Thursday, November 26, 2020

My Birthing Story: I Gave Birth During A Global Pandemic

Expecting and giving birth during a global pandemic is one experience I'll never forget. I still remember the mixed feelings R and I had when we first found out that we're expecting. As much as we were thrilled to have a little one of our own, we couldn't help ourselves worry about the looming coronavirus. Everything became different now with the new normal. Medical checkups felt more like mission impossible or being at the setting of the movie Contagion. Baby shopping was all limited to online. And there was also a lack of social interactions with one's support group. The lack of trips outside also limited my physical activities that led to Sam's extended stay of 40 weeks and 4 days. And with no sign of her coming out, I had no choice but to be induced.

I was scheduled to be induced on Friday morning after my last prenatal checkup confirmed that I didn't dilate any further. Stuck at two to three centimeters, I had to head to the hospital (St. Luke's Medical City, Quezon City) that same afternoon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Love at First Bite: Cara Mia's Crème Brûlée Cake

Calling 2020 a crazy year is an understatement. It has been more than a roller coaster ride for many. But this year has also been filled with rays of sunshine--I got pregnant and gave birth to an adorable baby girl. I was also fortunate to score some work-related opportunities. And Cara Mia launching yet another delightful cake was a yummy cherry on top!

Hello, Cara Mia.

Cara Mia is one of my favorite dessert shops in Manila. I always go for its delectable Ube Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, and Mango Cream Pie whenever there's an occasion or when I feel like treating myself to something sweet. This time, they perfected the recipe for Crème Brûlée cake.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Postpartum Care: Ge Lai Dishes from Ahma Shirley

I was so excited for the day I get to meet Sam. I was looking forward to our first hug, kiss, and snuggle. But one thing I wasn't looking forward to was the pain of giving birth and the postpartum care I had to undergo for a month. Yes, I am talking about the Chinese postpartum practice called ge lai. I simply do not like the idea of not taking a bath for a month. But after a few days of indulging in ge lai dishes, I realized that it wasn't bad at all. I even like it. And it was a treat when Ahma Shirley PH offered to send some of their bestselling dishes my way.

Hello, Ahma Shirley.

Ahma Shirley specializes in traditional Chinese postpartum recovery dishes and conveniently deliver it straight to your doorstep. Its menu has been well received, not just by moms who recently gave birth, but also by those who enjoy feasting on the health benefits ge lai dishes offer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Food Delivery: Infinitea's Family Packs

The new normal has pushed several businesses to be innovative and bring the good ol' days' experience to their patrons' homes. We've seen bento boxes, DIY kits, and so much more. One of my favorites is how the milk tea industry delighted us with their take-home options. And Infinitea's ready to drink collapsible liter jugs sure made it to my top list.

Hello, Infinitea.

Infinitea has known in the market for its affordable milk teas and other beverages. I remember having it weekly back when I was still working for Summit Media. I'd often get its chocolate milk tea or classic milk tea. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Expecting During a Pandemic: Husbands Now Allowed Inside Delivery Room at St. Luke's

I missed out a lot while expecting during a pandemic. I didn't get to enjoy those fun baby fairs or experience a baby shower. I found myself extra paranoid every time I step out of the house. And getting the food I crave was, more often than not, a challenge. But the saddest thing this new normal changed for pregnant women is not having their husbands or partners beside them during labor and delivery. I wanted to share this precious moment with R. And luck was on our side when I found out that one companion during delivery is now allowed at St. Luke's! 

Two days to go before we meet Sam!

I was beyond thrilled when I accidentally found out that husbands or partners can now enter the delivery room. It was late at night when I was browsing through Glam-O-Mamas' Facebook community page when someone inquired about a swab test for her husband as he'll accompany her in the delivery room. She was asking fellow moms if paying PHP4,300 (walk-in) or PHP6,500 (drive-thru) is worth it given its short validity of five days for dads or dads-to-be (versus two weeks for moms). 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Takeout Picks: Black Scoop

Black Scoop is one of my go-to milk tea shops since 2018. With its delectable fruit teas and addictive milk teas, it's hard not to grab a few drinks whenever I pass by a branch. I know that they have savory meals too, but I only got to try some of its dishes during the community quarantine. And since I now know that they have good chicken poppers, I decided to grab some again after my OB appointment. 

Hello, Black Scoop.

For a milk tea shop, Black Scoop offers a good range of dishes to complement its sweet drinks. Its menu includes rice meals, sandwiches, pasta, and snacks. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Pregnancy Journey: Covid-19 Walk-In vs. Drive-Thru Swab Test Experience at St. Luke's Medical Center QC

Anticipation. This is probably the best word to describe the stage R and I are in these past two weeks. From a false labor scare to scheduling my swab test (a new normal protocol) a tad too early, we've reached the part where we're itching to see our little one. But Sam doesn't seem to be ready yet that I had to redo my swab test as the first result's validity already expired. And to shake things up, I decided to try its walk-in swab test instead of taking drive-thru twice.

Hello again, Swab Test!

One of the perks of giving birth at St. Luke's Medical Center Quezon City is that your required swab test before delivery is complimentary. You can even choose drive-thru without any additional cost. However, those who hit over two weeks and haven't delivered yet have to take another swab test. And this time, you have to pay for it. 

Scheduling an appointment for my swab test this time around was not as convenient as the first one. I felt less prioritized as I had to do things on my own. But it was still pretty straightforward and quick as everything was done via St. Luke's ehub portal. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Underrated Drinks: Dakasi's Creme Avocado

With baby Sam's arrival getting nearer and nearer, I find myself wanting to indulge in cold treats every single day. From ice cream to frozen cake, I just want to have them all before I start ge lai. And I'm so happy to be able to try Dakasi before I give birth. 

Hello, Dakasi.

Dakasi has been named as one of the underrated milk tea brands in Manila. As one of the minor players in the milk tea industry, it's easy to forget Dakasi when asked for the top of mind boba brands.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Takeout Favorite: Ooma's Ebi and Soft Shell Crab Tempura Aburi Bake

It has been seven months since I last dined in and traveled. And as much as I tell myself that it's better to stay cooped up indoors, I can't help miss the "old" normal. Thankfully, many restaurants made it a lot bearable for us by making takeouts a bit more interesting, just like Ooma with its bento meals and its lip-smackingly good aburi bake!

Hello, Ooma.

Ooma is no stranger to those who love Japanese fusion dishes. Its wide array of maki and entrees guarantees that there's something for everyone. And for me, it has always been its soft shell crab taco maki and hanger steak.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Motherhood Diaries: WaterWipes

From a distant future to nine months, then a few weeks, and now, days, I can't believe that I'll be seeing my little one soon. I have to be honest, I never saw myself as mommy material. But things changed as soon as I found out that I'm pregnant and that I'll be a mom. I became diligent in reading the ingredients list as well as familiarizing myself with the chemicals to avoid, a habit I only got to build after seeing two lines twice! I now think of my baby, who is solely dependent on me. Thankfully, several brands in the market meet my plan to stick with all-natural products. And a new addition to my baby bag is WaterWipes.

Hello, WaterWipes.

WaterWipes was born out of a father's passion for his daughter. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Food Delivery: The Pastry Puff's Portuguese Egg Tarts

I still remember my first bite of egg tart. It was when I was strolling along the busy streets of Binondo and spotted one of the famous egg tart brands in Manila. All it took was one bite for me to be addicted to this delectable Portuguese-style egg tarts. I tried several other brands after. But nothing came close to the one I had in Chinatown. That was until I got to try The Pastry Puff.

Hello, The Pastry Puff

I have never heard of The Pastry Puff till Jen of Hungry Apron PH introduced it to me.