Friday, October 30, 2020

Healthy Halloween ideas while quarantined

We may all still be quarantined because of the COVID-19 pandemic but that doesn't mean Halloween has to be sad. We can still make Halloween fun for the kids by celebrating at home! But because there's the novel coronavirus going around, let's make an extra effort to make this candy holiday a wee bit healthier.

My creepy and cute kids with their DIY Jack o' Lanterns and favorite healthy candy.

Don't get me wrong - Halloween needs candy! My constant sweet treat in our house is Welch's Fruit Snacks. Every gummy treat is made with real fruit and is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C and E. Each 80-calorie pouch is free of gluten, fat, and preservatives. 

Kids love sweets so why deny them that happiness, especially on the candy holiday of the year? I won't advocate for a candy-less Halloween ever. So even if this post is going to be about having a healthy Halloween, it will still be a sweet one. Just healthier! Here's how:

1. Create your own Halloween decorations. 

You don't have to go all out. Just have your kid do one creepy artwork to get into the mood. For busy parents, it's perfectly alright to order the spooky decor online. It's just as fun to receive the packages and decorate your home with your kids! The point is getting the kids to get creative, move around the house, stretching up to hang decor, have fun. 

Their Papa and the kids made our DIY Halloween decor!

2. Make small candy bags. 

Kids loooove candy but since they won't be going around the village or the condo complex this year collecting treats, you don't need a big bag for candy. You can just get make a cute creepy bag for the candy haul.

3. Keep ’em on their feet. 

You may be at home but you can still include plenty of physical activities. Look for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video and have a zombie dance contest (winner gets candy!). Or how about dress up like a monster and chase your kids around haha

4. Serve healthy snacks. 

To offset all that candy, create munchies that are healthy, like banana ghosts, veggie-meatball monsters, pizza with ghost-shaped cheese, apple monster mouths, and deviled eggs topped with black olives shaped like spiders. Make sure to wash it all down with Welch's 100% Grape Juice!



5. Choose your sweets well.

Like I said, it's okay to buy candy! Just mix the candy with healthier options like caramel popcorn, dried fruit, trail mix, candied nuts, and gummies made with 100% fruit juice and no extra sugar, like Welch's Fruit Snacks. Sugarless gum (just look for the ingredient xylitol) is a favorite. Chocolates, especially dark ones, are great, too. Our dentist says she prefers sweets that melt away or can be washed down with a drink of water. 

Treats to avoid: cake, muffins, and cupcakes. The carbs and starches get stuck in between teeth. Lollipops aren't a good idea either because your teeth get exposed to the sugar for around 10 minutes whereas other sweets you eat and swallow within seconds.


We are so excited for Halloween! We're going to have a treasure hunt for the treats, maybe do that Thriller zombie dance-a-thon, then watch a mildly scary movie while munching on Welch's Fruit Snacks. Make sure you grab boxes of Welch's Fruit Snacks, too! Yummy and healthy treat for Halloween and all year long.

*This post is brought to you by Welch's Fruit Snacks. Welch's 100% Grape Juice, Juice Cocktails, Sparkling Juices, and Fruit Snacks are available in all leading supermarkets, drugstores, and convenience stores. You can have your favorite health drink delivered right to your doorstep! Visit the Ace Food Service website, or place your order in the following online groceries: Metro Mart, Lazmart, and Waltermart.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Advice for celebrity mistresses on how to navigate your way from hated to adored

I was watching the season 4 trailer for Netflix's "The Crown" and I still can't believe that Charles could cheat on Diana with Camilla. But then I thought that Camilla was his first love and he was with her the entire time (even when she was married yikes). He only turned to Diana because he was 30 and single. A king's most important duty is to produce an heir so Charles better get going. So I guess in this case, Camilla was the "wife" and Diana was the poor "mistress." She truly didn't stand a chance. 

I miss making OK! magazine!

Except of course in reality Diana was the legal wife and Camilla the mistress. But Camilla prevailed and now she's not only the future queen/princess consort of the UK, the British people actually love her. Why? Because no one can resist an enduring love story.

Not that we're romanticizing any illegal affairs here, okay (yep, in the Philippines adultery and concubinage are crimes). But mistresses, especially celebrity ones, will always get hate hate hate. Unless you're the most successful kabit of all time - Angelina Jolie. Well, technically that would still be Camilla since Angelina and Brad got divorced, but Camilla had to endure hatred for decades. Angelina was beloved from the start. It was horrifying really seeing everyone root for the mistress, not for the devastated wife, Jennifer Aniston.

So how did Angelina do it? As a former celebrity magazine editor who had to put the Brangelina love story on my cover every single time for maybe 5 years haha, I have learned her ways. Here's how she did it: 

1. Don't go for a man with children.

Well, don't ever fall for a married man. Period. But if you go for a married man with kids, oh boy, you're never going to get any sympathy at all. I think that's why Angelina got away with a lot - Brad didn't have any kids and he wanted tons of kids. Our strange society thinks very badly of women who don't have kids so between child-free Jen and Mother Angelina, the latter got sympathy very quickly. She played on that, too, talking about her love for kids and how Brad wanted to be a father and how willing she was to be the mother of his children. People LOVE that shit.

But if the guy has kids, steer clear. It's bad enough he's lying to his wife, but betraying innocent children, too? That's plain evil. People will never forgive anyone who takes a father from his kids. That's pure evil. Don't be evil and don't fall for evil men. 

As for Camilla, honestly, I don't think she had a choice. Charles was a Prince of the Kingdom and eventually he would be the King. I think she had to say yes or else she'd get beheaded (joke - British sovereigns don't do that anymore).

2. Don't ever deny the affair.

Don't ever post Instagram Stories (ghostwritten or not haha) denying the affair because people will just enjoy your dirty laundry and come out with proof of your sullied reputation. You don't want that. The truth will come out for sure. There will be witnesses like frenemies, CCTV, irritated personal assistants, gleeful production assistants, etc. 

This was Angelina's one mistake. She kept denying it. She even said, "To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive. I could not, could not look at myself in the morning if I did that." And then she and Brad got photographed in March (or April) 2005 frolicking on a beach, and she was already pregnant with first biological child Shiloh when Brad and Jen's divorce was finalized in October. People can count months, ya know. Later on, she said in an interview with The New York Times that her kids love watching Mr. & Mrs. Smith because "Not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love." That movie was filmed in 2004, waaaaaay before Jen and Brad separated (January 2005) and divorced. So crap!  

As for Camilla, she kept quiet the entire time. Oh boy, did she get vilified for years. I honestly don't know how she survived that. But she did and mostly because pinanindigan niya. 

3. Take over the narrative.

Okay, so you fell for a married man. You're the most hated vixen in the world. What do you do now? The media (traditional and social) will destroy you anyway so try to make them go to your side. In the case of Camilla and Charles, they had their friends slip little morsels to the press. Charles was unhappy because Diana was crazy. Camilla was the only one who supported Charles and his heavy burden as would-be King while Diana was off partying and shopping. That sort of narrative.

As for Brangelina, the entertainment editors always called Jennifer to get her side but she was so hurt, she hid away. That's expected and that was gracious of her. But Angelina took advantage of this silence from Jen. If the media was going to feast on her life, she might as well give them what she wants - her side of the story. 

Why do I know this? Because I was an entertainment magazine editor during that time and at international conferences, we editors and publishers discussed how to help Jennifer but Angelina was charming the panties out of editors everywhere. She was relentless and irresistible. 

So if people are going to talk about you, you might as well give them something to talk about. Grant interviews. Send presents to the editors. Be everywhere - red carpets, talk shows - and be dazzling! Your name is now followed by "homewrecker" so do something about it and add more: queen of the red carpet, funny, charming, charitable, compassionate. More in the next tip... 

4. Put your very best foot forward.

So now you want to do a media blitzkrieg. What's the story you want out there? You want people to see beyond the homewrecker status. Let's see how Santa Angelina (that was her nickname, remember?) did it. She used all that attention to highlight her humanitarian efforts with the United Nations. She talked about the plight of refugees and orphans. She traveled to war zones, ramped up her conservation efforts, wrote books, was a guest speaker at important conferences. And you guys don't know this but we would get invitations to interview Angelina and be allowed to ask a personal question IF the focus of the article is her humanitarian efforts. So if you're wondering why many of the features on Angelina were glowing, this was why.

Camilla was amazing at this, too. Well, the couple actually hired a PR executive to help rehabilitate their image. First thing they had to do was get Camilla a charity. She supports osteoporosis, literacy, and many other charities but she also famously took on rape and sexual abuse - a cause most royals avoid. She was very active in helping victims of sexual abuse and advocating for their rescue and therapy. This was such a bold cause that British women (the ones who hated her most) fell in love with her.

So if you're a celebrity mistress, use all the unwanted attention for a good cause. Donate your time and money to charity. Because people hate perfection and if you present yourself as perfect and good but made the tragic mistake of falling for a married man, the world will like you better. A fallen angel, if you will.

5. Always present a united front.

And this was the best strategy of Brangelina and Charles and Camilla. They were always a pair from the start. They were so in love, you just couldn't ignore the force of their love - even if Jennifer and Diana were their roadkill. Terrible, I know. Marriage is sacred but all the world loves a lover, as they say. WTF, right?

So share family photos, especially if your children are cute because people love cute babies. Brangelina had 6! Camilla, meanwhile, was forgiven as soon as people saw her with Charles's boys, William and Harry. So always be seen together. Look happy. Look in love. Announce important events together. The birth of your child/ren, putting up a business, starring in a movie, getting engaged (never ever post a solo engagement photo). Don't ever do anything alone, dear kabit, because that reinforces the fact that you are not part of a family and that you broke apart one.

I know it looks like you're flaunting your sin and being a complete shameless hussy. But you already are anyway. So just own it but be humble and gracious about it. How to do that??? Well, look at Camilla and Angelina!

Every illicit affair gets lots of mileage.

Now, if you're a woman reading this and you're not a celebrity mistress, please don't ever think of becoming one. First, you don't have the resources to hire a PR agency to rehab your image. And second, no one cares about non-celebs. Yes, Angelina and Camilla seemed to have won but, no, they didn't really. Their names will always be besmirched. Forever! Yes, the husband should always take the blame but our society forgives erring husbands. They never forgive the mistress. 

So don't do it. It's evil. It's not worth it. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Top 5 Tips for Dealing With Child Custody This Holiday Season

It's the -ber months and y'all know what that means. It's Christmas! Well, technically, we still have a slew of holidays like Halloween, All Soul's Day, my birthday (hehe), Thanksgiving (if you do that), Black Friday sale (haha) before Christmas. But we Filipinos have started putting up the Christmas tree so it's officially the holidays! Today's guest post is all about a tough issue many Pinoy families go through - when parents are separated, where do the children spend their holidays?

* * * * * * *


GUEST POST - The holidays can be a stressful time for any family. If you’re in a situation with separated or divorced parents, that stress can become unbearable. While you may not be overly happy about having to share child visitation rights with your former partner, there are some tips that can make dealing with child custody this holiday season easier for you and for your children

1. Plan two holidays.

If you and your former partner are near enough to each other and logistics allow for it, you might consider planning two holidays so your children don’t have to choose between you. Inviting your extended family, your kids' friends, and making the event feel as normal and loving as possible will make it so that your children won’t feel as though they have been left out of one parent’s life. The exact date of the holiday matters less than the idea of celebrating with their family, no matter what the date.

2. Include those not physically present.

If you and your former partner live too far away for two holidays to work, then you should be proactive in ensuring that your child doesn’t feel abandoned or as though they have chosen one of you over the other. This can be done by sending packages in advance to give to your children on the day of, keeping traditions from when you and your partner were together so that your children can still feel connected to holidays past, and planning phone calls or video chats with the other parent. The important thing is to prioritize your children's emotional well-being, even if you and your former partner would prefer to never speak to each other again.

3. Split holidays fairly.

If you were able to have the kids for Christmas, then you should be willing to allow your former partner to have them over on New Year's Eve. This allows your children to have that special time with their other parent and ensures that any acrimony between you and your former partner isn’t increased by the impression that one or the other of you is trying to monopolize your children's’ time. This may be difficult, especially if you have a combative or nasty relationship with your former partner, but your family can help to keep things on an even keel and ensure that your children have the best holidays possible.

4. Keep each other in the loop.

Many separated couples have greater difficulty around the holidays because they aren’t honest with each other about their hopes and needs around the holiday season. Not every former couple will be able to deal with each other openly and honestly, of course, but even if you have a terrible relationship with your ex it is best to keep them in the loop about your holiday plans with your children. This will ensure that you don’t unintentionally step on each other’s toes and are able to plan around your ex’s holiday plans - and they around yours.

5. Get together.

If the acrimony over the separation has passed and you feel you are able to deal with each other civilly, there is no reason why you can’t plan a get together that includes all parts of your children's’ family. This isn’t an option for everyone, of course, but showing your children that they don’t have to feel torn between the different parts of their family goes a long way to helping them in their emotional journey.

There are no easy solutions when it comes to child custody over the holiday season, and none of these possible arrangements are right for every family. Still, with grace and maturity, you will be able to find ways to make it so your children have the best holidays possible.


* This is a guest post, with my edits. To place a guest post, email frances@topazhorizon.com.