Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Happy Oatmeal Recipes

Remember how we were forced to eat oatmeal as a child? How was the experience? How we managed to finish our breakfast back then, or how we cheated our way to finish breakfast was always a mystery. But if you're one of those children who weren't fans of oatmeal, I get you.

The thing is, there is reason why our parents or grandparents or maybe our yaya made us eat oatmeal in the morning as opposed to the colorful cereal we would rather have (with super cold milk please!). It's actually good for us. It's got fiber for our digestive system, B vitamins and minerals, protein for all you bodybuilders out there who want to repair and build lean muscle, and most of all, carbs for energy. Oatmeal also keeps you satiated longer so you don't go looking for a candy bar or a bag of popcorn before lunchtime.

Some people think of oatmeal as "sad" food, being a beige bowl of mush so I got you covered with recipes that make oatmeal happy. I like making my food pretty and Instagram-worthy. Pretty food is happy food! Also, I chose things that make oatmeal pretty to also be very healthy and nutritious, so eating healthy doesn't always have to be such a chore. Eat a rainbow of happy, healthy colors as they say.

Whole Grain Rolled Oats are very versatile as you can cook them to other things besides oatmeal. 

Personally, I prefer whole rolled oats because they're quite versatile since I can make them into oatmeal, pancakes, granola, mug cakes, and even blend them into smoothies (more on that later). They also cook fast, only 5 minutes. If you have no access to a stovetop or a microwave,  say you're in the office or a dorm, go ahead and use instant oats (I also have a recipe for that). However, as much as you can, try to use old fashioned whole rolled oats.

Awesome Bowl

I have no real name for this so I just called it awesome because of all the awesome toppings it has. It's got banana and strawberries for good carbs, and superfood such as chia seeds and goji berries. Strawberries and goji berries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants you need to combat diseases. Chia seeds have omega-3 acids which help fight heart disease and keep your skin and nails healthy. It's also good for mental health, I don't know if I can call it a beauty bowl, a happy bowl, a good morning bowl, or what not so I just called it awesome bowl.

How to make your awesome bowl: Cook your regular oatmeal (by regular, I mean Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats.). Top with sliced bananas, sliced strawberried, goji berries, and chia seeds in a pretty fashion so it's all so perfect for Instagram. Drizzle with some honey and serve.

Tropical Vacation Bowl

The tropical vacation bowl takes you to your favorite tropical destination with the tropical fruits I chose as toppings. I chose a rainbow of  bright, contrasting colors to inspire you in the morning. Each fruit is available all-year round here in our tropical country. The color of the dragonfruit doesn't matter. I just like the magenta color because it looks so pretty contrasting with the green kiwi and yellow mangoes. This is best in the summer where mangoes are super cheap and super sweet.

How to make your tropical vacation bowl: Cook your regular oatmeal and top with sliced kiwi, sliced mangoes, and sliced dragonfruit. Be creative on how you arrange this. Sprinkle some chia seeds for more omega-3 goodness. You can top this with Greek yogurt if you wish. For this recipe, I used coconut sugar as a sweetener and also added toasted coconut flakes for more crunch and texture. 

Chunky Monkey 

The chunky monkey is created for all you people who want something faster than the 5 minutes to cook your oatmeal. It takes its inspiration from a soda fountain dessert. It's got chocolate (and who doesn't love chocolate?) and bananas and I healthified it by adding a dollop of Greek yogurt and chia seeds,  I made this for someone who really wants to ease into oatmeal for breakfast slowly if an all-fruit and superfood topping intimidates you at first. It's a beginner-friendly oatmeal that's a hit to children. It tastes somewhat like the ice cream treat, with the yogurt adding just the right balance to the sweetness and the walnuts adding more crunch and texture.

Quaker Oats also has flavored instant oatmeal for those with no access to a stove or for those who want something fast. 
How to make your chunky monkey: Use chocolate-flavored instant oatmeal and prepare according to package directions. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt and arrange with slices of banana and sprinkle cinnamon for some warmth and chia seeds. Add some walnuts and you got some crunch too. No need to sweeten as the chocolate oatmeal is sweet enough as it is. 

These pretty recipes totally make my day. They're easy, they're fast, and they're delicious. My favorite has to be the awesome bowl because it's super filling and it keeps my energy up and running throughout the day. Try making these recipes yourself and tag me in Instagram @bambikitty when you do. It makes my morning so nice to see everyone eating a very healthy and happy breakfast. See? Oatmeal doesn't have to be sad.

Store Directory:

Quaker Oats
Available at all leading supermarkets and drugstores; quakeroats.ph;

Monday, August 29, 2016

How to Clean Your Cat's Litterbox

(Yes, I also post on cat care)

If the "kitty smell" lingers in  the house no matter how many times you spray with odor neutralizer or air freshener, it might be your litterbox. Your litterbox also needs its own general cleaning. Your litter will also be less sticky and your cats will love you for it. They are in fact, very OC little things.

Show your love to your furbaby by keeping their potty clean. 

What you need:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Hot water
  • Detergent to soap your litterbox down (I used Domex to kill bacteria)
  • Fresh litter
  • Scrubbing pad
  • Hand Gloves
  • Face Mask

Preps: Be sure to wear face mask and hand gloves to protect your hands from germs and harsh ingredients.

1. Remove cat litter from litterbox and place it in another container (I use a big trash bag). Scrape off any caked-on litter in your litterbox and strainer and discard. Discard as well litter that's gotten too moist and sticky.
2. Pour on some vinegar and sprinkle some baking soda on the litterbox. This will neutralize the ammonia odor. There will be some bubbly fizzes, so don't be scared. I use regular white vinegar to clean. White vinegar is not only awesome in adobo and sinamak. It's a great household cleaning tool!
3. Pour hot water on your litterbox. the caked-on litter will loosen magically. Let it stand for a while until the hot water cools a bit.
4. Discard the water and waste.
5. Wash your litterbox, strainer, and scooper with water and strong disinfecting detergent scrubbing the litterbox, strainer, and scoopers clean. Rinse it well.
6. Because I'm OC, I oftentimes do a rubdown of the litterbox with rubbing alcohol to kill germs.
7. Air dry completely.
8. Reassemble your litterbox and pour fresh litter and odor neutralizer (I use Arm and Hammer Litter Box Deodorizer). Pour the litter you saved on top.

Cleaning your litterbox at least weekly will avoid embarassing "kitty smell" at home, especially if you live in an apartment. it will also avoid accidents of your cats soiling in other places aside from the litterbox. Don't forget to scoop litter out at least twice a day and always have an ample amount of litter for the kitty to dig (2 inches deep  of litter would be okay) . Throw away litter that seems to be wet. Your kitty will be happier with a better potty.

Photo credit:
Photo of me and Candy by Daemon Becker 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What You Can Save On A Wedding

Let's face it, when you decide to get married, be prepared that it would cost you. Weddings, especially in the Philippines, are practically a production number and a big celebration. Even if you do initially plan for a small, intimate wedding, chances are your celebration gets bigger as you plan it either you're inspired, you want to invite more friends, or your parents would want it bigger because they want to invite their friends.

Be a happy, frugal bride by saving on a few things. 
If your frugal self would want to save on certain things on the actual ceremony without compromising the beautiful wedding you envision, don't fret! There are certain things that you can save and scrimp on, and you won't get any of those expectation vs. reality like memes you see online. I'll write a separate post on items that you should spend on, however. This time, let's talk about those you would rather save on.


These shoes were bought on sale at a mall. Photo by Owee Salva
Your wedding shoes will be seen probably only in the SDE (same-day edit video)  and photos. Most likely, they would be covered by the gown 95% of the time. During that day. everyone will be looking at your face but not at your feet. Rather than spending thousands of pesos on a designer shoe in this cute color of your motif with Swarovski crystals and 24K gold plating  that would be seen for only 5 minutes, opt for modestly-priced shoes that are also pretty and fit you right.


"Everyone keeps the invitations they get, as a reference to when they have their own invitations" said no one ever. Since we use ecobags when we do the grocery and follow strawless Fridays in some cities, let's be more Earth-friendly by opting not to have printed invitations. Since almost everyone are online anyway, you can create a Facebook invite where you can also post wedding details and updates such as maps, pegs, motifs, bridal registry details, and so on. Understandably, there are still those who are old-fashioned and want a hard copy of the invitation so just print a select few for the principal sponsors or your grandparents. Less carbon footprint, more happy vibes!

Entourage dresses.

White kaftan custom-made by Katricewear 
Buy fabric of the same color scheme and have the your girls just take them to each of their preferred seamstress so she gets the design that she wants made by their trusted mananahi who makes their clothes for all occasions. They can also buy off-the-rack clothes with the same motif that may cost way cheaper than having a gown that costs probably Php5,000 - Php 8,000 each.  That can be the personal gift your entourage give you, instead of another rice cooker or toaster oven.


My April bride Paula's souvenir of choice: fans for a breezy outdoor summer wedding
You can get creative with giveaways but choose souvenirs that are affordable or won't pile up dust in your guests' homes. Do away with figurines or tiny bells and opt for fans, eco bags, or pastries. Opt not for photobooth photos since they end up being a pile of printouts that are tucked away in shelves and just come up with a witty hashtag that your guests can use when snapping and uploading photos in social media.


Real flowers are expensive because these are high maintenance, are dependent on the season, and have a shorter shelf life. Instead of real flowers, opt for paper flowers. My friend Victoria Velasco is an excellent paper florist and she has done paper flowers and decor for a lot of weddings and events.   You and your entourage can go DIY on this months before the wedding by booking her for a workshop. The paper flowers can be used as a decor for your new home or can have new life as confetti for children's birthdays or random parties in the house eventually.

Weddings are beautiful and we all want to make it beautiful. However, being beautiful doesn't necessarily mean exhausting all your savings. Spend only on the essentials. Work smart around your budget and your own needs and have happy guests, happy suppliers, and a happy couple.



Owee Salva
facebook.com/Cartwheel.Images; oweesalva.com

People Are People
G/F Glorietta 4, Hotel Drive corner East Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City

Victoria Velasco Paper Florist

Thursday, August 25, 2016

90s Clothing Brands That We Miss

Time for Throwback Thursday! This time, I would like to compile a list of clothing brands, both local and international that have been very popular during the 90s and early 2000s. These brands were in almost every college and/or highschool girl's closet and are the usual go-to places for gifts for debuts, and birthdays and are friendly too for college student allowance and lifestyle.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find photos online of the stores or at least a shot of their clothes so I could share it with those who are not familiar with them,. So if you still have photos of of the store or you wearing those items, take a photo and post it on Instagram and tag me @bambikitty so we could live these memories together, okay? If these stores though that still exist, do let me know as well.


Sari-Sari was the prom dress ng bayan store. With Sari-Sari's clean, simple lines, classic style, and neutral palette, girls were able to find affordable RTW gowns and evening dresses that they can wear to formals such as their prom, a friend's debut, and maybe even lent it for their younger sister to wear.


Anonymous is the sister company of Sari-Sari. It had the same minimalist look their store had. This brand was part of my college life as my go-to source for new tops and accessories or birthday gifts to give to friends with college student-friendly budget. I remember purchasing their tank tops and baby tees in ziplocks and Chinese takeout boxes. They also had their hair accessories and sunglasses packaged in this manner. Aside from apparel, they also sold snacks and bath and body products. Another sister company, Fish, also was very popular among young girls and it had the same look.

All Boxed Up (A.B.U.)

This place was shorts heaven - from comfy boxer shorts to wear at home to shorts to wear when going out or on the beach. A.B.U. had a shop in the old Glorietta mall before the 2007 explosion. I had high hopes that this brand would be active as it still had an existing Facebook account with its last update being 2011. Unfortunately, when I passed by the old location in Alabang Town Center last week, the shop no longer exists.

Morgan de Toi
Morgan de Toi is a European clothing brand brought by Cinderella. This brand still exists internationally but is no longer available in the Philippines. If you were a fan of this brand in the 90s, you can still catch it online or abroad like Europe or Thailand.

Tokyo Fashion

Tokyo Fashion is another go-to store for dresses and separates that can be worn for formals and parties. It had funky, sleek, and classic in one store. I still have the long black Tokyo Fashion skirt I bought in third year high school. I haven't fitted it for quite some time, though. You can also purchase your first few pairs of slacks that you would be needing for your first job.


Blue Soda (or Soda Man) and Pink Soda were brands that were super popular among teens  and has been part of most of the 90's and early 2000's college life with casual wardrobe that's affordable and comfy to wear everyday. I read about it closing finally in this article, with the real cause unknown.

Do you have any apparel brand from the 90s or early 2000s that you miss? Comment below or share your thoughts and photos. These are brands that are no longer active or at least no longer available in the Philippines yet still is active internationally. Let me know what #throwback post you would like me to feature next.

Image Sources:
A.B.U. logo: facebook.com/allboxedup.abu
Morgan de Toi photo: facebook.com/MorgandetoiSpain
Soda: facebook.com/SODA-by-Pinksoda-OFFICIAL--129147120455005/

Monday, August 22, 2016

Nail Colors That Never Go Out Of Style

These nail polish colors have transcended time, generation, and trends. If you want to go back to basics or have a classy and formal event to go to, keep these nail polish colors in your nail kit for pretty hands and feet whatever color your outfit is, whatever age you are.

French Tips

Zoya Naked Manicure for the perfect French tip
French-tipped nails are a favorite of girls from the time of their junior prom up to the day they get married. It's classic and looks really clean and elegant. I like my French tips with a beige base since it looks more natural with my skin tone and semi-sheer white tips rather than full-on liquid paper white. Try Zoya Naked Manicure, which has a vegan and cruelty-free formula that's safe even for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. Aside from giving your nails a flawless look with a natural finish, it also cares for your nails by restoring its natural health and beauty with continued use.

Revlon Nail Enamel in Grey Suede
Just like a nude pair of heels, nude polish looks great with any outfit and any complexion. It makes your nails look done while it's light enough that it's not too scary-looking. Choose a light taupe or beige if you want something that you can take from work to date night as well as to a Sunday brunch with the family. Try Revlon Nail Enamel in Grey Suede


Mommas who still want to have their tips in top shape can try Zoya in Tulip from the Petals collection
I'm not really a pink fan but pink, from blush pink to dusty mauve and even an occasional bright pink can be for those events that you just feel like being a girl that day. If you're having a hard time perfecting the French tips using your non-dominant hand, a coat or two of light pink polish gives the same clean, dainty effect. Try Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Cardshark for a light pastel pink or go bright with Orly Basket Case

Revlon Brilliant Strength in Magnetize
Whether it's gold, silver, copper, or bronze, a metallic color is pretty to show off a tan or just when you want your tips to look festive for a Christmas party. I find metallics the easiest to apply too, making this something I recommend to DIY nail newbies who want less difficulty with maximum impact. Be sure to have a really sturdy topcoat with this as metallic formulas tend to chip easier. Metals to choose: Caronia Gold Rush, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Spice Age, or Revlon Brilliant Strength in Magnetize.


Bright or light? Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Pretty Piggy (left) and Caronia Pique (right) 

Another shade that compliments a summery tan, a nice coral shade looks great during summer or spring, or whatever occasion you want to bring out some happy, inner sunshine at your fingertips. Go from pretty and peachy to a bright corally-red depending on how you feel. Try Caronia Pique or Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Pretty Piggy


Red for for bridal. Hairpiece and faux fur muff by Dennis Celestial. Photo by Owee Salva
On Nails: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in Cherry Red 
Red is a classic color that transcends generations. There's something with the statement red finishing touch (like  red lipstick, red shoes, etc) that's sexy and classy at the same time. Brides sometimes choose red as their nail color of choice instead of pastels and nudes, and I couldn't see why not. In fact, it was my own personal choice. Red, especially those with a blue undertone, also makes the hands and feet look whiter and cleaner.  Classic reds are Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Queen of Hearts or Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in  Red Carpet Glam


Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish in Ruby Fruit
For nights when you want to unleash your inner vamp and feel sexy, choose a pretty wine color that matches the beverage you're sipping. It also has the same effect of bright red nails - it makes the hands and feet look whiter and cleaner as well. Try Max Factor Glossfinity Nail Polish in Ruby Fruit or Chanel Le Vernis in Vamp.

Which among these colors are your go-to shades?

Store Directory:

Available at all leading department stores, supermarkets, and drugstores nationwide

Available at Rustan's and Essenses; rustans-thebeautysource.com; chanel.com; facebook.com/chanel

Max Factor
Available at all leading department stores nationwide; maxfactor.com; facebook.com/MAXFactor; facebook.com/MaxFactorPH

Available at at Purebeauty stores, Landmark TriNoma and Makati, select SM and Watsons, select Robinsons and Gaisano stores, and PCX

Available at all leading department stores nationwide; revlon.com; facebook.com/revlon; facebook.com/RevlonPhilippines

Sally Hansen
Available at at leading department stores nationwide; sallyhansen.com; facebook,com/SallyHansen

Available at all leading salons; beautymnl.com/brands/zoya; zoya.com; facebook.com/ZoyaNailPolish; facebook.com/ZoyaPolishPH

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Harley Quinn Makeup Tutorial

Suicide Squad was released a few weeks ago and clearly one of the favorite characters is the super hot Harley Quinn.
A photo posted by Excel Yosep (@excel_yosep) on

She may have bad taste in men but still, she's super hot as she is badass and she's got mad skills. She's also literally mad  and she isn't afraid to show it.

Do you want this look for Halloween? Then read on below:

I styled my hair in high pigtails and defined the curls in each tail. Leave two locks of hair loose in front of the face, just like in the movie (I pulled all my hair back though in this tutorial, for illustration purposes). If you have bleached hair, you can color the tips of your hair with blue and red colored hairspray if you want.

Harley has pale skin after falling in a vat of toxic chemicals. I used foundation paler than my own complexion. You can also mix white stage makeup with your own foundation. Remember to set this with powder to avoid the sticky feel.

Make the brows strong and super defined. I used a dark brown eyebrow pencil.

Apply primer to eyes so that the eyeshadow would hold longer. Contour eyes with matte brown shadow to create a defined, deep set crease.

Apply red eyeshadow on the right eyelid and blend this to the crease.

Smudge some of the eyeshadow on the bottom lashline and create a sort of smeared, smudgy look

Do the same with the left eyelid using blue eyeshadow.

 Apply black kohl pencil on the waterline and smudge this with your finger downwards to make the look more smudgy and messy. The lines don't have to be clean, and that's what's great about this look.

Create a cat eye on the top lashline using liquid eye pen or gel eyeliner. Curl lashes and apply mascara and falsies, if desired.

Contour the face for a more sunken look. Prison didn't give Harley the best of health.

Line lips with lipliner and fill in.

Apply a super bright red lipstick. You can smudge it like she had during the later part of the movie but I chose to leave it as it is.

Finally, recreate her face tattoos using eyeliner pen or gel eyeliner. Harley has a heart tattoo on her right cheekbone and the word "ROTTEN" tattooed on her right jaw. You may have a friend do this for you if you're having a hard time writing the word ''Rotten" on your own jaw.

For Harley's costume, wear a baseball shirt-type of top with red sleeves. You may cut holes on the shirt to get that worn look. Wear cheeky shorts or pole shorts in sequined red and bright blue. For footwear, she wore high-heeled sneakers. Accessorize with bling and the "Puddin" choker.

Hopefully that will get your Harley game on come Halloween or a costume party or any time you want to unleash your inner crazy. Have fun playing dress up! Let me know as well in the comments below if you have any tutorial suggestions - clean, glam, or outright crazy.

Products used

Celeteque 24-Hour Photoready Liquid Foundation
Maybelline White Superfresh Powder Foundation
Revlon Brow Fantasy By Colorstay in Dark Brown
Urban Decay Primer Potion
MAC eyeshadow in Espresso
MAC eyeshadow in Cabaret Red
Suesh blue eyeshadow
MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder
Revlon Volume + Length Magnified Mascara\
L'Oreal Superliner Superstar (cat eye)
Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen (face tattoos)
Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette 
Revlon Colorstay Lipliner in Red
Pink Sugar Creamy Matte Lipstick in Bombshell

Store Directory

Available at Watsons, SM Department Stores, Mercury Drug, Landmark, Robinson's Department Stores, PCX, Shopwise, and Rustan's; celetequedermoscience.com; facebook.com/Celeteque

Kat Von D Beauty
www.katvondbeauty.com  ; sephora.com,

MAC Cosmetics
click here for a complete list of stores; maccosmetics.com; rustans-thebeautysource.com; maccosmetics.com.ph; facebook.com/MACcosmetics

Available at all leading department stores and drugstores nationwide; maybelline.com; facebook.com/maybellineph

Pink Sugar
Available at SM Aura, SM Makati, SM Marilao, SM Manila, SM Fairview, SM MOA, SM Clark, SM Lanang Premier Davao, Landmark, and Watsons Ayala Center Cebu; pinksugar.com.ph; facebook.com/pinksugarph

Available at all leading department stores nationwide; revlon.com; facebook.com/revlon; facebook.com/RevlonPhilippines

34 Wilson St. Greenhills, San Juan, (02) 806-8013; L/GF TriNoMa Mall, Quezon City; L/GF Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa; suesh.com; facebook.com/pages/Suesh-Makeup-Toolkit/230391965594

Urban Decay
www.urbandecay.com; sephora.com

Sunday, August 14, 2016

How To Fight Adult Acne

We're way past our teens already and we think haywire hormones and oiliness that causes pimples have already bid adieu in our lives. However, spots sometimes appear here and there and I admit, these pimples can be annoying and a confidence breaker that we hide with layers of makeup if we can't bury our faces under our pillows. Isn't it weird? How come we get pimples when we're no longer teens?

get clear skin from teens to adulthood

Turns out, there is such a condition as adult acne. It occurs in adults, either when we hit our 30s or menopause. "Though acne is seen primarily in teenagers, it can also occur in adults. There is no age limit," says dermatologist Dr. Lot Uyehara-Scher. There are various causes and aggravating factors of acne such as medications, the food you're taking, the ingredients in your cosmetics, etc. "Acne in general is genetics, " adds Dr. Uyehara-Scher. "There are people who are more susceptible to it."

If you find the occasional annoying and painful bumps are ruining your day, try out these solutions so you can enjoy your prime with clear, beautiful skin even without makeup.

Assess your diet

Your skin reflects your overall condition. If you feed yourself bad food, it also shows in your skin, so be sure to get good nutrition as much as possible and eat real, good food instead of fake food. Some may try to avoid dairy and refined carbs, especially if you are lactose intolerant or are allergic to refined sugars.

Proper skin care

Pond's Acne Clear, Pond's newest line is formulated to attack the cause of pimples. Use the facial foam with the leave-on expert clearing gel to combat pimples together for fast results.
You may come from a two-hour commute with crazy Manila traffic. You may have to check your kid's homework or catching up on your favorite television series to wind down after a long day. Whatever reason you may have, please do not forget to remove your makeup and wash your face with the cleanser suited for your skin type. Choose a cleanser that's gentle on your skin and doesn't strip away the natural oils, which actually serve as protection from your skin. If your skin is super sensitive, opt for fragrance-free or non-comedogenic formulas as well as organic formulas with no added chemicals that your skin reacts to.

Change the other products you use.

care for the other parts of your body without sacrificing your skin with products that do not irritate such as Sensodyne toothpaste
It may not just be the products you use on your face. Your  other personal care products (shampoo, soap, deodorant, etc)  may also be the cause of your flare-ups. If you find the pimples being concentrated on your chin and mouth area, it may be your toothpaste. Pimples on the forehead and around the hairline may be due to hair products and/or shampoo. Try switching to products for sensitive skin such as Sensodyne for sensitive teeth. If the pimples stop, you will know the culprit.

Reduce Salt

We all know too much sodium in our diet causes high blood pressure, obesity, and PMS bloating.  Too much salt in our diet can also lead to breakouts as well. Check if you're consuming too much canned and processed food or junk food. Choose low-sodium alternatives of your favorite seasonings and avoid soup mixes or instant anything.

Stress Less

All these adulting can stress and overwhelm us. What causes these flareups is cortisol, which is that same stress hormone which causes belly fat buildup, Aside from making you fluffier, it can also increase  inflammation. Remember our college acne from like exam week or hell week? Same cause. Manage stress with meditation, exercise, or just simply avoiding negative things and negative people and surround yourself with things that make you feel happy.

Use gentle detergent on pillowcases and towels

Messy Bessy Liquid Detergent is safe for your delicates and your skin. Smells awesome too!
The detergent or fabric softener in your pillowcase might also be the culprit. Rinse your pillowcases really well to remove all traces of detergent or fabric softener that can irritate your skin. You can also use gentler or mild detergent such as Ivory or Human Nature for your pillowcases and towels, which contain ingredients that are gentler for the skin. Try also sleeping on your back instead of sideways or belly down so your face doesn't get in too much contact with the pillow.

Change your hairstyle

a change in haircut or a sleek ponytail can keep hair and pimples away from the face
"The layers of hair can sometimes come in constant contact with the chin and the sides of the face," says Dr. Uyehara-Scher. Opt for longer layers when you visit your stylist so that you always have the option to pull back the hair so it doesn't touch your face all the time. If you love your bangs and layers, have a headband with you so that  you have an option to pull your hair back when you're exercising or at home so your hair isn't always touching your face.

See A Doctor

Acne flare-ups may be due to certain medications or hormonal imbalances. Consult your doctor for meds that are better for your skin or change the brand of pill that you are using. Doctors may also prescribe medications for acne as well as treatment for scarring or pigmentation.

Hope this helps everyone in their acne dilemma. Just a few adjustments and hopefully our skin can stay smooth and clear for the rest of our lives.

Image Sources:
Author's photos by Alfred Mendoza
Messy Bessy Detergent Photo facebook.com/messybessycleaners
Sensodyne Photo:  facebook.com/SensodynePH


Messy Bessy
click here for a list of branches; messybessy.com; facebook.com/messybessycleaners

available at all leading department stores and supermarkets

available at all leading department stores and supermarkets; facebook.com/SensodynePH

Dr. Lot Uyehara-Scher
SKINHEALTH - 3rd Level Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall
63-2 6816245

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Fulfilling Our Ballet Dreams

At one point in a typical 90s or 80s little girl's life, she wanted to be a ballerina. I also was in that generation where sometimes every Saturday afternoon or morning would be spent in the neighborhood ballet studio. I took ballet in the community ballet school among other little girls who also had the same dream.

I guess that one reason for little girls of my generation to have their ballerina dreams was Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja. She was in every magazine page and most little girls wanted to be like her.

Whatever role we see her dance onstage or occasional TV appearances or even if we remember her from the first-ever Whisper commercial back in the 90s, she has made an impact not just with ballet aficionados but in every little girl who begged her parents to enrol her in ballet class promising to do well in school as it will not be a distraction.

I was a happy little ballerina  until I stopped after 3-4 years since I got teased and bullied by the little girls who found ballet boring or for weakling unathletic girls. Besides, I thought I wouldn't need ballet in life anyway, and focused instead on serious things in life such as math.

I didn't realize though that years after bidding ballet goodbye, I would take up pole dancing and I would later then have to dig up from stock memory ballet things that I would need to make sense in dance world. I had my taste of ladies' ballet class a year ago, by chance. My first day in class described ballet as the ultimate leg day. I was sore for days, and this is coming from someone who loves leg day and has been doing pole for quite some time. I still occasionally review my ballet classes via online tutorials if I want dance to be my exercise of the day.

Just  last week, I was invited to attend a ballet class in the newest ballet school in the country - the Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila. The class would be taught by none other than our childhood idol, Lisa Macuja herself. I said yes to the invitation and blocked that entire day for the event. Yes guys. I was that excited.

The Lisa Macuja School of Ballet Manila is located at the fourth floor of Fisher Mall in Quezon City. This gives a chance for people in the North area to learn ballet without travelling all the way to Pasay City especially in the horrid traffic we've been facing now.

Nataranjasana by the front desk

At the reception hall are photos of Lisa's performances. Truly #dancergoals and #fitspiration.

The dance studio is every dancer's dream, with the floor engineered for dancing to make it friendly for the joints especially when the dancer does his or her leaps and grand jete's. Lots of space and perfect lighting for pre-class selfies as well.

I donned my soft ballet shoes and practiced my point.

We were given an introduction of the school by Lisa Macuja, as she describes that she begun teaching at her parents' porch offering classes to young boys, as there was a need for more male ballet dancers. Classes were only given on Saturday mornings as she was still performing full time. Now being retired from performing, she can now devote her time to teaching ballet. Aside from classical and modern ballet, they offer classes for little children (Creative Movement, Twinkle Toes) who would like to start as well as Ballet for Fitness class, for people with no background in ballet and would want to learn it for fitness purposes. They are also developing a ballet class specifically for senior citizens. Apparently, dance, in whatever form it may be, is proven to be effective in preventing dementia and Alzheimer's disease better than crossword puzzles. What a fun way to stay alert and fit at the same time! Also, it just goes to show that it's never too late to start dancing or stay active. Yoga has proven it. Pole has proven it. Now ballet proves it.

To inspire us further, the Ballet Manila company dancers gave performances.

Before the lessons, Lisa explains a few ballet pointers

Here, she demonstrates and explains the importance of turn-out, which we externally rotate from the hips, which increases the range of motion so we can lift our legs higher. It also provides better lines, which she explained next.

Dancer's lines are how a dancer looks in a performance. Straight lines are pretty, so there's a lot of body awareness involved. It's not just moving and coordination, it's also making sure that your lines are correct. For example, when you extend a leg out, make sure that the knees are locked and toes are pointed. At the same time, do not forget to lock that standing leg and not to collapse on the hips. Oh, and note also the lines of the arms.  Told you guys, ballet isn't just a physical but a mental exercise.

Our first lesson had us on the floor, seated in butterfly position, which already had us in a turn-out position (hips are externally rotated). Aside from that, we had to be aware to maintain a rectangle - neutral spine, shoulders aligned with each other and hips aligned so that if we connect dots from our hip points and shoulder points, we form a rectangle. When I sat like this, I thought to myself, "This is actually very good posture!" Having awareness in that rectangle and line is not only very good for ballet, but it's also practical in posture and everyday life.

We then proceeded to the barre where we did super basic ballet moves - the plie and the grand plie. The plie isn't just bending your knees and standing up. You have to maintain your rectangles, lock your knees when you recover, and also, no weight on the barre. The barre is just support because eventually, we all move to the center with no barre.

Here we did the same thing on the barre but we added arm movements, which was called port de bras, and again we had to be aware of proper form of the hands while trying not to topple over. While on releve, I had to avoid not falling flat on my face and crush the person in front of me by applying yoga principle - focus on one unmoving point in the room.

Note to self: "Do Not Fall Do Not Fall DO NOT FALL!!!!"

Even in just basic movements, there's still a lot going on in the brain and transferring that to body movement is already exercise, and now I understand why this is really good brain exercise as well as body exercise. In yoga, our toes are touching, heels separated, thighs engaged. Here, it's turn out in first position. Pole has other principles as well.  I still had to turn off some pole and yoga autopilot modes as I go into ballet mode. Although ballet body orientation is different from pole or yoga, in some ways, it will really benefit me in both my current modes of fitness. Being aware of pointed toes for example, and engaging the quads is very important in pole, as we all know, our teachers are allergic to lazy flexed feed and unlocked knees.

First-ever ballet students, yaaay!

I super had an awesome time and I would really like to take more classes. The school has an amazing faculty of teachers, including Lisa herself to guide the students in their ballet classes whether they want to take up classical ballet or just want to get the body moving in a low-impact workout. Just like any other workout, I had leg DOMS for days but it was a good kind of sore because there were other muscles in my body that were activated.

I couldn't pass up the chance to have a photo with my ballet teacher and childhood idol! She's super nice. I like how she related ballet to life, giving it a practical approach, especially the pointers on posture, which is being neglected nowadays.

I may be way past the super ballet dancer training stage, who start at young ages of 7 or 8 but it doesn't mean that titas like myself can't slip on our ballet shoes and go to a ballet class. As a form of fitness, this is good cardio and the ultimate leg day. It also develops mental skills and body awareness. It may not be super intense like crossfit or HIIT but it's a very good workout that also develops core strength, muscle coordination, and flexibility. A dancer can benefit from improving their lines, points, and ability to pick up steps for choreo purposes.

For those living in the north area, and are curious about attending ballet or if you missed ballet when you were young, it's not too late to get up there and enrol in a class. Like in any form of fitness, you don't need to be super fit or flexi to begin with. Most athletes and dancers started from zero. Who knows this may be the fitness program you fall in love with? I also encourage to bring friends or family (like your mom, sister, cousin, even your grandma if you want!). Working out is so much fun with friends, right?

Image Credits:

Class Photos by Luther Abcede