Swarovski's Fall/Winter 2014 Watch Collection.

Thinking of what to give that special lady in your life this Christmas?  Check out Swarovski's Fall/Winter 2014 Watch Collection!

Crystalline Bangle

Bold and eye-catching, the brand-new Crystalline bangle makes a strong fashion statement. Clean lines make way for crystal to be the star of the design. An impressive 1,700 cut crystal stones fill the stainless steel bracelet for a luxurious urban touch. A glamorous fashion accessory in its own right, this watch definitely makes an impression and will create a dramatic touch to any outfit.

Manila's Best Kept Restaurants 2014: Ziggurat Cuisine.

I'm happy that Ziggurat, an old favorite of mine, is the winner of Manila's Best Kept Restaurants this year under the category Middle Eastern cuisine.  I learned about this hole in the wall during my law school days since my fellow night owl blockmates and I were always on a lookout for nearby restaurants that are open 24 hours.  

McDonald's Christmas McFlurries and Apple Pie Ala Mode.

All diets should be put on hold this month with the release of all these special dishes.  Take for instance McDonald's newest line up of holiday desserts!

For those with a soft-spot for chocolate, the new Mudpie McFlurry with Oreo is for you—a merry mix of cookie goodness, rich chocolate sweetness, and vanilla soft-serve bliss in one frozen delight. 

What may be the next best thing to a white Christmas is the White Chocolate McFlurry with Oreo, made with the perfect combination of white chocolate mix-ins and cookie bits blended in your favorite vanilla soft-serve. 

Craving something sweet and savory? Give in to the Apple Pie Ala Mode, with its warm, crunchy cinnamon flavored Apple Pie resting on a bed of vanilla soft-serve, topped with a luscious drizzle of caramel syrup.  I can't wait to try this one!!!

The sheer bliss that only the classic Oreo McFlurry can bring is also still available to add to the holiday cheer. 

Krispy Kreme Christmas Holiday Doughnuts.

I can't believe it's December already.  Christmas is really just around the corner! Speaking of Christmas, have you seen the new Krispy Kreme holiday doughnuts?   They're too cute to eat :p

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 www.pattylaurel.com 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 Café, 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 www.facebook.com/GlitterGlamPH 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.

Whaley House: The Most Haunted House in America.

I have yet to write about my recent trip to the US but in the spirit of Halloween, I'm going to tell you about my visit to the haunted Whaley House in San Diego, California.

My sister Sab and I are adrenaline junkies.  We like doing stuff that will make our heartbeats rise, including hunting for ghosts.  So when I visited Sab a few months back, she made it a point to include the Whaley House in our itinerary.

Once called by LIFE magazine as "the most haunted house in America", the Whaley House has witnessed a great number of deaths which occurred inside or on the land it is on.

Victorinox I.N.O.X.: A Tour de Force Timepiece.

For its 130th anniversary, Victorinox Swiss Army launches a watch of sharp and versatile design that is so strong it defies imagination! The Victorinox I.N.O.X. Watch can be driven over, frozen, dropped.. And yet still be alive!

The name I.N.O.X. comes from the French word for stainless steel, the solid, durable, and corrosion-resistant material that Victorinox adopted more than 50 years before it became the norm in the Swiss watch industry. Marking a shared link between cutlery and watches, I.N.O.X. is as iconic as the Original Swiss Army Knife. Designed to withstand unusual stress, it has passed with flying colors a ruthless battery of 130 strength tests. Beyond the standard certification tests of the Swiss watch industry, a series of new tests was developed specifically for I.N.O.X. watch. 

Oster Kitchen Conversations with Patty Laurel x Sinfully Sabrina.

Unlike my mom, my sister and I lack skills in the kitchen department.  Not that we're not interested because we love food!  I guess it's easier to do the eating than the cooking.  But ever since I've subscribed to Good Housekeeping and other food-related magazines, I've been curious about preparing meals.

Aside from these magazines, I also look at my friend Sab Cristobal-Go's Facebook wall for recipes.  Her posts are so interesting that I couldn't help but ask her why she's not keeping a blog.  Sab tells me that she already has one but she hasn't really been updating it for fear of not having readers.

"Are you kidding?" I tell her. "I know a lot of people will read it.  Your dishes are restaurant-worthy and yet still doable at home.  You should totally build up your blog."

So when I saw Sinfully Sabrina up and running, I was so happy for Sab!   Patty Laurel-Filart, another friend of ours, helped Sab plan her blog launch through Oster Kitchen Conversations.

Marc Coblen's Pink Ribbon Watch To Raise Breast Cancer Awareness.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we usually have fun runs, concerts, charity auctions, and medical missions to help facilitate check-ups and treatments for women who have breast cancer.   However, according to the Philippine Cancer Society, a staggering percentage of Filipinas have a difficult time paying for their treatment, while others are too nervous to continue with theirs. 

This is where Marc Coblen, a Dutch brand created by Jordy Cobelens, the same founder of the well-known timepiece TW Steel (read my blog post about TW Steel), comes in to create a change – and a fashionable one at that. In line with the Breast Cancer Awareness program, Marc Coblen has collaborated with the Philippine Cancer Society’s Best Dressed Women of the Philippines and Lucerne, to create a special edition watch called the "Pink Ribbon Watch"

UNO de 50's 2014-2015 Autumn/Winter Collection.

Earlier this month, I was invited to an exclusive shopping event of UNO de 50's 2014-2015 Autumn/Winter Collection at the new Fashion Hall of SM Megamall.  I asked T's sister Michelle if she wanted to go with me because I know she has been eyeing an UNO de 50 bracelet for a long time.  

Osaka Ohsyo: Japan's #1 Gyoza, Now in Manila!

When I heard that the world's #1 gyoza place is opening in SM Megamall,  I wanted to try it but T and I rarely go beyond Makati.   Luckily, I had an errand to run in Ortigas so I went to Megamall after to check out Osaka Ohsho.

The Wholesome Table in Bonifacio Global City.

After watching a movie in SM Aura, T and I check out this new healthy and organic restaurant in Bonifacio High Street called The Wholesome Table. The wait list is long and we settle for a table outside. 

Get Free Uber Credits With The Code: UBERjoei.

During my recent trip to the States, my high school friends there introduced me to Uber a mobile app that provides chauffer-driven service.  It was most useful to us during 4th of July weekend when traffic was so crazy and parking was almost impossible that no one wanted to bring a car.  And just recently, I discovered that Uber is available in Manila already!  

If you haven't tried it yet, download the Uber app and enter the promo code UBERjoei to receive P300 in credits.  If your destination is not that far, that's a free ride with my code.

Pandora's Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection: A Mystical Tale.

Last September, I was invited to the launch of Pandora's Autumn/Winter Collection 2014 at the new Fashion Hall in SM Megamall. 

Krispy Skremes: Limited Edition Halloween Doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

Krispy Kreme Philippines surprised me yet again with a box of their limited edition Halloween doughnuts called Krispy Skremes.   Scare up a dozen with these spooky (but cute) treats which are available only for a limited time!

Staycation at Crimson Hotel Alabang.

After a really long week, we all need to rest.  I used to love going out of town but that entails a lot of planning and preparation, which my brain can't handle anymore with all the work it's been doing.  So the next best thing? Staycations!

Which is why I am grateful to be invited to a staycation at Crimson Hotel in Filinvest Alabang.

Giveaway: Win Lysol Gift Packs for Global Handwashing Day (CLOSED).

To celebrate Global Handwashing Day, Lysol is giving away gift packs to five (5) lucky readers of Joei & Me.  All you have to do is to take a #handfie like mine below.

Missing You Today and Everyday ♥

Ultimate Whitening Facial by Flawless.

I was invited by Flawless Face & Body Clinic to their SM Megamall branch for the Ultimate Whitening Facial, the first facial treatment in the country that uses a combination of natural exfoliators, antioxidants, and whitening agents to lighten the skin and treat hyperpigmentations, photo damage, and premature aging.

KFC's Breakfast Buffet is Back!

Remember KFC's Breakfast Buffet promo last July?  If you weren't able to try it, lucky you because KFC is bringing it back starting today!  This time, the seven newest KFC branches will offer unlimited breakfast food with unlimited drinks for only P230 per person.

Pancake House's Double Your Love Salisbury Steak Promo.

T and I were invited by Pancake House to try their new Double Your Love Salisbury Steak promo.     For only P350, you get two 1/3 pound premium Salisbury steaks topped with creamy mushroom gravy and bacon bits and served with steamed rice and vegetables.  It's a pretty good deal!

Drinks and tacos not included in the promo.

Want To Be The Next Nestlé Super/Star?

To those who always dreamed of appearing in commercials or on billboards, great news.. Nestlé Fruit Selection Yogurt is looking for their next Super/Star! And not only that, they are also giving away other awesome prizes, like an all expense paid trip to Bali for you and your friends.

But before anything else, let me first tell you about our Nestlé Super/Star Day Away at The Greenery.

Indulgence by Irene at Best Food Forward 2014.

If you asked me for my 10 favorite things in this world, cheesecake would make it to the list.  Which is why I was ecstatic when Indulgence by Irene sent me not only one, not two.. but three cheesecakes!

The Jergens 7-Day Challenge & Giveaway (CLOSED).

Earlier this week, I received a surprise package from Jergens.  I opened the pretty box and saw a few items, as well as a note asking me if I'm up for a 7-Day Challenge.   

The way it works is that I will be sent daily missions and I have to complete them before the day ends.  And just like a mystery that needs to be solved, the box contains the tools I will need to accomplish my tasks.  It's so Nancy Drew (and I love her), therefore.. Challenge is accepted!

I will update this blog post every day as I progress through my missions.  So stick around as I chronicle my journey towards completing The Jergens 7-Day Challenge.  

Wish me luck!

Qi Wellness Living Tagaytay's 8-Course Yin Yang Dinner.

Because I love spas, I was so excited when T and I received an invite to a new dining and wellness destination in Tagaytay called Qi Wellness Living.   

Product Review: Céleteque's DermoScience Advanced Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil and Acne Solutions Acne-Clearing Concealer.

Céleteque sent me two of their new products to try:  The DermoScience Advanced Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil and the DermoScience Acne Solutions Acne-Clearing Concealer.

Yabu: The House of Katsu in Alabang Town Center.

T and I always go back to Yabu: The House of Katsu.  That's why we immediately said yes to Mish who arranged a dinner at the Yabu branch in Alabang Town Center.

We started with a couple of appetizers.  You can order any two of the following for P205 ($4.50++):

Sensei Sushi in BF Homes.

If there's one cuisine I could eat every day, it would be Japanese.  So when T's sister Michelle told me that she tried a good Japanese restaurant in BF Homes, I told T I wanted to go there after a long day at work (which is when I need good food the most).

It's pretty hard to find Sensei Sushi since it's just a little hole-in-the-wall. T had to drive slowly along Aguirre Avenue so we wouldn't miss it. As a guide, look for this sign on your right (if you're coming from Alabang) between a Nuat Thai massage place and a Korean grocery.

Orange Whisk Restaurant and Patisserie.

The thing about most people who live in Alabang is that they don't go anywhere.  And when I say 'anywhere', I mean even places like Sucat or Las Pinas which are just a few kilometers away.   Just a few nights ago, at a birthday party of a friend in her house, everyone was saying how they can't imagine going out for dinners or night outs anymore, especially with the worsening traffic situation and the equally exasperating parking woes.  Although T and I still frequent Makati and Bonifacio Global City to eat, most people here are tamad to go out, especially at our age or older.   

So it was a delight when I found out that we have an invitation from Orange Whisk Restaurant and Patisserie in Better Living to try their dishes.  It's a good excuse to get out of our homes and try something new.