Thursday, April 30, 2009

T.G.I.Friday's Kiddie League

Love TGIF?

Good news, TGIF Trinoma has come up with the Kiddie League Membership Program for kids ages 5-12 years old. For a P500 membership fee, your child will get:

- membership card
- personalized mug and loot bag
- free kiddie meal and drink every visit to TGIF Trinoma all year round
- a FREE school birthday party package good for 30 kids within Quezon City with P1,000 worth of accumulated receipts

Who says P500 can't go a long, long way?

This promotion is exclusive to the TGIF Trinoma branch only. For more information, you may contact:

T.G.I. Friday’s Trinoma
Level M4, Trinoma, North Avenue cor. EDSA, Quezon City.
Tel # 943-2163.

Thanks to Ms. Roda Patricio of TGIF for the info. :D

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red Ribbon launches the Cookies & Cream Cake!

Red Ribbon launches its newest treat -- Cookies & Cream Cake!

For most of us, cookies and cream is a comfort food that evokes fond memories of our carefree childhood. It's no wonder cookies and cream is one of the most popular ice cream flavors among kids and adults. Red Ribbon tries to capture all these good feelings with the Cookies & Cream Cake -- three lovely layers consisting of chocolate chiffon, vanilla chiffon, and a cookies and cream layer covered in creamy icing and topped with mini Oreo cookies which Red Ribbon imports from the USA.

Red Ribbon hosted an event for several mom bloggers, myself included, and gave us a preview of their latest creation. I'm pretty certain that like cookies and cream ice cream, this cake will be a big hit. I tried it for the first time today and I loved that it's not overly sweet. It tasted just right. My children were able to finish their slices at home, and that says a lot because they usually abandon a slice of cake midway due to either too much sweetness or lack thereof. A full-sized cake retails for a very reasonable P520, while the junior version is available for P315.

Red Ribbon's Cookies and Cream Cake is unique too. Most of the other places offer cookies and cream as an Oreo Cheesecake but this is really something different.

Special thanks to Red Ribbon and Let's Go Sago for sharing this momentous occasion with us moms.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Comic Book Days!

I don't know about kids these days, but in my younger days I was very much into comic books. I collected X-Men comics, Sandman graphic novels, manga (Japanese comics), and many more. Now I've heard of Free Comic Book Day being practiced in North America, but I didn't think that it was something that'd be done here in our country.

Good news, there will be two such days in our Metro Manila calendar where FREE comic books will be given away.

On May 2, 2009 Comic Odyssey at Robinsons Galleria (2nd floor in front of Red Ribbon) will be giving away FREE comic books to all store visitors and fans. Not only that, raffle prizes will be given away every half hour so make sure you register and claim your stub before falling in line. There will also be special guests -- renowned artists in the comic industry such as Gilbert Monsanto, Ed Tadeo, Nico Suayan, and many others.

Want more? Then mark May 23, 2009 in your calendar because on that day ALL branches of Fully Booked will be giving away FREE comics to everyone -- no purchase necessary! Giveaway starts at 10am. Aside from that all graphic novels will be sold at 20% off.

Two days to get FREE comic books! Save the dates. :)

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Trenza Salon Hair Rebonding Sale!

The first 100 to confirm an appointment for a rebond at Trenza Salon gets 50% off the original price. Make an early appointment to be one of the hundred. You can book now and have the discounted rebonding service anytime until June 2009.

This promo is only offered to Trenza's Multiply friends, so if you want to avail of this offer log on to http://trenzasalon.multiply.com/.

Trenza Salon uses L'oreal Extenso Rebonding Treatment.

For more information call Trenza Salon at 332-0981, 494-6866, or 0917-3825123. You can also email trenza_salon@yahoo.com.

Trenza Salon is located at Unit 1C No. 233 Tomas Morato, Quezon City -- near the ABS-CBN Compound.

Review: Hearton Hotel Nishi Umeda in Osaka, Japan

So, you've availed of a great deal on a roundtrip Manila-Osaka-Manila Cebu Pacific ticket... what's next? Finding a nice and reasonably priced hotel to stay in, of course!

If you're say, a family of four like we are, Hearton Hotel Nishi Umeda's triple room is highly recommended. For 16,500 yen, you get three beds, two of which are double beds in one room. If you want to go a little lower in terms of cost, get a double room. The hotel allows sharing your bed with kids below 12 years old at no extra charge and the double room is cheaper. My hubby can't sleep well in cramped spaces so we opted for a triple room like the one below.

Hearton Hotel Nishi Umeda triple roomOur triple room was equipped with a high-definition LCD TV, hair dryer, trouser press, refrigerator, and Shiseido toiletries like liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner. We also got daily supplies of hair brushes, toothbrushes with toothpastes, razors, and cotton buds.

Breakfast at Hearton Hotel's Garden Café is also very reasonably priced and delicious. For 1000 yen per adult and 500 yen per child, you can avail of their east meets west buffet which consists of everything from fresh garden salad to curry rice, ham and eggs, tofu... you also get to drink all sorts of coffees, teas, and juices.

Hearton Hotel Nishi Umeda's location is excellent as well. It is a stone's throw from Umesankoji Mall, which is a food-tripping paradise in itself with all the restaurants inside it. There's a convenience store named Heart In right across, although it's not 24/7. The hotel is also a mere 4 minute walk to JR Osaka Station, which is one of the main train stations which can connect you to virtually any line on the map, including the Kansai Airport Line. We were able to go to the neighboring regions of Kyoto and Nara easily as a result. Big department stores like Daimaru, Hankyu, and Hanshin are also walking distance from the hotel. It's really very convenient.

Although the staff in the front desk are very courteous, helpful, and accommodating, they speak only very basic English (as is the case with most of Japan). Whenever I had special concerns (like asking them where the nearest 100 yen shop was), I had to resort to asking them in Japanese so they would understand.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pulse Yoga @ Power Plant Mall!

Rockwell Summer Series I was lucky enough to get a slot for Power Plant Mall's "A Weekend of Fitness". This is part of Rockwell's Summer Series, a whole roster of activities for mall patrons happening this month and next.

I registered for a Pulse Yoga class from 3-4PM today. In addition to a free one hour class, everyone who registers also gets a FREE pair of Havaianas flipflops. How cool is that?

When I got there, mats and towels were already prepared inside the colorful tent on Plaza Drive where we would have our class. My classmates consisted of old and new friends alike -- there was Suzy, Beia, Pearlie, Michelle, and Czaroma. Plus Monica of Indigo Baby, whom I just met yesterday at the Belle de Jour event. The session was limited to 20 participants only.

Tesa Celdran was our instructor. She had a very long and lean built, just like my instructors at Bikram Yoga last year. I could hardly believe that she used to be very much overweight. She said that she attained her current built purely by practicing yoga. What an inspiration!

Pulse Yoga instructor Tesa Celdran
Yoga students at RockwellWe practiced Hatha Yoga for today. I was half-expecting the postures to be like those I did for Bikram, but only the tree pose and the triangle were exactly the same. Everything else was different, and some postures were more difficult -- particularly the one where we had to lift our butts off the floor by supporting our entire body weight with our hands and arms on the mat.

Hatha Yoga is more relaxed in pace compared to Bikram Yoga, but since I gave every posture my all I still ended up sweating despite practicing under an open-air tent on a breezy Sunday afternoon. Of course, it wasn't like the squeeze-your-shirt and get-a-puddle sort of sweat you get with Bikram. It felt good though, I loved the outdoor atmosphere and the natural ventilation.

After a full hour of breathing exercises and postures, we were given cold mentholated towels and a cup of hot tea. Wow! What a way to cap off the entire experience!

Tesa told me that the rate of losing weight doing this type of yoga is slower compared to Bikram, but she assured me that the slower you lose it, the more it will stay off or you won't gain it back. Since I really need to lose some weight I think I'll take several weeks of Bikram and then transfer to this type of yoga. I want to try Ashtanga Yoga at Pulse as well, which I've heard so much about.

We were all given coupons for our free pair of Havainas which we claimed at Moana. I got a lovely metallic gold pair! I had a free serving of 95% fat-free frozen yogurt at The Ice Cream Bar as well, courtesy of a coupon I got at the Belle de Jour event yesterday. :D

Pulse Yoga Greenhills
23 Florida St., Greenhills, Mandaluyong City
721-7900

Pulse Yoga Makati
2289 UPRC III Bldg., Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati City
0917-83PULSE

Check out http://www.pulse-yoga.com

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Mommy's A Star!

Get a chance to showcase your talent, win cash prizes, and be famous with Working Mom and Lifestyle Network's Mommy's A Star Contest!
  1. Contest is open to any mom and kid tandem.
  2. No age limit for mom, kids must be 4-10 years old.
  3. Each tandem must submit their video entry (MPEG or MP4), maximum of 2 minutes long. The performance can be singing, dancing, acting, etc. Send to momsastar@thelifeyoulive.tv or submit via DVD format at 8/F ELJ Communications Bldg., ABS-CBN Compound, Mother Ignacia Ave., Diliman, Quezon City.
  4. All entries must be submitted with full names of the mom and child, scanned birth certificate of the child, complete address and complete contact details of the parent.
  5. All props and materials must be brought in by selected contestants. A list of items must be submitted to the organizers week before the event.
  6. Short-listed contestants will be notified via phone call or e-mail.
  7. Contestants must perform the same talent number in the event proper, each tandem is given 3-5 minutes to perform.
  8. The organizers reserve the right to use the materials submitted for related purposes.
Prizes:
1st - P15,000 plus gift pack
2nd - P10,000 plus gift pack
3rd - P5,000 plus gift pack

For inquiries, please call 415-2272 loc. 3162 or text 0917-5132291.

Belle De Jour Rendezvous: Sexy, Fabulous Summer!

Belle De Jour Rendezvous at Crossings Dept. Store April 25, 2009 -- It was my first time to attend a Belle De Jour event. I was among the first 50 to submit my photo and as a result I bagged an official invite. I got my confirmation email while I was on our family vacation in Japan and I RSVP'd right away.

Belle De Jour Rendezvous: Sexy, Fabulous Summer! was held at the 2nd floor of Crossings Dept. Store in Shangrila Plaza Mall. I was among the first to arrive for which I bagged an early bird prize -- a 60ml bottle of Jeanne Arthes Paris Love Generation Blue perfume. I was seated right under this big chandelier and had a great view of the guest speakers and projector screen.

Harold Santos of Maybelline and fashion stylist Patricia CoronadoThere were four talks in all -- fashion stylist Patricia Coronado (above, right) taught us about finding our personal style, Maybelline make-up artist Harold Santos (above, left) shared the basics of do-it-yourself make-up, Certified Pilates instructor Maureen Villao showed us how to find our happy weight and keep fit, while Entrepremoms Monique Eleazar-Manzano and Denise Gonzales gave us some tips and advice on how to start our own business. We were allowed to ask questions after each segment.

A few words of wisdom from the speakers:

Patricia Coronado - When all does not go well in fashion, alter. Fit is the most important element in fashion.

Harold Santos - Never, ever leave the house without sunscreen even if you plan on staying indoors the entire time. This will let you look younger a lot longer.

Maureen Villao - Do not set unrealistic goals. Deprivation is not the key to fitness.

Monique Eleazar-Manzano and Denise Gonzales - In order to sell a product, you have to believe in it.

A light merienda was served during the break. There were also a lot of raffle prizes and games. In fact, prizes were so abundant that every single attendee's name was drawn in the raffle. My raffle prize was a P500 GC from Cupcakes by Sonja. I also won a Freeway gift pack for being one of the first ten to complete the Human Bingo game, a Folded and Hung gift pack for answering a trivia question, and a GC for a pair of Havaianas for giving one of the best three answers to the question "Why are you original?".

After the talks and the games, the program officially ended and loot bags were distributed. Each attendee got a pair of Fly shades, a Mikaela card (entitles you to a free hair cut and treatment on your birthday), an accessory from Cinderella, a GC for a free Pilates session, a Chocolate Clothing Co. notepad, the latest issue of 10.0 magazine which contained a load of freebie coupons (ex: free yogurt from FIC), and a choice between a Garnier gift pack containing a cleanser and moisturizer or a Charles & Keith belt. I chose Garnier.

Goodies from the BDJ RendezvousI totally loved my first BDJ event. I learned a lot, met some nice new friends, and took home a lot of fabulous prizes! I'm so looking forward to the next one...

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Expo Mom 2009

If Expo Mom 2009 is anything like Expo Mom 2008, expect talks and seminars on various mommy-related topics, exhibitor booths on relevant products, and hourly raffle prizes from sponsors.
  1. A minimal entrance fee will be charged at the gate on May 9 and 10.
  2. Pre-registration to Expo Mom is not required, but it is encouraged.
  3. The first 500 pre-registrants will received an Expo Mom bag at the entrance.

To pre-register, email the following info to register@expomom.com:

  • Complete Name
  • Address
  • Tel. No.
  • Mobile No.
  • Email address
  • Are you pregnant? Y/N
  • Are you breastfeeding? Y/N
  • How many kids do you have? What are their ages?
  • Where did you hear about Expo Mom?
Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation text which you should present at the Expo Mom entrance in order to receive your free Expo Mom bag.

This year's event sponsors include Havaianas (they actually raffled off mom-and-child Havaianas pairs last year), Johnson's Baby, Nestlé Cerelac Gold, Prokids, and Pro-Lacta.

Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex

Shu Uemura White Recovery Ex line I fell in love with Shu Uemura products when I won P20,000 worth of them from Mega Magazine's email promo around 3 years ago. I had always wanted to try them out but Philippine retail prices were just way overboard -- a big bottle of their fabled Cleansing Oil cost P5,500 back then when it cost about P3,500 in Japan. The mega-popular Shu eyelash curler retailed for over a thousand pesos when it was just P500 in Japan. Again, that was back in 2006.

Luckily for me, my prize package included a big pump bottle of the Cleansing Oil in Fresh, the eyelash curler, as well as a bunch of other goodies.

Since then I've been addicted to Shu Uemura products, and it has become a habit to horde them whenever I go to the US or Japan where they cost a lot less than they do here in Manila.

Last year I bought the Phyto-Black Lift anti-aging line from Nordstrom in Los Angeles, but during the sweltering Philippine summer it's just too heavy for my skin. I paid Daimaru's Shu counter in Osaka a visit a couple of weeks ago and asked for lighter skincare products that'd give me some anti-aging and moisturizing benefits. The Shu guy suggested the White Recovery Ex line, explaining (in Japanese I might add) that it would protect plus brighten my skin and lend some anti-aging benefits. He said it's perfect for our tropical climate. I wasn't hard to convince since I'm a Shu junkie. He even threw in some free masks and stuff.

I'm glad I listened to the guy. I can't believe how effective these products are and wow, they work so fast! After about 3 days of using them my face felt so much smoother and looked so much brighter. The emulsion which I use for moisturizing is also very light and pleasant-smelling. The mask is the only part of the regimen I haven't been able to try because it's not a daily thing. Overall I'm one very, very satisfied customer. A little goes a long way so I estimate my White Recovery stuff will last at least a year, so even if they are on the pricey side they're definitely worth it.

I've been a Shu user for a few years now. I think I can say that they deliver what they promise. In my last 2-3 feature assignments for Spot.ph I was actually mistaken for a student doing her project in their establishment... but that's another story... :p

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spongebob and The Big Wave Party!

Watch out this weekend as Nickelodeon turns the Bonifacio Global City Open Field into one huge playground featuring lots of inflatables and games! This event is open to all.

Stylebible and Rustan's Shop & Spa!

This Sunday, April 26, 2009, Stylebible.ph and Rustan's brings us Shop & Spa, the premiere luxe shopping event of the summer!

The first 100 guests to arrive will get FREE Haagen Dazs Ice Cream and Stylebible.ph eco-friendly bags.

Enjoy free treatments from Nail Tropics and Univers Phyto plus free snacks from Bizu, UCC, Cupcakes by Sonja, and Krispy Kreme as you shop from 10am to 7pm!

For a preview of the sale items and more information, log on to http://www.stylebible.ph/shopandspa/

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Play and win with Fish & Co.!

Simply log on to http://fisharoundtheworld.yehey.com/game.html, play the cooking game and get a chance to win mobile GCs from Fish & Co.! Since the GC will be texted to your cellphone, you don't have to worry about claiming your prize. Better hurry though as the GC is only valid until May 31, 2009!

Celebrate Earth Day @ Starbucks!

I've got good news for all you coffee-loving people out there... starting 5am of April 22, 2009 up to 12 midnight of April 23, 2009, all Starbucks branches will take P40 off your beverage if you bring your own tumbler.

Earth Day at StarbucksIt doesn't even have to be a Starbucks tumbler, any tumbler will do. I've heard of people bringing in their McDonald's plastic cups and other similar stories. While Starbucks won't refuse you if you do that, it kind of defeats the purpose of not using plastic cups and trying to make a difference, right? Make it a reusable tumbler and help our planet!

Starbucks Clean and Green TumblerPersonally I prefer Starbucks' new Clean and Green Tumblers. They're the best ones ever! The designs are so cute. I especially love the portability of the smallest size -- it's so slim I can easily bring it along wherever I go. I tried Starbucks new beverage, Dark Berry Mocha Frappuccino, and I loved it! I normally prefer Starbucks' hot drinks because I've always found the fraps too sweet, but this one had some berry-flavored syrup and dark chocolate bits mixed in so it was bittersweet and tangy. Just perfect! Since my tumbler was too small to accommodate my whole "short" sized order, the barista was kind enough to place the rest of it in their in-house ceramic mug.

Since you're getting P40 off your favorite Starbucks drink on these two days, it would be a good time to try out their latest food offerings -- Turkey and Chicken Tuscan on Sundried Tomato Focaccia and Raspberry Mango Cheesecake.

Starbucks Turkey and Chicken Tuscan on Sundried Tomato Focaccia and Raspberry Mango CheesecakeThe sandwich is served hot. It's definitely a healthy option since it's packed with an assortment of veggies to go along with the chicken and turkey chunks. I could live off delicious sandwiches like these for my main meals every single day if I only had the knack and patience for making them. Meanwhile, Raspberry Mango Cheesecake was very creamy and had just the right sweetness.

Let's celebrate Earth Day @ Starbucks this April 22-23, 2009!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Bibingcrepes and Movnat!

Kiko Rustia of Halfmoon Asian Cafe and a Bibingcrepe I was recently assigned to do a Bibingcrepe 101 feature for Spot.ph.

The whole time I was coordinating with the owner and founder, Chef Dick Balajadia. Come feature day, Chef Dick called me and told me I'd be meeting with his business partner Kiko Rustia. Since we were on the cellphone I couldn't hear him very well. "Kiko, the same Kiko on Survivor Philippines," he explained.

That was a surprise. I did my research prior to the feature and I knew that Halfmoon Bibingcrepes was first opened by brothers Dick and Dennis Balajadia back in 2004. I got in touch with Dennis some time ago and he told me that Dick is the one in charge now. Another revelation: Kiko is also a chef himself, having graduated from CCA Manila!

Anyways, Halfmoon Bibingcrepes, the open-air bibingcrepe stand, has recently evolved into an air-conditioned full-service restaurant and is now known as Halfmoon Asian Café. They still serve the Bibingcrepes that they are most known for, that and a whole lot of new additions to the menu. Anyways, for my full Bibingcrepe 101 feature, log on to http://animetric.blogspot.com/2009/06/bibingcrepe-101-from-halfmoon-asian.html. It's not the Bibingcrepes that I'll be focusing on this blog.

Amidst talk of Bibingcrepes, Bibingcrisps, and other goodies that Halfmoon is whipping up, it was inevitable that the topics of health and fitness would come into the conversation. Kiko admitted that he's on a diet now and he's been working out non-stop since he has a beach gig coming up.

Me: "What do you do to keep fit, aside from the usual gym workouts?"

Kiko: "Movnat."

Me: "Movnat?"

Kiko: "Are you familiar with Parkour?"

Me: "Yes, but Parkour is like an extreme sport!" (Yes I am very familiar with Parkour since my son plays Free Running on the Sony PSP. It's also what comprises a lot of Casino Royale's action scenes with Daniel Craig and his nemesis.)

Kiko: "Movnat is similar to Parkour except that it's not as extreme. Movnat stresses on natural movement, and it can be done anywhere. A good place would be a park or playground."

Interesting. It's the first I've heard of Movnat.

This is a photo from the Movnat website at http://movnat.com/ -- still looks kind of extreme to me but Kiko assures that a regular person can do it. But so far it seems to be a male-dominated frontier.

To quote Movnat.com -- You will rediscover all the movement skills that made our species one of the most adaptable on Earth! It involves the combined training of walking, running, jumping, balancing, moving on all fours, climbing, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching, swimming and defending.

Anyways, to know more about Movnat, log on to http://movnat.com/

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ponds Age Miracle Winners!

Before anything else, I'd like to thank everyone who joined my first ever contest at Animetric's World. Everyone had a lovely story to share, and I'm sure all of us wives and moms were able to pick up a lot of great insights on keeping the fire burning! :D

Without further ado, our judge Mom Exchange's Jen CC Tan has chosen the four best entries:

1. Rizalee Imao ("Lee I.") - In a marriage, I have to don many hats. I am the domestic goddess in the home. The explorer with the kids, and quite the adventurer with my husband. We will try one new thing at least once. It is very easy to be engulfed with the trivialities of daily life so we always have to keep in mind why we married in the first place - to be together, to grow old together and yet still keep our own persons. Even within our marriage, I grow and change everyday, and so does he. The fun begins and the fires keep burning when we discover those changes even as we journey together.

2. Richard Mamuyac - http://astig316.blogspot.com/2009/04/from-silly-things-we-do-to-i-do.html

3. Joy Mesina-Bahia - http://joiyee.multiply.com/journal/item/65/Keep_This_Love_Alive_a_10-minute_interview_with_Joy_Mesina-Bahia

4. Pearlie Uy - http://197122.multiply.com/journal/item/4/

And as promised, the fifth and last winner will be determined via electronic raffle:

5. Raechelle Castellon - http://kaututang-dila.blogspot.com/2009/04/guerilla-style-romance.html

Congratulations to the winners Rizalee, Richard, Joy, Pearlie, and Raechelle! I will email you with the details regarding prize claim.

Special thanks to our sponsor OgilvyOne and Unilever for making this contest possible... and of course Jen of Mom Exchange for judging! :D

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Dialogues @ Starbucks presents One Tama...

Starbucks classic tumblersFirst off, what exactly is The Dialogues @ Starbucks?

The Dialogues @ Starbucks, as I've witnessed for myself yesterday evening, is a live discussion of interesting and socially-relevant topics conducted by advocacy groups ranging from artists, environmentalists, and the like.

According to Zarah Perez, Starbucks' Global Responsibility Manager, the Dialogues @ Starbucks initiative is a networking and consumer education event of the Rustan Coffee Corporation (Starbucks).

"I invite speakers who represent an advocacy that we think is particularly interesting and have them speak at our stores and I give brewed coffee for free to the attendees," Zarah explains.

One TamaI was invited to my first The Dialogues @ Starbucks event which was held yesterday evening at Starbucks 6750 where Duyan ng Giting introduced their One Tama advocacy campaign. I didn't really get it at first. I was like what's One Tama? Tama as in Tamagotchi? Turned out it was Tama as in correct or right in Tagalog. A One Tama action is equivalent to one right action which can positively affect the people around you, the country, and eventually even the world. It can be as simple as unplugging all your appliances after use, cheering up a depressed friend, or bringing your own mug at Starbucks. It's changing the world one correct, or should I say, one tama action at a time.

I must say it was a very enlightening experience for me. I arrived quite late due to the rush hour traffic but I was grateful I made it to the Kythe portion of One Tama and I was able to listen to participants share their One Tama actions. Starbucks was generous enough to serve coffee and quaint little pastries throughout the event, even sponsoring a few raffle prizes to the participants.

Starbucks CSR Manager Zarah Perez with raffle winnerThey had everyone write down a One Tama action that they've done on a post-it, and if your post-it is drawn, you get to go up on stage and share the story behind that action to the group. There were five winners in all, each of which has his/her own unique experience to impart. They were rewarded with a Starbucks tumbler each.

One Tama presentationFor more information regarding Duyan ng Giting's One Tama Campaign, log on to http://www.onetama.com

I think it's really great that a corporate giant like Starbucks is supporting socially-relevant campaigns like this.

Special thanks to Zarah for inviting me! :D

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Summer Indulgences at Bizu!

Bizu Summer Sorbets Overheated this summer? Cool down with Bizu's Summer Sorbets, fruity frozen treats that are just perfect for the hot days and weeks ahead. A serving consists of five mini cups filled to the brim with the following combinations: Passion Fruit & Mango, Raspberry & Merlot, Green Apple & Mint, Lychee & Vanilla, and Lemon & Ginger. You get the whole set for P285.

Personally, I loved the Passion Fruit & Mango best. I loved the crunch and contrast of the passion fruit seeds against the mango sorbet. Lemon & Ginger is reminiscent of salabat, it had this this soothing effect on my throat despite the fact that it was actually served frozen. Lychee & Vanilla is probably the flavor I liked the least, but it's mostly due to the fact that I hate lychee and would refuse to eat it if it were the last fruit on earth.

Bizu Yoga CakeOf course, what's a summer indulgence without a luxurious cake to cap it off? Bizu unveils its latest masterpiece, the Yoga Cake. A light and delightful blend of passion fruit, yogurt, and lemon custard in between layers of genoise sponge cake.

What can I say? I loved the Yoga Cake. I admit, I've tasted many of Bizu Patisserie's cakes in the past but none has impressed me as much as the Yoga Cake. It's just divine. It's not overly sweet and the tartness of the fruits and the yogurt make for a truly refreshing dessert experience. The Yoga Cake comes in three sizes: Personal (P165), Midi (P625), and Grande (P1,255).

Photos courtesy of Bizu. For Bizu photos that I took and blogger event coverage, click HERE.

Branches:

Greenbelt 2
G/L Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 757-BIZU • 757-4749

Greenhills
The Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center
Tel. No.: 724-2498 • 726-2496

Glorietta 4
3/L Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 757-2086

Alabang Towncenter
G/L Corte Delas Palmas, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
Tel. No.: 809-BIZU • 772-1917 • 772-1918

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pancakes for a Peso at Flapjacks!

As part of Flapjacks' first anniversary they are selling their pancakes for only one peso (P1) each from April 13-17, 2009. You can avail of this special offer from 1-5pm in the afternoon. The only catch is that one table can have a maximum of only three (3) pancakes.

A friend of mine availed of this offer earlier today and her total bill for three pancakes at Flapjacks was P3.27 with taxes!

If you've always wanted to try Flapjacks' pancakes, now would be the perfect time to do so.

Branches:

Flapjacks
G/F Level, Greenhills Theatre Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center

Flapjacks
G/F Greenbelt 2, Makati City

Flapjacks
111 Retail Center, Ayala Technohub, Commonwealth, Diliman, QC

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kyoto Nishiki Food Market

One of a foodie's must-visits in Japan is definitely the Kyoto Nishiki Food Market. From the JR Kyoto Station, you will have to ride the Kyoto City Bus to the Shijokawaramachi stop and then go on foot to Kyoto Nishiki Food Market. It's about a 7-10 minute walk in my estimation.

Kyoto Nishiki Food Market sells both raw and cooked food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meats of the highest quality are lined up in stalls. It's also a street food heaven as you can have anything from fried sweet potato patties, saikoro steak kebabs, to freshly made sweets like mochi among many other delicious treats.


You can even take home a wide variety of tea, for a minimum of 200g per purchase. If you wish to seriously dine at the Kyoto Nishiki Food Market, restaurants are located further inside and you'd have to do a lot more walking since it's a very long street. A full-course authentic traditional Kyoto meal is quite pricey though.

Kyoto Nishiki Food Market is a street food paradise above all. If you're a tourist you can't really bring any of the fresh stuff home (except for sweets and teas) but you can at least buy fresh fruits to enjoy back at the hotel. That's what I did. I love strawberries and they're not easy to find in Manila. Japan has the biggest, juiciest, and sweetest strawberries I've ever tried and this is a good place to get them. They're cheap too! Yum! I miss these already...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Job Opening @ Smart Parenting Magazine by Summit Media

Staffwriter
  • must be able to work full-time and report to the office on a daily basis
  • must be proficient in English
  • must be computer literate
  • previous writing experience is a plus
Interested applicants may get in touch with Summit Media's HR Specialist Paolo Cuerpo at 451-8888 loc. 1112 or paolo.cuerpo@summitmedia.com.ph

Friday, April 10, 2009

Osaka Takoyaki Museum

When we left for Osaka last April 2, I had no idea that there was an Osaka Takoyaki Museum. The plan was, on our first day in Japan we would go to Universal Studios with the kids. On our way to Universal Studios, we passed by Universal Citywalk and came across Osaka Takoyaki Museum. I looove takoyaki and so this was a very welcome discovery!

Luckily there was no admission fee. There was an Osaka Takoyaki Map on the wall and I was surprised to learn that there are more than a dozen kinds of takoyaki originating from different parts of Osaka!

We ordered a dozen takoyaki balls for 700 yen. There were 3 kinds and 4 pieces per kind. It was freshly cooked, served piping hot alongside a cold drink -- additional 180 yen for the drink! It's cheaper to just ask for water but the thought didn't occur to me until after we had already ordered and paid.




There was a takoyaki shrine where you could make wishes, several takoyaki stands offering freshly cooked takoyaki, cute displays, and a museum shop with the most quaint takoyaki merchandise. There were cellphone straps, ear picks, takoyaki cooking kits, snack items, stuffed toys, costumes, and lots more. If you love takoyaki, or if you're an anime fan or japan-o-phile who has always dreamed of takoyaki, this place is definitely a must-visit!

Craving for takoyaki in Metro Manila? You can get some delicious authentic takoyaki at:

Hana (6 pcs for P100)
Little Tokyo, Arnaiz Ave., Makati City

Kozui Green Tea (5 pcs for P99)
Tomas Morato, Quezon City

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Cebu Pacific Experience!

Cebu Pacific Airlines Flying via Cebu Pacific? You may want to read up first...

We decided to avail of Cebu Pacific's super low fares for our family vacation. For just 45k pesos my hubby, two kids, and I were able to secure roundtrip tickets to Osaka, Japan. This is a steal compared to normal fares. A roundtrip ticket to Tokyo via PAL, Northwest, or Cathay Pacific will set you back at least US$500 per adult and 75% fare for kids.

It was our first time to fly via Cebu Pacific. We were supposed to depart at 2pm but our flight was delayed and it was 3:30pm before we finally left NAIA Terminal 3.

Things you have to know about Cebu Pacific's international flights:
  • You will have to pay the travel tax at the airport, it's about 1.6k per adult. Children get a lower tax rate. You will also pay an airport usage fee of P750 if flying from NAIA Terminal 3. Bring cash -- they don't accept credit cards.
  • There is no other class except Economy Class. Everyone is equal.
  • Cebu Pacific flights won't provide you with food and drinks. You will have to buy everything from the attendants including drinking water. Food costs ridiculously high -- P100 for Nissin's Cup Noodles, P50 for a bag of Chippy, P50 for bottled water, and so forth. There is nothing below P50 on the menu.
  • Cebu Pacific flights do not have inflight entertainment. There's no TV, music player, or anything to keep you occupied except for a copy of SMILE magazine -- their official publication. Our 3.5 hour flight to Osaka felt like FOREVER. Had I not brought the Nintendo DS I think my kids would've gone crazy with boredom. If you have an Ipod, portable gaming console, or a good book make sure that you bring it with you.
  • There's a trivia game the attendants will play with the passengers mid-flight. They'll give away three (3) tote bags worth P60 each to 3 passengers who can answer correctly.
  • I heard that Cebu Pacific flights are often delayed, so be prepared.
  • Cebu Pacific allows only 15kg of baggage per passenger. If you are say, a group of four (4) like we were, you're allowed 60kg of baggage total. You can distribute this weight between 1-4 suitcases. Carry-on baggage limit is one carry-on with a maximum weight of 7kg per person -- you can't combine this limit, it's strictly 7kg per person.
Despite all of the above, I think it's still very much worth it since the price of going to Japan is almost 50% off compared to other airlines. It could be tough to be on such a flight during long hauls though...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Share your story and win with Pond's Age Miracle!

As moms and wives, a common goal we all share is achieving balance. In my case, it wasn't so complicated when it was just me and hubby. We could just take off anytime we wanted and be spontaneous. About a decade and two children later, it's just not as easy as it used to be. We work 6 days a week, and most of the day is spent in the office. By the time we get home, the kids are already hankering for time with us. Getting some serious couple time becomes a challenge when you have more responsibilities to juggle.

Win a Ponds Age Miracle Microdermabrasion Kit from Animetric's World!How do you cope? How do you keep the fire burning in your marriage amidst all the other things you need to balance? Share your story with us and get a chance to win a Pond's Age Miracle Microdermabrasion Kit (worth at least P1,200!) which will leave you positively glowing and ready for some quality time with hubby!

Contest Mechanics:
  1. Contest is open to all married male and female residents of the Philippines. Yes hubbies, this means YOU too.
  2. In 250 words or less, write about how you keep the romance alive in your marriage -- the more creative, the better!
  3. You may enter in two ways -- via a blog post (post the blog url on the reply form) or via a reply to this blog with your full name and email address.
  4. There will be five (5) winners for this contest. Four winners will be selected by our special guest judge Jen CC Tan of Mom Exchange, while the fifth winner will be determined by an electronic raffle of all the non-winning entries.
  5. Those who will submit blog entries for the contest will earn bonus points:
    - written entry on this blog’s reply form = 1 raffle entry
    - blog entry* = 2 raffle entries
    - blog entry with photo OR link back to this contest page* = 3 raffle entries
    - blog entry with photo AND link back to this contest page* = 4 raffle entries
*Blog entries to this contest can get a maximum of four (4) entries for the raffle, meaning I will input your name 4x in the randomizer so you have more chances of winning!

Contest Period: April 1-14, 2009. I will accept entries up to April 14, 2009 at 11:59pm. Winners will be announced on this blog a few days after the deadline.

Feel free to post questions regarding the promo on the reply section. Thank you and good luck!

Special thanks to OgilvyOne and Unilever for making this possible. :)

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Related Posts:
Pond's BIG Beauty Sale!
The Neutrogena Deep Clean Wave comes to the Philippines!
My NuSkin Galvanic Spa Facial Experience

TGIF: A Week of Friday's!

TGIF Triple Chicken Sampler You'll be thanking God it's Friday even when it's not Friday with TGIFriday's weekday line-up from 5pm onwards!

MOB Mondays
- Refillable Chips and Salsa (yup, you only need to order once and it's free the rest of the night!)
- 25% off on Buffalo Wings, Calamari, Liempo Bites, and Thin Onion Rings!

CHOOSEdays!
- Buy one take one on beer, cocktails, and wine by the glass!

Wacky Wednesdays
- Spend P1,000 and get a chance to play a game then pick a prize! Win free food and beverage items!

Thirstdays!
- Buy 2 cocktail drinks and get one more for free!

Fun Fun Fridays
- Spend P1,500 then pick a card to win a prize! Win free appetizers, drinks, or dessert!

TGIF's A Week of Fridays is offered at the following branches:
TGI Friday's Sta. Lucia, TGI Friday's Alabang, TGI Friday's Tomas Morato, TGI Friday's Manila, TGI Friday's Galleria, and TGI Friday's Mall of Asia

Personally I love TGI Friday's Triple Chicken Sampler (pictured above). The chicken quesadillas are so chewy and cheesy it's hard to limit yourself to just one. I think the celery sticks with blue cheese dip complements this dish perfectly -- it works great as a palate cleanser to counter all the fried stuff. After being refreshed with a celery stick you're ready for more!

I wish I could take some of that Jack Daniels sauce home...

Check out more TGI Friday's food photos HERE.
Warning: You could end up craving!

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