Monday, February 29, 2016

Kiddle aka Google for Kids

Whenever Berry and Xavi ask me something, and I don't know the answer, my default answer is, "Let's Google it."

There will come a point in time thought where they can Google by themselves and there's a great chance they'll stumble upon something they shouldn't. Thankfully, Google just came up with Kiddle which I discovered via Scary Mommy.

Kiddle is a kid-friendly search engine "powered by editors and Google Safe search". Which means, everything is filtered and they will never find anything inappropriate or lewd.

Lately, Berry and Xavi have been asking me what a Polka dance is, so I tried that on and everything that explains what Polka is popped up, just like it would at Google. 

Satisfied, I tried to Kiddle, "boobs', hahaha.

This is what popped up! The robot saying, "Oops, looks like your query contained some bad words. Please try again!"

So I tried, "butt". I got the same answer.

I tried "twerking", and hallelujah, that was banned as well!

This is heaven sent for parents. Especially those with teens. Is there a way to set up computers to ban Google so our kids can only use Kiddle?

Such a Tita question, I know. Haha. Now, I just need to train myself to say, "Let's Kiddle it!", when they ask me to research something. Gotta make it top of mind for them, ya know.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fun, Educational Finds from Fatty Brain Toys

There used to be a time when all my kids wanted to do was watch YouTube videos on the iPad or on my phone. It was driving me nuts. Getting them to put the iPad down was a struggle, and a source of stress, I swear.

Thankfully, I found the perfect distractions, and all the credit goes to Mona Ng and her husband, who started Fatty Brain Toys in September 2012, which was only just four years ago.

In that span of time, they have become the exclusive distributor of Mighty Mind, Educational Insights, Learning Resources and Blue Orange Games in the Philippines. Which is great news for us parents, because these are all highly rated toy brands in Amazon, and we no longer need to have to think about ordering online and shipping them in.

Their criteria for choosing which toys to bring? They have to be educational toys that not only stimulate thinking, but also provide enjoyment and interaction. 

Primary Lab Big Science Set for Little Hands. Fosters a curiosity for science by conducting real hands-on experiments with visually appealing science tools and easy-to-follow, beginner science activities.

Super Sorting Pie introduces early Math Concepts such as sorting, counting, number sense, patterning, and beginning addition and subtraction. Develop your preschoolers fine motor skills / pincer grasp too.

Read and build words with the Word Building Center

Mona, who is also a mom of 3 kids shares that raising 3 kids is hard, especially in disciplining and educating them. She also noticed that a lot of kids nowadays have a hard time focusing, or have ADHD, and realized early on that we parents should engage our kids more in educational toys and not on gadgets and phones.

A mom after my own heart! And that is why, ever since I came across their toys, the kids no longer ask for the iPad, I promise you. 

We love their toys! See what I mean:

 Saturday afternoon spent doing experiments in the backyard

Bought this Hot Dots Jr. at the Fatty Brain booth in a Mommy Mundo bazaar. It's a fun way for the kids to learn the alphabet! 

Two years ago, Berry wanted binoculars. I remember seeing this Kidnocular at Fatty Brain Toy's Facebook page so I bought it for her. Now it's Xavi's. Their toys last long enough to be passed on to a younger sibling.

We have like four different Mighty Mind sets, a mix of regular and magnetic ones, and they're the best for travel! It's compact enough to pack inside a backpack or overnight bag, and guarantees hours of thinking and entertainment. Super worth it.

Oh, here's a fun bit of trivia. It was the Mighty Mind toy that inspired them to start their business. According to Mona,  their son had a Mighty Mind toy and was very happy with it. They realized Mighty Mind was not in the market, and educational toys here in the Philippines were very few and far between, so they decided to bring it in. Because who doesn't want to see their kids happy with their toys and getting smarter while at it?

Fatty Brain Toys are available at Rustans Alabang, Makati, Shangri-la, Hobbes and Landes Greenbelt, Rockwell, Fort, Trinoma and Shangri-la, Dash Greenbelt, FundamentalsToy Kingdom Megamall, Aura, North Edsa. Mighty Mind is available at Mothercare Fort and Glorietta, National Bookstore Greenhills and Rockwell, and Fully Booked Fort.

Next up, a toy review of three of our new finds from Fatty Brain Toys: Gears Gears Gears! On The Move, Super Sorting Pie and the Primary Lab Big Science Set.

Fatty Brain Toys Inc.
Tel Nos: +63917 882 0130 / +632 975 6834
Instagram: @fattybraintoys

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pat is Madonna's Unapologetic Bitch!

I may have missed out on the concert, but OMG, my friend Pat was the Unapologetic Bitch last night and her experience made up for it!

When I woke up to her iMessage, "I danced with Madonna!!!", complete with a photo, it instantly woke me up, like no alarm has ever done.

All our friends are living vicariously through her now, I swear. We all can't stop talking about it, and I just have to share with you her experience. Ang saya!

Here's my exclusive interview with her, woohoo!

Your outfit was inspired! How long did you plan for it? 

I couldn't decide on an outfit until the night before,  but I was inspired by Madonnas vogue video and equestrian theme in her confessions tour.  I wore my 3 year old Italian suit, borrowed my daughter's bow tie, her classmate Armand's top hat, and my friend Tiffany's Amah's cane. It was an ornate carved Chinese cane that I wrapped with a satin ribbon from National Bookstore.

Outfit for the night was: Equipment silk top, Rachel Comey mars mule  from, Comme ca bow tie from Emma, Top hat from Armand, Cane from Tiffany's Grandma, 3 year old Italian suit Mac lipstick in Diva, Mac blush, La Perla underwear

Did you plan on being the unapologetic bitch of the night? 

No I did not! It was totally random!! I just dressed up for fun. My husband was actually laughing at me! But he was so happy when he saw me on stage. 

MFO's Note: Pat didn't even know there was such a thing as the unapolegetic bitch because she didn't watch any concert videos prior to last night.

How did they approach you? 

I was standing in front of Krispy Kreme talking to some friends when a nice lady, probably from the production crew, came up said I looked good and asked me if I wanted front row tickets. She gave us two! I said yes immediately! My sister-in-law Gia excitedly joined me.

MFO's Note: Pat still had no clue that she was going to be asked to go up the stage at this point. She was just so happy to score front row tickets without paying for it, hahaha.

You didn't know you were going to dance?

While Madonna was singing Material Girl on stage, one of her girls asked me to go backstage. When I got there, they told me what was going to happen, and that I was going to dance and it was going to be freestyle! They were even debating if I should keep my hat and cane on stage. Then they told me to have fun!

What was the experience like onstage with Madonna? OMG!!!

Surreal. Fantastic. A dream come true. I always told myself that if there was one concert I needed to go to it would be Madonna's. And I suddenly find myself having a normal conversation with her! (What is normal, haha?) I'm going to have to tell my kids about this one day.

MFO's Note: Madonna noticed her rocks! And asked if her diamonds were real. Haha. Madonna really is a material girl!

What happened after you went down?

The dancer I chose went down with me using one of the lifts. It was my first time ever to see what it was like under the stage, there were dancers waiting to be brought up, some were just lounging, even getting dressed right there! The energy was fun and relaxed! I was saying "Hi!" to all of them! 

What are you going to do with the banana?

Photo via Maita Nolledo

We were thinking of how to preserve it, but I think my son ate it already!

MFO's Note: The dancer gave Pat a plastic champagne bottle to keep! Haha! I will figure out a way to post the video of Pat dancing, she was amazing!!! Her conversation with Madonna was so fun and hilarious! 

UPDATE: Here's a transcript of Pat's conversation with Madonna!

Madonna: What is your name?
Pat: Pat.
M: Pat. That's such a hard name to remember. *Pauses* So, uhm, did you wear this suit, so that you can match, like me on the top of a wedding cake? Yes?
P: Yes, and I wanted to channel my inner Madonna.
M: Your inner Madonna. And that looks like a suit.
P: *laughs* Yeah.
M: It's kinda good. I like that. Are those real diamond earrings?
P: Yes.
M: And I see you have a lot of rocks on your hands. Did you buy them yourself?
P: My husband did *laughs*
M: You're married?
P: Yes.
M: Oh. I'm sorry too. I'm just kidding. Good sport! So anyway, the deal is. I'll give you your prize if you give me one of your diamond rings! *then jumps, twirls around and does a couple of jumping jacks! and continues* I'm just kidding. Ok. So everybody knows that the unapologetic bitch of the evening gets a special prize aaaand you are no exception!
P: Do I get to take home one of the guys?
M: What! You want one of the guys? Oh. *whiplash sound in the background* Ok fine, but you're still waiting for me. *audience laughs* Which one do you want?
P: You can join us!
M: It's ok, it's ok *pushes away* there's no turning back now. You blew it already! Ok. Which one do you want? WHICH. ONE. DO. YOU. WANT?

Pat turns around and looks at the guys. The musicians are heckling in the back, shouting, "She's gonna pick the Asian!" The guys all strike a pose. Pat chooses the tallest dancer, on the far left.

M: Ohhhhh. Yes. Yes, he's been given a loooot of really wonderful gifts in life. Yes. You chose the right one. Anyways, so Kish, can you please help Pat...*pauses* Oh right, we haven't given you your prize. I got, I got distracted because you rejected me. *Audience laughs* Rejection doesn't sit well, in my book...Anyways, I've got a special prize for you Pat. And I know exactly where you can stick it.

Madonna whips out a banana. Audience roars in laughter.

M: Don't you just love bananas. You do? They're so good for you right?
P: They are, I have them everyday.
M: You what?
P: I have them everyday.
M: You have them everyday. Where do you put them?
P: In my mouth.
M: And?
P: I bite.
M: She bites. Kish, good luck.

The audience erupts in laughter. Pat steps back.

M: Ok, Anyways, keep back on the stage ok *motions for Pat to move forward*. Pat, you believe that you've got the power, ok. Anyways, you and Kish will have a wonderful diamond filled life together. Ok, Bye, bye Pat. And bye, bye, my fuck yeah bitches!!!

The music goes on and Madonna dances on the stage with three dancers left. Pat goes down the lift with Kish. Ang sayaaaaaa! Goosebumps.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Summer Shopping for Dada

Dada has a weekend uniform. Colorful shorts and a short sleeved shirt, or preppy embroidered shorts, and a long sleeved button down.

It used to be that his kind of shorts were so hard to find, we’d have to buy them abroad. Luckily, I saw these printed shorts in Mango MAN:

It’s essentially the same kind of shorts he loves, conservative yet a little quirky, but still a fun way to update his summer wardrobe.

olive green shorts with orange palm trees

navy linen printed shorts

khaki shorts with anchor prints

this has got to be my favorite of the bunch! 

By theway, if you are thinking of a trip abroad to somewhere cool this summer, I spotted a lot of jackets at Mango MAN, perfect for layering! Here are two of my favorites: This rain jacket is lightweight and waterproof. Great for city slicking as well.

This ultra light, quilted puffer jacket has a cool,rugged vibe. Makes me wish we were going someplace with nippy weather so we can all dress up for it, heehee.

To be honest,while I’ve always shopped at Mango and Mango Kids, I never expected I’d enjoy shopping for Dada at Mango too. Really, when it comes to fashion and shopping, never say never! 

Mango MAN is available at Mango Power Plant Mall, Glorietta 2, Alabang Town Center, Bonifacio High Street, SM Mall of Asia and Ayala Cebu.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Parenting to Build Family Resilience

Parents and soon-to-be parents, here's one productive way to spend a Saturday!

You might want to consider attending this parenting talk by Dr. Honey Carandang with the country's leading psychologists, happening at the Henry Sy Auditorium of St. Luke's Global on February 27th, from 8 am to 4pm.

I think resilience is something that we and our kids ought to learn and take to heart. 

In this day and age where people feel suicide is an option in the face of hardship and struggles, it has to be stressed that the ability to bounce back from trying situations has to be ingrained in our mindset.

She touched upon this briefly at a BrainRX talk I attended recently (I'll tell you more about BrainRX soon!) where Dr. Carandang was the guest speaker, and her insights into parenting today, as well as her stories and practical tips and points of view are worth their weight in parenting gold. 

You'll have to attend this full day talk, for you to know what I mean. 

Try to go and invite your fellow parents too. Because as Dr. Carandang likes to say, "Parenting is Nation-building." Our country's future leaders might as well be living in our own households. Let's do right by them.

I might as well share with you this insightful article, The Secret Formula for Resilience, from The New Yorker. Great read! 

For more on Dr. Honey Carandang, the talk on Saturday, and the MLAC Institute, visit

Friday, February 19, 2016

MFO's Verdict On: BioBalance Nutrient and Metabolic Testing

If you or anyone you know suffers from depression, fertility issues, chronic fatigue, inexplicable weight gain or inability to lose weight, have trouble sleeping or have serious allergies, and have tried all sorts of cures and interventions, the solution to that probably lies NOT in more potent medications, extra hours of exercise, extreme diets or invasive procedures.

What's causing it could in fact be a correctible chemical imbalance in your body.  Which can be addressed by taking vitamins, the right diet, and most important - a change in mind set. Let me explain:

These are the vitamins I take in the morning, noon and evening.

I love that they are packed as morning, noon and evening vitamins, because it makes taking my vitamins so easy. Just open the foil pack, and that's it. No more twisting caps open, while thinking if I missed something I should have taken, or have taken something I already have.

They are so convenient too in the sense that I can just pack them along when we travel. No need for those weekly pillboxes that I have to manually fill by day.

But the genius in these vitamins isn't in how convenient they are. These vitamins are personalized for me, based on the nutrients that my body needs for optimal health and wellness. These vitamins aren't just fancy supplements. They are meant to address my current health concerns like low energy, poor memory, anemia, food intolerances, difficulty in sleeping, etc. How did I find out which vitamins I need?

By taking the Nutrient and Metabolic Test at the BioBalance Wellness Insititute in Greenfield,  Mandaluyong.

Before you dismiss this as another MFO is mid-lifeing and taking all these tests she doesn't need, let me clear this out by saying, this is LIFE CHANGING STUFF! What I'm saying is, it's better that we take preventive measures now, rather than go to the hospital because we are seriously sick na. You know what I mean? 

Let me put it this way. Here are three reasons why you should consider doing this test, especially if you're having any of the health issues I mentioned earlier.

1) Prevention rather than cure. It is waaaay better to take care of our health while our issues aren't life threatening or serious yet. Do we have to wait for a near death experience to take our health seriously?  No? Thought so.

2) Every time we complain about something, an ache or a pain, we are told to take medicine. The problem with this is, what is being treated is the symptom, and not the root cause. A migraine isn't always just because of stress or lack of sleep. Fatigue isn't just because of your long work hours. Infertility isn't just because of PCOS.  It could also be because of deficiencies or toxicities in our system, as these manifest in signs and symptoms that lead to serious health conditions. 

3) We are always told we are unique. Which is true, there is nobody else like you and me. But how come when it comes to vitamin supplements, it's always "one size, fits all". We all take the same multi-vitamins. The same iron, calcium and vitamin C supplements. There's no uniqueness in that. Let your vitamins work for you, and you alone.

I guess you know where my verdict is leading to by now, but let me explain the hows and whys.

The Product: BioBalance Nutrient and Metabolic Testing

The Promise: Most of the time, despite your best efforts to do research on and to consume the “right” vitamins and other supplements for yourself, your body may still be deficient or in excess of several vitamins, minerals, co-factors, amino acids, and essential fats. A nutrient deficiency or toxicity signals an imbalance in your body. When this is unaddressed, your body can still function at sub-optimal levels for months, even years. When this imbalance progresses, however, it will eventually manifest in signs and symptoms that may lead to serious health conditions. 

Nutrient balancing is about correcting subtle deficiencies and borderline toxicities of the macro- and micronutrients contained within the body’s complex cellular biochemical networks. Correct one imbalance, and you will affect everything else in the cascade. The devil is in the details of the inner workings of the network of biochemical pathways. 

A portion of the how our biochemical pathways looks like. Kaloka.

So how do you correct imbalances within a network? Through Measured Wellness®

Each of you has a different body make-up, lifestyle and health state. So in nutritional supplementation, one size does not fit all. Your nutritional requirements are as unique and as personal as your own fingerprints! Just like an Illness Medicine Doctor runs diagnostic tests before giving any drugs, BioBalance® Wellness Doctors recommend nutrient and metabolic tests before giving any supplements. This practice is called Measured Wellness®. Your body is unique in its biochemistry. The Measured Wellness® approach removes the guesswork on specific nutrients your body needs and allows the correction of nutrient imbalances within cellular biochemical networks. You can be assured that you’re taking the right food and vitamins and other supplements to achieve your optimal health and to manage current diseases and predispositions in a way that is totally tailored for you. Measured Wellness® allows the practice of true personalized pharmacology!

Put to the Test: No, I was not made to go through a battery of tests. The Metabolic Analysis Profile is just one urine test. That's about it. I was just asked to refrain from taking any supplements days prior to submitting my urine specimen one early morning, before I could drink anything or take my breakfast.

But before any tests are done, the process begins with having to fill up a Client Info Sheet, which basically asks about our current state of health. 

This is the receiving area where I had to fill up the info sheet. It feels like the receiving room of a spa in here.

The next step is a talk/consultation with a BioBalance Wellness Doctor who will discuss health concerns you bring up. The doctor will assess if you will benefit from a test.

Consultations are done in a more private room where you can discuss your health issues with the Wellness Doctor

To further look into my current state of health, they also had me take the InBody Test which gives a baseline of our body composition, water weight, muscle and body mess. InBody tells me I am underweight but with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).  Whew.

InBody also tells us our visceral fat level, which signals if we are predisposed to vascular diseases. Which thankfully, I don't have to worry about at this point.

This test is also great prior to going on a training regimen because it shows us which parts of our body we need to work on. This is not a stress test ha. I just stood there holding the handles, easy peasy, until I was told to step off the plate. I got the results, mere minutes after this.

My urine sample was sent out to the US, where Genova Diagnostics, who runs the test, sends back my Metabolic Analysis Profile two to three weeks after. 

Of course, I again paid a visit to BioBalance to discuss the results as soon as it came out. 

Two weeks later, I had a consultation with Dr. Stan Chua of BioBalance, who explained the 13 page report to me.  It was quite thorough. For example, I was told I was low in B vitamins, which are a source of energy. This explains why I get tired fast. I was then told to eat lots of dark, leafy green vegetables, better if raw.

As we further discussed my vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it turns out, my consumption of Vitamin B was high because it was linked to my inefficient metabolism. Instead of getting my energy from three sources: carbs, fats and protein, I was mainly getting it through protein because of inefficiencies in producing energy from carbs and fats. This was also the main reason why I have trouble gaining weight aka, inability to build muscle mass.

While this is ideal now, because, who in her right mind wouldn't want to not gain weight, the problem starts when my metabolism starts slowing down because I do not have enough muscle structure to maintain my metabolism. In short, tataba din ako in time. And I do not want to get to that stage. Hehe. 

Hence, I am now on a high protein diet, but I am also supplementing this with my personalised stash of vitamins to help me break down carbs and fats efficiently.

Of course, the results and vitamins vary depending on your body makeup. Dr. Chua shares many couples have gone to him with fertility concerns, folks with weight issues or chronic diseases and many have been helped. It's worth a try going in to have yourself tested, especially when you've before you've exhausted all means to find out what's troubling you.

Passing the Verdict: A month after taking my prescribed cocktail of vitamins morning, noon and night, I gotta admit, I haven't gotten sick since. I even have energy to go to Pilates early in the morning, when I would normally stay in bed till 10 am because I fell asleep at 3 am. 

I also notice that when I take my vitamins coupled with the probiotics I bought at BioBalance, I can afford to indulge in items in my food intolerance red zone without having to suffer horribly for it. Of course, I still try to stay disciplined and avoid bawal food as much as I can.

The vitamins are pricey yes, but they are worth it.

I also have to hand it to the BioBalance Wellness Team, composed of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, and medical technologists who are specifically trained in the BioBalance Measured Wellness® solution.  They were very professional without being clinical. I really felt comfortable having my tests done there.

Practical Tip: According to Mel Gillego, who handles marketing for BioBalance, clients don't have to get their vitamins from their pharmacy and one doesn't have to take the test to buy vitamins from them. 

The quality of their vitamins is superb though, and if you are looking for probiotics as well as a good Folic Acid, get it at BioBalance. L-MethylFolate, the Biobalance Folic Acid, is formulated to be absorbed by the body right away. 

If you have already taken the Food Intolerance Test, it is complementary to this Metabolic Test as it gives a bigger picture of your health. Do let your Wellness Doctor know about it, so she/he can advice you on how to work around your intolerances.

For more about BioBalance and what it can do for you, visit

BioBalance Wellness Institute
3F Soho Central
748 Shaw Boulevard, Greenfield District
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Tel. No. +632 650 4858
Mobile No. +63917 521 4860

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Romantic Mornings with Dentiste

Did you know most regular toothpastes are not specially formulated to guard against night time bacteria?

That is mainly the reason why even if you brush and use mouthwash before going to bed, you still wake up with well, morning breath.

That's where Dentiste Nighttime Toothpaste comes to the rescue. It is the only herbal toothpaste made with advanced dental technologies and powered with 14 Natural Extracts, such as Xylitol and  Vitamin C, which are specially formulated to inhibit nighttime oral bacteria that are the major cause of bad morning breath and cavities. It is also proven effective against gingivitis and mouth ulcers.

It is not only a toothpaste, it's a mood enhancer. Imagine waking up with sweet breath each day. Now imagine waking up to your partner's sweet breath. Hahaha!

Dentiste is recommended not only for couples, but also to those with allergies to synthetic-based toothpastes, those with thyroid problems, pregnant women, diabetics, smokers, caffeine drinkers, people with sensitive teeth and those who wear braces and dentures.

More than just toothpaste, Dentiste also makes mouth wash, breath spray, dental floss. Just about everything to guarantee you fresh breath not just during night time but 24/7.

If you've read far enough down here, well, lucky you! Here's a flash giveaway! I'll announce the winner on the eve of February 17!

Here's how to join:

1) Like Dentiste PH on Facebook:
2) Leave a comment on this blog post and share your idea on how to spend a perfect romantic morning.

You  may also join via my Instagram post here. If you join via Instagram, don't forget to Follow @dentistekiss on IG.

I will only be choosing one winner, whether you join through here or on Instagram. Make sure I have a way of contacting you, either by leaving your Instagram or Twitter account on your comment in this blog post if you do not want to leave an email address. The prize will be shipped by the folks at Dentiste directly to the winner. 

Friday, February 05, 2016

SM HOME Furnishings Fair

If you have been meaning to change your bed frame or mattress, or need a fresh supply of bed linens and towels, don't just buy anywhere! Head to the SM HOME Home Furnishings Fair, happening now until March 20, 2016!  

SM may have it all when it comes to the variety of home furnishing items, but it gets even better, because they're putting stuff on sale: beds as well as towels, sheets and duvet sets at up to 50% off!

Visit the SM Home section at your favorite The SM Store, and make sure you go right away. Stocks are limited. Of course, do visit other SM Store branches because different stores have different stocks available!

Here's a sneak peek of stuff I like and that you should check out. Don't forget, they're on sale too!

Embossed Square bath towels, Php559.80 a piece, originally Php699.75

I don't need a bed, but the tufted headboard is a beauty! Php23,960, originally Php29,950

I love fresh, clean white towels! The beige ones are more practical though as they don't look old fast. Php559.80 a piece, originally Php699.75

This 4 piece duvet set down to Php3,040, originally Php3,799.75

To get an idea of other items available at the Home Furnishings Fair, like tableware, storage options and home decor, visit the SM HOME website at

If the idea of refreshing the look of your home for less excites you, here’s how you can get updated on SM HOME sales and announcements: Like SM Home, @smhome on Instagram and @SMHome_Ph on Twitter.
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