Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pollution spoiling your skin? Physiogel Daily Defence to the rescue!

This post is brought to you by Physiogel.

This weekend, I'm starting a new skincare regimen using Physiogel's Daily Defence range. I actually tried the products a couple of months ago but after a few days, habit took over and I reached for my usual Physiogel Calming Relief products. But because 2017 is going to be a lot different from 2016, I'm switching to Daily Defence. Here's why:

1. Thanks to Physiogel's Calming Relief line, my skin has already calmed down. Literally. Just look at what my skin looked like before using Physiogel! 
After 2 months' use, my skin calmed down and felt relief!

Scary. But now that my condition has improved, I can move to another skincare line. But Physiogel pa rin! Since my skin is now healthier and stronger, I need to protect it from the harsh environment. Hence, Daily Defense!

2. This coming year, I'll have two kids in big school and my plan is for them to get involved in lots of extra-curricular activities. Because they'll be in school and also because my youngest son has finally weaned (hooray!), I can now focus more on my work. Whatever it will be! That means I'm changing my safely-working-at-home lifestyle to one that's out and about. So working mama me needs extra protection from pollution, UV rays, and stress!  

3. Well, it's New Year's Eve this weekend and the pollution will be extra thick so what better time to start a skincare regimen that aims to defend skin from the environment, right?

So let's talk about environmental pollution. As a working woman in the city, I'm well aware that pollution posts high risks on our health—our lungs and our skin most especially. I breathe in the city air every day. I get exposed to skin-damaging UV rays even when I'm in the shade because the glass-and-concrete buildings and the pavement reflect the sun's harmful rays. Pollution brings with it dirt, irritants, germs. Add sticky, oily sweat and you've got a recipe for skin disaster. I should know because my skin is super oily and extra sensitive so I break out at the slightest excuse! 

I actually didn't know my skin was sensitive. Akala ko super pimply lang talaga ako. Yun pala I have sensitive skin that's highly allergic to practically everything! Dirt, dust, allergens, makeup, perfume, my own husband's stubble! My skin reacts immediately—redness, rashes, pimples. Ang arte!

Living and working in the city hasn't helped my skin either. Especially in a megacity like Manila. Megacities are urban areas with at least 10 million people. I learned this from Physiogel: 

"Air pollution in megacities can be up to 15 times higher across the globe than recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines. When pollution comes into contact on the skin, the particles’ tiny size – which could be up to 20 times smaller than pores – allows them to infiltrate deeper layers of the epidermis. The breakdown of skin barrier functions at a cellular-level can make skin extra sensitive, and can cause skin irritation, dryness, dehydration, premature aging and dullness.

"Based on the 2016 report from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the worsening air quality in Metro Manila, 80% of the air pollution in the country is to be blamed on mobile sources such as vehicles, and 20% of pollutants from stationary sources such as buildings and factories."

Jon Lee, Head of Skin Health & Nutrition, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines, said, “We are talking to women who are driven by the megacity lifestyle. Studies have provided data linking the fast development of megacities like Metro Manila with the rapid increase in city pollution. And alongside that, the problem it brings to sensitive skin. It’s hard to escape pollution and other environmental aggressors, so it’s time to properly defend the skin.”

And here's where Physiogel Daily Defense comes in. 
Physiogel Daily Defence is a complete day-to-night facial skin regimen that promises to defend the skin against pollution and environmental irritants. How? Through a unique triple-action formula!
1. Physiogel BioMimic Technology® to repair and strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier
2. broad spectrum UV protection to help protect against harmful UV rays
3. Antioxidant Complex to neutralize free radicals caused by pollution and radiation

Physiogel picked new brand ambassadors for Daily Defense: Liz Uy, Fay Hokulani, and Martine Cajucom. I know Liz from my past life as a magazine editor and she's shot through the sartorial stratosphere as a celebrity stylist, fashion editorial consultant, and international street style star. Liz said,  “As I travel to different megacities around the globe, I used to never really care about city pollution – not until I started noticing the visible changes on my skin. Sun spots, skin dryness and sensitivity, and practically aging faster are the effects of urban-living.” 

Liz started using the entire Physiogel Daily Defense line: Start with the Physiogel Daily Defence Gentle Facial Cleanser, which effectively removes makeup, dirt and other impurities while respecting the skin’s moisture barrier then finish with Physiogel Daily Defence Replenishing Night Cream to strengthen and repair the skin's moisture barrier function while you sleep. In the morning, use Physiogel Daily Defence Protective Day Cream Light with SPF 15 (or Physiogel Daily Defence Protective Day Cream Rich with SPF 15 if you have extra dry and irritated skin).

After just two weeks, women who tried the Daily Defense regimen noticed visibly healthier skin! Liz said, "To all women living and enjoying the megacity lifestyle, and to those who will pursue this path in their careers, the best decision you can make for yourself is to carefully defend your skin. So go out there and let Physiogel Daily Defence take care of your skin.” 

Oooh! I totally believe Liz because I'm a Physiogel user! I can't wait to start using Daily Defense! I'll do a review at the end of January. Watch for it!

For more information, visit: http://www.physiogel.com/ph and their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PhysiogelPH/.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A truly adorable Christmas story

For my sake, I'm sharing this absolutely adorable Christmas story that's gone viral, so I can always have it on my blog and I'll always watch it whenever I want to. But I'm also sharing it with you if you haven't seen it yet because, mommies, you have GOT to watch it! It's not accurate but it's still true. And hilarious! And soooo adorable.

Dearest mommies, the Christmas story according to kids:

So now my kids think that Mary was doing laundry when she got pregnant with the baby Jesus. Oh well! Be ready to explain a lot to your kids when you watch this with them. We had to talk about the whole Christmas story, like the real one in the Bible, after watching this, and my sons still insist they like the part of Mary doing laundry when she got the good news. So we're still talking about that. We all do agree on the last line of the video:

"The new baby is going to change the world."

Oh yes, yes He did. He changed mine and I hope He changes yours, my dear Loyal Readers. May you accept Jesus Christ in your weary, wonderful hearts and let Him lead you to a life of abundance, joy, and peace that passes all understanding.

From our family to yours, we wish you, "Merry Christmas!"

Saturday, December 24, 2016

My blessed blogger Christmas

At the National Book Store gift-shopping event. 
Just a quick little post to say thanks before we go off to see our loved ones!

My blogger life is a blessing. Because of National Book Store and Landers Superstore, may mga gifts na ako for everyone. Because of Tony Ahn, we have duck ham for Noche Buena. Because of Lady's Choice, meron na akong pang-macaroni salad. Because of Jolly, we have food. Period! Wala akong ginastos halos ngayong Pasko! I love my work! Dear God, thank you for what I do!

And no this isn't a sponsored post but I do live a sponsored life haha But joking aside, I'd like to thank a LOT of people for helping me and my family this 2016.

To the dearest brands who blessed me this year with campaigns, collaborations, and brand ambassadorships, thanks soooo much! Dear Jolly, Smart, Biogenic, Windows 10, Alaska Milk, Physiogel, Avon, Skechers, Flawless, Nutella, Mango, Glad Wrap, Belo Baby, Philips Avent, National Book Store, Elin.ph, Ariel, Landers Superstore, EverydayMe, Security Bank, Traveloka, Fern-C kidz, Vita Cubes, Adobomall, SM Home, Solane, Domex, Lady's Choice, McCormick, Pampers, and Heinz, you have blessed me and my family this year. Thank you!!!

To my amazing friends in digital PR and marketing agencies, thank you for all the work you send my way. Dearest Fuse, Red Events, FleishmanHillard, Fuentes, Huddle Room, Dominguez, Nuffnang, Gamechangers, Bridges, Creative Juice, and Icons, thank you for always including me in your campaigns. Thanks for taking care of bloggers and I hope you enjoyed working with me as much as I enjoyed working with you.

To my blogger friends who recommended me for campaigns, thank you for thinking of me. Nikki Tiu of Askmewhats, Rowena Lei of Animetric's World, and Monica Manzano of My Little Globetrotters, you just proved my sincere belief that a dog-eat-dog world is not how we should be. We should all help each other succeed!

To the lovely people who signed up for my blogging workshops, thanks so much! I was very encouraged by your enthusiasm and I also learned a lot from you. I'm planning more workshops in 2017 because you gave me a huge confidence boost. I hope you start blogging na and I also hope you apply all the tips and tricks I shared with you. I want you all to be HUGE influencers!

Last but definitely not the least, to all my dear Loyal Readers... THANK YOU. I've been blogging for 10 years and sometimes I get tired of it, especially when I'm punished by trolls (usually people I know haha) for putting myself out there. But thanks for sticking around. Thanks for all the kind words. Thanks for the grammar edits haha. Thanks for encouraging me when I'm feeling low and cheering for me when I'm about to do new stuff and even telling me off nicely when I'm all bitchy.

Pang-Manila Filmfest 2016 na ang speech ko! Hindi pwede pang-Oscars kasi 2 minutes lang ang allowed sa speeches ng mga winners. Medyo 20 minutes na ito haha

Oh my, what a year! And what a good year. And a bad year, too. This year wasn't a good one for a lot of people. I must confess that my relationships with my family and friends (well, come to think of it, they weren't really my friends) have suffered because of the ugly elections and the even uglier days that followed. But other than that little glitch, 2016 was actually a great year for me. My marriage, my wonderful little boys, and the friendships that do matter have kept me happy and full of hope for a better world. And it IS a good world filled with good people doing good things. I just thanked a lot of you good people for making my life good! And I hope to do the same for others—to be good and to do good. Thank you all and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Don't forget your toilet this Christmas!

This post is brought to you by Domex.

If you live in a house with three little boys, you'd know that the bathroom is a scary place. And if you live with that horror, you kinda get used to it hahaha. Joke joke. Our bathroom's fine! Maybe the grout needs more scrubbing (sigh) but at least the bathrooms are clean. Thanks to my husband and his favorite (as in he will never use anything else!) multi-purpose cleanser, Domex!

Despite the different bottle colors, the concentrate inside is the same color. Wala lang! Observation lang haha

Now, the holidays means we have to clean our home extra. Because visitors, you know! It's not just about presenting your house in the best way possible; it's really also about more people means more germs and you may like the people visiting your home but you definitely do not like the germs they bring. Yes, I said it. Our dearly beloved are full of germs!

So today, the day before Christmas Eve, make sure you give your bathrooms a thorough cleansing, and when all the family and friends leave, make sure you do another, even more thorough cleanup! My recommendation is Domex. I got extra new bottles of Domex (thanks, Domex, Unilever, Bridges PR, and Animetric's World!) when I went to their fun event a few weeks ago. It was a great lunch attended by lots of media and mommy bloggers.

The event was to raise awareness for World Toilet Day. Yes, such a day exists. It's even a United Nations initiative and you can't get more legit than having the United Nations declare a day of observance of the global sanitation crisis. It's their way of making people discuss toilet sanitation, admittedly a gross subject and not something people want to talk about. Not even me. But when I learned something very important about health at the Domex event, I was ready to talk about gross stuff on my working mama blog! 

At the World Toilet Day event, I learned this: "In the developing world, 443 million days of school are missed because of diseases caused by germs found in unsanitary toilets. That is equivalent to 1 month of school missed by every child in the Philippines." That's horrible! Our kids not only get sick, they also miss days of valuable education. As working moms, we are affected doubly because when our kids miss school, we also miss work. Not only do we have to worry about our poor babies, we also now worry because of work we have to leave behind. So this is an issue that should be of extra concern to us!   

Here's just three of the gross and dangerous germs lurking in our toilet:
1. Fungi, which causes skin diseases
2. Gram negative bacteria, which causes diarrhea
3. Myco bacteria, which is the cause of tuberculosis

In the last three years, Domex, with Philippine Public Health Association, Maxicare, and UNICEF, has been pushing the One Million Clean Toilets project, which aims to educate 1 million people on proper toilet sanitation. This year, Domex wants to address homemakers especially because we moms are the vanguards of our family's health. If we can keep our homes, especially our bathrooms, clean, and then teach our children (girls AND boys!) about cleanliness, then we're looking at an entire generation who will become health-conscious.

So, dear mommies, let's join the One Million Clean Toilets project! Say this:

"A toilet that smells nice and looks clean is NOT enough! It must be germ-free. I pledge to use Domex, a special cleanser that is 5x thicker than other bleach, lasts up to 7 flushes, can access hard-to-reach areas inside your toilet, thus thoroughly cleansing the bathroom and effectively killing nasty germs, bacteria and viruses."

Let our 2017 be much better and healthier! Let's keep our kids protected from germs by 

beginning proper cleanliness in our home. I already joined the #1MCleanToilets movement. Join, too, dear mommies! 

Like the Facebook page of Domex Philippines to know more! Then don't forget to make your toilet Domex-clean today! That's what I'm doing after publishing this. Happy Friday before the crazy holiday weekend, mommies!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Life as a working mom: Top tips to help you improve your juggling skills

I'm a working mama. I've always been career-driven so when I became a mother six years ago, a lot of changes and adjustments and soul-searching were done. I tried full-time work, I tried exclusive stay-at-home mommyhood, I tried part-time jobs and freelance work, and now that my youngest son has weaned (more on that soon!), I'm actively looking for a full-time job. I now know I'm so much more fulfilled when I'm working—with or without kids, whether I need to or not, and whatever the job may be. I just really like working!

More and more moms are working. Going to work every day gives you a sense of purpose, some time to be you, and of course financial independence. To stand on your own two feet financially is one of the most empowering joys in life and I believe every woman should have this. 

However, working and raising children can be a juggling act—and mothers get a lot of criticism for daring to be more than wives and mothers. How do you find time to do everything? Is it cruel to leave the kids in preschool or with a sitter? Is it ever possible to find a solution that benefits everyone? If you’re a working mom, here are top tips that I've used which will hopefully help you achieve the balance that works for you and your family.
My Baby Magazine job was perfect because we all worked from home and met at the office once a month!
1. Choose the right job.
If you already have a job that you love, you probably don’t want to give it up. If this is the case, there are alternatives to looking for a new job. You could ask your boss about reducing hours and working part-time. Or you may wish to consider working from home instead of spending every day at the office. More and more people work remotely, and this can help you to strike a balance between enjoying your work and being there to bring up your kids. When you work from home, you have more flexibility. You also save time on your commute, and you can adjust your working day around your parenting commitments. This is my life now! It's absolutely amazing, but I'm ready for something new now that the kids are more independent.

If you’re looking for a new position, try and opt for child-friendly options. You don’t have to change careers completely but look for ways of making your working week more flexible. I know a few moms who took a nursing job for newborns, for example. This actually pays really well! And they get to take care of cute babies, too. It's not exactly like a nanny job, it's more like an experienced mom helping out a new mom. If you love helping out people but working in someone else's home doesn’t suit you, consider other health care vacancies

2. Work near home.
With our terrible commute, people spend up to 6 hours in traffic. That's 6 hours you could've spent with the kids! So much time is wasted just being stuck in traffic and that makes us moms exhausted—physically, mentally and psychologically. So if your dream job is three cities away and your boss won't let you work remotely, you might consider looking for work nearer your home. 

That's my plan. I'm looking for jobs based in my residential community. I'm also considering jobs near my sons' school. It will definitely make it convenient for us because we can go to school together, go home together, and I'll be near in case of emergency.

3. Learn to say no.
When you’re single and you don't have children to rush back to after your working day, you may be more eager when it comes to taking on extra work or working overtime. Yes, do that while you can! But when you're a parent, you’ll quickly learn two things: Your time is precious and you can’t do everything. 

One of the best lessons you can learn is how to say no. You have to prioritize when you have children, and they always come first. Moms actually learn this quite fast because our lives will fall apart if we're not efficient, and ruthlessly so. So many people depend on us—and if you're a working mom, even more people count on you. We need to plan every minute of our day and if something—a project, a favor, work taken home, a night out yet again with co-workers—takes up too much of our time, it makes us less efficient. Worst of all, it takes us away from the most important people in our life. So say no. And don't feel guilty about it!

4. Make the most of your time.
Children grow up rapidly, and before you know it, years have passed, and they’re toddling off through the school gates. This is why working moms feel so much anguish about having a career. Now, I believe that the presence of both parents is vital in their children's lives, especially in the formative years. That's why my husband and I chose to work from home the last 5 years. But not all of us can work from home, so don't feel bad if you do work. Your job puts food in your kids' tummies, clothes on their back, and everything they need. That's a good thing! Be proud of it, mama!

As a working mom, you have limited time with your kids, so make sure you take advantage of every minute. Organize days out, or have fun together at home. I love going out on weekends with my kids—just a simple lunch out and a movie makes everyone happy. If my project allows it, I take my kids with me to work. 

Being stuck in traffic isn't so bad because I get to spend so much time with my kids!

Many of us are working moms trying to establish a balance between work and being a parent. It’s not easy to get it right, especially if you work full-time. However, there are ways of making life easier. Plan ahead, manage your time effectively, and try and come up with solutions that enable you to be more flexible at work. Learn to say no, and make the most of the time you have together as a family. 

Creating happy memories doesn't mean you have to be with your kids 24/7. In fact, I've found that when we spend too much time together, we get annoyed with each other. Just make sure you carve out special times with your kids and be truly present when you're together. Good luck, fellow working mamas! We can do this!