Salad made all the more nutritious and delicious with Langnese honey.

Healthy Sweets

 

Give in to your cravings without the guilt. Well, almost.

 You read it correctly.  The oxymoron title may sound too good to be true but not after you try the products I recently discovered. Lately, I’ve been looking for new food to serve to the family. Our daily fare has become predictable so I thought it’s time for a more exciting spread. Here are three delicious additions to my pantry which became instant hits with the husband and the kids. The best part is that these sweet treats are healthy options, too!

 

Sugar, ahhh… honey, honey!

Langnese Honey boasts of Germany’s Honey Ordinance and European Standard Basic Principles seal of approval. This guarantees the product’s highest standard of safety and unadulterated quality and ensures that the honey is raw, unfiltered and residue free.

The first thing that caught my attention when I found the product in the supermarket shelves was its packaging. Featuring a honey dispenser technology known as “Bee Easy,” the convenient and trés chic bottle guarantees a no drip and no sticky after use experience with each serving.  There are five mouthwatering, rich but well-balanced flavors to choose from.  Acacia just elevates the taste of pancakes and waffles. Just a drizzle of honey and a dollop of soft butter resulted to breakfast gone in minutes. My kids even asked for seconds and used a combination of honey flavors! Black Forest is good for toast and afternoon tea. Golden Clear (my favorite!) lends a sweet note to dips, salads and cocktails. I added crushed almonds, walnuts and cashew to some romaine greens, tossed it with a bit of honey and had a most enjoyable meal. So easy to prepare, too! Lavender, as it name suggests, makes a delicious spread on breads while Wild Flower is suited for all kinds of food and hot/cold beverages.

All the goodness of honey in easy-open no-spill bottles.

All the goodness of honey in easy-open no-spill bottles.

 

Why is it good for you? Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties which help in healing wounds. It likewise strengthens your immune system, is an effective cough suppressant and  improves the quality of your sleep.  Honey can also help regulate your glycemic index with its exact levels of fructose and glucose. Although it’s not calorie free, it’s definitely the better alternative to table sugar.

Sweet salad made all the more nutritious with Langnese honey.

Sweet salad made all the more nutritious with Langnese honey.

 

Bite those bars

Hotdogs are the Filipinos’ staple breakfast food. Add spam, bacon and other processed food to that and we have the perfect recipe for future health disasters. Sadly, I am guilty of this (mal)practice and am now making a conscious effort to scratch the aforementioned from my grocery list.

For kids who struggle with eating a full breakfast and prefer to take their meal on the go, Nestle cereal bars are a must-try.  The bars are made using whole grain wheat and comes in three flavors for a different petit déjeuner experience every day.

Breakfast bars to go!

Breakfast bars to go!

 

My kids love the Koko Crunch bars (100 k cal)! Think of your favorite childhood chocolatey cereals now transformed into a bar, nestled in a bed of white chocolate. Delicious! The Fitnesse Chocolate bar  is even healthier at 90 k cal per serving. It’s made from wholegrain wheat flakes, and is drizzled with chocolate on a bed of chocolate. Talk about chocolate overdose without (so much) consequence. It only gets better with Fitnesse Strawberry bar. Enjoy this fruity treat at only 86 k cal! All three are perfect for kids and the kids at heart.  And for only Php25 a bar, there’s no reason for you not to try it!

 

Ice Cream All You Want

Get ready to feast on Coco De Lite Wholesome Ice Cream! That’s right.  G Stuff, the company built by Gina Lopez, to promote and sell all things good and healthy, has just come up with  ice cream that’s made from all natural ingredientsMade with real coconut milk, coconut sugar and coconut cream, this iced delight is dairy free, gluten-free and non-fattening.  And as if all that goodness is not enough, it’s loaded with therapeutic essential oils too!

G-Stuff Ice Cream

 

Smooth, delectable and calorie friendly (250 cal/serving), this artisanal creation is perfect as a dessert or a light snack. I was afraid my kids would not like the slight coco taste but they did not mention anything of the sort. In fact, they’ve been eating it after dinner for three straight nights now. Our favorite flavors are Coco Milk Choco and Coco Mocha Jam.  I’m dying to try the Capuccino flavor! This ice cream is sold exclusively in the G Stuff stores in the Loop Store, ELJ Bldg., Mother Ignacia St., QC, Power Plant Mall and Alabang Town Center.

 

Happy healthy eating everyone!

Follow me on Twitter, IG and Facebook.   Visit http://thebusyqueenp.com/ for more interesting reads!

boy

Mommy Republic – A Website for Moms by Moms

 

A Website for Moms by Moms

 

A digital storefront  offers award winning, functional and whimsical finds especially curated by moms

As a mom, I’d rather go to the mall than order anything online. Previous purchases left me with clothes that don’t fit, damaged goods, and worse, overpriced products that don’t look anything at all like the photos posted by spurious sellers. Return or exchange policies are non existent and since most online sellers are unregistered (read illegitimate) enterprises that don’t issue receipts, it’s really a losing battle for consumers. One website, however, has made a convert out of this cynical virtual shopper.

 

A Market for Mompreneurs

The good news is that there is now a legitimate platform for women entrepreneurs. Mommy Republic (MR) is the brainchild of ingenious moms Edie Acedera and Kate Yu. “We wanted to create a unique space where we can enable business minded moms to sell their wares by providing them with all the necessary resources. As long as their businesses are registered and they have the products we are looking for, they can easily join,” says Edie.  According to her, the first challenge was the creation of a multi-user website that provided an excellent experience for both sellers and buyers. The next hurdle was to populate the site with the pioneer batch of brands that carry quality products which would cater to their target market who are moms with young children.

The women behind the brand.

The women behind the brand.

 

Is it easy to join? After the screening process and acceptance of their applications, moms can go in the site and create their own stores within half an hour. MR sellers are allowed to customize, post photos and update their e-stores. For those who are not tech savvy, assistance is provided. Currently, there are 30 mompreneurs with more registrants in the offing. Warehousing, payment collection, delivery, customer service, as well as marketing and promotion are all handled by MR. Need to exchange an item? Consumer experience is highly valued so you won’t have any trouble getting the product that’s just right for you.

 

Made and Curated by Moms

 Edie and Kate admit to finding the Philippine market quite fragmented in terms of sellers, most of which are housed in Facebook and Instagram. By starting MR, moms can now go to a singular website to find a wide variety of items. All the products are meticulously selected and tested. Included in MR’s inventory are non-electronic, non-toxic and award winning toys that encourage creativity in children (baby and toddlers), cute and functional school bags (kids), beautiful beddings and linens (home and living).

Wooden toys

 

My favorites are among the site’s bestsellers. White and Olive pillowcases and linens are lovingly hand made by skilled artisans and are of fine export quality.  I’m told that it’s a hit with US and European buyers. MR also boasts of a wide assortment of wooden toys. My daughter has so far spent many hours playing with the wooden kitchen and fruit set I ordered for her. Both are from the brand Magic Forest whose creators are Singaporean parents who understand the value of learning through play. It’s amusing to watch my five year old prepare all kind of food while pretending that she’s a chef, server and fruit vendor. Goki, Heimess and Holztiger are 60 year old toy brands imported by a German mom while Little Playtown is another wooden toy label that encourages active pretend play which is an important milestone for kids. All toys are made from redwood, fun and safe, and stimulate the curiosity, cognitive  and psycho motor skills of children.

Mommy Republic products

 

Ever find yourself frowning while reading the grocery list prepared by yaya? Now you never have to guess what that gobbledygook means. MR’s foolproof grocery list will make things so much easier. Just check the items you need and you’re ready to go.

Super handy grocery list. A must-have for all moms!

Super handy grocery list. A must-have for all moms!

 

The site also has a directory which has extensive listings of almost every mommy need you can think of like party planners and supplies, kids’ enrichment activities, food, hair and make-up, photography, grooming for kids and even home cleaners!

 

So if you’re looking for another channel for your business or have the products but need help in selling them, MR is the perfect avenue for you. As for savvy but practical mommy shoppers, you’ll certainly discover many extraordinary finds in Mommy Republic. Happy shopping!

 

Unique finds await you at https://mommyrepublic.com/ and in their Facebook page The Mommy Republic.

 

Follow me on Twitter, IG and Facebook.   Visit http://thebusyqueenp.com/ for more interesting reads!

 

 

 

Kiele products

Preventive Potions

 An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This saying resonates immensely with mothers. One of the most difficult things that a parent has to face is taking care of a sick child. We have all dealt with cough and colds, fevers, flu, asthma and a host of other illnesses. But what happens when there is no cure for your child’s ailment? Case in point- dengue.  In the first three quarters of 2016, the Department of Health reported  84,000 cases of dengue in the country and out of this number, 372 people died.

 

Born Out of  Love and Necessity

In 2012, friends Marga Nograles and Celine Gabriel-Lim  decided to put up Kiele to address their own needs for an effective deterrent to insect bites. “As a mom of three, I’m always concerned about my children getting insect bites and the dangers that come with that, specifically dengue. Celine has sensitive skin and is quite prone to them, too,” shared Marga.  “We tried many brands in the past. Some would work but were full of toxic ingredients. Some smelled good but were inefficient.”

Celine & Marga

The Women of Kiele – We want to make the world safer and more beautiful one product at a time.

Unsatisfied with what was available in market, the two women thought of creating their own anti-mosquito spray.  The idea was to make no less than a product that  was efficacious, all natural and one that had a distinctly unique fragrance. It took the women more than a year to achieve this. “The process involved numerous trials and errors.  We sourced our scents from France and worked closely with local  fragrance experts to come up with a product that met both our meticulous standards. And that’s how Kiele’s anti- mosquito cologne was born.”

 

Origin and Philosophy

 Marga and Celine chose Kiele (a french name) for the brand as an ode to the french origin of their fragrance. Later they discovered that Kiele also means “fragrant blossom” in Hawaiian which turned out to be pretty apt description.

The business partners confess to being  the biggest fans of their products. To date there are two eau de toilette: the Kiele Anti-mosquito Baby Cologne and Chibelli Alcohol-free Baby Cologne (not anti-mosquito). Also available is the Kiele Green Tea  Anti-mosquito Room Spray which leaves your house smelling fresh but also keeps those pesky insects at bay.  All are backed by the brand’s par excellence philosopy which is comprised of 3 A’s : anti-mosquito, contains  anti-harmful chemicals and is  acceptable for all ages

Kiele products

Kiele products are anti mosquito, anti-harmful and acceptable for all ages.

What’s next for the brand?  “We are definitely planning on expanding our categories as we continue to create products that are all natural and safe for consumers.  Next in line is the Kiele Skin Correcting Powder which is a cosmetic wonder! It not only blurs imperfections and creates a perfect matte finish but also heals and protects as it is loaded with anti-acne and anti-aging properties,” enthused Marga.

Now available! Achieve the perfect matte finish as you heal your skin. A staple in my make-up kit.

Now available! Achieve the perfect matte finish as you heal your skin. A staple in my make-up kit.

For a brand that started out as a personal undertaking, Kiele now has a solid fan base that’s consistently growing.  I was all but ecstatic when I discovered it. The nightmare of having both my kids in the hospital because of dengue last August (yes, they form part of that alarming statistic) still haunts me. Today, I spray the anti- mosquito cologne on my children everytime they leave the house. The packaging is very handy too and fits comfortably in my daily bag. It’s also very reasonable priced.

Another plus is that for a minimum order, the owners can customize the bottles in the design of your choice. I absolutely loved the bottles with The Busy Queen P logo that Marga just made for me! These perfect blend of protection, prevention and light perfume in a bottle makes wonderful gifts.

Kiele x The BQP! Love my personalized bottles.

Kiele x The BQP! Love my personalized bottles.

 

For orders, you may call the Kiele hotline 0307 8621 and look for Tonette.  Kiele is also sold in the following stores: The Echo Store, Tart Tatin (Rockwell) and Nothing But Water.

With a pocketful of glitter,

tbqp signature - white background

 

Love is in full bloom at The Manila Hotel

Love, Exclusively at The Grande Dame

 

Woo her with fine wine, Ecuadorian flowers and a helicopter ride over Manila bay before sunset

Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal for his third wife 300 years ago. In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the English throne to prove his love for two-time divorcee, American socialite Wallis Simpson. In Indecent Proposal, David Murphy (Woody Harrelson) agreed to his wife Diana (Demi Moore) spending a night with business mogul John Gage (Robert Redford) in exchange for one million dollars only to give it all up for a save-the-hippos charity fund in the end. In real or reel life, men have done the noble and the foolish in the name of love. What about you? What have you planned for your special someone in this month of hearts?

All That Romance

The Manila Hotel has everything planned out for you! This February, you can surprise your fiancée, wife or family with packages all tailor made to fit your budget. If you’re a Prestige member, your party can stay in the Grande Dame’s Sunset, Sunrise, Tower, Veranda or Intramuros suites (Php14,500 nett) and avail of the hotel’s “Nostalgia with Love” promotion. This includes breakfast for two at Café Ilang-Ilang, massage for one at the Spa, a bouquet of  flowers and pralines. The  “Grande Dame’s Heart” package (Php20,000 nett) offers, in addition, an evening of love songs with David Pomeranz as you enjoy a sumptuous dinner at the Tent City. Thereafter relax in a Superior Deluxe room and enjoy the hotel’s various amenities.

Love is in full bloom at The Manila Hotel

Love is in full bloom at The Manila Hotel

 

The Ultimate Valentine’s Gift

 For that “wow” factor, you can choose from two high end room packages. The gentleman who avails of the “Say I Do” package (Php500,000 nett) opts for class and an enthusiastic display of affection. Imagine an overnight stay in the newly refurbished Mac Arthur suite complete with his and hers butlers to wait on you while you enjoy your three-course private in-room dining as you converse over a harpist’s strings or a flutists’ notes. Surprise her with Ecuadorian roses at dinner’s end and a water color portrait,too! Romantic turn down amenities from the hotel’s skilled chocolatiers and personalized wine glasses are also available. Arrive and leave the hotel in style on board a chauffeur-driven luxury car for that extra “oomph” and you’ll surely get a resounding “yes” to your proposal.

Saccharine Surprises! Decadent chocolates and cuddly bears are available at the lobby.

Saccharine Surprises! Decadent chocolates and cuddly bears are available at the lobby.

 

Serenade your special someone with sweet music from a harpist.

Serenade your special someone with sweet music from a harpist.

 

 What would you give in the name of love? A box of chocolates, a piece of jewelry, a love letter, perhaps? For some these gestures will suffice but for a select few, there is no limit. Aptly called “Sky’s the Limit”, Manila Hotel’s ultimate romantic package includes a piece of heaven and then some. Whether it’s for a proposal, a romantic stay or a renewal of vows, this is the perfect package for you. An overnight stay at the luxuriously appointed Presidential Suite awaits the special guests who will have his and hers butlers on 24 hour duty. Amaze her with a 15-minute romantic helicopter ride over Manila Bay before sunset while your five-course dinner is being set up in the room. Drink champagne in your personalized wine glasses by Calligraffi as a harpist plays sweet music. Receive his and hers cufflinks and stud earrings from Jewelmer, a floral bouquet arrangement by renowned florist Rachy Cuna, bespoke perfume from Dior, made-to-measure modern barong from Jo Rubio, Ecuadorian roses, a valentine gift from Victoria’s secret, his and hers massage and a host of other extravagantly beautiful things including a Rolls Royce ride. A priest and pastor will also be present for a renewal of vows ceremony, should you wish. The price? A cool million.

Enjoy a ride over Manila Bay on board this copter provided by Air Taxi Ph.

Enjoy a ride over Manila Bay on board this copter provided by Air Taxi Ph.

If you’ve got literary or musical inclinations, you may want to join the hotel’s love letter and song writing competitions. Know more about the mechanics and the prizes in http://bit.ly/TMHLoveInPenAndPaper  and http://bit.ly/TMHLoveAndRhythm .

No matter the cost or lack thereof, the most important thing is to have love that is pure and true. Have a meaningful Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

Experience a one-of-a-kind month of hearts only at The Manila Hotel. Stay period is from February 1 to 28, 2017. For more information call +632 527 0011 or visit www.manila-hotel.com.ph

With a pocketful of glitter,

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gabay guro

A Grand Salute to Teachers

 

Many children dream of becoming doctors, lawyers, or engineers. Some who are artistically inclined see themselves as sculptors, pianists or painters.  Still others desire to be beauty queens, racecar drivers or even  poets. The beauty of youth is such that one feels anything and everything can be achieved. But nobody ever became anybody just by wishing it. In order to become adept at any chosen field, one has to learn from good teachers.

Give, Guide, Educate

Gabay Guro, the education flagship program of PLDT SMART foundation under the directive of Manuel V. Pangilinan, has been assisting “would be teachers” and full-pledged educators for the past nine years. “Beyond the numerous scholarships that we have given out, we try to include pillars depending on the teachers’ needs. Over the years, we have included trainings, livelihood programs, provided computer labs and connectivity, built educational facilities and teachers’ housing. In addition, we have furnished tribute cards and held events like the annual Gabay Guro Teacherfest,” said Founder and PLDT SMART CFO Chaye Cabal-Revilla.  “The movement has improved the level of learning in the country. Education is a great equalizer. Educate a man and he has a bigger chance at having a better life,” added Chaye.

Chaye Revilla welcomes the 20,000 teachers who attended the event.

Chaye Revilla welcomes the 20,000 teachers who attended the event.

 

 

In 2016, more significant programs have been implemented to further the foundation’s cause. A digital livelihood partnership with 51Talk (a company listed in the NYSE) was recently launched. The goal of the program is to supplement the teachers’ income by teaching English to Chinese and Korean students online.  The tribute card has also been upgraded. Apart from the holder enjoying discounts at various retail partners, it can now be used as a beep card for LRT/MRT, buses and other public means of transport.

Teachers gather outside the MOA arena just before the start of the Teacherfest 2016.

Teachers gather outside the MOA arena just before the start of the Teacherfest 2016.

Last Sunday, an estimated 20,000 teachers from all over the country gathered at the Mall of Asia Arena to take part in the grandest Gabay Guro Teacherfest to date.  Raffle prizes included a house and lot, a van, four motorcycles,  laptops, cellphones , cash and more. The biggest names in local tinseltown performed to the delight of the audience. The event was hosted by Pops Fernandez, MJ Lastimosa and Andrew Wolff. Singers Vina Morales, Sam Concepcion, Michael Pangilinan and the Divas rendered numbers that were all warmly received. Maine Mendoza and the Eat Bulaga gang brought the house down with their medley of song and dance numbers. Industry giants Martin Nievera (who was still jetlagged and had just come from the airport), Jaya, Regine Velasquez and Ogie Olcasid each gave powerful performances. Gary Valeciano (with his son Gab and the Maneuvers) who was celebrating his birthday that same day shared his personal experience as a student and how his teachers inspired him to take a different direction in his life. At the middle of his number, the lights were turned off and the crowd lit up their smartphones. To cap the day’s festivities, broadway star and The Voice Coach Lea  Salonga read the Teacher’s oath together with reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

Regine Velasquez, Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera each gave soulful preformances.

Regine Velasquez, Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera each gave soulful preformances.

 

Lea Salonga, Teacher Annie Masongsong and reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

Lea Salonga, Teacher Annie Masongsong and reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.

What’s next for Gabay Guro? “The goal is to bring the program to all the regions of the country. Allow me to say that I’m truly proud of the core team and the more than 700 volunteers who tirelessly work to make this vision a reality. Gabay Guro has bonded all of us with our common love and deep appreciation for teachers,” ended Chaye.

The hosts of the show.

The hosts of the show.

 

Congratulations Gabay Guro on another successful event!

To the people who have helped us achieve our dreams and are now guiding our children in attaining theirs – Mabuhay kayo mga guro!

With a pocketful of glitter,

tbqp signature - white background

 

 

Uratex Premium Mattresses 2

Eyes Wide Shut

 

Did you know that the hours of uninterrupted sleep you get each night weighs heavily  on how long you’ll live?  Research suggests that a person who regularly gets less than seven hours of nocturnal slumber is likely to experience negative effects on his cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and nervous systems.  Side effects of sleep deprivation also include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, depression and even alcohol abuse.

According to Uratex Sales Manager Dindo Medina, majority of the Filipinos consider  three things when they purchase a bed : price, durability and value for money.    The new crop of discerning clientele, however, go beyond these three factors.  Number one on their checklist is the guarantee of an excellent sleep experience.  Up to the task is local brand Uratex Foam.  “We believe that in matters related to sleep and finding the perfect mattress, it’s not just about the size,  softness and support anymore.  It’s all about providing superior sleep, and our latest products guarantee just that,” said Marketing Director Cherry Wong-Tan.

Uratex Team

The Uratex Team – (front row: Marketing Director Cherry Wong Tan, Executive VP Mr. William Lee and Sales Director Dindo Medina

 

Clean, Rejuvenating, Refreshing and Seductive

At the exclusive media event held at Our Home Megamall, four new mattresses from the brand’s  Premium line were unveiled.   Mr. Medina gave me the one-one-one tech talk as he acquainted me with each bed’s features.  We started with the Perfect Serenity Aura which effectively keeps  foul odors at bay.   It has odor repelling qualities that ensures a fresh and clean sleeping environment.   Made of convoluted high-resistant foam with an egg crate design which allows air to flow freely, it  eliminates stinky sweat and other unwanted body odors.

Uratex Premium Mattresses 2

Mattresses are now available at Our Home.

 

Literally sleep your worries away with the Orthocare Biorytmic bed. It uses rejuvenating minerals  which relaxes the muscles, eases body tension and reduces stress.  Back problems are likewise addressed with the Orthofirm foam which provides back relief and firm comfort.

I did not hesistate at all when I was asked to lie down and test the Sensory Memory Ultima Plus. Imagine falling slowly  into millions of cool marshamallows.  Simply divine! It’s the upgrade to the Sensory Memory Ultima mattress which is my son’s current bed.  Believe me when I say that this mattress delivers sleep— and fast!  Each family member took a restful slumber in this foamed cocoon when it was first delivered to our home.  But I digress.  The current version blends its signature memory foam with Hydragel beads that absorbs heat.  Wrapped with Cooler  knit fabric it provides an enhanced cooling effect and lowers body temperature by up to 2 degrees C.   And that mallow like plush comfort adjusts to your body movements as you sleep relieving painful pressure points.

Fuel the flames in the bedroom with the most controversial bed in the launch, the Premium Touch Romance.  Infused with the essences of ginseng, ylang ylang and cinnamon,  the bed promises to set up the perfect mood for love.   Manufactured with the Smart Reflex Pocket Spring System, this mattress intelligently isolates body movement for an undisturbed sleep.

It's time to invest on getting superior sleep.

It’s time to invest on getting superior sleep.

 

To complement all four mattresses, Uratex Premium has  also crafted pillows with the same sleep technologies.  Both beds and pillows are treated with Sanitized which protects against bacteria, odor , mildew and dust mites.

Sitting on the most controversial bed at the launch. the Romance bed promises to set up the mood for love.

Sitting on the most controversial bed at the launch. the Romance bed promises to set up the mood for love.

 

Count ZZZZ’s not Sheep

Just exactly how many hours of sleep should you log in every night?  For adults, it is best to clock in seven to eight hours of snooze time.  In the matter of sleep, quantity must be coupled with quality.  It is not enough that you are bed bound for a third of a day.  You have to have the perfect partner to ensure the quality of those precious zzzz’s.   Thankfully,  Uratex Foam lives up to its name as The Sleep Specialist and offers the sleeping partner that’s just perfect for you!

Uratex Premium Mattresses are available at all of the branches of Our Home.

With a pocketful of glitter,

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Follow me on Twitter, IG and Facebook.   Visit http://thebusyqueenp.com/ for more interesting reads!

 

Get the chance to win products from Mia Maison by answering the question below!

Soothing Soujourns

Had a stressful day?  Wish you can be somewhere else at the blink of an eye?  Feel the need to just leave all your cares and worries behind?  Yes, yes, yes! We’ve all had days when we desperately want to turn the “off” button.  Shop closed. Self on auto vacation mode.  And no matter how desperately we want to lounge on some hammock under a coconut tree with the sound of ocean waves hitting the rocks as our lullaby, the truth is it’s only Tuesday and darn, you have four days of work week left to arm wrestle with. Sigh… Don’t fret.  Here’s the solution to help you escape the urban jungle whenever you want to.  You can do it within the comfort of your own home too!

Travel the world within the comfort of your own home

Travel the world within the comfort of your own home!

 

Home Destinations

Celebrating its 10th year in the home fragrance business, local brand Mia Maison in partnership with My Home Magazine,  welcomed select guests to the posh Salon de Ning at the Manila Peninsula.  Passports were handed out to each one before entering the venue. “Scents have the power to transport you to your dream destinations.  It may be a familiar place or one you’ve always wanted to visit.   Our four signature scents will redefine your concept of home,” said CEO Shirley Lucas Reyes.  Soon, four booths were revealed to the intimate party.   Each set up showcased irresistible pairings of city, activity and scent.  Our first stop was Maldives where Mia Maison cocktails were served. Love the Ocean Breeze scent! Clean, crisp and intoxicating.  I could feel the sand between my toes (vicariously of course, since I had 4 inch heels on)  and  saw blue seas ahead of me.  Next was Kyoto where I saw ladies arranging flowers (ikebana) while breathing in Mia Maison’s most popular scent Fresh Bamboo.   I took my time in sipping my jasmine drink prepared by TWG’s tea masters at the Shanghai booth while the soothing smell of Green Tea filled the air.  But it was the last booth that made a believer out of this cynical momma.  The booth smelled like my baby’s skin – fresh, comfortable and oh-so-relaxing. I wanted to drown in Warm Cotton while being transported to the Greek isles. Did I mention that I was enjoying a head, back and foot massage while basking in the scent? Well,  now you know.

At the exclusive press launch

At the exclusive press launch

 

“We currently have 13 scents.  Four  of these are base fragrances which you can mix and match to your liking.  All our oils are sourced from Spain, mixed meticulously by our chemists and bottled with the utmost care.  Consumers can enjoy a wide selection of aromatherapy oils and fragrances, waterbased fragrances, room sprays and diffusers which are available in over 60 Mia Maison outlets nationwide,” added Shirley.  What’s next for the brand?   “Towards the end of the year, we’ll be launching our holiday collection.  Think of apple cinnamon , peppermint candy and candy canes!  Exciting right? Our creative team is also working on the label’s high end line.”

CEO Shirley built a home fragrance empire  that's proudly Filipino.

CEO Shirley Lucas  Reyes built a home fragrance empire that’s proudly Filipino.

 

My daughter had a bad cough this week which I caught unfortunately.  I tried the peppermint and lavender using the ultrasonic aroma diffuser and it worked wonders!  We both slept through the night and felt relieved in the morning.   A good sleep is a real gamechanger. So the next time you’re feeling lethargic,  stressed or just can’t shake the blues,  put on your most comfortable jammies, turn the diffuser on with your favorite Mia Maison scent and hie off to your dream haven.

 

Get the chance to win products from Mia Maison by answering the question below!

Get the chance to win products from Mia Maison by answering the question below!

Happy 10th Anniversary Mia Maison! Cheers!

The Busy Queen P CONTEST! Winners will get a Gift Certificate from Mia Maison. Share this post, Tag Friends, and Answer on the Blog.

1. What Mia Maison fragrance would you like to try?

Contest ends September 10, 2016

 

With a Pocketful of Glitter,

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Follow me on Twitter, IG and Facebook.   Visit http://thebusyqueenp.com/ for more interesting reads!

 

 

 

Bake your heart away with Maya products.

Corndog Chronicles

I love corndogs!  During my freshman year in Ateneo, lunch consisted of corndog and a tall cup of grape slushie.  This was my staple meal for a whole year – maybe even two.  It’s hard to find a well cooked corndog.  I like it medium battered, with a jumbo hotdog inside and deep fried to perfection.  Delicious!  Over time, I never quite enjoyed corndogs the way I did during my college years and I never found this snack-on-a-stick cooked as good as it was by the school’s lunch lady.  Little did I know that I could make this fare in my very own kitchen!

Bake your heart away with Maya products.

Bake your heart away with Maya products.

 

Four-in-one Fun!

Last weekend, my kids and I headed to the Maya Kitchen to take part in their half  day family baking module called  “Baking Magic Together”.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed their weeklong cooking and baking course last summer so they were more than eager to attend another culinary expedition.  We were joined by three other families .

These corndogs are delicious and so easy to make!

These corndogs are delicious and so easy to make!

At exactly 9:30 am, we made our way inside the state of the art Maya Kitchen.  Baking Blue Velvet Cake was the first order of the day.  Each family had an assistant chef who my daughter repeatedly called “teacher” when she got confused with the instruction give by the lead instructor Pastry Chef Eiselle Hidalgo upfront.  My 12 year old son M looked like a pro as he softened the butter to the right consistency. “I want to try! I want to try,” said my daughter R repeatedly.  We combined all the dry ingredients first before doing the same with the liquids. Soon enough our blue batter was ready to go inside the oven.  We all handed our little round baking pans to “teacher’ before watching the lead instructor make the icing in front.  The kids formed a line to assist Chef Eiselle and were each given a turn to help out.

While our cakes were baking and the icing sent to chill in the freezer,  we lost no time in making the second fare — corndogs!  It only took three ingredients and a saucepan filled with hot oil to serve up my favorite snack.  Beat an egg, add one cup of Maya pancake mix  and pour  a half cup of warm water to make the batter.  The kids quickly put a dozen cocktail hotdogs on short barbecue sticks.  The tricky part is covering the hotdog all the way through.  After a few misses, the kids and I had our technique down pat.

Baking is fun for my daughter R!

Baking is fun for my daughter R!

 

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  Our corndogs  were gone in 60 seconds!  The kids loved it and so did my husband A who was able to make it to the activity coming from his  Saturday basketball game.

 

The Cake Contest

The corndog feast , however, was not the highlight of the day.  The smell of our freshly baked cakes filled the air as they were brought out.  Then it was announced that a prize will be given to the best cake. The environment suddenly became charged as each family put their game faces on. Team Fermin kept on laughing and cheering each other on.  I was especially happy to see Mr. Fermin trying his hand at cake decorating.  Everybody thought they could do  much better job than I could in icing the cake.  But our cake looked more lopsided as each family member worked on it. In the end, the glory went to the Taiwanese team who won on account of the smiley face they put on the top of the cake .

Our finished products!

Our finished products!

 

What a super fun family day of bonding and baking!  Now my kids have inherited my love for corndogs.  In fact, we ‘ve cooked it twice at home already.

 

The Maya Kitchen offers cooking and baking courses by local and international chefs. It is located at the 8th floor of Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Ave.,  Makati with tel no. 8921185

 

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swimsuit 2

The Suit of Champions

 

Soccer moms, baseball moms, basketball moms – these are how mothers who chaperone their sons to practices and games of their  chosen sports are called.  Then there’s us – the swim moms.  I must say that we are a different breed.   Being a swim mom requires a tremendous amount of patience and an endless supply of sunblock.  Unlike other sports where  games are scheduled, swimming competitions last for hours on end.  Waiting for your kid’s particular heat under the blazing heat (pun intended) is really something one needs to get used to.  Aside from the time, the scorching sun (indoor competitions are few) and supporting your child’s passion for his sport, there’s the expenses.  My 12 year old son has been swimming half his life and my now 5 year old girl has just taken up the sport.  Unfortunately, their schools don’t have pools and I had to make them join a team in an exclusive club so they can train regularly with accredited swim coaches.  Aside from that, attention must be given to the gear required for training. Goggles, kickboard, poolbuoy, fins, bands etc.  Of utmost consideration , however, is the kind of swimsuit that they have to wear to minimize the “drag”.  Frictional drag results from the constant rubbing against the water molecules by the swimmer’s body which slows forward motion.  As the swimmer moves faster through the water, the drag starts to build.  A fraction of a second matters in competitions so serious swimmers have to invest in the right kind of swimsuit.

Turbo Swimwear is the choice of our local champion swimmers Ariana Canaya and Courtney Gray.

Local champion swimmers Ariana Canaya and Courtney Gray in neon swimwear from Turbo.

 

Over the years, I’ve bought different brands of swimwear for my kids but one stands out in particular in terms of overall quality.  “Turbo is synonymous to supersonic energy and speed – much like a high powered –engine.  We use the best fabric in the market (100% PBT polyester).  Some athletes have even christened our suits as the toughest there is! Stretch  it, pull it, wear it daily for a year or even store it for a long time and you can see that it keeps its perfect form. No wrinkling, drying out or discoloring whatsoever. More importantly, it significantly lessens the drag,” says champion swimmer, national water polo player and CEO of Turbo Phils Dale Evangelista.  “Turbo originated from Spain focused mainly on customized swimwear catered to  both professional and recreational swimming and water polo players and enthusiasts.  After its success in Europe, it has its expanded its business globally and now offers all kinds of swim training materials and accessories for the youth and adult segments.   The brand is also  known for fashion forward swimming apparel and can customize designs for a whole team or club. Turbo can even produce just 1 swimsuit so you can feel unique and special!”

Red, white and blue! Swimsuits, caps and backpacks are available too!

Red, white and blue! Swimsuits, caps and backpacks are available too!

 

To add to its credentials, Turbo is worn by the national water polo teams of Spain, USA, Russia, Croatia Montenegro and the Philippines.  Ambassadors of the brand include two of the  most promising swim sirens and bemedalled pool darlings of our country – Courtney Melissa Tan Gray and Ariana  Mikaela Canaya. Both Filipinas boast of a long list of achievements and have garnered awards in the swimming arena locally and internationally.

Starting early in the sport. Pool Princess Courtney Gray with my daughter.

Starting early in the sport. Pool Princess Courtney Gray with my daughter.

 

As a longtime swim mom, I like Turbo for its durability.  I find that I don’t need to buy swimsuits as often as I used to. The brand is priced reasonably and because of its excellent performance, has proven to be good value for money.  It’s definitely a prize find for a practical mom like me!

Colorful sling bags, water polo cap and baseball cap

Colorful sling bags, water polo cap and baseball cap

 

Turbo is sold exclusively online at Turbo PH (Facebook and IG) or you can email turbo.philippines@gmail.com .

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With a pocketful of glitter,

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TeamCap or Team Stark ?

Freedom vs Justice

 My 12 year old boy M is the biggest fan of Ironman. Behind the ironsuit is Tony Stark ,the ultrasmart megabillionaire  scion of his equally brilliant inventor father, Stark Industries founder Howard Stark.  M has always been fascinated with Tony’s intelligence,  witty one-liners and I-don’t-care-what-the world-thinks-of-me attitude.  He has a whole collection of Ironman toys and memorabilia, dressed up like his favorite superhero during his 7th birthday and even virtually suited up as the metalled Avenger via a hologram powered attraction when we visited California Adventure in Los Angeles a few years back.

Both ladies and men's apparel are available. Choose your side!

Both Civil War ladies and men’s apparel are available. Choose your side!

 

So M was over the moon when the first trailer of  Captain America Civil War was shown.  At a special screening last Monday  which the two of us attended in Megamall, M was so excited he chowed down his bucket of popcorn even before the movie started.  The latest Avengers installment  is based on crossover plots from previously released Marvel movies.  It begins when a grief stricken mother pays Tony Stark (played oh-so-perfectly by Robert Downey Jr.) a visit after he gives a talk to MIT students.  She has lost a son due to the superheroes’ past mission in fictional Sokovia.  This incident is followed by a bombing attack  which resulted to heavy human collateral damage in Lagos, Nigeria which immediately prompts Downey’s character to support government oversight.   Ironman’s action is seen as a kowtowing surrender to the will of politicians by Captain America (played by the superbuff Chris Evans).  The proposed Superhero Regulatory Act  creates a deep divide  in the Avengers alliance.   Captain America  believes in remaining free to protect the people sans political interference while Ironman sees regulation as  a justifiable and effective means to spare innocent lives.  The other team members must now choose a side.

Cool Captain America gear from F&H

Cool Captain America gear from F&H

 

The good news is that local  clothing brand Folded & Hung (F&H) has an ongoing partnership with Disney.  The Marvel franchise is now under the Disney brand.  With the third of the Avengers movie now out in theatres, F&H has launched a variety of  cool Team Captain America and Team IronMan apparel for both the men and ladies.   Rivalry, which echoes the plot of the movie, is the theme of the collection.  Cotton shirts as well as  long and boxy fit tees with prints of  “Truth vs Justice”,  the mask of Ironman and the shield of Captain America are now in the stores.  An assortment of backpacks, duffle bags and sling ons are also available.  Each Team Captain America piece has a counter Team Ironman item.  Now it’s up to you to choose your team!

TeamCap or Team Stark ?

TeamCap or Team Stark ?

 

As for my family, the husband has secured four tickets for tonight.  My son and I certainly don’t mind watching the movie for a second time.  (I will watch anything with Robert Downwy Jr. in it!)  We promised not to let out any spoilers since my little daughter and her Dad have not seen the show.  This time around, however, we will be dressed up for the occasion.  Wearing our  chosen shirts from F&H, it will now be known to all that the  Fermins are stalwart fans of Team Ironman!

We've chosen our side. Have you?

We’ve chosen our side. Have you?

JOIN the BQP CONTEST NOW! Get the chance to win P500 Gift Certificates from Folded & Hung! SHARE on FB, TAG, and ANSWER this simple question here on the blog.

1. Whose side are you on? TeamCAP or Team STARK? WHY?

 

 

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With a pocketful of glitter,

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