26 December 2014

My Birthday Weekend in Tagaytay: Bag of Beans, Sky Ranch and The Grill by Antonio's

I guess all the traffic that we had to endure this holiday season was the reason  why I didn't want to spend my birthday in the city.

On my birthday weekend, Mickey asked me where I wanted to go on my birthday.  I actually thought of a place the day before but I wasn't sure if he was up for a 100 kilometer drive up to where I wanted to be on my birthday.  I was hesitating to tell him where, but after 5 years of marriage, I guess he knew me well.  He then said, "Tagaytay?" with a smile and the next thing I know, we were off to greener and less stressful scenery.


20 December 2014

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Along with all the trimmings and festivities that goes with the Christmas season, one thing I surely like is listening to Christmas songs.  But among all the Christmas CD's that we have, there is one CD that's always on repeat mode - and it's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by the Vince Guaraldi trio.


13 December 2014

Burt's Bees Bee Merry Holiday gift sets

It's a few days before Christmas and everybody's in a shopping frenzy.  But, if you haven't found the perfect gift yet for your BFF who's a beauty addict, your wife who refuses to age, your mom who loves to do work with her hands, and your sister who keeps "borrowing" stuff on your budoir, then look no further.

Burt's Bees has come up with their Bee Merry Holiday gift sets and I'm pretty sure you'll find one for the women in your life.  More importantly, you'll get plus points for choosing a natural skin care brand that we girls love - Burt's Bees.


08 December 2014

The New SM Store Beauty section in SM Makati

I'm pretty sure most of us have a favorite SM branch that we grew up with.  In my case, it was SM Makati.  I have seen SM Makati go thru many changes from a big stand alone department store to what it has become now - a mall in itself, housing many global brands such as Uniqlo, Forever 21, H&M, Suiteblanco and Sfera.  With its current global look also came the launch of the New SM Store Beauty section.  It is the ultimate beauty shopping haven, spanning close to 2,500 square meters!  Just imagine, almost 200 of the most esteemed beauty brands all in one roof.

You can sit in the different boudoirs made available by different make-up brands and have a quick make-over.  Get free skin analysis and try skin care products that address your skin care concerns.  Test different hair styling tools and see what works best for your hair type.  Visit the nail bar and try on different nail lacquer colors.  Have a whiff of a variety of fragrances and find one that best matches your body chemistry.

If you haven't been to the new SM Store beauty section, here's a tour in photos:

Instant girl bonding at the Alessandro/Striplac counter with my girls Chessika and Phylicia.  
Check out their peel-off gel polish and nail kits! 


29 November 2014

Crate & Barrel opens their first store in Manila!

In the past, I've only seen Crate & Barrel's merchandise in imported magazines and in their very own home stores abroad.  I absolutely love the simple, subdued and grown up styling that they do in their stores.  It made me wish we had Crate & Barrel here in the Philippines too.

Months before the opening of their first flagship store in the ultra-hip Mega Fashion Hall, I was eagerly anticipating what the store would look like and of course what home items they would bring in.

A week ago, Crate & Barrel finally opened their doors and I was privileged to attend the exclusive VIP launch.  Champagne overflowed, hors d'oeuvres were served and live jazz music played all night.

The event was hosted by Hillary Isaac and Crate & Barrel was officially inaugurated by Mrs. Felicidad Sy, Mr. Hans Sy, Ms. Pascale Jimenez and representatives from Crate & Barrel.

The doors opened to different tablescapes, living room and bedroom set-ups, area rugs and beautiful pillows to give more color and texture to a living space. There are also many household items you won't normally find elsewhere, quirky finds that will surely make you smile, but there are also simple, multi-colored glassware and dinnerware sets which they are known for.

With Ms. Tessie Sy-Coson


26 November 2014

Keratin Complex's Vanilla Bean Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment at Piandre Salon, BGC

To get a look that is well put together, one must not only choose the right outfit, the right shoes and accessories that go with it, the right make-up, but most importantly have healthy hair that perfects your entire look.

With the demands of our everyday routines, I'm pretty sure there are those who would say that they simply do not have the time to get a hair treatment.  For me, hair treatments are simply part of a person's grooming.  If you color your hair or subject it to hair styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, hair dryers then there is no excuse.  You must have a hair treatment, otherwise, your hair will get  dry, brittle, lose it's luster and would look unhealthy.

Recently, I discovered a one hour hair treatment that you can squeeze into your busy schedule.  It was a good thing that I was recently invited by Jaton Zulueta of Piandre Salon to try their Keratin treatment at their BGC branch.  I made my appointment to have my treatment during lunch hour.


24 November 2014

Be your own Barista at Coffee-mate's Barista University

Have you ever wondered how Barista's concoct your favorite coffee drinks?  I had the privilege of experiencing how it is to be one at the Barista University (or Barista U) of Coffee-mate Philippines.  It was an exciting, challenging and super fun experience!

Here's our Class photo, Coffee-mate's Barista U's class of 2014


10 November 2014

Have a Merry SM Christmas at SM Supermalls!

As the song goes, "It's the most wonderful time of the year".  Christmas songs are being played everywhere, people are doing their early Christmas shopping, the stores are packed with toys, cafes have added their specially concocted Christmas drinks on the menu and there is also a warm and fuzzy feeling that only the Christmas season could bring.

Recently, I was invited to the launch of the Princess in Me Christmas campaign of SM City North Edsa.  The invitation to The Royal Ball requests guests to dress up as their favorite prince, princess or as iconic Barbie.  Of course, I came in the hottest pink shade I could find in my wardrobe that brought out the Barbie in me (haha!) and I also wore my make-up in shades of pink. 

It was a fun event both for the young and the young at heart.  There was a Holiday Barbie Lounge where guests get to be pampered just like Barbie, Princes and Princesses get to sit on The Royal Throne and where the girls can try on a glass shoe.  There is also a huge Barbie doll Box Photo Booth which is such a fun idea.


07 November 2014

Road Test: Puma Faas 600S

On weekends, the first thing I do when I wake up is look outside our window and check the weather.  If the weather is good, I take a shower and go where nature is and go for a weekend run/walk.  It is a good thing that we have entered the colder months, the temperature has dropped several notches and has made it extremely comfortable to squeeze in a longer fitness routine.

It is also the perfect time to test my new Puma Faas 600S running shoes.  Sorry boys, this pair were made with girls in mind.  The shoe fit, wear and technology are all designed for women.

I absolutely love the color combination of my new Puma Faas 600 running shoes.  The Grape/Limeade/Blackberry Cordial color combination is a stand out and screams "girl shoe!".

Puma also uses less packaging for their shoes, only the bottom shoe box is used so that the shoe will still maintain it's shape.  It is also was placed inside a red reusable bag (which I recycled and used to carry my water bottle and a towel).   

What is extremely noticeable for the Puma Faas 600S is that it is a lightweight shoe.  The forefoot is extremely flexible while the Faas Foam Outsole and medial/lateral foam strip provides great stability.

The air mesh material on the upper portion of the shoe together with the molded Ortholite sockliner provides optimum breathability, comfort and fit.  The lace closure also gave the shoe a snug fit.

It also has supportCELL designation engineered into the midsole for stability (without added weight), guiding your foot and encouraging neutral running.

It is built with a lightweight FaasFoam+ one-piece midsole (Puma's new proprietary blend of foam and rubber) for improved resilience and increased step-in comfort.  The outsole utilizes Puma's EverRide+, which is now lighter and with enhanced cushioning and durability for a smoother toe-off.  The EverTrack high abrasion resistant rubber featured in high wear areas for added durability.


24 October 2014

Out and About: Manila Fame The Lifestyle and Design Event October 2014

Nothing makes me more proud of my heritage than to see the beautiful, hand-crafted furniture every year at the Manila Fame show.  I have been attending the shows for 6 years now, and the Manila Fame Event never fails to give me a surge of excitement each time the doors open to the exhibit halls.  They have always made the designs beautiful, theatrical and bigger than life.  Never settling for average or good enough designs.  

If you're looking for beautifully designed furniture and accent pieces for the home, this is the place you'd want to be twice a year every year.  Manila Fame holds trade shows every March and October and is the best venue to do some serious furniture buying.  You'll see a lot of foreign buyers during the Manila Fame event too, this is  because Philippine-made furniture are sought after in global markets.  Doesn't that make you proud to be Filipino?

Missed the show a week ago?  Let me share with you some photos during the October Manila Fame Design & Lifestyle Event.  The Design Philippines scenography  is under the creative direction of Budji Layug and gave life to three stories: Soulcrafts, Luxe and Gen C.  Furniture and  home accents on display featured the latest designs from a collection by designers Stanley Ruiz and Eric Paras with special participation of select brands of Design Philippines and Manila Wear.


16 October 2014

H&M's VIP Night at SM Mega Fashion Hall

H&M Philippines opened it's first flagship store yesterday at the SM Mega Fashion Hall to 1,100 VIP guests.  The store showcased their latest collection in an unforgettable night of glamour, fashion and music.

13 October 2014

Cleaner air indoors with the Sharp Air Purifier

If you are an urbanite like me, you know pretty well that city living has many advantages.  One of the things I like about living in the urban jungle is that everything is within a decent distance: the nearest grocery, mall, health club, movie theater, church, the list goes on.  Although city living has many pluses, it also has a few discomforts attached with it, and one of them is air pollution.

Recently, I've been having allergies in the morning which manifests itself in the form of uncontrolled sneezing.  I knew that it could be something in the air that I'm breathing.  I have previously read about Sharp's Plasmacluster ion technology in their air purifiers and was officially on the look out for one that would be appropriate for our space.

After a thorough selection among Sharp's Air Purifiers, we decided to purchase the Sharp Air Purifier FU-A28E.  It is just the right size for our space and certainly does not stand out like there is an elephant in the room.  It is lightweight at 3.4kg which makes it easy transfer from one room to another with the built in handle at the back.

I also love it's simple design which is easy to clean and it is easy to operate with the function buttons on the top panel: Fan speed mode in low, medium and high (a built-in color indicator located at the front panel displays the current air speed).     

The patented Plasmacluster Ion works by cleaning the air with the use of positive and negative ions.  It proactively spreads through out the room breaking down unpleasant odors and airborne particles floating in the air.  It also breaks down bacteria, molds, viruses and dust mites by inactivating them.

The Sharp Air Purifier FUA28E comes with 2 filters for effective dust filtration and it operates quietly (only 25db on the lowest setting which operates almost silently).

We've had the FUA28E for a week now and we have observed that the air quality in our condo unit has definitely improved, we sleep soundly at night and what's best is I no longer have my morning allergies.  

The Sharp Air Purifier FUA28E


04 October 2014

Hatch 22 Cafe & Bakery with the bride-to-be

I just received the best news, my good friend Bambi just got engaged!  Oh, I am so happy for her my heart is bursting with joy!

As we were talking over the phone, I kept having flashes of our adventures in Boracay a few years back with our friend Marge.  Many life conversations took place in our favorite restaurants and special life celebrations with our friends from Assumption.  It also dawned on me that after she gets married next year, she will be leaving Manila and will be settling down in San Francisco, USA.  She has not left yet, but I am already beginning to miss her.

You see, Bambi is the type of friend who brings our group together when our friends would come to visit Manila for vacation.  When our busy schedules could not accommodate planned lunch dates, we found that it was better not to plan them at all.  Oftentimes, unscheduled lunch dates would work better for us.

So here we are, it's mid-afternoon and we're having late lunch at Hatch 22 Cafe & Bakery in Rockwell.  It seemed like ages since we last saw each other and for a good four hours, we chatted up a storm, talked about her engagement, pre-wedding plans and of course, the love of her life, Ricky.

A book to help Bambi with her wedding preparations, from celebrity wedding planner, Jo Gartin: 
Jo Gartin's Weddings: An inspiring guide for the stylish bride.  If you happen to be planning your own wedding too, check out Jo Gartin's website, Love is by Jo Gartin.


28 September 2014

New adventures and memories with #IpanemaSelfeet

Premium Brazilian flip flop brand, Ipanema has a new campaign called #IpanemaSelfeet - that dares the fashionista in all of us to create new adventures and capture the moment with a selfeet.

The campaign kicked-off with a series of mall event activities called Ipanema Selfeet Sunday and will be held in key cities in the Philippines - Robinson's Ermita (held last September 21), Ayala Center Cebu (on October 12) and Abreeza Mall Davao (on November 16).  Schedule a visit to the mall on these Ipanema Selfeet Sundays and participate in the fun stations and adventure-filled backgrounds and get a chance to win Ipanema flip flops, as well as discounts from the Ipanema store.  The event will also be graced by guest celebrities.

But the fun doesn't stop on Ipanema Selfeet Sundays!  You can also join the #IpanemaSelfeet contest on Facebook and on Instagram.  The mechanics are quite simple, upload your #IpanemaSelfeet on Instagram or on Facebook with the official hashtag #IpanemaSelfeet and get a chance to win discounts on Ipanema flipflops.

My choice for #IpanemaSelfeet is the Vitraux Fem in Brown, gold, red, orange and yellow!


21 September 2014

How to choose the right bicycle helmet: Our Specialized (Echelon II) Bike Helmets

A few weeks ago, we purchased two Dahon S.U.V. folding bikes at R.O.X. in Bonifacio High Street.  After choosing the right bicycle that would fit our lifestyle, we also tried and tested different bicycle helmet brands.  Honestly, it took quite a while to make the right choice - We finally ended with Specialized Echelon II Bike Helmets.  But really, how does one choose the right bicycle helmet?  Here are some important factors:
  • A great fit - Bicycle helmets come in different sizes, usually referencing your hat size and the circumference measurement of your head (in inches) as a basis.  But even if this information is easily available on the box, it would also be a good idea to do an actual fitting, take the helmet out of the box and try it for size.  A good fitting helmet should be level on your head, touching all around, comfortably snug but not tight.  The helmet should also not move more than about an inch in any direction, and must not pull off no matter how hard you try.
  • Comfort - Bicycle helmets must have strap adjustments that should be easy to adjust and an inner fitting system with an adjustable dial for a comfortable fit.  It is a plus if the bicycle helmet also comes with a ponytail port too (for us girls).
  • Ventilation - Bicycle helmets must have ample air vents and strategically placed larger vents for optimized cooling. 
  • Safety - It is suggested that light colored helmets be purchased for visibility but if this could not be helped, be sure that you're purchasing a bicycle helmet that has reflective decals for added nighttime visibility.  Also, it is important to check if your helmet has passed with one or more of the following safety standards: CPSC, SNELL B90A, CE and AS/NZS (you'll find the safety stickers in the inner part of your helmet).
Our Specialized Echelon II Bike Helmets with reflective decals for added nighttime visibility


11 September 2014

Queen for a Day at Princess Hazel Salon and Spa

Nestled in it's own private sanctuary in a mid-rise condominium in Quezon City, Princess Hazel Salon and Spa is a welcome escape from our fast-paced lifestyles as Urbanites.  The Royalty inspired interiors and thrones as beauty seats keeps your mind set for nothing less than the Royal Treatment for your Salon/Spa visit.    


05 September 2014

We bought two S.U.V.'s: Dahon S.U.V. Folding Bikes

Four years ago, when folding bikes were not yet a common sight in the Philippines, Mickey and I saw the first ones in the outdoor store, Recreational Outdoor eXchange (R.O.X.) at Bonifacio High Street.  At that time, we were just checking for bikes that were available locally, and hoping that we could purchase two bikes in the near future (and relive the days of childhood wonder, exploration and just pure fun!)

Four years later (after crossing out some important items in our home wish list), we finally decided it's time to make the purchase and get out of the house for weekend bike adventures and also for an outdoor workout (read: exercise that does not feel like exercise).

With so many folding bike brands in the market right now (Giant, Dahon, Tern, Strida, Brompton, etc.), we narrowed down our choice and decided to buy a Dahon (pronounced as Day-Hon) S.U.V..  It was really a choice of practicality without the compromise of a good bike brand.  Here are some of our considerations:
  • It's a space saver - We live in a condo. and although, we have a verandah, It is true pala that when you buy a bike that you like, you want to protect it, at all times!  Haha!  Right now, our folding bikes are stationed right beside our Prizmic & Brill Kipling Desk.  It kind of looks cool parked that way.  It somehow makes you feel like you're in another city where bikes are used as a mode of transport (such as New York, Paris, Amsterdam, etc.).   
  •  It's easy to transport - Since folding bikes are compact, they are easy to transport.  We do not use a bike rack for our bikes, we just put them in the passenger seat at the back of our car, and we're good to go.  
  • It's easy to fold - There are many bike brands in the market.  You'll find inexpensive brands but the mechanism that is used to fold the bike are sometimes built too tightly and it can be quite difficult to lock the bike in position.  Also, the locking mechanism may not be as smooth as that of a branded bike.  I suggest that if you are looking into investing in a folding bike, save up for a good brand with good locking technology and you'll realize later on that it is worth the extra bucks.
  • You get more value for your money - We bought our Dahon S.U.V. folding bikes at R.O.X. in Bonifacio High Street for Php 12,500.00 each.  This model comes complete with all the bike accessories you'll need (front and rear fenders, front and rear wheel spoke reflectors, front and rear reflectors, a bag carrier with strap and a bell).  In some Dahon models these would have to be purchased separately, ergo it may come out more costly.  For more detailed specifications of the Dahon S.U.V., click here.


27 August 2014

Mad for Pizza at Il Terrazzo

A few weeks ago, Mickey and I were invited to try out the dishes of the newly opened restaurant, Mad For Pizza in Il Terrazzo, along Tomas Morato in Quezon City.  We arrived in the early evening so we can get a good table and also so we can take photos with still a little bit of natural light.

Mad For Pizza has a casual vibe, the dining crowd consists mostly of big groups (families, officemates and friends) and the occasional couple going out on a date and who likes good food (just like us, haha!). 

Here's one of our favorites dishes at Mad For Pizza, their 1/2 kilo Buffalo Wings (Php268.00).  It was crispy but not dry and had the right amount of spice.  This dish also has a generous serving and is good to share with 3-4 persons.


26 August 2014

Make Me Blush Nail Spa and Beauty Lounge

For a long time now, I haven't been wearing nail polish on my hands (but I do regularly get a pedicure).  The reason for the no-manicure stage is that I do a lot of work with my hands - at the office, at home and I also have a habit of washing my hands all the time, which leaves beautifully manicured nails chipped on the 2nd or 3rd day.  But don't get me wrong, I love nail polish!  I have bottles of my favorite brands at home,  I just wished they would last longer though.

I have read that gel nail polish lasts longer than regular nail polish.  But I was a bit skeptical at first because I have tried some of the best regular nail polish brands in the market, and unfortunately, the results are the same.  It's a good thing that Make Me Blush Nail Spa and Beauty Lounge invited me to try out their gel nail polish service.  

The interiors have a happy vibe, the walls were splashed with an ocean green color mixed with Cath Kidston inspired wall paper and the furniture upholstered in the sweetest candy colors.  The place instantly makes you feel comfortable and actually makes you want to linger. 

17 August 2014

Happy 30th Birthday Burt's Bees!

For over 30 years, Burt's Bees has been the pioneer for natural skincare and boasts of a simple yet powerful heritage: all natural ingredients straight from the source: nature.

I was recently invited to celebrate Burt's Bees 30th Birthday together with other lifestyle and beauty bloggers at the Seda Hotel in Bonifacio Global City.   


07 August 2014

Beauty Scents at Paseo de Sta. Rosa

One of the many things I love doing when I travel (aside from immersing myself in the culture of a new place I'm about to discover) is outlet shopping.   Leave me in a retail outlet shopping complex and come back for me in a few hours and I'm one happy traveler.  I'm also the type of shopper who would not let a good deal pass when the opportunity presents itself.  But then again, who doesn't?

Outlet shopping has evolved throughout the years and now, in the Philippines, we not only have clothing or shoe stores, we also have a beauty outlet store!


24 July 2014

Carolyn Robb's The Royal Touch at SM Aura

Have you ever been to Carolyn Robb's The Royal Touch at SM Aura?  This is my favorite "waiting spot" whenever Mickey has a meeting or an event to attend at SM Aura.  Alright, there are other places for coffee here (like Starbucks, UCC and Paul) but those places can get a bit crowded at times.  I like this coffee place better because they play relaxing classical music, the interiors are decked with turquoise colored padded walls, the custom gray chairs are comfortable to sit on and they have beautiful chandeliers that light up the dining area.


20 July 2014

When Form Meets Function: My DKNY clutch

For me the best months of the year for shopping is July and January.  In Manila, these are the months when the retail stores hold their all-out sale.  Last week, when I was just "browsing" the shelves,  this beautiful red clutch caught my eye.  Not only is it in a vibrant red color, it is also a clutch that clearly defines "when form meets function".  Now that's hard to get by, especially for a clutch. 

I love the structure of this DKNY red clutch.  It will retain it's form whether the clutch has many things in it or even when there's none.  It also comes in my favorite leather of choice - Saffiano leather.  Saffiano leather is scratch resistant, water and stain resistant and it is durable leather that is easy to clean too (it is often used in Prada and Kate Spade leather goods and now, with DKNY).


13 July 2014

Philips 2014 Home Entertainment and Sound Collection

During weekends spent at home, here's our typical habit inside Casa Villa:  In the morning, we would listen to our favorite music by playing our records and CD's on our hifi stereo system, alternately playing our turntable, CD player or high-resolution music files on our iPad.  In the afternoon, we watch our favorite action packed movies on our home theater system.  Clearly, we are a couple who enjoys listening to good music and watching movies in the comforts of our own home.

Wouldn't you want that in your home too?  Whether you're just simply looking for audio and home theater systems for your living space or a techie person searching for the latest innovations, Philips has just something for everyone with their latest 2014 Home Entertainment and Sound Collection.  Let me show you the collection in these photos:   
Whether you're a beginner or a DJ Armin Van Buuren wannabe, you'll have fun mixing, playing and sharing your favorite tracks with your party-loving friends with the Philips M1X-DJ.  Stream songs via Bluetooth and take your party anywhere with the carrying strap.  Retails for Php 15,999.00. 


09 July 2014

My Kipling Super City Bag

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Kipling Philippines to view their latest Summer Pre-Fall Collection at their SM Aura store.  Along with the invitation came a very special message that I could choose from the catalog any Kipling bag that I want (except luggage).  How cool is that?  Of course, I got super excited and I happily browsed the catalog right away.  It wasn’t an easy task, I tell you.  The bags were beautiful, colorful, fun and functional.  After narrowing down my choices, I arrived with my final choice, a bag that I can use every day.  This bag is the mother of all utility bags and it’s called the Kipling Super City Bag.

The Kipling Super City Bag has dual carrying options, you can carry it like a hand bag or you can attach the shoulder strap (65cm-138 cm) and carry it like a cross-body bag.  This bag is water resistant and made of crinkled nylon which is easy to clean, plus of course, this bag also comes with the iconic Kipling monkey ring.


07 July 2014

Ipanema launches their Latest Collection

Ipanema has long been one of Brazil’s hottest flip flop brands.   What sets them apart from their Brazilian counterparts/other flip flop brands in the market?
  • They are known for the embossed pattern of the Ipanema Calçadão (the tiled sidewalk pattern exclusive Ipanema beach) embossed onto their footwear. 
  • Ipanema's are made from soft PVC plastic material.  Slip into Ipanema flip flops and you'll know what I mean.  You'll instantly notice how comfortable they are, hugging the soles of your feet and the added support it gives when you walk around in them.  
  • Their flip flops are given finishing touches to make them more special - whether it's a glittery shine or a matt finish, a crystal, charm or gemstone, Ipanema's are always glammed up!             
Ipanema recently launched their latest collection of high fashion flip flops, sandals and wedges.  Truly, this collection is a league of it's own, Ipanema has totally brought flip flops to a whole new different level.  The word plain is really not in their vocabulary, this collection all about glamour!  Let me show you the collection in these photos:

Sidewalk Fem - Retails for Php 2,495.00


02 July 2014

Kipling launches their Summer Pre-Fall 2014 Collection at SM Aura

Last Saturday, Kipling launched their Summer Pre-Fall Collection for 2014 at their SM Aura store, and boy, as soon as I stepped in the store, it certainly felt like I was in candy land!  The colors were bright and happy and I love it.  This collection can easily liven up your look with pops of color. 


24 June 2014

My Macadamia Natural Oil Hair Treatment Experience at Piandre Salon, Bonifacio Global City (The Fort)

My normal hair color is black and the hair strands are thick and naturally wavy.  But ever since I started working, I found the beauty of hair color and how it can instantly transform a person's look to a much softer one, especially if you choose the right shade for you.  Hence, I have been having my hair colored for a long time now.  I also discovered the wonders of using hair styling tools, which makes my look more polished and relaxed versus my #Iwokeuplookinglikethis hair.

Since having my hair colored and styled everyday subjects it to damage, I am always on the look out for new hair treatments and products to test.  It's a good thing I got an invitation to Macadamia Natural Oil's Muse Party!  Now, who doesn't love a beauty themed party?  Count me in!


13 June 2014

The Spa's Restorative Water Lily Facial and The Signature Gentleman's Facial, Plus a Special Father's Month Giveaway!

I have been dreaming of treating myself for some relaxation after a very busy week at work.  Then, a wonderful surprise came when I recently received an invitation from Michelle Brillantes of The Spa Wellness to try out The Restorative Water Lily Facial (for Me) and The Spa Signature Gentleman's Facial (for Mickey).  These facials of course use no less than our favorite elite spa brand, Pevonia Botanica.  So, with much excitement and without hesitation, I checked our separate schedules and set an appointment for a Saturday facial treatment at our neighborhood The Spa branch in Eastwood City.


04 June 2014

More style, less damage with Philips hair styling tools

A few weeks ago, I was invited to Philips Beauty’s Glam Night at Blo Bar Serendra at The Fort. 

I frequent beauty salons to do my hair for events, but sometimes, when schedules do not permit (which is more often than not), I have to do my own styling.  Thankfully, I’ve learned how to style my own hair by watching and getting tips from some of my favorite hair stylists.  Though sometimes, like most ladies who style their own hair (way too often), I also have a fear of the bad effects of overstyling my hair – such as hair dullness, brittleness and strands getting frizzy.

It’s a good thing that Philips Beauty has launched a range of hair styling tools (dryers, curlers and straighteners) equipped with smart features that protects your hair while still giving you the style that you want.

Beauty talk with these lovely ladies at the launch (from left to right): Jerica Maala of Manila Shopper, Me, Pia Umayam, Philips Consumer Lifestyle Business Development Manager for Personal Care, Gretchen Gatan of Greta's Junkyard and of Jada Maala, also of Manila Shopper.


27 May 2014

Cookie Shots by Cookie Bar Manila

Last year, when the Cronut madness started, I never really got into it.  Even when famous bakeries and hotels made their own version of the pastry of the moment, somehow, I never really had a craving for it nonetheless, fall in line for one.

This year, it’s a different story.  Cronut creator and French pastry chef Dominique Ansel created the new dessert of the moment called the Cookie Shot and it has sparked enough curiosity for me to search for a version of one here in the Philippines.  

It’s a good thing that my foodie friend, Michelle also likes desserts, we were talking about the Cookie Shot one day and she said that Cookie Bar has their own version of it.  She made the orders online and we had the cookies delivered to our office.  I tell you, the suspense almost killed me (well not exactly, haha), but I was really curious about Cookie Bar’s version. 


20 May 2014

Breakfast at Antonio's, Tagaytay City

A week ago Mickey and I went to my parent's house for Mother's Day weekend.  We just arrived  when my mom started dropping hints that she'd like to eat at Breakfast at Antonio's in Tagaytay City for Mother's Day.

I called the restaurant hoping to get an early morning reservation as the road that leads to Tagaytay gets really congested during special occasions and holidays.  Unfortunately, they do not accept reservations, so I told my mom that we should be there early so we can get a table.

The following day, on Mother's Day, we arrived at Breakfast at Antonio's at exactly 7:00 a.m.


16 May 2014

Burt's Bees Daisy White Collection

Last week, I was invited to the product launch of Burt's Bees Daisy White skin care range.  It was a blogger-exclusive event, a first by the brand in the Philippines and was held at The Fort's newest chic French restaurant, Le Jardin Cuisine de Gils of Trois Gourmands (Le Jardin for short) at the W Fifth Bldg.


07 May 2014

Testing The Music Ball

I just found the cutest thing!  From afar, it looked like a clown's nose (only this one is pink), I thought, "how fun!" as I approached and picked up one of the round things, I realized it was a small speaker for playing music through your phone, tablet or music playing device (such as an Ipod) and it's aptly called a Music Ball.

I actually needed a small speaker that can easily be transported, made of lightweight material and not so expensive.  It's a bonus that this one also looks unconventional.


29 April 2014

Caramia Gelateria at Fairview Terraces

After having lunch at Namnam in Fairview Terraces Last Sunday, Mickey and I stopped by Caramia Gelateria for some Italian Gelato.  I guess there is nothing more decadent than having a cold, creamy, delicious gelato under this sweltering heat!  Apparently last Sunday (April 27), recorded Metro Manila's hottest temperature to date at 35.9 degrees Celsius.  Stay in the shade, hydrate and have some Gelato once in a while!  

Caramia Gelateria's pretty and cozy interior design at Fairview Terraces


28 April 2014

Namnam at Fairview Terraces

I must admit, the very first thing that attracts me to enter a restaurant is the interior design.  I believe that if a restaurateur invests on the aesthetics, then the food quality will also be of great standard (in the many times of our experience in dining out, this is quite true).

While we were on the Northern part of Quezon City over the weekend, we saw a new shopping complex called Fairview Terraces.  We decided to stop and check out some of  the restaurants and shops.  It was near lunch time, and having skipped breakfast, we were officially on the hunt for a new restaurant to try.  While choosing among the restaurants at the Ground Floor, we finally chose Namnam.  The restaurant is part of the The Moment Group of restaurants and serves Filipino (comfort food) dishes.


15 April 2014

NBA Cafe, Manila

During one of our SM Aura visits, Mickey and I stumbled upon the NBA Cafe Manila! If you are an NBA fan (or you know of someone who is), this is the perfect place to hang-out in.  Of course, Mickey was pretty much at home in this place, he was a varsity player for the U.P. Juniors Basketball Team and an NBA fan himself.

Just to give you an idea, here is how much he loves the game of basketball: at home, we have a cable subscription to NBA Premium TV (24 hours of pure NBA action), he collects the Olympic jerseys of his favorite Team USA basketball players, he has Michael Jordan's Ultimate Jordan DVD collection, he has books on Michael Jordan memorabilia and throughout the years, he has worn different basketball shoes of his favorite NBA Players (Michael Jordan, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnet, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, John Wall).  Get the picture?  Haha!

Now, let me show you the First NBA Cafe in Asia (of course here in Manila) in these photos:

The obligatory photo behind the wall of NBA basketball jerseys


08 April 2014

Celebrating The Graduate

It’s time for a celebration!  My eldest nephew (a.k.a. my little brother), Jolo, has just graduated from college and was able to get a job before his graduation (woohoo!  Good times!).  So, during a weekday, we were able to squeeze in some time to gather for lunch at Kai, Greenbelt 5 to celebrate The Graduate and his new milestones. I have asked them to go ahead and order as I was running late.

As I was walking to meet them for lunch, I was having flashbacks in my mind on how fast time flies.  When Jolo was an infant, I used to babysit him when his parents were at work.  As he grew up, although I was his aunt, I also (sort of) became his elder sister too.  I would take him to our company’s Children’s Christmas party, he would come with me during our family day which is usually in the summer and he would run around, swim and frolic in the sun with the other kids, he also joined a group of students (who were also nephews, nieces, sons, daughters, of employees) for an internship at the office.  

As he matured, I saw him hone his entrepreneurial skills, make his own decisions, learn from his own life challenges and finally, found God (hence the shirt “All His”).

Mickey and Jolo


04 April 2014



27 March 2014

Rediscovering Barre3: A special class with Barre3 Corporate Trainer, Heidi Waltermire

It has been six months since I had surgery and I feel that I can now get my body's strength back through exercise.  I started slowly regaining strength in my muscles by walking  around U.P. Diliman's academic oval for two rounds (2.2 kilometers for one round) with my husband Mickey, on early morning weekends, and it has certainly helped me get back my rhythm again.

Around mid-March, I received an invitation from Cel Torrefranca, Brand Manager for The Spa Wellness to a special barre3 class with Corporate Trainer Heidi Waltermire from Portland.  I was ecstatic!  I tried barre3 before and I absolutely loved it.  Barre3 exercises help balance, strengthen and lengthen the body with moves inspired by ballet, yoga and pilates.  It's really a workout for everyone, so whether you're an athlete or you haven't worked out in a long time, if you have back pain or a knee injury, barre3 can help you build strength, transform your body and eventually lose weight.

The night before the special barre3 class, I was both excited and scared at the same time.  I wanted to get my groove back but I was uncertain of my body's level of strength, but there's no turning back!

So finally, here I am, arriving (too) early at The Spa Wellness at The Fort


24 March 2014

A Gastronomic Treat Awaits: Todd English Food Hall opens its first branch outside New York City in Manila!

Bringing an immense excitement to the culinary scene this month is the opening of the newest dining destination at the 5th floor of the SM Aura Premier Sky Park.  A brainchild of multi-awarded celebrity chef Todd English, diners can now enjoy the feel of New York City and its authentic international flavors.

Chef Todd English and The Rikki Dee Group collaborated to bring the first and only celebrity chef restaurant in the Philippines - The Todd English Food Hall.  With this, The Todd English Food Hall will definitely set a new standard in the ever growing culinary scene of Manila.

The Todd English Food Hall is a European-inspired specialty food hall that offers nine diverse culinary stations to satisfy the most discerning pallettes.  Offering the finest food with freshest ingredients matched with impeccable service, Todd English Food Hall definitely gives a delectable dining experince set in a stylish and convenient atmosphere.

Chef Todd English, Me and his son, Oliver


18 March 2014

Out and About: Philippines International Furniture Show / Manila Fame, The Design and Lifestyle Event March 2014

I received an invitation from Mildred Manalastas of More Than A Chair last Sunday to come out and see the Philippines International Furniture Show/Manila Fame, The Design and Lifestyle Event, and of course, I couldn't say no!  Thank you so much Mildred and More Than A Chair for our special invites!  You know I'd go in a heartbeat to see the show! 


15 March 2014

Weekly hair regimen: Palmer's Conditioning Spray Oil with Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Keratin for Hair & Scalp

My hair has taken a beating all these years.  I have been coloring my hair since I started working and I also use different hair styling tools for my hair on a daily basis.  Recently, I started to get concerned about losing more than a few hair strands after shampooing.  I searched the web for some natural solutions and read about the benefits of using olive oil for the hair and scalp.  Here are some of them (source):

1.  It prevents the production of the DTH Hormone, the hormone responsible for hair loss and causes the hair follicle shaft to narrow.
2.  It promotes scalp health as olive oil is packed with antioxidants and keeps your scalp healthy and can reduce the damage caused by hair styling tools.
3.  For centuries, it has been used a natural hair conditioner which can make your hair shiny and soft.
4.  It can improve blood circulation when used to massage the scalp, the increased blood flow stimulates the follicles and helps produce thicker hair.

After reading the health benefits of using olive oil, I was officially on the hunt for a hair & scalp product that uses olive oil.  Good thing I stumbled upon this bottle of Palmer's Condition Spray Oil with Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Keratin at the Duty Free Shop (retails for USD9 per bottle).


12 March 2014

Blog Revamp: Pink and Gold

I guess anybody who has a website can relate to a site style revamp when the need arises.

I'm on my third year of blogging (yay!) and I like every single design that I used in this site.  Recently, I finally found the color combination and the style that I want for this (fabulous, haha!) site - which is pink and gold (for the colors) and fun & feminine (for the style).


09 March 2014

Stila lip glaze trio: Chic Cobalt Collection

One of my favorite beauty books of all time is Charla Krupp's How not to look old.   It was first published in 2008 and stayed in The New York Times best seller's list for 15 weeks.  Unlike many beauty books which are traded for newer ones, Charla Krupp's book has remained to be a staple in many women's budoirs (such as mine).

One of the many things she taught the everyday woman in her beauty book on how to look younger is to simply put on lip gloss over your light colored lipstick (simply because a hydrated lip equates to a young lip, and I totally agree with her!).  Up to now, lip glosses in different shades are one of the many things you'll find in my make-up case.

I have to thank my friend Marge for the stash of make-up she gave me this year!  Among the many goodies she gave me is Stila's lip glaze trio - Chic Cobalt Collection.


07 March 2014

Quick Bites at Greeka Kouzina

A few weeks ago, Mickey and I revisited the retail shops at SM Aura Premier.  After a few hours of exploring our favorites shops (and discovering some exciting new shops), we needed to cool our heels and grab a quick bite before heading to the upper levels.  

We wanted a to try a restaurant with a relaxed vibe, it's a good thing that we stumbled upon Greeka Kouzina at the 2nd level, right across Forever 21 and Uniqlo.  The colorful lighting fixtures and the beautiful textured walls with the uplighters (that emphasized it even more) drew us instantly inside Greeka Kouzina.  The restaurant's interiors was such a beautiful sight from outside that aesthetically, it was an easy pick.


02 March 2014

Limited Edition Lancome L'Absolu Rouge: Rose Satin 394

There is something about limited edition lipsticks that makes a girl feel ultra-special when she uses it and sometimes, a bit of a Bond girl (haha!).  Especially when it comes in a beautiful limited edition Swarovski crystal encrusted case like this L'Absolu Rouge  lipstick from Lancome.


27 February 2014

My picks at Living Well and Sleepcare's Sale: Built NY Neoprene Tech/Gadget Cases

Here's a sale I'd like all of you to catch:  Living Well and Sleepcare's Sale!  I stumbled upon these inexpensive neoprene tech/gadget cases from Built NY completely by accident and at surprisingly low prices at the sale.  I checked the prices online and found that these cases range from $59.99 to $24.99 and are now on sale for just Php 400.00 to Php 325.00.  It's a steal right?  Let me show you my picks at Living Well and Sleepcare's sale:

1.  Built NY Neoprene Envelope for all models of Ipad.  It's made of protective neoprene (wetsuit material) and the interior is made of plush material that protects the screen or the aluminum back of Ipad's.  It also has interior zip pockets to store Ipad accessories and is lightweight.  I checked the price online and this Ipad Neoprene Envelope retails online for $39.99, but at the sale it was just Php 400.00!


23 February 2014

Kabila Bistro Filipino

Kabila in English translates to the other side, which is exactly where Kabila Bistro Filipino is, right beside M Cafe which is also under the same restaurant group called Raintree Restaurants.

Kabila is also the place where our Assumption College barkada converged this year for a reunion with our Canada-based friend, Margot.  Of course, when a balikbayan friend comes home, we bring her to a restaurant that serves Filipino dishes, but this time, one where the dishes have been wonderfully reinvented.

One of the many things I like about Kabila is that they not only know how to make the food taste good, but the food looks good too.  Of course, apart from the service which is great, there is just the right amount of tables making it a special place to gather with friends, plus, you can also cross-order from M Cafe's menu.


16 February 2014

Wooden Spoon, Rockwell

This year, Mickey and I celebrated Valentine's Day at Rockwell.  Unlike most Valentine's Day dates we had, we didn't make advance reservations or even choose a specific restaurant.  We just decided that we'll try a new restaurant when we get to The Powerplant in Rockwell.  

While walking past the row restaurants at the ground level, we saw Sandy Daza's Wooden Spoon!  A lot of people have been raving about this restaurant since it opened late last year.  We wanted to try the dishes at Wooden Spoon and it was a good thing that we were able to get a good table (probably because we arrived at mid-afternoon already).

Me and my Valentine date (Le husband, Mickey) at Wooden Spoon, Rockwell

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