Friday, October 13, 2017

5 Pregnancy Symptoms Nobody Warned Me About

Before you read this list, please be forewarned that I have a tendency to traumatize people whenever I talk to them about pregnancy. (Children like asking me about a lot of things, and since I am pregnant right now, they like asking me what it was like to have a baby in my tummy. Our conversations usually end with a "I don't want to be a mom anymore!" or "I never want to get married!") So I thought maybe this happens because I talked about pregnancy in such a way that would make people scared of it. So if you are quite sure you still want to continue, then read on!

1.) Morning sickness is a joke. (More like all day sickness!)

I don't really talk to my mother about things like this, so I had this silly impression that nausea only happens in the morning. (Probably because of all the movies I watched.) Turns out it wasn't true at all! The nausea can strike at any time of the day (particularly during the first trimester) and I had a hard time eating as a result.

2.) Gas or baby?

Being a first time mom, it was hard for me to tell at first whether I was already feeling my baby move or I just had a bad case of gas. It took some experience for me to be able to tell the difference. (Speaking of gas... well... let's just say you would need to master the art of releasing gas discreetly.)

3.) Seeing your lopsided tummy for the first time.

One of the experiences that freaked me out the most was seeing my belly literally rise like a mountain whenever I stretched. It was bizarre and I had to show this to my husband the first time it happened (just so we could share the weird moment together.)

4.) The belly gymnastics doesn't always hurt. But it can freak you out sometimes.

Now that I'm in the last stretch of the third trimester, it is not unusual for me to see my belly moving on its own. Kicks, punches, short vibrating pulses (baby's hiccups), crawling sensations and small waves (baby switching positions inside). It literally feels like (and actually is) another living being thriving inside my belly. But the movements can get a little freaky, and sometimes, can even look like something that came out of a horror movie.

5.) Feeling like your baby is always messing with your internal organs (especially the bladder!)

Yes, it just literally feels like that.

To be honest, I was not really prepared for pregnancy. And somehow, I feel like such an amateur. But experiencing pregnancy gave me the emotional perspective of a parent that I lacked before and made me look at babies differently.

The journey to motherhood is tough, but what they say IS true - everything is truly worth it. It was only now that I fully understand (and even felt) the emotions trying to be evoked during that scene where Arwen (from The Lord of the Rings) saw the future where she and Aragorn had a son.

Thinking about my own baby, it was a feeling that the risk would be worth it, especially if it meant meeting and giving life to that child in the vision.

Pregnancy changed my perspective.

Now, thinking about fetuses and how it must have been for them (and how helpless they really are) while they are being aborted turns me into an emotional wreck.

Now, I could empathize how difficult it must have been for women who did not have the support of their family because their pregnancy was not planned.

Now, I could fully appreciate just how bad ass the pregnant lady in Train to Busan was.

The journey to motherhood is not yet over for me, but it changed me for the better and I would always be grateful to God for giving me and my husband this little one at this point in our lives.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Kal Features: Harry Potter - Hogwarts Deluxe Stationery Set

I was in high school when the first Harry Potter book came out. And just like any other Potterhead my age, we literally grew up reading this book series.

Despite being a huge Harry Potter fan, I am rather picky when it comes to buying collectibles and memorabilia. I do not buy just anything with the Harry Potter name attached to it. After all, I'm a cheapskate. :P But when I first saw the Hogwarts Deluxe Stationary Set, I instantly fell in love! I simply could not let go of the box, so I decided to just let go of my money. Hihi.

This is what the unopened box looked like.

After unwrapping, you will immediately notice how nice the exterior of the box is.

Inside, you will find 1 Hogwarts leather journal, 1 Hogwarts wax seal, 2 gold wax candles, 1 paperweight, and of course, a 10-piece Hogwarts seal stationery + envelope set.

In my opinion, the best part of the set is the Hogwarts wax seal. The handle feels (and looks) like wood, giving it a rather authentic feel.

The Hogwarts leather journal is lined on the inside (I believe this retails for approx. 800+ on its own), and the illustration pages are pretty amazing as well! I love it!

The paperweight is okay, but I would have liked it better if it came in a different color. (Maybe gold, copper, or burgundy?)

The stationery + envelope set itself is unremarkable, but I think that's okay. It's something you'd want to actually use (and not just keep). So I guess that's a good thing, if you wanted to be a more pragmatic collector.

The entire set costs around 1600+ pesos at National Book Store, but I was able to get it at 10% off during a book fair. However, if you are a Potterhead like me, you wouldn't really mind paying for the full price.

Overall, I would totally recommend this to anyone who is considering to buy it.

My Rating: 10/10

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post! Are you a Harry Potter fan too? Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Kal Visits: Sofitel Philippine Plaza

I don't know why, but for some reason, my need for material things diminished after getting married. I guess part of it is because everything that I need, I still have (and are working pretty well or in good condition.) Because of this, Gerald and I decided to make things different by celebrating our wedding anniversaries like we've never done before. Instead of giving each other material things like we used to do as girlfriend-boyfriend, we decided to give each other new experiences.

Gerald and I always wanted to dine in Spiral but never found a good reason to splurge on such an expensive buffet. So we took this opportunity as an excuse to finally try the Spiral buffet. Added to that, we never had a staycation in a luxury hotel. So we stayed overnight at Sofitel as well.

Overall, our Sofitel experience was surreal. It provided us with the much-needed R&R we had been craving for all year.

We started our day by getting the Power Deal vouchers we ordered on their website. For 3,900 pesos per person, you get the ultimate pampering experience: 1.) Spiral lunch buffet valued at 2500 pesos; 2.) Le Spa massage valued at 3000 pesos; 3.) Vietura Diamond Peel Treatment valued at 2500 pesos; 4.) Philippe Tordjman hair cut valued at 1200 pesos; 5.) Nail Artisan manicure or pedicure valued at 550 pesos. This deal is actually still at their website. Click here to check if you could still book the Power Deal vouchers.

The Spiral lunch buffet was good, but not something I would pay for at full price.

It was easy to feel overwhelmed by the food selection, partly because some of the dishes available were not offered by other buffets. However, objectively speaking, the food choices weren't as many as people made it out to be.

We were both underwhelmed by the quality of the food available at the Asian cuisine section. Don't get me wrong. It was good. But it didn't really justify the price difference. I guess our standards were pretty high, especially for Filipino food. However, I did like the food from the French-Italian cuisine. It was really good, as buffet standards goes.

We LOVED the cheese room though. As wine lovers, Ge and I indulged ourselves by eating the varieties of expensive cheese and cold cuts. THIS, I think, made the buffet totally worth the price we paid for in the promo.

After enjoying our lunch buffet, we checked in and waited for our Le Spa massage appointment.

Le Spa had a very relaxing vibe to it. It reminded me a little bit of The Spa but without the private jacuzzi and sauna. So it's safe to conclude that without the discount, 3k pesos was too steep for the amenities you would get. (I guess it's okay if you're a dollar earner.)

The massage room we used was equipped with a shower room and a mini vault to store your valuables. The masseurs were really strong so I was able to get the hard massage I needed for my aching shoulders. I'd say the experience was really good for me. (Plus the free-flowing ginger tea they offered was delicious.) But would I pay 3,000 pesos for it on an ordinary day? Most likely not.

Our dinner at the Sunset Bar was nice and romantic. The food was really good too (even though they were expensive af). I do think we got the best value though, since we ordered food (salmon and lamb) that was expensive in supermarkets and restaurants anyway.

The next day, Ge and I enjoyed the rest of our Power Deal vouchers.

The breakfast buffet at Spiral (included with our overnight stay) was really good. There were plenty of choices (almost the same as the lunch buffet), and it's safe to say the price of their rooms seemed worth it because of this.

Our haircut at Philippe Tordjman was okay. The stylists were friendly and accommodating, but that's about it.

We then got our nails done at Nail Artisan and experienced our very first diamond peel at Vietura Aesthetic Lifestyle.

It was both very nice. I loved the color of my nails! Plus, it was our first time getting a diamond peel. That makes another new experience taken off our list of firsts. 

Funny enough, we ended our day at a supermarket. Lol! A little anti-climactic to an otherwise lovely anniversary celebration. :P

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post! Till the next one!