Monday, April 27, 2015

Tony Moly Apples for My Face & Hands (Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream & Red Apple Hand Cream)

I've got 2 shiny apples on my desk, and whenever my baby niece sees them, she gets all excited! Just a while ago, she picked up the red one and asked, "Wow apple! Is this for me?" Then I opened it and showed her that it was a lotion, and the shocked look on her face was priceless! :D


Today's review will be about apples - one for my face, and the other one for my hands. :D

Tony Moly Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream (P528.00)
Reveal healthy and radiant skin this month with Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream. This peeling cream contains Green Apple Extracts, Papaya Extracts, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and Hyaluronic Acid. These special ingredients moisturize and gently remove excess keratin from the skin.


This cute green apple is for the face. The packaging is too cute! :3 It doesn't come with English translations though, except for the product name. The manufacturing date is indicated at the base of the tub. It's sealed with just a tiny plastic sticker, but inside it is another lid to prevent mess.


This 3-in-1 multi-peeling cream contains unripened apple extract and papaya extract which remove dead skin cells and help manage impurities. In one application, the cream delivers three functions of massage, moisturizing pack, and peeling cream.

How to use: After cleansing, wipe your the skin and apply a generous amount of product to your face, concentrating on dry areas. Gently massage on your face for 2 minutes, leave on for 30 seconds, rub your face in a circular motion, and wash it off.


But wait! Don't be scared of the words "peeling cream", as this one is very gentle. At first, I thought it would work like Cure, but as I massaged it on, I didn't see any drastic peeling action (such as dead skin cells falling off my skin). But it did magically make my skin whiter and brighter after just one use. On the face, this one is able to reduce redness and give the skin a smoother, more even look. As I rinsed it off, my skin felt really soft and hydrated. This one's also good to use if you lack sleep and end up with dull skin that needs an instant healthy radiant boost. Also, the scent is crisp and really fresh, just like how real green apples are.

Tony Moly Red Apple Hand Cream (P378.00)
Prevent having dry digits by keeping a tub of Red Apple Hand Cream in your bag. This fun and fruity hand cream is laced with honey and butter to keep your hands smooth and beautiful. The cute apple packaging makes it more fun to tote around!


The packaging comes in a similar format as the Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream. Only, this one's a bit smaller, and it has a plastic leaf! :3


Oh, the things I do for cute packaging. This one's bulkier than my previous hand creams that come in tubes, and yet, I still tote it around everywhere. To work, where I display it on my desk. To the mall, where I...just want to have it with me!


This rich and creamy hand lotion moisturizes, nourishes, and softens your hands with manuka honey and apple extracts. Unlike the Magic Food Banana Hand Milk, this one has a light texture that absorbs really quick, so you're left with smoother hands in just seconds upon application. It smells amazing, too! Though I prefer the banana's sweet candy scent more, juicy apple comes to a close second.

I guess, Tony Moly wins again with having cute packaging. When the time comes that I get to finish these 2 apples, I'll be re-using them for sure! I can put lotion, creams, and even store secrets in it (and people will never know). Ho ho!

For more information, visit Tony Moly Philippines' official website at www.tonymoly.ph. Like Tony Moly Philippines on Facebook, follow @tonymolyph on Twitter and Instagram for more updates and promos.

Love,
Helen

Friday, April 24, 2015

eos lip balm in Sweet Mint

And now, sharing with you my current go-to lip balm! eos lip balm in Sweet Mint is my favorite as of the moment. I take it with me everywhere, even with its bulky (but cute) egg-shaped packaging. By the way, eos stands for evolution of smooth!

eos lip balm in Sweet Mint
Smooth on the refreshing essence of sweet mint and give your lips the moisture they crave. 

eos lip balm in Sweet Mint is 95% organic, 100% natural, and paraben and petrolatum free. Packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter and jojoba oil, eos keeps your lips moist, soft and sensationally smooth.

  • Long-lasting moisture
  • Shea butter & vitamin E
  • Smoothes on clear
  • Precisely glides on lips
  • Twist-off top
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • 0.25 oz


My little sister gave this to me because strangely enough, she used this for around 2 weeks and developed allergies on the lips. Uh oh. I did research on it and found out that it also happened to other users. I was quite wary at first, but my love for minty things won so I just used it. Hooray for not so sensitive lips, because I've been using this for months, and all it does is keep my lips soft, minty, and sweet. Yes, aside from the cold, tingly sensation, it also leaves a hint of sweet taste on your lips. It does live up to the flavor Sweet Mint! And I prefer this texture over Burt's Bees since eos has a smoother glide (but still without the petrolatum).

I used to see eos Lip Balms being sold in Robinsons Department Stores for about P200-P300. It's been a long time since I've last been to one, so I'll just update you guys on my eos sightings if ever.

I think I'll be finishing up this huge sphere of a lip balm in the coming months. My next bet is the Honeysuckle Honeydew flavor. I just hope that it tastes as good as it sounds!

Love,
Helen

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wingstop: The Wing Experts

Flavor. It's Wingstop's passion, cause, and revolution.

Wingstop currently has 8 stores here in the Philippines, and I can't believe it's my first time to dine in this fast-casual restaurant just last week. (Where have I been?)


During the launch of their latest branch at Glorietta 2 (just across Landmark Makati), I was handed this Flavor Passport, my ticket to a special evening of taste-testing the many flavors Wingstop has to offer.



One day before its grand opening last April 17, Wingstop converted its store to a party place, complete with lights, party music, and overflowing ice-cold beer on the house.


Wingstop specializes in flavorful wings, but that's not all that they offer. (You have to check out their menu!) Born in Texas, and served to the world - they've actually been around for 21 years, with over 2 billion wings sold! In the Philippines, Wingstop has been in the scene for just about a year, with 8 stores currently open, and planning to open 50 more stores in the next 6 years.


Release your inhibitions and feel free to use your hands to savor their flavorful wings! They created this wash area with exactly that in mind. ;)

Chicken Tenders [3 pcs. + 1 dip] (P185.00)

Before their flavor booths opened for taste-test, we were served tenders and fries.You can choose among 6 dips to go with your tenders: Atomic, BBQ, Honey Mustard, Bleu Cheese, Ranch, and Teriyaki. I've tried both Bleu Cheese and BBQ, but I like BBQ better... the scent reminds me of lovely baby back ribs. :D Their tenders were HUGE and filling, and I bet they'd be better if I had them served tossed in the dip beforehand (if that's even possible).

Garlic Parmesan Fries (P100.00)

Cajun Fries (P100.00)

Ah, their warm and thick fries are so good! I am always into cheesy Garlic Parmesan, but Cajun was a really nice twist. Spicy fries! ♥

Some people wait a lifetime...for a moment like THIS! :D


Out of 9 flavors, I was able to try 5 that day. I was too full already! XD


Wingstop takes pride in the size of their wings - which are the biggest in the country. Their wings are cooked-to-order, never under heat lamps , so they're always fresh. Each order of fresh wings is fried to perfection, then sauced and tossed under 17 minutes!

Since I am forever a fan of chicken drumsticks, that's all I ate that night. But they did have the legit wings! This one's just my preference, so you're stuck with drumstick photos here on my blog. :D (Trivia: When I went back to Wingstop with my family, we ordered ALL drumsticks!)

Louisiana Rub
Addictive simplicity. Deep South Cajun and garlic spices give this wing a little lagniappe.

Garlic Parmesan
This epic pairing may have originated in the Mediterranean. But it was perfected in our kitchen. Some things are worth wrecking your breath over.

Lemon Pepper
Unique. Inspiration of rap lyrics. Creator of cravings. It changes the game with its unreal citrus zing.

Hickory Smoked BBQ
A summer night’s cookout distilled into a sauce. Smoky sweet. Big and bold.

Mild Buffalo
Nothing timid about it. It’s that classic Buffalo spirit without the sweaty brow.

Plus, 4 more flavors I wasn't able to try but will pretty soon:
  • Atomic: Sauce, sweat and tears. It’s a habanero-fueled punch in the mouth – for those who are into that sort of thing.
  • Cajun: All the warmth of Original Hot with a little trance-inducing voodoo sprinkled on top.
  • Hot Buffalo: The Original. The one and only. It’s the classic blend of heat and tang that made us famous.
  • Teriyaki: Monumental oriental. Take a trip to the Asian spices mingled into this satisfyingly sweet sauce.

I'll let you in on a little secret: They'll be coming up with a 10th flavor, and it's something formulated uniquely for our Pinoy taste buds. I can't wait!!! :D

I thought my automatic favorite flavor would be Garlic Parmesan, but it only came to a close second. My taste buds were floored with Lousiana Rub!♥ You may have noticed that I'm scared of the too spicy ones, but in the coming days, I will get the strength to try them out as well. I just have to! :D

Wingstop Menu

While browsing the coupons that came with my BDJ 2015 Planner, I spotted a couple of great Wingstop deals. (Yes! All the more incentive to go back.) They have a store in Trinoma (so close to home), and I'm stoked that I can share FLAVOR with my loved ones anytime!


Everyone can now get Wingstop's flavorful wings at their recently opened store at Glorietta 2, Makati, as well as in Eastwood Citywalk, University Mall in Taft, Fairview Terraces, Starmall Prima in Taguig, Starmall Las PiƱas, Estancia in Capitol Commons, and Greenhills Promenade. Like Wingstop Philippines on Facebook for more information.

Love,
Helen

Kojie.san Dream White Anti-Aging Soap

This is not a very pretty story, but one morning last month, I woke up to 40 bedbug bites all over my body. Oh yes, I counted them. :| Good thing they missed my face! My shoulders down to my calf had random bites all over, and it was not good at all. The bites were reddish, a bit raised, and and they would itch whenever I touched them. I would apply my Milea Pain & Itch Balm every so often, and that time, I just started to use Kojie.san Dream White Anti-Aging Soap. I was scared that the bites would scar and that I'll be left with post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation all over my body, so this soap better work its magic.


I remember testing out the classic bar of Kojie.san Skin Lightening Soap before, but I found it quite drying so I didn't get around repurchasing it. A reader recommended to me Kojie.san Dream White Anti-Aging Soap in the comments section, raving how this one isn't drying, hence I tried it!


What makes this variant of Kojie.san soap unique (and possibly, even better) is that it contains collagen and elastin together with the Kojic acid. It also has a very subtle vanilla fragrance, which I like better than the classic orange scent. This soap has a soft (but not too melty texture). I had to emphasize soft, because when my soap was almost finished, I was able to roll it into a ball form without it breaking. Kojie.san doesn't contain added soap hardeners, so you have to store it in a dry place after using. (I take mine outside the bathroom!) This soap lathers well, but doesn't leave your skin squeaky - just clean. True enough, I didn't get the usual dry and tight feeling that came with the classic variant. Within 2 weeks of using this bar, the would-be post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation from the bedbug bites didn't happen at all on my arms. It's amazing! On my legs, there are minimal marks since I concentrated the soap more on my arms and shoulders. They're almost close to completely fading though! After my scheduled beach trips in the next few months, and if I do feel the need (or want) to bring back my current complexion, I'd repurchase this one.

Like Kojie.san Philippines on Facebook for more information.

Which do you prefer, Kojie.san Skin Lightening Soap or Kojie.san Dream White Anti-Aging Soap?

Love,
Helen

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Baipai Thai Cooking School

I may have not been all too diligent with writing, but our Baipai Thai Cooking School experience was so awesome, not sharing it would be criminal!

I can't cook to save my life. I do know how to "cook" instant noodles, but I'm not proud of that. I would love to learn though! This summer, I went to a cooking school - in Thailand! I have to thank #TopeTravelandTours for including this as part of our itinerary on our trip to Bangkok last month.


I've actually never been to any cooking school for that matter, so I honestly have no basis for comparison. But what I am certain of, is that Baipai is one of the best cooking schools you can go to.


It all starts with their Thailand hospitality - their private van will pick you up from your hotel (and of course, bring you back there when you're done with class). The class lasts for half a day, either morning or afternoon. Their warm and friendly crew will welcome you with a cup of refreshingly cold chrysanthemum tea (oh I love this one), and do an orientation in English. (Very foreigner-friendly!) We were handed our own sets of recipe cards and a pen, and after we donned our aprons, they gave us lessons on the herbs and spices we were going to use that day.

Kaffir Lime
(You only need a small part of the rind to add flavor to your curry paste.)

Holy basil vs. Sweet basil

Green vs Red
(Here, the big green chili is no match for the tiny red ones when it comes to the spicy kick!)

Pandanus Leaf
(No flavor, but very aromatic. Use this to wrap your chicken with or add aroma to your coconut sticky rice.)


What's good with this cooking school is that every step of the way, you get to watch the chefs do a demo, then follow the steps on your own. You get to cook 4 dishes on your own, and eat them afterwards (definitely my favorite part).


Before we started cooking, they also made us taste the different seasonings and sauces we were going to use, so we'd understand the taste and modify the recipe according to our liking.

Note to self: Thai seasonings and sauces are the best! Now I'm definitely getting Thai brands when it comes to shopping for kitchen necessities. Their flavor palate is just amazing - some sauces I've tried even have layers of flavors. For example, initial taste would be sweet, then it'd turn spicy and the spiciness would linger long in your mouth. The explosion of flavors is just so aroi! And this is my turning point. After my Thailand trip, I'm now into sauces (something I've always detested, weird right?) and spices! :D

Let the cooking begin!


Amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Bangkok, Baipai Thai Cooking School is a hidden gem tucked away in a Bangkok residential area. Wooden decors and locally-styled furniture makes this place so cozy and tranquil, giving even the most inexperienced cook (AKA me) a very relaxed feeling. (Being the optimistic person that I am, I felt that I was going to cook really good dishes on my first try! Haha)


At first, the chefs would do a demo, then we'd watch on this common area. It's just like watching a cooking show live! Here, we also prepped for the cooking, such as chopping, wrapping the chicken inside pandan leaves, making curry pastes, etc. It was like nothing can go wrong, because the ingredients are already portioned in front of us. We only had to follow the instructions to make so aroi dishes. (Now if only cooking was like this everyday. The hard part would just probably be buying all the ingredients needed from the supermarket.)

Tada! Wrapped these myself! :D


The setup of this cooking school was amazing. We weren't inside tiled kitchens. Baipai Thai Cooking School had had a stylish open-air home-like kitchen that's clean, professional, and well-maintained. Each person has an exclusive cooking station.

Happy Helen has cooked a full-course meal! ♥


We ate the dishes we cooked afterwards at their second floor with a cozy open restaurant setup.

Here are what I cooked:

Papaya Salad (Som Tam Ma-la-kor)

I didn't do research beforehand, so I thought the Papaya Salad we were going to make was a dessert with ripe papaya chunks. LOL. It turned out to be unripened papaya made into a spicy salad, which stimulated our appetites for the other dishes we were to eat.

Chicken in Pandanus Leaves (Gai Hor Bai Toey)

Deep-frying this in hot oil was the scary part, as we were told to drop (all 5 pieces) into the frying pot and run. Of course, I ran! Haha. It cooked so quickly. I trimmed the pandan leaves to make it more presentable. One important thing I learned with eating this dish: You don't have to open the leaves to unravel the meat inside. Just find a hole, and fork out the piece of chicken. Done! The chicken meat was so tender and flavorful. I love it!

Red Curry with Pork and Bamboo (Gang Dang Moo Nor Mai)

This is the part where we made red curry paste from scratch. Coconut cream and coconut milk balanced out the spice of this dish. The sweet basil leaves and red chili add a nice touch to the presentation! :D

Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango (Khao Neaw Moon)

And if you think you're already full from the appetizer and main course served...well, there's always room for dessert! I'm most excited to make this at home since I love sweets.


I also ordered drinks on the side. Their servings are huge! I downed a glass of Thai Iced Tea and the same much loved Cold Chrysanthemum Tea (which was served upon our arrival). The drinks went very well with the dishes, and I found them light and very refreshing.

I am not biased, but everything was really good. What a miracle. Haha! Baipai Thai Cooking School brings out the cook in everyone. From beginners to the more experienced ones, everyone in our group enjoyed this experience. We were all unanimous with this verdict: That this experience was the highlight of our 4-day Bangkok trip, and given the chance to revisit the city, we would definitely come back to Baipai again to learn other Thai dishes.


Before the class ended, the kind ladies of Baipai Thai Cooking School handed each of us a souvenir. Something for us to cherish when we went back home. See, they were taking photos the entire time we were cooking, so they chose our best shots, printed them out, framed them with cardboard, and turned them into ref magnets. Sweet! Not only that, they e-mailed us ALL our photos later that night as well.

Thank you Fone, Chef  Noi,  and the team at Baipai Thai Cooking School for the very awesome experience!

When in Bangkok, shopping and sightseeing are in almost everyone's to-do lists. How about learning to cook Thai cuisine? Learning to cook Thai dishes is one of the most amazing souvenirs you can bring with you back home. And recreating the dishes at home will definitely bring back memories from your trip!

Website: www.info@baipai.com (for reservations)
Facebook: Baipai Thai Cooking School
Telephone:
  • Domestic call: Tel: 02-561-1404, Fax: 02-941-0929
  • International call: Tel:  +662-561-1404, Fax:  +662-941-0929

Love,
Helen

Photo Credits: Christopher Chan, Helen Blas, and Baipai Thai Cooking School
Some photos may not have watermarks, but you may not use them without permission.
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