10 Fave Products For Baby 0-6 Months

Hi my loves, it’s time for Mummy Monday again. I cannot believe we just passed the six-month mark for baby Charles and he’s growing at the speed of light — 8.9kg heavy and 72cm tall.

I thought of coming up with a list of baby products that I found really useful thus far. You don’t know if something will work till you try it and these have become essentials for Charles. A lot of them were gifts from our lovely friends and family who knew better than us newbie parents.

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Bumbo seat + tray is our way of sitting up our bub and feeling him his solids every morning. We also put him in this seat if we are eating at the dining table because he doesn’t like being alone in his play pen. The tray is definitely useful for holding toys and keeping him securely seated. We also bought the version with the safety belt (not intentionally) and it does give us a peace of mind because Charles has learned to lunge out of the seat.

Baby books are such interesting toys, especially if there are toys stuck onto them to pluck them out and suck on. He enjoys all types of cloth books and zeros in on the tags attached to them.

This organic rice trumpet toy makes noise when you suck or blow on it. The handles keeps Charles’ hands busy and he can spend ages grabbing and sucking on this thing.

Love To Dream sleeping bags are such an integral part of Charles’ sleep routine and keeps his busy hands well-secured during nap time. We tried using traditional swaddles but he always manages to undo them and the swaddle would end up over his face which used to scare me as it’s a suffocating hazard. They come in such cute designs and colours, too!

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The Jolly Jumper was introduced to us by friends whose baby girl loves jumping. Charles had a go on this in their house and he squealed with joy as he bounced. It’s well worth the investment because it’s a great solution for when he’s sick of being on his back or sitting up. It also gets his heart racing which then always results in a nice long nap.

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This hot water canister is an essential for us when we go out. I pour hot and cold water into this to get the right temperature so I can just mix up a bottle of formula on the spot and give it to Charles straight away.

License to drool is a plastic toy with groves and bright colours that gives Charles hours of fun licking, sucking, throwing, banging and staring. He has so many toys but this is definitely one of his favourites.

Philip Avent pacifiers are BPA-free and seriously cute. I think he prefers the more rounded shape of these pacifiers, compared to pointy types.

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Clean Well travel hand sanitizing spray and sanitizing wipes are a must after changing diapers and I’m not near a tap. The wipes are good for cleaning toys that are dirty. This brand has a non-alcohol formula which is less harsh than conventional ones.

Aden + Anais swaddles are so commonplace and popular because they are such great multi-taskers. We used to swaddle Charles in them when he was a newborn but our little Houdini would always escape them as mentioned above — but I use these as a makeshift pillow when breastfeeding or napping the bub; it acts as a way to shade Charles in the stroller if it’s too bright; it can be a light blanket or a change mat if you are in a pinch and have forgotten to bring one. It even cleans small messes if you are out of burp cloths.

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Lamaze butterfly toy has crinkly wings, bright colours, black & white stripes and dots, and a plastic medal that looks hideous to adults but absolutely fun and intriguing to babies. Charles tends to zoom in on this toy in his jungle gym, compared to the other prettier looking stuffed animals. I think the busier it looks, the better for babies.

Do you have any recommendations for very young babies between 0-6 months? Please share your experiences!

Food Friday: Migraine Day

Hi my dearies, I’ve not been very good at blogging lately and reading/commenting on other blogs – sorry for that. I tend to do scheduled posts but I really couldn’t find the time since last week, and before I knew it, I find myself on a Friday feeling sheepish about my blog.

The bub is not feeling well with a runny nose and cough so we’ve been home since yesterday – no play dates or shopping or walks till he gets better. He doesn’t have a fever so I’m not too worried. Let’s hope I can blog a whole lot today!

I’ve got food pictures from last Friday — it’s certainly an interesting exercise to see how differently I eat when I’m tired and not feeling 100%. I had a painful headache that nagged at me till it went full blown (left eye felt like exploding and had waves of nausea) in the evening. Even the numerous Panadols I was popping could not help so thank goodness the husband came home early and took care of Charles while I rested.

Okay, onto my eats now…

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I wasn’t in the mood for oatmeal or cereal so I made myself a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel. It was delicious, especially washed down with a decaf almond milk latte and a mug of Weleda nursing tea.

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I usually have fruit when I have oatmeal or cereal so I scoffed some strawberries and half a grapefruit mid-morning with some orange-flavoured rooibos tea. I recall not craving this snack but I made myself eat it because I wanted to be healthier. Do you ever do that?

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For lunch, I made some brown rice udon noodles with crispy anchovies, leafy greens, green onion, with a poached egg.

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Right after lunch, I did not feel well and had to fight the urge to lie down but a very spirited baby prevented me from doing just that. Since I can’t drink caffeine while I’m breastfeeding, I reached for a small packet of chocolate flavoured almond milk that had a wee bit of sugar to perk me up.

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All afternoon I felt exhausted and I was hungry by 4pm. I needed more energy so I ate a small portion of Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate Granola with blueberries and banana with almond milk. Yes, I drink a lot of almond milk because I’m not the biggest fan of soy milk. I do drink soy sometimes but I prefer almond milk.

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By 6pm, I was seriously paralyzed by my migraine. I had to lie down in a dark room and not move. The husband cancelled his Skype Japanese lesson to take care of Charles. That’s why parenting is a two-person job at the very minimum – you need backup when things go awry.

The thought of cooking was too overwhelming so we ordered in some Domino’s pizza. As always, dinner was washed down with some pear juice. I always feel guilty when I eat pizza but it’s so bad it’s so good.

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“Since we are breaching, why not go all the way?” was the husband’s mantra that Friday evening. Usually we have our unhealthy day of eating on Saturdays but it felt like the weekend came early so we had a homemade banana split with chestnut (dubbed marron, in Japanese) and vanilla ice cream, topped with chopped nuts, and drizzled with chocolate syrup (made with cocoa powder and maple syrup).

I felt heaps better after a nap and some sinful treats. We watched a movie on Apple TV and called it a night.

What do you eat when you feel sick?

March Empties: Spring Cleaning Edition

I had a whole bag of empties for March and it’s not so much because I actually finished all these products but they were languishing in my cupboards for way too long.

It’s disconcerting to realize how pretty and shiny these things once were but now they are just garbage. It tightens my resolve to be more selective with my purchases — I’ll just have to be more austere about perfumes and foundations but thank goodness for body care products which I can indulge in continually and still use up eventually.

Bath & Body

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Remember my big lush haul? I got a second one after that so my stash is overflowing with Lush stuff. I would say I’m a little underwhelmed by Lush but there are a few gems, like Sympathy For Skin The Skin Body Lotion which is seriously a hydrating workhorse. I’m not too crazy about the Dirty (smelled like Wriggly’s chewing gum) and Olive Branch Shower Gel (was a deadringer for The Body Shop’s White Musk).

Weleda’s Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash has been a long staple which I go back to once in a while. It’s sweet-smelling in a spicy fruity way and is gentle on the skin. If I see it when I’m travelling, I’ll buy it if I’m not sure what else is good on the shelves. The Body Shop’s Cranberry Joy Shower Gel was lovely as usual and such a fresh burst of fruity fragrance every time I use it.

Haircare

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Neutrogena T/Gel stuff is reviewed here. La Visui Mineral Spa Hair Mask was so so so good that I promptly bought one more and one from the Mineral Moist range to stock up. One of these lasts for a month-long trip so I’ll take this along with me to Singapore at the end of this month. This non-silicone hair mask is moisturizing without being too heavy and smells like expensive perfume. Reveur For Color Shampoo kinda sucked as it caused my scalp to itch and I was surprised because their other products were fine for me.

Skincare

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Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Vitamin C Wipes were much raved about by some Youtube beauty gurus but I was underwhelmed to be honest. They smell nice but a little too strong for me and they would sting my eyes a little — not a lot but this won’t be a repurchase for sure.

Source Naturals Skin Eternal Hyaluronic Serum has been a serum I’ve used over the last five years off and on. But this time, it broke me out in a fine rash — the type with teeny tiny pistules? Yep. Gross. I whittled down my skincare routine to the bare minimum (just Cetaphil products which do not break me out) and it still turned out to be the culprit. It’s so weird. I had 10% left and just tossed it out.

Leaf & Botanics Face Emulsion Sake was a solid moisturizer for both face and chest/back areas. It doesn’t have a detectable fragrance although it’s not labelled as perfume free. It is a light lotion perfect for humid weather and for acne prone zones on my body.

Makeup

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NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base is seriously the best for oily eye lids. On the other hand, Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion Eden did not work for me after a few months. I think its efficacy just died after awhile and caused my eyeshadow to crease so it was time to toss this one out. Majolica Marjorca Lash Expander Edgemeister was getting too clumpy for comfort so into the bin it went. Badger Aftersun Balm wasn’t exactly makeup but I used to use it as a lip balm and then I discovered it was awesome for eczema patches so it’s a great multi-purpose product.

Makeup Discards

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These blushes were just too old and unused to keep around — anywhere between 3-4 years, I believe — Esprique Precious Gradation Layer Cheek 01 Coral Red (discontinued; brand is now just called Esprique); Revlon Matte Powder Blush (this was a Lisa Eldridge recommendation but I just never reach for it – perhaps I have other nicer warm pink blushes in my collection); Love Clover‘s Four Colours Blend Cheek no. 3163 (brand has been discontinued; too shiny as a blush).

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MUFE HD Invisible Cover Foundation was a great foundation — good coverage and natural looking, but it was too yellow for me. I actually tried a slightly pinker version at the store in Taipei which suited me to a T but they were out of stock and I took the SA’s advice to try this shade instead. Bad move and I learned to never settle for less when it comes to base makeup, my dear reader. Also, it had been in my drawer for 4.5 years now. Time to go, my sad friend.

The two Maybelline BB creams were just too oily for my skin tone and I bought them to blend out darker foundations. I just cannot be arsed to faff around with blending base makeup because I just don’t have the time anymore.

Fragrances

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These perfumes are all more than five years old, barring the Victoria Secret The Fragrance (clashes with my body chemistry but smelled good on my friend – sigh…). Stella In Two Peony was a rose fail for me and it just makes me smell sweaty. L’Occitane The Vert has either been discontinued or re-packaged — I used to wear this everyday while I went out to teach English in cafes around Tokyo in 2007.

The Forbidden Flower by Lolita Lempicka was too similar to the Midnight version I have which I prefer. This was procured during a swap and I have a feeling it’s gone off a little.

I got tired of both the Givenchy’s Jardin d’Interdit perfumes — the pink one (the original) was a a favourite which I wore very often in 2006-2007 so it reminds me of heady Tokyo nights and blurry days of traipsing around this urban jungle. The blue one was always a bit too sharp and citrusy for me and it was a poor limited edition version of the pink one anyway.

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Whoo, I can breathe again. Thanks for reading all the way to the end. This empties feels a little different — I have thrown out a bunch of stuff but I don’t feel like buying more. In fact, I’ll like to use up more makeup before purchasing anything. It feels like I could be missing out on some exciting new releases but I think the dread of adding to the clutter would make me feel worse.

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Edit: This would make me such an empties obsessive weirdo but I forgot I had one more lot of empties from March and it would be a pity not to include it…

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Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque was reviewed here.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo is a pore-declogging product that I always go back to. Review here.

Diorsnow White Reveal UV Shield SPF 50 is still by far my HG sunscreen but would switch to Clarins or Kiehl’s for summer days.

Ettusais AC-Skincare Aqua Shooter Extra is a pore refining lotion which is quite gentle but keeps pores clear. I do prefer thicker lotions than this watery version which I would need to use a cotton pad to swipe all over my face. I’m really not a fan of patting lotion on my face although I know it’s the way to go to prevent wastage but my face gets so wet and it takes forever for it to sink in and makes applying my moisturizer more difficult.

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil is such a luxurious treat. Review here.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask is a gentle hydrating creamy mask with flecks of oatmeal. I love using this in the shower because you only need 10 minutes for your skin to feel moisturized and pampered.

Lush Lip Scrub in Bubblegum was fun to use in the winter to prevent flaky lips. Even though it’s edible, I didn’t lick off the scrub as I’ve seen in some beauty videos — it’s full of sugar after all! I was a little disappointed when the sugar melted halfway through and I was left with only the oil. Note to self: Put lip scrubs outside the shower stall.

March Favourites

Hi my lovelies, I thought I would show you what my March faves were because I felt I was consistently using a set of beauty products and makeup for several weeks on end. They must be favourites as I am still using them now in April. I feel like I have to forcibly change up what I’m using to give other things in my stash more air time.

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Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial was one of those punts that I took that worked out well for my skin. It looked visibly more refined and smoother the next morning which is a rare find indeed. The texture is very light but packs a punch in terms of hydration. I can tell when my skin is dehydrated — it over produces oil overnight but this sleeping facial just lets me wake up with petal soft skin the next morning. I’m so glad that Sephora now ships to Japan so I can get my Korres fix anytime I want.

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Bright Fit SPF30PA++ W#24 was stashed away during the summer months but I’m reminded once again how great this BB cream is for oily/combo skin. It leaves a slightly dewy finish but has some oil control prowess so I don’t feel like an oil slick at the end of the day. It’s definitely a my-skin-but-better BB cream.

Laura Mercier Crème de Pistache Soufflé Body Crème is seriously my favourite body product because it smells of pistachio gelato. The gourmand pillowy effect of the fragrance just makes me feel floaty and relaxed. I love this so much that I’m going to hunt down the rest of the products in this range.

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil suits my busy mom lifestyle — it gets everything off in the shower and I don’t have to bother with cleaning up traces of mascara after.

Dior Rosy Glow is just a great pop of colour to my cheeks that always leans warm and peachy on my skin. I sometimes just slap on the Etude House BB cream and this blush if I just need to look presentable and not necessarily made up. The pretty design always puts a pep to my step, too.

Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant has been a life saviour because I reek of fenugreek from all the nursing tea and supplements I’ve been consuming. I use a crystal deodorant and then layer this spray on top after my shower. It keeps me feeling fresh and I love the subtle rose scent. This natural deodorant doesn’t have weird chemicals in it so I can use it with a peace of mind.

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Coconut & Exotic) was also a staple in my routine in March. I was terribly busy with lots of play dates and meet ups after my self-imposed lock-up in winter. Sometimes I just need to keep the oilies at bay when I don’t have time to wash my hair before going out. The coconut fragrance is very tropical and cheery which helps to mask any stale hair odour.

Le Blush Creme De Chanel in Revelation was something I alternated with the Dior Rosy Glow. The slightly mauvy tone makes it a little darker than your run-of-the-mill warm pink blush. The texture is so velvety and is very long lasting.

What were some of your favourites in March?

Food Friday: Entertaining Guests

Last Friday was super busy because I was hosting a lunch play date at my home — three mums and their bubs came over and I really loved prepping the food. It was very simple, mind you, as I had to fit everything in plus keep Charles occupied and happy.

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This is my lazy gal brekkie — two Weetbix, Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate Granola, blueberries, topped with unsweetened chocolate almond milk, and a side of Fuji apple slices. It’s filling without busting my gut and takes me through the morning till 12 or 1pm. Since it was a busy day, I forgot to photograph my Weleda tea and vitamins, but you know, they look the same as the previous ones.

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Lunch was my fusion stir fried noodles using flat udon, beef, bok choy, bean sprouts, cabbage, egg, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sambal paste. The end result was a savoury slippery mess with a tinge of spice. I also made a pot of miso soup flavoured with kelp — I was so busy that I forgot to take a picture of that.

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Dessert was dark chocolate fondue with strawberries and marshmallows. I had to open up a second pack of strawberries so everyone could have some more chocolate. Incredibly easy to whip up (Lindt dark chocolate, brown sugar, milk, cocoa powder) and big big big flavour.

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It was a fun but tiring afternoon — I was soooo tempted to call for Thai take-out or Domino’s Pizza but I held off thinking that if I could cook something in less time than it took for the food to arrive, it would be worth it. I had quite a bit of produce left in the fridge considering it was the end of the week, so I put together a penne pasta bake with chicken, zuchini, carrot, peas, parmesan, onion, garlic, and topped with shredded mixed cheese. I steamed some asparagus as our veggie side, and voila, a meal in less than 30 minutes.

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As always, I washed everything down with 100% pear juice from Nakahira Farm in Nagano.

What do you tell yourself to not cave into getting take-out?

Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

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As you know, I’m a die-hard cleansing oil fan and even after straying to other types of makeup removers, the cleansing oil would always be my favourite. It’s the least fuss-free and stress-free way of removing my daily war paint.

My absolute favourite has got to be the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil which is a highly contentious product because is it really worth paying all that money for just a makeup remover? The other controversial point about their cleansing oils is that they contain mineral oil which is understood as a cheap cosmetic ingredient so what are you paying for?

For me, I think the removal prowess and the thick tacky texture are my top two reasons for being an avid fan. There are drugstore cleansing oils that do a good job like the Sofymo cleansing oils (the “deep” version is my favourite of the three in their range) somehow lack just that teeny bit of removing power. We might be splitting hairs here but my ultimate test of any makeup remover is if it can cleanly remove Majolica Majorca mascara (this sh*t is stubborn as hell!).

Apologies for the long rambling intro, but today’s review is on the Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil which is the most expensive Shu cleansing oil to date. In Japan, the 150ml is 4410JPY (USD44) and is sold in the US for USD42 and the 450ml goes for a whopping 12075JPY (USD120) but is sold in the US for USD90 (so get this in the US!).

The other Shu cleansing oils are around USD40 (150ml) and USD90-95 (450ml) so there is a significant price difference especially for the 450ml size.

I would flat out say that I would not pay USD120 for a makeup remover even if it is for the larger size. The 150ml version lasted me a month so 450ml could probably last me about three months and a bit which is still $40 per month to remove your makeup. I digress.

The selling point of the Ultime8 is its unique blend of eight different oils — camellia, jojoba, ginger root, squalene, shea butter, safflower, soybean, and corn. I must say that camellia, ginger root, shea butter oils and the squalene certainly makes this product sound more luxurious than your average cleansing oil.

The texture is fluid with a tacky feel like the other cleansing oils so it’s easy to spread all over the face.

Can it clean? Yes it can and even better than the other cleansing oils in the range (I managed to nab the deluxe sample set that has all the Shu cleansing oils on an ANA flight once). For the others, I felt I had to go in with an eyemakeup remover afterwards, but for this one, I need a second application just on the eyes and everything will be removed. I have tried a second application (or even third) with the other cleansing oils and I still needed a separate remover later. However, I have not found any cleansing oil that can remove the Majolica Majorca mascara with just one application so perhaps it’s just a holy grail I’m chasing.

Finally, is it worth the money? Yes and no. I received this as a gift and it really makes a special present for any beauty fanatic, but I won’t repurchase this particular one myself. I would probably still repurchase the others in the larger size at duty free or Rakuten to get the best bang for my buck — I have done so now and again when I felt like treating myself.

Having said that, I’m actually quite pleased with the Sofymo Deep Cleansing Oil although I need to put on the Heroine Make Mascara Remover first and then swipe off the excess from my lashes with a cleansing water.

Wouldn’t I then prefer the Shu one ultimately? Yes, but the Sofymo is so affordable at 470JPY for 200ml (USD5) and an item that can be purchased at the drugstore or supermarket while I pick up other household goods, so I tend to overlook the extra work. But when I was done with the Shu cleansing oil, I felt a pang to be honest because now I’ve to put in more effort in my cleansing routine.

After such a fuzzy answer, would I recommend this product? YES. If you are a super busy (or impatient) person or someone who loves a little daily luxury, then this product is for you. But if you don’t wear waterproof mascara, you won’t miss anything so stick to other cheaper brands.

Have you used Shu Uemura cleansing oils before? If so, do you think it lives up to the hype and worth the splurge? Are there other cleansing oils you like and would recommend?

Mummy Monday: Beginning Solids

Hello my lovelies, hope you are having a great start to the week. Tokyo is finally fully in spring mode — the sun is shining and the sakuras are blooming in full force. I’m planning on a little stroll with the bub later to take in the sights and it’s almost criminal to stay indoors on such a day.

Last weekend was another milestone for Charles — he started solids! The photos will tell you what he thought of rice cereal mixed with some formula…

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He was most definitely uncertain of the bland rice cereal and thought the spoon was a toy. His grip has become so strong and it was quite difficult to wrestle it out of his tight little fist. About half of it ended up on the bib, his hands, and around his mouth which was to be expected.

But the second time which tried solids on him, he ate every bit of it! I was impressed.

On the third day, he cried bloody murder when I gave him the same rice cereal and I think I gave it to him when he was very hungry — he didn’t want rice cereal but milk, so I promptly breastfed him. The husband had just spoken to his mum the night before and she suggested mixing the rice cereal with something else to give it flavour. “I wouldn’t eat the stuff (rice cereal), why would he?” declared the husband bluntly and I had to agree.

The only organic produce I had that was suitable for Charles was green peas so I steamed some lightly and blended them with formula and rice cereal. I wasn’t certain about the liquid to solid proportion and it turned out so watery, I added more rice cereal which made the portion twice that of the day before.

And guess what? Charles ate every bit. He loved peas! He was uncertain for the first three bites but he growled for more and only stopped complaining when I fed him faster. Amazing!!!

I expected at least two weeks of just playing, tasting, and grabbing solids without any real consumption so to see his bowl empty was such a surprise.

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Last Thursday, we attended a “How To Start Solids For Infants” workshop at our local ward office and it was pretty interesting. I think the principles of starting solids is about the same except for the types of foods that are used as “first foods”. In Japan, rice gruel (which is the sticky water from rice porridge) is the very first meal (in Western families, rice cereal mixed with formula or breast milk is the norm) and you follow up with tofu, white fish, spinach, carrot, chicken, radish, cabbage — all pureed, of course. In the Western context, pureed green peas, pear, prunes, banana, sweet potato, pumpkin and apple are typical choices.

On Western baby websites, mothers are warned to hold off on eggs, (whole) milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish till much later, but for Japanese, only nuts and eggs were of concern.

During this short seminar, there was an emphasis on avoiding ticks and house dust. We were told to change bedding once a week at least and it would help your child avoid these two common allergies. The other focus was on oral hygiene and the instructor stressed the need for eating solids first and then breastfeeding or formula because the milk will help wash out the baby’s mouth after solids.

In other resources from the US and Australia, mothers should breastfeed before giving solids to maintain their milk supply. But I’m not sure about the relevance of formula in this situation because I doubt the baby would immediately prefer solids over formula, and even if they do over time, that’s a natural progression even with breast-fed babies. I decided not to stress over this because Charles is both breast-and-formula-fed.

Over these three days of giving solids, I think the best window period to feed him is about an hour after breastfeeding when he is not starving but not full either.

I cannot wait to feed Charles different types of food. His facial expressions are just priceless when he tastes something new.

Do you have a baby? If you have children, what was the first food you fed her/him?

Food Friday: What I Ate (Just Homecooked)

Thanks for the enthusiasm about this new series, Food Friday, my loves! For those of you new to the blog, Food Friday is just a snapshot of what I eat in just one random day. I picked Friday simply because it goes well with “food” haha.

Here’s the run down of what I ate last Friday…

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I usually eat breakfast straight after I express breast milk to supplement the bubba’s intake later in the afternoon when my supply gets low. For something quick and yummy, I have two pieces of Weetbix, some Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate Granola, chia seeds, some fruit, and almond milk. It was strawberries today and they were simply luscious.

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With breakfast, I love drinking tea and today’s choice was vanilla-flavoured rooibos, which washed down my vitamins.

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Since I’m usually alone for lunch, I tend to whip up super fast meals and nosh on things that the husband doesn’t want to eat (lol!). It was pesto pasta, grilled chicken, avocado and tomato salad, rounded up by some leftover fruit brought over by a friend the day before.

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As always, Weleda Nursing Tea is a must.

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Surprisingly, I didn’t need an afternoon snack at all as I normally get peckish around 5pm, so it felt great to not have to drum something up to eat. For dinner, I was keen to revisit an old recipe I’d made during my pregnancy days — grilled lemon herb chicken. I don’t know why but I had cravings for chicken in all forms during that time and this was a favourite. The sides were boiled potato and steamed beans, baby corn, and carrot.

For dessert, I had an espresso gelato and pear juice (not pictured here; was too preoccupied chatting with the husband to take photos). If you are wondering why I keep drinking pear juice, it’s actually good for digestion, and uh, getting things moving. Kind of like prunes.

That’s it for my Friday eats — just homecooked food; nothing too exciting but it’s a real snapshot of our lives now. In the past, we would head out to a nice restaurant with friends or check out a neighbourhood joint.

Did you cook anything for yourself today?

FOTD: Everyday Look + Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Hi my dears, it’s been a while since I’ve done an FOTD post — partly because I only started wearing makeup again in December and even then I was just putting on a BB cream, powder, blush, and lip balm if I went out but I hardly left the house.

After our epic five-week holiday and Charles got more used to the stroller, I have a routine of going out with the bub almost everyday in the afternoon. With that in mind, I want to look at least presentable so this is my go-to makeup look.

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I’ve rediscovered my NARS tinted moisturizer which is too rich for summer but perfect for the colder months – I like the fuss-free natural look it gives my skin. Sometimes, I might just put on a primer, skip any liquid foundation/BB cream, and just powder my face.

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For the eyes, I love the rose gold theme that runs through the Naked 3. In the photo, I have Liar (plummy mauve shade) and Factory (dark shimmery taupe) — the third and fourth shades from the right — which complement each other very well. To reduce shine on my brow bone area, I swipe some Strange (cream shadow with pink undertones) over.

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Of all the Naked palettes, this one is the most feminine and carries pretty much all warm shades — I realize that I tend to reach for pink and browns for everyday use which is also very common across Japanese eyeshadow palettes. What I can say? Those two colours flatter yellow skin tones!

I cannot decide if I prefer the Naked 1 better but it’s actually quite different in that the Naked 1 has such a solid range of neutrals — from taupe to brown to blue — so it’s hard to choose which is the better palette. The Naked 2 is the least favourite of all three for me because it has a few shades that are too shimmery or too yellow gold for my taste. I have learned to love the silvery grey shades in that palette though and they are the ones I often reach for when I use the Naked 2.

I love the Naked 3 so much that I have to consciously stop using it so my other palettes and quads will get some wear time. I could stick to the Naked 3 for weeks on end and not get sick of it. I was determined not to get the Naked 3 because I thought it would be too similar to the previous Naked palettes but it was so freaking beautiful on the display stand at Sephora in Singapore that I just grabbed it. I’ve no regrets though because I always reach for one of the three palettes on a daily basis.

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Products used:
Benefit The Porefessional
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Alaska
Urband Decay Eye Primer Potion Eden
Anatasia BeverlyHills Brow Powder Duo Ebony
NARS Creamy Concealer in Custard
Paul & Joe Face Powder
Majolica Majorca Lash Bone Black Fiber In
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edgemeister
K-Palette Real LAsting Eyeliner 24h 1 Day Tattoo in Brown
Chanel Le Blush Creme in Revelation
NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder Sunny
Integrate Design Veil Natural
Sleek Pout Polish SPF15 Powder Pink
Aior Addict Lipstick in 353
Benefit Ultra Plush Lipgloss Dandelion

Lastly, I am also crazy about Chanel Le Blush Creme in Revelation — the cream to velvet finish is just so beautiful and feels amazing upon application. I realized that I hardly used my cream blushes, except the Addiction cheek sticks, in my collection because they were on the super moist (or greasy?) side and I hated that texture so I promptly dumped all my cream blushes. I would definitely get the rest of the Chanel cream blushes in the range but since they don’t last as long as powder ones, I will wait awhile to use up my present stash first.

Are you a Naked palette fan? If so, which is your favourite? Are there other rose gold eye shadows you love?

Mummy Monday: A Day In The Life

I often wondered what stay-at-home mums did all day and sometimes I also feel like I’ve been busy but haven’t had a lot to show for it. But you know, the thing about having children is that they cost a lot not just monetary-wise, but time-wise as well.

I’ve learned that just hanging out and playing with your baby is an integral part of child care and it’s time and energy consuming. It’s completely intangible but certainly such a precious transient period.

Another new emotion for me is mummy guilt — as much as I love my boy, there are times when I would reach for my iPhone because I feel bored of offering toys and picking them up over and over again. I would miss him when we are apart and even wish for the morning to come earlier so I can hold him, but there’s the conundrum of my mind wandering and craving for adult stimulation when I am actually with him. I have this irrational fear my brain will go to mush if I don’t engage in non-baby stuff.

Anyway, here’s a snap shot of a random weekday as a SAHM…

7-730am Rise and drink a glass of water. I latch onto my breast pump and away I go for half an hour. The husband is usually up with the bub from 6am so he is fed and his diaper is changed.

8-830am I make my breakfast and breastfeed while I chow down on cereal or oatmeal.

9-930am I make the husband breakfast while he plays with Charles.

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930-10am The bub takes a short nap while I wash up over the kitchen sink. My bathroom is actually downstairs but I’ve learned to just stay upstairs near the living room area where his cot and play pen are because there have been too many times when I find him crying and screaming after disappearing for 10 minutes. Being nearer to him means I can rush to him whenever necessary. If he’s still sleeping, I might change out of my PJs.

1030-1130am I just hang out and play with Charles. I’ll breast feed him again, and by this time, he might need a top up of expressed breast milk.

1130am-1230pm I pop him into my red Boba wrap and do the laundry and get lunch ready. The reason for this is that Charles suffers from separation anxiety where he cannot even be left alone for a minute. If he is, he would cry and scream so for a peace of mind, I tote him around while I do my chores. Sometimes he falls asleep and snores in the wrap which is so cute. I also make sure I change his diaper before I put him into the wrap — don’t want any accidents on my clothes lol!

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1230-2pm Again, I’ll just hang out with Charles and read the news or surf blogs while I put him in his Bumbo seat. He may or may not have a long afternoon nap — sometimes he just needs 30 minutes, but at other times, he’ll knock out for at least an hour to an hour and a half. There’s no clear cut sequence of events here as I try to multitask (blog, read, shop online) and play with him. He would breastfeed and need another expressed milk supplement by this time.

2-3pm I’ll breastfeed and change his diaper after he wakes up. I generally stop breastfeeding between 3-4pm because I need 5-6 hours to build up a reasonable supply again. Around this time, I will also get ready to go out — I’ll put on his coat and Uggs as I juggle getting the nappy bag ready. There’s not a lot to prep but I need to make sure I have formula, warm water, a bottle and a clean pacifier in the bag.

330-530pm I take a long stroll and use this opportunity to run errands. I may pick up some miscellaneous items at the supermarket or drugstore but I mostly buy the bulk of our groceries online at Seiyu. I get food and household items delivered twice a week — it’s a great little service and I couldn’t live without it. I also feed him a bottle of formula while we are out.

6-630pm I make a cup of tea and play with Charles for a bit before winding him down for his bedtime. He scoffs another bottle of formula as he has a feed every hour after 4pm.

630-7pm I turn on the heaters in the bathroom and his room to warm up the temperature and strip him down for his bath. We have a small bathing seat for him which makes it easy for me to shower him on my own. He loves his bath time and would want to suck on the shower head and grab his wash cloth.

7-730pm He’s changed into his PJs and I put on some cream on his eczema — it’s like dressing a little monkey who is intent on sucking his toes while I struggle to get his flailing arms into sleeves and pant legs. He has another bottle of formula and drops off into a deep sleep as I gently put him into his sleeping bag.

730-830pm I prep our dinner and we have a little chat about how our day went. I fill in the husband on any funny or cute thing Charles did during the day.

830-9pm The husband washes the dishes while I take a shower. This is when I can just fully relax and breathe in my gorgeous shower products.

9pm-1030pm I take this time to catch up on blog reading and Facebook and we might watch a TV show if the husband doesn’t have any work or business calls to do. I also express a bottle of breast milk to store for the next day.

1030pm We dreamfeed the bub and change his diaper and hope he will sleep through the night! I wash a bunch of milk bottles and change the water in our Milton sterilizer so I can pop in my breast pump.

11-1130pm We might continue watching TV or I would read before calling it a night. The husband sleeps in the play pen while I snooze in our bedroom. Charles’ cot is still in the living room because it’s so cold at night and the nursery downstairs feels too icy for comfort. It feels like we are an old married couple who sleeps separately but we are extremely paranoid about the bub getting sick again. He’s not quite sleeping through the night consistently so the husband camps upstairs just in case he cries. When the warm weather rolls around, we’ll all be downstairs in our respective rooms.

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As you can see, life is very simple right now and I’m the one in the family who keeps the household running and cares for the baby during the day. One thing I didn’t expect was how fun it would be to be a mother – I guess I had visions of endless drudgery but it’s so much more than that! It’s learning to be in the moment with your baby and helping him grow physically and mentally.