Fresher skin awaits

I first met the youthful-looking Charlene (aka Ms Clak) virtually via Instagram and bumped into her at a couple of events. One thing that really struck me and left a deep impression on me when I scroll her IG feed as well as meeting her face-to-face is her glowing skin. Like seriously, this mom of 2 has really awesome skin that is dewy and glowy. I was super envious! It never really dawned upon to me to ask her beauty secrets, well, it could be her diet, the products she use or maybe she’s just born with really good skin.

I later discovered that it’s a combination of all the factors above and also the regular use of Co2 masks plus skincare from eFresh Singapore that gave her skin this awesome glow. How is it possible that just by using a leave-on gel mask, the effects are that immediate and lasting? But I was willing to try anything to give my skin a much-needed boost. Hey, am inching closer to the big FOUR-ZERO and I am willing to do whatever it takes to shave off a couple of years off my actual age physically. Time is often what I don’t have on hand. I used to be able to indulge in monthly facials and trust me, it does wonders for the skin. My pores are smaller and my skin appearance would look much better after the treatments. But I don’t have the luxury of lying down for a few hours on a monthly basis and apart from my usual daily skincare routine, I was simply too lazy to go the extra mile. The only thing I would possibly try to do if I’m free in the night is to place on a gel mask from Sulwasoo as an added facial boost to my tired skin.

I shared all the above concerns with Charlene and she very kindly offered to send me a box of one of her best-selling products – the Stem Cell Co2 masks to try out. I have to add that there is more work involved in the actual usage of the mask rather than those you can find off-the-shelf which are a lot more convenient for ladies starved of time. But I figured, I needed to try and carve out the time to do this for my skin and I would be able to multi-task after applying the mask so honestly, no big deal.

I had a quick look on the different types of Co2 masks on the eFresh Singapore site and here’s my pick of what I got eventually and the reasons why:

[Premium] Stem Cell Co2 Mask- 5 pieces per box (S$120):

  • The Apple Stem Cell ingredient found in the mask will help accelerate skin cell renewal and reveals newer, more youthful skin.
  • Reduces fine lines; wrinkles with instant effect, improves skin texture.
  • Boosts up collage, restores skin elasticity.
  • Controls the activation of melanin, results in whitening & acne spots diminishing.
  • Acts as a high anti-oxidant, retains skin moisture.
  • Strengthens oxygen circulation of skin cell, improves skin tone.
  • Improves drainage effect, results in skin firmness as well as shapes up face contours.

Though it’s a lot more expensive than the rest of the other types found within the same range ($24 per pack), but I really did see and feel the effects after one usage. As I had a series of events to attend the same weekend, I decided to be a lot more hardworking and apply a mask 3 times in a span of 4 days. Result? My skin looked tighter, pores looked smaller too; and even though I was physically really tired, my skin did not look dull. Instead, it looked hydrated, with a slight glow and that to me is result that the stem cell Co2 mask is indeed working its magic on my skin.

Aqua Co2 Mask- 5 pieces per box (S$80):

  • Attracts and binds water molecules, provides intensive level of hydration to skin.
  • Helps to speed up water permeation to the skin and results in long lasting moisturizing effect up to 24 hours.
  • Ultimately solving the problem of bottom layer of cell and hence achieves the function of skin brightening, revitalizing and restoring.

Used my coupon code to get another box of these masks to alternate between the Stem Cell masks. I have yet to use the mask from this range yet but if you wish to try out the masks but not willing to splurge on the premium range, this might be the range you wish to consider.

Ta-dah, moi with my Stem Cell Co2 mask and waiting it out for 30 to 45 mins. Hope I didn’t scare you! I have to add that the gel in one pack of the mask is actually quite generous. So spread it thick on your face, I use it both on my face and neck. Hey, a woman’s gotta protect your neck too! Very important as those age lines on the neck are irreversible and they tell of a woman’s age.

I’ve done up an amateur instructional video of how to use the mask so please do check it out and follow the steps if you would like to find out more.

SpecialLY for my readers!

Quote “joanne10” and enjoy 10% off your purchase at eFresh Singapore.

Offer valid till 31 August 2017 only so don’t miss out on this deal to try out these amazing masks! I stocked up on two boxes because now that the best kept secret is out on how glowy skin can be achieved, these masks are literally flying off the shelves!

Note : We received a box of Stem Cell Co2 Masks from eFresh Singapore for a review on our Instagram account. No additional monetary rewards were given.  I was not obligated to review this on my blog but I enjoyed using the masks so much and ended up purchasing more on my own accord, so I wanted to do an in-depth review of this. All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using this product. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Building a mini library

Following our post on Books we love, we started building a small collection of books that Bubba now loves. I don’t think she has acquired the bookworm status yet but she does have a keen interest in books. I’ve seen her in action in school when she quietly sits in the reading corner flipping her book or she would ask her teacher for the book which they have been reading for the week. We do keep one or two books stashed around the car to keep her tiny hands busy on car-rides as well (usually picture books).

As for the bedtime routine of reading a book before we go to bed, we try. When there is time before her milk feed, I usually plonk her on our bed and let her pick out three – four books that we will try to read before she heads off to sleep.

img_3200The small tray that we used to store her favourite books is no longer sufficient, so we got round to buying a new bookshelf for her. We got this shelf from KidKraft in yummy rainbow colours that kinda fitted our bedroom theme. Bubba doesn’t exactly have her own room yet, we practice co-sleeping and so furniture for the Bub pretty much fit into our current colour scheme without us doing a major room makeover for her. I personalised the bookshelf a little by adding this sweet confetti tassel that we got from The Little Bow Co. This item is not just used as a decorative piece but also doubles-up as an aid for me to teach Bubba to identify the different colours. This bookshelf from Kid Kraft is really quite sturdy (the Man fixed it up with minimal fuss – usually he would be swearing at me if I get too complicated pieces of furniture) and can store quite a lot of books. 15 – 20 books at last count. Continue reading

Shopping with Upsy Daisy + Giveaway!

[Sponsored Review + Giveaway]

Hello everyone. My name is J and I’m a shopaholic!

Wait! You already know that! That was pre-Bubba days where I would go nuts over clothes, shoes, bags and beauty products. Post-Bubba days, shopping for myself have somewhat been reduced. That doesn’t mean that I am saving more money. I’m just channeling my limited financial resources to my mini-me who I find playing dress-up with absolutely a joy.

I do majority of my shopping for Bubba online. Well because, I really don’t have the time to hit the shops much these days and shop at leisure. It’s a lot easier to do it online when it’s late at night, in the comfort of my own home. Plus, there’s this whole anticipation and excitement of receiving packages. Well, if it doesn’t fit now, I usually just keep it aside and wait for Bubba to slowly grow into it.

While I like to share the pluses on online shopping, I’ve also had the experience of items which  never turned up and retailers not honoring their word. So I do take it with a pinch of salt and only shop at e-retailers that are reputable or highly recommended by friends.

UpsyDaisy1Today, I’m excited to share with you all a new online shopping site – Upsy Daisy – that recently opened its doors on the www here in Singapore. When Aud approached me and asked if I would consider working with them, I was beyond thrilled. Shopping? Check! I would practically ace this! Shopping for Bubba? Yes! And shopping to support small businesses? Definitely a YES of course! We love supporting Mama-preneurs for they know just what Mamas need.

Borne out of a love for shopping only the quality stuff for young ones, the ladies behind Upsy Daisy curate the coolest stuff for apparel, toys, nursery décor and gift ideas. You will also be pleased to know that by shopping with them, you are assured that the products that you purchase from them will go towards one or more of the following:

  • Made of natural fibres and/or non toxic materials as far as possible
  • Made in an ethical work environment
  • Support the labour of love of artisan mums and/or artisan families

Diving straight into the shopping now! It was pretty easy to navigate and shop on Upsy Daisy’s site as well. Items are neatly categorised under Dress Up, Play + Learn, Nursery, Gift Ideas and Brands, so I know just what to zoom into for what I needed.

UpsyDaisy2I’m familiar with some of the brands such as Sapling, Hello Apparel and This Kid Clothing Co that are available on Upsy Daisy’s site having owned pieces from these brands previously. I actually do like the fact that they offer different brands under the same roof, this means that I can just buy what I like instead of being obligated to buy more so as to meet the minimum spend for the free shipping. I also don’t have to worry about my overseas packages being lost because all these stock available on Upsy Daisy’s site are already in Singapore. Phew for that!

I did have trouble trying to pick out the items for this review for there were so many things that I was interested to pop into the cart such as this cute hand-made Oskar & Ellen: Doctor’s Bag which I think the Bubba will have fun playing. Well, she does like her paed and maybe has visited him once too often (oops)! If we didn’t already own a musical table and a piano, I would have popped this Stephen Joseph: Musical Band Dino Table into our cart. It’s so cute and Bubba would have a blast banging and clanging on those musical keys.

There are also many cute decor items on my shopping list, like this Le Sac En Papier: Storage Sacks that I’ve been lemming for the longest time to store Bubba’s toys or perhaps my junk far from the Man’s view plus this Heart on a String: Love you to the moon and back (pink and gold) which would be so lovely if Bubba has a room of her own. Well, I we still can’t bear to kick her out of our room yet. It’s nice to wake up to a smiling Bub 99% of the time.

l1030335I spent a good 15-30 minutes surfing the web putting and removing items from my cart before narrowing down to these items which I sent off to Aud. Just a few days later, I came home one evening to a pretty box filled with the goodies that I had picked out from Upsy Daisy and couldn’t wait to peel open the packaging.

Here are the items that I picked out for Bubba:l1030337

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My Tiny Wardrobe: Flutter Butterfly Top in Ocean Blue
(S$39.90)

Made from 100% organic cotton, I really like this crisp white top with flutter sleeves that comes with ocean blue nautical striped trimming. The top is lightweight and perfect for our humid weather. I paired the top with a simple denim bloomer and tucked her hair in this cute Bear hat that I bought when she was smaller (it still fits!). L1030425Don’t you think Bubba actually looks like a little sailor girl in this ensemble?

img_3534Jolly Jelly Bean: Sweet Treats Short Sleeve Dress
(S$39.90)

The Jolly Jelly Bean’s range really appealed to me as the designs were all so colourful, bright and fun. It’s new range is also 100% GOTS Certified Organic Babywear. Designs are printed using vegetable dyes on organic cotton that’s safe for babies skin.

img_8872-1Pre-Bubba days, I would flinch when I saw the price-tag for an organic cotton item that cost more than what one would normally pay for major brands. But there really is a difference. The fabric used is so much softer and the little ones can really tell the difference as they are able to  move more comfortably.

Sizes for this Jolly Jelly Bean item start from 0 to 2. As Bubba is about 19.5 months, I decided to just get the dress in size 2 for that would mean that it’s meant for kids from 2 years of age onwards. When I put on the dress on Bubba, it did run a little big on her. Only 1 way to see this, she can definitely wear this for a longer time.

L1030359That said, I really love the dress on her. The design is so colourful and fun. Bubba had a good time pointing at the ice-cream and saying it out loud all the same. The dress is very well-made with a snap-bottom fastening that acts like a romper on the inside. That’s a thoughtful feature which I really like because I don’t have to let Bubba wear an additional bottom under the dress.

In fact, I liked this dress by Jolly Jelly Bean so much that I decided to get the Bananas one for her in size 1 so that she can wear it now. I think the dress is perfect for our weather and great for her to put on for mornings when she has playground time in school. Hehe..

img_3554Two Little Ducklings: Letters to my child
(S$39.90)

Designed by hot Aussie graphic label – Two Little Ducklings – and currently one of the best-selling items on Upsy Daisy (even backorders fly off the shelves), Aud recommended that I should get this as a keepsake to pass on to Bubba given that I enjoy writing letters to her on my blog. I’m glad I did.

Letters to my child is a stationery pack, comprising 13 sets of notepaper, where you are able to write a letter to your child from birth to age 12. Each year has four sheets of notepaper, three pages to write the letter, the sets for baby and your one year old has a sheet where you can write wishes you have for your child and the sets from age 2 to 12 has interview questions you can ask them each year. Each set comes with 13 envelopes so you can store the letters each year and pop it away for when they are older.

img_3556I really love the idea behind this. Such a wonderful keepsake for both the parents and Bubba. I had grand plans to write to Bubba a birthday card and keep it for her till she’s much older to read all my special thoughts and wishes for her. The Man did that when she turned one and when she’s older, we would probably bundle these up and give them to her. With this gift set, everything is neatly packaged and so beautifully designed. I don’t have to worry if all my items match for they will and I can pack everything into one box and present it to her when she’s much older. I only wished I had known about this much earlier but I guess it’s not too late. Bubba is going to turn 2 and I can start right away.

img_3555This is definitely a lovely gift for a new Mom-to-be or for new parents. Or if you enjoy writing and wish to share those precious thoughts (not meant to be shared with anyone else) with your little Bub, this is one item you have to get! And if you think about it, the entire set is really cost-effective. Divided over 13 sets, its only about $3 for each letter a year. Steal!

That’s not all, surfing the gift section side of Upsy Daisy, I really like that they offer gift combinations and everything that is purchased can have a greeting card added to the purchase. I really love those fun and whimsical gift cards that’s ideal for birthdays and any special occasions designed by Two Little Ducklings. This makes shopping a breeze at Upsy Daisy with a one-stop experience for you would have settled both the present and the card! Yay for that for I’ve been stuck in situations where I had to run to a special gift shop just to get a card and we know how rare physical gifts shops are now becoming given the high rental in Singapore.
Thanks Aud for sending all these lovely items to us! I certainly had a great time reviewing not only the site but testing the goods/products out on my little muse. 🙂

img_3559Now here’s what you  have been waiting for! A special offer for all my readers plus a give-away (Thank you team Upsy Daisy for this).

Special offer for readers of Lady J’s Musings:

Quote ‘LADYJ5’ to enjoy 5% store-wide discount
on Upsy Daisy

Offer till 15 March 2016.

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Want to win S$30 shopping credit from Upsy Daisy to start you off your shopping journey? Simply enter this RaffleCopter link below, and fulfill all the conditions (more chances awarded if you fulfill more conditions). Good luck! Contest is now closed.

S$30 shopping credit from Upsy Daisy
UpsyDaisy

 

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Disclaimer : lady J’s musings received 3 products from Upsy Daisy for the purpose of this review.  No additional monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using the products/services. Any queries should be verified with the provider or party in question.

Little Innoscents & BioShield for Bubba

[Sponsored review]

IMG_2403 After this post where I tried out the Bio-Shield Kiddie Spray as well as some of the Little Innoscents products, the good folks at All Organic and Natural sent us a lovely pack of more organic goodies for Bubba to try! Timing was impeccable if I may add for it was just before our little get-away to Phuket and I was fretting about packing her toiletries. When I packed them all, the Man just gave me a look and went, ‘1 kg of toiletries for a 4-day getaway? Seriously?!’ Well, one can never be too prepared right?!

Here are the goodies that we received:

IMG_2404Bio Shield Kiddie Organic spray (100ml) : S$23.30
A vitamin based, dermatologist-tested body protectant, Bio Shield Kiddie safely and temporarily protects the skin of children as young as babies from toxins, bacteria and allergens in areas where they are most likely to fester. Formulated with natural ingredients, this topical body protectant spray is developed to maintain and enhance the skin’s natural immune functions.

IMG_2419Sounds like a power-packed bottle of goodness to protect Bubba on-the-go. Now that she is a little more mobile, I do get a little paranoid about the stuff that she randomly picks up and stuffs into her mouth. On top of the normal wet wipes, I have anti-bacterial wet-wipes, hand-and-mouth wet-wipes, pacifier wet-wipes, etc.. you know what I mean.

I like this handy spray that I can just stuff into our diaper bag. A quick spritz or two of the Bio Shield Kiddie over Bubba helps to protect her from the germs for it kills 99.9% of germs naturally. It’s alcohol-free, non-greasy and the formula is easily absorbed into the skin providing a protective layer for the user. We used the spray rather liberally on our travel. I sprayed Bubba in the airplane, upon arrival to Phuket and when we were in the taxi. I know that I can’t keep Bubba in a bubble forever and that there will always be germs in the environment but this spray can help protect her and minimise her exposure to germs, which is good enough for me.

On top of that, we received lovely goodies from the Little Innoscents range:

Little Innoscents products are Australian made with 100% Natural, Pure and Organic ingredients. Completely free from Toxic Chemicals, Parabens and all other little hidden nasties.

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Little Innoscents Sun Lotion (100ml) : S$21.30
Bubba was going to make her debut to the pool during our fam trip to Phuket. So ahead of the trip, I had to prepare not only her swim gear but also sun screen to protect her from the hards UVA/ UVB rays. There aren’t many sunscreen lotion out in the market that’s available for babies so this sun lotion from Little Innoscents suited our needs.  Free from chemical absorbers and suitable for all skin types, this sun lotion is safe to use on children from 6 months of age.

This zinc-based sunscreen is free from nanoparticles and I like that they use natural ingredients of Aloe Vera and Calendula which makes the lotion lightly scented when applied on Bubba’s skin.IMG_2501The sun screen is easy to apply as well as easily absorbed into Bubba’s skin. It doesn’t leave behind a sticky white residue that some sun screens do. This product is the top of my shopping list especially for our hot and humid weather in Singers so it’s best to apply and protect Bubba’s soft skin to prevent any harsh exposure to the sun’s rays especially now that we intend to bring her to the pool more often.

IMG_2409Little Innoscents Travel Pack
This travel pack couldn’t have come at a better time! Seriously! It has all the best of the Little Innoscents products in small packaging. For the trip, I simply just brought the whole pack along for Bubba which consisted of the Organic Baby Hair & Body Wash, Organic Baby Moisturising Lotion, Organic Baby Intensive Soothing Cream (which I used as diaper cream) and Organic Winter Blues Vapour Balm.

Majority of the Little Innoscents bath range is made from plant materials and naturally-derived plant extracts so the range of products are usually pH balanced and ideal for daily use on babies even those with skin conditions such as eczema.

The Man was in charge of Bubba’s bath time ritual so he was the primary user of the products.

Verdict? Well, he didn’t quite like the Hair & Body Wash for he felt that it didn’t foam as much as the ones that we used for Bubba back home. The Little Innoscents Hair & Wash is a low-suds bath gel that is infused with the essential oils of Sweet Orange, with anti-inflammatory properties, and Sandalwood, with its anti-septic properties. If you are used to those foaming types of hair and body wash, you may have the same response as the Man but let me tell you that despite the low-suds quality, it still did the job of cleaning Bubba up well.

Next, the Organic Baby Moisturising Lotion. Infused with a light floral scent of Ylang Ylang and packed with the luxuriant oils of avocado and sunflower, this moisturising lotion helps provide all skin types with the necessary hydration, nourishment and protection for your baby.

Diaper creams are a must-have in my diaper bag and in the list of Bubba’s toiletries. The Organic Baby Intensive Soothing Cream sounds like a miracle cream that can not only soothe sore bottoms but also insect bites, eczema and even minor wounds. This cream contains the astringent and antiseptic properties of the Rosewood essential oil which will take care of a variety of skin issues, the healing properties of Calendula extract and the creamy Shea Butter as a base. That’s not all, have you ever come across a delicious-smelling diaper cream? Well, this one is.

Days before we went on our holiday, Bubba came down with a viral fevet and then a cough and a cold. Triple whammy! I brought along the Vicks Vapour Rub but this Organic Winter Blues Vapour Balm was much better. Gentle on sinuses, I warmed Bubba’s body by rubbing her little feet and chest with the Vapour Balm that’s has essential oils of Wintergreen and Eucalyptus. Many of similar vapour balms available in the market out there may not be ideal on babies but this Vapour Balm is for it’s 100% natural and has a low allergen ingredients that is also safe for babies with sensitive skin!

IMG_2407Little Innoscents Massage Oil (125 ml): S$16.90
I do enjoy giving Bubba a massage occasionally before she heads off to bed. This works especially when she’s cranky before bedtime. The baby massage ritual helps me bond with her plus the essential oils of Spearmint, Lavender, Lemongrass and Sweet Orange helps calm her and hopefully lull her to sleep.

This massage oil is suitable for all skin types and even grown-ups. I’ve heard it may work wonders on mummies who need a stretch mark oil to soothe the stretched skin. Yay to sharing toiletries with Bubba then for this.

IMG_2406Little Innoscents Mineral Powder (100g) : S$11.60
I’ve been using this on Bubba when I noticed that she has some heat rash around her neck area. It has helped soothe the redness plus keep her cool. I love that the scent of the powder is different from your usual baby powder available in the market. The Lavender and Spearmint essential oils not only give it a sweet scent but also make this powder ideal for adults to use without smelling too overly baby-ish (if you know what I mean). Other uses that you can explore with this mineral powder include chaffing, heat rash, stinky feet plus restoring shine to dull and greasy hair. Miracle powder yeah?

Little Innoscents Goat’s Milk and Manuka Honey Soap : S$8.30
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of bar soaps so when I received this, I didn’t know if I wanted to let Bubba use this. Guess what? I didn’t. In the end, I kept it for myself and used it to wash and cleanse my make-up brushes.

I cannot stress enough the importance of cleaning your make-up tools especially brushes regularly. I used to do it rather frequently before Bubba came along. With her arrival, I’ve been a little lazy but I still bring out the tools once a month to wash them and always with a gentle soap. Steps on how to do so can be found here.

This soap containing goat’s milk and manuka honey, is designed for delicate and sensitive skin. Manuka honey is generally used for treating minor wounds and burns and has antibacterial properties, with studies showing its effectiveness in fighting infection and promoting healing. Goat’s milk contains lactic acid which helps in breaking down dead skin cells, allowing skin to naturally rejuvenate. It is also packed with vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, B and C, amino acids, citric acids as well as unsaturated fatty acids. On top of that, it has a PH level similar to that of our skin!

I figured if this is good enough for our skin, it’s good enough to cleanse my delicate brushes that would be used on my skin as well. Will keep this soap around and who knows I may just use it on Bubba one day.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. It’s a little long but these products have been pretty useful to us and our little one. Do keep a look out for these organic baby skincare products that’s made available to everyone at such pocket-friendly prices.

You can get your hands on the Bio Shield and The Little Innoscents range at NTUC Finest, 1010 Mother & Child Essentials or simply shop online at www.all-organic-natural.com

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Disclaimer : lady J’s musings received the above-mentioned products from All Organic and Natural to test and review.  No monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using this product. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Pumpin’ with Pigeon

[Sponsored review]

IMG_0178Remember the PIGEON event that I attended in November? I’ve known of other brands of breast pumps but when it came to purchasing a set of my own, I went with the popular brand because nearly everyone close to me recommended it. Well, popular brand of choice failed on me not once but twice. The first time, the Man had to run out to buy me a brand new set of breast pumping equipment. The second time it failed on me, I was left helpless and had to learn the art of hand expression to get the milk out. The entire process was long-drawn and with a time-crunch I have at work, it was simply too nerve-wrecking. That’s not all, there were times where I have to work on weekends and when that happens, it was just too troublesome to think about expressing my breast milk as there was either no nursing room in sight or there’s simply too much to bring along on top of work stuff.

So when I shared my woes at the PIGEON event, the folks there suggested I look at the new Manual Breast Pump which seemed to suit my work/ lifestyle needs.

IMG_0181I checked out the Manual Breast Pump and liked how compact the device was. Better yet, I didn’t have to worry about the pump not working if it ever ran out of battery. The Manual Breast Pump is easy to assemble and to bring around when I need to be running around for work at weekend events.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI was thrilled when the good folks at PIGEON sent me the Manual Breast Pump for me to test and review. 🙂 Timing was just right as well for I had a full-day weekend event that saw me moving to 2 different locations. Already my supply had dipped and I was worried that if I didn’t pump at a regular interval, my supply would dip further and let’s not forget the engorgement issue.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI opened up the box and above are the contents that when assembled make up the Manual Breast Pump. In each breast pump set that you purchase from PIGEON, they have included 2 Comfort ProperFit Flange – regular (23 mm in diameter) and large (27 mm in diameter). Again, I think it’s really thoughtful of them to do so because there is no one-size-fits-all magic fit when it comes to the flange sizes and I’ve once sent my cousin to help me purchase a smaller sized flange simply because the complimentary one that was given in the breast pump set was too big for me. So having 2 sizes in one box is really ideal.

Now to put the pump to test!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Assembly of the Manual Pump wasn’t too difficult if you follow the step-by-step instructions included in the box. I got my helper to sterilise the parts the night before and all these items were then placed in a zip-lock bag. When it was time for me to put this device to test, I zipped away for a couple of minutes during my work event and quickly assembled the Manual Pump.

I studied the guide the night before so I started first with the Stimulation mode to create the gentle suction stimulation, once the flow was established, I switched to the Expression mode with the push of a button. As it was my first time using a Manual pump, it did take a while for me to get used to the pumping motion by hand. But one thing for sure, using this device definitely beats hand expression.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter the breast milk is collected into the bottle, I simply popped the sealing disk over the cap, screwed it tightly and placed the bottle into the Coleman sports bottle filled with ice. This mode of transportation of expressed breast milk is a tip given by my sister. She shared that it’s easier to transport the ‘goods’ this way then to use ice-packs as the packs can only last about 4 hours max. Plus, it’s way easier to get ice outside and add into the Coleman sports bottle then finding a fridge. Remember I was going to be out the whole day with no access to a fridge. So this arrangement worked out pretty well for me that day. Phew!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 Now, to sum up what I really liked about PIGEON Manual Breast Pump:

  • It’s compact, handy and lightweight (182g)! Perfect for me when I need to work on the weekends with no access to a proper nursing room. Plus, it’s quiet, so I don’t have to worry about inviting stares from people.
  • I don’t have to worry about charging the device! The only power that I need is manual ‘hand power’! The ergonomic easy-express handle enables comfortable and easy pumping which reduces hand fatigue. This point is something you will definitely appreciate!
  • Easy to use! With just a few parts, it’s quick and simple to assemble this device.

When it comes to taking care of the Manual breast pump, the washing/sterilising of the parts are not too difficult either. I simply washed the parts with the gentle dishwashing liquid meant for cleaning baby’s equipment and sterilised them. However, do note that the silicone valve is rather delicate, so wash with care or it will tear easily. That happened to me, my helper accidentally tore the silicon valve while washing it. Thank goodness there’s a spare silicone valve included in the box that I can use. But if you ever need to purchase spares as back-up, you will have to go to the PIGEON Singapore Office located at 84 Genting Lane, Singapore 349584.

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The PIGEON Manual Breast Pump is retailing at S$79.90 at all major departmental and baby speciality stores.

Thanks PIGEON Singapore for sending this set along my way! It’s certainly a handy option (pardon the pun) for moms like me who enjoy the simplicity and fuss-free pumps. Plus, let’s not forget, this device has been a life-saver on occasions where I had to work over the weekends.

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Disclaimer : lady J’s musings received the Manual Breast Pump worth S$79.90 from PIGEON Singapore to test and review.  No monetary rewards were given.  All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using this product. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Up to my eyeballs

Seriously.. it’s not funny!

Well, I knew going back to work will have its challenges. It’s no longer a walk in the park. Mornings are no longer spent leisurely putting on my make-up. When the alarm clock rings, I either hit the snooze button and lie in for another couple of minutes or jump up to check on Bubba to see if she’s awake. If she’s still sleeping, I then zip in for a quick shower and then putting on light make-up before tending to her. If she’s awake, the Man and I will play a bit with her, nurse her and then bring her down to my MIL. Then off to work we go.

IMG_0355Rare pic of Bubba and Me.. love how smiley she is in the pic

Bubba is still total breast-fed so I try to express at work to keep supply going. My sis have warned that my supply will dip a little when I head back to work. The first few days when I headed back to work was pretty ok still but it’s a different story now and it’s true! Supply has dipped and it’s rather depressing looking at the low yield. Watching the clock constantly, running in and out of meetings and just trying to finish off my work so I can go home on time has been quite stressful. Thankfully, the Company has proper facilities to support pro-breastfeeding moms at work else I think it would be harder on me to continue this journey.

So I went a little crazy, stuffed myself with Domperidone, took overnight oats and drank the good ol’ traditional Fish Papaya soup. Supply went up a little but because my work schedules have been erratic plus I’ve been quite stressed managing a huge event, the supply has not been very consistent. Worse when I’m out majority of the day running about with no nursing room in sight. That’s not all, Bubba isn’t sleeping through the night yet so I do get up to either nurse her or the times she manages to push through 5 hours, I will need to get up and pump. Lack of proper sleep coupled with pressing issues at work all adds on to the stress.

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I wouldn’t have it any other way for this face makes everything worthwhile. Yup, even those big fat round tears that she dishes out when she doesn’t get her way. Well, who knew motherhood could change me like that.. even with the lack of sleep.. yawnz!

A lot of pro-breastfeeding moms will say ‘Breast is best’. I don’t think I fall strictly in that category but I know as a mother, I just want to give my very best for Bubba and that includes me doing whatever I can. So I will endeavour in this breastfeeding journey for now with the small milestones that I’ve set for myself: 6 months of breastfeeding, then 1 year and we will see how it goes from there.

For now, I just want to get through this weekend, hopefully with a new manual pump to help keep the supply a-going or else I will have to resort to a pump-and-dump strategy which will be super wasteful. Fingers crossed!

Out of curiosity, if you are in a similar situation or have been in a similar situation, how did you get through it?

 

Dining with baby in Tokyo

The Man and I, we love our food very much and every time we head back to Tokyo, it’s a food-feast where we plan our food itinerary meticulously to include all the food that we so love. Of course, with Bubba as our new travel companion, we can’t exactly do that. Most of the fine-dining restaurants and famed sushi joints would frown upon us should we attempt to bring a baby along into their restaurant.

So our meals were planned rather fluidly and mostly by the Man or what we felt like having for the day. Thankfully in Tokyo, a lot of the establishments that we visited were good enough for our bellies and our littlest travel companion was such a charmer most of the time, so we are blessed to be able to enjoy the meal.

Here’s what we ate with Bubba in tow:

IMG_8752Revisited Bills at Omote-Sando Hills simply because I really wanted to try either their famed Corn Fritters or have the Ricotta Hotcakes. The place is pretty child-friendly and we were showed to a table where we could conveniently park our Zen Yoyo.  IMG_8747Bubba was in a good mood so we managed to squeeze in a couple of Mama and  Bubba shots. 🙂

IMG_8739The Man was in need of caffeine and frankly speaking so was I, as I try to limit my caffeine intake occasionally. Finally managed to try the famed Corn Fritters which was really very yummy with the avocado salsa. Would have love to have another go at the Ricotta Hotcakes but was saving my tummy for the afternoon hi-tea instead.

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Our first meal in Tokyo was back at our fave Shabu Shabu place in Ginza called Rangetsu.  We were not sure if babies were allowed but we asked them nicely and they accommodated. The place had steps so the Man had to carry the stroller up. Bubba was fast asleep in her ride so we managed to enjoy most of the meal and then took turns to finish our noodles at the very end when she woke up.L1010226The little one is quite a charmer too. The diners at the next table kept looking at her and played with her while we were having our meal. Fine by us for it also kept her occupied. 🙂

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My birthday dinner was celebrated at the Ropponggi Hills Club in a private room with an awesome view of the Tokyo Tower. He decided to book the private room so we could bring Bubba along and if she cried, she wouldn’t be a nuisance to other patrons.

IMG_8688The Japanese meal was simply delicious and we had a good time indulging over the meal plus fussing over Sophie who decided to poop and kept us busy.  IMG_8689We were also very impressed with the level of service taken to accommodate the little one during our meal. She had her very own bed for her to lie on while we sat down to have our meal. This place definitely top our list for dining with babies. 🙂

IMG_8844The Man was itching to do a meal that involved fine-dining. I was apprehensive about it initially. We walked past L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at Ropponggi Hills. We didn’t have a reservation but he walked in and asked if there were seats available. Well, they did but only at the counter. I wasn’t sure if we could have a proper meal with Sophie  while seated on the high-chairs. IMG_8841Well, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise for we baby-wore her that day. She resisted initially but after a couple of cries, she managed to settle down and fell asleep in the carrier.

IMG_8847Talk about multitasking! The Man baby-wearing Sophie, having his meal and working-on-the-go.

IMG_8845She slept through a good part of the meal for us to enjoy the starter, the main course and our cuppa of tea. Whee.. we felt like we outdone ourselves for this meal.

Well, of course not all of the meals we had were hits. I really wanted to have Teppanyaki and despite booking a private room in the restaurant, it was a stressful meal that the Man and I had for it was cramped and smokey. We felt like we did Bubba an injustice by bringing her to such a smokey place. We gobbled our meal as quickly as we possibly could and even skipped dessert because she was getting cranky and stressed up in such a smokey environment.

The next evening, in order to make it up to her, we decided to order in and have sushi in the comfort of our hotel room instead.

IMG_8824So I guess it ain’t that bad traveling with a bub, sure I couldn’t go back to my fave Ichiran Ramen, my fave yakitori joint or do any Michelin-star restaurant but we found new places to dine with a different kind of experience.

Here are some tips I thought I could share if you are ever traveling to Tokyo with a 3month old baby:

  • IMG_8765Get help from your concierge on a list of restaurants that would accept young babies / kids. Our concierge was of great help, all we needed to do was to tell her the type of cuisine we felt like having for the day (ie: Soba, Italian, Sushi, etc).
  • Some restaurants have private rooms, so you could ask if they would allow you to use the private room for a small fee.
  • Dine at restaurants in shopping malls. We spent most of our time around shopping malls and found that the restaurants there were basically good enough for our bellies. Plus point for doing this is when the bub fuss, you could quickly zip down to the nursery and sort the little one out.
  • Look out for family friendly restaurants by checking out the crowd that goes into the restaurants. If you spy ladies with babies or young kids in the restaurant, chances are they will accept you and your bubba too.
  • If all else fails, either buy back your fave food from the food mart in shopping malls or order room-service. That way, you enjoy your meal in peace with bubba lying in bed.