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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Our Tiny Buds Faves + A Tiny Buds Laundry Giveaway!

Moms today are spoilt for choice. It used to be that it was impossible to find organic and natural products locally, but now, there are just so many brands we can rely on to fill our needs.

One of my go to brands is Tiny Buds, a premium line of baby care products made from high-quality natural extracts. They are free from harmful chemicals and is a guaranteed safe choice for our family.

Tried & Tested:

So far, we've used the Baby Bottle & Utensil Wash, which is made from 100% food safe ingredients that can remove bacteria and foul smells, and is free from artificial coloring, preservatives and cancer-causing parabens. It's so mild it doesn't leave any residue or smell on baby bottles and silicone nipples, and may be used to clean baby's fruits and vegetables as well.

We also love the Sticky Hand Wipes, an absolute must in any diaper bag! Tiny Buds hand wipes are also made from food grade ingredients, formulated with Chamomile and Vitamin E to clean and moisturize baby’s skin, and is hypo-allergenic, alcohol free and paraben free.

Extra thick and silky soft, they don't leave any sticky after-feel and one sheet can in fact be used repeatedly to thoroughly clean mouths and hands made gooey with melted ice cream.

Xavi all clean after finishing a scoop of Bono Gelato and wiping off the stickiness with Tiny Buds Sticky Hand Wipes

I've tried the Rice Baby Powder, based on samples I've gotten from my Mommy Mundo loot bags, but haven't gotten around to using it regularly. But I loved how natural it felt, as it's 100% made from rice grains and was grittier than the usual baby powder we're used to, and totally free from talc, so it's safe for sensitive and delicate skin.

It wasn't until Lorina Tan of Tiny Buds sent me their vast array of goodies though did I realize that I have only scratched the surface of their entire product range. I had a grand time going through this gift basket, sniffing around and reading labels. I can't wait to try them all one by one.

Gift Basket Service:

I told Lorina I loved how it was packaged too.

Turns out they do accept customized gift basket orders, as Tiny Buds make great baby shower presents.

If you would like to order a customized gift basket, simply email Tiny Buds at info@tinybudsbaby.com - I know I loved the sight of this basket overflowing with products, so I am pretty sure your sister, cousin, friend or work colleague will too.

New Products!

Tiny Buds recently launched the latest addition to their lineup: Laundry products such as the Natural Laundry Powder for Babies, Natural Liquid Laundry Wash for Babies and Natural Fabric Softener for Babies. 

They are the first line of natural plant-based laundry washes specially made for baby's sensitive skin. 

The special ingredients are biodegradable which means they dissolve easily in water without leaving any harsh chemical residues on the fabric. In fact, laundry water after use is non-harmful to plants and the environment. 

A Giveaway!

That said, Tiny Buds and yours truly would be thrilled to have three of you dear readers get to try their Laundry Liquid and Fabric Softener, so if you'd like to do so, please join the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to
1. Like the Tiny Buds Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/tinybuds
2. Follow @tinybudsbaby on IG
3. Leave a comment on this blogpost answering the question,  

"Why do you want to try Tiny Buds Natural Baby Products for your Baby?" 

Entries are accepted until 11:59 pm on June 5, 2015 and 3 winners will be announced the following week. Join to win Tiny Buds for your tiny tots!

How to Wear It: Denim Trends on Live Love Lolz

Daunted by denim? 

In this episode of Live Love Lolz, Tita K and I break the denim trends down and show you how to wear flares, culottes, overalls, ripped jeans and crop tops. Even how to wear denim to work! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Meet the Miracle Duo from Olay Regenerist

Here’s my Mom with my Dad. Everything I learned about beauty, I got from her.

But her concept of beauty is different. It’s the French kind. We don’t have a drop of French blood, but it has always been her kind of thing, you know what I mean? 

She is never one to put makeup on, but she is serious about skin care. Boy is she serious about skin care. Creams and all that. She swears by Oil of Olay, or just Olay, as we younger ones call it. 

The effects are pretty obvious though right? Her hair may be salt and pepper, but her face is virtually unlined. For a woman in her mid-60s, this is no mean feat. I mean, look at me, I’m two years shy of 40 and my crow’s feet should be hiding in shame next to hers. 

I guess what I’m driving at is, we should all be serious about skin care. The rewards outweigh the time and effort we invest in religiously applying serums and creams at night. We don’t want to be 60 and thinking, “OMG I should have have started a skin care regimen when I was much younger.” 

If you think anti-aging skin care is something you shouldn’t be worrying about now, well you better know that French women start their anti-aging regimen at 25 years old. 

Make no excuses, any 25 year old can definitely afford the Miracle Duo from Olay Regenerist.

The Pre-Essence is Php999 at the Microsculpting Cream is Php1299

The Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Youth Pre-Essence is the latest trend in Asian skin care. The Pre-Essence is meant to jump-start your skin care regimen with just a drop, regenerating millions of cells and boosting surface cell metabolism to levels comparable to younger skin. 

Where does it go into your skin care regimen you ask? Just apply it after cleansing and drying your face, in the morning and before retiring at night. 

Once absorbed, it is best used with Olay’s award-winning Regenerist Micro-sculpting Cream

Together with the Pre-Essence it becomes a Miracle Duo that brings: 

1. 2X key active penetration into the epidermis; 
2. Skin that looks up to 10 years younger. 

And isn’t that what women want? 

Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Cream is available in Lazada, leading drugstores, department stores, and supermarkets. 

P.S. I’ve been using SK-II (another amazing skin care product from P&G) since I was 26 and I cannot stress enough how using the SK-II Facial Treatment and Cellumination Essence with the moisturizing cream has helped me look much younger than my current 38 (fine, going on 39). But why spend a fortune on SK-II when there’s the Miracle Duo from Olay Regenerist ;)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Part 2: Shrink the Belly Project

Read Part 1, HERE. 

5. Kat Power + Lemon Water. Before lemon water in the morning became a thing,  my fitspiration Kat Garcia, was convincing me to take lemon water early on, because it speeds up metabolism daw. 

This is Kat, she's a mom of two and has 6-pack abs

I didn't take it seriously then, but two months after I gave birth, I consulted with her and she said I had to do it as part of my fasting cardio routine, which was safe to do two months post-partum. 
Since there was no escaping it, I eventually did so and I saw for myself how fast I lost the extra weight! I am now a believer. She recommends mixing lemon water with some honey and cinnamon, which is actually quite yummy. I take it warm first thing in the morning.

via healthandlovepage.com

Which reminds me, I am actually due for toning sessions with @mamakat na! (She's @mamakat on Instagtram). I don't need to be super ripped, but it would be nice to get toned. If you want to consult with Kat, message her at +63917 620 6876.

6. Watch what you eat. This is going to be a downer, but nutrition plays a key role in losing unwanted weight. What worked for me in general:

- Ge Lai Herbs that my mother in law made me take as a tonic. She says it helps flush out toxins and dirty blood from the body
- NO junk food or salty food so you don't have to deal with water retention while pregnant (I eventually caved in after I gave birth and had my well-deserved share of chips and stuff, about once a week)
- Taking my Food Intolerance results seriously and avoiding gluten, dairy and eggs as much as possible
- Kat recommends avoiding salt and sugar in general, but allowing for weekend cheat days
- Do not deprive yourself, do it the French way and eat what you like, but always in moderation. I now give in to cornick, corn chips and cheeze curls once in a while

7. Clarins scrub down to fight cellulite.  Ladies, if you can have babies early on, do so na. Being pregnant and getting your body into shape in your late 30s is not as easy as when you're in your 20s to early 30s. 

Being an older mom, Clarins pre and pos-natal massages were part of my pregnancy indulgences.

I have to stress, I was more masipag going to the Clarins Spa in Rustan's Makati when I was pregnant with Xavi but was really delinquent when I was pregnant with Tepper and I could see the difference talaga. Cellulite was greeting me with wide dimpled smiles with Tepper.

8. BREASTFEED. It really helps the uterus shrink really fast, and allowed me to eat all I want without putting on the pounds.

9. NO Yaya. This I think is the real secret. If you have no yaya, or you have someone to assist you, but you do most of the work, especially the puyat at night, that's the highway to losing weight, coupled with breastfeeding. 

I figured this out when we were living in the US and most of the moms there were like me, puyat, babywearing and pushing strollers, probably lacking the right nutrition, but dressed in Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant. Eye bags covered by Tom Ford sunglasses. Happy na din. Hahaha.

When we moved back here, and became pregnant with the boys, I kept up with the habit of taking care of them at night, puyat and all. Effective with weight loss, promise.

So there, I won't expect you to do all I did, but this is what worked for me and my lifestyle. Maybe you can take bits and pieces of advice from here, and see what's effective for you!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Part 1: Shrink the Belly Project

"What!!! You have a four month old baby?!"
I get that a lot. But before you dismiss me as annoying, genetically lucky, a psychotic workout freak, or all of the above, hear me out. 

The truth is, there are a lot of things I did, and still doing, to get back into some semblance of my pre-pregnancy shape. It's not like I am blessed, crazy, or anything. To be honest, I need a lot of muscle toning work pa.

Case in point: This is me a week after I gave birth. On the surface, I may look good for a mom who just gave birth, but the reality here is, my thighs are cellulite-y, and I have on my husband's shirt and my maternity shorts. So of course they fit!

More importantly, I was wearing this inside: the Wink Ultimate Post Partum Ultra Bikini from Urban Essentials. This is what I wear when I am out and about.

It has 3 layers of hook and eye closures at the side to adjust for different waistlines and when I wore this, it was a struggle to wear at its widest layer.

It was depressing to put on at first because I could hardly close it. But surprisingly, they're quite comfortable, that they are so much better than wearing Spanx. 4 months later, I fit into the first layer of hook and eye closures, which means, yes, I've lost a few inches already.

Apart from artful concealment, and a seamless shapewear that holds everything in, here are all the things I did, and I hope it helps you, as it has helped me.

But before that, to see is to believe, so here's my baby belly 10 days after I popped. No bola, no photoshop, no sucking in tummy, no artful angling, no belly wrap to cover tummy. In short, no false claims. I'll be honest, if somebody is like "Oh look, this is all you need, it's so easy!", she's lying.

Ok game, are you ready for this? Here we go:

1. Train your core. It would be great to have a strong core to start with, but core training via belly breathing and abdominal bracing right after pregnancy is still safe to do. I stumbled upon this technique online when I first gave birth to Berry and I've done the same after popping out Xavi and Tepper. It's amazing how you can see results aka a flatter tummy in just a few days. Read it, HERE.

2. Magic Potions. Trust the French to come up with magic potions we need to tighten and firm up skin. I slather on Mustela Post-Partum Restructuring Gel (higly recommended by Sharleen Cu-Unjieng of Mustela Philippines) all over my tummy, around my waist, and all through the back. The same goes for my butt and thighs. If you want an organic option, try Marilou BIO Body Firming Gel from cutieverse.com.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Tightening Lotion works great too. I used that for Xavi and it helped tighten my floppy belly skin.

3. Binding. When Jessica Alba says wear two corsets and wear it 24/7 for two months, then you go and wear two belly wraps 24/7 for two months. Yes it gets sticky and sweaty, and the rubbery parts dig into the skin, but I think that sauna-like effect shrinks the fat cells or something. I also wear a hip wrap.

For binding at home, I use a Medela Belly Wrap which I bought in Amazon when I was pregnant with Berry. This worked fine on its own after I gave birth to Berry. The Cinch Wrap and Shrinx Hips Ultra I bought through Stemcord, but it's available in Rustan's. These two were all I used after I gave birth to Xavi. Now I use all three together with Tepper. If I give birth another time, I'd be wrapped like a mummy by then.

4. Cryo Baby. When it seemed that everything I did wasn't working fast enough given the time frame I set for myself (ehrm, two months post pregnancy), I went for a more drastic measure.

This is the cryo sculpt machine at Aesthetic Science Clinic in Makati.

It's from Korea, and uses a cool probe to apply serum onto skin. As part of my post-pregnancy beauty regimen, I'm doing the Cryo Sculpt with Vitaminc C serum to treat my freckles that multiplied and darkened when I was pregnant with Tepper, (it has anti-aging effects too). But this is also the same machine used for slimming and tightening skin on post-pregnancy bellies. While the probe is cold, when used on my tummy, it has a warming sensation inside, like my fats were getting cooked. Or melted. Heehee.

Results are expected to be seen in 6 weekly sessions, but in my case, there was a noticeable improvement by the 4th week. Skin was relatively tighter, although still loose given the stretch it has endured from 3 pregnancies. But at least it wasn't hanging or saggy.

If you think this is a lot to do just to get back into shape, there's more. As with all things that seem effortless, there's a lot of furious paddling underneath the surface. We'll get to that in the next installment of this post.

To be continued...
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