Monday, July 21, 2014

Thank God It's Monday

Welcoming the week with a grateful heart after the challenging week we had. 

Like the rest of Metro Manila, we had no power for days. We thought the power would be restored quickly so we went to SM Southmall to pass the time. 

Dave's Fun House

I got 4 gutter balls he (hubby) got 3 strikes

Nag give up din ang generator ng SM probably beause people were charging their gadgets in every available outlet. 

The next day we went around different malls to find a generator but it was out of stock everywhere. 

Then my sister's boyfriend told us about this store in sucat that sells generators. Even though it was overpriced, pinatulan na din namin. Then nagkaron ng kuryente that afternoon. Talaga naman! Anyway I shouldn't complain I'm sure we will use that again in the future (what with 20 storms passing through the Philippines each year). 

Anyway, I remembered last Saturday that had gift certificates for free buffet in Intercon and it's only valid until July. So  that's where we spent our Sunday. 

After lunch, we went around Glorietta and the stores were on sale.  There were lots of good buys in Zara and Forever 21 but I had to control myself.

My favorite Rockstar cropped skinny jeans from Old Navy (seen here) were on sale.  It's probably a good thing they didn't have any other colors in stock or I wouldn't have been able to stop myself from buying.  I literally live in these jeans.

I ended up buying sandals for myself and shorts and shirt for Q. 

Sandals: PhP445 T-shirt: PhP495 Khaki shorts: PhP295

So that's how our week went.  How was yours?

Have a good week ahead!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chicken Salpicao Recipe

In service to all busy & tired moms, I'm sharing another easy peasy recipe that's sure to be a hit with your husbands and kids.

You'll need:

500g chicken fillet cut into small cubes
3T all purpose liquid seasoning (we use Bragg)
3T worcestershire sauce
1T butter (we use Canola Oil butter)
minced garlic (divided)

  1. Marinate the chicken in the seasoning & worcestershire sauce for 15 minutes.
  2. Melt butter in a shallow pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add chicken (drain the marinade first). 
  3. Once chicken is cooked, add the marinade and simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. In a separate pan, heat oil and toast remaining minced garlic. Top chicken with toasted garlic.
TIP:  If you like spicy food, you can add 2 T hot sauce to the marinade.

To Quino

It's one of those days when the screaming starts at 8am and I'm at my wit's end by 10am.  This is the life with a preschooler.

The work of disciplining a child never ends.  I know deep within my red-faced screaming boy, is a pure heart and a good soul.  And I just need to be more patient in guiding him in his ways. my forever baby Quino...

Do you see the heart he made for me?

By: Sally Meyer

Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.

Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer.

It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chicken Hamonado Recipe

I love quick and easy recipes.  I swear this is so easy you can even teach your husbands and kids to do it! 


4 pieces chicken leg quarter
530ml sweetened pineapple juice
1 t whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves crushed
2 T brown sugar

No oil needed.  Just put all the ingredients in one pot and wait for it to cook.  Should take about 40 minutes or so.

How easy was that?  Enjoy!

Home Workout: Extreme Leg & Butt Workout

The title doesn't lie.  I did this workout yesterday and thought I'd share it. 

If you're looking for a home workout that will (literally) kick your butt, this is it!  Try it and let me know how you feel after.

Before you begin the circuit, do the warm up first:

Strength Circuit 1:

  1. Squat with butt kick (2 minutes)
  2. Single leg squat with towel (1 minute each leg)
  3. Single leg squat with lunge (1 minute each leg)
Strength Circuit 2:

  1. X-Jumps (2 minutes)
  2. Wall squat on stability ball (2 minutes)
Strength Circuit 3:
  1. 3 Kick jumping lunges (2 minutes)
  2. Single-leg calf raise (1 minute each leg)
  3. Inner thigh squeeze with stability ball (2 minutes)
  4. Fire Hydrant (1 minute each leg)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Anti-aging Arsenal

I am obsessed with skin care. I don't mind splurging on anti-aging products because I don't spend much on other areas. I color my own hair at home (I buy the ammonia free DIY hair color), I never get hair treatments (I do them at home) so basically I only go to the parlor for a haircut and to get my hair rebonded which is once or twice a year if I'm lucky. And even then I buy a voucher from coupon sites so I can save money.

So anyway, I have been a loyal Paula's Choice fan ever since it became available in the Philippines.  I've also been using a Vitamin A serum for years but recently I wanted to change things up a bit and I read really good reviews about Hyaluronic Acid so I decided to give that a try.  Here are my latest purchases:

If you're not familiar, Paula's Choice is the skincare line of Paula Begoun.  Paula aka Cosmetics Cop is behind Beautypedia where you can find make up and skincare reviews. 

I've tried her other products - cleansers, toners & exfoliator - and all have worked wonders for me. I will post separate reviews on each. 

In the Philippines, you can buy her products online on Lazada. And I'll let you in on my saving tip: Mastercard Mondays. If you buy on a Monday and use your Mastercard, you get a 10% discount & free shipping for orders over PhP1,000.  This cleanser is PhP 1,330 but I only paid PhP1,197 for a 473 ml bottle that will last me (and my husband because he's gaya-gaya) months.  I love buying from them because they deliver the next day!  Perfect sa mga atat like me :)

As for the hyaluronic acid, I bought this online at Kallony.  I paid PhP 1,210.  You only to put about 4 drops of this on your face so the bottle will lost a long time I'm sure.  Some Paula's Choice products have hyaluronic acid in it but I opted to go with a pure serum to replace the Vitamin A serum I've been using for years.  Did some research on Amazon (because I'm OC like that) and this product got 4 stars with lots of rave reviews such as:
I am in love with this serum. I've been using it everyday, and it is my dermatologist in a bottle. My skin is glowing, oil is under control, and my skin tone has dramatically improved since I started using this hyaluronic acid. It's excellent for moisture. I even mix it with my lotion for dry skin and it works magic. I use in in my hair moisturizer as well. My hair has never been so soft and manageable. I am in love with this stuff. It's definitely part of my everyday beauty regimen. One more thing...I got this serum because I was starting to see little lines in my face and wrinkles in my forehead. They are practically invisible now. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!
Winner diba? So go ako!  The seller was easy to transact with and I got my product the following day.

I will post more detailed reviews once I've used the products extensively so watch this space.

Sharing is caring so please pass on to other beauty-loving mamas, titas and friends!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Slowdown: Pamper Ritual

Hubby's off to a MTB race in Batangas. The house is quiet (well relatively since there is only one noisemaker in the house) so I am locking myself in the bathroom for my much-needed pamper time.

As a busy mom, I rush from one thing to the next during weekdays. So I make sure I carve out some me time before the next work week starts to slow down and take care of myself. I don't like going to spas because I feel guilty spending that much money when I can do it myself at home for a fraction of the cost. 

This is my usual (well atleast at the moment) routine:

The first thing I do is put on the Crest Whitening Strips (bought mine here if you'd like to give it a try) as these need to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes. I'm not impressed with this.  It didn't work for me so now I'm trying oil pulling with coconut oil.  I only started 3 days ago so I will reserve the verdict on that until I've been doing it religiously for 2 weeks.  I will blog about that experience separately.

After that I get in the shower and shampoo and condition my hair.  I currently use Schwarzkopf Extra Care Ultimate Repair which you can buy at any grocery store. When that's done, I massage the L'Oreal Mythic Oil Nourishing Masque (bought on sale from my friend who works at Salon Privat Manila - follow them on Instagram for sale updates) on my hair and leave that in while I soap my body. I rinse the soap and hair mask off. Then I lather the Ivory body wash (bought mine on sale at S&R) on a loofah and generously scrub that all over. Rinse and pat dry. 

I wash my face with Paula's Choice cleanser (not pictured but worth a separate worship post) then I apply the Skin Laboratory Salicylic Acid Peel (bought mine from Amazon but you can find similar here).  I use a regular cotton pad and just swipe that on my face. This is super quick & only needs to be kept on for 8 minutes.  I have been exposed to professional peeling for years.  I went to a certified dermatologist for many years and her peels cost PhP 3,000/session.  The result I get from this peel is comparable to a professional peeling but 10x more inexpensive.  I forgot how much I paid for this bottle but I've had it for more than a year and it's still 1/3 full.  This is like magic in a bottle I tell you.  I am convinced that this keeps my hormonal cystic acne at bay.  However, if you're new to peeling, I would suggest working your way up to 8 minutes.  When I first used this, I left it on for a minute because it was that strong.  Then I slowly built up my tolerance.  So definitely PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

The last step is the face mask.  ALWAYS apply the mask AFTER you've done your peeling.  I bought the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask in Healthy Options.  If I remember correctly this was less than PhP400.  Because you only need a small amount mixed with apple cider vinegar (I prefer to use water), this tub could last years.  Truthfully, it's more labor-intensive than other masks because you have to mix it first with your liquid of choice before you can apply it (see how-to video here).  I've tried the Mario Badescu Drying Mask (so-so) and the Murad Clarifying Acne Mask (this I like) and honestly, I feel the Aztec Clay Mask is similar to the latter but more troublesome to apply.  It's also a hassle to remove because you can't wash it down your sink or it could clog your drains.  What I like though is that it's all natural.  Reviews say that this works wonders for blackheads but I can't really vouch for that since thankfully my skin is under control.  Once I finish this tub, I will probably go back to the Murad Clarifying Acne Mask or try the Queen Mint Julep Mask which is also available at Healthy Options.

I know this whole process sounds like a lot but I finish in under an hour.  I'm a firm believer that a happy wife/mama = a happy life (for everyone).  I think it's a good investment to make on yourself because when you look good outside, you feel good inside.

Mamas, please share your pamper rituals and favorite beauty products.  I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Juice Jab Immunity Jolt Review

I have dabbled in juicing before. I tried Dr. Oz's 3-day detox and failed miserably. Read my experience here.

When I came across the Juice Jab Jolt Kit promo in Dealgrocer, I decided to give juicing another shot. 

I paid PhP950 for the Juice Jolt package that originally costs 1100. Small difference but still a 10% discount isn't bad. 

The kit consists of 6 juices to be consumed in 2 days so that's 3 bottles a day with every meal. It's not meant to replace your meals so it's a very gentle regimen.

Since I had been sick for 2 weeks, I decided to avail the Immunity Jolt.  According to their website, it's designed to give your body an extra layer of defense to avoid or recover from being under the weather.  Here are the juices:

From L-R: Pearl Drive, Emerald Punch, Coral Burst
Truth be told, hindi ko kaya ang all liquid diet.  Sumasakit at umiinit ang ulo ko at nag-iiba ako ng anyo hahaha!

Verdict: Achieve! This level of detoxing/juicing is more my style.  I really liked the Pearl Drive & Coral Burst.  Pearl Drive is cinnamon and cashews and it has a very light taste, parang milk with cinnamon lang.  Coral Burst is so refreshing!  It's a mix of carrots and pineapples.  Medyo effort sa Emerald Punch because the celery taste is really strong.  But could be just me because I really don't like my greens that much.

All in all, it was a good experience and I would definitely do it again.  Not so much for losing weight, but just overall good health coz these juices are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals and it's an easy way to pump your body with anti-oxidants.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Family Saturdate in Star City

Weekends are sacred to us. We always try to schedule a fun family activity whether it to be a movie, lunch at our favorite restaurant, biking or a playdate. This weekend it was a trip to good old Star City.

I haven't been to this place in decades. Can you believe I didn't even know the place was still open until we went to a bazaar in World Trade Center last month and I saw the ferris wheel. I asked my husband, "Ano yan?" "Ano ka ba Star City yan!" Hahaha!

Of course my son got atat agad to go there. So I immediately bought vouchers in Metrodeal. I got the ride-all-you-can ticket for PhP280 (original price is PhP420). 

Sulit na sulit! We stayed for 5 hours. Sapilitan pa umuwi kasi my son was having so much fun! We promised him we will go back in October when the Snow World re-opens (it was closed for renovation). 

Here's a simple collage of our visit:

At the end of the day, my husband and I were so tired. But it was all worth it because Quino had a blast! Definitely coming back here for more family fun!👍👍👍