A 5-Letter Word of Healing

Okay, so what is a 5-letter word that is easy to pronounce but could be so hard to say?  

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I was driving my son to school one morning (okay, hold on. It was the driver who was driving but it sounded more dramatic that way...), when my 5-year old asked me. "Mom, what will God do to us when we do something wrong?" This question probably stemmed from a recent Bible story that i shared with him about The 10 Plagues of Egypt. So i told him "Well, there are consequences to our sins but God is always ready to forgive us" Then he asked "What should we do so that God will forgive us?" to which i replied "We should just say Sorry to Him. Do you think that's hard to do?" He gave it a little thought and said "Not really. It's just a word, Mom". 

I laughed at his answer but found a lot of truth in it. When it's really just a word, how come so many people find it so hard to say sorry?

One character in the Bible that i am always so interested to learn more about is David. After all of his faults, why did God still regard him to be a man after God's own heart? (Acts 13:22  God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.')  One revelation to me is how David always acknowledges his sins before God. God never required that we are all 100% perfect but He sees our hearts. He knows when we are sincere in our repentance towards Him.

The main reason why most of us find is so hard to apologize is another 5-letter word: PRIDE. We often allow pride to reign in our hearts and feel that saying sorry makes us less of a person.  It's still not easy but i am starting this new attitude with my family and close circle of influence.  I now remember to apologize to my husband when I know i've offended him, I say sorry to my children on days when i lose my temper and talk to them louder than i should (or in my son's words 'not properly'), and I always pray that God will allow me to be more sensitive each time i unconcsciouly (or even consciously) hurt others with my words and actions.

So when the need comes up again for us to apologize, i want you to think about this. Is your pride more importang than saving that relationship? Is your pride more important than obeying and pleasing the Lord?  Pray that God will grant you courage to say that simple 5-letter word sincerely. How difficult should it be anyway? After all, it's just a word.


Shop With Your Kids at EchoStore, Eton Centris

Have you made your New Year's resolution for 2014? Let me guess. There is probably one item there that is health-related. Whether the goal is to lose 10 lbs, start eating healthily, or enroll in a gym - it all boils down to one thing. People these days are all aiming for a healthier lifestyle.

7 New Years' ago, i made the same resolution. I decided to live heathily inside and out. It's not just getting fit and losing that belly fat, although that's a wonderful bonus, it's also making sure that our family is eating and using the right products. Though i must admit that it has been tough to go all natural and all organic 100% of the time, i am happy that these products are now becoming more and more accessible to the Filipinos nationwide.

When my good friends, Christopher and Sharon Chua, opened an EchoStore branch in Eton Centris, i was determined to visit. I am familiar with EchoStore and was excited to shop for my family.
EchoStore sells Filipino-made products that supports a sustainable lifestyle. They have everything from food to personal/beauty and household products. The Eton Centris branch was made extra special because it's not only a store but also a restaurant (EchoCafe) that promotes healthy but delicious eating.
On top of that, the store has a little play area where the kids can safely read books and play toys while their moms do their grocery shopping and the dads enjoy an afternoon coffee in the cafe. Now isn't that so ideal for all of us parents? Also a great place to meet up with friends for coffee even when you don't have a yaya.
 Here are some of the products that caught my attention while shopping at the EchoStore.
Beansprouts tumblers and ecosacks!

Super delicious Malunggay corn snacks. Malunggay is known to increase breastmilk supply.  Hoard now breastfeeding moms!
Soya Chips in yummy Sour Cream. A great alternative to snacking.

Granola - taste so good with your favorite cereal + non-fat milk. My favorite daily breakfast.

Leyende products

Human Nature products

Can you say healthy ice cream?

Whole Wheat Pancake Mix for your kids! They won't even notice the healthy switch.

GIGA products (side note: i especially love their Eucalyptus Body Spray that i use as a room scent and insect repellant)

Zenutrients products
I bought a few more products during our visit that i was not able to take pictures of like the Island Basics Lavender & Tea Tree Make Up Remover (works like eye magic for stubborn liquid eyeliners!) and a host of various insect repellants that i know are Deet-free and safe for my kids.

Eton Centris is pretty far from where i live but i know i'll find myself back there one of these days. To all of you living in Quezon City, what are you waiting for? Start the year right and jumpstart your family to a healthier lifestyle! Your journey to good health starts today.

ECHOstore Centris Walk ETON Mall, EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
Tel: (632)709.7800


Malaysia: Kidzania!

What did your kids do last Christmas? Well mine became a pilot, a policeman, a fast food server, a painter, a model, an actor, and a construction worker...all in one day. Read more to know what happened.

We woke up early on December 25. We were in Malaysia spending Christmas with my cousin's family. She told me about this newly opened theme park in Kuala Lumpur and said the kids might enjoy it. I didn't know much about it but i trusted her judgement and immediately agreed to check it out. What we experienced when we got there was waaaay beyond my expectations. I was thrilled for my kids!

This is how the company describes themselves:

KidZania provides children and their parents a safe, unique, and very realistic educational environment that allows kids between the ages of four to twelve to do what comes naturally to them: role-playing by mimicking traditionally adult activities. As in the real world, children perform "jobs" and are either paid for their work (as a fireman, doctor, police officer, journalist, shopkeeper, etc.) or pay to shop or to be entertained. The indoor theme park is a city built to scale for children, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles, a functioning economy, and recognizable destinations in the form of "establishments" sponsored and branded by leading multi-national and local brands.

Upon entering, we were greeted with a check-in counter that looks exactly like an airport.  In fact, you can even see a portion of a real airplane parked somewhere (not in the picture).
There were 'government offices'...
The kids (and parents) were excited! The park in Malaysia opens at 10am but we got there at 9:30am to maximize our time. We only waited for a few minutes before they started checking us in.
Each person will be given an electronic bracelet as entrance ticket to the park. This also serves as a safety device to ensure that kids will not leave the park without their parents.
Once checked-in, each child will be given a check in Kidzos (Kidzania currency).
The kids will then need to go to the bank to en-cash their checks. Adults are not encouraged to enter the mini establishments with their kids. This will encourage them to be independent and gain confidence.
The kids will then get their Kidzos (i.e. cash) to be used to buy stuff inside Kidzania. They can earn more Kidzos by working in various establishments.
Troy and Dawn decided to work at a fast food chain first. They were oriented and dressed up before the hand-on training began. The kids were tasked to make chicken burgers which they can take home afterwards. Dens and i ate them and they were delicious!
Kidzania is a little city with actual streets and cars inside. This ambulance picks up 'patients' (again, pretend patients) and brings them to the hospital. The kids will act as doctors, paramedics and nurses.

That's my sister, Trixie, waiting for someone to 'rescue' her...
There's also a beauty salon where older kids can learn how to fix their hair and put on make-up. The younger ones, like Dawn, can go there as a customer.
Dawn decided to skip beauty school and enroll in an art class instead. She was oriented how to use different paints and paint brushes and was given her own easel afterwards. The finish product was too abstract for my taste but she obviously had a blast working on it.
Meanwhile, Troy and his cousins enrolled in a photography class. Each establishment there is sponsored by a real company of the same nature. The photography lessons were sponsored by Sony so each child was given a Sony DSLR for training. I love that they trust the kids with these expensive gadgets!
After her art class, Dawn decided to try her hand at modeling. The picture below was during their training. They were later on brought to an actual theater where parents can watch them strut their stuff. I don't have Dawn's modeling pictures as i only took a video of the entire event.
While her sister was busy being 'kikay', Troy decided to join the police squad. He got trained and went out to the streets to manage traffic while the fire fighters do their job.

After Troy's stint as a policeman, the kids decided to try their hand at the construction site. The little girl was assigned to the construction area while Troy helped with the paint job on the second floor.
By this time it was already around 2pm and the little girl was getting sleepy. Troy wanted to train to become a pilot so we allowed him even though the line was about an hour long. The good thing is that there is a parent's lounge right beside it where you can relax while waiting for your child.

I'm happy Troy was willing to endure the one-hour line by himself because he said being pilot was the most fun he had that day. Sayang we don't have any picture of him in his pilot uniform since parents weren't allowed inside. The kids' electronic bracelets would have pictures of them taken by the Kidzania professional photographers but the line to view the pictures was also too long so we decided to skip it.
Our last stop was the Broadway musical theater. Troy played the tiger and his cousin, Zoe, played Dora. They were dressed up in their costumes and trained for a few minutes before going "LIVE"
The play was held in the same theater Dawn did her modeling stint. It was a full-blown theater that probably seats around 300 guests.
Kidzania is definitely a place you don't want to miss when you find yourselves in Malaysia. There were still so many 'jobs' the kids wanted to try but too little time. Kidzania actually has a lot of branches all over the world and I heard that they will be opening a franchise in the Philippines by October 2015! woohoo!

Check out the video below to learn more about Kidzania

Visit http://www.kidzania.com for the main website and https://www.kidzania.com.my for the branch in Malaysia. Ticket prices are available online.


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