this is about family and its ups and downs, living, and everything about life from a working mom's perspective.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Product Review: Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal 7-day Program

I was fortunate enough to have won a Hydra Vegetal 7-day Trial Pack from Yves Rocher France Philippines.   This was shared by  Ms. Martha, The Beauty Junkee, in one of her posts.  (Thank you Thank you!) The 7-day Trial Pack is formulated for normal to combination skin.  Since my face is oily, I was hesitant to try this but heck, it's for normal to combination skin, so it might work for me. I claimed the Trial Pack at its Southmall branch.

Photo Credit: Yves Rocher Philippines' FB Page
Yves Rocher (pronouned as "eve row-shay") prides itself by focusing on the use of botanical ingredients in its product line. Its newest skin line, the Hydra Vegetal line, boasts of sourcing its ingredients from maple trees and blue agave plants that will intensely moisturize and maintain the radiance of one's skin, whatever skin-type that may be.

First step is to cleanse using the Milk Cleanser.  Pour a small amount on a cotton ball and use as ordinary cleanser for the face and neck.

Milk Cleanser
Second step is to use the Toner.  Using a separate cotton ball, pour a small amount and apply on face and neck. Don't scrimp on the cotton.

Hydrating Toner
Third, apply 24H Gel Cream.  Use your middle finger for less pressure.

24 H Intense Hydrating Gel Cream
Use morning and evening.

What's best about this product is that it's made of natural (botanical) ingredients that are gentle on the skin.    

The result: It instantly refreshes the face. Believe me! I'm not much of a beauty product user, but this one is really awesome.
The only concern I had about using the product is that the Gel Cream has a greasy feeling (but only a bit).  But, it's easily absorbed by the skin which is one of the things I look for in any facial product. I've got very oil skin, you see.

I'm a non conformist so instead of using it for 7 days, I used it for 2 straight weeks.  And there's still a lot of the Trial Pack left.  Will let my sister use it this time.

after 2 weeks
Ok, I know I'm not a model! But hey, I just woke up this morning when I took that picture.  And my skin really cleared and became fairer (except for that irritating zit on my left cheekbone).  Even my sister noticed it after a week of using Yves Rocher.  My sister says that my skin looks glowing! Ahem...

The 7-day trial Pack retails at US$ 7.00 online.  According to the staff at their Southmall branch, this pack is not yet offered for sale, but is given away for every purchase of P800 of any of their products.

Moms, try it! We moms need to stay pretty despite our hectic work schedule and mommy duty.  You won't get disappointed.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weird Spa Package

Last Friday, hubby and I decided to have a massage. It was much needed massage since I've been through a lot of stress-induced activities and experiences.  The day before, I met a good friend, Nancy who lives near our place.  She recommended a spa and told us that they have good packages available.  So we agreed to meet and have a massage that Friday.

Nichhia is located near Golden City, Salawag, Dasmarinas, Cavite.  It is near Gate 4 of Golden City along Molino Road.

Nicchia Spa
Sorry, I don't have a decent cam yet.  It needs to be fixed pa.
Packages available
Thats Dudz, answering a survey on spa services
 left by a student
The rooms for facial and body scrubing
 According to Nancy, Nicchia offers good massage and one can get a discount there with their packages.  So me being "kuripot" and just being me, I convinced my hubby to try their services at Nicchia even if it was much farther and a little more expensive than where we usually have a massage.

When we went there, the receptionist/masseuse/all-around staff was surprised to learn that there were three of us. She told us that she was the only one on duty normally but another was on-call.

The tiny CR. Unisex pa!!!
A few minutes later, the other masseuse came, with her cellphone on her hand... Busy kakatext si ate!  Kahit nagmamasahe, tumutunog ang cellphone sa kabilang kwarto! Buti na lang hindi siya ang nagmasahe sa akin.  Hindi rin sya courteous, deadma pag dating niya. Nagpakuha pa nga kami ni Nancy ng magazine since nasa sauna na kami. Isa lang ang dinala niya. Nagrequest pa kami ng isa, walang dumating! Sige na, baka may bayad pa ang magazine.   There's still one of us that has to wait since we cannot be accommodated all at the same time.  That someone was me.  Tsk tsk... My hubby's bonding time with me is having a massage in a couple's room! That's why we don't get a massage when we're together. And it was the first time that we weren't together because I had to wait for him to be finished before I got my massage! Kaasar.

While browsing through their services, after I used the sauna, I asked the receptionist about the packages. Get this: if  you want to use the sauna for 10 to 15 minutes (because that is the recommended time), you have to pay P100. WHAAAATTTTT????

But if you avail of the packages, then the sauna is for free! Well, I've already tried the sauna there without being told about this, so instead of paying for it, I opted to avail of the massage + foot reflex with free sauna for P450 (meron pang nakasulat na "save Php100).  The 1 hour massage is P300, foot reflex is P150 (for 30 minutes). 

The receptionist told me that the massage already has foot reflex included in the massage.  So I asked her, "If I avail of this package, this means my massage is for 1 1/2 hours?"   She said no because it's already a combination massage. One hour pa rin daw ang massage ko.  I got confused. Kasi kasama na daw sa massage ang foot reflex, but if I pay for another foot reflex, the hours would not be extended. DUH!!!!!????  So, saan ako nakatipid dun? Abonado pa ako! Kasi ang sauna, P100 (or P120, I forgot) lang eh nagdagdag ako ng P150 for the package!

Irita talaga ako sa max! Di naman maipaliwanag ni ate, kasi sabi daw ng amo niya ganun eh. 

Here's something also: ( Look at the pic below)

The bed in one of the rooms for the facial. This is bigger than the one I was in.
While being massaged, I'm supposed to lie on my tummy and fit my face in that hole over there right?  There was a pillow covering it when I laid down.  So, (stupid me) I didn't check out that hole over there, and just twisted my neck.  The masseuse started the massage  with my feet first then up. When she reached my arms, I started to feel my neck strain and only then did I realize that I forgot to put my face on the hole! I said, "ate, nangangalay na ako wait ah, sushoot ko lang." Hindi man lang niya napansin yun, simula pa lang. Sad.

But in fairness to ate, she asked before proceeding if I was preggy, (sadly, no) and if I had a previous operation. When I said yes, she asked what and how long ago that was.   Hmm... pwede!

But deym, why do they have to charge for the sauna? Mahal daw kasi ang kuryente! Helo! Ang daming spa na nagkalat sa paligid na P300 pesos ang massage, with free sauna and steam, may 10 % discount pa at certain hours! Tapos sila, may bayad na ang sauna, madaya pa ang package!

The small sauna that costs a bucket of gold!
Kaya siguro isa lang ang bantay, kasi walang nagpupunta!

Hay, buti na lang ang sarap magmasahe ni ate.  She has the perfect hands- not too hard, not too soft and her hands are really warm! Very relaxing. 

They have no aircon too! There was a wall fan and it wasn't nice, because while I was being massaged it was rotating and the air was blowing on my bare back!

And goodness- the magazines!!!!!!!!!!! Year 2010 pa! Agua Bendita pa ang finifeature na palabas, at sira-sira na! Hay, nakakairita talaga!

Historical Magazines
Hindi man lang inayos na magazine rack for the historical mags

Will I be coming back there? Maybe never? hahahah! Maybe yes, if someone else is going to pay... but not to avail of any of the packages, or the sauna.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Punta Fuego "Getaway"

I was recently invited to be a speaker to a group of government employees about a legal matter.  The venue? Punta Fuego at Nasugbu, Batangas!

I have not been to Punta Fuego and I was looking forward to the place, erm,  the workshop pala. Hehehehe.

Anyways, I was surprised na parang dulo na ng Pilipinas eh wala pa rin kaming nakikitang Punta Fuego. It's about an hour to an hour and a half's drive from Tagaytay.  In the middle of nowhere, there's a quaint arrow on the left side pointing you to Punta Fuego.

I won't talk about the seminar... I prefer talking about the place. hehehe.

We got lost there for 15 minutes or so, because there were not enough signs to the clubhouse.  Halos lahat ng bahay sa dulo ng mga cove eh akala namin clubhouse dahil sa laki. hahahahah! Puro false alarm.

Map of Punta Fuego

First note: There was lack of signages in the place. If it's your first time, you wouldn't notice the way to the clubhouse since from the entrance, it's immediately to the right but since it's blocked by some plantation, and it's below the level of the road, you would really miss it.

Cleaning time at the infinity pool.  See that white spot
at the upper left portion of the pic? That's where we got lost.
And yep, it's still part of Punta Fuego.
Second note: The receptionists weren't too friendly.

So trabaho muna, we held the seminar in one of the conference rooms there.

Third note: Mainit, the airconditioning is poor, and it's maingay too.  The sound system was okay. As regards free-flowing coffee, pwede na... The water was not refilled as often as one would like it and the dispenser was dripping.

Fourth note:  The food.
We dined at the San Diego Restaurant at the lower level of the Clubhouse. Our sweat poured like buckets when we saw the menu.  ANG MAHAL!

There was no beef tapa at that time, so I didn't order this.

Mas mahal siguro ang Japanese rice kaya mas mahal ng P50.00

One egg is  P80.00! Isang tray na yung eh!

This is not buffet, mind you.

My New York Breakfast

With 2 pcs of danish pastry, plain croissant, bread and jams

The bacon is too oily but I had to eat.

With a serving of fruit
Another note:

While waiting for our food, nagpicture-picture muna kami. And sadly, our coffee was served while we were still outside.  We went back to cold brewed coffee.  The servers did not offer a refill, nor did they offer to replace the cold water.

Ciel of Happy Blue Thoughts who invited me to be the speaker.
Thank you Ciel!
But I like the names of the Kiddie Meals.  Very kiddie.  :)

My verdict: The place is very intimidating.  The housekeeping personnel are nice though and friendly.  But the receptionists were not.  Even the waiters were not.  It's not too friendly a place for ordinary people like me.  Maybe it's just not my world.  I don't intend to go back there unless someone else is paying for it and it's a business trip.  I definitely wouldn't bring my family here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Of Giveaways and Freebies

I love contests!

Ever since I was a kid, I've been joining contests - Spelling bee, Quiz bee, Declamation Contests, Singing Contests and now, the latest fab, online contests.

I admit, I have won a lot of prizes recently.  I think the two most expensive prizes I got was the Pevonia Combination Skin that I won from Kumiko Mae (Aus$ 115.00), the Restorative Line of Celeteque from Shen (almost P4,000.00).
My expensive Pevonia from Kumiko Mae

Winning really feels great, especially if you've worked hard for it. Oh yes, it doesn't mean that just because I win from time to time is that I'm lucky. Luck has some part in it, sometimes. Oftentimes, what counts is the entry.  I usually win when the the contest requires something to write about - like experience, expectation, stories, etc.

Wouldn't you be happy with this: a complete line
of Celeteque Products?
Believe me, not all prizes are so easy to get.  I spend time and effort joining giveaways.  For example, searching for the latest giveaways, reading the fine print in the mechanics, coming up with concepts and writing the entire entry all take a looooot of effort.  Oftentimes, the prizes are amazing.  There are some prizes, that honestly, are not so amazing, but it's the feeling of having won that counts.  The prize only comes second.

I was even called "serial joiner" by a blogger who I personally met.  "Joke lang" daw. Pero may laman diba?Deadma lang ako.  She even commented na ang dami ko naman daw oras sumali.  So what diba? I like joining eh. Why hold a grudge against me for just wanting to win?

Anyways, my favorite favorite prize is what I won from Nature Valley.  I won two all-you-can-ride passes at Fun Ranch, two mini golf tickets, two dragon coaster tickets, a shirt, six pieces of their luncheon meat and P500.00 gift certificate at the Big Red Barn for our food. Ang saya diba, pati pagkain, naisip nilang ibigay sa amin. Yan ang bongga!

My favorite prize from Valley Farm

But, one thing I am not crazy about is picking up prizes. Oh I understand that when prizes are a bit bulky, meeting up to get it is no problem at all. I once won in a contest a tub of hair cream, and I was supposed to pick it up in the middle of Mandaluyong.  It was written in the fine print that prizes will be picked up in Mandaluyong.  Since I didn't have the time, nor do I have any inkling where Mandaluyong is in the map, I contacted the sponsor and asked if I could just pay for the shipping and have it shipped. Good thing they said yes.  But the problem was, I couldn't find a courier that would first pick up that tub of hair cream and deliver it to me and then get my payment upon delivery.  Alas, the prize was forfeited.

I picked this up since it was understandably bulky for shipping.

I won this for just playing their game 25 times
and earning a high score (effort ah!)

I also won this pack of Hopia, that cost around P150.00.  Since I didn't have the time and energy to pick it up in Mayon Ave. within a week, it was forfeited.

Recently, I joined a contest where I won a dealership in a body/beauty products that are made of organic materials plus P700-worth of their products.  I was told that I would be contacted. After a month of waiting, I contacted the blogger and told them I have won and how I can claim my prize. She then told me to go to the dealership office in Old Balara on a Saturday.  I requested if it would be okay to go there on a weekday since it is near my office and since I am not from Metro Manila, it would be cumbersome for me to go all the way to QC when I am from the far south.  She said she'd ask.  After at least three weeks, without an answer, I sent her a message again on whether I can go to the dealership office on a weekday.  She then answered after a few days that they are both busy and that no, that her sister and I (since the sister will assist the winners in the dealership) still hadn't talked about it and that "yun na yung last talk".

I waited for their message for eons and yun lang yun?

So what was that? My prize was forfeited kasi pa-special ako? Or should I just wait for further notice? Or were they just too busy to hold contests then forget about their winners? Duh?! Nakakapikon diba?

I totally understand the "busy" part. But to make one wait for a long time only to get strips of an answer, is not really respectful of the winner at all.

Parang ako pa ba ang magmamakaawa to get my prize? No way, kanila na lang yung prize nila! Sa sobrang inis ko, I joined the dealership of the same product line in their provincial branch.  Till now, I still haven't gotten a detailed answer and I don't intend to claim it anymore.

The thing is, people like this blogger request the public to join. Mega-hype pa, kasi you have to like or follow this and that, retweet, etc., etc., for the contest to get better mileage. Tapos ayan na yung mga sumali and mga nanalo, tapos deadma lang pag nanalo? Nakakaasar diba?

I admire those who don't make it really hard for winners to get their prizes. There's Truly Rich Mom who informed me soonest that I won and asked me about my mailing address and sent my prize the same day I emailed to her that.  

Prize from Truly Rich Mom

There's Mrs. Martinez who also contacted her sponsor right away that they sent me my prize the next day I gave them my shipping address.  

Prize from Mr.s Martinez c/o Myra

There's also Carizza Chua who very willingly does meet-ups for her prizes or ships them immediately without undue delay.  

Prize from Carizza Chua

There are still some others who give due regard to their winners' time and effort (I cannot mention all of them).  Hanga ako sa inyo!!! :)

In short, lady luck may have been on my side during contest time recently (this was not so years ago, kasi super malas ako sa raffle) but for other non-raffle contests, pinaghihirapan ko yun. Effort talaga. So if you are one of those who benefited from my prizes (yes, shineshare ko ang lahat ng winnings ko sa iba para mas maraming happy), please always remember, these prizes were hard-earned, kaya enjoy our winnings!

Sana marami pang sumunod, at sana huwag na akong mahirapan sa pagclaim.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Of Reunions and Homecomings

Photo credit:
I'm not a fan of school reunions and homecomings.

Why? I really have no answer.

When I was younger, I was pretty friendly.  I knew almost everybody and most knew me.  That was pre-beeper and cellphone days.

Now, I see my classmates' and batchmates' faces and wonder why I have no desire to meet them again after all these decades.

When I was still taking up law, my answer to this was, well, everybody's successful now and would be telling stories of their trips abroad, their families, their cars and jobs. What would I share about? That I have a ton of photocopied cases decided by the Supreme Court? That I was still unmarried and have a love affair with my books?

But now, what is my reason?

A classmate/friend commented that I used to be friendly in high school.  I even performed a lot in high school. Now, as I'm growing old, she joked that, "Kung kelan ka tumanda, saka ka naman naging takot sa tao."

I admit, I am anti-social now. I don't like going to events unless I have a part in there - emcee, materials provider, singer, coordinator, name it.  I try to avoid them, in fact.  I love being invited though.  Is it because it's inaccessible for me since I live far away, I don't have a car and it's so hard to commute? Is it because I'm always tired and that events, like reunions, are usually held on weekends, one day of which is my only day to relax? Or because I would have to unnecessarily spend money just to attend an event?

Or, it's just that, it's so hard for me to attend. Period.

And I wish I know why.

So to my friends and family:  for all those affairs, reunions, homecomings, events, celebrations that I was absent, I have a perfectly valid reason for not being there.  Just please don't ask why.  You're still in my heart and I hope I am in yours too.

“I Can Be Body Beautiful at Any Age with Wacoal”

I was asked to answer this:

“How can you be body beautiful at any age with Wacoal?”

For some, this may be very hard to answer but since I have a long love-affair with Wacoal, I have a ready answer:

Whatever your shape is, you are beautiful.  But Wacoal makes it more beautiful.  So for me, Wacoal makes my body more beautiful because in my fast-paced lifestyle and ever-stressful jobs (with an 's', as in plural), Wacoal makes sure that my sensitive body part is supported and that my shape is not compromised.

For women in the 30's bracket (that's where I belong), intimate apparels are essential not only for one's well-being but also to ensure that one looks good no matter where they may be - at home, at work, engaging in sports and what-have-you's.

And this is my dream piece for now:

IB 5662
Php 1,100.00
Love the color, love the shape, love the everythin'! lol

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Irritating Staff at Picnic Grove's Fish Spa

It's a Monday and I want to start the week by ranting.

Last Saturday, we went to Picnic Grove because we were itching to leave the house. The last time we went there was when my baby was still a baby, less than a year old! So that was what, four  years ago?

Anyways, I noted a lot of changes in the area and my tita/ninang showed me the new Fish Spa inside.  The place has got aquariums with doctor fish inside to nibble on one's feet.  The person gets a 10-minute massage after being "EATEN ALIVE" by fish for 20 minutes.

I wanted to try it, but I was too chicken to try it so I asked hubby to try it instead. And he gamely did.

I wasn't able to count how many fish
were inside each tank

One must wash his/her feet before submerging them inside a tank-full of fish.  This is to ensure that the feet and legs are free from lotion or other chemicals that may harm the fish.  Obviously, if the fish would eat you, they would possible ingest the chemicals too.  (Paano kung may athlete's foot, mangingisay kaya ang fish?)

Konti pa lang, kasi kakalagay pa lang ng feet.

A few seconds into the tank and the fish greedily chewed and sucked into hubby's feet.

Once the news had spread...
Munch...munch...chomp...chomp...yummy feet!

According to hubby, at first, the chewing is tickling and it is a bit "nakakakuryente".  After several minutes, one gets used to it and the gnawing/chewing/munching becomes tolerable and relaxing.  About the massage, it was not exceptional.

The downside.

I wanted to try it, but the staff wouldn't even let me touch the tanks with my hand.  They want me to pay first and they don't want me to see if I would like it! For something this noveau, the management should be tolerable to customers who are not so keen on trying out this thing.

My baby enjoyed looking at the fish so much, he wanted to try it too.  But the staff kept on saying, "distansya lang po, distansya" without saying why.  If course, I would ask my boy to stay away from the aquarium, but after saying that at least five times, it was irritating already.  I asked them how old is the youngest who can try it. And they said 5 yrs. So I said, my boy's 5, can he try it? No. no explanations whatsoever. So my boy and I left

My dejected baby after not being allowed to try it.
Lahat na lang bawal, eh magbabayad naman kami?

I would tell everyone I know, not to go to that place.  For P200 pesos, you may waste money because you wouldn't know if you'd enjoy it because they aren't accommodating to their customers and won't let them try it first free of charge.

Second, the staff are very aloof. They welcome you, but they don't have smiles on their faces. Were they underpaid, oppressed or depressed about their jobs? I don't know. Basta, nakakairita na magpunta sa kanila.

Third, it's overpriced.

Fourth, masungit ang staff. Super not friendly.

Fifth, masungit ang staff. Super not friendly.

Sixth, masungit ang staff. Super not friendly. (Oh did I mention this many times already?)

So there, need I say more?

How to make Devil's Food Cake

It's fun to bake. But it's more fun when there are additional little hands that try to make a mess of what you bake.  Oh yeah, their intentions are sweet- they just want to help.  But imagine little hands tasting the batter from time to time, spilling flour and everything on the table. Do you still get to bake your special treat? YES! Why? Because it will surely be made with love.

Here's how we baked our devil's food cake:


Cocoa Powder
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
A gallon of Love
A bowl of laughter

Mix all the dry ingredients

Add water

The little boy is itching to add the eggs as soon as we started


Add eggs.

Ah not on your clothes cutesy... This is how to break an egg, kids.

See the little boy? He changed clothes because
he cracked the egg on his shirt

And this is how to mix... Mix in one direction only.

See, there, you're getting the hang of it.

Ta-daaaannnnnn! devil's food cake by my little angels :)