Saturday, May 26, 2012

the Salsa Project this summer

This is bad. Who would've thought I'd be engrossed in steak tacos so much that I have to leave home at midnight just so I could gorge on those & wash it all down with A&W Cream Soda? Yes, that's what Chihuahua Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar does to me. 

It's my new happy place now, especially during Saturday nights, when they have this thing called the Salsa Project going on. Awesome music, lovely people on the dance floor giving it a shot whether for kicks or for the pure love of salsa dancing, killer margaritas, & yummy food. Now they even have Dr. Pepper & Cherry Coke to make things more homey, an interesting dessert that I can't even finish all by myself (& I wish there'd be more ice cream on it) & weekend brunch offerings (including cocktails such as Tequila Sunrise), & a new branch much closer to me! Greenbelt 2 is the place to be now, before midnight, that is. 

We can play board games there on other days. It can get too loud, though, nevertheless, regardless what day or night it is, at their main spot along Makati Ave., when people hang out in groups & get happily sloshed. I still go alone most of the time, but hanging out one-on-one with my favorite people this year there is super-fun. I can't wait to get back there, this time with my best friend in tow, who loves spicy food more than I do. Should be a good place to chill every single time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Ayala A-card should be expiring this month, & I'm actually happy for the easy renewal requirements. Application should be easier this time around, so you folks should go for of it ASAP.

I guess I should take advantage of my discounts while I still can from The Spa (10% for every cash & card purchases on services & memberships; P200 off for every service worth P1000 & above), Fully Booked (10% for every cash purchase of regular items), Nike Park & Nike Women (10% on regular items only), Strip & Browhaus (10% off on cash purchases on products & a la carte services), Timezone (P160 for every P200 Powercard load, hehe, I'm such a kid), to name a few. Since I'm either at Greenbelt or Bonifacio High Street more often, yay. I hope when I drop by later today such offers still apply.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

not another shop-til-you-drop summer bazaar

Ohayo again! I'm sorry for being gone for a very long time (for the nth time) — I am that swamped with work & it was only last week that I was able to finally slow down & take a break, but not before I had to reunite with my high school best friends, with matching sleepover, even if I really didn't get any shut-eye. But I'll be posting all my overdue reviews this week, & I'm excited. This summer's the most promising, so far. & to prove that point, look at what I found out at the last minute:

So one of my most ardent clients Jenny Lee just texted me a couple of hours ago saying that she joined this huge bazaar this weekend at the Rockwell Tent, & today's the LAST day. I'll be scoring a complimentary pair of shoes from their line Prêt-à-Porter, & I'm happy for their big launch! We were talking about it a few months ago, & she even remembers my size! I've got huge feet now, & depending on the brand I shuffle from 9" to 10". & to double-check, because I'm just about to get cool Iron Fist flats locally, my silly feet should be about 25 cm., hehe. (HINT, HINT.) I'm glad that Jenny's line can cater to plus sizes, yay. I hope her gift fits me! ♥

Aside from my gladiator flats, strappy sandals, & old Nikes, I basically live & breathe in flip-flops, because I like comfort above everything else & I'm still bordering on androgynous like that, though I saved myself the agony of going to the Make Your Own Havaianas event this year. I hope I won't get claustrophobic later at the SuperSale Bazaar, but let's see. Since I desperately need a wardrobe update, I can't wait to check out more girly shoes & swimwear there even if I'm not yet in shape for that (who cares? I'm swimming alone in a secluded beach!) & I can't wait to check out Jenny's footwear brand because I remember her saying comfort was also what they so had in mind when they developed their styles. Hooray.

Now this SuperSale Bazaar at the Rockwell Tent looks pretty interesting because not only credit cards will be accepted, but also proceeds of the tickets will go to the ICanServe Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides hope, help, & information to women (& men? *gasp*) diagnosed with breast cancer. So, yay, shop for a cause. There are supposedly over 100 brands to choose from, discounted up to 90% even on selected items. & don't worry about missing Sunday Mass later, as there will be one held at 3pm at the Annex.

If you print that online poster/flier, you might get 20% off the ticket price. But you (oh, we!) can also get in for free by presenting either a Xend waybill from anytime this month or a Fitness First membership card (haha, this might just work for me!) or by wearing an ICan Serve t-shirt. But the ticket price is only P100 anyway.

I hope that when I get there, they're still giving away eco-bags, & that I can snag a PicturePerfect photo booth souvenir, & maybe I can win something from their raffle draws (which will be thrown, like, every half an hour).

Maybe I'll just devote the rest of the day to myself. Get pampered, mosey along MUJI & Fully Booked then proceed there, then resume my writeups, then collapse at tonight's Irie Sunday gig at B-SIDE at The Collective. Lessee if I survive the abominable summer heat outdoors.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

one-stop noodle houses are love

Happy New Year! I know, I've been gone for so long & I have a very serious blogging backlog for my other space, too, but here I am again. I've so much to tell you over the coming weeks & I'm really happy about a lot of things. ♥

But first, let me tell you about my new super-awesome happy place, & I'm not kidding. I can go back there every single day of my life from now on, but since I need some time out for myself at least every other day of the week, I can only go back just as much. But it's the place to be, especially on a quiet weeknight, & I knew I should've posted this bit much, much earlier. Anyway, the secret's out, & let me count the ways why I so love Wabi-Sabi Noodle House & Vegetarian Grocery in The Collective in Malugay St., Makati City. ♥

When I first walked into this quaint, quirky little restaurant sometime November, during a Taurus Full Moon, I was already full from my tuna pasta dinner in Serendra after picking up my new Legacy of the Divine Tarot deck. But to my surprise, I found out I could actually enjoy both ramen & pho in this joint whenever I wanted to! This was quite a big deal for me, considering I have to go to certain noodle houses for either my ramen or pho fix, especially when it's that time of the month again & emotional eating can't be helped, ugh. I even splurge for those (think Umu & Aquaknox) IKR. But yay, everything's reasonably priced here! Plus the fact that everything they served was vegetarian made it all the more delightful. I eat vegetarian or seafood pasta & salad every chance I get when I'm out, even if I still enjoy meat dishes at home & gorge on food in general just the same! So I went back after a week with my brother in tow, then another week with one of my best friends, & then practically dragged one of my tarot pals back to the place shortly after that before the holidays ensued (& they were closed anyway for a long time until after New Year's), & we couldn't stop hanging out ever since. It was truly love at first sight then first bite, to be cliche about it, haha.

I've tried almost everything in the menu except for their banh mi sandwich & lemongrass iced tea, & I seriously love everything I've tasted! Their shoyu ramen & pho are priced at PhP95, & their new addition to the menu, miso ramen, should be around PhP105. A friend of mine loves their miso ramen best, probably mainly because of the buttered sweet corn in it, while I'd have any of them soup bowls everytime. I also love their gyoza & steamed buns (PhP45 & PhP25, respectively) for that distinctive mushroom taste (if you order the asado variety, & I'm a shiitake junkie like that) & their Thai milk tea (PhP45, too, if I remember correctly).

To cap off the vegetarian theme, Plants VS Zombies fans can buy miniatures as inspired by the game, made locally. There are also magazines from PETA that customers can leaf through, & a mini-grocery is by the counter. Try also their yummy bottled drinks from Bundaberg, P65 each. The brand's ginger beer, sarsaparilla, & peachee are bestsellers. Wabi-Sabi also sells eco-bags (& more people should use less plastic bags, seriously) & I totally like what I got recently from them.

I'll always recommend this place because not only is the fare superb & the very staff friendly, especially Ms. Tess (though please bear with them if the service is slow, especially on a packed weekend night), but also the background music is my kinda thing (either you get Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californation — though I'm really more of a Blood Sugar Sex Magik fan — or Cibo Matto's Stereo Type A or Pearl Jam's Ten, if not reggae or ska samples playing). I can always be myself here, no holds barred, & I'll always feel so much better everytime, especially after a hectic afternoon or so. & yeah, this is another affirmation that vegetarianism can be really fun & easy (READ: nonthreatening), to begin with.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"when we were cats"

I admit. I need a diversion than my usual movies both on cable & on the big screen, my Tarot cards, my junk food, & my PSP games (currently, Midnight Club: LA Remix & Need for Speed: Shift). The last stage play I've seen was Avenue Q for my birthday 3 years ago, & seeing Lea Salonga plug her upcoming show CATS on cable TV a few times already this month, along with Citibank sending me incessant e-mail about it, now makes me want to check out the fuss.

The play's called "CATS Now & Forever" which is based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Lea Salonga will be portraying Grizabella, whom she says has a very interesting life & we Filipinos can learn a lot from. She'll be singing the classic "Memory" song, which was my favorite when I was so much younger. (Oh, God, me & my propensity for everything pensive, tsk. Yeah, I was 9 when I liked that & "Michelle" from The Beatles, haha.) Andrew Lloyd Webber's music will make this doubly interesting, OMG, & what better time to get this show on the road than when the Sun's finally in the sign of Leo, from July 24 to August 22? Rawrrr. I mean, meow. OK, whatev. :P

CATS will be held at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo in the CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) in Manila, & tickets are sold via Ticketworld (exclusive of Ticketworld fees). The prices vary based on schedule, & here's a rundown of them:

SAT (3:00pm)
SUN (2:30pm)
PhP7000 PhP5000 PhP3500 PhP2000 PhP1000

TUE, WED, THU (8:00pm)
SUN (7:30pm)
PhP6000 PhP4500 PhP3000 PhP1500 PhP750


FRI, SAT (8:00pm)
PhP7000 PhP5000 PhP3500 PhP2000 Php1000

& here's the full listing of the play dates, until further notice, perhaps:

SHOW DATES (as of April 2010)
SAT July 24 Matinee + Evening
SUN July 25 Matinee + Evening
TUE July 27 Evening
WED July 28 Evening
THU July 29 Evening
FRI July 30 Evening
SAT July 31 Matinee + Evening
SAT July 31 Evening
SUN August 1 Matinee + Evening
TUE August 3 Evening
WED August 4 Evening
THU August 5 Evening
FRI August 6 Evening
SAT August 7 Matinee + Evening
SUN August 8 Matinee + Evening
TUE August 10 Evening
WED August 11 Evening
THU August 12 Evening
FRI August 13 Evening
SAT August 14 Matinee + Evening
SUN August 15 Matinee + Evening
TUE August 17 Evening
WED August 18 Evening
FRI August 20 Evening
SAT August 21 Matinee + Evening
SUN August 22 Matinee + Evening

I really should keep all of these dates in mind, & I need to check my almanac which date would be the best to watch this show on personally. ♥

For more information, visit their official Facebook page or Tumblr site. Fun stuff abound!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

sweet like honey to my soul

Happy Spring Equinox + Philippine summer!

Hello again, world, I'm back. I know I've been gone for the longest time, as a lot of things have happened to me, & I've so much to blab about, I dunno really where to start. But I think this is the perfect time to pick up where we've last left off, so to speak, since the Sun is back in Aries, & Mars has gone direct again in Leo. I have more time to blog as a result, & I can't wait to enjoy the rest of this year's summer. Happy 2010, everyone!

Before I recount every little thing that went by me from my last post until now, let me tell you how I've fallen in love with Estee Lauder Sensuous, a "warm, luminous, feminine woody amber" scent that my mom gave me late last year, just before Christmas, I think. So I got the 100ml bottle, actually, & I kinda cringed at the thought of wearing something woody, thinking it would suit my mom better. I believe she thought it was too "mild" for her liking, that's why she passed it on to me instead, saying I could use some of this to "feel more like my age," ugh. "So what if I'm already 30?!" I retort, since I still get mistaken for a 23-year-old with my crazy antics & no-makeup look. Worse, I wouldn't mind being caught dead wearing the same old scent I had in high school + college until this very day. I got curious, though, especially with the hype online. Plus, I had nothing left to wear with my all-black ensemble at work back then, so I had no choice but to spritz it on. I'm very glad I did.

It's actually sweeter than what I had in mind. Very smooth, too, indeed. Suitable enough even for quirky, juvenile me. To quote from the Now Smell This blog: "It is one of those rare scents that I'd call pleasant and wearable and interesting..." & it does feel/smell like warm honey, but not gooey or sticky or cloying at all. Yes, it does wear wonderfully even in disgusting humid weather, but I don't agree with its staying power on skin. I even have to spritz more than expected of an eau de parfum. It's that light & easygoing. It smells lovely on my clothes & bag, anyway, so, yay.

Maybe this is what product endorser/model Elizabeth Hurley meant when she said, "I think to be sensual you need to feel relaxed." I can wear it at any time of the day, or season, or with any color, & it would feel perfect regardless. Gwyneth Paltrow did say that, "There's a sort of free, sort of beachy sensuous feeling in the summer time..." & this could very much complement that mood. Best of all, I don't need to act all womanly + fully grown-up to flaunt this scent. I can just be myself, without compromising its qualities.

I'd gladly get another 100ml bottle of this once this runs out. I have only 1/3 left. I love it like that. ♥

Sunday, November 15, 2009

powering up

Let me tell you about this new energy drink that has been helping me to stay awake for about a couple of weeks now. I seriously need a boost everytime, & I can't depend on coffee & chocolate anymore for that. Despite my power naps at my day job every weekday, sometimes I can't help but rake up sleep debt, especially when I'm really swamped with other things to do. (Which reminds me, that's the reason why I haven't posted anything for a long while, because I got caught up with so much other crap to engage in, & now I'm doomed. But don't worry, I'll be more self-centered from now on. Take that any way you would.) So, to keep myself afloat, I tried this strawberry-flavored energy drink from the makers of Pepsi called Sting, thanks to my coworker Don, whom I'd usually have breakfast with, with 4 others. (We've called ourselves The Breakfast Club, btw, in homage to that fantastic classic 80's movie, & because all we do is eat after every shift, unless, of course, I need to dash back home to catch up on my beauty sleep. I'm telling you, my sleep debt's THAT bad.)

So I liked how strawberry Sting tasted on my first go. Even the Gold Blast (rather fruity, but with some weird aftertaste, that also would remind other people grotesquely of piss because how it's so, uhm, yellow) wasn't so bad, compared to all them energy drinks I've abused in the last 2 years (like Bacchus, for starters). I have to stop myself from grabbing another bottle everytime because it feels like I'm only downing some strawberry-flavored softdrink, yay! Doesn't taste like cough syrup at all! Aside from that, energy drinks leave me more brain-dead than ever at the end of the day, so I really better take it easy. I can't find any decent information about the product online, though, except for this link to its crazy commercial (which I'm not posting, I'm sorry, LOL).

So what else's so special about it? I'm not really sure. It's only P18 at 7-11, btw, for 330mL, & it has the usual power-up essentials: Vitamin B3 + B6 +B12, ginseng extract, taurine, & inositol, which is supposedly for preventing fat build-up in the liver, helping alleviate certain psychological problems (e.g. bulimia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsiveness, depression), & promoting hair growth. Whatev. Then you have all sorts of other chemicals enumerated in the nutrition information list, & you can only wonder how much are the odds of you intoxicating yourself compared to actually nourishing yourself with the stuff, among other critical factors in your environment & diet. All I'd think about then to make myself feel better is that I need to take the stuff pretty early so I'd stay awake for the entirety of my shift, & I'd be more productive & rule-abiding (as I can't be caught dead sleeping on the job, yo!) as a result.

Anyway, I think everything local that has graffiti or tattoo art on it nowadays is rather overrated, but I really could care less about the packaging or bottling at this point. I just want my strawberry Sting real bad everytime I want it, & I go practically mental when I've to settle for something else.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

on Gaia worship

So I'm supposed to be posting about food today (or at least about this fizzy strawberry-flavored energy drink that's been keeping me up this week) but I got way too excited with these new bath products which just got delivered to my doorstep today. I bought them a couple of nights ago online, because my some of my esoteric friends were raving about their local + organic discoveries. Who wouldn't want products that are organic; ergo, environment-friendly, chemical-free, not to mention fresh-smelling — & most importantly — homegrown? Plus the prices are actually pretty affordable, come to think of it, for organic stuff! I got especially curious with the mango body butter, conditioner, & hair mask because I'm a sucker for ripe mango anything (except for Estee Lauder Pleasures Exotic, which only left me nauseous for hours, to the point of getting confined) but I forgot the body butter amidst the excitement, as I'm not really too keen on slathering lotion or creams on my horrendously sensitive skin to begin with. I got the lemongrass body scrub, though, & I was thinking I really wouldn't have a need for it, since it has cocoa butter, & usually products like my favorite Aqua Mirabilis bar make me feel like I don't really need an after-shower lotion. However, serious (no matter how gentle) exfoliation requires moisturizing after, & I totally regret the blunder. I don't mind! I'm all the more excited now to get everything else from Human Heart Nature!

For starters, I got the 50ml bottles of shampoo & conditioner, & the 50g tub for the hair mask, & the 100g tub for the body scrub. True enough, just a little of each goes a long way. I got different variants for my hair for kicks, because I like the whole mix-&-match hoopla.

I got the cucumber strengthening shampoo (for a silky, smooth finish supposedly) with pearl powder, aloe vera, & virgin coconut oil (an essential ingredient in all their shampoos & conditioners). Upon use, the shower room smelled like I had a freshly sliced cucumber in there, & it was really earthy. Like I just picked one straight from my backyard garden or something, & it wasn't really to my liking. But I liked how the shampoo was easy to rinse, how it didn't weigh down my hair, & my how my hair felt okay after. As in, no hair fall or broken strands! So far, so good. I'll try the peppermint variant next, then maybe even the guava & mandarin orange bottles for my chemically-abused tresses, while I can't splurge yet on my designer hair care spree.

Then I had the mandarin orange nourishing conditioner with mango butter, & this one takes the cake! I left this on for as long as possible (while I used the lemongrass body scrub) & the whole shower room smelled divine when I did. My hair felt divine, too, when I rinsed it off! Again, it was so easy to rinse, there was no icky residue, & my hair felt nicer than ever. No wonder it's the bestseller on the website. A lot of people already swear by it. Because of this, I so want all the more now to try either the guava or mandarin orange-scented shampoo. Hooray for aromatherapy!

The mango butter with peppermint & natural Vitamin E intense moisture hair mask felt so good, too! The peppermint was cool & soothing enough to leave on my scalp, but I left it on for only 5 minutes or so, because I was excited to finish my bath & blab about my findings. The verdict? Yep, really nice & manageable hair (even if I have a jagged mullet, haha) & a lighter head. Again, it was pretty easy to rinse, & I can't wait to get the 200g tub soon. I'm also excited to give my culture vulture friend this product for her birthday for her curly mane!

Now the lemongrass body scrub with cocoa butter & brown rice beads was rather tricky. Sure, I've always liked lemongrass in my mom's cooking, hehe, & I only got to appreciate its energizing effects via aromatherapy lately (as my current day spa getaway uses lemongrass essential oil as one of its main picks for massages), so I was thinking, mmm, this should be lovely. I'm currently using a warm, spicy, delightful green tea body scrub for everyday use with lemon, peppermint, & caraway; but oh, what the heck, a quasi-corporate drone like me exposed to stress & pollution every week could never have enough body scrub formulas for an instant pick-me-up whenever necessary. My face's all blotched & parched, but I tend to be more irritated if the rest of my body's not conditioned. Anyway, the body scrub's gentle enough to be used everyday but potent enough to get squeaky-clean all over, but the scent's actually cloying, & for a while I thought I was going to hurl or something while I was applying it all over. I could smell the sweet, earthy hints of cocoa butter & brown rice but maybe those really don't go well with lemongrass, so, bleargh. It also smelled faintly like there was honey in it. Yum. I could really feel the cocoa butter, though, while I was doing so, & finally rinsing it all off felt marvelous. Well, this one was rather hard to rinse off, however, as my arms & thighs were rather sticky, but oh God. It does smell & feel so much better after I've washed myself clean, because only then did I realize that it felt like I've just stepped out of a spa. I smelled overall good enough to eat, haha, & I felt recharged. I was so pleased to the point of exhilaration that I hardly got any sleep today! Dammit. I wonder if I'll keep myself up. Maybe another shower should do the trick. But I'll stick to my soap du jour lest I'd end up sick to go back to work.

Nevertheless, I'm in love, & I can't wait to try everything else. My lifeless coif & horrendously sensitive skin have found instant relief, & the fact that I'm contributing to a very good cause by advocating this particular local + organic fare is giving so much more hope for mankind & this godforsaken country.

Monday, October 19, 2009

so much for intros

I might as well come up with a separate blog to post my thoughts about products & services I come across with. I can't help but babble about stuff I like in my old personal LiveJournal & even in my New Age blog, sometimes to the point of obsessing & going off-topic. It's high time I'd be more organized with my posts & talk about my preferences (or otherwise) in detail. I may be a bit stuck-up with my choices, no matter how cheap or bland they can be for you, & that's why you really don't have to take my word for it everytime.

For starters, let me share what I personally love & will forever rave about, as long as they don't get phased out or deteriorate in terms of quality:

1) NIVEA Lip Care Q10 Lip Effect - Because my lips chap real bad, to the point of wounding & bleeding, I need something heavy-duty, & believe me, I've tried everything. This one takes the cake. Ah, finally. Now if only I can remember to apply this at least once a day, because I'm pabaya like that...

2) Orly Nail Polish in Monroe's Red - I have a bottle of this & I've been using it since last year. The brand claims to have no formaldehyde, & that's good to know. This is even better (& cheaper) than Essie, but I'd want Essie in Long Stem Roses just the same, which is the best blood-red shade I've tried so far. I also love Orly's Masquerade Collection, at least Enchanting & Belle of the Ball. Yep, I want bottles of those, too. What I like best about the Orly brand is that even if my nail polish is already chipping, whatever's left on my nails still looks shiny, & people at work ask me what stuff am I using & where do I get my nails done! But yeah, don't remind me, chipping nail polish = unkempt. Sigh.

3) Dove Night Calming Bar - I've been using this for quite some time now as well, because I'm prone to breakouts with other soaps & shower gels, & I hate slathering lotion (even if it's Vaseline Intensive Rescue Moisture Locking, which is super-light, non-greasy, & hypoallergenic). This works like a charm & isn't that drying nor too hard to rinse off, but it melts rather quickly, & which reminds me, I should get more of this tomorrow, argh.

4) Apivita Pedi Care Relief Gel - The best product ever for my feet. One of the best gifts anyone can give me, especially this Christmas. I hate aching feet, that's why I splurge on foot spa treatments, & this gel is a lifesaver! My brother thinks it smells funny, though. He's hard to please anyway, to begin with, dammit, no thanks to his Virgo nature.

5) Lush Cosmetics Aqua Mirabilis Body Butter - It's actually more apt to consider this as a solid body scrub formula, rather than an actual topical, off-the-shower moisturizer. Whenever I need major exfoliation without the abrasion from the usual salt body scrub, this does the job nicely. Hooray for squeaky-clean & at the same time smooth skin. Too bad, though, because users need to consume the bar quick, not longer than 2-3 days, for it to remain fresh. I don't like it when I have to throw it into the fridge. Ugh. But hooray for organic!

I'm still looking for the perfect eye cream, btw. & I would love to have more of this superb cleansing oil, even if I don't wear makeup, save for a bit of lip gloss, because I'm cursed with horrendously sensitive skin & my eyes are too watery. Anyway, more items to blab about in a bit. For now, let me leave you with this online quiz that I first took 4 years ago, & my score has gone 8 points up from that time!

You Are 52% Girly

You're a little girly, a little boyish,
and probably a whole lot indie.

You have your own unique style,
and it pretty much defies gender lines.