Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shopping for clothes online?

I could never have too many clothes; so I always reward myself with a new dress, a pretty top or any clothing apparel I fancy. Whenever I feel like buying new clothes, but too lazy to hit boutiques/department stores, I simply go online to check out pieces I might like.

Online shops have made shopping for clothes a lot more convenient for me - I don't have to deal with irritating salesladies who tail behind when I'm checking something out; I don't have to wait in line for my turn at the dressing room; and I can shop anytime I want.

I have several clothes which I bought from different online sellers; and although this form of shopping is very convenient, I've realized after my latest purchase that nothing still beats the art of good ol' shopping. How I shop may in no way be the same as yours, but it takes more than just making a few clicks for one to say an item is indeed a good buy.

But then again, I'm still a fan of online shops. And I'd say, this isn't for every shopper  that ever exists.  I've learned not to ignore these aspects when shopping for clothes online:

1. Fit. The clothing pieces you see in online shops may look really nice. Sure. But there are no dressing rooms - there's no way to find out whether that dress will look good on you just as it does on the model, the mannequin or in your imagination. To know if it fits you perfectly is a hit or miss thing. Who doesn't want to wear something that's as if it was made to fit your size, and just yours?

3/4 collared top

 2. Fabric. One of my online shopping mistakes then was not asking what the item was made of. Never rely on your peepers a hundred percent when checking out an item online. I once bought a sun dress that I instantly fell in love with, but got disappointed when I found out that it was made of  poor fabric. Returning the item and having it exchanged would be futile an attempt, not just because of geography but because the seller might find the argument on 'fabrics' non-debatable. 

Ask the seller what material an item is made of, s/he should know. Otherwise, shop somewhere else.

ruffled dress

eyelet tube dress
3. Finances. I guess this is a no-brainer here. If you don't have the money, then don't bother reserving  or ordering items. 'Bogus buyers', so-called customers who drop their orders for the lamest excuses or for no reason at all, are increasing by the numbers. Sure, it is your (customer) right to not go on with the purchase,  but you don't want to waste the seller's time or yours.

4. Fake or For Real? With so many online shops you can find, you can never be sure which one is fake or real. Scams lurk aplenty on the Internet, where they claim to be online shops, post items 'for sale' and then run  away with your money. Thankfully I've never been a victim of fake online shops. It's always a good thing to be vigilant about some who take advantage.  

Whether I make online shopping or not, I'm always reminded of one thing: 

It's not what you wear, but who wears it. =)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sailing the 'Oceanjet way'



I cant remember the last time I rode Oceanjet without ever complaining. I would have never wanted to take another Oceanjet trip anymore but, more often than not, would be left with no choice because they offered more schedules than the other competitors plying the Cebu-Tagbilaran route.

For instance, I couldn't remember the last time Oceanjet set sail on time. My last Oceanjet trip of which I had no choice but to take (since my 6:30 pm Supercat trip was cancelled), was yet another delayed one. Sure it did pay to be early  alright, the fact that I made it to the  5:30 Oceanjet schedule. But I got to  the port a rough 5 minutes before six o'clock and was seated just a few moments before Oceanjet left. Now if you do the math, you'll find that it left 30 minutes late than it's scheduled departure.

That was not the first time I took a delayed Oceanjet trip. In fact, it has happened many times, and I won't be surprised if it's going to happen again.

Seating assignment has also become another concern for me on a number of Oceanjet trips I've taken. One time, my seat number happened to be a dupe with an old woman, in which I had to let it go, out of courtesy. I approached one of the cabin crew and was told to 'just stand and wait' for a vacant seat which I could fill. So much for the inconvenience, eh. Good thing the trip wasn't fully booked, and so I managed to  get  a seat otherwise I wouldn't know what I'd do on that 1 hour and forty-five minute boat ride.

And if you haven't taken an Oceanjet trip without getting a whiff of that really bad smell coming from the rest rooms, well then lucky you. I'd consider myself lucky to be seated far from the toilet knowing I wouldn't have to put up with the stench, which I'd usually experience. While it is one's responsibility to observe proper use of the rest room (and be considerate of other people using it), it surely doesn't take much for their crew to check on them and make sure they're clean and odorless especially before a new wave of passengers board the vessel.

Consider yourself even luckier if you're seated sans getting cramped, bit by insects or getting hot. My last Oceanjet trip from Cebu to Tagbilaran was all that - I had very little space to move about, scratched my legs once in a while because of mosquitoes and fanned myself with the newspaper I brought. I wasn't alone as other passengers close to me did the same as well.

I, for sure, am not alone alright. I once posted on my Facebook, out of sheer disappointment, about what I thought of their customer service when me and many passengers were stranded at the pier because of another delayed trip which took more than an hour. Several of my friends commented on my status post, sharing their rather unpleasant experiences with Oceanjet, some of which were worse than mine.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there was even a time when people aired their complaints about Oceanjet over our local radio station, mainly because of frequent delays.

The number of 'not-so-good' remarks about riding Oceanjet makes me think twice about writing to them, unsure whether or not they will address the points I've stressed (to which others may relate to). So I am blogging this anyway, in my attempts to make myself feel better even when, at times, I'm down with 'sea sickness'.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Diamond 'Feel' (my first diamond peeling experience)

Thanks to stress, pollution and poor lifestyle habits, I lately noticed that my skin looked dull, tired and rough, no matter how religious I have been with my cleansing and moisturizing routine. I hated how poor and lifeless my skin would show even in pictures, with a strong urge to just photoshop out of desperation just in case somebody would tell me I looked tired - again.  That's when I decided to get a professional facial treatment.

Getting 'laser-ed'

So I went to Skinzone IT Park to get a facial. I instructed my attendant, Claire, that I wanted a 'no-pricking facial' (never again to pricking!), but was then convinced by her that a diamond peel was more suitable for me since I didn't want to be pricked.

Diamond peeling is a fast and painless procedure that removes dead skin, leaving it supple and rejuvenated. It helps promote smoother, healthier skin and diminishes the appearance of blemishes, acne scars and even stretch marks.

First thing Claire did was slather cleansing milk on my face and neck, massaging it super gently. Then, she wiped it and applied scrub (to slough off old, tired skin, for sure). After another wiping,  she applied the collagen mask.

Each cream application took a while to stay on my face to induce effect, I could have just wanted to doze off  but was too excited to know what she was going to do next anyway. Claire was also very friendly, I was comfortable all throughout the entire procedure.

After preparing the diamond peel machine, Claire put a vacuum suction device on my face that would suck out dirt and dead skin. In the middle of the 30-minute procedure, Claire told me to feel my face. And boy, what a difference. My skin felt so smooth to the touch, I just needed to resist the urge to feel it again and again or I might ruin the procedure (haha). 

Claire then showed me the grime collected from the diamond peeling. This you have got to see.

Look ma, lotsa dead skin!
She then used a laser tool for three minutes to close my pores.

"This is going to sting." Claire told me before applying toner on my face (which did, but tolerably) and then slathered on moisturizer before removing my protective headband and calling the procedure done.

 
Post peel effect
Forty minutes of all that slathering, vacuuming and stuff made my face red and tender right after. I no longer washed my face before hitting the sack.

The Morning After:

When I woke up, I noticed that my face was less oily. There's still the slightest sting and luck was on my side because the sun wasn't out today, but I had sunblock on as an extra precaution (I've been religious with putting on sunblock since I discovered how much havoc the sun can wreak on skin anyway.)

After two weeks, I'll be getting another diamond peel again, perhaps make it a habit (if money permits! haha) While I cannot see visible effects yet, I must tell you my skin feels cleaner and more refreshed now than when I only do ordinary washing and moisturizing.

Try getting a diamond peel, or any professional facial treatment for yourself, when you can. Treat yourself to something you deserve, and which your skin will thank you for in the long run.

And oh, need I say a change in lifestyle habits?  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturdate at Rai-Rai Ken

Mancomm week was finally over and I couldn't be more thankful to have survived yet another super stressful phase at work that it has been my resolve to reward myself every after business review. It was so sweet of my boyfriend to treat me to my favorite, sashimi.

We could have dined at Tokyo Joe's where we usually eat Japanese food, but learned that they no longer served sashimi. So off we headed to Rai-Rai Ken.

Beef Ramen

My soup lover of a boyfriend ordered the beef ramen while I gave their Gomoku Chaha (fried rice with mixed seafood) a first try.

Gomoku Chaha

Of course, dining at a Japanese resto is never complete without sashimi.

My favorite, tuna Sashimi

Although the Gomoku Chaha tasted good, I usually prefer my fried rice dry and salty, much like like the yang chow fried rice at Dimsum Break. Nevertheless, their Gomoku Chahan was very filling. I had a little taste of the beef ramen too and I especially loved the noodles, except for the bamboo shoots - I thought they smelled and tasted awful.

Next stop after a sumptuous dinner? A nice, relaxing Swedish massage at our favorite spa.

Oh how I love Saturdays!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Go fish at Co Jordan!

One Sunday morning, my sister and I went to Consolacion to go fishing with my relatives. I was so excited at the thought of it since it would actually be my first time to do so. So off we went to Co Jordan Talaba and Bangus.

cottages

Co-Jordan is a restaurant situated in a pond that serves the freshest seafoods cooked any way you like - fried, grilled, ginisa, steamed or in soup base. This is a place where you can fish and have your own catch cooked at a reasonable rate. They weigh the fish for you on a per kilo basis. 

the pond

You don't just find bangus and tilapia at Co Jordan as well. You also get to have your fill of crabs, shrimps, talaba and other seafoods. They're all at its freshest and cooked at its tastiest. 

tasty shrimp

sa-ang

 talaba


my favorite of them all - fried tilapia

I've never tasted seafood this good here, knowing they were cooked fresh. We had grilled and tinolang bangus,  fried tilapia, shrimp, sa-ang and talaba. I especially loved the fried tilapia, I just couldn't get enough of it. For a seafood lover like me, it was truly one of the most sumptuous seafood chows I've ever had.

Needless to say, we didn't get any catch from our fishing attempts but the food more than made up for it though. 

Co Jordan gives a different kind of seafood dining experience in a refreshing way.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ipar's: Muy Delicioso!


I've been having this unexplainable craving for paella for days now and so on our typical Saturdate with Cyril, we decided to go to a restaurant that served paella. While walking along Ramos st, we found Ipar's restaurant and knew we had to go in. After all, you don't call a Spanish restaurant authentic if they don't serve paella, which is a signature Spanish dish.

It was our first time to dine at Ipar's, and the moment we got inside, we were smitten by it's simple yet stylish and cozy ambiance. The funny moment came when we sat down to check the menu, and found that Cyril and I could not have the paella not only because the price was a little high, but because the serving was too much for just the two of us (serving was good for 4-6 persons).

lovely ambiance



all things Spanish

while waiting for our food

We could have wanted to just get out of the restaurant pronto, because we couldn't find anything else other than paella. Heck, we were unsure what the other dishes were since they were in Spanish. Good thing, the waitress was helpful enough to suggest something that was just right for our appetite and budget, of course.

As per the waitress's suggestion, I ordered the Chuletas de Cerdo al Ajillo (Php180), or porkchop sauteed in garlic. The dish also comes with rice which you can have either plain or with garlic. I love how the garlic sautee meshed perfectly with the meat, the taste was not overpowering of garlic and it helped bring out the meat's flavor. I'm pretty certain they used olive oil to sautee the garlic, it's light and never greasy at all.

Chuletas de Cerdo Al Ajillo

Cyril's dish was even better. He had the Pescado en Salsa Verde (Php300), or fish fillet smothered in parsley sauce. How the fish melted in my mouth was just pure heaven, I couldn't help but fork on his plate again and again.

Pescados en Salsa Verde





I may not have satisfied my craving for paella, but I sure did have a muy delicioso dinner at Ipar's.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cocina de Lola no more?


It was me and Cyril's 23rd month together and I had long planned to take us to Cocina de Lola. I thought it was a great place to celebrate yet another month of magkasintahan bliss because of its subtle charm as well as its name, in which home-cooked recipes quickly comes to mind.


When we stepped inside the restaurant, I thought we were in the wrong place. I noticed they had those buffet trays at the counter, which looked quite off with its interiors. I asked the lady if they had a menu but was told the only dishes they served were those in the trays. There were only five choices, and the dishes were similar to those being served in carinderias, But we just proceeded with our order anyway.


We were the only customers that time yet, so we had the place all to ourselves. It looked quaint inside as it was outside, which could make for a fine dining ambiance. What we still didn't understand, though, were the buffet trays and the unbelievably cheap menu prices. I looked around and noticed that the cafe was named Cafe Tinio, as indicated on their business permit hung conspicuously on the wall.


I had chicken adobo and calamares while Cyril ordered beef steak and vegetable soup. I also had mango shake to go with my meal. Putting our confusion aside, we chowed down and were not disappointed. Their chicken adobo was good it actually reminded me of my mama's own version. The calamares was also delicious as well - not too starchy and cooked just right. Cyril loved his vegetable soup and beef  steak too. The food was definitely good, home-cooked style.

After what had been a satisfying meal, we could have wanted to chill a bit for some convo but decided to leave instead because Cyril was already sweating - the electric fan was only cooling the place even though there was an a/c. After taking some snaps of the place, we left after paying Php135.00 for our meal. Now that's an unbelievably affordable meal on a special occasion.

I looked at the cafe's facade and noticed it didn't bear the Cocina de Lola signage anymore. Is it really gone or just repackaged into Cafe Tinio?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The 5-year old mother


A woman can never be too old nor too young to conceive. For many people, the question on when a woman can have a child is not about her age but by her readiness for it.

But such is not the case for Lina Medina, who, much to my shock, became a mother at 5 years old.

Born in Peru in 1933, Lina was just like any other girl her age who loved to play with her friends, discover new things and enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood. However, Lina started having abnormal changes in her body, as in her breasts and hips. When she turned 5, her stomach began to grow larger.

Thinking that it was a tumor, her parents took her to the hospital. After a series of X-ray tests and biopsies, the doctors confirmed that she had been pregnant for seven months already. It was also found that she started puberty at 8 months. This condition would later be described as precocious puberty.

On May 14, 1939, Lina gave birth to a healthy baby boy through caesarian section. The baby was named Gerardo, after her doctor.

For ten years, the family kept it a secret from Gerardo that Lina was actually his mother, and not his older sister. Gerardo died in 1979 from a bone infection.

Who got her pregnant still remains a mystery today. In fact, Lina’s father was arrested for suspicion of rape and incest, but was later freed for lack of evidence.

At present, Lina lives in Lima with her husband. She also has another son who lives in Mexico.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last day at work (a Thank You note to Xlibris Marketing pips)


Xlibris Marketing team

Today was my last day at Xlibris. Finally, it is time. I will start working somewhere in July.

My colleagues were all shocked when they learned that I was resigning. They only knew about it yesterday, a day before I would leave. I intended to keep it from them; if not for some reasons that would remain as privileged information, I wanted to keep it low.

My last day of work at Xlibris also happens to be my 25th birthday, and it surely is a mix of emotions for me. I feel sentimental, as many of my colleagues have become good friends of mine during my two years and one month of working in the company. It's hard to say goodbye to these people with whom I have shared fun and crazy moments with for some time.

But it had to be. I'm just so glad my exit was happy, graceful and definitely memorable. I couldn't help but cry when, in my last working hours, they wished me well, got me a yummy cake and a nice gift and simply made me happy. And as I was ready to walk out of the office, they hugged me, gave a round of applause, sang a 'Happy Birthday' and that crazily inappropriate farewell song. I am definitely going to miss them all.

To my Xlibris Marketing colleagues, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the friendship. I truly cherish the fun atmosphere in which I have worked in a span of two years and a month. I also thank you for planning out a little something for my birthday/last day at work. Having all of you wish me well is something I will definitely treasure for keeps.

Now, now, let's not be so dramatic. It's not as if I'm heading to Antarctica, you know. I'll still be seeing you around and I'll come back to visit you guys. Hasta manana.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Unguilty pleasure - Japanese food!

If money were not a problem, I'd definitely make sashimi a part of my everyday diet.

I love Japanese food. It is simple, elegant and best of all, healthy. Whenever my budget permits, I'd go to Japanese restaurants just to satisfy my craving for sashimi or other Japanese food I fancy. There's nothing like savoring the rich, raw taste of salmon or tuna dipped in special soy sauce (minus the wasabi, I hate spicy stuff).

Another Japanese food favorite of mine is the kani salad, a healthy dish made with kani kama (crab stick), Japanese mayonnaise, cucumber, ripe mango, carrots, lettuce and topped with tobiko (flying fish roe).

Kani salad tastes gorgeous depending on how it is prepared. I once ordered the dish at Rai-Rai Ken (Robinson's branch) and was hugely disappointed. I had better at Manpuku Bento (Food Choices, Ayala Center).


Tokyo Joe's (SM City Cebu) offers value for money when I want to indulge in my unguilty pleasure. Although food selections have noticeably been cut down, they have tasty recipes at affordable prices. My boyfriend and I always order the Lover's meal, composed of miso soup, tuna and salmon sashimi, tempura, stir-fried vegetables, rice and your choice of pork, chicken or beef bento. We'd always get a pretty good tummy fill for just Php350.

Although I'm not a big fan of sushi, I couldn't forget the delightful taste of Tempura Japanese Grill's (SM City Northwing) california maki with cream cheese the last time I dined there. If I'm not mistaken, I think it's called the Caterpillar Roll. And while I have never understood my boyfriend's love for noodle soups, I can understand why he'd crave for ramen at Nonki restaurant (SM City Cebu). Now, now, ramen really reminds me of the late actress Brittany Murphy's movie, The Ramen Girl.

Oh, I can't wait for the next time we'd dine at Mikado Eat All You Can Japanese restaurant. I wouldn't mind shelling out Php450 for unlimited sushi and other flavorful Japanese dishes.

If only money were not a problem.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tubig, anyone?!



It's been a month now since I last used the shower. Not that I wanted to, but because there's no water coming out of the showerhead anyway.

Water shortage has become a problem in my place for some time now, and I am terribly feeling the brunt of it. In fact, there was one time when I had to make do with two 500 mL bottles of water straight from the portable tubig machine, for the love of bathing. There is just no way I am going to work without taking a bath, especially in this wicked heat.

And because water supply lately is far worse than an on-and-off relationship, I now have to wake up earlier than I usually do just to make sure I have enough water to start my day right.

But then, I am not alone. Water shortage in Cebu City remains to be a problem that seems to take too long to be resolved. And with the El Nino wreaking havoc on the city's water sources, the situation just couldn't get any worse.

The question on when this dilemma is going to ease up - better yet, end, we do not know. Doing the rain dance just like what Sarah Geronimo did in her movie may be a far-fetched idea for me. But if it can help beat the dry spell, why not?

Then again, it boils down to one important thing - to conserve water. It doesn't require too much, but it definitely goes a long, long way.

image source: campusadv.com

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And happier fiestas are made of...

In my hometown Bohol, May is that time of the year in which people say you will never go hungry. This is because a string of fiestas are slated throughout the entire month, the city of Tagbilaran first marking the start of the month-long fiesta celebration on the 1st of May, also Philippine Labor Day.

Having a little 'handa' has been a tradition in the family during fiesta. Pork is the main staple served on our dining table, cooked in varieties. There's crispy pata, adobo, bola-bola, dinuguan, hamonada, menudo, etc. Doesn't it sound too fattening?

my cousin's version of crunchy breaded pork

My most favorite putahe is my cousin's version of crunchy breaded pork. It's so good it is actually the first to run out among our food servings. Our guests just keep coming back for more, more and more of it. 

crunchy and juicy goodness!

She doesn't use much - just fish sauce, calamansi, camote starch and pork strips, of course. It's delectably crunchy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside. Guests would even ask how it is made with. Although she shares how it is done without hesitation, there probably will never be anyone who can do it as better as she does.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My little sacrifice: 2010 Philippine Automated Elections



My right index finger soiled with indelible ink, my legs were tired and hurt from standing in line for five terribly long hours. My clothes were soaked in sweat, my skin feeling sticky from rubbing against sweaty bodies of people I didn't know under the hot and humid weather. Heavy rain poured when it was almost my turn to vote, my tired self thankful to have secured a seat inside a small, dark classroom cramped with other voters nearing their turn.


Tension started to ensue among the crowd, an understandable predicament when one is being made to wait for unbelievably so long, without having eaten and being cut off by people who have no idea what standing in line or taking turns means. I knew the only relief there was from a monster headache was to get out of the voting precinct, my purpose done and over with.

That was my rather draining experience of the 1st Philippine Automated Elections. The long and wearisome ordeal may have made others give up and walk away, but I chose to hold on a little longer anyway. After all, this momentary sacrifice would be nothing compared to what might lurk ahead of our country.

Vote counting is still ongoing, but we now have pretty much a clearer picture who won. I can only hope my own, little sacrifice was well worth it. It's the little sacrifices we do that help change things  for the better, if not the best. 

Boy, don't I just love this country so much.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sun dog in Cebu

sun dog

At around noontime today, my officemates and I marvelled at an interesting sight from up above. It was a rainbow-colored halo that surrounded the sun. I didn't know something like that could occur but it did, and it was pretty cool.

That halo was said to be a parhelion, more commonly known as a sun dog. Scientists explain that a sun dog is caused by the reflection or refraction of sunlight by plenty of small ice crystals that comprise cirrus or cirrostratus clouds.

It was my first time to see a sun dog for real and it was a really unique sight to behold.

The sun dog was only seen in Cebu, though.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What were you thinking, Patricia?

image source: dps-class67.blogspot.com

I came across Patricia Evangelista's latest column on Richard Gordon entitled People Call Me Dick.

I would not have wanted to question her piece since, after all, it is her column, her opinion. Yet, she wrote mere shilly-shally about Gordon, her arguments founded only on half-baked judgments about the man without digging deeper and tackling substantial points spot on.

I'd think of what she wrote as the shallowest piece I've come across from her because she wrote about someone she doesn’t know, despite her own brand of conviction. She failed to intelligently point out her reasons because she didn't think enough.

I’m putting my pro-Gordon leanings aside here. I would like to think Pat may have wanted to get readers to make more careful and calculated decisions when it comes to choosing the next president but I just could not see any depth in her piece except sheer brashness (not feistiness) and a lack of understanding. Really, what was she thinking anyway?

So she's mentioned she's not voting for Gordon because she thinks he's an ass. Fine, that's her opinion. But not voting for a candidate on the basis of dislike is worse than going for someone who is ‘likeable’.


Patricia must have forgotten that choosing the right leader is not primarily about charm or personality – it is about a candidate’s platform of governance, performance and track record. A personality-based criterion only happens in entertainment searches, Patricia. This notion only misleads readers into making decisions that are ignorant and irrational.

Whatever attempts Patricia might have to get readers to think well, I just didn’t see it. She didn’t think enough in the first place.

To write something biased about someone or something you only know of or have little knowledge about would only make your musings a waste of print.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Top ten essentials every working girl must have



Everyday I bring my kikay kit with me but you'll find that there's not too much stuff inside - just the basics. I'm pretty low key when it comes to kikay stuff; I simply make do with a few touch ups and I'm good to go. It could be because of the pretty laid back environment at work or that I don't really like putting on makeup.

Here are some of the things inside my kikay kit that I just can't do without (and that every working girl should have):

1. Alcohol. Always have a bottle of disinfectant handy to keep you sanitized throughout the day.

2. Eye drops. My eyes tend to get dry and tired for sitting in front of the computer for eight hours (or even longer). A few drops of Eye-Mo gives my peepers instant eye relief and comfort.

3. Powder. I shun pressed powders. I have oily skin and I dont really like the idea of oil getting trapped in the sponge and getting mixed up with powder each time I apply it.  Besides, I'm too lazy to wash the sponge anyway. (hehe). I only use Johnson's baby powder to keep me fresh and matte all day. No frills.

4. Dental floss. Brushing alone is not enough to keep your teeth clean. That's why I make it a point to floss everyday. I really like Johnson & Johnson's Reach Mint Waxed dental floss. Its minty goodness makes flossing so addictive! Currently though, I'm using a cheaper brand, but hey it's always better than not flossing at all.

5. Moisturizer. Airconditioning at the office can take a toll on my hands, making it dry and stiff. I use Nivea Creme to moisturize my hands so I could clack away on the computer comfortably all day.

6. Eye Concealer. My eyes often get tired at the end of my shift. How my peepers look mirrors how my day at work has been. But I always cheat my way at it by applying Top Gel pearl cream stick around my eye area. The product is actually for the face but I prefer to use it as an eye concealer. I love how it instantly brightens my tired and stressed eyes, as if I wasn't ngarag from work. (hehe) 

7. Lip Gloss. My lips tend to get dry and chapped easily. Mary Kay lip gloss in Sweet Raisin keeps me moisturized with a hint of color.

8. Hair elastic bands. My hair's natural condition just could not afford me to simply let it loose and not have a bad hair day. So I always, always tie my locks with elastic bands especially when I'm commuting to work.

9. Hair Polish. Unless I'm riding a cab, two jeepney rides to work usually leaves my hair disheveled. Vitresse Hair Cuticle Coat keeps my hair smooth and well behaved. I love that a little application goes a long way and that its not greasy.

10. Ascorbic Acid. The weather these days can be such a bitch, making you more prone to viral illnesses such as cough, cold and flu. I believe my strong resistance to common illnesses can be attributed much to Vitamin C. I take 500 mg of ascorbic acid everyday, sometimes even more. I'm not sure if Vitamin C overdose is something I should be wary of, but lately I've been sticking to 1 tablet a day.

So what's in your kikay kit?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Working out the Marriott way

I no longer believe in diets. I've tried several diets too, in my efforts to maintain my ideal weight. At one point, I got so thin I thought I was doing a good job until I got so sick that I was rushed to the hospital. The doctor told me I hadn't been eating well.

Now I am a firm believer of the concept that in order to lose weight, eat right. You can eat whatever you like as long you do so in moderation and keep yourself physically active as much as possible.

So in January of this year, me and my colleague signed up for gym membership at the Marriott. I found that it was the most convenient place for me to workout in terms of location and accessibility.

Hotel view from the pool

The Marriott fitness center is equipped with modern gym facilities such as the elliptical cross trainer, treadmills, stationary bikes and other equipment. They have personal trainers to help you out with your routine too. Gym membership at the Marriott entitles you to free use of their swimming pool as well.

Gym bud, Winnie


Watching Chloe, the Chihuahua while on the treadmill =)

The Marriott gym can get cramped especially during peak hours, which is around 5 to 8 pm, so it can be difficult to find a space to workout or use their equipment. You may have to ask the trainers to reserve the equipment for you or simply wait for your turn. This can be a downside especially if the only time you have to workout is during these hours and you don't have all day at the gym.

Also, they have too few workout programs available (probably because of the space), so working out can be a somewhat routinary especially if you're only keen on using one or two of their exercise machines.

On a lighter note, you don't have to bring your own towels, drinking water or bath soaps when you workout at the Marriott because they provide you with these. Sometimes, they even give away shampoo and lotion too.

Sauna

Ladies can request for a blowdryer for your hair after using the shower. I also love that they have a sauna, which is a great way to relax at the same time sweat out. Their personal trainers are friendly and attentive too.

A pose before dipping!

the pool


The Marriott is located at Cardinal Rosales Ave. Cebu City.

I Love Steak!

Cyril and I celebrated another month of 'magkasintahan' bliss at I Love Steak. By the name itself, this steakhouse looks tempting from the outside and feels cozier once you get in, subtle enough to set a feel-good dining mood.

Their steaks are served in 'hungry' and 'starving' portions, the latter having a thicker slab good for those with monster appetites. They also have other non-steak dishes on their menu as well.

Cyril ordered the rib eye steak (Php350), medium rare, starving. I had their sizzling tenderloin steak (Php130), their bestseller which they call the "Steak of the Nation".

 rib-eye steak


Steak of the Nation

The tenderloin steak was soft and juicy and tasted even better with their gravy. The rib eye steak was even more delicious -tasty with juicy goodness oozing out. I guess it's probably in the way they put their spices that made me and Cyril love it.

This was actually my first time to try steak cooked medium rare. I'm just glad trying out their steak made me appreciate how meat would actually taste even with blood still in it.

Of course, no steak dinner is complete without wine. Although we passed up on the wine (haha), I Love Steak has a wine bar to complement your steak dining experience. They have good customer service too.


 Needless to say, Cyril and I walked out of the restaurant full, happier and more in love! haha

I Love Steak is located at Juana Osmena St. (across Century Plaza Hotel, Mango Square area), Cebu City.

Monday, April 19, 2010

First time dining at Shakey's

Busy Monday at work, as usual. I completely forgot about informing my colleague, Jane, to prepare delicious home-cooked lunch for me beforehand. So I had no choice but to eat out with my boyfriend who also happens to work in the same building as I do. The boyfriend, who has not been feeling well for several days now, wanted to dine at the nearest spot, and it was Shakey's we saw.

We sat down at the same time arguing about having lunch there. After all, I wanted my meal to go for less than a hundred bucks because I didn't want him to pay for my lunch. But he still got the final say anyway. Believe it or not, this was actually my first time to dine here. So, I was pretty curious as to what Shakey's has to offer.

He ordered the super platter meal while he suggested the bunch of lunch for me. 

 bunch of lunch

He also had chicken and corn soup to go with his meal. I'm not a big fan of soups, let alone corn, but it tasted surprisingly good. The soup was creamy with chunks of chicken and ham and garnished with crunchy potato shreds. Best part was that I actually forgot I was eating something corn-y. 


 While I can honestly say that I've had better when it comes to their pizza, everything else in my platter (and his) was good. Their Mojo potatoes were delicious; the salad was tasty, the chicken was superb, the spaghetti was just right and the garlic bread was divine. 

 super platter meal

The food and service (very courteous dining crew, by the way) was worth what we paid for. Overall, my first time dining experience at Shakey's Pizza was worth it.