Author Archives: Andi Perullo de Ledesma

About Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

My Personal Pregnancy Journey With e.p.t®

I am a Chinese Medicine Doctor and one of my specialties is treating fertility and infertility with acupuncture. Over the past decade, I have helped almost one hundred women conceive. Thus, you would think that my own pregnancy journey would have been a peaceful one. I should have  felt relaxed and confident that if something was preventing me from conceiving, I would simply turn to acupuncture to fix it.

However, I began my pregnancy journey extremely nervous. Even though I had a perfect checkup with my doctor and there were zero red flags, I could not stop thinking about all of the women that I had treated over the years and it played serious mind games with me.

We decided to use e.p.t® tests to check for pregnancy every month. Nearly 40 years ago, e.p.t® invented the at-home pregnancy test and it changed the way women found out they were pregnant forever. It has been successfully used by millions of women to date. When you are waiting for some of the biggest news of your life, time is of the essence, and I always found that e.p.t® gave me the fastest and most reliable results; the test is over 99% accurate from the day of your expected period, so you can feel confident in your results. Did you know that, approximately 8/10 women first learned they were pregnant from a home pregnancy test and nearly half said they took the test immediately after buying it. Though many respondents aged 60 or older (38%) were skeptical when the first home pregnancy test hit shelves, most women (81%) now consider an at-home pregnancy test the first step if they suspect they might be pregnant.

Most women can remember the first time they found out they were or were not pregnant after taking an at-home pregnancy test or what is otherwise known as their #momentoftruth. Whether it was a joyous, heartbreaking, or shocking moment, it is one they will never forget.

My #momentoftruth was a shocking one! After two months of trying and seeing no results, I decided I was going to no longer stress out about it. What will be will be. I must have taken my test too early the third month and it read negative. We left on a family trip to the Turks and Caicos, where I felt exhausted and nauseous the entire time. However, it never occurred to me that I could be pregnant. Once I returned home, my husband pushed me to take another test. I was convinced it was going to read negative again. Imagine my surprise when it instantly read positive. It was my #momentoftruth and I would not have changed a thing about it. My husband and I cried and hugged and cried some more. We had been blessed beyond measure!

In celebration of its upcoming 40th anniversary, e.p.t®, the makers of the original home pregnancy test, explored the emotional journey that women experience as they wait to find out if they are pregnant and how it has changed over the years. The survey asked more than 600 women between the ages of 22-60 their thoughts about getting pregnant, finding out whether they are pregnant, and what the experience is like.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Bristol Balloons

Bristol Versus Cardiff Stag Weekend

These two cities have a lot going on for them when it comes to planning an epic stag weekend, but which takes gold in the battle for the ultimate last weekend of freedom? We have put together a rundown on how the two cities compare:

Bristol Stag Weekend

You are sure to have some stories to tell and plenty of material for that best man’s speech after a Bristol stag weekend. There are plenty of activities to get involved in, in this unique city enveloped in the hills of South West England. Bristol offers a buzzing night life, great drinking and party venues, and some fun stag do activities for a Bristol stag weekend you definitely will not forget.

Bristol is the king of pub crawls with a range of boozy routes to choose from; all with great bars and pubs along the way. There is the Harbourside route boasting some of the city’s best watering holes, including The Orchard known for its extensive cider collection and The Pump House which is great for that re-fuel food stop and famous for its larger than life gin menu. If that is not enough there is even a pub on a boat. The Grain Barge sits snugly at the water’s edge with food, drink, and live music all on one ship!

If that route does not take your fancy, there is also St Michaels Hill (make sure you start at the top though). This route offers some great pubs including Beerd a craft beer and pizza venue and the Robin Hood pub known for its cosy atmosphere and selection of beers and craft ales.

Then there is always the good old Gloucester Road route, home to the Golden Lion pub known for its live music events. You will find a traditional pub atmosphere further down at the Prince of Wales. And if you are looking for something a bit different the Cat and Wheel boasts a slightly bizarre, yet very entertaining Sunday karaoke night. Whichever route you choose you are guaranteed a stag night to remember (or in this case maybe not!)

Bristol is also host to loads of fun pre-drinking daytime activities. Why not try indoor go-karting, quad biking, or clay pigeon shooting. Or for braver stags, there is the city’s horror escape rooms, a great ice breaker for the group to work together to solve puzzles and games to escape their room of horrors.

Another great activity to get stuck into is West Country Games, which involves some weird and wonderful blow up assault course activities, where you can try you luck on the cider bungee run, challenge the stag to a Pitch Fork Duel or Vicky Pollard handbag fight and knock out some Wurzels.

If that is not enough you can also book a private boat bar crawl up the river Avon, taking in the magnificent sites of the city from the waterline whilst partying to your hearts content with great food and drink, with some trips even throwing a stripper into the mix.

Cardiff you have a lot to live up too! 

Cardiff Stag Weekend

Bristol definitely has a lot to offer and is hard to beat, but a Cardiff stag weekend also packs a mean punch! With everything in one easy navigational location full of sport and party venues, this beautiful city of heritage and history provides the perfect stag weekend and certainly has something for everyone.

Host to the legendary Principality Stadium (formally Millennium Stadium) this is the place to go for any rugby fan, as a night out in Cardiff on match night is guaranteed to be like no other the atmosphere just cannot be beaten! If football’s more your thing there is also Cardiff City Stadium, which lies just out of the center, so you can start your night with a game before heading into town.

Cardiff is also the choice of music lovers, being host to some excellent live music venues. Of course, when we think of gigs in Cardiff we think of the Motor Point Arena in the center of the city, hosting some of the largest live music gigs and comedy events, and boasting an 8000 seat capacity.

But there is also some great smaller live music venues including the Welsh Club (or ‘Clwb Ifor Bach’). Stacked three stories high; a hugely diverse range of live music plays out on each floor. Live Lounge renowned for its packed live music nights and Gwdihw a quirky, retro live music venue hosting some very popular open mic nights are two other venues to consider.

As bars and clubs go Cardiff has a bit of everything. There are some great party venues. If clubbing is your thing then why not head to Pryzm, a huge club on seven floors with five different bars to choose from. There is also Tiger Tiger on the same road where you can eat drink and dance, and one of the city’s most popular clubs Glam which is always lively and packed with a great party atmosphere. On the other side of the city (although only a five minute walk away) there is also Mill Lane which boasts some great smaller clubs and bars. There is Peppermint with two floors and great DJs, the underground cocktail bar, 10 Mill Lane which boasts a great old school hip hop vibe and great beers and cocktails, and Soda bar another popular party venue in the City.

On the activity front, Cardiff has something for everyone. Why not try paint balling or have a go on the dune buggy grand prix? There is also high ropes just outside of the city and gorge walking to have a go at. If you are into your water sports Cardiff is definitely the place to go. Home to the famous indoor Cardiff International White Water Center, there is some great white water rafting experiences to sign up to and indoor surfing activities. If you fancy the real thing there is some great surfing beaches just a half an hour drive from the city too, with Rest Bay hosting a beautiful surfing beach and surf school Porthcawl Surf School perfect for all levels of surfers!

If assault courses are more your thing, why not try the hilarious and entertaining blow up assault course activity, Welsh Games? This crazy assault course will get you going for a night out and is a great ice breaker. You can try your luck in the Drunk Dragons relay race, battle it out like gladiators in Leek Duel, and cling on for dear life to a bucking woolly wobbler in Sheep Shenanigans! These hilarious games are guaranteed to have your stag group in fits of laughter.

All in all it looks like there is something for everyone in Cardiff. Definitely something for sports and music fans, and host to so many clubs and bars in one small walkable area that you are sure to have an epic bar crawl on your hands!

Thus, what is the verdict on the competition? Each city has so much to offer. I am sure the only way to answer the question is to try both! After all, they are only up the road from each other and there are two days and nights to fill on a stag weekend, right?

Top Asian Holiday Destinations For Singaporeans

Curious where Singaporeans flock during the holiday season? We have scoured travel websites and unveiled the top holiday destinations amongst Singaporeans. Find a destination and start planning with your friends or loved one:

Before You Go

When leaving your home country, your health insurance may or may not travel with you. Whenever you are traveling abroad, you should buy either a travel medical plan or vacation plan that has provisions medical emergencies. And do not buy from just any insurance providers when you can get the best travel insurance Singapore from established companies with good track records.

Tokyo

Known for its fantastic packing, orderliness, intricate delicacies, and even weirdness. Tokyo is a place every traveler must visit at least once. Bring your kids (or yourself) to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disney Sea and try out every ride you can find. For adrenaline-junkies, visit the amusement park at Tokyo City. You and your children can find great learning opportunities and kid-friendly exhibits at the National Museum of Nature and Science.

Bangkok

Complete with savory street food such as grilled pork and beef and sweet treats like mango sticky rice, Bangkok is one of the finest getaway destination for Singaporean travelers. Fuel up on your caffeine needs and social conversations too, by café-hopping at Mr. Jones’ Orphanage or Roast Coffee and Eatery. Are you traveling with children? Spend your day exploring the mysteries of the underwater world at Siam Ocean World or visit Siam Park City for an exciting water theme park fun.

Bali

Plan your escapade to Bali, where you can see beaches no matter where you go. Head to the west part of the island for some fun surfing events, or cruise the lanes of Ubud to seek out the best café for organic dining or coffee sampling. You can also rent a cycle to explore every part and activity the island has to offer.

Seoul

Exciting nightlife, buffets of great food, fun culture, drinks, and music. Seoul has it all! Traveling with your other half? Why not use your travel as the place to propose? Declare your love at the famous Namsan Tower and take in the signs from its picturesque vantage point. Try staying until the night falls and watch the whole city light up before you.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is world-famous as a shopping haven for travelers who wish to indulge in designer labels. You can enjoy duty-free shopping everywhere on the island. This city is also an awesome blend of old and new; watch as aged boats pass by against the backdrop of the modern city skyline.

Kuala Lumpur

The federal capital of Malaysia is well-known and loved by many Singaporeans. Have your picture taken in front of the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers or great shopping at KLCC and Pavilion, whatever your quirk you can find something to do in Kuala Lumpur. Families with children can visit the Aquaria KLCC. For excitement, head to the Sunway Lagoon and spend the whole day at the water theme park or wildlife park. The Farm in the City offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with free roaming friendly animals.

End Note

Now that you know the top Asian holiday destinations Singaporeans love to go to, it is time to plan and save for your trip. And oh, do not forget to utilize the services of a travel agency to get a deal on flights, promo packages, and even freebies. Have fun!

Baby Model

Tips On How To Get Your Baby Into Modelling

Does your baby have perfect chubby cheeks, dazzling toothless smile, and bright eyes? All your friends and family are telling you that your baby is cute enough to be a model. If you have not noticed babies are everywhere nowadays. You will see them on billboards posing with toys, posing in diaper ads on TV commercials, and even in the most popular magazines. Besides all of that, many companies are now using babies in car commercials, cleaning supply commercials, and even toilet paper ads. Simply put, if your toddler has what it takes, there are plenty of opportunities available to them out there. However, the real question is, does your toddler have what it takes?

You have to face the fact that there are a lot of cute babies out there and modeling agencies are not just looking for cute. They are looking for personality as well! So, how are you going to get ahead of the competition? Below you will learn some unique tips and tricks on how to get your baby into modelling:

Be Prepared And Have Your Baby Prepared

Before you even take a step into the agency, you want to make sure that your baby is wide-awake and ready for what is about to come. Be sure that your child is alert, fed, and newly changed. If your little one is going to nap on the way to the agent’s office, you should at least arrive 20 to 30 minutes ahead of time to give your toddler enough time to properly wake up and be alert. Take a few laps around the parking to get your child fully alert if you have to.

Do Not Fret Too Much About Clothing

One major mistake that most parents make when taking their child to an audition is they spend too much time worrying about the attire. They either dress their child in a little suit or frilly party dress, but this can be a major mistake. You are going to a baby audition and your child should look like a baby, not a young adult. Pastel colored baby clothing usually works really well, and if your child is auditioning for a diaper commercial it would be a great ideal to make sure that your baby is wearing the proper brand of diaper. If your child shows up wearing the biggest competition’s product you are surely going to get throw out pretty quick.

Try To Avoid Separation Issues

During most baby auditions, the casting director will separate the child and take them into a room alone. This is a technique used to see how the child will act when separated from the parents or parent. For some kids this can be the major downfall during the audition. Some kids will scream and cry when taken away from their parents. However, one great technique to avoid this is to have the babysitter or a grandparent take the child to the audition. Most of the time a child will not make a peep, when they are taken away from someone they are not as attached to.

Protein Shake

Do Protein Shakes Really Work?

There was a time when protein shakes belonged to the bodybuilders, but now these drinks have become a real convenience food for dieters. But do they really work? Let us take a look at the growing trend with help of health guide reviews info.

Protein shakes have been considered a quick fix for both men and women who want to be a little healthier, but find they just do not have the time to put together a full meal. Protein shakes have become even more popular thanks to the help of celebrity endorsement with celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow swearing by them.

But do these health benefits of protein shakes really exist and can they really help you lose those stubborn pounds?

What Goes Into A Protein Shake?

Protein shakes are made up of a powdered form of protein, with whey protein (a by-product of the process of creating cheese) being a perennial favorite. The protein powder is combined with a flavoring agent and, when they are mixed with milk or water, it forms a milkshake-esque drink.

The recommended serving sizes for protein shakes vary, but they will typically have about 20g of protein. Government recommendations stand at 64g of protein a day for men and 46g of protein a day for women.

People have long touted that protein intake and resistance training are the keys to developing muscle mass. A study published in 2007 in the journal Obesity also shows that taking in a lot of protein, such as the protein one gets from a shake, can also suppress ghrelin; the hormone that tells the body that you are hungry and need to eat. Effectively protein works as a great appetite suppressant.

Studies such as this one have led to people marketing protein shakes as the ultimate weight loss solution, rather than something only a gym rat or bodybuilder would be interested in.

Louise O’Connor, who is a neuropath and wellness coach with Deva Delicious Nutrition also believes that the convenience of protein shakes is another reason they are so popular, especially with busy women.

She says these women understand how important it is to eat healthy, although they still lack the time it takes to eat well and prepare meals. These women are interested in a quick, convenient, and nutritious way to boost their protein levels and protein shakes provide such a solution.

Protein Shakes Do Not Guarantee Weight Loss

The experts are still in agreement, however, that drinking protein shakes does not guarantee extra muscle or weight loss. Greg Shaw, who is a sports dietician with the Australian Institute of Sport explained the situation saying that just drinking protein shakes is not going to help. People need to still do resistance exercises to get the most out of the protein.

He added that people should still continue to eat a balanced diet to get similar results. He explained how weight loss shakes are high in protein, but are also high in fibre. Protein can be obtained from natural sources such as dairy products eaten at the right time during the day to put on muscle and lose weight. Great natural sources of protein include egg whites, dairy, and meat.

He also added that you can get the same benefits of a protein shake from a holistic diet, however that protein shakes are more popular because of their convenience.

You Still Need A Balanced Diet

Julie Gilbert, a dietician with the Dieticians Association of Australia cautions people about becoming reliant upon protein shakes for weight loss. She says that protein can be used to reduce appetite and it may reduce hunger pangs, but the only reason that protein shakes for weight loss work is because you are consuming far less calories when all you have is protein shakes. She says that it is not so mch the protein in the shakes that cause you to lose weight as it is the lack of calories and carbs.

While such a diet could cause a significant reduction in weight at first Glibert adds that this is likely caused by the loss of water in the lean tissue. She adds that you should still eat a balanced diet alongside your protein shakes. A large concern is that you might replace other foods with protein shakes including fruits and vegetables. Or you could miss out on other key nutrients such as carbs and fibre.