Inspiring Friends

I have this friend Vangie.

I have been meaning to tell you about her for years because she has just shared so much of herself with me, through our friendship. She has taught me a lot about living here in Manila, and even more than that when it comes to entertaining with ease.

She makes a simple get together really special and has a hands on approach that makes me feel special when she invites me into her home. (Plus she is really a good cook, so I really like eating her food.) #truth

Check out this gorgeous breakfast that she put together for the girls. As luck would have it, my friend Fayth was here from NY so she got to experience Vangie’s stellar hospitality first hand.

This is a simple breakfast date where Vangie invited us over to catch up after the New Year.

This is a simple breakfast date where Vangie invited us over to catch up after the New Year.

She always sets such a beautiful table, and she makes it extra special with details. I LOVE the Mom Survival Kit! How cute is that?

She always sets such a beautiful table, and she makes it extra special with details. I LOVE the Mom Survival Kit! How cute is that?

Even her presentation of her food is done with a little extra. Mind you-she does not have any help in the house...This is how she does things all the time!

Even her presentation of her food is done with a little extra. Mind you-she does not have any help in the house…This is how she rolls ALL the time!

Lolet, Vangie, Ruby, Fayth and I after her yummy breakfast to ring in the new year. Thanks Vang for always being the hostess with the mostest!!

Lolet, Vangie, Ruby, Fayth and I after her yummy breakfast to ring in the new year. Thanks Vang for always being the hostess with the mostest!!

Even for her husband’s DIY 50th Birthday…she managed everything all by herself. I kept asking if she needed any help (because we help each other like that) and she was so calm and cool as a cucumber. She can handle it all, look beautiful while she does it, and has time to sit down with each guest and catch up with them when they arrive.

Vangie was able to sew all the runners and the little pockets for each of the settings. She created and styled the centerpieces too!

Vangie was able to sew all the runners and the little pockets for each of the settings. She created and styled the centerpieces too!

Even when it comes to skirting the tables. She has helped me for all of my parties. Whether it's the fabric that she she lends me or she pins the skirting herself...she really knows how to present the buffet in such a creative and enticing way.

Even when it comes to skirting the tables. She has helped me for all of my parties. Whether it’s the fabric that she she lends me or she pins the skirting herself…she really knows how to present the buffet in such a creative and enticing way.

But aside from that, she comes up with really great ideas. I have always wanted to try and pull off a salad bar buffet for my friends who like to eat healthy. I never knew how to do it until I saw this.

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Vangie put together the idea and had a salad bar made for this party. She filled it with ice to keep everything cold. It’s really a wonderful addition to those items that you like to keep around which make entertaining easier. So much so, that I want to borrow it for a dinner I have coming up!

In addition to the salad bar, she had a ton of other food at this particular party like a hot pasta station, freshly cooked french fries on the spot, served with German sausages and curry sauce. It was a feast for her German King :-) 

As the saying goes, “You are the company you keep.” Well, in this case it’s really a wonderful thing to have Vangie as such a good friend of mine. She continuously inspires me with innovative yet simple ways to entertain, and she looks great while she’s doing it. She’s a DIY Queen!

 

 

Oreo Polvoron

I have always loved polvoron. 

My favorite flavor when I was younger was pinipig polvoron.

This is definitely a great find. Now that I know where to get it (Carla's Bakery Supply on Sucat Road) I can go back for it anytime.

Using these crushed Oreo pieces makes this treat so much easier! I found this bag of crushed Oreos in Carla’s on Sucat Road.

I never imagined that I would one day learn to make this delicious treat…AND that it would be so easy! 

Since moving here to Manila, I have tried a couple of different recipes. Nino’s great grandma had a recipe that has been passed on through the generations which called for Star Margarine, and I have researched a few online. Even my friend Michelle, over at My Mom Friday has this yummy Cheese Polvoron recipe that she posted.

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There are lots of different sizes for the polvoron molds. I opt for a smaller one, rather than a larger one. This way the kids can have two pieces at a time if they like.

I was inspired by my friend Dottie Pasia when she gifted us a jar of home made oreo polvoron that her Yaya Lily made.  I packed them in the lunchbox for the kids earlier this week, and they were raving about it when they came home. So much so, that I asked our helper Joann to see if we couldn’t come up with something similar.

It's so much easier to buy the pre cut cellophane. No need to measure and cut! It's already done for you. Sometimes, it's worth it to pay a little bit more for the convenience.

It’s so much easier to buy the pre cut cellophane. No need to measure and cut! It’s already done for you. Sometimes, it’s worth it to pay a little bit more for the convenience.

If you have the chance to try the recipe out, do share what you think and if you were able to make any adjustments to make it even better?

Happy Polvoron Making!!

 

Oreo Polvoron
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups powdered milk
  2. 2 cups toasted all purpose flour
  3. 2 cups oreo crumbs
  4. 1 cup white sugar
  5. 1 1/4 c melted butter
Instructions
  1. Toast flour in a non stick frying pan over medium low heat.
  2. Be careful not to burn the flour.
  3. Let cool.
  4. Mix all ingredients together well.
  5. Compress using Polvoron mold.
  6. Wrap individual pieces of polvoron with pre-cut cellophane.
Notes
  1. I picked up my molds and cellophane at local bake shop Dough It All, but I'm sure you can also find these in your favorite grocery store too.
Momma 'N Manila http://www.mommanmanila.com/

On Peace, Pope Francis, and People

I was talking to one of my besties the other day, and we were chatting about the excitement in our hearts for The Holy Father’s visit to The Philippines. I was sharing with her how I could see and feel so much faith around me, while Pope Francis was here…

It was as if you could grab that contagious sense of faith and goodness right out of the air. On social media, friends, family, and friends of friends are sharing their experiences with faith, energy, and a strong sense of unity. It felt good to watch the live streaming of his different appearances, even if I was only sitting at home. I can only imagine how everyone must have felt in Pope Francis’ presence… 

I am not one of the lucky ones to have been at any of the gatherings, like hearing mass at Manila Cathedral, or his meeting the families at the arena. Nor did I line up on any of the streets where Father Papa may have passed. I did not stand in the rain to hear mass at The Quirino Grandstand either…but that doesn’t mean that I did not feel a deepened renewal of faith in God and human kind because of his visit.

We live in a day and age where I can see all the live footage of Pope Francis’ visit on tv, or even live streamed by Rappler here on my computer. I can find what’s trending on Twitter and learn from someone else’s experiences who had a close encounter with The Holy Father simply by their 140 character tweet.

My friend, Dale and I got to talking. We talked a lot about The Pope from Argentina, how he’s a Jesuit, and how we both think he’s brilliant. I shared how I think that he is doing wonderful things to bring people of all different faiths together. He has the type of compassion, acceptance, and humility that religious leaders all over the world should take their cue from. He is a LEADER in the truest sense of the word, because the truth he speaks is not just for Roman Catholics alone. It’s easy to see how his faith, his logic, and his guidance is for humanity and HUMAN KIND.

To be completely honest, I was so busy during the time he was here that I am still playing catch up by watching all the coverage, the newscasts, and the photos on Rappler.

While I was catching up on some the footage, I felt as if I needed to take these notes. I knew that Pope Francis would surely pass on more than the quotable quotes and I wanted to be sure that I had time to digest what insight the holy father would pass on…

I found this piece that summed up some of the wisdom and faith in quotes that he passed on to the people of the Philippines (and the world) while he was here.

click on the photo to be taken to the Rappler website and original piece by Pia

Photo Credit: Screen shot of Rappler article. Click on the photo to be taken to the Rappler website and original publication.

I will pull only a few quotes that I, myself, wrote down and repeated over and over again to myself so that I could fully understand the weight and meaning behind them…

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Photo Credit: Screen shot of Rappler series. Click on the photo to be taken to original piece.

“Be courageous. Don’t be frightened of crying.”

These words came in response to young, Glyzelle Iris Palomar, and her questions about children, suffering, and why God allows his children to suffer. Her questions for Our Holy Father were heavy. I had to look for the translation just to be sure I understood what it was she was really asking. I don’t know how I would answer such a question if I had to field it from my own children, because her questions are not easy to try and find answers to…

But Pope Francis fielded her question by asking the youth to not be afraid of crying…to not be afraid of showing compassion, and to not be afraid of not having the answer…

In fact he answered “…our response must be silence, or a word that is born of our tears. Be courageous, don’t be afraid to cry.”

“Certain realities of life we only see by eyes cleansed through our tears.”

Reality isn’t always pretty and life doesn’t always have a happy ending, but by allowing ourselves to cry…by empathizing with someone who is in a terrible situation we become more human. We become more like each other. In other words, I may not offer you the answer or solution to your problem, but I will sit with you and share your tears, your fears, and your hopes to come.

Remember how I have often called myself a “cry baby?” I have often shed tears (lots of them and sometimes in embarrassment) in different situations… but now, because Pope Francis says it’s ok, I can cry freely and proudly without shame or embarrassment.  I cry because I FEEL…and that’s ok.

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Photo Credit: Screen shot of Rappler series. Click on the photo to be taken to original piece.

“Women have much to tell us in today’s society. They are capable of seeing things with a different angle and a different eye.”

Early in our marriage, Nino and I had trouble figuring out how to balance one another. I remember talking to my dad quite a few different times to try and understand the differences on how Nino and I approached challenges in our lives and in our relationship. While my Dad shared his point of view on all of the situations I came to him with, I also realized that my mother had a completely different view point. Both were equally valuable. I needed both opinions, wisdom, and insight shared with me on marriage, because there is no greater gift to be passed on than lessons learned from experience…

While much of the world we live on is determined by men and the machismo that accompanies some testosterone filled board rooms and businesses, I have always valued the relationships and insight given and shared with me by my sisters. We are all in this together, Mommas! I may have only figured this out recently…but I know it NOW. When a few women get together for a good cause, we can move mountains. We can make things happen and envision a better world for our babies…for ALL BABIES.

The future or the Philippines is not just in the education of our children, it is in the caring for our WOMEN as well. 

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Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 10.25.46 AM Photo Credit: Screen shot of Rappler series. Click on the photo to be taken to original piece.

 “To be wise use three languages: think well, feel well, and do well.”

Oh….the simplicity of this quote. 

Positivity. 

I also seee this quote as “Do everything with INTEGRITY,” and it made me think of the principles and mantras I learned when I studied Reiki.

Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.

Just for today, I will not anger.

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will be kind to every living being.

Yes, Please. AND Thank You. I will do this. And I will encourage my children, family, and my students to do the same. 

I will do well for others. I will do well for my family. AND I will do well FOR MYSELF.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 10.25.46 AM Photo Credit: Screen shot of Rappler series. Click on the photo to be taken to original piece.

“We are not alone. We have many brothers who in this moment of catastrophe came to help. And we too, because of this, we feel more like brothers and sisters because we helped each other.”

AHHHHHH. The basic principle for HUMANITY that I have been trying to instill in my children and my students EVER SINCE. 

We are all in this together. As parents, as women, as sisters, as MOMMAS….AS HUMANS.

As my friend, Neva once said “KINDNESS IS UNDERRATED.” 

Let’s be kind to one another. We are all in it together. This is taught by ALL RELIGIONS, all over the world. It doesn’t matter what color, what gender, or what GOD you believe in…we are all in it together and I LOVE that Pope Francis reminds us ALL that we are brothers and sisters…

This message is NOT just for the droves of Roman Catholics who set out to see Him while He was here. This is for everyone. YES. Everyone. And I love that.

It makes me go back to what I have learned in YOGA and REIKI as well.

Namaste: I see the light in you. You see the light in me.

According to The World Bank in 2013, there are apparently 7 Billion people living on planet Earth. In the Philippines, at that same time, the population was around 98 million.  We all have different paths in this lifetime. We all have ways in which we can strengthen and deepen our own spirituality that speaks to our souls…that helps us feel whole…and even gives meaning to our lives.

Just like each and every one of the 7 billion people have different fingerprints…we each have different ways to finding our sense of purpose of why we are here, our spirituality, and our faith. We are all but one part to that WHOLE population, doing our own things, finding our own ways, and if you are like me, you are trying to change the world, a little a time, and always for the better. Pope Francis has helped me with my faith in more ways than one during his trip to the Philippines, and I am thankful for that.

Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines reinforced a faith that I have always had, he deepened my spirituality and I’m sure he had that same effect on many other Filipinos who had the chance to hear his words and take them to heart like I did.

Because I had the privilege to follow his visit, I know that  I can continue to foster positivity, inclusion, and change in my little part of the world by way of writing, the example I set, and the relationships I value. I will continue to look for inspiration amongst my friends, my children, and my students…knowing fully well that there is a little bit of GOD and His light in all of us.  

Thank you Pope Francis. 

 Photo Credits for the piece were taken off the Rappler website.

Goals for 2015

I feel like every year is going faster and faster. 

I never imagined it to be that way. In fact, when my dad said all those years ago “The years will go by faster and faster. Soon you will blink and Gia will be a young lady going off to college.”

Thanks Dad. You did it again.

Way back when...I think this was around 1994 or 1995.

Way back when…I think this was around 1994 or 1995.

I blinked. Gia is not yet off to college, so I still have some time before I will be writing about that, but it has gone by very fast. Without thinking too hard, I sat down to write this post and I wanted to come up with some goals for 2015. These are some short term goals, off the top of my head…without putting too much thought into just as I’m sitting here typing…

1. I want to change up the blog. I feel like I need to focus more on what I enjoy doing, and what really interests me. I would like to create a little tab for Gia, because she also mentioned that she would like to write and contribute (or maybe even start her own blog) since we do so many things together.

Gia and I enjoy doing so many things together. I'm so happy she has expressed a desire to write and share a little about herself as well.

Gia and I enjoy doing so many things together. I’m so happy she has expressed a desire to write and share a little about herself as well.

2. I want to study a language. Maybe I will revisit French, like my good friend Jen, since I studied that in high school, or maybe I will bite the bullet and work with a tutor for Tagalog already too. (I promise to work on my accent. Promise talaga.)

3. I want to take singing lessons. Yes. I do. No judgement. Ok?

4. I want to learn how to make a souffle. It doesn’t matter if it’s sweet or savory…I want to try and I want to succeed. Once I can make it for myself, I will try and serve it to my friends too. Maybe I can try this out in The Viking Range PH Kitchen. Actually, I want to just up the level of the food I prepare. When I say “level up” I want to cook and bake healthier, learn new techniques…maybe even go to school to learn more…be more…and do more in the kitchen.

Photo Credit: Viking Range Philippines FB page

Photo Credit: Viking Range Philippines FB page

5. I want to visit a new festival here in the Philippines. A few years back, I promised myself that I would visit one festival a year so I could see all the different places with my family. I want my children to know and learn about each of these places too. So far we have visited Marinduque for the Moriones Festival, and Quezon for the Pahiyas Festival.

Throw back to when the kids were only three. Gellibean was in my tummy during this trip.

Gasan, Marinduque. April 2011

6. I want to practice my Tagalog more. So that means, if you see me and are patient, strike up a conversation in Tagalog. Be prepared to laugh. But laugh with me…not at me, okay?

7. I want to learn a new technique in Bento Boxing and packing lunches for my kids. I want to share that technique with others as well.

8. I want to take a trip with Nino. Just the two of us. We haven’t done that since our 10 year anniversary. It’s so important to invest time in your relationship with your husband. Connecting with each other outside of being a Mom and a Dad is just as important as the parenting stuff. It’s something we learned when we attended the Marriage Encounter Weekend Seminar all those years ago. We picked up some really great tips on how to be better to one another.

Abaca. August 2008.

Abaca. August 2008.

9. I want to contribute at least one more piece per month to other publications. These can be parenting magazines or news organizations online or in print. 

10. I want to work on my handstand. Calling on my teachers in Bikram! I will be back. I promise myself a more committed practice. And yes, I will be a better student. I will not just attend the challenge and then see everyone again in 6 months for the NEXT challenge. This is the hard part for me. I love getting back into the hot room after a long hiatus, BUT I am not so consistent with my practice. 

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Jivamukti Retreat with Cat Douglas. The Farm. March 2011

11. I just want to be healthier. I want to make better choices not just for myself but for my kids. I try my best not to judge or be hard on myself when I’m so darn tired, but I think part of the reason why I’m so tired is not only my diet, but spreading myself too thin. I will work on staying focused. This will be good all around…for everyone…

12.  I want to take better care of myself and my skin. This means I don’t want to carry around the guilt that I have felt in the past when I spend for myself. I’m not getting any younger and I can feel and see the affects of maturing…(notice I did not say getting old!) hahahaha.

13. I want to give my kids more hugs. As I was sitting here writing my draft, Gia came in and wrote a goal for me. This one is it. I guess she thinks I don’t hug enough. I will make it my business to hug a LOT more!

Discovery Shores. December 2010

Discovery Shores. December 2010

What are your goals for this year? Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Remember…no goal is too small or too big. I have only highlighted some of the things I want to work on this year :-) Hope you can share some of yours!

Make Up by Tina

I am a mom on the go. Putting on make up for me usually means I’m doing it in the car on the way to my destination. While there are many things I make sure I do for my beauty regimen, one thing I am sure of, is that they have to be easy.

Tin explaining to us that we don't have to spend a lot on make up.

Tin explaining to us that we don’t have to spend a lot on make up.

But I have to admit. I love what make up can do. As I have gotten a little bit older, I am slowly starting to see the affects of all the sun worshiping I did when I was younger. Truth be told, when I was younger I would use baby oil instead of sunscreen. (OUCH!) I have lots of freckles (Don’t get me wrong. I LIKE my freckles.) I have a few noticeable wrinkles…and I’m not quite sure why but I have noticed that my pores have gotten much larger than they were before. (Does that automatically happen as we get older?)

Learning how to put on falsies can totally change the look of what ever your make up is for the day.

Learning how to put on falsies can totally change the look of what ever your make up is for the day.

Now, in my perfect world, I would have a professional make up artist applying my make up every morning and a hair stylist blowing my hair out as well. As luck would have it, I don’t live in that world of perfection where I have stylists living in my closet with my husband’s valet from Downtown Abbey. (What was the valet’s name again?)

Even something as simple as an eyebrow pencil can change your look. But take note...no razor needed for this okay?

Even something as simple as an eyebrow pencil can change your look. But take note…no razor needed for this okay?

So, instead…I take make up classes. I enroll in all kinds of make up classes and have just recently started watching short make up tutorials on Instagram. I also pick my friends’ brains who are professional make up artists as well…Like recently I was talking to my friend Eliza about what all the fuss is about with my eyebrows and why every make up artist I have gone to wants to mess with my kilay. (Please…for make up artists that I will work with in the future…Take NOTE: I like my eyebrows full and bushy and untouched. You may pencil and clean up, but do not shave off parts of my kilay. TYVM.)

Truth:  I haven't used primer since this day.  But I think it's worth the investment to apply...

Truth: I haven’t used primer since this day. But I think it’s worth the investment to apply…

Awhile back I was able to take a make up class with my daughter (who is already at that make up wearing age) with some blogger friends of mine :-) My friend Patty facilitated the make up class offered by Tina Henson Ngkaion, and we were really comfy as a small group. Helene Ging, Patty, Joei and I (plus Gia) learned about new (to me) make up products, and techniques to help us apply said make up with ease.

After primer-we applied pore minimizer. I thought this was a product I should invest in, so I asked my BFF to pick me up a tube when she came this past New Year's.

After primer-we applied pore minimizer. I thought this was a product I should invest in, so I asked my BFF to pick me up a tube when she came this past New Year’s.

So Tina is a make up artist here in the south and she not only offers lessons for Mommas like me who are always looking to learn new things, but she also offers her services of hair and make up for those of you who need assistance getting beautified for your special occasions. 

Matching your foundation is important...and in my case it is also important to tell your make up artist that you are acidic... I'm upset with myself that I didn't fix all the tops on the bottles. Looking at this pic makes me feel a little O.C.

Matching your foundation is important…and in my case it is also important to tell your make up artist that you are acidic…BTW I’m upset with myself that I didn’t fix all the tops on the bottles. Looking at this pic makes me feel a little O.C.

One of the things that Tyn said as we opened up our session was this:  “You don’t have to spend a lot of money on all your make up products.” For this mother of four that was practical advice that was music to my ears. She did however say, “Make sure you spend on quality products that are important.” ( I took that to mean moisturisers, foundation, and powder.)

Using this loose powder can help keep your eyes clean. Apply under your eyes so that you can brush away any eyeshadow that might have fallen during application.

Using this loose powder can help keep your eyes clean. Apply under your eyes so that you can brush away any eyeshadow that might have fallen during application.

Things that I took home on this day?

  • If you are acidic (I AM!!) then you need to choose a foundation that is one or two shades lighter than your skin tone. (Can you say lightbulb moment?)
  • When you are testing your foundation, you should apply it on your jaw line for matching.
  • There are lots of ways to correct imperfections in your flawed skin (I have many flaws. I’m 40.) Orange is for dark circles Green is for redness. AND Yellow is for hiding veins. Check out Helene’s helpful and informative post that has a picture of the corrector palette Tin shared with us.
  • At 40, I now know that I need a pore corrector. 
  • I can use simple tools (like scotch tape) to make it easier on myself when completing my eyeshadow look.
  • Don’t put moisturizer with SPF at night. It gives this whitish glow when you are seen in pictures.
So you end up looking something like this because you have it all under your eye. Thanks Patty for being my model ;-)

So you end up looking something like this because you have it all under your eye. Thanks Patty for being my model ;-)

I asked Tyn how long she takes to put on make up on a normal day. Normally, she takes about 1/2 an hour to apply make up before she is ready to walk out the door. I need something a little quicker…I need my make up to be ready to walk out the door in half that time, and usually it’s with a wet head. I will continue to be on the lookout for tips and tricks to applying every day make up and then learning new techniques for those evenings out with the hubby when I would like a little more polished look. 

Another trick you can use is scotch tape. I thought it was a great way to keep the eyes even! I never though of this!

Another trick you can use is scotch tape. I thought it was a great way to keep the eyes even! I never though of this!

 Truth be told, I really don’t spend a lot on make up. I started cutting back on this when I realized I just didn’t have the time, and I was throwing make up out after some time that I hadn’t even used. (Yes. Make up has an expiration date.) But because I have learned a bit about how to have a more even and polished look, I might begin investing just a little more on these fun products, yet again. I’m not getting any younger and I believe applying make up in the proper way can only enhance what’s already there for me. Plus…now that Gia is make up wearing age, we can do these things together.

I loved this whole afternoon...it was girly with make up, snacks, and conversation. Plus my best girl was with me by my side.

I loved this whole afternoon…it was girly with make up, snacks, and conversation. Plus my best girl was with me by my side.

I was even able to use some of the techniques that Tina taught us over the holidays…it felt fun to experiment with new products and a new way to play and be creative. Thanks Tina for sharing some great tips and tricks with me and Gia. I hope to go make up shopping with you really soon! 

My before and after :-) We started mid afternoon and because we were having so much fun, we finished up when it was dark na! We ended up eating dinner together!

My before and after :-) We started mid afternoon and because we were having so much fun, we finished up when it was dark na! We ended up eating dinner together!

Even Gia’s look was done perfectly for her…she’s still quite young, so she doesn’t need too much color…but I do think she had fun with the mommies :-) Come to think of it, maybe she can do this as an activity with her friends…

Gia did a great job of applying her natural look...perfect for her age.

Gia did a great job of applying her natural look…perfect for her age.

If you would like to contact Tina Henson Ngkaion for make up tutorials or for your special occasions you can reach through social media, phone and through email.

Make Up by Tina

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tinangkaionmakeup

Twitter: @its_tyn 

Instagram: @itstyn

Email:  tinangkaion.mua@gmail.com

Cell: 09209728462 or 09177246576

2014 The Year in Review

I am not quite sure if I can sum up a year in one post. At first I was thinking to go through each month of the year and share each of the significant moments that were important to me and my family. Then that would make the post quite long and maybe not so easy to read. As with everything in my life and motherhood, I want it to be easy but natural…so after talking with my sister who has been visiting since before Christmas she suggested I write about each quarter.

This seemed manageable.

Actually, I spent a couple of days away with my sisters and my niece this past weekend and it got me to thinking about so many things. Being with everyone is both inspiring and yet challenging at the same time. When you love someone so fiercely, it’s easy to slip into this idea that they should listen to your ideas (of course for their own good), but loving that fiercely also means that you have to be very careful of their feelings and the healing process…but I jump ahead in the year summation so let me revisit the first quarter of 2014 before I jump to the present.

2014 began with Nino’s family visiting from NY. My world really does revolve around family and it always has. I shared this many years ago when Nino and I were dating. I had said way back then, if I can’t share it with my family…then it’s like it hasn’t happened at all. In February, I attended a debut that caused me to pause. This is the first debut I was invited to while living in Manila, and it was significant in more ways than one. Camille has Down Syndrome, and I am lucky to call her mother Lolet, a good friend. Camille’s celebration and coming out was bittersweet for me, and made me realize what a warrior my friend was. I am lucky to have a friend like her in the Special Needs Community. 

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Camille’s Debut was a wonderful celebration of a young lady who loves to sing and connects through music. Thank you Camille for inviting us to celebrate with you!

As many of you know, February is also Down Syndrome Consciousness Month here in the Philippines so, we of course attended The Happy Walk which brings awareness to our cause.

Team Gellibean continues to grow in love and support each year for the Happy Walk.

Team Gellibean continues to grow in love and support each year for the Happy Walk.

 In March, Gia and I participated in our first fashion show together as a team. This was a wonderful experience for both of us in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Gia and I had a great time modeling for Guess! We were so happy that Jeanette and Issa asked us to be part of the first Mother/Daughter fashion show in ATC! (Photo Credit: Chic Driven FB page)

Gia and I had a great time modeling for Guess! We were so happy that Jeanette and Issa asked us to be part of the first Mother/Daughter fashion show in ATC! (Photo Credit: Chic Driven FB page)

In the second quarter of the year, I met some challenges. In this online community, I have tried my best to cultivate healthy and positive relationships with other parents, women, and people who love others with special needs. I am aware of the energy and the information that I put out there that can have an affect on others. Early in the second quarter I became frustrated with an ex-government official who consistently offends people across the board. I realize that I can choose who I pay attention to in this life…I realize that I do not have to subscribe or even follow someone on twitter if he does not care for the common good…I realize that sometimes, it’s easier to click the UNFOLLOW button. 

You may not love someone who has an intellectual disability, but that doesn't mean that you can't be sensitive to the fact that words HURT.

You may not love someone who has an intellectual disability, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be sensitive to the fact that words HURT. #EndTheRWord

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Jen Tan, of Attached at the Hip, and I attending the #SeaChiYogaRetreat.

But because y’all know me, I would like to remember the positive events that took place in this quarter, like:  donating my hair to children with cancer, going on a yoga retreat with Jen Tan that was not only invigorating but allowed me to recharge, supporting DSAPI by enjoying great food and learning more about my natural gifts. 

The staff of Mango Tree was extremely supportive and patient with all of the girls as they learned their jobs for the day.

The staff of Mango Tree was extremely supportive and patient with all of the girls as they learned their jobs for the day.

This quarter also marked the beginning of Gellibean’s modeling career. Green Blooded Tees chose Gelli and Diego as  two of their models for the launch of their kids line. I was just over the moon that she was chosen…and she was a NATURAL in front of the camera! (Go figure!)

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June was the month that marked the beginning of Gelli’s educational career. This may not seem like it’s a big deal because well…nursery school is nursery school…but it is huge for us, and has turned out great for Gellibean. The Little Apprentice is not a special school, in fact, Gelli is the only child with special needs in her classroom and it is working out perfectly. Gellibean is happy, Mommy is happy, and Teacher Boom said that Gelli is progressing and doing just fine at this level. Remember that at this level, the kids all need to learn how to socialize with one another, how to run, and jump, and hold a crayon or a pencil, and how to identify colors, shapes, and letters. 

When her classmates arrived, they started the routine of the day. First activity: Circle Time!

Gelli is having a grand time at The Little Apprentice. I love watching her grow through Teacher Boom’s guidance.

I was also asked to represent Pharmaton as one of their Life Chargers. This was a huge honor for me to represent the brand, share myself, and share my advocacies. Both Best Buddies and DSAPI are important in enriching my daughter’s life and making it easier for her, here in Manila. Pharmaton makes my life easier and keeps me healthy, while sharing my advocacies for Gelli makes the the world a better place for her and for other kids like her as well. 

Photo Credit: http://www.kumagcow.com/2014/08/inspirations-meet-pharmaton-life.html

By incorporating Pharmaton into my morning routine, I am able to keep up the busy schedule that is required of me while raising four kids. At the launch with other LIFE CHARGERS, Maxie Abad, Anthony Suntay, Chef Rob Pengson, and Hindy Weber Tantoco. Photo Credit: http://www.kumagcow.com

I also had the opportunity to share the “Gift of Yoga” with Best Buddies. My kids and I facilitated a class where almost 15 sets of Buddy pairs played, laughed, learned, and connected the YogaKids way.

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Facilitating a class for Best Buddies kids and adults is made easier through our generous sponsors like Yoga + in Makati and Juju Eats. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible.

The third quarter also marked the entrance of Best Buddies into De La Salle Zobel. Together, with Brother Bernie, the Safe School program, and the entire student body we took the pledge to #EndTheRWord and our chapter was established with 28 sign ups from The Peer Counselors Club. (And to think…I would have been happy with 5 students!!!) 

Anj, Lolet, Karrots and myself with the Guidance Team who put the SAFE program together.

Anj, Lolet, Karrots and myself with the Guidance Team who put the SAFE program together.

This last quarter of the year has been every bit as busy and filled with learning experiences as the earlier parts of 2014. I drove from Batangas to Fort and won the Shell Fuel Save Driving Challenge as an early birthday gift with my driving partner Sarah Tirona of Fashion Eggplant.

Taking home First Place was a huge accomplishment for this team! Go Renegade Moms!

Taking home First Place was a huge accomplishment for this team! Go Renegade Moms!

I was able to share a bit of my talents with the SoMoms during our Halloween party at Hotel Kimberly in Tagaytay. This was a great bonding experience for me and Gia to do together and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help from some very special people. Thank you Tina, Cai, Maricel, Vangie, and Rowena!

Here is what we came up with using the above peg for our inspiration.

Putting this dessert  table together was so much fun, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of my friends.

My family has also experienced some heart aches and challenging situations this year. I know I cannot carry their problems for them, rather I can be there be there to support and of course lend an ear if needed. One thing I learned because of this unfortunate situation is that it doesn’t matter how much you love someone…sometimes they just have their own path and their own process that they need to go through.

As much as I wish I could help, sometimes we have to let those we love most

As much as I wish I could help, sometimes we have to let those we love most make their mistakes on their own. Instead, I can offer support from the sidelines.

I have also been given the opportunity to work with a brand that I have always wanted to outfit my dream kitchen with. Viking Range Philippines has asked me to represent them as their brand ambassador. This really was a no brainer for me…Viking is American made. The Viking Range is of the highest quality and owning a Viking Range can only up the level at which I cook and create meals for my family. In fact, all of the Viking appliances fit my lifestyle because they offer a level of safety and ease necessary in managing my home with four kids. I’m so excited for the year ahead with this benchmark brand for kitchen appliances!

I'm so excited to share Viking with all of you.

I am so excited for 2015. I know that there will be a great many experiences from which I will learn and hopefully share with all of you. Here’s to celebrating the year that was, and all the beauty that they new year has to offer! 

 

Entertaining for the Holidays

Earlier last month I was asked to give a short talk on entertaining for the holidays. 

I seized the opportunity to make some new friends, enjoy the company of some “old” friends, and an opportunity to enjoy The Sage Grill in Makati Shangrila Hotel.

Makati Shangrila has always held a an important place in my growth and history here in The Philippines, but I will leave that for another post, and another story.

When entertaining guests, I have always loved creating details for my guests to enjoy.

When entertaining guests, I have always loved creating details for my guests to enjoy.

At any rate, I wanted to share some of the tips I shared with some of the lovely ladies who were in attendance at the exclusive Business World Ladies Who Lunch Special Holiday Gathering because I’m sure that if you are new to entertaining you might find them helpful as well.

1.  Create Your Guest List

  • Decide on who you would like to invite. (Family? High School Barkada? Co-Parents at school? Officemates?)
  • Decide on the theme of your party. (Trim the Tree? Pot Luck? Cookie Swap? White Elephant?)
  • Send an invite. Remember, it doesn’t have to be formal. It just should give your guests an idea of what to expect, when to arrive, and if they should come prepared with anything.
When inviting my friends for my annual Cookie Swap, I am sure to invite friends who really enjoy baking so they don't get stressed out with the amount of cookies that we have to make.

When inviting my friends for my annual Cookie Swap, I am sure to invite friends who really enjoy baking so they don’t get stressed out with the amount of cookies that we have to make.

2. Plan your Menu and Details

  • Think of the dishes you would like to make, order, or request the help to prepare. Don’t try to do it all. 
  • Look to social media and other websites to help you in your planning and finding inspiration.
  • Consider center pieces for your table, decorations, and linens
Creating a menu with easy but delicious dishes keeps your stress factor low. I make this pesto often and keep little tubs of it in the freezer for even the surprise guests that might come over during the holidays.

Creating a menu with easy but delicious dishes keeps your stress factor low. I make this pesto often and keep little tubs of it in the freezer for even the surprise guests that might come over during the holidays.

3. Create a play list

  • Use your apps to help you create a play list that is fun, festive and will keep the party going long after your first guest arrives.
One of the details that I enjoy putting together for the table is fresh flowers. It just says that you put extra special effort into entertaining your guests.

One of the details that I enjoy putting together for the table is fresh flowers. It just says that you put extra special effort into entertaining your guests.

4. Set the Stage

  • Bring all those details together to make sure that your guests enjoy themselves when they enter your home. The environment should be warm and welcoming.
  • Have the table set, the candles lit, and the comforting smells of Christmas wafting through the air.
But I don't always use fresh flowers...especially if everything I'm making is from my kitchen. I choose to focus on details but I also do not want to be overwhelmed.

But I don’t always use fresh flowers…especially if everything I’m making is from my kitchen. I choose to focus on details but I also do not want to be overwhelmed.

5. Set out the appetizers

  • When your guests arrrive, chances are they had to brave the traffic to get to your home. Set out a plate of appetizers and snacks as well as a big batch of drinks ready to be poured.
Aside from preparing appetizers, you can create a dessert buffet which is something that your guests will look forward to as well. This dessert buffet was a collaboration by my friend Vangie, Gelli's Ninang - Dianna, Joanna from Cuppy Puppy, and myself.

Aside from preparing appetizers, you can create a dessert buffet which is something that your guests will look forward to as well. This dessert buffet was a collaboration by my friend Vangie, Gelli’s Ninang – Dianna, Joanna from Cuppy Puppy, and myself.

6. Brief the help

  • No matter whether you hired a caterer to take care of the details, or you have your house helpers assisting as you do it all yourself, make sure everyone knows what is expected of them.
  • Assign someone to replenish the appetizers or buffet and someone to refresh the powder room every hour.
Creating a theme and mood that you can carry all through out your home that is inviting and welcoming is not very hard. Using what you have at home and combining that with inexpensive additions make take a little bit more effort and time, but the results can be appreciated by all.

Creating a theme and mood that you can carry all through out your home that is inviting and welcoming is not very hard. Using what you have at home and combining that with inexpensive additions make take a little bit more effort and time, but the results can be appreciated by all.

7. Welcome Brigade

  • When your guests arrive, give them a quick tour of the house so that they can help themselves as other guests arrive.
  • Point out where the snacks are, if the boys are listening to music in the den, and where the lavatory is located. This way they do not have to interrupt and ask later.

 

 

Getting ready for my interstellar friends… #mommanmanila #MnMChristmas

A photo posted by Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) on

8. Try something NEW

  • Be sure to change up one detail of your event to make it memorable to your guests.
  • Whether you decide to make a special dish that is not traditionally served on the holidays, or a theme, or even a game, it will end up being a hit for those who haven’t experienced or tried it before.
Trying to make a new dish for your guests is a great idea. But it's also good to stick to the recipes that are family favorites, like this sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving!

Trying to make a new dish for your guests is a great idea. But it’s also good to stick to the recipes that are family favorites, like this sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving!

9. Take 5

  • Everyone loves a hostess who is relaxed, calm and sure of herself. 
  • Make time to have a mani-pedi or a massage to pamper yourself before the party so that you can welcome them into your home at your best.
Finding your groove in entertaining can make things easier on everyone. Figuring out what works for you can sometimes be a matter of trial and error.

Finding your groove in entertaining can make things easier on everyone. Figuring out what works for you can sometimes be a matter of trial and error.

10. KEEP CALM AND PARTY ON

  •  Most of all, “Never let ‘em see you sweat.” In other words, don’t worry if everything didn’t come together as you planned, because no one will even know the difference. Simply go with the flow and enjoy your company and the season of celebrating in gratitude.

5 Reasons why I love The Little Apprentice Preschool

Choosing the perfect preschool for your child is no easy feat. As an educator, I know how important the formative years are, and I also know that with the amount of pressure our children are subject through out their educational careers, we need to make sure our kids get exactly the right start to learning and growing into what will be their most important job as kids…

I have always told my big kids that the only job they have to be really good at is being a student. (Uhm. I’m repeating the words of my father again, there.) I have encouraged good study habits, stayed up long hours fostering these habits, and hope to be able to say that I have encouraged my kids to be critical thinkers. 

BUT…we are talking about PRESCHOOL here, and preschool should be nothing but fun! It should be singing, and dancing, and running, and reading, and clapping, and FUN. Learning through play was always the most important criteria for choosing a preschool for ALL of my children. 

When we moved to Manila 8 years ago, I realized that many parents sent their lil’s to school much earlier than I am used to. In fact, Gia’s first experience in school was at the ripe old age of 4, just like her brothers. When we first moved I entertained the idea of sending Diego to preschool a little earlier, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. 

Funny thing is-Nino’s good friend Melissa owned a preschool in the area that we wanted to live in. While there was (and still is) a TON of preschools to choose from when we moved, we obviously leaned towards one where there was a personal connection to as well. Melissa was super patient with my long list of questions that I emailed Nino when I was still in NY buttoning up our affairs with the selling of our house and our tidying up our responsibilities.

I asked about the reading program. I asked about manipulatives. I asked everything a teacher (with teacher friends) would ask to help us make the right decision for our little boy. But, I did not make the decision to enroll Diego all those years until I visited the preschool for myself.

1. The History

The Little Apprentice opened with five partners way back in 2003. This same group of ladies opened a preschool even before that which is still in existence today. So, if you calculate the years that they have been molding minds, we should start with their first school (Child) which opened in 1999.

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These teachers are the same teachers who taught Miguel when we first arrived in Manila, and Diego after Miguel moved on to “big school.” I have a history with this school and they know my family. The level of caring and concern that comes along with that personal history cannot be compared.

 

As a teacher, I will always value the education that I received when I was handed my degree, however, I know that there is nothing that compares to the practical life experience of doing something you love for this long. The teachers LOVE what they are doing…and it shows. It shows in the patience that is afforded my daughter when she is having a bad day and doesn’t want to let Teacher Boom go from her embrace, and it shows every time there is a program put together for the parents to enjoy.

2. The Playground

Not many schools here have a covered playground complete with sandboxes, water tables, jungle gyms, and toy cars. These are all important when educating little ones, because you are not just facilitating social skills, and learning through play, you are helping each child reach the gross motor milestones of jumping, climbing, skipping, hopping and pedaling. 

One of the things I love most about TLA is their outdoor playground. Not many preschools in Manila have one...

One of the things I love most about TLA is their outdoor playground. Not many preschools in Manila have one…

Preschool should be a sensory experience. The kids who attend TLA have an outdoor playground that stimulates all of their senses. This is what we want for our 3 and 4 year olds!

On her second day at preschool, I remembered how they played and dressed her accordingly...time to do a little shopping for the school girl! Stretchy pants and sneakers a must!! (especially if your girl likes to do splits like Gelli.)

The sandbox is one of Gelli’s favorite places to play in on the playground.

3. The Friendship

Yes.

Kids need friends.

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And so do Mommas!

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Gelli with another friend while we were riding the jeepney around Filicity!

As our children move from independent play (side by side playing but not necessarily playing together) to playing together, we can see that many of our kids have developed a preference for one or two friends. In Gelli’s case, she always asks for Maddy…and it warms my heart when she does.

But even more than that…I have become friendly with the other parents whose children attend the same class that Gellibean does simply because we see each other all the time. We have a viber group where Teacher Boom lets us know any important information that the forgetful Mommas (like me) might have overlooked. One thing I can see is how each Momma is willing to help the other from something as simple as putting together the kids’ holiday costumes for the Christmas program or in planning something special for Teacher’s Day as well.

4. The Field Trips

Learning takes place every day…every where…in every way…

TLA plans fantastic learning experiences OUTSIDE the classroom for the kiddos and I love this.

So far, Gelli has been on three field trips this year.

We visited her classmate’s house and learned about our Family.

One of Gelli's classmates hosted our first field trip in her home. Gelli had a blast!

One of Gelli’s classmates hosted our first field trip in her home. Gelli had a blast!

We went to Jamba Juice and learned about Healthy Eating.

Gelli donned an apron and hat as if she was part of the Jamba Juice team behind the counter!

Gelli donned an apron and hat as if she was part of the Jamba Juice team behind the counter!

She chose her own healthy fruits to add to her shake which she thoroughly enjoyed.

She chose her own healthy fruits to add to her shake which she thoroughly enjoyed.

We rode a jeepney and a tricycle and learned about different modes of transportation. 

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Despite the crummy weather the kids all had a great time riding the jeepney which gave us a ride all around Filicity :-)

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Gelli loved the fresh air while riding the tricycle. She enjoyed herself so much she was protesting when it was time to stop and get off!

5. The Bulletin Board

This was a valuable resource in the beginning of the year.

This was a valuable resource in the beginning of the year because I’m so terrible with names!

Need Healthy Snack Ideas? I do!

Need Healthy Snack Ideas? I do!

I think it's super important to have a wall like this to communicate anything you want the parents to know. I can take a quick gander and catch up on what's happening in school this way.

I think it’s super important to have a wall like this to communicate anything you want the parents to know. I can take a quick gander and catch up on what’s happening in school this way.

Every classroom has a bulletin board for the kids. The kids can see pics of themselves, their teachers, letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. But the bulletin board OUTSIDE the classrooms is for us :-) It’s a great resource for busy mommas like me who like to look at things for quick ideas, information, and for what to expect in the coming month’s theme for the classroom.

When I think back to all of my big kids and their preschool experiences, it was just as exciting for me as it was for them. Choosing the right school for my kiddos was an important start for their educational careers. Initially, when I started thinking about where to send Gellibean, I was wondering if I should send her to a “special” school. I am so glad that I went with my gut and decided to enroll her in TLA. When the kids are learning at this level, there’s no need for extra special attention since everyone is learning the same way…

By choosing a school that facilitates learning through play, I know that Gelli will continue to enjoy herself and her friends as she reaches the goals we have set for her with her therapists. It’s through the love and support of her family, friends, and teachers that she can explore the world and reach her full potential.

 

 

www.thelittleapprenticepreschool.com 

The Little Apprentice on Facebook

The Little Apprentice on Instagram

 

 

Gift Guide: So True Naturals plus a Giveaway

I love giving gifts that are handmade. I always appreciate the handmade gifts just a little more (of course I’m grateful for all gifts and presents) simply because I know a little more effort goes into the hand made gifts than the store bought. 

I have been a big fan of So True Naturals ever since I met Mia more than a year ago. I value the work and dedication that she put into her small business which grew out of the love for her children. I have been lucky enough to be able to nurture a wonderful friendship with her and we have spent quite a few afternoons, laughing, eating, and sharing parts of ourselves over delicious food and drink, as moms often do.

I have seen Mia’s small business grow into a company which now has international outlets carrying her hand made castille soap. So True is not only available (for shipping) nationwide in the Philippines, but it is also available in Singapore at Plume and Preen. So True also ships all products worldwide. YES, you read that correctly, Mia now ships her handmade soaps all over the world for people who truly value the artisanal hand made castille soap that she has perfected. 

Since I last wrote about Mia and So True, she has expanded her product list with two new items that I really enjoy in the home. After steering clear of liquid soap because of the tedious and often dangerous process before, she has perfected the art of making liquid castile soap so much so that she is HOOKED! Truth be told, I have always preferred liquid soap at the sink over a bar.  This is why I had asked Mia to teach me how to make liquid soap way back when our friendship was still budding :-)

You can find this liquid version of her castile soap exclusively online, in Plume and Preen, and in Bao Bao Babies (in Cebu). Each of the four scents is packaged in an amber glass bottle and retails for Php 440 (250ml) and Php720 (500ml).  

Scents include: Lavender, Peppermint, Verbena and Pomegranate

Scents include: Lavender, Peppermint, Verbena and Pomegranate (Photo Credit So True Facebook Page)

Mia has also formulated her own elegant version of a reed diffuser and I can’t wait to try it!

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Long-lasting and effective reed diffuser scents exclusively blended by So True Naturals!  Scents available: Apple & Pear, The Christmas Blend, Rosemary Mint, Citrus Luxe, and Lavender. (Photo Credit: So True Facebook Page)

During the holidays, I try my best to make my home the most inviting it can be. When I do this, it’s because I want my guests to be delighted in every “sense.” (You should think of  the 5 senses when your guests enter your home.) Utilizing a reed diffuser in a Christmas Blend effectively welcomes your guests with a subtle but pleasurable holiday scent that delight.

So True Reed Diffusers retail for Php825 (150ml bottle) and they last about two months. Each bottle comes packed in signature So True boxes, and just like the liquid castile soap, the reed diffusers are available here in the Philippines, of course in the online store, and Plume and Preen in Singapore.

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The Quad Box comes with four different soaps. (Lemongrass, Vida, Fresca, Rosemary Lavender Mint)

BUT I have a special surprise for all of you. Mia has graciously sponsored a Christmas give away for all of you! I have been waiting to do this giveaway for some time now. (Keep in mind we talked about this LAST Christmas!!! HOMAYGASH-why did I take so long?) Thank Goodness Mia didn’t mind when we discussed it again-in fact, she insisted on sponsoring all fresh soaps and scents.

I will pick three winners via rafflecopter who will win one of these three gift boxes of So True castile soap.

I will pick three winners via rafflecopter . Each winner will receive one box from this set of three So True castile Gift Boxes. Retail value of boxed sets are  Php1260 (4 varieties) , Php680 (3 varieties) and Ph365 (single soap).

I super love these gift boxes. They come filled with the scents that you may already know and love which are perfect for Christmas or other special occasions. They are limited, so if you would like to order them for your corporate gifts or special friends then be sure to contact Mia right away through the website. 

 

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Lemongrass is vibrant and light. Perfect way to start your morning.

Now, if you aren’t used to using real castile soap, I should share that you definitely need a soap saver. Pick one up because these soaps are so pure that they can melt away super fast! I make my bars super tipid by cutting in half and just storing the other half until I have a “mini” bar. They are so super mild, I use it for Gelli most of the time, but I have to admit that I keep my own bar by my sink in the bathroom because I just love the scent. 

Now, I can even replace it with a bottle of liquid castile soap if I wanted because Mia makes it in liquid form.

Please note: I will pick the three winners at the end of the Rafflecopter contest on the 17th :-) Each winner will randomly receive one of the three boxes pictured above. All entries must be from the Philippines. 

It’s simple to enter:

  • Like So True Naturals on Facebook.
  • Follow @SoTrueNaturals on Instagram.
  • Follow @mommanmanila on Twitter.
  • Tweet about the Giveaway.
  • Follow @mommanmanila on Instagram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 
 
So True stockists:
 
 
 
 
 

#FeelTheBounce with Skechers GO Walk 2

I am a mom on the GO.

The days when I have items on a list that are usually a mile long, are the days when I need the most help and the most support. These are also the days I need the most support and comfort on my feet because it usually means I am running walking all around town trying to get my job (s) done.

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When I think of Skechers, the first thing that pops into my mind is the fact that every year we end up in the Skechers outlet in Festival Mall for the kids’ school shoes. As part of their uniform they are all required to wear black leather shoes. I buy Skechers every year because they are the only shoes that actually LAST all year long. My kids are tough on their shoes and when we buy Skechers school shoes I know I will not have to buy a replacement pair unless someone has a growth spurt.

So for me: Skechers means durability.

But after attending the most recent bloggers event organized by Martha Santa Barbara of The Beauty Junkee, I realized that The Skechers GO Walk 2 shoe is SO much more.

I was pretty sure I wanted the black lace ups on the left, but I had to try on a bunch of other styles, just to be sure.

I was pretty sure I wanted the black lace ups on the left, but I had to try on a bunch of other styles, just to be sure. These were the three styles and colors that I had narrowed it down to…

The first thing I noticed when I was trying on the different styles of GO Walk 2’s was that they were all super LIGHT. As in feather light…they didn’t feel heavy like a sneaker. 

There are a few different styles to choose from with lots of different colors.

There are a few different styles to choose from with lots of different colors. These are some of the different colors for the slip ons. 

I also noticed that all the slip ons have this Quick Fit Portal. See that little hole in the back by the heel? It makes it them easier to slip and take off.  

I was really drawn to the black lace ups with the pink ribbon embroidered on the side. This led me to believe that this shoe was specifically designed to somehow support Breast Cancer Survivors as well. I like the idea that they LOOKed like a sneaker, but that they were lighter and easier to wear. 

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See the way the shoe bends? That’s the V-Stride midsole technology at work. What does that mean? It means that the scientists at Skechers studied how a barefoot step rolls from outer heel to inner toe. So wearing the GO Walk 2 is just as natural as if you were walking barefoot. It’s really like you’re wearing nothing at all…

PLUS there is this Anti-Microbial insole which keeps moisture away and helps inhibit odor. (So no smelly sneaker odor either.) AND the 4 Way Stretch Mesh gives way for your toes to move and  breathe too. 

There are lots of other scientific advancements that make these GO Walks better than all the other kinds of walking shoes out there. But the real test for all of us (bloggers) was in the action that followed after we chose which pair we would be wearing for the day.

Martha had prepared all of us by asking us to dress comfortably for the event and when all the bloggers arrived, we learned that we would be participating in an Amazing Race type of competition.

My team was Team Yellow.

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Earth of Earthling Gorgeous , Lilian of The Go Mom, Moi, Louise of Mommy Practicality, and Gladys of Moomy Musings.

Then there was Team Red…

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Camille Buhain of The Soshal Network, Michelle Martinez of Xoxo Mrs Martinez, Rowena Lim Lei of Animetric ‘s World, Rochelle Rivera of rochellerivera.com, and Kathrine Rivera of Kathrivera.com

 And the winning team was Team Green…

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Kaycee Enerva of Kikay si Kat, Ruth of Ruthilicious, Liz of Project Vanity, and Arian Ari is in Wonderland.

 Each team had to complete a series of tasks and challenges, snap a picture, and GO Walk 2 meet the next challenge. Of course all the teams ran instead of actually walking…(I realized how out of shape I was) and you could see that many of the ladies involved were quite competitive.

Lilian reads our first task to complete.

Lilian reads our first task to complete.

The Yellow Team decided that Earth would be our official photographer by not only taking pictures of the assigned tasks and items to find, but she would be responsible for posting to social media as well on behalf of the team with the appropriate hashtags.

Here are some photos from her IG account: 

 

#SHOEFIE #SkechersGoWalk #FeeltheBounce

A photo posted by Earth Rullan (@earthlingorgeous) on

 

#SkechersGoWalk #FeeltheBounce ttaveling having fun A photo posted by Earth Rullan (@earthlingorgeous) on

There was 8 tasks we had to complete in order to try our hands at claiming first place. I have to admit, the competition was fierce. Not only were we seriously all out running, there was little time for reprieve. The moment we felt comfortable in how we were progressing through our tasks, we realized that we were being passed by another team!

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From the first task of finding something soft (we chose a pillow) in Landmark, to running all the way across Glorietta to take a shoefie at Glorietta Park, and then finally putting together a Skechers outfit with the apparel available at the store, we really had our work cut out for us!  

Sadly, we did not take home First Place, but gosh-we had fun doing it.

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Things that I really like about this pair of Skechers GO Walk 2 shoes?

  • They are light weight. I seriously don’t feel like I have shoes on while I’m wearing.
  • They are perfect for me to wear with my yoga pants running walking around town. 
  • They let my feet breathe, (Confession: I don’t wear socks.) so I’m not worried about stinky toesies.
  • They have three distinct styles of slip-ons, boat shoes, and lace ups-all equally comfortable.
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Thank you Skechers PH! L-R: Katrina Ong, Lilian, Nikka Peralta, Lui Castañeda, and Martha Sta Barbara.

As much fun as I had running ALL around Glorietta and Landmark with these girls, would you believe me when I say that my feet didn’t hurt? My body ached from the work out…(no joke) and my hips were sore from all the running…but my feet? They didn’t hurt one bit.

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