Monday, December 15, 2014

What's Inside "The Bliss Box"?

Of all the days my daughter's teething fever could have erupted, it had to choose one of the busiest days I had in my planner and the very same day of the Blissmakerie event by Martine of Make It Blissful. As a mother, family comes first so I had to miss this exciting event at Scarsdale Artisanal Delights (!) dedicated to some of the game changers and promising talents in the Manila blogging scene. 

Despite me feeling utterly devastated for having missed a wonderful get together of creative forces (I was ogling at all the photos! Check #Blissmakerie2014 on IG!), I know there will be another time so I look forward the the 2015 events!

Thanks to Martine who thoughtfully saved me a Bliss Box and hand carried it as we met up quickly in our neighborhood mall for a quick chat in between mommy errands and work. 

So, what's in the Bliss Box anyway? Oh, it seems all things blissful, of course! Martine curated some of her favorite brands that have products to remind all recipients to take care of themselves. 

Hurraw! All Natural Lipbalm from one of my favorite go to shops

A treat for my smoothies! Tahitian Organic Vanilla Bean from The Vanilla Company 

For Maya's bedside table! A Vanilla scented wooden Bear from A Vanilla Story

For Mommy :) Philosophy's Hope In A Jar and Microdelivery Wash and Facial GC

Craftsmith Living postcards and gift tags which are so useful this Christmas. I have yet to visit their showroom for some design inspiration.

Watercolor postcards from

A nail polish brand I personally use and collect myself! Zoya is 3-free and safe (enough) for preggies and moms

Much-needed Mommy flats from Yosi Samra

Jean Perry Hand Towel from

Heima Store Olive Room Spray

The box itself was from Print Cafe. I collect these boxes for all my art and crafts supplies at home. 

I want to thank Martine for putting this all together! And to the sponsors for all my early Christmas presents! Yes, this Bliss Box is a wonderful package for all women, mother or not, to care for themselves because we can only give from what we have. On an energetic perspective, it makes so much sense!

I look forward to 2015 Bliss boxes! Watch out for it :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Waldorf Education: And Why Is That? Part 2

For those of you that missed the first workshop, Susan Quimpo is offering a second run! You MUST attend if you are a parent or want to be someday. Even if you never intend to have children, this stuff is phenomenal to learn for self-healing and more!


The simple act of drawing a circle and trying form drawing meant for Grade 1 students can relieve the early signs of trauma -- why is that?

When my child misbehaves, his teacher checks him with a "pedagogical" story -- why is that?

When my child and his teacher draws, people have no facial features, and there is an emphasis on painterly versus solid line drawings -- why is that?

Educational videos, even those from National Geographic, are not used in Waldorf schools -- why is that?

The Waldorf teachers wear violet on Mondays, red on Tuesdays, yellow on Wednesdays... why is that? Kolisko Waldorf School presents...


The simple act of drawing a circle and trying form drawing meant for Grade 1 students can relieve the early signs of trauma -- why is that?

When my child misbehaves, his teacher checks him with a "pedagogical" story -- why is that?

When my child and his teacher draws, people have no facial features, and there is an emphasis on painterly versus solid line drawings -- why is that?

Educational videos, even those from National Geographic, are not used in Waldorf schools -- why is that?

The Waldorf teachers wear violet on Mondays, red on Tuesdays, yellow on Wednesdays... why is that?

Learn, like your child, through experience.  Join a two-day workshop with Waldorf parent and art therapist Susan F. Quimpo  and experience the answers to the above questions.  Through discussions and simple art exercises, learn by doing and understand the "whys" behind the Waldorf curriculum.  Participants with or without (even better!) any art background are welcome.

Open to teachers, parents and adult friends 
Maximum number of participants: 20
Please bring crayons, colored pencils, Soft Pastels (Mungyo brand, box of 12), 1-inch masking tape, painting board (if you have one), ruler.  Paper will be made available at cost during the workshop.  Bring lunch and snacks.

WORKSHOP DATES:  December 19-20, 2014 (Friday-Saturday)
TIME: Promptly at 9:30am through 3:30pm

P150/day - for KWS teachers and staff  
P300/day for KWS parents 
P450/day for guests

WORKSHOP VENUE:  I-House, 161 Judge Juan Luna St, SFDM
Directions: From West Ave. turn into Baler St (a Shell gas station is at the corner).  Stay on Baler St. & count 4 streets on your right. Make a right on Judge Juan Luna St. Look for Judge Juan Luna High School - across the school gate is an open gate with the numbers 161-old/81 new.  Go in and follow the dirt road.  Turn into the driveway of the first old brown/white wooden house on your right.

Due to limited parking, participants are encouraged to meet at KWS and carpool to workshop venue which is a few blocks away from the school.

TO REGISTER: Call or text Merci Silangan at KWS (landline) 921-3974 or Mobile 0917.403.6483.

* Susan F Quimpo holds a post graduate diploma in Anthroposophic Arts for Health Training given by Hibernia College in co-operation with the Medical Section at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland.  Using the Waldorf curriculum, she has provided trauma relief work for Yolanda victims, facilitated therapeutic art workshops in prisons, civil society groups, schools and youth groups.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Healthy Recipe: Coco Chia

We've been cooped up at home because of Typhoon Ruby and my daughter has teething fever so rest and sleep is what we've been doing. When I have extra time, I try to create something with my hands, in the kitchen or crafts for the holidays. (because it's therapeutic!)

Here's something refreshing and healthy to drink. It's really easy to make, too! I highly recommend it to nursing mothers and those who exercise a lot because we lose water and essential minerals whenever we sweat. The main ingredient of this drink is COCONUTS, rich in vitamins, nutirents and electrolytes. I must have said it here before, that I chose to be born in the Philippines because we have an abundance of coconuts - which is my favorite health drink!

Time to make the COCO CHIA drink :)

Coconut juice
Young coconut meat
Pre-soacked Chia seeds (at least 30 minutes in water)
Natural sweetener like Tobee's Apiary (optional)

Directions: If you want it real easy, just blend coconut meat, coconut water/juice and then mix in presoaked chia seeds. I choose to add pure honey because it tastes better with a little sweetener. Expect your husband and kids to finish it before you can even take a sip! If you want a shake version of this, you may add nutmilk and ice but I prefer having my drinks without ice.

Want to know more nutritional benefits to this simple drink? Mercola says coconut water is --

  • Rich in natural vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals, and trace elements (including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, and manganese). Vitamins are necessary for the enzymatic reactions your cells need in order to function.
  • Full of amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
  • Rich source of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and magnesium.
  • Light, low-calorie and nearly fat-free, as well as low in sugar but pleasantly sweet—contains about a fifth of the sugar of other fruit juices, like apple or grape juice, as well as containing a little fiber to moderate absorption.
  • Rich in cytokinins, or plant hormones, which have anti-aging, anti-cancer, and anti-thrombolytic effects in humans.
Go to your local market and stock up on fresh coconuts (buko) it ony costs 20-30 Philippine pesos per piece (.50 cents!). 

Tobee's Apiary honey is unprocessed and unheated. Available at Backyard Farms

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Lessons from Lawrence Pradhan

I remember meeting Lawrence a few years back at the Asia Yoga Conference. We attended lectures by Carlos Pomeda together with Marah, a Filipina HK-based yoga teacher I knew. (his girlfriend back then but wife now!)

I didn't know he was teaching Yoga and was surprised at how graceful he is! Watch video below:

Read Will Tan's testimonial as a student of Lawrence--

I got to know Lawrence when I was starting to explore my passion for Yoga back in 2012. I was very intense then, coming from my hot yoga background and working with studios that wanted to just deepen asanas. I took his weekend workshop and in the process I got to discover another side of Yoga -- go beyond the physicality of Yoga. It wasn't an instant discovery, it took a while, even during the workshop, I found myself getting frustrated if I couldn't come to the pose. every class I'd come into prior would always be giving standard cues, I'd get into the poses but there was nothing smart about how I got into it. I learned intelligent movement in the practice with Lawrence, which body, muscle, movement you need to, to come into your asana properly. This way you don't get hurt, and you go deeper into your practice. 

More than the alignment, one thing he taught me is to be soft, "have the softness quality in your practice", he would always say. I share this a lot to my students, especially the new ones who come into class thinking they want to get into a headstand the very first day of class. Of course most would not understand. What I learned is that with softness comes patience, pausing, thinking intelligently, and many more qualities that help you understand your practice, and your self more. 

In many things that we do, we need time and experience to further harness the skill. Even the most talented people will need to practice over and over again to be better at their craft. I believe that Yoga is a lifetime practice. through my teacher, and his teachers, I encourage my students to take your time, soften youself, enjoy the process, study it and having all this, allow yourself to go deeper into the stillness."

Will Tan is one of the teachers at Beyond Yoga. Lawrence will be teaching master classes at Beyond Yoga QC on Dec 12 and Beyond Yoga BHS on Dec 13. See you there!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Gift Guide for Healthy Foodie Friends & Family

My husband calls me a major foodie. I like good food and don't mind spending on it because that was the way I was raised. I grew up accompanying my mom to the market (where I fell into a dirty ditch, which explains why I do not eat red meat) and the groceries. To be honest, I think most of my money goes to food!

I have compiled a few foodie finds which I think are great Christmas gifts for your foodie friends and family ❤️

Laguna Kitchen local artisanal products: Sweet calamansi with nata de coco, Pickles: ubod, ampalaya, onion and kangkong. Each jar is 250php. For orders, text 0917-5292933

Homemade Fine Spreads from Dibs available in vegetarian-friendly natural flavors Onion and Chive  or Roasted Garlic 240php per pack. Follow them on IG @dibsspreads

Serendipity Gluten-Free Breads and Desserts, some are dairy free too! Follow them on IG @serendipity.dips

Toby's Apiary unprocessed unheated honey from Backyard Farms 300php per jar. Follow them on IG @backyardfarmsph

Take Root Kale Chips 230php per pack
and Bliss Balls 120php per pack available at The Flow Shop IG @flowsurfyogasamba

First Harvest Salted Coco Caramel, Peanut Crunch and Peanut Spread sweetened with Honey trio pack 459php order through their website

And last but not the least, Dehydrated Banana Fruit Chews from Casa Natura's Kitchen at 200php per pack, another pack will be given to a street kid in need of good nutrition. To order, SMS 0917-8386261.

There ya go! Happy munching!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

8 Reasons Why You Should Go To The Artis-Artisan Fair This Sunday

Previously on this blog was the Handmade Soap Exhibit and Tea Party feature which many of you missed and so here is another chance to attend a very special event, an Artisan Fair in Antipolo. I've listed 8 reasons why you should GO!

#1 Revel in nature's charm. 
Taking the trek to Antipolo is worth it because you will get to breathe fresh air and have green views not common to the city of Manila anymore. The fair venue itself is the home of artisan builder, Vitty Gutierrez. According to his bio in his website, he likes to create homes that enhance the humanity and souls of those who see, visit and live in them. 

The BeeHouse in Antipolo by Vitty Gutierrez
"A home is not just a box that shelters us from the harsh environment, but a structure that creates excitement, allows us to experience and protects our physical and emotional being."

#2 Shop with a cause.
Emma Gutierrez handpainted these 2015 calendars available for sale this weekend. Her project will fund the building of a classroom for the affected Yolanda children. Read more about it on her blog here.

#3 Eat "Homebaked Treats by Chari"
You'll have to agree with me on this. There is nothing more yummy than homemade baked goods. Grab a cake or some other pastries and share with your family!

#4 Learn from the creators themselves.
Live demos all throughout the day with the handmade sellers themselves. Make sure to register with Marie!

Floral artwork by watercolor artist Arlene Sy

#5 Support Local Talent
Let's support homegrown artists by purchasing gifts that promote Filipino ingenuity.

Honeycomb Comics by husband and wife team, Lorra and Elbert

#6 These bags by ALF Scandinavian Novelties.
Frequent travelers will appreciate these bags. Definitely on my Christmas wishlist for myself and for my kids!

#7 Home Items by Luona

#8 Free outdoor Yoga by ME!

Please remember to register with Marie at 0917-6229795 and bring your own yoga mats!

Please see the map for directions. See you this Sunday! 

Monday, December 01, 2014

DIY Advent Calendar

It is December 2 and the countdown begins to Christmas! I should've posted this yesterday but I had just gotten back from a FLOW retreat so I had a pile of home errands to attend to. Oh, and let's not forget REST. We all need time to breathe and just be. In the midst of this season's chaotic buzz, this is what we need.

DIY Advent Calendar
A few days ago, I completed this personalized advent calendar using whatever I had at home. I had so much envelopes sitting on my desk 'for future re-use' and here is the perfect project for its rebirth! My son is learning numbers right now so it would be good to get to know each one as we countdown to one of his favorite holidays. I want him to associate this Advent season with special memories so inside each envelope is a piece of paper with activities for the family. Last night it said:

"Read the 1st story in "Light of the Lantern" while holding hands."

I patterned the Advent calendar to look like a tree and placed a gold star above which my son brought home from school one day. All materials were repurposed which I love because everything has a story. The door to the right side was painted black which I used as a blackboard for this week's advent verse. (I am supposed to light the first candle of the advent wreath which I have yet to get my hands on.)

The first Light of Advent It is the Light of stones:
The Light that shines in seashells In crystals and our bones.

I find it therapeutic to do crafts, even if it does not compare to what I see on Pinterest. What makes it special is - it was made by my hands so the energy is personal and that is what my kids appreciate.

Try making your own advent calendar using things that are in your home. Please share ideas as well!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hillside Cafe + Juice Bar

Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar opened a week ago close to my son's Waldorf school and Beyond Yoga QC where I teach Yin Yoga every Wednesdays and Thursdays. Yay for another healthy place to eat and hang out! 

If you haven't heard of Cedar Hills on Mother Ignacia Street yet, you must pay this cool compound a visit. The cafe is tucked in lush greens which is quite pleasing to the eye!

We scheduled a FLOW meeting there to show our support to Noelle who is part owner of this fab new establishment. Denise and I navigated towards the juice bar (maybe the energy is strongest towards the freshest ingredients?) and got ourselves the BEET IT and CREAMY GREEN juices before ordering our meals. It's best to drink freshly pressed juice on an empty stomach for optimal absorption of nutrients. 

We wanted their tomato soup but it wasn't available so pumpkin soup it is! I love edible art. 

Noelle wanted us to try the Lentil Malunggay Hummus (175php). The crackers were light and crunchy and the dip is so healthy and filling. I highly recommend Malunggay to nursing mothers so if you're pregnant or nursing you MUST order this, ok?

We just had to request for a vegetarian pizza so we asked the kitchen to make a Four Cheese Pizza with Arugula (195php) which is not on the menu but yes you can order it, too! They make their own pizza crust, by the way. No MSG in this pizza. Yahoo!

Pasta-free Eggplant Parmigiana (195php) just layers of eggplant with cheese and tomato sauce & herbs. So, I suppose this is gluten-free for those of you following a GF diet!

Here's their menu for you to choose healthy eats from next time you're in the area!

I wasn't able to take a photo of the Chicken Tacos (165php) I ordered but make sure to try their chicken dishes because Backyard Farms supply the pasture raised, hormone free and antibiotic free chickens. I've stopped eating commercially grown chicken until Backyard Farms came along because I want to eat only clean good food for me and my family.

See you there one of these days! 

Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar
Cedar Hilla Garden Center
57 Mother Ignacia St. QC

Follow them on IG @hillsidecafeph

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!


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