Thursday, July 28, 2016

Modern Mama, Maureen, Mommy & Mini Me

My good friend and Xavi's Ninang, Gretchen Choa-Uy started Modern Mama, her baby and children's store in Banilad Town Center in Cebu three years ago.

Her store is so tastefully curated, and filled with the best finds in the entire country I swear. From Saltwater sandals to Stokke cribs and strollers. Vapor Soove chest rubs (ehem) to Lucas Papaw ointments, Aden & Anais blankets, and Emily Ley Simplified Planners. She certainly knows how to keep things fresh and exciting in store.

She never runs out of well-designed and practical finds that I cannot find elsewhere, maybe save for Amazon. In fact, it is not uncommon for me to order from her store in Cebu to be sent here, or even hand carried by Gretchen herself. 

Case in point: These super chic dresses that Maureen Disini made exclusively for Modern Mama.

I just had to buy this Jim Thompson print shift dress for Berry, because Maureen made one for me in this exact same print when I was pregnant with Tepper. I still wear it up to this day, post-pregnancy, because it's the sort of loose tunic you'd want to wear when it's so hot out, but you still want to look like you made an effort to dress up.


I also want this flamingo print for me and Berry! I might just buy it in a moment of weakness. Heehee.


There are 10 more prints to choose from, all in Maureen's signature roomy tunic style.











Adult dresses are free size, while the kids dresses are available in S (2-3 y.o), M (3-4 y.o.), L (5-6 y.o) and XL (7 y.o).

As Gretchen said, "It's perfect for Donyas". To which our friend Jacqui Salonga added, "And Donyas in-the-making!"

Modern Mama
GF , Banilad Town Center
Governor M.Cuenco Avenue
Mandaue City, Cebu 6014
Website: https://modernmama.ph
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ModernMamaPH

Monday, July 25, 2016

BrainFit Jr for Brainier Kids


Our brain is an organ, but it also behaves like a muscle, because it can be trained.

For instance, my mom and dad like to work on crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles to keep their minds sharp.

I remember, I used to be bad at math, but because of constant practice, I grew to love it, and found it fun. In high school, I used to have to answer 30 numbers of math problems a day, and I would  bawl my eyes out (yes at 13 haha!) because it would take me up until evening to finish when I first started. But in a couple of months, I could finish my Math homework in an hour, with plenty of time left for the fun stuff.

BrainFit Studio’s Jeanette Co thinks of our brain this way, “If you think of your brain as a vessel for knowledge, like a bowl holding water, BrainFit helps you make sure that bowl gets bigger and stronger, and that there aren’t any leaks, so that you can hold more for a longer period of time.”

I met Jeanette just this summer, when I enrolled Xavi at BrainFit Jr., one of the brain training programs that BrainFit Studio offers year round. 

Jeanette shares that BrainFit Studio was founded in 2001 in Singapore, with the aim to transform lives by improving learning capabilities, boosting performance, shaping behaviours and increasing intelligence through high-quality evidence-based neuroscientific cognitive training programmes. Her partner saw the value in it, and so they decided to bring it in.

And because the brain is like a muscle, they liken brain fitness to physical fitness. If physical fitness is developed through strength, flexibility, endurance, speed, and coordination, brain fitness has five pillars too: sensory-motor, attention, visual, auditory, and social-emotional. 

Xavi's program, BrainFit Jr., is a headstart program for three to five year olds which help kids develop their fine motor coordination and core stability, but also their ability to listen to and follow directions, take turns, and recognize feelings. Perfect for kids who are about to start pre-school, even big school.


As with the BrainFit Studio framework, BrainFit Jr. programmes are especially designed to build brain fitness foundations in the 5 core areas of: 1) Auditory processing 2) Vision processing 3) Sensory-Motor processing 4) Attention & working memory 5) Social-emotional processing.

I got to watch Xavi in class, and while the activities look simple and fun, they're actually designed to nurture and exercise his brain.

They usually start with an auditory processing activity, like reading a book, and then doing a Q&A to check if the kids listened to the story with attention. 

Trampoline motor-planning jumps target his sensory motor skills.


​This activity is called "Judo Jumbo", where the kids need to balance, is for developing his sensory motor too.


Catching balls is for vision processing, so he can watch where the ball is going, making sure he can catch it.


Playing with modeling clay...


...and coloring sheets help develop their ability to focus and keep their attention on the task at hand.


They are also taught social-emotional self-regulation so that they are better equipped to handle their moods, learn to relax, and deal with various social situations. 

Like regular school, there are days he had to bring some home activities, for me to practice with him.

After his first 90 minute class, Xavi underwent an assessment to check where he was at in terms of brain fitness. Jeanette shares that the goal is for their kids to be able to show improvement in terms of speed and understanding over the course of a program.


I think his time at BrainFit has borne fruit in fairness, his teacher at pre-school says that he's super ready na for big school, and I have nothing to worry about!

The thing about brain fitness though is that its better to start early. For one, it helps develop the habits of a lifetime—not to mention reap the benefits from an early age. BrainFit Studio in essence, helps our children rewire their brains to be fitter, and that means processing information faster and more accurately. Literally making our kids, quick and sharp.

BrainFit also shares some tips and suggestions on how we can encourage their kids to build up their brain power. Try this at home!

1. Play with puzzles. Puzzles are great tools for developing your child’s spatial processing skills. They require kids to recognize patterns and make associations between shapes, so the next time you’re looking for some quiet-time activity, maybe take out that puzzle box—then challenge your child with puzzles with more and more pieces.

2. Master Memory. Memory, also known as Match-Match or Concentration, can be done with special cards (even ones with your child’s favorite cartoon characters) or even just your run-of-the-mill playing cards. This helps your child develop a sense of visual memory, and it can be played solo or with friends and family. Once your child is a master at the standard game, you can try to add some challenge with variations like Zebra (where cards of the same rank can only be paired with cards of the opposite color, such as a queen of hearts or diamonds only being paired with a queen of clubs or spades) or by laying out the cards in random or complex patterns rather than in neat rows.

3. Level up your Simon Says game. Teach your child to listen better and build his auditory memory skills by acing Simon Says. This helps him recognize auditory cues and pay more attention to what is being said. To offer a little more challenge for older kids, make the instructions more complex. Rather than saying, “Simon says touch your nose,” try a combination of instructions like “Simon says touch your nose, step to the left, and jump up and down three times.”

4. Build things from scratch. Playing with clay can help toddlers and kids develop their sensory-motor skills, and for older kids, Lego toys and DIY models are great tools as well. This is especially true of more challenging models such as historical replicas of ships, planes, or cars, as these can have a lot of different-sized parts that must all be put together based off photos your child uses as a guide.

5. Dance the day away. Another activity that amps up your child’s sensory-motor coordination is dancing. The need to perform specific steps and moves while anticipating a series of other moves to come will help kids improve their sense of balance and praxis, or planning and sequencing skills.

6. Walk in someone else’s shoes. One key emotional trait to develop in kids to ensure that they make good choices in social situations is empathy, and what better way than to encourage them to experience things through the eyes of others. This can be as simple as asking a child “How would you feel if someone did to you what you just did to your sister/brother/friend/classmate?” after an incident. Another thing might be to use storytelling and even movies and TV shows, and ask your children to picture themselves as the main characters of the stories, but also as the supporting characters and villains.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in a specific BrainFit program, the first step is a Cognitive MAP Assessment. In the same way a personal trainer will first try to determine not just a person’s level of physical fitness but also the areas that need the most improvement, BrainFit Studio’s program starts with a series of tests and exercises designed to identify your child’s brain’s fitness level and the strength of each of the five pillars. This assessment will be used to customize a program that will help your child achieve brain fitness in all five pillars, through a combination of the five training regimens. 

• SMART Moves involves improving sensory-motor coordination. Exercises for this fitness program includes enhancing fine motor strength with the help of special putty, using a vibrating “Wiggle Pen” to improve control (and handwriting), and other activities that help your child achieve better balance, endurance, and so forth. 

• SMART Vision is all about visual and spatial processing. Some exercises may challenge the child to process shapes, colors, and directions they read while performing physical activities like jumping on a trampoline as well as a series of hand-eye coordination exercises, drawing exercises, tangrams, and even specially designed computer programs and apps to develop this area of the brain. In a Singaporean study of the exam results of boys who took six months of SMART Vision training in 2001, schools reported a 25% increase in overall marks, a 35% improvement in English, 50% in mathematics, and 12% increase in foreign language skills. 

• SMART Listening helps develop auditory and language processing skills. BrainFit Studio uses a scientifically proven program designed to improve attention, comprehension, and auditory memory. These use cute and colorful animations to make the experience more fun for the child. 

• SMART Focus uses neuro-feedback technology also used by NASA and the US Air Force to monitor kids’ brains while they perform exercises to improve attention and memory. Don’t worry that your child will be hooked up to wires like something out of a sci-fi movie, though! This equipment looks more like a biker’s helmet, and it tracks the active parts of your child’s brain while he engages in specially designed programs that train his brain to focus better. Following SMART Focus training, a test group of kids showed an average improvement of 12% in attention and 14% in impulse control.  

• SMART Emotions is all about EQ; it teaches social-emotional self-regulation to help kids handle their moods, learn to relax, and deal with various social situations. These are achieved through a workshop course designed with sessions for just the kids as well as ones with the kids and their parents. Through guided role-playing and other activities, children learn how to express and handle their emotions in efficient ways and deal with social situations that may not always be comfortable.

To learn more, visit www.brainfitstudio.com, Facebook.com/BrainFitStudioPhilippines, or one of the following Philippine branches:

GREENHILLS: 
3F 224 Ortigas Avenue
Greenhills, San Juan 
Tel: 725-8500; 668-2719; 0917-5991992

MANILA:
Unit 7, 140 MayhaliqueSt corner Masangkay Street
Broadview Towers, Santa Cruz
Tel: 554-0381; 0917-7761689

QUEZON CITY:
412 NS Amoranto Street corner Speaker Perez
Barangay Maharlika, Quezon City
Tel: 216-4130; 0927-5593574; 0917-5732107

BGC:
9th Avenue Preschool, M Level
ACTIVE FUN Building
9th Avenue corner 28th Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Tel: 0906-4504416

DAVAO:
Unit 3B Bajada Plaza
J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Ageless Beauty with Olay

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve.” - Coco Chanel

I wonder what Coco Chanel would say for a woman in her 60s. Would she say, "Be happy with the face you have at 60?" 

Not that looking 60 is something to be afraid of. Because if you look like Charo Santos-Concio at 60, my gosh, that's something to celebrate!


Olay Philippines recently announced Ms. Charo Santos-Concio as their newest Ambassador for the Olay Regenerist Line. Which is not only well-deserved for Ms. Concio but also a casting coup for Olay.

At 60, Ms. Concio has just retired at the top of her game, as President and CEO of ABS-CBN, which made her one of the most powerful women in media. Her show, Maalaala Mo Kaya is the longest running drama anthology in the world, and to this day, never fails to get our yayas shedding a tear or laughing out loud with every episode.


We got to see her up-close and personal at the event hosted by Olay Philippines a few weeks ago, and as Boy Abunda interviewed her, I couldn't help but be in awe of what she has accomplished for herself. She seemed shy and a tad self-conscious, admitting her nervousness to the crowd, which in reality belied the strength within her. 

To be able to manage the whims and the demands of the cast of characters in the entertainment industry is no small feat. To take a powerhouse like ABS-CBN from strength to strength requires balls and she has it, no doubt. 

She makes success look so easy. The way she makes looking beautiful at 60 look easy too. Her beauty secret of course, is no secret. 

While she has been a long time Olay user, she recommends using the powerful duo of Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Pre-Essence and Micro-sculpting Cream as part of one's night time ritual. This is because, and to think she only found out about this recently, night time is the best time for skin repair and renewal.

Lucky for us, we know this early on, and that natural skin repair reduces as we age. Not to fret if we are late into the skincare game though because the Olay Night Ritual fills this gap.

Dubbed as the "Overnight Miracle", it promises more youthful skin after just 5 nights of use. Together, it has 2x the advanced anti-aging actives that penetrate the skin 10 layers deep to provide 1.5x hydration. It also has PAL-KTTKS peptide and Niacinimide to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles, increase skin elasticity and strengthen skin resilience.

I've tried it myself and I can attest to the fact that my wrinkle situation has considerably improved in two weeks (which was the length of time I had the chance to compare using Olay's skin imaging system)

June 1, 2016: In my age group, 82% of women had less wrinkles than me! 87% had better texture than me! Wah!


June 15, 2016: Two weeks later, my stats improved. 68% have less wrinkles than I do (down from 82%) and 68% have better texture than I do (down from 87%).


I'm continuing the Olay Night Ritual and can't wait to see better and improved results in the weeks to come.

Try the Olay Night Ritual for yourself too! To purchase online, click HERE.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Skin Myths and Beliefs Brought to Light with Kojiesan


One of the first questions we asked Tricia Gregorio, Kojie San Marketing Head, when she sat down on our table at the tete-a-tete they hosted at La Creperie in Makati was, "How come Kojiesan soap melts so fast?"

Writer and journalist Dinna Chan Vasquez proceeded to share that she would cut up her Kojiesan soap, so that it won't go to waste, which is actually is a very smart thing to do.

According to Tricia, the reason why Kojiesan melts so fast is because it is composed of 90% coconut oil. Which was an eye opener for me. Instead of focusing on how it melts so fast, I now realized how truly good it is for my skin. 

This fact alone is proof as to why Kojiesan is the best selling natural based lightening soap in the market today. 90% coconut oil in a bar + Kojic Acid, it can't get better than that.

Kojiesan invited dermatologist Dr. Lindsay Torralba and celebrity makeup artist RB Chanco to dispel skin myths and share tips on how we can all have great skin

Dermatologist Dr. Lindsay Torralba highlighted the fact that Kojic Acid in Kojiesan products is a safe and natural alternative to other skin lightening products in the market today.


She compared it to the natural lightening properties of papaya and glutathione, and I'm sharing highlights with you here:

Benefits of Kojic Acid:
- brightens complexion, removes pigmentation, melasma, age spots, acne scars, sun spots, etc.
- with prolonged use, the skin will continue to lighten until desired
- longer shelf life because kojic acid resists oxidation and spoilage

Benefits of Papaya:
- lightens dark and tanned skin
- irons wrinkled skin
- exfoliates dead skin cells
- repairs damaged skin

Benefits of Glutathione:
- clears the body of free radicals
- detoxifies your body to boost the immune system
- skin whitening

Meanwhile, of all the myths that makeup artist RB Chanco dispelled, what left an impression on me was her philosophy that "The secret to beautiful makeup is beautiful skin." Many girls think makeup is meant to camouflage bad skin, but the reality is, no foundation or airbrushing can compete with great skin underneath. Think about it.

The event also unveiled the new Kojiesan campaign that now airs on television. More than highlighting Kojiesan and what it can do for your skin, I loved how they didn't see any need for famous faces, the message being, with Kojiesan, you are the It Girl. 


To get into the Kojiesan skin care regimen, here's a run down of the products you will need to add to their best selling Kojiesan Skin Lightening Soap in your skincare arsenal:

- Rejuvenate with Kojiesan Cleanser + Toner, equipped with Ginseng Extract and Rosehip Oil to revive tired skin, ridding the skin of excessive oils while repairing skin damage; 
- brighten with Kojiesan Face Lightening Cream, a combination of natural extracts and high-grade Kojic Acid to lighten as it nourishes, restoring skin suppleness for a healthy, rosy look; 
- lighten with Kojiesan Body Lightening Lotion with advanced formula of Kojic Acid and Rosehip Oil - to whiten skin as it heals - and Collagen + Vitamin E to increase youthfulness and improve skin health.


I've tried this line myself and I say it's a BUY! If you would like to read my review on all four Kojiesan products, click HERE.

ABOUT THE COMPANY 


Beauty Elements Ventures, Inc. is a personal care company with a wide range of products for men and women established in 2007. It is the first to introduce Kojic Acid soap in the Philippine market, supplying kojic acid soaps to dermatologists who prescribed the product to patients with skin pigmentation and darkening problems. With a growing end-user base, BEVI launched the original kojic acid soap formulated the traditional Japanese way but made it even better by adding high grade virgin coconut oil in the mix. 

It’s brand Kojiesan soon became a household name in the skin-lightening category that has since launched a complete Kojiesan Skincare System and garnered consumer recognitions. 

• Product line includes anti-aging, acne treatment, men’s skincare, cellulite control, fragrances and sunblock. 
• Recognised by Watsons Health & Beauty Awards as Bath Soap Brand of the Year for five consecutive years. 
• Consumer “SM Top Choice” Awardee 
• The first and only brand of Kojic Acid Soap with high-grade virgin coconut oil in Indonesia for skin treatment

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Lion Guard on Disney Junior


Did you get to watch The Lion Guard with your kids when it premiered last June 20 on Disney Junior? 

If so, then you must also know the answer to the question: 

Who is in charge of Pride Rock now? 

For those who joined my contest on my social media accounts, and answered: 



 Kiara 

You got it right! 

I am announcing the three winners I’ve chosen to get special prizes from Disney Junior and The Lion Guard Asia soon, so watch this space. I’ll then message the winners separately to get your contact details and delivery address.

I guess this is just one of the perks of watching the cartoon series no? Not to mention, it’s quite a fun watch, especially if you are a long time fan of The Lion King as a kid. 

I’m sharing with you some of the fun facts about The Lion Guard: 



1. Timon and Pumba are now considered as elders, wise ones who offer advice to the new Lion Guard. Imagine that! So mature! 

2. Kion possees the Roar of the Elders, magical gift that causes the lion spirits of The Pride Lands past to roar with him. This gift is traditionally given to the second-born, with the last owner being Scar, who sadly used it for evil and lost the gift. 

3. The series is meant to impart positive lessons, like team work – where The Lion Giard combine their unique skills for the benefit of the community and acceptance in diversity. 

4. The Education and Science experts at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park served as consultants for the animal characters, making them as close to real life as possible. 

5. As with the now classic The Lion King, each episode of the cartoon series contains original songs our kids would love listening to and singing along. 


Catch The Lion Guard on Disney Junior at 8.30am (Jakarta/Thailand), 9.30am (Malaysia/Philippines).
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