The day I wore: Blush lace

             

These photos are part of a fashion feature I did for Hey Jow, shot by one of my favorite photographers, Sheila Catilo. My top is from POP Retail Lab, while my white pants are from Details; all accessories are from Hey Jow. These were shot at Ibiza Beach Club in Bonifacio Global City–the light here is amazing. I absolutely love how these photos turned out!

Why Agoo Bengson should be your nail polish style icon

I’ve always been a fan of Agoo Bengzon. She is my go-to girl when I need beauty inspiration as she is not only incredibly knowledgeable on the subject matter, she has amazing skin, hair and nails to prove it. I’ve looked up to her since her days as a beauty editor for Preview Magazine, and when I took the same position for another magazine, my goal was to be like her. She is stylish, intelligent and super chic. Oh, and she has beautiful hands and feet–her posts on Instagram always garner hundreds of likes and comments!

That’s why when Agoo personally invited me to the launch of her nail polish line, in collaboration with local brand Girl Stuff Forever, I immediately confirmed! This is such a well-deserved collection. If anyone should have a nail polish line, it is Agoo.

And here it is!!! Three gorgeous shades that would make any one’s tips and toes look as good as Agoo’s. They are Posse (dark blue), Smitten (bright pink) and Cloud (lilac). The colors are on trend for sure, but also very classic and elegant. The best part: they look good on all skin colors and tones! I cant get enough of these.

The launch/spa party was held at Nail Spa salon in Makati. The establishment is known for amazing mani-pedis, and it is owned by Agoo’s good friend, Pauline Suaco-Juan (former EIC for Preview).

Excuse my gnarly toes, but I just had to show you how good this shade looks!

 There’s Agoo (in the middle), with beauty blogger Bing Castro and Girl Stuff Forever owner Janina Gutierrez-Tan.

This dark blue hue called POSSE is so stylish and chic!

My favorite shade from the bunch: CLOUD.

 

What the Baby Barangay ordered at Souv by Cyma

Souv! by Cyma is a new concept restaurant by Chef Robby Goco that offers a fresh and modern take on Greek cuisine. I have always been a fan of Cyma (and Greek food, for that matter) so I had high expectations for this lunch. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. If anything, it was able to exceed all my expectations–the food here is amazing!

The Baby Barangay (that’s me, Bianca, Cat, Nicole and Patty) went in at 2:30pm and the place was packed (always a good sign in a restaurant). We were definitely in for a treat, because Chef Robby personally took care of us and sent out the best dishes on the menu. Now, for those of you wondering what ‘souv’ means, it actually comes from the word: souvlaki/souvla/souva, which is a Greek dish made up of meat on a skewer. And since the resto has a modern Greek concept that focuses on spit fired meat, well, it was the perfect name!

Because of Cyma’s success, Chef Robby decided to integrate his top 12 favorite dishes in Cyma with Souv! which is why the resto still has the flavors we are so familiar with. But also expect more. Souv!’s menu revolves around the three souvlaki meats usually found in the rotisserie: chicken, pork and lamb. Which means the meats are incredibly flavorful and tender, and has a smoky delicious taste.

For lunch, you can choose their roastings which you can have in a wrap, salad, or bowl, served with your choice of side dishes. The best part is you can customize your meal based on your preference and diet (whether you are vegan, paleo, gluten-free or keto). And for appetizers, you can start with a range of mezzes from dips, to their spinach and clam fondue. For salads you can sample their Kinoa Salata, and for paleo and gluten-free options, they have the super Souv! salad. For big plates to share, they have a meat platter of their roastings, Greek Paella, Angus Beef Short Rib, Grilled Whole Fish with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon Emulsion.

Their dishes are perfectly paired with modern day Greek libations and everyday wines. And get this, they also have organic and vegan-friendly red wines if you request for it.

Sticky Chicken Wings P495. Fried chicken wings, honey, oregano, lemon, pickled onions, harissa yogurt.

 Clams & Spinach Fonduta P530. Served with grilled bread.

Plenty of kwentos and laughs with my girls.

Strapatsada P280. Greek scrambled eggs, cherry tomato comfit, feta, Greek oregano, grilled bread.

Salata Kinoa (small) P480 / (large) P680. Lollo verde, quinoa, arugula, pine nuts, sultanas, shaved kefalotiri, dijon herb dressing, grated walnuts.

Cranberry Grains Salad (small) P490 / (large) P690. Puy lentils, bulgur, parsley, cilantro, red onion, capers, cranberries, cumin, honey yogurt dressing.

    Chef Robby Goco carefully explained each dish he served us.

Cheese Saganaki P480. Fried kefalotiri with peppered fig, jam and honey sesame. Served with grilled bread.

Cyma Roka Salata (small) P350 / (large) P530. Arugula, romaine, sundries tomato, candied walnuts, parmagiano reggiano, Greek vinaigrette. Add grilled octopus (small) P110 / (large) P200.


Happy, full and completely satisfied faces.

Pork Wrap served with Oregano & Feta Fries P520. Minted tzatziki, cherry tomatoes, pickled red onions, pickled cucumber, sprouts, feta.

Hummus P290. Chickpeas, tahini, evoo.

We were super full but could not stop eating!

Grilled Sous Vide Octopus P295. Laddlemono, smokey paprika, Greek oregano, parsley salad.

Meat Platter: All Three (Chicken, Pork and Lamb) P950. Good for two. Comes with garlic yogurt sauce, pita, juicy potatoes, pickles and Greek coleslaw.

Seafood Yiouvetsi P850. Squid, shrimp, clams and mussels, orzo, crustacean-saffron broth.

We will definitely be back soon! The Baby Barangay had so much fun sampling Souv!’s dishes.

               For dessert, we had Greek yogurt!!! It comes in Wildflower Honey, Crumbled Baklava, Carrot Jam, EVOO with flakey sea salt and Orange Saffron.

Souv! by Cyma is located at Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

For reservations, call or text +63949 481 9621

10 new product discoveries I absolutely love

There no feeling quite like discovering a new brand or product you love. It’s like hitting the jackpot, especially when the quality is amazing and the price wont break the bank (although I am willing to pay a little more if it means I get something great).

I wanted to share with you 10 new brand/product discoveries ranging from high end brands to local homegrown products. These have become staples in my book, and most of them I use every day. Check out my list of favorites:

1.) Jo Malone Star Magnolia Cologne and Hair Mist. This is a limited-edition collection that is sold out in most online stores (I think you can still get it at Jo Malone stores in Metro Manila). It has a clean, flirty scent thats both citrusy and fresh, which is perfect for everyday use. I love that the scent begins with a note of lemon, then adds a watering, juicy freshness, and opens the scent with a citrus brightness. The star magnolia blossom smells amazing soft and clean, and also creamy and warm. A blend of sandalwood enhances the longevity of the fragrance.

2.) Bread Basket PH (IG handle: @breadbasketph). I discovered this homegrown brand online. Their feminine yet homey designs caught my eye, and I immediately had to order. When my placemats, coasters and breadbaskets arrived I knew I had made the right choice ordering from them. Our dining table never looked so good!

3.) The Carpenter (IG handle: @thecarpenterph). This is a faith-inspired concept store to suit our modern lifestyle. They have a great selection of modern crosses and scripture boards to tastefully decorate the home. The ones I got are now in my son Tristan’s room. Check out their site: www.thecarpenter.ph.

4.) Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation. I love that this foundation combines skincare and makeup. It allows my skin to look good and get moisturized and nourished as well. I’ve been using this almost everyday and my skin always looks flawless.

5.) Lluna the brand (IG handle: @lluna_thebrand). These aren’t your ordinary tassle earrings, as you can interchange the base and add danglers to change the look. So if you think of it, when you buy a pair, you get three pairs because you can wear them in different ways. These are all handmade and designed locally, and they are well-made. These definitely add style to my every day look.

6.) Summer items from POP Retail Lab. I’ve already written about POP Retail Lab before (click HERE), so you know how much I love their many local brands. In the photo you can find several different brands, which you can all find in the store. I swear, you can spend hours in there–there are too many great local brands to discover!

7.) Neal’s Yard Remedies. This UK brand carries skincare, bath, shower and aromatherapy products and are pioneers in natural holistic health, beauty and well-being. They are most known for its ethical and Soil Association certified organic products. I tried their essential oils: Lavender (calming for the body, mind and wellbeing and can be used as a topical remedy on abrasions, wounds, burns and insect bites), Basil (a natural tonic for nerves; it is great for restoring the body and mind and gives a natural energy boost) and Bergamot (an uplifting and fruity oil that good for balancing the body, mind and emotions), as well as their Base Massage Oil (to mix with the essential oils) that I constantly use for massage, vaporization and inhalation. This brand is available at the cosmetics floor of Rustan’s Makati and Rustan’s Shangri-la.

7.) Matthew & Melka (IG handle: @matthewandmelka). These gorgeous handmade flower earrings are super lightweight and eye-catching. They were designed by accessories designer Ken Samudio (@kensamudio), who has already been noticed by top international magazines and luxury shopping sites for his exquisite and one-of-a-kind handiwork.

8.) Carte D’Or Gelato. Wow. I was blown away by these amazing flavors (they have Double Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Pistachio and Chocolate Hazelnut). I am currently on a ketogenic diet so I cant really have sweets, but I broke my diet for this! Not regretting it though–it was all sorts of amazing.

9.) Delight: Homemade Dips & Spreads (IG handle: @delightph). I have to say, the name perfectly suits what’s inside these bottles. Amazingly delightful creamy and savory spreads. I ate this with veggie chips and enjoyed every bite. This is a must-have for parties or when snacking at home while watching a movie. Yummy.

10.) Moshi Cases (IG handle: @moshi_ph). This is hands down my favorite mobile phone case/cover. I bought my first one when I saw it had a retractable little stand, which is perfect for watching anything on my phone. Well, it’s usually Tristan who benefits from it, but when my baby is happy, I am happy. I’ve made it a point to collect all designs and colors, and I even got a sleek, incredibly efficient external battery (it fully charges my phone up to 4x).

How to make healthy bento box baon for the kiddos

I’ve always admired the creativity of moms like Kat Maderazo (she comes up with amazing bento box ideas in her Instagram account: @bentobykat). She effortlessly creates incredibly appetizing themed bento boxes that are also yummy and nutritious. I cant even begin to imagine how to decorate Tristan’s bento box baon when he starts going to school. Like, creating something cute and delicious might be a little difficult at 5 in the morning!

So okay, the Baby Barangay moms (that’s me, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso, Cat Juan-Ledesma, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, and Patty Laurel-Filart) were invited by Gold Seas Tuna to a bento box class and guess who our teacher was?! KAT MADERAZO! She was so nice and patient, and allowed us to explore our creative side, while teaching us the tips and shortcuts for making our bentos look amazing.

We had all our ingredients properly chopped up and prepared (which helped make the class smooth and easy) and we each had a complete set of tools and our own workstations! It was so much fun–I was nursing a headache that was quickly turning into a vertigo episode but I soldiered on. I didn’t want to miss out on this!

So this is how our individual workstations looked like. All the ingredients were in nice little containers, which I think helps make the bento box decorating process a whole lot easier. So yes, if you want to get into bento box making for your kiddos, make sure to: (1) prepare everything the night before and separate them into glass containers, like above.  

 Before anything else, you will need a legit bento box to put all your wonderful creations in. These ones from Yumbox (IG handle: @yumboxlunch) are so cute, so easy to clean and really organize and separate each food group. No mess or spills with this one. So be sure to (2) pick up a bento box (like this) because of course, before you get into bento box baon making, you need a bento box! 

Another important tip I learned from this class: (3) invest in bento box making tools! You will need all the cute molds, punchers, mini scissors, tweezers, small knives and spiralizers to create your masterpiece easily. Yes, you can actually do without these but you will surely have a difficult time creating that theme you’re envisioning in your head or copying your son or daughter’s favorite cartoon characters.

 The most important thing I learned is (4) how to incorporate healthy ingredients into your kiddo’s bento boxes. This is the part where you can make use of colorful vegetables and fruits, which your kids need to eat anyway. Kat taught us how to use natural coloring for the rice to make it more appetizing–you can use ingredients like turmeric (yellow) and edible flowers (blue). And using cut up seaweed sheets to create an outline of a face/features. Gold Seas Yellowfin Tuna chunks can make cute tuna mayo sandwiches or can be fried to be make tuna nuggets!

And lastly, (5) be creative with your presentation! Kat suggested to draw the design you’re envisioning in your mind. This not only helps organize your thoughts, but also allows you to come up with the right proportion for the bento box, as well as know what ingredients you need to create it (so you can prepare and do the groceries beforehand).

Oh, and don’t forget to have fun and keep practicing! Your kids will surely appreciate all your efforts.

The Baby Barangay loves Gold Seas Tuna Chunks and Kat Maderazo!!!

Here it is: the ultimate Pampers torture test!

Mommas, I’ve been wanting to share this with you this torture test from the day we shot it! It is unbelievable! It really shows that Pampers Premium Care is THE BEST diaper in the market today. Of course, I did this test with fellow mamas Cat Arambulo-Antonio and Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles (what a riot it was to shoot with these ladies). We absolutely love Pampers Premium Care! Our babies are always happy because of we use the best. WATCH and comment below. ❤

To order Pampers Premium Care (via Lazada) click HERE.