[BEAUTY junkies unite!]

Like me, are you also into these?




nail art

beauty DIY

Then the beauty junkie in you would surely love this site...

is a site that covers all kinds of hair & make-up how-to's, nail trends, skin issues, tools, current obsessions & inspirations, as well as countless quick tips. - source

hair stylist, KRISTIN ESS, model-actress-author-fashion designer, LAUREN CONRAD &
make-up artist, AMY NADINE

I love visiting this site on a daily basis because I learn a lot from the hair & make-up tutorials & step-by-step DIY's. The blog's look is also something else, with its well-thought-out design & layout of each blog entry (think - color schemes, fonts, photo collages).

Start getting your daily dose of pretty by clicking here.


[chia, stevia & pink salt]

When I attended the raw food workshop more than 3 weeks ago, I was made aware of the benefits of eating raw. And during the cooking demo, we were introduced to some of the ingredients that are not what we usually add to our food, but are actually better if we only know that they pack more nutrients & do no harm to our bodies.. Because of this new awareness of their health benefits, I decided to buy these 3 basic ingredients from the raw food grocery,  the LEAF KITCHEN (DAHON KUSINA). 

Food rich in omega 3 fatty acids since it yields 25-30%  extractable oil, including α-linolenic acid (ALA). Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of about 1 mm (0.039 in). They are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white. The seeds may be eaten raw as a whole seed, soaked in water or juice (gelatinous in texture) & used in porridges, gruels & puddings. They are also ground up & used in baked goodies such as breads, cakes & biscuits. Dried chia seeds provide protein, fats & fiber. - source

It is a sweetener & sugar substitute. It is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical  and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleafsweet leafsugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. It has a negligible effect on blood glucose so it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets. - source

Contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals & trace elements. It is an unrefined, unprocessed "raw" salt that's hand-mined from abundant salt caves that were formed 250 million years ago as ocean salt settled in certain geologic pockets around the earth. - source



To most of us, the design of laundry/utility rooms doesn't earn that much of a fuzz. In fact, the maid's room almost always becomes the default utility room. But when we were building our house then, my hubby & I made sure that a space is allocated for the laundry/utility room at our basement, adjacent to the driver's & maid's rooms.

A laundry room must have the following : spaces for the washing machine & clothes dryer, ironing board, a laundry tub for washing delicates, overhead/countertop cabinets or shelves for storage of washing/ironing essentials, separate clothes hampers for soiled & newly washed clothes/linens, clothes rack/line. Good lighting & proper ventilation must also be considered.

Here are some laundry room ideas you might want to look at :


[CHINA on my mind]

I never took this trip but I WISH I did... ;)

Hubby went on a business trip to China with a colleague last weekend. Being the not-so-techie-nor-sentimental person that he is, he did not bring home captured images on cam.  Only these : 

Used train/bus tickets 

Leftover currencies

Stashed hotel room freebies

Since their schedule was tight, & being boys who are not really into shopping, he went home with nary a 'pasalubong' (homecoming treat) for us. His girls were disappointed.

So, the following day, we just headed to the duty-free store near the airport. Two to three hours later, our grocery cart was filled up, well almost, with these purchases :

Chocolates, grocery items & a SEGUE bag on sale for the wifey/mommy. ;)

CHINA on my mind. Next time, hopefully for us girls, it will be for real. ;)

[NATURAL creamy goodness]

Before going home & after hearing mass, we stopped by this new ice cream kiosk at the 5th level of Megamall. 

It's the NEW ZEALAND Natural Premium Ice Cream.

Hubby & the 2 girls tried the cafe espresso & vanilla flavors & liked the creamy goodness. Much like a gelato. But I found the 95 peso price for a single scoop in a waffle cone too expensive. A local brand, FIC, tastes equally good, if not better but at a more affordable price of 55-60 pesos.

Anyway, try NZ Natural's other flavors & tell me if you like them, too.

[find comfort in PHO HOA]

PHO HOA Vietnamese Noodle House, is a comfort food-stop for us. 

We love their flavorful, healthy, low-cal noodle soups (pho)  & fresh spring rolls. Their seafood noodle soup (pho do vien) garnished with fresh mint, cilantro (coriander leaves), basil, bean sprouts, lime wedges & sliced chili peppers plus the fresh spring rolls (in vegetarian or shrimp & pork variants) are what we usually order. But a couple of weekends ago, we tried these :

chicken noodle soup (pho ga) & beef brisket with rice
Although these were delicious, the seafood noodle soup will always be it for me, hands down.


[house on the move]

The hassles of hotel bookings, not to mention the expenses that go with it, make me want to go on vacation with my family & take the long drive to our chosen destination with this :


This is the PROTOHAUS, a timber frame or “stick built” house that was constructed over the summer of 2009 in the US. Emphasis was placed on sustainability, functionality, and aesthetics. It is fabricated primarily from recycled and reclaimed materials. The building process was overseen and assisted by S. C. Holley Construction. It is transportable. The house is built on a trailer bed rated to withstand 14,000 pounds. Separate fresh, grey, and black water systems are integrated into the design allowing for remote removal and disposal of waste. A solar and wind system power the house allowing it to be off grid. - Protohaus website

Hear Ann Holley explain the details of the structure in this video tour. She is the Alfred University MFA student who designed & built the Protohaus.

I wish something like this will be manufactured here but one with a Filipino flair - a modern nipa hut on wheels.


[a LEMON makes us HAPPY]

Among the milk tea shops that we've tried, HAPPY LEMON is one place that we love going to. 

Never mind if there is always a long queue of customers in the store, but we patiently stand in line if only to have our favorite HL milk tea drinks : crispy cocoa milk tea with brown sugar jelly, roasted milk tea with pearl sago or milk tea with black pearl sago.

As to the reason for the long line in Happy Lemon, my eldest daughter once quipped, "It's probably because of CHRIS TIU!". Her answer surprised me not since she adores the cute basketball star. Fan girl thing...;)


[just right J.CO]

Finally, we had our donuts over cups of hot coffee, tea & iced tea in the newest donut & coffee chain in town. 

J.CO is a cafe retailer in Indonesia specializing in coffee, donuts & frozen yogurt. 

We ordered a box of J.PoPs or 2 dozen baby donuts in assorted flavors.

To go with the donuts, we had the hot J.coccino, the iced thai tea, & the hot green tea. 

The place that night was teeming with people. It didn't help that the air-conditioning system wasn't full-on. But I like the overall feel of the store - comfy seating areas & interiors in warm neutral shades with punches of red & orange. I particularly liked the mosaic wall tiles, the back-lit under-counter wall in curvy stripes, the paper-covered walls with cafe scene illustrations & the faux floor planks in natural wood color matched with dark brown floor tiles. 

The baby donuts I bought were supposed to be for take-out but the 3 of us helped ourselves anyway because we couldn't resist tasting it then & there. ;) Although it looked like your typical glazed or filled donuts, when tasted, the sweetness was just right, not excessive. After popping 2-3 pieces, my youngest sheepishly asked me to buy another box. Next time, we'll come back for more, definitely ... ;) 

Check out any of J.CO's  branches now (Megamall, MOA or Greenbelt 5)  & get to sample the newbie donut on the block.


[COOKIE MONSTER sings it differently]

Cookie Monster's love for cookies made him sing SHARE IT MAYBE, his own take on the Carly Jepsen Rae's song CALL ME MAYBE. 

Hear the blue monster's cute version :

Cookie Monster, along with Ernie & Bert of Sesame Street, will always be part of my childhood memories. Learning the ABC's & 123's became more fun because we had them teaching these things through songs & dances.

My true age betrays me now as I write about this... =P


My youngest goes to a school barely 5 minutes away from where we live. So, whenever she requests for a particular food to eat for lunch, I cook or when there's little time to spare, buy food & bring it to school before 11 am. Two days ago, she asked for a fish & rice combo meal. 

And here's what I prepared for her :

1. Fancy Fried Rice using KIM's fried rice mix

cold leftover rice, scrambled egg, minced garlic, diced carrots, diced vienna sausage
flavored with KIM's fried rice mix 

cooking directions based on recipe printed
at the back of the packet 

2. Thyme Fish Fillet

cream dory fillet marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, pink salt & dried thyme 

The finished product all wrapped-up & ready to go. ;)


[too sweet CHOCOLATTE]

After the instant capuccino mix comes the latte-in-a-sachet.

Tried this upon my sister's suggestion.

But hubby & I found its sweetness overwhelms. We had to split the contents of one sachet to make two cups just so it tastes just right for us. We never had one again & just stuck to our regular brewed coffee concoction.

Oh well, what remains of the pack will be for guests who will come over for a visit. They might like theirs with a sweet chocolatey flavor... =)

[like a HURRICANE]

Our balcony makeover is still on the drawing board. Last time I blogged about this, the things on my to-do list for this project ran like this:
  • Clean the area (floor, railings, walls & poly-carbonate roofing)
  • Buy those plants (more of the bamboo or reed-type variety)
  • Buy tabletop accessories (a hurricane lamp, placemat or runner, other knick-knacks)
Lady Luck smiled at me last weekend as I was able to buy that hurricane lamp I've been meaning to get. I found it at the home section of Landmark, Makati. 

price tag :  Php 329.75

This was singled out from shelves of lamps on display.

I decided on getting it out of the many because it's in keeping with the look I want & it jibes with the style of our house - one with simple, clean lines.

Now, if only I can get busy hubby to help with the cleaning  & then tag along with me to finally get the remaining things on my list crossed out for good... ;)


[PEP TALK FOR TODAY series: #56]


[PEP TALK FOR TODAY series: #55]


[PEP TALK FOR TODAY series: #54]



[similar yet different]

My daughters love shopping in Greenhills & Market! Market! because they could buy clothes there without breaking the bank. You see, they save money from their school allowances so that they can buy the things they want for themselves. Clothes are one of them. 

These are their latest garb finds from these popular bazaar malls. They got a blouse in each style & in the color of their choice.

sheer, long-sleeved, peter pan-collared blouses in black + purple & black + white 
long-sleeved, polka-dotted blouses in navy blue & orange



Visitors feel most welcome when they go into a house through an entryway with a warm & inviting vibe. Since it is also a transition place between the outdoor & indoor areas, it must have receptacles for the house or car keys, racks for the jackets, shelves for the shoes, etc. to prevent clutter. It is likewise important that the area is easy to clean. 

Create a good first impression by coming up with an entryway that is both functional & stylish, like these inspirations I've picked :



[looks SURPLUS not]

I am more of the t-shirt & jeans person. Rarely do I go for the dress, blouse & jeans or trousers attire unless there's  a PT or UAP meeting/seminar or party I have to go to. I bought these Philosophy t-shirts not in some high-end store but in SURPLUS SHOP. Yes, the store that let's you buy branded items at less the price simply because they are surplus or export overrun items. But I don't just buy anything there. The trick is still to hunt for something that is made a little better & doesn't scream 'surplus'. Like these simple scoop neck tees in plain white & dark brown, which I think would go well with that perfect pair of jeans or shorts.

I got them for a couple of hundred pesos each.


[a toast to TOAST BOX]

It was our second time to dine there though in a different branch. The first visit at NUVALI was blogged here.

TOAST BOX at the Fort has that homey ambience & to-die-for Singaporean breakfast & snack staples. Borgy Manotoc & his younger brother were also seen there trying out the place. Tall-dark-&-handsome/hunky features do indeed run in the family. The counter girls couldn't even contain their giddiness & giggles. Intelligence too must be innate because I overheard, nay, eavesdropped on their "intellectual" conversation. No photo ops though. I know their bodyguards are lurking nearby...;)

I digressed, sorry. ;) Now back to TOAST BOX... 

What we've already tried there before: coffee (kopi), tea (teh), KAYA toast, pork floss toast, fishball soup, ginger lime soda & milk tea. On this visit, we ordered the hainanese chicken meal, mee siam & the ginger lime soda & milk tea again. Both the noodles & the chicken were delectable although this time, the ginger lime soda seemed to lack that ginger kick. All went well, save for the noodle meal order that the cashier thought I asked for ala carte.  Thanks to the lady manager nearby who fixed it in a jiffy.

We will definitely come back to try their other menu offerings. At their other stores, perhaps...


[killer wedges & a mullet skirt]

My girls & I were at THE RAMP store in Glorietta last weekend. Doing the usual rounds of "visual shopping", my eyes trained on a couple of  fashion items.


I asked my youngest daughter to put them on. Of course, she gamely did so but complained of not being able to stand & walk wearing them. Young as she is & for someone (just like me) who is not too keen on wearing sky-high shoes, I can relate.  Although it looks "fierce" when worn, until now, for the life of me, I don't get it why anyone would go this far in the name of fashion. Vanity, perhaps? Are there known injuries incurred by someone who spends most of her life in heels? Just curious & concerned...


Mullet skirts are sprouting everywhere. During the last PFW, almost all of the fashionistas donned them. Veering away from the usual mullet skirts made of flimsy fabric, this one stands out. I think it's denim, not sure because I never touched it. I just took a quick shot of this, did it on the sly. ;) I particularly like the printed fabric that peeks out. So nice!

The RAMP is one of our go-to places whenever we're in any of the malls that have it (try Glorietta, Trinoma & Edsa Shang). It's a one-stop shop for everything that breathes FASHION. Not all items are expensive if you just look hard enough. Patience as a virtue works well when you want to get something stylish at an affordable price. Sale season is a not-to-miss thing. 

Be updated on what's hot & on sale at The RAMP. Go here.