Category Archives: Features and Reviews

One Day of Magic with K-Palette

Receiving an invitation from K-Palette Philippines is always something that gets me all excited. Aside from the wonderful events that Beautybox Corp. always holds, we always get first dibs on the new stuff that K-Palette has to offer.

I’m a huge fan of K-Palette, something I’ve written about before. So on a rainy holiday afternoon, I went to the K-Palette 1-Day Magic event with Basti in tow. (No babysitter, sorry na)

Top: The K-Palette 1 Day Magic product display; Catching up with Kris of OCMomInManila.com and our lovely host, Karrots Nazareno; special guests from K-Palette Japan. Bottom: Cheryl of K-Palette Philippines (Beautybox Corp.); a demo with the cutest Japanese MUA; my seatmates – Jackie of Go Jackie Go! and Michelle of My Mom Friday.

As much as the event was so much fun (and lovely, if I may add), I am going to zero in on the new stuff from K-Palette, because that’s what y’all are excited to see.

This series is called the 1 Day Magic Collection (as opposed to the 1-Day Tattoo collection, something we all know and love) and is comprised of four new products for our everyday beautification.

First off – The 1 Day Magic Liquid Eyeliner.

K-Palette also has a product called the 1-Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner.

1-Day Magic boasts of the same 24-hour lasting power and smudge free formula. The main difference is the brush.

While the 1-Day Tattoo eyeliner pen is a thin brush, the 1-Day Magic eyeliner pen has a flatter brush, allowing you to cover more ground if you want a thicker line, yet topped with a fine tip for the tip of your winged eye looks. Awesome! (Plus it’s pink. Cute!)

Second – the 1-Day Magic Eyeglue Liquid.

It’s what we all know as eyelid glue and is used to cheat an eyefold for those with monolids. I have a secret – I actually use this because I have a slight hood on the corners of my eyes. On my previous post about K-Palette, I used eyelid glue to lift up my eyelid and open my eyes a little more. Now if you believe Michelle Phan and her testimonial about how eyelid glue can permanently even out your eyelids, you should give the 1-Day Magic Eyeglue Liquid a try. PLUS: You can actually use Eyeglue Liquid as an adhesive for false lashes! It’s waterproof, and fast-drying.

Third – The 1-Day Magic 3D Palette.

Finally, K-Palette came out with an contour, highlighter and blush palette. It’s so cute.

The blush is pink and orange, the highlighter has little bits of shimmer in it, and the contour is a nice even versatile color. It comes with this tiny brush that I have yet to see if I can actually use because I carry a powder brush with me all the time.

While I don’t see this palette as part of my pro kit, I can definitely see it in my everyday makeup kit. It’s small enough for touchups, yet has everything I need for a quick on-the-go-spontaneous-lunch-with-important-people polishing up.

The last product on the 1-Day Magic series is the 1-Day Magic Fiber Mascara. I saved the most interesting for last.

It’s a double ended, with one side consisting of a waterproof, smudge-proof, lasting-curl mascara, and the other side, a formula made up of fibers.

So you put on a coat of the mascara as a “primer”, coat it with the fibers, then put another coat of the mascara.

Voila. Falsie-like lashes. Laveeet. It’s a little difficult to take off though, so make sure you have an oil-based makeup remover handy to take it all off.

Overall, the 1-Day Magic line of products is a good collection for the everyday makeup enthusiast. The products are easy to use and the long-wearing formula makes it perfect for those who are busy and on-the-go. Awesome, especially for busy busy moms like you and me!

Thank you for the wonderful time, the wonderful food and the awesome products, K-Palette! It’s always a pleasure.

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The K-Palette 1-Day Magic series is available in all Beauty Bar outlets.

1-Day Magic Liquid Eyeliner, PhP695
1-Day Magic Magic Fiber Mascara, PhP895
1-Day Magic 3D Palette, PhP895
1-Day Magic Eyelid Glue, PhP650

Ang INIT!! Time for an #AntiAmoyPawis Giveaway from Lactacyd!

Can you guys believe this heat?????? Yesterday, Basti and I took 4 baths I think. It’s become necessary to jump in the shower to cool off if you spent some time outdoors.

The people over at Lactacyd were ever so nice to send this pack of stuff for me and Basti.

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And I am especially grateful for the Lactacyd Toddlertubs Toddler Wash. Basti’s at that age when he’s beginning to smell like a tincan after spending some time playing outdoors.

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I’m sure some of you used Lactacyd Baby Bath for your kids. If they’re 12 months and above, you should try the Toddlertubs already. It has better protection for our active kids, more moisturizers to keep them protected and lock freshness in. It’s hypoallergenic too! Perfect for these summer days!

Thanks to Lactacyd, three readers will get this same gift pack that includes:

  • one each of the Lactacyd Toddlertubs  Toddler Wash variants (Bubbles – baby fresh scent, and Splash – fruity scent. Both smell good. Not overpowering at all)
  • Lactacyd Baby Bath (for babies below 12 months)
  • Lactacyd White Intimate Feminine Wash (something for mommy too!)
  • Lactacyd Feminine Wash

It’s easy! Join via Rafflecopter below. If you don’t see the widget, reload your page. You can also just click on the link to go to the Rafflecopter page to join.

The giveaway will be open until May 28, 2014, 11:59pm. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Mama let’s take a bath again!” You just did, Basti. Hay!

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Like Lactacyd’s Mums and Tubs Club on Facebook! – https://www.facebook.com/mumsandtubs
Follow them on Twitter: @mumsandtubsclub

Lunch with Cycles Sensitive {Giveaway Alert!}

Cycles has long been popular in the mommy circles as a gentle but effective detergent for our kids. It’s high up on the list of the modern cloth diaper addicts users and has a strong following and wonderful feedback from lots of moms. I myself learned about Cycles years and years ago, way before I even had Basti!

When the invitation for Cycles Sensitive came, I was quite excited. I have a history with Cycles that goes as far back as college (the people behind it are friends from school) and I felt very proud of what Cycles has accomplished. Knowing the good people behind the brand makes me just a bit prouder. (Clap, clap!)

So what is Cycles Sensitive? It is a line of skincare products that’s perfect for baby’s delicate and sensitive skin. We’ve all been made aware of the many things that may have effects on our skin and body. Words such as “endocrine disruptors”, and “parabens” have become commonplace words when the topic of baby skin care products is being discussed.

At the luncheon, pedia-derma Dr. Sarrosa gave a presentation on baby’s skin, atopic dermatitis and other concerns. (Atopic Dermatitis not “skin asthma. Noted, Doc!) I was particularly interested in the details of the mosquito repellants. Having been a victim of dengue last year, dengue fever is one of my fears, with a lot of paranoia mixed in. They have two formulas – one that’s all natural, and another that’s got chemicals, but is DEET-free. The active ingredient in their non-DEET formulation is Picardin, a proven ingredient that provides up to 8 hours of protection. Good enough for me!

The lunch was fun and it was nice to catch up with some of my friends after a long period of being busy.

It was also such a pleasure to meet the Cycles Sensitive spokesperson, Cheska Kramer, with her super cute Gavin in tow. #teamkramer

 

Cycles Sensitive was so generous to give us a goodie bag full of all the products in the Cycles Sensitive lineup. So generous, that they also gave us three more exact goodie bags to give away on our blogs! Three readers will get a bag with these:

Cycles Sensitive Baby Lotion (500 ml size only), Head-To-Toe Baby Wash (500 ml size only), Natural Insect Repellent, Non-DEET Insect Repellent, Protective Diaper Cream and Anti-Mosquito Citronella Patches.

Enter through Rafflecopter below! (Reload the page if you don’t see the widget, or just click on the link to go to the Rafflecopter site)

Entries will be accepted until February 28, 2014. Announcement of winners will be via Facebook Page, Twitter and email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The #BetterMe Sessions: Better Relationships with Household Helpers

I have been trying to write this post for weeks but the mojo for it was hard to come by. Well, there’s no better time to write about it than now. I am, once again, household help-free. Our 4-year yaya went on vacation last Christmas and didn’t come back. Don’t freak. I am not upset by that fact. I am no stranger to a yaya-free environment. But this incident got me thinking back to the session we had with Coach Pia of The One Core on having better relationships with household helpers. It was a long morning, but I wanted to share with you guys the points that I took home with me, and hope that these will help you in your domestic dramas (don’t we all have them).

Wants vs. Needs

Coach Pia first had us make a list of characteristics of our ideal home. We had similar lists – organized, safe, environmental, etc. We were then asked to list down the tasks involved in making this list happen, which area of the house needed the work, the specific tasks involved to do it and importantly, WHO was in charge. With this we then determined which characteristics were “Wants” versus “Needs” and if the person involved in doing this work felt it was a “Want” or a “Need” as well.

In my own home, one of my needs was to a spotless and organized kitchen. To my helper, this was not a need. It was not even a want. We had constant disagreements and I felt I was endlessly reminding her of how I wanted the kitchen to be kept. To me it was important; to her I was being OA. What could’ve worked was for me to explain why this was a need for me, for her to understand the reasons behind my nitpicking and to communicate how important it was to me.

This is not just for your household helpers, but for the rest of the family as well. It works both ways too. As mothers who run the house, we sometimes feel we have a say on what goes for EVERYTHING and fail to see that the other members of the family have needs as well. So if the husband asks for a bike rack, doesn’t want it, but NEEDS it, then by jove, let’s try and make that happen. Being able to meet and compromise on everybody’s wants and needs is the first step to a harmonious household.

Willingness vs. Ability

When it comes to household helpers, there are varying degrees of willingness and ability we have to live with. We also have to figure out what levels we ourselves can live with. Check if your helper is:

  • Willing and able
  • Willing but not able
  • Not willing but able
  • Not willing and not able

I think I’ve encountered kasambahay in all these levels of willingness and ability. Sad to say, most of my friends who have trouble with their household employees have people who fall under the “not willing and not able” category. For me, I am quite content with “willing but not able” because then you can train them how to handle things in your household. I will never have anyone who is “not willing but able” stay with me because from my experience, they are smart-ass, eye-rolling, complaining, sass-mouthing people who will leave you at the drop of a hat with no consideration at all.

So once you’ve assessed your helper, assess the tasks that need to be accomplished in your household. Are these tasks well within the scope of her willingness and ability? Maybe you’re asking and expecting too much.

Go back to the values.

In line with needs, wants, willingness and ability, it’s very important to explain the core values of the family to our helpers. If you are a working, breastfeeding mom, for example, simple directions about the storage and handling of milk sometimes will not suffice. I have heard many moms literally cry over spilled and wasted milk. But, if you explain the benefits, the care and the effort you put into expressing milk, then she might be able to understand why she should thaw with care, check for spoilage, not throw leftover milk, and so forth. That is, if she is WILLING and ABLE.

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It was a really fruitful morning, and we were fortunate to have the session, thanks to the wonderful people of Marca Piña Cheeseballs, Tonkita by Arix and Gustare Kitchen as the venue. We took home some very useful household cleaning implements from Tonkita (homemaker’s goody bag dream items, hear hear). I really like this two-well bucket. #homemakerjoys

The food at Gustare Kitchen was so yummy! I especially liked this squid ink sotanghon, which reminded me of my lola’s recipe. They also have packed meals ready for takeout. Perfect for condo-dwellers, small families and people who just need a break from cooking.

We also learned about Marca Piña Cheeseball (which was the perfect companion to grapes and made an awesome snack during the session). We had this session right before Christmas last year, so the timing was perfect. Who doesn’t get giddy over cheeseballs during Christmas season?

I think all of us went home that day with a bit of wisdom on how to handle our household. I hope there will less domestic drama for all of us this year!

Thank you Coach Pia! Looking forward to the next #BetterMe session!

 

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
  • ONION RINGS
  • ONION RINGS
  • ONION RINGS
  • 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!

Sharing: Our Photo Shoot at The Picture Co.

It’s been a while since Basti and I had a picture session at The Picture Co. Basti was 9 months when these were taken:

Three years later, we’re back! The SoMoms were invited to have a picture taking session just in time to produce cards and tags for the holidays. We were very excited. And when I say “we”, yes I really mean Basti. Contrary to his pensive and serious nature, Basti actually loves photo shoots. Note, I say “photo shoots” and not “having his picture taken” because those are two entirely different things to him. My little man has model tendencies, so it seems.

I wasn’t in the best of moods coming into the session. I had just come from an all-nighter at the Nanay Bayanihan tent and I was tired, cranky, somber and bothered. But being in the shoot really lifted my spirits. How could it not? The pictures say it all.

Basti had his turn in his favorite outfit – hat and bowtie.

And had a messy fun time playing with paint.

Then Basti and I had a mother-and-son picture together.

And this is my headshot. I haven’t had one in a long time. Is this a sign of my stage comeback? (Comeback talaga?)

The photos we took will also be laid out for Christmas postcards and tags. Truth is, I’m not much of a Christmas person (a Scrooge to the hilt), but I must say the cards were ones that I can live with. I’ll Instagram them once they’re ready. The samples were really cute.

So right now, they have an ongoing promo. Free family photo sessions!! Yey! You can bring up to eight (8) family members to have a free photo shoot at any The Picture Co. branch. The promo is only till December 15, 2013, so call the branch of your choice and book your session now. Print out or take a screenshot of this coupon to avail of the promo. Have fun!

Thank you The Picture Co. – Podium for the lovely photos! Follow them on Twitter at @TPCPodium and @thepicturecoph.

Find them on Facebook too!

The Picture Co. – http://www.facebook.com/ThePictureCoPH

 

 

 

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!

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www.mustela.ph
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MustelaPhilippines
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.

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Look It’s About Me

Website: www.lookitsaboutme.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LookItsAboutMe
Twitter: @LookItsAboutMe
Instagram: @LookItsAboutMe
Pinterest: LookItsAboutMe

 

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: