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Training the heart, hands, and mind

“Brothers and sisters, you call upon a Father who makes no distinction between persons, but judges, according to each deeds; take seriously, then, these years which you spend in a strange land.”

I remember years ago, I had this Grade 1 mentee who came up to me and whispered conspiratorially, “Mrs. Dela Cruz, did you know that doing good deeds is the easiest way to get to heaven?” I couldn’t help but play along and so I whispered back, “Really, so what good deeds have you done so far?” To my surprise, she straightened up, looked at me squarely in the eye and announced triumphantly, “I’ve decided that I’m going to heaven the hard way!” And with that she left me in a huff laughing helplessly after her. My friend and I have a challenge between ourselves, that is to do at least one unique, definitely not the usual, really-go-out-of-your-way kind of good deed everyday. Honestly it was quite hard to do at first especially when your instinct tells you to do otherwise but surprisingly, I realized it is possible. It is just a matter of training the heart, hands, and mind.

Pay It Forward

“Give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back.”

I can still remember clearly the day the doctor called me to his office to break the news that Bianca’s lump was positive for malignancy. I was in daze the whole day. Later that night I found myself crying to the Lord not because I was scared that Bianca might die of cancer (because I know she will not) but because I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able raise the money needed to put her in surgery asap as what the doctor advised. Our health insurance didn’t cover the cost of all the medical tests she had to do prior to surgery and this has left me financially drained. But of course the Lord, amazing that He is, responded instantly by sending forth His band of mighty angels in the form of friends and relatives to help me make sure Bianca receives the best medical care. In a span of five days I was able to raise more than enough money to cover not just the surgery but the radioactive treatment and all the others tests that folllowed as well. Relatives, close friends, and people I’ve met during the course of my work as a teacher in Woodrose generously offered their support and expert services. Though I know that God clearly had a hand in all this, I would still like to think that these people readily extended their help because at some point I have given them something of myself too, probably my time, attention, affection, or service and that they are simply returning back kindness for kindness. And as a recipient of such abundant generosity and blessings, this time around I will have to pay it forward too by doing the same good deeds to others so the cycle will continue.

Pray For Women

“The woman saw that the fruit was good to eat, and pleasant to the eyes,and ideal for gaining knowledge. She took it’s fruit and ate it and gave some to her husband who was with her. He ate it.”

How clever and cunning is the devil, he knew exactly the influence Eve has over Adam so he got to her first. This only goes to show the important role that the wife or mother plays in the spiritual formation of the family. Let us pray everyday for emotional resiliency and spiritual tenacity so that we, women, can perform our responsibilty of bringing our family closer to the Lord well. May we continue to grow into mighty women of faith with the grace and love of Our Father so that we can overcome temptation and bring our family to heaven with our loving words and actions.

“With joy, not a day without the cross”

Gospel Reflection: “If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me.”

Reading the gospel today reminds me of the late Fr. Lisa, Paref Woodrose’s chaplain of many years. He used to say, “With joy, not a single day without cross.” St. Josemaria Escriva explained as, a day without a cross is a day without God. Our own cross that we bear everyday with so much strength, grace, and dignity is what will keep us close to the Father. And as we carry our cross well and as we offer it up to the Him, you will be surprised at just how easily His own cross takes it all. You will be amazed at such healing and abundant blessings that He will give us for it in return. So lets take up our cross without thinking and without complaints, and bear its burden so that others who will see and know about it will learn about God’s love and mercy as well.

To Follow God

Peter spoke up and said, “We have given up everything to follow you.”

I understand why a lot of people choose not to follow the Lord. It is because the path that leads to Him in heaven is not always easy to take. We take different paths to get to the Lord, some will have it easy at the beginning while some will have it hard. Either way it will definitely take a lot from us. We often talk about finding our purpose in life, well for me it is actually this, to follow where the Lord will lead us, which is in all cases, to heaven. In the course of following the Lord, He will ask us to use or give up what we are, where we are, who we are, what we have, who we have in order bring ourselves closer to Him in heaven. So, being God’s follower is not for the soft hearted, faint hearted, or weak hearted, it is only for the faith-hearted. If there’s one thing we should work on, it is to develop a heart filled with faith so that following Him will eventually be less of a struggle but more of a joy.

Proactiv Skin Care Advisor Program

I was at The Proactiv Kiosk at Glorietta 2 last weekend to personally consult with a Proactiv Skin Care Advisor. I heard that Proactiv recently launched a Skin Care Advisorship program whose main objective is to provide customers with the best information on acne care. Skin Care Advisors are technically sales representatives who have undergone training using the module created by Proactiv founders themselves, Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields. Unlike ordinary sales personnel or promodisers, Skin Care Advisors are trained to offer free acne care advice and after-sales support. They are all knowledgeable and well informed about Acne and Proactiv.

The Skin Care Advisor I consulted with gave me one on one guidance on how to best use the Proactiv products that I already have aside from the three step combination therapy. The Skin Care Advisor explained to me how the Daily Oil Control, Moisturizer, and Refining Mask work to target my acne problem with proper use. Turned out I am not using them well to my advantage. She also gave me tips on how to prevent my pores from clogging so I wouldn’t have to deal with zits as much. I am happy to note that it sure was a pleasurable experience consulting with the Proactiv Skin Care Advisor.

If I were you, I wouldn’t miss this chance. The Skin Care Advisors are deployed at selected Watson Stores and Proactiv Mall Kiosk im Trinoma, Glorietta 2 and Marquee Mall. Come visit them soon, they will be happy to assist you.

Super Fab Manila Finds + A Giveaway

I know this post comes late for christmas shoppers out there but for some people like me whose family and friends like to schedule get togethers and do exchange gifts right after christmas, you will still find this post useful.

I like shopping for gifts after christmas because I hate rushing to find things to give to my loved ones. I like to take it slow and easy when shopping for gifts and what better way to do it than right after christmas when all the hype has died down. Besides, I love how post christmas shopping brings forth the best that each store has to offer. Plus they bring out the good ones and put red tags on them too. (*wink*wink)

Post christmas brought me to Fab Manila’s new stand alone store in ATC. I just love how Fab Manila has kept all things nice and pretty in their store over the years. I usually linger a wee bit too long when I’m there. At 35, I haven’t really gotten over my love for floral, pastel, and prints.

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They have cute coin purses, pencil cases, bags, desk organizers, boxes etc. that left me gushing like a teenager. I suggest you go here for some last minute gift shopping or self-indulgence, you’ll love it. My daughter who had some christmas money to spend went home with this uber chic sling. Perfect with jeans and casuals.

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As we all know, Fab Manila is known to produce well crafted bags, travel accessories and organizers. Each design is a celebration of all things feminine and beautiful. It has managed to artistically combine pretty fabrics, unique textures, and fresh colors in each of its product. There’s always that touch of whimsy, dash of fancy, smidgen of cheer and good dose of fun to an otherwise plain and ordinary piece of bag or accessory.

Fab Manila is the brain child of sisters and travel buddies, Jen and Shiela. Their love and passion for all things pretty extend to every product line they make. Each product is a celebration of uniqueness, femininity and creativity. The way they have seamlessly fuse their love and passion for travel and art to create products that are functional yet fashionable, and practical yet pretty. And the way they have successfully showcased Filipino talent at its finest by producing products of excellent taste and quality, truly worthy of the tag Proudly Philippine Made is indeed remarkable.

And now on to the best part, Fab Manila and Blancnotes are giving away these pretty Fab Manila items to one lucky instagram follower of Blancnotes and Fab Manila. Simply follow @blancnotes and @fabmanila in instagram, repost the fabmanila giveaway picture there, tag 3 of your friends, and use the hashtag #blancnotesfabmanilagiveaway. Contest ends Dec. 31.

Review: Proactiv Solution Daily Oil Control

I don’t know about you but this christmas weather is making my skin oilier than usual.  I know that it is very important to keep our face as shine-free as possible especially this season what with all the christmas parties and get togthers with family and friends.  I am sure you wouldn’t want to be caught dead in pictures with a face shinier than the balls in a christmas tree.

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Well, if you are having the same problem as me, I suggest you try the Proactiv Solution Daily Oil Control.  It is a breakthrough facial lotion that eliminates shine.  I have been using it for a week now and so far so good.  I was out and about with friends last weekend in Tagaytay and I am happy to note that I didn’t have to scrub my face dry with oil films the whole time.

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Proactiv Solution Daily Oil Control is designed to absorb excess oil to help give a more mattified appearance while helping the skin fight acne. It also helps the skin to remain soft, smooth and hydrated.

It is ideal for men and women with oily skin as it controls and balances the oil levels and gives a matte finish.  It is also proven to control other impurities that may clog pores as well as sebum production that can cause skin imperfections.  I like that it also moisturize the skin without that greasy feel.

It contains Decylene Glycol, a highly effective moisturizer and oil controller as well as Silicone blend which provides a moisture barrier to soften, soothe, and hydrate the skin.  It also has Nylon-12 which absorbs excess oil, and provides anti-shine properties.

It perfectly complements the Poactiv 3 Step System as just  thin layer of it reduces excess facial oil and balances your skin’s natural oil level to get rid of shine.  If you are wondering where you can buy this, it is available at the following:

a.  Proactiv Online Shopping: http://my.proactiv.com.ph

b.  Proactiv Door-to-Door Delivery Hotlines:

Metro Manila Landline: (02) 729-2222
Globe Provincial: 1-800-8-729-8888
PLDT Provincial: 1-800-10-889-4444
Mobile No.: 0917-801-8888

c. Proactiv Mall Kiosks

Ground Floor, Glorietta 2 – Contact Number: (02) 388 2848
2nd Floor, Trinoma – Contact Number: (02) 380 3801
Ground Floor, Marquee Mall – Contact Number: 0935.834.1523

SRP: Php 899, 50ml Tube

 

Alex and Ani’s Mother Mary Charm

When I was a child, my parents would always bring my sister and I to the different shrines of Our Lady for a visit, we always look forward to these trips. My parents  also instilled in us the habit of praying the rosary daily to please Our Lady. Growing up, they also encouraged us to say the novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of Fatima. Thankfully, our  family’s deep devotion to Mother Mary was never left unnoticed as She granted us countless favors and blessings over the years.

Mother Mary has also been my pillar of strength and refuge when my husband passed away last year. If there’s anyone who can truly understand my grief and longing for my husband, it is Mother Mary, as she was widowed early herself. When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer recently, I also cried to her for help. I know she knows how difficult it is to see your child go through pain because she witnessed how her son, Jesus, suffered on the cross too.

When my soul gets weary from the heavy crosses that I have to bear, I draw strength from her. I try to learn from her gentle ways and unwavering faith. When I turn to her and depend on her for comfort, I find that somehow my spirit is renewed and uplifted.

I always want to be reminded of Mother Mary’s grace, compassion, and hope that is why this Alex and Ani’s Mother Mary charm is pretty special to me. I wear it everyday like a shield against despair.

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This christmas, give this as a gift to someone–your mom, sister, or friend who needs to be reminded everyday of Mother Mary’s unconditional love and unfailing grace. Give this to them to remind them daily how Mother Mary can be our source of hope and comfort in troubling times.

This  Mother Mary charm is available at Alex and Ani’s kiosk at the 3rd level, SM Aura. To check their complete collection log on to http://alexandani.com or follow them at instragram @aa_philippines. 

Book Review: A Doctor’s Secret To A Lifetime Of Clear Skin

I don’t know about you but I feel like much has been said about acne that I can’t even tell which one is true or not. Google the word Acne and you will be greeted with a long list of links you can choose from, from the most comprehensive to the most absurd. To a person like me whose brain can only process information in small bites rather than big chunks, the information from the net can prove to be very challenging and intimidating.

Thanks to the Proactiv Kit I’ve been using, it comes with this little orange booklet entitled, The Doctor’s Secrets To A Lifetime Of Clear Skin. Written by Standford-trained dermatologists, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, founders of the revolutionary acne product Proactiv Solution, this booklet contains 30 doses of skin care wisdom that would make you understand the root cause of acne, the proper attitude in dealing with this chronic disease, and the clear cut solutions in managing and controlling it.

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20131204-153522.jpgAll the information about acne are presented in a simple and straight forward manner in this booklet. The 30 vital nuggets of skin care wisdom listed here are all practical and easy to follow. All the things you need to know and need to do to enjoy a lifetime of smooth, clear, and healthy looking skin are wittingly enumerated in this booklet.

I am happy to note also that I found myself nodding my head a couple times while reading this for I can easily relate to most of what’s written and discussed here. And surprisingly, most of the new information I got from booklet debunked all the myths that I know about acne as well. By the time I put the booklet down, I was armed with the essential information and the right attitude I need to fight this pesky acne disease.

This fun-to-read booklet comes FREE with every purchase of Proactiv 30 Day or 60 Day Kit. It is included in the kit that you can buy in leading Watsons Store, SM Department Store, Proactiv Mall Kiosk, and Proactiv online store. If you have acne, tnis is the book for you, if not give it to someone who does.

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