31 January 2009

Make Coffee like a Starbucks Barista

Enjoying coffee is a favorite pastime of stressed individuals, no wonder everyone huddles near the coffee vendo. Probably, coffee's relaxing aroma and invigorating taste transports everyone into a perfect moment! Just like what those commercials say.

However, there's always a big difference between instant coffee and freshly brewed ones. At the Starbucks Coffee Appreciation night, coffee experts revealed how to make a perfect relaxing cup of coffee from fresh coffee beans.

The easiest and most relaxing/zen way to make a cup is through a coffee press also known as the French press. This is widely available in coffee shops like Starbucks where you can get some like these:

Before using the coffee press, you'll need to grind your coffee beans first. From my personal experience at Starbucks, I recommend the coffee beans from Sumatra. You can purchase this from the coffee shop too. For coffee press use, coarsely grind the beans for 6 seconds.

1 cup of coffee = 180mL water + 10 grams of coffee.

Now you can pour the coffee beans first inside the coffee press sans the stainless steel mesh filter. Pour hot water and let it steep for 4 minutes. Now you can push down the stainless steel mesh filter down to the bottom. This method will give you a richer and thicker coffee.

I like using small coffee cups and never mugs for that relaxing and stylish coffee experience. Coffee is best with something sweet or nutty like a Chocolate Chantil Cake or a Caramel Cream Cheese Cake. Adding sugar or cream to your cup destroys the original flavor of coffee but enjoying it with desserts compliments the taste.

This is heaven inside your own home. Enjoy life with every sip!

Special thanks to Starbucks Rockwell Drive and

Missology: The Fashion Show


Fabric presents: Missology on Thursday, 5 Febuary at Embassy Fly. Click on above image to enlarge.

Relax in a Spa Theater - Seriously!

The image “Spa Theater

Spa and a theater combined is now a reality. Ever dreamed of having your foot massaged while watching Breakfast at Tiffany's or Pretty Woman? This should be the most stylish and excessively luxurious way to relax in style!

READ MORE AFTER THE JUMP and learn how you can win treatments! ...

I can certainly see myself celebrating my birthday here come February (dreaming). This will certainly blow my mom's mind, welcome to modern luxury mama! I'd love to play the movie Sex and the City all day, it can be the theme of the party and everyone can pretend we are in a New York celebrity spa. Of course, everyone must be in their best style and get ready to be pampered!

spa theater

Here's where the foxy city ladies relax at Blue Water Day Spa.

blue water spa theater

In my dream party, this is the fashion runway for all my guests! A fashion shoot in this modernistic hallway at Blue Water Spa before hitting treatment haven.

Want to stop dreaming and experience all of this for free? Win a Foot, Back, and Shoulders massage experience at the Spa Theatre!

30 January 2009

Calling all Amateur Fashion Designers

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Participate in Dense Modesto's Pixel Project, get in touch with him via themodestoproject[at] - email your full name, contact number, and photos of works.

Visit his multiply page

Read like Carrie Bradshaw

Inside the posh Greenbelt 5, I spotted a newly opened Fully Booked branch and could not help but check out the style books they have on shelf.

This book caught my attention:

Not a style book but if you are a fan of Sex and the City, then you must recognize this! Carrie Bradshaw read the Love Letters of Great Men to Mr. Big in one scene and "ever thine, ever mine, ever ours, Love L" is actually printed at the back of this book.


I can imagine the most chic city ladies reading this book before slumber. More details on this book:

After finally letting go of Ursula Doyle's book, I went on to explore the new Fully Booked branch. At the far end of the book store, I met Nina Garcia again but with a newer book called The One Hundred. Fully Booked was kind enough to have one copy open for browsing and it was love at first sight.

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The One Hundred by Nina Garcia reminds me of Style by Kate Spade, with stylish pastel illustrations of the must-have items on your closet and style ideas. The One Hundred will save you time and money while still maintaining your fab-ulous style.

More details on this book :

I can't wait to have copies of these two lovely books and add them to my collection! Visit Fully Booked at Greenbelt 5 and don't forget to visit the boutiques of our local fashion and bag designers.

Cosmetologie 2009 moved to SMX

Cosmetologie 2009 moves to a BIGGER, better venue - the SMX Convention Center will be filled with beauty, make-up, and fitness enthusiasts on February 26-28, 2009.

Premier Events, the events company behind Cosmetologie 2009 has just released the exciting itinerary, click on the image below to enlarge the 3-day schedule.

(click to enlarge)

28 January 2009

Designer Style: Eli Gonzales

At the launch, Eli Gonzales presented his own line called Doll Face and shared with Style and Relax his vision for this collection. Eli Gonzales is one of the finalists of Project Runway Philippines, a fashion design professor at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, and was born in San Pedro, Laguna.

Eli Gonzales interview with Style and Relax:

Vintage, ultra-feminine, and dresses that freely follow a lady's movement. This is Doll Face by Eli Gonzales. Watch the fashion show below:

Doll Face will be available at, watch out for their opening on February 14, 2009.

The True meaning of Style

After watching the entire Stylista series, I ponder on what Style really is...

Style is not just about clothes, it’s the way you look, talk, walk, eat, and everything in between. It’s how you know the meaning of RSVP and send thank you notes after receiving a gift. Style and etiquette are two of my favorite words in the dictionary, they are inseparable.

Style is not pretentious, it’s either you got it or you don’t, it’s innate like a character or personal attitude. Style is putting your best foot forward for your own good. Style does not equate with materialism but quality and craftsmanship.

What is Style for you?

26 January 2009

Prom Fair 2009

Be the most stylish young lady at prom night! Grab this chance to meet hot and upcoming fashion designers and ask them for fashion advice, for free. All you need for a magically fashionable and beautiful you are present at the Prom Fair 2009.
Featured designers: Jefferey Rogador, Veejay Floresca, Jona Ballaran, Eric delos Santos, Mimi Ferrera, Maricar Kobayashi

Seek for the best salons and spas, the perfect prom dress, and derive much needed inspiration from the fashion shows. See you there!

25 January 2009

DIY: Neck Scarf / Accessory

Worn over a simple shirt, the do-it-yourself scarf gives an instant dash of style. I am not even sure if it should be called a scarf or a neck accessory, but I love it. The cloth came from a dress my mama was trimming. Hence, you can use any cloth that you desire. Mine was a silky cloth topped with lace.

seen at Heavenly Chocolates, with chocolatier Benjamin Pedro

Hang some pearls/beads on a big safety pin, use this to pin the scarf into place. This lets you wear the scarf properly without adjusting it every now and then.

Beauty Notes of a Chocoholic

beauty benefits of chocolateAt the Chocolate Appreciation Workshop, chocolatier Benjamin Pedro revealed surprising facts about chocolates. The Heavenly Chocolates Shop was filled with ohhh's and ahhh's by the chocoholic participants, as if they found the path to enlightenment.

Here's what your mama didn't tell you about chocolates:
1. Chocolates are high in anti-oxidants that fight free radicals responsible for looking old and ugly (e.g. skin impurities, wrinkles, cell damage)

2. A bar of chocolate has less sugar than a can of coke.

3. Cocoa butter does not contribute to high levels of cholesterol.


beauty benefits of chocolateBe beautiful like the gods who enjoyed "cocoa", meaning food of the gods.

4. Chocolate has less caffeine than chocolates (high levels of caffeine triggers acne for some people).

5. The higher the cocoa content, the less sugar there is in your chocolate.

6. White chocolate is NOT CHOCOLATE, it is made of just cocoa butter. Darker chocolates have real beneficial cocoa.

beauty benefits of chocolatebeauty benefits of chocolate

Chocolate can be enjoyed as a drink or in solid state like chocolate bars or chips. Real chocolate is made of cocoa mass and cocoa butter. There are chocolates on the market that contain vegetable fat to replace cocoa butter, avoid that or you'll reap the fattening effects of vegetable FAT.

After the workshop, I recommend Swiss chocolate as the best for their traditional and intricate process of chocolate making.

To reap the beauty benefits of chocolate, discern well if the bar you are holding is made of REAL chocolate, opt for chocolates with single origins. This type has at least 64% cocoa packed with all the chocolate-y benefits.

beauty benefits of chocolateHeavenly Chocolates is the home of single origin chocolates like Peru, Ghana, Madagascar (my favorite), Ivory Coast, etc. Learn more and experience beauty by chocolates, visit Heavenly Chocolates at Roces Centre, 127 Roces Avenue, Quezon City.

24 January 2009

Random Yoga Tips No.1


Do you always forget your yoga belt?
Or, your cheaper yoga mat doesn't come with a strap?

Why don't we tie our yoga belts to our yoga mats then? :)

The sticky yoga mat is just Php 300 and the Yoga Belt is less than Php 500, both from Toby's Sports Shop.

Clean your yoga mat after you use it by spraying it with water + tea tree oil, maybe alcohol can replace the tea tree oil. Then wipe it dry before rolling it up again.

23 January 2009

Style Scene: Code-Limited.Com Launch at Embassy Fly's launch at the Embassy Fly yesterday was attended by manila's young and upcoming fashion designers, models,, School of Fashion and Arts, fashion photographers, and the group among others. The launching event featured a comprehensive fashion show of's array of local fashion designers. will run on it's BETA version on Valentine's Day - February 14, 2009. It is going to be the country's premiere online source of up-and-coming brands, hot new fashion designers, make-up artists and independent retailers. It is heaven sent for fashionistas who want to wear the creations of Filipino designers like Ava Paguyo and Eli Gonzales, both from Project Runway Philippines, and for budding designers who want to showcase their creations.


According to Stephanie Lo of Code Limited, the website is similar to but prices will be mid-range and the focus is on local designers and retailers. will be offering several payment methods like Paypal, G-cash, and credit card payments. Both local and international buyers are welcomed.

Shoppingeras can avail of a special opening discount by logging on to and subscribing to their mailing list!

Stephanie Lo of Code Limited

Special thanks to the fabulous girls of Code-Limited: Charlene Falcis, Cheena Ng Lio, and Stephanie Lo. You can reach them at marketing[at]

Watch out for the video coverage of the fashion show and video interviews with fashion designers right here on Style and Relax.

21 January 2009

Surprising Make-up Tips from Aan Pineda

aan pinedaDuring the SoFA workshop at Retail Lab, make-up artist Aan Pineda shared surprising tips and ideas all about make-up!

1. Before anything else, make neat eyebrows. How? Put foundation first around your eyebrows where stray brows are. This will protect your skin from the blade. With the foundation, you can now shave using a safe eyebrow blade which is available in Watson's and other beauty shops.

2. Clean your face with your favorite toner. This ensures smooth and clean application of foundation. Aan Pineda's favorite foundation is V.O.V which is made in Korea. It only costs around Php 500 according to my seatmate :)

3. Apply the V.O.V foundation using a clean sponge. Your hand must be very light to prevent skin damage. Aan says we can use our fingers to apply the foundation evenly and control it easily. Just be sure to disinfect your fingers.

TIP: V.O.V foundation can also serve as your concealer


4. Use bronzer to prevent looking like a Japanese Geisha with a full white face. Apply the bronzer on the sides of your face like the topmost forehead and outer parts of the cheeks and chin. Blend it lightly with the foundation using the clean side of the sponge.

5. Set the foundation and bronzer with face powder. Aan simply uses Johnson's face powder with a brush.

TIP: you can get make-up brushes from art stores and they're just the same as the expensive ones according to Aan.

Recommended type of brush is sable which is very soft. The price tag on his brush was only Php 27.00 (wow)

6. Now you can put on the eyeshadow with your bare fingers again and blend with a blending brush.

7. Use eyebrow powder instead of eyebrow pencils which can make your eyebrows look fake. Eyebrow powder looks more natural and soft.

8. Aan Pineda recommends Maybelline Intense XXL for eyelashes. When applying mascara, focus on the tips of the eyelashes.

9. The best blush colors for the season are pinks and apricot.

10. Finish everything again by brushing your face lightly with powder.

Get Discounts on Code-Limited is the newest premiere online fashion store that opens on March 2009. Get a discount when they open by registering on their website.

Code-Limited will be launched tomorrow at Emabassy Fly.

Obama's Inauguration Party at T.G.I Fridays

It is a Tuesday but at TGIF, everyday's a Friday worth celebrating! Today is President Obama's inauguration and T.G.I Friday's all over the world is hosting the biggest inauguration party. A great excuse to party eh? I've never attended an inauguration so I figured I should dress up like a first lady..umm..

Everyone kicked off their shoes and had fun wearing the Obama masks. They were first worn by the T.G.I Friday's crew yet we couldn't resist asking for some masks to wear too! Now we have a photo with President Obama :)


The inauguration party featured flairtending at the bar which was very exciting and rewarding since people at the bar got free drinks they can toast with. The gwapo bartender made me this special Bacardi cocktail.

Partying on a Tuesday has never been so much fun and realistic, all we really need to relax is to change the music and surround a place with friends. Maybe throw in some party masks, hats, and costumes too.

Thank you to T.G.I Friday's Bonifacio High Street for a great Obama Inauguration Party right here in Manila.