Only Girls Can Give Really Awesome Gifts

I overheard two teen girls chatting and they were talking (actually complaining?) about how boys have little imagination when it comes to giving gifts.  They just normally give chocolates and don't care about fancy wrapping paper of gift tags.  

For some reason, girls have mastered the art of giving excellent gifts - who else would think of giving a rocker guy a good Fender Standard Stratocasters at Musicians Friend with accessories -complete with quality wrapping, a personalized touch, and a thoughtful greeting card - all within budget, too!

And they are right!  We are seriously amazing.  

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Eight Practical Ways to Boost Your Immunity

Fickle weather, pollution, and the holiday stress can do a number on our immune system.

Here are 8 ways you can boost your immune system and be ready for the New Year:

Squeeze some O.J.

Citrus fruits such as calamansi, lemons, grapefruits and oranges restore the body’s acid-alkali balance and support healthy bacteria to defeat viruses and harmful bacteria.  Drink water with freshly squeezed lemon juice, add lemon to your tea and salad dressings.  Splurge on your favorite citrus fruits and stay healthy!

Get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep results in balanced hormone levels, including those that promote growth and control stress.  It helps to keep weight down and results in clear thinking, an improved mood and vibrant, healthy skin.  All these spell good health and strong immune system.

Eat lots of protein.

Protein is the key to a healthy body.  Be sure to include protein in every meal and lower your carb intake if you can.  Carbs convert readily to glucose which spikes blood sugar and stresses the pancreas, including the immune system.

Cut back on refined white sugar.

Cutting back on sweets will improve your energy level, boost your weight loss efforts and your immune system.  If you must take in sugar, go for brown sugar or, better yet, honey, which helps boost the immune system, too.

Eat raw fruits and vegetables.

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes, the nutritional content you receive from raw fruits and veggies is unparalleled.  Vitamins, especially Vitamin C, protect cells from damage by toxins in the environment.  Fruits like berries and veggies like broccoli are high in flavonoids, polyphenols and other antioxidants.

Wash your hands.

Hand washing is your best defense against illness!

Nurture yourself.

Make sure you find time to pamper yourself.  Have a massage, go to the salon, watch a funny movie.  Our bodies respond to positive or negative emotions, so always be in a good mood to avoid catching bugs.  When you are happy, you are far less likely to get sick.  Staying stress-free boosts immunity.

Drink lots of water.

Stay well hydrated to ensure that your immunity is at its peak.  Taking lots of clear soup and drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day helps flush away viruses and waste materials that make you sick.

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Merry Christmas!

Hey, all!  Merry Christmas!  I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas celebration!  I spent Christmas eve with my family and had a blast opening our simple Christmas gifts.  Daughter 2 was hoping for alfred flash cards since she has been very interested in music lately and has expressed her interest to play interesting musical instruments like the ukulele.  Her dad got her a new guitar, though, but she insists that she will get the ukulele no matter what.

Interestingly, I got a cookbook.  It is a sign, people, that I should start cooking healthier meals for myself and my family.

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How To #Lighten Your Skin Tip 1: Use Lemons

My mom swore on how lemons are natural skin lighteners.  She would rub the juice on her face and her nails!  And I thought it worked.  She was fair and her skin was clear and radiant.  Except for the freckles which never lightened – well, maybe just a bit – her skin was to die for. 

So why don’t you go the natural route and get them good ole lemons to nourish and whiten your skin?


I know you are appalled with those freckles – err, age spots when you’re older.  I am!  I had them ever since I was a kid (something that I got from my mom).  I had them on my arms and shoulders as well, which is perfectly okay, since in our cold Baguio weather, I can hide ‘em spots. 

I had so many face spots that my cousin used to tease me about making  a dot-to-dot puzzle on my face.

People looking for me at the office when I am out of field described me as “the one with freckles.” 

After I gave birth, it was like I opened an ink bottle and the ink splashed on my face.

My face is not as “spotty” as it was then.  I underwent an intense Obagi Nu-derm treatment for about a year and I am on CorrEsthetiques right now.

Which lessened the spots (although they keep re-surfacing if I get exposed under the sun).

But before there was Dr. Obagi and before my former boss introduced me to CorrEsthetiques, I was on to my mom’s “lighter skin solution.”

You see, lemons are rich in citric and ascorbic acids.  They aid in the natural exfoliating of your skin, revealing the lighter skin beneath.

Here’s how to lighten your skin using lemons:

Grab a lemon.  Slice it in half.  Squeeze the juice out then carefully apply it to your face and areas you want to lighten. 

Do this every day before you sleep.

If you are like me whose skin is super-sensitive, you can mix it with water. Then apply the diluted lemon juice on your trouble areas using a cotton ball.

Don’t forget to test the lemon juice for any allergic reactions.  Dab a small amount of lemon juice under your chin and on your forearm.  Wait for any reactions within the next 24 hours.  If you come out clean without any redness or rashes on the spot where you applied it, you can bathe in pure lemon.


But you can also use the lemon rind and rub it gently on your skin.    And if you have pimples and blackheads, you can also use the lemon.  It can heal them. And please remember not to expose yourself to direct sunlight without using sunblock.  Your skin can get red and  irritated.


Nails that get the regular mani-pedi cannot go totally bare (without nail polish).  Why?  Because the polish stains the nails yellow.  Gross, right?  To get rid of those ugly yellow stains, fill a bowl with warm water, squeeze half a lemon and soak your nails for fifteen minutes.  Rinse your hand then pat them dry.  Do this every day.  Or , do like what my mom did.  Directly rub the lemon rind on your nails and let them stay there. 

Remember to give your nails a break from polish for a week or two while you treat them.  I personally love clean, naked nails more than the ones with chipping nail polish. 


Lemons make your hair shine.  If you are tired of your dry, lifeless hair, pouring ¼ cup lemon juice diluted with five liters of water on your newly-rinsed, shampooed hair will do wonders.  The acidic quality of the lemon juice will strip any residue on your hair, creating shine.  Avoid doing this, though, if your hair has been color-treated.

You can also make your own concoction of lemon juice with coconut oil or honey and apply it like it is a conditioner.  Rinse and rave how shiny and smashing your hair looks.

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Ready For The Road!

My family is the kind of people who are pleased to blend in the background.  We don’t want to attract attention.  We try to downplay everything, even when we travel ( which we plan to do this Christmas season).

Well, almost everything.  We use neon nametags to make it easier for us to identify our suitcases against a sea of identical suitcases.

Of course, it is what’s inside that spells the difference.  Travels anywhere are never complete without shawls (they can be good blankets), my Kindle, camera and in my husband’s case – his guitar.

He loves to play the guitar, sing and compose songs, and he gives good entertainment during family reunions.   I don’t mind if he carries his guitar everywhere in any of the cheap guitar cases for sale at musicians friend.

Especially if he sings and plays the guitar for me during those awesome sunsets at the beach.

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Youth In A Jar: What Is So Special About A Beauty Cult Cream?

The word "cult" carries connotations of a loyal devout following and in the world of beauty, this certainly holds true.  Having names like Creme dela Mer, Sensai, La Creme, Sisleya, Creme Cellulaire Radiance - all sound as exotic as they are unfamiliar.  Chances are, you've probably never heard of them, unless you're in the know. 

In the past few years, cult brands from beauty emporiums such as Beauty Bar and Essenses have been cropping up on shelves, and despite the lack of aggressive advertising for other mass-market brands, they have not gone unnoticed.  Instead of traditional marketing campaigns, they gain popularity through word of mouth, and through magazine and celebrity endorsements. 

New users grab those obscure creams and are quickly inducted into the "cult."  If old department store brands used to be the must-haves in your kit, these days, prestige is not as much of a cachet as excusivity.  For many style-setters, the more obscure and difficult to find, the better.

This explains why some big-time customers buy several jars of these creams at a time, and even with their steep prices, they are always out of stock.  

Why the fuss?  

Stopping the aging process or at least slowing it to a crawl is the preoccupation of an ever-growing market.  Apart from the obvious line and jowls that accompany the passage of time, the reason for the popularity of those products is the buzz generated by every new entry. What's in it?  Who uses it?  Fans of Creme dela Mer, a sea-kelp-rich cream, say it moisturizes dry skin like nothing else, while Sisleya and La Prairie potions are staples for the country's most beautiful women.

It takes more than persuasive claims to give an anti-aging cream this kind of cachet, however.  Most of them justify their price tag with rare ingredients, but some also have unfounded claims.  More than that, the consumer has to be vigilant, not only if the miracle cream fails to perform as manufacturers claim, but if they produce results that are no different from that of the less-expensive brand.  While some marketing campaigns can be misleading, the industry has also developed effective products that are well worth your money.  Bottom line is, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.  

By sticking to  a simple regimen and having a healthy dose of skepticism, you'll be able to cut through the hype ad find what you need to look and feel good, without getting caught in the cult cream craze.

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Student Challenges: On Writing College Essays

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Ask me what I hated most when I was in college.

You wouldn’t believe it, but I really hated writing essays.  And the worst part, writing essays are inescapable!  You are expected to write essays before entering college and probably a million times more during the course of your college course (I am kidding about the million times, but with the frequency professors ask you to write essays, you will feel like you have written a million essays.)

Of course, essay writing trained me to be better in my writing skills, which really helped me in landing a great job after I graduated.

However, you may be like other students who feel that writing an essay is a burden.  I don’t blame you.  You may just hate writing or you may have lots of other school and social activities to attend to, making essay writing your last priority. Until, of course, when the essay becomes due, and it is panic time.

Fortunately, you can now do an essay purchase through an essay writing service online.  Isn’t it amazing how the world wide web has evolved into making things simpler?   And you know, there are benefits you can get out of purchasing an essay.  For one, you will be exposed to different essay styles enabling you to confidently develop your own essay writing style later.  These custom-made essays will assure you that they are well-researched, with correct grammar and sentence construction. Other essay-writing service companies offer online consultation with their professional writers, making you really understand what your essay is about, which sorts of removes doubts that you indeed made your essay.

Try to observe how these essays are written.  One day, you may be able to develop and improve your own style, making you capable and confident to finally make your own essay.
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