Mustela Relaunches With A New Ingredient

Mustela, a familiar and well-loved name in skin care for babies (and for us moms, too!) recently hosted an afternoon get together to launch their new products with a new patented ingredient.

It’s got the cutest name – Avocado Perseose – and it’s an ingredient exclusive and patented to Mustela. It’s present in the new products in the MustelaBebe and Mustela Sun Protection products. Why is it so special? It stimulates the barrier elements of your baby’s skin, giving them extra protection, while protecting the skin’s original skin reserves. Avocado Perseose helps maintain the health of your child’s skin from birth and throughout life.

What’s awesome about it as well is that it transforms Mustela’s products from 86% natural to 92% all natural. Since it’s a patented product it won’t be present in any other skincare brand other than Mustela.

We were introduced to all this at the Mustela relaunch held a couple of weeks ago at Stacy’s at the Fort.

Sharleen of Mustela Philippines giving us a presentation on the new Mustela. Our host, Van Santos.

Watch out for the “NEW” markings on the packaging of the newly-formulated Mustela products in Mustela kiosks nationwide.

Thank you Mustela for having us over for a wonderful afternoon!

Mustela products are available in kiosks in Ayala Trinoma, Robinson’s Ermita, Glorietta 4, Shangrila Mall, Megamall A, Greenhills, The Shops, Alabang Town Cetner, and SM MOA. You may find them also at Rustan’s, Landmark, Mothercare, Pure Beauty, Numa, Medela House and Chimes (Davao).

Basti Loves: Look It’s About Me Personalized Books

Basti was obsessed with birthday parties a while back, after seeing himself on TV for Disney Junior’s Birthday Book last April. When that happened, we sang Happy Birthday to him practically everyday. It was good timing that Tatiana of Look It’s About Me sent an offer for Basti to have his own personalized book. And, they had a birthday themed book!

It is such a cute book. The illustrations are wonderful and very appealing to children. The text is simple, easy to understand, but not so simplistic that it has no room to grow. This book has lots of animals in it, so I found it to be great for Basti’s language development too.

As with any personalized book, it incorporates Basti’s name in the storyline, but I like that his name is incorporated into the illustrations as well. How fun was it for Basti to recognize his name on the birthday banner?

Not only that, but you get to put in his friend’s names in the invitation and guest list as well. The story becomes even more relatable and enjoyable.

I cannot tell you how many times we’ve read this book together. The story is written by Natalie Diaz, someone I know from a long time ago and I was so glad to see her name on the credits. This is an all-Filipino venture, from conception to production!

Ordering the book itself is painless and easy. The website is very well laid-out and very easy to navigate. There are four other designs you can choose from. I especially like the Underwater Adventure book. It’s so cute!

You can also preview the books to take a peek at what’s inside. Check out this Magical Christmas Adventure. Great Christmas gift idea, don’t you think?

Aside from the personalized story book, they also offer other products. All the books come in a coloring book version, where your child can have fun coloring the pages while looking for his or her name in the book. They also have personalized wrapping paper (shala!), wall art and placemats.

Thank you Look It’s About Me, for our book! Big hug from Basti to you.


Look It’s About Me

Twitter: @LookItsAboutMe
Instagram: @LookItsAboutMe
Pinterest: LookItsAboutMe


My NYC Makeup Haul from Sephora, Inglot and MAC. {Video}

Hi guys! I promised I would show you guys what makeup I bought in New York. I’m experimenting with a video today. Please forgive my noobie-ness. I have to work on background, editing, length, lighting and quality. But hey, if you don’t start doing it, you never will, right?

Hope you can bear with my makeup haul video! :)

Any comments (cringe cringe) will be appreciated.

Thanks for watching!

Curves Philippines: Real Fitness for Real Women

I have an issue with gyms. I’ve been a member of a certain gym chain a few times. Different branches, same issues. Never mind the overcrowding, the deteriorating facilities, or the battle to end the membership. There’s just a certain culture in gyms that doesn’t work for me. Seriously, I just want to work out. This was my expectation when some of the SoMoms were given the chance to try out Curves Philippines. In my mind, it would be just another gym. Membership. machines, classes, trainers, showers. I expected to be assessed, to be told I was vastly overweight and bordering on obese, assigned a set of exercises that went something like 20 mins on the treadmill, then some reps on some machines on the floor.

I have never been more wrong.

The first thing that caught my eye was the sign. “Curves. Strengthening Women.” A gym just for women!! I was in heaven!

More encouraging were signs with funny captions.

Quite a number share this sentiment with me. You’re supposed to go to a gym to lose weight and be fit, but end up not going because you’re too self-conscious. Where’s the logic in that?

On my first visit to Curves Philippines in their Eastwood branch, I got assessed for my current weight and measurements. Then, Coach Liezel and I sat down to set some goals. I was very surprised. These one-month goals were very, very doable. I can really imagine myself achieving this!

Hay, I’m so big na. But I can do this!

The facilities are nice, simple and clean. Lockers and shower rooms available for anyone who comes to work out.

But at the heart of Curves Philippines is the program itself. It’s circuit training, designed to be done in 30 minutes on different machines set in a circle on the workout floor. It is an efficient workout that combines cardio, toning, strengthening and flexibility. This is what the circuit looks like.

You alternate working out on a machine, then switch to a recovery pad for cardio to keep your heart rate up. A trainer is always present to lead you through your workout, whether you are alone or with other people. You do the whole circuit twice and you are DONE. I am sweating buckets by the end of a session.

Here’s what I love about Curves:

  1. Designed for women. No matter what shape, size or age you are, you are welcome, encouraged, empowered and invited to come. No men, no mirrors, no spandex!
  2. The goals are realistic. Curves is no bootcamp, but they promise results. Judging from the results board and the many happy women who I see everyday, I believe it!
  3. The time to work out is ideal for busy people. How many times have I used this excuse: “I have no time to go to the gym.” Well, with Curves’ workout lasting as short as 30 minutes, that excuse is down the drain. It is so easy to squeeze in a circuit! Forget spending half an hour on treadmills, bikes or ellipticals, then spending another hour on machines. It takes me 20 minutes to get to Curves. I work out for half and hour then I go back home. Everything, including travel time is less than two hours!
  4. There is no time to get bored. Because of the way the program is designed, you have burned and toned long before it gets boring. And the program itself is not boring at all. On certain days, they even incorporate Zumba! So much fun.

This engagement with Curves actually came at a time when I finally told myself, “That’s it. You’re done. Move your lazy ass.” This is the biggest and most unfit I’ve ever been in my entire life. Basti is just three years old. Time to get moving!

So thank you, Curves, for tapping the SoMoms! I am enjoying my workouts immensely and I can’t wait to see the results in a month or so. Here’s to a #betterme!

Patty and I after our Zumba Circuit. So tiring but so fun!!

For more information on rates, schedules and the Curves program, please contact them thru:

I Heart NYC

And I’m back! Two weeks went in a blur. I’m glad to be back but I have a hangover from the New York experience.

We came at a perfect time, when NYC was experiencing a streak of perfect weather. Clear skies and cool temperatures.

It was so nice to just walk all the time, and 20 blocks were nothing. NYC is a walking city after all, and it was an endless cycle of walking to the subway station, riding the subway, getting to the station and walking again. If you’re going to New York, you have to get one of the subway apps. It got me through the subway experience with just a couple of wrong trains (only because the schedule is screwed up on weekends, hmph.) Instead of going back to the Lower East Side, we ended up here.

Lost in NYC at midnight is not fun.

It was a time for meeting up with old friends as well. First and foremost, we stayed with Orley’s cousin Chad and his family – Ellie, and his two wonderful children, Felino and Kali. Having the two boys around helped. I can’t help but think how fun it would be if they ever got to meet Basti. On my last weekend, we spent a wonderful day at the Dumbo Arts Festival, and had a great dinner in Chinatown.

Speaking of Chinatown, I was reunited with my favorite dish from my Dalian days, zhurou jiucai jiaozi, or pork and leek dumplings. Soooo good. Found in a little noodle and dumpling shop on East Broadway.

I didn’t expect to speak a fair amount of Mandarin while I was in New York. It was the most Chinese I’ve spoken since leaving China in 2008. To me it was such a obvious example of the diversity of the city.

I met up with JC and Rica, and had a great lunch at Blue Smoke.

An old friend from college, Ana Lissa, and our awesome evening at Braai. I had the ostrich and Ana Lissa had the duck. Really good food and the wine they suggested for the pairing was really nice.

I met up with Cheryl a few times too. She’s one of my dearest friends from college as well and has been in the city for a while. She cooked dinner for me a couple of times. I just realized I don’t have any pictures of our second dinner with Maysie. I am the worst when it comes to pictures, really. I get so caught up in the moment that I totally forget my camera. She also took me to brunch at Pastis, in the oh-so-chic meatpacking district.

One time we had dinner at Ippudo. It was a long wait but the pork buns and the ramen (and a few drinks) were worth it. The place had a very young, vibrant atmosphere, and the energy from the open kitchen lent to its very exciting vibe. And of course, the ramen was heaven.

And here is the reunion I almost forgot. Back in 2007, I took a trip to Tibet and searched for trip buddies online. My friend Dominique and I traveled with Jennifer and Ken for 11 days from Tibet to Mount Everest and back. I almost forgot they were from the area! One email later, we were able to have lunch on my last weekend in New York. It was so nice to see them again after so many years. If only Dominique could join us as well, but she lives all the way in South Africa. We missed you Dom!

We spent two days in New Jersey, in a really lovely area full of trees and horse farms. We came to shoot the video for the Art Renewal Center, the main reason why we made this trip in the first place. It was so nice to meet the Ross family, the moving force behind the Art Renewal Center, They are major supporters of the realism genre, and have a huge hand in honoring and uplifting the art form and the artists behind realism. Thank you so much for the wonderful hospitality. It was such an honor to meet you all, and the privilege of seeing your private collection of art is something I will never forget.

New York City is a heaven for artists. The Metropolitan Museum is a beautiful experience. I think it will take years to take everything the museum has to offer.

My visit to MoMA was awesome. I will admit I had tears in my eyes when I came face to face with The Starry Night.

Here are some pieces that made me giddy. Warhol, Klimt, Kahlo, Dali, Rosseau, Pollock.

I took pics of NYC landmarks when I saw them, and went to visit the 911 Memorial. It was very moving to be there.

Then there’s the shopping. I’m not in a clothes and bags and shoes phase right now. It was fall anyway, and there wasn’t much I could buy that was right for our weather. So I bought mostly makeup and toys. I did my shopping at MAC, Inglot and Sephora. Will post more details of my makeup haul soon.

I was able to visit the Disney Store for Basti’s Halloween costume. It was a toss-up between Jake from the Neverland Pirates and Woody, but the accompanying wig won it for me. I bought Basti a Woody t-shirt though. He’s been obsessed with minions right now, so these glasses were an absolute hit. His favorite though? Magnatiles. Oh gosh, they are the best toys ever. Basti loves to build things, and already has a few sets of building toys. But these magnetized tiles were just awesome. I want to get him another set someday.

It was a quick trip, but it was long enough to make me fall in love with New York City. No wonder some people call it the best city in the universe. There are so many things to see and do, and two weeks wasn’t enough to do it justice. It really has a life of its own! See you again someday, NYC!