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Moms & Kids

Pucker, pout, and pose

A quick look inside my mini makeup kit will reveal the barest essentials—brown eyeliner, pressed powder, a four-palette blush on, and a slightly scented, reddish-pinkfrosted lipstick. For decades, I would only wear makeup when there was an absolute need for it like graduations, my wedding, or at my children’s baptism. I think, I’ve only applied mascara thrice in my entire lifetime! Seriously. Although I got by with my no-makeup look for years, I now find myself putting on makeup and enjoying it. For the first time, I brought home from a trip abroad a bagful of beauty products. Why didn’t I discover this before? It gave me the same high as buying shoes—well, almost. Still, there are days when I really have no time to get all dolled up. That and the fact that my kindergarten level makeup skills have prevented me from enjoying all my purchases. I guess, I really have a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, I discovered yet another beauty treatment worth sharing. This one …

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Her Madgesty, Madonna

Madonna at her concert in Mall of Asia Arena I remember several years ago when everybody who had anything to say gave their two cents worth about  LadyGaga’s impending concert. The religious, the hateful, and the fans took to social media to get their messages across. I watched that show and was impressed at how immensely talented she was. I even brought my son with me. There were some racy and suggestive numbers, which prompted me to send my son back to the lounge of the private box where we were watching. Last week, the furor was repeated with the arrival of the Queen of Pop, Madonna. Manila was chosen as one of The Rebel Heart Tour’s 80 stops around the world after kicking off last September in Montreal. Undoubtedly one of the most awaited concerts in decades (tickets were sold out since last year), fans could not …

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Breathe easy

For me, our world can be a pretty scary place because of our lack of respect for our environment. We use and abuse our planet (cause!) and now, we are paying the price via pollution, global warming, water shortage, toxic food sources, just to name a few (effect!). Due to Earth’s state, I am always searching for solutions to make it a healthier place for my family. Last year in Singapore, we were exposed to extremely hazardous air from Indonesia, the result of the burning of Sumatran forest for palm oil. It was a frightening glimpse into the future of my children—a world where people will count days before they can go outside because of the danger brought on by toxic air. We now have three air purifiers at home, in Singapore and Manila. As you are probably aware, Manila’s air is highly polluted, especially if you live in the city. The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) is usually in the red zone. …

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Growing pains

Dear Suzi and Paolo,   Hi Suzi and Paolo. Just want to ask your opinion about this. My now 10-year-old son used to be so affectionate with me. We were very close. He would tell me about his crushes and his friends in school. He would hug and kiss me when he leaves the house and when he gets home. All of a sudden, those stopped. When I hug and kiss him, he would squirm and try to get away. He’s also very mum now about what happens in school. Is this normal or should I be worried that something is happening to him at school that I am not aware of. What should I do to bring back the closeness we enjoyed before?    Charity Sarmiento Pangasinan   Suzi says Good day mommy! I can only imagine …

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No to manic mane days

My driver shakes his head and looks at me disapprovingly. With my hair still wet and uncombed, I climb into the car hurriedly and give him the address to the venue of my interview. His actions are not lost on me. He with the perfectly pressed barong and slicked back hair, with all strands in place and I, almost-always put together (I try!) except for my long unkempt locks. I don’t even carry a comb or brush in my bag. I normally just run my fingers through my hair or collect them in a loose ponytail until I reach my destination. I do a Beyoncé hair shake and voila! my hairdo for the day is done. This on-the-go mom has no time to blow-dry her hair, and well, does not …

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XOXO

“Awwww, so sweet!” my daughter and I said in unison after seeing a cute, doe-eyed boy suddenly hug and kiss his mom in the supermarket. While wrapped in his mom’s embrace, the boy also had a little smile on his cherubic face as if to tell the world how happy and content he was at the moment. Are your children affectionate, too, or as the online dictionary defines it, do they “readily feel or show fondness or tenderness?” Do they cuddle spontaneously or say “I love you!” freely and sincerely? Affectionate or not, know that children aren’t born this way. There is no gene for affection. They learn about the trait or behavior as they grow up, primarily from observing their own family and the people they are closest to and interact with most often, says Dr. Zsa Zsa Briones, clinical psychologist and founding member of PsychConsult, Inc. in Quezon City. If you want to raise warm and loving kids—who are not shy to show and express their feelings—heed these five terrific tips from …

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Living by her rules

Marie Claire Lim Moore looks fabulous for someone who never turns down food and claims she still hasn’t quite figured out nutrition or physical fitness. Smart and svelte in a sleeveless black dress and toning high-heeled shoes, the Filipino-Canadian-American bank executive, bestselling author, wife, and mother of three radiated an undeniable warmth and effervescence, which, come to think of it, are exactly how her books are. The Yale University graduate has two certified Amazon hit Don’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother) and its sequel, the recently launched Don’t Forget the Parsley (And More from My Positively Filipino Family). Though the volumes are thin and easy to read, they stay in readers’ minds, effortlessly pulling in and winning them over with insightfulness and charm. (Portrait by ENA TEROL) I  breezed through Marie Claire’s second book Don’t Forget the Parsley, but not without appreciating its gentle but precious reminders to readers about making the most of …

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My Girl

When we were  at the beach last weekend, we thought Lila would love playing in the sand just as our two little boys did. From the moment my husband and I first introduced the boys to the beach, they both couldn’t get enough of it. They would fall into a hysterical state every time we try to take them away from the sand. Naturally, we expected the same thing from our daughter. Boy, how wrong we were. Every time we’d try to put Lila’s little feet on the sand, she would cringe, yelp, and scream. She hated its texture. She’s the same with grass. My husband exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, she is such a GIRL!” And thus it began, our reflex gender stereotyping. I have to say though that it sure is fun having a girl. As I’ve written before, I solely identified myself as being the mom of boys. That was my comfort zone—rough and …

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Angelina Jolie returns to Cambodia as director

By Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press BATTAMBANG, Cambodia — Between bites of spicy Cambodian curry and fried fish with rice, Angelina Jolie Pitt explains how this tiny country with a tumultuous past changed the course of her life. She first visited Cambodia 16 years ago to portray "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" — the gun-toting, bungee-jumping, supremely toned action hero that made her a star. Soon after, she adopted her first child from a Cambodian orphanage and returned again and again on humanitarian missions. Now, she's back for another movie but this time as a director, and the subject matter is a far cry from Lara Croft. "First They Killed My Father," is based on a Khmer Rouge memoir written by survivor Loung Ung that recounts the 1970s Cambodian genocide from a child's perspective. The film, which …

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Roses are red, violets are blue. Valentine’s Day is for you, too

In our recent “Mindful Mom Re-Treat,” we reminded moms of the importance of practicing regular self-care and taking steps toward being more mindful. Moms usually care for everyone’s needs first and, often, her own needs are set aside or given least importance. On Valentine’s Day, each mom deserves to give herself some love! How? Practice mindful moments of self care by giving time to things that bring joy to your heart, awaken your senses, or feed your soul. It can be as simple as treating yourself to your fave slice of cheesecake (and really relishing its taste in your mouth), replenishing your favorite scent (and taking an appreciative whiff of it), or indulging in painting or crafts (and feeling the materials in your hands while making art). Janice Villanueva, founder and CEO of Mommy Mundo, Inc.     Give yourself the gift of time. What I do, I treat …

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