Food

Me Love Cookie Jar Milkshaaake!

I love cookies, and I love milkshakes, but seldom have I come across a cookie milkshake that’s particularly extraordinary. Most cookie milkshakes I’ve tried are run-of-the-mill oreo milkshakes. But just recently, I discovered a cookie milkshake that had me singing praises at my first sip.

The Lost Bread menu

Casey, Wolf, and I were just wandering around Megamall looking for dessert when we stumbled upon an interesting place — The Lost Bread. We ordered French Toast Cubes and were not that impressed, but I fell in love with their Cookie Jar Milkshake! It struck the perfect balance between cookies and a milkshake, with both desserts taking center stage. It was rich and creamy but not overwhelming, and the cinnamon was a stroke of genius. The cookies that adorned the mug were not the chewy kind, but their crunch complemented the smoothness of the shake quite nicely. The cookie dough that surrounded the mug was a welcome bonus for cookie lovers!

The Lost Bread menu

I got the baby size, because it was my first time to try it. Had I known it would be that awesome, I would have gone all out full size, calories be damned! Haha. I wasted no time taking a decent picture, and so all I have is this badly angled shot that is a far cry from the impressiveness of the real thing!

The Lost Bread Cookie Jar Milkshake

Of course, Wolf really liked it as well, being a cookie monster like his mom. Even Casey, who is not that into sweets, said it was good, and sipped from my shake more often than I would have liked. Haha. Next time, I’m not sharing! Coookiiiie! Milkshaaake! Om nom nom nom nom!

Cookie Monster meme

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Parenting

Babywearing is Love!

I would say that one of the baby products I have found most useful thus far is the baby carrier. Especially when Wolf was less than a year old, I brought him around in a carrier more often than in a stroller. Parents love baby carriers because it allows them to carry babies hands-free (aka “wear their babies”) for long periods of time. Babies love baby carriers because it gives them lots of cuddle time with their parents. In fact, Wolf often falls asleep very easily when he’s in a carrier.

We have two baby carriers — the Ergobaby Adapt (Casey’s choice), which we scored at a sale, and the K’tan Breeze (my choice), which was part of our baby registry and was gifted to us by our Ninang Gina. ❤️

Ergobaby Adapt baby carrierBaby K’tan Breeze baby carrier

The K’tan is a wrap-type carrier that is quite simple to use due to its innovative double-loop design. Unlike other wrap carriers that have lots of extra unnecessary cloth trailing about, the K’tan has just the right amount of cloth to fulfill its function. There are two parts — the double-loop sling, which forms the base of the carrier, and the sash, which provides added support and also turns into a convenient pouch so the carrier can be easily stored when not in use. The K’tan Breeze model features mesh cotton for added airflow, which is quite important given our tropical weather.

Baby K’tan Breeze baby carrierBaby K’tan Breeze baby carrier

The K’tan carrier can be worn with babies and toddlers up to 35 lbs, and so you can use the carrier for several years. While the K’tan Breeze is a wrap-type carrier, the Ergobaby Adapt is a more structured carrier. I would say that the main advantage of the Ergobaby over the K-tan is better weight distribution. I find I can go longer carrying Wolf without experiencing strain when I’m using the Ergobaby. That’s why when we visited Japan last October, I used the Ergobaby for exploring the country.

Ergobaby Adapt baby carrier

While the Ergobaby performs better in long excursions, the K’tan is superior when you’re travelling alone with your baby, because 1) The K’tan is easier to wear if you have no one to assist you (the Ergobaby has a buckle at the back that is challenging to fasten on your own), and 2) The K’tan is easier to store when not in use, as it has its own pouch and it can easily fit in your bag unlike the structured carriers. Another advantage of the K’tan carrier is how easy it is to nurse while using the carrier.

Baby K’tan Breeze baby carrier

To sum, here are the pros and cons of my Baby K’tan Breeze carrier (when compared with the Ergobaby Adapt).

(+)

  1. The K’tan Breeze is easier to set up if you’re putting it on without any assistance.
  2. The K’tan Breeze is easier to store and bring around when not in use.
  3. The K’tan Breeze allows for better airflow due to its mesh construction.
  4. The K’tan Breeze is easier to adjust for nursing.
  5. The K’tan Breeze is much more affordable than the Ergobaby Adapt (P3,150.00 vs P9,999.75).

(-)

  1. After prolonged use, the K’tan Breeze is not as effective as the Ergobaby Adapt in relieving back strain.
  2. The K’tan Breeze takes a few seconds longer to set up than the Ergobaby Adapt.
  3. The K’tan carriers are sized to the adult wearer, and so two differently sized adults may not share one K’tan, whereas the Ergobaby Adapt can be shared regardless of size of the adult.

After listing the pros and cons, if I had to pick just one carrier, I would go with the K’tan. But if your budget permits, I highly recommend that you buy both the K’tan Breeze and the Ergobaby Adapt. If you have two carriers, then you can alternate between wash cycles. The K’tan Breeze and Ergobaby Adapt are both top of the line, and so while you can’t go wrong with either one, you definitely can’t go wrong with both! 😉 Happy Babywearing!

Baby K’tan Breeze baby carrierBaby K’tan Breeze baby carrierBaby K’tan Breeze baby carrierBaby K’tan Breeze baby carrier

Travel

Our Valentine’s Weekend Staycation at F1 Hotel

My husband and I are both musicians, and that means that our work schedule is unpredictable compared to office work. It also means that during weekends and holidays, we are often working while others are taking a break from their jobs. Valentine’s Day is definitely an occasion during which, more often than not, musicians are working rather than dating. Lucky for me and Casey, since we both are musicians, we can have a work date (which while fun, is not as fun as a date date, but at least we’re together). Haha. This year though, Casey managed to inject a huge dose of romance into our Valentine’s work date by surprising me with a string quartet arrangement of one of my favorite songs! He had been spending hours on his computer the past few days before Valentine’s, and I thought he was playing games, but it turns out he was busy arranging a song for me, which we played during our Valentine’s Day set. Suffice to say, we had a great Valentine’s Day. He also bought us a voucher for an overnight stay at F1 Hotel in BGC, which we were able to use last Sunday.

string quartet Philippines Manila String Machine

Valentine’s Day surpriseHappy family Valentine’s Day

We got a Deluxe Room, which was spacious enough for the three of us. I requested for a crib for Wolf, which at first lacked a piece in its base. We called room service, and they were quick to replace the crib’s base. Overall, I was happy with the room, which was styled nicely and was spotless. The bed was very comfortable, with pristine sheets and pillows with just the right amount of fluff. The towels and bath robes were soft and thick. We had a few minor issues — the floor was fake wood and not carpeted, the bathroom had no tub (making it more challenging to bathe Wolf), and the aircon placement resulted in a draft on one side of the bed.

I took a few pictures but was not able to fix the lighting, because Wolf was not enjoying his crib and wanted me to carry him (as you will clearly see in the pictures). Haha.

F1 Hotel Deluxe RoomF1 Hotel Deluxe RoomF1 Hotel Deluxe RoomF1 Hotel Deluxe RoomF1 Hotel Deluxe Room

For dinner, we walked over to High Street. BGC on Sundays is great for strolling around, as there are few cars and lots of dogs, which Wolf enjoyed seeing. With the many restaurants, malls, and bars in BGC, you won’t run out of things to do when you stay at F1. We decided to have dinner at Sunnies Cafe, so we could avail of their Buy 1 Take 1 Ricotta Pancakes promo via the Booky app. Aside from the pancakes, we ordered fried chicken and carbonara. Little did we know, one order of pancakes was a stack of four! We ended up having the second order to go. It was our first time in Sunnies, and we enjoyed the food and ambience. Wolf enjoyed their nice wooden high chair and gobbled up a bit of everything we ordered!

At Sunnies CafeAt Sunnies Cafe

At Sunnies Cafe

At Sunnies CafeAt Sunnies CafeAt Sunnies Cafe

We went back to the hotel happily full, and Wolf promptly fell asleep, dutifully giving his parents some quality time alone. What a good little boy. Hehe. The next day, we went down for buffet breakfast a bit late. We got there past 9:30 and the buffet was closing at 10:00 (last call)! It was like one of those timed shopping sprees, wherein you just dump as much as you can into your cart. I got a bit of almost everything and ended up with a plate overflowing with food. Casey had no trouble piling his plate with his usual fare — bacon, sausages, eggs. The food was pretty good. Of note was the bacon that was quite crispy, the scrambled eggs that were creamy, and the cold cuts and cheese selection, which although limited was of good quality and paired very nicely with the breakfast rolls.

Breakfast at F1 Hotel

F1 Hotel breakfast buffet

After breakfast, we tried out their pool. Among their three pools, I chose to try their 4-foot one with Wolf so I could carry him easily in the water. The water was way too cold, unfortunately, and so we didn’t stay long. Next time, we will look for hotels with indoor heated pools so that Wolf can stay longer in the water.

F1 Hotel poolF1 Hotel pool

Checking out of the hotel was a breeze, and we appreciated being granted a late checkout of 1 pm, especially since Wolf decided to nurse after swimming, leaving me no time to put on makeup or even brush my hair! Haha. We didn’t bring a car, but getting an Uber was quite easy. One of the big advantages of F1 Hotel is its prime location in the heart of BGC. I’d love to have another staycation in the area, and I certainly wouldn’t mind going back to F1 Hotel. It was a Happy Valentine’s Weekend indeed!

At F1 Hotel At F1 Hotel At F1 Hotel At F1 Hotel

Parenting

My Unpleasant Experience Breastfeeding at Venice Piazza

In the Philippines, most people are quite supportive of mothers who nurse in public. A mother has the right to breastfeed anywhere and in any manner she chooses. Our law safeguards this right. One of the objectives of RA 10028 is “to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in the Philippines as the normal, natural and preferred method of feeding infants and young children.” The most natural way to breastfeed a child is actually without any cloth obstructing or covering the breast. For those who have never breastfed, using a cover may not seem like a difficult thing to do, but often, the cloth of nursing blouses inhibits a baby’s access to milk, while nursing covers make babies sweat profusely (actually, even without a cover, they usually tend to sweat more while nursing, and that’s why I need to always have a fan on hand when I’m with Wolf). Older babies usually will not tolerate being covered.

Wolf always takes off the cover, and so I have done away with using one. I bought several nursing blouses and dresses, which ensure that when I breastfeed in public, there is little to no flesh revealed. I use nursing wear not because I’m conservative (I’m actually quite the opposite), but because I want to avoid unwanted attention and possible conflict. The point is, when I breastfeed in public, it’s pretty discreet. And for one whole year, I received zero negative comments. That changed last Friday, when I had my first unpleasant experience breastfeeding in public.

We were having early dinner at Venice Piazza in BGC. It was our first time in this mall, and we went there because it was right across where we had our gig earlier that day. We were with our fellow musician friends at the food court.

Venice Piazza food court

We had just sat down at our table, and I decided to nurse Wolf. I was wearing a maxi nursing dress. The little flesh that was revealed while nursing was mostly blocked by Wolf’s head. Honestly, you’d have to be really looking closely to notice that I was feeding Wolf (most of the time people think he’s just asleep in my arms). So I was surprised when a guard approached me to tell me off for nursing in the food court. He told me that there’s a nursing room in the mall. I said that I’m fine nursing where I am. He told me that I have to go to the nursing room and that “bawal dito” (nursing isn’t allowed in the food court). I said, I am allowed to nurse anywhere. It’s my right. It’s in our law. He refused to back down, and Casey and our other friends stepped in. They said that there’s nothing wrong or indecent with what I’m doing. The guard insisted that I need to leave as it is their policy, and so Casey told the guard to call his supervisor. The guard was hesitant, but the supervisor had already spotted the altercation and approached us. The supervisor apologized to Casey, saying that the guard was new and didn’t know the protocol. However, the supervisor said, “baka pwedeng takpan” (perhaps she can use a cover). Casey then said, “Eh paano kung ayaw niya? Choice niya yun. Okay lang sa’min. Kung hindi okay sa inyo, huwag na lang kayo tumingin” (What if she doesn’t want to use a cover? That’s her choice. It’s fine with us. If it isn’t fine with you, just don’t look). The two men still looked like they wanted to disagree, but at this point, Wolf ended his nursing session. I don’t know if he was really full already, or if he was just annoyed at the nosy guards. Haha. The guards finally left us to order and eat in peace.

You may wonder, why didn’t I just go to the nursing room? Well, that would have been highly inconvenient and stressful. I was already hungry. I hadn’t eaten a proper meal all day and it was already 5 pm. It would have taken longer for me to be able to eat if I left the food court. If I forced Wolf to unlatch so we could transfer, he would have cried. Also, I wanted to be with my friends. Nursing takes up a lot of time, and if I were to always nurse in isolation, I would miss a lot of the rare opportunities I have these days to interact with fellow adults. Given this line of thought, you can see how forcing mothers to nurse away from the community can trigger postpartum depression and other negative emotions.

The guards had no right to tell me where and how I should feed my child. It’s truly deplorable how the sexualization of women’s breasts has made breastfeeding in public seem unnatural, when it is actually one of the most natural and instinctive human behaviors. I hope never to experience such closed-mindedness again. And if you are a nursing mom who nurses in public and you find yourself in the area of BGC, I suggest that you steer clear of Venice Piazza to avoid possible unnecessary stress!