Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good Hair Day

About two weeks ago, I chanced upon this group buying site Salamat.ph which boasted of a different system compared to all other group buying sites around : no pre-payment. You click on "buy" and the voucher is automatically routed into your account's folder. You then proceed to the merchant and pay right there. Not a bad idea. I found this site even more interesting when I saw that they had a P699 deal for a haircut, manicure and pedicure at Louis Philip Kee Salon The Fort or Connecticut, Greenhills.

My friend, Michelle and I agreed to each get a voucher and before we knew it, we were booked at the Greenhills branch. We had both been dying to get haircuts. I couldn't and still don't remember the last time I had one. My hair style had become terribly boring, no personality at all. I was sure I wanted layers and so did Michelle. So that's what we told John Imperio, the salon's Creative Director when he asked us what we wanted him to do with our hair.

We were too busy catching up so I only have the "after" photos to show

Here we are with our pretty layers

On my way home in the car ... I love that my hair doesn't look pin straight. It's got volume but not over the top.

I'm so stupid for not taking Michelle's solo pic because I just really loved the way John layered her hair at the back. The mani-pedi experience was super as well. Chai, our nail technician, did a great job. Really clean and no murdered cuticles yay!!!

My nail polish of choice was OPI's Comet Loves Cupid

Notice how the sides are all clean?
She was great!

Up next ... I need to retouch my hair color (within June) and get another rebond (mid-July). I'm not sure how my stylist is going to react to the fact that I was "unfaithful" to her by having someone else cut my hair. But to color it is something I wouldn't trust someone else to do at this point, so I need to see my stylist soon.

P.S. Too bad Louis was out of town. I'm sure he wouldn't remember me because the only time he cut my hair was before he opened his own salon at The Fort. He was still in Cielo Salon (Sen. Gil Puyat cor. Ayala Avenue). His fees haven't changed since then.

Monday, May 30, 2011

She Was No Happy Lemon

Both my girls know that I'm addicted to milk tea. We were in Eastwood Mall last night and after visiting Time Zone as usual with her Yaya, Sabine proudly announced that she had seen a Happy Lemon branch upstairs. She was desperate to try it out because Anissa had been talking about wanting to buy their Milk Tea with Oreo Cookies and Cream variant. Off we went. Two floors up from where we were, I saw the branch which is right beside Starbucks, outside the cinemas. The small "dine-in" area was filled with people enjoying their drinks. There was a group lined up at the counter waiting for their orders. Looked like they were still open. NOT.

We waited for a little over 5 minutes at the counter because the service crew was busy making the drinks for the group that went ahead of us. I'm very sure someone saw us standing there and waiting, but nobody said a word. After the group left with their drinks, one of the crew approached us and said, to our dismay, "Sorry, Ma'am we're close na po." When Sabine heard this, she was almost in tears and asked why. I tried to argue with the crew and told them there was no sign anywhere that they were closed and somebody could've told us while we were waiting. She reasoned out that mall management had been giving them "the eye" for staying open past mall operating hours. Shops close at 10pm on Sundays and it was around 10:18. I asked them one last time, "Just one drink for a child, can't you do it? You haven't started cleaning your machines because that previous group just ordered. Your cash register is still open. You can't make ONE DRINK???". The answer was still a NO.

The girl turned to Sabine and said, "Sorry, baby. Next time nalang ha?". To my surprise, Sabine replied, "I'm not coming back here forever and ever!" Sure, it wasn't a life or death situation. My point is, if you're CLOSED, you should atleast put something up to say so. There was no sign on the counter, no stancheons (those upright bars with retractable belts) to keep people from entering the area, absolutely NOTHING.

This photo was taken BEFORE we were told, that's why Sabine's still smiling here. She definitely didn't look this happy when we left Happy Lemon. I wish I had taken more pics of the place to prove why I had no clue they were closed. But I was too disappointed to stay.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Movie Day : Kung Fu Panda 2

I have never seen the cinema lobby of Power Plant Mall so jampacked with people before. We arrived before 4pm, hoping to catch the 4:15pm screening only to find out that there was none. It was either the 3:15 (already closed) or the 4:55. I checked the schedule on Power Plant Cinema's site and wondered why the screening times were different.

We had some time to spare so we walked around a bit and then I spotted this at the Power Mac shop

At P1,895 I could've saved close to P2,000 if I had gotten this instead of the skin guard AND the iPad Smart Cover. Grrrrrr! Now I'm seriously thinking of selling my Smart Cover and just get this instead. I really just might do this. I saw a black one and a hot pink one aside from this color in the photo.

It was still too early so we decided to sit down to grab a quick bite
We did so at PRESS, just around the corner from the cinema lobby

Neal had a slice of their Pistachio Sansrival
Really good! I ordered the Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce to share with Sabine but forgot to take a pic of it. Loved it too!

Sabine also had a scoop of gelato

She is Daddy's Girl

And my mini me

We actually had a slight problem. Sabine doesn't like 3D movies. She doesn't like the idea of things flying directly at her. She refused to wear the glasses (again). As the lights began to dim, she hung on to me for dear life.

She really did watch 98% of the movie minus the 3D glasses, until the very last minute when she decided she wanted to give it a try. Now she claims she loves 3D and even wants to buy her own glasses! (I'm really looking forward to taking her to see The Smurfs next)

After the movie when the lights went on, I was pleasantly surprised to find something stuck to my seat. It was a Kung Fu Panda 2 pin with a note that said we could claim a special gift from the counter outside. Then I remembered reading about a promo while checking on the screening hours earlier. We won something!

It was a Kung Fu Panda shirt (too big for her though) and a custom cupcake which they gave as a token because she had her eye on them hehehe!

'Til our next 3D movie date!
(Sidenote : my chambray boyfriend shirt dress is from Muji and I love it!!!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Dining Room @ Gourmet Farms

Who doesn't remember Gourmet's Cafe?

I've always loved their salads
Gourmet Farms is supposedly the pioneer in organic produce
They've always served the freshest greens

On our way home from Tagaytay, we were actually looking for another restaurant, which is newer in the business. Unfortunately, our search took us nowhere because we didn't find the said restaurant, no matter how many times I checked my phone for the address. We decided that along the way, if we pass by Gourmet's and we still hadn't found Tootsie's (there, I mentioned the other resto's name hehe!), we would just have dinner at Gourmet's. Anyway, it's been tried and tested. We were sure to get good food before ending our road trip that day.

Very Santorini right?
(photo taken from their website)

It was just a little past 7pm when we found the place, but we were famished. It started to pour heavily outside, we entered the premises in the nick of time and avoided getting drenched. Unfortunately, we didn't get to take too many photos. But I loved the place! It was just like being placed smack in the middle of an art gallery. There was so much to see, while enjoying the good food.

Again, this isn't my own photo, as you can very well see from the watermark
I regret not taking any of the place

Their menu was short and sweet, not confusing at all
These are what we ordered

Fresh Mushroom Soup (P100.00)
They're also known for this. The soup is so tasty and I like clear soups over the creamy types!

A portion of the Russian Salad that Mom ordered
It was actually sitting on this huge bed of Romaine Lettuce
Forgot to check the price though, because it wasn't on the menu
Mom requested for it and they gave it to her without any questions. Props!

Pizza Margarita (P350.00) was Sabine's choice
Cheap considering the size and taste

Mom's Chili Con Carne (forgot how much, sorry)

Pork Satay, my order (P150 --- can you believe?)
That's Caesar Salad, not a side order

Neal's Tagaytay Longanisa with sunny side up eggs and garlic rice (P240)
Part of the All Day Breakfast Selection

I don't have a shot of what my Yaya ordered --- Monggo and Tilapia, which she said tasted really good, like homemade stuff.

Our total bill came to roughly P1,500. We were totally surprised at how reasonable their prices still are. Too bad it was getting late and the rain wouldn't let up. I would've had a cup of coffee to cap the evening.

This is the only photo I have of the place. I'm sure you get my point.

Finally, we just had to take a couple of group photos

My personal rating for this place is a definite 5 stars
Even the customer service is excellent!

Tagaytay Chill Day

What was supposedly an attempt to break away from the intense Metro Manila heat turned out to be a flop (weather-wise, that is). Yesterday's weather in Tagaytay was almost as humid as Manila's. I don't ever remember hanging out in Tagaytay and sweating ... until yesterday. I didn't bother to bring a sweater or jacket because I knew I wouldn't really need it. But I didn't know I was going to feel sticky either. For a while there, I seriously started to think I was peri-menopausing!

Since we weren't planning on staying the night, I wanted to find a hangout place that was peaceful and quiet. Hotel Theodore was my choice. Located along the main road, just a few meters from the famous rotonda, I wanted something that was on the side of the lake. Also because Neal has lately become so addicted to taking photos using our Canon DSLR camera, this was the perfect spot for him.

The place is quite small. Very quaint and cozy especially on a weekday and I'm sure, during non-peak months.

I loved the not-so-big garden that was overlooking Taal Lake

We parked ourselves in this outdoor gazebo the entire time

I'm not sure what the hotel's overall theme is. Baroque, perhaps? This is their main lobby.

The dining room which can probably seat around 20

The entrance to their (Guinot Paris) Spa. I was so tempted to have something done! But I never want the hassle of having to get up and go home after a massage.

Like I said, we didn't stay the night so we opted to look at the rooms instead. We only got to see one...

This is one of their Vista Deluxe Rooms, perfect and suggested for honeymooners. Notice how visible the bathroom is from the main bedroom? That's why. :D

Now let's go to the highlight of our day. THE FOOD.
I ordered a cup of Tagaytay's famous coffee the minute I sat down. I loved the extra touch ... Chocolate Biscotti, which I didn't have to order on the side.

Sabine wanted pizza. This one's obviously Pepperoni, thin crust. Perfect!

And because we were still full from the lunch we had at home, the rest of us opted for dessert and we first shared this ... Fried Rice Cake with Mango Panna Cotta

It was SO GOOD, we ended up ordering one more!
The Fried Rice Cake was dipped in a very sweet sauce, similar to the one you eat with Suman. Perfect again!

Before leaving the hotel, Sabine had fun posing in the lobby

Oh...and going back to the disapponting weather. Spot all that oil on my face in this next photo. That's how humid it was!

We made one last interesting stop before going home but I'm gonna save that for my next entry. Dinner at The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms.

Seriously, all the good food saved this otherwise sticky day!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More On Nails

I'd like to think that I'm not as crazy about nail polish as my (crazy LOL) friends are.
Or at the very least, seeing bottles lined up on a shelf or counter doesn't give me the same kind of palpitations that shoes do. But when I see a nail polish shade I like, I definitely move heaven and earth to grab a bottle or two for myself. I have a measly collection of nail polishes compared to others. Whatever I have, I use up to the last drop. So in that sense, I'm really not a collector huh?

I tried looking for OPI Black Shatter during my recent Singapore vacation, primarily because my good friend Pia wanted me to grab it for her. Unfortunately, I went home a loser because I couldn't find it anywhere, not even in the big Sephora branch on Orchard Road.

I'm blessed though with friends who are addicted to online shopping and are always on the lookout for good finds. So when another good friend asked me if I wanted to order OPI Black Shatter from Amazon.com, I jumped at the chance and ended up ordering a few others.

From left to right : OPI Black Shatter, OPI Collins Ave., Essie Secret Stash, Seche Vite Fast Dry Top coat. If I remember correctly, all these totalled to a little less than USD 20.00. Good job! (photo taken with my iPad 2)

I brought these with me yesterday when I met up with friends, Pia and Smile, at Power Plant Mall for our 11am appointment at Dashing Diva. But I soon forgot about my new acquisitions when I opened Pia's bag of nail polish bottles (she always brings her stash with her when she gets a mani-pedi) and saw Chanel's Rose Insolent.

Here's a photo Pia took (using her Blackberry Torch -- amazing camera right??) after our mani-pedi session. I'm in love with it!!!

P.S. I was expecting Essie Secret Stash to be this shade but it's not. It's more magenta than fuschia or hot pink. I don't regret buying it but now I want Chanel Rose Insolent too. Groaaaaaaaan!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Can't Get Enough of Instagram

I'm not an iPhone user. Never been and I don't think I'll ever make the switch (loyal to Blackberry). But recently, this app that everyone's been using to share their photos on Twitter and Facebook, got me thinking. Good thing I'm using my iPod Touch a lot these days and so that period of uncertainty didn't last very long. Since I use my iPod Touch to surf the net anyway, I loaded Instagram into it (yes, for free!) and we have been inseparable since.

I just looooove playing around with the different photo effects!

Sabine's Mother's Day card and "gift"

The Adobong Puti I cooked last week

Bacon-wrapped Baguio Beans

The Matador from Chuck's Deli

I've taken quite a few more photos since I started using this wonderful app.
Allow me to share them in my succeeding entries.

Meantime, I totally recommend that iPhone, iPod and iPad users and addicts jump on the Instagram bandwagon ASAP. Your photos will never be the same again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beautiful Manila Sunset


Took this while in the car, on our way to the Justin Bieber concert in MOA. So breathtaking.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld