Farewell, February!

29 February 2012

This month, I:

♥ changed layouts and color schemes FIVE times. I sincerely hope I won't get tired of this one because dealing with html and css can get tiring after a while haha.

♥ went on a beauty shopping spree with my fab beauty-blogger and fashion-blogger friends.

♥ got stranded in rainy Serendra with my dear blogger-friend Pax and shared stories over cupcakes and coffee.

♥ watched my ultimate favorite movie for the nth time and fell in love with it all over again. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is perfect.

♥ went to the newest Italian restaurant in the metro and had the best pizza ever.

♥ experienced eating cereal with milk how to strut, spin, shimmy, and shake to Zumba for the first time.

♥ saw a really funny movie and decided it would be tough for me to choose between Chris Hardy and Tom Hardy if I were Reese Witherspoon. I liked This Means War, I don't care what film critics say! ;D 

♥ saw my face in two major publications that featured photos from two events I attended.

♥ painted my nails this lovely blue shade of BK polish topped with Orly's Love Each Other. My camera phone couldn't capture it, but the purple micro-glitters of the Orly polish is ultra-gorg!

♥ had a wonderful time with my dear girl friends Poly and Mich during our girls' day out yesterday at Eastwood.

My Brownie Walnut Fudge from Stackers
♥ decided I have a new favorite comfort drink.

Fruity Yogurt tea with pearls from Moonleaf Tea Shop
♥ went on an accessories shopping spree care of SM Accessories. I will feature photos from the launch of the Lovin' Summer collection on a future post ;)

I can't wait to show you the rest of my loot!
♥ took the day off from work since it's a Leap Day and I wanted to spend my extra 24 hours doing something fun (not that being in the office is no fun...)

♥ decided to reward myself with a book since it's payday. Books over bags and clothes anytime. :)

There's only one problem. I couldn't decide which to buy so I ended up getting two:
Lourd de Veyra's The Best of This is a Crazy Planets AND The Best of Archie Comics.
But since I have the EQ of a pillow, I ended up going back for this:
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
It was a tough choice between this and John Green's Looking for Alaska.
This month has its fill of personal triumphs and beautiful disasters - there are some things I wish I could change but I really don't have the power to control them; I only have the power to control how to react to them. So this is me taking charge. I refuse to be unhappy and feel defeated, so I'll just suck it in and continue being awesome.

And this is bidding farewell to February and welcoming March with open arms, especially with its sweet promise of The Hunger Games movie and Hanson concert. ♥ What are you most looking forward to this coming month?

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point,
"If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."
- Kurt Vonnegut

Pizza and Pasta at the Aria.

26 February 2012

Do you guys remember when I said I went to a press luncheon of the newest restaurant in the metro? And do you remember when I said this restaurant is very famous in Boracay, so we were asked to wear outfits in "colors of the beach"? Click here to see what I wore. Behold, the name of the restaurant is:

Aria Cucina Italiana
Aria is a modern and contemporary Italian restaurant that has a menu inspired by the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. First opened in 2003 by friends and restaurateurs Juan Elizalde and Paolo Occhionero in Boracay, one of the world's top beach destinations, Aria elevated the standards of restaurant designs in the beautiful island with its stylishly modern, tropical interiors and cozy ambiance and turned itself into one of the top destinations in the island.
Photo from ARC PR
Photo from ARC PR
They have kept the original menu in Boracay untouched except for adding a couple of "must try's" created by their Aria Cucina Italia-Manila Chef, Marino Leonardis, who hails from Leguria, Italy. "I always make sure to use only the best ingredients, always fresh. Plus I make everything by hand, from scratch Even the pesto, which originated from my region in Italy, is made the original way - with a mortar and pestle."
With these tidbits of information, I therefore conclude Aria Cucina Italiana couldn't be more Italian than it already is ;D And guys, guys, do you remember how I've always loved Italian food? Here are the different dishes served to us (please note that these are just sample servings):

Gran Misto Aria (P435)
a vegetarian mix of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, grilled bell pepper salad, eggplant mash and deep fried zucchini, served with focaccia bread
Rotolino Marchigiano (P390)
wood fire oven baked pizza roll stuffed with either tomato sauce, mushroom, eggplant, and mozzarella or mushroom, mozzarella, and ham
Insalata Cocomero, Ruccola e Pinoli (P480)
organic arugula with fresh watermelon, feta cheese and pine nuts in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Insalata Tartufata con Parma Ham (P480)
a salad of grilled eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes, parma ham, and smoked scamorza cheese tossed in a truffle dressing
Spaghetti Marinara
a favorite seafood pasta of the Mediterranean coast. A choice of tomato or olive oil-based sauce
Risotto con Porcini, Mantecato al Mascarpone
risotto with porcini mushrooms whipped with mascarpone and aged parmesan cheese
Aria Pizza (P570)
tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parma ham
OR you could try 
Pizza al Metro (Capricciosa, Hawaiina, Rucola e Pinoli) (P1,300)
giant trio pizza -- choose 3 flavor combinations from any pizza toppings
Such a shame I had to leave before the main course and dessert were served because I had to go back to the office for a meeting. I can't wait to return to get what I missed out on! Photos from Kira:

Salmone al Pepe Verde (P650)
a fresh salmon fillet served with a creamy green pepper sauce
Mousse ai due Cioccolati (P190)
layers of white and dark chocolate topped with ground hazelnuts
My favorites are the Rotolino Marchigiano and Seafood Marinara. They were so gooooood! I wish they put up a QC branch soon so I could drop by more often!

I enjoyed the event with these lovely ladies ♥

With Kira, Alex, Julia, and Phoebe
Here's a map so you can find it easily:

Call 6320119 or 4047524 for reservations! You may also follow Aria Cucina on Twitter or like their Page for any updates.

Big thanks to Aria Cucina Italiana and ARC PR for a wonderful afternoon filled with friends and Italian food. Looking at the photos now makes me crave for some, ack!! I'll go back soon with my friends from the office so I'm really looking forward to that! :)

Fit and fab the Fitnesse way.

25 February 2012

The best thing about attending events is experiencing and learning new things! When I got an invite from Nestle Fitnesse, I said yes straightaway because it involves something I would really like to try: ZUMBA! It was held last Thursday at the Top of the Citi, Citybank Tower and it's definitely one of the most fun events I've attended :)

Thank God for supportive officemates, I was able to move my schedule around so I didn't have to go to work that day. I woke up early, had a heavy breakfast at McDo, then met Ana in Makati so we can go to the venue together.

This healthy buffet table featuring the three variants of Nestle Fitnesse (Low Fat Whole Wheat, Honey & Almond, and Fitnesse & Fruit) welcomed us.
It was so much fun choosing among different toppings like cashews, almonds, walnuts, raisins, and other fruits :)
Random fact about me: I don't put milk on my cereal. I've never tried it and I don't know why. I guess I just don't like soggy cereal? I eat my cereal chips-style heehee. But since I was in a "Yes Man" mood that day, I went ahead and tried it.

And I liked it!
The event was hosted by the ever-effervescent Tessa Prieto-Valdes, and her jokes and stories are just so funny!

I love her Zumba outfit :)
Tessa Prieto-Valdes interviewing Nestle's Joi de Jesus and JP Bayangos onstage
And then it was time to work out!

Julie, Kristie, and Gino led the members of the press and online media to the Zumba moves!
Happy endorphins!
Zumba is a Latin dance-inspired fitness program that lets participants sweat it out without getting bored, thanks to the fusion of samba, salsa, chacha, and even Bollywood and hip-hop moves all set to funky Latin and other modern music. The first song we Zumba'd to is Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel :) I am not a great dancer but I found the moves really easy to follow! Zumba also works out all areas of the body, perfect for those who would like to shed a few pounds! I actually have a friend who lost so much weight just by busting Zumba moves! This is also a great workout for those who just sit in the office all day. Better keep those joints lubricated if you don't want arthritis to affect you in your latter years!

These Zumba sticks are great for adding resistance, maximizing the calorie-burning experience.
I guess this is also why people enroll to gym memberships even when they can get expensive - working out feels so much better when it is shared! After an hour of strutting, spinning, shimmying and shaking, we were given mist sprays and towels to cool down. Plus points to the organizers for thinking everything through ;)

I love the natural blush working out gives :)
Our lunch was prepared by Chef Jessie, and it's great that she incorporated Nestle Fitnesse cereals as healthier substitute to our meals' ingredients.

Nestle Fitnesse & Fruits with Mesclun Greens
In raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Baked Whole Wheat Crusted Chicken Supreme
In chimichurri sauce served with steamed vegetables in season
Mango Yoghurt Cheesecake
With Nestle Fitnesse Honey & Almond crust
Shared our table with these lovely people
I was able to have a photo taken with Julia.
She also teaches Plana Forma. Just look at those arms! She also showed us her abs, and they're unbelievable!
Our goodie bags contained boxes of the three variants of Nestle Fitnesse cereals and Nestle Low Fat milk.
I think I will try doing the 14-day program!

The 14-day program is a meal plan that lets you enjoy the crispy-brown sweetness of the Nestle Fitnesse cereal in replacement of your usual breakfast and dinner. To achieve variety in terms of nutrients, mix it with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Lunch should be a balanced meal consisting of vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and dairy. Complement the meal plan with nutritious snacks like fruits or yogurt. After the 14-day program, maintenance is key. People who regularly consume foods made with whole grain like Nestle Fitnesse tend to have healthier body weight.

And while you're at it, why not combine the right diet with Zumba as your energetic workout? I haven't been able to visit our office gym as much I'd like to but I exercise at home everyday. I do sit-ups, leg exercises, jumping jacks, and half-and-full pumpings, and now I love that I can include Zumba in my daily routine!

We were all given our own iPod Shuffles that contain songs we Zumba'd to!
I got a pink one :)
Now I could just put my earphones on and strut, spin, shimmy and shake at the privacy of my apartment.
It's more fun with friends, though! So, take a chance to experience the Nestle Fitnesse way by attending the Nestle Fitnesse Shape Up Night! featuring Zumba Fitness party. The biggest Zumba Fitness event in the country will be held on March 31, 6PM at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Expect to strut, spin, shimmy and shake with the help of Manila's top Zumba Fitness instructors and enjoy nutritious servings of Nestle Fitnesse cereals. To gain free access to the events, guests just need to present a proof of purchase of any Nestle Fitnesse variant and present it at the entrance. You could also purchase at the event.

It's almost summer! That could only mean sand, sun, and sea! I don't know about you, but I'm definitely preparing myself for bikini season as early as now ♥

Where do I belong? Where do I fit in?

22 February 2012

This is a story some of you might have heard a lot of times before, and before you react, no. This is not an emo pseudo-existential post. I've always loved writing. Always. Even when I was still studying I collected notebooks and kept journals for different purposes, and until now I still scribble short quips in them. Three years, seven blog URLs, and at least five different blogging platforms later, I finally stuck to one I really liked ♥ 

At a recent blogger's event, someone asked me what "niche" I belong to, and I realized I've also been mulling over the same question for quite a while now. I added my blog to the Fashion/ Beauty category in Philippine Top Blogs, but I don't really know if it's really my niche.

Unlike top fashion bloggers, I don't post too many outfit photos here. I love clothes and bags and shoes and accessories, but to be honest I only dress up when I go to events. During normal days I am just in my trusted jeans-top-comfy sandals combo, and I really can't be bothered to post photos of them here because if I do then you guys might think I'm an endorser of jeans heehee. 

Unlike beauty bloggers, I don't really get to post that many beauty articles here aside from my tales about my salon experiences, thanks to my short hair (which is harder to maintain than when I had long hair). In fact, the only cosmetics review that comes to mind is when I posted about this amazing Lip Butter. I would LOVE to post more cosmetics reviews - especially those of products I love using - but I don't have a decent camera that can capture how amazing make-up can transform one's look :D I've also found how difficult it is to post about make-up, so much respect to beauty bloggers!

More than anything else, I love posting short lengthy anecdotes about my life sprinkled with personal epiphanies every now and then. I admit that I might have gotten carried away and over-shared a few times; some of them have even landed me in trouble in the past. There are also some posts that might be better off removed, forgotten, and never brought up again. Looking back though, I still don't want to delete them because no matter what I feel for the issues now, what I felt before while writing those posts were real and no one can take those from me.


So, where do I fit in? LOL I don't really know and frankly, I don't care. I just love sharing pretty little things. I get invited to fashion events, I get invited to beauty events. I even get invited to food-tasting events! Maybe it's good that I don't try to fit in one particular category so long as I write with integrity and credibility. And with passion, of course. All I know is that I love what I'm doing and at the end of the day, that's what really matters. Having people who enjoy the things I post here is just the yummy icing on top of this delectable cake. I'm not a hypocrite and say I don't care what others think about my blogging style. Of course I do care! If not, I wouldn't even be writing here now and will just enjoy the privacy my journals give. If not, I wouldn't be changing my blog layout every other week because I'm afraid the previous one looks cluttered (by the way, how do you like my current layout?) I just want to thank you guys for sticking around even if my blog may suffer identity issues sometimes ♥

PS: I'm going to a health and fitness-event tomorrow and we're going to do Zumba! So excited! Hope you're enjoying your week, too! ;)

Bloggers United: Indie Fridays

No plans this coming Friday? Read on ;)

From the makers of the hit Bloggers United Bazaar, Bloggers United is back with a special project this 2012 - INDIE FRIDAYS

It is an event that aims to provide a platform for independent and promising young individuals in the field of fashion, music and film to showcase their gift and creativity. 

The social media community is teeming with undiscovered talents and we at Bloggers United would like to give them exposure outside the world wide web for a moment to truly shine or simply vent out their passion for their craft.

Fridays at Ponticello will never be the same as we transform it to a multimedia hub where all artists and social media mavens can converge, network and jump start a possible shot at their desired industry. Every last day of the week is a possible mix of various fields as we provide a venue for:

1) Youtube artists or starting musicians to play for live audience
2) Budding designers and fashion entrepreneurs to launch their line
3) Indie filmmakers to display their videos or short films
4) Photographers and stylists to exhibit their portfolio


Sounds cool, yes? Also, if you are starting out in film, music, or fashion yourself and would want to be involved in upcoming editions of Indie Fridays, let us know and the BU team might just be able to help you out ;)

Meet me in Montauk.

19 February 2012

Clermentine: This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon.
Joel: I know.
Clementine: What do we do?
Joel: Enjoy it.

Beauty Bound all month long

18 February 2012

It's that time of the year again, ladies!
Stock up on your beauty essentials, because Robinsons Department Store is
Beauty Bound
the whole month of February!

I went to Robinsons Galleria earlier today with my beauty and fashion blogger-friends to check it out and I almost went crazy in choosing which ones to get haha.

No better time than today to stash your favorite beauty must-haves and skincare products as most of them are on sale! Here are some promos from some of the participating brands:

Free clutch for a minimum P2,500 purchase of L'Oreal make-up inclusive of the Color Riche lipstick
Free clutch for any purchase of Dermo Expertise moisturizer and Youth Code serum
P100 off on Dermo Expertise UV Perfect SKUs
30% off on selected Dermo Expertise SKUs

10% off on all Garnier SKUs (except Pure Active line) on all weekends of February
10% off on Pure Active scrub 100ml upon presentation of coupon
Free summer tote bag for every P300 minimum purchase of Garnier products inclusive of Pure Active

20% off on all face and eye products on all weekends of February

Free wallet for every P240 purchase of Pond's White Beauty day creams or Clear Balance facial foams
Free Tweety necklace for every P1,000 purchase of Pond's Gold Radiance
Free Pond's Gold Radiance serum sampler for every purchase of Pond's Gold Radiance day cream 50g
Buy 1 Get 1 Free on Pond's Flawless White UV cream 30ml

10% off on selected items for every purchase of Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

There are a LOT more special offers and discounts so make sure to visit the RDS branch nearest you ;) Aside from these, they also offer different activities like product sampling, Dove Hair Test, Myra Mirror Dare, Pantene Amazing Hair Transformation, and free makeover sessions by Maybelline (with the Chief Make-up Artist, Archie Tolentino, no less!), Revlon, and Ever Billena!

Some happy girls shopping:

Kira just being curly and pretty :)
With Aie :)
With Pax :)
With Angel and Ava at the Revlon counter
I was trying to convince them to get the Lip Butters haha!
With Ana and Sarah
Sarah will color our hair soon, so excited!!!
With Martha and Kira :)
Orly nail polishes in Star Spangled and Love Each Other
SS reminds me of Dorothy's ruby slippers, but I sadly had to let it go because
LEO's purple micro-glitters won me over :(
Don't worry SS, I'll go back for you! Wait for me! :D
Didn't get to take photos of/ with Tin, Kaye, and Jheng :(

Want to see the stuff I got? Here!

Gluta-C Duo Pack (P185) | Orly in Love Each Other (P349.75) | Maybelline Hyper Diamonds eyeshadow palette in Emerald Diamonds (originally for P599 but I got it for only P479.20 because of the 20% discount) | Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie (P525) | LA Colors Eyeliner in Gold (P89)
From our goodie bags:
Vitress gift pack (I love the pink zebra-print cosmetics pouch!), SkinWhite gift pack (contains three body soaps, body lotion, and face cream), and Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms in Energizing Orange, Relieving Menthol, Smoothing Cherry, and Anti-Oxidant Berry
Group photo! :)
I've loved Gluta-C ever since I got the chance to try it out that I kept on buying when the products sent me ran out. I still haven't posted a review yet (plus a giveaway!) but I hope I can do it before the end of the month! As for the Maybelline green eyeshadow palette and LA Colors gold eyeliner, well, let's just say I am really determined to be an eye make-up pro LOL. Aaaand you already know how much I love Revlon Lip Butters (read my review here!) that I got myself a new shade once we were given the go signal to shop ;D

Fun day spent with beautiful people. Thank you Carisse and Robinsons Department Store! ♥

What is your ultimate beauty must-have? Do share in the comments box!

"The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy."
- Yves Saint-Laurent