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Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts, NOW in the PHILIPPINES

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World-renowned Pastry Chefs Open Pastry and Bakery Academy in the Philippines

Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines Grand Launch with Chef Niklesh Sharma and Chef Jean Louis Arnaud

Chef Niklesh Sharma and Chef Jean Louis Arnaud at the Grand Launch of Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines

World-renowned pastry chef Jean Louis Arnaud leads a group of acclaimed international chefs in opening a Philippine branch of the region’s top pastry school – the Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts Philippines – this August 5 in Makati City.

The educational institution that they are establishing in Manila is a sister-school of the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia, which Chef Jean co-founded with premier pastry chef Niklesh Sharma. Another branch of the school was recently opened in India. Incidentally, this year, Chef Jean is one of the judges for the World Food Expo (WOFEX) competition here.

Assorted Petit Four

Assorted Petit Four

Chef Niklesh, the Academy’s managing director, shared that many students, including Filipinos, go to Europe or the United States to undergo pastry training, where the courses can be very expensive.

“We feel the Philippines is a great destination to open up an academy looking at the number of Filipinos working in hotels within and outside the Philippines. We want to provide organized and structural training for students looking for a career in the hotel industry, pastry shops, and those who want to put up their own businesses,” he further said.

The training at the Academy, according to Chef Niklesh, prepares students to world-class skills Manila has never seen before. “We can provide an even higher level of training here at 40% of the cost students spend in other local pastry schools. In the next six to nine months, our students can be at par with seasoned hotel pastry chefs in the Philippines,” he said confidently.

Petit Four Strawberry Macaron

Petit Four Strawberry Macaron

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Style The Bump: 21 Weeks

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Style The Bump: 21 Weeks

Beautiful painting at one of the corners in St. Luke’s Global City. ||| Photo by: Brian Sahagun

If there’s anything I want to communicate, it is for women especially pregnant women to feel good about themselves and to have fun while they’re at it!

When I wasn’t pregnant yet, and kept seeing fashionable moms-to-be, I kept imagining what I would be like when I too, become pregnant. Naturally since I love fashion and style, it has been my dream or should I say mantra that I would maintain my love for fashion and be a stylish preggy momma.

Although in my first trimester, I wasn’t up for anything other than just brushing my teeth, taking a shower and donning any huge t-shirt I can find in my closet. It was only now in my second trimester that my love for dressing up became apparent. But more than anything, dressing up is a form of self-expression. It is more about how I feel about myself and how happy and contented I am with my new state that I wanted to show.

Style The Bump: 21 Weeks

Dress: Forever 21, Purse: Thailand, Flats: Kenette Cu ||| Photo by: Brian Sahagun

‘The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.’ – Audrey Hepburn
Style The Bump: 21 Weeks

Proud momma-to-be! ||| Photo by: Brian Sahagun

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. – Rachel Zoe

Style The Bump: 21 Weeks

Loving the unexpected color coordination of my outfit. ||| Photo by: Brian Sahagun

Elegance is the only beauty that never fades. – Audrey Hepburn

I would never have enjoyed documenting every aspect of my pregnancy if not for my very supportive and talented husband. Thanks so much, my B.

Photos by: Brian Sahagun

Hooray We Are Halfway in Our Pregnancy

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Spiral at Sofitel Manila

Giddy and happy here with my forever date, my darling B.

We managed to squeeze in a whole day of foodie adventure in celebration of our halfway pregnancy mark! Starting it off with a breakfast buffet at Spiral Restaurant in Sofitel Manila, lunch at Jatujak in MOA, and creamy halo-halo at Razon’s MOA.

Food | Photo Diary: Spiral

Spiral at Sofitel Manila

View of the Spiral staircase

Spiral at Sofitel Manila

Our table by the Spiral staircase.

Spiral at Sofitel Manila

Spiral dining tables

Spiral at Sofitel Manila

La Boulangerie of Spiral

Follow the smell of warm and freshly baked baguettes, pain au chocolat, croissants and you will end up at the La Boulangerie of Spiral. Choose from a wide selection of freshly baked, hand rolled creations and delight in healthy choices such as rye and gluten free breads.

Spiral at Sofitel Manila

Enjoying my chocolate croissant.

If only I can eat more than one chocolate croissant, I would be in bread heaven! But since too much sweets are not advisable for preggy momma like me, I asked B to take me out on another date here once I’ve given birth. *teehee*

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Dare to Denim: SM WOMAN Launches Body-Positive Campaign

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Can you #DareToDenim?

Dare To Denim ||| Corset: La Senza, Jeans: Forever 21

I recently worked as the voice-over talent for SM Woman Dare To Denim campaign in SM Southmall. This was when I found out about this awesome body-positive campaign.

Much has been said and debated about the underlying belief in the “ideal” body weight and shape, but that “perfect” body type “standards” are already being challenged by modern women. This issue limited women on different aspects from as broad as how they perceive themselves down to the simple idea of what they can or cannot wear, therefore discouraging self-confidence and promoting having low self-esteem.

This is where SM Woman Dare To Denim campaign thrives in.

Pregnancy Diary: 20 Weeks and 3 Days

Pregnancy weight gain won’t stop me from embracing my new body type and in loving my new role as a mom-to-be!

This is my take in support of this body-positive campaign. As a first-time pregnant woman, I expected glowing skin and gorgeous baby bump. But in reality, there are much more pregnancy problems that I imagined. One of which is the body changes issue that comes with being pregnant. Thanks to the pregnancy hormones that promote these changes like skin discoloration, acne breakouts, varicose veins, stretchmarks and weight gain.

These changes, however, won’t stop me at embracing my new body type and in loving my new role as a mom-to-be!

Pregnancy Diary: 20 Weeks and 3 Days

Denim is for all, and there is one for every woman.

SM Woman champions a body-positive cause by providing the most diverse range of the ultimate fashion staple.

Inviting women to “Dare to Denim,” the latest SM Woman campaign empowers women to feel beautiful, comfortable, and confident in their skin, no matter what age, color, size or shape they come in. Whether you’ve got killer curves, boast of skin that is perpetually sun-kissed, have legs that go on forever, or beautiful lines on your face that show that wisdom comes with age, SM Woman’s “the denim difference” has something in store for you.

Denim is for all, and there is one for every woman.

A handful of ambassadors have been gathered together to reflect the powerful statement behind this campaign: that denim knows no labels, and that denim defies age, size and skin color. Multi-hyphenated wives, moms, professionals, models, and athletes, each with distinct needs and lifestyles are united by a versatile piece of blue fabric.

An incredible testament to denim: its unique ability to make any woman of any age, color, shape, size, and walk of life look and feel both comfortable and powerful.

Pregnancy Diary: 20 Weeks and 3 Days

Me and my darling B adoring our baby #Buchokikok in my belly!

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall
Who’s the most stylish of them all?
But who said there should only be one stylish girl
When there are so many different women in the world?
We come in all shapes, sizes and ages
(Even if we mostly see the skinny ones in the magazine pages)
Plus women’s bodies change when we get older
Our waists may get wider; our styles become bolder
But the magic of denim is that it’s fashion for all
Whether you’re young or old, whether you’re big or small
There’s a style and fit for everyone to find
We’ve got the best selections of denim combined
So when we say ‪#‎DareToDenim‬, we really hope that you do
We can’t wait to see the fashionista in you.

Pregnancy Diary: 21 Weeks

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Pregnancy Diary: 21 Weeks

Pregnancy Diary: 21 Weeks ||| Dress: Forever 21

This morning we kicked off the day by celebrating at Spiral Sofitel Manila‘s breakfast buffet.

Today marks my 21st week — hooray! We are 1 week past our halfway mark — that means we have 19 more weeks to go!

From our previous doctor’s appointment, I had the impression that today is the day that we will know Buchokikok’s gender — despite our baby’s gender, we love her/him very much, of course! But when we arrived at Doc Ana’s clinic for our consultation, she just checked my tummy for baby’s size which is just about right based on the age by week and she checked for the heartbeat which was not as fast as it was on our last visit. I think Buchokikok likes to give momma and daddy a scare! Haha.

Also, Doc Ana requested for a fasting, Congenital Anomaly Screening and Gender Determination scheduled end of August. She said it would be better to do all that between my 24th week until 28th week. In short, we’ll have to wait about another month to find our Buchokikok’s gender. It’s ok to wait as long as we know that baby’s ok in momma’s tummy.

Overall, baby and momma are healthy and well, but as of today I already gained 13lbs. My total weight gain goal for the whole pregnancy is 25lbs. That means I only have 12lbs credit until I reach my full term. I should strive to eat healthy at all times!

baby’s size:

Large Brioche à Tête!

my mood:

Momma’s happy as a clam for reaching our halfway mark. Grateful that we are on the right track!

my symptoms:

Abdominal ache and pain. I got scared when I felt it one morning. But as my moms told me, it is normal because it most likely mean that baby is stretching in my belly.

Gaining weight. Yup, already having triple chin!

Increased energy. I’m taking advantage of this stage until I can! I heard I will feel heavier and lazier when I hit third trimester.

Abdominal itchiness. It’s starting to itch here and there but I am refusing to scratch it! No to stretchmarks please!

Shortness of breath. This depends on my lying position so I make sure I lay or sit down properly and comfortably.

Acne. I’m having acne but not on my face but on my belly.

White discharge. This symptom is getting more and more common. I need wider and longer pantyliners!

Backache. It’s persistent but also very common as the baby grows.

Hot flashes. This is due to my fluctuating hormone levels. It always feels like summer.

Huge appetite. I’m eating more and more as my belly grows — more room for baby, more room for yummy food.

Insomnia. This quite bothers me. Sometimes I’m already grateful for a 5-hour snooze.

Leg cramps. I’m advised to hydrate more!