Wick(ed) Wonders


Europe’s premiere home fragrance brand makes a comeback in Manila.


Fragrances have the power to alter our disposition, transport us to far off places and trigger memories both pleasant and foul. I love fragrances that smell like my favorite food.  Beauty and skin care products that have hints of vanilla, chocolate, lemon, oranges and mint are sure buys for me. These pleasant smells immediately relaxes , refreshes and puts me in a positive mood.

But what if I told you that fragrances are healing too? Several years ago, Nikko Wu had a bad case of the flu.  His parents tried the Lampe Berger Paris (LBP)home diffuser ( which was then sold via multi-level marketing but eventually disappeared in the market) to prevent the spread of the virus. Not only did the fragrance envelop the Wu’s home with a pleasant smell, it prevented other members of the family from getting sick and helped Nikko get better, too. Tall tale? Not at all!


Healing Scents

The very first lamp was really not intended as an air freshener. In1989, Maurice Berger, a pharmacy dispenser, invented it to purify the air of hospital wards. Today, more than a century later, the LBP brand has travelled halfway across the globe and is now available in Manila.

As fate would have it , it was Nikko Wu who brought the idea to his dad Nicholas Wu to secure the exclusive Philippine distribution rights to LBP.  Last March 1, Sea Olympus Marketing Inc, welcomed select showbiz personalities, online influencers and guests to the grand launch of LBP’s flagship store in Robins Design Center, Meralco Ave., Ortigas, Pasig.

The showroom smelled heavenly! Tall display shelves lined the wall of the all white interior. Guests happily milled around the store and were treated to a multi-sensory experience. Neatly arranged inside the glass cases were LBP’ diffusers ranging from the simple to he exquisite.  Ooh’s and ahh’s could be heard around the room as guests took turns in marveling at the colored containers and smelling the scents which were poured in mini rollers. I liked the Green Apple scent.

Choose your healing scents from Lampe Berger Paris.

Choose your healing scents from Lampe Berger Paris.

FullSizeRender (46)

These beautiful Lampe Berger lamps serve as beautiful decor for the home too!


Currently. there are 35 lamp designs, 18 variations of the gift sets (lamps are sold with scents already included) and 12 collector’s item vessels.  Lamps are sold at P3500 – P5500 while gift set prices range from P2,995 – P4,095.  There are also 11 fragrances to choose from. The bestsellers are Eucalyptus, Oceane Breeze and Zest of Verbena. You may also opt to purchase refills of the purifying scents which come in one litter bottles and cost P1,795. How long will one liter last? A bottle will give you 40 hours of fragrance, protection and relaxation.  Every LBP  product comes with a detailed instruction book so you need not worry about how to use it.

The BQP with Rica Peralejo at the LBP event.

The BQP with Rica Peralejo at the LBP event.




I like this product because of its versatility. Unlike other home fresheners which only masks foul smells, LBP is the very first product invented that purifies air. Its unique technology guarantees the destruction of unwanted odors as well as long lasting fragrance. Whether in use or not, it’s a lovely décor for the home too. Lastly, LBP is a long time investment on healthy living. With all the airborne sicknesses in the environment, it’s a must to have one of these lovely lamps in the home.


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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!

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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.


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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


Golden Glow for Two

Valentine’s day is exactly ten days away. For us bitten by l’amour, it’s an occasion that must be made extraordinarily special for those we hold dear. For busy wives, such as myself, it’s a time to rack our brains (again) for the perfect gifts to give our husbands. Ties, watches, polo shirts, that cheesy heart shaped-cake, sporting equipment and almost everything else we’ve been offered by retail stores have all been wrapped for our gents over the years.


A Serving of Diamond Dust, Pearls and Magma


Brian Austin Green and Alice Eve for Orogold Cosmetics

Brian Austin Green and Alice Eve for Orogold Cosmetics

This year I decided to surprise my husband with a different kind of treat. In the guise of a lunch date, I brought him to Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila and after our meal led him to the Orogold Exclusive store. A week prior, I was invited by Marie Claire Ortega, Head of Marketing and Promotions, for an afternoon of pampering for two at the VIP room of the opulent boutique. Perfect! Men, unless they’re the metrosexual kind, will never think of getting facials. Alpha males, which is exactly the pack Mr. Fermin belongs to, are no fuss creatures because they concern themselves with more urgent matters. So it was quite incredulous when A agreed. It could also be that he got curious when Claire said, “Sir, all you have to do is give us a bit of your time, relax and let our skin specialist take care of you. You’ll definitely like the results!” With that, we were whisked into the luxuriously appointed room, offered red wine and chocolates and then got our respective treatments.

Feel the rejuvenating effects of the OROGOLD SIR Collection (for him) and the Cryogenic collection.(for her)

Feel the rejuvenating effects of the OROGOLD SIR Collection (for him) and the Cryogenic collection.(for her)

Oily skin, large pores and deep crow’s feet were my husband’s must-fix concerns. Orogold’s Sir Collection, made specifically for men’s skin, was used on him. The foaming cleanser was applied to the skin until it was absorbed without wetting the face and only the two ring fingers were used(because these are the lightest digits). This allowed the skin to absorb all the ingredients of the Orogold product as it simultaneously rid the face of impurities. Next was the Magma Peel which removed built-up dirt, excess oils and stripped dead skin cells away. Then the Volcanic Mask was applied to tighten the skin and minimize pores. After the black mask was removed, A was given a mirror, and he chuckled and exclaimed, “Wow!”  Checking his face from all angles as an eye balm was being applied, he was visibly impressed.

I received the Cryogenic Treatment because upon closer examination, I was told that skin discoloration had start to set in aside from wrinkles in my forehead and, sigh, a bit of sagging in my jowls. Vitamin C Cleanser, 24K Cryogenic Diamond Mask, 24K Pearl Revival Elixir, 24K Neck Lift Cream were all used to repair, energize and nourish my skin. My mirror moment revealed a younger me! My skin felt more supple, looked brighter and felt tighter too!


Au! Be in your Best Element this Valentine’s Day

All Orogold products have gold particles in them. Gold has long been known for its beautifying properties. This element is loaded with antioxidants, is hypoallergenic and has anti inflammatory properties as well making it the perfect ingredient for Orogold’s opulent skin care line. It recreates broken cellular connections, reduces fine lines and the effects of sun damage.

As the finale to our date, we received a his and hers OROGOLD wrinkle and skin tightening treatment. Both solutions were dispensed from black and pink syringes but there were no injections involved! The 24K Sir Syringe De-Liner is the solution for aging  lines. It contains coffee bean extracts, volcanic water, kojic acid and gold which all works in achieving youthful looking skin. The 24K DMAE Deep Wrinkle Tightening Solution lifts sagging skin, reduces wrinkles and reveals radiant and smooth looking skin like no other. I can attest to that!

1.Orogold His and Hers Limited Edition Set, the gift of youth. Get him a 24K Syringe De-Liner and receive a 24K DMAE Deep Wrinkle Tightening Solution for free!

1. Orogold His and Hers Limited Edition Set, the gift of youth. Get him a 24K Syringe De-Liner and receive a 24K DMAE Deep Wrinkle Tightening Solution for free!


I couldn’t help but compliment my husband as we left the boutique. “You look great,” I said. “Thank you for my advance Valentine’s gift, sweetheart,” he replies with a big smile.

The best gifts are indeed best shared with a loved one.

Orogold Cosmetics is located in the G/F of Century Mall  and Robinsons Place L2, Midtown Wing. Orogold Exclusive is in Newport Mall, Resorts World with tel no. 835 54 67.

With a pocketful of glitter,

tbqp signature - white background


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,

tbqp signature - white background


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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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The Zest for Success

 Dressed in a red jersey dress,  Michelle Asence Fontelera greeted me with  a big smile, beso and a hug, “Paulyne, you’re looking fab! Glad you could make it.”   It was the 15th anniversary of local fragrance brand Zen Zest and  its  beautiful CEO was busy receiving guests to the by invitation only afternoon affair at Le Petit Souffle, Century Mall.  The romantic french country setting with crawling vines , lush faux trees and delicate white furniture was the perfect setting for the event.   Pastel colored flowers adorned the long table where the full line of products were displayed for everyone to smell and choose from.  Yes, the first order of the day was to pick out your favorite scents from the wonderful spread of  Zen Zest fragrances.  I, however, decided to leave the bevy of eager girls who were sniffing and smelling the bottled delights and sat with my friend for a short tête-á-tête.

At the 15th anniversary celebration of Zen Zest with Sari Yap and the company's CEO Michelle Fontelera

At the 15th anniversary celebration of Zen Zest with Sari Yap and the company’s CEO Michelle Fontelera



A Passion for Potions

Michelle always loved fragrances.   As a child she would raid her uncle’s closet and get her hands on his collection of perfumes.  She played with them like toys—mixing the different scents and creating new ones.  When she grew up she decided to take her interest seriously and with P350,000 as her initial capital, started her very own fragrance business.   “I knew NOTHING about how to start, run or manage a business.  What I knew for sure was that there was a market for organic products because prior to launching Zen Zest I sold home made soaps (which were consigned to me) at bazaara.  Every last piece sold out even before the bazaar was finished.  I thought to myself, there’s a potential for locally made body products. Why don’t I make my own brand? With the encouragement and support of my mom, I hired a part time chemist, learned how to concoct scents and the rest is history. You can say that Zen Zest was born in our kitchen. It really was!”  shared Michelle excitedly.

Take your pick from Zen Zest's body essentials

Take your pick from Zen Zest’s body essentials. I love the vanilla scrub!


Innovation is Key

Over the years, Michelle has learned the in’s and out’s of the business both by making mistakes and achieving successes.  She prides herself in being a self-taught entrepreneur who is not afraid to ask the advice of other businesspeople.  On the contrary, she says it’s a must to learn from others.  To keep her brand relevant,  she keeps abreast with the latest trends on all social media platforms, travels to different parts of the world to learn the latest technology in perfume making and seeks advice from her fashion maven friends. All these contribute to keeping Zen Zest a competitive brand.

“There are always new competitors and daily challenges.  What make us different from the other brands is that we are the pioneer in the mass premium market.  The key to our success, however, is constant innovation.  We started out with just a handful of body sprays.  Now we carry an extensive line of eau de toilette, eau de parfume, body wash, and body scrub. We also have  aromatherapy products which consists of our room fragrance, linen fragrance, home fragrance oils, rolls and massage oils, and home diffusers.    Recently we also introduced our baby line with the Kramer family as our endorsers.”  The products have also been given a make-over via new packaging designs  and soon Zen Zest will relaunch their virgin coco oil line.

Body sprays, home fragrances and aromatherapy oils

Body sprays, home fragrances and aromatherapy oils


After 15 years what are you thankful for, I asked her. “To this day, I can’t believe how far I’ve taken Zen Zest.  But I’m not alone in this journey. Truly, it’s by His will that I am able to do all these. I’m also thankful to my mom who pushed me to always do my best, to my team who helps me execute the vision for the label and to my husband and two kids who keep me grounded and inspired. ”

Their chocolate scented kitchen spray masks the smell of fish and leaves the room smelling like a cafe!

Their chocolate scented kitchen spray masks the smell of fish and leaves the room smelling like a cafe!


I had finished my bowl of fresh greens and half of my pasta dish and it was also time for Michelle to play her part as gracious host to the rest of the party.  So off I went to the buffet of captivating scents and did my share of sniffing and smelling and filled my goodie bag to the brim.

Happy 15th Year Anniversary Zen Zest! Cheers!


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With a pocketful of glitter,






Lovely Lunettes


Living in a tropical country has its challenges.  The heat index just won’t abate for majority of the year  and the weather really dictates what outfit you should wear for the day.  Light make-up or no make up is advisable in the summer as you literally start to sweat the minute you get out of the shower.  So how do you spruce up your au naturelle look and add  a little sprinkle of fab to your daily get-up?  Well, one way to do it is to wear fashionable sunglasses.

Designer Looks for Less

My latest Mommy find is a brand of stylish eyewear that’s so reasonably priced, you can afford to buy one for each day of the week!  Sounds too good to be true?  Read on.  “ICON Eyewear has been around since 2005.  The brand is known for carrying a wide selection of designs for both men and women.  We have the classics like wayfarers and aviators.  Those are always saleable.  We also have designer-inspired eyewear that are guaranteed to make you a head-turner without having to spend thousands.  My personal favorites are the cat eyes shape because they look feminine and playful,” says Bambi Garcia, CEO of the brand. “We try to keep our inventory fresh and up-to-date.  If you drop by any of our pop-up stores and see something you like, better get it because it won’t be there the following day.  Round frames are hot this season as well as aviators.  There are only three pieces per design.  New stocks come in every two to three weeks.”


Designer-insipred must-haves!

Designer-insipred must-haves!

The Travelling Shades

For sunglasses that cost a mere P499, it’s not surprising to know that it’s a favorite of the middle class and by the A crowd too.  In fact, if you visit Icon Eyewear’s Instagram account, you’ll see a recurring theme.  Fans of the label take photos of themselves or the eyewear itself in different parts of the world , post them and tag Icon.  Bambi who is a frequent traveller herself  started this trend by taking photos of her products in the different countries she has  visited abroad and sharing it in her social media accounts.

This lady boss always wear her ICON sunglasses in all her travels.

This lady boss always wear her ICON sunglasses in all her travels.


Who wears Icon? According to its owner, her clientele is composed mostly of young professionals, college students and practical moms who are fashion forward and savvy shoppers.  They are smart fashionistas who want the latest styles without spending too much.

Around the world with Icon sunglasses

Around the world with Icon sunglasses


I’m living proof that the sunglasses can instantly transform your look.  Since I have kindergarten skills when it comes to putting on make-up and my skin easily gets irritated in the few times that I do, I always have my Icon eyewear as part of my beauty arsenal.   I have a pair of sunglasses stashed in each of the three bags I currently use.  It’s useful in hiding the remains of a late night, gives me a comfortable and confident look and sometimes  I use it indoors as a headband to pull my hair away from my face.  Glad to have shared this little guilty pleasure  but practical beauty advice to you all.  Next week will be all about fragrance from another local brand. Watch out for it!


Icon stores are located at the 3/F of Glorietta 1 near bridgeway and at the G/F of Market Market Taguig.

With a pocketful of glitter,

tbqp signature - white background







What the Cool Kids Wear

I’m quite sure a lot of moms have the same dilemma as I do.  We see clothes that would look absolutely adorable on our kids (never mind the price tag), we make them fit it in the store (or just buy them off the rack having been suddenly overcome by shopping euphoria), then we go home and keep it in the closet.  They wear it once or twice and voila!  Just like that, they seem to have grown overnight and the clothes don’t fit anymore.  Money down the drain, euphoria bubble busted big time.

The Summer collection is all about the 70’s vibe, marked by its powdery and aged blues combined with more upbeat and bright colors.

The Summer collection is all about the 70’s vibe, marked by its powdery and aged blues combined with more upbeat and bright colors.


The good news is that the Zippy Kidstore has just opened!  Zippy is a children’s apparel brand from Portugal which caters to children ages 0 to 14 years.  “We pride ourselves in being an urban brand, characterized by a contemporary style so that children feel cool and comfy. It’s for the the preppy hipster, the expressive and the practical kids.  The store is a one-stop-shopping haven for the whole family.  Our Spring/Summer 2016  collection offers a full line of  apparel, fashionable shoes, accessories as well as  nursery products.  Soon we will have car seats, cribs and strollers in the stores,” says  Karren Alvarez, brand manager of Zippy.

Come on over and shop the  Zippy Spring/Summer collection at Glorietta 3!

Come on over and shop the Zippy Spring/Summer collection at Glorietta 3!

Adorable in white

Cool kids wear Zippy!


Last Monday, Zippy hosted an intimate gathering at their flagship store in Glorietta. Select moms and kids got to preview the latest collection from the brand and were treated to fun activities as well.   The children spent quite some time playing with different board and card games.  My 4 year old had a great time as she played a game of  Old Maid with older kids!  Red treat bags were also given to guests so they can have their sweet fill from the candy buffet.  At the far end of the table, there was a pyramid of cupcakes neatly arranged in a cupcake tree holder ready to be decorated by the guests.  Everyone had smiles on their faces as they poured multi-colored sprinkles, pearl beads and dollops of chocolate over the mini  pastries!

The highlight of the event was when the kids were asked to choose anything they liked from the store.   Everything was eye candy so it took a while before everybody got their choices down pat.  Before I knew it, my daughter had a denim Minnie Mouse bag dangling from her arm and promptly announced, “I like this!”  I built her outfit based on her choice.  Faded denim skirt, a light Minnie Mouse top and the cutest floral sneakers with peach ribbons completed her ensemble.  A perfect summer get-up.  Of course, we took photos.  What  fun!

Easy, comfortable and cool get ups at affordable prices!

Easy, comfortable and cool get ups at affordable prices!


Aside from the wide, fashion forward selection of apparel, what I like most about Zippy is its competitive price point.  Basic t-shirts sell for P179, ballerina flats for P529,  and sneakers for P659.  It’s definitely a brand that the cool kids will wear and one that all fashionable but practical moms like me will love!

My daughter all dresse up in Zippy clothing. Just look at her adorable floral sneakers!

My daughter all dresse up in Zippy clothing. Just look at her adorable floral sneakers!


Zippy stores are located at Level 1, Glorietta 3 and SM North Edsa.

With a pcketful of glitter,

tbqp signature - white background


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