About Me

My photo
An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

Search This Blog

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Mediocre Wanderer's Top 5 Baby Travel Gear Guide

one happy traveler - Juju's got his snacks, a comfy seat and a rechargeable fan with a mist blower
8 years ago, I posted a blog about The Ins and Outs of Travelling With A Toddler Or An Infant. Fast forward to 2019, and we have an 11 month old baby, my 5th son, Justice Killian Lex.

Juju's carseat set up in the van that we use for long trips. We use a forward facing car seat for the car that's used for our daily grind 
When Juju was around 2 months old, we had to go out of town. Remembering the amount of travel we did with his older brother, we were so ready to bring a tiny person out to see the world. 

for those days when wearing a baby carrier just won't work
We were so ready that all the gear bought by the hubby PRIOR to the baby's birth was geared towards portability during a trip, also taking into consideration storage when not in use. 

it's even big enough for our 11 year old 
Lucky for us, the decade in between the 4th and 5th kid was long enough for new materials and new baby gear to be developed. 


1. PUJ FLYTE - undergoing an emergency C-section left me unable to lift things heavier than the baby. This foldable baby tub was god sent mainly because all you need is any standard sized sink. I'd simply just unfold it, open the tap and fill the sink with bath water.

It's non slip, resistant to mold and mildew, lightweight (weighs like a child's pool kick board), folds and packs well in a suitcase and you just fold and hang it to dry. No lifting heavy plastic tubs, and it allows me to bathe the baby, standing up. It's good for babies 0-6 months but I still bring it along even if Juju is 11 months, mainly because I'm still not sold on putting the baby on the shower floor, when staying in a hotel or resort.

We also got a Fisher Price Calming Waters Vibration Tub for home use as we make the PUJ Flyte our primary travel tub.

AMAZON: $34.99

2. GIGI's BABY 3 in 1 DIAPER BAG, TRAVEL BASSINET and PORTABLE DIAPER CHANGING STATION - we thought of buying a Pack and Go type of system for Justice, but ended up with something smaller.

Aside from having pockets to store diapering essentials, I love how I can just unzip and unfold it to create a sturdy travel bassinet.

It also makes a perfect co sleeper.

AMAZON: $39.99

3. SUMMER INFANT POP AND SIT PORTABLE HIGHCHAIR - Though a 20 minute drive away, Juju's paternal grandparents belong to an entirely different zip code. This was a purchase that we felt we needed, when we visit the 'rents as well as when we go to places that may not have a highchair.

It's lightweight, super easy to setup, has a 3-point harness for safety, easy to clean and comes with a bag, so you can carry it around (like a slightly bigger and heavier yoga mat.

AMAZON: $34.23 (we got it then at $39.99)

4. SUMMER INFANT POP AND PLAY PORTABLE PLAY YARD - Another one of our "weekend with the grandparents" gear. It's perfect for days when we all hang out at the yard.

It's also lightweight, comes with that bag, easy to clean and set up's like opening an umbrella.

AMAZON: $49.99

5: FOLDABLE STROLLER - when our MAX traveled with us, the Maclaren Quest was the perfect umbrella stroller.

When I had Juju, we ended buying a Graco Travel System (car seat and stroller rolled in one). The problem with the latter was that it was quite bulky. It ate up a good part of the trunk of the car and was too heavy to travel with.

stock photo from the online store that we bought the stroller from
We ended buying a foldable stroller. It folds and stores in a carry all bag that can fit a plane or bus' overhead compartment. It's sturdy and comes with a sunshade, drink caddy, rain cover and a thicker cover for use in the winter.

There's also that additional padded bar at the front of the stroller as added protection on top of the 3 point harness. There's a small storage basket underneath the stroller for a mid sized baby bag.

LAZADA: PHP 2,800.00 (sale)

Juju's first plane ride

These are my favorite travel gear for the baby. Next time, I shall talk about our Top 5 Travel Essentials for Feeding and Diapering Your Baby.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!!!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Top 3 Waterproof Make Up Must Haves For That Summer Perfect Pic

Summer is definitely right around the corner, and with that, plans of beach getaways and pool time are already going through our minds.

starting my day with a clean canvass
Of course, with the perfect vacay comes the perfect look, for that perfect pic to post on social media or serve as a keepsake to get you through those non vacay times.

beach outfit, check! waterproof foundation and water resistant eyebrow gel - check AND check
I don't know about you, but I definitely don't like looking like a drowned rat in my beach/pool photos. I'm also not a fan of putting too much make up on before getting in the water. 

wearing make up that won't melt with the heat
Here are my Top 3 Waterproof Make up Must Haves to achieve a natural but decent looking photo while you're in the water or after a swim:

1. TONY MOLY BCDATION WATERPROOF CUSHION WITH SPF 50 - yup. You read right. It's a make up that gives you even, natural coverage, moisturizers your skin AND works as a sunblock! It comes in two shades: warm beige and skin beige. It works as your BB and CC cream as well as a foundation. Apply on thoroughly cleansed skin before you go out and enjoy your day. Won't melt in the heat or wash away once your face hits the water.

2. BENEFIT 3D BROWTONES - this water-resistant, long-wearing brow gel is both buildable and sheer that it perfectly highlights your natural brow hair without giving you too much brow color. It's a brow highlighter that enhances your eyebrows and not convert it into geometric shapes that natural brows don't come in. It also stays on for 12 hours and comes in 6 fun colors - light/medium (for those with dark brows), medium/dark (to highlight light colored brows), deep blue, copper, rich purple and magenta. I use the light/medium shade.

3. MAYBELLINE SUPER STAY MATTE INK LIQUID LIPSTICK - 16 hours of highly pigmented lip color that would not come off until you swipe on some lip color remover. My favorite shade is globetrotter from the City Edition. 

Simple, natural looking and easily packable make up that can be applied in 5 minutes or less. These are my go-to products when we travel. 

Bonus tip: I usually use a primer, concealer and foundation for my everyday look. However, I don't like bringing all my bottles and tubes when we travel. Lately, I just pack travel sized: make up remover (whichever brand I'm trying out ATM), face wash (Clinique Pep start), a moisturizer to use before bedtime (Clinique Turnaround Revitalizing Moisturizer), a serum to use before I put on makeup (Clinique Turnaround Accelerated Renewal Serum), a foundation (Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free + Balance Stick Foundation, if I'm not going to swim), and the stuff I mentioned above. That's my travel skin care regimen and basic travel make up all summed up. I've "road tested" them, and so far, they work on me. BTW, these are all available in the Philippines. 

Hope these tips help. Don't forget to always stay hydrated too.

just because I have 5 kids doesn't mean I'm willing to look like a drowned rat in every single vacay pic :D
From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Good Food, Good Location, Good People: The Fat Belly Project

MAX and his Act of Kindness Meal. This will go down in history as THE.BEST.MEAL.EVER

Know that acts of kindness still exist. Believe that the world is still a good place to live in and that angels can be people too. 

It was our usual Sunday family lunch at the in laws. Despite the sumptuous lunch, our Max, being under the spectrum and prone to picky eating, did not eat enough to make himself full. He had a slice of cake and that was it.

Fast forward to us leaving the family house and heading off to The Marketplace by Rustan's, along Leonard Wood Rd. to pick up some essentials for the week. 

We've frequented this grocery and the bldg. plenty of times and are quite friendly with a couple of the tenants in the area. And it's because of this familiarity that we don't break into a sweat whenever Max leaves us to go up and down the escalators as we shop (which is often a hurried affair unless Max is seated in a huge shopping cart).

even the little one got to eat!
While the hubby was settling our grocery bill, I told him that I was off to call Max over. As the baby and I got closer to the escalator, I saw someone on their way down, smiled and asked if they had seen a boy going up and down the escalator. She immediately smiled back, replied "yes" and told me that he was at their restaurant and proceeded to accompany me 2 floors up.

When I arrived at The Fat Belly Project, our son was seated in one of the tables, a chicken basket and a cup of iced tea was set in front of him with one of the folks from the resto, watching over him. 

Apologetically, I offered to pay and explained that my son had Autism and was mostly non verbal. I added that he had skipped lunch at his grandparents and may have been quite hungry at this point. Prior to entering the grocery, I had already ordered and paid for a fries platter to go, so that Max can eat on the ride back home.

The owner of the establishment waved my apology aside and remarked that everything was ok. No judgement. No scolding. Just smiles and understanding. In fact, she was more concerned over the fact that Max may have allergies with the food served!

I left Max one more time with the kind folks at the resto, somehow knowing that all will be well, not to mention that Max wasn't going to budge without us ordering more food for him. I went downstairs and informed his father of our whereabouts and that Max wanted to eat at The Fat Belly Project. 

I went back up and ordered for him a "sexy platter" of ribs, steak, mashed potatoes and buttered veggies. The owner ushered us to a booth seat because she felt it would be more comfortable for Max. And it was! They also threw in a buko pandan cup for him too. 

Now this is what I call sexy!

Max enjoyed his huge meal and had leftovers to eat later. 

Maam Chona Quinto, the owner, was concerned if Max enjoyed his meal, to which we assured her that our son would not touch his food if it wasn't to his liking. 

Thanks to Max, we met an amazing group of people today. We also discovered a good place to eat a hearty meal. And yes, faith in humanity was clearly restored. Thank you Fat Belly Project. You're our kind of place with our kind of people. Thoughtful and a 100 levels of amazing. Thank you!

Know that acts of kindness still exist. Believe that the world is still a good place to live in and that angels can be people too.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!

For the curious, here's a look at The Fat Belly Project's Menu: