When you're just too on the go to even care to prepare a healthier meal, you resort to the easiest and fastest way to gobble up. Yup, fast food.

At Singapore's Changi airport, we didn't want to spend for white-linen rates for our non-fried choices, so we crossed our fingers and headed to the nearest Mc Donald's and thankfully there's a grilled chicken option! How nice, a lesser evil.

Mcdo has been receiving bad press for bringing unhealthy stuff to the table. The movie-documentary Supersize Me gives a sarcastic summary. So I'm sure the power fastfood chain has been churning out some healthier choices. But none in Jollibee country. So this is me asking Mcdo Philippines: Can we have this in the Philippines please? I will opt you over Jollibee if you do. Haha.
 
I've had heard sob stories of pregnant women and mothers with babies who weren't offered seats while commuting.

Here at Singapore's MRT, there are signs littered everywhere to remind people how to be sensitive to the plight of mothers and mothers to be.

Maybe we can have some of these installed in our country's public lines.
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Give up the seat!
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Four types of people who deserve that seat.
But if government or the private operators see this as a not-so-important expense, then maybe we can just make mental notes - to be kind to all mothers, not only in transit but whenever possible.
 
I've heard too many raves about the high-grade, quality and organic stuff that they sell here, obviously, honey-based products. I even have one of our dearest friends declare that the best soaps come from this place so I knew I had to check it out.

The road going to Ilog Maria is well, most makitid of its kind. This is actually a two-way street! Being off the road is probably the reasons why the bees thrive here.
When we arrived, we immediately trooped over the bee farm.
There's a sample box where you can see the bees in action.
The area is brimming with lush trees and flowers! There's this huge makopa tree (wax apple) that sheds too much fruit. They sell a big plastic bag for P20!
Then off to the shop that sells all honey products that you can think of: soap, shampoo, massage oil, aromatherapy oils, lip balms, insect bite ointments, candles, cider, honey, scrubs, etc...
The stuff I took home with me:
  • Small Propolis Ointment for P110 which I used when I got two huge mosquito bites. Worked fast! I love it!
  • Massage Oil for P170.50. Used this with my last massage. I'm a fan. I love the smell! And it has a warming effect, too!
  • Virgin Honey for P360 a bottle. Honey is still the earth's natural sweetener and the real ones don't jolt your blood sugar. I use this with my lemon water! We bought "real" honey from the grocery and it turned into sugar eeew. The real and virgin ones don't. They sell one bottle per person only, to cater to the supply & demand.
  • Honey Cider Vinegar for P165 a bottle. I'm currently taking a table spoon of this plus a glass of water before breakfast in the morning as cleanser for my intestines. It works!
  • Soaps for P60 ea. I got lavender (for relaxing), orange (my fave smell and for healing), glycerin (for the face), coffee (to remove food scent on the body after cooking). And I adore 'em all. So my friend is right! Once you use their soap, you'll never use any other. I'm in love! Bath time is more fun hahaha!


So am I coming back through that very small claustrophobia-inducing road? Yes, definitely! All the stuff I bought are now mentally listed as my favorite indulgences. And nope, they don't need to come in pricey all the time.


ILOG MARIA HONEYBEE FARM
+63468650018
http://www.ilogmaria.com/
info@ilogmaria.com
Km. 47, Silang, Cavite
 
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The reason why all the hardships are worth taking in.
It's Mother's Day today and I'm overwhelmed with the greetings, usually from other mothers, who really understand what it means to be a mother. I feel that after I gave birth, it was an initiation to a cult of women, who wink at each other, who acknowledge the crying baby in your arms, who understand you when you're in public while your baby is wailing. The members of this all-elite club do not judge or glare at you when you make parental mistakes. They understand because they've been there, too.

Being a mother is hard and it's not an overstatement. It's a non-ending juggle that you need to do on a daily basis: spending time with the kids, teaching them about the world, working you ass off to be good at your work, managing the household, and to top it all off, you have to be a kind, loving, sexy wife to your husband. Whew! Being a mother is not a destination. It's a journey. And once you're in, you never stop.

Though I enjoyed my single life. Then, I was number one on my list. I worked hard, I partied harder. But when I became a mom, from first, I became last. My child and my husband come first now. But I'm not complaining. The love I feel as a wife and as a mother is way too much beyond my wildest dreams. It may seem to everyone that kami ang kawawa lagi, but in reality, that's not the case. I am overly compensated with happiness that I get whenever I give to my family. I'm bursting with joy whenever I see my family smile and laugh. The sight is more than enough. And that is the reason why I have strength to juggle all my tasks, and why I am not afraid to give my all to the people I love. So there's no day that I wished I was single again. I love being a mother and I'm so proud to be one.

So to all mother's out there, may you always be blessed with love, joy and quiet moments. Happy Mother's Day!
 
How hard is it to pick healthy while you're at the mall? Well, very if you are somewhat like me who is very easily teased by junk food. But thank God for Eastern choices!
The Gai Yang, Thai boneless grilled chicken at P270 is very good! Juicy! We had to remove the skin though. We very well know that the bad fat gets sponged in by 'em.
Another healthy delight is the Tom Kha Gai or the Chicken Lemon Grass Soup at P140. The single serve of lush coco milk with chicken breast is spot on!

I'm thankfully not feeling bloated by my better choices. I would have gone vegetarian if I didn't have a love affair with my gai - chicken in english.

MY THAI KITCHEN
Eastwood Mall Veranda
Orchard Road, Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
709-2127

 
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We're not tempted by this giant!
I just had to take a picture with the big fries! On display at Eastwood Mall.

My third day of healthy. How long I'll be walking this path? Forever, I hope. Wish me luck!
 
After a client meeting at the Fort, and with the path towards healthy eating in tow, Melvene and I have become instant hunters of all things leaning towards the veggie side.

So we found ourselves at Suzhou Eastern Chinese Cuisine.
For our healthy choices, veering away from anything fried, we ordered the Special Xiao Long Bao at P115. Tasty compared to the other XLBs I've tasted.
Then we opted to go for the Suzhou-style vegetable at P180. Not bad with the generous portion of shitake mushrooms!
And lastly we ordered the Mushroom Fish Fillet at P290. We asked the server if they fried the fillets and thank God they didn't. Just boiled to Chinese perfection.
All in all, the whole eastern chinese experience was good. Good service, good food and a good restroom. They have sofa seats too so that made our stat comfy!

There are nice booths with cushioned seats for private meetings. They serve beer, too for those who'd benefit from a little alcohol. Hahaha!

SUZHOU EASTERN CHINESE
Bonifacio Global City. 2/F Crossroads Complex , 32nd St Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
 
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Hey how about me! Photo from veggiekate.com
Being a mom, well isn't a walk in the park. A working mom at that, makes you go into hyper-multitasking mode which I've been doing since I gave birth. So this means, exercise and good eating habits were replaced with more time in my hands that I thought was beneficial. How wrong.

Yesterday, I got my blood chemistry results. If it were a report card, my marks - flunking, barely afloat. Cholesterol's border. Sugar's at the border, too. And the liver is pfffffft. My liver problem's back. Last time I heard from it was in college, that's why I kicked drinking booze goodbye some years ago. I've been eating like a badass. So yesterday, I was looking at the results and I'd done some psychological spanking. How did it get this bad? 

Motherhood should not be an excuse for this very lame health grade. So yesterday, Melvene and I decided to do things healthier. For us and for our family's sake. 

So the blood chem results, I will treat is as a love letter coming from my body, asking for some kind of intervention and a lot of loving. So on with the health and all things good for me and my family. Oil, salt and sugar - sayonara baby!


 
Photographing children is one of the aspects of my business that make me so happy and giddy. It can be infuriating for those who won't do some zen tactics. 

Honestly, when I was single, I never thought about photographing kids. But now that I have a daughter of my own, I find myself enjoying shooting other children as well! I guess I understand them better, too now that my mother instincts have finally kicked in.

So for those of you out there who'd like to do some serious snappin' (pardon the pun), here are just some tips from a mom shooter. 

Toys are Us! 

Bring in toys to your shoot like rattles or things that your child adore. A favorite toy perhaps? Or something that will catch your kid's attention. Bring it near your lens if you want them looking towards the camera. They can be cool props, too!

Bring Me.

Don't forget to bring insect repellent, towels, extra clothes for you and for the little one during the shoot, most especially when you're shooting outdoors. Also bring along the normal things in your baby bag. 

Go Down.

People usually take pictures from their eye level. But if you're taking photographs of small children, it's best to photograph from their eye level so you see the world from where they're standing. Plus you get to zoom in on their eyes!
Like a Boss. 
You just have to accept the fact that if your child is too young to understand your instructions, then no matter what kind of verbal prodding it is that you'll opt to use, it ain't gonna work. Period. When they're getting cranky, stop the shoot for a snack, a snooze or for some play time. Wait for them to get ready. It's better for everyone's sanity.

Let them be.
Photographs of them sitting down in prim and proper fashion is cute. But it's also nice to try taking pictures of them in actual play. If you're not able to pose them, just shoot them while eating, playing, twirling or running about.

Let Go.
So if the shoot doesn't work to your favor, accept that there's always another shoot day. Maybe your child is just not into posing today. But tomorrow, is hopefully a better day to try again. 

Happy shooting! 
 
What kind of magic branding has Jollibee been doing? My daughter who is a year old, adores the orange bee! On our way to Makati, she could point at all the six stores! Hahaha!

We brought her yesterday to say hello to the mascot. Just look at the sheer happiness on her face!
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Lingering.
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Jolly indeed.

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