Wednesday, February 25, 2015

OOTD: Denim Day Out

Psst! Let me share with you a secret... Although I've been most comfortable wearing bottoms that cover my legs, it's actually been six years since the last time I wore denim jeans! Yup, you read that right! I've always loved jeans, but I was one of those girls who couldn't find the perfect pair for my pear-shaped body. If I attempt to wear jeans based on my waistline, I can bet that it wouldn't go past my thighs. And if I choose a bigger size that snugly fits my thighs, then you can probably imagine how that would look like for my waist. #SakoNaKungSako

Denim Day Out Cover

For years, after discovering my thighs couldn't fit into my jeans anymore, I've only enjoyed the company of leggings and jeggings. Whoever invented the jeggings is a life-saver! \(*T▽T*)/ You get the look of denim jeans, while having the perfect, skinny and stretchy fit of leggings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Caruso Ristorante Italiano: Authentic Italian Fare in Makati

Italian food, in a sense, is comfort food to me. Be it pastas, pizzas, risotto, gelato or panna cotta -- name it, and I probably love it! However, although I've been enjoying Italian cuisine for a while now, I can't really say that I've tasted a lot of authentic Italian food. For one, I haven't even been to Italy! Luckily, there are a few restos in the metro serving authentic Italian dishes. And yes, owned by Italians and also patronized by Italian expats living in the country.

Caruso Ristorante Italiano Makati

I recently had the pleasure of checking out one of these restaurants with my friend Berylle and D, along with my boyfriend who's a really big fan of pastas. Caruso Ristorante Italiano may be off of the beaten path as it's located along Nicanor Garcia Street in Makati. But it's a destination in itself, offering not just a promise of authentic Italian cuisine, but also a more peaceful and intimate location away from the action in malls, which makes it perfect for special occasions and dates with your special someone. ☆*.・(*ゝ∀・*)b⌒wiйκ

Monday, February 23, 2015

Torch Restaurant: International Favorites & More in TriNoma

For the past year or two, we've seen more and more restaurants open in the metro. A lot more than the number of clothes I own, actually. And while those gaining popularity at the moment are ones offering specialized menus, I can't deny that joints carrying more variety still has their own charm. For one, dining in with friends and family who have different taste preferences than yourself seem much easier at these types of restaurants. And today, let me share with you about one of my favorite chopsuey restos, as I call it -- where I can confidently bring friends and family without worrying they won't find a thing they like on the menu.

Torch Trinoma

If you've been a reader since 2013, you might've actually stumbled upon my review of this international restaurant in Greenhills. Fast forward to 2015, this resto called Torch now has 3 more branches -- UP Town Center, TriNoma, and their newest store yet in Greenbelt 5. But today, what I'll be blogging about is my visits (three trips, that is) to their TriNoma branch, which opened late last year. 'Cause as a CaMaNaVa northie, this is the most accessible to me. And no, I haven't been to their other branches yet, except for their first one in Greenhills.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

F1 Hotel Manila: Weekend Staycations in Bonifacio Global City

While I love living in my city, it's also nice to enjoy the comfort and not to mention, luxury, of a new environment. This is probably one of the reasons why I love staycations so much. You get to experience what the place can offer without driving too far out from the city. And one of my most favorite spots to explore as of late is the metropolis dubbed as the future premiere central business district of the country. If you haven't guessed it yet, it's one of the sprawling urban playgrounds in the metro -- Bonifacio Global City, or The Fort in Taguig.

F1 Hotel Manila

I've always loved exploring the foodie destinations and the hippest shops at The Fort. But while I can bear the almost 2-hour commute going to and from BGC, I still prefer spending time at one of the hotels here, just so I can really experience more of the place while I also unwind and recharge. So whenever the boyf and I have some extra cash and a free weekend, we try and book at F1 Hotel Manila, which is also the first hotel to open in the area.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Where to Eat at Resorts World Manila this Valentine's Day

Oh, hearts day... 'Tis the time I dread. If you're the one in charge of planning the Valentine's date, which I usually am, then you've probably experienced squeezing your brain just to find the perfect venue for that romantic day or night out with your special someone. And if you still haven't found the perfect place to celebrate the hearts day, then you're in luck! 'Cause today, I'll be sharing with you 6 Valentine's specials you can check out at Resorts World Manila.

Valentine's Date with RWM Chefs

It's no secret that Resorts World Manila, the Philippines' first one-stop, nonstop integrated tourist destination, is home not just to gaming tables, hotels, shops and the theater, but also to a good number of great restaurants. And if you and your partner are real urban dwellers, then I sure think a V-date at one of the signature restaurants at RWM would fit the bill.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

OOTD: Crop, Harem and Graffiti

If there's one thing I'm still not getting a hang of when it comes to posting OOTDs, it's the title-giving. Haha! So please forgive me if this post's title doesn't make much sense, or if it's too literal and uninspiring. But at the moment, it's already the best I can do. 。゚・(>﹏<)・゚。

Crop, Harem and Graffiti

Ever since I started with this fashion blogging thing, I've been trying to find my personal style and explore more kind of styles, especially ones which I'm not too used on seeing myself in. Or better yet, styles which I initially thought doesn't and would never suit me. So after trying to rock the midi skirt, this time, I'm attempting to sport a pair of harem pants.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

UCC Clockwork: My Kind of Cafe in Blue Bay Walk

Whenever I want to hang out, catch up with friends, or just have a good time, I go straight to coffee shops and cafes. You could say that coffee shops and cafes to me, are like bars and clubs for others. And I'm so glad that my boyfriend shares the same sentiments. Call us cafe-hoppers if you may, but this is where we're most comfortable at. ( ˘▽˘)っ♨♨c(´∀` )

UCC Clockwork Blue Bay Walk

UCC in the metro has been satisfying us with not just coffee, but also with their food -- be it the Vienna Cafe, Park Cafe, or Cafe Terrace concept. However, the newest addition to their family of cafes is probably my most favorite among them all. UCC Clockwork at Blue Bay Walk.

Unlike the other UCC stores, UCC Clockwork adopts the "third wave coffee" concept -- a global movement that aims to produce higher quality coffee, mostly single-origin, and put back the artistry in coffee-making. So yup, don't expect ice-blended frappe drinks here.

Clocks at UCC Clockwork Blue Bay Walk
UCC Clockwork ain't called clockwork for nothing!
Bar at UCC Clockwork
A peek at UCC Clockwork's bar
UCC Clockwork
Stairs to the mezzanine level
Mezzanine at UCC Clockwork Blue Bay Walk
View of the mezzanine just after climbing the stairs
UCC Clockwork Private Room
This is just one of the private rooms at UCC Clockwork.
Smoking Area at UCC Clockwork
They even have a spacious smoking area on the mezzanine level!
There are quite a lot of spacious cafes in the metro. However, UCC Clockwork is probably the biggest I've seen in recent memory. There are a few tables on the ground floor, and a wide dining and lounging area on the mezzanine. They even have about three or four private rooms perfect for meetings. And the high ceilings, they make the place feel even more spacious!

I actually wanted to take more photos of the spacious interior, but my phone battery already died. And it didn't help that I only have a 40mm lens on my dslr at the moment. (¬,¬”) (I only use my phone when taking photos of resto signages and interiors.) Been checking out ZALORA for power banks, since I'm in dire need of a heavy duty one. Which do you think should I get?

Push Button Server Caller
Worried it'd be hard to call the attention of the staff?
Push button callers are installed all over the cafe.
When we got inside the cafe, I knew I wanted to sit at the counter tables lined on the edge of the mezzanine. It was the perfect spot to appreciate the spaciousness of the place, and take in the industrial feel of UCC Clockwork, while getting a nice view of the bar area below.

Anyhow, here are the things we ordered from UCC Clockwork's menu...

Brazil #2 Single-Serve (P170)
✓ Brazil #2 Single-Origin Coffee (P170)
The boyf asked for their bestseller, and he was recommended the Brazil #2. And upon taking a sip, I couldn't agree more! This hand-drip coffee tasted great! It was pretty light, full-bodied yet far from acidic. It also had sweet, nutty notes and even hints of bittersweet chocolatey flavor. This is by far the most delicious-tasting coffee I've ever had. And please, if you love coffee, don't add sugar or cream to this serving. It's already perfect the way it is!

Hot Matcha Latte (P170)
Hot Matcha Latte (P170)
As for my choice of drink, I had the matcha latte since I was craving for matcha so badly. This cup was nice and creamy, although I would've preferred if the matcha flavor was stronger. Thinking back to when we visited UCC Clockwork, I wish I'd ordered one of their single-origin coffee instead... Oh well, this just calls for another visit then! And hopefully, soon. Dominica Nuevo Mundo Typica (P240) -- orange & nuts with a hint of floral notes, I'm eyeing on you!

Sausage Al Tartufo (P320)
Sausage Al Tartufo (P320)
The boyfriend loves his pastas, so when he saw this on the menu, he didn't even think twice about ordering it. Al dente-cooked linguine with white truffle oil, sausages, parmesan and mushrooms in bechamel sauce, served with garlic bread on the side -- this dish tasted as good as it looks and sounds. Every forkful gave off soft yet firm pasta goodness with just the right amount of creamy, mushroomy and truffle oil flavors. However, I thought the dish lacked a pinch of salt. After asking for some salt and pepper, the boyf seemed to dig it more.

Fresh Corned Beef with Kimchi Rice (P350)
✓ Fresh Corned Beef with Kimchi Rice (P350)
I would've settled for a light salad if I weren't too hungry. But since we were out for brunch at 12 noon (yup, haven't had breakfast yet), I was craving for something with rice. And rice I did have. Homemade corned beef with kimchi rice, poached egg, dijonnaise, and a side of salad -- you'd think a girl as small as me wouldn't be able to finish this plate. But I did! It was THAT good. The corned beef was quite thick and chunky, yet tender, savory and simply delish. And although I initially felt like there was not enough corned beef and too much kimchi rice, I can't complain 'cause I wolfed down the rice like nobody's business! Everything on this plate, or serving board rather, was great. If only there was another piece of corned beef. Teehee!

Oh, no dessert from UCC Clockwork since we went to Yamato Bakery next door and had Sumiyaki Coffee Jelly, which I think is also on UCC Clockwork's menu. But meh~ It was too late when I realized it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


UCC has been one of my favorite cafes, but I've honestly been tired of the same old items they have on their menu. So I'm so happy that there's UCC Clockwork to freshen things up and give the younger, hipper market, as well as the more serious coffee enthusiasts, a new place to hang out at. And although we've only tried one of their single-origin, pour-over coffees, we were so impressed that we'll definitely go back for more. Their food, as expected of UCC, is of good quality and taste too. And how can I not mention the industrial, steampunk vibe (that I love) oozing from the interiors? If only the servers would smile more and exude more warmth, then I won't be hesitant to say that UCC Clockwork is my most favorite cafe to date.

Taste 4/5
Ambiance - 4.5/5
Service - 3.5/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5

UCC Clockwork, Blue Bay Walk
Blue Bay Walk, Macapagal Avenue Corner EDSA,
San Jose, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 843-4383
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Va Bene Pasta Deli: Authentic Italian Now at Bonifacio Global City

If last December was the month that I craved for sushi, the recently-concluded January on the other hand, is when I gave in to all things pasta. Apart from cooking my own pasta dishes at home, I still had the appetite to order pasta whenever the boyf and I head out to eat. And when we found ourselves at Bonifacio Global City one Saturday evening, I knew we needed to try this restaurant known for serving authentic Italian fare! And take note, we just ate lunch at Italianni's that same day too! Well, who says you can't have pasta for lunch AND dinner?

Va Bene Pasta Deli Bonifacio High Street Central Square

I guess all the cutting back on carbs has finally caught up. And it didn't help that the boyf is simply crazy for pasta! But honestly, Va Bene Pasta Deli has long been in our bucket list. I've first read about it when they only had one store, at the 2nd floor of the Petron Gas Station along EDSA cor. Pasay Road. Good thing they've recently opened another branch in Bonifacio High Street Central Square. If not, I don't know how many years it'll take us to finally try it out!

Friday, January 23, 2015

OOTD: Almost a Woman

Sharing OOTDs has been fun for me. However, I feel like I'm always caught wearing cutesy, girly, dolly outfits. So I thought, why not change it up a bit? I've been wanting to experiment with my personal style, so I hope this post channels it... Even just a little bit.

Almost a Woman

If you haven't met me in person yet, chances are, you'd think I don't stand too short. However, truth be told, I'm teeny-weeny standing at just 5'1 or about 155cm. And with this height, there will always be clothing pieces that I really want, but can't seem to rock.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NIU by Vikings: Luxury Eat-All-You-Can Buffet in SM Aura Premier

If you've been a reader for a while now, you might already know of my family's love for Vikings Luxury Buffet. We've spent countless occasions pigging out at this eat-all-you-can destination, and have come to consider it an extension of the house's kitchen and dining room. For the past few years, we've been witnesses to how this buffet concept has tried to better itself, and grow more branches in and out of the metro. But while it has already placed itself as a "luxury" buffet when it first opened, the same people behind this success still decided to up the game a notch higher... With NIU by Vikings.

Niu by Vikings SM Aura

Although selection at the Vikings Luxury Buffet is already extensive, NIU by Vikings is what better rivals against higher-end buffets in hotels. It's located at the 6th level of SM Aura Premier, and carries more expensive items like foie gras, on top of the free-flowing alcohol -- wine and cocktails included. Of course, pricing is also significantly higher.

Friday, January 16, 2015

L'Oreal Paris Mat Magique Review + Mini-Giveaway!

How does it feel to not have to touch up your makeup through the day? Really, I don't know. Ever since I first started to put on makeup, there wasn't a single time when I didn't need a retouch at all. I've always had oily-combination skin, as far as I can remember. And whenever I put on foundation, mattifying ones, I'd only need to wait about an hour before my face turns into a grease ball. So when I was sent L'Oreal's new mattifying powder foundation, Mat Magique, I knew I just had to try it and put this product to the test.

L'Oreal Mat Magique

While having dewy, supple skin is a sign of youth, having overly shiny face is not a good sign at all. I've always gone for the dewy look since I didn't want to cake my face with too much mattifying powder. However, even if I put on tons of powder, I'd still end up shiny, oily and not picture-ready after an hour or so. Actually, photos of me with my friends would easily tell you that I have really oily skin. Especially when the photos were taken with flash. Ugh! I just hate when my friends had to use flash. (Peace to said friends! v(=^▽^=)v Just being honest here.) It makes me even more oily and haggard-looking. (◍•﹏•)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Malabon Tricycle Tours: Rediscovering My Hometown

Rediscovering my hometown is something I haven't thought of doing, until now. And I'm really happy that I got a go at it. You see, I've lived over 20 years of my life in the city of Malabon. However, I haven't actually explored it much. So last month, when I received an invitation to join the Malabon Tricycle Tours, I knew I just had to say yes!

Malabon Tricycle Tour

Organized by the local government of Malabon, led by Malabon Mayor Antolin "Len-Len" Oreta III's wife, Chef Melissa Sison-Oreta, the Malabon Tricycle Tours aims to showcase a different side of the city as part of the #VisitPhilippines2015 campaign. If you haven't lived or been to Malabon, then you might think that the city only offers pichi-pichi, Pancit Malabon, a multitude of factories, and flooded streets. And this, my friends, is why I joined the tour. I wanted to see more of my city behind all the pre- and misconceptions.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

#SKINvesting at Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations in BGC

Ahhh... Skin talk. This is something very close to my heart after living through my whole life with skin asthma, and the past ten years with worsening eczema. Not a long time ago, I even shared a story of the topical steroid withdrawal I just went, and am still going through. And although the use and abuse of topical steroids as (mis)guided by my previous derma was what drove me to use home remedies, and resort to the more natural ways of healing the skin, it would be unfair to assume that all dermatologists are like her.

Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations

So after over five months of not seeing any dermatologists, I have found myself again at the doorstep of another derm clinic. But this time, at the more reputable Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations on the 2nd floor of Mercury Drug Building in Fort Bonifacio Global City.

Friday, January 9, 2015

OOTD: Cotton Candy and Florals

Thank you so much for the warm welcome ya'll showed to my first ever OOTD post! (▰˘◡˘▰) I've actually been quite anxious how fashion blogging would fit me and the blog. You know, this being a food and lifestyle blog, generally... But because of the warmth and support, I've become more excited to share with you even more looks! Yay! ヾ(*⌒ヮ⌒*)ゞ

Cupcakes and Florals

This one, I wore back in December, when I went out to pre-Christmas dinner at Grace Park with the bf, Berylle and her other half. And before you judge the bad lighting and photo quality, and my derp face and awkward poses, I'm already giving you a heads up that most of the looks I'll be posting for now are ones I wore and shot last month. BUT, I'll definitely be trying my best to put up better-looking OOTDs -- photo-wise, pose-wise and style-wise.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mona Lisa Ristorante: Healthy Italian Dining at SM Aura

If you've been a long-time reader, you'd already know of my undying love for Japanese food. However, unbeknownst to many, Italian cuisine is also one of my comfort foods. Pasta, pizza, panizza, gelato -- name it, I probably love it! So a few weeks ago, after a session at Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations, my friend Kenny and I decided to check out this Italian restaurant when we were looking for a nice place to have late lunch at in SM Aura.

Mona Lisa Ristorante SM Aura

I first came across Mona Lisa Ristorante when I visited the now-closed Studio Kitchen in Commerce Center, Alabang. I've heard from acquaintances that it's a really good restaurant to get Italian food from. But as much as I want to visit it, going to Alabang will take either a tiresome commute, or a long spiel to convince the boyf to drive for me. *sigh*

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Make Me Blush: Nail Spa and Beauty Lounge in Quezon City

Last year was quite a trying time for me. Apart from feeling aesthetically lacking, I wasn't fully functional. There were things I, my hands specifically, can't do because of a bad case of hand eczema. I couldn't help with house chores, wash my clothes, let alone wash my own hair, even if I wanted to. Of course, getting my nails done is also out of the question.

The Purple Doll at Make Me Blush Nail Spa and Beauty Lounge

It was really a challenging three months. So when my hands started to get better, I knew I also had to treat it better. Use but not abuse it, be wary of things (especially chemicals) I touch, stop washing it to death, and let it enjoy a primping and pampering session. That's why when I had the chance to check out Make Me Blush Nail Spa and Beauty Lounge at Hemady Square in Quezon City, I just had to jump right in. It was high time to say goodbye to my awful chipped manicure and say hello to colorful and better-looking nails!
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