Smart + Cool: How I manage energy consumption at home

Smart Cool

We have turned into people who talk about the weather every single day. In Manila, this is the constant talk now. “It’s so hot!” and “Ang init.” Granted that we’ve been in the middle of summer, but really, it just seems to get hotter every year.

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I’m sure all of you in Manila can relate to this. How hot has it been in the city the past month? Look at the Accuweather report for May 2018. In reality it felt like a degree or two higher. It has been incredibly hot. For reference, 35 degrees Celsius is 95 degrees Farenheit — just 5 degrees away from boiling point. Source: Accuweather

If you’ve been following me on social media you know how I’ve been posting about my guilt-free use of aircon at home. Since December 2016, we have changed our units to inverter-type air conditioners. I can’t be too technical here. Basically inverter airconditoner units have a compressor that operates at high speed in order to cool the room quickly. When the desired temperature is reached, the compressor slows down, maintains same temperature, and saves energy (cost). A non-inverter aircon runs at fixed speed, so it costs you more.

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This is our Klarwind inverter air conditioner from Carrier. We got it in December 2016. It keeps our family room nice and cool. I love how the design is lipstick-thin, it didn’t obstruct the balance of our two elephant lamps.

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That is the Carrier wall-mounted split-type inverter air conditioner in our bedroom. The kids have the same one in their bedroom.

Air-conditioning units are no longer a luxury in the Philippines. Its become a necessity. Since we changed our units to inverter-type air-conditioners in our bedrooms, kitchen, living room and family room, we have noticed the dip in our monthly electrity bills. There was one month where we paid one-third (1/3) of what we spent the year before, with the same amount of use. It was my wish to eventually change the units in our guest room and study from a regular window-type aircon to an inventor. My wish came true and more after I hosted the press conference of Smart + Cool.

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With Mr. Raul Joseph A. Concepcion, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Concepcion Industrial Corporation at the launch of Smart + Cool.

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Mr Concepcion, introducing the Carrier Smart + Cool System.

The Carrier Smart + Cool is a system (Carrier Window Room AC + Smart+Cool Plug + Smart+Cool App) that uses a cool plug attached to your Carrier window air conditioner unit. It helps you to manage your air conditioner usage via a mobile app. It allows you to schedule your air-conditioner to turn on and off when you want it to. You can turn your unit on or off from even from a distance by remote. One of the most interesting functions of the Smart + Cool is it lets you track and monitor your electrical consumption in both peso amount or kilowatt usage. You can actually set a daily, weekly, or monthly budget limit and the app will let you know once you’re hitting your limit. This is a game-changer in smart appliances! Imagine, no more bill shock or guessing games!

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The day finally came when our new window-type Carrier inverter aircons for the guest room and study were delivered and installed.

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Since our house is old, and it already has existing window holes for air conditioners, we kept the model as a window-type and not the split-type wall mounted. The good thing is, this uses inverter technology – environmentally friendly, low electricity consumption, five-year compressor warranty. And that’s not even the most news-worthy part. Let me show you how Smart + Cool works.

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The Smart + Cool app allows you to control and manage your Carrier airconditioning unit from anywhere you are. You can turn it on or off when you’re on the road, or you’re at work. And it lets you track the consumption in either kilowatt or peso. I chose peso. Easier for me, budgeting-wise. But I can easily switch view to see actual energy consumption.

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The dashboard lets you control your aircon unit.

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Like yesterday, I turned on the aircon while I was out for a lunch party. I texted our the kids at home and told them to move to the guest room. The guest room is actually also my husband’s mancave. In the summer months it is the coolest place in our home. This way I didn’t have to turn on the air con in the family room.

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Here’s what it looks like on daily view. It shows that the day before, it cost us P85. And today, our running tab was at P53. I told the kids I wouldn’t let it go beyond P100 per day (for day-use, overnight is another budget limit). I’d be curious to track our consumption over night. But like I said, this is the guest room. Hmm perhaps we should do a sleep over.

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You can also schedule Maintenance Alert. A lot of consumers actually tend to disregard cleaning and maintain their air conditioners. It is so important to be on top of aircon cleaning. Our units are cleaned every six month. For our new window-type inverter unit, we haven’t set up the Smart + Cool app to do the maintenance alert yet. Note to self, set it up. This way, it’ll send me a message reminding me to have my unit cleaned… and Carrier will actually call or text me for a schedule. I love it.

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Basically that’s what it looks like on the wall. You see the Smart + Cool plug on the wall.

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This is the app looks like in Real Time.

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All that from a little cube plug that makes cooling your home so convenient and intelligent.

It’s only been a week since we’ve been using the Smart + Cool System, and I absolutely love it. With this, I can have total control of our new Carrier window-type air-conditioning unit. It has made the management of our air-con much easier. I appreciate the features of the Smart + Cool System by remote, like the on-off facility, scheduler, maintenance service, consumption manager, and real-time chat with customer service.

Watch my Instagram and Facebook page for more and current posts about how Smart + Cool has improved my life, our home, and our genuine family time. For more information Smart + Cool.

#WelcometoIntelligentCooling #CarrierSmartCool

S&R Members’ Treat

 

 

S&R - Members' Treat - March 2018

It’s that time of the year again — the S&R Members’ Treat is happening this March 14 until March 18, 2018 in all S&R warehouse clubs nationwide.

S&R Members will get five whole days of big value and even bigger savings, with Buy 1 Take 1 deals and price reductions of up to 50% off on lots and lots of your favorite everyday products as well as hard-to-find-global brands and more! From grocery staples like breakfast essentials, baon goodies, yummy baked goodies, imported treats, to various gift items, housewares, towels and linens, and even select appliances – EXCLUSIVE to all S&R members.

S&R currently has 14 warehouse clubs nationwide: BGC (Taguig City), Aseana (Pasay City), Congressional (Quezon City), Alabang (Muntinlupa City), Shaw (Mandaluyong City), Imus (Cavite), Nuvali (Laguna), Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, S&R Commonwealth (Quezon City) and S&R Dau (Pampanga).

 

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This is me when I travel. And that’s our luggage for all five of us.

 

As we are now planning our summer trips, I was telling my husband that my shopping and packing habits have changed so much. I used to shop more while on vacation. But now that pretty much everything is available in Manila, I don’t find the need to stock up on things. I used to buy housewares and dry groceries in Toronto and bring them back to Manila. Now, many of the things I need for the home is in S&R.

Here are some photos from my own kitchen.

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Early phase of baking quiche. I buy my Bisquick from S&R. And whenever I am there, I buy fresh produce too. I always get zucchini and cherry tomatoes.

 

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Roast chicken with herbs and Himalayan salt from S&R.

 

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This is me. Cooking in my kitchen for real. The dried herbs, salt, and pepper are all from S&R.

 

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This is me. Not cooking in my kitchen.

 

Here’s a little sneak peek at some of the items that may be part of the S&R Members’ Treat. Some items in photo are representations of items on sale. There may be variations on the actual items.

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1 Oster bioceramic indoor grill, 2 Cosco padded folding chair, 3 Kitchen Classics dish, 4 Copper cookware

 

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5 Ocean Spray Craisins, 6 Aregente artisanal potato chips, 7 Bevti apple juice, 8 Cubi wafers, 9 Ocean Spray Cran-Apple, 10 E. Wedel chocolates

 

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11 Bath towels, 12 Oster steam iron, 13 Cavendish and Harvey candy drops, 14 Storage bins

 

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15 Keter Tuff Packer, 16 Arm & Hammer Oxy Clean, 17 Keter Connect Rolling System

 

S&R - Members' Treat - Digital Banner - 2018

 

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S&R Member’s Treat. March 14-18. Doors will open as early 8am until 10pm.

Follow S&R in their social media accounts to get the latest updates and promos: Facebook snrmembershipshopping, Instagram @snr_official, and Twitter @snr_official.

 

 

Global Views

 

 

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Julia Buckingham for Global Views

 

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the opening of Global Views, a luxurious furniture shop in Ayala Vertis North Mall. Global Views is a US home decor wholesale company with showrooms and distributors across the US, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and now Manila. It offers a wide assortment of furniture and home accessories that can blend into elegant, refined, casual, and exotic settings. Global Views is the go-to design source of interior designers and decorators for residential and commercial projects. Now in Manila, Global Views is open for retail to the public.

 

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Storefront

 

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The shop window at Global Views in Ayala Vertis North

 

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Boomerang Chairs

 

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The Wiggle Dining Chairs in black, by Julia Buckingham.

 

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Just next door is another furniture shop called Home and Beyond. It is owned by the same couple that owns Global Views. In photo are the Global Views Philippines owner Josephine Lim and her team with influencers Tessa Valdes, Mikaela Martinez, Aubrey Miles, and Troy Montero.

 

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With Tessa.

 

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Home and Beyond has contemporary pieces of furniture and accessories.

 

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Cowhide rugs from Brazil at Home and Beyond. Im wearing a K&Company top, Azotea bracelet, and Rabeanco bag.

 

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With the owners of Global Views, Josephine and Frank Lim.

 

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Dwell Studio accessories.

 

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Wall sculpture that come in nickel, brass, or bronze.

 

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Detail of the wall sculpture.

 

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Kyoto cabinet.

 

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With TV host Regine Tolentino

 

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My favourite, the Link Bunching Table. Pieces with travertine tops shaped like jigsaw puzzles that link together. I also like the many choices of wall decor that come in brass, nickel, and other finishes. Here we see the Lily Pad Clusters in antique nickel.

 

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A nickel plated “gravy boat” used as a wine cooler. This, too, is one of my favourite pieces.

 

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The raindrop rug by Julia Buckingham. I had to show it to scale with my feet. I’m wearing French Sole.

 

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Visit the Global Views Manila showrooms in Ayala Vertis North Mall in Quezon City, and in Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila +63 946 3940.  Follow them in Facebook at GlobalViewsPH and Instagram at @GlobalViewsPH

 

 

DAPHNE® x NBS

 

 

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In celebration of its 75th year in the retail business, National Bookstore collaborated with seven Filipino design influencers including myself. The result were seven collections of limited edition stationery, accessories, and gift items launched under the campaign Inspire with Passion. Among the talents that joined me were  Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Cat Arambulo-Antonio, Cecile Van Straten, Patty Eustaquio, Rajo Laurel, and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo.

“Their unique styles and design philosophies are reflected in each of their lines,” says National Book Store managing director Xandra Ramos-Padilla. “These limited edition items can be gifted to anyone’s family, friends, and loved ones, so that everyone can receive and be inspired by the gift of passion.”

As I wrote in my previous post, I was inspired by “my tropical life”. For the DAPHNE® set, we came up with three prints all reflecting the tropical blooms and textures in and around my home.

 

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The floral pouches for DAPHNE®xNBS

 

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One set of notebooks has all three floral prints in DAPHNE®xNBS. Each of the notebooks are either plain, lined, or dotted.

 

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At the press launch of the Inspire With Passion event celebrating National Bookstore’s 75th anniversary.

 

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I wore a K&Company dress from the current Holiday 2017 collection.

 

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I love that the stylist of the event placed a cute peacock chair in my vignette. In real life I have the biggest peacock chair in my living room. A gift from Vito Selma.

 

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One of the three pouches.

 

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An envelope pouch I meant to be a laptop carrier. But it doubles up as an everything-pouch.

 

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My daughter uses it as a portfolio to carry her art stuff.

 

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My laptop carrier.

 

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I also use it as a clutch.  (OOTD: Shoes from French Sole, one piece culottes & top from Religioso, bracelet from my Instagram shop @AZOTEAph).

 

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With National Bookstore’s Managing Director Xandra Ramos-Padilla, who has been a wonderful collaborator and supporter of my brand even before any DAPHNE product was ever created.

 

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Patty Eustacio’s note cards and wrapping paper.

 

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Rajo Laurel had pens and a tote bag.

 

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Chuvaness came up with wallets and a large sized cheque book.

 

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The National Book Store 75th anniversary capsule collection is available online at www.nationalbookstore.com

 

 

My Tropical Life

 

 

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By now some of you may know that I have a new collection of products in National Bookstore. It was launched a couple of months ago as part of the NBS@75 celebration, or the 75th anniversary of National Bookstore, alongside the products of six other design influencers. This is my second capsule collection for National. The first one was a 15-piece collection released in 2015 — these were inspired by the flower names of my daughters.

 

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My first collection at National Bookstore in 2015 was inspired by the floral names of my three daughters – the rose, the lily, and the daisy.

 

For the 75th anniversary of National Bookstore, we were each asked to create three products. I initially wanted my daughters to illustrate the prints. (Yes, they are that good. But like me they can be stubborn when their mother commissions flower drawings. History repeats itself). Because of time constraints, National commissioned a local artist to work on my prints. We came up with three prints based on the world I wanted to convey. I created a set of three notebooks in different sizes, an all-purpose pouch, and a file envelope pouch which can hold a laptop, books, and other things. You may see the launch event and photos of the collection in my next blog.

I am sharing with you the story of my collection, inspired by a hashtag I love to use — #mytropicallife. The past couple of years, I have spent more time at home than working on the road. You may have noticed I’ve slowed down on my TV work – both deliberately and just because – and I used this time to learn new skills, like cooking, gardening, and all these quaint domestic disciplines that I never had much time for. I finally figured out how plants grow and thrive. They no longer die on me, thank God. And because of that, my little “farm” out of town is growing cacao and passion fruit. In a couple of years, I hope I may actually have enough produce from my little farm to call myself a farmer. For now, I have my little tropical garden in our suburban home. I am constantly surrounded by bougainvilleas and frangipani/kalachuchi blooms. And that’s where I got the idea for this collection.

 

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Will post highlights from the launch soon.