Sunday, December 09, 2018

MFO Gift Guide: Biolane, Bebe!

I first learned of French babycare line Biolane from Tanya Cuaso-Ong just last year. She and her husband brought the brand to the Philippines after seeing how well it worked for their own kids. With all four of her kids prone to eczema, she had just about tried everything - from creams to steroids, until she stumbled upon the brand while in Hong Kong.

Impressed with the results, she contacted Laboratoires BIOPHA, the Vendée based company behind Biolane and like it was meant to be, got the distribution rights to bring the entire range to our shores.

Personally, we've used some of the products from the line and our top faves have to be:

The scents: Eau de Toilette and Eau de Bebe which makes the kids (even us moms) smell like babies all day, yes, even my likot little boys.

Alchol-free Eau de Toilette for the kids (Php520) and Eau de Bebe (Php1,195) for both kids and moms!

First Aid kit essentials: I swear by Biolane Arnica Gel - it's a miracle worker! It's been part of our kids' going out bag and a staple in our apothecary cabinet since we first tried it.  Great for bruising, bumps and even insect bites. This is because Arnica is a popular homeopathic treatment for trauma to skin and minimizes bleeding and it can really tame down nasty bruises overnight.

The Cicabebe is Cica for babies and kids. Used for centuries as wound treatment in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is now also a popular ingredient in Korean skincare products. I even read in an Allure article that Cica - a green, leafy herb, is "what tigers rub on their wounds to help their skin regenerate". Sounds fantastical, and with that, I was sold!

Of course, it is worth noting that all the rest of Biolane's core products are formulated at physiological pH, paraben, phthalate, phenoxyethanol, alcohol and soap free. They are hypoallergenic and so safe that 80% of pediatricians in France recommend Biolane, such that the brand been a constant in French maternity wards for over 40 years now.

In fact, if you are not yet done with your holiday shopping, you may want to consider looking into their special gift sets for the moms and kids in your list! 

Ultimate Gift Set (Php1,990): Perfect for a brood of siblings. Forget the toys and clothes, go practical! The kids probably won't be thrilled opening this on Christmas Day, but I assure you, Mom will remember you with fondness for a long time. I know, I would!

Wipes - biodegrable and infused with Biolane Gentle Cleansing Milk/Pure H20
Pure H20 200ml - contains hydra-bleine and suitable to be used on both baby and mommy's face and body 
Sweet Almond Oil Spray- 99% natural origin; to be used for massages for baby and mommy 
2 in 1 Hair and Body Cleansing Gel 350ml - tear and soap free formula; rich in ingredients to keep both hair and skin nourished and protected 
Nourishing and Moisturizing Cream 100ml - rich in amino acids and vitamins to keep skin supple and nourished 

Eczema Management Set (Php1,580): This is a godsend for kids with atopic dermatitis. Mom and kids will thank you for introducing these products into their lives.

Sweet Almond Oil Spray - pure and natural Sweet Almond Oil; to be used during or after bath
Dermo-Pediatrics Lipid Enriched Body and Hair Cleansing Gel 350ml - formulated with extremely high levels of lipid-restorative agents to protect and nourish the most sensitive of skins 
Dermo-Pediatrics Moisturizing Cream 150ml - combination of amino acids, pro-vitamin B5, hydra-bleine, and phospholipids to ensure skin's nourishment and protection 

these travel sized tubes are included too!

Newborn Essentials Gift Set (Php870): I remember being a new mom and not knowing what to get. I survived with a whole lot of help from friends who taught me what to buy, by giving tips or just going ahead and giving me what they think I would need. Do the same for the new mom in your life!

Essential Cleansing Emulsion 200ml - recommended for babies' first bath 
Dermo-Pediatric Diaper Cream 100ml - contains 20% zinc oxide, panthenol, vitamin E and sweet almond oil. Also formulated to be used even on atopy prone skin.
Nourishing and Moisturizing Cream 100ml - suitable for newborns to keep skin soft and nourished 
Plus some travel sized tubes as well ;)

Toddler Gift Set (Php1,190): Here's one great way to prolong that yummy baby smell on active toddlers. 

Nourishing and Moisturizing Cream 100ml - rich in amino acids and vitamin B5 to keep skin nourished and smooth 
Pure H20 200ml - no rinse solution; to be used on baby's face and body as well as to remove mommy's makeup; skin freshener and hand sanitizer
2 in 1 Hair and Body Cleansing Gel 350ml - soap and tear free formula; contains hydra-bleine to keep hair protected and tangle free and leaves skin clean and moisturized 

Individually, these products are great alone or to get as a set: Body Milk with Cold Cream (Php990), Massage Oil (Php 550) with avocado oil and Face Cream with Cold Cream (Php580).

They make the perfect gift for families with kids who love traveling to cold places. I dub thee, the Moisturizing Set. But that's not official ha, heehee.

The great thing with buying the official gift sets is that they typically come with a mesh travel bag. 

Plus, when you buy a minimum of Php1,500 worth of products, you get this Tic Tac Toe felt set that you can pack in your travel bag to keep the kids entertained before they start asking for gadgets.

For more about Biolane, visit Biolane PH on Facebook and Follow @biolaneph on Instagram

Biolane products are available at the Biolane Kiosk at the 2nd floor of SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Rustans Department stores and select online stores.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

InStorage by Clairmont

Our friend’s family company, Clairmont, recently opened InStorage, a storage facility in Mandaluyong. Dada and I came over to check it out since it's a reasonable drive from where we live.  I was thinking of moving our Christmas tree, holiday decors and some random items that we do not have use for daily to a storage facility since they were taking up  space in our place. 

I've never really been to any storage rental spaces here, except for the one we used when we were living in the US, so when we saw InStorage, we were very impressed! 

InStorage adheres to Self Storage Asia Association standards so it is super safe and secure with 24/7 access and security plus CCTV monitoring.

Clients can enter 24/7 with their own individual PIN or key card that is unique to each person

Areas are monitored via CCTV

They have 5 sizes available, depending on your needs. There's 1.69 sqm for the locker:

With a unit that goes up to 9 sqm for the extra large, enough to fit the contents of a small condo - say, you are in between homes, or your tenant decides to bring in their own furniture to your rental. 

This can even can fit kayaks and motorcycles, anything you want to put in really, except for prohibited items of course. Oh and since it's a storage facility and not a mini condo, renters can't sleep here, cook, bring pets or smoke inside.

Nice the thoughtful touches, like ladders and trolleys so it makes it easier to move and transport your stuff from car to your storage space.

InStorage is in the border of Mandaluyong and Makati, so it is very accessible for residents of Mandaluyong, Rockwell, Bel-Air, Poblacion, even Urdaneta since its just close to the Makati/Mandaluyong Bridge. 

Whether you’re like us just looking for a place to store our seasonal stuff, you need a small warehouse for stocks and business files, you live in a condo and need more space for sports equipment, or you are in between homes and need a temporary unit for furniture, this is the place to go! 

Minimum rental period is 1 month, but since they just opened, sign up for 12 months and get the last month free 😉

For more details visit or call 09171601111 to inquire. They also have parking spaces available to rent within the compound!

73 San Francisco Street
Brgy. Plainview Mandaluyong City
*close to Maysilo Circle and the Makati/Mandaluyong Bridge

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Perla for Your Whites, and Everything Else (Really!)

photo via Pinterest

When I first watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I found the heroine's dad, Gus Portokalos, to be a bit idiosyncratic, with his steadfast belief that Windex was the cure all for anything and everything "from psoriasis to poison ivy".

Well, lookie here, that sounds just like me, with Perla soap now, haha. I'm that person in the household who swears by Perla for practically everything.

Let me count the ways:
- hand soap
- laundry soap for kids' clothes and delicates
- as insecticide for my plants
- makeup brush cleaner
- anti-fungal, anti-bacterial soap for any skin condition - from rashes to itchy scalps

Friends have told me their parents swear by it as a soap for pimples and dandruff, and there are those who use Perla for washing their pets - from cats to horses!

I'm sure there's plenty more uses I have yet to discover, but bottomline is, I get you Gus. There truly are wonder products out there.

I was recently invited to attend an event at Harlan + Holden Dine at the Rockwell Glasshouse hosted by Perla and what do you know, they sent me home not just with more Perla soap for our household but style tips as well, from celebrity stylist, Sidney Yap.

Some of his tips:

- Know your body type, know your skin tone and don't box yourself into just one style. You can be a preppy goth, a sexy minimalist, a polished bohemian. Just do you.
- When wearing white, make sure they're crisp and clean. Even fast fashion can look expensive, when the clothes you wear look well taken cared of.
- Layering is one of his favorite styling tricks. Makes sense. They're not only practical in our warm outdoors, then freezing cold interiors kind of set-up in our homes, offices and malls, they also add dimension to an outfit.
- Borrow from the boys. The oversized jacket and white hoodie the models are wearing below were actually picked out from the men's section.
- Mix and match fabrics. Don't be afraid to wear tough leather with soft, feminine fabrics.
- Try to match metals. If the buttons in your jacket are stainless steel, wear silver metallic heels. Of course this is not a hard and fast rule, as rules are made to be broken.
- When wearing patterns, make sure to choose ones that don't overwhelm. If you are petite, choose smaller prints, while bigger women can choose bolder prints.

Incidentally, on August 25, 2018, Perla will be hosting an event where a few lucky women will get a full makeover and be models for a day at the #PerlaFashionShow where they will also get the chance to meet Perla brand ambassador Toni Gonzaga.

See? Amazing, what Perla can do for you!

About Perla
Perla is the Philippines' first and oldest brand of laundry soap and has been around since 1949, trusted by our mothers and grandmothers and made from the same original formulation for close to 70 years. Each bar is made from pure coconut oil sourced from Filipino farmers and other natural ingredients such as glycerin and lavender essential oil for scent so it's guaranteed gentle and hypoallergenic. 

For more about Perla, visit Perla Philippines on Facebook and Follow on Instagram.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Look Good, Feel Great with Watson's

I belong to Gen X, raised by Boomers who think that self-promotion and loving one's self first is well, to put it, selfish.

But as we all know now, and have known all along, there is nothing wrong with that. We call it  now "filling our love tank" or "putting your own oxygen mask first". It's crucial to our sanity.

This week, Watsons launches their #LookGoodFeelGreat campaign with an online video to remind us all to be kinder to ourselves. That it's ok to love ourselves, because when we do, we feel great.

Here are some insights and tips on self-love from Watsons. 

What is Self-love?

  • Self-love is a state of appreciation for yourself that is manifested through different means. 
  • Self-love involves taking care of yourself, not losing touch with who you are despite the stresses of everyday life. 
  • Taking care of your health, face, hair and skin are some of the basic aspects of self-love because when you look good, you feel great. 
  • Self-love starts with self-awareness, which means knowing your strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. It can mean anything from doing something that will make you feel great like wearing a new pair of shoes or applying red lipstick on a Monday to make you look good.
How can we practice Self-love?
  1. Be aware. It all starts with knowing who you are and what you can do. 
  2. Don’t procrastinate. So one of your New Year’s resolutions is to achieve glowing skin. Don’t wait until the year is over to have a realistic skin care routine based on proper cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection. 
  3. Be goal-oriented. Proper sleep, exercise and good nutrition are only some of the steps you should take to achieve your goals. List down your goals and think carefully how you can achieve them. 
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not perfect; nobody is. If you are overweight, you can do something about it. If you look tired, there’s a reason for that. It’s not because you were born that way. 
  5. Realize that you’re not alone. So many people struggle with lack of time or will to take proper care of yourself. Watsons encourages each one of us to love themselves more to look good and feel great. 

To learn more about the video, visit the Watsons Philippines Facebook page and @watsonsph on Instagram.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

When Old Becomes New

My parents used to wax nostalgic about the glory days of Manila, which our generation can't relate to anymore. So it's wonderful to hear about conservation efforts such as this by the owners of YOUniversity Suites/LA Village on CM Recto Avenue in Manila.

To make the place safe for students and dormers, they installed this fence along their street front

What used to be the Laperal Apartments, originally built in 1946 was thoughtfully restored and converted into what is now YOUniversity Suites, a 4-story dormitory for students, with restaurants, an SM Appliance Store and Watsons along the street front on the ground floor and a commercial complex within called LA Village filled with affordable dining options, a Nitro 7 Coffee & Tea Bar, an actual bar, a laundry shop and other establishments essential to students.

What sets apart LA Village from the usual food courts - apart from that it sits on a Manila landmark - is the fact that the owners had a conscious effort to build with vintage elements in mind, as a nod to its glorious heritage.

I actually took the boys with me to show them that there are cool places in Manila that's worth telling their friends about.

LA Village also houses a study center and a billiard hall for when the kids want to take a break from studying.

Gr8t Shots Manila

Study Haven

During the launch, guests and students were treated to live music by Up Dharma Down.

This will be a regular feature at LA Village, making it the ultimate destination in the University Belt for students and those work and live in the vicinity.

I hope this is the start of the gentrification of the University Belt, making it not just a safe place for students but a picturesque one as well.

YOUniversity Suites/LA Village
2119 CM Recto Avenue
Tel: +632 2442421
Mobile: +63926 7047679

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Hello? Is it Me You're Looking For?

I just realized I've neglected this blog.

This is the longest span of time I haven't written here. 

Do people still read blogs though? It seems like everyone is over at Instagram, or maybe just living life. If your answer is the latter, then good for you! 

Meanwhile, I've been busy decluttering. It's what I've been into lately more than ever. To my husband's delight, messy me found KonMari. If you don't believe me, here ya go!

I bet you didn't expect that! Heehee.

I've become a Konvert. Her method truly is life changing. I haven't shopped in a long time. I have learned to detach from material longings. Maybe that's why this blog has been quiet. There is nothing that I want in my life now because I have found contentment.

Tidying is truly life changing. I feel like I'm not the same person I used to be anymore. 

Not that I'm saying I'll retire this blog. There are still things that spark joy for me. Except I've learned to differentiate "Ooooh this is pretty!" admiration from "I have to have this!" 

I used to not be able to distinguish one from the other. Which of course led to me being neck deep in clutter, where I felt burdened by everything that I owned. 

Over the last couple of years, I've pared down considerably. But I still have to work on our family room and patio, which I can't really touch because not everything there is mine (as a rule, I can't throw out other people's stuff). 

I'm still working on the entire house to "click", so while I'm at it, follow me over at my new Instagram account where I'll share decluttering adventures, plus KonMari tips and tricks with you!

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