When it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts, we mommies can often find it easy to shop for kids and find it hard to shop for the titos and titas in our lives—especially as we become titas ourselves. Recently, though, I’ve been embracing the idea of the #lovelocal movement, where we are encouraged to support local businesses who in turn support local communities.

So I thought, why not make a list of Christmas gift ideas guaranteed to make titas of Manila like me happy? Plus, if you check out my list below, you’ll notice many of the gifts can be bought in bulk, which is a great way to get your Christmas shopping done in record time.

For the fashionistas

*From the Renegade Folk website

Who says footwear can’t be comfy, high-quality, and fashionable? Certainly not the people behind Renegade Folk, who sell leather footwear designed and handcrafted by local artisans from Marikina.

Check out the Renegade Folk website for more information.
(https://www.renegadefolk.com/)

For the eco-conscious

If your tito or tita talks the talk and walks the walk about being more eco-friendly, one thing you might want to gift them a set of reusable straws, the better to help them reduce their use of plastic on a daily basis. The stainless steel straws from Go Zero can be ordered with tikog pouches made by Leyte locals.

Visit the Go Zero PH Facebook page to learn more about their products and order a few sets.
(https://www.facebook.com/GoZeroPH/)

For those who like to keep things organic

*from the Human Nature Facebook Page

Social enterprise Human Heart Nature doesn’t just work on helping Filipino communities who need it; they also have created an extensive line of organic personal care, beauty, and home products perfect for titos and titos with big hearts themselves. Check out their Natural Hand Soap and Coffee Body Scrub.

Check out the Human Heart Nature Facebook page for more information.
(https://www.facebook.com/humanheartnature)

For chocoholics

Who doesn’t love chocolate? And even if the tito or tita on your Christmas shopping list is watching their sugar, you can still gift them with unsweetened options. And the products from Davao brand Malagos Chocolate aren’t just delicious—they have also won multiple times at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London, UK.

Check out the Malagos Chocolate website for details on where to buy their products.
(http://malagoschocolate.com/malagos-chocolate/)

For coffee addicts

*Image from Bo’s Coffee website

If your favorite tito or tita can’t face starting the day without a freshly brewed cup of coffee, why not encourage them to go local with premium coffee beans from all over the Philippines? You can easily source packs of barako beans at the supermarket, or you can head to your nearest Bo’s Coffee branch to buy a bag of their Philippine-origin beans from Sagada, Benguet, Mount Matutum, and more.

Visit the Bo’s Coffee contact page to find the branch closest to you.
(http://www.boscoffee.com/contact-us/)

For the health conscious

Snacking can be tough if you’re watching your weight, your cholesterol, your salt intake, and more. Which is why the snacks from Founding Farmers are such a godsend for anyone looking to eat healthier—something we should all be doing this coming year! While the original product, their Mixed Veggie Crisps, are still a best seller, you may also want to try their Shiitake Mushroom Crisps.

Visit the Founding Farmers website for more information on their products.
(https://www.foundingfarmerssnacks.com/shop)

For the kikay titas

*Image from the Happy Skin Website

Happy Skin makeup and skin care products are sure to please any kikay tita, with the local brand’s unique formulations for sensitive skin and oh-so-cute packaging. Their Disney Princess lippie line is perfect for grown-up princesses, though their Shut Up and Kiss Me Matte Lippies are great too.

Go to the Happy Skin Cosmetics website to learn more about their products.
(http://www.happyskincosmetics.com/)

For those who need a break

Is your favorite tito or tita always on the go? Treat them to a massage package at a spa with branches close to their home or work. Or, if you’re a little shy about offering them a full-body massage, why not treat them to a mani-pedi somewhere convenient, such as a nearby Nail Tropics branch?

Learn more about Nail Tropics via their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/NailTropics/

Got other local gift suggestions for me? Please leave a comment and tell me all about them!

The biggest holiday of the year is just a few weeks away, and this is a particularly hectic time for mommies like me. Apart from working on my businesses and blog, there are friends to meet, reunions to have, and shopping to do. On top of that, there’s the usual family activities, like play time and study time and, of course, meal time. And while it’s easy to eat out, nothing quite beats a yummy meal at home for family bonding, even though it can be tough to make time to prepare and serve food when there are so many other things to do.

If, like me, you still want to make the effort, though, here are a few tips to make your life a little easier:

  1. Batch cook and pre-portion.

Freezer meals are often a busy mommy’s best friend. There are so many recipes you can find online for dishes you can make ahead and serve days, even weeks, later. As an extra step, make sure you portion these out before freezing so that, on busy days, you can just heat and be ready to eat in minutes.

  1. Share the load.

Having someone to help you around the house is a godsend, but don’t just rely on yaya all the time. You can also get your partner and your kids to help with the meal preparation. In fact, having your child help prepare the food she eats is one tried-and-true way to reduce the chances of her becoming a picky eater. When she has a hand in making the food that goes on the table, she is more likely to want to try her creations. Plus, it’s a great life skill to teach early on.

  1. Clean as you go.

Keep the kitchen clean as you cook, and don’t let dishes and cookware pile up after meals. While it can be tempting to procrastinate, a dirty kitchen isn’t just an eyesore, it’s a breeding ground for bugs and bacteria. To liven up the cleaning process, I’ve been using Sanicare’s special edition Christmas print towels, which also have the benefit of prettying up my kitchen counter.

  1. It’s not a sin to order in.

Of course, there will be days when you run out of freezer meals and are just too tired or busy to take time out to cook, and that’s fine. That’s exactly why there are so many food delivery options to choose from. Plus, these days, you’re not limited to fast food for delivery. You can get meals from your favorite restaurants just by making a call or using an app on your mobile or on a webpage.

  1. Dress to impress.

By this, I don’t mean that you can’t come to the dinner table wearing your comfiest pambahay outfits. I mean that you can level up your meal appeal by making the effort to prettify your table. Even when you’re serving takeout, use real plates, glasses, and cutlery. Pick pretty placemats and add decorative table elements. One thing that’s on my dinner table is my Sanicare Liwanag Christmas Box, which holds tissues for easy access and features a pretty design by artist and MovEd founder Alex Eduque.

In case you haven’t seen them yet, they’re super pretty and showcase designs by an up-and-coming local artist.

One design is inspired by parols, or star-shaped Christmas lanterns. This is uniquely Filipino and, according to the artist, is a symbolic representation of a sense of promise and unification.

The other design is inspired by the stars. Alex Eduque herself says that this is “a constant reminder that we share the same sky and, despite the stark differences and circumstances in all corners of the world, that each one of us has a star shining brightly within.”

Isn’t that a great thing to remind ourselves of, especially at Christmas?

Anyway, if you haven’t picked up a Liwanag Christmas Box yet, here’s one reason to do so the next time you’re at the supermarket: Sanicare is having a promo! The grand prize winner will get four all-day passes to the Dream Play and Lunch buffet at The Café at the Hyatt City of Dreams Manila. Ten consolation prize winners will also receive P2000 in Sodexo gift certificates.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Take a creative photo featuring the Sanicare Facial Tissue Liwanag Series Box.
  2. Post it on your Facebook timeline. Start your caption with the phrase, “My Christmas is extra bright this year because _____!” and make sure to use the hashtags #SanicareLiwanagSeries #Sanicare and #SCPA
  3. Tag three other friends in your post, then publish.
  4. Go to the Sanicare PH Facebook promo post then click on the link provided to submit your entry.

The promo runs from November 22, 2017, to January 1, 2018. Winners will be announced on the Sanicare PH Facebook page on January 15, 2018.

Good luck and happy posting!

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When I look at my daughter, I am amazed at how big she is. Earlier today, I was reading articles about nutrition for toddlers. It was not because she was sick; it was because I am sick. I, as a mom, wanted to know what I was doing right, and I think it was because I have been giving her the right vitamins apt for toddlers.

Since I feel that she is growing up too fast, I have been very hands-on lately on my role as a parent. I have been scouting the net for activities for toddlers. My daughter has been so active lately that I have been looking for ways for her to keep busy and to learn, too. I love though that she has been active and healthy (it might be the Propan TLC vitamins that I am giving her). Propan TLC contains Lysine to help boost and maintain her appetite and 100% RENI Vitamin C for stronger immunity. I’ve noticed that she doesn’t get sick and even with the change in weather, she hardly catches a cold. This takes out the burden of worrying about sickness! Going back, since Christmas is coming, I have been searching for Christmas Decoration DIY for Toddlers on the internet.

I found a few things that we will share with you, so that you can also do it with your toddler. But for today’s post, it’s about creating that ambiance that exudes the Christmas spirit. I know that I said Christmas decoration DIY for toddlers, but just for today, I will share with you a simple (although not too DIY) activity that you can do.

christmas-reusable-stickers-on-our-window

My daughter loves surprises in general — whether it be us surprising her or she surprising her dad or me. We normally put up Christmas decorations on the first week of December, but this year, we started early. We started early because my daughter saw these cute reusable glass stickers in a store. I bought it because I knew it would be a great activity for bonding.

Here is the video that we have for this activity! I hope you like it!

For the family to get the most out of celebrating during this season, having an ambiance that encourages happiness and an environment of Giving. During this season, we can teach our kids the value of generosity. We can teach them that the celebration is not only about decorations, gifts, and eating, but it’s a time when we can truly show each other how much we value them.

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I wanted to continue my Blog Series, but I figured that we can continue that anyway after the Holidays. I wanted to create a Christmas Series, since it’s almost Christmas. Do you realize that it’s just 10 days away from Christmas? I am way behind with my Christmas shopping. I hope you have completed or almost done with your shopping.

Christmas is a magical time for everyone, especially for little children. Little children see the magic and the wonder in every thing they see. Just the other day, my little girl received gifts from her classmates. I told her to open it on Christmas. She has been asking me every day if it’s Christmas. haha!

I’ve been thinking of what to give my daughter for Christmas. One of the places that I went to to look for Christmas gift ideas little girls will love was S&R. Oh my gosh! I found a lot of Christmas gift idea suggestions that I want to share with you!

Gigantic stuffed toys greeted us as we entered the store. These stuffed toys came in all shapes and sizes. Her favorite was the Mickey & Minnie stuffed toys at 25 inches tall. It was at Php 1999.95 (Buy 1 Take 1).

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Little girls who are already going to big school will love cute school materials from pencil cases, to unique erasers and sharpeners to bags that are pink, cute and girly! Speaking of the latter, we found this cute Snoopy bag. It’s a backpack sold at Php 999.95. It’s very light yet sturdy.

sr-snoopy-backpack

A cute gift that I saw are these Gund Kids hooded towel. It’s one of the great Christmas gift ideas little girls and boys, actually.

sr-gund-bathtowels

Other gift ideas that are equally cute and unique that I saw at S&R Membership Club are these giant craft jar and this huge castle like kitchen that is fit for your little princess.

sr-craft-jar

sr-disney-cooking-set

There are other things Christmas gift ideas little girls will love at S&R membership club. If you get the chance this weekend, try to drop by and check out these amazing stuff. Aside from the stuff that little girls would love, they have numerous gift ideas for the members of your family and friends! Let me know what are the things that you have purchased! Can you make your own list and share it with others? Please use #LoveSnR and #SnREveryday.