23 September 2011

This story is too oily

You've graduated high school but still have not graduated from oily skin. Welcome to the mantika club. Don't be ashamed though as even celebrities know the saying "oiliness is next to ugliness" all too well. I've seen plenty of stars together with their anti-oily skin weapon - the facial tissue.

Let your frugal conscience step in and you can get away with normal tissue paper. Previously, I buy boxes of the famous oil control film, at more than 1 peso per tiny sheet - it was not just absorbing the oil from my face but the money from my purse as well.

Drinking plenty of water also appears to blot the shine off your face, which causes breakouts too. I remembered all these tips because NIVEA emailed me about ONE product that fights FIVE skin problems: oil, dirt, dark spots, large pores, and blemishes.

I do find that using oil control facial foams work but not throughout the day. Unless you wash your face again come lunch time. I have not yet tried this product from NIVEA but want to know, how do you win the fight against oily skin? What products do you use?

19 September 2011

Starbucks JP Laurel and the new Crème Brûlée Macchiato

I first heard about Caffè macchiato from my 7 year old niece Anya - she is an experienced Choco-coffee drinker in Australia. It is also known as espresso macchiato, a coffee drink made out of espresso with a small amount of milk.

And there is no better place to learn and taste a macchiato than in the new Starbucks JP Laurel store. It is a historical place which has been restored by Starbucks instead of doing full alteration by exposing the high ceiling, restoring the original wood moulding that wraps the soffit and keeping the wood sun breakers behind the store’s perimeter glass wall.

The building represent the distinct look of 70’s architecture. And to complement the look and feel of this heritage concept store, the following elements were used: high wainscot wrapped around columns, high backed banquette and large framed photographs of Manila during the '70s.

It's a good place to pause and reminisce about the old days. When people were unhurried and enjoyed learning. Perfectly match the experience with the warm creamy mix of crème brûlèe flavored syrup and freshly steamed milk marked with bold Starbucks® espresso - topped with velvety foam and finished with a roasty, dark caramel drizzle on top.

Crème Brûlée Macchiato is also available as iced and blended beverage, but for old time's sake - I always prefer hot drinks during down time.

If you are feeling the classic vibe of the JP Laurel store and want to let your coffee take you back in time, then try the Starbucks Anniversary Blend. This coffee is aged for three to five years prior to roasting. The aging process adds depth, smoothness and complex flavor to its already full-bodied, smooth character. Perfect with the buttery taste of French Toast (also from Starbucks). Match made in heaven.

But for the new branch, I propose a toast for one of the most memorable and Pinoy New Breakfast Items from Starbucks:

I've enjoyed this too with the Starbucks Anniversary Blend (at home) and it was a delightful feeling <3 If you don't have a French Press or Coffee Maker, you can still get Starbucks VIA Instant Brew.

But then again, nothing beats the Starbucks experience especially on a branch that is brimming with heritage. Customers can enjoy a unique Starbucks Experience at this store as early as 6:30am during weekdays and 7:30am during weekends. The store closes at 1:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays and 12 am during the rest of the week.

Until the next coffee break :)

18 September 2011

Green Products at #Blogapalooza

More than 50 presenters were in attendance at the recent Blogapalooza but what got my attention are these brands who've injected green in their operations. I am a fan of free trade goods but always seek to patronize local brands made within the country. These products do not travel miles to get here, that means less carbon footprints while providing jobs for the Filipinos.

1. Human heart Nature - their products are 100% Pro-Philippines, Pro-Poor, and Pro-Environment. All their raw materials are thoroughly researched to ensure that they are naturally derived, are not processed using environmentally toxic processes and do not become toxic when released into the environment. They also use recyclable bottles in their packaging to minimize our contribution to the country’s overburdened landfills. Natural is good for you, so I am thrilled to have these Human heart Nature lip balm and sanitary spray. As always, only buy what you need.

2. Tree Hugger - Can you remember how many pens you've lost? The barrels made of plastic end up feeding the landfill and no matter how cheap these ballpens cost, the expense it tolls the environment is huge. Enter Tree Hugger pens - quality pens and highlighters out of recycled cartons and biodegradable plastic, and pencils made out of old newspapers. They are a growing trend and are available at National Bookstore.

They also partnered with the HARIBON FOUNDATION so that every pen and pencil you buy not only decreases plastic wastes and saves trees through the use of recycled paper and of biodegradable materials; you also contribute to the reforestation of our country through the GIVE A GIFT TREE DRIVE.

3. Healthy First - is a refreshments and foods manufacturer that use carrots and other local crops for their products. I personally tasted the carrot juice in four seasons flavor and it was delish! They come in plastic bottles though but are a healthier alternative to just drinking water. We need the betacarotene to ward off toxic. My husband also received a carrot loaf from Healthy First and I cannot wait to try it. Using available vegetables and incorporating them into pastries is my way to reduce food waste. I've baked dozens of banana bread and loaves to save bananas from spoilage and become healthier.

4. Oryspa - is a spa products supplier, their products are made from rice bran oil - so there's natural for you. Our swag included Oryspa natural baby powder and a balm with a minty eucalyptus scent. It's also 100% Filipino under Kutitap Aromatherapy Crafts, a reputable manufacturer of candles and a training institution of home-based alternative crafting.

5. Easy Phamax Wheat Grass - literally green, I am a wheat grass afficionado and there's no other way for me but to buy the Honey Wheat Grass powder from Easy Phamax. It makes me feel good instantly, especially after gorging up empty calories. To save the earth from sachets, buy them by the bulk. I buy a tub of Honey Wheat Grass (made of carton and tin) and send the empty tubs to the recycler.

Why don't you give these green products a try the next time you run out of beauty products, pens, and healthy drinks? :) You can also check out websites like Ethical Ocean for educating blogs about being green.

Fashion Bloggers at the Blogapalooza

I know I shouldn't be here anymore (especially I was wearing my Maria la del Barrio, peasant look) but it was great to see the new & improved breed of Manila fashion bloggers!

They're all so young, vibrant, and skinny. @diannedequina @paxieness @artsyava @anagon @thestyleandsoul @earthlingorgeous me: @lacellanora


My blogging friends, long time - no see.. And that's a full shot of my outfit.

On that note, I super love my fashion experiment that day. It's not what you wear but how you wear it. Perhaps I can get away with a trash bag next time? That's a joke.

12 September 2011

Fashion Armageddon? Buy less and only what you need

Last week, Patagonia challenged other fashion retailers with their Common Threads Initiative with eBay. "This program first asks customers to not buy something if they don't need it."

"If they do need it, we ask that they buy what will last a long time -- and to repair what breaks, reuse or resell whatever they don't wear any more. And, finally, recycle whatever's truly worn out." - says Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia's founder and owner.

I think times are changing, this is a radical campaign by Patagonia but one they can afford as they've been around for many years. We can no longer ignore how shallow it is to be killing animals, cutting trees, and polluting the environment just to wear the latest fashion.

With the financial crisis too, would you rather have your money in your closet or in your pocket?

My sister told me Marithé + Francois Girbaud once offered claiming back old jeans to exchange with new ones for customers. I am interested to know, and surely you will too - about other fashion brands who are changing the way things are.

Blogger's note: I am aware this blog is changing course and I'll just let it naturally :)

08 September 2011

Event: The Ultimate Taste Test at Rockwell

It's that one event anticipated by all foodies and fans of Mr. Awesome Planet every year and for the first time, the Ultimate Taste Test was held inside the Rockwell Tent. Bigger and much more accessible, personally speaking.

I came prepared with the Foodie Guide written by Anton himself, it's not everyday you can play the role of a food critic - armed with a score sheet as if you were judging in Master Chef. I won't keep this post long, so here are some of the winners in my list:

#17- Luigi's Muhlach and not because his mom, Janice de Belen was there but for the savory Chicken cordon bleu with a choice of aligue mayo, cream cheese or wasabi sauce, Phillychanga

#30- Spring by Ha Yuan
I discovered how Lychee can offer a crunchy element to KaPao. KaPao: Pulled pork, Braised short rib, Lychee and Sesame crusted Teriyaki tofu.

#27-Joy's Fuzion Kitchen (JFK) we seem to have the same recipe of Fried Chicken wings!

And there are loads of desserts like pastries, cheesecakes, and frozen yoghurt. My choice for the ultimate ice cream is Merry Moo! They are inventive with their Brown Bread artisan ice cream.

For cupcakes, these definitely stand out in both presentation, quality, and flavor:

Cupcake Boutique by Klar Joseph. The green tea/matcha cupcake is my favorite because it looks like a contradiction of a sinful bite and a healthy treat.

For coffee, I only tried El Kapitan and their Spiced Chai was refreshing indeed.

Oh man ~

I was defeated by all the 55 stalls, never completed my score sheet and resorted to a stroll inside Powerplant Mall to burn all the calorific goodness from the Ultimate Taste Test. This occasion is definitely a memorable one to all food lovers and cook. See you all again next year!

Congratulations folks!

05 September 2011

Krispy Kreme opening day at Filinvest Mall


On Friday night, the Krispy Kreme Hotlight lit up the South as it opened its doors to doughnut hungry customers for the first time at Alabang Festival Mall. It rained Krispy Kreme doughnuts and coffee to the kids and adults delight.

Of course, me and Ash were present. Our ultimate favorite is the Original Glazed.

Since the store is inside Filinvest Mall, we also had a blast strolling kiddie leisure spots inside. In between doughnut bites :) We promised to come back on a weekend.

Proud and fresh staff of the 24th Krispy Kreme branch in the Philippines.

We trooped home with half dozen of our favorite Krispy Kreme and another Krispy Kreme experience :)

"Krispy Kreme is a brand that Filipinos know well and love.. We are very happy to finally open our first store in the SOuth with the intent of sharing the delectable Krispy Kreme experience across the nation" - Mark Gamboa, Marketing Manager of Krispy Kreme Philippines.