Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Age Gracefully with NuSkin ageLOC®

My celebrity trainer friend Kat Garcia always says  "Abs are made in the kitchen! Torn in the gym! 80% nutrition, 20% sweat!"

No doubt about it, nutrition is key not just to staying in top shape, but also to good health, and a feeling of overall wellness all together.

This is also the premise of NuSkin's latest anti-aging supplement, ageLOC® Y-Span which is now available in the country starting this August. That key being, to give the body what it needs nutritionally so it can continue to do what it is designed to do — live more youthful, energetic and healthy years. 

ageLOC® Y-Span has a unique capsule technology – Licap® – that allows for both liquids and solids to be delivered together in a single hard shell capsule. This technology improves the bioavailability of fat-soluble ingredients, which help ensure the delivery of anti-aging benefits

ageLOC® Y-Span was designed with highly innovative gene expression science and features a unique blend of natural ingredients that are not readily available in everyday diets. Ingredients include purple corn extract, alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, citrus bioflavonoids, resveratrol, and vitamin K2, among others. 

If it sounds out of the ordinary, its because each ingredient was carefully selected for its unique health benefits and ability to positively impact gene expression to create a proprietary blend that delivers broad spectrum benefits. 

It supports DNA integrity, systemic cytokine responses, and antioxidant protection while promoting healthy brain, eyes, heart, skin, immune function, bones, joints, lipid metabolism, and physical performance. No doubt about it, ageLOC® Y-Span is NuSkin’s most advanced anti-aging dietary supplement, and possibly the best in the market today. Because I've never heard of an anti-aging supplement until I learned about this!

While we are on the subject of anti-aging, I might as well let you know of the other anti-aging products  and services you might want to check out at NuSkin, should you decide to drop by their Ortigas Walk-In Center. It's open to the public, Monday to Friday (11AM to 9PM) and on Saturday (10AM to 7 PM).

First of course is an introduction to the ageLOC® products: the Cleanser + Toner, Day SPF, Serum and Night Cream. I went home with the Cleanse + Tone and have been trying it out for a week now. It is quite amazing, leaving skin feeling clean and fresh without feeling tight at all.

There's a BioPhotonic Scanner which measures anti-oxidants in our system. I did this before at LifeScience, where my skin carotenoid score was pretty good, landing in the green zone. Sad to say, I fared poorly this time, finding myself in the yellow zone. I tried to figure out the demotion, and I have to admit, I haven't been eating as healthy lately. I've caved in to junk food in the last two months whereas I remember never eating a bag of chips that time I took it at LifeScience because Tepper was purely breastfed pa. See, nutrition really is key. More fruits and vegetables for me, please!

Now, I have to be honest about this. This is the blinged out, Swarovski'd version of NuSkin's popular Anti-Aging Galvanic Spa System, but it's just so donya, this is what I'm putting out here. It's basically a spa in a gadget, and helps work in products and treatments deeper into the skin. You can try it out when you go to an ageLOC® expo.

The basic version is Php21,500 and already comes with 2 boxes of Galvanic Face Gels. There's also an ageLOC® Galvanic Body Spa System too, which covers more surface area than this.

If you've always wanted to have your Body Composition analyzed, this Karada Scan Body Composition and Scale tells you more than just your weight, but also your body fat, Body Mass Index (BMI), visceral fat, and Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Oh, and your body age too! I swear this machine does not lie, because it says my body age is 30 lang. 10 years younger, woohoo. Hahaha.

There's a Facial Analysis System, similar to the Visia Imaging System I've tried before. If you want to really look into the state of your skin, pores, wrinkles, texture, porphyrins and all, this is facing the cold, hard, truth.

You may also get a whiff of their various essential oils at the Epoch Essential Oils station. These can be applied on to skin or used to scent a room via diffuser. Either way, it's a natural and proven way to heal both body and mind and if you're looking for essential oils, they have it right here.

I quite enjoyed my morning at the ageLOC® expo, trying out their anti-aging services and discovering new products I would have tried if I didn't have to leave early. It was also great meeting Blaise Fortuna, NuSkin's Marketing Communications Manager, whose name sounded so familiar, I felt like we've met before. Turns out we have, on Instagram. How fun is that! 

For more about NuSkin, visit, follow @nuskinph on Instagram, or visit NuSkin Philippines at the 15/F of Octagon Center, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Cheeky Way to Beat the Heat: Icoño Series at Tesoros

Thanks to Dadang Tesoro, I found a fun way to beat the heat. With humor and a big ass fan, that's how. If you're starting early with your Christmas gift list, take note of the  Icoño Series at Tesoros.

I've already bought a couple of fans for friends and my sister-in-law who found it so fun, I'm betting this would be a hit for the Titas and Donyas of Manila, fanning out to the rest of Titas and Donyas of the islands.

Launched in collaboration with Monchet Olives of Casa Mercedes, the limited edition Tesoros Icoño Series was unveiled to the public last July 21 at the Tesoros store on Arnaiz Avenue.

It was a natural progression for the the two brands since Casa Mercedes has been supplying fans to Tesoros since the 1950s. Both have long been acknowledged as respected Filipino brands that continue to remain relevant by adapting to the times, coming out with products that appeal to a younger demographic.

See how fun these fans are?

The line was designed by retired media executive and Casa Mercedes heir Monchet Olives, who revolutionized the Pinoy fan with the Katha Award-winning “Icoño Series” – inspired by the film “Heneral Luna” and the utterances of the “Castilaloys of Pinoy Society”. Check out the rest of the collection here.

I love how irreverently funny and borderline bastos each piece is, there's a bound to be a fan to shock  your conservative Abuela, flatter your favorite Tita, annoy your Donya friend, bring a touch of humor to your serious and uptight hermana and send a message to your feeling coño cousin.

The fans retail for Php750 and available at the Tesoros Handricrafts store in Makati.

For more about Tesoros, visit their website, or follow @tesoroshandicrafts on Instagram and Facebook. Visit the Tesoros store at 1016 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City to view the complete fan collection.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Chuvaness x NBS

When Cecile van Straten aka Chuvaness asks you to save the date and invites you to the launch of her collaboration with National Bookstore, you block that schedule and you go. That's a no brainer. 

Cecile told me to save the date two weeks before her launch. Without seeing anything from her collection for National Bookstore then, I already knew it was going to be good, and that I would be in for a treat. Because I know enough that when something is Chuva-approved, it's going to be something I would want as well.

True enough, it was a visual treat just being there. It was like stepping into Cecile's world of bleached wood, clean lines, kawaii characters and a wasteland of stationery and travel supplies.

Cecile led the pack in her Vetements sweatshirt, trousers with extra wide cuffs and her signature platform sneakers, but I know her well enough not to ask for her photo, hehe.

Of course, the Ramos women of National Bookstore were there, to welcome the equally chic crowd.

Xandra Ramos-Padilla in Sacai and N21, Tita Presy Ramos in House of Dagmar and Martiniano, Pat Ramos in Uemelo Munenoli, Rachel Comey and Mich Dulce

I think all the guests dressed for Cecile. Well, Pat & I did. We wore Japanese, from Tilda of course.

Wearing Japanese: Pat's top is by Tokyo-based designer Uemelo Munenoli and I wore NICO, by Nicholson and Nicholson, an Osaka-based label by Yusuke Nakagawa

I thought the pieces were totally Chuvaness. Chuvaness x NBS is an inspired collection that represents pieces, illustrations and sayings that we've all come to identify with Cecile and her blog.

There's the cute, tiny tote bag

The Coco Chanel saying, "In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different."

Shoe travel bags that say "Good shoes take you good places"

The most adorable illustrations of chica girls by Keeshia Felipe on this utility kit, graphic design by  Yodel Pe 

The outfit on the girl wearing the polka dotted dress is the exact same dress that inspired Cecile's polka dot birthday party back in 2014. She wore this dress of course, and effortlessly pulled it off, so to me, this is the most Cecile outfit of all

Cecile always sends out thoughtfully packaged presents so it totally makes sense for her to have gift wrappers in her line

There's also round clutches, note cards and so much more, but I ended up buying these.

The gift wrappers and stickers are totally mine. I'm visiting friends in New York soon, and I thought the shoe bags, stationery and pouch would make fun pasalubong. I'm going back for more. I'm thinking ahead, and think these would be great Christmas presents as well!

Prices are very reasonable, and the quality of each piece is impeccable. The gift tags start at Php49 and the most expensive of the lot is the big tote bag at Php699. 

The #ChuvanessxNBS collection is available at the following National Bookstore branches: Alabang Town Center, Ayala Fairview Terraces, Estancia Mall, Festival Supermall, Glorietta 1, Greenbelt,
 Greenlanes Arcade, Katipunan, NAIA, Market! Market!, Power Plant Mall-Rockwell, Quad Alpha Centrum, Quezon Avenue, Robinsons Ermita, Robinsons Magnolia, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, SM Aura Premier, SM Bacoor, SM Clark, SM Dasmariñas, SM Fairview, SM Mall of Asia, SM Manila, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Southmall, SM Sta Rosa, Superbranch Cubao, Trinoma, Uptown Place Mall.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Berry's Barbie Story

Berry the Baker makes the prettiest as well as the best tasting cakes in town.

One day, a lady comes to her bake shop and asks her to make a castle cake. 

"My daughter is having a princess party, and she wants a cake shaped like a fairy tale castle for her 7th birthday. I know you are the only who can do it!", said the lady.

Berry had never done a castle cake before, but she wanted to make the little girl and her mother happy. 

She was up for the challenge. More than a fantastic baker, Berry was also an avid learner, and thought that learning how to make a castle cake will make her a better baker.

So Berry asked her friend Barbie, who is an engineer, and another friend Sara, who is an architect for help on how she can construct a castle cake that would not topple.

The three girls brainstormed on how to make sure they will make a solid cake that would not wobble.

They worked on measurements to make sure that the base would be stable and that the towers will not fall.

Berry thought of special formulations for her cake not to be too soft or too hard and for the  icing not too melt. Of course, it still had to be tasty.

To thank her friends for all their help, Berry prepared delicious pastries and some tea to calm them down.

The following day, she went to work, and came up with a cake so tall and gorgeous, the little girl and all her friends squealed with delight as they saw it being unboxed. It was also so delicious, the birthday cake was talked about for years to come!

Moral of the Story: Don't be afraid to try, and don't be shy to ask for help.

About #MyBarbie Story:

Share your little girl's Barbie Story too! 

There are endless storytelling possibilities and her story might just win her a prize! The story with the highest rating wins a Barbie Glam Getaway House while the 2nd and 3rd place winners will take home a Barbie Adorable Pets play set.

For more information on how to join, visit the FAQ page, and Like Barbie PH Official on Facebook.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

MFO Hearts Cusina

Moms, if you're looking for a natural dish soap that's tough on germs and grease, but safe enough to wash baby bottles with, this is the soap for us! 

It looks great on kitchen countertops too

Let me tell you why Cusina is great, and should be top of mind for mindful moms:

1) Instead of using synthetic anti-bacterial chemicals, Cusina uses tea tree and eucalyptus oils for their anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. No triclosan here!

2) Rather than have our nostrils arrested with some artificial fruit smell, Cusina uses real fruit and plant extracted fragrances from Spain. 

3) Because it is made from natural extracts, with no harmful chemicals, this is especially great for those with sensitive skin. No more icky rubber gloves to contend with.

4) It's a homegrown brand that should fit right in at Wholefoods. It's that level of impressive.

Cusina has three variants to choose from:

Lemongrass Citrus

Grapefruit Lemon Zest

Ginger Yuzu Peel

I honestly don't know which scent I like best, they all smell so good, it's hard to pick a favorite. One thing's for sure, you're going to love Cusina once you've tried it.

Cusina is available at SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Unimart, Cash & Carry, Pioneer Supermarket, Echo store, The Green Company, Babyland, Babymama and Apotheca Pharmacy. Buy it online at Lazada, Marketa, Cudsly, Baby Mama and Babies to Toddlers. 

For more about Cusina, visit

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Life to My Zwilling Knife

I bought this cleaver at Kitchen Pro a few weeks ago because...

 Using the right knife also helps prolong it's life, a hefty knife also does most of the work for you

I discovered that our cook had been using our Zwilling chef's knife to cut through bone.

We've had this knife since Dada and I got married in 2007 and while it's still sharp in fairness, the idea of seeing it mutilated like this, well, nakakalungkot.

The upside lang, as I shared my woes to the sales staff at Kitchen Pro, was that they could re-shape and re-sharpen my knife for Php50 only. Now, that's customer service.

So I bundled up our old knife and brought it to Kitchen Pro to have it serviced. They told me lang that they were going to trim off the "bungi" part so the knife blade would become shorter, which was fine by me.

A few weeks later, I got it back. Kitchen Pro brought new life to my knife!

I know it pays to invest in good kitchen equipment, but it was truer that day more than ever. Not only did my Zwilling knives stay sharp for close to a decade and still going strong, I loved that the local distributor was able to help me take care of it pa, despite the use and abuse it has gone through. 

So mothers, if you are looking for kitchen knives that can withstand the usual wear and tear, this has my stamp of approval. Get everything. Sulit yan. Zwilling knives are all forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel, which is ice hardened to improve stain resistance. Forging is intended to produce improved cutting-edge retention, weight, balance, and reduced opportunity for metal fatigue. The result is a knife that really cuts like a knife, for decades.

Next on my wishlist, this Mezzaluna. I can already imagine the smell of freshly minced herbs filling our kitchen! Even just the idea of shortening prep time for cooking, ang saya.

Zwilling does more than just knives, obviously. They have all these kitchen tools like pizza cutters, peelers, basting brushes and wire whisks.

They even have beauty and grooming tools and personal care accessories. In fact, here's one fun fact. Did you know that Zwilling owns Tweezerman? I only ever use Tweezerman for my brows, so I know the quality is superb.

I bought these thinning scissors and hair cutting shears actually, because Dada cuts our boys' hair and trims Berry's bangs himself. I figured, with all the money we've saved from hair cuts, this was an investment worth spending on. Scissors for life!

About Zwilling

The ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS brand was founded on June 13, 1731, when knife-maker Peter Henckels from Solingen registered the "Twin" symbol as his trademark with the Cutlers´ Guild of Solingen. This symbol is now well-known globally is one of the oldest trademarks in the world. Today’s name ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS was given to the Company by a descendant of Peter Henckels, Johann Abraham Henckels. Today products by ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS are recognised globally as the symbol for the highest possible quality and function.

For more about KitchenPro, visit their Facebook Page, KitchenProStores as well as @kitchenprostores on Instagram.

Visit KitchenPro stores at the 6th level of Shangri-la East Wing, Ground Floor of SM Aura Premier, and 3F Ayala Center Cebu.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thoughts on Health and Aging

I’m turning 40 this year. Four-freakin-ty. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not freaked out about my age. It’s more like, how did time fly by so fast? 

Too fast, yes, but I am also grateful for turning forty. There’s plenty to celebrate and thank God for.

Life has been good to me. I have a wonderful husband and smart, funny and charming kids. 

My entire family, also my parents, siblings and in laws enjoy good health. I do work that I am good at, which I am fortunate to also enjoy and love. We have the time and resources to create fun memories, and hey, I still have pretty good skin considering my age. In fact, I can even say I am happier with myself now than I was when I was in my 20s. 

I guess you can say I’ve literally settled into my skin. Nothing about me changed drastically, it’s more like an acceptance of flaws coupled with lifestyle changes and the help of beauty treatments by my derma, Dr. Yanee Vasquez, heehee. 

While not necessarily true for all (haha) I believe that with age comes wisdom. I can say I know now what is important in life.

Health before vanity. Experiences before possessions. And maybe somehow, the secret to a youthful look. Well, in my case at least. 

I’m sharing you some of my #SkinHealth tips, which in a way has become an obsession and a personal advocacy. I hope that you pick up a thing or two from my mistakes, good habits and realizations. 

Besides, I know most of us women really do care about these things. These are valid and not at all shallow pursuits. Seeking, acknowledging and accepting our unique beauty does wonders for our entire well-being, trust me! 

1. Beauty starts with good, healthy skin.

Because my perception of beauty is natural beauty, and after years spent agonizing over zits and bumps on my face, I’ve realized that all a girl really needs is good skin. Let’s not talk about weight or age. Because if you have nice skin whatever your weight, or your age, consider yourself lucky. So skin lang, period. 

During a particularly emotional time for me in my 20s, as I was looking at my face in the mirror and staring at my bumpy, awful skin, I told myself, “When these zits and bumps all over my face disappear, I know enough that my skin, even with a pimple or two is enough”. You can say I’ve learned never to obsess over a single zit because I’ve had worse. 

Scientifically speaking too, the skin is the largest indicator of our health and when we are healthy, it shows in our skin. There is nothing like bare skin we can step out in. Saves us time from applying concealers and full-on makeup too. If you’ve got good skin, you’ve got it going, so you better take care of your skin in the best way possible. You don’t need much else. 

2. Hence, take a look at your skin, be honest about it. 

Have you figured out your skin type? Are you doing all you can to keep it well-moisturized? Do you have blemishes? Are your pores fine and even? Does your skin look glowing? 

If your answer is no, it’s best to sit down, look in the mirror (even if you don’t want to) and give yourself an honest assessment of the state of your skin. Literally face yourself, just like what I did in the mirror, almost two decades ago.

I was so sad for my skin, but I also wanted to do something about it. 

3. Do something about skin issues, seek a professional’s help if necessary. 

This skin breakdown happened while I was about to graduate from college. I was tired of just avoiding going out, staying away from mirrors, and not having photos of myself taken. 

I remember telling my Mom I wanted to see a dermatologist. She told me it was a waste of money and that I should just change my diet and drink lots of water. Well, after taking her advice for a couple of months and with nothing happening, I just went with my gut. 

Thankfully, I started work soon enough and I spent a chunk of my first job paychecks for my own derma treatment. That was money well-spent. In no time, I had seen the difference in how my skin improved and I was soon on my way back to blemish free skin. 

Seeing a dermatologist and using derma-recommended products turned out to be the only solution to my skin issues. Don’t ever hesitate. 

4. Always check the label.

I’ve tried all pimple cures out there. Some recommended by friends, some whipped up by some dubious lab, a few drugstore brands, and some prescribed by my derma. I’ve learned to really scrutinize bottles and labels because in my quest for the best pimple cure, I’ve unfortunately tried some products that did more harm than good. Aka, I still have pimple scars to prove it. 

Sometimes, when I look in the mirror and look at my 20 year old scars, I still remember that darn unmarked bottle that caused them. Hay. 

Better yet, make sure the product you use is FDA-approved. This ensures that active ingredients and the content level are regulated. We can rest easy knowing that the product has gone through clinical tests, a stringent screening process, and has the approval of skin experts and regulatory professionals before being sold in the market. 

To be extra safe, make sure the products you use come from a reputable source or manufacturer with a history of expertise addressing your skincare concern. Remember, your skin is the only skin you have, don't compromise #SkinHealth by using fake or untested products or brands just because they are trendy or cheaper. 

At the end of the day, go for authentic brands and products that are tried and tested, from sources you trust.

Taking good care of our skin isn’t about vanity. It’s really just making sure that our skin reflects the state of our health, and that when we use products meant for our skin, we are sure they are meant to do more good than harm our skin. 

One post can’t really cover everything I want to say, so expect more #SkinHealth tips and learnings I’ve picked up along the way. 

To have good skin at 40 is a blessing, and I’m sharing this blessing with you. Naks.
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