July 29, 2014

BDJ Box ~ Let the Beauty Begin (June 2014)

I was a little overwhelmed with this month's BDJ content.  After the previous month's heavy and full packed box,  I was expecting full sized samples this time. 
What I got are tiny sample sized products of an apparently expensive brand.  I hate sampler sizes, too small to test if they actually works for you.
This month's BDJ tie up is with an international brand ~ Benefit Cosmetics.   
Benefit's packaging and branding is quite edgy and obviously aimed at sassy, yet adventurous babes. Gazing through an accompanying brochure sure was an eye candy.
Now if only they were full-sized.  
I have seen and read the good reviews of other BDJ box's subscribers on June's package and I am a little apprehensive on how to pull this review off. 
So what's inside?
Inside my package are seven (7) Benefit's products.
  • Porefessional PRO Balm - 22ml costs P1600. The box has two (2) 3.0ml size balm.  This is supposed to help minimize pores and fine lines.  I have actually tested this one and it went straight to my cosmetic bag.  I love the fact that it is non greasy and leaves a silky finish.  Unfortunately I find it quite expensive, literally.
  • Fake Up Concealer- 3.5g costs P1600.  The sample is 0.5g.  The product guide says it helps conceal dark circles in your eye area.  I haven't tried it yet.
  • Big Easy- 35ml costs P2000.  The sample is 3.0ml.  It is a BB cream that moisturizes and controls oil on your skin.  I am a fan of BB creams and this one got me a little bit excited.  I already finished my sample, but I can't say if it worked or if it was any better than the existing brand I am using. 
  • Stay Flawless - 15.5g costs P1900. This product acts as a primer that helps your foundation to stay on for up to 15 hours.  This is next on my trial list.  
  • It's Potent - 14.2ml costs P1800.  Included in the box is a 3.0g sample. According to the product guide, this eye cream helps maintain and improve elasticity of the skin around your eyes.
  • Lollitint - 12.5ml costs P1700.  The sample is 2.5ml. This is a lips and cheeks candy-orchid (it is actually a lot like pink when I applied it on) tint that can last from day to night.  I used it twice, but it leaves a bad on my lips, I so it went back inside the box.
  • Benetint - 12.5ml costs P1700.  The sample is 2.5ml. This is also a lips and cheeks tint, but in rose  stain.  I really did not like the taste of the Lollitint and I am afraid this one tastes the same, so I haven't used it yet.  
Included in the box are two coupons: (1) a free makeupper and (2) a P300 brow wax service (with any product purchase).
I am not a fan of really expensive cosmetic brands, especially imported ones.  I often find US brands particularly quiet harsh on my skin and I sometimes doubt, if these were made for an Asian skin in mind. 
Having said that, however, for Benefit's Cosmetics, I could say the ones I have tested were gentle on my skin. But, due to the size of the samples, I can't really say if they worked well and if they were good enough to spend ludicrously amount of money on. 
I hope BDJ starts shipping full sized products for testing.  I feel, these tiny samples are so small and are just like freebies sales ladies handout to prospective customers.  
Sorry, but this month's BDJ was a let down.

July 19, 2014

Stay, Eat and be Merry at New World Hotel Makati

   Our latest staycation was at the New World Hotel Makati
My husband had to work overnight on his birthday and I can't bear the thought of him spending his special day alone, so we decided to hang around.
Since he would be working at New World Hotel tonight (all smiles), we were able to get special rates. 
Our package included welcome drinks and noon tea buffet. 
Our receptionist personally seated us at the lobby lounge as we were served welcome drinks. Since our room was not yet available, we decided to take the noon tea as well.
This is the good life!
One of the yummiest cup cakes I have tasted. 

My kids went gaga over the sweet deserts and pastries.   They easily filled their plates with baked goodies they can eat ~ a real sugar overload!

After we finished and the kids had their fill, a bellboy took our bags and helped us to our room. 

We stayed in a superior room with a king size bed, plus a complimentary extra bed to fit us (2 adults and 2 kids) comfortably.

The room was quite small (made smaller with the additional bed set-up) and there were no real space for the kids to run around and play. The room was also a bit outdated, but it was clean and well maintained.  
The room has everything we needed ~ cozy beds, minibar, cabled television, wifi, It even has an umbrella and bath robes. 

We were just settling in, when the bellboy knocked and gave my husband a chocolate mousse cake.  What a surprise!
We just had noon tea and now an entire 8 inches round cake (less than two hours since we came in New World and I think I already gained a pound or two).
Too bad there is no candle. 
Our room has a lovely view of the pool and the Greenbelt. 
The buffet breakfast at the hotel's Café  1228 is amazing. Choices are varied and all very delicious 
(oops, again another pound or so).  
  • Location alone is AAA+. The hotel is just a few steps away the Greenbelt Mall, Landmark and Glorietta.  It is an absolute shopper's dream hotel.
  • Breakfast is superb.
  • Excellent service, from the moment you enter the hotel. Staff very cordial and accommodating. 
  • The extras we got made our stay really memorable.  We will be back for sure. 

July 18, 2014

Thank Goodness for Mary Grace Cafe' and Bakery

My guilty pleasure: luscious desserts taken with perfectly brewed coffee after a pleasant meal. 
I have always been a fan of Mary Grace's desserts, especially their brownies.  So I was happy to learn, that they have now ventured into a full café, offering tummy-filling, comfort dishes.
We ordered crispy cassava chips with onion dip for starters, 2 sets Vigan longganisa and classic carbonara (for my cream base pasta-addict kids) each for my boys, with a pitcher of iced tea Sangria as refreshments ~ for 4 pax (2 adults and 2 kids).

The highlight of the meal was ofcourse the famous Mary Grace mouthwatering desserts. We finished with a mango bene and strawberry shortcake with coffee.  
Saying we enjoyed our food is an understatement.
My kids literally devoured the cakes and we just had to order an additional cake to go.
  • We visited the SM Aura branch. There is another branch at  Podium Mall, but have not actually eaten there.  The space at SM Aura is bigger and seating more relaxed.  
  • It is a bit costly for a normal Juan's, but food really is delicious and worth trying, at least for special occasions.
  • Service is very good.  Staff attentive and warm.
  • Thumbs up for the food! We would definitely be back for more.
Click here to view Mary Grace Cafe' Menu.

July 14, 2014

Latest Dining Discovery in Tagaytay City ~ Morielli's Inn & Diner Restaurant

Tagaytay never runs out of hearty food stops and family friendly restaurants that continue to impress.
In our last Tagaytay escapade, my family experienced for our ourselves,
It is a very charming restaurant, that offers exciting twists to your otherwise so-so traditional dishes.
 The menu selection is varied and all looks delectable. We had to settle with the chef's specialties.
My family ordered the pepper rice surprise, soft tacos, Pampanga pizza, carbonara and "turon with ice cream" for dessert.  

L-R/T-B: (a) Restaurant facade, (b) Interior, (c) While waiting for our order, one of the crew offered to take our family picture and (d) My youngest enjoying his turon.

L-R/T-B: (a) Pampanga Pizza, utterly delicious, (b) Carbonarra, egg base, (c) Pepper Rice Surprise, my husband can't have enough and keeps on saying, how delicious this meal is. He devoured on the entire plate, (d) Turon with generous slices of banana and langka inside.


The restaurant's tag line ~" Eat Much, Laugh Often and Love Much", speaks much of the owners passion for cooking and sharing this love affair with food to others to enjoy.

Morielli's is a special restaurant that offers lovingly prepared food served by truly warm and pleasant personnel.  

The fast service and personable crew (specially Rachel) tops the extraordinary experience.

  • Come in hungry and order the house specialties.  We would definitely be back to try their breakfast.

  • Our food order were on the spicy side, I would not recommend for small children.  Please ask the crew for food suggestions for your little ones.
  • Morielli's also has rooms for rent.  Rachel was nice and gave us the grand tour.  They have four 4 bedrooms with a common living room area.  Each room has 2 queen beds, which I think would comfortably sleep a family of 4. Please check their website for the room rates or call them personally and ask for discounted rates.
Morielli's is located at Calamba Rd. cor. St. Francis Rd. Tagaytay.