Monday, September 30, 2019

MY MC Home opens BGC branch and look at what I found!

Attention, homemakers in BGC, Taguig, Makati, Mandaluyong, and Pasig! MY MC Home just opened its third branch at Bonifacio Global City and it's worth a visit!


My home may be 12 years old, I may not be newly married, and neither am I a new mommy, but any mom knows that a family is always going through new beginnings. When my husband and I lost our jobs as magazine editors and started working from home, that was a new beginning as we had to create a home office. When the kids got out of babyhood and we couldn't co-sleep anymore, we had to convert our home office into their bedroom. Now that they're all school kids, we created a new space where they can dump their bags and projects and do their homework. It seems like every couple of years means a new beginning for our family!


This means, of course, that home stores are always in our radar. There's always something we need to buy for our ever-evolving home! Just look at those lamps! I think the yellow one will look great as an accent piece in my sons' blue room.


I love these Zuny animals! They're not toys. They're functional furniture, the large ones acting as doorstops or footstools while the small pieces can be used as bookends and paperweights. Or you can just use them as quirky decor.

Love this chest of drawers! Solid and well made, none of that cheap nonsense at mall home stores. I like that the drawers don't slam shut. Perfect for homes that have occupants with little fingers!


I had to pose with these jars and vases so you can see the scale. They're large! They'd make perfect decorative pieces at your entry hall or to fill up empty corners. If you plan to put them outside, make sure to drill a hole at the bottom so that water won't pool inside and become breeding ground for mosquitos.


I love these lamps!!! I just know my kids will draw faces on them haha


And here's a perfect little kitten to add color to your desk or bookshelves! It's from Art 24 Inc that's based in Angono, Rizal.


I am soooo in love with this dining set! I've gone back to MY MC Home and when I saw this again, I still felt love for its clean and efficient design and its perfect wood grain. The wood also feels warm. I don't know why! It just feels alive still. It's very mid-century modern. I wish I had the space for it because I want this in my home!


You can also find beds, mattresses, pillows, and beddings at MY MC Home, mamas! These are very simple pieces. I found that the Pasay branch has more interesting beds when it comes to design.

There are more furniture and home essentials you can find at MY MC Home BGC! Just drop by and make sure you join the MC Home Depot Build & Drive Raffle where you can get a chance to win a Toyota HIACE GL Grandia. Just a P2000 single-receipt purchase earns you a raffle coupon. You have until December 31, 2019, to shop and join!

For more home and office finds, visit the new BGC branch! MY MC Home has 3 branches: Level 3 MET LIVE Mall, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, 1302 Pasay City, at MC Home Depot San Fernando Interchange, Jose Abad Santos Avenue, 2000 San Fernando, Pampanga, and now at MC Home Depot BGC, Taguig. You may also find more furniture and promos at their Facebook page www.facebook.com/mymchome and Instagram www.instagram.com/mymchome.

*This post is brought to you by My MC Home.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

10 heart health tips for mamas everywhere!

All over the world, Heart Health Month is February. Now, I know it's September but Welch's 100% Grape Juice asked me to share with you, mamas, some tips that I do for a healthy heart.

I'll be honest. I need to work on this. I'm 42 years old and 125 lbs, so I look like I'm healthy. But this year has been extremely stressful - with a new job on top of my writing business, my father's illness and death, the endless demands of motherhood - so I haven't been eating well, sleeping well, and doing well. I've been to a few health professionals and they don't really have good news. 

For starters, skinny me is 34% fat. That means I'm considered obese. Imagine that! That's not good. Excess fat is never good for anyone's body. Fat spells all kinds of trouble: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease. All along I thought that since I didn't look fat, I wasn't fat. 

So here's a list of stuff I need to do to take care of my heart and the rest of my body. Some of them I'm already doing so that's progress! I'm eating a lot more fish and fiber, for example. 

Healthy snack while putting away the laundry: tomato, lettuce and cheese on whole-wheat bread. And Welchs'!

Check out these 10 tips for a healthy heart:

1. Don't get fat.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology says that a big belly is bad for your heart. It's bad for everything really. From how your clothes fit to how your body functions. Obesity means higher blood pressure. A heavier body means the heart has to work extra hard to move blood through it. 

MY STATUS: Working on slimming down!

2. Eat fiber-rich food.
Fiber is nature's way of cleaning up your body. The Mayo Clinic suggests oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, berries as fiber-rich food. They contain soluble fiber that will reduce bad cholesterol (that's fat) in your blood. Just eat lots of fruits and vegetables, mamas. 

MY STATUS: I'm actually a veggie lover. Fruits, not so much. That's why I drink Welch's 100% Grape Juice, the one with added fiber. But I've already started eating more fruit than usual this year. Still not enough! But getting there!  

3. Eat fish.
Less pork and beef, more fish! Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. That's good fat, mamas, that helps keep our hearts healthy. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring, at least twice a week.

MY STATUS: Pretty good! I eat a LOT of sardines! My freezer is also full of salmon. This was our dinner last night—seared salmon chunks. All it needed was salt and pepper. So good!

Simple, delicious, nutritious!

4. Eat dark chocolate.
Yes, it has to be dark chocolate because other kinds of chocolate have lots of sugar and dairy in them so that kinda cancels out the good stuff haha. Dark chocolate is bitter but take a bite because the NPR reports that it's full of flavanoids and polyphenols that protect you from heart disease and strokes. 

MY STATUS: Oh, I don't like dark chocolate! I'm not a big chocolate lover actually but I guess I should start adding a bit of darkness into my diet!

5. Drink grape juice.
The Mayo Clinic lists down all the heart benefits of grape juice: It lowers the risk of blood clots, reduces bad cholesterol, prevents damage to blood vessels in your heart, and helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

How does grape juice do that? Well, grapes are rich in antioxidants like resveratrol and flavonoids. Now here's why I love Welch's 100% Grape Juice: They crush the entire grape! That's why their juice is thick and dark and has bits of skin and seed in it. We don't just get the juice squeezed out of the grape—we get the whole grape. Why is that important? Those heart-beneficial antioxidants are found mainly in the skin, stem, leaf, and seeds of grapes! 

Another noteworthy thing is the darker the grape, the higher the antioxidants it has. Welch's uses Concord grapes, which are so dark, they're almost black. 

MY STATUS: I drink Welch's 100% Grape Juice every single day!

Fish and Welch's again! Must start eating brown rice, though.

6. De-stress.
How does stress affect our heart anyway? MedicineNet says, "Medical researchers aren't sure exactly how stress increases the risk of heart disease." It's mostly a lifestyle effect—stress makes you sleep less, eat more. Stress may make you smoke and drink more. Your stressful schedule prevents you from exercising or spending time with your family. 

So basically don't have a stressful life so you won't get the bad lifestyle choices that come with coping with stress!

MY STATUS: Dear heavens, I am so stressed! Because of my job, I haven't slept well the last 7 months! Because my body is exhausted, I need to fuel it with food instead. So many bad choices I'm making because of my stress-filled days!

7. Brush your teeth.
How can our teeth be connected to our heart??? Good oral hygiene not only means a beautiful smile and fresh breath, it also means a healthy heart. The American Heart Association reports that people with periodontal disease (gum infection, inflamed gums, and tooth decay) have a higher risk of developing heart disease. So brush your teeth and floss, mamas!

MY STATUS: Much improved! When I was a mom of 3 little babies, I was so exhausted every night, I'd fall asleep without washing my face and brushing my teeth! I finally had to go to the dentist a couple of years ago to have 2 decayed molars extracted and get my gums back to health. It was that bad! Now, I take care of my teeth much better.

8. Exercise regularly.

Johns Hopkins Medicine lists a whole lot of reasons why exercise is soooo good for your heart. It slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, makes you lose and keep off weight, puts more oxygen into your blood, eases stress, and a whole lot more!

MY STATUS: I'll start exercising!!! I actually am more active this year than the years before. I walk a lot now, for example. But I need regular exercise! Someone help me with this!

9. Have lots of sex!
Sex can be good for your heart and we don't just mean this romantically. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that sex helps regulate blood pressure and lowers your risk of heart disease.

MY STATUS: The only exercise I do and it's not even done as regularly as my husband and I want! I'm so busy and tired from work!!! Must fix this.

10. Laugh!
Anyone ever loved that old Reader's Digest column, "Laughter is the Best Medicine"? I did! And it's true, too. The Cleveland Clinic says that laughing increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, prevents cholesterol plaques from forming, reduces stress hormones, and boosts the immune system. Wow!   

MY STATUS: Despite my extremely stressful year, I am happy. I have my husband and my sons, who make me laugh every day. I have my comfortable home. I have my few friends. I have God. All of these help greatly in easing whatever heaviness I have in my mind and my heart. I have you, my dearest Loyal Readers. I have my blog sponsors and I'm also writing articles again, which is my great joy. Life is good!


I hope you liked my extremely well-researched article, mamas! And let's all resolve to make our hearts healthier. Our kids need us to stick around longer.

*This post is brought to you by Welch's 100% Grape Juice. For more information and heart-healthy tips, visit www.welchs.com, like Welch's PH on Facbook, and follow @welchs_ph on Instagram.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

This is why Samsung’s Heatpump Dryer is a great investment for our homes


One of the most challenging times for Filipinos would be the rainy season. Flooding, heavy traffic, unpredictable loss of electricity connection, and of course, a hard time to sun and air-dry clothes. What people may not realize is the convenience a dryer can provide for the entire household.

It saves time and effort.
This appliance makes laundry a simple task to guarantee more time for the family. Dryers have the ability to dry clothes at any time of the day, under any weather conditions. Just put freshly washed clothes straight to the dryer, select the right settings, and let it run until completely dry. For people living in the city, there’s no need for wide spaces to hang wet clothes. Properly dried clothes can go straight for ironing (it actually makes it easier to iron). 

Its technology cuts electricity consumption in half.
If electricity consumption is the major reason that’s keeping you from getting a dryer, consider the Samsung DV90M5200QW Heatpump dryer. With this technology, a heatpump generates heat during the cycle instead of electricity, so it consumes only half of the electricity from the conventional clothes dryer. 

To explain its process further, the Samsung DV90M5200QW Heatpump dryer collects the condensed water from your clothing rather than releasing hot air into the home. Its easy view water tank will show if it needs emptying before another load. One can also connect the tube straight to the drainage to make it a seamless experience. 

It's designed for optimal performance. 
Another energy-saving feature is the OptimalDry function which is an intelligent drying system that provides the best possible drying result using 3 sensors. During a cycle, a moisture sensor continuously monitors the humidity level in real-time and adjusts the drying time using less energy. A temperature sensor also stops your clothes from getting too hot, so it protects them from being damaged. Caring for this appliance is also made easy with the 2-in-1 Filter that captures dust and fibers to make sure it operates at its best. It has a filter alarm that notifies when the filter needs to be emptied. 

It's perfect for big households.
This dryer also has a 9kg capacity, making it ideal for large households. Dry up to 1kg of clothes in 35 minutes with its QuickDry function. Its different programs give each garment the right care it needs. It’s also easy to forget to clean filters on appliances, but this Heatpump dryer has two alarms that alert when the filter and heat exchanger needs cleaning. It’s equipped with an advanced 2-in-1 mesh layer filter system that captures dust and fibers to maintain its optimum drying performance. 


To know more details about the Samsung DV90M5200QW Heatpump dryer, like SamsungPH on Facebook or visit https://www.samsung.com/ph/washing-machines/all-washing-machines/

*To be featured on Press Release Tuesdays, send it to frances@topazhorizon.com.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Check out these self-storage services in Manila and the reasons why you should consider storing away your belongings

A clean and uncluttered home is always a delight!

You may have heard a lot about storage units in the past as there have been some interesting TV shows based on these kinds of units. Of course, while everything on these TV shows are so dramatic, storage units are actually quite boring but very beneficial to you in a number of ways, especially if you live in a condominium in Manila.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in a storage unit for your belongings:

Various Sizes 
One of the great things about using a self-storage unit is that they can come in various sizes. In the TV shows, they're all just these big rooms. That's great if you have a few beds and furniture to store away but what if you just need to store your when-I-was-skinny clothes? 

You will find that storage units can come in small, medium and larger sizes so there will definitely be something for you. You can even size your own up with some storage companies, so be sure to find out more as this could be beneficial to your family.

Secure 
If you have a lot of items in your home that are a little more valuable, then you might be worried that they could get stolen. While you will probably have home insurance, you need to take extra measures to look after your things. With a storage unit, you can make sure that your items are protected. The best storage units come with extra security which includes top of the range locking systems and CCTV that runs 24/7. Some storage services also offer insurance!

Multi-Purpose 
Whether you are in the process of moving home and need some more space or you are starting your own business and need a unit to store your stock, a storage unit can come in handy. 

When using your unit, just make sure you store all your items correctly. Some items will need to be stored in a very specific way (artwork for instance needs the right conditions), so make sure the storage service offers climate-control (that means temperature, light and humidity are monitored). If this seems a little overwhelming, Moishe’s Self Storage offer a self storage guide that provides some essential tips on how you can use your unit to suit you. You can take a read of this here if you’re interested. 

More Space In Your Home 
Finally, you will find that a self-storage unit can really help you to find more space in your home. When you spend some time decluttering, you might realize that you don’t want to throw away a lot of your items (even those that don't spark joy!). With a self-storage unit, you can send all of your items over there and have a much tidier home. This is great for growing families that need that extra bit of space. 

If you are not already someone who uses a self-storage unit regularly then you might want to think about trying this out soon. You should be able to find a reliable storage unit company in your local area so give it a try.


7 Self-Storage Services in Manila
Obviously, storage units are located in Manila because we have no space! And our condos are getting tinier (and yet pricier!) by the day. These condo developers are inhuman, I swear. So if you need storage, here are some I found (arranged alphabetically):

Locations: Pasig
Rates: Site doesn't disclose rates.
Reason to store with them: They have a special offer—rent for 12 months and get an extra month for free. I don't know how long this promo will last, though, so check their website for updates. 

Locations: Mandaluyong
Rates: Site doesn't disclose rates but they say they're cheaper than their competitors.
Reason to store with them: Well, they're cheaper than their competitors!

Locations: Mystery location. Their website doesn't say! They'll just pick up your stuff and then deliver it back to you when you need them.
Rates: P200 for a Kahon
Reason to store with them: You store your items in boxes so you can control how much you spend (vs filling up a room). Climate-controlled warehouse, too.

Locations: Doesn't say where their warehouse is but they can pick up and deliver to Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Paranaque, and Muntinlupa.
Rates: Starts at Php 499 up to Php 17,199
Reason to store with them: You can manage everything through their app! I think they're expensive, though.

Locations: Pasig, Makati, JP Rizal, Taguig
Rates: Site doesn't disclose.
Reason to store with them: Their units are climate-controlled! 24/7 access, too.

Locations: San Juan, Mandaluyong, Rockwell, Balate, Grace Village, Divisoria, and 2 warehouses in Araneta Ave, QC.
Rates: Php 500 per sqm
Reason to store with them: They have 8 locations! And you pay per square meter.

Locations: San Juan, Quezon Ave, Yakal, and Eran
Rates: Site doesn't disclose.
Reason to store with them: They're open 24/7! So if you suddenly need your wedding gown at 2am, you can get it! 

*This is a guest post with my edits. Storage units photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash. Apartment photo by Nathan Van Egmond on Unsplash

Friday, September 20, 2019

Review: Bioderma Sebium H2O Purifying Cleansing Micelle Cleanser

Selfie to prove my oily skin loves Bioderma Sebium!

A few weeks ago, I made my first IGTV video where I showed everyone how I remove my makeup. I used Bioderma Sebium micellar water to remove my makeup and clean my face. I didn't rinse since it was a no-rinse cleanser. And I thought that was the end of that.

Well, apparently, I was wrong! A few viewers told me that Bioderma Sebium is a cleanser, not a makeup remover. I should've used Sensibio to remove my makeup first then used Sebium to clean my face after. So that's why it took a lot of cleansing wipes before every bit of makeup was removed! Thank you to my viewers for telling me!

Since I don't have Sensibio, all I'll be able to review today is the Sebium. And that's okay because I love it!


Sebium is micellar water which is a special kind of water infused with micelles (cleansing oil in molecule form) that capture and lift away dirt and makeup. Sebium also has other purifying ingredients so that skin is cleansed without drying out. It's gentle for everyday use. Even if you don't wear makeup, if you use sunscreen, commute, or are oily-skinned, use Sebium anyway. It really lifts off everything—except moisture!—from your skin.

The bottle makes the liquid look blue but it's clear.

Now, even though I was told that it's not a makeup remover, when I do use it to remove makeup, it does remove makeup! Maybe it took me a lot more product than usual but it still did its job so I'm not complaining. 

I also like that Sebium is designed for combination/oily skin because that's my skin type. Bioderma says that Sebium is especially formulated to regulate the oil secretion with their patented Fluidactiv. It promises to normalize oil production. I honestly haven't seen any lessening of my oiliness. But at least I'm not breaking out either so I dunno. Maybe it works!


If you want to try Bioderma Sebium, it's available in a lot of places for just P518 for the 100ml bottle. Just click these links: Watsons, BeautyMNL, and Lazada. I also saw that Care to Beauty sells it at a discount—P274 lang! And please support my new IGTV channel although I still don't know what to do with it haha

Monday, September 16, 2019

My kids loved Harry Potter in Concert!

My kids had such a wonderful treat this weekend. We got to watch Harry Potter in Concert! It's like watching the movie but with a real orchestra playing the music. Yes, a real live orchestra accompanying the movie. They played the entire musical score from opening scene up to the end credits! It was fantastic!

My kids just discovered Harry Potter this year. We're now reading Prisoner of Azkaban. It's slow work but I guess that's better kasi nasasamsam talaga nila lahat ng details. Reading Harry Potter aloud to the kids is very tiring (their Papa does most of the work) but it's nice to revisit one of my favorite stories with three of my most favorite people in the world. Imagine watching it on the big screen with a live musical performance! We had such a fabulous time and it was also so nice seeing my other mommy friends at the Theater at Solaire!

Me with my little Harry!
Aliza Apostol
Marie Field-Faith
Kat Maderazo
Harry Potter in Concert is produced by CC: Concepts, a really young music production company with a mission to make music mainstream. I like that they chose Harry Potter because its fan base is kids. It's good to introduce orchestra music to young children. My father, grandfather, and my grade school music teacher did that to me and I developed a liking to identifying instruments while listening to classical music.



It sounds hoity-toity but it's not really. I think it made me smarter and calmer. More human. I'm not like my husband who can identify composers and symphonies and operas at a drop of a hat. He's obviously more sophisticated than I am, but we share the same love for music and how it sweeps through the soul. I think every human being should know how that feels, and if we start our kids young on a steady diet of music, it will strengthen their mind and soul. I really believe this!

I should apply it more, though. I'm always too busy to be more mindful of my kids' music education. But Harry Potter in Concert was a great experience for them. They loved hearing the music live. The performance was actually so good, the kids didn't realize the music was actually being performed right in front of them. Fantastic job to conductor Gerard Salonga and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra!

 
 

And congratulations to CC: Concepts for such a successful show. Please produce all 8 movies please! Then do a Disney one, too. And Avengers. And Star Wars. And Lord of the Rings!!! Omigosh, please do Lord of the Rings!!!

For upcoming CC: Concepts shows, please visit their Facebook page.

*mommy-and-kids photos from CC: Concepts Facebook page.

Monday, September 02, 2019

I list down what I need for my house right now

I've lived in our lovely little apartment for 12 years now. It's just a piece of heaven! And because we live high up in the sky, our big windows look out into either vivid blue sky and white fluffy clouds or crazy stormy weather so our home kinda literally feels like heaven.

Until the kids arrived hahaha

Now the house is almost always a mess and we are in a daily battle to keep the chaos at bay. So far, we are winning the war. Our sons are learning to control their mess and help around the house so I'm not losing my mind and temper so often anymore. Yey!

Anyway, I was at MY MC Home recently and I just wanted to share with you, dearest fellow mamas, what I found which my home needs right now.


Colorful stools
My husband will disagree and of course he's right but I kinda want these stools. I want them for my kids because our dining chairs are so nice and comfy, the boys slouch and even lie down when they eat! It's so annoying! Yes, I'm a mean mama when it comes to teaching my boys good manners and right conduct. Since they can't seem to stop themselves from eating like Roman emperors, lounging about the dining table, stools suddenly seem like a great solution.


Rolling crate.
Also known as the f@cketbucket* in our family. It's where my husband and I throw in all the mess we find around the house, like Legos, plushies, crayons, homework. We don't organize our kids' stuff anymore. We just throw those things in that crate and when the kids go, "Mama, where's my...?", I just nod towards the crate and they'll know their stuff is in there.

We already have a crate obviously but at the end of the day, the kids still have to sort and organize their stuff and they walk to and fro from the living room to their bedroom and this can take forever! But if the crate were on wheels... Brilliant!

*We didn't invent this, by the way. It's a term that means you don't want to care anymore about something. Then we saw a Scary Mommy article about a mom who made a literal bucket of stuff she doesn't want to care about anymore and it was a lightbulb moment for us!


Laundry drying rack
Here's something else I super need! My Loyal Readers know I love doing the laundry. Well, my current clothes rack is almost at the end of its useful life. Which of the above drying racks do you recommend? I'm thinking of the one on wheels so I can drag it around the house and wherever the sun is (#condoproblems). What you think?


Hampers
Because mine are not pretty anymore. These are light but sturdy and super affordable! The small ones, by the way, are better as stuffed toy organizers or maybe a towel holder for your bathroom. They're too small for a hamper (unless you like doing the laundry daily!).


Art
I adore these little sculptures! I believe every home should have art. It doesn't matter if they're pricey paintings or clay sculptures your kids made in school. Your home needs a soul and the physical manifestation of that is art!

To find out more about these unique sculptures, check out the MY MC Home blog post about them.


For more home finds, visit the store! MY MC Home has 2 branches: Level 3 MET LIVE Mall, Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, 1302 Pasay City, and at MC Home Depot San Fernando Interchange, Jose Abad Santos Avenue, 2000 San Fernando, Pampanga. You may also find more furniture and promos at their Facebook page www.facebook.com/mymchome and Instagram www.instagram.com/mymchome.

*This post is brought to you by My MC Home.