Sunday, May 22, 2011

5 Beauty Regimens Worth Remembering

These basics not only provide temporary glow and beauty, but one that will last for the rest of your life making you even more beautiful and healthier when done regularly.

1. Exfoliate all over.

Exfoliate at least once a week. Pay a visit to your favorite spa for a queenly body scrub. Or DIY at the comfort of your own home without spending much. You can choose among the stash of body scrubs available in Watson's and department stores.  I use A Bonne Milk Salt Scrub, which smells super yummy by the way, all over my body once a week (Sunday scrub day) as an alternative to soap.  It can be bought at Watson's. If I feel like lathering up before the scrub, I just use Ivory Original (The one wrapped in wax paper, not the boxed ones. It's imported.) sans the loofah.  For the face, I count on the good 'ole Apricot Scrub once a week to do that exfoliating job. This helps remove dead skin cells and leaves skin ultra soft and smooth.  Don't  forget to moisturize after, which leads to the next regimen.

2. Moisturize.
It is a no-brainer. We need to moisturize.
As we all know, after shower is the ideal time to moisturize the skin.  Some even apply body oil instead of body lotion.  This is ok if the weather is cool to prevent dryness, this gives an extra softening effect on the skin.  Applying body oil or moisturizer while skin is not yet completely dry after shower locks in the moisture for that super soft and well moisturized skin.  During days with cool weather, I use Giga Dry Mist Oil in Green Tea Scent on my skin as an alternative to lotion.  Moisturizing is also important for the face as it is for the body, so do not leave your face "unmoisturized".  It is wise to invest in a good facial moisturizer.  Cosmetics glide better on well-moisturized skin.  And remember that good and vibrant skin does not need much make up.

3. Block those UV rays.
If there's one thing my mom did not fail to inculcate in me it's NEVER step out of the house without sunscreen on your skin.  So SPF is very important for me when choosing a facial skin care product.  This is so I would not have to apply (and buy) a separate sunblock cream on (for) my face.  The BB cream I currently use daily has an SPF of 26 - that's enough. You might not notice it today, but when you get older you'll see the harmful effects done by the UV rays on your skin if it was not protected properly during younger years.  This also goes with body lotion, choose the one with SPF (sun protection factor).  So needless to say, generous and frequent application of sunblock lotion, with SPF not lower than 50, before heavy exposure to sun is a MUST. You can also buy sunblock creams for the face.  My mom buys this facial sunblock with an SPF of 110 at the derm clinic we go to.  This is ideal if you'll go swimming, hang out by the beach, and do other activities that require your face to be exposed to the scorching sun, no matter how long or short the exposure time is.  Sun exposure makes aging fast, can produce dark spots, and can even cause skin diseases. And if there's just one thing you will remember about this blog post, please make it this one. Your skin will thank you for it.

4. Get rid of the tips regularly.
A healthy hair requires regular trimming at least once a month.  It does not have to be a full-blown hair cut, just an inch trim would do to get rid of  the split ends and worn out tips. This helps hair grow healthier and look even better.  And not only it makes your hair healthier, it makes you feel good as well.

5. Work out as often as possible.
Work outs not only keep bodies in shape, but keep them healthy as well. Working out gives us endless benefits like reducing risks of heart disease, diabetes, developing colon cancer, helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, among many others.  So keep that gym membership and pay a visit regularly. Or play your favorite work out video and sweat it out at home, or run or play tennis or badminton.  Yogas, belly dancings and the likes are good ways to also keep us fit and tone our muscles, but do not forget to do cardio work outs once in a while (those that require you to move fast making your heart beat really fast).  It's good for the heart. Make sure to find time doing exercises as they do not only help control weight, but help release toxins and clean the pores through sweating.  It could be the remedy to those blemish and acne problems you've been ranting about for months. ♥

See all HEALTH & BEAUTY posts.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Halo Halo de Iloko to my Heart's Content

I suddenly felt the urge to go back to La Union to revisit this cozy cafe called Halo Halo de Iloko and take pleasure once again on its easy delightful delicacies. 

Halo Halo de Iloko, La Union

Summer last year when we endured the 6-hour road trip to this infamous surfing spot in the Philippines,  La Union, and we were in for a treat, not just because of the waves and surf boards (blog post on La Union surfing trip soon), but because of the food as well.  The friend of Ayn's friend, JP, (oh connections!) who lives there took us one night to this small, vibrant and summer-inspired cafe for some halo-halo.  Halo Halo de Iloko is located in P. Burgos cor. Zandueta Sts., San Fernando City, La Union.

The halo-halo was indeed wonderful.  It is seldom that I get to taste a halo-halo that I would really like, considering that this dessert is our very own.  

An army of halo halo
But Halo Halo de Iloko is more than just creamy and tasty halo-halo, they have more to offer to satisfy a tourist palate's craving for a unique local food.  I equally loved the empanerados and their palabok.  Empanerados has a name so hard to recall, but a taste you would not forget.  It is served hot and very soft.  The outside is a bit crunchy, while the inside is moist, soft and has a filling of meat, salted egg and what-not, quite similar to empanada (thus the name).  Their palabok, to my surprise, can compete with the best palabok in the world for me, that which can be bought in our public market in Sta. Ana.  It is as good.

As always, I can hardly finish my tall glass of halo-halo.  We spent the night filling ourselves up and basking in each other's company.  I would certainly love to go back to La Union this year to play with the waves again, and eat these wonderful dishes to my heart's content. ♥

See all FOOD posts.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Taste of Bali in Malaysia

Being a massage addict, I was so excited when we were told we are going to Malaysia for some spa pampering.  

From Singapore (view blog post of the Singapore trip), Johor Bahru, Malaysia is just 2 hours away by land.  That's our destination on our  third day in Singapore.  As we arrived Johor Bahru, we had a seafood feast lunch in Restoran Todak (blog post soon), and then we went to Rina Balinese Resort for a day of relaxation in this Bali-inspired spa farm.

Rina Balinese Resort is a one-stop nature spa which offers traditional Balinese aromatic massage, firewood herbal steam bath, traditional foot massage, sand spa, body scrub, organic facial, herbal jacuzzi bath, fitness program, fruit orchard tour, fishing, bicycling and other recreations.   They also hold functions and events.

It is quite a drive from the city, far from the hustling vehicles and fast-paced lifestyle.  Staff welcomed all of us with a warm smile, simple garlands and drinks as we arrived the resort.

Then we were immediately ushered onto the pool area where our feet were washed to get us ready for a nice Balinese massage.

I was so excited about the massage.  And the moment I've been waiting for, Aika, Gianine and I were brought to this nipa hut for the massage.  The hut was only covered with curtains, the wind gushing in, and you can hear the sound of nature, real sounds and not recorded unlike in the spas in the urban.

Micheal Bay, CEO of this resort, also a good friend of Tito Rene and Tita Ging, advised us that we only need to raise our fingers to tell the masseuse how hard or light we want the pressure of the message to be, 1,2 or 3.  The massage was so soothing and relaxing.  It lasted for an hour.

After the massage, the masseuse asked each of us to take these five pellet-like tablets.  According to them, these should take out the excess air in our body. Good thing Aika understands Malay.

We did not wore our clothes yet, instead the masseuse gave us these long sarongs because we still have to go to the spring water pool and steam bath.

We rested for a while, and then we dipped into the pool.  The pool felt so good and refreshing as the weather at that time was so hot.  We goofed around and just had fun.  From the pool, we went in and out of the steam bath for that detoxifying effect.

After some hours in the pool area, a staff came to serve us snacks or merienda.  Some food served reminded me well of the typical Filipino merienda.  We had turon (banana roll), banana muffin, coffee, tea, and, of course, my favorite prata would always be present.

After these relaxing activities, Uncle Micheal took us on a tour around the farm where certain plants and animals were being grown and taken cared of.  He asked us to dip our fingers into the coy pond and let the coy suck them, but not all of us tried. Our dads and moms did earlier during their own tour. :)

Dad having his finger sucked by a coy.
Tita Ging doing the same...while shouting. :)
I know coys don't have teeth that could hurt your fingers, but I passed on this one. :p  After the tour we all got going and went to a restaurant called Masterchef to have a very nice dinner.  Thanks to Uncle Michael who had been very kind and warm.

An hour of Javanese Aromatic Massage costs RM 98.  Rina Balinese Resort also offers room cottages for a longer and more comfortable stay in this spa haven.  For other spa services, packages and rates visit their website.  You should definitely pay a visit should you happen to pass by Singapore or Malaysia.  Rina Balinese Resort is located in Lot 2515, Jalam Seelong Jaya 6, Kampung Seelong Jaya, 81400 Senai, Johor, Malaysia (GPS location: +1° 36' 26.76', +103° 42' 22.16°).

Then we headed back to Singapore and called it a day, a very wonderful and relaxing day. ♥

See all TRAVEL posts.
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