Meet The New Faces of The Food Network & Asian Food Channel: Michele Lean and Sarah Benjamin.

If you remember from my previous post, the Asian Food Channel and the Food Network were looking for fresh faces to host their upcoming shows.   I would've tried out if I had the chance because talking about food and trying different cuisines is like THE dream job!

Luckily, I got to talk to these two lucky ladies who triumphed over hundreds of talent hopefuls during the search for the next 'Food Hero'.  Meet Sarah Benjamin from Singapore and Michele Lean, a Malaysian based in Beijing.

Hi Sarah and Michele! First of all, congratulations for winning Food Hero.
Michele: Thanks Joei! And thanks for taking the time to speak with us!
Sarah: Thank you!

Hello also Sarah! :)

Scout's Honor Craft Cookie Shop: Make Your Own Cookies!

Remember when I took you on a mini virtual tour around Hole In The Wall yesterday?  Well, now I'll tell you about the first stall we tried there called Scout's Honor Craft Cookie Shop.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, T and I went to Century City Mall to pick up my Ni Qua bag but we got lost and ended up in Hole In The Wall.    We were in a rush because T has an important basketball game in the afternoon so even if I haven't eaten lunch yet, I tried not to look at food lest I get hungry.

Hole in the Wall in Century Mall Makati.

Last weekend, T and I went to Century Mall in Makati to get the personalized Ni Qua bag which I designed during Patty Laurel's blog launch (read my post about Come Waste Your Time With Me).  I wasn't sure where the Ni Qua pop store was so we tried asking people and the elevator lady told us to check the 4th floor.  The Ni Qua pop up store wasn't on that floor but I'm glad we ended up there and saw this new place called Hole In The Wall.  

T and I went inside and were surprised with what we saw!

The New Commercenter Alabang Cinemas.


I don't know if other people from Alabang feel the same way but this is such a big deal to me.  I remember when we only had two movie theaters in Alabang, hence the name, Twin Cinemas.  Then came Alabang Town Center and we had two more.   It's been like this for a number of years, or probably even a decade, until the new Commercenter Alabang Cinemas.

Patty Laurel's Blog Launch: Come Waste Your Time With Me.

Last week, Patty Laurel had a relaunch of her blog "Come Waste Your Time With Me" through an intimate gathering with friends at Shine Bakery in SM Aura.  The blog is still housed at but now carries a new look. The color scheme is much simpler but prettier and has come a long way since the "Da Patty" days, earning the hashtag #nenenomore.

I've known Patty since high school and what I like most about her blog is that, like her, it's real.  People who read her blog and see my Instagram photos with Patty all ask me the same thing.. Is Patty how she is in her blog?  Well, if you find her super nice, down-to-earth, funny, and kenkoy by the way that she writes.. That's Patty in real life.   No pretense,  no nothing.  That's really how she is.  And I always tell people that I admire Patty for staying grounded even after all the fame and attention her beauty and talent (may bayad na to Patty!:D) have brought her.  But seriously, that's a rare trait seen in people nowadays and is totally worth mentioning.

Want a trivia about Patty in high school? In her blog, I know she talks about her bloopers and the nickname DAPAtty because she would always trip.  But I don't think she has ever wrote about how she was crowned as our Prom Queen!  Been trying to find a photo of us this whole week but no one has been successful in searching their baul.  But when I get ahold of one, I'll post it as  TBT pic for all you Patty Laurel fans out there ;) 

Anyway, back to the blog launch...

SuperModelMe Season 5 Returns to DIVA Universal.

Feisty Filipinas Irish Ong, 20, and Jasmine Ng, 21, are among this year’s roster of finalists for SupermodelMe – The Original Asian Supermodel Series – which follows 12 aspiring models of Asian heritage competing in a once-in-a-lifetime chance to advance their career in the fashion industry. Ong and Ng appeared in Manila’s Cav Wine Shop and CafĂ©, alongside fellow finalists, Brazilian-Japanese twins Rafaella and Gabriela Leonardo. 

Anniversary (part 4): Lunch at Chateau Hestia Garden Restaurant.

...continued from part 3: The One Bedroom Suite in One Tagaytay Place

I love those hidden restaurants in the Tagaytay/Silang area and Chateau Hestia has always been on my list of places to visit.  However, our plans to go never push through, so this year, we decide to have our anniversary lunch there.

Because it's sort of a hidden place, the question most asked is how to get to Chateau Hestia.  Coming from the Sta Rosa exit, turn right.  As you drive by, look for a sign that says 'To Chateau Hestia' on your right then turn there. There will be more signs along the road so just follow them and you won't get lost.   After around ten to fifteen minutes drive, slow down and you'll see this door.   You have arrived at your destination.

Anniversary (part 3): The One Bedroom Suite in One Tagaytay Place.

...continued from part 2: Dinner at Morielli's Restaurant in Tagaytay

After dinner, T and I head to One Tagaytay Place where we are retiring for the night.  I wrote about this hotel before (read my blog post about One Tagaytay Place) but this time, we are staying in a bigger room.  Actually, T and I only booked a Deluxe Double Room but our friend JR Francisco, who owns the hotel, upgraded us to a One Bedroom Suite.  Thank you J!

The One Bedroom Suite has a receiving area which has its own TV set...

Anniversary (part 2): Dinner at Morielli's Restaurant in Tagaytay.

...continued from part 1: The Bathhouse at Qi Wellness Living

After our massage at Qi Wellness Living, T and I are still full from the meal we had before going up Tagaytay.  But I usually get hungry in the middle of the night so T said we should get something light to eat before heading to our hotel.

We look around while on the road until we see this restaurant called Morielli's.  It looks casual but cozy enough plus T and I are in the mood for Italian food so this place is perfect..  Or so we thought.

Anniversary (part 1): The Bathhouse at Qi Wellness Living Tagaytay.

I always prefer going out of town for birthdays and anniversaries but with my schedule and workload,  flying somewhere is out of the question.  Our go-to place in situations like this?  Tagaytay!

It's perfect since it's just a little bit over an hour's drive but far enough to feel that we are not in the Metro.  And since T and I are so used to going to Tagaytay, it doesn't require much planning or effort.   In fact, this is also where I spent my birthday this year (read my blog post about My Post-Birthday Day Trip to Taal Volcano).  

Under Armour Opens in SM Megamall!

A few months after launching its first-ever Southeast Asia brand store in Bonifacio High Street, the US-based performance footwear and apparel brand Under Armour continued its momentum in the market with the recent opening of the new store in SM Megamall. The launch was attended by high profile celebrities and fitness enthusiasts, all ready to welcome Under Armour’s expansion in the country with an afternoon of jam-packed activities. Included in the prestigious guest list are One FC Fighter Brandon Vera, US Olympian for Volleyball David McKenzie, and Vice Mayor Francis Zamora.

Recovery Food Now in Alabang!

Places that are open 24 hours in Alabang are hard to come by so the choices I'm left with are usually just fast food joints.   This is the only complaint I have about living in the South because my appetite gets bigger as the day ends (I eat full dinners twice or even thrice at night!).    But recently, more and more 24 hour restaurants are popping up in the area.. The latest being Recovery Food, 24/7 All Day Everyday in Molito!

12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub at Century City Mall.

I'm sure people around my age and older miss those days when THE gimik was watching bands like Parokya ni Edgar, Kamikaze, Wolfgang, Razorback, Side A, Southborder, Freestyle perform live on stage.    Well, thanks to 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub in Makati, we can all relive the good ol' days!

Holster Sandals at the 48th International Bazaar in PICC!

Remember those cute jelly sandals and wedges you see me wearing in my Instagram photos?  They're from an Australian brand called Holster and they'll be at the 48th International Bazaar in PICC on November 16

Make sure you drop by Booth E60 because the Holster sandals you eyed at Shoe Salon or Zalora may be on sale that day!  For more information, check out Holster's Facebook Page and Instagram @holsterphilippines.  Happy shopping!

MAC x The Simpsons Limited Edition Collection.

MAC has a collaboration with The Simpsons to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of everyone's favorite animated family!  Presenting the MAC x The Simpsons Limited Edition Collection.

This set became available for one day only during Comic-Con 2014 and for a limited only in MAC stores everywhere.  But almost everything is sold out now!  

Don't fret.  You can still buy the MAC x The Simpsons collection in the Philippines!  Check out Glitter Glam PH on Facebook and IG @GlitterGlamPH. The online store just opened this week and its first release is this awesome MAC x Simpsons collection!

Image credit: Veeoz

Now, let's look at my favorite pieces in the collection.

Asian Food Channel Presents Tareq Taylor's Nordic Flavors.

How often can I say that our lunch was personally prepared by a world-renowned chef?  Not very often, which is why I got excited when I received an invitation from Scripps Networks Asia Pacific to an intimate luncheon at Makati Shangri-La's Sage Restaurant where Swedish Chef Tareq Taylor of Asian Food Channel (AFC)'s Nordic Cookery will prepare lunch for us that day.  

Image credit: Jean Jarlego-Talam

Giveaway: Win a Beauty Gift Pack from ELKE by Evetag (CLOSED).

Since Christmas is just around the corner, my wish is to have blog Santas so I can give you, dear readers, more gifts this season.  And I think my wish is slowly being granted because we have our first Santa!

Elke Cosmetics will be giving one (1) lucky reader of Joei & Me a beauty pack containing their best whitening products.

Here's a closer look at the products inside the Elke Cosmetics beauty pack...

Allen Iverson in Manila!

Some of you may have seen this photo of mine with Allen Iverson on my Facebook page or Instagram wall.    This was taken last night during a meet-and-greet with the former NBA player at Solaire Resort and Casino.  

Iverson is here for "All In", a charity basketball game for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga.  But this time, instead of playing, he will be coaching a team composed of the Ball Up Streetball All-Stars and current and former PBA players like Renren Ritualo, Jerry Codinera, and Willy Miller.

F1 Hotel Manila (part 2): Staycation and BBQ Bonding.

...continued from F1 Hotel Manila (part 1): Christmas Eve and New Years Eve Buffet Offerings

After lunch, I go up to check out our room.  T and I are given the Fort Suite (P13,100/$292+ per night) which is the nicest room in F1 Hotel Manila. Other types of rooms available are the Deluxe Room (P9,500/$212+ per night) and the City Suite (P10,700/$238+ per night).

The Fort Suite is very spacious.  The outer area has a living room and two closets.

F1 Hotel Manila (part 1): Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve Buffet Offerings.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I love staycations because they are the next best thing to out-of-town vacations and involve less planning or coordination.  Which is why T and I are thankful to get another staycation invitation, this time to F1 Hotel Manila in Bonifacio Global City through KTG's main guy Spanky Enriquez and the fab Mama Jane

Halloween 2014: Annabelle the Doll & Billy the Puppet.

I love Halloween!  When we were kids, my mom would dress us up in costumes every year.  Luckily, our village always practiced trick-or-treating, even before Halloween was widely celebrated in the country. Streets were filled with adults and children in costumes, all of the houses had spooky decors and either a scary surprise or chocolate and candies for trick or treaters.  I actually miss those days when Halloween was not yet too commercialized and 'found' just about everywhere.

Regardless, I still love Halloween and prepare costumes for me and T every year.  But at the last minute, T will tell me he doesn't feel like wearing them so we end up not going in costume at all.  This year is our 8th Halloween and I wasn't really expecting anything anymore.

But when T bought masks and consulted me about his costume, I got excited and we talked about what we were going to be.  T and I had a number of options but at the end we decided to be Annabelle the Doll from The Conjuring and Billy the Puppet from the Saw movies.