Monday, May 30, 2011

Yummy Eats 2011 at the NBC Tent!

I was invited to the first ever Yummy Eats food fair by Summit Media's Yummy Magazine last May 21, 2011. Exactly as the name suggests, it featured a tent full of delicious food which have earned the Yummy team's seal of approval. :D

Yummy Eats 2011There was an FIC ice cream truck parked right outside the NBC Tent when we got there at around 10am. Each Yummy Eats ticket holder was entitled to a scoop of FIC ice cream. One could choose between Lemon Crumble yogurt ice cream or Raspberry Rapture ice cream.

Yummy Eats 2011

We picked Lemon Crumble. It was good! :D

Yummy Eats 2011Yummy Eats 2011Since I was with my kids, we went straight to the sponsor booths which had lots and lots of cheese for tasting. I've never bought Coon and President cheeses before so it was a good opportunity to see if my kids would like them.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nuffnang and Happee Special Screening!

How are Nuffnang and Happee first class?

Well, Nuffnang lets bloggers from different backgrounds and niches come together to form a fun and friendly community while Happee is one of the most popular proudly Philippine made products in the market today! Put one and one together and you have an unbeatable tandem that's nothing short of first class!

Nuffnang and Happee are First Class P.S. If I make it to the cut-off Nuffnang and Happee will let me watch a special movie screening with my kids just before they go back to school. Last hurrah for the summer vacation... yay!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Taibun Bakery and Coffee Shop along P. Guevarra, San Juan

*This establishment is already closed.

Hubby and I discovered this quaint little Taiwanese bakery in San Juan City the other day. I'm getting ahead of myself since I have so many blog backlogs but I can't help it! I'm too excited to let everyone know about this nice little place. :D

Taibun Bakery and Coffee ShopTaibun Bakery and Coffee Shop is owned by a Taiwanese couple. They offer a wide assortment of sweet and savory breads kind of like those you can buy from the popular chain Bread Talk. They have seating in the store for those who would like to dine in.

Taibun Bakery and Coffee ShopHubby decided to try the Floss Onion Roll (P36, pictured above) -- tasty pork floss on soft freshly baked bread topped with chopped scallion bits. There's also a bit of egg cream inside. Yummy! :D

Taibun Bakery and Coffee ShopI chose Three Flavors (P48, pictured above). It's like three separate breads that are joined together to showcase three different toppings: chopped green onions, sweet corn kernels, and ham. They're all cheesy too! Well worth the price!

Smokey Eyes FOTD with Make Up For Ever!

Creating smokey eyes is one of the lessons you're taught in just about every make-up course out there. The same is true for Maquillage Professionnel. We devoted one entire afternoon to smokey eyes... a look that can be adjusted for day, night, and well... high fashion shoots. For the uninitiated, FOTD is beauty blogspeak which means Face of the Day.

Smokey Eyes FOTD Make Up For EverOur instructor Ms. Yuki conducted the usual half face demo to start us off on our quest for the perfect smokey eyes. Some points I learned:

  • You use only one eyeshadow color for smokey eyes.
  • Dark eyeshadows are needed for smokey eyes -- blues, browns, grays, blacks, and even greens. Pink and coral shades won't work as they are too light and it's possible that you'll end up with eyes that look swollen.
  • You create light, medium, and dark tones via application and blending.
  • You use equally dark eyeliners and mascaras to complete the look.
  • False eyelashes are a plus if you want more drama.
  • Since you're highlighting the eyes, cheeks and lips are kept low key.
Smokey Eyes FOTD Make Up For EverFor my smokey eyes, I used shimmery black eyeshadow. Well, it was all that was left because my classmates got the other palettes, haha! The bluish tone you see is actually Make Up For Ever Star Powder, which is a glittery and translucent highlighter type of product you apply over your eyeshadow to give your eyes a 3D effect. I also glued on false eyelashes aside from curling my own and applying mascara as it was part of the day's lesson.

Smokey Eyes FOTD Make Up For EverBlending till your eye make-up is clean and borderless is essential for the smokey eye. We can't have visible rainbow layers, it should be a single color that goes from dark to light flawlessly.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tapella by Gaudi at Greenbelt 5

I was invited to a cooking demo by the renowned Chef Alexandra Cacho at Tapella by Gaudi last May 16, 2011.

Tapella by Gaudi Greenbelt 5The cooking demo was held at the al fresco area of Tapella by Gaudi. It was a hot and humid night but there was no choice as Chef Xandra (as she likes to be called) would not be able to conduct the cooking demo inside the restaurant.

Tapella by Gaudi Greenbelt 5How I longed to sit inside the comfortably air-conditioned restaurant along with the other diners, haha.

Tapella by Gaudi Greenbelt 5Anyhow, that night Chef Xandra would show us how to whip up three dishes: Paella, Sangria, and an appetizer called Cojonudos.

Tapella by Gaudi Greenbelt 5I asked Chef Xandra if she was cooking the usual Paella Valenciana. She said no, she was showcasing the Paella Manchego, which is her own creation. Manchego is a kind of cheese from Spain which is made from the milk of Manchega sheep. Note all the grated cheese that tops the paella while it's still cooking. :D

Chef Xandra shared a little something about paella:

  • Paella is cooked in a thematic way, meaning if you're preparing chicken paella then you use chicken stock and then garnish it with chicken and assorted vegetables. If it's a seafood paella then you use seafood broth and various seafood like fish, clams, shrimp, etc.
  • The use of sticky rice is not advisable for paella. Long grains like Jasmine and regular rice are fine.
  • You use uncooked rice for paella, you boil it in the sauce and the broth that you've prepared.
  • How good a paella is is determined by how the rice tastes.
  • Chef Xandra uses powdered saffron from Spain for her Paella. She told us that powdered saffron is hard to source here in Manila so if she doesn't have it on hand she uses atchuete in its place. The taste isn't the same and so now she makes it a point to bring in her own powdered saffron from Spain.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

An update on the Fanny Serrano Professionals contest

I recently posted an explanation and apology regarding the Fanny Serrano prize packs that five (5) winners won in my anniversary contest last February. Since I was at a loss at what to do I posted an inquiry their Facebook Fan Page which promptly got deleted along with the whole page. Anyhow, the contact person sent me a message today -- to my utter surprise. I honestly was not expecting to hear from him again.

Facebook Message ScreencapI have a new contact person and she has promised that the prizes will be distributed to the winners in a week's time. I sincerely hope that this issue will be resolved soonest.

I would like to thank the contest winners for being so understanding and forgiving given the situation. I would also like to thank all of my dear readers for the unwavering support and faith. I just wish that I didn't have to blog about it first just so action would be taken...

Thank you everyone! I'm hopeful that the contest winners will finally get the prizes that they've won. :D

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MAC Brow Set for easy breezy eyebrow grooming!

I first heard about the MAC Brow Set from Andi Eigenmann. Andi said it's one of the beauty products she can't live without because she uses it to keep her thick eyebrows nice and neat. I thought to myself that hmmm... I need that too since I have thick eyebrows that need to be kept in check.

MAC Brow Set Clear ReviewSo I made it one of my missions in life to look for the MAC Brow Set. I found it in Hong Kong last March. It costs US$15 or around P700.

MAC Brow Set Clear ReviewI chose to get the MAC Brow Set in Clear because my eyebrows are already dark and if I need color I already have Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper in Rich Brown.

MAC Brow Set Clear ReviewAnyways, it really is clear. It's clear mascara for the eyebrows. I've been trying to find something like this to replace my Origins Brow Fix. I always used Max Factor Brow Tamer in the long forgotten past but there came a time when I couldn't find the product anymore.

Boulevard Diner serves burgers galore and more!

*This establishment is now CLOSED.*

We had a late afternoon snack slash early dinner at Boulevard Diner last May 15, 2011. Boulevard Diner is a small, hole-in-the-wall place located in Xavierville. It caters mainly to the school crowd in the Katipunan area but we were surprised to find it packed even on a Sunday.

Boulevard Diner Quezon City To start off the food sampling, we had Wingerangs (P130 for 1/2 lbs., pictured above), which are Boulevard Diner's very own fried chicken wings. You can choose how hot and spicy you want them to be, going from Hickory to Smoked to Hotter than Hell and lots of other levels in between. Our Wingerangs in particular were served at the level of "Death". It was spicy all right but not enough to kill my taste buds, hahaha so it's all good.

Boulevard Diner Quezon CityFreedom Fries (P90, pictured above) are real US potatoes that are deep fried and seasoned, the perfect complement to Boulevard Diner's tasty burgers.

Boulevard Diner Quezon CityI ordered Volcanic Viktor (P170, pictured above). The thick 1/3 lb. all-beef burger patty is topped with lettuce, cheese, bacon, tomato, onion rings, and chipotle mayo. I liked the combination of all the ingredients, especially the flavorful chipotle mayo. What I wasn't happy about was the fact that the beef patty wasn't fully cooked and seemed ready to fall apart. It was kind of light red and mushy in the middle so I just finished the well-done outer parts of the patty.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nivea Sun Kids Swim & Play SPF 50+ Review

I got the chance to test drive Nivea Sun Kids Swim & Play SPF 50+ yesterday when we went to Timberland Sports and Nature Club with the kids.

Nivea Sun Kids Swim & Play SPF 50+ ReviewWe got there at around 10am. The sun was already bright and high. I immediately took out my tube of Nivea Sun Kids Swim & Play SPF 50+ so my kids could get fully covered and protected before sun exposure.

Nivea Sun Kids Swim & Play SPF 50+ ReviewNivea Sun Kids Swim & Play SPF 50+ is thick and creamy. I used generous squirts as I didn't want my kids to burn from the extended exposure. They love swimming so I was expecting all of us to be in the pool for at least two hours. The timing was kind of bad since it was high noon.

Nivea Sun Kids Swim & Play SPF 50+ ReviewI slathered on a whole lot of sunscreen on all the exposed body parts. My daughter even asked me why she was all white while I was applying it on her. I'm just really paranoid when it comes to the sun because I know how harmful its rays are. Anyhow, despite its thick and creamy consistency it was absorbed after I rubbed it all over my daughter's skin. I even put some on her earlobes haha.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pampers salutes moms with Vina Morales!

I attended the Pampers Salutes Moms this Mother's Day event last May 17, 2011 at Crowne Plaza. Although my children are way past the diaper stage, I still like to keep myself informed on the latest in childcare since well... I have a 2-year old niece and I'm surrounded by friends and relatives who have babies. It's inevitable that we talk about childcare whenever we moms get together and I prefer to be updated.

Pampers event with Vina MoralesPampers event with Vina MoralesAnyways, the highlight of the event was definitely the appearance of Pampers Active Baby endorser Vina Morales. Vina shared the joys of being a mom, telling us how it's the most rewarding experiences one can have. It was very easy to empathize with her. I found Vina to be down-to-earth and accommodating. Even as she was leaving she took the time to say hi to each table that she passed by on the way out.

Demo from GymboreeOther activities during the event included a demo from Gymboree on how to stimulate babies, a talk from Hobbes and Landes about age-appropriate toys, and a short presentation on self-pampering from The Spa.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lessons learned from a failed promo + an apology

Last February, I held my annual blog anniversary giveaway Animetric's Favorite Things Year 2. One of the contest sponsors was Fanny Serrano Professionals Hair Care Collection. It was their representative who approached me and offered to sponsor a blog contest. There was going to be five (5) winners from within Metro Manila and supposedly Watson's would take care of shipping the prizes to them. Fortunately I did not delete our correspondence on Facebook so I have proof of this: Facebook Chat Screencap I've blurred the contact person's face and name as to protect his privacy. After my anniversary promo concluded, I supplied him with the five winners' shipping details -- names, addresses, and contact nos. -- information that the courier would need. He acknowledged receipt via email (yes, I still have his email) and told me he had already forwarded everything to Watson's.

Fanny Serrano Professionals Facebook PageWell, it's May now and despite my constant efforts to follow up the contest winners have still not gotten their prizes. I tried to email and chat with the contact person but he has not been responding. In fact, he avoids me like the plague and logs out whenever I try to talk to him. As a last ditch effort I posted my concern on the Fanny Serrano Professionals Facebook Fan Page and as I expected, moments later my post disappeared. Well, the entire Fan Page vanished actually. I took a screencap because I was pretty sure they were going to delete my post.

In light of the events that transpired, I would like to apologize to the five winners for Fanny Serrano Professionals. Please bear with me. I have not given up in trying to secure what is due and I have the opportunity to meet some of the people from Watson's this June. I intend to bring this up as their company's name is also being dragged into this mess.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Aquaknox Restaurant Makati City

We were invited to have lunch at Aquaknox Restaurant last May 22, 2011. I've actually been here before and I noticed that it had changed quite a bit from the last time I visited.

Aquaknox Restaurant MakatiFor starters, the interiors now have a more Vietnamese theme. The tables are set up in such a way that it strikes one as more of a family restaurant. I remember it as a dark and ultra-modern bar-like place.

Aquaknox Restaurant MakatiWe were served complimentary bowls of prawn crackers while we waited for the food to come out.

Aquaknox Restaurant MakatiAquaknox Restaurant MakatiShortly after we were served Goi Cuon (P100, pictured above) which are fresh spring rolls filled with lettuce, lots of glass noodles, and a sliver each of steamed pork and shrimp. It came with peanut sauce on the side. Goi Cuon is ideal if you're trying to lose weight like I am since it's fresh, natural, and totally non-greasy. There's not much taste without the sauce though so if you are allergic to peanuts like my husband is you might not enjoy it as much.

Mentholatum Lip Ice Review

Dry, chapped lips are a constant problem for me and I only have myself to blame. I don't drink enough water, although I'm trying my best to remedy that by bringing my own tumbler to work.

Mentholatum Lip Ice ReviewThat said, I always have lip balm stashed in my bag. My latest find is Lip Ice by Mentholatum. It's actually not new to me because I've bought this brand in my past Hong Kong trips. The cute packaging and pastel colors caught my eye, plus it contains the magic word "ice". I'm just happy that it's now available in the Philippines for a reasonable P89.75 per stick!

Lip Ice by Mentholatum ReviewMentholatum Lip Ice ReviewYes, it's so hot in the Philippines that I am definitely attracted to anything with ice. Mentholatum Lip Ice comes in so many yummy flavors I found it hard to decide which one to use first. There's Lemon, Mandarin Orange, Strawberry, Apple, and Black Currant. Finally I decided to go for Black Currant because it's quite an uncommon flavor for lip balm.

Lip Ice by Mentholatum ReviewLip Ice's fruit-flavored lip balm is clear and colorless. The scent is lip-smackingly delicious. My daughter couldn't stop smelling it that she actually got some on her nose. It goes on smoothly on your lips and there's that unmistakable tingle of ice. It feels cool and minty while having SPF 15 -- perfect for this super hot summer!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Yakult Factory Tour!

Yakult is always a supermarket staple in our family. My kids love it as much as I did when I was a little girl. Since they're sold in packs of five, I always have to buy my son and daughter one pack each so they won't fight over the fifth bottle. :p

Yakult Factory Tour Philippines What is Yakult? Yakult is a fermented milk drink which contains 8 billion live Lactobacillus Casei Shirota Strain (named after Dr. Minoru Shirota who discovered it). It's probiotics in a convenient little bottle. Probiotics are bacteria which naturally live in the human intestines. Taking probiotics have a host of health benefits like:

  • Improves digestion and waste elimination
  • Improves immune system
  • Prevents growth of harmful bacteria
  • Prevents intestinal tract infection
In fact, Yakult has actually been proven to prevent infantile acute diarrhea. Yakult Factory TourI was one of the lucky bloggers invited to tour the Yakult plant in Laguna last May 14, 2011. I've been drinking Yakult since I was in gradeschool... and that was like back in the 80's. I was definitely not passing up the chance to get a glimpse of how it's made.

Yakult Factory TourWe were toured around the facility and we saw how milk was cultured in large metal vats, how they were packed into those tiny 80ml bottles, and how they left the production line to be delivered to retail outlets nationwide. I'm very impressed at how immaculately clean the factory is. Now more than ever I'm confident that we're getting a high quality product with Yakult. Did you know that the Yakult plant was established in 1978? It has undergone a few expansions since then but it's still the same facility. They produce a whopping 1.6 million bottles a day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Learning basic make-up at Maquillage Professionnel

When I was a little girl, I loved drawing female faces and then coloring them with pencils. I have always been fascinated with make-up but somehow back in high school and college I felt I was the only one interested so I tried to conform to my peers by not really pursuing it.

Maquillage Professionnel Basic Make-up ClassNow that I am much older, I have less time to waste and so I finally decided to enroll in a 15-hour basic make-up course at Maquillage Professionnel. I took it very seriously, taking notes and photos of everything that our amazing instructor Yuki Geraldo taught us.

Maquillage Professionnel Basic Make-up ClassSoon I was layering on primers and mixing my own shade of foundation since none of the default colors matched my face. I didn't find it hard since I was really into drawing and painting for most part of my younger years. It was just like painting, except that my canvas was now my own face.

Maquillage Professionnel Basic Make-up ClassFor every lesson, Ms. Yuki would get one of the students as a model and then demonstrate the technique on half of her face. The model would then try to match what Ms. Yuki did on the remaining half. I secretly prayed that she would not get me as a model because I really wanted to do everything 100% on my own. I had some degree of knowledge since I've read up a lot on make-up techniques from books I had bought over the years. I also participated in a Smoky Eye workshop at CAS (Center for Aesthetic Studies) a few years back. I just needed to learn the formal techniques.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Congratulations US pasalubong, Cream Silk, Yummy Eats, and Doom of the Broom winners!

Hello all! Sorry for the delay but I've finally gotten around to drawing the winners for my contests. I'm going to ship everything (including the Anlene and Pond's stuff) this week okay?

If you see your name below, please email me your complete name, address, and contact no. for shipping at animetric(at) Yummy Eats winners, all you need to do is go to Yummy Eats this Saturday and all your names will be on the guest list! :D

US pasalubong The following readers will get pasalubong from my US trip:

  • Jaja Borja
  • Darlene Fenix
Cream Silk giveaway The following reader wins five (5) tubes of Cream Silk:
  • Ruth Dela Cruz
Prizes for Doom of the Broom commenters The following commenter on my Doom of the Broom post will get a gift pack:
  • Marites Quitoriano

Plana Forma, a new workout at The Fort!

I'm really determined to lose weight this summer while I have the time to workout. I get bored easily though so I need variation in whatever routine it is that I'm taking part of. Thus when I was given a chance to try Plana Forma, I grabbed the opportunity. The former PR person contacted me while I was on vacation in the US and said that she had enrolled me in five sessions.

Plana Forma at The FortMy first session was a semi-fiasco because I got lost trying to find the building the studio was located in. It's in a pretty remote part of The Fort and my GPS was going around in circles because it could not identify the one-way streets. Anyhow, they were already almost at the end of warm-up when I got there... I caught maybe the last 2 minutes before the actual workout started. I couldn't really take photos due to my late arrival and so I'm using the official Plana Forma website's studio photos for this post. As you can see, the workout area is carpeted.

Plana Forma at The FortYou use a ball, a strap, a thick cushioned mat, and a thin yoga mat for Plana Forma. You als use dumbbells during warm-up. I thought it was like Barre3, but it's not. It combines yoga, pilates, AND dance. It's 55 minutes long and it really targets your abs, thighs, and legs. I think it's great since those are major problem areas for me. My legs were shaking due to the sheer intensity and challenge of the squats, lifts, and pulses. It's a lot faster in pace compared to yoga, pilates, and Barre3. My butt, legs, and other body parts were actually sore even after a couple of days had already passed.

Celine, me, Phoem Baranda, Pinky Webb after Plana Forma

From left to right: Plana Forma instructor Celine, me, Phoem, Pinky

There were actually several celebrities working out at the studio that day. I bumped into Phoem Baranda and Pinky Webb. Pinky and I had inadvertently exchanged locker keys since we were beside each other the first few minutes before the instructor transferred me to a more spacious area. I opened my locker after the session and simply did not recognize the bag inside, so I went back to the studio found out that Pinky and I had each other's keys.

A single class costs P650 while a 5-class package costs P2,900. One month unlimited membership costs P5,300 but if you're a newcomer you can get it for P3,000 so you can decide if Plana Forma is for you or not at a lower cost. Class schedules change on a weekly basis, I suggest visiting their website for more information.

I have a few more sessions to go and I plan on being on time for them! :)

Plana Forma
6/F Jecoprime Building
20th Drive, Mckinley Business Park,
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

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