Our Happy Staycation at Crimson Filinvest

We just had the most wonderful staycation during the Holy Week! We had the best deals and carefully planned but flexible schedule at the Crimson Hotel Filinvest City. We have booked our accommodations ahead of time and was blessed to have gotten a promo rate. We paid Php3,500 for an overnight stay at a deluxe king room with breakfast buffet for two! That includes complimentary use of the pool and gym.

Booking was easy at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City. I consider their booking process as the safest compared to the other hotels that we have  transacted with in the past. The Crimson staff did not ask for my credit card details over the phone. She sent me a booking confirmation via email with an attached credit card authorization form which guaranteed a secured transaction for both parties. My only complaint was that I had to follow up on my confirmation email which I have not received after 24 hours (as the staff has promised).  I had the option to pay for our accommodations at East West Bank or make a partial payment at the hotel three days after receiving the email. I opted to pay for the whole amount in person as we were just within the area during the designated date. I was assisted by Mary from the reception who also gave us a tour of the hotel and answered more of our inquiries.

As we were informed by Mary previously that we can have an early check-in at 11 AM provided that a deluxe king room is already available, my family and I arrived at 10:30 AM hoping to settle in and hit the pool. How can we have not foreseen it! The hotel is fully booked  because it was Holy Week and the standard check-out time is 12 NN. It’s a good thing that Louiji loved walking around and that’s we did for a while. We left our bags at the concierge who kept them safe at the storage. We then decided to hang out by the pool. It was jam-packed with  guests, too. We just had to contain ourselves with people watching to pass the time. Our toddler got excited seeing all the kids playing and swimming inside the pool. He was giggling and wanted to go near the pool side.

Baby walking at the lobby of Crimson Filinvest
Louiji was so happy walking in a wide open space!

While waiting for our room, we went inside the hotel and chance upon the film showing at one part of the grand ballroom. Toy Story was on. I applaud Crimson for this! They provided entertainment and comfortable seats for guests who are waiting. Though there were food crumbs on some spots of the ballroom, it was way better than having to wander around and do nothing. We watched the movie for a while until my husband asked me to have lunch outside. When we got back, there was already a long queue in front of the reception. My husband quickly lined up while my sleepy toddler and I went back to the ballroom so our baby could breastfeed and take a nap. After 15 minutes, my husband went in and told us that we already have a room.  I beamed because it was only 12:30 PM. Still an early check-in!

When we got to our room at the 17th floor, I quickly laid my sleeping toddler on the king-size, soft yet firm bed. I inspected the sheets (OC mom!) and they’re oh so white and stain-free unlike the one in the hotel in which we stayed in last year. They have plenty of pillows for the three of us. I love having plenty of pillows around the bed when I sleep. It assures me that my baby, whom we co-sleep, won’t fall from the bed while my husband and I are snoring through the night. The bed also has a nice and cushioned headboard which protected my son from bumps whenever he played on the bed.

Louiji on a king-size bed at Crimson Filinvest
Louiji was happy watching TV on the king-size bed. That headboard was an added protection for our active toddler.

As what I am used to do upon settling in, I opened the cabinets, drawers, mini bar and checked out the bathroom. The cotton bathrobes inside the closet are spotless and they looked like new. No holes or any damage of some sort (I’m referring to a previous experience from another hotel). Beside the bathrobes are the steam iron and the ironing board. There are a few hangers, too. On the other side of the closet is a safe which is big enough to fit in a laptop.

I like the bathroom’s layout but I hope that Crimson would get bathtubs for their deluxe rooms in the future. Also, it would be better if there are two sets of shampoo and conditioner and bath gel. One set of those bath products are just not enough especially at this season when most of the guests are families. The best feature of that bathroom (for my husband, at least) is that it has a bidet. The hotels that we have visited in the past are not equipped with this handy helper.

Right outside the bathroom is a small cabinet which has an electric kettle, cups and saucers and complimentary coffee and tea packets. We had those coffee late in the afternoon and we like how they tasted. Also, inside that cabinet is a small basket of mixed nuts, dried mangoes and chips for sale. Bottled water, energy drinks, soda, bottled juices and a bar of chocolate, all for sale, are placed inside the small ref found inside another cabinet at the bottom of the table.

Our room has a 40″ wall-mounted LED TV with cable network. My toddler enjoyed watching his favorite Disney Junior show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He giggled when he saw Mickey Mouse and was mesmerized for the entire show.  My husband was another happy TV viewer at that time because he got to watch UFC fights. Our son was either sleeping or was busy playing when his Daddy was so engrossed with that kind of entertainment.

Hallway at Crimson Filinvest
Our toddler loved walking in this hallway

Since our room is located at the 17th floor, we had a nice view of the Alabang night sky. While waiting for Daddy to come back from buying distilled water for us, we sat together by the window and told him stories of some of the spots found in our view.

I couldn’t stop raving about the swimming pool, situated at the 8th floor of Crimson Filinvest, because I love how the it  was designed with the family in mind. It looked like one big swimming pool which has concrete dividers that separate the kiddie (2 feet high) and adult (4 feet deep) sections. It’s a good thing that Louiji was wearing a rashguard because the water was cold and it was a bit windy during our swim. I was glad that towels are available at the bar which makes it convenient for swimmers. At least two life guards were manning the area ensuring the safety of everyone in the pool. There were also security guards stationed near the tables and lounge area of the deck.

Morning swim at Crimson Filinvest
My handsome loves just finished their morning swim. Get a glimpse of the pool deck area on the background.

We woke up early to enjoy a good breakfast at Cafe 8 downstairs. When we got there before 7 AM, the place was already packed with diners. It looked like they have the same plan as ours, that is, to be the first at the cafe and avoid the long lines at the buffet. After we have all settled in our seats, my husband and I took turns in getting our plates full. The cafe’s buffet menu was so good it was filled with different kinds of food that would suit even the pickiest palate. Even my toddler enjoyed his breakfast. I’d say that it was the best and most tummy-filled breakfast that we had!

Cafe 8 at Crimson Filinvest

Buffet Breakfast at Cafe 8 Crimson Filinvest
Clockwise from left: Our little boy munching on cereals; French toast with butter and jams; my plateful of breakfast staples
Salad and Cold Cuts Section at Crimson Filinvest
The salad and cold cuts section at Café 8
Cold Cuts at Crimson Filinvest
Salad and various kinds of cold cuts. Spot the glass of fresh mango juice and yummy omelette at the background

Since we had an early breakfast, we had more time to spare before check out. What do we have to do? Of course, off to the pool (again)! Our morning swim was better than the afternoon before because the sun was shining and kept us a bit warm. I think we just swam for a little over an hour because Louiji’s lips were turning blue again because of the cold water in the pool. We went back to our room to rest for a bit and pack our bags.

Check-out was a breeze. Though there was a long line by the time we got to the lobby, the staff were so efficient that the transaction with every guest went by quickly.

My family and I enjoyed our stay at Crimson Filinvest so much! We are definitely going back. Next time, we will bring our running shoes and workout clothes so we could also use the gym.

 

Top Torikatsu

My life as a working woman and mom to an 8-month old adorable baby boy is crazy busy. We don’t have a maid, by choice. My husband and I do all the chores but we do outsource some of the laundry at least once a month. A plantsadora also comes in every other week. On a work week, we would drop off our little one at my parents’ house on our way to work and pick him up when we get home. On days like these, I barely have time to prepare a decent meal for my hubby and I to partake. For dinner, if we are not eating at my parents’ house, we would chow down on takeout food while driving.

What’s a wife got to do? I can’t resort to corned beef, spam and other canned goods all the time. I need something that is not a hassle to prepare and will make us feel full longer.

Bounty Fresh Top Torikatsu
Top Torikatsu by Bounty Fresh

Top Torikatsu of Bounty Fresh is the perfect answer! This 450-gram pack of 100% pure chicken breast fillet comes in classic and cheese and chives fillings and coated with breadcrumbs. It only takes 3 minutes to cook. Quick and easy. The price is so affordable, too. You pay Php179 per pack which contains 6 pieces of chicken meat goodness. It has been in the market since the beginning of this month.

Top Torikatsu Product Launch
Top Torikatsu Product Launch at Prive Bar

I was able to witness the Top Torikatsu product launch last September 12 at Prive Bar at the Fort Strip, BGC. I was blessed to have Mommy Cow (Hello Ives! ) as my officemate and she invited me to tag along.

Boys Night Out with Ellen Adarna
Tony Toni, Ellen Adarna, Slick Rick and Sam YG for Top Torikatsu

We were able to watch the digital videos of the ever famous guys of The Boys Night Out and the gorgeous Ellen Adarna as brand ambassadors for Top Torikatsu. They were chosen to represent the newest product of Bounty Fresh because they fit the target market of young and busy working professionals. In those videos, we have seen how Sam YG, Tony Toni and Slick Rick with their pa-sensitive, geeky and bad boy antics fail to win the girl of their dreams. The only thing that got them their dream date is a serving of mouthwatering Top Torikatsu. Winner! Watch out for these videos online and be amuse with their stories. Buy your own serving of Top Torikatsu and be amazed at how something that is so easy to prepare can taste so delicious.

All photos in this post except that of the Top Torikatsu tarp, were all from Trixie of That Girl Trixie.  

Rustan’s and Philips Avent’s Mom and Baby Care

As I have mentioned in my post about The Working Mom All About Kids Bazaar, we went to an Avent event right after shopping and having lunch. The event was actually a tie-up between Rustan’s and Philips Avent and it was titled Mom and Baby Care which also featured the Joys of Breastfeeding as discussed by Dr Seizan Marie Reyes, OB-GYN.

Photo taken from Philips Avent PH Facebook
Photo taken from Philips Avent PH Facebook

I have always wanted to attend workshops about breastfeeding and baby care so I can get tips and learn more from the experts. If it’s free and the venue is not too far, why not, di ba? I was happy to have read about the Avent event in my Facebook feed because aside from it being free and a bit near, my baby and I are Avent users, too.

We came in a bit late because we were not that familiar with the Rockwell-Makati Ave route. When we got to the venue, Dra Seizan was already starting with her talk. The place was brimming with attendees that the organizers added more chairs behind the glass doors of what seemed like a play area. I have also seen some parents who have Pampers package on their lap. I think we missed a raffle, sayang! Beside the registration booth behind the glass door, a catering table was set up. It was so nice of Rustan’s and Avent to have provided carbonara, pastry and juice for everyone :)

Dra Seizan is a bubbly doctor who is very knowledgeable on the topic of breastfeeding. She reminds me of my own OB-GYN who has Reyes as her last name, too. I think, all Reyes doctors are easy to talk to :) Having breastfed all of her three children, Dra Seizan shared her own tips and insights on feeding, expressing and storing our precious liquid gold. I was not able to jot them down but here are some that I remember:

  • You can enjoy your favorite coffee even if you’re a breastfeeding Mommy. Dra shared that back in the day, she just trimmed down her servings and none of her babies have become jittery or anything.
  • Today’s society is much more acceptable with breastfeeding in public as compared to her time.
  • You don’t need special clothes to breastfeed your baby outdoors. Wear a button down blouse, unbutton from the bottom up to the lower part of your chest and you’re good to go.
  • Do not use ball type/horn type breast pumps, the kind that you find in drug stores worth less than Php200 because they don’t really work. They will just cause breastmilk to back flow, which makes it painful. Plus, it’s difficult to clean, too. You cannot clean the insides of the ball to remove the milk drippings even if you sterilize them. Dra strongly suggests that we invest in gear type breast pumps which are available in manual and electric versions. She says that these are expensive because a lot of research goes into them. During the event, Avent raffled off their manual breast pump. I was hoping to win it, but then another mom got it. Her smile was so big when she got it!
  • Malunggay capsules are helpful in lactation. She tried it, too. She said that Moringa was okay. I bought some last weekend. Will tell you how effective it is when I have finished the 10 capsules.
  • Fathers can help with the feeding, too. She and her husband take turns in feeding their babies. When she is asleep and their baby is hungry, her husband would position the baby beside her and he will watch over the baby as the little one gets milk from her.
  • Freshly pumped milk can last up to 8 hours at room temperature; 5 days when refrigerated after being expressed and 2 weeks when put in the freezer right after expression.
  • No ref in the office? (My question :)) Ask the nearby canteen or any establishment to store the milk for you. Most of them are willing to do it as they know that its for the baby. She once attended a conference and had nothing to preserve her breastmilk. She asked the nearby gelato kiosk to store the milk for her. The attendant gladly helped and her and labelled the milk before putting it in their freezer.
  • You don’t need a special cleaning agent to clean your breasts before and after feeding. Just wipe it clean with a wet (face)towel and use soap and water when taking a bath.
  • Husbands of breastfeeding mothers must support them especially during milk expression. Words of encouragement and a simple “I love you” go a long way.
  • Breastfeeding mommies must not forget the daddies and their needs. Make time for love. However, Dra cautioned that extreme discretion must be applied when the baby is 2 years old and up. She said that toddlers might get confused when they see parents in the act.

These are all I can remember. If you were in the same event with me, you may add what you have learned from that talk in the comments below.

Before the presentation ended, Dra Seizan commended the husbands who came to attend with their wives. After that, attendees were encouraged to ask questions. Dra answered and patiently explained each one of them. There was even one mom whom Dra offered to talk to her husband. That’s because the woman’s husband was reluctant about her breastfeeding in public. Bait ni Dra Seizan :)

That's me asking about milk storage in a ref-less office
That’s me asking about milk storage in a ref-less office

After the merienda, there was a game for dads. My husband raised his hand to join but the emcee just needed 3 contestants. After that, the Aprica stroller was demo-ed. I think that it’s their new model. The event ended with the distribution of Philips Avent gift bags. Take a peek of what we’ve got.

The Avent gift bag
The Avent gift bag

I wish to attend more events like this in the future!

The Working Mom All About Kids Bazaar

I hope everyone is safe and sound and have survived after that heavy-monsoon-rain-filled long weekend.

Yes, this is a super late post. I haven’t blog about this right after or soon after. Got caught up with a lot of deadlines. But, here it goes :)

Last August 10, Saturday, we went to the Rockwell Tent to shop at the Working Mom’s All About Kids Bazaar. My husband was game for it because he is just as excited as I am to buy stuff for our dear baby Louiji. The 70% discount on clothes, toys, accessories and equipment which was indicated in the event’s online poster was a big come on for us. We thought that we can buy plenty of things without breaking the bank. We were also hoping to buy a booster seat.

We got there before lunch time because we are attending an Avent event later. We were expecting to see the whole tent filled with booths and kiosks. It wasn’t. The sellers and other exhibitors were confined inside a room that is as big as a function room. There were not too many but most of them have plenty of good stuff to offer.

We were not able to buy a booster seat because nothing was available at the bazaar. We also

wanted to buy a soft and smaller teether for Louiji. Haven’t found one, too. So, we bought what we saw and what we like :)

Baby Company was there and they’ve got small rubber squeaky toys which are perfect bath time companions (aside from Dave the Minion) for our baby. We held out two sets for Louiji to choose from. He reached for the space creatures set. The red star caught his eye. So we bought it.

We dropped by Paper Chic Studio’s booth. I’ve been following this seller on Instagram and Facebook. I have also messaged Cai, the owner, when I missed her free wash design workshop in a previous bazaar. I’ve been to talk to her regarding what happened on IG. I was following another reseller of paper party favors online who has been using some of her product photos pala! I have liked one of the photos. I didn’t know that it belong to Paper Chic Studio! My username was part of the screenshot that Cai took when she called the attention of the copycat. Kahiya! I was mustering enough courage to talk to her while I was checking out on her products. I bought a set of assorted paper straws (50 pcs for Php150) and a pouch of baker’s twine (Php50). I was planning to hand her the payment when more people went to her booth. I lost my chance so I just gave my payment to her assistant.

Just in front of Paper Chic Studio’s booth was that of Zomato’s. Zomato is a restaurant review site. Kind of like Munchpunch. Hubby went to chat with the Zomato peeps while Louiji and I were at Cai’s booth. He got a Zomato shirt, their cool mug and a button

pin because he has a Zomato app in his phone and on the spot, he followed them on Facebook and Twitter. My husband was happy with his swag! We are both easy to please. Give us a loot bag and we’ll be giddy as kids.

I’ve been wanting to get our baby those cute plastic bibs that we can use each time we feed him with solids. We’ve found a stall that sells all kinds of bibs. I saw an animal print cloth bib (Luvable Friends brand, Php100) which has soft plastic as its front cover. I think that my little would love a bib that has a giraffe, lion, monkey and elephant for design. He has become familiar with these creatures because he has seen them from the animated movies that we let him watch occasionally.

The adjacent booth sells pretty dresses, cute onesies and printed cotton bibs with burp pads. We fell in love with the Silly Monkey Clothing Little Man onesies (Php200) and bought one for Louiji. We got the one in navy blue stripes with a printed big tie. I wish I saw it before my baby’s dedication. We had Little Man as our theme. When I saw the seller’s cloth-bib-and-burp-pad combo, I kind of resented buying the one with the plastic. Hubby said that he saw it when I was still choosing from the bibs at the previous booth. For some reason, he didn’t stopped me. My husband told me that we’re fine with what we purchased earlier. It’s in the same price plus it’s cute, too.

We left the bazaar after we’re satisfied with our purchase. We took more pictures outside using the backdrops that Working Mom has set up. We checked out the food stalls stationed in the other side of the tent. We were supposed to eat from the kebab kiosk but we couldn’t bear the heat. It would be too much for Louiji so we went inside Power Plant and had our lunch at Kenny Roger’s instead. We also needed a place where I can breastfeed my baby while eating. I forgot to mention that the organizers made room for a breastfeeding area inside the bazaar. Perfect for breastfeeding mommies who went shopping with their babies in tow 😉

Here are the stuff that we got from the bazaar: Red shirt from Zomato, green animal print bib from Luvable Friends, Zomato button pin, Zomato doodle mug, baker’s twine and assorted paper straws from Paper Chic Studio and Little Man onesie from Silly Monkey Clothing. The rubber squeaky toys were not in the picture. Forgot to include them. Sorry.

Red shirt from Zomato, green animal print bib from Luvable Friends, Zomato button pin, Zomato doodle mug, baker's twine and assorted paper straws from Paper Chic Studio and Little Man onesie from Silly Monkey Clothing

P.S. Notice my watermark? Is it good? :)