Tricks of the Trade: Hair care rules for busy mommas


When it comes to taking care of our hair, most of us usually take a relaxed, and somewhat lazy approach. This is understandable, especially for us moms who don’t have an extra minute of me-time to spend in the shower. There’s no shame in this, because really, who has the extra hours to sit in a salon chair (though that sounds so amazing right now) or 30-minutes to spare in the shower to apply a mane-saving concoction? Being a mom is a full-time job, which basically requires all of our free time (not complaining though). So naturally, hair care takes a backseat, and our once happy and healthy mane becomes damaged after years of neglect. 

I know, I know. It is just hair. There are more important things in life, right? Well, actually hair had the power to make you look and feel good. Do you remember the last time you woke up to great hair and immediately felt more beautiful, confident and ready to take on the day? If you don’t remember the last time you felt this, well, I think it’s time to follow these fast and easy tips to keep your hair in tiptop shape. And no, I promise, these won’t take up your entire day–here are hair care rules for gals who have no time for it. 

Eat your way to healthy hair. If you don’t have time to get deep conditioning treatments, then the next best thing is to eat a balanced diet. Eating green vegetables, algae and fruit are excellent sources of important vitamins and trace elements, all necessary for hair to be thick and shiny. 

Switch to sea salt. Celtic sea salt can do wonders for our bodies, most especially to our scalp and hair. It contains over 80 trace elements that are essential for revitalizing hair and preventing hair loss. Use it for everyday cooking and take a pinch daily to see long-term health results. 

Make it a monthly habit. One way to keep your hair looking great is to book that salon appointment every month. Getting a trim and having your roots touched up regularly will save you more time in the long run as your hair will always be maintained. Your stylist and colorist won’t have to keep you at the salon to cut, color and treat your neglected hair. And you will slash your daily styling time in half because you have a great cut and color. Girl, you deserve this! Tip: Pre-book your next visit before leaving the salon to ensure you keep your appointments. 

Try using minimal shampoo. As tempting as it is to squirt a big amount of shampoo in the palm of your hand, don’t. Most shampoos can dry your hair out, and in the process cause your scalp to produce more oil. An oily scalp with dry, frizzy hair is not sexy. My suggestion is to shampoo less, or if you cannot go without it, dilute your shampoo with water. 

Mix it up. Alternating your hair care products can strengthen your scalp’s immunity toward one product. Have two sets of different brand shampoos and conditioners in your shower and switch it up every time. They will help your hair stay healthy, and it won’t get used to one product. 

Cider rules. There are many uses for apple-cider vinegar, and another is to cleanse and stimulate the scalp. This wonder product (that can be used for cooking and cleaning) has been known to help with dandruff, scalp itchiness, and hair thinning. Simply apply a small amount on your scalp when you shower to see results. 

Cool rinse. This is an old trick to get shiny hair, and it works: after washing your conditioner out with warm water, rinse hair with cold water. What it does it it closes the cuticle layer that protects the hair shaft and provides a smooth surface for the light to reflect. It also creates volume because each hair strand stands up when washed with cold water, and it firms up the tissue surrounding it. 

Belo Baby Hand Sanitizers


If there’s one thing I never leave home without, it’s hand sanitizer. I think all moms can relate with me when it comes to this: keeping your toddler clean is not an easy task. If you think about it, it is next to impossible unless you can watch your child all-day, every day. At 18 months, our little ball of energy loves to get his hands dirty. He touches everything he sees, which I know is a given as this is his way of learning about the world around him. But when you see your little boy grab something from a very dirty floor and attempts to shove it into his mouth, you don’t just stare and watch. I literally sprint, jump and dive on to the floor on a daily basis, just to keep Tristan from eating, chewing or sucking on anything that might cause him harm. I’ve found kibble, pellets (the ones used for the pellet gun), Lego and many more tiny, scary things in his mouth at one time or another, and believe me, as a new mom, these instances are enough to give you a heart attack.

That’s why as clean as much as I can. If there is a tiny crevice that I think he might crawl into, I vacuum, mop and disinfect it. I make sure all his toys are clean, as these are the first things he chews on when he thinks no one is looking. I constantly vacuum our floors and carpets–they have to be clean enough to eat off from, or else I will do it again. I take cleaning seriously because I prefer that he do his own thing, which is to learn, discover and play, without me always shouting, “NO” or “don’t do that”. At least when everything is clean, there are less chances of him catching something or getting a serious tummy ache. He is free to play and imagine, which is really what being a child is all about.


Clean hands are a must, that’s why I always carry around Belo Baby Hand Sanitizer with me. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria, it is made with glycerin to keep skin moisturized. It has an ultra-mild fragrance that leaves skin fresh and smelling nice–the three scents are: Peach, Green Apple, and Blueberry. My favorite from the three is Green Apple, because I’ve always found the fragrance sweet and refreshing. The best part about it is: it is super safe for my family. It is carefully formulated without triclosan, parabens, benzalkonium chloride, formaldehyde carriers, petrochemicals, and most common allergens, which is really worth mentioning because these are harmful ingredients that are usually found in our everyday beauty products and can be bad for baby’s delicate skin. It is also hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, which makes it the best choice for my family. And, like all Belo Baby products, it is crafted with cafe for the most delicate skin, for the most meticulous moms. Oh and the price is super affordable–it is only P49.75, available at all leading department stores and supermarkets. 


To know more about Belo Baby products, go to http://www.belobaby.ph, LIKE them on Facebook: belobabylove, FOLLOW them on Twitter: @belobabylove and on Instagram: @belobabylove.

Product photos by Patty Laurel-Filart  

New Year shopping at SM Home

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This New Year is extra special because (yay) we’re moving to a new home! I have to say, it has been a crazy mix of emotions ranging from happy and excited, nervous and anxious and overwhelmed and stressed. As I continue to pack our lives in boxes, I begin to realize how many wonderful memories we’ve created in this little house we’ve been living in for three years. We’ve spent most of our married life here (haha, we’ve been married for four years), I got pregnant here and Tristan spent his first year here. I am surely going to miss this house! But at the same time, I am very excited for what’s to come.

Our new home will be bigger. There will definitely be more room for my family, and Tristan will have more space to run, hide and play. Also, we will finally be able to invite people over for dinners and parties. This is something Carlos and I have always wanted to do, but because of limited space have never gotten around to doing. I couldn’t be happier and more optimistic about this move–this will be good for us. And though I am a little nostalgic, there is just so much to look forward to, and that includes decorating our new home!

We need more than a few things for this bigger house, and that includes: a bigger couch for the living area, more dining chairs, a new set of plates (good for 10-12), a desk for Tristan’s room, more pots and pans (and a paellera), matching towels, and plenty of organizing bins. This is quite a long list, and with the renovation and expenses for the move, well, to be honest, we don’t really have a big budget for all of this. So naturally, I headed to SM HOME, because everyone knows this is the place to find a wide variety of quality items that wont break the bank. I went to the one in SM Megamall, which was huge and well-stocked. And yes, I was able to find everything on my list and more–I had so much fun shopping for our new home!

img_1239I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide range of couches at SM Home. They look so elegant and chic! I love the color palette.

img_1191I need this entire set from John Lewis! We’ve been making do with a plate set good for four, and we seriously need an upgrade if we will be inviting people over.

img_1233We need bigger pots and pans, too! These ones from Meyer look good!

      img_1278I know Tristan is only one, but since he has a bigger room now I thought we can put in a small desk for when he needs it for school.

img_1219This is what we need! More organizing bins for my makeup, Carlos’s gadgets and Tristan’s toys.

img_1193I really love this set from John Lewis! ❤

  img_1283So many couches and chairs to choose from! Love their selection at SM Home.

img_1255One more thing I need: carpets for the dining area and our bedroom!

  img_1234I bought this straight away–every house needs a paellera!

img_1236I’ve been meaning to buy a big outdoor grill for the house, but since we don’t have enough budget for it at the moment I thought this would do!

img_1223Faux flowers to brighten the home. This is good to have when you don’t have the budget to buy fresh flowers every week hehehe.

img_1267 A sea of beige, brown, black and blue couches.

img_1241Love how modern and new their designs are!

img_1229So pretty.

img_1286You can never have enough towels for your home. These ones from Canadian are super soft and fluffy.

img_1196Love this splatter design.

img_1206These leaf prints are super nice and inexpensive (no need to think about framing costs).

img_1309Another option for plates is Corelle. These are great for everyday use!

img_1212We also need light fixtures for the living room and dining area. I’m glad I found this aisle.

img_1194More pretty plate options.

img_1199Beddings! I need this for the guest room.    img_1322I certainly look like a happy customer haha. Really enjoyed my shopping experience.

img_1214More organizing bins and hampers.

img_1200This would look so pretty in our room.

img_1205Tristan’s room has a nautical theme–these would be perfect!

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Here come more exciting news: SM HOME will be having its Grand Clearance Sale from now until February 5, 2017 (limited stock and availability of items depending on the branch). Be sure to drop by to find amazing deals for your home.

Visit their website: http://www.smhome,com.ph, Facebook page: SM Home, Instagram: @smhome, Snapchat: SMHome_PH and Twitter: SMHome_PH.

Happy shopping! ❤

Dream big for your Future Scholars

Hey everyone! Please welcome back my bestie, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso to my blog. It is such a privilege to have her here as seriously, she is my go-to girl when it comes to important life decisions. Education is definitely among our top priorities, which is why she devoted this post on making sound investments for the future. I don’t want to give anything away, so here is Bianca’s post: 

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Happy new year! So nice to be back again on Kelly’s blog ❤ I mentioned in my previous post how lucky we, the Baby Barangay mamas, were to be invited by Philam Life to an informative round table discussion on a product that’s perfect for young parents like us. You know, that even if our kids are still young, schooling has already been one of those topics my husband and I love to talk about and even discuss with my mama friends. I’m pretty much a segurista so I really feel the need to focus on this while we are still young and able. It’s wise to already set aside for our children’s futures. My parents secured my brother and I with educational plans and it really helped ease the financial burden on them. I pretty much am a believer of these because of my parents. I was aware of my tuition and allowance so I know how expensive college can get. I know a lot have hesitations about pre need plans, but I’m really thankful to this mother and daughter tandem, Ces and Genie who are also one of the brand’s top agency managers, for enlightening us and showing what Philam Life’s Future Scholar has to offer.

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Future Scholar is an investment and life insurance plan that gives guaranteed education benefits and long-term growth potential. I love how this product not only assures you of your child’s education – with guaranteed savings and investment, but also gives you that peace of mind that the plan continues without having to pay future premiums if in any case something bad happens to you (death or total and permanent disability). This product even has an optional life insurance coverage for the parent and simple payment options making it a little less heavy on the pocket and more pleasing to the ears (haha!) as you can work on your child’s educational fund in 5 years or until he/she reaches the age of 17.

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Like I mentioned in my first blog post, we parents only want what’s best for our babies and I really believe that providing them with the right necessities such as a good and proper education will set them for their future. I am in full support of their dreams, whatever those may be, and I know looking into securing a good education for them will jumpstart this. Learning doesn’t come cheap and we are well aware that college gets really costly so it would just be right to partner with companies who share this dream with us and will take care of it by providing more than just the basics and making life easier for us. I believe Philam Life has earned the trust of many parents and families, with over P10 Billion worth of education benefits since 2004 to 2016 and 50,000 scholars (education payouts as of May 2016). With them, I feel we are valued and given the utmost attention.

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Check out http://www.philamlife.com/en/our-products/education/future-scholar.html to know more! And would really love to connect! I’m @biancassantiago on Instagram and Twitter. Cheers!

Mandem: Proper Way to Clean Your Shoes

As I packed away most of the things in my closet last night, I realized a few things: (1) that I own more than a few pairs of white sneakers, (2) all of them are dirty, and (3) that I have no clue how to properly clean them. So I searched for a how-to video on YouTube and chanced upon this. I love how informative it is (apparently I’ve been doing it all wrong) and it is presented in a cool and straightforward manner. Watch to find out how to clean your shoes the right way. Mandem! ❤

Saving up for your Future Scholar

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The other day, a fellow mom asked me a question I didn’t know how to answer: where do you want Tristan to study? I think I stared blankly at her for what felt like a good minute haha, until she asked me a follow up question–have you looked into any schools for him? I kind of felt like a bad mom to be honest, because I had not even thought about schools or any sort of education plan for my son. Tristan is just one year and five months old, and right now we are working on his vocabulary and being able to pronounce “mom”, “dad” and “Lily” correctly. I have taken him to an hour’s worth of playtime at Gymboree and another hour at Active Fun, and that’s about it. I have not thought of any classes for him, nor have I been working on joining him in any playgroups.

I’m not sure how it is done in your part of the world, but over here babies have a pretty active social life (at least with my circle of friends as well as friends of friends). That’s why I was asked the question in the first place, which I really should’ve been ready for.

So of course, that night I did a bit of research on the different schools that might be a good fit for us and easily, I was able to find a few that I liked. These seem to be in line with our beliefs and principles, and I liked the campus and curriculum they offered. I was already patting myself on the back for doing such a good job and I was all, “this is so easy, what is the big fuss about finding a good school” when I nearly fell off my chair as I clicked on the rates of each school per semester. These amazing, highly rated schools were exorbitant, and I had no clue how we are ever going to afford sending our son there.

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So then I brought it up with the Baby Barangay (my go-to mommy group), who then told me all about financially preparing for Tristan’s education needs. I clearly have no clue how to be a responsible parent, because this was all news to me! I always thought saving and finding the right investment for my son’s future was something I should worry about when Tristan is ready to go to school. But nope, they set me straight and told me that I should start as early as now, so when the time comes that I need to shell out money per semester, well, I am prepared for it.

My girls, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso, Cat Juan-Ledesma, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, and Patty Laurel-Filart recently attended a seminar that tackled exactly this (I wasn’t able to come as I had work that day) and thankfully, they shared with me what they learned. The seminar was to introduce FUTURE SCHOLAR, an investment and life insurance plan offered by Philam Life that gives guaranteed education benefits and long-term growth potential. This ensures we are sure of our child’s education even if something unexpected happens in the future, because the plan will continue without me having to pay for future premiums.

This is what Future Scholar offers:

(1) Education benefits for my child, which includes two components: (a) Guaranteed Savings, or guaranteed cash payouts over the four years of Tristan’s education starting at age 18 and (b) Investment, which offers long-term growth potential through access to expertly-managed funds. This means not having to worry about my son’s college fund because I know it will be taken cared of when the time comes. Also, I love that I have options for the payout. I always thought these investments would be rigid and strict. It is great to know it can be flexible and personalized according to my needs.

(2) Plan continuation benefits, which means the plan will continue without me having to pay for future premiums if (knock on wood) I should pass away or suffer total and permanent disability. I listened up when the girls were explaining this to me. I mean, of course, every parent’s greatest fear is to have something terrible happen to you and no one will take care of your child. This gave me peace of mind, knowing that my son would be able to get a complete education even if I am no longer around.

(3) Choice of payment terms, which allows you to build your child’s education fund in five years or until your child reaches the age of 17. Again, I was happy to hear about how flexible Philam Life could be when it comes to these things. At least I could choose a payment scheme that is wont hurt our everyday budget–it can be light and easy, especially since I’m going to start while Tristan is only a year old.

(4) Optional life insurance coverage for you–an additional lump-sum cash benefit to help in your child’s education should I (knocking on wood once again) pass away or suffer total and permanent disability before my son reaches the age of 18. I know, you might say I shouldn’t think of these things. But then as a parent, I really should. Life is so uncertain, and having that security for my son if something should happen to me will make me sleep easier at night. This was a plus that the Baby Barangay was eager to explain to me as they knew I think about these things late at night (yes, I bug them about it haha).

So, okay. At this point I was already sold and was ready to sign at the dotted line. But the girls wanted me to understand exactly what I was getting when I signed up, so they explained how Future Scholar works:

Basically, I can choose to pay regularly until Tristan reaches the age of 17, or I can choose to invest as short as five years. It will all depend on my goals for Tristan, how much I am willing to invest and how long I want to do it. The girls told me I could decide on how my premiums will be allocated into guaranteed savings and investment portions of my plan, depending on my goal. Like, I can choose 50% guaranteed savings and 50% investment, 80% guaranteed savings and 20% investment, or 20% guaranteed savings and 80% investment.

Lets say I decide on a 5-Pay Payment Term with an Annual Premium of P100,000 and a Premium Allocation of 50%-50%. For an additional premium of P5,241 a year, I can get an optional life insurance coverage as an additional lump-sum cash benefit should anything happen to me before Tristan reaches the age of 18. And I get to enjoy these benefits:

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After hearing all this, I was more than ready to sign up for Future Scholar (I mean, aren’t you convinced). It’s like all my worries and concerns have been answered! But more than all these benefits, I think the most important thing is that Philam Life is a trustworthy and credible brand. I know I don’t have to worry about the company suddenly going bankrupt (like other companies in the past) because Philam Life has been around for decades, and will continue on till our children have grandchildren, and on and on and on. Future Scholar puts my mind at ease, because I know Tristan will grow up with the best education no matter what happens.

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Best basics at Joe Fresh

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I love hardworking basics–not only do they look good and fit well, they allow me to mix and match most of the items in my closet. From all my years of shopping, I’ve realized that these are always worth the investment and I don’t mind paying a little extra to get quality pieces. These ones from Joe Fresh are just what I had in mind–I’ve already used them many times since this shoot and will continue wearing them for many weeks and months to come. This leather backpack from Rebecca Minkoff is a favorite, as well as these sandals from Alexander Wang

Baby and Breakfast: 5 Helpful Tips on Traveling with Your Baby

Europe with your baby? Yes, it is possible. Carlos, Tristan and I went to Amsterdam, Florence, Barcelona and Paris, and had the best family vacation. Of course, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies–we encountered quite a few challenges along the way, but it was all worth it in the end. Read about the things I learned when my husband and I brought our little guy with us to Europe last October 2016. This was posted by my bestie, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso on http://www.babyandbreakfast.com last November 21, 2016.

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Tricks of the Trade: How to minimize the appearance of cellulite

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Hello Kelly. I noticed that I now have cellulite after giving birth—what do you recommend I do about it? Are there creams or treatments that will erase this?

Cellulite is the bane of our existence. Many women will agree, because most of us have it. Not only is it unsightly (it is that dimpled, lumpy surface on your thighs and buttocks, for those of you who don’t know what it is), it sneakily pops out of nowhere and prevents us from wearing swimsuits, shorts and skirts with confidence. I used to think cellulite affects women of a certain age and weight, until I noticed that I had it—and this was back in my mid-20’s, before I got pregnant! So no, you shouldn’t feel bad that you have it, because it is actually more common than you think (90% of women have it).

So here’s what it is: FAT. The reason why it has that appearance is because the strands of connective tissue that separates fat cells into compartments cause excess fat to bulge out. This usually happens to women when we rapidly gain weight (like during pregnancy), as the said connective tissue form a honeycomb-shaped pattern that pushes out any increase of fat to form dimples. Men don’t get as much cellulite as their fibers run horizontally, forming a crisscross pattern that prevents fat from dimpling.

The bad news is: cellulite only gets worse with age. Those strands of connective tissue actually thicken with age while our skin gets thinner, which makes this lumpy appearance more noticeable. Plus, women lose muscle and gain fat with age, which means we should double our efforts if we have it (especially if you’re over the age of 35) as it will only be harder to minimize as we get older. Fortunately, there are now ways to smoothen out these areas (you’re on the right track asking about anti-cellulite creams and treatments). Read on to find out ways to minimize the appearance of cellulite.

Get deep-tissue massages. This is good news for those of us who love getting massages. Not only is it great for blood circulation, well, apparently it can also help smoothen out cellulite. This works by removing toxins and reducing excessive amounts of fluid in areas that contain cellulite. But while regular massages can help minimize dimply skin, you also have to manage your expectations as this isn’t a quick fix. For me though, getting massages is always a good idea as it is a great way to relax and knead those sore muscles. I suggest using a cellulite cream on your thighs, buttocks and stomach area to effectively target those problem areas. Look for ingredients like niacin or caffeine as these can effectively zap cellulite when massaged into skin.

Exercise. The most effective way to get rid of cellulite is by exercising, especially when its through stretching or weight-training exercises like yoga or Pilates. What happens when we don’t exercise is we end up losing a lot of muscle and it is replaced by fat. This causes cellulite to be more apparent, which, of course, we don’t want. Exercise is a must as engaging the muscles can blow up fat cells and ultimately reduce cellulite. The best exercises you can do are the lunge and the squat (ask your trainer to show you the proper way to do these). There’s no need to carry so much weight when you do this, but it has to be done in sets and repetitions. Or, if you have no time to go to the gym, try taking the stairs and walk more. These everyday choices can make a big difference in the long run, both health wise and to help minimize cellulite.

Invest in top treatment. Another effective way to treat cellulite is through Endermologie, which you can get at Marie France. It is a non-invasive body contouring treatment that reduces and removes fat lumps and unwanted inches from your body. It works by using an advanced roller and suction technology that applies deep action on fatty tissues, naturally disposing cellulite for smoother, tighter skin. I’ve tried this numerous times and have seen significant inch-loss in just a few sessions. Plus, it really diminishes the appearance of dimples and cottage-cheese-like cellulite, which is what we want. You may call 894-2639 (BODY) for a free consultation.

Drink plenty of water. The minimum per day is two quarts of water, which I have to admit, I don’t get to drink everyday. It is definitely good practice though, as it is not only beneficial to our health, but a good way to lose toxins and cleanse the organs. A lot of women lose somewhere between five to eight pounds on their first and second weeks just by drinking water and using Endermologie (this has worked for me). You will go to the bathroom a lot, but in a matter of weeks you will be slimmer, healthier and have a smoother bottom line. If you have a problem drinking enough water, try lemon or cucumber water (these are purifiers and diuretics). One slice of cucumber can flavor a giant pitcher of water, and you can keep adding water to it all day long. Or make your own concoction: put strawberries, rosemary, or mint.

Eat, Drink and Be Married: Travel Tips

So excited! Planning another family trip, and this time my parents are coming along. Should be fun! Oh, and here are travel tips from me and the girls–click PLAY to watch this episode of Eat, Drink & Be Married. ❤