Monday, January 31, 2011

It's a Date: Speed Dating Event

Hello! As you all know, my bucket list is in dire need of attention. I've only managed to slash a few off my list and I haven't even gone around to blogging about them. Anyway, I was very fortunate that a speed dating invite was sent to me last week, cos that's prolly what I need right now.

Don't get me wrong, I am happily coupled and attached to the hip, but I do have to slash something off that damn list stat, and speed dating sounds like a fun experience. I am lucky to have some some single friends who are ready to mingle and I'd like to see them "search" for their proverbial prince charming in a formalized matchmaking process. IF I were single I'd totally join a speed dating event, too. But for now, I am content with covering this event for my blog.

How does it work?

Participants will be paired up for several minutes before moving on to meet with the next participant. They will rate how much they liked a particular person they met on a notecard.

At the end of the session, The organizers will see which couples shared a mutual attraction or compatibility based on the notecards Compatible couples can be given each other's contact information so they can arrange romantic dates.

P900 inclusive of Dinner. Open for Ages 22-35 years old.

Interested? Please fill out the application form and submit it to Deadline for payment and submission of application form is on Feb. 2.

Have you tried speed dating before?  Was it a total dud or did you have fun? :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One fine Saturday at Mercato Centrale

Thanks to Liz, I am now officially a fan of the Gold Leaf iced teas she's been raving about. So today, Mark and I decided to wake up early (riiight...) to grab some more iced tea concentrate and check out our fave eats at Mercato Centrale, the newest foodie market at The Fort.

It wasn't so crowded today (we arrived around 11 AM), but on Sundays it's really crazy, crowded and hot! There's an extensive selection of food, desserts, even organic skin care products. It's no Salcedo Market but the choices here are pretty good.

These are the Gold Leaf iced tea concentrates! They added vanilla and orange extracts to the black tea base thus giving it a unique and distinct flavor. I do find myself reaching out for a glass each and everyday, I obviously love this stuff. It's definitely something worth trying.

The 500ml concentrates are Php 120/bottle and each is good for 14 servings, the 2L bottle is Php 360 and is good for a whopping 58 servings! They come in a black tea base and a green tea base, I recommend the former. Guess what I got today? Why the 2L one of course, hee-hee.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Island Basics

I just discovered Island Basics at Pop Culture in Market! Market! last weekend. If you've been following my blog for quite some time, you'd know that I am such a sucker for natural skin care and household alternatives. I like trying new brands most especially if they are locally-made.

I like how organized the display is, and the fact that there are testers available for every product. Even if I wasn't in a buying mood, I was really intrigued and couldn't resist swatching. Their product line includes body butters, SPF 30 suncreen, shampoos, conditioners, household cleaners, etc.

What caught my fancy was their Room & Linen Spray in Eucalyptus (Php 140/100ml) and Green Tea + Cucumber Body Mist (Php 180/100ml). The body mist was out of stock at the outlet, so I resorted to ordering online from Patricia Matti (the owner). Delivery via courier was fast and efficient and I received my orders in 2 short days.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quick review: Human Nature Mineral Makeup

Here's a quick peek at some of the stuff I got today. The mineral foundation and blush are supposedly for lighter skin tones.

What do you think of the packaging so far? Pretty dainty right?

Mineral Foundation in Orient Pearl - Php 425

For reference: photo from website/newsletter
This is my favorite seems like the most promising product so far. The light shade blends well into my NC30 skin tone, the sponge is soft on the skin and applies the product like a dream. This also smells waay better than their previous foundations (no annoying earthy/metallic scent) because of its added odor correctors (read: Vitamin E). A more in-depth review soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do you like doing things on your own?

I had this conversation with my younger sister while getting ready to leave the house last week:

Tish: Where are you going?
Kira: I'm watching a movie. 
Tish: Ooh..are you going with Mark?
Kira: No, I'm watching by myself. 
Tish: Eew...loser!
Kira: Oh grow up! What are you, 10 years old?

In this day and age are people still "scared" of going out on their own? Of being labeled as not having any friends? I admit, when I was younger I was embarrassed to have lunch alone in school. But when I was in college I didn't really give a damn. Moreso now that I am in my late twenties.

I like doing things *independently*, but I use the term loosely because I still like the luxury of having a driver. But I do like watching movies, eating in restaurants, even going [grocery] shopping alone. The freedom to do things within my own terms and my own time feels good.

So anyway, I did watch "The Tourist" on my own last weekend and boy did I enjoy it! The backdrop of Rome and Venice was just so beautiful, and I was happy I included it in my bucket list of places to visit. The heist movie was interesting without being pretentious. I loved the Jolie outfits and I loved Johnny Depp.

After that day, I have decided to make room for some regular "ME" time every weekend apart from the usual weekend dates with the boyfriend. This way I can watch whatever movie strikes my fancy (without having to compromise), and in the long run basically watch more movies. I will, however, reserve the good eats for Sunday with the significant other.

Do you guys like doing things on your own? I somehow enjoy it, especially when doing errands because I don't have anyone to slow me down. But I do enjoy the occasional hanging out with girlfriends, but there's really nothing like scouring the malls or going shopping by yourself.

However, going to chi-chi events is another thing as I prefer to bring a good buddy with me. Going to regular events by myself is fine though.  

What do you guys think? Am I the only one or do you feel the same way?

Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates

I rarely consume chocolates these days. I've had loads of the stuff growing up and these delectable sweets have kept me company during my previous night shifts at work. But in recent years, I haven't eaten a good bar of chocolate, I thought I was over my cravings until I tasted Theo & Philo.

Theo & Philo is a brand of homegrown chocolates made with cacao beans from Davao and sugar from Bacolod. They offer 7 delectable variants: 70% Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Labuyo, Barako, Green Mango & Salt, Pili & Pinipig and Pandesal.

I encountered these artisan chocolates at the Global Pinoy bazaar I participated in last November. To be honest, I only tasted it because they gave out free samples, hee-hee. I told myself that I would only buy stuff on the second day when I've sold my wares and earned my keep already. Well, turns out that was too late. On the second day their bestsellers -- Labuyo & Barako -- were sold out! Gasp. I was deeply saddened.

I wasn't able to get around to ordering because of the crazy holiday season that followed, but I really couldn't stop thinking about their chocolates. And it was only last Sunday (after much prodding) that I was able to grab 4 bars at a store near us, and at Jojiberry no less!

Jojiberry is a health food store located along Mother Ignacia St.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Crabopolis

The boyfriend woke me up this morning, and let me tell you that I don't like to be woken up early..not one bit. But for today I am willing to make an exception. He excitedly told me that he was bringing over my aquarium and when I heard that I literally jumped out of bed! Hooray!

I couldn't wait to transfer my hermies to their new home!

Read all about the new crabitat here!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Revisiting Emu Oil

Passion Berries Emu Oil Php 180; Bare Naturals Emu Oil Php 428
Two years ago when emu oil was just starting to become popular, I got myself two bottles from Passion Berries. Eager to try this touted "cure all" for all skin problems (eczema, pimples, reduces pain and swelling from insect bites, heals scars, etc.), you name it, emu oil can supposedly cure it.

I barely even finished the bottle when I decided to move on with other stuff. So needless to say, I couldn't post a proper review because I didn't use the stuff long enough. Yes, like all beauty bloggers (or maybe just me), I always get sucked into trying out all sorts of skin care products. Blame it on my ADD, ha. Kidding.

Anyhoo, I wised up after a few years, but am still intrigued about what emu oil can do for me. And as such, I purchased another bottle from Bare Naturals just recently. My purchase was indeed based on online research (forums and blog reviews), so I wouldn't say that it was purchased solely on impulse.

So, I'll make this review short and straight to the point. Here's what they claim:


As the name suggests, emu oil is OILY. If you have combination/oily skin like me, then you should be concerned that applying it to your face will only make it oilier. BUT, the degree of oiliness is dependent on the brand and how refined the emu oil is.

Passion Berries is thicker, while Bare Naturals is thinner, easier to spread and not as oily.

The trick here is to apply it SPARINGLY because more than a pea-sized amount results to (surprise) an oily complexion. So don't go crazy with the application, girls.


The Passion Berries emu oil does smell strongly of chicken oil and the smell does not go away even minutes after application. Bare Naturals' version is unscented.


I apply the Bare Naturals emu oil to my face at night as part of my skin care regimen. The first 2 days I used it I got 3 huge swollen pimples. Needless to say, I almost freaked out. But as with all new skin care products, patience is a virtue. After the 5th day, all my pimples have subsided. Could the emu oil have caused this "breakout"? Well, maybe. I don't know if there is a purging period but you may want to consider this fact if you have sensitive skin. Btw, emu oil contains Oleic acid which is said to be comedogenic.


Can't vouch for this yet.


Surprisingly, with prolonged use emu oil does smoothen rough spots and gives me well-moisturized skin. The tiny, minuscule bumps on my forehead have flattened, and my pores seem smaller. My Mom who has mature, dry skin loves this because of its "moisturizing quality" (her words).


Anyhoo, my point is: the results of using emu oil varies from one person to another, and so if you find something that works for you, then great! Personally, I think the emu oil works best for people with dry-normal skin. So if you tried and didn't like it, it's not your loss as there are many other more effective blemish/skin care products that are natural and organic at the same time.

If, on the other hand, you are very patient and don't mind the slight oiliness emu oil brings and you are "hiyang" to the product, then emu oil is a worthwhile product worth trying. Make sure to purchase from a reputable buyer who sells only organic or 100% refined emu oil to achieve the best results.

PS: If you do have some emu oil lying around the house, make good use of them as they are great for moisturizing cuticles, rough hands and the soles of your feet!

Have you tried emu oil? Did it work well for you? :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hermit Crab TV feature

The team of Jessica Soho passed by the house today and interviewed me about my crabs. I was so ecstatic, this would be my first interview wherein I openly discussed my hermit crabs and shared tips on how to take care of them. My usual interviews were for EarthlyDelights, so this is a welcome change.

Let me warn you though, that I was not pretty while being interviewed. I just realized how harsh and hot camera lights were upclose, and as such my makeup melted. Huhu. I was my oily, PMS-ing self. Hay. But anything for my dear hermies :)

Too bad the aquarium my boyfriend ordered didn't come on time as the interview was quite unexpected. But in the above photos you can see that I have two critter keepers -- one for the small crabs and one for the medium to larger-sized crabs.

Check out the hermit crab accessories, food, and their fresh and saltwater bottles. Yep, that's a gallon of saltwater straight from the beaches of Mindanao (thanks Dad!).

The top performer of the day was Sprite -- she ate and posed for the camera on cue! Quite a huge feat for a crab! I am so proud! :)

The "Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho" feature on "Decor Animals" is coming out this Saturday (January 22) at 8:00 PM on GMA 7. Hope you guys can watch. P-nut made a cameo appearance by the way. He was also so cooperative and so well-behaved during the shoot :)

Thank you so much to Shiela and Anthony (and to the rest of the crew) for this awesome opportunity :D

More crab stories over at :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is so ME...

I wonder.

After that memorable hat party.....

should I host a funny sunglasses party? 

Hahaha. These are from Style on Air and are sure fun to wear. They've got an assortment of designs, me thinks I wants them beer and boob sunglasses! :P

Monday, January 17, 2011

Clinique now open in Trinoma

Hooray for people in the North!

I'm happy to report that Clinique is now available in Trinoma! Their enticing, well-lit display has been open since December and is conveniently located beside MAC.

Another good reason to drop by the mall this week, dontchatink? :)

Sit. Stay. Eat. Tinker.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Golden 1920's style in 'Rosario'

The 1920's. It’s been known as the age of liberation, when women started to vote, join the workforce and become independent. Social customs and morals were more relaxed and as such fashion followed suit. Gone were the stovepipe silhouettes, constricting corsets and black wool stockings that were popularized during the Edwardian and Victorian periods.

Since it was officially the end of the war, there was an air of optimism in the 1920s. People wanted to have fun, spend money and dance the Charleston. The 1920s brought us Coco Chanel (two-tone shoes, LBDs, jersey knit dresses), Jean Lanvin (intricate trimmings, embroideries, beaded decorations in clear, light, floral colors), Jean Patou (introduced sportswear and knitwear for women) and Paul Poiret (eradicated corsets, introduced the kimono coat, harem pantaloons and lampshade tunics).

Perhaps to achieve a more fitting understanding of the fashion during that era, one can refer to the movie “Rosario” which was the first full-length film directed by veteran actor Albert Martinez. It is also the first movie venture produced by TV5 and Cinemabuhay. Cinemabuhay is the brainchild of the PLDT-Smart foundation, a philanthropic institution that aims to “help indie filmmakers crossover to mainstream moviemaking” (source). “Rosario” is also the institution’s official entry to the 36th Metro Manila Film Festival.

The castle Bob is simple blunt cut, which was level at the bottom of the ears all around the head, and was popularized by dancer Irene Castle. As this hairstyle’s popularity grew, hairdressers later on experimented with bobbed hair in waved or shingled styles. Another popular hairstyle is the Eton Crop, which is described as a short, slicked-down cropped hairstyle for women reminiscent of the popular hairstyles of schoolboys at Eton.

These rebellious and extreme changes in women’s hairstyles signified the beginning of a major change in societal norms and values. In addition, these shorter haircuts enabled wearers to conform to such closer fitting headwear such as the cloche hats, as the shaped hair conformed to the skull’s contour. The shorter hair also allowed wearers to vehemently declare themselves as “new women”.

In the early twenties, cream or ivory face powder was the norm; while rose, raspberry, deep red, plum and orange were the rouges of choice. Lipstick was applied as a “Cupid’s Bow”, and the eyes were heavily emphasized with black mascara and black eyeliner with dark grey, turquoise, and green eyeshadows. Thin, black and downward sloping eyebrows were also popular during that time. Blush was widely used by the flappers as they began to be conveniently encased in compacts.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Celeteque Facial Moisturizer SPF 15

I've been a fan of Celeteque and their no-frills hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic skin care line.Their water-based moisturizer has been a staple on my vanity table for years before I decided to switch to organic and natural alternatives. Celeteque works well with my combination skin -- no breakouts, oiliness or allergies so far!

Naturally, when they released their facial moisturizer with SPF 15, I was intrigued. As the shopgirls in different malls could not tell me exactly if this was in gel or cream form, I decided to take the plunge and buy 4 boxes anyway (1 for me and 3 for my Dad).

Celeteque Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 combines optimum hydration and protection to help prevent the skin from dryness and damage from daily sun exposure. 

Price: Php 150/50ml

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saccharine cuties

How's everybody's month going so far?

While it seems like there hasn't been anything happening in my so-called life as evidenced by the sporadic blog posts, in reality there have been so many things happening that I can't seem to find the time to blog about them. And just when I thought that I can take a breather after the busy holiday season.

Anyhoo, it's been long overdue but we finally have some new stuff at the stores! Yipee!

Ice Cream
As usual, these pretty little handmade duds are created in limited quantities, and it will take some time before we decide to make them again. These are exclusively available at: 

BEDAZZLE - 3f University Mall, Taft Avenue, Beside McDonald's and DLSU 

SUNLAB     - 2f Gaisano Mall, Davao City
                     - C5 Robinsons Place, J. Catolico Ave., Lagao, General Santos City

Also visit the EarthlyDelights website.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giveaway Alert: Win awesome handmade accessories!

Only a few days left! Join now :)

Get a chance to win our handmade notebooks (and other amazing prizes) by joining Ava's first ever blog giveaway! EarthlyDelights is one of the sponsors and we're giving away our handmade notebooks to TWO lucky blog readers/followers. Remember, our notebooks are created in limited quantities only :)


Step 1: Must be a follower of ARTSY FARTSY AVA on Google Connect or BLOG LOVIN

Step 2: If you have Multiply ADD the following sponsors:


If you don’t have multiply ADD our FACEBOOK or BLOG:

F-STOP Fashion Stop

(please email screencaps as proof that you added the sponsors to:


If there is one thing that comes to mind whenever I head to Pampanga, it is Imang Aying's banca-banca. It is a traditional dessert treat that only your lolas and lolos would remember. Whenever my Lola or Mom would go to Pampanga (for reunions, shopping or to pay respect to our relatives who've passed on), she'd bring me those round garlic toasts, butong pakwan, chicharon, tocino (from Tita's or Pampanga's Best of course!), mamon tostado and many other desserts as pasalubong. I've forgotten what the other desserts are called but I distinctly remember how they looked like. However, my favorite would still be the beloved banca-banca.

Today I decided to tag along so that I may learn the ropes (of what, I cannot disclose). But we did make a mental note to pass by Imang Aying's house so I could finally meet her in person. She is sort of my Mom's Aunt (Singian side), I haven't really met ALL of my relatives because there are just sooo many. Seriously.

Imang Aying turned 80 already but she's still an awesome baker! Nobody else in her family knows the *secret* banca-banca recipe, and most people who knew the recipe anyways lost their copies during the war. We hope that with the pointers she gave us we can at least replicate the taste. We've been trying for years, but it's not as great as the ones she personally makes.

And the star of the day! Drumroll please:

100 pieces of pure heaven with sliced cashews on top! I can die now :P

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy New You!: Tips for a great and stylish year ahead

The start of a new year is always quite refreshing – it’s an opportunity to learn new things, embrace and overcome new challenges and for some, it’s the perfect opportunity to turn a new leaf. As this article puts it, there is nothing more exciting than a new year.

Although the thought of creating a New Year’s resolutions list seems so old school, we decided to help our readers a bit by creating a basic list that will most definitely help everyone out in the fashion, health & wellness department.

1. Invest in a good skin care regimen

In this day and age, there is no excuse not to age gracefully. With a barrage of skin care products out there, our work is already cut out for us. Before anything else, try to determine your skin type/condition first – do you have normal, sensitive, combination, oily, mature, acne-prone skin? If you need more help, you can also consult a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. A good dermatologist can also be your best friend. He or she can help you look youthful, get rid of fine lines and wrinkles, and help you minimize that huge zit just before an important event.

A lot of notable skin care brands are also readily available in malls, and are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and are attuned to our common skin woes. You can check out Clinique and VMV Hypoallergenics.

2. Use sunblock

There is so much emphasis today on the use of sunscreens with a minimum of SPF 30 in order to combat external aggressors on our skin. Sunblocks are readily available in drugstores, upscale malls, and online for us netizens. A good sunscreen for the face and body will keep skin cancer at bay and is another wise investment indeed.

3. Exercise

Yes we know, sometimes exercising is not such a welcome idea. You wake up at the crack of dawn for a simple jog around the block or you drag yourself to go to yoga class after a hell day at the office. Yes, exercise can be brutal and sleeping snugly in bed seems like a better alternative– NOT! We have to snap out of our comfort zone and do our body some good. Exercise benefits our heart and overall circulation, it releases stress and helps melt away fat. All while transforming us into healthier, happier beings so we can fit into our bikinis come summer time.

4. Invest in a good pair of shoes

‘Tis the year to invest in good footwear that are both comfortable and stylish. Grab a pair of versatile pumps (or classy sandals) that you can wear to several occasions and polish your whole outfit. A good pair of heels that you can strut in can easily elongate your legs and make them look better, and can make a ho-hum outfit look fabulous. You know what they say, clothes make the man; but it's shoes which define the women.

Click here to read the full article!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shabby Chic

Finally I was able to get my hands on these pearl earrings that I've been lusting over for months. I keep forgetting to grab a pair everytime I hit the malls. The polka dot wallet was just a bonus, I'm keeping it in case my original Lulu wallet retires.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Drown me in brownie mix

There's been a long-running inside joke in our family that if you want to kill Kira, you have to drown her in brownie mix. Yes it's true, I DO NOT LIKE BROWNIES. We bake tons of the stuff every week but I try to shun this venerable pastry. But of course if my Mother asks me to help her bake, well...there's really nothing I can do.

Steve, on the other hand, is half-German and does not understand why our family likes Lengua dishes so much. He thinks Lengua is yucky and weird --- who eats tongue anyway? Well, only in the Philippines (and in Spain).

I was feeling adventurous last New Year's and decided to challenge Steve to eat Pastel de Lengua and I, in turn, would eat a piece of brownie. Yes folks, that's as adventurous as I can get. Hrhr.

So my sister "measured" both and said that she would document this event (which will NEVER EVER happen again, by the way). She even made her own rule stating that "no one will drink water until 5 minutes after finishing the lengua/brownie." Well I say, bring it on!

Brownie vs Lengua (please ignore pot roast with Cranberry sauce on the side :P)
Having second thoughts...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review: V&M Keep Safe Tinted Sunblock SPF 35

A sunscreen shouldn't contain any unhealthy synthetic and chemical fillers. It's always best to choose one that's made of titanium dioxide like Keep Safe Tinted Facial Sunblock. Enriched with nature's essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, Seaweed extracts, which is rich in Collagen and Elastin, and Tea Tree your skin will only surely glow with youthful health!

Ingredients: Emu Oil, Olive Oil, Tea Tree, Seaweed extracts, Vitamin A, Titanium Dioxide and Mica

PRICE: Php 335/50g

My sister and I have been using this since we met up with Jamie & Justin at the WTC last December. It was one of the products I've been lemming since I saw its debut on their website. I have combination skin (oily on the T-zone) while she has normal skin.

I honestly liked the fact that despite the olive oil ingredient, this sunblock is creamy yet non-greasy. It even somewhat cools the face upon application. Please note that this is a lot creamier and richer than my favorite Skin Hour Mattifying Day Cream. My sister, who has almost perfect skin (damn her, LOL), loves this because it serves as a good base for her makeup.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cocktails & Dessert

I loves Mango Rum
Perfect Creme Brulee
What Tish wore:

Skull dress: Rustans
Cardigan: Cotton On
Teal bag/purse: The Ramp
Gladiator sandals: from CDO

What I wore:

Chambray dress: Dorothy Perkins
Skull scarf: Divisoria
Drawstring bag: Dorothy Perkins
Ballet flats: Shoebox & Me