Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Protect baby with Johnson's Baby Complete Care Diaper System

When my kids were babies, I used disposable diapers to keep them dry. We would use up anywhere from 6-8 pieces within a 24-hour period. Whenever it was time to change, I would make sure that baby's diaper area was completely clean and dry before I put on a fresh diaper. Soiled diapers can irritate baby's skin when left on for an extended period of time. This is because of the trapped wetness, friction, and of course the bacteria since we're talking about pee and poop.

Johnsons Baby Complete Care Diaper System
As a first-time mom many years back, I would rely on advice from my mom, mom-in-law, yaya, and a truckload of baby books when it came to taking care of my baby. The internet wasn't so big back then and whatever information I could get my hands on was from TV, radio, books, and people.

Well, Johnson's just made the whole diaper-changing ritual a lot simpler with the Johnson's Baby Complete Care Diaper System. As you can see in the video above, all it takes are three steps:
  1. Wipe - Use Johnson's Baby Skincare Wipes. It not only cleans, it also helps protect baby's diaper area from diaper rash the way nappy cream can. In cases where baby gets diarrhea and there's excessive, I would usually take him to the sink and wash the diaper area with a baby wash like Johnson's Baby Bath.
  2. Powder - Apply Johnson's Baby Complete Care Powder. It helps repel wetness by keeping it from touching the baby's bottom. It also soothes rashes and protects from diaper rash.
  3. Change - It is recommended that you change diapers every 3-4 hours to keep baby's bottom clean and dry. This prevents skin irritation and rashes. When my kids were babies I would regularly check if their diapers needed changing. You will notice that diapers become thicker as more liquid is absorbed but the only way I could tell if there was poop was to actually peek.
I kind of miss having a baby to take care of since my kids are both gradeschoolers already. Babies have this cute milk and baby powder like scent that I love smelling too.

*This is a sponsored post for Johnson's Baby.


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Our US Visa Reissuance Program (VRP) experience!

Back in 2007, our kids were issued US non-immigrant visas valid for 5 years. They expired last April. Good thing I heard about the VRP (Visa Reissuance Program) last year when my in-laws were about to reapply for a US visa. Prior to VRP, you had to repeat the entire visa application process the way you did it the first time. That meant having to tote around mountains of papers which would probably include bank certificates, NSO documents, real estate titles, car registration, and so forth. It's very tedious.

Good thing they came up with the US Visa Reissuance Program (VRP) last July 25, 2011. With VRP, all you have to do is fill up an application form, get an appointment, go to the embassy, submit passports for pre-screening, and get ten-printed (fingerprint scanning). After that you just wait for your passport and renewed visa via courier (if you opted for delivery).

First thing though... are you qualified for VRP? Please note that according to the US Embassy website, only the following are qualified for VRP:

  1. Philippine passport holder
  2. Must have been previously issued a full validity B1/B2 visa good for 5-10 years. Anything less than that and you're not qualified.
  3. US visa is still valid or has expired within the last 12 months. No exceptions, even one day after 12 months will not be accepted. I've seen a whole family denied entry to the US embassy proper because  they got a VRP appointment when their visas were more than 12 months expired. They were however informed that they could convert their VRP appointment to a regular visa application appointment since they already paid the fees. BUT they could not do it on the same day they went to the embassy, they had to get a new schedule.
  4. Must have all passports covered by your last full validity visa
  5. Must have not been denied a visa in the last 12 months
  6. Visa is not annotated "Clearance Received"
  7. Must have not stayed in the US longer than 6 months
  8. Must have never been arrested or convicted of any crime or offense
  9. Can provide the visa control number located on the upper right hand corner of the visa
US Embassy Website
If you meet all the qualifications listed above, you can now proceed with your VRP application. First step would be to proceed to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and start an application. Indicate Philippines as the location you're applying from and then click "Start an Application".

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween treats from Gonuts Donuts!

Earlier this month I received some goodies from Gonuts Donuts. It's been a while since I had a donut from Gonuts Donuts so I really had no idea what to expect.

Halloween Creepers from Gonuts Donuts
It was such a pleasant surprise and I was rather excited to see what they sent me.

Halloween Creepers from Gonuts Donuts
There were 2 boxes containing six eye-catching themed donuts called Halloween Creepers. From left to right are: Spooky Crawly, Mister Boo, and Jack-O-Licious. Each donut is soft, chewy, and topped with sweet creamy frosting. It's good to have paired with your morning coffee.

Halloween Creepers from Gonuts Donuts
There were Halloween-themed sugar cookies too! These are perfect for trick or treat!

You can try these treats for a limited time at all Gonuts Donuts stores. For a complete list, log on to http://gonutsdonuts.com.

Happy Halloween everyone... and thank you for the treats Gonuts Donuts! :D


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Share your Milestones of Courage for breast cancer awareness!

Prior to last year, although I knew a lot of people like my aunt and cousin who are breast cancer survivors, I wasn't really aware of related campaigns such as Estee Lauder's Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. Fortunately, our friends over at Estee Lauder Philippines invited me to their annual BCA event in 2011 and so I now know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign
This year marks Estee Lauder's 20th year in spearheading the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. This movement was founded by Evelyn Lauder and it supports The Breast Cancer Research Foundation's mission  in finding a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime. Last year it was about shining a light for breast cancer. This year, it's all about sharing your Milestones of Courage.

Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

Just log on to Estee Lauder Companies' Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BCACampaign to access the Milestones of Courage app. You can contribute by adding your milestones via photos, posts, and stories. Estee Lauder will donate US$1 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for every shared photo or quote during the month of October up to a maximum of US$25,000. There's also a donate button on the upper right hand corner in case you'd like to help out financially.

We can all contribute with just a few clicks... I hope everyone will take time out to support a worthy cause! There are three more days left to October so we can still do our share. :D


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Marriott Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet!

One Sunday about a month or so ago, we trooped to Resorts World to try the Marriott Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet. Although it costs a whopping P2,500 net per adult (half price for kids), I was surprised to see the place packed with people.

Marriott Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet
When you say brunch, you expect a cross between breakfast and lunch. Marriott Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet is all that and a whole lot more. Upon entering you're greeted by a table full of breads. Focaccia bread, baguettes, dinner rolls, bread sticks... there's a wide variety to choose from.

Marriott Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet
There are so many kinds of salads in single-serve plates that I got confused which one to try, haha! I think I went for the Japanese kani (crabstick) salad in the end.

Marriott Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet
Skewered meats? Check.

Marriott Cafe Sunday Brunch Buffet
There are different kinds of soup to choose from too.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++ in Natural Beige

My favorite BB cream has always been Laneige Snow BB Essence Balm SPF 33 PA++. In fact it's the first one I've ever finished using, haha!

Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++
Since my Laneige Snow BB Essence Balm was completely depleted, it was time for me to get a replacement. This time, I decided to buy Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++. Higher SPF and PA looked good to me. Besides, the saleslady told me it was sweat-proof and that's definitely something we need here since it's so hot most of the time. My shade is Natural Beige.

Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++
Like my previous Snow BB, this one comes in a compact.

Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++
There's a puff for application too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New offerings from Angel's Pizza Pasta Combo!

We got to try Angel's Pizza Pasta Combo's new offerings last October 3, 2012. Our family loves pizza. We usually order during weekends when we have a family movie night in our room.

Buffalo Wild Wings from Angel's Pizza
Anyhow first food item we tried was Buffalo Wild Wings. I loved how it had just the right level of spicy-ness. It also came with some blue cheese dip. I'm not fond of chicken but wow, I found it really yummy! :D

Cheesy Lasagna from Angel's Pizza
Next up was Cheesy Lasagna. Layers of pasta with ground beef, tomato sauce, and a generous portion of creamy melted cheese make this a real treat. My daughter liked it so much she finished more than half of the pan.

Meaty BBQ Pizza from Angel's Pizza
Then we had a Family size Meaty BBQ Pizza (P470, pictured above). It's a carnivore's dream come true since it's topped with pepperoni, ham, bacon, chorizo, barbecue sauce, and lots of mozzarella cheese.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Make your own Johnson's Baby video and get featured on Facebook!

Admit it... most moms are stagemoms at heart. Somewhere along the way, we secretly dream of seeing our beloved child on a billboard, on print, or in a TVC. When my kids were babies I would enthusiastically send in their photos to various baby magazines hoping to see them in the next issue and if luck would have it, win some prizes in the process. If you're like me, then I have good news for you. Now your little one can have his very own Johnson's Baby video. But first, you have to like Johnson's Baby Philippines on Facebook.

Make your own Johnson's Baby video on FB
At the Johnson's Philippines Facebook Page, there's an app called Baby's First JB Video which lets you showcase your baby's best photos and turn them into a Johnson's Baby video. All you have to do is register and upload your favorite photos.

Make your own Johnson's Baby video on FB
Registration is easy. Just enter your name, baby's name, and your email address in order to proceed.

Make your own Johnson's Baby video on FB
You'll be asked to upload a total of five photos consisting of two close-up shots...

Make your own Johnson's Baby video on FB
...and two full or half body shots.

Brazilian Wax at Strip Ministry of Waxing!

Last Sept. 27, I was invited to experience Strip's yummy New York Vanilla Cupcake wax. I was very gung-ho because I'm a regular customer and I usually have my underarms waxed because I'm too lazy to pluck and shaving causes ingrown hair so I don't do that either.

Brazilian Wax at Strip Ministry of Waxing
Yes, I only have waxing services at Strip and nowhere else because I've experienced getting burned when I tried another establishment. It was unpleasant because my underarm area reddened, itched, and stung for a few weeks after the waxing session. After that I've pretty much sworn off all other waxing places. I only trust Strip for my waxing needs.

Brazilian Wax at Strip Ministry of Waxing
When I got to Strip at Serendra, yummy vanilla cupcakes from Sweet Patti Cakes were waiting to be eaten.

Brazilian Wax at Strip Ministry of Waxing
Monique showed us what the NY Vanilla Cupcake wax looked like. Unmelted, it was a solid block inside a disposable aluminum foil pan. It smelled good enough to eat though and she actually warned us not to try and taste it haha!

Brazilian Wax at Strip Ministry of Waxing
Okay the bad news was (for me at first haha), everyone of us at the event was getting an all-off Brazilian wax. I say bad news because I was really psyched for underarm waxing and the idea of getting a Brazilian wax scares me... thus I have never availed of such service. I was protesting that I just wanted the underarm waxing service but it wasn't really a choice. Actually, I should be happy because the full Brazilian is one of their most expensive services at P1,950. Anyhow, Monique brought out some vodka so we could take a shot and loosen up. XD

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The story of how I lost 25 lbs...

Without a doubt last year was my biggest year. Biggest not in a positive sense. I'm not talking about success, wealth, popularity or anything like that. Biggest in terms of weight and size.

Photo opp with Tessa Prieto ValdesI didn't like having my photos taken last year because I was reminded of how big I was getting. As you can see above (rightmost side), I was already fat and quite neck-less last August 2011 at the Beabi event. To think I looked like that during our high school reunion the month before. O_o

Ronald McDonald and Animetric

This photo with Ronald McDonald was taken last September 2011 during McDonald's anniversary event. My face was extremely chubby already since I was at my heaviest. I was around 160 lbs. To think when I was 9 months pregnant with my eldest child I weighed 158 lbs. I had really let myself go.

Yey for our team! I really couldn't wear anything nice anymore by October 2011 because nothing decent in my closet fit. I was confining myself to mannish sportshirts and loose jeans. It was rather depressing especially during occasions where people were required to dress up. I hated shopping because it was difficult to find clothes that looked good on me. But the problem wasn't the clothes, it was the fact that I was overweight. Obese even given my height of 5'2". Up to this point in time I refused to weigh myself because I was in denial.

Lunch by The Sexy Chef with Del Monte Fit 'n Right I got my wake-up call in November 2011 when I attended the Del Monte Fit 'n Right event. We were all weighed and measured. I think I was 161 lbs. I was obese given the proportion of my height and weight. Let's not even talk about measurements. To give you an idea, I was already in size 12 jeans at the time. All my tops were sized XL. If it wasn't mannish, it resembled a curtain. My obesity had officially reduced me to a frump. So right then and there I agreed to participate in the Del Monte Fit 'n Right Challenge. We were all given one month membership to Gold's Gym and one month's supply of Del Monte Fit 'n Right. People who would lose the most body fat in a month's time would win prizes. Honestly I didn't even care about the prizes. All I wanted to do was lose weight.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

iBattz Mojo Removable Power Card Wallet

I have yet to see a smartphone withstand a whole day of heavy usage without being reduced to low battery status. If I play games, surf, check FB, tweet, text, and call my current smartphone's battery strength would be halved in a couple of hours. It's so inconvenient. I end up lugging around my charger everywhere because I can't afford to be without a working cellphone.

iBattz Mojo Removable Power Card Wallet
One solution is to bring a portable battery like iBattz Mojo Removable Power Card Wallet.

iBattz Mojo Removable Power Card Wallet
The iBattz Mojo Removable Power Card Wallet comes with a connector that has a USB adapter on one end and a plug for your cellphone on the other end.

iBattz Mojo Removable Power Card Wallet
There's also a Quick User Guide for easy reference.

iBattz Mojo Removable Power Card Wallet
What sets this portable battery apart from others is the fact that it uses a generic BP-4L module which you can buy anywhere (like Greenhills) in the event that it finally dies. You just pop a replacement in and you're good to go all over again.

Toys and games warehouse sale!

Christmas shopping? Get big discounts on toys and games from the Gentle Star Trading and Color Mix Corporation Warehouse Sale happening this weekend (Oct. 19-21, 2012)!

Gentle Star Trading and Color Mix Corporation Warehouse Sale!
Gentle Star is the distributor of brands like Zoob and National Geographic among others while Color Mix is the distributor of Hasbro toys and games which include classics like Monopoly, Jenga, Game of Life, as well as toys like Furreal. Click on the flyer above for a closer look at the location map and other details.

For more information and idea of the products they carry, check out Gentle Star and Play Matters (Color Mix) on Facebook.


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wilson Phillips Live in Manila 2012 at Mall of Asia Arena!

Last October 12, I watched Wilson Phillips Live in Manila at the Mall of Asia Arena. I got an email asking if I was going to watch. I replied that I was unaware they were having a concert. It wasn't like the time when Katy Perry and Lady GaGa were coming over. There was a lot of hype. For this particular concert, I didn't really hear anything until the very last minute.

Wilson Phillips CD
Anyhow, Wilson Phillips was one of my favorite groups back in the '90s. I bought their CDs and I know ALL the songs on their first album by heart. So yes, even if it was the day before the concert, I accepted the invitation to watch.

Wilson Phillips Live in Manila 2012 at Mall of Asia Arena
I asked my hubby and my long time friend who's also a big Wilson Phillips fan to accompany me to the concert. I was amazed when I saw that there was a whole building devoted to parking! Yes, there are over 2,000 parking slots at the Mall of Asia Arena so parking will never be a problem. Anyhow, we got lower box tickets. They were priced at almost P5,000 each. I was surprised at how close it was to the stage.

Wilson Phillips Live in Manila 2012 at Mall of Asia Arena
It was my first time at the Mall of Asia Arena. I was surprised at how high-tech the venue was. I think my eyes were glued to the impressive 360-degree overhead LED display showcasing all the upcoming events and performances for quite some time. I haven't really been into concerts because my last live concert experience was very unpleasant. It was held in another venue which was rundown, shoddy, and in dire need of renovation. While I've heard good things about the Mall of Asia Arena, I've always been reluctant to drive all the way there because I reside in Quezon City. For Wilson Philips however, I was willing to go the distance and brave the Friday night traffic.

Wilson Phillips Live in Manila 2012 at Mall of Asia Arena
The opening of the gates was set at 8pm. We arrived early because we left the house at around 5pm. We were among the first few to take our seats when the gates opened. Prior to that we had a bit to eat at Pit Stop by Yellow Cab Pizza located beside the gates. There are actually a lot of food choices at the Mall of Asia Arena just in case you need to grab a bite. There's Starbucks, Jamrock Patty Cafe, Spudnik, and a Snack Bar among others.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chuck's Deli at Eastwood Mall

The Club was invited to sample Chuck's Deli's new offerings a few weeks ago at their Eastwood Mall branch. Hubby and I usually go to their outlet at Serendra and so it was our first time there.

Chuck's Deli at Eastwood Mall
The Eastwood Mall branch is a lot bigger, brighter, and more spacious compared to the one in Serendra. They place is reminiscent of an American diner somehow.

Honey Lemonade at Chuck's Deli
I ordered a glass of Honey Lemonade (P95, pictured above) to wash the food I was about to have down. It's made of real fresh lemons so it's very good.

Potato Chips at Chuck's Deli
We had some of Chuck Deli's homemade Potato Chips (P75, pictured above) to munch on while waiting for the main attractions. It's served with garlic sauce on the side and we all love it! They're perfect because they're the right thickness and crispness plus they're only slightly salted so it's up to you how flavorful you want them to be since you can add salt or dip in sauce.

Sausage Flatbread at Chuck's Deli
We were there mainly to try out Chuck's Deli's newest offering: Flatbread Pizzas! First one out of the kitchen was the Sausage variant (P265, pictured above). Freshly baked flatbread is topped with English and Italian sausage tidbits, onions, swiss cheese, and shredded basil. The cream sauce is made of crème fraîche (French for fresh cream) so it's very rich. I love the combination of savory-spicy (sausages) and slightly sweet (cream sauce). Yum! All the flatbread variants use the same crème fraîche-based sauce.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick

I'm not very fond of matte lipsticks in general because I find them drying and hard to use. My lips tend to get chapped and this is highlighted when I use a matte lipstick. So when Shu Uemura Philippines told us about their new additions to the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited lipstick line which they fondly referred to as ultimate matte, I was very intrigued. Shu Uemura has the best make-up products so I was certain this was going to be different from my previous experiences with matte lipstick.

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick
So I went to the Shu Uemura boutique at Power Plant Mall. There were six matte shades to choose from which I promptly narrowed down to three -- a nude beige and two kinds of pink.

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick
I swatched all three shades on my hand.

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick
Correction, I swatched four shades, including this matte brown lipstick at the top of my hand above.

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick
While the swatches gave me a very good idea with regards to the lipsticks' excellent color payoff, there was no way to tell how they're going to look on my lips if I didn't actually swipe them on. So I did. First shade up was the nude beige shade, M BG 931. I was attracted to it immediately because I already have a lot of pink lipsticks but no real nude beige.

Monday, October 15, 2012

By Nature Handmade Soaps and 100% Natural Products + giveaway!

I got introduced to the wonderful world of By Nature Handmade Soaps when I won a gift pack from mymomfriday. I got three different variants of soap (Icy Choco, Dairy Bar, and Utter Bliss), all of which smelled absolutely yummy. Both my hubby and I enjoyed using them so much that when I was asked to host a blog giveaway, I immediately agreed.

By Nature Handmade Soaps & 100% Natural Products
As a result, I got to try three more By Nature Handmade Soaps variants: Strawberry Milkshake, Green Tea Escape, and Sea Mud Pie.

By Nature Handmade Soaps & 100% Natural Products
Let me just say that these soap bars are big. I'm holding Strawberry Milkshake in the photo above. They are pretty solid and they don't melt easily.

By Nature Handmade Soaps & 100% Natural Products
So far Icy Choco is still one of my favorite variants.

By Nature Handmade Soaps & 100% Natural Products
By Nature Handmade Soaps are best placed on top of this wooden soap dish so that they last longer.

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