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How to turn your trash into Eco Bricks

I feel that a lot of times social media bombards us with so many things: Save the environment! Ditch your desk and go travel! Plan for retirement! Love with all your heart! It can get frustrating and sometimes confusing. How do we live a meaningful, purposeful life without having to leave our jobs or relocate? Surely there is something we can do without having to make drastic changes.

The Eco Brick Challenge came at the perfect time: it was practical, it was easy, it was something I can do with my friends. There was an element of fun and a feeling of accomplishment after each task. And did I mention: it was so darn easy!

The Eco Brick Challenge

Spearheaded by The Circle Hostel, the task was to fill used plastic bottles with non-biodegradable wastes like candy wrappers, cellophane, styrofoam, cigarette butts, coffee or shampoo sachets, basically packing whatever waste we could find at home, at the office, or while on the road.

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Thank you Alex and Gera for helping out!

Initially I was skeptical I could fill even one bottle so I asked help from family members and neighbors. Little by little I started filling up one, two, three bottles per week mostly from press gifts, daily trips to the wet market, or from my own consumption of foil sachets from my wheatgrass drinks. And those oil clear sheets we take for granted? Yup those are plastic, too! I stuffed them right in!

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Be Reunion Ready with your L’Oreal Holiday Survival Kit

It’s Christmas! And you know what that means? Parties, lots of food, booze, and endless reunions with relatives and friends. As much as I love celebrating, there will always be that encounter with a nosy Auntie who will ask you those dreaded questions:

“May boyfriend ka na ba?” 

“Parang tumataba ka yata?”

As offensive as it may sound, these questions are usually asked lovingly and out of sheer concern. If this is your first time, don’t be alarmed as this is a tradition that Filipinos ask relatives whom they haven’t seen in a while. It’s sort of the counterpart to the American way of asking: How are you?

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Now before you roll your eyes or lash out at your over-inquisitive Auntie, the best defense is to practice grace under pressure. Smile and answer politely while looking at her in the eye — do not flinch but steer clear of the death stare (don’t overdo it!). While you’re at it, make sure you’re glammed  up with these L’Oreal holiday picks.

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Discovering the delicious sweet snack called Tutu Kueh

While whiling away my time in Food Opera in ION Orchard, I chanced upon an unassuming kiosk selling floral-shaped snacks that I thought was cute. The light pink color also caught my attention and I asked the seller what they were. He promptly answered, “Tutu Kueh” in his Singlish accent. I was perplexed, probably had a confused look on before he continued, “It’s rice cake.”

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Okay admittedly I am not a fan of kakanin, a Filipino word for native delicacies or sweet desserts made of [sweet] rice and/or root vegetables. I do love bibingkakutsinta, and puto, I’ll give you that. But these are pretty basic sweet munchies — almost everyone loves them!

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Soft, tousled hair by Beach Born

Every summer babe longs for sun-kissed days, saltwater-sculpted wavy hair, and fine sand between her toes. But on days when we long for the beach life but can’t leave the big, bad city, Beach Born Sea Salt Spray comes to the rescue. It’s practically a texturizing spray that amps up the volume and leaves hair tousled and sexy, a local contender to the very popular Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray.

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Just spray on towel-dried hair, braid, and secure with elastics. You can wait for it to dry or sleep on it. In the morning, unravel your braids to enjoy your new beach-y waves.

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Irvins Salted Egg in Singapore

Every time I visit Singapore, there’s always something new to try food-wise. Knowing that I am into the addicting salted egg potato chip trend (try Saporito, it’s the best in Manila), my friend Christine said we should try Irvins Salted Egg in Vivo City.

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Their cartel is located on the ground floor near the food court and fronting Texas Chicken. When we spotted it we both scampered towards the kiosk like little kids eager for some ice cream, placed our order for their Salted Egg Potato Chips and Salted Egg Fish Skin only to discover that they were all completely sold out! Apparently, Irvins is so popular these two bestsellers are usually gone by 2pm!

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After a two-year hiatus, I’m finally back to Barre3

It’s a little TMI but when my personal life went disarray early this year, I decided that the only way I’d distract myself and feel better was to work out. I was getting bored of just using Youtube as my exercise guru (my yoga mat at home was not very inspiring) and the treadmill was boring the hell out of me, so the obvious choice was to go back to Barre3 which I’ve tried 2 years prior.

What is Barre3?

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The short answer is: it’s a fitness program that combines ballet, yoga, and Pilates. Barre3 makes use of pulses or isometric movements to wake the muscles and fire them up. I’ll be upfront, it’s not particularly easy especially if you’ve been sedentary like me. But the graceful “ballet” part of it attracted me the most, as I was a frustrated ballet dancer growing up.

It’s said that the combination of all three programs help lengthen the muscles, target more muscle groups at once (we’re advised to tighten the core while doing legwork or push-ups on the barre), plus help improve mind-body connection (more focus means we get to hold a certain position longer, it’s all in the mind).

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