Friday, April 20, 2018

Look Good, Feel Great with Watson's

I belong to Gen X, raised by Boomers who think that self-promotion and loving one's self first is well, to put it, selfish.

But as we all know now, and have known all along, there is nothing wrong with that. We call it  now "filling our love tank" or "putting your own oxygen mask first". It's crucial to our sanity.


This week, Watsons launches their #LookGoodFeelGreat campaign with an online video to remind us all to be kinder to ourselves. That it's ok to love ourselves, because when we do, we feel great.

Here are some insights and tips on self-love from Watsons. 

What is Self-love?

  • Self-love is a state of appreciation for yourself that is manifested through different means. 
  • Self-love involves taking care of yourself, not losing touch with who you are despite the stresses of everyday life. 
  • Taking care of your health, face, hair and skin are some of the basic aspects of self-love because when you look good, you feel great. 
  • Self-love starts with self-awareness, which means knowing your strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. It can mean anything from doing something that will make you feel great like wearing a new pair of shoes or applying red lipstick on a Monday to make you look good.
How can we practice Self-love?
  1. Be aware. It all starts with knowing who you are and what you can do. 
  2. Don’t procrastinate. So one of your New Year’s resolutions is to achieve glowing skin. Don’t wait until the year is over to have a realistic skin care routine based on proper cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection. 
  3. Be goal-oriented. Proper sleep, exercise and good nutrition are only some of the steps you should take to achieve your goals. List down your goals and think carefully how you can achieve them. 
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not perfect; nobody is. If you are overweight, you can do something about it. If you look tired, there’s a reason for that. It’s not because you were born that way. 
  5. Realize that you’re not alone. So many people struggle with lack of time or will to take proper care of yourself. Watsons encourages each one of us to love themselves more to look good and feel great. 

To learn more about the video, visit the Watsons Philippines Facebook page and @watsonsph on Instagram.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

When Old Becomes New

My parents used to wax nostalgic about the glory days of Manila, which our generation can't relate to anymore. So it's wonderful to hear about conservation efforts such as this by the owners of YOUniversity Suites/LA Village on CM Recto Avenue in Manila.

To make the place safe for students and dormers, they installed this fence along their street front

What used to be the Laperal Apartments, originally built in 1946 was thoughtfully restored and converted into what is now YOUniversity Suites, a 4-story dormitory for students, with restaurants, an SM Appliance Store and Watsons along the street front on the ground floor and a commercial complex within called LA Village filled with affordable dining options, a Nitro 7 Coffee & Tea Bar, an actual bar, a laundry shop and other establishments essential to students.





What sets apart LA Village from the usual food courts - apart from that it sits on a Manila landmark - is the fact that the owners had a conscious effort to build with vintage elements in mind, as a nod to its glorious heritage.


I actually took the boys with me to show them that there are cool places in Manila that's worth telling their friends about.


LA Village also houses a study center and a billiard hall for when the kids want to take a break from studying.

Gr8t Shots Manila

Study Haven

During the launch, guests and students were treated to live music by Up Dharma Down.


This will be a regular feature at LA Village, making it the ultimate destination in the University Belt for students and those work and live in the vicinity.




I hope this is the start of the gentrification of the University Belt, making it not just a safe place for students but a picturesque one as well.

YOUniversity Suites/LA Village
2119 CM Recto Avenue
Manila
Tel: +632 2442421
Mobile: +63926 7047679

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Hello? Is it Me You're Looking For?

I just realized I've neglected this blog.

This is the longest span of time I haven't written here. 

Do people still read blogs though? It seems like everyone is over at Instagram, or maybe just living life. If your answer is the latter, then good for you! 

Meanwhile, I've been busy decluttering. It's what I've been into lately more than ever. To my husband's delight, messy me found KonMari. If you don't believe me, here ya go!


I bet you didn't expect that! Heehee.

I've become a Konvert. Her method truly is life changing. I haven't shopped in a long time. I have learned to detach from material longings. Maybe that's why this blog has been quiet. There is nothing that I want in my life now because I have found contentment.

Tidying is truly life changing. I feel like I'm not the same person I used to be anymore. 

Not that I'm saying I'll retire this blog. There are still things that spark joy for me. Except I've learned to differentiate "Ooooh this is pretty!" admiration from "I have to have this!" 

I used to not be able to distinguish one from the other. Which of course led to me being neck deep in clutter, where I felt burdened by everything that I owned. 

Over the last couple of years, I've pared down considerably. But I still have to work on our family room and patio, which I can't really touch because not everything there is mine (as a rule, I can't throw out other people's stuff). 

I'm still working on the entire house to "click", so while I'm at it, follow me over at my new Instagram account @sparkjoy.ph where I'll share decluttering adventures, plus KonMari tips and tricks with you!

Monday, December 18, 2017

The First De’Longhi Concept Store in Manila Opens at Vertis North


It used to be that small kitchen appliances were something that you use on the countertop and then stored right after using. But De’Longhi changed that for me. I leave our toaster and water kettle out, especially if they’re as pretty as what I have.

Of course the espresso machine is a given. It’s gorgeous plus its compact, it doesn’t take up much space at all.

And since we are in the subject of espresso machines, if you're planning to buy an espresso machine, you have to do it at the newly opened De’Longhi Concept Store at Ayala Malls Vertis North.

While it looks like a modern café, with that stylish Italian scooter out front, it’s really a place to immerse yourself in the De’Longhi experience.


There is an entire wall dedicated to coffee and small kitchen appliances


And another area for their novel cooking appliances like their electric oven, ice cream maker and Multifry.


Over the years, De’Longhi has solidly positioned themselves in the home coffee machines category so of course the main feature next to the appliances themselves in the concept store is their café, where clients can enjoy coffee made by their own baristas.


It is also the best place to test your own coffee making abilities, by trying out the machines yourself so you can decide on what’s best for you (and your abilities hehe).



Of course, the store stocks a wide range of coffee supplies and accessories, just about everything you need to set up and enjoy your own coffee corner at home.


The De’Longhi Concept Store is not just a store, that’s for sure. It’s a total experience that allows you to shop in a coxy, comfortable setting, and sets the bar high for retail stores across categories.


De’Longhi Concept Store 
3rd Level of Ayala Malls Vertis North
Quezon City

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

MFO Gift Guide: Use Your Coconut, Part 4

With all this talk about Laurin CocoMCT®, friends ask me:

How is the most valuable portion of coconut oil extracted, to make Laurin CocoMCT®?

So I got the answer straight from Mr. Jun Lao of Chemrez, himself. He says the process is quite long and technical, but to explain it simply, they "utilize four separate manufacturing locations to be able to separate the MCT from the long chain triglycerides".

They employ proprietary processes to make CocoMCT. The basic process involves:

1) breaking down coconut oil into fatty acids and glycerin
2) Removing the unhealthy long chain fatty acids (LCFA) to isolate the medium chain fatty acids (MCFA)
3) attaching the glycerin back to the MCFA to create medium chain triglycerides

With that explained, let's move on to who else we can give Laurin to ;)

9. Kitchen Diva

As mentioned earlier, we can use coconut oil when baking, in place of butter, shortening and oil in most (if not all) recipes.

Light & flavor-free, Laurin® is also perfect for salad dressings.

Laurin may be used for making mayo, drizzling on popcorn, etc.  After all, it is the healthiest alternative in the kitchen. It is excellent for frying, giving crispness and sealing in flavours.

In fact, here's a recipe for Coconut Mayonnaise that I got from their website. I'll give it a try and let you know how that turns out.


10. Uncle or Grandparent with High Cholesterol


Various research have proven that medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are beneficial to heart health and help lower high blood pressure. This is because it increases HDL (good cholesterol) and helps regulate LDL (bad cholesterol) to lessen plaque build up.

Dr. Mark Hyman of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine and The UltraWellness Center makes a case for coconut MCT backed up by numerous research, as he answers the question Is Coconut Oil Bad for your Cholesterol?.

"While research shows coconut oil contains higher amounts of saturated fat and does increase total cholesterol, those amounts do not increase your heart attack or stroke risk. 
In fact, one study among lean, heart disease- and stroke-free Pacific Islanders who consumed up to 63 percent of their calories from coconut fat found total cholesterol rose but so did their “good” HDL. 
Other studies found lipid profiles improve on high-fat diets containing coconut oil. Researchers concluded it wasn’t saturated fat from coconuts that negatively impacted cholesterol profile. Instead, the coconut oil’s overall effect raised HDL while lowering triglycerides and small LDL cholesterol particles, which is definitely a good thing."

Incidentally, CocoMCT is great for Alzheimer's too, and for increasing mental alertness and we'll delve into that and the other cognitive benefits of MCT another time. In effect, CocoMCT is great for seniors. That's why even if my Dad is healthy for his age, I gave him a bottle of Laurin for Christmas, for his overall health and wellness.

11. The Pet Owner

CocoMCT is safe to be ingested by pets for better digestion, and just as effective in keeping pet hair shiny and brushing their teeth with. Unlike some foods that are only fit for human consumption, CocoMCT is one of those human foods that's good for both carer and pet!

via Pinterest

12. For the One Who Has Everything

Ahhhh, the One Who Has Everything. Time and again, it's been a question that has been often asked but never fully answered in my opinion. Until now. Because my answer is - CocoMCT. Of course!

Said recipient will find plenty of uses for your present, she won’t want to re-gift it.

Enough said.

P.S. What should have been a single blog post had to be split up into four. Really, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uses for CocoMCT®, so just trust me when I say, this is a gift that will keep on giving!


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