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Passport renewal and application for moms and babies

March 30, 2017

Hello, April!

I have been looking forward for the month of April simply because it's the month whee we finally get to travel outside of the Philippines with our little human. It has been almost 3 years since I left the country so I am very very much excited to travel again.

It has been my long time traditions that started 5 years ago to visit Vietnam every year. Vietnam is my second home for the reason that my mom works in this beautiful country. I also had my 6 month internship there when I was still in college. I fell in love with the food, culture, and its people. and of course, shopping!

Now, sharing with you the requirements and tips on how to get your passport renewed with your new married name plus applying for your baby's passport.

Passport renewal requirements for married moms

*The number 1 step is to book for an appointment in DFA Passport Appointment System here. BUT if you are also applying for your kids' passports, considering that their ages are 8 years old and below, then you don't have to book for an appointment, you can apply as a walk-in applicant. Saya diba!

Requirements that I brought with me:
  1. My old passport
  2. NSO certified marriage contract
  3. 2 valid IDs with my single name
  4. Photo copy of requirement #1 - profile and back page
  5. Photo copy of requirement #2
  6. Photo copy of requirement #3 - front and back page
  7. Personal appearance
Requirements for 1st time applicant, kids ages below 8 years old and travelling with parents:
  1. NSO certified birth certificate
  2. NSO certified marriage contract of parents
  3. Valid IDs of moms
  4. Personal appearance with mom or both parents
We applied for our passport at the newly opened DFA Robinsons Novaliches branch and we are so impressed by how quick the services are. Also, as soon as you entered the office with your child, you will be assisted and prioritized. The line is not that long but you'll still need not to worry because you'll be the first to be called for every processing window.

I wasn't able to take photos inside because #1 I don't think it is allowed, and #2 everything was really fast. I wasn't able to fully enjoy the application process because every line and processing window was really quick.

Fees / Payments:

Regular Processing - Php950.00 (25 working days)
Rush Processing - Php1,200.00 (15 working days)

We opted to have our passports rushed because we needed to book a flight ASAP.


You'll be given the claiming stabs imprinted with the tentative date of when you can claim your passports.

TIPS:
  1. Organize all your documents in a clear envelope so it's easier to see which documents.
  2. Bring someone with you to look after your child while you run from windows to windows.
  3. If your child is a girl, make sure you tie her hair and her bangs are on the side because it is a must that their eyebrows are able to see on the picture. Surprisingly, you can use a wet wipes to side the bangs of your baby when it's time to take the passport photo.
  4. If by any chance your kid can't focus while they are taking their photos, pull out your phones or tablets and show them their fave Youtube show. Or kahit si Jollibee nalang. :) IT WORKS!
  5. If possible, prepare exact money or smaller bills to pay for your processing fees.
  6. Check if the DFA branch you are going to do accept walk-in applicants for 8 years old and below kids cos not all of them do that. As mentioned by the staff in one of the processing windows.
  7. You or someone else can claim the passports on behalf of you or your child. A specific instruction will be given to you when they handed you your claiming stub.

There you go! I did claimed our passports on the specified date and we didn't have any problems. The passport covers are not free so I had to pay P50.00 each. It's your choice if you want to get them or not.

You can view the complete requirements and other important details on the DFA website here: http://www.dfa.gov.ph/

Xoxo,
Rookie Mommy PH - can't wait to pack our bags. :)

Intimate Spa Moment at The Spa Wellness: Mind & Body Flow + Mani and Pedi

March 10, 2017

Hey, tired rookie mommas, :)

I'm so so excited to finally write my previous spamazing experience at The Spa Wellness in Trinoma branch. 

I have been keeping my P3,500 gift voucher that I have received last Christmas for some time now. Last weekend was the only time I was able to use some of it since I was in Trinoma to catch lunch with a friend so I didn't hesitate to book for an appointment.


I have to admit that I've always been intimidated by how The Spa looks like from the outside. I've always wondered how good they are. Being a fan of massages and spas, I kind of knew what I like and what to look from the services they offer.

Upon entering the store, you'll be greeted by a dimly lit hallway. It sort of gives you that Egyptian queen feels. Hehe, at least that's how I felt.  The place immediately gives you a cozy, warm, and relaxing feeling.


You'll then be welcomed by these two lovely ladies in the front desk. I highly suggest that you book an appointment especially when coming in on a weekend cos this place gets jam packed right away! Two women was actually turned down when I was checking in because they don't have an appointment, I felt a bit sad for them cos they said they just left their kids in the play area to get some spa. How lucky I am to have someone look after Arya so I can do these things! Gaaah!

TIP:

You can book for an appointment by calling your preferred branch. See branch locations here. I booked mine in Trinoma branch. Here are their contact numbers: 0928 - 5504893 (mobile), 900 - 8809 (landline). I texted their mobile number around 12:00 PM on a Sunday to book for a 3:00 PM schedule. They immediately reply and confirmed that there was an available slot for me.


If you don't have any ideas yet on what service to get, don't worry! There's a service menu waiting or you in the lobby.

TIP:

It's actually much better to browse through their services before you book for an appointment so that they have much time to prepare for your room and to make your service much pleasant. See their services here.

Upon booking, I already told them that I'll be having a Mind and Body Flow and Total Nail Care after the massage. See description and prices below (taken from their website).





When you're done choosing what services to take, you can now pay for your massages and you will be assisted to their lounge area. Now here's the sad part, I can only take a few photos of the lounge area and will not be able to bring my camera or anything before going to the rooms. 


The lounge area is really spacious. Here you'll see the lockers and vanity. You'll notice there's an entry way beside the water dispenser, that's the steam room or sauna room.  Since the area is dimly lit, I had a hard time taking photos. :(



These are the showers. There's already shampoo, conditioner, and body wash inside. The shower mimics rain drops so it's really nice. You can also adjust the water temperature to hot or cold.

You can take steam and shower before going to your massage or you can take them after your massage. That's what I did, since I already showered before leaving home. You'll be accompanied by nice assistants inside and they will also give you a nice, warm, ginger tea.

The photos ends here. I'l leave it up to your imagination how amazing their massages are. :)

Mind and Body Flow:

I was accompanied inside the executive room, much more like a tent. Really cozy and dark. Inside, my masseuse is already waiting for me. I was given a robe and taken off everything except my underwear before going inside the executive room. I decided to choose this treatment because it specifically says the service is for people having a hard time sleeping, and I've not been sleeping soundly lately. My masseuse was really gentle and focused on the parts that needed more attention, like my back, shoulders, and neck. The massage took an hour, and the head massage took 30 minutes. I really love how the hot oil was poured into my scalp and how relaxing the massage is. I honestly am twitching every time I feel like I was about to fall asleep. Tho, I think I was already half asleep. :)

Total Nail Care:

This is just your typical Mani + Pedi. Now, I'm a  bit scaredy-cat when it comes to getting my nails done. The nail technician was really quick and thorough with my nails. I am quite impressed actually. These girls are really a pro. Thumbs up.

Going to The Spa Wellness was the perfect treat I could give to myself for taking care Arya and working on late nights at home. I still have points left on my gift card so I'll definitely go back when my body needs it.

You should go too, seriously, give yourself some time off :)

Xoxo,
Rookie Mommy PH - can't wait to go back.



VICKS BabyRub Review

March 3, 2017

Hiya, rookie moms!

March didn't greet our family well either. Arya has a bad cough which might lead to asthma so we're really watching out for that. 

We took her to her pedia at FCHMC (Dra.Bucu) last Tuesday and she was prescribed with lots of meds. I also got seriously worried cos asthma runs in our family, I panicked and went to buy our own nebulizer. (Imma show it to you guys some other time in another blog post).

So, it's Day 2 today and Arya was having difficulty breathing at night. It's not normal for her to wake up in the middle of night so it really bothers me. I have this VICKS BabyRub for quite sometime now. I bought this when we went shopping at S&R before Christmas. It was a long time ago.

I'm a fan of VICKS too, I have a tub near my bed and I always rub it on my forehead whenever I have migraine or whenever I have nasal allergy (which is every night). So, I thought, maybe this one can help Arya too.

SCENT

The BabyRub version has a scent of rosemary and lavender. I looove lavender so the scent wasn't an issue for me. It also contains an extract of aloe vera so hat's plus points for me.

USAGE

The label on the box says: "For babies from 3 months. Suitable for children up to 5 years.
Avoid contact with eyes. Do not use directly on face or on broken or damaged skin. Do not use in mouth or in nostrils.

HOW I USE IT WITH ARYA

 I massaged the product on her chest, back, neck, and sometimes forehead. 

EFFECT

It does help her get through the night and helped her to easily doze off to sleep. I believe this variant is less strong than the original ones since I noticed that it is less sticky and the cooling effect does fade away after a few minutes, so I just usually reapply after 30 minutes just to make sure Arya sleeps better. 

Arya didn't had any bad skin reaction to it so that's plus points too. :)

I'm sure how this costs outside S&R. I think it was about P120.00 for 50 grams in a tub.

I do recommend this product if you're a fan too or frequently uses such products. But, as I always say, do consult your pedia first. For this one tho, we didn't consult our pedia. Hehe, I just use my instinct. *wink.

Xoxo,
Rookie Mommy PH - loooove VICKS

When life hits me hard, I fall hard, and will later try to come back again

March 2, 2017

This might be an overused line but seriously, being a mom is no joke.
But it is the most rewarding situation to be in.

I rarely make personal blog posts but it's nice to do it sometimes, cos, somewhere out there, you'l have a few readers who secretly can relate to you. But, this can bore you to death so you just might want to skip this. I'm just letting this out. :)

My February wasn't great at all. My anxieties kept me from writing new blog posts. I focused on taking care of Arya while working from home. And of course Korean drama marathon!

The thing is, I've been a lot of difficulty sleeping lately. I've been exhausted, worrying and thinking so much over the past month. I've always this kind of woman who plans ahead I usually have plans a - z in my head. But, I sort of didn't see what's coming so I failed to make a plan.

I have been dreading the moment I stop working from home. It has been a wonderful 6 months of not dealing with traffic, waking beside Arya and putting her back to sleep, feeding, and taking care of her while working on the side has been my routine. Sadly, my contract is ending soon and so I have to make a decision whether to go back and find a full-time 8 hour job again. sigh...

I don't want to leave Arya. That's the thing that depresses me. I don't want to miss her milestones. I don't want to miss her. I don't want to leave my baby. I don't want to start working again and only seeing her at night or weekend. I. DON't. WANT. THAT

But, do I have a choice, really? NO.

I saved a lot actually from working from home. Enough to finally bought us a family car, which was our goal. But the change of things really frustrates me and I don't have a plan. YET.

I'm this kind of woman who feels completely useless when I don't have a job.That contributes a lot to my anxieties. I hate it when I don't contribute. I hate it when I feel like I have to worry about the future. ugh...i hate it, i hate it.

I've been really struggling hard. But, I think it's time for me to move on from all the negative energy cos it's really eating me up.

I am looking at my options, weighing them and it feels like it's not that bad. 

Being raised by a single mom who rocks, btw.  I have this automatic button and thinking of I have to provide for my family. (my husband do have a job that pays well too.) I am not comfortable with not earning or not being able to contribute. I think I got it from my mom who works so hard to raise us and to provide for us. I thank her, fully!

It's just funny, cos this afternoon, I went out to take care of our passport documents. I really feel stressed out and exhausted so I found myself walking into one of my fav massage salons. I just went in and had the most wonderful Swedish massage. It was so good you can have a massage-gasm. LOL I never felt so relaxed in the longest time. I even found myself singing in the showers when I got back home.

I told myself to stop harboring all the negative thoughts and just go with the flow. Welcome whatever life brings, and if it's really bad, cry it out, lock yourself up in a room, and wait until you can fully accept the situation and changes. That's what I did. It just took me a bit over a month. But, I'm slowly trying to manage the changes now so...yeah.

BTW, there's going to be a lot of things going on for me starting this month so you all better watch out for the upcoming blog posts. :) I'm really trying to keep up with all my backlogs hehe.

Anywhoo, cheers to you, cheers to us for being mom warriors. We're not perfect. We all have problems, let's try not to be eaten by them. After all, we have little ones looking our for us.

Xoxo,
Rookie Mommy PH - this too shall pass.




Let's Face It Facial Salon Acne Set Review


Hello, mommas!

OMG! I knoooowww!  I haven't been in touch for a long time. I keep breaking my promise to you guys. BUT. I do have a valid reason for not updating this blog for about a month.

My February was crappy. 

To begin with, I ran out of my skincare products at once and they were all sold-out in Althea and Nature Republic. So, what I did (which I shouldn't have done) was to start a new skincare regimen with new products I can find locally available here. And that's when I had the most miserable acne + eczema breakout I ever had since high school.

Lactezin wasn't helping with the breakout anymore. I had so much on my cheeks and chin. (I still take Lactezin now, don't get me wrong, it is a great product, it's just that I don't think it is the solutions for all your acne problem but it sure helps up to a certain degree).

So, I called my sister and aunt who were both a regular customer at Let's Face It Facial Salon. They told me to seek a dermatologist there to get proper assistance and medication.

To cut the story short, I did consult one of their dermatologist in SM Fairview branch. I showed him the products that I currently use and he told me that they were fine and great as hydrating products but were not okay to combat my acne. So I did a Pimple Gel Mask Facial and bought their Acne Set.



The Acne Set costs around P600.00. The set includes a bar soap, toner, night cream, and a sun block. It was fairly cheap for a set, right. I mean compared to all the Korean skincare products that I have been using :p

HOW TO USE THE ACNE SET

Upon purchasing the set, they will give you a printed instructions on how to use the set.

Morning routine:
  1. Wash face with acne bar soap 3x
  2. Spread 2 to 3 drops of acne lotion (toner) on your face using a cotton pad
  3. Lather some sun block on your face
Night routine:

    1. Wash face with acne bar soap 3x
    2. Spread 2 to 3 drops of acne lotion (toner) on your face using a cotton pad
    3. Lather some medicated cream (night cream)
    I did this routine for 5 days straight and OMG, the pain I felt while using this set was more than when I was giving birth. Like, seriously.

    DAY BY DAY REVIEW

    Day 5
    My face started to get really swollen, red, and tight.

    Day 6 - 7
    I couldn't move my face and eyes much cos it hurts AF. My face is so tight that every movement of my face muscle will hurt AF. 

    I stopped using the set and used Dove bar soap and 100% aloe vera gel cos I can't bare the pain anymore.

    Day 8 - 10
    My face started to peel. YAAAY! This is the gross part. There's still a lot of discoloration on my face but it was okay cos the peeling is somehow very comforting, I can also see that the new skin is better and my pimples were all dried up.

    Day 11 - 14
    I started using back my Stelatopia cream cleanser for eczema skin cos I was afraid that the dryness of my face from the peeling and medication will trigger my eczema. I still continued using Dove bar soap. 

    Day 15 - 18
    The redness of my face were all gone and my acne faded away. My skin is back to normal so I stopped using the entire set and went back to my basic skincare routine.

    OVERALL REVIEW

    I would recommend this set if your pain tolerance is really high. HAHA I honestly regretted it at first but the results is really nice. I maybe do it again if a bad breakout occurs. This is the first time I tried a peeling product to deal with my breakouts and I can honestly say that it's both painful and satisfying at the same time.

    MY NEW SKINCARE ROUTINE

    Morning
    1. Wash my face with Dove bar soap
    2. Apply Let's Face It sunblock cream
    Noon (like after I take a bath)
    1. Wash my face with Dove bar soap
    2. Apple aloe vera gel (cos it's really hot now. Summer is almost here.)
    Night (before I sleep)
    1. Wash my face with Dove bar soap
    2. Double cleanse with Stelatopia cleansing cream (for eczema prone skin)
    3. Apply Dear Klairs toner 
    4. Apply aloe vera gel
    5. (optional - depends on whether I have dry patches due to eczema) Petroleum Jelly
    I, 100% recommend the set for the brave souls. LOL But, remember to get checked first, okay?

    Xoxo,
    Rookie Mommy PH - It burns like hell. :))