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Spotlight | Skinny Mint TeaTox.

And just like that, we're down to the last day of August! It's September tomorrow, and the next thing we know, it's almost Christmas! Now before this day officially ends, allow me to share with you my Skinny Mint TeaTox experience.

If you're following me on Instagram, then you've probably chanced upon my Skinny Mint photos and how this product has made me into a tea convert. (Insert expressions of shock here, haha!) It's no secret that I'm a coffeeholic, consuming no less than 2 cups of coffee a day. My mornings are never complete without my favorite cup of Joe, and I just have to have a cup of coffee beside me whenever I write or work on a blog post.

But after doing the Skinny Mint TeaTox program, I now look at tea in a different light. Would you believe that I now drink tea more often than coffee? Yep, and I owe it all to my Skinny Mint teatoxing. Their teas taste really good - so good that now I consider myself a 'tea person' as well. :)
The Skinny Mint 28 Day TeaTox Program.
What's teatox, you might ask. Simply put, it is tea + detox. It’s an effective and natural way to cleanse your body by drinking tea. Teatoxing helps you to boost your metabolism, flush out toxins, reduce bloating and burn fat. It's not a diet or a meal replacement, so yeah, you eat as you normally would and you need not deprive yourself of anything. Of course, it would be best if you eat clean and healthy, but I know the feeling of not being able to say no to pizza. Or doughnuts. Haha! :)

Now when you do the Skinny Mint TeaTox program, you get to drink two different blends of tea. There's the Morning Boost which you take before or during breakfast, while the other is the Night Cleanse, which you take every other night after dinner or before you hit the sack.

I love how these tea bags are not made of paper.
The bags don't stick to each other, and they don't rip apart.
The Morning Boost contains approximately 62 mg of caffeine, which is good since I don't think I can function properly without caffeine in my system.
Morning Boost to start your day. 
What the Morning Boost is made of.
Plus, it's made with all-natural ingredients, which are formulated to complement each other, with guaranteed effects. I know that for a fact because it was quite easy for me to fend off food cravings while I was teatoxing. :)
And what you get. :)
The Night Cleanse, on the other hand, helps to flush out toxins overnight. It has a laxative effect, which is the perfect way to wash away your guilt after indulging in heavy meals (goodbye, pizza, pasta, and potatoes, haha!).
Night Cleanse before bedtime.
The ingredients.
The promise.
I love how this tea made me sleep better at night, and how it made me feel less bloated. I also love the combination of ginger root and orange leaves in this blend - very soothing to the throat, and very aromatic, too!

It's been almost three weeks since my teatox program ended, and I'm quite happy with the results. 
I lost 3 kilograms with the program, which to me is pretty good considering that I did very little exercise during that period. Also, I got sick during the second week of my teatoxing - fever, cough, and colds and I blame the erratic Philippine weather for it - so I wasn't able to drink tea for about a week. (Thus extending my supposedly 28-day program.)
Say hello to my 17-year-old Elmo mug. 
The Night Cleanse is love. :)
I'm actually looking forward to doing another round with these Skinny Mint teas. There should be a 4-6 week break between each teatox, so I guess my system would be ready towards the end of September. Gotta shed a few more pounds before the holidays, you know! :)

Now if you would like to try the Skinny Mint TeaTox Program, simply visit the Skinny Mint website to order. You can pay via Paypal or with your Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit card. The best part? It won't take an eternity to receive your order, and they ship worldwide for FREE!

Skinny Mint
US: 347-602-4551
Singapore: +65 6750 4478
United Kingdom: 020 7048 3339
Australia: (03) 9008 4282


Basic Tips for Choosing a Home in Australia.

I have recently noticed that a lot of my friends abroad have been migrating to Australia, particularly the Melbourne area. When I ask them why they chose Australia out of all the other countries to migrate to, their answers could pretty much be summed up in one sentence: Australia is a really great and beautiful country. Looking back to my previous trip to Australia, I have to say that I completely agree with them. Australia is a truly peaceful, clean, and tremendously beautiful country. I will freely admit that if I had the opportunity to do so, I would love to live there together with my small family.

In fact, I have found myself contemplating the possibility of migrating to Australia with my family! It has even come to a point where I have been looking up potential communities in Australia to move to – after all, you never know!
City Circle Tram in Melbourne, Australia.
In any case, if you happen to be looking to purchase a home in Australia (or you are just curious about Australian home buying), I want to share with you some general but highly useful home buying tips that I have gleaned from my friends, my own experiences, and the handy dandy thing called the internet. Take note that these same tips can be applied to pretty much regardless of what country you want to buy a house in.

Be informed.
The very first thing that you have to do is make sure that you are well informed of all the things involved in home buying. Unfortunately, buying a house is not at all like buying supplies from the department store – there are no returns, exchanges, or refunds. In short, buying a home is a really huge step and a really big investment, so you have to be prepared. If you can, you should definitely attend home buying seminars or at the very least, get advice from people who have actually bought houses themselves.
Photo credit:
Set a budget.
Budgeting is key here. You have to understand your financial capabilities and realize your financial shortcomings. You have to think about how you will actually buy the house and where you will get the money from: Do you have savings stashed away? Will you take out a bank loan? Is there some sort of sale or package you can utilize to your advantage? You have to think about these things carefully.

Be realistic and be flexible.
This is probably the most important tip of all. When buying a house, you will of course have a “dream house” in mind. However, unless you have millions to spare, you will have to face the fact that your “dream house” may have to wait for a couple of years and you may have to settle for a more budget-friendly home for now. You also have to think about whether you want to buy a house and lot like one of Lend Lease's house and land packages in Melbourne or if you want to buy a pre-built or even a pre-owned home. Just keep in mind that whatever you do, you have to make sure that you get a home that will make you happy but will not cause you to be buried in an avalanche of debt later on.    


No More Sick Days with Ceelin Plus!

And we're back to regular programming!

I've been away from my blog for too long, and boy, do I miss feeling the rush of adrenaline whenever I write, do a product review, or (try to) beat a deadline. My Mum came home (again) for a quick vacation (again), so I was pretty much out and about for the past two weeks. On top of that, my son had his First Quarterly Exams last week. And you know how I am (and I guess most moms are) during exam week - we study like crazy and review like there's no tomorrow. Haha!

My son was excitedly looking forward to the long weekend as we had plans to hit the beach with the rest of the family. But alas, our plans to bask in the sun and enjoy the sea were foiled thanks to Typhoon Ineng! It rained non-stop over the weekend, and we were pretty much stuck at home, much to my little man's chagrin. Well, it couldn't be helped as his health and safety is top priority, especially now that the weather is more erratic than ever.
My little man all dressed up! :)
As a mom, I would do anything and everything to protect my child. This includes giving him healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and milk. But since times are different now - with all that pollution, and the viruses that keep on evolving - these are not enough.

Times like these call for superior protection from Ceelin Plus. It has Vitamin C PLUS Zinc for Proteksyong Plus. And by that, I mean another layer of protection for my child. Vitamin C and Zinc found in Ceelin Plus can actually reduce severity and shorten bout of sickness. Imagine what it can do if it’s used every day – it can really protect the child from getting sick!
Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and son Lucho.
In addition, Ceelin Plus has an advantage over other Vitamin C and Zinc products. It has ZincPlus technology which ensures the correct levels of Vitamin C and Zinc; so, my child is assured of superior protection. It's the same kind of protection that Mommy Juday gives to her son Lucho!

And if it works for Lucho and Yue, then it'll work for your child, too! Ang batang naka-Ceelin Plus, may Proteksyong Plus! :)


Martial Arts 101.

Martial arts is a popular type of self defense that emphasizes discipline and focus. Today, it's taught primarily as a tool for physical fitness, sports, confidence and mental discipline, but it originated as a method of self defense that was taught to soldiers and used in combat.
Bruce Lee.
What is Martial Arts?
The term “martial arts” includes various types of fighting techniques that are used primarily for self defense. Martial arts originated thousands of years ago within the cultures of China, Japan and India. China is home to one of the oldest types of martial arts, called Oigong, thought to have been practiced as long as 5,000 years ago. Qigong, which means "energy cultivation," is a martial arts technique that was developed to increase the flow of energy in the body. According to Chinese philosophy, a person's life energy is responsible for strength and health throughout their lifetime.

What are the Types of Martial Arts?
Some types of martial arts are practiced without self defense weapons, while others include weapons like swords, knives and daggers. Whether armed or unarmed, the desired result of all types of martial arts is to achieve physical power over an opponent. The different types of martial arts fall into categories that include striking arts, joint lock arts and throwing arts.

Lyoto Machida, Shotokan Karate black belter.
Striking Arts
The striking arts method of martial arts is one of the oldest techniques. Striking arts techniques focus on striking the opponent in vulnerable body parts in order to defeat him. Striking arts include Karate, Tae Kwon Do and boxing. While Karate and Tae Kwon Do employ various punches and kicks to the body, boxing focuses on hitting the opponent in the upper torso using boxing gloves.

Photo credit: Aikido Auckland.
Joint Lock Arts
In joint lock arts, you must learn how to push and manipulate your opponent's joints past their normal comfort zone. This self defense technique is especially helpful when a small person is pitted against a larger person. Aikido, a disciplined type of martial arts, uses joint lock techniques, but these techniques require years of study and are extremely hard to master.

Roger Gracie, grandson of Carlos Gracie - creator of Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
Throwing Arts
Throwing arts, practiced in Judo and wrestling, focus on knocking your opponent off their feet. Hapkido and Braazilian Jiu-Jitsu use a combination of striking, joint lock and throwing arts performed with fluid movements that are meant to take an opponent quickly to the ground.


The Basics to Party Planning.

Whether it's a first, seventh, eighteenth, or even an 80th birthday party, planning for the occasion can be a huge and oftentimes daunting task. Organizing and overseeing a party can be quite a challenge, so it is important to have a checklist of all the important things you need for the event.
Photo credit: Party Decor Designing.
Date and Location
Before you can decided on anything else, you must first confirm the event date and the venue. Make sure that the birthday celebrant is available on the date that you have set, and choose a venue that fits not only your budget, but can also accommodate all the guests you plan to invite.

List down all the people you would like to invite to the party. Aside from family members, relatives, and friends, this list could include the celebrant's acquaintances from work, from church, or even online communities.

Whether it's a DIY card, online invitations, or bespoke memory mags like the ones from Lifetimes magazines, make sure that the party's date, time, and location are written on the invitations. These invites should be given at least a week before the party, so the guests have ample time to prepare for the event.
Photo credit: Vanspaperie.
Party Theme and Decorations
Choosing a theme for the party would depend mainly on the celebrant's personality, his/her hobbies, or the things that he/she likes. If she loves the beach, a nautical-themed party is a good option. If she's a dog lover, purchase plates, cups, and napkins that have cute paw prints.

When planning the menu, consider two things - the celebrant's food preferences, and the guests who will be attending the party. If it's a children's party, spaghetti, chicken, sandwiches, and sweet treats (think cupcakes, cookies, and a chocolate fountain), are a must on the party table. If it's a party for the elderly, go easy on the sweets and serve healthy dishes instead.

Party Activities
Party activities are a great way to get all the guests involved and having fun. Parlor games such as Scavenger Hunt, Funny Bones, and Musical Chairs are a perennial hit with kids. For adults, you can never go wrong with a videoke machine (and some booze on the side).

With all the advanced planning, all that's left is the party itself! Make sure you arrive at the venue at least an hour before the party starts. This will give you enough time to set everything up and welcome the guests.


Eco-friendly Tips for Your Bedroom.

Even if it’s not Earth Day, you can still make it a point to live green and eco-friendly. Your home is a great place to start when it comes to green living. Most people tend to go green in the most popular areas, such as the bathroom and the kitchen. But those aren’t the only rooms in the house that will allow you to make a difference in the world. Your bedroom is another area of your home where you can go green, so check out some of the eco-friendly tips for your bedroom.
Photo credit: Domestic Giudelines.
Green Floors
When thinking of going green for your bedroom, start at the bottom. There are plenty of green floors you can purchase that will make your home more eco-friendly. If you like hardwood, you can opt for a recycled wood product, or you can opt for something that’s already naturally friendly, such as cork. If you would prefer carpet in the bedroom, there are some eco-friendly carpets you can choose from too, such as those made with natural materials instead of harmful chemicals.

Your bed is another area where you can make an eco-friendly difference. For example, you can replace your own bedding with an eco-friendly bedding option. These products are made from natural materials instead of those with harmful materials. Plus, during the manufacturing process, these products are created in a more natural way instead of using harmful chemicals or wasting a great deal of energy to produce. Do some research on the different green bedding options that are available, and choose the option that makes the most sense for your home and your bedroom.

Painting your bedroom is a necessity to create your dream boudoir; however, if you use traditional paints, you are putting harmful VOCs and other chemicals into the air. Instead, you should opt for a natural paint. This paint doesn’t use any harmful chemicals or VOCs. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s also much better for your health too.
Photo credit: Dakota Plus.
Lighting is also a necessity in your bedroom, but if you don’t use the right bulbs, you could be wasting a significant amount of energy. If you want to make your bedroom green, then you need to replace traditional bulbs with incandescent. These bulbs use much less energy than traditional bulbs, which will not only help you reduce your own carbon footprint, but will also help you to save some money on your energy bills as well.

Window Coverings
You may not realize how much your windows and current window coverings could be hurting your energy usage. For example, if you have sheer curtains, you could be forcing your furnace or your air conditioner to work overtime. Instead, invest in some blackout shades, curtains, or other window coverings to help you keep the sun out of your room in the summer. This will keep your room nice and cool, which will also keep your air conditioner from running constantly and wasting energy.

Water-Conservation Products
If you have a bathroom in your bedroom, you should consider adding some water-conservation products to the mix to help make your bedroom entirely green. For example, a water-saving faucet will eliminate the amount of water that is wasted when you brush your teeth, wash your face, or simply wash your hands. You can also invest in a water-saving shower head too, which will reduce the amount of water you use while showering. To truly complete your water-saving capabilities, you should buy a dual flush toilet. These products give you two separate flushing options, allowing you to use less water when possible and more when necessary.