Friday, April 29, 2011

Venus Raj's hair + a giveaway from Cream Silk!

I wasn't here when the whole brouhaha about Venus Raj's kinky hairdo (dubbed as the Sto. NiƱo look) erupted. I was on vacation in Los Angeles at the time, but I could see or rather read how affected everyone was about it on Twitter and Facebook.

Venus Raj's hairI had to Google quite a bit to get a good look at the hairstyle she wore as she was passing on the crown to the Bb. Pilipinas 2011 winner. It's kinky yes but I don't think it's anything to make a fuss about. She still looks like herself. I mean, you should see me when my hair isn't rebonded. It's like a freaking bird's nest. At least her curls were temporary and they're nothing shampoo and conditioner can't fix.

Cream Silk giveaway

Speaking of conditioner, did you know that Venus Raj uses Cream Silk to keep her hair soft and smooth? Being Bb. Pilipinas 2010 takes its toll on her hair as she has to do so many shoots and sport so many looks. Straightening, curling, blow-drying... you name it, her hair has been subjected to it. I actually use Cream Silk too. Its creamy formulation coats my hair strands completely so my hair is smooth and free of tangles after rinsing.

Anyways, don't just take my word for it. Try it yourself! I'm giving away five (5) tubes of Cream Silk conditioner to one lucky reader. Just answer the question: "How can you avoid a bad hair day?"

Three ways of posting your answer:

  • Comment on this blog post. (1 entry)
  • Share on Facebook. (1 entry)

    Click on the Share button on top of this post. On the blank box above the title of the blog post, tag Animetric's World and complete the sentence "Animetric's World, _____________________________". Example: “@Animetric's World, I brush my hair 100x everyday!”.

    To tag, type in the “@” symbol then follow it with the word “Animetric” This will prompt a drop-down menu box which will present you “Animetric's World”. Click that and you should see “Animetric's World” become a blue link. After completing the sentence, click the Share. Make sure your profile is set to everyone or else your entry won't appear on my FB page.
  • Tweet your entry on Twitter. (1 entry)

    Twitter entries must use this format: @animetric I brush my hair 100x a day! (sample entry)
Each person can get a maximum of three (3) entries. Winners will be drawn via random.org. Contest is open to all Philippine residents. Prize will be shipped to the winner. Deadline for entries is May 5, 2011.


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Yoga Plus Fort Bonifacio Global City

I practiced Bikram Yoga (also known as Hot Yoga) at Sundar Bikram Yoga with Al Jarreau Galang for 2 months back in 2008. I was desperate to lose weight for my sister's wedding back then. It proved very effective for me as I lost 10 lbs in 6 weeks. I was practicing an average of 4x a week.

Animetric in Patrice Ramos DiazSee I was actually able to pull off a turquoise Patrice Ramos Diaz gown for my sister's wedding thanks to Bikram Yoga!

Anyhow... a couple of months ago, Groupon Philippines offered 1 week unlimited yoga at Yoga Plus for P500. It would've normally cost P1,000 so I was getting 50% off. I jumped at the chance even if the studio wasn't exactly near where I lived and worked. Now I can finally share my experience with Yoga Plus. Please note that all the photos I'm using for this post were taken from Yoga Plus' online photo gallery since I was unable to take my own photos during the sessions.

Yoga Plus Fort Bonifacio Global CityYoga Plus is located at the 11th floor of Fort Legend Towers. While it may seem an unlikely location for a studio (it's in the middle of an office building), I was surprised at the first class establishment that greeted me. All I had to do was give my voucher to the reception area and sign a few things then I was all set.

Yoga Plus Fort Bonifacio Global City Yoga Plus Fort Bonifacio Global CityYoga Plus provides you with mats, towels, drinking water, and lockers at no extra charge. I love how immaculately clean the place and all the facilities are. The yoga mats and matching yoga towels are of high quality too -- very thin, absorbent, and are of the perfect size.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beach Hut Max SPF 100++ sunblock lotion!

I brought along Beach Hut Max SPF 100++ to my recent trip to the United States. I knew I was going to be outdoors quite a bit theme park hopping and sightseeing so I couldn't be without sun protection.

Beach Hut Max SPF 100++ ReviewI love the cute orange and green bottle. The size fits my hand perfectly too. I actually stashed it away in my shoulder bag during our day out at Universal Studios Hollywood so we could reapply as needed.

Beach Hut Max SPF 100++ ReviewThe lotion is very creamy in terms of consistency. It has a mild scent which is just how I like my sunscreen. I'm not fond of perfumes and strong fragrances so this agrees with me.

Beach Hut Max SPF 100++ ReviewSlathering it on, it would seem like it would not absorb quickly but it actually does. I actually applied it on all our exposed body parts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Cheesecake Factory in California, USA

One of the first restaurants I was determined to try when I arrived in Los Angeles was The Cheesecake Factory. This is because during all my past trips to the US I've somehow never gotten around to dining there.

The Cheesecake Factory California USAOne sunny weekday we decided to scoot over for an early lunch. Long lines usually form during major mealtimes so we successfully beat the crowd. The first order of business was the complimentary bread. It was freshly baked, made of honey and oats. Definitely delicious!

The Cheesecake Factory California USAMy 10-year old son picked the Kid's Quesadilla with Chicken (US$6.95 or about P300+) from the kiddie menu. Four big pieces of soft flour tortillas were filled with chicken and cheese then served with guacamole. Kiddie meals also come with a drink of choice. Suffice to say he couldn't finish it as the serving was enough for an adult. :)

The Cheesecake Factory California USAMy hubby opted for Chicken Piccata (US$10.95 or around P500). Spaghetti cooked perfectly al dente lay on a bed of creamy white sauce with lots of fresh mushrooms, herbs, and chicken.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reebonz, the luxury of discount shopping online!

I guess by now most of my readers would know that I'm very very much addicted to online deal shopping. I suspect though that few are aware of my penchant for designer bags. Yes, I would actually save up for high-end brands which cost an arm and a leg. I am totally against buying or using fakes and counterfeits. If I can't afford the genuine article then I would rather just buy an authentic piece from a lower priced brand. It's just my principle.

Reebonz PhilippinesAnyways, I bear good news for designer bag aficionados like myself. Let me introduce you to Reebonz. I have to admit, when I first heard the name, I thought it was a brand of hair accessories for kids. It turned out to be a deal site, but a special one at that because it's all about discount luxury shopping. In short, luxe for less. Oh and Reebonz doesn't just sell designer bags. They also offer designer shoes, clothes, and accessories.

Reebonz PhilippinesThis is a sample of a private sale for Reebonz members. I saw the magic word: Prada! Hahaha. Prada is one of my favorite high end brands so I'm just giddy with excitement. Fendi, Gucci, Chanel, Balenciaga, Dior, Tod’s, Burberry, and Coach are just a few of the other brands included in Reebonz's roster. Sale events such as the one shown above usually last for 2-3 days so you have to act quickly in order to grab a deal. All items are brand new and authentic to boot. :D

Reebonz discount coupon from BDOFor a limited time, BDO, American Express, and Virtual Card members can get an additional 5% off Reebonz purchases. I may not have a BDO card anymore but I still have my Amex hehe. :D

Reebonz membership is free but you have to be invited by an existing member. You can also invite your friends to join and get 5% worth of Reebonz credits on their first purchase. Want to join? I'm inviting YOU now just click this.

Questions or concerns? Check out the Reebonz FAQ. Alternatively you can also call Reebonz Philippines Hotline at (632) 893-8561 Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm (GMT +8).


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Monday, April 25, 2011

Zia Threading at Westfield Topanga Canyon

I had my first real brush with eyebrow threading a week ago when I went to the mall with my mom while I was in Los Angeles. I've always had thick eyebrows which I pluck by myself so when my mom suggested that we have our eyebrows threaded I was more than willing to try.

Zia Threading Westfield Topanga CanyonWe ended up at Zia Threading which is located at the ground floor of Westfield in Topanga Canyon. The place was scented with either spices or incense and it had a very Indian feel to it, in fact the women running the establishment were all Indians. It's incredibly spacious as you can see in the photo above.

Zia Threading Westfield Topanga CanyonI was impressed at how clean and orderly everything was. Each seat had its own matching basket filled with threading paraphernalia like cotton balls, scissors, eyebrow brushes, tissue, etc. I dared to avail of a free eyebrow threading service during an event here in Manila once and I was turned off by how unsanitary the threaders were. I won't mention which establishment sponsored it but suffice to say I don't think I'm going to avail of any of their services any time in the future.

Zia Threading Westfield Topanga CanyonOkay this is my right eyebrows prior to threading. As you can see there are a lot of tiny stray hairs under and around the arch. I told them I just wanted a clean-up and not a reshaping of my brows. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter and congratulations to the Pond's and Anlene winners!

Hi everyone! First of all I'd like to greet you all Happy Easter! Methinks we'll skip the easter activities this year since we're all still recovering from jetlag and it's officially back to work for everyone tomorrow.

Anlene Gold and Anlene RegularAs promised, I'm announcing the Pond's and Anlene winners this morning. I used random.org to conduct the raffle. Without further ado, the winners are:

Pond's Unbeaten Challenge winners:

  1. Alma Ignacio - Pond's Perfect Care Facial Wash + Pond's Perfect Care Cold Cream
  2. Mary Ann Fadre Galuza - Pond's Perfect Matte Oil Control Cleansing Foam + Pond's Flawless White UV Cream
  3. Anne Marie Libatan - Pond's White Beauty Facial Wash + Pond's White Beauty Spot-less White Cream
Anlene gift pack winners:
  1. Agnes Neria Espino
  2. Teresa Hundana
  3. James DV
  4. forsakinghalfloves
  5. Elinor Semira
Congratulations everyone! I will contact you either via email or FB to get your shipping details.

Prizes for Doom of the Broom commentersIf you didn't win this time, don't fret, I have another contest going on with all the above beauty loot at stake. Just by posting a comment at http://animetric.blogspot.com/2011/04/its-doom-of-my-broom-hopefully.html you will be entered in a raffle to win ALL the following items:

  • The Body Shop Strawberry Shower Gel
  • L'oreal Ultra Volume Collagene Mascara
  • L'oreal Eyelash Curler with make-up sponges
  • L'oreal Revitalift White sample tube
  • Nivea Body Whitening Milk Repair
  • Skin Food Omija Whitening Gift Set x 2
  • Garnier Light Whiten & Protect Cream
  • Garnier Light Brightening Eye Roll-On
Good luck and thanks for joining my contests! You have until April 27, 2011 to comment and win all the above prizes! :D

Oh, I have something special going on for all those who've liked my FB page. I'm giving two (2) readers a chance to win pasalubong gift packs I brought home from the US. Details on FB. :)


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hokkaido Seafood Buffet in California, USA

Our first dinner in Los Angeles happened at Hokkaido Seafood Buffet along Ventura Blvd. last March 30, 2011.

Hokkaido Seafood Buffet California USAIt was past 6pm when we got there. Hokkaido Seafood Buffet is open 365 days a year. The place is huge and can probably seat more than a hundred people. For about US$20 (about P880) per person, you can have whatever you want at the eat-all-you-can buffet.

Hokkaido Seafood Buffet California USAHokkaido Seafood Buffet California USAMy mom suggested that I line up at the fresh meat and seafood section first because that's where people usually flock to in the later hours. So while the line wasn't long I proceeded to pick out a nice piece of steak and veggies of my choice. There's also actually chicken, shrimp, squid, etc.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Continental Airlines experience!

Last February, hubby and I visited the travel expo held at the SMX in order to see if there were any deals for roundtrip tickets from Manila to Los Angeles. We were planning to visit my mom and our angel of a travel agent advised us to check out the travel expo before booking anything.

We checked out all the airline booths offering this route. Since there was a long line at Philippine Airlines I inquired there first. Mnl-LAX-Mnl tickets cost over US$1300+. Anyways here's a rundown of the rates I got:

  • Philippine Airlines (PAL) - US$1300+ but it's a direct flight, no stopovers
  • Cathay Pacific - US$1000+ with a stopover in Hong Kong
  • Delta Airlines - US$1000+ with a stopover in Narita
  • EVA Air - US$1000+ with a stopover in Taipei
  • Continental Airlines = US$860 all-in with stopovers in Guam and Honolulu
Continental Airlines ReviewWe lined up at the Continental Airlines booth and booked tickets for ourselves and our two kids. Adult tickets cost US$860 each while child tickets cost US$714 each, all-in. We could book any date we wanted to, even for the months of April and May when tickets usually cost a fortune since it's summer vacation in the Philippines.

Continental Airlines ReviewThe nice lady at the Continental Airlines booth got us the shortest route available, which is 20+ hours from Manila to Los Angeles and 19+ hours going back from Los Angeles to Manila. We saved around US$2000 by opting not to take PAL's direct flight.

Anyways, I'll give you a rundown of what transpired during our Manila to Los Angeles route via Continental Airlines:

  1. We left Manila on flight CO934 headed for Guam at 11:25PM (Manila time). The flight is a little over 3 hours. We were supposed to have a 2-hour stopover but honestly you don't feel it because upon deplaning, you have to queue up for customs inspection. After customs, you're boarding your next flight already. We did not even have time for a snack in Guam. Good thing we had a complete meal on the plane. Guam was considered our port of entry to the United States so we were interviewed by immigration there. Good thing because there is no long line unlike the immigration counters at LAX. We were done with immigration in 5 minutes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Royce Chocolate Potato Chips!

I gave in to temptation and indulged in something I normally would not buy just before I left for the United States. See, I consider food as something that's gone too soon well after you eat it and so I prefer devoting my budget to more material pursuits such as beauty products, designer bags, shoes, gadgets... well you get the picture.

Royce Potato Chip ChocolateAs I was walking around Greenbelt 5, I passed by the Royce booth. I was actually looking for Strip to have my underarm waxing session.

Royce Potato Chip ChocolateAfter the waxing session, I made my way back to the basement parking area. I passed by the Royce booth again and bought a box of Royce Chocolate Potato Chips for P990.

Royce Potato Chip ChocolateInside the box are two bags. One bag of white chocolate covered potato chips and one bag of milk chocolate flavored potato chips.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pine Tree Korean BBQ Restaurant in California, USA

We had a sumptuous eat-all-you-can dinner care of my Aunt Tess and Uncle Tom a couple of weeks ago at Pine Tree Korean BBQ Restaurant. It costs US$14.95 (about P650+) per adult and US$9.99 (about P450) per child 3-9 years old.

Pine Tree Korean BBQ Restaurant California USAThe interiors are very simple. There's a grill on most of the tables. If you'd rather not cook, you can also get a table without one.

Pine Tree Korean BBQ Restaurant California USA

The first thing you're served is hot clear soup.

Pine Tree Korean BBQ Restaurant California USAIt's followed by salad consisting of greens tossed in a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

Globe 4G is in the house!

I've been a Globe subscriber since the late 1990's... around 1996 or 1997 if I'm not mistaken. I have seen firsthand how Globe has developed from a fledgling telecom company to the top mobile service provider in the country.

Globe 4G PhilippinesGlobe once again takes the lead by introducing Globe 4G. Globe 4G will provide subscribers with high speed broadband access combined with complete mobility. To date, the Globe 4G mobile technology has been deployed through sites across Metro Manila which includes Marikina, Quezon City, Makati, Pasay, Las Pinas, Taguig and the City of Manila.

This is definitely good news for those who are highly dependent on internet access like I am. I can't be without email and social networking services due to several online projects I'm involved in. With Globe 4G, the possibilities are endless. We can enjoy faster downloads, crystal clear calls, and seamless connectivity that can keep up with the fast-paced lives most of us lead.

I just found out about Globe 4G today and I'm still in Los Angeles. Has anyone experienced it over there in Manila already? How is it? Am I going to need something like a 4G-enabled device? I hope it's a lot better than 3G because although 3G is already a big improvement over WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) it's still not quite up to par with wired connections.


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Fitflop Women's Electra Toning Sandals

I finally caved in and bought a pair of Fitflops from Macy's the other day. I've had my eye on the Fitflop Electra Toning Sandals in Manila, but since it costs almost P4,000 there, I couldn't bring myself to purchase them.

Fitflop Women's Electra Toning Sandal in BlackI got them in black since my wardrobe is like 85% black anyway. I tried them on at the store and they felt so incredibly comfortable I didn't want to take them off anymore. Yes, they are even more comfy than the Crocs Florence Slide I bought recently. Even if they don't look it, they are extremely lightweight.

Fitflop Women's Electra Toning Sandal in BlackFitflop midsoles supposedly incorporate the micro-wobbleboard technology which gives you a workout while you walk. They stimulate your muscles more compared to regular footwear. I wore them while I went shopping the whole day yesterday and well, I don't know if it's just imagination but I think my butt felt the workout, hehe.

Fitflop Women's Electra Toning Sandal in BlackThe design is simple. Instead of the usual flipflop straps, there's this wide triangle covered with tiny black sequins. It's quite versatile since you can wear it with jeans, slacks, shorts, leggings... pretty much anything. I even wear it with yoga pants while walking around here in Los Angeles. These are one the most comfortable flipflops (the most comfy is still Girl Two Doors Down) I've ever worn. I got them for US$59.99 + 9.75% sales tax so it comes out to about P2,850. It's around 1,000 pesos cheaper compared to the Manila price even with the tax.

You can actually buy Fitflops from Amazon.com for about US$50 with free shipping and no tax within the US.


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Friday, April 15, 2011

It's the doom of my broom... hopefully!

I will be the first to admit that the only times I do household chores are when:
  1. Our helper takes the day off or takes a vacation.
  2. There's no choice because I'm the only one left at home.
  3. The room or whatever part of the house is so dirty that I can't stand it.
Although I'm a pretty hands-on mom, I also work full-time. I'm a freelance writer for several magazines, I help out in my hubby's family business, and I also take on various online projects. On normal days when my kids have school I wake up at 6am and sleep past midnight.

The witch and the broomAll these pursuits leave me very little time for myself. In fact I hardly sleep anymore. Can you blame me if the last thing I want to do is pick up a broom and sweep every nook and cranny of the house? It's a very time-consuming process which gives me an aching back every time. Plus, all the dust it sends flying all over the place makes me cough endlessly. I can't even clean with the electric fan on no matter how hot it is because that would blow away everything I've swept thus far. Imagine how torturous that would be during the height of summer when it's so hot!

I'll grow old before my time and look just like an old hag if I have to put up with the bane of the broom. :(

The witch and the vacuumIf I had an Electrolux Dynamica vacuum cleaner I can have everything spic and span in a jiffy. With its sheer power, all the dust and dirt will get sucked in just like how space debris would get vacuumed into a black hole. I need not stoop down and strain my back to clean those hard-to-reach places because of its innovative ergonomic design. I can turn on the electric fan too because the vacuum will take in all the dust and dirt so I don't have to suffer from heatstroke! Cool, yes?

Stress-free cleaning will help me look younger too. I won't be getting premature wrinkles from fretting about house cleaning. I need change. I want to start the doom of the broom. I need help!

Here's to a cleaner and healthier home. :)


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The Boiling Crab in California, USA

I've been hearing a lot about The Boiling Crab from my friend and fellow blogger Frannywanny. She was also in Los Angeles a couple of months ago and had the chance to have a meal there.

The Boiling Crab California USAWhen my stepbrother invited us for a get-together at The Boiling Crab, I remembered Fran's recommendation and agreed right away. We went to the main branch located in Alhambra, California.

The Boiling Crab California USAWe sat and waited on the benches located outside the restaurant. You can't reserve and there's always a line at The Boiling Crab. There were 21 of us in the group and we had to wait for an hour to be seated.

The Boiling Crab California USAUpon being seated, each person is given a big plastic bib to wear. The table is covered with thick wax paper because you're not going to be eating off plates. You'll be eating with your hands off the table. :p

Crocs Women's Florence Slide

I bought myself a pair of Crocs Women's Florence Slide a few days ago at the Crocs Outlet Store in Las Vegas. They cost US$29.99, or about P1,300+.

Crocs Women's Florence SlideI got mine in Espresso and Bubble Gum. I originally wanted Black but it came only in Black and Black which I found boring.

Crocs Women's Florence SlideThey're slip-ons so they're very easy to wear. They're extremely light and comfortable too. I wore them while I was out shopping the whole day and my feet didn't hurt one bit. I didn't even need to break them in.

Crocs Women's Florence SlideThe Crocs Women's Florence Slide comes in one width only which is medium so it's not recommeded for women with wide feet. My feet have always been on the narrow side so it's just right for me. They complement slim feet nicely in terms of style.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

We stayed for two nights at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino during our recent trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. MGM is where Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao usually fights. In fact he has a match this coming May 2011.

MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Las Vegas ReviewMy stepdad watches Pacquiao fights religiously at the MGM. Posters for his next fight already decorated the main lobby of the hotel.

MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Las Vegas ReviewWe checked in at almost 10pm since we left Los Angeles around 5pm. We stopped for food and a restroom break once during the drive. My mom said when there's a Pacquiao fight the keycards would have his and the challenger's photo.

MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Las Vegas ReviewWe got a Deluxe Room (also known as a Grand Tower Room) with two queen beds. It's a huge room which can accommodate a family of four comfortably so it's perfect for us. Alternatively, you can opt for a Deluxe Room with one king bed instead of this one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shakey's Pizza Parlor in California, USA

In Manila, my family's no. 1 midnight snack of choice is Shakey's thin crust pizza with Mojos. Right after we visited Griffith Observatory here in Los Angeles some days ago, we were famished and drove around trying to find a place to have a late lunch. Our GPS showed a lot of Shakey's branches in the area and so we decided to give the original a try. :)

Shakey's Pizza Parlor California USAShakey's USA's interiors has the same color scheme as the branches we have in Manila. I just found this particular outlet more spacious.

Shakey's Pizza Parlor California USAWe ordered 12-pc. Wings (US$ 8.99 or around P400, pictured above) -- spicy and crunchy chicken wings served hot off the fryer. Pretty good!

Shakey's Pizza Parlor California USAThen we had Mojos Supreme (US$ 6.99 or around P300, pictured above). Tasty mojo potatoes are topped with sour cream, olives, salsa, melted cheeses, crispy bacon, and green onions. It's sooo good. I think my son wolfed down half the plate. I wish they'd serve this in the Philippines.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Universal Studios Hollywood in California, USA

Hello from Los Angeles everybody! Now that most of my blog backlog is out of the way, I can finally begin to share some of the things I've been up to while on vacation here in the USA.

Universal Studios Hollywood USAWe went to Universal Studios Hollywood several days ago. Lucky for us, it's not spring break yet and so the park wasn't crowded and we could ride and see everything we wanted. The longest wait was 15 minutes... most of the time there's no wait at all. :D

Universal Studios Hollywood USAThe park opened at 10am, we were at the entrance by 9:30am. I had already pre-bought tickets online and so we queued up straight at the turnstile area. The first thing we did was take the Studio Tour. Basically, you ride an open air tram and tour the premises. I was very excited because they have a new addition: King Kong 3D. Too bad I can't share the experience but all I can say is it's just about the most awesome 3D experience I've ever had in my life. Next up was The Fast and the Furious. Two cars, explosions, smoke, loud music... well, you get the picture.

Universal Studios Hollywood USAWe also experienced what it's like to be trapped in a subway during an earthquake.

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