Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pictures and Memories

I'm generally not a person who likes having my picture taken. It's not something I am naturally good at (smiling at a camera). Having said that, I do like pictures a lot though... they are like an extension of our memories. I love taking pictures when travelling - objects, sceneries, signs, people... It's part of the stories I want to tell when I am older. It's also part of the memories I want to go back to when I am old and gray, and cannot go back to those places anymore. 

This is the same angst we have for our kids. Quoting my husband, "they will be never be this small again." I try to have professionally taken pictures of (and with) the kids once or twice each year. It's a personal choice because I only own a point and shoot camera (and Inhave yet to learn all it's features); a lot of the pictures I take of the kids are via my iPhone (signs of the times). We rarely get to see physical print outs, properly laid out photos here! This is why it's such a treat to have professionals do it for you.

Recently, The Picture Company offered to give the SoMoms a photosession with their kids and families, plus let us enjoy some member benefits for a short period of time. I've had one or two photo sessions with The Picture Company in the past, but we haven't gone back since I had my second child. I took up the offer - it was high time we had another photo session this year. It's also always nice to have new pictures to share with family and friends as we close the year too.

I think they have changed their process a little recently, and it's become pleasantly  client centric. I booked a time and a date first with the branch of my choice (The Podium). Soon, I got a text message confirming the time and date for our photosession. It just so happened that I was at The Podium two weeks before our shoot, so I walked into the branch there and personally confirmed the session. They asked for the names and ages of my girls and noted these down on their computer. They also asked for my email address so that they can send photo pegs for the shoot. 

I loved that they told me they will give me pegs... because that's one of the toughest things for me to decide on - figuring out the color schemes and shoot concepts. I soon got a personalized email from Ishee (the store manager/lead photographer) on her ideas for the shoot. The email contained ideas on outfits and colors to wear and sample pictures of different combinations (depending on the size of your family). Even if you are not going to "copy" those pegs to the detail, it was nice to have ideas (and visuals) to think about. 

Finally on the day of the shoot, The Picture Company sent a confirmation message that we were set for that day. When we got to the branch, Ishee quickly set up the studio for our shoot, and even asked my eldest daughter what her favorite song was (and had it play in the background). That was a very nice touch as it got the girls in the mood to stand in front of the camera. 

The experience sure was great... this is the first photoshoot I've had where I did not have to stress so much. I used to stress... Because one kid would always be cranky because it was (fill in the blanks - way past her naptime, has had a short nap, hungry, sick...). This time around, everything just fell into place. Let's not count the part when the two girls were fighting over who gets to use the tiara! The girls were big enough now to really enjoy hamming it up for the camera. Ishee and the team in Podium also made it fun for the girls, they were so patient with the children.

This was taken in a split second... Ishee called out "look up, girls" - and with that, it was a wrap.

To have your own photoshoot, do contact the branch of your choice and show them this coupon to get a free photo session. All you have to do is to call the branch of your choice to make an appointment. Then print or take a screenshot of the coupon below, and show them before your shoot. 

No kids? It's ok. For the whole month of November, they are running the #SmilesForRelief campaign - for P500 you can have your profile pictures taken professionally.

Get that best smile out and call your nearest branch now.

This post was sponsored by The Picture Company.

Friday, November 8, 2013

My lost post - SoMoms loot and the MommyMundo Bazaar

I thought I pressed publish... But instead, I think I accidentally deleted my post. And I have been nursing it for months. Now, as I redo it, I am in a totally different mood, and coming from a totally different perspective. And so my post format has changed.

This weekend, the 2nd weekend of November (and officially the first weekend of the Christmas season in my mind), is the annual Mommy Mundo bazaar! There are two schedules this year, one on Sunday and another one on December 8. It's bound to be an exciting bazaar... especially as Mommy Mundo has tied up with Two Tots for the biggest giveaway they have ever had....

... Your (child's) very own playroom showcase! This comes at such a perfect time for me as I've been seriously thinking about a play area for my girls. I wish I could win this Two Tots showcase... it would definitely shove me in the right direction (i.e. start cleaning up the attic....)! There are various ways to join online. BUT... You have a lot more chances to win if you go and check out the bazaar this weekend!

If you want to earn bonus points... these are what you have to do.

1. Visit the Mommy Mundo Bazaar on November 10 and/or December 8 and post on your status “I’m at the #MommyMundoBazaar at the Rockwell Tent, the only Christmas bazaar made for moms like me!” (2 pts)

2. Drop by the Two Tots booth at the Mommy Mundo bazaar on November 10 and/or December 8, take a photo of yourself at the booth, and share on Instagram or Twitter. Don’t forget to tag @twotots and @mommymundo with the hashtag #mommymundobazaar. Photos/profile must be set to “Public” to qualify. (2 pts)

3. Purchase something (any amount) from Two Tots’ booth at MMB and enter the raffle code found on the raffle stub.  (5 pts)

Number 3 is easy because Two Tots... You're sure to want a special Christmas sock with your little one's name on it. 

One of my favorite things from Two Tots is the orange basket in the picture. I have several of those which I use to stash small things into. They look nice and keep your things organized. I've managed to stash one of them inside my closet to keep my small and foldable bags!

Aside from Two Tots, expect other wonderful things from the bazaar. Here are some of the stuff that I hoarded from the SoMoms which are sure to be at the bazaar too.

Yellowbird shoes by Patty... these were her first designs, and she has since come out with lots of other fab ones. I personally own the Sadie sandal which look great and are a comfy to wear!

Green Sproutlets Organic tops and bottoms for toddlers (receiving blankets and bibs are available too). These are made of the softest fabric... look for Rone at Mothering Earthlings!

PaperChicStudio will be there... Get your stash of washi tapes and paper wrappers for wrapping presents. Check out their colorful straws and paper cups too, for brightening up your Christmas settings. I personally am looking forward to checking out their wooden stamps... I will soon share why, in another post. Ask Cai about them when you drop by her booth. If you're a wannabe crafter like me, you'll be tempted for sure.

Check out the Nurture Nook booth too for other great stuff for you and your children. They carry a lot of unique and great stuff, including the Grandma's Secret line.

These work wonders on sticky goo. Just like the stain remover worked wonders on stains. Just like how the miracle moisturizer was a miracle.... Not sticky on the skin at all. Grandma's Secret is out, go and get some!You might even get to pick up one of these handmade stuff from Baby Jane!

The list of other booths are here...

Hope to see you on Sunday! Let's also hope and pray that the storm Yolanda will go swift and fast without leaving much damage in the country. Have a safe weekend!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

K's Point of View: A reminder

So I didn't realize that the realities of being a working mom will really dawn on me when my daughter starts talking back. I don't mean the "bad" kind of talking back. Sometimes, it's the honest to goodness "wake up call" talking back that sure hits the spot.

Last Tuesday, I had to take a call at home at 8am. Unfortunately, I really cannot leave the house at 7:30 to take the call in office... Because that would mean waking up at 6:30am (at least) and starting the girls' day too early. The two were just starting to wake up at 7:30am, I was warming them up that they need to get out of bed before 8am.

Me: K, I have a call at 8am so go down and eat breakfast soon.

K: But I want to stay here with you.

Me: K, this is an important call, I really have to take it, sorry.

K: (mumbling)

Me: What did you say?

K: I said, K and S are more important!

The truth as spoken by my pre-schooler. I hope you've all had a great long weekend with your families and loved ones! It's time to get ready for Christmas!