soulintraining

Gender-neutral gifts for every budget this Christmas

In Philippine Star Column on December 13, 2013 at 1:28 am

People making lists, buying special gifts…you know the rest, and are probably in the midst of weeding out who’s naughty or nice from your “presents” recipients as Christmas draws near. But what to give? There are myriad choices out there- with a boom of online and offline retailers that can make even the most savvy of shoppers’ head spin. Practical as far as this columnist is concerned is the new buzzword, so here’s a shortlist of gifts that are gender neutral and for any budget from frugal-yet thoughtful to splurge-and useful.

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1)   A watch with attitude. Oversize, or a slightly bigger than what you’re used to timepiece with either a standout bezel or strap can make a stylish statement without going over the top. Dutch brand MAX makes a whole range of sporty to dressy designs that would look good worn solo (big enough to look like a bracelet) like the Aviator (P 12,900) for a woman, or prepping up a day outfit with its brown leather strap and its 52mm steel bezel. For a more classic look with a slight twist (think, chunky time telling hands and numbers on a 42mm steel bezel) the Phantom in black or white (P 10,500) will be happily received by that special someone you’d gladly invest your time (and budget) on.  MAX Watches available at Bratpack, Aloha Boardsports and Pormada.com. Check out

 

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2)   Look cool while keeping warm. Designer Rhett Eala has designed a number of chic cover-ups with delightful details that can easily be worn by a man or woman. Reasonably priced, from less than a thousand pesos to about three thousand, these are travel-friendly hoodies and jumpers that you can be tossed on or into your carry-on. Unisex-friendly, they come in a variety of sizes from XS to XL so you may even think of dressing your entire clan up for the ubiquitous family photo/Christmas card. Available at Nest, 40 Jupiter Street Bel Air 3, Makati. Tel nos. (02) 818-8811 and (02) 403-3062

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3)   No borders. For that avid traveler in your life, a lightweight and leather passport holder that can bear his or her initials (or even full-name) is an ideal gift to keep important documents within easy reach. S.C. Vizcarra creates several models in different kinds of natural leather, colors and sizes starting at a very reasonable P 500 each.  For more information visit www.vizcarra1925.com or e-mail: info@vizcarra1925.com Tel. no (02) 854-67

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4)   The nose knows. Cadentia Nature Eau de Colognes are made in France and are perfect for an everyday refreshing scent-sational feeling. Not overpowering, with four variants (although the Naturelle and Intense are the most gender-neutral) they come in two sizes 250 ml (p 245) and 500 ml (P 345) If you’ve still got a kris kringle party to go to and have not found out who your “baby” is, then this could be your best gift bet. Cadentia colognes available at Rustan’s Supermarket, and online at www.seektheuniq.com/

5)   Donate Nation. Really tight on budget this holiday season? Or perhaps the thought of shopping for something material not a palatable thought? There are many, many charitable organizations out there still accepting volunteers, goods (whether freshly bought or pre-owned) as well as making Christmas cards or token gifts that can be purchased with proceeds going to a certain cause. There is always a good reason to get down and get generous, and it’s not always based on the money you can dole out. Sometimes quality time with the people you love, or people who need some love is the best gift of all this year.

So, how are you going to play Santa this 2013?

Healthy habits for a (less) stressful holiday season

In Uncategorized on December 6, 2013 at 1:50 am

In a blink of an eye, we find ourselves approaching what is possibly the most anticipated (and dreaded) month of the entire year. “Winter is coming” may have served as an appropriate reminder of the chaos that would ensue on Game of Thrones, while back here in the non-fiction world, the same amount of shivers may be elicited when the words “Christmas is coming” are uttered. So how to keep the stress to a manageable level, before, during and even after the holidaze? Getting into a routine of healthy body, mind and spirit habits, which can carry you past the resolution-energized start of 2014. Here are a few tips to live by:

Drink your vitamins

Pill popping may not be your thing, and if you’re rushing from here to there, you may find yourself forgetting to take your supplements with a meal. So take out the proverbial middleman by getting your daily dose of antioxidants in a potent potion made out of fresh vegetables and fruits. You can even choose to supplement one, two or all three of your meals and go on a full-on juice detox just to give your digestive system a rest. The benefits of a juice cleanse are not only a cleaner overall system and a sharper mind, but also a lot more energy. Juju Cleanse has great-tasting juices that can ease you into it (Level 1) or take you all the way with their mostly green Level 3 concoctions. Their website Jujucleanse.com is also highly informative, which may tempt you into doing a full-day or even five-day juice detox. Should you decide to go liquid before the onslaught of parties and party food, make sure you take time to ease yourself into it and out of it. Want a taste before you commit? You can pop by their restaurant Juju Eats in Makati (www.Jujueats.com) where you can grab a juice drink and combine it with a freshly made salad or wrap and take them with you. You can also call 0917-5763012 for more information.

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Eat lighter or Eat for a cause

Since we are on the subject of nourishment, if liquefying your life may be too extreme (or seemingly impossible for you) as Christmas draws near, then you may want to look at supplementing your meals with vegan food. In other words, fare that is animal-product free. Edgy Veggy (www.edgyveggy.ph) has a full menu that can be delivered to your doorstep, or you can grab a bite at their commissary in Pasig. Their newest offering, vegan longganiza (P180) is made with mushrooms, non-GMO tofu and spices, plus every order of this particular meal gives 10-percent of its proceeds to the I Can Serve Foundation. None of their dishes are made with preservatives or animal fat and they serve generous proportions so even the hefty eater can feel satisfied without feeling the usual heaviness and sluggishness associated with eating commercially produced fast food. Meals that contain fewer preservatives and fewer chemicals also lessen the risk of adrenal fatigue syndrome, which is both an energy and mood killer. Spread the joy of the season by starting from the inside with healthier food choices when possible. For more information or to order, call 0917-8474831.

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Passive action

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Free your mind

A monkey mind is what a majority of us possess. This means simply that we process what seems like 10,000 thoughts in a day. The total is actually much higher than that: it has been documented that we have about 60,000 thoughts a day! Imagine the stress you carry cerebrally daily; no wonder the term “brain fog” has become more the norm, and it’s hitting us at any age, when it used to be reserved for those who were well into their 60s. So how to free yourself from a mind that can’t seem to shut up? Meditation and breathing exercises are the tools to find your center and be the master of your mind, rather than be the slave to it. The Third Eye Wellness Center (http://thirdeyeonline.com/) located in Bonifacio Global City is a new all-in-one wellness center that offers therapeutic practices that are beneficial for one’s outer and inner being. Its Transcend Spa offers massages, facials and care for your nails,  a vegetarian café (Chakra Café) where you can order light fare as well as freshly made smoothies and energy healing modalities such as Theta DNA Healing, Access Bars, Crystal Layout, Tarot Card Readings, Past Life Regression and the like. The energy healing modalities allow one to clear or remove limiting beliefs or blocks that may have been taken on from childhood. If you’re feeling like it’s you against the world, then check out what’s happening in your internal world first. You can also call 808-2984 or 0917-6362800 for more information.

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Skin Savers to have on hand

In Philippine Star Column on November 22, 2013 at 12:40 am

Having a first-aid beauty kit is an absolute must in this day and age of bi-polar weather, here- to-there traffic, and the work and social events that are starting to fill up your iCal. These add up to skin stress, and the last thing you want is to look as if the season had partied all over you. Many products are now available in travel sizes, so you don’t have to be weighed down when stashing a couple of them in your purse or leaving some in your office drawer or school locker for whenever you need a beauty boost.

Here’s a shortlist of how to keep the beauty blues away:

Bright wash

Clean, fresh skin is the base for all things beautiful. The SebaMed Liquid Face and Body Wash is 100-percent soap- and alkali-free, making it non-drying and perfect for frequent use. It is also a deep-pore cleanser, a highly economical one as one drop can already wash your entire face. With the humidity and pollution in the country, give yourself a clean slate with this gentle cleanser. Call 242-3636 or 244-6992 for info.

LiquidFaceBodyWash hi res

The great cover-up

Coming in different shades that are great for Filipina skin tones, the Aivee Teo Foundation with SPF 40 can cover up as well as protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays. In a pinch, it also acts as a clever concealer, evening out your skin tone and covering up dark undereye circles. P700. Call The Skin and Laser Clinic at 403-3245 to order.

Foundation

Rosehips don’t lie

This is a miracle in a bottle. An itchy rash? A pimple? Use Venus and Mars Naturals’ Rosehip Oil for immediate relief. You may witness skin irritants disappear within a couple of days, if not hours. P800 for a 20ml bottle. Order through www.vnmnaturals.com or call 0922-3092798.

ROSEHIP OIL

A soft touch

Your hair, nails and other parts of your body also need some TLC so gently spread Souq International Moroccan Argan Oil on areas that need conditioning or a little softening up. It’s so rich, a little goes a long way. Works wonders on cracked heels and tired toes after a whole day in stilettos, too! P1,500. Available at www.thesouqorganics.com.

Moroccan Argan Oil

Buzz off

Not only are those pesky little buggers potentially dangerous (think dengue), but also nobody looks good scratching away at a mosquito bite. The lovely-smelling Cadenia Nature Anti-Mosquito Cologne is a great double agent to up your mood and keep you from getting bitten, especially when you have to party outdoors. P275 for 125ml and P375 for 250ml. Available online at www.seektheuniq.com.

Anti-mosquito cologne

Have any (or all) of these products on-hand and you can save face no matter where you find yourself as the holidays come rushing in. Bonus: they’re all small enough that they’re travel- friendly too!

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