Mom-Finds: Himawari Hair Care from Japan

Last Friday of the month:  Shopping / Beauty

I may not be a beauty blogger, but whenever I discover a really good product that works for my skin and hair, I'd be more than happy to share my new finds with you. You see, having thick, slightly wavy and "buhaghag" hair (meaning hindi siya smooth and tame, medyo puffy if I just let it dry on it's own), I can never go out while my hair is still wet, or just let my hair down without a proper blow-dry. In short, I don't need volumizing products. Kaya I'm always in a ponytail most days. When I got invited to a blow-out treat last week, that's when I discovered this Japanese brand, Himawari.

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Fun Friday: Our First TOYCON PopLife FanXperience

TOYCON 2016 was wild! Thanks to Smart, my family was able to attend the biggest toy and pop-culture convention in the country today. It was just so much fun for my kids to see larger-than-life toys, cosplayers walking around, and amazing collectibles from local and international exhibits.

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Commit To Be Fit on Alaska Milk Day 2016

Tomorrow, June 11, the country celebrates World Milk Day and Alaska Milk Corporation will once again host one of the biggest family run with Alaska Milk Day, which was launched four years ago. While I won't be able to participate in this huge health and lifestyle celebration, I am honored to be a part of this worthy endeavor to promote family health and fitness, and sharing the highlights of what participants can expect at this nationwide fun run.

This year's Alaska Milk Day Family Run happening at McKinley West in BGC, promises to be even bigger than the last, with more participants from all over Metro Manila, Davao, Cebu and the newest venue, Naga.

Alaska Milk Day activities will include:
  • Individual (3km and 5km) races
  • 3 km family run race categories
  • 1km Disney’s Frozen and Marvel themed fun run event for children ages 4-7 years old 
  • Individual (3km and 5km) race category in the provincial areas
  • Alaska Milk Hour = a nationwide Milk Toast at 6:00 a.m. will culminate the celebration
    • All participants will simultaneously drink milk and make a pledge to a healthy and active lifestyle
The themed runs will motivate kids to live a healthy and active lifestyle while still having fun. And to make the gathering more exciting, a Zumba event will also be conducted in all areas to encourage individuals and families to start a morning health and fitness regimen.

Race Kit for Alaska Milk Day

These concerted efforts are Alaska’s way of helping the government address the increasing number of obese children and adults in the country through the combination of exercise and proper nutrition.
The 8th National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute reveals that 2 out of 10 children among 0-5 years old were underweight, and 5 out of 100 children among 0-5 years old were overweight.  Also, 3 in every 10 adults are overweight and obese.  Prevalence of overweight and obesity among the 0-5 year-old is increasing at an average of 0.17%-points per year for the past 24 years. With this alarming rate, Alaska Milk is committed to support the yearly celebration of World Milk Day through Alaska Milk Day with the goal to help reverse this prevailing nutritional problem.

While families join the fun run, they are also contributing for a worthy cause as Alaska Milk Day Family Run chose a beneficiary, the Children’s Hour, wherein Alaska Milk Corporation will donate the same quantity of milk bags as the participants to their chosen recipient. Nag-enjoy ka na, nakatulong ka pa! =)

Join us in spreading the milk-drinking habit and active lifestyle. Take part in Alaska’s “Nutrition. Action. Champion.” program for a chance to become a real life health advocate!

Let's raise our milk glasses on June 11 and join the nationwide toast to a healthier future for our families. =)

Good luck to everyone joining the Alaska Milk Day Family Run tomorrow!

All images are from Alaska and www.facebook.com/WorldMilkDayPH

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Family Friday: Our Homeschool Journey Continues

Second Friday of the month: Parenting / Schooling

I'm giving the boy two more weeks to complete the last quarter and close the school year. I am on panic mode since end of May. We are delayed (as expected), and just like last year, his year-end testing and assessment with our academic adviser is set at the end of this month. He'll be done with grade 6. He is going to be graduating from middle school and the ceremony is scheduled this October. I can't believe we will have a graduate and that we made it through two years of homeschooling!!!

At Magellan's Cross, which was part of his Philippine history lesson
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Get Ready for ToyCon 2016 + Pop Life FanXperience

Toys are not just for kids, but for the big boys (and girls) too! Comics, cosplay, anime, collectibles, gaming -- these are just some of the things we can expect at a comic or toy convention. And believe me when I say that my collector-husband and anime-addicted kids are most excited to attend the upcoming ToyCon 2016 + Pop Life FanXperience happening on June 10 - 12 at SMX-MOA!

A few years ago, I actually featured some of hubby's toy collections here (samples below). He dreams of attending a comic con in the US if given a chance, while the kids naman wish to visit the Pokemon Center in Tokyo. Some cousins are also into toy collecting and cosplay. I'm sure they're highly anticipating this event as well. Ako lang at a ang walang hilig sa mga ganyan, hehehe! But they have my support on this, that's why I'm taking them to ToyCon Philippines this weekend, thanks to Smart! Yay!!!

"TOYCON Philippines is proud to announce it's partnership with Pop! Life Entertainment to create the ultimate FanXperience for the Filipino pop-culture fans.
Celebrating 15 years, ToyCon Philippines 2016 will be the biggest culmination of all things associated with pop-culture such as toys, games, movies, cosplay, anime and collectibles." - www.toyconph.com

What to expect at TOYCON 2016:
  • International cosplay competition
  • Special appearances by celebrities, comic artists:  Hollywood actors including Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman); Daniel Logan (Star Wars), and many others!
  • Show merchandise and exhibitions featuring some of the world’s biggest brands in entertainment and gaming
    • DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Cartoon Network, NBA, and more
    • Capcom, Namco, DOTA, etc.
  • Contests and prizes
  • Visit the SMART Zone booth for instant prizes and surprises
    • Register for a chance to win prizes such as:  Smart Bro Pocket WiFis, limited edition jackets, toys and gaming gears
    • You can also purchase a Smart SIM, load or subscribe to a new Smart Postpaid Plan for a chance to win
    • Get instant photo-souvenirs: Pose with Smart’s larger-than-life toy boxes of iconic shows like Game of Thrones, Lego and X-Men, and use #SmartTOYCON for your Instagram posts
Be sure to get your tickets asap from www.toyconph.com and experience the biggest celebration in toys and pop-culture! Or...

WIN ToyCon 2016 tickets from SMART!
Here's how:
  1. Post a photo on Instagram: Your toy collection, a favorite video, or dress up in your fave character
  2. Tag @livesmart and hashtag #SmartToycon
It's that simple. Smart will get in touch with you if you win. Good luck!

For Smart subscribers, be sure to load up with Smart Big Bytes 50 for more data to share all your fun experiences during the convention!
  • Only Php 50 valid for three days. Just text BIG 50 to 9999.
  • Enjoy 2x data with 700MB for more surfing time and use of apps like Facebook, Instagram, Viber and Twitter
  • Additional 600MB for video streaming on YouTube and iFlix

See you there!!!

ToyCon 2016 + Pop Life FanXperience
June 10, 11, 12
SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex
Pasay City, Philippines

For more of Smart promos, follow Smart on:
Twitter and Instagram: @livesmart

Related post:

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Foodie Friday: Sauteed Young Corn and Broccoli

First Friday of the month:  Mom-Cook / Recipe

I am taking a break from meats and sharing you this easy-peasy veggie dish for the whole family. You still have the option to mix beef strips using the same recipe. When I am extra lazy, I simply sauté  only the broccoli in garlic, hehehehe... but this one is definitely more tasty!

Keeping this post short and simple so we can all enjoy the weekend. Here you go:


1 medium head of broccoli
1/2 can of young corn
2 tablespoons chopped button mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 - 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 cup water
black pepper 
sesame oil
cooking oil

To prepare:
Boil water in a small pot or saucepan.
Trim and cut broccoli to bite-size pieces, keeping florets whole, or sliced in two if too big.
Blanche broccoli in rolling boiling water for about 2 minutes.
Drain liquid from the can of young corn and slice diagonally. 
Drain blanched broccoli.
Set aside veggies.

To cook:
Heat pan and add enough oil to sauté the garlic.
Add oyster sauce and pour water little by little until your desired thickness of the sauce. Adjust to your taste.
Toss in broccoli, young corn, mushrooms in the pan. Cook over low heat.
Add some ground pepper and a few drops of sesame oil (go easy on sesame oil).
Mix well or until all veggies are well coated in sauce. 
You can add more oyster sauce if you like.

Serve immediately. This meatless dish works very well as a rice topping or mixed with cooked egg noodles! Instant Chinese meal! =)

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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Mom-Finds for May: Round-up of Summer Finds

May has been a very good month and one of the most memorable, mainly because we were able to travel with the kids to Cebu last weekend. June is considered rainy season na kasi so nakahabol kami sa summer vacation, and I am very thankful that we had chance. Sadly, I missed posting my Mom-Finds feature last Friday, so pahabol na rin itong post since last day of May na today. =) I've discovered a lot of amazing new products this month which I also shared on my Instagram, and rounding them up here for all of you.

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I Leveled Up on My Skin Care and Makeup Routine

If you know me or have been following me and my blog, you'd know I always stick with the basics when it comes to beauty routine. While I've attended a number of beauty workshops in the past, I always end up with whatever I am "hiyang" with -- from facial cleanser to scrub, moisturizer and face powder. I am just too lazy to do so many steps kaya I just go with the bare essentials. All this changed after I went to Marj+Rowena's Beauty Workshop last year.

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Fun Friday: Our Stars Aligned on Mom's Day

Third Friday of the month: Event / Celebration / Recreation

May is special for me mainly because we celebrate motherhood this month and it's also my blog's anniversary every Mother's Day. For my blog, I really don't plan anything special but simply thank my readers and friends for the continuous support. As for Mother's Day, we usually dine out for lunch and treat the grandmothers as well. But what I love most are all the gifts and pampering I receive as mom's day weekend approaches, heehee! =)

Bonding and shopping at Hunt & Gather Festival

Mother's Day weekend:
I love all the gifts that came from flowers to chocolates, accessories and even matching Lock & Lock Horoscope Tumblers for me and my girl. More on that towards the end of this story.

Saturday -- my family had a simple lunch at a pizza place. Afterwards, the boys went home and my girl and I went to the first Hunt & Gather Nutrition and Fitness Festival in Glorietta, celebrating "Strong Moms". We snacked on vegan ice cream, coconut juice and bought myself a new pair of grip socks for my pilates class. Our spanking new tumblers came with us too.

Having her with me at the event was really fun as we bonded over yummy food and shopping. I told her na Mother's Day gift na nya sa akin yon, being with me that day. I always tell her that I like shopping with her and that she's my foodie buddy whenever we go out and travel since we both enjoy eating and appreciate good food. She agrees! =) 

Aside from being foodies, I also like that we get to dress up in similar looks from time to time, or what millennials would call "twinning". Here's one example, where she observed that we have matching looks and our colors are in reverse daw.

Sunday -- Mother's Day, we had lunch with the grannies and as expected, we both enjoyed our orders, especially the decadent and sinful molten chocolate cake that we shared. Watch these short video clips and see what I'm talking about. =)

Sumptuous Sunday lunch with family.

Sharing dessert of molten chocolate cake!

Now, going back to my Mother's Day gifts... best surprise I got was a pair of Lock & Lock stainless steel tumblers for me and M!!! Woo-hoo! Naturally, we brought them with us to the festival at the mall.

SRP : Php 1,149.75

You know what's fascinating? M has been curious about astrology and horoscopes for the past few months. She's been asking me about our signs, the meaning and the symbols behind each one. Lo and behold, Lock & Lock, one of our trusted and favorite house ware brands, sent us their Horoscope Tumblers based on our astrological signs! What a coincidence and a wonderful surprise! I tell you, the stars have aligned for us on Mother's Day. =)

Here's M, resting by the stage with our handsome royal blue horoscope tumblers at the event, of course her LPS toys came with us too. 

Capricorn for this January celebrant, and Pisces for me.

What we love about Lock&Lock Tumblers
  • Ideal to keep hot or cold drinks -- 400ml
  • Tumblers are vacuum insulated and keep drinks hot or cold for at least 6 hours
    • From the time we left the house for the festival until that evening, my leftover water was still cold after 8 hours
    • M did not drink too much and forgot about her tumbler until the next day -- 24 hours and her water remained cold!
  • Slim stainless steel body with polished royal blue metallic color and constellation design
  • Secure plastic lid with seal, removable mouth ring and rubber gasket
    • Mouth ring design controls flow of water while drinking, prevents spills even in a moving vehicle
  • Non-slip rubber base

I stopped buying plastic bottles for years now and switched to glass or stainless, so these Lock & Lock stainless steel tumblers are prefect for us. Basta kasya sa bag ko, we always bring water bottles whenever we go out.

Thank you, Lock & Lock for this super cool mom's day gift! Matching clothes and now may matching tumblers na with M! I have to thank my lucky stars too! =)

Get the latest product updates from Lock & Lock on Facebook and Instagram:

Shop for your Lock & Lock tumblers and food containers at these 
Lock&Lock Stores:

Fisher Mall

Shangri-La East Wing

Alabang Town Center

Glorietta 4

BF Paranaque
Megastate Bldg. - Araneta Ave.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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Family Friday: Raising a Strong-Willed Child

Second Friday of the month:  Parenting / Kids

Fierce, willful, inquisitive, temperamental, street-smart. These are just some of the words to describe our daughter. She's a toughie, a complete opposite of her brother (that's a whole different story). She can be sweet one moment, then play hardball the next. Sugar and spice, that's her. Is there a right way to parent a strong-willed child?

M is our spunky girl. She's independent, creative, playful, opinionated. She can be very persistent and stubborn too. Ang hirap timplahin minsan. Everyday, we get into a situation where she will challenge us, day and night, there will always be an issue to process, to argue about or to negotiate. There are a lot of "NO" in the convo. It can stem from anywhere -- meal times to organizing her toys, bath time and sleeping hours, wanting to buy something, even to combing her hair and wi-fi disconnections! There will be days when she will throw a fit, become rude and unreasonable (even in public!) that it will really test our patience. Parenting nightmare, I know! Horror, diba? I feel so helpless, embarrassed. I feel judged.

At some point, I resorted to spanking and locking her in a room as punishment. I didn't like it, and I was shaking in anger while I forced her in to the room. I also cried many times out of frustration, not knowing how to get through to her. Patigasan talaga kami. I dreaded the teenage years.

During some meltdowns, she would cry hysterically and starts hyperventilating (happening now as I type this --  may issue tonight!!!). She's really pushing and testing our patience. We learned to just ignore her and allow her to calm down (even if it takes an hour) on her own before sitting her down for a talk.

Before, I used to shout and nag out of impulse. We clash...a lot! I know that it's not the solution. It's not an effective way to calm her down and manage the situation. Minsan, give up nako. Most of the time, I let J handle her. Still a trial and error on finding the best way to approach her temperament and tantrums. It's sooo exhausting. We are hopeful that this is just a stage.

I hate to say it, but I think she feels entitled and is turning into a brat. =(  She knows it, but matigas talaga siya. It really bothers me, and I feel that we failed her.

Talking with J and my friends, and reading up on related parenting articles help me a lot. I also learn so much from coach Pia Acevedo of the One Core every time I attend a Better Me session on parenting. The last one was several weeks ago and here's what coach Pia has to say, and my take-away from the open forum in relation to my parenting woes:
  • People make the right decisions that they can make in a given time in their life. Don't apologize for the decisions you made.
    • I know we've made mistakes that led to where we are now with our children. Not sure when or what, but we can only move forward and try to make better decisions this time around. Ang hirap! Parenting is a work in progress.
  • Everyone has their own process. Tantrums are kids' process, but it's the parents' responsibility to create a safe environment and acknowledge their feelings (ask them to communicate their feelings)
    • The magic word -- process. Each one of us has our own process, our own way of dealing with every situation. It's just so hard to ignore when they become disrespectful during their process. But kailangan palampasin muna yung moment na yun, and then talk it out afterwards. I need to be more conscious and to recognize that in both my kids, especially with my girl. Good thing the boy and the girl know how to express and verbalize what they feel so we can understand and find a way to address them.
  • Parents should have a strong core for kids to follow -- present certitude to help kids find what they are good at
    • It's not going to be easy, but I know I need to better myself first to be able to nurture my kids and raise them well. I owe it to them and to my husband.
As the saying goes, the struggle is real! Minsan, hindi ko na talaga alam ang gagawin. We resorted to threats and punishments as the easy way out. There are moments of self-doubt and guilt. Then I came across this article last month - 8 Truths Of Parents Who Are Raising A Strong-Willed Child from Scary Mommy blog, and it hit home. I've embraced the good and the not-so-good sides to her character. You'll understand me more after you read it.

Don't get me wrong, she has more positive attributes than negative, and we are so blessed to have a daughter like her. M is a smart cookie. She's well-loved in school, mature for her age, and she's feisty. A well-rounded individual, self-motivated, and a critical-thinker. Etong issue lang talaga ang super mega challenging for us. Stressful! At 9 years old, she knows what she wants, and she knows what she's doing. We love her for that. We're still trying to figure her out, to get to know her better and how to approach her episodes the right way. I know she will eventually grow out of this "difficult" phase and that being strong-willed is a key to her future success. We're here to help her learn to be more mindful, to manage her emotions and, ultimately, find her joy.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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Foodie Friday: What Have I Been Eating???

First Friday of the month: Food Finds / Dessert

Dessert. Cake. Ice Cream. Nuts. Chocolate. For the past month, my foodie finds have been mostly baked goods and sweets, except for this natural cracked pili nut. I really have a sweet tooth and it's simply a challenge for me to refuse desserts. The sad truth is that I have an intolerance for gluten and eggs -- what pastries are mainly made of. Well, Mother's Day naman...okay, Mother's month, hehehe, so I'll "cheat" na muna! =)

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Mom-Finds: Urban Kid-Style for Tots to Teens from ZIPPY

Last Friday of the month:  Mom-Finds / Kid-Style / Shopping 

I love shopping for my children's clothes as much as I do mine, and what thrills me even more is finding quality and fashionable kids' apparel at reasonable prices. We all know how kids can quickly outgrow their clothes and shoes so I always consider affordability but without sacrificing comfort and style. Here's great news for moms like me -- my girl and I recently discovered ZIPPY from Portugal and I'm now sharing our latest fashion finds here! ZIPPY joins my short list of favorite kid stores.

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