Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wilson's Place, Tagaytay: A Bed & Breakfast Destination

There are bed and breakfast places, then there are bed & breakfast destinations. Wilson's Place in Tagaytay falls in the latter category.

The first thing that strikes you about Wilson's Place is their pool. It's what greets you as you go through the entrance from the gravel driveway.

It's huge. It's gorgeous. You would want to dive right in.


It was a surprise that our kids waited until after breakfast the next day to do that. (Actually, it was the prospect of seeing animals and vegetables at Yoki Farm that kept them from jumping into the pool that afternoon!)

And they never left until it was time to get ready for lunch at Balay Indang in Indang, Cavite (more on that in a succeeding post!).

Beriray is somewhere here in the picture with Neva aka Manila Mommy's kids, hehehe

The pool alone guarantees hours of fun for the kids. Then again, it's also a serene spot if you just want to laze by the pool and chill. Like literally. Because hello, malamig sa Tagaytay!


Unlike your run of the mill bed & breakfast spots, and what makes Wilson's Place a destination on its own, is its character.

It is literally peppered with sculptures from the owner's personal collection. We're talking not just an accent piece here or there, but all over.


Then there's a campfire ground with mango trees, where there are swings hanging down the branches. I would watch the kids taking turns, swinging under the tree, shrieking with glee.

I couldn't help but think that this is what childhood memories are made of. So idyllic. Reminds me of the days when sprawling backyard gardens were the norm, and not the luxury it is nowadays.

At night, you can gather round the campfire and make s'mores. Reminisce about your childhood. Tell ghost stories. Scare each other out before you retreat to your rooms.


Or better yet, bring a guitar and sing your hearts out instead. That's less stressful than freaking out over the rustling of leaves or creaking doors, or footsteps by your window. Ooooh goosebumps. 

Just kidding, walang ghosts sa Wilson's Place! 

It's such a bright and cheery place. The mismatched furniture adds to the charm.


The main house is where we would go for meals. All the guests convene here for their delicious, elevated notches higher, home cooked meals.


The food was expectedly delicious. Our friends who have been to Wilson's before praised their meals to high heavens. For dinner, we had ceasar salad, mushroom soup soooo good I could imagine the mushrooms were just harvested that same day, salted egg pasta, grilled pork chop, and cereal prawn balls. OMG. Drool. The photos I took will not give it justice. You have to go to taste it.

Breakfast was as yummy as this looked. If you are craving for garlic rice, mango salsa, gourmet tuyo and beef tapa as you read this, I am warning you. Do. Not. Scroll. Down.



Wow, that got me hungry again. This was really worth waking up earlier than usual for. And I am not even a morning person!

Now that I've told you about breakfast, and how good it was, let me tell you about the bed part.

We stayed in one of the casitas, which was a family room that fit our entire family of five plus Nana. It is meant to fit four adults but fit all six of us comfortably.



Cute and cozy, it was like having our own little cottage in the woods.

Of course, at the heart of Wilson's Place is the family behind it. We came as guests of Raquel Ongsue and her family, and we parted as friends. That's how it felt like. They toured us around their farm, Yoki Farm (more on that, coming soon!) shared meals and stories with us, such consummate hosts.

While Wilson's Place is a great place for families who want to go out of town for a quick getaway, it's great for big groups as well.

Because it can fit a group of 30, 40 max, it is big enough to sleep a small office department, a high school barkada with families, balikbayan relatives and posse, a wedding entourage.

Depending on your agenda, you can stay in and do your annual planning in the main house, where there are plenty of tables for break out sessions, or head out to Yoki Farm and other touristy Tagaytay spots during the day, and retire at Wilson's Place come night.

Character. Charm. Coziness. Wilson's Place has that and more. You'd want to come back soon, and often.

For more information on rates and how to get here, see below.

Rates:

Wilson’s Place Overnight Stay inclusive of Dinner and Breakfast
Petite Room ( good for 2 ) Php5,000
Regular Room ( good for 2 ) Php5.5k
Family Room ( good for 4 ) Php8.5K
Extra person is Php1,700 ( inclusive of mattress , dinner, bfast )
** Plus 3% gratuity

Driving Directions: While on the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway heading to Nasugbu, turn right on the next street after Sotogrande Avenue. There's an arch overhead that small street, which is Maglabe Drive. In case you get lost, ask for directions to The Flower Farm. It would feel like you are driving for miles past it, but just go straight ahead. Wilson's Place is farther down the road.


Wilson's Place
Maglabe Drive, Tagaytay City
Mobile: +639158645706 / +639175357218 / +639178665825
Email: wilsons.place@yahoo.com
Facebook: Wilson's Place

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MFO's Verdict On: The Spectra 9 Plus Rechargeable Breast Pump

I've tried manual breast pumps, electric breast pumps, and just recently, the Spectra 9 Plus Rechargeable Breast Pump, thanks to Mi'Ann Reyes Oblea, my friend and founder of BabyMama, the go to site for everything a mom needs to breast feed.

The Spectra 9 Plus is the latest addition to BabyMama's formidable lineup of affordable, quality breast pumps, all of which have been received with rave reviews, from moms who have successfully produced a lot of milk, they can even afford to donate dozens of bags at a time.

If you read the stories of the breastfeeding moms in BabyMama's Facebook page, you'll see how powerful the right attitude and the right tools are when it comes to breastfeeding. So inspiring.

As for my verdict on the Spectra 9 Plus? Find out below ;)

The Product: Spectra 9 Plus Rechargeable Breast Pump

The Product Origin: Made in Korea


The Promise: Ultra quiet. Rhythmic suction. Long life span. Massage mode and variable suction settings. May be used for dual pumping. BPA Free. For the full product features, click here.

The Spectra 9 Plus Rechargeable Breast Pump comes with an instruction booklet, 1 pump unit, 1 adapter, and two sets of tubing, back-flow protectors, breast shields, valves, bottles, bottle covers, nipples, bottle caps and disks

Put to the Test: Both my manual breast pump and electric breast pumps require some bit of assembly as with this rechargeable breast pump. In that sense, I spend about the same amount of time setting up for a pump session.


The back-flow protector on this one is not bulky at all. It looks like a UFO disc actually.


Composed of three parts, it's quite easy to assemble and disassemble.


For obvious reasons, using this is less tiring than using a manual pump. I just place the breast shields on my boobs, press the power button, then the massage button, and I'm good to go.

To start expressing, I just press on the massage button again. I adjust the suction speed via the + and - buttons where it says vacuum. The LCD Screen tells you what mode you are in (massage vs expression), the vacuum level, and has a timer and a battery power indicator as well.

The pump unit fits into my palm, and is about the size of a 3x5" index card

Size wise, it is so compact and handy, that I do not have to sit down and prop my pump unit on a table to keep it steady.

That said, it is very convenient to use. I can pump while sitting on the couch, while on the La-Z-Boy, even while on the bed, sitting against the headboard. As long as the unit is charged, I don't have to plug it into a socket while pumping.

It's super quiet too. I can pump anywhere, any time, even late into the night, when everybody is fast asleep, and no one would ever be bothered by it.

Passing the Verdict: This is a definite BUY. Price, Power and Proportions wise, it's a win-win all around.

Practical Tip: Because of the Spectra 9 Plus' small size, and the fact that it supports all voltages and currents (it may be plugged into a 110V plug in the US and 220V plug in Europe and Asia, 50/60Hz), this will be coming with me when we travel, that's for sure.

I can even fit it in my coat pocket if I wanted to. With the bottles and other parts, they can all fit in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. It's that tiny. But despite the diminutive proportions, this rechargeable breast pump has plenty of power.

Another thing, the bottle is freezer-ready, so there is no need to pour out the contents into a milk bag or another bottle if you so choose.


The bottle cover converts to a regular bottle collar, so you can just easily insert the nipple through it for a feeding.


Price: I am super happy to share that this one is super affordable at only Php9,000 and it does the job just the same of my Php30,000 electric breast pump.

I pump about 10 oz of milk (both breasts) which is just about as much as I would get from my electric double breast pump.


Point of Sale: Order the Spectra 9 Plus online at http://www.babymama.ph/. BabyMama also sells various breast pumps, lactation aids, milk storage products, spare parts, books and journals. 

You may also visit the BabyMama Store at 1006 Burgundy Place, B. Gonzales Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Open Mondays to Saturdays, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

For inquiries and updates, visit the BabyMama Facebook page, HERE or call +632 435 7943.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Brush, Brush

OMG, kamusta na si Paula Abdul?

But I am not here to reminisce about her, the 90s, Keanu Reeves and the Griffith Observatory. I am here to share with you our pediatric dentist's tips on how to properly brush our kids' teeth.

See, I just came from our pediatric dentist for Berry's check-up, and I got Xavi to tag along. 

Dr. Mayee looked at Xavi's teeth and while he didn't have any cleaning done yet, she taught me how to brush Xavi's teeth. 

Might as well share it here, so I don't forget, and we all learn a little something when it comes to oral hygiene: First things first. FIRST dental visit on the FIRST birthday. That said,

1. Brush at least two times (2x) a day. Make sure to brush all surfaces. Front, back and sides.


2. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste for kids 3 and below. A pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for kids 3 years old and up.

this is what a smear of toothpaste looks like

Dr. Mayee recommends using an adult toothpaste with at least 1000 ppm of fluoride. She does not recommend using kiddie toothpastes or unfluoridated toothpastes especially if the child is high risk for cavities.

3. For kids below 6 or 7, just do the brushing for them. Make sure to lift lip (as in with your fingers) and brush teeth and gums.

At 6 or 7, children can brush on their own, with  supervision. By 8 or 9, they can floss on their own.

4.  Allow to spit and NO rinsing with water after brushing. Yes, you read that right. NO RINSING

I would often watch people on TV who would brush and spit and not rinse, and I thought that was weird. Turns out, they were doing it right the entire time! This is one of those, you've been brushing your teeth the wrong way your entire life moments.

5. This should be coupled with flossing, and visits to the dentist every six (6) months.

Incidentally, have you read about this article on Jews News? Apparently, we can totally fight cavities

I am currently doing oil pulling, one of the tips recommended in the article, which basically entails swishing oil in my mouth for like the longest twenty minutes of my life. Let's see how effective it is, when I visit my dentist in 5 months!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

MFO Discovers: Lysol Hand Wipes

Food and Lysol, you'd never think they'd go together like a horse and carriage. 

Or Beavis & Butthead. Or Mario & Luigi. Or Romy & Michelle.


But you know what, with the soon to be available Lysol Germ Protection Hand Wipes, it's about to become a match made in germ-free heaven.


Let me count the ways why I love these wipes, with my currently germ-free fingers:

1. Kills 99.9% of illness causing germs and bacteria, like the flu virus, strep throat, even dermatitis.

2. Dermatologically-tested to be mild for everyday use - it's alcohol free with a nice, soft texture. Smells good too!

3. Comes in a compact, convenient, resealable pack that is ready to use any time, anywhere. 

There are two pack sizes, the one above comes in 10s and retails for about Php35, and the one below with 50 pulls, retails for Php140.


For sure, I'll be carrying the small pack in my bag, and the bigger pack to keep in Tepper's diaper bag. Better be armed because I've got 3 sets of grimy little hands to disinfectant when we're dining out.

These should be available in your favorite grocery stores soon, and for sure, at SM Supermarkets in about a week.

While at it, check out Lysol's new Neutra Air liquid disinfectant spray and air sanitizer in 1. As per usual, it kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria, while also getting rid of the smell of smoke, food, molds, mildew, bathroom and pet odors. It comes in three scents, Morning Linen, Fresh Breeze and Orange Zest.


Oh oh oh! Another great discovery of the day is Mortein NaturGard Multi-Insect Killer with Citronella Oil. My friend Didi of The Candishhh Tales swears by it. She says this is what she uses at their home, because it's a safe way to get rid of insects. 

It doesn't have kerosene, is water-based and is made from 100% natural extracts, is made of 100% natural extracts that is combined to make a powerful insect killer. It smells like Citronella, which is a known natural insect repellant and killer. Should be worth a try!

For more on Lysol and their latest products, follow @LysolPH on Instagram, and visit their Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/LysolPH.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Whole Lot of Flare


I think Meredith Melling Burke wears flares the best. She pulls it off with elegance and ease. I like that even if she looks like she has been wearing her flares the entire day, with her trench coat lightly rumpled and her shirt less than crisp, she still looks insanely stylish.

I think the secret to her total look is in the cut and fit of her flares. You see, not all flares are created equal.

Case in point. These J Brand Lovestory flares. With a lower waist and made with a thinner kind of stretch denim, the look is totally different from that of Meredith's. Not as forgiving on my hips too.


Meanwhile, these 18th Amendment Colbert flares have a higher waist and are made from thicker denim, so they suck everything in to create an illusion of a slimmer silhouette.


O diba, ni-analyze talaga. 

Well, why not? If you're going to cave in to trendy flares this summer, might as well pick the right one. With a slew of flared denims to choose from, it's good to know there's one that should fit you like a glove.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Chichi Mary Summer Finds + MFOSS15 Coupon Code

For an avid shopper and mom of a little girl, there is no greater satisfaction seeing these dresses online at Chichi Mary Boutique and gleefully adding them to my shopping cart: 



And of course, having them reach our doorstep a day or two later, ahihihi. Seeing the fabric and prints look as pretty as I imagined? Such joy.


The shoe section is a delight too. Cienta shoes from Spain is a new addition to Chichi Mary's roster of stylish children's brands.

this Cienta comes in sparkly purple, pink and red

Of course, Berry loved these glittery Mary Janes at first sight!


If you'd like special pieces for your little girl, that won't be as easily found, Chichi Mary, purveyor of pretty little things, is your best bet. I always look forward to when Mitshi uploads her new season collections each time. It's almost like uncovering little treasures.

Shop Chichi Mary at www.chichimary.com to see for yourself. And don't forget to use coupon code MFOSS15 to get your 20% discount. Chichi Mary ships worldwide!

Coupon is valid only until April 28, 2015. Use it! Buy everything you want and abuse it! ;)

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Cool Treat from NESFRUTA Dalandan

ATTN: Frozen Fans, actually, make that, Moms of Frozen Fans

Did you know that when you buy this 8 piece NESFRUTA Dalandan Litro Pack...


...you get a FREE Disney Frozen Ice Tray?


The Frozen Ice Tray makes Olaf shaped ice cubes, to go with their NESFRUTA Dalandan juice.

 Disclaimer: Olaf toy is Berry's!

Of course, we wasted no time in using the Olaf ice cubes to cool this glass of NESFRUTA Dalandan juice:



It's a fun treat to beat the summer heat, and a cute way to cool down! Look for the NESFRUTA Dalandan Litro Pack in your favorite grocery store ;)

Thursday, April 09, 2015

When Chic Hits The Fun

We all live such busy lives, that sometimes the lack of time takes the fun out of shopping and dressing up. 

Thankfully, online shopping keeps me sane. It's a great way to de-stress, and even the mere act of browsing online late at night, when everyone in the entire household is asleep, is so relaxing. 

So when Chin Joson of Chicify invited me to be part of Chicify's re-launch, it felt like a siren call. So enticing, and yet potentially dangerous. It was like walking into temptation central.
In a Chicify bib tunic, during our shopping party. One of my fave easy, slip-on pieces

For one, our goal was to fill Chicify with brands and products we would personally vouch for. Great finds, curated selections, so you don't have to sift through shit.

Second, Chin and I got to design the clothes we've always wanted to wear, but couldn't find elsewhere, or at least, at pocket-friendly price points. 

Third, we had a ton of criteria: The clothes we make had to be easy to slip on, comfortable, and made from quality fabrics. 

But they also had to fit well, and had to have the ability to make us look like we made an effort to dress up, even if it only took us five minutes to get dressed.

True enough, I ended up buying most of the clothes we designed for Chicify. I'd try them on and fall in love, and never want to let go. Maybe it's self-love? A subjective appreciation of our work? Or healthy narcissism. I don't know. All I know is, I can practically live in these clothes, not just this summer, but the whole year round. 

1) The best-selling Chicify culottes. We are obsessed with culottes. Obsessed.  They're just so easy to wear, makes us look instantly stylish, and is so perfect for summer. This is version 2.0 and we've had to re-stock this because the initial batch sold out quick! Currently available in white...


and chambray.


Instead of wearing jeans, I'd wear these chambray culottes, and they're just so perfectly breezy! My friend Maymay says she loves to wear this to work, especially during summer, because it is so forgiving in this heat. Let's put it this way. Culottes vs Skinny Jeans under the scorching summer sun. What would you pick?

2) The Shirt Dress. It was love at first sight for my friend Karrots, that she wanted to buy the sample I had at home. I was planning to send it back to the office, but when Karrots bought one, and wore this exact same shirt dress with black wedge sneakers, I decided to keep it for myself. Ahihihi. When I spotted these old school Nike running shoes, BOOM! Bagay na bagay.


But pair it with pumps or ballet flats, and they're work appropriate in an instant.

3) The Painter Dress. Inspired by a painter's smock that you button all the way at the back, this is the everyday dress version. Rendered in navy linen and also in chambray, they look so mahal that it looked right at home at homme et femme in Shang. But mind you, it's just Php1,699. Where to find a heavy linen dress for Php1,699 pray tell? At Chicify, saan pa.


4) The Donya Dress. Technically, it's called the Tunic Maxi, but once worn, it has this magical effect of making me look tall, and Donyatique.


If a dress can make you look like you lived in a private island 165 out of 365 days of the year, or at least in a rambling house with a huge pool and a cabana on your sprawling backyard, you've got to believe in magic.

Lucky for you, I don't need to tell you how you and this magic dress can find each other. In a world that's full of strange brands, you've only got to believe in magic. Something's stronger than the moon above. 

Because it's magic when you and Chicify fall in love.

Promise. Cross My Heart. I don't want to die, but lightning strike me for telling a lie.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Travel in Style with the SMART Infinity S6 & S6 edge


These days, I find it impossible to travel without a mobile phone. Whether it's halfway across the world, or a few steps out of our front door.

I use it to research on restaurants or tourist attractions, to get to our destination via Waze, and to keep tabs on where my travel companions are, in case we get split up. It's a trusted tool in sending photos of shopping bilins real time to family and friends. That way, we can all decide on a purchase, real time too. Heehee.

But here's where it gets better. If you sign up for the Smart Infinity Prestige Plan 5000 or Premium Plan 8000, you get a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 edge

Either device will come compliments of your chosen plan, and will also include complimentary Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles* that may be used for International or Domestic flights, along with other perks. 


For those who simply wish to avail of the Samsung Galaxy S6, the device will come compliments of Smart Infinity Plan 3500 for a limited time, or until May 31, 2015.

Should you choose to avail of the pure PAL Mabuhay Miles package (no phone), you'd get enough points to fly to Cebu, Singapore, Melbourne, even London or New York.

This is the first time that Smart Infinity grants its members an exceptional experience of receiving a new, premium device such as the Samsung S6 or S6 edge and being able to take it along to a dream destination.

Release of the phones will be on April 18, 2015 but interested subscribers may now register their interest at smart.com.ph/Infinity/S6.

Plus, if you avail of the S6 or S6 edge plan from March 27 to April 13, you will get a chance to win an exclusive 3 day/2 night stay in Shangri-la Boracay plus flights c/o PAL for two (2), to Boracay.

"We are very excited to unveil the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 edge with a package perfectly designed to suit the impeccable taste of the discerning set, and cater to the demands of their active, multifaceted lifestyles,” said Julie Carceller, Head of the Smart Infinity Business Group at Smart. 

“This is an offer that will allow our members to enjoy the best of both worlds – that is, the advantage of using a high-style, highly functional smartphone running on the country’s largest and most advanced mobile network, and the pleasures of exclusive perks on top of the renowned personalized service they can only expect from Smart Infinity,” added Carceller. 

“At Smart Infinity, it’s all about the experience. Beyond just providing superior network services and the latest, sought-after devices, we understand that Smart Infinity members are achievers who seek new experiences in life and leisure. Thus, we are providing plans that give our members the latest Samsung Galaxy devices which are tools for success, plus PAL Mabuhay Miles to serve our members unforgettable moments to celebrate their achievements.” said James Chi, Marketing Manager from Smart Infinity. 

For more about this offer, and the perks and privileges of being a Smart Infinity subscriber, visit http://smart.com.ph/infinity/S6.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Earn Points at Caltex with Robinsons Rewards!

When I was a little girl of about 5, my dream was to be a grocery store cashier. 

Living out my childhood dream, lolz

I thought they made a lot of money. Imagine cash being handed to you all day, while you just stand there. 

But when I grew older, I realized I wanted to be Robina Gokongwei-Pe.

She is funny, a published writer and a columnist, President & COO of a retail empire that brought in my teenage love - Topshop, and mommy fave - True Value. Not to mention, she is heiress to a great fortune of Forbes 40 Richest levels. She can shop all day, but instead, she works hard. Idol.

She also studied at NYU, after shifting out of UP Diliman. Which is something I would totally do if I got kidnapped in Manila too. But then again, we're talking New York during the 80s, when Manhattan was synonymous to getting mugged, I'd probably go for London na lang. She is so brave.

Robina Gokongwei-Pe, President & COO of Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. with Jessy Mendiola, Robinsons Brand Ambassador and Peter Morris, Country Chairman of Chevron Philippines

But I am not here to talk about my dreams, aspirations and personal pegs. Ahihihi. I am here to tell you about an exciting team up between Caltex and Robinsons Rewards.


If you have a Robinsons Rewards Card  (the one with 16 digits and gold magnetic strip, because I had the old one and had to upgrade to this particular one) yes, you earn points whenever you shop at Robinsons stores, but you also earn points when you fuel up at Caltex.

You may also use your rewards points to redeem a Php1 discount for every one liter fuel purchase at participating Caltex stations nationwide. A minimum of 50 points is required to begin to redeem points. Each point redeemed entitles the Robinsons Rewards Card member a Php1 discount per liter, up to 60 points per fuel purchase, and up to 2 transactions per day.

In practice, say you have 100 points in your card, and you put 30 liters in your vehicle. Then you get a Php30 discount by using 30 points from your card balance. Simple no?

Save on fuel costs when you use your Robinsons Rewards points when you fuel up with Caltex with Techron, while earning a point for every five liter purchase

Every five liter gas up earns you a point too, up to a maximum of 60 liters per purchase, and up to 500 liters per month.

Should you use your points to redeem a discount, any fuel purchase in excess of points redemption is eligible to redeem points. For the full terms and conditions, click HERE.

With over 700 Caltex service stations nationwide, Caltex is the first external partner of Robinsons Rewards.

"Caltex has been in the Philippines for over 75 years. Throughout this time, the Caltex brand has remained relevant to Filipino motorists because we are able to support their changing lifestyles and needs. This partnership allows us to uniquely reward thousands of motorists and shoppers for their loyalty to Caltex and Robinsons. We are truly proud of this long-term relationship with Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc." said Peter Morris, Chevron Philippines Inc. Country Chairman and General Manager for Philippine products.


As for Robina Gokongwei-Pe, she shared, "We at Robinsons Retail are always looking for new ways to delight our customers and give them a better customer experience. That is why we are very happy to partner with Chevron Philippines Inc.'s Caltex service stations to expand the acceptance of Robinsons Rewards beyond stores operated by Robinsons. This will be a welcome development to over 800,000 members of the Robinsons Rewards Card."


Fantastic no? If you don't have a Robinsons Rewards card yet, get your Robinsons Rewards Application Kit at the Customer Service/Cashier of participating Robinsons stores for Php150. 

Cards are valid for 2 years and points earned may be used to get fuel discounts at Caltex and shopping discounts or pay for purchases at Robinsons Department Store, Supermarket, Selections, Easymart, Appliances, Handyman, True Value, AM Builders' Depot, Toys "R" Us, Daiso Japan, Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Burton Menswear, Warehouse, River Island, Shana, G2000, Shiseido and Benefit. 

For more about the Caltex-Robinsons Rewards Loyalty Program, visit http://www.caltex.com/ph/promotions/caltex-robinsons-rewards-loyalty-program/
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