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Monday, February 28, 2011

Mercato Sunday #3: Honey, I Shrunk the Macarons and Went Gaga for Snails and Herbed Chicken!

I dragged my boyfriend to BGC a couple Sundays ago for yet another Mercato Centrale food trip. Late post, I know, but here goes!

For lunch, we started with Herbed Chicken Breast Fillet from Mad About Spuds. We didn't expect it to be so flavorful! I loved the lemony kick. It was crisp on the outside but it could have been more tender. It was soft enough to fork through, though--and we were using plastic utensils!

I originally planned on trying things we haven't sampled before, but I just couldn't help myself. Had more ginataang kuhol (snails in coconut milk) at Auntie May's and indulged in Empire Macarons again, which I blogged about before here and here. So. Damn. Good!

This time, I got to try the mini versions of the macarons, as well as new flavors Salted Caramel and Vanilla Bean. I don't think I'll ever have enough of Empire's little bites of heaven!

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Magical Sagada: A Whole New World

photo credit: Rosalie Torres

Last month, I took a 12-hour bus ride to Sagada, Mountain Province with my boyfriend and his family for his sister's birthday. I felt like I had been transported to a different dimension! Here are some of the highlights of our trip, though no photo can do justice to the beauty of the place.

We hopped on a Cable Tours bus that took us from Manila to Bontoc, where we transferred to a jeepney to Sagada. I was very comfortable on the bus because the seats were farther apart than those in other buses like Victory Liner. The jeepney ride, on the other hand, was full to the brim! The boys joined the passengers sitting on the roof, which allowed them to enjoy the scenery as we drove around the cliffs. The photo above is the view from my window--with a kid's feet dangling from the top of the jeep. That must've been an adventure in itself!

Hanging Coffins

It was my first time to go trekking, so it was a good thing our tour began with short visits to the Lumiang Burial Cave and Echo Valley, where we got to see the Hanging Coffins from a distance. It was an eerily beautiful sight.

photo credit: Erwin Tibayan

The following day, I almost missed out on the Sumaguing Cave spelunking experience! I thought I wouldn't be able to survive due to my incredibly weak physical skills, but my friends convinced me to join and helped me every step, jump and slide of the way! I really can't thank them enough!

photo credit: Rosalie Torres/Kirky Awingan

For me, the most breathtaking place in Sagada was the Bomod-ok Falls. We crossed a vast trail of rice terraces, another amazing view. It took us about two hours to get there because of Little Miss Slowpoke (read: ME) but it was well worth the long trek.

Bomod-ok Falls

Seeing the falls up close was magical, even dreamlike. I didn't want to wake up!

photo credit: Rosalie Torres/Kirky Awingan/Erwin Tibayan

If I wasn't holding on to a rock, I was clinging to my Superboyfriend or our Superguide Kuya Kirky for dear life! If you're planning to go to Sagada, I highly recommend the Sagada Genuine Guides Association, which Kirky Awingan is a part of. Aside from facts and trivia about Sagada, he gave me advice on how to use my feet properly because I kept spraining my toes. The spelunking/trekking/walking lessons I got were some of the most valuable ones I've ever received!

Stay beautiful, Sagada. We'll be back.

The CityLifeStylist

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Fruits of My Labor

Sticking to a low-fat, low-carb diet five days a week is hard work, my friends, so the fruity treats I reward myself with on weekends really are what the title says they are!

Twisted Pavlova
Gayuma ni Maria, 123 V. Luna Extension (Maginhawa Street), Quezon City
After a huge plate of baby back ribs and mashed potatoes, I thought I was going to be too full for dessert but I wasn't able to resist. The meringue-based cake with fruits and cream was smooth with a crunch--just the way I like it--but I wish they served it with an assortment of fresh fruit.

Peach Walnut Torte
Conti's, TriNoma, Quezon City
The Peach Walnut Torte is one of my favorite cakes at Conti's. The layers of peaches, cream, walnuts and meringue never fail to satisfy. It sort of tastes like a peachy version of sansrival. One tip, though: Don't order this to go if you want a nice big slice. Their takeout Styrofoam containers are so small that the torte becomes squished.

All that fruity goodness was worth the wait!

The CityLifeStylist

Friday, February 25, 2011

Print Preview

photo credit:,,

With the summer fast approaching, I'm starting to introduce some colorful printed pieces to my wardrobe to mix and match with solid staples. Paint splatters and watercolor prints are definitely party-friendly--they'll chase away your fears of punch spills and water stains!

The CityLifeStylist

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cocktail Party

photo credit:

A lot of my previous posts show how much I love rings, but what inspired this new entry was the Marc by Marc Jacobs cocktail ring Chictopia is giving away! It reminds me of the bright blue sky that sets the backdrop for every summer road trip or beach getaway. But with this baby retailing at over £80 and with only one prize in the #ChicTweets promo, I'm looking at other options!

photo credit: Forever 21 Philippines

In my opinion, it's okay to invest in real and semi-precious jewelry, but for costume jewelry and accessories, it's better to look for great deals on quality items. That's why since Forever21 opened in Manila, it has been one of my top go-to places for pretty cocktail rings.

photo credit: Forever 21 Philippines

I keep myself updated on their new items through the Forever21 Philippines Facebook page. Above are some of the rings that caught my eye this month. My fave is the orange and gold ring, which looks like a little ball of sunshine--perfect for the warm weather ahead.

Looking forward to partying under the sun in breezy mini dresses and sporting a fierce ring on my finger!

The CityLifeStylist

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mercato Sunday #2: Auntie May's, the Revamped Wackybee's and More Empire Macarons!

My boyfriend and I brought my family to Mercato Centrale last weekend for a pre-Valentine's food trip. We sampled several things but these topped my list:

I recommended the bulalo at Wackybee's (formerly named Wacky Bob's) to the 'rents and they loved it! I had their Roasted Bone Marrow with Toast and Parsley Salad as well, which was doubly sinful but definitely worth it.

I wasn't able to take a photo of the burgers we ordered from Beurre but they were really good. Their gourmet burger had arugula, oyster mushrooms, caramelized onions, cheese, cucumber and tomatoes. Since I'm allergic to cheese, mine didn't have any but it was delicious nonetheless!

When I spotted the Ginataang Kuhol (Snails in Coconut Milk) at Auntie May's, I knew it didn't quite match the sandwich and the burger I previously ordered but I didn't care. I love kuhol and the dish did not disappoint--it was very rich and tasty. Aside from coconut milk, it also had chili peppers and kangkong leaves.

The fam found the macarons from Empire a little too sweet, but that was fine because I got to have more! We came early so we still had a lot of flavors to choose from unlike last time. The Triple Chocolate, Hazelnut and Pistachio were amazing, but the White Chocolate remains to be my favorite.

Can't wait for our next Mercato Sunday!

The CityLifeStylist

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hooked on Chocolate

Whenever I take a break from work and my diet, I indulge myself in sweets. This is why the pages of my little notebook and the Post-its in my planner look like food journal entries with a focus on dessert.

Now I finally get to turn those notes into a blog post! Today I'm putting the spotlight on everything chocolatey.

Lauren's Lava
Casa Verde, The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu
Last December, I made sure to drop by Casa Verde, one of my favorite restaurants in Cebu. It was my first time to try Lauren's Lava, a lush molten chocolate cake with warm chocolate filling and vanilla ice cream on top. The balance between chocolate and vanilla was perfect.

Pane e Cioccolata
UCC Cafe Terrace, TriNoma, Quezon City
I'm a fan of bread pudding, and while I haven't found anything as amazing as the homemade lemony bread pudding I had in Cebu, this Pane e Cioccolata is a good alternative. It's bread pudding with a crisp chocolate crust and two scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with almond slivers. I always order this for dessert or as a snack at UCC!

Death by Tablea
Chocolat, Xavierville, Quezon City
I arrived a little before 8:00 p.m., the Xavierville branch's closing time, so I had to order this to go. They have a wide selection of chocolate cakes, so I asked for a slice of their bestseller. With so many others to choose from, I wondered how this seemingly simple "chocolate cake with bittersweet icing made of native cacao and condensed milk" became their customers' top choice. I stopped wondering after the first bite. The bittersweetness was a delight!

Beats Sex Any Day
Gayuma ni Maria, 123 V. Luna Extension (Maginhawa Street), Quezon City
While I'm a bigger fan of their Twisted Pavlova (which I'm going to tell you about in another entry) Gayuma ni Maria's popular dessert Beats Sex Any Day is worth a try. The cake was not very moist but the butterscotch cream and chocolate bits on top made up for it. This would appeal to chocolate and butterscotch lovers.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Cafe Xocolat, 172 B. Gonzales Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
This chocolate cake was rich and compact, but surprisingly not dry. It was not too moist, either; the texture was just right. This would be even better served with some vanilla ice cream. Ah, pure bliss.

Hello. My name is Therese and I am a chocoholic!

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Emmanuelle

photo credit: and

Check out this interview with Emmanuelle Alt, the new Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue. I've always loved her rock chic style, but who knew she was this charmingly pleasant and animated?

Video from

She's too cool. Can't wait to see the new editorials!

The CityLifeStylist

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spring Awakening

photo credit:

Inspired by Vanessa Bruno's Spring 2011 collection, this eerily beautiful video titled Miracle features Bruno's romantic pieces on Lou Doillon and Jessica Joffe.

I love how it tells the story of the designer's collection, with the transition of scenes from dreamlike and serene to lively and energetic--much like how the clothes were presented on the runway.

The CityLifeStylist