Thursday, January 31, 2013

J.Co Donuts now open 24 hours in Eastwood City!

Good news J.Co-holics... starting today, J.Co Donuts and Coffee in Eastwood City will be open 24/7! Incidentally, it's also J.Co's biggest and most spacious store yet.

J.Co Eastwood
I attended the grand opening of J.Co Donuts at the Eastwood Mall earlier today.

J.Co Eastwood
It was a fun-filled and interactive event because we were told that we would get to make our own J.Co donuts!

J.Co Eastwood
We were shown a brief demo of how to make J.Co's three most popular donuts --Al Capone, Oreology, and Green Tease.

J.Co Eastwood
The steps were also shown on large LCD screens.

Freezing my fat off with Marie France's CoolSculpting treatment!

I may have lost a lot of weight but I have a lot of gross folds of flab on my tummy area. They are kind of loose too, eww. Short of getting a tummy tuck, I really don't know what to do with them. I'm dead scared of invasive procedures and so liposuction and tummy tucks are out of the question.

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq at Marie France
Lucky for me Marie France now has a solution for this problem -- CoolSculpting! In a nutshell, a contraption freezes a specific area of fat on your problem area(s) which kills the fat cells. They are then naturally flushed out of your system the way fat from food is eliminated (i.e. you go to the bathroom and relieve yourself). Anyhow I went in for the CoolSculpting treatment last week. I was ushered into a room where I could leave my things and change. Take note that CoolSculpting is a spot reduction treatment recommended for people with stubborn problem areas. It's not a substitute for weight loss programs.

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq at Marie France
I was provided with a towel, robe, tank top, and shorts.

CoolSculpting by Zeltiq at Marie France
I hung my clothes inside the closet provided.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

L'oreal Professionnel Keratin Steam Bond Service at Bench Fix Salon

I got the chance to be one of the first to experience a #hairrevolution yesterday thanks to L'oreal Professionnel and Bench Fix Salon.

L'oreal Professionnel Keratin Steam Bond Service at Bench Fix Salon
I was scheduled for their newest straightening service -- Keratin Steam Bond Service.

L'oreal x Rowenta Steampod
What sets it apart from other straightening or rebonding treatments is the use of a revolutionary tool called the Steampod. L'oreal Professionnel and Rowenta have partnered to come up with the world's first ever hair smoothing iron that uses a continuous stream of high-pressure steam instead of the usual electric heated plates.

L'oreal x Rowenta Steampod
Check out the difference between the normal straightening iron and the Steampod!

L'oreal x Rowenta Steampod
Using the Steampod results in smoother, shinier hair.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nasi Lemak Singapore Food Republic at Fort Bonifacio Global City

Last January 15, we were invited to dine at Nasi Lemak Singapore Food Republic located in Fort Bonifacio Global City. It's owned by a Singaporean so I had heightened expectations.

Nasi Lemak Singapore Food Republic at The Fort
Nasi Lemak Singapore Food Republic is a two-storey restaurant so it can seat about 50 people on the ground level alone. We stayed on the unoccupied second floor so we could take photos in peace.

Nasi Lemak Singapore Food Republic
We started off the evening with a live demonstration of how one of Nasi Lemak's salads is made. The end result was their new Mayo Prawn Balls with Orange (P380, pictured above). An assortment of veggies and fruits are topped with juicy prawns and drizzled with mayo and zesty orange dressing. Very refreshing and delicious!

Nasi Lemak Singapore Food Republic
Next in line was Thai Green Mango Salad (P248, pictured above) -- julienned green mangoes, crabsticks (kani), chilies, and some greens in slightly sweet vinaigrette. Quite nice especially if you're averse to creamy dressings and prefer salads that are on the light side.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stepping Up with Del Monte Fit 'n Right!

It's 2013. My goal back in 2012 was to lose at least 20 lbs at first because I was obese. When I had finally done it before the year was over, I had to move on to reaching my ideal body weight. I'm still about 10-15 lbs away from it and I know that it's going to be a lot more challenging from hereon but I'm game!

Lunch by The Sexy Chef with Del Monte Fit 'n Right

I've mentioned many times in the past that I got started on my weight loss journey after I got a wake up call from the Del Monte Fit n' Right event I attended back in 2011. I spent the next month going to the gym and drinking one bottle of Del Monte Fit n' Right everyday. Del Monte Fit n' Right is a juice drink which contains L-Carnitine and Green Coffee Extract. L-Carnitine helps you burn fat while GCE helps block sugar absorption, making Del Monte Fit 'n Right ideal for those who are trying to manage their weight. Well, I'm going back to where it all started this new year. I'm stepping up to fitness and moving forward with my goals with the help of Del Monte Fit n' Right.

Del Monte Fit 'n Right My Step Up Mission
Since it's January, it's the perfect time to do some goal-setting. I've lost a big bulk of the weight I'm supposed to lose but I haven't quite reached the target yet. I've been told that the last 10 lbs is usually the hardest to shed off and I have to agree. Since I'm not obese anymore, I'm not as die hard in my efforts as I was last year. I have to step up. That said, Del Monte Fit 'n Right's My Step Up Mission app on Facebook came at the right time. I needed to renew my commitment to conquer my weight problem once and for all.

Animetric before and after
My Step Up Mission is to look better and feel better about myself. I see myself in the mirror everyday and it gets hard for me to notice progress because in my eyes it's still the same face. I scanned through my hard drive and fished out the photo above left from December 2011 and the photo above right from September 2012. It's only when I compare my photos side by side that I see the difference... the result of everything I've done so far. But I shouldn't be complacent because I still have some ways to go. Achieving and maintaining your ideal weight takes a lifetime of commitment to healthy living. If you let yourself go, you'll just find yourself back to where you started. I refuse to go back.

Maybelline The Jewels by Colorsensational Lipstick

I got a pair of Maybelline The Jewels by Colorsensational Lipstick for review late last year (I think it was around November).

Maybelline The Jewels by Colorsensational Lipstick in Berry Brilliant
I actually got it in two shades, Berry Brilliant and Fuschia Crystal. Since I have way too many half-used tubes of lipstick I decided to try just one.

Maybelline The Jewels by Colorsensational Lipstick in Berry Brilliant
Maybelline The Jewels by Colorsensational Lipstick in Berry Brilliant
I went for Berry Brilliant since I'm not really into fuschia.

Maybelline The Jewels by Colorsensational Lipstick in Berry Brilliant
It seems like a deep wine shade when you look at it from the tube.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

BurgerBar in Greenbelt 2

Had dinner with friends at BurgerBar in Greenbelt 2 last Jan. 18, 2013. I've actually been hearing a lot about the place and so I was quite excited to try it out.

Burger Bar in Greenbelt 2
The place is very casual and colorful. High chairs and circular cocktail-ish tables make for that bar vibe. Everything in the menu was so tempting we wanted to order everything! XD

Holiday Salad at Burger Bar
For starters, we had the Holiday Salad (P245 solo / P360 for sharing). Now this is my kind of salad -- light and refreshing! Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken strips, basil, feta cheese, and almond slivers are all tossed together and served with strawberry vinaigrette on the side. It's so good I can have just this for dinner and be perfectly happy.

The Dip of Warm Artichoke and Spinach at Burger Bar
Then we had The Dip of Warm Artichoke & Spinach (P285, pictured above). A big bowl of cheesy and creamy with artichoke and spinach bits and pieces inside is served with lots of nachos on the side. Yum! I love spinach and artichoke dip... in fact I usually buy it bottled in the US just so I can enjoy it at home.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini at P14,990!

Last night I witnessed the unveiling of Samsung's newest smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini. I was expecting it to be really small, but actually it's almost the same size as my Samsung Galaxy SII.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
I really like the ergonomic rounded edges. It feels nice in my hand.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
Hahaha, I almost didn't want to let it go. XD

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
Here's a side-by-side comparison with my Samsung Galaxy SII.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye

If it's one beauty product I can't be without it's eye cream. At my age (two years till 40!), I can't afford not to use one because I'm more prone to wrinkles and crow's feet. Lines around the eye area have a way of making you look a lot older than you actually are so I intend to fight them off every step of the way.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye
One time I tweeted top make-up artist Xeng Zulueta to ask her what she thought the best eye cream was for dark undereye circles. She answered immediately -- Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye. Thus, when Kiehl's Manila gave me a tube to try last year, I was very very excited!

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye
One tube of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye is 15ml. I started using it the first week of June 2012.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye
The cream is white and neither too thick nor too thin in consistency. It also has this aromatic slightly mentholated scent that is reminiscent of spas. I would apply a generous amount to my entire area every single morning and night on a daily basis -- on the lids, under the eyes, at the edges where crow's feet would normally form... the entire eye area. Wow, I was so amazed by how it felt on my skin. It was really soothing, cool, and kind of minty. I would best describe it as a spa treatment for your eyes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to NOT gain weight, period.

Earlier today, I went to Marie France for a consultation. It was for their latest belly-busting treatment (to be revealed soon)... I had to go in so they could gauge if I was a candidate for it. Basically, you need to have tummy bulges (bilbil) to qualify, hahaha! I have a lot and I'm not just saying it so yes, I was definitely a candidate.

Solenn Heussaff and Animetric at the Greenwich party
I was measured all over (arms, legs, tummy... etc.). I was almost afraid of the results because heck, it's January and did I ever go on an eating spree last December thanks to all the parties and gatherings! In fact, that photo with Solenn Heussaff was taken during Greenwich's Christmas party! I went to Buffet 101 at Robinsons Magnolia a grand total of three times and I even had dinner at Sofitel's newly relaunched Spiral. Despite the fact that I went through Detox in a Bottle mid-December, I felt it wasn't enough to keep me in check because all the eating continued right after. Anyhow I probably would be worse off if I hadn't gone through the juice cleanse.

Surprise surprise! After my measurements were taken, results were recorded and well... my sizes did not go up from the last time I was at Marie France (well before December). I even lost half an inch from my upper arms. Jeez! I thought it must be the little things I was doing. I didn't work out at all during December because I was too busy doing everything else. My kids' yaya took a week-long vacation and our other helper was hospitalized. Guess who was stuck with all the chores? Waaah.

Just to make it clear this isn't a post about how to lose weight, it's a collection of tips on how not to gain weight. There's a difference. If you're okay with your present weight and size, this post will hopefully help you maintain status quo. Without further ado, here goes:

  1. Take the stairs if you're just going up 2-3 floors. Seriously. I do this all the time. When I take my kids to their pediatrician at St. Luke's we walk up and down the stairs. The clinic is on the 4th floor by the way. I find it senseless waiting forever for an elevator if I'm just going up and down a floor or two.
  2. Drink water. I usually skip sodas, juices, and iced tea in restaurants and even at home. Water is healthier. It's fat-free, sugar-free, and calorie-free. Drinking a sufficient amount also helps you flush out toxins from your system.
  3. Try to sleep earlier and not later. If you stay up very late, you will get hungry eventually. Midnight snacks are not good because you don't have time to burn the extra calories before you sleep.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant in Glorietta

Last January 8, we decided to eat out with friends at the newly opened Watami in Glorietta. When my hubby and I first went to Japan back in 2005, Watami was the first restaurant we dined in. Our flight arrived in the evening and when we got to the hotel, everything outside it was already closed except for Watami since it was more of a drinking place there. Still, there was a wide selection of good and reasonably priced food. My only problem with Watami in Japan is that virtually everyone smokes so you're surrounded by this cloudy haze and the cigarette stench sticks to your clothes.

Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant Glorietta
I'm so happy that Watami finally opened in the Philippines. The Glorietta branch is a lot more spacious than the one we dined at in Akihabara. People can't smoke inside the premises too so all of us can dine in comfort. Yay!

Watami Glorietta
Since we were a group of eight, we were directed to a long table at the one of the corners. Each table is completely equipped with a menu, condiments, and small appetizer plates/bowls you can use.

Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant Glorietta
Anyhow, we decided to start off with some salads. I ordered Caesar Salad with Hot Spring Egg (P320 full / P200 half) since I saw it in another blogger's post and I found it intriguing. I was kind of let down because it was surprisingly on the bland side.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Enjoy Philippines 2013 giveaway!

Around two years ago, I blogged about my very own Enjoy Philippines card. I used up lots of coupons, mostly from restaurants, and I got a lot of discounts and freebies.

Enjoy Philippines Card Kit
An Enjoy Philippines kit retails for P1,995 and comes with an Enjoy VIP card and Enjoy booklets containing discount and freebie vouchers valued at over P300,000. You can enjoy perks from establishments in Manila, Cebu, Boracay, and even Shanghai! Everything comes in an eco-friendly tote bag and Enjoy Philippines delivers for FREE nationwide for prepaid orders.

Enjoy Philippines Card Kit
How would you like your very own Enjoy Philippines kit this 2013? I can personally attest that it's really good to have because on more than one occasion my hubby and I got to dine out in a nice restaurant and enjoy either a big discount, a free dish, or a buy 1 take 1 deal. It's really worth it! You're in luck because I'm giving away three (3) Enjoy Philippines worth P1,995 each for FREE! All you have to do is follow the contest mechanics below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please take note that I am only using Rafflecopter to make sure the mechanics are followed. The three best photos to be determined by judging will win the Enjoy Philippines card kits. Good luck! Prizes will be shipped to the winners. :D

Congratulations to the following winners:

  • Cha Cha Lim-Achacoso
  • Rina Barbero-Zamora
  • Cess Gresola


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Friday, January 18, 2013

My Sample Room experience + TIGI Bed Head Stick!

I believe I've posted about Sample Room prior to its formal opening. The site was still under construction back then but I could feel everyone's excitement and anticipation for the unique service it was going to offer.

TIGI Bed Head Stick from Sample Room
Sample Room is now up and running and I must say, I've been very impressed with their brand line-up so far -- Laneige, Shu Uemura, Kerastase, Bobbi Brown... wow! These brands are admittedly on the high end of the price spectrum so it makes sense to try them first before committing yourself to the full-sized product.

Anyhow, one of the products that caught my eye at Sample Room was the TIGI Bed Head Stick. I don't have too many hair products so I decided to use up all my Sample Room points (100 pts) to get it. I'm not worried about because after you receive the product you ordered, all you have to do is post your review to replenish the exact number of points you spent. The possibilities are endless! :D

TIGI Bed Head Stick from Sample Room
At Sample Room, you choose the product you want and pay only for shipping which costs P100 per order. If you can fit 2-3 products into the 100-point limit, then even better because you still pay the same shipping cost. My TIGI Bed Head Stick arrived a couple of days after order placement. It came in a cute brown paper bag with the Sample Room logo.

TIGI Bed Head Stick from Sample Room
It was sealed too! How adorable is that?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lucky Rainbow Seafood Restaurant in Binondo, Manila

One Sunday morning, we decided to have lunch at Lucky Rainbow Seafood Restaurant in Binondo, Manila with some friends. Honestly I hate going to Binondo because I find it so inconvenient there. The streets are exaggeratedly narrow, parking is a nightmare, and it always smells like dung.

Lucky Rainbow Seafood Restaurant
Anyhow, we got a round table like the one above because there were seven of us eating.

Lucky Rainbow Seafood Restaurant
For starters, we ordered some dimsum. We quite enjoyed their juicy and meaty Siomai (P70, pictured above).

Lucky Rainbow Seafood Restaurant
We also had Hakaw (P80, pictured above). I didn't have any because I'm allergic to shrimp.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Belle de Jour Power Planner 2013 + giveaway!

I got this Belle de Jour 2013 Power Planner as a Christmas gift last December. Honestly, I haven't actually seen or held one in years because the last Belle de Jour I owned was the 2010 edition. I much prefer to use my smartphone to organize and keep track of my life.

Belle de Jour Power Planner 2013
It's still pretty much the same big, thick, and predominantly black planner.

Belle de Jour Power Planner 2013
Mine came with a Belle de Jour Lifestyle Card good for the year 2013. If you didn't get one with yours, just register at http://www.belledejourpowerplanner.com and enter the PIN code found inside your planner. Deadline for claiming is April 30, 2013.

Belle de Jour Power Planner 2013
A BDJ Lifestyle Card gives you the following perks upon presentation:
  • Ace Water Spa - 10% discount on spa service and coffee lounge
  • Azta Urban Salon - 10% discount on all services not including promos
  • Browhaus - 10% off on cash and 5% off on card purchases
  • The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf - Free drink upgrade
  • Benefit - 10% discount for a minimum of P5,000 single receipt purchase
  • Clarity - 50% off on 1st Diamond Peel session, 20% off succeeding sessions
  • City Delivery - Free ice cold beverage for every delivery worth P1,000 and above
  • DC - 5% off cash and card purchases
  • Michelis - 20% discount starting August 1, 2013
  • Strip - 10% off on cash and 5% off on card purchases
  • Free Fish - P500 discount on all regular items worth P2,290 and up
  • Flipsters - P200 discount on all regular priced items
  • Sassa - 10% off on all items exclusively in Robinsons Department Store outlets
  • Jellybean - 10% off every P1,000 single receipt purchase
  • Kiehl's - Complimentary deluxe sample with every purchase of any Kiehl's product
  • Subic Grand Seas Resort - 10% off food and drinks; 20% off room accommodation with breakfast for 2; 50% off massage service (from Jan 15 - Dec 5, 2-13 not valid on holidays) 
  • Roxy - 5% off on cash and card purchases for regular-priced items

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cooking with McCormick Korean Fried Chicken Mix!

Last January 10, I attended my first event for 2013. It was for McCormick Korean Fried Chicken Mix. Prior to this I had actually bought these mixes from the supermarket several times already.

McCormick Korean Fried Chicken Mix
The event took place at The Cookery, an events venue set up as a cooking studio.

McCormick Korean Fried Chicken Mix
We were all asked to group ourselves and proceed to our assigned cooking stations.

McCormick Korean Fried Chicken Mix
We put on the provided aprons and washed our hands. Yes, I was actually going to cook, hahaha! I don't cook but I was told McCormick Korean Fried Chicken Mix is especially handy for people who don't cook!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Review

This is actually a long overdue review since I bought the Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream last year. I have way too many BB creams for one person and for a time my hubby as actually getting annoyed at how our dresser was already full of not even half-used tubes because I kept trying and trying different brands.

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream Review
Anyhow, the reason I bought this is because when I went to Korea last summer, all the Etude House staff I asked in Myeongdong told me that this was Etude House's bestselling BB cream at the time in Korea. It cost around 14,500 won when I bought it... that's around P580 converted to our currency. I found it to be very reasonable.

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream
There were four shades available and I got Natural Beige W13 which was the 3rd shade (1st being lightest and 4th being darkest). Shade 1 would probably make me look like I have kabuki make-up on because it's just that light.

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream
So anyhow, this is Natural Beige W13. It really matches my skin tone.

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