Sunday, November 27, 2016

On Skincare Regimens

If there’s one thing I learned about skin care regimens, it’s that it can’t be static. 

It should evolve as you age, and more especially when situations change - from local weather fluctuations to moving countries, and hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause. Although, I can’t personally attest to the latter yet, heehee. 

What I know for a fact is that with my desire to manage and improve my #SkinHealth, my skin care regimen has changed so many times, from when I was in my teens, to now that I am 40. 

In high school, I started with being a soap and water kind of girl to washing with Cetaphil when soap started to feel too harsh for my face. 

I began doing the Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize routine in my early 20s, which I coupled with the Oil Cleansing Method. Then using essences became an extra step and by my early 30s, I switched to a thicker moisturizer because of the harsh sun and winter weather in the city we lived in then. 

When I came across Garance Dore’s No Water cleansing routine. I decided to incorporate that into my daily life and have since included serums, facial oils and face masks in my bid to slow down aging. 

Of course, I still go to my dermatologist for regular cleansing facials, peels, prodding and pricking. 

There have been times when I would also take Biotin, a vitamin that helps thicken hair and is good for the skin and nails. But I don’t take it for prolonged periods. 

It’s practically a career just taking care of my skin, and I super envy girls who have low maintenance skin care regimens. 

So I know for a fact that for those of us who have or have had pimple and other skin issues, finding a skin care routine can be extra challenging. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, and it can be costly trying a product out, finding it doesn’t work and then moving on to the next one. 

The great thing is, there are beauty vitamins now that deal with pimples at the source. I’ve mentioned Lactezin in an earlier post

Lactezin has Lactoferrin (antibacterial milk-derived protein), Vitamin E, and Zinc, which combined together, have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. It deals with pimples from within, for clearer, smoother, less oily skin with finer pores. Wish this was around during my time! 

If you still haven’t figured out the best skin care regimen for your skin type, it’s time to start thinking about it. Whether you become one of the lucky soap and water kind of girls or you decide to embark on a Korean pop star-style 16-step routine, the choice is yours. No judgment here! 

As long as you have a fortified regimen built from a solid skin care routine plus beauty vitamins, blemish-free, healthy, glowing skin can be yours. Take it seriously and you'll see.

P.S. Lactezin is available at leading drugstores at Php20/capsule.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Safeguard Pure White Body Wash: Big Protection for Big Kids

You know your boy isn’t a baby anymore when he starts to smell, well like a boy. Heehee. 

It’s when the pawis isn’t sweet and you start thinking twice about kissing his feet that signals that he has grown from that babbling toddler into this independent little guy with a mind of his own. Which isn’t a bad thing really. 

Seeing Xavi want to explore things on his own, being unafraid to try new things, even doing something as simple as wanting to order pizza on his own, it gives me a sense of pride you know?

So when Xavi and I went on a one-on-one date to the Safeguard Adventure Camp at Exploreum a few weeks back, it was much an afternoon of discovery for him as it was for me.

For one, he may start off unsure and wanting my help in the beginning, like on our first activity where he had to lace up a giant pair of shoes (which was understandable really, those laces were long and heavy!)

But as we moved on from one activity to the next, and he had warmed up to the new environment, and the strangers we were with, he would go off to lead the way, and decide on what we’d do next by himself.

Like follow instructions to reach the police station:

Check out an airplane:

Even sign his own name on a clipboard to claim his Safeguard backpack that had their new Body Wash and loofah.

Which he proudly showed to Achi Berry, Tepper and his Dada when we got home.

He’s so cute pa because he insists on using the loofah and his own bottle from Adventure Camp, even if we have this big bottle of Lavender scented Safeguard Body Wash for Dada and the big kids to use. 

Yes, Berry and Xavi have been using Safeguard Body Wash even before Adventure Camp. As with the bar soap which I have been using for over two decades now, it has the same germ killing protection, but Safeguard Body Wash has the same pH as water, so it won’t strip skin of moisture. It’s guaranteed to be gentle even on their skin.

The kids love the scent and how it lathers, it’s just double great to know it gets rid of odor causing bacteria too. So I can still sniff that squeaky clean smell even if they are busy, active, sweaty kids na.

For more about Safeguard’s new line of germ killing products, visit

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10 Reasons Why I Love the De'Longhi Dedica

These days, it seems that every self-respecting adult in my peer group has a coffee machine. 

From the standard Nespresso to a fancy Italian espresso machine with all the bells and whistles, they could easily serve a decent cup of coffee if any of their guests wanted one. 

In fact, I can sheepishly say that Dada and I were probably one of maybe three couples amongst our friends who still served 3-in-1 coffee to our guests. Ahihihi. 

At first, I was owning it you know. 

"Oh we're not really coffee drinkers", I'd say graciously, almost apologetically to visitors. Then offer a wide array of tea from my shagreen tea storage box, as if I could dissuade a caffeine addict from my selection of flavored tea bags.

But I knew in my core that good hosts should be able to serve good coffee to their guests. Besides, who doesn't enjoy a good cup of cappuccino or latte every now and then? 

Or maybe that was my excuse when I saw the De'Longhi Dedica machine at the De'Longhi event I attended a few months back. It was love at first sight, that I decided we needed one in our home, stat. So I went to the De'Longhi concept store, D&K Kitchen Essentials at Shangrila-Mall to get our own machine.

While there were fancier, more awe-inducing machines, I knew in my heart the Dedica was for me.  

1) For one, it uses ground coffee, and not those disposable coffee pods that just add litter to the growing piles of garbage we get rid of on a daily basis. No carbon footprint guilt here.

2) Its the perfect size given the limited counter space at our buffet table, being the slimmest machine in the market at only 15 cm wide

3) Yes it's very compact, and yet so powerful. It can pull excellent shots of espresso that tastes just as good as the ones from your favorite coffee shop. 

4) It's so easy to use once you get the hang of using the professional filter holders like a true barista (thank God for my Starbucks marketing stint = required barista training, that sure came in handy!). Just press a button and voila! Well, while I still will not be able to do latte art, I'd like to think I can offer a latte or a foamy cappuccino sprinkled with cinnamon, or chocolate powder. Flavor wise, still quite an enjoyable cup.

5) Speaking of cappuccino, yes it can steam milk and can make seriously frothy foam to top your espresso with. 

I need more practice obvs, because this is how it looked during the demo....

6) The steam wand can also dispense hot water for tea, if you have guests who prefer a cup of chamomile or matcha over a handcrafted coffee beverage. 

7) It's quite easy to clean, with detachable parts that only require rinsing.

8) The top part can be used as a cup warmer, and the Dedica's Thermoblock heating system only heats enough water for your coffee serving, so you get the right water temperature crucial for brewing the ideal coffee. This reduces warm-up time, so that your coffee machine is ready for use in seconds, and is more energy efficient.

9) Did I mention they come in the most attractive color ways?

10) And so affordably priced at just about Php16,500 thereabouts?

It was hard to choose a color between red, silver and black, but I decided the silver went best with the vintage inspired De'Longhi Icona toaster and electric kettle I brought home with me. Oh yes, I was so kilig imagining these on our buffet table/breakfast nook.

Three months later, I still get kilig to this day, when I offer to make coffee to our guests. Heehee. I feel like the consummate hostess now. No, 3-in-1 coffee for visitors now, promise!

For more about the De'Longhi Dedica, read up here. For more information about the distributor, Concept Specialist Inc., Like and Follow De'Longhi Philippines on Facebook and @delonghiph on Instagram.

You may also check out their showroom at 72 Sct. Dr. Lascano, Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City. and concept store at D&ampKitchen Essentials at L/G East Wing, Shangri-La Mall, Mandaluyong City.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

H&M Supports WWF

United in a common vision for a sustainable future for people and nature, this Autumn 2016, H&M and WWF have joined forces with a children’s collection that aims to inspire people all over the world to care for our planet. All the garments are organic cotton-based and recognizable by their realistic prints of iconic species at risk. The collection is H&M stores worldwide and online since the 29th of September. 10% of the sales price of the collection will support WWF’s work in conserving species at risk.

The kids’ collection features animal prints of species such as the tiger, panda, snow leopard, polar bear and the finless porpoise, that are facing many threats including habitat loss, water pollution and the impact of climate change. The collection mainly consists of comfortable and easy to wear organic cotton-based items such as long sleeve sweaters, T-shirts, dresses, tights, trousers and pyjamas for babies and kids between 0 and 14 years old. The garments have been designed in a neutral colour palette of beige, grey and off-white with some accents of blue, emphasizing the realistic portrayal of the species. Some of the items also include inspiring messages like “Roar for wildlife”, “Protect my habitat” or “Let’s go wild”.

The aim of the collection is to inspire H&M’s customers to care for the planet. The campaign links to our transformational partnership with WWF, which started in 2011 and has now been extended an additional five years. The larger transformational partnership focuses on water stewardship and climate action, as well as strategic dialogue related to both H&M’s and the fashion industry’s broader sustainability challenges.

Read more about the collection and the transformational partnership at: and

Sunday, October 23, 2016

5 Kid-Approved Healthy Snacks You Need in Your Pantry

Getting my kids to eat healthy is easy, maybe because I started them young. But then, I also take extra effort to serve snacks that are not only good for them, but fun to eat too. If all else fails, I get them involved in preparing their food, from cutting fruit, spreading peanut butter on bread, or sprinkling cheese over homemade pizza.

If you are serious about feeding your kids right, you don’t need to overhaul your pantry straight away. Start off with these 5 snacks my kids approve of, and then work your way to other items as your kids develop their palette. 

1. Fresh fruits

My kids love fruits, and a big plus is having the fruits cut up, portioned and packed in tiny containers if they are to eat them as baon. They love apples, oranges, grapes, dragon fruit, pineapple, watermelon, melons and berries. They also enjoy eating local fruits like bananas, lanzones, rambutan and santol. I find that to make it attractive for them, it really helps to serve fruit peeled and already cut into bite size pieces. It comes out more colorful and appetizing for them, rather than serving it as halves or peeling it in front of them. Of course, when it comes to fruits like bananas and lanzones, peeling it is part of the fun!

Our current fave of the season, lanzones straight from my parents’ farm. As much as possible, they go to the farm to join in the harvest, so they know where their fruits come from.

2. Milk, better yet, Chocolate Milk

I switch whole milk with chocolate milk, and Selecta Moo is a favorite. Apart from the milk chocolate-y taste, the packaging makes drinking it more fun. There are games at the back of the box, and for some reason, having their favorite characters like Ben10 and The Powerpuff Girls seems to be perceived as a stamp of approval. Nutrition wise, Selecta Moo is packed with vitamins ( Vit. A, D3, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12) and minerals (Calcium, Protein, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous and Zinc). And now it’s been made even better with higher level of Magnesium plus the addition of Choline to support mental functioning and ability. I’m down with that.

Selecta Moo comes in 4 sizes, 100ml at P12.50, 180ml at P18.50, 245ml at P23.00 and 1L at P70.00. Save more when you buy the promo packs.

3. Homemade healthy baked goodies

The best way to hide vegetables and grains in food is via baked goodies! They’ll undoubtedly snub that granola bar, but hide those oats in an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, and they gobble it up happily. We make muffins at home, and hide dried blueberries, grated carrots and mushy bananas in there with no complaints. I recently came across a triple chocolate pumpkin loaf and can’t wait to test out that recipe. 

Recently, I discovered @babygoodph cookies and mini muffins, and loved how the mommy baker behind it, Lara Leal, would artfully conceal flaxseed, moringa and other healthy food ingredients like coconut oil in her cookies and mini cupcakes. They taste so good, the kids wouldn’t know otherwise.

4. Yogurt Pops

We received an ice cream pop mold as a present and we did not waste any time making yogurt pops with it. My daughter would line sliced strawberries in it and pour strawberry yogurt in the mold. The result is a cool, healthy treat she’s proud to have made herself.

5. Say, Cheese! 

Like any wine and cheese loving adult, cheese is equally as addictive for kids. In a good way of course. From mini Babybel rounds, spreadable cream, your run of the mill cheddar cheese, to soft Brie and ooey gooey mozarella, cheese is a runaway hit all the time. Serve it with bread, crackers or sprinkled on pizza dough. Come to think of it, I’ve never met a kid who didn’t like some form of cheese!

Parents I have to remind you, don’t let your food biases color your choices. The journey to healthy eating can be fun, and it’s such a joy watching your kids try new textures and flavors. Eat your way through different tastes each time, it’s a great way to bond with them too!
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