Mommy Lace: Mommy Blogger|Philippines
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3 Tips for Stress-Free Baon for Kids

In the Philippines, we call packed snacks or lunch boxes, “baon”. It is lovingly prepared by mothers for their child who goes to school. Bringing baon saves money and ensures that our children eat the right food that we personally prepared for them. When you become a parent yourself, you realize that preparing snacks isn’t that simple and takes a lot of time preparing and planning.

Here are some baon “hacks” I’d like to share to my fellow moms who of course, try to make everything work despite the many roles and jobs we juggle every day:

1. Use weekends, holidays, and nights to prepare your kids baon ahead of tomorrow – have you ever experienced running out of time and you still need to pack something for your student’s lunchbox? I have! And that taught me a lesson to prepare my son’s lunch box before I go to bed. Weekends can be a time to go to the grocery to buy snack items ahead.

Ashton checks out the Gardenia Pocket Sandwiches on display

Here’s our newest discovery, there are now pre-made sandwiches that are individually packed and filled with either peanut butter or chocolate spread. They are called “pocket sandwiches” and are made by Gardenia Philippines.

The sandwich itself is sealed around the edges so kids can neatly enjoy them without spilling spread on their uniform. What I like best is the individual packaging that makes it a grab and go for moms to put in lunch boxes. Each sandwich only costs P15 and like most Gardenia products, it is widely available in all supermarkets and convenience stores.

For drinks – I also buy by the carton and just alternate between chocolate drink and fruit juices. Don’t forget to still ask your child to bring bottled water. I refrigerate the tetra packs good for a week so that it’s also grab and go during school days.

2. Bread is an economical and healthy choice for baon – always have bread in your kitchen. It’ll save you money not just for your kid’s baon but for all family member’s breakfast and snacks. I stock different type of sandwich spread at home: mayonaisse, peanut butter, chocolate spread, and margarine. Sometimes I also make my own tuna spread. Having bread in our kitchen has prevented us from buying food outside or calling for delivery!

Here are some of our “bread pile” for this school and work week. Carbohydrates are essential for children to remain energetic. Some adults stay away from carbs but I do like loading up on carbs especially on a busy day or for when I’m doing my workouts.

3. Stock baon in your refrigerator – put your fridge (and electric bill) to good use! You can stock baon, even sandwiches, in the refrigerator so that they remain fresh and free of mold. Whenever I buy Gardenia loaf, we keep it in the fridge and it’s still good even after it’s use by date. How many times have you also experienced your kids baon being infested by ants? It’s such a hassle and waste!

Don’t worry about snacks being cold because by the time recess comes, they would’ve already reached room temperature.

These tips are good for young kids from pre-school to grade 3 when usually, they’d only have recess and not lunch. Sandwiches are my top choice because they are filling, satisfying, and you can easily have different flavors just by choosing a different spread or in case of pre-made sandwiches and ready to eat bread, just choose a different variant!

Happy schooling, mommy and baby!

Financial Literacy through Sun Life’s Short Films

June is Financial Independence Month but after all these years of raising financial awareness in the Philippines, only 1.6% of the population has subscribed to a form of life or health insurance. This is a stark contrast to the 58% social media penetration in the Philippines.

While we all know the important role that money or finances play in our lives, we don’t pay as much attention as we should be. If we did, there wouldn’t be a “kakapusan mentality” and being comfortable with being insecure of finances. “Bahala na” is not a solution to financial problems especially when we’re actually talking of life and death situations. Financial independence will lay the path for our children’s education, the quality of healthcare we would get in case of illness, and how we would retire.

Did you know? 9 out of 10 Filipinos experience financial shortage. 40% of us will rely on somebody else’s income to pay for medical treatment and 40% of us are insufficiently prepared to fund our children’s education.

Making Financial Education Easy and Accessible

How can we all walk away from “kakapusan” or not having enough money to being financially independent? Financial independence is about learning to budget, plan for the future, save, invest, and because of these – enjoy life with security and peace of mind. We all need to be educated and learning to improve our family’s finances should never stop! But first, we have to spark that interest to change bad money habits and start to be more serious about our journey toward financial freedom.

Waves is the first Sun Short Film to be released this week, watch it here:

Sun Life Financial Philippines is releasing a series of short films on social media to inspire Filipinos to be brighter about planning their future. The three new Sun Shorts films are entitled “Waves”, “She Said, She Said”, and “Sayaw”. These will be available at the Sun Life Philippines Facebook Page and are actually inspired by stories of real Sun Life clients.

Each story reflects a stage in our life – from being young and in love, being a parent, and when we become emptynesters and get to enjoy (hopefully) our elder years.

FREE Online Financial Courses

As a follow-up to the short films, Sun Life is also offering FREE online courses for everyone to learn the basics of financial planning through their website, brighterlife.com.ph

This June, let’s all be free from worrying about our future, our children’s future, and all the things that stop us from doing something about it. The first step is always the hardest but when you finally do it – you’ll realize how empowering it is to control your money and not let money control you. After all, money is just a tool and we can use this tool to make our dreams for our family to come true.

Don’t forget to watch out for the other 2 Sun Shorts and you may even win an all-expense paid trip for two to Tokyo! Stay tuned at the Sun Life Financial Philippines FB page for official updates.

Happy Financial Independence Month, Mommies!

What to Order at Starbucks Now | Starbucks Menu

Starbucks keep on updating their menu and it just makes coffee time even more worthwhile. Look forward to these new Starbucks handcrafted beverages and food items on your next visit. Let’s start with these new Frappuccinos:

New Starbucks Frappuccino Menu Items + Prices

Banana Split Mocha Frappuccino
Tall  – ₱  175  Grande  ₱  190  Venti – ₱  205

Irish Cream Coffee Pudding Frappuccino
Tall  – ₱  175  Grande  ₱  190  Venti – ₱  205

According to Starbucks Philippines, the Banana Split Mocha Frappuccino is a rich mixture of Mocha Frappuccino blended with banana puree which is then layered on top of strawberry whipped cream. This concoction is then finished with regular whipped cream, a drizzle of rich chocolate, and crunchy waffle cone pieces. If you are fond of smoothies then you’ll have an idea of how tasty & creamy this must be!

The Irish Cream Coffee Pudding Frappuccino is handcrafted with Starbucks signature Coffee Frappuccino poured on top of creamy coffee pudding and then made even more delectable by espresso whipped cream and Turkish ground coffee sprinkles. This is a recommended drink for coffee lovers or when you need that coffee fix but also want to cool down.

Starbucks Enjoy Coffee and Starbucks VIA at Home Items

Starbucks is also promoting and teaching its patrons how to enjoy cold brew coffee. While some coffee enthusiasts may already know what cold brewing it, there are still some (like me) who have not really tried or experienced cold brewing. As they say, coffee is for all and thanks to Starbucks – they’ve also released Cold Brew Pitcher Packs (P895). This is a perfect blend of Latin American and African beans that are roasted to bring out their rich and dense flavor when brewed cold. Its flavor is balanced, smooth, and rich with subtle sweet chocolatey notes. To brew a perfect pitcher, simply steep the pitcher packs in your refrigerator overnight! No gadgets required.

Starbucks has also released the new Starbucks VIA Matcha! It is P295 per pack and can be enjoyed hot or cold (I think). I haven’t bought one and I look forward to seeing it in Starbucks stores.   This is great when you’ve reached your coffee limit for the day, it’s two (2) cups for me, and you still want to enjoy a hot drink.

New Starbucks Food Menu Items + Prices

Here’s a list of all the delicious food items that you can look forward to this June 2017 at Starbucks.

Lime Torte Cake P150/slice, P1,350 whole Starbucks cake

Mango Crunch Cake P160/slice

Chocolate Marshmallow Cake P160/slice

The new Lime Torte Cake is a symphony of flavors and texture with its sweet and tangy flavor partnered with crunchy and crumbly cake. For those looking for traditional Filipino flavors, the Mango Crunch Cake will surely delight you with smooth and creamy mousse with Philippine mangoes layered with crumbly and buttery graham and crunchy white almond.

Chocolate lovers will surely fall for the Chocolate Marshmallow Cake, a moist chocolate layer cake with smooth and creamy chocolate truffle and then frosted with marshmallow icing.

Receive FREE Starbucks Card Load from June 6-8 and June 27-29

Take note of this Starbucks promotion that’s just in time to celebrate the back-to-school madness. Students, parents, teachers, and everyone just needs more time to enjoy a Starbucks experience! Here’s your excuse to get the latest Starbucks Card + load it up to get P200 free coffee load, yes!

MY STARBUCKS REWARDS® ACTIVATION & RELOAD PROMO
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

1. Customers who activate any Starbucks Card from June 6 to 8, or reload any Starbucks Card from June 27 to 29
with at least ₱1,500 will receive Starbucks Gift Certificate worth ₱200 load.
2. Customers will receive ₱ 200 worth of Starbucks Gift Certificate upon activation/reload of any Starbucks Card with at least ₱ 1,500 load.  3. There is no limit to the number of Starbucks Cards a customer can activate or reload.
4. Customers cannot use a Starbucks Card or Gift Certificate to activate a Starbucks Card.
5. Offer cannot be combined with other offers or promotions or converted to cash.
6. Promo is valid in all Starbucks stores in the Philippines.
7. Reload via the Starbucks Card website is excluded from this promotion.

That’s a lot of new handcrafted beverages, food items, and promos for June 2017 at Starbucks Philippines. Enjoy your coffee and spread the word to fellow Starbucks fans :)

 

Cetaphil Turns 70 – How To Moisturize Skin Properly

Cetaphil, the brand recommended by dermatologists is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Nowadays, reaching 70 years in the health & beauty industry is an extraordinary milestone.

If you are one of the many users of Cetaphil, are you sure you’re using it the right way? I’m talking about the Cetaphil moisturizers in particular.

Cetaphil Face & Body Moisturizing Lotion

Cetaphil has come a long way from just producing its famous and gentler than water facial wash. Nowadays, the brand has a diverse line for different skin types and ages. Cetaphil is available in more than 70 countries worldwide and offers a wide range of everyday products from, cleansers, moisturizers, sun protection to baby products and solutions for sensitive skin conditions such as acne, eczema and rosacea.

Cetaphil Face & Body Moisturizing Lotion, 237ml  P890

For this post, I want to offer information on how I use the Cetaphil Face & Body Moisturizer. Here’s what I like about this product:

– 2 in 1 product that can be used for the face and body
– comes in big packaging/tub with pump nozzle
– fragrance free which makes it suitable for daily use even for sensitive skin
– light weight
– easily absorbed by the skin
– prevents spots/pimples on the face and body

Do you know why using a good moisturizer stops pimples and help cure acne? Based on my experience – when you’re skin is dry, it produces more sebum or oil. The oilier your skin is whether your face or body, the easier dirt sticks to it and cause clogged pores. Dry skin also makes it easier for bacteria to enter the skin causing infections and skin irritation like pimples.

The Proper Way to Moisturize using Cetaphil Face + Body Moisturizer

Moisturizers “seal” moisture on your skin. This means there should be moisture to begin with. I’ve started the habit of moisturizing as quickly as I can right after stepping out of the shower. Since my Cetaphil moisturizer of choice is for both face & body, it’s very easy and time efficient to use.

The proper way to moisturize is right after cleansing your skin while your skin is still hydrated and supple from washing or cleansing.

Ever since I started this habit of using Cetaphil moisturizer right after bathing, I’ve enjoyed pimple and spot free face, chest, arms, and back. Of course, you must also exfoliate thrice a week – something I always fail to do but always try hard to follow!   You can bring a small version of this Cetaphil moisturizer and re-apply whenever your skin starts to feel dry i.e. when staying in air conditioned places.

Keeping your skin moisturized is also keeping your skin young and healthy for longer. “With its gentle and clinically proven formulas, Cetaphil reinforces and protects the structure of the skin – even in people with the most sensitive and delicate skin” explained Dr Eszter Baltas, dermatologist who contributed to developing Cetaphil products.

Where to Buy Cetaphil in the Philippines

Cetaphil Cleansers

The easiest way to buy Cetaphil in the Philippines is at Watsons stores. I buy mine from Watsons in SM supermalls. In the past, I remember having to ask relatives abroad to buy Cetaphil for me but now this product and its variants are available in the Philippines.

Cetaphil Moisturizers

Only Buy the Original Cetaphil Products

Beware of fake Cetaphil, I’ve read about it on Facebook. If you must buy online, cross check with Cetaphil’s website or send a message to Cetaphil’s Facebook Page.

Here is a complete list of where to buy original Cetaphil products.

 

What Cetaphil products are you using in your skincare routine? Share it via comments below! Stay healthy and beautiful, Mommy :)

Get Discounts to Paw Patrol Live Tickets in Resorts World Manila

Paw Patrol is one of the popular kids cartoons on cable TV. My son started watching it when he was 4 years old and I’m sure many mommies like me watched it too (it’s mandatory!). Paw Patrol still airs on Nickelodeon with fresh new episodes. These days, my son and I watch it while having breakfast every morning.

The story revolves around a boy named Ryder who leads a pack of rescue dogs known as the PAW Patrol. Kids can pick up the value of team work, humility, and proper problem solving.

PAW Patrol Live in Manila, Philippines

I didn’t know about this show until my son and his best friend made a plan to beg me for tickets. They drew “We want to watch PAW Patrol” and they explained to me what and when the show is going to be.

Watch this video: PAW Patrol LIVE in Manila

Ticket prices start at P2,400-P4,200 and since there are two of them, plus I need to supervise them that means 3 tickets for all of us. Just imagine me scratching my head. But our kids are only young once and I want to cherish these live show moments. See: We watched Hi-5 in Manila at Resorts World.

Get Discounts for PAW Patrol Live in Manila Tickets with your Resorts World Manila card

After a few hours of research, I found that RWM cardholders can avail of cheaper ticket prices! Discounts are based on the level or color of your RWM card. Mine is a classic resorts world manila card which means I get 10% discount.

Section

Published Rate

Cash/Card

Points

Classic/Silver

10% Off

Gold/Platinum

15% Off

Classic/Silver

15% Off

Gold/ Platinum

20% Off

SVIP

PHP4,200

PHP 3,780

PHP3,570

3,570

3,360

VIP

PHP 3,600

PHP 3,240

PHP3,060

3,060

2,880

Gold

PHP 3,000

PHP 2,700

PHP2,550

2,550

2,400

Silver

PHP 2,400

PHP 2,160

PHP2,040

2,040

1,920

You can get your RWM card at Resorts World Manila’s customer service, or just ask the guards. There are many registration areas and you can get your card right away. Just bring a valid ID like a passport is the best to show.

June 2 and 4 are still a week away so plan your PAW Patrol weekend now and grab these discounts for your family before they become sold out.

Enjoy the show, Mommy and Baby! :)

Roy & Biv Glorietta: Home Design Inspiration

Being a 21st century mother and meeting the modern demands of family life can sometimes burn us out. At the end of each week, many moms wish they can escape to a quiet hotel. Some can afford this sweet escape to recharge their mom-batteries, some like me save up for it, and some can only dream.

Reach out for your home design inspiration at Roy & Biv

What if we create a haven of relaxation inside our homes? One that can match those dreamy patios or minimalist bedrooms we only see in magazines? While moving things around the house, clearing stuff, and decorating may not sound so relaxing – the outcome can mean more relaxed days ahead of you and your family. Just search Marie Condo on YouTube and her art of tidying up.

Home Decors at Roy & Biv

If you need motivation to actually start this project of refreshing your bedroom, home office, or living space in general – visit Roy & Biv in Glorietta 4 at the 2nd floor.

My husband and I agree that this is “shopping therapy”. The store is as unique as its sister-brand, Tickles. I can say this is Tickles for grown-ups because Tickles customers in the 90’s (like us) now have actual homes to decorate, maybe even children or pets to care of and entertain.

It’s easy to shop because items are already organized by color. I was looking for blue stuff for my bedroom project. I wanted a nautical theme that would make our mini family feel like we’re in a Greek-inspired hotel.

I think having a beautiful room that compliments your needs – psychologically and physically can inspire you at work, recharge you at sleep, and encourage everyone to tidy up. Positive space minus negative energy.

Nautical Themed Items

So here are some items we purchased at Roy & Biv. It was so easy to be inspired by this store, as you go through each collection of decors, accessories, and more – a new idea pops in your head. It’s very refreshing and hopeful that you’ll pull through a home design project.

 

Blue & White handcrafted sail boat

White & Blue wooden anchor with fish net and star fish accent

 

Blue pattern eye masks for all three of us

We are now in the process of decluttering our bedroom by selling and donating unused stuff. This’ll create more positive space to complement our resort-style design project. We’ve chosen to go with white and blue. Hopefully it’ll make us even calmer parents with blue being the color of trust and peace – and apparently, less forgetful. See below:

More than home decors

We were shopping with our kid at Roy & Biv and items like novelty school supplies, coin banks, and even nostalgic thing-a-majigs kept him interested.

Ashton exploring orange as a color. His favorite is red.

Coin banks that tell you what you’re saving for can be more effective!

Find your school supplies in your favorite color

It’s rare that we find a store all of us equally enjoy. While Roy & Biv is a medium-sized shop, it kept us in for more than an hour! It’s a really unique shopping experience you must try.

I recommend visiting Roy & Biv if you feel burned out at work, home, or feeling toxic from negative energy and want to turn that into positive, creative energy. It doesn’t matter how many items you get, one thing can change a room if you get inspired by it.

WATCH: Roy & Biv Shopping Vlog

If you can’t make it to Glorietta yet, check out their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/royandbiv/

Happy shopping Mommy & family!