Thursday, December 31, 2015

Less is More for a Meaningful Christmas

Christmas is that time of the year when the whole world is in a conspiracy of love. The Christmas season is a time of indulging to most people that they often feel the need to go over the top during the holidays but less can really be more.



Year on end, we struggle with shopping lists and still wonder if our efforts are adding up to the season. With so many items to choose from, we spend so much time looking for that perfect gift. Our schedules are jampacked with events, wrapping and exchanging gifts on top of the food preparations. Moms like me are burdened with even more household chores which means less quality time to spend with those we love and lost opportunities to build stronger family bonds. Hence, stress often builds up as the Christmas day draws near.



Decking the halls with less expensive, simpler things can equally give off the same glow of happiness. You can cut out a lot of spending without taking holiday celebrations like I did. Let me share how our subtle approach to Christmas enforces that "less can really be more".



#DoMoreWithLess by infusing the home with classic holiday elegance



We used "classic" decorations to bring out the best in our home this holiday season. Our decors have been "recycled" over the years. Our small living space entails limited square footage for clutter. Less decorations would mean more space for the living room and kitchen. Fewer but well-chosen decors are what create style; quantity is essentially meaningless.





By spending little on Christmas trimmings and decorations, our different approach to the holidays add up to significant savings. We are continuing our less is more tradition this Christmas and will do less each year.





#DoMoreWithLess via Advance Planning and Budgetting


I made a To-Do List even before the "ber" months set in to prioritize things that makes me happy and do important ones with less stress. Holidays can be overwhelming and so planning carefully in advance really helped me determine what I need to spend on.


In coordinating errands by location, I was able to reduce time-wasters. I was able to finish as many things possible with one trip (doing my grocery based on meal plans and shopping for Christmas gift bargains). Advance planning helps me decide on the budget cap for every gift I need to buy for and find the best deals. I makeover my lists from time-to-time to fit my lifestyle and budget. This way, I can keep up with what I spend and be able to manage next year's fund easier. Cutting out the excess in life means I can free up time and energy to focus on what matters more to me-my family.




Frugal and Wonderful Christmas


With less things to do, our Christmas morning was unhurried. The stocked refrigerator saved us from last minute dash to the grocery store when we prefer to cuddle at home and have no time to cook.

 It was tempting to rely on overrated convenience food but we chose to prepare it ourselves.
Instead of spending a fortune on Christmas dinner, we opted for a simpler (but more appealing) one at home.

We took advantage of kitchen technology like crock-pots to do hands-off cooking and make meal preparations more manageable. And Electrolux Slow Cooker happens to be the best crock-pot for home-cooked meals without slaving over a hot stove!



Since Christmas is synonymous with excessive leftovers, we did a research of recipes on how to store and turn these into "free meals" beforehand. It became easier because we gave it more leadtime.

We made smoothies from leftover fruits. Kids were more than willing to make their own shake concoctions using the Electrolux Power Mix Silent Blender.






Go Offline


Though the internet, phones and gadgets in these modern times have become so intertwined in our daily lives unplugging can actually do us good. We required each one to unplug from these distractions, live in the moment and enjoy each other's company.

Christmastime is an opportune time to break from the routines of ordinary life. We believe that decreasing our time online can increase quality family time we spend with the people that we care about.

With fewer things to do, we had more room to invite Jesus Christ in our celebrations Christ is in the simple gatherings and quiet moments like these that we share together.

This festive season is a great time for change.
I recommend you start a minimalist lifestyle and give it a go this holiday season.

Focus on what really matters to you. Real relationships. Being in the moment.

More than precious gifts, give love away. Less can be more and it all depends on you.



This blog post is in support of the #DoMoreWithLess advocacy led by Electrolux Philippines.



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Burger Holiday at Alabang Town Center

Eating a burger on a bun is an American tradition that we Filipinos came to love. There are so many styles of hamburgers and a hundred delicious ways to whip it up. By varying the meat, toppings, seasonings and condiments, one can come up with  awesome combos.




Now I got to indulge in a few best variations of this American favorite sandwich during a Burger Holiday event at Alabang Town Center.  The one-day deal specials offered by the participating burger chains are as follows:




8cuts Burger Blends #MeatOurBlends



Diners get a free cheeseburger upon purchase of any hamburger combo.  8cuts Burger gives its patrons the option to choose a 1/3 or 1/4-pound patty to go with its soft buns. They grind their own meat from various choice cuts and it is probably one of the reasons why the patty comes out delish. A few cuts of good meat blended well with fat will turn out really good.

I ordered Bar Burger and it seemed like a good choice. My 1/3 pound burger was moist. &nbspInstead of fresh onions, it had crispy fried onion strips on top of the patty which mixes well with sour taste of its cheese.





 The Four Cheese burger also tastes awesome!  If you fancy a variety of cheeses on your burger like I do then this one is tops.


Chili's



The Oldtimer and Classic Bacon Burger from ‪‎Chili‬'s ‪are simple and standard ones with no frills.  The only difference between these two are the thick slices of bacon in the Classic Bacon Burger.





 The Fresh Fajita Mix was a refreshing break from the burger foodcoma. We chose chicken and beef strips with prawns. There were lots of condiments to add on the fajita rolls we chose to make.






And when you're at Chili's, do try out their heavenly Molten Chocolate Cake (P 395). You will love the warm chocolate cake filled with chocolate fudge and topped with vanilla ice cream as it melts in your mouth!


Size Matters

The Works Burger comes with 2 free sliders. For me, this is a perfect burger as it comes out crumbly and tender. It has a bit of crispness around the patty edges. This is one guilty pleasure I will surely splurge on from time to time. Its cheese flavor mixes well with the caramelized onions. The bun has a hint of sweetness, holds each patty in place and absorbs the burger juices without being soggy.




Tony Roma's

Tony Roma' s AromaBurger is a classic burger withr minimal dressings. Burger purist will love their moist, signature beef patty. Homecooked Fries are served on the side. Get it free when you buy a Cheese Burger. Buy a ‪‎Cheeseburger‬ and get an ‪‎AromaBurger‬ from ‪Tony Romas‬ 's.




Outback


Get an Outbacker‬ (P 469) when you purchase a Typhoon Burger‬ (P 499) from ‎Outback‬ . Outback seems to be big in everything!  The Outbacker burger meat is packed with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions with a dash of mustard.




Typhoon Burger on the other hand is more festive with Fried Onion Rings, American cheese and its signature Typhoon Bloom sauce on top.






Pepper Lunch



The Double Hamburg Steak with Egg from PepperLunch comes in a cast iron plate. Each plate was a hefty serving of beansprouts, egg and two beef patties that has to be mixed up with its sweet onion sauce (and the butter sauce in the middle) as soon as delivered to your ‬table .  Japanese rice is served on the side.






The recent Burger Food Holiday was really a good time to indulge!  While there are a wide hamburger  selection, you can always find a combination that works for you.



Do you like this post? Watch out for the upcoming ‬ ‪Food Holidays‬ at ‪ATC. ‬ ‪See the year-schedules and take advantage on the buy-one-take-one deal offerings only at Alabang Town Center:


Jan 16 (Sat), Hot & Spicy Food Day
Jan 27 (Wed), Soup Day
Feb 11 (Thur), Asian Dish Day
Feb 23 (Tues), Pizza
Mar 19 (Sat), Coffee
Mar 22 (Tues), Noodle
Apr 9 (Sat), Cocktail
Apr 27 (Wed), Steak
May 16 (Mon), Barbecue
May 25 (Wed), Frozen Desserts
Jun 12 (Sun), Filipino Dish Day
Jun 17 (Fri), Shrimp
Jul 4 (Mon), American DishDay
Jul 6 (Wed), Fried Chicken
Aug 6 (Sat), Smoothies
Aug 16 (Tues), Fish
Sept 16 (Fri), Salad
Sept 26 (Mon), Rice Toppings
Oct 16 (Sun), Pasta
Oct 28 (Fri), Chocolate Day
Nov 2 (Wed), Sandwich
Nov 26 (Sat), Cake
Dec 9 (Fri), Pastry
Dec 21 (Wed), Hamburger








Monday, December 28, 2015

Gerolsteiner launches in Manila

Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG (Gerolsteiner) is a leading German mineral water firm founded in 1888.  The said company had its seat in Gerolstein, Eifel mountains which is known for its high carbonic acid that occurs naturally. It is well known for its Gerolsteiner Sprudel brand, a bottled, naturally carbonated mineral water.

The secret to Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water’s refreshing taste is its pure and pristine origins – the Volcanic Eifel located in the subterranean aquifers in Gerolstein in Germany. The special geological features of its location make it 100% naturally rich in essential minerals, in particular a unique balance of: Calcium (for healthy bones, teeth and muscles), Magnesium (for the healthy functioning of the nervous system and necessary for efficient muscular function) and Bicarbonate (its acid-neutralizing effect gives the water a pleasant, well-balanced natural taste).

Gerolsteiner water contains  bromine, calcium, chlorine, fluorine, lithium, magnesium, manganese, nitrogen, potassium, silicon, sodium, strontium, and sulfur  at least  in amounts of 100 or more micrograms per liter. The strontium is naturally occurring, not the radioactive strontium-90.  The result is a well-balanced minerals, refreshing taste Designed by Nature.

Water is the essence of life as it plays a crucial role in our daily living. Water makes up 90% of the lungs, 80% of the blood and three quarters of the muscles and brain. When the body lacks water or is dehydrated, many body organs and their functions – from digestion, blood circulation, regulating body heat to eliminating waste – will be affected tremendously.

The human body relies on the amount and quality of water that we consume daily. By going for “mineralized” water, we can keep our bodies functioning at optimal levels.


And because Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water is bottled directly at source, drinkers are provided with the highest levels of mineral-rich hydration. This makes Gerolsteiner unique as its mineral components are the highest among other water brands. In fact, one liter of Gerolsteiner Sparkling provides more than the daily calcium requirement (348 mg) and ¼ of the daily magnesium requirement (108 mg). It also contains at least 1,800 mg of bicarbonate, potassium (11mg), sodium (118mg), sulphate (38 mg) and carbonic acid (7,000 mg).

With its natural pure source and unique mineral combination, Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water is indeed a world-class bottled water brand unlike no other.



The unique balance of minerals in Gerolsteiner ensures their bioavailability – the minerals are already dissolved, so that the body can absorb them quickly. The ratio of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, also enables maximum usage. Highest quality assurance Delighting thirsty drinkers all over the world since 1888, Gerolsteiner proudly carries with it 120 years of tradition and innovation.

Gerolsteiner’s highest quality remain unchanged through strict product monitoring, from source to the bottle. To ensure the product does not contain any substances that may potentially harm people or the environment, regular checks are done by a highly qualified in-house quality assurance team which conducts over 400 microbiology and chemical analyses daily. Gerolsteiner utilizes a new high-quality PET that has acetaldehyde blockers. This means that the acetaldehyde molecules stay bonded to the material and cannot pass into the product. This significantly contributes to the quality and safety of the mineral water. Apart from all-natural, fool-proof packaging, Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water undergoes safety routine and extensive internal and external inspections to preserve its high quality and ensure that the pristine quality of Gerolsteiner bottled water products are not compromised.



Gerolsteiner implements an integrated management system and is certified in accordance with the following international standards: Quality management: DIN FSSC 22.000, Environmental management: DIN ISO 14.001, and Energy management: DIN ISO 50.001.

Fit For Everyday Life

Suitable for every occasion and every hydration needs – whether to replenish lost fluids after performing strenuous physical activities like a high-impact sport, improve stamina while recovering from sickness or just seeking for a refreshing pause in between daily grinds – Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water lives up to its promise of healthy hydration that not only tastes good, but one that is genuinely good for you, too.



“Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water is not only a ‘lifestyle’ water; it’s something that greatly helps replenish lost minerals in the body. In this busy modern age where people seek for quick ways to optimize their health for longer, enjoyable lives, this mineral-rich thirst-quencher is their best, reliable option,” stressed Jun L. Cochanco, President of Fly Ace Corporation, the official distributor of Gerolsteiner in the Philippines.



With these amazing amounts of minerals made easily enjoyable in every bottled Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water, Filipino health seekers can finally quench their inner thirst while rejuvenating their bodies, naturally, with its many health-boosting benefits.

Germany's most trusted sparkling water is made available in the Philippines through Fly Ace Corporation..

Know more about Gerolsteiner by visiting www.gerolstenier.com.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

EMBOA hosts Christmas Festival

500 indigent children in Manila received their early Christmas gifts from Ermita-Malate Business Owners Association Inc. (EMBOA) last December 18. The newly-landscaped Remedios Circle was teeming with kids gathered together from various barangays.


EMBOA is a business association of 130 establishments around Ermita-Malate which aims to revive and restore Ermita and Malate’s appeal to local and foreign tourists. According to EMBOA President Michelle Pe, the Ermita-Malate district's extraordinary was exemplary to other cities in Southeast Asia in the 1970s. Atop its world-famous sunset, foreign tourists frequents restaurants and bars at the Remedios Circle and nearby streets to listen to opera singers.

It was at a height of fashion, culture and entertainment. EMBOA seeks to bring back Ermita-Malate to its old glory days.



The EMBOA Handog Pasasalamat is their way of raising awareness in the local community. This festival was held in Partnership with the Manila City Government. Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada joined the Tourism officials, barangay officials, and EMBOA in the celebration of Christmas joy.


The highlight of the festivities was the distribution of gifts to 500 children.


The Manila Band played Christmas beats to start off the evening. Choirs filled the air with holiday cheers. The Philippine Women’s University (PWU) Choir headed the Christmas carols. Unibersidad De Manila (UDM) amazed the audience with their dance performances.



EMBOA tookusaroundto visit different member hotels to get acquianted with their facilities and affordable accommodations they are offering.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

First Lego-Building Competition Grand Finals in the Philippines

Last December 19, 2015 Lego Enthusiasts of all generations assembled at SM Southmall to witness the grand finals of the very first Lego-Building Competition in the Philippines! Qualifying rounds in three categories were held every Saturday from November through December 5. Winners received P1,500 worth of LEGO sets and then qualify to compete for the Grand Finals.

The LEGOlympics winners from the elimination rounds converged once again to outperform each other. The LEGOlympics competition was divided in three (3) categories:

• Kids (4-12 years old)
• Teens (13-17 years old)
• Adults (18 and up)




In the Grand Finals, participants were given one set of LEGO bricks to create and build something within the given theme and time limit of twenty (20) minutes. Judges then went around to assess each piece and grade each creation based on the following criteria:

• Creativity
• Stability
• Nearest to Reality



Grand Finals winners took home these prizes (per category):

1st Prize P10,000 worth of Cash prize, SM Gift Certificates and LEGO Loot Bags/Toys
2nd Prize P5,000 worth of Cash prize, SM Gift Certificates and LEGO Loot Bags/Toys
3rd Prize P3,000 worth of Cash prize, SM Gift Certificates and LEGO Loot Bags/Toys


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rendezvous at Peppermint Kids Salon and Spa

Are you looking forward to a Salon Bonding experience with your child? Peppermint Kid Salon and Spa can create that magical experience for you.


Peppermint Kids Salon and Spa team are known for their salon expertise. Their stylists are friendly. They treat kids with patience.



This place is amazing with its unparallelled way of working with squirmy toddlers and kids! It has a great atmosphere with kid-friendly fixtures.


It is where moms and dads can get pampered as well while their kids read books, watch TV or pick up educational toys. Going inside Peppermint is like walking into a toy store!



Toddlers would love to sit on car or airplane-shaped seats and play on with the wheels as they get ready for shearing. And Peppermint stylists are there to make sure that your kid's hair will look nothing short of fabulous.




Peppermint offers the following services:
• Kid's Hair Salon
• Hair Styling
• Kids' Spa and Massage
• Kids' Makeup
• Nail Art
• Braids
• Argan Oil Organic Hair Treatment
• Shampoo / Blowdry
• Nail Care / Nail Spa



Peppermint Kid Salon and Spa even has a Private Room for the Family. It is a comprehensive children's salon and a posh day spa where fun rules!


The bright colors and "swing" spa seats took my breath away! It makes a perfect venue for Salon or cool Birthday Parties.
They even offer Photo Booths to cover your special occassions.




I had the chance to try out some of their services during a recent trip to SM Aura. I went in for a pampering nail care service and oh boy, did I liked it. I appreciate the nail technician's efforts in making my foot glam session such a pleasurable one! She worked gently on my nails, shaping and buffing each one after trimming my cuticles. And I like how she effortlessly applied a top coat on them. They have a wide variety of eyecandy polishes to choose from!





Next was a hair cut. I have natural curls that give me more hair volume. But under inexperienced hands, it will look stiff and fly in all directions.


After walking in on empty salons, I learned that it says much about a salon's service. I learned the hard way. It dawned on me that not all hairstylists are created equal. That experience made me careful about choosing the right salons.


Peppermint has always been jampacked with loyal patrons for the right reasons. They specialize in trendy haircut and spa services. I'm surprised that Peppermint Kid Salon and Spa was able to get the look I always wanted. And I feel good about myself. A great look lies in a good cut and shiny hair tresses! And I have Peppermint Kid Salon and Spa to thank for it!


I love my hair cut and nail spa experience at Peppermint Kids Salon and Spa. Peppermint gave me a great overall experience. I'm so pleased with their services that we now go to Peppermint Kids Salon and Spa as a family!


I definitely recommend it to anyone!

Do avail of the salon's current promotion: One Year Membership with Unlimited Haircut for only P2,500.00


PEPPERMINT KIDS SALON AND SPA BOUTIQUE
Unit 07 Basement 1
SM Aura Premier, Taguig City

Sunday, December 13, 2015

#SMBTogetherThisChristmas at SM City Bicutan


Last Saturday, I joined in SM City Bicutan's festive Christmas Parade with the theme #SMBTogetherThisChristmas. This oh-so-jolly holiday parade has two parade times, 3PM and 5PM. I watched both showings of the parade.

Snowman in Winter Wonderland was the dominant theme at the parade assembly point. Kids and parents gathered around the characters to have pictures taken with the Bears, Ducks, Fairies, Santa and his Elves before the procession kicked off.

The parade steps off SM City Bicutan's Activity Center at Building B then ends at Building A.




The Magical Christmas Parade was pretty fun! The brass band that led the parade had an interesting line of cheerful, holiday music to which the characters danced to. The performers were dancing all throughout the procession which stepped off SM City Bicutan's Activity Center at Building B and ended at Building A.

The parade concluded with another round of photo-taking activity this time at the Adventure Time Tree House. What a festive sight it was! Adults and kids gathered around the Christmas stage to take turns posing with their favorite characters.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Magical Christmas Parade at SM City BF



SM City BF held its Magical Christmas Parade last Friday.  The mall's Activity Center had the  Adventure Time with Finn and Jake's  Village decorated with candies!    The Candy Land was a picture-perfect set-up for patrons to have their photos taken.   There were lollipop trees and candy seats everywhere! Marshmallow arches adorned the festive set-up.



Those who purchased SM Christmas #BearsOfJoy had the privilege of getting their photos taken at the Candy Land with Finn the Human and Jake the Dog.  Both Finn and Jake candidly posed and danced on stage  before the Magical Christmas Parade commenced at 4:30PM.





The parade started at the 3rd level of the going around the floors downward towards the mall's  Activity Center.
It was really fun to see them dressed up in interesting costumes!  Some of the Frozen characters were also at the parade.  Elsa and the handsome Prince Hans were joined in by Olaf.  Towering Men on Stilts mingled with the Chipmonks, Bears and the Ginger Bread Man.  The Angels, Fairies, Santa and his dancing elves were also an integral part of the Christmas Magical Parade.  How can you not love this parade?






Seeing the characters play dress-up warms SM City BF even more!  The huge Christmas presents that looked great decked out for the holidays swayed and danced to the Christmas beats performed by the brass band.







The highlight of the show  was the "Meet and Greet" with the Christmas parade characters.
Even the kids from Capable Foundation  had the time of their lives getting acquianted and having their photos taken with their favorite  Christmas characters at the end of the party.



The Grand Magical Christmas Parade with the Cartoon Network is on its 3rd year.  It is running every weekend since Novermber.


Do celebrate a #MerrySMChristmas2015 with Finn and Jake at SM Malls near you.


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