Thursday, August 27

A Mommy's Me Time

It’s true what they say. Once you become a parent, finding time for yourself is an everyday struggle. Make it twice as hard if you don’t have a yaya. Don’t get me wrong though; I love being around my child and I love taking care of her. You know, there was once a time when guilt finds its way to me the moment I go to the spa or have lunch out with my friends. I felt the world judging me.

What is “me time” anyway? I used to find it in little things, like that 5-minute shower when Allie was still an infant. Now that she’s a bit older, I get my “me time” fix while waiting for her class to end. I go to my barre3 class, or make paper flowers, or paint. Having this time for myself made me more patient and rejuvenated. I decided that everyone really needs a little “me time” every so often. I put guilt in the backseat and finally convinced myself that that “me time” is a means to an end.

We used to live in a two-bedroom condominium. Cleaning was a breeze. But now, cleaning all four floors we call home is not exactly my cup of tea. It takes up all my free time! For general cleaning, I had to hire professional cleaners who can do the work in a quarter of the time I can. But for my everyday cleaning routine, I try to get the best cleaning materials out there.

I tend to choose cleansers that are concentrated, efficient, effective, and easy-to-use. In the long run, I save money while keeping my home clean and fresh, fast. A favorite of mine is Pine-Sol. For a long time, I thought there was only one scent -- the original. Then I learned that there were more scents available. I was so happy! Lemon Fresh and Orange Energy are perfect for the kitchen to remove oil and grease while keeping it freshly scented. Sparkling Wave is great to use in bathrooms because it disinfects and has that ocean-y smell to it that is very invigorating. My favorite is Lavender Clean to keep my bedroom smelling like fields of lavender.

Because Pine-Sol is very effective, I only spend a sliver of time cleaning the morning mess of breakfast, giving me more “me time”.

Case in point – a couple of weeks ago, a couple of friends of mine asked if I wanted to join a celebration of “me time” by doing yoga and having lunch with friends courtesy of Pine-Sol. It started in the morning so I had to scramble making breakfast and cleaning the kitchen. It took me a few seconds to spray and wipe my kitchen counters. An eighth of a cup of Pine-Sol is all you need for half a gallon of water. I left the kitchen sparkling and fragrant.

Our morning yoga session was held at Sofit/LeSpa, Sofitel’s health and fitness center, and was facilitated by Joanne Santos.

Before it started, we shared our thoughts about “me time” with each other. Some said the usual – going to the salon, shopping, or getting mani-pedis. A number mentioned doing chores and going to the grocery. A couple responded they haven’t even heard of “me time”. Haha.

What a treat it was for us, mommies, because we all felt relaxed by the end of the class. We all needed that.

We were then ushered to a private lunch party, where we had the tastiest and healthiest dishes. We learned about calorie counting and detoxification from the ladies of Sofitel’s aesthetic center Vietura.

During lunch, Pine-Sol brand manager Renelle delos Santos shared with us some value tips that I find true.

We all had an amazing time learning about having a clean home and just chatting with each other. It was such a fun event that I lost track of time. I was among the last ones to leave. Haha.

Nevertheless, when I got home, I spent my additional “me time” painting my favorite scent.
Lavender Clean Pine-Sol

Thank you so much Pine-Sol for the relaxing and yummy treat, and thanks to Mish of Momma N Manila, and Patty of Mrs C's Sugarcoated Life for organizing this wonderful event. I will be forever grateful for letting me experience the ease of cleaning by using your products.

Some useful links:
The Value of Pine-Sol
House cleaning tips

Follow: Pine-Sol Philippines on Facebook

Photos by Jay Santos

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Wednesday, July 15

Buying a Mattress for your Bed

I am a fan of sleeping. If there was one thing I wouldn't skimp on, it's a good mattress and good bedding. After all, what they say is true, you spend about 25 years sleeping. My husband and I took a long time finding our first mattress together. I was clueless about mattresses then, so the mattress we chose eventually was the exact mattress we tried in a hotel while we were on vacation. That was about 8 years ago and the bed was one size smaller than the king we have now. That mattress served us well. We had to buy a new one when we moved. Armed with a little bit of mattress knowledge, we picked our king-sized mattress and so far, we have no qualms about it. See how thick it is? It has a pillow-top!

Sure, mattresses in the Philippines can be very inexpensive and sizes can be customized too. But, please go for the experts like Dunlopillo. Your body will thank you in the long run.

If you're currently shopping for a mattess, there's actually a Dunlopillo mattress sale that's starting tomorrow at BGC. Why not stop by and check it out? You're welcome.


Ital Design Offers Dunlopillo Mattresses at Special Prices in Celebration of Its New Showroom 

In line with the launch of the newly renovated showroom at MC Home Depot in Bonifacio Global City, Ital Design will be providing special prices for its premium Dunlopillo mattresses from July 16-19, 2015.

This generous gesture celebrates their one of a kind luxurious showroom, innovated to enable customers to imagine the possibilities that the mattresses and furniture hold. Ten uniquely decorated vignettes in styles appealing to every type of customer feature the Dunlopillo mattresses, which are highlighted in every display. Whether you’re a bachelor, a student, or a mother of five, Ital Design and Dunlopillo have furniture pieces and sleeping solutions for your personal haven in store.

What can customers expect from visiting the new showroom? An introductory discount for Dunlopillo’s new model mattress Elena, which will be sold at the special price of 50% off. All-time favorite mattresses Romero Premium and Firmest Luxe will also be included at reduced prices. With premium goods at reasonable prices, those who are looking to decorate and furnish their homes certainly have every reason to visit the new Ital Design showroom.

Dunlopillo is also available at the Libis Showroom, the Edsa-Cubao Showroom, MC Home Depot in Bonifacio Global City, MC Home Depot in Pasig, Ayala Center Cebu, and Abreeza Mall Davao. Follow Ital Design on Facebook and on Instagram through @italdesignph.

Current Outlets:

Libis Showroom 
T: 912.4494/ 911.1672 /F: 912.3339 
Add: Acropolis Commercial Area, 
#16 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave.,
Libis, Quezon City Philippines 1110

Edsa - Cubao Showroom 
Telefax: 913.1975/913.1072 
Add: No. 156 EDSA, 
Brgy. Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City 

MC Home Depot – Fort BGC 
Telefax: 815 .6217/ 815.6218 
Add: 32nd St. cor. Bonifacio Blvd., 
Global City, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 

 MC Home Depot—Pasig 
Telefax: 633.4023/634.6556 
Add: 168 Ortigas corner Meralco Avenue, 
Ortigas Center, Pasig City 

Ayala Center Cebu 
T: <032>345.1378 
Add: L315 Level 3, Ayala Center 
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City 

Abreeza Mall Davao 
T:<082> 295.9876 
Add: Unit 3115 - 3116 Level 3 Abreeza Mall, 
JP Laurel Ave. Davao City
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Friday, May 22

Kitchen Gadgets I Love

One of my favorite parts of the house is the kitchen. I enjoy cooking and baking but not what comes before and after. Haha. The post-cooking scenario involves tons of cleaning, and I hate washing the dishes. Good thing I have a handy helper already. I suck at prepping the ingredients though. It's not that I don't like doing them, it's just that I'm too lazy. So, I take as much shortcuts as possible.

Enter kitchen gadgets. I don't have every single kitchen gadget out there -- just a handful of what I think is useful for me and my family. I got most of them when I got married -- a blender for smoothies, food processor for chopping lots of veggies, slow cooker for cooking tender stews and a set of pots and pans. Every so often I get gifted with them -- the most amazing rice cooker a few years ago, and a really cool ice cream maker the year after. A few were purchases -- my beloved mixer and my oven for baking. I would love to get an espresso machine for my forever kitchen, but I know it's going to be just for decoration since I am not a regular coffee drinker. Haha.

I never pass up an opportunity to look at what's out there. I love stores like Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma and Gourdo's. I always, always make sure to visit them. Some time ago, my friend, Michelle, invited me to her place for a crepe soiree. She had me at crepes. She also said a friend of hers can show us how to make crepes using the Severin Crepe Maker. All I could think of was, be still my heart. I was so excited that I was probably the earliest one there. Needless to say, I bought a crepe maker the first chance I got.

The soiree was such a hit that Michelle helped organized a more formal event featuring the brands that Colombo Merchant Philippines carries, Severin, and a brand I know so well, Braun. Braun was the brand of my very first gadget, the hand blender. But I gave it to my friend when we moved. Hmm, come to think of it, I do miss the convenience of using it. I shouldn't have given it away. Hah!

The event was an afternoon to remember as we had merienda that Chef Redj Baron made using the Severin and Braun kitchen tools. Every dish was created using one or more of the Severin/Braun kitchen tools featured and the food was plated perfectly.

Photo by Momma 'N Manila
I even got to try the Citrus Juicer myself when Chef Redj was showing us how to make the lemonade basil refresher. I'm too easy to convince and after trying it out, I just had to get the juicer. It's perfect for this terrible summer heat. So far, I've been using it to make fresh lemonade and orange juice with lots and lots of ice. It's so easy to operate that Allie even helps me out. The juicer is electric so just imagine how quick and easy it is to squeeze lemons. You don't even have to worry about the seeds getting into your juice because this tool keeps them out.

As part of the invitation, Colombo sent a jar of homemade mango pineapple jam, which was a hit in our household.

It came as a surprise when I learned that a bread machine made it. I always get intimidated by people who know how to make breads. But I am eager to learn. I am beyond ecstatic I got to bring the Severin Bread Maker home. I will purchase the ingredients tomorrow to make my very first bread, so pretty soon, my friends, I'll share with you the action.

I got my eye on you next, Raclette Party Grill!

It was a pleasure trying out these great kitchen tools and they surely make my domestic life easy. Thank you Colombo Merchant Philippines for sharing with us these wonderful toys, and the yummy food too!


Colombo Merchant Philippines
Unit 303, Richville Corporate Center, 
Commercial Avenue, 1780, Muntinlupa, 1780 Metro Manila
+63 2 879 4060

Facebook: /Colombophils

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Tuesday, May 5

Kitchen Renovations

If you've been following me on Instagram, you might have had an inkling that we just moved to our new home late last year. I've been posting some tiny kitchen renovations and a few laundry details here and there. I think this is becoming a never-ending renovation procrastination for me because I know that this is a temp home before the big move to the forever house, which sadly, we haven't found the ideal location yet. Someone got some high standard issues kasi! Tsk tsk tsk. Heehee.

The kitchen before.

Yes, I have a dishwasher. It's pretty uncommon to have one here in the Philippines because most households have help. I don't, so I blackmailed my husband into buying me one. I told him that he has to wash the dishes every single time if he doesn't buy a dishwasher for me.

I looked everywhere for a dishwasher that has two things -- a slim design and a local service option. My kitchen is itty bitty tiny so I really needed a slim dishwasher. My cabinets were already done so if I had to buy a standard sized dishwasher, I had to change my cabinets and I didn't want to take the additional hassle.

Most dishwashers sold here are imported from the states, and you can just imagine how much they are. A typical $400-$500 model will cost you about $2000 here. It's not even top of the line. Crazy, right? They don't even have warranty and the voltage is different! But my extensive research paid off because I got hold of a local supplier that sold dishwashers with a slim line model (around 500mm width). It was pretty affordable. It didn't have the drying element I was used to, but that's okay as long as it has hot water. It just dries slower.

Here's the kitchen after.

Quite a few have been asking me where I got my kitchen accessories here. Well, lo and behold, here is the list.

(1) My rugs are from H&M Home. Got them during the 30% off everything event. I just put a non-slip mat underneath because it moves all the time. Safety first.
(2) That vintage-looking fan there is by Hunter. It's available at Wilcon Depot.
(3) Curtains are from SM Home. I hand sewn them to size. I don't know how to sew using the machine I don't have. Learning how to sew is on my life list though. Teach me, Brother!
(4) Almost all my kitchen towels are from Williams-Sonoma (please open here in the Philippines already). I find them very absorbent and great-looking. What else do you want?
(5) The small potted plant is from Ikea, including the pot.
(6) Cookbook stand? Williams-Sonoma again. See? I'm a fan.
(7) For the non-dishwasher safe items in my kitchen, I use the Method dishwashing soap when available. Otherwise, Joy with Olay keeps your hands soft.
(8) The paper towel holder is by Polder. But I think the Kamenstein brand holds the paper towel better. Both are available in S&R.
(9) My handsoap dispenser is a gift from my mother-in-law. It's by simplehuman. I love it because whenever my hands are dirty, I don't have to touch the dispenser at all, and clean the bottle. Fangirl of simplehuman here. Our garbage bin (not pictured) is also by simplehuman. There are cheaper wannabes out there, but they're not as durable. Our bin is about ten years old and still perfect. Ten! Imagine that. Longer than my marriage. Hahaha!

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Monday, March 9

Spending My Saturday at an Art Gallery

How often can you say that in just one morning, you got to view the gist of Philippine history inside one gallery? I was fortunate enough to do just that. Inside the Gateway Tower in Araneta Center, there is this huge art gallery housing about 30 large-scale paintings, made by UP alumni artists. The exhibit features the sequential artwork of how the Philippines came to be as it is now. 

The project was 5 years in the making, and the exhibit is the outcome of extraordinary hard work and successful collaboration, and of course, immeasurable talent. 

Galleon Trade by Jonahmar Salvosa was one of my favorite pieces. His interpretation of the Galleon Trade is so colorful and dreamy. In Philippine history, galleons are these big ships that bring goods to and from Manila. The Galleon Trade was a means of income for the Spaniards in the Philippines. They trade silk and other Chinese goods in Mexico.

Another one of my favorites is Celebration by Romy Carlos. It depicts the fiestas, or celebrations of thanksgiving, happening all over the country. They usually are held in honor of a town's patron saint, hence the different religious characters. What I love about this painting is its composition and flow. There is an abundance of information about fiestas without being too cluttered.

Sining Saysay
The Gateway Gallery
5/F Gateway Tower Mall, Araneta Center, 
Cubao, Quezon City
(Hours: 11am - 7pm)


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