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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Your Baby Fairy is Coming!

When we were living in the US, and we just had Berry, the website I most frequented was probably diapers.com - I never had to panic about running out of nappies because they had free 1-2 day shipping, I could buy discounted diapers, and they often offered a free tub of baby wipes when I reached a certain amount.

That is why I am excited to share with you Baby Fairy, the Philippines' first Online Boutique for Babies - with diaper subscription services.

Read on and parents, rejoice! Just imagine how much you can save on time and gas alone. No more emergency trips to S&R, allowing you more precious moments with your wee ones ;)





Remember the last time you bought diapers? 

First, you had to bear with Manila's horrendous traffic. After all, we're now living in the 3rd worst city for driving, according to CNN. Then, you had to brave that crowded supermarket aisle, reach out for that large diaper pack on the top shelf, line up for that long check out line and lug those huge packs back home.  And finally, you're always afraid of running out of diapers. A wet baby is an unhappy baby, right? 

Let's face it. Diaper shopping is incredibly inconvenient. And as a busy modern mom, you have more important things to worry about. 

That's about to change. 

After a marathon 24-hour hacking session at Start-Up Weekend ManilaBaby Fairy launches with the first ever diaper subscription service in the Philippines. 

For as low as P500 a month, our Fairies will deliver - for free - your monthly supply of diapers from brands you love. Baby Fairy's online boutique also offers a full line of essentials, from milk and vitamins to clothing and baby care products delivered straight to your door. 

With Baby Fairy, you can shop for diapers and other awesome baby products from the convenience of your home. We do this in 3 ways. First, we partner with the top diaper brands to help you stock your shelves every month. No more rushing to the grocery or lugging those huge diaper packs! Second, our direct to consumer model cuts out the retail middleman so we can give you truly low prices! Lastly, our educational content gives you all the advice you need to help you raise your growing bundle of joy! 

There are over 7 million babies below the age of 2 in the Philippines. Three Filipino babies are born every minute. Yet, there is no one-stop online shop that helps you with all your baby needs.Baby Fairy wants to change that. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mommy Potions, Lotions and Creams


When I was pregnant with Berry, my friend Mary Anne gave me a whole year's supply of Palmer's to prevent stretch marks. It could be that, or it could be genetics, but I swear, with Palmer's I never got stretch marks, even just one tiny bit at all. Take note that I started moisturizing as soon as I got pregnant, before my belly even protruded, just to prep my skin for the months of stretching ahead.

This time around, when Denise R. of Rustan's Beauty Source found out I was pregnant, she thoughtfully sent me this whole range of Palmer's and if I wanted to moisturize my entire body, and my whole family, I could! Super thanks for this Denise! I really love Palmer's, I swear by it!

I also have Mustela's 9 Months range of pregnancy creams, and I switch these with Palmer's for this pregnancy. I have creams all over our room, and all over our bath as well, so I never forget to moisturize. Yes, it's a bit indulgent, but when you are pregnant in your 30s, you just cannot afford to be lax with skincare. Ain't as elastic as it used to be, hehe. Tammy T. of Mustela highly recommended the Instant Comfort Cream for Legs, and I find that when I massage my legs with this at night, I don't wake up with painful leg cramps. I also love how it has this cooling effect. Even if you are not pregnant, if you've been up or walking around all day, this is a great thing to massage your legs with before you sleep at night.

Another indulgence and one of the perks of living in Manila, is affordable pampering services. My friend Nina told me about the prenatal massage treatment at Clarins in Rustan's Makati and I always look forward to my twice a month sessions. I just feel so relaxed and refreshed after.


They gave me a sample sized stretch mark cream and treatment oil for toning, but I only opted to buy the toning gel shower cleanser since I could seriously start a mini oil spill with the number of lubricants I have in our bath.

What I like about the pre-natal massage treatment at Clarins is that they really have special procedures for pregnant women in the second trimester, and the third trimester. Every procedure is targeted for a pregnant woman's concerns - ie  2nd Trimester is for exfoliating & toning the body so as to prevent bloating, while 3rd Trimester treatments are meant to combat puffiness on the face, as well as dealing with pregnancy aches and pains.

I have a treatment scheduled at Clarins tomorrow, and as usual, I look forward to it! I cannot wait! =)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Makeup Mavens

Last night, my SIL Lorr showed us this YouTube video of a Taiwanese show where girls come in their "bagong gising look". But before revealing their face, they show a photo of what they look like, when fully made up aka "After & Before" Looks:

 

I was fascinated! I've always wanted big eyes and it's amazing how these girls managed to make their eyes look huge!

While watching, my head was a jumble of thoughts:

- Why would the girls want to show their unmade faces on national TV? Especially since one was raking it in as an online model
- Then again, it just shows how much of an expert they are at making themselves look good, they'd make a killing teaching other girls how to put makeup on. Alternative career!
- The hosts are so mean! Imagine how they would look without makeup on! And the guys, you're not Andy Lau or Takeshi Kaneshiro ha! 
- Guys will probably now think twice about the true level of hotness of that girl they saw on Facebook, ehehehe...

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's (Germ) Killer Time


If you haven't noticed the flashing banner right under my blog header, let me say it again, it's Germ Killer Time!

Apart from being my latest blog sponsor, I was sent the full range of Germ Killer products to try. And so far, I am loving it. For one, Germ Killer disinfectants are water-based making it safer and more effective than other household disinfectants out there. 

How effective? Well, Germ Killer products supposedly have broad spectrum bactericidal properties that can kill 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses that cause molds, mildew, salmonella, E.coli, even H1N1 and HFMD. Impressive huh? Plus, it doesn't leave a nasty chemical smell. Which is equal to extra plus points in my book.

The brand has three variants GK Air, GK Surface and GK Disinfectant:






If you are fanatical about hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, but don't want your family to be exposed to harmful/hazardous chemicals, this is the brand to use. Germ Killer is now available at Ace Hardware, True Value, Handyman, and Citihardware branches.

For this month of April, they are giving out 20 ml. samples of Germ Killer Surface at Baby and Beyond (in P. Guevarra, San Juan). I actually carry this sample sized spray bottle in Berry's diaper bag. For disinfecting dubious restaurant table tops, hee!

Next month, one lucky reader will also get the full range of Germ Killer products like the one I have above. So watch out for my Germ Killer blog giveaway in May!

For more information about Germ Killer products, check out the Germ Killer Philippines Facebook page

Reminiscing + A Visit to Repetto in Greenbelt 3

The shopping landscape of Manila surely has changed since I last left it in 2006. I remember starting this blog because I wanted to document the things I wanted to buy, because it was so frustrating not finding anything here. Remember, this was before online shopping really hit mainstream and Johnny Air's main income streams were balikbayan boxes and remittances, and not air shipping of online purchases, heehee.

Repettos were high on my wishlist then, that I would often seek it out when I was traveling abroad. I finally found them in Gravity Pope in Vancouver, but they were so expensive there, that Dada dissuaded me from buying a pair. I ended up buying my first pair at Bird in Brooklyn in 2007. They had these patent BBs on sale, so I made the trek to their store in Brooklyn as a side trip while visiting my friend Tet in Park Slope!


Yes, this pair above is still very much alive and still looks good. So, worth it. My next pair of Repettos were these Repetto Jacksons. I saw Kate Moss wearing a pair with black, cropped trousers and I was like, "OMG! I have to have that!". Then Michael Jackson died, and my first thought was, "Now these shoes are gonna be classics". So I went online and bought a pair at La Garconne. Heehee.


My third, and certainly not the last pair, are these sparkly, crackly BBs in Carbone that Dada bought for me. See how times have changed? Before, he would stop me from buying Repettos, and now he himself buys me a pair. Ahhh true love. Heehee!


So when Cecile aka Chuvaness told me about Repetto opening in Manila a few months ago, it was like a dream come true. I couldn't wait! A Repetto store right here in Manila, that's the ultimate! Especially for somebody who practically lives in flats day in and day out (especially these preggy days).


Once it opened, Lawrence of Suyen Corp. made arrangements for me to visit the store so I can take photos to share here in the blog. Berry Ballerina, Nana & I came by after Holy Week so we can take a peek. Berry was thrilled to bits.  As soon as she saw the pretty tutus behind the shop window, she was practically squealing. Then she saw these dance leotards and tutus and she didn't know where to start looking...

plus there was an enticing brass barre where she did her own version of barre exercises:


True to tradition, since Rose Repetto started out of her desire to create the best dance footwear for her dancer son, the Repetto boutique carries pointe shoes and ballet slippers...


As well as totes, backpacks and duffel bags for stashing your dance essentials in:



Then of course, for frustrated prima ballerinas like toi et moi, there are these BBs, Zizis and Bolchois to prance around in for daily use:



All in all, the Repetto boutique has something for both serious dancers as well as stylish girls about town, who want comfortable and classic pairs of ballet inspired footwear. But oh, let me remind you that Repetto has French sizing, so you would need to go a full size up on Repettos. Take for instance, I am a US 6.5 and my Repettos are FR37.5 - so when you go there, make sure to ask for a size bigger than what you normally wear. Don't think your feet suddenly ballooned or something.


Shoes start at about Php11,000 and go up to about Php14,000. They also had these smooshy leather bags that are as soft and supple as their footwear. I wasn't able to check the price though. 


The Repetto boutique is worth a visit - if only to indulge your ballerina dreams. It's my slice of heaven on earth, or a slice of Paris in Manila - for my feet at least.

Repetto Manila
G/F Greenbelt 3
Makati

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

25 Weeks

With the weather getting so much warmer, it makes sense to wear dresses instead.

This is what I wore to my mom's birthday dinner:

silk printed dress from The Addison Story at SM Fashion Forum, Repetto BB flats, accessories from J.Crew, Kenneth Jay Lane and Fenton/Fallon

This is what I wore to brunch with friends:

Silk dress from See by Chloe, gold sandals from Pour la Victoire, accessories from J.Crew and Fenton/Fallon

Yes silk dresses during the summer. Not as high maintenance as I thought. And they feel so cool and soft against the skin. Then again, silk is a 100% natural fabric that breathes, and feels really fresh during hot summer days.

Berry Sperry


Also just before Holy Week, Berry, Nana & I went to the Sperry Top-Sider concept store in Trinoma to pick up a new pair of Sperrys. My much loved navy & platinum pair has been used and abused so often and when Katrina of Sperry Top-Sider Philippines invited me to come and visit the store to get a new pair, it was the perfect time! I love my Sperrys, and I cannot imagine not having one in my wardrobe. Having a new pair to give the old one time to recuperate is simply a wonderful idea.

Berry had a grand time at the store too. When she saw this wall, she pretended to climb onto the sailboat. Funny that she was wearing this nautical outfit that day too!


And when she saw this pair of pink seersucker Sperrys...


She reached out and got the pink Sperrys, took off her Toms and tried it on for size...


She said, "Mommy, look!" and started walking towards me with this giant shoe on one foot. Looks like we have another Sperry fan in the making here!


Apart from the classic Sperry styles for ladies which I like, there are also these more feminine styles. The shape is daintier. There's even a loafer style on the far right... 


Of course, there are a host of choices for guys too. From flip flops, to slip ons as well as the original Sperrys. While I was in the store, most of the customers were women buying boat shoes for their husbands. I thought it was cute!


If you are looking for a pair of summer shoes, or boat shoes in particular, for yourself or the hubby/boyfriend/bro, I really recommend Sperrys. It's the original boat shoes after all!


Can you guess which pair I brought home? Tadaaaaa! The silver Authentic Originals that I've been wanting for years and years. It's finally mine. I have been wearing this pair with shorts and skirts and boyfriend jeans and they're the just prettiest, androgynous thing I've ever had. I am still kilig to this day. =)


Sperry Concept Shop:
Sperry Top-Sider
2nd Level Trinoma
Quezon City

Sperry Stockists:
Complex Lifestyle Store (Eastwood Mall & Ayala Center Cebu)
Rustan's
Shoe Salon
Hide Out (Greenbelt 5)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Basil Thai Restaurant


This Thai iced tea from Basil, a new Thai restaurant along Katipunan Ave. cor White Plains Ave., that we recently tried just before Holy Week, is the perfect antidote to a hot summer day. With it's milky, icy texture, it is also the best drink to wash down each Basil dish after a spicy mouthful!

Dada's friend recommended that we try out Basil, and since we were in the mood for something new, and visions of bagoong rice had me at the mere suggestion of it, we excitedly made our way to once was the garden area of Katipunan Avenue, right behind the perimeter wall of Camp Aguinaldo. 


The bagoong rice, just as I expected, was delicious! It had crunchy bits of shrimp, chilis, onions, with just the right hint of shrimp paste. Although not as much pork or mangoes as I wanted. Nevertheless, it turned out to be just right, because if it had too much of those two, it would have overwhelmed the entire experience. After all, we ate the bagoong rice with... 


Pad Thai smothered in bean sprouts. This was soo good! It looks and is oily, but it had none of the weird after taste that some Pad Thais have. I practically scooped up the plate clean after every one had their share. Hee!


The beef satay was tender and melts in the mouth. No aggressive chewing needed. Haha! This was Berry's favorite. 


The chicken pandan, or what they called Emerald Chicken, was good, but I thought the pieces were kinda small. I've had this dish better elsewhere.


The beef curry was yummy too! Beef was tender, and the sauce, when paired with plain jasmine rice, would be ulam by itself. I wish we got to try the fish with three flavored sauce, which is a signature dish, but with just three adults and a toddler, we just didn't have room for an extra dish. This just means, there is a next time! Because this is a restaurant we would definitely come back to again and again.

The interiors would be best described as rustic Thai I guess. But it has A/C, so even in the heat of summer, it's comfortably cool inside. It also had a pretty indoor garden wall...


And a picturesque outdoor seating that wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so hot. Reminded me of outdoor patios in restaurants in downtown Manhattan.


Basil Thai Restaurant
White Plains Ave cor Katipunan Avenue
Quezon City
Opens at 12 noon

Monday, April 16, 2012

Si Valentino at ang Barong Tagalog


Valentino's Spring 2012 ad campaign has been making waves amongst us who have recognized the Barong Tagalog worn in such a ladylike way. My sister Trina managed to take snaps of their store window and it looks amazing in person. 


Does this make you want to wear a Barong Tagalog too? When cut slim, belted and paired with a skirt, it just takes on a whole new look.

Funny how Filipino designers seem to have glossed over looking at our Barong Tagalog as something for girls. Although I am sure some have attempted, but not to this effect. Often, it has always been taken so literally and the few women I have seen who wear Barongs still pair it with pants. When to start with, the Barong in itself is pretty and delicate enough for girls, even though they are really meant to be worn by men. 


Valentino's twist was done in such a unique, yet still traditional way. With just a few tweaks, the designers actually managed to make it look like something I would want to wear too, hee!

Thank you Hatch & Latch!


I just wanted to say thank you to Helen See of Hatch & Latch for sending us these BellyBuds! We've been using these for a couple of weeks now so Xavi can enjoy some Mozart. He really responds to it, because whenever I play him some music, he starts moving in my tummy. Just like his Atchi Berry.

Dada & I just make sure that the volume isn't turned on high, so that it doesn't get too loud in there. Although BellyBuds has a fixed safe maximum volume so moms don't have to worry about accidentally turning on the volume much too high that it could cause deafness.


So yeah, with Xavi, its a little more high tech now with him because he gets his own "earphones"/bellyphones. When I was pregnant with Berry, I just played some music to her via Pandora or while driving in the car. 

I really make it a point to teach the kiddos music appreciation early, like in the womb. It supposedly makes them smarter. Plus, it's so cute whenever Berry hears music now, she always feels like dancing, even in public. Specially now that she has been learning ballet. She always demonstrates her new dance moves to her aunties and uncles, and the new friends she meets. Such a performer. Let's see if Xavi will be the same.

Apart from BellyBuds, Hatch & Latch also sells maternity clothes, development toys, baby gear, and breastfeeding products from brands that Helen herself has used and swear by. So everything in her store is mommy tested and loved.

For more on Hatch & Latch, please visit their website and Facebook page. Hatch & Latch often does giveaways too, so make sure you "Like" their page so you're constantly in the loop!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Musings on Hair

So my SIL Lorr had this brilliant thought the other day. She said it would be the ultimate if we had a helper who was trained to do blow outs. I mean, imagine having perfect hair every day? You don't even need to go to a salon to get your hair done. Imagine too, not having to worry about hiring a hair stylist to do your hair when you have a big party to attend?

My BFF Nina is lucky because she has perfect hair everyday. When she goes to work, a hairstylist takes care of styling her hair, after all, she's on TV every day. 

This is Nina. Yes, she looks like this every single day...(photo by Dar Ramos)

Meanwhile, every day I go out with limp, and often fly away hair. Like this:


One time, Berry, Nana & I visited Nina at work. And I was complaining about my yucky hair. She asked her hairstylist to do something about my hair, and tadaaaaa - in less than 2 minutes, with just a few flicks of her wrist using a hair straightener, she came up with this:

My hair looked like it had volume, body and waves, for a change!

That same afternoon, I ended up buying a Babyliss ionic/ceramic hair dryer in Landmark Trinoma, sponsored by my mom heehee. Nina helped me choose, it's a French brand that she swears by. Sarap the feeling to have nice hair talaga every day, I felt so "polished". Amazing what nice hair can do! I just wish I have the discipline to really take time to do my hair each day.

And I really promise na I will buy the best straightener ever! Her stylist used something like this, a straightener with wide tongs. 


Now if only I can learn how to use one. Better yet, if Lorr & I can find a helper who knows how! Hey, do you ladies know where one can learn how to do blow outs? Kind of like a hair workshop or something? I am serious!

24 Weeks

Wore this to dinner with Karrots, Oliver & Tipu at Mamou in Rockwell. Top from H&M, J Brand skinny jeans, Anthology Hudsons, necklace from J.Crew

Ran errands and attended a private sale in Manila Pen (thanks for the invite Therese!). Top from H&M, J.Crew trousers that are starting to get more snug around the waistband, gold TKEES

Photos taken last week of March 2012. I am on my 27th week this coming week, and the white jeans I am wearing in this post need to be unbuttoned now so I can wear it comfortably.
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