Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bookworming: The Kitchen When It Sizzles by Chrissie Peria

I'm late to the party on this one, but better late than never right? This review is going to be for those who haven't read The Kitchen When It Sizzles by Chrissie Peria yet, because really, you should. This is because it is, by far, the most entertaining mature novel that I've read in a while.

To be honest, I was surprised when Chrissie sent me a review copy of the book and I saw the cover. It's a far cry from her first novel, All's Fair in Blog and War, which was sugary-sweet from start to finish. The author herself, whom I have the privilege of knowing, is as sweet as the macaroons she bakes, so it was definitely interesting to find out that she wrote a sexy book!

Well what do you know, my initial skepticism was out of order. I loved this book! I can describe it in one word: HOT. The story's steamy and delicious, much like the delectable dishes that the characters whip up all throughout the novella.

The Kitchen When It Sizzles is about Olivia and Nate, who meet during a cooking lesson and find that they have sizzling chemistry. The book serves up the right amount of sexy -- exciting, yet doesn't ever go overboard. What got me completely hooked on it (actually read the entire thing in one sitting) was that when it wasn't making me blush, it was making me laugh. The romantic parts were quirky, funny, and endearing, and I became more invested with the characters with every turn of the page. The mix of food and romance, plus a lot of unexpected plot twists also kept me reading until the very end.

I love me a good chick lit book, and The Kitchen When It Sizzles totally fit the bill! Get the e-book on Smashwords and Amazon and be ready for a sensational time.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fashion Candy: Warby Parker's Corner Collection

It's an understatement for me to say that I can't live without my glasses. I have really bad vision, and I've been wearing glasses since I was in third grade. I wear contacts when I need to, but I'm usually too lazy to bother with solution and all that stuff. I'm really a spectacles kind of girl.

This is why when Warby Parker got in touch with me to tell me about their new Corner Collection, I was thrilled. The brand knows good glasses. Everything they make is so fun and chic at the same time.

Their new limited edition Corner Collection is all about silhouettes and angles. The frames have traditional shapes, but with unique details -- sharp temples, sloping browlines, crisp keyhole bridges, and straight-edged brow bars. Made of horn-inspired acetate and steel, they look modern and oh so cool.

There are five new styles -- Hutton, Topper, Goodney, Teddy, and Quentin. They come in two colors, which I love -- Rhubarb, a purplish hue, and Quartz, which looks like icy crystal. There are eyeglass versions, as well as sunglass versions, with prices starting at $95.

These are definitely not your everyday, boring spectacles. Each one of these will spice up an outfit instantly. Check out more pictures after the jump.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Home Base: New Crystals

Earlier this year, the hubby and I plus our friends discovered crystals. They're not only pretty -- they're also incredibly helpful. Long story short, we've found them to be amazing at bringing good vibes into our lives.

We've all been going back to Binondo ever since (hello Sheva, Cielo, and Verns), because there are a lot of crystals on our list and we have yet to find all of them. We got a few new ones recently so here's an update.

My current stash

His current stash

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beauty Loot: New Things + An Update

Hello! I'm back! I know, it's been a while. I really missed blogging -- and reading other blogs for that matter. The Blue Purse is always on my mind, but life has been ridiculously busy lately. Life happened as usual, and it's the same old story, but this time I have a really good excuse.

Mostly, I've been busy with work. The past month was crazy hectic, and then when things finally slowed down, I had to catch up with family and friends whom I've neglected. Seriously, I don't have the time to sleep these days, much less surf and read and cook and watch TV and focus on any hobbies. I'm going to get a handle on life at some point, and I hope that's soon, but for now, I'm trying, so please bear with me.

Let's start with a fun topic -- beauty! Since I haven't been blogging, products have piled up on me. This is a collective haul of sorts, because I'm excited to share all my new things. Read on.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Bookworming: Book Haul 080314

The hubby and I chanced upon the Bestsellers sale at Podium this past weekend! Book sales are a great way to discover books I have never heard of, or buy books that I would never consider buying at full price, or finally get the books that I have forgotten about. I also never walk past Bestseller sales because they always have hidden gems just waiting to be snatched up. Last year, I found Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Dash & Lily's Book of Dares at a Bestsellers sale in Galleria for only 99 pesos!

When I saw the sale yesterday I just had to go in and scour all the shelves. I haven't been buying any new books lately because I've been re-reading my old ones, so I really had a hankering for some fresh tomes. This time around, I scored a bunch of books at prices that were practically free. I got four paperbacks for 150 pesos (40 pesos and 30 pesos each)! It was a good day for this bookworm! Here's the rundown.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Public Service Announcement: Back and Blogging!

Hello! I took a blogging hiatus for a few weeks because I just started a new job. I was busy getting the hang of things so I haven't really had much time for anything else recently. Now that I've kind of gotten a routine down, I think I have some time to get back to my obsessions. I'm not sure I'm doing well on the energy part though -- I've been so exhausted during weekdays that I've only been watching TV and playing Animal Crossing when I get home from work. I'm going to make an effort to try to get back to my hobbies and interests, because I need a life outside of the office. I'll be posting more starting tomorrow! Stay tuned.  

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). 

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Getting to the Bottom of Bath and Body Works Sea Island Cotton Products

Hello! Let's get to the bottom of this post, shall we? By "getting to the bottom" I meant literally getting to the bottom of a product! In makeup circles it's known as "hitting the pan", but the phrase doesn't really work for all products, so "getting to the bottom" it is.

I just got to the bottom of my Bath and Body Works Sea Island Cotton products so it's time to finally do a post on them. I actually started using this trio way before Bath and Body Works showed up in the country. A friend ordered Bath and Body Works stuff from the US and I asked her to order for me. Luckily, Landmark started stocking Bath and Body Works soon after, and that's where I get my Bath and Body Works fix these days. 

  Sea Island Cotton Pocket Bac Hand Sanitizer, Body Lotion, Fragrance Mist

Clothes Spin: Orange and Brogues [Throwback Thursday]

Hello! I haven't done a Throwback Thursday look post in a while, so I decided to post one today.

Lately I've been missing a bunch of things from my closet that have since fallen apart. I'm searching for replacements, but I know that I just have to let it go. Fashion can be so fleeting sometimes! In this post are a couple of well-loved pieces - an orange shirt and beige brogues.

Orange shirt from The Ramp, Relic watch, beige Zara belt, Bench jeans, Forever 21 brogues  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Food Trip: Epic Coffee Roastery [Food Tales of a Kapitolyo Resident]

Kapitolyo is brimming with restaurants now, but cafes only started popping up recently. There used to be just one coffee shop in the entire neighborhood, and whenever I found the place full I always wished that more cafes would open here.

When Epic Coffee Roastery opened, it was like the answer to my wish. At last, here was another neighborhood cafe I could go to for a breather and a cup of joe. I've been there a few times, and each time has been really nice. 

The Epic sign from outside

Epic is a quaint little cafe on East Capitol Drive -- Kapitolyo's main food street. The place offers coffee and cakes of course, and it recently started serving sandwiches as well. 

It was put up by the same people who own Poco Deli, which automatically gives it a plus in my book. Poco Deli is one of my favorite restaurants of all time, so it's easy to fall for their cafe extension of sorts. Epic even has a Poco Deli menu that you can order from, which is pretty cool since it kind of brings the best of both worlds together. 

Cake and coffee

Friday, May 30, 2014

Makeup Madness: My Summer Base

It is already starting to rain, which means summer will be ending in no time. I predict that we will have a few more hot days though, so until then, I'll be making the most out of the makeup base I've been using all summer.

When summer hit, I had to change bases quickly. I don't wear too much makeup in the summer because it feels stuffy and it just melts off my face. I wanted a light base with SPF that I could just dab on and pair with a swipe of eyeliner or eyeshadow plus a dash of lipstick. Luckily, I chanced upon a good combination of products. These were a part of my Summer Beauty post, but I figured these warranted a proper TLDR, makeup geek-out entry too.

L'Oreal True Match Skin Idealizing BB Cream, Essence Mattifying Compact Powder, Elf Professional Total Face Brush 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Trippin': Back to Binondo [The Cityscapes Series]

My friends and I loved Binondo so much that on May 1, Labor Day, we went back there again. [See Part 1 here: Exploring Binondo - Manila's Chinatown.] We had to go back for more dimsum, more treats, and more crystals! One visit isn't really enough to explore the place properly. Neither is two actually, so we're planning on making a third visit there again sometime in the near future. Here's the story of our second visit. 

Binondo Church

The day started with a quick peep inside Binondo Church again. Aleq, Cielo, JM, and I were supposed to meet up with Verns there but she was late so we went on to what has become our customary early brunch. 

We chose Wai Ying again at Benavidez St. because we were with JM, who wasn't with us the first time we went. It's his first visit to Binondo so we had to make him try the dimsum!

Wai Ying

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Home Base: The Life Domestic - Birthday Breakfast and Dinner at Kanto and Mozu

I just realized that I never posted about my birthday here. It was pretty uneventful since it fell on a weekday this year, but I celebrated it with my husband in the best way possible given the circumstances. How? Why by starting the day with a food trip and ending it with another one, of course!

We woke up early to have breakfast before work at our new favorite 24-hour all-day breakfast place, Kanto. It's a hole-in-the-wall kind of restaurant that serves gourmet food -- what a juxtaposition, right? It's a new neighborhood discovery for us, and I'll be posting more about it on Food Tales of a Kapitolyo Resident soon. It was one of the very few places open so early in the morning in our area that's not Jollibee or McDonald's, so it was the obvious choice for us.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Summer Beauty - Products for the Hot Hot Heat

A lot of the world is just getting their first taste of spring, but here in the tropics where there are only two seasons, we're smack dab in the middle of an insanely hot summer. When the heat started coming in, I knew some of my makeup and beauty products wouldn't cut it anymore. I always have to change up what I'm using when the seasons change. Just as I have my cold weather friends, I have my summer stash with products that I can rely on to keep up with the scorching temperatures. Most of these are travel-sized because I like the convenience of getting to throw them into a purse, a beach bag or a travel bag whenever a summer event comes up. I got it all down in one post, but brace yourself! It's a long list.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Makeup Madness: Up Close - Wet n Wild ColorIcon Eyeshadow in Sweet As Candy

Hello! I haven't played with makeup in a while so I did today. It's about time I got some makeup reviews on here again anyway. I'm starting off this comeback to makeup love with Wet n Wild's ColorIcon Eyeshadow Palette in Sweet As Candy, which was from my collective beauty haul back in December.

This blog will tell you that I'm a lipstick girl, and not an eyeshadow kind of girl. A lot of days, I just put base on and then swipe some color onto my lips, and I'm good to go. Eyeshadow for me is for days when I have the time and the energy to make an effort. This is why I haven't really invested much in eye makeup, but I do have some go-to drugstore eyeshadow palettes that I should really get more use out of.

The Product

I have three Wet n Wild ColorIcon Eyeshadow Trio Palettes in my makeup kit, and they're definitely on my must-use-more-before-they-expire list. I like them because they have great color combinations and they make eyeshadow application easy. Each handy palette comes with three eyeshadow shades, marked Eyelid, Crease, and Eyebrow. Like the Wet n Wild site says, it takes the guesswork out of eyeshadow application. It's easy. I already used one of the palettes before -- Walking On Eggshells -- in a look post. [See A Neutral Experiment, and A Neutral Experiment Products.] My most recent Trio acquisition is Sweet As Candy, because I realized I didn't have sweet, pink eyeshadow.

What drew me to it is how girly the color combination is. It's for those times when I want a break from neutrals, but I still don't want strong eyes. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Random Cravings: Binondo Treats

Exploring Binondo was a blast, and we got to take home a few treats from the Chinese pastry shops in the area to boot. This post is all about those treats, which we are actually planning on coming back for soon. Our stash ran out within a couple of days -- well, we got some for family too, we didn't keep everything we bought -- but it was all just so good. Here's a rundown.

Custard Hopia from Eng Bee Tin
I had no idea this existed until my friends opened the cooler at Eng Bee Tin and I saw hopia packets labeled custard and ube. Hopia is a sweet filled pastry. There are a ton of varieties and fillings, but the custard one is new to me, and let me tell you, it was insanely addictive. The husband and I just loved the cold custard filling. It kind of reminded us Camiguin's pastel, but with softer pastry.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Pomegranate Showers

We're certainly feeling the heat here in the tropics now, and I feel like taking a shower ten times a day! It's super hot, which makes it a good time for me to talk about some shower gels I've been loving. 

Pomegranate shower things have become permanent fixtures in my bathroom. I've never seen an actual pomegranate, but I like pomegranate bath stuff. I normally go for citrus shower gels, but when I stumbled upon these pomegranate products, I was surprised that the fragrance was to my liking. Though technically a berry, the pomegranate's fruity scent is also somewhat citrusy, so I guess that's what it is.  

Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Nourishing Smoothing Body Wash in Pomegranate + Rice, Marks and Spencer Warm Pomegranate Shower Gel with Added Moisturizer

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Home Base: The Life Domestic - Our First Anniversary

My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary yesterday! We seriously don't know where the time went. Our anniversary fell on an awkward day this year though. It came on a Monday right at the tail end of Holy Week. My family usually just stays home to reflect and have a bit of quiet time on those days. We also didn't want to celebrate with the Easter crowd, and then we started having car trouble over the weekend. After all that, we decided to just restaurant-hop in the city and enjoy our favorite places. One year and counting!

The day started with a long and leisurely brunch at Cafe 1771 in El Pueblo. We sat at Whimsy -- the cute, bright, and utterly charming cafe area of the restaurant.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fashion Candy: My Wedding Dress and Shoes

Hi! I've been busy lately just trying to finish our wedding documentation on our wedding blog, That Happy Day, before our anniversary comes up. (Yes, it has taken so long!) My most recent posts there have been about my wedding dress and shoes, so this is another "when worlds collide" post. I'm sharing a bit of it here, but please head on over to That Happy Day for all the happy details and more pictures. 

Dress by Edwin Uy
Shoes from Vivienne Westwood + Melissa via Geleia

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Trippin': Exploring Binondo, Manila's Chinatown - Church, Crystal-shopping, The Wai Ying Experience, and Bakery-hopping [The Cityscapes Series]

Last week, April 9 was a holiday (Araw ng Kagitingan), so my friends and I took the opportunity to have an urban adventure in Binondo. It is the country's Chinatown, and is actually the oldest Chinatown in the world, dating back to 1594. A lot of ethnic Chinese live there, and it is a place brimming with awesome and unusual food, as well as unique stores with great prices.

My friend Cielo -- who is part-Chinese and knows the area well -- thought up and organized the entire thing. Our former officemates Verns and Luis joined us, along with my husband Aleq. (The last time I was in Binondo was actually with the same group of people plus our other former officemates, and that was years ago.) It was a fun day exploring a part of Manila that I don't know well. Here's the story.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Manicure Monday - Retro Blue

I have retro blue nails this week, thanks to the nail polish that my friend Sheva got me during a stopover in Thailand (on her way to India). It's an old skool kind of blue, but it's bright enough for summer.

It's Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Shocking Seas. It really doesn't remind me of the sea in any way. It's more of the kind of blue that you find in old porcelain teacups or china, that sort of thing. It is shocking in the sense that it's a really attention-grabbing bright blue though.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Purse Peek 040814

Summer is making me break out all my colorful stuff, and for weeks now I've been using my orange Cole Vintage satchel. My bag is a lot different these days because of the change in seasons, so it was definitely time for a "What's In My Bag?" post. Here we go.

What's in my orange Cole Vintage satchel?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Makeup Madness: Up Close - Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous

Summer's here! I will probably keep saying that until the rainy season comes because I love this season! The heat is horrific, as usual, but everything else about this season makes me happy -- the sunshine, the ice cream, the bright colors... I can go on and on. This season also means I can wear orange lip color 24/7. It gets me in the mood for sheer but bright makeup, and there's no better time than now to have orange lips.

In the Lipstick Tag, I mentioned the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Rendezvous a few times. That's because it has taken the place of what used to be my everyday orange lipstick -- Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti. I use it at least a couple of times a week, and I'm using it even more these days because it's summer, but I never wrote about it here. Finally, here's a proper post on it.

The Product

This lipstick comes in a retractable crayon form. It makes application fun, and packs quite a bit of product in the tube. It's supposed to be a moisturizing and softening balm with color that applies as a stain.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Food Trip: Maple - First Visit

I've been curious about Maple since it opened in Shangri-la's new East Wing. I've heard that it's owned by the same people who own Pancake House, which I have loved for years and years -- only, it's an upscale version of the all-day breakfast place. The day came two weeks ago, when a friend suggested we have dinner there. Well, it was an interesting experience. Read on.


Maple's a cute, homey place. It has a country sort of feel to it, but polished and not as casual as Pancake House. When we were there (a weeknight), it wasn't crowded at all. In fact, it was just me and my friends plus two other tables.

View of the restaurant from our table

Monday, March 31, 2014

Beauty Barrage: Up Close - Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer

This is an extremely happy post because my favorite moisturizer and I are back together! My last tube of the Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer expired this month, but for some reason I couldn't find it anywhere! I went to Pure Beauty, which is my go-to shop for it, but both of the Serendra and Alabang stores as well as their online shop didn't have it. I've been to several beauty stores the past couple of months looking for it, and it was nowhere to be found. The online stores I buy from didn't have it either.

I messaged my friends and asked them to let me know if they saw it anywhere. After a month, my friend Cielo found it at S&R! (Thank you so much Cie!) It's a huge relief because I really love it and I don't really feel like doing the trial-and-error thing with moisturizer again. My skin responds with forehead bumps whenever it doesn't like products, and since I've been repairing it from dryness lately, I didn't want to give it more problems.

I know this seems a little over-the-top that I'm so thrilled but discovering this moisturizer really changed my outlook on skincare. Seeing the difference it made on my skin made me want to take care of my skin more. I've talked about it in some posts before (check out Cold Weather Friends and Muji and Aveeno Loot), but I realized I have never done a full review of it. Ladies (and gentlemen), here is my story on this moisturizer.

Friday, March 28, 2014

For the Boy: An Introduction + Suits 101 with Bonobos

Happy Friday! It's an interesting day because I'm starting a new blog series called For the Boy. It will be made up of entries that will mostly be about men's style, but can also be about anything guys like, from toys and accessories to grooming products and such.

It all started with an email from men's clothing brand Bonobos, and I thought, why not? I always keep up with men's fashion, not just because I love fashion (you know I do) but the husband keeps tabs on men's fashion as well. We have email conversations about clothes and whatnot, I have a Pinterest board on men's fashion that I show him from time to time, and we both pay attention to Tumblr and Instagram posts by GQ (check out this post from them on Bonobos). I've featured him in a bunch of Clothes Spin entries here too! You can count on A to contribute some guest posts to this series in the future.

If you have a guy in your life, this series will hopefully give you some inspiration on style suggestions for him, as well as gift ideas. If you're a guy, then you might find this series interesting, as it is all about you!

Oh hello

My first For the Boy post is all about suits, featuring the Bonobos Spring 2014 Suit Collection. It was such great timing because A just posted today about the suit that he wore at our wedding. [Head on over to our wedding blog, That Happy Day, to read it.] Quite a few of our friends are getting married soon as well. Gents, you might want to check this out for your suits, as well as for your entourage attire.

Black tie

Bonobos' VP of Design Dwight Fenton sent over some suit tips and tricks for a great fit:
  • Fit is the most important detail for a suit. Marry that with classic color options and quality fabric, and you have a great-looking versatile suit for every occasion. 
  • Fit starts with the shoulders: The jacket should grab your shoulders snugly but not be overly tight. if the shoulders fit, pretty much anything could be adjusted.
  • Length matters: To determine the appropriate length, you should be able to cup the bottom of the suit with your arms by your side.
  • Show some shirt: A flexible but general rule of thumb is to have a quarter-inch of your shirt cuff showing. If you're wearing a heavier cuff, like a French cuff, you may want to show off a little more.   

It's all about the fit!

The Bonobos Spring 2014 Suit Collection piqued our interest immediately because it's an attractive, modern line, and yet it also has some classic and timeless pieces. There's a lot of range in this collection. There's a variety of cuts, designs, material, and fit. There are suits for the conservative guy (done in a contemporary cut), for the regular stylish guy, and for the loud, adventurous, out-of-the-box guy. They also came out with some fun, colorful neckties, bow ties, and pocket squares (which A and I have a soft spot for), that would be terrific for warm weather affairs.

  Color is good!

The husband is sitting beside me while I'm finishing up this post, and he's loving that I'm geeking out over suits right now. Here's the rest of the look book, after the cut.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bookworming: Doctor Who - Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell

I've been going through books like mad lately, and the last one I finished is Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell. I'm a Whovian, so when I saw this book at Fully Booked, I knew I had to have it for my Doctor Who collection.

This book is a part of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary collection, where each Doctor has his own book. Ten (played by David Tennant), is my Doctor, so picking a book among the eleven books was a no-brainer. I was a bit hesitant because the plot involved Donna Noble, the Doctor's companion that never quite made it to my list of favorites, but that little detail was easily overlooked. This is a novel about the Tenth Doctor, and I wasn't going to let it slip by.