S&R November Finds: Christmas Gifts and Decors.

Are you done with Christmas shopping? Is your tree up already? If your answer is no, you might want to check out these Christmas gifts and decors I saw at S&R this weekend.

Chef Martin Yan's Taste of Vietnam Celebrity Chef Tour in Manila.

"Yan can cook.. And so can you!"

Sounds familiar?  Last month, I had the opportunity to meet the person who made that line famous in his show 'Cook With Yan'... Chef Martin Yan!  I was one of the few lucky ones invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by the Asian Food Channel for their celebrity chef tour at the New World Hotel in Makati.  

When I arrive at our table, I find a cutting board signed by Chef Martin on my seat.  What a cool giveaway!  I don't think I'll be able to use it for fear of washing off the signature.

Kaskade at The Palace Pool Club.

Don't you have a chuckle every morning when Facebook shows your "memory of the day" which can range from a monumental event to something really random and you can't even remember what the status or photo was about? More often than not though, the Facebook notification brings a smile to my face because I am reminded of the importance of keeping those memories intact.  I used to record everything in journals but as I grew older, I wrote less and less even if I tell myself to write more.  I know there's Facebook and Instagram but I'm sure one day, they will also become obsolete like what happened to Multiply.  Gosh, it hurts to remember all those uploaded memories gone to cyber wasteland!  And so, there seems to be only one memory vault I can rely on... My blog.  I know blogs may suffer the same fate as the other social media sites but so far, it's the only thing on the Internet that has remained constantly with me throughout the years.   

I know Joei & Me is mainly about food and travel since those are the things T and I find joy in most of the time. But because of the realization that I need to preserve all kinds of fun and happy moments, you might see blog posts that are mostly photos, with only a few words in between..    Just like this post about Kaskade who performed last Friday at The Palace Pool Club.

Rita's Italian Ice, Now Open in Alabang Town Center.

Note: Updated this blog post to tell you about our recent visit to Rita's!  Please read until the end :)

Another establishment opened in Alabang Town Center (ATC) this month.. Rita's Italian Ice!

TWG Tea, Now Open in Alabang Town Center.

A lot of things have been happening lately that I barely have time to sit down and blog.   But I don't want days or weeks to pass without any updates so while I'm waiting for iTunes to restore data on my new iPhone 6s (yipee!), I thought of writing a short post about a favorite establishment of mine which recently opened in Alabang Town Center... TWG Tea!

I discovered the stall accidentally while I was walking around the mall one afternoon.  I thought it was a mirage because I haven't heard of any announcement of a branch opening in Town Center.  When I saw that it was really a legit TWG, I hurriedly approached it and bought macarons.   

T's niece Natalia is also a macaron monster like me.  So when I had lunch with T's family at 8 Cuts, which also just recently opened in the area, Natalia was so excited when I told her that there are TWG macarons nearby!

#RawFoodIsTheNewHot: Learn About The Raw Vegan Lifestyle with Chef Sonia Astudillo.

It's almost the end of the year again and I'm sure one New Year's resolution we will all have is to live a healthy lifestyle, am I right? I've had this on my list for as long as I can remember but the reason why I can't seem to stick to it is because I CANNOT diet.  I enjoy eating, and to deprive myself of food will leave me sad and miserable.  But by reading books and talking to people who are knowledgeable about the topic, I learned that being healthy does not necessarily mean restricting yourself of good food.  On the contrary, what it means is that I just have to be smarter with the choices I make when it comes to the food that I eat.

If this is something you can relate to, you might be interested in a five-part part workshop series with UP-cum laude graduate and Bali-certified raw chef Sonia Astudillo at Sugarleaf Makati called #RawFoodIsTheNewHot.  Each class will help build your knowledge about raw food and its benefits, ingredients, going organic, super foods, and more.  Can you believe this is made of raw food?

Mr. Graham's Sandwich Shop.

Remember that cute little cafe I wrote about a while back called Mrs. Graham's Macarons (read my blog post about the cafe)?  Well, T and I were invited to the new establishment next door owned by Mrs. Graham's husband, Chris.  The restaurant is aptly called Mr Graham's Sandwich Shop.