Holistic Earth Fair by La Holista

The start of 2016, I decided on a theme instead of  listing down my new year’s resolution. Resolutions never worked for me anyway and this way, I could really zone in on what I want my 2016 to be. So I decided on “Choose Wellness“.

Well, I guess it was the fact that I am not getting any younger and the big 4-0 is just around the corner (NYAR!). Losing weight has been a  rollercoaster ride for me. Seriously. I love to eat too much. But what the past 10 months has taught me is that it can be done, I can choose to be healthy and that yes, I can keep an exercise routine. The pounds may not be shedding as fast as I would want it, but I know that I’m making healthier and better choices now.

So when La Holista tapped me to promote their upcoming activity, Holistic Earth Fair that promotes health and wellness, I couldn’t say no. Chiara Squinzi, founder of La Holista, health coach and yoga teacher, filled me in on the details of the fair.

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Hello Saigon: Tell us about La Holista.

Chiara: La Holista is a Health & Wellness international company based in Ho Chi Minh City, founded in 2014. I manage it together with Pascale Fioretti, an Executive Coach with 12 years experience in hospitality. It was established in 2014 in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Our mission is to educate our followers about healthy eating and healthy living — mainly through truly wholesome and healthy snacks, meals and spread, workshops and cooking classes for adults and kids.

HS: What motivated you to establish La Holista?

Chiara: The passion to teach what truly healthy eating means; there are many lies about food out there and we should be more informed about it. Also, the lack of good snacks and cooking aids for people who prefer a wholesome plant-based diet. Anything you can find in the stores is either refined or have plenty of preservatives.

HS:What’s the story behind the name?

Chiara: La Holista is derived from the word, “Holistic”. Holistic means being healthy is more than just what we eat. How we relate with others, our career, our exercise routine and our spirituality — are all parts of our lives that influence our overall happiness.

You cannot be truly happy and healthy if any of these parts is out of shape. This is the message I want to send out. A good friend of mine helped come up with a name that would represent my Italian origins and contained a powerful symbol, the flower of life on which our logo is built on.

HS: What programs do you have?

Chiara: We offer one-on-one or group health coaching and cooking classes, International Schools after school cooking classes, F&B consulting for restaurants or drink producers, and public talk related to health and plant-based nutrition and company consultation for healthy living and eating at work.

But our main area is provision of healthy snacks like our famous Oat Cookies, Energy Balls & Protein Sport Balls, Meal Replacements Bars & Ice-cream, Hummus & Vegan Cheese, and probiotic-rich Kombucha & Kefir.

HS: What is the Holistic Earth Fair and what does it aim to achieve?

Chiara: This is our first big community project we have realised in collaboration with Eton House International Pre-school Thao Dien, Humane Society International and Green Mondays Vietnam. It’s a fair for all the HCMC based Holistic practitioners (acupuncturist, yoga and Pilatesaigon teachers and studios, chiropractors, sport promoters, juice companies and organic farms like Organik Dalat).

The aim is to educate the participants about the possibilities of curing oneself with alternative medicine and how to stay healthy with better quality food/drink and the right type of exercise.

All the proceeds of the fair will go to Charity Lin, so the main purpose is to offer them a support to create amazing charity activities.

HS: What are the activities/programs during the Holistic Earth Fair?

Chiara: We have many! We will have a bike ride from D7 to the fair by Bike Life, and a run around Thao Dien by Runclub.vn. Both these activities will have a stretching session by Suzanne Vian.

There will be QiGong and Yoga, Chiropractors and Acupuncturists talks and demo and two healthy eating talks by us and another, more popular Vietnamese Health Coach. Plenty for everybody!

Check out the Holistic Earth Fair on October 29 from 9am to 3pm at Eton House (42, Street 10, Thao Dien, District 2). Those who would like to join from D7 are invited to join the bike ride to Eton House by Bike Life starting from 83 Pham Thai Buong, Phu My Hung at 8 am.

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With friends and family visiting, I just realized how much of Saigon has changed. With the subway construction, more changes are about to happen.

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They knocked a few buildings here and there but I am pretty sure that it was Nguyen Hue first makeover that started the domino effect.

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It is such a lovely, lovely street that you can just sit on one of the benches to wile the time away — especially these days when the sun doesn’t come out as often because of the frequent rains in the afternoons. It’s almost always cloudy in Saigon.

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But there are some streets that haven’t changed yet.

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Nguyen Thiep is known for the Vietnamese restaurant, Lemongrass and still has that same Ciao Cafe at the corner of Nguyen Hue.

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The street is also known for good souvenir finds. Sometimes a bit pricey but since most well-known hotels are just around, they do just fine.

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And I guess it’s main attraction is Eximbank at the corner of Dong Khoi. One always gets a good deal on the exchange rate plus they accept a lot of currencies, including Philippine Peso.

The weather is perfect for exploring the streets of Saigon — until it rains of course! Must do more street hopping.😉


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Customized Tumblers from Lock & Lock

This is not a paid post but just wanna share something I’ve discovered recently with friends visiting from Manila.

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A few weeks ago, friends were asking about customized tumblers from Lock & Lock which they’ve heard were available here in Vietnam. I really had no idea what they were talking about until we ended up in Lock & Lock in Vincom.

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So there are several choices of tumblers which you can purchase and have a name engraved on for free in just 5 minutes!

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So wouldn’t you know it? I learned this from tourists!😀  A perfect gift for family this Christmas!😉 I checked out Lock & Lock in Crescent Mall and yup, they have this service too. I bet they’ve had this service for a long time and I just didn’t notice.

Oh and friends found out that this is available too in Manila — only that you have to wait a week to get your tumbler engraved on.


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Vote for Janice Phuong for Vietnam Idol 2016

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The original show, American Idol may have bowed out but Vietnam Idol is still on air. This year, Filipina singer, Janice Phuong made it to the finals together with rival, Viet Thang.

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Yesterday, Janice sang two songs, a difficult Vietnamese song entitled Đừng Yêu (Do Not Love, literally translated) and Jessie J’s Burnin’ Up.

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Check out her performances:

She was phenomenal!

Read more about her here.

But please, please don’t forget to vote for her. There are 2 ways:

  1. Via Google – Make sure you’re logged in and use the keywords “than tuong am nhac” or “vietnam idol voting” and then the page will lead you to the Vietnam Idol Voting app. You can vote up to 3 votes.
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  2. Via SMS – Just type “9” and send to 6370. Each SMS costs 3,000VND.

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Voting is till Friday, 30 September!

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Movie Coasters by Artbook

Remember me raving about the movie posters by Artbook?

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Yes, yes, like The Big Bang Theory poster I got. I know the Lego version is not part of this post but yah know, this might be the last time I get to build one as I have no patience for building things…so let’s just park this photo here, shall we?

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So anyhoo, the posters has a coaster counterpart! Look at this loot!

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It was quite a feat to stop myself to buy these.

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Ugh. Back to the Future. Be still my heart!

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They’re currently a buy 5 coasters, get 1 free promo.

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I did not splurge I promise you. These coasters are going to friends in Manila.

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Am just amazed by the artwork of Artbook. Who are the artists behind these? Would like to feature them if possible. Hello, Artbook!

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If you’re not keen on posters or coasters, they do have a postcard version. Now that’s really something!

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And I also spied a LOTR placemat! Huhuhu! Avoid TRI Books at all cost if you don’t want to break your budget.

TRI Books
158 Dong Khoi St., District 1
Ho Chi Minh City


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Lotto in Vietnam

I am not sure when Vietlott became operational but it was way back in January last year that it became open to a foreign investor. And it was just recently that a Lotto outlet opened near our place.

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And so hubby decided to try it out with our son’s help deciding on the numbers. LOL.

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When the prize is 32 billion VND, how can you not try?

In Vietnam where casino is not allowed for the locals, this is the nearest thing aside from the sweepstakes.😛

For our first try, we won 30,000 VND! Hahahaha!

That reminds me that I have to cash in.😛

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Saigon Square 3

Last Saturday, we were hanging out at a coffee shop wasting time at the PokeGym (I know!) when I had the bright idea to check out Saigon Square 3 (technically it’s 2 because, Saigon Square 2 has closed down already) along Hai Ba Trung.

So yeah, instead of wasting time, we wasted money as well.

I work a couple of blocks away from Saigon Square HBT but has never set foot in it. It was built early last year. I believe it’s a 2 storey complex but after over a year, only the 1st floor is operational.

It smells cleaner and is more orderly than the Saigon Square 1 (SS1) along Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. But that meant, it had less customers. Compared to SS1, this one wasn’t bustling with people on a Saturday afternoon. I could hardly find a quiet spot in SS1 on a weekend.

Of course SS1 would have more products as it is bigger but SS3 there are some nicer choices on clothes here in my frame and size.😛

Well, all the more reason to shop in Saigon!

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