New SKYcable kids channel ZooMoo hosts panel on animal conservation

Well, first there was IQ, and then there was EQ.  Today, we have another aspect of child development that we, as parents, would do well to address: our children’s animal quotient (AQ).

From the apex predators in the wild, the little critters in the fields, and our furry friends at home, all animals have their own important place in the world.

ZooMoo Launch Event

ZooMoo Launch Event

ZooMoo Launch Event

ZooMoo, the new English language-based learning channel on SKYcable, aims to help parents in honing their preschoolers’ AQ, as well as fostering a love for animals and nature.  The channel is a product of the collaboration among the world’s foremost wildlife filmmakers, early childhood educationalists and technology developers.  Its entertaining and engaging animal-centered programs are designed stimulate and develop kids’ innate emotional connection to the natural world.

Recently, ZooMoo hosted a panel discussion for parents and guardians at the aptly themed Zoo Coffee.  Here, the attendees were able to gain insights on the importance of teaching kids about animals and nature at an early age and how to further integrate technology into their kids’ early education.

ZooMoo Launch Event

The panel is composed of photojournalist and environmental advocate Gregg Yan, lifestyle television host and online influencer Kelly Misa-Fernandez and the marketing manager of ZooMoo’s parent network Blue Ant Media, Trippy Padilla.  Together, the panelists imparted tips and information on how to foster kids into becoming good caretakers of the planet, which include:

The benefits and challenges to parents of being in the digital age

With the ubiquitous influence of technology, parents do wonder whether access to these gadgets, apps and social media is beneficial or harmful to their kids.

The answer is: As with most things, technology is neutral. It can be both good or bad, depending on how you use it.

In his line of work, Gregg Yan has seen first-hand how technology helps in animal conservation. For example, conservationists can upload photos of the lieft fin of the whale sharks they encounter on the Wild Hook system which helps them identify individual sharks as patterns of spots are unique to each shark.

Furthermore, access to animal and nature-related content through digital media has grealty helped in disseminating conservation awareness, even among kids.

“With digital technology, you don’t have to carry a fifty-pound backpack and go up mountains,” he said. “All you have to do is watch ZooMoo and you’ll be able to see the animals in their natural habitat.”

ZooMoo’s programming is comprised of 1,500 self-contained shows that combine spectacular wildlife footage with a range of puppetry, animation and narrative techniques to create a unique viewing and learning experience for a very young audience. Centered around five themes – explore, create, play, puzzle and quiet – ZooMoo’s shows are geared towards helping kids develop appreciation and compassion towards other creatures.

Through the ZooMoo App, kids and parents will have a second screen to enjoy ZooMoo’s animal-centric content. Parents can allow their kids to immerse themselves in the world of ZooMoo through interactive games, music, puzzles and other fun activities. The app’s Parent Page also provides personalized support to parents to aid in their children’s learning.

How to develop good conservation habits among young children

To Kelly Misa-Fernandez, modelling good behavior is key to raising socially and environmentally responsible kids.

“At this age, kids will immitate what they see.” she shares. “I want my son to see the real situation and I want him to be empowered to know that he can do something about it. And it’s best to lead by example.”

Recently, for example, her family has started assembling eco-bricks, environmentally friendly bricks made of recycled plastics from home waste. They stuff plastics like wrappers and cellophane tightly into sturdy containers which can later be used in construction while keeping harmful plastics away from the ocean and sea life.

Through the talks with the panelists, it is easy to see that conservation awareness is becoming a more important issue for today’s kids. Fortunately, with ZooMoo, parents and kids can get their start in becoming environmentally aware and doing their share to protect nature and animals.

ZooMoo Launch Event

ZooMoo Launch Event

ZooMoo Launch Event

ZooMoo ‘s program line up is packaged in an easy to understand format that is fun for both parents and kids. Among ZooMoo’s well-loved shows are Dinosaur Train wherein young Tyrannosaurus Rex Buddy travel across the Land of Dinosaurs with his family and friends), and  ZooMoo Wild Friends which take kids on a journey to discover animals and the world around them.

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Baby-O-shark-Diving-sm

SKYcable subscribers can choose to add zooMoo (channel 120 in Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Lipa) to their channel line-up for only Php20 per month via SKYcable Select. For more details or to subscribe, visit mysky.com.ph or call +63 2 418 0000.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

What you can do with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s 2019 Giving Journal

With approach of each new year is the resolution to be more efficient and organized.  This is why year-round planners abound in bookstores and paper supply stores at the onset of the holiday season.

Lately, brands have launched their own custom planners, giving their loyal customers a way to experience their brands throughout the year, while contributing to their #organizationgoals.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the coffeehouse founded by Herb Hyman in Southern California in 1963, has a slightly different perspective.

With The 2019 Giving Journal, CBTL brings the spotlight towards generosity.  It highlights the Real LIFE Foundation, CBTL’s beneficiary since 2011 which receives support for its endeavors to provide educational assistance to the less fortunate.

CBTL Giving Journal

I was given a copy of The 2019 Giving Journal by a friend but as I already have another planner, and in keeping with CBTL’s aim to be generous this year (and with my friend’s blessing, of course!), I am giving this journal away.

CBTL Giving Journal

For the recipient of this journal, here’s what you can do with it:

Plan your year (of course!).  The journal has pages where you can set your monthly goals (whether in your finances, reading, relationships or health), as well as the monthly overview and weekly notes that let you break down your tasks and celebrate your accomplishments.

CBTL Giving Journal

CBTL Giving Journal

CBTL Giving Journal

CBTL Giving Journal

Look back on how you can do and be better.  At the end of each month, the journal encourages you to reflect and resolve on how you can further improve.

CBTL Giving Journal

Treat your friends to a good ole’ cuppa.  In keeping with the theme of generosity, why not invite a friend to a coffee date that’s on you?  That’s easy to do with the Buy 1 Take 1 coupons for coffee drinks and other upgrades and freebies included in the planner.

CBTL Giving Journal

Appreciate the creativity of Filipino artists.  The journal features the works of twelve Filipino artists, many of whom were CBTL customers themselves who showcased their talents through CBTL’s initiatives such as Brew Your Best Year and #CoffeeBeanOceanArt contest or by volunteering in the company’s events.

CBTL Giving Journal

This is a great planner to have around, either to look forward to the coming months or to document what goes on throughout your year.

CBTL Giving Journal

So the next question is: How do you get this copy of The 2019 Giving Journal?  

Simple: just join my Instagram giveaway coming soon.  Look out for it at instagram.com/beingjellybeans.

Check out my review of my coffee experiences in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branches:

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix

Have you ever found that while you possess so much stuff that you hardly have enough room for all of them, you still find yourself wanting to acquire more? Have you ever thought that getting a new outfit, accessory or gadget will make all the difference?

Marie Kondo, author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, espouses gratitude for the things you already have and letting go of those that no longer “spark joy.” Jumping off from the Japanese word tokimeku (“throb, flutter, palpitate”), Kondo advises homeowners to clean in one fell swoop: keep only what brings you joy, discard all other items, and assign a proper place for everything.

Marie Kondo

For so many of us, there may be a lot of things that hold us back from letting go items that we don’t really need. We could be holding on to them on the assumption that we might need them again in the future, we feel that our possessions are tied in to our identity or we associate them with happy memories from our past.

To help homeowners sort through their emotions, as well as their stuff, Kondo has introduced the KonMari Method. It encourages tidying up by category – beginning with clothes, then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and finally, sentimental items – instead of location.

Marie Kondo

In her new Netflix series dropped on New Year’s Day, Kondo visits cluttered homes in the US and advises homeowners on tidying up using the Konmari Method. Among my takeaways from the episodes are:

Greet your space. Before proceeding with tidying up, Kondo takes the time to quietly “introduce” herself to the home. At the same time, she encourages the homeowners to envision their ideal home or ponder their intention for the space. For me, this exercise helps in getting me in the proper and thankful frame of mind, feeling a sense of gratitude for the home for the shelter and protection it provides for my family, and in strengthening a resolution to take better care of it.

Marie Kondo

When discarding items, thank them for their service. With each item to be sorted, Kondo advises holding them for a while and asking oneself if they “spark joy.” If they do, decide to keep them; if not, discard them. However, rather than just dumping these items in a bin, Kondo encourages homeowners to thank them for their service, for whatever joy they contributed to their lives. I find that with this action, I feel gratitude for the items I say goodbye to and hope that they provide happiness to others, rather than guilt for accumulating so much stuff.

Find a proper home for every item you keep. Ideally, the items you choose to hold on to should be kept where they can easily be seen and accessed. For instance, folded clothes should be stored vertically and miscellaneous items should be placed in clear boxes. This helps the homeowner to easily locate the items and keep track of how much stuff they already possess. In my case, since these items spark joy, seeing them and easily accessing them will only accentuate that joy.

Who would have thought that getting rid of, instead of acquiring, stuff could be a joyful activity?

So, how will you start ensuring that all things in your life spark joy?

How about spreading that joy to others? Your pre-loved clothes, footwear and accessories can be donated to Segunda Mana, while old toys can be given to the Philippine Toy Library. Old books, on the other hand, may be donated to the Reading Club 2000.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is now available for streaming on Netflix. If you’re a SKY subscriber, you can subscribe to Netflix and charge it to your SKY bill. More details can be found here.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Check out some home organizing solutions available on Amazon.com.

Simple Houseware Foldable Cube Storage Bin – 6 Pack

Cardboard Safari Bamboo Organizational Box Set

Utiao Plastic Storage Baskets Organizing in Classroom, Office, Home, 6 Packs(Medium)

Learn more about the KonMari Method with Marie Kondo’s books on Amazon.com.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up)

Life-Changing Magic: A Journal – Spark Joy Every Day

This post contains affiliate links.

Check out my blog posts about other Netflix shows:

Resikleta Project brings new life to old and broken bike parts

For many of us Gen X’ers, learning how to ride a bike was an integral part of childhood. Summers and sunny afternoons after school won’t be complete without taking our trusty old bikes for a spin around the village… or beyond (we just don’t let our moms know, right?).

While some bikes have been well-maintained, even getting passed on to the next generation of bikers, some bicycles are relegated to just rusting away in garages or sheds.

Sasha Garcia, co-founder of the Resikleta Project, seeks to breathe new life to scrap materials coming from old bikes and other discarded items.

According to Sasha, sourcing materials for her projects is not a problem.

“Here in the Philippines, we have an abundance in scraps,” she acknowledges. In fact, together with Resikleta’s co-founder, Kayumanggi Abutan, she scours vulcanizing shops for old or broken-down bike parts rendered unusable for their original purpose. The Resikleta Project team then creatively fashions new and more serviceable items from them.

You would be surprised at what can be forged from old bike parts. For example, seemingly warped disk brake rotors can be made into offbeat table lamps and clocks that would suit most spaces with a modern or steampunk aesthetic. Prices for these items start at Php600.

View this post on Instagram

Lamp by @resikleta. Photograph by @manong_chris.

A post shared by Sasha Garcia (@powderboxgirl) on

The bikes’ rubber interior wheels can be fashioned into cute keychains and mobile phone cord organizers. These are essentials that have room in many a girl’s purse. Prices for these tchotchkes start at Php50.

View this post on Instagram

🐶🐶

A post shared by Sasha Garcia (@powderboxgirl) on

View this post on Instagram

Opening these to orders. Just message me. 🤗🎄🎁

A post shared by Sasha Garcia (@powderboxgirl) on

The spokes from bike wheels can be made into bangles, bracelets and other fashion accessories, with prices starting at Php100.

Resikleta also took part in the design and creation of trophies for The Climate Reality Project PH’s Leadership Awards ceremony.

And given that most of Resikleta’s outputs are dependent on the availability of scrap materials, the resulting products are often one-of-a-kind.

Fashioning usable and beautiful items from bike scraps has some rewards. Since most of the materials can be obtained cheaply or even for free, very little capital is required.

There’s also the additional feeling of fulfillment at seeing your creations find new purpose.

However, for Sasha, the most rewarding aspect of the Resikleta Project is its contribution to zero waste initiatives.

“When you go looking for scraps, you grow to appreciate what the world has to offer and the need to care for and preserve the earth,” she further shares. “Rather than just throw away used or broken-down items, you have the awareness to try to think of creative ways to use them, to repurpose them and even earn from them.”

For orders, collaboration requests and inquiries, contact the Resikleta Project through the following touchpoints:

Facebook
Instagram
– email: resikleta@gmail.com
– mobile: +63 923 9079004

Photos lifted from the instagram accounts of the Resikleta Project, Sasha Garcia and Kayumanggi Abutan.

SKYlife treats families to a Play Day at Kidzania

SKY’S LOYAL SUBSCRIBERS HAVE A FAMILY BONDING DAY

SKY gave its loyal subscribers a chance to bond with their families through an enjoyable evening of fun at the SKYlife Kids Play Day held at Kidzania Manila last Tuesday, December 18.

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

The Kids Play Day aimed to nourish children’s passions and help them develop life skills while inspiring them to become the best versions of themselves, and having fun with their families.

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

Kidzania is an educational family entertainment facility which is a replica of a real city scaled down to kids’ size—with its own history, culture, language, and currency—and teaches kids the value of having jobs in the real world and giving back to the community.

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

Kids got to experience the park’s activities that offer realistic role-play in various set ups that include a wall for climbing, a construction site, a burger restaurant, a fire department, a courier service, an acting academy, and a vet clinic.

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

This SKYlife Kids Play Day is just one of the many perks enjoyed by loyal SKY subscribers. They can take advantage of more exclusive benefits and gifts through the Kapamilya Thank You Program. Until January 31, 2019, registering their SKY account to thankyou.abs-cbn.com will afford them with bonus rewards points that they can redeem to get free access to cable TV shows and more! More details on this are available at mysky.com.ph/thankyou.

Families also got the chance to check out the new SKY On Demand Box at the Parent’s Lounge which showed how families can continue their bonding experiences at home. SKY’s new set-top box greatly enhances the subscribers’ viewing experience: SKYcable TV shows as well as video streaming from Netflix, YouTube, ABS-CBN’s video streaming service iWant and SKY’s very own online streaming service for subscribers, SKY On Demand – all from the same box.

SKYlife Kids Play Day, Kidzania

SKY Cable Corporation is the first to introduce cable television to Filipinos in 1990. Since then, it has been a frontrunner in technology and cable TV content by being the first to design a highly customized viewing experience among subscribers, and offering the most number of HD channels.

For more information on the new SKY On Demand Box, call your local SKY office or visit mysky.com.ph/sodbox.

Event details provided by SKY in a recent press release.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content and perks it provides to its subscribers like this SKYlife Kids Play Day. I consider being able to share about SKY experiences like this with like-minded people one of the biggest perks of my job.

Ways for working moms to keep calm and carry on

There’s much to stress about with today’s busy urban lifestyle.

For working moms like us, juggling our multiple roles and responsibilities at home, at work, and in the community can be harrowing. Meeting expectations from superiors and colleagues at work, seeing to the needs of family members, and serving the communities we are part of do sometimes take their toll.

A chronically stressful lifestyle will have serious effects on both physical and mental health. Manifestations of stressful living range from headaches, stomach upsets and chest pains to lack of motivation, difficulty sleeping and anger or irritability.

Given all the demands on our time and attention, working moms can’t afford to be sidelined by symptoms of stress.

Some well-meaning folk would just give the advice to “keep calm and carry on.” However, that is easier said than done.

Among the ways to effectively handle stress, as advised by a Psychology Today article, are to:

  • Accept that stress is a part of life.
  • Keep problems in perspective.
  • Take care of physical health.
  • Look for a silver lining.

I discovered one such silver lining when my sister-in-law gifted me with a bottle Prosource Calming Oil.

Prosource Calming Oil

Prosource Calming Oil

In this handy 10ml bottle is a mixture of natural ingredients that include virgin coconut oil, ginger, lavender, eucalyptus and menthol. The bottle’s roll-on mechanism also helps in quickly applying the oil to alleviate discomforts and various effects of stress, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Neck, back and joint pains
  • Muscle pains
  • Gas pains
  • Dizziness and motion sickness
  • Colds and coughs

This calming oil is a boon to me whenever I experience driving anxiety. When I feel the headache and nausea coming when I’m behind the wheel, I rub some calming oil on my temples. The cool, soothing sensation on my skin and the fresh scent help to manage my discomfort, allowing me to successfully reach my destination.

This was also helpful when my little boy got sick; massaging it onto his back and chest helped in quieting his bouts of coughing enough for him to get a good night’s sleep.

Stress may be a part of life, but it need not be life-limiting.

Prosource Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is available in most Watsons and Mercury Drug outlets nationwide. It retails at Php120/tube.

3 hacks to counter “mom brain”

As a working mom, I manage quite a number of demands on my time and attention. On any given day, I field multiple requirements, requests and reminders from my office, family and other pursuits.

Sometimes, though, with so many distractions and competing concerns, I find myself overwhelmed and out-of-depth, struggling to remember tiny details or concentrate on tasks.

From time to time, I have been known to:

  • Look for my car in the wrong parking lot
  • Start writing multiple emails which never get finished or sent because I got distracted
  • Have trouble recalling agreements with colleagues or discussions with my family members
  • Forget to attend meetings that I have already accepted and even put in my computer’s calendar
  • Walk into a room and forget what I went there for

I’m sure this phenomenon is not new to many moms out there. In fact, it has been given a name: the “mom brain.”

In the article The Science of “Mom Brain,” author Vanessa LoBue, Phd. cites that researchers speculate that oxytocin, the hormone present in mothers during pregnancy, labor and nursing, may be contributing to lapses in memory. This keeps women from developing bad memories from the experience of motherhood, an evolutionary benefit that helps ensure we try our hand at parenthood again and again.

It’s just too bad that these memory lapses may wreak havoc in our career, household and social lives.

Fortunately, there are ways to counter the effects of mom brain.

Practice mindfulness. This is the discipline of being present and in the moment, of being aware of where you are and the intentionality of what you are doing, and not being overly reactive to external stimuli. This allows you and your brain to seize control of your actions and reactions.

Considering the laundry list of things you must pay attention to, whether it be a family, social or work concern, take a brief time to pause, relax and simply think.

Train and retrain yourself. Be open to new experiences, particularly in learning new things. This will help build new neural pathways in your brain to acquire and store your new knowledge. In her article How the Brain Creates New Neural Pathways, Dr. Lisa Christiansen states that the more these pathways are used, the stronger they become, increasing the likelihood of new long-term connections and memories.

This would be a great excuse for you to treat yourself to a learning adventure, like visiting an interesting art exhibit or learning a new recipe. You can even teach yourself a new work skill by reading a good business book, signing up for an online course or browsing through online tutorials.

Prosource Calming Oil

Nourish yourself. It has long been known that eating the right kind of food helps in improving memory and mental concentration. According to a BBC Good Food article, the digestive system not only provides the body and brain with key nutrients from food and drink, it also produces important hormones that enter the brain and impact memory and cognitive function.

Foods rich in antioxidants, good fats and selected vitamins and minerals, while providing us with the energy needed to perform our tasks, also help in protecting our brains.

Conti’s Greenbelt

To further boost the effects of good food to your memory, and overcome the effects of mom brain, you might want to consider supplementing your food with added nutrients.

Vida Nutriscience, Inc., the company behind a wide range of wellness products which include GlutaWhite, MyBeauty and Sleep EZ, has introduced a new dietary supplement: Spike Brain Booster.

Spike

Taken in capsule form, Spike Brain Booster helps improve general learning performance, increases memory functions and mental fitness, enhances concentration and mental alertness under pressure, and improves memory speed.

Among its key ingredients is neuravena, a green oat extract known for its positive effect on cognitive markers. It enhances blood circulation, stimulates the brain and supports dopamine levels, thereby helping to improve concentration, alertness, working memory and mental performance.

Another active ingredients is magnesium lactate. Magnesium contributes to energy production and regulates the levels of other important nutrients in the body.

Alphasize 50 WSP, on the other hand, is known to contribute in improving key brain functions including memory, concentration, learning, recall and focus, while Bioperine helps the body in the faster and more efficient absorption of nutrients.

Lastly, Vitamins B3 (Niacin), B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folic Acid) and B12 (Cobalamine), often referred to as B-complex vitamins, are needed to maintain healthy liver, skin, hair and eyes.

It is advised to take one capsule of Spike Brain Booster daily after a meal. On days which require added mental alertness or concentration – such as a presentation to the office’s upper management, attending a seminar, or planning a marketing campaign – Spike may be taken twice.

I usually take a capsule after lunch to counter effects of the “ungodly hour” – the time after eating a heavy meal when I feel sleepy or groggy.

Spike Brain Booster is FDA-approved and is available at Mercury Drugstores nationwide at Php990 per box containing 30 capsules. For more details and product updates, follow Spike Brain Booster on Facebook and Instagram.

Mom brain may be a hassle, whether in the office or at home. But with some practical steps, and proper nutrition, the manifestations of mom brain can be overcome.

Disclosures: This post is sponsored by Vida Nutriscience who also provided product samples for me to try and review.  Product details are provided by the company as well.