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10.18.2020

Cooking with my Air Fryer | Cheese Muffins Recipe.

I've been wanting to try to make my own cheese muffins for the longest time. In fact, I've bought most of the ingredients for it on my last grocery run (which was like, three weeks ago). However, I had qualms about baking it without a mixer, thinking that it would be too much of a pain to mix the ingredients with just a spatula and a wire whisk.

Thankfully, I chanced upon a Hanabishi Hand Mixer yesterday, while I was window shopping at the department store. I really had no plans of buying anything inside the department store because the main purpose of my trip to the mall was to pay bills and buy food stuff. I ended up buying clothes for the kids (my son, my niece and nephew), underwear for myself (because they were on sale), some gardening tools, plus the hand mixer. Lol.

Today, I tried making the Cheese Muffins and it was a success! Good thing I decided to buy this hand mixer. My arms would probably be sore from mixing had I used just the spatula and the wire whisk because the mixture is thick! Anyways, here is the recipe. Please use an electric mixer should you wish to try this. :)


Cheese Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup refined sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 can (300 mL) condensed milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup Quickmelt cheese, grated

Procedure:
1. Preheat the airfryer to 190° Celsius.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. 
3. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugar using an electric mixer.
4. Beat the eggs in the mixture, one at a time.
5. Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract and mix again.
6. Pour half of the dry ingredients in the mixture. Mix at low speed.
7. Add the remaining half of the dry ingredients, again mixing at low speed.
8. Add the cheese and fold in to combine. 
9. Pour the batter into paper lined muffin pan cups. Top with more grated cheese if desired. 
10. Set your air fryer to Bake mode and bake at 170°C for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
11. Optional: Switch to Convection Broil for 3 to 5 minutes if you want the muffin tops to look more brown. (Kindly make adjustments to the temperature settings if you're cooking with a conventional oven.)


10.16.2020

#SustainAbilidad: Quarantine Waste Management.

There’s no denying that Filipino’s lifestyle, habits and consumption patterns have radically changed after six months into the community quarantine due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As we are compelled to stay at home, we have relied more on deliveries for food, online shopping, and other essentials – posing additional environmental challenges because of our increased municipal solid waste (MSW) and hazardous waste. 

Even before the pandemic, the Philippines has been navigating through overwhelming volume of waste. According to a 2015 report by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, the Philippines ranks third among the world’s highest contributors to the global marine plastic pollution problem.

But were you aware that household waste contribute to the biggest chunk of solid wastes in the country? The National Solid Waste Management Status Report 2008 – 2014 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed that residential waste constitutes the bulk of MSW (56.7 percent), followed by commercial sources and public or private markets (27.1 percent). 

Now, the biggest challenge is for us to break old habits and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Through its business activities, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) has always been committed in engaging in initiatives that solve social issues which include global sustainability. With environment educational campaign dubbed as #SustainAbilidad, APC aims to aid consumers to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily activities. This campaign includes social media promotions featuring Super Suzy and her kid, the main characters representing ordinary people that champion global sustainability to teach and inspire young and old members of their family and community to bring out their “SustainAbilidad”.

Here are a few reminders from Super Suzy on managing our household waste:

Some tips from Super Suzy! Click to enlarge.

While we may have taken a number of steps backwards because of the pandemic, it’s not too late for every household to start sustainable practices. Segregating at source is a good start for every household as proper waste management is crucial not just for the environment but also for mitigating infectious disease transmission. Visit facebook.com/CookmunitybyAjinomotoPH/ to learn more about #SustainAbilidad


The Ajinomoto Group is a global company with specialties in the business of food and amino acids, guided by our leading-edge bioscience and fine chemical technologies. Based on the corporate message “Eat Well, Live Well.”, we have been scientifically pursuing the possibilities of amino acids in supporting the healthy lives of people all around the world. We aim for future growth and continuous contribution to greater wellness by creating value through sustainable and innovative solutions for communities and society.

The Ajinomoto Group has offices in 35 countries and regions, and sells products in more than 130 countries and regions. In fiscal 2018, sales were 1.1274 trillion yen (10.1 billion U.S. dollars). To learn more, visit www.ajinomoto.com

10.13.2020

Royal Canin Club App | Rewards Programs, Pet Care Education, and more!

If you’re a loving pet owner stuck in quarantine, chances are you’ve resorted to various online sources to tend to your pet’s needs. All pet parents are known to go a long way for their beloved, loyal pets to ensure they get the right nutrition and care they deserve.

Leading and trusted pet care brand Royal Canin Philippines understands this unique bond between pets and their parents and celebrates this through the launch of their rewards program mobile application, Royal Canin Club. The app is an easy-to-use, system that aims to aid doting pet owners in keeping their furry babies delighted and healthy.

Now available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, the Royal Canin Club app provides pet owners with exclusive access to credible pet care information as well as Royal Canin products and exclusive promos. In line with the brand’s thrust of providing the best-tailored nutrition for pets, the app is a complementary tool for both new and loyal Royal Canin patrons who strive only for the best, loving experience for their furry friends.

The Royal Canin Club app is now available for download on iOS and Android.

As soon as one downloads the app and completes registration, Royal Canin already rewards pet owners with an awesome gift set and vouchers, whether they are loyal users or new to the brand.

Pet owners will also get to enjoy the Royal Canin e-learning tool, with informative and engaging content on maintaining pets’ wellbeing: proper diet and nutrition, digestive health, neonatal to ageing care, skin and coat care, training, and understanding pet behavior. Users also get access to exciting app features such as pet quizzes, store locators for partner establishments, and first dibs to sale and promotion announcements from Royal Canin. Through the application, Filipino pet owners will have access to an exclusive store finder feature that can connect them to the nearest pet store, veterinary clinics, and pet breeders at the utmost convenience.

The app is a product of Royal Canin’s 50 years of passion for pets’ health and wellbeing, five decades of understanding each pet’s unique needs and care that match their physical and emotional requirements.

“The Royal Canin Club app aims to be a trusted partner of pet owners who want nothing but the best for their cats and dogs. Through the app, we hope to provide guidance to discerning pet owners with accurate and relevant information about caring for their pets, all while they earn redeemable points for when they engage with the app’s activities,” says Adriann Eusebio, Royal Canin Philippines’ Country Director.
A sneak peek at the Royal Canin Club app.

The app is expected to appeal to a huge group of the public, especially with the growing number of pet ownership in the country. According to Euromonitor International, pet care in the Philippines continues to improve in performance, which can be further attributed to the increasing popularity of dogs as pets, growing sales of pet healthcare products, and a greater propensity for owners to feed dogs with packaged food.

The global pet care e-commerce market size is also expected to grow owing to the increasing usage around the world, according to a Grand View Research, Inc.’s study. Additionally, Asia Pacific is expected to witness a CAGR growth of around 10% due to rising pet adoption and the growing economy of the region.

Over the years we have committed to attending to the unique needs of dogs and cats. Our passion for pet health continues to drive us to introduce new products and innovative solutions that foster a healthier environment, all while working with the best pet shops, veterinarians, and breeders around. We look forward to the positive impact that the Royal Canin Club app will have on our beloved pets here in the country,” Eusebio remarks.

The Royal Canin Club app can be downloaded from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, free of charge. For more product news, promotions, and information on special giveaway contests, one may follow Royal Canin Philippines on its social media pages.


10.09.2020

Spotlight | Aurae Natura Diffuser Blend in Blissful Sleep.

I've always been a fan of aromatherapy - the art and science of using natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. I reckon that my penchant for aromatic materials began way back in junior high school, when my then-boyfriend would gift me with scented candles and reed diffusers. These days, I've leveled up with essential oils and oil blends because 'hashtag adulting'. Haha!

I've been trying out several brands of essential oils lately, experimenting with different essential oil blends even. This led to my discovery of Aurae Natura, a social enterprise brand that helps to uplift the lives of the poor and supports efforts that contribute to the spiritual growth of women rescued from sex trade trafficking. Founded in the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan, Aurae Natura offers a variety of aromatherapy products - from diffusers to essential oil blends made with 100% pure and natural essential oils, and even inhaler blends. 

Aurae Natura recently launched their newest essential oil blend, and I had the chance to get first dibs on it, thanks to my Human Heart Nature Laguna family. There may have been no face-to-face event-slash-product launch because of this pandemic, but my HN Laguna family made sure that I get to try their new releases, just like in the good, 'old normal' days.

Aurae Natura Essential Oil Diffuser Blend in Blissful Sleep.

Aurae Natura's newest product is Blissful Sleep, a blend of pure essential oils carefully selected to support a calm and relaxed mind to ease yourself to sleep. It's made from all-natural, locally-manufactured ingredients, all of which are known to support deep and restorative sleep: 

A powerhouse blend of all-natural ingredients.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - one of the most popular and most versatile essential oils; promotes relaxation and eases anxiety
  • Ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora) - has a woody and floral scent that helps detoxify the body and acts as a natural disinfectant
  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) - its tarty, citrusy scent elevates mood and alleviates stress 
  • Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) - a light, fruity scent that helps calm the mind and body
  • Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) - a soft, flowery fragrance that soothes stress, tension, and sleeplessness
To use, simply add 8-10 drops of this blend for every 200 mL of water in your diffuser. I like taking a whiff from the bottle before I start diffusing. It's like tasting an appetizer before enjoying the main course. 
Ending the day with some Blissful Sleep.

Blissful Sleep has been my go-to nighttime blend lately. Diffusing it is like a treat to myself after a hard day of juggling household chores, writing gigs, and my son's (online) school activities. Now I can't wait to try the other Aurea Natura essential oil blends. I have a feeling Joyful Mornings will soon be my go-to perk-me-up blend!

Aurae Natura Diffuser Blends retail for Php 359 per 5 mL bottle and can be bought at Human Heart Nature stores, at the Human Heart Nature website, and the Aurae Natura website. 



10.05.2020

Cooking with my Air Fryer | Cappuccino Muffins Recipe.

A-and we're back to regular programming! I had been in (social media) hiatus for about a week or so and had not been baking much because of my eye problem. Halfway through September, I had been having issues with my left eye - it felt dry, the upper part of the sclera had reddish streaks, and it felt like I had something stuck in my eye most of the time. I finally decided to see my eye doctor as soon as Yue's exams were over, and I was diagnosed with corneal abrasion. I'm still under medication as of this writing, and there's still a miniscule white spot on my cornea, but my eyes feel much, much better and less sensitive to light than it did two weeks ago. 

Anyway, moving on to what this blog post is really about - the recipe. I had been baking my Cappuccino Muffins differently, using just one egg. Until I realized that two eggs are better than one, lol. But seriously, my muffins became lighter, fluffier, and definitely more moist after I started using two (room temperature) eggs. And with that, here's the recipe. Enjoy! :)


Cappuccino Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups flour 
3 tsps baking powder 
2 tsp coffee
1/2 tsp salt 
3/4 cup white sugar 
2 eggs 
1 cup milk 
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp nutmeg 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips 


Procedure: 
1. Preheat the air fryer to 190° Celsius. 
2. Stir together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, coffee, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg) in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. 
3. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture all at once into the well in the flour mixture.
4. Mix quickly and lightly until moistened. Do not overmix.
5. Lightly fold in the chocolate chips into the mixture.
6. Pour the batter into paper lined muffin pan cups. Top with more chocolate chips if desired.
7. Set your air fryer to Bake mode and bake at 170°C for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
8. Optional: Switch to Convection Broil for 3 to 5 minutes if you want the muffin tops to look more brown. (Kindly make adjustments to the temperature settings if you're cooking with a conventional oven.)


10.01.2020

Smile Train Philippines Celebrates World Smile Day®.

World Smile Day®, a day devoted to smiles and acts of kindness, will be celebrated by people all over the world on the 2nd of October. Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft organization, through its local entity, Smile Train Philippines, will be hosting an online event to raise awareness for children with clefts. Together with Smile Train ambassadors Marian Rivera, Catriona Gray, and Megan Young, the charity launches #540Today to convey and champion the 540 babies around the world who are born with a cleft every day.

The crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions all over the world, including children born with a cleft lip and/or palate. With the global lockdown pushing for cities to establish stringent rules and regulations, thousands of babies are left untreated. It is estimated that COVID-19 has forced Smile Train partners to put more than 33,000 cleft surgeries on hold this year.

“Despite the pandemic, Smile Train is keen on celebrating all of the people who have contributed to their work and help change the lives of babies born with untreated clefts in the Philippines,” said Smile Train South East Asia Director Kimmy Flaviano. “We’ve adapted various avenues and utilized technology to reach more patients and communities in the Philippines.”



The event, which will be hosted Live on the Smile Train Philippines Facebook page at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, will allow Smile Train to bring more smiles into the homes of the Filipinos. More Smile Train ambassadors such as Tim Yap, Barbie Forteza, and Paul Marney Leobrera will take part in the festivities to encourage people to raise awareness for #540Today. They all share their experiences working with Smile Train and raise awareness for access to proper medical care and financial assistance needed by children born with cleft lip and/or palate.

Smile Train’s Team Empower will also take part in the celebration by inviting everyone to Ride for Smile Train Home Edition. Ride for Smile Train Home Edition is a virtual experience that will utilize two fitness platforms, Strava and Zwift, to challenge, engage, and grow the community of Smile Makers. Moreover, Smile Train long-standing fitness partners, Beyond Yoga and Electric Studio, will be offering classes to help promote the cause. Beyond Yoga will be hosting a free yoga class on Facebook while Electric Studio will offer their Ride, Box, HIIT, Strength, and Flow classes for the benefit of Smile Train Philippines.

Smile Train acknowledges the support and collaboration of its donors, partners, and ambassadors around the world as they continue to transform the lives of patients with cleft and help improve their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. The pandemic may have posed a challenge to the charity, but it is committed to applying sustainable solutions that would be of great help to their beneficiaries.

“Smile Train has always been and will continue to remain steadfast in advocating for children with cleft and to providing free surgery and comprehensive cleft care to them. With the help of all our partners, we can truly make a difference to create more smiles,” shared Flaviano.

For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to donate, please visit smiletrain.org. To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please visit smiletrain.ph, follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines. 


9.30.2020

7-day EGGciting recipes under ₱100.

There are a number of reasons why people love eggs – it’s easy to cook, versatile, and one of the cheapest and convenient protein sources. Filipinos have especially stocked up on this pantry staple amid the height of lockdowns due to COVID-19 pandemic.

7-Day EGGCiting Recipes under Php 100!

Based on the consumption survey conducted in 2015 by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), chicken eggs ranked seventh on the “Top 30 Commonly Consumed Food Items” in the Philippines, proving that it is an indispensable ingredient in a household. While eggs are often seen as an accompaniment to our breakfast silog meals, it has many other uses from making quick meals, a thickener and binding agent, to adding flavor.

Cheesy Tamago.

Eggs are packed with nutrients that children need for healthy growth and development. It contains vitamins and minerals and all nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own, making it an ingredient that can be easily added to other food to enhance its nutritional value. It’s no wonder that it is a favorite of Filipinos as it’s not only nutritious but an inexpensive source of nutrients and easy to prepare especially for busy parents.

Pizza Omelette.

But just because eggs are an obvious choice in making healthy and delicious egg-cellent meals, it doesn’t mean that you should be limited with the usual boiled, fried, or poached. Skip the same-old ways of cooking eggs and try introducing more variety into your child’s diet. Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation has prepared a “7-Day Egg Challenge” for you that will help you learn new ways to cook eggs for your kids. You’d be surprise that even picky eaters would love the way we added other ingredients like veggies to enrich the color, texture and nutrients of the dishes. Best of all, all are under a hundred pesos for a family-size meal!

For full recipes and for more information about Ajinomoto and its products, visit www.ajinomoto.com.ph and facebook.com/CookmunitybyAjinomotoPH. Don’t forget to snap a photo of your eggciting dish and share it with us using the hashtag #AjinomotoEggcitingRecipe.


9.13.2020

Cooking with my Air Fryer | Crispy Fried Chicken (ala Max's Restaurant).

This is a recipe that I've been wanting to experiment with ever since I got my hands on my Hanabishi Air Fryer Oven. It took me quite awhile to actually try it, since chicken leg quarters were always out of stock whenever I do the groceries (which is actually like, twice a month at the most).

Luckily, I chanced upon some chicken leg quarters at SM Supermarket's Bounty Fresh section on my last grocery run. Yay! And so finally, here it is - my Crispy Fried Chicken, Max's style.


Crispy Fried Chicken (ala Max's Restaurant)

Ingredients:
4 chicken leg quarters (or 1 whole spring chicken)
4 cloves garlic, chopped (or crushed)
6 slices ginger
4 pieces bay leaf
3 Tbsps fish sauce/patis
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups water

Procedure:
1. In a large pot, mix the water, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and bay leaf. Stir, then bring to a boil.
2. Place the chicken in the pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the broth and drain using a colander. Let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes and rub with salt and pepper on all sides of the skin.
4. Set your air fryer to Air Fry mode and air fry at 190°C for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken at the 5-minute mark. 
5. Flip the chicken again at let it rest for 10 minutes.
6. Air fry the chicken again at 190°C for another 3 to 5 minutes for added crisp. You may adjust the length of time depending on how crispy you want your chicken to be.
7. Serve with fried sweet potato or french fries and tomato ketchup with Worcestershire sauce.



9.09.2020

Cooking with my Air Fryer | Triple Chocolate Muffins Recipe.

Weekends are for baking, and that's exactly what I did last weekend. Yay! I baked a few batches of muffins, enough for the not-so-little kid to snack on for the next few days. Because you all know it gets pretty crazy around the house during weekdays, with my son's online distance learning classes and all. (Please teachers, stop sending schoolwork after 4 pm!)

Anyways, I was craving for something sweet, a bit more decadent over the weekend because it's that time of the month again when I'd have erratic food cravings. Usually, I would just rush over to the mall to buy cake or doughnuts or the like to satisfy my sweet tooth. But times sure have changed and now I go by the mantra, "Why buy when you can bake", lol. 

And with that, I came up with this Triple Chocolate Muffins recipe using the cocoa powder that I got from All About Baking at SM City San Pablo. They've recently opened store here in my area, and I'm absolutely thrilled to find a place that can cater to all of my baking needs. (Not sponsored, though!)


Triple Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Dutch Premium Alkalized Cocoa Powder)
1 Tbsp baking powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips for topping
1/4 cup white chocolate chips for topping



Procedure:
1. Preheat the air fryer to 190° Celsius.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well at the center of the mixture.
3. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk the milk, egg, oil, and vanilla extract until well-combined.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
5. Lightly fold in the semisweet chocolate chips into the mixture.
6. Pour the batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Sprinkle each cup with semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
7. Set your air fryer to Bake mode and bake at 170°C for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean.

9.08.2020

How to Get Your Garden Winter Ready.

With some of us looking forward to Winter and some not, the fact remains that the seasons are changing, Summer is leaving us for a few months and we will be visited by her colder sister, Winter, at the end of the year. Preparing your gorgeous garden for the upcoming cold Winter months can be as easy as following these few steps below.

Dreamy winter in Seoul.

Borderline Perfect
Maintain your borders and trim back those hedges. Remove any dead plants, leaves or trimmings to ensure a clean and well-maintained space. Many annuals will now be done with their showing and should also be removed to neaten up your surrounding area.

Soul Soil
There has never been a better time to empty out your compost cupboard or heap. Now is the perfect time to use that well decomposed organic material and spread it all over your soil to keep it safe for Spring. This is the best time to add compost to your soil as it has time to breakdown and release all the nutrients over the next few months to make your soil ready for Spring. This will also help your garden by keeping it nutrient rich and looking good during the icy months ahead. You can then start filling up your composting areas for the next year.

Your garden can still be picture perfect even in freezing temperature.

Repair and Revive
Use this time to fix up any garden structure that may need a bit of TLC. Keep an eye on pest infestations present and deal with them accordingly. Fix up any sections of your garden swing, fence, or greenhouse that may need a little maintenance. Patch up any paint work on planters, water features or benches or find lovely new ones at Outdoor Art Pros.

Plant Protection Plan
Move any delicate and fragile plants to a more shielded and protected place for the Winter. If you have a greenhouse or a conservatory, this would be first prize. For plants or trees that cannot be relocated to a warmer environment, wrap a fleece around their trunks. Spread a thick protective layer of mulch around these plants to protect them from the bitter frosty months.

Flowers to beautify your winter garden.

Winter Friends
With the rush of family and Christmas coming up, you may not be going out into your garden as much in Winter, but the wildlife still is so do not forget to leave out feeders at different levels for different animals. Wait a while before you deadhead or trim any plants, your garden friends will thank you. These will be a much-needed source of food for them during the coldest time of the year.

Lawn Preparation
Prepare your lawn by with a spring-tine rake to remove any overgrowth, undergrowth or moss and allow your lawn to breathe clearly. Add some lawn food specially made for this period and have your lawn protected for the entire Winter season.

Snow Alert
Remain vigilant during the coldest parts of Winter, especially during snowfall periods. Dust off the snow while it is still soft and give your plants and trees the best chance of coming out of this next season in the best shape possible.


9.07.2020

Guide on SMP: How Scalp Micropigmentation Works.

There’s nothing wrong with having no hair. In fact, a lot of people look really cool without a single strand of hair, and it especially fits tall men with muscular contextures. A lot of people might want to add a little more to their appearance, that’s when SMP comes into play.

Saitama aka One Punch Man.

SMP stands for Scalp Micropigmentation, but some people know it as a hair tattoo. Simply put, this is a non-surgical procedure that focuses on providing an illusion of recently cut hair, which for completely bald people or people with bald spots might consider an incredible solution.

In some people, results are incredibly effective and provide a lot of personality to their style. It can also fix some of their bald spots and provide a sense of texture that fixes most of their worries. Overall, this procedure is taken by those who are wanting to improve their looks and cut themselves some slack about their physical appearance and how their hair/head looks.

It’s completely okay to want to change your body for the better. And being insecure about bald spots and baldness is a completely valid reason to try this out. No one but yourself should decide whether the process is worth it or not, but knowing a little more about it will help you make a decision. 

How It Works


There’s a similar procedure that focuses on providing full brows, and it’s known as Microblading. The difference is that SMP is done on the scalp and uses a different equipment: an electrical tattoo device.

The reasoning is simple: the skin of your scalp is much thicker and resistant than the skin in your eyebrows, so instead of using a blade-like material like the one used in Microblading, Micropigmentation requires a much stronger device.

And as you might have expected… It might (or might not) hurt. It all depends on several factors, like how skillful and careful the professional is or how high your pain tolerance is. Just psych yourself beforehand and expect slight pain or discomfort during the process. Get to know more about it over here and learn how the process works https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/scalp-micropigmentation#what-to-expect.

If you are planning to have this procedure done, you should research for SMP artists near your area or clinics that have this service in their list, and look for reviews. Reviews allow you to know more about the service you want to hire without spending any money.


SMP artists and clinics usually have social media accounts or websites where people can comment about their services, and you can even check the store in Google Maps for more information and reviews about them.

Once you have decided on a clinic or artist, it is best that you schedule a consultation so you can ask questions regarding the procedure to know if the process is favorable for you or your condition. Some people suffer from skin conditions that are not favorable for electrical tattoo devices

Most of the time, SMP clinics and artists will provide enough information to prepare yourself before consultation and before any of your scheduled treatments.

The most common recommendations include showering before any scheduled date and making sure your scalp is dealt with thoroughly. After a session, you won’t be able to clean your scalp or sweat, because it can ruin the ink work.

You’ll have to be prepared for 3 or 5 hours long sessions and be ready to take care of the ink work as much as possible. Just so you know, tattoos are very sensitive when they are finished, and since this procedure is also considered a type of tattoo, you’ll have to take care of it as if it was one.

The Recovery
After all sessions have been completed, you’ll have to undergo a period of recovery that usually goes for 1 month. Sweat, excessive water, pools, and steam are absolutely forbidden during this time. You should also avoid the sun as much as possible. If necessary, apply sunscreen to protect your skin and tattoo.

You’ll also have to apply a moisturizing cream to help your skin recover faster and clean the area from dirt and bacteria.

Is It Worth It?
It depends on who you are asking. This non-surgical process can cost from $300 to $1000 USD depending on where you ask, and of course, the more expensive it is, usually correlates to how skillful the artist is and how safe and trusty they’ve become as time passes by.

To decide whether it’s worth it or not, you have to consider that this procedure is known for being semi-permanent. Meaning that it lasts from 5 to 8 years depending on how well the person treats it and takes care of it. As time passes by, the colors will start to fade away, so it’ll be less noticeable along the way.

Saitama with hair?!

Possible Risks
Most of the time, the problems related to tattoos are linked to bad hygiene practices by the tattoo artists, allergic reactions, and of course, poor recovery management. If you take poor care of the wound and don’t follow the recommended steps, don’t use the right products, or don’t follow the rules provided by your professional, you’ll probably end up suffering some of the possible side-effects, with infections being the most common one.

As long as you do things right and choose an honest, serious professional, you’ll be fine. Just make sure to take proper care of your scalp! If you want to make sure you are hiring a professional that is adequate for the job, you can check reviews, but also make questions regarding past experiences, and depending on the way they answer or how many customers they’ve had, then you can make your decision. I advise you to check clinics and artists who have a portfolio in their social media or websites, so you can survey their previous works and see if they fit your needs. 


9.06.2020

Cooking with my Air Fryer | Cinnamon Sugar Muffins Recipe.

Two weeks into this Online Distance Learning thing (aka e-Learning) and it's the busiest I have been since the community quarantine started. With all the tasks that need to be done and all the assignments that my son has to turn in, it actually feels like I'm the student and the one enrolled for this school year. 

Miraculously, I somehow managed to make time for baking in between Yue's online classes and offline learning activities. I baked Cinnamon Sugar Muffins the other day and boy, oh boy, my house smelled like Christmas while I was making these babies! The scent was definitely a pick-me-upper and a nice distraction from all these busyness with schoolwork.

I'm also proud to say that I baked these muffins oh-so-perfectly on my first try, hence the early release of my recipe. Enjoy! :)


Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

Ingredients: 
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

For the cinnamon sugar sprinkle:
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
2 tablespoons washed sugar (segunda or light brown sugar)

Procedure:
1. Preheat the air fryer to 170° Celscius.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, white sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center.
Making cinnamon sugar muffins is a breeze! :)

3. In another bowl, beat the eggs and mix the milk and vegetable oil.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the center of the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix!
5. Pour the batter into paper-lined muffin cups. 

Don't forget to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the top!

6. In a small bowl, combine the 1 teaspoon cinnamon with the 2 tablespoons washed sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the tops of the batter-filled cups.
7. Set your air fryer to Bake mode and bake at 170° C for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean.


9.03.2020

Cooking with my Air Fryer | Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe.

I love, love, love muffins. So much that they're the first bread-type dessert that I tried to learn how to make and bake from scratch. I've made muffins quite a few times since I got my Hanabishi Air Fryer and of course, I've also made some rookie mistakes along the way - like overmixing the dough, burning the bottoms of the muffins, even undercooking an entire batch.

But hey, making mistakes is always part of the learning process! I've definitely learned from all these bumps and hiccups that I've encountered along the way, and now I have a lot more confidence in my baking skills. (Wow, skills! Haha!)

And with that, I'm now sharing with you my Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe.


Chocolate Chip Muffins
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
3 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Procedure:
1. Preheat the air fryer to 190° Celsius.
2. Stir together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg) in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
3. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture all at once into the well in the flour mixture.
4. Mix quickly and lightly until moistened. Do not overmix.
5. Lightly fold in the chocolate chips into the mixture.
6. Pour the batter into paper lined muffin pan cups.
7. Set your air fryer to Bake mode and bake at 170°C for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
8. Optional: Switch to Convection Broil for 3 to 5 minutes if you want the muffin tops to look more brown.
(Kindly make adjustments to the temperature settings if you're cooking with a conventional oven.)



9.01.2020

Socially Distanced Vacation Ideas.

COVID-19 threw a wrench in everyone’s travel plans. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to get your travel in without putting you or your adored ones at risk. Don’t let your vacation go astray this year by booking a private vacation, enjoying the great outdoors or venturing out on the sea.
Kleine Scheidegg, Crash Landing on You.

Private Vacation
The travel industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Trying to travel without risking exposure is a major challenge, that feels all but impossible. However, you can book spots, like North Carolina beachfront rentals, Airbnb or Vrbo and even some hotels, that offer socially distanced vacation options. These locations allow you to travel with the people in your home and enjoy time away from home. Take your family to enjoy the ocean waves, bird watch or enjoy some BBQ at a private location. Wherever you go, you can rest at ease knowing you are both safe and still being responsible.
Lake Lungern, Obwalden in Crash Landing on You.

Outdoor Adventure
If a private location is a bit out of your price range consider great outdoors. Let Mother Nature serve as a natural barrier between you and others by getting out and exploring. Consider booking an RV or packing your tent and heading to a campground near your local national park. From there, you can stay a safe 6-feet away from your fellow camping neighbors and use your car to move to avoid any unnecessary exposure. Wherever you go, be sure to stock up on food and supplies beforehand so that you can limit the amount you go into stores. This will allow you to be responsible without missing the vacation.
Landing Stage, Lake Brienz in Crash Landing on You.
Sea Fun
Finally, if you have been missing the seas, but are too anxious to book a cruise, consider a private boat charter. There is nowhere better to social distance than the great open seas. Find a boat that fits your group size, and set out to enjoy some tranquility. To help you fill your days, consider packing some fishing lines. You may be able to pull up some amazing deep-sea fish to give your vacation a delicious boost. Before you book, take the time to think about how long you will go for and what your needs will be while out on the water, you won’t want to turn back to shore before you are done. No matter where you go, be responsible, wear a mask and have an amazing time.


8.28.2020

Gun Safety Basics.

Guns can be used for a variety of activities besides self-defense, such as hunting, riflery, or skeet shooting. Whether you're new to guns or an old pro, it's important to know some basic safety rules before using your weapon. This goes beyond storing rifles in a safe or keeping your handguns in blackhawk holsters. Although these are both good practices, there are a few principles everyone with a firearm should follow at all times to keep both themselves and others safe.

Song Joong Ki in Descendants of the Sun, 2016.

Be Aware of Your Direction
Especially when someone is comfortable holding their firearm, it can be easy to feel safe with it pointed in any direction. This can be incredibly dangerous though in case the gun goes off or misfires; it could seriously injure someone. That's why the first and possibly most important rule of handling a gun is to always point the barrel down and away from others. This ensures any accidents or malfunctions won't harm anyone nearby.

Jo Jung Suk in Two Cops, 2017.

Don't Keep It Loaded
You shouldn't have your gun loaded unless you're using it. That means when you get home from a hunting trip or day at the range, you should make sure to remove all ammunition—including anything that may be in the chamber of your gun—to prevent accidents. It's much safer to show people your guns or handle them in the house when they aren't loaded and there's no risk of it accidentally firing.

Lee Joon Gi in Gunman in Joseon, 2014.

Treat Every Gun Like It's Loaded
Some people rely on their gun's safety features to tell them when it's safe to handle the weapon in a perhaps hazardous manner. This isn't good practice. You should always treat every gun as if it could go off at any moment, whether it's loaded or not and even if the safety is on. This mechanism is a fail-safe feature to help make handling easier, but should not be treated as a perfect safety solution. Along with this rule of thumb, it's wise to stay away from the trigger of a gun unless you intend to shoot it. Even if you think you've removed all the bullets and the safety is on, there is always a chance something could go wrong, so staying away from the trigger is best practice.

These are just a few of many gun safety rules, but they'll help novices learn good behaviors around firearms and remind experts accidents can still happen.


8.26.2020

Cooking with my Air Fryer | Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.

If there's one snack that this house never runs out of (aside from Fuji apples and yogurt drinks), it has got to be cookies. Whether it's inside the fridge, in the cookie jar, or somewhere in the pantry, there has got to be cookies at my house almost all the time. And now that I have learned how to bake them myself, there's no way that this house will run out of Yue's favorite snack henceforth.

I've made cookies from scratch a few times since I got my air fryer, and after a few tweaks in the ingredients and some adjustments in the temperature, I can finally say that I have nailed this thing. Here's how I made my Chocolate Chip Cookies.


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

Procedure:
1. Preheat the air fryer to 170° Celsius.
2. Heat the butter in a small skillet until about half of it is melted. Turn off the heat and continue whisking the butter until it is melted entirely. Let the butter cool for about 3-5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, mix the butter with the white and brown sugar until well-combined.
4. Stir in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.
5. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
6. Mix the dough until just combined. Do not overmix!
7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
8. Scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dough and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
9. Set your air fryer to Bake mode and bake at 170°C for 10 minutes. Switch to Convection Broil for 3-5 minutes to make the cookies look more brown. (Kindly make adjustments to the temperature settings if you're using a conventional oven.)

Choose your mix-ins! :)
Notes:
I use unsalted butter for baking. You may use salted butter if you prefer.
You may use other variants of chocolate chips. You can use dark, semisweet, white chocolate chips, or any combination of these types.
You may also use other mix-ins such as chopped peanuts, M&M's, or chopped chocolate bars.