Tag Archives: shopping

ilog maria finds

And I continue to be a sucker for everything local, natural and hand made.


Ilog Maria is a honey bee farm in Silang, Cavite. Just a few minutes drive from our in-law’s home in Dasmarinas. We’ve been seeing signs of the place each time we head to Tagaytay via Aguinaldo Highway but never really took the effort of going there. That was until last January. And then suddenly, we were honeybee lovers.

beeswax bars
beeswax bars

We already have a local source of wild organic honey at the Bee Project here in UPLB’s Institute of Biological Sciences. But Ilog Maria opened our eyes to a whole range of useful, everyday products made from all things bees.


They have handmade soaps made from honey, beeswax and propolis, with variants like lavender or rosemary which are supposed to be great for energizing morning showers. Or charcoal which has a deodorizing effect.


This time I bought the calamansi, sandalwood and charcoal variants, all three are supposed to have some kind of antibacterial or deodorizing effect. If it was just me taking showers in my household I would have done with just about any organic soap you can find in the market. But with my 2 rowdy boys and a farmer-husband, I need an everyday soap that has a good dose of antibacterial powers to keep my boys clean. So far I’m still on an active search. Let’s see how Ilog Maria soaps fare with respect to the germs in my boys’ bodies.


They also sell beeswax candles. These are all handmade and when you hold them, the texture is just glorious. They are a bit expensive but the quality of the product easily speaks for its price. It was good thing I didn’t bring extra cash or we’d end up with going home with a manger-full of beeswax statue candles. But I swear, I’m going to buy candles on our next visit here. And if I can afford to, give them away as gifts for Christmas.


Because it was a weekend of getting something for myself, I bought this handmade, beaded curtain which I plan to drape around the smallish entrance to our new kitchen (did I mention we’ll be moving to a new apartment?). The curtain wasn’t made from bee products or anything, but I did validate that it was made by a local community also in Silang. Still local, which is a good thing.


I think I’m doing a good job of converting my household, and my extended family, into fans of all-natural products. Or maybe it’s just a matter of finding organic products that are of really good quality. Turo is now a huge fan of Ilog Maria’s Honey & Propolis Shampoo which he uses everyday together with 2 slices of calamansi as his conditioner.


Just in case you’re headed for Tagaytay, you may want to pass by Ilog Maria farm and take a look at the range of honey bee based products they offer. You just might find something you can use everyday, and take the first steps to a chemical-free lifestyle.


To all things natural and crafted by hand!


serving and shelving

I went out earlier today for some bank transactions, to get a chest x-ray and find a notary public. A few hours later, I walked home with four huge bags from home and decor stores, a refrigerator catalog and an appliances pricelist. Plus the notarized documents. But no x-ray.

It is a mistake to step inside of a shopping mall after getting some money from the bank. I was only supposed to purchase a gift for my secret santa in an upcoming (but very much delayed) christmas party. But I had to pass through the lane of home stores, alone, and with some money. And I was just too weak. Continue reading serving and shelving

the local food project

I had been mulling over this local food project for quite a time now. This project is one gigantic habit-breaking attempt to reduce our household’s “food miles“–the distance that food travels from the source (usually a farm) to our refrigerator, plates and eventually our stomachs. This really is a meager attempt at reducing carbon footprint in our daily lives, considering how much traveling our family does in a year. But while we cannot afford to cut back on our leisure trips, we can at least take conscious effort to reduce carbon footprint in the food we eat. Continue reading the local food project

unique ceramic designs from dwell

Dwell is my new home store discovery. (I still have no idea how it’s connected to Dwell the magazine, which by the way is my favorite architectural mag.) It’s in this store that I found some relatively affordable retro-inspired vinyl chairs, which I thought I’d only see in magazines. Dwell carries the usual brands that can be found in most specialty stores and a number of department stores. But what I found unique in Dwell is their line of ceramic and porcelain wares.

Continue reading unique ceramic designs from dwell

gadgets galore

I’m no techie and when I talk gadgets I mean kitchen gadgets. Not those electric types that Rosebud Benitez use in her MSG-laden show. But those traditional yet currently practical tools that everyday cooks could use to make cooking quick and fun.

clockwise from left: cyclone whisk, citrus zester, jar lifter

Finally, I have a wire whisk. Since I’m not a very good baker, I never saw the need for one in my kitchen. I’m content with using a fork for egg beating. But now that I plan to experiment more on salad dressings and sauces I think having a wire whisk + osterizer could temporarily take the place of a food processor in my kitchen–something I’m saving up for along with an immersion blender. This is a Wilton cyclone whisk. The red spiral in the middle is supposed to help aerate mixtures more.

I also bought a citrus zester because I tend to waste a lot of citrus peel everytime I juice lemons and oranges, which we do quite often. The outer layer of citrus fruits contain high amounts of aromatic oils and flavor that can add an instant kick to your recipe. While a vegetable peeler or a box grater can also be used to zest, a citrus zester will yield the best possible results. If you want finer shreds, you can also use a microplane grater. Unfortunately this is way out of my budget.

My current favorite is the jar lifter. I’ve been studying home canning methods for a while now. As a working mother learning food preservation techniques is important if you want to save time and money by cooking ahead, but do not want to compromise the nutritional content of the food you serve your family. If only I had the time, I’d like to take classes on food technology and preservation. There is a science behind kitchen works and it’s something I would eagerly want to learn.

The jar lifter I bought was from a brand called Antique Gadgets. The company specializes in making everyday helpful kitchen gadgets that have been out of production or replaced by electronic devices. I wish they had more products available here. But for now this cool tool that will allow me to pull out hot jars without having to dip my potholder in boiling water.

Now I’m really excited to use my new gadgets. So I’m off this early to the wet market to do a little shopping and whip up a few bottles of my specialty sauces, preserved in the traditional way, despite this day and age of vacuum sealing and microwave reheating.


condimentalsI always associate saucers with a cup. I remember in grade school english such pairings, eg. cup and saucer, bacon and eggs, are even considered as a singular unit as far as subject-verb agreement is concerned. Or am I wrong? Whatever.

Anyhow, when I tried to look up the etymology of the word saucer, I ended up realizing that its main purpose is to be a receptacle of condiments, from the word sauce, hence the word sauce-er. Duh?!

I hope this is just stress, or am I getting stupid. I can almost hear my family say, “you already are.” (Matalinong tanga is my family’s best description of me.) Ouch! But at least there seems to be some smartness involved. LOL (more)