Saturday, February 27, 2016

Kickstarter Alert: Support Willowbrook Girls

Willowbrook Girls are dolls and story series that gives girls characters that they can see in themselves —> girls who are both ordinary and extraordinary, and who are becoming leaders in their own right. The characters are a group of seven friends in the fifth grade who are intelligent, goal-oriented, and outspoken. Each character has incredible ambition.
Willowbrook Girls promotes girl empowerment!

Meet the characters:

And check out their first doll created, Cara.

The dolls and the story are realized thru Neha Chauban Woodward. She is the Founder of Willowbrook Girls. Prior to Willowbrook Girls, she built her career in e-commerce, working at companies like Blue Apron, (Amazon), and DANNIJO. She started her career at JPMorgan. Neha has a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Neha named Willowbrook Girls after her elementary school, Public School 54, which was located on Willowbrook Road in New York. 
Please support Neha's advocacy in creating these doll as a way to empower little girls.

For more details, please head on to Kickstarter now :)

Visit Willowbrook Girls website here

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Strategies for a Fast & Light Backpacking

Going outdoors! 
Connecting with nature!
These are one of the best things I want my kids to experience.
Because I know the feeling when you reach your destination goal after a long dreadful walk and view that beautiful scene or get to feel the refreshing water from the falls. 

Growing up, I was able to take a long walks from my lola's house to another lola's house. Had a chance to climb their sineguelas trees and stay on the tree eating the sineguelas while waiting for lola's angry voices. I was able to hike the hills of Malasag, CDO or swim together with the carabaos along Agusan river or had an overnight at the mountain range of Manticao, Mis. Or. 

It was fun and again I want my kids to experience it too.

The husband is hesitant towing young kids (toddlers) in this type of adventure. He worries on the possible accidents on younger kids or the possibility of getting sick. Most of all, he worries bringing all the necessities of a young kid's needs from milk formula, milk bottles, diapers, clothes, blankets, pillows and the list goes on. 

For ultimate pleasure we wait.

Until we thought we can handle it.

This coming March 5-6, 2016, we will be joining Outpax HealthCamp in Moalboal and we will be bringing with us our 9yo and 5yo kiddos. 
Photo Credits
Don't get me wrong, we travel a lot since out families live in the southern part of Philippines but this event is different. We don't have any idea what to bring or worse don't have any camping gear suited for it.

Thus this event is fitting!
Photo Credits
I decided to join and listen to Mr. Leo Glenn G. Lao's talk held at Ayala Active Zone last February 12, 2016 about Fast & Light Backpacking. The talk is about new strategies to lighten up one's load. New strategies in the sense that new techniques and technologies come hand in hand to help backpackers enjoy the trip without tiring oneself from carrying loads half the weight.

Here is the Tried and Tested Fast & Light Principles shared by Leo:

A. Eliminate "nice to have" and "not needed" items
     Do you need to bring a book? mp3/mp4 players? tablet? pillow? portable speakers? extra batteries on an overnight event? And if you are already familiar with the place, do you really need to bring a map or a compass? Assess!

B. Choose the smallest, lightest gear suited to the purpose
     Use LED headlamp instead of bigger, conventional headlamps; Use spork instead of spoon and fork; Use alcohol stove instead of multi-fuel stove; Use alkaline batteries with lithium;  Use 3/4 length sleeping bag instead of full-length model. The point is if there is much lighter gear that serves the same purpose, then it is much preferable.

C. Bring a gear that serves multiple uses to avoid redundancies
     Spork serves as spoon and fork at the same time. A pot can serve as a mug or plate. If you have a cellphone, then its no use bringing an alarm clock. A bandanna has many uses too. A garbage bag can be uses as a raincoat, pack cover, trash bag, food bag or flotation device. 

D. Modify your gear to make it lighter
     Apply heat-resistant/flameproof paint to increase the heating absorbency and lower cooking time. Shorten straps or pegs. Drill holes to make it lighter.

E. Take only the amount needed
     Don't carry a lot of food and snacks (this is difficult :D) Avoid bringing a lot of extra clothing. Minimize the amount of toilet paper, duct tape, soap, insect repellent, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, toothpaste..etc 

F. Try teamwork or share gear
     Make friends. Ask for a possible sharing of gears to avoid redundancies. 

G. The more you reduce weight, the more you are able yo reduce more weight
     Self explanatory :D

H. Refine, Research and Practice
    The key is to get outside frequently and understand what does and does not work in certain situations. and discover what works best for you.

As a courtesy call: 
It is advisable to to meet local leaders in the community before you assault any mountains. This is to officially inform them of their undertaking. Local knowledge and information is very vital in the success of your climbs.

More details is available from Leo Glenn Lao's team. They have Fast & Light Backpacking pamphlet available with them as your reference.
Good thing I joined and it was a great opportunity to learn.
Thank you for the opportunity Outpax and Mr. Leo Glenn G. Lao.
And I hope we are ready :D

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

January 2016 Wrap-Up

Last month was a very busy month for us.
Lots of packing as we're scheduled to move to our new place.
Felt nostalgic leaving the apartment. Still the best, strategic location ever --- 2nd floor, lots of surrounding trees, secure place, good neighbors, walking distance to the national road, market and even malls. The only downside is that kids will only have indoor activities. Despite, we'll still miss it.

First sunrise view from our new place :) Isn't it lovely?
Everyone love the new place. Kids like it so much that they get to stay longer hours outside to play real play. We've been living in 2nd floors for almost 10 years so this is new for them. And this little girl loves to go up and down the stairs :)

Because we didn't brought with us those broken cabinets, some stuffs are yet left unpacked for this month.
What is more exciting is since we now own the place, lots of DIY ideas are coming in waiting to be realized. These ideas tend to clash as mine is different from the husband, (just so you know he has that creativity too :) and I think much better than mine.
Calling all willing sponsors for home decors and design arrangement :)

Anyways, hoping you have a fruitful January too :)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

DOH's Animal Bite and Treatment Center for Dog Bites & Licks

Jiggy love dogs. He even feel excited just seeing them on pictures. 
So imagine his reaction when he sees a real one, a puppy at my parent-in-law's house. He is so amused on it even on the barking and the wagging tail. Not scared at all.

December 2013, we were home for the holidays and stayed in my parent-in-law's house. We were home for more than a week and I think we were still stranger to the puppy's view. I decided to let the kiddos observe the puppy at a distance only and not to touch him as we don't know how he will treat us, yet. But you know how 2 years old kids react, they just don't feel scared at all. It started with simple touch, then there's the petting on the puppy's head (with nieces and sis-in-law's company). Oh boy! he even wants to hold and carry it. 
But on new year's eve, because of the urge to hold and cuddle the puppy, he uncontrollably hold and squeeze the tail that he was bitten by it. It was not a deep bite but there are scratches and because we want to be assured, we made a short trip to the ER of Polymedic Medical Plaza.
Sure enough, he was given his first shot of anti-rabies. 

Day7, here in Cebu, he had the 2nd shot.

Day14, his third shot.

4th shot was given as an option for us considering puppy remains ok after 10 days.

That was 2 years ago!

Last week, Jiggy has another encounter with dogs. I think I haven't shared it yet that we already move to our new home (which needs a separate post). And in this new place, stray dogs are everywhere. They sort of good dogs by the way. We even feed them.There's this one particular dog that has been Jiggy's favorite (or vice versa), He pets it and wherever my kid goes, so does this particular dog. Last week, according to our neighbors, Jiggy's wound, fresh wounds, was licked by the dog who is always with him when he is playing outside. 
Such comfort! but a dangerous comfort it is!

That night, hubby brought our son to the Mendoro Medical Center's ER. He was only given a tetanus shot since rabies vaccination is not available. Besides rabies vaccination in a private hospital is so costly. Maybe because it is available in big vials (1 vial is around Php7k good for 4-5 shots)
Another dilemna was that the dog lick is not covered by our medical insurance. A big what duh?!
Good thing, medical practitioners at Mendero Medical Center, advised us to go an Animal Bite and Treatment Center. This is DOH sponsored center and thankfully it is available near in our place at Eversley Childs Sanitarium & General Hospital. 
The Animal Bite and Treatment Center is open during Mondays and Thursdays.
Group shots and individual shots are available. Don't hesitate to ask as personnel are approachable and accommodating. Jiggy was only given booster shots because of previous vaccines he received 2 years ago.
Well! Some Philippine's Government Services is not bad at all.

For this kid, he'll still love the dogs. He said he'll stay away from the dogs and not to touch them...for awhile :)

Our next problem? To get these stray dogs vaccinated too?
Or better yet get him a puppy of his own?

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