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Monday, February 27, 2012

MEGAWOMAN: Grace Barbers-Baja


I had the pleasure of interviewing supermom Grace Barbers-Baja for this month's MEGAWOMAN feature. 

MEGA Assistant Editor Sarah Santiago produced and styled the shoot while photographer John Ocampo snapped away in the Bajas' beautiful home in Makati City.

Read about Grace's passion for health and fitness, her love for food, travel and fashion, and her hands-on parenting style in the March 2012 issue of MEGA magazine.

The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinkberry: Healthy, Swirly Goodness Now in Manila

Even when I’m on a diet, one thing I can never sacrifice is dessert. I can live with only veggies, lean meat and fruits for meals, but I always need something to satisfy my sweet tooth. When I’m really serious about eating healthy (read: those days when I don’t cheat with small bags of cookies or chips!) I opt for desserts with lower sugar and fat content such as dark chocolate and frozen yogurt.

Fro-yo has been in Manila for years, but it was not until two months ago that Pinkberry, one of the frozen yogurt pioneers in the US, hit our shores. I’ve heard about the brand on American TV shows (like The Hills) and wondered what made it so different from the other fro-yo places we already have here, so I had to give it a try.

When I visited its first Manila branch in Greenbelt 5, I was greeted with bright smiles from the staff and an equally cheery ambiance. The punchy colors on the walls, chic Philippe Starck furniture, and hip music gave the store a fun, lively vibe.

The menu features six flavors—original, green tea, chocolate, mango, watermelon and pomegranate—and you can taste each of them before deciding which one to get. You can have a side-by-side combination or have two flavors swirled together. Your choice can be swirled in a cone, cups in small, medium or large, or an even bigger 25-ounce tub that you can take home.

Pinkberry is made with real nonfat yogurt and fresh nonfat milk, and the optional fruit toppings are always fresh (not frozen!) and hand-cut daily in-store—yep, even the raspberries and blueberries! Aside from these, the toppings bar boasts of high quality, healthy picks like toasted crunchy almonds, organic gummy bears with no high fructose corn syrup, and premium Belgian chocolate, among many others. Health buffs would also be thrilled to know that the menu and topping labels specify calorie content!

For orders to go, you can grab a Pinkberry insulated Chilly Bliss Bag for only 400 pesos. The staff will gladly add ice packs to ensure that your frozen yogurt can last up to two hours travel time.

My favorites are the original, pomegranate and chocolate flavors. The original one is just the way I like my fro-yo—light and smooth with a tart flavor and just a hint of sweetness. The pomegranate (above) really tasted like it was made with 100 percent California-grown pure pomegranate juice, without overpowering the tangy flavor of the yogurt. The chocolate was rich and almost tasted like milk chocolate ice cream—great for when you’re craving for milk chocolate but don’t want to ruin your diet!

also enjoyed the Pinkberry Fruit Parfait, fro-yo with a thick layer of fruits and granola in the middle. Just like the other items on the menu, the parfait can be customized with your choice of toppings as well. What makes this yummy, tall cup even more heavenly is knowing that it's good for you.

Head over to Pinkberry and you won’t be afraid to indulge!

For more information, check out the Pinkberry website and Facebook page.

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Soft Rock Chic

photo credit:

Loving these ensembles from Rebecca Minkoff's Fall 2012 collection. They might be a bit too trendy for me with the cutouts and outer shoulder pad details, but the pieces give off an irresistibly easy, subtly rock chic but sophisticated vibe.

The CityLifeStylist

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Taking Up Anthropologie



photo credit:

I wonder why it's so difficult to find nice casual dresses in classic cuts, neutral tones, and quality fabrics in Manila. Even the current roster of foreign high street stores rarely offer beautiful, sophisticated pieces that can stand the test of time, season after season. I wish we had Anthropologie here!

The CityLifeStylist

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sperry Cool

photo credit: Sperry Top-Sider

The nautical feel of the classic Sperry Top-Sider is just too cool. 

Perfect for guys who like it slick but laid-back, the iconic shoe brand has released a new collection in collaboration with designer Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders. The timeless boat shoe styles are made with quality suede and wool materials.

In Manila, the limited edition Band of Outsiders for Sperry Top-Sider collection is exclusively available at Secret Fresh at the Ronac Art Center. You can also find the rest of the Sperry Top-Sider lines at Shoe Salon branches, HideOut in Greenbelt 5, Complex Lifestyle Store in Eastwood Mall, Ayala Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Rustans, select department stores, and its new store in TriNoma. 

For more information, visit the Sperry Top-Sider Facebook page.

The CityLifeStylist

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sweet Thrills

photo credit: AIJC/Paul Alaras (middle and bottom photos)

Thanks to my post-holiday/post-thesis weight gain, I only have a few decent (read: double chin-free) photos from my master's graduation! But how could I complain? I'm finally done with my MA! 

I should have more time to blog and lounge around now, but alas, new projects at work have kept my hands full. Good thing I've got my chocolate stash to keep me sane, especially with my new favorite addition: Sea Salt Caramel in Dark Chocolate from Cacao. For only 99 pesos per 100 grams, I was very pleasantly surprised after my first bite. With that price, I wasn't expecting them to be so amazing. For lovers of chewy salted caramel and dark chocolate, this is definitely a cheap thrill!

(Going back to that healthy diet soon, though, I swear! But how could I stick to it with such delectable treats within reach? Hee.)

The CityLifeStylist