DO NOT MISS

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Giveaway: Busy days deserve #LUXNights!

Back in the day, I'd usually dream of growing up and being an adult. I wanted to break away from all the restrictions. I wanted to sleep as late as I could, go out whenever I want to, and earn my own money so I can buy whatever I want. Fast forward to the present, I find it funny that I feel the exact opposite. I'd usually yearn for more sleep, prefer staying in than going out, and have strong inclination to save up than spend.

I also remember how I was usually bored as a child. How I have so much time on my hands yet not many things to do. But not anymore, I don't...

Lux Giveaway

I've recently celebrated my 25th birthday. And as a grown adult now (I think, I am), I have to juggle several tasks and wear different hats throughout the days. I usually feel like I have so many things to do, but not enough time to accomplish everything. Yet I try my best to finish whatever I can, so they won't pile up on me.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Start the New Year with #loveSnR Healthy Breakfast Offerings

The new year is the perfect time for a new start. And for many of us, another chance at starting to eat better and live a little healthier. I myself am no stranger to this. If you've been following me on Instagram for a while now, you'd probably know of my many attempts to eat and live healthy, and my many more attempts of keeping at it.

Healthy breakfast
Photo sourced from Secrets of Healthy Eating

If there's something I learned about starting to eat healthy, it's to make changes little by little. If you try and throw your current diet out of the window in favor of a whole new diet (e.g. no rice, vegetarian, etc.), it can get challenging to fully commit. And more often than not, you really won't get to keep all the changes for good. However, if you transition to a healthier eating habit little by little, you're incorporating "healthy" into your lifestyle. And if you do it properly, healthy eating won't just be a diet nor a phase. It'll be your way of life.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lutong Bahay: US Potato Recipes with Chef Sandy Daza

Before the year 2015 ended, I was fortunate to have been invited to the US Potato Safari 3 held in Davao City, by the US Potato Board (USPB). It was 3 days filled with insightful information and appetite whetting goodness, where the star are frozen US Potatoes.

Recipes using US Potato

One of the highlights of the 3-day potato immersion, was a cooking exhibition by Chef Sandy Daza -- TV chef, owner of Wooden Spoon Filipino Cuisine, and son of the legendary Nora Daza. And since I'm a fan of FoodPrints, one of Chef Sandy's shows on Lifestyle Network, I was more than happy and excited to see him cook up-close and in person.

Friday, January 8, 2016

US Potato Safari 3: Claude's Le Cafe de Ville

Last December 2015, the United States Potato Board (USPB) organized the US Potato Safari 3, the third of this initiative -- this time, held in the beautiful city of Davao. This 3-day US Potato immersion aims to promote local restaurants and culinary talents while showcasing the quality, flexibility and creative use of frozen US Potatoes.

I was fortunate to have been invited to the US Potato Safari 3, along with select Manila and Davao bloggers. Throughout the trip, we were introduced and showered with insightful US Potato information. Of course, we were also treated to US Potato appetite whetting goodness, the first of which is at one of the most famous fine dining restaurants in Davao.

Claude's Le Cafe de Ville Davao

Helmed by husband and wife duo, Chef Claude and Tess Le Neindre, Claude's Le Cafe de Ville has been a culinary institution in Davao City. Claude's, as it's lovingly known, was the first to offer authentic French regional cuisine in the area. However, it's not only its dishes that entice patrons. The restaurant itself has a rich history as well.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Starbucks PH: New Year Offerings this 2016

Being the "auntie" that I am, I've always preferred coffee shops and cafes, than clubs and bars. And while I've always taken pride in hunting for new cafes to chill at, I can't deny that the established has a charm that have always worked. And yup, even if you can see me in one of the newest (or even smallest) coffee shops in town, I have a soft spot for Starbucks.

What's new at Starbucks this 2016

If there's one thing I've always loved about Starbucks, it's how they're practically everywhere. Every mall has at least a branch. And in some areas, you can spot a few branches every one to two streets away. Service is also very consistent across all the Starbucks branches I've been to. But, if there's one thing that might be a con among all the pros, it might be the predictability of every visit if you're a very frequent Starbucks goer.

And if you are, here's some good news. This 2016, Starbucks Philippines welcomes the new year with something new!

Starbucks Espresso Confections


Starbucks opens the new year with its new Starbucks Espresso Confections line, which features two new decadent beverages inspired by the elegance of candy confections with flavors that can only be found in the finest boxes of chocolates.

Starbucks 2016 Strawberry Red Velvet Mocha & Chestnut White Chocolate Truffle

The Strawberry Red Velvet Mocha (P145 Short; P155 Tall; P170 Grande; P180 Venti; +P5 for Frappe) has a deliciously rich red velvet sauce combined with mocha, steamed milk and SB's signature espresso, topped with cheesecake whipped cream and lightly sprinkled with real strawberry bits.

The Chestnut White Chocolate Truffle (P135 Short; P145 Tall; P160 Grande; P170 Venti; +P5 for Frappe) on the other hand, showcases SB's signature espresso and steamed milk combined with a decadent white chocolate chestnut sauce, before finished with whipped cream and chestnut drizzle.

Lunar New Year at Starbucks


The beverages aren't the only thing new this year. Even if the Lunar New Year is still a month away (February 8), Starbucks has already released their limited edition Lunar New Year Card to welcome the Year of the Monkey.

Starbucks Lunar New Year Card

I'm not that much into monkeys, but I sure can't get enough of the cuteness of this Year of the Monkey Starbucks Lunar NY Card. It's the perfect gift to loved ones or to yourself, to celebrate a fun, loving, energetic and cheerful 2016.

The Lunar New Year Card is available starting on January 8, 2016 for an initial consumable load amount of P300. Also, make sure to register your card over at www.starbucks.ph/card.

Starbucks New Tumbler Rotating Monkey

In addition to the Lunar New Year Card, Starbucks will also be launching new merchandise in time for the Year of the Monkey, which includes this uber-cute Happy Monkey Tumbler. Not only does this tumbler feature a new and unique slide mouth opening, it also has a rotating monkey at the bottom that makes using the tumbler more fun.


And to complete the Lunar New Year anticipation, Starbucks has also released a new collection of masterfully roasted packaged whole bean coffees, one of which is the Guatemala Casi Cielo -- a single-origin Latin American coffee expertly roasted to showcase elegant flavor complexity, a unique floral aroma, citrusy brightness and lingering chocolate taste. So if you're in for a remarkable coffee with depth and versatility, the Guatemala Casi Cielo is perfect for a variety of special occasions at home.

If you're a Starbucks lover and these didn't get you excited, then I don't know what will. One thing I know though, I myself will enjoy all these new Starbucks offerings this 2016. So head on out to your favorite branch, 'cause all these Starbucks fun starts on January 8! (๑ゝڡ◕๑)


For more information, visit Starbucks Philippines:
Official Website | Facebook | Instagram

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year Giveaway: CBTL Giving Journal 2016

It's 2016! Another year has passed yet again. And I do hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday celebration. For me, it's going back to basic -- just a simple dinner with the small family, got together with friends, and enjoyed heaps of "me" time. But as we enter the first work week of the new year, first let me share with you something nice, before things start getting hectic (if it hasn't already).

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Giving Journal 2016

Some of you probably have planners for 2016 already. But if you haven't yet, why not look into getting The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Giving Journal 2016? If you've been a reader for quite a while, you'd know how I love this cafe franchise and especially their journals. They don't only look nice and stylish, but also embody the spirit of the holidays. Giving.

CBTL Giving Journal 2016
Available in 4 colors!
Tan, Tiffany Blue, Mustard and Violet
Every year, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has been making the dreams of numerous scholars come true through the REAL Life Foundation, which is the CBTL Giving Journal's primary beneficiary. And this year, it's the hope of the brand to not only help their customers embark on a journey of giving through this campaign, but to also help them brew their best year by encouraging them to explore their talents, pursue their passions, and achieve their goals through a journal that is designed not only to organize work, but to motivate and energize its users to realize their dreams.

CBTL Giving Journal 2016 Orange and Blue
Inside CBTL Giving Journal 2016
CBTL Giving Journal 2016 Daily View
CBTL Giving Journal 2016 Monthly and Travel Planner
CBTL Giving Journal 2016 Coupons
Extra stamp coupon for CBTL Giving Journal 2017
Giving Journal 2016 by CBTL

And while there are a lot of planners out there, not to mention the good number of apps for planning and organization, I'm still one of those who not only enjoy writing on paper, but also find collecting stamps a lot of fun. And since I usually hang out at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branches, I find collecting 12 stamps for the Giving Journal 2016 pretty easy! In a span of 3 days, I already got myself 5 stamps! (⌒▽⌒ゞ

Give Flavorfully with CBTL Giving Journal 2016

General Mechanics:
  1. A minimum single-receipt purchase of any Original Ice Blended, Coffee-based, or Tea-based Beverage, Hot Chocolate/Vanilla, or CBTL™ capsules qualifies you to get a stamp card. Each card consists of 12 stamp circles, with corresponding drink assignments.
    • 1 Original Ice Blended (any flavor, regular or large)
    • 1 Espresso or Coffee-Based Drink (any flavor, regular or large)
    • 1 Tea Latte (any flavor, regular or large)
    • 1 Holiday Featured Beverage: Toffee Nut or Winter Dream Tea Latte
    • Any 8 Regular or Large Beverage of Your Choice or Hot Chocolate/Vanilla or CBTL™ capsule
      • 1 Box of CBTL™ capsules (any flavor) = 2 stamps
      • CBTL™ Single Serve Beverage System (Kaldi, Contata or Desto) purchase automatically allows the customer to claim a 2016 Giving Journal
  2. Stamp card must always be presented UPON PURCHASE so that a circle may be stamped whenever its corresponding product assignment is purchased.
  3. Once all the 12 circles have been stamped, the bearer can claim his Giving Journal by surrendering the accomplished card to any of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branches. Combining of stamps cards is not allowed.
  4. Promo period is from October 23, 2015 to January 10, 2016.
  5. Giving Journals may be claimed all throughout the promo period and until 60 days after the promo has ended.

I know, I know... I'm awfully late for this post. But if you already love The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, then this might not be that hard of a feat. v(°∇^*)⌒☆

But to make up for my late-ness, and to spread more positive vibes this new year, I'm raffling off one of my CBTL Giving Journal 2016 to one very lucky winner. I'll even let the winner choose which color to get -- mustard or Tiffany blue. Woot! (ゝ。∂)

Giving Journal 2016Prize: (1) winner of CBTL Giving Journal 2016 in Mustard or Tiffany Blue

PLEASE READ!
Guidelines to enter the giveaway raffle:

  1. This giveaway is open nationwide. However, I would appreciate it more if there's a CBTL branch in your area so you can use the free coupons if you win.
  2. Follow the Rafflecopter mechanics below to join.
  3. Make sure you do all the first seven mandatory steps to be eligible.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The giveaway raffle will run from today until January 14, 2014. The winner will be drawn, announced and contacted the next day. So what are you waiting for? Join now and win yourself a new CBTL Giving Journal 2016!

Disclaimer: The prize was sponsored by the good folks at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Complete your holiday home with #loveSnR!

Ahhh... The holidays. The season where traffic is a little too unbearable, and crowds can be suffocating at times. Yet, 'tis the perfect opportunity to reunite with the whole family and get together with old friends. However, as I grow old and age up, I've found that staying in is not only a lot more convenient, but can also be more enjoyable, especially when your place is decked in holiday cheers and you got company.

Holiday Home
Photo sourced from Dekoration
Unfortunately though, I still live at my parents'. And while I enjoy freeloading from their pantry, I don't have the full authority to change things up at home. Luckily, my folks enjoy the benefits when I shop around for home stuff. And at the moment, I'm really into kitchen basics and small appliances. Well, they're the only things I can buy as of now anyway.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lutong Bahay: Beef & Kimchi Burrito + Rice Bowl

If there's one food item I'd have a hard time living without, it would definitely be rice! While I've been trying my best not to go overboard with rice, there's no denying that it's the main fuel for my everyday activities. For breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, it's just hard to imagine life without this Asian staple food item!

Beef and Kimchi Burrito

Today, let me share with you this rice-including recipe which I've been making at home for a few weeks now -- Beef and Kimchi Burrito. It's healthy, filling and a perfect dish for people on the go. I've been having this for brunch, and carrying it out when I'm on field work. And it has seriously saved me from getting "hangry" while stuck on the terrible December traffic.

Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Things to Love About ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0

As a food and lifestyle blogger, I don't just love eating out, cooking and trying out products, but also enjoy the process of taking photos and sharing them online. And ever since I've started this blog, I've always had my ol' trusty Canon DSLR to thank for the decent photos I put up on here and on my social media accounts. But truth be told, it's not always a good experience to lug a heavy and bulky camera around. More often than not, it takes up a big space in my purse and can put a toll on my shoulders.

And that's where smartphones come in handy! At times when taking my DSLR along isn't convenient, a smartphone is enough to capture the moment.

Asus Zenfone 2 Laser 5 Review

I've owned smartphones for many years now. However, I haven't been quite happy with their photo outputs despite their claim of taking good shots. For the past month though, I've been trying out the new ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0. And finally, I can say that I've found a smartphone that can accompany me to events, food trips, adventures and misadventures!

Friday, December 4, 2015

7 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Your Girl Friends

Grand Christmas trees, holiday décor, Christmas songs, intercity traffic and mall-wide sales... 'Tis only a few of the things that make Christmas in the Philippines feel more real than ever! And while the -ber months may have started the build up, it's a little surreal how months, weeks and days easily passed. Now, there's only 20 more days left before Christmas! ヽ(・ω・ゞ)

From momwhothinks
Photo from www.momwhothinks.com.

December may be the busiest month of the year. There are family gatherings, barkada reunions and company parties on top of getting all our Christmas shopping done. And if you're like me who waits a little while before getting started on your Christmas shopping, it can get a little crazy! Mall crowds are at its worst, and more so with traffic.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Earth Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Goodness in BGC

As a food blogger and foodie in general, I've always been on the lookout for good food despite the calories, and sometimes chemicals, in it. However, about two years ago, I began appreciating eating cleaner. Sure, I still crave for MSG-loaded chips and sugary treats once in a while, but for the most part, I try and get my palate and tummy the healthy food they deserve.

And nope, healthy eating does NOT mean bland, unappetizing food. Healthy food can be just as yummy, and just as satisfying. Plus, it's really good for the body! (n˘v˘•)b

Earth Kitchen BGC

A big chunk of my 2014 consisted of eating my way to fitness, and eating to battle my eczema. And for the most part of it, I cooked my own meals. Yup, almost all my meals, all day err day.

But let's be realistic! Now that my skin is far from the horrendous mess it was, and I have to go back to reality -- with all its responsibilities, I can't be cooking my own clean and healthy meals as frequently as before. 'Cause reality check, it's really time-consuming.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

5 Reasons to #LevelUpYourRice with Doña Maria

Being a foodie, my tummy and my palate have always been out and about exploring good food. When I taste something amazing, I'd dream about it for days. And when I taste something as awesome but for half the price, I'd crave for it for weeks! However, although I squeal in the inside whenever I have a good find that's friendly on the pocket, I have to admit that when it comes to a good number of food items, going cheap just won't cut it.

And for me, that includes rice.

Dona Maria Jasponica Rice

Carbs have been a great part of my diet, or my whole family's diet for that matter. And while we love breads and pasta, there's no denying that rice is at the top of our list. It's a staple in every meal, a regular cast on our dining table for as long as I can remember. And through the over 20 years that I've been eating rice, I can say that I've already come across different varieties, brands and qualities of this Asian food staple.

Believe me, I've had rice that's good, decent, and some that are just plain bad!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lip Pure: Lips #onfleek with new all-natural lipbalm

Ahh~ The -ber months! To some, it's the perfect time to sport pullover sweaters and boots. To others, 'tis the season for darker, bolder makeup looks. But to a good number of us, this is also the dreaded months of dry, flaky and chapped lips. Just unsightly! ┗|*´゚Д゚`|┛

Lip Pure natutral lip balm

Fortunately, there are heaps of lip care products in the market to combat chapped lips. And one which promises to make our lips always look on fleek is the new all-natural lipbalm by international over-the-counter and health care company Mentholatum, Lip Pure.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's smells like Christmas with #loveS&R!

Filipino Christmas starts early. And although I already felt the holiday vibe with all the happy Christmas décor and cheery Christmas songs playing in malls since the beginning of the -ber months, it wasn't until this November that everything felt more real. After the Halloween décor was taken down, more Christmas lights and ornaments are put up. And how can I not mention the grand Christmas trees that tower in malls, hotels and other buildings?

Beef Baked Rol from S&R

Even in S&R, one can't help but notice the holiday spirit! I was there earlier this week to grab some takeout from their food counter, and it really helped cheer up my mood to see tons of Christmas décor lined up just by the shopping center's entrance. The Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments, albeit for sale, definitely lifted up the place's mood. It's bright, cheerful and very inviting!

Friday, November 13, 2015

OOTD: A Touch of Pink

Only forty two days left before Christmas! Time has flown by so fast, even though a lot of things happened lately. Anyhow, I know it's been forever since my last OOTD post, but let me preface this first. These outfit photos had been taken quite a while now, but I haven't had the chance to post them here yet due to my untimely blogging and social media hiatus. Still, I hope this is a good share, as I really had fun putting together this simple yet fun outfit.

A Touch of Pink

If you didn't know yet, I dyed my hair pink last summer. (Blog post on how to dye your hair pastel pink to follow, hopefully!) Sure, it was a little tough picking out clothing pieces, in terms of color, that would go nicely with my bright hair. But after mixing and matching, I found that monochromatic themes look more interesting with a pop of fun hair color! ₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Circles: Seafood Weekend and More at Makati Shangri-la

Ahhh... Buffets! Whether there be a special occasion, or just maybe one of those days when that intense craving kicks in, there are always buffets to save the day. And while I'm not much into blogging about buffets (It's tedious, I tell you!), I have to confess that I love indulging in tons of food from time to time. And more so when it's Makati Shangri-la's Circles Event Cafe we're talking about.

Plates - Sashimi and Nigiri Sushi

And while Circles has always been a favorite of mine, and many people's, here it is again giving us more reasons to love the already beloved as it introduces its new themed dinner buffet. Come Full Circle at Makati Shangri-la's Circles as it offers a 360° dining experience "Seven Nights, One Craving at a Time". Yup, you've probably guessed it right! Circles' new promotion promises different themes for every night.
 
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