Monday, July 7, 2014

Food Trip: Cookie Bar Manila [Food Tales of a Kapitolyo Resident]

Hello! It is a busy time for me friends (I know, what's new right?) but I just have to squeeze in this story about Cookie Bar Manila -- a new cookie shop here in my lovely neighborhood of Kapitolyo.

Last week, my cousin Lek and friend Clang came over to my place to hang out because it was Pasig Day and there was no work. We had pizza and pasta delivered for lunch and stuffed ourselves silly, but when the afternoon came, we felt the need for merienda (afternoon snack). We thought it would be the best time to pay Cookie Bar a visit since we've been checking out the shop's Instagram account for a while and the cookies look beyond tempting. 

Cookie Bar is located at East Capitol Drive and is only a very short drive from my place. In fact, it's walking distance, but we've been having unpredictable weather so we opted to drive there instead. It's easy to find because it's right in between Poco Deli and Thai Dara. Just look for the black gate with the pink and brown striped Cookie Bar sign and press the doorbell beside it. 


Cookie Bar is a tiny bakery. The shop is also the kitchen where the actual cookies are made. They have a couple of small tables out front, but it's really not a cafe or restaurant. Most people go there for cookies to-go. You can call and order cookies by the box beforehand, but you can also buy per piece at the store.

Freshly-baked cookies still on the tray was the sight that greeted us when we first came in. They have quite a variety of yummy cookie treats. There are Cookie Cups, which look like little cupcakes with a whole range of different toppings. Stuffies are cookies stuffed with Oreo, marshmallow, Nutella, or Reese's peanut butter cups. Jumbo Cookies are double the size of your average cookie. Vegan Cookies are made without dairy and egg. Nutella Bites are cookies topped with Nutella. Then there are the novel Cookie Shot Glasses, inspired by the creations of Dominique Ansel (the creator of the Cronut). 

Blogger Tricks

Friday, June 27, 2014

Beauty Fun: Mosquitoes Away with Aromaflage

My blood is sweet. Yep, you read that right. That's what people tell me whenever I'm being devoured by mosquitoes, which are the insects that I hate the most in the entire world. Everywhere I go I'm usually the first one or the only one to get bitten. Whenever a mosquito's around it will come and find me for sure. I even got dengue fever in high school when it was still a virus that nobody knew anything about and H-fever was the only known mosquito-related disease. People laugh it off and tell me my blood is sweet, but it's not funny when I'm always wishing I could fumigate everything -- or myself, for that matter.

This is why when an email from Aromaflage landed in my inbox, my interest was piqued immediately. I've tried a lot of anti-mosquito sprays and lotions but I've never found one that I was fully satisfied with. The ones I tried in the past either felt weird (my skin felt sticky, thick, and the like), or smelled weird (the repellent component was obvious). Of course I have an arsenal of anti-dengue sprays and even the good old katol (mosquito coils) in my house as well, but I am still bothered by random mosquitoes who have escaped the fumes, and the ones outdoors when I step out of the house.

Aromaflage is pretty much the answer to my wishes. It's not a spray or a lotion -- it's a botanical fragrance and insect repellent in one. It has the light feel of perfume so it doesn't feel heavy or sticky on the skin, and it also has the scent of a perfume so it doesn't have the chemical smell that insect repellent gives off.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Makeup Madness: Up Close - Maybelline Color Elixir in Glam 13 [My Favorite My-Lips-But-Better Lipstick]

Hello! This is a sort of Flashback Friday post because I've had this product for a while but for some reason, never wrote it up. (It was part of my mini haul back during the holidays.) I've been using it way too much though, so it's about time I did a post on it.

I like strong colors when it comes to lipstick, but I have discovered the benefits of a good my-lips-but-better shade. It's all thanks to Maybelline Color Elixir in Glam 13. I have no idea what the actual name of the shade is because Maybelline names products differently in Asia, but if I have to hazard a guess it would be either Caramel Infused or Intoxicating Spice. I've had my-lips-but-better lipsticks before, but it easily became my new favorite. Here's why.

The Product

The Color Elixirs first captured my fancy because of the brilliant packaging. It's like a lip gloss with a brush and all, but it looks like a lipstick at the same time. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tales of the Culinary-Challenged: Green Smoothie - First Try

Green goodness!

I tried making a green smoothie for the first time yesterday! My friend Clang got me to use my mom's ancient Osterizer blender again, and to my surprise, it still works. I've started making smoothies with it, and it has been such a joy to have fresh fruit shakes for dessert after dinner with the husband. While grocery shopping last weekend though, I thought I should try making green juice with the trusty blender. I'm no stranger to it because of Juju Cleanse, and though at first the taste was hard for me, it grew on me eventually.

Green juice love!

I also watch It's Judy's Life on YouTube - a vlog by beauty guru Judy - and the entire family's always having green juice. Her husband, Benjie, has his own healthy food channel called BenjiManTV, and he posted a green smoothie recipe a while back that was done with an affordable blender (he usually uses a Blendtech or a juicer). I've been wanting to try it for ages, so I finally did yesterday.

Green Smoothie How-To (Affordable and Quick) by BenjiManTV

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Home Base: Discovering Crystals

Pretty crystals all in a row

Recently I've developed a fascination for crystals. The hubby and I were having a spate of bad luck, so Cielo, a Chinese friend of ours, suggested that we get a few crystals for our home and for our personal use.

Crystals are nothing new to us. We know a lot of people who use them or have them in their homes, because though we live in a very religious country, we also live in a very superstitious one. Crystals are believed to have an energy that helps us connect to our own energy. They are said to help in healing the mind, body, and spirit, and that's not a bad thing.

A then remembered that he actually used a citrine crystal a few years back just to help manifest things. The crystal has since disappeared (people say crystals may either crack or disappear when they're done doing their job). On my end, I do yoga when I can and I've been meditating since I was in college, so working with crystals feels like a natural progression from what I've already been doing. We figured it wouldn't hurt to try.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Manicure Monday - The Fault in our Stars Nails

It's just another manic-ure Monday. I don't "wish it were a Sunday" though because it's Game of Thrones night and I'm rushing this post so I could watch with the hubby!

Anyway, today's manicure is a bit special because I saw The Fault in our Stars last Saturday. I loved the book by John Green and I couldn't wait to see the movie. I'm so glad A has a crush on Shailene Woodley because of Divergent, so he was totally willing to see it with me. I'm going to do a post on the movie itself soon so I'll just focus on what this entry is about. 

That, my friends, is Hazel Grace Lancaster's nail polish. Augustus Waters described it as an almost black dark blue. "But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too." 

When I first saw Hazel's nail polish I immediately thought, hey, I have nail polish that's just like that! It's NYX Advanced Salon Formula nail polish in Royal Blue. Why it did not occur to me when I was reading the book a long time ago, I have no idea. And so, this happened today. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Makeup Madness: Up Close - Tanya Burr Lip Gloss and Nail Polish

When my friend asked me if I wanted her to buy stuff for me in London, Tanya Burr Cosmetics immediately came to mind. Tanya Burr was one of the first YouTube beauty gurus that I started watching, and her new makeup line was something I really wanted to try. The thing is, it's only available in select stores in the UK. I can't get it here in the Philippines, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on some of her stuff. Thank you so much Sheva!

Tanya Burr makeup is really pretty and girly. There are a lot of pinks and nudes in the collection, and I liked that because I don't have enough pinks and nudes in my life. I decided to go for one lip gloss and one nail polish so I could try something from each of Tanya Burr's two product lines. I chose the Afternoon Tea lip gloss and the Bright and Early nail polish. (Aren't the names adorable?) Here's what I think of them. [Warning: Long review up ahead!]

Bright and Early + Afternoon Tea