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Foodtrip Finds: Pickup Sticks opens at Pioneer Centre!

When it comes to Filipino food, one of the things that comes to mind is how Filipinos are capable of making almost everything taste great!...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tamayaki: The Home of the Great Tasting Takoyaki

We all know there's a lot of takoyaki stands in the market, but have you ever wondered where you could get the biggest and uniquely flavored ones?

 Enter Tamayaki at SM North Edsa!

Tamayaki is a well-established franchise which originated from China that specializes in making quality takoyaki balls. They started out last 2013 and as you've remembered I've visited their first branch at P. Guevarra.
Check out my previous food review right here!


If you're wondering where you could find Tamayaki, it is conveniently located at the 2nd floor of the SM North Main Building near JCo and Coldstone. The store is quite eye-catching so I'm sure you won't miss it!


The interior design of the store is very striking in a sense that they played around with fun colors and interesting textures like hot pink, purple and chrome to create a futuristic look that would appeal most to the young.


Tako in Japan means octopus while yaki is derived from the word yaku which is a cooking method in Japanese cuisine that means "to fry or grill". Just like the same applies to teppanyaki.

What exactly did I mean when I said uniquely flavored? The usual takoyaki balls consists of wheat-flour based batter, filled with diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, green onions or cabbages.
Theirs are not your ordinary ones because they like to experiment with the traditional and the new.
Imagine Grilled Steak as one of their takoyaki flavors, that's really an interesting mix!

Their takoyaki comes in various delectable mouthwatering, and innovative flavors that are sure to fit the taste palate of both the old and young generation. Something I'll get to in a little while.


If you're curious as to how takoyaki balls are made, here's a quick video! I'm sorry for the low quality video. I think there's something wrong with my camera and YouTube that I don't really understand.


Other than hot takoyaki, they have a wide variety of beverages. Tea lovers would rejoice as they also have an endless choice of milk tea, fruit tea along with interesting add ons. I admit, I've been to a lot of milk tea places but it's the first time for me to encounter a rice ball as an add on.

MENU



If you're gonna compare your typical takoyaki with Tamayaki's, you might find it a little more expensive. However, you will get what you paid for. First, they don't just fill theirs with cabbages and call it a day!! Second, their servings are nowhere near their competitors. I swear, it's a little bit heavy for a snack. I wish I took a photo for comparison.


Milk Tea


Blueberry Cheese Milk Tea (P100)
Of all their milk tea, I have to say that this is one of my favorites. It is not too sour that is a little bit similar to yogurt that I find very interesting and refreshing.


Takoyaki

One order contains four takoyaki balls ranging for P95 to P125 depending on the flavor. I like how they put them into these cute packaging, plus it's also very convenient to take them out if you're in a hurry.

Here's a photo for comparison. Both of these are Kani and Shrimp takoyaki but the one on the left is drizzled with the spicy sauce while that on the right is the regular one.

Seasoned Octopus (P115)
See what I mean? They don't scrimp on the ingredients that they put into the takoyaki balls! I don't know if you could spot the other chunks of octopus in the photo but I found at least three of them there!

Kani and Shrimp (P115)
If kani sounds familiar to you, it's one of those ingredients that you would usually find in your sushi rolls.
If you're into seafood, you should give this one a shot!

Grilled Steak (P125)
One of my favorites for the takoyaki flavors because I love the smokey taste it has.
Almost everyone agreed that the chunks of steak inside are very delicious.

Mussels and Cheese (P125)
Just like all their takoyaki balls, this one is crispy on the outside and has a soft texture on the inside. If you love baked tahong, this one might be perfect for you.

All in all, I am definitely glad that they have one now at SM North so that I won't have to visit P. Guevarra anymore! That street address is quite difficult to visit if you're a geographically challenged commuter like me. Lol



If you want to try these out yourself, do visit their other branches at SM City Fairview, Fishermall and P. Guevarra.
And to know more about their ongoing promos, check out their social media sites above!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On Sexual Harassment & Other Things

From my previous posts you all might have noticed I have been stressing out on my thesis.
I know it's wrong to talk about it my thesis as early as now because I wanted it to be a surprise to everyone but I'll give you all an idea.. It's about sexual harassment.

My thesis topic has always been close to my heart because it's an issue that I have experienced A LOT ever since I "bloomed". Regardless of what I wore, whether it be my ankle length school uniform or denim shorts... I'd still get cat calls. Growing up, it was something I never really understood.

I'm sure some of you might say "Cheer up, it's a compliment!" or "Ganyan kasi kapag maganda". Honestly, I don't think telling someone "Tara ganda, motel tayo!" nor touching someone without consent is a form of compliment. The same way appearing to look like you're "asking for it" justifies any person to engage in such behavior. I'd still like to believe think we're better than that.

The internet is a powerful tool for change and we're very lucky to grow up in a generation that information is very easy to access with just one click. Now here's where I'd like everyone to help me in my pursuit of creating an effective solution to address this social issue...If you have a minute or two to answer my survey questionnaire, I'd be really really grateful! Not only are you helping me in providing important data, but you are also helping me in my quest to fight sexual harassment that would be beneficial for the future generations to come. I'm counting on you!


And if by chance you've already answered this...
Thank you so much in taking part in this very important study!! I truly appreciate it!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Defying Time at the Aqua Mineral Bondate

Here's something I haven't told anyone..
I only review products and services that I really like and have personally tried.



If a certain beauty product broke me out or I had a severe reaction to it, I don't bother blogging about it. If I don't have anything good to say, I'd rather not say anything at all. Besides, bad publicity is still publicity at the end of the day.. right?



Last Sunday, I was invited by Jonah to an exclusive bloggers' event hosted by Aqua Mineral at the Gramercy Residences near the newly built Century City in Makati.



If the name Aqua Mineral rings a bell, you probably have heard of it since it's been around for almost 10 years in 56 different countries all over the world. Aqua Mineral is not really into heavy advertisements so chances are you've heard it through word of mouth or probably seen their charming booth at the mall.

Check out the breathtaking view inside Gramercy Residences.

Infinity pools are just awesome.


It was an intimate gathering of beauty bloggers where we all got to know the philosophy behind the brand and a little trivia about Dead Sea Salt which I would share with you in a while.


Aqua Mineral is a complete beauty line based on the naturally occurring Dead Sea Salts and minerals which are famous for counteracting the effects of aging and improving the skin's well being. 

Dead Sea Salt is a naturally occuring product of the Dead Sea and it's very common in Israel and Jordan.
Since the sea is pretty much "dead" since it's too salty for animals and plants to live in; it's located at the lowest elevation on land and 427 below sea level, it's really clean and untouched.

Remember the Dead Sea in Jordan? People go all the way there because of the healing properties of the Dead Sea. It is said that having a dip at the Dead Sea could help treat psoriasis, skin asthma, eczema, rhinosinusitis, osteoarthritis and many more. However, not everyone has the luxury of money and time to travel there. Luckily, we don't have to wonder how the Dead Sea Salt would feel on the skin. Imagine having the benefits of the Dead Sea in a jar?


I know what you're thinking, this must be one hell of an expensive product since it's imported from Israel. Honestly, it is quite pricey and they don't have cheap products. Imagine their most expensive set, the Optima + would range around P56,000 (roughly around $1302).

The philosophy of the brand is they don't have cheap products (the ones with tons of SLS, parabens and other harmful chemical additives) because they don't like cheating their customers into buying products that won't work wonders. They believe the products speaks for itself and it's more of an investment. As they say, investments are something you get back.


Exactly a year ago, I was supposed to meet someone and that person was one hour late! I decided to pass some time at the mall and checked out the Aqua Mineral booth at SM North. I remembered my grandmother loves bathing at the Dead Sea so I was really curious on how this one works.

You will be amazed. This is something you should try personally! I recalled I had a shower prior to going to the mall but I was shocked to see how excellent of a job it does at moisturizing AND exfoliating the skin at the same time! 


Check out my video to find out what I'm talking about!



A pyramid of Aqua Mineral Blissful Body Butter in Springtime. I have tried this product last year and not does it highly moisturizes but it also smells really expensive too. Imagine if Chanel No. 5 and Clinique Happy Men had a baby, this would be it. I love it!


Each Aqua Mineral Professional Nail Kit comes with a Nail buffer, Cuticle Oil, Velvet Touch Hand and Body Lotion and Nail File. Available in three different variants: Midnight Magic, Delicate Dew and Gold Charm.


Check out this nifty nail buffer! According to them this four-sided nail buffer comes with the professional nail kit. Take note: with a free lifetime guarantee. Just bring your old worn out nail buffer and they'll give you a new one free of charge! From what I've heard, the nails buffed by this would continue to be shiny for 2-3 weeks. How lovely!

From L-R: Before and after using the nail buffer from the Aqua Mineral Professional Nail Kit


Other than those we've tried above, they also have other product lines that would suit everyone's different skin needs. Young or old, male or female.. chances are they have it since they usually come up with 10 new products every year!

As I've mentioned earlier, it's not just for the women..here's their exclusive set for the men!

From L-R: The Extensor Uplifting Mask, Juveness De-Wrinkle Cream and the Optima+ Supreme Thermal Mask


Here's the very elusive Optima + set! According to them, this is some of our local celebrities' must-haves since it deemed to remove 40% to 60% of the skin's wrinkles. All products are formulated with provitamin B5 and coenzyme Q-10 and based on the patented ResistemTM. I was afraid to touch it because I can't afford it. Jk



Watch out as I'd be reviewing the Total Silk Body Scrub and Blissful Body Butter soon!
 Here's a toast to a youthful healthy skin!

For more information on Aqua Mineral and their other products, check out:
www.aquamineralspa.com
http://facebook.com/aquaMineralph
http://twitter.com/PhAquaMineral

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Winners of The Lifestyle Bazaar 2014 Giveaway

 So excited to shop and eat at The Lifestyle Bazaar @thelifestylebazaar on Nov. 14-16, 2014 at the Metrotent, 
Metrowalk Ortigas center! #TheLifestyleBazaar


I had an ongoing giveaway a few months ago and I'd like to thank everyone who entered my giveaway.
Unfortunately, I could only pick two winners for this giveaway.
Don't worry if you didn't win! There's more to come!
For the meantime, I'd like announce to the winners of The Lifestyle Bazaar 2014 giveaway!

------------

Congratulations!

Jilayne K. 
For winning two (2) tickets to The Lifestyle Bazaar + P300 Gift Certificate to Lulu Nails & Dry Bar

and

Sachie S.
For winning one (1) ticket to The Lifestyle Bazaar + P300 Gift Certificate to Lulu Nails & Dry Bar + Free Makeover Makeover GC worth P1500 at PAC Cosmetics


I have sent you both a message, please respond in within 24 hours or I will randomly choose another winner.
Again, please stay tuned for the next giveaway!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Adidas Brand Sale + Win A New Pair of Adidas ZX 850!

ONLY 3 DAYS TO GO!


WHAT: ADIDAS BRAND SALE
WHEN: November 13-17, 2014
WHERE: UP Balay Kalinaw


Get your favorite Adidas items at 50% off!

Store hours: 8 AM - 6 PM

---

Feeling lucky? How about joining their ongoing giveaway on Facebook?

Win a new pair of Adidas ZX 850!
Join here: Click Me


HOW TO WIN:

1. Like the Adidas Brand Sale FB Page | https://fb.com/AdidasBrandSale

2. Like the UP Circle of Entrepreneurs FB Page | http://fb.com/UPCE1

3. Like and share this post with the Hashtags: #UPCExAdidas #AdidasBrandSale2014 and tag Adidas Brand Sale on Facebook. Tag five of your friends.*

One lucky winner will be announced on November 11 and will receive a brand new pair of Adidas ZX 850 shoes!

*One Share = One Entry | Don't forget to set your post to PUBLIC.


 See you all there!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stress Relief Back Massage at Bioessence Greenhills

It's only a month until my thesis defense and I've been trying my best to contain my stress that's already on its highest peak. Relieving myself of mental stress is relatively easy but sometimes you also have to deal with physical stress too. Something I find difficult to do because I can't massage myself! Hahahaha.

What's a stressed-out girl like me to do? Go to the spa!


Behold! The sanctuary of relaxation, Bioessence!

Bioessence has been around for 20 years and counting with 50 accessible outlets nationwide.
Initially, they were just offering basic skincare and slimming treatments but when clients started asking for more services while waiting to be attended... that's when they started to offer other services like body massages and spas.
"Total Wellness" as they call it, and the rest is history.


As I've entered their place at Greenhills inside Shoppesville,
I was welcomed by this wonderful arrangement of flowers and balloons!

The place is quite spacious and it just felt so comfortable to stay and unwind.

Sipping on their complimentary signature house blend tea, while confirming my reservation.

Now on the the massage!


The massage room that I had looks simple, yet regal. Apologies for the grainy photos as massage rooms are usually dark and only lighted up by this zen lamp over here. Then again, who would want to be massaged under bright lights anyway, right?

The elegant drapes inside the massage room

The massage bed... After I kind of messed it up. Hehe

This was taken before the massage. Apologies for the face, I had a long tiring day at the campus. 

Initially, I thought the Stress Relief Back Massage was just only for the back of your torso but it isn't. The 30 minute massage itself helps reduce lactic acid build ups or "lamig" in the muscles, everything on the back from head to toe would receive pleasurable sensations. As for the conscious-type, don't worry as they won't ask you to remove any piece of article and all since it is a dry massage.

 Here's a pampered and less stressed-out photo of me after the massage.

If you can't handle myotheraphy this one I personally recommend. Although I wish I had adjusted the massage pressure a little bit deeper, but that's just me since I love hard massages. 


One thing I like about this place is how accommodating and knowledgeable their staff are. I've found out from my wonderful masseuse that I still have tons of lactic build ups hiding on my shoulder blades! I've also learned from her that monthly massages along with a cup of hot tea would do the body good.


Other than their Stress Relief Back Massage, they also have Shiatsu, Swedish, Hot Stone and Urban Escape Massage. If you happened to be interested, drop them a call at 0918-8-BEAUTY or (02) 376-7106 so that they could recommend which services would best suit you and find out the most convenient branch near you.
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