Thoughts

Unsolicited Blog Analysis – Link Exchange?

Hi there my loves!

I don’t deny that this blog is nothing compared to other top ranking blogs that you will find on the internet. I am in no competition with other blogs. I have set up this blog to express my thoughts and share my experiences with you.

Once in a while I do get emails from other websites and blogs asking if I can do some product review and post an article or infographic for them. I don’t mind doing these as I’d love to share my space to other websites with content I deemed good enough to share.

Yesterday though I received a link exchange request from some blog from NYC. I don’t do link exchange because it is against the Google guidelines of good SEO practices. So I have informed the person about this and guess what?

He replied that my blog has lower traffic and ranking compared to his website! What the heck? If that’s the case, why did you contact me? I would hurt your ranking even more if you have better ranking than mine! So why contact me and give me that unsolicited blog analysis? And stop doing black hat techniques!

I don’t care if my traffic is not as high as yours. I am not a commercial blog. This is a personal blog which I use as an avenue to share my thoughts.

Good luck on your site and hopefully one day you will be on the top with all your black hat antics!

 

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Kids · Life · Mommy

Mom in Progress – Struggling but Getting There

Help Me!!! Okay, I’m exaggerating but I didn’t know having a baby and full time work can be so exhausting! Hello! I don’t even know what sleep and rest mean anymore.

My little Lemon is 8 days shy of being 9 months old. She’s an angel but a total attention seeker. No amount of toys can make her sit still. Heck, she doesn’t even want to watch Youtube videos or television for that matter unlike other kids I know who are glued to their screens all the time. She doesn’t want any of these nonsense. She wants me! She wants my attention.

So what constitutes my day this past months? Let me tell you. I go to sleep at around 11pm or 12 midnight. I have to finish 8 hours of work a day and because I usually start late, obviously I’d end up late as well.

I wake up at around 2 am to feed my baby. If I am lucky, she stays asleep throughout the feeding but if not, she’ll start playing thinking that it’s already morning. And this happens while the light is out. I’ve been told to turn off the light so the baby knows if its night time. Apparently, this doesn’t work really well with us. Even if it’s dark, my little Lemon will find a way to play. And by play I mean babble words in a way that even the people in the next room will hear.

So let’s assume I was lucky and she slept throughout the feeding, I go back to sleep and wake up at 4am to feed her again. Yes, I do this every 2 hours. You can tell by the muscles on her arms and legs 🙂 By this time, whether I’m lucky or not, she’ll wake up as this is her usual waking up time.

So a little playing here and there, feeding in between, and she’ll get back to sleep at around 6am. I’d sleep too and she’ll wake up at 7 am. I know, I’m very detailed with the time as she has a sleeping routine.

At 7am, we both wake up. I put her in her playpen and prepare food for the day. I usually cook rice, chicken, carrots, and squash. I make a porridge. I used to process her food in the blender so she can eat them easily but lately, she doesn’t want very soft and watery food anymore. She wants her solid. And she can eat solid without a problem too. At 8 months old, she has 9 teeth!

So she has her breakfast and playtime. I am finally able to eat my breakfast at around 9am. By 10, she’ll feed again and bath time after. Is it just me or do you also struggle in giving baths to little ones? I can’t give my little Lemon a bath by myself. I need a hand to do it right.

She’ll have a nap after bath time and wake up at 12 to feed again. Playtime comes next. Then feed again at 3pm. I’d let her have an early dinner at 5pm.

I’d prepare her for bed at 7pm and if things are going well, she’d be asleep at 8:30 pm. If not, she’ll be asleep after I work at 11pm.

In between all the feeding and playtime are clothes and nappy changes.

By the time I hit the bed, I almost can’t get up anymore. It’s a struggle to get up and feed her at 2am.

The cycle continues everyday.

Until now, I’m amazed how I have survived 8 months of this set up. But with all my struggles, I wonder if other moms are experiencing these? When I look at Facebook posts of my friends who are mommies to infants too, they seem to have kept everything in control. Am I doing something wrong or am I just really a mom in progress? After all, it feels everything is new to me given that the last time I had an infant was 15 years ago!

And just in case we are not friends on Facebook, here is what she looks like now:

Image may contain: 1 person, shoes

I wrote this post in a hurry because I have a screaming baby in front of me! I just want to give everyone a quick update of the reason why I haven’t been posting lately 🙂

Food Trip · Life · Mommy · Submit Guest Post · Women

4 Bread-Baking Secrets on the Road to Bread Perfection

 

You’re preparing for your child to be born, and you’re craving something delicious. Bread is on your mind day and night, and if food is on your mind, you can start baking the perfect loaf of bread today. But I am not going to give you a recipe to follow.

Nope.

I’m going to do something even better: help you fix all of those baking errors that you’re making. You’ll be able to use a lot of these secrets to make fruit cakes, cookies, pastries or any other type of cooking when baking is involved.

Bread Baking Secret #1: Warm Butter

You follow a recipe exactly, and what happens? Your bread turns out horrible. I have had this happen countless times, and the problem was something so simple that I am almost embarrassed to even mention it: butter.

I added the butter into the mix.

But I didn’t let the butter warm up first. The recipe never really said what to do with the butter, so I left it out for a minute or two before adding it into my dough.

Big mistake.

Room temperature ingredients trap the air through emulsion and this air will expand and allow the bread to get nice and fluffy. If your bread hasn’t been getting the fluff you want, this may be why.

Bread Baking Secret #2: Knead on an Oiled Surface

This corrective technique seems so obvious, but it’s a technique most people don’t even think about. If your bread and dough is just dry, you’ll want to knead it on an oiled surface. If you knead your dough on a floured surface, you’re going to add to the dryness of the bread.

And this should be evident during your last dough rise.

If you just have dough that’s always too dry, this trick will help – a lot.

Bread Baking Secret #3: Temperatures Aren’t What They Seem

I started to notice that my bread never came out just right after a few recipe failures, but it wasn’t just bread. A lot of baked goods didn’t come out right. I knew I followed the recipes exactly, so the next logical step was to look at my main equipment.

The utensils have little to do with the problem. When I was using a new bread maker, the problem went away, too. But any time I put my dough into the oven, or any baked good for that matter, instant problems.

The problem?

My oven. The temperature wasn’t right. I put it on 350 degrees, but the calibration was off, and the oven’s temperature was off. I used a separate oven thermometer, and the oven was off by 25 degrees

You can calibrate some ovens, but I just used the thermometer to tell the difference in temperature and I was back to the grind making delicious bread once again.

If your oven is off, and a lot of them are, it’s going to be problematic.

Another mistake I learned from my grandmother, and it’s so simple, too: stop opening the oven door. You let a lot of the hot air escape the oven when you open the door, which causes the bread to bake improperly and causes the oven to work in overdrive.

Bread Baking Secret #4: Use a Digital Scale

Baking with confidence requires you to use a digital scale. The best bakers in the world know that even a slight variation in an ingredient’s quantity can lead to a major difference in the chemical reaction in the bread.

And if you just “eye” your ingredients, it’s no wonder that they never come out right.

You need to measure your ingredients using a scale. And I am sorry, but you need to also measure in grams. Trust me, it’s so much easier and it makes an immediate impact on your baking.

Scales are the difference between consistency and chaos.

If you measure all of your ingredients by weight, you’ll be able to make sure that the same recipe tastes the same the next time you follow it.

Bread making is an art, and it’s all a matter of taste. Something I learned on my travels to Italy is that the way Italians make bread is a lot different than the way Americans make bread. The sweetness isn’t part of the Italian bread making ritual. Not at all.

And the taste is much earthier in Italy than it is in the U.S.

But it’s all a matter of taste. Experiment, add ingredients and find the bread taste that makes your mouth water.

 

Kids · Love · Mommy · Parenting · Personal

Our Little Angel At 12 Weeks

Our little bubba is now 12 weeks and 3 days old. How fast time flies! We have to wait until the 20th week to know the gender but we are praying it will be a baby girl. Everyone we know hopes for a baby girl too. I can never be more excited.

Last time we went for my prenatal checkup, my OB tried to listen to the baby’s heartbeat using the doppler but we can’t hear it. She said it was probably too early to detect the heartbeat so she did a quick pelvic ultrasound just to make sure that the baby is okay and is alive. The baby was sleeping so we can’t really see any movement. My OB tried to prod my abdomen gently and the baby moved a little. What a relief to find out it’s okay.

Week-11-Baby-Size-Comparison

According to Babycenter.com, at this age, the baby is already the size of a lime. Great improvement. Last week, it was just the size of a brussel sprout. It weighs about half an ounce and measures around a little over 2 inches. It is looking more human every week. It got reflexes now. The eyes have moved from the sides to the front of the head. The ears are now in place as well.

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As for me, I am beginning to feel morning sickness. I know it’s late since I am already about to start my second trimester. I haven’t had any morning sickness during my first trimester so I must be a late bloomer! Heartburn has become more and more intense now. And talk about frequent trip to the bathroom especially early in the morning!

I have no particular craving for food but I want cold drinks always. It’s hard to pin this down to pregnancy since it is full Summer here so I am thinking I will still crave for cold drinks even if I am not pregnant.

My tummy is getting bigger now. I am running out of clothes that fit me.

My family has been nothing but very supportive and helpful at this stage. I thank the Lord for the gift of family to help me get through this exciting but scary journey.

 

Life · Mommy · Parenting · Submit Guest Post

How to Grow Your Hair Back After Pregnancy

Isn’t it the most annoying thing in the world when you have just gone through the pain and the stress of giving birth, and you come out of it thinking that it’s over, but it’s not? This can be the case for thousands of women out there who experience post-partum baldness. According to leading hair loss treatment providers, this is a condition where the body, in response to the trauma you suffered during your pregnancy, kills off your hair cells. This can lead to hair fall, loss, and possible baldness. This is completely temporary, but can still be another cause of stress you simply don’t need right now. Here are some useful ways to avoid losing more hair and to try and grow back what you’ve lost right now.

Stop Doing the Turban Thing

As women, we love wrapping our hair in the towel after a shower to get rid of all the water and look pretty awesome while doing it. However, wrapping your wet hair in the towel, twisting it, and moving it everywhere can be very bad for your hairline. In fact, the state of your hair right now following your pregnancy means it is extremely likely to just break off. All your body’s nutrition is being siphoned off to make milk, plus you’re dealing with so much stress. This towel treatment will increase how much of your hair breaks off every day. Having a turban without twisting your hair in the towel is no better – anything that stretches your hair can break it quite easily. Comb your hair out after your shower instead, or try breaking out the blow-dryer.

Get Rid of Ponytails

You’ve probably seen the Mommy Makeover websites with the pretty young things running on a treadmill with their hair in a ponytail. Well, actual post-partum weight loss and the rest of it isn’t nearly as clean as that. Don’t do your hair up in a ponytail. These hairdos truly do pull your hairline back to the point that in their weakened state they simply break off and die. You can try using clips and headbands if you want to work out while mothering your newborn. Just avoid any hairstyles that put stress on your weakened hairs.

Do Away with the Ends

Almost all hair breakage starts when your ends begin to split. Split ends can be treated by trimming the hairs with them regularly. This keeps the rest of the hair healthy and strong (or as strong as they can be right now). You should also look into conditioning treatments with natural conditioners, either with your hair stylist or at home alone. The salon can be a little hard to fit into the schedule what with the rest of your new tasks at home.

Getting your hair to stop being so flimsy is hard when you’re a new mom. However, you can prevent it from breaking apart in your hands every time you touch it. The key to growing your hair back after pregnancy is to stop letting it fall in the first place!

Life · Submit Guest Post

Great Travel Ideas for Valentine’s Day

As the day of love gets closer, there are a number of things you can do to make a great Valentine’s Day for both you and your loved one. Step up the regular dinner date or night out with a bit of travel for the two of you and go somewhere special!

Cruises

Cruises can be a great trip idea for a couple, because you get to be isolated on a ship for as long as you can go! This means that the two of you can enjoy time to yourselves while also enjoying the amenities and activities on the ship. While it may be a big ship, if you go just the two of you, it can be like just the two of you are there.

You can enjoy romantic, isolated evenings on your own. You can get dinner together, spend time in your cabin alone,  and time out doing other activities available. There are a wide range of activities available on cruise ships, some of which are specifically geared towards couples. Even ones that aren’t can be great for couples. No matter what you like to do, you’ll be sure to find something fun and exciting to do.

Ski Lodge/Cabin

A ski lodge or cabin can also make a great romantic getaway for a couple. It provides privacy and intimacy, and depending on where you go, it can also have a stunning view. On top of making for a romantic and private trip for Valentine’s Day, it gives you a chance to enjoy activity and adventure while doing so. If you’re more interested in activities than relaxing, you can combine the best of both worlds by enjoying a weekend or few nights at a ski resort or cabin.

Property Booking Websites

Enjoying an extravagant trip like a cruise or ski resort isn’t always necessary though, you are just as likely to have an enjoyable time renting a private property out using a service like Airbnb or something similar. The great part about getting something like this is that it’s much more affordable than some other travel options.

These types of trips also offer you privacy and intimacy. They gives you a chance to be alone and go at your own pace, allowing you the freedom to do what you want with your time together. You can pick a location with a great view and enjoy a night of privacy together. You can spend the day before and after exploring the local area and visiting destinations nearby. If you want to just stay in and enjoy your time together, don’t bother leaving at all.

These various property booking websites, such as Airbnb and Tripping.com, offer affordable, cute, and intimate properties for you and your partner to share. You can create a private, romantic vacation from home that still offers you the freedom to do what you want with your time and relax.

Make this Valentine’s Day special by stepping up your typical celebration by traveling together. Instead of the traditional dinner and jewelry, create lasting memories by going on a vacation together, enjoying an intimate experience together.

Life

6th Week – Pregnancy and Heartburn

It’s my 6th week of pregnancy and I have been experiencing heartburn. Since the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I always feel bloated. I have done a few readings and I learned that heartburn is to be expected in early pregnancy. My stomach feels really hard and I keep on burping.

There are foods to avoid during pregnancy. These foods trigger acid reflux. But in my experience, everything that I eat causes heartburn! What to eat now????

If you are pregnant too and experiencing what I am going through, here are some information that will help you better understand the reasons behind heartburn in early pregnancy. I found them really helpful and hopefully, you learn from them too.

In early pregnancy, heartburn is caused by the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the uterine muscles to fit your growing baby – and also relaxes the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. – http://www.thebump.com

 

One of the key contributing factors to experiencing more gas during pregnancy is the increased levels of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that causes the muscles throughout your body to relax. … This allows gas to build up easier and creates bloating,burping and of course flatulence. – americanpregnancy.org

Heartburn (also called acid indigestion or acid reflux) is a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. It’s caused by some of the hormonal and physical changes in your body. During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus. This hormone also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep back up, which causes that unpleasant burning sensation. Progesterone also slows down the wavelike contractions of your esophagus and intestines, making digestion sluggish. Later in pregnancy, your growing baby crowds your abdominal cavity, pushing the stomach acids back up into the esophagus. – babycenter.com

Remember the old wives tale that heartburn causes hairy baby? Well, this is me right now:

Image result for acid reflux early pregnancy meme

Well, let’s see if the heartburn will go away in the next few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

 

Kids · Life · Uncategorized

5th Week – Pregnancy Surprise

What a surprise when I found out I was expecting last Feb 28. I had a one day spotting on February and as I realized it was already the end of the month, I was scared I might have some sort of physical illness so I planned to get checked the next day. I told my husband maybe I should do a pregnancy test first to rule out pregnancy from my reasons of missed period. We were totally not expecting pregnancy because after 14 years, who would have thought this will be a possibility?

So I took the pregnancy test almost a hundred percent sure it will be negative but to my surprise, it was positive! I was shocked and didn’t know what to say. Equally shocked was my husband, my son, and the rest of my family! I think I’m too old to still get pregnant. I am 35 and God has a surprising way of putting me on the last trip to motherhood.

So to confirm the result, we went to 2 Ob-gynes. Yes, I really wanted to make sure. I had 2 ultrasounds too which I realized may not be good for the baby but what’s done has been done. Anyway, here is the image of the ultrasound I had.img_6484

The baby is not yet visible as it is too early. On my first ultrasound, I was told that there was no baby yet, it was just the amniotic sac. The second ultrasound I had was transvaginal and I think it showed clearer result. The little white spot inside the black circle is apparently the tiny heartbeat of the baby. It was too early to actually see something.

From the ultrasound, it was determined that I am on the fifth week of pregnancy. I haven’t had any major discomfort. I feel a little sick in the morning, like I have a fever or stuffed nose but apart from that there is nothing major discomfort that I feel.

I was asked to take folic acid and hormone replacement supplement which I always forget to take. Perhaps this is one of the effects of pregnancy, I am more forgetful now.

I was also asked to drink pregnancy milk which is such a pain to take. I don’t like the taste but hey, I have to do it, right?

I don’t have any food cravings but my son was craving for pasta yesterday. Is it possible that he’s the one craving for me? I remember when I was pregnant with my son, my husband was the one craving for food and not me. It’s an old wives tale that if you walk over someone during pregnancy, that person will be the one craving and not you. I know there is no logic to it but who knows? LOL

This has all been a surprise to me and I hope to document my journey to help expectant mothers too. We can all learn from each other.