Product Review: Sweet Scents from Perfume Dessert

Fresh from a happy lunch adventure at the vegetarian resto just below it, a friend and I came upon a store selling perfumes.

Most of its inventory consist of imported brands but what caught our attention were the unusually packaged scents whose display takes pride of place along one of the store’s walls.

Perfume Dessert

Named Perfume Dessert, each variant is inspired by a luscious sweet confection. And you know for a known sweet tooth such as myself, that fact is enough to catch my interest.

Each 30ml crimped spray bottle which prevents leaks and scent diffusion is encased in a colorful cardboard tube, making the perfume quite handy and secure when inside one’s purse. This distinctive packaging also makes Dessert Perfume variants pretty and unusual gifts for the fashionistas who love scents.

Perfume Dessert

Perfume Dessert

Perfume Dessert

Perfume Dessert

Perfume Dessert is an eu de parfum brand that originated from London, UK. This version of perfumes has a lower concentration of fragrant essential oils than parfum, but higher than in eu de toilette. When applied, Perfume Dessert’s scent can last for four to eight hours.

I got three bottles of Perfume Dessert (I bought one while I received two as product samples). I usually choose the scent that suits my mood at the start of the day and I take it with me to the office or on my errands (which just shows how handy they are!).

Dessert Perfume

Dessert Perfume

I choose the Fruit Tart scent when I feel sweet and feminine. It’s great for dinners out with Hubby.

Dessert Perfume

French Macaron‘s more floral scent suits me for afternoons spent outdoors with the kids.

Dessert Perfume

The sweet vanilla scent of Cake Pops, on the other hand, gets me in the mood to face another busy day at the office.

Dessert Perfume

At only Php250 per 30ml bottle, Dessert Perfume definitely fits the working mom’s budget.

(Methinks it would be so easy to get Hubby to buy me some more bottles, yeah? I’ll probably test this theory when my bottles are used up so wish me luck!)

Check out these sweet scents at these retail outlets:

  • 54 Payna Street, Veterans Village, QC (Tel: +63 2 7516355 or +63 977 0855658)
  • 2nd Floor POS1, Tomas Morato, South Triangle, QC (Tel: +63 2 7516355)

For more information on Perfume Dessert, visit its Facebook Page.

Product Review: Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

I have been blessed with naturally straight hair but it does tend to get oily, even greasy at times. I quite surprised that despite this, my scalp tends to get flaky, especially when I feel stressed. (This is a big problem for me as I like wearing dark colors.)

I also have a problem with hairfall: after washing my hair, I would see strands clumping together at the drain.

While many commercially available hair care products do purport to address my hair concerns, I oftentimes don’t see or feel the improvements as immediately or as signifcantly as I would like.

Then I was sent a bottle each of Shaleve Ginger Anti-Alopecia Shampoo and Shaleve Ginger Physiotherapy Hair Care Conditioner to review.

Berfly International Trading

Berfly International Trading

My first thought was: Ginger? On my hair? Really???

I’ve known for a while that this root crop has a lot of medicinal properties but this is the first time I’ve encountered its application to hair care.

Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

Actually, many of ginger’s qualities that make it a superfood also make it a boon to hair.

Ginger has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe scalp problems such as dandruff, dryness and itchiness. It also helps regulate hair sebum secretions, addressing my concerns with oily hair.

To use, wet hair thoroughly and apply the Shaleve Ginger Anti-Alopecia Shampoo evenly to hair, massaging the scalp for two to three minutes until a slight foam is generated. (Note that this shampoo is not as bubbly or foamy as more mainstream shampoos.). Then rinse off with clear water.

Afterwards, gently massage the Shaleve Ginger Physiotherapy Hair Care Conditioner onto the scalp. Leave on for five minutes then rinse thoroughly.

Personally, I love the light and fresh feeling these products bring to my hair. They also leave a nice and subtle herby sent that stays on my hair all day.

Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

These hair care products are imported and distributed by Berfly International Trading Corporation, a supplier of a complete range of beauty, body and bath-stuffs for discerning consumers in the metro.

The Shaleve Ginger Anti-Alopecia Shampoo retails at Php148 per 300ml bottle while the Shaleve Ginger Physiotherapy Gair Care Conditioner sells for Php174 per 300ml bottle.

Both of these products are available at Berfly’s showroom at 6th Floor LJK Building Km 21 Ortigas Avenue Extension, Brgy. San Isidro Cainta, Rizal or at the company’s online store at Facebook.

For inquries, call +63 966 1975536 or email berflyinternational@yahoo.com.

Chocoholics’ Dream: Dreamcake Chocolatta by Kitycups

Tin can chocolate cakes, or more commonly called chocolate dream cakes, have definitely gone viral, with more and more suppliers poppin’ up in retail outlets and online.

Chocolate dream cakes are a delectable treat: a dream come true for chocolate lovers because of its several layers of chocolate goodness, from the moist chocolate cake base, the creamy chocolate ganache, the rich chocolate fudge covered by a thin shard of chocolate and sprinkled with cocoa powder.

Being a chocoholic myself, I got intrigued when I first heard about this sweet treat and I’ve been trying it out whenever I can.

When I checked out Meals.ph and saw the Dreamcake Chocolatta by Kitycups, I knew I just had to try it.

I used the Meals.ph app to contact Kitycups owner Kristine Rodriguez. This homebaker’s base of operations is in Las Pinas which is quite a long way from my home in Pasig, but fortunately her products (which also include Nama Chocolates, Premium Beef Tapa and Gourmet Tuyo) can be shipped to anywhere in Metro Manila.

Coincidentally, she was attending a trade fair in SM Megamall at that time so she thought of shipping the item from there.

She accepts payment via BPI so all I had to do was transfer the money using the BPI app and prepare Php100 in cash for the delivery via Lalamove.

In an hour or so, my Dreamcake Chocolatta arrived and it’s every bit as decadent and chocolatey as I imagined!

At only Php350 for a 6-inch x 2-inch cake, it’s already good for three people so it’s quite a bargain.

My kids and I enjoyed it with dollops of vanilla ice cream for a really delectable dessert.

Aside from the Dreamcake Chocolatta, I appreciate Kitycups for being so accommodating, and for trying to find a way to lessen shipping costs for me.

Check out Kitycups’ Kristine Rodriguez’ profile and more intel on Meals.ph and its sellers on this blog post.

To order Kitycups’ products, visit her profile on:

Coco Dolce supports organic farming with its coconut-rich chocolate bars

Coconut and its various derivatives have long been touted for their contributions to the flavors and health benefits of food prepared with them.

My foray into Kultura Filipino’s “Crafts for a Cause” exhibit where I chanced upon the Coco Dolce stall, however, was the first time I heard about using coconut products in chocolate production.

This unusual feature is in line with the tenets that Coco Dolce producer, The Freefood Co., operate by. Its guiding principles include: better health, helping rural areas develop into sustainable communities, and respect for the planet and its resouces.

Its chocolate bars, therefore, are made from a rich blend of fine cacao beans, low-glycemic coconut sap sugar, virgin coconut oil and vanilla. These ingredients were sourced from Mindanao’s organic coconut farming communities and from local growers of indigenous cacao and nuts across the country. The resulting chocolate products are free from GMOs, harmful processing agents and preservatives and other chemicals that may adversely affect one’s health.

Organic coconut sap sugar, in particular, has a low glycemic index level of 35, making Coco Dolce bars suitable for people who need to manage their sugar intake.

The bars are manufactured by chocolate artisans using the traditional conching method. This involves the heating and mixing of the chocolate’s ingredients over long periods of time. The process helps in developing the chocolate’s flavor through frictional heat, release of volatiles and acids, and oxydation.

I bought two of Coco Dolce’s 45g chocolate bar variants: the Milk Chocolate (whole milk powder added to the other ingredients) and the 65% Dark Chocolate.

The bars hold well without refrigeration yet has a smooth texture upon biting. The chocolate flavor is rich, helped by the non-cloying and milder sweetness of the coco sugar.

Over the holidays, I plan to gift some bars to my titos and titas who are trying to control their sugar intake. Because the holiday season is a time to enjoy good food, right?

Aside from SM’s Kultura Filipino outlets, Coco Dolce chocolates may also be purchased online in The Good Store.

Check out my review of another artisanal chocolate –Malagos single origin premium chocolate.

Malagos brings award-winning single origin premium chocolate from Davao

As with most plants, cacao beans, from which chocolate is manufactured, take on the characteristics particular to the region where they were grown and harvested. This is called their terroir.

Cacao beans that have been blended lose their terroir, hence the preference of some chocolatiers for single-origin chocolate products.

Davao-based Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation, for example, produces the award-winning single origin premium Malagos Chocolate. This product line grew out of the resolve of the Malagos company matriarch, Mama Charita Puentespina, to reinvigorate the Davao’s cacao industry which crashed in the 1980s.

Instead of just exporting cacao beans to serve as raw materials for foreign chocolate manufacturers, Mama Charita drove the company’s cacao growing and post-harvest practices, as well as campaigned to make cacao a priority crop in the region.

Today, Malagos Chocolates is an internationally recognized and awarded brand. It is made from high quality cacao beans, grown in the Malagos farm in the foothills of Davao’s Mount Talomo.

The beans are carefully fermented, sun-dried and roasted in temperature controlled roasters, then ground to a fine texture at par with international chocolate standards. These processes are all done without the product ever leaving Davao, making Malagos Chocolates all natural, single origin and tree-to-bar.

I chanced upon Kultura Filipino’s “Crafts for a Cause” exhibit over the weekend and replenished my chocolate stash from the local brands featured there.

I picked the 65% dark chocolate; being the lowest percentage cacao content among the brand’s offerings, I think this variant offers the best balance between sweet and bitter chocolate flavors.

And apparently, I’m not the only one that thinks so. Malagos Chocolate’s 65% Dark Chocolate has won international awards, particularly in Academy of Chocolate’s Tree-to-Bar category in 2017, and in the World Drinking Chocolate Competition organized by the International Chocolate Awards in 2015.

Fancy a bite of this award-winning, single origin dark chocolate treat? Malagos Chocolates are available at SM Kultura Filipino branches in SM Mall of Asia, SM Makati, SM Megamall, SM AURA, SM North EDSA, Taal Vista and Pico Loro.

For more details, visit malagoschocolate.com.

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.

Product Review: Belo Baby Cologne

Among the first batch of samples I got from Sample Room is a small bottle Belo Baby Cool Drizzle Cologne. Despite the unwritten rule that grown women should gravitate towards perfumes, I retain my preference for baby colognes. I guess it’s a combination of two factors: One, baby colognes are much cheaper than perfumes, a high-end cologne would, more often than not, cost less than many of the low-end perfumes. Two, colognes tend to have light fresh scents which I find a lot more palatable than the heavier and more floral scents of perfumes.

SampleRoom Batch 1

It is packaged in a handy 50ml spritzer bottle which fits in most bags and kikay kits. I like its fresh scent that lasts for a good couple of hours. It does not feel so astringent-y when sprayed on, owing to the glycerin component that helps to moisturize and chamomile-derived Bisabolol (known to have anti-irritant, anti-inglammatory and anti-microbial properties) that helps to soothe skin. Formulated without parabens, phtalates, EDTA and coloring agents, Belo Baby Cool Drizzle Cologne is dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic and safe for all skin types, so it should be safe for you and your little ones to use. It also doubles as a hand sanitizer; that means we have less stuff to carry in our bags.

To use, spray a small amount on your hands and apply thoroughly as often as you like.

Belo Baby Cool Drizzle Cologne comes in 50ml (priced at Php64.75) and 100ml (priced at Php79.75) spritzer bottles. It is available at all leading supermarkets, department stores, groceries, and drugstores nationwide, and online via Zalora, Lazada and Cudsly.

To quote a wise man, Mr. Jonathan Van Ness of the hit Netflix show, Queer Eye: “It’s not vanity, it’s self-care. There’s a difference.”

Just because we are busy working moms (and even more so because of it), we need to take better care of ourselves, to feel good about ourselves, to give our kids a good example and to make sure we are at our best when we need to be.

The free sample was provided by Sample Room, an online community where you can “try before you buy” beauty and personal care products to get the ones which best match you. I just needed to pay for the shipping of the items I requested.

SampleRoom Batch 1