The Lollipop Bait

My cousin shared this video with me a few weeks ago. I had goosebumps watching it but I think it's a very important reminder to all parents especially during this busy holiday season when all the malls are extra crowded.

Let's all have a safe Christmas season.


Mabuhay Filipinos!

Two days ago, i took a day off from work and spent some time helping out at Villamor Air base. Villamor is the home and headquarters of the Philippine Air Force. Since the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the Philippines over a week ago, the Philippine Air Force and their wives have organized relief efforts for the survivors from Tacloban and other parts of Leyte who continue to arrive at the base through the C-130 rescue planes.

I witnessed people from different walks of life, of different races and religion,  come together for the common goal of helping in every way they can.  Businessmen carrying old people in wheelchairs, teenagers running to look for slippers for the kids, big armed men carrying tiny babies wrapped in blankets, pilots still in uniform serving meals to the survivors. The outpouring of support was just overwhelming. I saw the volunteers and i coud not help but cry. I felt proud to be part of the Filipino community. For the first time in  a really really long while, I realized that we are still raising our children in a world full of love. A world that hopes with us for the day when there will be peace and unity once again. 

Hangar at Villamor
I leave you with Anderson Cooper's reporter's notebook about the Filipino's resilience.  That is indeed what we also witnessed as we counseled the survivors last Tuesday. Mabuhay Filipinos! Stand proud.


The First Time I Met My Children

Do you still remember the first time you  met your children? I do. It was very different for all three of them. I'd like to share my story with you.

I still vividly remember the first time I was about to meet Tyler. I was filled with anxieties since i was already told that he had paralysis on the left side of his face. Fears of not being able to accept his deficiencies troubled me as i slowly entered the NICU. The moment i laid my eyes on him, i thought to myself "He's perfect". I felt that he was the most beautiful baby i have ever seen. After that initial impression, thoughts of his condition started to sink in. And i broke down in that NICU. It was the day we were checking out of the hospital. I cried all the way home wondering how many days his crib will remain empty.  I knew nothing then of what lied ahead of us in the coming months.

My pregnancy with Troy was the most joyful one. I had very little morning sickness and i was happy most of the time. We prayed for a little boy.  More than the blue-decorated nursery in our house, I knew that since we lost Tyler, there is that longing in my heart to be a mother to a healthy baby boy. God saw my heart and answered our prayers. I felt very connected with Troy during my pregnancy. I would talk to him and read stories to him. I already 'knew' him even before he was born. Then March 7 came and i gave birth to Troy. Dens wheeled me to the nursery, 24 hours post surgery, to breastfeed Troy.  I was about to meet him for the first time (save for those few glimpses that i had in the operating room).  I excitedly waited in the breastfeeding room for him. It felt like meeting Dens again for the first time after over a month of talking daily over the phone (but that's another story). I wondered how he looked like and how he would react to me. Then the nurse came in with Troy.  He was bundled in a light blue blanket and was handed over to me. I carried him and looked at him. My first thought was 'Oh wow, he's so beautiful.' I also remember thinking how he amazingly looks so much like Tyler.  I kept looking at him and cannot seem to fathom that this perfect little baby that i am carrying is my own.  Then i started to struggle with the concept of motherhood. What was i supposed to say to him now?  What do i do with him?  It was a concept i cannot seem to  immediately grasp. I felt disconnected somehow. It did truly feel like the first time i met Dens in person. There was a brief moment of awkwardness even though we were already so close over the phone. But just like that, the awkward feeling immediately went away. Tears started to form as i  continued to look at this baby who also stared back at me. He is so healthy. He is my child.  I held him tighter and i felt my heart swell with so much love and pride. I was filled with gratitude for this gift of life. I was officially a mom again.

Dawn came three years later.  During my pregnancy, I often felt tired and i hardly had the chance to read stories to Dawn. I was also busy doing my online shopping for girls' clothes and conducting surveys for girls' names more than anything. I was just excited to have a girl added to our small family.  The day after I gave birth to Dawn was the first time I was to meet her in person. I found myself waiting excitedly in that same breastfeeding room once again. I looked around the room and saw the familiar breastfeeding pumps and storage bags. They did not feel foreign anymore. I felt more at ease. Then the nurse came in with this tiny baby wrapped in a baby pink blanket.  And it felt different the this time. Even though i did not feel any connection during pregnancy, i somehow immediately felt drawn to her the moment i laid my eyes on her.  One look at her and i knew she was my child. My first thought was "She's so pretty!" I couldn't believe a baby can already look gender-specific. She truly looked like a girl.  I looked at her and i felt complete. She was another answer to my prayers. Another prophecy fulfilled. I was just amazed.

Meeting our children for the first time can come in different forms. Some of you may feel that instant connection like i did with Dawn, while others may also struggle with the idea of mothering a child like i did with Troy. Regardless of how your first meeting will become, one thing is certain.  It will all lead to this feeling of pure and unconditional love.  A love so fierce that overwhelms you.  And from that moment on,  you will stay in love forever. 


Protect Your Stem Cells with Mustela

Just when you think Mustela is already the holy grail for all baby products, it just got even better! They now have a new formulation that protects the stem cells of the skin. Yes, stem cells!

Stem cells are really popular these days.  I'm sure most of us have heard of the wonderful benefits of stem cells these days. But what exactly is a stem cell? I did a little bit of research and found that stem cells are actually a reserve cell with the capacity to grow and multiply to replace dead or damaged adult cells. Some, but not all, organs and tissues in the body have a supply of stem cells. Skin is one organ that contains stem cells. Skin wounds are repaired by skin stem cells so it is very vital to retain them in our skin.

Two weeks ago i attended Mustela's launch for the reformulation of the Mustela Bebe line.  During the event, i learned that a newborn's skin contains a rich cellular reserve of stem cells at its highest potential. The problem is that this remains extremely vulnerable during the first few years of life while our skin's barriers are still being formed (usually until the age of 2).

The good news is that Mustela's new active ingredient, Avocado Perseose, supports the development of the barrier function and more importantly, protects the stem cells in the baby's skin. Once safely preserved, the original stem cells can continue to play its role of restoring and maintatining the skin throughout life.  
Mustela event held at the 2nd floor of Stacy's at BGC

Van Santos of Seek the Uniq hosted the event

Sharlene of Mustela Philippines talked about the new ingredient in Mustela Bebe

Cute table setting with Mustela borchures and the signature Stacy's colored mallows and popcorns

Cai of applesanddumplings, Tita K of LiveLoveLolz, Jen of Attachedatthehip, Eli of ThePaintersWife, me, Jen of MyMommyology

Yes, Mustela is from France, Tita K!
This new ingredient is available across all products in the Mustela Bebe line. Since my previous blogs on the Mustela products that our family has been using (Read about it herehere, and here), i have found more products that our family is now using.

1. Baby Shampoo

With my 2-year old's growing hair, i found it important to use shampoo now instead of just using soap all over. The shampoo makes her hair soft and more tangle-free.

2.   2 in 1  Hair and Body

This was actualy recommended to me by the Mustela sales assistant in their Glorietta 4 branch. The smell lasts longer than the other Mustela washes so this is just perfect for my very active 5-year old. I like that his hair still smells nice after the end of a very busy day.

3.  Facial cleansing cloths

I found this to be particularly useful for my daughter who loves to thumbsuck. i use this to regularly clean her hands while we're out of the house. I like that i can trust Mustela's ingredients and not worry that the wipes i am using contains harmful ingredients that my daughter may ingest.
4.   Agua De Colognia

Try it and you'll understand why our family loves it!

5.  Cold Cream

Tammy Tancinco of Mustela Philippines gave this to me as a gift after our trip to Korea during the winter. My husband's elbows were peeling and very dry so he decided to test this. We're very happy with the results and Dens' elbows have significantly improved. This is also very good to bring during your winter holidays where lips and skin become extremely dry. Great for the whole family.

So what are you waiting for? Rush to the nearest Mustela branch and start protecting your baby's stem cells!

Mustela is avaiable at the following locations:

Ayala Trinoma, 1st level (beside Mary Grace Cafe)
Robinsons Manila, 1st level Midtown wing (beside Topshop)
Glorietta 4, 3rd level (in front of Gourdo's and Play & Display)
Shangri-la Mall, 4th level (in front of Mothercare)
Megamall A, 2nd level (in front of Esprit)
Greenhills Shopping Center, The Shops, 1st level (in front of Watson's and Mary Grace)
Alabang Town Center, Upper Ground Floor, Connector Mall (in front of K & C Company)
SM Mall of Asia, 2nd level, Main Mall (near Osh Kosh and Periwinkle)

All Rustans Department Stores
All Landmarke Department Stores
Mothercare, Nationwide
PureBeauty, 2nd Floor Serendra, BGC and Harbor Point, Subic
Medela House, New Manila, QC
Chimes Specialty Store, Davao City
Mutela Hotline 0917 895 9988
Facebook: Mustela Philippines


Mommy Mundo Bazaar at the Rockwell Tent + a P45,000 TwoTots Giveaway

Where will you be this weekend? Don't miss this year's Mommy Mundo Bazaar at the Rockwell Tent! It's happening this Sunday (November 10) and yet again on December 8. The bazaar will be open from 10am to 8pm so you have more than enough time to shop to your hearts' content!
Here is a list of this year's tentants:
There's also an ongoing giveaway by TwoTots. Check out how to earn as many raffle entries by visiting the Mommy Mundo site. This is the biggest Mommy Mundo giveaway to date!  
See you at the Bazaar this Sunday!


Caudalie Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations, Donna Ocon-Juezan! You are the winner of the Caudalie Foaming Facial Wash. Please check your inbox for my email so that we may coordinate on the delivery of the prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Detox in a Bottle (Day 2)

I am on Day 2 of my Juice cleanse. So far so good. Day 1 had it's good and bad moments but they're mostly good.  Unlike the previous cleanses that i did which were sheer torture, Detox in a Bottle was pretty enjoyable. I looked forward to my drinks and it didn't really make me so hungry that i can't get through it anymore.

I found that sleeping early (like 9pm!) helped me get over the hunger pangs and cravings. I would usually wake up again after putting the kids to sleep but last night, i just slept through the night with them. I had to wake up twice during the night to pee - something that i almost never do. Maybe that's the effect of my body detoxifying itself. I woke up at 6 in the morning and weighed myself. I didn't really lose much weight but my clothes fit better today. I'm pretty sure i lost an inch here and there.
Day 2's menu looked exactly like Day 1 except for lunch. I had Cream of Roasted Veggies today. It was also very good. Creamy yet it's non-dairy. I preferred Day 1's soup though.

Since Day 2's drinks are practically like Day 1, i didn't bother to take pictures anymore. My all-time favorite would still be the 10am Chili Lemonade followed by the 8am Energy Blast. The Kidney Cleanse didn't taste as bad today maybe because i was already half expecting it to taste awful.  I just followed the not-so-tasty drinks with a cup of organic peppermint tea to wash out the after taste.

I decided not to proceed with Day 3 because i have dinner plans with friends tomorrow night. And honestly, the smell of Boy Bawang has been haunting me since yesterday.  I think this is the best detox program that i have tried to date. I can continue with my regular work and exercise schedule without difficulty. You don't need to be near a bathroom like the other detox programs recommend. You may pee more than usual but that's just about. Everything else is 'business as usual'.

There are two kinds of detox programs under this brand. There is the Cleanse formula (P2,000 per day) and the Weightloss formula (P2,500 per day). I initially wanted to try the Cleanse formula since i honestly wasn't focused on losing weight. But i was told that they are essentially the same ingredients except that the Weightloss formula was just more potent. This means that if you're after a thorough cleanse, the Weightloss formula would still be your best bet. 

I hope to do this regularly from now on. But we'll see...Christmas is just around the corner so holiday meals abound. I will need to gain more will power the 2nd time around.

You may contact Nikki from Detox in a Bottle at 966 3393 or if you'd like to order.  You They will deliver the bottles to you the day before your cleanse day.

Enjoy and tell me about your experience too, okay?



Detox in a Bottle (Day 1)

I am doing my first juice cleanse today. I have done a few cleanses in the past and all of them were very unpleasant! Since then, i have been pretty averse to detox programs. Then a few weeks ago, i chanced upon Detox in a Bottle. As i learned more about their program, i was more and more inclined to give it a shot.

Here are my reasons why i chose this over other detox programs:

1. The drinks are forumlated by a US Certified Fitness Nutritionist, Nadine Tengco. I like that it's not just some random person who discovered the wonders of his or her new juicer and wants to start earning from it.

2. It includes a bowl of savory soup for lunch! When i did a 3-day detox in the past, it was all sweet. There was nothing to break the taste and it just made me crave for something salty towards the end of the day.

3. It's nicely packed. When the bottles aren't delivered clean and well packed, it makes you wonder about the cleanliness of the kitchen were the concotions are prepared.
You can do a 1, 2, or 3-day cleanse depending on your fitness goal and lifestyle.

1 day cleanse - if you have no previous experience with fasting.  This is good  for those who just wants a beauty boost and do not have time for a longer cleanse.
2-3 days cleanse - you already had some experience in cleansing and fasting and you need to make a bigger change
I decided to commit to a 2-day cleanse first and decide later on if i want to continue to do day 3.

So here we go. I am now on my 2nd juice and i will write down my thoughts and feedback as i go along with this cleanse.
On my way to work, i finished a bottle of water.  When i got to the office around 7:40am, i was not feeling hungry but the thought of doing detox was making me more conscious about the 'meals' that i was to take for the day.

At 8am sharp, i downed my first bottle. It's called the Energy Blast and it tasted like banana smothie. Not bad at all. I would even order this at Jonah's Boracay if they have it there.   
It's now 10:15am and i just finished Bottle #2. It's called the Chili Lemonade and i love it! It comes with a pack of ground flaxseed that you need to mix into the drink I love ginger so i like the 'chiliness' of this drink.   
It's now 1:36pm - i just came back from one hour of yoga (yep, day 1 is pretty good. Doesn't drain your energey so i can still do my regular exercise routine). Starting to feel hungry now and i noticed that my senses are heightened. I can smell Boy Bawang from halfway across the room!

Lunch is Cream of zucchine and carrots soup. It's non-dairy but it's really creamy and tasty. The moment i tasted it, i immediately thought of asking if i can order soups from them regularly. Seriously, it's that good.
Now the papaya enzyme tablet (see the little white thing attached to the soup cover?) is something i was initially not so comfortable taking. I don't really like to take anything that looks like medicine. I did a little research and found out that it's actually good for digestion. I texted Nikki (niece of Nadine Tengco) and she said to just chew it. So i did. It actually tastes like Maalox or a better version of Kremil-S if you've tasted that before. I think it makes sense since it's an aid for gastric disturbances like its similar-tasting tablets.

It's almost 2pm and i'm supposed to take Bottle #3 "Kidney Cleanse" now. But since i took the soup later than scheduled, i decided to move up the 3rd bottle an hour later.  The instructions state that you need to 'feed yourself every 2 hours'.  I'm capping my lunch with some organic peppermint tea now. Yum!
3:26pm - Just took the Kidney Cleanse drink. It doesn't taste as good as the previous drinks and soup but it's not so bad. I had to also take an 8oz glass of water.  I used the same bottle and just filled it with water.  I estimate it should be approximately 8oz.
Time for more peppermint tea to wash away the after taste of the Kidney Cleanse drink. It tasted like veggie shake.
5:30pm - Bottle #4 "Liver Detox" doesn't taste good at all! I am starting to feel a little lightheaded and developed a moderate craving for real food. I don't know why but it feels very similar to my late afternoon queasiness during my pregnancies. The liver detox left a sour taste in my mouth that made me even more nauseous. I think i'm going to take a nap now.
6:45pm - Bottle #5 "Gingerade" is not so bad but i wouldn't order it in a restaurant like the other juices. I think after 4 bottles of juice, everything is just starting to taste the same. It's losing it's appeal and i'm craving for something to chew on.
8:30pm - Bottle #6 "Salad in a Bottle" taste just like that. Like lots and lots of veggies. It's very similar to the Kidney Cleanse drink somehow.

And that ends day 1. I am going to sleep earlier tonight to avoid late-night hunger. I already received my juice set for Day 2.  Will update you tomorrow.


Snack on BonChon

A few weeks ago, Neva and i found ourselves eating to our hearts' content at BonChon.  They had a number of new offerings that are ideal for snacks or light meals. Although to be honest, what we ate that day was anything but light!
Scott Tan, owner of BonChon Philippines
Before i introduce the new offerings to you, let me quickly share with you some facts that i learned about BonChon during the event.
  • BonChon is originally from Korea
  • There are now 160 branches of BonChon worldwide, half of which are located here in the Philippines
  • Because of BonChon's large Philippine presence, the head office has given the Philippine office a hand on food innovations and even marketing ideas. Other than the original BonChon chicken, all of the other food offerings were created here in the Philippines.
Now for the food.  Here are my top pics:
Fish & Chips P125

Double Garlic Snackwich P75
There is also the Double Spicy Snackwich alternative at the same price. I tried it and i found it too spicy for my taste. The feedback from people who love spicy food was great though. I think they like that it's truly doubly spicy unlike other sandwiches that claim to be spicy but lacks the kick. 
Fish Taco at P75 each
Apple Caramel Crispy Crepe at P60 each
There is also the Mangoes and Cream alternative for the Crispy Crepe. I prefer the Apple Caramel though.

And for my personal favorite...
Sweet Potato Fries at P60
The Sweet Potato Fries tastes so good! It's a good mix of salty and sweet.

Hop to to the nearest BonChon outlet and try these new snack offerings. I appreciate that they're well priced. Not too expensive considering the quality of the ingredients.

BonChon, i will be back! Promise!


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