Saturday, 31 May 2008

Mama's boy

We went to the beach the other day. 21 degrees and breezy. Perfect.
So after 6 hours of frolicking in the sand and sea, we decided we had enough.

I dried up the boys, and when I took off Zak's underpants, he started giggling and wanted to run off.

K said, "I used to hate that when my mum did that to me. And I was 23 then...."

Monday, 26 May 2008

How to laugh when the kitchen is a mess

Sometimes, when the kitchen mess gets too overwhelming, we try to distract ourselves by testing each other how much we know about each other's country. Sounds over the top? Well, it's either that or scrubbing 2 weeks worth of grease in the oven. So, we close the kitchen door and talk about Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero.

Me: Do you know Jose Rizal?
K: Yes. He was the first Philippine president?
Me: Agh!
K: The first Filipino leader?
Me: Ew!
K: The Filipino who fought against the Spanish?
Me: Ouch!
K: Oh, that was Lapu-lapu, wasn't it?
Me: Ekk!
K: The posh toff who went against the Spanish?
Me: (rolling on the floor, laughing)
K: Who's JE-SU Rizal then?!


Sunday, 25 May 2008

What does it take to be beautiful?

I looked at the reviews of Olay on the internet but I could never find a negative feedback. I don't know if the only reason why they're all pro-Olay is because they've all been initiated by Olay marketing and advertising? Or it could be that it just works on all types of skin.

Anyway, I'm still using this product because I feel that it really works for me (or am I just convincing myself that it does because nothing has worked on me yet?).

Let's have a look at the ingredients of this
Olay moisturiser:

Aqua, Glycerin, Sorbitan Stearate, Dimethicone, Paraffinum Liquidum, Petrolatum, Cetyl Ricinoleate. Sucrose Cocoate, Dimethiconol, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Glyceryl Hydroxystearate, Parfum, Stearic Acid, Steareth-100, Tetrasodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Palmitic Acid, Myristyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristic Acid, CI 17200, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde

Too many and too complicated to pronounce! I highlighted in red the ones I'd like to point out here, the ones I know that worry me: methyl and propyl parabens. Now, I'm not a chemical expert but there's something here that even an ignoramus like me could understand. Parabens, once applied to the skin, can accumulate in the body tissues. This BBC news item shows how this chemical was found in tissues of breasts with cancer.

Moreover, a lot of creams, lotions, even baby lotions, have parabens. Whenever I go to the supermarket, it would take me ages to choose one because I end up reading all the ingredients so I could discard those that have paraben content. However, this chemical also comes in other names.

Indeed it's never easy to be beautiful, is it?
There is no study of the long-term effect of using products with paraben, nor is there a study to say that paraben causes cancer. But one thing is certain: Chemicals are bad for our body. We might say that the amount is minute, but once used, over time, and with a cocktail of other chemicals in other products (day cream, night cream, soap, shampoo, conditioner, make-up, perfume, not to mention that air fresheners in our kitchen and car, etc), who can say that it can't do any harm?

What alarms me as well is that even tiny babies already use lotions, powder, soap, shampoo and perfume!! WHY? Why apply chemicals on their pure, tiny little bodies? Do babies really need shampoo and perfume? In the Philippines, I used to see mothers applying Johnson's products on their infants.

So possibly, the easy option is to choose Organic. Or never use beauty products at all! Can you imagine that?

I think it's called HAVING A NATURAL BEAUTY.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

I wanted to post about the paraben content of Olay but this is more important

I was tidying up the rubbish bin that was our house when I heard the doorbell ring. My husband was upstairs watching football on TV. The boys were with him. I was downstairs but in a terrible state. I had on my 1950s tracksuit bottoms, a house dress I unearthed from one of the bins (not rubbish), and a granny cardigan. If I tell you the state of my hair as well, you will get the total picture.

Anyway, I answered the door. And there in front of me was the most magical aparition ever. Filipino Food - Kinilaw (raw tuna salad) and Kare-kare (beef and bean stew), courtesy of John. You might wonder why I consider Filipino food as magical when I am Filipino myself. Surely, that's what's on my dining table everyday? Unfortunately, it's not the case. K dominates our kitchen because if I do, the kids would be eating bread all the time until they smell of yeast.


So while setting the table, our conversation went like this:

Zak (looking at the Kare-kare): Yuck!

Me: I didn't make this food darling. Seb's daddy did.

Zak (going back to the food): Hmm, smells nice!

Zak (started eating): Tastes nice, mum!

See? It's never the food. It's the cook!

The photo below has nothing to do with Kinilaw or Kare-kare. It's just to show that sometimes, England does have fine weather and food - despite what other people say. :)

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

I kind of hate the skin I'm in, or something like that

I have never been so particular with my skin. I only ever use one product - a body lotion - and until recently, I used it as such - from my face, down my hands and feet.

I don't use make-up, and only very rarely I apply foundation to even my skin tone, and that's probably about once in two months, like when I go to court to face charges of facial negligence.

Last week, I drank more than the desired amount of Sprite. A 330ml can consumed in 2 days. In my standard, that's a lot, considering that a) it's expensive. it's about the same amount as what I earn every 15 seconds ; and b) it's got 7 spoonfuls of sugar in every can.

Because of reason b, I've had lots of spots coming out of my face. And they're not just pimple kind of spots, like the ones when you have just eaten too many banana ques. These spots I had turned into dark, yucky, dry kind, and when I scratch them, the underlayer turns white! Talk about being one of the dalmatians!

Anyway, when I stayed with my 75-year-old mother-in-law (I know she would hate me for mentioning her age, but this is relevant) for a day at her house, she ordered me to have a shower sensing that I was hot and bothered after playing with my kids at her garden. Obviously, I didn't have my toiletries with me so I crept into her lotions and potions cupboard and just slapt on my face and arms and legs what was there that looked creamy and smelt nice.

She claimed she had been using these creams and they really work on her skin. I tried it too and after a few days, I noticed the difference.

Now, this worries me. I am 32. Honestly. But does that mean that my skin's elasticity is like that of a 75-year-old, specifically, a 75-year-old like my mum-in-law?

If her facial cream works for her and for me, what does that say of my skin??

Next: Why I worry about these creams

Friday, 9 May 2008

Teddy bear's picnic

picnic at Somersall, originally uploaded by Soyy.

England is having a rare burst of summery sunshine during the late onset of spring. It was only last week when winter was still in full-swing and just like that, the great british season forgot that it's supposed to be spring still. 23 degrees centigrade was welcomed with confusion and suddenly, it was bra and skimpy skirts galore.

To take advantage (of the sun, not of the bra), we went out for a picnic with Aileen and her family. K prepared the food: pitta bread with some salad and chickpeas and all sorts of veges and fruits. It was meant to be a healthy affair because a) Aileen is pregnant and b) John, her husband, is a good cook, and nothing else can beat that except preparing food that doesn't need cooking.

Then Aileen opened her brand new picnic basket and out rolled the contents: doritos crisps, biscuit kind of waffle, beer, soft drinks. In a word: magic!

Anyway. Their little boy, Seb, then demanded for rice! RICE. It's never a proper picnic without rice, didn't you know that people? If he could just speak Surigaonon, he would have raised his fist and screamed as his little lungs could manage, at all the residents of Derbyshire, that SINUGBA! TINUYA! KINILAW! should be on this awful chequered picnic blanket and not these pretentious Meditteranian style sandwiches and fruits without even an Elmlea single cream.

So, what was there left for him to eat? Cheese. Yes, the cheese that Lewis managed to stuff greedily in his mouth. Seb was left whimpering in protest. Maybe if K and I just closed our eyes, even for just a millisecond, Seb would have pulled Lewis' tongue and demanded to spit out the cheese that he so protectively kept alongside the crisps. I would have done so if I were Seb. Except that Seb is a calm and lovely little boy and I'm not.

John's non-stop yapping was surprising. He was another proof that you can't judge a book by its cover.

They were not the first full Filipino family we have invited into our home but they were the ones we like to know more. They're easy-going, fun and not pretentious. And most of all, they eat loads of crisps.

We tried opening our home to some Filipino families several times and most of the time they send us scampering for cover. I honestly can't cope with people who judge you by the label of jeans you wear, the number plate of your car, or the brand of your plastic rubbish bag. When you meet these kind of people whose existence depend on their shopping ability, brand-name recall, and the prowess to impress, you start to wonder what sort of life they live.

I'm sure it's never a picnic.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Proud to be Bri-noy

The boys' bathtime routine is conducted in Surigaonon dialect. Even if they don't speak it, they understand and that's enough for me. If you're a fly on the wall, you'll just hear the swooshing of the water, the clanking of the jug against the bath, the fizzling of bubbles against bathtoys, the accompanying motor sounds of the plastic boats - tsug tsug tsug - - swoshhh!! - and my single-sided conversation in Surigaonon: tindog, lingkod, pijong mata, tuwad... etc.
The boys are aware that when I utter Filipino/Surigaonon words at home, without the company of other Filipinos, I am at ease, happy, intimate, loving, and sweet with them. And I think that because of this, they take pride of being part 'Fulupino'.
So one day, when Zak was with his 3-year-old friend, he proudly declared: 'I'm half-British, half-Filipino. What about you?' The little boy looked at him intently and said, 'I'm Henry'.

English Karadjaw - Templates Novo Blogger