We just came from a family Staycation. That night at the hotel Zeeka took over my computer, and started writing an article in my blog. She was practicing to be an author, her dream. Of course, she had a lot of spelling mistakes (normal for a 6 year old), but I taught her to construct the article by starting with 3 different ideas about the topic she chose. 

The next day, I thought about how parents can teach kids English and how to construct well thought of articles and stories. I found Unique English Classroom when I was looking for English programs available for kids. 

Creative writing is often thought of as a “fancy” skill. But today’s trends in marketing shows just how important it is to explore imagination and creative writing.  

The benefits of creative writing for kids

We all have an innate love for stories, especially children.

For the longest time, we’ve used stories to tell tales of valor and courage, of magic and mysteries. It’s been an easy way for us to share valuable lessons, to explain the unknown, and to pass on the knowledge we’ve learned. 

Storytelling has many benefits for budding young writers. It helps them share their thoughts, increase their imagination, and improve their communication skills. 

Children understand the world better through the stories we tell. And writing about their experiences can help them process the lessons they learn. 

Research shows that writing tasks have physiological and behavioral benefits for children. 

Writing for 15-20 minutes a day can help kids and adolescents relieve stress caused by external factors. 

It also provides a safe space for them to explore their emotions and express their feelings. 

Creative writing also improves children’s organizational and persuasion skills. 

The process of writing involves creativity, planning, and choosing the right words to convey the right message. 

It also forces the writer to create different personas, and look at things in different lenses. Because of this, writers become more sensitive and intuitive about other people. 

Doing so broadens their horizons and makes them better people. 

Unique English Classroom: building creative writing skills and communication for young writers

Children nowadays are always distracted. And with all the gadgets available, it can be a challenge to get our kids interested in picking up a book to read. 

It’s no longer enough for kids to just learning how to read and write. The future belongs to those who can develop a keen understanding of the world around them. 

To do that, our kids need a head-start. And Unique English Classroom provides our kids with that opportunity. 

UEC Philippines is not your typical English program. 

It is composed of four progressive programs: Kids Can Read, Alpha Learners, Alpha Authors, and Aspiring Writers & Illustrators Scheme.

The goal is for kids to develop a think-outside-the-box mindset through highly interactive activities such as drama presentations and games.

Kids Can Read! 

This level nurtures the love for reading, making it perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Parents get to share the experience with their kids. Teachers will guide you on ways to effectively entice kids to learn to love books. 

It also promotes imagination, creativity, language, and increases the kid’s vocabulary.

Alphabet Learners

The goal of this level is to increase your child’s comprehension and understanding of the English language. 

Kids on this level get the better vocabulary and sentence construction. They also learn more about sequencing, idea coherence, and logical reasoning. 

The activities your kids will do also helps them increase their social awareness through teamwork and drama lessons. 

Alpha Authors 

This level helps kids learn to visualize and create stories. They also learn to find new and better words that make their stories more effective. 

Young writers learn to translate their daily activities and events into 150-200 word narratives. It also serves as the introduction and foundation of AWIS, a program developed by media and education specialists in Singapore. 

The stories they create also gets a chance to be featured online.  

AWIS

AWIS is focused on getting your kid ready for advanced writing levels. 

Its core lesson introduces kids to a higher order of grammar, logical reasoning, and creativity. It also increases their vocabulary use and readies them to create and write their own stories and books.  

So what makes Unique English Classroom different from other English tutorial programs? It’s created by writers for young writers. 

UEC, the Unique English Classroom, on the other hand, focuses on the more important aspect of communication, which is reading comprehension and confidence in communication. 

They believe that every child can create their own unique stories. They just need the right encouragement and guidance to bring out their potential. 

Students of the program get to learn by doing. UEC Philippines gets the best teaching strategies from each learning approach and personalizes it for each child in the program. 

But the true core of the UEC program is its creator, Catherine Khoo.

Catherine is an accomplished author, lecturer, publisher, movie maker, and a trailblazer in her own right. 

She shattered the traditional Japanese male enclave when she became the only woman editor-in-chief of Asia 21 and Japan Close-Up Magazines. These Japan-based international magazines are published in Singapore and is owned by Japan Close-Up Magazines. 

Katsuhiko Eguchi, executive vice-president of PHP Institute describes her as someone with an untrapped mind. Her creative approach to thinking outside the box has helped them break the boundaries of what a magazine should be. 

Under her leadership, Asia 21 became essential reading for every Singaporean student. It is the only Asian publication chosen by Singapore’s Ministry of Education to be added to its Humanities syllabus. 

Asia 21 also received recognition as the first magazine to map out brand stories and their development. Their cartoon-styled Every Product Tells a Story talks about how products like Sony Walkman, Yomeishu, Mikimoto Pearls, and Yakult came to be. 

Catherine also published two best-selling books in Singapore. She is also the brain behind Savvy, the only magazine endorsed by the Ministry of Education. 

With all her accolades as a writer, editor, and published author, you know your child is in good hands. 

It’s great to know that kids in the program have grown to love reading and writing their stories in English. 

Kids as young as 4 years old get to explore English as a language and learn how to express themselves and their experiences through stories. 

Here’s what kids are saying about Unique English Classroom. 

Parents are also happy with the way their kids are learning through UEC. Check out this feedback from a Unique English Classroom parent. 

I’m excited to have Zeeka try the program itself. As a mom, I’ve always been so supportive of her dreams. And her becoming an author is one I’m really excited to see. 

Have you tried Unique English Classroom? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please share them below. 

For more information, visit their website here

I was a bit iffy to take supplements that I haven’t taken before. But I was inspired to try new things. Watching 30 day challenges in YouTube, like this one from Matt D’Avella (one of my YouTube idols!)…

and this one, where people were asked to do planks for 30 days straight…

inspired me to just go for it and try a new thing every 30 days. The first challenge that I did was called #mycollagenjourney. I’ve never lasted 30 days in taking supplements. I would usually be so excited to start using a bottle then I would stop after a few days. Usually, I would forget to take them… then completely stop. So I would never really know if the supplement worked or not.

But this time, I am decided to take Healthy Options Collagen Complete for 30 days straight at the suggested dosage.

Why Collagen?

Some of you may be wondering why Collagen of all the supplements that I could take. Okay, first of all, they say that collagen delays the ageing process. I wanted to know if regular intake would really help.

Collagen is a form of protein found in the body. Endogenous collagen is what is produced by our body, but as we grow older, production decreases.

There are three types of collagen in the body. Types 1 and 3 makes up 75% of your skin, helps in hair and nail production, are found in 100% of tendons and 86% of ligaments. Type 2 are found in the different tissues of the body, usually in cartilage (60% of cartilage) and helps in joint support.

This is the reason why we find collagen in different beauty products. Some of them also help increase the production of collagen.

What Does Collagen Complete do?

Collagen Complete helps stimulate the production of collagen in the body. With this, it reverses the ageing process. Wrinkles are minimized. Your skin glows more. You get thicker hair.

The Collagen Complete from Healthy Options offers Types 1, 2 and 3 collagen with chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid (attracts water into tissues for hydration). It is rich in antioxidants from red wine and grape seeds to combat free radicals that damage cells and cause ageing. It also contains Vitamin C.

#MyCollagenJourney

I started my Collagen Journey last September 28.

October 19, 2019

How did it end? 🙂 Check out and watch my video!

So overall, I had fun doing this challenge. It was a good first challenge to do for 30 days. I saw the results and now, I’m inspired to move on to my next 30 day challenge!

The reality of life is that we won’t stay young forever. I realized this last year while I was looking at the mirror. I noticed fine lines under my eyes! It suddenly dawned on me that I was about to hit the big 4-0 in a couple of years.

Personally though, I have no qualms about mentioning my age (my REAL age) when people ask for it. I just think that the older you are, the wiser you get. Also, people in this country respect you a little bit more when you’re older. Case in point, when I fainted in the gym two months ago, people were asking me… “okay lang po kayo, ate?” (are you alright, older sister). I just feel that if it were a younger ME, people would have just paid no attention, and they would go about their own business. Haha!

Anyway, my point is that I love myself; I love my age. But, loving one’s self doesn’t mean that we don’t want to look good, right? We still want to look our best. I have plans of living a long, fruitful and useful life. I still want to look and feel young even if I’m old, so I can do a lot of purposeful things. I want to make all the positive difference I can make in this life for the good of everyone in this world.

For us women, we need a little boost of confidence, when we want to complete our goals. We want to make sure that we can look back and be proud of ourselves (i.e. when looking back at old photos and videos).

Speaking of looking good and feeling good, I discovered this site called Bella Pelle: https://bellapelleph.com/

I instantly loved it. The site is an eCommerce site that brings you the best and premium dermatological beauty products in the Philippines. You can just sit back, navigate through the site and order online. The brands that it carries are the brands that we trust like Heliocare, Neostrata, Biologuique Recherche, Viviscal, Cosmetic Skin Solutions, Footlogix, Infracyte, Kamedis, MD Therapy, Rapid Brow, Rapid Lash, SErum V, Tizo, Vanicream, Yllume and Zo Skin Health by Zein Obagi.

What I like about the site is that you can search for products based on your skin care need/s. Also, these products are not those that you see being sold over-the-counter. They are those that you get from dermatologists. When you ask for recommendations via the contact us page, a fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society and board certified dermatologist is consulted.

These are the products that I got from the site.

Zo Skin Health Instant Pore Refiner, NeoStrata Tri- Therapy Lifting Serum, Heliocare Ultra Gel SPF 90 and Zo Medical Brightenex

I also got a prescription on how to use the products that I ordered. I’ll be reviewing each product soon and posting a vlog about each in my YouTube channel soon (http://YouTube.com/gingerarboledavlog) and on my Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/mommyginger).

Feel free to ask me anything you want to know about these products, and I’ll definitely try to answer them (to the extent of my experience with the product). I can also ask the derma who recommended these to me if you have more technical questions about the products.

Also, I wanted to interview the founder of Bella Pelle PH, so watch out for that article in the upcoming days.

So, that’s it, peeps! If you want recommended-by-dermas, trusted, premium skin care products, I highly recommend that you visit https://bellapelleph.com/.

Mabe has been in the Philippines since 2014. Although, honestly, I only heard and read about it recently. I was scouting for a washing machine, and came across this brand.

The reason why I was scouting for a washing machine (after surviving the longest time without it) is that for some weird reason, the laundry shop that we have always trusted keeps on making mistakes. They would send us bags of clothes that are not ours. They would forget to bring receipts (even acknowledgement receipts). We’re not too sure anymore if they send us back all of clothes that are sent to them.

It’s so hard when you don’t have full control of your laundry. We have a dryer at home, but our previous washing machine failed us. I saw that Mabe was actually partners with General Electric Co. So I did a little research, of course, and it turns out that Mabe was actually owned by Mexicans Mabardi and Berrondo. The company has been creating kitchen appliances since 1946!

About my Mabe Washing Machine WMA071XESXS

The Mabe Washing Machine is pretty straightforward and very user friendly. The buttons are not hard to figure out (especially if it’s the user’s first time to use a washing machine…hehe!). I created an IGTV video that you can view here: Mabe Washing Machine

But, let me take you through the buttons / functionalities, as promised.

Power Button – used to switch the machine off and on. If you forget to switch off your machine, it automatically shuts off after 5 minutes.

Start/Pause Button – This is used to start using the machine. You can also pause it anytime during the cycle.

Cycle Button – You can choose from the different programs shown:

  • Wash – Just run the washing cycle without the drainage cycle. The detergent in the tub will be recycled.
  • Rinse – removes detergent from clothes and rinses with clean water
  • Spin – removes water when the wash program ends
  • Air Dry – dries the inner and outer tub to avoid mildew
  • Normal – Recommended for mixed fabric and general clothing
  • Soak – For thick, heavy-soiled laundry
  • Delicate – For clothing which require extra care
  • Quick wash – Quick wash for normal laundry

Water Temp – You can select if you want Hot, Warm or Cold Temperature.

Delay – It will show the delay time of finishing washing (in hour). The point light flashes to indicate that it’s in the reverse mode.

Water Level – When you use Normal level (which we always do.. hehe), it will select the water level which is usually levels 4, 6 or 8. If you want to change the water level, just press the Start/pause button then press the water level button to select the desired level.

So far, it’s really cheaper if you do your laundry at home. The fact that this has an inverter motor, it works more efficiently. Check this article for more information about inverter washing machines.

If you have tried out Mabe appliances, let me know. Did it work well for you, too?

When I was younger, I was guilty of abusing my skin. Seriously. I would not care to put on sunscreen, and immediately bask in the sun during beach trips. I wouldn’t care if my skin was dry and scaly. I wouldn’t care if during some months, I would break out, too. My face would be incredibly filled with pimples.

But now, I know better. I am more sensitive to what my skin needs, and I have researched a lot of ways to keep it looking fresh and fab. Not a lot of people consider me as a beauty blogger (since I don’t really blog about make-up that often), but I am a skin care addict! haha! My friends know this fact.

I would spend time researching about products that I’d love to try out. I even have a notebook with a long list of the products that I intend to use and experiment with later on (three pages long! Yup!).

So when I heard about Eau Thermale Avene, I really wanted to try it out and see for myself if the product works.

Why I wanted to try Eau Thermale Avene?

I wanted to try Eau Thermale Avene for the following scenarios:

When I walk to work, I always feel sticky after. The weather is humid at times that using Eau Thermale Avene is just what I need.

I go to the gym, too (just recently) and using this product after I workout is a great pick-me-upper. I love how fresh I feel after.

I always get red skin after a session of threading or waxing. The spray helps soothes the pain and helps with the redness and inflammation.

I also use it also just before applying make up!

More about Eau Thermale Avene

  • Originated from the mountains of Cevennes in France
  • It is non-irritant and has soothing properties
  • It has the lowest mineral content on the market and neutral pH7.5 to maintain a perfect balance of the skin
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
  • Suited for all types of skin, even sensitive skin

So to use the product, spray the mist onto the skin. Leave for 2 to 3 minutes then gently pat dry.

I was impressed with the Eau Thermale from Avene that I also tried the other products.

In the evening, I use the Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum followed by the Hydrance Aqua Cream-in-Gel (Yup, I’m a “layers” kinda gal when it comes to skin care). The Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum contains a patented Cohederm that is a lipidic trio that helps restore coheive skin barriers and prevent water loss. It contains hydration-boostin microspheres that gradually release Avene Thermal spring water and Cohederm to keep the skin replenished at all times. I noticed that this works well for people with dry parts of the skin, like the side of the nose (I told my husband to try it out… hehe!)

In the mornings, I would use the Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum followed by Hydrance Light Emulsion. Since I didn’t want to put on too many layers of products in the morning.

Overall, Avene products are perfect for people with sensitive skin and for those who just want a simple skin care regimen that they can follow. For me, it’s beauty is in its simplicity.

Try the products out and let me know what you think!