Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tipco 100% Juice + TripAway GiveAway

I remember buying my first pack of Tipco 100% Juice several years ago.  I saw the 32 Vegetable variant at the grocery aisle and immediately bought two packs to try, one for my mother-in-law and the other one for my kids.  Since then, we have become regular Tipco 100% drinkers, each one of us having our favorite juice variant - Aloe Vera, Brocolli, 32 Veggie, and Goji Berry among them.
You must have one eyebrow raised... because seriously? Brocolli? And 32 veggie? 

But because I try to be discerning with the choices that I make when doing my grocery shopping, I make sure to check the labels. And there you have it!  Although the main ingredient in the brocolli juice IS brocolli juice, there's also kiwi, tomato, grape, apple, orange, and pineapple thrown in.  All naturally sweet fruits!  Tipco 100% is made without any preservatives, flavorings, colorings or sweeteners - just the natural fruit and vegetable taste.
When I got an invite to know more about the Tipco 100% brand, I could not say no to learning about the company behind one of my kids' favorite grocery items.  
With blogger, Mrs. Martinez, and Transaxion director, Mona Chua
Group shot of the mom-bloggers
Tipco 100%, the best-selling juice brand in Thailand has actually been delighting Asian consumers since 1976.  It actually started out as the Thai Pineapple Company, hence the name TIPCO.  The brand has been on our shores since it was brought in last 2005 by Transaxion Unlimited Corp., and is available at leading supermarkets nationwide, with flavors that include Tangerine Orange, Purple Carrot, Pomegrante, Aloe Vera, Cranberry, 32 Veggie, and Broccoli among many others.
Now, Tipco 100% rewards all its fans in the Philippines with all inclusive trips to Bangkok, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and Boracay.  Every single-recipt purchase of three 1-liter packs of Tipco 100% is equivalent to one raffle entry.  Visit their facebook page to know more about this promo.
Thanks to the Transaxion Unlimited directors for hosting this event.
Click here to join Tipco Juice prom.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Welch's: Grape is a Fruit. Not a Flavor.

As a home-maker, I am very picky when it comes to what goes into my grocery cart.  I conscientiously make an effort to keep sugary treats, chips, canned goods out of our pantry.  And since the kids are into a sport which puts primary importance on endurance training, I have learned how to choose and serve foods that are not only filling and tasty, but those that nourish and replenish, as well. 

And to ensure that my kids' bodies are hydrated enough, I make certain that they drink enough fluids during the day.  Although water is our first choice of refreshment, the kids also enjoy a cold glass of 100% fruit juice from time to time. 

One of their favorite juice brands is Welch's.  I try to be a conscientious grocery-shopper, I take time to read the labels of the items I put in my cart.  I am happy that Welch's is 100% fruit juice, made from the Concord grape that is found only in the Americas.   What's more, it contains the antioxidant vitamin C to help support a healthy immune system.
They like their Welch's served in a tall glass with lots of ice cubes.  And clearly, what I love about Welch's is that Welch's 100% Grape Juice is made with whole Concord grapes—skin, seeds, and all—Welch's makes it easy to squeeze more purple fruit into a healthy, daily diet.  I am assured that every glass of delicious juice serves up 2 servings of fruit. 

A few  weeks ago, when I was invited by the Philippine distributor of  Welch's 100% Grape Juice for an intimate brunch, I knew I had to squeeze it in my schedule.  With us were the local distributor of Welch's, Erika Rodriguez; the brand head of Welch's for Southeast Asia, Sammy Mow; and a handful of mom-bloggers.  
The Welch's team
Photo courtesy of My-Mom-Friday
Photo courtesy of My Mom-Friday

One more reason why I love serving Welch's to my kids is because there's absolutely no sugar added to their 100% juice products. The grams of sugar we see on the labels actually refer to the naturally occurring fructose and glucose found in the grape fruit.  And because Welch's is 100% juice and does not contain preservatives, I make sure that the juice bottles are refrigerated after opening. Ideally an opened bottle should be consumed in 7 to 10 days, but it does not really last that long in my household. :)

 "Welch's - Grape is a fruit. Not a flavor." 

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Monday, July 23, 2012

iPad Apps for the Tutor-Mom - Part 2

I'd like to update the list I made earlier by adding some more educational apps that I found helpful... because, yes, we STILL  review in the car, or while walking, or in the school swing, or at the poolside... yes, STILL anywhere except a proper study table!:)

Google Translate is one of the most-used apps by my oldest, especially when it comes to reading her Filipino comprehension stories.  Although it does not cover all the words in the Filipino vocabulary, my daughter loves it because it is comprehensive and handy.  It also accepts voice input and allows translation of a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages.

My son loves Splash Math because of its modern interactive interface.  I love it because it is in line with the educational standard of the Singapore Math curriculum.  The app is designed to help reinforce math concepts in a spiral-based way that gradually increases in difficulty. Some of the covered topics include number sense (place value, order and comparison), addition, subtractions, multiplication, fractions, time, money, and more.


iTalk is among the best recording apps that I have tried.  Chinese is my Achilles' heel when it comes to tutor time.  You cannot imagine the stress I feel when my son has a Chinese conversational test coming up.  This app has since made it easier since I just ask my husband to record everything, and all my son has to do is hit "play."  Et voila!


The drills in Pinyin Trainer Ipad app is a big help to my kids when they need to catch up on their pinyin and tones.  There are a variety of question-and-answer settings to choose from to improve the kids' Chinese listening skills.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wishful Thinking: {Wardrobe} Red Skirt

My thoughts have been incessantly interrupted with billows of red, shifting swirls of crimson, episodic weaves of scarlet... I must have a red skirt. And it must be soon! Not just one, but plenty enough to wear for each day of the week!

Prim and proper for Sunday church and lunch with the family...

Very European chic noh? To be donning a full skirt and riding a bicycle...

If my legs were this long and lean, I'd be wearing this, too...

This is my favorite... a rolled up classic l/s button down with a slim skirt.

A nautical spin on the red skirt

Lovely outfit for lunch with friends

And it doesn't always have to be white and red; sometimes, you can be bold and throw in tangerine, too...

... or black, if that's what the mood catches you

A nice ensemble can still be nicer - if you have George Clooney beside you.:)

Join me wear a red skirt?

image credit:  
thefashiontrolley.tumblr.com, sundayinbed.tumblr.com, vogue-le-mode.tumblr.comthesartorialist.blogspot.com,  us.asos.com, moodboard.typepad.com, fossil.com,weheartit.com, dailymail.co.uk 
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Friday, July 13, 2012

50 Shades of Gray

It was on TV last night how the erotic novel, Fifty Shades of Gray, has topped best-seller lists  around the world. It was said that the series has set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time, even surpassing the Harry Potter series.  It was also mentioned that even Angelina Jolie has expressed interest to direct the film adaptation of the

I haven't read it yet, but I can't wait to get my hands on my own copy. While I am waiting for that, let me share with you how the different shades of gray play out for me...

Gray is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom.

Gray is the perfect neutral...

...chic and sleek

A color of compromise... flirty and refined.

Gray is a color that is authoritative

Gray makes pink look grown-up

To be gray and carefree
Being someone else's sunshine when their skies are gray

“Will you love me in December as you do in May, 
Will you love me in the good old fashioned way?
When my hair has all turned gray"

adorable kitty-kat

gray is tres chic on li'l girls

even Brangelina agrees... look at baby Shiloh in different shades of gray

... the salmon colored sky gives way to welcome the evening in slate gray

Lovely images of gray!

image credits: pinstars.info, : net-a-porter.com, tumblr.com, brooklynblonde.com, thesartorialist.blogspot.com, uniqueimage.polyvore.com, goo.gl, whatmyboyfrienddoesntknow.tumblr.com, google.es, use.com, achildscloset.com, google.com, greenweddingshoes.com

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Phenomenal Tip: How to Extend Life of Drill-sheets and Workbooks

The Singapore math curriculum is not exactly the cheapest; a set of textbook and workbook easily cost more than a thousand pesos. If you remember, I blogged about my extreme happiness at finding the local distributor of the My Pals Are Here series, and how it was just perfect that I was able to purchase complementary books which are not being sold in school... at a 50% discount!

Given how expensive the books can get, I just want to share with you how I am able to further extend the life of each workbook. I simply cover up the pages with post-it, and let my kids write their answers and solutions on the post-it.

The benefits of this method:
1. I do not have to make multiple drill sheets for the quizzes and then later on for the quarterly test.
2. I only have to purchase one set per level, and all my kids can share them.

Since these workbooks only serve as additional practice and drills for my kids, no one but myself (and now you) is in on the secret of what a cheapo I am!:)

Hope you find this tip useful!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thomas the Train Cupcakes & Croley Lobo Biscuits

One of my more popular posts has been the Thomas the Train Birthday Cupcakes.  I first posted about this from several years ago when blogging simply just served as a digital journal for me.  Since I first posted it, I have received numerous e-mails from moms who are requesting DIY step-by-step instructions.  (I must apologize for the bad lighting/quality of the photos... as I've said, taken ages ago :) )
There are a lot of version of Thomas the Train cakes and cupcakes going around.  But my version offers a very simple approach on how to take it on.  I've always enjoyed the hands-on preparation for my kids' birthday celebration, and this is one cake where even the most novice of bakers can make.  There are no gumpaste or fondant to roll.  All you need is just a simple cupcake recipe and a quick swirl of buttercream frosting.  Or, you can just simply put-in store-bought cupcakes!

As you can see, the attraction of the birthday cupcakes really lies on the collection of Thomas the Train sets which my son has accumulated.  If I remember it correctly, we bought each character set for about P700 (this was way back in 2007).  I am sure if the birthday boy is a Thomas the Train aficionado you have a lot of these lying in your playroom baskets.  

To make the base:
materials needed:
~green felt paper
~heavy duty tape

1.  First, gather up the train sets that you would want to include in your train station.  
2.  Purchase a styrofoam board in a size that is large enough to accomodate all the trains, and the "cargo" of cupcakes.  No need to put all the cupcakes for the party on this board.  You can just put the extra cupcakes on a tray or pile them high on a cupcake tower.
3.  Wrap the styrofoam with green felt paper, making sure to tuck and secure the excess.  Secure with heavy duty tape on the underside to make sure the felt paper doesn't slide off.

To assemble the cargo:
materials needed:
~graham crackers
~small round biscuits, such as Croley Foods' Lobo Biscuits
~excess frosting to hold crackers together.  (if you do not have excess frosting, you can also use jams)

1.  Stack three crackers on top of each other, filling the bottom-side of each cracker with frosting/jam as you pile them up.  Do not forget to spread the bottom-most cracker with ffrosting before you place it on the felt paper.  This serves to glue your crackers together for a sturdy "train cargo."
2.  Do the same steps with the frosting/jam as you put in the "wheels" of the train.  
3. The same way, put in a dollop of frosting/jam on the underside of the cupcakes before placing them on the "train cargo".  Depending on how big your cupcakes are, a pretty good estimate would be to place two cupcakes on one cracker.
Here is another view from the top

For the photos in this post, I used the small-sized Ritz crackers.  However, Lobo Biscuits, a locally-made product which comes in the same size and is relatively cheaper, is a good alternative.    It comes in three variants for you to choose from.
left-right:  Lobo Biscuit,  Lobo Choco Cookies, Lobo Cookies Original

Thanks to Lobo Biscuits and Croley Foods for sponsoring this post.  Croley Foods is the company behind Sunflower Crackers, the school baon staple of my generation. :) 

If you would like to know more about Croley Foods and its products, visit its webpage right here