Mymikhaela’s Weblog

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Best Solutions for Neck Rash

If you’ve got a chubby toddler like I do, chances are he or she has would probably have more rolls of folded skin on the neck than usual. The folded skin tends to amass sweat and grime and your child ends up developing a rash.

The picture above is a recently healed neck rash. I ‘m attaching pictures of the products I tried over the past few weeks .

Aquaphor healing ointment for dry, cracked or irritated skin. Active ingredient: Petrolatum. My sister in law swears by this and she uses it on her baby’s diaper rash. I tried on my todder’s neck rashes and it didn’t seem to work for her. The rashes got a little more angry looking and had some more moisture than usual. I guess this works better on protecting bottoms from diaper rash. 🙂

Price: USD 18 . This is pricey and unavailable here.

Curash medicated anti-rash family powder. Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide. Again, I noticed that this worked a little better than the Aquaphor did, but it still wasn’t enough to get rid of the rashes.

Price: php 330 (available at Rustan’s baby section)

Calmoseptine Ointment. Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide + Calamine. This is effective. I noticed that this worked best of all 3 products that we used. The rashes actually dried up.

The calamine actually helps dry up the skin. But it can also be a potential irritant to the eyes and other mucous membranes of the body.

Price : Less than php 35 per 3.5 g sachet at Mercury Drug. Cheapest option among the (3) three.

Note: It’s rare to have allergic reactions to zinc oxide, but if you notice that there is some strange reaction please discontinue product use and consult a doctor. For those pregnant and or breastfeeding, please consult a doctor re: use of calamine.


Best Imported Snacks Under 50 Pesos


I did some shopping at Shopper’s Mart Ongpin and discovered some products I would not normally see on the shelves of SM or Unimart for that matter.

It was actually fun to discover that you could still buy some snacks under Php 50.00. For this shopping guide, I did not consider listing down any snacks that contained chocolate coating, since I don’t want to let my kids to go on a chocolate binge.

Cui Mei Si pretzel sticks made in Guangdong China. come in corn and tomato flavor.
Corn Flavor: Made of wheat flour, contains monosodium glutamate and chicken powder.

Tomato Flavor: Made of wheat flour, tomato powder.
Comment: More on the salty side.
Pricing: Php 49

GAP Salad Flavoured stick is made with wheat flour, palm oil, sugar, salad powder, milk powder, salt, and seaweed. It is made in Thailand.

Comment: You will like this if you like vegetable flavor on your biscuit.
Pricing: Php 25

Glico is made is Thaiand. It is made of wheat flour, rice flour, milk powder, lactose powder sugar.
Comment: Sugar overload.
Pricing : Php 12

Meiji is made in Singapore. Contains wheat, butter, yeast, soya and artificial flavoring.
Comment: Fun to eat.
Pricing: 35. 75

Pretz is made in Japan. They come in several flavors like milk, plain or pizza.
Pricing: Php 25 ( Pizza)

* Unimart carries Pretz snacks and Glico.

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Best Biscuit Sticks



Pretz is made in Japan. They come in several flavors like milk, plain or pizza.
Pricing: Php 25 ( Pizza) and Php 77.25 (other flavors)

Cui Mei Si pretzel sticks made in Guangdong China. come in corn and tomato flavor.
Corn Flavor: Made of wheat flour, contains monosodium glutamate and chicken powder.

Tomato Flavor: Made of wheat flour, tomato powder.
Pricing: Php 49

GAP Salad Flavoured stick is made with wheat flour, palm oil, sugar, salad powder, milk powder, salt, and seaweed. It is made in Thailand.
Comment: You will like this if you like vegetable flavor on your biscuit.
Pricing: Php 25

Pretz for me is the best brand of biscuit sticks in the market in terms of taste and quality. GAP had a funny salad test which I didn’t really appreciate so much and wouldn’t recommend it for kids. Cui Mei Si is probably the last on my list of brands because of their use of msg.

In terms of pricing, Cui Mei Si had the most affordable pricing at Php 49 for 128 grams (12 packs in one bag). Followed by GAP and PRETZ.

NOTE: I didn’t include other pretzel stick brands that contained chocolate filling or nuts.

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Best Rubbing Alcohol for Use for Children

I often go wonder what kind of alcohol I use for disinfecting my children’s things. Sometimes I ‘d go out and buy ethyl alcohol and other times I’d grab isopropyl alcohol off the shelf.

Price didn’t really matter so much as we didn’t use it as often as other families did.

Rubbing alcohol is topically used as a disinfectant . There are two kinds of alcohol presents in the market, ethyl and isopropyl alcohol.

Ethyl Alcohol is made from 70 to 95% ethanol, water, acetone and other chemicals.
It is unfit for human consumption and can be toxic or even a cause of death if it is consumed.

Ethyl Alcohol is good for reducing bacterial count. It is not as effective against viruses and fungi. It is ineffective against spores.

Isopropyl is made by combining water with propylene. People often used isopropyl alcohol to do medicinal rubdowns to help bring reduce temperature during a fever. This practice is now discouraged as it was found that the rapid reduction of temperature is considered detrimental to the patient.

Things to Remember About Rubbing Alcohol:

(1) Store in a dark, cool, place.
(2) Keep away from exposure to fire as it is highly flammable.
(3) Keep away from children as it is toxic if drunk or inhaled.
(4) Best used for disinfecting items or preparing skin for an injection.
(5) Never use for open wounds.
(6) Can dry skin easily.
(7) Always tightly close the bottle cap of your rubbing alcohol.
(8) Great to use as a solvent for cleaning electronic equipment without the
Risk of electrocution as it evaporates quickly in small amounts.

I prefer using Ethyl Alcohol for 3 reasons:

(1) it is more “natural “ product as it is a by product of yeast fermentation compared to isopropyl alcohol which is a chemical reaction from water and propylene.

(2) Ethyl alcohol is approximately 50% less toxic than isopropyl alchol when ingested.
(not that anyone of us plan on drinking it).

(3) Isopropyl alcohol in particular has a drying effect and in fact is recommended for use to help dry water in ears for the treatment of Swimmer’s ear. Isopropyl alcohol now has variants that have moisturizers added to them to counteract the drying effect.

NOTE: You can use any brand of 70% ethyl alcohol you like. This just happened to be the one that was available.


Best Gluten Free Pastas

I decided to make a list of gluten free pastas we like. Most of these pastas are available at Healthy Options. Orgran is sometimes available at Unimart and Landmark.

The three gluten free pasta brands below are chosen for their taste and texture.


Tinkyada is made in Canada. The lasagne is made of brown rice, rice bran and water.

Cooking time is 15 to 16 minutes. It can actually withstand overcooking.


Ancient Harvest is made in the USA. The rotelle or pasta spirals are made of quinoa flour and corn

Cooking time is 6 to 10 minutes. Water may turn yellow due to the corn starches though this is normal.


Orgran is made in Australia. Certified GMO FREE. The pasta is 86% made of rice, 8.3% made of corn and
5.7% spinach. I like this for it’s unique animal shapes that make for interesting eating. Cooking time: 8
to 10 minutes


Tinkyada has the most amount of calories at 210. Ancient Harvest at 205. Orgran is at 131.

Tinkyada also has the highest amount of sodium at 15mg and both Orgran and Ancient Harvest at 4 mg.

Tinkyada also has the most amount of vitamins and contains vitamin B1, B3, Calcium and Potassium.
Ancient Harvest has the 2nd most number of vitamins with Thiamine, Iron and Riboflavin. Orgran
contains the least amount of vitamins with only iron to show for.

I tend to use at least more than 3 kinds of brands for my son’s gluten free pastas, so he doesn’t get tired to eating the pasta over and over again. I like Tinkyada for having the most amount of vitamins.

But these are brands that have been tried and tested in our house for several years now.


Best Yoghurt Drink


My kids love Dutch Mill. If I had to choose between the regular sweetened milk drinks in the market today, Dutch Mill would win my vote hands down.
Health Benefits:
(1) Yoghurt is good for people with lactose intolerance
(2) Contains probiotics that keep the digestive tract healthy
(3) A good source of calcium
(4) No preservatives
Flavors: Strawberry, Blueberry, Orange and Yoghurt Drink with Mixed Fruits Juice.
Pricing: Php 7.95 for 90 ml and Php 16.95 for 180 ml.

I find the 90 ml size cost effective especially if you have a lot of kids.

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The brand is Cerear. They actually have ISO certification and the Good Manufacturing Practice certification. It actually comes from Taiwan. I bought it for Php125 on a trip to Shopper’s Mart in Ongpin. This is probably the 1st cereal brand I ‘ve ever bought that claims to have a probiotic strain (lactobacillus sporogenes) and actually use NON Genetically Modified corn.

I can’t say the same for the US companies that mostly use GMO corn in their cereals.

I tried it and like it, not too sweet and just right. Although it contains food coloring like all other more commercial brands of cereals, I’m glad that I finally met the closest alternative to a Fruit Loop that isn’t drowning in sugar.

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Healthier Potato Chips for your Kids

I’m on the search for a healthier kind of potato chips. The best option would be making it at home, but sometimes I have no more time to do that.

According to Frito Lay’s website which was last update February 2010 that Lays and Stax products are made on gluten free lines.
I often try to avoid the flavored chips because they may contain casein in the case of the sour cream flavors, cheese flavors, etc…

On a shopping trip to Unimart a while ago, I was able to pick up the ff products:

Out of curiousity, I listed down the ingredients and nutrition facts, I was able to notice a couple of things.

Lay’s Stax Original — Lay’s Kettle Cooked Original — Baked! Lays Original

Calories 160 — 150 — 120
Total Fat 9g — 8g — 2g
Saturated 4.5g — 1 g — 0 g
Polyunsaturated 0g — 2g — 1 g
Monounsaturated 0g — 4.5 — 0.5 g
Trans fat 0g — 0g — 0g
Cholesterol 2g — 0mg — 0mg
Sodium 125mg — 110mg — 180 mg
Potassium 0mg– 0mg- – 250 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17g — 18 g — 23 g
Dietary Fiber 1g — 1 g — 2 g
Sugar 2g — 0g — 2g
Protein 2g — 2g — 2g
Vitamin A 0% — 0% — 0%
Vitamin B1 6% — 0% — 0%
Vitamin B2 2% — 0% — 0%
Vitamin B6 0% — 6% — 8%
Vitamin C 0% — 10% — 4%
Calcium 0% — 0% — 2%
Iron 2% — 2% — 0%
Thiamin 0% — 2% — 4%
Riboflavin 0% — 0% — 4%
Magnesium 0% — 0% — 4%
Phosphorus 0% — 2% — 6%
Niacin 0% — 4% — 6%
Allergens: none listed — peanut oil — soy,corn
Flavoring: YES — NO — NO
Shelf Life 9 mos — 6 mos — 6 mos
Manufactured Thailand — USA — USA
Gluten Free Questionable — YES — YES

Lay’s Stax

Ingredients: Potato, vegetable oil, potato starch, seasoning, ribotide, natural identical flavor. No preservatives.
This is often a staple in the house.

It’s supposedly the least offending of potato chips on the market and made from gluten free lines. I just don’t know if Lay’s manufactured in Thailand still adhere to gluten free lines. Since their policies differ from country to country.

Comparing the nutritional list, I noticed that they put nature identical flavoring in it. They don’t have as much nutritional value as the Kettle and Baked! version. They also have the highest amount of fat and calories per serving.

What I like about this: It comes with it’s own canister and tray. You can keep your potato chips fresh in the tubes.

Pricing: Php 59.50 for 120g. It’s the cheapest among the three.

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips, BBQ flavor (acceptable gfcf)

Ingredients: Potatoes, Sunflower Oil and Sea salt.

Allergen info: This product is made on equipment that also makes products containing peanut oil!

What I like about this is that it contains the least amount of sodium among the 3 brands. It’s also got a lot more nutrional value than the Lay’s Stax.

WARNING :Stay away from this one if you have issues with peanuts or peanut oil.

Baked ! Lays Original

It’s label states that it’s got “80% less fat than regular potato chips” and goes on to tell us that the “fat content of regular potato chips is 10g per 1 oz serving; fat content of these snacks is 2 g per 1 oz serving.”

What I like about it: It’s baked. It contains the least amount of fats among all three products. It has highest vitamin levels among all.

Pricing : Php 114.50 for a 170 g bag.

WARNING : Contains soy lecitin and corn oil.

What We Like Best:

Baked ! Lays Original wins hands down. My 2nd runner up is Kettle Cooked Original Extra Crunchy Potato Chips, followed by Lay’s Stax.

Disclaimer: We don’t claim that eating potato chips is healthy, this article just serves to analyze which one might be a better option of potato chips for our kids.

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Benefits of Eating Grapes : Red versus Green Grapes

Grapes are nutritious and contain vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, and C6. The skins of grapes contain a lot of beta carotene, lycopene, ellagic acid, resveratrol and other sulphur compounds.

They have important anti-oxidants such as anthocyanins, flavones, geraniol, linalool, nerol and tannins. They contain all the necessary minerals such as calcium, choline, copper, fluroie, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulfur and Vitamin K.

Grapes are completely CHOLESTEROL free and low calorie. The fiber and protein in grapes facilitate digestion. The antioxidants present in grapes also help protect the body against cancer.

They act as cleansers, and help get rid of kidney stones, as well as improving the flow of bile and urine. Grapes not only help with skin related problems but they also help detoxify the body


Green grapes have a high nutrional value. It’s rich in carbohydrates, Vitamin C and K. They contain flavonoid antioxidants called Catechins.

Red grapes have a higher nutritional value. They not only contain Catechins but also have Quercetin and Resveratrol which are important antioxidant compounds.

Some more Reasons to Choose Red Grapes:

Resveratrol (which is found in the skin of grapes and other fruits like plums) can help asthma sufferers. Resveratrol is said to have a anti-inflammatory action that can help inflammation of the lungs which causes asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

According to the Imperial College London Reporter:
“By studying the effects of resveratrol in human airway cells, researchers found it acted as an anti-inflammatory in all the systems they examined. Resveratrol was also able to switch off inflammation under conditions where steroids do not have any effect, and could lead to the design of more powerful new drugs in the future, capable of tackling inflammatory diseases from asthma to arthritis.

Dr Louise Donnelly from Imperial and the Royal Brompton Hospital, is one of the paper’s authors. “This research could be very good news for asthma and COPD sufferers as resveratrol could prove more effective than current steroid treatments,” she explained. “The development of an aerosol version for inhalation may help provide an effective treatment.”
Indeed, it gives me all the more reason to buy grapes for my kids and to eat the skins as well.


Grapes contain pesticides. So it’s best to soak the grapes for a few minutes before rinsing them well in water. You can add a teaspoon of salt, baking soda or lemon prior to the soaking solution.

Put the grapes in a colander to drain before patting them dry. Using a scissor, snip off only what you intend to consume.
Storage: Grapes are best kept dry in the refrigerator

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Best Way to Store Your Spices

If you have a lot of spices on hand, please don’t store them near the stove or oven where they can be unnecessary exposed to heat. It helps the shelf life of your spices if you keep them in a cool, dark and dry place.

I now store mine in airtight Biokips containers that are made of PP 5 food grade plastics. I keep them away from sunlight and throw in a dessicant or two (you can get these free from food products that have prepackaged dessicant pouches to help remove excessive humidity.

I’ve previously experienced “caking” and having some of my powdered spices and broths literally turn from powder into some black or brown gooey mush because of exposure to moisture.

By the way, you open your spices, don’t forget to write the date you opened them. Spices don’t usually keep well after a year. I’ve had to throw out so many spices bottles dating back as far as 2005. They ‘re either discolored or don’t smell fragrant at all anymore.

Anyway, I wanted to share this article on spices by Spice Barn