Archives for July 2013

Outdoor Fun with My Two Tots

In this day of tablets, smartphones, and video games, it is important for parents to encourage their kids to try various outdoor activities that promote physical fitness and growth. Health experts have repeatedly stressed the importance of physical activities or exercise in the overall health of both adults and kids. So even if your kid’s TV shows, video games, or smartphone apps have educational value, it doesn’t make up for the health benefits of stretching out and moving those muscles.

Outdoor activities help kids improve eye-hand coordination, balance, stamina, and promote the development of muscles. There are several outdoor activities that kids can do on their own like playing in the park or in the yard. But there are also outdoor activities which are much more engaging in the company of family and friends. There’s an adage that says, “a family that plays together stays together”, and we also have decided to partake in the fun by purchasing some mens oversized tracksuits for the boys in the family and women’s tracksuits for all the ladies in the house. Here are some of the fun activities that we enjoy doing with my two tots Jade and Jakei:

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RUNNING. Our little ones are usually charged with energy and enthusiasm whenever we go on afternoon runs in the park or in the sports complex. However, joining marathons that require them to wake up very early in the morning is another story. Instead of just stretching and bending we had to prod and motivate them before starting off. But since these two tots aren’t the types who want to get left behind we are always able to finish our races within a reasonable amount of time.

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SWIMMING. There is nothing like a cool dip in the pool to quench the summer heat. Swimming is a good exercise for the whole body including the lungs. Plus, it’s a good survival skill to acquire especially now that flooding has become common in a lot of areas in the world. If there was a prize for the most number of hours in the water then Jakei would’ve been the runaway winner. It was difficult to get him out of the pool that my husband and I had to take turns keeping him company in the water.

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CYCLING. Of course this is far from the professional cycling that we see on sports TV. We got the little ones their first bikes last Christmas and they have been enjoying bike rides almost every day since. Jade has become quite good at maneuvering the bike and has been trying to ride just about everything with wheels including her cousin Sophie’s toy wagon. Jade also tried riding a scooter during one of our trips to the toy store Dayton, and she has been requesting for months now. She also wanted some “shoes with wheels” so she can “walk faster”. We are actually considering getting them both some kids roller skates for Christmas this year. Our eldest sister was the only one who learned how to ride the roller skates when we were little and I’m hoping that my little one’s enthusiasm for it will help her acquire the skill.

There are a lot more fun and affordable ways to get the kids into engaging outdoor activities. The important thing is for the parents to know their child’s interests and skill level in order to choose the appropriate activity for them. Games or activities that do not interest them or those that are beyond their skills can lead to boredom and frustration.

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Clean your Wash Loads of Love with Electrolux Time Manager

Just exactly how long does it take you to do the laundry?  I remember a friend sharing on her Facebook wall how it took her the entire day to finish washing all their laundry.  Well, I can totally relate to her!  I wash laundry three times in a week and it takes me from 8am to 5pm (on a fairly good day) to finish the three to four loads I wash on each of those days.  Oh yes, it takes me nine to ten hours to finish a batch of laundry! Wait…before you render judgment on my homemaking skills, keep in mind that I have two kindergarten kids to look after AND have no househelp AND have only a twin tub washing machine.

Twin tub washing machines are usually the machine of choice here in our country as they are very affordable and don’t require a steady supply of water.  Using a twin tub requires manual transferring of each load from the washer to the spinner to the basin.  This cycle goes for at least three times depending on whether you rinse clothes in the basin or not.  If I were to do nothing else but just the laundry, one batch of four loads would probably still take me four hours to finish. With two kindergartens to look after and meals to cook, it takes me more than twice as long.  After a year without any househelp, you’d think I’d have gotten the hang of it and can have all chores done right on schedule! 😛

Ain't no mountain (of laundry) high enough with my two little handy helpers. :D

Ain’t no mountain (of laundry) high enough with my two little handy helpers. 😀

 

My Wash Loads of Love

My husband has repeatedly offered to just have our clothes sent to the laundry shop just like we used to.  However, I would much rather wash our clothes myself.  Aside from the savings, I can also be sure that the kids’ clothes are thoroughly cleaned and germ-free.  Besides, I have already learned a few tricks to make washing clothes less cumbersome.  You may already know some of these but do read on please.

  • Always turn out BACK POCKETS too!  I always do turn out front pockets to check for coins or receipts before putting them in the wash.  Back pockets were merely just given a quick peek. Until, one of my hubby’s pants turned out to have a stash of paper tissues in the back pocket which I only discovered when small bits of tissue floated in the wash.  Imagine a wash load of clothes all with tiny bits of tissue stuck on them!  Well, you bet I scrutinize every single pocket since then.
  • Keep a SMALL JAR FOR LOOSE BUTTONS near the washing machine. In an ideal world, no thread comes lose, no zippers get caught, and no buttons fall off.  Ours is not an ideal one though so finding loose buttons in the washing machine is very common.  Instead of having to look for the sewing kit or putting the loose button in your pocket (which you’re bound to forget about even before you finish the laundry), place a small jar near the washing machine and put loose buttons there. It’ll save you time looking for a missing button.
  • CHEAP isn’t always ECONOMICAL.  When I wasn’t the one doing the laundry before, I always bought the most affordable detergent and fabric conditioner.  I found out though that they weren’t that efficient and I ended up using more to effectively wash our laundry.  In the long run, these cheap detergents cost me more.  Now I only buy trusted and reliable brands.
  • SOAK WHITES AND HEAVILY STAINED CLOTHES the night before laundry day.  Doing this would save you an hour or more of laundry time the next day. My kindergartens have a way of turning white clothes to gray so their clothes need to be soaked for a couple of hours.  Plus, whites come out brighter with an overnight soak.
  • Doing the laundry is FUN WITH KIDS AROUND. Oh yes, they may stretch laundry time but my kindergarten make this tedious chore fun. They’re not allowed to touch the soapy water – laundry detergent may be too strong for their baby soft skin – but I do engage their help in sorting the laundry and doing the last rinse clothes.  They also love helping me load the washer or the dryer.  Every now and then, I let them wash their own toys using a very gentle soap.
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Who wouldn’t love doing the laundry with these two little ones?

Although doing the laundry with the kids can be fun, I still would rather spend more time with them doing other things like reading books together, making crafts, or playing games – which is why I have my eyes set on Electrolux Time Manager washing machines.

(L) EWF12732 with 7kg capacity (R) EWW14012 with 7 or 10kg capacity, with both washing and drying capacity

(L) EWF12732 with 7kg capacity
(R) EWW14012 with 7 or 10kg capacity, with both washing and drying capacity

 

Electrolux Time Manager: Washing Machine that Makes Washing Less of a Chore

Fully equipped with amazing features and the latest technology, this front loading washing machine would give Moms like me more time to spend with our precious little ones and extra time to do other chores.   With an Electrolux Time Manager, I wouldn’t be burdened with my washer-spinner-basin cycles that require my checking on the washing machine every few minutes.  I’ll be able to put a load on the washing machine, take the kids to school and come home with clean clothes all ready for ironing or folding.   That alone puts the Time Manager on top of my home appliance wish list.  All its other unique features made me fall in love with it!

  • electrolux buttonsLoad Sensor.  This acts like a built-in weighing scale that guides you to select the perfect cycle and detergent recommendation for your load, saving you time, energy and water.
  • Vapour Action.  This helps reduce allergens in clothes by up to 99.9% while softening the fabric for brighter and cleaner clothes.
  • Refresh Cycle. This relaxes the fibres and steams out the wrinkles in your clothes, helping it cut down on your ironing.
  • IQ TouchTM This easy-to-use intuitive panel makes instructions and program settings even easier to follow.
  • Leaf Lifter + Lily Drum.  This ensures gentle tumbling while increasing surface contact between the laundry and the drum for a cleaner wash.
  • Time Manager.  Four selectable time options let you wash base on how much and how dirty your clothes are.

With all those features, I’m sure you’re also wishing for an Electrolux Time Manager front loading washing machine.  The steep price may take you aback but believe me when I say that this would cost you less in the long run.  Contrary to what many presume, the Time Manager actually uses less water and less electricity.  That means, you not only save time but also utility expenses while conserving water and energy.  Moreover, you get outstanding customer service when you get yourself an Electrolux Time Manager.

 

Electrolux is “Thinking of You”

“Customer satisfaction doesn’t end after the purchase of our Time Manager washing machines or any of our Electrolux products. Our goal is to help new and existing customers get the most of their investment by providing support activities before, during, and after purchasing an Electrolux appliance.”

Andrea Pionilla, Group Product Manager of Electrolux Philippines

In line with its commitment to provide excellent customer service, Electrolux opened the Customer Service Hub at the Grundfos Building, 5548 Osmena Highway, Brgy. San Isidro,  Makati City.  Whether you’re a new customer looking to buy that Time Manager or a loyal Electrolux consumer looking for a spare part or a consumable item, you can find what you need at the CS Hub. This one stop facility carries a wide range of Electrolux and White Westinghouse spare parts and accessories. Can’t find what you’re looking for in the supermarket or hardware store?  Head off to CS Hub or contact the Customer Care team through wecare@electrolux.com or 845-CARE (2273).

 

Win an Electrolux Wash Loads of Love Laundry Set

As much as I would love to play fairy godmother and give each of you your very own Electrolux Time Manager, I’m just a mere housewife saving for one myself.   But, don’t be disheartened. Electrolux is giving a laundry set to one of you dear readers!  Oh yes, you just might be the one to bring home the Electrolux Wash Loads of Love Laundry Set which includes an Electrolux Steam Iron ESI 515, a big bottle of Surf Liquid Detergent, a set of IKEA Children’s Clothes Hangers, and an IKEA Silver Laundry Basket.  No likes, shares, or follows needed (though they’d be greatly appreciated).  Just tell me what your favorite feature of the Electrolux Time Manager is and how you will use the extra time you’d have if you had the Time Manager.

electrolux laundry set

What is your favorite feature of the Electrolux Time Manager?

How will you use the extra time you’d have if you had the Electrolux Time Manager?

Leave a comment with your name, email address, and answers to the questions.  You have until 11:59pm of August 18, 2013 to leave your comment.  The reader with the best comment will have the Wash Loads of Love Laundry Set delivered right at his doorstep.  This giveaway is open to residents of the Philippines only.

Choosing A Carpet for A Kid’s Bedroom

There are many couples who spend a lot of energy decorating their child’s room in a way that makes it both comfortable and inviting. Stylish rugs are a growing trend for kids’ rooms. Find out some ways that parents are incorporating rugs into their children’s rooms.

Lots of parents like to establish a color theme for their young child’s room. If the child is a boy, parents may go with the traditional blue and a girl’s room may feature shades of pink. Of course, some parents prefer to think outside the box with shades of yellow, purple, green, and orange. Regardless of the color theme, parents can choose a rug in a color that echoes the room’s theme. The rug could have border in the room’s theme color or even a pattern containing the color. Those searching for a collection of imaginative rugs may want to peruse the childrens rugs at AnnaBean.com.

Finally, some parents go with other intriguing themes for their child’s room. One example is selecting a theme that reflects the child’s interest in sports or animals. The theme may even convey the child’s interest in particular objects such as trucks. For instance, if their child likes wild animals, parents can look for a rug that features animals that live in Africa. Alternatively, a child who likes sports may get a rug in the room that displays various types of sporting equipment. The rug can be decorative and communicate a little about the child at the same time.

Benefits of Frozen Vegetables

Why frozen vegetables can be the healthy choice

There is no denying that frozen vegetables are very convenient and save a lot of time for busy cooks, but they do provide other benefits as well. In an ideal world we would all eat organically grown vegetables that were harvested immediately before cooking, but unfortunately this is not possible for most people. We have to use canned or frozen vegetables for convenience or when the vegetables we want are out of season and, unlike most canned vegetables, frozen ones keep much of their nutritional value and can even be healthier than the fresh vegetables sold in supermarkets.

Commercially frozen vegetables

Vegetables picked for freezing are usually processed at the peak of their ripeness when they contain most nutrients. Although some water soluble nutrients such as the B vitamins and vitamin C tend to be broken down by blanching with steam or hot water this step is necessary to prevent degradation by enzymes or bacteria. The vegetables still contain quite a lot of nutrients unlike some of the ‘fresh’ produce we find in our supermarkets. These vegetables are usually picked before they have ripened so they do not have as long to develop the vitamins and minerals that you find in fully ripened produce. Although they may show outward signs of ripening, they do not develop their proper nutrient content. A further problem is that they are likely to be exposed to heat and light on the long journey to the supermarket and this can further diminish their vitamin and mineral content. You may need to think about how to block lectins too to make sure you absorb the most from the vegetables. Unless you are able to buy really fresh and ripe vegetables, you will be better off buying frozen ones to ensure you give your family the highest level of nutrients.

Freezing vegetables at home

If you are able to grow your own fruit and vegetables you will know that you are frequently faced with a glut of certain vegetables. Most vegetables can be frozen and it makes sense to freeze them at the peak of condition for use later on. Most vegetables should be blanched before freezing and you will need a wire basket to contain them. Blanching is done by plunging the vegetables into rapidly boiling water which you then bring back to the boil as quickly as possible. Time the blanching period (which varies with different vegetables) from the second that the water reaches the boil again. When the blanching time is up, the vegetables should be plunged into iced water to cool quickly so they do not cook any more, drained and dried. Always remember to label bags or containers of frozen produce with the contents and the date they were frozen.

For large amounts of produce, a chest freezer will be more practical than an upright if you have the room for one. Freezers are capable of freezing different amounts of produce at a time, so if you are intending to do much home freezing you need to look carefully at the chest freezer range to ascertain which will be most suitable for your needs.

Frozen vegetables, whether commercially or home frozen, should be eaten within a few months as they will inevitably lose some of their nutrient content. Steaming or microwaving vegetables is preferable to boiling because it reduces the loss of water soluble vitamins.

Trip-Trapping on Comfy Flip-Flops

Wearing the right footwear will keep your feet healthy and the rest of your body more comfortable as you live your active lifestyle.  I myself am most comfortable walking around in flip-flops than in wedges. You might not think much of flip-flops, but there’s actually more to this unassuming footwear.  There are actually different types of flip-flops.  There are rubberized sandals hardy enough for outdoor activities while there are also those leather sandals that are glammed up with gems and glitter.  There are also those that are fashionable yet comfortable and practical too.  The Fanning black and pink number is one such pair for those looking for the most comfortable fashionable flip-flops around.  A dressier pick is the Moonlight Palms Festival Footwear.

Reef Picks

Left: Fanning in Pink Right: Moonlight Palms

Left: Fanning in Pink
Right: Moonlight Palms

The sporty Fanning is great for running around the whole day.  It fits really well with the contoured EVA foot bed that supports the wearer’s arch.  It also has a polyurethane enclosed heel airbag that cushions every step.    It’s also great for outdoor activities like hiking and camping.   The synthetic nubuck upper is water-friendly so you do not have to worry about suddenly stepping on a puddle or wading through shallow rivers.  A curious feature, which I’m sure will be much appreciated by campers, is the bottle opener built into the Fanning’s sole.

In contrast, the Moonlight Palms has a dressier feel with its leather deck and metallic detailing.  Despite its styling, this pair also comes with the same rubber outsole and heel construction as well as the EVA foot bed as the Fanning.  This means comfort for your feet whether you are indoors or outdoors.  You can wear this pair with a sundress at a beach party or perhaps to dress up a pair of shorts and a stylish tee at the evening bonfire and barbeque.

Choosing High Quality Flip-Flops

No matter what design of flip-flops you choose, you should not sacrifice your feet’s comfort and health.  Ill-fitting shoes can cause health problems.  To avoid this, it is important for you to get flip-flops that provide your feet the perfect fit and support.  They should also be able to withstand long periods of use without affecting its cushioning.  It is not always a good idea to choose flip-flops based on price alone.  Consider quality first and make sure that you are getting good value for your money.  High quality flip-flops like Reef’s Fanning and Moonlight Palms are affordable and are worth the money you pay for them.  With proper use and care, these flip-flops can stay looking and feeling new for years. These flip-flops make it easy to combine practicality and comfort.