Eco-Friendly Pursuits: The Cutiepatootie Ecobag

It wasn’t too long ago that I’ve expressed my frustrations as a consumer on how there is a general lack of aesthetically pleasing ecobags out there. Lo and behold, I found myself in a Robinson’s Department Store last weekend after watching Iron Man with my nephews. There it was – The One.

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This is admittedly too colorful for others’ tastes but I find that it suits my preferences just right: it’s big, it has elements of purple and I got a 25% discount when I bought it. Okay, so it was supposed to be 40 pesos and I bought it for 30. Ahh, the power of spinning numbers.

I think I got the discount because my total purchase amount exceeded 1,000 pesos. I was so amused by the smorgasbord of Whatever statement shirts I found. I can’t wait to wear them to Yoga class!

Okay, going back to the bag. Everytime you use the bag to shop again in their store, you get 5 pesos off your purchase total.

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I love how they chose to go with incentivizing rather than penalizing. Although, I am not entirely against the notion of imposing tariffs (I come from an Economics background, after all), packaging efforts like these on a more positive note is something which I think would be more enticing and sustainable. I hope other stores will follow suit, and I hope government will enforce taxation on the use of plastic all throughout the country.

Here’s another design that the store is carrying for their ecobag (left):

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How can I not be proud of getting this ecobag with a statement printed on it, saying:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

-Dalai Lama

I believe that making these baby steps towards being more aware of our consumption habits – be it apparel, or food, or even ideas can steadily and sustainably help in changing this world for the better.

Borrowing some lines from one of Marina and the Diamonds’ songs:

Question what the TV tells you
Question what the pop star tells you
Question mom and question dad
Question good and question bad

Cheers to breaking old habits and finding meaning in new ones. Ü

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Manetaming Chronicles: The Pixie Upkeep

After exactly a month since having my hair chopped off super short for the 1st time (so short that my mom, who was and is on the far opposite side of the country from where I am, was on the verge of throwing a fit when she found out through SNS), I find myself back in a hair salon across my office, ready and willing to have these strings of dead cells on my head chopped further.

Before I get into the details of the experience, I’d like to establish that there were sufficient efforts made to try to get someone to maintain my hairdo for free. I asked my sister who remains proud of the haircuts she gives to her sons. I thought to myself, my hair isn’t so different from my nephews, so why don’t I join the bandwagon? Unfortunately, said sister sworn upon herself to take haircutting lessons first before she charters into the territory of cutting my hair. 

I respect that.

So I resorted to asking my SNS friends. Posting a status to ask if anyone was willing to cut my hair, my girlfriends just go on to affirm that having a Pixie do does entail a lot of maintenance. Another friend offered to cut my hair but she wanted to pattern it after Justin Bieber’s look.

I would rather buy my own razor and shave all my hair off myself. A politely delivered “No, thanks” is in order.

Okay, on to the meat of this post.
I’d made my reservations OTP yesterday for the lunch appointment today. As it was my first time to try the service of Menagé Salon at their Legazpi Village, Makati branch, I didn’t know who among the stylists to set an appointment with. I decided to leave it to the receptionist to choose the stylist that does the best job in doing pixie cuts.

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Using my lunch hour for this session, I was greeted by the receptionist who referred me to Joey, my stylist. Above is documentation of me after getting my hair shampooed. The whole towel-wrapped-on-my-head look kinda reminds me of the female protagonist in Happythankyoumoreplease, hence the decision to include this in my post. Heh.

The place was fairly spaceous and bright, classic and sleek. Light was coming in from the glass facade at the front. There were only a couple of seats which averted the whole busy disorganized scene that tends to happen at other salons.

Long story short, it took the whole lunch hour to have my hair trimmed, but man was it worth it. Even though I was attending to my Harper’s Bazaar mag, I could feel the attention to detail that Joey gave in cutting my hair. He used shears, and none of those blade comb thingies that usually make the haircut process faster (and easier for the stylists) but compromises the health of the hairstrands. Needless to say, I walked off that establishment one happy and satisfied pixie person. And yes, I was reading the April 2013 issue of the magazine with Selena Gomez on the cover. Coincidentally, a Selena song plays as my haircut was about to finish.

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That was me while getting my post-cut drying. Joey then took over again and artfully waxed my hair with all his slight tugs here and there. Below is a bad photo I took of my newly manetamed head while waiting for my brother to come down from work:

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So there you have it, if you’re on to get your pixie cut or have it maintained, Joey of Menagé Salon in Rada Street is your go-to person. It’s worth every buck! If you have trouble spotting him, he’s that flambouyant stylist who’d dance to the beat when he’s standing idly. He also wears chic hipster eyeglasses, which is one more reason to trust him with your hair!

Whether it’s because of the unreasonable heat this season or if it’s part of your bucketlist to chop your hair off, I hope this post has helped some giddy, scarexcited girl out there who’s in joyful anticipation to dive into the world of pixie. Ü

Looking forward to share my Jing Monis experience for my first-ever pixie cut – soon!

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Fillers, Just Like Books!


Alright, so my blog’s about to get cobwebs primarily due to the fact that I’ve made significantly fewer posts as of late (should be in singular form, actually – if we count by month). Not that this is anything earthshaking, I just found this note posted by a friend on Facebook a tad bit interesting. So, for the sake of adding another entry, here goes.

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES.

• Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.

• Italicize / underline the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen –> fave movie, too! *melt*
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien –> Legolas, be mine! haha.
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling –> Can’t wait for the final movie installment sans the likely crappy rendition of the crappy ending in the book!
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell –> Does knowing that the Big Brother franchise is based on the plot of this book count?
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete works of William Shakespeare –> Can I hear a whut, whut for sonnet 116? 😀
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien –> More like the first 3 pages. Can’t I just settle with the video game version of this?
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger –> I remember making a ranty reaction paper for this. Unsurprisingly, I also got a grade worth ranting about. Ahh, memories.
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger –> All I remember are the clothes without the body in the movie. Haha!
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell –> Does using the title of this book as an overused phrase count?
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams –> I had to watch the weird movie of this. My brother just loved it. He did. Not me. 
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll –> Does watching Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter count? 😀
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy –> Does reading a book where the protagonist’s dog is named after the title of this book count?
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden –> We even had to make an amateur movie on this in high school! Good days, they were.
40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne –> I’m now more accustomed to My Friends, Tigger and Pooh, thanks to my nephews.
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding –> All I remember was the pig’s head on a stick in the book cover. Mmm…pork. Haha!
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan –> Nice movie!
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen –> Hugh Grant looked weird in the movie.
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez –> Provocative movie, it was! Especially one scene, in particular! Haha.
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold –> Does knowing that a movie on this was nominated for an Oscar count?
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas –> Too thick! Haha.
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding –> Renee Zellweger was so cute in the BJD movies!
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville –> Shunned myself from reading this book in elementary. Found the title absurd. How was I supposed to have known then that the plot was actually about a whale?!
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker –> Can I read about Damon Salvatore instead? 😀
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle –> Let me just feast on Robert Downey Jr., or laugh at the insanity that is Dr. House (whose character was developed off SH. wuddup!).
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery –> Darn right, what is essential is invisible to the eye!
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl –> Me wants some Willy Wonka goodies!
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo –> Makes me wanna sing!

REMARKS:

  • Upon closer investigation, the numbering isn’t accurate and there are only about 98 book titles here. Pffft.
  • I need to read more of these legendary books!
  • Copy, paste, and let others (and me) know what reads (or lack thereof) we / you (plural) have in common!

Crabs.

Annie the Honest.

This is one of the characters  in the Milo advertisements airing on TV to further the practice of good values among children. This initially caught my attention because of the structure of the phrase. If simile is to be used then both words being related have to be nouns, right? But let’s not dwell on that.

I know this is probably long overdue, since the premiere of  The Social Network was almost a month ago but I’d nevertheless like to spew out into the blogosphere what I thought and pondered on for quite a lengthy span of time after watching the movie: Is it possible to succeed, at least financially, without having to betray anyone – even in the smallest, littlest sense? (pardon me for making words up.)

Even though the plot of the movie was intentionally skewed to make things more sensationally Hollywood, the point is that, give or take, some people got screwed in the process of Thefacebook’s growth. So, Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s youngest billionaire is, as Travis’s dad in Cougar Town would put it, G.A.C: guilty as charged. Hey, even Bill Gates, the world’s richest man at some point in time, kinda screwed some people as he built his Microsoft empire.

Or are these cases just borne out of crabs trying to pull down these successful people? I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people out there who have acquired wealth at the expense of others (don’t get me started on the condition of Philippine government and politics, please!) but I have yet to know or at least hear of someone who hasn’t. Does this mean that, to live a life abided by unwavering integrity, one has to settle with an acceptable financial standing?

Is there a way to adhere to principles that are wounded by fibers of morality and ethics while working towards being financially free?

If you know of such a person who has done this, share! People need inspiration i.e. I do. Haha.

John Mayer Mania!!!

So Friday was the day. It was as if the heavens conspired for this night to be epic. It was. And by epic, I mean bittersweet. In great anticipation, we headed out to the open concert grounds only to be greeted by shiznit-loads of rain. Even with my umbrella above my head, all that was left dry at that point was my soul. The tantrums were about to surface. I told myself, John Mayer better be hot enough in real life to make up for this.

photo courtesy of Ate Sheng (a VIP view!)

 
He totally was. After enduring being scolded by security, getting our undies drenched, having to buy a cup of 35-peso water to ease my thirst, it was a night to remember. My friend and I went back to the railings anyway (good thing, them scary looking bouncers got busy) to get a better view of him – or the screen, that is. Our other friends were left with an alternative view of a couple making out. Okay, so when an umbrella moves down a bit, we occasionally get to see him on stage. We were so far away that his entire body was smaller than a third of my thumb.
 

John Mayer on the screen amidst the umbrellas

All these obstacles will never overcome how great he is as an artist. the words in his songs are so loose and relatable. The way he strums his guitar is so weird and amazing. His facial expressions tell you that he’s really into what he’s doing, and that accentuates how hot he is. Yes, even in his ordinary black shirt, he was smokin’.

Ahhh, the unbearable lightness of being. All the other annoying stuff had to happen in order to make this night as surreal as it was. It’s just like how salt actually makes chocolate milk more delicious.

Me and my railmate 😉

 
See our wet, happy faces. No one else can correlate sulfur and heartbreak like JM. No one else can muse about how he’s perfectly lonely so nonchalantly. I’m tired of being alone, so hurry up and get here. 🙂
 
 

Kiss the Cook: a Food Review

Located along Maginhawa Street in UP Village, Quezon City, it invites passersby with its warm and home-like atmosphere, easily visible from people outside the restaurant, as it is encased in glass panels.

My college roommate and I were seated in a nice, cozy table along the corner. The upside of it was that it welcomed more privacy, perfect for some catching up over dinner. The downside? Well, the waiters couldn’t see us so we had to stand every time we ordered or followed up something.

For the appetizer, we had crab cakes. I ordered grilled afghan chicken for my entrée (I don’t know how to put in characters with accents, so apologies for the apparently wrong spelling – but wait, WordPress’s proofreader helped me solve this problem, so hoorah!), while my roommate ordered five-spice spareribs.

I was generally satisfied with my afghan chicken. Didn’t remind me of the horrors inflicted by Bin Laden on our society at all. They put in more chili on my side dish as I requested, which was a perfect match with the tender chicken and the smooth creamy corn thing where the chicken was resting. (Okay, so I don’t exactly remember what it was called). Thing is, I wish my visit started and ended with the chicken. The crab cakes, though aptly complemented by the tomato and mango salsa, were personally too salty on their own.

My roommate was utterly disappointed with her spareribs. She compared it to Chowking’s version, and thought the latter tasted better. No rebuttals here. I tasted it myself and couldn’t agree more. When we asked for our bill, we told one of the waiters about it – that the meat was hard and that it generally didn’t taste good. He simply said, “Ganun po ba?”.

In an effort to give the place  the benefit of the doubt and a chance to redeem itself (not to mention allow her still famished stomach to be filled), she ordered an iced latte and a belgian chocolate cake.

The drink was exactly what it was – iced latte. There was nothing particularly special about it. The belgian chocolate cake, however, was divine. It was worth it, I think.

Based on our experience, to say that Kiss the Cook serves gourmet food is overrated. Yes, perhaps we just ordered the wrong things, or came at the wrong time. For the money we spent, it was an overall buzzkill. Closing my eyes to relish the food and appreciate it’s “gourmet-ness” didn’t help.  The washroom, with the potential to be aesthetically pleasing, was simply a mess when I entered, so more demerits are in order. I’d probably come back there for the chicken and the cake though. 😀

RATING:

Food: 3

Ambience: 4

Cleanliness: 2

Service: 3

Overall Rating: 3