Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bust Bacne with Cyleina Organic Carrot Soap

Bacne or back acne is a common problem to some women, including myself.  I have been using Cyleina Organic soaps for my body for quite some time now, but only lately that I've tried its Carrot variant.

Cyleina Organic Carrot Soap is power packed with three of nature's most effective healthy skin enhancers:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: Major Suppliers Are In Before Year Ends

Though I'm not feeling well while writing this, I know I'm relieved to have booked (almost) all major wedding suppliers before the year ends. That made us exempted from any possible price increase next year. Most were booked with promos, big plus! Also one of the major advantages was locking the date, it is so important.

Here's our dream team as of today:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: Photo & Video Suppliers Hunt

With all the photographers and videographers in the wedding industry I almost
didn't know where to begin. All I know was our budget isn't unlimited and we don't want too post-processed photos and video.  We've decided we want an SDE (same day edit) and as months pass by I find myself becoming more and more picky when it comes to SDE portfolios I see. While I give it to my fiance the decision on the photo aspect as he's more knowledgeable.'s Girl Talk was a big help. I learned about so many suppliers through it.

And so the hunt began.

I've inquired with so many suppliers and viewed countless photos and SDEs. It was crazy. It was tiring as some point. I also joined Ruffa&Mike and Jake Olaso's promo in the hopes if winning a free photo and video coverage. Unfortunately, they were both booked on the date of our wedding. So let that go. Back to the hunt.

Our ceiling budget is 50k for the photo and video. It's a gift my parents would gladly give us for our wedding. So I need to stick to that budget and still have the quality of the photos and video we wanted. I will share our shortlist,  as well as the full list of photo and video suppliers we considered:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Latest Organic Skin Care Finds: Milea Rosehips Cream & Royal Jelly Eye Mask

My latest organic skincare product finds are Milea's Rosehips Cream and Royal Jelly Eye Mask. I have been looking at Milea's products long ago, but haven't had the chance to try any of them until now. Their products are more expensive than my favorite Human Nature's, but since I experienced breakouts from HN's night cream (old formula) and they do not have eye cream yet, I have been searching for a reasonably priced natural night cream and eye care product. 

I chanced upon a local delicacies bazaar in Robinson's Manila with Milea products being sold together with Milea Farm's bee by-products where I also bought Propolis Throat Spray for Yan. Good thing I found it since these 2 products I just ordered from a dealer were said to be out of stock.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Your Favorite Movie Stars Come to Life in Movie Stars Cafe

When entering Movie Stars Cafe, one must be prepared for a festive dining atmosphere. There's no door fee and you get to see your favorite movie characters and watch them in action! Kids would definitely get frantic with all the visual spectacle Movie Stars Cafe offers.  Movie Stars Cafe, located in the Seaside Blvd., Mall of Asia, is a movie memorabilia studio slash cafe and restaurant. Talk about entertainment!

Characters in full costume are a common sight, even the waiters are dressed as movie characters. Guests can take all the photos they want. But wait till the show started, it's a spectacle you wouldn't expect to find here. The shows are scheduled with intervals of 15 minutes.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Philippine Wedding Trends: Celebration or Show Off?

I have always envisioned my wedding to be intimate, surrounded by closest friends and family, perky, light, happy. When I started planning for our wedding months ago, I found myself overwhelmed by all the elements that are expected in a wedding here. Of course, I've been to several weddings before and even then I know that wedding trends here have just gone above and beyond what the essentials are.  It felt like Filipina brides undergo peer pressure and this pushes them to put together this typical modern Filipino wedding - which is way beyond simple, by the way.

Photo source:
My mom would always tell me, you do not need to have lots of money in order to get married. Thinking of what a typical wedding here is, that's impossible! But I know what she meant - what is a wedding for anyway? Go define it yourself.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: Church Booked for the Big Day!

The most important booking of the wedding done! After days of calling their office to check if we can already book our wedding for next year, finally Archbishop's Palace opened their 2015 calendar for bookings. And we're the very first couple who booked for that year!

I was on my way back to office from warehouse when I called the chapel and got the good news. Since August 31, I have been calling their office daily to check if booking for 2015 is already open because I certainly do not want to risk losing out on the slot for our date. We decided that we do not want any other church as Archbishop's Palace definitely is perfect for what we wanted - a solemn and intimate wedding ceremony in a small air-conditiondioned church or chapel.

We can just imagine spending our Sunday family mornings here with our (soon to be) kids :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: Hizon's Grand Food Tasting Part 1

We went to our most awaited grand food tasting of Hizon's in Light of Love. My parents went with us because I wanted them to see the place. Our AE in Hizon's, Jorina, registered us for the event, but my name wasn't listed when we got there. It was no problem though, they listed us under walk-ins.

The food tasting was held at Trust, one of the bigger venues in LOL. It's a tent venue. The place was set up nicely with several small square banquet tables for the clients / potential clients for that day. They also had a full set up for the couple's area, presidential tables and the round table for the guests. The set up was their Rustic Garden theme.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: First Grand Food Tasting with CVJ

Yan's most awaited part of our wedding preps: food tasting! Yesterday we went to our very first food tasting at the CVJ Clubhouse in Marikina.

The place was fully set up as if a wedding will take place. There was a lighted buffet table where their best-sellers were served. We were given a menu of the items being served that day. I was so happy to see Yan taking lead for the first time since we started planning our wedding. He was the one really assessing each dish and checking and crossing out items on the menu. It's what it takes to get him to participate - FOOD.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: My Wedding Party Venues Reviews and Shortlist

I am happy to share my supplier reviews hoping these will help other bride-to-be's who are looking for options and feedback. The first supplier shortlist post I did was my hair and make up artists shortlist.  And now I am sharing with you my party venues options and shortlist. 

I have already booked our wedding party venue. It will be at the Light of Love Events Place in Quezon City, and I could say that we don't have any regrets booking the place. I like this place ever since I saw its photos online. You may see here my stories of our very first ocular and when we finally booked it.

When choosing the party venue I considered the following:
  1. Budget: Will it not exceed our budget? (Big question)
  2. Value for money: Does it include packages that will make my life easier and will cut down on my cost? 
  3. Not too stiff: We do not want it to look too formal so we do not want a ballroom. We also do not want the venue to look too stiff as we want a fun and perky party.
  4. Ambiance: Is it beautiful? Is there anything special with the place compared to other venues?
  5. Space: Is it big enough and will not be too tight? Tight venues are no-no for us.
  6. Service: Will the staff be of great service to us attending to our queries and needs before and during our wedding day? Will they make our big day stress-free?
  7. Food: If food packages are included, are they good enough? Is the price worth it?
  8. Parking: This is important. Will our guests not have difficulty parking?
  9. Location
I have researched so many venues and I will try to lay them all out here for you. I will quickly do a run-down of all the venues I looked at (online) and my actual shortlist. If you want to skip to the shortlist you may scroll further down as I have pretty much included in this post all the venues that I have encountered along the way, including those that I still looked up even after I have booked our chosen venue.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: My Hair and Make-up Artists Shortlist

I'm happy to say that I have finally booked my HMUA after thorough research and forum reading - which you can read about here. For those who haven't booked one yet and are still looking, I want to share the HMUAs and their packages that I've shortlisted and considered. It's a copy-paste straight from my personal note (which I have organized a bit, of course) from my Wedding notebook in Evernote that I'd be happy to share with you.

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I've never considered booking an expensive HMUA because I know I can find lots who are as good and who offer reasonable rates. As I've began my hunt for my HMUA, I've seen a lot of artists who offer reasonable enough rates and I've compiled them all. What I look for? 3 main things (in order of importance): client feedback, rate, portfolio.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: Hair and Make up Artist Booked! - Berny Tia

I've never considered booking an expensive HMUA because I know I can find lots who are as good and who offer reasonable rates. As I've began my hunt for my HMUA, I've seen a lot of artists who offer reasonable enough rates and I've compiled them all, sharing my shortlist here. What I look for? 3 main things (in order of importance): client feedback, rate, portfolio.

I was eyeing Mich Camclang and Mhec Gado. Mich's already known in the industry and her rates are affordable. However, it was a bit difficult to get in touch with her personally for questions. I know she's really busy and it's obvious why. With her packages and reputation, many bride to be's are dying to book her. Though her being hard to reach is a common feedback about her, many have vouched that she can really deliver.

As with Mhec Gado, if Mich was hard to reach, Mhec was so accommodating and replies fast. I am quite ready to drop by at the Blush Beauty Bridal Fair then to have a make up trial with Mhec Gado when I started talking to Ms. Berny.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: Wedding Planning Back on Track!

Holla! Just got back the country from a 2-week business trip abroad and I am so excited to continue with my wedding preps. I'm back on track. There are lots of things to accomplish!

I am sort of pencil booked with Berny Tia HMUA and Events Simplified wedding coordinator.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: An Awesome Wedding Need Not Be Super Expensive

Every girl dreams of being a bride on her own fairy tale wedding.  As I grow up and take on adult responsibilities, realizations dawned on me that it is not practical to splurge most of our hard-earned money for a one-day event. Yes, it may be one of the most important days of our lives, but I cannot bear the thought of spending half a million bucks just for that. I just can't.  

Before I begin, let me clarify that this is my opinion and I truly respect the opinions of others who'd rather have grand weddings. Many believe that it's a once in a lifetime event, which is true, and worth-splurging for. Dream weddings vary and do what makes you happy.

Now that I am clear with that and hopefully no bride-to-be's will bash me, I will begin...

Last year I bought a condo unit and, of course, I am paying for its amortization. With that being said, I do not have the liberty now of splurging on unnecessary things.  I grew up being money-wise, thanks to my mom. I usually do not splurge on expensive things even if I have money to do so. I have never in my life experienced being "broke" or short of cash because I always make saving a priority. (Plus the fact that I do not pay for rent, food, power bills, etc. right now) With a condo unit I am paying for, it would be impractical to do a really expensive wedding.

Luckily, I have always imagined my wedding to be a small one, intimate rather than grand.  Surrounded only by our closest family and friends. That's my dream wedding.

Three principles I am sticking with:
  1. Spend on what matters
  2. Maximize your budget
  3. Creativity is the key

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Surfin' La Union: A Guide for Surfer Newbies by a Non-Surfer

I have only tried surfing twice - first time was in San Juan, La Union, the other in Bagasbas Beach, Camarines Norte straight after camping in Calaguas Island.  I am no pro when it comes to surfing, that's certain. I can even barely make it to the shore atop my board. But I'd love to share these tips based on the experiences I had as an adventure-seeking traveler who tried surfing even if it got the best of me, just because I ONLY LIVE ONCE. Please note that the tips below are solely based on my experiences as a first-timer in San Juan, La Union with no professional background in surfing whatsoever. 

Surfing is not as easy as it looks.  It requires strength, balance, endurance and tons of patience and will power. Let's begin!


Knowing how to swim is an advantage, as always.
Do you really need to know how to swim to be able to surf?  First of all, knowing how to swim is crucial if you are a fan of outdoor adventures, especially water sport activities. Swimming enables you to try more activities without the fear of getting drowned.  It is a big advantage when doing any water sport activity. Even if swimming is not really required, you will feel more confident doing the sport because you know whatever happens you can swim. Same goes with newbie surfing.

Hire a surfing instructor even if you are the bravest person on Earth.
So you know how to swim, in fact you are good at it.  You're a dare devil and you want to prove you are brave and can take on any sport activity. Can you try learning to surf by yourself? Na-ah! I don't think so. Unless you have a surfer pro friend who is willing to teach you, you need to hire a professional surfer instructor.  It's non-negotiable.  When you get on that surf board in the sea for the first time, you will see what I mean.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: Party Venue Booked!

After one more week of thinking it over, considering other options, researching, reading forums and blogs, we went back to Light of Love to finally book the place for our big day.

As mentioned in my previous post, when we had our first ocular last week there was a wedding reception going on (exact time as we'll be having ours) that's why we weren't able to roam around the room.

When we came back yesterday we had the whole place to ourselves, and I loved it even more. We can envision our after-wedding party happening here. It's perfect for us, for what we wanted.

Here it is!

I'm in love with the glass ceiling and huge chandelier.
Our wedding party will be under the stars. ♡

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Wedding Preps Series: First visit at Light of Love Events Place

Wedding preps on the way. This is it.

A week after Yan proposed to me (and of course I said yes), we went to visit Light of Love in QC.  There was a time I got really into researching and planning for our future wedding even if we were not yet engaged. And the venue, of course, was my first priority in mind. I have researched so much and read so many feedback from blogs and forums. Compared this and that, weighed the pros and cons. I finally ended up loving Light of Love's Atrium, its glass ceiling, chandelier, intimacy, reasonable rates, and thought 'this is it' - my venue of choice. But those were the days when I was only dreaming. Now it's really happening. I did not think of re-visiting my other venue choice and my mind and heart stuck with LOL.

I immediately contacted the AE I was emailing before to get the updated rates. I was not planning to book the place yet until August after my business trip abroad, but when I found out that almost all weekends of December 2015 were booked already, I panicked.  I can't lose the place!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Keep Calm and Watch Movies

I love movies as much as I love books.  It transports me to another world where unicorns exist, where my prince charming can be Tom Cruise, where happily ever after is a dream come true.  All of us have these movies that changed our lives, opened our minds, challenged us, encouraged us to dream, pushed us to be kinder people, made us better.  I have a handful.  One of the movies which made a mark on me and made me fall in love with watching them is Pay It Forward. This movie starred by, child star then, Haley Joel Osment  and Kevin Spacey in 2000 restored my faith back in humanity, in the goodness that exists in each of us.  ‘Paying it forward’ is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor.  It was a novel published in 1999 by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The following year it was brought into the silver screen as a well-made and very inspiring film.  Movies like this that can affect its viewers in such a way that makes them better people is a masterpiece of life.

I love going to the movies, buying popcorn, and just enjoying the film without any distractions. I just hate it when I have to rush to the movie house just to find all seats sold out and wait for the next screening.   It’s the biggest nuisance when going to the movies. The most recent movie I’ve seen was X-Men: Days of Future Past and ended up getting seats I do not like (well better than ending up on LFS).  Now how about a pocket app that would let me buy tickets and get the best seats in a breeze through my smartphone? Yes, please. That would be super cool and super convenient.

Here's the GMovies app on my smartphone
Brace yourselves for this is now possible with GMovies! Movie enthusiasts like me would surely love to get their hands on this app.  It is the ultimate pocket app for our movie fix!  GMovies is the first and only one of its kind in the country which will allow us to begin our movie going experience anytime, anywhere! Stay updated with the current and upcoming movie releases on cinemas nationwide, get the best seats and buy our movie tickets straight on our smartphones! Powered by Globe Telecom, this film-tastic mobile app is FREE for download for both Android and iOS users.  Cool beans! No more hassle falling in line.  This is indeed the ultimate pocket app for movie-goers!

This is what the app looks like.
What's my next movie to watch? Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault In Our Stars, Maleficent?

You can fully enjoy the GMovies experience by following GMovies social pages:

GMovies on Facebook
@GMoviesApp on Twitter
@GMovies on Instagram
GMovies on Youtube

I cannot wait to use it on my next movie date!

How about you? What movie made you fall in love with watching movies?
One of the commenters to answer this question can win two (2) FREE movie dates each week for one (1) month! Comment away!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kapitolyo Foodie Bucket List: Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

It's been a while! A long while. My last post was about the raffle I held with high hopes of getting more respondents for the survey that I did for my IMC campaign in order to finish grad school. And so I did. And I am happy to be back! I have a looong list of topics I am itching to write about, let me start with one of the stops in our Kapitiolyo Food Bucket List.

If you are a foodie, sure you must have been to Kapitolyo, Pasig where a hub of unique, affordable and good restaurants can be found.  One of the first stops - Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina.

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina uniquely showcases a fusion of unpretentious Filipino and Mexican flavors.  Mexican is my number one favorite cuisine in the world, and so I would not mind queuing up to try the dishes that make this place so packed every single time I pass by.

We ate here several months ago, way before my life got held up by grad school's last and most tedious challenge. I made notes, so don't worry. :)

We ordered Silantro's Quesadillas which comes in two big servings for only Php160, Lucha Tacos Medio which comes with two tacos with double choice of meat for Php 95, and of course you gotta have the Silantro's Burrito which was a giant for Php 180.

This Quesadilla was unlike anything I've had. It's drowning in mushrooms, chicken, mozarella cheese, it was so good. It was unexpected. Yes, it was a deviation from the Mexican Quesadillas I'm used to, but it was sooo good! Served with fries on the side. An order is good for 2 persons.

Silantro's Quesadillas - must try!
I swear it's worth it!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Get a FREE Human Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil: Just Answer the Survey!

Hey lovelies! Here's the thing, I am on my last hurrah for my graduate school program which I have been taking for about three years now. It's been a ride. Now I need you to help me finish it by answering a survey for my graduate school thesis, and the best part is you can win a Human Nature 100% Natural Sunflower Beauty Oil as my thank you gift! 

To answer the survey, just click here
(Or simply copy this link to your browser address bar: ) 

Your participation in my survey is highly appreciated.  I hope you'll have fun taking it. It's not that long anyway, just about 2 minutes of your time. I hope you can answer the survey as best and as truthful as you can.

I will get in touch with the lucky respondent soon through email. I will also announce it via our Facebook page. So make sure to like our page!


-Monique ♥


Winner of this promo is Jhe David.
Congratulations, Jhe!

To everyone who answered my survey, thanks so much from the bottom of my heart. :)

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