Friday, June 23, 2017

Daiso Find for the Cats in your Life: Silver Vine Powder

The cats have demanded I write about one of their favorite kitty treats or else they would climb my window screen every night and meow incessantly until I lose my mind. Oh, wait that's what one of our new cats, Bandit, has been doing for almost a month now. Crazy cat thinks screens are scratching posts. Yes, I am now naming our cats after Neko Atsume cats based on their fur color.

I first learned about silver vine powder from Lady E. She mentioned in a post a cat scratch pad available at Daiso. Said scratch pad comes with powder to be sprinkled on it. At Daiso Trinoma I found this.

daiso silvervine powder

The magical, fun-times inducing powder. Cat Silver Vine Powder.

Silver vine powder is similar to catnip. It gives most  adult cats a high. Everything Wikipedia says about its effect on most cats is true. Rolling, check. Chin and cheek rubbing, check. Drooling, check. Licking (the silver vine powder), check.

Most (not all, okay) of my cats agree that this is the bomb.  The neighbor's cat I've named Galis (guess why that's his name.) is the most affected. He would roll, droll and rub his cheek on the floor.

What I do is I would bring the kitties into the room. I would then sprinkle a small amount (not the the entire contents of a sachet) on my cats' toys, boxes and sometimes on the floor. The kitties would then sniff the powder, sometimes lick it and then after a few moments, they start wriggling on the powdered surface or rubbing their cheek on the toy.

Product Warnings:
  • when something is wrong stop the use and consult a vet.
  • refrain from using near unsteady things or stairs. (because chances are it's you - not your cats - who might fall from the stairs while laughing at / fawning over them).
  • keep beyond the reach of children and pets (heh).
  • do not use except the original usage. (read: does not work on people).

Nothing about keeping the fur-babies from ingesting the powder. So far, the kitties have shown no signs that would have me hightailing them to the vet.

According to package instructions, silvervine powder can be used:
  • good for frustrated (Hmm, I usually give the kitties a sprinkling when they look sad or lethargic. How can you tell when your cats are frustrated? Spud raises her paw, "Um, when you still would not allow us to catch the red dot?" "Or when you withhold that piece of fish just to hear us beg a minute more for it. You evil, evil person." Purrtrick nods)
  • time without an appetite
  • at a toy
  • for training where to claw (Fail. The cats still claw whichever they feel like clawing. I'm looking at you, Bandit.)
  • as a reward (Again, fail. Reward method does not work on me - I can't resist babying them - or on my cats.)
  • for stress emission of the mating season (Which is why this is more of a hit with my adult male cats.)
I was afraid that this would no longer be available at Daiso so there was one time I bought five packs just in case. The last one lost its power by the time I opened the sachets. Could have expired. So yeah, you can't really hoard this because it loses it sway over the cats after some time. They still have this at Daiso Trinoma though last time we visited. A box of 8 0.5g is only P88.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Food Thrift: Inexpensive Meals at Amelito's Grill and Sizzling House Plus Unli Rice, Soup, Gravy

The uproar on the net in the last couple of days following alleged plans to ban unli rice should be enough of an indication that Filipinos love rice. While Mang Inasal may be synonymous to unli(mited) rice, there are other restaurants and eateries that cater to the Filipinos' penchant for this meal staple.

With a branch at Albatross St., Francis Subdivision, Pandayan, Meycauayan, Bulacan, Amelito's Grill and Sizzling House offers unli rice, unli soup and unli gravy with its super affordable grilled meats and sizzlers. The entrees are served on a sizzling plate with a scoop of buttery rice, a bowl of nido soup and another of buttery gravy.  Pay additional for softdrinks or iced tea. The meals do not come with them but you can ask for water.

And you can have as much rice, soup and gravy as you want, just signal the servers and they will give you a refill. No it's not a rice, soup and gravy buffet where you can just go to a table and take as much as you want. It's Mang Inasal unlimited (rice) not KFC unlimited (gravy). IMHO, having someone serve refills is better to avoid wastage. The servers during our visits have been attentitive and kept the refills flowing so while there was control, no scrimping was happening.

Liempo has been my go to order. The cut is thin. The taste just right. The gravy over it is thicker and tastes different than the unli gravy. When I first had this, the meat was so tender, it sealed the deal. There were a few times when it wasn't though. But mostly it was tender.

The pork sisig is served with an egg on top of it (sisig purists are cringing now). Those who fear spice should be okay with Amelito's version.

There is one item in the menu that has thrown me off and has hold me back from writing about Amelito's until now. Tapang Kabayo. They say that it tastes good. Still I am uncomfortable with the notion of eating horse meat. Just, no.

Here's a  partial menu because I'm not sure what their other items are or the price for some of the items.

Grilled Meats / Sizzlers

tbone -P130 chicken sisig - P60 pork bbq w/ egg - P55 longanisa with egg - P45
chicken bbq tapang kabayo - P60 burger steak w/ egg - P55 hotdog - P45
boneless daing beef tapa - P55 liempo - P55 lumpiang shanghai - P45
fried chicken pork tocino - P55 chicken fillet - P50 chicken liver - P45
pork sisig - P60 pork chop - P55 chicken franks - P50 longadog - P50

Aside from grilled meats and sizzlers, they also have noodles and chopsuey which are good for 3-4 persons: chopsuey, lomi, miki bihon, canton bihon, bihon guisado, canton guisado, sotanghon guisado

Drinks: Mountain Dew P15, unlimited iced tea

Just look at how much those sizzlers cost! Cheapest are at P45. If you're having one of those with Mountain Dew, that's just P60. So really, it's not true that only the well-off can afford unlimited rice meals. Because there are a lot of eateries and restaurants in the country, Amelito's is one of them, that offer unlimited rice set meals for less than P100.

Amelito's Grill and Sizzling House originally started in Catmon, Malolos and now has two more branches: St. Francis, Meycauayan and Guiguinto in front of LTO. They're open from 8AM-10PM.

Get more of Amelito's Grill and Sizzling House aka Amel's Place on facebook:

Monday, June 12, 2017

Green Cross Hand Sanitizers: Total Defense Antibacterial Sanitizer/Hand Spray and Sanitizing Gel

In the Philippines, although classes start in some schools and universities in January and August, the school year usually starts in June. In some schools, students, mostly those in elementary levels, are required or encouraged to have a hygiene kit. You know, for them to be able to observe proper hygiene, for emergencies (usually the bathroom kind) and to prepare them for when they grow up and the hygiene kits evolve into kikay/grooming kits. Hygiene kits usually include toothbrush, toothpaste, alcohol or hand sanitizer/alcogel, soap, comb, tissues, face towel and extra clothing.

Green Cross may be well known for its alcohols but for years now they have been carrying sanitizing gels and antibacterial sanitizers/hand sprays.

While most alcohol ingredients are just water, alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl, 70% or 40%), sometimes fragrance and rarely a moisturizing component, most hand sanitizers contain the last two plus other ingredients to keep their form and for additional benefits. This is the reason why they cost more. Hand sanitizers are not simply alcohol.

green cross total defense hand spray

Take the Green Cross Total Defense Antibacterial Sanitizer (250ml)/Hand Spray (40ml) which offers 5 in 1 protection:
1. Kills germs on contact.
2. Forms a protective barrier around hands to help defend against germs up to 5 hours.
3. Prevents passing of germs through hands.
4. Non-drying formula.
5. Leaves hands smelling fresh and clean. (Scent is unisex.)

Ingredients: ethyl alcohol, purified water, polyhexamethylene biguanide (antiseptic and disinfectant), benzalkonium chloride (biocide, surfactant), propylene glycol, aloe barbidensis leaf extract, glycerin (moisturizers), fragrance

Green Cross Sanitizing Gel comes in 60ml and 250ml. There's an original variant and a sparkling berry one which has vitamin e bursting beads (60ml only). It's hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested to be safe for kids. It's triple acting system:
1. instantly kills 99.9% of disease causing germs
2. provides antibacterial action for hours
3. is enhanced with moisture lock formula for soft skin

Ingredients: ethyl alcohol, purified water, glycerin, carbomer (gel forming), triethanolamine, benzalkonioum chloride, fragrance

I suggest getting the small bottle first then bigger bottles to refill the smaller one for bigger savings and to lessen trash accumulation.

I've recently realized that sanitizing gels are best for kids after observing my niece tipping over almost a fifth of the contents of a cologne bottle into her palm. With gels, they would have better control in dispensing products.

Sprays are okay if the kid has a good aim. Little kids sometimes do not know where the nozzle is. Some kids find sprays fun though. Like water guns.

Of course this is not to say that Green Cross hand sanitizers are just for kids. Get the gel for control. Sprays are great for dirty or germ-laden surfaces like door knobs, toilet seats and toilet flush handles (because some people still use their shoe-clad foot to press these down. Ugh.) . Spray then wipe off with tissue. Or spray on tissue then wipe off. Some people don't even use tissues, they just spray the sanitizer on the surface.

Unlike antibacterial wipes, the alcohol content of hand sanitizers do not evaporate as long as you keep the lid/cap on. Because it's super hot in the tropics, I have experienced pulling out an antibacterial wipe from its pack and discovering that it's no longer wet.

Green Cross also carries insect repellent lotions which our family vouches for. Might want to add one to your kid's hygiene kit. Or to your own kit. Will post a review soon.

We get our Green Cross product stash from Puregold stores. Geen Cross Total Defense products pictured above were prizes from the brand's fb contest.

For more on Green Cross and it's brands, drop by their website:
Or visit their facebook page: