Saturday, February 28, 2009

Protecting Teens

There was some buzz lately over open parties and the violence that happens in such. A parent is sure to be tempted to arm his kid with self defense products like a pepper spray at least. But that still wouldn't be addressing the problem head on, which is, that teeners are being left on their own an awful lot.

They should be kept busy. That doesn't mean schools should pile all the more homework on them, but maybe they could pile more interesting and relevant homework for them.

But parents can also keep them busy with chores. Kids have to chip in at home because they are part of the family. That teaches them responsibility and respect, apart from reinforcing a sense of belonging with the family first (and not with just any peer group).

Parents should also keep their kids busy with family. Dining together, hanging out, doing things together as a family, having rituals and traditions... all these things will keep children occupied without feeding their insecurities and neurotic needs.

And yes, this means parents have to be home when their kids have friends over. And that parents have to be involved, to a certain degree, with their children's social life.

Teenagers seldom really need a bigger allowance and more time to have fun, but they do need more quidance and opportunities for success.

Divi Cheap Finds

One of the cheaper finds one can see in Divisoria, and this would be true whether you go to the New Divisoria Mall, the 168 Mall, or the Cluster Building is cheap lingerie.

Cotton panties are usually sold by the dozen. And then there are the brassieres with thick foams. And yes, even street sellers can be seen hawking these stuff (the bras can come as cheap as P50). But there are also stalls in the malls offering lingerie, cutesy or erotic underwear that either leave a lot, or a little, to the imagination. They come in gawdy colors and all kinds of fabric. If you want to channel your inner animal, go for leopard print panties and nyties. If you want the luxury of lace, or over-the-top feather boas, just ask. If you want expression undies and matching tees, they're also sure to have an array to choose from.

Some stalls also sell cheaper versions (not sure if they're knock offs or those that didn't pass quality control or export overruns) of popular brands.

SuperFerry Todo-Todo SailSale Promo

SuperFerry's Todo-Todo SailSale Promo is back!

Selling dates (buying period):March 1 - March 6, 2009 only
Sailing dates (travel period):March 9 - March 29, 2009

You can get to enjoy Puerto Princesa for as cheap as P588! So check for the

Friday, February 27, 2009

More Milk, Greater Weight Loss

I just read it in a magazine, a Milk ad saying that drinking milk helps in resulting in even more weight loss when you're on a diet. So aside from doing your research on diet pills that work, one should probably also make allowances (literally and figuratively) for more milk in one's diet so that the bones will be protected, and weight loss will be facilitated.

Dieters need and want every help they can get, right?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not-So-Instant Pancit Canton

Ingredients:
200 gms. of pancit canton
2-3 cups of mongo sprouts
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 kilo ground pork
some salt and pepper to taste
some oil

for the sauce:
8 tbsps of soy sauce
1-2 tbsps of sesame oil
3 pcs. calamansi (juice)
pepper
chili powder/chili oil


Procedure:
1) Season ground pork with some salt and pepper ahead of time (like 2 hours ahead of time).
2) Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucer.
3) Boil water and cook the pancit canton noodles. Season the water with some salt (I actually used a small amount of BEEF cube) and oil. When cooked, set the noodles aside.
4) In a pan or wok, boil the ground pork using some of the broth from the noodles in medium heat. Once all water has evaporated, add some oil and sautee. Add the onions.
5) Add the mongo sprouts and just keep on stirring everything.
6) After two minutes or so, add the noodles and just keep on stirring so nothing will stick on the pan. Feel free to add more oil when necessary.
7) Add the sauce and keep stirring. When everything's properly sauced, turn off the stove.

*~*

This was actually inspired by the Hongkong fried noodles I like buying from malls. Feel free to add more sesame oil, or calamansi juice, or chili. No need to use more salt and this isn't salty at all.

I guess you can also use ground beef for more taste. And other veggies to your liking. I just like the crunch of mongo sprouts and the no-fuss cooking it requires.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When Arms and Back Are Aching

Noticed arms and back are giving you a hard time lately, especially towards the latter end of the week?

Have you been requiring the services of a masseuse more and more lately?

Ever connected it to your working conditions, specifically, on your work station? See, not all computer desks are created the same. There are some that are more ergonomically designed so that there is less strain on your body while you're working. Your computer may be positioned higher than usual and you haven't noticed that you actually have to crane your neck some upwards when you're working. Or the keyboard and mouse locations may also be too high or too low which causes strain on your arms and back.

Your chair may also be contributing to the problem.

So do check your work station. You may not need a total overhaul of office furniture. Sometimes, an unused telephone directory is all that it takes to adjust an errant monitor.

Monday, February 23, 2009

CCME Homemade Foodstuff

I have heard of CCME lots of times. I may have even tried their food at a N@W party. But it was only last Saturday that I really got to understand what the fuss was about.

For 3 containers of potato salad, 3 containers of fruit salad, three containers of chicken pastel, fish fillet, and pancit sotanghon plus two containers of pork barbecue and lumpiang sariwa cost our family only around P8,000. What's more, they only charged P200 for delivery when it's a long way from QC to las Pinas!

You can also tell that the food was really just cooked before they were packed. And everyone was going gaga over the big slices of peaches and other fruits in the fruit salad.









One other great thing I heard about CCME is you can order from them at anytime of the day. And when you go visit the site, you get 3% off if you order online.

Can't Run With the Heat?

Summer seems to have come early indeed, and with it, all the inconveniences of summer heat. We're all too sweaty and feeling drained to move, which may prove to be an inspiration for some people to quit their jogging routines.

Well, if the heat is just making you feel faint, or making you tired too soon, hit the treadmill instead. I know it's not the same without your running buddies (unless you do it together in a big gym) and the scenery/sights but exercising is all the more important now.

Why?

Because it's bikini season!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spa Theater Experience

My blog post, "Family Reminiscing at a Spa Theater" won techfilipino.com's Bloggers contest so I got to join other bloggers last February 18 at Blue Water Day Spa for some foot reflexology and back massage, while watching Kung Fu Panda.

The following post is as objective as could be.

My only true complaint about the experience is getting a little lost. See, I didn't print out the map provided in the website but I did save the address. And the main landmark is a Caltex station so I shared what I have with the cab driver and trusted he'd bring me where I intended to go.

Blue Water's map should show that there are TWO Caltex stations near Greenhills Shopping center. I was dropped at the one in front when I should have been delivered at the one near the Club Filipino Road/Razon's. I kept calling the receptionist at the spa and asked for other landmarks. Being told that BDO is in front of them didn't help because there was also a BDO near the Caltex station where I was. Being told that I should be seeing the McKinley Drive sign also didn't help because I was also able to see that where I was.

It took about three calls to them and me volunteering the possibility that there could be another Caltex station along Ortigas Avenue before we were able to establish that I was at the wrong Caltex station.

The experience gave me blisters on my feet but it was a small price to pay for the lovely time we had.

The foot reflexology and back massage I got was absolutely wonderful. Had it not been free (our prize for winning the contest), it would have cost me P550 which would have been money well spent. You could say they really trained their staff well and even researched the techniques.

(and just for the record, I have pretty high standards where massage is concerned)

Blue Water Day Spa really invested in their Spa Theater, where all things foot (reflexology, foot spa, etc) happen. If not the latest Blue Ray movies, they show cable TV shows while their patrons get pampered. People can also rent the theater for P7,000 for private screenings (for events, for about 3-4 hours) and pay P21,000 if they want spa services during the screening.


it seats 28, all seats are too plush and wide
not to be inviting


they have four couples' massage/treatment rooms


the sauna in the men's and women's locker rooms
can accommodate up to 8


the best seats are the middle ones, at the center


The staff are friendly, and dressed like they're flight stewardesses.

And yes, I can't wait to go back and try their other services! And yes, I am raving because not all spas are created equal. Some focus more on the ambience without doing the massage right.

Blue Water Day Spa is probably becoming a trusted brand indeed. Some other services they offer include Tibetan Meridian Fire Therapy, Body Massage Therapies and Special Touches, Body Scrubs, facial Treatments, face and Body machine Treatments, hair Removal, Skin Rejuvenation, Spider Vein Treatments, Foot Treatments, and Hand Treatments. They also offer Spa Packages and Membership Packages.

There are branches in Greenhills, Alabang, Makati and Mother Ignacia. I think they're also building one in Tagaytay. But only Greenhills has a spa theater, I think.

*~*

Thanks to Mr. Francis Simisim for the great hospitality. I really wish his business well.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mother's Day Shopping

Nope. It's not too early to shop for Mother's Day, especially if you're on a budget and your Mom (or wife) is a little choosy.

Usual suggestions would include the following:

1) Books. Chic lit ones or a complete series (I highly recommend Calvin and Hobbes, which would cost around P5-6k I believe).

2) Spa and Salon Certificates. For pampering and maybe bonding time with her female friends.

3) Accessories. Think Fendi watches and bead necklaces or pearl earrings. Think matching pieces or just something to match the new shoes she bought.

4) Gift cheques or credit. Let her shop for a new wardrobe or complete look.

5) Lessons. Cooking & Baking. A musical instrument. Sign language. A foreign language. Arts and Crafts.

6) Gadgets. A new cellphone. A netbook. A DSLR camera.

7) Subscriptions/Hostings. Magazines (Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Baby Magazine, etc. are all good investments). Photo Gallery (I love my smugmug account!). Domain hosting (if she blogs).

8) Trip. Don't make her a stranger to her own country... or be the reason for her to see more of the world.

Just make sure to pander to what she likes (say, cooking) or what she's always dreamed of doing (say, learn to paint). Good luck. Three months isn't that long!!!

Initial Infant Layette

Here's a list of initial layette I think first-time Moms should really have, based on my own experience:

1) Mittens - the ones you can tie, because the stretchies are removed easily, at least 10-12 pairs, depending on how often you intend to change them per day. We changed our baby's between 2-4 times a day. You'd use these between two weeks to a month, after that, it is encouraged not to use them anymore so your baby can practice his hand dexterity.

2) Socks - at least 7 pairs, depending on how often you want to change your baby's socks in a day. These keep the feet warm if you don't have frogsuits.

3) Onesies - at least 10 pcs. They are hassle-free when carrying baby because the shirt doesn't ride up due to the snaps. I also used tie-side singlets (both sleeveless and sleeved) because they seemed more airy for a baby in a tropical climate. I just used bigkis as an obi belt for them. Bigkis use isn't really advised anymore too, but I find that using them sometimes (mostly during the day) helped my baby get a waist (when I wasn't using any, his belly was just round and no waist). Plus, others believe it helps with colic.

4) Hats/bonnets - 2-3 pieces will do since you'd only need it when going out with the baby or if it's cold. If you have hooded blankets, you won't require bonnets anymore.

5) Cloth diapers - even if you don't intend to use them as diapers, having around 2 dozen won't be too much. Perfect for when you carry babies and wiping spit-ups. Get another dozen (printed ones for easy identification) for wiping and drying baby's tush after diaper changes.

6) Diaper clips - if using cloth diapers that do not have built-in snaps or Velcro

7) Bigkis - if you want to use on your baby... as part of tradition or as a belt for shirts. 6 pcs should be more than enough.

8) Hooded towel - at least two

9) Hooded receiving blankets - at least 3. Perfect for night or outdoor swaddling because it also covers the head. There are thin flanel ones sold at SM Baby Company for only around P100, which are great for tropical climes, and you only really want your baby to feel snug and secure, not super warm.

10) Receiving/Swaddling blankets - at least 5 which you can use as receiving/swaddling blankets and also as sleeping blankets (both to cover bed or comforter or to cover sleeping baby). If buying flannel ones, avoid the mahimulmol (linty) ones so that your baby won't be inhaling the fiber. Buy one or two thick/heavy ones, and let the rest be thin/light ones

11) Wash/Burp cloths and Bibs - at least 10. And make sure you don't interchange use... burp cloths are used for burping/wiping spit ups and wash cloths are used for washing baby. Plain cloth ones are usually softer than towel-like fabrics. And in infants, whites are better than colored ones (general rule for all infant/baby things, easier to see stains and bugs aside from minimal risk of reactions from dyes). You use the bibs when the baby's older... And yes, cloth diapers can be used as burp cloths as well (so long as you don't use them as diapers).

12) Baby Wipes - not just for diaper changes when going out but also to wipe surfaces with, the baby's face and hands with etc

13) Rubbing Alcohol - 70% Isopropyl for disinfecting hands before carrying/touching baby, for cleaning surfaces (like public changing tables) and for cleaning baby's bellybutton; Ethyl for cleaning baby's toys and plushies (especially those that he will put in his mouth)

14) Rubber Mat - Get at least 2 and even the cheap ones will do... so you don't have to be bringing or getting yours when moving around the house, as well as remembering to pack it when going out.

15) Cotton buds and balls

16) Grooming Kit - especially the nail cutter. You can forego the tongue scraper since you can also use gauze pads wrapped around your finger

17) Thermometer - some conservatives don't like using digital ear thermometers because it's not as accurate as mercury ones. Still, it's the easiest thermometer to use. Unless you plan to be anxious per centigrade point, I suggest you invest in a good one because it really saves you from a lot of struggles with your baby.

18) Trash can with cover / Extra Pails - for diapers

19) Hamper - for babies soiled clothes, not to be mixed nor washed with adults' clothes

20) Cetaphil or Lactacyd Baby (blue) - err on the side of caution and treat your baby's skin with the gentlest soap/cleanser. When he's around 2 months or so, and doesn't seem extra sensitive, then you can use all the usual J&J products out there which are cheaper and easier to find.

21) Newborn disposable diapers - a pack or two will do since your baby might outgrow them sooner than you think. Plus, you can easily buy more.


Other nice-to-haves (items that you won't really need or want until later) include:
~ tub (but you can use a clean basin also)
~ frogsuits (for night-time sleeping and when it's cold, so your baby won't require a blanket and avoid that suffocation hazard)
~ comforter sets (so he has his own pillows and bedding)
~ crib/bassinet/stroller (better buy these last or later, after you've sort of come to a parenting style)
~ changing tables are actually more important and useful and you can be resourceful with this by using any cabinet/table of the right height (we just used two plastic chests on top of each other)
~ night light or lamp at night
~ cabinet/drawer space for his things
~ travelling bag to put his things in when you go out
~ products like oils and lotions, you'd need or should use when baby's a little older
~ slings or carriers... if you believe in babywearing or don't want the hassle of bringing strollers
~ breastpump, bottles, sterilizers and warmers (better to buy these a little later, so you'd really be more invested in breastfeeding and so you can depend your purchase choice according to your lifestyle and needs)
~ carseats are a must in other countries, as mandated by law

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What to Shop for Next?

Wondering what to shop for next?

Summer outfits, for sure! Especially now that it already feels like summer has come, be on the watch for sale announcements for thin shirts, swim suits, shades and sunscreens.

Also, expect a lot of colorful stuff. Neon green, yellow and pink will be in again. Tie-dyed shirts and sarong-like dresses will also be HOT again.

Breezy outfits, loose garments, light fabrics are also in again. Maybe even caps and hats as people are inclined to be out (and in beaches and pools).

Just don't forget to hydrate though. And when you shop, go after you've just eaten. And of course, it always helps to sightsee first (without your credit card) and just return for must-buys!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beat Dysmenorrhea with Circulan


Thankfully, I am not like some women who suffer from dysmenorrhea. I have been spared migraines, major aches and seemingly unmanageable heavy flow during menstruation.

My sister is unlucky though. My sister-in-law too. But somebody suggested to my FIL to have his daughter take Circulan daily to take care of the dysmenorrhea. And it did work for my SIL. The raging pains that would have her curled up for two or three days stopped. So I suggested that my sister take the same (after all, its supposedly just a herbal supplement for the blood). It worked for her too.

So if your daughter (or you) is suffering from dysmenorrhea, ask her (or your) OB Gyne if she can take Circulan. Maybe you can also ask friends for referrals so you can get the product at discounted prices.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fraudulent Paypal Mails

I should have known better... since I got the supposedly Paypal mail in an e-mail account I didn't use to register for my Paypal account.

But I still clicked on the Paypal link they've provided to supposedly update my billing info, lest my account gets suspended. That should have been another warning bell.

After clicking on the link, I was alerted by my PC that it was a phishing e-mail. And then my IE went bust. So what i did is immediately log onto Paypal.com to read up on fraudulent mails.

Basically, here's what you should know:

Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Emails
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At PayPal, protecting your account's security is our top priority. Recently, PayPal members have reported suspicious-looking emails and fake websites. These emails are not from PayPal and responding to them may put your account at risk. Please protect your PayPal account by paying close attention to the emails you receive and the websites you visit.

Please use the following tips to stay safe with PayPal:

Safe Log In: To log in to your PayPal account or access the PayPal website, open a new web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Netscape) and type in the following: https://www.paypal.com.ph

Greeting: Emails from PayPal will address you by your first and last name or the business name associated with your PayPal account. Fraudulent emails often include the salutation "Dear PayPal User" or "Dear PayPal Member".

Email Attachments: PayPal emails will never ask you to download an attachment or a software program. Attachments contained in fraudulent emails often contain viruses that may harm your computer or compromise your PayPal account.

Request for Personal Information: If we require information from you, we will notify you in an email and request that you enter the information only after you have safely and securely logged in to your PayPal account.

Often, fraudulent emails will request details such as your full name, account password, credit card number, bank account, PIN number, Social Security Number, or mother's maiden name.

If you think that you have received a fraudulent email (or fake website), please forward the email (or URL address) to spoof@paypal.com and then delete the email from your mailbox. Never click any links or attachments in a suspicious email.

To learn more about protecting your PayPal account, please review our Security Tips.


Yikes. I was fooled.

Anyway, I have forwarded the e-mail to Paypal and deleted cookies and temp files in my PC. And you guys have been forewarned!

Calcium and Weight Loss

If you are taking weight loss supplements to get rid of that last inch off your waist, or a lot of weight (here's hoping that you have your doctor's supervision while you're at it, of course), make sure you are eating a lot of calcium-rich food so that your bones won't suffer from all the weight loss.

Calcium-rich foods include dairy foods like yogurt (palin or fruit), Milk (low fat or nonfat, skim or whole), cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, etc.), milk shakes, eggnog and ice cream.

Other foods that contain a lot of calcium include salmon, tofu, sardines, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, okra, beans, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, sesame seeds and almonds. (Source)

And yes, calcium supplements will help as well. Just consult your physician for the recommended dose and make sure you put top priority on your health, rather than weight loss.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Selleria Manila

A Plurkmate told me about Selleria Manila, which offers home spa services for those too busy to go to the mall or spa and have to travel back home. She also said that their massages are good.

I checked their site and their rates are very affordable so do give them a try. This would be a great treat as well for those who forgot to celebrate Valentines.

Invest In Your Car

One of the things that should come with New Year's Resolution Lists... or other lists for important things to accomplish for that year is having your car checked and tuned up.

Setting an amount and saving for it the whole year should also cover replacements and maintenance of performance parts as well as oil change, tire/spare tire changes, shocks reconditioning, beautification (our car's dashboard needs a facelift), even the regular shampoo and waxing a car requires.

Investing in your car doesn't really mean expensive leather seats and high-end speakers. It simply means making sure your car is properly maintained so it can perform at peak performance. It means your safety and may even spell the difference between a long and short life.

Avoid accidents and hassles and stress. Set dates and allowance for your car.

Friday, February 13, 2009

5784 Mix Grill and Resto - Angeles City

5784 Mix Grill and Resto is a relatively new grill and resto bar in Angeles City. It's only really open at night and during lunch on Fridays. Relatively speaking, it's cheap. And the food is just superb.

The service is good too, and the ambience reminds me a little of Kinabuchs in Palawan... or those other grill/drinking places in QC.




the kitchen area in the middle of the place


the cottages where you eat


the bestseller Ceasar salad


the liempo which was really great, and very tender!


nasi goreng


To get to Brgy. Lourdes from Clark, click here (from Clark to Shell Sto. Entiero) and here (from Sto. Entiero to the Grill)

Don't Forego the Insurance

We all want to save money.

And if we're lucky enough to have some disposable income, even in these trying times of recession, then we're all probably already booking our flights and mapping out our itineraries for the summer, or at least for Holy Week. After all, seldom do we get leaves from work at the same time as our family members.

Still, in the pursuit of saving money which you hope to spend on other things, make sure not to forego travel insurance. It may be an additional P250 per person for Cebu Pacific flights but it's something you still should pay for. Err on the side of caution. And if you don't lose your luggage or get into an accident, don't feel the extra bucks were wasted. Be thankful instead that you were spared anxiety, agony, and even your life.

Monday, February 09, 2009

CLSU Dairy Products

Central Luzon State University is a lot like UP-Los BaƱos and Diliman, with a compound flled with not just the institution buildings but houses and labs and whatever else. But like UPLB, it's a very popular stop for the carabao milk-based products.

A pack of pastillas cost P40/ea. They even make malunggay-flavored pastillas which we unfortunately were not able to try. There's kesong puti, and cottage cheese is always out. But the cream cheese is great, as spread, dip or on pasta.




I think their packaging is a tad wasteful though, because each pastillas is wrapped in plastic, then paper, then plastic again. I mean, they can save more, surely, if they cut down on the plastic.






carabao milk is great!


Let's get healthier with the non-processed cheese they offer... and help out our farmers from the North.

*~*

The shop is open from 8-5 but they sometimes close shop. Just take heart and go begging though. It won't hurt you to try and they are pretty accommodating of travellers who make the effort to buy their products on their way home back to Manila.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Balai Gloria - Nueva Vizcaya

Balai Gloria is a private resort located at Washington St., Solano, Nueva Vizcaya. A good landmark to know is to turn right at the road across McDonalds along the main road (or left if you're coming from the other way).

I was unable to get more contact details but the resort should be more Google-friendly soon since when we went there, they were preparing for a party.

The pool was empty of water but the place was still reeking of charm and ambience and nature. Plus, the cottages are really cheap (with air-condition and cable TV, as well as private CR). We stayed in one that costs P800/night (that comes with two single beds). You pay P250 for every extra bed.

No two cottage is alike. And each cottage has been done in great taste, showcasing wooden furnishings and capiz trimmings. It's just really, really lovely there.

There are at least two pavilions where parties/gatherings can be held. Not sure if they have a restaurant or do catering though, because we only stayed there for the night.













So when you're driving up north, you might want to take a side trip here. It's also a great pre-nuptial photoshoot venue.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Liquids for Weight Loss

Few people do not fully appreciate the fact that liquids are the only weight loss product most people need.

Water (at least eight glasses every day, and a glass more for every ten pounds over the healthy weight, I believe) hydrates us. It's the oil that keeps our machines (systems) working. It also washes away toxins.

Soup, especially vegetable and chicken broths, eaten before meals will fill you up, and comfort your soul. It's healthy, nutritious, and doesn't really require much expense.

Milk is basically self-explanatory.

Juice, fresh fruit ones that is (or just eat the fruit!) will give you your sugar boost and antioxidants without the downside of sugar highs.

And tea. It's been proven for centuries that tea helps us keep healthy.

So, always remember, hydrate to keep fit!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cabbage for Breastfeeding Blues

And no, you don't even have to eat the cabbage.

I actually got the tip from Baby Magazine January issue, which was timely because my nephew made his Mom bleed from feeding. Basically you just put on some cabbage leaves on your breasts (used like a sort of breast pad) and it will help whatever needs healing to heal... enough even to make the next feeding tolerable.

My SIL was skeptical but since she was bleeding, she decided to give it a try. And it worked! And it's been working for her for days now, for any soreness, rawness and cuts.

So try the trick before heading out to buy expensive creams for your nips.

*~*

Cabbage is considered a natural remedy for mastitis.

Recession and Real Estate

Real estate has suffered greatly in the US because of the recession, making it the perfect time for those who have savings to invest and finally own their dream homes, while also making others homeless or more driven in debt.

They say, Philippine real estate is not far behind. Which is why, for our sakes, we should already be doing our research on how to protect whatever assets we have and masybe start investing on mortgage protection life insurance.

Let us arm ourselves with information so we can be armed with options in these trying times.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Touch and Burn

Want to burn more calories but really hate to exercise?

Why not give your beloved a massage instead, and burn calories that way?

Sure, it's not really exercise because you don't really get to a panting, gasping point where your heart rate is up when giving a massage, but it's still an activity that gets you moving. And moving is something we're all tending to neglect to do which is why we're not burning calories.

So schedule a date with your husband or partner, or even a friend. Agree to massage each other (say, I do you on Tuesdays and you do me on Thursdays). It's a great bonding activity where you can just talk in a relaxed manner, or you'd at least be guaranteed a good night's sleep each week. For partners, it can set the mood for romance, and for harried parents, it can be that one chance to reconnect each week from getting lost in all your parental and work duties.

Giving a massage may not be exercise but it will make you sweat if you do it right. Chances are, it will also help strengthen your own muscles (hopefully, tone them too!) as you do all that lifting, twisting, and kneading.

And you don't need a massage certificate before you try. You can Google tips and tricks and you can just put more pressure on the carress. After all, massage is beneficial not because of the techniques but because of the magic of touch.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Joy San Gabriel Cakes

I've been hearing the name but it was only today that I got to taste the cake. And I guess it's safe to say that Joy San Gabriel cakes are one of those that you really recommend to friends after trying it.

I got to taste a mini blueberry cheesecake and a mini choco walnut cake, giveaways from a wedding I attended yesterday. Both weren't too sweet to be enjoyed at all, and both cakes were baked fluffy and light. The cheesecake melts in your mouth and I loved the sweet ganache and walnut layer on the choco walnut cake.



Am not sure but Joy San Gabriel seems to be known for her wedding cake trees, which offer a lot of versatility to wedding hosts since they won't be tied down to just one cake flavor, and they can give away these mini cakes as reception dessert or wedding giveaway.

Do contact Ms. Joy to enJoy her cakes!

Free Yaya Seminar

Got this in my e-mail and am sure a lot of Mommies with new helpers will be interested.

=================================

The Parenting Company invites you to the launching of the I LOVE YOU, YAYA HANDBOOK , A yaya training manual by Maricel Laxa Pangilinan, Felichi Buizon and Dr. Donna Simpao.

The "I love you, Yaya Handbook" is a two-part guide containing informative articles on hiring, training, and nurturing caregivers as well as practical guidelines on first aid for children, common illnesses, developmental milestones and even fighting stress.

What's more, it comes with an audio CD containing the lectures in the handbook so yayas can listen to the trainers themselves! It's like listening to the actual "I Love You, Yaya!" seminar in your own home!

At the launch, learn from the authors themselves through our FREE YAYA SEMINAR! Get tips, useful information and sensible advice! You can also have your handbook personally signed!

Come and join us!

February 8, 2009, Sunday
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Fully Booked – High Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Speakers: Maricel Laxa Pangilinan, Felichi Buizon

March 29, 2009, Sunday
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Powerbooks – Megamall
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Speakers: Maricel Laxa Pangilinan, Dr. Donna Simpao

"For inquiries you may call tel nos. (02) 638-4156 / 994-5918" (look for Jovette Pangilinan)

Ozeano Fusion Restaurant Buffet

At P595 per head, I guess it's not really that expensive anymore (especially if you consider Sofitel's cost like P2k, I think). And the food is generally good, just not great.

The ambience, of course, is wonderful. Ozeano Fusion Restaurant has Manila Bay to thank for. And the staff are courteous, accommodating, helpful and friendly. They also seem pretty acquainted with everything they offer.

I loved their pumpkin soup. And they do serve sushis made from real fresh ingredients. The roast beef wasn't tender and I found their fish fillet in oyster sauce a tad too salty. Butthe other things I tried, I liked.

However, I still think that for an additional P100-200, one will be be gastronomically happier at Dad's buffet, there'd be more options too.







I still think this would be a great dining site for dates though, and I expect it filled come Valentines.

They also offer wedding packages, by the way. Chances are, their services would also improve when the H2O Hotel is already operational and Manila Ocean Park becomes this one-stop mecca of all things entertaining (and aquatic!)
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