Saturday, July 30, 2016

10 more ways to use rubbing alcohol

This post is brought to you by Biogenic Alcohol.

As a Biogenic Ambassador, I use lots of alcohol. Use, not drink hehe. Never drink rubbing alcohol!

Yes, we're talking about rubbing alcohol today! And I'm really happy to share with you these 10 ways I use Biogenic in my home. I'm sure you also have lots of other reasons for buying a big bottle of alcohol for your house, right? It's not just for the first aid kit, right?

Oh no! What to do? Don't worry—Biogenic to the rescue!

I already wrote about keeping my home and my kids healthy and safe (10 Ways I Keep My Home Healthy and 5 Simple Ways to Keep Our Kids Safe from Germs at School), so today I'll tell you all about the other ways I use Biogenic.

1. Hairspray fallout remover
Because I have such flat, thin, limp hair, I employ hairspray to keep whatever body I forced into my hair (via mousse and blowdrying) with some generous blasts of hairspray. Hehe, matrona helmet! The problem is hairspray coats everything around me—sink, mirror, doorknob, my makeup containers, everything!—in a fine sticky mist. So a quick wipe on these surfaces with tissue moistened with Biogenic instantly removes the sticky spray fallout.

2. Faucet cleaner
This is connected to the tip above but I gave it special mention because alcohol makes chrome fixtures extra shiny. I don't actually know why. Try it!

3. Deodorant alternative
Hehe sorry TMI. But we're all girls here, right? I don't use deodorant. I don't have body odor. Promise! I just quickly wipe my underarms with a cotton ball wet with Biogenic. What causes body odor is bacteria, so if your armpits are germ-free, there won't be odor!

4. Phone and keyboard sanitizer
Because fingers and faces are oily, this oiliness transfers to things you touch. Like your computer keyboard and your phone. My face is extra oily, like you can't imagine, so I hate using my phone for calls because it sticks to my cheek and then it's an oil spill. So gross. My instant solution to removing slime and grime? Biogenic.

Oh, and let me take this opportunity to show you my Biogenic ad out now in the August issue of Good Housekeeping!

5. Stove de-greaser
Because of the above find (that alcohol can fight oil), I spray the stove and surrounding walls with Biogenic after I cook. It lessens the grease considerably. We still do a big cleanup after dinner using a cleanser but at least there's no huge oily mess anymore. Plus, my stove ends up extra shiny!

6. Sticky stuff remover
Ever peeled off a sticker from stuff you bought like books, pens, plastic anything, and the sticker residue stubbornly refuses to un-adhere from the product? Use Biogenic to wipe that stickiness away!

7. Ink stain remover
This works. I proved this when my toddler Piero took my ballpoint pen and wrote on our dining chair. Not a line, not a few scribbles. He did a whole Cy Twombly on the loveseat! I seriously thought I needed to have the whole thing reupholstered. But Biogenic and lots of scrubbing later and the pen scribbles disappeared.

8. Marker ink dissolver
If it can remove ink, markers are even easier to tackle. I don't panic anymore when my kids go on a marker spree on the table, the dining chairs, the walls, and on themselves. I just Biogenic them all!

9. Whiteboard cleaner
Again, because of my reason found in #8. But I just wanted to reiterate that alcohol can really dissolve whiteboard marker ink, even if you haven't cleaned that whiteboard in years. The ink will just disappear!

10. Bug bite first aid
Whenever my kids get bug bites, I spray Biogenic on the bite before I smear booboo balm. The alcohol sanitizes the area so that when my kids scratch it, at least I know the affected area is free from germs, in case they break the skin from scratching. The cool sensation of alcohol also relieves the itchiness. Try it!

Do you use alcohol in these ways, too? Do you have more tips and secrets? Please share in the comments!

There are also more tips on the Instagram account and Facebook page of Biogenic alcohol. Like and follow the hashtags #BiogenicAlcohol #MyBiogenicWorld and #BiogenicxHome.

Also just wanted to invite you all this weekend (yes, it starts today!) to the My Biogenic World: Playtime Discoveries event at Market! Market! Activity Area.

There will be FREE seminars you and your husband can enjoy. For example, I'll be giving a talk on how to take care of your marriage even with kids. Yes, I heard it can be done so let's talk about it later!

There will also be celebrity moms like Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio and Danica Sotto-Pingris at the event. They are two of the nicest and truly real women I've ever met. I totally recommend you meeting them, too!

Bring the kids! There are soooo many fun activities for them! There will be an area for Build & Play and Water & Sand games. There'll be creative play at Kids at Art. And your kids will definitely enjoy the Inflatable Castle and the Biogenic Train!

All aboard then! See you later at the My Biogenic World: Playtime Discoveries!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Planning a trip to the UK with the kids and here’s where you should go!

My 10th wedding anniversary is next year and I’ve been bugging my husband about going to the UK to celebrate it. Our honeymoon was in London and it was amazing!

That’s why I want to go back. My plan is for just the two of us to go, you know, a second honeymoon! But Vince can’t imagine going anywhere without the kids. So, since he’s hellbent on bringing the kids, I’ve been doing some research, and I’ve come to the happy conclusion that the UK can make a fantastic holiday destination especially for families with young children, like my own.

When it comes to picking a travel destination within the UK, London, the capital, is the obvious choice. Packed full of sights, attractions, and hotels of all shapes and sizes, London is known for being family-friendly

However, it is also very expensive and with five of us now instead of just two in 2008, I've been thinking of maybe exploring other parts of the British Isles. From beach breaks to camping trips, I found that the UK has so many vacation options that are ideal for families. In case you’re thinking of going there, I thought that I would share a few ideas and suggestions of ideal locations, as well as things to do in the area.

Take a seaside break in Blackpool

I know, I know. Why would any Filipino who lives in paradise want to go to another beach? Well, try Blackpool anyway! Situated on the Irish Sea coast of England, Blackpool is home to a bustling seaside town, beautiful beach, and an amusement park. Dating back to the 1890s, the park offers lots of rides—vintage rides as well as more modern ones, with rides and activities for visitors of all ages. For the daredevils, there are plenty of thrill rides, like Avalanche and The Big One roller coasters. While for younger visitors, there’s Nickelodeon Land and lots of little rides and activities for them to get stuck into. 

The town itself is home to various hotels and guesthouses, meaning that you’ll have plenty of choice of accommodation. There’s also lots of restaurants and bars, a theater, and lots of shops to explore. So if you're looking for a big beach with a carnival, Blackpool could be the perfect place!

Opt for a city break in Bristol

I'm a city girl through and through. If you're like me, London is the dream destination. But like I said, it's just too expensive there so how about planning a trip to Bristol instead? Bristol, the largest city in the South of the UK, is a fantastic place to visit. It’s packed full of shops, sights and attractions, and so, has plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertained. There’s museums, art galleries, a zoo, and tons of other things to keep your family busy. 

Getting around shouldn’t be a problem as there are plenty of trains, buses, and taxis. If you want to get your kids walking, sign up for a Bristol walking tour. This will take you all around the city’s most famous sights and attractions, such as Clifton Suspension Bridge and Queen Square. For a city break that’s not as hectic as London but still as enjoyable and child-friendly, Bristol is the ideal location.

Visit the sunny South Hams

Nestled in the heart of South Devon is the South Hams, an area made up of beautiful countryside, nature reserves, and rugged coastline. If what you want is a less commercialized and more authentic experience, then a trip to the South Hams is perfect for your family.

Here you’ll find miles and miles of untouched countryside and beaches. As well as lots of seaside towns and villages to explore. The best places to consider staying are Salcombe or Dartmouth. This is because both of these locations have beaches, shops, restaurants, and lots to keep the kids occupied. There’s also one of the UK’s best zoos nearby (Paignton Zoo), as well as a fantastic open air water park (Splashdown at Quaywest). A short drive away, there’s Dartmoor National Park, a fantastic location for exploring with the little ones. There are theme parks like Crealy and Woodlands to keep the thrill seekers occupied. Although a smaller and less commercialized location, the South Hams has a lot to offer families. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, too. From five-star hotels to self-catered holiday cottages, there’s sure to be something that’s perfect for your family whatever your budget!

Explore Truro

I want to see Cornwall because this is the duchy of Prince Charles. I believe this is what makes him a very wealthy prince. Anyway! Cornwall’s only city, Truro, is a bustling hub of activity. Its beautiful cobbled streets are lined with shops, art galleries, museums, and restaurants. It’s also home to a beautiful cathedral that dates back to the late 1880’s. While Truro itself is a city packed full of plenty to see and do, some of Cornwall’s best beaches are nearby. One of which is Perranporth beach. This beach and seaside town are incredibly popular with surfers and families due to its golden sands and calm, clear waters. Just under an hour’s drive away is the Eden Project, a tropical garden paradise located inside two biodomes. There are also lots of cute, quirky towns, like Tintagel and Padstow, just a short drive away. All of which are ideal for exploring with your little ones.

Head to the Lake District

A national park located in North England, the Lake District is the ideal location for a family break. Especially if you and your little ones love the great outdoors. And I may be a city girl but just look at that view. It's like straight out of a fairy tale! Known for its stunning lakes and vast areas of countryside, the Lake District is a favorite with camping enthusiasts. There’s not just exploring and bird spotting to keep your little ones entertained. Oh no, there are also plenty of sights and attractions like The World of Beatrix Potter to the Bowness on Windermere Treasure Trail. Hmm, my kids do love Peter Rabbit so maybe this is worth checking out. I just need to buy binoculars for kids first and we're all set to explore that amazing terrain! Whether you love to camp or prefer to stay in a hotel, there’s plenty of accommodation options to choose from, too.

So did you like my little travel advice? If you’re considering a break in the UK (it's summer there now!), the not-London, not-typical tourist ideas I suggested above are my top picks. Whether you prefer to explore the city or camp in the wilderness, the UK has plenty to offer. I hope we really can go to the UK next year for our anniversary! Wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ask Frances: After caring for the kids all day, how is sex with my husband even possible?

This post is brought to you by Biogenic Alcohol.

Well, yes, I haven't forgotten about this super popular series! So if you're wondering about my Ask Frances series, well, I didn't do posts for May and June. I've been getting really heavy and serious questions. I'm kinda scared to answer them because marriages are on the balance. Nakakatakot sagutin, diba? But I said I'd do this series and so let's do this!

"Ask Frances" is a monthly (well, that was the plan!) blog series where I will answer questions from my readers. The chosen question will receive a prize. This month's prize is from my blog partner, Biogenic Alcohol. I really chose this question because it's perfect for announcing something I'm doing for a big event of Biogenic this weekend.

Today's prize is all these bottles of Biogenic. I'm especially happy with the big spray bottles.

I think Ethyl alcohol is safer to use around kids. It's an ingredient in making alcoholic beverages, after all, which mean it's ingestible. But that doesn't mean you should drink it! Ethyl alcohol is what I use whenever my kids are involved—their grooming kits, our first aid kit.

Isopropyl alcohol is volatile and highly combustible. This ingredient is found in sanitizing solutions like hand gels and heavy-duty cleaners. Obviously, dangerous to ingest! I use this for cleaning the house.

Our question this month:

I started reading your blog since you were pregnant with IƱigo. I found your blog because I was also pregnant in 2012 with my first child. Now I have two kids. A boy and a baby girl. My life is so full and happy, like yours. Frances, I can tell from the few posts that you write about your marriage that your marriage changed after the kids came. Mine did also. 

My husband says he misses me. He wants me to stay awake so I can spend time with him after the kids go to sleep. Most of the time, he also wants to make love. We're married. He's a man. Of course he wants sex. I understand. But I want him to understand I'm so tired from taking care of the kids all day. I get up at 5 and I am on my feet until the kids bedtime at 8. I just really want to sleep. I am still attracted to my husband but I'm so tired. My husband doesn't force me at all. So I am thankful. But I am guilty. I'm too tired! I am also resentful. But I don't want him to become celibate for ever. I don't want him to look for a querida also. 

Sorry for the personal question. How do you still have a marriage after kids? I follow you on IG and you still look so happy together with Vince. Are you still having sex? If yes, how do you do it? I don't want my marriage to end. Thank you!


Dear M.N., what questions you ask! I seriously don't know how to answer because I'm going through the same questions myself! But let me try anyway. Let's pretend it's just you and me talking, two wives who love their husbands so very much, two mothers too exhausted to show their husbands that love.

Let me answer the questions as bluntly as you asked them. "Are you still having sex?" Yes, we are still having sex. Sadly, the frequency has lessened to the point that sometimes Vince calls me his roommate. Haha.

I think it's important to remember that our husbands are not the villains here. He doesn't ask for sex because he's selfish. He wants sex because it's a display of love and affection for him to you and from you to him. I dunno why men can't display such affection in ways such as doing all the chores, or letting us sleep, or taking care of the kids all day long haha. For example, if I had a nap that day, I'm in a better mood for sex later at night. The longer my nap, the more game I am for making out! If I had time to shower, too! Honestly, sometimes a whole day can pass and I hadn't had time to wash my face or brush my teeth, then here comes my husband asking for loving. When I'm stinky, sticky and yucky, I'm not in the mood at all. Vince says he doesn't mind, but sex starts in the mind and if my mind says I'm yucky, I won't feel sexy. So let me nap, let me shower, and I can have sexy time!

So I guess that answers your question, "If yes, how do you do it?" He tries to make sure I get rest—even for just a little while—so I can have energy to take him on later. Talk to your husband about how tired you are and ask for his help. If he's at work all day, ask budget for household help. A life coach I know told me that mothers shouldn't feel guilty to hire yayas for their kids. Yayas help the mom in that she can rest and spend time with her husband. Someone needs to take care of our husbands, and if it won't be us, who's going to do it?

What helped me was remembering that I'm the only one in the world who can legally provide sex to my husband. So I do have a duty! I don't view it as an obligation, however, because that will make me resentful and that will make my husband a chore. I mean, I wouldn't want him to view me that way either. I want him to love the fact that he's the only one for me—for better or worse! So we have to make love to each other because we're the only ones who are supposed to and who are legally allowed to! So it's a joyful duty. Having an attitude of joy helps. I confess I'm not joyful about it every day because the exhaustion really drowns whatever joy or desire I have (and yes, I am still very much attracted to my husband!). So the solution—for us tired moms, at least—is to address our exhaustion. If husband and wife work together in making mom life less tiring (haha), then wife life will happen!!!

That said, don't conclude that just because you're not having sex, your marriage will end. Yes, sex is a very important part of marriage, but it's not the be-all and end-all of your relationship. It's commitment. Till death do you part, whether or not you're having sex.

Work with your husband about this. Tell him you still want him. Sometimes, that's all they need actually—your confirmation that he's still hot stuff. Commit to spending time together—whether going out on a date, or talking for an hour after the kids are asleep. Yes, just talking. It's hard for us wives to be intimate with someone we don't talk to. So I chat with Vince first before we do it. He gets impatient sometimes haha but it's really hard for me to get in the mood if I don't know how he is or I haven't told him about my day!

M.N., I've been assured (and warned in a way) that this mom-of-young-kids stage won't last forever. The babies will suddenly grow up and then we won't be so tired anymore. We'll have more time again. Just make sure you nurture your marriage while we wait for that time. Nurturing doesn't mean sex all day (who has the time???). Just be there for each other, talk to each other, affirm each other, laugh together, love each other, and make love when you can. That's what we're doing. Hopefully, it's enough to tide us over for when all the kids in school and we finally find ourselves alone!

Now, send me an email so I can send your Biogenic gift pack! You can also attend my talk on July 30, Saturday, at Market! Market! for the "My Biogenic World: Playtime Discoveries" event of Biogenic Alcohol. My topic will be "How to Take Care of Your Marriage After Kids." I'll have more tips to share there.