What’s new with Macao Imperial Tea?

Are you fond of milk teas, specifically MACAO IMPERIAL TEA?

You’d be glad to know that they’ve opened a super cool and hip branch last Saturday at SM City Masinag.

Grand Opening Day, SM City Masinag

Look how colorful and neatly packaged each of these drinks come in.

Uji Matcha, Over the Rainbow and Cranberry
Uji Matcha, Over the Rainbow and Cranberry
Lots of pretty options to choose from
Cheesecake and Pearl Milk Tea, For You (Special drink), Cream Cheese Oreo Milk Tea

Aside from serving hand crafted, yummy milk teas, this new branch overdelivered by providing a super cool and relaxing ambiance making it an ideal place for get togethers.

It is not surprising for a LOT of people to line up just to have a cup of especially-made treat from Macao Imperial Tea.

There’s surely a drink that calls your name! Visit them and you’ll be glad you did!

Heavenly goodness of Avocadoria

Have you tried the new craze in town? Most likely, you’ve heard already of Avocadoria.ph which specializes in decadent avocado-based desserts by Chef Czarina.

I know for a fact that Avocados are different from other fruits. I know this because lately, I’ve been trying to watch what I eat. Most fruits are high in sugar and carbohydrates but not avocados. Avocados happen to be  filled with healthy, essential fats. I just love plain avocados with a little milk or as toppings on salad. Naturally, I was drawn to avocadoria!

Avocado Lover

I was given my first ever Dream Lover by Avocadoria and oh my! It’s really heavenly!!!Big chunks of avocado in avocado ice cream, with and almond nuts, tapioca pearls and with a dash of chia seeds and flaxseed. It is really good and yummy!

No wonder Avocadoria is all over the city!!! They recently opened at SM City Masinag and I’m just happy to be there and experience it for the first time.

They offer the following signature treats:

  • Avocado Ice Cream Cheesecake (P550/one tin),
  • Avocado Lover (P110/8 oz, P125/12 oz) which has avocado soft-serve, avocado slices, nuts, crushed graham crackers, flax, and chia seeds;
  •  Avocado Dream (P90), which is avocado ice cream served in an avocado shell and topped with pastillas
  • Avocado Shake which is made by real avocado with fresh fruit topping of your choice: avocado, mango, chico, guyabano and jackfruit.

From me to you: This one is a must try! 

K Hotel and Residences, Pampanga – A Review

We wanted a quick family getaway for the long weekend and we thought of going North – NOT too north like Ilocos as we wouldn’t like that much time to travel, but someplace just a few hours away from Manila. Our top 2 choices – Tagaytay or Pampanga.  We chose the latter. After a quick look at Expedia.com. I was able to book a a room at K Hotel and Residences.   It was (a bit of) a challenge looking for a big room which can cater to 5 people +1 kid. With patience and lots of prayers, I was able to get a big room with 2 King beds which can cater to 6 people. Yey!

 

 

IMG_1723

Facade

 

IMG_1842

The hotel entrance and lobby

K Hotel and Residences (formerly Grandview hotel)

I like the hotel. Half of the hotel is under renovation but I like that it is cozy and cheerful. It has a wide lobby with a big sofa perfect for photo opportunities with your friends and family. The carpeted, lamp-lit hallways can be a bit eerie but music coming from the speakers improved the view. Staff were also very friendly.

We were assigned a dedicated parking lot in the hotel basement and it was well guarded. I was personally thankful for it. Some of the hotels and inns in the area do not have a secured parking lot. Their guests parked their cars just in front of the building. I doubt if that is secured at all. Anyway, we were all happy we didn’t have to worry about the car.

We were happy with the room. (Thank you God!) The King Premium room was (or seems to be) newly renovated. It is wide, bright and just perfect for us.

IMG_1809

Two King beds for our wide, spacious room

Wifi was a bit of a problem at that time (We were told there was a problem with the connection, hope they resolve this soon.) The room came equipped with a good big bathroom with a tub, room ref, TV and the usual complimentary bottled water and coffee.

 

IMG_1812

 

IMG_1805

 

I also like their outdoor pool located at the top floor of the hotel. Just perfect for the family. The view is pleasant and you can’t help but feel relaxed when you see a big portion of the area. There were chairs and tables to put your things in and have your snacks. There was a tall wall with flowing water, similar to a water fall. There was a also a small Jacuzzi in the corner of the pool.

 

IMG_1801

Outdoor pool

 

IMG_1781

 

IMG_1795

 

IMG_1786

We stayed for 2 nights costing us only P6,000.00. We were able to relax and get our much needed sleep. We had a happy family time and go to Nayong Pilipino and eat at Pampanga’s well known Binulo restaurant. The location is perfect as it is very near a 7/11 convenience store and a string of fast food joints – Jollibee, Chowking etc..

 

IMG_2280

Happy family

It really was such a special time for the family  It was such a blessing to have discovered K Hotel and Residences.

This is an unbiased review.

Cafe Caudal in Rizal

We are on the lookout for exciting places near our area and we found Cafe’ Caudal which serves delicious coffee and tasty, savory treats.  The place is nice, quiet and cozy – perfect when you are dining with friends or just need a place to relax and chillax.

 

IMG_8850

Chic and Cozy

 

IMG_8872

Latte

 

IMG_8867

Blueberry Cheesecake, Red velvet cake and Tres Leches

 

 

IMG_8861

Red Velvet!

 

IMG_8852

 

 

IMG_8843

Enjoying the place

 

Cafe Caudal is located at C. Gonzaga Bldg. Brgy San Juan, Taytay Rizal.  Contact numbers are 0936-977-8601 or (02) 881-0918 and you may look for Karen.   They are available 9-am to 12 midnight everyday.

SM Cinema opens 55th branch in Angono

What an exciting time for Angono folks as SM Cinema completes the movie entertainment experience in Rizal with 4 new fully digitized cinemas in SM Center Angono on Wednesday, December 16.

I am so happy to witness this historical event and I’m proud for my hometown!

PLS_SMCinemaAngono_1251

Traditional Clapper Rites to formally open SM Cinema Angono.  

 

PLS_SMCinemaAngono_1257

Now Open!  From left to right, Mr. Edgar Tejerero, President, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc, Prof. Ligaya Rubin (Wife of Vice Mayor Antonio Rubin), Hon. Mayor Gerardo Calderon of Angono, Rizal, Mr. Joaquin San Agustin, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Shopping Center Management Corporation, Ms. Edwin Nava, Vice President of Operations, SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc.

The cinemas boast of its crisp digital surround-sound system and crystal clear images that convey that best theatre experience. Promising to deliver optimum movie-watching, each theatre will cater to 200 patrons in a stadium-like seating, making certain that all patrons will enjoy the view from any seat they choose. As a standard in all SM Cinemas, SM Cinema apportions an area dedicated to PWD to accommodate all varieties of guests.

PLS_SMCinemaAngono_1019 (2)

197 seats allotted with provision for PWD

PLS_SMCinemaAngono_1018

Complementing the newest cinema branch on the block is SM Cinema’s official snack and merchandise arm, Snack Time. Snack Time will serve popcorn, drinks, and other snacks, along with the latest movie merchandise that fans will surely love to collect.

The cinema boasts of colosseum type seating equipped Dolby surround sound system and wall to wall 3D capable screen. All ready to entertain families and town folks.

The 4 theatres in SM Center Angono will round off a total of 306 SM Cinema screens found across the entire nation. Reaching out to every corner of the country, SM Cinema secures its location in Rizal with cinemas in SM Taytay, SM Masinag, and SM San Mateo. SM Cinema is the Philippines’ largest cinema and exhibition brand with 60% of the country’s total market share.

IMG_0350

IMG_0335

Excited for the opening!

IMG_0342

Blessing Ceremony

IMG_0356

Cocktails for VIPs and Guests

 

IMG_0367

An e-plus card for movie lovers

I’m watching movies using e-plus! As an introduction to reloadable prepaid cashless transactions, ePLUS Tap to Pay provides convenience for travelers, shoppers, movie lovers, and event goers. With one tap of a card, cardholders not only have a faster mode of payment, but can also enjoy perks such as discounts and freebies in various restaurants, shops, theatres, and concerts. ePLUS is the card of the century.

Dive into a world full of exciting and immersive movies right at your backyard in Rizal! SM Cinema Angono opens on December 16, 2015. For more information on SM Cinema, visit www.smcinema.com or dial (02) 470-2222.

 

My Favorite Baby Shampoo and Wash (For Me and My Son )

My son, Lukas, and I have super sensitive skin.  My Dermatologist said that we lack a certain skin barrier that protects our skin and so we have to moisturize a lot as our skin tends to be dry, itchy, and in harsh, cold weather, may sometimes be flaky.  On the bright side, having dry skin means I very seldom have pimples.  My facial skin is clear, which was a big advantage when I hit puberty.   It is hereditary so I guess, we can say are “born this way.”

When Lukas was born, he also has dry, sensitive skin so I had to be extra careful not to use harsh chemicals on his super delicate skin.  As a result, I am always on the look out for natural, high quality, organic cleansing products that does not only cleanse but is extra good and loving to the skin and smells good too!

I am a frequent customer of Healthy Options in Megamall and Shangri la.  But it wasn’t until my son had a rash and my dermatologist recommended Nature’s Gate Baby Shampoo and Wash, that I realized it is available there. I also use Nature’s gate shampoo, conditioner and lotion as well,  so it felt great when I realized there exists a good shampoo which we can use for Lukas’ delicate hair and sensitive skin.

natures-gate-baby-shampoo-and-wash-18-oz-shampoo
What I like about it:

  • Sulfate / Paraben/ Sodium Laureth/ Phthalate FREE  – no harsh chemical ingredients here!
  • Contains botanicals – Calendula, Chamomile, Orange Flower, Sweet Almond oil, Vegetable glycerin, Jojoba oil and Kernel oil
  • Smells sooooo good and clean
  • Perfect not just for babies but for my delicate skin too!!

What is amazing is that 1 heavy bottle (532 ml / 18 Fl Oz) costs less than P250.00!

I had an rash on my cheek which wouldn’t go away and the recommended cream by my dermatologist did not do a good job.  I thought of using the baby was as a cleanser for my face and guess what? The rash and itchiness went away!  Now, I use super mild cleansers but sometimes, even the mildest soap or formula that we use have chemicals in them which is not good for us.

I hope moms out there trying to find a good product for their and their baby’s delicate, sensitive skin would know about this.  Feel free to share. 🙂

Be healthy and use organic.

Cheers and Love,

Mommy Shane

Bagnetified! at SM Taytay

Last July 25, I attended a photography workshop sponsored by Rizal Media and Bloggers community.  After the workshop, we visited Bagnetified! for a friendly get together.  I have heard about it from friends and I was excited to try it for myself.

An uncle is from Ilocos and once in a while when he goes home  place, he would come home with Bagnet for us (Actually, we would order from him).  All of us would be excited for it.  Now, we can have bagnet all we want because Bagnetified is now in SM Taytay! (Yay!)

First impression of the place:  Cool place! I love the neat red and white color of the place. I also like the wall design.

IMG_1928

IMG_1931

All things Bagnet – yummy (and sinful) 🙂

 

IMG_1882

Kare-Kare Bagnetified P279

Their Kare-Kare is good and tasty.  Sauce is thick and meat is tender.

IMG_1911

Bagnetified Rice P199

IMG_1942

(Sizzling) Sisig bagnetified P289)

Their smoking hot sisig is flavorful!  You’ve gotta try it.

IMG_1959

Bagnetified Burger with free iced tea (P149)

I love the taste and the colorful presentation of this burger!

IMG_1967

Bagnetified!is now in SM Taytay, BPO Building (IT park). Will surely come back and bring hubby along! 🙂

Dine ‘n Dash: Serving Great American Comfort Food

If you’re the type who loves quality, grilled burgers and other “related” food, then I’ve got news for you!  Dine ‘n Dash opened its doors last July 30 at SM City Taytay- IT Park. They serve quality American comfort food (read: burgers, wings, fish, fries, pasta etc..) that’s meant to dash their way to your hearts and tummies.  What’s more is that you can have them at an affordable price!

I sampled their Texas Buffalo burger made of breaded chicken breast fillet topped with bleu cheese and tomato.  So yummy and definitely an alternative for those who wanted chicken meat in their burgers.

IMG_1998

Texas Buffalo Burger (P119)

Sally’s (Salibury steak) is a real treat, served with special gravy, rice and fries.  I love their Big Fish-  tender cream dory fillet with sauce and fries!

IMG_2015

Entree’s: Sally’s (P119), The Big Fish (P119) and Texas Buffalo

Their wings are amazing!  You can choose from 4 flavors – Classic, Hot and spicy, Garlic Parmesan and Barbecue.  You may choose from these dips: Chipotle Mayo, Aioli, Bleu Cheese and Honey Mustard.  I tell you these are good wings and comparable to restos well known for their wings 🙂

 

IMG_2037

Wings – Twin: 5-7 pcs for P179 and Party: 8-12 pcs for P279

 

I loved their pasta selection as well. My favorite is the Seafood Bleu Cheese.  I’ve never tasted anything like it and since I like cheese, it actually made its mark. I’ll definitely order this.  It has squid, shrimp and clams.  It is really so good.

IMG_2049

My favorite: Seafood Bleu Cheese Pasta!! P159

 

IMG_2055

Chicken Aglio Olio (129)

Now these two burgers are awesome! The Fantastic 4 Cheese burger is 1/3 pounder grilled beef patty enriched with 4 types of melted cheese – mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and bleu cheese! (Oh yumminess!) The signature finisher is soo good as well with onions and a slice of cheese (as you can see in the picture below)!

IMG_2060

Fantastic 4 cheese burger (P179)

 

IMG_2057

Signature Finisher (P179)

Dine ‘n Dash is managed by a husband and wife team, June and Cynthia Go. The husband chef is in charge of operations while the wife in charge of marketing and PR – sweet! .  I like the store’s cozy interior, perfect hang out place for family dining and time with friends. I will definitely visit them again, this time with my family!

IMG_2063

Their store is located at G/F SM BPO Bldg (IT park), SM City Taytay, Manila East Road, Taytay, Rizal. You may reach them at 296-6360.  They are open every day from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.  email: dinendash13@yahoo.com   Facebook: facebook.com/dinendashburgers.

IMG_1969

 

 

 

 

 

10th Anniversary Getaway (Part 1) – Serenity Suites, Antel Makati

June 18 marked our 10th year wedding anniversary and it called for a celebration! The original plan was to go out of town, but since we also celebrated Lukas’ 4th birthday the previous day – June 17th, we decided to have a staycation in a hotel in the city.  Our original plan was to celebrate in a hotel in Ortigas area but the husband suggested that we book in Makati as Ortigas is an “all too familiar” place for both of us.

I followed his advice was led to check out Antel Hotel in Makati.  I spotted the hotel previously when I attended a blogging summit last year. I got great feedback on the internet and the location was perfect as it is so conveniently near A.Venue mall and Century city mall which I long planned to check out.  It boasts of 3 towers – A. Venue Suites, Antel Spa Suites and Serenity Suites.  The three towers are connected and in the common area, you would see their big pools – the biggest in the area. (There were actually 3 big pools and 1 kiddie pool – I counted!)

What a blessing to get a 1-bedroom suite at the Serenity Suites!  The hotel staff were courteous and did everything with a smile.   Reservation was quick and check in process was a breeze.  What I loved is the personal touch which made the day even more special! Our room was neat, charming and lovely.

IMG_2720

Personal touch: “Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary, Sweethearts Adrian and Shane” personalized greeting,  complimentary wine and rainy day giveaway.

IMG_2695

Our lovely, charming room!

IMG_2697

Cozy zen inspired rest room

IMG_2712

Love the red couch!

IMG_2699

Dining and Kitchen area

IMG_2714

uploaded these pictures here in this area – Wifi uploads were fast!!!

IMG_2740

Nice!!! Pool 1 with kiddie pool on the far side

IMG_2742

Indoor Pools #2 and 3 parallel to each other

IMG_2732

The Husband enjoying his BIG breakfast at Cafe Azzurro

IMG_2733

Us at Azzurro Restaurante Mediterraneo

We spent our day touring the nearby area, watching movies, eating and sampling restaurants and enjoying the city lights and the live band.  We talked about the years we had, our highs and lows, the lessons we learned and our plans for the future.  All of these, while thanking God that He wrote our love story and brought us together.

Can’t believe it has been 10 years!  Cheers!

Lovely Dining Experience at Filio Bistro

The husband took me out on a date and we went to this lovely place with super good food and a delightful ambiance – the cool kind where you can take your friends for an afternoon treat and can enjoy catching up with one another.  A cozy, special place to bring your special someone for a date, or if  you’re like me, a nice, a homey place to enjoy a favorite book or surf the net and simply unwind.

IMG_0038

Filio Bistro – Cafe and so much more!

Filio’s warm and welcoming ambiance

 

10523937_689191124500522_5674928589946574600_n

Cozy and homey hang out place

 

Shane

Lovely desserts!

The place is quite impressive with its glass windows, high ceilings, open spaces and thoughtful lighting.  The dining area – tables and chairs is made of fine wood. You can tell that the artwork and designs were tastefully chosen.  Relaxing music plays in the background.   You also would have the option to choose to dine open style in their foyer for a real taste of Antipolo breeze.  Over-all, you would feel the welcoming and relaxing vibe the moment you walk though its doors.

Our order taker knows the food selections well and can give you advice.  And the food??? Oh so yummy!  Let me put it this way, the food, is comparable (if not better) to the food you can have in Ortigas, Taguig and even Makati and these places are hours away from Rizal!  I can say that with Filio’s good food, I should’ve asked for Chef’s name! (Note to self – meet the chef next time!)

IMG_0056

Yummy BBQ Ribs – so soft, tasty with their special sauce and well cooked meat that falls off the bone, with choice of 2 sidings: mashed potato and grilled veggies

 

IMG_0055

Delectable Pesto pasta with grilled chicken and bread. Wow!

 

IMG_0054

Cheesy fries with a twist – tomatoes!

We  also enjoyed their Frappe’: Mocha and Dolce de Leche.  We had fun talking about stuff that we forgot to take pictures of what we ordered! 😦

I noted that there is a provision for a function room for special occasions or company meetings.  There’s also an option for diners to stay in the foyer and experience the cool, breezy Antipolo Air.

images

a foyer / veranda for open dining

Don’t you just love good food and all the more appreciate it when you enjoy it in a relaxing ambiance?  Then you have to visit Filio Bistro, a place I would definitely come back to in Antipolo.

Filio is located at HI-5 Arcade, Sumulong Memorial Circle, Brgy. San Jose Antipolo, Rizal.  Their business hours are from 9:00am to 1:00am daily.  They vary their schedule during holidays and special occasion.  You may get in touch with them via 0906-333-RIBS (7427). The also have an FB page.

It is truly nice to know that we Rizaleños do not have to travel so far to find a cozy, warm place, with good food and dine in style.

We will visit you again, Filio!