Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Aristocrat Restaurant Experience

The Aristocrat Restaurant has been around since 1936, serving well-loved Philippine dishes to us all.

This restaurant used to be my family's favorite place to go for a Sunday brunch. We all ag
ree that their Aristocrat Chicken Barbecue is the best! We used to frequent their branch in SM The Block, but stopped going there since their service was (and still is) very slow. For our lunch today, my dad and my sister went to The Aristocrat Restaurant along Roxas Boulevard to celebrate her graduation.

Here's what we ordered:

Calamares (P165.00)
Tender calamares, breaded and fried and served with tartar sauce

This dish was supposed to be one of the best appetizers I have tasted (I first tried it at their SM The Block branch and I loved it). However, I hate how this branch always serves our Calamares cold. I think it was not freshly cooked and has been sitting in the kitchen for quite some time before it was served to us. It is the second time that our Calamares were served this way (it was cold and the breading was not crispy anymore) and I doubt that I would reorder this again.

Sinigang na Baboy (P281.00)
Pork spareribs in sour tamarind soup with native vegetables

This soup was good for 3 people. I loved how tender the pork spareribs were in this soup, and I like the tang of the sour tamarind soup. It goes well with their ever famous Aristocrat Chicken Barbeque.

Aristocrat Chicken Barbeque (P195.00)
Three pieces of marinated chicken on skewer, grilled

Gulaman at Sago (P55.00)
Gelatin cubes with tapioca in syrup and shaved ice

Did you know that you could get this for free when you present your SM Advantage Card to this branch upon a single-receipt purchase of P500.00? I just saw this promo in SM Advantage's website, and I tried asking the waitress about it and viola! Free Gulaman at Sago. I just wished they had a poster of this promo in their store to inform their customers, because what is the use of doing tie-ups when you do not announce it anyway?

Buko Pandan (P67.00)
Gelatin with tapioca and grated coconut in sweetened cream

Now this was very creamy and yummy. It was not too sweet; definitely a perfect way to cap off your meal.Though the food in this restaurant was delicious (except for their cold Calamares), I have a few things on which I would like this restaurant to improve on.
  • First is how some of their food was served. If it is not freshly cooked, why serve it?
  • I disliked the fact that their service again, was too slow - in all aspects that is. We waited for about 30 minutes before our orders were served. Upon ordering, we asked for water. It took countless follow ups and about 45 minutes before our glasses of water were served. We could have choked waiting for it.
  • I also do not like how inattentive their staff was. They would turn away and go on with their business while you are still talking to them, which was rude.
  • Another is that upon asking for the bill, we waited for so long that my dad was the one who approached their counter to ask if he could sign the charge slip already so we could get going. When we reached their counter, we found that the bill was already prepared, but there was just no one to bring it to our table.
  • The bill had a discrepancy from what we ordered. An item was doubled, so it had to be revised. Upon seeing a lady approach the manager, she had the bill with her and had the same problem we encountered.
Unless they shape up, I doubt that my family would come back to any Aristocrat branch again. It is not only the food, but service is also a huge factor in this type of industry.

Just sharing my opinion,

Be Pretty Powerful with Bobbi Brown

Early this month, I received a beautiful gift from Bobbi Brown. It was their Pretty Palette, which was released last February 2011. This is actually the very first makeup palette I own.

Bobbi Brown designed this Pretty Palette to make it easy for any woman to feel her absolute, most confident best. This Pretty Palette was created with fairer skin tones in mind.

Image and Tips from Bobbi Brown Philippines

Here are some useful tips for using the Pretty Palette:

1. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize prior to makeup application.
2. Apply foundation (and concealer, if needed) to even out your complexion. I prefer liquid foundation as this looks more natural and dewy.
3. Apply Ivory Eye Shadow from the lash line up to the brow bone to brighten up the entire eye area.
4. Apply Pink Flannel Eye Shadow on the lower lid up to the crease.
5. Apply Pink Chiffon Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in the crease to add sparkle to your eyes.
6. Apply Chocolate Caviar Eye Shadow on your upper lash line (using an eyeliner brush). This shade is a nice dark brown color that can also be used to fill in the sparse areas of your brows.
7. Apply 2 coats of your favorite mascara.
8. Brush on the Pretty Pink Blush on the apples of your cheeks for a healthy glow. Don't know where exactly to put on the blush? Smile, and pat on the blush in the area that pops up on your cheeks. Make sure to blend well.
9. Apply Sandwash Pink Lip Color on your lips. It is a muted brownish pink lip color that looks very natural. You may top it off with Bubble Bath Lip Gloss for a fresh, natural look; or you may use the Soiree Pink Glitter Lip Gloss for a playful, party look.

The neutral and pink shades of this palette are very lovely. I love Bobbi Brown's concept of creating shades of makeup that will truly enhance one's natural tones. This palette is all you will need to look pretty powerful in an instant. :) This Pretty Palette is available at Rustan's Makati and Shangri-La Mall for P3,000.00.

What is your favorite Bobbi Brown product?


Monday, March 28, 2011

Pond's Perfect Care Cold Cream

Could you be using a beauty product that has been around for 165 years? Pond's Cold Cream is that and more! I have seen small glass jars of Pond's Cold Cream sitting on my mom's dresser when I was a kid, and as they say, mother knows best! My mom is 51 years young now and she still looks radiant and youthful as ever, because she takes care of her skin.

If there is one product that I have kept on repurchasing months after months, it would definitely be this!

I started using Pond's Cold Cream in college, when I started to learn how to use makeup. I found that regular facial washes could not thoroughly remove all the makeup and Manila pollution on my skin so I decided to take my skin cleansing up a notch and added this to my beauty regimen. Way back, I used to buy this in the lemon scented variant because I found it to smell fresher than the regular variant. Now, only the regular variant is available in the market.

Pond's says:
Cold Cream
Clean skin that feels softer and smoother - that's the Pond's institute promise.

Pond's Cold Cream is a rich, deep cleanser that:
- Deep cleans - Special deep cleansing ingredients effortlessly take out deep-seated dirt and make-up, even stubborn mascara
- Keeps skin soft - Its natural moisturizers keep skin soft and supple, leaving your skin radiantly blooming.

I use Pond's Cold Cream every night when I get home to remove all the makeup and dirt that had accumulated on my face throughout the day.

It has a thick, rich, and creamy texture.
It is dirt cheap! A 100 ml jar costs less than P200.00.
It easily removes all traces of makeup. No wonder this has been around for more than a century!

I do not like the scent, but it is tolerable.
I wish this product would come on tube form. But I make sure to clean my hands thoroughly before dipping into it to get the cream out.

I never fail to repurchase when my jar is about to run out, and I can't even count how many jars I have finished. I got this in the supermarket for just P185.85, but prices may vary in different stores. This is certainly my favorite Pond's product!

What is you favorite Pond's product? You may share your thoughts in the comment box below. :)


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The 100 Pesos Date Challenge

My boyfriend and I love going on what we call "mini dates". It is defined as a date after work on a weekday (in our dictionary). Sometimes, it is planned. Sometimes, it is totally random that one of us would invite each other out to eat (since our place of work are far from each other). Recently, we had a P100.00 date! Happy happy dates need not burn a hole in your wallet after all. :)

We went to Shangri-La Mall and ate at Steak Escape. It was at the Garden Court at the ground level. I never knew there were cheap food in Shangri-La. We were drawn to this particular brand because it was the only stall/mini-resto in the area that had a line waiting to be served. The others were serving the usual fast food so we wanted something different for a change.

Here's what we ordered:

Chicken Strips with Java Rice (P45.00)

Burger Steak with Java Rice (P55.00)

I loved that these meals were served with lots of rice plus free soup, which was not included in the pictures. The meals were tasty, but there was nothing special in it (aside from the fact that I was eating it with my loved one). :)

For a job well done, we rewarded ourselves with this:

Dunkin' Yan in Chocolate (P36.00)

This reminded me of Meiji's Yan Yan. I ate only 3 sticks because I found it too sweet. I prefer their Strawberry Sprinkle Donut, which is my favorite (because it's pink, pretty, and yummy).

I hoped you enjoyed reading about our P100.00 (+ P36.00) date challenge. You should try it too at least once. :D


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Avon Simply Because For Her and For Him EDT

I love fragrances and I am always thrilled when I find good deals for scents I like. Recently, I have been given the chance to try Avon's Simply Because Eau De Toilette (EDT), all thanks to Askmewhats' giveaway. My first encounter with Avon fragrances was when I was in college, where our Marketing subject required us to sell different products from different brands. Avon was a partner, so I tried their Urban Flowers EDT, a floral fruity scent, which garnered positive feedback from my peers.

Avon launched their Simply Because line of fragrances last month, in time for Valentine's Day. I think this is a very good gift suggestion, no matter what the occasion.

The matching boxes are so cute!

Simply Because for Her EDT Spray
- Juicy lychee gives a touch of effervescence to this spirited bouquet of pretty pink blossoms and creamy vanilla musk.

This is the type of scent you would love to wear on a first date. It is a light scent, very feminine and alluring. I love how the fruity floral element blends so well with sweet vanilla and sophisticated musk.

Simply Because For Him EDT Spray
- A refreshing citrus splash adds a modern twist to this distinctive blend of fresh aromatic and warm woody notes.

This is a super fresh and light, very clean, just got out of the shower scent! Definitely not cloying at all. I am a fan of citrus-y scents, and this one is just perfect for summer. I like this better than the For Her version. Maybe I am a man after all.

Avon's Simply Because For Her and For Him EDT Sprays are P800.00 each (regular price) for a 50ml bottle. You may contact them through through their website to order from an Avon representative, or be a representative yourself to avail of special discounts and promotions, while providing your family, friends, and yourself trusted, high-quality Avon products.

Have you tried Avon fragrances? Which one is your favorite? :)


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Caramel Flan Kit Kat

I love Kit Kat! What we have here in out country is the local milk chocolate version (its chocolate is especially made to withstand the temperature in our tropical country). I have also seen other imported flavors in the supermarkets, such as White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Cookies & Cream (seasonal), and Orange (this one is available right at this very moment!). This Caramel Flan Kit Kat is from Japan. They are very creative when it comes to creating different flavors of Kit Kat!

I love this flavor! This cream-colored bar is super creamy! Sorry for sounding redundant, but it really is! :D

What other flavors of Kit Kat have you tried? :)


Friday, March 18, 2011

The Body Shop Moisture White Shiso BB Cream

I went to the The Body Shop's Love Your Body workshop yesterday because they were going to introduce to us their newest product, Moisture White Shiso BB Cream! The attendees of the workshop were a lucky bunch because we were the fist few to try out the BB Cream. It is available in the market starting today.

The Moisture White Shiso BB Cream is a multi-action make-up base that gives an instant whitening effect. I love that The Body Shop has finally created a BB Cream that is sure to be good for our skin, since it is made with natural ingredients: Shiso herb to fight pigmentation, Vitamin C to brighten the skin, licorice to suppress melanin production, and aloe vera to moisturize and soothe the skin.

The 3 key actions of Moisture White Shiso is that it can effectively prevent dark spots and discoloration from appearing by suppressing melanin production at its source, reduce the appearance of existing dark spots, and deliver overall hydration to enhance overall skin luminosity.

Upon trying on the product, here are my comments:
- The BB Cream did even out and brighten up my skin tone. The attendees of the workshop had different skin tones, but the BB Cream was a one-shade-fits-all kind of makeup, which left us all with nice, even skin. No complaints here!
- It felt like a light liquid foundation, but its texture was not too watery.
- I love that it has SPF 25 PA+++, which can prevent UVA and UVB rays from aging and burning our skin.
- A little definitely goes a long way. A 30ml tube could last for as long as 8 months with daily use, so its a great investment for the skin.

The regular price of the product is P1,195.00 for a 30ml tube, but if you attend The Body Shop's workshops and events (featuring this BB Cream), you might just get a special offer you would not want to miss. :)

"Register for a FREE Make-over at The Body Shop's Empower Your Beauty event at the SM Mall of Asia Main Mall!

Get tips on how to give proper skin care and how to achieve the no make-up look through our Skincare consultations and free makeovers happening from March 18-23, 2011.

Plus! Get a Moisture White Shiso BB Cream Sample, a 50 ml. Rainforest Hair Butter and a Photo Shoot for FREE when you register!"
Visit The Body Shop's Facebook page to learn more about their event and on how to register for their fun-filled event.

When you get to try their BB Cream, do let me know how you find it. :)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Papemelroti Clip-On Earrings

My sister loves accessories very much! In fact, she owns an online jewelry store. One day, she brought home a little package...and it was for me! :D

I love Papemelroti's eco-friendly packaging.

It's a lovely pair of clip-on earrings!

You see, I get very excited whenever I see clip-on earrings because I have no ear piercings! It's not that I have not tried to get piercings. I have had them done twice (one with a doctor, another one in the mall) but the piercings always get irritated no matter how I clean them everyday. So I decided to not push it and just use this kind of earrings. I bought lots of them from Landmark Department Store and bazaars, but most of them make my earlobes hurt after a few hours. But not this one! I wore them all day, and it was not painful at all! When I go to Papemelroti, I will get some more. :)

Do you know any other place which sells these? Please let me know!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Maybelline Angelfit Perfect Concealer

I bought Maybelline’s Angelfit Perfect Concealer because my trusty Maybelline Clear Smooth Minerals Healthy Natural Concealer got discontinued here in the Philippines. There were only 2 shades available, which were Light Beige and Natural Beige. Neither of the shades were an exact match for my skin tone, which was a bummer (and I do not want the hassle of mixing 2 shades of concealer just to get my exact shade when I am in a hurry), but I decided on going with Light Beige anyway, since I am a Maybelline fanatic and it was on sale. I could always top it off with a darker powder to tone down the lightness.

Maybelline Angelfit Perfect Concealer

- Full coverage concealer that hides flaws & leaves a smooth finish, without feeling cakey and heavy.

Photo taken with flash

I use this above and below the eye area, since it gives that brightening effect which makes me look less tired even when I lack sleep. I set it with Maybelline Clear Smooth Shine Free Face Powder to make it last. On mornings when I am rushing out of the house, I just moisturize, pat on this concealer around my eye area, and I am good to go.

It is affordable.
It is easy to blend when used on moisturized skin.
It can lessen the appearance of dark circles and pimples.

Only 2 shades are available.
It has the tendency to slide off on oily skin (when used to conceal pimples).

Would I repurchase? No. I have yet to find the concealer that matches my skin tone.
Price: P429.00
Available in SM Department Stores, Robinsons Department Stores, Landmark Department Store, Watsons outlets and Mercury Drugstores Nationwide.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Luk Foo Cantonese Kitchen

I, together with my boyfriend, were craving for Asian cuisine so our recent foodtrip was in Luk Foo. We went there on a weeknight so the restaurant was not crowded. I loved their ambiance; the restaurant had nice interiors which were pleasing to the eyes. The staff were very friendly and accommodating, too.

Nice lights :)

My family and I used to eat in Luk Foo every week so I had my favorite food to order in mind. I wanted him to try it, too.

Luk Foo Fried Rice (P270.00)

The Luk Foo Fried Rice was like a meal in itself, complete with different meat and vegetables. We agreed that the rice tasted a bit bland, though. And we did not like how coarse the broccoli was. Other than that, we loved the toppings that came with it. Next time, we will go for their Yang Chow Fried Rice.

Cheese and Butter Fish Fillet (P280.00)

This has to be my ultimate favorite from Luk Foo. We ordered this dish with separate sauce so the fish fillet would not turn soft and soggy (and will still be yummy when we have the left overs for takeout). I loved how the crisp coating coats the tender fish meat inside it. It tasted heavenly! I also loved the cheese and butter sauce - it was perfect for the fish fillet. You really have to try this one!

Their dishes are good for sharing (2 to 3 persons), so you get your money's worth. They currently have 8 branches, which are the following: Las Piñas City, Parañaque City, Quezon City, Puregold QI Central, Mabalacat, Monumento, Cubao, and Mindanao Avenue.

We went to their Monumento Branch, located in Samson Road, Caloocan City. You may contact them at 365-4978 and 365-3908 for inquiries and reservations.


Friday, March 11, 2011

The Body Shop Body Butter in Mango

I first read about The Body Shop's Body Butters in an editorial in a teen magazine way back when I was in high school. They said that this product was marked down to P395.00 for a 200ml tub, so I wasted no time and got one in Mango, which is for very dry skin. My skin used to feel uncomfortable all the time, itching from dryness. My legs used to be scaly, too, no matter how much lotion I slather on. Prior to using this body butter, I tried countless bottles of lotions bought from department stores and supermarkets, but all did not do anything for my skin, so trust me when I say that this product really works! I have been using this body butter for 7 years now.

See how much product there is in a tub? It looks good enough to eat, too!

It is very important to take care of our skin to keep it looking young and vibrant. I exfoliate with The Body Shop Body Scrub in Mango every week and use this Body Butter right after. But I also use this Body Butter every night (after I shower/before I go to sleep).

A little goes a long way when you use this because of its thick and creamy (not watery) texture.
It leaves skin soft, silky, and hydrated.
It leaves a healthy sheen/glow on your skin.
It leaves just the right amount of fragrance on your skin.

It comes in a tub, not very hygienic to use, unless you use a spatula to get the product out of the tub (but only if you are super OC).
For those who commute, this product might make dirt/pollution stick to your skin. It is advisable to use this at night.
For hot, humid days, this might make you feel sticky when you sweat.
The price increase, which I hope stops. Because I got my first tub at P395.00, and now it’s P695.

Would I repurchase? Yes!
Price: P695.00 (200ml)
Available at all The Body Shop outlets nationwide.

Which Body Butter variant is your favorite? Do let me know. :)

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