Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Tea Party and Handmade Soap Exhibit


One of my dear friends hosted a Tea Party themed Handmade Soap Exhibit and Bazaar in her charming home in Antipolo. Someone once told me that almost everyone in Antipolo makes their own stuff because they are so far up in the mountains that they had to learn how to be self sustaining. I mean, look at the Ifugaos and the Unesco Rice Terraces?! It is a prime example of how boredom creates genius! And such is Ana, although I would never call her bored because she tends to keep busy.




I met the creator of this special Martha Stewartish event, Ana Niguidula during an AWCP bazaar back in 2009 when I was selling for INDIGObaby with co-yummymummy, Denise. She was there with her son, Jacob (the only one back then) and was also selling for her booth, BodyFood. We ended up chatting because of common interests and became friends instantly. Over the years we get together at Sunday markets, her own home fairs or food and play dates. I always look forward to my visits to her because I am confident my son gets to do "real play" with her children in the yard (without me having to worry about TV or iPads!) It is a relief for moms when you find other people with similar parenting style and values.

Ana is the school head of HedCen (Holistic Education and Development Center) while her mother, Emma, is the school director. If my son didn't go to a Waldorf school, I would choose HedCen as a second home for him. I'm a biggie on systems that honor and nurture the soul of the child.

Below is a showcase of different variants of her soaps together with photos of her three adorable sons ;)



All of Ana's ingredients are sourced from the finest suppliers she can find. I know for a fact that she grows some of the herbs herself in her backyard. She says her products are organic because they are without use of synthetic chemicals in growing, producing or processing. Thumbs up to that!


"I call things I make BodyFood because I want people to know that these products are safe, like good food. That you do not put anything on your skin that would be dangerous to ingest in the first place. It's still our body after all", says Ana.


Who loves Tablea? I do!!!


I'm a sucker for peppermint. I bought the pure peppermint soap which is heavenly. I cannot wait for my soap to cure so I can use it already!


Ana also has a green thumb so I'm not surprised she made "Herb Garden" soap.


Look at the pop up workshop on display for guests to see the process of her lovingly made soaps. 


My kids like being out in the garden a lot plus we frequent beach trips so my family requires products like this handy bug bite balm. So very travel-friendly, too.


Soap logs being cut as people bought pieces for gifts. If you are a friend of mine, these are the kind of gifts I'd like to get ok? Handmade, homemade and organic. Seriously, what's not to love?!



The bottom soap log with multiply layers, I absolutely adore! That beautiful creation is the Rose Vanilla Lavender Butter Biscuit Soap. The name itself will give you the sweetest dreams. I admit that I hardly buy anything online because I shop with my senses. I have to see, feel, smell, taste (if possible) and when my hand picked up the soap sample and something glorious oozed out from the balm layer, it just called onto me. If I didn't buy this it would haunt me forever. And so, I did!


The tea party themed soap exhibit seamlessly transitioned to a real tea party! Ana collects cute little tea sets as you can see. She must have been British in her past? :) For today's spread, she asked some of her home-baker friends to bring their cake creations to the taste test. And they were oh so delicious!


More sweets and eats over here! I had my fill and wasn't able to try the chocolate cake anymore. Never mind I'm sure to be back for more goods real soon :) 


Noelle samples the natural iced teas. The reddish-purple one is Roselle which she grows in her garden. 



I scream for healthy(er) chocolate homemade ice cream!!!!


Are you bummed to have missed this bazaar? Have no fear! Come to the next Artisan Bazaar in Antipolo on Dec 7,Sunday 10am onwards! Meet and greet some of these amazing 'creators'.  The Flow Shop will represent and I'll be giving a free Pop Up Yoga session so remember to bring your mats.





See you there!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Martinmas Festival

The Kolisko Waldorf School celebrated Martinmas by inviting the parents and children on a lantern walk activity. We listened to a verse, heard the children sing and watched with delight the lighting of the lanterns, handmade by each child

The Martinmas Festival in the mid-point of Michaelmas and Christmas. Note that Martinmas, Diwali, Channukah, and Advent all occur in the same time of the year. It is a reminder to carry the light, the warmth within us as we journey deeper into the colder months of the year when the days get longer and the nights tend to be colder and darker. On a deeper level, it really is all about our inner light which we should shine upon others this season just as St. Martin did in his life.

"One bitterly cold winter evening, the young Martin rode through the gates of Amiens on his fine, proud horse. He was dressed in the regalia of his military unit: gleaming armor, a bright helmet and a beautiful white cloak, lined with lambs wool. It was nearly freezing outside, but his thick cloak kept him warm. He was hardly aware of the cold.

But then, as he approached the gates of the town, he saw a poor man, a beggar, dressed with clothes so ragged that he was practically bare. The man was shaking and blue with cold, but no one reached out to help him. People would pass through the gates, looking straight ahead, so their eyes would not meet with those of the poor, desperate man.

Martin, seeing this, was overcome with compassion. He rode straight to poor man and took off his white cloak. And with one stroke of his sword he tore the lovely mantle in two. He wrapped half of the cloak around the freezing man and the other half around his own shoulders.

The people nearby watched in amazement. To see a fine military officer do such a lowly thing was a ridiculous site to many, but others were touched by the goodness that Martin showed.

That night, as Martin slept, he had a dream. A man appear to him who looked so familiar, and he was wearing the half of the cloak Martin had given to the poor beggar. And then, Martin saw in the eyes of this man, the light of the Divine which we each carry within us."

There are no words to describe how solemn this festival is. See photos from last night's festivities and see if it sparks something in your soul.

Photo by Edber Mamisao

Photo by Jonathan Roxas

Photo by Goldie Miranda, processing by me

As above, so below.

“I’m walking with my lantern, my lantern walks with me,
Above the stars are shining bright, down here on Earth shine we."

Happy Martinmas to you! May the divine light in your soul shine bright!

Kolisko Waldorf School
Rest Haven, Project 7, Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 921-3974

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Green School Bali

"If you build it, they will come"

Remember that line from the movie, Field of Dreams? A good one, right? Visionaries have the foresight, the prophecy to build amazing places, sacred places because they know, they see way beyond our limited perceptions,  all the possibilities in the grand scheme of things. 

That's how I feel about architect and jewelry designer, John Hardy. They say that he built the Green School Bali as a response to the movie, an Inconvenient Truth. If you don't know who he is, google up his very inspiring TED talk on why he built the Green School. 

Earlier this year, I finally made my way to Green School in Bali. In 2010 I intended to visit but was unable to so I knew that I just had to visit this incredible place that boasts of green architecture, a progressive wholistic education and sustainable energy practices. I know the Philippines can do a similar project because we definitely have the resources. We just need a community of like-minded folks that can help manifest this dream for us!

This massive structure made fully of bamboo and other native materials is called the Millenium Bridge. Our tour guide explained that the children sometimes have classes on it since they believe that lessons are better learned in a natural, outdoor setting exposed to the elements; sights and sounds of nature like animals and insects. It's all part of the learning experience!


With my little globetrotter Maya in an INDIGObaby pouch.


It can get really breezy out there from where I stood.


Gigantic bamboo structures can make a home or a school!


Just WOW!


Living up to its name, the Green School is a school that recycles! I'm guessing the left over food will be made into fertilizers for their backyard farms.


Happy feet!

Look at the roofing, at how organic the way it flows.


The kindergarten class room is a delight to the senses. A room with no walls or windows with fresh air coming through. Imagine how this affects the children to be (not just think) out of the box (because there is no box to begin with!)


I thought the design of the bamboos criscrossing upwards was so beautiful. The guide explained that this helped heat rise out of the space and promote ventilation. Natural air conditioning achieved by genius design! Marvelous! I really want one bamboo structure at home or for a yoga shala.


Look at all the elements in the classroom, all locally sourced and made from natural materials. 

This is the area where they prep the fertilizers. 


And where the little seedlings live...


It was a hot day but I managed the tour without a nanny with my little one in the pouch. She slept most of the time because she loved the motions as we walked through the whole of the school grounds.


Another view of the Millenial Bridge. Spectacular! 


The school is a recipient of a grant by a company that specializes in hydro-power technology. It's pretty cool that they are able to harness energy by this vortex below. 


Another classroom with a unique setting very much like a boat. If I had my son with me he would go crazy with his imagination! 


I sat behind everyone while sipping my natural iced lemongrass tea as we all listened to more stories behind this magical place. 


They have solar panels, too!


Look at this space!

Really cool furniture made by local artists

What a witty name "Sacred Scoops" ! Too bad this was closed during my visit. I would have loved to try "The Seducer".


The Living Food Lab also was closed but it looked like they serve healthy organic raw food, locally grown from their gardens! 


Check their website at www.livingfoodlab.com



Last but not the least interesting in this photo tour is their toilet!


I love how they make use of natural light to save on energy costs. My future home will do the same!


This is their water saving, no flush compost toilet. This school is as green as you can get!



Green School Bali Tour is scheduled every Monday-Sunday 2:45pm

Contribution for adults $10, Kids 6-12 years $5 and kids 6 below are free ;)

Green School Bali
Sibang Kaja Village, Bali, Indonesia
http://www.greenschool.org


Saturday, November 08, 2014

Date Night at Senju


A few nights back my husband asked me to accompany him to a special dinner at Senju. 

"Of course, I would date you!", was my flirty reply :) 

This is a very RARE occasion because we are never without our children. I have trust issues with leaving our kids with the nannies alone especially since the helpers are very new. Luckily, my parents agreed to help baby-sit that evening. God bless grandparents! 

The 6 course culinary show was paired with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage champagnes. I honestly had to resist drinking all of the selections since I am still exclusively nursing Maya. When I wean, I can enjoy drinking on social occasions (which isn't often!)


For our appetizers: Grilled lobster, simmered winter melon and eel. Grilled saber fish (fantastic!) and Hiroshima oyster shell. This course was paired with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Blanc 2003.


Soup was Brasenia leaves, lady finger, sea bream and plum which was very light and citrusy on the palette. 


Hamachi, Shake, Toro, Ika, and Uni Sashimi. The waiters advised us to mix the flowers in the soy sauce and wasabi for a tinge of floral flavour. How very interesting and unique.


No momo or Simmered Dish: Japanese Eggplant and Prawn. I didn't have the prawn but I can eat eggplant everyday so I savored that together with the green peppers.


Sorry, I didn't get to take a photo of the main dish which was the Grilled Kobe Beef in Honey Sauce paired with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rose 2004.

Since I don't eat beef, I chose not to have the dish served to me to lessen food wastage. According to my date, it was very good though!

My golden rule: MUST always leave room for dessert! Green tea cheesecake with red bean and sesame tuile with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rose 2003. 


With us at our very bubbly table: Pen Uy from Jewelmer (who is my Kabbalah study group batchmate!), Mika of SeekTheUniq.com, Meg Entrata and Chad Alarcon of Moët & Chandon.


Thank you to Moët & Chandon and EDSA Shangri-la for hosting the amazing dinner that night. Superb food, champagnes and fine service.


Senju

Edsa Shangri-la Manila, One Garden Way, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong

For reservations, call 633-888 or email senju.esl@shangri-la.com

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