Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Thoughts on a Famous Tree-Lined Street

I can't keep my mind off Sinsa-dong, Garosu-gil lately. The travel bug inside me needs feeding really soon.

Plus,  I'm loving this map illustrated by a very talented artist.


We have tentative plans to visit this place in the fall but for the mean time, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I will keep you guys posted. 

To Boayo!

Image from They Draw & Travel

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pamper Your Pooch the Natural Way

I recently got my first bottle of Human Nature's Furry Kind Natural Shampoo for our dogs Loolly and Tinker. This shampoo is the result of Human Nature's and bond girl Ms. Rachel Grant's joint effort. It's made with coconut-derived goodness to make our pets fur softer, fluffier, shinier and smelling irresistibly huggable. It smells truly fresh because of its Tangerine scent!


We treat our beloved dogs as part of our family. We make sure they are given utmost care and protection in the most natural, safest way possible. Our loyal friends give us unconditional love. They calm us down when we are stressed from the daily grind and they make us laugh when we feel sad. Trying to switch from commercial to natural products is one way to show our faithful companions that we value their health and well-being.


Meet Tinker after her bath. She looks so happy! This shampoo is awesome! I think I will be a customer and dealer for life!

You can visit Human Nature's site for more information about this product.

Photos taken using iPhone5
Some information taken from Human Nature's website

Sunday, August 25, 2013

There's Always Time for Tea

One Sunday afternoon, Mike and I had the opportunity to have tea at TWG (The Wellness Group) Greenbelt 5 with my sister. We are so happy that it finally found its way here in Manila.


TWG has an extensive tea list, it can get a little overwhelming to choose. We ordered one teapot each of Ceylon Uva Black Tea and Moroccan Mint Tea. As we sipped our teas, we continue to talk about happy things. No matter how busy our lives are, it's good to slow down sometimes and just reconnect, appreciate the moment, the non-stop blessings and life in general.

A teapot is equivalent to five cups.


Sugar cubes!


I had several cups of Moroccan Mint and one cup of Ceylon Uva Black. There's something about the minty flavor that soothes me.



Of course, what is tea without a good pairing of macarons or cookies. TWG infused their macarons with their signature teas. The flavors I chose were Napolean Tea and Caramel, Camelot Tea and Praline and Earl Grey Fortune and Chocolate.



We will definitely be coming back. I'm excited to try the rest of their menu and purchase some of their tea accessories. It was a luxurious experience and best of all it was my sister's treat. =)

Have a cup of tea and bring a little more hope in the world!

Photos taken using iPhone5

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels

I first tasted these heavenly chocolate covered sea salt butterscotch caramels during a meeting in the office. They are the perfect trifecta of rich dark chocolate, buttery caramel and sea salt. The dark chocolate is just enough to offset the sweetness of the caramel. It's simply divine and totally addicting! 

Special thanks goes out to our director who brought a pack of these caramels on that one fine day. 



Trader Joe's outdid themselves again on this one. But since the Joe is not locally available in Manila, you can order this and other Trader Joe's loot from The Food Bin. 

The Food Bin
201 Katipunan Avenue Quezon City, Philippines 1109
+63 2 437 5255 / +63 927 657 0257

Photo taken using iPhone5

The Breakfast Store

Two of my favorite things in life: breakfast/brunch + the morning sunshine.

One Sunday, we chanced upon The Breakfast Store. It is the first concept store in the country that features anything for and  anything related to breakfast. It is the blue and white store located across Blue Ridge along Katipunan Avenue. 


When we went inside, we saw a pretty blue table filled with the store's specials and samples. We received a warm welcome from Jennifer, the shopkeeper.



The store features local products made from quality ingredients sourced from different provinces in the Philippines. 

Bottles of Coconut Vinegar and Pure Honey


 Jars and packs of locally-grown coffee beans. Don't you just love their packaging?


A wide selection of jams and jellies. Uh-oh, I didn't get to take a photo of the cheeses!


Pure coconut water


Organic Gilded Grains (Rice)


Sea Salt


The infamous chocolate balls (the Christmas gift that launched the breakfast store) for those who love a good cup of cocoa.


Different kinds of longganisa (a Filipino breakfast sausage influenced by the Spanish) that has natural preservatives. We bought the Tuguegarao longganisa. I served it with garlic rice and a side dish of tomato, onion and salted egg. Ahhh...the perfect breakfast! I'd love to try their Vigan and Lucban longganisas next time.


Handmade breakfastware by Lanelle Abueva - Fernando, a well known ceramic artist. 


With every purchase of The Breakfast Store branded products, a plate of breakfast is donated to Ateneo's the BluePlate for Better Learning, a feeding program that serves breakfast to public school children to ensure that they get proper nutrition in order to perform better in academics. 


By the way, they are opening a breakfast place called the Breakfast Table located in Maginhawa Street. Excited much! 

Don't forget, breakfast is the most important meal of the day don't skip it. =)

Photos taken using iPhone5

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wishing for Wellies Part 2


I've been working from home for two straight days now due to the adverse weather conditions. The flood situation has been worsening here in the Metro and I really hope this torrential downpour stops. Floodwaters is a common sight around this time of the year. It has been the same case last year basing in a previous post.

This kind of weather makes me fantasize about Hunter rain boots. I've been eyeing their original back adjustable gloss in black for quite sometime now. Too bad it's not locally available and our overseas trip plans this year might not push through due to changes in priorities and schedules. My sister leaves for the States this coming October, but I don't think I can wait that long and it won't be the rainy season anymore. Sigh! I wish Bloomingdale's had my size when I was in New York last year.

Oh well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to delay a little gratification. 

Stay Safe Everyone!

{Image from A Girl's Best Friend}

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Heima - Live Happy, Beyond Ordinary

How is your weekend doing? I spent most of my Saturday exploring the streets of Kapitolyo, Pasig.

I had my first trip to Heima at their Brixton branch yesterday. Stunning space, quirky finds, impressive interiors, fabulous displays and furniture that can be customized to your liking need I say more? 

It was LOVE. AT. FIRST. SIGHT.

Heima means "home" in Icelandic. It is a home and lifestyle store with branches in Makati and Pasig Cities. Their brand is fueled by their passion for travel, music and design. They advocate a lifestyle that promotes being original, standing out and enjoying life's whimsy. They envision everyone's homes to be warm and welcoming. They take  pride in building happy homes.


Don't you just love their vintage mailbox? I'm modern as can be in some ways but there is still a huge part me of that will always be old fashioned. I'm an old soul lurking in a modern world. I love writing on paper. I'd hate to have all the hours spent in writing class in my elementary days gone to waste. It's a lot more personal writing in your own penmanship.


I really like the positive atmosphere the whole store exudes.



I'm a sucker for pendant lamps! I'll have some in my future kitchen and dining room.



Loads of paper goodness! I died a little when I saw their selection of Washi tapes. Their items will unleash the crafter in you.


Every home has a story to tell. Every piece you bring home from this store adds character to your living space. They also have furnishings that can be custom-made. Did you know that each piece is locally made?


Would you believe that I use to do my reports in high school using a typewriter even if we already have a computer at home? This reminded me of my teacher in typing class scolding me for not properly positioning my fingers in ASDF (left) and JKL: (right) keys. 

I also remembered the local pay phone where we drop three 25 centavo coins before we can actually make a call. Ain't this diner phone cute?


Sometimes all we need is a little motivation in life to reach for our dreams.

I couldn't agree more!
What I love about COFFEE is the whole process from bean to cup!
Uh-oh, the travel bug inside me needs to be fed soon...

Other lovely finds... Coffee? Photography? Travel? Music? You name it, they got it!




I can already picture myself in a loft in Toronto playing records on this turn table and taking photos with instant prints. Including these in my wish list. (Dear Universe, please do your part. Love, Me)



Heima's wall art outside is soo cute!!! I couldn't resist having a photo taken with myself in it. A special shout out goes to the hubby and my ever reliable iPhone. 


It's difficult not to swoon because everywhere I look there are tons of utter gorgeousness! What made my day was when I heard a local cover of my favorite song from The Smiths playing in the background inside Heima.



Five stars for Heima! Live Happy, Beyond Ordinary!

Photos taken using iPhone5
Some information taken from Heima's About Us.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sweet Kitchen Surprise!

Two days ago, I received something in the mail from Taste Central. I was curious because I didn't remember ordering anything online. 



It turned out that my sweet husband ordered some Trader Joe's stuff for me. My obsession for the Joe started when I first tasted their speculoos cookie butter. Their store is a whole new world of remarkable foodie finds! Normally, I receive stuff from this awesome brand when my sister or other relatives are visiting from the States and we get our cookie butter stash from The Food Bin, a specialty food store located in Katipunan Avenue.  


Mike got me the Wasabi Mayo, Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant and Garlic and 2 Tubes of Tomato Paste. I guess he's been paying attention when I gush about ingredients I like to try. **feeling flattered**

This kitchen splurge beats the gloomy and stormy Tuesday morning weather. ( I used the word SPLURGE because Trader Joe's products are more expensive here in MNL, shipping and all) 


I immediately made toasts with red pepper spread topped with mozzarella. Mmmm.... Delicious! 


I feel so blessed to have a spouse who is very supportive in my culinary pursuits!

Photos taken using iPhone

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Treasures

Last Saturday, we attended Stephanie Lopez's opening night for her artwork called Treasures at the Boston Gallery, a space for works of contemporary Filipino artists.

The artist works with sculptural forms. She previously used terra cotta and galvanized iron wire as sculptural media. But this time Steph bended, twisted and curled soft pliable wires to make animal-shaped forms and gathered stone chips, mother of pearl and China crystals as embellishments to create jewelry-like pieces. These animals can be found under the list of endangered species here in the Philippines which are truly treasures worthy of our care and protection.



Tarsier
Aluminum and stainless steel wires, stone chips, China crystals, acrylic sealer
31.25 in x 22 in x 8 in
2013
Seahorse
Aluminum and stainless steel wires, stone and shell chips, China crystals, acrylic selaer
16 in x 13 in x 9 in
2013
PawikanAluminum and stainless steel wires, stone chips, China crystals, freshwater pearls, acrylic sealer
12.5 in x 3.5 inx 12 in
2013
Luzon Bleeding Heart
Aluminum and stainless steel wires, stone and shell chips, China crystals, round agate, acrylic sealer
11.5 in x 9.5 in
2013
Green Humphead Parrotfish
Aluminum and stainless steel wires, stone chips, China crystals, round agate, acrylic sealer
15 in  x 9 in
2013
Visayan Spotted Deer
Aluminum and stainless steel wires, mother of pearl, round agate, China crystals, stone chips, acrylic sealer
23 in x 15 in x 8 in
2013
Me with the artist
Steph's art is a demonstration of her talent, hard work and commitment to her craft. I'm proud to say that she also happens to be my cousin. Our moms are sisters. 

Treasures will be running from August 10 -27, 2013.

Photos taken using iPhone5
Treasures information from Steph's write up displayed at the Boston Gallery
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