2016 Starbucks Red Cups feature two Filipino designs

Remember the furor over the Starbucks 2015 Red Cups? (Crazy, seriously. I’m Roman Catholic and I was not offended in any way, nor did I think the company was waging “war on Christmas”. Whew, people are so agit.) It sparked an idea wherein the red cups became a blank canvas for customers to create their own artworks. And last December, Starbucks invited people to share their designs on Instagram. From among over 1,200 submissions from around the world, the company chose 13 designs to feature in this year’s Holiday Red Cups.

2016 Starbucks Red Cups

The 2016 Starbucks Red Cups

Dena Blevins, creative director for Starbucks Global Creative Studio, shared: “We were surprised and inspired by the amount of incredible art submitted by our customers, the designs were beautiful, expressive and engaging. We quickly realized that there was potential to use the customer created art for our holiday cups.”

Among the chosen designs are two from Filipinos: “Ornaments” by Anz Soza and “Birch Forest” by Chloe Deogaygay. If you’ve been purchasing your Starbucks Holiday Beverages, you’ve probably gotten hold of their creations.🙂

Anz Soza Starbucks Red Cup Ornaments

Anz Soza with her “Ornaments” design

Anz, an interior designer now based in Dubai, made a hobby of doodling Starbucks cups, collecting more than 75 creations. She uses her designs to prove that sometimes, all we need is a change in perspective.

“Every time I draw on my cups, I always imagine myself as another person using the cup I designed. It’s like talking to them through my drawings. I want the other person to feel that whatever situation he/she is in right now, everything’s gonna be okay,” she said. Her winning design, ‘Ornaments,’ shows the joyous holiday season through dream catchers.

Meanwhile, Chloe, a nurse now based in Chicago, created a wintry design which reminds her of her home in the States. “I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with winter since I moved to Illinois. Even though I’ve experienced a blizzard, getting stuck in snow, and extreme winter temperatures, I have come to appreciate the beauty of trees and fields all covered in white snow,” she said.

Chloe Deogaygay Starbucks Red Cups Birch Forest

Chloe Deogaygay with her Birch Forest Red Cup

Chloe also studied multimedia arts and have always been into graphic design. As an avid Starbucks card collector, she shows her creativity by designing envelopes with washi tapes and white pens to surprise fellow collectors she swap with.

The Holiday Red Cup designs, inspired by the stories of Starbucks customers from all over the world, feature traditional Christmas lights and ornaments, snowflakes, and winter landscapes that express the shared spirit of the Yuletide Season.

“We loved how the red cups with white designs naturally created a collection. They hang together as one idea but each expression is unique,” said Blevins.

Take home Anz’s and Chloe’s designs, as well as the other artsy Red Cups, when you visit a Starbucks store near you.

Post-birthday musings and political stuff

Officially 3 years away from the big 4-0, when they say life begins.

Does that mean 3 years more in inception stage?

————

A day before my birthday, Ferdinand Marcos was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Stealth-mode preps from the family. Of course, once Filipinos got wind of the situation, the 21-gun salute was going on and a sort-of SDE (hey, drone shots!) was already posted on his daughter Imee’s Facebook.

Outrage online. Gatherings at the People Power Monument and on the streets of Katipunan. A lot of things have been said, spewed, spitted out.

#MarcosNotAHero. #NeverAgain. #NeverForget. These were the popular hashtags as of late. And black boxes as profile pics are in.

Being born in the twilight years of Martial Law, I can’t say I have experienced the atrocities then first-hand. But my parents and older relatives have their share of stories about what happened then until February 25, 1986.

To be honest, my clear memory of that time was my sister’s birthday. Papa went out the morning February 23 of that year to get the pre-ordered cake from Goldilocks in Shaw. He came back at around 6 pm. The cake was a mess in the car — the icing had melted. He said that he just went to look around the EDSA area. Oh well.

That aside, I will agree with the first hashtag #MarcosNotAHero. So let’s say he’s not directly involved in the EJKs or the Desaparecidos. But it was his men in uniform, whom he had control, who carried those acts out. And he didn’t call them out. That’s not a way of the leader. That’s not the way of a hero.

People say #NeverForget. That’s true. But I don’t think that telling the Filipinos that moving on shouldn’t be done is right, either. Hear me out on this: MOVING ON DOESN’T MEAN FORGETTING. Really. Just because people say “move on” that doesn’t mean throwing history out of the window. Seriously, people can rant all they want. But after that, what now? People can say they don’t want Marcos to be buried there, but then what’s your solution? I say, we move FORWARD from this issue WITHOUT FORGETTING the past. The solution: we teach our children about the past, the bad and the good, for them to learn to shape the future.

[Calls have been made to exhume the body. But really, is disrespect the way to go?]

————

The playwright George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” I do hope that for us, Filipinos, this isn’t the case. We have to remember that there was a man who brought us to an era of darkness. Yet, at the same time, we should go forward and bring this knowledge, this part of history, to the consciousness of the young ones so that they will work hard for this not to happen again.

And yeah, you don’t have to be born/live during Martial Law to call out what’s wrong with the issue.

Shop for Kids’ Christmas Gifts with Groupon

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed here are all my own based on my experience.

It’s approximately 7 weeks before Christmas. Have you started your Holiday shopping yet?

Me, I haven’t. But as early as now, I have gifts in mind for my little ones.

Christmas Gift

Christmas shopping is just around the corner! Photo from www.pexels.com

Since my daughters are aged 7 and 1, I’m leaning towards giving them toys for Christmas. Of course, what kid doesn’t want a new toy as a gift, right?

This year, however, I’m thinking of giving them toys that are unique. Toys that are not just playthings, but also educational tools. Toys that will help them learn and use their imagination. Toys that cultivate intelligence and creativity.

I know there are parents who would like to give unique toys to their kids as well. But sometimes they come at a not-so-affordable price.

For parents like me who want to buy gifts for the Holidays but also want to save on shopping, deals from Groupon Coupons and the like are sure to help in keeping within the budget.

What’s great about sites like Groupon is that they have amazing deals that you can take advantage of for your Christmas shopping. Plus, Groupon has a wide selection of items that are perfect presents for every one at home!

You can use your Groupon Coupons to get special discounts on different shops and items. One of these is Kiwi Crate — a brand that makes STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) projects fun for kids of all ages. Just look at one of the Kiwi Crate boxes that’s great for kids 5 to 8 years old:

Kiwi Crate

This Kiwi Crate for kids 5 to 8 years old is sure to stimulate their creative thinking

And for those with very young children who are beginning to learn to read, you can use the Groupon Coupons to purchase something like this Sight Words Tub from Scholastic Teacher Express:

Scholastic Teacher Express

Sight Words Tub from Scholastic Teacher Express, great for little kids who are starting to learn to read

There are other brands wherein you can use Groupon Coupons to shop. So this Holiday Season, take the stress away from shopping. Let Groupon help you in getting the gift you want for your loved ones while you save up on expenses and keep within your budget.

Learn more about Groupon: follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Starbucks Christmas: 2017 Planners, Drinks, Food, Cards, and Merchandise

Those of you who know Starbucks Philippines (and a lot of you, dear readers, do) know that this is the time when the company unveils its Christmas campaign. And for this year, its pulling out all the stops to make sure this year’s Starbucks Christmas will be a truly memorable one.

They started by holding a Grand Launch last weekend, October 29 and 30, 2016, at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

Starbucks Christmas PH

Starbucks lovers and patrons flocked to Shangri-La Mall last weekend for the Starbucks Christmas Grand Launch

Registrants were given a “passport” in which they have to earn 5 stamps to get a special gift. Stamps are earned by visiting the 5 booths in the area.

Starbucks Christmas Grand Launch 2017

Selfie challenge, memory game, customize-your-own Christmas cards, and sampling — just some of the activities during this year’s Christmas Launch

There were demos and merchandise showcase in the Grand Launch, as well as a selling area wherein selected merchandise were sold at a discount.

But what had me excited is the launch of the new items for the Christmas Season. Starting off with, of course, the Holiday Beverages.

Favorites Toffee Nut Latte and Peppermint Mocha are back. They’re accompanied with a new beverage, the Santa Hat Dark Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage.

Starbucks Holiday Beverages: Santa Hat Dark Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage

Along with the Peppermint Mocha and Toffee Nut Latte, Starbucks presents the Santa Hat Dark Mocha Frappuccino Blended Beverage: dark mocha topped with a crafted “Santa hat” of classic and strawberry whip, strawberry drizzle, and a dollop of white whipped cream on top

The Santa Hat Dark Mocha is priced starting at Php 170 (Tall), while both the Toffee Nut Latte and Peppermint Mocha start at Php 160 (Short). All are available in hot, iced, and blended variants. Get these #SipsOfCheer that are crafted by hand and heart beginning November 2.

Of course, the other much-awaited item is the 2017 Starbucks Planner.

Starbucks Planner 2017

The Starbucks 2017 Planners come in two designs, one inspired by the Starbucks Siren and the other by the passion for coffee. They come in regular and mini sizes, and have weekly layouts. Each month also has watercolor designs.

As a trivia: while the inside page design is from the Regional HQ, the pouch, erasable pen, magnetic bookmark, stickers, and the coffee-stain cover design are exclusive to the 2017 Starbucks Philippines Planner. No other country in the Asia-Pacific region has them.🙂

To redeem the 2017 Starbucks Planner, all you have to do is (well, I think you know the drill) to get a Starbucks Christmas Traditions Promo Card beginning November 2. Collect 18 stickers — 9 from the featured Holiday beverages and 9 from any of the core handcrafted beverages — and you’ll have the planner of your choice! Sticker collecting is until January 8, 2017, and planner redemption is until March 9.

There’s another way to redeem the planner: a single-receipt bulk purchase of food and other retail items (merchandise, whole bean, and VIA) worth at least Php 7,000 entitles you to one 2017 Starbucks Planner.

Just when you think that’s all there is, well, there’s more! Take a look at the featured Starbucks cards.

Starbucks Cards

This year has the most number of cards released for a campaign. These cards will be released in three phases, but some of these will come in VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES and will only be released in select stores. Starbucks is limiting the number of cards to be released per customer to prevent, uhm, hoarding.

The Holiday Starbucks Cards (Snowman, Tree, and Happy Holidays) are available starting November 2, for an initial consumable load of Php 300.

The Red Cup Card will be available on November 10, for an initial consumable load of Php 1,000.

The ultra-limited Special Edition Metal Wrap Card, exclusively for Starbucks Philippines’ 19th anniversary, will be available ONLY IN SELECT STORES come December 5 for Php 2,500.

On the same day, the Holiday Gift Pack Cards (Polar Bear and Squirrel) will be released, at Php 1,000 (Php 500 for the regular size and another Php 500 for the mini version).

There’s also the featured Christmas food items.

Starbucks Holiday Featured Food

Chicken and Turkey with Cranberry Sauce on Croissant Baguette (left) and Croque Monsieur on Croissant Baguette (right)

 

Starbucks Holiday Featured Food

Clockwise from top left: Chocolate Cruffin, Triple Chocolate Truffle Cookie, and Cranberry Bliss Bar

Starbucks Holiday Featured Food

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake

Starbucks Holiday Featured Food

Single-origin Chocolate Cake made with Venezuelan Cacao Beans

My personal picks are the sandwiches in croissant baguette and the Chocolate Cruffin. Of course, there will always be a space in my tummy for the Chocolate Toffee Nut Loaf.😀

Speaking of which, the Chocolate Toffee Nut Loaf is making a comeback, as well as the Peppermint Brownie, Gingerbread Cookie (with a polar bear design), Chocolate Crepe Cake, and Chicken Fajita Roll.

Let’s not forget the merchandise.

Starbucks Christmas Tumblers

So many designs! They’re doing more reds, blues, whites, and silvers for the tumblers this Season.

Starbucks Philippines Anniversary Tumbler

Kevin from Starbucks Philippines’ Marketing Department is all smiles as he shows me the 19th Anniversary Tumbler

Starbucks Swarovski Tumbler

Just gorgeous. This Starbucks Tumbler with Swarovski crystals will come in limited quantities come December 5. Price point is also at a premium, beyond Php 2K (forgot the exact price, sorry).

Also offered are the Starbucks Christmas Blends: Vintage 2016, Espresso Roast, VIA, and Origami.

Whew! There’s so much to enjoy at Starbucks Philippines for the Holidays. So if you want to get your hands on the planners, drinks, food, cards, and merchandise, visit a Starbucks store near you today!

Trying out the Baby Care and Kids Plus+ Line of Tupperware Brands PH

As a parent, I always make it a point to check the things I give my kids. From food to toys to clothing and up to their skin care. Especially their skin care. While my eldest seems to be okay with any soap or shampoo, I tend to be picky with items I buy for the bunso, since she has G6PD deficiency. And that’s why I start reading labels and researching on kids’ products before I make a purchase.

When Tupperware Brands PH gave me a sample of their Baby Care Plus+, Kids Plus+,and Mom Plus+ line, I really looked into them before using them. I wanted to know if they hypoallergenic and safe to use on all skin types, especially the ones for the tykes.

I looked at the website to be sure. Dermatologically tested, check. Hypoallergenic, check.

It helped that even before I used them, I had fellow moms raving about the Baby Care Plus+ and Kids Plus+ products. Hubby’s kabarkada uses the Kids Plus+ Shampoo for her 8-year-old son, while my eldest’ classmate’s mom (whew, degrees of separation there) said that even her teenage daughter uses the Baby Care+ products.

Actual reviews there, and they were good. Still, I knew I had to test them.

Tupperware Brands Baby Care Plus+, Kids Plus+, and Mom Plus+ products

Tupperware Brands Baby Care Plus+, Kids Plus+, and Mom Plus+ products

I tried everything on me first. I initially tried the Baby Care Plus+ Bath and the Kids Plus+ Bath (on separate occasions of course).

With the Baby Care Plus+, I experienced no irritation after using. But what I love about it was the powder smell. When I used it on my little one, the fragrance lasted the whole day. Even my dad took note of that. On an active baby, it stood its mettle.

Tupperware Brands Baby Care Plus+

The Baby Care Plus+ line included Cologne, Lotion, Shampoo, Powder, and Baby Bath

The Kids Plus+ Bath had a sweet tutti-fruity scent that I like. And it matched the scent of the Kids Plus+ Shampoo. Aside from the fragrance, what I liked is the shampoo’s effect — my daughter’s wavy locks became easier to comb.

Tupperware Brands Kids Plus+

The Kids Plus+ line also had Bath, Shampoo, Lotion, Cologne, and Powder.

These, plus the Baby Care+ Baby Powder, are the items that stood out for me. The scent, the feel on the skin, and the fact that they’re safe for my kids are the “plus” factors for me.

For the Mom Plus+, I love the Soothing Relief Balm. I’m a sucker for these kinds of things. But I can only use it when I’m not with my bunso since the product contains menthol (one of the things she has to avoid because of her condition). I use it when I ride public transportation — reduces nausea — or when my nose feels stuffy.

[I gave the Mom Plus+ Stretch Mark Cream to my college kabarkada who recently gave birth, as a gift. I hope she likes it.]

The Bath and Shampoo are half-empty (or half-full? LOL!), which means my kiddos like it (and so do I) and that they don’t experience any irritation with them. Thanks Tupperware Brands for the Baby Care Plus+, Kids Plus+, and Mom Plus+ products!

View the Baby Care+, Kids Plus+, and Mom Plus+ product line from Tupperware Brands by visiting http://www.tupperwarebrands.ph/products/baby-care-plus-und-kids-plus. Purchase them via a Tupperware Brands consultant in your area. If you want to be a Tupperware Brands associate yourself, visit the website of Tupperware Brands Philippines to know more.