Thursday, July 31, 2014

NORMCORE #TrendyThursday

Let me start off with, Erica is going to kill me for talking about her current least favorite hashtag in the world, #NORMCORE. Haha.

Normcore is the current cool thing kids are doing these days, which basically just takes simple unisex dressing to the next level, by naming it a "thing". It is taking undistinguished "basic" dressing, in mostly monochromatic colors and staples, and running with that as your #OOTD. While I'm not much of a fan of the actual word, normcore, I'm a huge fan of dressing that part.. I find over-accessorizing tedious and overdone, and black is basically a color I live in. I find black skinny jeans absolutely liberating, and practically live in them.. in my opinion, they go with everything, and you can dress them up and down to match your mood.. and a basic white men's tee is something I will buy in bulk, if I can't steal it in bulk from a boy's closet.

As a closing note, let's all post #normcore #ootd's and tag Erica in them.. I even give you the liberty to use #normcoreforerica or #fatkitchskinnykitchnormcore as a hashtag. Go ahead, you know you wanna, haha.

Photos c/o


First of all, can I just say that I LOVE CEBU! It's probably my favorite place to be in this entire country. I mean, city to beach in thirty minutes, excellent food and a more laid back vibe than Manila... yes please! One of my favorite places to stay when I'm in the South is Movenpick Resort and Spa in Mactan. Aside from good service, nice sized rooms and good food (all of which are important to me when booking a place) it's also SUPER chic and pretty. I immediately fell in-love with it's predominantly white interiors that extend all the way to Ibiza Beach Club overlooking the water.

The last time I was there was last May with my daughter and one of my best friends. We had a blast trying out some of the water activities they had (FLY FISH, omg I thought I was going to die- umm, in a good way LOL) and early morning yoga with a view of the sea. The food is pretty awesome, and I especially love the fare they have at Ibiza Beach Club. I must have eaten an entire order of truffle fries on my own (and it was not the first time) and for the super hungry, there's a churrasco option (Brazilian BBQ) with 10 courses of seafood and meat. Ummm, burp!

There is also a spa where you can go if you want to further relax with a massage, foot spa or mani-pedi and it seems every single place in this resort has a fantastic view of the water. Everyday at 3 PM there is "Chocolate Hour" at the lobby where guests can enjoy anything from brownies, chocolate truffles and chocolate ice cream depending on the day. The gym is also 24 hours, in case you feel the need to burn all the yummy calories off at 3 in the morning. For those who like their privacy, they also offer a few VIP cabanas close to the water for when you want a break from the sun, some snacks and maybe a nap.

With all this gloomy weather coming our way lately, I keep looking through these Cebu summer pictures and hoping the rainy season will end sooner, so I can find yet another excuse to head back South and stay a few nights at Movenpick.


I love a good yogurt. But living in the Philippines, I have always found it so difficult to find a good, healthy yogurt that wasn't loaded with sweeteners and flavorings. Being a bit of a label-nazi, I always ended up opting to skip the yogurt, because the choices were so unhealthy and scarce. Now that Greek yogurt is available to us, I have rediscovered my old love. But what makes Greek yogurt a better choice? Let me break it down gently.

Given its creamier consistency, you would think that Greek yogurt would be a scarier option, if you are trying to watch your weight. But again, this brings us back to the topic of putting healthier food into your bodies, instead of perhaps low-calorie versions, that are screaming with chemicals. Greek yogurt, vs. a plain unsweetened low calorie regular yogurt, contains about the same amount of calories, but only half the carbs, half the sugar and more than half the sodium. But then again, A regular yogurt contains about 49% calcium as opposed to 25% in Greek yogurt, and also double the potassium.

The one big downside to buying Greek yogurt in the Philippines, is that it is pricier than a regular yogurt.. so at the end of the day, the choice is yours. But as for myself, I'll gladly shell out a bit more.. because Greek yogurt is much creamier and tastier.. and in my book also doubles as a great replacement for any recipe that requires mayonnaise. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Also known as MASTER CLEANSE, this diet is pretty hardcore in that you don't consume anything except salt water, laxative tea and a lemonade mix made out of water, Maple Syrup, Lemon Juice and Cayenne Pepper for a week to twenty days.

I have personally tried this and I have to say that yes it works if you are doing it to lose weight because I lost 8 pounds in a week, and yes it works if you want a flat belly in a short amount of time. But do I recommend it? HELL NO. I don't think any sane person should do this diet. It's a quick fix that won't last long, because when you start eating again, your weight will start climbing as well. Of course you will lose weight and have a flat belly, YOU AREN'T EATING ANYTHING!

There are other ways of cleansing and liquid dieting that supply you with the nutrients your body needs. Maybe you won't lose weight as fast but at least you are keeping your body nourished as opposed to just running. Whenever I am jumpstarting a diet, I usually go on a raw smoothie cleanse consisting of all raw fruits and veggies. The fiber helps with digestion and since it's so low in calories, I can just drink it whenever I want throughout the day.

I generally don't believe in any diet that asks you to eliminate entire food groups or skip meals or allow you to eat only one thing or a limited number of things. When I gained more weight than I was comfortable with, I went the ultra healthy way and was patient with myself. I counted my calories but kept my meals balanced, and yes I still ate rice and other carbs. I burned calories through working out conscientiously and before I knew it, I not only lost the weight I gained, but also built muscle and got my body used to healthy eating, which is so much better and more long lasting than any crash diet!

*Photo from*


My favorite thing about traveling, is by far all the amazing food I get to have. In Andalucia, where my family has lived for over 18 years, we like to frequent Chiringuitos - little restaurants on the beach serving traditional tapas, wine and beers. This is what we had for lunch on a Sunday beach-club day with the whole gang.

  • A plate full of mixed fried seafood (YUUUM). We had fried calamari, anchovies, fish and baby shrimps.. amazing with a drizzle of lemon juice and dipped in mayo.
  • A colorful tuna salad - my family doesn't have a main meal without a salad - a tradition that has been instilled in me since I can remember. The dressing is usually just a balsamic or red wine vinegar, lots and lots of extra virgin olive oil (dirt cheap over here) and some salt and pepper.
  • Gambas al pil-pil. Okay, this is one of my favorite things to eat and make (I shall share a recipe soon) - its basically prawns cooked to perfection in lots of oil and spices, always served with a side of bread.. no oil or spices remain in the dish, I promise. My kinda finger-licking amazingness.
Soooooo gooooood.

  1. Chiringuito Los Tonys
  2. Address: Calle Berlin, 20, 29604 Marbella, Málaga, Spain

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


One of my pet peeves, is seeing somebody with mis-matched makeup. Let's go back to the basics; it is important to always always always know what your skin tone is. You can't possibly tackle natural beauty, by avoiding your own color.

I absolutely loathe when I see pinays wearing a foundation that is much lighter than their actual color. Why is this happening? What is the obsession with having lighter skin? No matter how much you bleach your skin, your features are Asian, the shape of your eyes, and nose will always tell the truth. Why even bother? Embrace the skin you were born in.

I have put together a collage to give you an example of how different skin tones can highlight your natural beauty. I myself change color according to season, and whether or not I have been getting more or less sun.. but I prefer myself in a darker shade. I just look healthier, and i really dig a perfect glow.

Starting from top left:

  • Porcelain - The holy grail for most Asians. Porcelain skin needs a lot of tending to - lots of SPF, and generally not recommended to do any kind of tanning at all. If you have Porcelain skin, you will burn in the sun, so make sure you cover up loads and use lots of moisturizer.. your tone is cool, meaning cooler colors will make your features pop.
  • Ivory - Natural ivory skin is beautiful, again, just like with porcelain skin, you should use lots of SPF - you might be prone to sun spots and freckles. Make sure you don't spend too much time in the sun without a hat. Ivory tones look great in hues of blues and greens.
  • Beige - Here's a skin tone that is a little more forgiving. Beige generally has a yellowish undertone. You should always use an SPF, but your skin will be a little more forgiving in the sun. Beige skin looks great in shades of red, orange and peach.
  • Olive - Olive tones is fairly common for Latinas and mixed skin, containing just a hint of a darker brown, meaning you can get away with using a bronzer, and looking like JLo. A hint of sun will give you a golden brown color, so break out the metallics, golds and rich reds to enhance your color.
  • Almond - Here's where I want to scream - so many Filipinas have that perfect golden brown skin that I myself have to work hard for.. and yet, they try to cover it up. Almond skin tans well, so an SPF 15 works on a day-to-day basis.. make sure you always use a great body lotion, because you don't want to look ashy. Almond skin tones look amazing in almost any brighter shade in my opinion, so don't be afraid to play with color.
  • Ebony - When I was living in Boracay, I would like to think that this was my color. I'm obviously delusional, but this skin tone looks so amazing in bright an neon colors, that it makes me (neon) green with envy. Take Solange, my spirit animal.. her instagram just kills me. And it is no secret that darker skin is less sensitive to sun damage.. meaning your skin wont age as easily. Winner!
The bottom line is, be proud of the skin you are in, and don't work so hard on changing it, but more on enhancing it. Become aware of your skin color, and dress and choose make-up accordingly. But most importantly, be comfortable in it. The grass is always greener on the other side, they say, but it doesn't have to be.


If you love your carbs but looking for a slightly healthier alternative, try replacing sweet potatoes for your potatoes when making fries. Although they are about the same when it comes to calories, sweet potatoes have lower GI and more Vitamin A than regular potatoes. Also, baking them will eliminate all fear of oil. It's pretty easy to do and can be used as a replacement for rice or as a mid-day snack. I usually add loads of spices and herbs to add flavor without piling on too much salt. Here's my favorite flavor combo:


3 Sweet potatoes, sliced into strips
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

How to:

Place sliced sweet potato in a ziplock bag.
Add the rest of the ingredients, seal and shake well until fully coated.
Bake in an oven pre-heated to 350 for 35 minutes, turning once.
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Sure, like everybody else, I have my days when I would prefer to stay in bed and slam my alarm on snooze (who doesn't) - so I understand how hard it is to throw yourself out of your toasty sheets, just to jump into tight clothing, and torture yourself for 45mins. But I also know there is no way out of it when you are trying to get in shape; muscle doesn't grow on trees and I have to constantly remind myself that the only way I will live to see my grandchildren beyond my disgusting smoking habit and love for whiskey, is to stay on the ball - to be consistent, and to work it out.

Here are some pointers to help you:

  • EAT RIGHT - Too many of us think that simply skipping calories will save us a couple of extra weeks of working out, hence, we cut out food that our bodies need, and therefore become under-sugared, without the physical energy to even get ourselves out of the door, let alone into a gym. Have a small breakfast, some scrambled eggs, maybe a yogurt, and some fluid before a workout - you can't run a machine without fuel.
  • SLEEP WELL - Again, you need to take care of your body. Without the right amount of sleep, you can't expect yourself to perform, physically. I don't think its necessary to sleep 8 hours a night - what grown up with a full time job like myself really has the time for 8 hours of sleep? But only you can know what your body is telling you. I myself work best when I have 5-6 hours of sleep - but it's different for everyone. Listen to your body.
  • DRESS RIGHT - Now, this doesn't just mean, go on a Nike shopping spree you can't afford, you basically have no choice but to run your guilt off on the treadmill. This means, find the perfect shoes, and outfits you feel comfortable moving in (one of the best investments being the perfect pair of leggings, in my opinion). Dress like you're in for the kill.
  • FIND MUSIC THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO MOVE - This one is important. Bon Iver makes great tunes, but it's gonna make you wanna take a nap on top of the weights. Again, this is different for everyone. Some like to run to hardcore heavy metal - others to Enya. I myself like a good mix of hip hop & r&b - I currently do most of my running to Beyonce & Pharrel - but sometimes I switch it up for some Blood Orange.
  • HAVE A MINIMUM BASIC ROUTINE - Last year, I lost a crazy amount of weight, just by setting myself a realistic goal. I would get up, down a coffee, and get myself to the stationary bike before my body could realize what was happening. The rules were simple: stay on the bike for a minimum of 25 minutes, 5x a week. Knowing the only time I could do that would be first thing in the morning, I set that goal - sometimes staying on the bike for 45 minutes, on days when I was in more of a mood, or if I was currently punishing myself for having too much champagne. So, some days, I would be so extremely tired, that I would wait for the timer to indicate 25 minutes by the second, and I would hop off, immediately after. But, I was always doing a few minutes, 5x a week.. something that payed off hard after a couple of months.
  • REWARD YOURSELF - Again, listen to your body. If you have sudden cravings for ice cream, treat yourself. If you are like Erica and I, have yourself some wine. Nothing is more gratifying that being able to indulge in something without any guilt - if you are working your butt off all week, and staying disciplined, you are allowed to reward yourself with the good-good. 

Also, try to look at working out as an opportunity to get into better shape. Nobody forces you to do it, its all up to you - but the results will speak volumes, and you will get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Good luck!


This was actually my daughter's homework for her Home Arts class last week, and she liked it so much and requested for me to make it for her every other week (so it's now in rotation along all her other favorites!) It's inexpensive, quick and easy to make- perfect for a Manic Monday! I use Dory, which is accessible to anybody, and marinate for about 20 minutes before dipping in the batter and frying. The entire process only takes about 30 minutes, including the lemon butter sauce. You can serve this with regular rice, or even in between burger buns as a sandwich. Just add some mayo and veggies!

Ingredients (Marinade)

2 fillets cream dory, divided into 6 (Slice once lengthwise and twice crosswise)
2 pcs. calamansi juice
salt and pepper, to taste
Dash of Liquid Seasoning


1 cup flour
1 cup cold water
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

(Lemon Butter Sauce)

1 stick butter
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Sprig of parsley, chopped

How to:

Marinate Fish for twenty minutes

While fish is marinating, Make lemon butter sauce. Add butter to a sauce pan on low heat and wait until melted. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and stir. Place in a bowl and top of with chopped parsley. Set aside.

Mix all ingredients for batter and dip fish fillets into the batter.
Fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Place on paper towels to drain oil

Serve with rice or in between a burger bun and enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2014


One of the things I hate about living in an apartment, and not having a little garden, is that I don't have much space for outdoor workout activities - not to mention the tiny room they call a gym in my building.n It just limits your options, and I love love love the outdoors.

Jumping rope is an exercise I wish I could do more. When I was 12 years old, I announced to my parents that I wanted to become a professional boxer.. naturally, as you would. My stepdad provided me sparring materials, encouraged me to train - and really get into all the training methods professional boxers indulge in. 

Not many people are aware of this (and might still think that it is an activity for children) but jumping rope provides a great cardio workout. You can burn about 350 calories in a half hour, and if alternated with weights and stretches, can really provide you with all the basics of a full workout routine. Boxers use this method to cut weight, when prepping for a fight, in which they have to change into a specific weight bracket. I'm going to go easy on you today, so here is a video to help inspire you to walk into the next sports/ toy store and pick up a little rope for yourself.

This video is of these twins, who travelled the world and shot a video of them jumping rope, everywhere and anywhere. Now here's your challenge: buy a rope! Instagram and tag - and start skipping for 20-30n mins a day, until you can skip for longer.. if you have a garden, we can even have a little rope party..

Haha, ok that sounds suggestive - but I HAVE had quite a few drinks and maybe a bottle of wine or so.. All kidding aside, I seriously recommend this for all those who hate running! Can't wait to get some feedback about your first skipping experiences - and please tag us when you post evidence on instagram!


I'm sure, after reading the caption, you're like: WAIT WHAT

I will start by saying, I am halfway across the globe at the moment, and there is mucho Jamon Serrano and Manchego cheese to be consumed, yes, BUT - ain't there no nothing (how redundant) in the world that can compete with home grown flavors. Hence, hello best meal in the world when you are A.) Drunk - B.) Hungover or C.) Homesick.

Generally, I try to balance out my meals.. hence - if I am consuming a bazillion calories in form of carbohydrates, I stinge on the rest of the meal. So, in this case, most of the calories are coming from the rice - and what a no-brainer - who does not love Talangka rice? And being a Cebuana, any kind of salted and dried fish - or fish-like entities - are always a YES.

So, if you are lucky enough to be in the vicinity, pop on over to RECOVERY FOOD at the Fort.

Recovery FoodBonifacio Global City

G/F Crossroads32nd St cor 8th AveFort Bonifacio, Taguig(02) 511-7312

Friday, July 25, 2014


Dsquared² at Milan Spring 2014 (Backstage)

How amazing are the strong but muted eyebrows, naturally smoky lids and fabulous coral lips? This look is gorgeous on everyone and anyone, especially with the perfect tan.

Photo c/o


I was trying to figure out what cocktail to feature for the week. All I had this week was wine, so I came up with this bright, impulsive idea to create some sort of red wine cocktail of sorts. I scanned my counter to check what kind of alcohol I had available and came up with this RED WINE BASTARD. I call it this because I probably disrespected all sorts of wine drinking rules to make it, but the birth of this baby was quite delicious. My friend Margaux was my guinea pig and she seemed to enjoy it too. The pineapple will add a nice froth on top and naturally sweeten your drink, but add a bit of agave if you need more. Here's what I did and what you should try after work today:


1 shot of Absolut Kurrant Vodka (I say one shot but I actually freehanded it)
6 chunks of fresh pineapple
a dash of agave
A full glass of red wine (I would say use something on the sweeter side)

How to:

  • Put all ingredients in a blender and pulse.
  • Pour into wine glasses (good for 2-3)
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Born with impossibly frizzy hair, I get fed up (on the regular) of having to travel back into imaginary time warps where I feel like the little 12 year old tomboy again, hair constantly out of place and maddeningly wild. A few years ago, I had re-bonded my hair, something that suited my lifestyle immensely, given that my hair had gotten so long, and living on the beach just made my curls turn into dread locks. But I was always frustrated about the fact that I couldn't just magic my hair back into waves on the days when I felt like it. Now with a bob, I love having a little volume in my 'do - but I am still fighting a seemingly neverending battle against the frizz. Enter my very brilliant idea to treat my damaged and over-abused locks to something I had only heard people mention in passing as a brilliant temporary solution, and the only way to treat and give chemically processed hair, a little boost.

What is a brazilian blowout?

A brazilian blowout is a temporary treatment that will minimize frizz and tame your locks, without depriving it of body. If you have curly hair, a blowout will give you waves, while already wavy hair will become straighter, in turn making your hair appear much healthier.

What is the difference between a brazilian blowout and re-bonding?

Rebonding is a more permanent process, whereas a brazilian blowout will last you only up to a couple of months more or less, maximum.

My hair had been dyed and processed, can I still get a brazilian blowout?

Yes! Absolutely. It will make your hair smoother and healthier, as opposed to other chemical treatments.

How long does it last?

Maintaining the effect of a brazilian blowout, you absolutely have to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate - the main reason why some of my friends complain about a blowout being "too temporary". An ingredient, if I may add, which is also a known carcinogen.. but widely used in almost every single shampoo produced.

Special thanks to Louis Philipp Kee Salon for making my hair more bearable for my trip!

Photo source c/o Pinterest


"Corn Rice?" Yep, I had the same reaction when I first saw this at the supermarket. I am constantly trying out different kinds of rice to distract my daughter from her love of Japanese white rice. Brown rice is a staple, and lately I've switched to Black, but she doesn't like it and keeps asking to switch back to white. In the rice section of Rustan's Rockwell, you will find everything from white, brown, black, violet, pink, red and mixed grain rice. This corn rice caught my attention though, and claims to have a lower glycemic index than regular rice and zero cholesterol, so I thought, Why not?

Cooking this rice is a bit different. Instead of washing the grains and placing it with water in a rice cooker, you actually don't have to wash it, but the water needs to be boiling before adding the corn rice grains in. It also cooks a lot faster and is actually ready w/n ten minutes. It has the same consistency as brown rice, although a bit more al dente with a faint corn flavor. Lower GI means it's good for diabetics. It's also high in fiber and fills you up faster so you don't eat as much. I had it with bagoong-honey baked chicken so I have yet to see if it absorbs sauce.

Worth a try for the health conscious or for those who just like trying something new in the kitchen!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Whenever somebody asks me for diet advice, I always break it down to the very basics of eating clean. You can't eat healthy when your fridge is full of junk.

On health-rage weeks, I make sure there is absolutely zero processed food in my pantry. Eating clean doesn't mean counting calories. It means cutting out all things artificial, pre-prepared, frozen and containing additives like artificial flavorings and sugars. I'm not big on cooking rice at home, although I will occasionally allow myself a kick-ass filipino breakfast. The trick is, to prepare your own food from scratch - this is the only way you can know 100% what you are putting into your body.

I'm a big fan of making cabbage soup - super low on calories and if prepared well, mega tasty. I also make my own pumpkin soup - soups in general are a great way to feel full without feeling heavy. Roasted or baked potatoes are also amazing, with a side of broccoli, and even some bacon bits. You can eat "clean" without cutting out all the good stuff completely - reasonable portions are the only way to go.

I eat a lot of boiled eggs - on stricter days consuming only the egg whites - and obviously my fridge is also full of green apples - I'm a big fan of sour fruit. When I blend juices, carrots are my favorite, apples, cucumber and fresh coconut juice.

Clean eating doesn't have to be hard and tedious. But the first step is to clear out the junk. Out of sight, out of mind.


I like the idea of gastro pubs. A place to drink where the food is also good? YES please! Too many bars forget that just because we are drunk, does not mean we don't enjoy good grub! At Tipsy Pig, they have a menu filled with stuff that sounds good whether you are there for Happy Hour or really just to eat.

I tried the sisig tacos because I can never resist sisig and the idea that I could wrap it in a tortilla and stuff it in my mouth made it sound even better! I was not disappointed because I had crunchy pig parts, onions and mayo which i doused in calamansi in every bite.

My only complaint is that this is a sharing portion because I could eat this whole thing myself (And I did!) but it makes a great meal if eaten alone, or a good starter if you absolutely have to share it with someone.

Tipsy Pig is located at Capitol Commons. Call 5704620.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


They say you can never have too many pairs of shoes, and although I want to agree with that statement, I also know that most of us women don't have the space or the money to have all the shoes we want and more often than not, our wardrobes need to be edited down to 1/4 of what we actually want them to be. I firmly believe though, that if all essentials are present, then you are actually good to go. Here are SIX pairs of shoes you MUST have to put together all your outfits.

1. Ankle Boots- These shoes project a devil may care attitude and dress up jeans and shorts in an instant AND give street cred to a skirt or dress. A lower, stacked heel makes it great for traveling, and a higher, skinnier stiletto will give you an A+ in fashion circles.

2. Sneakers- Everyone should have at least one pair of comfy sneaks. Keep it classy and classic with a pair of basic white Chucks. These shoes go with almost anything, whether you are in a skirt, jeans, leather, fur, it doesn't matter! A pair of chucks will finish a look and make it seem like you are really just THAT cool- too cool to care!

3. Ballet Flats- Ballerinas will add a feminine touch to any outfit, plus they are ultra comfy and can double as walking shoes without having to compromise style. I love wearing ballet flats with skinny jeans that are cuffed at the bottom, as well as summer dresses and short shorts. It always brings out the "good girl" in me.

4. Pointy Black Pumps- If there is one pair of shoes you NEED in your closet, it's pointy black pumps. I call these my power shoes because I feel amazing, awesome and like I can do anything when I am wearing them. They look good with anything, and I mean anything! I wear them with my LBDs, my jeans, shorts, skirts, to formal events, to work, to the mall. They are so versatile and not to mention super stylish and gorge!

5. Ankle strap sandals- Can you say va-va-voom? If you want an ultra-femme fatale vibe, sport a pair of strappy sky high sandals. It never fails to make me feel like I'm supermodel height even if I'm actually only 5'4" These shoes give a little swish to your step and an extra boost of confidence, because don't we all need that once in awhile?

6. Flat Sandals- For days you want to lounge around and keep it casual without going so low as to having to wear flip flops out (Never do that please!) Great with maxi dresses, summer babydolls and denim shorts. I can't live without my strappy flat gladiators!


These days, it's too easy to walk into a "health store" to pick up snacks that are supposed to be low in sugar and fat. But instead of buying a bag of dried apple rings, I always opt to try to make everything myself. Clean eating isn't just about buying better food, but also avoiding chemicals and additives.

The best apples to use for baking, are green apples. Fuji apples are good too, but everything else is too dry, making the final result less tasty.


  • pre-heat oven
  • slice fresh apples into thin rings. The crispier you want the rings to be, the thinner the slices.
  • place apple rings on a tray lined with aluminum foil
  • bake in oven with top and bottom heat
  • watch the apple rings to make sure they are baked to your taste
  • top with ground cinnamon and serve
You can add other things on top obviously, like honey, brown sugar.. whatever your little heart desires.

Or...... you can go completely rogue and slap them on top of some vanilla ice cream, smear some peanut butter on top and sprinkle with shaved dark chocolate (JUST SAYING) your options are unlimited.

Monday, July 21, 2014


People always complain about holiday weight gain, and while it is a very real possibility to gain ten pounds while eating your way through Europe or the US, or wherever it is you are headed to, there are also ways to minimize it while still making sure you enjoy yourself. Vacations were not made to stick to your diet so don't even think about it! But you know what, I get it, because I try to stay conscious when I travel to make sure I don't get scale shock when I get home, at the same time, I try not to obsess and just eat all the yumminess that comes my way. Here are a few things I do to stay the same dress size when on vacay:

Walk: At most, I will take the train to get to places that are a bit far, but for the most part, I prefer walking. Not only do I get my bearings this way, it also helps me get my cardio in everyday, giving me the license to eat without guilt. When I was in Europe last year for 2 months, I came home 10 pounds lighter without consciously trying (Actually, I was underweight when I got back at 98 lbs OOPS! but my point is, all I did was walk to sight see and get lost and would end up walking 10-15km a day and sometimes more.) I ate whatever I wanted and lost weight! Winning!

Rent a Bike: If you are traveling to a bicycle friendly city like Amsterdam, do as the locals and go around on two wheels. It's a fun way to transport yourself around as you see the sights and get from place to place and will burn a good 400 calories per hour. Places like Siem Reap also offer bicycle rentals for only about $2 a day and you can bike to the temples and back.

Check online deals: If you are staying in one place for awhile, check out deals on group buying sites for work outs or passes to gyms. It is very possible that you will find great deals for fitness. When I was in SF recently, I found a ten class pass to the Circus Center for only $10 per class, and it's usually $20, and an unlimited month pass to a yoga center for $30! Save a portion of your day for your work out!

Take a Hike: Literally! Google Hike Trails near you and see a different side of the place you are visiting. Pretty sure you usually stick close to the city so this will allow you a work out, while being one with nature. Bring a small camera to take snaps of the pretty views.

                                                                               Photo from

GAZPACHO #ManicMonday

A Gazpacho is a traditional southern Spanish tomato soup, served chilled. I'm sure you're like: "It's cold tomato juice?" but no. A typical Andalusian Gazpacho is a little more than that. It's one of my favorites to make, because it's crazy healthy, filling and quick and easy to make. You can enjoy it as an appetizer, or have it for lunch with a salad on the side - it is absolutely diet-friendly, and takes about 5mins to make.

I make mine with peeled, canned tomatoes, because I don't like the texture of the tomato skins. If you have a little more time, you can also use fresh tomatoes (and remove the skin) - but fresh tomatoes make for a more liquid Gazpacho, and varies in color, yielding a soup that is more of a light orange.


peeled tomatoes in can
bell pepper, cucumber, almonds (optional)
dash of vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
stale bread (optional) for thickening


So, I know that by now, you're probably complaining about the fact that I never list accurate measurements in my recipes. It's because I don't ever measure anything. I'm a firm believer in watching while cooking, I test, try, add, alter recipes all the time according to my taste. Cooking is not math, it's art.. So bear with me, I promise that when we get to baking, I'm going to give you more specific details, haha.

For this Gazpacho recipe, 3/4 of your ingredients are tomatoes, while the other 1/4 is a mix of the rest of the ingredients.

  • place peeled tomatoes, a dash or two of extra virgin olive oil, some salt & pepper in a blender, or food processor and blend well
  • soak stale bread in water (generally country bread is best, avoid using sliced white bread) then squeeze the water out and add to blender
  • add the rest of the ingredients, taste, add ingredients if necessary (it should taste like a tomato-puree soup, with a hint of garlic/onion)
  • once you're satisfied with the taste, refrigerate
  • serve chilled, top with dried herbs like parsley and croutons and a hint of pepper
To turn into a full meal, serve with toasted bread.

UGHHH YUUUM. It's pretty much alllll I wanna eat over here - it's too hot for "real" food.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Circus School #WOOTW


When I was in San Francisco a couple months ago, I was eating less healthy than usual and definitely was not getting the work outs I needed to burn all those extra calories. I tried joining a gym while I was there, but I got bored running on the treadmill.

Out of boredom one day, I ended up googling "Circus School" to see if I could find something fun to do on my last few weeks. I found the Circus Center of San Francisco, a non-profit school taught by professional circus performers and ex- circus performers. I found a great deal at only $20 per class so I decided to sign up for a few.

Since I was used to be a gymnast, I thought maybe I could skip the introductory classes and go straight to the Beginner level ones, but I needed proof that I had experience in either gymnastics or circus arts. "Wow, this is hardcore," I thought to myself, and I had no idea how challenging the classes would actually be.

My first and favorite class was Intro to Tumbling. Here we first spent 20 minutes doing stretches, then we moved on to forward and backward rolls, kicks and jumps. We then moved on to cartwheels and headstands, and finally, round offs and front handsprings. I didn't think I still had it in me but I surprised myself by still being able to do many of the things I used to do. We had to do handstands with very little support and hold it for a minute, then do handstand push ups, walk forward, backwards and sidewards, yes still upside down!

I really wish someone would open something similar here in Manila. I went to four classes and I had so much fun. I wish I found that school sooner since I was in SF for two whole months! Next time I am abroad, I already know where I will be working out while on holiday! I've always wanted to run away with the circus!

For those going to the Northern Cali soon, you might wanna check it out: Circus Center San Francisco

Tea and Crepes for Two at TWG #SoulFoodSaturday

I had to run and do groceries one Sunday and decided to forego the usual Sunday lunch I have with my relatives to head over to have a proper brunch with my daughter at Rockwell pre-food shopping. We decided to head over to TWG since I had not been in awhile and was craving something rich and hearty (My last meal there was a foie gras salad so that's how I remember the food being like) I got a Parisian Crepe, filled with basil- bechamel, turkey ham, button mushrooms, potatoes and Emmenthal cheese and infused with Earl Grey tea, and Ananda got their beef lasagna, infused with Moroccan Mint Tea.

Most of their food items are infused with their teas and though the Earl Grey lent very little flavor to my crepe, I could really taste the mint in Ananda's lasagna. It made it taste like a lamb meat sauce instead of beef and we both loved it. In fact, halfway through our meal, we switched plates and finished off each other's food. I had my crepe with an iced Bourbon Vanilla tea. I love anything with Vanilla so this sweet African red tea was a hit for me. 

TWG Tea is located at 2F Power Plant Mall, Rockwell

Friday, July 18, 2014


Burger's & Brewskies already won their case by naming this drink after 3 of my favorite things in the world. On a little food-venture with Erica, we decided this was something I had to put to the test at all costs. So I ordered it and waited patiently, dissecting what the possible mix could actually contain. I'm not a fan of girly drinks, or anything mixed, mainly because they give me massive hangovers, that makes me just wanna implode brain-first, so I was weary.

The description read "Tired of Mimosas & Bloody Mary's? Try this one instead. Bacon infused bourbon, strawberries & pancake batter(just kidding) But it tastes like it sounds.."

WHAT?! Did I die and go to heaven???

When it arrived, I first noticed that the glass rim was lined with bacon bits. What a tease! My final verdict is that, well, it is a girly drink, I expected more "bourbon", but it was actually pretty yummy. A Scotch on the rocks (double, please!) drinker myself, it was a bit too light for my taste.. but a great dessert-replacement. Its a pallet cleanser for sure, which was great because it went with the burger I had ordered (and devoured). I finally asked the waiter for the actual ingredients, and have the distinct feeling he was trying to avoid telling me.. because he never came back with an answer.

Final verdict: A seasoned mixologist myself, if I was to guess what I was drinking, I would say it was Tequila Rose on the rocks + bacon bits, but you can't deny the clever name and pretty presentation!

Must try!

Inked: A different kind of beauty #BeautyBuzz

People are always asking me about my ink, if they have any meaning (most do) if they hurt (yes!) and for tips on getting their first tattoo, so I figured a blog post would be the easiest way to answer all those questions.
How many tattoos I have: 17 (Edited after a friend reminded me i had one more I forgot about OOPS!)
Where I have them: both wrists, finger, lower back, back, inner forearm, inner bicep, outer bicep, half sleeve, abdomen, hip, butt, shoulder, collarbone, ribcage, neck, foot

Why I get them: I believe that tattoos are a form of self-expression and an art form that many still don't get. In this day and age where it's not really that uncommon to have ink, I STILL get questions like "What if you regret them?" (It's been 18 years and I still don't) "Won't they look weird when you're old?" (Maybe but I also know we're the first generation who will have fully tatted up senior citizens!) and "What do your parents think?" (First of all, I'm in my thirties so it doesn't matter and second, both my parents have tattoos now too!) My tattoos tell stories of my past and I can give you a memory for every single one I have. Some people have diaries, I have tattoos.

Who inks me: I've gone to Sarah Gaugler, Mike Sambajon, Ricky Santa Ana, Gene Testa and Ding Fernandez

Should you get a tattoo: Only if you have sat and thought about your design for at least 6 months (especially for first timers) you have a trusted artist and have seen his or her work, you aren't pregnant, you are sober and clear headed (Please never get a tattoo when drunk) of age (Ok, I was 16 so don't copy me) you don't plan on donating blood for about 6 months, and your tattoo artist is certified by DOH and PhilTag.

Which are your favorite tats: The words Love, Patience, Priority on my wrist in my daughter's handwriting, My half sleeve drawn by my sister which has symbols of everything important to me, Ganesh on my back drawn by artist friend Dee Jae Paeste and the Apsara on my left arm, inspired by all my trips to Siem Reap, Cambodia. In reality, I love ALL my tattoos, but these are the ones that stand out.

Where would you NEVER get inked: My face and throat area.

Where is the most painful place to get inked: So far, rib cage, anywhere on your feet and inner arm.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


One of the best things you can invest in these days, is a classic cut suit set, preferably with a wider leg and a larger shoulder. Layer with crisp shirts buttoned up all the way, or button the blazer all the way up and wear with fuss-free hair, and you will automatically look like an updated Annie Hall-type, one who fell straight off the pages of Vogue. For a natural tomboy like myself, this look is almost like second skin, effortless chic and forever trendy. Because really, when men themselves now wear jeans skinnier than ours, who says we can't steal their style and dress more mannish? Extra points for making you feel like a man boss and all that.

Photos c/o Pinterest

Cambodia #TravelFeature

The first time I went to Cambodia was in 2008, and it was love at first sight when I arrived in Siem Reap. I went a second time in 2012 and again just a few weeks ago. The "city," if you can even call it that, is very small, with the largest concentration of restaurants and resorts in and around Pub Street by the Old Market. There you will find bars and pubs like the infamous Angkor What? and Red Piano, where the cast of Tomb Raider supposedly hung out on most nights after shooting, and restaurants serving both Khmer (Cambodian) and Western Food. My favorites include Khmer Kitchen for typical Cambodian meals for cheap, Soup Dragon if you are craving Vietnamese and Le Tigre de Papier for the surprisingly awesome Bolognese Pizza (like Baked Spaghetti in Pizza form. Seriously) I also enjoyed the Cordon Bleu at Red Piano and I never miss ice cream at Blue Pumpkin. Also, if you are out at night, you'll find a lot of street food carts with crazy things like scorpions and snakes, to safer "pancakes," which are actually more like crepes.

Of course, everyone goes to Siem Reap for one thing, the majestic temples. I suggest that you visit Angkor Wat at sunrise. Yes, you will probably have to wake up at 4 am, but waiting in the dark for about 15 minutes as the sun comes up and starts showing the temple is one of the most gorgeous sights you will ever see. Once you finish enjoying that, you can walk over and go into Angkor Wat and explore. If it is your first time, it is worth it to book a guide who can walk you through the place plus give you extensive information and the history of the place and all other temples you decide to visit. You can usually do Angkor Wat super early, stay a couple hours then head straight to Angkor Thom for the Bayon Temple, which you will probably recognize by the many smiling faces you will see in it's exterior. Allow another couple of hours to explore, admire and take photographs.

A bit of a hassle is that they are restoring a lot of the main temples, so you will probably see scaffolding and construction if you go this year (or even until 2016) but no matter, it's still an awesome experience knowing that alot of them were built in the 9th-13th centuries! Can you imagine all the hard work that took especially since there was no modern machinery yet! Ta Phrom, or the Tomb Raider temple is going through major renovations right now and I am a bit disappointed that they built platforms in the popular photo op areas because it looks so touristy now compared to last time. Nevertheless, it's a must see temple and considered one of the main ones to see, especially if it's your first time.

It's was my first time to fly to Phnom Penh this last trip, which is the nation's capital aka "the big city," according to those we talked to in Siem Reap. To be completely honest, my first impression of PP is that it was so hectic, condensed and dirty (like piles of garbage everywhere) It seemed to be a city that was still emerging, with their first real mall opening only a few weeks before I arrived. It takes awhile to warm up to the city, especially if you get used to the laid back vibe of Siem Reap (and also people seem to be friendlier since there are more tourists in SR) but once you get passed the initial stress of the traffic and confusion of street addresses that don't make sense and tuk tuk drivers who always say they know where you want to go but really don't, you will find the charm in this city, mostly through little hidden alleyways, restaurants and museums. Do not miss the Royal Palace (pray it does not rain, or if reports say it will, save it for another day because we got stuck inside for over an hour because of waist deep flooding outside) and the National Museum for historical relics and the like. Also, it may not be the happiest place on earth but the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a must see, especially to learn more about Cambodia's more violent past (Don't all countries seem to have one? Except like, Switzerland) I had to hold back tears as I looked at pictures of the 20,000 people held prisoner, tortured and killed in that school turned prison and interrogation center.

I would give around 4 days if you are visiting only Siem Reap and a week if you want to do both SR and PP. Here's what to expect in terms of prices when you are there:

Transportation from airport-hotel: $7 for a car/ $10 for a van
Tuk Tuk- SR: $1 day/ $2 night and PP: $2-5 depending on distance.
Bus from SR-PP and vice versa: $13 for the night bus (8 hours on a bed for 2 so make sure you are with a friend OR book both unless you are ok to sleep next to a stranger!
Massage: $7-20
Meals:  $5-10 per person (with drinks)
Temple Entrance Fee: $20/day 40/3 days and 60/week pass
Tuk Tuk Rental: $8 half day/15 whole day
Hotel: $40-50/ night for a decent hotel through or
Drinks: $2-4 Cocktails and Wine


For someone who isn't a fan of artificial, low calorie sweeteners or refined sugar, randomly picking up a pack of Coco Natura was a little bit like the heavens opening up and angels coming down to me in fanfares. Coco Natura is derived from organic coconut tree sap and minimally processed, hence, no chemicals and with all its natural minerals, vitamins and amino acids. Hallelujah!

They carry an array of products, so make sure to check out their site for more info

Organic all the way!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Never one to say no to anything containing bacon, I almost pride myself in being able to keep up with my dude-friends, when it comes to power-eating. And who does not love a disgustingly awesome mac & cheese? Well, my friends, here you get both of the bad worlds.. This place is an absolute go-to for my girls and I, especially when we wanna drink ourselves silly over food that is going to make us want to cry after consumption.

This little monster here is a CALL THE NURSE. Seriously, no explanations needed.

B&B Burgers and BrewskiesForbes Town Center

Unit E Forbes Town Center, Burgos CircleForbestown RdFort Bonifacio, Taguig(02) 403-4038

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

BB, CC & DD cream? #LikeSo

So I'm sure you are like, what on earth is DD cream?? Yes kids, skincare technology is advancing so fast, that there is a new product on the market everytime you blink. I myself am a dedicated BB cream fan, because I really don't like caking on the foundation, and I have dry skin, so powders I use in moderation. It is important to find the right product for your skin type, so I'm going to once and for all clear up what the difference is between these products.


BB creams offer a light coverage, which comes in handy when you are trying to cover up uneven skin. They are supposed to double as a moisturizer and light foundation, but do not offer enough to replace your standard moisturizer, so I use one underneath the BB cream.


Now, the main difference between a BB and a CC, is the fact that the CC creams carry an additional boost in vitamins that can hide your skin imperfections because they contain light-diffusing ingredients. The antioxidants in CC creams make it an ideal choice for those who are trying to better the quality of their skin.


My personal opinion is, don't believe the hype about this one. It isn't much more than the BB or the CC cream, it just offers additional ingredients that help prevent moisture loss, and usually contain additional SPF. If you have extremely dry skin though, this might be a good one to try.. otherwise, just use a great moisturizer, slap on some BB cream and you're all set!

Photo source:

Baba Ghanoush #TuesdayTummy

I have never liked eggplant. I always found it weird in taste and texture, until I tried baba ghanoush, which is essentially eggplant, wrapped in foil and roasted and then mixed with tahini, onions and tomatoes. Of course, being the way I am, I always need to make a dish my own, so I added a few things to make it more interesting and tasty (Feta, anyone?) Here's a delicious but healthy snack to curb those hunger pangs between meals.


2 medium sized eggplants
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Pita bread

How to:

  • Pierce holes in your eggplant with a fork and throw in the oven for about 40 minutes, until roasted and tender.
  • Rinse with cold water and peel off the skin
  • Add all ingredients except feta, onions, tomatoes and paprika and put in a food processor or blender until mixed well.
  • Place in a bowl and add onions and tomatoes, mix well.
  • Add feta on top and sprinkle paprika
  • Serve with toasted pita triangles

Monday, July 14, 2014


"How do I get abs?" is a continuous battle we all face. I myself am a firm believer in having a strong core firstly.. but the common mistake we all make, is striving for having abs, rather than focusing on building strength. Well, I tell you, if you want to look ripped around your midsection, that part is easy. 200 crunches every day, 200 suicide planks. Combined with cardio, I guarantee, your muscles will surface with just those moves alone. But having a strong core is a whole 'nother ball-game. 

Here are 3 workouts that will build your core as well as the rest of your body, while being fun. Don't let the ballet barre, or the stripper pole and the "dance" moves fool you.. some of the women I know, who master these workouts, are stronger than the men I see bench-pressing and lifting while making loud noises in gyms.


A barre class can vary from floor exercises, to poses with weights and stretches on the barre, a handrail that runs around almost the entire room. Barre was derived from the practices of ballet professionals, using the rail for support, especially when balancing on just one leg - it is great for posture (something I need badly) and a great workout for your legs and core especially, just be sure to tell your instructor when you have knee problems.

BARRE3 Philippines has several branches around Metro Manila, for more info visit their website


Now, for a workout-snob like myself, Zumba didn't sound like it would be up my alley at all. Let's just put it this way, my mother does Zumba.. But after lots of research, it became clear that the dance elements combined with fast-paced aerobic movements, can be fun. Especially after a long day of stress at work, Zumba burns more calories than your dancing around your apartment furiously, in your underpants, while blasting Sia's "Chandelier".

MOVEMENT DANCE STUDIO offers Zumba classes at Podium Mall in Ortigas. Check out for more details.


Let's be honest here - every single one of us has wondered how well they would do in trying to wrap themselves around a pole. This isn't even about doing it for the boys, but about proving to yourself how strong you can actually be, physically, all while suspended by your legs, looking like a graceful little diva. Admit it. And based on what I have seen people do on these poles.. they are some of the fittest people I have seen. And oh yeah.. stronger than most men out there, that's for sure.

POLE ACADEMY is the best place to unleash your inner Demi Moore.. like their page for updates on classes and performances.

Bangus Sisig Salad #ManicMonday

I've been traveling for the past two weeks with only one day in Manila between cities and I am majorly exhausted. As much as I love cooking, the last thing I want to do tonight is think about what to cook for dinner, so I decided on my quick and easy go to meal, that is low on carbs, but won't leave you looking for it, I promise! I make the Bangus "sisig" with canned Bangus fillet that I crumble while frying. When crispy, I add egg and mix it in and end with some lime before serving. You can actually have this with rice too if you want, but if you are trying to get your greens in, this is great in a salad.


1 can Century Bangus (Spanish Style)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
dash of liquid seasoning
juice of 1/2 lime
mixed greens (i use romaine and lollo rossa)
Nori flakes
Sesame dressing (store bought)

How to:

Wash and dry your salad leaves. Set aside.
Fry bangus fillet with garlic and onions until crispy. Break up while frying.
Add egg and mix into the bangus.
Add some liquid seasoning.
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime as you turn off the heat.
Allow to cool.
Arrange your salad leaves on a plate.
Top with 2-3 tablespoons of Bangus sisig.
Add nori flakes.
Top off with 1.5 tablespoons of dressing.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


As a first time Pilates-doer, I definitely had my reservations about the workout - but they were drowned in my excitement to try something new. I liked the sound of a workout that was based around the core, because I can always judge my all-round fitness by how strong my core is. Being a kiteboarder, I am practically obliged to walk around all ab-tastic and strong, but living in the city has its disadvantages, and sadly, these days I am getting the most exercise when I am shuffling around my corner at the office, while sitting in my chair.

CoreSuspend is a workout developed by OptionsStudio to combine the benefits of Nurac treatments with a workout that focuses on building your core-strength - and is extremely fun! All the stretching and balancing combined, is supposed to leave you feeling taller, and toned up, both of which I absolutely felt after my session.

My favorite moves were the plank (for very obvious reasons) and an invert they kindly let me try. I'm sure I really looked like an upside down monkey, but I'm also thinking, that's what its probably supposed to look like, although at second glance, I should have probably tucked my butt in a little bit more.

OptionsStudio offers:

  • Pilates for sports conditioning
  • Pilates for leisure 
  • Pilates for postural correction (back pain, shoulder issues and many more.
  • Pilates for rehab clients (led by qualified physiotherapists)

Honestly, it was really hard to peel myself off the ropes, I was just monkeying around and having the time of my life, just as the next class was coming in. This now means I am seriously considering installing my own ropes in my apartment (DON'T TELL MY LANDLORD) haha

For more info (also about other branches)
2201 NAC Tower, 32nd St. Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City



When I am hungry, I am starving. And then I will grab everything in my fridge labelled "fattening" and throw them all into a pan. I'm really a little bit of a purist most of the time, but on weekends, when I stay in bed for most of the time, unless I am working (like I am today) - it's absolutely free for all in terms of calories.

Sometimes, you just can't shake that craving for the junkier side of things. So, I decided years ago, if I am going to eat something that might trigger a heart attack - I might aswell do it right. FYI - home-cooked "junk food" can also be known as "soul food". Even bacon & waffles. YES.


filleted chicken (I use chicken breast)
1 egg
sharp cheddar cheese
gouda cheese
plain greek yogurt
dried parsley
cooking oil (I use coconut oil)
salt & pepper to taste

It takes about 90mins to bake a large potato, maybe 60mins for a medium sized one, so you can start with that. While the potato is baking, you can keep checking if its done by piercing it with a fork, to check if its cooked through.


  1. Pre-heat oven at about 300 degrees (150 degree celsius). 
  2. Wash potatoes thoroughly and scrub the skin. Lightly salt and pepper the whole potato, then wrap into aluminum foil and place into oven.
  3. Keep checking the potatoes about an hour into baking and when they are close to being cooked, wash chicken and cut into inch-thick strips.
  4. Beat egg in a bowl, place chicken strips in the egg and cover generously.
  5. Spread flour on a plate, and roll chicken strips in the flour until completely covered.
  6. Pour some oil in a pan and fry chicken strips until golden brown.
  7. Once the potato is cooked through, slice it in half while still in the aluminum foil, add some butter and then top off with grated cheese. Place back in the oven until cheese melts.
  8. Take greek yogurt (my favorite!) and add some salt and pepper. Mix well.
  9. Place potatoes & chicken on a plate, cover with the yogurt and garnish with some dried parsley and pepper.