September 28, 2014

Exploreum... where SCIENCE becomes FUN

Worthwhile family activities is become more and more difficult to find.  
I was excited to hear that the SM through its lifestyle and entertainment arm, has recently undertaken a revamp of the SM Science Center into the Exploreum.
The Exploreum houses eight (8) main galleries, covering vast range of topics and interests.
Connect showcases various communication equipment. 
It has an exhibit of old computer, television, cellular phone, which were amusing conversational pieces to tell your kids how communication evolved as we know it today.

Cyberville is a hands-on-gallery featuring various inventions.  My kids grew a liking to the solar powered car that actually moves and took turns running it. 

Human Adventure provides visitors an in-depth view of the human body.
The Living Earth shows the origin of the planet.
Natural World showcases flora and fauna.
Zoom Gallery explores automobiles and planes at work.
Space Camp, meanwhile shows visitors a peep of life in space. 

The SM Planetarium is a 180 degrees full dome theater, showing digital videos and films. 

Aside from these galleries, Exploreum also has a practice science area called Discovery Science and a scientific play space/lab called Science Park

My honest verdict:  

The Exploreum is actually  a cheaper alternative to the Mind Museum at P350 per pax (inclusive of Gallery, plus one Planetarium show). We enjoyed our tour and my boys had fun learning . 

However, although Exploreum has all the key elements of a Science Museum, I don't think it has enough to fully engage and wow guests.

It tries hard to impress by packing it's space with too much themes, that they were unable to fully explore each one profoundly nor were they able to provide smooth transition from one gallery to another.

In the end a trip to the Exploreum is not a waste of time and money, however, for a more engaging science adventure, I suggest you spend some more and head to the Mind Museum

The Exploreum is located at the GF Southside Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia Pasay City. 

You may click here for the rates <<<<

September 24, 2014

BDJ - Beauty Innovations (September 2014)

This month's box theme is all about new products from trusted brands: Godiva, Pond's, Cream Silk, Dove, Jergens, Beach Hut and Fanny Serrano (FS) cosmetics (this is the first time I have heard of FS makeup, but Mr.  Fanny Serrano is a trusted icon in show business, so I guess that counts).

I anxiously opened my box  and was delighted to see the contents.

What's inside:

1. Godiva Cleansing Kit
a. Whitening Facial Wash, 50ml costs P85
b. Whitening Toner, 60ml costs P60 

I am not a fan of whitening products, but I am willing to give Godiva facial wash and toner  a try.  These products promise to give gentle skin cleansing.  

2. Pond's Dewy Rose Gel, 10g costs P150

Another whitening product included in the box.  This whitening formula is infused with Rose Lumiere Serum that goes deep into the skin to lighten dark spots. It also smoothens your pores from the outside for a rosy feel and look.

3. Cream Silk Daily Treatment Conditioner, 180ml costs P134 each.  This product has 4 variants, the box came with 2 variants.
These are formulated with  Vita-boost complex that penetrate hair strands to help nourish it from within.

4. Dove Intense Repair Daily Hair Vitamins, 6ml 6 capsules pack costs P75. This hair treatment is infused with Vitamin E and botanical extract and helps lock in nourishment in your hair.

5. Jergens Moisture Pack
a. Jergen's Ultra Healing Lotion, 100ml costs 88
b. Jergen's Daily Moisture Lotion, 200ml costs P153

My mom loves Jergens.  As I child, I would recall going to my parent's room and pour a generous amount on my palm and apply it all over my body and my dolls (come on, I know you are guilty of using mommy's stuffs too).  I am so excited to have gotten these as part of my box.   I liked that now, Jergen's has a more improved formula Hydralucence Blend for deep skin hydration, Silk Protein and Citrus Extract for a more silky and smooth feel.

6. Beach Hut Clear Spray, 180ml costs P390.

This product allows a more convenient way of applying sun protection less the greasy / sticky lotion after feel  (I had an urge to go beach bumming all of a sudden, hehehe).

7. Fanny Serrano Cosmetics (FS)
a. FS Single Eye Shadow, 4g costs P150
b. FS Gel Liner, 5 ml costs P299

I am more excited about the Gel Liner as the traditional ones tend to be difficult to use and apply.  This one comes in a cheek/elegant bottle with a free applicator brush, sweet!  

Approximate value of this month's box is P1700.   With mostly full sized items from known brands, BDJ surely delivered this September.


September 23, 2014

Glamour Box - Flawless Beauty (August 2014)

Is flawless beauty a possibility (chuckles)?  Glamour box,  put together Flawless Beauty themed box for August  2014.  In the box are flaw fixers products  for an almost perfect beauty (hehehe).

Unlike the previous boxes, this one is literally lighter in weight, as I open my loot (...fingers crossed) I was hoping contents are worth my hard-earned P595.

What's inside:

1. Ofra Cosmetics - Long Lasting Lipsticks (in Laguna Beach).  Full size 8g costs P950.  It is a liquid lipstick that promises to nourish your lips with anti-oxidants and Vitamin E.  I am so eager to try this one!  I have long been hunting for a perfect lipstick that lasts and doesn't feather.  I hope this one does the trick.

2. Ellana Minerals

(a) Multi-purpose Mineral Powder in Halo. Full size 1g costs P160. It is an all around color you can use as an eyeliner, eyeshadow, lip color, bronzer and body shimmer.  I have been seeing lots of hype on mineral powders lately. Compared to your traditional liquid or pressed powder formula, mineral powder are actually loose powder.  Experts say this type of makeup contains less irritants and is easier to remove.  I honestly find them quite difficult and a bit messy to apply.

(b) Brilliance and Lip Scrub in Strawberry Vanilla. Full size 10g costs P165.  It helps improve your lips texture by scrubbing you dry and flaking lips.  I love the smell of strawberry vanilla flavor, should be equally good when applied on. I will be trying real soon.  

4. Belo Essentials

(a) AcnePro Pimple Fighting Face Wash - Full size 50ml costs P99.75
(b) Treatment Toner  - Full size 60ml costs P79.75
(c) Pimple Gel - Full size 10g costs P149.75

Pimple fighting is every normal (others are just blessed with naturally pimple free skin) woman's battle, especially when hormones rage just before or after menstruation period. 

Happy to have received this complete pack, it gives me no excuse to keep my skin healthy looking and pimple free.

Active component of the Belo Essentials pack is purified bee venom.  I have read bee venom as a component in beauty products, tricks the skin into thinking it had been stung by a bee, causing the body to direct blood flow towards the area and help stimulate production of collagen, hence strengthening tissue making skin more elastic and youthful (ehem, I am beginning to like this product already!).

5. TRESemm'e - Smooth and Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. Full size 440ml costs  P275 each.  I am already a TRESemm'e convert and I have been using this product for about a year now. It does wonder for my fizzy and often unmanageable hair.

The samples included are rather small.  I would normally rant about how I hate sampler sized products in beauty boxes, but this time, I actually liked that I got small-on the go sized packs, perfect for my next travel.

As a bonus:
6. Beauty Republic - Original Dramatic BB Tinted Cream and Dramatic Green Touch BB Tinted Cream (I surrender what is a beauty box without sampler sachets?) - Full size 30ml costs P695/pc.  

I have been loving BB and CC creams lately. BBs and CCs even out skin tones and makes your blemishes disappear instantly.  A plus for this product is that they also nourish your skin as they color. 

So these two (2) samplers went straight to my make-up kit.

I surely got my money's worth. My total loot costs would easily add up to P1600 excluding my TRESemm'e and BB samples.

My August Glamour Box surely hit the mark!  

(H u g e  G R I N)

BDJ Box - Luscious Locks (August 2014)

BDJ must have had me in mind for this month's beauty box concept - LUSCIOUS LOCKS  "...amazing treats to keep your mane in tiptop condition" was sure a spot on catchphrase.  

I eagerly opened my BDJ beauty box.

What's inside:

1. Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, 30ml costs P3500.  I have been vocal in my previous reviews that simple hate sampler tube/sachet sized items and consider such as freebies and doesn't add up to the value of the box.  I moved on the next item.

2. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Shine. 4g costs P350.  I adore Revlon and I was truly happy to get this in my box. However, my excitement turned sour as I tested the shade I got was not my color (bummer...!)

3. Fan Di Fendi Blossom, 30ml costs P2850.  Three (3) tiny sachet packs, another freebie. Again this item doesn't warrant a review at all. Next item please.

I was begining to wonder where are my hair products.  This is after all a Luscious Locks themed box.  

4. Garnier Color Naturals, 100ml costs P199. I love that it has olive oil extract to help nourish hair as you color, as hair dyeing would often leave your hair dry and rough. Unfortunately, however, the shade I got is a tad too light for the color I normally use. It was good my mom was all too happy to receive this special gift from BDJ.

5. L'Oreal Professional Mythic Oil Nourishing Masque, 200ml  costs P1,095. This hair masque is enriched with Argan Oil and Cotton Seed Oil that helps balance your hair's natural oil levels and nourish hair from roots to tips.  

6. L'Oreal Professional Mythic Oil, 125 ml costs P995. Active components are Avocado and Grape Seed Oil that helps nourish hair and leaves it shiny and supple.

These L'Oreal products are this BDJ box' saving grace for me.  I would have wept hard like a kid who received an unwanted toy, if not for these L'Oreal products.
I have been using the Mythic Oil since I got it and I am honestly loving the results.  Smells wonderful on my hair and leaves it shinny and healthy looking.

The avocado oil contains proteins and vitamins such as A, D. E and B6, as well as magnesium, folic acid, amido acids, copper and iron helpful in hair growth and nourishment. Grape seed oil, meanwhile, helps the hair grow faster and moisturizes the hair and scalp, helpful in dandruff treatment.

7. Blo (Blow-Dry-Bar) vouchers - 20% off any of blo's 7 signature hairstyles with free deep conditioning treatment. I have heared about Blo -Dry-Bar and it got I me excited, until I saw the vouchers are valid Mondays-Thursdays only.  Meaning I would need to skip work to use it. 

Beauty boxes are fast becoming a hit and miss.   I hope they pick up fast soon to sustain subscribers' interest.

September 8, 2014

BA-WAL: Mga Dulang BAgong luWAL (Katre/Over My Dead Body)

I am delighted to have been invited, to a play written by a talented young man, Christian Tordecillas.  He has a gift for developing simple storylines into socially relevant plays.  His last play "Dyip" (Jeep) won him the Palanca Award in 2006.
I had the pleasure of seeing his latest masterpiece "KATRE" last September 7.

"KATRE" is one of the two plays featured in "BA-WAl: Mga Dulang BAgong LuWAL" of Project Mayheim, a production outfit supporting works of up and coming playwrights.

KATRE, is a tragic story  of a young wife and mother named Lea, who anguished the disappearance of her family.

I was truly  impressed, at how easily the play was able to translate such an utterly heavy social issue, "desaparecidos"  into words and actions that connects to it's viewers.   The audience was one with the main protagonist as she battles her sorrow, fear and despair.

The simplicity of the set and the intimate size of the venue, helped the play succeed in introducing to audience the real victims of this injustice, the ones left behind! 

The second is a comedy titled, OVER MY DEAD BODY, written by Christian Dagsil, was a perfect balance to Katre's heavy drama.   The over the top comical performance was hilarious. 

It was enjoyable seeing these talented young artists at work. 

Bravo and well done!

Let us support Philippine Theater, catch Katre and Over My Dead Body at the Room 3, ISO Complex Ateneo de Manila Campus on the following dates: September 13 (7 pm), 14 and 15 (3 and 7pm).

You may email for shows and ticket inquiries.


September 6, 2014

Transformers' Themed School Birthday Party

We skipped the usual big party preparation for my son's sixth (6) birthday and opted for an in school birthday party.
My son enjoyed the recent Transformers' movie so much, a transformers' themed birthday party was an easy decision.
School birthday parties are simple and easier than a full party celebration.
With the following key elements: invitation, food, loot bag, cake and balloon.
First. I coordinated with my son's adviser to:
  • agree on the time (including duration) and date of the party
  • get the names of my son's classmates
  • get the number of teachers and teachers' aides
  • agree on party program sequence
Second the invites.
"Transform and Roll Out" was a nice catch phrase I found in the web.  I contacted a friend with a printing business "Mka De Signs and Prints" and ended with this beautiful invitation.

Third the loot bag.  I spent most of my budget on loot bags.  Since I already saved a lot on entertainment, venue, etc.), 
I splurged a bit on loot bags. 
I wanted a re-usable packaging for the loots. 
and found a utility box at the Japanese Home with blue and pink handle.   


The loots - lego imitation toys (I got them cheaper in bulk), cookies, chocolates and candies (I got the good brands, ones that I would give my own kids).
To give the utility box the Transformer theme, I attached individual bag tags, also printed by Mka De Signs and Prints.


Fourth is the cake.  Guilty of stealing the design  from the web!  I gave the design to a baker friend who was happy to customize for me
(for a fee, of course!)

Fifth. The balloons were difficult to find, as they must have transformers' prints. 
I was relieved I found these in Sulit. 

Sixth. Food came from KFC.
As the party starts early at 830 (on time for recess), we placed our orders the night before.
For the children, we ordered the Spaghetti Fully Loaded meal (at P150 per meal), which comes with spaghetti, chicken, French fries (for fixin') and water (KFC allows change from softdrinks to bottled water at no additional cost), the meal also came with soup (but we did not serve them anymore).

We also got Spoonful for the children (which was a good thing since ice cream would be difficult to transport, the spoonful doesn't melt easy).

For the adults, we ordered 1 pc Chicken Fully Loaded.

It sure was tiring, but worth it. 
The kids were all happy with their loots and balloons and my child can't stop smiling ~ hugging and kissing me the entire time!   
I love my mommy duty!
(1) Kids would most likely be unable to finish their food, so it is best you come prepared and bring "to go plastic/paper bags".  We got extra paper bags from KFC.
(2) Although the kids went wild over the balloons, these were hard to transport.  We hardly fit into an AUV with KFC food boxes, cakes and 21 balloons inside.  
(3) Order extra for the utility, guards and your child's school service driver.
(4) Bring your own garbage bag and paper towels (spills are bound to happen) and help clean the room.
(5) Make a checklist of the things to do and bring.  Often left items are: candle, lighter/matches and cake knife (if you are serving the cake).

Honest Italian Goodness at Gotti's Ristorante

After enduring almost three (3) hours of grueling traffic, before finally reaching SM MOA.  We were in desperately need of replenishment.
The first restaurant we saw was Gotti's Ristorante an Italian restaurant serving delectable Italian food. 
I was wanting to order the specialty pizza and pasta, but the rice meals were equally heavenly looking to let pass.
The boys ordered Banana fruit shakes and shared an order of Classic Lasagna and an appetizer (I forgot the name - but it is an oven baked folded pizza), while my husband had Tuscan Steak and me, Chicken Parmigiana.
Food were rich and flavorful, typical of Italian cuisine.  
My Chicken Parmigiana was generously topped with tomatoes sauce, would have been perfect if they added more cheese.  
My boys finished their lasagna, with 2-3 pieces of the wrapped-pizza appetizers left-over, which they insisted we take out.
As for my husband, he was busy with his Tuscan Steak... 


Servings were huge, with the order enough for 2 people sharing.  Half-way through my Chicken Parmigiana, I was so full and can't hardly finish, even if I wanted to.    

Price was reasonable given the serving portions and quality of food.

We came in on an odd time (late lunch, early "merienda") and we were the only ones dining, so we were treated very well (I cannot comment, if staff are as attentive otherwise).  The good service complemented the delicious food.

Yes, we will be back!!!

(Logo, taken from Gotti's facebook page) 

The Gotti's branch we visited is located at the Ground Floor, South Wing of the SM Mall of Asia (MOA), Pasay City. 

Click here to visit Gotti's Restaurant facebook page <<<<<<<

BDJ Box - PURE & SIMPLE kind of thing (July 2014)

BDJ Box brought out the natural beauty in us bellas with it's
July 2014 beauty box, aptly themed Pure and Simple.
The box containing mostly full sized products, was like an answered prayer, from last month's mediocre in size items.
I love this box.  Contents are 100% usable (...ones you would normally pick up from stores' shelves).
So what's inside?

  • Nivea Pure Effect Exfoliating Wipes- 22 wipes pack costs, P139.  It rids my face, off dirt and grease, while it exfoliates and refines the skin. 
My latest find courtesy of BDJ - Nivea Exfoliating Wipes!

I feel in love with this product, from first use. I so swear it would be part of my shopping cart from now on.  It is a perfect travel companion to freshen and clean your face, under the hot and humid Philippine weather.
  • Nivea Anti-Perspirant Invisible Spray - 150ml costs P184. The sample that came with the box is 30ml. I haven't tried this yet, but the product guide claims it protects your cloth from stain, and you from sweat and body odor. 

  • Nivea In Shower Skin Conditioner (It is a lotion you use in the shower. I initially thought, it was a shower gel.) - 100ml costs P109.  The product looks promising as it claims leaving your skin moisturized. Packaging also says it contains 50x more Vitamin C (no mention of comparison product). The sample, unfortunately was a tad too small at only 10ml (good for one time use), hence I can't say much!
From L-R/T-B (a) Celeteque Back Acne Spray,
(b) Magic Spell Eyeshadow and (c)Hygienix Gel and Spray

  • Celeteque (Back Acne Spray) - 50ml is priced at P320.  Product guide says it exfoliates the skin leaving it blemish free.  It would have been a perfect, if only I have back acne (hehehe). 

  • Magic Spell - Enchanted Eyeshadow - 6g costs P199.  I would say price is very reasonable.  The palette has 3 shades, for a extra-dramatic appeal. 

  • Hygienix Hand Gel and Spray - A 100ml hand gel costs P45, while a 55ml hand spray costs P40.  Both went straight to my purse for quick hand sanitizing.   

L-R/T-B: (a) Vitress Instant Relax and Vitress Hair Solenn,
(b) Keratin Complex Travel Valet Care Kit and (c) Pink Sugar Fire Fragrance

  • Vitress Instant Relax 30ml, costs P75 while, Vitress Hair Solenn 30ml costs P80.  I am not new to Vitress products, since I have been using them to tame my soft wavy curls.  Both helps make your mane look naturally soft and silky.

  • Keratin Complex (shampoo and conditioner duo) - 89ml costs P495.  This shampoo and conditioner duo is sodium chloride free, which is good for those with dry hair (sodium chloride in shampoo and skin products tend to reduce moisture in skin and hair).

  • Pink Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist - 250ml fruity collection costs P299, while the happy, dreamy and naughty collection costs P349.  My box came with a Wild Cherry and Marshmallow variant.  I was happy that it came in full size, however, the one I got was a bit too sweet smelling for my liking.  I wished I got a more fresh scent. 

I just adore beauty boxes, what is there not to like? 

This month I got my money's worth and more for my subscription.

I am a one happy mama!


September 3, 2014

Blogapalooza 2014

Are you a blogger (or at least attempts hard to be one)?

Great news, Blogapalooza 2014 in finally here.  The event was such a success from last year, thanks to its (ehem) rockstar organizers: 

...a repeat was an obvious MUST!


Blogapalooza is an online writer's induction to real life blogging. 

It aims to link businesses who have something cool to share and the online community of people who loves to share.

The event also promises lots of freebies and an opportunity to meet fellow bloggers who share your passion for writing and reading, love for new experiences and courage to speak out their mind.

BLOGAPALOOZA 2014 will be held on September 20 (SATURDAY) at the SM Convention Center Halls 1 & 2, SM AURA in Taguig. 

Hurry sign up now and join the fun. >>>REGISTER HERE.