Dec 29, 2010

Zeno Hot Spot.

I rarely breakout, maybe a pimple or two when our 'monthly friend' comes to visit, but this product is getting me all curious!



ZENO HOT SPOT is a hand-held device that uses a single ingredient you can actually pronounce - heat - to destroy the bacteria that causes your pimples. The result: quick and painless acne relief.




Sounds like the perfect gadget to have in your purse for those zit emergencies right?  I'd buy it in an instant if not for three things: First, it's only good for 80 uses.  And according to the manual, you have to zap a zit a couple of times a day.  So, 80 uses wouldn't get you that far.  Second, it's $40.  Not really that expensive but it's the same amount I spend for two other products I usually buy for these kinds of emergencies.  Those are tried and tested, this one isn't.  Third, the product got mixed reviews.  Some say Zeno works, some say it doesn't.  Some claim the Zeno lasted them for more than 80 uses, some claim it lasted them for only 3-5 uses.  

Anybody ever tried this product?  To buy or not to buy?













image credits:
Target.com

Dec 26, 2010

Christmas Loot Bag.

Hi everyone! How was Christmas? It's been raining non-stop here in SoCal (which is out of ordinary) and everything's closed today so I figured this is the best time to update my blog.  I've actually been suffering from bloglaziness-itis for some time now and quite honestly, I still have it up to this very minute. However, I'll try my best to get the gears going again starting with a peek into my Christmas loot.




Nov 4, 2010

Re-discovering Tia Maria's.

Warning: Still under the influence of margarita while writing this post ;)

T and I were supposed to go to Tagaytay for dinner but because something was wrong with my phone, which received messages only 3 hours after it was sent, the plan didn't push through.  After discovering the problem  with my phone and talking for a bit, T and I ended up craving for Mexican food.

The first place we went to was Mexicali in Alabang Town Center.  Closed.  The next one we went to was Poquito Mas in Westgaste Alabang.  Closed.  With the way things were going, we really were tempted to just do the usual Army Navy again.   But since we were both in the mood to try something different, T and I gave it one last try and headed for a mall we barely go to.  And there it was, a Mexican place that was still open at 9:30pm... Tia Maria's!



Tia Maria's isn't exactly new.  I remember it being such a hit at one point during the early 90's but eventually its popularity died down nearing the latter part the decade.  Good thing it was re-introduced again through a Festival Mall Alabang branch which opened last year.




I was craving for nachos so I got the Nachos Grande (P335)*.  Tia Maria's Nachos Grande was a big platter of nachos topped with Cheddar sauce, fresh salsa, black olives, jalapenos and drizzled with sour cream.  YUM!  The serving's good for 3-4 persons but what the heck.




T was supposed to order beer to go with the nachos but since Tia Maria's had a promo, we went for it.  Nacho Grande + Pitcher of Margarita for only P495 (savings of P95).   I think the bartender loved us a little bit too much and added more than the usual tequila in the mix.




Originally, T was only supposed to order Tacos (P138) to satisfy his craving.  But since he felt like having an eating binge, T got the Mexican Platter (P480) which was a large plate loaded with a Super Burrito, Enchiladas, Tacos and Quesadillas.  It came with condiments such as salsa fresca, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese sauce.   The server said the platter was good for 4-5 persons.  Bring it on!




Everything was good, from the nachos to the platter to the margarita.   Usually, Mexican food gets icky after a while (for those not used to the rich flavor of the various spices used) but I never felt that way despite eating dishes good for 8-10 persons.  It was also a big plus that everyone from the servers to the bartenders were really nice.  From the time we entered Tia Maria's until the time we left, everyone was so friendly and attentive.




I don't know how many girlfriends can say they've drunk margaritas with their boyfriends or how many boyfriends can say they went on a foodtrip eating stuff good for 10 people with their girlfriends.  Well tonight, T and I did!  And it really was fun fun fun ;)  Till the next spur-of-the-moment thing... Ay Caramba!


Tia Maria's
Dining Date: 3 November 2010


3rd Level Festival Supermall
Commerce Avenue
Alabang, Muntinlupa CityPhilippines
(632) 659-2832


522 Remedios Street cor Madre Ignacia St.
Malate, Manila
Philippines
(632) 522-0429


552 United Nations Avenue
Ermita, Manila
Philippines
(632) 525-7389


4th Level Bridgeway
SM Megamall
Dona Julia Vargas Avenue, Mandaluyong City
Philippines


Katipunan Avenue cor Alvero St.
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Philippines
(632) 426-2350


Upper Ground Level Back Terrace
SM City Baguio
Baguio City
Philippines
(6374) 619-7681









*Approximately $1 = P50

Oct 29, 2010

My High School Reunion.

I rarely blog about things not related to any of the categories listed on my blog, especially really personal  circumstances.  But my grand high school reunion meant so much to me that I couldn't help but publish an entry about it.

A few minutes before everyone arrived.

The story behind it all.

Mid-year I came to realize that it was already 10 years since we graduated from high school but I haven't heard a single buzz about any planning for a reunion whatsoever.  Most of my happiest moments were during those years so I wasn't going to let something important like our 10th year pass without any kind of get-together.  

Welcome toast by the organizers!

I'm not in touch with everybody from our batch but fortunately, at our time and age, we have Facebook which miraculously reaches out to anyone and everyone, here and beyond.  So, I opened an account under our school and batch's name, posted it on my profile and asked everyone I was still in touch with to do the same.  In just 2 to 3 days, there were more than a hundred LIKES on the page.  Success! 


The planning begins.

The next step was to call a meeting to plan the reunion.  I was shocked with the attendance! So many attended that we dubbed that meeting a 'mini-reunion'.  The same number of people attended the second meeting.  The momentum was really building.



Everything was in order but by the time July came, I became so busy that I was afraid the planning would be a bust!  Good thing Ben and Russ were there to keep everything going.   Thank you so much guys!  Without you, the reunion wouldn't have been a success :)


With my fellow organizers: Russ and Ben.


After only a few months of planning, October 23 was THE date.  Everybody was excited despite news of thunderstorms coming our way.  Rain or shine, the reunion was a go!



Batch Unity.

Russ, Ben and I were touched with the overwhelming support our batchmates gave.  Neil, King (owner of the 1st Mizuno outlet in the Philppines which by the way is opening in Sta Rosa Laguna this month!), Steeve M and Ping all have been so generous in donating funds so we could make the reunion a success.  Anton O and Max likewise gave pledges, thank you!


classmates for 4 years!
 
Iza made sure that our Facebook page was overloaded with teasers, videos and posters to keep our batchmates excited for the reunion.  Pia (the Philippines' first female drifter) headed the program and hosted with Monty (lead vocals and guitarist of the band Mayonnaise).   Special thanks is also due to our batchmates who reached celebrity status *wink* Bianca (former Big Brother housemate now host of SNN) and Patty (former MTV VJ now teacher Patty to her kids) for allowing us to use their faces for our posters and to the Friday Club for bringing cases of beer for everybody.


The Friday Club meets the volleyball players.
Senior-A!
Senior-A plus other batchmates.
My "students" -- classmates who I tutor :)

Of course, this blog entry wouldn't have been made possible without the efforts of Joseph, Jam, Arlo and JM who tirelessly took photos during the event.   We all had goodie bags to take home thanks to Anne (Rexona) and Christa (Avon).  Remember the stage and the balloons?  This is all thanks to Justin and his wife.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

It is indeed ironic that we spend our school days yearning to graduate and our remaining days waxing nostalgic about our school days.

Back in the 90's, there was this really big fad called the Neoprint.  It's an automated, coin-operated vending machine that takes a series of photographs of you and your friends and prints them out as little stickers with cute Japanese designs of your choice.  We relived this fad by getting a photobooth (c/o Jam.. Thank you!), year-2010 style.

With my senior classmates.

With the volleyball players.

T joined us, too!

Wacky!

My "students" :)

There was supposed to be around 15 of us but we couldn't fit!

Mix of everyone!

While Ben was doing the RSVP list, we noticed that a lot of our batchmates were already in Europe or the US.  Good thing I remembered about the possibility of setting up livestreaming so they could still be part of the program even if they're oceans away!


Setting up our livestreaming broadcast.
Never mind the boys we dated, all the break-ups we hated.  Remember laughing and crying, sneaking out, cheating and lying.  Singing so loud, getting lost in the crowd.  The party never stops, the angel face while talking to the cops.  High school may be over fast, but we're still making memories last.

Zobel Batch 2000!


Oct 23, 2010

Sweets For My Sweets: Gelatissimo And Frutti Froyo.

Yes, another yogurt post!  But this time, with a twist of gelato ;)


Gelatissimo

A hunt for the perfect dress to wear to my grand high school reunion brought me and T to Greenbelt.  Despite a really filling dinner at Dillinger's (saving this for another post), I started to crave for something sweet at the end of the day.  Just in time, a couple passed by us with little cups in their hands.

"I want that!!!", I told T.  

So, we searched Greenbelt 5 until we found a big crowd on the 2nd floor.   Turns out, they were all lining up to get a cup of gelato at Gelatissimo Cafe.


There were more people around the area.

Two things that surprised me about Gelatissimo Cafe: 

1. It's a franchise from Australia
Initially, I thought it was a locally grown concept.  My next guess would be it's a franchise from the US or Italy.  Both times, I guessed wrong.  Gelatissimo Cafe is from Australia.

2. The Greenbelt branch is already their 3rd one.
They opened their first two branches in Cebu.  According to their website, they'll be opening a 4th branch in Trinoma and a 5th branch in Serendra soon.


Thought this bottle of water was imported but turns out, it's from Cebu!

I've always wondered how gelato and ice cream differed.  Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned that gelato is just Italy's version of, well, ice cream though gelato usually has a lower butterfat and sugar content than the regular ice cream.


The gelatos are based on home recipes.

There were so many flavors to choose from at Gelatissimo Cafe!  Good thing they allow free sampling or I wouldn't know which one to pick though it was just a bit difficult to do since the place was packed.  T and I were just fortunate to have an attentive server waiting for us to point, point and point at flavors we wanted to try. 


Love it how they place 'ingredients' on top of the gelato (check out the yogurt cups!)

After tasting a whole bunch of flavors, I still couldn't decide between strawberry and rockmelon.  My bright idea?  Get a medium cup so I can have both!  T, who couldn't decide between 3 flavors, followed my strategy and got the large cup.  Only later did we realize that the small cup is more than enough for one person (especially for those who had a rather filling dinner aka us ;))


First-timers, try the small cup first!

They also have Take Home packs in 500mL and 1L sizes!

I don't remember the last time I had gelato since I became a yogurt junkie so I really can't compare my experience in Gelatissimo Cafe with anything else.   Probably just the gelato in Amici which is also superb.  But in any case, T and I really enjoyed our Gelatissimo cups.  5 stars!  The only thing they can improve on though is their present set-up of having the door opposite the cashier.  Moving the entrance to the other end of the store away from the cashier would be more efficient since it would separate people who are just requesting for samples from those who are paying or getting their orders already.


Gelatissimo Cafe
Dining Date: 22 October 2010


2nd Level, Greenbelt 5
Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St., Ayala Center
Makati City
Philippines



Frutti Froyo


Apologies for the blurry pictures since I only took them with my iPhone.  I really have to get the new Lumix soon *wink*


My wish has been granted.  They finally opened a yogurt place in the South that charge by the weight!  Everyone meet Frutti Froyo :)


I love the set-up.. so colorful! ;)
 
The children's corner complete with stage and kiddie chairs.

Just like Yoggle, Frutti Froyo is a self-serve yogurt place.  You get your own cup, mix your own yogurt and pick your own toppings.  And instead of billing you by the scoop or the number of toppings, the cashier weighs your cup and charges by the ounce.


There were 8 flavors of yogurt.

Get your own cup!

But though the concept is the same, I'd prefer Frutti  Froyo over Yoggle.  First, the ambiance of Frutti Froyo is more appealing with the happy colors, modern interiors and bright lights.


Feeling like a kid again ;)


Second, there are more toppings to choose from in Frutti Froyo.  Plus, they're all arrange in cool dispensers.  Yoggle toppings are just placed in simple metal containers.


So many toppings to choose from!

Fruits.

BIGGGGG bottles of syrups!
 
Third, Frutti Froyo's dark chocolate syrup is divine!  I guess it's because the brands they carry are more expensive.   Yoggle only carries Hershey's and Reese's Pieces syrup which I can easily get at the  supermarket.


Love love love this!

T and I shared a cup so the cost was around P260.  Not bad at P130/person, just like Yoggle.  The verdict?  I'll take Frutti Froyo over Yoggle any time but only for the ambiance of the Alabang branch and the wider range of choices.  I'm just not too sure if the other branches look the same and offer similar choices.
 

Frutti Froyo
Dining Date: 14 October 2010


The Commerce Center
Commerce Avenue
Filinvest Corporate City
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Philippines


Trinoma
Edsa corner North Avenue
Quezon City
Philippines


Petron Square
Katipunan Avenue corner Mangyan Road
La Vista, Quezon City
Philippines


Tomas Morato
corner Scout Madrinan
Quezon City
Philippines



 

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