Looking Back at 2013.

I always feel bad about not being able to blog about important events or trips because of my schedule or a bad case of blogger's block.  So I thought it would be a good idea to go through all of the photos this year and reminisce before 2013 ends.  Here goes!

New Year's Eve 2013

T and I counted down the last few seconds of 2012 in Tagaytay Highlands. I don't know if you guys remember but it was so cold unlike this year's holiday weather.  And because it was freezing in Tagaytay, it didn't seem awkward to wear fur (faux, of course!) or a thick sweater.

OOTD: Forever 21, Rayban, and Nike.

It's been a while since I did an OOTD post so here goes...

What's New in Yabu? Iidako Salad, Chicken Salad, Miso Katsu, Oroshi Katsu, and Mochi Balls!

T and I are fans of Yabu: The House of Katsu so when I got an invitation to try their new dishes, I immediately said yes! 

Mind Body Soul: A Finance & Yoga Retreat in Batangas.

I've always wanted to attend finance seminars so when I heard about the Mind Body Soul: A Finance & Yoga Retreat at Palm Beach Resort in Batangas on March 29-30, it piqued my interest!  Finance? Yoga? The beach?  Sounds interesting!

The Spa Villas at The Fort.

Since my birthday gift for T is still en route to Manila, I treated him to a relaxing evening at The Spa in Bonifacio High Street.  T doesn't really like spas because men don't use their robes and walk around naked (LOL!) so I know getting a private villa with its own facilities would solve that personal space issue.  Besides, I badly needed a massage, too.

T's Birthday at Con Gusto (by Buon Giorno) Alabang.

T and his mom celebrated their birthdays at Con Gusto in Molito Arcade Alabang.

Merry Christmas!

T and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Metro Manila Film Fest: 10,000 Hours.

Last week, T and I got to attend the special screening of 10,000 Hours starring Robin Padilla, Alden Richards, Bela Padilla, Mylene Dizon, Carla Humphries, Pen Medina, Cholo Baretto, among others.  The movie is inspired by the life story of Senator Ping Lacson and is directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal.

Thank you for the tickets, Bela! :*

Christmas Gift Idea: Look/See x G.I. Joe Sunglasses.

Don't know what to give your dad, uncle, brother, husband or son? Chances are, he'll love these Look/See x G.I. Joe limited edition sunglasses.  This is truly a collectible as ONLY 100 UNITS will ever be made in the whole world!  Each package comes in a limited edition blister package based on the original toy packaging from the 80's.  And each pair is only P3,995!

Available at Maxiworks in Powerplant Mall Rockwell and Heroes in Bonifacio High Street.

FREE Tickets to the 15th Ultimate Wedding & Debut Fair.

Are you having your debut or getting married soon?  It would be a good idea to check out the 15th Ultimate Wedding & Debut Fair on January 4 to 5 at the Mega Trade Hall of SM Megamall.  This is the must-go-to event as suppliers offer their best deals and discounts in one place with prices slashed to as much as 50% OFF!  

To get FREE tickets, comment with your name and email address below this post or send me an email at joeiandme@yahoo.com to receive a printable voucher you can use to get in the event for free :)

Facebook Year in Review Feature: 2013 at a Glance.

Most of the time, I check my Facebook account only through my phone.  So during those rare times that I used my desktop, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Facebook "Year in Review" feature.   It's found on the left side of your profile.

Mango Tree Cafe in SM Southmall.

After having lunch for 4 hours in Sambo Kojin (read my blog post about our Christmas lunch), my friends and I wanted coffee to wake us up so we went to Mango Tree Cafe, which was just a few restaurants away.

Sambo Kojin, Yakiniku Smokeless Grill: Grill All You Can, Eat All You Can.

During December, there are lots of socials left and right and my body could not keep up!  I missed the wedding of a law schoolmate and a Christmas party in Alabang but I was feeling a bit better and got to catch up with my high school classmates over lunch at Sambo Kojin in SM Southmall.

Giveaway: Win a Tub Filled with 100pcs of Washi Tape from Tiddlywinks! (CLOSED)

T would always tease me about buying cute but useless stuff.  Well, they're not actually useless but more of things that I don't really need but I buy them just because of their aliw factor.

So let me introduce you to Tiddlywinks, a shop was started by a group of friends who travel a lot and buy those cutsie things to sell!

Like this magnetic map, perfect for the real jetsetter in you.

Price: Php 1,499

Old Fashioned Carnival in Molito Alabang.

If you grew up in Alabang during the 90's, you'd most probably have the best childhood memories in an old-fashioned carnival called 'Big Bang sa Alabang'.  So when I saw a ferris wheel in the Molito Commercial Complex, where Big Bang used to be, I asked T if we could pay a visit.

Cafe Puccini at the Fort Strip.

Coming from the Da Vinci The Genius traveling exhibit in The Mind Museum (read my blog entry about it), T and I thought of having dinner in URBN.  However, the girl on the ground floor told us that they were closed for a private function.  We were about to walk elsewhere when it rained!  We looked around to see if there were any other nice dinner places when the lights of Cafe Puccini caught my eye.

Da Vinci The Genius Traveling Exhibit at The Mind Museum.

Note: I was supposed to publish this last week before the Da Vinci The Genius traveling exhibit left The Mind Museum but my blog editor went bonkers and deleted the detailed entry I composed for two hours! I wanted to cry.  But the experience was pretty awesome so I decided to re-write it though not as detailed as my first draft.   I don't know what's up with The Mind Museum related entries.  This also happened to my first Mind Museum entry. 

I bought tickets to the Da Vinci The Genius traveling exhibit at pre-selling but due to hectic schedules, T and I were only able to go a week before it left.

Book Launch of To Dream The Impossible Dream.

Last Friday was the launch of Senator Pia Cayetano's newest book, To Dream The Impossible Dream and other lessons from my dad, Companero Rene Luna Cayetano, at Top Shelf in Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street.

Yulo Zander Baydo's Dedication.

Two Sundays ago, I attended the dedication of my godson Yulo Zander at the Ayala Southvale Clubhouse in DaangHari, Las Pinas.

Ukkokei Ramen Ron in McKinley Hill.

On that stormy day when almost all, if not all, schools suspended classes, offices called off work, and most of the streets were not passable and flooded, I had to work so T (boyfriend of the year award!) picked me up in Fort.

Rainy day and all, I wanted ramen but Makati was too far in that weather.  Good thing T remembered that Ukkokei Ramen Ron opened a branch in McKinley Hill.

What a colorful menu!

Grand Opening of Bugsy's Bar & Bistro Alabang.

Join us as Bugsy's Alabang opens its doors tomorrow, November 27.  Open bar starts at 8pm.

UP IE Club Brings Us FOODPORT 2013!

I love food fairs.  Who doesn't?  So if you're not doing anything on November 30 to December 1, the UP Industrial Engineering (IE) Club is having a food fair called FOODPORT 2013 at the Christ The King Parish Multipurpose Hall in Greenmeadows Avenue.  

Proceeds of the event will benefit the UP IE Club Scholarship Fund which sends underprivileged students through college. 

The Addams Family: A New Musical at the Meralco Theater.

When I heard from my friend Dianne Lee that my favorite cartoon was made into a musical here in the Philippines, I just had to watch it!

"THE ADDAMS FAMILY features as original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents never met.

And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia.

Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents." -vivaatlantistheatricals.com

Press Cafe in Alabang, Revisited.. and Disappointed.

Since T was busy with his new business venture earlier today, I told myself I'd catch up on my blogging because the entries in my draft folder have been piling up.  I chose to go to Press Cafe in Fully Booked Alabang since the food is good and the ambiance is conducive to studying, or in my case, blogging.  

Boy, was I wrong.  

Let me start with the food.  I ordered one of my "usuals" from my law school days, the Chicken Roulade (P220/$5) which is grilled chicken and cucumber rolled in soft tortilla with balsamic and honey mustard sauce. 

On the upside, the serving size has increased.  On the downside, the taste was blah.  Aside from the sprinkle of honey mustard and balsamic on the top and watered down dressing in the middle, the rolls were so dry!  And the grilled chicken didn't have any flavor.  So disappointing.  I should have just gotten a grilled cheese sandwich.

Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen in Nuvali Sta Rosa.

I first heard of Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen during my friend Ivy's baby shower (read my blog post about Fred & Ivy's wedding) and have heard nothing but good reviews about it ever since. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go to the party because of work so I wasn't able to try their food.  

So when T and I were Nuvali in Sta Rosa and saw that there was a Mama Lou's branch there, we immediately went inside.

Dine for a Cause, Help Victims of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.

A number of restaurants pledged a portion of their sales this weekend for the victims of Yolanda through the Philippine Red Cross.  Maybe posting a food pic from these establishments would be forgivable to some ;)

Here is a list of those restaurants:

Harry Potter's Butterbeer Now Available in Starbucks!

Aside from the Christmas drinks, I was excited about another thing this week from Starbucks Philippines. My sister and my friend Ara Sam just told me that they are now serving the famous (well, for us Harry Potter fans) butterbeer! For those not familiar with the book, butterbeer is "a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch."

So before T and I headed for Sta. Rosa for our Sundate fundate, we stopped by Starbucks along South Superhighway so I could get a taste of this "secret" drink.

How To Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan aka Yolanda.

As we all know, the strongest typhoon in the world Haiyan, more known in the Philippines as Yolanda, has brought so much pain to the country the past week.

I know I am not alone when I say I can't bear to look at the photos or hear the news as my heart breaks for my fellow countrymen who were affected by this calamity. So instead of talking about the extent of the destruction it has caused, I collated information on how you can help victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Feel free to share more information in the comments section or email me at joeiandme @ yahoo.com.

What NOT To Give to Relief Aid

List of Tacloban survivors

Starbucks Via Ready Brew Iced Coffee.

None of my posts are sponsored by Starbucks but I think I've been posting a lot about them through the years because I'm a fan!  So let's do a Starbucks "Whats in the bag?" post.

Pinkberry Now Open in Alabang Town Center.

Although I'm sad to see Golden Spoon go, I'm happy that it's Pinkberry that replaced it in Alabang Town Center.

Beyond Yoga: Anti Gravity Yoga, Zumba, and Disco Flying Fitness.

I first heard of Anti-Gravity Yoga (AGY) a year (or two??) back and I'd see pictures on Facebook of my friends doing it.  Unfortunately, the only Beyond Yoga studio at that time was in Quezon City, too far for me to go to. Time passed and I totally forgot about working out or any physical activity for that matter after I sprained my ankle and then injured my back, just when my ankle was getting better.

Then one day, Senator Pia asked me if I wanted to try AGY in Beyond Yoga Fort.  I thought, why not?  It was about time I got back to doing some kind of exercise or physical activity after a long hiatus from fitness.

I was more excited than nervous for my first AGY session.  Our instructor's name was Roxanne who started the class by asking the first timers to raise their hand.  I looked around and saw only me with my hand up.

Eek.  Breathe in, breathe out.  I can do this.

And I did!  Roxanne was very patient with everyone but at the same time challenged us with poses not even those on their 3rd or 4th class have done previously.  My favorite Anti-Gravity pose, which Roxanne said is also her signature pose, that day was the "Angel".  A bit difficult since even Roxanne said that it took her 6 months to master it.  But she guided each and every one of us through the pose.

Giveaway: Php 2,000 Le Coeur de France GCs! (CLOSED)

Given an extra, extra hectic schedule, I've lost all energy for blogging.  Then one day, Le Coeur de France surprised me with an early Christmas present.. Croughnuts!

And not only that, they're sponsoring a giveaway on Joei & Me.  This is just the inspiration I need!  So here's an early Christmas treat... One of you will get a chance to win Php 2,000 worth of GCs from Le Coeur de France!

Salted Caramel Pancakes from Pancake House.

Even if the "Cookie Butter" craze isn't fully over yet, here comes "Salted Caramel".  As soon as I heard that Pancake House has is offering Salted Caramel and Walnut Pancakes, I began craving.  So T and I went to the newly-opened Pancake House near Alabang Hills, Alabang 400 and Hillsborough. 

Starbucks '50% Off Any Beverage' Promo.

So I walk into Starbucks Magallanes and see this...

Buy any breakfast sandwich and receive 50% off on any handcrafted beverage from October 1-15, 2013 from 6:30AM to 11:00AM.

The Lobby at the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

My other blog post on the Lobby at the Manila Peninsula:
Ara's Birthday (part 2): Dessert at The Lobby at the Manila Peninsula.

You had dinner with your friends and the restaurant's about to close.  You still want to hang out but you don't really feel like clubbing nor going to a Starbucks.  By that time, everything's closed.  So where do you go?  We've had this dilemma one too many times and realized there aren't too many good 24 hour places in Metro Manila.  There are only a few that I know of and one of them is The Lobby at Manila Peninsula Hotel.

Sweet Bella Cafe in Burgos Circle.

I think I have an addiction to macarons.  It started during T's birthday (read my blog entry on The Stache Bash) last December.  In the future, I'll list all of the macaron places I've been to but for now, I'll share with you my thoughts about the macarons of Sweet Bella in Fort.

Size Matters Flamed Grilled Sausage Burgers.

I was feeling a bit under the weather so T and I just decided to get Serenitea after his basketball game.  I was already on my way when T stopped by this newly opened mini restaurant near the cinemas in Alabang Town Center.. Size Matters.

Prince Albert Rotisserie.

Note: Apologies for the grainy photos.  The lighting of the restaurant was a bit dim and I only had my iPhone with me.

They say one of the best places that serve steak is Prince Albert at the InterContinental Hotel in Makati.  So when Deal Grocer offered something from this restaurant, I immediately bought 2 coupons which include 200g of steak, potatoes, and vegetables per person.  I forgot how much it was because I bought it a while back and just remembered that it was about to expire by the end of August so we had to use it.

OOTD: Animo La Salle!

Last weekend, I wasn't feeling well but my day got absolutely better when T handed me a paper bag from Sole Academy because I love surprises!

Launch of the New Apple iPhones: iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

The post scheduled to be published today was supposed to be an OOTD post but since I love technology more than fashion (yes, really ;)), I decided to dedicate today's post to the new iPhones, the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. 

You know something's up when the Apple Store will 'be back'.

Cebu Pacific Piso Fare Promo for All Destinations.

Cebu Pacific is at it again!  Piso fare is back for ALL destinations -- Philippine or international.

Kaya Korean Restaurant.

When I was still studying, one of our go-to lunch places was Kaya, a Korean restaurant at the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell.

Launch of VELOCI's New Watch Collection at Imperial Bar.

Stylish. Young. Elegant. These three words perfectly describe the Italian-inspired VELOCI watch collection. VELOCI gives new meaning to wearing a wristwatch as the newest lineup breathes new life to classic watch designs through its unique Italian-inspired design, technology, and passion. 

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of VELOCI's new collection in Imperial Bar at the Fort Strip. 

New Harry Potter Covers by Kazu Kibuishi.

Call me a geek but I love Harry Potter.  Obviously, I have all the hardbound books.  

K-Pub BBQ Meat All You Can.

Ever wonder what that bright shiny establishment is beside Prive?  It looks like a nightclub from afar but it's a meat-all-you-can Korean restaurant called K-Pub BBQ.

Saboten Japanese Cutlet.

Is katsu the next Japanese food craze after ramen?  It seems like places that serve tonkatsu have been making a splash in blogs! Let me tell you about the latest one I've been to, Saboten Japanese Cutlet in Serendra.  It's beside Powerbooks and Mamou, where the Thai restaurant Silk used to be located.

Park Avenue Desserts in Magallanes.

After having dinner in Dayrit's (read my blog entry about this old favorite), I wanted dessert and coffee.  Cafe Breton is just beside Dayrit's but T saw another place in the area called Park Avenue Desserts.

Dayrit's Burger and Roast Beef House: An Old Favorite.

Yesterday, I was on girlfriend duty (aka watching T's basketball game), the least I could do since T watched "The Conjuring" with me against his better judgment.  After the game, T had to hurriedly go to Makati for an errand and I tagged along.

We were famished after the errand (T played basketball so what's my excuse?) but both not dressed to have dinner out.  I was thinking anything meat, T was thinking roast beef.  And where else can we go that's relaxed but serves really good roast beef?  Dayrit's!

Aladin 24 in BF Homes Paranaque.

Good Japanese or Korean BBQ doesn't have to be expensive.  Aladin 24 in BF Homes is proof of that.