Lock N Lock: New Store, New Stuff

You know you’re a mom when…

An invitation from Lock N Lock to visit their new store at the East Wing of Shangri-la gets you all excited. The last time we had an event at their store on Araneta Ave. in Quezon City, it was a frenzy! Then, I went all crazy over their Boroseal containers. I was very eager to know what they had for us this time.

So what’s new?

First thing I noticed was a wall full of baby stuff. Cuteness. Silicone bibs and sippy cups.

Then, here are containers from the Interlock series. Stack them up as high as six containers on top of each other with no danger of falling over. What a space saver!

Then there’s the Sound Lock series, a container line that gives a definitive sound to assure you that all your food is locked up in airtight goodness. Little Juro shows us how showcasing is done.

I am saving up for these drawers. Perfect for office supplies, and for me, makeup organization. Mega-super-duper WANT.

Then this. The Speed Cook series. Non-stick, ultra-light, super-fast heating time. It’s the stuff my homemaker’s dreams are made of. No need for oil, and it cooks up your food in half the time. Holy high-tech cookware Batman!

This is what a table full of hungry SoMoms looks like.

Over lunch at Wee Nam Kee, these two #SoMoms, Tin and Tina, had a pancake showdown. The woman with the most pancakes wins. Can you see the glint in Tin’s eyes?

And the Speed Cook Pancake challenge winner is Tin! She gets to take home the pan that sealed her victory.

Back at the store, more stuff took my fancy.

An old favorite – ceramic cookware.

An updated version of the salad server my mom used for our DIY salads/pasta/taco meals when I was young. The cover makes it perfect for picnics and potlucks.

A sealed ice-cube mold. BPA-free. Perfect for guarding your ice from the other elements in your freezer to prevent contamination. You know what else it could be for right? Breastmilk storage! Just pop a few cubes into your feeding implement and thaw as little or as much as you need.

I just recently got into bento for Basti, and I like this partitioned food container and lunch box.

While Lock N Lock is readily available in supermarkets and department stores, you have better chances of finding the more interesting selections at a Lock N Lock store. Not only that, you can take advantage of sales going on that are in-store only. They’ve got one going on right now at the new Lock N Lock store at the Shangri-la Plaza East Wing until December 31, 2013. It’s a great way to spend your Christmas loot money, hehe!

Thank you Lock N Lock! We had a great time, as always.

I will be back for you. I promise. You will be mine.


8Cuts Burger Blends at UP Town Center

There are days when I wish I was back in school at the Ateneo. Back then our choices were very limited – Full House, Kamirori (remember the ice cream crepe??), Abuelo’s, Sweet Inspirations (note to self: go back for tapa and Mongolian BBQ), liempo or porkchop at the Covered Courts. Now Katipunan Avenue is a virtual food hub. Bad for traffic, yes, but the choices are awesome. UP Town Center just opened up in the area just past La Vista and there are a bunch of restaurants worth a try.

8Cuts Burger Blends invited me to try out their menu. What an awesome excuse to trek to one of my favorite areas of the metro and meet up with friends on that side of the world.

8Cuts is run by the same group behind Burger Bar (which I’ve never tried. But I’ve heard lots of good things about it), so I was very excited to try the food.

You can choose a burger from the Tributes specials, or make your own. You can choose the meat blend for your burger according to your taste. They’ve even got a vegan patty. I love sides so we ordered a couple as well.

There are more items on the menu – pasta, chicken, sandwiches, etcetera. There’s something for anyone in case a person or two in your group doesn’t feel like a burger.

So we got the skin-on steak fries, the sweet potato fries and the onion rings.

I am addicted to the onion rings. I need to eat them again soon.

For burgers it was the Four Cheese, the Piggy and the Rising Shroom. Among the three, the Shroom was my favorite.

VG also ordered their Salted Caramel Shake. I had a sip. YUM.

And then there were the desserts. Die. Caramel Vanilla Bread Pudding, Molten Chocolate Bottoms, and the Blueberry Cheesecake. So heavenly!

What I liked about 8Cuts Burger Blends:

  • Relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Reasonable prices
  • Great desserts
  • Plenty of options for anyone

Thank you for the invite 8Cuts Burger Blends! I’ll be back with Basti and my family. My little brother will love it there, I am so sure of it. (Well he’s not little, he’s 32. But he’ll always be little to me)

It was nice seeing my makeup girls Val, Abie, VG and Marj.

Thank you 8Cuts for accommodating our looooong lunch and pardon to the college students who found the “titas” so noisy.

Till next time!

Preparing for the Power Rate Surge: Meralco’s Electricity Saving Tips

Who does not dread the electricity bill? I do, especially during the summer. During a luncheon hosted by Meralco I attended some days ago, I was enlightened on the surges in power charges and what we can do to cope. Did you know that regular maintenance of power plants (usually every couple of years) results in an increase in generation charges at this time of the year? That was news to me. From now on, I will expect that extra cost and duly prepare for the increase in rates come November.

At the luncheon was Alfred, their resident Energy Baron (see what they did there?) who shared with us some pointers on how to make our home more energy efficient. But first let’s take some time to pay tribute to the Beef Muscovado of Grace Park. Oh yum.

Now on to the tips.

Get one of these and do not overload it.

I’ve always known that unplugging electrical devices helps in cutting electricity costs. But I’ve always been lazy to always do it so I end up not unplugging appliances and devices very often. To add to that, the extra heat generated by electrical devices on standby is extra work for your airconditioner, resulting in extra power consumption as well! A surge protector like this, with the on and off switch can solve that problem with just a flick of your finger (or in my case, my big toe). But then, do not overload your surge protectors and compromise the safety of your homes.

Time it.

Put anything that’s on for an extended period on a timer. In our case, it’s the airconditioner, which I always forget to turn off. One idea I got from the luncheon is this: Christmas lights on a timer! Not only is it energy-efficient, it’s safe too.

Pay attention to the yellow tags.

The yellow tags attached to the aircons, refrigerators and other appliances is actually an indicator on how energy efficient that machine is. The higher the Energy Efficient Factor (EEF), the better.

Let there be light.

Bring up those curtains and let natural light come in! It’s also a good thing that incorporating natural light into home design has become a trend, and one that’s here to stay it seems. It will cut down on your electricity by eliminating the need for daytime use of your houselights (which you should remember to turn off when not in use – a simple tip that we always forget!) If you’re still using incandescent bulbs at home, then it’s high time you switch to CFL and better, LED. Check out this chart to see how much energy you save with CFL and LED – 40 to 62%!!

Keep your cool without the costs.

We all love cool environments, but did you know that setting your aircon thermostat to even just a couple of degrees higher can efficiently cut down on electricity costs? So consider bringing up the temp to a comfortable 23 to 25 degrees instead of 16-18 degrees. Help your airconditioner as well by reducing outside heat when you turn it on, and that means lowering the blinds and making sure all openings are sealed. Positioning also helps. Avoid putting any appliances or devices that generate heat near your airconditioner (like a TV) or it will make your aircon work harder to compensate.

Speaking of cool environments, they also told us that they know of people who turn off their refrigerators at night, thinking they could save on electricity. (Seriously???) This actually costs more, because the extra work it takes to cool down the interior of a refrigerator will cost more. Safe concept for those who turn off their airconditioners every 2 hours only to turn them on again after a couple of hours.

Maintenance is key.

Get your airconditioners regularly cleaned. Defrost when 1/4 of ice has formed in your freezer. If you have a frost-free refrigerator, good for you! (But manual frost-frees take more electricity. Go inverter for refs!) Clean your lamps and bulbs for better light output.

Meralco also introduced us to their app, Move. Move stands for MeralcO Virtual Engine. It’s a cool app you can download for your smartphone or tablet that gives you information on power maintenance schedules, locations of BayadCenter bill payment facilities, a directory of Meralco offices nationwide, the Meralco AppCal (where you can input your energy bill and see which appliance is consuming the most energy) and view your latest Meralco bill.

It’s also got this interface with power saving tips and cute animation that’s great for sharing energy efficiency with your kids.

Siya ang nag-intro ng app. OKAY LANG.

Like this post if you think I look like Jollibee in this picture. Photo courtesy of My Mom Friday.

Juaco of the Loyola Meralco Sparks football team.

Photo courtesy of My Mom Friday.

Thanks Meralco for hosting the lunch! Hopefully with advisories and tips, we can all weather the surge in power rates until everything goes back to normal. Until then, let’s do this!

So with these tips, let’s hope that you and I will weather this surge in power rates. Things will normalize early next year. Till then, let’s do this!

*This post is sponsored by Meralco.

Nanay Bayanihan

I’m sure I don’t need to explain why I haven’t been writing lately. My thoughts and emotions have been on a roller coaster. I’m sure you guys can relate. Every since the weekend of Typhoon Yolanda, all of us have our own stories to tell. I’ve shared bits and pieces of Nanay Bayanihan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I finally have the mojo to actually write about it.

Nanay Bayanihan all started with a mother’s concern. Camille was in Villamor fetching survivors and found herself in the midst of the action. In the early days of the relief operations, there was hardly anything. She saw the babies, she saw the formula donations, she saw the arbitrary distribution without assessment and decided to sound off to Jenny of Chronicles of A Nursing Mom (see Jenny’s own post on Nanay Bayanihan here). Mommy Camille asked if LATCH can send counselors and facilitate donated breastmilk. Jenny contacted Doc Lei, who contacted Doc Mianne and they agreed to mobilize. Doc Lei and Doc Mianne also have an organization – Kalusugan Para Sa Mag-Ina, Inc. – and their expertise and knowledge was essential in putting up the facility at VAB. Along the way, there was a call for formula donations from the DSWD, which frustrated Doc Mianne and prompted Dr. Zeka Tatad-To call out for donations that initiated The Cold Chain Project. It is meant to facilitate the point-to-point transport of donated breastmilk to the frontline of the disaster-stricken areas and make breastmilk available to those who need it. The Cold Chain Project evolved into Bayanihan Para Sa Mag-Ina, the blanket organization that embraces both the Cold Chain and Nanay Bayanihan. Along with LATCH, the entire breastfeeding community moved, from the members of Breastfeeding Pinays, to other breastfeeding advocacy groups, to breastfeeding mothers and community health workers. A single mother’s concern became an entire community of mothers’ concern.

In the weeks that I’ve participated in the effort, I saw how  Nanay Bayanihan truly was moving in the spirit of bayanihan. Both strangers and friends, mothers or not, came together and brought Nanay Bayanihan to life. I’m a little lost for words at the moment, but here’s a slice of my tale in pictures.

There were light and fun times, opportunities to interact with like-minded women.

With fellow volunteers at the Nanay Bayanihan tent. Doc Mianne (in red) giving us a few reminders when handling the mom and baby pairs who come into the tent.

There were times I wanted to cry.

This is baby Andrea, whose mom was rushed to the hospital for a heart complication. She’s only three weeks old. We took turns nursing her until the DSWD fetched her and her dad to be with her mom at the Heart Center. I pray she’s doing well.

There was frustration.

When the order was given to move out of Villamor and transfer to Aguinaldo, the entire operation was packed up and set up. We set up all day in Aguinaldo, resulting in our nicest tent yet. We were told three hours later to transfer back to Villamor. Because all our things were set up in Aguinaldo, we had to scrounge around VAB for any cartons, blankets and whatever we could find just to accommodate the babies coming in the midnight flights.

There was lots of fatigue. But there was also lots of joy.

This baby came in with her mom at approximately 3am. I wore her while her mother slept off her exhaustion from the trip. Babywearing works wonders!

And a little bit of showbiz too!

I couldn’t believe it when they announced over the PA system that Alicia Keys was at the grandstand! I sprinted when I heard her voice over the mic.

Nanay Bayanihan was overwhelmed with the amount of support received in the form of donations, volunteers, and coverage. In light of the many discussions and heated arguments about milk donations and distribution of milk in relief centers, I believe Nanay Bayanihan was able to make a mark and extend the awareness of why the Milk Code, UNICEF and the World Health Organization specify not allowing milk donations in times of crises and emergencies.

The operations have waned but the tent remains. Even after our country has weathered Yolanda, Nanay Bayanihan will still remain. Again, this group has no “agenda.” They are not being idealistic. It aims to protect all babies, breastfed or otherwise and aims to shatter all myths and misinformation about infant feeding and nutrition.

To learn how to help and to know more about the ideals of Bayanihan Para sa Mag-Ina, please visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bayanihanIFE