life of a cuddlebit

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omakase

So, we got creamed by typhoon Mario, to lift up our sunken spirits we are looking for our comfort food/s. Specifically something Japanese. 

It is no secret that Kei and I are huge fans of Japanese cuisine.

The food haunt I am about to share is also no secret. In fact it is very famous for its makimono.

I am talking about Omakase. This restaurant has a huge following and you have to wait to be served. But, we don’t mind.

We have kept frequenting the place. 

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Omakase (お任せ o-makase?) is a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it to you”. (It is rooted from the Japanese “to entrust” (任せる makaseru?)). Usually used at Sushi restaurants to leave the selection to the chef. Customers ordering omakase style expect the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes, and the meal can be likened to an artistic performance by the chef.  Ordering omakase can be a gamble; however, the customer typically receives the highest-quality fish in stock at a less expensive cost than if it had been ordered à la carte. (Learned all about that from Wikipedia) 

Omakase’s Makimono is not exactly authentic as they put their own twist to it. It would be safe to say that they serve Japanese fusion cuisine. For this restaurant, We would happily say “omakase” and  leave the selection to them!  But we have our favorites of course. 

Here is a peek of their choices of their famous makimono.

this will give you a hard time choosing what you like to order.

this will give you a hard time choosing what you like to order.

We really took time to look at their selections as we liked most of them!

Their interiors are minimalist inspired and accented by cute kokeshi dolls.

We usually arrive here to get lunch, so there is a lot of people and we can’t really take a lot of photos. Sorry.

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inside omakase

They served seafood dumpling (assorted seafood wrapped in nori, deepfried and served with mayo and soy sauce) and our drinks (raspberry iced tea for me, and orange iced tea for Kei) first.

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Next came the jurrasic roll (Ebi tempura, ebiko, salmon skin, cucumber inside with unagi on top) followed shortly by the sukiyaki.

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All together in one photo: This is our initial order.

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On the next, we had a chicken bento, zigzag roll ( Softshell crab, tempura with Japanese-mayo-chili oil dressing) , gyoza and their omakase soup (wakame, kani, eggdrop soup).

round two

*I just realized we never got desserts here because we tend to over-eat!  

Eating here definitely brightened our day! Comfort food indeed. 

omakase address copy

  • They have branches at Tomas Morato, Libis, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Triangle Gardens and Greenhills.
  • Better to come early. Or repeat after me: waiting is worth it.
  • Worth the calories.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience with the restaurant. This is not a sponsored post, We paid for this (from) our own pocket.

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a kid’s treasure

I sort of unearthed some of my treasures form the past. (while cleaning my drawer) 

childhood

First was my beloved tamagochi-digital pet. Mine was yellow, my pet is a dinosaur. I wanted to resurrect it, tried to place fresh batteries, but the thing was dead/broken. Still I decided to keep it, maybe get dad to fix it.

Next was some Pogs and a plain slammer, in a tin can of Ouch bubblegum. Back in the days pogs and bubblegum/candies were our currency. Shiny slammers were worth more, and we have our lucky slammer. We trade them to other kids for cards, more pogs or more bubblegum/candies. Our bubblegum favorites was of course; ouch, bubble tape, bazooka, bubble jug and judge bubblegum. For candies, skittles, warheads, air heads, gobstoppers, nerds and runts were cheaper back then.

One of my treasured toys was a lighted Viewmaster. I have Flintstones and Beauty and the Beast reels. (that I watch and re-watch) My aunt got it for me from Duty Free, along with a lighted Poly Pocket because those were the rage back then. Those were my portable toys and they went wherever I go.

Speaking of going places, though I have my bright red bike, I can be usually spotted wearing my purple rollerblades. I never took them off. Even when playing with jumping ropes. I am a rollerblade expert that way! I still have them but the straps are broken.

Lastly, some red fragrance beads (we call them kisses, that lost their scent) that we place in our fancy automatic pencil cases (I lost mine). I think the scent was strawberry, but I am not sure.

*I may go and try buying some of them again. Just to smell what they smell like again.  We have this crazy idea that those fragrance beads get pregnant, and that those kisses give birth to more kisses (fragrance beads)!

Mechanical/magic pencils are also a big deal back then, and it was every child’s dream to have all those fancy pencils.

I had a laugh recalling those times. Those were the days.

I am a 90’s kid.


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St. Marc Café

I love eating desserts. More so if shared with friends!

When our blog buddy and foodie friend Matti of like reading on trains excitedly told us our next meet-up will be at SM Megamall, we only have one thing in mind. We must check out St. Marc Café, and we did.

taking one's place in the queue

taking one’s place in the queue

I am smitten by the display case, with the artificial food, they look cute/good to eat!

take your pick!

take your pick!

St Marc Café is the Japanese equivalent of Starbucks. We found a “tambay” (hang-out) place, if only the place was not that packed.

I really wanted to get the strawberry heaven.

took a picture while waiting

they really look nice, no?

While waiting in line, I took photos of the cafe. The orange/grey/wood interiors remind me of Hermes.

a lot of people

a lot of people

There was a lot of people so, I left Kei and Matti in hopes that I can find a seat for the three of us. With luck, we managed to get seats. After waiting for a while we finally got our order.

order of the day

order of the day

Our order consists of three chocoro for each of us (55php each), one royal milk tea (150php)  for Kei, one matcha latte (150php) for me, a Mango fantasy parfait (250php) for Matti and a strawberry heaven parfait (250php) for me.

We started with the chococro, loved it! It was warm, buttery, flaky and crisp with a generous amount of rich semi melted chocolate (made from blended Ghana and Ecuador beans), we finished it in a few minutes!

closer look

closer look

I am sort of skeptic with strawberries as most strawberry desserts tend to be syrupy sweet or tasting artificial. But, the strawberry heaven has real strawberries (frozen and diced)! Not sweet at all and with the (sour) fruity acidity. It even has cheesecake and conflakes for texture.

*I also tried Matti’s Mango Fantasy and I also liked it. The soft pudding is awesome.

Since St. Marc Cafe originated from Japan, I wanted to try their matcha latte and was quite glad I got it. They did it just right. Not too sweet. Kei is also happy with his royal milk tea.

We would definitely be back!

marc

  •  Be patient. The queue can get very long and the chococro has a very high demand. The result: chococro runs out and you will have to wait for chocoro. But the chocoro is worth the wait in my opinion.
  • Sadly, we did not get to try the strawberry daifuku chococro. They ran out.
  • Better to go here as a group some to fall in line and some to scout for seats. The queue/food can take a while, as well as clearing up the table.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience with the restaurant. This is not a sponsored post, We paid for this (from) our own pocket. 


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Dealing with my pesky red dots: Celeteque Acne Spot Corrector Gel and Concealer

I had a good experience with Celeteque Hydration Facial Moisturizer. So, I wanted to try and buy more of their stuff. Specifically their acne solutions line.

So, on our weekly mall trip, I made it a point to go to the drugstore and look for the products. I am looking for their acne spot corrector gel and their concealer that I hoped would make my pesky red dots invisible.

A quick run to the drugstore, and a bee line to the counter. I got both products!

Here are my thoughts on the items, after two weeks of daily use.

this product is worth buying

this product is worth buying

Their acne spot corrector gel is effective. I used it twice a day after washing my face and putting on toner. (my soap and toner are formulated by my dermatologist)

On the first 3 days of use, I did not see any difference on my pimple other than the pimple not swelling, and that once the gel is applied on the pimple/s it doesn’t sting. The gel also has a pleasant smell that I love! No chemical smell.

I normally use erythromycin gel for my pimples as prescribed by my dermatologist. Using erythromycin leaves the pimple redder and bigger overnight. I think it is because the erythromycin speeds up the pimple to dry and empty itself of its “head”.

So, It was a surprise for me that Celeteque’s acne spot corrector gel does not work the same way as the erythromycin gel that I am used to. Celeteque’s acne spot corrector gel minimizes the swelling on the first three days and by the fourth day you can experience mild peeling of the skin, which goes on till the seventh day then you will see the pimple would now be just a light brown spot. If the pimple is a bit big, the redness will not go away. But Celeteque’s acne spot corrector gel does not make the pimple redder (color intensity). It will just stay the same red color. I appreciated that as I am very conscious about the number of red spots on my face already.

fair skinned people need NOT buy

NOT FOR FAIR SKINNED PEOPLE

So, I also tested Celeteque’s Concealer, hoping that it will hide my pesky red dots.

Sadly it was much too dark for me. Too bad they have no tester/s on display.

this is how dark the concealer is on me.

this is how dark the concealer is on me. max fail.

Had I known that it will be too orange-y/ dark, I would not shell out for it. (For reference, my skin is NC20-25 on MAC.) I can’t use it. Such a waste. 

Hopefully they come up with a lighter shade for their concealer, and a bigger size for their acne spot corrector gel.

Price? Celeteque’s acne spot corrector gel goes for 169php, and the Concealer 269php.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket.


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Kamicos

We love tacos.

And we like it cheap, so we can have more!

Kei introduced me to Greenhills and subsequently Kamicos two years ago, after the said introduction; I never go to Greenhills without getting a taco.  Their stall looks old, small but usually packed. A number of shoppers are usually having their snack here. That being said, you have to patiently wait for a seat or eat standing up.

But they do have good tacos.

They also serve nachos, quesadillas, wraps, pasta… etc. See theire menu here.

So, we wait for our turn.

kamicos

while waiting for our food

Our usual order consists of two crispy spicy beef tacos (68php each) and a glass of lemonade for each of us. But, by the time we are on the front of the line, the crispy taco shells are sold out. We are left with soft tacos or no tacos at all, said the grumpy lady of the stall. 

So we pored over their menu and noticed the “Food Trip” bundles. These  taco/nacho bundles comes with a pitcher of iced tea.

We got the food trip 3 bundle. That consists of 2 soft tacos, 1 pitcher of iced tea that we requested to be changed to lemonade, and a plate of nachos. (For the price of 540php.) 

pam and kei's meal

We were served the pitcher of lemonade first, and we had to wait for a while to get our tacos/nachos. By the time our nachos arrived, out lemonade is almost empty.

But oh well, we just get bottled water to go with the spicy beef tacos.

 

  • Mataray, masungit, suplada are adjectives usually used at the lady of the shop. Doesn’t smile at all, not a drop of friendliness there. #truth
  • Their “food trip” bundles are better than buying their food item separately.
  • The food can take a while, as well as clearing up the table. Poor service but cheap food. 

for food addressLandmark: the stall is in Shoppesville, Greenhills Shopping Center.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the restaurant. This is not a sponsored post, We paid for this (from) our own pocket. 


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Searching for the wedding gown: We found our gown designer

This is the continuation of  Searching for the wedding gown: Thoughts on the dress

We are scheduled at three o’clock. Says Kei who just got a reply from the designer.

Great, we can go eat lunch before meeting her. That was our plan.

So, lunch is served. We dined at Mitsuyado Sei-Men. Where we got our usual.

lunch

A large three cheese tsukemen, one order of gyoza, and black pepper chicken

Once done with lunch, we headed over to her shop. We arrived quite early. Excited much!  

look up!

look up!

It is located at the second floor of Dona Consolacion Building.

mel orlina building

Going up, we are greeted by this.

Mel Orlina shop

We arrived at her shop in a very busy time. There were a lot of brides to be along with their families who are in the process of fitting their gowns. The place was packed.  

We just spent the time looking at other people’s gowns, and also the trinkets displayed in her shop. Apparently they have a consignment deal with Jacatel.  So they carry accessories too!  Convenient! (I already have my eye one of the earrings!)

beautiful!

I find this beautiful!

One by one the people left and it was now our turn.

We get to see a tired but still smiling Mel Orlina. I told her what I wanted a mermaid gown with appliqués/beaded, with a dramatic skirt, low back, colored petticoat, then showed her my pegs. She then rummaged through her stash of fabrics and lace and brought out a bag of appliqués similar to my peg.

 

Then Mel sketched her vision of the gown keeping in mind my preferences. Then voiced out her reasons on why she designed the sketch that way. The sketch looked modern and feminine. I liked it!

This designer got Kei smiling at the sketch, schedule and price.

This designer got Kei smiling at the sketch, schedule and price.

She also guaranteed to us that should I have a change of heart on the design, she will be willing to change the design for me!

We also find her price reasonable. (below 100k)

 

I knew our search is over.

We instantly felt at ease. We liked her.

Kei booked her on the spot.

* I do a happy dance*

After we wrote down our names on her schedule, we found out that she is almost fully booked for 2015. Whoa, that fast?!

*Lucky for us!* 

See more of her creations here.

 

Mel Orlina Couture

Address: 2nd floor (unit 201), Dona Consolacion Bldg., 122 Jupiter St., Bel-Air Village, 1209 Makati

Phone: 7520312

Email: melorlinacouture@gmail.com

Office hours: Mon – Sat: 10:30 am – 7:30 pm

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience. This is not a sponsored post, Kei paid for this (from) his own pocket. 

**Start planning early. You get to pick the suppliers you like, rather than having to look for your second choice.

 


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Searching for the wedding gown: Thoughts on the dress

After all the RTW dress fittings, I am seriously overwhelmed and a bit disappointed that none of them felt like the one. I am not saying yes to the dress for reasons: too expensive, too plain, doesn’t feel like it is me….etc.

I kept all the pictures and showed them to my grandma (this is the grandma who loves pearls). Wearing her glasses, she looked at all the photos together with my most fashion forward Aunt. They smiled nervously as I told them that was all. My grandma said; dear, you must find something dramatic. Your Grandma wants to dress fabulously.

My Aunt said, the dresses you made us look at is rather plain. I am afraid; we don’t find it beautiful enough for the occasion. *I am the first grandchild to be married.*

By this time, my mind is spinning. They wanted a fabulous dress, but we have a budget! What will Kei say?

I also wanted my dress to be beautiful, and that it would be fit to my personality and feels like “me”.

Choosing your gown? here is a guide. Click on the image to enlarge. photo taken from pinterest.

Choosing your gown? here is a guide. (Click on the image to enlarge,  photo taken from pinterest.)

 

All I know is, I want a mermaid gown, appliquéd/beaded, in ivory, with a dramatic skirt and beautiful low back, plus a colored petticoat underneath.

One thing is for sure, I need to find pegs then, we need to find a designer. Most importantly, both of us must also agree on the design and designer.

And we need to book one fast! Because here in The Philippines, if you want the wedding industry’s best you have to act fast, as their slots are usually full a year before your wedding date.

I hurriedly called and set an appointment at my cousin’s wedding gown designer. (Their wedding took place 5 years ago.)  He is well known, and awarded as one of the best. On the said date, bringing Kei along with me, we went to his atelier. We got lost, and that got the designer mad at us. I think we may have encountered him in one of his bad mood days. He was stern and very quiet.

I showed him a sketch/peg I made, and he was actually amazed that I can draw. Then he proceeded to sketch what he thinks will flatter my figure. Kei and I liked his sketch very much. He still has slots for 2015 brides.

But the price nearly knocked us off our seats. He is asking for 200k. Only 1 wedding dress. This is not a package price. Apparently, designers’ prices can shoot up that much in a span of five years. Duh.

It was a NO. That amount of money is too much to just check off one item off the list.

Di sulit. (Fliipino term for: Not worth it.)

 

We need to look for another designer. A good one, without the outrageous price, that could make my dress.

That led us to looking at another designer whose facebook page is always updated with photos of her beaming clients/brides. Kei thought her works are nice, and I really googled about her price range. Seems reasonable than the first. We called her up and scheduled an appointment.

By that time, she was away on Singapore. We will see her once she comes back.

Again I brought out my pegs/sketches. She then rummaged through her stash of fabrics and lace and brought out a fabric similar to my peg. Then she sketched for me. Then voiced out her reasons on why she designed the sketch that way. We instantly felt at ease. We liked her.

She is almost fully booked for 2015. Whoa, that fast?!

Asked about the price, it is below 100k. Value for money.

We smiled. I think we found our gown designer.

 

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience.

**Start planning early. You get to pick the suppliers you like, rather than having to look for your second choice.