Friday, March 7, 2014

Gratitude List: February 2014

Ola! February has passed but I'm keeping up with my blogging tradition of acknowledging the good tidings. Pass the wine, please. Cheers!

1. Another year of love. February will always be special to me. It's the month I met my man eons ago, who's also born in February. Plus, it's the love month; I know I'm not the sentimental type, but I still feel happy seeing couples and families more expressive than ever. Flowers and kisses in every corner! I hope it happens everyday. 

2. Mom's retirement house, which she can clean (my mom is OC about order and germs), decorate and redecorate, however she wants. It's hers. 

3. A #YOLO experience. I attended my first legit music festival at age 28. Its' not too late to try something new, you know. 

4. More time with friends. I was close to being a hermit last year, and so this year, I vowed to make time for my friends despite the busy schedule. I'm happy to report that my February was packed with catch-up drinks, spa session with my girls, a blogging event, some dinner dates and an out of town music fest to boot. Welcome me back!  

Impromptu get together
Spa date to celebrate career milestones and what have you
Catching up with our longtime compadres. It was so fun and then it got blurry. :P
Date with my good friend and South partner P, at Bono Tei BF
Meeting my Malaysian babe, Ranie, during her quick Manila visit
That time I convinced her to eat Dinuguan with much success :D

5. Getting out of the limbo. Months of uncertainties and considering all minute details on how to proceed with my life was just so exhausting. It's like walking in circles which drained every bit of my motivation. If there's anything that helped me the most, it is my decision to retreat, rest, and just stop struggling. Then I swallowed my fat pride and admitted that I needed help and so I resorted to seeking sound advice from the right people. What happened next blew me away. Let's just say I've seen the hands of God put all things in perfect order. He put me in the place where I'm supposed to be and still blessed me with what I needed and prayed for. Unbelievable.

What are you most thankful about in February? :) 

Much Love,

Saturday, March 1, 2014

#YOLO: 7107 International Music Fest

As a girl in her late twenties wearing several hats, I learned to become discriminating on how I spend my precious weekends. After personal errands, I make it a point to rest and make up for the lack of sleep. Hence, I favor less physical, more laid back activities like getting massages, people watching at coffee shops or getting a bottle or two in one of the gazillion hole in the wall restaurants in the south a.k.a BF. (South people, represent!) 

I wasn't always this uptight, you wouldn't believe my energy when I was in my teens and early twenties, and I think I can still unleash that adrenaline junkie anytime, though it would take a lot more than just dance floor and booze to lure me to get up, dress up and drive. I need more motivation. Like travel, the sea, or maybe seeing 90s rock stars! 

It's as if the heavens had enough of my lola-ness and so sent a couple of 7107 International Music Fest tickets my way (Thank you, C!). I've seen some of the local bands in the lineup, and Clark Pampanga is a bit far, but my 90s heart cannot help but say yes to Red Hot Chilli Peppers! So I frantically called my friends whom I know share the same love for music and the Peppers, and the rest, as they say, is rock history. 

It was more than hour of ripping performance that skyrocketed me back to the 90s. They opened their lineup with "Can't Stop" that elicited a crowd roar, but it's my personal favorites “Californication,”  “Soul to Squeeze,” “Otherside” and “Under the Bridge” which drove the audience, yours truly included, crazy. I was jumping and dancing and singing despite my flu and very sore throat, and clapped to the voice and musical antics of Anthony Kiedis, Flea and Chad like there's no tomorrow. The Peppers may have aged, and I hope Anthony drops the pornstache soon, but I dare say they sound much much better live. I wonder how they sustained an hour and a half of singing and playing the instruments like it's nobody's business. Flea and Chad were monsters on bass and drums. Awesome!

I'm obviously still nursing a hangover, so please excuse the flooding of photos and some tips for a successful international music fest trip. :) 

BE READY. It's a festival, in an open field. Expect to get dirty, muddy and sweaty. Put on comfortable clothes, pack some anti-bugs and sunscreen and strut some cute sunnies and hat for protection. A sling bag is also ideal to keep your valuables close to you.  
Chucks saved our day, and toes, too.
THERE'S NOTHING BEER CAN'T FIX. I was feeling a bit uptight in the company of kids. Yes, kids. So beer was really helpful to loosen things up before RHCP fired up the stage. And you wouldn't believe how helpful that mini flashlight was, especially in the forsaken portalets.

ROAD TRIP READY. Get a reliable driver (thanks, Sweetie!), an alert co-pilot and a well-tuned car (thanks, BFF for Harvey) to ensure a smooth, hassle free trip.
BE WITH THE BEST PEOPLE. It's an epic feeling that you would want to experience with people you love the most. And it's more fun if they are into music and rock bands, too!
And in case they are not, at least they still know how to have some good fun!

LIVE THE MOMENT. Most of my photos and videos of RHCP's performance were pretty useless. I was jumping and dancing and I lived the moment, so blurry photos didn't bother me at all.

And just to remind the girls how I remember Anthony from my teenage years. Whew.

Do you like going to music festivals? Not an expert here, but 7107 changed my heart. Kudos and may there be more international fests to come to Philippines soon. Happy weekend!

Much Love,

Friday, February 28, 2014

Product Review: Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm

I got acquainted with Pixi makeup almost a month ago after a good friend invited me to attend their official launch. It's such a dainty and warm event, but missing the blogging scene for quite some time inevitably gave way to my occasional introvert self. After a few hellos and meeting some lovely ladies (Hi, Ae, Krissy, Kira and Lia!), I found myself dabbling with a handful of Pixi makeup testers in the play corner. Standing out from the neutrals are pretty tubes of lip colors which turned out to be tinted lip balms, in different shades of pinks, reds and plums. For a girl whose chapped lips respect no season, this is potentially, I dare say, an HG product. 

I road tested the Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Rosy Red for almost a month, and here are my thoughts:

  • Packaging and design is smart and makes it easy to reach the corners of the mouth. You can shape your lips sans lip liners. How convenient. :)
  • Color pay off is really good. In fact, Rosy Red can be too much to the faint-hearted. I'm not shy about my reds, but if you are, you may want to limit usage with just one or few swipes. Or, try other colors from this line. They have pinks and corals, which I'm yet to check out.
  • Smells like candy bubble gum. Yum! 
  • Economical. I've been using it for almost a month and I haven't even turned the dial. This will stay fresh for 12 months, so for its price (Php 790), you get value for your money.
  • Moisturizing and suitable for people with dry, chapped lips. Did it solve mine? Improved, yes. Solved, not entirely. I haven't found a single product that can address this problem 100%. So the search continues.
  • Comes with gloss, it's a lip balm after all. If you're into matte, then this is not for you. 

Did I like it? Yes! But with a bit of trick. I have full lips and so I do away with anything glossy {lest I want to look like I ingested a ton of collagen ;)}, and so every after application, I lightly blot my lips with soft tissue to lessen the shine. Voila! :)

One swipe and a few blot gives me the perfect, natural look I want.

It's the last last day of the love month, can you believe it? I hope your February was a blast. Mine was! :)

Shout out to my Sweetie for these pretties! I loved them! And thank you for treating me like your Ms. Universe, Valentine's or not. ;-)

Happy Weekend, loves! 

Much Love,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

NeuroEAT: Zark's Burger in BF Paranaque

Time for a quick munchie post about one of my most sinful favorites - BURGERS. 

My cousin has been raving about Zark's, a burger place that has started in the North, got really famous among the students in Taft Avenue, but has now taken the South people by storm. I visited their BF Paranaque branch along the busy President's Avenue and tried their monstrous offering. 

Now, I'm not the type who gets impressed with size. I have a big appetite but small stomach, unfortunately. Hence I always go for quality than quantity and you'll hardly see me in buffets or unlimited whatever restaurants. But yeah, Zark's Burgers are huge! The boyfriend, who definitely has a lot more to fill, was happy with the serving size. They are filling and truly bang for the buck. We ordered the American All-Star which is their classic cheeseburger (P120) and Shaq (P130) which is cheeseburger topped with fried onion rings. We also added side orders of hand-cut fries and iced tea to complete the burger experience. 

Here's our verdict:

SHAQ (P130)
ALL-STAR (120)

  • Serving size is huge. Thick burger patty, generous amount of condiments and filling burger bun. The hand-cut fries is crisp and golden and though it looks few, it's actually very heavy.
  • The place, at least their BF branch, is so-so. Other fancy burger places have way better interiors. But again, this is not the selling proposition of Zark's. But it won't hurt to improve on their chairs and tables, get better lighting and do something about their bare walls. Seriously, it feels like a school canteen. 
  • For me, it's all about the patty. No matter how huge or how many ingredients you put, the patty will always make or break my burger deal. Zark's patty is tasty, juicy, and well-seasoned. It also doesn't taste like "home". Sorry, but home-cooked taste is only good for ulam in my books. Burger patty is a different story. It should be unique and distinct from the competition, and Zark's passed in that aspect.
  • You will really get value for your money. No wonder this is a hit for the young market. Our bill is no more than P500 for two big burgers, hand-cut fries, refillable iced tea and happy tummies. :)
  • Wide selection of burgers. From Jawbreaker (triple cheese burger which you get for free if you finish in 5 minutes, awesome!) to Burger from Hell (obviously the chili doom of burgers) to Bacon-wrapped (yes, BACON that wraps the whole thing), Zark's caters to all your burger fantasies. If you're not a burger guy, fret not. They have other offerings like buffalo wings, hotdog sandwiches, even rice toppings. 
Will I go back to Zark's? Definitely! It's not my favorite patty in the world, but it's still on my top 5. Price is also reasonable so don't hold back! I hope they renovate their restaurant though. But give it a try, it's worth your cheat day. :)

For more information and tempting burger photos, visit their Facebook page.

Much Love,

*This is not a sponsored post

Monday, February 17, 2014

What I learned Today: Claim with Conviction

So my Dream Board reminds me everyday of what I want to start and achieve in 2014, and purchasing a home for my mom proved to be the most ambitious. Equities cost an arm and a leg! I thought end of the year would be the most realistic time to start scouting, but the Big Man up there has other plans.

Today, I woke up earlier than usual, had my coffee and went on to claim another blessing with conviction. We should all do that! Claim with conviction. Never doubt. Trust fully. Know that if He brought you to it, He will get you through it. Not unscathed, but definitely stronger, wiser and more at peace. :)

The financial documents and all the math gave me headaches, but it's for my mom and all the heavenly signs are pointing to the same direction, so who am I to doubt His providence. 

"A house for my mom. The biggest and most ambitious goal this year, it just has to land on number one. Unexpected things forced us to uproot from our own home in Cavite and rent in the city instead. With His provision, I'd like a new home with no contract expiration, and my mom can call her own."  - Dream Board 2014

Now that I'm one step closer to my goal, the next thing I should work on is how to DIY these pretty pretty art walls! Suggestions are welcome! :)

Much Love,