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2.28.2015

Foodie Goodie | Brownie Brittle.

I reckon it was around this time last year when I first had a taste of Sheila G's Brownie Brittle. You know, those crisped up brownies that are as thin as chips. They're highly popular in the US, and became pretty famous in the Philippines, too - thanks to S&R.They don't come cheap though, as one bag costs around Php 500 each. I actually consider it a luxury to buy more than two bags since I can pay for my phone bill with that same amount, lol.

There are, however, cheaper alternatives to this tasty treat. There's the Brownie Crunch from Cream-O, which sell for Php 35 a pack, and the Brittle Brownie from Chips Delight, which sell for around the same price. And then there's this quick and easy recipe, which you can try in your kitchen. :)

Brownie Brittle

Ingredients:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg white
1/3 cup flour,
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
A few dashes of salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Procedure:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. If using parchment paper, lightly spray the surface with baking spray.
2.In a mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar and vanilla, and mix until incorporates. Add in egg white and blend well.
3. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt,  and mix for about 1 minute or until the batter is smooth.
4. Spread batter over your mat/parchment paper using a spatula. Make it thin, but not transparent. An area of about 11 x 8 will do.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, remove brittle from the oven and quickly sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips.
6. Return to the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes (total cooking time 22-25 minutes) then remove from oven and cool completely. It will crisp up as it cools. As it begins to cool, you can score or cut brownie brittle into pieces or you can simply break it apart once it is completely cool. Store in an airtight container.

As seen on Babble.

2.27.2015

5 Important Baby Safety Equipment To Go For.

Parents are busy these days and it’s next to impossible for them to be on constant surveillance on the baby. Accidents are not uncommon when you have a toddler at home as the little mind is always curious about anything around and too innocent to gauge the risks. Thus, it’s always advised to invest on some baby safety equipment to ensure proper security for your tiny one, when you cannot be around him or her.
Photo credit; Safety Matters.
1. Safety gates
Safety gates are a must have when the baby starts crawling. The tiny hands and feet are always curious to climb up & down the stairs which might lead to serious accidents. Hence, you should take care to install safety gates at both ends of thye stairs and keep them locked to prevent falling accidents.
Photo credit: Safe Home.
2. Baby monitor
This is another important safety device when you have a little one at home. The monitors alarm the parents whenever the baby wakes up crying so that they can immediately rush to the little one. There are video baby monitors which are designed to transmit live visuals of the baby that enables the parents are always aware of the activities of the little one- even when they are not in the same room. Baby Monitor 101 is one of the best resources for parents to find a lot of info about video baby monitors. Find more here: http://www.babymonitor101.com/video-baby-monitors/.
Photo credit: Girl Gone Mom.
3. Safety latches
If you don’t have bars on your windows, window latches are really important when you have a baby at home. Toddlers have this tendency to climb up to the windows and you can imagine the possible disaster when there are no bars to stop them. Safety latches on the windows would prevent a wide opening, lessening the chances of climbing out. You should also make sure to get safety latches on drawers, cupboard, fridge and oven. This will prevent access to dangerous things like scissors, knives, glass bottles and so on.

Photo credit: Safe Sound Family.
4. Smoke alarm
You should install smoke alarm at each of the floors of your home. This will help you to rescue the baby and the family as well in time, if there is a fire accident in your home.
Photo credit: Baby Safety Shop.
5. Door slam & corner protectors
Then, you must arrange for protectors for the sharp corners and doors. The corner protectors work to cover up the sharp furniture-corners & also help to prevent cases of bumped heads. On the other hand, door-slam protectors clipped over door ends prevent chances of slamming on the tiny fingers.


2.24.2015

Spotlight | Kabaya Collagen Gummy.

There is no end to this obsession with collagen supplements and collagen-infused skincare products. It's been almost a year since this craze of mine started, and I've always been on the look-out for collagen products that work.

Case in point - the Kabaya Collagen Gummy. This product is manufactured by Kabaya Foods Corporation, a popular Japanese confectionery company.
Kabaya Collagen Gummy.
Established in the 1960s, Kabaya became well-known for their candy toys - action figures and model kits that come with candies and chocolates. (Think Kinder Joy, Japanese version.) Kabaya expanded their product line through the years, and now they also manufacture cookies, biscuits, and pretzel sticks.
Kabaya contact information.
Now back to collagen. Kabaya Collagen Gummies are sold in foil pouches that weigh approximately 160 grams each. The gummies are individually-wrapped, and come in three flavors - Grape, Peach, and Lemon.
Grape, Peach, and Lemon flavors.
One gummy contains 10000 mg of collagen and hyaluronic acid. The gummies are super soft and chewable, and taste really good. They have a nice, fruity scent, too. I take one gummy a day, usually in the morning. One foil pouch is good for one month, since it contains about 30+ gummy pieces.
Kabaya Grape Collagen Gummy.
I've been taking these gummies for about six months now, and so far so good! My husband, who is usually stingy with compliments, would often tease me that my skin looks like it's been filtered in real life, haha! My friends have also noticed how my skin looks smooth and 'stress-free', and how my cheeks seem to be plumper than before. :)

The only downside to this product? It's not available in local groceries or supermarkets. I order mine from OneStephStop, the same online store where I purchased my Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil and rare-flavored Pockys. Steph sells these gummies for Php 220 per bag. Pretty affordable, right? :)

Do you take collagen supplements, too? How was your experience?


2.23.2015

Spotlight | Ever Bilena Cheek Blush.

Earlier this month, I received a box from Ever Bilena which contained some of the brand's best-selling products. I'll be featuring every single item in the package (although I have qualms about using the falsies since my eyelids seem to have an aversion for eyelash glue), starting with these Cheek Blushers.
Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Honest, Earth, and Raisin.
Here's a brief description of the product written at the back of the box.
With Ever Bilena Cheek Blush, you can brush on a gorgeous glow and achieve your ultimate beauty. It is formulated to provide the much needed sun protection as well as infused with Vitamin E, C & K to moisturize, soften, and enhance your radiance.
Product description and ingredients at the back.
I like that these blushes offer sun protection, though I wish I knew the exact measure of the sun protection factor.
Feeling the MAC vibe in the packaging? :)
Now the first thing I noticed about these blushers is their packaging. They're very similar to MAC's - black round pot, with a clear, lift-off lid. But wait, there's more!
Mirror and brush.
There's actually another compartment underneath the blush pan, which holds a small mirror and a blush brush. I'm not too keen about the latter though, as it sheds like crazy and smells a bit, well, funky. I prefer using my own blush brush, thank you very much.
A closer look at the brush.
Moving on, here's a closer look at the blushers.
Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Honest.
Honest is a warm peach, almost orange-y blush with a a matte finish. This blush is highly pigmented and has a powdery texture. And by powdery I mean fall-outs. Lots of 'em.
Honest, up close.
Fair-skinned ladies might find this shade a bit intimidating, and to be honest (pun intended) this shade really did give me a shock at first swipe. Apparently, the trick to applying this shade correctly is to use it with a light hand - just a light swirl on the blush, tap the excess, and swipe it softly across the cheeks.
Shade reference at the bottom.
Earth, on the other hand, is a lovely, warm shade of brown - the kind that gives your cheeks a natural, sun-kissed glow. This shade is nicely pigmented and quite versatile, as it can also be used as a bronzer.
Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Earth.
Unlike Honest, this shade has a light, shimmery finish and has a smooth, buttery texture. No fall-outs here!
Earth, up close.
Shade reference at the bottom.
Finally, there's Raisin, a peachy pink shade that's perfect for everyday wear. 
Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Raisin.
Raisin has a smooth, buttery consistency and has a soft, matte finish. 
Raisin, up close.
This shade is my favorite among the bunch for the following reasons: 1) the color is buildable, 2) this one suits my skin tone nicely, 3) it leaves my cheeks with a natural-looking, pinkish flush.
Shade reference at the bottom.
Here are the swatches of the three shades:
L-R: Honest, Earth, and Raisin.
L-R: Honest, Earth, and Raisin.
And yet more reasons to like the Ever Bilena Cheek Blush:
- There are 14 different shades to choose from.
- They're available everywhere! At Mercury Drug, 7-Eleven, Watson's, even at supermarkets!
- Have great staying power.
- No breakouts or allergies, safe for sensitive skin.
- They're affordable! Just Php 175 (around $4) each!
Products Used:
FACE: The Face Shop Lovely Me:EX Makeup Base in Green,
Laneige Water Base CC Cream,
Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion in Natural Beige,
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium.
EYES: Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
K-Palette Real Lasting Micro Eyeliner in Black,
Forever 21 Love & Beauty Eyeliner in Dark Brown,
Fairy Drops Volume Burst Mascara.
CHEEKS: Ever Bilena Cheek Blush in Raisin.
LIPS: SkinFood Vita Tok Lipstick in Sakura Peach.

Have you tried any of these blushers before? What's your favorite blush shade from Ever Bilena?

2.20.2015

Foodie Goodie | Rosing's Champoy.

My husband loves tamarind as much as I do. And so whenever I have the chance, I send some of his favorite tamarind candy to Korea.

Like today, for instance. His cousin flew back to Seoul this afternoon (he came home with his Korean wife for a few days and celebrated the Lunar New Year here in the Philippines), and he brought with him a few bags of my husband's favorite Rosing's Champoy.
Rosing's Champoy - Spicy and Original flavor.
 Php 150 per 450g pouch.
A product of San Pablo City, Rosing's Champoy is widely popular for its balanced zing of tartness, sweetness, and saltiness. These homemade goodies are really yummy, you'd want to eat more, and more, and more. 'Hahanap-hanapin mo ang sarap', as one friend puts it. :)
Bite-sized and seedless. :)
Named after its proprietor, Rosita Lasco, Rosing's Champoy was launched as a marginal livelihood project in 2002. Eight years later, they added the Peanut Brittle to their product line.
Rosing's Peanut Brittle.
Php 120 per 160g pouch.
And boy, oh boy, Rosing's Peanut Brittle is not like any other peanut brittle that I've tried before. The texture is quite similar to Violet Crumble - crumbly, honeycomb toffee center sans the chocolate coating. 
Rosing's Peanut Brittle.
As of 2011, Rosing's Champoy has been operating under license by the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD). Their products have also been tested by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and have undergone quality control for shelf life and nutrition facts.
Goodies from Rosing's!
Thinking of buying a bag or two? You'd be glad to know that Rosing's Champoy is available at SM Supermarkets. Or if you're in Cebu, you can buy these goodies at all Islands Pasalubong branches. Or better yet, you can order them online! :)

Rosing's Champoy
788 Macapagal St., City Subdivision, San Pablo City, Laguna
(049) 562 3004


2.18.2015

Wordless Wednesday #122 | Happy Birthday, Mum!

Mum may be miles away, but we celebrated her birthday anyway!
The kids blew the candles for her. :)



2.17.2015

Planning To Get A Baby Swing For Your Little One?

Are you planning to get a baby swing for your little one?
Well, swings are no doubt a pleasant delight for your tiny one as toddlers love to be rocked every now and then. These are excellent for fussy babies and their indoor set-up enables you to keep check on your little as you are busy minding the domestic chores. Moreover, baby swings are a great relief for the parents enabling them to go along with their usual tasks, with the assurance of happy babies. The contemporary baby gear market features a wide range of swings ranging from the basic models to no-frills ones to full-loaded entertainment pieces. Here are some tips to follow as you proceed to buy a baby swing.

Photo credit: Disney Baby.
Search around
You must make a comparative study on 5-6 potential baby swings from different brands in the market. Follow the customer testimonials and expert reviews on the products. Your chosen brand should be the most reputed of the lot with rave reviews on the selected swing. Make sure the swing carries the JPMA seal assuring a safe product.

Portable options
It’s always advised to go for portable baby swings. These are lightweight and you can easily shift them in whichever room you wish to- so that your child is always before you. Moreover, the portable options are great when you are planning a trip with the little one. Portable baby swings are the most popular models for most parents. Read more at http://www.evababygear.com/baby-swings/.

Safety harness
The swing should be guarded by safety harness so that there is no chance of slipping down from the seat. The best ones carry 5-point harness with over-the-shoulder straps. Speed Your chosen baby swing should come up with a versatile range of swing speed options so that you can easily choose a one as per the moods and needs of the baby. The most advanced options in the market offer up till 8 speed options.

Photo credit: People UK.
Sturdy swing
This is one of the most significant points to check out when you are opting for a baby swing. The swing you are taking to should be backed by a sturdy wide frame & should be reasonably low to ground- so that it does not get tipped when the toddler leans on sides. Moreover, sturdy frames also ensure greater durability.

Comfy seat
The swing must have comfortable cushioned, soft and far reclining seat

Extras
Your little one would be duly impressed if the new swing comes with extras such as toy bars or trays or music and light displays.


2.16.2015

Pucker Up! | SkinFood Vita Tok Lipstick.

Just when I thought I've gone through all of the lipsticks in my collection (and by that I've used more than twice or thrice), I unearthed a few more new and unopened tubes waiting to be used. Among them is this Vita Tok Lipstick from SkinFood.

My husband bought this for me about a year ago (or was that a year and a half ago?) and it somehow got relegated to the bottom of my makeup bin. Ah, me and my failing memory, haha!
SkinFood Vita Tok Lipstick.
"Create water color lips with these shiny and bright water colors that burst vitality! Vita Tok Lipstick adds vibrant color and shine for kissable lips." So goes the product description written on the packaging.
Product description.
Enriched with vitamins found in fruits plus amino acid derivatives, the SkinFood Vita Tok Lipstick keeps your lips hydrated and moisturized and leaves it with a glossy, watery shine.
SkinFood logo on the top of the cap.
Color code at the base of the bullet.
There are sixteen different shades in the Vita Tok Lipstick line. The one I have is PK03, otherwise known as 'Sakura Peach'. 
PK03 Sakura Peach.
I think it's the 'sakura' that convinced my husband to get this shade. He knows I have a penchant for cherry blossoms and plum blossoms (think Iljimae), and with that in mind, thought this shade was a good choice. This lipstick retails for 8000 Korean won (around Php 350 or $7) each, by the way. 
Sakura Peach up close.
Big virtual hug to my husband for picking a lovely shade, albeit more pink than peach. It's actually a light, warm-toned pink with just a hint of coral to it. Not sure if this applies to all of the shades in the Vita Tok Lipstick line, but this particular shade has teeny tiny silver shimmers in it. They're pretty much invisible when worn on the lips, though.
Swatched twice. Because the color won't show with just one swipe.
Swatched thrice. Color finally popped!
Swatch it on the back of your hand and you get a milky shade of pink. The color is a bit sheer, so you have to swipe it at least three times for the color to show.
Sakura Peach when worn.
Nonetheless, I love this lipstick!
It's the perfect shade of pink for the summer, which is but a month or two away here in the tropics. Also, I love its mild, fruity scent, the color pay-off, and how this lipstick glides on my lips like a dream. Makes me regret that I didn't use this product sooner, haha!
Products Used:
FACE: Laneige Water Base CC Cream,
Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion in Natural Beige,
Benefit Erase Paste in Medium.
EYES: Ever Bilena Eyebrow Pencil in Brown,
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner Micro,
Forever 21 Love & Beauty Eyeliner in Dark Brown,
Fairy Drops Volume Burst Mascara.
CHEEKS: Tony Moly Cristal Blusher in Pleasure Peach.
LIPS: SkinFood Vita Tok Lipstick in PK03 Sakura Peach.

Have you tried this SkinFood lipstick? What's your favorite lipstick for spring or summer? :)