Friday, August 31, 2012

Health Express Cinnamon supplements -- protection against diabetes!

A few weeks ago, I received a bottle of cinnamon supplements from Health Express to try. At the time, I had no idea what it was for. I mean, I know it's a spice used for cooking and baking... even for creating home fragrances. I liked it on my food and drink, but I didn't know that it had enough health benefits to merit being taken as a daily supplement. Cinnamon is actually a small tree commonly found in South Asia and the Middle East. The cinnamon we buy and use is actually the bark of this tree, sold either in stick or powder form.

Health Express Cinnamon
Curiosity spurred some research on my part. I found out that cinnamon may be helpful in lowering blood sugar. According to the Mayo Clinic, a study published in 2009 found that people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes who took cinnamon twice daily for 90 days reflected an average blood sugar level for 2-3 months. I found this both comforting and promising. You see, diabetes is a disease which afflicts my father's side of the family. My paternal grandma, dad, and uncle all have type 2 diabetes. As a result, I've always been afraid of sugar... the problem is, sugar substitutes have been found to be even worse for your health compared to sugar itself. Cinnamon sounds like a boon to us who need to be extra careful about our blood sugar level.

I've witnessed how hard life is for a diabetic firsthand. I lived with my dad and grandmother when I was still single. You prick yourself ever so often to check your blood sugar level, inject yourself with insulin, and there are so many things you can't eat! I'm not fond of needles and I love to eat so diabetes has always been a frightening thought for me. Taking cinnamon supplements regularly would help because it can be an additional preventive measure I can take against the disease. It's an added bonus that there are other benefits from taking cinnamon:

  • may help lower cholesterol
  • aids in digestion
  • eliminates bad breath
  • helps cure the common cold
  • helps reduce arthritis pain
  • helps treat diarrhea
What could be better than an all-natural supplement? :D

Health Express Cinnamon
Anyhow, the bottle of Health Express cinnamon supplements was securely sealed. Even I, an adult, did not have an easy time unscrewing the cap so you can be pretty sure that the contents will be off limits to kids.

Health Express Cinnamon
Each bottle contains 100 pieces of encapsulated cinnamon. It is recommended that you take two capsules a day with meals.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 launch with Nyoy Volante (or how to get the girl with a Galaxy!)

Last July 31, I attended a very unique event. It was the launch of the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, BUT it was done not via the usual slide presentation or product discussion. Instead, we had a musical performance starring Nyoy Volante.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 launch with Nyoy Volante
Yes, Nyoy and a group of performers presented the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 via a musical skit that was both entertaining and informative. Nyoy plays a lovestruck guy named Sam whose talent was singing.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 launch with Nyoy Volante
His dream girl was his schoolmate Franchezka(?) who now happened to be a popular singer and celebrity.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 launch with Nyoy Volante
Sam and friends hatch a plan to bring him and his dream girl together using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. His friend shows him the plan via a slide presentation using the Galaxy Tab.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Starbucks Refreshers and new food items!

I was about to leave for Hong Kong when Starbucks launched its latest drinks, Starbucks Refreshers, as well as its current roster of delicious sandwiches. Hence, I think this is the first time that I'm sharing them with you without having tasted them yet. That said, I have no doubt that these new additions are awesome -- especially the sandwiches!

Starbucks Refreshers
Looking at the lime and scarlet colored drinks above, you'd think they were iced fruit drinks. Well, that is partly true. These are actually Starbucks Refreshers, thirst-quenching drinks made from green coffee extract. As their appearance suggests, they taste nothing like coffee. Starbucks Refreshers come in two flavors: Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus. Both contain real fruit juice and real fruit juice. Cool Lime comes with a slice of lime while Very Berry Hibiscus has whole blackberries. I will definitely try these on my next visit to Starbucks. Starbucks Refreshers cost P115 for Tall, P125 for Grande, and P135 for Venti. They're lower in calories compared to fraps too! :p

Starbucks Refreshers
Guess what? You actually get a FREE Starbucks Refreshers beverage for every purchase of a Starbucks Customizable Cold Cup till September 10, 2012!

Now it's time for the sandwiches. I have a feeling I'll be very hungry by the time I finish working on this post, haha!

Starbucks Classic Tuna Dill Melt
Classic Tuna Dill Melt (P160) - Tuna dill salad, hard-boiled egg slices, and creamy melted mozzarella cheese on toasted rye bread. Please take note that this is not available in Baguio, Boracay, Bacolod, Cebu, CDO, Davao, Iloilo, and Naga.

Starbucks Classic Tuna Dill on Ciabatta Bread
Classic Tuna Dill on Ciabatta Bread (P160) - This is similar to the sandwich above in that it contains tuna dill salad and hard-boiled eggs but instead of mozzarella this uses cheddar and emmenthal cheeses. This is only available in Baguio, Boracay, Bacolod, Cebu, CDO, Davao, Iloilo, and Naga.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Toy Kingdom Toy Expo Philippines 2012!

The Toy Kingdom Toy Expo Philippines 2012 was unveiled last August 22, 2012. It was a black tie affair with cocktails and VIPs consisting of retailers, distributors, buyers, and friends from the media.

Toy Kingdom Toy Expo Philippines 2012
I think it's the grandest toy event in the Philippines yet, spanning the entirety of SMX Halls 3 and 4. In the past, I've only come across this type of exhibition abroad.

Toy Kingdom Toy Expo Philippines 2012
A Microsoft XBox, Sony Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii were given away in a raffle hosted by TV personality Paolo Abrera.

Toy Kingdom Toy Expo Philippines 2012
There are toys for every age. For babies and toddlers there are cuddly stuffed toys, shape sorters, puzzles, blocks... this toy expo is every child's dream come true. Guests were given time to browse around and shop after the opening ceremonies.

Toy Kingdom Toy Expo Philippines 2012
I love checking out toys for girls. It might be partly due to the fact that I was always playing with dolls and cooking sets as a child. My own daughter is more into gadgets these days. Back then, we didn't really have too many electronic toys and games. I kind of wish my little girl was a bit more like me because there are so many cute and unique dolls these days -- like Lalaloopsy!

Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara

I've used a lot of different kinds of mascara in the past. In fact I remember playing with my aunt's mascara when I was a little girl. It was sticky, clumpy, and difficult to apply. That said, I'm simply amazed at how far mascara technology has come.

Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara
Anyhow, the latest in the roster of mascara brands I've tried is Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara. It costs P1,200 per tube, a price which I find reasonable considering it's a high quality brand.

Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara
The gunmetal tube is fatter than the usual mascara tube. It gave me the impression that it contains a lot more product.

Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara
The mascara wand's brush tip is comprised of a gazillion tiny rubber spikes.

Benefit They're Real Beyond Mascara
Without further ado, let me show you how this mascara works. These are my eyelashes without mascara.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Greenwich Ultimate Greencard!

Two new things were introduced by Greenwich last July 26, 2012. We love love snacking on Greenwich pizza and so of course I was quite excited!

Greenwich Ultimate Greencard
First there's the Greenwich Ultimate Greencard. It costs P199 but let me assure you that it's well worth the money because of all the perks and freebies you get:
  • The card comes with a set of Barkada Treats coupons for special deals which lets you get free 1.5 liters of Coke, free pizza, free pasta, etc.
  • You can avail of 10% discount on dine-in and take-out orders.
  • Buy 1 Take 1 Pizza when you order a 12" Barkada Size or 15" Party Size Pizza with a 1.5 liter bottle of Coke.

You can use the card for dine-in or take-out but you can only choose to avail of one reward per transaction. The Greenwich Ultimate Greencard is available at all Greenwich branches nationwide.

The Philippine Volcanoes for Greenwich
The event featured a game wherein members of the Philippine Volcanoes were pitted against...

Andi Manzano and co. for Greenwich
...the lady DJs of Magic 89.9.

The two groups did a series of funny challenges which were quite entertaining to watch. The guys won in the end but I don't think anyone went home empty-handed as Greenwich Ultimate Greencards were distributed to every single person in the venue. :)

Greenwich Crispy Glazed Chicken
For the finale, the Greenwich Crispy Glazed Chicken was unveiled. I would describe it as Pinoy-style extra crispy chicken. I liked how crunchy it remained despite being totally covered in sauce. The taste is both savory, sweet, and a little spicy... sort of like UFC banana ketchup but not exactly. A meal like this costs a very affordable P79.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Unboxing my Apple iPad 3!

First of all I would like to thank Sangobion, who awarded me with this Apple iPad 3 (Wi-fi 16GB) as part of the prize package I got for being the First Runner Up in the Sangobion Mommy Blogger Awards. A big thank you also to everyone who voted! I will be announcing the winners for my voter giveaway before this week is over. :)

Apple iPad 3 Wi-fi 16GB
Anyhow, being the gadget girl that I am, the Apple iPad 3 was the prize I coveted the most in the Sangobion Mommy Blogger Awards. My prize package included an overnight stay for two at Sofitel and a 3-month supply of Sangobion. If the iPad 3 was all I got I would still be ecstatic, haha! XD

Apple iPad 3 Wi-fi 16GB
I got it at the awarding last Thursday. It was just in time for the Holy Wars in Rage of Bahamut, the online trading card game I'm so crazy about on the Android and iOS. I needed a dedicated Bahamut machine since playing non-stop drains my cellphone battery. Curious? You can download Rage of Bahamut from Google Play or the AppStore for free. If you do decide to download, please use my referral code xgp26211 after the tutorial so you can get in game money and a rare card to help you get started. My player name is animetricsworld. Anyhow, iPad 3 already uses the iCloud, which I think is the equivalent of Google Drive... so I guess it's a place to store all your info and files online.

Apple iPad 3 Wi-fi 16GB
I love the clean and streamlined look of the white Apple iPad 3.

Apple iPad 3 Wi-fi 16GB
It differ much in size and weight from the iPad 1 actually. I was surprised it felt just as heavy. I was expecting it to be a lot more lightweight.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vintage Vanity at Robinsons Department Store!

Dropped by Robinsons Department Store before going home earlier today. I was invited to check out Vintage Vanity, Robinsons' August Beauty Fair. It's a grand sale event with lots of great deals on numerous beauty brands.

Vintage Vanity at Robinsons Department Store
You can actually get up to 70% off on selected items and freebies if you meet the minimum purchase requirement. Vintage Vanity is ongoing from August 1 to 31, 2012.

Vintage Vanity at Robinsons Department Store
Most notable was Maybelline New York. All items are actually 20% off!

Vintage Vanity at Robinsons Department Store
Check out the BB Creams and the BB Stick. BB creams are a staple for me and Maybelline's was actually one of the first I had tried.

Vintage Vanity at Robinsons Department Store
As if 20% of on all items wasn't enough, Maybelline also has a special blue light sale for the duration of vintage vanity. When this blue spotlight goes on at the Maybelline booth, all items above P250 are 30% off instead of 20% off. Wow! I remember shopping for Maybelline eyeliners, mascara, and lipsticks at Robinsons Department Store before for my professional make-up artistry course at HD Studio. Their prices are already affordable without the discount so can you just imagine how much more so after 20-30% off?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sutra Restaurant and Bar set lunch starts at P500+ per person!

*This establishment is CLOSED.

One under-appreciated establishment at Bonifacio High Street Central during lunch time is Sutra Restaurant and Bar. Hubby and I had some business to settle nearby one weekday noon so we decided to have lunch at the quiet nook that was Sutra.

Sutra Restaurant and Bar
We were actually the only ones there for lunch. The place fills up at night though since it doubles as a bar. They have Happy Hour, music, and DJs by then.

Complimentary bread at Sutra Restaurant and Bar
We decided to have the set lunch, since one order costs P1,100+ and serves two people. I think a three-course lunch at a swank place like Sutra for that price is very reasonable! We were served complimentary bread and dip while we were waiting for our order.

Orange Juice and Melon Shake at Sutra Restaurant and Bar
We ordered drinks too. I opted for freshly squeezed Orange Juice while hubby got a Melon Shake. The drinks cost P160 each. They're both very refreshing since they're made with real fresh fruits.

Soup of the Day at Sutra Restaurant and Bar
Anyhow, the set lunch starts off with either Soup of the Day or Caesar Salad. Each of you can choose to have either one. The featured soup that day was Cream of Asparagus. It was very good! I could actually taste and feel the asparagus bits in my mouth. Yummy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lunch with the Anmum Mommy Circle!

I joined fellow mommy bloggers for lunch with Anmum last July 26, 2012. It was a very casual get-together. We talked about health and parenting concerns over a hearty meal at L'Incontro Ristorante Italiano.

Lunch with the Anmum Mommy Circle
Of course, eventually the talks revolved around milk. In this case, Anmum Materna, which is specifically formulated for pregnant women.

Anmum Materna
I remember drinking Anmum when I was pregnant several years ago. It wasn't called Materna then as far as I recall, it was just Anmum. I had tasted just about every brand of maternity milk on the supermarket shelves when I finally settled on Anmum. The reason was simple: it was the least sweet of them all. I have very low tolerance for sweet drinks so I chose it. Maternity milk provides additional nutrients like Folate, Calcium, and Iron, all of which are important for the growth and development of the fetus.

Milk talk with Anmum
Then we were exposed to the different kinds of powdered milk. I had the chance to ask a question that had been in my mind for quite some time. What exactly is "filled" milk? It sounds so wrong and so I've never bought any. I was under the impression that it was filled to the brim with extenders and all the stuff you don't want in your food and drink. Turns out I was on the sort of right. Filled milk is loaded with extenders like vegetable oil.

Group photo with mommy bloggers and Anmum friends
Here's a photo of all the moms who attended the intimate lunch. I grabbed it from mymomfriday.

Empire Macarons
We all got a sweet souvenir after lunch -- a box of pink and purple (Anmum colors) macarons from Empire Macarons!

You too can be part of the Anmum Mommy Circle. Like Anmum Mommy Circle on Facebook and get access to a treasure trove of resources and information that will help you through your 9-month journey.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Etude House Drawing Show Creamy Liner

I love Korean beauty products. They're reasonably priced in general and they deliver what they promise. This is especially true in the case of Etude House. Etude House products are sold here in the Philippines at prices close to the Korean SRP (Suggested Retail Price). Anyhow, the good folks over at Etude House Philippines sent over a few products for review a couple of months back. Most of them were for the eyes. Unfortunately, I caught sore eyes from our helper and it lasted for nearly a month! As a result, I could not use any eye make-up for the duration... which is why this review is horrendously delayed.

Etude House Drawing Show Creamy Liner in BK802 Black DoubleShot
My ophthalmologist recently gave me the go signal and so I'll start off with the Etude House Drawing Show Creamy Liner in BK802 Black DoubleShot. First thing that caught my eye was the oh-so-cute pink packaging. Opening it revealed a small jar with a matching brush.

Etude House Drawing Show Creamy Liner in BK802 Black DoubleShot
The jar was filled with a solid black cream eyeliner while the brush comes with a cap so you can cover it after use.

Etude House Drawing Show Creamy Liner in BK802 Black DoubleShot
Here's a look at the brush. I was wondering why it wasn't the usual angled eyeliner brush but there's a good reason for that which I will explain in a bit.

Etude House Drawing Show Creamy Liner in BK802 Black DoubleShot
I did a test swipe on my hand. Wow, the color payoff is a really dark and dramatic black. A little product will definitely go a long way.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August Specials at Aria Cucina Italian BGC

*This establishment is now CLOSED.

I was invited to a food-tasting session at Aria Cucina Italiana last August 16, 2012. I got to try their August Specials. There are always new dishes to tickle your taste buds at Aria since they change these specials on a monthly basis.

Aria Cucina Italiana BGC
Anyhow, I started off with an order of Aria Shake (P140, pictured above). It's made of watermelon, banana, and some other fruits which I can't remember at the moment. What I do recall however is how good it tastes! It's a refreshing way to get your fruit fix, all natural and not overly sweet. :)

Aria Cucina Italiana BGC
Anyhow there are four August Specials. First one on the table was Panissa con fritturina di pesce e maionese allo zenzero (P420, pictured above). Crusted chickpea polenta is breaded and fried to a crisp then mixed with equally crunchy fried squid, shrimp, and fish. It's served with ginger mayo on the side for dipping. It's definitely a good appetizer for sharing, something a bit different from the usual calamares.

Aria Cucina Italiana BGC
Next up was Rotoli di pasta con pomodori secchi e ricotta su crema di porcini (P450, pictured above). It's freshly made rolled pasta filled with sundried tomatoes, ricotta cheese and then served on top of porcini mushroom coulis. It's sooo good, hands down my favorite of all the August Specials. I hope they make it a permanent addition to the menu.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Vista Residences launches homes for every Filipino!

Vista Residences is the condominium development arm of Vista Land, the country's largest homebuilder. Vista Land is the Philippines’ biggest residential property developer with over 250,000 homes in 28 provinces and 55 cities.

Last July 26, Vista Residences successfully relaunched three property brands – Camella Condo Homes, Crown Asia Residences, and Brittany. Under these three brands, there are five projects. For CCH, there’s 878 Espana and CCH Cagayan de Oro; for Crown Asia there’s Crown Asia Residences Wack Wack; for Brittany, there’s The Hudson at The Fort and Alpine Village in Tagaytay.

Recognizing every Filipino's need for convenient, secure, yet well-designed homes, Vista Residences presented these distinct brands which can cater to the needs of different income segments:
  • Camella Condo Homes - With the average Pinoy in mind, Camella Condo Homes features city locations with affordable offerings, conveniently located near schools, business centers, transport hubs, and places of worship, entertainment, culture, and history. To date there are five Camella Condo Homes: CCH Taft, CCH Katipunan, Laureano di Trevi, CCH Taguig, and CCH Pasig.
  • Crown Asia Residences - With the upper middle income market as its target, Crown Asia offers house and lot packages outside Mega Manila such as Amici and Ponticelli in Alabang; Marina Heights in Muntinlupa; Valenza and Fortezza in Laguna; Citta Italia and Amalfi in Cavite. Crown Asia also has condominium projects in Quezon City, Ortigas, Manila, and Mandaluyong City where Crown Asia Residences Wack Wack will soon rise.
  • Brittany - Catering to the high income segment, Brittany combines character, sophistication, old world charm, and modern design to create unique communities with a thematic appeal. These are currently the towers under the Brittany brand: Mosaic, KL Mosaic, Marfori, and Avant. Coming soon are Hudson at The Fort, The Grand Quartier at Crosswinds, and The Alpine Village at Crosswinds.
There's surely something for everyone as Vista Residences has offerings set at various price points for people from different economic sectors.

Browsing through Camella, Crown Asia, and Brittany's numerous projects, the following caught my eye:

Camella Condo Homes Taguig at Pacific Residences

Camella Condo Homes Taguig
The first "in the city" development of Camella Condo Homes located in the progressive city of Taguig. Distance-wise, it will take about 5 minutes to get to The Fort Bonifacio Global City, 10 minutes to Makati, and around 15 minutes to Ortigas Center. It will be a fully-fenced community 24-hour security, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, parks, and playgrounds.

Crown Asia Residences Wack Wack

Crown Asia Residences Wack Wack
Located on the corner of Laurel St. and Shaw Blvd., it is where former President Jose P. Laurel and Vice President Salvador Laurel once resided. To pay tribute to the property’s significance, the elegant Laurel Mansion will become a commercial hub connecting the two towers that will comprise Crown Asia Residences Wack Wack. Crown Asia Residences Wack Wack is considered to have the most remarkable location of all of Crown Asia's condominiums to date. Amenities like a swimming pool, playground, basketball court, and a gym will be available to residents.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Win Fun Ranch bonding packages from Valley Farm Luncheon Meat!

If you're a mom like me, I've got good news for you. Valley Farm Luncheon Meat is giving away 20 Fun Ranch packages for an all-day bonding experience for moms and kids! All you need to do is do is upload a Valley Farm Chunky Charap bonding moment photo of yourself and your child for a chance to win.

Michael V for Valley Farm Luncheon Meat
To join, Like the official Valley Farm Facebook Page so you can use the Valley Farm Chunky Charap app. Click on the "Enter App" button to start.

Valley Farm Chunky Charap App
Fill up the form on the pop-up registry window and click submit.

Valley Farm Chunky Charap App
You will then be taken to the photo upload section. Click "Browse" and select a photo from your hard drive. Come up with a creative caption for your photo and click "Submit".

Fun Ranch fun activities
At the end of the week, top 20 entries will win a Chunky Charap bonding experience at Fun Ranch. Each winner will get:
  • Valley Farm One Day Pass at Fun Ranch which entitles them to:
    - 2 Regular Ride All You Can Passes
    - 2 Rounds of Mini-Golf
    - 2 Games of Bowling. 
  • Big Red Barn Gift Certificate worth P500 
  • Valley Farm Gift Pack
Winners will consist of 10 entries with the highest number of votes and 10 entries chosen by Valley Farm. Promo period is from August 1 to 30, 2012. Winners will be notified via registered mail, e-mail, or phone call. Prizes must be claimed at Taguig City.

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