The new Montero Sport

 

 

P9070103

 

I am like a Mommy chauffeur. My daily schedule revolves around my girls’ school drop off and pick up times. I fix my work commitments so that I can pick up my kids every day. It isn’t as tedious as it sounds. It actually brings me a lot of joy seeing their faces light up when I’m the one picking them up in school. Usually the ride home from school is filled with chatter from all three girls competing for my attention — lots of stories.

In my other life, outside of mommying, I still have to attend to my work — meetings, design and deliver jewellery, attend product launches, host events, do interviews, appear as guest in TV features, have shoots — you get the picture. My September started with my amazing book launch for CHIC: Tips on Life, Style and Work. It has been crazy hectic. I need a vehicle that can take me to places in comfort and style. I usually bring extra bags containing a change of shoes and some make up. I love doing my make up in the car (because of the natural light), so I need a car that runs smoothly. Needless to say, someone drives for me 99% of the time.

The past couple of weeks we have been using the all-new Montero Sport. I was able to test drive this best-selling mid-size Sport Utility Vehicle which won the Top Gear Philippines Shakedown comparing it to all midsize SUVs. It boasts of better performance, comfort and safety. What I like most though, is that it’s a stunner I can take with me wherever.

 

P9070066
We have three of these huge suitcase-like school bags that have to be loaded in the back of the car.

 

P9070086
My siblings in Toronto are shocked that I can drive in Metro Manila with no hassle. In fact, I find it easier to drive here than in North America because I’m terrified of speed.

 

20160823_123046
The back seats fold up completely flat, leaving a large space for cargo. Perfect for when I do grocery shopping like there’s no tomorrow.

 

P9070115
The Montero Sport comes with luxurious black seats. I found the seats very comfortable. It had enough support for my picky back and neck, yet it wasn’t too firm. It was just right.

 

20160823_094340
The seats have a multi-layer cushion with more rounded shoulder which supports the position of your upper torso comfortably. That’s a shameless selfie before going to pilates.

 

20160827_144828_001
The Montero Sport is fitted with an array of active and passive safety features.

 

20160827_144728
As a mom, I am very strict with seatbelts and carseats. My kids are beyond carseat sizes now. But they always wear seat belts.

 

20160823_094237 Admittedly, with all the errands that I have to do, having a driver is really a huge perk. I don’t have to worry about parking the car myself.

 

20160827_132728 This was the time we dropped off my brother-in-law at the airport. Stella sat comfortably at the back. Seatbelts!

 

20160824_121746
I sat in the driver seat, passenger side, back seats. All comfortable.

 

20160907_083544
We liked that there were different temperature controls for the aircon vents. I’m not a fan of super cold cars. While my husband and kids always want cold air blasting in their faces.

 

20160902_155244
I love it when the Skyway is clear and not congested. It makes living in Metro Manila so much more pleasant.

 

20160827_150846
The GPS was enjoyed by my driver. I didn’t have to share my phone/Waze anymore.

 

P8280051
On weekends we find ourselves in our soon-to-be cottage (I hope) where we have a few vegetables planted. So we drove to the “farm” in the Montero Sport.

 

P8280122
This little piece of heaven already feels like home for the kids.

 

P8280194
Traffic was horrendous, as it was a long weekend. But the kids were so comfortable in the back seat. There is a third row for seats but that weekend we used it for cargo. So all three stayed in the second row. And they were more than fine.

 

P8280154
We brought some special banana seedlings to the farm.

 

P8280046
That pot is huge and it still left plenty of room in the back.

 

P8280054
Montero Sport still looks bold and stylish while being sporty. We couldn’t drive it in to the property because we are still mapping out our vegetable patches.

 

P8280160
While I am still sketching my site plan, we need to figure out where the driveway would be.

 

P8280207
We dropped off our special banana and bamboo plants and brought home some harvest.

 

20160827_145027
Back in the city, on days when I am not working as a host or speaking somewhere, I go about my errands in comfort.
P8280150
And from my non-technical assessment, I would say that the comfort and ease of the Montero Sport fits my lifestyle – both urban and rural. It is CHIC!

 

For more information, visit the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines website and learn more about the Montero Sport. For price list, please click here. Like them on Facebook.

 

 

S&R Members’ Treat

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 14

 

Are you ready for this? Every year, I look forward to this Members’ Treat Sale at S&R. It is fun and crazy and totally worth it. The deals are incredible. A couple of years ago I was able to do my Christmas shopping. Not only were groceries on sale, but also gift items and housewares were marked down or on two-for-one. This is one of their biggest sales where they offer 50% off on items and even Buy 1 Take 1 deals.

Mark your calendars, this year Members’ Treat Sale is on  September 30 to October 02, 2016 nationwide. The sale takes place in these locations: S&R BGC, S&R Aseana, S&R Congressional, S&R Alabang, S&R Shaw, S&R Cebu, S&R Pampanga, S&R Davao, S&R Imus, S&R Nuvali, and S&R Davao.

 

20141127_113944
I took this shot a few years ago.

 

20150709_104650
I like going to S&R during mornings, usually after my Pilates class. This was a regular shopping day, not a Member’s Treat Sale.

 

20150408_115209
Also taken during a lean time.

 

I’m sure you have your own strategy for hitting this Members’ Treat Sale. Do you go on the first day? Do you go morning, midday, or near closing time? Do you go alone so you focus? Or do you bring the whole family? Do you meet up with other mommy friends? The way I do it is I go alone so I can concentrate, haha. My husband is a minimalist when it comes to shopping. I also come with a general gift list because those Buy 1 Take 1 deals are really amazing. Then I like sending updates on my chat groups with my cousins and mommy friends. They do the same. We let each other know what the best deals are. If I need reinforcement (an extra cart), I ask my driver to come in so we have two carts. There, that’s my strategy.

I am wishing that these things are on 50% off –  household cleansers, toilet paper, organic chicken stock, quinoa, chia seeds, chopped garlic, Chicago mix popcorn, Christmas tins of anything, and other surprises like coffee tumblers, lunch boxes, flashlights, bath mats, towels. My wish list can go on and on. I can’t wait til S&R releases the official list of items on sale. But I am also open to surprises.

 

s-rcollage

 

Here’s a little teaser of some of the items that are going to be on sale on September 30 to October 2: UP Baby Wipes, Irish Spring Soap, Tresemme Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner, Suave 2 in 1 Professional Shampoo and Conditioner, Scope 1.5L, Dove Rough Patch Lotion Tube, Pantene Hair Spray, Dial Kids Hair and Body Wash Berry, White Rain Kids 3 in 1, Colgate Kids Mouthwash Bubblegum, UP Baby Wipes, Irish Spring Soap, US Vanilla Marble Ring Cake, US Double Choco-chip Creme Ring Cake, US Apple Raisin Creme Cake, Ben & Jerry Chunky Monkey, Ben & Jerry Chocochip Cookie Dough, Ben & Jerry New York Fudge Choco, Ranch House Angus Rib-eye Steak, Ranch House Beef Short Ribs, and Ranch House Angus Strip Steak.

See you at the S&R Members’ Treat Sale!!

 

#LoveSnr
#SnReveryday

 

 

Coffee, the De’Longhi way

 

 

DELONGHI

 

We take coffee seriously in our house. Patrick is very particular about the brewing process, the type of beans, the way they’re roasted, how they’re poured. We used to have an espresso coffee machine with special plastic pods of ground coffee. But after using it for a while, we felt guilty about the amount of trash it produced. Those plastic pods end up polluting the seas even if they promise to be biodegradable. So we went the extreme opposite and handcrafted every cup of coffee.

 

20150928_080436
Patrick’s daily love offering to me is my morning coffee. Haha. Because I missed the convenience of a coffee machine, he promised he would make my coffee for me. And he did everything from scratch. Newly roasted coffee beans (bought in small batches to ensure freshness) was ground by hand and poured over a canvas sieve.

 

20151023_075147
My kitchen started to look like a science lab. Sometimes Patrick used his Japanese siphon. These coffee stories made it to my book, CHIC, Tips on Life, Style, and Work. Sophia drew all the illustrations of her dad’s coffee paraphernalia.

 

A few months ago, I got a call from Anj Imperial, PR of Concept Specialist Inc. She asked me if I was interested to visit the De’Longhi showroom and see their newest top of the line machine – the PrimaDonna Elite. Before she continued, I had to ask her, “Does the machine use pods? Because if so, we won’t be interested because it produces too much garbage.” She said it does not. It uses whole or ground beans. And it has a built-in grinder. She told me more about the brand and that they had other kitchen appliances. So I made that special trip to Quezon City.

 

P7130070
At the De’Longhi showroom in Quezon City where I met Anj and the GM Joenie Hung.

 

P7130079
We talked all about coffee.

 

PrimaDonna Elite 03
I was introduced to the new PrimaDonna Elite which was then just about to launch. Since I wasn’t going to attend the launch because of a trip to Tokyo, they gave me a private preview and demo.

 

PrimaDonna Elite 09
The PrimaDonna Elite has an intuitive interface – 4.3” colour touch display – making it easy to choose any of the preferred coffee-based beverages in one touch.

 

P7130002
This is the PrimaDonna Elite. That carafe on the right is for hot chocolate.

 

P7130020
With the coloured touch display of the PrimaDonna Elite, you can personalise any drink to perfectly match any taste. You can also set-up your own personal profile by memorising ideal aroma, as well as temperature and quantity of coffee and milk for each drink.

 

P7130049
Perhaps what makes the PrimaDonna Elite even more special is that you can control the machine remotely by using your cellphone. Just download the Coffee Link App.

 

P7130052PrimaDonna Elite is the first De’Longhi machine with connectivity. You can select your favourite drinks, create new recipes with complete freedom and discover infinite personalizations.

 

PrimaDonna Elite1
The De’Longhi LatteCrema System ensures dense and creamy milk froth with a silky smooth texture for any of the coffee-based milk drinks. The LatteCrema System always delivers best in-cup result: the perfect density – the perfect creaminess – at the perfect temperature, until the last drop.

 

P7130014
And here I was thinking I had given up milk-based coffee. After tasting the milk froth of the De’Longhi machine, I’m back to drinking cappuccinos and flat whites.

 

P7130018
Look at the layers and gradation. This machine allows you to create your favourite cup of coffee with exceptional standards, just like a Barista.

 

De'Longhi5
With a De’Longhi bean-to-cup coffee maker, you can quickly and easily enjoy the experience of a perfect Italian espresso at home. Source: The Coffee Chronicle by De’Longhi.

 

De'Longhi1
Each time you make coffee, it is guaranteed to be fresh because the beans are freshly grounded by the integrated grinder and the professional brewing unit takes care of preparing full-flavoured expressos. Source: The Coffee Chronicle by De’Longhi.

 

De'Longhi4
Imagine all the coffees you can create with just the touch of one button. Latte art, not included. Source: The Coffee Chronicle by De’Longhi.

 

Photo 13
De’Longhi’s International Commercial Director for Asia Pacific and Americas, Paul Accornero, together with Concept Specialist Inc.’s President, Joseph Hung, PR Manager Angela Imperial, and celebrity guest, Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo celebrated the launch of De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite last July 20, 2016.

 

Photo 01
Judy Ann unveiled the PrimaDonna Elite at an elegant event at the Shangrila Fort.

 

Photo 07
De’Longhi’s Regional Manager of South East Asia and Pacific, Vincent Cheng teaches Inah Estrada how to do a latte art while TV Host Suzy Entrata looks on.

 

Photo 02
Tessa Prieto Valdes and Patty Laurel Filart taste hot chocolate.

 

Photo 08
Broadcasters all in attendance – Julius Babao, Gelli Rivera, Janice de Belen, Tintin Babao, Nelson Canlas, Luanne Dy, Rhea Santos, Nina Corpuz, Lyn Pascual.

 

Photo 11
Patty Laurel-Filart, Tracy Ayson and Andi Manzano-Reyes

 

Photo 21
Angel Aquino, Vivian Hung, and Concept Specialist Inc.’s General Manager Joenie Hung.

 

 

P1010921
Then it was my turn to welcome De’Longhi in to my home. After our Japan trip, De’Longhi delivered this beautiful PrimaDonna DeLuxe XS.

 

P1010918
Unboxing is always a thrill.

 

ETAM-36365M-left
PrimaDonna XS DeLuxe is the compact version of the PrimaDonna Elite. It does everything the same way, minus the touch screen, App capability, and chocolate carafe.

 

image-0-02-01-b20e945eb35aab24e219229d0355ac8d00b653636b5bc05b89850ff4aad4b016-V
Space is an issue in my kitchen. The De’Longhi’s slim, space-saving bean to cup coffee maker sits perfectly in my kitchen counter. It no longer looks like a science lab.

 

P1010924
The PrimaDonna DeLuxe XS is so sleek. I love Italian design. Now we can make cappuccino, cafe latte, cafe macchiato, espresso , steamed milk using freshly ground coffee beans. It is so easy to use.

 

P1010928
The PrimaDonna Deluxe XS features a patented Autocappuccino System for the perfect cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffe latte and hot milk, automatic cleaning integrated in the froth regulating knob, extra cappuccino device for steam and hot water, personalizing from short, medium or long. You can try a strong or extra mild aroma, enjoy it piping hot, medium or low temperature. The machine can be used with either coffee beans or ground coffee. The coffee bean container can hold 150 gr. There is an active cup warmer with dedicated button. You can prepare two cups of coffee with a single brewing. The coffee grinder has 13 adjustable settings. To top it all off, it is so easy to clean.

 

20160810_094624
Patrick and I are back to using a coffee machine, and not just an ordinary one. We have De’Longhi’s top of the line compact machine. His other coffee gadgets are still there for times he wishes to make hand-crafted coffee, but that doesn’t happen too often.

 

P7130086
That visit to the DeLonghi showroom in Quezon City opened up a whole new level for our appreciation of the art of making coffee. I also saw their complete line of kitchen appliances like – low-oil fryer and multi cooker, electric ovens, stylish kettles and toasters, bread makers. I ended up with an amazing mini convection oven that makes bread. Will blog about that next.

 

Concept Specialist Inc. is the official distributor of global brands such as De’Longhi, Sanremo Coffee Machines, Thermoplan and Fetco, and is the first in Asia to launch De’Longhi’s PrimaDonna Elite at the new Shangri-La at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

For more information about Concept Specialist Inc. Like De’Longhi Philippines on Facebook and follow @delonghiph on Instagram.

Visit the De’Longhi showroom at 72 Sct. Dr. Lascano, Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City and the concept store at D&K Kitchen Essentials at L/G East Wing, Shangri-La Mall, Mandaluyong City.

 

 

Belo, fairest of them all

 

 

FA Belo Pamper Day

 

I have been going to Belo religiously for over ten years. By that I mean, regular facials every 2 to 3 weeks. I have the simplest maintenance routine — Honey Almond Cleaning and Power Peel. No chemicals, no ointments, no creams, no lasers. Two times I tried laser, Picosure, for research purposes. I love the results, but I feel like I don’t need lasers just yet. This is because I am so happy and satisfied with the quality of my skin.

To give you some examples I am posting some shameless selfies here — with no filters, no make up, just woken up face, and one photo shows what I look like with my everyday makeup. With all objectivity and humility I can say I have very little visible pores on my face. Because of my treatments at Belo, I’ve also reduced the need for other skincare. I don’t use masks or creams. Once in a while, I’ll use eye cream, only because I’m jealous of my friends who buy fancy creams.

 

L1220646
A few years ago the night before I turned 40.

 

P5140121
My every day makeup involves no actual foundation makeup. I only wear foundation if I have to go on stage. For real life and events, I just dust some powder on my skin. I wear concealer to mask some dark circles under my eyes and redness around my nose. Then I focus on the yes and lips. This was in 2013 in Toronto.

 

Untitled
Breakfast at home, 2014.

 

Untitled
Another “woke up like this” shameless photo. At the beach in 2014, during our early morning walk.

 

I’m not claiming to be perfect. But whatever imperfection there is, I’ve accepted completely. I have a huge scar across my forehead due to a bicycle accident when I was 8. I have red veins that show through my skin — which I actually love, because one side spells the letter “M” in red veins. My kids think it is my mark – M for mom. I have a mole in my lip. Speaking of, I know I have thin lips but I will not get fillers, not me. Too scared of injections. My nose is funny; it points down when I smile. Laugh lines and fine wrinkles are there too. I used to obsess over my teeth as a teenager because they were huge. My parents got me braces in my late teens when my jaw reached maturity. I had to wear a headgear at night. There is no such thing as effortless beauty. Haha.

I am raising three daughters who I hope will not be obsessed by their looks. I know that consciousness about beauty and body image is part of growing up. My role as their real role model is to show them that these things are temporary and what matters most is what they have inside – their good heart, intelligence, compassion, faith, drive — these are what will give them inner strength and peace. But of course, being beautiful helps a bit up to a certain point. And by this I mean, just care for what you have and be the best version of yourself. I tell them not to worry because that’s a given. They have beauty in their genes (my mom and Patrick’s mom). So now they just have to just focus on working on their inner selves and taking good care of their skin and body.

So before you go on throwing pie in my regularly scrubbed face, let me tell you that the reason I’m blabbing about this is because you may have a chance to win my treatments too! Thanks to Belo Medical Group, they are sponsoring a very special giveaway once a week for three weeks! And on the fourth week there is a grand prize! Scroll below to see mechanics.

 

Belo beauty Dinner event LPG
Belo and I go way back. I am so grateful to Dr Vicki Belo for taking good care of my skin for over a decade.

 

Screenshot_2015-10-31-16-41-17
With some of the Belo Babies.

 

20141124_101516
Before treatment.

 

20160404_102145
My Power Peel bed.

 

20160811_124600
Fairest of them all! Just yesterday at Belo Shangrila Plaza where I had a simple body scrub. (I’m into wearing loose clothing these days).

 

In celebration of Belo Medical Group’s 26th anniversary, they have meticulously designed each of their 12 clinics to make all the patients feel like royalty. Their fairytale-like clinics have various unique decorations but definitely support the main theme “Fairest of Them All”.

As part of the #DaphnexBelo giveaway, I am inviting you to visit one of the 12 Belo clinics to personally see the creative set-up for this 26th anniversary. And then you guessed it, please upload photos and/or a video to qualify to win a weekly prize and/or the grand prize. Visit any Belo Medical Group Clinic. See list of branches here.

For complete mechanics for the giveaway, please scroll down.

 

morato1
Belo at Tomas Morato, Quezon City

 

shang2
Belo at Shangrila Plaza, 5th floor

 

 

DAPHNExBELO Giveaway

 

In celebration of Belo’s 26th anniversary, Belo is giving away the following prizes during the period of August 16 to September 12, 2016 for you, my awesome readers:

1st winner – August 22 – Glycopeel cleaning/Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
2nd winner- August 29 – Glycopeel cleaning /Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
3rd winner- September 5 – Glycopeel cleaning/Honey Almond cleaning and Power peel
Grand winner- September 12 – Wet and Dry Dermabrasion and Revlite on the face

 

Mechanics of the contest:

1. Post a video or photo greeting for Belo’s 26th Anniversary on Instagram and tell us why Belo is the fairest of them all. The video must be no longer than 30 seconds. Video taken inside the Belo clinic is a plus but not required.

2. Follow the Official IG of Belo and my IG in order to qualify for this contest. Use the hashtags #Belo26 #FairestOfThemAll #DaphnexBelo and tag @belobeauty @victoria_belo @daphneop

3. Posts should be made public.

4. The contest will run for 4 weeks starting from August 16 to September 12. The best answer to the question “Why Belo is the fairest of them all?” will be chosen every week for the first three weeks. Announcement of weekly winners will be done every Monday- Aug 22, 29 and September 5. Each winner for the first 3 weeks will receive Belo items and gift certificates for my favourite maintenance treatments like Honey Almond cleaning/Glycopeel Cleaning and Power peel (Total Value: P4,000+)

5. On the 4th week, the most creative video throughout the whole contest period (may include the three past winners) will be declared as the grand winner on September 12. Prizes include Belo items and gift certificates for Wet and Dry Dermabrasion and Revlite on the face (Total Value: P22,400+)

6. The winning entries will be posted on @belobeauty, the official Instagram account of Belo Medical Group.

 

Contest starts August 16. But you can start making your video now.

Good luck, everyone!

 

SM Appliance Center

 

 

P3065325

 

I have written a few times about my dream kitchen. It took 10 years of living in our house before I renovated and got exactly what I wanted. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio, but I was in charge of how it looked and how it happened. I sourced most of the materials and appliances myself.

I started with photo inspirations from magazines and Pinterest. Then I assessed the condition of our old house — kitchen is on the second floor, practically on stilts above the garage. I wanted to maintain the character of the old “Bahay na Bato” but also needed the comforts of a farmhouse style kitchen. I ended up with exposed beams in my ceiling, wooden floor boards, white distressed cabinetry, cast iron sink, pendant lamps, and modern, technologically advanced fixtures and windows.

 

P3065286
The defining feature of my kitchen is the enamelled cast iron sink and goose-neck faucet which I had to import from the US from Kohler.

 

P3065280
My appliances were the first things I decided on because we had to measure the section where the gas range went. My Samsung fridge is so big we had to place it by its lonesome against one wall.

 

As the months and years went by (the kitchen is almost three years old), I would discover little things I needed – a new toaster oven, coffee machines, a juicer, a new water dispenser. I’m not really gung ho about buying kitchen gadgets because I like to keep my counters clear. I no longer use a microwave for reheating, instead I steam or broil. But there are things we cannot do without — appliances that we need to make our lives simpler.

Our usual first stop is SM Appliance Center for the simple reason that there is one conveniently located in a mall near our village. I like that no matter which branch I go to, I get similar level of service that ends with a convenient paying and efficient delivery system.

Check out the good deals in SM Appliance Center:

MOULINEX PANINI MAKER SANDWICH SM 1568

 

HANABISHI ELECTRIC KETTLE

 

SEVERIN MIXER HM 3822

 

There are 10 different payment methods: SM Gift Card, SODEXHO gift certificates, cheques, credit cards, debit cards, SM e-card, shopping card. AEON, Home Credit, or good old-fashioned cash.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

And because it is SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary, they have a promo giving 25% off for SMAC, BDO and Prestige members, plus a Frequent Shoppers Rewards Card.

 

25th Anniversary Blowout ad fa 9x51 rev

 

The Frequent Shoppers Card gives away shopping credits, Vikings vouchers and staycation to Taal Vista, Park Inn, or Radisson.

Untitled-8

 

Untitled-8

 

For more information on SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Blowout, visit www.smappliance.com or SM Appliance Facebook.