Friday, September 26, 2014

Fashion Friday Find: The best Instagram account on #OOTD!

I just discovered what is perhaps the best account on Instagram that's all about style, glamour, shopping and travel!

Folks, follow Barbie's Instagram account!

Outfit posts!

Travel pics!

A day in the life of a working woman!

Incredible fashion from top designers and stylists!

It's very new. Just one month old but Barbie is so delighted that she already has 300,000+ followers. I can only dream of 300,000 followers. Fashion IG accounts seem to be very popular and I'd do OOTDs but, with my current job description (mom of three little boys), good luck to any outfit surviving a day without getting barfed/vomited/wiped/smeared on!

How about you? Who's your favorite fashion Instagrammer?

*photos from Barbie's Instagram account

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Friday, September 19, 2014

How to really give baby a no-more-tears bath

I think Johnson's Baby has put a trademark on "No more tears" because of their baby wash. So when Nuffnang told me that Johnson's Baby wanted to visit me and my new baby boy Piero and show me how to care for his skin, I thought, "Oh, they'll just tell me about their famous no-more-tears formula." 

As a mom of three little boys, I didn't think there was anything I needed to know about taking care of babies. I considered myself a mommy pro, ya know! But I did have questions on sun exposure since the pediatrician recommended sunbathing Piero. I was concerned about sun damage. Since Johnson's Baby said they will talk about skin care, I figured my concern qualified as a skincare issue so I invited them over.

I'm so glad I did! Johnson's Baby brought Merna, a midwife from the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines, and she showed me how to give Piero a stress-free bath. Now, if you're a mommy of newborns, you'd be familiar with how they absolutely hate baths. The pregnancy and baby bible What to Expect said newborns hate to be naked. They feel cold and insecure. They need to be held and tucked into a ball, and baths just don't have a part in that picture. So I usually rush through bath times with my kids. They scream like they're being tortured, you see, no matter how nice and warm the water is or what soothing song I sing. Everyone's upset! They only start enjoying their bath when they're around 4 to 6 months old. 

So how do we give newborns and infants a real no-more-tears bath? With Swaddle Bathing!

The video showed the baby wrapped in a towel but Merna used a lampin with her demo doll. I think that a lampin (or muslin) is also more advisable because a towel will soak up too much water and be heavy. You don't want to be handling unwieldy things when you're bathing an infant.

After the bath demo, Merna showed me how to... 
  • dry baby (pat, pat, and make sure all folds are wiped, too!) and apply lotion
  • put on a diaper (fold the top of diapers outward to prevent it from scratching baby's skin)
  • massage baby to promote growth and relieve stress.
All of these tutorials are in the new microsite of Johnson's Baby. It's a cute website that helps us moms care for our baby's skin. As the first barrier against infection and germs, skin has to be healthy. Yes, more than being soft and touchable, what really matters is our skin's good health, especially our baby's skin. Johnson's Baby has made it their mission to be moms' partner in baby's healthy skin development. They assure us moms that their products — recommended by the World Infant Care Authority, and rituals – developed in partnership with the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, and the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines — are safe, mild and effective.

I used the Swaddle Bathing tip when I bathed Piero after the Johnson's Baby visit. True enough, Piero wasn't scared, stressed, and he didn't cry! It works! We're so happy! So, mommies, make sure you study the swaddling video so that you and baby will have a real no-more-tears bath!

Monday, September 15, 2014

On blogging and not blogging

Hi everyone! Remember when I used to blog regularly? Like, several times a week? No? Ya, me neither.

I'm going to ramble today about my blogging life. If you've noticed, I haven't been blogging much. There are pretty good reasons why:

1. I have a new baby.
2. I have two other fairly newish babies.
3. I blog when my kids are asleep. Well, Vito has stopped napping ("I sleep when Mr. Sun is asleep."), IƱigo has decided to follow his older brother's example, and the new baby, well, Piero sleeps all the time but he must do it in my arms while breastfeeding. Kinda hard to tap away at the keyboard with a 6-kilo weight!
4. I was bullied last year by some bloggers so I lost a lot of blogging mojo. I wanted to leave blogging. Yeah, I was so affected, I was willing to accept defeat and just disappear. So thank goodness for my sponsors because, well, I have commitments to them so I couldn't kill the blogs. I'm okay now. It took a year for me to get over that whole fiasco, but my mojo is back. Except that with the mojo came the new baby so I'm still having a hard time blogging hehehe!

Where I'm blogging now. 

Anyway, like I said, my mojo's back. I still think of my blogging as a hobby; hence, my endless surprise that it's my main source of income. My blogger friends have been advising that I can do and earn so much more if my blogs become professional. So I've been talking to someone who can move my blogs to Wordpress (all the pro bloggers I know said it's time to leave Blogger). I've also been thinking of merging all my blogs into one because one blog is easier to maintain. I have separate blogs because of Nuffnang, you see. Nuffnang, the ad platform that handles Topaz Horizon, requires that we can't publish a new blog post for a number of days after a sponsored post. This is to give the sponsored post more mileage. Totally understandable. Didn't really bother me that much since I had Topaz Mommy and (the now dead) Beauty For A Living. If I wanted to blog, I just hopped on over to the other blogs. The bonus also is Topaz Mommy started earning on its own so now I have two income-generating blogs. Good times!

Then the kids arrived! Oh my goodness. I could handle my blogging/writer/married/mommy life when there was only one child. But with three kids within 4 years... I'm just going to let that trail off.

Can't complain! I'm very happy. In Rick Warren's Daily Devotional he asks:

I'm tired, but a happy tired. I'm tired because I'm a mom of three little boys. They can be a handful. But they make me happy, the work I do makes me happy. I'm happy. You know how when you're doing something you really enjoy, you may be exhausted but you love it anyway? And you hate being interrupted from your work because you enjoy it so much? That's how I feel about every aspect of my life now! I just need to find that balance so I can enjoy everything and sleep, too!

I'm so overwhelmed, yes, but since I'm happy, I know the solution to this overwhelmed state is not to cut back. Not this time. The solution is for me to finally GET ORGANIZED! I'm very chill, very come-what-may, very bring-it-on. But I never quite have a battle plan. This really surprises people because I come across as very on-top-of-everything. Well, I used to be, when I didn't have kids and I had a job in print publishing. But since leaving the corporate world, I've lost structure. That's the great thing about being an employee. You have a boss, she tells you what to do, you do it, you get paid. There's structure. When you're freelancing and blogging, there's a lot of busy today, relaxed tomorrow. There's no schedule. It's so weird!

The good thing about all this no structure is I said yes to a lot of things I wouldn't have been doing otherwise. For example:
1. When people approach me to be their brand ambassador, I go, "Sounds interesting. Okay!"
2. When I was asked to collaborate on bag design, I said, "I've never designed a bag. Let's do it!"
3. When I was offered to be market editor for Baby Magazine, I went, "Well, I've never actually done fashion and product shoots before (I was immediately management with OK! magazine, I didn't work my way to the top). But I'm in!"

So that's another reason I'm MIA here. I've got a lot of fingers in a lot of pies. Can't complain again! I'm pumped up with work. Work always makes me happy. More than cooking and arranging flowers and planning meals and cleaning! I'm really a career woman. I'm not a domestic goddess at all (although I seem to give off that vibe. Strange!). But I'm choosing to stay home and work from home—even if that means a huge pay cut!—so that I can be with my baby boys. I'm really happy I can do both!

But for me to do both, I have to get organized. I just can't wing it anymore. I have enough projects that I feel I'm really working again. No more donya mode! I just don't know how to do it! So I want to ask all the freelancers, work-at-home moms, bloggers with day jobs, and full-time bloggers: How do you do it???

And with that, I just heard my preschooler and toddler fighting so off I go. Don't forget to share with me your tips on how to be organized! Mwah!

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