Monday, November 20, 2017

Invest in mothers to build a better tomorrow

Today, Nov. 20, is Gifted Awareness Day. For parents like us, this may either mean we're celebrating the fact that we have super achiever kids or lamenting the fact that we don't. Actually, mamas, every child is gifted! We just need to identify those gifts, encourage them, and support our children so that their gifts can develop and they can use their gifts for society's benefit.

That's what I learned recently at the special event PROMIL® Four created for mommies.

(Stay with me, mamas, this is not your usual event coverage post!)

With the Philippine Center for Gifted Education (PCGE), the milk brand prepared workshops for mom bloggers, influencers, and celebrities to help us all appreciate being a child again and learning how a child learns. Experts in developmental pediatrics, clinical psychology, obstetrics, health and wellness, nutrition, and even the arts were our speakers that day. We learned to calm ourselves and move our bodies with yoga (I am now so into yoga, mamas!), how to paint like preschoolers (it was both easy and hard), communicate with words and with just our intuition (both surprisingly had their pros and cons), and to work as a team. It was a fun-filled day!

We also listened to talks on how we moms can identify our children's gifts, how to nurture them, and how to support our child's journey to a well-developed giftedness that contributes to the betterment of the community. It was very inspiring, mamas! Ang dami kong natutunan and marami rin akong mom guilt na lumabas haha

I would like to say that I had an important realization that day, and it's this: The future rests in a mother's hands. Ever heard of that adage, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world"? We all say the children are the future, but if their mothers don't care for them, that's not a very bright future. Mothers are so important!

Dra. Leticia Ho, Clinical Psychologist/Neurotherapist and President of Philippine Center for Gifted Education, told us that kids start their battle in life from conception. Will your child be smart, strong, healthy, sickly, mentally delayed? Will your child be fat? Will he be pandak? All these factors are determined by genetics, of course, but a mother who knows exactly how to take care of herself can shape her child's future and even affect the future predetermined by one's genetics.

From conception, a child's development and future depends so much on his mother—if she's eating well, if she lives in a good environment, if she has a stress-free pregnancy. When she is at the peak of her health, a mother is able to nurture her child's abilities even as the baby grows inside her.

Healthy little boys! But the one in my tummy was a delicate pregnancy. Was so scared!

So what happens now to us and our kids, us mamas who had stressful jobs or relationships, mamas who couldn't eat properly when we were pregnant, mamas who were sick—will our children be doomed for life? Not necessarily. Or paano na if you're the typical Pinoy family—you and your husband are around 5 feet tall. So ibig sabihin ba nun pati mga anak niyo forever nang maliit? This is where the mother comes in!

While a child's crucial development begins in the womb, we can still intervene when they are babies and toddlers. The first 1,000 days of the child, starting with the mother’s pregnancy, is so important! We learned that these thousand days are when the child "responds and adapts to different interventions."

Intervention is an interesting word. It means positive interference. To interfere is to stop something from its intended destination and then steer it to another direction. In that sense, even if a child is headed to ill health, stunted development, and a sad future, we can stop that from happening. We can intervene! How? With the proper nutrition, good parenting, and lots of love!

Explaining pregnancy to the boys through art!

I know PROMIL® Four is for kids so why am I talking about parenting here, right? It's just that so much focus is put on our children that we forget the most vital part of our child's development—the mother! What is a child without a caring mother? What is a child without a mother who knows exactly what to do to prevent illness, knows the best food to give him, knows the best ways to encourage and push a child to do his best, knows what kind of education her child needs, knows how to protect and nurture her child? A mother in an ideal environment—meaning she is healthy, is educated, financially secure, and in an emotionally fulfilling relationship—will not only give birth to healthier children but she is better equipped at raising stronger, healthier, smarter, and more successful people.

Sadly, in most societies, girls and mothers are the least valued members. Did you know that in India, their preference for sons has resulted to short people? Short, as in pandak. How did this happen? Well, if they have daughters and sons, ibibigay nila yung good food sa mga sons nila. Gatas sa sons, tubig sa daughters. Also, sons go to school, daughters stay home and learn nothing. The problem is (there are many problems to this honestly) who becomes mothers one day? Obviously, it's the girls! And if you have short, unhealthy, uneducated mothers, they will give birth to short and unhealthy children! To make matters worse, because they're uneducated mothers, they won't know how to raise their children in the proper and healthy way! What a disaster!

Invest in girls. Invest in mothers!!!

An empowered mother is the most important factor in creating a generation of brighter, smarter, healthier, and kinder children. I really believe this, and my belief is based on studies and research. Dra. Leticia Penano-Ho, President of Phil Center for Gifted Education, told us moms, “Every child has the talent which can be a Gift if discovered and nurtured early. It is the parent’s role to make the child’s talent reach his full potential, or else that gift could just be there untapped and undiscovered.”

Our role as parents is to create an environment that is a good foundation for a child to be conceived and nurtured in, then we keep that environment healthy by giving our child proper nutrition and plenty of physical and mental stimulation. In a safe and secure and loving world like that, a child truly blossoms, which brings us to our next role, which is to spot his special gifts. It can be a talent, a skill, an intelligence, whatever it is we must embrace it and encourage it.

There I am trying to spot if I have a little athlete or two!

That's what I got from the PROMIL® Four’s Learning Workshop for us mommies! I hope I impressed upon you, mamas, to take care of yourselves so you can be the best mothers you can be. Because I also left the event feeling more determined to get some sleep, get fit, and eat better so I can be healthier and alert and happy. This will help me pay more attention to my kids, feed them better food (and ease up on the fast food), give them good milk (Piero likes his "super milk" PROMIL® Four!), and expose them to more learning experiences (like music, sports and art) so I can spot what their special gifts are and nurture them!

Anyway, PROMIL® Four, together with Atlantis Production, will be featuring talented children in the local production of Matilda the Musical, a play that features the story of a gifted child. The play is currently showing till December 10, 2017. PROMIL® Four is raffling out free Matilda tickets! Visit for more information.

PROMIL® Four has long been known for nurturing the young Filipino’s gift. It is specially formulated for children above three years old and is the only brand that contains NUTRISSENTIALS®—the combination of the unique and important nutrients that help support mental & physical development to help Nurture the Gift, together with balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

To know more about PROMIL® and its other variants, visit its website at

This post is brought to you by PROMIL®.

Friday, November 10, 2017

How to Choose a Moisturizer for Aging Skin

The signs of aging inevitably appear as we continue our journey called life. Even though these are not the most pleasant guests on the face, there are many ways to both prevent and treat them.

First of all, we believe it takes an understanding of the very reasons that lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Smoking, insufficient physical activity, alcohol, poor dieting, as well as misuse of cosmetics are among the leading causes for premature sagging of the skin. 

Mimicking, talking, and even the innocent moments when we stare at the screens of our phones or laptops gradually deepen the fine lines.

1. Start by finding the most suitable cosmetics for your skin type.

This is our best advice. There is no use buying the best and most expensive products if they don't suit you skin. For example, hyaluronic acid is a fantastic natural component to influence the signs of aging by softening and plumping the skin. But how does this work? 

Hyaluronic acid encourages retaining moisture to the surface of the epidermis so that fine lines and wrinkles become visibly smoother. However, in case of oily skin, products that enhance such a process can be counter-productive, as these can lead to unwanted shine. 

Vitamin C, Salicylic Acid, Green Tea Extract, as well as Retinol are among the best compounds to treat oily skin type. These help to increase the antioxidant levels and to promote cellular turnover to speed up the regeneration. On the contrary, such mild exfoliating compounds can cause worsening of the issues related to dry skin. So these have to be in combination with suitable emollients and oils that can aid in stimulating collagen production without triggering flakiness. 

Grape Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Baobab Extract, Argan Oil, and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride can make an excellent addition to the treatment. Sensitive skin type is the most easily irritated of all, so it’s best to opt for products that are natural-based. Fortunately, the booming of science and technology focus much on creating beauty lines that are inspired by nature. 

Meanwhile, combination skin type can benefit from adopting a more complex approach. You can choose to use two different products. One for targeting oily zones, and one to remedy dry patches. In case you are prone to acne and blemishes, products containing AHAs and BHAs are most likely to help you since they aid in drying out the pimples.

2. Experiment with ingredients and learn the art of self-observation.

Even though cosmetics claim to be suited for a specific skin type, we are all so unique, that this cannot be the most explicit guidance. You can try to implement a Korean moisturizer for aging skin to your beauty routine. 

Apart from their ageless, spotless appearance, Koreans are well-known for their meticulous skin treating programmes. Their formulations boast of medicinal herbs and extracts. By combining so many natural compounds, there is a higher chance that each of the ingredients reveals different benefits for the skin. 

And nonetheless, we can learn to develop the Korean ways of paying attention our skin’s reactions. Don’t just wait for miracles - check the face regularly for signs of improvement. Don’t be afraid to change the cosmetics until you find something that works for you. And even then, bear in mind that the efficiency of the compounds starts decreasing with regular use, so the whole process is a never-ending education with many trials and errors.

3. Always consider the consistency of the products.

Lightweight formulations are the best ones to suit oily skin. Meanwhile, products with a thicker consistency are more likely to benefit dry skin. Oil-based cosmetics can pamper sensitive types. Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium, Sandalwood, Neroli, and Tea Tree Oil can aid in calming the skin. 

We can also bring relief to acne-prone conditions with the help of oil-based products, as long as the oils possess a low comedogenic rating. Shea butter, Coconut, Argan, Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackcurrant, Hemp, Neem and Pomegranate Oil are the ones that are less likely to cause clogging of the pores. 

It is also significant to consider increasing the care for the gentle eye zone. The skin in this area is very fragile, so it would be of maximum support to implement suitable cosmetics. In this case, you may want to look for some Korean eye creams or eye treatment products.

4. Read the labels thoroughly.

We know that can be a challenge, especially with so many ingredients that sound like a mouthful. But it is significant to educate ourselves on understanding and decoding the labels, at least to some extent, as that can help much to improve our self-observation with the effect of various ingredients on the skin.

5. Don’t rely solely on other people’s experience with a product.

And lastly, we don’t believe in one-in-all treatments. We all lead a different lifestyle, which can significantly influence the cosmetics we use. Perform your observations and only learn from other people’s experience, but never take it for something granted.

The Bottom Line

We live in the times when the beauty skin care industry is rapidly developing at pace, that is the fastest one in the history of humankind. And yet, with an abundance of products on the market, it is so easy to get lost in promises and an ocean of ingredients.

There are two sides to every story, as the free access to Internet has made people more connected than ever. 

We can learn from our insights and impressions with the best ways to treat the skin. And we find it an incredible opportunity to share our knowledge with so many people out there!

*This is a guest post by Hannah, the co-founder of Support Your Beauty. Her goal is to help her readers get the most out of all the most popular skincare products out there by being familiar with how each ingredient can impact one’s skin, hair, and general health. She believes that with a proper skincare regimen coupled with a smidge of makeup, anyone, no matter what age, race, or gender, can look and feel their best. To place a guest post, email for my rates.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Beautiful desks for work-at-home mamas

If you work from home like I do, you probably drool over those beautiful #deskgoals photos on Instagram (as I do haha). Pottery Barn sent me an article, "How To Organize Your Home Office for Increased Productivity," which I will publish below in a bit, but before I do that, lemme just show you mamas the desks and work tables available now at Pottery Barn. They are sooo nice!

This is the Juno Desk. I like its iron and wood aesthetic. As I get older and my life more full, I've found that I prefer to be surrounded by streamlined things—in design and function.

Although there is a thing about being too simple. I don't know how to feel about this Pittsburgh Crank Desk. It looks like it used to be a sewing machine. I do appreciate its lines. I think it appeals to the simplest design lovers, or steampunk fans.

Modern elegance—that's the Ava Metal Desk. It's so sleek and, my goodness, you have really keep this kind of table clear and uncluttered!

And this is me. My escritoire looks just like this except that mine doesn't have drawers. This Toulose Secretary Desk is right up my alley. It's simple and functional, has tons of storage space, and when my life gets too messy and chaotic, I can just hide it and lock it away hahaha. Totally love this desk!

Now here's the article Pottery Barn wants me to share with you, working mamas. Happy weekend, and rest well. Love lots from working mama me to working mama you!

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How To Organize Your Home Office for Increased Productivity

PRESS RELEASE - If you work from home, you know that the setup of a home office space can directly influence how productive you are. Working from home has its challenges, as it can be much harder to focus than it is in a traditional office environment. With a few simple design changes, you can increase your focus and productivity, even if your space is full of distractions. Pottery Barn has the organizational tools you need to organize your home office and increase your output.

The desk is the area where most or all of work gets done, so it is the most important element of creating a productive home office. Declutter the space by removing unnecessary papers and objects from the desktop. Only keep what is necessary, like your computer and a notepad, and stow everything else in bins or drawers. A desktop organizer can keep pens and post-its in order, without overwhelming the space.

Clearing your desk space is important, but it can be counterproductive if you simply move everything that was on top of your desk into one of the side drawers. Use bins within your desk drawers to stay organized. Keep necessary items like scissors, highlighters, and tape in their own compartment close by, and then sort the rest of your items based on how often you need them.

Deal with the paperwork every day by filing those things that are important and tossing the others. Use a paper tray for paperwork that needs to be addressed in the short term, and get a filing cabinet for organizing papers you need to save. 

One obstacle of having a home office is that many people want the space to look more personal than what you might find in an office building. This can make designing the space tricky, but it doesn't have to be. Using stylish bins or wicker baskets for storage can soften the space. An attractive storage bin can play double-duty, holding cords or office items while giving the room a homey feeling.

Lighting also plays a big role in staying organized and focused. If possible, place your desk by a window to maximize the use of natural light. Use lamps with soft lighting throughout the room to create a space that makes you comfortable and inspired to work.

If you have books or materials you depend on for your work, bookshelves are a must. Categorize your books to keep everything handy and easy to access. Also take advantage of open space to display photos or other items that can tie-in the office decor with the rest of your home.

If you have the room, add an additional chair or sofa to your home office to give yourself a different view from time to time. If you don't have this option, rotate the lamp on your desk or occasionally switch out pictures on the wall. Even subtle changes can shift your brain and help you stay focused.

Sometimes, putting in the effort to make an area look nice can be a big boost to productivity. Use attractive items throughout the home office to help you stay motivated to keep the area clean. Use bookends to make a bookshelf more attractive, or opt for matching desk accessories to give the area a coordinated look.

In the Philippines, Pottery Barn is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc. and is located at Central Square in Bonifacio High Street Central and at Estancia in Capitol Commons. 

Visit or follow and @potterybarnPH on Instagram for more information.

*To be featured on Press Release Tuesdays, send it to Photos courtesy of Visions & Expressions.