Sunday, July 31, 2011

Judy Ann Santos for Johnson's Baby Milk Bath

I was invited to an intimate press luncheon last July 27, 2011 by Johnson's for the official launching of actress Judy Ann Santos or simply "Juday", as its latest brand ambassador.

Judy Ann Santos Johnson's Baby Milk BathThe event was hosted by Angel Jacob. Surprisingly Johnson's products were not even discussed. Juday expressed her delight at being chosen as Johnson's endorser since it's a trusted and well-loved brand especially by mothers like herself.

Judy Ann Santos Johnson's Baby Milk BathJudy Ann shared parenting tips and experiences. She shared that she loves bonding with her kids during bath time where they play with bubbles. Juday uses Johnson's Milk Bath for her children Yohan and Lucho since it has 100% more milk proteins plus vitamins A and E that nourish the skin.

Judy Ann Santos Johnson's Baby Milk BathJuday also indulged us by picking out several questions that we wrote from a fish bowl. She admitted that the one thing that she prefers to do herself is preparing her children's food. She does it before leaving for work so they already have a whole day's worth of meals even when she's not around.

I really should try out Johnson's Milk Bath for my own kids soon. I have a couple of bottles in my closet for several months now but I still have not had the chance to do so. Will keep you posted when I do. :)


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New Starbucks hot lunch sandwiches!

I love sandwiches. If I could have them every meal I would. They're light and just right -- enough to satisfy hunger pangs and yet don't feel too heavy. Thus I was quite excited when Starbucks announced that they were introducing a whole new line of hot lunch sandwiches. All the sandwiches cost P140 each.

Starbucks Lunch SandwichesRoasted Vegetables on Flat Bread was my immediate favorite. Slices of carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions marinated in Italian dressing and then roasted to flavorful perfection are placed in between two slices of flat bread. The inner surface of the bread is also drizzled with a mild chili dressing for an added zing. This sandwich is vegan, meaning it contains absolutely no animal fat. It's soooo good and I'm not a vegan by any measure.

Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich at StarbucksUltimate Grilled Cheese is a cheese lover's dream come true. It's filled with slices of Hungarian sausage and get this -- six (6) different types of cheeses! There's Gruyere, Emmental, Feta, Provolone, Mozzarella, and Cheddar! My kids will looove this.

Starbucks Lunch SandwichesRoasted Chicken Pesto and Shiitake Mushroom on Flat Bread. This is my son's favorite sandwich from the entire roster. Sliced roast chicken breast pieces are tossed with pesto mayo and shiitake mushrooms. There's melted cheese on the grilled flat bread too.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is this going to be the end of blog giveaways?

Okay, I was supposed to post about Starbucks' delicious new lunch sandwiches but something more pressing came up. Anyway please read on...

Dear Readers,

Before anything else, I just want to say that I really do enjoy hosting giveaways for all of you even if I am NOT PAID to do so. In fact, as much as I can I allow everyone from all corners of the Philippines to join because I usually ship prizes to the winners at MY OWN EXPENSE. The only time I restrict to Metro Manila residents only is when the sponsor is the one doing the prize distribution.

Why am I bringing this up now? Well, a blogger has recently announced that bloggers (i.e. regular people like myself) NEED to get DTI Permits to hold blog contests. You can see her post for yourself HERE.

Applying for a DTI permit entails a tedious multiple step process: DTI Permit Application ProcessThere are fees to pay based on the coverage and the value of the prizes at stake. Then there's the application itself. One would need a Mayor's Permit to apply for a DTI Permit. Seeing as I am not a company but merely a regular person who wants to give away stuff from MY OWN STASH from time to time, why would I need a Mayor's Permit? I have no business permit to renew. My blog is not a company or business... there are no sales transactions or purchase requirements... so Mayor's Permit for what? To be myself?

I'm NOT even earning anything from giving away stuff. In fact, I actually SPEND for shipping. I don't even have any merchandise for sale so in effect I am not even holding a sales promotion. So... why??? Am I not allowed to gift my readers with tokens of appreciation? I can't afford to give every single site visitor something and so I have to find a way to decide who's going to get the gift right?

Last I heard DTI has yet to clarify and issue an official statement on this matter. So for now everything seems to be on hold. Or maybe I should give away some stuff while there's still time. :p

Let me know what you think of this okay? I for one think it's PURE AND UTTER FOOLISHNESS.

I just want to add: The sad part is, people who consider themselves bloggers were the very ones who got the DTI started on this - http://www.socialmediacontestphilippines.com/2011/07/do-businesses-bloggers-individuals-need.html


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Thursday, July 28, 2011

KC Concepcion gets fit with Plana Forma and Real Leaf Green Tea!

A couple of months ago I tried out a relatively new workout called Plana Forma at The Fort. I was surprised that a regular session turned out to be such a star-studded affair.

Plana Form The FortI found myself working out side-by-side with personalities like Phoemela Baranda and Pinky Webb, including another celeb who was very nice and friendly but unfortunately did not want to be named (hehe, endorsement issues and so forth). So yes, if you're into celebrity sightings, Plana Forma is definitely the workout for you.

Plana Form The FortEven more so now that KC Concepcion has just been officially launched as the face (and body!) of Plana Forma. Just for the record, KC lost 16 lbs. thanks to Plana Forma -- so don't be surprised if you find yourself working out with her when you drop by their studio at The Fort. Of course, someone like KC can't be all exercise and no fun and so KC makes sure that she refreshes and recharges herself with Real Leaf Green Tea. KC also endorses Real Leaf Green Tea along with her sweetie Piolo Pascual. Piolo was actually present during the launch event last July 21, when KC was officially introduced as Plana Forma's ambassador... so who knows? Maybe Piolo will try a few sessions of Plana Forma too. :D

Plana Form The Fort Of course Phoem was there. I bumped into her some weeks ago and she told me that she actually went back to the studio after her initial workout (which was also incidentally my first time at Plana Forma). The Fort is quite far from where I live and work so I'm just hoping they set up a place somewhere closer to me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Presenting Sony Ericsson W8, the first Android Walkman phone!

I witnessed the launching of Sony Ericsson's first ever Android Walkman phone -- the Sony Ericsson W8 -- last July 19, 2011 at Johnny Rockets in Tomas Morato.

Sony Ericsson W8It looks like a bigger version of Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini that I'm currently using.

Sony Ericsson W8It's bright orange. I think that's the trademark color of Sony Ericsson Walkman phones. I have an old clamshell-type Walkman phone which I use as an extra phone and it's silver, black, and orange too.

Sony Ericsson W8The presentation unfolded during lunch. I was pretty impressed with my burger, hehe. :D

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Figaro Herbal Blends for your cup of tea!

This is a super mega-delayed post since I actually attended this event last June 25, 2011... more than one whole month ago! Problem was I lacked info and product details and I just got them a few days back. Anyhow, I think the timing is perfect since there is nothing like a hot cup of soothing herbal tea on a cold, stormy night like this. :)

Figaro Herbal Blends TeaLast June 25, Figaro formally launched its tea line called Figaro Herbal Blends. I was given four paper cups and four tea bags so I could sample all four variants. Hot water was poured into each cup as I steeped one bag after another.

Figaro Herbal Blends TeaThe most memorable blend for me was Banaba. Banaba blend is infused with tarragon, anise, and grapes believed to have cleansing abilities that can lower the blood sugar level of diabetics. That is good news for me since my father's side of the family is diabetic.

Figaro Herbal Blends TeaBanaba blend has a purplish hue which is probably because of the grapes. It's pretty nice and easy to drink.

Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil

I bought a Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil a few weeks ago. I was surprised when they told me to wait at least 15-20 minutes for it since they were going to sharpen it naginata-style.

Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil ReviewShu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil ReviewA naginata is a Japanese spear which I'm quite familiar with since I play a lot of Japanese video games. Pretty cool, since it's long it can reach longer distances. But I'm straying off topic...

Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil ReviewAnd so I took home a brand spanking new Shu Uemura Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil in Hard 9 Walnut Brown. It sported a naginata-style tip which is supposed to make it easier for you to fill in your eyebrows since the strokes would resemble hair.

Monday, July 25, 2011

FIC Yogurt Ice Cream

I was invited to an intimate launch of FIC's (Fruits in Ice Cream) latest product, FIC Yogurt Ice Cream, last July 19, 2011 at the FIC Ice Cream Bar in Rockwell.

FIC Yogurt Ice CreamFIC Yogurt Ice CreamThe restaurant was decorated with cute and colorful background drawings and yellow ice cream cones which represented the first ever flavor of FIC Yogurt Ice Cream -- Lemon Crumble!

FIC Yogurt Ice CreamWe all had lunch before the program started. We were served hot savory dishes from FIC The Ice Cream Bar's extensive menu. Nachos with Beef and Cheese Sauce (P150, pictured above) were brought out so we'd have something to munch on while waiting for the main dish.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shop, dine, and play at Solenad 2 in NUVALI, Sta. Rosa, Laguna!

To be honest I rarely ever visit the far south... but I know that a lot of you guys are from there and so I'm spreading the word about the latest shopping destination which just happens to be located in Laguna.

Solenad 2 Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, LagunaIn the north, there's Marquee Mall and Trinoma. At the city center, there's Glorietta, Greenbelt, Bonifacio High Street, and Serendra. In the south there's Alabang Town Center... and now further down south there's going to be Solenad 2!

Solenad 2 Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, LagunaSolenad 2 Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna Judging from these panoramic CGI photos I've seen, Solenad 2 is looking a lot like the sprawling outlet shopping centers in the US. Here are some of the brands you can find at Solenad 2 when it opens this July 29, 2011:

  • All Flip Flops (Havaianas!), Res Toe Run (Fitflops and more!), RUNNR (Nike, Adidas, Mizuno, etc.), Payless Shoe Source, Nine West, Bench, Collezione C2, etc.
  • Bench Fix, Nailaholics, Nisce, LBC, Globe, etc.
  • Toast Box, Krispy Kreme, Max’s Restaurant, Seafood Island, Sumo Sam, Gerry’s Grill, Bo’s Coffee, FIC, Serenitea, Breadtalk, Pancake House, Pho24, Army + Navy Burgers, etc.
Solenad 2 opens with a grand event entitled Plug and Play at Solenad, a 3-day weekend fair from July 29-31, 2011. There will be game booths, food stalls, and live performances from bands like Urbandub and Taken By Cars.

Everyone is invited! :D


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Strivectin-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles

If there is one thing I absolutely cannot live without it's eye cream. I sleep late every night and wake up before 6am during weekdays so I have really dark undereye circles that are quite hard to conceal even with make-up.

Strivectin Eye Cream ReviewI spotted a good deal at Costco during my trip to the US last summer. Two 19ml tubes of Strivectin-SD Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles were being sold for US$60. I've read about Strivectin in magazines and even encountered the product at the GNC event several months ago. It's expensive though, as a 30ml tube in Rustan's Makati is priced at P3,290. Buying at Costco meant I was getting a total of 38ml for around P2,640.

Strivectin Eye Cream ReviewI love the simple white packaging highlighted with a bit of purple. The slim tube makes it nice and easy to hold.

Strivectin Eye Cream ReviewSqueezing the tube dispenses just the right amount of product on your fingertip.

Mustela Baby Shampoo Review

As a mom, I always want what's best for my kids. I'm really particular about the things they use and I make sure that I choose products wisely. I don't mind paying a bit more if it means that they will be safer and healthier.

Mustela Baby Shampoo ReviewI was introduced to Mustela by my sister's friend. Apparently it's the leading brand of baby and child care products in Europe. What sets Mustela apart from other brands is the fact that it's made of natural ingredients that combine efficacy and safety. Mustela products contain no parabens, phenoxyethanol, and phtalates (harmful chemicals that may possibly cause cancer, birth defects, etc. among other negative side effects). Luckily, it's now available here in the Philippines.

Anyhow, I decided to test run Mustela Baby Shampoo first from the wide array of products available. Children's hair and scalp are more sensitive compared to adults'. I once made the mistake of using Head and Shoulders to shampoo my daughter's hair and chunks of strands fell out to my utter horror.

Mustela Baby Shampoo ReviewUpon opening the bottle, the incredibly refreshing aroma of chamomile wafted through the air. The shampoo is clear and transparent -- free from artificial colorants.

Mustela Baby Shampoo ReviewI had yaya do the shampooing while I took a photo of my daughter's hair. Mustela Baby Shampoo is light in terms of consistency and is not overly sudsy or bubbly when lathered up. A little shampoo goes a long way too. My daughter loved its fresh and invigorating chamomile scent as much as I did. Yaya also noticed that there was zero hairfall. She always cleans up the shower area after bath time and there were absolutely no fallen strands of hair on the bathroom floor unlike when she uses other shampoos.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gloriamaris Chinese Restaurant in Greenhills

We had a different kind of Chinese dinner last Saturday at Gloriamaris in Greenhills to celebrate my sister-in-law's homecoming from Shanghai. My mother-in-law said she purposely selected dishes that we don't normally come across during the usual lauriat dinner. I don't have the individual prices for the dishes because it was packaged at P8,000 all in, good for 8-10 people.

Gloriamaris Chinese Restaurant GreenhillsSauteed Flat Lobster with Noodles was the first dish out. I was kind of iffy at first because I'm not really fond of lobsters, but my mom-in-law insisted that I should at least get a piece because all her friends were raving about this particular dish. I did (get a lobster piece) and I was surprised at how naturally sweet the lobster meat was. The noodles were cooked perfectly al dente and were infused with a distinct seafood flavor from being sauteed with the lobster.

alt=Double Boiled Wild Mushroom Native Chicken Soup was up next. It came in individual covered clay pots. I was totally turned off by the chicken foot in my soup so I wasted no time in removing it. The soup had a very pure and clean taste, you can tell that they painstakingly boiled the native chicken for everything it's worth as to yield a very flavorful and soothing (not to mention highly nutritious) soup.

alt=Sauteed Shrimp with Radish Cake and French Beans in Special Sauce was another unique dish comprised of fried and cubed radish cake, big plump shrimps, and tasty french beans. It's a nice mix of sweet and savory flavors.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Join Pampers Trivia Month and win daily prizes!

New moms these days are extremely lucky. When I was on the way with my first baby back in the year 2000, broadband internet was virtually non-existent and social networking even more so. Blogging and social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, and so forth weren't around yet. I relied mostly on books and magazines as a source of information and I was limited to how many of those publications I could get my hands on.

Pampers Trivia MonthWith the internet serving as an information superhighway these days, we can find answers on virtually any question on any topic just by typing on our keyboards. I know how paranoid moms can be, especially first time moms, because I remember reading chapters of baby books over and over again just to assure myself that I was doing things right.

The good news is, a treasure trove of information on baby development are just a click away thanks to the Pampers official website and PampersPh on Facebook . Tips, features, and information about caring for your baby, toddler, or preschooler are readily available with just a click of your mouse. Moms can also participate in insightful discussions covering a wide variety of topics ranging from breastfeeding to bathing to putting baby to sleep. I think it's really good that moms can now get together online and support each other through the challenges of raising a family.

To make things even more exciting, Pampers is currently holding Pampers Trivia Month at PampersPh on Facebook. This gives moms (and even dads) a chance to win a whole load of exciting prizes daily.

Just register and answer the question of the day and you're good to go!

Get 50% off ALL regular items at BLUED Trinoma!

Hi everyone! Just want to share this bit of news from our friends over at BLUED. My hubby and I personally own several BLUED shirts each. We like that the fabric used has LYCRA, making it both durable and flexible enough for daily wear.

Blued Clothing Trinoma SaleBLUED is going beyond the usual t-shirts and collared tops that make up its usual collection. More stylish pieces are now available so you can mix and match more for a variety of looks. But that's not all.

Blued Clothing Trinoma SaleThe good news is, BLUED is giving you a 50% discount on ALL regular items from July 15-31, 2011. You can avail of this exclusive offer through the official BLUED Facebook Page.

The first 50 FB fans who print out and present the special FB coupon at BLUED Trinoma will get 50% off up to a maximum of five (5) regular items. After the first 50, the next 50 will get 25% off. I have it on good authority that as of posting time this morning, there are still at least 20 slots available for 50% off so better visit the official BLUED Facebook Page + download and print the coupon ASAP!

Just to give you an idea, a typical BLUED shirt costs around P500+ to P600+ so at half off you can get tops for P200+ to P300+ a piece.

BLUED Trinoma is located on Level M1, Trinoma, Quezon City.


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Monday, July 18, 2011

Skin Cravings Scrub Me Pretty Body Scrub Review

I got a set of goodies for review from Unilab's newly launched Skin Cravings skin care line a while back. Bottles of Skin Cravings Scrub Me Pretty Body Scrub immediately caught my eye.

Skin Cravings Scrub Me Pretty Body Scrub ReviewI'm not much of a lotion person except for sunscreen although I'm trying to be since lotion does moisturize and keep your skin supple and smooth. Skin Cravings Scrub Me Pretty Body Scrub provides a shortcut by exfoliating and moisturing the skin at the same time while you shower.

Skin Cravings Scrub Me Pretty Body Scrub ReviewI love Skin Cravings Scrub Me Pretty's cute milk bottle style packaging. It makes me want to open it up and drink the contents though. I picked Strawberry Yoghurt to try out first from the three variants I had. The other two are Cranberry Yoghurt and Dewberry Yoghurt.

Skin Cravings Scrub Me Pretty Body Scrub ReviewOpening the cap reveals a yummy strawberry yogurt scent. It's quite hard to resist the urge to taste the product because it smells absolutely delicious.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Buon Giorno Caffe and Bistro Ortigas

I had dinner with hubby and the kids one Sunday night at Buon Giorno Caffe and Bistro at Rockwell Business Center in Ortigas. It was not my first time there since I was previously invited to a food event by Buon Giorno.

Buon Giorno Caffe and BistroThe interiors are quaint. Wooden floors, wooden tables and chairs, and hanging overhead lamps give it a somewhat rustic ambiance. There were very few people that evening and so we were able to have a nice quiet dinner.

Buon Giorno Caffe and BistroCustomers are given complimentary baskets of freshly baked bread with condiments like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and parmesan cheese on the table.

Buon Giorno Caffe and BistroHubby and I ordered Spaghettini Aglio E Olio (P272, pictured above) to share. It's a simple pasta dish that uses olive oil as its sauce base and is seasoned with anchovies, lots of garlic cloves (yum!), and sundried tomatoes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Teen Wolf on AXN Beyond starting July 17!

If there's one channel I watch during the rare times I that I actually tune in to the TV (I watch a lot of TV series these days but they're all downloaded since I don't like waiting every week... :p) it's AXN. Thus when I was invited to AXN Beyond's Teen Wolf launch party held last July 7, I said yes.

Teen Wolf TV Series AXN BeyondI faintly remember Teen Wolf as a comedy movie starring Michael J. Fox back in the 1980's. I don't think I've watched it though. I initially thought that the Teen Wolf series is something along those lines but it's not quite... although it's supposed to have been inspired by the movie.

Teen Wolf TV Series AXN BeyondTeen Wolf is about a 16-year old teenage boy named Scott who gets bitten by a mysterious creature one night. Scott's wound miraculously heals the next day and well, he finds that he has suddenly gained superhuman abilities. Scott now has a highly enhanced sense of sight and smell, plus he moves with the agility and speed that puts even the school's top athletes to shame. Of course, he also turns into a werewolf now. He eventually hooks up with the new girl who just happens to come from a family of werewolf hunters. Sound exciting? It actually is because we were treated to an advanced screening of the first episode and it was a lot of fun.

Teen Wolf's pilot episode airs tomorrow July 17, 2011 9pm on AXN Beyond, AXN, and Animax. Subsequent episodes will air every Monday 9pm on AXN Beyond. For more info, log on to http://www.axnbeyond.com/shows/teen-wolf.


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Friday, July 15, 2011

Try out Pond's White Beauty Naturals for FREE with me!

I finally got to try the latest Pond's White Beauty Naturals line during the past week. I had to wait for my Obagi Blue Peel to finish before I could start using the products.

Pond's White Beauty NaturalsIt's a relatively simple daytime regimen since there's only two products: Pond's White Beauty Naturals Gentle Exfoliating Foam and Pond's White Beauty Naturals Day Cream.

Pond's White Beauty NaturalsPond's White Beauty Naturals Gentle Exfoliating Foam has a light fresh scent that's perfect for daytime use.

Pond's White Beauty Naturals Gentle Exfoliating FoamIt's very creamy in consistency. There are also telltale microbeads since it is an exfoliating face wash. I say telltale because the microbeads are quite few and far between so much so that at first I thought I had imagined them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Le Bistro Vert in Makati City

*This establishment is now CLOSED.*

I had the chance to try out Le Bistro Vert's offerings in Makati a few months ago while working on a writing assignment about Filipino coffee. One of Le Bistro Vert's owners Chit Juan, is after all, the chairman of the Philippine Coffee Board.

Le Bistro Vert MakatiI was greeted by bright and naturally lit interiors. I loved the verdant color scheme comprised mostly of greens and blues. Visiting during the daytime would guarantee lovely photos of the food and the place because the lighting is really just perfect. Le Bistro Vert serves dishes that are prepared using mostly organic ingredients. Vegetables and spices used in their salads and sandwiches are grown by Chit herself, free of chemicals and pesticides.

Le Bistro Vert MakatiI was able to sample a few dishes that day. Of course since I was by myself the most I could do was take a few bites and then have it wrapped but it was a lovely experience nonetheless. Spanish Fritata (P250, pictured above) was the first dish out. It's kind of like an omelet except that it's shaped like a pancake with potato cubes, chorizo pieces, olives, and pimientos folded in. It's topped with a green salad and served with garlic bread on the side too. Perfect for breakfast along with a cup of hot coffee.

Le Bistro Vert MakatiCrusted Tropical Chicken (P250, pictured above) is a big and hearty sandwich that's a meal in itself. Breaded and seasoned chicken breast fillet is served on a thick Ciabatta with zesty mango salsa and kamote (sweet potato) chips on the side. It's really filling and I actually split it in half when I got home to share with my son.

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