Most of you know of her and you know the cosmetic range that bears her name.
Watch and hear this ancient video of Elizabeth Arden herself speaking on the eradication of old 1890’s Victorian style posture and the renaissance of posture in the new century with the support of proper exercise. What a gem of a video and I couldn’t help but giggle at the way these women were exercising on the beach, but in fairness I do want to get my splits and handstands back eventually. Temptation Island, anyone?
Have a good morning, and really have it! Don’t let worries or the mad morning rush steal the day away. Remember what Mr. Incredible always says (which is the opposite of what a lot of us say) “I’ve got time” and because he believes, he always does. The day begins with prayer, exercise even if it’s just a 10 or 15 minute routine, a refreshing bath, and breakfast!
Clockwise: Holly’s Lightly Salted (Farm Churned) Butter, Holly’s Really Farm Fresh Milk (Chocolate), Ripe Mango, Buttered Toast, and Red Grapes (sketch filtered with Camera 360 app)
After I did my morning stretch at 630am and this Body Bangin’ 30 min Pilates routine till 715am I showered and went down to have breakfast. I’m blessed to have a Mom who goes the distance and out of her way to get us good food. She knows many preservative-free foods have a shorter shelf life but in exchange they extend ours. As often as we can, we get Holly’s Fresh Milk and their butter made from the same milk (which actually costs less than the Nestle milk in groceries). The family that owns the business are also the owners of Carmen’s Best Ice Cream, a small home business venture made from the same fresh dairy products that come from the Holly cows (Holly cows! LOL!!!). This ice cream BEATS Ben & Jerry’s (seriously, it does, B&J is too sickeningly sweet) and for me is the best ice cream I’ve tasted locally EVARRRHHH. Oh, by the way, this next photo of the ice cream I took over a month ago now, just to be clear I DID NOT have ice cream after breakfast, hahaha, okay? I sprinkled their Malted Milk flavor (which has Malteser bits in it) with Milo on top :). Malt meets malt, my classy touch.
“Taste the difference. Our homemade mix sets us apart from all other ice cream brands. We proudly create our ice cream using fresh milk and cream from our very own dairy farm, Real Fresh Dairy Farms, Inc.Best selling flavors: salted caramel, coffee, butter pecan, and malted milk.Butter Pecan, Malted Milk, Salted Caramel, and Brazilian Coffee. We have a flavor of the month, we can make custom ice cream, and we can substitute pure cane sugar with coco sugar for those with health or weight issues.” Holly’s Dairy Products are also available at the same location.
Yeah, I’ve been bit by the exercise bug. Admittedly, it’s an itch I scratch almost everyday now. However I know a lot of you out there are with me on the fact that physical exercise is one of the MAJOR life changes one must adopt in order to lose weight. It is what it is, and nothing can change that whether we like exercise or not. For many it’s not something that’s easy to make a commitment to.
Today while researching I came across a fantastic series of mini posts under the collective title “52 Little Changes for Big Weight Loss” from iVillage. At first I muttered “One or two are redundant, why not 50 instead of 52…” then Mom was quick to point out “There are 52 weeks in a year…”. Ahhh. It all made perfect sense then.
Begin with 1 little life change in the first week and add one every week as you go. It’s full of clever truths and factoids that sum up to meet my “I-didn’t-know-that” quota for the day. It’s really very insightful and I think all these little tips together combined with a moderate, weekly exercise routine will significantly impact someone with a weight loss goal, that someone isn’t me though…I’m more about “tone, sculpt, and strengthen”. Like for instance, did it ever occur to you that eating off blue plates might psychologically curb your appetite and that McDonalds wave red & yellow which mentally increases appetite? Did you know that eating away from the TV can dramatically reduce your food intake by up to 40%? Or that chocolate milk (skim milk) is one of the best natural recovery drinks out there? There’s a wealth of health and weight loss knowledge in this online series of mini articles, 52 Little Changes for Big Weight Loss” from iVillage, just keep clicking next to go through all. Awesome post, I’m glad it’s out there.… To full post & COMMENTS...
I’m not planning to be a competitive runner, it’s just that I’ve made a promise to myself that my last year in my twenties would be the year I get fit. All the years before that were impossible because of my toxic post production career that would leave me with only a few hours or even just minutes of sleep in one day. Cardio would have “killed” me or given me a heart ailment together with my insane dose of sleep deprivation. When it comes to my fitness goals I don’t want to be ripped as in like muscle-popping hard, just undeniably fit. Martial arts is out of the question or any activity that could sustain trauma to the hands because as a makeup-artist I need to protect them. I’ve made a few small efforts to begin my fitness journey. Unlike others who have admittedly fallen behind on both the weight targets and eating healthy goals my health and fitness needs aren’t that many because I already live clean, eat healthy, and I’m not overweight. My only real problem is I don’t exercise regularly. That changed in May before I left for Singapore when I began the 30-Day Shred workout by Jillian Michaels. I only did it for 2.5 weeks till my mom protested that she was stressed out by the aggressive pace of the program even though it was doable and then said she preferred to walk or run. Then there was a gap in the fitness initiative until I began walking a lot in Singapore and felt my calves burning day in and day out. Then yesterday, unplanned, I did my first 4km run/jog (according to my cousin, Ella) in Laguna with my brother and my cousins. What surprised me was I didn’t walk-run-walk as I thought I would, I actually jogged/ran straight for ’bout 3.5-4km without any trouble, then after 2 uphill climbs I felt the slight labor in my breathing (as my body properly told me my limit) and I decided to walk instead of jog back and began cooling down. I actually realized I wasn’t as UNFIT as I thought, I was thrilled, I could actually do 4km and I wasn’t even that FIT yet. What could that mean?!!
My cousin Ella, the eldest among her siblings, showed us a simple warm-up before we set off then we talked while we ran which I believe made us forget about the distance at one point, it was a light but lively jog. She handed down minor tips after years of running with the best trainers in the country (Coach Rio dela Cruz, Coach Anna). There were small tips like inhaling then exhaling on the 4th count while running “(inhale) 1,2,3,4(exhale)(inhale) 1, 2, 3, 4 (exhale)…” and keeping elbows near your rib cage at a loose right angle and your hands comfortably suspended while swinging and positioned as if you were “holding a potato chip” in each hand. None of these tips on form were expressed to be mandatory, just recommended, but I did as I was advised. Their family is “insanely fit” and not in an overboard way, they love playing, eating, and enjoying their naps, too. I love how Ella and her “bunch” have really embraced the Spirituality and righteousness found in physical fitness and taking care of your body. Not every couple on earth can say they are both tri-athletes, have 5 children (including a 1 year old), and 4 out of those 5 children happen to be tri-athletes as well.
Post run, I walked proudly into my Tito Anthony’s house (popularly known as the head of his tri-athlete family, Team Pangilinan) and said we just did ’bout 4km. He said “Before you know it, Jules, you’ll be telling me ‘I just did my first 10k, Tito’ “, and Tita Maricel told me to ice my legs when I arrived home because of the hills in the terrain of their village, to boost recovery and lessen pain. Coach Dan Brown (not the author of the Da Vinci Code he says) said “As a beginner better to run every 2nd day (not daily) so that you can recover. And you don’t have to run all the way to complete it the first time. Alternate between walking and running first, if you must, then after a few weeks or months just run and time yourself…”. So what was I supposed to do on non-running days like today for example? On the hunt for a new “less aggressive” but still intense workout I could share with my mom I remembered Tita Maricel did pilates. So I researched online and came across this POP Pilates Begginers’ Workout with Cassey Ho.
Cassey, the star of her YouTube Channel “Blogilates”, suffice it to say, comes on “less scary” than Jillian Michaels (as is beginner pilates vs. the shred workout) and she is way more bubbly. In some parts of her videos she can border on being a bit too “sugary” in the way she expresses herself but I totally appreciate her positivism. It’s like having a sweet, first class stewardess teach you pilates, haha (watching her intro I can’t get the life jacket demo outta my mind)! I loved this workout not because it was “easy” (in fact it was not), it was slowly intense, more low impact, and less aerobic. In fact there is still a totally difficult part in the middle of the workout where you lift your legs on your side and do tiny circles. Don’t be fooled, those tiny leg lift circles, they’re MEAN tiny circles, augghh they do big things to your buttocks and you can feel it. My leg dropped several times because of the burn in my “gluts”, I am not kidding. Anyway, I’ve decided that this will be my in-between/substitute workout of choice when I’m not running. I sweat a lot and feel a lot happening to my muscles in this Pilates Beginners Workout.… To full post & COMMENTS...
Mom and I were “interrupted” during our shred workout, because of a sudden wave of social functions, shoots, coming home late, a lack of commitment and other things. After roughly 2.5 weeks of regularly then semi-regularly doing the Level 1 workout I haven’t continued on that Jillian Anderson 30-day shred workout since about almost 2 months ago. I’m really disappointed with myself since for the first time after the first 2 weeks I was getting regular exercise. I guess for now painstakingly getting around SG a lot on foot for 5 days straight (aside from the train, no cabs) is slowly making up for the sudden gap of inactivity. Mom told me she wanted to run rather than do home aerobics. I’d made the well-intended mistake of thinking she didn’t want to be “exposed” to the elements (UV rays, heat, wind etc.). Having decided together that we’d rather walk and run together than do home aerobics I realized I had never owned a properly prescribed pair of running shoes. So, being here in Singapore during the great Singapore sale gave me the opportunity to track down the newest pair of Mizuno Wave Riders alo.gside one of the best running advisers around, Noelle de Guzman, aka Kikayrunner.
“Mizuno Wave® – The leading footwear technology that combines cushioning and stability, two distinctly different, yet necessary elements in running shoes. While the running world labors over the pros and cons of lightweight, cushioning and stability, Mizuno labors to strike the perfect balance…a harmonious marriage of all three, achieved through Mizuno Wave Technology®. SmoothRide™ – Minimizes the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the foot during transition, creating the smoothest ride possible. Mizuno has taken SmoothRide Engineering™ a step further with the Wave Rider 15. Forefoot Flex Controllers allow optimal flex at toe-off and by moving the heel contact point a bit further forward on the sole it smooths out heel contact producing a more fluid ride. Dynamotion Fit™ – Relives the stress the foot naturally places on footwear, eliminating distortion for the perfect fit. A running shoe should work with the foot, not against it. Dynamotion Fit™ achieves this by allowing the upper to move in harmony with the foot through the entire running gait – from heel strike through toe-off. With Dynamotion Fit™ a runner and shoe literally become one.”
I’ve wanted to run in our beauty of a village for the longest time, I’ve only brisk walked with the dogs in my sneakers or slippers. Read more to see the full post of my first impressions on the Mizuno WaveRider 15.… To full post & COMMENTS...
These days you never know what’s going to happen, whether it’s an earthquake, tsunami, flood, fire or the “zombie apocalypse” it’s always good to have prepared what you’re going to grab in the wake of a sudden disaster.
I’ve put together a backpack of stuff and made a video where I talk about what and why on these items.. The following video loosely follows the categories of First Aid, Beauty, Clothing, Food and Survival tools I’ve prepared for myself and for my family. Check out What’s In My Emergency Pack. The full list of items and some things I might have missed mentioning are written below this embedded video.
Emergency Pack contents (whatever I may have accidentally missed mentioning in the video I’ve listed here:
1. Lightweight but sturdy bag or backpack, comfortable for running with and appropriately contains the following categorized items.
5. CLOTHING PACK – Disposable undies, Antibacterial wipes, jogging pants, cloth undies, 3 top options, a pair of shorts. I’d also bring along my all-weather Columbia jacket.
6. FOOD/SUSTENANCE PACK – Cup noodle veggie soup, EDO Japanese Nori (seasoned), Ocean Spray Trail Mix Dried Fruit and Nuts, Century Tuna Lite easy-open can, Twinings tea sachets, starchware sporks, Light My Fire Titanium Spork (check outdoor sporting stores, got mine at Paseo Center, Sta Rosa), Payless Instant Noodles Chicken Corn Malunggay, starchware takeaway box, dried fruit and 2.5 cups of uncooked dry rice sealed in ziplock packs.
7. SURVIVAL TOOLS – metal carabiners, personal key sets, mini flashlight, Swiss Knife, waterproof flashlight (I recommend Maglites or Life Gear), MY BIBLE – in the end this is what will truly keep me going from the inside out.
THINGS I’VE NOTED THAT I STILL LACK : Lush Shampoo/Body bar, Small deodorant stick, Light My Fire firestarter thing, mini cooking pot, army Swiss knife, fishing line, insect repellent lotion.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” JOHN 16:33 NIV
Getting started is always I believe nearly half the battle in trying to set a good habit in place. Physical fitness is the subject I’ve been most avoiding on the blog simply because I could never get started properly and be a sweating good example to you all. I’m a bit tight financially at the moment so a paid workout program in a swanky all setup gym is just not yet in the budget range. There was a time when I was more mobile physically, especially when I went on Living Asia Channel tours throughout the country as a writer, you can see how confident I was once upon a time in this photo taken by a fellow writer four years ago when I used to jump and flip all over the place especially at the beach. Hello, thunder thighs. I know for a fact that no matter how much I workout my thighs will always have some level of heft, I’m special that way.
If I could afford it, I’d go and do Barre (check out Rockwell and inside the Spa at BGC Fort) which is a stretching combination of ballet and pilates. Pole dancing looked physically promising and it actually excited me (the actual workout) but honestly speaking straight from the heart my moral compass will never point me in that direction because of what the workout implicates too openly (no offense meant to those who pole dance, I’m a Christian, it’s really what I stand for personally). Well, I’ve found a home video workout that isn’t new, it’s from 2008, but it works great for me and my mother so far and we happen to be a pair of NEARLY the worst couch potatoes around. Now, we’re mashed couch potatoes.
HOW I FEEL 5 DAYS INTO IT: What I can say is the first two days made my body hurt but the tormenting strenuous parts of the routine were quite bearable. I just finished the 5th day today early this morning and my muscles no longer hurt and my unused joints (shoulders/hips/knees) have ceased with the infrequent “snapping”, “cracking”, or “popping” sounds they were making before due to proper stretching and rotation, I’m quite excited to head towards the finish line of Level 1 and want to push myself further.
If she looks very familiar that’s because Jillian Michaels is THE original Biggest Loser coach for the acclaimed reality show. My ultimate goal for myself was not to lose weight, in fact I believe “30 DAY SHRED” is actually a hardsell title for what is actually an awesome combo cardio-strength workout that’s been reduced to a window of a 20-minute everyday session at a new difficulty level every 10 days. This is how simple it is and I love that you don’t need A TON OF PROPS to get rolling with this workout. All you need are a pair of light dumbells 1-3 lbs (mine are 3 pounds each) a workout mat, thick rug, or any mat you’re comfy lying down on, and 20 minutes a day for 30 days STRAIGHT. A laptop would be handy to play the workout DVD anywhere in the house where you feel comfortable to workout. Anyone can make 20 minutes for a bit of exercise, you don’t find it, you make it. The workout is simple, it consists of 3 videos of 3 intensity levels. You do the first video workout for 10 days, on the eleventh day you begin the Level 2 video, and on the 21st day you begin the Level 3 video. It’s that simple, then I believe you can continue with the Level 3 video as a regular workout routine once you complete the cycle. For your benefit, I discovered the Level 1 Video was made available on YouTube, I don’t know how much longer it will be on there so best to check this out now while you’re interested, watch this, give it a go and show yourself how easy this 30-Day Shred workout really is…at the start.
Warning, you will sweat a lot and then be surprised at how quick it is, the only catch is you have to do it everyday, it is a 20-minute commitment ANYBODY can make. Mom is on her fourth day of the Level 1 workout now, and I’m on my fifth, she joined me on the 2nd day. I sourced the two other videos but am truly planning to buy this DVD online and it’s available here from Amazon if you’d like to try another of Jillian’s 3-2-1 level method workouts you can try the more advanced and recent Ripped in 30 DVD , you can ask HouseofFlair to order it for you from the U.S. !… To full post & COMMENTS...
No, this is NOT for your minibar *yanks it back, strokes bottle*. My mother brought two bottles of this crystal clear, French liquid home from Hong Kong. She and I have never heard of it until someone insisted Mom find some and bring it home. That someone is Gary Valenciano’s wife, my Ninang because she claims it’s really the best all around remedy (probably second to squalene in her book). The wonderful thing about traditional vintage remedies is more often than not they’re brewed from the most effective natural ingredients and are therefore deemed to be more “harmonious” with the ailing body. It’s no doubt that the Chinese herald their own Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa Sore Throat Syrup, which today rakes in heaping annual sales totaling about US$45 Million dollars. From the West, the French have their own, this, a curious but potent, clear liquid by Ricqles prepared from peppermint leaves with a hard-to-remember full French title, Alcool de Menthe de Ricqles, more commonly known as Ricqles Peppermint Cure. It’s such a novelty thing that I hold and behold it the way Alice does the Drink Me bottle.
“The manufacturer is so dedicated to peppermint that they control the entire process, from growing to processing to packaging. Several drops into a teaspoon with sugar calms almost any stomach ache. It is an excellent flavoring agent in cooking. I also carry it while traveling; a few drops into a glass of tap water makes a nice ‘eau de nuit’. This has been a staple in our home for over twenty years.” – David R. Good, reviewer on Amazon.com
Ricqles is a brand established in 1838. Peppermint Cure is said to relieve a number of common bodily afflictions from topical to intestinal, and it’s even mentioned as a FLAVORING AGENT in cooking by some reviewer on Amazon, Peppermint Cure is bound to rock my boat (summons imaginary yacht), what with its cute vintage label and all. We associate the French with wine and liquor so much that by the bottle you think it’s bound to belong in the minibar. Disclaimer detour, this isn’t a full review. I’m not sick and don’t have any burns or bites plus this is mom’s unopened bottle, for now let it be a visual “TA-DA!”.
“Use as an essential antiseptic for preventing risk of infection in minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites. Also recommended as an all season remedy for everything from indigestion, bad breath, the blues, headache to cold/flu. With a natural peppermint scent that vanishes instead of turning musty, this French made product epitomizes a clean and gentle preparation.” – etamhoa.com
What to do with it ? Oh, what to do! Reviews and descriptions of this online call it nearly everything short of water poured from the Holy Grail. It’s even recommended for burns, cuts, bites and for annoying but well-meaning people with bad breath (shocked face)…how big can a little product like this get? I wonder if it’ll shrink a zit. The box, by the way, certainly screams Doraemon don’t you think? By the soundz of it I’m waiting for the box to morph into him.
If it removes my makeup, Heavens be praised I’m sold. On Amazon this costs about US$10.00, from online Asian retailers I’ve seen this priced for as low as US$8.00. I’m guessing it would be easy to find this in traditional medicine pharmacies throughout Asia that import European products, but most probably not here in the Philippines, best bets would be Hong Kong or Singapore. This officially qualifies as a lovely addition to my upcoming Ultimate Girls’ Apocalypse Kit simply because it does so much so you can’t be without it.
I find that there are certain things us women need to know or remember about the dreaded skin types. There are lots of misconceptions about the causes and solutions and having been educated a little bit more on the subject of skincare by my French makeup teacher in Singapore perhaps I can help settle the score once and for all. I’m here to smash some myths about these skin types, so please take a comfy seat and pay attention! This isn’t the usual I promise you.
Mind you, I am not a dermatologist but I have access to a good one, I think she’s one of the best in the country, but I’ve only gone to her because of chronic rashes once in awhile, and I also talked to my aunt a bit who is a non-practicing med school graduate. Click Read More to see what I’ve learned and have to say about four dreaded skin types.… To full post & COMMENTS...