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7.30.2017

Foodie Goodie | Sulbing Cafe.

Nothing can be as refreshing as a shaved ice dessert amidst the summer heat. And when it comes to shaved ice desserts, you'll find a variety of them in Asia. There's halo halo in the Philippines, cendol in Singapore, kakigori in Japan (though I have yet to try the authentic Japanese version myself), and bingsu in South Korea.

Patbingsu (팥빙수) is a popular Korean dessert which literally means 'red beans shaved ice'. That being said, this dessert is made with shaved ice, red beans, condensed milk, fruit syrup, and other sweet toppings such as chopped fruit. While the original version of this dessert was extremely simple - just broken bits of ice with sweetened red bean porridge - many varieties are now available, most of which have been popularized by the Korean dessert cafe chain Sulbing.
The boys at Sulbing!
The brainchild of Jeon Song Hee, an enthusiastic Korean woman who majored in food and nutrition in college, Sulbing originated in Busan, with its first store opening in 2013. Within a year, Sulbing has expanded enormously and now has 490 franchise outlets all over South Korea. With its extreme popularity, you're bound to come across an outlet or two when you go out and about in downtown Seoul.
Sulbing in Myeongdong.
Best sellers!
The boys and I visited the Sulbing Cafe in Myeongdong. I reckon there are three Sulbing Cafes in the area, but the branch that we visited is the one right above the Nature Republic store.
Yue busy with Pokemon Go, lol.
The store was spacious and well-lighted, with a cozy ambiance to boot. The boys and I did not have a hard time getting seats as the place was not too crowded when we arrived.
Sulbing menu.
The poster boy of Sulbing, Lim Siwan. :)
Sulbing's menu offers a plethora of bingsu flavors - from the classic Sweet Red Bean to the more decadent Tiramisu Sulbing. Aside from bingsu, Sulbing also has toast, pastries, coffee, and lemonade on their menu. Some branches also serve traditional Korean tea and traditional Korean snacks such as tteokbokki, red bean bun, and grilled sweet potatoes.
Injeolmi Sulbing + Churros.
The husband was a bit overwhelmed with the bingsu choices, so he let me decide which flavor to get. I ordered the best seller Injeolmi Sulbing (7000 won), which was big enough for all three of us to share. Yue saw Churros on the menu, so I got him a Churros set (6500 won) which includes a glass of what they call 'Real Fresh Lemonade'. 
That's the lemonade at the far right hand corner. 
The Injeolmi Sulbing, as you can see, is topped with crunchy sliced almonds, soybean powder, and injeolmi, a variety of Korean rice cake. The injeolmi has a soft and chewy texture like mochi, which I absolutely love. The boys enjoyed this bingsu as much as I did - it's not cloyingly sweet, and the shaved ice with condensed milk complemented the soybean powder quite well.
Injeolmi is love! :)
The Churros were okay, though they're really nothing out of the ordinary. The Lemonade, on the other hand, was quite good. You'll know from the taste that they used nothing but freshly-squeezed lemons.
Bingsu date, success! :)
I have tried a few bingsu brands here in the Philippines, and I thought they were all quite good. Until I visited Sulbing, that is. They all now pale in comparison to the bingsu that Sulbing serves, at least in my opinion.


Sulbing Cafe - Myeongdong
20 Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
+82 2 3401 7900

7.23.2017

Teatox Made Fun with Bayani Brew!

Whenever I visit the Human Heart Nature store in my area, I make it a point to buy a bottle or two (sometimes even more) of our all-time favorite Bayani Brew. My son loves this tea drink just as much, even saying that he prefers this over the usual powdered tea mixes. And that's a good thing because Bayani Brew is brewed from all-natural, proudly homegrown, pesticide-free crops.

However, Yue and I are limited to just one flavor - the classic Lemongrass Pandan, which is the only flavor available at Human Heart Nature Laguna. Thankfully, the Brew Crew granted Yue's wish to try the 'pink and yellow Bayani Brew' by sending us this gift pack which contained all three flavors of their teatox line.
Bayani Brew is love!
Priced 60% less than popular cleansing juices, Bayani Brew's detox teas - otherwise known as 'teatox' - helps flush out the toxins that accumulate in the body without the laxative effect. Brewed from organically grown greens, these teas don't just cleanse but also nourish the body with vitamins and minerals.

Staying true to its local farming roots, the new Bayani Brew variants draw inspiration from the healthy 'tsaa' (tea) recipes found all over the country. The brand uses primarily climate-resilient and perennially-grown crops such as lemongrass (tanglad), sweet potato tops (talbos ng kamote) and pandan. 

One serving of the classic Lemongrass Pandan Tea is enough to fulfill one's daily Vitamin C requirement. Lemongrass and pandan are traditionally used to cleanse the kidneys.
Lemongrass Pandan.
Shelf life, 2.5 months.
Meanwhile, the Sweet Potato Leaf tea isn't just delicious, it also helps lower blood sugar levels. Brewed with lemongrass and calamansi, each bottle contains more than 1/3 of one's daily iron requirement.
Sweet Potato Leaf.
Shelf life, 2 months.
Finally, there's the Moringa Dalandan Tea, currently my new favorite flavor in Bayani Brew's teatox line. It contains high doses of Vitamin C, calcium, and iron, and can help flush out toxins that accumulate in the liver over time.
Moringa Dalandan.
Shelf life, 1 month.
Bayani Brew's farm fresh tea drinks are organically farmed, low in calories, accessible, and now have longer shelf-life. The brand also promises to be 'sustainable from farm to bottle'. No pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used in farms, and crops are sourced at above-market prices. In addition, the bottles are made with eco-friendly materials. And by advocating the use of local ingredients, Bayani Brew hopes to help lift Filipino farmers and agricultural workers out of poverty.

Bayani Brew can be purchased at all Bo's Coffee and Human Nature branches nationwide. You can also get your Bayani Brew fix at major supermarkets and convenience stores such as Robinson's, Rustan's, Landers, and FamilyMart.

For more information about Bayani Brew, visit their official website.

7.22.2017

Foodie Goodie | Eat, Drink, and Crave Healthy!

Constant food cravings are normal during the early stages of pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my son, my food cravings varied from the 'normal' ones such as chicken cordon bleu, tamarind candies, and siomai drizzled with lots of calamansi; to the more 'outlandish' food combinations such as green mangoes and mayonnaise, and carbonara with salted egg. Crazy, right?

Occasionally, I would crave for junk food like potato chips and the like. However, I do not want to risk my then-unborn baby's health just so I could satisfy my desire for overly salty, fatty, unhealthy food.

Fast-forward to 2017. If I were pregnant now and craving for junk food, I'd probably grab a bag of Crave Healthy and eat to my heart's desires.
Crave Healthy!


Crave Healthy is the first snack product in the Philippines that is specifically designed for the pregnant woman by doctors and nutritionists.

It’s nutritious because it contains essential nutrients – Folic Acid, Iron, and Calcium that are critical for both the mom and her growing baby. It also has reduced salt and just the right amount of calories that give the pregnant woman that extra energy she needs daily.

It’s delicious because it tastes just like any regular snack. Crave Healthy is currently available in Sweet Corn flavor and does not have any aftertaste of nutrient fortifications. It helps support the nutritional needs of pregnant women and their developing fetus. A healthy way to satisfy hunger and food cravings of pregnant women!

A pack of Crave is worth Php 25.00 at 30 grams each. It’s available online at www.cravehealthysnacks.com, select Med Express branches, and select Robinsons Supermarket outlets.

Similarly, there's also a milk product especially formulated for women.
Women like us, who are always on the go, seek to strike a balance between work, household duties, and personal time to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. That is why we need to stay fit and attractive, to look good and feel good whenever you can. We have unique needs that only us women would truly understand.

Introducing Athena, the milk especially formulated to meet our special nutritional needs.
Athena - milk for women.

It is high in calcium, which is essential for optimum bone health. It is also a source of Vitamins D and K, Magnesium and Phosphorus – nutrients to help maintain strong bones. However, it is low in fat so you can enjoy this beverage without the risk of high caloric intake.

In addition, this milk is also a great source of anti-oxidants such as Vitamins A & E and Zinc to help maintain healthy skin and promote optimum immune function.
Choco flavor.
Athena comes in two flavors – Milk (180 grams – Php 130.00; 400 grams – Php 273.00) and Choco (180 grams – Php 130.00). It’s available online at www.athena.com.ph and in-store at Mercury Drugstore, Watsons, and Southstar.


7.21.2017

For Your Next Adventure - the United Home Travel Kit.

We all have different preferences when it comes to travel.

Some like to go on beach trips with their buddies, while some love to go hiking and exploring the great outdoors. Some prefer to go on laid-back road trips done on a whim, while others (especially the OC ones like me) would want their trips well-planned, with itineraries carefully thought of.

Whether it's a long-haul flight, a short staycation, or a brief weekend adventure, we all want our travels to be memorable, enjoyable, and free from sickness.

United Home has a line of health and wellness for all of our travel needs!
United Home Ceetab, Php 1.75 per tablet.
United Home Ceetab (Ascorbic Acid) helps promote immunity against sickness.

United Home Supracid, Php 0.75 per tablet.
United Home Supracid (Sodium Bicarbonate) - provides relief from hyperacidity.
United Home Dizitab, Php 9.50 per tablet.
United Home Dizitab for kids.
United Home Dizitab (Meclizine HCL) gives relief from dizziness and motion sickness.
United Home Lormide, Php 8.00 per tablet.
United Home Lormide (Loperamide) gives relief from diarrhea or LBM.

On your next adventure, be sure to bring these United Home items with you! You'll never have to worry about bumpy rides or long haul flights or bingeing too much with this United Home travel kit. :)


7.17.2017

Say Sayonara to Scars with Clearascar!

Advances in technology have thankfully made it possible for scars to be removed with little to no trace. However, the best scar treatments available could be prohibitively expensive and would require a visit to a surgical clinic.

Now here's a more affordable and more convenient alternative to costly surgical procedures. It's called Clearascar - a scar solution in a tube!
Clearascar Scar Gel.
Made with 100% silicone, this product has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of scars in as fast as 2 weeks. It can lighten, flatten, and soften mature (old) and immature (new) scars, and can improve the appearance of all types of scars most especially the elevated scars such as Hypertrophic scars and Keloids.

Clearascar is currently the only 100% silicone-containing scar solution in the market. Silicone is considered the first line of therapy for scar management as recommended by medical practitioners. It is proven safe and effective, non-toxic and easy to use, with no side effects.

Clearascar comes in two sizes: 6g tube, priced at Php 418.95, and 15g tube priced at Php 761.20. This product is available at all leading drugstores nationwide such as Mercury Drugstore, Watsons, and South Star Drug, and can also be purchased online through this link: https://shop.clickhealth.com.ph/index.php/clearascar/


7.16.2017

Seoul Searching | Children's Day at Lotte World Mall.

Children's Day may have long been over, but this will always be Yue's favorite Korean holiday. After all, he has been part of this occasion for two years running.

In Korea and Japan, Children's Day is celebrated every 5th of May. Parents often give presents to their children, as well as spend quality time with them. More often than not, the children are taken on excursions to zoos, museums, parks, and other venues with kid-friendly entertainment.

Last year, I took Yue to Seoul Forest, where he fed deer by hand, went bird-watching, and enjoyed the beauty of nature as we strolled around. This year, we chose to go to the Lotte World Mall because we heard there'd be lots of fun activities on Children's Day. And true enough, there was already a great buzz happening when we arrived at the place. Kids were crowding around the mascots that made a surprise appearance at the Lotte Department Store!
Miniso mascot, and the Miniso pop-up store at the first floor.
Dokkaebi!
Snorkmaiden!
Playful Moomintroll!
The house-cleaning hamster, Ebichu!
More Children's Day photos after the jump!

7.11.2017

The Top 5 Benefits of Co-sleeping with your Kids.

Kids and sleep go hand in hand, which is a good thing because sleep is very important. However, parents need just as much sleep but the question has always been, should you or should you not sleep with your kids. There are people who would never allow it because they tend to think that the kids will become clingy and dependent but there are those who prefer to sleep with their kids every night.

What most people believe is that co-sleeping affects the child psychologically but study show that it does not affect cognitive or behavioral development in kids negatively. As a matter of fact, co-sleeping has numerous benefits and affects the children positively in the long run.
Co-sleeping, why not? 
Ease of breastfeeding
Co sleeping with the kids while they are young allows you to breastfeed without having to leave the bed. The child does not even have to sleep in the same bed as you because you can use one of the best rocking bassinets as a co sleeper. Mothers who sleep next to their babies are more attuned to their babies as they are attuned to their mothers as well. The mother will react to the baby stirring and feed them before they start crying.

Kids get enough care giving and everyone gets enough sleep
When co sleeping, the mother does not allow the child to cry since being close allows them to feed the baby sooner. When the baby does not cry then nobody has to get up and everyone in the home gets enough rest through the night.

Co sleeping babies get a lot more attention and protective care than those who sleep separately. As a matter of fact, parents who co sleeps exhibit protective behaviors like cuddling, stroking more adjusting the blanket at least five times more.

Higher self esteem
Study has shown that boys who co-slept with the mothers between their births to five years have higher self-esteem and experience less anxiety and guilt. For girls, co sleeping is associated with comfort about physical contact and affection when they grow up. Co sleeping promotes intimacy, confidence and self-esteem.

Positive behavior
A study shows that children who never co slept with their parents are harder to control, throw more tantrums and are less happy in general. These children also experience more fear than those who co-sleep with their parents all night.

Safety advantage
Co sleeping had safety benefits in the sense that kids do not fall in deep sleep that can cause life threatening apneas of breathing pauses. When kids sleep with their parents, smelling their mothers close or hearing them snore helps them, to sleep lighter.

Conclusion
Study has shown that co sleeping exhibits a feeling of satisfaction in life. Kids who sleep with their parents also know that they have nothing to be afraid of in the bedroom and once they grow old enough to sleep on their own, they are more positive and feel more secure about sleep time.


7.09.2017

Sneak Peek | The Face Shop x Marvel Collection.

Heads up, comic geeks! And beauty junkies, too!
The Face Shop has just launched their summer collection, and this has got to be the fiercest, most bad-a** collaboration collection in the K-Beauty market just yet!

From the lovely Disney princesses to the cute and colorful Trolls, The Face Shop now joins forces with comic book giant Marvel to bring us The Face Shop x Marvel Collection!
The Face Shop x Marvel Collection.
Available for a limited time only, this recently-launched collection features an array of eyeshadows, eyeliners, mascaras, lipsticks, and nail polishes. Also included is a Captain America-inspired cushion, and a complete skin care line for men. 

View the entire collection after the jump!

7.06.2017

Spotlight | The Cellin Facial Peeling Essence.

For years, I had been a loyal user of Cure Natural Aqua Gel - one of Japan's most popular skincare products. It's a gommage exfoliator made of 90% hydrogen water, and a cult favorite product in Japan. Exfoliating at least once or twice a week has always been a part of my exhaustive skincare routine, and Cure had always been my go-to brand.

It wasn't until my most recent trip to South Korea when I discovered a cheaper alternative to the Cure Natural Aqua Gel that's equally, if not more potent.
The Cellin Facial Peeling Essence.
Enter The Ceelin Facial Peeling Essence, from the same company that manufactures and distributes the Essence Cushion and Honey Soap which I have previously raved about in this blog. It's a cleansing agent that sloughs away dead skin and dislodges sebum from the pores without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
It sloughs away dead skin cells, hence the term 'Peeling'.
It's made with fig extract, which is rich in nutrients such as vitamins B and C, phosphorus, and potassium - all essential for boosting and rejuvenating the skin's health. Figs also contain active enzymes which deeply penetrates into the skin to remove layers of dead skin cells and clear sebum-clogged pores.
The tube has an English translation of the product information + usage directions.
Same goes for the back of the box.
The Cellin Facial Peeling Essence also contains natural plant ingredients such as Ulmus davidiana root extract which has anti-inflammatory and photoprotective properties; Centella asiatica which is rich in amino acids and helps improve skin elasticity; Ulmus rubra (slippery elm) extract which eliminates free radicals from the skin; and Amaranth seed extract, known for its moisturizing and anti-aging properties as it contains the highest concentration of plant-derived squalene.
Still sealed.
To use this product, you must 1) first remove all the makeup from your face, cleanse as you normally would, and then pat your face dry. 2) Squeeze a nickel-sized amount of the Peeling Essence onto the back of your hand, then dab it on your face using your fingertips. 3) Spread the essence all over your face by massaging it onto your skin using gentle, circular motions. 4) Once the dead skin cells have come off, rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water and continue with your regular skincare routine.
Directions for use.
Now here's how the Peeling Essence looks like. It's a clear liquid with gel-like consistency and a mild floral scent.
Swatched on the back of my hand.
Massaged and spread all over the back of my hand...
And here comes the dead skin!
I love how it effectively removes dead skin cells without leaving your skin dry or turning your skin red and patchy. You don't get that mild tingling as you spread the product all over your face. Instead, you get that creamy, moisturizing feel, as if you're slathering serum on your face.
Dead skin cells near my chin area (click to zoom).
Dead skin cells on my nose and cheeks (click to zoom).
Your face becomes cleaner and brighter afterwards, and your skin feels soft and supple, especially around the cheek area. I've been using this product twice a week for over a month now, and have been loving the results so far. I also use this Peeling Essence on my elbows, and I must admit, my elbows don't look so dark anymore after continued use. :)

The Cellin Facial Peeling Essence comes in a 120 mL tube and sells for Php 880. You can purchase this online through The Cellin Cosmetics Facebook page or their Instagram profile.