Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011!


2010 is almost over. I can’t believe how quickly it has passed by me.

I'm looking forward (and giddily excited) to more DIY projects and Food Trip Fridays!

It has been agreed upon that I can have Cezanne’s room as my makeshift art room/space. It’ll be my first DIY project for the year 2011. And I can hardly wait!
 My youngest brother already promised that he’ll help with all the drilling and hammering work. It’s a fun and great way to start the year off!

I need a bigger bookshelf to house all my books

I’m back to yoga again, finally! And I do hope it sticks this time, LOL.

my cheap yoga mat: got it on sale two years ago! ;)

Some habits to break:
As much as it’s hard for me, I’ll try to limit my salt intake. 
I’ll stop swearing and saying it out loud, I’ll just do it in writing, LOL.

New things to learn:
I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish; so hopefully, I could learn it this year.
I want to be a good driver so I can finally drive on my own.

New experiences to try:
Travel and road trips to remote and faraway places.
New cuisines to try!

I resolve to make 2011 the best year ever!

but most of all, may this year be a better year for:

encouraging more Filipinos to support local organic produce.
educating people the importance of ecological preservation.
breastfeeding awareness for healthier babies.
and more free books to be distributed for government schools.

Happy New Year, everyone!


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Sustainable Beauty: What's in your fridge?

I’ve always relied on our kitchen cupboard for skincare because it’s a no-brainer plus it’s cheap. Do you know that there are still good reasons why we should consider concocting our own skincare products? Well, at least occasionally cos it can be unhygienic.

It’s fun and can be shared with children. It’s a way of using up what’s in the fridge before heading out for the supermarket and it’s the only way where you can be absolutely certain about what you’re putting on your face and body. See? :)

Let me share with you my not so secret skincare remedies.

LEMON (or CALAMANSI)


The old remedy for scaly elbows that actually work! It has a gentle, bleaching action as the fruit acids exfoliate the stubbornly dry elbow skin.

It can be used as a natural deodorant. Squeeze out the juice, dab under armpits and let it sit for 5-10 mins. Proceed with your usual bath routine. A home remedy for dark underarms as well!

I use this as an alternative to the commercial cuticle softener.

OATMEAL


Oatmeal baths are excellent for sore, cracked skins. To avoid the feeling like you’re bathing in porridge, wrap the oatmeal in a muslin cloth, or a sock will do just as well.

Oatmeal can also be used as an exfoliant for the face. My favorite concoction is with honey. You can combine it with milk for added exfoliation. Lactic acid is also a natural exfoliant.

Tip: You can make a DIY cheesecloth (katsa) pouch. I made one from a nappy cloth.

GROUND COFFEE


Caffeine has been known to reduce the appearance of cellulite. It may not completely banish those stubborn orange peel in our thighs, but it tightens the skin making it less visible. My favorite inexpensive body scrub. I mix it with oatmeal for extra soft skin.

YOGURT


Yogurt is used as a natural face mask. It contains lactic acid which is a natural exfoliant, similar to the AHAs used in some commercial products.

OILS


There are lots of oils that act as great moisturizer. My favorites are olive and coconut.

Olive oil is a great moisturizer. I’m a bit wary of its smell though, but I love how it makes my skin uber soft! It helps minimize the appearance of stretch marks as it contains high levels of vitamin E.

Coconut oil is excellent massage oil. It helps in preventing premature ageing due to its antioxidant properties.


Cheap and honest to goodness skincare products! Try it and have fun! :)

So, have you been raiding your kitchen cupboard and fridge lately?

**all images were taken from google**

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sustainable Beauty: Human ♥Nature Recent Haul

I would be raving about my organic hauls. Don’t worry; this is not your usual beauty blog as I won’t be blabbering about beauty loots, okay, you get the picture. :P My advocacy has always been skin care and locally organic/natural products. We have lots of world class quality organic produce, all you have to do is research; it’s how I stumbled upon my HG skin care products. I’ve been an organic convert since I became pregnant with my second child. I’ve been using Human Nature products for quite some time now. And I would like to share to you guys, my favorite Human nature products.

Let me brief you first about the Human Nature advocacy.


Gandang Kalikasan, Inc., the company that brings you the Human Nature range of natural beauty products is founded on three core principles of being
 PRO-PHILIPPINES, PRO-POOR, & PRO-ENVIRONMENT. 

Seeing these three advocacies, made me support the brand more. It’s what I always used to say, it’s beautifying with a cause. You’re hitting two birds with one stone, but in this particular case; it’s more likely hitting three birds.  

Human Nature products use raw materials that can be found locally. They have a natural seal like those products sold in Healthy Options store, that way, you are guaranteed that you’re getting genuinely organic/natural goods that are best for you and the environment.  

My All Time Favorites:

Pearl Powder & Aloe Vera Strengthening Shampoo & Body Wash in Rosemary Scent

I’m not particularly keen on hair products as I’ve always paid no attention to my hair. Since I usually kept my hair in a bun or a ponytail, I am not that OC when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. My first Human nature shampoo that I bought is the Pearl Powder & Aloe Vera Strengthening Shampoo & Body Wash (Yes, you read that right, a body wash!). Now, I don’t particularly like this variant in Cucumber, it makes my hair really frizzy but when the Rosemary variant came out, I fell in love with it! Again, organic shampoos are not that good when it comes to making your hair soft and shiny, but it is good enough for making your hair squeaky clean. You just have to follow with a good hair conditioner. I like using this shampoo as a body wash whenever I ran out of soap or after a long rendezvous on the beach as it really soothes the skin. It makes a nice lather and I love the earthy herb smell. My hubby and eldest is a fan of this shampoo. True to its word, it does minimize hair loss as it strengthens the hair strands.

*Natural and biodegradable*
my HG body wash

Sunflower Beauty Oil

I’m a big fan of their multi-purpose Sunflower beauty oil! I use it as face moisturizer, make- up remover, body moisturizer and sometimes as massage oil for Cezanne whenever I ran out of BNHMS's BabyOil lotion. Talk about versatility, eh? Makes the skin soft and minimizes fine lines if used religiously. Cheap and oh so good!

Tip: Two pumps from the bottle, mix it with two caplets of vitamin E, dab to slightly damp skin.
 It made my stretch marks less visible and really does tighten my post pregnancy tummy skin. It is a great moisturizer for expectant moms out there! :)

*100% natural and biodegradable* 
my all purpose moisturizing oil

Hydrating face Toner: Moringa and Aloe Vera

I love the Moringa toner, but when I got to try this, I can say that it is way better than the original formulation. I can skip the early morning moisturizer as it doesn’t dry up my skin. It makes my skin dewy and well, moisturized. I think it’s the added aloe vera that makes it more hydrating. Contains no alcohol so it doesn’t sting.

Tip: You may skip the AM moisturizer if you have oily to combination skin.
Just make sure to apply sunscreen.

*100% natural and biodegradable*


All Natural Spray Sanitizer in Citrus Burst

I am so loving this! It has a refreshing scent. Reminiscent of dalandan (a local name for tangerine orange) and lemon combined into one. I use this as a room deodorizer, hand sanitizer and a disinfectant for Cezanne’s toys.

*100% natural and biodegradable*    

Balancing facial wash: Orange and Elemi with Bamboo Scrubs

I remember buying a milder facial scrub as I’ve read that even the mildest granulated facial wash can still worsen skin conditions. I already finished a tube of Celeteque Gentle Exfoliating facial wash and I loved it! But as you can see, although Celeteque is paraben and fragrance- free, it’s not organic/natural, so imagine my delight when I found out that Human Nature have this version of the facial wash I’ve been raving for since last month. It has the same consistency as the Celeteque Gentle Exfoliating facial wash, but has denser granules and mild peppermint scent and feel as it leaves your skin with a mild tingly feel.

Tip: Use only once to twice a week if you have sensitive skin.
 Follow with toner and moisturizer immediately if you have dry skin.

*99.85% natural and biodegradable*

There you have it! Human Nature offers a wide range of affordable and quality products. I’ve witnessed their growth as they venture into more product options. They now have a deodorant and feminine wash, even mineral MU too! I also noticed that they had already printed the expiry date on their products, unlike before. It’s very helpful as organic products expire faster than your commercial household products as it contains little or no preservative at all. You can contact your Human Nature dealer or go directly to their website to purchase. Let’s support our locally organic products!

see? :)

*If you have allergies to natural products like bee pollen or nuts, better to have the products tested first as it may result to a nasty rash or adverse skin reaction. And always store your organic loots below room temperature and away from direct sunlight.*

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Post Birthday Post

I never intended to show up on your birthday because I wanted to surprise you.
 But you know how bad I am when it comes to surprises.
 I'm so sorry if I haven't texted you the whole day of your birthday. :P 

Do you still remember how Mom would always buy us the same Christmas dress?
My favorite was the red polka dot dress with our matching white ballerina shoes.
From then on, I’ve always felt that we have a connection.


It never seizes to amaze me, how sometimes we both have the same song in our heads and that we could talk just by looking and smirking at each other.

I would always be grateful for treating Theodore as if he was your own.
 He loves you the same as much as he loves me.


I’ll always be sorry for being so mean when we’re still kids,
 that I didn’t give you a chance to be close to me that point of my life.

I’m always sorry for not letting you watch your favorite cartoon
 show Little Lulu, just so I could watch MTV.
 I’m always sorry that I’ve not been a good playmate
 just because I can’t stand playing with dolls.

I always wanted to be different, but when I’m with you, 
I’m not different anymore.


We love our rock n roll and can’t live without it even if we’re both musically impaired.
We love our red lipstick but we’re both lazy to apply it religiously.
We love to dress up and staying perpetually thin was an epic fail for us.
We love our eyeliners and we’re scared to death showing our faces without it.
I didn’t realized how we’re exactly the same until someone pointed it out.
I used to hate how we always have the same likes but then I realized we couldn’t share clothes or borrow each other’s stuff and it’ll be such a bore.

my skirt and our matching dunks ;)

Happy birthday my invisible twin, my sister and my best friend.
I love you so so dearly.

Holidazed Twenty Ten

fattening yuletide munchies 

I've always had the holiday blues. I don’t particularly like Christmas day. To me, it's just an ordinary day; with lots of food and some gift giving on the side.

My 2010 has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. I still don’t know how I was able to cope with all that has happened, and for all that, I’m grateful. 
He had to be in an incubator for 2 days cos
 according to the doctor, he has weak lungs and
 needed antibiotics for medication.

It was this year that I gave birth to my second child. I still vividly remember how scared we were during my labor, and how we fear for Cezanne’s life. I had an emergency CS operation because of the baby’s slow heartbeat. I was half awake during the operation and I could hear my OB and the nurses’ distressed conversation. I didn’t hear the baby cried when he came out and I was so dammed worried. They didn’t even take a picture of him so I thought it was that bad. He was confined in NICU and was incubated for two days. I saw him a day after giving birth. I wanted so badly to breastfeed but couldn’t because he still lay helplessly inside the incubator’s cot with all the complicated tubes attached to his small and fragile body.  Looking back, it made Pao and I closer than we were before. Cezanne’s now a healthy active baby and has never contracted any serious illness to date (crossing fingers). 

Polie playing with Kuya's NERF gun
12.26.2010

Polie with Daddy and his
organic biscuits
It was this year that I vowed to be an organic convert. I haven’t used a product with parabens for a year now. Quite expensive and time consuming because some household products are not readily available and you still need to purchase it online. But so worth it! Hubby is now also an organic convert. I love how he shows initiative in keeping a sustainable household consumption. He once bought “organic” teething biscuits for Cezanne. I couldn’t be more proud of him. 

It was this year that I’ve become more closer to the higher being. My faith is usually I kept to myself, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m still lost regarding this area of my life. But it was this year that we, hubby and I have resolved our conflicts regarding my chosen faith. And I couldn’t be happier.    

Like what I used to say, writing will always save my sanity. I’m back to blogging again this year and I’m glad that I’ve made some cyberfriends and would love to meet them some day. Hello, Judiya of exCOMMUNICADO who loves Stephen King as much as I do and Ms. Gay or the Hippie Mum as I fondly call her of Pinay Travel Junkie! :)

A family crisis, a postponed wedding, we were tested financially, emotionally and mentally and yet we were able to survive it all. I’ve come to embrace family life with deepest appreciation. I’ve become closer to friends and my parents. I’ve learned a lot from this year’s experiences, I wouldn’t say that it made me a better person but it changed the way how I percept things.

Yuletide 2010: Go Team Checkered! :)

Last month, I was so devastated that I badly wanted this year come to an end. But looking back, it made me realize that life is not all about regrets. It is how you see things in a different light. I love my 2010, the good, the bad and the ugly side of it. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

12.18.2010

T: have you been to People's Park in Tagaytay?
N: Hmmm... Not yet. Tara (come), let's go there.

-------------------------

It was Saturday, the date was December 18, 2010.
We're supposed to get married that day, on a Saturday.
It was supposed to be a beach wedding.


We initially planned to go somewhere far, where we can go either by plane or a boat ride. But I chose to be a cheapskate, I decided to have a mini getaway instead. 

Braving the fog and nasty rainfall

Our first romantic jeepney ride together :)

Tagaytay has been my "perk me up" place of all time. I told Tatay I really wanted to go to a place where I can be reminded of the good times that we had. He agreed.

The date was a surprise. He was able to get a reservation at Chateau Hestia and specifically requested a small nook in the resto away from prying eyes. I was thinking of our plans for next year, the kids and their future, the bills that we need to pay, the ever growing needs of the family. Plus I can't eat because of the expensive menu and was really contemplating whether to cry or not due to overwhelming emotions of happiness and weariness. And because I'm not wearing a waterproof mascara, I decided not to, or else I'll end up looking like a freakin' raccoon.


Then it hit me. What we have is a marriage. A partnership. 
And I realized that I've been married for almost two years now.     

Best date ever. I love you so much, Tatay!
I am the most happiest when we're together.
Ring or without ring. Paper or no paper.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sustainable Beauty: Bare Naturals BB Cream

More than a make-up junkie, I believe I'm more of a skin care junkie. I love hoarding make-up loots, will probably use it for a week, then I'm back to using baby powder again. I'm kind of lazy when it comes to applying make-up. I'm usually okay with an eyeliner, sometimes a gloss and I'm all set. But now, I can't. I need to conceal whatever needs to be concealed. 
Time consuming, I know, but I can't stop my freckles from peeking!

I'm an avid user of organic skin care products and I'm a bit paranoid over drugstore MU because I have very sensitive skin. One reason why I love to blog-hop every once in a while so I could check out what's the latest on skin care, plus, I get to see locally produced organic goodies! I stumbled upon the Bare Naturals Site, and my heart was jumping for joy when I saw that they have a BB cream- it's natural, paraben-free and has SPF30. Plus, it's reasonably priced for PHP398 (30ml). How good is that? :)

BB cream or more commonly known as the "blemish balm" cream is said to be used by patients who have undergone laser skin surgery for its soothing and skin-regenerating properties. It is widely used by Korean celebrities and make-up gurus. 

So I bought and I was able to "road test" yesterday
 and boy, was I impressed by it! :)


Barenaturals HERBAL WONDER SPF 30 21-in-1 BLEMISH BALM CREAM's

6 Functions
1. Makeup base
2. Skin moisturizer
3. Sun protection
4. Skin Lightener
5. Anti-wrinkle
6. Over-all skin brightening

5 healthy minerals
 Titanium dioxide
 Magnesium Stearate
 3 iron oxides

Ingredients:
Water, Glycol Stearate, Polydecene, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Emilsifying Wax NF, Steareth-21, Gigawhite [Glycerine, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow Extract), Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis LE, Achillea Milefolium Extract], Imazolidinyl Urea, Cyclomethicone (and camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum CassiaAsteraceae, Alpha Arbutin, Butylatedhydroxytoluene

It has no sting, no oil. It's creamy but light and enough to conceal my freckles. Nice, eh?? I've been out the whole day running errands but I still looked fresh after Polie's check-up, groceries and a late lunch out without any touch-ups.

before

after blending. voila! freckles be gone! :)

I've used this product only once so the skin lightener, anti-wrinkle and over-all skin brightening effects would have to take a backseat for the meantime as it would take several usage to see if it really "does" wonder for my skin. But we'll see. :)

Care to give it a try? You may go to: Bare Naturals Site to order one.

How about you? Are you a make-up or more of a skin care junkie?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Random Sunday: An Accidental Euphoria


Nov 15, 2010: I am watching the movie Inception today and can’t help but think what a convenient life I still have. For all that, I get to watch a good movie despite of being broke.
 Thank God for cheap DVDs! Happy Friday!

It was an entry in my journal the other last Friday. I don’t know if it was the movie that moved me or the surge of happiness that fills me. I feel genuinely blessed because despite of having just enough, we still get to enjoy simple pleasures in life.

Here are 5 circumstances that I’m thankful for being broke or having just enough:

1. I’m thankful for TIME

I’m not really good in time management, in fact, I sucked at it. It’s one reason why I can’t work in an office and do my maternal duties afterwards in a timely basis. Since I resigned from work, I was able to have all the time that I need to take care of my family, strategically planning my own version of a gourmet meal to please their impeccable taste in food choices and being a hands-on Mom to my youngest, Polie.

Cezanne and Theodore

And finishing 2-3 books in a week, writing in a weekly basis, and organizing our closet space in a daily basis which is therapeutic for me.  


I’m thankful because I have all the time I need to be a mom, a wife and an individual.

2. I’m thankful for GOOD HEALTH

We have a Pescetarian household. Our food menu consists mainly of tofu, vegetables and fish. My hubby is hypertensive and it helped lowered down his blood pressure. My eldest learned to eat his greens. We seldom get sick and our skin is glowing.

I’m thankful because I encouraged my family to eat sensibly,
 keeping them on top of their health.

a typical meal in our home

3. I’m thankful for FAMILY BONDING

Because watching in a movie house would cost us more money to spend, I decided to have weekly DVD marathons instead. It’ll be cartoon night every Friday and chic flick night every Saturday. It has been a routine that we do for 4mos now. We would eat chips, popcorn, chocolates, cheese and drink wine. We would talk, laugh and reminisce the good old times. My eldest would watch with us on a Friday cartoon night eating cheese and discussing movie synopsis with his Dad.

I’m thankful because we still get to watch a good movie, pig out on junk food and drink wine, the three of us together, talking and laughing to our hearts’ content.

Our typical Friday or Saturday night

4. I’m thankful for MOM & DAD ALONE TIME

We still go out every payday. Hubby would treat me to food joints or budget-friendly restos that we haven’t tried yet. We made it a vow to go out on dates and pretend that we’re still on our dating/courtship stage which I think, helped us to keep the fire burning after years of being together. It gave us ample quality time to talk about almost anything, from food cravings, workloads and stress, to raising our kids and personal issues we need to resolve, giving us a better understanding of how a marriage works.

Because we just love to eat together,
 I’m thankful we could still go out on dates and eat good food.

at Bag of Beans, Tagaytay

5. I’m thankful for FAMILY VALUES

At an early age, my eldest learned to improvise. Instead of asking for expensive gadgets, he opted to ask for books and art supplies. I’d like to think that in a way, I taught and encouraged him to be creative and helped in honing his artistic skills. Unlike other kids his age, he’s not into materialistic gains. He’s more mature for his age, smarter, articulate and kind-hearted.

I’m thankful that I was able to raise a wonderful kid.

Eric's early artworks at 4yo

We’re not a religious family, we seldom go to church, but we make sure to pray and ask for guidance everyday. We may have different beliefs in life, my husband and I, but I’m thankful we remained grounded in our faith and rely in God.
                                
I’m thankful we have this universal ground we call faith.


--------------------

I could never be more blessed for having just enough. Most importantly, I’m thankful for a husband whose sole purpose in life is to make life easier for me, who gave me not just financial security but emotional stability as well and I couldn't be more thankful enough.

Trick of Treat '10

I’m thankful for having a family I call my own.

Kuya, Polie and Dad

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Obviously Oblivious

Cleaning is a way of how I cope up with "too-much-to handle" situations.

I'm quite obsessed with cleaning the house. Arranging and disarranging my books and dvds, throwing out things that I don't need anymore, organizing our closet space, cleaning the kitchen counter and etcetera. I'm obsessed with cleaning because I badly hoped that it'll be that easy when it comes to dealing with real life problems. It'll be easy as sweeping or dusting off furniture, sadly it's not.

Pain and suffering are integral part of our life.

But it's not always about pain. You don't need to suffer, you need to live. You don't need to lose, you need to be open to risk. You don't impress people, you stick your neck out and be judged. It's not about suffering, but how you see things and deal with it. It's about allowing yourself to feel. It's about being real.

"Mahirap maging babae. mahirap maging kapatid, anak, asawa, ina." from my friend Jen (It’s hard to be a woman. It’s hard to be a sister, daughter, wife and mother.)

How do you cope up with tragedies when you have your own problems to worry about? 

I'm taking a step back. Distressing as it may seem, but I have to escape from it for the time being. I just hope I'm making the right decision this time.


photo credits to: funnycoloring.com