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!


Monday, December 11, 2017

MFO Gift Guide: Use Your Coconut, Part 3

Ok, so we've tackled the uses of CocoMCT® for moms, oilbularyos, bakers and naturalists. I actually shared that post on my Facebook wall and a lot of my friends were all raves about Laurin. It's a popular product na talaga with "those in the know", naks. Sharing with you here!

I love this brand of coconut oil *heart emoji* - Jinky C.

I love Laurin because it doesn’t leave your skin oily when used for a massage! - Jen T.

We use this heavily coz TJ ofcourse said it’s good! But someone asked me how is it extracted and launched on chemical extraction etc. I was stumped and bummed that I couldn’t explain! Coz we use Laurin a lot! - Em S.

We take Laurin daily, hubby and I. It's also one of the carrier oils for my essential oils. - Jane U.

Of course, they asked me about the extraction process, so that's something I will be explaining in another post, promise.

In the meantime, here are more profiles of family/friends you can give CocoMCT® to!

5. The Friend Doing Intermittent Fasting and/or the Ketogenic Diet 
The Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting is something that I'm hearing a lot, especially among people in my age group. So it's a perfect gift for friends who are doing this.


Laurin can definitely help with weight loss because it has a satiating effect, raises metabolism and burns body fat. Especially useful with all the holiday feasting we are doing. 


Holiday or not, Laurin CocoMCT® is especially ideal for bulletproof coffee and for adding to shakes.

I was told that if you add Laurin to your coffee in the morning, it can get you through lunch time without feeling any hunger pangs. If you plan to do intermittent fasting but can't just take water in the morning, then  having coffee with Laurin seems like a doable alternative.

6. The Athlete 

When taken as a supplement, Laurin will give extra stamina and sustained energy, perfect when they are doing HIIT. It also keeps them immune from illnesses as well as helping them stay alert. In fact, according to Livestrong.com, MCT in raw coconut oil boosts endurance and also reduces fat levels. Now imagine taking pure MCT like Laurin at that!


If you think I'm click baiting you, the Livestrong article mentions an NYU Langone Medical Center report that says MCTs may help enhance exercise ability. 

"A study published in April 2009 in the 'Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology' found that the easy digestibility of MCTs may increase energy metabolism during both high- and medium-intensity exercise. The two-week human study found that MCTs reduced the body’s reliance on carbohydrates as a source of energy and cut the amount of lactate produced during exercise, leading to greater exercise endurance."

On a side note, because of the Lauric Acid in CocoMCT®, it can also treat athlete's foot! Heehee.

7. Soap-making Sister

Coconut oil is known to make bar soaps lather beautifully as well as help it harden nicely. Admittedly, Laurin is quite pricey to be used in soap making, but it is the kind of ingredient that produces quality soap bars any soap maker would be proud of!

 coconut and lime soap via Offbeat and Inspired

8. The Vegetarian Friend

What do you give someone who is into plant based nutrition, but is also careful about where her produce comes from? The safer gift is to give CocoMCT® !

By adding coconut oil to their diet, they boost brain health and energy to help compensate for the deficiency in EPA in a vegetarian and vegan diet.

Coconut Oil Veggie Stir Fry recipe at My Botanical Baby

Next up, uses of CocoMCT for the Foodie, the Pet Lover, the Uncle with High Cholesterol and The One Who Has Everything.

Sold? Here's where you can buy Laurin here in the Philippines!

Where to Buy:

Antipolo City 
Be Well Organics - Lores Country Plaza, M.L. Quezon Ext., San Roque

Bataan 
Fit Box - Paras-Garcia Building, Roman Superhighway, Brgy, Tuyo, Balanga City, Bataan

Bulacan 
Skinline Beauty Wellness & Spa - Guiguinto Bulacan

Cagayan de Oro 
Echostore - CDO - 72 Domingo Velez St., corner President Aguinaldo St., Bgy. 29

Cavite
Gourmet Farms - Km., 52 Emilio Aguinaldo Hwy, Silang,
DM Buan Trading - Block 22 Lot 11 Golden Shower Street, Central Phase 3, Molino 3, Bacoor

Cebu 
Echostore Cebu - Streetscape Mall, Paseo Saturnino, Banilad Rd.

Davao
Chemrez Technologies, Inc. - 2C & 2D Amina Way Bldg., Panacan Diversion Road
Echostore Davao - 11 Begonia Circle, Ladislawa Village, Buhangin

Makati City 
Echostore Salcedo - G/F NDC Building,116 Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
Echostore Glorietta 4 - 4th Flr. Glorietta 4, Courtyard Drive, Ayala Center, Makati, 1200
Holy Carabao Holistic Farms - 6241 Palma Cor. Manalac St. Pobalacion Makati City
The Wholesome Table - Salcedo Village
Dean & Deluca - Eton Tower, 128 Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village

Mandaluyong
Echostore Podium - G/F The Podium ADB Avenue
Earth Origins ADB Cafeteria - 6 ADB Ave.
Skin Fitness Center - 5th Flr. Atrium Bldg. SM Megamall
The Allganic Store - 73 Maysilo Circle Plainview

Manila
Narchem Industrial - 3M 205 1578 Mayhaligue St. Cor. Rizal Ave. Sta Cruz
Be Organic - G/F Broadview Towers, 1408 Mayhaligue Cor. Masangkay Sta. Cruz
Earth Origins US Embassy - 1201 Roxas Blvd. Ermita
Dentix Dental Care Center - SM San Lazaro 2nd floor Sta. Cruz

Muntinlupa
Real Food - Molito Lifestyle Mall
Earth Origins Market Place - C1-504 Westgate Center, Filinvest City

Pasig 
The Good Seed Café - # 3 Brixton St. Brgy Kapitolyo
Orientway Marketing - # 9A Felipe Pike St Bagong Ilog

Paranaque
Dr. Edna Lao Clinic - #82 Multinational Ave., Multinational Village
LTB Goodies Today - 57 Scottland St., Better Living

Quezon City
Chemrez Technologies, Inc. - 65 Calle Industria Bagumbayan
Best Value Factory Outlet - 62 Calle Industria Bagumbayan
Advance Hyperbaric Life Support - # 11 Tagdalit ST brgy Manresa
Echostore Centris - Unit 1F Eton Centris Walk, Quezon Ave
Rice Lane Asian Market - 3rd Flr Eastwood Mall
Joji Berry Inc. - 4th Flr. Crossroads 77 Mother Ignacia
Be Good Store / True Orange - Stall 30 East Wing Building ABS CBN compound, Mother Ignacia St. Sunshine Fruit Bar - 755 Banawe cor. Sct Alcaraz
The Sexy Chef - GF Tower 4 Xaviervillehills Condo N. Domingo St. Cor Granada St. Brgy Valencia
Proudly Green - # 78 Mother Ignacia Ave.
Annie's Kitchen - # 40 Esteban Abada St. Loyola Heights
Hillside Café & Juice Bar - 57 Mother Ignacia St.
Ultra Super Green - Elizabeth Hall G/F Lot 1 blk 41 Katipunan Ave. Loyola Heights
Jash Mart Suki Market - SG-42 Suki Market Mayon St. Cor. N-Roxas
Cup Fiction - 141 Katipunan Ave
Pampanga's Best - 129 Kamuning Road
Refuel Coffee - Unit B Citic Tower 88 Banawe St cor Don Manuel St.
Runner’s Kitchen - 74 Tomas Morato Ave
Got Heart Shop - 69 Esteban Abada St, Loyola Heights
Earth Kitchen - Lot 10 B-10 Katipunan Avenue, White Plains

San Juan
Virgith Buena Nutrition Clinic - Rm 220 B Medical Arts Bldg. 1 Cardinal Santos Medical Center Earth Origins Market Place - G/F Wilson Bldg. 226 Wilson St. Brgy. West Greenhills
Urban Pantry - Unit 115 C G/F Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center
Clique Trading - Unit S3409 Shoppesville Center, 3/L Shoppesville Greenhills Shopping Center

Taguig City 
Echostore Serendra - Ground Floor, Serendra Piazza, Mckinley Parkway
Life Science - 8th Floor ACCRA Law Tower, 2nd Avenue corner 30th Street
Alex & Claude - Unit F G/F F1 City Center, 32nd Street, Corner Lane A
Wholesome Table

Online
Lazada - http://www.lazada.com.ph
Shopee - https://shopee.ph
BeautyMNL - https://beautymnl.com


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