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12/21/2010

Lugang Cafe

I've been hearing great reviews about the newly opened Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant in Greenhills, Lugang Cafe.  It is located in Connecticut St., in a newly constructed building near UCC. 

Plush interior, modern furnishings, sleek lines, high tech equipment all in one.  I love the look of the Cafe.  The name may sound awful, but only in Filipino Language.  The restaurant is a legit franchise of Bellagio (Lu Gang Xiaozhen) in Beijing.

It is said that the franchisers could not use the name Bellagio here in the Philippines, that is why they used the 2nd name of the restaurant.  Lugang got its name from Lugang, Changhua Taiwan, which was the most popular city in Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty...

Now, for the food...

The Xiao Long Bao is definitely better than Crystal Jade's ...  I didn't make a review about the latter because I arrived at the restaurant late, and the food were already cold when I got there.  I didn't think it was fair enough to do so....  But honestly, eventhough some food were still hot, all I remember was dryness...  Everything was dry.  From the Xiao Long Bao, to the Peking Duck, to the desserts...  I didn't see any reason to come back...

Anyway, back to Lugang...   We ordered 2 Xiao Long Bao, Braised Pork Knuckles, Boneless Hainanese Chicken, Roast Asado, Roast Layered Pork, Prawns in Oats, Creme Brulee with Red Bean and Fruits in Ice Cream for dessert.  I was really hoping we could order shaved ice desserts, but unfortunately, we were too full to have more, so we just picked the two most wanted desserts...


Xiao Long Bao P 158.00 - 6 pcs.



1/2 Hainan Boneless Chicken - P450.00 


Roast Asado - P300.00



Roasted Layer Pork - P350.00


 Creme Brulee with Red Bean 




 Ice Cream with Fruits

Every bite of each and every food I tasted is good...  I am looking forward to my next Lugang experience and I would definitely order my favorites:  Roast Asado, Creme Brulee, plus lots of Shaved Ice Desserts.  Our bill was around P4,220.00, we were 6, so around P700.00 per head.
Lugang Cafe
116 Connecticut St.,
Northeast Greenhills
7219100 / 5709011

12/18/2010

Wear it Red this Holiday season!

A lipstick I think is the only makeup product that can always be found in a woman's bag.  I think that it is the most important kind of make up that can lift your spirits, make you look good even though you're not wearing any other make up...  For the holiday season, it is nice to look festive and happy... Wear it Red...

Red lips = timeless.  And we shall expect it to come back for spring/summer 2011 as one of the hottest trends.  But of course, we all know that wearing red lipstick shouldn't be overdone...  It should match with very, very light eye make up and blush, or if you can, no make up at all!  Probably at night, we could make the look more dramatic by adding a dark eyeliner and and 1 coat of mascara...

However, we should always choose the right shade of red based on our skin tone...  We should also avoid red lipstick if we have skin problems, for this shall only emphasize the "problem"... Here are some tips on how to wear it Red...

Rule No. 1: Choose the correct shade for your skintone

The paler the skin, the bigger the pop. 




Rule No. 2: Line inside of lips

Red lipstick tends to bleed, so fill in lips with lip liner first. 




Rule No. 3: Pick the right color

If your complexion is pink, you'll look better in plum shades, while girls with yellow tones are flattered by warmer reds that have a brown base.

Rule No. 4: Skip the red nails

 

 

A clear polish, french tip, or light color adds subtlety...

Rule No. 5: Blending is in

Few makeup artists stick to one shade of any lipstick, they tend to blend a few to create the perfect colors. If you've bought a red lipstick shade that's too bright, dark or whatever, don't throw it away. Instead, experiment with other lipstick shades you have on hand to create the perfect shade of red.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rule No. 6: Choose lighter shades if you are older

Our lips thin as we age and dark lips can accentuate them. To keep lips from looking too severe, try a rosy red or avoid red lips altogether and opt for a neutral shade, playing up your eyes instead.

Yes, I know, I read the word "age" again...  So I think I might have to stick with Rule # 6.  But who knows, you'd probably see me wearing Red lips especially this holiday season...

Credits:  about.com

12/17/2010

FM Shoes...

I'm so excited!  I finally found the color of the shoes I want to have for Christmas...  Thank you DS for the Christmas gift...  I super love it!!!  



FM (F_ck Me) Shoes they call it, coz' it's really sexy!  Some say that women who wear Tribute wants to get laid... Haha, not me!!!  I love that it's a pump, I don't have to suffer much from tiptoeing...  I'll be debuting them real soon!!!

12/10/2010

Oh Christmas Lights!

Last Sunday, I took the kids to Power Plant Mall at Rockwell.  I wanted them to feel the Christmas vibe. When I was about 5 years old, my dad used to take me to Cubao C.O.D. mall, where we watch a short Christmas story, made with huge papier mache figures moving, by the building's facade.  Now, I believe this work art and concept can be seen in Greenhills Shopping Center. 

Honestly, now that I'm 40, I am still eager to feel that vibe...  But unfortunately, it is true that as we grow older, Christmas doesn't seem too much fun anymore...  Traffic, endless shopping (but budget isn't endless), traffic, Christmas parties here and there, traffic, gifts for security guards, teachers, classmates, friends, colleagues, staff, and the list goes on and on...  Traffic here in Manila is unbearable...  I've been to many places and I've never seen traffic as worse than Manila traffic especially during Christmas season...  Well, those are the ones that makes Christmas "not fun"...  But it's reality...  It's part of a Filipino Christmas...  A lot of times I find myself saying, wow, traffic!!!  It's the Christmas Spirit!!! (Think positive) And it feels better...  You won't even notice that you've reached your destination already...

I was so happy I brought my kids out that day...  Fonzie (my 3 year old boy) was wowed when we entered the Power Plant...  I saw him smiling as he looked everywhere as the mall was wonderfully decorated with red and gold ornaments...  I know how he feels...  And I know it's one of the most wonderful feeling ever...  Hearing Christmas songs, and seeing lots of people carrying loads of gift packs, walking here and there...  

Since we were all having that "Christmas vibe", I took them to Ayala Triangle Gardens to watch Christmas at the Gardens, featuring "Parol". 


The harmonized lights and sounds illuminated the whole garden and it felt so magical and Christmassy...  I think this once a year event is a "must see"...  After all, it's free...  The event is on going from Dec. 1 - 23, every 30 minutes, from 6pm to 8pm...  Here's a short video clip. (not so loud & clear, sorry)

video

The kids were still high by 8pm.  I think the lights had something to do with their energy...  I thought of bringing them to Policarpio Street for some "house sight-seeing"... For years, I've been hearing about this particular street that houses a strip of fully lit and decorated homes...  I never got to see it until last Sunday...  It is somewhere in Mandaluyong, near the city's Municipal Hall...  We parked at the street perpendicular to Policarpio since the street is narrow, and cars are not allowed anyway.   I didn't mind at all since It was just a short walk and the street itself is not even long...  Probably around 24 houses left and right...

This particular house has a huge Belen on its facade  


 This has the "Vegas" look

 The House of Santa Claus


Flying reindeers with Santa's sleigh

The fully lit house, including its repeater antenna (my favorite)
It's nice to see people decorating their houses like this, setting aside their problems, or maybe bad memories, or even unfulfilled dreams...  I see their positivity in keeping the spirit alive even though things don't come the way they wanted to... They made me believe that Christmas is still fun, the way it used to be, back when I was 5...

12/06/2010

My Ellen Experience (and might be yours too)!

I apologize for the delay of this post...  I've been coping up with what I've missed during my 2-week vacation and now is the only time I got to tell you how it all went during the Ellen show...

First, let me tell you that from the registration down to the exits, everything is absolutely organized and in proper order...  You just have to follow instructions...  No shortcuts, no power tripping, no vip...  Just observe the rules...  You'll have fun...

How I acquired Ellen tickets are found here (click the link).  The four of us left Vegas around 6am...  Arrived LA at 11am...  Had lunch at Ikea, loved the swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce...  ummmm...



At exactly 1pm, we entered Warner Bros. Studio Gate 3.  We were headed to the parking lot.  Parking attendants were everywhere and you wouldn't have trouble getting a slot, they will guide you appropriately. 

As soon as we got out of the elevator, a staff welcomed us and guided us to a queue for "Guaranteed Seats" audiences.  The queue was surprisingly short.  A staff carefully examined our tickets and all our ID's, then checked her own "guestlist"...  We were good, and given audience seat numbers, so we headed to another short queue.  Here, a policeman checks our IDs again, checked his own list, and put some ultraviolet stamps on our hands.  Then he showed us where we were supposed to wait...  We then saw a huge group of excited people sitting, eating, chatting, shouting.  So these are the people who will be with us during the entire show taping...

We sat down for an hour and a half, watched Ellen's previous shows on huge flat screens provided at the waiting area.  One staff finally announced who the guests will be - the First Lady Michelle Obama, and the Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and the performers were Sugarland.  I admit, I didn't know Sugarland, but I told myself, what the heck, at least I get to know their songs...  Then, again, I was a bit disappointed - because I don't get to see someone from Hollywood...  But then again, I told myself, I am here at Ellen!!!  It is she who I really want to see!!!

Tip:  The waiting area is not airconditioned, but since I was there in October, the weather was quite comfortable.  If you are planning to watch, make sure that you wear very comfortable clothes and shoes...  Coz' you're not just watching, you're going to party!!!



At exactly 3:00 pm, our numbers were called, and we were headed to the studio.  The numbers we were holding were the seat numbers as well...  We had to keep those numbers until we get to the studio itself.  We passed through heavy security on the way to the studio.  Our bags were entirely inspected, read:  Airport Security...  I don't know if this really how strict the guards are or we were just heavily inspected because of the guests...  

Then we entered the Riff Raff.  This is the where people who didn't get guaranteed seats were seated.  It's like a hotel lobby with huge flat screen tv where you can watch the taped episode.  The riff raff is located just behind the studio.  Secret service agents were all over...  (because of the guests)

We were seated almost at the back part of the studio...  But since the studio is quite small, I could see Ellen' s chair clearly from where we were seating...  A DJ was playing loud dance music.  We were asked to dance, sing, and party!!!  He was playing 80's dance songs which really enthused us since it was our era!  We were all energized and was ready to face Ellen...  
Ellen was then introduced and I was all smiles when I saw her enter the room... 
She waved back at me...  I swear!

Then she told us about X-Box 360 Kinect.  My heart was heavily pounding after I heard her say, "I thought of giving all of you this Kinect, but, you have to have an XBox 360 to play with it, so, I'm just GIVING YOU BOTH!!!!"  I don't exactly know how I felt when I heard that...  Honestly, I thought, what are going to do with 4 X-boxes???  Since I was with my hubby, my niece, and her friend....  Each of us are going to have one...  Anyway, I said to myself, what the heck, just watch the show!

Some US Marines and Militaries and their families were watching the show with us.   I figured out that the guests paid tribute to the families who saved many lives of the American people...  It was a really nice show and heartwarming.  

During commercial breaks, we were asked to stand up and dance the whole time.  At this time, Ellen and the guests talks to the director, scriptwriters, and staff...  Probably tells them what's up next...

During the last part of the show, 2 audiences were selected to join a contest.  One of them was an undercover staff of Ellen...  The other one was a wife of a soldier who was out in Afghanistan...  She was supposed to guess who were the people shown in the pictures.  But she lost the game...  And yet, she was given a car.  Such a heartwarming part...  Two other volunteers and military families were given gifts and thousands of dollars...  Then Ellen looked at her audience and said, I know you guys think, how about the rest of us???  Then she said, you are all coming back for the 12 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS in December!!!!  

I died...  
It was the most wonderful sentence I've ever heard in my entire life...

And then again...  Questions came running through my mind...  How can I go back in December?  Can I send someone in my behalf? Will my hubby come back with me?  How about Cassie?  How about my work back home?  

After the show, Ellen spoke to us, thanked us, and acknowledged everyone who came, especially those who came from different states and countries...

Then the DJ came back and instructed us about our "gifts"...  He told us to stay and fill out our registration forms for the 12 Days of Giveaways, and then, on our way out, the staff shall give us CD of the Sugarland, a Gift Card from Best Buy to get our X-Box 360, (which means we don't necessarily need to buy one) coz' we have a $350 gift card!!!

When we went back to Vegas, I was still problematic about coming back...  We've talked about it, and thought it would be very hard for us to come back since USA is Pacific Ocean apart from the Philippines.

I took the risk and called the ticket office of Ellen.  I told them the reason, and gave our seats to my sister and her hubby...  It was so easy I couldn't believe everything was hassle-free!

Am I lucky or am I lucky???  I guess it was the most wonderful time of my life!!!  Even better when I walked down the aisle 15 years ago!!! 

Today is the 2nd day of Ellen's 12 days of Giveaways, and my sister is going to be on the 4th day!!!  I am so excited to see her and her family on TV!!!  Even more excited to see their giveaways!!!  It'll be shown on Thursday, Dec. 9, I guess...
I just hope my sister gives me at least half of what she's getting!!! C'mon dear sis!!!

Well I hope I didn't bore you with my detailed experience with Ellen...  It's just that I had to document this event for me and my children's children to see...