Mommy Lace: Mommy Blogger|Philippines
 Rotating Header Image

New on Starbucks Menu: 2017 Espresso Handcrafted Beverages

Starbucks Philippines today launched new handcrafted beverage offerings along with never before seen lunch choices. Order a different drink on your next visit and try these beautiful and unique tasting espresso creations:

TAHITIAN VANILLA MACCHIATO

Short – 155, Tall – 165, Grande 180, Venti– 195

This is your summer espresso drink. Enjoy it cold or hot (I prefer hot) and wait for the floral accents and Tahitian vanilla syrup for a playful twist on your usual macchiato. It is also topped with velvety steamed milk  and finished with an authentic crosshatch of vanilla bean sauce and topped with ground vanilla bean pod sprinkles. You know you’ll have a good day when you start it with this flavorful and playful kind of macchiato!

VALENCIA ORANGE COCOA CAPPUCCINO

Short – 145, Tall – 155,  Grande 170, Venti– 185

While it looks more of a dessert than a drink, this really is a cappuccino with an orange twist. It’s an exciting drink to try and yes, suits the summer season with it’s fruity hint. Decadent Valencia Orange Mocha Sauce combined with milk, topped with dense creamy, cappuccino-worthy foam, then layered with affogato-style signature espresso shots, perfectly sweet cocoa powder and tartly-sweet bits of orange peel to add even more flavor.

I recommend to enjoy this on your next Starbucks night cap.

New Starbucks Food Items in 2017

If you’re still ordering your favorite Starbucks food item last year, it’s definitely time to try and discover something new! Starbucks launched five (5) new lunch choices that are actually good for anytime of the day for heavy eaters like myself. Do you always like your Starbucks coffee with food? I do!

Spot the following on your Starbucks Store and make sure to try them:


Clubhouse on Sourdough Bread

The Clubhouse on Sourdough Bread, Salmon Dill on Multi-grain Bread and Cheese Steak on Ciabatta Bread are perfect for quick lunch runs and I would say for taking home too.


Cheese Steak on Ciabatta Bread

These sandwiches are savory, filling and will surely suit every taste. The three new choices let you enjoy a delectable gastronomic experience even on your most hectic days outside or at home.


Salmon Dill on Multi-grain Bread

Tonight, I grabbed a couple of Salmon Dill on Multi-grain Bread to stock on my fridge!

If you want to feel like the Starbucks expert that you are, wow your friends when you order the new Starbucks bistro bowls. Take note that these bistro bowls together with a Tall Iced Shaken Tea can be availed at a special bundled price from 10 am to 2pm as part of Starbucks Signature Lunch Pairings.

Order the Cold Soba with Chicken, wherein delicate soba noodles are tossed in savory dressing with crunchy vegetables and chicken flakes, and Sweet Potato Salad, a hearty salad of sweet potato, potato, onion, celery, mixed greens and hard-boiled egg tossed in honey mustard dressing.

Also spotted a new Strawberry Torte Cake that I also took home, this time for midnight snack. I can’t wait to enjoy this inside a Starbucks Store with the new Tahitian Machiatto.

ALL NEW STARBUCKS COLLECTIBLE TUMBLERS

Spotted at Starbucks SM Bacoor today are these new summer-perfect and colorful tumblers. They cost P675 each and I got this as my new water bottle to bring to my summer outings.

Visit your favorite Starbucks store and find these new items for you to enjoy, coffee cheers!

Munting Buhangin 2017: Overnight Family Outing

Munting Buhangin is my favorite beach in Nasugbu Batangas. I don’t have to ride an airplane or travel too far just to enjoy the beach with my family. It is very budget friendly with only P380 entrance fee and reasonable accommodation rates. This year, I saved up to get their Single Aircon Family Suite. The rate is P8,000 from 3PM-12PM .

WATCH: Munting Buhangin 2017 Vlog

It pays to plan your trip and get to the road as early as you can. We left our house at 5AM and promptly arrived at Munting Buhangin before 7AM. We took the Maragondon and Kaybiang Tunnel route. Since our check-in time was still at 3PM, we used the free cabanas (tent with monoblock chairs) first. It was enough to accommodate all of us, we were 7 persons in total plus our baggages.

The beach is still wonderfully the same. It was not yet officially peak season and the beach has reasonable visitors. I felt great about my decision to go to the beach before summer starts. The sand was just as before, fine and very light brown unlike in other nearby beaches. The water and sand are both very inviting to swim and play in.

For our food, there are plenty of barbecue or grill stations that you can use for free. Although to be safe, I brought my own too plus my own charcoal. Charcoal on the beach costs P50 per plastic bag, mahal!

Overnight Stay

We enjoyed the spacious Single Aircon family room, the price is reasonable and all 7 of us slept comfortably with our own beds, pillows, etc.

The linens were clean so I am very happy! The room is not very new and could use updating but for the price I paid, it met my expectations.

We have our own bathroom, grill station, balcony, etc. Pwede na.

After we check out the next day, we were able to stay in this bahay kubo from 12PM onwards for free.

Munting Buhangin remains to be my favorite beach because of affordability, location, and family friendliness. I wish I can come back this summer but I’m sure it would be busier.  If you like to visit Munting Buhangin in Nasugbu Batangas, check out their website http://www.muntingbuhangin.ph and I recommend you go now versus in March, April and on weekdays if possible so you can enjoy the beach more without too many people.

Happy summer Mommy and Baby! :)

Keep Calm and Stay Invested in 2017

Should you keep or even start investing in 2017? Even before the start of the year, the stock market has been going down and alongside the value of the Philippine Peso. There are many factors that cause this – technical, political, and economical. Of the three, mas madaling makita at mapansin ang political factors. Not only in our country but outside just like the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, etc. However, it doesn’t always mean that politics is the major factor.

Mag-iinvest pa ba tayo? Financial experts agree that we should and here are the reasons why:

1. The economy will not stop moving with the changing of government leaders – politics play a significant factor in the economy BUT businesses will not stop making money and trying to make more money. Halimbawa, nagsasara ba ang SM tuwing nagkakaroon ng bagong president? Ang American mall na Target ay bukas pa rin sa kabila ng mga anti-Trump rally.

There are what we call captains in the economy, these are personalities like Henry Sy, John Gokongwei, Tony Tan Caktiong and more- sila at ang kanilang pamilya yung marami ng napagdaanan at alam na alam na kung paano magpatakbo ng negosyo, sa anumang sitwasyon. These are the same companies that we call “blue chip” where many mutual funds include in their portfolio.

While many of us are holding back and focusing on the issues and reasons why we should stop pursuing our dreams, tycoons like them see opportunity beyond the challenges and remain steadfast in running their business. If you invest in mutual funds, you grow with the economy which according to Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. will continue to remain strong and could even grow by 7%.

2. It is cheaper to invest while the stock prices are low – while several factors contribute to the “decline” in stock prices, it is the best time to invest and afford more shares now versus waiting for the market to go up. Remember, the cheaper you buy your investments then the bigger your return could be once the market reaches its peak.

Naaalala mo ba noong 1997, Asian Financial Crisis? Ang baba ng stocks noon, at ang mutual funds ay binubuo din ng stocks. Ang ibang investors, nag-panic and sold their shares at a loss. Then, there are those who remained steadfast and even kept investing. Sa tingin mo, sino kaya sa dalawa ang mas kumita ngayong tapos na ang krisis at umakyat ng muli ang Asian economy?

Sun Life Chief Investments Officer Michael Enriquez says, “With stock prices cheaper, it’s a good time to buy so they (investors) can enjoy the greater gains once the market goes up”.

3. Long-term view of investing (5-10 years) will allow you to create wealth – there is a difference between trading and investing. Investing is much like running a business where you try to create wealth not instantly, but overtime. Sabi nga nila, time is gold and when it comes to investing – it really is!Registered Financial Planner, Randell Tiongson advises investors to remain steadfast and disciplined in saving and investing. This will allow you to certainly win for the long term, 5 to 10 years from now.

Thinking about it, my own investments in mutual funds 5 years ago still have a positive return despite the ups and downs of the market. Long term kasi! Of course, we should also know when to reap the rewards of our long-term investments i.e. you have reached your financial goals like your child’s college fund, etc. This is why as normal people, we should still educate ourselves on the market outlook that prevents us from panic and derail us from our financial journey.

The signs are bright that we should remain steadfast and disciplined in achieving our financial goals, no matter what the market might look like – there are financial institutions and financial experts who understand the workings of the economy, knows how to lock-in returns to honor plan holder’s benefits, and know where to diversify its investments. Sun Life Chief Investment Officer adds that with the country’s increased consumer and government spending, the outlook remains fundamentally positive.

Mommy Lace Tip: Keep investing in 2017 while making sure that you and your family remain liquid or has the ability to pay in cash. This includes in times of emergency. Before you add to your investment or start investing, do have a budget on how much you need in cash for your daily needs and set aside this amount monthly while keeping at least 3 months worth of your salary accessible in cash in case of emergency. This way, you will not withdraw your investments or sell your insurance products before they realize their returns or benefits.

Stay positive, work hard, and enjoy your journey to financial freedom!

Sofitel Spiral offers Chinese New Year Specials: What to Look For in the Buffet!

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila has a flavorful feast in store for the upcoming Chinese New Year from January 25 to 29. The iconic Spiral Buffet will feature Year of the Rooster specials prepared by  Spiral’s culinary artisan, Chinese Chef Michael Tai.

In our recent Spiral buffet dining experience, these specials were on preview and they look as amazing as they taste. It is tradition and belief that starting the year with prosperity and happiness will bring good fortune for the rest of the new year. The “Bian Nian Hao He” concept of Sofitel  makes this feast possible and memorable for all families and friends to experience.

WATCH: Sofitel Manila Buffet Vlog featuring Chinese New Year Specials

The featured menu includes recipes from the Canton and Sichuan province, plus select dishes from Taiwan. Here’s a quick guide on what these dishes are all about:

Cantonese – known for its freshness and highlighting the natural taste of ingredients
Sze Chuan – known for bold and spicy flavors, uses a lot of garlic, chili peppers, and the famous Sze Chuan pepper.
Hakka – known for simple recipes and ingredients but inspires the finest flavors

Since these auspicious dishes will be featured but combined with the rest of the Spiral’s atelier, do take note of what to look or ask for when you book your Chinese New Year experience at Spiral:

Abalone in Superior Sauce – did you know that abalone is believed to bring good fortune and wealth? It stands for assurance and surplus hence eating abalone translates to an abundance of wealth.

Hong Kong Style Steamed Fish – the Chinese believe that eating the whole fish with the head and tail intact symbolizes a year’s beginning all the way to its end.

Braised Dry Mussel with Sea Moss – both dry mussel and sea moss is believed to bring good luck

Golden Prawn in Salted Egg Yolk – prawns symbolize the sound of laughter that represents a happy life

Sauteed Scallop with Sweet Wallnut in XO Sauce – eating this dish is believed to help in conceiving children as well as symbolizing opportunities or opening of new horizon.

Marmite Crab – signifies prosperity and high status

Sofitel Manila could not make Chinese New Year more special. What I really like about the offerings aside from their taste is how auspicious everything looks. It does contribute to a positive feeling and sentiments of happiness, wealth, and prosperity while enjoying the bountiful feast.


#CNY2017 for Instagram? No problem at Sofitel Philippine Plaza!

The best part of all is that by dining at Spiral, the family is focused on reuniting and bonding with everyone while making beautiful auspicious memories.

What a great way to start a brand new year! For more information on Abundance: Celebrating the Year of the Rooster at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, please call (+63( 2 832 6988 or email H6308-FB12@sofitel.com

Happy Year of the Rooster!

Generation O: 5 Tips for a Brighter & Healthier 2017

The Asia Health Index 2016 reveals a new generation among us Filipinos, that is Generation “O”. Generation O is not based on the year a person is born. Generation “O” means today’s generation that is overworked, overweight, and overwhelmed. The survey reveals a 7% drop in perception of overall health & well-being. There is also a 7% decrease in the perceived quality of physical health while there is a 4% drop in perception of good emotional health.

It is sad to know that many of us are starting a brand new year with these feelings of not getting enough time, money, and motivation to take care of ourselves – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

As a working mom, I understand how demanding modern life can be – it is overwhelming! My personal strategy in keeping in control, happy, and healthy is to take care of myself and make it my number one priority. Have you heard of the saying that you cannot take care and love others if you do not know how to care and love yourself first? This is true and I hope many of us realize this before it takes a toll on our well-being.

So, here are a few tried and tested tips for a healthier and brighter you this 2017 – all of which boils down to taking the time to care for yourself.

1. Manage your workload – if you feel you are overworked, stop dragging yourself down and feeling like a victim. Work is a blessing but too much of it can also be bad. Take responsibility by being proactive in managing your workload and if need be, communicating the adjustments that need to be done to your client or boss. If you start doing this i.e. managing yourself and being your own manager, you will instantly feel in control and taken cared of. Because no one else can manage yourself better than you!

2. Establish healthy routines that allow you to take care of yourself – set aside time in the morning to stretch and enjoy a peaceful breakfast to power your day, go for a walk during lunch time or freshen up yourself, or light up an aromatic candle to relax when you get home in the evening. These are just some ways to nurture your mind, body, and soul no matter how hectic your schedule is. Taking these small steps can instantly lend you a more positive and brighter disposition that motivate you throughout the day.

3. Eat smart – food is fuel and when your fuel is crap, your body (machine) will corrode and underperform. Imagine the gasoline commercials on TV, the same happens to our body. Eating nutritious meals on time allow you to feel nourished not to mention help you achieve a healthier weight and even more beautiful skin tone while preventing diseases.

4. Physical exercise – you don’t need a gym membership or equipment, simply going for a 30 minute run or brisk walk (just start somewhere) can increase your health and wellness significantly. Physical activity relieves stress, clears your mind, and make yourself feel healthy and here it goes again – taken cared of and loved. A bonus is that you will instantly fit in your clothes better and as you tone your body with exercise and eating healthy, it becomes easier to just wear anything at all without being conscious of bulges, etc. etc.

5. De-stress & worry less – I recently started using more aromatherapy to calm my body and mind, in the office, in the bedroom, and even when traveling. I found that having a small air humidifier with peppermint oil increased my focus when working and that using an oil burner with lavender oil helps me and my son go to sleep on time. These are small investments to calm yourself in the midst of stress. Remember, stress and problems will always be in our lives and it is how we manage our stress that can help us live happier and brighter while taking on these challenges.

Mommy Lace Tip: If you’re not yet interested with aromatherapy, try music therapy! Listen to solo piano music when trying to relax, focus piano music when studying or working, and a mood boosting playlist when you need the motivation to be more productive. 

The Asia Health Index also reveals that Filipinos still worry about not having enough money. It is a common problem that I also think about. One way to be proactive and deal with this financial worry is by increasing your financial literacy by asking questions, researching about investing and buying insurance, and finally – protecting yourself and your family with the right financial products.

I’ve written about the Sun Life Fit & Well here, it is the most comprehensive health insurance to date that allows Filipinos like us to worry and stress less while enjoying our life.  Having health insurance also allows you to take care of yourself when you cannot i.e. when you get sick and cannot work or produce income, a health insurance like Sun Life Fit & Well can take care of you from prevention to diagnosis and provide you with hospital allowance that can help replace your income when you’re unable to work.

I hope this post inspires you to take care of yourself this year, if you are a mom like me it is even more important to take care and love yourself because our children and family depends on us being healthy, productive, and happy. Have a brighter and stress-free 2017 Mommies!

 

5 Ways to Use Belo Baby Hand Sanitizer Spray

Do you always carry with you a small hand sanitizer? Congratulations if you do because clear, beautiful, and healthy skin starts with clean hands!

belo baby
Belo Baby Hand Sanitizer, P49.75 each

Germs and Bacteria Cause Skin Infection

Nowadays, I try to always have a sanitizing spray with me. I also use handy antibacterial gels that come in small bottles. They fit well in mommy’s handbag and the kid’s school bags. If you ask why, I’ve always been susceptible to cystic acne. One time, I had it on the bridge of my nose and the doctor said it was bordering on becoming a serious infection. On a separate occasion, that same month – my grade schooler suffered from a skin boil at the back of his thigh.

WATCH: Unboxing and Using Belo Baby for the first time

All of these could have been prevented if we tried harder to keep our hands clean every time. It’s not that we do not practice proper hygiene, it’s just that we did not realize yet the importance of having access to and using hand sanitizers at all times.

Currently, I am using the Belo Baby Hand Sanitizer Spray. It is a new product of Belo Baby and like the rest of their lines – this hand sanitizing spray is free from harmful chemicals and is made of natural ingredients. It also means it won’t dry up your skin especially when you use it every now then. In fact, it has glycerin that keeps your hands moisturized.

5 Tips on Using Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers

1. Place Belo Baby Sanitizers on regularly used bags – sanitizers are pretty affordable but sometimes they are easy to forget. I’ve learned to keep hand sanitizers in our hand bags, school bags, lunch box and travel bags. One for each so that we never forget to bring them. Plus, getting them in & out of different bags can make you lose and misplace the sanitizing sprays.

2. Have a hand sanitizer ready in your living room – if your child likes to thumb suck, put things in his mouth, etc., do have a hand sanitizing spray ready for icky situations. We like eating in the living room too so now we use hand sanitizers before eating, after, and to wipe clean any surfaces quickly.

3. Make Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers available in the office – whether you work from home or in the office, have a hand sanitizer available close to you. I recently used Belo Baby to clean my laptop, mouse, and my son’s iPad too and I like how it left a sweet smelling (and calming scent).

Remember that gadgets, like your mobile phone is home to plenty of germs and bacteria too.

4. Use Belo Baby in and when using the toilet – We keep our toilets clean but living with boys mean sprinkles here and there. I just use the hand sanitizer to spray then wipe spots. You can also do this when you or your child really have to go and need to use public toilet.

5. Keep a bottle of Belo Baby Sanitizer in the car – Aside from sanitizing hands when eating inside the car, it’s also best to use/spray on your hands and your child’s hands before going out of the car. This ensures any germs or bacteria you contacted in the car have been removed and you can start your adventure with clean, sweet smelling hands.

It’s also handy to have for spills and cleaning spots inside your vehicle.

These tips may sound going overboard but believe me, we will only benefit from the germ-killing effects of hand sanitizers if and when we use them. Most of the time, I can’t locate my sanitizer especially in times of emergency like spills, using a public toilet, etc. Having hand sanitizers available for use significantly reduce risk of contamination, skin problems, and different types of infections.

Have a beautiful, germ-free day Mommy & Baby!