Checking out: Coast and Company

I’ve been itching to check out new cafes that have sprung up all across our tiny island but with a baby on hand, it’s hard to do so and like I said previously, we are practically joined to the hip (ie: the baby follows the mother ‘cow’) so checking out new places has taken a back seat.

IMG_7891Thankfully, one morning, the Man had a late start to his day, so I bugged him to bring us all to check out Coast and Company which was rather close to home. Parking is rather limited around this hood where Coast and Company is located so I suggest either take public transport or go real early to secure a good parking spot. Oh and most of the spots around the area are parallel parking and rather tight so you might wish to take note and bring along someone who can help with the parking if needed.

IMG_7877Got stroller will travel

This baby industry is a money-making one for first-time parents like us! Sheesh.. we practically fell into its trap. Our Quinny stroller which we got at a deal at the baby fair was simply too heavy for me to handle on my own, so we decided to get the Babyzen Yoyo for those outings with my little girl. It’s much easier to handle on my own and did I mention, it’s PINK!! Super love her little ride. :)

IMG_7878The cafe is rather small with limited seating so we are really glad that we managed to check it out with baby in tow on a weekday morning where it’s relatively quiet and slow. There were about 4 other tables all occupied when we were there at about 11am. We managed to find a spot large enough to park the stroller and comfy enough for us to enjoy our breakfast. Sophie fell asleep in her stroller shortly as it was time for her morning nap. Do note, I don’t think the place is baby-friendly so if you wish to check it out with your little bub, you may wish to do it on weekday mornings where human traffic is a lot kinder to you.

IMG_7881Much needed caffeine! As I’m breast-feeding Sophie, caffeine and alcohol has to be regulated so every cuppa caffeine that I take has to be good otherwise it’s a plain waste of calories or my caffeine quota for the day.

IMG_7884I was seriously famished so I told the Man to order up more dishes so that I can have a fuller meal and have a smaller lunch. The Chapalang Salad was a mix of salad greens with bak kwa and dried baby shrimp. As strange as it may sound, I actually enjoyed the salad a lot. The dressing had a tinge of sesame in it and it was creamy good with all these dried meats and shrimps tossed in it. I practically polished the entire plate off. Hehe…

IMG_7885The Man’s order of Egg Croissant which was also really good. The creamy eggy bits with some cheese on a crusty croissant made for a good start to the day. This dish also came with a sizeable portion of salad so if you are having this, you may wish to skip the Chapalang Salad if you find that too much greens is not your cuppa tea.

IMG_7888Guess what I went for? This super decadent Almond Peanut Butter Toast with hand-made peanut butter, almonds and honey drizzled upon a thick toast. The Man almost fainted at the sight of the thick peanut butter. We shared half of this but he struggled with his portion as he found it too sweet. For me, the first few bites were enjoyable but like him, I did struggle to finish the last couple of pieces for it was really too sweet. So, if you do not have a sweet tooth, you may wish to skip this or alternatively, bring a bunch of friends and simply share this with them. Spread the love and calories!

IMG_7892This was a lovely find in the hood and I really want to come back again and try the Rendang Hot Dog and Sour Cream Cheese Toast. Next time perhaps if the Man is taking a lazy morning off from work to spend time with his girls.

Coast and Company
Address: 54 Siglap Drive, Singapore 456176

Telephone: +65 64487608
Opening Hours:
10am to 7pm (Tues – Fri), 9am to 10pm (Sat & Sun), Closed Mon

 

Life as we know..

Yup, life as we know for me has changed dramatically and drastically when Sophie arrived.

Before this entire mothering gig descended upon me, I didn’t expect it to overwhelm me and change my life like a whirlwind roller-coaster ride. As fellow first-time Mom blogger, Libby, shared that our lives shouldn’t revolve around a baby but we should find a way to fit baby into our lives. How strikingly true as I find myself asking this more and more each day when faced with certain situations. Is this concept even possible? How about meeting halfway?

I’d be honest here. I never thought I would have any maternal instinct despite us badly wanting a child. I like playing with children, but I don’t necessary enjoy looking after them. I’ve often been the fierce aunt instead of the nurturing one. Sometimes when our friends bring their kids out and they are screaming, the Man and I would throw each other a look in shudder. It was there that I thought, ‘No, I don’t think I’m up for this mothering gig!’ Even during the pregnancy, I kept telling myself that our lives wouldn’t be shaken terribly. It’s just a baby and we will manage. We will still have our date nights, travel and wine and dine at leisure.

Turned out I was wrong. The first couple of times when the Man and I headed out for dinners, he had to peel me away from Sophie. Our convos revolve largely around the bub and sometimes, I wonder if the Man is bored with me for he constantly checks his social media channels instead of chatting with me which then leads me to check my web-cam occasionally to see if she is okay. I was obviously paranoid but truth be told, I don’t really want to be away from her for long. It’s not like she knows that I’m gone or that it matters for she’s sleeping but to me, it mattered dearly, to be near here and just hover around her if she ever needs me or when she cries.

I didn’t think I had it in me to be that hands-on with Sophie. Even though it has been back-breaking, tiring and sometimes feeling like I’m on my own, it has been hugely rewarding. The Man once told me that she’s still small and she won’t have any memories of all this until she’s about 2. Well, it may be true but I don’t want to miss out any time making these memories with her. Even if she doesn’t remember all of this, but I will and that to me is important.

IMG_7087So yes, while we shouldn’t change our lives now that Sophie is in our lives, but we should find a way to fit her in our lives. Obviously, life before baby was a little wilder and carefree. While I would like for that to continue, that would also mean a different style of parenting that perhaps I am not ready to try out yet. So, for now, I will be happy to sacrifice a little, adjust my lifestyle a little and give some of these things up just to create memories with her and of her. Let’s meet halfway then for life as we know before might not be ideal with baby in it and I don’t want resentment on why baby has changed our lives. Perhaps all these emotions of being a new Mom are still very new to me and I’m still basking in all of its freshness. Check in with me a couple of months down the road and I may just change my tune. But for now, I will concentrate on caring for her and making some changes in my life to fit this tiny human who I love so very dearly.

Shopping made easy at Agape Babies

[Sponsored Review]

I miss shopping in real life.. I really, really do. These days with a baby in tow, I no longer can shop at leisure for I zip in and out of town or a venue really quickly at lightning speed. Thank goodness for online shopping where I can shop at leisure in the comfort of my home (without worrying whether I am dressed appropriately or have make-up on). The good thing about shopping online has gotta be the ease of getting almost everything I need in just one site and not having to lug all these items back home on my own.

Some friends and fellow blogger Miss Ene shared of Agape Babies for the place to go to purchase California Baby products. As a skin-care junkie, I headed down to check out the site hoping to pop in some Calendula Cream for Sophie. I was bowled over by the number of products and brands that they have. I started to like their Facebook page and followed them on Instagram. For the month of June, they had this #AgapeDailyDeals where they featured different products at some really attractive prices.

IMG_7561Being a fan of Sophie La Giraffe products for my little gal – Sophie, I was super pleased when the toiletries under the Sophie La Giraffe range went for an attractive price. I immediately #AgapeDailyDeals and placed my order with Agape Babies. My products arrived within 2 days just in time for me to use them on Sophie. :) After this shopping experience, I hadn’t gone back to shopping at Agape Babies until this review.

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What I didn’t know about Agape Babies before? They are a multi-store which is a pretty new concept in Asia. Currently, there’s 2 stores (Agape Babies & Sunshine Kids) but they are looking to add on new stores and more products in the near future!

Agape Babies offers a huge range of products, with over 100 brands and 2000 products in store. They specialize in California Baby products (cue prices that are so much more competitive than what you get out there) and have extended their product offerings to even carry diapers and milk formula of brands such as Huggies, Mamypoko, GOO.N, Friso, Similac, Gain IQ, Pediasure and more! Well, even more reason to bookmark this site permanently for I don’t have to surf different sites to get all the things I may need for the little one! Whee!

I headed back to the site again and started doing what I do best – shopping for Sophie – with the credits that the folks at Agape Babies so kindly given to me. Here’s what I picked out for her:

calendula2ozbigCalifornia Baby Calendula Cream : I used this for a good part of my pregnancy and this is supposed to be really good for baby’s skin for its natural and soft properties are gentle enough for their tender skin. I decided to give this a try for Sophie’s skin for those milk rashes that she sometimes are prone in getting.

the-wheels-on-the-bus

Read and Sing Along – The Wheels on the Bus: Sophie seems to like music a lot and I find that when she cries, singing or putting on some music seems to calm her down so this CD with the children’s tunes are perfect for us now. This is going in the car for me to sing to her when she wails. Fingers crossed it will work.

fever-patch-front-(2)Hello Kitty Fever Cooling Relief Patch: For those medical emergency to cool the kiddos.

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Hello Kitty Mosquito Relief Patch: Handy to keep around when we bring Sophie around the parks for her evening walks to help keep the mozzies away.

What I liked shopping at the site apart from the many brands available under one roof? The ease of shopping for stuff on its mobile site. Believe me when you are nursing a baby and watching the time pass by, shopping on the mobile is really pretty handy. Thank goodness for smart phones too, else time will probably pass by a lot slower.

So head on down to Agape Babies to do a spot of shopping for yourself or for your little one. There’s free courier delivery with S$80 spend and with every S$120 purchase, a free Disney stationery set awaits. I probably will stock up my diapers for Sophie with Agape Babies next time as that will save me the trouble of buying it at the store.

Here’s a special offer for my readers, thanks to the folks at Agape Babies:
Simply quote “ladyjmusings” to be entitled  to a 5% discount at Agape Babies! The code is valid from 28 August to 25 September 2014 and excludes breast pumps, diapers and milk.

Sign up also for their newsletter here as well as join their Facebook page and Instagram  @agapebabies to stay tune of promotions, contests and giveaways.

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Note: Lady J’s musings received shopping credits of S$30 from Agape Babies. The exceeded purchase amount was paid for by Lady J and no additional monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using the service. Images of products mentioned are taken from Agape Babies site.

Sleep… what’s that?

IMG_7842We are currently at the tail-end of Mental Leap 2 according to the Wonder Weeks App. Boy is it tough! S hasn’t been sleeping very well the past couple of days and gone are her 1-2 hour naps. She has also become a little cranky, wanting to be rocked most of the time and when she finally drifts off to slumberland and we put her down, her eyes spring wide open and the cycle continues again. Nurse and if I’m lucky, she falls to sleep or nurse, rock, sleep and then eyes wide open. This cycle can take about an hour and it’s really tiring to be on repeat mode for this.

These mental leaps are really challenging and the duration of the leaps (ie: the number of days) will increase as the baby grows older. Yikes.. definitely not looking forward to it. Guess I will just have to suck it up when that time comes.

Having said that, S has been more expressive these days and some days when I feel like pulling my hair making her sleep and she simply refuse to, we have these mother-and-daughter convos, usually with me tugging her little arms to the tune of Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Just the other day, she dished out this super sweet smile at me when I was singing to her and the smiles plus cooing just kept coming. As my phone is always within reach, Mamarazzi here just snapped a couple of pics for keepsake.

IMG_7725My heart just melted into a puddle of goo just looking at this pic and when I shared this with the Man and most of our dear friends, they felt the same way too… Awww…

IMG_7656In other news, the Mummy-and-Daughter duo continues to gallivant all across town. It’s been rather fun bringing her along and catching up with friends or making new ones that I haven’t seen. I often arrange to meet friends during her nap time and sometimes she does her epic naps. Sometimes she fusses, so thankfully the friends who are mummies are rather understanding to my predicament.

IMG_7708Okay, finally managed to put her down for her long over-due nap and it’s time for me to catch up on my zzzzs as well. I will definitely miss these nap-times when I head back to work man. I guess will have to rely on caffeine when that happens.

Cocoonababy

Buying stuff for a tiny human can be quite challenging. Wait, let’s make it, buying things for a baby as a first-time Mum can seriously be challenging. During the prep for S’s arrival, I relied mostly on word-of-mouth recommendations and we did exercise restraint from over-buying as we were not sure if it was really necessary.

The Cocoonababy came highly recommended by a colleague who swore that it was a good buy for a new mom. Apparently her friend shared that the baby actually managed to have epic naps when sleeping in it. The price for this single item is rather prohibitive for something that baby could only use for about 3 months and I really thought hard if the item was really necessary. Friend also shared that if I am able to enjoy the precious time and sleep should baby does these epic naps, the cost of the item would totally be worth it. And just like that, I was somewhat bowled over.. the prospect of precious sleep when baby is here? Priceless!

So I braved the crazy Baby Fair at the Expo in April and scored the Cocoonababy at S$100 off the retail price. Now to put the item to test! When S arrived, we struggled with understanding how the Cocoon worked. After a while, we figured it out and placed her in it. As a newborn, she didn’t exactly fuss in it and she did have some epic naps in the Cocoon. But we kinda made the mistake of placing the Cocoon in our room which she only makes an occasional appearance during her first month as she slept in a separate room. Additionally, the Confinement Lady kept insisting that this gadget was like a heater as S would wake up from her naps with her back soaked in perspiration despite the room being air-conditioned. I guess you can’t have it all right?

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetBut just look at that face, she does look like she is having a good sleep in the Cocoon right? Looking at these pics kinda make me miss the little one when she’s all teeny tiny. Sniff.. sniff…

IMG_6353After the departure of our Confinement Lady, we shifted Sophie’s cot to our bedroom. The Cocoon was left in a corner and we only brought it to be used occasionally when she fussed and didn’t want to be put in her cot. We completely neglected the Cocoon until one day, I looked at the little girl and realised how she has grown. I also know that if I didn’t start putting her back into the Cocoon, she won’t be able to fit inside this gadget after 3 months. During that time, we were also battling with reflux and the shape of the Cocoon is said to help with the reduction of reflux. Desperate times called for desperate measures, so we placed S into the Cocoon again and kept her near. We found that it did help with her reflux and we will take anything just to have her sleep for anything between 2 – 4 hours.

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So where’s the Cocoon placed now? I’ve seen what some of my friends have done, placing their Cocoon into the baby’s cot so that’s what we did as well. I should have done this in the first place… sheesh! S seems to be taking to the Cocoon pretty well in her cot so we do still have some mileage out of this item after all. Verdict on the item, is it worth the hype and the price? I guess so. As new parents and a new Mom who’s sleep-deprived, I’m kinda willing to try anything that works and this gadget has been pretty good to us so far. Fingers crossed that it will continue to work.

What happens after she outgrows this gadget? Will probably loan this to a pal and then sell it off. So if you are interested in this, just leave me a comment and let’s see how it goes. :)

Building a storage..

It’s been about 2 months since I embarked on breast-feeding. Although it started off with a wee bit of a challenge initially but it has largely been rewarding. I think I especially enjoy the bonding time I have with Sophie through breast-feeding and how she sometimes fall asleep at the boob after she has her fill. I’m also starting to build a supply of breast-milk in preparation of me heading back to work as we intend to try to exclusively breast-feed for at least the first 6 months of her life.

I tend to be adventurous when it comes to shopping. Or perhaps it’s just my shopaholic character, the need to just buy something. So guess what I did? As this whole breast-feeding thing is like entirely new to me, I went round asking friends the brands of breast-milk storage bags they used. Obviously, different people have different preferences and after listening to them, I went round buying different brands of breast-milk storage bags in the market just to try it out. Thought I’d share my experience of some of the brands that I use and what works for me for first-time moms who might be in the same situation as me.

Here are the brands that I’ve got:

IMG_7755From left to right:

  1. Boots Breastmilk Storage Bags: This was gifted by my sis who shared that you can get it from Boots Bangkok at 150baht for a box of 40 bags. That’s really cheap as it works out to be approximately under S$0.20 per piece.
  2. Medela Pump and Save bags: As I’m currently using the Medela pump, I thought if I were to get the Medela Pump and Save breast-milk storage bags, it would save me time from pumping the milk into a bottle and then transferring into the bag as these bags come with the connector that’s compatible only for Medela pumps. Be warned, these don’t come cheap. For a bag of 50 bags, I think I paid about $35 for them (that’s $0.70 a piece!). I have yet to open them to use as I feel that they are so precious because of the high cost. On top of that, I now think it’s better pumping the milk into a separate container and then transferring them into the bag. I mean what if the milk in the boobs ain’t much, then the bag would kinda go to waste if it’s not filled. So I’m really saving these bags for a rainy day before I start using them.
  3. Pigeon Breastmilk Storage Bags: These are retailing at S$15.90 for a bag of 25 pieces and are readily available in most department stores. You could also wait when there are sales to stock up on the item if needed. A friend recommended the brand as she said it was cheap and good. Now that I’ve gone out to purchase other brands I don’t exactly think it’s cheap and good. Nevertheless, I do like the simple design on the bag and the measurement for the storage of the milk has so far been accurate.
  4. Lanisoh Breastmilk Storage Bags: I got these off iHerb because some of my friends have been using these and shared that it’s rather good. As I’m a ‘sucker’ for pretty things, I thought the floral design on the bag is rather cute as well. I recently used some of these bags for storage and felt that they weren’t as good as the others that I have used. Somehow the plastic material feels way thinner that the other above-mentioned brands. I had to handle the packet with care as I stored it into my freezer. I hope when thawing the milk, we wouldn’t need to handle it with utmost care. If the packet breaks during the thawing process, I will seriously break into tears if my milk goes to waste!

Now that I’ve tried all these brands, which is the one brand that I will stick with?

IMG_7757Am going to stick with the bags from Boots! I like that they have the different fields for the data input and how affordable they are for a bag of 40 pieces. The only thing I don’t quite like about the bag is that you need to measure exactly the milk from your bottle before transferring to the bag as the quantity indicator marker on the bag is not quite accurate. I’ve poured milk directly into the bag thinking that it’s 120ml but it turned out to be only 80ml when we thawed it and transferred into our feeding bottle.

If there are other brands of breast-milk storage bags that you have tried and highly recommend, do share them with me. Like I shared, I hope to continue on this breast-feeding journey so building a storage is what I will be concentrating on doing for now before returning to work.

The Man vs the Bottle

Bottle-feeding… during the very one class of parenting that we went, the teacher there shared that it’s best not to introduce the bottle to the infant if we were intending to breast-feed during the first month. If we intended to feed the infant with the expressed breast-milk then it’s best to either feed the milk with the syringe or using a spoon. This is to minimise nipple confusion for the newborn.

Well, we tried both the syringe and the spoon method but it was pretty messy for milk kept spilling all over Sophie and the syringe kept hitting the gums and we thought it posed a threat. Additionally, the confinement lady who was responsible for the night feeds wasn’t too pleased with our alternative methods of feeding and wanted us to introduce the bottle pronto. So in view of all the factors, I took out my only bottle – Pigeon PP Bottle – and passed it to her, praying and hoping that it would not cause any nipple confusion. If it did, we were going to switch back to the alternative methods of feeding.

We’ve also gone ahead to implement this ‘rule’ where the rest of the care-givers could bottle-feed her but when it comes to me, it will have to be exclusive latching. This arrangement worked pretty well and the Man really enjoyed the bottle-feed sessions with S where he could bond with her for an hour odd in the day.

However, the past couple of nights during the bottle-feed sessions, it has been quite a struggle. Little Missy has been gulping down her milk resulting in loads of spillage, some choking and a whole lot of fussing plus crying. The Man, on the other had, became frustrated with the whole feeding session and it was just heart-breaking to see both of them struggling through the feed with one being hungry and the other being angry because he’s helpless.

IMG_7414Not a happy camper!

We’ve tried different teats and bottles that left the little Missy a little confused and flustered throughout the whole session. In the end, I had to cuddle her and nurse her proper before she drifted into slumberland. After the past couple of incidents, we decided that perhaps it’s time to upgrade her to the next teat size from her fave brand and hopefully, she wouldn’t fuss. Else, I will have to activate Plan B and get her a new bottle. Any recommendations on brands to consider if that were to happen? We are using Pigeon and have tried Medela teats and Chu Chu teats.