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2019 BTS Summer Package Vol. 5 (Korea Version)


Be Physically Fit | Add Tasty Keto Bars to Your Diet.

There are many types of health and each one is interconnected with the others. Good condition of one type of health promotes the condition of other types of health. On the other hand, a poor condition of one adversely affects the others.

In achieving a healthy body, the focus shouldn’t be solely on one or two types of health. All types of health should be given the utmost importance. Focusing on one and neglecting the others can be detrimental to the body. Being healthy overall should be the goal and it is only attained by taking into account all types of health.

The most commonly talked about types of being healthy are mental and physical fitness. Perhaps physical fitness is the more popular of the two but people have started to become more heedful of mental health in recent years. This is probably brought about by the rising instances of suicide in the world. There is also emotional, spiritual, and social health; such types are as important as the first two mentioned.
Donghae of Super Junior at a hotel gym.
Because mental and physical are the most discussed types of fitness, they are only the ones that people tend to consider. Consequently, emotional, spiritual, and social health is overlooked. People don’t know that taking those types of health for granted can also have an impact on their physical and mental condition.

While there are many types of health, all are equally important; this article will simply and solely focus on the physical aspect. Having a fine condition physically is very important. Being in a good physical condition allows you to carry out tasks and do whatever it is that you wish to do. But achieving an optimum physical condition is not a walk in the park as it does not only mean having no illness.

Apart from the absence of diseases, there are a lot of factors to consider before you can declare that someone is physically healthy. It is achieved through discipline, dedication, and hard work. It also requires a commitment to live a lifestyle conducive to the promotion of your well-being.
Choi Siwon.
Fit and Healthy
Being physically fit demands a lot from you. Physical fitness entails eating a balanced diet, getting the right nutrition, maintaining proper weight, doing regular exercises, being physically active, consuming a sufficient amount of fluids, and having an adequate amount of rest. Considering how hectic the lifestyles of most people are, it would seem that achieving all those is practically impossible. But with the right mind-set, your fitness goals can be realized. Visit the following link to get tips on how to be physically fit:

People nowadays have become more mindful of their weight. They have become more conscious of their figures. It’s not a bad thing though. It’s actually good news that people have become more concerned about their bodies.

More people are getting into physical fitness. This can be manifested by the increase in popularity of gyms all over the world. Making time to go to the gym is not difficult. What’s really difficult is having enough discipline to maintain a diet. Saying no to your favorite food is extremely hard.
Yunho, Donghae, and Siwon at the gym.
Ketogenic Diet
Through the years, people have gotten into many kinds of diet. One of the most popular kinds of diet at present is the Ketogenic diet or the Keto diet. The Keto diet has become so popular for people wanting to lose weight. This kind of diet is a low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet.

It aims to reduce carb consumption and increase fat. The decrease in carb intake puts the body into ketosis. During this metabolic state, the body is more efficient in transforming fats into energy. It also helps decrease blood sugar and insulin levels.
Keto bars.
Subscribing to the Keto diet means lower consumption of sweets. While bacon and steak aren’t bad at all, it cannot be denied that you’re missing sugary, carbohydrate filled treats. Good thing for you, great tasting Keto bars have been made to help people satisfy their sweet cravings while still maintaining their diet. This way, you’re indulging yourself without diverging from the Keto lifestyle.

Being physically fit is very essential in living life to its fullest potential. Dedication to a more active lifestyle and discipline in one’s diet is of great importance in achieving physical fitness. Taking care of your health physically is just one step in achieving good overall fitness.


Van Gogh Alive - The Experience.

Back in 2016, on our second winter in Korea, Yue and I had the chance to visit the Van Gogh Cafe at Lotte World Mall in Seoul. It's the world's first official cafe affiliated with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and the closest we've ever been to Van Gogh's works. The cafe showcases replica of Van Gogh's masterpieces, around 700 of them, as well as various relics such as Van Gogh's tobacco pipe and letters to his brother, Theo. Yue developed an interest for Vincent van Gogh and his artwork during our brief stay at the cafe, especially with Van Gogh's self-portraits.

Fast forward to October 2019, when news broke out that Van Gogh Alive is coming to Manila. As soon as we heard the news and saw teaser videos of Van Gogh Alive, we made plans to see the show during the semestral break. I booked tickets as soon as they were available online, and luckily, I was able to secure slots on October 29 for my mom squad and I, and our kids.
We went to see Van Gogh Alive!
Squad goals! :)
Van Gogh Alive is a one-of-a-kind exhibition. It's a multi-sensory experience which gives viewers the unique opportunity to experience Van Gogh's artistry through sight and sound.
He was literally the first in line and the first to enter the 12:30 pm exhibition that day. 
Selfie while waiting for the door to open. :)
More of Van Gogh's masterpieces after the jump!


Flooring Trends for 2020.

As 2019 draws to a close, we look ahead to see what flooring trends are looking big for 2020 - that’s if you want your house to look as fashionable as possible. But it does all depend on the existing décor of your home, whether you’re into a rustic farmhouse look or something a little more modern is to your taste. Here’s a few that we’ve noticed:
Photo credit: Price Your Job UK
Going Green As you can expect, with people becoming more and more conscious of their carbon footprint, their choice of flooring is no exception. With a huge focus on global warming, people are keen to do their bit to help.

Natural, recycled materials have proved popular in 2019. Products like real wood are preferred as opposed to man-made products. Although you may think that real wood flooring would result in deforestation, the trees are nearly always replanted.
Mosaic tiles for your bathroom.
If you’re fashion conscious, then you really need to get on board with this trend. Patterned tiles in your bathroom are a must have right now, coming in many different shapes such as herringbone, small squares and subway tiles.

However, you don’t need to invest in tiles to achieve this look. We sell vinyl’s and laminate’s that mimic the real tile look perfectly, which of course come along with all their own benefits such as a money saving and easy maintenance.
Rustic look for your kitchen.
More and more people are enjoying a rustic interior, and we can see why. It gives your home extra character and a touch of the past, without looking too outdated. You can enjoy a fresh modern property while keeping some of its classic features alive. Even city flats are opting for the rustic farmhouse interior - perhaps we all want to feel close to the country deep down?

This trend is the most prevalent in the kitchen, where people usually spend most of their time. We have a number of rustic style floorings available, from real wood walnut flooring to laminate that mimics wood impeccably.
Luxury vinyl tiles.
Wood looking vinyl 
It’s no lie that real wood flooring is very desirable, no matter what taste you have. They look attractive, all natural and never go out of fashion; but they are pricey. Nevertheless, there are ways of achieving this stylish look without having to dive too deep into your pocket.

Wood mimic vinyl flooring is all the rage right now, especially in bathrooms due to its practicality and water-resistant features. If your bathroom furniture is white, then we’d recommend grey. It complements the white, but also giving the room a bit of colour variety. You get the benefits of the lighter colour, allowing your room to appear more spacious and airier, but doesn’t show the dirt as much as a white or cream floor might. Plus, it’s so easy to maintain, not to mention you’re bang on trend. Why wouldn’t you?
Seo Kang Joon in Are You Human (2018).
Of course, you can’t be changing your floor every time the trends change, that’s why it’s good to go for something that will always stay in style. But 2020 may be the year you give your house a whole new look. Treat yourself and say goodbye to that outdated carpet in your bedroom and go for something a little more modern. It is the start of a new century after all!


An In-Car Safety Guide for New Parents.

Using a car seat or child safety seat is one of the best ways to protect your kids when traveling in the car, and they are a legal requirement in all states. Car accidents are amongst the leading causes of serious injury and death for young children, so keeping your child safe when you’re driving depends on choosing the right seat and using it correctly. If you’re a new parent, keeping your baby safe in the car is going to be a top priority. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Kim Ji Seok in When the Camellia Blooms, 2019.
#1. Choosing the right car seat
You should always choose a car seat that meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213; you can find this information on the car seat box or label. It’s a good idea to purchase the seat well before your child’s first ride so that you can learn how to install it and use the harness correctly. If you are struggling, ask for help – some sales assistants may be trained to do this, or you can find plenty of reputable online tutorials. You can also visit a child car seat inspection station, which are set up across the country by the federal government, where they can provide advice or double-check that the seat has been installed correctly. Check out AskTheLawyer to find out more about specific car seat rules and regulations in your state.
Jang Nara in Fated to Love You, 2014.
#2. Using a second-hand car seat
Using a second-hand car seat can seem like a good way to save some money on the mounting expenses that come with welcoming a new child into the world, but it can also carry a massive risk. Only use a second-hand car seat that you can be sure has not been involved in an accident – if it has it may be damaged in ways that are not visible to the naked eye. You should also fully inspect the seat or have a professional look over it for you; don’t use a car seat that has any parts missing or if it is lacking a model number and manufacture date. Car seats will also have recommended ‘expiration dates’, so it’s worth checking for this too.
Lee twins in The Return of Superman, 2013.
#3. What type of car seat?
For new parents, there are generally two different types of car seat to choose from. The popular choice is an infant car seat, which fit newborns and smaller infants up to around 35 pounds. You will need to replace your car seat when your infant outgrows it. These car seats are designed to be rear-facing as a small child is likely to be much more protected in this position in the event of a crash, as the back of the seat will cradle the child’s head, neck, and torso. Small children can usually stay rear-facing until around age 3-4. Some infant seats are also designed to double as carriers or rockers, so provide added convenience. Alternatively, you may wish to use a convertible seat, which can be used as an infant seat and converts to be placed in different positions as your child grows.

 No matter which car seat you choose to use for your child, ensuring that it is safe and in line with state and federal regulations is crucial.


Foodie Goodie | Ala Fiesta.

Whenever we're not busy with our kids' school activities (drafting lecture notes and mock exams, procuring materials for projects and the like), my mom squad and I would most likely be at the mall, shopping for groceries or school supplies (because you can never have too many ballpens and art materials) or at some restaurant, eating to our hearts' content. The latter is our favorite bonding activity (you can see it in our waist lines), and our way of de-stressing from housework and school-related brouhaha.

Our latest food discovery is Ala Fiesta, a casual dining restaurant in Lipa City, Batangas. One of my mommy friends chanced upon an Ala Fiesta ad on her Facebook news feed, and the next thing we knew, our squad of four (plus our kids) was en route to Lipa for another food adventure.
Ala Fiesta in Lipa City, Batangas.
Truth be told, it was the Crossover Buffet that prompted us to make that 45-minute drive to Ala Fiesta. The restaurant's latest food offering, the Crossover Buffet features classic Filipino dishes, Japanese and Asian dishes, Italian favorites such as pizza and pasta, as well as a smorgasbord of desserts. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet at a budget-friendly price of Php 499 per head.
All-you-can-eat Crossover Buffet at Ala Fiesta.
Php 499 on weekdays, Php 599 on weekends. 
Here's a glimpse of what they offer at the Crossover Buffet.
Mongolian/Szechuan Stir-fry.
You choose the ingredients and the chef will cook them for you. I regret not trying this, huhu.
Pork Hamonado and Ala Fiesta's specialty, Kare-kare.
Lechon Belly + veggies for the Kare-kare.
Ala Fiesta takes pride in their house specialties Crispy Pata and Kare-kare, and true enough, their Kare-kare is one of the best I have tried. Their Lechon Belly is also a winner with its tender meat and sinfully crunchy skin.
Pan-seared Tuna and Chicken Barbecue.
Roasted Baby Potatoes.
Crispy Pork Belly.
Their Japanese dishes are also a must-try - from the delicately crunchy Tempura to the savory Takoyaki. They also have an assortment of sushi which was a hit among the mom squad.
Sushi assortment.
Tempura and Takoyaki.
Red and white sauces for your pasta.
Veggies for nachos.
Veggies for salad.
As for the kids, they loved the nachos and pasta so much that they even had second and third servings of each. Sinulit nila yung Php 499, haha!
Fresh fruits and fruit salad.
Ala Fiesta's Meringue is to-die-for!
Red Velvet, Meringue, and Brownies.
Ala Fiesta's dessert selection did not disappoint, either. They had a spread of fresh fruits and fruit salad, halo-halo and ice cream, and sweet treats such as meringue, brownies, and Red Velvet bites. Our hands-down favorite dessert would have to be the meringue. The server kept on filling up the dessert bar with meringues because we kept on piling our plates with it, haha!
Happy (not-so) little customers!
With its wide selection of great-tasting food, courteous and friendly staff, relaxed ambiance, and reasonable price, Ala Fiesta is mom-squad approved! Even the kids enjoyed dining at Ala Fiesta, and they're already looking forward to our next visit. There will definitely be a next time, and we'll make sure to try the Mongolian stir-fry when we return!

*The Crossover Buffet is available during lunch from 11 am to 2 pm, and during dinner from 5:30 pm to 9 pm.

Ala Fiesta
Brgy. Pilahan, Sabang Rotonda,
Lipa City, Batangas
(043) 757 6201


Creative Ways To Celebrate the Holidays.

Time-honored traditions are fine in their place. Every once in a while, however, it can be fun to try something new. Who knows, a creative celebration that you try this year may become a new tradition.

You may have several celebrations with different groups of people: family, of course, but also friends and/or co-workers. The celebrations you hold with each group are likely a little different from one another. However, you can find creative ways to celebrate with all three.
Christmas at Lotte World. :)
Anyone Holiday gift baskets are appropriate in almost any context. They can be customized to the occasion. Click here to learn more.

Another great idea that can work with almost any group is to work together to do something charitable during the holidays. There are plenty of ways to spend time together while supporting a worthy cause, such as a toy drive, a bake sale, or serving food to the disadvantaged.
A very Korean Christmas basket.
The holidays can be a touchy time at the office, especially if your workplace is particularly diverse. However, you can change this perceived negative into a positive by holding a multicultural festival. Just about every culture has some sort of celebration this time of year. You can ask workers to bring traditional dishes and take the opportunity to learn more about the backgrounds of others.

An ugly sweater party is also a fun way to celebrate without privileging any one culture. The popularity of such parties has given rise to a whole ugly sweater industry, and looking silly together at a gathering puts everyone on the same level.
Lee Dong Wook makes an ugly sweater look good. :)
In 21st-century America, people tend to associate costume parties with Halloween. Traditionally, however, masquerade balls were held during the winter holiday season. With post-Halloween markdowns, you and your friends should be able to find inexpensive costumes easily, and for a touch of class, you can rent a ballroom and hire a DJ for the occasion.

During the festive time of year, people in communities all across the country decorate their houses with lights to create some stunning displays. It costs very little to find or rent a car for the evening, drive around, and dazzle yourselves.
EXO Christmas!
One great way to spend time together as a family is with a holiday-themed read-aloud. These can be the traditional seasonal stories, but they don't have to be. You can choose new favorites as well. You can stretch this activity out over several days or weeks, allowing each family member to choose a book to read.
Yue loves Christmas in Korea! :)
You do not need to confine the decorations to one or two areas of the house. You can help your kids decorate their own rooms for the holidays and encourage them to get creative.
Creative celebrations are a good way to remind yourself and those around you what is important this holiday season: spending quality time with people you care about.


Spotlight | Vice Cosmetics x BT21 Collection.

Local beauty brand Vice Cosmetics dropped a bomb a few days ago and the K-Pop community, most especially the ARMYs, went wild! I'm pertaining to the Vice Cosmetics x BT21 collaboration, which has been the talk of the town ever since Vice Cosmetics started posting teasers of the new collection in their social media pages.
Vice Cosmetics x BT21 collection at SM San Pablo.
The Vice Cosmetics x BT21 collection was launched at Vice Cosmetics stores and kiosks nationwide last October 5, but this buzz-worthy collaboration had an early launching at BeautyMNL on October 1. And just as the husband predicted (lol), I was among those BTS stans/K-Pop fans/beauty junkies who were up at midnight, frantically adding to cart and making a mad dash for the checkout page.

Ironically, my orders arrived the day after Vice Cosmetics x BT21 collection's nationwide launch. It took BeautyMNL almost 48 hours to verify my bank deposit, which should not have been the case had they accepted my credit card payment in the first place. Oddly enough, all four of my active credit cards (which are also in good credit standing, by the way) were rejected by their website. I've already raised this concern with the BeautyMNL customer service, and I'm still waiting for their response regarding the matter.

Moving on, here's my Vice Cosmetics x BT21 haul. The complete collection includes an eyeshadow palette (the first-ever from Vice Cosmetics), four blush and highlighter duos, four liquid lipsticks, and four lip tints. I skipped the eyeshadow palette because I hardly wear eyeshadow these days; instead, I purchased two blush and highlighter duos, two liquid lipsticks, and one lip tint.
My Vice Cosmetics x BT21 haul! :)
The BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo (Php 245) is a compact which contains a powder blush and a highlighter. I got the Universtar duo which features a peach blush and a peachy gold highlighter; and the Prankster duo which contains an orchid pink blush and a pink highlighter.
BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo - Universtar (left) and Prankster (right).
I love the smooth, buttery texture of both blushes, and how nicely pigmented they are. Prankster has a deeper shade which may seem intimidating from the pan, but it looks lovely when blended on the cheeks. The bright, orchid pink blush will work with most skin tones, while the lighter, peachy blush of Universtar will suit those with fair to light skin tones.
BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Universtar.
BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Prankster.
As for the highlighters, they're soft and finely-milled which leaves little to no room for fall-outs. Both shades give off a nice, luminous glow without looking too shimmery.
Swatched - BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Universtar.
Worn - BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Universtar.
Swatched - BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Prankster.
Worn - BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Prankster.
The BT21 Phenomenal Velvet Single (Php 225) is a 'modern liquid lip color' with a soft, matte finish. Like the Phenomenal Liquid Lipstick, the Velvet Single has a creamy, long-wearing formula, opaque texture, and flat matte finish. However, they don't have that subtle, chocolate scent that the Phenomenal Liquid Lipstick has. Still, I love the velvety, non-drying formula, and the intense color payoff of this product.
BT21 Phenomenal Velvet Single in Shooky.
Shooky - a natural, nude color that's perfect for everyday wear.
BT21 Phenomenal Velvet Single in Mang.
Mang - a perfect plum shade which gives major autumn vibes.
Finally, we have the BT21 Water Gel Lip & Cheek Tint (Php 175) an easy-to-blend, water-based tint for the lips and cheeks. Its formula is the same as the regular Vice Cosmetics Lip & Cheek Tint - not too runny, not too watery, nicely pigmented with buildable color. It also has the same fruity scent and long-wearing formula which I love.
BT21 Water Gel Lip & Cheek Tint in Chimmy.
Chimmy - a gorgeous old rose shade (more like berry to me)
that can be worn gradient or full lip.
Here are the swatches of all the lip products in the Vice Cosmetics x BT21 Collection. It's the reason why I visited the Vice Cosmetics kiosk here at SM San Pablo a few days after the nationwide launch. The lip tints and most of the liquid lipsticks (save for Koya and Mang) were already sold out by then. I hope they will restock soon for the benefit of those who were not able to buy online and had planned to buy them in-store.
Swatches (L-R top): Koya (Blushing Pink), Shooky (Natural Nude),
 RJ (Brick Red), Mang (Perfect Plum);
(L-R bottom): Chimmy (Old Rose), Kooky (Deep Red),
Van (Terracota), Tata (Red Orange).
If you're a fan of BTS, BT21, or simply a fan of affordable, good quality makeup, the Vice Cosmetics x BT21 collab is a great buy. Sure, they're a tad pricier than Vice Cosmetic's regular line, but I'm sure BTS/BT21 stans wouldn't mind shelling out a few extra bucks for this limited edition collection. On that note, Vice Ganda surely knows which market to tap and which demographic has purchasing power, lol.
Wearing BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Universtar on my cheeks +
BT21 Phenomenal Velvet Single in Shooky on my lips.
Wearing BT21 Aura Blush and Glow Duo in Prankster on my cheeks +
BT21 Phenomenal Velvet Single in Mang on my lips.
The Vice Cosmetics x BT21 Collection is available at Vice Cosmetics stores and kiosks nationwide, at the Vice Cosmetics official website, or at the Vice Cosmetics flagship stores in Lazada, Shopee, and BeautyMNL. They're selling like hotcakes so act fast! These limited edition babies might be gone before you can even sing 'oh my my my... for a boy with love!' :)