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Monday, December 8, 2014

A Song In The Night: Casting Crowns' Who AM I

It has been several years since Casting Crowns created the popular song Who AM I; but, these past couple of monthsevery time I listen to it, it's as if I'm hearing it for the very first time.

A song in the night.

Yes, that's what it has become alongside some of the Christian tunes listed in my playlist.

Some of  my fave songs on spotify.com

One particular passage has never failed to grab my heart:

Who AM I by Casting Crowns

In a simple yet profound way, images of Jesus calming a furious storm as chronicled in Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41, ran through my mind. 

And while listening to the song, I can't help but be amazed that the all-powerful God of the universe doesn't only care about life's big storms; but is also very much interested in calming the storm inside me.

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns tells of a similar experience which led him to compose the song Who AM I.


When you think about it, no one can really be spared from life's many storms- be it relational, financial or in its very sense, a physical type of calamity or tragedy.

But as the song goes:

 "Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours."


Lyrics of Casting Crowns' Who AM I



"God is a safe place to hide,
ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains."
                 (Psalm 46:1-3 The Message Version)


Casting Crowns
Website



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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Swiss Miss Offers Christmas In A Heart-Shaped Mug!

It's 18 days before Christmas and I can't help but be captivated by all the glittering lights associated with this blessed season.


Through the years, I have come to believe what Hollywood legend Bob Hope once said.

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things, not the great occasions, give off the greatest glow of happiness."

This particular principle has empowered me to celebrate Christmas in ways that touch hearts even in the simplest moments.

For me, sharing a cup of hot cocoa has been an effective way to reconnect with loved ones and friends.

And quite honestly, it's always Swiss Miss that seals the deal for us. We find our stories more engaging and downright amusing in every sip of our fave Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate variant.

It's great that Swiss Miss always comes up with freebies whenever you buy 2 boxes of hot cocoa.

Before, there was the shaker best used for chilled cocoa.

Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate

And now, Swiss Miss offers a heart-shaped mug which is a perfect accessory during bonding times this Christmas.

It's literally Christmas in a cup!

Don't you think so?

Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate

Swiss Miss
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Create Your Very Own "2014 Shell V-Power Nitro + Lego Collection"

It was only recently that I've become acquainted with the inspiring story behind LEGO. And that brief encounter was enough to rekindle an old interest in this legendary toy maker.


It's great that the public can once again enjoy Lego's many wonders on a relatively large scale, through Shell Philippines' latest promo dubbed "2014 V-Power Nitro + Lego Collection." 

Done in collaboration with the LEGO Group and Ferrari, kids and adults alike will have a blast in creating four quintessential Ferrari cars, a Finish Line and Podium with a Scuderia Ferrari (Racing Team Division of the Ferrari automobile marque) Engineer LEGO Minifigure, and a Shell Station reminiscent of the one at Fiorano Circuit- Scuderia Ferrari's private racetrack in Maranello, with a Shell Scientist LEGO Minifigure to boot.


2014 Shell V-Power Nitro + Lego Collection

This will be Lego's last campaign with the petroleum giant following a petition done by Greenpeace which called for the toy company to sever ties with Shell.

Considering this development, I know for a fact that these items will be great collectibles in the near future. But as for my 6 year-old child who simply loves cars, these "collectibles" can further develop his gross and fine motor skills as well as boost his other cognitive abilities associated with role playing.

 Shell Philippines "2014 V-Power Nitro + Lego Collection"
Ferrari 250 GTO

 Shell Philippines "2014 V-Power Nitro + Lego Collection"
Ferrari F138

In order to avail of this promo, simply fill up your vehicle with Php 1,500 worth of  V-Power Nitro+ or Fuel Save and add either Php 150 (with V-Power Nitro+) or Php 180 (with Shell FuelSave). 

The Shell V-Power Nitro + Lego Collection is available at all Shell Service stations until January 15, 2015.

 Shell Philippines "2014 V-Power Nitro + Lego Collection"





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Friday, November 14, 2014

DANVIL'S (FORMERLY KNOWN AS FAMILY FIRST) New Contact Numbers as of May 2012

If you're reading this, then maybe you've been tracking down Danvil's (formerly known as Family First) whereabouts for sometime now.

I know, right?

I also can't believe that the company simply vanished into thin air just like that.

I know exactly what you're thinking.

You have your Certificate of Complete Payment with you but you're clueless on how to file claims for your insurance plan.

Okay. Let's skip the part where you were enticed by the staff members' warm and congenial behavior and the offer of overflowing iced tea just to lure you into their "trap!"

Oh wait, I'm talking about myself!

Rewind.

Forget the fact that you can't have your DREAM VACAY TO KOREA AND VISIT ALL THE FILMING LOCATIONS IN YOUR FAVORITE K-DRAMAS!!!

LET'S NOT EVEN GO INTO YOUR OTHER PLANS OF WATCHING MUSIC BANK AND STALKING K-POP STARS ALL OVER SEOUL!

Whew!

I'm really sorry about that.

I don't know where all this negativity is coming from!

Really, I'm not talking about myself... ;)

Okay, before a full-blown sour grapes syndrome erupts, please allow me to mention the new contact info of DANVIL (formerly known as Family First).

Tip: Since Danvil is understaffed, it might take a while for someone to take your call...

Danvil's (Formerly Known as Family First) New Contact Info as of April 2012)


Danvil (formerly known as Family First)
Address: 2nd Floor, Unit C & D, JJACCIS Bldg., Madrigal Business Park Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Hotline: 828-1612; 828-0468; 828-1483; 828-6184
Office Hours: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM (Monday to Friday); 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Saturday)  
Email: mypolicy@danvil.com.ph    






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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Indulging In the New Magnum Mini!

Remember how smitten we were with Magnum Ice Cream when it debuted in the Philippines in February of 2012? The public's overwhelming interest translated to a reported 30% jump in net income in the first quarter alone for RFM Corp., parent company of Selecta--maker of Magnum, according to abs-cbnnews.com.


Now, Selecta hopes to replicate its past success with the newly introduced #MagnumMini!


The newly packaged 45 ml (36 gram) mini bars come in three flavors: Almond, Classic and Chocolate Brownie. They may be a lot tinier than their regular-sized siblings, but the mini versions boast of the same silky smooth ice cream with Belgian chocolate coating to boot!



See how tiny it is? It can actually pass up as a normal brownie minus the stick, of course. What's great about its size is that more figure-conscious consumers will be lured to take advantage of Magnum's signature taste for just 5 grams of fat and 100 calories apiece.

I guess I can live with that--as long as I don't reach out for the other five bars... :-)


Magnum Philippines
#MagnumMini - SRP Php 200
Available in leading supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide












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Saturday, November 1, 2014

When Raging Hormones "Attack"

Get solutions to your beauty problems during pregnancy. By Kaye Langit-Luistro


You're finally having a baby! What you have been wishing for all these years has finally come true. Congratulations! It's a delightfully new experience. Your body is changing and you love keeping track. But there's something you didn't count on- no matter how faithful you are to your beauty regimen, it doesn't seem to be working.


Freelance writer and mother of 3 Hazel Alviz says it felt like she was losing control of her own body. "I had pimples and falling hair when I was pregnant. I felt fat and ugly. So, I was depressed for a while."


All these conditions are hormone-related. Hormones are chemical secretions of a gland or tissue, triggering them into action. Estrogen, progesterone and prolactin shoot up during pregnancy. Reason: To support the baby's growing needs. Unfortunately, any major changes in hormone levels can create havoc on your skin.

Dark Skin

Darkening of the skin is probably one of the most common problems pregnant women experience. Dark brown patches on the face, known as chloasma or melasma are more pronounced if the skin type is darker. Sun exposure, and oral  contraceptives taken prior to pregnancy usually aggravate it. Joseph L. Ortiz, MD, consultant at the St. Luke's Medical Center, and fellow of Philippine Dermatological Society, however, assures "chloasma is only temporary and eventually disappears after pregnancy. Still, you may encounter darkish and blotchy skin on the neck, armpits and abdomen."

When Raging Hormones "Attack" by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Prevention Magazine, September 2001

Pigmentation Busters

Unfortunately, such conditions are inevitable during pregnancy. But, here are some suggestions to keep them at bay. Feed your skin with diet rich in fresh foods. Hazel recommends taking plenty of fruits and veggies. "Don't forget to drink lots of water," she adds. Healthy diet flushes toxins our of the body, making your skin clear, bright, and healthy-looking. You can also try applying skin creams and lotions with alpha hydroxy acid or AHA. "AHAs are derived from fruit acids, so they're much safer to use than other preparations. They are peeling agents, so they speed up exfoliation, uncovering the smooth skin beneath," Dr. Ortiz  says.

And if you are uncertain which products to use, or not to use, consult a dermatologist, who are accredited and have undergone 3 years residency program," Dr. Ortiz advises.

Flare-ups

Pimples appear due to an increase in sebum (fat) production in the skin. Dr. Ortiz advises "against the use of tretinoin during pregnancy. Several studies show it may be harmful to the fetus' growth and development."

Face-savers

"Pregnant women can use simple cleansing agents, like soap and water to remove excess oils in the skin. But if you really want to put facial creams, you can use products with AHA derivatives," Dr. Ortiz says.

Hazel agrees "the best antidote is clean skin. I also tell my pregnant buddies, to just grin and bear them, all will return to normal, after birth."

When Raging Hormones "Attack" by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Prevention Magazine, September 2001


Skin Tags and Darkened Moles

Dr. Ortiz explains, "skin tags or kuntil and darkening of moles are also common among pregnant women." Of you are self-conscious  about them, opt for some make-up tricks. "use hypoallergenic and non-clog poring concealer that matches your skin tone, dabbing it on troubled spots. You can also mix concealer with foundation, then lightly dust some loose powder, Hazel advises.

Survival Secrets

Corazon Almirante, MD, head of the Perinatology Division at the Philippine Children's Medical Center, believes in prepping her patients' attitude. "Entertain happy thoughts because your baby can feel them, too. I also motivate husbands to be extra loving so their wives will feel beautiful."

Remember: It's best to face those raging hormones objectively. Know the what's and why's, work on the how to's in dealing with things you can, and cannot change, in your body.


When Raging Hormones "Attack" was first published on Prevention Magazine Philippines in its September 2001 issue. For more articles on childcare and parenting, please go to this link as well as this one.





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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pretty Pregnant

Don't let your body blues get in the way of experiencing maternal bliss. Here's how to have fun during and after pregnancy. By Kaye Langit-Luistro


        It sure isn't easy being pregnant. You may look forward to the miracle of life and all that, but sometimes when you look at your protruding belly, darkened skin on the neck and armpits, nasty pimples and skin tags, you can't help but cry.

        All these conditions are hormone-related, says Dr. Dorothy Mildred Sia-Cu, diplomate of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) and consultant at the Manila Doctors Hospital. During pregnancy, hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and prolactin escalate to support your baby's needs. Unfortunately, they can also create havoc on your skin, body and emotions. Wipe the tears from your eyes and fret no more; you can do something about it!


Exercise. An exercise regimen can help reduce skin problems and other discomforts associated with pregnancy. Sia-Cu says that you can benefit much from swimming, walking, cycling and independent action stair-climbing if done for 10 to 15 minutes, 4to 5 times a week.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that the most appropriate form of aerobic exercise for a pregnant woman is the one that she most enjoys and can safely perform. Perform the "talk test" to check against overexertion. If you are able to talk comfortably while exercising, you are doing fine.

Pretty Pregnant by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Moms & Babies Magazine, March-April 2005

Just a week postpartum ( after birth), you can walk, lift weights, even for 10 minutes, says Kathy Kaehler, trainer and co- developer of the workout video Cindy Crawford: A New Dimension. The regimen boasts of exercises that any woman can do before, during and after pregnancy. You have to give your body time to regain strength and shed off unwanted pounds, she says.


Feed on fresh foods. Load up on brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat bread-food rich in fiber will prevent diarrhea and constipation. Get your share of lean meat, fish, seafood and tons of veggies and fruits. Extra helpings of tuna, salmon, tofu and soy milk will also do you a world of good. Sadly the Filipino diet lacks essential micronutrients, like  omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and iron needed to keep mother and baby healthy, observes Sia-Cu. On the contrary, Japanese staples of fish, rice, steamed veggies and tofu are rich in essential minerals. Japanese women as a result, are confident about their diet, and do not take supplements at all, Sia-Cu claims.


See A Dermatologist. Do not experiment with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or commercial preparations to cure acne flare-ups. Without proper guidance, your skin condition may worsen. Look for a qualified dermatologist to handle your skin woes.


Wear Flattering Clothes. Just because your pregnant doesn't mean you have to look dowdy. There are plenty of stylish maternity clothes available. Forget about the oversized dresses with huge baby collars and outdated lace. Now, you can wear dark- hip-length tailored blazers or sleeveless shirts paired with spandex pants during your time off from work.


Visit A Spa. Treat yourself to a back rub from a certified massage therapist. Just don't let her touch your tummy to avoid bleeding, premature labor, and other fetal complications, Sia-Cu advises. For tired legs and feet, opt for a foot spa. A basic procedure includes a scrub, massage and even a pedicure. A good spa sterilizes its nail apparatus to prevent infections.

Pretty Pregnant by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Moms & Babies Magazine, March-April 2005


WHAT'S IN YOUR KIKAY KIT? 

Who says that only non-preggies can keep one? Having a vanity bag is a good idea, especially during pregnancy. If you like the way you look and feel while on the family way, you help yourself- emotionally and physically- overcome the effects of hormonal changes on your body. Remember, not all women are given the gift of pregnancy. Be proud of your brand new body. Stash these items inside your handbag to keep you feeling radiant and refreshed all day.

Pretty Pregnant by Kaye Langit-Luistro
Moms & Babies Magazine, March-April 2005


Hair treatments. Well-groomed hair is truly a woman's crowning glory. But go easy on it. Studies show that falling hair is a harsh side effect of pregnancy. Opt for mild shampoos, conditioner and hot-oil treatments. Hold the hair coloring until the baby's delivered. Commercial hair colorants have compounds that may harm the growing baby.


Facial products. Your sebaceous glands churn out more oil than usual so you'll need to consult an accredited dermatologist for the right facial products. He will help you find the right face creams and other needed skin treatments. Do not use products with tretinoin, a harmful ingredient to your unborn child.


Body lotion. You may have an oily face but certain parts of your body are dry and scaly. After a weekly body scrub and exfoliation, apply lotion over your skin's dry areas.


Body oil. To minimize the appearance of stretch marks, rub body oil on your tummy, three to four times a day. Medical doctors are divided when it comes to this issue, but experienced moms believe in the beauty benefits oils may bring to your skin.


Make-up. When you are under the weather, just reach for some hypoallergenic face powder, lip gloss, blush, eyebrow pencil and mascara. Voila! A dolled-up face may just bring out your cheery disposition.


Bottled water. You need at least 2 liters of water a day to keep you hydrated so drink up! Adequate water can also decrease symptoms of morning sickness.


Caffeine-free herbal teas. Now that you are pregnant, stay away from caffeinated drinks such as coffee and sodas. Caffeine may rob calcium from the bones making you prone to fractures. Caffeine-free tea is a healthy, soothing option for moms who need more than plain water.


Supplements. Take the right vitamins and supplements. Ask your physician which pills to take at certain stages of pregnancy. As a rule of thumb, folic acid should be taken during the first months of pregnancy, iron during the fourth month of pregnancy and calcium and vitamin A at the start of the second trimester.


Packed veggies and fruits. Strips of carrots with fat-free Caesar salad dressing or sliced apples, oranges and bananas keep you from munching processed chips and sodas.


Portable music player. Slip a small player into your bag. Research shows that listening to the classics soothes frayed nerves and improves the baby's mental health.


Inspiring book. Find a book that feeds your body, soul and spirit to ease feelings of discomfort associated with childbearing. Surf the net to check out what other moms-to-be are reading.


Mini-diary. Keep tabs on your fears, insecurities, hopes an dreams. Sometimes all you need is to express yourself fully-free from judgmental remarks.



Pretty Pregnant was first published on Moms and Babies Magazine (now Moms Today) in its March-April 2005 edition. For more articles on childcare and parenting, please go to this link as well as this one.



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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Food Musings: A Look At Takoyaki's History & Tamayaki Philippines' Delish Takoyaki ♪♪♪

"When life gives you wheat flour, make Takoyaki." 

Japan literally gave our favorite lemon quote a new twist and revolutionized Asian food culture as we know it today.

During two extremely difficult times in history, namely the Tokyo Earthquake of 1932 and the aftermath of World War II, rice was scarce and the Japanese turned to flour to satisfy their hunger. They made batter-based dishes topped with special sauces to survive with flair.

Even as Japan came back from the ruins, locals didn't discard this flour-based food rather tried hard to improve on it. As life became much better, the Japanese added more ingredients like eggs, meat and seafood into the mix.

Four uniquely tasting batter-based dishes came out of Japan's colorful food history:  
    • Okonomiyaki - a special kind of grilled egg pancake. 
    • Choboyaki -      ball-shaped batter composed of red pickled ginger, green peas, soy sauce and then cooked on a cast-iron griddle. 
    • Radioyaki -       slightly larger than choboyaki but made more interesting with the addition of sinewy meat.
    • Takoyaki-       resembling choboyaki but made use of octopus as the primary ingredient.

In 1935, Endo Tomekichi, a street vendor in Osaka wanted to add another dish to his already popular offerings of okonomiyaki and choboyaki. Sparked by the knowledge of a certain akashiyaki (boiled octopus in an eggy batter) a well-loved treat in Akashi located in Hyogo Prefecture, Endo became convinced of incorporating octopus into his new street food menu. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

Here in the Philippines, I get my favorite Takoyaki from Tamayaki.

Tamayaki's takoyaki  is simply divine! It is literally crunchy on the outside and significantly plump with an eclectic mix of meat and cabbage on the inside. It is unlike the other takoyaki treats I've tried before which unveiled a gooey residue once I sank my teeth into them. 

Tamayaki's version is really all meat which makes for a fulfilling snack. What's extra special are the abundant toppings that add a degree of woodsy nuttyness to an already fantastic snack.

Tamayaki Philippines

That is, of course, if you don't mind adding around Php 60-70 to your usual fare of Mall Cart Takoyaki. But if you do choose to indulge in your craving, you will never go wrong with Tamayaki.

 Hmmmm...Which one should I try first?
Tutapel @ Tamayaki Philippines

Many assume that since Tamayaki's lifeline is Takoyaki, the franchise must have started in Japan. On the contrary, the company has traced its roots back in China and in only a little below 3 years, Tamayaki's clout has extended to Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Australia, and the Philippines.

Just like Takoyaki's precursors, Tamayaki's Takoyaki has morphed into 12 tasty versions:
      • Tamayaki Seasoned Octopus   Php 115
      • Tamayaki Kani & Shrimp          Php 115
      • Tamayaki Squid Satay              Php 115
      • Tamayaki Kani & Mozarella     Php 115
      • Tamayaki Grilled Steak            Php 125
      • Tamayaki Chicken Teriyaki      Php 95
      • Tamayaki Mussels & Cheese    Php 125
      • Tamayaki Smoked Mackarel     Php 105
      • Tamayaki Ham & Mozzarella   Php 105
      • Tamayaki Fish Fillet                   Php 105
      • Tamayaki Korean Pork BBQ    Php 95
      • Tamayaki Double Cheese        Php 115         

Tamayaki Philippines' Menu

Itadakimasu...

MY RATING:
Tamayaki PH
♪♪Good! It is really worth a try.






Tamayaki Philippines
Phone: 705-1856
Email: tamayakiphil@gmail.com
Branches:
Landmark Makati
SM City North Edsa
Fisher Mall
SM City Fairview





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Monday, September 15, 2014

Take Part In Coldstone Creamery's I SCREAM MONDAY PROMO!

Rainy Days and Mondays need not get us down at all.

Coldstone Creamery Philippines gives students a special reason to be excited by offering 20% off on all its Signature Ice Creams!

Coldstone Creamery Philippines' Signature Ice Creams

You can also take these frozen delights to the next level by transforming them into Coldstone's Signature Creations.

Here's a peek at two of their bestsellers.

Cheesecake Fantasy. An exciting fusion of Cheesecake Ice Cream, Graham Cracker Pie Crust, Blueberries and Strawberries served in this uniquely delish waffle bowl.

 Coldstone Creamery Philippines

Strawberry Rendezvous. Strawberry Ice Cream filled with yummy toppings: Graham Cracker Pie Crust, White Chocolate Chips, Strawberries and Banana. A definite must-try!

Coldstone Creamery Philippines

Salivating much?

I don't blame you.

Here's the guide to all things spectacular:

Coldstone Creamery Philippines

To avail of the I SCREAM MONDAY PROMO, simply present your School ID at Coldstone Creamery branch near you.

Here are the Promo Mechanics:

  1. Promo runs from September 15, 2014 to December 22, 2014.
  2. Only students with their school IDs presented may avail 20% Student Discount on Signature Ice Creams every Monday only.
  3. The student discount cannot be used in conjunction with other on-going promotions and discounts.
  4. The student discount is non-refundable, non-transferable and non-convertible to cash. 
Coldstone Creamery Philippines Hurry! 

Don't forget to bring your classmates, barkada and BFFs to make the whole Coldstone experience extra memorable.  

Coldstone Creamery Philippines

Coldstone Creamery Philippines
Facebook
Website
Branches:
Coldstone Robinsons Galleria
Coldstone Serendra
Coldstone SM North Edsa
Coldstone SM Mall of Asia




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