Baby essentials for the whole family

By Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Parents are always in search of the best products for the whole family. And when we believe in a brand so much, we want to share it to the rest of the community. One such mom is Gretchen Choa-Uy, who is the official distributor of baby blankets and swaddle brand aden + anais and Seventh Generation’s safe cleaning products. At the intimate and official launch of the two brands, she shared with fellow moms personal experiences of what convinced her to bring in these two prestigious brands.

Natural and durable

aden + anais’ main product is the swaddle blanket which is made of high quality muslin. Parents love the softness and breathable qualities, and it’s very durable, too! “My yaya used to pack different kinds of lampin, bib, and blanket in our diaper bag. For just a few hours out of the house, our bag would be so huge and overflowing. It took her a lot of getting used to the idea of multitasking with a single aden + anais blanket to do the job we used to assign to various blankets. It looks thin but it’s just as strong. It can also keep my son warm in air conditioned restaurants without making him sweat,” Gretchen excitedly shares.

Clean and safe

Seventh Generation has over 30 years of experience, priding itself with ingredients derived from plants among other renewable produce.

Kristelle Bechayda

Parent-approved home appliances

By Kristelle Bechayda

With a lot of things to juggle in their everyday activities, parents like to make each moment count, especially when it comes to spending time with their families. In an effort to make everyone’s lives more convenient, especially at home, Panasonic Philippines has recently launched their newest line of appliances, and Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz and husband Marco shared their thoughts after trying out the new products.

The new washers are packed with features that make laundry easier, with functions such as multi-stains removal, economical options on saving water and electricity, and wide covers for large laundry washing that includes beddings and comforters. Lara finds the washer to be convenient because she doesn’t have to do much and gets to spend the time doing laundry with her kids instead. “We have more time for our family kasi nga ilalagay mo lang, you don’t have to do anything. Hindi mo kailangan kusutin.”

Another addition are their new conditioner units that purifies the air, and the inverter technology to save on energy. Marco likes the nano-e technology feature the most as it inhibits the growth of bacteria and viruses. “Kampante ako na healthy yung air na binibigay nilalalo na ngayon na maraming virus, maraming flu.”

Lara, who gave birth last September, is breastfeeding her son Tobias and likes that the refrigerators have many storage compartments.

Kristelle Bechayda

Homemade baby food: Quick & easy

By Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Introduction of new food types to our babies is always an exciting phase, but it can be daunting as well. Questions pop up such as what fruits or vegetables do I start with? How long should I cook them? Should I steam or boil? Should I mash them or blend them? How many minutes should I cook them? There are so many questions, especially for first-time parents.

Enter the blenders, from handheld ones to glass jars, parents have been in search of a blender that can deliver faster cooking time and less spoilage. We’ve always been in search for the best appliances that can save us time, from cooking to cleaning these gadgets.

Food processors have been considered as an option, but feedback is that they are quite troublesome to maintain. With over 30 years of experience, French brand Béaba is a four-in-one food processor that will change the way parents prepare food for their little bundles of joy.

Since introducing its very first  product in 1989, the French baby brand has sold over seven million Babycook machines all over the world. This food processor can steam, blend, defrost and reheat vegetables, fruits and meat in a span of 15 minutes. It also doubles as a bottle warmer and can also sterilize. It’s great for on-the-go parents who juggle a lot of things at the same time, because this machine helps them accomplish all that they need to do with just one push of a button or a turn of the dial.

Kristelle Bechayda

Happy Ongpauco-Tiu shares easy recipes for the whole family to enjoy

By Jane Kingsu-Cheng

Mother-of-four and mompreneur Happy Ongpauco-Tiu was one of the guest speakers at the recent Béaba launch. To date, she has 14 restaurants under the Happy Concept Group of Companies, including Pamana, Hawaiian BBQ, World Tops, and more. One wonders, what does she prepare for her toddlers? Here, she shares some easy-to-prepare recipes for the whole family (even babies as young as 8 months old) to enjoy, all tried and tested by this talented cooking mama using Béaba Babycook.

MINESTRONE

Ingredients:

  • ½ tbsp. diced onion
  • ½ tbsp. garlic
  • 1 tbsp diced celery
  • 2 tbsp diced carrots
  • 2 tbsp diced zucchini
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup crushed tomatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup warm chicken broth

Serves: 5 Servings for baby, 1 cup for adults

Procedure:

  1. Put all the ingredients in the steaming basket (add crushed tomatoes last so the juices can blend into the other vegetables).
  2. Fill up the water tank until the top and steam for 8 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
  3. Transfer to the food processor
  4. Add warm Chicken Stock
  5. Pulse until smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper

Note: Recommended for babies 8 months and above. The recipe may be used for adults too, just add more chicken stock.

Kristelle Bechayda

Nadia Montenegro shares 50 love-filled recipes in her own cookbook

Cooking for our family has always been a favorite activity for us mothers. There is nothing but a hearty meal that makes our dining experience with them more special. Actress Nadia Montenegro has the same take when it comes to preparing meals for her family. In fact, she even collected her heirloom recipes and favorites into one cookbook entitled “Have I Cooked For You?”

Divided into three parts (family, friends, and big group recipes), Nadia’s cookbook will feature 50 dishes she has made for her family and friends. “These recipes will always be a reminder of all the great conversations, lessons, laughter and love we had at home on our dining table,” shared the mom-of-eight, who started her YouTube cooking vlog last year with Cucina ni Nadia.

Nadia’s cookbook “Have I Cooked for You?” will feature 50 recipes.

Some of the recipes that are included are family favorites such as Potchero and Beef Steak A la Nadia; and Nadia’s friend-approved dishes like Callos, Cream Cheese Marinara with Homemade Pesto, and Binagoongang Baboy sa Gata.

The cookbook also includes the actress’s favorite repertoire for big groups. “Cooking for 20-30 pax will always be a norm to me. With a huge family, tons of friends, and since my home is open 24/7 for everyone, it is a must I always have something ready for anyone, anytime,” she shared.

Nadia will formally launch her book on February 9 at National Book Store Trinoma. Her cookbook “Have I Cooked For You?” is now available in leading bookstores nationwide at P250.

Kristelle Bechayda

Goodbye clutter: decluttering the KonMari way

By Eliza Santiago

About three years in our studio apartment, I just about had it. There was stuff everywhere- on the sofa, desks, most of the chairs and a good part of the floor. My son and I were suffocating. Our productivity was down and our moods could be better. How could we not feel this way when all we could do once we got home was traverse the single path that lead from the door and straight to bed?

It was around this time that I heard about Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read it, appreciated it, tried to apply it and subsequently failed. I knew the concepts in my head but somehow my heart was having a hard time following, and my life remained cluttered.

Helped arrived.

As fate would have it, at the point of my desperation, my friend Christine Dychiao revealed that she had just finished her KonMari consultant training and was eager to help. With reluctance and shame at the state of my apartment, I let her in.

Our first lesson was clothes. As the book says, clothes are the first step in the KonMari decluttering process. With Christine’s non-judgmental guidance and gentle reminders on reasons why we hold on to things, I methodically went through my clothes, keeping what sparked joy and discarding what clearly did not. With the “maybe-s”, Christine asked me, prodding questions to gain clarity,

Kristelle Bechayda

KonMari Consultant: Christine Dychiao

By Eliza Santiago

“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix is making waves on social media and has everyone digging through their stuff in an effort to declutter. Marie Kondo and her life-changing philosophy is famous worldwide, but there are people who are not aware of it, much less know that we have a certified Konmari consultant in the Philippines.

Christine Dychiao, social media personality, stylist and marketing consultant is the lone certified Konmari consultant in the Philippines to date. A former shopaholic and shopping blogger, she found her household teeming with stuff, and felt burdened, literally and figuratively. She sought to change her mindset and found the Konmari way.

Tell us how you discovered Marie Kondo.

I first read about Marie Kondo and her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” in The New York Times in 2014. I thought, “This could be the answer to my general feeling of being overwhelmed with stuff – literally.” With a growing family, our rooms were just groaning with stuff; our closets were just bursting at the seams. So I read the book, and never looked back. I started out unwilling to simply let go of stuff, but as I cleared the spaces I felt the tranquility settle in. I found myself not just looking to clear out clutter but also cutting myself loose from my attachment to things. I made sure to only keep things that had an intrinsic value to me. I gained insight into what truly made me happy.

Kristelle Bechayda

No yaya, no problem

By Angel Llamanzares Martinez

Oh, the joy and jubilation the holidays brought. But it’s over now. It’s back to reality and your daily routine. But something’s just not the same, someone’s missing (cue Twilight Zone theme). The Yaya has not come back. You are not alone. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Here are five ways to bring a sense of normalcy into your daily routine, sans the yayas. And if you’re one of the lucky ones who still have household help, go ahead and read our tips below. We can’t always depend on someone else. Walang forever, di ba?

1. Accept your reality.

Easy, right? No. It’s not because we are entitled, but most of us grew up having help around. The moment we decided to wear the crown to be the queens (or kings) of our own homes, we already took on the honor of running it whatever it takes, staff or no staff (pun intended). If we learn to accept that this is our new normal, things will flow much easier. The key is acceptance.

Tip: Master this before you proceed to the next ones and feel the difference.

2. Manage your time wisely.

This is the most important action step. Schedule activities around the needs of all the members of the family. Sheila Buendia, mom of three and a Wealth Management Consultant, shares “The biggest challenge of having three kids without a 

Kristelle Bechayda

Laundry tips from Rajo Laurel and Amina Aranaz

So much laundry, so little time. Washing machines are lifesavers, but we also need to know how to take care of clothes when they go through these tumbling machines.

FashionCare Ambassador Rajo Laurel, along with the its Council members Mommy Mundo Founder and mompreneur Janice Villanueva, and executive director and teacher of SoFA Design Institute, and Creative Director of fashion accessories and bag label ARANÁZ Amina Aranaz-Alunan, share tips on how to keep your clothes looking new for longer.

1. Turn Your Clothes Inside-Out

When it came to machine washing, acclaimed fashion designer Rajo Laurel advised women to turn their clothes in reverse and wash them inside out. It not only helps preserve color but also minimizes the risk of damage to stitching or embroidery on the exterior of your clothes.  

2. Pre-wash your store-bought garments

Thinking of wearing your clothes fresh from the store rack? According to Rajo Laurel, this is a don’t as companies treat their clothes to a certain spray to protect them from insects, especially here in the Philippines as our weather is hot and humid. Rajo’s advice was to wash clothes as soon as they’re bought and before they are worn.

3. Read the Care Instructions

Both Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Rajo Laurel stressed the importance of reading the laundry care instructions on the clothing labels. From using cold vs.

Kristelle Bechayda

Why we are excited for IKEA

By Jane Kingsu-Cheng

The titos and titas are excited to find out that the biggest IKEA (pronounced “ee-kay-uh”) in the world is officially opening this Q4 of 2020. Located at the SM Mall of Asia complex, its exact location is the lot under construction, between SM Arena and SMX Convention.

But wait, there’s more! It will have two stories full of merchandise (over 9,000 products), with a total floor area is 65,000 square meters—that’s about the size of 150,000 basketball courts. Here are some more things you need to know about this brand that we’re all excited for:

Instant availability

“You can go to the IKEA store and you can take things home on the spot. That takes a little bit of a warehouse to say the least, or a lot of warehouses, and we have it right here in Manila, SM Mall of Asia.” — Christian Rojkaer, IKEA Southeast Asia Head

Inspirational

“The stalls will still have tons of inspiration. You can touch and feel, you can discuss the room settings, the sofas, and the home accessories. It’s still something very very special that I’m sure you’ll appreciate and like in our market.” — Christian Rojkaer, IKEA Southeast Asia Head

Well-designed products at affordable price points

“Just to give you an idea,

Kristelle Bechayda