Type: 100% Cotton
Weave Type: Jacquard
Fabric Type: Woven / Wrap Conversion
Weight: 270 g/m²
Design: Northern Leaves (Purple & Yellow)
Suitable for newborns and toddlers
Type of Carries Done: Front, Back Carry 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
flat shot of the LennyLamb Northern Leaves buckle onbuhimo
closer view of the colors

I wow-ed at first sight and feel of this LennyLamb buckle onbu tester. Not only of its regal colors, but also of how soft the fabric is. It feels like a "broken-in" woven wrap that is as soft as a blanket. It is important to note that I am the first tester in our group. Thus, I expected a carrier that's quite stiff like new. 

This onbu has a non-removable hood. Near the bottom of the panel, you can find a drawstring that is used to adjust the width of this carrier. Compared to a SSC (soft structured carrier) , it is less bulky even with all its buckles. It folds up easily to fit my bag.

PERFORMANCE

I got so excited that I want to immediately use it. This was the first onbuhimo we got to try so I read its manual first which thankfully came with the carrier. I adjusted the straps--particularly the one which would adjust its width. I wear a toddler and we now use a toddler-size SSC. So I was quite disappointed that this onbu is in standard size only and quite narrow for my toddler already. We were still happy to be among those picked to test this beautiful carrier. I know that our babywearing days would soon be over. It's lucky we still got to try an onbu before we 'graduate' from babywearing. ^_^

Our first uppy with this LennyLamb onbu was a front carry. I know that onbuhimos are for back carries but here in our country, it's dangerous to back carry when you cross our streets. We needed to buy bread and had to cross a busy street to do it. Not 10 minutes into the errand, my shoulders hurt. But I found the fabric really comfortable and breathable. My son hadn't complained at all, even when half of his thighs was dangling or unsupported by the carrier. (He would always let me know if he isn't comfortable in the carrier we're using.)

me using the LennyLamb onbu (my son was off-centered) :D

I like that onbus are for quick back carries!

We used the onbu again when we went to the mall during the weekend. It's a huge mall so I always make sure to bring a carrier with us. My son would be running around, reaching end-to-end of the mall. Both my husband and I would prefer his weight on our shoulders than having to chase after him. We back carried this time. And found that the onbu is more comfortable than when we front carried. Still, my son's weight digged on my shoulders. At some point I wished we brought our SSC instead.



I asked my husband if he wants to try the onbu so I can also rest my shoulders. He was glad to try another carrier type. He says it felt weird the whole time LoL. Probably because we were used to using a SSC with a waistbelt present unlike an onbu which has none. But he also likes the fabric used in this carrier. We both wished the shoulder straps were thicker. So it wouldn't dig so much on our shouders.

We thought it's cute to have photos taken with the purple macaroons because they match the onbu. :D

Gorgeous purple leaves on yellow (although they look gold to me in actual)


CONCLUSION

The Lennylamb Buckle Onbu is comfortable, convenient and sturdy. If only we had this when our son was a year old or younger. It can definitely support a toddler but with a heavy child, it won't be very friendly on the wearer's shoulders. Onbuhimos lack a waist belt so the entire weight of your child will be on your shoulders. This onbu's size is also perfect for children below 2 years old. Below is a photo showing the widest this onbu can go on my almost 3-year-old son. 


Overall, in our opinion (me and my husband's) the LennyLamb Buckle Onbu is a carrier you would want to get if:
- you have a child who is below 2 years old and with good head/neck control
- you have a child who enjoys back carries
- the wearer wants quick back carries with a buckled carrier
- the wearer prefers a carrier that's less bulky than a SSC
- the wearer wants a buckled carrier that's cheaper than a SSC






Saturday, July 16, 2016

Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers

It was on the last week of May 2016 when the rains finally visited our very dry and humid country. Since last quarter of 2015, it felt like there's going to be drought forever. And since February, we would have little to no supply of water. When you have children, it's really difficult if water is scarce. The most challenging part for me was how to wash our soiled cloth nappies when water is only available from 3 to 5am. We ended up buying disposable diapers on most days. It was indeed hallelujah when the rains finally came. My son would always complain that his nappy is itchy. He wants the 'koot dapuwo' (cloth diaper), he would often tell me.

And so now it would rain almost every day.  And this means my little guy would need to stay indoors most of the time. He gets bored easily and I don't want him to watch YouTube all day. I'm sharing below what we have been doing. It's always a challenge what to give him so I can work in peace. But often, it's really because I don't want him to remember there's Bob the Train on YouTube or that he can play Talking Angela on his sister's tablet.

Playing with non-toxic colored clay turned into balls

Foam letter puzzles

Bubble wrap (he won't share this with me!)

For his toy vehicles, I made him a car park from a cake box.

More letter puzzles. He enjoys puzzles!

Playing the drums while singing ABC

Coloring is serious business to him. 
These are only a few. Everyday I think of something new for him to do. I'm lucky if he sits still for 15 minutes in any of these activities. When I ran out of ideas, we eat. :D Recently I got him new wooden blocks and wooden cars and thankfully, he's been very busy building 'a falling down' (he means a bridge), houses, a slide, or forming shapes out of the blocks.

What about you? What indoor activities does you and your child enjoy? :)






Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Love Renshel Fairy Wings Woven Wrap

Toddler worn: 2 years 10 months old at 12kg
Wearer: 5' 1", slim frame at 45kg

Brand: Love, Renshel
Type of Carrier: Fairy Wings woven wrap
Website: www.facebook.com/loverenshel | www.instagram.com/loverenshel
Size: 6
Fabric Content: 60% cotton and 40% linen
Type of Weave: Diamond weave
Suitable for newborns and toddlers
Type of Carries Done: Front Wrap Cross Carry, Double Hammock Carry 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS


Love Renshel packaging
Love Renshel Fairy Wings came with a canvas bag packaging which I find to be very neat and presentable. This wrap was sooo marshmallowy soft right out of the package! (It is important to note that I am the second tester of this wrap. The first tester only had this for a week.) I have tried 5 Philippine handwoven wrap brands before this one but they’re either all-cotton or cotton-polyester. The all-cotton was soft but not even close to the softness Fairy Wings has. The cotton-poly wraps were all crisp or stiff and would soften after at least a month of use. This is our first experience with a cotton-linen wrap that’s handwoven in the Philippines. This is also our first time to try a local wrap with diamond weave because the other local brands we’ve tried before were all in plain weave.


Fairy Wings woven wrap by Love Renshel



Fairy Wings is a pastel beauty. The colors are easy on the eyes and would be fine with any OOTD in my opinion. It is just not MY color because I prefer darker colored wraps so that stains or dirt won't be too noticeable. :D The weave is also delicate and loose thus prone to pulls. I have to remember not to wear earrings and to check if my fingernails aren’t long. I was extra careful where I should be doing my wrap jobs--afraid to damage this tester wrap. If I own this wrap, I really wouldn’t care so much if I’d cause snags and pulls on it. I could just repair them with help from YouTube tutorials.



diamond weave

WRAPPING QUALITY

What I like most about Fairy Wings is that it is very airy. You can definitely try the carries with multiple passes with this wrap and you and your child would remain comfortable in it. It is perfect for this tropical climate we have here in the Philippines. It is also one you can use even without AC (air conditioner) or when you're outdoors. We didn't sweat at all when we used this wrap for a hike up in the mountains. But I wished I had brought a shorty Fairy Wings during our hike, so it won't touch the ground where there were sharp rocks and twigs. If a wrap is delicate (like Fairy Wings) and going on a nature trip, I would suggest bringing a size 3 or 4 so there's not a lot of extra fabric touching trees, plants or the ground.

Fairy Wings is a fairly thin wrap but is supportive enough for my 12-kg son. It got diggy on the shoulders after a few minutes so I bunched the fabric on my shoulders and we became comfortable in it until we were done hiking. I would recommend to 'sandwich the shoulders' if you have a toddler to wear.
That's Cebu City behind us.


Waiting for sundown with LR Fairy Wings
My son here is already explaining to me that he should be down and running LoL! 
At home, I would try to use the wrap with my toddler but it's really become a struggle to put him in any wrap. We only got to try more FWCCs and our first Double Hammock Carry. This back carry lasted for a good 15 minutes and we were very comfortable with Fairy Wings. My son never complained about the wrap being 'hot'. He would tell me to put him down because he only wants to run and play.

Our first time to try the Double Hammock Carry
The DH is a comfortable back carry.
Very lousy DH chest pass, I know. -_-

CONCLUSION

After trying Love Renshel Fairy Wings, I am relieved and proud that my country, the Philippines, can offer beautiful and quality handwovens to the babywearing community. Fairy Wings' softness could be at par with foreign, expensive wrap brands. Its only downside in my opinion, is its delicate and loose weave that would require beginner wrappers to be very careful when using this wrap. Its cotton-linen blend is perfect if you live in the tropics. Its softness would be ideal for newborns yet supportive enough for toddlers. Love Renshel is indeed a promising wrap brand--something the global babywearing community should be watching out for. ;-)



Monday, May 2, 2016

Bijou Wear Cleo Vineyard Woven Wrap

Toddler worn: 2 years and 9 months old at 12 kg
Wearer: 5' 1", slim frame at 45 kg

Brand: Bijou Wear
Type of Carrier: Cleo Vineyard Woven Wrap
Size: 6
Fabric Content: 55% Cotton and 45% TENCEL®
Weight of Wrap: 300 gsm
Suitable for newborns and toddlers
Machine Washable
Type of Carries done: Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC), Inside Out Coolest Hip Cross Carry, Robin's Hip Carry, Poppins Hip Carry

I was ecstatic upon learning my toddler and I would get to try Cleo Vineyard. We have never tried a TENCEL® blend wrap before and this one probably is the only TENCEL® wrap that's ever landed in the Philippines. I was curious and got really excited so I googled TENCEL® to learn more about it. 

"...It is a fiber made from sustainably harvested trees." 
"Its fiber production is extremely ecofriendly." 
"Textiles of TENCEL® are more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk, and cooler than linen."

Needless to say, I was impressed with what I've read especially about Cleo Vineyard's being made from ecofriendly materials and processes.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Cleo Vineyard's right and reverse side
Recommended for babies 8 to 35 lbs
Geofloral pattern in burgundy red and white
I was the third in line to try Cleo Vineyard. It arrived to me soft already but I noticed it is thick and heavy. I am a fan of thin wraps because we don't have air conditioner at home. But still, I was eager to try this visitor wrap. I was in love with the texture, color and pattern! Because my family enjoys the outdoors than malls, I prefer carriers that aren't very delicate and I was relieved to find that Cleo Vineyard is that type. Its texture isn't prone to pulls and feels extremely sturdy. Reds aren't in my usual favorites but I like this wrap's particular shade of red--burgundy red, to be specific. I also find its geometric floral pattern to be very flexible--one I can wear to a wedding or to a casual stroll at the park. So you can just have a Cleo Vineyard and you need not worry about your wrap blending in the occasion or your OOTD. ^_^

WRAPPING QUALITY

Our first uppy with Cleo Vineyard
We tried a quick FWCC during the night--when temperature isn't very high. It is important to note in this review that there's currently an El NiƱo phenomenon that's affecting our already-tropical country. Thus the Philippines is warmer these days, our air always feels humid. It wasn't a surprise to me that we were sweating during our first uppy with Cleo Vineyard. We had to be directly in front of the electric fan so my son wouldn't complain. But he did complain and asked to be put down. 

In the one week that Cleo Vineyard was with us, we would use it whenever we go on quick errands outside (e.g. buy bread from the nearby bakeshop or buy other necessities from the small stores outside our home). My son would complain being in it--probably because the wrap feels very warm especially during daytime. He usually enjoys going outside so this was my only way of getting him in the wrap. I would only grab Cleo Vineyard if I know we would be back home in 10-15 minutes. In this brief time, we never experienced diggy moments. I also got to try a quick hip carry with my firstborn--an 18 kg 6-year-old! I felt like my shoulder blade's going to break but this wrap was very supportive of an extremely heavy child. Hands down, this wrap is strong! My toddler also prefers to be down and walking, so I now have to finish my wrap carries quickly. Thankfully, Cleo Vineyard is forgiving of lousy wrap jobs. 
Trying all the hip carries! So here's a Poppins Hip Carry. ^_^
Inside Out Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC) with an impatient toddler
The slipknot doesn't glide easily. I had to ask my husband to help me adjust it. 
With my two loves <3
From my previous Google searches about TENCEL®, I have read that it does not need breaking in to achieve softness. This wrap is already soft when I got it but I had trouble with my slipknots. They don't easily glide as I expect them to be. I'm not sure if this wrap would further achieve buttery softness level but if it would, Cleo Vineyard would be awesome. 

My daughter got jealous. So we tried a quick Robin's Hip Carry. 
I think my shoulder blade's going to break. But Cleo Vineyard says 'I can handle this'.  ^_^
Cleo Vineyard is stunning in natural light!
CONCLUSION


Bijou Wear Cleo Vineyard, undoubtedly, is an extremely sturdy wrap. It is very supportive so I would recommend it for those with toddlers and older children. Because it is thick, it would be appropriate in non-tropical countries. Although I'm very sure we'll be very comfortable with this wrap in malls or where there's air conditioner available. I would also highly commend Bijou Wear for the choice of this wrap's color, pattern, and texture. Its geofloral pattern gives a modern look while its burgundy red color gives you that vintage vibe. It is not high-maintenance and delicate so it's one wrap you can use anywhere without having to skip wearing jewelry for fear it would cause pulls on your carrier. 





Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Biking at SRP

Last Sunday, we went biking at Cebu SRP (South Road Properties). We parked near the Sugbu building on its left side. From there, we can still see some of the amusement rides since Kasadya sa SRP is still ongoing. We were lucky there weren't much people on that day. The place would have been full of vehicles and people. But there were just us, some teens in costume for a photoshoot, and a couple of families on a picnic.

my eldest biking with the sunset


 SRP seaside view
That's the hubby's bike. I can't bike, yes. So it was really the hubby and my eldest who went biking. They gave me lessons and so I went home with bruises on my elbows. Battle scars, they say. 

My eldest, seeing me so disappointed, tried cheering me up:
Ok lang Ma, naa man ka talent. (It's ok Ma, you have a talent.) 
What talent? I asked. 
PRINTING!

I was hoping she'd tell me I look promising at biking. Haaay. 
Gotta get that bike for another spin next Sunday.