Download Muji’s relaxation app for free

My boys love their Muji bean bags. I bought two of them with extra covers when Muji first opened in Manila in 2010. Nearly five years later, the bean bags are still being used on a daily basis.
Only now, our dog Anwar has claimed one of the bean bags as his bed.

Chris and Anwar

The Muji bean bag, also known as the Beads Sofa, is one of Muji’s globally known products. It’s filled with microbeads that conform to your body’s position.

Muji

Its washable cover is made with two kinds of fabrics: stretch and non-stretch. The stretchy side is for upright sitting to provide firmness and support, while the non-stretch side is for a horizontal, lying position, giving comfort, softness and relaxation.
I can personally vouch for the cover’s ability to withstand rough and frequent use.
The Muji bean bag is a great gift idea for any home with kids and pets.

Muji

If relaxing is important to you, you can download Muji to Relax, a musical app designed to help you rest and wind down.
Muji to Relax creates music based on pulse and time. Using your smartphone’s light and camera, the app detects and measures your pulse rate to create and play relaxing music for you.

The app is also designed to connect to smart Android watches and carries a feature upgrade of the Muji to Sleep app.
Download Muji to Relax from the App Store or Google Play for free.
Watch this:

In the Philippines, MUJI is exclusively distributed by The SSI Group, Inc. with locations at Bonifacio High Street Central, Power Plant Mall at Rockwell, Greenbelt 3, SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons Magnolia, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, and Ayala Center Cebu.

Goodbye, Gilbert Blythe

I was 24 years old when I first saw Anne of Green Gables in New York because my aunt lent me the VHS tapes (yes, this was back in the ’90s).
I didn’t watch it right away, but I was glad when I finally did. I watched all three Anne movies many times over, and while the covers don’t look great, I can honestly say the trilogy is of the best things I have ever seen in my life.

Anne of Green Gables Anne of Green Gables Anne of Green Gables

The story revolves around an orphan named Anne who is adopted by a grumpy old maid named Marilla and her brother Matthew. Anne develops a special bond with a girl named Diana Barry, who has a crush on the school heartthrob, Gilbert Blythe.

Anne of Green Gables

At first, Anne despises Gilbert who becomes her competitor for the highest honors in school, but eventually their rivalry turns into affection. You will fall in love with their cat and mouse, old-fashioned romance—the kind of love story you don’t ever want to end.

Anne of Green Gables

I had a huge hangover for Gilbert Blythe or the actor Jonathan Crombie after watching the trilogy.
Sadly, Jonathan Crombie died of a brain hemorrhage in New York City last April 15, 2015. He was 48 years old.
I have no idea if he ever married, if he had kids, or if he was gay. Can’t seem to find anything online romantically linking him to anyone. Only wondering because some of the most dreamiest actors I love are gay, such as the late Montgomery Clift. I seem to have a pattern….

Anne of Green Gables

Moms, if you have a daughter, please watch with them so they get to know a pure kind of love.
Jonathan Crombie, minamahal kita.

Why I am backlogged

I know, I am super backlogged. But when you’re a mom of three boys, time flies like anything.
Last November 2014, Alexandra Seno invited me to Art Basel in Hong Kong.
I had never been to Art Basel so I booked right away for me and my husband Jeroen.
Last March 15-17, Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 opened to the public. But Jeroen and I got VIP preview passes, so we went last March 12-15.

Art Basel 2015

The day before our flight, our son Ben got sick, so we almost didn’t make it. But he pulled through overnight, I hired a nurse to take care of him at home, and Jeroen and made the trip. We checked in at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental.
But while in Hong Kong, I got sick.
When we went back to Manila, the whole house was sick. Yaya had German measles. Christian had an ear infection. Markus had cough and fever. Ben got pneumonia. I was thinking about having the house exorcised.

gamot
Kids’ meds

gamot ko
My meds

Mercury Drug receipt
Why Vivian Que Azcona is one of the richest people in the Philippines

We consulted so many doctors—Dr. Carolyn Butler, Dr. Keith Aguilera, Dr. Aye Nuguid, Dr. Gerard Henson. Thanks to all of them, everyone is well now, with Ben just coughing.
And then we had this trip to Japan last week and I had to fix the boys’ wardrobe and the visas of Yaya and Christian.
The whole month was tiring. We are back from our trip and now I have much work to catch up on.
Please bear with me while I get back on my feet.

SM partners with Madrid Fusion Manila 2015

The Philippines and Spain share a deep and colorful history, and what better way to celebrate these two cultures than through their vibrant and intertwined culinary traditions.
This April 24-26, 2015, SM will host Madrid Fusion Manila 2015 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

“SM is proud to be the venue of the historic Madrid Fusion Manila. We believe that one of the Philippines’ best-kept secrets is our rich culinary heritage,” said Steven Tan, SM Supermalls senior vice-president.
“We also want to bring the excitement of Madrid Fusion, particularly Spain’s strong influence in our food and culture, to our mall-goers by taking these culinary festivities to our malls.”

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From L-R: SMX general manager Dexter Deyto; SM Mall of Asia AVP operations Perkin So; SM Mart Inc. SVP marketing communications group Millie Dizon; SM Supermalls president Annie Garcia; Chef Margarita Fores; DOT director of market development and Madrid Fusion Manila project director Verna Covar-Buensuceso; Mielle Esteban of Arum Estratigias Internacionalización and SM Supermalls SVP marketing Jonjon San Agustin.

To help create national awareness for this cultural milestone, the official Madrid Fusion Manila 2015 TV commercial is being aired in all SM Cinemas nationwide.

Among Spain and Asia’s best chefs participating are: Andoni Luis Aduriz, Elena Arzak, Quique Dacosta, Ramón Freixa, Francis Paniego, Paco Roncero, Mario Sandoval, Paco Torreblanca, André Chiang, and Alvin Leung.
From the Philippines: Fernando Aracama, Margarita Forés, J Gamboa, José Luis “Chele” Gonzalez, Pepe Lopez, Rob Pengson, Bruce Ricketts, Myrna Dizon, Claude Tayag, and Juan Carlos de Terry.

A trade exhibition will focus on the finest Spanish and Filipino products from Spanish wines and cheeses, to world-class Philippines exports such as rice, cacao, coffee, mango, coconut, and liquors.
A premium selection of cheese, tapas, wine, ingredients, local finds, and special bundles will be available at The Gourmet Weekend Market from April 24 to 26 at SM Mall of Asia, in partnership with SM Supermarket and Hypermarket.
New food concepts will be available at select SM Mall of Asia restaurants, while SM Aura Premier will host its own Spanish-themed fiesta with music, dancing, food and drinks on April 26 at the Sky Park lawn.
Also from April 24-26, irresistible dining deals await all food lovers at SM Megamall’s newly-opened Mega Food Hall.

SM x Madrid Fusíon

For the complete schedule of events, visit SM Supermalls on Facebook or @smsupermalls on Instagram.
For more information and how to register for Madrid Fusion Manila 2015, visit www.madridfusionmanila.com.

A taste of Ian Kittichai’s cooking at Benjarong

Thai celebrity chef and TV host Ian Kittichai recently visited Manila as part of a regional culinary tour called Taste of Thailand. Kittichai, who is Thailand’s Iron Chef, is the star of Asian Food Channel’s 3 Chefs 1 City.
He is also a cookbook author with a number of restaurants around the world, including his flagship restaurant Issaya Siamese Club in Bangkok, Thailand, which ranked No. 31 in 2014’s Asia’s Best 50 Restaurants.

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Kittichai was recently at Dusit Thani Manila’s Benjarong where he cooked for food writers and bloggers.
I heard Kittichai sent two junior chefs to Manila two days ahead of his arrival so they could prep for the six-course lunch at the hotel, plus an Eastwood Mall event.
We were served two appetizers: Ma–Hor (caramelized minced shrimp ball, peanuts and pineapple) and Meing Tuna (diced tuna tartare, ginger, betel leaves and palm sugar-fish sauce dressing). Ma-Hor was sweet and savory at the same time. Meing Tuna is similar to our kinilaw, except it didn’t have vinegar.

appetizers

Kittichai’s demonstration dish was (grilled beef tenderloin, fresh herbs and bird’s eye chili vinaigrette). This happens to be one of my favorite Thai dishes and Kittichai did it really well. I later learned this is one of his signature dishes.

Grilled Beef Salad

Then we were served Tom Kha Goong, a traditional soup of seared tiger prawns in a light galangal coconut broth with kaffir lime. The soup was thick and flavorful and the prawns had a briny sweetness.

Tom Kha Goong

There were two main courses. First was a Chili Glazed Chilean Sea Bass, which was mildly hot because of the chili paste but not overwhelmingly so. The second main course was a more robust Beef Short Ribs in Green Curry Sauce served with Jasmine rice. The beef was fork-tender and the curry, bold. This dish actually needed an extra cup of Jasmine rice.
To end the meal, Kittichai served a Jasmine Flower Panna Cotta with Jasmine Rice Ice Cream and Jasmine Rice Tuille. Panna cotta and ice cream may not be native to Thailand but the jasmine flower gave the dessert a distinctive taste of Thailand.

Jasmine Flower Panna Cotta with Jasmine Rice Ice Cream and Jasmine Rice Tuille

3 Chefs, 1 City is a show that explores the world’s greatest foodie destinations through the eyes of chefs. It offers insider access, with each episode featuring three chefs hosting their own acts and offering a unique viewpoint on what makes their city’s food scene special.
To know more, go to http://www.asianfoodchannel.com/celebcheftours.

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